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It's been so cold lately that my dog hasn't gotten her walk in 2 days.  She's showing her displeasure by being extra surly, barking and growling at my dad and brother with much less provocation than usual.  Last night she tried to vent her frustration by stealing a chunk of wood out of the box by the fireplace and chewing on that, but since that leaves a giant mess of wet wood chips on the carpet, I had to take it away from her. Twice, actually, as she tried to go back for it a few hours later.  Poor dog. 

So today I bundled up and braved the not-quite-as-cold temps for a relatively long one. She was quite happy, except for the part where she was grumpy I wouldn't let her have the half-eaten Twinkie she dug out of a snowbank.  Now she's snoozing in a sunbeam so I can finally finish this in peace.
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Without a Trace
Wow, I really liked this one! It always helps so much when there's an interesting case - like a miracle statue of a weeping St. Theresa, and an extremely sympathetic teenage girl at the FBI waiting for news of her missing stand-in-father of an uncle.  I was sure the thing was going to be a deliberate fake, just because crime shows don't do metaphysics unless they're Medium, but I really like how they gave a plausible explanation for it - dropping the wooden statue in water, the wood leaking even after being dried off.  I'm also glad that the girl initially tried to hide it and her father didn't know anything about it when the exterminators discovered it, and I think she can be forgiven for not speaking up later.

Besides, what I REALLY like is that, you know, it's pretty site-specific for leaking wood to release drops of water only at the eyes of a statue, so that just maybe, it *was* a legitimate miracle.  Some slightly miraculous stuff happened around it.  And the ending, with Jack leaving the prayer half on a whim, walking away, and then showing the tears falling down?  THAT was a damn cool bit of writing, and I can't tell you how much I love the way they blended the scientific and the spiritual in this one.

Now, admittedly I'm grumpy that the Elena ep got pushed back for this one, and I'm convinced this was meant to air afterwards, which put me rather on edge because you know me, I live in constant fear that any time Elena and Danny get brought to the forefront, they're going to blow up in a horrible mess of an explosion.  I watched with cautious hope as they smiled at each other in one scene - they're on smiley terms, that's a good sign, right? - and then ENDING LINE OF YAYNESS: "Go home. Bother your boyfriend."

*fist pump* So...I can look forward to next week, yes?  She smiles rather than looking pained or awkward at that statement, so I can only assume it's because she's going home to do just that.  D/E forever, yay!  Which reminds me, you have no idea how hard I laughed when Danny walked in on Jack and Sam arguing, asked "Am I interrupting?" and got the mixed Yes/No combo from them.   Excellent role reversal!

On a final note, I do really like how Brian refuses to go away.  It's your fault for telling him he had a son in the first place, Samantha!  True, it's somewhat poor manners of Brian not to understand the signing-over-your-rights contract explicitly spells out that this is exactly what you're not supposed to do, but since it was rude and somewhat unwarranted of her to ask him to sign it in the first place, I don't mind. And I really can't bring myself to care whether or not it bothers Jack - jealous, possessive ass.

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-CSI: NY: 5x12, "Help," although "The Running of the Gowns" would be a much more fun title.

Part I
I'll just confess right now that I really, really do not understand the whole Bridezilla phenomenon.   The point of weddings is to...get married. To the guy you love.  Right?  I'm sure the dress and trappings are all exciting and fun to pick out as part of it, but why people go insane and spend ridiculous amounts of money on a one-day event is far, far beyond my capacity to understand.

Writing that paragraph somehow got me distracted enough to start searching online for the prettiest wedding gown I could find for the lowest price, which may or may not have captured at least 50% of my attention for the remaining hour.   It was quite fun, although I've come to the conclusion that I'm glad I'm not getting married any time soon, because apparently such dresses only come in three equally unappealing styles: strapless, cleavage-baring, and 19th-century modest with high necks and long sleeves. [Edit: Haha! I take it back: totallymodest.com has all sorts of pretty winners. Now, if we could combine those looks with the other gowns' less-than-$300-price tag...]

(see, you just never know what you're going to find in my reviews. Sometimes I have a detailed episode reviews complete with dialogue dissection, other days I go off on half-cocked rants about Abilify.  Today you got a link to wedding dresses.)

What with the not-paying-attention and all, I just barely managed to gather that the concerned fiance we saw in the beginning was the serial rapist, and he was phenomenally stupid gave his girlfriend/fiancee jewelry from the girls he raped.  Right?

I am sorry my lack of attention-paying caused me to miss out on all the Angell scenes, though. *chides self* Although I did get to see a couple of worms drop out of the bullet hole in his leg and writhe around in the pool of blood.   Which I could have done without.

Part II
*sings to the Sears jingle* "Come see, the human side of Hawkes!" (couldn't resist, mate)

With this episode, I've confirmed that he is, quite literally, the most non-engaging character I have ever come across.  It perplexes me, because there's nothing to dislike about him; on the contrary, he's very pleasant, has never done anything to annoy me, is objectively rather attractive, he's intelligent, and relatively soft-spoken, and he always delivers his lines with believable expression and emotion.

But even now, when he gets prime emotional subject matter - "raped girlfriend" is high on my list of Unlikely But Deeply Intriguing Tragedy Scenarios - and I acknowledge that Hill Harper did a spectacular job of bringing that emotion to the forefront and showcasing a whole spectrum of responses in both present and latter day time frames - I just cannot bring myself to care. *sighs*

You know what I do care about, though?  The murdered subway singer.  Crime shows are always taunting me with the deaths of pretty songstresses whose songs aren't necessarily real, and then they're always playing stupid music from terrible bands during their pointless montages.  Or in this case, highlighting the lead singer from The Calling and a boring blonde girl (far too bluesy, and singing from way too deep) and giving me nothing whatsoever on the redheaded Eleanor, whose voice and music caught my ear after a couple of seconds.

Except!  Then I did some digging. It turns out her name is Bonnie McKee, and HELL YEAH, she's got a music MySpace.  If her blog posts are correct, then the songs she played on the show are in fact two of her originals, and will not taunt me like that Free Fallin' remix on Cold Case.  I'm a little bit saddened that the real singer looks far more rocker-chick than the character she played, but the songs themselves ("To Find You" and "Trouble", especially the former) prove my original interest right.
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In Gladiator Arena news, The Office stole the live-viewing spot away from CSI at the last minute, just because my parents were so excited about seeing a brand-new episode the first time it aired that their enthusiasm was infectious.  I even watched President Bush's speech as part of the anticipation.  It was very nice; I'm glad I did.   It was, for example, about sixteen hundred times more interesting than 30 Rock, which I suffered through while waiting for ER, which I do sometimes just to see if watching more of it eventually makes it better.

(Answer: nope, not really; laughed once and didn't care about anything that happened at all. I mean, I don't laugh that much at Office either, but at least there I'm deeply invested in the characters. The 30 Rock people are ludicrous, pointless caricatures.)

-The Office, 5x11, "The Duel"
The Good
Obviously, #1 is that the unholy Bernard wedding has finally been called off; THANK GOD. I wouldn't have minded Andy experiencing a little more emotional torture than he did, and would have preferred that Dwight not be an incidental casualty in the process, but at least it's done and I'm satisfied.

And Pam's "New year, new candy" bit was cute, although hot tamales are TERRIBLE THINGS OF BURNING, infinitely inferior to jelly beans, and so I'm going to tell myself that putting out hot tamales was her way of keeping people away from her desk.  Where she's secretly filling out wedding invitations, none of which are going to people in the office.

Also:  You're not a man! You don't know how to take care of her! All you do is dress fancy! And SING! Lalalalalala; what does that mean?You can't even protect her! = HELL YEAH, DWIGHT.  I love how he always says everything I can't get past my fury long enough to articulate.

Unfortunately, this was one of those episodes where most of the best parts were given away in the promos. Which I didn't mind, exactly, because it was nice to have something to savor during that one week I desperately missed the show. It's just that the only great bits left after those were the cold open (footraces against a speed radar sign!), Jim's "I either get more involved, or take a sick day...leaving Dwight in charge. Oh God," followed by his patient removal of all lethal weaponry in the office. I love it when he has to play Dad.

Good Things From Various Promo Sources:
-Dwight cornering Angela and demanding to know whether she loves him. And the glorious implication that she's said it several times. =D Sure, she says it to Andy later on, but I'm sure she doesn't mean it at all when she talks to him.

-"Are you sleeping with Dwight?!"
"...a little bit."

-Staring each other down and laying out the terms of the duel, followed by Jim walking between them. I realize "walking between them" doesn't sound particularly funny, but the man turns it into a comedic art form. I'm kind of curious to know what the stage directions were, actually.

-Jim in Michael's office, desperately trying to cut the discussion of Dwangela's sex life off at the knees.

-Jim: I mean, eventually he'll figure it out.  When their kids have giant heads and beet-stained teeth.

The Bad
*shudder* I feel unclean. I know way, way more about Angela's sex life than I have ever even vaguely wanted to know*, and as a result I feel horribly sorry for how humiliated she must be, or will be if they ever actually see as much as we do. I mean, this is the woman who goes out of her way to avoid being caught on camera doing or saying *anything* related to her romantic life, and now she has Dwight talking about how she's crazy in bed and Andy letting us know exactly how many times she's slept with him**.

* when Andy tries to reassure himself that she's only had missionary-style sex with Dwight and she negates that by repeating "Nothing fancy!", I must tell you that I am all out of brain bleach and so for the sake of my sanity, I need to believe that this simply means she doesn't know what the definition of "missionary" is.

** I am very, very squicked by the idea that Angela consented to sleeping with Andy at all, so I'm just going to have to assume that the two times were 1) in furious revenge after Dwight tricked her into marriage, and 2) after Phyllis opened her big mouth and she felt guilty and sorry for him. It comforts me to believe that neither time involved her actually wanting to sleep with Andy. Because ew.

Also, I DO NOT LIKE WHEN EVERYONE HATES ANGELA. DO NOT LIKE AT ALL. Even drunk!Pam and Lame Mad Men Dude's stupid speech weren't as horrible as having everyone in the office mock and/or look at my poor dear with disgust, followed by both her ex-lovers refusing to so much as look at her. It's painful and sad and SO HURTFUL. Dwight should always emerge as the alpha male and claim his mate! It's just facts!

And...can we return to how horribly sorry I feel for Angela? I cannot find it in my heart to fault her at all; I just feel bad that she got herself so tangled up in this mess. I wouldn't shun her! I want to give her a hug and invite her and her cats over for tea and sympathies. At this point I think she's maybe worked all the way up to being my 4th favorite character (move down a peg, Ryan).

Though I must admit, my heart also broke for Dwight's completely distraught "She's sleeping with you?" moment, because he looks almost as broken and miserable as the time he went to go cry in a stairwell, or when Angela chose Andy over him at the auction.  I wish he hadn't had to hear that. Poor Dwight.  (but, nooooooooo!  Not the bobblehead!  You can't throw away the bobblehead!!)

Finally, I think Pam had all of like three sentences tonight.  What's up with that?  The answer had better be "we're pacing ourselves because that secret 2-parter next month that we won't tell you the titles of or release summary information for is extremely Jam-wedding-centric."  [edit: wow, that was some record-speed bubble bursting...not even six hours later, I get alerted to this.]

The Ugly
About 2/3 of the way through, I noticed that I was enjoying the office scenes much more than usual. They seemed especially fresh, fun, and exciting - and then the scene changed and I realized it was because Michael hadn't been in them. For a few brief, glorious seconds, I forgot he existed and didn't miss him at all. I use this as proof that this show could only be improved if Steve Carell left.

And that's my segue into "I like David Wallace, but the Michael subplot was pointless, dull, and could have been deleted entirely with no loss of story, since had it been in my power to do, so I would have skipped those scenes entirely."

P.S. The Office: renewed for season 6!!  Way to take charge and beat all my other shows to the official green light news.  :) 
P.P.S. WIN.  I mean, slow and a bit laggy for me, but satisfying.
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-ER, 15x12, "Dream Runner"
I can only think of one way to summarize this episode: The first Neela was too passive!  The second Neela was too aggressive!  But the third Neela was juuuuuuust right.  Until she slept with Simon Brenner, and then I had to believe that all three scenarios were dreams and we'll never actually know what happened.

But while the repetition got on my nerves, especially any repetition involving Sam/Gates or Simon, extra Neela is never a bad thing.  And Elizabeth Corday is never EVER a bad thing!  I love Alex Kingston to bits, and part of me thinks it would be kind of cool if Neela ended up working with Elizabeth again.  Fortunately, that part is negated by how much I love the fact that she's Dubenko's little prodigee and he wants her to stay at County.  I choose to believe that this is the only part of the whole episode that was true no matter what.   

(Incidentally, last week when I said that I shipped her with Ray for lack of better options?  Sorry.  Totally forgot about Lucien Dubenko.  I've been toying with the idea of a wayward ship for a couple of years now, and now I'm pretty sure that's the boat I want Neela to be on.  You know, in my idealistic fantasy that I don't think will ever really come true.) 

Also, hooray for seeing Jerry and not Frank!

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
elosun
Jan. 16th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Gotta wait 2 weeks for the DE episode, as next week the show is preempted for some random event taking place in DC! ;) Enjoyed the episode, too...although, the headband was VERY distracting.
rainbowstevie
Jan. 16th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
*throws up hands* Of course it is. Although I'm pretty sure I suspected that. And yeah, I was sort of mesmerized by the headband. I nearly mistook it for a head scarf.
aries11
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
I don't get the whole Bridezilla thing, either. The material aspect of weddings has really gotten out of hand in the last few years.

I've always liked Hawkes, so I did care a lot about him in this episode. My heart really went out to him. How can you say he's non-engaging? I think he's one of the more complex yet underused characters.
rainbowstevie
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Well see, it's not that I think he isn't engaging, it's just that he has zero effect on me personally. I can't explain it; it's like my brain is coated in Hawkes-repellant and nothing about him can get through.
zerostress
Jan. 17th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
... I love the fact that she's Dubenko's little prodigee and he wants her to stay at County. I choose to believe that this is the only part of the whole episode that was true no matter what.

I cannot but agree. :)
soulwhispers
Jan. 18th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Dubenko > Brenner
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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