I knew I loved this show, but I was not prepared for how much. Every single person is so sweet and precious, even the cheating bastard of an ex-husband, because can you really blame his dopey dad dentist ways? Absolutely you can...not. As people are fond of pointing out on this show, Barbara Jean is punishment enough for his transgressions. (yet she is ALSO a delight in all her half-witted Simple Dog glory, and I'm pretty sure even Reba enjoys the act of hating her)
I also had no idea that Van & Cheyenne legit got married in the pilot, in all their high school senior glory (HEY GLEE, HAVE I GOT A TRIP FOR YOU). Here I was thinking they didn't get around to marriage until like, season 2 at the very least. They are so perfect in their earnestly committed, complementary dim-bulb ways. His puppy dog heart eyes are the best.
But you know what I'm really loving this time around? Reba and Van's relationship, with how thoroughly she has swooped in to mother his poor fledgling self who's been rejected early from his own nest. (I saw that bird metaphor and I ran with it) I don't think I have ever been so happy about a My Foster Son situation in my entire life. And the fact that he's imprinted on her like a duckling (I'm still going!) and just adores her right back is like watching spontaneous baskets of kittens appear. The one where he jumps up to defend her/stand up to his dad's attack on her lack of morals made me do the hand-clasp thing.
Because that is the wonderful thing about this show, that it is about big-hearted people with infinite capacity to love and a willingness to take whatever life throws at them and make do.
The only person I haven't hit full-fledged love on is Kira, whom I have always hero-worshiped because she is me, with a tongue that can cut to the bone with effortless and casual ease. She's cute in season 1, but I'm really waiting for her to hit full teenage snark glory in the way I remember; it's hard watching her powers be muted in her too-cute exterior when I know how great she will become, like a watching a baby lion cub. Sharpen your claws, young one; soon you will be magnificent.
In non-character stuff:
-I love this theme song so much. I was not prepared for the overwheling emotion it would trigger in me when I heard it.The chosen verses just describe this show so well. My heart swoops every time.
-And not even just the music -- the "senior portrait" style of credits is a true gift.
-Did you know that minus the wildcat on the back, Van's letter jacket is identical to my school's letter jacket? Because I'd forgotten.
-I am so in love with the clothes. This season premiered when I was a sophomore, so it's like, part of me is going "huh, I guess fashion was slightly different at the beginning of the century?" and the other part is liike "I want so many of these things still, right now." I also love the contrast between Cheyenne's fashionable wardrobe and Reba's practical Mom* one -- so many sleeevless solid-colored turtlenecks (with and without matching cardigans), before long necklaces were a common accesstory to dress them up.
*and then there's Barbara Jean who is always just wearing who the hell knows what. Yet kind of pulling it off?
-The realization that Van & Cheyenne's daughter, by real time standards, is currently a newly minted 14-year-old who would be starting high school in the fall and is almost definitely on Tumblr. Ahhhhh!!
BONUS: I just looked up my Reba tag, which last had a post in 2009, and apparently I haven't even seen most of season 6. What a treat it's gonna be when I get there.