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Thursday shows I saw on Thursday.

*posts and runs* I've spent far too much time working on this in the last 48 hours, and now I have about SIXTEEN MILLION things to do (including the rewriting-from-scratch of the paper I wrote on Thursday night because I lost the draft due to my own idiocy, and which in my further idiocy I have not worked on since), so I'm updating LJ and then I am walking the hell away from TV.  For all practical intents and purposes, it does not exist this week.  

Dear Self: This also means that TV Squad, Television Without Pity, The Recapist, and any other site which might ruin all the fun of later watching an episode do not exist.  Understood?  Fabulous!  (here's hoping the copy-pasting from Word doesn't have formatting issues, because that would make me cry)
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Thursday night was crazy.  Started out with me skipping Survivor to squeeze in a shower, and then hurriedly fleeing the apartment because my roommate was on the phone and appeared to be having a meltdown over her own homework, and I somehow felt that she would not appreciate me casually turning on TV and vegging out for another 2 hours while she struggled to get things done.  I ended up watching my shows in another building’s nicely deserted lounge, on a nice comfy sofa, on a massive TV.  I sat through 25 minutes of 30 Rock (I still do not understand why it is on the air.  It bores me to tears), and then – then it was time for The Office.

Words cannot accurately describe how much I was looking forward to this episode.  Other than the CSI premiere, it has been a really long time since I had my stomach fluttering with butterflies in anticipation of an hour of TV like this.  I’d been hunting spoilers and gazing at promo pics for days, imagining how things might play out.  And Office did not disappoint.

Money”

It took me a really long time to figure out what I was going to say about this episode, because it is Monday and I am still an incoherent and babbling mess.  I tried to write an outline to organize my thoughts, and it came out like this:

 

  1. ASLDJFASKLDFJASKL;DFJASDF.
  2. FLAIL.
  3. JIM AND PAM.
  4. SQUEE!
  5. GARBAGE.
  6. JIM AND PAM!
  7. DWIGHT (WHAT).

[Note: I’m not going to get that much more detailed, actually, because despite being listed first this is the last review I wrote and there is a flaming ball of homework threatening to eat me alive.  Believe me, I wanted to go on for about 3 pages discussing every non-Michael scene in detail.] 

 

It took me a while to warm up to this episode, and I was frustrated by how frequently they cut away from the beet farm scenes, but then suddenly, MONEY SHOT.  Every wasted second of season 4, up to and including all the scenes at Michael’s telemarketing job and Andy’s continued existence, was immediately forgiven for the money shot of Pam leaning back in Jim’s arms on the bed.  I don’t even know how I paid attention for the rest of the episode, given that I kept scrolling “Squee!” across the notebook in my lap, as soon as screenshots went up I spent literally 15 minutes just staring at this scene, and it is now the background image on my computer.  Lava lamps have nothing on this image.  I am currently fighting not to minimize this screen right now.

 

It’s just so perfect.  A nice, quiet moment before bed, in their very casual and therefore adorable sleepwear, where she fits perfectly tucked between his legs and under his chin, with his arms wrapped around her.  Even knowing about the overnight stay, I never dreamed we’d actually get to see something like this.  And they’re both look so relaxed and happy…Jim in particular has this fond smile on his face; he looks as if he’s never been so content in his life.  Even with Dwight in the room.  (I am completely blocking out the image of Mose rocking back and forth in the corner, though, which is just unpleasant.  For some reason, that spoils the mood in a way that Dwight reading Harry Potter doesn’t.) 

 

I loved the subsequent sequences of the light being flipped on and going to investigate things that go bang (and/or moan) in the night, especially the second one.  Yes, my heart gave a little skip at the “Your turn” comment.  So ready for babies.  Or at least a homesick puppy.

 

While it continues to mystify me that I can feel sorry for Dwight, I do.  He broke my heart about five separate times in this episode, between the moaning and the dejected recorder playing, but the worst was when he couldn’t even muster up enough energy to finish insulting Jim.  That’s like a dog turning down fresh bacon. 

 

And my heart bleeds for the fact that while Pam, like the audience, is able to find a tiny bit of humor in the fact that Dwight is this distraught over Angela, Jim looks completely solemn as dark visions of season 3 (oops, those were my dark days) 2 flash through his head.

 

I don’t even know what to say about the stairwell scene, except that I think moments like this are how I gradually stopped hating Dwight.  Because Jim has endless amounts of fun pulling pranks on him, but he also, weirdly, cares about the guy, and is capable of being a good friend.  It was very satisfying to see Dwight gradually stop moaning like a wookie and start listening, despite continuing to hide his face in the corner, and actually look affected by Jim’s confession…(*heart breaks again*)  Dwight!  Your pain is my pain!   

 

Finally: I have come to the conclusion that despite my repeated efforts to deny season 3’s existence, it did in fact have a purpose – now we get to relive all the classic moments from season 2!  For example, CASINO NIGHT: REDUX.  As soon as the camera caught him heading towards the door (I’m convinced there was a rapid-fire text message from Stairwell Camera Guy to Office Camera Guy reading something like “FILMDOOR111”), I knew, but I still didn’t have time to prepare before he took her face in his hands and kissed her full on the lips, and I literally EXPLODED FROM SQUEE.  I have even more trouble describing the perfection of this moment than the bedroom one, but there was just so much in both his expression and action, that need to go to her, touch her, reaffirm that this real and those days are past. I’ve replayed it about, oh, a hundred times and I still can’t believe how thrilling it is, even though it’s about 2 seconds long.

 

And I love that Pam kisses him right back (hand on face, yay!) without hesitation, and only afterwards is she like “…oh my God, everyone could see that!”  But she’s still happy.  I love that she hides her face behind the paper because she can’t stop grinning. 

 

Other things (wait, there were other things??)

-The Devil Wears Prada opener was, oddly enough, a moment of Michael being funny.  I’d forgotten how that worked.  I think I even laughed!  Although I was mostly focused on how much I love that little unicorn pendant of Pam’s.

 

-Honestly, every second of the telemarketing job almost drove me insane with hatred.  I especially hated the fact that we’d kept about 30 seconds at Schrute Farms and then cut back to a painfully extended scene with Michael, making it almost impossible to skip the dull scenes during repeated viewings without also missing a good one.  FYI, Telemarketing Jim & Pam are in no way equal substitutions for Real Jim & Pam on an Overnight Stay!   

 

-While I admit that Darryl’s smooth, laid-back manner is a nice counter to Kelly’s spazzing, and I really did love “you need to access your uncrazy side,” I still believe in Ryan/Kelly.  For example, I choose to believe he took offense to Kelly’s accusation that he’d used her as an object because he’d never intended any such thing, and they did have a small window of time where he actually kind of cared about her.    

 

-I love the fact that Pam smoothly delivered the textbook definition of whoever/whomever’s usage, and then Toby followed up an analysis of why Ryan’s usage of the latter was correct.  This is why my Pam/Toby inclinations will never die.  See, they’re both secret grammar nerds!  I bet they could have literary conversations in coffee shops.  …this fic needs to be written yesterday.   

 

-“But I couldn’t do that to Dwight.  Or Angela.”  Aw, Pam,  always the sweethea – “Or Andy.”  What?  My love is dead.

 

- GARBAGE RETURNS!!  Such a pretty cat.  Alas, in my increasingly classic propensity for mistaking things at first viewing, when Angela opened the box containing the cat, along with the message that he seemed to be “destined” for her, I thought it had given her a sudden change of heart and made her realize that she and Dwight were meant to be together after all.  When I realized she was smiling at Andy…I may or may not have broken things.  I don’t expect an easy or quick resolution for those two, obviously, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to watch this horrible, unnatural relationship develop on top of everything else.   

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Anyway.  When that ended, I was torn between fleeing to the computer lab to finish my paper, fleeing to the computer lab to hear how CSI had turned out, and staying put and watching ER.  I chose the pure TV option.  

'ER: Gravity

I love how misleading the promos for this episode were, trying to make it look Abby had gotten into a car crash, when the first thing I noticed in that promo was the incredibly conspicuous bandage on Joe’s forehead, meaning he’d most likely already had his moment of ER drama.  Nevertheless, he did hit his head hard enough to require stitches and a major scan or two.  Luby Lovechild has really had a crappy first couple of years. 

 

It was hard to feel too bad, though, when he was screaming his damn head off through at least half the episode.  I would appreciate the realism, folks, but there is no sound on earth worse than a squalling baby/toddler.  It reinforced several times over why not to have kids.  And also my belief that babies should be raised on secluded islands, away from polite company, until the age of 3.    

 

Joe’s been a useful plot device, to be sure, but that’s all he is.  At this point, I’m not sure if he’s worth more dead or alive.  I suppose his death would just have driven a wedge between his parents, but all the same I was having visions of emotional devastation not only bringing Luka back, but giving them a reason to cling to one another.  For the purposes of my visualization, I ignored the minor problems of 1) it being only October and 2) Goran Visnjic being done with the show.    (plus the psychological impact on Luka of losing yet another child would probably be hugely damaging.  …I want to explore it anyway) 

 

All of that is neither here nor there, as Joe ended up perfectly fine, and he real payoff was in seeing Abby, already frayed at the edges, becoming further unraveled.  Not that I don’t already love Maura Tierny’s acting, but she took it to a whole new level, channeling stress and desperation…plus this is the first time I’ve really looked at Abby and gone “Wow, she’s a mom.”  It never seemed quite real before, like she wasn’t sure what she was doing raising a kid, but everything solidified here.  Now, if we could just get DAD back in the picture…I’m sure he’s not avoiding her on purpose, but dude, check your messages. 

 

Don’t mind me, I’ve just gone off to hunt Kovac family videos on YouTube, and now I miss Luka like you wouldn’t believe.  I’d forgotten how many amazing moments he and Abby had had just in the past season, never mind the whole series.    Sigh…moving on. (except: Oh, Abby, no.  Not the drinking.  If we repeat one more pattern from season 9, I shall lose all hope that you won’t go off to do some sort of horizontal ballroom dance with Carter when he shows up)

 

Random Case Note: As soon as Abby announced that the guy merely had a kidney stone and would be fine, I declared, “He’s doomed.”  I was close to being right – he didn’t die, but he had potentially cancerous masses and was being wheeled off to surgery at episode’s end.

 

Katie/Neela: I don’t usually quote from TV Squad, but the reviewer there has a priceless description of their current dynamic: “Speaking about disagreements, Katie has one against Neela. Well, disagreement may be the wrong word ... she utterly loathes Neela to the point that she wants her to die in a boiling pot of oil while fire ants eat out her eyes.”  This made me laugh much harder than it should have, given that I adore Neela, but I can see where Katie is coming from.  Ray might have made some poor drinking and…walking…decisions, but it was apparently fueled by years of false hopes and rejections and lost chances, all revolving around her, and it all just came to a head on one spectacularly awful night.  So, she’s justified in placing some blame on Neela – but Neela is equally if not more justified in defending herself against Katie’s vicious verbal attacks.  Remember a year ago, when they were pals?  I miss that. 

 

Tony/Neela: You know, I was all confused when she asked him why he always called her Mayday.  I was like “…because that’s your secret name, from the day you helped the street kid with rabies, and it’s a nice callback to that day.”  And then it was “Oh, wait.  The kid didn’t make up that name, he overheard it, which means Tony must have been calling her that earlier.  WTF how did I not realized this before?!”  But I don’t like the explanation he gave (I think it involved Bond girls), so I’m going to go back to my old delusions – now that I think about it, I believe I always assumed that someone had just yelled “Mayday” and she happened to appear at that moment, so the kid took it for her name, and Tony picked up on that and continued it.  The question of why someone would yell “Mayday” in a hospital apparently didn’t cross my mind at any point.  

 

Tony/Other: What did I say about adopting ragamuffins?  Kid has overstayed his welcome.  I grow bored and annoyed with him by turns.  I want Sarah back.  If he’s gone for good, however, I redact my statements of complaint.  

 

Pratt: Y’all know how much I enjoy a good punch across the face on TV (preferably one in which the other guy just does down, and we get the satisfying sound but see no blood), so for that reason alone, Pratt is my hero this week. 

 

Lastly: I did not miss Moretti at all, and forgot he existed until he strolled through the doors at the end.  At which point my happiness level automatically dropped 10%.

 

Everything else was clearly irrelevant.


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CSI: The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp EVENT OF A GSR LIFETIME.

I haven’t actually seen this episode yet.  I spun through a few short scenes on the Inner Tube early Friday morning, but that’s all.  I may see it in full at some point in the future, but right now I have exactly zero spare minutes in my day.  In fact, I have negative spare time.  I hear there are good Greg moments (a phrase which here means “I hear Greg’s excited about Vegas history, which I’ve always found adorable”), which makes me all kinds of sad about missing it, but I even if I had time, I really don’t have the brainpower to comprehend anything beyond Grissom & Sara right now. 

 

ENGAGED!  HOLY MOTHER OF A;SLKDJFASLDFSD!  Yeah, so here I was reeling from Jim & Pam, and I REALLY needed to be writing that paper, so I sternly told myself to wait until Friday to watch the episode and in the meantime stay away from any discussion about it.  This lasted for 63 minutes past the end of ER, and then I went flying to the YTDAW boards, heard the good news, fainted and died, and almost immediately got a YouTube link to watch the proposal scene (which I’d already half-seen on one of those Hollywood news shows) in its entirety.  And God, it could not have been more perfect.  I lost count of how many times I replayed it.  20? 

 

Sara looked shocked for about half a second and then it immediately looked happy and hopeful, like she was trying to believe her ears because she never, ever thought she’d hear him say that (and possibly had come to terms with this conclusion).  Taking its cue from Cris Carter, the bee on Sara’s hand did its best to interrupt and derail a dangerously-close-to-romantic moment, but unlike the movie bee, this one only serves to make the scene even more unbearably packed with Squee Factor, because hands!  Touching!  Holding!  (okay, in the context of scraping out a stinger…but still.) And the way she waits for him to pick up the question again, just long enough to confirm that he is in fact serious before she interrupts him…!  The confidence in that “yes” is wonderful.  She knows exactly what she’s saying; and what she wants.  And then Grissom’s the one looking like he’s not sure he heard things right, and her laugh is adorable.  And then the Cris Carter bee gets its way after all, because our kiss is thwarted by the protective nets over their faces.  Ah well.  I almost know the vicarious joys of a GSR kiss…enough to fill in the blanks, anyway, and that’s all that matters.  Or so I keep telling myself.      

 

Plus I LOVED the idea of them both wandering around afterwards in identical dazes.  There are many amusing quotations as to what Grissom was thinking about when Catherine interrupted him, but I’m going with Annie’s recap: Grissom is in the same dazed state as Sara and is all, "I'm not up to anything. Really. I swear. And I would definitely not be researching wedding rings on the internet. That would be something an engaged man would do. Which I am definitely not. Engaged, that is. No, sirree. Not me. Um, what was the question again?"

 

I am so glad that my gloom-and-doom predictions did not come true.  I’m so glad that Sara answered right then and there, and didn’t drag it out for the rest of the episode.  This means a happy ending (hush you, naysayers) of the type I always wanted.  Okay, I wanted Grissom & Sara to leave the show together, but Sara leaving the show married to him is pretty much the equivalent of that.  Pay no attention to the current events of “ER.” Or the fact that technically I’m assuming things. 

 

Also, I love how there is a rerun next week.  Clearly we all need time to recover from the magnitude of this event.  This is a sign, people; if they were going to undo it we wouldn’t need time for it to sink in. 

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AWESOME, for perhaps the second time in my life I exceeded the character limit for an LJ post.  Very well, continued below.  Or rather, above.

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