2. I maintain that those few seconds of new footage were totally were sitting through a fussy video player, including the many excruciating scenes I deliberately skipped the first time around (*cough* "Buying drugs"), to see the producer's cut of "Frame Toby."
a) What got cut out of the cold open was better than just about everything that was left in...namely Angela's refusal to eat any of the brownies because, as Andy irritatingly blurts out, she's dieting to fit into a child-sized wedding dress. (Jim: Why do those exist?) Because - ahahaha, I'd heard something about Angela having been in beauty pageants as a child, but I didn't quite believe it until I heard it. Strangely enough, she seems to remember that time fondly, and even be proud of winning a title. Which is odd, as I was sure that her disgust with the makeup and ostentatiousness of such things would go a long way towards explaining how she grew into such a super-religious and uptight adult.
b) "Because he's available, he knows this branch, and I like him." In a normal world, that would be a sufficient explanation for re-hiring Toby, but you have to make allowances for Michael.
c) Once again, Phyllis manages to ruin things for Jim - just in case her subtle snubbing of the location wasn't enough, now there's an additional bit before that where she explains that it's romantic because Bob did the same thing for her - but of course, she knew it would be good because he's very extravagant. Apparently she lives in a mansion with a chocolate river and unicorns prancing around the backyard. Is the way I interpreted her description/implication that Jim's surprise house should be of an equal caliber.
d) An extra TH for Pam is always welcome. "Yeah, I wrote the note. I'm not ashamed of it, I'm not proud of it, it is what it is."
e) There's an entire sub-subplot featuring the War of the Notes, in which a third one is tacked up that takes people to task for insulting the note - Pam approves of the sentiment - and then devolves into calling them asswipes, which she finds slightly over the top. Pam's second note of the day consists of "Everyone should calm down. It's been HOURS since the last note and the microwave's still a mess."
f) Ooh, deleted scene #1 make a reappearance, but this time the penis drawing gets a big black circle of Censorship over it. Yay!
3. ...NBC. YOU CAN'T GO AND PUT JIM/PAM IN THE PROMO (the very beginning of it, even, so I can hit replay over and over and over and not have to sit through any crap!) AND THEN EXPECT ME TO CONCENTRATE ON SCHOOLWORK FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK FIRST! BAD PROMO MONKEYS! BAD!
4. Without a Trace: 7x08, "Better Angels"
a) Yeah, I saw the kissy-kissy preview. I ignored it, telling myself if I didn't believe it, it couldn't exist.
b) OK, so maybe I didn't strictly pay attention to the case, and even got bored trying to read a short recap on IMDB. That's a symptom of my boredom with crime drama, not the show. Mostly it just bugged me that I could NOT figure out why I recognized the MP, until I finally looked him up and went "DUH," Beth's boyfriend on "Moonlight"!
c) When I say this show is watchable again, I mean those quips between Martin and Danny ("Hey, I know it's very Psych 101, but it's all I've got."), a couple of other character exchanges (Viv had one that made me laugh...can't remember what or when it was though), and just...they have personalities again. They're no longer cardboard cut-outs. It's nice! Even the Jack and Sam banter in L.A., which I very much do not approve of, at least felt like actual people having a conversation.
d) Finn! Samantha's son is named Finn! Did we previously know that? Because it felt brand-new, and I noticed they made a point of saying it twice. Of course, I've also been known to pay less than zero attention in the past, so it's equally possible that I missed it and/or just forgot.
e) Early on
Samantha: Do you have any idea how that would look, Jack?
Me: ...to be fair, much as I've griped, it's been a really long time since there was actually anything between them. I think only Sam would notice/care about the two of them taking a strictly work-related flight across the country, even one requiring a few overnight stays.
Samantha: You know how I feel about you, right? How I've always felt about you?
Me: WHAT, SAM, WHAT, NO! We are not going down this route of stupid again. Always felt? What about those months you were dating Martin? Blech, I cannot do it. I cannot and will not acknowledge that Jack/Samantha is this show's Grissom/Sara; I can't! The latter fit, work, belong, make sense in my head; the former do none of these things. I don't care how long we waited patiently and kept the flame burning on CSI to finally get payoff; I can't feel the same goodwill towards the people who've been waiting just as long and patiently on WaT. I'M TOO SQUICKED.
Me: What - I - what - WHAT? ...WHAT? DO NOT UNDERSTAND. DO NOT EVEN KNOW IF DO NOT WANT, IS TOO STRANGE AND CONFUSING TO TELL.
It's like...what, where, where did this sudden urge to revive all the dead storylines come from? Where is Jack's interest even coming from? It seems to have snuck up behind me in the middle of the night and whacked me over the head. All of a sudden we're going to go from nothing to "I want to try the relationship again"? People pitched fits about CSI, but at least there it was a secret reveal of something established. This is...out of the blue! *ignores subtle hints she complained about in previous episodes*
But, it's just, SUDDENLY THERE WAS KISSING. RECIPROCATED KISSING. That's the real problem, I think; when did we progress all the way up to this level, exactly?
...and yet I still think this is better than "horribly boring." So I'm willing to go with it. For now. Very cautiously and with more of a disapproving and watchful eye than "squee," but I will tolerate it.
f) Me at the very end: OMG! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG ELDER DAUGHTER RETURNING OMG OMG OMG BAD BOYFRIEND & CAUGHT SMOKING POT WHAT HOLY CRAP DAUGHTER IS COMING BACK HANNAH HOOOOOOOOOOLY CARDP.
[Pertinent information learned: Jack's elder daughter has been a loathsome and out-of-control brat (sorry, "acting up"), with a boyfriend her mother hates (probably with good reason) and getting caught smoking pot, that she's being sent to live with him for a while]
Phrases like that are why even though I keep a running commentary going in Notepad for everything I watch, I still have to rephrase/redo those notes from scratch for actual discussion purposes. But I thought it might give you an idea of what my head looks like when it's exploding. Talk about EXTRA dead storylines!! Oooh, ooh, remember last time when I made that joke about the writers betting against each other, Jack's daughters being a completely implausible hope?
SUDDENLY PLAUSIBLE. I'm so excited, I could just, I could just superball-bounce around the room. Are we going to get to see this troublesome elder daughter, do you think, or is hearing about how her mother sent her to live with her dad going to be it? Because even though I'm really depressed by how she turned out, and although I can't remember why I know I'm convinced that animosity towards her dad is the entire reason she ended up like that...I would love to see her again. This is the only troublesome relationship I want to explore. I just feel sorry for her poor mother; bad teenage girls can be bad.
Hopefully this makes life nicer for her little sister, though; that one was always terribly sweet and I feel like she probably got overlooked a lot in the face of her troublesome sibling.
g) I don't think I've fully processed this ending yet. We'll see how I feel after the next ep.