You have until the end of Tuesday to write some thoughts about the Christmas episode as your practice round, and then rest up over the hiatus so that when the show gets going again, you're recharged and ready to go. Please? I will harangue you again if necessary.
The Office, "Secret Santa"
I...don't even know why I bother looking forward to The Office's Christmas episodes anymore, as ever since the first one, they have all been terrible. I will grant you that this was significantly better than the last two, since it featured neither Michael dragging someone to rehab nor Angela having her party snubbed, but I still couldn't bring myself to watch it a second time.
-Phyllis is such a freak. That is all I have to say about the matter of the co-Santas.
-"This was a successful unveiling!" Hee! Although I'm not sure why they're still the PPC. Why can't we give that job back to Angela? She was much better at it. Privately, I think the reason the Christmas episodes have all been inferior to the first one is because she's no longer in charge of the main office party.
-"You can't yell 'I need this, I need this,' while trying to pin an employee down on your lap."
*dies laughing* That is the best line of the episode. I don't know how Jim managed to say this with a straight face, because I certainly can't. I just start giggling.
-Tim Daly is way more attractive than his son. I'm just saying. In lieu of caring about Oscar's slightly creepy crush, I sighed and wondered why I'm four episodes behind on Private Practice, then daydreamed about Pete/Violet for a while.
-Oh, hell to the actual no. You're not serious about firing David Wallace, are you? Because that is not a thing I can handle. Not now, not in the future, not now, not ever. Ever.
(Seriously. I am eerily calm at the moment, but I will flip my shit if this turns out to be real cause for alarm, like Pam quitting her job, rather than mere temporary alarm like Jim moving to Stamford.)
-Dwight in his elf ears, all super-focused on assembling his Secret Santa gift (ideally as some sort of gun) - not to mention Michael's quiet pride at the end - warmed my heart. Almost enough to forget about the fact that the writers have decided to quit focusing on Jim and Pam as a couple, because apparently they picked up those people from How I Met Your Mother who suck at writing settled relationships.
(Because God knows, it's far more exciting to watch Andy fall on his face over and over again, right? If this keeps up, I'm going to start thinking that even Erin is too good for him.)
-I tried to determine if Jim and Pam had more or less screentime together this year than they did last year, but then I got the feeling that the answer would just depress me, so I stopped. Who knew that I would long for a scene in which Pam requests that he stop rubbing that lamp in that creepy way?
-Oh, wait, I guess they did get that one hug. That was...sort of worth it. Except not, because the Vances got an actual kiss, FEARSOME BE MY WRATH.
-I love how in the space of five seconds, Jim went from appropriate ("That's horrible!") to forgetting all about that in favor of cheering with everyone else for their own job safety, despite the fact that David Wallace was still on speakerphone, listening.
-I find it mildly depressing that Michael as a blasphemous Jesus was one of the better things about this. *tries to think of positive things*
-Er, Pam's red jumper was cute? I mean, nothing will ever beat out the red turtleneck from "Benihana Christmas," where her whole outfit had the effect of making her prettier than she has ever been before or since, but her Christmas party outfits are probably the best thing about the holiday.
-The awkward Ryan/Toby half-hug was cute. I'm not really sure why the kite was in bold rainbow colors, but I haven't read The Kite Runner, either. (speaking of which, was that a subtle Finer Things Club reference? YAY) Other people should make much wittier statements about this.
-BEST PART: a super-excited Kelly attack-hugging Jim for her giant New Moon/Edward Cullen poster. *spazzes harder than Kelly* Oh, Office. Indulging my wayward (friend)ship is a good present indeed.
Bottom line: the best Christmas episode since the original, in terms of heart, but significantly weighed down by Oscar wasting Pam's precious screen time, and the Andy/Erin crap. Santa Phyllis did not help matters.
Oh, and I know this isn't helpful either, but I probably liked whatever I didn't mention? There were a lot of little flairs I remember appreciating as they flashed by, but I'm in my usual cranky "not enough Jim and Pam" mode at the moment, so those will have to be lost forever.
P.S. ...this episode got more viewers than the wedding. I do not know how I feel about that.
Bones, 5x10 "The Goop on the Girl"
MUCH BETTER. Than both the above episode and last week's sucker.
-Cousins from Minnesota? This Christmas episode is already awesome.
-LOL, Hodgins and his nerdly gleefulness over magnetic gloves.
-I may or may not have watched Bones undressing Booth 7,105 times in both normal and slow motion. The first time I couldn't stop giggling in giddy delight; the next 7100 involved me setting up four carefully placed fans and sitting on a block of ice in an attempt to remain in solid/non-melted state. Because...seriously. WORDS: WHO HAS THEM?
Hottest. Scene. Ever. By the time she gets down to his belt, I can't even explain to myself how this manages to be simultaneously 100% clean, valid, and not at all uncomfortable to watch (unlike, say, the bedroom romp in last spring's finale), yet salaciously thrilling and exciting in a way that even I will admit. It's really quite an unheard-of feat.
-OK, and I still can't help giggling at Booth's
-And then Cam walks in, and the giggling is just out of control. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE, as Angela volunteers to help run experiments on Booth ("Yeah, make fun of the naked guy"), DAISY WICK (!) is our intern of the week, delightfully exclaiming "Santa teeth!", and Hodgins shows up to the party as well.
"Where's your chest hair?" (LMAO)
"I'm highly evolved."
Actually, Hodgins has a fair question. Not that this at all the sort of thing I think about, ever, but it seems incongruous with Booth's general typical-guy nature & physique to have a smooth chest. Almost...disappointing. Which is weird, because normally that look is ideal, but in this case, I don't know, LET'S STOP TALKING.
-I love how no one thinks that the already-traumatized witness might be at all uncomfortable by the decidedly non-professional nature of being questioned by a nearly-naked guy wearing only boxers and socks. Regardless of how physically appealing that nearly-naked guy is, I personally would be weirded out.
-Speaking of Daisy, was it me, or was her ponytail extra-fluffy and pretty this week? SHE IS SO DELIGHTFUL AT ALL TIMES, I CANNOT GET OVER IT.
-"Pants, I need pants, where are my pants?" Hee! I love how he slides on the floor as he starts to run out.
-Sweets, you just made out with a loser tattooed chick in line for a movie. I really don't think you're in a place to discuss Christmas commitments at all, even if your girlfriend doesn't believe in the holiday (unless it takes place in March).
-(in response to Sweets/Daisy saying goodbye in spoken emoticons) "Oh, dear God, I'm gonna yak." Me too, Cam. I really, really like them much better as an abstract...theoretical shipping idea. Maybe we could put one of them in mortal peril in order to really jump-start my interest.
-There is something wonderful about the fact that Booth asks her to cover him, despite the fact that I thought priority #1 was keeping guns out of Bones' hands.
"I should warn you he's very hard to resist." Awww. Booth is charmed, too.
-I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE: everyone on the internet seems very "Yay, Zooey Deschanel!", whereas I still can't pin down exactly why she's famous. I've never seen anything she's done (I checked on IMDB), so even though her name seems quite frequently tossed around, I really only know her as Emily's sister. She also lacks the ingenue star power that would draw me to her regardless, like Joss Stone or Christina Hendricks. Most of the time, I get her confused with Emily Blunt (who suffers similar problems).
I was hoping this episode would change that, because it's frustrating - kinda like not being able to appreciate Kristen Chenoweth, I imagine - and alas, it did not. Mostly for lack of trying, because there just wasn't enough screen time for me to get a feel for her. She's cute, though - possibly prettier than Emily - and so it was a shame not to see more of the odd-yet-delightful Margaret. Because despite her quoting problem, I already like Margaret HEAPS more than Bones' loser father or brother.
-Okay, how soon until we can dump Michelle in the lost-continuity closet and never mention her again? Because she drags down the newly discovered fun of Cam a whole bunch, and is generally unpleasant at all times. I'm also fairly annoyed at Cam for switching plans on her at the last minute. If you believe you should spend Christmas together, that's fine, but don't bite your tongue until you're on your way to the airport and then go "NOPE, CHANGED MY MIND!"
I am more annoyed at Michelle for not choosing to be bitter and sulky, because if Cam had said that from the beginning, it would have been touching, but pulling that speech out when she did just came across as...look, I was a teenager not long ago, and I know it would have pissed me off hardcore. I would certainly not have been offering teary hugs five seconds later. Hawaii with friend > Christmas alone with my new stepmother.
-"I...find him pleasing to look at." Hee! Did someone just feel an odd pang of defensiveness about their handsome future boyfriend?
-The case seems to have made up a very small percentage of the episode as a whole, and that's because it's boring and also, you should have figured out what "I answered the call" meant about 30 minutes ago, like the second you heard it. It's either the most obvious hint ever, or crime dramas have made way too much use of the "guy gets commandeered into a bank-robber job" trope lately.
-Aw, humanizing Angie. I forget the bones are people sometimes, too.
-I LOVE the scene in the car. "Isn't it heartcrushing?" It's always nice to see her struggling with emotion, but even nicer that he always knows exactly what to say - though not before indulging in a little gentle banter first.
-Skipped the funeral itself. Boring, long-winded speech over a more boring scene.
-The holiday dinner at home was nice, given that I just realized we didn't get a Christmas episode at all last year. Everyone fit together much more nicely than they should have, considering the odd combination(s) of relatives, coworkers, and past/present/future couples. I especially liked Bones being all "No prayer in my place!" and Booth being like, yes prayer, deal. But more nicely.
-Hodgins/Angela moment: REMEMBER WHEN TWO PEOPLE WERE A FAMILY? I DUNNO, I JUST FELT A TWINGE.
~This is my favorite summary on TWoP ever: Five contestants dance their way into the finals, while one floats in on a river of her husband's tears. And that's not even getting into who gets eliminated. Come for the anger. Stay for MORE ANGER.
I actually watched SYTYCD'S results show last week, for no reason other than I was cold so I was downstairs with the dog draped over my feet, and Mom was watching it, so it was really more like I sat back and let it happen to me. Anyway, that being said, I spent the hour being in love with Cat and making snap judgments based on anything and everything except actual dance ability, like so:
"Ugh, send Boy Shorts [Jakob] home! No, wait, never mind, his face is cute. Keep him! What, THAT'S the dude named Legacy?! How is he not black? Definitely get rid of his boring b-boy ass. Ahhhhh, Mollee! Who is this precious little charm, because she's a delight, and I am pretty sure she needs to win this entire thing."
Basically, I remembered why it's good that I don't watch this anymore.
Survivor was a bit exciting this week, finally, because Brett existed! And was adorable, naturally. I am now 200% more cranky about his lack of camera time than ever before, because I'm pretty sure that, despite being less abjectly hot, his personality outstrips Mick's in terms of being charming and pleasant. Everyone, including Jeff, keeps saying that he has to be voted out ASAP because otherwise everyone would happily hand him the million. Which I believe! Which makes it a pity that he's now a lone wolf, who stands no chance of surviving the next vote without immunity.
Really, it was just pretty satisfying to see him get first an interview, and then win the challenge. Especially since, at said immunity challenge, he didn't appear to be struggling at all - he figured out exactly how to jump on the board, and then methodically did it, while everyone else looked at least a little anxious. (or in the case of Monica, did not weigh enough to make any difference, and just kept jumping and jumping to no avail, HEE)
But mostly, this is the most boring season I can remember. Two boots in one week, and still boring! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE. If I didn't have Mick Dreamy to look at the whole time, I would have gone insane long before now. Is it next season yet? Because I am really hoping that even if 50% of the cast is designed to piss me off, the other 50% will make up for it.
If not, I'll just go back to being sad that the show didn't end with Perfect JT's perfect win.
And finally, even though I am still behind on various shows that require actual brainpower, I have caught up on the season to date of Law & Order: SVU.
* Haha, nice followup on the season finale there. By which I mean none. Did you even stop to introduce the new female tech? Because I was like three episodes in before I started wondering what this pleasant woman's name was, and then I realized she kept appearing because we used to have an awesome tech named Ryan O'Halloran, until a squirrelly little psycho stabbed him for ratings. *still bitter*
* Holy crap, Sonya Paxton! Why did alcohol have to be your embarrassingly public downfall? Because, even though I can't figure out why I love Christine Lahti so much if I only know her from previews for "Jack and Bobby," I do, and Sonya's particular brand of sharp-edged sarcasm and general contempt for SVU (a word which here means "Stabler") was THE BEST.
See, see, that's what I'm talking about - awesome lawyers on this series forever. I mean, I'm pretty sure I still like Alex Cabot more, but that's like saying I like dogs slightly more than horses. If we could have had Sonya instead of Graylek for most of last season, times would have been exciting indeed.
* They keep bringing up cases that happened X number of years ago. It's frustrating. I have not been watching this show long enough to know if those are real callbacks, are made-up-on-the-spot callbacks! I probably would not be paying enough attention anyway, but still.
* I was actually pretty fond of 11x02, "Sugar." Not sure why. Probably Eric McCormack's doing. I don't hate the obnoxious parade of guest stars when they're awesome. (awesome, a word which here means, "not Scott Foley," since his creepily staring face pasted onto a hammer-happy CGI reenactment will now haunt my dreams forever, THANKS)
* "We're five episodes in, and Elliot's already been slapped, kicked in the crotch, and thrown off a building. Naturally." Come on, A BUILDING? How did he survive that, much less stroll away with minor injuries? Tell the truth, you've secretly been fortifying his bones with Flubber during his frequent hospital visits, haven't you?
* Speaking of episode 5 ("Hardwired," adults & children in consensual relationships), how did you even film that with a straight face? Because. I mean. When I wasn't twitching and skipping forward in disgust/out of pity for the child actor's horrible lines, I was just laughing my ass off. Sometimes, things are ludicrous enough to be beyond discussion.
* I imagine it's a lot like the way they filmed episode 10, which had a spectacular focus on Fin (and my favorite actress with the unspellable last name, last seen as my sadly ousted coroner Tara on CSI: Miami!), and lots of awesomely snarky lines for Munch, but set up the defendant's case as "right-wing media pundits brainwashed me!" Which was again, so hilariously terrible that I could not stop laughing long enough to be annoyed. Mainly I just wondered if CBS was going to flare up over the repeated mention of how "watching Flashpoint" led to terrible, awful things.
* Wait, did I miss what they did for that bane-o-my-existence "Green Week"? Because if so, exciting! I approve.
* Oh, episode 8. "Turmoil." Besides living up to its name by cramming 9 MILLION AND TWENTY-SEVEN plots into one episode, it apparently took my words about Dick(ie) in "Lunacy" last year as a personal challenge:
But it turns out he's like the most/possibly only well-adjusted Stabler in the world - or was until this episode happened; next month we'll probably find out that witnessing a murder has caused him to start stealing cars and robbing old ladies or something - and seriously, I'm blown away by how polite and responsible and mature he is. I think he might secretly be adopted, or switched at birth.
Hahaha! THAT DIDN'T LAST LONG. By which I mean it lasted a whole extra year; that's impressive. I guess since Kathleen cleaned up her act, he felt he had to step into her shoes and start acting out hardcore. Because hey, who wants to see a polite, responsible, mature kid when you can have a dark and sullen one who screams at his dad and wants to join the army before he turns 18 so as to get away? Bleh.
(I had a lot of things to say about this episode, actually, because I watched it when it first aired...but I must not have written any of them down, and I can't remember a whole month back. Oh well! I am not going back for a second watch)
* Episode 9 ("Perverted," Olivia framed for murder using scary-ass new DNA-fabricating technology that had better not be real. [Oh crap, it kind of is. But there are still ways to test it, right?]): What the hell, show. Who told you to write sick!Olivia and come up with a completely gratuitous 2-minute scene of Elliot checking up on and taking care of her? Who gave you a blueprint of my weaknesses?! Let's not even get into mortgaging the house to bail her out of jail.
Overall feelings: considering how much I was dreading SVU's return, the season's turning out a lot more entertaining than I expected. But maybe that's just the thrill of watching a great string of them in the space of a week, coupled with the relief of only feeling compelled to spit out the very most pressing thoughts at the top of my head, in one big lump. I can't do that for most shows, but this one is bland enough to qualify.
The only question now is whether I'll let it recede into another hiatus until summer, or if I'm so hooked that I have to start getting chatty on a weekly basis again, especially without Glee to distract me from the live airing.