October 21, 2013

the paradise recap: s1/e3

Life at The Paradise is certainly growing more interesting every week, right?

Before I get down and dirty with the recap of last night's episode, let's get this out of the way: SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't watched last night's episode and hate to have even one second of a show spoiled for you, please stop reading. Visit pbs.org (or click on this link) and give that episode a good watch. Then, come back and finish reading that post.

OK. If you're still with me, I'm assuming you're caught up and ready to dish. If not, well, I warned you. I'm also going to forgo the niceties of explaining the primary characters, because I'm hoping you're up to speed with the crew. If not, check out last week's recap from Julie Valerie. She did a great job breaking it down.

Now, on to the recapping...

In this week's episode of The Paradise, Denise finally has the opportunity to prove her ability as the leader of the lady's wear department when Miss Audrey falls ill. Naturally, Clara takes grave offense to this and goes out of her way to make this experience as challenging as possible for Denise. Conflict ensues.

At the same time, Miss Audrey must deal with her ailment, and it turns out to be something a little more complicated than allergies or a cold.

Moray's ex-lady friend is embroiled in a new romance. Her new suitor, Peter Adler, devotes his life to helping children in need and seems to genuinely adore Katherine. Despite him basically being too good to be true, there's trouble as Katherine can't quite seem to figure out how to quit Moray.

Ugh. Talk about a frustrating episode. Don't get me wrong -- I loved this episode. It was chock full of drama, intrigue and the totally crushable Moray and Dudley. But,  it's also one of those episodes that makes you want to shout "argh."

For one, I kept wanting to smack Katherine upside the head and tell her to get over Moray ("He's just not that into you, sweetie.") and give Peter a chance ("The man is good on paper, good in person and hopefully good in... well, you know.")

When I reached this point of the series the first time I watched it, I didn't understand all of the hate toward Katherine. (I do now, but that's another issue.) In fact, I kind of felt badly for her. Wait, hear me out. To date, we've seen Katherine as a pretty spoiled socialite who always gets what she wants. But, we've also seen that she can have a sensitive side to her. For one, she seemed to derive a lot of satisfaction from helping the orphans in last week's episode. And, when she found out about her friend's unhappiness in her marriage, she wanted to help. So, it's not like she's evil.

She's just found herself in the unhappy position of falling in love with a man who doesn't love her back. Which bums me out on her behalf. We've all been there right? Crushing on a guy who we know we shouldn't want to be with, but who we still want.

And, OK, I realize I should totally be shipping Denise and Moray, because they're the stars of the show, but... I kind of really loved what Denise said in the first episode:
"I don't want to marry Moray. I want to be him."
I'm channeling every Spice Girl (circa 1997) when I say, "You go girl."

Yes, I write romantic comedies, and I love a good romance. But I'm also going through my late-twenties spinster-phase, which means I'm really digging a protagonist who is an independent woman. One who proves she can go toe-to-toe with anyone and has the skill and talent to rise to the top professionally.

Speaking of which... there's the other big frustration of this episode. Denise and her constant battle to get the respect she deserves. Since everyone in Hollywood seems to be writing open letters these days, I figured I should go ahead and write one to the person who needs it most on this show.

Dear Denise, 

We need to have a serious heart-to-heart. I'm about to get real with you, but know it's because I care about you. Ready?


I get it, you're a sweetheart. But you also need to stand up for yourself. You can't go through life letting people like Clara and Miss Audrey walk all over you. I know you want them to like you, but that doesn't mean it should come at the cost of your success. I'm not telling you to suddenly become a jerk who throws shoes at their heads when they're acting out. I'm saying you need to stand up for yourself and make them respect that you have what it takes to be the best, and they can't stop you.

And, OK, if you really think you might be interested in Moray in a more-than-mentor way, go for it. But be careful. Make sure he doesn't always take credit for your ideas. And make sure he opens up a little about his past. Go ahead and swim in those deep waters, girlfriend.

Speaking of ideas. Eff Miss Audrey. You have all the ideas you want. Miss Audrey needs to get a life. Maybe you should encourage her to sign-up for online dating. Or set her up with someone. I bet you wouldn't have to look that far to find a man who strikes her fancy...


Don't forget to enter The Paradise Giveaway. There are several fabulous prizes up for grabs, including a $50 gift certificate to Macy's. Check out the details here.

Be sure to check out next week's recap, courtesy of Sara Palacios. You can read previous episode recaps here, here and here.

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  1. ROTFLMAO I love your open letter to Denise, Laura. I hate that she's always getting trampled by Miss Audrey ("Eff Miss Audrey" - indeed!) Denise does so many kind, generous things for everyone around her, but they're all so threatened that they repay her with jealousy and backstabbing. I do love that no matter what happens Moray is in Denise's corner. He encourages her to share her ideas and rewards her for her cleverness.

    Speaking of Moray, was it just me or was that kiss he shared with Clara last night really hot? I think the poor guy's been deprived too long! ;) It's kind of painful to see Clara acting so pathetic, throwing herself at Moray constantly. Get some self-esteem, girl!

    I wish I could be as generous as you when it comes to Katherine, but she just bugs me. She blows so hot and cold with all of the men in her life. I pity the man who marries her because I think she'll be throwing snit fits all days long.

    Great recap, Laura! Love the humor and the snark! :)

  2. I read it anyway. Now I'll go and watch the episode. Well done, Miss Laura. "Late twenties spinster phrase" - ha! Been there, lived through that. xoxo

  3. Love the 'come to Jesus' letter!
    Great recap!

  4. Oh, I forgot to mention if you'd like to see Denise in something a little racier check out Dancing on the Edge, she's rocking the 1930's costumes and pouty red lipstick and always say yes if invited to a picnic on a train!

  5. Hilarious recap, Laura! Yes, Denise really needs to stop being so nice. I hope she reads your letter and decides to stand up for herself. Miss Audrey may be your boss, but she can't control your thoughts! ... I'm with Tracie. I cannot stand Katherine!! The only thing I like about her is her name... because when Moray says Katherine, I go weak in the knees. (Slight Emun Elliott crush/obsession over here!) This episode needed more Dudley, though. MORE DUDLEY!! Loved your recap, Laura!! :)

  6. Is this the episode in which Katherine dumps Peter? If not, SPOILER ALERT!

    I know the writers must create conflict and have the spoiled, twisted Katherine end her relationship with Peter. Ugh! Katherine mistakes infatuation for true love and I can't bear to watch her chasing after Moray anymore. I guess she feels she deserves to be unhappy. Peter is the type of guy that one can only wish for. Katherine feels safe with him. With Peter she wants to be a better person, and, the patient guy stands by her even though he knows she is infatuated with Moray. She is totally responsible for her actions and who she is. But, I see that her father spoils his only child and then he is fed up with her and chastises her for being spoiled. Before she dumps Peter, her father, in other words, tells her she always destroys the people who love her? I was hoping she would hear her father's words and come to her senses. But, she seems bent on self-destruction. My only hope is that in the end, Katherine realizes that she deserves to be truly happy and is somehow reunited with charitable Peter, who may be a widower (he's a great catch) and he will stand by her side yet again.

  7. Do you think there will come a time when Miss Audrey gets the boot from the Paradise and finds herself looking for a job with Denise's uncle across the street? Probably not. By why else would the writers write in a potential love interest between the two? Is Miss Audrey's feelings toward the small shop across the street there in the story to mirror how women felt about shopping in the big store? That they still love the small shop but are turning their back on it in favor of the glitz and glamour? Hhmm. I can't even tell if Miss Audrey has any real feelings for the man or is she just showing up every now and then just to turn her back on him? Maybe if there's a time to write her off the program when Denise rises in the ranks at the Paradise they'll have a place for her to go. And while that's happening there will be tension between Denise and her uncle. Readers/viewers will feel satisfied that at least she (Miss Audrey) won't be jobless, homeless and on the streets at her age and after all her personal sacrifices for her career. Can't figure that one out.

  8. Denise is full of good ideas and told or asked Miss Audrey if Miss Audrey didn't consider the idea of having both: marriage and a career. Perhaps having both was not an option at that time in history. Miss Audrey wanted Denise to stop getting ideas in her head and to stop expressing them. But, once Miss Audrey heard Denise's ideas, those ideas were stuck in Miss Audrey's head and perhaps Miss Audrey is considering the idea. That may explain her new interest in Edmund(?) (Denise's uncle), since Edmund had proposed marriage to her, at one time. I think Audrey told Denise that she was particularly fond of one man who proposed to her. I think that may have been Edmond.
    And, it appears that Edmund is still in love with her. That may explain why he doesn't have a wife. Perhaps, Miss Audrey is aware of Edmund's loyalty to her. Anyway, I am hoping for resolution, in other words, that Miss Audry realizes she can have both marriage and a career. I am hoping that she and Edmund marry. It seems to me that Miss Audrey, Katherine, and Moray, perhaps other characters too, are unable or unwilling to love and be loved. Moray pines for his dead wife. Katherine feels she is unworthy of love or doesn't know the difference between love and infatuation. She is stuck on infatuation, which is not love. She only feels good about herself when she is being charitable. Surely, she has some awareness of her spoiled, manipulative and selfish ways, or she would not be aware of how good it feels for her to give freely to needy children rather than for her to buy herself expensive clothes. Of course, Peter brings out her giving side. Moray only brings out her infatuated, selfish, manipulative side. I'm hoping Katherine learns the difference between infatuation and love and returns to her charitable ways.