OK, I watched the pilot and it is even more awesome than I had imagined. It is totally SVH in leotards and I, for one, love it. Thus, I will be recapping weekly on this blog, at least until school starts up again and I don’t have time for this shit anymore (although I’m sure I’ll still watch).
As usual, cut to for image-heaviness, cussing, and all that good stuff.
So we open at Rocky Mountain Gymnastics. We get a montage of cool-looking shots of gymnasts (including I daresay the messiest layout-stepout I’ve seen since Kerri Strug, who only gets away with that fuckery because she is so HBIC) cut in with the lead actresses walking into the gym. Every gymnast has her own parking spot. I feel gypped. Cheap assholes at my gym couldn’t even give us a locker. But then my gym was in a nonair-conditioned warehouse in Hawaii and our biggest gymnast probably made it all the way to the local mall, so make of that what you will. Back at Rocky Mountain, we see our Regulation Hottie™ on rings. The camera immediately jumps to a pink-clad Jade Barbosa lookalike, with whom he exchanges a significant look. Gee, I wonder if something’s going on between those two.
Next, we meet the Gymnastic Plastics (hey, it rhymes!), who are sitting on the floor mat doing stretches. The purple GP (they seem to be color coded in this ep, since their leotards are always the same colors in every scene), Payson, is approached by a little girl asking eagerly for her autograph. So I suppose she’s the HBIC around here, but I feel uncomfortable bestowing that title on someone with so little personality. I’d prefer to give it to our orange GP, Lauren Tanner. Her hair’s in French braids, so you know she’s got to be a priss. Guys, I will tell you right now that I adore this bitch. She’s the highlight of the whole show. If Ben Linus had a sociopathic love child with Jessica Wakefield, you’d get Lauren. In fact, in my own personal fanon, I’ll pretend she is Ben’s love child, because that makes her so much more epic. And no, don’t even ask how Ben got off the island, knocked up Jessica, and got back in time to bake Juliet a delicious ham. It wouldn’t be the most unbelievable thing on this show.
“Lunchables? Please! I could totally do better than that.”
The GPs are discussing the upcoming national qualifier, and Lauren confidently declares that they always finish in the top 3 every year. The pink GP and Jade 2.0, Kaylie Cruz, delivers a gem of a line about how, post-Olympics, she will be soaking up the endorsements and sleeping in and eating whatever she wants. You sure about that, Kay? I’ve seen the results of soaking up endorsements and eating whatever you want, and they ain’t pretty. Payson is too boring to bother snarking, and Lauren goes off about how she’s jet-setting to Paris. I wonder which one of them is going to page their inner Mandy Moore-circa-’99 and release a shitty pop CD? But then, I shouldn’t diss Mandy. “Candy” was a great song.
So then we meet Coach Elton, and yes, I am going to continue to call him that because a) he will never not be Elton from Clueless to me and b) I don’t remember his actual name. Coach Elton is bragging to Lauren’s Dad (don’t ask me what he’s doing here, IDEFK) about this ~awesum~ new scholarship student at Rocky Mountain and–sorry, I’m choking on my pineapple juice here. *adds a significant hit of Malibu rum* Ahh, that’s better. Coach Elton info-dumps that she was found on a playground, not unlike some other slightly famous gymnasts. Cue our introduction to our heroine, heretofore known as Saint Emily Kmetko of Rocky Mountain Valley. She makes her grand entrance climbing out of some fug station wagon being driven by a Mom who looks like Megan Fox about 20 years and 20 Botox appointments in the future. I don’t know, guys, she’d probably be run out of Sweet Valley. You know how they feel about poor people there. Emily is reasonably attractive, though, so Liz Wakefield could probably give her the condescencing shoulder pat and everyone would love her.
For now, though, she’s just this ~awesum~ new bitch everyone’s threatened by. The writers continue to be about as subtle as an anvil with those Nadia comparisons by dressing Em in 70slicious leos. Groovy! Her stunt double tumbles across the mat and Lauren’s like, “Who the hell is this bitch?” And now we get a scene in the Girls’ Locker Room of Ill Repute™! (For the record, I am not the originator of this saying–it comes from Albert’s fab Degrassi recaps on The Agony Booth, but I love it and it totally fits). We hear someone barfing in the bathroom and no, it’s not me after too much Malibu and pineapple juice (give me time, though). Lauren walks out of the stall and I’m like “yeeaahh, wasted before 10am! Heathus, I love this bitch!” but then she’s just like, “I’m addicted to breakfast biscuits.” And there went those cool points I thought she’d amassed. No worries, Lo. I’ll get plenty wasted for you. *chugs*
And did I mention that she even shares a nickname with the best cast member of the Hills? I will convert you all to the Church of Laurentology before this ep is over, mark my words.
“Did you guys hear? Emily totally hooked up with Justin Bobby.”
So Lauren tries to instigate her fellow GPs to gang up against this new bitch, and it’s back to practice. We find out that Emily’s got some kind of vault block. Gee, I wonder if this will be a dramatic plot point later. Lauren orders the GPs to give Emily the cold shoulder. Kaylie (who is totally Gretchen) is hesitant, but in the end Lauren’s bitchface is just too much to handle, and she goes along with it. Coach Elton pulls Emily aside and tells her the rules, making sure to mention that there will be no dating before a competition. If he catches any of them with a boy, they’re out. I guess lesbians are off the hook.
After practice, we meet Lauren’s Dad’s Bible-thumping secretary, played by none other than DJ Tanner herself. But wait–she’s actually his ~secret~ girlfriend. Given that Candace’s bro, Kirk, wouldn’t kiss his co-star in that firefighter flick, I predict that there will be some hot hand-holding action between Daddy Tanner and DJ… OK, this is awkward. Did the writers think they were being cute with the names? Har har, I’m laughing. Except I’m kind of disturbed.
“Don’t make me fursplode on your ass, bitch.”
We later see poor Saint Emily sitting alone outside after practice. Payson’s ‘rents pull up beside her and offer a ride, but Em assures them her Mom’s going to pick her up. Then Pa Tanner and Lauren pass by in a Hummer. Nice touch, writers. Not only are they assholes, they don’t even care about the environment! I’m seriously expecting to see them kicking puppies and pissing in Emily’s Cheerios in the next scene. Lauren gives Emily the most evil stank eye you will ever see. Seriously, Billy Black and Edward Cullen have nothing on these two.
Emily waits and waits and waits, but like the good little martyr, she walks home when it’s evident her mother forgot her. As she’s heading out, she notices a couple eating each other’s faces off in the front seat of a Jeep. It turns out to be Kaylie and Rings Dude. Emily, clearly as bored with these lovebirds as I am, walks off.
Back at Chez Kmetko, we find out Em has a disabled brother and a noble, hooker-with-heart-of-gold mother. Oh wait, never mind, Ma Kmetko just dresses/looks like one. Since Ma Kmetko’s just not turning as many tricks as she used to, Emily works part-time at a generic pizza joint that is clearly supposed to be Pizza Hut. Guys, can we just beatify this bitch already? Screw the whole dying thing; let’s save ourselves some time and effort. We could get DJ to perform the ceremony (and no, I can’t be arsed to remember her character’s name at this point, either).
“So after the Olympics, my Dad’s totally going to kill Jacob and we’re going to rule the island!
Cut over to Kaylie’s house, which is some palatial mansion. If her fam’s that loaded, I have to wonder why she cares so much about soaking up endorsements. I guess she’s just a fame whore? Rings Dude pulls up in his Jeep to drop Kaylie off. Now that the afterglow of their Jeepin’ (literally) has worn off, he angsts about keeping their ~luv~ a secret. He wants to come out after Nats. I am so not changing my wording. Kaylie, remembering how possessive Coach Elton is about his harem, puts him off. Just then, Lauren pulls up in her shiny silver convertible. She sees Rings Dude walking off and asks Kaylie about him, but Kaylie bluffs her way out of it. Lauren, with a truly psychotic glint in her eye, shows off her new Olympic rings pendant and tells Kaylie that her Dad’s going to “take care of Emily.” Whooo, Texas cheerleader action! Ben would be proud.
Boring scene at the pizza joint. Emily takes the orders of some teenage girls clearly wasted off their asses and meets her Designated Love Interest™, your typical blandly attractive and not-particularly-memorable dude.
So now we get to the part that they showed in the 10-minute preview. I’ve already recapped that, so I’ll just skim over the deets for those of you too lazy to look over the recap (in other words, those of you like me). Writers try to make us care about Payson’s ‘rents, fail; Payson thus far as zero personality but to be a gymnastics machine; lil sis Becca just wants to have fun. Good luck with that one, B. The comp’s taking place at Rocky Mountain, of course. I predict every major comp ever will take place there. Em oversleeps and freaks out, arrives just in time, Lauren gives skankeye, “Is that hooker her mother?”, blah blah. I wouldn’t talk, Lauren. Given Daddy’s virginal Jesus freak GF, it’s probably the only action he can get.
Competition montages, stunt doubles, ridic scores, blah blah. Lauren chokes on beam, freaks out out at Dad, he tells her to go out there and have the vault of her life. Lauren sabotages Emily whilst cackling evilly, sticks her own vault, blah blah. Now we reach the part at the end of the preview, when Emily runs up to take her vault. We watch from a rather strange birds-eye camera angle, and I have to say I’ve never seen a vault entry quite like that. Maybe I’m used to the Yurchenko domination at recent comps, but now I’m dying to know what kind of vault she was doing. OK, so until now I’ve refrained (mostly) from mentioning the numerous gymnastics-related inaccuracies since it’s not very funny and there’s no shortage of other material to snark, but that vault just really caught my attention. Anyway, Emily misses the horse and falls right on her head, and in a truly realistic turn of events, there are no medics on hand. There’s just Coach Elton and Emily’s Mom, who runs out of the stands with surprising speed on those stripper heels.
“Doctor, I’ve been having these hallucinations that I’m on this really, really bad TV show and… aww, shit.”
Coach Elton, who, like Sweets on Bones, can apparently adopt any specialty the plot needs him to, is now our on-scene medic. He asks Emily what seven times seven is and Ma Kmetko yells at him to ask her something she knows. Emily comes to and they take her to Coach Elton’s office, where she lies on a cushy leather sofa waiting for the ambulance. A single tear rolls down her saintly cheek as Mary Magdeline Kmetko pep-talks her. Thus energized, Emily is suddenly perfectly fine and determined to do her vault. Meanwhile, the award bouquets have already been handed out and Lauren preens in third place. Emily marches out with her Ma and demands to have her second vault, to Lauren’s horror and my slightly drunken giggling. Once Coach Elton establishes that Emily can indeed sing “Rollin Wit’ Ma Homies” while making wave motions with her hands, he holds the entire competition up for her ass and lets her vault.
“I KEEEEEEEEEEEEELLZ HER!”
Emily insists on fixing the springboard herself, and of course she does a perfect vault. Coach Elton carries her up to the medal stand while Lauren stands there and glares. In desperation, Lauren outs Kaylie and Rings Boy in an attempt to DQ her friend and put herself back in third. Kaylie stands there like a deer in the headlights until Saint Emily sticks up for her, saying Kaylie was with her last night. And no, I’m not rewording that, either. Coach Elton buys it and Lauren is foiled again. Kaylie thanks Emily while Lauren has a truly Mariah-esque diva fit, throwing her bouquet at the camera before storming off. Coach Elton runs off to get his Cranberries CD before someone snags it.
Tie-dye? Really? Hasn’t this 70s motif gone on long enough?
Cut to Rocky Mountain Gymnastics after the comp, all dark and deserted and ominous like. Pa Tanner walks into Coach Elton’s office to have a little “talk.” I seriously am expecting him to pump Coach Elton full of bullets, Sopranos style. Which would actually be kind of awesome and, given how farfetched this show is, not wholly unexpected. But no, he just tells Coach Elton he’s hired a PI to investigate Emily. Coach Elton is appalled that he’d hire a PI to investigate a little girl. Puh-leeze, Keith Mars’ daughter is the same age as these bitches and she solved a goddamn murder. Pa Tanner makes a crack about “little girls, big business.” Well, someone’s been watching Little Girls in Pretty Boxes. Which is an awesomely bad movie, BTW. Doesn’t skimp on the drama, and it’s at least somewhat realistic. Unforch, little Courtney Peldon isn’t nearly as awesome as Lauren. Pa Tanner says Keith Mars couldn’t dig up any dirt on Em (of course not; she’s a saint) but he did dig up some dirt on Elton. Pa Tanner hands Elton a picture, which we never see, but I’m sure it was of one of his many misdeeds at Bronson Alcott High. I mean, come on, they have Coke there. Pa Tanner blackmails Coach Elton into tranferring to some gym in Denver, taking Lauren and his second string with him.
“I did everything right, and I was still cast in this crappy show!”
The gang shows up at Rocky Mountain the next day to find out that Coach Elton has peaced out with nary an explanation or announcement. The ubiquitous Pa Tanner explains it all. (Seriously, doesn’t that guy work? Why the hale is he always at that gym?) Lauren gloats. After assuring Emily she’s going to bury her, Lauren flounces, and the awesome has now left the building. But don’t despair–Payson finally becomes interesting by suddenly and unexpectedly paging her inner Gelsey Kirkland. She goes off, stridently demanding to know how this could happen after she did everything right. I don’t know, because shit happens, Pay? I mean, this show is one the air. That should be proof enough of that.
And on that glorious note, this train wreck comes to a finish–at least till next week.
ETA: I just realized it isn’t Elton after, all. Dammit. But I already committed to the gag (at least for this recap) so i’m leaving it in. Mostly because I want an excuse for constant Clueless references.