ABC Family's 'The Vineyard' Recap: Episode 1 'Welcome to the Black Dog House'

By Anthony Vecchiarello,
Contains Spoilers!

This past Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 10 pm, people were tuned into the world premiere of The Vineyard on ABC Family. A reality show set on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts and a huge tourist and vacation spot during the summer season on the east coast. The beautiful almost paradise-like place attracts a group of young 20 something “wash-a-shores” which is a term used by the island locals meaning tourists and vacationers or in a negative anecdote; rich and preppy youths that cause trouble.

It begins with Katie Tardif who decides to go with her two friends Jackie Lyons, and Gabby LaPointe to work at The Black Dog General Store for the summer. Katie who has been dating her boyfriend Matt, for four years wants to see if he is really the one by experiencing the young summer culture and engulfing herself in the social life by “taking a break” from her man. Katie, Jackie, and Gabby are also staying at a summer house next to where they work along with a few other “wash-a-shores” such as Luis D’Agostino, Jonathon Franco, his buddy Daniel Lipshutz, Emily Burns, Sophi Alvarez, and Taelyr Robinson. The moment that Katie and her friends arrive at the house, Jon immediately shows off his muscular bode and makes an early attempt with Katie, by helping her bags and such. Jon convinces his buddy Daniel that Katie will be hers by the end of the summer, until tall, long haired, and bearded Luis arrives and gives Katie an overwhelming hug. Luis and Katie have been close friends for years and seem to have a history. Neither of Luis nor Katie knew that they would be going away this summer to the Vineyard. It is obvious from the start of their interaction that they have good chemistry.

Meanwhile, we see Ben Rossi coming home from the Coast Guard and greeting Cat Todd, a long time friend. Both Ben and Cat are the island’s locals. Later on that day, off the shore of the Vineyard in view of the Ferris, Ben tells Cat a secret she must keep. Ben who told his parents that he decided to leave the Coast Guard was actually kicked out after being caught drinking at a party. Cat then tells Ben that her mother kicked her out of her house after they had a huge fight; Cat and her mom have not been on good terms. Then Ben swore Cat to not tell anyone the truth because he trusts her. Cat promises.

The next morning, everyone has to get up for their jobs. Katie is helping manage The Black Dog store along with Jackie, Gabby, and Emily. Emily appears to be flirting with an older elegantly dressed man. We find out that Emily is into older men with money, Katie and her friends laugh and poke fun. Luis and Jon who are roommates in the house seem to have tension between each other due to the interest of Katie. Jon and Daniel head to their jobs, which is in boating. Luis then comes running down to the store late to his first day of work. He sees and talks to Jackie briefly who gives Luis a hard time since he’s late as he apologizes multiple times. After he’s told his job is boating he leaves. Jackie tells Katie and Gabby that she just found her crush and felt bad she yelled at Luis because as she says, “he’s so cute.”

When Luis gets to the dock, he is immediately chosen as garbage duty from Jon who is unfortunately his boss, while Jon is in charge of the ladies. Luis is not thrilled.

At The Black Dog Tavern, the company’s restaurant, Cat and Sophi are talking at a table. Cat grills Sophi and acts condescending towards Sophi when she says she’s 19 years old and this is her first job. Cat then stops by her mom’s house and begin to argue after Cat reveals to her mom that Ben was kicked out of the Coast Guard. Cat’s mom tells Cat she needs to focus on her future and not go out to parties or stay on the island. This part of the episode was my favorite because the interaction between them seemed very organic, and realistic.

Cat then runs into Shawn on his bicycle, a local friend of the island who also used to date her. Jon comes into contact of the two and is not welcomed by Shawn as he says he can’t stand “wash-a-shores” which then Cat explains to Jon after.

That night, the owners of The Black Dog Company throw all of its employees an annual kick off summer party that has been going on since 1971. During the party, Luis befriends Cat while Jackie continues to stare at Luis in the corner with Katie and Gabby. Emily whispers rumors to Sophi and Taelyr that Luis has a crush on Katie.

The next day, at the island’s shops, Ben runs into Shawn riding his bike (who seems to constantly ride his bike throughout the episode). Ben tells Shawn he left the Coast Guard and needs a new job until Shawn tells him he overheard that Ben was actually kicked out. Ben hearing this lies to Shawn by telling him he did leave. Shawn tells Ben he can hook him up with a carpentry and landscape job for the summer with his dad.

Jackie and her mother sit outside and discuss Jackie’s crush with Luis. Jackie’s mom tells her daughter that she “can’t look for the one, it just has to happen,” as advice to Jackie that she should make it known to Luis that she likes him.

Meanwhile, Luis and Katie are swimming and jumping off the dock at the house, splashing at each other and having a good time. Luis then tells Katie he met Cat last night at the party but is not interested in her because he does not want to get involved with a local girl but a girl who is well cultured, and smiles, just as Katie smiles.

Jon and Daniel head to a party of locals after Cat warns them not to. Ben and Shawn who are running the party tell Jon and Daniel to buzz off unless they bring girls which almost leads to an aggressive confrontation. Jon and Daniel finally leave.

Back at the house, Emily is cutting up Lemons, as Luis is starting a fire on the beach and Katie is getting dressed. When Luis comes into the house he tells Katie of the fire he made and tells her she looks nice. After he leaves Emily tells Katie that Luis has a crush on her and tells her she is leading him on even though she has a boyfriend. Katie immediately gets defensive and says her and Luis are only friends, tells her to drop it and does not appreciate Emily creating drama.

After work Ben is waiting on Cat. Ben tells Cat that Shawn told him that people know of his secret. Cat says she did not tell anyone but her mother. Ben not trusting Cat’s words tells her to never talk to him again and walks away.

That night, the people at the house decide to have a Bonfire by the shore. Luis makes a toast, and Jon hits on Katie. Ben and company come to the Bonfire and make a deal with Jon and Daniel that if they allow them to enter the Bonfire and have a good time, they’ll show Jon and Daniel the island and locals. They all agree and shake hands. The Bonfire turns into a mixer between the vacationers and locals. Luis finds out about Cat’s issue with Ben as Ben awkwardly ignores Cat. Ben starts up a conversation with Sophi and gets her number. Luis on the other hand walks over to Jon and Katie and tells Jon he needs to talk to him. Luis warns Jon to stay away from Katie because Katie is his good friend and Jon can hook up with any of the other girls. Jon agrees with Luis, but then walks back and continues talking to Katie. This then leads into a headed fight between Luis and Jon over Katie. Ben, Daniel, and some of the others break up the fight. Emily once again tells Katie Luis is into her as Katie looks down at the sand in disgust.

Well there you have the first episode. It was good. Although, it is a spinning image of Laguna Beach and has a lot of similarities to soap operas like Jersey Shore and The O.C., The Vineyard is a guilty pleasure. I’m usually not into these types of shows but this show is somewhat relatable to my own social life and friends. However, I would not recommend anyone watching this past 35 years old. They would most likely see this show as immature, annoying, and unimportant. This show is mainly geared towards teenagers, people in their 20's and some 30's.

However, there was one problem I did have with this episode been that it never showed where Cat was staying. If she got kicked out of her mom’s house, and is not living in the house with the “wash-a-shores” then where is she staying, inside a cardboard box on the shore? They also did not show much of Taelyr, is she working at the restaurant? What kind of character is she? Hopefully, we will found out in the coming episodes.

Surprisingly, I had fun writing this and I hope you had fun reading this. Stay tuned for next week’s episode on Tuesday July, 30 10/9 central on ABC Family as tensions and drama rise even further.

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