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16 February 2011 @ 12:41 pm
Primeval 4.06  
I'm often a bit dubious about `wedding episodes' in action/adventure series. They have a bad tendency to stray into the realm of slapstick and the comedy of embarrassment which really isn't my thing and, even when they don't, the need to combine the sort of frothy light-heartedness which seems compulsory for wedding stories with an action plot often results in tonal awkwardness. Primeval mostly managed to navigate this awkward tight-rope but, in the end, I wasn't really convinced that the wedding was bringing much story.

Claudia Brown was one of my favourite characters of season 1 Primeval and, although I was initially rather put out by the broad-brush stereotyping of her reinvention as Jenny Lewis, I eventually became rather fond of that character too and was very sorry to see her go in season 3. It was nice to see her here but, of course, bringing her back just for the wedding to a man we had never seen before and who got maybe half-a-dozen lines in the whole story left me vaguely unsatisfied. We never got to see Jenny earn her happy ending and even that happy ending was rendered a bit hollow by how little we know about the groom. I'd have also liked to see Jenny taking the possible creature threat a little more seriously. When we last saw her she had developed beyond the point of thinking of a potential predator at loose as little more than an inconvenience to her social plans. It would have been nice if someone had noticed the wedding planner was missing, as well. Lester performing the ceremony was lovely though, despite being at, well, Primeval levels of improbability.

Apart from Jenny's appearance, this was another largely throwaway episode. In fact in general terms the most interesting stuff was happening away from the wedding with Becker and Jess and their rather misguided pursuit of Ethan. It must be said I'm becoming increasingly less enamoured of Ruth Kearney as an actress. Jess has been horribly short-changed in writing terms, but she actually had some pretty good material here and a chance to show that the character was more than a glorified receptionist and she still came across as girlish and a little silly.

In the end though, pleased as I was to see Jenny again, her happy ending was too sketchy and insubstantial to have any real weight and while I was grateful the episode avoided becoming a comedy, it also avoided doing anything else particularly interesting with the wedding. I suspect, if I wasn't a Jenny fan, I'd have seen little point to it at all.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/34898.html.
lukadreaming: Jenny starelukadreaming on February 16th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
Agree. Totally!
fredbassettfredbassett on February 16th, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
I thought we saw enough of Jenny's bloke for me to feel that she'd made a good choice.

No one missing the wedding planner was sloppy writing.

Overall I liked this one as it was nice to see Jenny back.

Jess really isn't doing anything for me at all.
louisedennislouisedennis on February 16th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Apart from that first scene with the wedding planner he seemed, I don't know, a bit bland and even if more time had been devoted to him I suspect the pay-off without the preceding romance was always going to fall a bit flat.

I liked seeing Jenny back but I suspect that was the bit I liked most about the story, the rest was just `meh!'
reggietate: nickandjennyreggietate on February 17th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
I'd have liked Jenny to be a bit more involved with the actual plot, but it great seeing her again, and I thought they did enough with Michael to at least make him believable. The main point about him, I suppose, was that he was Not Cutter :-)

I thought the bomb plot thing was pretty good overall, but as usual, no backup, and it was a mite recycled from 2.06.

I don't mind Jess, she's quite fun but I don't think the show would lose much if she wasn't there, to be honest. I think I preferred the ADD when it wasn't all-singing, all-dancing, and just pointed them at the anomaly.
lsellersfic: Jenny/Nicklsellersfic on February 18th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
As you say, I'd have liked to see her more involved and I really would have liked to see more of Michael. Michael wasn't completely faceless, which was nice, but I would still have liked to see more. I guess an episode which was a bit more about Jenny and a bit less about Connor and Abby and Matt and Emily.

Jess really makes my teeth stand on edge. I'm not sure why except that she doesn't feel like a character to me, more like a shopping list (show some leg, provide voiceover directions). Sarah was equally underwritten though her problem was mostly that they had no idea what to do with her, rather than a shopping list, but Laila Rouass' performance nevertheless gave her a coherency, I don't think Kearney is managing with Jess.