RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

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Review Pile 1: Three Dramas, Two Reality Shows

NCIS - "In the Dark"
It is probably not a good sign for a crime show when I have to look online to remember what the case was about. Honestly, I sat there for a good three minutes this morning, but all that was coming to mind were the relationships. Of course, it may have had to do more with the fact that the blind photographer was an incredibly boring angle, but still. So relationships it is.

Tony/Jeanne: I can't fault Tony's knee-jerk reaction to suggest finding a place together, because that was my initial reaction before I realized "Wait a minute..." I do still think their entire relationship is ludicrous, mostly because Jeanne is the moodiest and most high-maintenance woman I have ever seen. Their living together could not possibly result in anything good. Between Kate and Paula I'm no longer rooting for her to die in the finale, exactly, but there had better be one serious and permanent breakup.

Tony/Ziva: I think that conversation is the best one they've ever had. It's a wonderful mix of amusing (Tony laughing his head off at the idea of Ziva giving him dating advice, followed by her deadly-quiet warning to "Stop laughing or I *will* hurt you.") and deadly serious ("That's because you're a good person."). Ziva's so perceptive, it's scary. And yes, I'm still filing all these interactions away and putting a Tiva spin on them.

Gibbs/Mann: I...*hangs head* I give up. After this, I can't fight it anymore; they're cute. I like them. Somehow I feel like Holly appreciates Gibbs' handyman skills more than Jen would. At the very least, it's kind of hard to imagine Jen hanging around the sawdust-filled basement with a half-finished boat. So yes. Their relationship makes me happy. have absolutely no interest in seeing Mann at work (Army OR Navy), but she's welcome to pop up every 6-8 episodes or so to complement Gibbs' downtime scenes. The final scene filled me with warm fuzzies.

Lastly - EXCUSE ME. Abby cannot give up caffeine. DOES NOT COMPUTE. There are three main reasons Abby is awesome: 1) her penchant for giving hugs, 2) Gibbs' affection for her**, and 3) her Caff-Pow addiction. #3 cannot go away now ever! It cannot go away ever; bring it back immediately if not sooner! And on that note, her trying to inhale the scent seemed rather odd. I don't think pop really has a scent, does it? Other than carbonation bubbles stinging your nostrils?

** = Speaking of that, there's an odd camera cut after one of the lab sequences where Gibbs is taking his hands off Abby's shoulders as they head out, which seemed like an odd position, so I frame-advanced and am pretty sure that editing deprived us of a hair kiss. Gah.
House - "Family"
I got sidetracked for most of this episode, hauled off to help my brother with his homework. On the plus side, my brain's been getting a fantastic workout as I figure out how to solve and then explain 9th grade physical science and geometry equations. On the minus side, it meant I only caught bits and pieces here and there for the first 40 minutes.

That's a pity, because I thought this was easily one of the best episodes of the season. The cases weren't terribly gross - turns out bleeding from the ear doesn't even faze me - and not only did I care about the patients, but their parents didn't annoy me like the inept family members so often do on this show. I actually bought their grief, and although I frequently want to smack patients and say "would you do what the doctor suggests already?", this week I was glad they stood up to him. "Yeah, we've decided NOT to deliberately kill one of our children. Find another way."

Foreman's continued angst over last week's fiasco simmers throughout the episode and adds a perfect amount of tension. Poor Foreman; last May he nearly dies and this year he kills a patient wbo should have been easy to cure. Perhaps he should consider storing up his vacation time and taking the entire month off next year. (Oh yes, there was that thing where he gave 2 weeks' notice, but not even the characters believe that will stick)

Still want to hit Chase with a blunt and heavy object. Is it always going to be Tuesday in show time? Does that mean he's going to ask in every single episode?

Wilson has a starring role, which means I'm in a peachy-keen mood, and what's more, he's not only being a competent oncologist, he's showcasing all his best Doctor Empathy skills. And then fretting and feeling guilty when he lets House manipulate him into manipulating the patients with whom he's built up trust. I don't know how any female watches this show without wanting to hug him at all times. He's like a sad little teddy bear.

Oh, and House's "bitchin'" new flame-decorated cane? Cue raucous laughter.

Speaking of much as I liked last week, Wilson's ex-wife is nothing compared to Wilson's dog! Man, I would have been happy with just a glimpse, but to my surprise and delight he turns into an entire subplot! And there is no getting around that Hector is the most adorable little dog ever. The name brings to mind a Boxer or something, but instead he's a fluffy white terrier. And he's the cutest creature ever to appear on "House," even if he does have a penchant for shredding anything and everything he can get his teeth on. Which reminds me a little of our first dog, who had a serious wood fetish that led to her chewing on first the piano leg, then a corner of the staircase, and finally gnawing at the floor itself. I don't even know how she accomplished that one. Said dog had a whole bunch of dominance and aggression issues too, though, so she was not long for our family.

Anyway, back to Hector. Aww, with the little limp paw at the end, and hobbling out after Wilson? Spotlight-stealer, honestly. Too bad House can't admit that he actually has a soft spot for the little bugger, and lets him go despite Wilson's insistence that he could keep him if he wanted. (though on that note, Bonnie? Hector is 17 years old, and you GAVE HIM UP? The hell kind of dog owner are you? You don't dump your dog off in his old age! What idiot even considers moving into a no-pets place when they already have a pet?)

Quote of the night -
Wilson: How many hours a day do you have to spend with someone before they're basically family?
House: Good point. But first I have to tell Cameron and Chase that they're violating God's will.

And lastly, the song at the end had the line "People walk a tightrope on a razor's edge," which caused me a massive squee attack because it's one of the chapter titles in bookwrangler's "Then There Was This Song," but I'd never heard it before now. That's the second time this year I've heard a lyric and recognized it from said story! Okay, must obtain song ASAP, since it's now stuck in my head.  Might help if I knew the title.  And/or singer. Anybody?
Law & Order: SVU - "Florida"

Fantastic episode. Despite the mounting evidence throughout the episode, I just couldn't be convinced that Simon had really done it. Millfield [Kim Delaney] was just *way* too invested in his guilt, with too much emotional baggage for me to believe she was being objective about it. And while I didn't realize it until after the fact, part of me was bugged that the entire case seemed to be riding on the hairs found in the victim's underwear; I wanted them to take a closer look at those. Thank you, CSI: Miami.

Besides that, despite Simon's rather wild-eyed look, I want to believe he's a nice person, at least when you're not the object of his stalkerish affections. I still don't understand Liv's blind devotion to him just because they share a father, but I'd like them to be able to build a friendly relationship.

There was a nice segment in the middle where Olivia starts questioning whether her mother really was raped, and that part I *did* fall for - just because it would have been a really fascinating new twist for her character. I mean, being a child of rape is, as far as I can tell, one of the core components of her identity and the driving force behind her career choice. If that's suddenly proven untrue...didn't really go there, though.

However, Olivia literally beating up the suspect was...more than a little scary. I'm prety sure the police department frowns upon bashing a suspect's head into the table, then knocking him to the floor and repeatedly kicking him in the stomach. This is one of those times where said suspect might want to make a case for police brutality, because he'd actually win.

Millfield manages to be even less likable than before, so it's quite nice when they finally get her confessing to her nefarious plot to frame a suspect based on her gut instinct, despite a total lack of evidence. Talk about tunnel vision. But the long, tense standoff at the end had me on the edge of my seat as pieces slowly fell into place. Can't ask much more of an SVU episode.

2 left, yes? Good, because I really want to know what Ausiello's hint about babies has to do with this show. I have a guess, but I don't know whether I want to be right or not.

I must admit that I assumed the "we've seen your puppet" comment was meant to be something dirty designed to make the Rymon shippers wet themselves in excitement; it didn't even occur to me to take it in a girlfriend context. I'm still not quite sure what this whole conversation means, but I know it's weird when Simon goes from being more P.O.ed than ever, and demanding apologies, to laughing harder than ever. Okay, and a little amusing, too.

Having past Idol winners come on and beg for further donations to Idol Gives Back had me rolling my eyes. Not only am I disinclined to participate in anything conected to Reuben, Fantasia or Taylor, but come on - aren't we done with this yet? It's over. Why can't we stop talking about it now?

Other questions - who in the world is Robin Thicke? He sings in this terribly creepy falsetto that makes me want to stuff my head under a pillow. Bon Jovi wasn't much better. At what point is Idol going to get the message that while not all ballads are boring, ones performed on this show inevitably are, so tell your guest performers to choose more upbeat songs. This was ROCK week, remember?

Speaking of terribly creepy, what about this week's music video, in some weird circus theme? Actually, it was cool, in a disturbing way, like that one Lost promo that ran in the U.K. for season 1. I love it.

As for actual results, Phil and Chris went home. I find I'm kind of sad about that, in part because I MUCH prefer to hear Phil sing than Lakisha, and in part because I suddenly felt bad about separating Chris and Blake, even for just a few weeks ("Why you gotta do this, America?"). But hey, Jordin's still here. Now it's The Beatboxer and The Three Divas. They could so form a band.
I have come to the conclusion that trying to take Dreamz to the final four is like playing with some very unstable dynamite - it's volatile and could go off at any moment without warning, through no fault of your own.

The one thing I don't understand about Earl's otherwise fantastic alliance is why he talks about Boo "always trying to save his own neck" while trusting Cassandra's word that Dreamz is solid. Because...come on. Boo doesn't really do a lot of calculating. He started out in one alliance that he sort of fell into by accident, and then when that one got yanked apart, he fell into Earl's alliance and has stayed put ever since. Moreover, it seems to me that he is a pretty solid guy, who will give you his word and keep it forever. I still think Stacey, despite her brilliant and strategic suggestion to vote out Edgardo, could be swayed.

Earl seems to think he has a handle on Dreamz, but I don't know - if the latter keeps whispering in Cassandra's ear like that, he's still got Stacey and maybe even Boo to work with, and all of a sudden King Earl could find himself usurped by the commoners. I bit my nails throughout the whole episode, worrying about Alex's influence on Dreamz and fearing for Yau-Man's safety. Naturally, I let out a huge sigh of relief when Boo won immunity.

Speaking of challenges...grossest reward challenge ever. Hands tied behind their backs, they have to run up and bite mouthfuls of meat off a hanging hunk of pork and carry it back to their stockpiling plate. In other words, do your best impersonation of wild animals leaping for bait. Little pieces of meat are smeared everywhere. It is considerably worse than the usual gross-food-eating contests. The only way it could be worse is if the meat was covered in flies and other insects (in fact, I'm not sure how they avoided that, given that it was hanging outside...)

The reward wasn't all that great, either - whitewater rafting is not high on my list of good times. I suspect that's the reason they threw in "huge advantage in the immunity challenge" as part of the prize.

Immunity challenge involved digging and climbing. Yay. Jeff spends most of the digging portion insulting Cassandra, which makes me want to see her try out that choke-hold from last week's challenge. Boo ultimately wins, where he gets a chance to show off, once again, just how damn well-muscled he is. It is so, so wrong that I keep wanting to talk about how attractive I find Boo.

Final results: Alex is out, thank goodness! Although there's still that stick of dynamite to worry about. I don't know why Cassandra keeps changing her mind about her possible alliances; it ought to be obvious to her that she's a very good candidate to be brought to the final 2, but if she aligns with someone less likable, they're not going to want to compete for the million against someone who exudes sweetness. Meanwhile, Alex keeps gleeing on about "backstabbing" when really, the remaining six are not exactly tight-knit. It's King Earl, his chief council Yau-Man, and the Lady Cassandra, plus their three expendable followers. One of whom is Lady Cassandra's sidekick, just enough to take out the other two in turn. The real backstabbing shouldn't begin for another couple of rounds.
Tags: american idol, house, law & order: svu, ncis, survivor, tv commentary

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