NEW FAVORITE EPISODE.
I might have to buy this from Amazon, that's how I much I loved it in all respects. Or I could just keep watching it on cbs.com. I am very fond of the way they offer full episodes for this show, but also offer the episode broken up into a dozen or so clips so you can go straight for the parts you want. Is extremely convenient.
Post-Tribal: I love how Coach, after muttering furiously to Debbie about Erinn & Taj's votes until she gets bored and wanders away, he just keeps talking TO HIMSELF. I'm sure it only took him a few minutes to grab a cameraman, but the interim time in which he was staring at the fire and muttering to himself about "cowards, cowards, cowards all around me" was priceless.
Speaking of which, did you know Coach doesn't even care about the million dollars? It's true! He only cares about honesty and integrity. I think the catch here, though, is that he'll eventually claim he still deserves the million dollars because try as they might, nobody has been full of quite so much honesty and integrity as Coach himself. He can't help it, it's just the only way he knows how to be.
-No credits? That better not be a permanent thing. It better be special for this episode so as to fit in an extra 30-40 seconds of family time. Or any time that is not commercial time, really.
-Was Taj...lighting fire in her lap? That seems unwise.
-Love the editors making sure to put in an obnoxious crash of thunder as soon as Coach claims "God strike me down" if he's lying.
-Dear JT, I love you, but "strategical" is not a word. The first time I hoped it was just a slip of the tongue. The third time I was in full eye-rolling mode.
-DID YOU SEE the cute little sand owls grooming each other right before the family segment? I love the wildlife shots.
-If you get a chance, you should check out the clip online where Coach brags about his ability to mentor young women and talks about how he'd like to take Erinn under his wing, after Sierra rejected his wise and mystical teachings, because he could really teach her some good life lessons about not taking things for granted. Just make sure you haven't eaten recently, as it will nauseate you a little.
-I'm glad that Stephen at least acknowledged Suddenly Strategizing Debbie as a potential threat, and recognized that you should never underestimate players. YES. Why don't more people who come on Survivor know this? People are always getting blindsided because they underestimate. See also, the decimated Former Timbira tribe.
Survivor Auction: (insert obligatory moment of hilarity when Debbie-the-principal attempts to bid $50, then $70, when the directions are 'increments of $20') Only 5 items, one of them being the video message? While I always appreciate not having to see anything like Erik sucking Cirie's fingers, that's still boring. Especially when the items in question aren't even delicious-looking. Chicken Parmesan, nachos, fries? And not even good fries. I specifically held off dinner until 7 PM so that I could eat it during this segment, but my cold sandwich was better than anything featured.
And then you show me chicken hearts while I'm eating. Like, geeze, I appreciate gross food and all and sort of miss that type of challenge, but... I don't know, maybe Stephen's immediate "Oh no" reaction to hearing it was a Brazilian delicacy, and his exaggerated crazed grin/thumbs up in response to Erinn's query about how it tastes was worth it?
I LOVE that nobody even tried to bid on the message on the phone; JT just handed over the rest of his cash to Taj and that was it. Mommy with the little one gets the virtual love, no questions asked. Probst's blog of the week has him talking about how for all the snark, he "loves love," and I heartily agree. Kind of like how the contestants can't help crying when they get contact from home, I couldn't help grinning my head off. Sweetest thing ever.
Although I had to briefly change the channel when I thought that Taj had to choose between seeing her husband in person, or letting everyone *else* see their family members while going to Exile alone. That was COLD, show, and I -- oh wait, she gets to see him at Exile? NEVER MIND. And still, Taj attempting to shake Jeff's arm out of its socket in her joy was the best part of the whole thing.
Family Reunion: My immediate reaction to the Running of the Contestants as I try to figure out who's got who - "Debbie's husband, Erinn's dad, JT's...sis?, Stephen's WTF brother, Coach's - ENH, ENH, LOOKIT!" (I do get distracted that fast) No, seriously, look. I absolutely could not resist pictures anymore, even though they're a tad blurry:
Ahem. Now, despite my "WTF, Stephen's Brother, why aren't you similarly hot?" feelings, there are tears and outpourings of emotion (I'm particularly fond of the confessional in which he has trouble looking up at the camera for most of it), so I'm quite content with this season. Especially when I half-jokingly complained "Enough Coach Crap! I want more weepy Stephen!" and then suddenly, there was more.
So I think maybe I am fond of this back-rubbing, full-o-sympathies brother after all.
"You're doing great, man. You're doing amazingly."
"I just hate breaking down."
"Well, you know, it's like you're not...you don't think about these things. When I'm out here, I don't think about that - I try not to think about the...(trails off) people I'm missing at home.
(Obsessed? I'm not obsessed! I'm just, uh, experiencing the same feeling I experienced at the end of every school year, when seniors were about to graduate and I flew into overdrive to see them as much as possible because I knew once it was over, I'd never see them again. I was more subtle about it in real life.)
Speaking of Coach crap...ahaha, his loved one is his unrelated assistant coach (or "AssCoach," as the TWoP boards dub him), which explains why he's part of the 5% of Survivor contestants who don't even look a little misty eyed during this segment. Instead, he was just giddy as hell to declare, "Guess what they call me in this game?? 'Dragonslayer!'" I laughed so hard I nearly threw up.
Unrelatedly: That is the strangest stretching regime I have ever seen in my life. "We are not doing weird sexual positions, by the way!" Um, if you ever have to state such a thing out loud in your life, you're doing something wrong.
More pictures, more hugs!
I'm now officially in love with Erinn every bit as much as (possibly more than?) Taj, after seeing her show her dad around with wonderful, slightly self-conscious cuteseyness like a college student freshly settled into a dorm room or new apartment. Geeze, I love it when young women bring their dads. Because that is definitely who would be coming to see me, and therefore I'm all suckerish for father/daughter moments. And for cute moments like her declaring that being out here has changed her so much... (smirk) "I'm a total badass now."
"My dad was proud of me just for coming out here. He was like...wait a minute, you're doing this!"
Winner of the annual "Most Awesome Relative" award: JT! Ahahaha, cutest little sister ever, despite her ridiculous yellow nails. She must only be in high school, right? Senior, maybe; I'm guessing you have to be 18 to make the trip, but if not then I might guess as low as 14 (it's probably the braces). Anyway, big bro/little sis is the only dynamic I love more than father/daughter, so this was just adorable. Especially since she looked so shy and self-conscious the whole time. Universe, for my summer vacation, can I hang out at the JT Family Cattle Ranch? You can put me to work and everything! They just seem like fun people.
(Him clipping the immunity necklace around her neck = cutest thing ever)
Finally, I would have liked to see more of Debbie & Mr. Debbie. They looked kinda sweet, aside from how I couldn't shake the feeling that Mike seemed vaguely annoyed by everything. What a grouchy-looking person.
Exile Reunion: Aw, I still have no idea who Eddie George is, but he seems like a completely fantastic husband so I like him. Especially for the line about how even though she's dirty and doesn't smell that great, "Something about the wild, it makes you kinda sexy, you know?" I do know. Survivor contestants are always way hotter out in the bush than they are at the reunion show. That, and I just loved hearing him talk about how she looked like she'd lost weight but she was all vibrant and healthy, not haggard-looking. Which is awesomely true, and not every contestant can say that.
Thought Taj's "I just wanted to drag him off and have a conjugal visit" line was hilarious, although my eyes may have widened in alarm a little that she'd actually said it. Plus, her showing off the length of her armpit hair cracked me up. Settled-in married people amuse me so much sometimes. Great parting line, too - "I won't smell like this for long!" XD
Immunity Challenge: First, the image of people stuck halfway through their hole under the bar, on their backs and with their legs kicking out like stranded turtles, was the BEST SIGHT GAG EVER. (for the record, I would be terrible at this challenge - I'd waste all my time digging a giant/oversized hole, because I'd be too terrified of looking like an idiot if I got stuck.)
Although I'd probably be pretty good at running the balance beam, and I still think I could have gotten the memorization in one trip - I didn't use substitution, but I made up a singsong beat pattern for the symbols, so 3 days later I'm still going "PLUS-divide, EX-divide, minus-plus-plus," and then because it was somehow easier to jump to the right and work in the opposite direction, remember the other end went "Ex minus divide"
Meanwhile, just in case this challenge wasn't fun enough to watch, STEPHEN WON. HELL YEAH. "OH MY GOD, I won immunity! I don't even believe it!" (insert random jumping and hugging) The fact that he squeaked it in only two seconds ahead of JT, who had started off in an easy lead, was pretty impressive too. I FEEL LIKE THERE SHOULD BE SOME MORE JUMPING AND FLAILING IN CELEBRATION.
Oh, right, there was the added bit where he babbled an explanation of how he remembered the sequence. It went right over my head and I cringed a little bit at the ramblyness of it all, but he looked so proud of himself (while still in shock from the win at all) that it was hard to argue.
Actually, the best part of the whole challenge is that while Stephen is yelling and getting attacked with hugs all over the place, Coach is on his knees, doubled over and wheezing from the exertion. Heh. Heh heh heh.
Finally, in further proof of why this season is the best thing ever, JT says things like Stephen winning is "just like I won," and genuinely means it. Man! Nice people for always!
Tribal Council: OMG. EXCELLENT. Brendan has taught Sierra the subtle joy of coming in with a feather in your hair and a jacket slung "nonchalantly" over one shoulder in open mockery of Coach (which he perceives as tribute, clearly). I missed this the first time around, because I usually find T.C. a painful mess of awkward and embarrassing questions so I channel flip like whoa, but once people started talking about it I had to see it for myself. It is glorious.
Also glorious: Jeff making fun of Coach, again, some more. Sierra doesn't even try to be polite or discreet - she claps her hands in joy and then sticks her finger in her mouth to make exaggerated gagging gestures.
Voting: Debbie out
Argh! WHY CAN'T COACH LEAVE, WHY. In all fairness, I really don't have an ideal order anymore, and Debbie and Coach still made up my bottom 2. I didn't have a preference; it was either the obnoxious but somewhat amusing person, or the less entertaining but nicer and more attractive person. I don't even know if was a good/bad/irrelevant choice from JT/Stephen's end. It merely happened.
Although I am a little ticked, on principle, that anybody/everybody who dares to publically speak about getting rid of Coach promptly gets themselves thrown out of the game. The hell kind of message are we sending here? It is not exactly helping shrink his delusions of grandeur.
Still, now I can heave a great sigh of relief, because the worst case scenario is that one of my favorites leaves on Thursday and I have to endure 3 whole days without them. That seems unlikely, and even if it happens it probably won't be Stephen, which means that for the second time in a row, my favorite will have lasted the whole delightful season. Yippee!
Parting Words: Debbie leaves with a smile and claims she "won't hold any grudges." BUT YOU WILL, DEBBIE. YOU WILL. One swig of Bitter Juice at Ponderosa (the fridges come fully stocked) and there you'll be, ranting and ready to tear somebody a new one with the best of them. I can almost guarantee it.
Next Week: Probably more pictures of Stephen. Ones where he's looking at the camera and/or smiling, so you stop looking at me with raised eyebrows and asking "And uh, why is this your favorite guy on TV right now, exactly?"
Then I inexplicably watched the first 30 seconds of the cold open on The Office ("Cafe Disco").
Dear TPTB: NOT. HELPING. WITH MY NEW-RECEPTIONIST HATRED.
Um, and then I totally watched the rest of the show, breaking every cardinal rule in my anal-retentive book. Because I accidentally saw the promo last week (clearly lies! And yet, intriguing lies when paired with the episode description, and also Jim wore blue and Pam wore pink, which for some reason always means magic things are going to happen with the couple), and it's been taunting me for days. So.
Despite all my delusions of mighty willpower, CSI was so dull that at 8:03 I decided, "Hey, you know what I want to do tonight? I think I feel like having my shippy little heart RIPPED OUT AND ROASTED OVER HOT COALS when this secret trip, if it is in fact real and not merely an elaborate Dwight prank, inevitably comes crashing down around them!"
By the end of the first act, my thoughts were like this: "Funny - every time I think about getting back into the Office, every time I think 'You know, I'm probably over my Pam hatred by now. I could always pretend she's really SUCKING at her new sales job** and will plead to give it up by October,' I remember that my problem stems not just from the fact that Pam is in a new role, but that there is someone at her old desk. Someone I loathe. The sight of whom makes my stomach buckle and gives me the feeling I might throw up at any second.
[**edit: though I have since read a snippet of recap - breaking cardinal rules, I say! - and found out she originally asked for her old job back, and did not immediately volunteer to rejoin as a saleswoman, which helps some]
This episode, if it's possible, just hammered in all that...Kelly? hatred. (I don't know her first name. Is it really Kelly? Gross. Can I just keep calling her Erin? Until someone explains this confusing name dilemma to me, I'm going to)
Every time she turned around, I wanted to murder her with a blunter object. She is the epitome of all the stupid, vivavious, bubble-headed girls I hated in college. Not like Cute Kelly. Erin has too much self-awareness. I despise this carefree, lighthearted, totally-lacking-in-self-consciousness-or-a
So, yeah. There went 1/3 of the episode right there - people dancing. Most of them dancing less stupidly than Erin, simply by virtue of being grown ups - although in Phyllis's case, that made it eighteen times worse - but still. The expression on my face, man. Compared to me, Angela might as well have been dancing on a table. Topless. (unrelatedly, it was hilarious how she walked right under the limbo pole without so much as inclining her head)
It actually ruined what at any other time I would have called "adorable" dancing from Proper Kelly. I used to love Kelly's dancing, because she was the only one and it made her young and cute, but now Erin's turned it into something ridiculous and, and...college-y and Kelly's just part of the problem. *kicks things*
Another 1/3 of the episode went down the drain thanks to endless and excruciating and gross scenes with Dwight and Phyllis - I didn't even want to hear what stupid nonsense Dwight was spouting to the camera; a lot of muting and channel-hopping took place.
My thought processes during each of these scenes consisted only of, "Mr. Cameraman, could you please move to the other side of the door? I want to know what Jim and Pam are talking about. Stop hanging out at Cafe Disco and the conference room and SHOW US THE ACTUAL OFFICE. If you can make an entire subplot out of Dwight and Angela doing work and not even speaking to each other, surely you could afford to spend some seconds on Jim and Pam at adjacent desks."
But that only made up 2/3 of the episode, less whatever I missed while grimacing and putting it on mute to listen to music instead. The remaining 1/3 was...God...so beautiful I literally woke up the next morning and thought I'd dreamed it. I even got on the blog and started to tell you what my brain had cooked up in response to my withdrawal from actual Jim/Pam canon to work with.
This is the part where I get all A;LSKJDFALKSDJFLKASDLFJALSKDJFLKASJDF JOY as I recall their beautiful, beautiful joint talking-head that is so great, it makes up for like seven episodes' worth of non-interaction, between a) the fact that they're sitting next to each other at all, beaming and smiling, and b) the mental pictures of home it conjures up. As punishment for watching this without seeing the five beforehand, I am not letting myself watch it again until I see the whole run in order, but geeze.
So much love for the "I had just woken up, I wasn't cute yet" quote. And you have no idea how happy you can make me just by mentioning them having breakfast and/or providing one little detail about Jim eating cereal (YES. I AM THAT EASILY PLACATED. See, there is an upside to the way my temper is triggered at the drop of a hat. Now do this every week and we'll have no problem).
Although I am a wee bit chagrined that all those fics that have Jim & Pam eloping, which I always dismissed as silly AU fantasy and a tad OOC, were apparently not so far out of the realm of possibility. *facepalm*
And, aw, Jim! Jim cutting a little bouquet of fresh yellow flowers, which actually ended up looking a tad pitiful and was the moment where I got really uncomfortable with the whole elopement thing. Not that I wasn't previously uncomfortable with the idea of no parents and no beautiful white gown, but this is where the dread sank in and I resumed my "remember why elopement fics SUCK?" line of thinking. I can't believe I'm actually grateful to Cafe Disco.
(Sidebar: I can't help it bringing it up - do you need another reason why I miss Old Pam? Let me give you one: because if Old Pam had Fancy New Beesley's spontaneity, she would have gotten married on the Booze Cruise. I AM JUST SAYING.)
However: PAM'S PINK DRESS. Would have made me sad if she'd gotten married in that instead of the lovely things I'm picturing, but as it was? Perfect for a spring dance. Did they or did they not look ready for Prom? In the cutest possible way, I mean. I'm still squealing over her beautiful soft pink dress, even though it was strapless, which I usually can't stand. Plus, half ponytail, half ponytail!! HOW HAVE I MISSED THEE, LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.
As for the part where the dancing and the Jim/Pam merged...well, all I can say is that for the first time ever, there is a Jim scene I need to burn out of my brain. However, in an odd turn of events, Pam is the only person for whom I will grant dancing amnesty, for two reasons:
1. Famous Beesley Dance Moves (or "dorky dancing"). Rumored to be thought very cute by one Jim Halpert.
2. It remedies that old sadness from "Diwali" where she was cute as a button on the dance floor, and I could only wish he was around.
See, see, we're curing season 3 all over the place!
*Insert me basking in joy as they both admit they want a real wedding (GOOD, I do too - I'm even willing to wait until September for it, which I now realize was your plan in writing this subplot all along; WAY TO BEND ME TO YOUR WHIMS, TPTB. No, seriously, this is much nicer than that jerking around you did in Goodbye Toby)*
I was plenty happy with just that, but then...I may have let out a sharp yelp and/or squeak when my brain promptly exploded at the sight of Jim giving her a kiss on the cheek and a hug. MY GOD YOU GUYS. IT WAS LIKE I'D WOKEN UP IN SEASON 4. I AM STILL ALL "LASJLFK;AJSDLKFJASLKDFJASF" IN SHOCK SEVERAL DAYS LATER.
And then my brain may or may not have spliced in a certain jump-cut scene from Grey's Anatomy involving sheets, a lack of clothing, and the words "best non-wedding day ever."
^ I can neither confirm nor deny.
The best part is, my seive-like brain has already phased out a lot of the specific dialogue and even some of the images, so when I finally watch this again in what I estimate will be approximately June, it'll be like the joy is happening all over again for the very first time. (well, I'll recognize it - but only after the fact, like I've read spoilers)
Final Quibble: Um, didn't Pam spend half a season planning a wedding down to the last detail? Shouldn't she...already know how much work weddings are? It was weird how she seemed surprised by this fact. At the very least I'd think she'd have a checklist of what to do that would make it a little easier for her than a first-time fiancee, even if she's daunted by the idea of having to do it all again.
'Harper's Island #5
WHOA. JUST, WHOA. That was so, just, intense and captivating and dark and foreboding that I actually forgot people dying for a while there. I mean, I didn't forget, but I forgot that I was supposed to be anticipating murders at every turn and got caught up in the story. So when the chandelier's weapon of HEAD-CLEAVING came crashing down at the end, I actually shrieked and jumped a little in shock.
Besides - HARDCORE. You finally killed a pretty big name player, in Papa Wellington.. And right in front of everybody, too, scarring them for life. Excellent! That's the kind of gruesomeness you've been lacking these last couple of weeks!
And this is on the heels of the most terrifying dog attack ever (yep, I jumped again when it pounced from on top of the shelter where it had been lying in wait) - even though I still managed to feel sad and dismayed when he stabbed it in the chest with a broken bottle. It was a German Shepherd! I know it was trying to rip your throat out a second ago, but...but you killed a poor little doggy! UPSETTIING.
Madison The Creepy Little Flower Girl + Henry interaction for the win. Actually, she and her new best buddy JD were sort of cute, too, despite their miscreant firecracker-lighting actions. There's something simultaneously cute and sad about his relatively child-like nature making a little girl the only real friend he can bond with.
I continue to love the groomsmen, especially Sully and the black guy, while I am impressed by the hapless entrepreneur. For someone who's so nervous and wibbly and panicky by himself, he is a seamless liar around his friends. His every reaction was perfect; at no point did he seem nervous or shifty or in any way have something to hide.
Trish was somewhat less hateable in this one. Clearly, she just needs to get hurt every episode so that Henry can look concerned and I can pretend to believe he loves her even though HE AND ABBY ARE OBVIOUSLY SOULMATES. (I am not giving up on this. I'm very invested in this idea.) Speaking of which, UNEXPECTED LOG BATTERING RAM IS AWESOME.
The mangled raccoon corpse on the altar was really gross. Fortunately, on this show, I approve of grossing me out. (for example, apparently beheading the priest wasn't enough, you also had to cut him up and sink the body parts in the lake on a fishing line? With a hook through his decapitated head?)
Well hey, Sheriff, way to have an attic full of creepy obsessive serial-killer-stalking clippings. Incidentally, if - as the previews hint - it turns out that the murderer really is John Wakefield, and that there was some element of conspiracy cover-up or the wrong man was killed, I'm going to be very annoyed. I guess it would make sense, since they keep bringing up his name, but all the promos for this show focused on "13 weeks, 25 suspects, 1 killer," so I'll be put out if it isn't one of the seemingly-innocent people we've come to trust.
.CSI: NY, 5x23, "The Greater Good"
My brain was thoroughly broken from Lost the hour before, and I knew I shouldn't have watched this back-to-back. I even turned it off after the teaser and went downstairs in recognition of this fact. But then, well, it was on downstairs too. So I surrendered and sleepwatched my way through it.
Much like SVU the night before, my temper went all over the place in this one. Mostly it was irate over Mac's bulldogging, and/or the ridiculous idea that debts cannot be paid unless the actual guilty person is paying them. False! If someone's father wants to do the jail time instead of the, uh, doctor who helps tons of people every day, you go ahead and consider that debt PAID. Or at least, you consider it paid if someone died by accident, and the guilty person isn't a serial-killer sociopath.
In fact, she doesn't even have to a be a dotor; she can be a shiftless, unemployed bum; as long as SOMEBODY goes to jail for my hypothetical loved one's death, I promise I will be quite content. And respectfully request that people like Mac don't go stirring things up after the fact and taking away my solace and comfort by a) making me feel guilty about an innocent person going to jail, and b) introducing a new trial where the guilty person may or may not be convicted. Which I notice, in this case, she was not since she didn't even stand trial.
(random insert: one thing I did notice was that I took an immediate dislike to the mother of the victim, and could not figure out why I spent the whole time wanting to punch her in the face, until I figured out she was Meredith's stepmother, of sorts, on Grey's Anatomy. Right, that explains it.)
That being said, most of my ire diffused and petered out in a little "huh, that was anticlimatic" puff as Mac somehow performed magic things, put the title into action, and decided to be nice to everyone. Pointless waste of time much? I'm calling it right now - worst. case. ever. Although not the worst episode ever, since D/L actually had a nice little sideplot going.
Um...Lindsay just took, like, a month off, which I presumed was for pre-baby rest and would lead straight into maternity leave. Why was she randomly back at work right before her due date? Worst plot contrivance ever.
Relatedly - most wooden over-the-phone delivery of "I love you, I love you" ever. Seriously, you'd think I could conjure up some feelings for a couple having a baby. And yet somehow, I was more invested in the crumbling marriage of Jackass Noah and his poor wife on Private Practice. This is so full of cheese and cliche it's the biggest mess I've ever seen in my life.
Although I did like Stella's encouraging walk-and-talk down the hall with Lindsay (very sweet), and Flack on the phone with Danny. "Is that her I hear screaming in the background?" (at which point, I like to imagine Lindsay was screaming "GET OFF THE F##%#% PHONE!")
Major Quibble: Does anyone ever, anywhere, actually want to see their favorite fictional character screaming and sweating in labor? Couldn't we just ban this practice from television, as a matter of good taste? Because I'd actually like it much better if you kept us confined to the hallway and let us in only when the baby was all nice and dried off and wrapped up in a blanket. Or at the very least, not cutting us in any earlier than immediately after it's out, and then only for that moment of private congratulations between the mother and father (which I have to admit, was actually pretty sweet)
Although mostly I was just flaily over Mac holding the baby, which was far cuter than either of her parents holding her. MAC + BABY = SWOON. It's right up there with Mac + horse. My God. We need to see this much more often. Then again, my brain is already pretty full of glorious images about Mac being the best godfather ever. "Do I get to spoil her?" Which, he so will. Within reason, because he's Mac and he believes in strict rules and codes of discipline, but he will also be thoroughly enchanted by her at all times. Mark my words.
Awww, little CSI baby
Minor Quibble: I'm sorry, I have to turn into Kristine Huntley for a second - Danny and Lindsay can't even agree on a baby name, despite the fact that said baby is already born? Yeah. They'll have no problems at all. (I think this is more a symptom of my aggravation as a viewer. It's really obnoxious to show them arguing about it, even in jest, with everyone in the room)
And now back to being content at the adorable picture of everyone standing around in her room at the end. I'm feeling slightly on the positive side of this experience, overall.