Friday, April 28, 2006

To thine own self be...

One of the first things that drew me into Everwood last season was the hesitant almost-relationship between bookish Hannah and sometimes-boorish Bright. What's kept me watching are the realistic and rewarding relationships among all the characters on the show. Often described as "family drama", Everwood is really about the human bonds that hold us all together, whether it's between friends, family, or lovers.

The most recent episode, "The Land of Confusion," was about the conflict that arises from trying to be true to yourself while still maintaining harmonious relationships with other people. My mom has always said, "Do what makes you happy, as long as you don't hurt yourself or anyone else." My mom's a wise lady, but sometimes that's easier said than done. All too often, we find ourselves compromising what we truly want for the sake of making others happy.

The characters on Everwood get that it's important, though. Throughout the episode, I noticed a few of them mention 'who they are' with serious weight, knowing that what kind of people they are and what they want in life deserve consideration.

"If we can't be who we really are, then who are we, really?" - Bright, talking about how he and Hannah can't seem to be up front with each other about some of their relationship issues.

"I can help change these kids. Show them who they are, or who they could be." - Ephram, explaining to Andy why he wants to teach piano.

"I deliberately changed who I was, a little, to be someone who I thought you wanted, until I couldn't even remember which was me, and which was faking, which is so ironic because they only thing you've ever wanted is for me to be myself." Hannah, apologizing to Bright for losing sight of her own needs in their relationship.

From what Bright, Ephram, and Hannah say, they all seem to understand that being honest with yourself and true to who you are is the first step to having an honest and truthful relationship with anyone else. Hannah sums it up at the end of the episode, when she tells her adulterous boyfriend: "We have to promise to be totally honest with each other about everything from now on, okay?"

Honesty is the best policy...or is it? I guess Bright will learn next week.


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