Out With Dad – Season 3.1 – a review

Welcome back. It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?

This is your old Uncle Eddie, returning from the wilds of La La Land to finally review the first half of Season Three of Jason Leaver’s epic web dramedy (I think that’s the best word for it, though I’m not sure Jason agrees), Out With Dad.

First off, I should say that the delay wasn’t deliberate. I actually started watching Season 3.1 when it first aired, but I got stuck at the movies. Funny thing, that. It was a lovely scene, but somehow, I just felt I had to stop for a bit. Not the scene I thought would mess me up at all. I think that means it worked.

Anyway, I just rewatched the first half of the season again, and I think I’m ready to review it now. Are you ready for a spoilery review of 3.1? Let’s find out, shall we?

SPOILER SPACE
I’’m still not kidding
If you’’re one of those people who doesn’’t like spoilers, you know what to do.

No, I don’t mean scream blue murder and sulk on Facebook for a week because people aren’t honouring your wish to remain blessedly plot ignorant until you discover the program for yourself. Don’t be silly. The series has been running for two and a half seasons. You’re either in, or you’re out. (See what I did there?)
*Ahem*
After this SPOILER SPACE, I won’’t brook any Boo Hooing or QQing about SPOILERS, because I told you from the start, this is a SPOILER SPACE, and I have every intention of SPOILING the ENTIRE SERIES in one go (well, maybe two)
FINAL WARNING: SPOILER SPACE
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Welcome to the Land of SPOILERS! Are we clear about this being SPOILER SPACE? Good. Then let’s begin.

SEASON THREEpointONE (FALL 2013)

Episode 3.01 “Starting Over”

Okay, confession time, I didn’t actually ACTUALLY rewatch this one this time around, because I started this rewatch a couple of times, and have seen the episode two or three times, and I really didn’t want to get caught in the same chronic hysteresis, so I took a short cut. But the thing is, I think I remember the episode well enough to review it.

First off, we enter a new house, as Nathan and Rose are moving their boxes into a… oh wait, I already said that part. So the thing is, since last time, apparently there have been some changes. I actually feel like I should go back and read my previous review to get caught back up with what lead to the move, but hey, let’s live for today.

So the big issue this time around is that Nathan has made Rose a very special, seemingly innocuous violet tee shirt, which turns out to mean more than she realizes (more on that later). We also learn that, apparently, Rose does this thing with her voice when she talks on the phone with Claire, which amuses her father and mortifies her. The thing is, two can play at that game, can’t they, Nathan?

So, when do we get “Out with Rose”?

Then it’s off to school, where Claire and Vanessa are eyeing each other warily, and Claire invites Rose to manicotti dinner at her place. “Is this a date?” Well, it might not be a date, Rose, but it’ll be a date to remember.

Episode 3.02 “Dining In & Out”

Rose returns home to get changed for dinner at Claire’s, and has an awkward discussion about dressing for dinner, which concludes with her wearing Nathan’s (shhh… don’t tell Rose) gay pride tee shirt. Of course it looks good on her, Nathan. She’s grown up quite a bit. No wonder he’s nervous.

But anyway, Dad takes this opportunity to book a date with his new gal pal, whom he STILL hasn’t mentioned to Rose. And this becomes apparent when Angela suggests she like to meet Rose. Smooth, Nathan.

ASIDE: I have to say that, though it took me a few viewings to get used to Will Conlon no longer playing Nathan, it’s gotten easier to accept Jonathan Robbins, simply because the role has changed in a few ways, though Jonathan is working to create a dynamic that fits. So far, the chemistry between him and Kate isn’t as obvious for me, but watching him stumble through the issue of admitting to his daughter that he’s found someone new seems easier to believe coming from newNathan. 😉

However, so that leaves mentioning of a little event: Rose’s dinner with Claire. Let’s see… we’ve got:

– 1 obnoxious little brother who is fascinated with his sister’s sexuality

– 1 obviously struggling mother who just wants her gay daughter to be happy

– Oh yeah, and 1 near-absentee workaholic father who, surprise, was not aware that his daughter was a lesbian until he catches her kissing Rose. Nice.

And that’s where Jason leaves us.

Episode 3.03 “Storming In & Out”

We rejoin Claire and Rose at the kiss, and the awkward WTF moment of her father walking in on them, and then the equally awkward explanation from Mom, which goes over about as well as a lead balloon. But hey, kid brother is overjoyed.

Rose arrives home to discuss it with Nathan, and Claire comes over seeking asylum. Rose asks if she can stay the night, and Nathan decides there is a serious problem that needs to be observed visa girlfriends sleeping over now that Rose is out. Basically, he turns her down, and she grabs a hoodie and her new girlfriend and goes out on an impromptu date. Don’t date angry, Rose!

Episode 3.04 “Swashbuckling Adventures of Making Out”

At the movies, the girls buy tickets from one of their PFLAG friends, who recognizes them immediately. Then the girls go in to munch popcorn in the dark. The thing I love about this sequence is that it plays out like a classic silent film scene, with slapstick and glamour shots and it just looks so good. It’s a real change from the classic Rose & Nathan movie sequence. Everything changes in a big way, when Rose and Claire find themselves kissing, and then kissing some more, until it becomes apparent that they are having a classic make out scene. It’s really nice. Just warm enough to make you feel that things could grow between these two, without being salacious.

Little do they realize that they’ve been spotted by a girl in the row behind them, who, as it turns out, recognizes the girls from school.

Uh oh.

Then Rose goes home to tea and chat with Dad, and they settle more or less amicably, but we can tell this is a new day for Rose and Nathan.

Episode 3.05 “Outed”

Here it is, folks. The moment we’ve all been waiting for.

The music should be our first cue. Something’s not right at school the next day. Girls in the stairs are looking at Rose, greeting her, congratulating her, and in one case, attacking her and accusing her of being a liar. Vanessa has no words; just a look of ‘I told you so’. Kenny drops the bomb: someone saw her at the movies making out with Claire. That didn’t take long, did it?

Rose’s reaction? Guess.

In THE bathroom, after bidding a fond farewell to her breakfast, she has a heart to heart conversation with Claire about the fact that she’s still not ready to come out, even though the choice has pretty much been removed. Poor Rose fights it to the end, even leaving the bathroom after Claire has left.

Afterward, we see Vanessa approach Kenny and reveal that she clearly misses the stuffing out of Rose, and probably regrets everything (though not in those words), and then tells him to tell Rose she’ll be fine, no matter what happens.

Dun dun dun dunnnnnn…

The episode ends probably the only way it ever could. Vanessa goes home, has a fight with her parents, and announces she can’t live under their roof anymore, and runs to her room. Just between you and me? This is where I feared things would go from nearly the beginning. My heart is breaking for poor Vanessa.

Ah well, life can be tough, even for girls who aren’t completely sure what their orientation is.

Episode 3.06 “Out with (Song and) Dance”

The big finale. Rose is literally beside her self, and Claire is on hand to help talk her down. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s time for a little song and dance number. I’m not kidding. Kate Conway (both of her) and Caitlynne Medrek, start singing to one another, and soon the whole cast, including the Subway Girl and the Barista and Johnny and Nathan and Kenny and… well, everybody joins in, singing and dancing in the sun.

Everyone that is, except Vanessa, who is in her room, packing her bag and preparing to leave home.

I’m gonna stop here. Got something in my eye.

SUMMARY

Season Three. Woo. I don’t know what to say. Second half is coming up in just a few days. I’m still hoping against hope that I can make the Season 3.2 premier at the Fox Theatre in Toronto on Tuesday. Money is very tight. I suspect I’ll miss my chance again. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am at that. It’s been a strange year, financially, so far. I need to sell more books, stat.

Anyway, in case I don’t make it, Jason, Kate, Lindsey, Caitlynne, Corey, Jonathan (welcome aboard)… I hope you folks have a wonderful evening. You deserve it. And thanks for the laughter and tears.

Lee Edward McIlmoyle
(aka Uncle Eddie)

2 Responses to “Out With Dad – Season 3.1 – a review

  • Great job summarizing and commenting on the season. (And isn’t that the classic Dragnet 4 notes? It’s funny, because I was just reading about them today in a Jack Webb biography!)

    • Dragnet? Yeah, that’s probably the original reference, isn’t it? I haven’t thought about Dragnet in a long time, but that four note sting is so iconic for certain generations that it still works, even today.

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.

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