*hello spring job! I'm excited to go back, and really excited that Chris is back too and working the same project, because mini dates in the breakroom 5 nights a week!, but I'm also irrationally worried that having him there will distract me, make it harder to concentrate on loving the job. I feel like I was starting to suffer from burnout last year, but I don't know if that's because I've been doing this too long or just the suckiness of the project.
Last week: J'Tia goes out fourth? Perfect! Even though if I were them, I definitely would have assumed a merge was about to happen, but still -- probably a smart choice because she was so horrendous at challenges. She is literally the reason they keep going from a clear second to losing. The basketball challenge, in particular, was just painful. (though not as painful as seeing that poor chicken get killed. Waaaay too close to the too-graphic line, there. Also, I expected and was only prepared to see this unpleasant task handled by LJ, not Pretty Jeremiah.)
This week: first, BEST TRIBE SWITCH EVER. I love that the Brains stuck together, I'm laughing that Brawn is still basically together (I was super worried about Jeffra, but not so much anymore), I'm glad that Sarah has been separated from Toxic Tony, and most of all, I'm glad to see the Beauty tribe remnants immediately split down the inseams and scrabbling to hitch themselves to the Brains rather than any of them making their own stand, which I figure might also help Sarah.
I normally hate wrestling challenges, and this wasn't a big exception, but I did love Tasha's pole-clinging abilities. Even more than I loved how Alexis practically went flying through the air the second the other tribe touched her. (Poor thing looked so nervous, too. Kind of excited, but definitely nervous, moreso than anyone else).
Adjusting The Favorites: as pretty as Morgan is, her personality seems kinda...not the best. Alexis seems much nicer (especially after confirming that she and Jeffra were the tight buddies among the three), and I'm bumping her up to the top. Also, Jeremiah is really pretty, Abercrombie levels of it. Also, I don't mind Trish -- in fact, I'm getting quite a kick out of her hate feud with Lindsey -- but man, that laugh is grinding dangerously near Janis levels.
Big Twist: They got Cliff out? That worked?? He would not have been my first choice, but I think we've agreed that for the time being, I no longer care what order people go in...it's all interesting.
How I Met Your Mother, 9x21, "Gary Blauman"
To get this out of the way, I love Gary Blauman solely because he is better known as both Mr. Rad and Jimmy the Overly Touchy Intern, and I have great love for the slightly unhinged look of his natural smile. Otherwise, the Declarations of Feelings Complete With Great Pauses were a great waste of time, and none of the stories were interesting except Lily's cute tattoo and the hilarity of the tattoo he saved her from. Oh hey, that's another reason to love him -- he stages interventions for tattoos.
Side note: when even I notice you erasing bisexuality, that's kind of a red flag. I mean, which is more likely -- Ted managing to completely misinterpret hours upon hours of conversation (as well as a telepathic one*), or him liking guys and dolls?
*The faces they made during this telepathic conversation were magnificent, I'll give them that.
I did enjoy watching Ted's first date with The Mother. That was pretty delightful. But not as delightful as...RANDOM FUTURE CRYSTAL BALL SPOILERS! As stolen from the Wiki:
- Carl MacLaren keeps on working at MacLarens' with his son.
- Jeanette Peterson is sent to court-mandated therapy, where she meets Kevin and end up together.
- Ranjit became an owner of a Limousine Service after earning money from the stock exchange.
- Patrice will start her own talk-show on radio called "Patrice! in the morning" with Robin being one of the callers.
- William Zabka becomes the youngest person ever to win the American Humanities Medal for Literature.
- Zoey Pierson shows up on the news every once in awhile, protesting various causes.
- Scooter finally moved on from Lily by marrying her doppelganger, Stripper Lily (a.k.a. Jasmine).
- Steve (a.k.a. The Blitz) from Blitzgiving is still under the curse of the Blitz.
- Blah Blah's real name is finally revealed to be Carol.
- Sandy Rivers' career in USA is terminated after his sexual behaviour caught up with him, which forces him to work in Russia.
- James Stinson gets back together with his ex-husband Tom.
- Gary Blauman comes back to the wedding.
And not at all bitter about how screwed up it is to ruin James and Tom's story for something that served no purpose whatsoever and then pretend it had no effect at all and could be fixed in two seconds offscreen.
Next: I'm really excited for what happens now -- as this feels like it's going to be the real finale, and the series finale just a bonus episode -- and also really scared, based on the promo that makes me think this stupid pointless quasi-love triangle it will get worse before it gets better.
2 Broke Girls and The Crazy Ones both doubled down on the St. Patrick's Day theme this week, and I have to hand the holiday win to the latter. Sure, the Lepre-Han costume was magically delightful, but the old guy repeatedly kissing Caroline on the lips made this a Not Here for That episode, while TCO had six booze-swilling elementary school teacher sisters and Robin Williams shouting about his cartoon likeness being made to look like a lepre-KHAAAAAAN! It was just all kinds of delightful. Have I mentioned lately how much I will miss this show if it ends up on the chopping block? It just has so much satisfying heart in addition to making me frequently laugh out loud. And its eye candy in the form of Zach, man -- you know what sitcoms are not good at lately? Male eye candy.
Also, my soul feels very gross, but I've started watching Two and a Half Men again since the new year started because I am addicted like crack to Alan's alter-ego life as Jeff Strongman and getting immense joy out of it, as well as Lindsey's expressions. I'm looking forward to the day it spectacularly blows up in his face, but in the meantime, it's oddly enjoyable to watch him be unnaturally successful at life. And honestly, Ashton Kucher is just always great.
It is still infinitely funnier and more enjoyable to watch than either of the other two newcomer comedies I've been suffering my way through out of timeslot convenience, Mom and The Millers. Mom is dull with this kind of oddly schmaltzy/saccharine quality to it -- odd because none of its actors are known for their ability to play warm or serious at all -- and The Millers is just DUMB comedy. Innocent, pretty much family friendly fare, but such dumb jokes, so absent of any comedic value except when Margo Martindale steals the scene.
But speaking of Ashton Kucher...
So, That 70s Show: one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, Reruns never get old, and even though it takes a pretty noticeable quality plunge in the last year or two of its life, I will still watch pretty much any episode you throw at me. However, even though I watched it live for most of its life, syndication got me all mixed up and confused, so I am totally lost on chronology. Opening the season 4 DVD and being confronted with Eric and Donna's breakup was very strange, because it's like -- OK, I remember lots of episodes where they talk about being exes, which never bothered me, and I CERTAINLY remember Casey Kelso, but somehow it never really occurred to me that there was a big long Time When They Were Broken Up after they'd been together for a while. It makes me sad now! (I'm also sneak-watching season 5 of The Big Bang Theory, I'm vulnerable to this)
Except it's also frequently very funny, so IDK, I'm torn. I think the best way to sort out my feelings is just to run down a giant list of my favorite episodes and/or scenes. Right after I say a few more things:
1) HOLY TWENTY-SEVEN EPISODE SEASON, BATMAN! Was television really so generous as recently as 2001-2002?
2) I found an episode I've never seen!! The Christmas episode where Eric is charge of directing the church pageant, and ultimately Pastor Dave gets tied up in Christmas lights, and the last shot is a pretty hilariously staged postcard of the nativity scene.
3) Oh, man. The quality is weird. It's in the original square format, and I used to prefer television this way, but now I just can't get used to it. Surely this show deserves some kind of high-def rerelease? NOT ON BLU-RAY. THE NORMAL WAY.
4) I wish Laura Prepon would go back to having super long, straight red hair in real life. I realize she's older now, but blonde will always make her look washed out, and never have any of her hairstyles made her looks as pretty as her waist-length locks did. Even as someone biased towards long hair, it's not often that I think straight hair beats waves or loose curls -- but hers was gorgeous. Especially when she added in a half-pony braid or skinny side braids.
FAVORITE THINGS: SEASON FOUR
It's A Wonderful Life: Future!Donna, tattooed and married to Motorcycle Gang Member Hyde, plus when she looks gorgeous and normal during their meetup at the 10-year reunion. ("Hyde's good. Kids are good... He's gone a lot. Prison, whatever."). Also, 80s Music Keyboard Enthusiast Fez. Plus one of my favorite lines, aster "Safety Dance" plays overhead: Eric: "Man, what the hell was that??" / Angel: "Oh, you'll find out.")
Eric's Depression: I just really love the side trip and random Funland dog mascot. Plus...it's always fun o'clock in Funland!
The radio contest, featuring a battle of wits between Kelso and French Stewart
I still remember how surprised I was when Donna's mom actually left and didn't come back. I was an innocent young thing! Not yet wise to the ways of actor contracts, much less the idea of spoilers for any show that didn't have the kind of following that X-Files did.
TMI?: Kitty's line "Cripes, I gotta pee like a banshee" has somehow become the default phrase in my head every time I really need to go. It's just the perfect sentiment.
Big Rhonda. Oh, how I love Big Rhonda. When I was younger, I was convinced it was just Laura Prepon in disguise. (why, I'm not sure, but I was convinced there was a reason) Seriously, they look similar, don't they?
Drugged-up Red unwittingly telling Eric he loves him, followed by a lecture on the three times it is acceptable for a man to say that to another man.
Kitty hiring Theo the Contractor, getting Leo as a "bonus," and the result of "I call it 'Basement: Two Inches to the Left.'" It's a commentary.
Literally any scene featuring Leo, because Tommy Chong was amazing. (I saw him an episode of something recently...he has aged a LOT. Snow white hair, for one.)
The good-natured (on one side) feud between Red and Joanne.
Donna's Story: Oh, how I love the tantalizing tales of Derek and Wanda.
The one where Stacey has a crush on Red. I love his Night of the Living Dead dream ("Red! How could you?" / "She's...a sexy zombie!") Bonus conversation:
Kelso: You're gonna have to leave town.
Kelson: Oh, 'cause we're gonna tell EVERYBODY!
"Eric's Hot Cousin." That's surely all I need to say about that one...
(well, that and LOBSTER SUNLAMP TAN)
The one with Fez's Nemesis: the attractive and popular foreign exchange student, Tomas.
Tornado Prom -- Jackie not being crowned -- and the guys drawing a unibrow on her while she's passed out, right before she wakes up with renewed vigor to campaign for next year.
Kelso the Subtextually Gay Undewear Model. ("So, does it make you want to buy underwear?" / "No...it makes me wonder who this guy is you're massaging." + "Shut up. He's got a girlfriend! I've got a girlfriend!" / "Yeah, and her name's Darryl.")
JACKIE THE CHEESE MAIDEN. I love every shot of Jackie in her adorable little outfit. But I love Christopher Masterson's role as her Scooter-esque boss even more. And Eric taking unholy joy in torturing Jackie with blackmail about her kiss. (and when his "secret squirrels" ultimately expose his weaselly ways.)
Red to Kitty: "That is completely different. He ignored her for a stupid job. I ignored you for a car! Crap."
The prank war. Featuring oatmeal falling on Red's head, potentially-ground-up-moths in everyone's food, and other Everyone vs. Kelso events.
Eric's Corvette Caper, and his careful detective work to get around Red's booby traps with the Corvette and polish it back to perfect condition in the 20 minutes before his parents come back...except for forgetting to turn down the radio and change the station back.
And of course, that masterpiece of a musical episode, but I've talked about that one before.
Mostly, I'm just surprised by how many favorites I've found in this season. You usually assume, based on conventional wisdom, that the best episodes happened earlier on.