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Starting Wednesday, my brain exploded while trying to take it all in, which is why I haven't updated for a few days (don't lie. You missed scrolling past my talk of things not relevant to your interests), and why I am now starting with the simple stuff and slowly working my way up to the top tier. Also, there is so much text that I'm just going to...alternate topics by color, at least for a while.

CSI: NY actually did not suck last night. By stripping away most of the character moments (less one amusing bit for Flack to ogle/flirt with some artistically draped half naked ladies and prompt a very Stella-like moment of Jo hauling him away) and focusing solely on the case, the hour seemed to fly by. Great plot that had it all -- crazy New York trends (semi truck parties), obsessive self-pity/jealousy, people swimming for their lives, elaborate forms of murder, artistry, interesting victims/suspects, and a distinct mystery element -- with bonus What-I-Like-About-You Henry!
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-Southland: of all the things I dislike about Cooper -- and I have gradually come to dislike most everything about him, in one of those rare showings where a character is so unpleasant that actor love cannot override it -- I was surprised to find myself agreeing with him not once but twice.

First he wrestles snakes to save lapdog pets from suffocation (and also slaps down Ben for scoffing at his mother spending 7k for their dog's chemotherapy -- in related news, I think I hate Ben and now my world's upside down). Then he chews a kid out for being stupid enough to call 9-1-1 because his mom whupped his ass (literally -- just spanking) with the non-buckle end of a belt for legitimate bad behavior. I can't tell you how great it was to hear someone defend proper physical punishment instead of hauling good parents away in handcuffs. This is such a weird world!

But then there was the end, and this show should win some kind of award for awful melodramatic acting, because him raging (I think? Was it supposed to be anger, or crying? Both? I just can't tell) over the spilled pills was just so...bad. The "emotion" was so forced I started laughing my ass off and couldn't stop. It might even have been worse than the "WAUGH, MAH BABY" mother I last laughed at.

Also: turns out I don't miss Moretta at all. Was sad to have an episode without Bryant, though. You know who else would be great to have on this series again? CHICKIE. WTF, WHERE IS SHE.

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The last episode of Law & Order: SVU, The Olivia Hour with the other corrupt female detective, was so off kilter that it felt like I was watching a surreal dream. Things got much better, or at least more straightforward, with this week and Jordan Hayes, Billionaire Borderline Statutory/Pedophile Rapist Extraordinaire. (Sidebar: if I can just whip out my Life Unexpected complaints like I do in every possible situation, the whiny way his "on again/off again girlfriend" tried to defend their original relationship?  This is what it looks like when adults hook up with 16-year-olds in a way that is incontrovertibly Wrong.)

I thought they had a really interesting case of he said/she said going on -- or would have, if they hadn't given us the teaser proving She Said was correct -- and it's always fun to take a peek into the lives of the filthy rich, particularly when said lives are ugly. Or maybe I just liked all the French. OR MAYBE, I was blown away by the fact that Munch had a minor starring role this week, using his Secret Expert of Everything powers to pull up a fake social networking profile, impersonate a teenage girl -- in French, mind -- and convince Dominique to blog about her attack, thus unleashing a fresh wave of prosecuting victims. Either way, I thought this was one of their surprisingly good episodes.

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The Middle! Brought tears of joy to my eyes at the end of the last episode when Sue happily curled up to watch (and, if necessary, giddily explain) a Twilight movie with her dad. You know what the fandom awards are going to have this year? Best Supporting Prop. The winner is going to be "sofas," because lately everything that is wonderful on TV happens in living rooms.

Sidebar: it is so, so weird to ricochet between drastically different Neil Flynn roles in the same night when I tune in for Scrubs 4 hours later. Sometimes I tune in for the Everybody Loves Raymond rerun in between just to really mess with my head, although the differences are much less jarring between Patricia Heaton roles. Which is to say, there are basically none.

P.S. I love that the crappy sitcom they tried to put on at 7:30 failed immediately, so now there are bonus episodes of The Middle (all of which are new to me) every week. I just wish that Modern Family wouldn't crash-land at 8, causing me to recoil in such immediate and explosive horror that I forget to turn the TV back on in time for Cougar Town. I miss those crazy ladies.
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Off the Map, 1x04, "On the Mean Streets of San Miguel"

I) So let me get this straight: according to Ben, I should stop looking at him with hero-worship eyes because he only keeps his wife alive via life support in order to collect the big fat trust fund check** to bankroll the clinic? First, the "only" was merely implied. Second, did he also marry this wife in order to collect her trust fund check and bankroll the clinic? Because otherwise, I'm just...not really seeing what the problem is here. It may not be a super awesome route to go, but she's kind of helping in the same way that organ donation from people taken off life support help. I'm weirdly rational about this so far. Better check and make sure the internet disagrees first.

Also, I've somehow had "car crash" in my head; what do you mean she was shot during a robbery??** Also-also, does that mean I should assume she was pregnant at the time? Because I can't think of any other way a kid would be killed in that kind of incident unless there was collateral damage from flying bullets or those were some really, really twisted robbers. Unless he managed to have two completely separate tragedies in his life.

**SO MANY MCDREAMY PARALLELS.

II) However, I did like him yelling at Lily for stupidly going against express orders -- given with good reasons -- not to bribe the officials. Even though it was kind of his own fault for leaving her to her own devices after his hissy fit of self loathing, and I don't blame her for doing what she did (plus she was, after all, kind of rocking the meanest deal in bribery around by the end), there was some good logic in there about how if you do it, they'll expect a cut of everything, every time.

Also: LILY, DO NOT PURSUE THE WEIRD STRANGER. You are not allowed to flame out of my admiration triangle with hookups like that -- casual or relationshippy -- just because you're upset about Dr. Ben!  It's him, Tommy (outside shot), or single. I recommend single.

III) Oh, Mina. I want so much to like you, but you make it so difficult. No matter how much WWII trivia I have learned in my life, I am on Ryan's side of the Abuelito situation. Not even "HE WAS A NAZI!" is enough to make me override 60 years of being a kindly teacher beloved by children all around. Especially when combined with actual apparent regret over his past. Also, he is Booth's grandpa and Gibbs' dad. Clearly not Nazi material.

Which is odd, because you know me; I am all about punishing people as much as possible (for example, I think 20-year-old college students caught drunk should be subject to at least a week or two of jail time)...but as many seasons of Cold Case proved, I have also always been a believer in not punishing people for ancient transgressions. My limit for murder is roughly 50 years; after that, unless the person is a complete psychopath who continued a life of crime and/or is still out hurting people, you're just not punishing the same person. It's not worth it.

So yeah, a large part of me wanted to just take Mina out and smack her around a little for overriding the DNR orders and forcing him to live against his express wishes to let nature take its course, just so she could try to get her war crime justice on. And yet, I still like her and can't quite budge from that feeling, so...Ryan, I need your machete and some jungle vegetation, STAT.

Side note: I love Ryan more every week. I am still programmed to like Ben/Lily/Tommy best, as they are straightforward characters with clearly presented roles, but she has a sparkling aura of mystique around her that is quite unlike anyone else, and I wind up being drawn to her the most. I love everything she chooses to be, and her well of compassion this week was wonderfully nuanced, especially while trying to rush Mina out of the room before he finished incriminating himself. Unlike, say, Cole The Jackass immediately condemning the guy he knew just as well as she did with, "I didn't know him at all."

P.S. Note to self, DO NOT GET ORAL CANCER. We cannot handle lesions on the roof of our mouth that burst and cause blood to pour from our mouth. This was one of those frightening times where I learned something about exactly what makes cancer bad, besides that lame fear of dying from it.

IV) Tommy's storyline with the girl embarrassed me too much to watch, but it's sweet how he thinks he has these white-knight ideals. This is the most fun kind of character -- the one who not actually That Perfect Guy by any stretch of the imagination, but becomes one when triggered by specific unfair scenarios.

V) I continue to hate storylines about addicts who refuse pain meds despite BLINDINGLY PAINFUL medical procedures because...they're afraid of getting re-addicted? IF, and that is not a certainty, it did make them slip back into their wicked ways, couldn't they just go through the quitting process again? I imagine it is difficult, but you know what is even more difficult? Dental surgery without pain medication.

Ugh, this is terrible. Send Jason George back to Grey's Anatomy, where he was a wonderful instead of a terrible character. He was actually the #2 thing that interested me in Off the Map in the first place, and now he's so effortlessly aggravating I don't even find him attractive anymore.

VI) New proof that Zee is not merely annoying, but a moron: she has a rule about crossing lines, but then she blithely decides to give in to Cole without bothering to clarify that it is an actual relationship? Just, who starts casually hooking up with a guy if they have any expectations of it being more? 

VII) There seems like something inherently wrong in the fact that the only people I like on this South-American-set series are white. Not only among the doctors, but even among the patients -- so far I have not really cared about any of the natural citizens or other American-defined minorities except possibly the girl with the scar. And then I bond with the former Nazi, wtf.

In conclusion, even if it is not apparent from the complaints in the above writing, I am still greatly enjoying myself at all times. Stop dive-bombing, ratings! Damn it, at this rate we are going to have trouble even wrestling out the original episode order of 13, and I just can't handle that. We need more time develop all the relationships with everyone, platonic and otherwise. But especially platonic, like Tommy and his awkward dialogue with Lily, when his first reaction to her Ben/Ryan, It's A Thing revelation is self-pity that Ryan's off the market. And then realizing, oh, wait, Lily probably has her own reasons for being upset about this. "I'm sorry, I'm not really good at...girl talk."

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