Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Uncut 12th Wildcat

So this past day I did something else I’ve rather been dreading: watching the uncut 12th Wildcat.

Despite as disinterested as I am about sports, and American football in particular, the episode isn’t that bad . . . until, of course, we get to court. My complaints about how that is handled have not changed. Hamilton is making way too many mistakes and has to be reprimanded far too many times. It’s out of character. If this is the sort of conduct Bill Vincent sees, it’s no wonder he makes mistakes in The Impetuous Imp and The Misguided Model.

I counted around four or five times where Hamilton is reprimanded for unusually bad behavior. And judging from the scene when we first switch to court, there were many more problems happening off-screen. The exasperated judge is scolding both Perry and Hamilton and says that for the last time, he will not tolerate personal exchanges in court.

Having seen the episode in full, I suppose it is conceivable that Hamilton is on a high from his third narcotics bust and goes into court overconfident and that’s why there are so many screw-ups. But I really don’t think so. This seems more like just plain old bad writing, especially in light of the episode’s other, even worse problem.

Yes, the identity of the murder victim is never disclosed onscreen. We’re left to assume that the missing man is the one the defendant’s husband killed, but we’re never actually told that. It really wouldn’t have taken much for Perry to say it—just one more line, one more sentence!—but he doesn’t. And the epilogue, while cute, is like some hastily written fluff party. It reminds me of some of my first drafts of epilogues, where I’m so anxious to get a story done that I’m tapping out something short and cute to wrap it up. Luckily for me, I generally see the problems before I post and fix them by having the characters tie up all loose ends as well as celebrate. The writer did not do that here. The epilogue consists solely of everybody toasting each other.

The episode does manage to have its good points. As I noted before, Hamilton’s very first scene is excellent. There are many Steve scenes. And it boasts what is probably the most adorable Sergeant Brice scene ever.

Perry and company are eating at Clay’s and discussing the case when Brice randomly wanders into the scene. He smiles and greets Della, teasingly asking her if the guys are giving her a bad time. She smiles and runs her hand up his arm, telling him that if they ever do, Brice is her policeman.

This certainly opens up an intriguing friendship that is never really explored before or since. They wouldn’t be having such a familiar exchange like that if they haven’t had a great deal of interaction in the past. We’re sadly never shown any other scenes of them interacting, unless there’s some short little bit in the uncut version of a season 3 or 4 episode I’ve never seen. I’ll definitely be writing a story about Della and Brice sometime in the future.

Della is adorable too during the football game. She is very caught up in the game and is tensely excited as she roots for the Wildcats. I was a little surprised to see her show such an interest in football. I never thought of her as much of a sports fan.

Perhaps it’s not so much that she has an interest, but just that as long as she’s there, watching, she gets excited in the moment. They have friends on the team and among the team’s management, too, so she might be rooting for them, really. And they know that if the Wildcats win, there will hopefully be that payoff and they can crack the case.

It is kind of a cute thought, though, if Della enjoys football in general. It would be such an unexpected aspect of her character.

Brice also has an interesting moment in The Impetuous Imp. When Paul arrives on the crime scene and Steve doesn’t want him underfoot right then, Brice shrugs and calmly says, “He’s the boss. Let’s go, Paul,” rather indicating that if it was up to him, he would probably just let Paul stay.

I’m currently trying to find the post where I compared the defendants of The Impetuous Imp and The Negligent Nymph, and mused on preferring the more mature and serious girl from Nymph as opposed to the ditz from Imp, but so far I can’t seem to locate it. (Oh wait, I just found it.) I tend to not tag a post with an episode title if I only mention the episode in one paragraph, but sometimes that results in my losing track of the post. I think I need a better tagging system. It would help if Blogger didn’t limit you on how many characters via tags you can use per post. I think that’s why I started the system I’ve been using.

Anyway, I watched The Impetuous Imp too, generally enjoying it as I usually do, but the epilogue gave me pause this time, in spite of its amusing nature. It occurred to me that it really is terrible that Paul wasn’t consulted on the subject of the girl’s novel. Since she changes the name, however slightly (Paul Lake), I assume he could not sue her if he doesn’t care for the portrayal. But it seems it would just be the most decent thing to do, to tell him before a character heavily based on him goes into the world of print. Perry even seems to know about the book, since he says, “You’ll see, Paul.”

I guess it was just the practice back then, to keep it a surprise. But I heard about more than one instance where somebody sued in real-life because a television character was named exactly after them without their permission and they did not like it one bit. One would assume Perry would mention to the girl that even if Paul could not potentially sue, out of decency she should let Paul know before publishing the book. It would be a little different if it had just been a finished manuscript that she was planning to send off, and Paul was just learning the truth then, but in the scene it’s an actual, published novel. Before he even knows about it, people all over the nation (maybe even the world) are paying to read about Paul Lake, Private Eye. Wow.

In all fairness to the girl, it does sound like she portrays Paul quite well in the excerpt that's read. Paul's feelings on being the subject of her book, however, are not expressly clear. He gives one of his classic facial expressions during the excerpt and yet another when he sees the title of the book. And we are left with that.

No comments:

Post a Comment