Week of May 24 - May 28, 2004
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Monday ....

I know it's going to be a very busy week, because I read the spoilers. I think they should start Monday with a quiet morning meeting with a little jazz playing in the background. Maybe a delicious breakfast buffet being worked on the cocktail table. Pretty robes and lingerie and casual conversation, but NO-OOOsiree. We are rushing toward the end of the series, trying to cram as much in as possible and probably correcting a few past mistakes.

Amy is preparing her next speech and, a professional that books speakers for the college circuit is coming to listen to her. Amy is speaking to students about studying abroad again and has her tips 'zine to hand out afterwards. I didn't know Amy spoke four languages, but I bet that has a lot to do with her success at living abroad. Amy is really a good speaker. It's not made up. It's what she thinks and feels and you can tell even from the little we see that she is sincere. The booking agent loves her. A video conference with Steve, Amy's hubs takes place in the living room. He has life-changing news and asks Amy to get all her housemates together in the living room. You got it. Amy is going to graduate. Amy's learned a lot about herself and others during her stay. Maybe not as dramatic as some stories, but authentic and meaningful nonetheless. Rain gets to come to graduation. This is one graduation I'm sorry to see. I've never hidden that she was my favorite.

Hailey hasn't really spoken to her brother Kevin for 7 years. Hailey wrote a letter to her brother and has an adult conversation with Rhonda about it. Lynnell gets a call from a not so adult Kevin, to tell her that he tore up the letter, without reading it. He could use a bit of counseling himself from the sound of his yelling and screaming about getting a letter. Lynnell finds herself pushed in the usual place of being in the middle, like it or not. Hailey chastises Lynnell for NOT interfering, but Lynnell does the right thing by not getting involved. You can see this confuses them both as it doesn't follow their ususal pattern of behavior. At a later meeting, Rhonda has Lynnell tell Hailey the truth, that Kevin destroyed her letter. You can see Hailey's efforts to control her emotions and Rhonda says, "No more tough girl" as the tears leak from the corners of Hailey's eye. This scene is sweetly contrasted in the next with Hailey sleeping head to head with Chloe. Rhonda's exercise in triangular conversations would be blasphemy to AT&T. All those years spent trying to connect more than 2 callers and Rhonda trashes the whole concept in five minutes. Hailey is to rewrite her letter to Kevin, unhappily, but at Rhonda's insistence. Hailey tries to complain to Lynnell, but Lynnell remembers her lesson and says she is not getting involved. (Good Lynnell!) Hailey mails her letter the second time and learns a lesson about rejection and maturity. Lynnell however is having difficulties sticking to her part of the bargain and reverts to her old ways. (Bad Lynnell!)

Several housemates have concerns about Josies treatment of the baby, Chloe. In addition, she dares to mock the Priness Leia yet one more time. At morning meeting Josie recounts her parent's terrible drunken behaviors in her presence. Rana confronts Josie on how she is speaking to her baby. Hailey and Leah mention some of the things Josie has said to the baby and Josie goes into super defensive mode. Rana lets her know she must be more cautious. Rana supports Josie and lets her know she wants her to know a better way to raise her child than her parents did. Rana discusses the patterns Josie has learned from her parenting figures and better ways to handle stressfull situations.

The doorbell is always a sign that someone is coming or going. It can be a happy sound or a sad sound depending on who rings it. Tonight it's both. Amy couldn't be happier and yet there's a feeling of sadness left in her wake. Who is going to be Hailey's pal and confidante? Who's going to be the non-conformist? Who's going to be my favorite now? Go Red! Hope to see you around.

Tuesday ....

Leah's girlfriend Leda is in the house. It's morning meeting and Leah is happy. Why is she in the Starting Over house? Thousands of people figure out they're gay every day, some under much more traumatic circumstances. I just don't get it. It's not exactly an original, unusual, or critical problem. Leah's big breakthrough is to get her nose pierced. Whoopee. "This shows she is growing", says Leda. Right. Big breakthrough. Oh, and a funky haircut. Wow. Excuse me while I yawwwwwwnnnnnnnnn. Boring. I've got more serious problems think about.

Susan wants to graduate. She wants to go home and Granny wants her home, too. Hold on Susan. She is meeting with Bill Vincent tonight to get some "critical" information he's found out. Lynnell teases Susan that Bill is hot for her, and that's why he wants to see her tonight. "You are one sick mama", replies Susan. Not far from the truth.

Lynnell is meeting with Rhonda. Rhonda has the footage of Lynnell bleeding information to Kevin. More three way calling. Rhonda backhands Lynnell out of the chair, then pins her to the wall, and then bodyslams her to the floor! Not exactly like that, but she does the life coach's equivalent. Poor Lynnell is her own worst enemy. Rhonda tells it like it is. No mincing words or feelings. Lynnell claims that she has hit rock bottom and couldn't feel any worse. She later calls to tell Kevin that she is no longer going to be in the triangle of Hailey, Kevin, and Lynnell. (She could hardly wait to call again. LOL)

They're showing Josie's steps and I want to laugh out loud. Rana is a lot more positive about Josie's progress than we are. Josie is supposed to be learning about picking baby sitters. I'm guessing they're hoping to discourage her from leaving the baby with her drunken parents or her immature boyfriend. The babysitter is several steps ahead of Josie, but who isn't. Josie should leave a list of names for the babysitter to call the baby while she's out. To see her interview for childcare is like me interviewing for honest car mechanics. Even the worst knows more than me

Everyone is going to surprise Susan at dinner. Mr. Vincent loves his time on camera. Get it while you can, I guess. I'm not convinced about his efficiency as a detective and certainly not his acting skills. Anyhow, Susan gets the file that tells her she graduates. They nearly strung her graduation out as long as her story. It's another happy ending for Susan. She is, in her own words, Finalized.

Wednesday ....

Hailey cops a smoke and then loses some more of her attitude on the soccer field. It's one of the hells of adulthood when you discover that something you were great at once is now a struggle. She's getting the idea of change quite a bit faster than Lynnell. Maybe it's youthful enthusiasm. She's going to try to quit smoking for herself, not because of her mother's wishes. In fact, her mother's wishes are to be ignored for few days. Both Hailey and Lynnell are to separate for a while, no exchange of opinions or antagonisms. They each think the other will suffer more. The conjoined twins are being separated and in that there are always lots of risks.

Lynnell is exploring the possibilities of marketing her crocheting. A key to independance is a source on income that is yours and yours alone. She's pretty good at it. I like the hats. Aren't scarves a no-no for babies? Everything is up in the air, including her marriage.

Leah bored me again. Leda's going home, but they're going to a lesbian coffeehouse first. Evidently, they don't have much of a gay community at home. All I can say is move or start one for yourself. Her problems leave me in kind of a glazed eye stupor. It's probably my age, but I just can't relate to her self-absorved angst. She probably has some big family issues from the comments she makes, but if she's not interested in delving there, why should we be? Rana meets with both of them later and falls sound asleep in the middle of their story. No she doesn't, but I nearly did.

Susan is graduating and this time she tells her story at morning meeting without breaking into tears. She's put all the pieces of her puzzle together and I LIED - she blubbers and I have no idea what a few sentences were as they were drenched. She does finish the story though, and we see that Susan made all her steps and acheived what she came for. I'll miss Susan. Her voice was unique and she was a great participant. Her story was a perfect example of what this show is about. Oh hell, get out the kleenex, it's one big blubberfest before it's over. And take my word, don't try to eat while you're watching.

Thursday ....

Rana is showing Leah that labels only matter if you adhere to them. Leah's wearing her negative labels publicly on her sweater today. (why is lesbian a negative label) I'm not feeling it, still. Leah admits that her family history is an important part of her story, yet she never talks about THAT. Is it a girl thing? Am I too insensensitive to her needs. I say suck it up, tell Mom, and move in with Leda and get on with your life. It's just too feely, weepy for me. This is not the 1950's, it's the 21st Century, so act like it. Of course, it ends up in yet another play therapy of breaking plates on the floor with the labels attached. This is the type of psycho-babble that makes me want to retch. A waste of time and plates. Oh, well, I've lost my empathy today and can't find it anywhere. The positive label application could have been more fun. Couldn't they have used darts to throw them at her or something?

Christine, a successful graduate, arrives back at the SO house. She's there to motivate some of the remaining houseguests. Hailey thinks it will be good for her mom to relate to another mom. Christine and Lynnell are pairing up for a fun day culminating in Tango lessons. This is obviously an end of season ploy to involve a successful graduate with the current housemates, but what are her qualifications? She seems to be in everyone's business. Quite bossy and judgemental. Anyhow, if I had been working with life counselors and they sent in a stranger to probe me, I'd be spitting nails. Anyhow, Lynnell and Christine are going out for a ladie's day. They are going for pedicures, and Lynnell thinks it's corny and doesn't like people playing with her feet. Lynnell is not into it. It's not her sort of thing. Later, it's the Tango. Oh my, oh my. Antonio Banderas' older brother is the instructor (looks like anyways) and he is hot for Christine. I don't know, where is the value in all this. Christine could have gone to any bar in Chicago to have her fun and let Lynnell stay at home. Like I said I've lost my empathy, sympathy, and anything like it today.

Josie is being encouraged to go back to college. It seems like the furthest thing from her mind, but she acts interested while Rana is there. Jboy calls, but he's just as screwy and uncommitted as Josie, still. He comes for a visit, drunk as usual and with his drunk friends this time. So committed and fatherlike. Hailey screws with the homeboy hitting on her by telling him she's there to figure out if she's lesbian or not. LOL. Josie attempts to have a serious conversation with Jonathan, but she might as well spit into the wind. He is NOT acting like a parent, but she is still desperately clinging to hope that he will.

Rhonda is working with Hailey on building a better support system among her housemates. Rhonda insists that Christine would be good for Hailey. (Was Christine one of Rhonda's favorites the first time around?) There has already been some conflict between Christine and Hailey. Christine didn't sound supportive to me so much as confrontational and bitchy. Hailey says she can "kiss my ass". LOL. I agree so far. Maybe by the time Christine leaves again, we'll like her again, but her first (second) impressions aren't good so far. And tomorrow another old housemate is arriving. Good grief. Is this wrap-up time or not?

Friday ....
Freaky Friday. I'm not even going to talk about Leah's exercises with Tantra Nova. If it gets any more New Age, they better get a back hoe and a dump truck in there. It's getting deep, and I don't mean their thoughts.

Josie is getting grilled by the intrusive Christine today. Christine is abrupt, rude, and acts like the biggest KnowItAll. Josie isn't too bright about thinking ahead, but I wouldn't spend 5 minutes with Christine before I'd tell her to mind her own effing business. If she's sent to help, why doesn't she help without the bitchiness and superior attitude. She even goes so far as to tell the ladies they don't know how to manage their gas budget correctly. Shut Up Christine.

Anyhow, Josie is supposed to be filling out job and housing applications, but instead she calls Jonathan and does another runaround with him, still hoping he'll grow a brain and become responsible. She doesn't have a clue or a plan, and doesn't seem to want one. Leah and Christine together act like a battering ram, but Josie's built a really big, strong wall of self delusion. As usual, she feels attacked. Wait till she's living on the street with a baby. Then she'll know attacked. She does manage to fill out some applications for jobs (will never happen). Later, she calls and gets her friend to agree that Josie can stay with them a while, but no one seems sure how long.

Hailey is going to talk to the soccer coaches at Northwestern. Rhonda is encouraging her to resume her former interests. Very coach-like, the ladies chat with Hailey in a way that gets her excited about pursuing coaching herself. At her meeting with Rhonda, Hailey brings up Christine's bullying. Rhonda tells her to confront Christine. Good grief! Who needs a pain in the ass added to your other problems?

The other new houseguest arrives. It's Cassie, back for some additional help with her drinking and partying. She relates some of her excess drinking, almost seeming proud of it. Hailey can relate, but she's figured out sloppy drunk is not fun or funny. Cassie's attitude toward the baby is a bit strange, too. Then she goes straight to drinking (with Christine and the neighbors. Why doesn't Christine speak up here? geez what a two face bitch). Lynnell is not happy with the way things are going. Hailey wants to party, too after watching Cassie. I don't understand the end of season push to bring back old housemates. It must be a tie-in to the new season somehow. None of the current housemates seem too thrilled with the return of the old ones and so far, neither am I.

It's all a damn mess, and one hell of a way to end the week. I can't see one more week wrapping any of this crap up correctly. Maybe the producers will get as irritated as me and just throw the whole damn group out on the street, lock the door, and turn the cameras off. It might serve them right.