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Chesapeake Shores: “Grand Openings”

Chesapeake Shores, S2 E6, “Grand Openings”

Written by David Maples

Directed by Mike Rohl

“I’m just going to throw in one more ‘sorry’ and bank it for the future.”

In exciting news from Chesapeake Shores this week, the O’Brien family ate breakfast! Then they ate dinner. That was pretty much it. Unfortunately the best parts of this week’s episode occurred when I made up my own all new alternative dialogue for the commercials. I felt particularly inspired by the ad for Edward Jones Investments. I transposed it so that instead of some generic financial counselor and her posh client, I did it as a scene between Kelly Ann Conway and a particularly aggressive member of the Mueller investigative team.

Most of the drama this week drew on the growing tension between Trace and Abby as their lifestyles clash. Country music star and high-level finance bigwig do not constitute compatible professions in a relationship, or at least that’s how it’s beginning to look. Trace brings back Leigh and John from Nashville, and they prepare for their big opening of the new nightclub. This requires Trace to spend almost all of his time and energy with his band members, which means falling back into night owl hours. Plus it looks like Trace and Leigh are going to be spending lots of time together since Trace wants to start writing the songs for another album. Such a comfortable feeling to watch your current love spending far more time with the ex who’s still interested in him than he could ever spend with you. Because that isn’t misery enough, Abby does such a great job at work that she gets offered another job. Not a different job: another job, as in an additional job to the one she already has. The exec offering her this so-called promotion flat out tells her that she would keep doing all of the stuff that she’s already doing, and add on becoming the regional VP.  In true corporate fashion, he makes no mention of doubling her salary. Even the thought of this made me want to run screaming from the room, yet Abby just calmly states that she doesn’t want to put in the extra hours. Somehow, though, by the end of the episode we are told by Trace that she has apparently accepted this horrifying offer. What’s worse than a job from hell? Two jobs from hell.

Jess spends this week’s show being annoying. She’s annoying every week, but usually she’s annoying and entertaining, being the show’s Guardian of Ridiculous Flounces. Sadly she does not flounce for us this week. She merely pesters and stalks her chef, David, about his background, his family, his innermost thoughts, his favorite breakfast cereal, etc. He teases her by refusing to divulge anything personal about himself, even when he catches her trying to look into his apartment like some kind of weirdo Peeping Tomette.

The Big Plot Device this week consists of a family dinner arranged by Nell to which she invites not only the entire family but all of the love interests or potential love interests of everyone in the O’Brien clan. The big build-up shows all of the O’Briens receiving texts inviting them and their dates: Bree invites Simon the schlocky trashy novel writer; Kevin invites the foxy firefighter from Philly; Connor invites his crush, the public interest lawyer with a soul; Jess brings David; and of course Abby brings Trace.

In ancient Rome, when the Emperor Nero hosted his dinner parties/orgies, the invitees would feign childbirth and death to get out of going. That tradition continues little modified in my family up to the present day. Apparently the idea of a family dinner does not throw other people into a mad dash to find ways to get arrested without bail, arrange for involuntary commitment to the hospital, or get picked up by a UFO. All of the O’Briens attend this great momentous family gathering voluntarily. Though it provides the perfect setting for vetting all of the future defendants’ behavior in their respective divorce actions, the most exciting thing that happens at the dinner is that Mick recounts a Thanksgiving turkey fry that went terribly wrong resulting in a Thanksgiving tuna dinner. Note to Hallmark Channel: family dramas which contain no drama miss the point (hence the title “family drama”).

The only other event of note concerns that second job offer of the week, which goes to Meg. Since she’s decided to stay in Chesapeake Shores, Meg starts looking around for employment. She interviews for a position but is told that she is way overqualified. The interviewer even begs her not to accept the position. Mick and Trace require one last permit before they open the nightclub, so Mick asks Meg to schmooze the City Council member in charge of these things in order to obtain the permit. When she approaches him, he starts talking about her impressive resume and tells her that she’s hired. Behind the scenes, Mick sent in Meg’s application for the dream job she didn’t know about and didn’t know that she wanted. Meg will now serve as the Chesapeake Shores’ Grand High Poohbah of Music and Art. That makes me wonder what Abby did in her former lives to warrant two horrible jobs, while Meg sees one great opportunity just drop into her lap.

Someone once said that happiness is easier to remember than to experience in real time. Often during those peaceful lulls between storms in our lives, we take daily happiness for granted and allow the small problems to overshadow the goodness in life. Perhaps this quiet uneventful episode of Chesapeake Shores serves to contrast tumultuous events ahead. Or maybe this was just a lull of an episode that left me a little flat. Time will tell.

Grade: C+

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Amy Anna was raised by wolves. She spends all her time eating and watching movies while lying on the couch . Her animal totem is the velociraptor.

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