RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,


1. Doggy update 2: 90% better! She's using her foot normally now - even went on a short walk after staging a loud protest at being given nothing more than a 7-minute stroll around the yard - and only favors it slightly from time to time, so she should be fine. I suppose it was only a bruise after all. People can be hypochondriacs, but what's the word for when you get obsessively hyper over your pet's physical condition?

2. Last year, I was still relatively new to LJ and wasn't sure how the popular Christmas card exchange I saw everyone doing worked, so I stayed out of it. This year, after much hesitation, I worked up the nerve to randomly ask a couple of people, even though I didn't have any to send out. Next year? I've decided there is going to be a full-blown Christmas-card-exchanging extravaganza going on.

I can't even tell you how exciting it was to get the cards from aries11 and fiery_twilight - which I had sent to the house, and thus didn't get to see until yesterday even though they were postmarked the 5th - thank you both so much, they were lovely! However, I was especially delighted by the unexpected creativity of the latter, in a way where I had to share a picture:

Oh yeah, I burst out laughing when I pulled that out of the envelope. Even better? It's accompanied by text on the inside cover reading "Santa Tennant's face is pastede on, yay!" For the motherflippin' win. Incidentally, I am probably not going to be anywhere near that creative...I just appreciate it in others.
3. It's been a week, how 'bout we finally talk about that brain-melting Survivor Gabon finale? Once again, I can't believe who won.

But mostly, I can't believe that freaking Susie made it into the final 3...I mean, I know I said I kind of thought it was going to happen one way or another, but that was like an extra special brand of irritating. I wanted Bob/Sugar/Matty at the end! Viewers wanted Bob/Sugar/Matty! (if the 67% majority poll on TV Squad was anything to go by) Even Bob, Sugar, and Matty wanted Bob/Sugar/Matty! (well, at least Sugar did, and that's all that really counts in the end, isn't it?) And still! The universe found a way to screw that up!

But I digress. First we must travel back, back to December the 14th, to the 3-hour Survivor Finale Bonanza that always, or at least since 2007, is the highlight/kickoff moment of my Finals Week. I look forward to this night like you wouldn't believe, not least because it falls right before Study Day, so I don't have to be anywhere the next day and so can enjoy it fully, and follow it up with another hour or two on the TWoP forums.

When this night began, Kenny was still there - although he was neatly dispatched after one challenge and half an hour, which I found a relief since he just became THE most irritating person in the game with his obsessive harping about Bob's supposedly tarnished honor. OMG, YOU WOULDN'T LET ME STAB YOU IN THE BACK AND VOTE YOU OUT. YOU HAVE NO INTEGRITY! TELL EVERYONE WHAT A HORRIBLE PERSON YOU ARE, BOB. I don't even understand where he worked up such strong, Denise-like delusions in his head about how terribly he'd been wronged. I mean, there's saying it in front of the jury as a strategic move, and then there's...being proven in the wrong, and still legitimately believing you were the one who got unfairly screwed.

Anyway, when Sugar said that she'd love to be in a final 3 with Matty (and presumably Bob), my little heart just exploded with love and joy. Excluding Gillian, whom I couldn't help but adore, Bob and Sugar have been my favorites "since Day 1" - a phrase which is overused by contestants on this show, but which is literally true for me. Matty eventually worked his way into my 3rd favorite spot, and so having them all together was just - eeeeh! And oh, I loved when Bob was all "Yes, dear" to Sugar's asking if he was cool with voting out Kenny. Quasi-father/daughter vibes are adorable.

Right here, I would like to publically state my loathing for when they make the contestants dress up with "war paint." The idiocy hurts my eyes, although at least Sugar made herself look halfway normal. I'm also not that fond of mazes, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed the immunity challenge. The only fun part, aside from Probst's comment about Sugar "squeezing her booty through," was when Bob kicked more ass and took more names. Specifically Kenny's, so he could write it down at Tribal and give the scheming brat what he deserved.

Last notes from this segment:
-I thought it was interesting when Susie finally started to get a little grumpy about not knowing what was going on. Brought to mind Bob's comment from the previous episode, "What does Susie think about all this?" I forgot to mention it then, but I loved that he was mindful of how she was being marginalized, and wanted her opinion to be treated as just as important.

-Also, hilarious contrast to this statement from the previous ep's recap: Everyone looks at Bob pleadingly. Except for Susie, who isn't sure what's going on. I've decided that Susie found some Gabonese weed back in episode 2 and has been smoking it ever since. This would account for her incredible mellowness and spaceyness and also why she was so good at starting that fire during that challenge she won.

GABONESE WEED!! ROTFL. In retrospect, that makes so much sense!

-At least Kenny was gracious about his exit. *pets* [Foreshadowing Voice of Doom: UNTIL NEXT TIME WE SEE HIM...]

So, Final Four. We have to do the March of Dead Survivors, which is always deathly boring and makes me simultaneously think "wow, the first half of the season was a long time ago" and "dude, the last 6 weeks really blew past, didn't they?" It also makes me miss Paloma - so cute; why couldn't she have stuck around instead of Corinne? - irrationally miss Ace and his Crazy Accent O' Craziness and his getting hit in the eye with stuff, decide that I definitely liked Kelly more than Jackie (although the latter got called "such a nice kid" by Bob, and I've decided a personal compliment from Bob is worth at least two million dollars), and...

oh God, how does Corinne keep revealing new layers of evil scumbagness every time we check in with her? Now in her little March of Dead Survivors shot, she's explaining to us that she doesn't find "being nice" a very interesting personality trait (what do you even say to that?) and that "anyone can be nice." I'm really not sure how she didn't see that she was just asking for jokes to be made at her expense with that line.

And then there was the Immunity Challenge of Hell and High Water, sans water, avec hellish houses of tiles instead. And it just breaks my heart that frickin' Susie somehow blazed right through this challenge and WON IT. My exact words were as follows:

Picture me staring at the screen in jaw-dropped shock for several seconds, and then possibly shedding a real tear, spurred along by Sugar's as she sobs about how "That means we have to vote out Bob!" Some people, a word which here includes "the recapper," mocked her for this, but come on, it is awful - it's like having to put down a beloved dog due to painful illness. I mean, you have to vote for Bob, because you'd have to be off your rocker to drastically destroy your chances at the million. Earl knew that. But it doesn't mean you can't be devastated, because there's a big difference between being happy to go up against someone more deserving when the decision is out of your hands, and deliberately putting that person there knowing that to do so is to grant them the win.

Besides, this is the part where I officially stopped liking Susie, with her repetitive babbling - it's not even that she talks, as much as that she keeps saying THE SAME THING over and over - and especially her holier-than-thou attitude when Bob "snapped at" her. Woman, of course it was easier for you to be gracious all those times before. If this had been any other immunity win, I bet he'd have been happy to celebrate with you.

But in case you haven't noticed, they all like each other more than you. Your winning means they have to kick one of their friends out of the running at the last possible second, a rather bitter defeat. If you could stop going on and on about fantastic it is? Much appreciated. I think Bob was rather admirably restrained about it, actually. Me, I probably would have thrown the word "BITCH" in there before too long, among other things. It was so bad and uncomfortable to watch the mood around camp, I had to keep channel-flipping.

But I did love when Sugar finally bit her lip and decided to force a tie. I love when people do that, even though by doing so in this particular case, she had to know she was basically putting on a show and guaranteeing that Bob would stay in, rather than Matty. Bless her heart for doing so, though. Plus Bob said she's "been an absolute doll," so she got the 2 million dollar valued consolation prize. Also, I may have sniffled a little when she talked about feeling like she had to choose between "her father and her brother." *revamps Crazy New York AU outline to give Sugar!character a Matty!character brother* Who will, clearly, have to come kick sleazy Ace!character's ass at some point, with his protective older brother muscles, and be the one who gets her clean and off drugs, and...I am way too in love with playing with this vague scenario in my head.

I was channel-flipping (per usual) during most of Tribal, so I didn't see the part where Bob apparently got choked up and said he was a good dad because he'd had a good dad, but reading about it only served to make Bob 10,000 more types of Awesome in my book than he already was.

Bitter Jury Questions
In general - firstly, I am OK with Susie using the "I tried" method of defense, and I love that Jeff winked at her; that was cute. Secondly, I'm amazed by how actively Sugar sabotaged her already slim chances of winning jury votes. I mean, I think she played an incredible mastermind game anyway (haha, nuts to you, Ken!), and I respect her for not being too fussed about winning one way or the other, but I don't think she could have antagonized the jury more if she'd tried. For all know, she was trying.

Charlie: Ewwwwwwwww, way to be almost as skeevy as Natalie by asking Bob suggestive questions about cuddling at night. And I liked him up to this point, too! I had to flip the channel after that, unable to stand the squirming embarrassment, but apparently Bob took it with excellent good humor. All is well.

Crystal: "Remote controlled" and "you rode coattails"? Good to see that hypocrisy never dies. I'm curious to know how long she spent coming up with metaphor of the remote-controlled car, though. In an unrelated note, SUGAR. You lost the first vote by saying "I don't know," and now instead of telling Crystal that you voted her out because she kicked Matty when he was down - which she might have respected, since she obviously didn't realize she did anything wrong there - you tell her she's just a bully. Talk about a stupidly easy trap to avoid...

Kenny: God, I hate when people obsess. This thing with Bob's Deal is actually worse than Randy And The Cookies. Did not know this was possible, but holy lord. I especially hate his disappointed tone - "That was not what I wanted to hear from you, Bob." Bitch, please! You don't get to take that kind of tone with Awesome Bob. I'm sorry if you wanted to hear "Please forgive me, Kenny, what I did was the most horrible thing a human being has ever done and I throw myself at your magnificent gaming feet to plead for mercy on my sins," but my man has a healthy perception of reality. It's not going to happen.

Kudos to Bob for being totally unphased and laying out the facts in a very logical and simple way for the jury to hear, though. That was hilarious.

Corinne: Iiiiiiiick. Asking Susie if she'd get her vocal cords removed? Gross. That now-infamous speech to Sugar, which rightfully got her silently flipped off? More disgusting. Trying to warp Bob into as ugly and twisted and bitter a person as she is? Possibly the most awful thing of all to witness. In one of his few really excellent moves at this Tribal, though, he manages to play along in a way that satisfies her without making himself look too bad, and also wisely shuts up when Corinne warns him about starting to stray back into that awful place, Nice Land.

Marcus: WTF, ASSHOLE MUCH? Smug dick. I did not get that vibe from him before! But wow, his entitlement factor was off the charts. I think the word I'm looking for may be "sleaze." But ooh, good for a recap quote:
"As you know, I'm a physician," he starts. Probst snickers. Ha! You know he had some side bet with the crew over how many times Marcus would mention his lauded profession. Anyway, as a PHYSICIAN, Marcus sees people everyday who are the victims of bad choices. As opposed to the rest of us with non-PHYSICIAN jobs who have no experience with people who make bad choices. For instance, as a recapper of this show, I did not see when Marcus made the bad choice of throwing the immunity idol away.

Actually, let's have two:

He's surprised that she would turn her back on her obligation to be a positive role model in this game. Surely he's talking about all the weed she smoked, but since the viewers at home didn't see that, it makes it sound like Marcus thinks that Susie's decision to side with an alliance that valued her contributions and wouldn't turn on her as soon as possible over the Onions is somehow bad and wrong.

Randy: I can't believe I didn't anticipate Randy being as bitter about the fake idol as he was. Yeesh. I think I'm actually more appalled by his asking Susie to elaborate and then condescendingly explaining what that word meant, which carried to me all kinds of racist and sexist overtones - and I am normally not too sensitive about supposedly discriminatory remarks, so you know it's bad when I'm upset - than I am by anything Corinne said. Good for Susie, having moral rectitude so built in that she can make him look like an idiot without even trying.

And I LOVED Sugar's completely unapologetic response to Randy, who's attempting to browbeat her into feeling stupid for not realizing that humiliating him would cost her a vote, with her just telling him he's a jerk. Man, this is the entertainment factor I love in the Bitter Jury Questions part of every season.

Matty: I think maybe Matty took some bitter locoweed at Ponderosa, because for someone who seemed relatively pleased to go up against Bob and Sugar a few days ago, he seems downright pissed at them now. Apparently he wanted Sugar to say her One True Evil move was writing down Matty's name when she promised she never would, and had a decidedly hostile tone while asking Susie/Bob why the others were less/more deserving, respectively, that I couldn't quite figure out.

Course, it didn't help that Bob decided to go for the "proud" option and say "I don't think they are."
(If Susie wins this thing, I'm shooting myself in the head)

Voting Shots
Wait, wait, you're voting for SUSIE?! WHAT IS THIS FUCKERY, MATTY.
"Not sure how you (Bob) survive the real world"? Ugh. Shut up, Corinne. Shockingly, some people do like nice people - I KNOW, RIGHT?? - and this allows them to be married for 28 years, have kids to whom they are a damn good father, and be a successful and probably popular high school teacher. As opposed to a bitter, single sales rep.

Reunion Show
-OK, you know how people always come to the reunion show and look terrible? This...may be the first time that hasn't happened here. OK, so Bob's scraggly bear remnants and weirdly flattened hair make him look somewhat less way hot than he did in Survivorman mode, but DA-YUM, Sugar is gorgeous. (Hire her to be in stuff! Right now! Offer the woman a lead in a TV show!)

And Susie, well, between the hair and the glasses, I'll be gobsmacked. She looks not unlike a catalogue model herself - I can totally see her modeling women's clothing. Apparently I forgot to pay attention to anyone else, I was so mesmerized by the women in the front row. Oh, except I did note that Corinne looked like a high-class hooker.

Now: results!

BOB WINS!!!!!!!! YEEEEEEEEEEE-ESS! Words cannot express my overwhelming joy. I was on the edge of my seat, biting my nails at every vote - my head is still freaking spinning as to how the %)(#*&%# Susie almost won, and poor Sugar didn't get any votes. I mean - really, none? But she was awesome! No one ever disliked her enough to write her name down! She was totally on the radar the whole time, too! WHY DOES THIS COUNT FOR NOTHING. As previously mentioned, I normally love the Under the Radar women, but I did not love Susie, and I can't believe the vote was so close.

But thankfully, Bob won, making it the first time one of my Day 1 favorites has freaking won - I cannot tell you how glorious this feeling is!! BOB IS SO AWESOME. In retrospect, though, after he won the extra money for Most Popular Player award (how is he not disqualified from winning that?), I was almost disappointed - I should have known he was a candidate, if not shoo-in, for that, and I almost would have felt better if he'd wound up in 4th with that, and maybe Matty could have swept the million dollar prize and that would have been almost as good.

Dammit, Matty's got a wedding to plan! It was, at least, lovely to see that that's still in motion, and the engagement wasn't dismissed as a product of Matty's exhausted, rest/food/sex deprived brain. I demand some element of romance in all future installments of Surivor; it makes everything so much more fun.

-BWAHAHA. I love that Ace is defending his "very real" British accent to the end. You keep right on deluding yourself, chap!

-A lot of people have said that Randy ended up coming off as kind of a "likable/endearing asshole" in this show. LIES. FALSEHOODS. Randy is still as much of a disgusting, crude, odious, appalling freak as ever. Corinne is ten times more likable, and that's not easy to say. At least with Corinne, if I squint, I can see where her mindset comes from - she's well educated and academically accomplished, and hey, I'm down with attributing self-superiority to a high GPA. How Randy hasn't offed his own loathsome self already, however, continues to baffle me. He doesn't even have a good reason for hating other people; it's not like he has any prizewinning qualities himself. At least Corinne's hot.

-I'm so glad that Corinne didn't apologize for her behavior. Makes things so much more interesting. Plus, I kind of love that Sugar is so wildly popular with the public. She's going to strike it big soon, right?

-Recap not up yet; cannot remember any more. But that's probably enough Survivor talk until February, right?

P.S. Up next: Brazil! As we all know, that's the sexiest place on earth, as was beaten into my head by that onslaught of CSI: Miami promos in 2006. I will never again be able to hear the country mentioned without repeating that phrase along with it.
4. Speaking of things that melt your brain, I still haven't watched last week's episode of Pushing Daisies because 2x09 was so flippin' incredible that I refuse to move on from it, since I'm positive there is nowhere to go but down. I just keep watching the same brilliant scenes over and over and got me through Finals Week, people. I was spinning through it during every bus ride.

"The Legend of Merle McQuoddy"
Broken into categories.

Let's Get This Outta The Way
Spectacular case! Truly fantastic, except for the creepily androgynous girl-boy known as "Elliot." His big girly doe eyes deeply unsettled me from the get-go, and that feeling never went away. Otherwise, I enjoyed every minute of the case, at least as much as one can enjoy a case when one is impatiently going "Can we go back to Ned & Chuck now?" at all times. I much prefer having the team split up like this, so that I can focus 100% on my couple, while still knowing that the episode as a whole is redeemable because there's an interesting case going on in the background. Some things I loved about it:

-The first shot of Nora's silhouette in the sky had a seriously Wallace and Gromit feeling.

-The creepy, half-melted took me a while to figure out that her raincoat had glued her to light; at first I thought she was baked into a giant lemon meringue pie. Which, given this show's central location, was not so unreasonable a thought as it might seem.

-Olive's themed raincoats, decorated with pies, olives, and cods! MANY LOLZ. What would she have gotten for Chuck, I wonder? Do they make raincoats patterned with tennis shoes? Now that I think about it, probably.

-The sad, awwww-inducing story of why Emerson doesn't like rain (*sniffles* He and his wife used to spend rainy days all snuggled up! Until she LEFT HIM. Bitch. It's Emerson!), and most especially, him telling Olive (a/k/a "Itty Bitty") that she made him love rainy days again.

-Olive hilariously bouncing off Emerson's stomach in a failed attempt at chest bumping.

-Olive's continued torch for Ned. It's a thing I can't really ship until Chuck dies, but when that happens, I am ready and waiting to ship and SHIP HARD. *wanders off to play in 1900's AU for a while*

Random Other Things
-I like the aunts best in very small doses, i.e. "one scene and we're out." Loved Lily forcing her way through the door with her shotgun muzzle and blasting the clown doll almost as much as I loved her falling into a sobbing mess at the sight of such a horror. Vivian's explanation was fantastic.

-A lot of people seem to have a deep and violent hatred of Charles Charles, in ways they've never hated a character before. I, being well-versed in character hatred on this show, and also having a love of being contrary, have decided that at the current moment, he's less annoying than the magic half-brothers, and possibly also the aunts (when they get more than 2 scenes an episode). I don't like him, per se, I'm just saying that at least there's only one of him.

Also, the shot of Charlotte (that is a hard habit to leave behind in my 1900's AU) Chuck curled up against her father's chest allows me to squint a bit and pretend it's her and Ned. And who could forget "Deadly Nedly"?? Charles Charles may be by and large an asshole, but admit it, that moniker is at least as hilarious as it is needlessly cruel.

-Loved Emerson's no-hesitation rant that Ned's solution to the problem is to tap that guy back into the grave with all possible haste, trip over an Ottoman if you have to. Also loved Ned's grimace and "I'm not going to...'tap that.'"

1. Shocked, delighted and awed - but mostly shocked - that they picked up the scene exactly where it left off in 2x08. Remember how pissed I was when they didn't do that last season? This way is so much better. And so totally worth it. I think I even liked the fact that was drawn out with the interruption of the aunts - because that way, we got Ned's horrified yell of protest when Lily fired - but nothing will beat the dark, dark anger in Ned's voice at her prompt that they need to talk. "You don't want to hear what I have to say."

1.5. You know, I heard rumors, and read interviews about how we were going to get to see Ned really mad this season, and I imagined it would be something glorious to witness, but I never really believed it. Now I've seen it. And it is at least three times as deliciously glorious as I ever imagined. I didn't know he could get that intense. The quiet anger is so much more thrilling/chilling than the brief outburst a season ago.

2-a. And once again, we pick up with Ned and Chuck exactly where they left off; hello roof scene! Roof scene which is like the best scene they've ever had, because it covers so much ground in one fell swoop. You have his icy-cold demeanor and refusal to look at her - which visibly cracks when he hears that there was a sniper rifle trained on them, and he looks like someone just kicked him in the stomach; Lee Pace, where is your official fan club? - and his blunt agreement that she was reckless and selfish. I love when my Piemaker has a spine recognizes those rare moments where he needs to take off the rose-colored classes.

2-b. Better still, my need for Chuck's self-assurance to be knocked down a peg or five is satisfied when she says that she can and will apologize for decieving him for the rest of her life - THAT'S RIGHT, WOMAN - but as long as she is so abjectly apologetic, I'm good and ready to be forgiving about it, which is precisely what Ned does for me upon her admittance that she won't be sorry her dad's alive again. "You acted on an impulse so poignant and deep...I know what it feels like, I felt it with you." UM GUH. I will just be melting into a swooning puddle of fangirl over here. His moving tone of voice right there has devastating effects upon my molecules' ability to remain in solid form.

2-c. HUGGING! Oh, oh, every time I feel sad upon thinking of some new form of physical affection they'll never get to have, this show brings it out! Specifically, by having Chuck grab a conveniently placed tarp and wrap it around him, full-body-straight jacket style, to give him the tightest hug possible. My fangirly heart! It's exploding again!

2-d. And that's before I focus on the blissful expression on his face, the barely-squeaked out "I'm good!" in response to breathing/lack thereof, or the beautiful way he plans for their "one big happy-albeity-unconvential..." and then chokes on the word "family" but manages to get it out. WHY ARE WE NOT ALL TALKING ABOUT THIS MOMENT MORE. Poor Ned and his emotionally scarred past. But it's slowly getting better! He has an impetus to try!

2-e. Oh, and, "are we still together?" and her beaming confirmation in the affirmative. Literally, she's beaming, and Ned happily tells her so while wearing the same beaming, slightly dopey smile on his own face. OI. HOW DOES EVERYONE (TV EXECS, I'M LOOKING AT YOU) NOT LOVE THEM TO PIECES?

3. I am not so down with roleplaying games, although I am curious as to whether Charlotte was referring to this being the first boyfriend her dad tortured, or whether Ned is actually her first boyfriend. I would very much like to believe the latter, so it's canon in my head now. It's not particularly important, because HI, MORE SARAN WRAP KISSING ALERT!! That's it, this is officially my new favorite episode, even if Digby's only in it for 3 seconds.

And not just once, but twice! This might be the first time I've watched a less-than-wedding-chaste kiss more than once and loved every second of it. They're many synonyms are there for perfect? I'd like to use them all. I love how, once he notices what she's reaching for, he obediently puts his hands behind his back. I love his playful "I might need some more convincing," and the dopiest, most lovable dazed smile on his face as he watches her leave. If I have any qualms with this, it's that they might want to consider not making out in the middle of the kitchen in a place all their customers can see. I'd be a little grossed out if I thought the bakers were getting up to naughty activities during my food preparation.

3.5. Also, I don't know if I'm supposed to be reading any symbolism into the fact that Ned's hair randomly and inexplicably takes a sharp turn upward during this scene, but...

4. Not strictly Ned/Chuck, but how much did I love that beautifully choreographed broom fight in the kitchen? Particularly the half-frustrated, half-pleading "DON'T - TOUCH - ME!" reminder while trying to push Mr. Charles off to a safe distance. Poor Piemaker. *pets*

5. The aftermath of the fight, starting with Chuck automatically (naturally) jumping to her father's defense, while Ned gapes in open-mouthed disbelief. Why, hello again, Angry Ned! It's so nice to see you come out twice in one episode, and showing off both sides of it, too! Because this is Outburst Ned, who actually does an admirable job of biting his tongue and keeping his temper in check for a while, until he explodes with "I don't have the LUXURY of pretending that he was in a coma, or that you're the head cheerleader, or any of this is normal!" Plus, the highly stressed "Re-deading him is not an option!" "I never said that!" Oh, I love when they fight and I have the luxury of knowing there will be forgiveness and making up later.

(Did I mention how much I love that Ned is so terrible at staying angry, that I actually giggle when he tries so sound all tough with that "Fine! YOU take care of it" line? Even he looks surprised by his own boldness)

6. Huh, there's kind of a long gap between their last two scenes. Anyway, so much love for the final scene outside the diner. Poor Ned, clearly terrified by the prospect of her leaving but being so determined not to say anything, while she enjoys every second of springing good news on him. I can't even tell you what a relief it was to hear her admit that "I already feel safe and happy" and "the spoon lands here." I mean, I assumed she would, as far as logical storytelling goes, but there's something gratifying about hearing her say outright that she'd rather be right here than going on distant adventures, PAM BEESLEY. Not as gratifying as her whispering "You're a good man" and watching him blush, though.

Seriously, I don't want to move on to 2x10. I have lots of other stuff to see! Nobody knows when we're getting the last 3 episodes! It makes total sense to save it for later, right? Ten to one says I watch it before Christmas.

P.S. THANK GOD that I recently heard Bryan Fuller reworked the last episode to bring closure instead of leaving it at the cliffhanger like he said it was going to be. You are a god among men, sir. Pending my approval of the finished product, I may even be willing to overlook your ridiculous comic book notions.

(before anyone asks why: OK, the appeal of this show is so not in the story. It is in the beauty of Lee Pace and Anna Friel smiling at each other, and/or Emerson's high-larious tone of voice while dropping snarky sarcasm bombs. You cannot capture these things with freaking drawings, and what you will do instead is just piss me off by dangling canon-endorsed potential before my eyes and taunting me with the realization that I will never get to see it come to life on the screen. Best to just put the show to bed and let sleeping Digbys lie).

5. How I Met Your Mother, 4x11, "Little Minnesota"
Oh, show. You're such a romantic.

TEr, in case I have not previously made it clear to you, I'm from Minnesota and have lived my whole life here. Ergo, it thrills me to no end when it is referenced in any particular way on TV. Even if those references do tend to center around the Vikings, in whom I have only a passing investment, since football is the most freaking boring thing on the planet. Case in point, I don't even remember this game that has everyone yelling "Damn!" and pounding their fists at the mere mention.

That's OK, though! I declare this episode Totally Made for the quip about Minnesota not having non-white people, which Ted interprets as "no black people," which either way is pretty much true unless you're in the middle of the city. Seriously. I had 750 people in my graduating class and I'm positive I could count all the African-American students on two hands. The only less visible group was Hispanic, which for all I knew could have been a mythical race invented by President Bush to divert funds to the made-up department of border patrol. Though your mileage may vary, depending on what part of the state you live(d) in.

In other news, I was totally OK with Marshall outing Robin as a Canadian. Bitch was getting downright uppity. Once you start stealing your friends stories and passing them off as your own to increase your popularity, you've Crossed A Line.

Also, I was not aware that we made jokes about Canada in any form, much less them being afraid of the dark (what?). I have always been under the impression that Canada is pretty cool. It's Wisconsin we mock. Wisconsin and their cheesehead football team, COME ON, WHY WAS THERE NO MENTION OF THAT DEEP AND BLOODY RIVALRY AT ALL? It's like the one investment I do have in football. Children are taught to hate the Packers from the time they can talk. Socially rebellious teens wear Packers jerseys to signal their non-conformity with their peers.

But I suppose that wouldn't have had the same effect as mocking the place Robin's from, so I'll overlook it. For now. Mostly because Marshall (and the rest of the bar)  singing "Let's Go To the Mall" = FREAKIN' HILARIOUS.

Over on the other side of the plotline, it turns out that Lily is really boring when not attached to Marshall's side - oops, my need to be pointedly contrary to popular opinion is showing again - but that's OK, because Ted's sister is 8,000 times more awesome than Ted, and also got all the attractive genes in that family. I vote we marry Ted off ASAP, replace him with Heather, and change the show's title to "How I Met Your Father" to focus on her perspective. I do not know why I am so fond of a girl who has done every reprehensible and/or stupid thing I can think of (including leaving the Midwest for New York), and generally seemed like a terrible person prior to her appearance in this ep, and whom in real life I would no way in hell give a second chance just because she didn't sleep with a sleazy stranger.

It's probably because she's pretty.

Which is a nice segway into Barney's carols = best part of the entire episode, surprisingly beating even the Minnesota shout-outs.

 They just keep getting better, especially when he gets into full-on dancing at the end of the last one.  I also love Ted's later explanation for keeping them apart... "You're like Weird Al Yankovic, if he only wrote Christmas songs about banging my sister." 

Random Other Stuff

-Ted's deadpan:  "No...wait...come back."

-Wait, are American strip clubs not all-nude?   That seems kind of stupid.  Why would you pay money to see women who aren't even naked?   I don't understand how strip clubs work.  So I did some internet research (TOTALLY LEGITIMATE RESEARCH, in the form of HIMYM reviews I swear) and apparently, outside of Atlanta, the point she was making is that clubs which serve alcohol can only be topless. such a lame and arbitrary rule, I might care if I didn't deeply resent strippers, alcohol, and people who frequent joints that serve either or both.

-Barney's swivel chair!  That he brought in himself for dramatic effect!

-The one bad thing about the Minnesota scenes: Marshall's loudmouth bartender friend?   Last seen on The Office as one of Jim's dickwad brothers.  *twitches in spasms of horror*  I'm sorry, that actor is never allowed to appear in anything ever again; his face is permanently ruined for me.I
Ooh, also, my EW subscription started coming in last week - so those fantastic photos of the HIMYM cast re-enacting the greatest moments of 2008?   Are MINE, MINE, in full-color glossy form!  Wheeeeeeee, I love this magazine.  Especially when it is free.

Non-Flaily Stuff
MAN. I was so determined to not miss any days on the Neopets Advent Calendar this year...and then I end up missing about half of them so far, and furthermore circumstances are such that I go and miss both avatars and the Christmas paintbrush and the Key Quest Token AND the free Neocash. *beats head against wall*

Also: Numb3rs, 5x10, "Frenemies"

This might have been a good episode.  I can't really tell, you see, because I spent the whole of it ROCKING AND SOBBING IN A CORNER in mourning for Charlie's hair.  I mean, why?  Why would anyone do such a thing?   I have bemoaned the hair being cut before, but oh, those were just little trims by comparison!  This is a shorn sheep!  It is tragic and upsetting!  I literally could not look at him without curling up in pain.  WHO GREENLIT THIS ATROCITY, and why have they not in turn been greenlit by a gang somewhere? 

I think David Krumholtz should have gone with a wig, personally.  It's not like the cut was a key plot point integral to the show, or anything, since NO ONE commented on it except the lame guest star, and for all he knew it had been that way for months. Now, had we had Charlie or Amita complaining about barbaric hairdressers, I might have been slightly less put out.  Notice the use of "might" and "slightly."  Because you know what?   I WAS TOTALLY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO STOPPED WATCHING "FELICITY" WHEN SHE CUT HER HAIR - and yes, that was my entire rationale.  It is probably not going to happen here because there was I was mostly watching for Amy Jo Johnson, and Felicity didn't have cute love interests anyway, unlike Amita here, and also he is somehow still a little bit attractive.  (Damn his beautiful eyes)  But just know that I am UPSET.

*grumps*  No Charmita to placate me, even.  Fail!

I only took 3 things away from this episode:

1) "if it’s at all possible you can manage not to launch into your smirky world of glee, it’d be much appreciated" made me laugh WAY harder than it should have.

2) "Boys, don't make me pull the math car over."    Oh, Larry.  I love when you remember that you're not just wise beyond your years, you're wise beyond their years.

3)  Aw, bitty angst between brothers.  I usually accept that as a substitute for Charmita moments, despite its inherently weaker nature of squee except in the most dramatic of moments, and today will be no exception.  Poor Charlie, being the only one left out of big changes in his brother's life.  Poor Don, not wanting to be subjected to a science vs. religion rant.  *pats both on the head*

Oh, man.   I have even more, but I think it's time for a break.

Tags: christmas, doctor who, how i met your mother, my dog, neopets, numb3rs, pushing daisies, survivor, tv commentary

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