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All The Televisual Things

My parents' 5-year-old TV has abruptly crapped out. Do you know how weird it is to not have a television in the living room? IT IS SO WEIRD. You want to quickly check the weather forecast -- oh no wait, you can't. You want to flip on The Simpsons rerun for a minute while you grab a bite to eat -- not happening! You run downstairs to start your traditional mother-daughter Survivor watch -- FOILED AGAIN.

There's an 11-year-old TV that works in the basement, but CBS wouldn't come in for some reason, and anyway...even though we have a sofa and a nice little watching space down there in the corner, it's an unfinished basement with cement floors and it's just not an inviting prospect to make yourself go down there. I have my own little TV upstairs to preserve my sanity, but it's strange not having one in a central location.
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House, 8x12, "Chase"
Lesson learned, giving Chase an episode is almost as good as giving one to Wilson or Cuddy. I went in knowing next to nothing, but I fell and I fell hard for Sister Maria Bello Lite. I argued nothing about any part of their relationship, and you'd think I would at least protest a random hookup, but NOPE. Fully on board with it, even after having already been thoroughly spoiled by the opening scene.

I did have to clamp my hands over my ears at Chase's repeated confessions of love, because...no, but even that I can at least appreciate in theory. (and suddenly it becomes very significant to me that Cameron left him) It was always going to end the way it did, and that was perfect too. This whole hour was like a wonderful little movie; it may not have actually been an AU, but it felt that way. There are so many little timelines that could branch off of this one. I'm not quite done living in the world of Chase and Moira. It is also my headcanon that they reconnect one more time, 40 years down the road, quite by chance.

On the lighter side, I got quite a kick out of Taub's Constant Vigiliance! against House's attacks, especially the awesome sight gag of House finally getting in a flying tackle in the distant background. Favorite payoff in recent memory. There's so much more I could write about this one (not least that glimmer into House's mindset during his final lecture), but I feel like to do so would break the magic spell drifting over it.

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Survivor: So Men vs. Women premiered, and immediately made both sexes look horrible, but mostly the men. I couldn't get past their constant hissy fits about how the women were evil and unfair. Do you genuinely not see how you started this by stealing supplies before you even got to camp? Why did it even occur to you to steal supplies? How much of a jackass do you have to be to think about stealing stuff while you're basically being invited to go on a shopping spree?

I'll do a full cast evaluation next week -- for now I just want to say that the women are collectively likable (this is rare and surely won't last), but Kim (? bridal shop owner) is my early favorite, just because she seems the least like a reality show character *coughMattTheDickhead* and more like someone you would actually encounter in real life. Chelsea, too. I was fully prepared to overlook Kourtney's short hair and nasty tattoos for her adorable face and personality, and that got dashed to hell. Awesome challenge design, guys. Frankly I'm surprised there weren't more people medical emergency-ing out after that one.

(part of me is annoyed with her for cutting the challenge short, though, because it looked like a really cool obstacle course race, possibly without even any gross muddy section)

So far, the men are all varying degrees of irrelevant to annoying. As for Colton...I can't deal with him right now. At this point I refuse to believe anyone is actually born with that voice without actively working at it.

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Law & Order: SVU, 13x14, "Home Invasions"
Aw, look at you, trying to make Detective Blondie interesting. That would have worked if you'd spent at least a few episodes secretly terrorizing her, instead of just one act before you rolled over and had her give up the gambling secret to Fin and then the Captain. I did like the conversation in the bar, though. It reminded me that Mariska may be on her way out but Ice-T will still be around, and for all of Blondie's flaws (see, I still can't remember her name half the time), she tends to suck least and come closest to having a personality when paired with him.

Then there was some plot with a 14-year-old victim of incest hiring her former housekeeper and said housekeeper's brother to assassinate her parents and make it look like a hate crime, which my brain honestly couldn't deal with. How is it even possible to grow up in the world and not be bombarded practically from birth about how sexual assault is never your fault, and that if you're a minor, in addition to your school counselor or teachers there are like 2523190 hotlines and other forms of support ready and willing to listen to you even if your mother is awful and refuses to hear? I mean, I see how it's possible, but once you get to the point she was at, you'd think some of that stuff would be in your playbook before murder.
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Grey's Anatomy, 8x15, "Have You Seen Me Lately?"
A great deal of that was unbearable -- for example, by the second Callie scene, I was ready to grab the nearest scalpel and jam it in her heart -- so by the end I was skipping every other scene and otherwise pretty much pared the storyline line down to two branches:

Derek, Amelia, Lexie: Once again, for all those not keeping track of my PP posts, Amelia is my favorite. I love her bright eyes, general intensity, and adorably devious ways. I loved and will always love her dynamic with Derek; everything about this made me too happy for words. Also, Amelia + Lexie = my favorite new friendship. They would tear up the town together, and it would be amazing.

Owen/Cristina: Oh, yes, yes, yes to all of this. Now that you mention it, it IS going to take some therapy for me to get through this. Their warring is fantastic -- I especially loved them sniping about whose PTSD was worse -- and I continue to be astounded by how perfectly Owen is playing out my feelings. Like, at this point I feel like I'm actually married to Cristina and trying to save a relationship. I'm not sure it's working, because everything does keep rolling right back to the abortion; I'm sorry, it's stubborn and petty and almost irrational because she can't do anything to fix it now, but it is what it is.

The one place I diverged was his ridiculous claim that "no one doesn't want kids." I'm sorry, play that back? I don't want kids, not innately. I do want someone to drop off an alien baby on my doorstep who grows up into the adorable young girl I want overnight, having already imprinted on me as her mother like a regular baby, but we can't all be Sarah Jane Smith. My reasoning is easy -- I think babies are disgusting and I don't want to be near them or touch them even when they're clean and quiet, much less when they're dirty and drooly and/or screaming for attention and you can't even slap them to vent your frustration. That's a clear example of a person not wanting a kid, right? (Voice: Or that something is wrong with you.)

True, I diverge from Cristina in that I'd suck it up and find a way to pretend if I wound up pregnant with a husband who desperately wanted kids, and assume the reality of it would change my mind. Being pro-life and all. But it's just wildly insulting to claim that people can't not want kids in the abstract, and I don't know how you say that with a straight face.

I like that Cristina does start to get angry and fight back by the end -- you went with her and condoned it, dude -- because there is only so much apologizing you can or should be expected to do while being met with ceaseless hostility. But at the same time, the only way my heart is going to soften is when it is manipulated by a lot, and I do mean a lot, of her tears. Those pain me enough to feel something like guilt.

I did like "Be my person! Be my freakin' person!", though, because up until now there has pretty much been acceptance of the girls choosing each other over their husbands, and I have been OK with that, but it's really nice to see her reaching a step beyond that. Point to Cristina on this exchange, because her plea is genuine while his demand in kind pretty much translates to "Have my babies or you're dead to me," and falls very flat as far as understanding what being someone's person should entail.

Although you have to admit, there was something annoying about the opportunity for the Twisted Sisters to have babies at the same time and then ruining that. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING.

Overall, though, I basically have no complaints with any of this. The blocking, along with every line of dialogue and non-verbal reaction shot, is just bang-bang-bang on point in terms of delighting me as a viewer, and endlessly fascinating.

P.S. Ooh, look at this GIF set. At the lyrics beneath it, mostly.
The truth hurts and lies worse
How can I give anymore
When I love you a little less than before?


a/k/a, "Hey there, new ship theme song."

Meanwhile, either I've missed it, or I am still waiting for Tumblr to get on role-reversal comparison GIFs from 7x02 with "and you were patient, and you were kind, and you stayed through it because you love me. You love me."

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Private Practice, 5x15, "You Break My Heart"
Of course Erica lived. That much became clear to me as soon as the crossover became centered around her, and yet I'm still disappointed because ever since she caved to the ridiculous pressure to start painful treatment, I have grown bored of her and been waiting for her to die. I am terrible! But she's just...not interesting enough for me to want her around all the time. Although the possible-goodbye conversation with Mason and her subsequent list of all the things Charlotte will need to do in her absence were great.

Cooper and Charlotte both had some amazing things to do with tears this week. At this point I'm calling a temporary truce on hating. They've spent roughly 400% more time crying this year than they have tearing each other's clothes off;* I simply cannot continue to reject a ship that is so blatantly begging for my love and approval.

[*edit: the irony of the preview, it burns]

Beyond that, I am certainly always up for more face time with McDreamy, even if he doesn't get to interact with Addison this time. Amelia is the better option anyway. Happy sibling hugs of adorable for always.

As for Sam's sister, I'm already done with her. I simply cannot deal with uppity people who suddenly find a well of self-confidence and decide that mental illness is not only not their fault, but everyone else sucks for not appreciating how hard their life is. NOPE. Your illness did not force you to run away and start doing drugs, no matter how hard it was to be in your head sometimes. How the hell do smart, well-off people even start drugs? I always want to know this. I literally could not begin to imagine where I would get access to pot, much less hard stuff, even if I woke up one day and decided that was the answer to my problems. 

Basically, I turned on her the second I heard something like "You missed me? ... Poor you." YES, POOR HIM. Abandonment is an awful place to be. Life sucked on both your ends - you don't get to have a monopoly on victimhood. He is allowed to be equally upset. ...I have not been this enraged by PP in a while. Interesting.

And in Jake/Addison Development News: "IT'S NOT JUST PHYSICAL."

*bows and sweeps out*

Up Next: holy mother of God why is Amelia pregnant, what is this, whose is this, I don't know how to feel.
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The Office, "Tallahassee"
I am loving this arc. This is my Michael Scott Paper Company.


I could watch the last two parts of that cold open a thousand times. First, THIS IS HAPPENING ON OUR SCREENS:
Look at that smile. Come on!

RYAN/ERIN, SMUTTY FANTASY OTP FOR LIFE. And then: "Oh, NOT COOL." = me laughing for like 10 minutes straight.

But then there is Jim's wakeup call. Wherein, after regaling us with a TH that I vaguely heard mention his kids, and which I would totally have focused on more if his hair weren't looking so exceptionally attractive, we get to watch him dive into a closet as Dwight and Erin come upon a "crime scene." "IT WAS DWIGHT." I love how Erin looks horrified and shrinks away from him.

You'd think the camera guy casually hanging out and filming the scene as opposed to calling the police would clue them in, but no matter. Because Jim doing a dead-body fall out of the closet to a chorus of screams is quite possibly the most hilarious thing I have ever seen on this show, ever. I've seen it like 8 times at this point and I'm still laughing as hard as I did the first time.

I could have done without more frickin' Packer (so, so could have done without), and I could also do with Nellie not naming genitals ever again, but otherwise? I am so happy to have Catherine Tate back in my life. (even though she has gotten shockingly skinny, like, where did you go? and "you look lovely but you looked better on Doctor Who") Nellie is great. Almost everything she says delights and entertains me not, least her awesome mockery of Ryan's height and how he'd look like a little boy who'd let go of his balloon if he tried to pull down the screen.

Dwight's appendicitis was also an excellent plotline. I mean, not that I ever argue hospital plotlines, but to have Jim messing with him about poison -- and then rapidly backpedaling from that accusation -- just made it that much better.

Various Other Things I Liked:
+ A brief advancement on Cathy's "So, You've Decided To Be A Homewrecker" plot. Subtle, Cath.
+ Ryan posing for douchey model photos
+ FLORIDA STANLEY -- now with Florida Groupie Jim
+ "Whoa, Stanley! Did you just come back from burning down a rival nightclub?" Fact: he does not deny this.
+ Dwight's mewling-kitten whimpers while trying to pull down the screen
+ The extreme number of Jim reaction shots (mostly to Dwight's insanity) at the camera
+ "What is the antidote?" / "True love's kiss."
+ Human pyramid. Genuinely impressed they got the actors got up to the third level.
+ Ryan's inappropriate whooping about calling Dwight's appendicitis
+ "The one thing Pam made sure I knew? Florida's pretty loose with the death penalty."
+ Dwight giving the world's most awesomely bad presentation, despite attempted help from his team -- and when Erin is embarrassed for you, you're in a world of hurt
+ Nellie crossing her arms and looking all the world like an unimpressed teacher in the corner

Back at the office, I could not decide whether to be giddy or angry about how much Andy loved being the receptionist (which was pretty wonderful to watch). He feels like he's found his calling! This is horrible because...that is how I've always felt about receptionist positions. I would embrace the job with exactly that level of giddy enthusiasm, and have exactly that much fun (minus singing) about sending faxes, delivering mail and putting out treats. And I feel like the show is quietly mocking my lack of firsthand experience with such a job and trying to tell me the same thing my mom always says, that I would get bored with it quickly and pretty soon not like it at all.

This does not stop me from romanticizing it the same way I have since I was 12. It just made me really, really sad when Pam called it a lame job. Then I remembered that she voluntarily left it for sales, which is way lamer, and I felt better.

Also, can we stop and reconsider what Andy was thinking when he sent away the receptionist and both temps? Like, really, the receptionist isn't a crucial part of keeping your office running? Erin herself probably isn't a great loss, but why you would also eliminate the people whose job description is to be a flexible substitute employee is beyond me. Then again, I still fail to see how much work Pam has as "office manager" or why she couldn't man the desk for a few weeks. Mild resentment will always burn when she scorns her rightful throne. The game of chicken was fantastic, though. Especially with Kelly freaking out at them the whole time to "stop flirting."

Only other thing I did not like was ending on an annoying note of Andy admitting to missing Erin in what sounded like more than a friend way. -.- Come on, guys, be cool and let it go.

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How I Met Your Mother, 5x16, "The Drunk Train"
That was pretty great! Until the last minute or so.


I went in fully expecting to hate Quinn, but instead she won me over instantaneously. Everything about her was sassy and fun and so worthy of an extended girlfriend arc. I was still convincing myself that Barney was making up the part about sleeping with her (because WHY) when the last scene revealing her as a stripper happened. And then I got very -.- and "I am not impressed" and 
Otherwise, the Drunk Train itself was really entertaining (not least because of its 524 different nicknames). Finally, something to which I can relate! It reminded me of how I always made sure to be back on my own college campus by 10 PM on Friday & Saturday nights, because although the inter-campus bus ran until 2, after that point it was increasingly bound to be jammed with drunk idiots just like the ones on your screen tonight. I forget exactly which hour the security personnel joined the rides, but their presence at all should clue you in.

And then there were Robin and Kevin, where Robin is a clever lady who has been taken her cues from the Grey's Anatomy trainwreck and doing the smart thing called "discussing kids vs. no kids before you get married." Kevin's incessant proposals, on paper, were by turns ridiculous and kind of sweet. In practice, because he is played by Kal Penn, it was just a giant relief when he finally got out of our lives.

AND THEN TED MOSBY'D IT UP. Why, dude? You know it is exceedingly difficult for me to resist you in your Future Perfect Boyfriend/Marriage Material Mode, but you also know how much I hate when you direct that mode at the trainwreck-in-motion that is an attempted relationship with Robin. I don't understand what the show is doing in the relationship drama department in general right now, but I'm willing to see where it goes, which I guess is better than outright dismissal.

+ Awkwardly tacked-on ending so I don't overlook it: Marshall & Lily keeping score cracked me up too, as did the running Top Ten Things Said On Lily & Marshall's Wedding Night gag.
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CSI, 12x14, "Seeing Red":  

I did not have great vibes about [Finn] going in, and sure enough, I do not have great vibes after meeting her. Maybe because anything connected to Russell is a guarantee for awfulness? She just bugs me. She somehow reminds me of Chelsea Handler. I stopped paying attention less than halfway through, barely pausing to add a pleased note about Greg being pulled as Russell's "best mind." 

The hour was really only worth it for the beginning, between Nicky playing hero and his hair being noticeably fine and possibly, if you read into it, catching a pretty nurse's eye. A nurse who was definitely not last seen playing Norah and boring up How I Met Your Mother in a way that causes me to forever hate her face, because that would ruin it.

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