Ghost Whisperer: Was a shock to my system, going back to current time after watching two reruns from season 4 back-to-back on ION the night before.
Despite my pact to never look back from before this year, I figured since it was obviously recent - Undead Jim was back to his usual self, she was visibly pregnant, they were getting married and I was squeeing myself to death at what was apparently the first appearance of The Book which is so all-important these days - I'd be okay. Which I was, as it was awesome, but then I got to the new episode and thought I would die of a pleasure overload at suddenly having Jim's Awesome Hair plus Aiden dropped into my lap.
I probably would have, if either of these things had been prominently featured, but it was kind of a blah week on the family front. I'm still trying to figure out my feelings on...Nate, is it?, and whether or not he is tolerable. Mostly, I'm worried that he was featured prominently in seasons past, and he got the shaft when they did the time jump. This is why I swore not to go back! Another reason I swore not to go back, I keep thinking about how intense the end of season 4 was, and how they could possibly have just squandered five potential years of storylines like
Seriously, what was this episode even about? Pranks on a college radio show, modeled after more serious pranks on an earlier non-college radio show? It was a compelling mystery - I'll grant you that; I could not for the life of me figure out how everyone linked up - but not so much on the character front. Then again, it's also January, if I had any impulsion at all, I'd go track down the 4 or 5 eps I'm missing from the beginning of this season.
...that is more paragraphs than I have devoted to GW in ages. Gross. Stop it, self!
I was thisclose to jumping ship for Dollhouse. THISCLOSE. Besides Allison and her terrible hair (would you just grow that nonsense out already?), the entire B-plot revolved aroundJoe's boss. You might know Joe's boss as the depressed intern on Bones, like I don't get enough of him on that show (4 or 5 times a season is way too often). @#(*%&#@$#$*@#$@#$!!!! Are my feelings about that.
In other news, I get jealous when amazing plots are squandered on this show now, because let's just say that, despite the oddly comedic nature of the psychotic serial killer(s) this time around, the bodies they left were UNDENIABLY TERRIFYING. Seriously, I had nightmares about waitresses hanging in closets and handcuffed captive women being stabbed to death with a terribly long knife just for kicks.
Numb3rs, 6x11, "Scratch"
I can't decide which way to start this, so here are the four options I was considering.
Option 1: On the season 5 DVD, they mention that one of the things they wanted to do the next year was more humor, "more quirky characters." *eyeballs Randomly Appearing Floyd, Buster Bluth, Otto Bahn, Augie, Alan's boss, the return of Buckley & The Fonz, and now Lottery Agent Nancy* Yeah, I'd say you covered that angle pretty well.
I think I've also I've discovered a root cause of why this season feels relatively bland and inferior in comparison to last year's streak o' quality. I mean, obviously I am in full-blown squee mode all the time regardless, but objectively speaking this year really does not compare to season 5.
Option 2: ...okay, now I understand why the early summary of this ep, as written by an inexperienced idiot, included words strung together to make "Charlie, possibly spotting his opposite number in romance as well as calculations..." Interesting fact, did you know he can flirt with just his eyebrows? It's true.
(I would say it's lucky that Amita wasn't around, but then again, she seems to have a pretty high tolerance for women hitting on him and does not feel the need to constantly point out he's engaged.)
Option 3: Ordinarily, I would complain about the fact that Amita wasn't in the episode. But then Robin showed up, and somehow the former's absence didn't matter at all.
Option 4: SQUEE! SQUEE, SQUEE, SQUEE, WAS THERE A TIME WHEN I WAS NEUTRAL-FEELING ABOUT ROBIN? BECAUSE I DON'T REMEMBER THAT. From the moment she stealth-appeared behind Don, my entire thought process was "Charmita what? DON/ROBIN OTP."
Let's expand on this one, because it's my favorite, especially after watching "Checkmate" last night for the first time since it aired. [Digression: I'd failed to tag that post properly, you see, and not realized this fact until I went looking for my original thoughts and couldn't find them. Apparently the episode was way better than I remember, so I went to re-watch it, and...geeze. Also, squee! He & Robin really just jumped back into that relationship, didn't they? But in an understandable way. It is so much better the second time around, two seasons later, to watch its original rekindling.
tl;dr of above paragraph: Candlelight dinner/almost-kiss! Rescue hug! "I had a rescue fantasy"! You know, for getting way fewer episodes than Charlie/Amita, they really know how to condense squee factor and make the most of their limited screen time. OK, back to the current episode. End Digression.]
...incoherency is setting in. Really just want to sit here playing all the Robin scenes on continuous loop, plus the promo for next week's episode. Words are too complicated. Aha, highlights!
* "Careful, my girlfriend's coming back from Portland." "She can have you when I'm done."
* Giant bear hug! (this is maybe better than the kissing? He's just so happy)
* Keep it up with the pet names, Don. I approve.
* More kissing (why is it so cute that he's on his knees by her chair? dunno, it just is)
* "I just want to get out of these clothes and have a warm bath." "I think I can help you on both those counts."
* I cannot believe this is all one scene! People die of squee overload, you know. Look it up.
* Round 2 (coherency gaining strength): Robin is a biker chick! Who may or may not still have leather pants kicking around. Don's preference is that she does. Woohoo! Okay, there is maybe also a line in here where Robin points out that Don has a habit of not telling her things (such as "oh, by the way, I bought a motorcycle"), but I deemed this unimportant after seeing next week's preview.
* Round 3: does not actually contain Robin - and seriously, Don, why are you at the house instead of with her? Remember, how you were talking about how you hadn't seen each other in forever and presumably she's not back at work yet? - but it counts because Alan is asking about Robin. "I haven't had a minute, but I'm happy she's back." "Did you at least tell her that?"
Er, not in so many words. However, this is where I originally decided that I was much less worried about the summary for 6x12, because he was clearly not letting her walk out of his life twice. Also, foreshadowing, since Alan scolds that men like him are why Beyonce sings that 'single ladies' song. Let me just translate that subtle hint: "if you like it than you shoulda put a ring on it."
* Round 4: "What if long distance works for us because it's safe? How are we gonna do this?" Don's response is a less-than-encouraging avoidance of the question, simply "We're doing it," and some decisive shutting off brain now kissing. (which was still pretty, of course. I'm just saying)
Or it was less-than-encouraging until I found CBS's preview the next morning, and since then I have been FLAILING LIKE A FLAILY THING; seriously, episode 12, stand and deliver or I'll cut you. Also Heuton tweeted "Wait until ep. 16" @theoriginalspy, so. I'm almost positive episode 12 is not lying to me. Don might be a lot more reserved about his professions of love than his little brother, but I'm convinced they run just as deep. Even if he is terrible at sharing them. Same for her - better at communication, maybe, but she doesn't exactly wear her heart on her sleeve in public. And...that's okay. It's a different approach.
I think that's why these two fascinate me, actually - their relationship is so different from the brain-sharing, touchy-feely Charlie/Amita that I generally bask in. It's mysterious and alluring, between their mutual independence and considerably more private romance. I still don't precisely see "soulmate" stamped all over them, but I am more than willing to believe the serious connection is there.
Charlie & Alan subplot: Let's ignore the embarrassing gullibility at the end**; the rest was chock-full of so many tidbits:
* I am in love with Alan's entire age-21wishlist. I do find it hard to believe he never grew a ponytail, though.
* Margaret mention! Hiding tickets under presents, and lining everyone up at the table to scratch them off together. Can't you just picture 9-year-old Charlie haughtily refusing to participate in the "voluntary tax on stupidity"? (on an unrelated note: a velvet sport coat? Really? Who are you taking style advice from now, David Tennant?)
* I do like how cranky Charlie gets when he doesn't agree with people's enjoyment of illogical things (see also: magic). It's a very good-natured kind of cranky, but it's one of the character traits that reminds me how differently he sees the world sometimes. I tend to forget that side of him now that he's evolved into a functioning member of society and mastered interpersonal relationships.
*ALL OF THIS:
"Still growing the ponytail?"
"I gave up that one."
"Oh, what a shame. I had a scrunchie all picked out for you."
"Here's something you could get me--"
"Oh yeah, what's that?"
"It's new on my list: grandkids."
"That's not new, I've been hearing about that for years."
--Hee! That's true, Charlie, but now he's more serious than ever before.
(I would say "so am I," but I've actually gotten less invested in it, of late. They're allowed to stay child-free for a while. Or possibly forever! I'm actually growing fond of the idea of them choosing international adoption. This is a whole separate tangent of mine, as clearly I would not argue the chance for natural grandkids...but it's there in the back of my mind as a viable possibility, should canon choose not to stamp down anything in particular.)
** Speaking of the end, I would like to register a formal request that random Guest Stars of the Week be banned from the closing scene. Intrudes on my family time. Seriously, why was Nancy hanging out for dinner with just Alan and Charlie? The whole thing felt weird and off. I refer you back to Opening Option #2.
Actual Plot: Was there one of those? Can't...oh, right, the stolen lotto tickets. Was entertaining at the time. Can't say whether it will hold up to repeat viewings. Pretty much all I'm committing to memory is Nikki smirking "math in stereo," as any remaining brainpower will be devoted to thinking about what I'd do if I won the lottery (or in my case, a sweepstakes, since I've never played the lottery). It's an amazingly fun hobby. ...and I've actually created budgets and written fake diary entries based on this fantasy before. It's a rich well for creative writing practice!
Oh, also, I liked that tiny moment where Charlie
In Conclusion: ROBIN! Screw the plot; I want to call this my second-favorite episode of the season, except it is just wrong that two of my top 3 have been Amita-free. SHAPE UP, TINY REMAINDER OF SEASON.
Heck, let's just keep the TV talk coming, since I caught up on the last three episodes of NCIS. Here are three brief paragraphs to accompany them:
-Um, I really liked the Christmas episode? Gibbs' dad, who is also Booth's grandpa and oh the connections I want to make here with the military theme, is my favorite, and Santa Gibbs is my other favorite. I can't remember what else I enjoyed because I watched this with my mom, and she would not stop railing about how bad it was that they featured a Christian performing an honor killing. I could look stuff up, but that would require effort. In conclusion: one of the rare highlights of the year.
-Last week's episode was terrible. Jetpacks! McGee feature! If it wasn't for me being all flaily, in my Numb3rs obsession, and going "Look, it's Dylan Bruno's brother!" (who unfortunately ended up being the bad guy), I do not know how I would have survived it. ...I guess I did like the mysterious lawyer with an agenda (I can never remember this actress's name, so I call her Amanda Peet's TV Doppelganger) and the apparent setup of a plot arc with her connection to Agent Doggett. Boy, I will use any excuse not to learn proper character names, won't I?
-This week's episode was even more terrible. Tony's dad is worse than Tony. How is that possible? The ending with Gibbs + steak was nice (especially in light of the earlier mention from DiNozzo Senior's one useful line, "he thinks the world of you"), but really not worth how deadly boring the hour was. The only other thing I took away from it was how hilarious Ziva looked while trying to run through hallways with all that extra material from her sweater flopping around her neck.
IN SUM: I was reading some of my old reviews today, specifically the one from the spectacular/heartbreaking season 5 finale. I miss when this show was capable of giving me feelings. Even HIMYM is doing better on that front. Speaking of --
How I Met Your Mother: Girls vs. Suits
I'm glad Rachel Bilson is not the mother, because she still looks like a teenager, or at the very least an undergrad, and despite certain, um, interests of mine in that area, in this instance the age difference between her and Ted was unsettling. Granted, she's supposed to be a grad student, and under the right circumstances I am a legitimate fan of soulmate-style teacher/student romances at appropriate age levels...but it didn't look right, so that was out.
Well, it was out until I saw her wee sad face and heard how all her dates fall for her roommate, and Ted swore that wouldn't happen, and even freaking chased her down to go 'damn the rules, I want to try!'...and all Saget!Ted has to say for himself is "oops"? (*%&@(*$&@$2!! Nobody throws over Rachel Bilson!
You have painted yourselves into a corner, Carter and Bays. If you hype Mother this much, naming several specific ways in which she is the most awesome person ever, any failure on your part to live up to these lofty claims will result in the descent of my wrath. And prior to this week, I was actually pretty chill about who the mysterious mother was - I had no real standards or expectations at all. NOW I DO. BIG ONES.
In other news, I still feel like I'm watching some weird ghost version of Barney. Or Alternate Universe/Autopilot/Robot Barney, where I just cannot appreciate all his crazy sexploits after seeing him with Robin. It's fun, sure, but it's become hollow and cheap fun. It just makes him a caricature. Which he kind of was before, and I was okay with it, but then you made him a real boy. Now that he's a puppet again, it isn't working for me at all.
On a very basic level, of course, I enjoyed the song and dance, and I giggled quite a lot at the tragedy of his cremated suit (especially when said suit waved from heaven during the song), and the fact that Tim Gunn as Barney's tailor was actually playing himself.
Favorite moment: Barney fondling Marshall's suit in the most creepily needy way ever.
P.S. As hundredth episodes go, though, I have to say that this was one of the rare ones that lives up to its hype. It's times like this that I wish I'd discovered the show later, possibly in syndication, like with Friends, so that I could just laugh at the funny stuff without being overly invested in the characters or chronological storylines.