Going to summer camp is a singular experience. It’s devoid of many real world machinations which are instead substituted with campfires, talent shows, and like tonight’s episode, “Movie Night.” That this subculture, in this case a weight loss camp, centers its wheelings and dealings on certain themes is advantageous for a show depicting just such a summer experience. It gives the writers a chance to focus in on an idea and have the characters interact around the matters at hand, rather than forcing them into complex situations. And even when last week’s “Talent Night” seemed to devolve into typical teen drama fare, it still captured the essence of “camp” and all associated with the idea of spending time with strangers for the summer. Camp is loaded with tiny moments; little pieces of time that exist in a small vacuum. Huge is about summer camp and summer camp is about those quick snapshots of subtlety.

This episode was loaded with the kind of discrete storytelling, and character interaction that has driven Huge into one of the better shows on television this summer. The “little moments” made this episode. Those tiny pieces of subtext, the minutia of interaction. Will realizing Ian hadn’t read her journal (he’s still openly pining for Amber afterall), Chloe at the center of camp-wide rumor mill from the year before (without anyone really knowing), Amber as the object of affection from every guy except the one she wants, Alistair coming to grips with the evil that is his sister, and even Doctor Rand building her own fence against the surveyor sectioning off the camp’s property. “Movie Night” worked its points across the board without kowtowing to the typical teen viewer.

It’s refreshing that Huge would play its episode off of a Twilight-esque movie the kids are dying to see (in this case, the fictional Phantasma). In the Twilight world Bella yearns for some kind of forbidden love, while in the Huge world the kids are yearning for love they’ve been left out of from day one. None of them really get the game to begin with and can’t make heads or tails of it when it lands at their feet. Many of them are just searching for any kind of opposite sex, positive attention to begin with. Could we do without the Amber/George relationship? It compromises the whole premise a bit, and plays a little more to the teeny-bopper crowd than I would like, but at least they’ve kept it covert and implied rather than a definite turn of course. The rest of the couple story arcs make sense in the dynamic of a camp of kids looking for summer love.

“Movie Night” was a strong episode across the board and established a theme without committing to a course of action. Where I thought from last episode the rest of the season would play out with little surprise, I’m left thinking the writers have set up a dynamic camp world where things change on a summer whim.

Other thoughts

- Ian had a classic scene where he pushes his food away in disgust, but strictly out of his own need for dramatic effect. He never had plans to lay it aside. This is fat camp after all.

- Is there a more fitting band for Trent to like than Nickelback?

-Dr. Rand becomes more like one of the campers with every episode. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Tonight she took a quiz from a magazine to see if she liked Wayne the surveyor. Like I’ve said before, she has the most issues of anyone on the show.

- Great character movement tonight. This episode was about camp rather than just focused on one camper.

- Is Poppy really asexual?

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