And now, more TV talk, because I tried making a life-related post the other day and it just felt...uncomfortable? These feel safe, routine, relaxing. Like Five O'Clock Charlie walking around and around the beaten path.
The Office, 8x16, "After Hours"
In which everyone attempts inappropriate relationships, with largely awesome results
a/k/a, "I have been trying to write this post for a week and getting bogged down by the last part, which is too great for words"
Sad we didn't really get a good look at Oscar's dog, which would make me love him if not for all his other flaws (i.e. his whole personality). I love Angela when she is
Her beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of nearly-auburn hair
And you cannot compete with her, Cathy...
II. Remaining office storyline: This is the most interesting Val has ever been, which is to say about 5% more interesting than usual. It went on way too long, but I did enjoy Kelly's animated interest and admonishing lecture about what 3-5 dots means, as well as more of Pam looking super pretty. Oh, oh, and also the argument with Darryl about whether Jim would tell him to go for it or back off, because it came with a splendid reference to how they wouldn't have gotten together if Jim hadn't made a move.
III. Packer/Nellie/Dwight: Doing my best to tune both men out and just focus on Catherine Tate looking really pretty. The fact that she was not only ready to sleep with Packer but then got spurned by Dwight just hurt me deep in my bones. Nellie, honey, you're better than this. I know you are.
IV. Ryan/Erin Hookup Quest, Volume III
HOW GREAT WAS THIS? Him showing a sweet side by leading her off somewhere to get the hotel waffle she so desperately craved -- charm me more with your weaselly charmer ways, sir! Them hiding in a kitchen, I can't even deal with how cute this is. Especially when he uses every ounce of willpower he has to compliment her intelligence with a straight face. The man works hard at his game, respect. "Do you want us to get scolded?!" + "Shut your -- beautiful, beautiful mouth." Erin suggesting they become roommates, maybe get a dog -- oh dear god, yes. (Who is Kelly, and who cares right now) Ryan instantly shutting down when he learns her sex timeline is six months instead of hours and claiming "I'm in love with Kelly"? Priceless.
(Can we hire Barney Stinson as a coach to expedite this process? Because he locks deals down, and she's even dumber than his usual conquests. You owe me this, show. As penance against your future sins.)
V: Jim/Cathy: An Unwelcome Visitor
or, "So You're Being Harassed"
I howled my way through this. Cathy is so awe-inspiringly THE WORST at homewrecking. "Oh, Jim! The heater in my room is broken! Poor little me, forced to wear my skimpiest clothing and throw myself upon the mercy of your manly presence! I mean room. You know what else is hot? Chicks who dig sports. Amiright?? I totally know what is going on with February Madness."
And basically: this went down exactly as I was expecting/hoping for, with an increasingly frazzled and desperate Jim. Much like the internet, my mom kept yelling at him to "man up" and throw her out of his room, but I don't know why this drove everyone so crazy. I like that he did everything possible to avoid having the uncomfortable/embarrassing "how little do you think of me??" accusation hurled at him, no matter how obvious it is what she is doing.
This would have been even funnier if the camera hadn't clearly been in the room the whole time. I realize the through-the-window angle would have been cramped and awkward after a while, but come on, it's pretty hard to make adultery happen with a third party in the corner unless you're both super kinky. Which, I don't know, maybe they are in fanfic but I am not ready to be exposed to that.
That said, it was wonderful when Jim finally did order her out and did not take no for an answer. "Cathy. Go." The unholy glee he takes in directing Dwight to chase her out with bug spray is priceless. I think we all needed the good giggle brought on by Cathy shrieking and hopping out wrapped in sheets.
And of course it ends with Jim chilling in the bed of his best bromantic frenemy. Too great.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE: in the best deleted scene/worst scene-deletion choice since "Threat Level Midnight," we get the phone call between Jim & Pam that I was dying to hear. Other than Pam being the one to call Jim, this also went down exactly like I was hoping, and then some. Things that were delightful:
+ Jim managing to casually tell it like it is, without attempting some ridiculous cover story
+ Pam being completely non-threatened, and actively laughing at Cathy's patheticness (as expected, but still good to see)
+ Cut shots back to the room, so we can see just how Jim "looks really cute when he's embarrassed" (this is true).
+ "Love you too. ...I will not." XD
+ Cathy: "Scranton feels a million miles away, right?" His smile. Which, at the moment, is also a million miles away and has temporarily forgotten Cathy's existence.
+ then some: they have a code word to be used in case of home invasion scenarios. "As a parent, you think of these things." So now my head is all Jim + Pam + crime show scenarios.
...I should go.
Gossip Girl, 5x17, "The Princess Dowry"
I'd like to start with a smorgasbord of supplementary links (and by "start with," I actually mean found after writing everything below it, but otherwise it interrupted my flow):
a) Tumblr made this appealing "a writer and his muse" comparison between Dan/Blair and Castle/Beckett tonight, because all my fandoms seem to be working in sync now
b) The TWoP nutshell recap pulls together an astonishingly long list of shockers dropped in this episode, two or three of which would be more than enough to sustain drama/conflict on any episode of a normal TV show. It's really quite impressive.
c) An enormous and incredibly detailed, analytical recap-essay that explains all sorts of things. I've still only read a small part of it because there is SO MUCH information to process and it's all so new and densely fascinating to me.
d) And here is an equally nice, less polished but so very earnest ramble about the differences between Dan and Chuck's reactions that I am not learned enough to make myself, but which felt very satisfying and vindicating to read.
I. I love how the video-leaking secret blew over in like 5 seconds because OF COURSE it was always about Blair's happiness. I am a tad leery of Blair's qualifying "at least, not right now" statement about not being in love with Chuck, which stopped my victory dance in its tracks, but I'm going into denial mood and firmly shoving that out of my mind.
And on the bright side, Basshole spent the hour behaving like a spoiled child (I say this like it's unique to one episode), to the point where I'm just gaping at the screen and going, "Is this real? Are we actually supposed to be taking him seriously, much less feeling sorry for him? I don't...understand. It's like his lines are being written by a melodramatic 8th grader during the creative writing unit." In conclusion, this was pretty much the storyline I got tonight:
Chuck: How does it feel to be set up and lose the person you love for something you didn't do?
Dan: No idea. Can't hear you over the sound of Blair repeatedly saying my name. #winning
II. I remain intensely interested in Nate's puppy-dog face, having adorable morning scenes with cute girls and hanging around the edge of parties like a protective guard dog. More of this, please. They're like the Kelly and Ryan of Gossip Girl, a background/fringe pairing paling in comparison to your OTP, but nevertheless an integral part of your viewing/shipping experience.
III. I loved the Irish wake. Meanwhile, I am super down with Team Georgina + Ivy. You can only push Fake Charlotte Rhodes so far before bitch gets vindictive, embraces the bitter pettiness that comes built into her new-found inheritance, and makes you pay for spurning her attempts to atone. Good for her!
IV. I like how we get to see all sides to the Charlotte v. Charlotte case, though. I believe that Serena is sincere in believing that they're just nice, normal people for whom family is the most important thing, but they are really coming across as vulture-harpy hybrids. Speaking of which, there is officially NOTHING more delightful to me than her & Serena being both half sisters and cousins (this sounds super incestuous, wow). I am reading Spoiled right now, which has the same rich girl/Midwest girl surprise half sisters plotline, which probably explains why all I want now is for them to really get to know each other.
V. As an aside, I really love Georgina's utterly whipped and aggressively asexual husband/manservant. He is such a delightfully odd little creature. I keep waiting for him to snap and turn into or be revealed as a serial killer.
VI. Oh hello there, gorgeous ending. It's like night turns to day when Blair denies getting back together with Chuck. "Are you moving to a desert island where there are no men at all and you'll be living the rest of your life in peaceful solitude?" This actually might be a smart move for her at this point, but still no. Aaaaand, here come the trumpets, announcing a brassy introduction into the official world of Your Relationship Is An Acknowledged Reality. So pretty. Really, really taking the "everything's cooler when cameras are spinning" lesson to heart, aren't they? I would complain that it makes me dizzy, but I'm pretty sure that's meant to give us a taste of how they feel.
(or is that just GG in general? I AM ONLY FIVE EPISODES IN, I DON'T KNOW THINGS. I may have lived a lifetime in those five episodes but I am still a greenhorn)
VII. And then the promo of crushing deflation happened. Still peeved. I have heard many comparisons to Seth & Summer, but that's just even more depressing as I realized I had managed to repress those awful memories out of existence and they just came rushing back to me in a horrifying tumult of Do Not Want. Worse, we're apparently going into a hiatus until April. WHO RELEASES A PROMO FOR SOMETHING THAT IS OVER A MONTH AWAY? Why wouldn't you just let us wait in blissful ignorance, savoring the pretty kissing and imagining similar conclusions to the scene, instead of dumping that awful mood killer on us?
I will have gotten over it by that point and no doubt will still show up to watch it, I just need time to sulk first.
VIII. This is related to nothing, but every time the tiny shred of a theme song comes on, I get newly crushed after remembering that I tried to find the song it came from and learned there isn't one. But it sounds like there should be one! It sounds like it's a clip taken from the very beginning of a Hilary Duff-esque pop single, just gearing up with a spoken-word intro before launching into the first verse. And yet, nothing exists. It's maddening.
Can I just say, the five minutes of The Bachelor I have to endure every week to make sure ABC's reception is working at 9 feel like actual torture. It's just...incredibly gross watching women compete like literal bitches for the hot stud's attention, crying about true love all the way while he professes to have feelings for all these women except the one(s) he conveniently stops having feelings about on a regularly scheduled basis.
I don't understand why this is entertainment. Unless we're all just tuning in to put it on mute and look at Ben, because I will grant you that he is one attractive dude. But...I mean, even if you "win," doesn't the way it all began make the relationship kind of gross and tainted? How would any of it ever feel real? And thus, what's the point of going on the show in the first place?
Castle, 4x17, "Once Upon a Crime"
Dear writers: please, please stop with ham-fisted anvils in your writing. They're not even thinly disguised metaphors anymore, they are just blatant commentary. I am beginning to see that this is a trademark of the show in general, and just to let you know, it is a terrible one. It could not sound clumsier if Castle and Beckett had literally said, "I understand about secrets because I'm keeping a huge one from you. I hope it doesn't blow up in my face."
Aside from that, this one was lovely. More interesting case than you usually see (despite boring and obvious murderer), and I called the apartment belonging to a nice old lady as soon as they burst in, because I hang out on way too many thrifting blogs for my own good. This only made Ryan being creeped out by the dolls even funnier.
Loved Martha blatantly pushing her "make a date of it" agenda, laughing forever at "Oh, so you don't like it when someone writes their own version of your life?" and the "you get cute when you're angry" exchange was, in fact, the cutest thing I have seen in recent memory. AND THEN, there was a surprise ending hand grab that made us all very flaily and was like finding a diamond ring in your dessert.
Which reminds me, LMAO: She doesn't have impulsive reasons to grab his hand... [2/20/12]
Well, that will teach me to pretend I know this show. And since they've granted that wish, can I feel free to pretend that she left it there for a really long time, and he implicitly agreed to let her pretend she just forgot to let go until there was a natural break? Cool.
Finally, NCIS: LA seemed to be calling my name this week...
Apparently it's just been up to all kinds of crazy Deeks/Kensi antics while I wasn't looking, but despite that, this is the first time I've been able to make myself push past the thought of crushing boredom that comes to mind, and actually turn it on. I read the promos correctly -- I lucked out tonight with her taking a high velocity round to the torso. "The least you could do is let me take a look at it." Shirt stripping ensues. Cracks about dream sequences are made. Hands-on damage assessment follows. You know, the usual perks of shipping on a crime show, where the lack of active romance is typically compensated by all sorts of thrilling injury and life-threatening stuff, and the assorted Partner Caring that goes with it.
In conclusion, I was very happy with it, but who knows if I will actually come back again this season.