Mind, I've only watched it once so this is all straight from memory and other peoples' reactions:
I always dread going into pilots, because there's so much pre-viewing buzz that you know the premise and first episode's plot summary by heart, and you've seen the same preview so many zillion times that all the dialogue sounds cheesy, fake and rehearsed. I had moderate expectations, palpitate though my heart would over Zach Gilford, and was fully prepared to keep all my feelings in check.
This lasted about five minutes, and then I got totally sucked into the story all the way to the end. It tried too hard to be all Edgy and In My Face, but I accept that as a necessary quality for getting noticed enough for a pickup, and expect its theatrics to calm down quickly. Especially since I'm dazzled and enchanted by, oh, just about everybody.
First, to my pleasant surprise, Ben. I don't think I fully registered the
Except not! Because then the episode spent an hour blowing my mind, and as as far as I could tell, he turned out to be brilliant but also patient, understanding, personable, and here is the clincher -- a really good teacher. There is some solid, encouraging mentoring going on here, and I am ALL OVER THAT like fire on kindling. I worked myself into knots, just waiting and waiting for something horrible where Brenner fatally screwed up or fell to emotional pieces and he lost it and yelled at her, and it never happened! Bzuh? In a good way, of course. This may just be my new favorite thing.
[Live Viewing Note: "For the love of God, Self, can you go 5 minutes without shipping a thing?" Just to get this out of the way: my radar pinged on principle, but I did not see actual romantic sparks in this interaction. Just respect and admiration, and that was what made me love it. For the record, I'd also be grossed out and angry if there was any UST for...a really long time, because that would ruin the magic. For now I just want to revel in my relief that she's neither made a fool of herself nor become a show-off; what she did wasn't easy but we also didn't act like it was mind-blowingly amazing -- she just did what they needed her to do, even if it was out of the ordinary, as expected. I like this.]
I don't know anything about Rachelle LeFevre -- I'd heard she was in Twilight, and then got fired from Twilight, but never bothered to look up her face -- but at the very beginning, I dimly registered the flash of long, reddish-blonde curls attached to a pretty face before it was out of there like a whirlwind. I promptly forgot about the nameless mystery girl, but not without a faint feeling of disappointment that the prettiest lady there was only a footnote. AND THEN SHE CAME BACK AND WAS A REGULAR. Jackpot! I just wish she had a pretty name to match. Why is it "Ryan"?
Not sure how I'm feeling about the hookup going on here, but I can probably handle it for Pretty Factor, and then zero in at the speed of light on some sort of wonderful "She's not coming back" angst with Ben. WHAT IS THAT? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?? NO MATTER WHAT IT MEANS, IT WAS CLEARLY TAILOR-MADE FOR ME, and when you pair that up with Lily's dead fiance, I am just in love with the backstory everywhere.
What else, what else...Zach Gilford! By all internet accounts, he's the antithesis of Matt Saracen, which is wonderful, because if I don't mind Tommmy, then Friday Night Lights -- how many seasons of that is he in? -- should just blow me away. I like that he can be a frat boy, a little cocky, and a little dumb (or at least lazy/spoiled) but still likable. It's like all of the qualities that people always say Alex Karev can get away with because he's hot, except while Alex isn't, Tommy absolutely is.
Also unlike Alex, he appears capable of considerable compassion and demonstrates a willingness to learn from both his mistakes and others. Though, not gonna lie, my favorite part was when he was trying to determine under which extreme circumstances Mina would sleep with him. Hah! OK, so this guy's cute *and* a little bit endearing. Seems like kind of a hothead, but with the kind of short temper I like, born of intense emotions running on high at all times.
Speaking of Mina, she's my least favorite of the three newbies so far just because she's so reserved and seems closed off (plus I didn't like her bad attitude at having to stay and work in the main clinic, and got really uncomfortable with her LOUD TALKING to the woman who clearly didn't speak English), but she's 4th favorite overall. I like her backstory, she's pretty, and considering how vapid she initially appeared, I really like that she is a driven brainiac. She seems like the kind of person who would have applied for a fellowship with House.
Oh, and since I should probably devote a paragraph to Lily herself -- I really like her. I thought Wonder Falls looked unspeakably stupid when the promos for it first aired, but in a post-Pushing-Daisies world I've been meaning to give it another look, especially as I like this actress so far. And I really like the Girl Scout label -- people have been crabbing about her wunderkind introduction a little, but "Girl Scout'" is really apt. She got where she is through hard work. Something about her is refreshingly girl-next-door, too; even though TV doctors are legally required to be gorgeous, she's the kind of pretty you would actually see in a coworker her age.
As for Otis, eh, having some trouble separating him from his Grey's Anatomy character right now, and in the face of all these other lovely people he's falling through the cracks. Nothing negative, but no real impression. The person I do have a problem with? Zee, who has been annoying the crap out of me from the very first promo. Her really strong accent grates on my ears. Any chance of me overlooking that died with her bitchy, short-tempered attitude. She may have an excuse for that attitude, overworked and understaffed, but I don't have the patience for the part where we become understanding and sympathetic to her particular quirks.
Speaking of my accent problem, that's going to be the hardest part for me -- I don't understand a word of Spanish, and I know it's going to steadily frustrate me when have all these flurries of untranslated language. I mean, I don't mind that the show does it -- I actually think it's neat; I certainly love when French runs without subtitles -- but it's going to taunt me with my hopeless lack of understanding. I guess that will make me feel more in tune with the equally witless newbies?
Cases were mostly enjoyable, but that might just be my dazzled memory of the glowing lake overwriting the other memories. Is that real? I would brave grossly humid, giant-bug-infested South America for that. And only that. Anyway, despite professed disinterest in the setting, I'm now realizing it could be useful for the part of my brain that is always curious how characters would deal with serious acute injury/illness in the absence of a nearby hospital.
Conclusion: So far, I see a lot of promise. I'm currently debating as to whether I want to just go ahead and kick SVU to storage for the rest of the year so I can watch this live, my anticipation is that high.
[Footnote: Wait, damn, Martin Henderson (Ben) was the lead in Bride and Prejudice? I waited 5 years to watch it; I couldn't wait six more months to get to a point where I'd APPRECIATE that lead, instead of just being sad Naveen Andrews wasn't on screen all the time?? I don't think I can handle a rewatch this soon -- I liked it, but too much of the music was repetitive and dull -- but good to know it's there. And that having mentioned it, I will be spending the next half hour repeatedly watching the very-catchy wedding song.]
In other news, Mom was channel-surfing tonight, and I took the remote away when she landed on something featuring teenage girls in a pasture with a breathtaking leopard spotted Appaloosa. 6:00 seemed like an odd time to start a movie, but...OH MY LORD, IT IS A TV SERIES. "HEARTLAND." Based on the book series that I never finished because I grew out of it before it got very far, but it was a good series and THIS IS A TV SHOW. FEATURING HORSES, SO MANY HORSES. My lifelong dream has been waiting here since 2007, apparently, and I didn't even know about it.
I stopped watching immediately so as not to spoil myself without knowing where in canon this was, but it was hard to drag myself away. Summer just got even more full (or not. I made a promise to FNL first and I will stick to it, but...horses!).
Now: LISTEN UP, EVERYONE, I require not one but three of you fancy paid-journal people to send me otters. The first is to have "An Otter's Story" written in the comment box, the next is to say "Ring of Bright Water," and the last is to be "A Rumor of Otters." Consider this your public credit
Claim 1: aries11
Claim 2: mortuus
Claim 3: mortuus
One person can also choose to send them all, if you've got extra free gifting slots. Just bring me my literary otters for the profile page so I don't have to lamely send them to myself (is that even possible?). If you remember any other otter-themed books along the way, I will take those too.