Survivor: I'm conserving tape space this week and next, cutting commercials and recording only what I want to save, so tonight's review will be straight off my notes in bullet-point format. Chronological order.
- Boo's glee over making a hidden pathway where he can "spy" on the water supply area is utterly dopey in such a way that it's cute, and much more endearing than Yau's crazed attempt to hide fake immunity idols. I think I may go into Boo withdrawal after the finale airs on Sunday...
- Cute wildlife shot: Humpback whale!
- Reward challenge: Combined multiple levels of awesomeness - being tied together, walking up and over balance beams...and once the winning team of 3 has been identified, split apart and practice throwing hatches until you cut a pair of ropes nailed to a board. Yau-Man wins. I am filled with joy.
- Reward challenge double take: the way Dreamz went on and on about never having had a car or even a driver's license seemed a little over the top at first, but eventually I was manipulated into feeling warm and fuzzy when Yau-Man made his dreamz come true. (c'mon, that's the first time I've done that all season.) Even as part of a strategy, it was great. Pity that I was so bored this weekend that I hung out on the spoiler boards for this show over at TWoP, and had this twist spoiled for me, but oh well.
- And I love how it takes Dreamz all day to figure out "Wait...Yau-Man was being SNEE-KY!"
- Non-rewarding part of challenge: delivering school supplies to poor native children. This is the biggest reason I could not be on Survivor. Not my insect phobia, not my inability to swim or do anything else very physical, not my total lack of social skills, but the fact that I could not listen to someone like Stacey rhapsodize about how it was the most rewarding thing she'd ever done in her life, "seeing those kids' faces..." Okay, fine, it was a nice gesture. But I don't want to hang out with children. And I don't particularly care whether I make their world a brighter place or not. Because as we established after Idol Gives Back, I have a cold, cold heart of stone.
- Reward challenge triple take: Yau-Man sends himself to Exile Island, discovers that clue #3 is all one needs, shares it with Earl and then Earl actually finds the re-hidden immunity idol. This season's had a lot of fantastic twists so far, but this is one of the most fantastic. I desperately want it to come down to a million-dollar vote between Earl and Yau-Man; it would be just like last year. Only better, because they both played a highly strategic game.
- Immunity challenge: involved throwing grappling hooks and crossing balance beams propped up over the water. Was vastly entertaining to watch, if nerve-wracking, but part of me was glad Boo won.
- The rest of me just found it hysterical when immediately after said win, Earl rolled his eyes and randomly shoved Dreamz off the platform and into the water. HEE!
- You know what was even more entertaining? The nerve-wracking way in which Dreamz managed to wrangle a new alliance for himself that would have sent Yau-Man packing, and Earl didn't even suspect he was in danger. Except that Yau had an idol, and didn't need Earl's agreement to play it. And most entertaining of all? After another nerve-wrackingly long time in which Jeff hems and haws for a million years before reading the votes, doing everything short of coughing "PLAY THE IDOL," Yau uses his finely honed observational skills to put together his earlier "bad vibe" + the blatant hints Stacey's been dropping about a split vote, and PLAYS THE IDOL. Exactly as it should be played. Which means he's saved and Stacey goes home, and this is why I am watching the show again, people. THIS IS WHY.
So much for my "brief" review. Whoops. This show is too much fun.
CSI - The Good, the Bad, and the Dominatrix
| "The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. If you hate me, that means you still care." I'm never going to quote Desperate Housewives again, but that line jumped to mind about halfway through my writeup to remind me why this episode, for all the annoyed looks and eye-rolling I threw its way, was really not the worst of the season.
Seeing as I make a point of not watching LH episodes, it never really occurred to me that the writers have thus far been very careful to keep her and Sara apart. And yet, even with Catherine's words rattling in the latter's head, their first face-to-face meeting is remarkably low key. If this were the first time I'd ever seen Heather, I wouldn't know what all the fuss was about - gone is her disgustingly secure sense of her own self worth, the eyes that suggest she can see into your soul, but you'll never understand her, the smug look that has always given me a sense that she feels she's superior to a lot of people because she knows who she is and isn't ashamed to admit it. Here, as a victim, I almost feel sorry for her. And until Grissom arrives, Sara is remarkably empathetic, not letting a trace of any other emotion show as she photographs Heather's injuries, as if in her mind she's separated the fabled dominatrix from the beaten victim here. I'm not going to go so far as to say that in another time and place they could be friends, but they could certainly co-exist peacefully. It's not until he appears in the doorway that she seems to reconnect the two sides as one person, and you can almost hear the chord of tension strike. ...in about two seconsd I'm going to start to sound analytical. That was not my intention in reviewing this episode! *plants fangirl hat firmly back on head*
Good Lord, Catherine is a gossip! In any other context, actually, it would be sort of cute and endearing, but not tonight. Even if Sara wasn't dating Grissom at this point, which is after all the assumption Cath is operating under, you'd think it would at least occur to her that her colleague might not want to speculate about her boss's possibly kinky sex life. Do YOU want to think about Grissom's possibly kinky sex life? Please don't answer that.
Nevertheless, that scene was priceless. I love how Sara pauses before asking what LH is like, not sure she wants to know, and even then the question comes out a little strangled. Cue oblivious Cath babbling on and on. Back to Sara very pointedly steering the conversation in a new direction. (or as the fantabulous Annie put it, Sara, a bit desperately, is all, "HEY LOOK AT THIS SHOT GLASS I FOUND WITH A LIPSTICK PRINT PLEASE CATHERINE STOP TALKING OMG.") Catherine again does not notice. Poor observational skills, this one. And odd that she can remember things like Grissom being sorta-interested in Terri, but doesn't seem to remember any of the subtext between Grissom and Sara in earlier years, which would be another reason for Sara perhaps not wanting to think about stuff like this. I suppose that's because Catherine's body has been commandeered during this episode to speak for the Disgruntled Anti-GSR Viewers, right down to the requisite "fishing off the company pier" line.
Speaking of that, do you think the writers could possibly drop a few more ANVILS on our heads as far as Grissom & Sara's relationship? I'm not sure everyone has yet gathered the foreshadowing that OFFICE ROMANCE = UNGOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO IT. I mean, we haven't heard Brass or Doc Robbins bash such affairs yet. I'm not sure we can proceed with the finale until we set absolutely every character up to be SHOCKED BEYOND BELIEF for next week's reveal.
Oh wait, Brass already knows. At least, that's the assumption I'm clinging to. What other piece of gossip could possibly be juicier than Grissom's past with Lady Heather?
Over the course of the episode, Brass - whom normally I could take or leave and wouldn't mind trading in for a newer-model detective - earned all kinds of points in my favor with his unflagging snark, sarcasm, and thinly veiled contempt concerning LH. I couldn't have asked for anything better. His attitude was perfect; it's exactly how I've always wanted people to treat her and which I desperately hoped wouldn't be absent this time around just because she lost her daughter last time. I should never doubt the king of skepticism.
And now after several tangential paragraphs, back to the GSR/LH triangle. I very much like Sara's passive-aggressive approach when it comes to dealing with Grissom. "I haven't tested [the lipstick on the glass] yet...think it's her shade?" At least he finally (about 2/3 of the way through) realized she was upset, even if he still seemed slightly clueless as to why his hanging out with LH might irk her. For a minute, it even looked like he was going to reassure her. Or rather, he wanted to say something to reassure her, but as so often happens when not spouting off literary quotes, his words fail him. Sara's momentary hope vanishes; she shuts down just as she's done so many times before in the face of his silence, and the hurt is bottled up once more. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go do some hardcore daydreaming to convince myself, at least for a week, that things were actually talked through at home.
And despite what I said about her in the beginning, LH did not remain a sympathetic character for long. I've progressed from hate to indifference as far as she's concerned. Wah, wah, Grandma Heather's just a grieving mother desperately seeking a last connection to her daughter? I'm rolling my eyes so hard they're about to pop out of my head. And while there are a lot of not-strictly-necessary-but-still-heartwa
I am too busy being furious that we left the GSR in lurch, for reasons that will become more apparent next week, and possibly far more relevant at the start of season 8. *switches to white text just in case* If this is where things are when stuff hits the fan and then we're cheated out of ever getting a resolution, it will be the worst disservice ever done to a character.
Final thoughts that didn't fit anywhere else:
- Oh, cruelty...sending Greg to day shift just when an interesting case comes along. Boo. Poor Greg, so disposable.
- Robbins is fostering puppies! Hee! I keep finding new reasons to like a character I previously thought was rather dull and bland.
- Nick and Warrick's case...didn't really need to happen. In fact, in a big ole' blowout of an LH episode, it probably shouldn't have. (Even if said episode was running low on its supply of Lady Heather.) I just couldn't get interested at all, outside of Archie's appearance, although I'll give them points for not being afraid to use low-profile, run-of-the-mill type crime scenes every so often. CSI Miami should pay attention.
- Are we ever going to get an explanation for why Nick is suddenly Mr. Pessimist this year? If it had started after he was abducted, or even after "Gum Drops" I might believe it, but it feels like it just came out of the blue this year. I don't get it. Are they trying to lay the groundwork for how to get rid of Nick's character whenever George Eads wants off the show?
- Catherine's exasperated conversation in Grissom's office was hilarious. "You know, I'd slap you, but I think you'd enjoy it too much.") Especially the part where she points out the hypocrisy of him insisting that his personal connections to an open investigation are irrelevant.
- Dear Diary: Lady Heather still not dead. Most problematic. Next on to-do list: publicize some sort of connection between her and bleach.
ER: Sea Change. Because we all know how much I love CHANGE. /sarcasmYou know, when I watch blocks of reruns on TNT it's because I actually like seeing the ER at work, nurses and doctors doing everything from the mundane sprained ankles and stitches to heroic life-saving measures of the true emergency cases. Watching in weekly installments, however, I find that I only care about longterm storylines; the interactions at work and/or the personal lives of the doctors themselves and how they change from episode to episode. I suppose it's because the individual patients are forgettable and I rarely remember what happens to them, so it's new every time, while personal storylines have a clear and memorable arc - which is captivating when you don't yet know how they turn out. The point of that long and rambling paragraph is that I skipped most of the patient care this week, and consequently any metaphors that might have been thrown in, and I'm dividing the review by characters.
Dr. Moretti: You've got to be kidding me. Stanley Tucci? A/k/a the entire reason I refused to watch 3 Lbs? *headdesk* I can't even stand looking at him, and his character already irritates the hell out of me, which...is kind of setting up season 14 to be a lot like the 12th, wherein the number of bad characters outweigh the good and I have no interest in watching at all. I got mad at him for suggesting Pratt had become "complacent," and when I want to defend Pratt, I must really hate the other guy. Enough of this smug "we can be better" crap. It smacks of professors telling us that college is a time to strive for excellence and constantly push ourselves. Mind your own business! (although in this case, seeing as he's about to become Chief, I guess it IS his business...but still. Ew.) He projects this horrible sense of superiority, and I hate it
Hope/Morris: The horror! THE HORROR! Ew ew ew ew, there should always be at least three feet of space between them at all times. Gross.
Ray: I didn't even notice he was absent until somebody mentioned it. That's how irrelevant this character is.
Gates/Neela: Even though the former was kind of a prick when he claimed that Neela was narcissistic and probably LIKED all the drama surrounding her, I think she was out of line for being upset that Tony wasn't acting hurt or upset the first time they crossed paths post-breakup. They were never in love; their relationship consisted mostly of random hookups and a few conversations about Sarah. And you'd think she'd be grateful to avoid the usual awkwardness that comes with breaking up with somebody you still have to work with, wouldn't you? So I kind of see where he's coming from.
Tony & Sarah: *dies happy* I wasn't sure I was going to get a scene with them tonight at all, and it turns out to be one of the most heartwarming ones yet. "I really love you, Sarah; you're my family. And it turns out that if you want to stay with me...you can." YAY! I honestly do not think I have ever loved a storyline on ER as much as I love this one.
LUBY LOVE: Is the reason I cannot erase this episode, especially with Luka's days on this show numbered. The opening scene was adorable ("You know, being married isn't going to change the fact that I don't cook...or sew...or keep track of your socks."), but the closing scene was nothing short of heartwarming. Speaking in Croatian is always welcome, but where Abby just leans in the doorway for a moment, watching her family before they notice she's home, it is the very definition of contentment. And they're so very cute together snuggling on the couch. All the contentment only lasts about 30 seconds before the International Phone Call of Doom, but hey, angst is okay too.
Grey's Anatomy: Testing 1-2-3
It wasn't a really fascinating episode, but it wasn't terrible either. Just an average, middle-of-the-pack week. And so bullet-points it is. May or may not be in chronological order.
*LOVED Bailey backing the interns down the hallway. Nothing short of amazing; best scene of the month. For once, even Cristina looked totally cowed. The next time ABC needs some filler material, instead of doing one of those stupid clip shows designed to catch you up on what's happened so far, there should just be a character study hour filled with nothing but clips of Bailey being kick-ass. Alternatively, if you compiled such a video and stuck it on YouTube, you would be my new hero.
*The reason I cannot stand George & Callie's marriage is that next to her, even with his hot new hair, he just looks like a little boy. I mean, if he were married to...well, someone like Izzie...I would still think he was young for marriage but would buy it as a pair of giddy young lovebirds jumping in feet first. With Callie, I feel like he's always struggling to keep up with her maturity. Like a tiny little toy dog running after its owner.
*Dang it - I still feel sorry for Thatcher! I get an unholy kick of glee out of him being sputteringly furious and HISSING at Meredith not to come to the funeral.
*On that note, the constant name-referencing of Lexi Grey without ever actually showing her is now becoming irritatingly obvious.
*Shut up, Meredith - Richard is 5,000 times better as a surrogate father than Mrs. Thatcher was as an overbearing surrogate mother. I've always loved his quasi-paternal attitude towards her. I love that she finally let him hug her at the end while she broke down and cried.
*Walter and Joe adopting a baby...yawn. You know what? I just really never want to see "Walter and Joe" again. They're not cool, they're not funny, they're not cute. Just let Joe be the plain old bartender again.
*George/Izzie: I'm running out of sympathy for Izzie, too, as she mopes around crying and feeling sorry for herself because her Twu Wub will ne'er be hers. Once again, the only way this relationship would have worked for me is if George and Callie had broken up when his dad died instead of getting married, and if George & Izzie had not yet slept together. Or at the very least, if the G/C marriage had to happen, then if G/I had not even so much as kissed yet. Maybe they would have been severely tempted a time or two, but the former would have torn himself away. Because THAT, I think, I might be easier to understand if Shonda is so determined to act like these two are a fairy tale prince and princess kept apart by cruel fate. Honestly, the way they're behaving it's like George is a prince married to a rich princess, while Izzie is the poor kitchen maid he's secretly loved since childhood but with whom society forbids him to consort.
Voice: You have way too much time on your hands to come up with analogies, you know this?
*And - George is the glue that holds the interns together? Wha? He has no connection to Alex except syphilis, and no connection at all to Cristina. The "glue" is Meredith, being best friends with one and friends/roommmates for all the others. Failing that, the glue is Izzie, being friends with the girls and romantically involved with the boys.
*Bailey damn well better become Chief Resident - she's almost better at her job than the attendings! In fact, at the beginning of this series I thought she *was* an attending. Moreover, I thought she was the attending who had worked there the longest out of all the doctors. Why in the world would Callie get the job over her?
*More questions: why would Cristina schedule her wedding the day after her giant intern exam? Did she not feel that either on its own would produce a sufficient amount of stress??
*And why does every character on TV have to write their own vows? I don't understand why anybody does this in real life. I agree with Cristina calling them "stupid crap," but at least the traditional vows have some of the magic of, you know, tradition. When you write your own, anything you say is just going to come out disgustingly cheesy.
*Hey, can Richard & Adele get back together now? That would be totally great.
*Loved Addison and the attendings at the "bachelor party" - I could watch whole episodes devoted to just the four of them, provided Mark and Addison aren't together and Mark is routinely insulted and mocked for being the newcomer. They have great chemistry, especially where Addison cracks that she's not stripping, and while Mark and Derek shrug and say they've seen it all before, Burke hopefully pipes up "I haven't..."
*Random Chick in a Bar: IS CHYLER LEIGH!! Wooooo I am immediately in love with her character. Chyler Leigh rocks my world. First saw her in That 80's Show (which I actually liked), then in Girls Club (which died immediately, even though I liked that show too), then in Reunion (which I wanted to watch but had a timeslot conflict with, and which died an unnatural death anyway). Now she's on Grey's, where there is no danger of cancellation, so I just might have to like this character.
*I did not appreciate Derek flirting with her, though. That was not nice, as the only way I can come to terms with him leaving Addison is if he and Meredith are star-crossed lovers and destined to be together. But if he chats up Random Chick in a Bar exactly the same way he chatted up Meredith way back when, then we're just establishing a pattern that says Derek is like any other man who needs to start thinking with the head that has a brain.