Posted by: da_nibbler | October 18, 2008

South of Nowhere episode 3.10 (aka 4.02)

It’s Spencer’s birthday. Her 18th. And the first thing coming to her mind that she is allowed to do now is VOTE! It is a highly important right that unfortunately most people don’t seem to cherish. Use your right to vote. Don’t let it go to waste. This is an election year. Important votes are going on all around us. And not just on the federal level. Don’t forget to vote NO ON PROP 8!

This episode is not about politics. But given the content of South of Nowhere politics are always a big part of the show. Where discriminated minorities are concerned politics are vitally important. Although the show does a very good job in keeping the politics on an intimate, family level. What else do we have the Carlin family for.

In the republican corner we no longer have Paula, but Spencer’s grandmother. With balls-of-fire-Paula being intimidated by her she ranks high on the be-afraid-be-very-afraid-scale. In the democratic corner I would like to introduce Spencer, but it is actually Paula who enters the ring and battles it out. That is one of the best scenes I have seen on this show throughout its run. Paula finally standing up to her mother is well written and brilliantly acted by Maeve Quinlan. You can literally see her snap as her mother uses the term “beast” to describe gay people among others while Spencer is present. Paula’s motherly instincts come out and she turns into the lioness she is. Not defending Spencer, but standing by her and giving her mother a lesson in what it really means to be a mom. Way to go Paula! I have been waiting for the moment of redemption for this character for quite a while and it pays of nicely. Shame that Paula and Spencer needed a common enemy, aka the grandmother, to finally be at peace with each other. Seems like therapists are right. It IS the best way to come together.

While I did not like the fact that it wasn’t Spencer that told the grandmother she was gay I can understand why the writers chose to do that. They had to give Paula a way to redeem herself and coming out to people you love isn’t easy. You don’t want to lose them. Paula was trying to save Spencer from that. But there is only so much you can take especially when it concerns someone you love. The two gay girls Spencer invited to her party were a nice, yet obvious catalyst for the storyline. Paula immediately smells trouble. Not because of the two girls being gay, but because of her mother.

The other storylines and characters were either non-existent or of not much interest. Ashley and Kyla are singing on a show and everyone realizes Kyla is faking it. Glen is having more trouble with Aiden taking over his place in the father-son-relationship. That’s about the whole episode. I’m glad the focus was on the coming out/ discrimination storyline. It’s a shame this show is already canceled. It sometimes gives important issues a platform and minorities a voice.

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