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The subject line lyrics feed nicely into my first topic, and I have nothing especially relevant to make in tonight's announcement section, so let's go straight into 2 weeks' worth of Smash:

(wow, so much has happened over the past 5 episodes. Glad I didn't entirely stick with that plan of only checking in three times over the series)

1x09:
* Bye, Frank. I'm trying to care on principle, but it's difficult.

* Please explain to me why Karen and Ivy had to bond while drunk? That said, their Times Square duet was marvelous and even though I could tell it had "trashy" written all over it, what my ears got treated to was fairly delightful pop music confection. (turns out it was Rihanna. ["Cheers."] Yup, that sounds about right. Her version undoubtedly has the skank vibe cranked up to 11, so it's nice that Smash found a way to rescue it. Favorite song performed on this show yet?? Or just the first one I was motivated enough to look up on YouTube and play until it implanted itself in my brain?)

* I'm sorry, "Ivy is an adult" and "Tom needs to stop infantalizing her"? WHAT? OK, you know what, this is just more fuel for my "Reasons Tom Needs To Stay Celibate And Unattached" fire.

* Derek was not entirely useless in the boyfriend department. I mean, he's awful at it, but it's sort of cute how ill-equipped he is for this role. I mean, how is he supposed to respond to Ivy ranting and venting about her crappy day? These are not his problems! He has no experience being demoted to a chorus girl! Life happens, deal with it! Why are you walking off in a huff?

* Eileen, HBIC, had better continue exerting this tight rein over Ellis and smacking him down like the hand of God, since no one else seems able to.

1x10, "The Understudy"
Much better. For starters, now that we have chased two useless men out and are working on evicting two more while reforming a fifth, the show is looking up! Whether Frank comes back is irrelevant at this point, because Tom/Julia is the real OTP of this show and it has become very clear to me that Frank throwing himself out was an excellent writing choice, because it results in Julia crying on Tom's shoulder on a car hood and earning herself all sorts of cuddles. My heeeaaarrrt. I love their adorable anniversary tradition. I love how fast he went from yelling at her for being rude and hurting everyone's feelings to sympathetic comfort mode. Just, yes, this is everything I have ever wanted from the series. In the ten or so weeks I have known it.

Even better, Derek's Quest For A Soul is either complete or within grasping distance (I'm afraid to award it already, yet also afraid that at any moment he will do something sketchy to cause himself to tumble away from the holy grail). He's wonderful with Ivy, I love how he actually listened to her urging to treat Karen more gently, like the real Marilyn (to recap, that is Derek listening to and following unsolicited advice), and I actually enjoyed watching him work with Karen (and aw for the sympathetic look at the end).

The in-person apology was beyond wonderful in its acknowledgement of his characteristic jackassery yet sincere attempt to make amends, and did not seem suspicious or sketchy at all (I especially like how there was basically zero reaction to Karen answering the door in lingerie; PROGRESS). And then he went and got himself punched through no fault of his own, which is just too perfect (not least because he promptly went back to Ivy for fussing and frozen-vegetable-pack bruise nursing; BEST). Yep, I'm pretty sure I love him now. Remarkable work in the character-redemption department.

Dev, meanwhile, can DIAF and/or run off to Washington with RJ, whatever, he came home with a giant ball of unwarranted hostility and hit Karen like a midwestern tornado of ultimatums which promptly dropped him from "tolerable nuisance" to "irredeemable jackass who cannot leave my story fast enough." Take him for all he's worth, Karen. Let him leave, make him feel guilty enough to spot you two months' rent, and use that time to bond with Ivy enough for you two to afford a 2-bedroom together while you sublet for the remainder of your lease. These are my demands.

I did not love the surreal Karen-morphing-into-Marilyn-before-Derek's-eyes acid trip we went on, but everything else that did not involve Leo or Tom's unnecessary romantic life was pretty cool.

Oh, and music-wise:
1) DO YOU KNOW how long I have been trying to convince Glee to cover "Breakaway"?? It seemed odd in context here, like it should have been sung by Karen in about episode 2 (or Karen at any point, since the whole song is about going from a small town to somewhere that has buildings with a hundred floors), but no matter. Loved it.

2) Can Tom please have an actual role in this musical? Because he is the first male to participate who has been AWESOME.

3) "Never Give All The Heart" was a pretty way to end. I went the extra mile and actually looked up the title, it was that important to me.


---------
NCIS, 9x20, "The Missionary Position"

I'll just be bouncing around in FLAILY FLAILY SQUEE MODE, unable to cope with how blown-away delighted I am by EVERYTHING GIBBS/RYAN. Sleepovers! In the formerly unused master bedroom! References to Shannon that are not drowning in pain and anguish, but like a part of the past that can be acknowledged! ("The sun woke up me. So pretty in that room." / "Someone else used to say that.") Elevator kisses! Couch cuddling! Do you even understand how lavishly we are being spoiled right here? Because my brain is still trying to wrap itself around how much they crammed in here. I haven't even touched how interesting I find their dance of information-exchanging, where we always seem to be teetering on the line of Gibbs getting fed up, except she keeps providing just enough to information and apologies to appease him (and us, in the sense of "well, she either didn't know or had a good reason for not sharing before") before we actually get there.

The main case was fascinating too. I have not been this interested in Ziva's life in ages, but her mentor (who is clearly dying and/or turning traitor by season's end) is an endless source of fascination for me, in addition to possessing one of the rare non-British accents that musically charms my ears rather than aggravating them. I kind of loved the Tony's Angels aspect of their international rescue mission. (although that's rather an inaccurate misnomer, since Tony was a distant third on this command chain) Looking forward to revisiting this!

And finally, Jimmy and his ugly, kitschy wedding attire cracks me up. Choosing Abby as his best (wo)man? FANTASTIC. Not least because it came Gibbs-approved for picking "the prettiest one, too," complete with cheek kiss for her. I am telling you, this episode has everything.

----
So I wandered over to American Idol this week because I heard on the radio the list of songs they were doing, and I about passed out from excitement. And then I realized that my favorite part of the Glee reviews is when I get to judge the songs, and it's probably because I kind of miss doing that for American Idol every week. So. Let's go meet these kids about whom I generally know nothing.


General thoughts first:

* ...how long have they been doing this bizarrely heavy recap of the previous week's eliminated contestant? Because:


[Found at notliketheothers on Tumblr.]
I told you it should be a meme.

* Oh my god. There's actually more girls than guys in the top 7! I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER THE LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED. Which is kind of a shame, because Phillip Phillips is still my idol this year. Has been since I saw his audition episode (only time I watched Idol this year until now). None of these other people look like stars at all.

* Mentor-wise: I still haven't figured out who this crass old dude is to the left or what he's doing here. He seems very low brow. [edit: oh, THAT'S Jimy Iovine? Yeah, he probably should restricted to playing and not talking.] Akon seemed even more irrelevant. How 'bout people who don't need to be constantly bleeped next time?

Contestant Reactions & Performance Judgments
Skylar: She hadn't even started talking before I noted, "She seems kind of rednecky tomboyish, in that not-particularly-smart way," which was promptly confirmed. So Kellie Pickler seemed like an appropriate artist choice. She cleans up nice, though, and while maybe not someone I would voluntarily pay attention to, she's not bad.
-Didn't Know How Much I Loved You: *snoozing*

Colton: Again, he hadn't even started talking before I took one look at his revolting hair/general appearance and wanted to bludgeon him over the head.  This feeling did not change once the video package rolled out.
Love The Way You Lie: "Oh, what the hayle." This song is beautiful and your stupid boy voice is making it lame. GO AWAY.

-Elise/Phillip, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
a) Their little video clip package beforehand was super precious! And I was SO EXCITED to hear this.
Then they performed.
b)  ... ... ... was this a joke? Like, were they trying to parody it on purpose? Maybe for an SNL sketch? I mean. I genuinely don't understand the judges' praise. Nothing beats the original, but I was hoping they could at least take down Glee. Instead their voices started out noticeably raspy and rough, and zoomed downhill from there. As it went on I could be found making comments like "Ugh, this girl sounds like a smoker. Her voice is bizarrely awful. How is she even a finalist? Meanwhile, he sounds like he is imitating Kermit the Frog." On bright side, Glee version is looking awesome now.

P.S. I remain peeved that so far no one has ever switched up the Kimbra part the way I have in my head, where on "reading into every word you say," you bring "you" up to D instead of A. I love how it sounds.

Jessica: Scanning for personality or character traits, finding none.
--Stuttering: So bored, couldn't even finish listening.

Joshua: *shrugs* Seems all right, I guess. Fairly nice, personable.
+Runaway Baby: I refuse to believe this is Bruno Mars, because it sounds awesome! And, I mean, Glee has made one of his songs not suck, but they needed Dianna Agron for that. This is just some sort of awesome old school, upbeat jazz number. I AM INTO THIS! DANCE, (DANCE, DANCE LIKE IT'S THE LAST, LAST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE), RANDOM GO GO GIRL! *catches breath* That was so much fun, I cannot believe it!

+Skylar/Colton, "Don't You Want to Stay":
a) First, it should be noted that she has some spunky charm that grows on you pretty darn fast, and I can actually see her winning now too. He does not. Why are there rumors about them dating? How gross is that? Who would even think about dating Colton? In fact, who would even have an innocent crush on him when Phillip is RIGHT THERE? I can only conclude that Colton is submitting anonymous tips to subliminally influence her while thinking pervy thoughts about her, unless he's the one feeding the rumor mill to divert speculation that he's gay. I would believe either one.

b) This duet is surprisingly fantastic. Easily matches, if not outright beats the original, about which I had very neutral feelings. NOW I understand why Skylar is the only name besides Phillip I have heard being thrown around from my very, very distant position on the outskirts of the Idol chatter pipeline.

Hollie: I think I like her! I just took an instant agreeable feeling to her face, despite her bizarre hybrid accent.
+Perfect (OH HAI FAVORITE): I was really curious to see what she'd do with it, since she had no hope of ousting my love for either the original or Glee's version in my heart, but maybe she could match those. And lo and behold...oh, she's gonna slow it way down into a sit-down ballad. Normally I would go off on people for that, but this was actually a very interesting way to go with it. She made it sound good. Yes. I like her. Keep her around over Jessica, at least.

Phillip: Eternal fangirling. That's the way it is. I've decided he is kind of like the Darren Criss of American Idol. Not quite as devastatingly attractive, but oh so charismastic. And, wait, his father runs a pawn shop? Fantastic! Except I don't understand why they keep comparing him to Colton. DO NONE OF YOU HAVE EYES.
-Give A Little More: ...so I think maybe he is unlike Darren Criss in the way that I really don't love his music. I want to. But I just don't. His voice, it increasingly bugs. Ooh, apparently this song is Maroon 5, and boy, that is an unfortunately direct comparison to prove your un-Crissian ways.

+The Remaining Trio, "Stronger":
a) Jessica still lacks a pesonality, but the other two are a pretty precious, rambunctious little pair of puppies. Hollie seems pale and quiet and fades into the background at first, but it doesn't take much for her to pop.

b) Song background: Between my two radio stations, this song currently plays at least once on each trip to AND from work EVERY NIGHT for the past two weeks, more often than any other single song, and since it was not a great song to begin with, now every time that music starts it makes me feel distinctly MURDEROUS AND HULK-RAGEY. I really wanted to skip it, but I gave them a shot, and thank goodness for that.

c) It was a relief to have a male voice kick it off, and immediately I felt more favorable. Jessica remained irrelevant (she sounded super weak and/or out of tune to me, and I can't even hear pitch), but when Hollie joined in, it actually sounded good again. Even Glee can't fix this song, so AWESOME WORK, TRIO!

Elise: Yeah, her big and brash personality is really starting to rub me the wrong way. Although the Jason Segel shout-out to her was kind of precious, and he has made a career out of making movies that make me hate him, so...
-You and I: Whatever, I think she would have sounded awesome starting on drums. Meanwhile, Glee's mashup of this song kicks her version's ass. And not just because her voice is literally torture to listen to. BLONDE GIRLS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BETRAY ME LIKE THIS.

Results: I already knew they'd used their judge's save this week, but HOLY CRAP, you used it for Jessica? WHAT? This show, my blood pressure, I can't. None of thsoe people particularly warranted saving, but based on what I heard, Jessica was more than the most deserving person to go home this week.

In conclusion: I don't think I'll be back for future episodes (unless I hear they're having another great theme week), but at least now I'll know who they're talking about when I hear the results every week. Although now I'm confused and don't even know if I like any of them as this year's Idol. Skylar, maybe, I guess is where my allegiance is at now? (since Hollie evidently has no shot and I'm not that attached to her) But I am pretty underwhelmed.


------------
Grey's Anatomy, 8x19, "Support System"

Next week: COME TO ME, FLAWLESS OTP ANGST.
--> And consider me suitably blown away at just how hard this delivered, beyond even my wildest expectations.

Where to start? I LOVE that they kicked us off with that little Tour Of Significant Relationship Moments, and continued to flash back to relevant scenes throughout the episode. Sometimes flashbacks work in a narrative and sometimes they don't, but here they were pivotal in hammering home just how fractured this relationship has come -- though not before gently reminding you how and why, once upon a time, you fell in love with them and they were so good for each other.

I love every inch of torture they put us through, like the therapist's office but amplified, even though at various points Owen made me hit the pause button and let off a howl of laughter at some particularly ridiculous thing he said. For example, warming up with "You are asking me to hurt you." Like, what do you think you've been doing to her for the past month or two, mollycoddling?

Although I'm pretty sure that sentence was designed to press all my hurt/comfort buttons, which it successfully did.

Cristina sobbing on the bed -- openly sobbing; the sheer amount of noise she made as if in physical pain with her agony was just...wow -- left me speechless. This is just not a place I ever expected to go. Plus the preview tricked us wonderfully with its quick cuts of her jumping off the bed, so I couldn't believe that despite initial and well justified struggling against him, she actually stopped fighting and let him hold her and try to comfort her for a minute before wrenching away. (ALL OF THE SPOONING. THANK YOU.) He doesn't get to fix what he broke, but he needed to try.

Second moment of hilarity:
ARE YOU HURTING YOURSELF IN THERE? What? *roflmao*

Yeah, no, because that definitely is what would you expect Cristina to do. What with her long and intense history of cutting herself and/or attempting suicide via overdose (especially over a boy), that was an absolutely valid question for him to ask. Totally warranted breaking down the door just because she refused to answer him. I bought that. Or: applauding Cristina's silent eye roll forever.

Third moment of hilarity:
"I will never love another woman."

*dying of laughter* He's just so ~*DRAMATIC*~ about it, I cannot take him seriously for even half a second before it sets me off howling, every time. "Never love another woman!" They haven't even officially talked divorce yet; you don't know if you'll have the opportunity. Also, you're not capable of not being in love. You'd fall again the minute someone smart and witty and family-oriented crossed your path. Well, maybe not the minute. It would be more like a slow and gradual process, but it would happen. No doubt in my mind.

No real opinion on the end yet, since there are several episodes to go before finale time. Do want to squint and side-eye and note that yes, the adulterer is traditionally the one who moves out of a place during big fights, but I knew it was going to be trouble that Cristina bought the firehouse alone the minute it happened.

Overall: the affair blew over as surprisingly nothing for me, ending up even less relevant than I expected. He shouldn't have put his foot in his mouth by telling her "you make mistakes," but where Cristina seems to find it the ultimate betrayal that he cheated because he wanted to hurt her**, I find it logical. Because deep down, honestly, if he wasn't going to leave her outright, then that was the revenge -- yes, revenge -- I needed for the abortion. Now that that's done, I'm even more open to the healing/reconciliation process. THINKING LIKE A DUDE: HOW I ROLL NOW. Apparently.

**Given how much cheating has flown around this show over the course of this series, I do find it fascinating how this one instance shattered her entire world. It was a nice reminder that adultery is actually a Big Deal, while also reminding me that, in contrast to her occasionally callous personality, she takes her relationships and commitment very, very seriously.

Finally, Tumblr has, once again, ridden in with an awesome set of .gifs & lyrical support:
Didn't want to say goodbye
Didn't want to see you cry
And look what I've done

Didn't want to make a mess
Broke your heart and I confess:
I'm the guilty one


Over yonder at Seattle Grace: absolutely nothing interesting happened except for some adorable Derek/Meredith moments in which he repeatedly voiced concern about the Twisted Sisters' friendship and whether Meredith shouldn't be talking to Cristina right now. On at least one occasion he even hit the brakes on possible sexytimes for this. This is the man I like. (and aw for Meredith's last phone call/Cristina ultimately showing up at her door, not to fall apart but sharp and focused on the future. Good girl.)

----------
And now, before I forget, last week's thefridayfive
If you were given one million dollars, on the condition that you had to give half of it away, how would you go about giving away half a million dollars?

Animal shelters, libraries, the music department at my high school (not you, college. Screw you). Individual-wise...my three immediate family members, and best of all: gifting sprees for all you LJ friends.

Do you write letters or send cards to anyone via the postal system regularly, only for special occasions such as birthdays, or not at all?
Nope, not at all.

What is the most treasured memento you have kept?
Baby, I got a scrapbook full of memories. Remind me to show you it one day. But off the top of my head, as far as attaching meaning to silly things:

I have this little figurine of a polar bear crouching over an iceberg that I love because in 8th grade, we had this Mardi Gras for all the foreign language students, and one of the booths was a flea market but nothing was priced because you were supposed to use your foreign language skills to haggle. My best friend and I both thought it was cute but I was way too scared to talk to strange grownups using unfamiliar words -- so she did it instead, and then to my surprise she turned around and gave it to me.

If one of your friends phones you at 4am because they are depressed and upset, but you have an important job interview in the morning. What do you do?
I'm sorry, there are a lot of things I need to back up and clarify first:
1. I have a friend?
2. I have a friend who calls me on the phone?
3. I have a friend who calls me to talk about being depressed and upset?
4. I HAVE A JOB INTERVIEW?? SHUT UP, FRIEND.
(no, actually, I would be fine with losing sleep because I'm probably nervous/terrified anyway, and a couple of hours wouldn't make a big difference)

Assuming all of the above could happen: this is sort of my nightmare/one of the biggest reasons I feel relieved I don't have friends. I have always SUCKED at offering comfort and reassurance. It's hard enough for me to leave blog comments without feeling like I'm just acting/imitating what I've seen other people do. I WANT to be the person people lean on, having enough experience with it myself, but I don't know how. So. In conclusion, I would probably do my best to just listen and let the other person talk it out.

What is the phrase or quote that sums up who you are as a person?
"She has about five thousand notebooks. You never saw a kid with so many notebooks."

--I have used this on my Facebook profile as long as I can remember, and it's the only thing that made Catcher In The Rye worth reading.

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