1. The Office: Employee Transfer (already renamed in my head as The Halpert Brothers Episode, because I have my priorities straight)
Well finally, something that doesn't suck about season 5! Best episode since the premiere. Still lacking in sufficient Cute Moments, though. If you make me wait until Christmas for those, I'm going to have to demand an explosion of squee equal to if not somehow greater than the premiere. Not least because you owe me two Christmases' worth of Snuggly Puppy Love.
I feel cheated that we only got to see those great costumes for a couple of minutes. To lodge my protest, I will devote space to talking about every single one of them.
Kelly: Carrie Bradshaw! I...can't even express my delight with this costume. It's so perfectly her.
Ryan: I freely admit that "Gordon Gekko" went right over my head. Having looked it up, I am laughing myself into fits. Pretty proud of your ability to make subtle allusions to your own awesomeness, aren't you?
(and yes, I shall glee over their tiny moment, however small, meaningless and/or and illustrative of Ryan's nefarious ways it may be. I miss them!)
Phyllis: Raggedy Ann, awwww.
Angela: Sporting her previously worn white cat costume, and looking sweet.
Stanley: *snert* That is all.
Oscar: Uncle Sam, which is weirdly endearing. Though I can't help but wonder how many remarks it prompted Michael to make about illegal immigrants.
Andy: Something that...vaguely resembles a cat, I guess, although I was more inclined to say it looked like a caveman clothing himself in a variety of large feline skins.
Creed as the Joker is frickin' terrifying. Dwight as the Joker, only mildly less so. Kevin as the Joker makes me curious as to why that movie was rated higher than PG.
Jim: "Dave." I love how much effort he always puts into his costumes. It's truly impressive.
So anyway, everyone else has great costumes, and I feel like I'm set for ideas until at least 2011. I've been eagerly anticipating the last one for weeks, when we get...
Pam: Charlie Chaplin? Are you kidding me? Ugh. I WANT KITTY PAM. Angela got to recycle her old costume! And black-kitty attire would have been far less embarassing even if she was the only one in costume. What would possess you to try such a
(I firmly believe they got to go at least one Halloween party/other social outing together to make their costumes worthwhile, though. And now my brain is running away with a scenario where Jim teasingly refuses to kiss her because he's not into guys, and she shoots back that she won't kiss him because she doesn't cheat on her fiancé, and then all of a sudden it goes into an awkward and uncomfortable place. Someone please make this happen.)
Jim/Pam, Tom & Pete
-"Or maybe to beat me up. I can never tell with those two." Awwww, tell me more of Baby Jim's childhood adventures in getting beat up. I think this could be an endless well of amusement.
-As soon as Pam got that gleam in her eye upon asking "Pretty awesome, right?" my stomach clenched in dread. I don't even need spoilers to know that pretty much whenever she gets confident, things promptly SUCK. Not unlike what happens whenever Jim connects with Michael. Universe gets angry, and all that. And pretty shortly after that, turns out that yes, in fact, our two prank options are "hurt Jim" or "make fun of Pam." Boy, this meal should be a laugh riot.
-Allow me to further illustrate the above point with a running-commentary note:
7 minutes in: "Inside jokes & ex-girlfriends. Ugh. Facepalm facepalm FACEPALM! This is so awful, I freaking can't...Michael and Holly have caused me less physical pain from embarrassment tonight so far, people. MICHAEL. AND. HOLLY."
-A cheek kiss? First time Jim & Pam occupy the same physical space in 4 episodes, and all I get is a cheek kiss? *furrows brow* I guess it could have been worse, but...well, you should consider yourself lucky I have Numb3rs to get my fix, is all. *flounces off*
-All of the above was instantly forgiven upon the first appearance of Defensive!Jim. The way his anger gradually simmers and builds throughout lunch is an absolutely fantastic thing to behold, because no one puts down Pam in front of him. He never aims for direct conflict, but his tone can get rather dangerous behind the stiff smiles. Finally breaking out "Pete, you couldn't make the Mets! She's at Pratt? You played JV baseball," may have caused me to break out in spontaneous applause. Given the strain that her being at Pratt has caused so far, and even despite the fact that I would like nothing better than for her to turn her butt around and forget this nonsense forever, his unwavering support gives me no end of glee.
The gist of that scene can also be summed up like so:
-Jim/Pam quote exchange of joy, because I just love how neither of them misses a beat.
(Pete: I'm just saying, how many famous trumpeters can you name, besides Louis Armstrong?)
("The point is, Pam, that there are jobs, and there are hobbies--")
-I'm so proud of Pam finally breaking out a little Beach Games attitude in her defense when she can't take it anymore. Even if my heart's simultaneously breaking a little bit for the fact that they pushed her to the verge of tears before she spoke up. Meanwhile, I'll just revel in the fact that Jim drapes his arm over her chair - in fact, let's say he rubs her back - and adds that sweet "Pam, don't worry about it" when she admits "I don't know if I'm going to make any money."
-I remain adamant about the fact that there is a little bit of tear-wiping going on in a private alcove at some point, in a missing scene we are cruelly deprived of seeing. Because despite the brothers' utter obliviousness, her voice is completely hollow on the "Got you," and he is very plainly aware that this was not her idea, at all. This needs to be addressed & dealt with in an expedited manner!
-OK, I've read 2 recaps and watched it like 10 times, and I still don't understand a) exactly what Pam's prank was (I mean, losing the ring I understand, but what was she using makeup for?) and b) how it was in any way funnier than Pete & Tom's. Less mean-spirited, but not...funny. All those years of pranking with Jim; has she learned nothing?
-My feelings on the last sentence are threefold:
a) THANKSGIVING! Thank you, writers. Thank you so much; you have no idea what one little word can do for my daydreams. I mean, there's intuitively assuming they spend holidays together, especially what with the being engaged and all, but just - hearing it out confirmed out loud, that it's already a given thing, is too wonderful for words.
b) Pam uses air quotes in suggesting that they "prank" Tom about being bald. HAH!
c) Um, no pressure or anything, but if we could somehow have an episode called "Pranksgiving," that would be the highlight of my year.
-P.S. There has been much complaining about the brothers' acting, and I'm torn, mostly because while I like the guy playing Pete, the one playing Tom bears no resemblance whatsoever to Jim, in looks or manner, and my intelligence feels insulted that I'm supposed to believe they're family. It cannot be that hard to cast people who look like John Krasinski, seriously. Either way, I was severely underwhelmed by both their "Jim faces" (I didn't even realize Tom was doing one, and Pete's was a noticeably pale imitation).
But I will give them the benefit of the doubt because I like Pete, even though he ended up being the bigger jerk of the two. It's the hair. Slays me every time.
I didn't watch any of their scenes all the way through the first time. Mostly because I was too impatient to get to the Halpert stuff, but after what I did see, I'm not sure I will ever watch this episode the whole way through, because they BROKE ME. Congratulations, Universe. You win.
When Holly started crying because she knew she was going to break up with him, but she didn't want to say it yet, and he was being ridiculously sweet trying to find out what was wrong, I got a bit misty. Then when she actually broke up with him and he started howling "I'm not strong! I'll go back to Jan and I HATE JAN!", actual tears not only came to my eyes, but went spilling down my cheeks. And I kind of want to cry again right now! I'm scared and confused by this parallel universe I've fallen into; can someone please take me home?
It's not even that I want to see Holly again, or Michael's relationship with her in any capacity, it's just that - much like Dwight and Angela - I can't help but grudgingly admit that they are perfect for each other, and the universe just won't feel right until they're together. So that's the cheery thought I'm contenting myself with; it might take a few years of trial and tribulation, but surely TPTB will wrangle it so that they wind up together in the end. Possibly the literal series-finale-end, but still. I cling to this like a lifeline.
(I...can't even comprehend the fact that this was Holly's last episode. Already. Do we get Toby back now, at least?)
Also, WHOA, is Holly moving into that gorgeous big house all by herself? Seriously? Or is that where she used to live - she's supposedly transferring back to Nashua, right? - and it just hasn't sold yet? Oh, never mind. I'm starting to think the house alone is totally worth uprooting her life and living 7 hours away from her soulmate.
Finally: shocking fact! This may be, in fact is probably, due to the fact that I didn't watch any of their scenes the whole way through, but: there was not one moment where I felt horribly embarrassed by Michael's antics in a way where I wanted to shoot either myself or him. The shock of this cannot possibly be good for my system.
I lied, one more thing - I loved Darryl's desperate phone call. Watching him play Emerson to a super-lame version of Ned & Chuck was almost better than having the real thing on Pushing Daisies. (Which, by the way, you should all be watching because it's terribly ratings-challenged even though it delivers approximately the same amount of joy as Jim & Pam. And I don't know if you've noticed, but the fact that Ned & Chuck can't touch makes it remarkably similar to The Office these days. I hope I'm not being too subtle about this plug.)
Andy vs. Dwight
*gasps for breath* Can't...handle...LMAO...incredible...LO
OK, show. If you're going to make me choose between Jim/Pam interaction and Jim pranking Dwight, I'm going to pick the former and consider Dwight pranking Andy a thoroughly appropriate substitute. Because it is EXACTLY LIKE WATCHING JIM. Dwight hasn't suffered all these years for nothing! Every single tiny thing he did was so incredible, I'd say it rivals the best of the master. I just - I can't even begin to catalogue all the ways I loved it.
The calm collectedness with which he informs Andy that he would never dream of showing disrespect to the colors of Cornell; he plans to apply there! The return of Needs Anger Management Andy*! (almost) Cheerfully raising his mug to Andy's scowl! The infuriatingly friendly way Dwight muses "Someday we'll both get together in Comstock Hall and just laugh about all of this" before clinking glasses and strolling off! The way the interview devolves into a shouting match and furiously scribbling at each other! Not to mention Andy coming in the next day in horrible "beet famer" attire, and Angela just being MORTIFIED. That was quite the final flair.
(* = *runs with her 1950's perception filter of their relationship* I forgot about his temper. Does that mean that for as much as he dotes on Angela now, that after a few years of marriage he might occasionally slap her around when she drives him to the boiling point? Well, what if this actually was the 1950's, when that was more common? I'm getting alarmingly invested in the idea of their marriage coming to fruition, just so I can let my brain run wild with mad daydreams like this.)
Psych! I cannot think of one single wasted second. No, really. I can't. Well, there probably were some in the Nashua trip, but I didn't see any that specifically annoyed me. UNPRECEDENTED. Does that make it one of my favorite episodes ever? That would be sort of sad, but theoretically...
*heaves a great sigh*
2. ER - 15.04, "Parental Guidance" (Or, HOLY FREAKING COW THAT WAS AN HOUR OF PURE AND UNADULTERATED AWESOME)
At first, I started watching it in my usual haphazard way, trying to buckle down and do homework since I figured it wouldn't take much effort to pay attention and I really needed to focus on homework. After about five minutes, I had thrown aside homework entirely in favor of jumping up and down in my seat, screaming with happiness at regular intervals as this show slammed me with every ounce of good it has left.
The fact that Daria got assigned to Gates as her mentor right off the bat was JOY, because, hello two favorite characters! She's a tad too young to have a real flirting dynamic with him, and I think he approaches her much as he approaches Sarah, but there's just enough of a spark on her end to make it interesting. But that's not really the focus, the focus is that they have EXCELLENT banter. They have the kind of banter that the writers are deluding themselves into believing Gates & Sam have, and this way is so much more fantastic to watch.
If she has a fault, it's after seeing him with Sarah, being really creepy in casually shrugging that girls do it (get tongue studs) to pleasure the boys. Like, HI, GIVEN THE EXCHANGE YOU JUST WITNESSED, COULDN'T YOU PROBABLY ASSUME THAT HE'S HER FATHER? WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO HIM, WHY?
REALLY? Really, even the super-smart surgeon uses icky shorthand during instant messages? Let it be known that I never in my life used "r u" in place of "are you," nor "4" in place of "for." Know why? Because I was not LAME and or TEN. That being said, loving the chatting. I vehemently reject Ray/Neela because he's entirely too ugly and skuzzy for someone as gorgeous as her, and I maintain this belief even after seeing the uglier and skuzzier men she's slept with, but they almost always made decent friends.
So, Brenner is out of the picture for good, right? And I can finally block those horrible mental images just like I blocked the ones of Abby and THAT THING WHICH TOTALLY NEVER HAPPENED?
-Not sure why it wasn't blatantly obvious from the first second that the other daughter was the SPAWN OF SATAN, but whatever, it was kind of fun to watch. And it gave me chance to get whipped into a frothing rage at social services, which is always fun. (seriously, do they ever legitimately rescue kids from abusive and/or scarily neglectful homes? Because it seems like at least 80% of the time, all they do is stir up ridiculous and unnecessary trouble). Case in point:
(after asking the social worker how the interview with one of the daughters about the mother went)
"Not good. Yells, loses her temper from time to time, spanks them - I need to get child protection services involved."
. . . *is speechless* WTF, seriously, WHY?!?!
-Return of Escort!Michelle Lee as Archie's would-be love interest! (or whatever her name is...she's always Michelle Lee from NCIS). Heh, I like her. Or I did until she got to the part about how her mom died a year ago, but she hasn't disconnected the phone line yet, and sometimes she calls it just to hear it ring, and pretend her mother will pick it up. Oh my God, I can so see myself doing that. Naturally, I started crying my eyes out. Curse you, escort!Michelle Lee.
Me, beginning of the hour: "Show, making Banfield a fierce attacker-taking-down lady is not going to make me like her. Let's just make this very clear."
Me, end of hour: "...%)#*%, despite everything I swore up and down about hating forever, Banfield has become kind of awesome!"
Between "who the hell mugs someone with a pink highlighter?" and all the great work she did getting the Psycho Demond Child from Hell to confess, and the tough choice she made in having the screaming child locked up in pscyh, and then when she went into the trauma room, heard the echoes bouncing around her memory and started to lose it...well, I was already crying; that just kicked it up a notch.
Sarah & Tony
SAR-AHHHHHHHH! With the soccer! And the getting a hug and a cheek kiss and GOD THEY DELIGHT MY SOUL, ALWAYS. IN CASE I HAVE NOT PREVIOUSLY MADE THIS FACT CLEAR. I LOVE THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING. MORE THAN LUBY LOVE, EVEN. And this whole exchange was just so very them, with his suspiciously noting her funny talking, demanding that she open her mouth, and then being horrified and indignant at the sight of a tongue stud, angrily ordering her inside.
"You're acting like I killed someone!"
"You did! Me! Now go wait in the break room."
Oh, Sarah. She's such a typical young teenager. Not a bad kid, but so easily swayed by her friends. I'm massively disappointed in her for being too dumb to realize how freaking ugly tongue piercings are, and even though I know she only did it because they all did, because she really is pretty innocent at heart, it's just...ick.
Loved their later exchange, where they're still fighting and she heaves Aggravated Teenager sighs and stomps off ,while he calls after her with threats to get the pliers if she doesn't comply pretty soon.
Oh, but you know what I really didn't need? Sam butting her nosy, nosy nose in and a) declaring that Tony needed to give Sarah the talk, bcause "She's gonna have oral sex!" (well, Sam certainly was at her age, I can see where she might think that). I fully approve of Tony literally sticking his fingers in his ears and going "lalalala," because - because - my head ACTUALLY EXPLODES at the idea that oral sex is the new rite of teenage passage. Like, the hell; regular sex was bad enough. Those teenagers, always managing to come up with something grosser.
and b) jumping aboard the "she totally got the tongue stud to pleasure the boys" train of thought. Which, HI THERE. Just because you're a slut doesn't mean Sarah's that....OK, Sarah has a demonstrated loss of self control around people her own age, but I deep down she also has a moral compass that keeps her from crossing the darker lines. She's not going to go around giving blowjobs just because it's the cool thing to do.
In otherwords, BUTT THE HELL OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP, SAM. IT IS SO NOT YOUR PLACE. You can ruin Tony for me, but I will not let you ruin Tony-Sarah.
But they redeemed it all at the end, where Sarah says what we've known all along, that is not why she got it. And she is her spitfire self for about 3 more seconds, defending her right to her own body, and then she dissolves under his look, surrenders and takes it out for him. There is some awkward talk about how she can, you know, come to him about this stuff. Mostly they are adorable and endearing, and even the plaintive way she says "This is weird" brings them back to their old selves.
Except...if you take "this is weird" in a slightly different contest...OH PLEASE, CAN SARAH HAVE ISSUES ABOUT HIM DATING SAMANTHA AND SEEING HIM QUASI-PARENT ALEX AND FEEL LIKE SHE'S GETTING MARGINALIZED NOW THAT SHE'S GROWING UP? Because that would rock my world. I mean, think about it; she was his entire world when her mom died, and he fought tooth and nail to keep her and she fought just as hard to stay with him. But now she's a little older, and she must like the freedom of being able to go out with her friends, but they're not so inextricably tight-knit as they were when she was 12. I think there must be days when she misses being scooped up for a hug and all that.
Probably every single second I didn't mention. My head is so full of joy that I can't even sit through the episode again, I just get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude.
Except for lacking Sarah, this episode is EQUALLY GREAT.
Oh man. Tracy Martin. The blonde intern was already my second favorite, but after seeing her totter in wearing a mermaid costume, sadly misinformed about the costume policy at County, made my day. I'm back up to 4 favorite characters again, yay! Half of which are interns, but still.
Frank's Julius Cesear costume = lol!
Damn it. Damn it. They win. You win! You win and you kill me with cuteness and love and devotion and when the hell did Ray develop the Eyes of Kindness and Caring? He so did not have those before he lost his legs. I swear. He also wasn't anywhere near this emotionally developed & mature. But then they crept into my heart little by little over the course of the hour, and I was all teary when he talked about attempting suicide, and when they started dancing (or rather, swaying) and she was all tucked under his chin I was letting off muted squeals of joy, because apparently ANYTHING can activate my Shippy button if you follow the proper motions.
And at the end when I thought he was going to just up and leave after that oh-so-close brush of the lips, I was actually yelling in frustration because I wanted them to get together. And then he kissed her, and it was so so very sweet and romantic in ways that RAY BARNETT SHOULD JUST NOT BE CAPABLE OF, and then he was a gentleman and left. I. Guh. I have no words.
OOH! Upon closer inspection, I have discovered that a large percentage of my feelings can be accounted for by the fact that his hair is soft and fluffy, has actual color, and is otherwise devoid of that horrid nasty gel he used to use to put spikes in it all the time. Isn't it amazing how much more attractive men get when they don't do that? Because it continually amazes me.
And then, even though I'm optimistic about the future, I cried at the bittersweet ending. Of course. Because everything makes me cry these days. It's a little worrisome, actually, how invested I get in fictional happenings. Maybe I can blame it on PMS.
-Australia doesn't have Halloween?? At least not the trick-or-treating kind? What the hell kind of deprived childhood is that?!
-Sam being bitchy towards Tony and jealous of Daria cracks me up. Pity they can't seem to sustain a fight for more than one episode. Stupid patient Tony.
-Another golden episode. Can we keep up this streak, please? It would be a great way to close the series.
Time to do battle with another week of school and sleep deprivation...oh, boy. *grimace*