Monday, February 05, 2018

Friday the 13th: The Series -- Season 1 Episode 4 (A Cup of Time)

It shouldn’t be that difficult to write a decent episode, especially if you’re taking on a social issue.  Law & Order managed to do this with the courtroom as a backdrop.  Star Trek took in issues using aliens to fill in when you couldn’t call out someone directly.

A Cup of Time was the first Friday the 13th episode to overtly have some sort of issue written into the plot.  The three previous episodes were about a murderous doll, a pen that allows you to write someone’s death, and a statue that makes someone love you.

Here, the episode starts with one of the main characters, Jack, trying to fend off Birdie, a social worker that seems to have taken a liking to him.  Meanwhile, Ryan has taken an interesting in an emerging rock star, Lady Die.  She’s putting on a concert for the homeless, which is kind of coincidental, considering that Birdie deals with the homeless.

Several have been murdered in a park recently.  This leads Jack, Ryan and Micki to eventually realize that one of their cursed items is being used to suck the life from the homeless person to make Lady Die look young.  They eventually get the cup, which Birdie steals and tries to use, but finds that she can’t.  Lady Die manages to evade capture, only to die of old age in her trailer at the benefit concert.

Considering that the series had a whole hour to work with, I’m surprised that this was the best anyone could come up with.  It’s weak in that it doesn’t really deal with homelessness other than a few throwaway lines.  I mean, we have an actual social worker that just popped up out of nowhere.  You’d think there would be a discussion about what it’s like living on the street.  Maybe we could see what someone has to go through to get help.  No.  Homelessness is little more than a plot device.

In the show’s defense, the main characters do manage to rescue a young girl from the street.  She manages to help the group out a bit and they manage to find her someplace to live.  Still, it comes off more as a feel-good moment than anything else.  I have to wonder if the early episodes were rushed to production.  It didn’t look like a lot of thought was put in to the writing.  I don’t remember many of the other episodes, but I’m hoping that they get better.

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