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Oh God.  *cracks up * Forget the presidential ads; the Norm Coleman/Al Franken mudslinging wars are the best political BS currently on my TV.  I am quite fond of Coleman in general, and find Franken a laughable git, but both of their ads are equally ludicrous.  The conservative side keeps acting like Franken's made a career out of rape jokes and you can't trust him because he swears, while the latter has rebuttal gems like "Yeah, sometimes I get a little outraged.  But the real question is, WHY ISN'T HE GETTING OUTRAGED??  HOW DO YOU KNOW HE'S REALLY AGAINST STUFF IF HE DOESN'T YELL?!"
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Pushing Daisies: Bzzzzzzzzz!
Oh show.  I have missed you!  And I've only been waiting three months, bless the patient hearts of people who've been waiting over 9!  I've been coping remarkably well without it, mainly as Doctor Who swung back in as a full-time obsession soon as I finished getting through this series, but from the opening recappy seconds - which, by the way, did an incredible job of not only refreshing the memory, but introducing first-time viewers to everything important about the show - I was swept away with love and adoration.  Love and adoration that not even Autumn Reeser's presence could kill (thank God she was the victim and therefore only had a minute or two of screen time)

You know what did start to kill that adoration?  Chuck.

Rant On:
Even though I knew her desire to move out was coming, I was bitter upon first hearing and I am bitter again.  You may not know this about me, because I've been very subtle about how much it rankles me on The Office, but I am not a fan of women growing and spreading their wings and otherwise being independent!  I live in a fantasy world that resembles the 1950's, where domestic bliss is the objective at all times.  Pushing Daisies is whimsical enough to let me wholeheartedly indulge in that fantasy.  WHY ARE YOU TAKING THAT AWAY FROM ME, SHOW?

Who cares if you've never lived on your own, honestly??  I'm looking forward to it only because I don't do well interacting with people.  If I could have gone from my parents' house to a home with people like parental figures to Ned, I would be all over that.  And - seriously, NED.  (bonus: Digby!)  There is nothing beyond that! That is the best possible living situation!

But even this idea in abstract probably wouldn't have ticked me off as much as it did if not for Chuck somehow pretending that this was more romantic.  Separate bedrooms, all French-like (don't get me started on the French and relationships), with freaking knocking, is not romantic. 

"You'll be knocking?" Ned asks weakly, clearly not at all on board with this idea, and YES.  I AGREE.  I read a magazine article about the separate-bedrooms idea once, and I was extremely skeptical and disdainful of the whole thing.  Now, that's partly because I think that having someone to literally sleep next to is the greatest benefit to being in a relationship, but even though cuddling is not currently an option for these two, their bedtime scenes were my very favorite part about the whole show.  I loved the idea of them being just across the room every night, and waking up in the same place.  QUALITY TIME BY APPOINTMENT: NOT COOL.  As the narrator hammers home, "This was not romantic for the Piemaker." 

Seriously.  I might have gone along with the idea that living together in that little space puts them at much greater risk of touching and thus her dying, but that was so not the foremost concern.  And therefore I dimiss that benefit.  Dismiss it!

Oh my God, I think this might be the first time I ever walked away from an episode feeling sour about Ned/Chuck, but I'll be damned if that's not exactly what happened.  You know, I want to legitimately think it's sweet that Ned brings in her books and all her furniture to make it feel like home, but what I'm actually feeling is an extremely sarcastic and acidic response of "Oh, isn't that sweet.  He's decided to make the best of a bad situation by letting her walk all over him and pretend geography doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  GROW A SPINE."

Though really, I say that, but all my anger is directed at Chuck, whom I am liking less and less as the episodes go on.  *defensively cuddles Ned*  For his sake, I will continue to live in hope of Cute Moments, but right now, feeling grouchy and bitter!  That is not a way I want to feel about one of the cutest couples in the history of television! 

Rant 1 Off.
Rant 2 On:
I am not a fan of the aunts getting out.  I am not a fan of the aunts to begin with, so having them running around with even greater potential to intrude on my central gang is not cool.  They're also indirectly responsible for Olive fleeing to a nunnery, which might be amusing all on its own, but I'm going to miss her interactions with Ned.  Not for shippy reasons - although I wayward-ship them in a very special context (*see triple asterisk mark at bottom of review) - but just because just enjoy the sweet affection he has for her, and her utterly fruitless pining, that shows up in all of their interactions. They can't interact if she's at a nunnery in the middle of nowhere, show!

Rant 2 Off:

Ned/Chuck Goodness (because I salvaged a little, at least)
-Ned's wearing bells on his shoes!  That sent me into paroxysms of glee.  Remember Chuck flatly refusing to refusing to wear a bell?  AHAHA!

-*shivers* I'm going to forget the part where there were 9 TRILLION BUZZING BEES COMING BACK TO LIFE, and focus on the part where Ned is in boxer shorts and Charlotte's similarly stripped down to her "silky intimates" (which cover entirely more skin than is necessary, I point out in the interest of equality).  And then zoom the focus in on that beautifully expression he gets whilst just gazing at Chuck.

-The little moments, like chivalrously following her to protect her in case of danger, or smiling all dreamily and calf-eyed at Chuck's "I haven't ruled out workplace romance"

-PLZ TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THIS EXCHANGE:
"How long did you live alone?"
"Long enough." 
His voice is very firm.  DOES NOT WANT TO LIVE ALONE ANYMORE.  I also liked how through this scene, he hunches in on himself more and more, looking increasingly unhappy and full of trepidation, until finally he explodes with the "you're thinking about living here, aren't you??"  And he looks totally horrified by this idea of abandonment, poor thing.  I APOLOGIZE FOR HER UNINTENTIONAL CRUELTY, SIR. 

I will stop being a negative nellie in the "goodness" section now.

-"And I'll stop walking in on you doing things you don't want me to know you're doing --"
"That never would have happened if you'd been wearing your slippers!"
I am slightly ashamed of how hard & gleefully I laughed when the meaning of that exchange sunk in.  But only slightly.  Oh God, it's so wrong and yet so hilarious.

Other Things I Found Enjoyable
-Laughing at Chuck's horribly ill-fitting yellow dress.  Because there's empire waist, and then there's maternity style.  This definitely qualified as the latter.

-Olive's meltdown (post-scream, because the scream was ear-piercing and annoying).  Loved her quivering with rage and seething through gritted teeth, eyes gleaming with barely-controlled hysteria, and kind of twitching with unspoken secrets.  Because that is totally how I would explode at people.  

-Fast-forwarding through the horrible singing scene.  Because I hate singing on TV shows, and I will ALWAYS.  HATE.  SINGING.  On TV shows.

-The other guest casting on this show was awesome...French Stewart and the mother of Violet Beauregard on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"? Oh yeah.

-PIGBY!  OMG, that is the most adorable thing since Digby and I love him to pieces and I demand, demand, that the pot-bellied pig become as regular a character as the dog.

-Emerson making Little Gumshoe pop-up books.  Could the man be more awesome?  I keep thinking the answer is no, and then he keeps turning it up a notch.

-More side-achingly hilarious quote exchanges than I could keep track of, but especially the following three:
Ned: In my underwear, too...I could have been swarmed to death in my underwear!
Emerson: Hey!  You don't just get to put them pictures in my head; that's assault on my imagination.

Chuck: What if there's a whole bee-folk society who walk around shaped like people?
Ned: You're thinking about how you can train your bees to walk around in people shapes aren't you?
Chuck: Yep.
Emerson: Ain't no bees walkin' around in no people shapes - Kentucky was wiggity-wiggity-whacked.
(I demand that there be Emerson icons sporting the phrase 'wiggity-wiggity-whacked').

Emerson: I'm gonna dose the both of you with a scoop of shut the fudge up!

Conclusion
I'm confused.  It sure seems like I hated a lot, and yet I watched the episode twice the whole way through (well, mostly), and I still feel really in love with the show overall, want to sing its praises, and am looking forward to next week.  What's that about?  Did someone put mood enhancers in my pasta salad??  Or maybe Emerson really does make the world go 'round.

P.S. Almost  forgot...

***My Wayward Shipping Scenario
I blame this 70% on Before Green Gables, which I was reading/fell in love with at approximately the same time I started watching this show, and 30% on whatever similarly set historical novels I've read in my life, but my AU shipping scenario involves a lack of the show's premise, with Ned & Chuck Charlotte as a recently married late 19th/early 20th century couple, and Olive as the housekeeper.  N/C get maybe a year or two of sheer bliss, and then she dies shortly after delivering their first child (a daughter, whom I believe is named Lily after Charlotte's late mother, because in this scenario there are no aunts and Charlotte's father isn't dead - oh yes, I have an extremely extensive backstory to this AU, because thanks to sad lack of good fanfic it's the only one I have that lets me visualize N/C actually touching and so I've spent a lot of time thinking about it).

And I'm getting around to my wayward shipping - so Olive stays on as housekeeper-slash-nanny, naturally, because with a baby in the house Ned clearly needs a feminine influence even more than when he was an absent-minded bachelor, and hey, 19th/20th century, I get to follow historical stereotypes/expectations!  Speaking of those expectations, it's generally accepted that you'll marry again because it's important your child has a mother.  And skipping over the social class restrictions that would make this match a bit odd, because I'm sure there's an example of this exact same situation in literature somewhere that makes it work, this is where I can see him falling in love with her.  I mean, not just because Baby Lily needs a mother, although that helps, but because if he's lonely - and it seems like after knowing comfort and losing it, you'd be lonelier than when you were used to solitude - and she's there, and furthermore has been through everything, I could see him finally looking at her in the light she's always wanted.

Wow, that was complex, and I didn't even cover half the details in my head.  In a nutshell, the point is that I can wayward-ship Ned/Olive only in scenarios where Chuck has died [again], but I can see it.   

(by the way, I really hate revealing the crazy thoughts in my daydreaming-shipper's head, because they inevitably sound ridiculous written down - only one step removed from bad!fic - and will probably fight with myself for hours about quietly deleting this section, but I also know that in the future I'll want to bring it up and then be annoyed that I haven't explained it already.  So it stays.  Please don't mock me too hard. THIS IS ALL BEFORE GREEN GABLES' FAULT.)
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-Numb3rs, 5x01, "High Voltage"
[Point of note before we begin the review: that is not the way to do a season premiere!  I know I was watching it live and while writing the xsabove review, so my distraction was at a premium, but if it had  been good I would have been convinced to pay attention.  Instead it just felt like one long, bland stretch of filler - necessary for the purposes of moving a plot arc forward, but scarcely worth watching in its own right.  It was not even Edgerton's fault this time.]

Review Proper: Umm...wow.  You know that thing where I think men always look hotter with longer hair?  Mystifyingly, that rule apparently does not apply to Don Eppes.  Cut that overgrown flop immediately!  Consider donating the locks to Charlie, whose hair I know I'm never satisfied with in season premieres, but whose current state of weed-whacked-ness may be the worst yet.  His hair is so small...so sad.  Needs pretty curls.

Amita's in possession of some nice hair, though.  The loosely curled locks are all vibrant and crimpy.  Love it.  (Also, the real reason Don needs to cut his hair: I'm afraid I'll get used to it and resent giving it up.) 

While I'm on this kick, which is seriously all I felt like paying attention to for at least the first quarter, ALAN.  STUBBLY FACIAL HAIR IS ICKY.  Are you in some sort of depressive state, whereby you lose to will to take care of yourself?  Because that's what your appearance suggests.

I can talk about things beyond hair.  No I can't.  Like Robin, whom I still don't really know what do with, because I want to like her but she just can't seem to make an impression on me.  And she's trying really hard!  Like, I loved her bonding moment with Amita about the idiosyncracies of Eppes men (future sisters-in-law, holla!) and their fraternal bond, and I loved how they continued this future sisters-in-law theme with the four of them at dinner together, where Robin was being fairly cute with Don and making every appearance of fitting right in to the family...and yet I feel nothing! 

I want her to stick around on principle, yet my emotional meter is unmoved.  It's kinda like how I felt about Charmita for 2 seasons until the sparks finally flew in "Waste Not."  I desperately hope there is similar hope for her, and that she won't prematurely fall victim to a vindictive writer's breakup axe.  Although better her than Amita, if push comes to shoveGod, I'm fond of strikethrough tonight.  No, I won't stop.

Back to the dinner scene for a second: awww, I love how Charlie still needs his big brother's approval & encouragement to come back.  And Amita is all charmed by their interaction, and Robin appears to be getting that way too.

Only other point of note, I do not like Nikki.  She didn't do anything to bug me, even, aside from a) not being Meghan and b) having an unfortunate resemblance in appearance and wardrobe to the new ADA on SVU that I can't stand, but I was not favorably disposed to her presence, and she is going to have to be really awesome to win my approval.  FYI?  Becoming a Damsel in Distress on WEEK TWO is not a way to win my approval.  I'm all for the DoD, but I need some emotional investment in her first. 

What I'm trying to say here is boooo, bring back Liz!  If you can do it without compromising the S.S. Don/Robin, I mean.  Aw hell, even if you can't, just...bring Liz back.  I know her, she's familiar, and she's also proven her ability to be awesome.  Also, she's prettier than Niki.

I'm done rambling now.  Poor Numb3rs, I think it's falling victim to the "I'm sick of procedurals and only still watching out of loyalty" curse I've developed this year.  This is what happens when you don't give me any proper Cute Moments amidst all the FBI agents and murderers, show!  By the way, what was the case even about?  I kept seeing rock climbers, diamonds, and scary bad dudes with big guns, but could not for the life of me figure out what was going on.  Possibly  because I didn't care.  Thank goodness I have a recap coming, or I would be completely clueless about what happened every week)

I'm really done now, for reals.
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'Without a Trace, 7x02
Differentiating Case: Supposedly "see the case through the missing person's eyes," though actually we only get about 3 scenes without the agents in them.  Woman with hair like a bad Cleopatra wig gets abducted by people blackmailing her older, married lover.
(I write this for my own benefit, otherwise I could never keep the long slew of dull-ass episodes straight)

Details of Note (I keep hoping there will come a day when there is absolutely nothing likable about an episode, but there always end up being things that suck me in):

-Still don't understand where this whole Uncle Danny friendship with Samantha sprang up, but I loved him watching the baby on the monitor and being all charmed and enchanted by it (clearly wants one of his own.  Give Elena a ring and get on that, sir.)

-Jack would rock at the private sector.  He could beat people up and do his rogue-agent thing with much less scrutiny and better coverage than the FBI affords.  GO, GO, GO!  Oh, Medina, don't let him know you're pushing him out!  Don't you understand that now he's going to have to stay, just to be obstinate?  He might actually have left if you'd taken the subtle approach!  (and if this weren't TV where he was the star)

-I love when this show remembers Martin's family connections.  Wonder if he'll step up to the #2 position, like his choir-boy inclinations must be calling for, if he'll take a cue from his Jack-taught obstinence and turn it down.   Probably the latter.

-Samantha's still right handy with that gun, I see.  Remember the first time she killed someone, and it practically threw her into PSTO, and the second time when it was an even bigger hullabaloo?  Guess she's nicely desensitized to murder in the line of duty now. 

-JACK.  COULD YOU PLEASE NOT BE CREEPY?  I read a rumor that Jack & Sam were going to re-start their relationship this season.  I don't know how accurate it is, but between her flippant frustration at the thought of him leaving, and the last scene of him watching her on the monitor, rocking her baby, with that creepy sad smile on his face, makes me nervous.
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'CSI: NY, 5x02, "Page Turner"
9:22 PM: "I'm starting to think maybe it is not the show's fault I hate this season.  Possibly I am just approaching it in a sulky frame of mind, and when it fails to be mind-blowingly amazing in the manner of 'Snow Day' or 'Consequences,' I cry foul."

-Ugh, I forgot this was the one with Maroon 5.  The background members are varying degrees of terrifying, and the lead guy is less manorexic than usual, but still fairly repulsive.  I will never understand why anyone bothers to see most bands live.  (Now, Lifehouse, for example?  In addition to his gorgeous voice, Jason Wade is hot.  That's one of a tiny handful of bands worth seeing live.) 

And then I had to put up with their music for the rest of the episode??  Maroon 5 has one good song.  "She Will Be Loved" is one of the best songs of all time, but while "Wake Up Call" was catchy until I found out what the lyrics were, everything I heard here confirmed my opinion that the general sound of most bands is repetitive and dull.

-*slaps the table* SHOW!  STOP TORTURING ME LIKE THAT.  It's not funny to keep putting Sid in precarious, near-fatal situations and then saving him at the last second.  Damn you for toying with my hopes!  I redact my feelings of unperturbed-ness about him being added to the main credits; now I'm mad at them for making it increasingly unlikely that one of these times will actually kill him.

I want to say that I liked Mac, Danny and Hawkes all crowding into his room at the end of the episode to watch the game, but the fact that they were doing so for Sid makes my skin crawl.  Maybe I can blur my eyes and pretend it's Danny in bed, since he wasn't otherwise in the scene.  Ooh.  Ooh, that works nicely, yes-yes. 

Also, what wrong with having pizza and milk?  *is perplexed* That's how we always used to have it at home before I got here switched to a beverage diet of straight water or pop; cook up a pizza and have it with salad and milk for dinner. 

-Random Out Of Order Good Thing: Aw, Flack, is always so defensive of his guys.

-Maybe Miami and NY could just compete every week to see who has the dumbest bad guy.  "Let's see, I killed my wife, collected her million dollar insurance policy, and got away with it under absolutely no suspicion.  Now, how could I improve upon this situation...oh!  Kill two more people and kick up a highly publicized lawsuit, deliberately drawing attention to the circumstances under which my wife died!  NOTHING COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG WITH THIS AT ALL."

-On that note, it was really depressing to think of someone turning a beautiful old library book in a beautiful old library into an instrument of death.  *weeps in corner*

9:59 PM: "I take it back.  This actually turned into a really compelling case - how often does that happen? - so that instead of falling asleep like I'd planned, I ended up getting out of bed and sitting up at the desk so I could pay closer attention/not miss the quieter dialogue.  Good job, show.  Didn't really grab me with character moments this week, but you got back to your twisty-turny mystery roots in a way I could respect.  Nice."
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'Cold Case: 6x01, "Glory Days"
Season six??  It never ceases to amaze me how old my crime shows are getting, none of them showing any signs of cancellation.  Seriously - Law & Order's been going since forever, but if you think of the Dawn of the Crime Era beginning with CSI in 2000, pretty much everything that's been added since then keeps right on truckin'.  Anyway.  Premiere.  Kind of lackluster, yes? 

Well, that was appropriate for the season, at least...college football star's murder.  Not particularly interesting, especially as I knew it was going to be the old recruiter because this show LOVES to put kindly old grandfathers away for murder.  I was pretty impressed with the props department for actually writing up the first page of the Beowulf paper and letting us see the text, though.  It looked like a pretty good, coherent start to a B+ paper (complete with a typo!  "he wants to uses his").  I wonder if someone on the crew got to recycle one of their old assignments?   

Secondary thought: Ole Bobby's still here, huh?  Lily, hurry up and sleep with him so you can break up and send him off the show.  *raises mug* Here's hoping he left you smiling and satisfied after the bar scene, because the quicker you start, the quicker your relationship can burn through and burn up.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
jeremybrettfan
Oct. 4th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
Oh Pushing Daisies <3 It's been sooooooooo loooooooooooooong. I agree with the whole moving out thing. WTF CHUCK. But OLIVE. OLIVE OLIVE OLIVE ILU. "And by cabbage patch I mean your lady parts." OH OLIVE. XD
rainbowstevie
Oct. 5th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
HAH! I forgot about that quote - Olive has really great lines too.
aries11
Oct. 4th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I like Al Franken a lot and really hope he wins the Minnesota Senate. I think he might have been using sarcasm when he said he was outraged and didn't actually do so. He did, after all, start out as a comedian, and he's always had a dry sense of humor.

In regards to "CSI: NY", you covered a lot of stuff that I did in my review, so I won't spend too much time on that. I'll agree, however, that the killer could easily go down as one of TV's dumbest criminals, in terms of motive. As for pizza and milk, I don't think Robert Joy meant to offend anyone. I just think most people - especially guys - don't drink milk with pizza. I think the usual drink of choice is either pop or beer. Moreover, when you're hanging out with your friends watching the game, water isn't exactly a party drink. I refer back to the aforementioned pop and beer
rainbowstevie
Oct. 5th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
Mmm...considered, but he sounds like he's coming from a pretty defensive position. Usually politicians try to deny with their spin, claim things were taken out of context and the like.

for pizza and milk, I don't think Robert Joy meant to offend anyone. I just think most people - especially guys - don't drink milk with pizza.
No, I was just curious - I always thought that milk and pizza went well together. but then I'm also thinking of frozen pizza, and I suppose the greasier taste of delivery wouldn't mix as well. Plus, true, the whole social aspect.
thewhiteowl
Oct. 4th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
I actually like Don's new hair. It's cute.
rainbowstevie
Oct. 4th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Good! Possibly I will change my tune in a couple of weeks if other people persist in this opinion.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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