open_heart

Review: Open Heart goes for the heart

It’s been four weeks since the debut of Open Heart on YTV, and after being impressed with the first double-dose of episodes on Jan. 20, I decided to sit down and revisit the series. Not that I haven’t been watching—I have a day or two after the fact via PVR—but I wanted the series to simmer for a bit, for the characters and story to evolve before breaking it down and analyzing it. Are the characters still compelling? Is the mystery still interesting? Is anyone getting on my nerves? Has Open Heart kept up the drama it promised in Night 1?

Absolutely.

“In Plain Sight” picked up seconds after last week’s instalment, with Dylan making a quick list of the people who most likely knew about the drugs her father was taking. It was a short list: Nana, Papa, Mom and a big question mark after London. (Can I take a second to throw some kudos towards the on-screen messages that flash up every time Dylan is on a computer, tablet or cell phone? It’s an ingenious way of storytelling without wasting a camera shot over her shoulder all the time.)

What a doozy of an episode to pick to review. By the time the half-hour had closed out Dylan and London confirmed Richard was schizophrenic, taking meds and seeing a psychiatrist, they learned their mother was sleeping with Dr. K and Wes told Dylan he loved her.

It was a lot for Dylan to take in and I can’t help but worry for the girl’s health, both mental and physical. Discovering she could inherit her dad’s issues was bad enough, but uncovering his secret place—jammed with maps, sketches of a soldier, numbers, keys and the name Agent Sheppard scrawled over and over again—clearly rattled her. Luckily, London was there to support her both in the storage locker and when they confronted Jane about what she knew.

Speaking of London, I didn’t take any pleasure in her decking Dr. K. He had, after all, asked Jane to reveal their relationship to the girls. K just happened to be there at the wrong time and bore the brunt of London’s rage.

And while I’m happy Wes revealed his feelings to Dylan, I think Mikayla was too hasty when she told him to do it right away. With so much on her plate right now, Dylan could push Wes away until she can fully process her feelings toward him. Don’t get me wrong. I was thrilled that he built up the guts to do it—with some help from those cute seniors and Casablanca—but I worry she’ll spurn him and he’ll back off completely.

Notes and quotes

  • Despite initial reservations (I thought he was too geeky), London and Seth have turned into a fantastic couple.
  • I may be a little out of touch, but I’m pretty sure Mikayla was wearing Nikki Sixx’s pants from Mötley Crüe’s Theater of Pain tour.
  • I cried a little bit when Mikayla and Wes didn’t know what a VHS tape was.
  • “What happened to ‘Eat all the fries London?'”
  • “What in the hell?” I’d been waiting for that reaction from Dylan ever since Jane’s phone said she was at a hotel.

Open Heart airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on YTV.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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