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For comparison purposes -
Lit Paper: 10 hours, 1800 words.
This Entry: 6 hours (TIME WELL SPENT, plus it included the TV watching time), 4400 words.

I've always dreamed of inventing a magical machine (can you invent magic?) that would take the raw text of something I've typed and translate it into an equivalent amount of paper-speak on whatever topic I needed....

Private Practice: In Which Sam Gets Taken For a Ride
This review has been brought to you by a freshly bleached brain.  

Because oh my God, you say a couple of nice things about a show, and then it blows up in a spectacular fireball of horror and agony.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  The storylines were set up with a solid premise, and they could have been wonderful, so let's first view the hour with our Optimism Hat.

Part I: The Good
SARA GILBERT!  Sara Gilbert does "mentally unhinged" so well.  I loved every second of the entire scene in the convenience store and never wanted it to end (except maybe the part where she was screaming in labor).  The fakeout "house call," the lovely shot of Sam stripped down to his undershirt, the head-smacking with a pistol, Fern Kelly's bumbling yet earnest ex-love interest (who, I must point out, bears a striking resemblance to Richie Velch, what with the red hair and the nebbishness and the dumping her, so this episode didn't do much to convince me I wasn't watching Fern...), urgent phone calls to Naomi, Heroic Baby Rotating, the tragic foolishness of what started the whole hostage situation in the first place...I was riveted.  I couldn't believe I ended up being manipulated into feeling sorry for Fern.  I actually deflated when Sam called the cops.  It was like, "Couldn't you just let her go?  I mean, she's not going to do it again...she didn't bloody you up that badly..."  Apparently I chose to forget the part where she shot her ex in the thigh.  Then again, that WAS an accident...

And then it led to Sam & Naomi making out, which I don't actually want to SEE per se, but because I live in world in which their divorce never actually happened, it is wholly acceptable that they do so.  Especially if your husband comes in all nonchalant about being beaten and bruised, I think "Thank God You're Alive Sex" is an appropriate card to play.  Now, if they weren't married, I would have to be ultra about the lone thinking woman losing her head, but this wasn't just a stupid hookup, this was years of love & trust...I'm feeling a need to quote Homer Simpson: "Woohoo!  Marital sex!"  Still, we will explore this further in Part II.  

I also liked the story of the mother at her wit's end, already exasperated by her 3 wild kids and immature husband, giving birth to her fourth son.  It is so nice to see patients who resemble real-world people.  Especially patients who already have kids.  I can't remember the last time a pregnant woman had other children to deal with.  It was nice.  I loved that the boys' first reaction to hearing that the baby was coming "right now" was a chorus of groans and disappointment that it was inconveniencing their baseball time.  Because, SO TRUE.  I don't know if it was particularly realistic that she threw a temper tantrum and refused to accept that she hadn't had a daughter, but I knew it would all work out in the end.  Yay for Violet pontificating on the world needs more good men.  ALSO TRUE.  Otherwise you get Mark Sloan.

Come to think of it, all the patient storylines were rockin' this week, with the police officer's widow being the least compelling (and also Pete's charge.  Coincidence?), but still better than the usual fare.  I sympathized with her obsessive need to stick to the very detailed Plan.  I think it must be one of the worst things in the world to lose your husband while pregnant with your first child, and if I think about that too much longer I'm going to start crying, so let's move on.  HELLO, HOT POLICE OFFICER FLIRTING WITH ADDISON!  I'm extremely anti-everyone when it comes to Addie, because as I think I've mentioned approximately twenty times before, I would love for her to be able to define herself without a man unless Derek becomes available again, take control of her life and just kick ass at her career for a while.  But I willingly retracted all those thoughts as soon as I saw him.  He's kind of like a taller, leaner, hotter Finn, and a cop is almost as good as a veterinarian.  I could probably live with it if he were to return and take her out for drinks without being blown off.    

Cooper/Addison FTW!  (um, platonically, because I don't ship that way.) More people should start their overtures of friendship with "Want to order some pizza and get really fat with me?" It's weird, because their friendship makes no sense in any context, and yet their mutual likableness and ability to bond with anyone and everyone shines through. 

Pete/Violet I understand a little better, if only because he's a man desperately in need of head-shrinkage and there is no way that they would ever hook up, because he respects her work and I get the sense that she enjoys fixing him - if there's one person more screwed up than she is at the practice, it's him.  I don't know how to feel about the fact that they were trying to have a baby at the time of his wife's death.  That failed to override the stronger image of her being a cold-hearted bitch who put his dog to sleep (I am fixating on that like whoa), even though I'd really like it to.  I want to believe there is some sort of depth to Pete, but it's just so hard.  Although it was helped a little by the fact that he stood Addison up.     

Also, Cooper expressing his wish to be a dad, and have a big family = me swooning and melting into a puddle of Violet/Cooper love.  Somehow, I think he'd have a hell of a time convincing her to go past one, but I bet he could wear her down eventually.  Because, YES.  Cooper would make an amazing dad.  In order to see this in practice, I pretend on a weekly basis that whatever kid he's examining is actually his.  It's better than fanfic.  But hearing him say it is a nice little bonus thrill, regardless of the scene in which he said it.    

OH!  I almost forgot.  NO CHARLOTTE KING.  No wonder I was having such a fine time this week, during the parts I wasn't flailing with horror.
 
Part II: The Un-Good
(featuring: Capslock of OMG Flail)
You know, it's funny.  Even after the "Showerhead" episode title, when I heard this one was called "Sam Gets Taken For a Ride," I naturally thought of a car.  Or a a train.  Or even a horse-drawn hayride; SOME sort of mobile transport.  And, yeah, not so much, unless you twist "hayride" to a figurative "roll in the hay."  

Because Sam and Naomi?  I love you like bees on pollen, but that was THE MOST SCARRING THING SHONDA RHIMES HAS EVER PRODUCED, AND I'M INCLUDING DRUNK!GIZZIE AND EYEBALL SURGERY.  I was aghast and agape over the visual monstrosity.  It was like, I tried to leap up and run away, but I was attached to the computer by my earphones, and I could literally do nothing except freak the fuck out in my seat, typing in a wild panic.  This is what came out: "kay I - NOP =- stiop it squic EW - ENOUGH WITH THE NAKED!  MAKE IT STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPP!!!!!!!!  FLAILING WITH HORROR NOW KXTHNXBAI." *shudders* ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.  DO NOT WANT.  Trust me, even after a whole paragraph, I don't think I've accurately conveyed how atrocious I found this neverending Scene from Hell, but I'll spare you the full page diatribe.    

As for everyone else: for the love of God, what happened to the no-consorting rule?!  I am 103% POSITIVE that I heard those exact words at some point in this show's history; why does Addison's arrival such a cataclysmic shakeup?  I know, I know, "because it's a TV show," but that's a meta excuse and not a show-context one, so when did they throw all their rules out the window?  Case in point #1, my exact words as the show closed were not all that different from my opening statement, which went like this:

"EW OH MY GOD HOLY MOTHER OF WHAT THE HELL WHY ARE YOU MAKING OUT? ADDISON, PLEASE KICK HIM IN THE BALLS WITH YOUR CONVENIENTLY PLACED HIGH HEELS."  I was so proud of Addie when she taunted about screwing with his head, and then she let him kiss her and got all twitterpated again.  -.-  And then she almost rectified it by pushing him away and demanding more than that, but then she got seduced by his apparently hypnotic eyes or something, and agreed to a sex date.  (that last part was implied, but no less true, and luckily it never came to fruition.)

Why is the one couple that was supposed to be inevitable the last one to get naked?!  I was dreading it, obviously, but the Rules of Shondaland state that sex must happen a minimum of once per three episodes, and I figured if we could pawn the bedroom scenes off on them, it would spare the other, more delicate (Violet/Cooper) or horrifying (Naomi/Dell) relationships from being forced to play it out.  Yeah, so about that first one:  

Violet/Cooper + friends with benefits = EPIC FAIL.  I got myself spoiled for this, and yet I just couldn't believe such horrible spoilers could be  true.  Knowing in advance did not help me to deal with it any better.  Coop, I've got a lot of patience for your Typical (Crude/Dumb) Guy demeanor, but you need to not equate the love of your life with "I'm getting laid!"  The fact that he belatedly realized this is of no comfort to me, because he saw her naked.  You can't go back from that.  Even without sex, that crossed the line.  Anyway, I'm always disgusted by women who decide that casual sex = female empowerment (see, statements like that are why I certain people hate feminism), but the friends-with-benefits idea is just so mind-bogglingly stupid that I do not even have the words to express my disgust.  Because, you can't.  You can fall in love with a friend, and you can fuck a stranger, but you can't put the two things in the middle together.  It doesn't work that way.  Unless your emotional core is blackened and dead.  And even if it is, the other person's probably isn't.  FYI, this is my stream-of-consciousness reaction to the idea, at 5 AM, and I'm not in the mood to make deep edits and be prepared to defend my statements in a court of law, OK?   

And even if you still feel a sudden urge to leave me hateful and flaming comments about how if I can't speak from experience I shouldn't speak, then I reserve the right to point out that "friends with benefits" would most certainly not work in this situation, where he's in love with her and she eventually will be, but even when she isn't, she is one emotionally damaged woman, with neuroses like whoa, and the unhealthiest way of dealing with her problems I've ever seen.  Women who form stalker-like attachments to boyfriends cannot possibly separate out the emotional aspect here.  She might think she can, but really, the guilt and doubt will just gnaw away at her like an acid.  So, even though they didn't actually go through with the act, the Horrible Atmosphere of Awkward was such that if I hadn't had Sam and Naomi to set a new low, I would say that the show blew up right there.  

*shakes head*  Seriously, though.  Four weeks, Violet/Cooper have been in the top tier of my Ship List, and now my illusions about the innocent and heartfelt nature of their UST relationship have shattered and they've come crashing down.  Welcome back, Abby/Luka.

I just realized there were only 2.5 really bad things about the episode (Pete/Addison, which I'd expected to be the worst, was so miniscule that it only partially counts), and yet the magnitude of their horror was such that they overshadowed all the good bits.  I'm going to go douse my brain a second time while you read the next review.   
'CSI: NY, 4x08, "Buzzkill"
Wow, that was dull.  So dull that not even Angell could save it.  I shall content myself with the scene of Danny leaning over the victim in the ambulance, intercut it with faceless shots of the handholding/kissing, and use it to further my D/L fantasies.  I mean, I guess the case was fairly engaging of course, I had to go and read reviews early and thus spoiled myself about the killer - but it's been a long time since I watched these shows for their cases

On the bright side, we got some lovely continuity about how loopy Danny gets when he's been up too long (kind of like I was while watching!).  Also, in an unrelated scene, there was a cat, and I am never unhappy when animals make cameo appearances.  I like them even more than Flack Snark.
'Numb3rs: Tabu
So, after the greatness of this episode, I've decided that Primacy/Tabu should really be thought of as a 2-part special that encompasses everything that is great about Numb3rs.  Okay, it lacked brother bonding, but otherwise, we covered every single aspect of what I love about this show. 

Example One: Um, I HIGHLY APPROVE of episodes that begin with Don shirtless and Liz in bed. That was a subtle hint that next time you should start with that, rather than 2 minutes of headache-inducing music and Miami-style party girls, K?  Not that I'm about to argue anything that gets me Shirtless Don.  Not even when he sneaks off in the dead of night.  *slaps* 

(Speaking of which, I sympathize with your pains not to wake the sleeping girl.  I go through this routine approximately 3 times a week, in a slightly different context, when I creep back in the still-dark mornings in order to get dressed for class after having spent the night in the computer lab on homework.  You're better at it than I am; last week I was feeling pretty confident about my silence, even managing to hush the squeaky closet door, and then I took one step too far and sent the desk fan crashing to the floor.)

Example Two: THE S.S. MEGAN/LARRY, FEARED LOST AT SEA, HAS FINALLY PULLED INTO PORT!  (No, I never take my ship metaphors too far.)  I howled and clutched at my hair when she snapped at him during the case ("Larry, what the hell would you know about his character?!") and thought that was the final nail in the coffin.  But then, he came bearing peace offerings of music and whimsical toy cars, and there was smiling, and I dared to peek through my fingers at a hint of sunshine, utterly baffling though this strange new development was.  And then!  Then, finally, there was the end!  With the adorable nuzzling and the Perfect Kiss - as always, the only sort they're capable of - and..I really couldn't stop squealing. 

Example Three: The Classic - Charlie/Amita.  They were in comparatively short supply this week, individually or together, which was perfectly understandable since a) we needed room for Megan/Larry and b) I'm still recovering from last week.  Nevertheless, I got a giggle out of the way Charlie sat there with a dazed grin on his face as Amita excitedly rambled on with her knowledge of geekery.  (also enjoyed the general looks of pride he couldn't seem to stop flashing at anyone who happened to be in the room)

Then, just in case we didn't get the subtext there, we had a clarifying scene later on in which Charlie questions whether it is wrong to get turned on by her in goggles and rubber gloves.  YES, CHARLIE, IT...*pause* apparently is not.  Damn you and your distracting hair-petting ways!    

Example Four: No Alan.  And I can say with absolute authority that I missed him less than I usually miss David, and far less than I missed Colby this week.  (Does the FBI have a rule that only 4 agents can work a case at once?)

Anti-Example: Don & Liz breaking up.  You're not allowed to worm your way back into my heart in the teaser and then shred it to bits by the end!  '"You deserve so much more than that and I just keep screwin these things up."  Okay, first of all, Liz is not made of awesomecakes and really does not deserve all that much.  Second of all, in my blind devotion objective viewer analysis, I doubt that Don is entirely at fault.  Nobody with a guilt complex that large is ever actually guilty of it all.  And third of all, Liz, why are you walking out like that?  Did you even try talking at any point? Fine, be that way.  I just wanted everyone to be happy, but apparently...

*shrugs* I'll get over this in an hour or so.  I'm really not as invested as I think I am. 
 
Other Things:
-They mention Game Theory so often these days, I almost know what it is. 

-"Yeah, well, Megan's on a little bit of a time-out."  Is it wrong to giggle at that?

-Hm, my brother started building computers at 13, too.  Said brother has few uses, but assembling functional computers from Frankenstein parts is one of them

-What the!  I don't think I've ever seen one guy pop up as a villain on two crime shows in THE SAME WEEK.  But there David Rogers was, the used boyfriend on Numb3rs after being the faux boyfriend on CSI: NY.  

-I'm not sure how I feel about Don coming to David for relationship advice, especially when said relationship has turned almost completely physical, approaching what is officially known as Mer/Der Territory.  It seems a little personal.  I'm especially intrigued by the way David doesn't bat an eye, like sorting out the tangled sex life of his boss & colleague is just par for the course.  Then again, maybe it is.  He is David the Wise.  And I guess once you've survived Spygate, nothing rattles you. 

'Survivor China: Episode 9
I have once again redefined "best challenge ever," and this time it's using a set of drums to keep a ball bouncing in the air while walking forward and circumnavigating obstacles.  It's not all that dissimilar from bouncing a tennis ball on a racket, except that the surface of the drum has a bit less give, making it more unpredictable on higher bounces, and you have teammates to help you out.  It's still fun to watch, though.  And I knew immediately which team was going to win.  I can't believe people haven't yet figured out that "big and strong" is not always critical to winning every challenge ever invented.  On a challenge like this, you need people with coordination and lithe movement.  You know who that might be?  FROSTI.  PG screwed herself as soon as she picked James.

And even while they were moving, I couldn't figure out why they a) weren't passing it to Denise at any point, even after their system was clearly failing, or b) why they kept giving the ball to PG, who had the smallest drum and therefore the highest probability for a miss, or the equally bad off-center hit, which was more likely to (and frequently did) send the ball flying off sideways.  Frankly, I didn't care, since all the awesome people were on the winning team.  It was fun to watch Eric and Frosti tag-team from start to finish 3 times in a row, with the occasional nice save by Amanda.  Funny how I've lost all interest in James and Todd.  

Courtney and Frosti were really adorable in this episode, much much better playmates than her and Todd (especially as Tod started throwing temper tantrums about their closeness and ultimately ruined it).  I really liked the way they handled that, as a sort of cutesy and harmless bit of fun rather than forcing an excruciatingly awkward theme of romance, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.  But they didn't totally write it off, either; tell me Frosti's bashful confession that "she's way out of my league" didn't make you go awww and have flashbacks to Jim shaking his head and saying "No, it's totally hypothetical." 

Speaking of forced romances, ah, Eric. Why couldn't you have fallen in love with Amanda?  Seriously, so much cuter.  Except for that unfortunate habit she has of flashing every crack possible whenever she's within range of a camera.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ADJUST YOUR SWIMSUIT ONCE IN A WHILE.  Otherwise, adorable.  

And speaking of Eric, is it me, or does he actually get hotter every episode?  It's been a while since I've had true eye candy to drool over on Survivor.  I'm savoring it.  So very nicely muscled...could we please work out a deal to keep him around until at least F4?  Shame on you for not featuring him in the beginning!    

I hated the immunity challenge, in part because of how much it made me crave a McDonald's meal.  I eat at McDonald's approximately once a year, and I never get an actual burger-and-fries combo because I can't bring myself to willingly order that much fat, but it always looks so damn good...oh, and I also hated it because PG won, and somehow things got spun on their head and resulted in Frosti being kicked out.  Which is better than Eric going, but is still kinda devastating.  I don't like PG's scrappiness anymore.  When I said I wanted her to stick around, I meant longer than people like James and Todd and Courtney.  Not the cute little Parkour boy!

'America's Most Smartest Model: Episode 6
Okay, damn it, if Brett & Pickel can SuperChamps, then I don't see why Daniel and Angela can't pair up all the time to be the Invincible Brain Team.  My heart broke for them (at least, as much as it can for VH1 reality show contestants), tearing their hair out on the sidelines while their stupid partners demonstrated the concept of Epic Fail.  I mean, really.  Andre's raging about the units of measurement?  Blonde Rachel can't figure out how to draw a square?  

I was glad the Super Champs won over VJ, though. And even more glad that despite his whining and complaining about the "unfair" challenge (you could just see him going "Oh, fuck" when Mary Alice announced the the winners got to dole out shapes to everyone else), they took pity on Daniel and gave him the biggest edge among the non-winners.  The moment where his eyebrows shoot up into his hair is great.   

As for the fashion show itself, I think the Ultimate Fighter costume was sort of stupid.  Appropriate if they were modeling Halloween costumes, maybe, but not fashion.  To that end, Blonde Rachel's outfit was clearly the best - it really did look like something you might find at the store, maybe for a bit younger crowd, but still cute.  And more importantly, wearable.  Plus, I thought Angela's dress was pretty.  The remark that it looked like a dance costume, but also like something you might see at the Grammy's, was spot-on, and I didn't really think it was a bad thing.  I really liked the way they used their shapes, anyway, and the dark purple/white color combo was striking.  Even Aussie Rachel's dress, except for the stupid random thigh cutouts and the floppy circles on the bottom, wasn't too bad.  I understood what they were going for with the reverse halter top, and actually thought it looked kind of cool in contrast to the long skirt.  What I'm trying to say is these really weren't bad outfits for the time constraint here.

Things I did not love: the rhommus/rhombus exchange.  I figured they'd put it on loop to make their preview commercial as annoying as possible during their 425 previews, but no!  That's actually how it went on the show!  Back and forth about six times total.  And they made sure to repeat it during every "coming up" recap too.  I was about to go insane by the end.  

Other things I did not love: Daniel's hair in the second half, OMGWTF.  Everyone else's hair looked at least as good, if not better than usual, and then they come in and do horrible straightening and flattening things to his...that's cruel and unusual punishment. Good thing it was only temporary; I was worried he'd gone and changed it himself.  I would have had to stop watching the show.  And that would have been some unpleasant withdrawal, because this show is my crack.

Final thoughts: was it really necessary to boot Rachel out like that?  Really?  Like, you couldn't figure out that she wasn't smart or model enough before you cast her?  If you're going to willingly cast losers, you have to also be willing to vote them out according to due process.  Come on now.  Even I think that was mean, although on the bright side, VJ got to give the illusion of being a really caring guy and actually made me "aw" when he crouched down and wrapped his arms around her from behind.  

I about had a heart attack when I thought this episode's secret title was "Purging all Rachels," but fortunately Rachael - who shall now be known by her proper name, and even by its proper spelling - was allowed to remain another week, provided she gets all tough and vicious like...Andre, apparently.  Which, what the hell?  There is nothing even remotely sexy or attractive about the man, even looking at him objectively without knowing about his horrible and disgusting temper.  You know, I started off liking Mary Alice because I thought she was Rebecca Romijn she seemed less kookoo-pants than, say, Tyra Banks...but now I'm starting to waver.  Fortunately Ben Stein is still awesome.

Finally, I must confess that I've also been following the extra clips on VH1.com, my favorite of which is when the frat boys & slutty sorority girl discuss how Rachel (guess which one), um, stole some guy's girlfriend and apparently made a better lover than he did.  The frat boys snicker appreciatively (well, Pickel does; Brett looks more like he's just going along with it while secretly wishing for a slightly more scintillating conversation).  Meanwhile, Invincible Brain Team, their dignities affronted by such low-brow talk, are calmly sleeping in the front seat.  Daniel's just leaning back but Angela's tipped all the way over, head about 3 inches from his leg, and I can't help but feel that I'm dangerously close to having a  new RP pair to secretly ship desperately deny that I have any interest in whatsoever.  My brain, I cannot always control it.  


Okay, I can no longer hide from Thursday's TV, so I am off to brave it at last.  If I don't come back, it's either because ER killed me with squee (I hope) or CSI caused me to hurl myself from the rooftop*.  
(* = um, not really)

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