America, I am so glad you voted Daniel Baldwin "out of the jungle, FOREVER." Although I'd have much preferred you take out the significantly grosser brother - Stephen literally makes my skin crawl - this one works too. Although, I won't lie, a little part of me was looking forward to not having to hear Patti sob about her tragic familial & political woes ever again. She seems like a very nice woman and all, but politics - especially these politics - are dull and ugly, I'm getting embarrassed for her.
-Prior to yesterday, I'd never even heard of Holly Montag, and while I'm pleasantly shocked at how much smarter and more normal/mature she is than her sister, I'm even more shocked that she's older. Seriously? She's...25? Because when she walked into camp I immediately thought she couldn't possibly be over 18, and I'd have believed 16. I still can't wrap my head around her age. I can, however, wrap my head around why she thinks Janice is a genuinely nice person, because I've had popular girls - whom I know had the potential to be nasty - similarly decide they adored me because I was shy and sweet. Unpleasant people look very different when they're smiling at you.
-Although when they started trying to drum up rumors about a romance between her and Sanjaya, I actually had to gag a little bit, and then bury my head in a pillow, so uncomfortable was it to watch.
-The "shopping cart" challenge looked amazing, but I even though I paid super-close attention, I still couldn't quite figure out how they balanced themselves and the carts on those cables.
-I kind of love the fact that Lou Diamond Phillips is all about doling out the comfort hugs. (Or comfort head kisses, in Sanjaya's case.) It validates my opinion of him.
-Another thing I love is how my brain short-circuits immediately after this show ends and wipes 90% of what I just saw from memory. Good brain!
'So You Think You Can Dance - Top 20 Becomes 18
In super-brief listy format!
1. OF COURSE Paris went home first. *shakes fist* Frankly I'm shocked you only took out my second favorite gal. Did you miss the part where I declared my first allegiance to Jeanine? She gave the first performance and everything, I thought you'd flock to be rid of her. No, wait, I see what you did - not unlike last year, your first act of business was to inexplicably punish the couple who had what I thought as the better hip hop routine of the night. Stupid America.
Also I think the judges just wanted to keep Asuka because it would anger me (in fact, just her name angers me, for being spelled with three syllables and yet inexplicably sounding like "Oska" - which, with Cat's accent, I initially thought was inexplicably supposed to be "Oscar."). Now, I never begrudge the judges' right to take "all factors" into account - in fact, I approve of this method, because it makes sense and is also how I judge the show - but sometimes it backfires on me, so I reserve the right to complain.
2. On bright side, because it's an unspoken rule that they don't like to switch up partners in the first couple of weeks, this meant Tony got the boot next. Nondescript General Guy #1 gone, only four or five to go!
3. Shut up, Nigel. After seeing his solo, I love Vitolio even more than I did yesterday. I'm trying to figure out how to work the word "supple" into my next review without sounding too weird. Pretty sure that is not possible, and yet I keep trying.
4. Who the hell is "teen pop sensation Sean Kingston," and why should I care? I dunno; maybe I was too busy being grossed out by the usual display of strip club dancers parading around a fat guy to be as affected by the, what do you call it, music, as I was supposed to be. Or maybe the TWoP recap actually has it right:
Sean Kingston, who Cat tells me has the hit single of the summer, which is, near as I can tell, Tubby Guy in Red Leather Grunting Into a Microphone. I can see why this is so popular! Kingston's got some great choreography, like the time where he orders people to put their hands up, and then the other time where he puts his own hands up.
5. OMGWTFPOLARBEAR, Shane Sparks group routine?! I knew it! I knew that had too much of a weird edge to be Napolitha's creation! I don't even care that you forced me to hear what "Boom Boom Pow" sounds like; all is forgiven when Shane comes to town. Definite love for this dance and the best part of the show.
6. Conversely: show, I don't even want to watch Latin ballroom dances when my favorite contestants do them. What makes you think I want to see random grown-up professionals do them?
7. Oh! What was the song used for Paris' "farewell" video? It sounded familiar, like I should know it. And/or like it. Was it Kelly Clarkson, maybe?
In more respectable discussion:
The title alone tells you it's going to be good. And sure enough, it turns out to be the best thing since "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane," and I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ALL MY HAPPY FEELINGS HERE. The only moments in this I got bored with were Rani's insistence on saving the woman who looked like her mum, but since keeping her and Clyde largely in the present day allowed for a just-us-Smiths adventure - in the 1950's! In a charming country village! With lovely and charming people! - it was hard to argue with that logic.
-I find it amusing that after I latched onto her whole orphan background story, it turned out to be an important plot arc. Who knew?
-Geeze, Foxgrove. *rocks back and forth and pretends it is not gone* What a beautiful little copse!
-Hee, Sarah Jane's cute retro outfit! And Luke being all, "Seriously?" And her indignant defense! And just the fact that he won't let her go alone at all is adorable too.
-"And if it is a trap, this is the only way to find out who's behind it! That sounds like a good, rational reason I can give myself." Heh.
-Does this show have a soundtrack? Because I keep hearing pretty and haunting themes; case in point, the slow music-box tinkling in the background of the scene as she first tells Luke about her parents. Give me a straight answer already, internet! Oi, this just taunts me.
-"David and Victoria Beckham," snert.
-Sarah Jane's parents are the loveliest people in the world. I choose to focus on them rather than the headache-inducing time paradox of "they drove away because 2008!Sarah Jane told them to but it was only because she stopped them from driving away in the first place like they were supposed to because..."
-The Trickster is one of my favorite villains ever. The Graske makes me giggle almost as much as Crazy Dalek, but he's a favorite as well. I approve their repeat appearances.
-I feel like (a word which means I noticed in a couple of places on the internet) some Old School people are probably *crankypants* about her "temptation" at all, citing that she was never so invested in her unknown parents before, but my prepared rebuttal is that a) she's of an age where I imagine one gets reflective about one's youth and more importantly b) Luke's arrival and her subsequent launch into parenthood stirs up thoughts of her own (lack thereof).
I don't even know why I'm phrasing these as rebuttals; I took all of it at face value with no issues whatsoever. There were just 50 minutes of being enraptured at how much I adore Sarah Jane and the emotional vulnerability she displays without ever losing an inch of character strength.
(So maybe I was a little less than enamored of her brief "what about me!" temper tantrum. 95% of the plot was still good.)
-My heart broke a little when she spotted the decidedly-non-TARDIS police box and jumped to conclusions (honestly, given the Doctor's tendency to randomly show up, it wasn't the worst assumption ever made). I blame the haunting Doctor's Theme. But mostly I was just giddy that they were in 1951 and thus able to have a regular, everyday police box hanging out as part of the scenery.
-SO CONFUSED by the "Mr. Smith, I need you" written on the back of the photograph. "Ex-plain! Ex-plaaaaaaain!" (/Dalek voice.) Oh, Doctor Who wiki to the rescue. Apparently we're operating under the theory that it's always been written there, and that's where the computer's activation command comes from. Actually, that's pretty neat.
-Still a tad weepy at the final scene between her and her parents. But naturally, there is a correspondingly heartwarming mother/son moment at the end to balance it out, which I cannot help gleeing over. Because I'm me.
"Enemy of the Bane"
Right now, there's a debate in my head as to whether I like the Bane or the Slitheen less. It's coming in at a dead heat. Mrs. Wormwood is so very dull as a villain, creepy but not in a good and thrilling way, just a gross way. I guess one-eyed CGI squid lions are currently more entertaining than people unzipping their forehead to become grossly overweight green aliens, but after you factor in the Sontaran partnership...
-Obvious clue #1 that Wormwood was not actually seeking help: a Slitheen already tried that trick with the Doctor.
-Brigadier! (note to self: look up pronunciation before name is permanently Wrong in your head) Also known as "omgwtf, show, I'm on the last spin-off and there are still crossovers I can't fully appreciate due to lack of familiarity with the source material!" I've read up him as much as I can, or at least old-school fans' reactions to his appearance here, but it's just not the same.
The best I can come up with, from behind my cloudy haze of UNIT IS THE WORST THING EVER feelings (apparently it was not always portrayed this way? Hard to imagine), is that he seems like a jolly good fellow, more endearing and interesting than Donna's grandfather, and having him in the story was an absolute blast. Brought much more to it than, say, Rani ever has. Seriously, am exceedingly fond of him. :D
-Tunguska Scroll? Hm, there was an X-Files episode called Tunguska. All I really remember from it is Mulder under chicken wire, but I know it had to do with aliens so I should really try and figure out what real-life story inspired all this.
-Luke's Specialized Teen Angst, front and center. It's trying when you're torn between your mother figure and curiostiy about the alien squid lion that technically created you.
-Hee on Sarah Jane smugly calling Mr. Smith forth, complete with "so there!" hands on hips.
"I was alone, for a long time. Until I met Luke."
"Then perhaps you should be indebted to me for enriching your sad, purposeless life."
"Don't push it, Wormwood."
-But, you know, any episode that gets to have Sarah Jane, Mama Bear, furiously defending her son and right to motherhood - which is actually a lot of them, and you would think this would get old, but I assure you it does not - is a good time. And there were more instances of it than I could shake a stick at, including a generous helping of hugs and the word "love" being thrown around like candy at a parade.
-Will not laugh at ridiculous shot of Sarah Jane staring up at the clouds with her arms thrown wide open. Will not laugh. Will not -- *guffaws*
-WHY ARE THERE NO NEW EPISODES FOR OVER THREE MONTHS. Why is there no official soundtrack! Why is Lis Sladen's autobiography not publishing until next year, and why can't I find even snippets of any of these magical audio dramas that might tide me over in the meantime! Why isn't anyone on my flist as squeeful about this show as I am! Do I need to go friend-hunting again?
SO MANY QUESTIONS. The most important one being, how is it even possible to love a show this much? Numb3rs, be a dear and add a correction to your recently bestowed title of shininess so that it reads "Current Favorite American Show," would you?