First of all, I did actually manage to watch Sleepy Hollow within a week of its premiere -- I fell behind before I could mention it, but now I'm all caught up!
Really enjoying it as cracky fun times, a show not to be taken too seriously, but not sure why everyone else loves it THIS much and I feel a little rebellious as a result (i.e. "I watch lots of awesome shows nobody else cares about anymore; how dare you like this one just because it's new and cool! It's probably not that great now that I think about it," etc.), which I'm trying to curb because you don't have to be constantly contrary, RS. ("I do! This show's only getting 13-episode seasons and it's going to validate people who think it's more important to tell a quick and complete story than to create as much material as possible to increase the raw number of highlight scenes you have when it is over!")
LET'S START THIS POST OVER IN A MORE POSITIVE WAY
To begin with, I enjoy Crane's face and fabulous hair (both facial and on top of his head), while mostly refusing to actually think of him as Ichabod Crane because both of those names are harsh and ill-fitting for such a handsome face. But the actor's name attached to the character isn't really working for him either. Since he will need a name for review purposes, I'll go with Crane as the lesser of two evils
Thoughts on the pilot: probably the finest damn pilot I've seen since Pushing Daisies. Or Off The Map. I had no time for FOX TV in late summer so the previews didn't wear out their welcome with excessive repetition, and it was fast-paced with excellent production values. It came across less like the usual boring "setup" and more like the mini-movie that pilots should be, with an ending that simply leaves room to grow. It was also perfectly spooky, with a scary but not too gruesome beheading, and came with a beautiful true-white horse.
Part of me feels like a hypocrite for enjoying the monster-of-the-week stuff, because that part is basically Grimm, and I loathe Grimm. I don't know how to explain it except that Sleepy Hollow feels like Grimm with class. Higher quality production, WAY higher quality lead actor in the face and refinement departments, plus an infusion of National Treasure genes to improve the bloodline. There, I've rationalized it.
Since then, I've been enjoying Undead John Cho, the Evil Demonic Butler/Personal Assistant to the Apocalypse and the variety of spooky monsters. The witch who looked like she'd been painted magma on Neopets chilled my blood, the Sandman was super creepy, the shadow glimpses of the ram-head-like creature (name, who needs a name, we established in paragraph two those are irrelevant unless it's "Abbie Mills." That one I like!)... The secret-society/prophecies/mysticism stuff that I thought would bore me has not only not been an issue, it's magically enhanced the overall content. I watched 2.5 episodes back to back and would have happily kept going had I had more episodes & time.
I'm not really feeling Abbie's sister, and probably won't until she gets that angry sneer off her face. But that doesn't really matter because Ichabod (wait, am I liking 'Ichabod' now? I knew it was important to focus on this) is the shining front and center star of this show and I love his extremely calm politeness crossed with occasional befuddlement about the 21st century. His outrage over the cost + tax of a fast food meal is my favorite one so far. I am also pretty much in love with the idea of him + Katrina. I'm simultaneously extra-delighted to have a 100% platonic male/female partnership where both parties are attractive and yet I don't ship them or see any non-platonic chemistry at all. (*pause* usually that triggers a... nope! We clear!)
And Abbie -- she's the perfect mixture of tough-talking/name-taking with a soft edge underneath. The latter didn't really jump out at me until contrasted with her sister, who is a ball of jagged edge knives and makes Abbie look like angora wool by comparison. As I say this, I realize this is the first time they've started to emerge from the 2-D world of cartoon characters fighting a silly cracky war against evil and begun to flesh out as proper characters with emotions and backstories and headcanons you can care about.
Finally, I really want to commend this show's opening credits and its score. The credits are some of my favorite ones on TV right now, giving it instant "oh man, I should sit down and watch this spooky looking show" appeal, the music has a perfect horror movie vibe, and the bass strings that play over the closing credits/before some commercial breaks inject fantastic energy.
When I started out, this was going to be a show I just kicked back and watched for funsies but maybe didn't write about, but I think I'm all in now. Especially if I've only got nine more before I have to go on break for a whole year. Of course, I'm still too lazy/pressed for time to actually go look at the fandom, but...
Courtesy of spending way too much time on the LJ homepage, I bring you my favorite fannish endeavor that I keep legitimately forgetting is not canon, because I can picture it so clearly and keep laughing at the memory:
Tea Time, a marvelous series of text exchanges between Ichabod and Abbie, by cleolinda
Up next, I finally found time for Revolution. I had three episodes waiting for me, and I'm so glad I did, because the first two ended on crazy wild cliffhangers. And also,
I am in a state of general shock over how exciting it is. It is way more exciting than it was even when it was shiny and new, more exciting than it was at the best of times in season 1. It's just nonstop action, never-ending twists -- it's almost like Siberia never left me, in terms of being riveted to my seat with saucer-wide eyes the whole time. (except the times when Aaron is on my screen. Then I'm going 'omg, how are you not done talking yet, you boring weirdo' and usually skipping ahead)
Part of me wants to separate these by episode, but the rest of me is just too lazy, so that's not going to happen. Have a giant list.
-I was annoyed by the "six months later" skip, but to my great surprise they actually did a good job of pacing the flashbacks so that I felt like the story was completely filled in after all, and I wasn't cheated out of anything. That takes talent. (favorite moment: hugging Charlie goodbye with the loving advice to "try to keep the stupid to a minimum." I love their relationship so much.)
-I can almost see a "sacrificial sweeps lamb" mark over Rachel's dad's head, which is very sad, because I am loving Stephen Collins and the heartfelt rapport he has with her. Best dad role since 7th Heaven. Or ever.
-I am EXTREMELY pleased by everything Miles/Rachel related so far, as everything seems to be going exactly right. The sad Rachel looks, the dancing around everything, his dogged quest to protect her (and my favorite, "how about we protect each other," although I can't help but notice that went poorly)
(Except the "I saw how you looked at him on your wedding day." NO. BAD. You have to give me the sweet marriage first, then the hot illicit affair that will later develop into the best thing you never expected this show to have. If I'm going to go the adultery route, I have to be able to blame the affair on the married people emotionally drifting apart first; I can't just have one being skanky. Canon rejected.)
-The forest carpet of rat bodies was a both horrifying and awesome visual. I'm a tad surprised the horses were willing to walk across it and didn't balk at anything. They can't have been packed that solidly.
-There have been some really pretty horses this season. I don't often notice bays, but the one Miles has been riding around has a perfect red sheen to her coat, and Rachel was atop a gorgeous pinto on her Miles-rescuing mission. I rewound the scene of them galloping back inside the city gates 3 times because it was such a thrill.
-I'm in shock that they really did bomb the East Coast, but glad to be in new locations. I feel like Kim Raver's character is probably somehow not dead, just because they've made such a big deal about it, but I'm going to believe she is because that adds a much more intense punch. (a reunion scene would, of course, be spectacular. But I like being forced to imagine it as a mere dream that fades away when you open your eyes)
[edit: wait, did the finale establish she was within the blast zone? I just remembered her being inside a house when the electricity flickered on, but now I can't remember the context.]
-WHOA on the whole war clan idea, never mind their skin-crawling pedo of a leader. Terrifying! (and also, seriously, how did 21st century people -- even the most bottom-feeding trolls -- think 'yes this sounds like a feasible lifestyle choice'?) I loved just about every minute of episode 3 because that's the appeal of this show in the first place: lawless anarchy, defending yourself against random evil as best you can. Much more interesting than fighting highly skilled Monroe Militia, anyway. A little part of me is interested in the AU where there is no 11th hour spray of machine gun fire from the U.S. military, that's just how the great Miles goes down -- wounded and weakened and finally surrounded, unable to save Rachel, unable to save himself. One machete slash does it while Rachel fades out nearby.
-I'm really glad that poor woman with kidney failure was able to escape her life as a prisoner the only way she knew how. I tried not to think about it too hard, but that was a really barbaric setup, right on par with Criminal Minds villains. Also I'm really sad about the sheriff getting shot point blank in a cage; I liked him.
-I'm very O.O and =D at the supposed U.S. government apparently being evil after all. That's terribly depressing, because I certainly greeted the arrival of that ship with a happy "they're saved!" face (as if it could possibly be that easy), but I'm still interested.
-I am so fond of this chipper new bounty hunter chap Charlie met. Where Jason/Nate was an energy-sucking pit of doom, I instantly liked this new fellow's face on sight and would happily follow him anywhere, no matter which side he's on.
-Tom Neville continues to be a fascinating weasel no matter what he's doing. His scenes are such a highlight.
-I can't get over how much I love Monroe and Charlie being reluctant quasi-partners. Mostly I appreciate that he has stopped wanting to kill her. I hope that doesn't change, because I greatly prefer him admiring her pluck and tenacity. Charlie, of course, is still free to off him whenever she likes.
-I also hope the focus stays off Charlie and more on Miles and Rachel. I like her in small doses, but it's better when we focus on the adults. It's like the opposite of how Glee's age group priorities shifted.
-And now let's talk about Aaron. Well, first his wife, whom I am not very fond of. It bothers me how wide-set her eyes are and her simpering "scared/naive shrinking violet of a wallflower" character seems to emphasize the worst of it. It's weird how much I don't like her since that's basically who I would be if trapped in their world.
I like her more than Aaron, though, who is a damn bumbling fool. I came in unspoiled to season 2, so do you have ANY IDEA how excited I was when he died? "Oh, man! Did they say a major character was going to die in the premiere? I hope so! That would have been such a great teaser!" I spent the entire rest of the episode beaming like a loon that the biggest remaining problem character was FINALLY gone when I didn't even expect it...
...and then the bastard opened his eyes after 30 minutes of being without a heartbeat and I screamed in outrage that now apparently even death can't make him go away. That is the worst kind of character. See also, Jack Harkness.
I also did not like Charlie's manic sex scene, which was greeted with a shriek of "EW!" and rapid skipping ahead, but otherwise I've literally enjoyed every other scene. I like all the plot arcs that have been going on, I'm not as outraged as I thought I would be that the power is off again (in fact, that's probably for the best), and I'm excessively glad to have gotten away from the boring Tower and all the freaks therein; life is much more vibrant and full of character(s) in Texas and the Plains Nation.
Turns out I haven't watched Hawaii Five-0 since the end of 2012, but the previews for episode 2 this season showed me Tim Daly in a cowboy hat and full Texas drawl, to which I said YEE-HAW, I will absolutely watch Wild West Pete Wilder bring some Don't Mess With Texas attitude to this joint.
Simply put, his every scene was fantastic. I have really no idea or inclination to learn what's going on with the team dynamics at this point in time, because those barely registered on my radar. To quote my comment to muzzy_olorea, "I have an immediate need for a barely-related spinoff featuring Tim Daly, Texas Ranger, doing all sorts of dubiously-lawful things like a double strength intensity McGarrett. With cowboy hat." His attitude, his accent, his super fantastic Western outfit + full accessories (including a silver Colt); I never stopped clasping my hands for joy.
Oh wait! I also got bonus daughter rescuing/hugging out of the deal, and you'd better believe I can conjure up as much or more emotional investment in those two than I ever have with Danny and Grace because I'm sorry, Tim Daly, Texas Ranger. Definitely most likely the finest hour of television H-5-0 is going to produce this year*.
(also there is something about Kono and her paramour playing Survivor: China that vaguely interests me, but not enough find out the backstory, because said paramour is not quite attractive enough for me to spend time thinking about their life off-screen)
*That said, according to Wikipedia, the guest star before this was Henry Ian Cusick and I just saw a preview with Jorge Garcia looking hilarious, so I might watch that episode too. If H50's new thing is to just hire an awesome guest star every week, Law & Order: SVU-style, I just might make this a regular habit since it's now airing in the dead zone of Friday nights.
ETA: Yeah, I went ahead and watched Jorge Garcia's episode this morning:
Call me crazy, but I feel like maybe the basic bozos of 5-0 + a random conspiracy nut managing to solve an intercontinental 150-year-old lost-treasure mystery in a few days was a little far fetched, even for this show. But don't get me wrong, it was HIGHLY exciting and very entertaining. Possibly the most fun I've ever had with a case on this show, because watching all the pieces fall in line was literally National Treasure levels of on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement. Also, Jorge Garcia is a super personable and enjoyable guy when not playing Hurley. He definitely works much better as a one-off comedic character than a lead/regular. I'm impressed.
I'm not impressed by Catherine, whom I really want to like, but in practice find terribly boring. Has she been abducted yet? That would probably up my emotional investment. Right now my opinion is colored by a review that said she and Steve seem more like good friends with an exclusive romantic relationship that seems to be working for them right now, but lacks the kind of charge that makes them seem like they're destined to be together for the long haul.
Lastly, I've also been dragging my heels on writing about Survivor, because there was so much I wanted to say, but I never had the time. I am now 4 episodes into "Blood vs. Water," and it's pretty awesome.
Before I actually acknowledge anyone who's been voted off, let me give you my general impressions of all the contestants, in alphabetical order by returning player -- I could have sworn I did this? But either I didn't post it or I didn't tag it. Or at least, my impressions after watching the 1-hour "TVGN overview," which despite being hosted by Parvati, was actually a pretty cool overview for the show, giving the early bootees some extra screen time and allowing us to meet everyone on even ground/with equal amounts of screentime, rather than the edited-for-time-and-interest version you get on TV. I especially appreciated that CBS put it on their website so I could see it in the first place.
Scratch that, I will use my knowledge of the first 4 episodes to write these. But I still won't acknowledge who's been voted out until afterward.
[Actually, I will spoiler-cut this very long secton for streamlining purposes.]
Aras: Jeff called him the most boring winner, and no kidding -- I watched his season, even wrote about it a couple of times, and yet I don't recognize him at ALL. He's also not that interesting to me, except that entertaining time when he verbally kicked Colton's ass.
(although, this old post of mine seems telling: Aras is not entertaining. I would like him to go bye-bye. Do you think his name is short for Arrogant Ass?)
Vytas: Please tell me more about your junkie past and how you were a bad brother. -.-
Preferred member of duo: equal distaste. Maybe a teeny edge to returning player, just because that's how little respect I have for anyone who's ever tried drugs, especially more than once.
Candice: I love her. I don't know what people have against her all the time, because she seems smart as a whip and a genuinely very nice and sociable person. Actually my favorite returning contestant. Look how great she is!
John: He seems awesome. Also a doctor, really nice, 100% devoted to his wife, and the couple of emotional breakdowns talking about her didn't hurt. Their marriage is my newest favorite one in Survivor history. I also wouldn't mind having either one of them as my doctor, I'm just saying.
Preferred member of duo: Equal love. Maybe a teeny edge to returning player.
Colton: UGH. THE LITERAL WORST. He is just as bad as he was before, manipulative and whiny crybaby.
Caleb: Good sir, why would you validate that thing's existence by agreeing to spend your life with him? How can you even stand being around him? Someone like Colton deserves to be forever alone. I'm mostly bashing your life choices here because I don't really have an opinion on you, other than that your abundant plaid and general rugged outdoorsy manly look amuses me in contrast to the fiance.
Preferred member of duo: loved one
Gervase: Way less fun and way more annoying and generally clueless/lacking self awareness than I remember. In fairness, I don't remember very much at all about season 1.
Marissa: Doesn't seem very smart or interesting, but have nothing against her so far. It's kind of weird how little rapport she seems to have with her uncle, though. We suspect she mostly views him as a ticket to get her on the show.
Preferred member of duo: loved one
Kat: Her schtick was cute, but I've got much more interesting people to watch.
Hayden: Admittedly some very nice eye candy, but the fact that he was even on Big Brother is enough to have me make a cross with my fingers to ward him away.
Preferred member of duo: returning player, but my god, if this isn't the biggest display of shallow bubblegum airheads...
Laura: I'm cool with seeing her again; she puts great effort into the game.
Ciera: I don't like to bash teen moms because it's pretty cool if they have the fortitude to actually become parents, but honestly, she described herself as the rebel black sheep of the family. She strikes me as exactly the sort of not-very-smart, kinda trashy, probably frequently drunk teen I would have looked down my nose at in high school. Those people do not change in the personality department.
Preferred member of duo: returning player
Monica: I don't think she was around long enough for anyone to remember, and she is clearly not the reason she was asked back. After 4 episodes, I'm still not feeling much of anything.
Brad Culpepper The NFL Star*: Ahh, I can't help it. I don't know who is outside of Survivor, but he's pretty entertaining. Bit of a blowhard, but I feel like he's really doing it in enthusiastic "spirit of the game" mode, and isn't actually a mean person at all.
*he's an attorney now? You can play football and be smart?
Preferred member of duo: loved one
Rupert: again -- seems like a nice guy, but maybe only in small doses because he's just really LOUD and kind of intense.
Laura: seems like a very sweet/hard working woman, and I actually really admire the strength of their marriage. I hope to see more of her.
Preferred member of duo: loved one
Tina: I just remember her as being a total sweetheart. Very much want her to go far!
Katie: I would befriend her in an instant. She seems like the nicest person in the game this year, bar none. I have total respect for her, unlike say, Ciera. I also very much approve of her hair and am kind of jealous of how good she looks in a bikini without being pencil-thin.
Preferred member of duo: Equal love. Maybe a teeny edge to loved one.
Tyson: ugh, that freak.
Rachel: Honey, what do you see in him? You don't seem out of his league or anything, I'm just curious. I don't actually have an opinion on you.
Preferred member of duo: loved one
[Side note: holy crap, look at all the people who almost played. They wanted Malcolm, but HE DECLINED?? (I guess 3 seasons in a row would wear on you, though) On the bright side, we avoided Lex. And holy cow, apparently we barely got the awesome Candice/John pairing and were supposed to have RC instead, which wouldn't have been bad, but...what we got is better.]
[Next I shall talk about who has been voted out or otherwise removed from the game.]-----------------
Feelings On People Who Have Been Eliminated Thus Far:
Rupert - not at ALL sad to see him go.
Rachel - that's OK, I had absolutely 0 emotional investment
Marissa - nope, still not missing anything
Colton - THIS WAS TRULY THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE. Surely Caleb had to be suppressing a little embarrassment behind that stoic/non-plussed face while Colton crybaby-temper-tantrumed his way through quitting. I will allow one reassuring goodbye hug because tears + loved ones always have a little effect on me, but otherwise, HALLELUJAH TRUMPETS. The best part was how mean Jeff was about it. That was some straight up and unrelenting schoolyard bullying. Wait, not schoolyard, more like classroom teacher bullying from a position of power - public embarrassment and belittling in front of your peers. It was glorious.
"You stupid quitter! I totally knew you were gonna quit, but you begged us
That's what I heard, anyway. I'm pretty sure Jeff's actual heckling wasn't much better. And I'm so thrilled he took himself out so early. True miracle.
Feelings On People Who Were Targeted For Elimination:
Laura Bonham - oh, her face was the saddest face when she realized why she got chosen for the first vote. And while it didn't seem that way at the time, in the long run I think she probably does have the capability to go farther than Rupert would have. I'm glad she's living it up as a fully accepted member of the peaceful returnees in the meantime.
Candice - NO!, I screamed in outrage, and have been quietly stewing while hoping she miraculously wins all the challenges for the rest of the season and comes back triumphant to kick everyone's ass.
John - NO! You can't take away both of my awesome doctors! I am just going to hope that they both kick ass at challenges, I guess.
(and if you think about it, there was that one glorious night they got to spend on a tropical island, just the two of them. People pay a lot of money for that sort of romantic getaway, albeit usually with ample food, a bug-free shelter with beds, and running water)
Culpepper - On the one hand, it was hilarious that they toppled the king, but I think my dream of the Codys dominating from here to eternity just died. :(
As for the actual season so far...well, I guess I covered all that in the above sections. The title hook this season was a great choice. I've really been enjoying most of the loved ones, so even though they keep having to vote themselves out, I like having focus on them. It's been glorious watching all the returning players not buy any of Colton's attempts at pot-stirring, and actually call him out on it too. They might as well be laughing in his face -- it's great! All of the challenges have been really fun - ESPECIALLY the clobbering ring over water - and this is the first season I've been able to watch with a Redemption Island. I love that twist. (so much better than exile island) So much more time devoted to challenges.
I'm actually sympathizing with both sides of the Cody/Culpepper Blood Feud -- on the one hand, I love that Candice strutted in to flip him the bird and get very aggressively defensive about protecting her husband. I love that Candice is so very take-charge and John is apparently more laid back; I know I am getting only a very minimal view of their dynamic but what I see is appealing. I think she's fully in the right to feel angry and attacked from all sides, and to get upset that good people are being turned on for no real reason. On the other hand, it really is just a game. I understand Monica being upset at so much seemingly out-of-the-blue vitriol. And I think Brad's taking it all in stride, as he should.
But seriously, the amount I love Candice is ridiculous.