Post 1: "Secrets and Lies"
So, this is like one of my favorite episodes of ER, ever. I don't know why - it's not even all that great, and there is much dirty humor, but it's just so amusing that I made a special effort to tape it this morning since I had to be at work. The Carter/Luka duel is amusing. It's nice to find out that tidbit about Luka's wedding, it makes him seem slightly less man-whorish. (but Carter...11?! With the 25 year old maid?! That is NOT a "first time." That is child abuse, pure and simple. Gross. You know 11-year-olds are still in elementary school, right?)
Anyway. Shall we run down a little of my ER background? I like these reflective posts of mine. I'll start regular reviews soon...
Several of my friends watched it in middle school, but I wasn't at all interested. I think it was after I got hooked on crime drama, and subsequently the rest of primetime TV, that I started to watch occasional reruns when I could catch them. I do not have any idea what the first one I saw was, but it didn't take long before I really got into it. The first time I saw it with any regularity was June 2002, when I followed the season 8 reruns all summer long. However, its timeslot clashed with Without a Trace, which premiered that fall and which I liked better. Eventually found the reruns on weekends too, but was otherwise confined to summers and the occasional weeks WaT wasn't new. I had very little sense of chronology, but at least I knew some of the doctors' names.
So we continued in this manner for the next several years. It was "new" whenever I watched it, a delightful sweet treat.
Now cue up October 2005. I've got a single room at college, and I don't start class until 11:20. I wake up early, I bored and turn on TV...and holy wahoy, it's ER!! I have discovered TNT's "Primetime in the Daytime."
Some days I had class that ran from 8-12 instead, so I stored up the 10 episodes each week and then watched them all in a big slew over the weekend. They were just at the beginning of season 7 when I tuned in, and they got up to current time, season 11, by the time I had to go home for the holidays, where there is no cable.
Anyway. I have great memories of last fall's semester, all tucked in my nice warm dorm room while the weather was cold outside, watching what I consider "classic" ER. I've seen earlier seasons, but it's just got that grainy, early-90's look...and unlike many a die-hard ER fan, I don't generally like the show from before season 5. Doug and Carol and Benton were before my time. This is the core of my world - Carter, Luka, Abby, and the rest of their contemporaries. (except Weaver. I hate Weaver.)
Lalala...whatever. I was never much a fan of the whole Africa storyline, but it was way cooler when they went to places that spoke French, unlike the current Africa storylines. And in the second viewing, those old episodes were pretty cool. I'm just babbling now. I like things that make me nostalgic. The Monday night block of X-Files reruns makes me nostalgic, whether they're from season 1 or 9 or anywhere in between (they each strike different kinds of memories). And the morning blocks of ER make me nostalgic and happy.
But no, Thursday has two awesome shows going head-to-head for all three hours of programming. Picking and choosing sucks, but I have a lot of CBS loyalty so if everything's new, that channel gets first draw. (That 70's Show, OC, and ER are the alternates)
Survivor: Haha, that was awesome! "Just another stroke of luck for Terry, the luckiest man who ever lived," wrote TWoP after last week, and they're totally right. I almost want him to win, because he's so sickeningly lucky. But I'm kind of rooting for Cirie too. And I kind of think Shane is lucky too, to be that much of a pain in the ass yet have made it to the final five. I would like to see him gone, of course, but you have to admit he's moderately entertaining. Aras is not entertaining. I would like him to go bye-bye. Do you think his name is short for Arrogant Ass? Anyway. And Cirie caught a fish, because Cirie is awesome like that.
CSI: Okay, so I guess it was too much to hope for that all the CSI's would line up their character development non-Science Music Montage endings in the same week. 2/3 was more than anyone could have hoped for. But they promised me humor for "Rashomama," damn it! And possibly GSR! And they screwed me over for both!
When it first started, I was really excited. I LOVE the diner! And I love Sara and Greg working together. And I love Sara and Nick working together. Put them all together, sharing a meal, and what have you got? The most awesome teaser of the entire season, or possibly the history of the series.
It was a little less interesting after that. No GSR, as usual; seriously I swear they have fizzled the potential relationship between the two of them. The desperate die-hards insist that it was there. Maybe there was a little something to how Sara trash-talked marriage as being a "property exchange between your father and your husband" while with Nick and Greg, but when Nick reminded her of that fact whilst the trio was in Grissom's presence she hastily backtracked...but I don't care. I need something considerably more.
I'm not a fan of the "tell the same story through four different eyes." Very cheesy, those voice-over monologues as each person arrived at the scene. Greg is still kind of an immature horndog, but his obsession with film-noir (a nice tieback to his interest in old-time Vegas during Kiss-Kiss, Bye Bye) is cool. Plus I can't help but love that impish, charming little smile. (my Greg love was firmly cemented back in season 5, Unbearable, when he told Sara, 'I don't know if you know this about me, but...I'm a good listener.") Aw, heck, I haven't cared about the cases on this show for quite some time now, so I refuse to comment on it. It was creepy, I'll grant you that much. Except for the first time EVER, I guessed the killers right away! Well, 2/3 bridesmaids, anyway, plus I knew that the bride's brother was kind of fishy. I never figure it out early. I'm proud of myself.
Anyway, character interaction is awesome. Grissom sounded like...almost like Gibbs when he told his three sheepish employees, "I'll talk, you three stand there and look apologetic." HEE! Plus that whole rant of the sherriff's...oh, that was funny. And Sara and Greg all but whistling and looking at the sky when he yelled, "because two of them are maxed out on overtime!" It was Greg, right? Not Nick? I'm just thinking that's odd, because Greg strikes me as the kind of guy who makes his social life kind of a priority. Maybe he's grown up now that he's in the field instead of the lab. Or maybe he's still got a little crush on Sara. Well, if they're not going to throw me any bones, I'll make up my own stories, damn it!
And I loved the little scene where Catherine wakes up Sara, who startles to consciousness with mussy bed-head and and a very dazed-sounding voice. Come to think of it, it may not have been deeply dramatic, but there WAS a ton of character development in this episode. Scattered in little tidbits. Oh, heeeee, the look on Nick's face when he got his pimp-painted car back...ROTLMFAO!!!!! The only real drawback to the episode was blink-and-you'll-miss-Warrick, but his one scene was pretty decent. Nick and Warrick's friendship is another thing I really love on this show, even when it's just a few seconds of Nick being able to blow off steam. Of course, if you can get a shot of Warrick looking horrified at Nick's shirt being covered in blood, that's just a bonus.
But the most important thing: BAD HAIR NICKY HAS BEEN FIXED! It's in a normal cut now. Damn, I was just reaching the point of acceptance, too. 'Cause usually I like guys with slightly overgrown hair...whoa, seriously, I almost miss it! I forgot how much I really like Nick. In between the adorableness that is Greg, the standard Sara-colored glasses through which I view Grissom, and the general smokin' hotness that is Warrick, I sometimes forget that Nick is really quite a romantic at heart. Kinda made me melt when he talked about weddings being a public demonstration of love, and the rather rose-colored view with which he described walking up to the crime scene...he's just looking for a standard happy ending.
Grudgingly, I admit that CSI has been getting better as it goes along. Hey, you know what this reminds me of? Season 8 on X-Files. After a crappy premiere, there were an episode or two of decent caliber near the beginning, then a whole long slew of crap, and then it turned a corner and things were all uphill. And it ended with a spectacular fireworks display. Hmmm...
I've been watching it since its conception, partly because I'm addicted to crime drama and partly because I loved spin-off #1, but I never really got into NY. The characters just didn't do it for me. I recognized Melina K. from some earlier show...was it Providence? I saw it in reruns a few times, and it took a while to tell her apart. Danny also reminded me of Michael Weatherly (Dark Angel, NCIS). And I knew Gary Sinise because all the entertainment rags were talking about how the movie star was doing a TV series. Movies, psh. I'd never heard of him before, but the name quickly burned itself into my brain, long before the series even premiered. Took me forever to see him as Mac Taylor. I wanted to like Aiden, but even she was fairly flat and one-dimensional.
Although I still liked her best, and was super ticked when she got fired.
They've had some interesting cases. I really enjoyed the one about the poisoned wedding dress (urban myth alert! they investigate a LOT of those on this franchise), and my all-time favorite was the one with the sniper who shot a mounted cop, the bullet lodging in his horse's neck, and it was a stubborn war between Mac and Stella over how soon to do a risky surgery to get it out. Mac is a horse lover! I liked him after that, even though I've since realized he was doing it less out of concern for the horse and more for the feelings of the wife and daughter who loved said horse... And I hated Stella more than ever.
Still, I just couldn't care about the characters...until these two most recent episodes.
#1. (Tanglewood Boys) I think that was possibly the WORST crying scene EVER in the HISTORY of television. Danny literally both looked and sounded like a newborn baby. Could his mouth have opened any wider? It was just...so weird. But then when Mac pulled him into a hug, it was just awesome. (Hey! Slash writers! I see you - drop your pens!!) It's enough to let him burst out with a sob and that single tear, like releasing poison from a wound; then he quiets down. Oh, I was a happy, happy sudden fan of NY.
#2. OK, anytime you bring in Kid Rock, it's going to be fun. I think he's a freak, and a complete moron, gross and scuzzy, and I would never listen to his music in the real world, but it's quite fun to watch it on this show. And the Stella storyline! The reviewer at CSI Files complained about how the women on CSI always seem to be punished for pursuing romantic relationships. (citing numerous instances for Catherine, Sara, Yelina, Calleigh, and now Stella) To which I say: bullpuckey. Maybe it does seem that way. But you know what? I don't care. Ever notice how many fan fiction scenarios use the "woman injured/teammate rescues her" scenario? That's because it pulls at our heartstrings. [Like Yelina's black eye - see, that gave us multiple sweet scenes showcasing Horatio's concern for her/fury at any man who'd hurt her]
As for this ep, when Stella was enduring the rape exam with silent tears rolling down her cheeks, I was almost crying along with her. As sick as it sounds, I like seeing my beloved characters injured. It does moderately disturb me that my favorite depictions of romance involve either bedside vigils or comforting someone in tears...
Anyway, neither of those came into play in this episode, but I suddenly have a whole new level of respect and admiration for Stell. Also, I'm naming my next Peruvian Paso mare "Aresanob." Or maybe just Aresa. Aresera? Okay, fine, I admit it. What I really loved was the ending. Going back to her apartment, because she's a big girl, only to realize it's too much to go back to before it's even been cleaned. But mainly, the song was instantly SO beautiful, even though I could only catch a few lyrics - "I loved you first"... "beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth"... "kissed me 'til the morning light..."
Now that I know the song - it's by Regina Spektor, "Samson" - I love it in its own right. It's an absolutely gorgeous work, even though I'm not sure of its meaning. It sort of shifts time periods...it seems to reference the biblical Samson, but the woman isn't Delilah, it seems to be a woman that came before her. "the history books forgot about us, and the Bible didn't mention us." That's my favorite line. (I assume "us" means them as a couple, not them as individuals)
But with all the other references, it's more of a modern-day Samson, however you want to interpret that. And "my sweetest downfall," although it may be influenced by its proximity to this episode, makes it seem like role reversal. The song is in past tense; this is a former relationship, and in the song it seems that he is the one that dumped her, destroying her world.
You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth
I have to go, I have to go
Your hair was long when we first met
Samson went back to bed
Not much hair left on his head
He ate a slice of wonder bread and went right back to bed
And history books forgot about us and the bible didn't mention us
The bible didn't mention us, not even once
You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first , I loved you first
Beneath the stars came falling on our heads
But they're just soft light, they're soft light
Your hair was long when we first met
Samson came to my bed
Told me that my hair was red
He told me i was beautiful and came into my bed
Oh I cut his hair myself one night
A pair of dull scissors and the yellow light
And he told me that I'd done alright
and kissed me till the morning light, the morning light
and he kissed me till the morning light
Samson came back to bed
not much hair left on his head
Ate a slice of wonderbread and went right back to bed
Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down
Yeah we couldn't destroy a single one
And history books forgot about us
And the bible didn't mention us, not even once
You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first
See? Beautiful. In fact, I'm going to keep the eppie on my tape. It's just at the end of my "Lost" one, and that one is full of commercials anyway because I have class on Wednesday nights.
Section 4: Freaking CSI Promo.
GOD I hate that thing. You can't watch an hour of CBS any hour of the evening without being assaulted by something like 6000 previews promising "THIS PICTURE - HOLDS THE CLUES - TO THE FINAL TWO EPISODES OF THE SEASON!" Oh my God. And if you hang out at GrissSaraTalk on the Yahoo boards (or any other CSI message board, come to the think of it), you will notice that it has produced an explosive frenzy of theories. It's like I'm trapped in the Lost fandom.
Seriously, the number of things they have plucked out is ridiculous. They're speculating worse than ME. And here I was all calm and smug, sure that it was a lot of fuss over nothing; spoilers all but spell out that Brass is getting shot, and Brass is going to die. Makes sense, doesn't it? And I was not. Even. Going. To Think. About the possibility of a GSR resolution.
But now they're all talking...and now I too am curious about why Warrick's not wearing his wedding band...and a lot of other random stuff...and OKAY! I'm sickened/horrified/disgusted by the prospect of a TV-style GSR resolution. What's the difference between good resolution and TV-style resolution? Well, my version was featured on The X-Files. A thousand hugs and handholds, with the major payoff being an onscreen kiss.
As opposed to the rest of the world, who just stubbornly aren't satisfied until they see it consummated onscreen, which, EW, I don't want to see. But some entertainment rag is promising "a bang - in the bedroom" as "Grissom takes one of his CSI's home with him." Oh, (W)TF. We've been dancing around this issue for six years. There really ought to have been some kind of progress made after Nesting Dolls, but it was like it never happened. And besides, in case you haven't noticed, for some reason established relationships are not allowed to exist on TV. UN-romances of mutual attraction can last for years, but for some reason we'll get bored if they're officially together? Can't established couples still have romantic moments?! Not according to TV people. So the faster you rush to consummation, the quicker it blows up, and then you'll never get it back.
Unless you're on ER and your name is Abby. Then you get a second chance with Luka a few years down the road. (maybe. It could still blow up)
And besides...it's so STUPID to just hop in bed. I don't care if you've had a smoldering un-romance for six freaking years. You have to admit it to each other and give it at least a few months, preferably during which other people know about it. If they just randomly sleep together, it will blow up in the season 7 premiere. Besides, Mr. William Peterson, whom I have recently decided I don't actually like as much as his character, is probably going to be gone after season 7 anyway. So they pretty much only have a year of being together onscreen. I think even the fickle viewers could stay interested for a year, don't you?
So I really hope that the entertainment rag (it's Canadian; the name escapes me) is severely misinformed and/or has blown things out of proportion and/or context. I'm sure they have, I really am, but I'm just a little...worried.