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Um, internet, why did it take AUSIELLO to tell me that Kim Manners had passed away a month ago? This can't be real. Not my beloved X-Files director! The internet should have erupted in outpourings of Heath Ledger-ish proportions!

(or maybe not quite that epic. BUT CLOSE.)

Medium, 5x04, "About Last Night..."
Is it just me, or is Allison's gift getting especially intrusive these days? I thought it was bad when it made her deaf and sent her to the hospital with random sleep attacks...now it's got her building bombs and killing people. Bad people, but that's no excuse. *shakes head*

I also have to register my annoyance with how OBVIOUSLY, ridiculously, should-never-have-been-signed-off-on out-of-order this was. They make an entire subplot out of Joe teaching Ariel to drive for the first time, yet expect us to ignore the fact that we saw Ariel drive to school two weeks ago? *rolls eyes*

Fortunately, I will overlook both of those things since this episode was also a solid explosion of cute! Cutest Thing in Crime Drama, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

(also, if you will, imagine a little "ping!" sound for each number, as I ratchet up the number of golden scenes)

1) Right off the bat, we get Joe's (understandable) concern that he can't find her; no messages or answer on the phone when she should have been home hours ago (actually, now that she's semi-famous, I'm kind of surprised some crazed fan hasn't kidnapped her with orders to solve a cold case by now). And then when he DOES find her, she's got a torn sleeve, nasty cut on her head and amnesia, which would be enough to make anyone's brain (especially if you're me!) go to dark places.

2) Which means that next get quite a lovely visit with the doctor, with ample amounts of back/shoulder/neck rubbing, which I have in no way watched enough times to start getting annoyed by the jump cuts re: placement of his hand. And they even have insurance now, so Joe doesn't have to throw fits about unnecessary hospital visits when it turns out nothing's really wrong with her. Everybody wins!

3) "Do you think the police will find the car?"
"I don't know. I don't care. found you. Anything after that..." Cue further shoulder-rubbing and her hand clasped over his.

4) How do you express relief that your mom's okay? Bring her a plate of pancakes at breakfast the next morning, of course. Pancakes you've specially asked Dad to prepare for her. :D Pancakes which may or may not be intended as an additional buttering-up incentive to put her in a good mood so you can officially get your learner's permit and start driving.

In a related note, ARIEL'S HAIR. I am still always so mesmerized by its beauty every time I see it. It has to be a wig, right? There's no way she grew it back to that length in less than a year after shaving it all off...unless maybe I just made up the part about shaving it; it does seem rather like a bad dream...

I also love Allison's pink-and-white patterned pajamas. I just wanted to point that out.

5) Lee showing up at the door to personally deliver updates! Heh. He doesn't look quite right in their kitchen, but he still fits in, somehow. And I quite like his bemusement at the background shouts from Bridgett about whether or not Ariel's driving. I think I'd like to see more of the dynamic between him and Joe...it intrigues me.

5.5) I'm only seven minutes in. Oh dear, this could get long indeed. Get on with the gory murder case already!

6) My attention is simultaneously split in two directions here - half of me wants to focus on the wonder and delight that is Joe fondly talking about how much he's looking forward to teaching Ariel to drive. The other half wants to focus on what we can see, which is Allison sitting on the edge of the tub while Joe calmly ignores her griping about the sting and doctors her wound with antibiotics.
"I'm afraid bandage-wise, all we have in the house is Sponge Bob."
"Are you kidding?"
"No, I know. You'd like a Kim Possible bandage, but we're all out."

7) Oh good, now that we're in bed and Allison is in fact sporting a SpongeBob band-aid on her forehead (the end of hilarity: there is none), I am free to re-focus on Joe's lengthy musing on "There's something about it - a father teaching his kid how to drive." Yes Yes there is. Please continue. And please help me think of ways to stress how my glee in watching this storyline unfold occurs in a way that is very, very different from my good memories of my dad teaching *me* to drive.

(That's the one thing about this show...I can never quite figure out whether my personal perspective should lie with the parents or the eldest daughter, and sometimes it takes me to uncomfortable places)

Also, MORE HILARITY!
"I let you have the birds and the bees, and all that...female hygiene stuff."
"Oh, you let me have that?"
"You know what I mean."
"No-no-no-no! If there's something you've been dying to tell her about, I don't know, pads, or flow, or bloating..."
"OK, you're playing dirty now."
"No, I'm sure she'd love to hear it from you, given your vast experience..."
"OK, I'm going to sleep."
"Maybe I could do a little studying up...teach one of the young'uns about how there's different pedals on the car, and one makes it go, and one makes it stop..."
"Uh-huh. OK. Gooood night now."
"Hey, a mom can always dream, right?"
"Can't hear you. Sleeping."

*squishes them* They have the most adorable teasing verbal warfare.

8) "Are you listening? Hey! Hey, it's 2 in the morning; why are you splashing water on your face?!"
"Well, my wife just woke me up to tell me that she thinks she killed a man. I guess I just wanted to be really sure that I was awake, that I was really hearing right."
"What is that?! I hate that, the way you talk to me! I just told you I think I *killed somone*, and you're acting annoyed!"

This part had my dad laughing out loud, so familiar did the tone (if not the content) sound. And my mom and I were cracking up too, because she does have a somewhat annoying tendency to freak out and go into hysterical histrionics without ever learning her lesson - as Joe has - that her dreams tend to be less literal and more interpretive/symbolic, particularly when they involve her or members of her family. Poor man. Always having to pull double duty as the voice of reason/reminder of how her actions affect the family.

9) Gonna condense this into one point - as much as I liked the build-up, I actually found it hard to watch the scenes with Joe and Ariel in the car. *shudders* Bad memories. Bad flashbacks. Too much practice driving, always second-guessing myself and looking for approval. And this was only two years ago. My dad was a very good teacher, and really quite patient considering my propensity for either totally panicking or just shutting down and not wanting to go out for weeks on end...or that one time I switched lanes without looking and almost went straight into another car...but I just hate every memory of *practicing* things. And it all felt way too horribly familiar.

That being said, very much liked the eventual blowup where Ariel just starts sobbing about how she knows he hates driving with her, whereupon he rightly appears to feel like an ass and start apologizing. Especially when she then hits the nail on the head and calls him out on the fact that this is HER experience, it is not All About Him and whether or not he gets to actively *teach*.

Besides, amidst the tearful outbursts, I live for Joe saying things like "Sweetie, you are *not* stupid. You're not stupid."

10) Arms around waists as they walk back in from the garage. (yes, that's worthy of a point)

11) "You know, it's funny. Whenever I'm in a good mood about something, something's getting to you."
"What, you mean you're going to let a small thing like discovering you didn't kill a man with your car lighten your mood?"
Aww, complete with goodnight kiss.

`12) Ooh, I missed this the first time through - "Babe" *and* "Honey" to wake up him up and warn him that she's going on a crazy 4 AM run to retrieve her purse (actually, the least crazy of her schemes to date...a purse in a Dumpster *should* be fetched ASAP, when it's already been missing for days, before someone else or the garbage trucks come). Complete with goodbye kiss!

12.5) I am still only halfway through the episode. Oh, dear.

13) And now for another "Joe wandering about in T-shirt and boxers" shot (I believe he's contractually obligated to have at least three of them per episode) - wandering into the kitchen at 5 AM, groaning about her being up in the wee hours yet again and listening skeptically to her latest crazy theory. Which, as will be mentioned later, may or may not actually be as crazy as it seems.

14) More bedtime cuddling!


It is my new weekly mission to bring you - you being Future Self - one screencap-worthy picture every week. If I had more volition, there would be a whole picspammy thing going on. But hey, the extensive quoting was a nice touch, right?

Case wise - wait, so she really DID stab that guy with scissors? Albeit while possessed by the spirit of a recently murdered woman? Thaaaat is just disturbing on all kinds of levels. In a related note, things that never need to happen again: Patricia Arquette + Hispanic accent. Because, no. Just no.

---------------
American Idol: Group 2 Performs
Statement of Fact: "I hate so much about the things this show chooses to be."  For an even more accurate statement, replace "things" with "contestants" and add "in the top 36" to the end of it.

-
Pre-Show Blather: I really do like Simon and Ryan's interaction; I just can't seem to focus on it long enough to write down quotes. That, or I'm too busy being distracted by how much I hate Kara - who was rocking some really pretty curls tonight; damn her! - or my weird and sudden newfound adoration for Paula as a result. I think I must tune Randy out all the time, to the point where I almost forget he exists.

Also, my first Doctor Who novel came in today. It's all bright n shiny, and tight new hardcover, and sporting David Tennant and Catherine Tate on the cover, albeit with a bar code tragically stamped over the former's face. It's lying right here on the coffee table in front of me. I'm going to be reading it during commercials and boring bits, which is to say at least 50% ofthe show.

Oh, and I have to admit that I didn't know until yesterday that there actually was a theme, and that theme was/is "Billboard's Top 100." I THOUGHT there was an unsually high number of songs I knew and/or liked!  I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for this theme up front.   It is my favorite of all themes ever, unless we have/had a 90's week at any point. Let's keep it up, folks! Because I'm pretty sure I hate all of you tonight, even more than I did the ones last week.

Jasmine: "Love Song" - Sara Bareilles: Hey, remember when Kara told that other teenage girl she should have sung this? Jasmine apparently did. Too bad Kara still hates the song choice anyway. Fool! You can't appease the Kara beast!  

Anyway, um. She was nice; okay, but I wasn't really blown away. To put it another way, no hearts, but at least no hate? Unfortunately, in this new format, no hearts means no relevance, either, and a quick plummet to obscurity as you get booted. I hope.

Matt 1: "Viva La Vida" - Coldplay: DEAR SWEET JESUS WHY IS THIS SONG STALKING ME?! It won't leave me alone! It's everywhere! I will go mad, mad as a hatter and crazier than a loon before the year is over if it doesn't stop!

Ahem. He had a decent voice, and changed it up a bit from the original, but the fact remains that I didn't recognize him when he took the stage, and I've already forgotten what he looks like.

Jeanine: "This Love" - Maroon 5 OK, I hate that song. And even so, she just...did not perform it well. her voice was thin and seemed to go in and out, and her constantly fluttering hand movements drove me nuts. Which makes me sad, because she is soooo pretty - love the hair!! - and I really wish I had spare room in my heart to vote for her.

Nick/Norman: Some sort of desperate gay yowling, possibly once recognizable as Jennifer Hudson: I'm actually trembling a little with anger as I type this, because he sickens me. Literally, physically sickens me. His inclusion in the group makes a mockery of this show, and I know it's highly mockable already, but the thing is, someone who's actually good, and who deserves to be here - and have a shot at being Carrie Underwood or *grits teeth* David Cook, who are not mockable at all except by me, in the case of the latter - lost their shot so Idol could feed into this fool's charade. It makes me want to vomit, not laugh.  He's trying so hard to be funny that it falls flat and ends up being simply a gross display.  He should not be rewarded for this behavior.

Allison: "Alone" - Heart: She seemed...impaired, somehow, on the red sofa. Stoned, or possibly just very drunk. I was all geared up for a tongue lashing. But then about halfway through the song - which is one I rather enjoy being performed on this show - it was like someone switched her on, and she went from sleep mode to full-fledged rocker-chick performance, and it was amazing. I would actually cheer for her, if I had the luxury of being benevolent and liking a whole bunch of people instead of only the singular best.

Kris: I lost track of the song title...and can no longer remember what it even sounded like.  Anyway, I was getting really into my novel by this point and not paying a whole lot of attention. Nice enough boy. Not my favorite. Not that captivating.

Megan: "Put Your Records On" - Corinne Rae Bailey: My first reaction - "Ugh, another young mother."  I quickly deemed that fact irrelevant, because she was BEAUTIFUL. Pretty face, good figure, and long copper-blonde hair that fell in crimped waves. She looked like an angel on stage. She was my new favorite!

And then I saw the giant Carly-esque tattoo taking over her right arm like some sort of brightly-colored fungus, and was promptly horrified beyond belief. I honestly can't look at her anymore - she's just ugly to me. Why do women persist in emulating the look of carnie folk?  Especially pretty women who otherwise look like they came straight from a Mormon church choir?  Her singing doesn't even merit discussion after seeing that. 

Bald Matt: "If You Cold Only See" - Tonic: Wow, this is a great novel.  All kinds of snappy banter!  I'm over the halfway point now, and can't be arsed to stop long enough to look up.  That radio-like music in the background doesn't specifically offend my ears in any way, though.

Jesse: "Bette Davis Eyes": I LOVE THIS GIRL. Not only is she my home-state runner, she's got lovely red hair and a pretty little face, but oh, OH, most importantly, SHE PICKED A SONG BECAUSE SHE LIKED ITS STORY.  We're kindred spirits! I've never had one of those on Idol; never never never! Even Jordin Sparks usually refused to sing what I wanted her to.  This is the only song of the night I didn't previously know, but it ends up being one I *want* to know, immediately if not sooner.  I am so going to cry when she doesn't make it in.  Because I flat-out want her to be crowned Idol 2009.

[edit: I've been playing her performance on YouTube over, and over, and over again.  Well, I started out looking for a full-length version of the song, but the original was too gravely-voiced and Gwyneth Paltrow was too weak, so I settled for "my" original - and now I'm perhaps worrisomely hooked on it.]

Kai: "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" (?): Darn it. I still think he's so nice to look at, which makes him my favorite of the guys, but alas...while I thought he was a great performer, in the end he didn't make much of a lasting impression on me. :(

Mischa: "Drops of Jupiter" - Train: OK, I HATE when people switch the gender in songs for no reason. I understand when it's a love song sung in first person, and it feels more comfortable to change it up, even though I know that bothers some people too.  But this?  While technically sort of a love song, if you squint and make assumptions, it's really just a metaphor-rich story about a girl. I find it kind of hard to imagine a boy with "drops of jupiter in his hair." Unless maybe he's prancing about playing a fairy in Midsummer Night's Dream. The way the lyrics go, though, you might well just be singing about a friend of yours.  Dang, I'm angry.  Guess I'd forgotten how much I like this song.

Yeah, sorry, I really don't care about anything else in the performance. I don't like how she looks, and her singing was pretty "meh" for me, and I'd rather never see her again.

Adam: "Satisfaction" - Rolling Stones: No. Do not want. The end.

8:56: Excellent! I'm done with my book, and the show's wrapping up.

9:01: OK, I'm going to let the phone lines cool down while I watch CSI: NY, and then it's voting off the hook for Jesse, followed by almost as much voting for Kai, and then diverting some spare votes to, oh, I dunno...maybe Kris, so I don't feel like I'm throwing all my votes away tonight. I'd like to vote for Allison and/or Jeanine too, but I can't risk unintentionally thwarting Jesse. Especially as I have the feeling that Allison's going to go through. No idea about the boys...Adam? Kris? I have a terrible fear of Nick-Norman succeeding, too.

11:06 PM: ...DAMN IT! I forgot about calling again! GOD. What do I have to do, staple a note to the back of my hand??

Don't know what time the results show is on tonight, but I'm skipping it in favor of better Thursday night TV, be it the entertaining Survivor or a rerun of The Office.  (or a new CSI)  I mean, excitement and fun vs. group songs and agonizing waiting...do I really have to think about that?
--

Lost, 5x06: "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"
*sigh* Call me crazy, but there was a brief period of time where I thought Locke had just been unceremoniously written off my screen in a permanent-type fashion. I figured Ben could fill me in on whatever he did in the time between pushing the wheel and turning up in a coffin. But no, apparently I get to see it in all its detail. Detail that the most excruciatingly boring thing I have had to suffer through on Lost in I-don't-know-how-long (probably the last Locke episode!).

Owing to the super-new-informative format of the show, I forced myself to sit through it - albeit not without some fast-forwarding - in case I missed something important; and anyway, this was the first week I had to really struggle to wrap my brain around what was happening and when/where we were just to keep up. But God, the ways in which I just wanted it to END...I had to take like ten breaks, so fed up was I with everything. Some things I pulled out in spite of myself:

a) Unexpected Walt is unexpected!! Part of me is glad that he's the only person who managed to escape relatively unscathed from the Plane O' Doom. Sure, he lost his dog and then his dad, but he got back to civilization relatively quick-like and doesn't seem to have suffered any other adverse effects, AND as far as we know, he doesn't have to go back.

b) SAYID!! I do sort of miss the Hot Assassin Hair, but since it is impossible for him not to look good...I'll be over here, having paroxysms of glee over the second-best part of the episode. Throwing himself into humanitarian volunteer work! Out from under Ben's thumb! Most importantly, having soft-voice reflections on Nadia and the best nine months of his life, which he refuses to regret no matter how it ended! al;sjdflaksjdflasd. Guh. Ohhhhh, my heart.

c) WTF, Kate. I don't even know what your speech about being in love vs. staying on the island was supposed to mean, and I'm still inclined to be suspicious of it and hate you.

(in a semi-related note, unlike the rest of the internet, I actually don't have a problem with the unanimous refusal to go back.  I wouldn't want to go back to that hellhole either, not even to spare Sawyer and/or Juliet.  Did I mention the place was a hellhole?  I'd be like "Yeah, I prefer to think of it as 'putting them out of their misery'")

d) But most importantly - BENJAMIN LINUS, YOU ARE MY NEW HERO. *beams* He killed Locke!!!   He strangled him up close and personal and ohhhhh, it was the most glorious death I have seen since...oh gosh...Ana-Lucia getting shot in the gut?  Yeah, that far back.  This was a murder of nigh-unparalleled glee! 

And I really kind of love the idea of Ben being a quasi-guardian angel, keeping everybody "safe." Sure, it's self-serving and he's still manipulating like whoa, but somehow I no longer care about that.  I've been hypnotized by the sincere looks!   I'm falling for tricks and lies! Well, I can't help it.  Even though there are like 18 different sides in this war and I have no idea who's right, I am pretty sure that Widmore is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.  I'll trust anybody but him, and if right now that happens to be Ben...excellent. I mean, so be it.

(hehe, I've been making the blog rounds, and I find it amusing that a lot of people feel exactly the opposite of me.  It really is a mysterious multi-faceted feud with no clear cut answers or right paths!)

e) Must remember - Ilana, not Zuleikha! *beats into head* She's already clearly awesome.  Ceaser, less so.  But I'll deal.

So, let me see if I've got this straight - the Oceanic Five are still getting randomly sucked through time, but the plane full o' people still crashed on the island anyway? That sucks. I was kinda hoping their being plucked through time would spare everyone else. And I would care more about those people, except that I'm too busy wailing in pain and flailing about at the sight of poor, bloodied-up Ben lying hurt and unconscious among the injurerd. COME ON, I LIKE BEN NOW. I don't want to see that!

P.S. Sucks when your murder victims can rise up and identify you, huh?

f) Which, is Locke really going to be another one of those animated corpses?   God dammit!  Why will he not just take a dirt nap and stay there?!  Quit getting my hopes up!!
------
In other news, I decided to take my dog out for a walk just as the major snow started (the kind that gets snow emergencies declared and shuts down schools/evening activities).  I always like walking when it's snowing; figured it would be fun, especially since it wasn't too cold.  Haha! 

It actually wasn't bad, temperature-wise, but there was just enough wind to make prolonged exposure uncomfortable, which led to a lot of me stopping with my back to it and my forehead buried against mittens.  Even better, underneath the thick blanket of fluffy snow, the streets were as smoothly iced as a hockey rink.  Slip 'n' slide!

And the snow was dumping in ridiculous amounts; Kym got so blanketed with snow that she had to shake herself off three times in two blocks before she apparently decided it wasn't worth it anymore, and I had so much snow in my hair that it partially melted and then refroze all over my head in ice chunks.  I had to blow dry it when I got home.  Still...it was kind of a fun adventure.  I'd do it again.  ;P

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