Okay, I'd like to take a second to say how much I love the theme song! Venice Beach by Jen Foster.
All right, continuing on with the show. This is going to be a long one people. Lots of stuff going on under the surface.
First shot of the front of the restaurant is Susan Feniger’s Street If you have the means please throw a little support their way. They are listed on the sponsor page of Venice.
"Mmm." "Right?" "This food is amazing, and I have been dying to eat here and I couldn't get a reservation. So I don't understand why it's so empty right now." I listed to dialog to illustrate a point. We are three, count them three lines, four sentences into the scene and there is already so much to be gleaned, or surmised depending on your viewpoint.
First point is that Ani is comfortable. Whether she wants to be or not, she is comfortable enough with Lara to have not been hyper sensitive of her surroundings, she noticed the place, that was popular enough that she could never get reservation to, was empty, but it didn't unsettle her, or throw her off or distract her from 'Mmmm'ing the amazing food. Second point is that Lara is very attentive to Ani. She replies immediately to the 'Mmmm.' But she's not uncontrollably attracted to her. Most of the time that Ani is doing her cute ramble about food and reservations Lara is looking at her own plate. This could also be that she's hiding something. Either way, if she's on a date with Ani, I would think only quick glances to make sure you're not spilling in your lap or bringing and empty fork to your mouth. I mean, have you seen Ani? I mean captivating and intriguing even if you're not romantically attracted to her. Third point, there are candles on their table. Their aren't candles on the other table in view. With the fourth line, "Well, I just happen to know the chef, and she opened early for me." We find out so much more, but have more questions too. Lara is trying to make Ani feel special. Having the restaurant open early, getting candles on their table, if they opened early then was the chef their waitress too? How does Lara know the chef, and what would make her open early for her? Those are some awfully big stops for a first date too. Either Lara is completely smitten with Ani, or she's trying too hard either to cover something up or to 'win' her over. I am very curious about how Lara knows the chef. Surely not an ex-girlfriend? The way Lara glances away right after she says it could indicate that she's uncomfortable and she's lying or maybe just that Nadia needed to actually see the glass she was picking up. Lara needs to stop over explaining because it sounds like she's trying too hard to cover now, like she feels the need to defend Chef, and it looks like that how Ani takes it too with her amused smirk, then her eyes get all contemplative and her face goes thoughtful and serious for a minute. Then she pulls out of it and makes a choice to change the subject and learn about Lara. I'm not sure if it's just Nadia take on Lara or if it has to do with Lara's character, we haven't seen enough of Lara to know yet, but I'm not sure that I completely trust her. I can't tell yet if she's just apprehensive about sharing her personal childhood and emotional baggage with Ani, or if she's trying to remember or make up on the fly character history. Parents yelling all of the time to the point where it drives you to seek escape in books as a child is a bold thing to share on a first date, unless you're completely over it and brush it off, but it doesn't play like Lara is over it. Ani looks at once, concerned and a little taken aback maybe? Like she doesn't really know how to process what Lara has shared or the fact that she felt comfortable sharing it. It also explains why her favorite book is her favorite book. Story-time was safe, she felt loved and protected it was the one constant that was a good thing. A part of her is always going to cling to that. Even as an adult the book is going to bring back happy memories and an emotional security that is very deeply rooted. (If I ever come across a little flat padded yellow gingham duck like the one that I had in the pocket of my red corduroy overalls, I'd buy it.) I think I may have read Goodnight Moon once, when I was like 13 because I was waiting in the orthodontists office and didn't feel like reading RedBook, Field and Stream or Hot Rods and I'd gone through all of the Timbertoes comics in the Highlight's magazines. It didn't leave a huge impression on me, but I do know that it's a popular book as the reason I picked it up was that I'd heard it referenced several times in movies and television. Ani thinks that it's cute and endearing, she is however a tad bit uncomfortable with Lara going back to commenting on the yelling. However, if she's going to bring it up, then obviously she wants to talk about it, so Ani dives right in and asks. Ani does the internal dialog, always contemplating thing a lot. It makes me wonder if she's trying to figure out Lara or if she's just trying to figure out if she's in a place where she can handle everything that Lara brings with her. Ani's still emotionally attached to Gina, she wouldn't want to jump right back into a relationship with someone else much less someone else with issues. Or, she could just be bored and trying to think of a question to ask next, but I'm thinking that she's evaluating. Aw, Ani's an Annie Leibovitz fan. If you haven't seen it, the photo that Lara refers to is in the gallery on the PBS American Masters page along with other breathtaking images. Just click the link. It says a lot about Ani, she's moved by the spirit of the image and probably gets disenchanted in her job when a project has heavy technical specifications. She's probably more of a 'how does it make you feel in the end' person as opposed to a 'make sure you hit every check point along the way' person. I have to agree, I'm a 'Paul' girl too. Ani and Lara are adorable during this part of the conversation. With the mention of the photo, Lara has intrigued Ani. Here is where she secured the second date. Just an fyi for those keeping score. ;) Now Ani's questions are more off-the-cuff and she doesn't have to 'gear up' for them. I love the line about Lara having to share a bathroom with two other sisters and Ani says, "That's, not okay." Cute.
Okay, Ani's comment about her brothers beating her up is disturbing. She kind of plays it off with a smile, but it's only her mouth that smiles and even then it's more self deprecating for actually letting that little piece of info out. When she cuts her eyes to the side it looks like she's warding off getting teary eyed, then she looks down and takes a second to compose herself. I am not liking Ani's brothers. They really beat her up?!? That's what's not okay. I'd rather she had to share a bathroom than get beat up. She's still a little shaking when she says, 'They just tried to scare away anyone I dated." Can I go and beat up Ani's brothers now? She tries to laugh it off, but she's still hurting. Ani needs hugs! I like how Ani has family issues, but she doesn't let them define her. Her parents may be, "Pretty cool with it,"but I'm betting that Ani's glossing over a lot. Notice that she never once said, 'they are supportive' or 'they love me and just want me to be happy' she's taken what she was given and made the best of it and tries not to let it affect her personal life too much. The little giggle and eye twinkle after, "I would really like dessert," was great. So cute!
Sami is going to be good for Owen I think. Even if she turns out to be a bad person, the fact that she makes him aware and appreciative is a good thing. Her line, "I'd give anything for that," is a prime example.
I do like that Gina is a little skeptical and protective though. She is a little too perfect. It doesn't mean it isn't the truth, but it's a flag raiser.
I think it's cute that Ani and Lara were almost more awkward after the kiss than before. That was sweet.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Except of course where my protective streak kicks in and I want to beat up Ani's brothers.