1. Angela Kinsey is delightful on Bad Judge. This episode went back to its behaviorally "bad" roots and was a bit of a letdown, but still funny thanks to her. Also loved Surprise Bilingual Judy. What can't that woman do?
2. The Mindy Project 3x06-7
Caramel Princess Time
Now THAT is the kind of episode I like. The kind where Danny is more right, but they are able to compromise in a way that mostly doesn't involve me getting annoyed that Danny is letting Mindy wear away the foundations of who he is (RIGID AND INFLEXIBLE AND IMPERVIOUS TO BEING OPEN-MINDED, THANK YOU). I mean, that is still the tone season 3 has set, so I'm going to come in looking for flaws. But if this had aired in season 2, I would have laughed at it a lot.
For starters, publicly humiliating someone to teach them a lesson about being on time is totally the kind of thing I would do, especially if it's something they could have avoided by doing what they agreed to do. 8:00 and 8:10 are not the same time! Now, to be fair, I am often Mindy, making a valiant effort to be on time and just not managing it. So I understand where she's coming from, I just think it's more admirable to never be late.
And yeah, I rankled a little bit at freakin' delaurier smugly getting to the root of the problem. There shouldn't be a deeper issue! The worst possible scenario IS ruining the beginning of a movie, because either way you've lost money. You've lost it by having to go again, or you've lost value by not getting the full experience that you paid for. Freaking delaurier. I just want him to be beheaded by a chopper blade, is that so much to ask?
That said, I laughed forever and ever at Mindy's exasperation in getting a taste of her own medicine, screaming at the slow old ladies, and getting a horrific hairdo for her troubles. And also at her accidentally assuming the "CP" in "CPT" stands for "colored people," because nothing delights me like Mindy being a clueless white person.
In B-plot news, I haven't found Peter this relevant since he was Mindy's wingman, so that was weirdly fun. I say weirdly because on the one hand, I'm an advocate for overweight women on TV having standards instead of being Mike and Molly. On the other hand, Peter is the more attractive and less annoying party here. You gotta walk a fine line between clever snark and flatly unlikable dismissal to win my affection, and she did not manage it. Besides, it would be hypocritical of me to not to applaud the Lemon Law in action -- Tamara sold you a straight-up lie; judging a stranger on appearance is perfectly valid. Do we really want to live in a world without "Worst Dressed" lists?
But for all that, I still really enjoyed their back and forth as well as Peter's wonderfully terrible attempt to redeem himself through writing. I want to tag that hypothetical gifset as #me when I respond to criticism online.
We Need to Talk About Annette
Before I get to the title plot, I just want to celebrate my snap-judgment victory in identifying Peter as the better character, since in the span of one episode Rebecca dissed brunch AND advocated getting high and going to a dance club, all of which is to say there's pretty much no better way to identify yourself as a total loser regardless of your monetary success or personal happiness. While Peter seems equally terrible on those fronts, he also manages to prioritize "being a professional doctor" over getting high + wants a reason to put on pants in the morning, so that's a win. Two episodes was about the max I could handle this storyline, but for those two episodes, it definitely worked.
I'm also growing tired of Annette, because at this point it seems clear the show cannot create a good, non-annoying character to save its life*. Except maybe Dot. She's annoying, but in a kooky way that amuses me. In small doses. Maybe don't bring her back for a while.
BUT, I still liked the storyline? Again, it seemed like something that would play well in season 2. I laughed at least once.
*except for this one guest casting spoiler I heard...
TV Line says they've hired Lee Pace to turn up as Mindy's "first," and it took me exactly one second between reading that and screaming something to the effect of "PLEASE HAVE HIM FALL IN LOVE WITH HER AGAIN SO THAT SHE DUMPS DANNY IN A HEARTBEAT, MARRIES THIS GUY, AND EVENTUALLY MAKES NINE SUPER-PRETTY GIRL BABIES WITH HIM." I don't even need to know what his personality is like. I can already promise you I like him more than Danny for the role of "Mindy's boyfriend." Hell, I'll take a quasi-cheating storyline. Why did you squander your random extracurricular kissing scenario on a woman?!
Casting spoiler #2: I also heard something about Julia Stiles being on deck as something? YES PLEASE I ALREADY LIKE HER AS MUCH IF NOT MORE THAN BETSY, in the role of "literally the third non-somehow-awful female with a name on this show." I miss seeing Julia star in stuff that looks appealing to me. The last time I checked for her was like...The Omen. In 2006.
3. I am caught up on NCIS!
12x03, So It Goes: I already know and like the face of the actor playing Young Ducky, but a quick Google search tells me they did a fairly impressive job of casting someone who really could pass for a young David McCallum. Who, incidentally, it appears has always been a very dashing man. Good genetics on that one. As to the episode, probably the most engaging Ducky story that has ever existed, especially when it came to the quote about how Gibbs lost his soulmate and kept marrying the wrong woman...the second part of which Dr. Mallard just decided to bypass. *swoon*
Also, I enjoyed Bishop accompanying him to London. Now who's glad she didn't get the doomed trip to Russia she wanted??
12x04, Choke Hold: eeeeeech, motorized garrotes = some of the most gruesome murders this show, or any network crime drama, has ever shown.
Beyond that, I really loved the smarmy Russian agent and the ultimate pulling of the wool over their eyes, despite SecNav's mild exasperation for not being informed about it beforehand. I also loved Boss!McGee, making up rules on the fly. "Rule 70, keep digging 'til you hit bottom." I did not love Agent Pendergast. She is terrible and obnoxious; do not bring her back. TV Fanatic agrees with me: "She's brash and full of herself."
12x05, San Dominick: AGENT ABBY!! Plus Gibbs casually and fearlessly taking down a pirate crew aboard a ship all by himself after being taken hostage, nbd. So much fun!
12x06, Parental Guidance Suggested:
I did like Tony's admission of missing Ziva, though. Not sure why Abby's on about him to move on, because I thought Ducky just taught us a lesson about the perils of losing your soulmate and chasing the wrong women forever after. Tony's gone 12 years without a worthwhile relationship, so I'm going to stick with voting "romantic life on hold." The way he looked at her necklace, safely tucked away but close at hand for a full year now, just renewed my faith in their soulmatehood. Which is interesting given that I spent years actively shouting against them. This is weird behavior on my part.
12x07, The Searchers: a messy pile of dreck culminating in Bishop -- after getting vulnerable acknowledgement from Gibbs that he doesn't want to lose another person from that desk...unless he was doing that on purpose to get her to rise to the challenge? but it seemed pretty real -- demanding that Gibbs treat her the same as everyone else, even if that style is mean. I'm sorry, was I not VERY SPECIFIC about how I liked the fact that Gibbs didn't bark orders and treat her like Ziva and the boys, even going so far as to accommodate her quirks? Because apparently what TPTB heard was "have Gibbs yell at her to 'sit at her damn desk' from now on because the floor is only for standing and walking on." >:(
[edit: the internet says this was done to placate the fandom, which I'm mostly not aware of. this fandom sounds terrible. I'm glad I faded out of it years ago.]
Also, YOU DO NOT TAUNT ME WITH TONY GETTING A CAT, TONY FALLING IN LOVE WITH AND DECIDING TO KEEP THE CAT, SHOWING ME A PICTURE OF THE CAT, AND THEN TAKING THE CAT AWAY FROM ME. In retribution, I'm gonna have to plug one of the only two NCIS fics I ever wrote, Piano Lessons, in which Tony also interacts with a formerly-stray black and white cat. Less warmly, but more hilariously, if I do say so myself.
4. 2 Broke Girls and the Childhood Not Included
DID I MENTION THE ROOM FULL OF 90S TOYS BECAUSE THAT BEARS REPEATING. Although in fairness, the first thing I did was scout for My Little Ponies with suspicious eyes and then yell IMPOSTER!! No self-respecting lover of 90s toy would mistake authentic original-run ponies for those inferior G3 (early 2000s) remakes, and especially would not have those hideous alien Friendship is Magic types on their shelves. BADLY DONE.
On the other hand, I liked all the 90s Barbies (these are still easy to find at Goodwill, and I wonder curiously if one day I will regret not buying them, but even though the 80s-90s are the undisputed high point in Barbie quality, I also know that they were still far from my favorite toy). I had totally forgotten about My Size Barbie, though, and Caroline's pleading to play with her was frankly adorable.
Heck, I just loved the idea of Teddy Ruxpin being front and center in all the storylines. And Tiny Max's sass mouth on cassette tape. Everything was just the best, except for the gross fish-killing storyline. That's barely one step above "superfluous love interests." And the really annoying kid probably could have been less of a stereotype. Still, I like anything that references Mrs. Black and Max's unbelievably horrible childhood. (dear CBS, can we option a YA novel/series about that someday? I will write it! I'll learn to write just so I can write it!)
In other news, who do I have to blackmail to get them to cast Joely Fisher as Max's mom? She needs to have her Til Death era hair, but she's PERFECT. Same long curly brown hair, similar wide eyes, and most importantly of all for this show, an ample and fantastic bosom. Come on it would be so neat. Don't make this another case of Mrs. Wolowitz where you think the offscreen legend is better than anything that could be shown.
5. Community, 5x11, "G.I. Jeff"
I feel like I could not have been more confused if the episode had started with a Treehouse of Horror-esque intro saying "Dear viewers: this episode of the limited-run season 5 was so good it seems we are not allowed to air it, so please enjoy this Saturday morning cartoon instead." I'm not saying I didn't think it was hilarious, because I did, solely because it was so random I don't even have an adequate adverb to describe how random it was. Like...WHAT DID I JUST WATCH. HOW WAS THIS PITCHED, HOW WAS IT EVEN CONCEIVED. ARE THERE KICKBACKS?? I feel like kickbacks are somehow involved. Or blackmail.
Really, I had no choice but to just laugh at how bizarre it was ("I have three kids!"). I didn't love this cartoon style as a kid, but I must have watched it anyway because this felt so delightfully familiar. And I gotta tell you, the Saturday morning toy commercial recreations touched the deepest corners of my heart. I had to restrain myself from binge-watching like five hours of nostalgic commercials on YouTube (MY LITTLE PONY. PUPPY IN MY POCKET. PUPPY SURPRISE. LITTLEST PET SHOP. BARBIE, PROBABLY. PRETTY PRETTY PRINCESS. I lied, I restrained myself from nothing).
And then you top it all off by putting Jeff in the hospital, having accidentally self-medicated into an overdose? It's like they ran a computer algorithm to determine various keywords that trigger delight in my brain and mash them together into an episode.
I am okay with this.