3.1 Fairy Tale Endings
Season 3 of Wildfire was recently released to DVD this spring, so by all means feel free to run out and buy a copy so you can keep up with the madness here at the blog.
(Note: Don't stare at the cover for too long, because Ashleigh's eyes might start giving you a headache.)
So here's the deal with these Wildfire reviews: I'm bored of the the format. Oh, sure, I'm still going to treat this like a Thoroughbred fanfic, so rest assured that Kris still equals Ashleigh and Junior still equals Brad. I'm too invested in their relationship to change that now. However, I feel these reviews would benefit from a totally abstract and arbitrary adding and subtracting point system that I am completely stealing from other various places. Like major publications and friends and such.
Let's start out with the good news first:
+ The Dani and Clay dynamic. It may be all over the place, but I happen to love family dysfunction. Clay's appeals process is going slowly because he's "blowing through" the money she's given him. Dani is "too busy" to help him out again, because the farm comes first, even if "too busy" is staring at paint swatches so she can blow some of that hard earned cash on redecorating her new office in soothing rose tones. Dani, you are awesome, even if you might be a financial death trap. 3 points!
+ Ian might be showing hints of deadpan humor this season, at least when he's playing off of Jean. It's just that when Jean says "Should I be worried?" for no reason I can really pinpoint and Ian walks by and says, "Probably." I appreciated it. 2 points!
+ Montages! Ashleigh and Brad montages involving angst and cell phone stroking! Should they call each other while Ashleigh waits at stupid Tor's hospital bed, or should they angst some more? I think you know the answer. One (1) point for more Ashleigh/Brad unresolved tension.
+ Mike is being irresponsible again. I only mention this as a positive because I happen to enjoy it when Mike is being irresponsible. This time he's not only shirking duties, but convincing himself that he has no role at Whitebrook. Mike's turmoil makes me happy, so two (2) points!
+ Clay is actually being sentimental and concerned about Dani putting a horse he bred in a claiming race. Color me shocked! 1 point!
+ Mike's grandfather died. (Apparently he was in Australia all this time?) The important thing here is Mike's reaction to the will, which has a clause that Mike can only inherit half of Whitebrook if he manages to do something with this Andalusian stallion the old man shipped to Whitebrook from Australia. That's shitty luck, Mike. I love it! 3 points!
+ Instead of doing something with the horse, Mike decides to embrace his non role at Whitebrook, sell the horse at a fancy auction, and run off to Africa with Samantha. At the auction, one champagne sipping woman has a moment of sheer stupidity and tries to embrace the horse, freaking everyone out and causing disaster. The horse runs off, and I can only assume someone catches it. It is awesome when one of Mike's plans fail. Who's going to Africa now, huh? 2 points!
+ Tor eventually wakes up, and Ashleigh gives him a tiny juice box. He sips from this tiny juice box all through Ashleigh's emotional moment. Maybe it's just me, but the juice box held my complete attention and detracted from yet another dramatic Ashleigh moment, so I give the juice box a point (1) just for being there.
+ Brad takes off his shirt and repeatedly hits a punching bag! Well, naturally this gets ten (10) points.
+ Tor goes to jail for fraud or something! And Ashleigh gets to yell at him! 6 points!
+ Clay takes the purse from the claiming race, in which her horse didn't get claimed, and gives it to Clay in a moment of daughterly affection. Clay uses it to bribe his way back into the good graces of the federal government. The purse couldn't possibly have really done this, but I don't care. Everyone is all daddy bribed the feds! Let's have a heartwarming moment! 3 points.
+ Baby Wonder is given a name by both Ashleigh and Brad: Wonder's Pride (Flame). Two (2) points for the coincidence that both name him Flame at two different points in the story without realizing it, and two (2) more points for the awesome coincidence that he looks exactly like Wonder's Pride. Awesome!
The Good: 38
And now to the bad:
- Mike's had new hair for every season, from lots of curls to sort of cropped and now it's looking a little curly and gelled and unpleasant. It made me grimace during an entire scene. Minus 1!
- Mike's "got to figure out this 'horse stuff,' whatever that means." Okay, I like that Mike is in turmoil about his role, but do not try to sell me on the notion that you don't know what "horse stuff" is or how to go about doing "horse stuff," Mike. Please. Minus 2.
- Why would the police call Brad and tell him that Tor was actually flying to Mexico instead of Colorado and back to the Breeders' Cup? What sense does that make other than it gives Ashleigh a reason to overreact to any suspicion of his? Minus 2.
- Uncle Jesse has pulled his hair into the tiniest ponytail known to man. Bad hair is genetic in the Reese family, I think. Minus 1.
- It has been fall for EONS. Can we move on to a new season, please? Minus 1.
- Apparently it's Ashleigh's fault that Tor forged some paperwork and had all the Breeders' Cup purse money wired into a fraudulent account? How is that possible? Tor is Ashleigh's agent, and has nothing to do with Whitebrook. Not to even mention, Ashleigh's account is wiped out. Are we going to remember that any time soon? This is no one's fault but Tor's, people. Sure, you're never going to see your purse money and the farm is falling into disrepair, but I'm pretty sure this mistake is solely Jean's. Minus 4.
- Dani's office is way too much like an 18-year-old's dorm room. And for all that work on paint and carpet samples, it really only looks like she bought some colored markers and a couple vases of roses. Minus 2 for shoddy decor!
- Since when does yelling petulantly at a horse mean gaining that horse's respect? Mike...you really did lose your touch with horses. Minus 3.
- Mike and Ashleigh gallop off, leaving Brad to stare after them in that knowing way that creeps me out because I KNOW what you're up to, show! I disapprove! Minus 8!
The Bad: 22
Total: 38-22 = 16
16! I guess that's good? We'll just have to keep at it to see how the other episodes measure up.