1. Here is how I have determined that this year's Christmas episode of The Office will be the best one since season 2:
3. You know how I am perpetually disappointed in Criminal Minds because the previews look so TERRIFYING and then the show never lives up because I find all the main characters completely uninteresting? This week I saw the Best Episode Ever.
"The Uncanny Valley"
I still get annoyed by the sound of "unsub," which makes me think of some sort of vampire cult, and I still don't understand why this team is so amazing that they need to fly all over the country in a private jet (these details fall under the umbrella heading of "what you miss as a casual viewer," like when I didn't know The Office was a documentary), but all things considered, yeah. That's a strong contender for inclusion in "best episodes of TV ever" lists.
Even Reid seemed human for once, with his hair all thick and curly like that. Normally he's just annoying, but I may have fallen in love with him a little bit here. It was also helpful that Hotch kept his trap shut through most of this episode, or else I just wasn't paying attention when he spoke. I get bored when crazy murder stuff isn't happening.
I was disappointed that the newest victim almost managed to save herself - I mean, really, where's the fun in them having the ability to escape on their own? - but still, what an ethereal and spooky tale.
+ Also points for the creepy incest + toy trophies backstory, featuring that guy from Star Trek whose name I can just never remember.
Gorgeous-creepy music. Women who, living or dead, looked like mannequins with a dash of Alice-in-Wonderland-film makeup and not quite human? Beats the bodies on Medium with all the blood drained from them in terms of creeeeeeeeepiest crime drama moment ever.
I just want to watch this 17 more times, basically. Hence why I felt the need to flail about it on here even though I know it's a rerun and is in fact, apparently, a rerun from last season.
4. There's a reason I couldn't even finish watching NCIS last week (I mean, a reason beyond Glee being awesome enough to lure me away), and that's because this 2-parter apparently decided to gather all the most desperately boring people in the world and see just how dull they could make it. I have seen worse episodes, but not very many. RULE: The only interesting men over 50 on this show are the ones with a surname of Gibbs. Maybe once a season, I will tolerate Fornell for the purpose of bringing the dry snark. That is it.
And then, bam! Out of nowhere, Gibbs/Jen flashbacks fit themselves into the puzzle. Ack! And here I was, not paying attention at all because everything about 1991 seemed irrelevant. I want to knooooow.
Only Other Thoughts
-Immediate reaction to the senior agent: AHH, EVERYBODY DUCK, MR. CLARK WILL SHOOT YOU DEAD. (End of episode: "Told you. His murderous urges cannot be contained.")
-"Oh, just die already, Leon." The flashbacks were super impressive at making people look younger, though, more than any other show I can remember. It actually felt like we were looking at 20-years-younger versions of them.
-Aw, at least when Gibbs is busy, McGee is around to give junior cheek kisses
-Ziva with her hair mussed up - that's not something you see too often. And it's an improvement on that awful slicked-back braid that always makes her hair look greasy.
-*looks stuff up online* Oh. Was this episode supposed to explain the mysteriously shredded paper? Yeah, didn't pick up on that; also am not curious in the slightest anymore. Apparently it was also supposed to be jam-packed full of information. Haha! That didn't go over so well at all.
5. CSI: NY, "Justified"
It's funny, but I seem incapable of watching this show without falling asleep. I apparently have to watch it in the morning or while drinking a shot of caffeine to keep my eyes open. I mean, during the live viewing, I literally fell asleep 10 seconds after Flack & Danny were shot at through the door. How the hell is that even possible?
All things considered, much less impressive than part 1, without any spookiness to balance out the dullness of Carver's storyline, but probably by sheer accident one of the better episodes this season (there's not a lot of competition). I did very much appreciate Flack coming out of it with a black eye after seeing him & Danny tossed around like rag dolls.
Also, 10 thousand points for "Ramalama (Bang Bang)," which is one of the few times in history that I've watched an entire evidence-processing montage - twice - with interest, due to the epic song choice.
I'm watching a season 6 rerun right now, by the way, and I'm about ready to cry from how much better it is made by virtue of nothing more than Stella's presence. And the episode in question is Blacklist, which should tell you some things about how far the quality's gone.
6-8. How I Met Your Mother: Triad of Projected Awesome
6x08, Natural History: HAPPY FEELINGS! From the moment Robin & Lily show up in dresses whose cuts I normally don't like but whose vivid blue and red colors looked so good on them that it shut me right up, this was a half hour of uninterrupted AMAZEMENT. Well, infrequently interrupted. Ted's need to whisper asinine things to test the acoustics ticked me off. I think it was probably due to the fact that museums are the most amazing places ever anyway, and then they threw in my beloved Zoey on top of it all. A list of highlights!
+ The amazing letter to the editor, full of typos but otherwise written with coherence and cleverness, made more awesome only by the letter beside it warning residents of potential hybrid roach-mice (I always have so much respect for TV shows that write actual copy for prop material).
+ Barney & Robin, with Intense Looks and Close Proximity
+ Barney & Robin, having a juvenile chase through the museum, wearing the costumes and immaturely touching everything in sight. Normally, I feel like this is the kind of thing that should have made me roll my eyes, or get angry about the lack of respect for museum exhibits. Except, most of what they touched were stuffed & mounted animals, and WHO AMONG US HAS NOT WANTED TO DO THAT. Robin toting a penguin around under her arm especially made me spit-out my non-existent drink. I found 100% of their antics hysterical.
+ Whoa, wait, Barney just found out who his real father was. And it's pretty much the most awesome reveal this storyline could possibly happen. Not least because it comes on the heels of Barney smugly having his legendary whale-knocking-down feats proven to a gobsmacked Robin. SO MUCH AWESOME.
+ OK, I just love Zoey to an insane degree. At this point there is no way to even begin changing that. Of course, that also means this is the point where I start shipping her with Ted, a lot, and curse the fact that she not only has a husband, but one played by the ever-awesome Kyle McLachlan so I cannot root against them. I like the pair of them together! I just...also like the conceived-in-hatred potential for Ted/Zoey. Dilemmas.
(seriously, sarcastic!Ted = epic win)
+ Much respect for pulling an awesome crying trick in order to get Ted's GNB-trashing comments on tape (bugged! In the Bug Room. She's got flair.)
+ And like all that wasn't enough, a brilliant Marshall/Lily subplot, which was particularly timely for me because I want Marshall to be the guy I fell in love with too -- not sure what's missing in my case, but for some reason I intensely love the two of them in the first few seasons, yet right now the love is a pale shadow of its former self. At the end there, he kind of brought it back.
+ Marshall not "lying" so much as responding to questions with made-up words. "Lawyered." "That's also a made-up word!"
+ Hmm, Corporate Lawyer Marshall is due for extinction, eh? Hopefully not too soon. I like the idea of him being the guy who makes a ton of money and spends it all spoiling his wife and hypothetical future kids.
+ Galactic President Superstar McAwesomeville. YES.
+ In conclusion, I would like to marry this episode. I keep forgetting what it feels like to explode with love for this show! It's incredible.
6x09, Glitter: How do you ruin Robin Sparkles? I mean, honestly. How. What did I say about the crass jokes? Didn't I tell you to knock it off? And here you are, making a merry episode of sleazily mocking cuteness. Regardless of Space Teens' actual level of innocence, it at least fronted as something for kids, and thus riled up all my college-era rage about how nobody could read a stanza of poetry without finding sexual imagery in it, and all my current-era rage that fandom can't appreciate same-sex friendship without slashing it. (At least I was able to appreciate that we got an explanation for the robot in "Let's Go to the Mall"? And Barney's joyful leap to slap Marshall when it yet again appeared to be porn after all.)
But geeze, was Robin ever my sounding board in this episode. All the time, everything she said and did. "You do not get to hear the beaver song! It is a nice song about friendship, and you guys are being disgusting!" Museum antics aside, I haven't felt that in sync with her since before she got rid of her dogs. I don't see why we couldn't have made a legitimately funny episode based just on 80s cliche and bad acting. You know, like the other two Robin Sparkles outings.
It's a shame, because other than Super Unnecessary Punchy I really wanted to like this episode for its REFLECTION OF MY LIFE portrayals of best friendships lost and replacement friendships slipping away. Replace "baby" with "boyfriend" and that is exactly what I dealt with. Except with a less happy ending, so I was very fond of everybody making up.
Seriously, there was so much potential in this; it should have been the best thing ever. The opening scene held so much promise! And all from Barney: "True story: une histoire vrai." "Woman, you best check yourself." "I demand satisfaction!" Cut text quote, "It's Robin Sparkles 3, y'all!"
Plus there was Marshall caving after two seconds of trying not to comfort adorable-when-she-cries Lily. I really haven't enjoyed Marshall or this relationship all that much over the past year or two, but this brought back some of the appreciation I had in earlier seasons (see? potential!)
Finally, continuing the fine tradition of me not recognizing famous guest stars, I thought Jessica Glitter seemed vaguely familiar, but in no way, shape, or form recognized her as a Pussycat Doll.
Unrelatedly: I can't decide who grosses me out more, Punchy or his new fiancee. Woman, have some self-respect. On the bright side, cutting straight from them in bed to a shot of Ted's face had the curious effect of making Ted seem like the most attractive and eligible bachelor on TV, which is not something I have ever thought in any capacity before.
OK, it looks like there was a lot of good stuff and probably as soon as it reruns, I will laugh a lot, because I'm already starting to crack up over the way Ted & Barney go red from trying to hold it in. But the over-arching theme of KNEE-JERK ANGER at this serious dip between two pillars of legitimate Awesome remains.
6x10, Blitzgiving: AND WE'RE BACK TO SIDE-SPLITTING FUNNY.
Can I just say, favorite TV promo voiceover ever. "Monday, it's a traditional Thankgiving...with skateboarding dogs, chicks in the bathtub, cats in the oven, and that guy from Lost?"
Things we've learned:
+ That guy from Lost/Jorge Garcia/The Blitz/Steve is 15,000 times funnier and more likable here than on Lost.
+ Excellent Lost references all around, though the shouting of "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42" was the clear winner. There was also a disappointingly wasted opportunity when Ted said they had to go back to Zoey's, but then did not follow it up with a loud, belligerent repetition of "WE HAVE TO GO BACK!"
+ Zoey is the most wonderful and awesome/endearing woman this show has ever seen. I am including Robin & Lily in these calculations with no hesitation at all. The heartbreaking stepdaughter storyline just cinched it, so it was quite vindicating to see the gang agree and for even Ted to come around on friendship.
+ So many catchphrases that were so much funnier than they should have been. Bliiiiiiiiiitz. The Gentleman! Turturkeykey! Awww, maaan! Also, Robin randomly having Kiss makeup for reasons that no one really explains (beyond Zoe's doing - but why?) was fantastic.
+ "My Blitzy Lies Over The Ocean." In harmony.
- For the record, I was pretty entertained by "You, Me and Dupree." Shut up, Lily.
+ Giving up on specifics now because I don't think there was anything I didn't love about this episode. My face hurts from smiling! I watched it twice and laughed just as hard the second time around.