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And the rest of TV

A. Before I forget: I watched the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror special, and I was really impressed by two-thirds of it!

School is Hell: I was just constantly struck by how much it felt like a classic Treehouse episode.

A Clockwork Yellow: It's probably because I don't know anything about A Clockwork Orange, but it was both incredibly boring and seemingly pointless. I didn't understand anything that was happening or why it was happening, or whether there were any actual jokes.

The Others: Again, very classic -- loved the stream of suicides/murders, the fighting ghosts, and the ending with endless other variations of the Simpsons. I especially loved the direct contrast in voice and personality from the original and current Simpsons incarnations. Also, this just in from Wikipedia -- "We’ve implied that they were murdered and buried under the house, so this is expanding that thought, if people want a real Halloween bloodbath, they get it."
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B. I am super sad to hear that Bad Judge isn't going to finagle its way to a full season, but relieved it's going to finish out 13 episodes and still has time to write a satisfying series finale. Also, I watched last week's episode twice because it was so delightful, between the snarky uptight juror battling Rebecca and the bar games competition (Judy's weirdness is so great). I don't think I have been this frustrated about a comedy not catching on since The Class. IT'S SO FUN AND KOOKY and basically not at all like what the pilot/summary describes. It deserves better. #JusticeForTedward
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C. I fired How to Get Away With Murder after I accidentally read a recap of episode 3 before I could watch it, and subsequently decided I was fed up with its inability to go one single episode without either a sleazy hookup or explicit reference to one. Things did not improve when I put it on Recap Probation the next week, and so even though that was literally the only thing wrong with it, my interest in watching more or even following the mystery just dried up and blew away. (In related news, I forgot about The Mysteries of Laura during pilot week and I think I might try that one on later.)

D. I actually have been watching NCIS: New Orleans, albeit in a super casual way, and here is why:

Backstory: Several weeks ago, I went to the State Fair and they were handing out free swag at the CBS booth at specific times of day -- specifically, NCIS swag, consisting of 3 different colored beaded necklaces with the NCIS: NOLA logo hanging from them, and a little plastic bag about the size of a lunch bag, with the NOLA cast photo on one side and the large heads of the two worst members of the NCIS: LA cast on the other. Chris and I happened upon the line about 5 minutes before the next giveaway, so we both got the prizes. Then we each wore one of the necklaces for fun, mainly because the orange one matched his shirt and the purple one matched mine. There was also a green necklace in the mix.


One month later, on the night of the season premiere, I get the following texts.

5:52 pm: ARE YOU WEARING YOUR BEADS TONIGHT??
6:02 pm: ...creepiest possible way of asking if someone is going to be watching TV.

As it happened, I was wearing a lovely green dress that day. I hadn't actually been sure if I was going to watch the premiere or not. But how could I turn down this opportunity?? And so, with great and newly inspired joy, I threw on the necklace to match and watched the premiere in style:



(And then I actually watched the episode, and then laughed forever and just how hard they burst out of the gate in an attempt to lure new viewers. "OKAY, EVERYBODY, WE GOTTA HIT THE GROUND RUNNING OR WE'LL LOSE THEM FOREVER. Here's the plan. Episode 1: kill someone close to the head of the team. Episode 2: BUBONIC PLAGUE." Some people would save that kind of thing for sweeps, but nah, they're just gonna go for broke as soon and as big as possible.)

I've decided that I don't really want to do specific episode thoughts, because this show is definitely background noise and I don't love anyone (though Pride and the coroner are my favorites), but I so enjoy the easygoing flavor of this series. Not only do they talk about delicious food a lot and walk through all kinds of distinctive and pretty locations -- especially as compared to the drab gray Government Buildings of D.C. or the bland Palm Tree Landscape, Some Generic Beachfront of Los Angeles -- but they have the most casual approach to work at the beginning of each episode.

Family is a big theme for NCIS, but here it's like an actual day to day family. Like they're running a small family business, or Dad's talking to the kids around the breakfast table (literally, in one instance). It's just friendly and warm all around, nothing intimidating or stern. It's the first federal law enforcement team that I can actually imagine being part of, learning as you go, instead of having impossibly high standards and/or people mocking you for being a probie.

Plus, I LOVE the brother/sister squabbling between LaSalle and Brody (it helps that they have no more physical chemistry than an actual real-life brother and sister). It's one of those one in a million partnerships between a man and a woman where I can see why you would be friends yet have no desire to date that person in any context.

I also think it's cute how they eased us into the spin-off by constantly trotting out NCIS employees from D.C. I wish the Director wasn't such a constant presence (why won't he die already), but I quite enjoyed Gibbs.

I hate the theme song, though. Loud, obnoxious, and way too recognizable from a commerical that played a million times a day, I'm guessing for large and obnoxious vehicles.

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E. NCIS: Original Flavor, 12x01, "Twenty Klicks" (now with bonus episode 2 thoughts!)
I lied, I haven't actually been watching NOLA so much as I watched the first episode and then marathoned five this weekend. And that is why I have fallen behind on NCIS, since I kept meaning to catch up on both so I could watch live. I was interrupted during the premiere, and two subsequent attempts to watch it were stupidly done late at night, and I kept falling asleep. But NO MORE! Here I am.


I was kind of hoping for more wolf interaction -- I'm not saying they have to be murder wolves like The Grey, but maybe they could have appeared more than once -- but the whole Russian wilderness setting was pretty great. It almost felt like I had my beloved show Siberia back, complete with the requisite baddies chasing them on foot.

I liked how they got us all invested in caring for the pilot before extinguishing her in the most heartbreaking (borderline cheesy?) way. ("Tell me about your dad. Where's your dad?" / "Right there.") I liked her smirky fearlessness in the face of possible death/extra pain, backed up by a deadly calm and stabbity Gibbs. I'm less pleased that they got us invested in IT Kevin and then had to pack him off to jail as a traitor, even one who chickened out before doing major damage (well, that's not true. He got four people killed). Not terribly sad, as he was a little annoying, but Tony and McGee said his name in such fond tones.

Speaking of requisite baddies, Sergei is just the right combination of casually sarcastic and cold-blooded that makes me very excited to make him a season-long arc, and to dance with him again. I might actually pay attention to/understand the politics this time?? And all along the rescue route, I loved seeing more of Gibbs' Grade A sniper skills (some of those were almost funny), as well as the home base team's ability to track them via satellite, although that part seemed a little too clear and easy...as did the speed and ideal timing with which Tony got over there. Surely the flight overseas and beyond took more time than the few kilometers they had left to travel on foot, even over rough country?

Still. Reallly solid premiere all around.

12x02, Kill the Messenger: In which the show taunts me by dangling the possibility of fatal lung cancer for Vance before my eyes, then goes "lol just kidding nbd." I WILL KILL THE MESSENGER! The show then makes up for it by having Delilah accidentally flash a nosy Tony, which is either a lesson on how you shouldn't make video phone calls naked or how snooping through other people's stuff can be very rewarding so you should totally do it. Either way, that's the most I've liked Delilah's existence since she was in the hospital.

The show also tries to make up for it by dangling Abby's charming-faced soulmate in front of us, only to avoid resolving it at the end and making Abby wishy-washy on actually dating him. Is he going to turn up nefarious, somehow, or is she going to inexplicably get together with McGee? Because have already planned out their entire married future where their home is a ranch filled with rescued pets + foster dogs and they volunteer together on weekends and are the only people in the world able to get matching or complementary tattoos that aren't tacky.

P.S. When I saw the promo for this episode, I assumed Mr. Charming would turn out to be Ellie's husband, and I was excited. More recently, pop culture news teams have informed us that Jamie Bamber is going to be her husband, and now I am basically freaking out at anyone who will listen about a) how deliriously excited I am and b) how I'm somehow now even more nvested than ever before in this marriage, and how I will beat up any member of TPTB in reach if they ever ruin it.

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