Welcome, Rockers - let's get ready to Tummmmbbllllle! The new season of MIOBI has finally started, and we here at “What Duvet Said…” plan on following it closely from start to finish each and every week both here and on the podcast. So let's get started with episode 2011, shall we?
The “New Normal” in Boulder seems a lot like the Old Normal as we find the Rock Girls - dedicated Payson, slippery Lauren, underdog Emily, and princess Kaylie - walking in four abreast to the Rocky Mountain Gymnastics Center for another demanding practice. Barely fifteen seconds into the show and Kaylie is already crossing her arms, pointing out the sacrifices these elite gymnasts need to make to get Olympic gold. But not all is as it seems this dark night, as suddenly the boys reveal themselves to be vampires, taking Payson down first and then taking a bite out of Lauren. Kaylie makes a dash for it, only to be blocked by her towering object of affection, Tucker Carlson - who also turns out to be a vampire, with an equally fanged Emily by his side. Fortunately, Sasha comes screaming up in one of those shiny expensive cars everyone on this show gets to drive, and they're off to be safe; that is, until Kaylie reveals herself to be a red eyed vampire herself!
Fortunately, it's all a dream (And it was all seen on the MIOBI YouTube Channel this past week). Unfortunately, it's not the dream that Kaylie has been living her whole life to fulfill. What makes a dream and what makes reality is the theme that runs through this first episode, as each of the girls have to grapple with their fantasy, idealized lives that seem so out of reach. Kaylie is not back at The Rock at all; she is sequestered away in the Willow Glen Eating Disorder Rehab (the charming stone announcing the locale is featured prominently enough in this episode to lead me to believe we'll be seeing much more of this establishing shot in episodes to come). And she is actually getting good help - if she'd only listen. The leader of her group therapy - rightfully so - points out that in dreams, every other person in the dream is really just an aspect of self. This line of analysis is quickly - and incorrectly - interrupted by Kaylie's new bunkmate, who asks about Kaylie's dream attack on Sasha as if he were a real person. I'm thinking that this girl isn't really paying attention and may not be the best pal for Kaylie.
|Drama? What drama?|
There's a new face to the National Gymastics Organization, a sort of caffeine free Don Draper wannabe who wants to keep a sharp eye on Emily to make sure she's - well, I'm not entirely sure; to pass judgement on Mrs. Kmetko, apparently, by showing up at 9pm at the Kmetko residence to shame Chloe for going to work at 9pm. Hey, pot - meet kettle! He may be on to something, though, as part of Emily's probation requires her to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet if she leaves Boulder. I may not be a fashion expert, but in my day, we called those anklets. I'm just saying. Don Draper Lite has got his finger on the pulse of the Kmetkos, since Emily blames her mother for the whole arrest thing anyway. I expect more from a girl who keeps stuffed animals on her bed right there in the living room where anyone can see them. And wouldn't you know it, there's a big exhibition going on in Denver, so Emily is shackled, in full view of the whole gym.
|Fresh meat...meet Max.|
It's all a ploy, though, as Carter still has the hots for Lauren and she for him, which they express demonstratively by dirty dancing with Kelly and Max, respectively. Turns out Max is a gymnast, too, and he's trying to decide whether to go train in Denver or train in Boulder at The Rock. Anyone taking a look at his digital camera would get a pretty good idea of where his beam is balanced.
At the very least he should stick with his separated-at-birth friend Tucker, who is the wisest Sage in all gymnasticdom. First he rightfully gives Emily perspective on her panicky pill-stealing crime, shifting the blame on Emily's shoulders instead of her externalizing it to her mother, which she quickly dismisses and storms off; then, when he finally goes to visit Kaylie in her rehab, he sticks to Recovery 101 by saying they cannot have a relationship until she's on the mend. Where did this guy get all his smarts, anyway? I sure hope he and Kaylie get together; he's a good egg. Even better, let Emily drop the Damon fantasy and get her with Tucker, he's way into her. Come on, ABC Family website, where's my poll for that!
Kelly Parker must have spent a good three minutes forgetting she was supposed to be screwing with The Rock Girls' heads so she needles Payson just enough to spill out the information that Sasha is in Denver. Payson instantly runs to get him, though she is soothed by those soothing smooth sounds of mom again. Just in time, too, as Max can find her and start taking even more pictures of her, since obviously the internet video he has instantly available on his cell phone isn't enough for him. By the way, who DID post that video on the internet? Could it be...
|Sasha before the bruising...|
Finally, though, we arrive to what we always love on MIOBI - a big gymnastics challenge, pitting the scandalous, distracted, emotionally flawed Rock Girls against the overly confident, sparkly shiny Denver Elite, led by the evil Kelly Parker and her horny head, in a sunny Denver courtyard where they're so keen on courting the 2018 Olympics back to America that they've moved Century City all the way to Colorado. Wise Old Tucker has come up with a satisfying plan to conceal Emily's anklet - leg warmers - for all! Which is just the perfect idea until it turns out, oh, leg warmers only work right side up. Emily does a handstand and, caught by the camera eye of Max (who I guess was trying to shoot Payson through Emily's leg), her monitoring device is revealed for all to see. Cut the music!
Cue the music! It's time for Max to drop his camera, his shirt, and his wishy-washiness about where he's going to train, because look at him go! He's out there flipping and jumping and showing the crowd just what a great gym the Rock is, even without a lime green leo. It's enough to get applause, but it's not enough for Emily, who, ever the heroine, and boy do we love our Emily, she takes the mic right out of the emcee's hand mid sentence to declare to the crowd she stole, but she is more of a Jean Valjean kind-of -thief than a James Caan kind-of-Thief. And yeah, she loves her mother. So much so that Lauren thinks she should love her only parent, too.
|Something wicked this way comes to Boulder.|
Is Kaylie falling further down the rabbit hole? Will she get the help she needs? Doesn't she watch Josie Loren's public service announcements? Is anyone other than Damon going to find out about Emily's mother's cleavage-baring night job? Will Steve hire a new coach? Why not Sasha's father, anyway? Who will get Sasha's old parking space? How long is Emily's probation and will the NGO dismiss her because she doesn't have a big fancy house? Will Lauren get outed as the perpetrator of getting out the Sasha video, and if so, will her dad throw her out of The Rock as threatened? Why is Emily's hair black this season and not that golden brown it was last season? Will Payson finally start paying attention to boys - this one boy, in particular? Will these dreams go on when I close my eyes? What do YOU think? Hit us up, let us know, and tune in next week to find out more! Also listen to our crack analysis on this week's “The Tank” podcast. Rock on, Duvetians!