Still euphoric about my dog book. Tomorrow I'm hitting up two church sales on their $2-3 bag sale day and driving a wild amount of distance -- over 10 miles one way -- to go to this sale solely because I was promised "thousands of books, 99% 25 cents, closing eBay and Amazon book business" and the ad claimed there would be vintage children's books as well. I feel like I've probably already used up my luck, but...here's hoping. Personally, I can't believe the sale season is still going strong. Awesome weather FTW.
Law & Order: SVU, 13x02:
Heh. Fandom, the TV show has a mesasge for you: "You're going to have to start working with other detectives. Let him go." I'm liking Hostile Olivia so far. TPTB, I like that you have chosen to reflect the feelings of the viewers and get all buddy-buddy with us so we will accept your new characters. Granted, you didn't need to sway me with anything except Danny Pino's face, but I imagine there were some viewers who needed convincing. And you're doing a good job.
This is the kind of episode I wouldn't have bothered watching on my own (and oh my GOD what a cheesy ending), but I had to show up to see Dt. Amaro's introduction (hereafter referred to as Nick). As it turns out, yup, 1000% on board. Especially with his just-overgrown-enough-to-curl hair. Oh, and a wife serving in Iraq! SO SOLD. Unfortunately, even he can't help generate a personality for Giddish. Who, it should be noted, has joined Ted Danson in the ranks of New Procedural Show Hires Who Have Not Yet Earned Their Character Names.
Though I did like this actress quote: "Danny and I haven't been sent out on our own yet because the audience isn't ready for that and we're not ready for that. That torch is not ready to be passed yet."
I finally caught up on Survivor!Some early thoughts, mostly personality-related.
* This is my first introduction to Redemption Island. So far, I am not hating it half as much as I had assumed I would! It's nice to force a little extra focus on players booted early. Sure, they're not interesting NOW, but they might be soon. Or might be in another season.
* I am IN LOVE with the return of Ozzy and Coach. I don't understand how it happened either, but I love Coach now. And Ozzy, wow, I spent a week straight laughing my ass off at his wild mane of hair, convinced I could never take him seriously again, but one challenge and he managed to a) spellbind me with his general athleticism, and b) transform my perception into seeing him as some kind of hybrid Jack Sparrow/Will Turner manifestation, which is pretty hard to resist. Anyway, it's fantastic having them around as leaders, which makes it suck all the more that no one is likely to let a Boston Rob win happen again at a time when I would really like it to.
People Who Are Awesome
* I latched onto John (I am not calling you by your last name, sir) before they even picked tribes. Skinny nerd boys with glasses and crazy smarts are impossible to resist. It's cute how he keeps fretting about being a spastic, neurotic outsider when, other than Ozzy, he's the most attractive guy out there. And Ozzy only beats him in the looks department. Considering the total package, John all the way. There's a lot of ominous doom surrounding him right now, but do you think this could go the way of my last several early-attachment Survivor crushes and go until the final week?
(side note: He's 24? Oh, I am just so sad that I am now older than even the college graduates who went directly to grad school)
* Mikayla! On paper, she's a bimbo, but instead of that drunk waif look (a/k/a, a typical spring-break sort of college girl, a/k/a the kind this show often casts who seems vapid), she has a well-muscled athlete's body and a friendly Midwestern face (...current location says Florida. Whatever, it's a personality trait synonymous with "nice"). She seems like the kind of person who would be beyond my small social circle, but only because she was so nice to everyone that the throng of friends flocking to her was enormous.
* Sophie similarly fits the "basically, she's a slightly more outgoing me" role, which is neat. I don't often see myself reflected in Survivor casting. And I said this before finding out the following: ONE OF HER LISTED HOBBIES IS SCRABBLE. Also, she used a word I did not know, "lionization," in her profile. ALSO, she referenced Stephen as one of the contestants she was most like!
* Rick. Cowboys > everything.
* Edna, Deb & Papa Bear are on the lower end of the awesome scale, not having done much to distinguish themselves, but they're still likable. I'm basing my opinion of Edna solely on the fact that she stopped to help Coach on the first day, thus reflecting both my current opinion of the guy and what I would have done in her place.
People I Am Undecided About, Bored By, Or Haven't Seen Enough Of Yet To Judge
* Stacey is dull, I can't remember Whitney (oh, lone young blonde! I do love her hair), Albert has made no impression at all, and Elyse seems kind of silly but could grow on me (why am I not at all surprised she's a dance team manager?)
* HOLY CRAP, KEITH'S FROM THE TWIN CITIES. I should cheer for him on principle, but I probably won't. He has done nothing of note so far.
* Semhar got on my nerves super fast, so yay! Christine is also wearing an extremely unpleasant scowl at all times -- it says she's a teacher? Damn, hate to be in her class. Hope she's bounced next.
* There were about 10 minutes there were I was pleasantly surprised by Brandon and thought, "Oh, you mean he's NOT a psycho bastard? OK, clean slate!" But then it turned out he was. Less overtly evil, but extra-strength Froot Loop. I literally spent the entire second episode looking around and asking the empty air, "Is he for real? No, seriously, is this actually happening? Are these the thoughts that are in his head?" P.S. Dude, there's a point at which you have to stop whining and apologizing for not being a good Christian or whatever, and just SHUT UP AND *BE* ONE. So far, he's the only one I can see being a long-term thorn in my side. Oh, except for...
* Jim. I want to punch him square in the center of his smug little face. I can definitely see him being obnoxious for the long haul.
FINAL VERDICT: A surprisingly likable cast so far! Let's see how long that lasts. As of right now, Survivor just shot to the top of my interests lists
Grey's Anatomy, 8x03
DAMN this show and its freaking perfect OTPs to which I am clearly addicted. I swear, I was just testing the station to make sure Private Practice was going to come in all right. But I opened on C/O, and while I managed to resist and mute them after a few seconds...then it switched over to Derek and Meredith, and something about his stance made me unmute, and it was AMAZING. Yelling, pointing at vows! He promised he wouldn't run! He promised to love her even when he hates her! Good grief, Patrick Dempsey, how did I willfully separate myself from your face for an entire week. The whole thing had me so spellbound I forgot how to breathe. (and for all that, they didn't even touch each other. It was all expressions and words. Most of them variations of angry and disappointed. And yet, so much promise.)
And then it switched back to Cristina & Owen, and while I had mute at the ready, I made the fatal mistake of glancing at the clock to see if I could afford to switch away (I could not, though in retrospect, the first 2-3 minutes of a PP premiere are never worth it), and when I looked back her head was cradled in his lap. At which point I threw up my hands (the remote actually went flying out of them) and the sound damning and headdesking began. I'M NOT BACK. I am just, uh, appreciating some out-of-context shippy stuff like a deleted scene; I have a lot of experience with that thanks to Pretty Little Liars. But if anyone knows where Henry/Teddy clips are all neatly packaged on YouTube, you should link me up, because there's no point denying myself the sweet stuff if I'm already in this deep.
Now all I am missing out on is April, and based on what I have heard (my spies are everywhere), I definitely WANT to be missing that so in my head she can remain the regal organization queen of virgin superpowers.
It's going to get complicated when my last scrap of Off The Map comes back in the form of Ben, though. Very complicated.
Private Practice, 5x01, "God Laughs"
Not much going on here, but I'm glad I read all the interviews about how Pete's personality is going to take a turn for the dark side, because I prepared myself for that from the get-go so I was pleasantly surprised that we at least got one bit of sweetness before that starts. Sure, it was a slightly altered Pete due to drug effects, but clearly the base feelings were there. You're beautiful, I love you, etc. I sense I may have to hoard this moment away for the long, lean months ahead, but I can so do that.
It was also nice to see Cooper give Violet a (as it turned out, unnecessary) lecture about running away from her husband, and so sweet to watch Addison cuddling Lucas all hour. And I did it without any rage or jealousy, too! September 2010 Me would have exploded with fury about being taunted. Luckily we've reset. Oh, also, Benjamin Bratt seems much less sleazy now. I am back on board with his character.
There was one annoying thought -- when Cooper and Charlotte started talking, the angry gears and levers whirred to life in my brain. If Shonda wanted her married-doctor-who-loves-her-husband abortion headline, why couldn't it have been done with Charlotte? I would not have given two figs. I probably would have applauded. It would have been win/win! Pro-choice people would get their TV voice, and it's not as if I could like the Wicked Witch of the South any less -- which wouldn't even be an issue, since I am all for driving a wedge between these two through any means necessary.
Oh, regrets, regrets.
The Office, 8x02, "The Incentive"
My parents missed the season premiere. I love how right after I finished gleefully telling them about how Andy was totally toned down and it was so much nicer to have him as the manager...he clambered awkwardly onto Jim's desk. And then dwarfed that moment by getting a tattoo.
That said, it IS nicer to have him as manager. Michael lent this very abrasive edge to the series. With him gone, everything just seems -- I don't know, gentler, calmer, rounded off. I no longer feel a stab of general dislike when someone says this show's name. Entire episodes seem like they could be watched again, even if they don't excite me.
Very little going on this week besides Pam & Angela's pregnancy walk, which I found adorable, and will never be able to see as an actual feud. I hope there are more things with them in the deleted scenes, because this subplot was basically all this episode had going for it. I did enjoy Stanley energetically selling the triangle and Jim entertaining himself by casually, pleasantly making Andy look like an idiot and/or single-handedly amping up the incentive program. It's like watching a very clever dog unlock a treat-dispensing puzzle.
Oh, and I got a vague sense that Andy/Erin might be 3-5% more appealing to me with a boss/underling dynamic thrown into the mix. Let's stick a pin in that and revisit later.
Community, 3x02, "The Geography of Global Conflict"
Written during the first 2/3:
Turns out that until the show goes canon on my ass, I have fallen off the Jeff/Annie-shippin' wagon. One too many utterances of "kiddo" brainwashed me into thinking I am way too in love with the protective older guy/kid sister dynamic to do anything else with them. Now our only hope is to wait until that ferments in my brain and turns back into wrong-bad shipping.
That said, since the entire episode was about Jeff and Annie's relationship in any context you choose, it was AMAZING. It topped the premiere and feels like it might be a season favorite. I loved every single second, except when Chang was prominently featured (there have actually been episodes where he's funny. This was not one of them. Plus, I have been unable to stand "Hello" ever since Glee wasted a Jesse/Rachel duet on it).
Things of immense delight counted so far:
"This is our Annie."
"You're the best, kiddo."
"...you okay, kiddo?"
"That's it. I'm gonna go find this little brat's off switch."
"I'm sorry, I don't understand your relationship here. Is he your father or your lover?"
"We're friends." / "Good friends." / "Grown-up friends."
"That's my girl." (shoulder punch)
"You're acting like a little schoolgirl, and not in a hot way! . . . That made me sound creepy."
Britta's latest relapse into Nutjobville
Annie Kim, in everything
All of Pierce's comments (which almost never happens)
Professor "Either Pronunciation is Correct" Cligoris
Troy referencing high school, being...super excited about someone in a list of famous people other than will.i.am, and taking Annie's cup away and replacing it with a lidless one
Troy's Georgia-The-Country accent
Britta is your freedom. And she's in a cage! With the world! ARE WE FACEBOOKING THIS?
The floating heads
Written after the episode ended:
Annie's temper tantrum, in particular, made me laugh so hard I cried. I can't seem to stop replaying it.
At this point, the wind kicked in and messed up the reception so badly I had to come back and finish later. And then I could NOT EVEN HANDLE the sofa conversation. STILL CANNOT HANDLE. Best thing I have ever seen. I may need nothing more for, oh, the entirety of the series. "It's a way for me to tell you how important you are from a distance."
Though, for the record, that has been working spectacularly for me. I beg to differ that they cannot keep the current state of their relationship going indefinitely, because if I am not real invested in more kissing from them or seeing them off to the altar at some point, what do I need beyond the flirting and the protective/defensive alpha male mode? Look, I can love Jeff's admission of ~feelings~ and still...not want it to be endgame, or in fact any game beyond the kiss we've already got in the bag.
Voice: Really? That seems unlike you.
RS: Blame Joel McHale's face, or at least Jeff Winger's arrested emotional development in the romance department.
Wait, wasn't the whole point of me splitting the review into Before & After was that I was going to talk about how it went canon on my ass and changed my mind? It was. I have no idea what I'm feeling, then. I just liked whatever it was for what it was?
(I also take back my amusement with Britta's latest relapse into insanity. The barbie doll suit went one step too far. I can only handle one crazy TV blonde at a time, and Quinn Fabray is currently filling the position.)
CSI: NY, 8x02, "Keep it Real"
*shakes self awake* Did I fall asleep? Sorry. I was extremely dissatisfied with abrupt transition of Mac coming back to the lab. I know it had to happen, but in my fantasy world, Mac would have stayed gone forever (let's face it, in a parallel world, Adam so won that bet) and hopefully continued working in the lab until he retired. I would have liked that ending for him. This just felt way too fast, and kind of like he was abandoning that other job once he got a shiny award, to be honest.
I enjoyed Lindsay's flirting (even moreso when she answered the phone as "Messer" and my happiness meter shot through the roof), but my favorite characters in this were Aly Michalka and the lucky nerd. I got very attached to these guest stars whose names I never actually learned.
I didn't really get Mac's specific contempt in the face of the heartbroken friend. So he's free to break the law, it's just not OK to "willingly involve [his] friend in it"? I don't see how giving him money to an unsuspecting friend is much different from spending the money. Really, please explain to me how the people who unknowingly accept his fake money in exchange for goods are less involved.
I wish the TV season wasn't dragging its heels so badly this season. I really want to do a snapshot State of the Networks update, because I now have much clearer opinions of what I'm looking forward to vs. what is a chore, but I feel like I should wait for House first. ...Ah, what the hell.
With the contenders I've got right now and currently planning to watch next week, here's how my excitement levels stack up:
1. Terra Nova: SURPRISE HIT! I've been thinking about my little dino show all week, which has been gaining strength by the day until it's the only one where I'm bouncing with impatience for the next installment.
2. Survivor: Almost as excited. The returning players are even better than I remember, and I have latched onto a trio of new people as well.
3. 2 Broke Girls: It's my newest shot-in-the-arm of joy. I love you like this too, Raising Hope, this one's just newer and shinier.
4. The Office: I'm telling you, it's the kinder, gentler Idiot Manager experience. That plus an OTP and two pregnancies all at once is very exciting for me. What was the last show on which I had two pending babies simultaneously? That I was excited for, I mean.
5. Community: Doesn't have an OTP, but otherwise, two of the strongest weeks in the season have led to a highly competitive product.
6. Raising Hope: again, so sorry, it's just that when you perform consistently well for so long...I take you for granted? Plus you're not even supposed to be on the actual review schedule, but more of a bonus buy.
---I have to say, I'm bothered by the fact that there's only one drama in my top 6, and it's not even a procedural. Here's hoping House fights its way in soon.
7. Glee. It's still generally in the doghouse for bad behavior, but damned if the music hasn't become the number 1 draw for the first time ever (but also, and perhaps more importantly, Shelby. And Blaine). It's not even that the music has been GREAT, it's just that it's been distinctly less horrible, so I can enjoy 80% of it in context as intended.
8. How I Met Your Mother: I'm getting bored with it really fast. And I hate saying that, so I'm 100% blaming it on Nora and their lame-ass triangle antics. The triangle's not a friendly shape, OK? It's pointy, it's got sharp edges. Triangles hurt people. I will quote Seth Cohen forever on this.
9. Private Practice: Meh. But one thing it does have going for it that the shows below do not is an OTP, plus some characters who are individually likable that might improve in the coming weeks.
10. CSI: It's honestly a hard choice which to watch live, this or SVU, because they're both the special kind of chore show now where it takes a lot of effort to make myself look it up online. Stupid Ted Danson being a weirdo. I can't focus on all the other people I love (and I do love basically all of them) because he's drawing all the focus in a negative way. If not for him, this would be an easy number 8 with potential to climb. I guess the potential to climb is still there. I mean, I can't seem to stop writing about it, which is a clear sign of how badly I WANT to like it more, which technically means I am anticipating it, no?
11. Law & Order: SVU: A duller package, but since I just finished fangirling over Danny Pino up there...
12. CSI: NY: It's getting the half an ear, "I am doing 27 other things while this is on" treatment right now. Yep, Jo broke it forever.
13. NCIS: One of the other few not improving from my summer stance is this dinosaur. Which is a terrible thing to say about a steadfast and unwavering crime show that, once upon a time in 2006, was tied with the show below as your #1 fandom. But true. I am paying next to no attention to it.
14. CSI: Miami: On the other hand, I won't even turn this on unless I have a good reason. It lives a half life...a cursed life.
PENDING ARRIVAL: House, Chuck, Once Upon a Time, and will Hart of Dixie get a chance this month or will I consider my freshman slots filled? Stay tuned!