Brought to my attention bywill_rachel, which as you all know is my guidebook to this fandom:
"Rachel kind of has a crush on me for a little while. So I have to sing songs for her to keep her back. I think Will handles it well. We do a duet of 'Endless Love.'" (IS TRUEFAX FROM TV GUIDE)
ALSKDJFLKASDJFLKASJDFLK JOY. Ignore my crazy side for a minute; remember that I determined about fifteen minutes into the pilot that Rachel should, at some point, have a crush on her teacher. I quickly gave in to the idea that with all their other love geometry going on, they wouldn't have time to explore this. UNTRUE.
I am thrilled beyond words to see how they execute this, even though I know it will probably only last for one episode, like anything else that wasn't introduced in the pilot. This...can only be amazing. Giddy, giddy, giddy! (I swear I am keeping things in perspective and have no desires that are not rated G.)
Plus, seriously, duet?? I even get my two favorites in song? Is it my birthday? Now I'm paranoid that this is all misleading wording, since it sounds too good to be true. Then again, a lot of things that seem too good to be true have happened on this show, so I'm inclined to be hopeful.
Now -- Glee, 1x08, "Mashup"
Wow, that was bad. Fortunately, I was prepared for this outcome, but still. I lost track of how many things made me gag. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only reason I was able to maintain my sanity was because every time my head got too close to exploding, I would cling to the aforementioned spoilers, and soothingly rock myself back and forth with the knowledge that something better was coming.
(Also dancing. Dancing distracted me a lot.)
-Things that are gross: Puck, Puck/Rachel, Ken, Ken/Emma, Sue/Rod, slushies, and Puck.
(I don't...I can't even form words about how much Puck/Rachel repulses me. I thought I could sit through it, but then it turned out that by comparison, The Thong Song was entertaining and cute. Like, all I could think of was a line from a Return of the King parody: "ARAGORN kisses ARWEN. WATCHING ELVES smile as if the sight of a bristly-faced human tonguing a pristine Elf doesn't turn their stomachs." Take your nasty lips off my Pretty Rachel, you scuzzy Lima Loser!)
-The slushie joke was not funny the first time. It does not get better with age or repetition. Stop doing it. *twitches*
-No Terri?! I automatically subtract 15 points, based on a point system I came up with just now.
-Finn being explicitly painted as a jerk? That's not cool.
I know, it looks like not many things sucked, but that's only because I refuse to dwell on them or the agonizing amounts of screen time they commandeered. Glee is supposed to be my happy place.
1. Honestly, randomly creating Puck/Rachel out of nowhere and trying to give it depth and meaning? What? Why? How? That was just bizarre. I don't even think it really happened, so pointless and inexplicable was it.
2. More hilariously, blatantly false cliques: hockey guys are low on the food chain? Dude. Maybe it's a Minnesota thing, but I knew the names of twice as many guys on the hockey team as the football team, and I'm pretty sure it was the most popular sport at school. Why'd Quinn call them "neanderthal puckheads"? Sure, they run around smashing into each other with a lot of aggression, but that's exactly the same thing as football, just on skates. Why wouldn't the athletes command equal respect? And since they play in different seasons, couldn't some of the guys be on both teams, too?
3. Why are Quinn & Finn just NOW being ostracized? How about over the last three or four weeks, when they were doing exactly the same thing they are now? All that changed was the pregnancy reveal, but nobody was really shunning her for being a whore; they were just using the same "glee is for lame-o's!" rhetoric they have from the beginning. If anything, wouldn't you think that knocking a girl up would lessen the homo taunts?
4. Further, why did it take a heart-to-heart from Mr. Schue* to convince Finn to stand up to the coach? What happened to "they can't win without me and neither can you"? Didn't he already establish how important he is to the team? And didn't he determine that glee was his only way to get a scholarship and thus escape this dead-end town?
*Though it was hilarious that he kept talking about Finn not letting other people make decisions for him, only to finish it with "Come back to Glee. It's where you belong."
5. Schue? I'm going to pretend I didn't hear you tell Quinn that it was okay to get a slushie facial because "11 of your friends will be happy to clean you up!", because that was literally the stupidest thing I have ever heard. How is that supposed to be encouraging? 'Well gee, I can't think of a way to stop that, but it's not that bad, right?'
6. Speaking of, why can't this school invest in hall monitors? Don't teachers ever walk down the hall between classes? Do none of these students feel compelled to complain to administration, ineffective as it may be? HAND OUT SOME DETENTIONS ALREADY. I just don't understand why the same people are consistently allowed to get away with blatantly abusive bullying in the middle of a crowded hall.
7. I know we don't like the extraneous athletes to have lines or personalities, but are Matt and Santana dating now? Because they seem cuddly, and one of the Cheerios said "I love you" when the boys came back...
A Few Good Things
In a nutshell, Matthew Morrison dancing can save anything.
+ "BUST A MOVE." Oh my God, I've watched it like 50 times at this point and it just keeps getting better/is one of my favorite scenes in the series to date. Do you know who I would have killed to get to watch them rehearse/film this? My mouth hangs open and my eyes sparkle at every second, trying to follow all 13 awesome people at once and being overwhelmed with joy.
Plus, I'm pretty sure that his voice is best put to use when rapping. His singing voice, eh, it's nice enough, but this stuff is AWESOME. How is it so good when the original versions suck so hard?
Everything I said about this bit before stands, although my favorite parts are still the cute little aside where he grabs Quinn (her smile, aw) and the part where Rachel completely cracks up at his antics. Also, DANCING. Dear God. Can your teacher do this?
Because I am pretty sure you'd respect a teacher who could do that. Maybe they should just have him breakdance at the next school assembly - problems solved?
+ SUE. WILL. LINDY HOP. OMG BEST THING EVER. I heard them talking about this in an interview the day before, but I absolutely could not believe that such magic was going to happen on my screen - and then it did. LINDY HOP. Dude! This episode is like So You Think You Can Dance, on speed. It's like that special finale episode, where the judges pick all their favorite numbers to be performed again, and they always heavily favor one person. On Glee, that person is Will Schuester, and I could not be happier.
+ "The Thong Song." OKAY SHUT UP AND HEAR ME OUT. I do not retract my position that it makes me want to rip out my eyeballs, nor that it transfixes me with deeply unsettling horror. I still have to battle waves of nausea every time I see it, but by digging my nails into the wood of the desk, I can grit my teeth and convince myself that Terri has never existed and he is somehow Emma's fiance*. I cannot fathom why he felt this would be a good idea under the existing circumstances, but when I pretend otherwise, it's not so bad.
Plus the crash to the floor was adorable (I like to imagine the explosions of joy in Emma's head when she landed on him - so much better than 'accidentally' bumping into him in the hall, and she didn't even have to plan this one!). I even had to award her a point for making a joke at the opportune moment, veering safely away from uncomfortable territory and back into lightheartedness.
(I do occasionally like to imagine AUs where they can be cute and make each other laugh over silly things like this all the time. AUs where they agree that their wedding dance must be to that terribly romantic piece "I Could Have Danced All Night." )
* = I applied this same logic to the dancing in the bridal shop, because it was freaking ridiculous on every level (the staring into the camera was way over the top, ugh), but I'll be damned if he didn't look nice doing it.
+ Who doesn't love flustered!Will jumping in his seat at the sight of Emma in her second wedding dress? Even I loved that. *rewinds 80 times*
+ Angry!Finn smashing Hockey Dude up against the wall, roaring threats, yelling "You can't do this!"...did he just get hotter? Like, a lot hotter?
+ The horrible subplot of jerk!Finn was almost worth it to see Mr. Schue come seek him out - he has plenty of practice chasing Rachel, after all - and convince him to come back. And say heartwarming things like "Of all the students I've had, you remind me the most of me."
+ "Come on, guys - it's like you're daring me dance again!"
Stupid Puck and his lame guitar taking the spotlight. Also, whatever, children! You know you want him to dance again. High school was not that long ago; all my experience says that any time your teacher gets goofy is a good day. Don't make me dig out my journals for relevant examples.
+ Poor, angelic Quinn. She looks so sad in her civilian outfit. Regardless of how ostentatiously she was playing the part of the martyr, I'm still going to sympathize, and then treasure the part where Mr. Shue noticed.
+ I for one very much enjoyed the choral vocals set to "Flight of the Bumblebee"
+ Will: "I have never intentionally encouraged Emma."
(3 minutes later) *wipes tears from eyes* Oh, that's a good one. Hee! Tell more jokes like that!
I finally got around to hearing the rest of that scene, where I found he subsequently admits, "But I haven't discouraged her, either." OK. I still think that's a mild form of denial, but I'm willing to believe that he believes that. I always said I would like this force-fed ship much better if it was an unrequited crush on her part that he was merely aware of. Because I actually find it kind of sweet that he enjoys the attention, regardless of the ugly terms Ken dresses it up in. Terri runs hot and cold; I can't really begrudge him taking mild advantage of one person - whom he does genuinely like as a friend - who's always attentive to him.
This is my story and I'm sticking to it.
In Conclusion: My least favorite episode so far, I think, if ony because fandom thinks it was the best. So far the only one I've been able to make myself delete is 1x06, but if I could just find downloadable clips of the dances, I'd get rid of this one too.
P.S. On an unrelated note, I'm feeling a need for that screenshot to appear in icon form with the words "Lord of the Dance" somewhere. *ponders*
Grey's Anatomy, 6x06, "I Saw What I Saw"
Shonda, why do you hate me and not want me to have nice things?
Honestly! I fall for one Mercy West resident harder than the others. One Mercy West doctor who instantly rockets up to 5th or 6th place on my totem pole of favorite characters, smacking down most of the existing cast like the hand of God, and you show her the door? Bah! THAT WAS CRUEL. So I say to hell with your new world order; banish the formerly-orange invaders and redact this nonsense about trying to sustain your show like ER (whose long life no one ever complained about).
And don't say it's my fault I got attached. Chyler Leigh was a recognizable name to score too, and she's a permanent member now. Sarah Drew's not that big. It was not unreasonable for me to throw my blind faith into the casting department - they do get things right every so often! SIGH.
It didn't help matters that our doomed patient was the delightful Melanie of "Worst Week," so it was kind of like watching my luckless little comedy die all over again.
Anyway. Screw Izzie's speech last week; April's tearful pleading moved me much more. She brought actual tears to my eyes. Argh! It sucks that out of the twelve or so people lining the hallway, she was one of only four I desperately hoped it wouldn't be. (The others were Cristina, Owen, and Lexie, and if it came right down to it -- I'd have chopped out Lexie first. All of these scenarios were unlikely, but even as I was prepping myself for a Mercy West ouster I was convinced it had to be one of the other three.)
I wish someone had told me it was possible to see for yourself who was responsible, though. My slim hope of driving out Alex probably still would have blinded me, but I would have had fun paying closer attention. Instead I just let myself be led by the nose, suspecting everyone in their turn and being totally clueless about what was wrong until they explicitly spelled it out.
In other news, Hot Derek is hot while standing up to the Chief; Sissy Alex is lame while sniveling over the phone; FrankenCharles is a pig (maybe Owen could stab him for surgical practice?); Arizona can plummet headfirst off a bridge whenever it's convenient; and I'm torn by how I feel about Reed now. I sympathize with her numb horror and angry flare-up at Cristina's callousness at the end, but she is also the one who threw her friend under the bus in the first place. So.
But I love Cristina warning that it could have been any of them - it's just that their patients didn't die so they didn't get caught. No levity, no gloating, and considerably more sincerity than we usually get from her. Way to put the jackass boys in their place. It was made better only by the fact that Reed unintentionally shamed her into it.
(Oh, and I hope no other patients died or had compromised care while basically every doctor in the building sat in Hallway Time-Out.)
I'm not a fan of choppy and/or flashback format, so this was a low point in the season (especially due to insufficient Bailey, who must have been tired from awesoming up California), but considering how I feel about the show overall, that's not too much of a critique.
Private Practice, 3x04, "Pushing the Limits"
OH HEY THERE, TRACIE THOMS! Those rumors about getting your hours cut on Cold Case must be true if you're taking guest spots on rival networks. But fine; delighted to have you on board!
And then, to make things even better, she's playing a rape victim who doesn't know if she's pregnant with her husband's child or her rapist's. Which is the point at which I let out a whoop, because this is a scenario I've been hanging onto for one of the characters in my Great Big Complex Fictional Universe for like, five years and I could never decide quite how to handle it. Finally, I can have somebody play out the scenario for me!
So thanks for not wrapping that up, show. It didn't perfectly align with my version anyway, since my character already had a child and that's a pretty big variable, but after this case turned out to be the rapist's (of course), I got very involved with this couple's emotional struggle and did not appreciate a cop-out of a fadeout on their final session with Violet.
2. I did sort of like the fact that Violet realized she couldn't bond with Lucas because he reminded her of the attack - technically, it's his fault! Nobody would have attacked her if she hadn't been pregnant! - but wish she hadn't obnoxiously done it in front of her patient. I also wish it hadn't ended with Pete leaving to work at the other practice. :(
3. Or Charlotte coming to work at theirs. THIS IS A DEEPLY UNFAIR EXCHANGE. Even if it doesn't change the amount of screen time they get - although, I don't know; Naomi seems kind of irrelevant lately - the thought of the changing dynamics is gross enough on its own.
4. Cooper/Violet bonding is always deeply appreciated, but chopping your way through the floor of your house seems...unwise. Possibly unsafe.
5. In other news - possibly old news - Sam and Addison are my favorites. Hiking buddies! Hiking buddies with hilarious conversations like this!
A: Scalpel in your hand, nothing beats it. Not sex, not --
S: Sex beats it.
A: Well I wouldn't know, Sam, it's been that long. It's bad down there, it's like an old Western town -
S: Can't hear you.
S: Please stop talking, please stop talking, please stop talking.
S: Changing the subject.
6. ADDISON. How always so perfect? Even when being an ass, she's so oblivious about it that it's just endearing. She's never intentionally trying to be mean or self-centered; she's just frequently terrible at...anything that isn't surgery.
I love how she doesn't even bat an eyelash at the idea for asking for a $50,000 check. (of course, most of the other doctors didn't bat an eyelash when asked. By the way, that sound you hear is me fainting at the idea that anyone would have 50k sitting in an account, let alone 50k they can spend apparently without making a dent in their overall assets).
Not sure I agreed with Addison's stance on tracking down the teen's mom, but it wasn't anywhere near enough for me to pull Maury the High Horse out of retirement. I kinda miss him. Remember when this show's Issues used to make me rageful all the time?
7. Hey, it's Dell! I didn't really miss him while he was gone. Or feel much about his return. I approve this level of neutrality.
8. How old was that homeless girl's kid? Did she get knocked up in 7th grade? Because I'm terrible at judging little kid ages, but he seemed to have pretty well outgrown the "baby" stage and she said she was only 15. I kinda don't blame her mother for trying to make her get an abortion.
9. On a related note: let's have more clinic patients! I like them.
10. Turns out I also like Sheldon more now that he's walking around as this GIANT LOSER and I can laugh openly at his pain. Sweet.
Oh, and a note - I still haven't watched last week's "Bones" all the way through, because I cheated and watched the ending (GOLD), and then I skipped through it to find DAISY WICK (!), so I have not yet been able to get a handle on my wrist-flapping and squealing long enough to sit through the case. The sheer PROMISE in this episode has kept me going for days.