Dec 31, 2023

"The Resort": Paranormal murder mystery at a Mexican resort, with a gay couple


The Resort, on Vudu, is a murder-mystery tv series set on the Mayan Riviera, where rich people go sunbathing and ignore the Mayan ruins. It features a gay couple, both named Ted, so I'm in.  I reviewed Episode 1, "The Disappointment of Time."

There's a NSFW version of this review, with butt and bulge pics, on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

Scene 1: The airport shuttle stops at Akumal, a tropical resort. Wait -- did it knock over a vase?  Noah (William Jackson Harper, right, kissing Tony Cavalero in another movie) and his wife Emma exit.  Manager Luna gives them bracelets that will "get you everything you need "Even heroin?"  I didn't know that this was a comedy; the previews make it look like a murder mystery.

It's their tenth anniversarym but they don't seem particularly lovey-dovey.  They don't even sit together in the golf cart.

Scene 2: In their room, they bump fists and then collapse onto separate beds.  No smooching?  Ok, one kiss, but Noah complains that Emma's breath stinks. 

Scene 3: Time for dinner, but Noah is asleep -- time lag, he says, although it's only a three hour time difference.  Emma watches tv, then examines a mysterious scar on her belly (this will become important later) and hits the pool.  She checks an online quiz to see if she should dump Noah. He's not cheating, so no....

Scene 4
: Emma snoozing and hungover on a tour bus while Noah talks to an older gay couple, Ted and Ted (Parvesh Chena, left, Michael Hitchcock). They are obviously hot for each other, although they've been together for decades.  

Their secret: every seven years they visit somewhere they've never been before (Laos, Memphis, and now Mexico) to see if they want to stay together.  Maybe they've changed.  Maybe they no longer make each other happy.  So far, so good, 21 years. 

They arrive, and ride go-karts through the jungle. Darn, I thought they were going to Chichen Itza.   Emma lags behind.  Whoops, she crashes and tumbles down into a ravine. While down there, she finds an antiquated cell phone.  She hides it before the others come to rescue her.

Scene 5:  That night, in a bar.  Emma the Alcoholic wants a drink, but Noah insists that she can't have any alcohol due to the pain meds from her injuries.   The Teds arrive and ask how she's feeling.  She excuses herself and goes out to the pool to check on the fossilized cell phone.  Why so mysterious?  I'd be showing it to the others right away.

Later, as Noah snores, she sneaks out to an all-night cell phone store and buys a phone like the fossilized one she found.  She transfers the SIM, charges, and voila, it works!  Pictures of Sam (Skyler Gisondo)  being licked by a dog, watching fireworks, meeting a girl in a UCLA sweater, drawing cartoons, and at the Oceana Vista Resort!

Messages from 12/26/07, the day after Christmas 15 years ago. "Call me," from Mom. "Where are you?" from Dad.  "I am so sorry," from Hanna.  

Scene 6: A cabbie takes her to the Oceana Vista Resort.  It's deserted, locked up, overrun with vegetation.  He could have just said that.   "People died in there," he explains. 

Scene 7: Back in the hotel room, Emma googles "Oceana Vista"  It was destroyed by a "rogue holiday hurricane" on December 27, 2007, the day after Sam went missing..  Actually, two tourists went missing, Sam and Violet.  They were apparently unacquainted.  "Nothing about what happened made any sense," the detective said, "But I suspect foul play."

Scene 8: Flashback to December 24, 2007.  On an airplane, Sam is working on a cartoon about women with large breasts and butts unloading stuff from the overhead bins.  He shows his UCLA-sweatshirt girlfriend. She wants to know what it means.  "Nothing.  Not everything has to have a deeper meaning."  Is that a challenge, Sam?  

She thinks it's a commentary on the American tourist industry exploiting local cultures. Maybe this couple will visit some Mayan ruins instead of playing on go-karts.

While they are discussing how much they love each other, the guy across the aisle, Carl (Dylan Baker),  asks his wife if Sam might be gay.  "He has a girlfriend!", she protests.  "A lot of my gay friends used to have girlfriends."  She doesn't believe that Carl has any gay friends.  He appears in four episodes, so he must be important.

Scene 9: They'll be in Cancun in two hours.  Uh-oh, girlfriend's phone is buzzing, and she's asleep!  Sam checks: A text from her professor, asking her to text him when she lands.  Hmm -- a little teacher-student nookie going on?  Then: "Had fun tonight!" A photo of some male-female legs intertwined. "Anal sex tonight?"  A dick pic!  Hanna says that she's falling in love with him on December 18th,  six days ago!  

Carl from across the aisle notices the dick pic, and cries out in horror.  Sam slams the phone shut.  

Scene 10: Back to the present.  Noah running along the beach.  He returns to Emma showering and thinking about the missing tourists. While she is occupied, Noah thinks about checking her cell phone for evidence of cheating, but changes his mind.  He rummages in her purse and finds the antique cell phone. 

Scene 11:  Breakfast buffet. Noah mentions seeing the antique cell phone fell out of her bag.  But it was buried deep!  "Were you snooping?  Do you think I'm having an affair?  

After storming out, she changes her mind and gives him the details that she got from Sam's phone and Google: 22 year old college kid who went missing on the day after Christmas, 2007.  Later that day, another tourist went missing, too, but they didn't know each other.  Before the police could investigate, a huricane conveniently destroyed the resort (does she think that the murderer caused the hurricane to cover their tracks?)  And a body washed up on the beach that wasn't Sam's.   

"I'm going to solve all this," she announces.  Rather a bit of hubris. 

"What if there are no answers?" Noah asks.

"There have to be, because otherwise what's the point?"  Of the tv show?

Scene 12: Noah and Emma examine the phone's photos in more detail.  A lot of cat photos, Sam's girlfriend Hanna. "I'll bet she's cheating on him," Emma says.  "She has that look."

The trash folder has tons of deleted messages, and a photo of Sam and Violet, the other missing person, together.  They did know each other, or else they got very chummy on Christmas Day!

Scene 13: 
We flash back to Sam and Hanna arriving at the resort.  The couple across the aisle are apparently Sam's parentsBut wouldn't they know if he was gay or not?  Why they go off, Sky rides his skateboard down the hallways.  Violet walks past him to greet her Dad.

Luna, the manager of the 2023 resort, is working in housekeeping.  She looks down on the pool, where everyone is gawking at a decapitated iguana. The mysterious, back-of-head-only Baltasar (Luis Gerardo Mendez, below)  investigates.  He looks up at Luna and makes a throat-cutting gesture just as Sam zooms by on his skateboard.  I guess he's the human sacrifice to the storm gods.

Sky almost collides with Violet.  Meet-cute, Girl of My Dreams slo-mo music. The end.

Beefcake:  None in this episode, although we'll see some bare butts later

: Looks like we'll see Noah and Emma learning how to love again juxtaposed with the mystery of what happened to Sam and his meet-cute girl 15 years ago. The mysterious Balthazar and Luna the former housekeeper also appear to be dating.

Gay Characters: Ted and Ted.  Interesting that they cast a gay couple to demonstrate what a healthy relationship looks like.  However, they only appear in two episodes.  

Plot Twists:  Episode synopses suggest that there will be a paranormal explanation for the disappearances, but maybe that's a misdirection, and there are no answers, like in Picnic at Hanging Rock.  Two characters have already alluded to the possibility that "it doesn't mean anything."

My Grade:  A-.

1 comment:

  1. The "Sam is gay" hints go on and on. Dad: "Why do you want to ride a banana boat? It looks like a big dick." Sam: "Maybe I like riding big dicks, Dad."


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