I am so serious about it that I'm even doing all the fancy header stuff that I have never before done for a rec, instead of just putting a title (author if you're lucky) and maybe a sentence about why you should click.
Title: Carry That Weight (+ excellent master post here)
Author: hedgerose & penguinutopia
Primary pairing: Blaine/Kurt
Word Count: ~58,000
Summary: When Blaine's friend Susan drags him to an American Idol audition, he's not even trying to get past the first round-- much less into the top ten. And after getting through Disco Week, avoiding the media, and dealing with his very absent parents, Blaine's not sure he even wants to win -- although falling in love might make up for a lot of that. And maybe, just maybe, he can win this thing.
Rating Warning: NC-17, so I had to bail on it on two or three occasions, BUT it is so EASY to see those dark things coming, and they can be chopped right out and replaced by a single transition sentence with no effect on the story. The vast majority of it is incredibly G-rated.
Why You Should Read It: What part of "American Idol AU" was not enough? Would you like to hear about how Blaine and Quinn become fast friends and/or cuddle buddies? Because that was even more important to me than the central relationship. Also, Jesse is one of the contestants. And, saving the best for last, the fic is spiced up by incredible supplemental commentary that includes critical reviews of AI episodes along with brilliant screenshots featuring news articles, LJ posts/comments and even a slew of Tumblr reactions. The Tumblr reactions are particularly spot on.
Additional Notes: It is an independent universe with multiple stories. So once you finish this utterly satisfying story, there is MORE MATERIAL. Not a ton more, but a few thousand words extra.
Grey's Anatomy, 8x13, "If/Then"
I'm sorry, I thought we were going to see a true alternate universe, not "alternate ways everything became exactly the same it is today." There were only a few glimpses where things were different enough to be entertaining, and the things that were the same were mostly awful. I think the number one lesson here is to STOP BRINGING ELLIS GREY BACK, because at this point even when I see a photograph of the actress or a passing glimpse of her in some other show, it incites a murderous feeling in my breast.
Begone with your disgusting Alex/April hookups (not that Alex/Meredith was much better, since Grey's has ruined Justin Chambers' face for me in the same way), your ludicrous "Callie and Arizona are such soulmates that not even being married and having kids can stop Callie's Strange Feelings," your deeply unwanted "Mandy" (I rejected this lame backstory even in canon), and most of all your "lol it's Mark's baby" reveal.
That is probably the part that set me off. What did I ask you for when the spoilers hit, show? I did not not realize I had to spell out that McLeery (see what I did there?) was off-limits. I expected triumphant returns to Derek And Addison, and while you were dismal on that front, I was chalking it up to baseless clinical depression in no way related to Addison herself. Loved how you turned it around -- with dreamy pledges of support! -- and hated the immediate collapse into failure. Though, at least footage of Pregnant Addie will be useful to the fanvidders making AU stories.
Can't even begin to deal with why Callie and Owen are a couple in this world, but extremely fond of his daughter Allegra. What I'm reading here is that now instead of just a vague, abstract distaste for what Cristina took away from him, we have specific proof of exactly how wonderful this would be and exactly how much more you want her to die now.
At least, that was my assumption until she wrapped up his hand, at which point my extremely coherent notes read "YANG AND HUNT AND THEIR SEXUALLY CHARGED EYESEXING (of sexiness)." I was not expecting their chemistry to still be quite so on fire. Run along with your lady feelings, Callie; I gotta fan these flames. (what is a Teddy? Apparently only good for emotional affairs in every universe) Oh, and not going to lie, I still find his violent PTSD lashing out inappropriately hot.
The one part I DID really like? Besides Percy still existing? Cokehead!Lexie the tatted-up skank. Not only will I apparently love Chyler Leigh's face through anything except a bad blonde dye job, it turns out there is a world where I will ship Jackson/Lexie, and it is this one.
So. All in all, I respect them for taking a chance on something unique and hope they continue to do this on an annual basis, but I didn't have as much fun with it as I wanted.
Up Next: holy crap, don't even know which one of Owen's scenes I am most excited for. So clearly I am stuck on this crazy train full time again for a while. -.-
Private Practice, 5x13, "The Time Has Come"
Almost everything about this episode was wonderful. I mean, I hated the cliche soldier rape storyline and Violet's nauseating sexytimes -- not even worth Pete's "screw you" reaction, unless this is building up to payoff later, and even then I don't understand why Violet has to date someone who looks so awful or why it has to be a physically-based hookup in the first place -- but the rest?
Violently Threatening Pete and the Cooper Drama Corner were great, except for the annoyance of him convincing Erica to get the stupid treatment after all, yet I still only have the patience to talk about:
Drunk!Addie + Jake = the most fun I have had on the show all year. The most fun I have had with Addison in at least two years, and it started well before she was even drunk, with his traditional driving chivalry and her breakup food binges at a diner with ridiculously amazing-looking dinosaur statues no one commented on visible through the window. Can I just quote all the things?
Jake: Let's take my car.
Jake: Because...you know, a man drives.
Addison: Seriously? You don't trust a woman behind the wheel?
Jake: No, I'm sure you're a fantastic driver, but
Addison: What, I might get the vapors between here and Palm Springs?
Jake: Look, it's not a sexist thing, OK? I'm just old fashioned. I was taught that a man pulls out chairs, a man open doors, and a man drives a woman.
Addison: When my ex-husband left me, I actively decided to get fat. That was my only plan. Pack it on. MASSIVE fatness. Like, rolls on your back, really big thighs. Like a layer of protections between me and the rest of the world."
(side note: awww. And DIAF, Meredith.)
Jake: Did it work?
Addison: No. I have the metabolism of a marathon runner. It was very disappointing.
Addison: Go. Mingle. Come back when someone's dumped you.
Addison: Wanna have sex with the Meryl Streep of maternal/fetal medicine?
(time cut to frustrated Addison dramatically lolling in bed)
Jake: It's OK...
Addison: Well, I actually think that it is not. You rejected me!
Jake: I didn't reject you.
Addison: I asked you to have sex with me and you said no.
Jake: I cannot have sex with you.
Addison: Augh! You rejected me again!
Jake: Look, I'm sorry but I can't.
Addison: Am I hideous? Did I become hideous?
Jake: You are gorgeous.
Addison: Was it the eating? Did all the eating freak you out?
Jake: Your eating is, oddly, very sexy.
Addison: Was it because you saw my vagina in a medical way? ...wait, don't answer that.
Jake: I can't have sex with you and I'm really sorry about that.
Addison, awesomely whiny: Why not?
Jake: Because you're drunk. And because you don't want to have sex with me. You want to have sex with someone, anyone, because you're not over Sam. You're trying to numb the pain. You are beautiful and you are desirable and very, very hot, but...I can't have sex with you because you're not ready to have sex with anyone who isn't Sam.
(At which point she seems to find this as sensible as her drunk mind can find anything and tips over to lean her head on his shoulder. Until --)
Addison: But is it also a little bit because you saw my vagina in a medical way?**
Jake: Little bit.
**THIS LINE NEVER STOPS BEING FUNNY. Ever.
Also, I cannot properly articulate how adorable this whole head-on-shoulder comforting business is. Remind me to give them more credit for occasionally giving me warm fuzzies to counteract some of the brain-bleach-requiring naked times.
Not actually a quote, but since I seem to be running through their scenes in chronological order: how much do we love how he's just calmly propped up besides her when she wakes up in the (afternoon), all sexy specs and calmly telling her to simmer down because he's taken care of everything? It's like Cristina the morning after her wedding, but with more clothes, and since the entire experience has been super reminiscent of how she started down the path with Sam, but far less inherently icky...I could not be happier right now.
Addison: Did I ask you for sex and then cry?
Jake: We're not gonna talk about this any more. I called room service and got you a bacon cheeseburger, got here 5 minutes ago. It's still hot.
Addison: OK, but I --
Jake: Not gonna talk about this. Go. Sit. Eat.
Addison, with exaggerated mock complaint: I'm supposed to just do everything you say?
Jake: I'm driving. Eat.
--And this is officially the point where I went around the bend and need them to happen since they have old-married-couple-bickering down to a T. I would consider putting a permanent end to whining about Derek And Addison for this. Truly. She would actually come out the winner in the divorce war, since Jake is a much greater catch than Meredith.
Jake: We're not just colleagues.
And, forgot to mention earlier, but he way he totally ignores the charmingly flirty hotel clerk at the beginning in favor of staring at Addison's ass? Thumbs up.
P.S. As a bonus gift, here is an incredibly lovely picspam featuring 10 reasons to ship them, and it only goes up through December.
The Office, 8x13, "Jury Duty"
This was one of the better episodes of the season, maybe even best -- or maybe it's just been so long since Pam was in an episode and I've enjoyed this series that I've lost all sense of standards -- and yet I am so disappointed with it. Everything I thought you had agreed to quietly drop, all the fears I had finally put to bed, suddenly exploded in this volcano of character destruction. It is literally the worst possible scenario. It was bad enough when there was the potential for a sex-contract baby, but now there's...this.
There's horrible adultery, somehow worse than when she was engaged to the singing baboon, maybe because this marriage actually went through. Because now there's a messy marriage to unravel. Because after all the crap that Angela rightfully gave Pam, now she has to be a hypocrite in every area of life. Because ONCE A-GODDAMN-GAIN, TV fails to deliver me a non-pregnant bride. And then because against all impossible odds, there is actually a monstrous little Schrute-Martin hybrid unleashed on the planet, and we can't even enjoy it. None of the fun stories people wrote about clashing parenting styles are any fun at all, because we're trapped in the middle of this love triangle nightmare (with an added gay twist that Oscar just WILL NOT DROP; in related news, my desire for a Scranton Strangler copycat whose sights are set on Oscar increases each week).
In conclusion: remember when this was just a joke?
I'm not saying I didn't love every second of this when Erin the Pigeon Brain or Kevin The Kreep weren't talking**, because DUH, it's Angela with a newborn baby! "The Delivery" is my favorite episode of the series; I am perfectly happy that the camera crew decided to spend its resources tracking Angela over here. It's just...not the recipe for an ultimately happy RS.
**Except for that horrible part where NBC's censors are asleep at the wheel and apparently not paying attention to how much we DID NOT NEED TO HEAR THE EXPLICIT DETAILS OF HOW BABIES ARE CONCEIVED THANKS. Clinical terms do not make it okay! See, this is why I can't believe that people want the FCC to be more lax about its language censorship.
On the other side of things, everything with Jim and/or Jim/Pam/Kids was flawless. Just flawless. The more I think about it, the more I think this is probably my favorite episode of the year. Even the parts that should have been horribly secondhand embarrassing for me, as Jim dug himself into a deeper and deeper hole, were instead just entertaining.
Of course, by the time Pam showed up, you can clearly see that I have no more notes or even any pictures because I just got lost in my joy. The children were screaming and throwing cry fits and all I heard was soothing white noise as soon as Jim started picking them up. Remembering why this is my OTP: done. (and oh my GOD I have missed watching them be parents. The fabulous ordinariness of their lives! Why isn't the entire show about them? Forget Schrute Farms; the spinoff should just be a clone of "Up All Night" but with cool people).