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Why does the Rich Text Editor now do funky things with my LJ-cut stuff? I don't appreciate having every line individually outlined with the gray background! It's very choppy and makes me feel like I'm playing with magnetic poetry! I hate using the HTML editor because the font is awful, even if you don't factor in the cluttered-up tags and the lack of formatting (look, when your posts are as long as mine are, you need to be able to see formatting while you work, or you sink into despair), and if you force me to use it, so help me God...and it's screwing up on both Firefox and IE, so I can't even blame the browser. :(

The Office: Business Ethics

It's a good thing that knowing what I did - from having bled the internet dry of every spoiler I could get my hands on for this episode - I wasn't expecting much.

(Because the cold open contained 90% of all the good)

Pam, I'm sorry if I insulted you last week when I pointed out that you were lower than Jim on the Totem Pole of Favorite Characters. You're still my #2, all things considered! NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN.

Don't get me wrong, the cold open was fantastic. The first of many times I watched it was actually on my Sansa, and I wasn't even watching; I was walking to the bus so I was just listening to audio. I only got halfway through before I couldn't handle the awesomeness anymore and had to pause and incessantly repeat all the lines back, savoring their taste.
  • Poor Jim. "I just didn't...you know...want to deal." He remembers "Dunder Mifflin Infinity," even if Pam doesn't.
  • For some reason, I adore the idea that Oscar assumes they're already engaged - THAT'S HOW OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE SOULMATES, PEOPLE.
  • I love how Angela keeps insinuating Pam is the office mattress for having dated two of the guys she works with** - now with extra hypocrisy!
  • And then --
Andy: Little close to my engagement there, Tuna. What's your game here?
Jim: To get married.
  • This was the point at which I went "thud" and just made little purring noises of contentment for a while. Because while I've had my scruples about how it's always about Jim's grandiose romantic gestures, and I rarely feel like there's sufficiently squee-worthy reciprocation from Pam, the truth is I just never, ever get tired of hearing him say things that reveal his commitment. Preferably in a public forum. I don't know about you, but I'm still thrilled by the fact that after a couple seasons of having to stamp down every feeling he had for her,
Upon resuming the video approximately an hour later, I could not stop laughing at Dwight's completely left-field comment, and then at how Pam panics at the idea of *Michael* knowing about their engagement, and is immediately all "NOTHING'S HAPPENING! THIS IS A DREAM! FLAIL!" And oh, God, the literally tackle-hug. I rewound the preview about a hundred times to see that, and it still makes me burst out laughing every single time.

**Random note: Second time in two episodes they've brought up Roy. It's almost like they're foreshadowing a future appearance or something.

Other Good Things
-Ryan's completely shameless lack of apology (continued). This is a source of hilarity that NEVER DIES. "What I did was wrong, and I regret that. But on the bright side, my life was totally awesome in ways you can't even comprehend, and knew everybody, and the streets I walked on were paved with gold. I wouldn't change a thing. YOU WISH YOU WERE ME."

-Jim pranking Dwight. This almost made up for the lack of Pam, just because watching Jim torment his deskmate by massacring the details of his beloved Battlestar Galactia (among others) - with his rival, no less - was the greatest thing I have ever seen in my life. A tiny part of me recognized that scene as being needlessly cruel, but, well, Jim's "wildly understimulated brain" (to quote TWoP's recap) needs something to do, and this is an extremely amusing outlet.

(also: way to be subtle there, Camera Guy. "Hee, yeah, it was 'personal.' Let me just...quickly pan over to Angela! Jim, are you watching?")
(then again, Jim's not watching by the time he pans back. Now I'm burning with curiosity to know whether Jim has actually not noticed the two of them leaving at the same time. You'd think there'd be more triumph at the end of the prank if he knew; this seemed kind of empty.)

-Has anyone else noticed Oscar getting increasingly snarky at meetings? His expression is completely innocent, and his snark is thus very subtle, but he slips in digs that bely how clearly above all this he is.

-"You are a thief of joy." There has got to be a way I can work that into my everyday conversation. Maybe print it on T-shirts.

Why This Episode Sucked
It is probably clear to you by now that Michael Scott is my least favorite character, my feelings about him can be described using many of his exact quotes about Toby, and I have no greater wish than for Steve Carell to take his hotshot movie career and blow this popsicle stand, thus improving the quality of the show by 500%. Since he shows no signs of doing so, I have learned to endure Michael's idiocy in order to bask in the joy that everyone else (minus Andy) brings me. The one thing I always had going for me was that, even if he is ostensibly the star, one character can only take up so much screen time in any given episode.

But now TPTB have found a loophole in that rule, by creating a second Michael Scott. Oh sure, they gave her boobs and blonde hair and named her Holly, but the end result is still that I have to hear twice as many cringe-inducing things per episode. And put them in a scene together; Jesus Christ! Could not even sit through the lunch date/meeting. I tried. I hit 'play' 3 or 4 times over the course of it, but I could not get beyond one sentence before I wanted to spork myself.

(in Holly's defense, there are still glimmers of normalcy in her manner - such as when she tried to report a serious ethical violation to Corporate - but all those usually bring me is horrible stomach-twisting embarrassment, so that's no better)

...yeah, that's really the only reason I disliked it. A horrible excess of Michael & Holly, and maybe also thanks to a large chunk of storyline being given over to Meredith, who is not exactly one of my favorites either. I have no qualms with an episode mostly confined to actual workplace antics, in fact I welcome it, but the execution in practice went horribly, horribly wrong.

Way to nosedive from last week, season 5. You'd better bring your A game to the next one, because I'm giving this episode a D+. (and once again: why do you always air sucky episodes on weeks I can afford to relax on Thursday night/Friday? Why do the good ones only happen on weeks where I have some massive project due between Wednesday and Friday?)
--------------
CSI: Miami: 7x03, "And How Does That Make You Kill?"
I will give them props for having titles outlandish & laughable enough to match the episodes they accompany.

So, I watched this one half-awake while crying myself into exhaustion in a panic over school, and while I do think the plot was about as good as one can expect nowadays - perhaps the best of the young season - that meant I wasn't particularly invested in it. In fact, aside from affirming my continued love for the new coroner Tara (want to make sure I don't forget her name!), I didn't latch onto anything until the very end.

SHOW. Stop making me oscillate wildly between my Calleigh ships! Because now I'm kind of back on the Hip Huggers side. I'm easily swayed by her getting an unchecked window into his innermost thoughts ("made me think about settling down...it'd be nice if it were with Calleigh"). Now, I could question why she read his file in the first place when it clearly wasn't relevant, or why he didn't immediately go 'Hey, could I possibly take mine out before we start going through these together?' But I think it's obvious enough that he was hoping she'd read it, because that way he'd have an excuse for her to know, and not have to go through the embarrassment of saying anything. And she read it because...she's nosey. LOL. No, I don't know.

He's still going to have to come to her, though. She made that very clear. The door's open, but you have to walk on through yourself. Good girl. These crazy kids and their pointless dance-around, I've long since stopped caring when/if they ever do anything about it, but at least I still find it more endearing than infuriating. It's a nice little up-note to end the episode on.

Oh, and the stupid editing tricks came roaring back in full force this week. I've blocked them from memory, they were so obnoxious, but I know they made me want to scream.</lj>  [edit: oh, that's right!  When they had the text from the therapist's reports dancing wildly all over the screen, resizing and curving in circles and randomly changing font and color at will.  It was like some 11-year-old went nuts with her new video editing software, giddily trying out every possible effect and cramming them all together.  The crowning jewel was when they threw in clipart of a gun along with the "after I got shot" line.  ROFLMAO.]

You know what would have been a lot more effective on that scene, by the way?  I liked the voiceover, that was a good element, but letting us see the actual notes instead of obscuring it all with your idiotic dancing text.  Out of stubbornness, I went in slo-mo and pieced together every letter I could actually see, hoping to reconstruct something worthwhile, but it was worthless - only maddening glimpses of interesting things.  Let me show what I got anyway:

Patient is CSI w/ Miami Dade PD.  Seeing a departmental therapist since sustaining a gunshot injury on the job. Injury to brain has left him w/ episodes of forgetfulness and feelings of loss.  Retraining his brain to do things that used to be second nature.  (there's also a note on the side that says "pro bono")

Sure, make that the readable part!  Fragmented lines below:

Still working through  grief
experienced uncontrollable
he was "going over the ed"
able to keep him steady was

??? (partner?  but it looks like it ends in -rker or nknen, depending on handwriting), Calleigh

wasn't dead.  Patient spared
death of his boss
Like, the hell, show!  I want to know what's going on here!  Grief over who, Marisol?  Probably, but maybe he's still got deep-seated Speedle issues!  How badly did Horatio's fake death eff him up that he had to go talk to the therapist about it?  (when did he have time to do that over the course of the usual day or two that cases take?)  You do the voiceover of the important parts, let me read the rest!!  Clearly someone in the props department took the time to write out something coherent, the least you could do is reward their hard work by filming it.
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Numb3rs: 5.02, "Decoy Effect"

True fact: last week's premiere was so boring that I COULD NOT EVEN GET THROUGH THE RECAP. About four paragraphs in, I just gave up and stuck to the captioned pictures. This week...was only marginally better.

You know what I think part of it is? How drab and dark this show is. I wondered if it was just my TV, so I re-watched the episode online, and the answer is partly yes, my TV makes it worse, but mostly no. It's a little better in high-def, but it really is that depressingly underlit. Was it always this bad? It's really killing off my interest all of a sudden.

I paid attention to the case a tiny bit more this week, if only to note that I am still not on board with Nikki Betancourt. Where is Liz Warner? Because Nikki's a lot like her in that sure of herself, self-confident-in-her-skills the way I usually dislike intensely from female characters, but I adapted to Liz. I have no incentive to adapt to Nikki. I continue to barely refrain from rolling my eyes every time she opens her mouth. I can't even find it in me to care about the "New Guy" quasi-hazing she's getting from Rosencrantz & Guildenstern.

On the bright side, she did get me angry!Don. Angry!Don is very hot whilst shouting in fury.

(meanwhile, brotherly!Don is a very different, though equally pleasing, sort of hot when he goes to bat for Charlie only to get smacked down by the smarmy Agent o' Regulations. Especially when he starts to get prickly and defensive. Damn it, I think I'm falling under the spell of the new hair.)

What I was really waiting for, however, was my ship. I swear, I was this close to asking whether his lost security clearance included Amita's lady parts. Then she left him with a goodbye kiss, and I immediately became less grumpy, but not entirely mollified. By the time we got to the final scene, with the camera doing an artsy twirl around Emo Charlie lying in bed, I was crankily muttering "Is Amita in this bed with him? Because otherwise I do not ca -- OH GOOD!" Whereupon my attention payment increased 300%.

OMG SQUEE *FWAMBLOWSUP* THIS SCENE. HALP.

OK, show, I forgive all your transgressions for this minute of sheer, unadulterated bedtime bliss. He's in his stripey old man pajamas and she's reading a book, and the married-couple-ness is practically killing me. Also killing me is how heartbreakingly vulnerable Charlie sounds, talking about being left out/left behind. Amita doesn't completely indulge his self-pity, lightening the mood with memories of sick days, but does lend just the right amount of support and reassurance when he admits "I never thought I'd miss it so much" and sounds so miserable that I whimpered. By the way, show, I was already dead from delirious joy; the hand clasp & soft kiss were overkill. Overkill of the most rapturous kind.

And you know what I really like? How there's still this uneasy tension in the air, and Charlie's full of unresolved feelings about the security clearance, but it's not between them. Just the fact that they're discussing it keeps it a separate problem, an issue that will affect both of them, but not in a way that drives a wedge. *firmly clamps hat of Shiny Happy Optimism on head*

God, they're beautiful. TALK ABOUT THEM MORE, INTERNET.
---
'Survivor Gabon, episode 4
Yep, right on schedule: 4 hours in, this is about the time I start to get invested. Starting this week, this was one of the 5 shows I was most excited to watch. I don't even know why, since I'm still not that fond of anybody except Bob and Sugar, but I love the twists & the challenges, and those do make up a good half of the episode.

This week, I was particularly interested to see what went down the with tribe shake-up. I was not aware Matty was so favored, since either he's not been getting enough screen time or I've been tuning out his ugly mug. It was nice to see Bob ranked third (damn straight, you young whippersnappers), but not so nice when he didn't get picked until the very end (WTF?). I understand how there's prejudice against the older players when you put them up against someone like Dan or Marcus, but come on. A big lug of a guy like Randy gets snapped up in the first half, but not the agile-looking guy with sinewy but clearly there muscles? I think the latter is a lot more athletic than he looks. He certainly hasn't been struggling to contribute.

I also don't understand Sugar getting picked last...well, I understand her not getting picked early, but before Susie? Really? And hell, I probably would have picked her even before GC, especially if I'd people who'd been on GC's tribe coaching me. Sure, she doesn't have his Big Male Muscles, but she also has the will to try. Muscles matter only if you use them to your advantage.

Better challenge this week. I think if I had time to practice maneuvering those boats, I would like to play this water lacrosse game. I don't say that about a lot of challenges. Although since most people were struggling, it wasn't that much fun to watch. It also pained me to watch a) Randy scoring all the goals, and b) Fang LEAVING THEIR GOAL TOTALLY EMPTY. Dude. Dude. No matter what sport you're playing, if it has a goal net, you never ever ever do that!

Out goes Jacquie, and I think that's OK because after concentrating hard on trying to pick my preference, I think it went to Kelly - mainly I'm just relieved that I no longer have to try and tell them apart - but still. I would like to see some men voted out soon (not Bob!). As a whole, they are vastly more unpleasant than the women.

Randomly noted: The Sugar Shack was adorable, and I'm so pleased that she found the idol last time so now she can relax in comfort. Perfect! The only sad part is that now she's on Tribe Suck (TM Probst), and she's still with Ace. Rrrr.

And this is the first week I've paid attention to it, but damn, Ace's Mysteriously Vanishing Accent gets old fast.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
thewhiteowl
Oct. 12th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
The Charlie/Amita scene was adorable. I loved his little crooked, self-mocking grin when he was talking about his "grand destiny". And how everyone else gets the brave face, even Don, but he's vulnerable for her *aw*

And the hand-holding, and the kiss. Awww...
lieueitak
Oct. 12th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
How badly did Horatio's fake death eff him up that he had to go talk to the therapist about it? (when did he have time to do that over the course of the usual day or two that cases take?) Hmm... Maybe that didn't happen in the time period that they thought Horatio was dead? I mean I can imagine the actual event being traumatic, even after learning that H was alive. Perhaps even more so. Like not only does Eric have to process his feelings that H could have died, but now there's also the betrayal of H being alive and Ryan knowing about it (which could be a sore point). And even though it was fake, the shooting, I'd imagine, could have brought up memories of his own shooting/his own recovery. After all, grief can be for other people, but you can also grieve for yourself and for things you used to be able to do but can't do anymore/can only do with difficulty.

... I'm probably reading too much into it though. Considering the current quality of the show, I should probably assume that Eric's psych sessions mean nothing outside of hitting us over the head with the fact that Delko wubs Calleigh/someone was watching "Ghostwriter" on youtube and wanted to include writing on the show. ;-)
morgenwrites
Oct. 13th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
(Because the cold open contained 90% of all the good)

So, so true. While I enjoyed the episode and laughed a fair amount, it was such a letdown after my two week long JAM high. One measly phonecall. Humph. I don't even feel motivated to write about the episode. There was nowhere near enough JAM (although, yes, that opening phone call was amazing), and I found the main storyline a bit of a drag. I generally like Holly/Michael, but that was way too much of them even for my taste.

And I adored Jim's prank on Dwight with BSG. Especially since I quite love BSG, so it was extra hysterical to me.
rainbowstevie
Oct. 13th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Hee, see, that's why I was so grumpy about the debates - the JAM high in the premiere was definitely enough to last 2 weeks, and could have absorbed this one in its stride. I even thought from a storytelling perspective, it made sense to back off them a little bit to a) let shippers bask in the glow and b) not enrage the people who are inexplicably sick Jim/Pam and/or just want a focus on someone else. But..the glow is not enough for three weeks. Over the course of three weeks, when one of them is this episode, I'm going to need an extra boost by the end. The descriptions for upcoming episodes all sound a lot more promising, though. That's good.

I did almost regret not watching BSG. As soon as Jim started talking, the first thing I thought was "this must be so much greater for fans of that show..."
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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