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Starting with double shots of these --


NCIS, 10x14, "Canary" (or, "the one with the twitchy ferret character from Chuck")
Re: ferret character, I already identify him more in this role than the one on Chuck. It just seems suited to him, smart-mouthed and remorselessly uncaring about national security in exchange for profiting from mad hacker skills. In fact, I'm going to pretend he was doing this the entire span of Chuck, right under the super spies' noses. All things considered, it was really satisfying to watch Tony jam a needle in his neck. (that said, it just seemed dangerous to have non-medically-trained personnel doing that)

I really liked the wild ride we got taken on this one (literally speaking). There was a point where even I completely fell for the elaborate setup, and I think that was somewhere between the power outage and Tony getting shot, but definitely by the time they were holding a door shut. There was just no way for all of that to be faked so elaborately and so well. I would have sung like a canary too. Even after hearing their explanations, I can't completely convince myself.

But that may just be because I was really into the idea of Ziva (barely) saving Tony's ass and hauling him to the relative safety of the cell.

Bonus fun: more Greg Germann (he is so great in this role as a Nervous Nellie Substitute Director), Abby's family-recipe pomade is stupid and ridiculous but we still get a cheek kiss from Gibbs (despite how that puts him in close proximity to its apparently awful smell?), Abby making sure to interject pointedly how ebola viruses were tested on "cute fluffy mice," and the quote of the night, as uttered by Cyber Terrorist about Gibbs: "You on Twitter? Because your natural speech patterns are already less than 140 characters."

10x15, "Hereafter" (or, "the one where Vance inexplicably gets a feature episode to deal with his grief")
All I heard was an entire episode full of "GIBBS I AM SO SAD. WAHHH, GIBBS, WOE IS ME. TELL ME HOW TO DEAL. What's that? You had to cope with losing your child too while I still have two of my own, whole and hale? I DON'T SEE HOW THAT'S RELEVANT. Let's keep talking while I ignore them in my obsessive quest to make sure my wife wasn't sketchy so I still have the right to be depressed about her death." There might have been a case in the background, but I was playing Neopets and literally not even watching most of the scenes because Vance kept turning up in them.

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Criminal Minds, 8x14, "All That Remains": Pretty good, intriguing setup (wife goes missing, daughters go missing 1 year later), with a surprise twist on the killer I should have yet did not see coming, yikes. Before that, it was really nice to see JJ in mothering mode while taking the girl back home.

8x15, "Broken": So. Much. Ew. I like my CM to be scary-gruesome, not scary-disgusting, and by the halfway point I was angrily buried with a book over my head, loudly narrating about cute baby bears covered in the content of jars full of molasses, syrup and strawberry jam to drown out all the repulsive sights and dialogue. The only reason I even stuck it out to the end was out of a fierce determination to see the dark-haired guy get rescued, because I had already assigned him to be Blaine (figuring Puck for our thughead murderer) and was busy chewing over ways to salvage this giant piece of garbage as a Kurt/Blaine AU. Really counting on "Josh" to be some sort of featured extra in a reunion hug. THAT WAS NOT AN OKAY WAY TO END. So in conclusion, I feel confident that is the worst episode of the whole series.
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Meanwhile, Smash is back! Despite ratings shot all to hell. Its ratings look like a quail shot with an assault rifle, basically. It's worse than what Pushing Daisies got when it came back, and so is apparently doomed to be one of those rare 2-season series. (seriously, they're rare. Usually a show with uncertain prognosis is canceled after one, while anything that gets renewed has the staying power to at least get to year 3)

Note: despite the fact that they gave me two weeks to process the first two hours, I was a little busy with my dog dying and all to take advantage of that extra week, so I still haven't seen episode 3. I want to digest these notes before I do.

2-hour premiere (so all thoughts are jumbled together from 2x01-2x02)
Nobody let me read any outside opinions, OK? I will stay in my happy, insulated, Smash-loving bubble and convince myself that nothing has changed despite how everything supposedly has. (unless, as I always hope, that the one thing they've changed is "no more sex scenes ever")

  • The opening minutes -- "What? You can't buy me off with a cheap montage!" I have been waiting the better part of a year for follow-up on Ivy's heavily implied suicide attempt; I demand immediate follow-through! Did she not even do it? This is why I don't like cliffhanger endings. Sometimes instead of simply making you wait for resolution, they just shove you off the cliff and start over somewhere else.


  • And, ugh, don't tell me about Dev's I'm-So-Sorry letter; I am super sensitive to first-offense cheaters now in a way I wasn't last spring. I will want to give him a second chance on principle despite knowing he wasn't worthy of a first one. But yes, please do have Karen move in with an awesome new female friend. That's almost as good as moving in with Ivy.


  • It has a theme song now? I have never been less excited for a time-wasting theme song. Bring me my tuning orchestra!


  • I still cannot get over Jennifer Hudson's ultra fit new shape, it's crazy. I sense I'm going to spend most of her scenes just gaping at her figure. So far, based on our limited introduction to her, I like the character more than I expected but she is flatly NOT allowed to sing. I hate everything about her vocal style, always have.


  • Show, don't make me regret losing Frank. I was ambivalent about him, but now I don't know whether to be "good riddance, jerk," or just sad on principle.


  • Poor Ivy. Actually sadder about the rift between her and Karen than about her being dropped from the show, but they are both sad. Waiting for her triumphant comeback, only slightly mollified by her and Karen sort of returning to speaking terms in the meantime. I WILL GET THIS FRIENDSHIP TO FLOAT IF IT KILLS ME.


  • Music-wise, I see the show is still on fire. Hudson's song was the only dud, and in highlights, I'm super excited that they have a cover of "Don't Dream It's Over," because I haven't fallen in love with Glee's version yet, and this one is all Ivy so I already like it better. I love it when Smash takes down Glee. (see also: Beautiful, Shake It Out)


  • The girls' diva number was pretty great until I thought I saw a crotch grab, and NO WHY NO.


  • When I first heard there was going to be a new musical happening alongside the development of "Bombshell," my reaction was "NOPE. I ain't got time for that. Boooo, you whores." But by the time we hit "falling through the sky" in the first new song [edit: "Broadway, Here I Come"] before I went "Crap, this is a good song." The second song was even better. "Caught in the storm, caught in the rain," and OK, new musical, you win. I'm sold. If they're all like this, I'm 100% ready, and I don't even know what the storyline is.


  • Jimmy's got a super boring face, but so far he's not as bad as all the guys we ditched, so I'll tolerate him. But he's also on the low end of tolerable, between his surly personality and a face that vaguely resembles a bulldog - not good enough for my beauty queen, nope! - so I want to ignore him in favor of his adorable friend, Kyle. Kyle is my newest favorite.


  • I greatly enjoyed Derek getting slapped with a lawsuit, because let's be real, he is sexual harassment personified. Turns out I like him when he's a pathetic and self-pitying drunk. Not only does he say remarkable truthy things, it's fun to watch him make puppy eyes at Ivy and attempt to go for a kiss before getting shot down. "Nope. Not gonna happen."


  • In related news, Daisy is my new favorite 1-note character for calling him out on all his bullshit abuse and exploitation of power. "Did you really think women say yes because they actually like you?"


  • Loved the whole government investigation and whatever gets more of Eileen on my screen. Watching her and her merry band of fools crash that party in style was epic. Miriam Abramson is my new favorite snarky rich person.


  • Have I mentioned how much I love Karen's new piano-playing roommate Ana?


  • The Tom/Julia preciousness is off the charts. Between sheltering her from the reviews until she's ready, his excitement over inviting her to move in and all the wallowing he was powerless to stop without inventing elaborate lies about charity event engagements ("It is so hard to watch you be this down for so long."), it was absolutely everything I love about them. There are many reasons I love this show for existing, but their friendship and partnership is right up there at the top.

Conclusion: The show still has the same pacing - slow to watch, and something it's easy to pause and walk away from for a while before starting again, but densely packed with quality. So far, I see no changes I hate except the loss of Julia's scarves. I literally don't understand why the internet ragged on them so much. They were all really pretty and looked great on her. She looks lost and/or naked without them.
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2x03, "The Dramaturg"

The good:
1. Can we keep Karen in Cute Muse Mode forever? She's this beautiful breath of fresh, innocent air, and it just so dazzling when Derek-The-No-Longer-Horrible looks at her adoringly and I feel like he's just genuinely charmed/amused/impressed by her as a person (albeit in a pretty package) instead of imagining her naked.

It's even OK when he gets snippy and snappy with her at rehearsal later and starts treating her like a misbehaving doll, because that's a part of the director vibe I inexplicably like from him now. At least, when Karen can stick up for herself with things like "I don't know what you want, and I don't think you do either."

2. Tom/Ivy + ALL THE SUPPORT. Their scenes are second only to ones where he supports Julia, and that is a very close race. From getting all heart-eyed just watching her old audition tapes to helping her recognize why she's perfect for Cecile, I just love his boundless support and encouragement (now with genuine audition-coach help!), and I'm so so so happy for Ivy getting her dream role (wonder how long that will last).

3. I both love and hate this sad emotional triangle with Derek/Ivy/Karen. I hate that it means the friendship between the latter two remains a distant speck on the horizon, but I love how it's not - really - a love triangle so much as a tug of war for admiration and respect, even though there should be plenty to go around. I like how Derek continues to cluelessly piss them both off because he doesn't see a problem with needing them both for different things. Mostly, though, what I'm trying to say is break my heart harder with your song, Ivy. "Dancing on My Own" should be a soundtrack highlight; if it shows up on a CD I will totally love it.

4. Karen and Derek showing up at the guys' apartment was very sweet and made a cute casual-buddies scene. Now that I have heard the storyline to the new musical, I'm happy to say I still love it and everything about it.

5. Kyle continues to be adorable. To make him even better, I'm just going to assume he's a little in love with Jimmy the D-Bag, because that's about the only way I'll ever find the latter tolerable (plus then I can appreciate him getting beat up in pursuit of Kyle's song lyrics). Seriously, I like Jimmy less every time he shows up, his only redeeming value being when he gets aggressively defensive/protective of his fragile bro's feelings.

The bad:
1. I want to love Jennifer Hudson's character Ronnie (you have to learn these things and commit, self), I really and truly do because she seems like a sweetheart and this show wins at female characters 95% of the time, but I cannot tolerate her singing and hopes of loving her character look like they're about to die if she follows through on the phrase "it's time to show them I'm not their Broadway baby anymore," right after complaining about still playing wholesome roles at age 30 and right before saying it'll be "scary" but it's something she has to do if she "wants to grow." What is this obsession actors have with "changing" and "growing"? It's literally the worst attitude in the world. If you find something you're good at, enjoy, and people like seeing, then do it forever. There is no reason whatsoever for anyone (actors and ordinary people alike) to test their boundaries or push their comfort level.

/rant

2. One thing season 2 has yet to change is that its casting for male characters continues to fail 90% of the time. Like Peter. So far, his one redeeming trait is the way he has piles and piles of books everywhere you look in his apartment. #I'm drooling

Otherwise, no. He's slimy enough on paper that I probably wouldn't like him anyway, but I loathe that actor. I couldn't even remember why, just that I hated him on sight because he had grossed me out somewhere before, and IMDB clarifies that OH YES. NURSE ELI, Grey's Anatomy, character objective: destroy Miranda Bailey's credibility. Ugh.

3. I thought Julia was being a bit irrational and tetchy about the whole title plot, since published authors have editors, so why not playwrights...but then Peter's exact words about her book were "The show had no sex!" And then I exploded in a fireball of defensive, choking rage, or basically turned into Julia, whom I would consider the perfect mouthpiece if I weren't pre-emptively vomiting with the certainty that this is somehow going to turn into hate sex even he repulses me on such a core level that my stomach actually bucks every time he talks. Like, I sympathize with the season 1 showrunner right now. I get how much she needed to maintain control of her vision. Even the parts of it that were wrong, like nauseating sex scenes for Julia.

4. Seriously. Choking rage with every smarmy word uttered, putting down the (wonderful!) domestic aspect in favor of something more salacious even as she accurately defended her (perfect) interpretation of Marilyn's story at every turn. YOU'RE WRONG, SHE'S RIGHT. SHE'S SMART, YOU'RE DUMB.

5. I don't know what sort of horrible scene Julia rewrote under pressure, because I decided I'd just skip it, but I assume it was vomitrocious because I thought I caught sight of Karen in her bra at one point during rehearsal and no no no, I thought we left this horrible angle behind after the trainwreck that was the "Touch Me" debacle. So help me, I will switch my entire loyalty over to Jimmy the D-Bag and The Half Written Book.

P.S. I love how I watched this on Hulu, and the next thing that auto-queued itself up was Glee, "I Do." Hah! NOT HAPPENING YET, UNIVERSE.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
vegawriters
Feb. 23rd, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
Your NCIS reviews are made of so much win. Especially the Gibbs one.

I broke up with NCIS a long time ago, but I do like seeing what's going on anyway.
rainbowstevie
Feb. 25th, 2013 03:05 pm (UTC)
Aw, that's nice to hear!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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