Main cast: Lea Thompson (Sylvia Vane), Britt Leach (Joe the Pawnbroker), Brett Cullen (Ronnie Price), Pamella D’Pella (Raven), G Smokey Campbell (Smitty), Burke Byrnes (Mack the Cop), and John Kassir (The Cryptkeeper)
Director: Howard Deutch
Only Sin Deep, obviously a play on the term “only skin deep”, is about Sylvia Vane, a young lady whose greatest asset is her beauty. Only, despite selling her wares on the street, she still hasn’t made enough money from her looks to get the good life that she feels she deserves. So, she decides to rob her fellow streetwalker Raven’s pimp, killing him in the process, before running off with his jewelry. Alas, the pawnbroker refuses to take the jewelry, as he feels that the bling-bling is “too hot” for him to sell without getting into trouble. He offers her another option: if she will pawn off her beauty to him (he will make a mould of her face and then do magic over it), he will give her $10,000. She has to come back with repayment, plus interest, in four months, however.
Actually, what Joe wants is to use her beauty as part of a magical ritual to preserve the looks of his long-dead wife’s corpse. Don’t ask. Back to Sylvia, she uses the money to buy nice things to wear, and soon snags a wealthy husband, Ronnie Price. He’s an ass, but who cares, he has money, woo-hoo. However, she soon forgets about the four-month deal with Joe, and that’s when things start to go really wrong for her.
This is a rather odd episode, because it just doesn’t do anything. Things just happen, I nod, and then the episode ends and I nod my head again before forgetting the episode completely. Because every character is a caricature of weirdos nobody wants to come close to, much less spend time with, there is no room to develop any feelings for these losers. Sylvia is simply too stupid for words, and other characters remark on this, so it’s hard to feel smug or jubilant as her comeuppance, as our poor girl comes off as too dumb for this world and she’s better off leaving it for more forgiving places. She kills her husband and tries to pawn off expensive things for her beauty back, and when that fails, she… runs off with the mould of her face while leaving those expensive things behind. Like I’ve said, too stupid to live. Joe’s thing with his wife is barely touched upon, so I don’t care about that. In the end, this one is one of those “So what?” TV shows.
Perhaps if the episode has been longer, there may be more chances to develop it further. As it is, I’ve seen it, and that’s about it.