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Adventures in Halloween Television, part 3

Another year of no trick or treaters...but who cares about that?  I'm just happy that Kym is able to jump on the bed again after two days of laying her muzzle on the edge and looking up longingly, as if expecting me to magically lower the mattress or make her able to fly. As of today it's been 12 beautiful years since we brought her shy, skinny and quiet young adult self home.
Kym Grass
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How I Met Your Mother
6x05: I finally saw the one with Jennifer Morrison, and wish I had not. Basically: if Jennifer Morrison isn't a scene, RUN LIKE HELL. Zoe was a delight, but everything else about this episode, BLECH. BLECH. The only other guaranteed-safe scene is the adorable one in which Barney spins around holding one of the leftover lab bunnies Zoe freed and apparently left in Ted's apartment. Which he then holds tight and declares he's keeping, as he has bonded with her and named her Cottontail.

6x06: Liked Marshall & Lily discussing names and Barney bucking up Robin's spirits (I...guess. The wording was distinctly off), but at this point, I'm going to leave it at "I will probably like this season more with time, in reruns." Right now half the reruns are hanging out in season 4, and even the episodes I hated that year are pretty much 100% awesome now. When I look at a comedy from a reviewing perspective, it's never as good. Which is probably why my brain won't let me review Raising Hope. Or Community (except this week). It knows how to save me from myself. So maybe I should just cut this one out?* It's not like I watch it on time anyway. I do miss the days when I was dedicated enough to write down all my favorite quotes, though.

*I say this before seeing the preview for tomorrow's episode, which of course looks like it might be a winner.
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Grey's Anatomy, 7x06, "These Arms of Mine"
So hey, that was super great.

I think I liked best that they presented it as a finished TV special - complete with dramatic "coming up!" previews before every commercial break, which cracked me up -- where usually when shows go this route you just watch the cameras collect raw footage. This way was much better. Pity it focused largely on the worst doctors of the bunch, or this could have been a good episode with which to introduce newcomers who don't want to be assaulted with all the sleaze and naked times I vaguely remember but have mostly blocked from memory that go along with the pilot/season 1.

Even so, it earthshatteringly resulted in an episode with no gross moments for the second week in a row. And even though this format also robbed me of ship moments*, for one week, it was totally worth the tradeoff. I almost felt not only like they were real doctors but like I was meeting everybody for the first time. I'm not sure how they warped my perspective like that, but good job.

(* = Really, camera crew? You're tricky enough to catch Cristina curling up on a bed after turning down surgery, but not to find Owen or Derek catching up with their respective wives somewhere? Not even for a montage? The Office's documentary crew could teach you many things. In turn, maybe you could teach them how to get their work on the air.)

(on a related note, did Derek just say "sometimes they have sleepovers in my bed, with me in it"? Does he understand there's no way any qualifier is going to make it to air after that bit? Huh. OK, I'm going to let that slide only because I imagine that in a few months from now, when this actually airs in the Grey's universe and Cristina is presumably better, that Owen turns to her with a straight face and politely suggests that they are also welcome to have sleepovers in HIS bed, with him in it. That's not too soon, right?)

Beautiful Gifts I Did Not Know Were Coming: CALLIE AND ARIZONA GO TO AFRICA. CALLIE AND ARIZONA GO TO AFRICA!!!!!  HEY, GUYS, REMEMBER HOW I'M ALWAYS SAYING 'I WISH CALLIE AND ARIZONA WOULD JUST DISAPPEAR TO ANOTHER CONTINENT,' THIS IS WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE.  Is Callie actually going, though, or is she going to pull out at the last second? Because only one actress is on maternity leave, and if I can only dump one then AZ is definitely the one to go, but it would really make my next few episodes if they were both cleared out of the way. Now, if you don't mind, I need to dream up various ways they might die from malaria or unexpected warfare before they return.

(edit: I had a nightmare last night. It consisted of Callie waking up and realizing, "I'm not going." Then I had to hunt down spoilers, and they were vague and not promising. But at least there were a couple of beautiful hours in which I imagined them both vanishing).

Stricken From The Record: Any suggestion that Mary may have died.  Yyyyeah, don't think so. Her surgery was routine and went fine, Bailey took the night off to celebrate, and Mary and her adorable husband strolled off to their new, healthier life to plan children. I love a good happy ending.

In conclusion: memorably done, and so much better than the format breaking in last year's sixth episode. Now bring on next week, which looks even better.
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CSI, 11x06, "Cold Blooded"
You know how normally I want to smack Hodges all the time for his obnoxious over-exuberance? Not today, folks. Today he did everything perfect, because I was exhibiting every ounce (and then some) of exactly the same giddiness and starry-eyed joy. I totally would have called in sick to hang out at this crime scene all day. And taken my picture with various dinos. And I most certainly would have attempted to use my position of meager authority to convince the director that I needed to see a couple of them fight each other.  For...research.

From the moment I found out Walking With Dinosaurs existed a few months ago, I've been in love. I still can't believe someone invented this kind of brilliance. It is officially my lifelong dream to see this live, but for now, I'll make do with YouTube clips and this episode.

While I'm disappointed that this case was on the back burner, with only Hodges and Langston covering it while everyone else had the other case and Sara wasn't even THERE, I'm impressed by the number of clips they did show, all of which are better than YouTube since they're in sharp definition and much closer up. The T-Rex terrifies the pants off me as a viewer - I can't even imagine seeing it in person. It's one of those rare things in life that gives me the thrill of being scared without actually being in danger.

Too bad the case was terrible - a ridiculous love triangle, barely spiced up at all by having a guy fall onto the dinosaur's open mouth full of teeth, which didn't even kill him. (two questions: why is it stored with its dagger mouth open, and how could there possibly have been so little security that three grad students were able to sneak in and operate the controls?) Mostly I felt sad that the victim made such a terrible miscalculation in choosing who to propose to, and grossed out by how the girl apparently gets turned on by carnivorous animals; SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT IN THAT BRAIN.

Meanwhile, I spent the commercial breaks wishing Sara was there. Perhaps wishing Grissom was also there, or at the very least, imagining them in the audience at one of these shows.

As for the secondary case...eh, it had a lot of emotion, a rather strong spotlight on Nick's emotional ties to the unresolved past cast and a sidelight for Greg, with the mention that it had been one of the first he worked, but I think I was just too disappointed by the lack of focus on the animatronic dinosaurs (PRIORITIES, CRIME LAB) to really care. 

I laughed ridiculously hard at the mom's melodramatic collapse into Nick during the wordless montage at the end, which I put up with in its entirety only because the piano-and-strings music was so beautiful. Still, I'm always a fan of uncovering mummified bodies, and I think this will hold up well in reruns. This episode is still my second favorite of the season.

Finally, after narrowly avoiding her when she was up for the part of Riley Adams, we're saddled with Katee Sackhoff after all. It's just as fun as I imagined, which is to say NOT FUN. Odd, I've always thought I would like Starbuck, but apparently I cannot stand the actress outside the BSG realm. Everything about her rubs me the wrong way, so it reeeeeally doesn't help that she not only kinda looks like Lauren Lee Smith (with that same perpetually stoned expression), but acts a whole lot like Riley too. Let's have her disappear along with the bomb squad lady from the premiere now, shall we?
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The Office, 7x06, "Costume Contest"
It's been so long since they let the costumes on this show exist beyond the cold open, I'd forgotten how good they were at it. Granted, Pam always outdoes herself in the stupid/ugly department, and I wasn't especially blown away by anyone's outfits this year, but it's always very impressive as a whole. Now keep this success in mind, writers, and costume it up for the full episode every year.

Speaking of cold opens, that was one of the best in a long time. "Is there no limit to what Stanley won't notice?" Not really, unless it might involve him staying at work for five extra minutes. BEST. THING. EVER. A small part of me wants to believe he actually did notice early on, and decided to screw with them for the rest of the day just to see how far they'd go.

I still don't really know why super extra average looking Danny is here, or why anyone in this office cares AT ALL about his history with Pam, but I guess that's better than activating my rage buttons. What I really want to know is why they had to keep picking at why he didn't call her back. What answer did Pam want? Is there usually a good reason people stop calling you? I mean, once he bothers to make up the cover story* of "she spent the whole night talking about [Jim]," I highly doubt he's going to come back with "OK, the real reason is that I was so intimidated by her beauty and wit that I didn't think I was good enough for her."

*I WAS A FAN OF THAT COVER STORY. It was plausible and squeeful! Way to ruin the daydreams I had planned.

Enjoyed the montage of Jim's illustrious costumes past (I am partial to "Dave," myself, which has even eclipsed Three Hole Punch Jim in my heart), and am still disappointed in Pam's insistence at the Popeye routine, stifling what little costume creativity he might have had. I know, I should find it cute or -- no, no, I can't even pretend to try and appreciate this; I have nothing but eye rolling. However, with the accessory of a baby, Jenna Fischer's words come true: "There's a Jim Halpert moment that will make the ladies swoon." 

Still sorely disappointed in the extreme lack of kissing lately, but will allow a substitution for Jim's "Who doesn't call a dork like that back?" I love moments like that, which look ridiculously inadequate written down, but which in practice are full of Jim feigning nonchalance while actually bursting at the seams with pride.

Ugh, I'm apparently out of steam on the review front after leaving this 'til last. I know I'm doing a terrible job of explaining so far, but the truth is that while there were minor issues (Kevin crying, Darryl The Dull talking way too much), the only part of this episode I really didn't like was Packer (why isn't he dead yet?). I think it just won "season 7 favorite."

Little Bits
-I love how, just in case the cold open wasn't already amazing enough, they threw in a pony to seal the deal.

-Dwight as the Scranton Strangler amused me, but -- you have GOT to deliver on this one day, show. Someone we know must die. I watch too many crime shows for this not to happen.

-GABE. NO. WHY. I'm going to blame Erin for this, because I can.

-Toby is a...hobo clown? I verified most of the costumes I couldn't define online, but that one was confusing.

-I still don't know who Ryan was, but after he went down the runway, I found myself nostalgically wishing he'd come as Mr. Understood.

-"Four years ago, when I was in Stamford, Conecticut - and dating someone else - Pam went on two dates with Danny.  Which was obviously the greatest love story ever told, given how much people are walking on eggshells around us."
"We were basically Romeo and Juliet."

(see, I really liked the rest of that joint TH too, with Pam using the opportunity to once again wheedle Jim into wearing the costume -- in fact, I liked SO MUCH about about the attitude of this subplot, but it was too hard to take while Pam was wearing that horrible wig. Come on, there are any number of less annoying couples you could dress up. I for one favor period pieces. Put some of that Cranford love to good use and come in a pretty 19th century gown, accessorizing Jim accordingly. That would really make us swoon.)

-Kelly, once again, winning Best Line: "Could you for once just let us have a party instead of making it about all your issues?!"

-I'm calling foul on Pam seeming dorky (unless she was dancing) in season 3. She's dorky now, to the point where it causes me physical pain from secondhand embarrassment ALL THE TIME, but in season 3 she was just lovely and quiet.

-Meanwhile, I still want to know how they met and who asked who out. And exactly what the camera crew was doing in 2006 when they failed to get all up in her grill, considering she chose to go out with a tall and gangly paper salesman, INTERESTING.

Up Next: the descriptions for the next 4 episodes seem to get better and better, and while descriptions often lie...I am super pumped for the rest of the year.
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-Medium: You'd think with the impending cancellation I could be bothered to look up titles or write more than two sentences, but no. Am I subtly condoning its early retirement like I did with Cold Case? Ugh, I don't know. Maybe a little. I do know that I really enjoyed Allison's visions of where everyone would be when a particular bomb went off - it's a little dose of FlashForward! - and Marie the adorable sleepwalking graffiti artist, plus the entire family crammed into one bed to ward off the sleepwalking (Bridgette's getting a bit big for this, eh?). 
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And the winner of TV Halloween 2010 is...well, still Community, but The Office and NCIS take runner-up. Unless an actual Halloween element is not a prerequisite, in which case CSI and Grey's are also contenders for best of the week.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
aries11
Nov. 1st, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I still haven't seen the first two episodes of this year's HIMYM, but I've seen all the others and have enjoyed them. I especially enjoyed last week's, and it helped fuel my hope that Marshall and Lily will have at least one child onscreen before the series is over. At this point I'm almost done with S4, and I've seen about half of S5, thanks to all the channels that show it in syndication.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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