I thought the Nick/Melanie scenes were adorable.
Too often when a couple is being tested, the actors go out of their way to banter all over the place, and it ends up feeling fake. With these two, it felt natural and unforced. I loved how Blake Berris was holding back a little and wasn’t trying to match her slightly zany energy. He had a certain bemused reserve that was appropriate for Nick confronted with someone like Melanie.
Even when Nick was trying to fool her, he wasn’t nervous and overeager. Instead he sat back and slowly reeled her in. It was a marked contrast to the Nick we saw when he met Chelsea, when he was so smitten and eager to please. I don’t think he ever recovered from that initial imbalance of power. It’s very, very nice to have this relationship start out with Nick putting one over on Melanie, especially when she thought that’s what she was doing to him. I love the double-double cross! I imagine that Melanie isn’t used to being fooled, so the fact that Nick was able to do so will grab her attention.
The show took the trouble, too, to give Melanie a hint of softness (which they didn’t do for Chelsea when she and Nick first met). Yesterday she defended him to her friend and said she thought he was cute, and today she had that great look of self-consciousness when Nick pointed out that there was more to this situation than Melanie was letting on.
I can’t wait to see more.