Monday, April 17, 2006

Bake a Pie

‘Sopranos’: Vito goes on the lam
'Housewives': A truce for Bree and Andrew?

If you saw either of the two Sunday-night spectaculars linked above, you're probably expecting me to have a reaction. But I don't quite know what to make of the oh-so-gay developments on either show.

When Vito went to a motel last week, I thought that was the end of him. So seeing him trek to New Hampshire and mull his life while watching waterfalls, eating johnny cakes, and observing a happy gay couple was quite confusing. Meanwhile, the whole episode revolved around reactions to Vito's suddenly-revealed secret, with responses that ran the gamut from Paulie's predicable desire to kill Vito to Tony's ambivalence, wondering how he could keep Vito's top-earning ways without disrupting the rest of the crew. His ominous statement to Carlo--"You know he's not the first"--makes me wonder if we're in for another revelation before the end. And the fact that a future episode is entitled "Johnny Cakes" makes me think we haven't seen the last of Vito's New Hampshire retreat. Could an antique store be in his future?

Meanwhile, Bree and Andrew's trust-fund fight crescendoed last night before Bree brought things crashing back down to earth. In an episode filled with laugh lines, hers was the best; when Justin cried to her that he was upset by Andrew's plan to move to Rhode Island with his grandparents because he loved Andrew, her response was "Why?" But she took advantage of Justin's feelings for her son, creating a box of stomach-turning, even for me, gay porn that gave Andrew's grandparents second thoughts about taking him home. But what does this mean? At the end of the episode we see Bree bringing a freshly-baked pie to Andrew and Justin, who are smiling and playing cards at the kitchen table (in what seemed like a winking nod to Hannah and Bright's domestic torpor on Everwood). Has she accepted Andrew for who he is? And have we achieved detente? As my viewing partner remarked, it won't be any fun if they stop fighting!

So I have mixed feelings about last night. On the one hand, it seemed like several major characters, particularly Bree and Tony Soprano, came to grips with their feelings about homosexuality and moved toward acceptance, and that can't be a bad thing when some major characters on the political stage can't even let our kids chase Easter eggs unless the TV cameras have cleared the scene. On the other hand, there's no way to know how these plotlines will resolve, and quite a few characters on both shows expressed outright disgust. For now, at least, their voices appear to be the weaker ones.

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