RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

First post of 2008! Crowded, just the way I like it.

I hereby declare my first poll a success, despite its brief run time, and since votes so far have been evenly split with the only true consensus being that you want new material ASAP, I'll mix a little of the other three.  You get two memes, a crime drama review, and for those who don't care, my personal preference of a doubleshot.  

2007 Fandom Meme: Snagged from kimberkatie with a bonus starting question from supercsi4.  Must remember to fill this out next year, too.

001. What fandoms were you most active in over the course of 2007?
The CSI franchise, Harry Potter, and The Office

01. What fandoms did you acquire in 2007?
Pirates of the Caribbean
Harry Potter - late to the party, woo!  That's when I entered *fandom*, anyway, having previously been a longtime fan of both of the above

Sex and the City - we didn't talk about this one, owing to my reluctance to admit having anything to do with it, but thanks to a certain family member who wishes to remain unidentified, I've managed to see all the (edited-for-network-TV-and-my-delicate-sensibilities) episodes, learn most of the canon lore, attach myself to ships (Miranda/Steve forever!), start looking forward to the movie, and even spend a brief period hunting for fanfic (unsuccessful and disappointing). 

Private Practice - it's really more like a sect of the Grey's fandom, but there's a lot more playfulness and less soul-crushing so far.  Also slightly less inappropriate sex, since they haven't gotten bored with their first partners yet.  Well, except Charlotte King...but let's not speak of her.

The Office - and has it ever been wonderful...until the writer's strike happened, anyway.  Hey, let me make a random Office allusion right now!  Remember when Jim said the best and worst dates of his life were the same one?  That's how I feel about my entrance to the fandom.  On the one hand, perfect timing - I didn't have to suffer the years of UST between Jim and Pam; I slid in just as they started being full-time happy together.  On the other hand, just as I got used to weekly doses of Cute, the show put a crash-halt on production.  Sigh.

02. What fandoms did you let go of in 2007?
The O.C. - cancellation usually strikes a severe blow to my active participation in fandom

Standoff - see above

03. What fandoms did you mean to get into but didn't in 2007? Why?
Law & Order: CI - I was going to try to keep up with the Logan-and-Wheeler half this year, but then it got moved to cable AND decided to join the Thursday night gladiator arena, and it was just too much effort to juggle everything so I scrapped it.  Something for the summer, I guess.

Friday Night Lights - I kept thinking that eventually I would try falling under its spell, but...then I didn't. 

04. What fandoms do you intend on checking out in 2008?
Pushing Daisies - The only thing the writer's strike is good for is that it means, if I ever catch up on my backlogged episodes, that I'll have time to settle into this series at my own pace.

Robin Hood - I'm debating the merits of this, what with the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE DEATH coming at the end of season 2, but if I get bored and need new TV, I might dip a toe into the waters.

Moonlight - Surprise!  I was all set to despise the show ("CRIME-SOLVING VAMPIRE?!  On CBS?"), but then one Friday night I got bored waiting for Numb3rs and saw the episode where Beth stabbed Coraline.  And I was sort of instantly intrigued by both of them and Mick all at once.  I'm going to try to go back from the beginning, though.

New Amsterdam - Allow me to copy-paste my initial reaction in September:
I do not care how tortured and angsty you make this potentially attractive man, nor how many previews you air containing the kick-ass Zuleikah Robinson.  I'm not getting sucked into your realm of weirdness, FOX, even when you try to disguise it as crime drama.  I cut ties with sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal after the end of Dark Angel....why can't I stop thinking about the potential for angst?  No!  It will get canceled if I fall in love with it!  Fox canceled all its dramas last year, remember??  Oh, damn it.  The lure is just too great - I'll be watching this one.

05. What fandoms do you think you might let go of in 2008 unless things significantly improve?
Actually, none of my shows are bad enough this year that I want to pull the plug.  If you thought I was going to say Without a Trace, you're wrong.  Ever since I decided to assign the agents M&M colors, every episode is like playing a game.  The object is to see how few things I can pull out to discuss.  That, or we're just in a grudge match until the end of time.

06. What fandoms do you think you'll never let go of no matter how crappy they get? Why?
CSI.  Even without Sara.  Even, hypothetically, without Grissom.  I think my love of the show is just that strong. And probably also Lost, even though its incessant destruction of my 'ships combined with its capped episode run and its ridiculous shortened seasons/more ridiculous hiatus periods make me very, very angry.

But for sure CSI: Miami, since it's been sorely testing my patience for the past two seasons and yet every Monday night finds me glued to the TV and I'm still reading/writing fanfic.  Well, not so much the former lately...or the latter...but the spirit is still willing, if I ever make the time for it.

07. What show impressed you most in 2007?
The Office.  It went from being a show I looked at with utter disdain to the thing that FILLED MY SOUL WITH DELIGHT AND GAVE ME A REASON TO LIVE.   However, Lost was pretty impressive in the first part of the year, as were CSI: NY and CSI with all their shippy, shippy goodness.

08. What show impressed you least in 2007?
Oh, I think CSI: Miami wins that title, don't you?  No Man's Land/Man Down notwithstanding, it was quite possibly the biggest waste of time in my TV-watching grid.  As for shows I don't watch, I continue to be disgusted that nobody has killed Chef Ramsay yet to keep FOX from continuing to produce terrible, terrible reality shows starring him that all sound the same.  (and that sound is "BEEEEEP!") 

Come to think of it, though, I was shocked by how much I hated "Back to You" in comparison to how much I was looking forward to it.


Meme #2: The Data Game

Okay, I lied, it's not really a meme.  I mean, it is in the sense that you could be sheeple and do it for your own journal, which would make me happy, but mostly it's statistical data about your blogging habits.  It requires basic math skills and determination.  There aren't really rules or a copy-paste form...but you get the idea looking at it, right?

(No, I don't have a spiffy program that counts this for you.  Unless you know of one, you actually have to go to your "calendar" page and start adding numbers.  I recommend a handheld calculator, preferably a graphing calculator so you can see what you're doing and hit backspace if you make a mistake.  Yes, my obsession with data/statistics manifests itself in strange ways and YES, I dreamt this up during finals week while I was busy not writing my papers, although I am probably not the first person to track these sorts of things)

My data is as follows:

Most Popular Writing Month
January: 36
**February: 47 (highest)
March: 37
April: 33
May: 40
June: 29
July: 22
August: 16
*September: 14 (lowest)
October: 23
November: 23
December: 20

TOTAL: 340, or averaging to a post on 93% of the days in the year.
Most Popular Writing Day
Sunday: 46
Monday: 48
Tuesday: 41
Wednesday: 51
Thursday: 43
**Friday: 58 (because I have no life, yay!)
Saturday: 53

Next year I will be able to start comparing data from previous years.  Mwu-ha-ha-ha!


CSI: Miami, 6x11, "Guerillas in the Mist"
Props for an awesome title this week, making up for the terrible one of the previous episode.

80% of this episode was great.  It couldn't help connecting itself to the war and somewhat besmirching the Patriot Act, but strictly speaking it wasn't about terrorism and so it didn't fire up my "I hate terrorist storylines" radar.  Instead, I was rather fantastically entertained by the gun that VAPORIZES YOU!  Hahaha, I must have rewound that opening bit like seven times, it was just so amazing to see the guy reduced to a spray of blood.  I may have an unhealthy interest in this.  But I'm allowed to be fascinated as long as it's not real, right?  Because CSI Files says this gun's not real, unless it's part of a deeper government conspiracy to cover things up.  This gun seems like it would be the greatest thing since the atom bomb in warfare, though.  Ahem.

Horatio: "Not who...WHAT."  Ooh, are we crossing over with Supernatural this week?  Because I'm pretty sure that no matter how dangerous and scary hi-tech your weapon is, it's still the person behind it who's the major threat.  This picture expresses my other thoughts about that scene:

I love when people are killed by almost-perfect methods, and the reveal of the air embolism was a nice touch, but OH DEAR GOD could they have said the V-word any more times?  I was cringing and shivering even *before* they came up with the "Hey there, I'll just be using your eye as an injection site" part of the plotline.  I managed to duck and hide my face in time, but geeze, AWAY FROM THE EYES, PLEASE!  Grey's Anatomy has done enough horrid things with them this season alone to last a lifetime.

And stupid editing tricks were at a premium this week, with ridiculous antics that included drawing rectangles over the scene, to no apparent point except to randomly slide around the screen and occasionally make some of them turn grayscale, so the picture was partly color and partly black and white.  STOP IT WITH THE IDIOCY THAT HAS NO PURPOSE.  NO ONE LIKES IT.  NO ONE!  Is production really desperately gunning for some kind of Emmy nod for their visual effects?

Despite all of the aforementioned complaints, I was really enjoying the episode; it was as captivating as any action movie.  If I had to name its most serious shortcoming, I might have said it that it felt like a generic action movie, and not necessarily CSI: Miami.  But then there were flashbacks to No Man's Land.

At that point, I may have been heard to cry "SHOW, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!"  It's refreshing, and frankly astonishing, that they've managed to maintain this line of continuity for almost a year.  I love these little flashes of insight to his psyche, and the conversation with Calleigh about it later was honest and heartfelt.  Much more believable than their earlier conversation in the warehouse, during which Calleigh's "fear" came off as exceptionally fake and melodramatic.

And then - HOLY COW!  There was this amazing scene in which the young suspect got whiny and self-righteous about patriotism, and Horatio showed emotion!  In his face AND his voice.  What's more he showed anger!  I - wuh - bluh - I had forgotten what that sounded like!  It was intense, so perfectly him that he raised his voice only enough to shut the other guy up and then dropped back to its usual soft decibel, and...yeah, it's been a while since he's stared down a suspect.  "Look at me.  LOOK at me!"  Yeah, kid, look at him!  He demands to know what business your eyes have being of more intense blue than his!

But then the episode went up in flames just like the Hummer. 

My exact (typed) words while watching: "Okay, NO.  There is no way he had time to leap out of the Hummer before - THE HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"

I rewound that.  I played it in slo-mo.  I paused.  The BALL OF FIRE not only explodes the whole back of the vehicle (it blew the doors off, people), the flame licks into the cab.  It does.  Flame is clearly visible through the window of the front compartment, and yet Horatio is still inside it at this point.  That's almost worse than him jumping out of it in the nick of time.  And there is no fucking way he could then calmly, casually open the door and step out WITH NO DAMAGE WHATSOEVER TO HIS PERSON.  You know what was more believable than this?  "Burn, baby, burn."  THAT looked perfectly feasible by comparison.  Plus, haven't we had more than a few people  on this show die from breathing in superheated air?  Was that not a concern?  At the very least there should have been some degree of burns, and he should have been disoriented, stumbling out of the car if the explosion hadn't knocked him senseless, and then in a normal situation maybe backup would have covered him.

"Oh, I forgot, he is Super Horatio.  He needs no backup!  He is IMMORTAL!  And - oh, okay, OKAY.  That *cannot* be justifiable homicide right there."  Excusable, maybe, since the guy did have his finger on the trigger of a gun that VAPORIZES YOU, but Lt. Caine should have had backup.  The sheer number of other people probably would have made the guys with handguns think twice about firing, and we could have kept the death toll lower.  He shouldn't have needed to go shooting EVERYBODY.  Even worse is the fact that he's actually smirking - and tossing off one-liners; ew - as he looks down at the body.  The man needs help; he's not even bothered about ending human life anymore.  Here, let me quote that line of his from earlier: "Forgive me, but from where I sit you're just a common killer."

Happy, Horatio?  Surveying your domain of death?  What a horrible ending. 

Note for the Record:
3 more kills to his name.

Notes from the Fashion Show:
Holy mother explosion of green. 

The Bad:
1) Tripp: Wacky lime green tie, for which I shall not only forgive but hug him to pieces because OFF PATROL, WOOHOO!  Now he just has to stop shaving his head, and we'll be back to go good.

2) Hispanic Suspect(s): This guy, his body double, and their weirdly patterned shirts just might be vying for the "most obnoxious wardrobe since Stetler" award. 

3) Ryan: Not-quite-lime green striped shirt.  Also, like Tripp, wearing a suit in a shade of brown.  Interesting.  Does that mean all his teasing and taunting was really just his way of saying "I like you"?  Heh, [info]stunt_muppet, I bet you don't have a motivational poster for THAT ship...

4) Valera: Wearing a checked shirt in a shade of green that is IDENTICAL to Ryan's (clearly trying to send subliminal messages.  RaVe lives!) and how do I know this? Because it was very noticeable while they were standing right next to each other.  Speaking of matching couples...(and finally leaving behind the unholy bright greens)

The Good:
Eric: Wearing quite possibly the smartest shirt I've ever seen, in the sense of intelligent choice given that Miami is HOT AND HUMID - an extremely breathable number with...little holes cut out all over it?  Sort of like a cheese grater?  I can't come up with a good way to describe this, but it works.

Natalia: In addition to floofy, full-bodied hair (was it a hint darker, or am I imagining things?), she had a nice white top with halfway-to-elbow sleeves, and made use of a similar cutout pattern across the chest area, but in such a nice design that it allowed for breathing room without simultaneously baring an eyeful of cleavage, CALLEIGH.  Oh, and I also loved her tan pants and heels.  As always, totally inappropriate for her line of work, but I could certainly use the outfit for my wardrobe.

Calleigh: She did have beautiful makeup on today - dark pink lipstick and purple eyeshadow; it was noticeable but it worked with her complexion.  I also liked the sharp navy blazer, but the shirt underneath it could have been closed about three buttons higher.

Horatio: I have a new theory on why he always wears a black suit nowadays - it hides blood spatter much more effectively than that old tan number.
America's Most Smartest Model Comes to a Close, and I  Promise Not To Watch Future Installments

Even though the finale aired a ridiculously long time ago, I failed to write about part 1 because a) I was surprised that they split it over two weeks after a 1-week hiatus, and b) after I saw that, I was going to wait and put them together in one post.  But then Finals Week happened and I slept through part 2, and for some insane reason I couldn't find a rerun anywhere on the schedule.  Eventually I ended up getting spoiled for the winner, but that won't stop me from writing about it like I don't know. 

AMSM: Episode 10, a/k/a Finale, Part 1
"Oh, Angela."  Not unlike Daniel, she had my unwavering favor the whole way through, and then...she brought herself crashing down in spectacular disaster.  Rule #1: You do not ever, ever admit that you have acting and/or singing aspirations when on a reality show for something that is not acting or singing.  Not until the competition is over.  Without fail, you will be attacked for not having your focus on the right priority, no matter how hard you try to convince them otherwise.  Especially if the person in a position to attack is Mary Alice, who already sort of dislikes you because you're a woman.  Rule #2: During important challenges, do not try to use your other talents to your advantage.  It will only come across like you're showing off.  You will be penalized severely.

Honestly, I don't even remember if she was a good singer or not because I spent the whole time with my face buried in my hands, cringing horribly. WHY?  Why would you start singing during a photo shoot?  I get that the theme was music, but sweetie, this particular type of film cannot capture sound.  And it would seem that motion would be frowned upon while trying to take a posed picture.  It was like she totally forgot why they were there and was just giddy by the appearance of so many people, surely ONE of whom would know a label that would be swept away by this fresh new talent and sign her immediately!

I love Angela, I do.  I still love how smart she was, since all-around-skill/intelligence is something I strive for in my personal life, and I thought she was the best of the female models (okay, maybe Rachael was more traditional, but I also didn't think she was as pretty).  But after that, it didn't surprise me even a little bit when she got eliminated.  Especially with that whole weird "I own you, bitches" rant to the models she was working, which was extraordinarily off-putting.  Still felt bad about her elimination interview tears, though.

And the problem is that this leaves us with a final 2 of Andre and VJ, neither of whom seems particularly model or smart - I guess you could make a case for VJ, but his dead eyes make it hard for me to accept - and I'm still scratching my head over how this happened.  How did we get a pair of ugly, unlikable people in the finale?

Weirdly, though, after the events of this episode, I found myself hating Andre less.  As much as I despise his bullying, arrogance and fight-picking, I have to appreciate his contempt and disgust for VJ's lying weasel ass.  He seems to have a very simple mind, but at least it contains some type of moral center/value system.  And you can't imagine how much I wanted Andre to punch him when he started doing that "get out" taunt with the irritating finger-pointing, and I very much sympathized with his clearly difficult struggle to control his temper right there.  I think I'd actually prefer Andre to win right now.  As hard as I try to remember the nausea he inspired in me all season, I can't.  At least not to the same extent with which I now view VJ.

The PowerPoint presentations in part 2 should be interesting.  So far I like the idea of VJ being Golden Retriever to Andre's pit bull (very true), but am confused as to why both guys seem to be working more on putting the other down than on highlighting their own strengths. Unless, of course, neither of them HAVE any strengths, which seems entirely plausible.

AMSM Episode 11, a/k/a "Seriously, now it's the finale."
So, funny story about this one.  I thought it was going to be hosted on VH1's website, but I couldn't find it.  I then spent forever trying to find a non-torrent source, and finally got it in 4 parts, but between the DL limit of the site and the fact that I can only download between the hours of 6 AM and noon, when my brother is guaranteed to be asleep (otherwise he flips out about how I'm producing lag on his precious MMORPG), it was slow going.  Naturally, just as I finished acquiring it, I did a random internet video search and found it had been posted to the website on 12/22, 6 days after its original airing.  -.-

There was really no need to stretch this finale into two was sorely lacking in material.  Literally, nothing happened except the (brief) presentations and the declaration of the winner, which I'm sure they could have consolidated with the previous episode by cutting out all the season-recappy bits.  Or maybe even just done a 90-minute finale, since they clearly weren't going to rerun it anyway. 

Meanwhile, viewing all these old clips of the finalists, I resumed being nauseated by both of them - it is really, truly sickening.  VJ almost literally oozes oil and insincerity, and Andre (which I just accidentally typed 'Andrea', hee!) and his rage just make me grimace. 

But then they actually started their presentations, and I have to say that Andre?  Is kind of effing awesome.  Pickel was far from my favorite contestant - I dont care what the public has to say; he wasn't hot and he gave off a definite frat boy vibe - but calling him and getting him to be the spokesperson for the presentation was marvelous.  (oh, and to Andre's credit, according to an extra clip on the website he actually *asked* the producers if that was okay)  This show really got kind of dull towards the end what with all the BLATANT CHEATING, which was aggravating mostly because reality shows are supposed to be equipped with all kinds of strict rules and regulations; they exist in a bubble and real-world strategies may not necessarily apply.  But as long as they're going to applaud it, you might as well be subversive right back. 

I lost track of how many times Andrea (oops. I don't know what's going on in my head) claimed that he could "barely speak proper English" - rather annoying, as he's perfectly understandable - but the real hook was not just getting someone else to talk, but in getting someone else to vouch for him.  Him, specifically, as opposed to VJ.  You'd think the judges might have taken this as a preview of public opinion, but no.  Also, I cannot stop giggling madly at VJ's Quote of Outrage, "You can't compete against me on your own, so you bring in someone else to help you?", you mean, like you did with the Jaguar competition you keep referencing as the height of your brilliance?

The whole head-to-head debate seemed like a bit of a cop-out on their part, though.  Anyone who's watched either of these guys for more than about an hour knows that VJ would have minored in "winging it" had he gone to college, and Andre has no internal censor that tells him how to stay on topic, much less make effective points while on topic.  I also think they have made a greivous error in calling it a "debate," because Andre took the word at face value and looked kind of bewildered when they jumped down his throat for starting to argue with VJ as opposed to simply discussing a topic.  Pity he couldn't think on his feet and adapt his speech once corrected.  It made the whole head-to-head indescribably painful to watch, and like I said...I couldn't help but thinking that seemed like a fairly contrived way to make VJ seem like a clearer winner than he was.  Couldn't they just admit that Mary Alice had her mind made up from F6 on?  Or at least admit that the whole having-hair vs. not-having-hair was an unwitting edge while trying to win a hair-product-styling ad campaign?

Yeah, still kind of nauseated that VJ won, if not surprised.  I didn't think the news could get worse than the faux-spoiler about it being Pickel, but while VJ has a refreshing lack of tattoos and a much prettier face, it's in the manner of a mannequin come to life.  Which is creepy.  I never thought I'd say I'm disappointed that Andre didn't win, but...I'm disappointed Andre didn't win.  There.  I said it and now I feel unclean and want to wash this show from my memory.  Call me when there are DVDs and put me down for a set.
P.S. SVU, what the hell business do you have coming back ON NEW YEAR'S DAY?  I know you think you're all rich and powerful with four episodes to burn, but I'm not ready for new TV yet!  No one is supposed to have new episodes on holidays!  Grumble...
Tags: america's most smartest model, csi: miami, law & order: svu, memes, tv commentary, year in review

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