Thursday, October 20, 2011

proposals gone wrong: the one with sticks & stones

You know what I love? Misunderstandings. I love when two characters have got the majority of it wrong and say wicked things they're going to regret saying. As the viewer you have the benefit of hearing their love theme playing in the background, so you know an epic romance is in the works, but you're also thinking, 'How on earth is going to resolve itself?!?!'  
Falling for a Dancer is a mini-series that I'm guessing most of you aren't familiar with since 100% of the people I talk to about it look at me with same glazed expression often worn by American tourists trying to figure out the Paris metro. But when I first decided to do this series, it was this proposal that I kept watching over and over again. And yet I feel like no matter how many times I watch it, I could never pinpoint just how awful it is. Awful in the so-bad-it's-good way, that is, because sparks are flying! Every single thing that's said or done moves their relationship closer and closer to the "lost cause" category. Searing insults? Check! Looks of disgust? Check! Fights over land and murder? Check! Blackmail? Check! Now, I know you're probably thinking, 'This is a proposal? It sounds more like someone played madlibs with a movie script!' Well, the first proposal doesn't happen till the third episode, so allow me to catch you up on all the juiciness...

The "condensed" version: 19 year-old Elizabeth falls in love with a traveling actor who leaves town without any way for her to contact him just in time for her to figure out she's pregnant. See? Juicy ten minutes in! Her parents tell her she can either go into confinement at a nunnery for 2 years or marry this 40 year-old widower who's a relative of their priest's. Lovely. She winds up marrying this stranger, Neeley, and moving out to the isolated countryside. But surprise! The moment she gets there her new neighbor, Mossie, falls in love with her from afar. Sidenote: HE'S THE MAN (he's also played by one of my older man crushes, Liam Cunningham, who was once Sassy Fassy's roommate - heyaaa, we need to talk, Liam!). Alas, she's now married to a creepy man twice her age and, oh fab, he has a zillion children. The husband becomes crazy possessive over this beautiful young woman, telling the quiet but true Mossie, "You keep your thievin' eyes off her," and the relationship quickly turns abusive. Because of a gross misunderstanding, Elizabeth mistakenly blames Mossie for the abuse she starts getting from her husband, thinking he wants to stir up trouble for them as there's a dispute between them concerning land. But it's not true, Elizabeth, Mossie loves you!!! Then there's a town dance and Elizabeth lets her hair down a little, which is 1930s code for getting slightly sloshed. She spends the night dancing with a local 19 year-old (she's now 25) and alcoholic hubs goes crazy and abuses her in public. This behavior continues at home and and when kids rush in to stop it, dead-beat husband throws Elizabeth's son across the room and he hits his head, rendered unconscious. While she rushes him off to the hospital, alcoholic hubs sees dancer boy hunting in the hills and runs after him. Mossie's driving by and sees this, but running out to stop it, he hears a gunshot before he can catch up to them. Alcoholic hubs is dead, dancer boy goes into hiding, and Mossie steps in not long after the funeral to ask Elizabeth to marry him. Or rather... his cousin asks for him. Phew! Now you're caught up, so strap yourselves in for this train wreck!

{Fast forward to 5:00 and don't freak when it cuts off, we'll get to it!}

Right from the start, Mossie can barely look at Elizabeth. It's like he can't allow himself to believe she could be his. Well! I hate to break it to you Mossie, but you're going to have to wait a few more years. As soon as his cousin starts complimenting him and saying things like he's not diseased and is morally sound concerning females, you just want to run and scream, "CUT!" and attack the cousin's mouth with duct tape (especially with that wretched "early bird catches the worm" comment). Except you can't! It's out of your control and Mossie's too, since he followed custom and let his cousin do the talking. The poor guy is standing there all spiffed up and looking more uncomfortable with each and every word. It's so horrific, I can barely watch it. But, like I said, I'm like a twisted-hopeful-romantic here, because I also love watching everything going so horribly wrong. It's ok, roommates, I didn't hurt myself, I'm only screaming on Mossie's behalf! Except now I'm screaming on my behalf because he just ran his fingers through his hair and... Wow. Anyway, as per one of my dear roommates' requests, I'll tackle parts of this proposal in the same fashion as last week...

Mossie: May I ask it meself? To marry me? When the time is right?
YES! AND MAYBE NOW COULD BE THE RIGHT TIME IF YOU'D TELL HER YOU'VE BEEN IN LOVE WITH HER FOR SIX YEARS!
Elizabeth: Didn't you understand me earlier? Land, land, land! Poor Neeley was right.
HOW DARE YOU!
*he grabs her*
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!! YAY! YOU JUST CAN'T RESIST! I LIKE IT! EXCEPT SHE'S NOT GOING TO! 
Mossie: I'm not accustomed to begging.
THIS LINE! THIS MAN! THIS LINE!
Mossie: But will you at least think about it?... Please, Elizabeth?
MAGIC WORD = SHE HAS TO SAY YES NOW!
Elizabeth: You are clearly stupid... or deaf.
AGGGHHHH!!!!!! NO, YOU ARE CLEARLY STUPID! CAN'T YOU SEE HE'S BEEN IN LOVE WITH YOU ALL THIS TIME? THROW ME A BONE HERE!
Elizabeth: How can I put it plainer than I have?
I KIND OF NEED YOU TO SPELL IT OUT FOR ME TOO, BECAUSE OMG LOOK AT HIMMM!!!!!
Elizabeth: And it's Mrs. Scollard to you.
OUCH!
Elizabeth: Believe it or not I have some standards.
BEGINNING TO QUESTION YOUR DEFINITION OF STANDARDS OVER HERE...
Elizabeth: And I would never marry the likes of you.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!
*Mossie slams the door*
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mossie: Is that so? The likes of me?
YOU TELL HER, MOSSIE!
Mossie: You weren't always so particular Miss High-and-Mighty-Solicitor's-Daughter.
OOO BURN!!! I MEAN, SHUT YOUR FACE! 
Elizabeth: Get out!
NOW, ELIZABETH, NO WOMAN IN HER RIGHT MIND WOULD KICK THAT MAN OUT. 
Mossie: There isn't one of us without our Achilles' heel and yours is men, isn't it?
EAAAAHHH!!!! WE DON'T SAY THESE THINGS TO LADIES WE WANT TO MARRY, MOSSIE! BUT I DO APPRECIATE YOUR THOUGHTFUL "OOPS" FACE. IN FACT, I CONGRATULATE YOUR FACE!
Mossie: If you marry me, Elizabeth, in your own time of course-
WE'LL HAVE LOTS OF BABIES!
Mossie: I'll go to court.
OH.
Mossie: I'll say I saw what happened that night on the mountain.
IS IT JUST ME OR WOULD THIS NOT BE THE PERFECT TIME TO SAY THAT, OH I DON'T KNOW, YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY SEE ANYTHING UP THERE AND YOU'D ONLY LIE BECAUSE YOU LOVE HER?!?!
Elizabeth: You saw? My God!
JUST SAY YES! SAY YES TO THE BLACKMAIL!

Then it dissolves into a great big fight over dancer boy. Ugh. He's so pesky. But we've got to keep watching because it ain't over till it's over! Yay for passionate fighting! And can I also just say that Liam's Irish accent is sublime? I love how he says tink instead of think. Ahhhh!!!! I want an Irishman! Ahem... refocusing... 

Dun dun dun!!! Just two little blurbs on part 2...

Mossie: I suppose it's not your fault; brought up with silk, it's hard to deal with sacks.
BAM!

and then of course...

Elizabeth: Are you proud of yourself?
ARE YOU, ELIZABETH?
Mossie: Are you, Elizabeth?
HA!

Oh man! So much fiery passion being poured into all the wrong topics of convo. To Elizabeth's credit, Mossie doesn't correct her about not actually witnessing the "accidental" murder. And since so much bad has been done to her, she's a real advocate about doing the right thing for other people. So if I was in her shoes, I'd probably be peeved myself. Except then there's humble and sweet natured Mossie. He's not cheeky or smooth enough to charm his way into her heart with frivolous nothings and he knows it. From his perspective, if she's not going to take him as he is, that's it; he's just going to have to keep doing what he's been doing till that lightbulb finally switches on for her that this man's man is her man... And somehow the lightbulb is just going off for me that none of my favorite proposals gone wrong actually involve the guy getting down on one knee. And I've always envisioned this for myself... And... Oh... Oh gosh... Train wreck induced identity crisis!!!

2 comments:

  1. How have I never seen this? It better be on Netflix, because I'm going to add it to my queue ASAP.

    I sense another miniseries crush.

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  2. I don't think it's watch instant, but you can get the DVDs, I think. Not to keep using this word over and over, but it's so juicy! There's so much going on and never a dull moment. THE PROPOSAL AT THE END MAKES ALL THE FEELINGS WORTH IT!!!!!!

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