We have reached week 5, which means the show has finally evolved into something resembling entertainment instead of a chore featuring a bunch of morons I don't care about, full of excruciating secondhand embarrassment and boredom. Pity we lost Bill along the way -- HOW DARE YOU CULL MY FAVORITE SO FAST? -- and then just as swiftly axed another fave in Monica. But can we talk about Bill first, and how unfair it is to take away the only appealing man? Jay has a crack at assuming that title, as he seems surprisingly sweet, if naive, and bewildered by the insanity around him, but Bill seemed genuinely nice. And it was so baffling watching his doom-sealing conversation play out I literally did not understand what was happening. A relative transcript, played out with as many TV quotes as I can think of:
Bill: Good afternoon. Can we talk?
Colton: Bite me, Poor Basically-Unemployed Black Person
Colton: OH MY GOD, GET OUT OF MY FACE! WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE? THIS IS WHY YOU'RE HORRIBLE AND PEOPLE HATE YOU.
Bill: I respect you. I would like us to be friends, or at least work peacefully together.
Colton: SHUT UP! YOU ARE THE WORST!
Also, a general response to Colton:
Also, Angry Old White Dude's racist "I'm sick of hearing about race!" rant even made me uncomfortable, and I like to think I have a backbone of steel when it comes to hearing prejudicial speech. That should be the meter by which we measure levels of offensiveness. If you offend RS, you've gone too far.
I've pretty much forgotten what happened in the most recent episode, other than the tribes mixing up, Alicia being separated from her alliance (fine by me, since she's the weak link and the other ladies are way more awesome), and realizing that I hope Colton's tribe loses every challenge because Christina is the only truly redeeming member on it and she doesn't have a chance anyway. That is quite an impressive imbalance of good vs. sucky that Formerly One World has going on.
Currently pulling hardest for Kim and Chelsea, with Jay in a distant third and Christina in a I-am-emotionally-distancing-myself-from-y
Grey's Anatomy, 8x17, "One Step Too Far"
I missed it live and then I so thoroughly spoiled myself on this one that it almost didn't seem worth watching it through...except that it had so many good-sounding ingredients it seemed a shame to waste them. So: by storyline!
Alex/Intern/dying baby: SO BORED. You have tried like eight separate times now to human Alex up; I'm officially immune to your efforts. Him calling for Izzie when he got shot was the last time I cared. Plus I am still siding with the baby daddy's choice to bail on this one. My morals remain special.
Derek/Meredith: Here for Frowny Face Derek pouting in bed and refusing to look at her, but also not driving her away and even putting his hand over hers when she reached out. Way more exciting for me, ship-wise, than a shared bubble bath. Although there was one of those too, and it was surprisingly palatable. No obnoxious children in sight or earshot, even.
Aphasia patient: oh, Lexie. You did a horrible thing and you know it and Derek knows it and it's just the hardest thing I've ever had to watch you deal with. All doctors bear responsibility but I am finding it hard to assign any blame here, it's simply tragic from all points of view.
Chief/Catherine Avery: I missed the episode where she first showed up, which is a shame because I am a big fan of Debbie Allen based on her SYTYCD appearances, and it seems I mostly like this character. Just not when she is aggressively and creepily flirting up a storm.
Bailey: Making all the best reaction faces ever.
Jackson/Urology Fellow: I started out liking her face (I know her from...oh, I could have sworn I knew her from more than Outsourced, wtf. Memorable ER guest stint maybe? Yes! Neela's hot cousin) but not feeling the character, until she stood up and called him out for assuming she was a booty call prize instead of being there to work. That was great! I stopped liking her as soon as she decided to BECOME a booty call prize and then my eyes were assaulted with what looked like some truly nauseating stuff before I could look away. That said, she is still better than Lexie for him. Also, I greatly enjoyed him being peeved, demanding to know why McSleazy is so creepily obsessed with getting him laid, and repeatedly calling him a child. Plus April was adorable ratting him out as soon as Mara came looking for him.
Nurse Emily: I missed the previous episode, but Summer Glau is now officially my favorite nurse after Rose. That is all.
Brain-Dead Husband: First, Glee-related backstory! (all: GROAN) Due to OTP Privilege, I have developed a habit of co-opting all angst scenes regardless of gender or life circumstances for Kurt/Blaine.
Stupid casting department. Because I liked the dialogue and the emotion, and I would really have liked to have seen the expressions that went with it. As it was, I needed very little excuse to start crying during Cristina's "he died in slow motion" speech, which is a way of looking at it I've never even thought of before. Have I mentioned how highly suggestible I am? Because she made it sound so sensible I wouldn't have thought twice about signing papers put in front of me after that (assuming I could see the line through the tears).
Owen/Cristina: Huge fan of Crazy/Suspicious Cristina. I love the mental torment this is putting her through, because as awful as this sounds, it affirms to me just how much she cares. That she's desperate for them to be okay and for this to work, that she's putting in all the effort while he's checked out. And that final determined confrontation was magnificent. Until.
*throws up hands* Of course. No, of course Owen cheated on her. Because let me guess, now we can talk about morals and how she did an awful thing but he did an equally awful thing and now they're on even ground? Blergh. I am debating how judgmental I want to be, because part of me gets it. It hurts to love Cristina, and for all my anti-adultery convictions nobody bends them like this show, so while I'm busy being angry and frustrated and I don't know what to do about this marriage, I get how that would drive you to someone else. I also don't know if I want him to be forgiven, because dude, nothing she did deserves this, or being treated like this. I'm just not as inherently anti-Owen as a lot of people are. There are no winners in this war any more than there were with Derek's patient.
Except me. Because I am weirdly satisfied by the fascinating, rich, relationship story Shonda is -- after much stumbling about and thoroughly pissing me off first -- finally accomplishing. I'M SORRY. I AM A TURNCOAT.
[edit: Plus it's not like this is a new character trait, really. Hey there, Beth.]
Private Practice, 5x17, "The Letting Go"
Everybody gets a thread today for being relevant, woot-woot! Also theme songs, because once you come up with two you can't stop.
Sam/Corinne: I have lost myself again, lost myself and I am nowhere to be found
I started off bored per usual, but about two scenes in or whenever Corinne said she didn't want to be on Earth, I found a whole new use for them. Remember what I was just saying about Kurt/Blaine taking over all the things regardless of gender or life circumstances...? I spent last week wrapped up reading Wrong, so now my headspace is full of Depressed/Suicidal Blaine, and it took zero effort to hear every line of dialogue in this with different voices and see a completely different picture. Only mild adjustments were needed to gloss over the bipolar/whatever disorder versus just simple depression.
But when I wasn't doing that: hey, remember what I said about patterns of escalating violence last time? REMEMBER WHAT I SAID?
Mason's Family: Goooodbye Erica, it's been nice, hope you find your, para-di-ise...Erica's goin' away!
I feel like I am having an inappropriate reaction to this, but that's what's happening. As for appropriate reactions, ask me what I did after Mason ran out proudly proclaiming to Charlotte about how he was strong and didn't cry in front of his mom (as they both dissolve into a weepy mess of hugging). There may have been anguished cries of despair. Cooper may have also made me cry on at least one occasion during this episode. And by one I mean two, between explaining how they were taking him to say goodbye and Mason sleeping next to Cooper while Charlotte sat with Erica. My heart is so beautifully bruised right now. Keep it up!
Violet's Family/Booty Call: Why do you keep coming around, playing with my heart?
Although actually... *pokes at listless embers of Pete/Violet coals in heart* I'm getting worried about this. There's a stack of tinder on top of you now and there's still little to no action going on. *shakes it off* Well, anyway, just wanted to drop by and let you know that you're still doing the hurt/comfort stuff all wrong and have got to stop wasting it on Prison Dude, but in the meantime, I took the scenario and tucked it into my pocket for use at a later date with a character yet to be determined.
Amelia: Havin' Ryan's baby, what a lovely way to say what you're thinkin' of him...
Weirdly excited by this! Remind me in the future that the entire thing was worth it just for the gorgeous scene where she tells Addison, so busy with prepared tears and apologies that she is completely caught off guard by Addison's explosion of giddiness instead. P.S. It was very exciting to hear people repeatedly say "the baby" before the decision had been made, and I decided to take it as Shondaland's apology to me for Grey's.
JAKE RILEY FOR FATHER AND/OR MAN OF THE YEAR: (No song. I need a moment to fan myself. Or we could brainstorm a list of things his character traits are too sexy for, like coherent verbalized thoughts).
a) I love how they opened up a window to spotlight Jake's mindset, in case any of us were unclear about his intentions or wanted to verify how he still feels like The New Guy, which he does. Excellent work for that alone, but then you brought in his technically-step daughter who still calls him Dad and she is my favorite person since Amelia herself. Honestly, she's pretty much my favorite character after Jake himself right now.
b) And you know she's great if she overcame her introduction, which was to loudly and proudly announce to her father that she was no longer a virgin. WHAT IS THAT? What is that? No! No because ew! I don't care what kind of relationship you have with your father, there is never, I repeat never, any set of circumstances under which this conversation can be anything other than super ick.
c) Unless he randomly shows up at your college to hand you a discreet paper bag containing condoms in a show of awkward congratulations/support. I can't remember what I said in point b anymore because I'm still laughing the absurdity of this situation and her awesome reaction. This is so weird, and yet so great at the same time. Castle has permanent claim to the #1 father/daughter relationship on current airwaves, but these guys are absolutely in second. Write ALL the fic! Or, ideally, episodes. Episodes first.
d) And can we talk about how he is totally busted for having clear interests in Addison, and how Angie is super enthusiastic about him going for it and being happy, and how he keeps dragging his heels, and his just-this-side-of-wistful mention about how in an ideal world he would rather still be with Angie's mother? Damn, show, you're not even trying not to make him a marble statue of all that is compelling in a male lead.
The Office, 8x19, "Get The Girl"
I) The Florida storyline was blah, especially after Irene pushed Erin out of her comfy new nest. What happened to you, Irene? You used to be cool. (Oh, who am I kidding. Irene was probably getting sick of hot Gatorade and recycled hot dog water, she just didn't want to be too obvious about how much she wanted to get rid of her new hindrance.)
And it was just irritating to listen to "you broke my heart." I'm sorry, who broke up with who? (for ridiculous reasons of mere non-disclosure, as I recall) And then dated someone else first? In a lot more in-your-face way than Andy's offscreen girlfriend who does not work with them? I can't stand them, and I still want to object to these statements.
II) The Scranton storyline was mostly excellent. Wish there had been less Robert California, but Nellie is magnificent in her full-on crazy element (SHE IS TINKERBELL, JIM. She needs applause to exist). I saw a lot of comments on Office Tally whining about how she's awful/awkward like Michael without being endearing, and I just want to shout, "Hah, now you know how it feels!", because what they were describing was the exact opposite of how I feel about Nellie vs. Michael. Nellie = best manager ever. That closing tag was especially great. Monologue tags like this were almost always unnecessary when given to Michael, but I want her to have rambles like that forever!
Mainly I just loved Jim's increasingly feeble and undermined attempts to maintain the voice of sanity even after his own wife succumbed (best Pam quote ever: "I think you're a witch." p.s. I hear your attempt to placate me with insight about nighttime feedings, husbands who don't get up and babies who don't like bottles, and I love you for it). Also Dwight's attempt to office-jack Darryl before being dragged out by his hair. And meeting Creed "touch me and I'll sue" Bratton.
III) The teaser with the balloon was adorable. And Pam looked super pretty again; I love her in that shade of lavender.
Community made its glorious return! And I loved it, because it's Community, but I am too overwhelmed with Feelings about having it back to be coherent, so instead of a review, here is a reaction summary:
"Britta and Jeff almost getting fake-married! Jeff's deep-seated psychological daddy/abandonment issues strike again! BRITTA IS SECRETLY A WEDDING PLANNING/FLORAL-ARRANGING SAVANT. I want to keep Troy And Abed Being
p.s. holy crap, I must have looked away where they X-ray Jeff's heart and it is FULL OF ANNIE'S FACE (plus a side of Annie's boobs, non-monkey version). Good stuff!
[edit: OK, this is officially the best Tweet I have ever been shown: on the 2.2 demo rating/almost 5 million viewers, @danharmon: "All right, feeding the cat and WHAT THE HELL MY EYEBALLS DON'T EVEN RECOGNIZE THESE NUMBERS. Are these Z's?"
[second edit: So I just found memegenerator.net, which explains some things, and also makes this unfortunately necessary:
Look at her face though. Clearly a victim of malfunctioning trouser bench.