II. And now for a heaping helping of reviews for the TV I finally got caught up on at the end of last week (is Thanksgiving break time, basically! Am allowed!
'CSI: Miami: 7x08, "Gone Baby Gone"
I'm apparently a glutton for punishment, because even after that horribly acted teaser, I went back and watched the rest of the episode. Well, that's not true, I really wanted to see what everyone was talking about as far as the ending. I have verified that it was, in fact, too stupid for words. It's not like I expect this show to be even vaguely realistic anymore, and yet somehow I'm always surprised by how bad it gets. In fact, it was so terrible - wait, this was episode 150, really? - that I appear to have blocked large chunks of it from memory. I only remember the following:
-Tara Price's grumpy attitude about Eric thiefing her tools made me giggle. She still doesn't really fit in with the team - it's more like she bobs along on teh surface, a curious observer - but her appearances still make me smile. I'm beginning to really miss the comforting, heartwarming familiarity of Alexx talking to her charges, though. Tara is an acceptable alternative, but like everything else about the new era, she's mostly about a shiny glossy surface and little substance.
-Seriously, when did Calleigh's spine dissolve? It was completely ridiculous that she had, like, actual tears in her eyes at the beginning of this episode while promising they would do everything possible to get the baby back. Jesus Christ! There was nothing to cry over whatsoever; that delivery made no sense. Does this show even have a director anymore, because it kind of seems like all the actors just take their wooden script and do whatever with it - no cohesiveness at all.
Sigh. This show DID NOT used to be this terrible! I know for a fact that I am not romanticizing the past! Last night I caught a rerun of season 3 episode "Pirated" as I was falling asleep - one of my favorite ones of all time, and the first sight of the dead body underwater STILL makes me jump out of my seat - and I almost cried at how good it was. I miss those days. :(
'NCIS: 6x07, Collateral Damage
I watched it back-to-back with the subsequent episode, took no notes, and basically had everything in the two episodes run together in my head, with the result that I can remember nothing specific about CD, other than being disappointed that I was a week late to the party and thus had no time to do a Happy Dance of Joy about Gibbs finally cottoning on Lee's EVIL EVIL TRAITOROUS MURDERING tendencies before there was much more to discuss on that front.
Oh, and that I was weirdly fond of Dwayne, in a "once was nice, now never come back or you'll wear out your welcome" sort of way. OH, and that I still want to crush Vance under a giant boot like the disgusting slimy creature he is, but we should probably abandon all hope that I will ever stop actively feeling this way, so that's not surprising.
But that's all, I swear.
If the previous episode was decent, this was one exploded out of the water. Ridiculously exciting, had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Still took no notes and can say only a few specific things, but among them are:
1) I love Gibbs & Abby concocting a secret-secret plot all on their own that supercedes the regular secret plot. Would have loved to see a little of that plan, rather than having TPTB try to fool us along with the gang. Silly TPTB, Abby would never betray Gibbs! I bought Tony as a murderer faster than I bought this nonsense.
1.5) McGee kissing Abby on the cheek in relief when he found out as much was terribly cute. I admit this only with the strict warning that I am anti-McAbby and I appreciate it only objectively as the sweet gesture of a friend. (because I do believe them as fantastic pals/best friends. Just no romantic chemistry whatsoever.)
2) WTF NO LEE DOES NOT HAVE A DAUGHTER. Damn it, show! I hadn't even entertained the possibility that this might be another layer of deception until the internet chimed in, but now I must insist that it be so. You simply cannot give me two glorious episodes of being justified in my Michelle-hate, and letting me revel in glory and glee about the brilliance of making her an evil traitor, and then try to justify it. You're better than this. You don't have cheap cop-out plotlines like this. ...of course, I'm also talking to the people who invented Jeanne. But still!
I am just going to be very, very angry if this daughter business is legitimate. Because - the plausible blindside! You can't take a powerhouse blindside away from me like that! I can't shake the feeling that it might be, if only because Gibbs is leaning that way and last episode was all about how proving Gibbs is never wrong, but...I'm just going to
3) TIVA, HEY, HI, HELLO! I had started to forget what I was so fond of about you, and then all of a sudden it came roaring back. And I'm not even talking about the squished-together-in-a-tight-space scene (ICON TIME!), or the bitter grievances in the elevator, laden with double meanings, and the "I'm tired of pretending." No, I was good and happy watching Tony get smashed in the face with a rifle butt.
Or rather, Ziva's wide-eyed alarm and shout of protest right beforehand, when she realized what was going to happen but couldn't stop it. My heart stopped in shock and joy. And even though I did not approve of her continuing to fight like a tigress against all reason and order (there may have been a point where I got so caught up in the story I yelled at her to stop as though she was an actual person who might respond to me... *facepalm*), upon hearing her later justification for why she went on autopilot Rage Machine ("I SAW YOU..." oh, no, don't cut it off there!), I was quite placated.
And mostly, I'm busy treasuring the part where Tony comes in to unlock her handcuffs, both bruised and beaten (y halo thar, improbable shippy scenarios, I do so love when you find a way to make yourselves happen on screen!), and trails off mid-sentence as soon as she gets a clear look the damage on his face. And the way she automatically raises her hand to touch him and just as quickly checks herself. Best scene of the season, right there!
4) Vance hate. Vance hate. Vance hate. I'm officially not sitting through any more scenes he's in, Gibbs presence or no. I'll catch up with the rest of the team, and whatever they don't find out, I'll be content to remain in the dark about.
5) Mostly, though, the lesson to remember is that I liked it? I was quite intrigued with how they set up games within games to try and catch her/whomever she might be working with.
Pushing Daisies: 2x06, Magical Nonsense (my self-titling is often indicative of how I feel about any given episode)
Bastards, son of a bitch, and three successive mentions of ass-kicking (and not the donkey variety, either). You'd think PD was celebrating a move to a 9:00 timeslot.
My confession of the week is that, despite much weeping and wailing over this dearly beloved's show's cancellation, I didn't watch this episode the whole way through, and I have no plans to do so in the immediate future. My stupid roommate interrupted me during the original airing, and even though I tried to force myself to have willpower and turn it off so I could watch in full later, this resolution only lasted about 15-20 minutes - long enough to miss a lot of stuff, but not long enough to make the ending incomprehensible. As such, I missed the parts I was most looking forward to - the animal deaths. (not that that's good, but, I like when they investigate animal cases)
[interjection - I did see the bit about Ned telling Olive that there were a dog and a pig at home waiting to be walked and loved, though, that was cute.]
Then again, I was already feeling peevish from the incessant naughty language and my irritation with the brothers, whom I JUST CANNOT LOVE. I'M SORRY. I HATE THEM AND THEIR STUPID FILIAL NOTIONS. No "Frere Piemaker." Do not want! Do want sad & lonely Piemaker whose entire world consists of Chuck and Digby, to a lesser extent Olive, and catching criminals with Emerson on the side, but mostly being wrapped in a self-contained world of magic and doomed love, however sad and painful that latter may be (sad and painful is good! I like sad and painful!)
It goes without saying that I liked Ned in this episode much more when he was being sour and cranky towards the whole business than we he started to become all accepting. Sigh. I think at heart, I may be too bitter for this show's sweetness, however wholeheartedly I embraced it for season 1. (Season 1 didn't have (much) family! You know how I feel about family! Especially family that gets in the way of my fairy-tale love stories.)
In a semi-related note, I depise the actor playing the Great Hermann, as in I loathe him with fiery burning passion.
I suppose, ultimately, it boils down to
A) squee-worthy ship moments:
1) Olive leaping to safety with her arms around Ned's neck (way too brief a shot, and rudely given an abrupt cut to them peering into the shaft)
2) Charlotte's teary-eyed quasi-conversation with her mother was wonderful. Not because I actually care about this storyline
2.5) I just realized I wrote Charlotte instead of Chuck in the last one. I've really never gotten over how much I hate that nickname, huh? And/or gotten too stubbornly invested in my 1900's AU.
B) Emerson: (imitating in high, girly voice) "A magic show??" Where did I put that rat's ass I could give...
You know what the real tragedy about this show is, is losing such MARVELOUS lines from Detective Cod. I am really almost more upset about that than anything else, including the loss of the only show with a dog as a main character (Shut up, Lost. A cute dog. Who doesn't chew on skeletal remains.)
P.S. I love this post about the cancellation. Best attitude I've seen yet: "ABC cancels Pushing Daisies and I hate everyone."
(way to go, author! Take Bryan Fuller to task like he deserves!)
'Bones 4x10, "The Passenger in the Oven"
Being interrupted during Pushing Daisies (see above) meant that I tried to fill the void by watching this show instead, even though it was already a quarter over when I tuned in the first time. I did more or less make an effort to watch the whole thing later, but as so often happens with this show, the specifics get overlooked in the shuffle and I can't bring it in me to care that much.
I watched, I laughed, I liked it. It's not the best show of the week but Booth & Bones are a wonderful team - although I am quite tired of this phenomenon where people have to solve cases on airplane flights; it's getting way too overused and even more ridiculously unbelievable as a result - and it was worthwhile even if I don't have much to say. (Oh, I enjoyed the meta bit with "why do people always think we're about to make out?")
Mostly I want to discuss Hodgins & Angela, and my hatred of Roxy, which doesn't help matters. Seriously, I hope Angela finds a reason to come crawling back at some point, and I hope Hodgins spitefully laughs in her face when she does. My vitriol towards this ship is so ignorant of bounds, I fear it's going to start spreading back through time and poisoning season 3's Cute Moments for me.
(Actually, it may already be too late. I just thought about the Christmas moment last year where he asks "Are two people a family?" and suddenly my first reaction has changed from "aww, squee!" to a bitter laugh of "AH HAH HAH! LIES! THIS ENGAGEMENT IS FULL OF LIES. Also, [nodding at Angela], WHORE." Yeah, I'm no longer above slinging unjustified sexual insults to put women down).
And I wrote all that before my brain fully processed what the implication behind the "But you can fall in love with a man, right?" exchange might have been. You can imagine how I feel about that now. What the hell are the writers even doing with the Roxy storyline? What possible purpose is it supposed to serve, besides pissing me off? Because right now, I gotta say Homicidal Zach > Roxy.
(By the way, I'm really having trouble with that conversation - how could Roxy be the thing that came between them when they'd broken up long before she arrived? BIRAMBAU. BIRAMBAU WAS WHAT GOT BETWEEN THEM.
Ugh. Honestly. I so want her to come crawling back like a dog. A dog who is then kicked. Hey, remember the Gravedigger episode? Where I tumbled head over heels for them and the show all at once because they were clearly so perfect and right and necessary for each other? Or that episode beforehand where they had the adorable date on the swings because he got her? You're not allowed to just take that magic away from me! Jerks.)
I used to watch shows and talk about what I liked in them. I swear.
ER: 15x08, "The Age of Innocence"
Me: "Oh, forget it, show. I don't care how much you make Simon Brenner sniffle and cry about being molested as a kid, I still don't care It didn't change my mind about Ricky on 'Secret Life of the American Teenager,' and it sure as hell isn't going to work for this far more arrogant ass.'
2 minutes later: ...seriously, no. Not going to happen.
2 more minutes later: ARGH. FINE. YOU WIN. I cracked under the pressure of his tears, shed one of my own, and now have an overwhelming urge to give him a hug. Or possibly even have Neela (Ray who?) do it in my stead. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?
I'm just grumpy as sin that it turned out ex-teacher was a pedophile after all. BOOOO! I was cheering for him! Mostly because I read this plot when it was called What Happened to Mr. Mattero, a book which made me profoundly angry on behalf of wrongly accused teachers everywhere (because I'm very fond of teachers, and consider them to be the most amazing people on earth) - and band teachers especially! YOU DO NOT MALIGN THE BAND TEACHERS.
I mean, I actually - *laughs* - the part where he was trying to make conversation with that sweet little girl and he asked her what school she went to, I actually said "Careful, that's probably a question you should avoid in light of the accusations" and I honestly assumed he just wasn't thinking! Clearly I am way too trusting of people. *is stil grumpy* (also, booo! How can such a nice little girl be so stupid as to give out all that information? Don't you learn anything in school? I thought internet safety was the new D.A.R.E.)
I'm not sure I liked that look of murder in Brenner's eyes at the end, though. We've seen murderous docs before. Especially when impelled by the thought of protecting others. (*coughLukacough*) I don't entirely trust him not to finish what he started with the beatdown.
Moving on from that, let's talk about how Sam and Alex have moved in with Tony and Sarah, and how much I hate it! I'll be damned if they didn't find a way to steal Tony-Sarah from me after all. And the worst of it is, I actually almost bought the teasing at the breakfast table, with Sarah taunting him for not remembering basic history and him retaliating with a joking taunt about her clothes. When I looked at through a special perception filter, I found it really easy to believe that Tony & Sam were, say, high school sweethearts who'd married early (possibly through the teen pregnancy route) and managed to keep a family together, complete with second child, all these years. They did look, disturbingly, like a functional nuclear family.
OH WAIT, EXCEPT THEY'RE NOT; it's like the most blended family ever. And the respective parents have only been dating for a year - not even. And it's just weeeeeird and I don't understand how Alex and Sarah have a jokey-banter relationship already (at least there's no evidence of puppy love? small blessings), and it all just PISSES ME OFF A LOT.
I will forgive all of that, though, I swear - even the part where I have to endure a touchy-feely emotional scene with Sam - for the GLORIOUS BACKSTORY OF MEG, SARAH, AND SARAH'S DAD. I had almost forgotten what that whole backstory was (...and I thought Keith died when Sarah was really little? They're not rewriting stuff, are they?), but now I have gone swooning over the manufactured memory of Tony standing up to his friend to protect said friend's helpless wife from his drugged-out wrath (Meg got punched in the face! Thrown across the room!) and poor little Sarah watching the whole thing...
*drifts back into blissful daze of old, pre-Sam world*
Seriously, I have more. But I figure I should probably coast to a stopping point for now. Partly because I'm going home in about 18 hours and I haven't even picked up my room, much less packed or done my scant but still existent bit of homework for tomorrow or anything.