To celebrate, here are some TV thoughts I stayed up way too late cooking.
I finished season 4 in 3 days, and the only reason I'm not in season 5 already is because I was too tired to drive 15 minutes to the library that has it. WHAT A GREAT SHOW (even though it keeps getting heavier). Random thoughts in no order, as always:
-I like to think I was fine with Reba's hair from the beginning. But the fact that it just keeps growing out and consequently making her prettier every year also feels like a reward for my benevolence.
-OK, now THIS is some Reba datin' I can get into, with TV's Favorite Rugged Psychiatrist. Much less uncomfortable reality, a lot more TV Pretty. Boy, that kiss just went on forever, huh? The only thing that made it better was Barbra Jean popping up out of her stalker hiding place in the kitchen to bawl "don't leave her!" That said, I could not quite decide between feeling shipper thrills and feeling like she is way too much of a mom figure for this to be in any way OK for me to look at.
-Also, on the topic of marriage counselors + Reba potentially taking men from BJ, remember my nascent Original Harts shipper feelings? They did not do well when confronted with the super wonderful episode Couples Therapy.
Brock: I thought we were getting along pretty well.
Reba: We were.
Brock: Then what's the problem?
Reba: That's the problem! I don't want to get along with you. Not after you told me you made a mistake after you left me.
"You told me that door was closed."
DON'T YOU MAKE THAT FACE SIR. THAT IS NOT AN OKAY FACE. Not with that tone of voice.
And not to be contrary, but we never actually got an answer to the therapist's question: do you two still love each other?
-I've been watching The Incredible Shrinking Kyra like a hawk, trying to pinpoint the moment she goes from skinny to too skinny. I remember when the actress's eating disorder and subsequent hiatus from the show made the entertainment news -- I'd never seen it actually affect the work of an actress I knew before. I still have a clipping about it in my magazine scrapbook somewhere and distinctly remember hearing she'd dropped to 73 pounds. Even at this speed, it's hard to catch*, but by springtime her arms are definitely painfully skeletal.
-*It's also hard not to get distracted by her gorgeous waves of hip-length mermaid hair balancing it out.
-Really enjoying Reba & Barbara Jean's wardrobes this season -- Barbara Jean especially. That's the only place she's really stepped up her game, having otherwise gotten way too uppity and generally insistent upon standing up for herself. (Come on, writers. It's no fun if Reba's not walking on her like a carpet. My willingness to like her this time around only goes so far.)
-Lately I'm noticing how much Reba hits people who tick her off and/or are being dumb. It's delightful! An elbow here, backhanded whack there, slap or two upside Van's head...really, she's my hero.
-Why is there an episode called Who Killed Brock? when in Broq's first episode, we clearly established that Barbara Jean had decided to rename the dog Reba? You are getting ever-worse on continuity. (p.s. I appreciate you did not really kill the dog. Even though it's a wimpy dog I would be fine with you getting rid of)
-Drunk Van crawling into bed with Reba, before screaming and falling off said bed upon realizing his mistake, made me laugh ridicuously hard and maybe rewind it six times.
-I will never not love Cheyenne's penchant for decorating in a way that makes the place look like a single woman lives there. This is one of the episodes I distinctly remember, and like to keep it in mind when I imagine my future living-with-a-dude situation, because I will be tempted to follow suit.
-I've been wondering when Van's injury was going to happen, and midway through year 4 here it is. The injury itself wasn't as bad I expected, if considerably more comedic in nature, but boy, does it lead to a sort of generally unwashed look for a while. I'd almost rather have the shaved head.
-I really liked him automatically covering for her when Reba found the empty liquor bottle in the bedroom closet, accepting the lecture without argument and waiting until she left to confront Cheyenne. Somewhere in there was a little glimmer of maturity and trying to handle it on his own before it was swept away for the joke factory.
-I also really liked 4x02, where Cheyenne freaked out about whether marriage means anything, and for once we got to stay on the straight and serious path with her and Van ("What marriage, our marriage?"), leading to front bench cuddling. I'm a simple girl.
"Does marriage mean something to you and me? Of course it does. You know what it means? It means you're the ony piece of candy I even see in the store."
Bonus: "I'll unwrap you."
The second kiss, sneaked in just before a scene cut, was a super bonus surprise.
-The fight about whether or not Van should go to Colorado where he was traded was a really satisfying one because not only was Reba an excellent mediator for the kids, approaching them separately and uniting them to talk about their problems once they vented, Cheyenne didn't fall into that boring "I've come to my senses and realize this is your decision and I will support what you think is best" trap people usually do -- even though Van really did come up with the excellent compromise of flying home on weekends if they didn't want to move. She puts her foot down and insists he should do what she wants/what will disrupt her happiness least: stay, career be damned. THAT'S SO ME!
As an aside, one of the things I like about their relationship is that a lot of times, Cheyenne seems to kind of take Van for granted, particularly when ordering him around, in a way that I of course fully support when one is a beautiful princess who deserves adoration. But this was a nice reminder of how much she really does love him.
"I need you here, with me."
"I'm sorry, Cheyenne."
And then, when he (rightfully) refuses to kowtow and goes anyway, she gives him the silent treatment the whole time he's gone. And only softens when it's suggested he might be miserable as a result of his stupid decision. Me all over the place! What a good storyline. Characters never spitefully do what I would do in that situation!
(Should we worry that I most identify with an already-young character routinely shown to be immature and impulsive? Nah. Should I worry that this moment is also what turns out to be the catalyst for Cheyenne's secret drinking, and that you may have recalled me advocating getting drunk as a way of coping with loneliness/abandonment in season 2? Maybe).
-Still on the me train: I really liked the fight when he came back from Colorado for the first time and she was mad that he wasn't sad enough.
Cheyenne: I'm your wife, OK? It is important to me that you are miserable. At least when you're not with me.
Van: Well, that's kinda weird, Cheyenne. (ah, a serious realization!) We need to learn to be happy without each other. I mean, what if you died? Wouldn't you want me to be happy?
Cheyenne, like this is the most absurd thing she's ever heard: NO?
OK, that's not my actual life view, but I can see her point. Why should death be a get-out-of-commitment-jail-free card?
-Last thing of note: the sweet episode after that, where in total role reversal (I blame shoddy writing), he freaks out about missing Elizabeth's life and she is totally calm and collected, reassuring him he's still a great father and he's only gone because it's his job.
Side note: HOLY CRAP is that The Cardigan?? IT IS!
OK, with the passage of time I see that perhaps the cardigan in the two photos on the right are different...but Cheyenne is clearly wearing the same cardigan as Amita on the left (Numb3rs pilot), further evidenced by the fact that both episodes were shot in late 2004.
If you missed out on my Numb3rs posts, it was one of my favorite things Amita's ever worn. I say was because I don't really understand my attachment now. Maybe it was contextual. But still, it is so cool to see it pop up on two different shows. WHO WORE IT BETTER!
P.S. On the DVD set itself:
-What are people doing with these discs, using them as coasters? For toast? They're scratched, streaked and chipped at the center hole. I had to make the computer spit the discs out no fewer than 10 times and 2 or 3 episodes were unplayable regardless.
-Who told you it was okay to have zero special features? You were filming an extra for the season 1 set on the set of season 4; you couldn't spare two hours to film something for this year?