House, 7x18, "The Dig"
First thought: wait, you had her in prison and you let her OUT? I want a word with the prosecuting attorney on this case. And by word, I mean knee in the groin.
Has it really been over six months since we've had to deal with Thirteen? It feels like a beautiful, impossible dream, but also like not nearly long enough. To that end, as disappointing as the lack of Cuddy and Wilson was and as much as I REALLY wanted to hate the endless side story explaining where she was, Episode 150 was surprisingly okay. Not great, and I definitely don't give a crap about her Sad Tale Of Brother-Euthanizing Woe (I was also in favor of House killing her immediately with a baseball bat rather than just promising to help her in the future), but I am always a fan of shared hotel rooms and midnight crying, even when done in an obnoxiously conspicuous way.
[For the record, huddled up in a chair by the window and making no effort to be silent is like one step away from crying out your lonely feelings in song on a school auditorium stage after hours. Stay in bed, Thirteen. Or lock yourself in the bathroom so there is at least a physical barrier symbolizing your desire to be left alone, unless you're fishing for comfort, and with House for company that's impossible.]
But at least I got a highly entertaining spud gun competition out of it, and some Real, Actual Feelings from House about Cuddy that no one else was safe enough to share with (what is House doing remembering anniversaries?), which made the detour worthwhile.
Much more fun was the case. I love it when the patients are more compelling than the personal storylines. I was charmed by the guy from the beginning, but once they found his wife I decided it was, oddly, one of the sweetest tales I've ever seen. My heart, my heart! So much more poignant than Thirteen's nonsense. I also had a blast with Martha's perky enthusiasm for exploring the house like an archaeological dig. Also her enthusiasm for volunteering Chase to come help her. She seems to have imprinted on him like a duckling (I know we call them all House's Ducklings, but this is on a new level). It's quite precious.
For the record, this was still the best show of the week. By quite a wide margin.
How I Met Your Mother, 6x20, "The Exploding Meatball Sub": More entertaining than last episode, but really disjointed and random and weird. Every attempt they made to be serious was eye-roll-inducing; this show is far better when it goes for silly humor all the time. I am the opposite of the internet, always!
Parts I liked: Zoey!!, epic Ted/Zoey kiss at the end (can I just watch them in a cycle of arguing and making up forever? joy!), Barney's diabolical title plan (it was so stupid, and yet I laughed ridiculously hard), Marshall & Lily's high fives. ("Marshall and I have been together for 15 years and the only argument we've ever had about 'Tommy Boy' is whether it's awesome or super awesome. That's love, bitch.")
Parts I didn't: Ted being a whiny bitch (let's just ask ourselves which dream sounds stupid: preserving a historic and beautiful building, or tearing one down so you can build a new one? I truly don't understand how Ted can keep saying his with a straight face), Ted looking ancient a mere 10 years fro now, Robin's freaking weird murder story distraction, the stupid graduation goggles theory, Lily running off to the airport, Marshall's lame new life cause. If I hear them reference his dad dying one more time, my head is going to resemble an exploding meatball sub. At this point it is harder to take than the Stella arc.
Side note: Now that the HIMYM reruns have wedged themselves in between Friends and Scrubs at night, I am watching them with much more regularity, and it's easier for me to discern which episodes have eternal replay value and which quickly wear out. This is one that will quickly wear out.
NCIS, 8x21, "Dead Reflection": Continues to be uninspired. You know what's officially stopped being an interesting plot point? Disguising oneself through a realistic mask. Meanwhile, the attempts to drum up relationship "drama" and "tension" are so ludicrous that I cannot take them any more seriously than HIMYM's attempt to force Don & Robin as A Serious Thing, No, For Real last year. Not even (attempting) a deep conversation in Gibbs' basement lends it the necessary gravitas.
On the bright side, CHECK YOU OUT hiring Alimi Ballard! Barrett's team: now 100% more relevant. And unlike that time you hired Colby, for a role indistinguishable from David. NCIS, do you think you could just employ ex-crimesolving personnel from fallen CBS dramas forever? Maybe what's-his-face, Detective Scanlon, can turn up next fall.
Duly noted: that's a mean place to leave a cliffhanger, even for a temporary period. I was so hoping the eye belonged to Vance until I realized his eyes weren't blue. Who else do we know whose eye might unlock the door to MTAC? I hope the end of the season is more interesting, but I am already disappointed that clearly nothing can match the power of last season's last three episodes.
Community: I developed spontaneous heebie jeebies as soon as Troy burst out with his "confession" and they NEVER STOPPED. I hate it when they make Britta make me want to crawl out of my skin. You add that in with Pierce's crap and it is just...not good, all around. When Abed is the best part of episode, something's gone terribly wrong. On the bright side, Vicky is totally my favorite minor character and I was ecstatic to see her back. Who do I have to kill to feature her even more prominently?
The Office, "Training Day": I don't know or care how to spell the actor's name or the character's name, and I'm too tired to think of an insulting nickname, so I'm just going to call him Elf. What the hell, show. That was somehow even worse than I imagined. Hiring Elf is the worst decision in the history of decisions! Dealing with him and Michael Scott simultaneously = sheer torture. It's like the episode was created to serve as reel for convincing people not to watch this show. Literally the only parts that did not suck were Kelly's "meet cute," Jim taking a nice moment to explain to Michael why everyone has to go with the new boss instead of him, Jim and Pam proudly showing off the picture of Cecelia (and Pam swiftly correcting that no, they did not actually start as an "affair"), and the super adorable family moment in the closing tag. JIM + BABIES FTW.