1. I was introduced to the XKCD comic strip last weekend, and spent way too long clicking through the archives, but as a longtime mocker of literary theory/criticism, this particular one MAKES MY LIFE. I cannot stop giggling hysterically, and my mom got a good chuckle out of it too. Meanwhile, I've printed out a few copies and stuck them on notebooks and folders so I can carry the hilarity around everywhere to show people.
2. I'm not watching The Mentalist because every time I see a preview, he strikes me as a smug, cocky asshole I'd like to punch in the face. I just wanted to put that thought out there.
3. Meanwhile, I have to confess that I watched Worst Week on Monday night out of boredom while waiting for CSI: Miami to start. I TRIED TO RESIST, I DID. I even had Survivor playing on my computer! But then I...couldn't resist Kurtwood Smith. Or the pretty lead female. Or the birds, or the German Shepherd. And even though I kept being annoyed by the premise of this show, because its pride in being unbelievably unrealistic in terms of how many bad things can happen to one person starts to detract from the funny, the last scene totally got to me. The banter!!
"Good, I see you've got a big enough sandwich then."
"You shut up, I'm pregnant."
And somehow it seemed like very...Jim-Pam-esque banter. And I kind of found it adorable, in a way where I don't know if I'll make a specific point of watching it again, but I might end up not-resisting it in the future. Damn you, CBS comedies! Stop pulling me in with your luring ways!
While you're at it, would you consider bringing New Adventures of Old Christine back to Mondays and banishing Two and a Half Men, or at least Big Bang Theory, to the Wednesday Gladiator Arena? Because I hate those two, and I miss NAOC, but I don't miss NAOC enough to sacrifice other shows to watch it, nor to track it down on my own. So it would be nice if I had the "convenient timeslot" excuse to watch it.
4. CSI: Miami, 7x02, "Won't Get Fueled Again" (seriously, season 7, how the hell'd we get here??)
Rich people at a party with nothing better to do? Check. We're definitely at a Miami crime scene. (in a related note: really? He’s burned down to his *skeleton* by the time we arrive, implying that no one even like, tried to throw glasses of water on him?)
So while I ignore the case, which was the usual waste of time and nonsense involving a high-tech gas-siphoning operation that somehow became about a forced prostitution ring (I don't even know anymore), allow me to tell you what rescued this episode: the new coroner.
Dr. Tara Price gets introduced as "a little spark plug" and ohhhh, five seconds later, I like her! I told you I had a good feeling about her from the picture alone, but when she showed up to her first crime scene not baring even a smidge of cleavage? That was so many points in her favor. Sure, it was a halter neck, but still! No cleavage! Her whole manner was really quite pleasant; she wasn't smug, she was neither overly confident nor overly giddy (*cough* Ronnie Lake); she just slid into her job and it was like she'd always been there.
Also, I knew I’d seen the actress somewhere before, I knew I had -- THAT 70'S SHOW, HYDE'S HALF-SISTER! OMG YES! I adored her to pieces, and now I think maybe it’s just because the actress is so excellent.
I am also totally on board with having Eric flirt with her. See, see, now Calleigh can be with Jake and we don’t even have to worry about Eric! (I kid. I take their flirting at face value, have no desire and see no need for it to develop further, but it was just kind of cute how Eric still can’t meet a pretty woman without getting all out of sorts. Also, Tara has eyes, so it’s not like he can be resisted)
Speaking of awesome guest stars, GARY! OMG LOL GARY! *falls out of chair laughing* As a gas station attendant! I don’t know the actor’s name and this may be the first time I’ve seen him outside What I Like About You, but I love the guy.
All right, I lied, one thing about the prostitution-ring plot: remember when they did this plot in season 3, “Legal,” and it was good? Right down the same elements of immigrants having their passports taken, and Horatio personally coming in to help them – only instead of being nauseatingly over-the-top, with freakingly heavenly lighting behind their savior, it was Horatio gently reaching out to one young woman, offering a hand and promising safety. Long before I’d fallen in love with the show, and was just a casual viewer, that episode/that moment stood out in my mind as one of the most memorable things in the whole series.
In other words, watching the sea of women part to reveal The Hero standing behind them, smirking to beat the band as he brought down the Hand of Justice - with no less superiority and intensity than an evil villain about to execute his master plan - I miss when Horatio was human and empathy was his greatest quality.
P.S. Another entrant in the “Dumbest Bad Guy Ever” contest: “I wonder what happens if I douse a guy in gasoline and then hit him with a taser! Probably nothing, right?”
Notes from the Packers Promotional Fashion Show
Tara: Actually changed from her halter-neck, upon realizing it was orange, to one of the acceptable colors today – yellow – without baring any more cleavage. I approve so much!
Ryan: Wearing one of the most vivid green t-shirts I’ve ever seen, and paired with a leather jacket. I was honestly rendered speechless as his ruggedness increased by 200% on the spot. He looked ready to go out and lead a trail ride in the mountains, and then maybe wrangle some cattle. I approve of this look too.
Natalia: Short-sleeved yellow shirt that would have been nice if it hadn’t been cut so low. On the bright side, she’s got some nice curls on her today. You wanna donate those to Lindsay Monroe, by chance?
Calleigh: Tight black silk blouse, paired with skintight black pants. All I can fathom is that she’s out to do some cat burglary later on and won’t have time to change. Hope she brought some footwear besides those black stilettos, though.
Eric: In quite possible the most sensible and subtle outfit I’ve ever seen, a gray polo and basic slacks. Massive improvement over the floral-pattern button downs.
Horatio: I think he’s choosing white/faintly-striped shirts for good now, which, thank God. The old blue Superhero Shirt quickly became infuriating week after week; at least with these it’s easier to believe he has several slightly different ones.
5. Survivor: Gabon
I’m disappointed…one of my friends from high school, who’s been obsessed with the show since forever, was auditioning for this season and I had a crazy, wild hope that he might actually make it. Alas, no. And I have to say that overall, I’m not feeling especially impressed with this season – the location is fantastic, and I love how they can introduce it with “hosted by Emmy winner Jeff Probst” now, but the contestants are, for the most part, really blasé. I keep telling myself that I’m always bored for the first 1-4 episodes until I really get to know the people, but…sigh.
Time for my traditional First Impressions. I always go through the bios on the CBS website while I watch the premiere, partly because otherwise a lot of people get shafted on screen time and I’d never notice them, and partly because writing this out sticks all the names in my head that would otherwise take me forever to learn.
As for actual discussion of the 2-hour premiere, well, I’m shocked Gillian wasn’t voted out first – this new trend of voting out pretty girls early on still weirds me out - and a little sad that it gave me just enough time to get attached to her before she got voted out second. :( On the whole, though, I’m liking Team Koda more – that’s the one with Bob Crowley the Science Guy – and so I’m glad they’re doing well.
Ace: BALD SLIMEBALL. His every second of screen time, with that horrible snobbery (complete with snobby accent!) makes me want to punch him in the face.
Bob: On the opposite end of the spectrum, OMG LOVE HIM. He’s just like Bill Nye the Science Guy (ooh, and look at that, he actually is a science teacher – physics. I want him to be my teacher! Reading over his bio, I bet he has really awesome stories to tell in class) And I’m pretty sure he’s my favorite
character contestant right now. His age cannot possibly work against him when he’s so agile and smart and helpful, right??
Charlie: Ick, it’s like Todd all over again. MUST he have that voice? God, I hate that voice. Also, STOP CRUSHING ON MARC. It’s creepy how proud Charlie is of it.
Corinne: Looks way older than 29, and I don't much like her after she describes herself as a “bitch.” I HATE women like that.
Crystal: Hard to get a read on her. I want to like her, though. Olympians tend to be awesome people, so even though she inexplicably seems to suck hard at all the challenges, I’m cheering for her. Also, she shares Voice's birthday.
Dan: I shall call him Generic Dan. The hunky males all sort of look alike, no? But he might grow on me.
GC: I actually like him, even though he's kind of an uppity young thing. Not in my top tier of favorites, though.
Gillian: To be honest, I like her! She does come across as sort of aggravating, but in an adorable way, you know? She seems like she would be the coolest grandma ever, and she’s South-Africa-born, which gives her a great accent. I think her only problem is that she’s too enthusiastic, and unlike Erik from last season, she’s neither hot nor physically skilled enough to make her more of an asset than a liability. But I’d love to meet her in real life.
Jacquie: Honestly, I cannot get a reading off her at all. She grew up in MN, though, that’s cool.
Sugar: 29?!?! I would have said 23 if she's a day. Or even younger - she could easily pass for younger. I should hate her for proudly being a “pin-up model,” but she's too cute and quirky, like a happy little puppy, to hate her. I see where she gets her nickname.
Kelly: Meh. Need more info. Could go either way, and I will probably mix her up with Jacquie for a while.
Ken: Overeager gamer – do not want.
Marcus: *long pause* Damn, I hate agreeing with Charlie, but he is kind of hot [EDIT: And apparently Little Marcus was peeking out of his shorts during the first challenge, and the censors didn’t catch it. Neither did I, but my eyes had the…happenstance of seeing both a screenshot and an endless looping GIF that someone provided a link to and which I clicked on. Am going to hell, yes.]
Matty: His face is like a hot circle of garbage. (That Office allusion-quote didn’t go quite like I’d hoped, but the basic idea is that he has the face of a low-class carnie, and I’m disturbed) Also, he apparently blew through a huge trust fund by partying it all away, so now I want to kill him.
Michelle: She strikes me as a bit apathetic and/or whiny.
Paloma: Love the name, but nothing else stands out yet.
Randy: UNPLEASANT AS HELL. He grosses me out just looking at him; can we dump him ASAP?
Susie: Seems nice enough. *shrugs*
Bob and Sugar are my favorites, although there is actually not a scale big enough to measure how much I adore Bob, who is already like one of my Top Twenty Survivors Of All Time. Dan, Marcus, Susie, Crystal, and GC are in my second tier, and I am really desperate to see either Randy or Ace voted out next. The latter covers “smug blueblood asshole” while the former is more like the drunk redneck uncle who crashes your wedding. Opposite ends of the social spectrum, but equally gross.
In a totally unrelated note, the reddish wild piggies are really cute. I hope nobody decides to go boar-hunting for meat this season, because I’ll be sad.
Favorite TWoP quotes of the week (still missing Miss Alli, but Sara M is an extremely acceptable substitute):
1) We see our 18 dopes as they're led across a field by two Africans in "traditional tribal gear" because Survivor is obsessed with preserving the illusion that its contestants are in places so remote that the people who live there have never seen electronics or blue jeans and wear loincloths and wooden shields every day.
2) The producers pay Matty $50 to repeat the tagline about Gabon being "Earth's last Eden," which it totally isn't in my opinion because I saw shots of alligators and my idea of Eden includes no animals that could eat me, not to mention the fact that you have to have like 20 shots before you come to this "Eden" in order to prevent catching a variety of terrifying diseases.
3) Charlie says he thinks he can trust Marcus, based on knowing him for all of one hour and Marcus being hot. Marcus tells us that he's picked up on the very subtle fact that Charlie is attracted to him, but he doesn't see that developing into any kind of romance since Marcus is straight, not to mention the fact that Charlie is lame.
6. ER: 15x01, “Life After Death”
You remember when Kerry went to Miami, and after two goodbye episodes I finally got to do a happy dance of joy? Well, this is a lot like that. Allow me to quote my reaction to the spoiler, in case you missed or skipped it over the summer:
PRATT SHALL DIE. AND I WILL DANCE JOYFULLY AROUND THE FLAMING AMBULANCE, because dude's been a thorn in my side since approximately Forever. Not as a big a thorn as Moretti or Kerry Weaver or Morris or...a number of docs, actually, mainly as I love Mekhi Pfeiffer...but he wore out his welcome a long time ago. And finally, he shall be gone in a permanent-type fashion!
Yep, that’s pretty much what I ended up feeling. Actually, I wasn’t even that excited about it. I was just really bored by the premiere, so while I enjoyed that they set it up in the beginning so that it didn’t seem like he was doing too badly, and then suddenly made him crash and never recover, mostly what I felt was just relief to see him go. Goodbye sir, I wash my hands of you forever.
Thought they were a little heavy-handed with ironic drama, though. “Oh look, Pratt was going to propose to you. Oh, AND he was going to be the new chief.” I’m surprised they didn’t pull a winning lottery ticket out of his locker, at the rate they were going.
Incidentally, the visibly growing “pulsatile mass” was one of the nastiest things I’ve ever seen on this show. Almost nastier than Neela getting dressed after her hasty romp in the sack with Brenner, which, THANKS FOR THAT. I had actually blocked that from memory, it was so horrible, and was shocked to see it until I looked at my old reviews and remembered they’d gotten into it during the finale.
The more serious it gets, the more Gates/Sam pisses me off – ugh, Sam, don’t talk about how Meaningful this is – ugh, seriously, stop feeding each other! – and the more convinced I am that they’re going to wind up getting hitched or something even though they still have no visible chemistry, emotional connection, or in fact anything that even remotely explains why they’re attracted to each other.
Sad that Luka made no appearance - and yes, I do realize the irony of using this icon to represent ER just as both of them are either gone or right on their way out of the show, but I've wanted to celebrate Luby Love for a long time now. I think the writers almost acknowledged that it was really lame to just have a bunch of characters mention seeing him, but I forgive them because if you can’t get the actor, you can’t get the actor. And I appreciate that they at least gave me a context to imagine seeing him. Between this and all of the above things, though, I can’t help feeling like poor ER might slide out the door with rather more a whimper than bang.
In conclusion, though, I’m really happy about Pratt dying, and in the spirit of the episode’s final scene, I leave you with a toast: he always lived up to his name.