It’s a week later, and now I’ve seen the second episode of In Case of Emergency. The question is, of course, am I going to amend my opinions from my first viewing? No, no I’m not. It is true that the second episode simply wasn’t as good as the first, but the show still absolutely has something to it, something that is going to make me come back for at least a third helping. Whether or not I’ll be tuning in down the line for episode 8 is still up in the air.
This time out, our ICE boys (and girl) find themselves dealing with the aftermath of the previous night (the first episode). Sadly, they realize, it was not a dream. Sadly for us, the plot doesn’t go much farther than this. Everyone is trying to recover from the mistakes they made the previous day and in true comedy fashion they make things far worse before starting to head down the right track. Actually Greg Germann’s Sherman seems to still be headed downhill at the end of the episode, but his friends are there to help him and it seems clear that he will get headed in the right direction before too long.
The storyline between David Arquette’s Jason and the emergency room doctor (Lori Loughlin) is still a weak spot for the show. Arquette is a fun actor to watch, but forcing him entirely into puppy-love mode for an episode and a half has already started to grate. He needs more to do than simply follow around a doctor that’s not interested in him.
Jonathan Silverman’s Harry is at the heart of the show, with soon-to-be love interest Kelly (Kelly Hu). The two of them make a good pair on screen and, maybe I’m naïve here, but I actually think their characters stand a chance of being happy together. They spend the entire episode trying to get Kelly’s stuff out of her crazy cop boyfriend Frank’s house, only to (predictably) get stuck in a closet when he comes home in the middle of the day for lunch. (“Who does that?” Harry wisely notes in a nod to what the audience is thinking.) They, predictably again, get caught on their way out and have to make a quick getaway.
Actually, virtually every story beat in the episode is predictable, but the likability of the cast manages to trump the fact that the audience knows everything that’s going to happen before it does. While trading on the audience’s good feelings towards the stars of the show may make it safe in the short term, it doesn’t seem like a long term solution in place of a good plot.
I don’t yet regret saying that I think the show is funny, but I can absolutely see a world in which I could 6 episodes down the line. Should Arquette do nothing but spend time in the hospital following Loughlin and Germann still be on the same downhill spiral (a different one could be fine) in a month and a half and should Hu end up pining for her crazy cop boyfriend for that amount of time, I can’t imagine that it could be played (well) for laughs.