And now, since I'm up late because of Black Friday anyway (oh wait, we don't do that...I'm just up late for no reason at all), I present a whole lot of reviews from the first part of the week.
a/k/a "That Really Horrible One That Almost Cured My Crack Addiction"
Wow, show, that was cruel. First you force me to face a solid 30 minutes of an exceedingly drunk Daniel making a complete and total ass of himself, reaching legendary levels of embarrassment complete with screaming, crying; the usual components of a temper tantrum. To compound this painful display, you take sadistic pleasure in switching almost exclusively from these scenes to Andre mockingly imitating them, pulling out his usual Daniel is a Pussy card in a tone and attitude that makes me want to, I don't know, shove a red hot poker up his ass. Think of the biggest and most bullying creeps ever featured on Survivor, combine them into one, and that's Andre. I mean, there were multiple points in this episode where I had to hit the mute button because I couldn't stand the constant bleeping of swear words anymore. I think there might be less bleeping on Jerry Springer.
Don't even get me started on the callback challenge. As much as I enjoyed seeing all the animals - everything except the ostrich was adorable - I could not BELIEVE the picture Mary Alice chose. Bad enough that she awarded a win to Andre at all, but THAT shot, with the poor little alpaca dancing on its hind legs as Andre pulls back on the lead rope? Funny how she once refused to award him a win because he portrayed himself strangling a woman with beads, and yet she loves this shot, in which it looks like he just yanked the animal's head up to discipline it (or possibly slit its throat), so hard that he physically pulled it off its feet. Seriously, if this picture doesn't look abusive, I don't know what does.
And of course, it all culminates in 3 of my 4 favorites making up the chopping block (which, HOW did we get here?). Then of those 3, they inexplicably save Rachael, which makes me REALLY pissy because it's now not only my two faves on the line, but my OTP about to be destroyed. And it shouldn't even matter who goes at this point, but then they eliminate Daniel and I discover it does matter, because without Daniel Schuman to look forward to on weekends, I HAVE NO REASON TO LIVE. Um, kidding. Totally kidding. Except earlier in the day, I was so addicted to this show that I was starting to hope they'd release it on DVD, because I would totally buy it and relive the amusement over and over...but now I'm just grouchy and annoyed. And starting to think that those spoilers about the winner being leaked (and being someone I consider stupid) were true after all, which just depresses me.
I suppose I'll still tune in next week, but I won't exactly be bouncing on the edge of my seat with anticipation.
How I Met Your Mother: Slapsgiving
I didn't really like this episode too much. The inclusion of "Bob" as an old geezer was really off-putting and uncomfortable to witness, not funny in the slightest. The only thing worse than that was Robin and Ted's situation of weirdness, which seemed utterly pointless and massively time-wasting. I also despised, despised, the idiocy of their annoying salutes. As these things took up the majority of the episode, I barely had time to focus on the good part, a/k/a that which related to the title.
On the other hand, the various references to the pending slap, including hand-shaped turkeys and words like "slappetizers," made me giddy with glee. I initially resisted looking at slapcountdown.com because I didn't want to know, but this was proof that anticipating the moment could be every bit as fun as one coming out of the blue. I loved how much fun Marshall was having taunting him with it (until Lily declared all slaps off - that was just depressing). I guess the element of surprise came into play after all, because I really thought that Lily's word was final, and when she unexpectedly retracted her ruling with 3 seconds to go, I was caught totally off guard. Marshall's manic, wild-eyed grin followed by the mightiest slap ever delivered - I love how they always manage to spin Barney around and knock him off his feet - was so AMAZING that I burst out laughing. I rewound it at least five times in a row, and laughed every time.
And then, it just got even better as Marshall practically danced over to the piano, and started the best song since Robin Sparkles. (and pause for a swoon over the closeup of his hands on the keys, highlighting the wedding band, the sight of which always makes me sigh fondly because apparently I am now obsessed with marriage & married couples. Stupid cousins/engaged classmates!) It's ridiculously catchy - the lyrics are stupid as all get out, but the melody and the piano are irresistible, and Barney's harmonious howling just made it all the better (Neil Patrick Harris + Jason Segall + singing = UNEQUIVOCAL WIN). If I wasn't sure before, Marshall is now officially my reason to watch this show.
Other things I enjoyed were Barney sobbing and begging not to be slapped again because the first two hurt so bad, and the mockery of Robin's upbringing--
Barney: I'm sorry, did you just say Canadian Thanksgiving was 'the real' Thanksgiving? What do Canadians even have to celebrate about?
Robin: Canadian Thanksgiving celebrates explorer Martin Frobicher's valiant yet ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find the Northwest passage.
Barney: Why are you guys even a country?
Hee. Actually, I didn't even know Canada had its own Thanksgiving until this year. LJ has taught me so much.
CSI: Miami: Stand Your Ground
ATTENTION EVERYONE: STETLER'S SHINY BADGE COLLECTION IS NOW COMPLETE. At long last, he has succeeded in suspending every last member of Horatio's team, and boy, is he giddy. Did you see him? He could barely keep the glee out of his voice while claiming it "wasn't personal." Speaking of which, I find it interesting that while talking to Calleigh, he specifically claimed not to be on a "witch hunt," considering that she used exactly the same phrase to describe his pursuit of Horatio during "After the Fall."
Oh, Stetler. In all seriousness, I have no idea when he became one of my favorite characters, but the sight of his name among the guest stars is now one of the highlights of my Miami experience. I officially like him more than not only Natalia, but also Tripp, Ryan, Eric, and possibly even Horatio (post-season-4 Horatio, that is). There's something so endearing about his futile attempts to be nice to Horatio and lay out the facts as objectively as possible while Horatio irrationally and hostilely bristles and shuns him at every opportunity. *gasp* Rick is like the Toby of CSI: Miami!
I'm not entirely sure I see why it was necessary for Calleigh to shoot the driver rather than just diving out of the way. I mean, how could that possibly end well? Even if the car hadn't crashed into a store and ostensibly killed a shopper, which let's be honest was a highly likely possibility if she'd incapacitated the driver of a speeding vehicle, I'm still not sure I'm convinced that she couldn't have run down an alley, or cut through a store, or a myriad of other places that the car could not have followed while calling for backup that wouldn't have resulted in fatal shootings.
Awwww, Eric & Calleigh's moment in the ambulance was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. Icons! Wallpapers! Abound!
Horatio! Doing field work! With a maglite! *dies of shock*
I'm not sure if I agree with Calleigh's accusatory line of questioning to peg Jake as an alcoholic. Okay, I know nothing about drinks whatsoever, but if she was having two mimosas, I fail to see how him having two more than that, especially given that guys can generally handle more liquor, translates to "alcoholic." Besides, nothing he's done previously has indicated that kind of behavior, so her accusation REALLY came out of the blue.
I will only briefly note the ridiculousness of Horatio not bothering to talk to Calleigh, as everyone else has already remarked upon it. Did David and Emily have a falling out somewhere along the way? Because at this point, that's the only explanation I can come up with. I really, really loved the way he defended her "near-perfect career," though.
"In the meantime, we have to do whatever we can to help her, I guess." Ryan? You guess? Don't give me that apathetic shrug! I will slap your Asshat title back on so fast...
I wasn't particularly fond of Horatio's scenes with Beth The Overdose Student, but I made them better by choosing to believe that she, rather than Kyle, was his mystery child. That made the extra emotion and caring come across as sweet rather than, say, overly invested and borderline creepy. "Borderline creepy" is not a phrase I've ever used to describe his kid scenes, which are normally heartwarming, but this one just felt off.
Random Question: is it just me, or have the ads on the Inner Tube disappeared? It still comes in 4 parts, but there's no commercial break in between each one. Is this a special glitch on my end, or is it deliberate and possibly strike-related?
Notes from the Fashion Show:
-It was nothing special, but I feel it's important to note Calleigh's dark teal tank top due to the fact that it's not black. In other news, that powder blue car of hers just may be the ultimate fashion accessory.
-Alexx, please wear purple scrubs more often. They look amazing on you.
-Stetler, you'll notice, is sporting a shiny blue tie and shirt to show off his jaunty mood. Explanation? He's heard that Mac Taylor, Expert of Everything, often dresses in blue, so in the spirit of expertly busting the last member of the team, he picked out his wardrobe accordingly.
-Ryan's light-orange-and-white striped shirt, paired with a tan suit, actually looked really good on him. Best outfit of the year.
Bones: The Knight on the Grid
So, I watched this with my mom because she's in love with Booth. I am too, but I couldn't help point out that Hodgins was cute in his own somewhat dorky way, "although I miss the poofy curls." At which point she proceeded to tease me mercilessly about my love for guys with curly hair. Damn it, you get distracted by one Numb3rs preview...
Anyway, he and Angela were mere afterthoughts in this episode, what with the HEART-STOPPING TAXI CAB FLIP OF DOOM...not because I actually feared for their lives at any point, but because the sight of a banged-up Booth heroically pulling an equally bloodied Brennan out of the wreckage was, well, a very nice image. It was almost as nice as her kissing his cheek later on. And here I thought the Brennan-bot was incapable of such sweet emotional displays!
Loved the case - I love this whole story arc - with lots of gripping and/or creepy moments (hello, hissing old man!), but nothing tops the "AH WHAT WAS THAT?!" shocker of an ending. I jumped back in my seat.
On the negative side, my desire to punch Sweets in his smug prodigy face increased tenfold this week. He's officially more irritating than Sully, because at least Sully
*lip wobbles* You...you fired Cole? YOU FIRED COLE?! Are you trying to make me hate you? Why must you continually fire my favorite doctors, one after another? First Chase. Then Russian doc. Then the former vet, and Ridiculously Old Fraud, and Brennan, and now Cole. Meanwhile, Cutthroat Bitch sails along unscathed, and even more gratingly, so does Kutner. At this point, the sight of Kutner's incompetent dipwad face actually makes me tremble with barely suppressed rage. Somehow we got into a situation where I officially hate all the replacement ducklings except Thirteen, and you went and gave me a panic attack all episode thinking she had MS. Even now, I've apparently got to worry about whether this other chronic disease might eventually take her out. (plus, am I the only one who's disappointed that House managed to crack some of her secrets? I liked her air of mystery, mostly because she was thwarting House, and I find it very satisfying when House's insatiable desire to know everything is thwarted and he can't be on top)
To make up for all of that, we got
Law & Order: SVU, "Fight"
Watching the kid slowly disappear into the trash compactor was quite possibly the most horrifying thing I have ever seen on SVU. Other than that, it was the dullest episode ever. Why do shows keep featuring Extreme Cage Fighters? Come on. It's actually dumber than professional wrestling. Which...would explain why Lake used to do it, actually.
But! Next week! NEXT WEEK! That car crash had better be as spectacular as it looks. Because you know what's even more intriguing than Elliot Peril? Olivia Peril AND Pregnant Kathy Peril, all at the same time! Just one thing - I know I begged for the demise of the Stabler baby, but they're not supposed to take Kathy with it!!! My spoiler-free ways and I are suddenly fearful for her life. On the other hand, I will be super intensely disappointed if they do not use this golden opportunity to bump off the Unborn Stablerling. It's a crime show! It's not like people don't expect tragedy in the characters' personal lives! It is taking all my strength not to hunt spoilers right now. It's not often that SVU looks to be the highlight of my Tuesday, much less my whole week (well, after CSI: NY), but I am suddenly bouncing with excitement and anticipation.
NCIS: Lost and Found
Why do you do this to me? You get me all hooked on Gibbs/Mann, and then you do something like have Jen make bedroom eyes and murmur "I forgot how good you are with kids," and I am all ZOMG JENNY/GIBBS NEEDS TO HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY IF NOT SOONER. THEY NEED TO GET MARRIED AND FOSTER/ADOPT A KID AND BE AMAZING PARENTS TOGETHER.
Let's translate that paragraph into calm and coherent English. Not possible? Well, let's try. I really wouldn't have pegged Jen for the nurturing/maternal type, but she was fantastic with that kid, in her own slightly awkward and unsure way, and he looked completely at home curled up on the chair in her library, sipping his hot cocoa. And it goes without saying that Gibbs is perfect with kids (fulfilling a niche long since vacated by Horatio, actually); I love that he managed to remain the adult in charge without ever talking down to or patronizing Carson. The part where I collapsed and died with squee, however, was "Time for bed," especially when followed by the sight of both Gibbs & Jen standing in the doorway, looking back at the sound-asleep kid. That doesn't even begin to touch the squee factor of "There was a time when I would have asked you to stay..." at which my screen exploded in flames from the scorching heat. Damn that Paris fiasco!
Speaking of which, the CSI: NY fans are whining about not having answers to the 333 mystery after, like, 8 episodes. I would like to point out here that we've been waiting two solid years to find out precisely what the hell happened with Gibbs and Jen in Paris. I like the mystery and the breadcrumbs, but I think I'm ready for the revelation now. At this rate the show will get canceled before it gets explained.
Oh yes, about Mann, did I read that article right? She's gone to retire in Hawaii? The hell, when are we going to get an explanation, preferably from Gibbs, for this? Also, I would like to point out to the props crew that they used the sentence "Lt. Colonel Mann said when she joined the Army in 1985 she never dreamed it would eventually develop into her lifelong career" at least 3 times in the article. SLOPPY. On the bright side, at least they can count, which is more than The O.C. could manage ("Hi, my name is Taylor. I graduated with the class of 2006 despite documentation that states I was born in July 1985!")
Anyway. My favorite part of the episode goes to the next-day scene. Now I already loved Jen to pieces, but when she was sitting on the floor of her office, laughing and playing games with the kid? CUTE OVERLOAD. And I'm so glad this ep had a happy ending. The kid was so damned cute and perceptive and smart (waaaay better than the kid from "Honor Code," even though I liked him at the time), that I honestly don't think I could have stood it if he hadn't gotten to reunite with his parents and go back to a loving home with them at the end. Yay for warm and fuzzy outcomes! One of the best episodes of the season.