The Office, 9x01, "The New Guys"
Favorite season premiere in show history! Maybe tied with s.5. If you just cut out the gross stuff with the turtle (and/or fire the person responsible for writing it) and Dwight puking in the teaser, it was basically flawless. I actually watched it twice.
To my surprise, I don't even even have time to be sad about Kelly and Ryan because her grand exit was hysterical (enjoy the snow, losers!), I get to be happy she's finally going to get married and have babies (probably), and then there's the very greatest gift of all: Ryan's love is so true he is willing to stalk her all the way to Ohio, possessions stuffed into garbage bags and backpacks in his haste to follow. I don't know if we will ever find out what happens here, but I almost hope not. The crack my brain can create knows no bounds.
I like how they give Angela a brand-new cat every time they want to involve one. By my estimation she's owned at least 15 cats over the past decade. I also like how she keeps trying to give all her cats to Pam "more of a dog person" Beesley in an obvious attempt to form a friendship on her terms.
I don't like that they continue to make her marriage the worst of the worst things that has ever happened, but at least at this point all my hatred can be channeled into having a lower opinion of Oscar than literally any character on the show, past or present. He's actively undermining the cause to have more gay people represented on television.
The new guys? Dwight Jr. is lame but harmless. Pete, while not especially exciting, is also not too hard on the eyes. And together, they really bring some of the realism back to the game that was lost with James Spader, where you feel like this is a real office. People leave and are replaced. What's weird/refreshing is how young they are compared to everyone who's quietly grown up while you weren't looking. It's been almost a decade, and even New Kid Erin is a vet compared to them. This is what a new grad looks like.
Andy just needs a swift kick in the balls, because it's uncomfortable to watch him actively bullying Nellie, who has been nothing but pleasant. Can we please shine a spotlight on how adults are capable of this behavior too? In related news, she currently occupies all the space I had in my heart for Ryan and Kelly combined, and then some. I'd be happy with just the Jim/Pam/Nellie show.
Toby! With his moment of triumph upon gaining new buddies in the annex...and then the sinking feeling of Andy beginning to see why Michael hated him so much.
My favorite part in the entire episode was the extended montage of Dwight falling off/flipping over the slack line about 20 times in a row. I've seen it at least three times and I can't get through it without laughing so hard it hurts. Sometimes stupid slapstick humor just can't be beat. (did I also laugh at him dangling in midair and screaming, even though it made me gasp at first? Yes.)
Creed's concluding summary about the circus in the parking lot and other activities was pretty good too.
And finally: Jim and Pam were always going to leave at the end of the series, and I was always going to rebel against it. Philly is a better option than anywhere else, but it's not okay when they both grew up around here and not when they live in his childhood home. Any attempts to convince me otherwise died the moment they told me about Pam's glorious bedroom mural. You can't leave that behind. Not unless they sell it to one of his brothers, or possibly her sister. I'm fine with them leaving Dunder-Mifflin; I want nice things for them, but...not Scranton. I'm sorry, but not Scranton. I realize I am making a lot of assumptions about what will happen, but they seem like pretty safe ones to make and I want it noted for the record that I am upset.
That said, they're doing a really good job of guilt-tripping me with Jim's face throughout, especially "maybe he is the new Jim." D= It's very him to start working out all the details ahead of time on his own, in case anything falls through, and I think this might be really great to see unfold. Meanwhile, how cute was them taking off their mics at the end of the shared TH? Infinity cute.
PLUS: Pam says the words I have been trying to get her to say for the past 5 years -- "You may find this hard to believe, but I love my 'boring' life exactly the way it is. And there's nothing you can say that would get me to run the slightest risk of losing it."
In context, I guess by the second part she meant "will do nothing to risk dying," but I like to believe the emphasis was on not risking change to the contended status quo. The fact that this is a follow-up to her being perfectly cheerful while (half?) joking about how "nothing interesting is going to happen to us for a long time" just made my heart sing.
The Office, 9x02, "Roy's Wedding"
I loved this too! Kinda side-eyeing "do we know everything about each other?" in that sad tone, but then again, this is what I love - something hefty to dig into with them instead of shunting them to the side and relegating their storyline focus to a special occasion. I died at the totally gratuitous shot of CeCe/Daddy Jim at the beginning, and don't know whether to be overjoyed or extremely suspicious that we got brand new footage of the House of Magic.
Was surprisingly...really nice to see that things have turned out well for Roy. Who knew I was pulling for the guy. Also sort of depressing, somehow, to realize that he wouldn't have done any of that with - for - Pam. Again, not sure I like what is being implied about stagnant/comfortable long-term relationships, but I also don't know what is going on yet and I think it's probably necessary to structure this arc. It'd be easier if I weren't seeing these brand new.
I do love that Jim is up to his Dodgy Secretive Dodging. "It's not even real yet! I'm not going to tell her unless it's real." I love when he gets in his own way trying to make sure his eventual presentation is perfect.
And somehow, despite all that, both other wedges to this episode were equally strong. Nellie vs. Taliban Dwight - brilliant. "When you use a ridiculous font, no one thinks you have a plan." Ridiculous like a fox, that's my girl. Bonding (and then squabbling) over 127 Hours/James Franco, best!
Meanwhile: "Clark's the douche that sits next to me in the office."
I apologize. NEW JIM IS GLORIOUS. Oh, I can't, that was some pitch-perfect storyline pitching, whoever is responsible for this idea. I was delighted enough by his side-eyeing and uncomfortable choice between not rocking the boat and being a decent human being for an obviously mentally challenged girl, but then it turns out he has already sized up everyone in the office and figured out how to play to their insanity.
It didn't hurt the way his eyes lit up when he hoped Andy was storming in to chew Clark out for gross unprofessionalism/sexual harrassment lawsuit in motion. Or how much unholy joy he took in pretending to be totally empathetic about Clark's ruined night, with bonus score of getting to take the pretty girl out to dinner. (can we stop for a second to think about what would have happened if Pete didn't work here, though? Like, Andy would have literally escorted her into the lion's den. I feel very gross right now and you should too. Had Clark's plan worked, I can't think of a way that would be technically considered illegal, yet it also does not seem like it should be labeled free and clear consensual, either. All I know is that Clark should come with Creepy Pervert warning labels.)
P.S. The cold open was wonderful. Pam's chore wheels (all versions) were spectacular. Obviously world's most fun mom.
Grey's Anatomy, 9x01, "Going, Going, Gone"
I was really disappointed this summer when I learned that they were doing a time jump for the premiere and only picking up the plane crash later and via flashbacks. Why spoil all the intensity you were only just starting to build when the credits rolled? But I am duly impressed by how great this premiere turned out, outstripping the finale by a mile or ten. They're right, I'm actually happier knowing how everything turned out, so that now I can look forward to finding out how that happened. Literally the only scenes I did not like in this episode were Ben/Bailey and Alex being a gross whore and/or demonstrating uncomfortable misuse of power dynamics*. He desperately needs to GTFO.
* = that's right, it's apparently only skeevy when Alex does it. Or maybe that's part of why I've vowed never to watch season 1 again.
Soooo, following my party post - I was well aware Eric Dane was leaving, for which I already threw a private party of triumph, but not for an instant had I let myself believe Sloan would actually die - would you like to hear what else I loved?
Cristina Yang, Team Mayo: YES! Not only did she go where I wanted her to go, but oh my god, the Minnesota Nice nature of their "the hospital is the star and we're all one big team" dynamics was perfect and nailed it on the head. p.s. DR. MR. FEENEY. YES.
The only flag I have to raise is asking exactly what calendar month we're in here, because we kind of...do not have any snow past the early part of April at worst (this year, it was crazy warm and ended in early March), and it does not start falling again until late October or more typically early November. Your timeline seems wack. Especially since it's warm and summery on April's farm in Iowa.
New Interns: I can't even wrap my head around getting the guy from Friday Night Lights (yay!). Meanwhile, I'm sure I'll turn on them as soon as they get naked, but I didn't even realize they were going to be characters with personalities and stuff. This came as a total surprise, and I instantly fell head over heels for all of them in a way I haven't done since Kepner. I'm in ecstasy. I told you the revolving door on this show's cast was glorious!
New Nicknames: Booty Call Bailey continues her reign of uselessness (the real tragedy is what's happened to her), while I'm not sure how to feel about Medusa. I just know that I love seeing her from the interns' point of view.
Mer/Cristina: Soulmatey friendship perfection.
Jackson: Seems like he's going to be even better once I don't have to deal with McSleazy as his mentor. Loved his one-sided conversation, though.
Broken Derek: really keen to see where this goes.
Broken Arizona: less excited for it to get focus, but also kind of cackling in the meanest of mean spirits at this random punishment.
Goodbye McSleazy: Right in the heart muscle! The irrational fear that he'd make a miraculous recovery once off the ventilator kept me from fully enjoying it, but I'm very glad they didn't let us have that. Sometimes things die and there's nothing you can do about it. Which is not to say that I didn't a) hijack the hell out of this scene as soon as it started (and give it to all the other fandoms), and b) cry when he finally started to slip away. I have a lot of emotions. I'm allowed to be upset for Derek losing his best friend, even if it was a very poor choice in best friends.
I love that it was so drawn out, not only prior to taking him off the machine, but with the waiting afterward, and that the room held only the two people who should have been there. I really love that now I don't have to deal with that weird mess of a family that comes with having 3 parents, and that I get my Mark/Lexie: Literal Soulmates story neatly tied off and wrapped with a bow. I didn't need all the lame video flashbacks, and I only care about wrapping up said story from a narrative standpoint, but it was still nice.
April, Farm Girl: First, she looks precious (she's leading a pig on a rope! I am hardcore ignoring that these are meat pigs and pretending otherwise since this one has a name). Second, I'm proud of her for letting disappointment beat her down and drive her out of medicine entirely (better than how Neela Rasgotra handled it, anyway). Third, Owen flew all the way out there to apologize and offer her job back. Just, slow claps to no end.
Their dynamic is always such an unexpected slice of heaven. I really needed this after he went from "don't let it get to you" with the poor baby intern, making me think he was going for the "it's understandable that you're upset, but let me non-judgmentally tell you how to deal with it" that I'm pretty sure he's used with April before, and instead went sharp left at the end to "and by the way stop being a crybaby."
Private Practice, 6x01, "Aftershock"
I went into this knowing literally nothing about what was going down, and it was incredible. Totally unexpected format - loved it. Makes my reviewing very organized, even though I'm not following episode order.
Sam: Wow. I actually...like this version of Sam? Stephanie is played by the most delightful lady who constantly plays nurses, so I'm on board with this.
Amelia: has apparently been sober for a year. I'm unclear how this works since it was made pretty clear that Amelia hit Final Rehab around Thanksgiving. Is it November now? I don't think this works with the plane crash timeline. So many inconsistencies in timeline this year, cannot cope.
Charlotte/Cooper: NO. You do not get to screw over Owen/Cristina and give these jackasses TRIPLETS. I had better hear that she's only carrying triplets so that a) at least one of them will have something horribly wrong and trigger a choice of selective abortion, b) she miscarries all of them, or c) she turns out to be an emotionless robot who resents her children even more once they are born and teaches everyone a lesson about wanting all their ships to have babies at all costs. Because if (C) doesn't happen, I'm just going to demand over and over why you don't think you could have written Cristina exactly the same way. They have literally identical mindsets on the notion of being mothers. You realize this.
But the appointments with Addison were pretty fun. I may or may not also be on board with her ripping Cooper to shreds at every possibile opportunity.
Addion & Jake: HALLELUJAH. Not only did she make the right choice, but -- are we already largely out of the gross hookup stage and mostly into the commitment-pledging stage? Because YES. I have no words for how much I enjoyed their every scene.
It's really sad to think about him having a heart attack all alone in the middle of nowhere, okay?