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RS the Verbose

Tuesday/Wednesday stuff: backdated here.

Given that I have not watched more than 10 minutes total of Pretty Little Liars that did not feature the ship I love and hate, I was not previously aware of its opening credits, but I love how perfectly this encapsulates what the series is about. Between the lyrics and the images (look, there's even a flash of the only relevant subplot at the beginning), it's everything you need to know.
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Grey's Anatomy, 7x14, "Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go)"
"Directed by Kevin McKidd," a phrase which means nothing to me except (1) potential for DVD commentary? and (2) that Owen will only be in one throwaway scene, but at least one of his lines will steal the show. (He will also make an epic absent center...at least for one thread of a subplot.)

Twittergate
*eye roll* Yeah, going with the Chief on this one. I don't understand Twitter, so I still think it's lawyer bait. That, and I don't really like Twitter, so I don't get the appeal at all. And -- doesn't it seem like a massive waste of a skilled surgeon to have them standing there updating Twitter? Maybe instead, they could hire some hopeful graduate with an English degree for this highly administrative and suddenly very appealing job. *cough* 

Best Aspect:
Chief: I'm trying to look at Bailey's teets on the internet.
Owen: ...I think you mean tweets, sir.
Chief: Yeah, whatever.
Owen: No, no, not "whatever," it's important you get that one right.

Second Best Aspect: Lexie & April, in true sister mode, ganging up during surgery to cajole Bailey into tweeting. I like when they are on the same side.

Cristina Yang: Evil, Yet Awesome
Level 1 Awesome: Jackson taking the cheap shot about how Cristina hasn't exactly logged a lot of time in the OR lately, causing a silent walkoff.
Teddy: You really had to go there? You're that insecure?
Jackson: No! ...I'm just that much of an idiot.
Awww. I love how keeps doing stupid things (without malice! unlike, say, Alex) almost as much as I enjoy his regular snarky verbal warfare with Cristina. And the way people always have to run and fetch Meredith to fix Cristina. 

Level 5 Awesome: Cristina in total shutdown mode -- she's actually rocking back and forth a little on the bench -- and meeting Meredith's attempts at comfort with, "I want Owen." Thank you! This will feed my brain for days.

Level 6 Awesome: Psych! Hahaha, I laughed forever and ever when she popped up totally fine and dandy, having figured out how to plausibly exploit her past breakdown history to her own advantage. Payback's a bitch, Jackson. "Owen's at the dentist. He'll be hard to find." // "You are evil." // "He started it." I don't even mind being played like a fiddle, both because it makes Cristina that much more awesome and because it was not unreasonable to read it at face value -- remember the last time she asked Meredith to go get Owen?

(of course, that clip led me back to the premiere. You know what scene gets better over time? The proposal. It took me weeks to embrace it 100%, but it's never been more thrilling. Also, speaking of needing Owen even when not under acute emotional distress: 7x03. This ship is worth its weight in gold)

Knocked Up
Callie Explains It All: "Lesbian lover, baby daddy."
Check it out, everyone, this may be the first-ever instance of me Not Caring At All about a pregnancy on one of my shows. I still just want Callie to run far far away from Arizona's crazy, psycho ass and her disturbing I-WILL-FORCE-YOU-TO-LOVE-ME approach.

Favorite part was Mark's bombshell dropping on Lexie and her subsequent "How the HELL did you get me in this position TWICE?" Yeah, that is pretty talented. If I were Lexie I might think the universe was trying to tell me things, but no, off she storms (aw, damn it, damn it, now she's free to run back to Jackson, isn't she? *headdesk*). But, in a choice between Inappropriately Older Boyfriend Mark and daddy!Mark, I would rather have the latter.

Alzheimer's Trial
Ugh, not again. It was such a relief when Ellis Grey died because I just can't take watching these patients flip out all the time while their loved ones stand by and cry. I am not twisted enough for this. I do, however, enjoy Meredith's wonderful ability to handle these situations with ease and grace. I always forget that she has the best bedside manner of the group.

But what I really want to mention is the vocal-heavy music in the scene where she talks to Alex about this, because I'll be damned if I don't recognize that from Pretty Little Liars. Worlds: collide! [I am not responsible for any brain bleach that may be required upon clicking that link. This is why they're creepy, this is why.]

But now that it bears a stamp of approval from Grey's, I've decided to fall in love with it, and found to my delight that it is another Brooke Waggoner song (Fresh Pair of Eyes, less creepy than it sounds) -- I just added one of those to the list. Clearly what PLL lacks in script quality and chemistry, it more than makes up for with its soundtrack.

TL;DR/CONCLUSION
This episode's highlight reel consists of Owen's quote, Cristina's faux breakdown, and the triumph of capturing a good song. Not much else.
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Community: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
Sing, choirs of angels!

Two places in this episode found me with my arms wrapped around my head, rocking back and forth and humming loudly. The first was when Pierce's character got a hold of the sword (WTF, network censors, why weren't you in an overly protective mood and ordering them to dial that grossness down?), and the second was when Annie started narrating porn. I later learned that part went mute anyway, while I made the mistake of looking to see if it was over yet. There were...gestures.  I swiftly looked away from the gestures, but then crackers4jenn brought them all out into the light. Still traumatized.

Other than that, though? This just became an all-time favorite. Maybe even season winner; have to decide whether crassness or zombies is the lesser evil. My jaw is still somewhere on the floor, having dropped off roughly 90 seconds in as they begin with a grandiose narrator (which: AWESOME CLEANING LADY REVEAL at the end) and epic introductions of Jeff the Liar (son of William the Barely Known), Troy the Obtuse, Britta the Needlessly Defiant, and so on. Even the theme song got itself all fancied up for this, which I dearly loved along with the cute fantasy doodles (Allison Brie = winged unicorn. Of course).

I assumed I would be totally lost, since the total extent of my Dungeons and Dragons knowledge comes from the Lord of the Rings webcomic, "Dungeon Master of the Rings." (If you have not yet encountered this joy, go ahead and take an hour or two to immerse yourself.) Nope! It was nice to have that background, because it was surprisingly helpful in giving me a starting platform to understand Abed's role and the lack of any board or things to Jenga, but TPTB provided a really good overview.

Having seen a game in action, I now have a fair amount of respect for people who play this. Nothing about fantasy interests me at all, rendering it inherently pointless for me, but the level of creativity required (never mind all the books about gameplay) makes my brain ache just thinking about it. I guess what I'm trying to say is, good on the show for writing a succinct game of it and making it a) accessible to masses, and b) interesting to watch.

I kept thinking about my Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas complaint that I wanted to see what was actually happening as they acted it out, and that's exactly what they gave us here. Lesson learned: it is amazing. Now I'm glad we got to try it both ways. And am I wrong, or did they do a really good job of creating mental pictures of the world? It was like reading a book. ...which I guess is what happens when you have both an in-game narrator and extra sound effects to supplement the dialogue, but still.

ANYWAY. I also greatly enjoyed the introduction of Neil as his own character, and the group (led by Jeff & Annie: huzzah!) banding together to cheer him up. Living the dream. I would embrace having a hurtful nickname if it meant a cool study group full of awesome people sought me out to play Scrabble/Monopoly/Life/Scattergories until I felt better.

I did not enjoy anything about Pierce the Dickish, as this episode put the final nail in the coffin of his [censored] [censored] [still overly protectively censored] repulsive, completely unappealing character. Even though there would not have been a plot without him, and I reaped the benefit of Jeff's reactions to the increasing levels of bullying, I can't get over how awful it is to watch every second he's on screen. Like season 1 Sue Sylvester -- not even fun to hate, just BAD. Next to him, Abed looks like a beloved favorite. (crackers4jenn has now just given up on this entire post.)

Additional Highlights
+ Chang The Walking Hate Crime -- a less official title than those mentioned above -- is my new favorite version of him. (Clearly, the solution to making him tolerable/amusing is just to keep him in various costumes forever.)  Especially since he was quickly dispatched with, and played out on tragic music.

+ I wanted to quote roughly every line of non-Pierce dialogue in this, including but not limited to:

"When you play it, it makes you happy. Like a dragon!" --Troy
"I attack them using my Additional Notes." --Troy
"You're the AT&T of people." --Troy
"In about 13 turns he will die from exposure. Jeff?" // "I wait 14 turns."
"Our new goal is to find him and KILL HIM." --Jeff
(on Pierce's body lying facedown in a pool of blood) "I can't tell you how long I've dreamed of this moment! ...in the game." --Shirley

And a zillion more standalones, except I couldn't bear to pause it long enough to write any more down.

+ Jeff: What am I not good at? // Britta: Sex.
^ I am way too interested in this exchange. Also, don't think I missed for one second how those two were together in the distant background at the end, waiting to see how the last conversation turned out.

+ I love when Jeff breaks out his Dad Of The Group tone. A lot.

+ Britta's interaction with the gnome waiter, including her ability to turn everything into a civil rights issue, was fantastic. You know, until the part where he died and it got creepy and my face/attitude matched Jeff's, multiplied by 10. Forgotten head-burying moment #3.

+ "WAY OVER THE LINE, PIERCE." -- and suddenly I need Joel McHale to be in some sort of dark, high-stakes film or maybe a crime drama, because that kind of intensity was just too awesome to use on something that was not strictly 100% in defense of another person's feelings.

+ If this show ever goes into syndication, I am sure it will follow the HIMYM pattern of getting more awesome in retrospect. Specifically, this will mean even Pierce won't bother me,  because by the third (and for now, final) time I watched this episode, he occasionally made me laugh, such as when he cast a dastardly shape-changing spell to change what's-his-character into the shape of...Fat.
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The Office, "The Search"
First reaction to the promo: Now, why would anyone ever go looking for Michael Scott? If he's missing, sit back and count your blessings.
Will Ferrell: Hey there!
RS: OH GOD FIND MICHAEL NOW.

But we'll come back to that part last, as it's been eclipsed by what was clearly the most important revelation here --
Ryan/Kelly: I found this clip three hours before the episode aired. I told myself flailing about in a panic was unnecessary, as surely it would not be what it looked like. IT IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. PANICKY FLAILING SHOULD COMMENCE.


Can we reach an agreement that this documentary crew is the worst? They can stalk Jim and Pam everywhere they go, but somehow they fail to notice when Ryan and Kelly get married? I don't care how off the cuff it was; it is your job to anticipate stuff like that and be lying in wait, or at least ready to jump in your Spy Car at a moment's notice.

I can't think about this anymore; it makes me too sad that they have also gotten divorced off screen, even though I assume until expressly forced to believe otherwise that this has not actually altered their relationship at all. It was obnoxious that TPTB just dropped this scene on us and never mentioned it again. Not unexpected, given that it involved Ryan and Kelly, but still obnoxious.

I guess I'm going to content myself with the visuals of them spending a weekend in the Poconos, where Ryan was crying a lot (which he deems "not a relevant detail," and yet, does not actually deny) and hope someone transforms this into missing-scene fanfic. Said fic should also, of course, include a prequel containing the part where they decided to get married in the first place, because there's no way for that moment not to have been thrilling. Yeah, I hear Kelly saying they "got really wasted." I hear, "Really drunk Ryan = lower inhibition = more likely to say embarrassingly truthy things about feelings."

Or possibly I will believe that this entire cold open was an elaborate ruse set up just to see if they could get people to believe them*. Yeah, I like that explanation best. (*Why? I don't know; the thrill of getting away with a lie turns them on? Fake public fighting = still-hot makeup sex? All my ideas are just going to keep going down this road.)

Jim Subplot: I am not clear why he keeps ducking and running from episodes, but again, he is so great while he lasts. The exchange before they left was ADORABLE (and as a bonus, Pam looked incredibly pretty and he looked ridiculously cute leaning against the reception desk while giving out silly clues to the location of her artwork); I can't stop watching it.

Also: The Jim receives an emergency call from Helene part of the summary played out pretty much as expected (No biggie, CeCe just has a tiny little fever and Grandma may have accidentallylockedherinthecar), yet this did not make Jim's reaction and bat-out-of-hell rush from the gas station any less enjoyable. BONUS MOMENT: repeat reaction from Pam upon getting a status update -- sadly, only via phone -- and told at least partially in singsong baby talk. ("CeCe's with Daddy now" = pick any one of those phrases I like about organs melting, exploding, etc)

I just hate that this was yet another story they dropped on us and ditched. Not quite as urgent, but I still felt it was important to get a status update after the doctor's visit. Why weren't we following up on sick baby?
Voice: What kind of idiot wants to watch a sick baby?
RS: What kind of idiot wants to watch any baby?
Voice: I like when you insult yourself.
RS: Hey, no fair, you set up the Raising Hope reference as a trap. I thought we were friends.
Voice: You want to go for Simpsons mockery too?
RS: @*&%^!

Pam Subplot: For Pam, it's adorable. I love when everyone is on her side and she's the cool center of attention, and doesn't embarrass herself at any point. Plus, super cute doodles. I just don't understand why once again, everything has to come at the expense of Gabe. It is hurtful. Look, it's one thing to take your contest to the IM airwaves when he institutes fun-sucking rules that ban you from mocking the company, it is another when your contest turns into a hate fest that isn't even funny. I mean, wtf. Which of those captions at the end was supposed to make me crack a smile?

Otherwise Noted:
-Erin's random hatred of Holly almost makes me like her under the "Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend" clause. But then I remember that her hatred is based in defense of Michael, and Michael is generally a greater enemy than Holly, so it all falls apart. That said --

-I'm really going to miss the inappropriate comments about Jim and Pam's sex life that Michael brings to the table.
(what? I like watching them try to take it in stride. Jim manages better than Pam, but there's still that teeth-gritting moment)

-What the hell, Angela, how do you hate Gabe? HE IS YOU.

-I don't see how anyone really hates Gabe, though. Not after how charmingly proud he is about promoting the use of Sticky Quips! (when he's in a fun mood. "Not every day." That would be unbecoming.)

Michael/Holly: As much as I don't like them, and will surely find the next episode nauseating beyond belief, I respect the writing of their entire storyline in this episode -- Holly thinking exactly like Michael, especially without trying and even while getting upset and trying to deny it, was a stellar way to go. And good for them managing to steal the show with a beautiful reunion not even Michael could ruin. I don't mean Michael ruined it and I agreed to overlook it, I mean it was actually pitch-perfect in every way. "Can I kiss you?" made me awww, and I can't stop watching it.

Bonus Adorable Moment: I was bored during Michael's adventure, and spent most of my time looking for a Cat O' Nine Tails with which to flog the camera guy for failing to follow Jim, but then suddenly PUPPIES!!!!

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The Avalanche of Awesome TV concludes with CSI tomorrow later today. I can't stop squeeing, as it has already won a spot on the Top Ten Episodes of the Year list.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
muzzy_olorea
Feb. 6th, 2011 11:20 am (UTC)
Haha the Cristina/Jackson! I guessed that it was her playing him pretty much from when she stormed off when they were standing at the elevators but definitely knew it was so when we saw her bawling in the locker room. Whilst it was hilarious and so Cristina, I have to say that I would absolutely hate her if I met her in RL and she'd done that so I had to feel a tad sorry for Jackson.

I love how we have so polarising opinions when we come to Arizona!!! Don't get me wrong, her awesomeness did diminish with the whole going to Africa/dumping Callie thing but since this show seems to be able to move on from stuff in a blink of an eye, that's sort of faded from my brain and I am back to always loving Arizona more than Callie.

I am annoyed with both of them - nay all three of them - for being so okay with the whole situation and acting so normal like it hasn't fully sunk in that basically the three of them are going to be in this weird twisted relationships for the rest of their lives. I expected one episode of total denial/freakout, especially from Arizona's side.

As much as you hate Arizona's arguments in this episode, the one that got me was Callie's 'this was unplanned'. Oh for gawd's sake, she and Mark are the two sluttiest people in Seattle and are doctors so therefore you should know more than enough about contraception. And yeah, people are human and they make mistakes/forget (especially when it's convenient for TV show writers) but I am still holding this against her.

... And whoo I totally got distracted by the puppy when I scrolled down to comment!
rainbowstevie
Feb. 7th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
I <3 long comments
Yep, I deliberately placed the puppy shot there at the end in hopes of catching people unawares. Success!

I don't mind them using humor for the baby situation, but I do hope that at some point it really hits them -- maybe when the kid's finally born? -- just what they've gotten themselves into. And agreed on the ridiculousness if neither Callie nor Mark was using protection. I mean. HE HAS A HISTORY OF THIS.
crackers4jenn
Feb. 6th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
SO MUCH TO SAY!!! I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY!

I only watched the last little bit of Grey's Anatomy, because I have TV watching priorities that keep me away from it, but OH NO, I hate this show so much. I am talking both in general, for hate is pretty much my standard feeling for it, and specifically -- LEXIE AND MARK ARE BREAKING UP AGAIN, ARE YOU FOR REAL, SHOW?! Just. Ugh. The worst. I have NO IDEA why this show spends so much of its time working to put couples together, only to give them (AT BEST) an episode or two of happiness, only to ABRUPTLY END THEM, AND STUPIDLY. Except for if those characters are Meredith or Cristina. Those two get their great husbands. Everyone else is doomed to sleeping around and being douches.

Grey's Anatomy, I QUIT YOU!!!

Now that I have wasted my hysterics on the above show, I can't get too wild over your Abed or Michael Scott hate. It's crazy, obviously! But it's cool. Heh.

I see that most of your favorite Community lines are Troy lines, and. That makes sense. It makes a lot of sense. I love Jeff a lot, even while he is bothering me by being at his most offensive and blase, but is it wrong that I often wish for this show to become the Troy Barnes Show? No?

Office-wise, MICHAEL GETTING LICKED BY THAT PUPPY WAS THE BEST. It reminded me of the montage in season who cares, I can't remember when there was that "Michael holding babies!" montage. And, like that, it just made me want SO BADLY for him to find himself a lady to marry, because someone that sweet and wonderful and great (YOU'RE GROSSED OUT, AREN'T YOU? And completely opposed to my word choices!) needs to love and be loved.

Oh, also, according to someone on my Twitter, Jim's repeated bailing-on-Dunder Mifflin-mid-episode moments are at the fault of JKras being some kinda fancy movie star and all. I guess he is/was juggling a schedule that required his presence at The Office and whatever movie he was shooting.
rainbowstevie
Feb. 7th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
I <3 long comments
Grey's: I love everything your reaction chooses to be. Now that you mention it, the relationships on this show are like sharks -- they need to be in a perpetual state of motion (change), or they die.

Community: Hah, yeah, I guess it was basically The Troy Hour in my quotefest. It seems so long ago I found him a bland character (I don't know why!)...I have been converted to wanting the Troy Barnes Show too.

Office: Yeah, it definitely reminded me of the baby montage (season 5, "Baby Shower," you're welcome). I'm not even grossed out by your word choice today, because in this episode, he was just heartwarming all over the place.

Thanks for the Krasinki explanation. Hm. Am torn between need to have Jim around at all times, and hopes that he will make more enjoyable movies.
eleigh
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
Pierce is so gross! And he is exactly like Sue Sylvester! Just when I think he's turned a corner he goes back to being awful. And it's not just that I don't like him it's that I don't understand how these people continue to put up with him other than that they feel sorry for the sad old man. Which is just, in itself, sad.
rainbowstevie
Feb. 7th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
this icon is aimed at Pierce
You said it better than I ever could.
janusfiles
Feb. 8th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
It took me a little while to realize it, but the opening for Pretty Little Liars seems to be inspired in part by the opening sequence of The Big Chill.
rainbowstevie
Feb. 10th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
How so? (I ask, not having seen it)
janusfiles
Feb. 10th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
I've never seen The Big Chill, either, but it's about a group of friends from college reuniting after one of them commits suicide. The opening sequence shows the dead guy being prepared for the funeral. (The dead guy is Kevin Costner, but for some reason, the director cut all scenes showing his face.)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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