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Umm...guh.

You wouldn't think an episode called "Bitches" would be any good at all, BUT THEN SUDDENLY IT TURNS INTO A THING OF AMAZING GLORY.  And my review has to become insanely long because of it.

So: opening Ned/Chuck scene.  *keels over dead*
Voice: I only have a limited number of magic zapping touches here.  I can't be reviving you every time something kills you of cuteness.  Can't you just faint, like normal people?
RS: In the spirit of this show, no.  And your magic zapping touches are not limited.
V: *whines* But I get tired.
RS: Revive, minion!
V: Look, Ned's watching Chuck sleep.
RS: You're only creating more work for yourself!  *dies again*
V: *examines nails*  Ah, peace and quiet. 
RS: *props one eye open* 
V: Yep, this is definitely the life for me.  Way better without all that background noise.  
RS: MINION!
V: It's only work if I bring you back to life.  I have chosen to allow you to remain peacefully dead.
RS: *grumbles*  

Anyway.  Back in November,  kimberkatielinked to verygoodbread's Picspam of Awesome (*pause* whatever, her username has apparently changed to "fixing," but it will always be verygoodbread to me because that is way more memorable/fun to say), and because I was agreeably shipping Ned/Chuck but still not certain I was ever going to watch the show, I obviously had to indulge myself and look at something promised to be so brilliant.  And it was amazing.  I've read it over more times than I can count in the past few months, albeit mostly just with staring and/or drooling at the pictures.   

And now I've finally seen it in action!  I...think I might like the printed version better?  At least towards the end?  The kissing gets sort of messy in action, and after a couple of seconds I get an uncomfortable tugging sensation between "OMG YAY SQUEE!" and "...you know, I find that my brain is not completely ready to go there yet."  Shirtless Ned, for example.  Not a big fan.  It's too sudden a switch from the soft-spoken romantic I've been accustomed to thus far.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Incidentally, this is exactly what I meant when I was gleeing over them sharing a room.  I stick by my convictions that watching someone sleep is sweet, but Lee Pace (whom I am still convinced won this role on facial expressions alone) takes it to a whole new level with the dreamy (if tinged with bittersweet longing) gazing.  And I love the sheepish little smile that spreads across his face as he finally, through a lot of babbling about pretending otherwise, admits that "yes, I was...watching you sleep."  Almost as good as the "it's like watching you come back to life [again]."  Man.  I think real-life relationships may be ruined for me by the time I'm done with this show, as I'll wonder why all men don't go around spouting poetic sentiments at the drop of a hat.  

I like to pretend that in this dream scene, Digby is not so much "bad dog in the way" as "exercising his powers of preternatural intelligence to show Ned & Chuck that it's OK to touch."  My Digby love is just that strong. (speaking of which, every time I see his "baroo?" head snap up, lanky body all sprawled out on hsi side, my desperate need to go home and tackle-hug my dog increases like fifteen fold.  *closes eyes and chants*  Six more days!)

As much as I like the look of utter horror and despair on Ned's face as Charlotte falls on him, I am much more fond of the disbelief and joy that follows it when she pops up, perfectly fine.  I cannot lie; I like to pretend this is the series finale and that "maybe it wears off."  And I love that you can actually see his brain short-circuiting as he ponders the how for about three seconds and then gets distracted by "Oh my God, your skin is amazing."  

Voice: I can see your brain short-circuiting.  
RS: *fights to keep it on track*  Not that I have any qualms with that distraction whatsoever, as it's a perfectly exquisite moment, as is the next shot of her finger against his lips, and then it does my heart all kinds of good to finally see them all wrapped up in one another's arms.  And I rather like her hair all bunched up in his fist, for some reason.  [interjection: wow, this is so much nicer to watch in slow motion and/or on mute.  Oh no, wait, there's still that little shudder of "ugh" at the moment they break the kiss.]

Let's just say the scene ends there, with Digby going "Oh please, not in front of me" and covering his eyes with his paw (which, by the way, that's like the cutest possible thing you can teach a dog to do.  I loved Wishbone for it, and now I'm pleased to see Digby follow suit).  The scene got uncomfortable enough even before the gagworthy Chuck-suit-shucking.  And hell, I assumed it at least ended there.  No one prepared me for a Ned/Olive kiss, which...I need surgergy to remove the small portion of my brain on which that sight is etched.  Blech.

Although that scene might be worth it just for the hilarity of Ned running off to tell Emerson about the dream (who is, of course, just thrilled to counsel Pie Boy on this issue), and rapid descent into desperate confusion/headdesking (which does, in fact, thrill Emerson, as it's very entertaining).  

I don't even know what to say about their adorable baby squabble about him not telling her about the kiss "because it didn't mean anything.  Lots of stuff happens in the course of the day that I don't bother sharing" (I do believe he's almost pouting there), which is then pretty much instantly resolved by Chuck labeling them an "us."  Ned promptly melts and looks as pleased as a puppy, only to get squeaky-voiced and worried again when she starts hypothetically thinking polygamy might serve a purpose.  I love it.  but I especially love Emerson muttering "Why do I always have to be around for this stuff?"

And the end.  Oh, the end.  The end that very nearly, possibly, maybe kicks the beginning's butt.  From him turning down the covers on her bed (domestic bliss!  I had a fleeting moment of pretending they could share that bed), to his stubborn insistence not needing your whole list of wishes to come true in order to be happy ("What do you need to be happy?"), to...the part where his smile of pure adoration, in all its cheesiness, actually lights up the room.  "You."  

#1 couple on television, right here.

Further Ned/Chuck things
-BOARD GAMES!  They were playing a board game, and I feel suddenly horrible that I don't know what it is...backgammon?  Is that it?  Anyway, I consider this free rein to let my imagination run wild over all the various board games they must play.

-"For the record, I would make a horrible polygamist..." The quiet desperation in his face is hysterical.

-Awwww.  "I'm gonna hug Digby and pretend he's you."  That would be even sweeter if words like that didn't simultaneously bring a twinge of the bittersweet reminder that Ned can't touch either of them.  I comfort myself from this soul-crushing realization by clinging to the belief that someday there will be a way to cancel the second-touch-dead-forever rule, and then I have happy pictures of lazy mornings in bed, with Chuck on one side and Digby on the other, the pinnacle of perfection.  Yes.  SOMEDAY THIS WILL COME TRUE.

Other things exist on this show?  Oh yeah!
OH, AND THEN, as if there was not enough brilliant Ned/Chuck already: the episode revolved around dogs.  Dogs!  Dogs everywhere.  In addition to a store window full of cuddly beagle puppies (excuse me while I take a break to cry at the thought of puppies in a pet store franchise), you've got a beautiful, elegant white standard poodle and a gorgeous border collie, with thick and shiny fur; a compact, wriggly little Jack Russells; and lovable labs. These last four breeds combine to make the Super Dog of the Future, Bubblegum, who is...holy crap, shockingly homely.  

I mean...???? That's the dog you want to clone all over the country?  It's a little slip of a thing [edit: OK, in the last scenes, it looks more collie-sized.  I don't even know anymore] who failed to inherit the soft, lamb-like curls of the poodle and instead appears to have gotten a wirehair gene from the JRT.  I do not understand why anyone breeds wirehaired dogs on purpose.  Doesn't  the name clue you in?  Bubblegum has kind of cute coloring - I do love tricolor, especially with big black splotches - but on the whole, she's not as cute as any of her heritage.  Strictly my opinion, of course.

I bet she's adorable in real life, though, because all dogs are when you can actually pet them.  Can you even imagine how much fun it must have been to be on set for this episode?  I mean, I assume every day's a party with the dog(s) who play Digby around, but this is like 8 times the fun.  

And speaking of Digby, he got an extra-big starring role this week.  I love him accompanying each person in turn, from being loving and affectionate as Pickle, to dutifully sitting on the opposite end of the therapist's couch as Ned with "Mr. Digby" (who in turn was hilariously defensive about Ned's mating issues/experience), to cheerfully ignoring Emerson's orders to sit and returning the "Dammit, dog, you better sit your ass down!" with a growl and a snap.

Good news: I think my Olive hatred is abating slightly!  Telling Chuck about the kiss, assuring her it was nothing, and the extra emphasis that it wasn't necessary for Ned to have told her, built up a lot of goodwill very rapidly.  For the first time, I actually thought the way she was talking was cute, and she kept it up all through the episode.  And if she promises to be much less blatant about her unrequited affections in the future, and keep them scaled back to a minute amount of wistful pining with a spark of hope, I'm sure I could learn to be nice to her.  I do definitely enjoy the fact that Ned apologized and looked genuinely sorry about it all. That was a very sweet moment.  I think I could even stand them as friends now.  OI, BRAIN, YOU DID NOT JUST GO TO "WHEN CHUCK ACCIDENTALLY DIES AGAIN, I COULD HURT/COMFORT SHIP THEM" PLACE!!  (Um, really don't read too much into that.  I am firmly on board with the idea of them being friends, but that's as far as I'm prepared to go right now)

In fact, I do believe the only thing I didn't like about this episode was Joel McHale.  I kept getting an unpleasant feeling every time I saw him, but I couldn't remember why he looked familiar.  In fact, my brain was trying to protect me from the knowledge, because when I looked him up afterwards: oh, helllll no.  "The Soup" makes my skin crawl after three minutes and by the seven-minute mark I'm climbing up walls.  I have seen two half-episodes, and that's all I plan to stand for the rest of my life.  It's just icky.

Wasn't that big a fan of Emerson's dream, either.  Limits to the surreal whimsy, I suddenly have them.

Quote of the Week
Emerson: I suppose I could pay my bills with blind kids' smiles, but their money's a lot easier.


------- 
In conclusion, if anyone out there has managed to resist the show longer than I have, please take steps to remedy this situation immediately, because what everyone says is actually true.  It was the best new show of 2007, and is utterly perfect in almost every way.  Honest to God, I understand why it took me so long to make  time for it, and I'm not sorry about waiting, but I also don't understand how I survived before I had it in my life (so, like last week).  Doctor Who?  Please pass the crown of Shiny New Obsession Love.  

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
muzzy_olorea
Jun. 28th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
I rather like Celine Dion actually. I guess people mock her music because it's ..... soppy? I don't know. Maybe it's just because Angst is the 'in-thing'.

I tried watching Pushing Daises and had to push myself just to get through the Pilot and then I was flicking through channels on the TV and tried watching a random episode but I really can't get into it.
rainbowstevie
Jun. 28th, 2008 01:04 pm (UTC)
Whoops...I meant to take out the Celine Dion comment before I posted (I tend to type a lot of random thoughts in the editing window; not all get left in by the end), and I did a swift edit, but I guess you got here right when I posted. Oh well. Yeah, I suppose it's probably something like that, but I still find it hard to wrap my brain around the idea that we're supposed to worship people like Rihanna instead.

No Pushing Daisies for you, eh? :( I thought the pilot was perfect in just about every way, so I guess it's more of a niche show than I thought. (but-but-but! Ned and Chuck may be the cutest thing ever created in the history of television!)
muzzy_olorea
Jun. 28th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
I think I have a hard time getting past the fantasy element - not so much his ability to revive dead people but the setting in fairytale land and the narration etc.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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