And now before I go find out what's in those lovely presents, I'm going to post this before one of these times I forget to save the draft and lose all my formatting.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager: season 1/series finale
OK, so technically they plan to have a second season. But whatever. I will not be watching it, as the summary alone makes me angry (Amy's mom is pregnant! Grace's virginity might be a thing of the past!), and more to the point, this served perfectly as a series finale. It wrapped all the loose ends, or at least as many as I cared about. It even showed us a slice of post-birth life. People are relatively happy and in a positive place at the moment. I, for one, am content with what I've seen of this wild ride and am ready to let it go.
* I'm still annoyed that she kept the baby. Just because they used teen pregnancy as this show's premise doesn't mean they had to stick with it for all time. They used it to introduce us to the characters; now I think we'd be happy enough just watching them live the rest of their high school lives in the wake of that event. Or at least had an open adoption.
* I am also annoyed that she named her son John, just because it's my dad's name and therefore it weirds me out forever to say that name out loud. It's a nice name, but I can't stand when characters, even baby characters, have it. Personally, the name that popped into my head when I saw him was "Roland." I don't know why. I've never considered it as a baby name before. But I'm sticking with it.
* Henry and Alice kind of make me sick to my stomach, mostly because Henry is schlubby and awkward and gross and not good enough for her. I support best-friend relationships in theory, but in this case I can't even understand why he's her best friend, so it doesn't translate.
* I generally don't care about Jack and Grace, if only because it astonishes me that such a relatively nice and non-offensive boy can be SO BORING (except when doling out forehead kisses that make my stomach flutter), so I suppose I have no specific qualms about this. And now to move towards good things:
* The only thing vaguely tempting me to watch season 2 is to see what happens with Ricky and Adrian. She's so sad and miserable and broken! And they would be SO TERRIBLE together, but that's what I thought about Kate and Sawyer back in the beginning, too, and then their chinks and broken bits ended up fitting perfectly. Mostly she just kind of broke my heart when didn't care whether Ricky needed or just casually wanted her, she'd be there for him.
* I didn't hate Ricky in this one. I don't know what to do with myself anymore. The notion of Ricky/a nice young girl still makes me want to hurl, but I forgot to mention last week that I actually felt an unexpected tug on the heartstrings when he begged Amy's little sister to be nice to him, since nobody else would, and looked genuinely hurt at being hated.
And he kept it up this week, between the self-deprecation in the waiting room that forced Ben to soften up and encourage him, and just all the really, really amazing parts of holding the little baby and looking both humbled and awed that this was his son. Damn it. Stop making me believe you will be a good and involved teen father like Dell on Private Practice!
* Did I mention how much I loved the bonding conversation between Ben and Ricky, in which the former declared that they were friends? I actually started to think I could get used to the three of them being involved in each other's lives forever.
* Ben/Amy kisses, lovely and sweet. :)
* The endless, wordless montage setto music of people coming in to see the baby drove me nuts, so terrible was the song. You'd better believe I watched that on double-speed fast forward.
* When they played a clip of "Girlfriend" in the school hallways, super-squeaky-clean version ("I'm the one and only princess"), I died laughing.
* The baby spent most of its time asleep, and therefore looking...well, not cute, but less flat-out ugly, in a way where I could pretend it was cute for the sake of Amy. I like TV babies that don't cry.
* I AM SO HAPPY WE DIDN'T HAVE TO WATCH HIM BEING BORN. I never understand why TV people think we want to watch the mother yelling and pushing in labor. Finally, someone who understands and lets us hang out in the hallway instead!
* I'm also really happy that we got to see him go home and we got a little slice of seeing what Amy is like as a new teen mom (answer: still whiny and ignorant about motherhood. "I'm tiiiiiiirrrrred! Mommy, make his bottle for me, I need to rest." Speaking of, how is she feeding him formula already? Aren't all mammals supposed to nurse for at least a few days to get all the nutrients in colustrum? And if she presumably hasn't nursed yet due to not knowing how, shouldn't be in at least a little pain from that?)
Anyway, I kind of feel like we beat the house on this one. One of the things that would have tempted me to tune into the second season premiere would have been to see what it was like with Amy and her mom living alone and trying to take care of a newborn baby. I would have been curious to see how that routine started, and after one episode I probably would have been sucked right back in. But now that I've seen enough to make educated guesses about what their routines will be like, I have no reason to let myself be tempted. YAY.
* George and Ashley moving was another thing that might have tempted me back, but them moving next door pretty much ended that plot strand for me. The options are basically either they stay neighbors and life is almost back to normal, or Anne gives in and they come back and life goes exactly back to normal. *shrugs*
* AWWWWW, Ben and his wibbly-dibbly adorable scene telling his dad that he thinks his mom would be okay, at this point, with Dad dating again! And dad ever so sweetly rebuffing him, not interested in moving on from the love of his life! THIS SCENE IS MADE OF SPLENDA.
Further on my not watching next season - no, really, it's perfect. Not only does nobody talk about it, but I don't get cable so I won't be assaulted with constant previews to tempt me, either. CLEAN BREAK, WOOT.
Survivor this week was a "new scenes" clip show, which I was just going to enjoy and not talk about, but then I was UTTERLY ENCHANTED by all things Stephen and figured I might as well discuss everything that popped into my head. Because except for the unnecessary recap at the beginning and all the "coming up next" crap, or the fact that it was still over at 7:54, it was actually a lot more entertaining than most regular episodes, without tribal council and the post-immunity-challenge scramble to pick someone for sacrifice.
* ...seriously, I could not stop howling with laughter at everything involving Brendan & Stephen spooning for warmth in Exile (and not just the mean-but-funny shot of the mating frogs spliced in there). It was too glorious! And delightful! And adorably awkward! And, and, straight guy huddling is one of my it's-not-a-kink-per-se-but-something-I-find-enjoyable-w
* Apparently I am the only person who sympathized with Taj weeping about her lumpy, scarred-up skin due to bug bites, but come on. I could just barely see the spots on her skin, but I imagine they looked a lot like the plethora of chicken-pox-esque red circles all over Stephen's, which looked both painful and horrifying. The hideous insects are the one reason I could never be on this show. I'd be screaming to go home before we even got to our campsite.
* Bonus: Taj/Stephen hugs (I am so, so convinced that having my two favorites in an alliance can only BACKFIRE IN HORRIBLE WAYS, but this does not stop me from being a persistent optimist. Bob and Sugar made it to the final three! The possimpible happens!)
* I wanted to mock Coach's delusional orchestra conducting, but then...damned if it wasn't "March Slav," which is a song I've actually played in band and kind of loved. (the post-editing addition of the actual music was great)
* Coach/Brendan +
* Tyson is still a super creepy superfreak. And Debbie is still a ditz, a kind of disturbing one at that, but somehow I'm starting to find her kind of lovable anyway.
* Oh, Sierra, no. I wanted to throw something when she "realized" that Coach was only being hard on her because he thought she was special and he was "trying to get her to reach her full potential." Yeah...Sierra? Couch is just a douche. And now you can't see it because he's turned you into one of his douche zombies.
-NCIS, 6x19, "Hide and Seek"
I think mostly what I felt about this episode was that it was weird. I don't mind stories that include Army Suburbia stories and/or kids finding guns, and the plot was decently interesting, but there were just too many weird things going on.
McGee pimping how awesome it is to be a Boy Scout made me grimace and bury my head under my pillow. Daddy David's version of childhood playtime, which involves leaving your blindfolded children in the middle of the woods to teach them how to be resourceful and find their way home disturbed me (although I learned that Israel has forests comparable to those found in Virginia, which I did not know). Abby's obsession with raising baby maggots made me sick to my stomach. I don't even know what to say about the golf club bidding wars, except that they went from "interesting side plot" to "weird" when Ducky called it even for apparently destroying McGee's jazz record, or something.
On the bright side, I enjoyed learning that Abby had a pet tortoise in childhood, which she rode instead of a wagon, and Gibbs trying to take the Caff Pow back when Abby said she hadn't found some piece of information yet, and best of all, Abby striding around giving orders with her eyes all squinty and her voice tough and low like Gibbs. Which everyone stared at in bemusement. Before Gibbs, looking equally bemused, mildly told them to do whatever she said. XD
I especially liked her handing off the coffee cup after grimacing at its taste, and her later "I could get used to this." "Don't." I love that he lets her run around doing whatever she wants, but both know exactly how far that freedom goes.
Also, I will never not be weirdly fond of the detail that goes into creating animal corpses (in this case, a roadkilled raccoon). They never gross me out the way human bodies sometimes do.
Also, the last words I'm going to say about this week's episode of The Office, because "Two Weeks" is apparently in that special tier of episodes with "Survivor Man" that I can't even bring myself to finish watching - I would like to say that Jim getting hit with Koosh balls makes up for everything, but it really doesn't. God, it sucks loving Charles Miner (sp?) and not being able to enjoy it. It also sucks that in any other episode, Pam + copier would have made for a wonderful B plot, but...not after that ending. -.-
It's just, it's at the point where I want to start getting ugly, surly and sexist if that's what it takes to beat the spark out of her that keeps leading her out of the office.
I do sort of like how there's no new episode next week, though. The writers are kind of like a misbehaving dog - every time they do something to exceptionally piss me off, they go into hiding for as long as it takes my temper to cool. I promise you it will take at least twelve days before I feel like looking at this show again.