Discussion for episode 18: Weekend

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Discussion for episode 18: Weekend

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 13th 2003, 3:18 am

Welcome to our eighteenth MSCL.com episode discussion!

If you haven't already done so, please read the info about the weekly discussions here.

Although I usually recommend reading the Angela's World essays that pertain to our discussions, William's analysis of Weekend is super-duper recommended :wink: A lot of people dislike this episode, but reading this essay may help you understand what statement Bedford Falls was making with this ep.

Other threads related to Weekend that may be of interest are:
"Weekend" episode"
Princess Patty

Some threads about recurring themes:
Patty and Graham suck
food
Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie
the contradiction that we call Rayanne

(sorry, there just aren't a lot of previous threads about this episode!)

I apologize for getting this week's discussion started a day late, but hey it was Mother's Day weekend :D
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Post by TomSpeed » May 13th 2003, 8:25 pm

I can't believe that we have reached the second to the last episode of the series. It's really kind of sad. Angela and the gang can only live on in our imagination.

I agree that "Weekend" is a departure from the usual MSCL episode. The major story arcs are absent. However, it still contains some good stuff.

I like Camille's assertion to Patty that men like backs in the first scene. Camille is right, as usual. A nice looking back goes a long way. It's funny how embarrassed Patty seems during their conversation. Graham and Patty have a good sex life, but Patty just doesn't seem comfortable talking about sex. I like the idea that Camille brings Patty handcuffs. Camille is sexually liberated. Patty keeps her sexuality under wraps. The handcuffs represent an entrance into sexual games and fantasies. I don't really think Patty and Graham have incorporated such things into their sex life. Maybe their sex life has become routine and mechanical (see "Pressure"). I probably can't go so far to say their sex life is dull, but the introduction of handcuffs could really open some new worlds for them. I know that Graham certainly seems excited when he thinks Patty brought the handcuffs with her to the bed-and-breakfast. Bondage can be very exciting. There's something very sexy about surrendering control to someone else.

I really doubt that Graham and Patty often get a chance to get away without their children. In some ways, being home all of the time can be a drag for couples. You pretty much have to have a volume control on when you have sex. Also, outside of sex, you are limited to how much time you can spend with each other. It might seem like spending a weekend is unimportant, but it is actually very important. It's easy to forget that a married person is more than a mother or father.

The scene between Angela and Patty when they are discussing the responsibility of leaving Angela in charge for the weekend is hilarious. I love the look Angela gives when she says that Danielle begged her to put her in the dryer years ago. Yes, Danielle's begging made putting her in the dryer okay. This scene is echoed by Graham's refusal to let Neil drive his car because of what happened when Neil drove Graham's Duster years ago. Most families have these types of stories -- brothers and sisters doing something funny. The family never lets you forget what happened either.

Is it just me or does anyone else think Cheryl Fleck is really annoying? She's almost as bad as Hallie Lowenthal. Also, doesn't she seem really old to be pretending to be so young? Is she supposed to be in her twenties or thirties? I like the "I think I have some doobies" line though.

Even though Rayanne and Angela refuse to talk about the betrayal, Angela's asking Rickie if Rayanne asks about her says a great deal. This question means that the friendship between Rayanne and Angela is salvageable. And when Rayanne asks Rickie the same question, the hope that their friendship can be saved is strengthened. If they totally hated each other, they wouldn't ask if they were talking about each other.

I love the look Graham gives Patty when she comes into the room at the bed-and-breakfast wearing the sexy nightie Camille brought her. He is definitely interested. Patty seems almost like a schoolgirl. She gets under the covers pretty quickly. Trying different things can be exciting. New lingerie, a different bed to have sex in, being away from the kids -- all of these things add up to some good times. Unfortunately, Cheryl's laughter ruins things.

You can definitely see a similarity between Graham and Rayanne in the next scene. Rayanne echoes Graham's "sex on a different bed" comment and she immediately thinks the handcuffs she finds are Graham's idea. Rayanne and Graham are sexually adventurous. Patty and Angela are not. Both Patty and Angela have the potential to become more sexually adventurous, but they will need some encouragement.

I'm going to think up some more stuff and post again later.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by meggrrrl » May 14th 2003, 8:11 am

Well, the Angela's world essay really helped me on this one. I always thought this episode was embarassingly lame, but now I understand what they were trying to do.

I just had to say that I love the moment at the end when everyone is leaving the house - the look on Brian's face. He's so sweet and awkward. They didn't have to show him leaving at all, or he could have just walked out of the house, but the pause there - a classic MSCL subtlety (I really doubt that I spelled that right).

I still can hardly bear to watch the scene where Patty gets drunk. I somehow missed this episode when it was first aired and when I watched it later I couldn't believe this scene. It so does not fit in with the rest of the series! I'm glad to know now that it wasn't really supposed to.

Meg

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Post by TomSpeed » May 14th 2003, 3:30 pm

I like Brian's little pause at the door, too. Hey, Sharon gets a kiss from Angela. Brian expects one, too. Poor Bri, shut out again.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by TomSpeed » May 14th 2003, 3:41 pm

Brian's conviction that his family isn't normal continues in "Weekend." He knows that his dad doesn't have any wire shears that can be used to free Rayanne. It's ironic that Graham, who Brian's considers to be a normal dad, doesn't own a pair of wire shears either. And the irony deepens when Graham says he thinks a guy like Bob, Brian's dad, surely owns some wire shears.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 14th 2003, 3:47 pm

Also interesting in light of the fact that we view Graham as a pretty normal dad and he doesn't have any wire shears either!

:D
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Post by Nothingman » May 14th 2003, 4:45 pm

I’ve noticed a drop off in number of people discussing the episodes in the last few weeks. Especially since the last few have been vital to the story. This is a call to arms to all the Lifers out there. We’ve only got two episodes left, lets belly up and do it right. :D

I love how this episode address the differences between the standard sitcom formula and MSCL. One thing I noticed was how little the plot moves in this episode. It really shows you how a sitcom like Dawson’s Creek can go seasons without ever getting down to the issues. For some reason “Weekend” reminds me of a Seventh Heaven episode, but it could be any other worthless sitcom, that’s the whole point. The challenge of this episode it to pick up what is relevant to the story and what is fluff.

My favorite scene in this episode is where Sharon, Angela, and Rickie surround her and attempt to explain the handcuffs. In Danielle’s world, who cares why there are handcuffs, the important thing is Rayanne is chained to the bed and all these cool people are coming over to the house.

A couple other key scenes are Angela and Rayanne’s fight over her bag when she tries to leave. The look on Rickie’s face says it all. But falling suet with the episode, the fight is interrupted and nothing is solved by it. Although it is nice to hear Angela and Rayanne verbalize some of the things that we know they’ve been thinking. This scene is mirrored by Patty’s outburst at Graham at the gas station. Where she is talking about the liquor run on minute and checking under Hallie Lowenthal’s hood the next. But of course Cheryl interrupts before anything can come of it. This is the second time Patty has been saved from her loose mouth. The first being the drunken joke about borrowing a sweater.

And of course at the end of the episode all is back how it started, the key to any “successful” sitcom. Not only is this episode a great parody, it really makes you appreciate MSCL’s genius.

One last thing I found interesting: Why is it that the Pleasure Center is open on a Saturday afternoon, but every hardware store in the city is closed and there is no chance of getting wire shears? Aren’t most hardware stores open seven days a week or at least everyday but Sunday? But if they just went to the hardware store we would have missed all those vital jokes about the Pleasure Center. Perhaps the Pleasure Center is always open because one never knows when the “Pleasure Center” can be aroused :roll: .
Also interesting in light of the fact that we view Graham as a pretty normal dad and he doesn't have any wire shears either!
I guess wire shears aren't the measure of a man. Who knew?
"To come to your senses, you must first go out of your mind." - Alan Watts

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Post by TomSpeed » May 14th 2003, 5:03 pm

A normal dad keeps jumper cables in the car trunk. He always carries a lighter or matches, even if he doesn't smoke. He owns a Swiss Army knife. And, in case he runs out of matches, he must know how to make a fire. He must also know how to fix a car engine using string, duckt tape, and chewing gum. He also needs to know how to repair sagging rain gutters and loose floor boards. Oh, he must also own a pair of wire shears. Feel free to add your own criteria for a normal dad.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 14th 2003, 5:05 pm

nothingman wrote:I’ve noticed a drop off in number of people discussing the episodes in the last few weeks.
I attributed it to May sweeps.

:D
For some reason “Weekend” reminds me of a Seventh Heaven episode
Heh, maybe cause this is the episode where there is a plethora of kids running around the house!

:wink:
One last thing I found interesting: Why is it that the Pleasure Center is open on a Saturday afternoon, but every hardware store in the city is closed and there is no chance of getting wire shears? Aren’t most hardware stores open seven days a week or at least everyday but Sunday?
Well, a lot of adult stores are open 24/7 to accomodate their clientele. Let's just leave it at that.

:shock:

Even though they live in Pittsburgh, they live in the suburbs so it's very likely that there isn't a hardware store nearby that is open on the weekends (even though we know realistically that's when everyone hits Home Depot!). Seriously, if they live in the suburbs with a lot of locally owned stores and the hardware store is the kind that has been in the family for decades, they might be closed on the weekends. I know that kind of doesn't make sense since people in the suburbs are the ones most likely to take up home improvements on the weekends, but just go with me here!

:D

One last possibility: Brian assumes that the hardware store won't be open until Monday, but no one bothers to get out the phone book and see if there is another hardware store nearby. It's entirely possible that they lacked the common sense to challenge Brian's statement. After all, Brian is (hopefully) past that adolescent building models stage, so why would he, of all people, know when the hardware store closes? It's not like they asked Rayanne when the liquor store closes.
Brian: Oh, so, fine. Well. Well, we can just go to the hardware store Monday.
Rayanne : Great, Monday. Perfect.
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You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 14th 2003, 5:14 pm

TomSpeed wrote:A normal dad keeps jumper cables in the car trunk. He always carries a lighter or matches, even if he doesn't smoke. He owns a Swiss Army knife. And, in case he runs out of matches, he must know how to make a fire. He must also know how to fix a car engine using string, duckt tape, and chewing gum. He also needs to know how to repair sagging rain gutters and loose floor boards. Oh, he must also own a pair of wire shears. Feel free to add your own criteria for a normal dad.
A normal dad must also be able to fix a toilet (or at least stop it from flooding the house), change a flat tire, and hang wallpaper, but he is not required to know how to hook up the stereo or define "mediocrity."

:wink:
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You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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Post by TomSpeed » May 14th 2003, 5:16 pm

And we can't forget that none of the teenagers own a car, except for Jordan. So, any hardware store they go to needs to be within walking distance. Of course, they could take a bus or taxi to the nearest large hardware store. But the buses probably work on a reduced schedule on weekends and cabs are expensive.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 14th 2003, 5:20 pm

Yup, it always comes back to the magical mysterious bus that goes to Rayanne's, Rickie's, Angela's, Jordan's, and Vic's places as well as Big Guy Burger and Pike Street.

:lol:
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Post by Nothingman » May 14th 2003, 5:25 pm

Is the Pleasure Center in walking distance then? Seems that Brian would know most of the stores in walking distance of his home. Maybe he was just oblivious. Patty must be so proud to live down the street from the adult store. Must be great for giving directions to their home. "Head straight for the pleasure center and turn north" :wink:
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Post by TomSpeed » May 14th 2003, 5:31 pm

The Pleasure Center is probably a hole in the wall store that can be easily missed, like the store in "Halloween." You wouldn't know where it is unless you were looking for what it sold. Does that make any sense? So, it's possible that Brian doesn't know where the Pleasure Center is located.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by TomSpeed » May 14th 2003, 5:48 pm

Sharon asks Angela if the blouse she wonders if she is justified to return after 30 days is the one Sharon got her for her birthday. Does this question mean that Angela has recently turned 16 years old? We don't really know Angela's birthday. This is the only mention of her birthday I can remember in the entire series.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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