Boystown Season Two By Jake Biondi
Boystown Season Two By Jake Biondi
In print, on the Internet, at the movies, and on television, for soap opera characters, life is not a bowl of cherries. More often than not, it is the pits, with an occasional cherry thrown into the melodramatic mix.
If the soap opera character is the member of a royal clan, be it Carringtons of Dynasty, the Ewings of Dallas and Knots Landing, or even the MacKenzie-Carsons of Peyton Place, life becomes harsher still.
That’s because, in order to propel a soap opera successfully forward, its characters must endure everything from the heartbreak of psoriasis, to the stigma of unmarried, adolescent motherhood. Happiness for the soap opera character is short-lived, sacrificed on the altars of ratings, sales, and TV Qs.
Be s/he hero or villain, the soap character’s happiness comes and goes with the scheduled frequency of the A Train.
But happiness is not the only commodity in short supply. Health is also an anomaly - something to be tasted briefly - in-between hospitalizations to heal near-fatal accident or fight injuries, to undergo organ transplants, or to endure edgy cosmetic surgeries that makes villainous characters look exactly like their benign counterparts.
So it follows that the Mancini family of Jake Biondi’s Boystown series constantly juggles personal tragedies: picking up one ball here, and then dropping another ball, there.
As Season Two opens, One’s wild cliffhanger plays out in continuous action. Following a wild shooting spree, the Mancinis are in the hospital, some healthy, others injured, their lives in jeopardy, with no Alex Trebek in sight. in need of healing, after the Biondi’s suds churn bigtime from the get-go, with the odds for happiness and health stacked against the Mancinis, their friends, lovers and business cronies.
If real life generated this amount of angst, grief and trauma, then most of us would be praying to a merciful God for death. But Boystown is not real life. As songwriters Schwartz and Dietz once put it, “That’s Entertainment!”
Deep down inside, Jake Biondi’s series is shallow, but it is also consistently engaging. The author jet propels his readers to gobble up page after soapy page.”
Even though character development is ankle deep, the citizens of Boystown resonate authentically. Biondi knows these people and their world. My best guess: most of the series characters have their real life equivalent in the author’s life.
Season Two gives us the return of Justin, the oldest of the Mancini brothers: the J.R. Ewing of this Chi-town clan. Justin, who has always aligned himself with his greed and power driven father, claims to have returned to mend fences with his siblings. He wants to make amends, or so he says. Frankly I’m skeptical when a dyed-in-the-venom soap character pleads: “I’ve reformed!”
Let’s face it: A goose will never be a peacock, and a soap opera roué will always be a cad. What’s more, upon his return, Justin’s first order of business is taping a blackmail video. Need I say more?
In Boystown Country, thoughts, actions and words are, as they say in the food service industry, “on the fly.” They follow one another like tracer bullets. They are never examined or evaluated – they simply are.
As with all things comprised of multi seasons, Boystown Season Two raises more questions than it answers. “Why did Ben really marry Jesse’s mother? What’s up with Cole’s mother? What kind of father will Derek be to the twins his wife is carrying? We already know the love of Derek’s life is not his devoted wife, but the hot young man who saved his life. And then there’s this intriguing query: Can a deceased nemesis return to stalk his flesh and blood prey afresh?
But why quibble with unanswerables? More than anything else, the Boystown series is an addictive, easy-go, guilty pleasure.
Biondi can successfully churn out these tomes, forever – if he so desires. And Showtime? It’s beginning to look as if HBO will not renew Looking for a third season. How about making Boystown your 21st Century series follow-up to QAF?
Not surprisingly, Season Two, is chockfull of graphic sex – this time, much of it is heterosexual. There’s carnal heat aplenty between Ben and Jacqueline. And then there’s a hot threesome between male twins and a busty female beauty.
That’s not to say that the boys don’t clock sufficient time between the sheets. They do. In fact, they do it while ill, injured and hospitalized.
What is it that they say? “You can’t keep a good man down,” or is it, “You can’t keep a good man from going down?”
I enjoyed Season Two but, quite honestly, not nearly as much as I did its progenitor. And so, I can only hang three and a half stars around Biondi’s neck for the sophomore season.
Having said that, I must add, “Bring on Season Three!”