"It's that time of year again, where I cruelly make you choose between beloved characters in a bloody, no holds barred, single elimination tournament. Tears will be shed, capslock will be abused, flists will be torn apart. Let's do this."Today we're just voting to nominate the contender from each show, so I'm still relatively clear-headed (
Grey's Anatomy, 7x16, "Not Responsible"
I honestly can't decide if this episode was AMAZING or TERRIBLE.
I can't even decide if the various storylines were amazing or terrible.
Owen/Cristina: *peeks out from behind fingers* Good conflict? If it's good conflict, i.e. the kind that doesn't result in breakups, I can handle it and/or love it. I've been waiting for the kid thing to become an issue, because it always seemed like a really ostentatiously dropped thread back in spring, that he had just carefully brought the question up, but they never had that conversation because sausages were burned (not a metaphor), Cristina flinched in reflexive fear, he bounced back to therapy, Teddy became A Serious Thing, and suddenly people were getting shot and married and coping with PTSD, and here we are. I didn't mention it during the Spoiler Heyday times, but that was actually a big factor in my "DO NOT WANT" reaction to the idea that they were getting married -- "But, but, don't you think you should resolve that whole dangling-thread conversation about something that is kiiiiiind of huge when planning a permanent life together?"
That said, while a big part of me is hoping she doesn't back down (I know, who am I?? But turns out, TV babies are real 2009-2010 for me.), because her anti-havin'-kids stance is unusually pronounced and I think it's an important part of her character, I really liked Owen's reactions. Revisiting it in a couple of years seems wise. I've never really been able to figure out what kind of age difference is at work among this foursome -- I assume there is one, but it never seemed very pronounced, especially with Cristina -- but when he pointed out that 100% career obsession was "frankly, a young person's notion," I thought he was spot on. Or at least, he would be with most people. Jury's out with her.
Still, THEN THERE WAS THIS: "Stop it. You don't get to pull that crap with me. We got married not because you're a...basket case, but because we loved each other and we wanted a life together. So you don't get to threaten walking out just because I had the gall to express an opinion that is different to yours." If everyone could argue that articulately, I think there might be fewer divorces.
Or something. I just really like it when Cristina tries self-sacrificing and he's just totally done with that. Married and here to stay, deal with it.
Friends Baby Redux: Oh good, Arizona is starting to realize that she will have to deal with Mark forever (well, not necessarily. She could always go back to Africa or otherwise leave. There's no Lesbian Lover's Day!). And more importantly, she does not like him after all. Unfortunately, I kind of like Mark this week, solely for his growling about how Addison terminated, Sloan disappeared; he is not letting it happen again. And: HE GETS ONE-THIRD OF THE VOTE, OKAY?
Derek/Meredith: Yeah, I'm pretty sure that eyesight trumps babies. How was Meredith even trying to ignore this? Way too much Alex in this storyline, but otherwise I quite liked it, if only for Derek's extremely peeved response upon finding out. Especially when all of this leads to a round of frustrated golf on top of the roof. Suddenly Mark's 33% vote is looking pretty significant. :D
Jackson/Lexie: Wow, I just...don't even know what to do with that. It happened? I don't even know which of them to chastise for immediately hopping in the shower, because I am not on board with either one's rationale, but I am also not...totally against it, as they both have fair points for going for this. And one could argue that the UST counts as part of the relationship, making this tryst less immediate than it appears. Also: Pretty Factor, quite possibly the highest concentration of it ever seen on the show.
April/Stark: HAHAHAHA! I don't know what I want from this, but I know that I currently find the notion delightful. She's the first person who's changed his mind in 10 years! I love her deer-in-headlights reaction to being asked out! I love how he is slightly more collected about it than Dubenko of (ER) yore, but still foresees the possibility of needing to avoid eye contact for a while in the near future. This may be the most comically mismatched date in the history of the show, but somehow I love the idea of it. I am mindful of the fact that April's got high virginity standards to maintain, so this probably shouldn't make it past the casual dating stage (note: that's dating like middle school, not casual sex), but if the show wanted to use this as an opportunity to turn Stark into less of a comic foil and develop the potential provided by the choice of actor, I would not be opposed.
The fact that she came bursting in to talk to Lexie about it, of all people, only made this better. AU sisterhood forever! But: can I just ask, do you often come into the bathroom to talk to your friends while they're in the shower? And/or stop to pee before you leave? That seems overly familiar even for family, never mind roommates who have only been something like friends for a few months.
Star-Crossed Cystic Fibrosis Lovers: Holy crap, that was the WORST THING EVER to watch. Grind my heart beneath your heel, why don't you. Where is my outdated Lurlene McDaniel take on the subject, because I am sure the inevitable death at the end of that sucks less. I am still extra specially sensitive to relationships that "have" to break up for the greater good, OK, so I just could not accept this no matter how much logic was thrown at me. I'm pretty sure I wanted the guy to say "screw the transplant" and pick a short romance over a long road of PAIN. You're horrible, Seattle Grace Mercy West doctors. All of you, horrible.
My extra-spiteful side kind of hopes the guy is found dead in two months with a gun in his hand beside a blamey suicide note, having given it a go alone and decided it's not worth it after all. I think she'll be fine; he seems less optimistic. Meanwhile, my head is also busy turning this plot into a full-length feature film. It needed both backstory and so much more time to develop, and to have an ending that was not a parallel life lesson for the doctors' love lives.
Alzheimer's Mom/Child Services Kerfluffle: And this had the potential to be worse (I just...cannot in any way, shape or form see how this constitutes abuse or even neglect; don't bother social services when the children are happy and pain free. Talk about a waste of time/effort/resources. This is why people hate funding government organizations with tax money), so it's a good thing that conversation was derailed by April Being Awesome. I told you she was preternaturally charming. No one can resist her charms!
Meanwhile, this kid is clearly going to become the best boyfriend ever when he grows up.
Adele: Oh, so we are going down that road. It'd be faster if you'd just give her a fatal fall. Only good part of this was Owen very patiently taking in the Chief's ranting about what in the world he was thinking by calling him down for this, until, "Your wife, sir. That's what I was thinking."
Private Practice, 4x15, "Two Steps Back"
Well, gosh, that was the most fun the series has been since last year.
Violet's Manuscript, version 2.0, now only makes me want to read it more. The snippets were maddeningly fun; I want to hear the
Speaking of those two, I'd totally forgotten that Cooper kissed Amelia. Despite that being one of the most interesting turns this relationship has ever taken, they continue to do nothing for me except hardcore gross me out that they've somehow become the centerpoint ideal of longterm committed romance on this series. Blergh. But at least they weren't sleeping together in this episode, so that's a bonus. The best part of this whole thing was the Charlotte vs. Amelia faceoff, wherein I really liked everything Amelia said from an objective viewpoint, but it was just so hard to apply it to this gross couple.
Losing Addison for a week doesn't hurt this show at all, because it paves the way for SAM/NAOMI HOOKUPS! The cheater has become the cheated on, and I do not care because there is so much more sparkle and romantic chemistry in these two right here than I have seen in a year of that other, awful couple. The knowledge that Naomi is on her way out does nothing to deter my residual married-couple shippin'.
Except, wait. Wasn't Maya 16 when she had the baby? Why is television always in such an anxious rush to kick kids straight from teenagerhood to college?
I'm just going to go back to the Pete/Violet ending. "Want to fool around with a soon to be famous bestselling author?" // "Very much."
CSI: NY, 7x16, "The Untouchable": What the what, did they just knock out their second home run of the season? The last two weeks have been so awful I've barely been able to sit through them, and then this appeared and blew me away. For once, I did not even mind in media res since I was a few minutes late in turning it on (this show is such a non-priority that as long as I see at least 75% of it, I count it as a watch) and I was more than happy to rewind to that highlight. As previously established, any time you hit a main character with a taser, I'm there.
You know what else helps? Flashbacks with pretty, possibly crazy girls approaching Mac for help. Tessa, Ella...I'm seeing a pattern here of what kind of episode appeals to me. Especially if that episode involves cryptic messages, mysterious clue deciphering, and walls of seemingly random photos and other artifacts. Ordinarily I'm happy to slap Danny when he goes off talking about baseball, but when the Black Sox provided a cypher key...color me highly impressed. Brilliant from start to as-heartwarming-as-possible-under-the-ci
House, 7x14, "Recession Proof"
Yes, it happened again -- continuing the theme of each episode showing something cuter than the last, this episode features Very Drunk House stumbling off to Cuddy's in the middle of the night to inform her that she makes him a worse doctor, and being happy/in love with her results in people dying...and he doesn't care, because if he had to choose he would choose her every time. Then, one crude observation later, he falls asleep with his head in her lap. Cuddy seems less thrilled by this display, which is understandable, but drunk or not this still seemed pretty huge to me.
The rest of the episode was not especially scintillating, case-wise -- it's always a relief when they kill off patients I have no emotional investment in -- but I quite liked the theme of Martha working with Chase the whole time, calling him out on his clear lack of respect for women (oh, how the mighty season 5 Chase has fallen!). Not to mention her sad little "Do you even like me?" face because she's been so focused on studying that she never had time to form interpersonal relationships, and now it's too late.
Glad to see the little sister theme is alive and well and now being taken very literally. “I’ll send along one of your big brothers to help. Do you want Scary, Smarmy or Shorty?" I also loved her Erin-Hannon-like response to Chase calling the other two Bert and Ernie. "And they're both roommates, that was a good one!"
Next week: sheesh, sweeps is over. You're not supposed to get more awesome afterward!
How I Met Your Mother, 6x18, "A Change of Heart"
This week felt like a lot of thumb-twiddling, interspersed with odd moments where the show trampled on Barney/Robin some more by doing things like taking the Sick Barney trope for use with their boring new relationship. Or where the show ripped open my season 2 wound by having Robin oh-so-casually mention getting another dog, only to have everyone shoot her down. Because apparently Old Robin could take care of 5 dogs at once just fine, but New Robin sucks so much she wouldn't be capable of caring for one without help (maybe she should have taken the coin-flipper job instead of a horrible research job that drags her out at all hours).
Weirdly enough, I almost got used to Barney's transformation at the end, and was...oddly sad that it was only a figment of imagination.
The Barney/Lily parts were amazing in this, though, whether she was taking him to the doctor because he was a lot scared (as evidenced by occasional need to huddle her lap), or slapping the hell out of him/punching him in the chest hard enough to give him temporary cardiac arrest. Slapstick humor is so broad it's almost too easy, but...it will also always be one of the funniest things this series has to offer.
Eventually, I am going to 100% enjoy an episode of this again, and it is going to be great.
Pretty Little Liars: This was the most difficult week ever to understand scenes out of context. TWoP only has the recaplet up; I don't have the patience to read any more general reviews (after covering...2 of them), and while this almost looked intriguing enough for me to crack open the sealing tape and watch a whole episode...ultimately there was enough warning about people hooking up in the reviews to shy me away. So here's what I got:
* Spencer continues to sound amazing, from my blind perspective on the sidelines
* I think I am pretty fond of Jenna (that's the blind girl's name, right?), also, despite having no real idea who she is. I know that she plays flute and writes well enough to impress the English teacher, so it seems like enough.
* Teachery moments! With a girl he's not dating. See, that is half of what I want out of scenarios like this. Being able to draw a distinction between "impressive student" and "person I'm dating who happens to be an impressive student." I like talent being appreciated for its own sake.
* "I love you. And nothing you just said to me changes that."
Hahahaha! DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. It's lies, all lies.
"Thank you for looking at me tonight the same way you did yesterday."
And if not lies: argh, rage. It's like this show exists to stab me in the grief bone. (Possibly the contexts are not exactly the same, and the LU creators made some very fair points about why everything had to go down as it did, but -- I'm holding this grudge forever).
Clearly, we are transposing this over to My Ship something fierce, because it is ridiculously sweet and comforting. In the special way that nauseates me when performed by these two, even as I hang on the words and actions in text. This is the most intense love/hate relationship I have ever had with a thing. Secret Life of the American Teenager seems like peanuts by comparison. (speaking of which, I saw the first half of season 3 on DVD at the library yesterday. That is some seriously desperate courting from the universe. But I said noooo, no, you're not the one for me.)