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HAHA!  Through several hours of torturous effort, I accomplished 10 pages' worth of writing this weekend.  So that's...2 papers down, 5 to go.  -.-  Being an English major, it sucks sometimes!  And...oh no wait, my English classes are perfectly reasonable.  It's my music class & Miserable Class of Death that are going to somehow wring another 20 pages out of me over the next week and a half.  I'm going slightly crazy just thinking about that.

How do we de-crazy ourselves?  We talk about TV, of course!  My Thursday ended up rather muddled; I seem to have wandered away from my Without a Trace tape 10 minutes in and forgotten to go back, and I ended up skipping ER after all.  And I want to talk about The Office, but I've watched it twice now and I still can't really think of anything to say.  Although I'm tempted to go with "GOD, SHOW, STOP SUCKING" (less a special exemption for Jim/Pam).  But hey, I've got, um... 

'CSI: 8x13, "A Thousand Days on Earth"
I think I should just accept the fact that this show is brilliant, always has been (except for season 6) and always will be, with or without its main cast intact.  After all, it temporarily survived wtihout Grissom last year, too.  

That being said, if they were trying to foreshadow something in this episode, I'm going to have to put my foot down and declare that I really DON'T want Wendy to slide from lab forensics to fieldwork in Sara's place.  I thought I wouldn't mind it, especially if the alternative was Ronnie Lake, but I think I'd prefer this not come to pass.  Five is plenty; I'm liking the team dynamics with five.

 
Now, going into this episode, my first thought was that it was going to be hard to live up to what Cold Case did with "Boy in the Box," which is still among my top 5 episodes for that show, and one of the most compelling/chilling/gutwrenching hours of crime drama I've ever seen, period.  And no, it didn't quite measure up to that standard, but what they did with the opening and the Very Somber Autopsy Scene was pretty darn effective in its own way.   

And eventually I began to suspect (and was proven right) that I really should have been comparing this episode to "Gentle, Gentle."  Really, really similar wasn't it?  Accidental death caused by a sibling, parent dressing the body with care and leaving it somewhere to be found.  I was hoping there'd be some particular reaction from Grissom, but apparently I should give up on the writers ever remembering that line about the three types of cases that get to him.  Ah well.

By the end of it I was just kind of curled up in a miserable ball.  These are horrible accidental tragedies!  Do not want!  Everything from the original divorce, to the stupid kid not knowing any better and shutting her stepsister in the cupboard with all the dangerous chemicals, to the stupid stepfather not getting her to the hospital... that was particularly sad; while Catherine was busy screeching at him, I was watching the flashback and getting tears in my eyes.  OK, so he's touched in the head, but he tried to save her.  And then he didn't have any other recourse...hey, writers, nice job getting me to look at criminals from a different perspective this week.  A bit of warning about your plans would have been nice, though.

Oh yeah, and while I didn't quite understand why he needed to take a whole diner full of people hostage...it did not improve my mood when his totally innocent wife got blasted full of bullets by trigger-happy snipers.  I couldn't even believe what I was seeing at first.  Just a tiny bit unnecessary, that last tragedy, don't you think?  Think of the poor orphaned children!    

For the record, I didn't suspect Leo at all.  OK, maybe for a second when they first arrested him, but once I found out *why* he was registered as a sex offender, my suspicions vanished immediately.  And for as dumb and vapid as his OMG CLAVO'S ACCOMPLICE! fiancee was, my brain is having trouble processing how that caused her to break up with him.  Because, okay, getting high on various illegal drugs is stupid, but technically it's not his fault the stupid preschoolers picked an inopportune time to be outside.  And I'm not really sure why the detail of his registration on Megan's List needed to get back to the girlfriend in the first place.  I think what I'm trying to say here is that DAMMIT, CATHERINE, IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT TO LIKE YOU SOMETIMES.  And I didn't even particularly like Leo.  He creeped me out, and I jumped about three feet in the air when he showed up in the parking garage like that.  But the way he explained it made it very easy to take his side.     

  

Speaking of difficulty liking Catherine, can anyone explain why she jumped down Hodges' throat for daring to use the adjective "beautiful" in describing why the death of a ~ child was so tragic?   


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'Numb3rs, 4x14, "Checkmate"
"Oh, so THAT'S Robin!"

Okay, I admit it: I have not seen any episodes from season 1 or 2 since they first aired, and I don't remember Robin at all - I only know her through Spy's recaps. I thought maybe I'd recognize her once I saw her, but she's like a brand-new character.  Having now seen her...I'm a little bit put off by her enormous nose.  That's terribly shallow, but I can't help it; it hypnotizes me.  It's like a caricature the way it takes over her entire face! 

However, by the end of it, I had been completely won over.  Started with the gift-wrapped hair clip (aw), and flipped all the way over as soon as Don saved her life.  Desperate hugs will get you everywhere in my shippy world.  Plus any time Don's happy instead of Dark and Angsty, I'm happy, so I loved the ending - although that hotel clerk giggling and nudging her coworker was kind of over the top.  ("That means they're gonna DO IT!  Heeheehee!")  I don't know that I'm over the moon with wild joy, but I like Robin well enough, and would be fine with her staying around a while.    

Speaking of things that send me over the moon, Charlie & Amita (though I am still not used to the former's shorn curls) and their touchy-feely routine = pure joy.  Something just cracks me up about her chiding his poor shirt-folding skills and insisting upon doing it herself (domesticity!  They have it!).  Meanwhile he's hanging all over her, hands first at her waist and then on her shoulders.  I do not think it is possible for me to glee over this relationship any more than I already do.  They are something rare and precious in television drama: The Happy Couple.  Favorite part of the whole episode right there.  Though I could possibly have done without the gleam in Amita's eye at the possibility of Charlie carrying handcuffs.  *scrubs brain*  

Plus there's a nice Eppes Family Moment thrown into this scene as Alan - who is still sporting that ungodly scruff on his chin and frightening small children and weak-hearted viewers with it - quietly freaks out about Charlie getting near guns, and Charlie promptly points the blame at Don.  "It was his idea."  HEE.  However, when it actually came to seeing thsoe activities...  

UGH.  Everything about Charlie's little FBI-training day was unbearably painful to watch.  It HURT.  THe idiocy actually burned my corneas (bet you didn't think that was possible). The only thing that was even slightly comical was "Rambo" making Don & David fear for their lives as he glibly swung a machine gun around in the office.  And...well, okay, this too - 

"You got any advice for me?"
"Yeah, just shake his hand and kick him in the nuts."
"Same advice you gave me in elementary school."
"Well, it worked then, right?"
HEE.  Those little glimpses of the brothers in boyhood are always fun to see - but it still wasn't worth all the other pain.   

Oh, shoot, I almost forgot the other Charlie/Amita moment...him coming back thoroughly bruised and beaten, in which all of Amita's best attempts to be caring and girlfriendy backfire as the hug puts perssure on tender ribs and the kiss hits a split lip.  Aww.  I feel as though we could do something with hot baths here, but my pristine mind will not allow me to contemplate the mechanics (which may or may even be feasible in this case) long enough to figure it out.

The chess subplot was dull.  I'm not getting into it, except for one fun quote:
"What, is this a black and white thing?"
"Actually it's a smooth and...unsmooth thing."
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern: excellent as ever.  Especially when David proves himself spectacularly unsmooth.  I think part of it's the fact that unsmooth isn't a real word.

P.S. You want an example of how much my brain is a seive little I remember of season 1?  Well, for a very long time now I've been unable to remember what Terry Lake looked like.  (in fact, I'm amazed I even remember her last name)  All I remembered was that she reminded me of Eames on Law & Order: CI, and so gradually, I just replaced her face with Eames'.  Today someone mentioned that they should bring back Sabrina Lloyd from the first season, and so armed with a name at last, I fed it into Google.  And...WOW.  Ze-ro recollection.  I know I didn't see all the episodes from that first short year, but still - I do not remember that face.  Did a little digging, and I think I remember some of her quotes, but I remember Eames saying them.  That is some deep memory reconstruction right there.    

------------

'The Office: Dinner Party
*DISCLAIMER: I will, eventually, take off my Bittercakes Hat.  'Bout, oh, 6 or 7 paragraphs down.

I was really, really excited for The Office to come back. Bouncing around the room excited. Even watched-it-with-my-roommate excited.  Then Michael and Jan appeared.  Like a pair of hideous black holes, they sucked all the energy and excitement right out of me.

I have officially reached the limits of how much Jan I can take per season (note: that's Jan with an 'n,' not Jam-with-an-m.  Jam-with-an-m has no limits).  After this, I never want to see her again.  You all know how much I loathe Michael, right?  Well, it turns out that Jan is very rapidly approaching, and possibly already reached, that special tier of characters I'd like to burn alive.  I hate her plastic smirk.  I hate her crazy/jealous eyes.  I hate when she's sure of herself just as much as I hate her when she's a pathetic, weepy mess.  I could continue listing all the things I hate about her, but the sheer volume of the list would probably break the internet.  And she and Michael together sickens me to a degree I can't even articulate.       

People keep mentioning how the three vasectomies were "TMI."  I agree; however, I also agree that any information about Michael Scott is TMI, unless it's the hour and manner of his death.  Apparently, during the time I thought I was sorely missing new Office episodes, what I was actually doing was building up a deep, deep reserve of more violent hatred than usual.  This pains me, because for a while there last fall this was my favorite show, but this makes three episodes in a row that TPTB have mistakenly decided "painfully awkward" equals "knee-slappingly funny," when actually it equals "excruciatingly torturous."  I hate it, and it makes me cranky, and I still haven't even gotten into the specifics of why.

And...I don't think I can without going into an even bigger rage, so I'll leave you with this sentiment: when Jan picked up that Dundee, I'll have you know that I was sorely disappointed when she didn't heave it through Michael's skull.  I think I may have actually whimpered in frustration.  

Oh!  And - the ending tag!  The hell am I supposed to do with that?  Am I supposed to feel sorry for Jan, or somehow touched, because she's crying and trying to fix the stupid little statue?  I'm grossed out by the entire display.  The woman is literally insane.  She needs psychiatric help, and by "psychiatric help" I mean a straitjacket, enough sedatives to knock out a bear, and possibly some electroshock therapy.

You know who else I really hate, albeit slightly less than the two preceding characters?  Andy Bernard.  Once upon a time, I kind of joked that I almost wished Karen had been the Last Stamford Member Standing, but now I DESPERATELY WISH THIS IS HOW THINGS HAD COME TO PASS.  I hate Andy so much that I almost want to rewrite history and keep Jim with Karen another year if it would mean Andy had left for good instead.  This is what goes through my head whenever he speaks: Gross gross gross get him away gross ew gross for the love of God make him shut up gross.  I think my temperature went up a degree or two just thinking about him.
----------
SO!  That being said, you can imagine how it filled me with delight at the end when he licked her ice cream cone, and she gave him a look to freeze fire and ever so carefully reached out to smash the remainder of said cone against the side of the car.  HAH!  Girl is my hero.  That is exactly what I was hoping she would do.  Although I don't understand why she keeps deigning to go out with him, the way she reacts to his every gesture like he's a vile piece of dirt on the bottom of her shoe is exactly how I react to them, so there's a delightful bit of vicarious living going on there.  The only problem with this is that I live in eternal fear that this show is going to pull an Erica Hahn on me, and have her one day out of the blue start making out with him.  *shudders* 

Before I sing her praises too much, though, we'd have to discuss her Pam-hating issues.  I do not understand where they came roaring back from all of a sudden.  I thought they'd gotten on almost-friendly speaking terms at the beginning of the season.  Is this just because Pam rejected her offering of kitten?  That seems like a stiff price to pay.  Mostly, though, I am disturbed by the fact that she kept jumping to Jan's side of things.  I distinctly remember her giving Jan the Angela equivalent of "fuck off" during that stupid women's seminar.  Why, then, is she gleefully playing along with Jan's passive-agressive insults and taking pleasure in insinuating that Pam "looks" at Michael?  I choose to believe it has something to do with the fact that Pam is relatively happy in the company of her boyfriend, whilst Angela's trapped here with Andy Bernard of all people.  Redirected anger and all that.

In a related note, I have no words for Dwight.  His presence was just as useless and unnecessary as this episode.
-------
Jim and Pam: (a/k/a "Things I Actually Liked")

I think if Michael and Jan had perhaps been just a little less over the top, the episode could have been salvaged, because within it, Jim and Pam were perfect.  I loved all their reactions to the increasing weirdness of things on the tour, especially the camera in the bedroom.  (What.  WHAT?  Oh my God.  Ew.  Unsee, unsee!  And file this away for later.) They really DO have their own language, and with it they produced small novellas of conversation of which we never heard a word.  I'm convinced that if they'd spoken everything their eyes said, this episode would have been 10 minutes longer.  Also, it would have been exactly 15,600 times better.

I feel like I should say something about the "abandonment" issue, but honestly, it makes me tired just thinking about it.  I didn't even think anything of it until the internet exploded with "OH MY GOD, HE TRIED TO DITCH PAM!!"  Jim-hate seems to have become increasingly popular since season 3, and I just never got on board with that.  I've seen all the same episodes you have, but at no point have I thought Jim's behavior warranted disappointment, or use of the adjective "dickish," or anything else along those lines; this episode was no exception.  He tried to get them both out; Stupid Michael tripped him up; he tried and failed to come up with a way around that and when he couldn't come up with one, had to go take care of his "flooded apartment."  

Mostly I was just impressed with Pam's lightning quick response, on the verge of desperate but managing to pull it off anyway.  For all Jim's mock-glares, I think he was a little bit impressed too.  Pam certainly looked pleased with herself.  She's cute that way.  (also cute when she's giving him Looks like 'Yeeeah, that's right.  You're sticking it out with me.')  I 

It's entirely possible I was still a daze from the preceding Angry Jim scene, because he's all kinds of attractive when he's pissed off and on the verge of snapping.  

Also:
* Him helping her out of her coat at the beginning
* The very cute story of Jim being hopeless with electronic setup 
* Burgers!  Babe!  Stolen CDs!  Being in a car seems to activate an extra dose of adorable with these two (which I just wrote as 'this too,' because my fingers seem to type faster than my brain can keep up and I'm always putting in the wrong word or missing words here and there, as you've probably noticed)

OK, I give up trying to be clever or even coherent about this show.  It's been over 4 months!  I'm out of practice!  I don't remember how to talk about these characters!  And there are like, huge, huge, HUGE packs of spoilers that I'm scrambling to catch up on right now, but the gist of the Jim/Pam ones - which of course are the only ones that really matter - leave me cautiously optimistic.  I am going to concentrate on those and try to forget that I ever saw this episode, because it's going right down there near "The Deposition" at the bottom of the episode rankings. 

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eleigh
Apr. 13th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
Having now seen her...I'm a little bit put off by her enormous nose. That's terribly shallow, but I can't help it; it hypnotizes me.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. She bugged me the entire ep almost and I finally figured out it was because of her face. I feel so shallow.

TPTB have mistakenly decided "painfully awkward" equals "knee-slappingly funny," when actually it equals "excruciatingly torturous."

This is pretty much why I can't watch The Office with any regularity. I hate Michael and considering he is almost always doing something painfully awkward I spend the entire time cringing rather than laughing. I don't like that brand of humor at all.

rainbowstevie
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
I can't figure out where fandom as a whole stands on Robin, so it's good to know I have a little solidarity here. :)

And THANK GOD, I thought I was the only one who couldn't stand him. And it's frustrating because I really love (almost) all the other characters, so I keep watching, but the fact that the show revolves around him is discouraging.
proudofthefish
Apr. 13th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
I'm totally with you in thinking the show would suck and th it ...didn't. I still want Jorja to come back and I am encouraged that he was talking to Sara at the end of the ep... or maybe that was GDC I watched them in a row. Also Catherine... I fel like we need to see her with some other characters besides Grissom Where were Warrick or Nick to talk to her?

I want a good team episode.
rainbowstevie
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was GDC, but it was definitely promising all the same. I hope they keep up moments like that every so often.

I don't mind Grissom & Catherine sharing scenes; I think they have one of the better working dynamics, but I would like to see her with the other people too. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get a solid team episode soon. This one almost was, but then Greg's face time was distressingly minimal.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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