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More reviews, more reviews, almost caught up! Life has so many colors when you rip yourself free of the single-show blinders!
Voice: You're thinking about Off the Map right now, aren't you?
RS: I may have reacquainted myself with the shippier bits of episode 8 right before posting this. Oh my god, the hug, the hug. Every scene they share is always better than I remember!

CSI: Miami, "About Face": What is this, the third time someone as attempted, if not succeeded, at kidnapping Natalia? Awareness lessons, woman. Learn how not to be a target. (I liked the actor who played the kidnapper, though, who saved the character's irritating tics from being completely unbearable.) And you, H, don't you ruin pending fun Ryan/Molly times with complete non-priorities. If those dudes have been out of jail since October, they can wait one more night. Also: hahaha, this review does some excellent skewering of "The God Computer."
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-How I Met Your Mother, 1x19, "Legendaddy": Ahhh, this is a MUCH better use of John Lithgow than on that horrid Dexter show. But whenever he wasn't talking, I did not find this episode memorable beyond three highlights:

a) Marshall's new pet possum. So cute.
b) Barney's amazing reaction to Marshall pointing out that he's someone who is *really* never going to talk to his dad. (AND NOW WE ARE DONE WITH YOUR LOSS, MARSHALL. DONE. I'm sick of this. I would rather have Pantsless Don.)
c) Barney's even more amazing outburst about how if his dad was going to be a lame suburban dad, why couldn't he have been that for him!

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Grey's Anatomy, 7x17, "This Is How We Do It"
If ever there was a definition of a "treading water" episode...but I'm pretty sure it was worth it just for April being awesome. Her vocal disgust with Lexie and Jackson doing it everywhere at every opportunity was the best -- especially her flat refusal to put up with it anymore at the end and just commandeer the public-domain sofa for herself and her bowl of popcorn and her sad eyes. I just stuck a fork in my April/Jackson shipping tendencies for the time being, by the way. Decided I like her better as the grossed-out friend, because shinier things await.

Like her and Stark, which I flatly refuse to accept only lasted one episode, because I am enchanted with it now. Yeah, I'm that easy. Even though all we had to go on were April's verbal accounts of their maybe-dates, her enthusiasm was cute and made me a happy viewer. I feel like I finally got some validation for the determined support I've been throwing his way since he arrived. And her scolding, "Robert, just say thank you," and him calmly doing just that in spite of her immediate mortification, was one of the cutest things I have seen all year.

"Oh my God, I am SO sorry; I didn't mean to call you that."
"There's no need to apologize, Dr. Kepner."
"No-no-no, it was completely unprofessional, I promise I will never--"
"April...I'm saying I liked it."

Shipper heart: lighting up like a Christmas tree! Just in time for April to shoot it down. >:( While I admire her determination to keep her pants on tonight (take THAT, Smug-ass Onesie Decorators), was there no way to split the difference between the two extremes that would not result in my disappointment? I really liked the wording of the interview with Sarah Drew saying, “She sees a side to him that he doesn’t show to anyone else at the hospital, and she finds that part endearing," and after that last exchange I was hoping to keep the ball rolling for a while.

Owen/Christina: See? All I ask for is a little quality screen time with these two each week. Doesn't matter if it barely covers a minute, as long as it's sweet when I get it. Now I'm veering into an Ainjel Emme song.

Cristina: So you've been all buddy-buddy with Weber lately...
Owen: I'm staying out of it. But you, you're very beautiful.
Cristina: Oh, screw beautiful, I'm brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain!

Also fun: watching her abrupt switch from "oh my god, this is awesome!" to "oh my god, this sucks!" upon hearing Owen is now in charge of picking Chief Resident. A plot point that makes no sense, because while Owen is among your more level-headed doctors, wouldn't you want to pick someone with a little less obvious bias? I realize it's difficult in your incestuous workplace, but maybe someone who isn't married to one of the people competing for the position would be good.

Alex: Drove me nuts. My favorite live-viewing note reads, "Oh, my God, I would just like April to punch him in the head." And may I just point out, Alex has been a neanderthal since day 1. It is in fact not an act. It is his natural state whenever women aren't forcing humanity out of him. Meredith is a filthy liar.

Nurse "Jerkwad" Eli: Pretty much down in that Alex place where McSleazy used to be, before he upgraded to pining after Lexie and eagerly anticipating being a dad. Can we get rid of Eli and bring Ben back? Jason George's South American jungle stint is pretty much over now, and if you send him back it will be like a little piece of Off the Map's soul lives on. This may or may not be a plug for Off the Map, which you should watch because the cast of characters is collectively much more likable than this one, and also prettier.

Trials & Tribulations: I backed off my hate grudge on Adele's storyline for one week after Glee reminded me how much I love Loretta Devine, but that was probably only because she was refreshingly lucid all hour. And scolded Derek & Meredith for not actually being married (hah!). And...mostly the part where she broke down crying about the unfairness of her diagnosis, which I tried really hard to be sad about on its own, but it was such a transparent mirror of Derek and Meredith that all I did was flash forward and transpose the dialogue onto them instead. It was a nice touch to have the two of them bear witness to it, though, and watch them try not to think about what I was thinking.

Also, there's very pretty music full of murmuring vocals in the background -- "Little Marriage," by Lia Ices -- that is an amazing mood-setter, though I'm still working on whether or not I love it independently.

Teddy: Stop resisting, Altman. You know you want to drop the whole "business arrangement" facade and just let go, even if it means Cristina has to take over all your surgeries on him.
Callie/Arizona: I pointedly ignored them all hour, and then their car crashed. AWESOME! Unlike my usual excitement when something tragic but not necessarily fatal happens, this time my sole objective is killing one or both of the women off as soon as possible. I have no interest in hospital vigils or crying or potential loss of pregnancy or any of that crap I usually go for; this is a means to an end. I have not looked at any spoilers so I'm guessing that just like Africa, I will be thwarted in that goal, but again like Africa, I'm going to cling to my hope until forced to believe otherwise. I figure the best shot at a fatality is the pregnancy, since the baby isn't a character yet, so while I am neutral on said baby's existence I certainly won't argue if it goes away.

Seriously, I'm so unspoiled that it wasn't until I saw the promo after this that I realized the reason Callie looks weird and is standing there singing like a ghost is because she's the patient of the week for the musical episode. I had the vague understanding that one of the regular cast was going to be in trouble, but somehow I never put 2 and 2 together. 
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Hey, Private Practice sneakily turned some kind of quality corner while I was ignoring it.

March 17th ep: 4x16, "Love and Lies"
Naomi is smarter than all of us for choosing to blow this popsicle stand of insanity and moral anarchy. Godspeed, Naomi! Run away and never return. I salute you.

Unfortunately, before I can follow, Amelia shows up to distract me, being her adorable young-and-naive self. She promptly made me forget whatever slutty and/or obnoxious-doctoring business she was up to last time I saw her, and convinced me she has never been anything but a breath of fresh air who exists mainly to anchor me to this show and love, hug, and support Addison. That is, when she is not busy begging beloved friends not to kill themselves over a Huntington's diagnosis. I am incapable of hearing that disease name without thinking about how much I hate Thirteen on House, so that'll be the extent of my commentary on the subject.

Also, Pete and Violet are busy being adorable over her pending book publication while she stresses over a jacket photo. For the record: choosing the non-stylized shot with her shirt picked up to expose her scars would make me much, much less likely to buy the book, even if I was otherwise interested in it. It's weird. It doesn't make her look more vulnerable or sympathetic, it just makes her look lazy.

Patient-wise, I enjoyed the moral dilemma the parents with the death-sentence baby stirred up. I was able to look at it from all angles, which almost never happens, and ultimately couldn't decide whether one option was better or worse than another. They were just options. Good work, writers.

Last week: 4x17, "A Step Too Far"
Unlike the dilemma above, this episode's pending parents had a much more straightforward issue: it doesn't just look bad, it is bad. It is straight-up wrong. It actually could not be more wrong. Cheating with your sister's husband while she is fighting cancer and you are carrying a baby for them is pretty much as wrong as it gets. I only sat through it because I was fascinated by how much the pregnant woman looked like Amber Tamblyn, and the husband recently appealed to me so much on promos for The Good Wife that I watched an entire episode for him (FYI, not worth it; so boring. Worse than this show, even).

I very much enjoyed the 75% of an episode we got to believe that Addison was pregnant, mostly because, again, Amelia lights up my screen. Loved watching her bounce around, giddy about being an aunt even though Addison technically isn't related to her anymore, and planning all the Cool Aunt stuff she gets to do like take the kid to Paris when she turns 13. 

But not as much as I enjoyed the part where she gave Sam an ultimatum between choosing a kid with her and a life without her, and please dear GOD can he pick the life-without-her option? Because all I want to see now is Addison rocking single motherhood. A thing I have never advocated before and may never advocate again, so strike while the iron's hot, show.

In other news, Pete and Violet continue to pile on the family love, plus a sweeping speech from Pete about how she did not seduce him into this; he chose her. And there it is: I'm at the point where I have forgiven the assault on my Pete/Addison emotions, put it to rest, and embraced these two for better, for worse and forever, like they were never apart. 

Finally: Alex Kingston! It is so weird to hear her with an American accent. Really, really, weird. And wrong. But kinda fun, too. I don't even mind wasting her on Sheldon; maybe she can make him seem like there's a point to his continued existence.

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