-"Have you seen The Aviator?"
"Oh, with that guy...Leonardo whatever?"
-"Taming of the Shrew, is that Shakespeare?"
"Oh, 'cause I heard that Ten Things I Hate About You was based on that, and I was like 'whatever.'"
-One girl had never heard of a movie that the other girl had just seen, which to her shock had starred "a really really young Kirsten Dunst." Yes, they were talking about "Interview with the Vampire."
I'm not even a particular movie buff, or anything, and I'm either offended or feeling the need to weep a little.
That's my topic of general interest for the non-PD/Office fans; for everyone else, after
Pushing Daisies: 2.03, "Bad Habits"
I was trying to figure out what made this episode feel so refreshing, and I came up with one major reason: NO AUNTS! Glory be, it was a welcome day without them. No aunts, no Young Ned, and no Olive songs = pretty darn near perfection. I could have done with some cuter Ned/Chuck moments, but I did get some pretty decent emotional stuff between them. Not to mention all the other wonderful, joyful things about this episode.
It's Like Swearing, But Not
There are so few true family shows on the air, it always delights me when this one makes a point of proving how it is one - like when they have the crazy nun sit up after Ned touches her, and start cursing a blue streak - always conveniently drowned out by pealing of the bells, while Ned gasps and cringes and covers his ears, hyper-aware of the fact that they're in a church.
Or, my personal favorite, Ned hauling the stubborn donkey forward. "Stupid ass."
I mean, even when they do drop in things like Chuck's "hooker wig," it's so quick and glossed over that you hardly notice - I didn't hear that until the third time through, and I wouldn't expect kids to know what that means, even if they hear it, nor to wonder about it. And yes, I have this belief that kids 8+ could watch this show, despite the focus on death, because...well, if they can watch Doctor Who, this is in exactly the same v...v-word...category.
Emerson Being Awesome
1. ROTFLMAO. No, literally, I LOVE the fact that when he sees Olive in her habit, he just starts laughing. And laughing. He laughs his ass off all the way through the commercial break and beyond. BEST THING EVER.
2. "What got thee to a nunnery?" WORK THAT SHAKESPEARE.
3. Alongside N/C's "by-proxy high five," I am gleeful about Chuck taking the liberty of pinching his cheek afterwards, to which he instantly puts her in her place with a look that says I will crush you like a gnat. "Git. Before I by-proxy vomit."
Olive Being Awesome
1. *glees* Little 8-year-old Olive, running around on an Arabian stallion! Oh, that's glorious. Sometimes I forget that she's a true horse lover, and then I get stuff like this to bring it all back. I'm just curious as to which fool director didn't have the horse facing the other way, so you could actually see its lovely mane. Horse photography/videography rule #1. Otherwise they look more like close-cropped llamas.
2. She is freaking adorable in that habit. I'm even adjusting to the teal green color. I almost don't want her to come home, just because I love seeing her wear it - to be honest, the long and flowing material is actually much more flattering than the short skirts she wore before...plus since her hair's not completely hidden, I love the, er, whatever you call the headcover piece, too.
3. I love when she digs her heels in and gets that flint in her tone of voice, so I was very fond of her pacing down the other side of the table from Ned, accusing, "Noooo, it's behind you. You don't like messy. You don't like feeling bad. So as soon as you could, you just moved on, and abandoned me. Well, if I'm gonna have to get over you all by myself, I'd kinda like to do it in a place where I don't have to, see your face every day." OLIVE FTW. And I love that Ned is still so pitifully clueless about his role in it all.
4. SHE GETS TO KEEP PIGBY! HOORAY! HOORAY!! Three cheers for the little piggie, nunslaughter charge and all.
1. "Dad was in his twenties when HIS dad married Lily and Vivian's mom."
I'm not ashamed to admit that this word puzzle drove me so crazy I had to map it out on paper. And it still didn't make sense until...damn it! I always have it for like two seconds, and then it disappears and I'm all confused by the twisted layers of relations in this tree. It gets especially confusing when you have to simultaneously account for reality and Chuck's mistaken belief about her relationship to Lily & Vivian, and...oh, God, my head hurts. Someone make a chart already!
Voice: A Pie chart?
RS: Ahaha, I see what you did there.
V: ...well, I would hope so; I was pretty deliberate about showing it.
2. Olive's game of charades to make him guess that Lily was Chuck's mother! This could also be filed under 'Olive Being Awesome,' because that was golden in so many different ways. Love her frustrated, exaggerated expressions, and his rapid connection to the brilliant deduction "Chuck has a cousin!", and...all of it, sheer love.
1. OMG, how are we not all talking about the fact that Ned has DOG MUGS? Mugs in the shape of Golden Retriever heads! That's ridiculously cute and I want some! Of course, I also want an actual Golden Retriever to bring me baskets of fresh croissants in the morning, but I figure the dog mugs are slightly more feasible. (but seriously. how adorable was the greeting yawn/whine from Digby as she took the basket from his mouth?)
Further on that scene, *tackle-hugs Ned* I love him calling a cheerful greeting, and then darkly muttering under his breath, "which is odd for me to say because your doorstep used to be my doorstep and even though I'm sad you moved out and into Olive's vacated apartment, I'm...trying. *GIANT FAKE GRIN*"
Giant fake grin immediately turns into *GASP* OMGWTF, CHUCK! at the sight of a strange man exiting her apartment so early. Oh God, I laughed myself into fits. He's just so "WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?" Good to see that he's still fighting the change and being clingy and possessive. I really couldn't have him any other way.
2. Wait, she just got done talking to him and she was in her own apartment besides; why did Chuck have the geneaology guy's card in her cleavage? Is it to draw Ned's attention to her chest when she takes it out, or DOES HE ACTUALLY HAVE GOOD REASON TO BE WORRIED?? (hey, this is Disgruntled Season 2 Me. Disgruntled Season 2 Me has less faith in Chuck's love than Enchanted Season 1 Me.) (No, I'm kidding. I mean it all in jest.
Ned and I part ways on the usefulness of digging around in your past, though. Your past is AWESOME; looking into it is important, and the one point on which I approve of Chuck's behavior this season. Better yet, I almost remembered why I loved the two of them when he was being his Grumpy Old Man self about the past and how knowing about it doesn't help you any, and she just threw her hat at him with a smirk on her face. Her sunny cheerfulness always balances out his darker side.
3. "I went to the school chapel every day and prayed. Prayed that he would...just walk through the door, give me a hug, and tell me that I was forgiven for whatever it was that made him leave."
*bawls* This kills me. This KILLS me. We really need to pick up Parallel Universe (Never-Died) Chuck, and hand her over. HE NEEDS TO BE HELD.
4. "Are you...are you saying you want me to touch you again?" (Wo-how, that looks dirty written out.)
You know, waaaaaay back when the spoilers about Chuck talking to Ned about feeling neither truly alive nor dead and whether she can or wants to continue like that hit, when I was feeling disillusioned by the spoilers in general (wow, can I call them or what?), I said to myself "that looks like it has the potential for some emotional gold." I was right, I was right, I was soooo right.
Poor Ned. He's completely devastated by the mere thought, and looks like he might cry. I suppose it's never even ocurred to him that she might be unhappy - well, in all fairness, Digby doesn't complain much. And we all know he'd rather rip off his own fingernails than do anything to cause her pain. I'm not even sure that's an exaggeration.
Now if you'll excuse me, my eyes have to roll back in my head while I overdose in glee at the thought of the delicious angst that would occur if she did ask him to touch her again. So many possibilities! WHY ARE THERE NOT EPIC NUMBERS OF FICS ABOUT THIS SCENARIO.
5. Final scene. Was not sufficiently Cute, and somehow pressed my annoyed "Stupid Chuck, Growing and Changing" buttons, but I took dreamy solace in his unhappy sigh upon realizing "Tears," and the way his face lights up when she corrects him with "Happy ones."
Oh, show. His final apology to her was so earnest and heartfelt and a little bit pitiful that I just kind of quiety squealed and squeed all the way through. And the sudden hope when he realizes "Home? You want to come home?" Man, you are just feeding my 1900's AU like crazy, aren't you? In all seriousness, though, this scene was beautiful and touching. My eyes may have been a little bit shiny at the end, because I am easily overwhelmed by his displays of affection for her, however insignificant and/or platonic. He really does care about her, and that makes me happy.
The Office, 5.03, "Baby Shower"
BLECH. After watching that disgusting teaser, I can't help but think this episode was designed to turn us off wanting Jam babies. Kind of like how they show that video in health class to discourage you from having sex.
(Voice: which one, the birthing video, or the STD slideshow? RS: I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE STD SLIDESHOW. DAMN YOU FOR BRINGING IT BACK.)
I'm impressed Jim was able to keep such an unwavering look of disdain on his face the whole time, actually, as opposed to dry-heaving into the nearest wastebasket. Because by the time Dwight was pants-less and sitting spread-eagled on the edge of Michael's desk, grunting and yelling, I was like "OK, OK, I GET IT. My romanticized shipper hopes are unrealistic and I need to dial it down! DIAL IT DOWN, SHOW. Damn it, where's my wastebasket."
Voice: Cursing twice in two paragraphs; you must have really hated this episode.
RS: One of those was your fault. D...stupidhead.
V: That's the spirit.
I still can't decide whether you have to be insane to date Michael, or if dating Michael makes you insane, but either way, Jan is a clear escapee of Calmwood Mental Hospital. I never had any particular regard for her character, but at this point all I can do is gape. The levels of her delusion are frightening, and not even in a fun way you can exploit for humor (well, maybe a little bit). I pre-emptively feel sorry for the child having to grow up with a mother like that.
She is so going to be the scary lady forcing her daughter to live out her dreams, don't you think? I foresee rants about how Astrid has to be an artist or a musician or an actress, pursuing her creativity far away from corporate hell where she won't get fired by sexist jackasses after devoting her best years to a cold and thankless office job.
Then again, knowing Crazy Revisionist Jan, it's equally possible that when they get into inevitable parent/teenager fights, the former will holler something about how she threw away her high-powered career and/or gave up a stable relationship to give life to this child, so she'd damn well better be grateful for the opportunity, missy!
I think I need a new tag to keep track of all the wild things I dream up during these reviews. "crazy fic ideas" it is!
Puppy Love Ship
So, Jim/Pam. To be fair, the show did acquiesce to my request that we see both of them tonight. Unfortunately, it didn't make things all that much better. If you read my Complaints About Spoilers post at the end of August, you'll see that I foresaw exactly how much the LDR and excess "phone time" would suck, and all my complaints are being verified. For example, during that first conversation? Much as I enjoy the look of stressed!Jim starting to get frustrated, this is what floated into my head: "I'm glad she has a friend at work that she can get through the day with. That way she's not all, 'blah blah blah' when she gets home." ROY: Insensitive jackass, or just misunderstood?
Really. It was horribly uncomfortable to hear Pam going on and on about things Jim couldn't possibly have followed (way to remind me why I start to feel unsure when I talk about school too long with Mom), with him trying to make the appropriate responses and getting shot down for saying the wrong thing (i.e. "that's not hilarious! she could be arrested!"). I know it wasn't really a fight, and Pam was far too giddy about her story to really care about him saying the wrong things, but it was unpleasant for me to witness.
Phone conversation #2 was a little better, as Jim had thoroughly rebounded from his earlier frustration and was having a blast trying to describe the unbelievable antics going on at work for her, no more daunted by her inability to process it in than she was earlier. But I still wasn't having all that much fun as far as Cute Moments went.
Sidebar: ...why, exactly, was Pam even at a laundromat? What the hell kind of cheap school is Pratt that they don't have washing machines/dryers in the residence halls? And I was mad when I had to walk down two flights to the other end of the building...
The point is, this activated my "let me compare your show to reality" button, so back to the Pratt website I went to hunt down specific housing info. Then I got distracted by how Willoughby Hall is actually a converted apartment building, and in no way resembles the single dorm room we saw Pam in, even though the online summer program information clearly states that "typically," summer residents live on select floors of Willoughby Hall.
Of course, said summer program information also shows that Pam did not leave in time for Session I, yet Session II started June 23rd (she was still at D-M on June 30), and SHOW. WHY DO YOU MAKE IT SO EASY FOR ME TO DISPROVE YOUR REALITY.
...and yeah, I just noticed this:
We also have classes offered by professional studies that are ideal for students who are looking for introductory art and design courses. All are held at our Manhattan campus.
Aw, crap. I've been basing everything on the Brooklyn information, but does that mean Pam is more likely at the Manhattan campus? Damn you, school with multiple locations under one name! I would delete my ravings, but I put a lot of effort into them, so just...read them with amusement and put no stock in them. Sigh.
Phone conversation #3 was a total surprise. I had long since given up on the episode, and wasn't even holding out hope for an end tag, when suddenly IT WAS THERE, AND IT WAS GLORIOUS, albeit not as glorious as people have since made it out to be. Now, keeping in mind my need to be contrary, my opinion of it will shift depending on yours.
If you think it was super cute/one of the greatest things ever/a gorgeous callback to The Carpet/otherwise positive: Might I remind you that they still didn't actually talk to each other. It's a million miles away from the physical contact, even just an arm touch, that last season caused me to grow accustomed to, or the wordless conversation-via-expression contact that I would take in lieu of physical.
If you found it full of angst/unnecessary/overly cute/otherwise a bad thing: I was on the edge of my seat, wriggling with joy every time another line unfolded. I love hearing about domestic things, and doing laundry - even at a laundromat - definitely applies. You know what applies even more? Going shopping for household appliances. (which, wait, what? can you even have your washer/dryer in an apartment? I am wholly ignorant of apartment-living ways, but that doesn't sound right. I am willing to overlook this, however, in order to focus on how this is all Jim's idea to keep her safe. An overly dramatic response, perhaps, but adorable all the same.)
And then, *squeals*, "I wish you were home." My heart! My heart has exploded with joy! The beauty of that quiet little statement KNOWS NO BOUNDS. It almost single-handedly made up for the entire episode.
...OK, so possibly I came out more on the positive side of things, but I'm still not going to join the legions of swooning shippers on MTT about how it's like, one of the best JAM moments ever. Because, no. No, it's really not.
P.S. I will, however, concede that they have to angst somewhere along the line, and I would very much prefer it to be the out-of-sync variety, so I don't mind if they have some bumpy spots like this along the way thanks to the long-distance relationship. I actually look forward to little moments of conflict, when I know they're not going to lead to JIM DATING KAREN or PAM GOING HOME WITH ROY, because it makes the resolution sweeter.
It's the Little Things
-"Now, this baby will be related to Michael by...delusion." Dear Jim: please explain more things with white board diagrams and smirking. It's hot.
-How do you mishear "Astrid" as "Astird"? That being said, I think Astrid is a lovely name, and I swear I'm not just saying this because it's an anagram of TARDIS and/or after the last Christmas episode of Doctor Who it makes me think of starlight. And by "I swear" I mean "it would be a lie if I said."
I'm also quite relieved she had a girl, because "Chevy" is plain ugly. I swear I'm not saying this just because I grew up thinking the guy's name was "Chubby Chase."
-Still loving the unholy glee Angela takes whenever Michael complains about Phyllis' bad parties.
-Can Andy always have this little screen time? Other than being on screen, which always causes me to shudder and make a face, he didn't specifically do or say anything to disgust me. I think that's a first.
-OSCAR, MAN. OSCAR. "Why do we have to pay money to get a gift for his ex-girlfriend's unborn sperm donor baby?" And then he throws his hands up like "WTF, did we all take stupid pills this morning?"
-...I swear I was about to close the Pratt window, and then I was clicking around and landed on this page: http://www.pratt.edu/admissions
I'm expecting the background picture will change eventually, so here it is:
PLEASE TELL ME PAM GOT TO HAVE A CLASS THAT INVOLVED DRAWING HORSES FROM LIFE. That thought almost makes me happy about her being off at art school. /random.
-Hey Pam, you want to know what sort of things I've washed? In recent memory, a piece of chocolate, a pen on not one but three separate occasions, and my personal crowning achievement - my school ID card. It came out slightly bent, but it still worked fine!
-Poor Jim; he walks in, finds Jan still singing, and is just like "...no."
-I deeply, deeply appreciate that TPTB did not feel a need to make the baby start crying at any point. I actually got a little choked up thinking about how grateful I was to them for this fact. When she's perfectly silent, I even went against every feeling I've ever had at the sight of a baby and thought Astrid was cute.
And then I started thinking about Jam babies again. Obviously.
(I'm sorry! I did notice how TPTB very carefully and deliberately had no Jim reaction whatsoever to her, except as another symptom of Whackjob Jan, and it was definitely the right move on their part to cut the rabid shippers off at the knees, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to grumble about the fact that this episode could have been a thousand times greater if Pam were still at the office).
The Michael Scott Dilemma
"You don't have any idea what I've been through--"
"No, I don't!"
So Jan says Michael can hold the baby, but then makes him leave her in her car seat while he does so? "OK, now even I feel bad for the guy. ...I feel less bad after watching him glomp random babies, which I found much more unsettling than cute. Who are these women just handing their children over to his care? Have they met Michael Scott?"
But ultimately, in the end, I felt really bad for him. When he said "I usually love babies, but when I held Astrid, I just...felt...shortchanged," I got this empty, hollow place in my heart that I think might have been genuine empathy for his profound sadness. What the hell is this nonsense, heart?
That being said, my only response to the last part with Holly was Oh dear God, don't do a creepy Casino Night redux, don't, no, no no no no no no -- okay.
Thankfully, they dialed it down a notch from Casino Night - hug instead of a kiss - and only then was I able to breathe again, because I swear to God if Michael Scott had trampled over my favorite memory of Casino Night (or its pre-existing redux, Money), I would have hurt someone. Like the writers I still haven't forgiven for striking. (zing! You didn't think I'd let that grudge go, did you?)
IN CONCLUSION: OK, but the next episode is going to be good, right? I've clearly seen worse (*cough* The Deposition; *cough* Survivor Man), but this is so far not living up to the gleeful standard set by the premiere at all. Not even the gleeful standard set pre-proposal!
EDIT: Wow, sophomore dorms. They have this poster in the hallway that does a really effective job of laying out Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin's basic platform policies, complete with big pictures of each candidate, and then has a plastic cup pinned to each side where you can 'cast your vote' by putting a Mancala stone in one of the cups. It's really cute, not to mention informative, and I'm impressed by the work that went into it.
I just walked past it, and someone has felt the need to not only knock down the Obama cup and leave the pieces scattered all over the floor, but then replace the thumbtacks in his eyes. Um. Crazy hatred much?