Man, when I'm trying to avoid thinking about a thing, I can be really productive. I managed to get ahead of work before the family birthday dinner*, and then I had a whole 24 hours of time to relax and relish in my freedom. Naturally, I opted to spend the cold and chilly Halloween holiday curled up inside, watching & writing about TV. I feel I chose wisely.
[*quick sidebar on how that went:]
*Despite my worrying, I think the dinner went well. Plus his parents treated (which I was not expecting), and invited me back to the house for birthday pie. I went to the latter mostly because I did want to spend more time with everyone, but also largely because DOG DOG DOG THERE IS A TINY BUT STURDY-BODIED DOG IN MY LAP oh hey boyfriend kinda forgot about you there um OMG LOOK ITS TINY LITTLE NOSE IS PEERING INTO MY FACE.
(crap, I am falling for the dog. And it's a foster dog and it's available for adoption and we don't have a dog so what if we just got a tiny dog and NO! The tiny dog is only 90% housebroken, not as intelligent as Kym, yaps, and screeches in fear if you try to pick it up due to past abuse; we can't take on a dog with any obvious problems and once she's adopted they'll just get a cuter foster dog. But she's so nice and she likes me now! no)
How I Met Your Mother, 9x06, "Knight Vision"
This is the one they bounced to 1:32 am in favor of letting a random Vikings game have primetime instead.
That was awesome. First repetitive joke of season 9* that I have loved head over heels like nobody's business. I'm going to be thinking of all my decisions for probably the next two months as either wise or poor. And the setup was pretty epic, too. "Holy Grail of cups" indeed.
*Speaking of which, last Friday we were watching "The Haunting" and they were all drinking wine, so Mom asked Dad to get us both a glass. When he handed me mine, I accepted it with a "Thank you, Linus." Nobody understood it but me, but I was v. pleased with myself.
I also really enjoyed the Hateful Minister, Barney/Robin/Lily/Marshall recreating each other's how-we-met stories in full costume - Robin!Lily looks really good! Unfortunately, the fact that I have been unable to stand Anna Camp since her first appearance as the horribly miscast Pam's Sister on The Office seems like it might be a problem for me. I was able to put up with her for one episode thanks to the Knight Of Decision Judgment, but I think I've reached my limits.
Oh! I keep forgetting about Marshall, but WHAT THE DAMN HELL is going to be my other new catchphrase for the foreseeable future. Everything about Sherri roleplaying the conversation with Lily was absolutely golden. And the fact that she works for Big Oil is just the most glorious icing on top of everything. New favorite of the season! Not that I can remember the episodes that came before it very clearly, so pretty much any time I like an episode I might declare it my new favorite.
HIMYM, 9x07, "No Questions Asked"
I have a feeling I am really going to enjoy this episode in reruns. It's just so full of hijinx, with zero plot advancement and next to no seriousness whatsoever. That's syndication gold! Not that it's too bad the first time around, either. I burst out laughing every time a new person burst into the room. I also really liked the discrepancies between Barbin's ninja fantasy and their terribly realistic reality. I still desperately need All The Fic about Robin's secret life as a member of a daytime jewel thief gang, though. Or whatever better options you have for why she was dressed in a brightly colored bodysuit with a Yamakasi group.
I am a bit sad that this was our last episode in the car, but I think I heard the spoiler buzz for 9x08 was pretty good for some reason, so, looking forward to that.
2 Broke Girls and the...
Cronut: Cronuts sound gross, probably because I am not a big fan of croissants and donuts are just so...subtly greasy/loaded with saturated fat I can only find them appealing under rare and specifically frosted or jelly-loaded circumstances. CAKE FRIES, on the other hand, sound like a thing I need to order immediately. I get such joy out of watching Max & Caroline be awesome/successful. Also of Max channeling Bad Cop to throw a guy against a wall in a really terrifyingly threatening manner for foolishly trying to extort them.
Piece of Sheet: I'm still not clear why Caroline kept bleating like a goat instead of normal exaggerated whining, and there were two horrible things in the form of a) lie that that Caroline has hair extensions + b) the return of That Day Thing. But I LOVED Max's childhood attachment to her pillowcase...and the ending. Of course Max ends up using the edge of Caroline's pajama top as her new security blanket.
NCIS, 11x06, "Once A Crook"
"No one will say her name. It's like she's dead." That's about the realest moment I got out of this one because Baltimore Tony flashbacks mean all I hear/see is blah, blah, blah. And...wow, this paragraph was crazy disjointed, so I'll just be breaking it up like so:
-As proof of how insufficiently my attention is captured sometimes, we were more than halfway through the episode before I realized we were in fact supposed to recognize Delilah, never mind remembered that she is McGee's girlfriend as opposed to a random recurring character from one of the office departments.
-I did enjoy her & Abby becoming unlikely buddies, that was fun.
-Abby got a cheek kiss from Gibbs, so that was nice.
-The Tony blah did start to pay off in the second half, with Gibbs making quietly concerned faces all over the place.
-My favorite part was him ominously looming behind McGee just in time to hear the end of one clandestine "hope Gibbs doesn't find out" phone call.
Criminal Minds, 9x06, "In The Blood"
100% on fire tonight for the first time all season. I loved Garcia's Day of the Dead themed party, especially Reid being totally unfazed by the "jar of eyeballs" in her fridge and otherwise thwarting all her attempts to scare him. Who am I kidding, I just really enjoyed their interaction in any context. But then it morphed into just the sort of scary thriller I expect from this show. The methods of murder were perfectly shudder-worthy on their own, but add in some hallucinations about 17th century villagers and witch executions, you've got it made! (quick question: does Criminal Minds ever catch child-killers? The horrifying realization that he had the girl of roughly 10-12 tied to a stake seemed unusually horrific and I think it's because crime drama doesn't often tread that territory)
As for the last scene...yeah. Reid didn't say a single word about Maeve, but that picture was still enough to make me cry my eyes out for 15 minutes afterward.
The Mindy Project: When will I learn that if Ultimate Fighting is featured in a show, there will never be any part of the episode that is worth it?
So, what with me being eons behind on Glee, which was the only Thursday show I was caught up on, I have found myself with a big empty night. In times of darkness, I turn to TV, and the only station playing anything worth watching at 7 is CBS. As a result, after years of scorning it, I have found myself a little bit fond of The Big Bang Theory - especially now that it has crawled into syndication and is frequently the only even slightly entertaining thing on the air at certain times in the evening. There was actually an episode last night that was about how Leonard met Sheldon, so it was full of flashbacks when Sheldon was in full-on Asperger's mode and it actually made me think Parsons might have deserved one of those Emmys.
Anyway! The point is, I have always liked Kaley Cuoco, and now that the show has added two other awesome ladies to its regular cast, it's livened up the interest levels considerably. I've also always kind of liked Leonard, and just like that, the cast is now more than 50% in my favor. The more people I like on their own, the more tolerance I have for other characters - which means that Sheldon has slowly, so slowly, moved from obnoxious to sort of amusing. (that part probably has to do quite a bit with the show's popularity in general fandom circles fading, which means all the super-obnoxious Sheldon/Penny shippers have been apparently starved to death/been crushed out of existence. It is just so much more enjoyable, and believable, to watch his magnificently asexual/sexually frustrated relationship with Amy instead) He's gone from an absolutely grating freak to someone whose occasionally wicked sense of humor actually brings a smile to my face. It is possible that I strongly identify with his casual sense of self-superiority.
Mind, the other two men are still freaks, but I can mostly ignore their existence, or at least focus on how superior Bernadette is. I get great pleasure out of her bossing him around
The Millers: what fascinates me about this show is that it's basically a perfect storm of famous comedy actors who get on my nerves. Will Arnett -- THE WORST. Jayma Mays -- GIANT BUG EYES/irritating voice (actually, for a minute I forgot if I hated her or just her character on Glee, but then I remembered making a comment once that I might like Emma if she looked like someone else, so yeah, it's her). The dude playing her husband -- he did something annoying on The Office and more importantly, he just looks like the worst kind of unattractive geek. Beau Bridges -- OK, he's not actually that bad, it's just that he's in everything and dear Hollywood, there are more than 3 funny men over age 55 willing to work in television.
But then there's Margo Martindale, who is the reason I watched an episode in much the same way that I quietly enjoy Mike and Molly on slow nights because of Melissa McCarthy. I have actually seen Margo Martindale act in anything except a clip played on the Emmys and like one scene on Smash. But I loved her at first sight, and man, she has not disappointed for one second. Even the terrible actors on this show seem less terrible when she's talking. Not only does she have fantastic comedic timing, in real life she seems like the most genial lady in the world. So - yup. I'm watching this show, apparently.
I also like the fact that it's a studio-filmed comedy (not sure if that's synonymous with multi-cam, but those tend to be funnier, more like sketch comedy and reliant on the jokes than building characters with emotional depth. I know a lot of people look down their nose at that, so...I guess it depends what you want out of your sitcoms).
The Crazy Ones: by contrast, this show has a cast that is as good as the one above is terrible (everyone except that Spanish chick; I was so happy when she got booted off The Mindy Project but here she is like a bad penny). Robin Williams goes without saying (he embodies my childhood and it's so nice to see him be genuinely funny again), as does Sarah Michelle Gellar (that woman is basically my Hollywood role model). Then there's the always funny what's-his-face from New Adventures of Old Christine (that's how you dork out right)...and the shining star of my heart, Classic Heartthrob James Wolk, whose face is a work of true art. I could honestly go on like a five-minute tangent about his face; it's unfairly gorgeous. He's like a 21st century Carey Grant. And I love that now I get to just stare at it and appreciate it in context instead of having to gaze sadly at promo pics from afar because until now he's always been trapped in terrible, terrible shows*.
(*the movie "You Again" was and still is a godsend)
The other flipside is that it's maybe not...quite?...as entertaining as I want it to be. It's a little more serious and not as laugh-out-loud, Robin Williams' quirks take a little getting used to, and after 3-4 episodes the characters still aren't jumping off the page for me. But I love that they show the behind-the-scenes style gag reel at the end, because that looks like just the most fun workplace. You get to be entertained by Robin Williams! For free!
The father/daughter relationship is a pretty cute one, though. And as previously mentioned: James Wolk's face. If I ever catch up on Glee this show's a goner...unless I stay behind on Glee for the next two weeks, because I think two more episodes is all it's gonna take for me to go, "Yeah, I'm gonna watch Glee online later from now on," because I really, really love having 2-hour comedy blocks that require minimal investment. CBS is apparently really good at comedies like that.
P.S. last night I saw my first commercial about holiday shopping. -.- Which reminds me how sad I am that I will no longer get to see/hear the Savers Halloween commercial, which is my favorite non-animal-inclusive commercial in the history of ever. You could be a duck / you could be a ref / you could be a duck that's also a ref.)
Also the Friends series finale aired last night, and even though far too much of it is about setting an official precedent for THE LEAST SATISFYING ENDGAME SHIP IN THE WORLD, that last scene - and that last shot of the closed door - made me sob like a baby. And I wasn't even around when the show ended, so this isn't nostalgia at play. It's just that moving.