Lost, 6x04, "The Substitute"
See, I knew there was a way to massively downgrade from last week. 6x04 is one of those episodes where I just dig my nails into wood, grit my teeth, and look at the clock every 30 seconds because GOOD LORD, COULD YOU BE MORE EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING? *dreams of the days when Locke dying brought with it a mild hope of never seeing Terry O'Quinn again*
-Hey, was Helen always Katey Sagal? You'd think that's the sort of thing I'd know. On the other hand, that's also proof of how, in a normal world where I watch more than 2 shows a week, I would fast-forward right through all this Locke nonsense.
-I missed Jack & the Temple Gang a whole bunch. Even Kate, a little bit, after dealing with Sun for 15 seconds. And I hate that Zuleikha Robinson is kind of being wasted on this show. I want to love Ilana on principle, but actually she has not done one mildly interesting thing since she appeared.
-It's still tragic that the beach has its own little graveyard, mostly not from the initial plane crash. Thanks for that reminder, show.
-In 2004, Ben is an uptight history teacher! THIS IS KIND OF THE BEST THING EVER.
-Okay, I laughed at the in-joke (for Future Self: where Not!Locke whips the white stone out into the ocean)
-The world feels upside-down when I am on Richard Alpert's side. But he's kind of awesome while scampering in and out of hiding in the bushes. Totally better comic relief than Hurley ever was.
-Smokey POV was neat, more of that please.
-There were exactly two good scenes in this episode, not counting Professor Benry, and one of them was Sawyer drinking and moping in the decidedly trashed remnants of his house (which stage of grief are we on now?). Despite looking more unwashed than usual and otherwise unkempt, that's it's own kind of heartbreaking, how he's just holed up in a corner of the bedroom and done caring about everything. I keep thinking about how that line of spoilers nailed it on the head - he'll still carry around season 5's character growth, but he'll be rejecting it.
-The other one was the introduction of something that will probably be more interesting later, when it has story to back it up: the names scratched into rock, Significant Numb3rs - yes, yes, I did just make that typo out of habit, and I'm going to leave it that way as proof of where my heart lies - attached. And while I'm sure this will make for a fascinating and compelling story, right now I'm just kind of LOLing at how apparently, the big mystery of Lost is that it is the most elaborate recruitment process EVER. Now I want to see somebody come up with a want ad for Jacob's former position. Like,
WANTED: Caretaker for mysterious island that cannot be found, except by those who already know where to look. Must love danger! Room, board, and immortality included. Management experience preferred, ex-cons welcome. Apply in person. NOTE: Due to the high volume of unstable applicants we receive, we cannot guarantee that all interviewees will survive the hiring process.
But, you know, do it better. Put some thought into the job description, which is a part I liberally skipped over. I bet you could turn this into a full page of writing if you were clever and had time.
-Oh, and one last thing, thanks for spoiling "Of Mice and Men." No, seriously. I didn't really have plans to read it anyway, but this ensures I will never waste my time on it. Plus now I know for certain that Steinbeck is on my list of Horrible Authors Who Should Be Forgotten Immediately. He made my short list after "The Red Pony" did not count as a horse story at all and scarred me for life, but it's nice to have extra proof behind my decision. (on a related note, seriously, Sawyer + books will never not be sexy. No matter what the context.)
P.S. Episodes like this are the sort of thing that drive me to spoilers. I'm just saying. When my weekly needs are not met by new episodes, I look elsewhere for satisfaction.
Gross. The TV vultures are beginning to circle already - well, they've pretty much been feasting on the flesh of things I love since November, but now it's officially open season to scrutinize entire lineups and give odds - and indicate that CBS has plans to set up an absolute slaughterhouse come May. There is going to be a lot of bloodshed, and I can safely say I have never so dreaded the upfronts in my life. SO MUCH IN PERIL.
Numb3rs, obviously, is the big-ticket, oh-so-doomed item on the plate. But then there's Cold Case again, too, since Medium seems poised to nick the spot that Numb3rs saved for itself last year, turning Numb3rs into the Unit-style undeserved boot. The luck of New Adventures of Old Christine might run out too, and while I haven't watched it in years and probably wouldn't shed tears about it, at least it's still a plucky and likable bit of legitimately funny humor. (legitimately funny humor: a concept with which both NBC and ABC continually struggle.)
Lastly, people are eyeing Accidentally On Purpose as the annual sacrificial comedy for that heathen misfit Rules of Engagement (gobbling up shows since 2007), and turns out I have become unexpectedly fond of my cute little Jenna Elfman comedy, having started watching it in place of the thought-demanding How I Met Your Mother. Damned successful network, spoiled to the gills, turning away perfectly good shows when they get the slightest bit bored with them...
On the bright side, I don't care too much about any of the in-peril shows on the other networks, especially FOX