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Procedural Heaven

I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS.  The commencement speaker for graduation at CSB this year?  Belinda Jensen.  Since probably only one of you recognizes her name, the significance is that she's a meteorologist on one of the local news stations.  More importantly, she is DELIGHTFUL and I adore her and, and, WHY DO THEY GET SOMEONE NEAT WHO'S ON TV instead of a random boring genetics professor??
/crankypants.

House, 5x22, "A House Divided"
I really liked 80% of this episode, I  think!

But I didn't take notes.  Which is unfortunate, because I don't ever love House enough to watch it twice (except in that one special case last year), and so I cannot document the approximately 8,000 lines that made me laugh, unless I trip over them online (i.e, "Damn imaginary pen!"  In a related note, "Peeeeeee" written as a symptom in such a way that the e's cascade down in a symbolic waterfall).

But then I accidentally went all over the internet rounding up things to comment on.  So.

The Good
Cutthroat Bitch is 5,000% less annoying when she's a figment of House's sleep-deprived brain (or whatever she really is).  I might even go so far as to say she's fantastic!  Because I spent a great deal of the episode laughing in glee.  I don't think I really care what's wrong with House - I want this version of Amber to stick around FOREVER, randomly popping up beside House and following him around, throwing out witty bits of snark and puzzling riddles (3 bowling pins = genius!).

Plus, there's the part where HOUSE'S SUBCONSCIOUS ACTUALLY TRIED TO KILL CHASE.  Never mind the delicious layers that prior to that, Amber was actually walking around making murderous suggestions outright, and yet we still dismissed them as useless.  Dang.  And I loved him deciding to put her down for good, only to wake up, do the usual "look up and she's there in the mirror!" ...not, and then have her standing in the hallway just when you think she's gone for good.  As for other good things:

-Hahaha, "Probably just my secret and very unconscious desire to get Wilson into my bedroom."

-Chase: "You're evil.  See ya."  XD  Not even fazed.

-Okay, the pyramid of blue-flaming shot glasses lighting up is the coolest party trick ever.  In fact, now the only way I am ever going to go to a party is if you promise that will happen at some point.

-HOUSE CARRYING A BOOM BOX ON HIS SHOULDER.  Setting aside the fact that it replicates one of the main reasons "Do The Right Thing" made me want to STAB EVERYONE IN THE NEARBY VICINITY (self and screen characters included), we were all howling.  Maybe I no longer have to hate "Fight the Power" with every fiber of my soul anymore.

-Wait, Chase has a cat now??  OMG WIN.  I told you Cameron was going to wear him down, and she so did.  (see episode 3, "That's why I won't let Cameron have a cat.")

-It's kind of hard for me to care about him being rushed to the hospital when I consider how he got himself into that predicament, though.

-I rather liked the last scene in which House asks for sleeping pills and makes a valid and honest reason for needing them, no tricks or gimmicks.  *pets House*

-Sorry, did I mention how much I loved hallucination!Amber?  Because she was amazing.  The fact that she was Amber, but also had to be House and therefore had his personality traced over hers...spectacular.   

The Bad
-Wow.  I, um, ICK.  It's like, I expect a certain amount of having to avert my eyes from close-ups on the eyes, various spurting/leaking body fluids, and Foreteen.  But somehow, the bachelor party went to whole new and previously uncharted levels of gross.  File under Horrific Things I Never Need to See Again: Chase and/or Thirteen licking their way up a woman's body*.  THANKS, SHOW.  I AM PRETTY SURE THAT WAS 100% UNNECESSARY.  I personally would have been fine cutting straight from Wilson showing up, and maybe his meeting Karamel again, to Foreman yelling about anaphylactic shock through the bathroom door.  

(* apparently Wilson did something unsavory too, but I must have managed to skip that part)

-Not quite as unnecessary as watching Foreteen pick out strippers together, though.  I mean, come on.  That was just you abusing your power and using the most obnoxious context ever to get a simple bit of "House wants Chase to cheat" exposition across.  Incidentally, um...setting aside the fact that Thirteen's opinions are wrong by default, I'm not quite sure I agree with the "being drunk just shows the real you."  Otherwise drunk people would be "enhanced" rather than "impaired."

-Damn it, I totally googled "broken cowboy." (work-safe)  Stupid curiosity.

-I like how the ducklings are at work when House passes out the tester ice cream, and they're all "IS THERE ALCOHOL IN THIS??" and when the answer is "yes," their response is to continue digging right in.  Like their biggest objection was that it might somehow be fake alcohol flavoring.

-I...don't care what magic sobering medicine you give them; I would feel safer catching some brand-new doctors up on my son's case and letting them come up with diagnoses until his regular crew was not drunk.  Although, should Cuddy really have been that shocked by the fact that they weren't sober?  They had supposedly finished the case and were off the clock at that point, right?

The Ugly
I fall more on the Foreman side of response to deaf culture.  That being said, I still thought the mom was...what's the word, EXTRA LAME at the end in forcefully informing him that he WILL, in fact, be getting his Cochlear implant put right back in because it's her choice to make.  Don't you think you should have made that choice...a long time ago? Before he spent more than a decade of his life growing up in a soundless world so that he maybe isn't exactly ready to be yanked out of it with little to no preparation?  I mean, how did it take you 12 or so years, a rude doctor and a forced surgery to abruptly change your mind about the importance of hearing?  Convictions, you suck at having them.

-----
CSI: Miami, 7x22, "Dead on Arrival"

-For starters, I'm ill-pleased.  Four full minutes to get out of the teaser and actually start the crime-scene-processing aspect of the episode?  That's a new low.  I don't care how proud you are of your fake reality show; move past it!  In a related note, I love how Natalia's voice actually cracks when she squeals in recognition over "The Marrying Kind."  Because of course that's the kind of show she would watch. 

Sure, Calleigh watches it too, thereby feeding into the myth that women are insipid absorbers of terrible TV (she says, watching this show and being well-versed in VH1's brand of reality crack), but we'd already established her love of trashy gossip magazines so it was just a hop and a skip, really.  And since I can't decide whether it was cheesy or just cute when she purred that she doesn't watch it anymore because of this new distraction she has, about yea high...I'll go with cute.  And a side of "marveling at how this relationship just came into being with a snap of the fingers."

Speaking of the reality show, in what universe would a crime drama lead into a reality dating show?  A universe where a network wants to die as quickly as possible, I guess.  Opposite demographics much?  That is the worst programming idea ever.  I mean, I'm still trying to figure out why FOX pairs up Bones with Hell's Kitchen, but even so.

-I was going to say, "Maybe if I just ignore Kyle, he'll go away..." but then he had to go all Junior P.I. and give Tara the stink-eye about her medication.  Which, what?  How could he possibly tell the difference between aspirin and any other little white pill?  Especially at that distance?  I guess there was her furtive look around before taking it (good job, looking around you and FORGETTING TO LOOK UP; can't you take it in the bathroom or something?), but still.  It bugged.

It also bugged that Tara had such a nice excuse - the shoulder injury - and even had a good explanation waiting, except then she blew it by flipping out and getting defensive, essentially yelling "OH MY GOD LET IT GO, IT'S NOT LIKE I STOLE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FROM A DEAD WOMAN IN OUR MORGUE AND AM NOW SECRETLY ABUSING THEM!!" 

-Valera's back to being my favorite lab rat!  She's not just a bookworm, she thinks nothing can beat the smell of old books!!  Relatedly:

-HOMG, SHOW.  YOU DID NOT JUST COMMIT IRRESPONSIBLE BROADCASTING BY HAVING RYAN MENTION THAT OLD BOOKS ARE PRINTED WITH LEAD AND THEREFORE "TOXIC."  I will KILL YOU.  I will kill you so many times if you in any way help to further facilitate mass hysteria over that ridiculous and dubious fact.

Don't listen to Ryan, people.  He owns way too many pink shirts for an ostensibly heterosexual man.  You can't trust a word he says.

-I really, really liked the girl who unfortunately wound up being the killer.  (never mind that I'm still trying to figure out how you could stab someone to death with something that blunt).  Such charisma!  Where else can I find this actress?

-But despite how utterly idiotic the entire hour was...I'll be damned if they didn't get me in the final minute.  I am uncomfortable with this renewed emphasis on Horatio's human side!  I started to forget he was a robot and be charmed, charmed in season 3 ways, when he was holding and comforting the violently shaking woman, with only a tiny bit of "um, this is weird" feeling (it was still there, just in much smaller amounts than usual). 

My brain was this close to turning her into a love interest so as to enjoy the scene further, that's how nice it was.  Literally the only qualm I could come up with was that the shaking seemed overdone, or that if it wasn't then maybe paramedics were more in order than his jacket.  But I'm not an expert on the effects of being locked in a chest of ice, oddly enough, so I don't even know if I have grounds for complaint.  What is this madness??

---------------
Law & Order: SVU, 10x19, "Selfish"
Hilary Duff!  *squeal*  *cares about nothing else*  I miss when she was the (much less obnoxious) face of Disney & tween obsession.

First half of the episode: Fun, exciting, fantastic, featuring one of my favorite public defenders (they don't need names...we call this one the snarky curly-haired woman); I don't have words as I was too busy being enthralled.  I really do think Hilary's a fantastic actress.  Perfect teenage-mom-who-still-wants-to-party attitude.  Right up until a few minutes after they found the body, it was compelling and interesting and a pretty high-stakes case. 

(Except for the part where I desperately want to stick something sharp through New Tech Dale's neck, if only to spare poor Ryan the incessant daily torture that now comes with showing up to work.  He doesn't deserve this.)

Then it got weird.

For one thing, um, yes, I suppose she could have walked, but really, I don't think 500 hours of community service, weekly therapy, and alcohol treatment programs are too bad of a price to pay when you consider that the young mom not only didn't take her baby to a doctor despite the fever (and didn't she have a rash at that point too?  That's at least as negligent as any other claims of negligence they would later lay) and buried her body in a shallow grave, but then proceeded to waste the police's time searching for her and accused an innocent woman of kidnap and possible murder (after stealing her credit card, no less).

And considering the kind of wild, lying party girl she was in general, Alex has a point in that all of the "punishments" will actually be good for her.

But that's not the weird part.  The weird part is when they somehow twist this missing-baby plot into a story about the perils of not vaccinating your children, and how if you don't, you're pretty much a mass murderer.

Wait, WHAT?

Hold on.  My feelings about non-vaccinating parents are well documented, but only because I think it's pointless and they do a ridiculous job of understanding odds - not because I think they are actually endangering other people.  If there were enough of them following this practice, sure.  If.  But right now, they are massively outnumbered by people who do vaccinate.  As a result, since measles is exceptionally rare/nigh eradicated, the other mother can argue, "what are the odds of my child getting the disease if nobody has it?"

I can't even wrap my head around this long enough to argue against it.  I still don't know how a judge ever let this asinine case go to trial, other than the fact that "it's an election year" (which I'm starting to think is just a constant state of being in crime drama).  Then again, I don't understand how people got outraged over the whole "oh noez, infected park!" scandal.  I mean, do you understand the "public" part of "public park"?  You want a special place with grass & trees & restrictions about who can and cannot come in, get your ass out of the city and buy a house with a yard. 

It, I, bleh, UGH.  *gives up*  It's like arguing religion.  There is no rational way to pinpoint the blame for this child's death on that woman in a way that throws her in jail, so thank goodness for a not-guilty verdict.  I spent the whole trial just blinking and gaping and disbelief at what I was hearing, and nobody ever seeming to realize how ridiculous it all sounded.

And, wait, the grandfather commits suicide right after declaring "Now you've killed two people"?  FACT: YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON AT FAULT WHEN YOU COMMIT SUICIDE.  You can claim others "drove you to it" all you like; you're still the one that did it and that is not on their head.  I don't care how miserable they made you.  Choose to cope & explore ways to feel less miserable.

I ended up hating everyone (except Ryan!) in this episode for one reason or another, so, bad showing all around.
 


CSI: NY, 5x22, "Yarhzeit"
Dang, I totally thought I could get through this episode without being manipulated to cry. 

But no.  As soon as they lined up the family and started the systematic execution, I was gone.  Why did Ellie have to be so pretty?  (and or look a little bit like Emmanuelle Vaugier?)  I probably could have held it together if not for the fact that this lovely little woman was so brave and proactive, thinking she'd managed to save her family only to lead them right into death.  And well, it didn't help that the little girl was holding her doll and the boy was like three and none of them moved a muscle as shots continued down the line.

THANKS, CSI: NY.  I don't know how you earned the right to be all Srs Bsns about this subject in a cinematic way that most TV shows couldn't pull off without coming across as either exploitative or pretentious, but you did.  I kind of hope this episode wins awards of some kind - some kind of writing or cinematography nom would be best; the acting was good but that's not what sold it - because this is a masterpiece to be proud of.

I always think I'm desensitized to WWII imagery after being inundated with stories and historical evidence of it from every direction my entire life, but then they manage to bring up new horrors, like the sight of stolen/confiscated possessions, which are somehow grisly enough just knowing where they came from without the true gruesomeness of skin lampshades or golden teeth.  Powerful stuff.

I still feel somewhat disdainful that I was expected to believe Ed Asner with a thick German accent, and more than a tad cheated that the kindly old clockmaker turned out to be a former Nazi in disguise (UNCOOL), but overall...extremely impressive.  Honestly, after all the soap opera relationships, annoying technology, and Mac being in improbable life-or-death situations during every finale, I like episodes like this that remind me there is still a firm line between this spinoff and Miami in terms of quality. 

Plus, Mac coolly informing "everyone's favorite neo-Nazi" that "back in the day, I'd have shot your racist ass" is always a welcome sort of line.  It's a much more effective comeback than the raging and threatening he likes to do, as later demonstrated with Mr. Ed.

I'm not sure the final scene needed to go on as long as it did.  It was one thing to see Mac make a personal delivery of the old journal & brooch to its former owner's family (cue me crying some more) and lighting a candle in memory of his father, but I don't think the personal testimonial regarding his father's involvement in the liberation was strictly necessary.  Yes, it's nice to see that larger-than-life heroism runs in the family glimpse of Mac Sr.'s impact on another person's life, but it came about in a heavy-handed way.  I think I'd almost rather have seen more closure on Hawkes at his uncle's funeral.

Speaking of Hawkes, nice handling of prejudice issues, with him choosing to remain unperturbed and dismissive while Danny is the one utterly flipping out on his behalf (smashing people's heads against the ground: it is never an appropriate response).  Says some interesting things about the progression of white guilt.  I think I want to spin something about undertones of white privilege here too, but I'm all out of practice with BSing lofty-sounding college papers, so I can't quite find the words.

If I have one complaint, it's that Stella was more invisible than Hawkes, and he was the one who was supposed to be absent.  With Lindsay gone and Angell not on the scene, that was more than a bit unbalanced.  I wonder if, with the focus on war and flashbacks, that was on purpose.  What purpose, I'm not sure; this is just me trying to connect threads.
 
P.S. There's something distinctly annoying about how, when I only liked 4 out of 13 American Idol finalists to begin with and thus declared the season not worth watching, 3 of them made it to the Final 4.  Of course, still not watching because in the 5 or 6 minutes I see every week Adam is so horrible that he takes away any enjoyment I'd get from the rest of them, but...

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
park_ave_pirate
May. 1st, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
OMG! I heart Belinda! She is so awesome!!! I am jealouzzzz! (Hey, I am local so I know who you are talking about!) :)
lieueitak
May. 3rd, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
This is a little late, but I just saw this episode. :-P

That's at least as negligent as any other claims of negligence they would later lay) and buried her body in a shallow grave, but then proceeded to waste the police's time searching for her and accused an innocent woman of kidnap and possible murder (after stealing her credit card, no less). I agree. Not to mention HDuff hit her kid, because the baby was sick and wouldn't stop crying, which is, by definition, abuse.

But I disagree with you on the grandfather. When I watched it, I didn't get the feeling that he actually blamed her. When he was comforting Hillary Duff in the bathroom, he didn't seem particularly bitter towards the woman about what had happened. He seemed ready to try and move on, actually. I think he killed himself to sort of... prove to his wife that he COULD stand up for his family and fight -- which she accused him of not being able to do. In other words, I think he saw that his family was falling apart, saw his daughter getting caught up in the need for revenge and his wife getting resentful that he didn't feel the same way. So he said those things to the woman and killed himself, so that that woman WOULD feel terrible for the rest of her life - like the Duff and mother wanted.

It's not a great reason, no. But then there aren't exactly great reasons to kill yourself. ;-) Although I will say that your grandchild dying, your family being torn apart, and your daughter turning into someone you don't recognize aren't exactly terrible ones. Particularly with the former one, I don't think there is any sufficient way of coping with that loss.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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