Cub Reporter

Previous Jack and Jennifer post: Redemption 101

The story of Sally and baby Hannah is just kicking off on my DVDs. I think it’s quite clear that this is a chem test mini-storyline for Jack and Jennifer. I love the way the show used to do these. They usually kept them short and interesting, and they provide novelty simply from a cast mixing perspective. Then if the chemistry doesn’t work out, the show can just quietly move on because they haven’t committed to anything.

The background: a homeless girl named Sally holds up the Brady fishmarket, and in the process accidentally shoots one of Jennifer’s friends. Sally is pregnant, and she confides in Jennifer that she wanted to get arrested, so she could have a roof over her head for her baby.

Baby Hannah

In this scene, Jack is prying into Jennifer’s files. This is a little creepy, but it works for where we are now. We’re not sure if Jack’s interest in Jennifer is a bad thing, so this fits right in with that ambivalence. (Incidentally, I find Jen’s teenage, self-consciously melodramatic musings on the computer to be quite endearing.) More importantly, seeing that interest at the beginning of the scene makes us less inclined to think he’s just being a big jerk when he is overbearing and condescending as she pitches her big story. Or rather, it makes us look beyond his overbearing attitude, and try to see what is behind it.

There are definitely some flickers here. First, Jack gives her an implicit compliment by agreeing that it is a big story, at the same time he’s being unfair to her by taking the story away.

Later (in a scene not in the clip above), Diana gives the story back to Jen. She accuses Jack of never really intending to take the story from Jen, and just stringing her along for his own amusement. Here’s another layer. Was Jack was just needling Jen so he could see her arguing passionately for something she believes in? I think Jack likes it even as he mocks it. He might also be testing her a little bit. Is she really committed to being a reporter? Or is it just something to do on her way to cheerleading practice?

Next Jack and Jennifer post: Acting choices

3 thoughts on “Cub Reporter

  1. It’s fun seeing the very beginnings of another supercouple again. The age/maturity difference between Jack and Jennifer really stands out here and it’s interesting that it never seemed to bother anybody and, as time goes on, it’s not something that seems as apparently anymore. But here, for me, it really is.

    In any case, I love how Jennifer won’t give up on the story and the bit of admiration we see from Jack about that. It’s a nice way of showing his growing interest and allowing it to be about her journalism skills, rather than something more personal is also a nice touch.

  2. You know what I love about this mini-storyline? It creates opportunities for present and future character/relationship development for both Jack and Jennifer. For example, the fact that Jennifer eventually gives Hannah up creates an opportunity for Jack to discuss his feelings on being adopted, and also allows him to see Jo’s point of view and how difficult it was for her to give him up- which spurs their eventual reconcilliation. From Jennifer’s point of view, Jack’s willingness to help with the Hannah situation shows her his softer side and makes her realize he’s not so much of a villian as everyone believes- which in turn makes the audience see him a little differently as well. Very well done.

    On a sadder note, I am with you, Mary, on the current Days viewing. I stopped watching in September and doubt I will go back. It is much more fulfilling for me to revel in the old “days” than cry over the new ones. Thanks for continuing your blog, though. It is still a bright spot for many of us, I know.

  3. Thanks, domina89. I think you’re absolutely right about this storyline sowing seeds for present and future development. I haven’t gotten too far into it at the moment, but I love how it isn’t just about Jack and Jennifer, but Jack and Jo as well.

    esp, I hadn’t thought about how Jack’s interest in her journalism skills—rather than just being a physical attraction—helps us to start to see it more positively. I love the creepy element at the beginning of this, because it makes Jack’s attitude later, when he’s pushing her away, more well-grounded in reality. But this starts to soften it.

    And I totally agree about the age difference. Watching the DVDs and seeing her with Emilio before this really brings home how much a part of the teen set she really was.

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