Dreamcaps, The (Imaginary) Show Review: ‘Donovan’s Coast’

Zombie Carlos does his best to console Tamara on Donovan's Coast.

Zombie Carlos does his best to console Tamara on Donovan’s Coast. (Screenshots: Sprint, ABC)

Dreamcaps is a series in which I write recaps for episodes of TV shows that do not exist. That means I make up absolutely everything, except for the show titles, which are made up by YOU- if you have an idea for a show title you’d like to see recapped, tweet @jennyjaffe! This week’s title comes from @economybacon

Donovan’s Coast

Season 26, Episode 22 ??? out of 10 How can I even begin to rate Donovan’s Coast? For one thing, I’m not an objective party; I’ve got fond memories of watching it with my mom when I was home sick from school, and of scheduling college classes around its airtime, and of pretending to make fun of it with my classmates when what I wanted to say was “I’m really very obsessed with this show in an unironic way”. I would have been laughed out of NYU. Then there’s the fact that it’s not good, it’s just not, and I know it’s not but I can’t bring myself to care. Every episode deserves zero stars and ten stars at the same time. Every performance is atrocious and Emmy-worthy. How do you quantify a show with no aspirations beyond providing an hour’s entertainment and moving product? In some ways it is the purest form of bread and circuses. I am charmed by its lack of pretense, and by Donovan Chambers, who spends 80% of this episode shirtless, and the other 20% pants-less. For all my fellow Donovan Devotees, this is an episode we’ve been waiting for ever since Harmony got back from her Doctors Without Borders trip to Sri Lanka. We knew a Harmony/Donovan romance re-kindling was inevitable, but I thought we’d have to wait a little longer to see it happen. After all, Harmony is still technically married to billionaire boat inventor Trent Blainesman (even though it started as a greencard marriage for her, they’ve developed genuine affection for one another as time has gone on), and Donovan hasn’t recovered from the revelation that only one of Norah’s triplets was his. So it was a pretty big shock that the first scene of the episode was Donovan waking up in Harmony’s bed with Trent banging on the door. Flash back to one week earlier, with Harmony getting off the plane from Sri Lanka (into an airport terminal that is pretty clearly Jeff and Timberley’s living room with a bunch of signs that say “terminal” hung up). She is disappointed that Trent has sent his driver, Damien, to pick her up instead of meeting her there himself, especially since she and Damien never reconciled after their tempestuous affair from Season 22 ended in the death (and later, reanimation) of hotel impresario Carlos Rivera.  When Damien accidentally lets it slip that Donovan and Norah are no longer together, it becomes clear that Harmony may still have lingering feelings for him. Speaking of Donovan, he’s finishing up a long day of surfing when he gets a letter from his estranged mother, Tamara, asking if she can come stay with him now that his uncle, who she had been living with, is dead. In a half-to-the-camera soliloquy, Donovan realizes that if his mother comes to his house she’ll find evidence that her daughter, and Donovan’s half sister, Portia, has escaped from prison. So he hatches a plan to blackmail Zombie Carlos into letting Tamara stay indefinitely at the hotel. Harmony comes home to find Trent and Waverly deep in conversation, she assumes the worst, but doesn’t know Trent is actually helping her take revenge on her brother, and Trent’s key boating business rival, Kevin, who’s been secretly laundering money from his mob connections through Waverly’s orphanage. Harmony storms out and immediately calls Timberley from a pay phone (why doesn’t Harmony have a cell phone? It’s 2016. Also, someone needs to tell hair and makeup that “feathering” isn’t really a thing anymore). Timberley invites Harmony over to collect her thoughts, but little does she know that Donovan is on his way over to see Jeff to get him in on the blackmail scheme. When they both arrive at the house, Donovan and Harmony initially fight about who stopped contacting who—and, in a plot twist straight out of The Notebook, realize that Trent had been intercepting their letters. Furious that the husband she thinks is cheating on her could be such a hypocrite, Harmony seduces Donovan, and, to make the revenge that much more sweet, has him come to her house so that Trent can find them in bed together. The episode ends with Harmony telling Trent to come into the bedroom—and with Trent drawing a gun on Donovan. So, listen, is it good? Not particularly. Does any of it make any sense? Not really. Does the plot flow together in a cohesive way, presenting conflict and resolution in equal measure? Absolutely not, it’s a complete nonsense plothole clusterfuck. But do I love it? More than Donovan loves Harmony.

Dreamcaps, The (Imaginary) Show Review: ‘Donovan’s Coast’