Under the Dome: first of all, I think you should be very impressed that I didn't quit this series on principle two minutes in when it showed me a half naked Britt Robertson perched over some guy. TRAUMATIZED FOREVER, because she still looks 15.
Otherwise, my first impression of this show is how great it is that 90% of the named characters are played by people I recognize. It's the biggest Hey, It's That Guy/Gal! gathering in recent television memory. I literally think there are maybe 4-5 actors I don't know (Junior, Norrie, her white mom, that kid on a skateboard if he's relevant, the DJ), leading to a genuinely fantastic sensation of watching an established theater troupe get together to put on a popular show. They don't disappear into their characters, and that's OK. Although I have to say that the cop last seen as Detective Lovato is a lot more grating without Flack making impressed eyebrow lifts at her every move.
I don't really love anybody yet, but I could watch a whole show that is just the beauty of basking in Rachelle Lefevre's face, so she is my default favorite (name for future reference: Julia. Every time a pilot comes along, I have to force character names down my throat. It's annoying, but I'm grateful later). By the same principle, Angie clicks into second place. I may need a bit to recover from the assault on my eyes, but being instantly switched to "damsel in distress" mode should help with that. Junior is so awesomely creepy I can't wait for more.
(the book version sounds horrifying, but since people have been saying there are tons of changes, I'm hoping this is one of them. Totally down for "hot regular psycho.")
"Barbie's" impressive similarity to Liam Hemsworth is enough to keep me interested him, and that is not even a celebrity I care about, I'm just fascinated by how they look like siblings. His scruffy ruffian bad-boy image is not inherently attractive in any way, but I feel like his personality might somehow overcome that. Like, him knocking the kid out of the way was good.
Speaking of, I was really looking forward to the siblings being stuck out on their farm without their parents, but I guess that depends on how long Angie stays locked in a cellar. The point is, my head wants to run all over the place imagining them growing up on a dairy farm, taking care of cows and trading insults. Their sibling chemistry was on fire in the roughly 20 seconds they shared screen time.
I will say that the cow being sliced in half by the dome, despite its almost painful obviousness and my general love of cows, was probably my favorite part for the sheer coolness of the effect. I mean, I am skeptical whether a cow actually looks like a pile of ground raw hamburger inside as opposed to having organs and visible bones and stuff, but I'd also rather believe nobody wanted the task of researching that.
All in all...I'll try to talk about this on a weekly basis, even though it doesn't yet feel worth of character/plot analysis and I really just want to watch anywhere from 3 to 13 episodes in a row so I can advance the plot arc. I did not expect seizures and prophecies, for starters.
Then, instead of watching important shows, I continued mainlining Law & Order: SVU.
First, though, can I just say how much I loathe their slimy new D.A.? He is the most unbearable lawyer ever seen outside of the UK version. He's slightly outstripped by the prissy newbie who took over at Christmas, just because I can't stand that guy's lady eyebrows, but technically they're both the worst.
14x06: Friending Emily: for being such a standard tale of underage abduction/internet porn, and one I'll probably never sit through again, that rather sucked me in and crawled under my skin. (p.s. how do you not just know better than to go to a frat party that some skanky-looking 20-year-old chick randomly invites you to in a city you've never visited before? How is that not about 87 different red flags?)
14x07: Vanity's Bonfire: another cliche "politician in scandal!" story, but I liked the daughter stretched to her breaking point, the weakened-from-illness mother's fierce determination to take the fall, the delusional-and-dumb-yet-sympathetic, definition-of-taken-advantage-of biological mother, and the fact that after she died, nobody remembered to tell us what happened with the custody case so I'll just assume the judge sympathized and let them have their baby back. It's not their fault they were tricked into a fake adoption they thought was legit. I continue to maintain my unpopular opinion of "nurture trumps nature if the child is at least one year old and the adoptive parents did not willfully break the law."
14x08: Lesson's Learned: this is the one that had nothing noteworthy in the summary, yet upon watching, really made me go, "whoa, when SVU is good...there's a reason I stick around." Maybe part of it was because I went to play in a Glee AU, but also because hey there, Anthony Rapp, looking exactly the same as you did in "Rent." Have I mentioned how much I like your face? Especially when you alternate being in denial to confronting your father all full of rage and anguish.
14x09: Dreams Deferred: or, PATRICIA ARQUETTE IS BACK ON MY SCREEN, Y'ALL!!! SEASON HIGHLIGHT. She was so good in this. The accent, the attitude, the look, everything absolutely made me believe she was a 40-something career prostitute and proud of it. I feel comfortable in calling her one of the best guest characters in all time.
14x10: Presumed Guilty: this episode is worth it just because we finally get to see Amaro being a dad again. I HAVE MISSED THAT. Otherwise, it was a big ball of "You know how everyone thinks priests are bad? Well, what if they weren't? Lol j/k, they totally are. Sure, some of them aren't pedophiles, but they still cover up child molestation and break their vows by fathering secret illegitimate children." And yet...I sort of liked its oddly melancholy Christmas themes anyway? My favorite part was them interrupting the judge's Christmas Eve at home multiple times, who is probably now and forever regretting his decision to be known as The Nice Judge. (I secretly hope this is what Marshall Erickson's home life looks like in the future, although I guess he probably isn't presiding over violent criminal trials).
I also love that this Christmas-themed episode apparently didn't air until January 2nd when the previous episode was December 5th. NBC knows how to pace things, clearly.
Finally, it's high time I got this going for the year, so...
Top 25 Season 4 Glee Performances: Part 1
Friendly reminder that these are based on performances, so while it's mostly about favorite songs, it also means the presentation has to be at least as good as the song alone. I will scour the internet to find embeddable clips that work right now, but I am also lazy and most of them are from the official FOX account so they're both temporary and possibly region-blocked. What I learned in compiling this list is that season 4 still had a lot of really great stuff going on, and I loved revisiting these.
[also, special notes about a few songs that won't be appearing:]
-Just Can't Get Enough is disqualified, despite being among my top 15 downloaded songs, because its performance was ruined by constantly cutting away from the actual performance to listen to irrelevant couples talk to each other.
-Against All Odds is also disqualified, despite its excellent studio version, because I did not love the live version quite so much and its supposed context was THE WORST.
-Blaine is still going to dominate this list.
-I am super cranky that Ryder didn't have a single solo or duet worthy of this list – Juke Box Hero was close, but full of entirely too much Finn to rank it over other performances.
-After much last-minute hand-wringing, I have controversially booted “Don't Speak” off of this list because while its art direction greatly impressed me on first airing, now it's just too sad and dark and plain and I don't want to go back there ever. I tried and it wasn't fun or even interesting.
25. You're the One That I Want
As much as I like the first pair of leads, and how it misleads you into thinking this is a hopeful piece showcasing the cutest things high school theater has to offer, this is significant mostly because of the unexpected way it rips your heart out when the leads switch to fantasy!Finn/Rachel, and the song becomes about giving a last hurrah to former high school sweethearts on the stage where they used to belong. (Also, I just really like this song.)
24. Born To Hand Jive
[Spoiler (click to open)]
(couldn't find another copy)
Turns out I've grown really find of the whole "Grease" storyline now that I have some distance from the awful part of last fall. This song is SO infectious and impossible not to groove to. Performance-wise, you get the Mike Chang's dancing, Ryder & Marley being adorable, and Kitty trying to get her claws into Jake while knocking Marley (whom the boys are busy playing tug-of-war with) aside. The expressions on everyone's faces as they find themselves in the middle of an elaborate dance fight while awkwardly trying to remember the assigned choreography + lyrics are priceless.
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Despite unfavorable comments I may have initially made about Marley's horrendous attempt at this kind of vocal runs, it turns out that if you are a fan of the original song and also all the lead singers in this version, you can very quickly become addicted to it. And then you realize how delighted you are by Blaine sassily strutting his stuff, Marley displaying all the youthful exuberance possible, and of course, Mercedes killing the vocals because she owns the rights to this number.
22. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Because it is impossible not to dance to this song, and also it is a ridiculous display of everything that is great about Champion Duo Sam & Blaine. Plus terrifically awful 80s attire, featuring Day Glo and bad perms.
21. It's Time
(...is it not embedding?)
It s Time Glee Performance | izlesene.com
Because one day, I will be able to watch it again without feeling like my heart is being ripped out of my chest, the last time anyone was happy with The State of Klaine at all. Even though the song mostly reminds me of Community at the end of season 3, it is also deeply entrenched in the feeling of September, of new school years and elaborate courtyard routines, of youthful hope