|Posted on October 25, 2014 at 12:45 AM|
By Dhruv Rao
Every episode of A to Z has a very predictable structure. It will always discuss some first for Andrew and Zelda, leading to them getting insecure, jealous and crazy. For instance, this week discussed each character’s past, and everything spiralled down from there. I like that A to Z has a warmth that many sitcoms lack, but this repetition in plot structure is getting a little monotonous. There is only one voice during the narration, we are only seeing the story as mere outsiders, and Andrew always seems to be the one to make a larger mistake than Zelda. One of the things that I loved about How I Met Your Mother was that the writers had various narrative techniques up their sleeves. Even though they had a framing device (which A to Z also possesses, but it is vaguely defined), the writers constantly challenged themselves to introduce new framing devices for certain episodes, or even seasons!
The advantage for such narrative perspectives is that they offer a certain bias in them: not enough to make the story completely change, but enough to punch in an extra ton of comedy. A to Z’s narrator is doing a good job, but we are unaware of her identity and how she knows everything about the characters in this story. As far as we are concerned, she is none of the characters in the series, so she most probably won’t be bias. For instance, this week, the narrator didn’t side with either side of the couple during the stalking moments and calling them out as “bad people”, and that adds a more overseeing-image of the narrator. That’s another problem I have here. This story isn’t a support in an essay, but it is a form of entertainment, whose pertinence to reality often has a limited scope, and it’s story should have more perspective. The former’s limitation is actually high as the B-plot for most episodes involves an insight into the running of an internet dating website. The latter needs to be explored in further depth, and needs to be made more interesting.
Having said that, Curiouser isn’t a bad half-hour of television. However, its quality seems to be compromised if we compare it to last week’s great episode. The whole story revolved around the “gutter”: how people in a relationship google each other. How I Met Your Mother explored that in “Mystery Vs History”, and essentially A to Z have expressed the same idea in two plots. The former involved Andrew and Zelda’s promise to keep the mystery alive. It’s not an original plotline, but since A to Z is a wonderfully clichéed and cheesy, it works. The writers of the sitcom are aware that most of the hilarious ideas have been taken by shows like Full House, Seinfeld, Friends, and others that have lasted for more than six or seven years. Thus, instead of trying and failing to be overly original, they decided to keep the story as cheesy as they could. The story lead to the couple digging up information on each other, which culminated in an unexpected confession: Zelda was married. That, right there, was what caught my attention, especially after Andrew’s “Damn” after looking at Gustav’s current picture. After an unfortunate arrest, the couple patch things up and have a great moment during which we see how the two weeks have gotten them to see each other differently: another classic romcom moment, but A to Z is the television adaptation of those. Overall, the plot was mediocre, with a hint of moments that were of a higher quality.
The running of Wallflower continues to amuse me. Not only does it add a new and refreshing aspect to the show, but it also adds some gems like Parvesh Cheena and Cristina Kirk. This week, Lydia found out about the Big Bird nickname and went on a stalking frenzy. The scene when the programmers gave Andrew Zelda’s wallflower profile is a blithe one, during which they overly flatter Lydia, only for her to claim that she likes the two of them. The resolution of the plot, when Lydia proudly called herself Big Bird, is another funny one, especially with Kirk’s movements. The inclusion of this plot and its intersection with the A-plot is another reason why the show is most likely to prosper. Furthermore, the silver lining of the writers starting to solve the Stu-Stefi conundrum of the pilot really fascinated me. Once again, the plot revolved around Wallflower, but added a warm moment when Stu and Stefi decided to act as friends even though they were at the terms of enemies, just for their friends. I really hope their problem will be solved, as it might bring some interesting double date, or even friendship plots in the future...
- Stu: "What do women want? Gold. Benedict Cumberbatch. Money."
- Andrew is the emotional one in the relationship.
- Stu and Stefi have the same size breasts.
- Lydia's reaction to the employees calling her Big Bird was hilarious. Right on, Cristina Kirk!
- I will be taking a two-week vacation from this site to finish some other tasks. You'll see the latest The Big Bang Theory and A to Z reviews after that...
Categories: Other Shows