I finally kicked myself into gear and watched the pilot of Smash. I was and still am debating whether I really want to watch this on a weekly basis or if I just want to store it all up for an unlimited run in summer, because it seems like the kind of series that would be better mainlined. However, since DVDs from the library will just take too long and it's a pain in the butt to track anything down online more than a month after airing, I think I'm resigned to making a standing appointment with it.
My fears of "extreme boredom" were unfounded, as it moved along at a right clip despite my preconceived bias. I'm having an impossible time thinking of any of the famous people by character names yet (even the girl playing the blonde has been talked about so much in the media that she's just Megan Hilty to me), but I'm at least tolerant of everybody except the sleazy director. I'm admittedly already bored by the adoption storyline -- you know how I feel about mixing new babies and teenagers in the same household -- and the husband seems irrelevant already; similarly, I am bored by McPhee's proper British yet very bland fiance, who looks like he's just waiting to be chewed up and spit out along her road to fame.
But thus far, those are my only complaints. I love all of the famous people already, so of course their characters are my favorites. I am going to make a concentrated effort to look up character names here, so... Debra Messing/Julia is my immediate favorite, because everything she touches turns to gold, but in a close second, all my years of Katherine McPhee fangirling stretching back to American Idol have finally come to true fruition.
The thing I was most worried about on this show was being bored to tears by Broadway music, but if Katherine McPhee (Karen. Karen, Karen, Karen, I will learn this) is singing anything except "Over The Rainbow," I am all ears. She is perfection in the music business! It's not the kind of music I would download or want to listen to on its own, which is actually a good thing because Glee should have a monopoly on that, but it is absolutely enjoyable in context and enhances the show, which is something Glee does not always successfully do.
Speaking of Glee, because the comparisons are inevitable even though the shows are nothing alike, my favorite thing about this series is the shiny potential for it to basically be the future glimpse of Glee. By "future Glee" I mostly mean that I shift Rachel around interchangeably in the roles of Julia/Karen/Ivy and then add Kurt to be the stereotyped Gay Best Friend stand-in, but still. It's fun.
Coming in at third place, Miss Ivy. The previews set her up as a villain, but then she turned out immediately likable and so sympathetic. It would appear we have another Community-esque Britta And Annie situation on our hands, where I love both girls to bits, which means everything is win/win where their competition is concerned. This is going to be great fun. (and actually, to extend the Community metaphor to the entire cast: ladies, all awesome! men, all inferior and/or irrelevant!)
And distinct fourth but still a champion, Anjelica Houston/Eileen. I haven't seen enough of her to flail all over the place yet, but she seems fantastically compelling in her own regal right. And what do you know, suddenly I am super intrigued by next Monday night, where Castle now has to scrap for live-viewing rights much harder than it ever did against Hawaii Five-0 (which will be losing that arena fight from here to eternity).
Just one specific detail before I go: I almost lost it after "the last time [my parents] were here, they spent 2 days trying to convince me to move back to Iowa." This point apparently has to be brought up in every show ever set in New York, and you'd think I could let it go one of these times BUT I CAN'T, even though eventually my digital voice is going to grow hoarse from shouting "HOW DO I GET IT THROUGH YOUR SKULLS THAT NEW YORK DOESN'T HOLD A BIRTHDAY CANDLE TO THE MIDWEST." The only place New York has an edge over is Los Angeles, and that's only because it has snow. Bite me, New York. Love, A Lifelong Midwesterner.
(fine, it might have been worth being a New Yorker for a day if you got to see Darren Criss on Broadway and/or after the show. But that's it! That is all I will concede today.)
Gossip Girl, 5x14, "The Back Up Dan"
So here I am, once again,
Although eleigh did come up with the fantastic wish that this were a different show where Chuck is Dan's gay bff, to which I replied "the hell with that, I'm making that his role on this show." As far as I'm concerned, his Blair obsession is motivated solely by unwillingness to let anyone else play with his toys, whether he wants them or not. I figure I can keep this illusion going for at least a few more weeks.
Castle, 4x14, "Blue Butterfly"
SO MANY TREATS. *eyes glazed over in shipper coma*
I didn't know if I'd be a big fan of this one, but there it was, being practically perfect in every way. I like how they started off with the unimaginably delightful world in which Beckett and Alexis are sisters ("THE IMAGES IN MY HEAD RIGHT NOW ARE SO GREAT, I CAN'T EVEN, ALL THE STORIES"). Did not like so much how it ended with attempted murder and actual murder. OK, accidental murder, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Awesome Stuff: A List
* Castle's general little-boy glee about getting to take the diary home overnight
* "Why am I narrating?"
* Castle annoying the bejeezus out of Ryan by making him repeat "boy-o" until he snaps.
* "Spinning my chair in circles" moment #1: Castle getting so caught up in the fantasy that he uses Kate's name. In front of her. At the best possible point in the story. "As they stared into each other's eyes, Kate's heart quickened..." / *record scratch* / "Did you just say Kate?" Haaaa...and it's not like this is the first time he's pictured the two of you as main characters.
* Castle's general glee about sucking people into the story and then informing them that it stops there. "If you wanted a beginning, middle and end, I have 27 novels you can choose from."
* Martha is way better as a fussy secretary than as his mother. I want to keep this version.
* Both the real and fake versions of 1940s Alexis were fantastic.
* Oh, and Esposito makes a delightful thug. Can I keep this version too?
* Vera and her fantastic fur wrap (amazing! sometimes it does look glamorous instead of like wanton cruelty; oh help, I don't like who I am right now), Vera and her cigarette girl attire. Struggling with favorite outfit here.
* "Grandson" my butt. Laughing forever at their choice to go with Jacob The Immortal for two roles. Since I hear he also plays Lucifer on Supernatural, you can't tell me this was not a deliberate choice.
* "Spinning my chair in circles" moment #2: "I just realized...I can't give you anything but love." #totally not capitalized like a proper song title in his head
* Less awesome moment:
Beckett: Who were the victims?
Ryan: Some lady named Vera Mulqueen and a private detective named Joe Flynn.
Entire fandom: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Entire fandom 5 minutes later: but probably they faked their deaths right?
1 minute later: Oh, wait. That doesn't end well either.
* The fable of Vera & Flynn. "And they lived happily ever after and had lots of babies. Hint-hint." Very sweet in the present day. I love everyone (Castle included) waiting with bated breath for Beckett's decision on whether or not to throw the book at them. Now it seems silly to have worried. They should just be grateful they didn't have Lily Rush and her Cold Case squad cracking down on them, because Lily's team makes no excuses for love or age.
* "Spinning my chair in circles" moment #3: the final shot. Just what I wanted. In the moment I was actually more giddy about "Always" than the kiss itself, but I was perfectly happy with said kiss.
* The ending credits fade was pretty great, too.
P.S. These two bits of fanart, made a week or two ago by...um, various people who aren't me...were lovely Tumblr-stolen souvenirs to have while waiting.
And now, I sit back and wait for Tumblr to make new fanart using that gorgeous sparkly necklace. I want one of my own. The fact it turned out to be costume jewelry in the story only makes me want it more.
House, 8x11, "Nobody's Fault"
Holy crap, Chase! My attention span had started to wander based on the borrrrrrrring narration-with-flashbacks (although at least the flashbacks were bright enough to see things! The cave-dwelling nature of various shows on my docket is beginning to deeply aggravate me), and then the sounds of the fight were just getting my attention back when I look up and there's Chase with a blade sticking out of his heart and me going "OH HELL, AUSIELLO'S BLIND ITEM, I THOUGHT WE AGREED IT WAS SPECIFICALLY UNFAIR FOR HOUSE TO PULL THIS STUNT TWICE."
I appreciate that they decided not to go the fatal route this time. That way there's all kinds of stuff to mine from this, between the part where Adams narrowly avoided being the recipient of that scalpel (I will go down with this ship. on principle. for lack of other options), the general panicked rush where I don't even have the energy to laugh at the fact that Taub is obviously the best person for emergency heart surgery here, the paralysis twist, and House's almost-unprecedented apology which he apparently didn't even need Wilson to browbeat out of him. That was lovely.
Oh, and I liked Chase's assessment of House wanting to check on him, but having to make the thinly veiled excuse of talking about the other case in order to avoid being accused of caring.
The rest of the episode might have been better if I hadn't felt like we'd already done the "House is insane and awful and we should really take away his license, but he's so brilliantly effective that this whole thing is a wash; case dismissed" plot at least twice now. Can we get Tritter in on this? I feel like Tritter should be taking a keen interest in House's entire prison/parole stint.