Totally Completely Fine (DVD) Review
Viv may appear meek, but she is no obedient follower. When natural disasters begin to pile up, and a new religion’s prophecies indicate its end time is near, while her parents’ bodies appear carved out of the ceiling in their bedroom, she decides it’s time to change her passive persona and find answers for herself.
She interrupts a celebration at Kiriakis Mansion and tells John she wishes to return her figurines; however, he doesn’t trust her and refuses.
The first episode
It has the potential to set an exciting story, yet this one gets sidetracked by its ambitions. The writers seem intent on trying too hard to craft both thriller and trauma exploration narratives simultaneously, which results in shows like this not always working as well as they could.
The first episode focuses on Vivian Apple’s journey. She lives in a dystopian world beset with natural disasters and disease. Society is in disarray as millions turn to Church of America cult members to believe they will be saved from Armageddon by an event known as The Rapture; although she doesn’t believe, her parents do, and on its night, they vanish along with thousands of others.
Vivian finds herself abandoned in a strange world without anyone to help her survive until she meets a girl named Sarah, who helps her out, and they eventually form an unlikely bond. Sarah soon exposes some dark family secrets that have been kept from Vivian all this time.
Vivian struggles to adjust to her new surroundings by performing various forms of investigation, attending wakes at the Kiriakis mansion, and trying to reach Philip, whom she knows to be her biological father.
Vivian is an engaging protagonist. Rarely in young adult novels can we find female narrators who manage both kindness and curiosity; she possesses these characteristics in abundance, which makes her stand out. Additionally, unlike some characters that might narrate them, she doesn’t gripe about how unfair life is or aim at everyone she encounters, which makes for a refreshing read.
Vivian is precisely the sort of female protagonist I can support in today’s postmodern society. She initiates road trips, handles sled hammers without hesitation, and even kisses a boy with blue eyes without seeming unkind; yet all these activities remain within the bounds of being an upstanding citizen.
The second episode
Vivian Apple lives in a world ravaged by natural disasters and plagued with a new religion’s promise that the Rapture will save mankind. While she does not subscribe to it herself, many do, including her parents. When their body suddenly vanishes through a circular hole in their bedroom ceiling, it falls upon Vivian to act.
At first, Vivian seems like a passive character whom no one takes seriously or fearfully. But as each episode progresses, she becomes more assertive in her search for answers; not only is she courageous, but also curious and kind – plus her cheeky sense of humor makes her stand out amongst the rest of the characters in the series!
Harp, her best friend, buoys Vivian’s newfound determination. While Vivian tends to be shyer, Harp can be wild and free-spirited and loves hooking up with guys. Over time, Vivian realizes she can do much more than she initially believed possible.
Through brutish measures instead, she manages to rescue a runaway bride. At the end of it all, she learns that one of her father’s sisters is actually her long-lost older sister despite the latter’s rather disturbing appearance, and they quickly become close.
When Carlton receives a text from Vivian asking him to come back, he hesitates but eventually agrees. Once there, he was surprised to see her wearing an unusual red dress with a gold headpiece.
Vivian decides, after much discussion with Edward, that they will go out for dinner together, although she feels uneasy in their company as she believes he may try to take advantage of her. Still, she decides to join him; Edward attempts to impress Vivian by buying her an expensive dinner.
However, Vivian has grown discontented by her partner’s constant texting her. Additionally, she feels betrayed that they haven’t heard from him recently, leading her to suspect that he might leave.
The third episode
Totally Completely Fine is an irreverent little gem of a show featuring Thomasin McKenzie as an impudent twentysomething who drinks, smokes dope, and takes illegal substances. Additionally, she inherits a waterfront house kept close to the cliff edge that attracts suicidal people looking for somewhere they can end it all; though Thomasin doesn’t take this well at all, her house gives her purpose and gives her reason for living.
Vivian uses her house to keep herself busy by helping those in need of support. While her methods might not always be accepted by peers, Vivian has an open heart and a strong sense of humor, which help her cope during difficult times. She’s not afraid to take matters into her own hands either – back then, women were generally seen only working if necessary, and it wasn’t seen as something they did to support themselves or the family financially.
So when Vivien unexpectedly arrives at Kiriakis’s mansion and announces she’s paying tribute to her late husband, she knows it may not be appropriate, yet she attempts to maintain equilibrium as best she can.
Vivian’s other major challenge lies in her relationship with Jordan. Their past has been turbulent, so the last thing she wants is for him to uncover her past – however, she keeps speaking her mind anyway! Vivian is determined to do whatever is necessary in order to protect her son.
She may well end up pulling a gun on Dimitri if he attacks her son again and is playing an increasingly risky game of chicken with him, though she may ultimately succeed at doing so and be hurt as a result of doing so.
On Monday night’s series finale of Titans, Kate will likely become alarmed at finding out about its Titan scheme and may also discover Philip’s real identity, possibly learning about John D being his biological father as well.
The fourth episode
The fourth episode of Totally Completely Fine is the one that most captures what the series is trying to achieve, getting to the core motivations for Vivian (Devon Terrell). Unfortunately, however, some scenes feel off – for instance, when Dane (Devon Terrell) instructs Vivian and Amy on how to deal with suicidal ideation by having them jump off a cliff before running back, it feels more like an awkward training montage from a movie, than anything else.
Unfortunately, this scene would have been influential in showing just how effectively Vivian had adopted her grandmother’s methods of education. Unfortunately, the episode quickly drifts off track from this intriguing premise and begins focusing on relationships among characters instead. This, unfortunately, tends to dilute its darker elements, which don’t always come across as well-realised. Vivian storms into a wake at Kiriakis mansion to announce her plans to honor Anna Delvey; she is met with disdain by mourners despite Kacy having been in a similar position previously: as ghostwriter behind ‘How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’ which would later become Hustlers and has an ongoing lucrative career since.
Vivian’s attempt at turning Titan into an illegal drug operation is one of the more unexpected moments on this show. She might be successful if she took more interest, but instead, she seems disengaged from the project altogether. When Vivian attempts to convince Chad that turning the company into an illegal drug operation will keep Gabi happy, it becomes pretty ridiculous – I bet Theresa felt more embarrassed than she let on!
Victor’s will was an intriguing development, yet I don’t expect that it will drastically alter anything. If we can verify its validity without Vivian paying off a judge to dispute its contents, this heirloom could become invaluable over time.