Also, whilst I was flailing with awful cramps and desperate for something soothing but new to watch, I nearly went for the Office series finale. However, on the way I got distracted by the 1-hour retrospective that aired right before the finale did, so I watched that instead. (which of course just made me cry more, but I'm glad I got to see it -- although now more than I ever I feel like I should rewatch the penultimate episode before I dive in to the Very End)
And then I realized, hey, it's been a while since I talked TV. Probably mostly because there was next to nothing new this week except...
Survivor: CURSE YOU, INEVITABLE WEEK 4. Every time there's a bland to terrible season, I hope I can get out, but after four episodes of forced commitment something happens to my brain chemistry that causes me to be hooked for the duration. In this case, it's the continued elimination of obnoxious people (BYE CRAZY BEARD AND TATTOO HEAD!! Even though Rodney would actually have been the better choice to take out that week) combined with the incessant, sparkly awesomeness of Jenn (free spirit flavor) and Carolyn (sensible and grounded flavor), whose every sentence is unparalleled delight. I almost wish this hadn't been a double-episode week because either one would have been interesting enough to stand on its own. Here is a list of reactions in no particular order.
1. I laughed SO hard at so many things Jenn said -- and then she did the impossibly wonderful thing where she refused to eat meat even in the face of starvation! (on the grounds of "not actually starving enough to endanger own life") AND she didn't even appear to be ostracized for it. Which was the best part. I was fully braced for a "how dare you refuse to be part of the tribe" or the "it's SURVIVOR, this is part of the deal, get with the program" BS like they threw at Nina and like people are probably saying online where I refuse to go.
2. (Seriously, Will is CRYING because he's not with his family on his birthday, but totally delighted and happy to have a chicken killed? What the hell kind of ass-backward priorities.)
3. My favorite line of hers was the description, complete with gestures, of the "who's more annoying" horse race between Max and Shirin. "Is it Shirin? No, here comes Max with his foot wart -- but here comes Shirin with her annoying facts about Survivor! OH, but here's Max again..."
4. Carolyn, oh, Carolyn, that awesomely subversive badass. I have never wanted this badly to be mean* to a not-actively-mean person before in my life, but Shirin is a whole new level of weirdo and I am out for blood. Mostly since Shirin has the blood of at least one defenseless little rabbit on her hands, and I gained a lot of respect for Joaquin when he side-eyed that.
5. *Not that Carolyn was mean. That's the best part. She's very politely disinterested and pragmatic about her lack of interest in having anything to do with her, and I hope the young girls continue to be grateful and loyal to her for jumping to their side and don't have any confessionals about how they can't trust her because she 'turned on her own tribe' or something. NO TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WOULD STAY LOYAL TO SHIRIN).
6. What I did NOT like about episode 4 was how needlessly graphic it was with all the dead animals and closups on bleeding wounds. I'm not even usually that squeamish about regular cuts, but nasty. And how weird that nobody was allowed to take off their blindfolds, including the injured person? It's neat that she impressed all the blue collar dudebros, but it just made me wish she hadn't been so invisible at the beginning so I would like her more already.
7. I don't know that I love Sierra as much as I assumed I would -- I like her accurate assessment that her horses are smarter than Boston Rod, but as terrible as her team was, I don't know that I can trust the judgment of someone who considers Tattoo Head a close friend. Not even after Tattoo Head proved to be a fairly valid feminist fighting against attitudes I straight up did not believe still existed in the U.S.
8. On that note: every word out of...Rodney is it?'s mouth was just so bizarrely misogynistic and lacking in awareness I couldn't even get up the strength to be mad. ("Men are dogs, but we want angels" HOW DOES THAT EVEN LOGIC.) I just sat there staring at the screen in bafflement. "These are things that you actually believe. And you believe them in a way that suggests you consider them self-evident facts that most people would agree with. 'Women need to hold themselves to higher standards and stop disrepecting themselves,' while men should make no effort to be decent people because that's just ~how they are~. Like, actually. This is an actual thing that is happening. Okay.")
9. Although I did note that Tattoo Head's go-to was "Who raised you? What kind of woman would raise a man to think like that?", i.e. blaming the woman instead of the father or even acknowledging that parents are not magical beings who can singlehandedly overthrow every influence from friends and media.
10. But I will not apologize for laughing hysterically at "who the hell gets a tattoo on their damn face?"
11. Fat Dan is an almost equally gross character. He's so patronizing and condescending with nothing to back it up it's like...it's almost Ryan Howard on The Office. I have to credit Sierra for being so thoroughly disgusted with his fake apology. You don't apologize by saying "I'm sorry your feelings got hurt, but here's why I was totally justified in everything I said."