Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cranky Commentary – ER Season 14: To Hair is Human … To Schtup The Tooch, Unkind

See what happens when there’s a Mobile Salon operating without its proper Shampoo Boy?



What have I repeatedly told you people – It always comes down to the hair … And man, has Abby’s been in a lot of trouble this season … She’s obviously missing her individualized deep penetrating massage treatments from her live-in Super Slavic Shampoo Boy … Bitch … but her real problems didn’t start until crazy cosmetologist lady Faberge’d Farrah’s feathered flip to the long Lockhart locks, Seventies’ Senior Prom style ...




From there, it just regressed even further than Abby’s formative years, and her ‘do went right on back to preschool …




Though the head-banded, kindergartner look really worked well for the scene of Abby’s conversation with her sponsor, where her physical appearance matched what her facial expressions portrayed – that of a little girl lost. And I can’t even tell you what a stroke of genius it was to have Coburn (I love her) be Abby’s sponsor – there’s always seemed to be more depth to that relationship than that they’d just worked together in OB, and the sponsorship explains wonderfully. Just brilliant …



And just because it’s taken me a couple of episodes to comment, don’t think I’m unaware, nor at all ungrateful, that the Mobile Hair Salon set up in the Lounge by the grateful Beautician Mom in Gravity was a total direct and delicious shoutout to Cranky Recaps, David Zabel – Just like Neela’s bitching “Oh, God, not the Yellow Room” in the season opener when they were going to take her to Trauma Yellow, aka … dun dun DUN …“The Trauma Room of Impending Doom” after her trampling … Hee … So, yes, as of last week, I was totally loving you, Zaby Baby … Now, not so much … Not after the Tooch Smooch and Abby’s extremely excessively explicit, shockingly shamefully scandalous, hurtingly horrifyingly hellacious, unbelievably unseemly undressing, depraved defiling debauchery, frightening filthifying fornication, malicious monogamy murdering, empty-headedly execrably enjoying, befoulingly bleak betrayal of her haplessly harmed husband, the preoccupied Pretty perfection, comely clueless Croatian, undeservingly unknowing of unfaithfulness. For shame, Abby. It is at least comforting to know that there will be no infringement on nor takeover of the Hair Salon, for The Tooch has none … How does a hopelessly haggard Hairdresser send a message that this is just a meaningless fuck and not a lifetime commitment? Boff a bald boy …



And while I did say "In your dreams, Tooch" to The Tooch's comment about replacing her husband at the end of last season, I had inadvertently left off the end of that sentence. It should have read -- "In your dreams, Tooch ... or only when Abby is completely off the wagon and her judgment ... and taste ... greatly impaired by alcohol ... like how she ended up (and continued drinking so she'd be able to keep staying) with Carter in the first place ..." At least The Tooch didn't go all caveman on her and throw her over his shoulder to try and force her to go to an AA meeting. Instead, he, who could not have been nearly as inebriated as Abby was, considering how she showed up at Ike's already feeling no pain, (and it’s interesting to note that even Neela doesn’t seem to be aware of Abby’s alcoholism), somehow knowing she was definitely coming back to the bar, ordered a visibly intoxicated woman a pretty potent cocktail rather than, say, something with a lower alcohol content, like beer. And while there's something very compelling about The Tooch himself, I, like Abby, don't like Moretti -- he's an arrogant ass. Hmmm ... seems to be a pattern here ... Abby, when in various states of intoxication, ends up with human jackasses. Interesting that she's never needed alcohol … because, seriously, why the hell would she? … to get her motor running and head out on the highway looking for adventure with Luka ... Bitch ... It's been pretty apparent since The Tooch first appeared on this show at the end of last season that Moretti is very attracted to Abby. There has definitely been an underlying vibe between them in all of their scenes. What Abby did could kind of be explained -- but not in any way excused -- by the fact that she is obviously totally and completely overwhelmed by her life. She misses Luka terribly, unsure when or even if he's ever coming back (not for nothing that with her extreme abandonment issues the seeds of doubt had already been planted when she mentions to Neela in In A Different Light that she thinks Luka’s comfortable in Croatia and happy there and that she can “hear it in his voice”), so for all intents and purposes, she’s a single parent, and in the fourth year of her medical residency, struggling to balance home and career -- all of which contribute to her being in full-blown relapse, needing the alcohol constantly, even arranging to get out of work early so that she can go drink. But what's Moretti's excuse? He knew she was married, though he probably assumed from her response to his asking when Luka's coming back, "You'd have to ask him that ... because he was supposed to be home weeks ago ..." that the marriage was in serious trouble, either not knowing Abby well enough to get, or else just plain misinterpreting, the bitter pain in her tone when she said it. <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--> <!--[endif]-->


Hmmm … I seem to remember reading a Story this summer about having a drunken one-night stand with someone who you’re not particularly attracted to (and referring to someone snidely as “Mussolini” at least five times per every episode leading up to the horribly hideous humping and actually telling them to their face that you don’t like them is a pretty good indication that you find someone unattractive) … Although Abby does really regretfully remember the blotto boinking … Guess it’s a good thing there’s no chance of her getting pregnant, huh?



So, what's the recourse when your Shampoo Boy is gone and your hair is in distress? Go after a Mullet? A Mohawk? A Mike Brady-esque man-perm? Or do you go to the opposite extreme -- no hair. Again, explains the Carter thing - who was starting to show the signs at that time, though not as bad as the recession-hiding faux comb-overs (though technically, I guess they were more comb-forwards) that really got going in his later seasons ...






Being in full-blown relapse this time, Abby couldn't just go for thinning locks, she had to mercilessly slap the face of all things Salon and go for bald ...



Though really, I don’t think it mattered that it was The Tooch that Abby ended up with that night – it could have been anyone. The way she was overtly way overly noticing Energy Manager Guy who was all into Sam, the way she immediately (and maybe subconsciously deliberately) believed that the bewildered Moretti was coming on to her -- though she obviously did sense his attraction to her. Promos for this ep told us Abby was falling back on “old habits” – and it wasn’t just the drinking. Back during their first go-round, when it seemed Abby felt that Luka didn't really want to be with her and was possibly just staying with her out of some sense of obligation, it was like she needed to have Carter around to feel wanted, and then had to go after him to validate that after pretty much forcing Luka to break up with her ... Carter at least knew her well enough to know she was doing so because of Luka, Moretti doesn't know her, or her history, well enough to figure that out ... Abby’s statement to Pratt in The Test that “It’s like I’m actually trying to screw things up” was very telling – it’s not that she’s actively trying to mess her life up, but she’s clearly not in control enough to make good decisions. Now Abby’s reenacted the lowest point of her life, the one she told Bird about in Murmurs of the Heart, when she related the story of waking up in an apartment and having no idea how she got there – as she does in Blackout when she’s running around getting dressed after having woken up in Moretti’s bed and asks him, all confused, “What happened? How did I get here?” – and next to some guy that she didn’t even remember meeting. Where in that instance, Abby had an en bloc blackout, which is when there is full and permanent memory loss for events that happened while intoxicated, this time she experienced a fragmentary blackout, which are far more common, where reminders of alcohol-fueled experiences can trigger at least some recall of initially missing information. Though I’m sure that Abby, like all of the viewing audience, wishes that she didn’t remember screwing The Tooch -- though considering what a royal fuck-up this is, that should be "screwing the pooch"


Whatever happens in the Hair Salon apparently doesn’t stay in the Hair Salon, because the effects of its shut-down are truly trans-global, because WTF is up with your hair, Luka???



I guess they get the Disney Channel in Croatia and you’re all into Hannah Montana because you are totally on the verge of a full-on Billy Ray Cyrus mullet-ization and you don’t even know you’re about to have an Achy Breaky Heart yet … Jeez, you’d better get your frightfully-skinny-on-the-verge-of-anorexia-
what-the-hell-don’t-they-have-food-in-Croatia-better-get-thee-to-a-bunnery-and-eat-a-donut-
for-Chrissakes bony ass back to Chicago and into soaking in the spa … Bitch … pronto, Luka. Six months, Luka??? WTF??? I know that your dad is sick, and multiple myeloma is terrible and painful, but you couldn’t have found time to come home and at least visit your only-been-married-to-for-one-week-
before-you-left-her-on-her-own-for-half-a-year wife and your turned-one-year-old-while-you’ve-been-gone-
and-is-now-walking son and then gone back??? I’m sure that you’re dealing with a lot of guilt for having left Croatia and not visiting as often as you could have and are trying to in some way make up for that, but you do have a family and responsibilities in Chicago, too. And you were all upset in Ames vs. Kovac that a court judgment against you could greatly affect yours and Abby’s income, yet being away and not working for six months doesn’t hurt your family’s financial situation? That just totally sucks, Luka …




So, how does Abby rectify this situation? I think a Twelve Step Program is really the only way to go …




Dr. Estranged-Love, or How Abby Learned to Stop Fucking Up and Love The Pretty


The 12 Suggested Steps for Tooch’s Ho Frolics Anonymous


1. Admit that she is powerless over bad hair days – that her hair has become unmanageable


2. Came to believe that a Pretty greater than herself could restore her to sanity … and sheen …


3. Made a decision to turn her will … and her hair … over to the care of the Shampoo Boy, and the wonder and good that is him ...


4. Made a searching and lubricious immoral inventory of all hair products … Bitch …


5. Admitted to God (aka The Pretty), to herself and to the entire freakin’ audience, the exact nature of her wrongs.


6. Were entirely ready to have The Pretty remove all the defects of hair over-processing.


7. Humbly asked The Pretty to remove her shorts … er, shortcomings … Bitch …


8. Made a list of all persons she had harmed, including the entire freakin’ viewing audience, and became willing to make amends to them all.


9. Made direct amends – such as ensuring that we see naked Luka as an antidote for removing the retinal-burning image of shirtless Tooch – whenever possible … wherever possible … forever possible … and not doing so would definitely injure them and others.


10. Continued to take personal inventory of The Pretty parts she’s wronged and promptly submitted to them … Bitch …


11. Sought through protein treatments and massages to increase her conspicuous contact with The Pretty, and be underneath him, playing only Barfly and her Human Tequila Shot with him because only he has the power to carry that lime wedge just right … Bitch …


12. Having had a sexual reckoning that resulted in these steps, she tried to carry on with Pretty massages … Bitch … and to practice teasing follicles and have no more affairs …

However bleak the situation seems now, and however horrible it’s going to be to watch what happens when Luka finds out about Abby’s incredibly idiotic indiscretion, and however terribly difficult it’s going to be for them, and the viewing audience, to go through this, I have every confidence that Zabel will keep their we-always-seem-to-find-each-other compass fully functioning and that Luka and Abby will find their way back to one another and make it through this. You hear me, Zabel? Don’t fuck this up …


Seriously now, does anyone really think that Abby’s going to throw away this:




For this?:




No offense, Tooch. Just saying …




As painful as it’s been to watch Abby’s downward spiral, it’s also been absolutely mesmerizing, completely owing to the extraordinary and riveting performance of Maura Tierney. Like I’ve said on many occasions before, she is absolutely fearless in her portrayal of this character, willing to take her to the lowest of the low places, totally stripped bare (in this ep, literally), showing the most extreme vulnerability and like all good train-wrecks, you just can’t turn away from watching. The depths of her despair and the look of utter hopelessness and disgust with herself in that last scene in the airport -- absolutely heartbreaking. And of course, Blackout was just the tip of the iceberg. Yet, as much as I really wish they hadn’t gone there with Abby and Moretti … especially because they just had to show it to us … shudders … and as excruciating as it will be when Luka finds out about this, I find myself really looking forward to having this storyline unfold, if only to see what Maura will do with it. Just when I think that she can’t possibly top what she’s done before, she never fails to surprise me again. And now with Goran Visnjic coming back next ep … thank the Lord … and the amazing way those two play off each other, I simply cannot wait to see what happens next …



21 Comments:

At 4:56 PM, November 15, 2007, Blogger justpeachy130 said...

Excellent return to posting, Cranky. Your loyal public thanks you!

 
At 8:26 PM, November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Cranky...THANK YOU. I have been wallowing in the depths of despair all week long. Leave it to you to bring me out into the sunshine (and the salon) again. I will be forever grateful, my friend!

Larue

 
At 11:07 PM, November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And just when I was missing you the most you just appeared with this incredible RECAP.

Thanks a lot dear Cranky!!!

I absolutely LOVED IT. What can I say, I have had the most terrible week because the episode but at the same time I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to watch a memorable performance by the only one and marvolous Maura Tierney.

As I said in other groups, forums and boards (probably people is getting sick of my comments), I am:

1st Maura's Fan
2nd Luby's Fan
3rd ER's Fan

So... like you I'm looking forward for the next episodes.

Thanks a lot Cranky, YOU ROCK!

Viviana B. Soto
Lima-Peru
South America

 
At 1:50 AM, November 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Cranky, thanks so much for this update and analysis of the Shampoo crisis! I really needed this to cheer me up... Come back soon cause The Pretty is back too ;o)

 
At 5:31 AM, November 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee! Ah, Cranky, you always hit the nail on the head with your analysis; it's great to have your comments at what is a terribly trying time for fans of Maura, Goran and Luby!! I really hope they get those compasses out soon...

Thank you!

Olivia.

 
At 10:21 AM, November 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Cranky! Thanks for such a terrific analysis of what happened with Abby. You have said pretty much the same I did in the groups about her alcoholism, abandonment issues, etc., and I'm glad we agree.

I hope to find more of your comments this season. We need them very much!!

 
At 3:27 PM, November 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely awesome Dr. Cranky, master in mobile hair salon analysis.

Glad to read that we pretty much think the same.

For sure Maura Tierney is giving us some stunning acting job, though I wish Abby, the Pretty and Mongo Joe were living a happy smooth life.

Let's hope that Zabel' afraid of your wrath and the consequences if he takes that path.

Again you made my day, evening and weekend already good!

Cheers and I'll lurk for some more whenever you're ready.

 
At 1:52 AM, November 18, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hee ... heehee ... heeheeeeeeee
can't stop laughing!

It's after ready your new chef d'oeuvre that I realised how much I'm missing your witty recaps.

Very well done and what about that "intimate belly and neck kissing" piece ?

Let's hope full recovery for Abby, total absolution from the Pretty and that step nr. 9 becomes true for the audience ... sigh

As usual a real pleasure to read your recaps.

 
At 11:02 AM, November 18, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah! Once again, your comments sum up my feelings so well. Ugh, there was just NO WAY Abby knew what she was doing when she schtupped the Tooch. My eyeballs were burning (beneath the fingers I was just barely peeking through) during abby's horrendous flashbacks.

I also think (and hope!) that Zabel plans the happy end he has no less than promised for Luka and Abby.

And that hair salon was SO a shout-out to you!

Fantastic! Nice to see your comments once again!

 
At 2:20 AM, November 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Cranky. Your word gives me hope. Zabel really should listen to what you've said.

K

 
At 3:12 PM, November 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful to see you back. Hope we continue to hear from you even if you don't fully recap anymore!

 
At 11:49 AM, November 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this unexpected gem!

 
At 4:08 PM, December 19, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh well, just thought of dropping good wishes in your sock and checking if Cranky Santa graced us with an early Xmas gift ...
Sonja

 
At 4:40 PM, January 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HaPpY nEw YeAr Cranky!
May this year bring you inspiration, time to fulfill all your dreams, and health!

Sonja

 
At 9:14 AM, January 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Cranky,

I just discovered that you're back and brilliant as ever. Speaking of shout-outs, can it be a mere coincidence that in "300 Patients" Abby tries to hide her vodka in a SHAMPOO bottle?? Not sudsy likely.

 
At 1:35 PM, January 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha, those "shoutings", you deserved them long time ago!!!

Welcome back, dear Cranky. Hope you continue writing your wonderful recaps... please!!!

 
At 6:06 PM, January 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only just read this, but it's sheer (shear?) brilliance! Thanks so much for putting this in a new and nicely conditioned light.

 
At 5:58 AM, February 25, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

am I too naive to think that the Easter Bunny and Cranky will bring us some good stuff to induldge us all ?
sigh ...
chocobunny

 
At 10:18 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger L said...

Hi Cranky,

Just wanted to say hi 'cause it's been a while. Man, I miss The Pretty. About as much as your recaps. Let's hope that when the new eppies air (counting down to April 10...) your NBC affiliate doesn't hack off the previews. Darn those Phillufya stations, they have some serious addy-tood.

- L

 
At 6:28 AM, April 28, 2008, Blogger Ryter said...

Sigh...the end is near. I need me some Cranky recaps to get me through. Any thoughts on the Pretty's latest 'bomb'???

 
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