There will, however, be several reviews plus my favorite Subtle Subtitles caption ever:
Also, question: how do you get screencaps from videos? Do you need some special program? I assumed it would be as simple as taking a screenshot of the desktop while it was cued up, but all this does is produce a frustratingly mobile image in Paint.
5.14, "Andy in C Minor"
Seriously, I have no idea what possessed Vera to slice his hair into that weird style, but I couldn’t stop staring at it for the like the first quarter of the episode. Like, the whole top/center stood straight up, with definite part lines on the sides of his head. It's like he's following the Ryan Seacrest Triangle trend. Um, anyway. The next couple of paragraphs are going to dissect real-life issues raised by the episode, and possibly get debate-y, and then we'll go back to plotlines and characters.
This show constantly invites me to put my foot in my mouth, and I feel almost certain I'm going to do it this week, but I have to say it. I understand the concept of "deaf community" slightly better than I understand the concept of "gay community," but I don't understand this vicious, vehement rejection of the idea of hearing. There was a featured post on Xanga some months back from someone who had just gotten a similar surgery, and there were an amazing number of comments from people who didn't criticize her, exactly, but did make it clear that they would never do such a thing themselves. Some of them were more religiously based, talking about how they want the first voice they hear to be Jesus, but even the general ones had a surprisingly strong interest in remaining the way they were. I had never heard anything like that before. Seeing this episode...I still don't get it.
There was a lot of discussion in there about how people consider the deaf to be freaks (they do what now?), or somehow less of a person because they can't hear, while within the community that silence is a point of pride that somehow differentiates them from ordinary people, makes them special. To both sides, I offer a completely baffled heap of WTF. I mean...no, I don't understand how it would even cross your mind to treat them differently, besides the possible communication problem, but that's no different than not understanding Spanish. On the other hand, not being able to hear is not like, I don't know, being born into a different ethnicity. It's not a celebration of having something different. It's not having something. Why would you revel in being minus one sense? Why would you want that for your children? I feel vaguely like I took the opposite stance when House was criticizing Little People, but I just do not understand this at all.
Anyway. Andy was one of those especially compelling characters that Cold Case likes to bring out every now and then, where even when I know they're dead by the end of the teaser, which is how we get an episode, I fall so completely in love with them through their flashbacks that keep hoping somehow there will be a mistake or a way of finding them alive after all (it happened once! We got Joseph the Cat Owner!). More particularly I tumbled head over heels for him and Emma. The scenes at the piano were especially beautiful and touching, but Andy completely won me over (despite his smirking) at the scene outside in the snow. Very pretty direction there.
I've never failed so badly at guessing the murderer. All that rage simmering beneath the surface, and I never once suspected Carlos?? I mean, even the dad started to make me feel uneasy. But otherwise, my first guess was the deaf girlfriend (whose name I have forgotten, but who was my favorite guest character), and then as soon as she began to look suspicious, I redirected my suspicions onto goody two-shoes Emma, and remained 95% positive for the rest of the episode that for one reason or another she'd been responsible. As sweet and caring as she seemed, she also had that slightly fake look about her, like she might very well be disguising a sociopathic nature.
As for Kat, I still haven't decided if I like the Great Big Moral Lesson the show decided to dump on my head by having her finally concede and let Jason meet his daughter. I didn't like Vera's ham-handed interference about how there was something OMG SPESHUL about one's biological parents that can't be equaled by anyone else, and while I don't think Kat should try to run from her past forever, I think she could manage to do it until her daughter's, I don't know, past puberty. Parallel storylines, these were not.
On the bright side, I got many a LOL out of Danny's "Dude. Shut it." look when Vera started arching his eyebrows about their culture being nothing more than "moving hands." As well as the "How do you sign 'You still owe me fifty bucks from poker?'" followed by a cutaway. See, rude gestures are so much funnier on the power of suggestion alone.
Now if only Vera's embarrassingly clumsy attempts at speaking in ASL hadn't happened, the ep might have been close to perfect. I know I'm supposed to be impressed and think what he's doing is admirable, but actually it's just painful for everyone involved, and you look like an idiot. Maybe if you'd been practicing for months and had a semi-decent grasp on it, but not in a day. In a day, you admit defeat and get an interpreter to work for you.
One other quibble: Cocchlear implants don't exactly seem like the type of thing you can just stroll into a clinic for. I somehow doubt the realism of that particular plot point.
I was hoping the music would be better, since I actually listened to the radio a great deal in 2006, but I didn't recognize anything except Rihanna's Bastard Song That Shall Not Be Named. Oh, and then for the closing song, I was all "OH! I KNOW THIS BAND! I recognize the singer!" This almost never happens - all bands sound alike to me. I can pick out Nickelback, and Lifehouse, by voice alone, but otherwise I have to know the song. Except in this case, where I racked my brain for thirty seconds trying to place it and finally crowed "THE FRAY! Yes?" Googled the lyrics, and yep, "Look After You." So that's my triumph for the night.
Kind of underwhelming after the brilliance of the first half. There wasn't much left to tell in the murder case; it ultimately circled around and went nowhere with the boyfriend (though I find it hard to believe he can terrorize, beat and rape a young girl for days, and THEN have a crisis of conscience for killing her. And hell, he didn't even kill her. He let his girlfriend do it, true, but really all he did was dump the body).
Still really depressed that sweet Suzie went through that horror in the first place. However, I really loved the dream sequence of mother and doctor sitting on the beach, overlooking the beautiful lake with wooded hills and silhouetted ducks at sunset. If I could figure out how to make my own damn screencaps, that scene would be my desktop background right now. As it is, I just gazed at its beauty for a while, and then cried all over the place at their heartbreaking conversation. The music was irritating and intrusive, but that was the most beautiful non-Dubois-including scene this show has ever had.
The previously-on segment reminded me just how chilling Joanna-the-Sociopath was at the end of last episode, with that crazed look in her eyes and the hysterically pleased-with-herself laughter, so I was hoping for a really good conclusion to her story, some beautiful triumph where she finally got packed off to jail. I liked the staredown in her hospital room, but I feel cheated that they never found anything to convict her - I thought for *sure* they'd get enough evidence from the clearly staged suicide to charge her on that, even if they couldn't specifically connect her to Suzie's murder. And then - nothing! She gets away with it!
Or would have, if Cynthia Keener hadn't literally looked at her with murder in her eyes, and subsequently killed her dead. The hell! I was *not* expecting that; that's horrible. I actually skipped that entire boring conversation on the steps, so I had no preparation for suddenly seeing Joanna lying in a pool of blood on her living room floor! That ending disappoints me. I knew that this case would be the end of Cynthia's run - not just because Anjelica Houston was only signed on this far, but just because things couldn't possibly have continued the same way after introducing emotional upheaval like this. But I figured it would just mean her leaving Phoenix, unable to stay after knowing what had happened there. I never expected her to end up going to jail. That's depressing.
I get that she probably feels like she has nothing left to live for, and to some degree I understand how getting "justice" would surpass all else in her mind. I, too, was horrified and kind of numb with disbelief when it seemed the evil girl would walk off scot-free and waiting to attack another girl. But...Cynthia! Does not belong in prison! I AM TERRIBLY SADDENED BY THIS, and not just because it means now I have to go back to dealing with Scanlon and Devalos full time.
Over on the other side of the character equation, Joe/Allison! I kind of liked Bitter Joe sitting in bars and following it up with the silent treatment (except, didn't he leave at like 7:00 in the morning? And wasn't he home before school got out? What time do bars open in Arizona?) and sleeping out on the sofa. I also like her sad little "I know you're mad at me. But can't you be mad at me in here?" (answer: forget about it) Then I feel like we skipped an important step somewhere.
She finally agrees to let him use the college money, but the way she says it doesn't sound at all like she actually believes in him - it sounds like a completely reluctant concession just to get him to stop being mad at her, and after saying so she doesn't look any happier with him than he's been with her. And while this exchange amuse me -
Joe: I suppose you expect me to sleep with you now.
Allison: No...in fact, I've decided I'm never sleeping with you again. [saunters out of sight]
Joe: *blink* ...well, hold on a second!
-- I don't really understand how we went from serious conversation to passive aggressiveness to biting quips that may or may not have been construed as flirty to shirtless Joe cuddled up against Allison's shoulder. Missing scene fic, it is practically required. If only this show had a FANDOM to write it for me. Really, I'm confused. Angry sex, makeup sex, or "sleep with" in its usual innocent connotation 'round the married-couple household? What just transpired here? I AM FAR MORE CURIOUS ABOUT THIS THAN I NEED TO BE.
Meanwhile, I will just continue to be amused by the ridiculously adorable bed scene, with all of its hair petting and general snuggling. Also, Rumply Morning Joe and a sweet goodbye kiss in the kitchen. Almost as good as the last bit at the end of the night ("You know, for a faithful manservant, you have an uncanny knack of putting things in perspective"), with him pointing at his mouth for a kiss. *giggles* They make me way too happy.
Bridgette's dreams are getting increasingly more useful, aren't they? Much more so than Ariel's. Kind of awesome. And even though I started off despising her, and I will never do like everyone else and rave "best kid of the three!", I like when she has moments like her bout of frustration, on the verge of tears, with "But that can't be right! There have to be two [white haired men]!" But I wasn't expecting this solution to the money problem at all, so kudos, show!
"Fifteen, freaking grand, just for falling on my ass! I think I've found my calling. I'm gonna be the guy that falls down in banks for a living." Well, that was a pretty spectacular wipeout, even though I'm almost positive the bank shouldn't be liable for anything since a) he was moving pretty fast across the floor and b) there was one of those "caution, wet floor" signs in plain view. But businesses can be silly and paranoid about things like that, so hurray! $15k for Joe's Amazing Invention Project! Also, hospital visits are love, especially since this one seemed particularly like one you might see in real life rather than being the huge central focus of half the episode, or getting stitched up on the scene and sent on your way.
Mostly, though, I just really loved Joe relaying "Besides, I got Bridgette right here to keep me company. She's flirting, shamelessly, with a handsome young intern. You'd be very proud."
[EDIT: OH DEAR GOD! "Green Week," I'd forgotten about that crapfest! I ran across some spoilers, and apparently Joe's solar-powered invention subplot was originally supposed to be for Green Week. Uggggh suddenly I hate it a lot.]
Ted: Dude. Do not pretend you're not the kind of guy who keeps a list of all the girls he's slept with.
Marshall: I have one. It's called my marriage license. *high five with Lily*
DEAR GOD, I LOVE THEM. They're just so smug and proud of it.
I liked the last two episodes, but then this one came along and had me rolling on the floor in uncontrollable laughter. GLEE FIT. This is one of those episodes you show people in order to prove that it's a great show. I loved it so much I'm completely incoherent, and all I can give you is a list of favorite parts. Which technically included everything, but here were some especially good bits:
-Super Spy Chalkboard Stealing!
-Lily's bag of groceries - recently, on a list of "universal truths in TV," was the fact that whenever a character buys groceries, they will always have a loaf of French bread sticking out of the bag. I don't remember that as a general rule, but then I saw one in Lily's, and I couldn't stop laughing
-Everyone frantically trying to guess what sleazy way Barney picks up chicks in museums. (And then Robin nailed it on the head, and my giggling was temporarily interrupted by that shudder and cold chill that runs up my back whenever something happens between them)
-Multiple Barney slappings - always glorious
-Meg! Whom I think was on the show before, but I don't remember because she'll always be Candy from Two and a Half Men to me. Her every appearance makes me gleeful.
-tedmosbyisajerk.com! One of the reasons I love this show is that it goes beyond TV. Between Barney's blog, the songs, and the various websites, it's like this entire gift package.Right now, I am busy being amused by the 20-minute, semi-psychotic rant set to music, with occasional lines of actual singing (and also some actual screaming, so watch out for that), on the aforementioned website. Twenty minutes it goes on! That is some epic hate right there. :D
-LILY MAKING A SCRAPBOOK OF BARNEY'S APOLOGY TOUR. Heeheehee.
-Barney sounding weirdly, completely sincere in apologizing to the blonde at the bar for not remembering her. Kind of appealing, actually, for the first time in his entire run on the show and - oh, God! There is a way Barney could trick me into sleeping with him!
The only thing I didn't like was his "I think I sold a woman" joke. Because while most of the horrible things he does can be made to sound funny, that one really can't - especially with the "I didn't speak the language" comment too.
Also, I feel exceptionally cheated that we didn't get to find out who the girl was. I don't want to watch this particular mystery unravel! I just want to know now! By the third girl I was already getting a little bored with the hunt and impatient to find out what was going on.
cbs.com was stupid and refused to let me watch the last minute, but apparently it was some reference to Doogie Howser. I doubt I would have understood it anyway, since the only reason I know anything about Doogie Howser is VH1's "I Love the 80's." Or maybe it was "50 Cutest Child Stars." One of those things.
I have fallen for a lot of stupid crap today, including "breaking news spoilers" that Locke was gonna kill Sawyer at the end of the season, but even I wasn't fooled for a half second by Ryan's April Fool's joke. I knew he'd have to pull one, because that's what he does, but you'd think he could at least have made it good.
This is American Idol:
DOLLY PARTON LOVE! Damn, I knew she was a huge star, but I didn't know she'd written that many songs. I didn't even know it was possible for a person to write that many songs in their lifetime. And I freely admit that "Jolene" is pretty much the only reason I know/like her at all, other than how she's been incredibly charming on Leno a time or two. Still, though, I just love her to pieces. And...whoa! I don't remember a world in which Dolly wasn't defined by her awesomely fake plastic surgery face. These pictures of her being young and pretty dazzle and confuse me!
Anyway. Suffice to say that she was really sweet and adorable during all of her video clips with the contestants, and I really think Dolly Parton week should be a double feature just for that. I say this with utmost sincerity.
Brooke - "Jolene"
I could not POSSIBLY LOVE HER MORE THAN I DO RIGHT NOW. We're talking instant love like never before, and if I could only vote tonight, I'd be screwing over Kristy Lee in favor of the 20-minute dialing treatment for this girl right here. It was almost perfect, though if I had a qualm, it's when she got into the end and started smiling, obviously carried away by both the crowd's enthusiasm and the song's beat. Sure, that's what I was doing, but this song isn't really made for smiling. It's about "I'm begging of you, please don't take my man."
And I really wish she'd stop tripping over herself to say "Okay, that's okay, that's fine" at the faintest hint of criticism. But I loved her ruffle-collar scoop neck blue shirt, and her huge gold earrings, and the goreous blonde curls with little tendrils coming down. Seriously, Brooke, a million points of win tonight.
David Cook - "Little Sparrow"
I didn't think his gross and unwashed hair could get worse, but then he put gel in it, and it did! And okay, that's just not fair - Carly sings about blackbirds and IS AMAZING and gets smashed across the board, and David sings about effing SPARROWS and sucks, and gets praised across the board? Honestly, I think I just really hate his voice.
That's what I was planning to say, and, well, then he started singing and against all my willpower I actually sort of liked it? Yes. I've never heard this song before, but I really like it. And even though I WANT to say that it would sound better in Dolly's voice, for once in my life I don't want to look up the original - I actually think it came across really well in a male vocal. Oh God, does that mean I like Porky Pig's arrangement?! NO! Except I sort of want the studio version of this! NOOOOOO!
Ramiele - "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind"
I like this fun, bouncy song, so the performance didn't suck nearly as badly as it could have. Her fashion sense is still atrocious and makes me want to hurt her, but at least I wasn't gritting my teeth and cursing at the screen like I usually am when she shows up. I was also multi-tasking and writing about Medium instead of paying strict attention, but I didn't hate it. [Edit: However, five minutes later, I can't remember the melody.]
Jason - "Travelin' Thru"
Holy damn, Brooke, you have a challenger for best performance of the night already! Are you quite sure this is Dolly's song? Because if you told me this was written specifically for him, or possibly that he wrote it himself, I'd believe you, because THAT is how amazingly it fits him. Like a glove! This song wraps itself around Jason and completely belongs to him. I cannot get over how much he makes me think of Hanson while performing (and this is a good thing). He just, wow, he completely fascinates me with how well he connects to this song. Shut up, Simon. I want to buy his CD right now.
Carly - "Here You Come Again"
Oh, Carly. Clay Aiken already destroyed this song by including it on his Crappy Album of Covers, and since that's the first and only place I've ever heard it, all I can feel is lingering resentment. So there was that, and then on one of the last big notes, instead of being her usual rich sound, her voice seemed very scratchy and hoarse, and I couldn't get behind it at all. On the bright side, she was looking especially amazing with the makeup and the face-framing layers in her hair tonight. Really, really beautiful. In a related note, I love Simon for complaining about her wardrobe, because I think that's as close as anyone's ever going to get to complaining about her tattoo in any official capacity.
OH GOD, IS THAT HER HUSBAND IN THE AUDIENCE?! The one with TATTOOS all over his FACE? I *thought* we'd seen him before, but it's always such a quick flash that I then convinced myself that I was just imagining things and/or dreaming about the X-Files "Humbug" episode, because surely no actual human being would do such a thing. Or at least surely no actual human being would marry someone who would do such a thing. BUT NO. IT'S REAL. HIS FACE. WTF, WTF, WTF. Carly! I cannot love you if I know what kind of gross people you associate with! All this is making me want to forget she's currently on the show and find her original album instead, when was presumably still a pretty and marketable pop singer.
David Archuleta - "Smoky Mountain Memories"
What is going on! Dolly Parton music must literally be magical. Because I think everyone sounds good, like - more specifically, I shockingly think that David sounds brilliant in a way that he has only ever achieved before with "Another Day in Paradise"! GUH. *is hypnotized by gorgeous voice*
Kristy Lee - "Coat of Many Colors"
Okay, well, it wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be. I feel disillusioned by this fact. That being said, she gave a pretty good performance. "Pretty good" as in pleasant and much more listenable than, I don't know, THAT MELINDA PERSON I am still so embittered about having to put up with all year that I complain about her every week even when she's long gone, but also as in "no real wow factor." I can't decide she's 5th or 6th out of the 7 who've gone so far. Anyway, I liked the brown-and-turquoise pattern on her dress, and her being barefoot, and the dreamcatcher earrings - all very homesteading-Western, aside from the plunging neckline on the dress making it more current - but the opera-house updo didn't mesh with the rest of her appearance.
Syesha - "I Will Always Love You"
Wow, that has got to be the ugliest hair she's ever worn. And also, HATE. HATE. I HATE THIS SONG WITH FIERY BURNING PASSION. I only know the Whitney version, but I loathe it. "I" is only one effing syllable! You don't stretch it out! You don't stretch it out like you're trying to break the roof timbers! And, damn it, for a while there I thought Syesha was actually going to keep it really soft, dialed-down, almost shy. I thought she was going to take a fantastic "risk" by turning a diva song into a gentle ballad, and I was prepared to applaud her for it. AND THEN. THEN CAME THE VOICE. For two seconds I thought it would be okay. Then it kept going, and my world turned red. I hit the mute button with as much violence as possible and narrowly avoided hurling the remote through the screen, so seething was my hatred for that EAR-BLEEDING NOISE. Syesha's relative unpopularity makes me like her a lot more than I would under ordinary circumstances, but performances like this make me want to reconsider that.
*yawns* Okay, you're the second worst of the night. I can't bring myself to actually rank anyone below Ramiele, but that was the least entertaining part of the night. Michael lost all the appeal he gained with me last week, and I'm back to finding him bland and borderline tiresome. I SHOULD be attracted to him, but I'm not. This frustrates me. So he could leave around 8th place or so and I'd be fine.
In retrospect: Brooke and Jason pwned the night, the Davids were unexpectedly pretty darn good, and after a rapid-fire comparison to the other four, Kristy Lee's performance was solidly in the middle of the pack. Aside from the last song being a huge letdown, though, I think this is the best week they've had yet in terms of overall quality. It might have been a country week, but it didn't really feel country - everyone took the music into their own style like professionals, which was incredible.
In conclusion: Dolly Parton + anything = awesomecakes.
Now I'm going to go be productive. I was amazingly productive for three hours this afternoon, during which I managed to sit down write 2/3 of the essay portion and about 90% of the short-answer portion on my take home exam, but then at 5:00 my motivation keeled over and died, and I've been in TV-land all night. Must finish exam! Must not watch CSI: Miami!