Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top 5: Favorite Christmas Episodes

Everyone has fond childhood memories of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Merry Christmas Charlie Brown. And most series that run for any extended amount of time have a “special” Christmas episode. These episodes tend to be sappy and completely miss the actual point of Christmas. But some shows do it right: Christmas episodes that actually spread joy throughout the world. But since there is no way to avoid a bit of schmaltz around this time of year, I fully disclose at this time that I am, in many ways, guided by emotional attachment in making my choices.

“A Very Supernatural Christmas,” Supernatural
I have no joke watched this episode three times in the last two weeks. This episode is not just an incredible episode of a fantastic show; it might be the best understanding of the meaning of Christmas in a secular world. In S3 Dean decides that for his last Christmas he wants to do it right, an idea Sam is less than enthusiastic about. But what we see through both the flashbacks to the Christmas when Dean told Sam the truth about monsters, and the present story, is that the truly powerful aspect of Christmas is that it rises above the difficulties of life by embracing them, by impressing upon us the necessity of our families, broken and frail as they may be. Dean and Sam’s Christmas is not an escape from reality, it is a momentary reprieve and a loving celebration in order to fortify themselves for the tragedy they know lies ahead. Oh, and their terrible rendition of Silent Night is hysterical.

“Christmas Party,” The Office
I feel kind of awkward picking S2’s Christmas episode for this list consider how amazing the episode that aired two weeks ago was. But I stand by my choice. Thank you Jim Halpert for reminding all of us that a gift in and of itself means nothing if it does not speak specifically to the person to whom it is given. “It’s the thought that counts” is usually what we say when we feel we have given/received a less than thrilling gift, but as the journey of Pam’s teapot explains, it is the truth behind the best gifts.

“The Best Chrismukka Ever,” The O.C.
Seth’s holiday combining his Protestant and Jewish heritage lives on in my heart every year. Even when The O.C. sucked hardcore, Chrismukka was worth looking forward to, and that first one was so perfect. How could you help but want a happy holiday for beaten down Ryan, and it might have been Marissa’s redeeming moment that in the midst of all her selfish ridiculousness she at least tried to do the right thing for him. The battle-of-the-presents for Seth between Anna and Summer still remains as one of the funniest moments in a love-triangle in TV history. And as much as I love traditional (European/American) fare, who doesn’t dream of a little Lo Mien on Christmas?

“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” The Simpsons
This is the first episode of The Simpsons. This is the origin story of Santa’s Little Helper. This is like eggnog: MANDATORY TRADITION. No further comment necessary.

“An Echolls Family Christmas” Veronica Mars
It was a toss up for me, “An Echolls Family Christmas” (S1) where Veronica foils the poker-cheating plot, or “One Angry Veronica” (S2) when Wallace returns to her and the world of Neptune is set to right (er) again. But then I remembered that S1’s Christmas episode ends with Aaron Echolls being stabbed by the totally looney-tunes waitress that he had the one night stand with. Best. Christmas. Gift. Ever. And it contains one of my favorite lines of the whole series: “Annoy tiny blonde one, annoy like the wind.” (TV you are a sadder place lacking Logan.) While in contrast to the earned peace of “A Very Supernatural Christmas” this ends with the cynical pain of a world unredeemed, but I wouldn’t love it at all if it tried to shove some inorganic sappy crap down my throat (like other lesser shows attempt at this time of year).

Honorable Mentions:
“Gus’s Dad May Have Killed An Old Guy,” Psych
This is really just a funny episode. Gus’ parents are adorably overprotective, and Shawn and Henry’s can-you-guess-what-I-got-you game looks like it would be a lot of fun.

“Amends,” Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Poor Angel, tortured by the Devil into almost believing that he can never do good and trying to kill himself. Poor Xander and his abusive family. Poor Willow thinking Oz rejects her. But it is all worth it for Buffy and Angel’s walk in the snowy daytime.

“The Balance,” Roswell
I mention this because I have relied on this episode to teach me how to deal with overzealous Christmas enthusiasts (I won’t name names but you know who you are). I try to channel Michael when I encounter my own Isabel-esque Christmas-Nazis.

I would recommend any of these episodes as a welcome addition to your own Christmas traditions. Dean and Veronica, Michael and Bart should have their place next to Frosty, Jimmy Stuart, Bruce Willis, and Ralphy.

Merry Christmas all,
The TV Girl

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

The TV Girl, just like everyone else, has a wish list; things (be they physical or karmic) that would brighten her already fantastic holiday.

New DVD Wishes
My shelf is looking awfully bare. So if anyone wants to send me My So Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, The Office (Season 4), Gossip Girl, Dexter, Chuck, 30 Rock or Coupling (Seasons 1-3) I would be eternally grateful. Promise.

Cancellation Wishes
I would truly know that the Christ child was born if the following shows were cancelled immediately and furthermore stricken from the human record: Grey's Anatomy, Desparate Housewives, Two and a Half Men, Lost, all reality dating shows, Gary Unmarried (Jay Mohr is Satan and don't let anyone tell you different), CSI and CSI Miami (CSI NY can stay).

Storyline Wishes
To never ever ever ever see, hear, or have to hear about, Anna Milton on Supernatural. If Dean starts pinning for angel-whore I will personally fly to Vancouver and cut someone.
That Battlestar Galactica will end with a)Lee and Kara together for the long term, or, b)Lee and Kara both dead. No more alternate spouses, no more being afraid, no more excuses; if they are not really together as that last episode goes to black they better have both stop breathing.
That Roslin is the last Cylon.
Progress on the Barney/Robin romance and all its perfection.
A giant Chuck Bass romantic gesture, after his total set-your-lawn-on-fire meltdown.

Personal Wishes
To at least make the attempt to care about Heroes again.
To try and not be so angry that The Mentalist is a rip-off of Psych.

Anything Santa could bring you?

The TV Girl

What A Year It Has Been: Shows I Am Thankful For

It is too easy to be a total crank about the failures of TV, too easy to look for the faults and ignore the joys of the small screen. So, while I am snowed in at my familial home, I have decided to share my optimistic view with you. Here are the shows that have brought me so much hope over the last year.

Yes, yes, my obsession with this show is kind of sick, but it is completely warrented. Depiste the giant mistep of "Heaven and Hell" (which I will deal with in Jan. when my amazing show returns), this season has been a wonder to behold. I have the utmost respect for Erik Kripke, both for his willingness to address the atlternates of evil and for allowing his characters to grow, question, and maybe oneday believe that their struggle is more than a pyric victory.

Battlestar Galactica
Most shows are cop-outs; unwilling to make the truly difficult choices that would allow them to tell real stories about the human condition, they inevitably disappoint. Not so for the remnants of the 12 Colonies and their Cylon allies. Earth is a scourged wasteland rather than the Edenic resting place. The gray-toned landscaped that closed the first half of the last season established with viewers who may have forgotten that this show with always challenge, always demand more, and always (ultiamtely) satisfy.

This little show is so easily overlooked, and it is a shame. Charming and clever, the perfect mix of ridiculous action and ridiculous comedy all wrapped up in endearing relationships, this show is neither deep nor shallow, but is a comforting companion to end a long day with. How refreshing to watch a show about an Everyman, who is more and yet not, and it actually be a person you wouldn't want to punch in the face.

I watched this show on YouTube in a 48 hour marathon, all except the final episode of Series 2 (which is the final episode for the original cast, so as far as I am concerned, the series finale). Those of you out there wringging your hands over the wayward children on Gossip Girl would have no interest in this show, and as a thinking girl, I should write a separate post to discuss objectively the cultural comments this show makes. But I leave any offense to my American-Purtian sensibilities that may or may not have been done. In contrast to the majority of American shows about teenagers, Skins potrayed people you could not help but love. Passionate, determined, and often mistaken, they are rarely self-pitying and ultimately neither selfish nor cruel. The death of one of the characters in the penultimate episode (I won't say which one here) felt more real than almost any death I have seen on TV. Feel free to stand back and judge, but you will miss out on some spectacular people. "I always loved you the best Sid."

Mad Men
I am in no mood to kiss this show's ass right now, I will leave that to the rest of the internet. All I will say here is that maybe my favorite part of this show is that women larger than a size 2 get not only screen time but storylines.

How I Met Your Mother
The Naked Man. Enough said.

The Soup
I know that I rarely talk about anything but scripted series, but I in the spirit of Christmas, I do have to mention that Joel McHale is one of the brightest lights of my life. I don't know what I would do without his recap of the week's events on Tyra and The View.

Please don't think that I have not immensely enjoyed and am eternally grateful for all that Gossip Girl, The Office, 30 Rock, and Prison Break have given me, but in all honesty, I admit to moments when my faith has wavered in each. Above are the shows that have held my heart, even in the times when they were less than they should have been.

For all its problems, 2008 was a good year.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gossip Girl: Just A Comment

Every Tuesday I search YouTube and piece together the previous night's episode of GG, and while I know there are much better uses of my time, this morning I have been rewarded for my dedication.

Ed Westwick Frakking Rocks!

Bless this boy for totally channelling Robert Pattinson but not making it look like a parody. I actually shed tears when he reached up to take Blair's arm and accept her hug. (Yes, I am a sap.) I can't get over it.

The TV Girl

P.S. Who hadn't figured out that Lily's "secret?" Now the question is whether le-love-baby is currently in corporeal existence?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What A Year It Has Been: Huge Disappointments

Nothing is truly perfect, and TV is no exception to this rule, but sometimes the line between acceptable flaw and major problem is crossed (and/or crossed back and/or crossed again). In my opinion TV, and faithful viewers, took some heavy blows in 2008:

1) Marshal Erickson's hair: How I Met Your Mother
I adore this show, but it physically pains me to look at Jason Segel's head. Where is the hair of Season One? Where is whomever who is being paid to pay attention to things like the total style nightmare that has grafted itself atop his noggin and looks like any second it is going to spring to life having sucked out his brain?

2) Cancellation: Pushing Daisies
Everyone who saw this show is upset by it's cancellation. But it is all the more disappointing when total crap like Desperate Housewives continues to pollute society.

3) Preaching: Bones
I gave up on this show. I have what I have on DVD and I am content to get my fix that way. I don't know when Hart Hanson and Co. decided that they no longer wanted to produce a show that balanced the points of view of the main characters, but I have no interest in tuning in for Bones/Emily's soapbox. Boring. And ungrateful to your audience.

4) The wasting of Jessica Walter: 90210
I cannot believe that a show producer that has the opportunity to be blessed with the genius that is Lucille Bluth could be stupid enough to make her second banana to a bunch of wooden, dull, and horrifically skeletal teenagers. Have Grandma take Annie under her wing and the whole show could get an infusion of personality. It still would suck, but at least it would be alive.

5) Hiatuses: Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural
I just feel so adrift and aimless when I lack new episodes. Okay, so this is a problem contained neither to these shows, nor to 2008, but this year with these shows it all seems like a vast conspiracy to make my life miserable.

The TV Girl

Wait, there are more!

I thought of something I had to add.

6) Passion-less Sex: Supernatural
Don't get me wrong, I think Dean Winchester is like the hottest thing on the block. But his sex scene with Anna Milton in "Heaven and Hell" (the mid-season finale) completely and totally lacked chemistry. Sadly, it looked like what it was; two strangers doing it (for pretend) because they were supposed to. And in the Impala: BLASPHEMY! Considering how many problems I have with this particular episode, maybe this is a minor quibble. Except, it's not. You couldn't find a girl who could manage to look like she wanted to have sex with him? I find that hard to believe.

What A Year It Has Been

2008 is coming to a close. Writer's Strike, summer slump, my extended fall vacation; it has been quite a year. Even though I have so much catching up to do (watching and reviewing) I think that a few moments of reflection are completely necessary during this season of peace and joy. So keep your eyes open, small presents from TV Girl are on their way.

The TV Girl

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bones: An Open Letter To Hart Hanson.

Dear Creator/Producer of a show that was once entertaining and touching,

If you don’t mind, would you please get off your frakking socially-correct high horse, get your shit together, and give me back my show that I love.

I go to Mass once a week to get my preaching fix. Quit wasting my time telling me that dog-fighting is wrong and smoking is a poor lifestyle choice. If someone questioned your commitment to such basic (that they are boring) cultural mores, then please address those concerns in private, on your own time.

If this is too much to ask, please be consistent. Wendell should get a lawyer, because, any way you excuse it, that was still sexual harassment and speaking to a (relative) stranger, as well as a student, in such a manner is utterly inappropriate.

More importantly, you made a choice at the end of last season, and even if it was a poor one, you owe it to your audience to deal with it, not back-peddle. I, in no way, enjoy being emotionally tormented, and I doubt that many people do. I, along with the characters, was coming to terms with Zack’s mistaken philosophy and immoral act, so how dare you now tell me “he didn’t actually stab that man.” Slowly reintegrating Zack into the show in a consultant capacity would have been both feasible and plausible, but attempting to expunge viewer outrage by simply negating the event that sparked the fury is utterly disrespectful. And that dinner montage scene didn’t make any sense. None.

I only say all this because there are 2 and 9/10th seasons to prove that you are better than this. I beg you to justify the faith your viewers have in you.

The TV Girl

The Office (9): I Forgive, I Forgive!

I forgive last season!

In my humble opinion there were many problems with last season, but the biggest one was Jim and Pam. So many things about the treatment and presentation of their relationship felt strained and odd. (I actually got in a debate with two friends last night about Jim telling the camera that he bought an engagement ring a week into dating Pam; I found this incredibly off-putting, but I am apparently the only one.) But the real Jim (self deprecating but self aware social commentator) and Pam (slightly awkward but in an endearing way) have returned to take back the show from those smug twats that were impersonating them. Jim’s proposal was sincere and meaningful and totally warmed my heart.

Ryan is back at the bottom of the totem pole where he belongs. The idea of Ryan as Michael’s boss might have been doomed from the beginning; no execution would quite live up to the concept. But what better punishment for fraud than having to return to that company as a temp. Embittered, revenge-list-writing Ryan cracked me up.

The Dwight-Angela-Andy situation is possibly beyond my powers of analysis. What is one to say? Dwight gave a what-up to the camera while leaving the storage closet he and Angela just had sex in, that participation of his singing group in the wedding is the deal-breaker for Andy, and Angela verbally abused Kevin. What does one say?

Will Holly be sticking around? She should, because her dorkiness is supremely preferable to Jan’s, um, tenacity.

Plus, Phyllis stole the Party Planning Committee from Angela, Stanley was a Black Panther, and Toby is in a Costa Rican hospital with a broken neck! Brilliant.

Even the structure of the plot complimented the extended time, so it didn’t seem too thin, the way the long episodes last season did. Congratulations The Office; you have regrouped, rallied, and returned from the brink of disaster.

The TV Girl

How I Met Your Mother (7): More Than A Job….

Marshall needs a haircut. Seriously. Hard to concentrate on anything else. His adorable explanation to Stella that Ted’s first marriage is to Star Wars totally overshadowed by the animal that died on his head.

But, nothing can overshadow Ted’s virtual high-five to his fifteen-year-old self. Genius.

I am not convinced that Stella is actually the future Mrs. Ted, which dampens my excitement that she said yes, because I don’t want to get too attached. But I am excited that she said yes. Especially excited that she didn’t break up with him when he almost killed her.

I wasn’t so happy last season when Ted was acting like Barney, but Barney acting like Ted is hilarious. As his tribute to bimbos illustrates, Barney is not ready for a fundamental lifestyle change, but his foray into mature-relationship-land added a little sweetness to Barney’s character that I think can only help.

And, I predict it won’t be too long before Lily spills the beans to Robin.

The TV Girl

Monday, September 22, 2008

Friday Night Lights: Season Three Promo

Not that I don't think this is ridiculously pretty, and not that I am not unbelievably excited for another season, but is there something kind of odd about this? I mean, that is the cast and everything, but I was unaware that Tim Riggins had superpowers (aside for charm).

I mean, seriously, was NBC (and even though this is an add for DirectTV, the show is still owned by NBC) just too cheap do separate shoots for FRL and Heroes, because that is the same color scheme.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bones (6.5): Awkwardness in the Non-Awkwardness.

Why on earth was there an entire episode (“The Man in the Outhouse”) where Hodgins and Angela where walking around like nothing happened?

I should probably be more forgiving since the focus of the episode’s personal aspect was the impossibility of simply replacing someone you have lost with another who is capable of fulfilling the same function. I am still not happy about Zach’s absence, but I do appreciate that his previous presence is being respected.

Back to my point: the this-is-the-part-where-we-normally-kiss moment seemed overdue. Hodgins and Angela should have just been kept out of scenes together if the producers where going to delay recognizing how uncomfortable it should be for them to work together. And now that I have that gripe out of my system, can I just say how much I love angry-Hodgins! I missed the conspiracy-theory-spouting-and-tirade-prone-Hodgins, because he was way more fun than happy-Hodgins.

But how unfortunate that Mac’s last boyfriend Max (from Veronica Mars) went on to be a dog-fight-organizing murder. At least when Beaver was a guest on this show he wasn’t the murderer.

I got choked up when Brennan started crying for Ripley. I was already a little teary-eyed about Booth telling Parker than when it is for yourself you walk away but when it is for someone else you stay and fight.

The TV Girl

Prison Break (6): This Shit Has Gone International!

I can’t say that I really think “Shut Down” and “Eagles and Angels” rank as the most exciting/intriguing episodes of this series ever, but I am a fan of the way this season is progressing. Apparently, the Company is not contained to the United States, but at least encompasses Turkey, and China knows about it. The boys and Sara have a way of tracking down the other five card-holders, and already have a copy of a second one, so only four more to go. FBI dude has proved himself to be willing to give as much as he expects from Michael and Co. They are now aware of T-Bag’s presence, thereby integrating the two storylines. There is plenty to be pleased about.

Including, addressing my earlier concern, I am pleased to find that Lincoln does have a heart in there; his compassion towards Mahone upon finding out that his son (but not his wife, I apologize for assuming so) has been murdered restored my faith in Linc as a character.

Also, methinks that when the Chinese assassins arrive looking for “Cole Pheiffer”/Whistler and find T-Bag that his little charade will come crashing down soon after. I wonder if he knows what happened to Jack Bauer when he fell victim to such hostile enemies? (Do fictional characters know about other fictional characters?) While I enjoy T-Bag as Michael’s nemesis, I cannot imagine a punishment appropriate enough for him. I mean, he ate some guy two episodes ago!

While it was painful to watch, Sara’s brush with falling off the wagon was something I have thought was missing so far. Considering what she has been through, there needed to be either a vocal recognition of her fortitude in resisting her previous coping patterns, or she needed to turn to the bottle. So happy she resisted though. But, as a female, I have to wonder what there is to hesitate about when asked to run off into the sunset with such a beautiful man?

But, on the side of things that do not please me, is the progression of Michael’s “mystery illness.”

The TV Girl

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Suggestion: Gavin and Stacey

If your life is missing ridiculous cuteness and unimaginable accents, then I would highly recommend this show. Light, adorable fun. And it stars the girl from the body-double-couple in Love Actually. OnDemand and iTunes have the first three episodes, and more will be available as they air on BBC America.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Top 5: Bromantic Chemistry

Continuing my series on chemistry, I am moving into the non-sexual realm (sort of). The bromance as a term is something new to our culture, but as a phenomenon it is as old as time: close male friendship that is very loving but not necessarily sexual. So here is my ballot of the men of recent TV who have that special something that makes their bromance look effortless.

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester: Supernatural
I am not cheating. Yes, Sam and Dean are brothers, but they also have a fantastic bromance. And these two actors are perfectly matched to their characters. Of course I know they are not brothers in real life, but these guys click so well on screen, I have to believe that they really are friends. The fact that the terms of their interaction is more bromantic (jokes at each other’s expense, occasional pranks, moments of confrontation) and less mushy, emotional sharing-ness (the way TV land seems to think brothers act) highlights how well these two play off of each other. Jared/Jensen don’t ever change.

Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson): The Office
Dwight might be more invested than Michael reciprocates, so this might be an almost unrequited bromance. But it is a joy to watch two masters of awkwardness inflict their special brand of bromance on those around them. Carell/Wilson make the Michael/Dwight bromance watchable; in lesser hands it would be impossible to watch one man give another his urine.

Jeff Murdock (Richard Coyle) and Steve Taylor (Jack Davenport): Coupling
What can I say about the genius of Steve and Jeff that you cannot see with your own eyes? Well, for those of you who haven’t seen this britcom you are missing a fantastic bromance. Either bonding over videogames or discussing the most inappropriate terms for a girlfriend who won’t stop stalking you, Jeff and Steve bring a life to this show that is distinct and tone-setting. They are so in tune as actors that over the course of the show it is possible to see how the other actors start taking their cues from this dynamic duo. Netflix it, you won’t regret it.

Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and Burton Guster (Dule Hill): Psych
Shawn and Gus are so great together they merited cartoon shorts that run during new episodes of Psych. While they are an example of opposites-attract, Gus allows Shawn to drag him into trouble, and Shawn insists on doing so, because they are essentially inseparable. And Roday/Hill are flawless together. Their chemistry makes it possible to believe that such a relationship could actually be sustained for so long. Please, please watch the scene from “Bounty Hunters” where Shawn and Gus list synonyms for the word briefcase while trying to convince Kevin Sorbo (yes, you read that right) to exchange said briefcase for an escaped con; it is truly magical chemistry.

Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) and James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard): House
According to my current Entertainment Weekly “the bromance is over for House and Wilson,” but be that as it may, House and Wilson’s scenes are really the gems of this show. Their hilarious and devoted bromance is executed with a precision and grace by these two men that I would almost be willing to accept entire episodes that are just them; get rid of “the team” and give me middle-age bromance.

Making this list I began to realize just how much of television is preoccupied with exploring male friendship. I ended up with four alternates that need to be acknowledged, even if I think they are not quite as special as the above.

Honorable Mentions:

Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) and Seth Cohen (Adam Brody): The O.C.
My (emotionally) favorite bromance. I still heart Ryan and Seth.

Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) and Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris): How I Met Your Mother
While this is a bromance for the ages, NPH outshines Radnor just slightly (sometimes a lot), therefore throwing off the chemistry balance, just a bit.

Bertie Wooster (Hugh Laurie) and Reginald Jeeves (Stephen Fry): Jeeves and Wooster
Amazing actors, but the whole employer/employee situation makes it a debate whether this is a true bromance.

Barney Gumble and Moe Sizlack: The Simpsons
Bromantic as all get out, but can cartoon characters really be said to have chemistry?

Yes, No, Maybe So? Tell me if you think I missed the mark.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gossip Girl (6): Nate Pimped Himself Out!

Literally. I mean he actually took money in exchange for sex. From Blair’s new boyfriend’s step-mom! I am all flustered with shock and awe. And the little sad look on his face when he got off the phone with Vanessa was too much for me. He should have just let Chuck take care of things so that he could have gone and had Chinese food with Vanessa. (I was super excited that they graced the cover of my Entertainment Weekly on Saturday.)

Oh wait, and Blair knows that Nate is doin’ the Duchess. Catherine is in for a rude awakening if she thinks that she and Blair are square now. It seems pretty clear that Blair isn’t going to do anything to Nate. Even if she is disappointed in her former beau’s choices, she has bigger fish to fry. I love their amicable-but-defensive interaction, because it makes for an interesting contrast to Nate and Chuck’s blaze discussion of Chuck’s intentions towards Blair.

And anyone who has seen the preview for next week’s episode knows exactly what Chuck’s intentions are. So. Ridiculously. Hot.

Sorry, getting ahead of myself. It is kind of interesting the expression of the “best friend” relationships on this show. Serena and Blair hug each other when one has done something stupid. Chuck sells his club to save Nate from loosing his home. Of course, friendship is in both the day-to-day customs and the large gestures, I am not trying to say that on this show one gender is given a more realistic treatment than the other. Rather, I appreciate that these more human elements are not completely forsaken in the midst of all the sex and scandal.

But Dan is willing to forsake his introspection for sex. Is he a teenage boy by any chance? I couldn’t stop laughing about the fact that Serena just happened to be traveling with a box of chocolate dipped strawberries. Too funny. I give Dan and Serena two more episodes before their return to spits-ville. He will give into his happiness-crushing desire to over-analyze soon. So my question is, does Dan rise to jealousy the way everyone else does? When he sees Serena with a totally new guy will he discover his inner Chuck?

So glad Rufus isn’t going back out on tour. I adore the parent drama, and desperately need Lily back too.

(This post is out of control incoherent. Apologies. Like I said, flustered.)

The TV Girl

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bones (5): I Always Find Tiny Car Jokes Funny.

I know, it makes me kind of lame, but really I do. Totally obvious jokes about the frustrations of small vehicles make me laugh.

I have had multiple requests to comment upon the season premier of Bones. I watch Bones; I have seen every episode (since I own the first two seasons, I have seen most episodes multiple times) and I immensely enjoy it as a show. It may have been ten years since Angel suffered a burn from a cross on the chest in order to kiss Buffy, but I cannot help but love David Boreanaz. I just never write about the individual episodes as they occur, but I do write about it in Top 5 lists (for example, see below). Yet I will break with tradition, since I am a slave to my readers.

Angela and Hodgins break-up was dumb. I mean, really really, dumb. If they had come to the realization that they were concentrating too much on their wedding and not enough on their actual relationship, then I could have seen devoting airtime to such a storyline. Aside from Angela’s ex throwing Hodgins into the garbage truck, it all just felt like a waste of scenery.

Cam needs to decide if she is a boss or a friend. I have no idea when she developed Michael Scott syndrome.

I was sorry to see Clark go so quickly, I liked him (as much as was possible to do so). Even though I think meta-metaphor should be used sparingly (if ever), Clark’s desire for a “regular” lab was the best way for the producers to warn any viewer looking for a strictly clinical/procedural show about what Bones is. The personal relationships and internal struggles of the characters are what balance this show; the specific crimes that designate the episodes are so grim that it would be un-watchable without the human (for lack of a better term) “drama.”

Speaking of crime, the second dastardly deed in London was much more interesting than the first. The-American-heiress-who-accidentally-had-an-incest-love-affair just fell flat for me. I didn’t care. Would have been so much better if her brother/lover had killed her. The-grad-student-killing-her-slime-ball-professor, now that was interesting. There were enough people with a motive, and the London detective who could have been either helping or harming made for an entertaining mystery.

Booth’s compulsive need to protect Bones from being exploited was so incredibly sweet, that I want to forgive almost anything about this premier. How refreshing to see on TV a man truly want a woman to know her own worth and live her life accordingly.

Essentially, I wonder if there is anyway for this premier to be more than so-so. Because of Zach turning out to be a murderer (a choice on the producer’s part that I still struggle with) the entire dynamic of the show is distorted. The atmosphere of the show, the combination of the particular characters played by particular actors, is now distinctly different than the three seasons that have proceeded; therefore the show will feel strange and awkward to the viewer. We will have to see if that feeling persists, or if Bones can adjust and mend itself, thereby (returning to) continuing to be one of the funniest mystery shows.

What did you think?

The TV Girl

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Top 5: Sexual Chemistry

A show fails without chemistry; you have to believe that the characters feel the way about each other and their situations that the dialog dictates. When a cast doesn’t click you can tell, and we all suffer. Asian KP and I end up talking about cast chemistry all of the time (she has a passion for proper casting), so I decided to do some Top 5s on chemistry, and the first up is the couples with the best sexual chemistry.

Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Gossip Girl
As I wrote in my post below, Chuck and Blair give me chills. Their antagonistic romance has both incredible intensity and inevitability; they are so undeniably drawn to each other that it lights up the screen. I can’t describe it.

Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies), Prison Break
Michael and Sara’s first kiss was extraordinary: the prefect combination of lust and sweetness. They are probably one of the most messed-up couples (can’t even tally up all that baggage) but they are so naturally compatible that there is no way that (if alive) they could be apart. Even when they are being mushy their interaction shimmers with sexual tension.

Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) and Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly), Friday Night Lights
Granted it would be difficult not to have sexual chemistry with the hotness that is number 33, but be that as it may. The scene where Tim kisses Lyla in her bedroom in Season One would be almost creepy if it were not so drool-worthy. His determination to fluster her at every opportunity, and her inability to prevent him from doing so, is amazing to watch.

Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), Bones
This show gets a place on my list simply for the brilliance of highlighting the sexual chemistry between the leads by having those characters in denial about it. It isn’t a case of combative-attraction; Booth and Bones respect each other, care about each other, and acknowledge so to each other. Furthermore, they discuss sex, but neither has gotten around to seeing what everyone around them sees, namely just how into each other they are. They are an excellent example of a show using every means possible to make the most of what the actors bring to the characters.

Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) and Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstien), House
It always baffled me that Cameron thought for a second she had a chance with House considering the R-rated interaction between House and Cuddy. They flaunt their mutual attraction, displaying it for all around them, and by doing so are saved from having to take the step of actually doing something about it. But you never have to worry about forgetting that House and Cuddy are hot for each other, because as soon as they are in the same room they will inappropriately talk about what is plain as day. Fantastic.

Honorable Mentions (because I can’t resist):

Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) and Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), Veronica Mars
Stunning. First. Kiss.

Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) and Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), Battlestar Galactica
One word: HOT.

Well, that is what I think. Anyone disagree? Alternatives? I am open to suggestions as long as no one mentions Justin and Rebecca on Brothers & Sisters, I find that all too gross.

The TV Girl

Gossip Girl (7): Just Like That…

Dan and Serena are back together? I call shenanigans. At least Dan had the decency to look ashamed when he was caught being a hypocritical bastard. I really wonder in his head how he justified righteous indignation at seeing Serena kissing Nate when Dan was hooking up with as many skirts as he could. It won’t last (and not simply because everyone knows that a new love interest for Serena has been cast). It can’t last because it was too easy for them to get back together.

And no I-survived-cancer-and-am-now-a-saint transformations for Grandma; I much prefer feisty old drunk bats, they are way more interesting.

I love that Jenny and Eric are friends again. They very much need each other (mostly to keep their characters from getting lost in the shuffle), and Jenny shouldn’t loose everything because of her wandering on the dark side. If her social networking prowess is any indication, she has learned how to get what she wants in the long run without becoming bitchzilla. Also, Eric might be the funniest character (“that look is not your friend” and runs away), and every good melodrama needs comic relief. (Hint hint One Tree Hill producers.)

Someone should suggest to Nate that Season Two of Veronica Mars might serve him well as a cautionary tale for where his extra-marital relationship is headed. That is since it didn’t seem to be enough to be tossed out a window in only your boxers and then almost hit by a car that your fake-girlfriend is riding in. (So funny.) But it is refreshing to see Nate being naughty. I like that he is a tad more levelheaded than the rest of them, but he shouldn't miss out on all the fun. In my heart I am still pulling for Nate and Vanessa, and it appears that Dan didn’t want her company over the summer, so maybe she will be inclined to give Nate another shot. Or maybe she won’t be so cool with him being all cougar-bait. (Or with that sweater. What was the deal with that?)

As interesting as all these other people are, let me get to the best reason to watch this show: Chuck and Blair! How fantastic was it when he called her BS flat out and then proceed to make dinner as uncomfortable as possible for everyone. (Again Eric: “How- well-do-you-know-Blair-Waldorf is kind of boring for people who know Blair Waldorf.”) His Lordship is obviously the product of aristocratic inbreeding since it took him so long to figure out that Blair was using him to make Chuck jealous. And Chuck jealous is a sight to behold. It brings out all his dastardly inclinations and it gives me chills (in the good way). I slammed my hands down on the table when he didn’t just grab her and kiss in their final scene. But I am not ready for Chuck to say, “I love you” to Blair, and she is obviously not ready to hear it if she can’t say it to him. I say bring on the battle for Blair, we should be in for some particularly juicy Chuck Bass scheming.

The TV Girl

Prison Break (8): Extra Points Because Sara is Alive!

The sap-tastic reunion of Michael and Sara made my heart just burst. (They have inspired a new Top 5 list.) I don’t care if it is completely ridiculous that they killed her and now have brought her back to life; I was devastated when she died and I am overjoyed that she is alive and with Michael again. Not that either of them are actually okay. Sara is obviously traumatized by her kidnapping and the torture she has subjected to, and Michael will feel guilty about that no matter what kind of “clean slate” bargains they make. Damaged isn’t dead, so I am happy.

All in all, based on the first two episodes I think that this could be a good season for Prison Break. My friend KP mentioned to me that the first episode felt kind of rushed, and I agree with her. In many ways it was mostly just getting the right characters into the right places without much importance as a individual episode. That said, it was paced well enough to keep me interested without being confused. I appreciated the little recap at the beginning of the first episode (and you know you are in for a treat when the first minute of a show has the word “avenge” in it); after three seasons of a very complex (or maybe just convoluted) show it gets tricky to orient yourself with the pertinent plot points. The main story arc seems much more focused, the way it was in the first season. Now instead of simply trying to save themselves from the Company, Michael and all are actively trying to face their collective enemy. On the other hand by having Michael’s tattoos removed (which I think is sad in the sense that he won’t have his shirt off as often as in the first season), it seems to be an acknowledgement that they can still produce a quality show that is not simply trying to chase the high of the first season.

I was completely shocked when Whistler was shot. I thought that they would keep him around a bit longer. I think it was a good choice to keep Gretchen. It will be interesting to see how her part plays out.

Considering that his wife and son were murdered I have had about enough of Linc’s animosity towards Mahone. It is tired. But for no reason that I can quite pinpoint, I still laugh every time someone reminds Linc that he was not the most upstanding of citizens even before he was framed for murder, as our new FBI friend did. (Side note: I always think of when he was on Friends when I see that guy.)

The TV Girl

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Slight Difficulty.

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I have no TV at the moment. And with the new Fall season starting tomorrow this is a rather sad situation. This means that I will be limited (for the moment) to the shows that networks post online, and further limited by when said shows are posted. Fox and NBC usually post new episodes within 24 hours, but The CW waits until Saturday to post the whole week. So I might be writing on Sunday about an episode that aired six days beforehand.

We will see how this goes.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The TV Girl’s Top Five: Marriages

Asian KP I am so sorry this took so long. Has anyone else noticed how few marriages there are on TV, and of those that exist just how few are even remotely admirable? I suppose it is not that surprising; the drama is in the beginning and endings (or so conventional wisdom would have us believe).

Eric and Tami Taylor (Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton), Friday Night Lights
I have no idea how to describe the wonder that is the Taylors. They are, hands down without any reservations, THE BEST married couple on TV currently/in recent history, and I think I could make the argument that they are the best in all TV history. Everything about FNL is direct, honest, and human, and one of the foundations of the show is the respectful, loving, and ever-developing relationship between Eric and Tami. After more or less 20 years together they still lust for each other, challenge each other, listen to each other, annoy each other, and depend upon each other.

Sandy and Kirsten Cohen (Peter Gallagher and Kelly Rowan), The O.C.
I just love them too much not to mention them. In the realm of soapy-drama-land Sandy and Kirsten stand out as my favorite marriage (sorry Nathan and Haley). Their self-aware “When Harry Met Sally” vibe always created lighthearted balance to the teenage melodrama, and their commitment to one another contrasted well with Julie Cooper’s serial bride syndrome. Despite his eyebrows and her alcoholism you have to love Sandy and Kirsten.

Kara Thrace and Sam Anders (Katee Sackhoff and Michael Trucco), Battlestar Galactica
I am going to sound like I am contradicting myself by putting the horror that is the Kara/Anders union on my list of best marriages on TV. Let me be very clear: I hate Kara and Anders together. She belongs with Lee and Lee belongs with her, and nothing will shake my faith in that. As far as I am concerned Anders was a distraction that she mistakenly married on the advice of Tigh, and does anyone need anymore proof than that to realize that it was a bad idea from the start. But despite my disagreement with it, I appreciate its existence. Kara and Anders are beyond dysfunctional; in a sense they are emotionally abusive to each other. She cheats on him, they lie to each other, and are possibly incapable of having an honest conversation with each other. She only stays with him (and I use that phrase loosely) because the only thing that scares her more than the possibility that Lee doesn’t really love her is the possibility that he does. Anders seems perfectly willing to be a total doormat, but that keeps him as insulated as her. Neither truly sacrifices for the other, and they definitely don’t trust each other. Kara doesn’t get the romantic happy ending with Anders because she is not happy going into their marriage and in that way BSG provides one of the most realistic glimpses of marriage on TV. Marriage is not this magic new life that gives you a whole new personality and emotional reality; the person you are before your marriage and the baggage you carry into your marriage will set the tone and define the outcome, and this all too often seems forgotten (or purposely ignored) when it comes to married couples on TV.

You will notice that I only list three marriages here: I have a feeling that I want to leave this list open for future additions. Who knows what the new season will bring?

The TV Girl


OMFG, I cannot believe how long it has been since I posted. I just got my internet at my new place today, and I don't even have a TV anymore, so this is going to be interesting, but I am sure that we can work together and carry on.

The TV Girl

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Let Us Call A Spade A Spade

I really thought I would have time/focus enough for blogging. And there were things to talk about; not the amazing things that will return in the fall, but not totally horrible things. The fact is that mid-August is when I think I will be back analyzing, mocking, gushing, and all the other things that I do.

I hope someone will be reading then.

The TV Girl

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Boys (5): Andy, What Are You Doing?

Really, Andy, what are you doing? I really really don’t want Andy to be having an affair, any kind of affair: emotional, physical, possible. It makes me so angry. When Andy had his kind of strange mid-life crisis thing in Season One and he bought the boat it was an address of the aging process without any harm. Andy is cheating on Meredith and he needs to listen to PJ before he completely ruins his marriage.

Not that PJ is any kind of relationship expert. (I will get to Stephanie in a moment.) What with planning Bobby’s wedding, then telling him at his bachelor party that she invited him to Italy because she had feelings for him, and then kissing his brother Jack after said bachelor party. (And yes, it is hilarious that their names are Jack and Bobby.) I think she should have been a little bit more good-humored about going to Elsa’s shower. Painful and awkward as something might be, there was no reason for her to whine about it.

Poor Stephanie. Being the savior of women by telling them everything that is wrong with men is highly unlikely to make you endearing to men. At least she has material for her next book.

Bless Kenny for living up to all bachelor party stereotypes: bad jokes, cigars, strippers, limos. And it is a testament to the brilliance of Mike as a character (borderline pathetic as he is) that Kenny is not the most ridiculous person at the party.

I hope John hires Brendan to help him with his club. The unemployed are just too sad to watch.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Boys: You Know What Is Lamer Than Hitting On Waitresses?

That would be hitting on nannies. That is just my personal feeling on the subject.

So, I haven’t written about the last three episodes of My Boys (“Dinner Party” “The Shirt Contest” and “Spit Take”) but don’t let that fool you into thinking that I did not thoroughly enjoy each and every one.

As indicated above, I am not the biggest fan of the Bobby/Elsa relationship storyline, most of all because it makes PJ so sad and uncomfortable. It is really difficult to try and balance in yourself the desire to be a good friend (which means watching out for the best interests of the other) and your own personal feelings (which is especially complicated when those feelings are romantic). Therefore it super sucks that PJ got voted the one to talk to Bobby about his hasty engagement.

But on the other hand, Bobby can go ahead and marry Elsa, because then PJ and Brendan can get together! Well, they should get together no matter what Bobby does. Don’t get me wrong, I like Bobby as a character, but I love Brendan for PJ (and her for him). They are direct and honest with each other, and the way everything has been presented so far, it really seems like PJ will retain herself more with Brendan than she would with Bobby. And she could help him find some health insurance (but what a fantastic portrayal of our insistence on web-based self diagnosis).

While the subtly shifting group dynamics is terribly interesting (after all, group dynamics is one of the main themes of the show), my hands down favorite moment of the last three episodes has to be the “Project Crowley’s” judging: Mike’s backless duel function shirt was hilariously creepy; Kenny’s table cloth poncho that he donned when he ran out of fabric to make the second sleeve was pricelessly illogical (just shorten the completed sleeve!); Bobby’s smug cheating was really just silly because he admitted to it so easily; and Brendan’s duct-tape monstrosity was the perfect physical manifestation of the resulting emotional turmoil when you find out THE ex has moved on (Wendy married a bar owner and is about to have a baby). Not one honest, wearable shirt, but “Project Crowley’s” was an immense success.

The TV Girl

Monday, July 7, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Asian KP asked me this question because it has been almost two weeks since I posted anything new. The honest answer is that I have been in the no-mans-land between lethargic depression and (tear-inducing) overwhelming stress. My life is about to undergo a significant change, which requires a great deal of preparation. This also means that for at least the first two weeks of August I will be MIA again.

But my DVD player has not been empty, and at the moment I have a bit of breathing room to blog.

The TV Girl

Friday, June 20, 2008

Random Thought

I would like to take a moment to talk about something of absolutely no consequence. It is that fact that I could not be happier that I am getting older. This is not to say that I do not indulge in shows which concentrate on a time in life I have long passed; though high school is years behind me, I still thoroughly enjoy Gossip Girl. What I mean is that there are certain things that saturate our "culture" that I do not understand, do not want to understand, and know will be over with soon enough.

Specifically, I am talking about the Jonas Brothers, and I am doing so because their TV Movie Camp Rock premiers tonight, which I am sure you know if you have turned on your tv, opened a web page, or basically not been in a coma for the now weeks long media blitz Disney has subjected the American public to. I have never heard any of their music, never seen anything but still photos and commercials of them, so maybe my opinion is unfounded, but I do not get it at all. And I am not thirteen, so there is no way that I could.

I have seen, and in a sense liked, both High School Musical movies, and I have no moral outrage regarding Hannah Montana (hell, I am old enough to remember when ol' Billy Ray was popular in his own right), but people are acting like these little twats are the reincarnation of Motzart. I have one word for that: Hanson.

And that one word is why I am happy to be getting on. I am able to see the path this will take. Right now three badly coifed "rockers" (okay I did not get that out with a straight face) are the most exciting thing for those on the shy side of a training bra, but as their fan base moves into "angsty" phase, their "much anticipated follow-up" album will tank, and all those glossy posters and notebooks will follow in the discarded merchandise footsteps of all the previously overhyped and limitedly talented/appealing bands before them.

Then, years from now, there will be some other girl sitting at her laptop wondering vaguely on a boring Friday morning why thirteen year olds are unable to see the pattern they are a part of, and smiling (just a bit smugly) about how wonderful it is to be way beyond thirteen.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Greek (5): My Semesters Ended With Finals, Not Spring Break.

But to some extent, we don’t watch TV to see the life we already know and have experienced. So, I forgive this little show for skipping most of the school parts of college.

The finale episode aired almost a week and a half ago, and I didn’t really feel like writing about it for a couple of reasons. Actually, I didn’t even see the episode until last Thursday, so it has been less than a week of my internal debating. Mostly, I didn’t want to say anything, because I didn’t really like it.

I know that since Rebecca’s father has been implicated in a prostitution scandal (nice use of semi-current events by the way) I am supposed to have some level of sympathy for her, but I really just do not. She is a spoiled, selfish, manipulative tramp who hen-pecks her boyfriend and treats everyone around her as if they are her property. Cappie is a fool if he thinks her drunken tirade was only about her father; she meant what she said, she just wouldn’t have said it under other circumstances.

Even so, Casey has got to stop making snide comments about Rebecca being overweight. It is petty, ugly, and unpleasant. Furthermore it discloses and perpetuates society’s unbelievable misconceptions about body image.

Okay, enough complaining, because there were good things about this episode.

Casey and Cappie kissed, and it was natural and sweet. And Casey, in a round about way, called him her soul mate. So freaking adorable! I like the less-prone-to-stressing-out Casey. It was good to see her realize that enjoying time with her best friend was more important than recounting boy problems; inside she knows everything will be okay.

Evan and Frannie’s hook-up conversation was probably the most honest either has ever been. Nice that the appropriately matched people have found one another.

There is a potential love interest for Ashleigh next season. It is about time this girl got a romantic plot of her own.

The best event was, of course, the reunion of Rusty and Calvin. I hated them not being friends, and it was about time that they had the sense (or maybe no other choice than) to listen to Dale (who has to be one of the most underrated characters on TV, because he is hilarious). Their house affiliation shouldn’t be the most important thing and if they don’t want others to judge them for being greek, they shouldn’t judge each other for being in rival houses. Dale has my undying gratitude for settling their differences, and for reminding us that it was the 80’s when ambition became a bad thing.

The TV Girl

Monday, June 16, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (9): I Am Still Giddy.

So, please forgive me if I am kind of incoherent. And I need to hang on to this feeling since there will be no new episodes until early 2009.

But first, a Short Recap: D’Anna held Roslin and the human crew aboard the Baseship hostage in order to flush out the Final Five. While hostages, Baltar thanks Roslin for not killing him. When only Tory “joined her people” D’Anna started executing hostages, so Tigh told Adama the truth. Adama (understandably) lost it, and Lee took charge, putting Tigh in an airlock, forcing him to give up Anders and Tyrol, and telling D’Anna that he would execute them. Before being outed, Anders and Tyrol told Kara that the Viper she returned on was important and when she turned it on, she found a Colonial signal from Earth, so she ran to tell Lee and stopped him from throwing Tigh out the airlock. Lee offered D’Anna a truce, a chance to find Earth together, and full amnesty for the Tory, Tigh, Anders, and Tyrol. Adama, slightly recovered from his shock and reunited with Roslin (who praised Lee’s performance as president), decided that the whole fleet, including the rebel Cylons, would jump to the signal. There was much celebration when the fleet first saw Earth, but it was short lived. Landing on the surface, the remnants of humanity and the rebel Cylons found a barren and abandoned wasteland.

I will say it: Lee is a kick-ass president. And a really good human being. Finding out the rival for the love of his life just happens to be not so human, he didn’t use it as an opportunity to pursue a personal vendetta under the cover of authority. The look Anders gave him when he was first taken into the airlock absolutely confirmed that Anders was questioning if Lee would do just that.

Maybe not to the same extent as Adama’s, but Tigh’s confession broke my heart. Probably because it broke Adama’s. I cried when he cried, and thinking that he was so wounded as to allow his son to take care of him makes me want to cry again. Tigh made a great sacrifice by revealing his secret and he did so with as much dignity as possible. And really, that made it worse. He displayed the best part of him self by revealing the worst. Granted, I applauded for a second when Lee decked him. It was one hit as a (former) soldier betrayed by his (former) commanding officer, and also as a son avenging the betrayal and devastation of his father. It was both utterly personal, and representative of the entire Fleet, therefore singularly cathartic and necessary.

Without that hit, Lee probably wouldn’t have been able to offer the rebel Cylons the chance to forego the pattern of mutually assured destruction that has defined Human/Cylon relations thus far. Interestingly, early in the episode, on the Baseship, the rebel Cylons talk about how the Humans will never forgive the Cylons for the destruction of the Colonies (personally, don’t think that they should), and that remains true still. Baltar tries to encourage D’Anna not to execute the hostages because force did not work with the Humans in the past, but he doesn’t claim that a more peaceful future erases the past. Lee asks the rebel Cylons to join the Humans in making new choices, to disavow their fatalistic attitude (just because it happened before does not mean it has to happen again), but tellingly, he doesn’t reference the past, doesn’t say that all is forgiven. Moving on is not equivalent with forgiveness.

But, it all might be meaningless because the great promise of Earth has been totally destroyed. Or they just landed in Outer Bumble Fart and need to head towards the equator to find habitable land. Okay, that doesn’t seem likely. Earth looked to be uninhabited and uninhabitable, possibly the victim of global warming and international conflict, or ravaged by a geological anomaly. Or could it be that the other Cylons got there first?

As an aside, I would like to take a second to praise the artistic design of BSG. The final scene of the episode moved so fluidly, looked so unlike anything that has come before it, demarcating the ending of certain aspects of the show and the beginning of new ones that has nothing to do with the convenience of mid-season-finales. The fact that each place, and even each genus/species has its own particular color palate (Earth’s slate gray and bone tones told you it was empty before the sweeping final shot confirmed it) is one of the details of this show that makes it so whole and enjoyable.

My one gripe is the lack of Lee/Kara personal interaction. A conversation, a handhold, a hug, a kiss, anything! I mean, they found out her husband is a Cylon, so there really should have been some sort of Apollo/Starbuck business. I will just have to wait for the last ten episodes for this mistake to be rectified.

And for the last Cylon to be revealed.

The next couple of months is starting to look sort of like the Earth the Fleet found.

The TV Girl

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Boys (6): Bobby?

In the Season One finale there were seven possibilities of whom PJ could have invited to Italy, and in the Season Two premiere on Thursday the audience, and Stephanie, finally found out the identity of the lucky guy. (In all honesty, “finally” for me was about a 16-hour wait.) I am usually hesitant to believe that cliffhangers and guest stars are a likely combination, so I discounted Thorn the long lost love, Evan the botanist, or Matt the cute former Cub, as realistic possibilities for her traveling partner. Neither Mike nor Kenny as her Italy buddy would have provided any forward momentum for the show. So in my thinking, Brendan and Bobby were they only viable options, and I have to say, I kind of wish it had been Brendan.

Especially because Brendan probably would have figured out that PJ intended for Italy to be a romantic vacation, which entirely escaped Bobby. Not that PJ and anyone would have had much time to themselves considering that Stephanie broke up with Lance within 24 hours of the plane landing. Still Bobby seems determined not to reopen the him/PJ door.

And if Bobby had still been in Chicago, Kenny would not have been worried about his whereabouts, who could have concentrated all his efforts on keeping Mike from sleeping with Terry they waitress, and then they wouldn’t have been banned from the bar. I laughed immensely to see how (shall I say) disorderly this little group is without PJ there to guide them towards better choices. She would have shut down “The McConaughey” immediately, and no one would have ended up drinking beer in Andy’s SUV.

There was no metaphor in this episode. Either the show is tweaking the format in order to encourage more viewers, which I think would be a mistake, or they are running out of baseball scenarios appropriate to relationships. I missed the metaphor.

The TV Girl

Friday, June 13, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (9): I Knew It!

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it.

Through the mist of my tears I checked the clock when they arrived at Earth.

I knew it, I knew it.

More to follow.

I knew it.

The TV Girl

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Weekday Fling: My Boys, Season One (6)

If you are not a baseball fan, or have a low tolerance for sports metaphor, skip this one.

If you like sports, metaphor, and sports metaphor (or at least you can deal with some combination thereof), then you get to meet PJ (Jordana Spiro), the Cubs correspondent for the Chicago Sun Times, and her boys: Andy (Jim Gaffigan), her married brother; Mike (Jamie Kaler), her one-step-away-from-being-creepy friend; Kenny (Michael Bunin), her mostly-lovable yet loveless friend; Brendan (Reid Scott), her radio host best friend/sometimes roommate/should be or could be love interest; and Bobby (Kyle Howard), her fellow reporter for a different paper, possible but didn’t work out love interest. Preventing testosterone overload is her other best friend Stephanie (Kellee Stewart), a magazine editor. PJ’s great love is baseball and views her life (or at least talks about her life in the voice-over) as a corollary of the game; this is her team. PJ narrates during each episode, providing the baseball correspondence to the life situation facing her and her friends.

It is the everyday ups and downs that the characters face: dates, minor misunderstandings, lost jobs, lost games. None of the scenarios are overly intense or overly exaggerated; so expect neither melodrama nor farce. Essentially, this is a show about basically descent people who enjoy each other’s company. Doesn’t mean that they don’t rag on each other, but there is no snide tone underlying everything or any self-righteous proselytizing.

In a sense there is something wholesome (without being completely cheesy) about My Boys: the storylines are recognizable and relatable, the characters are easy to like, and it is easy to see that they like each other.

The actors work well together, and the writing (banter and burns) improves as the season progresses. The lighting design is very soft, making the whole appearance of the show more approachable. The various guest stars are notable without being obnoxious.

I couldn’t be more thankful both for my recent trip to Chicago and for my awesome friend KP’s walking tour of the city, because I actually have a general sense of the geography and places the characters talk about. It can be difficult when you are totally unfamiliar with a show’s setting.

I do have to point out one thing that got under my skin. The literary allusion “albatross” is misused. I understand that not everyone has been required to read "The Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner” as I was (repeatedly), but I beg that people would just sit down and watch Serenity in which the common mistake is addressed and corrected.

It is the summer, so if you want to take a break and have a beer, My Boys would be fine company.

The TV Girl

Random Thought

I like to know when shows are coming out on DVD, because then I know exactly how long I have to wait before I can watch the latest season of a particular show in one sitting and how to budget my paychecks. Yesterday I happened to be perusing Target online and found, much to my joy, the release date for Supernatural Season Three. (I added it to the list to the right.)

The cover is kind of, odd. Not bad, just odd. I showed it to my friend Calah, and she too noticed that there was something odd about it. For two seasons Dean has been pictured in front of Sam (height issues and all), but this one is the opposite (and uses near shots, so height is irrelevant). There is nothing wrong with the cover (someone would have to try really hard to make it bad), it is just slightly surprising.

Calah wondered allowed the rational behind the choice. In a sense, speculating on this topic verges a bit too close to Da Vinci Code territory for me, so I won't. But I will let myself be puzzled.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (7): Just Because She Looks Like Her...

I tuned in Friday night knowing that I would be a bit confused, since I missed the episode from the previous week. But like a cosmic pat on the back telling me my minor indiscretion was forgiven, this episode picked up where “Guess What Is Coming For Dinner” (two episodes ago) ended, and with the “Previously On” to fill in some gaps (which is not to say that I will not watch the missing episode as soon as I am able), I happily settled back in.

I am not going to claim that it was the “most amazing episode ever,” (sorry little bro, cannot agree with you here) but it defiantly qualified as good stuff. All centered on death, but still good.

Anyone else predict that what it would take for Roslin to realize that she is cold and distant would be visions she participates in during jumps on a Cylon Baseship? Me neither, but I really liked it. It had to be something special that changed her, because she has never really respected the emotional reality of other people. There was no way she was just going to look at Adama one day and realize that she loves him. I think this approach was a way to open new psychological possibilities for her while remaining consistent with her character. There is less hypocrisy in her now; the great savior of humanity is not as incapable of loving or being loved as an individual.

Visions didn’t do all the work. Roslin had to actively choose to privilege particular life. When Baltar was brought to her wounded she bandaged him up, tried to save his life. Her initial instinct was towards his dignity as a person, helping the viewer to accept her acceptance of her own better nature. It would have been difficult for the viewer to hear her confess to Adama that she loves him if she had let Baltar die by not reattaching the bandage she took off. My question is whether he will maintain his religious ferocity now that she almost killed him? In other words will he give her the forgiveness he demands others give him?

I would agree that mortality is a fundamental part of the human experience, even a defining characteristic, but I will not agree that simply without the ability to resurrect that the Cylons are “just like everyone else now.” Immortality is only one element that distinguishes the Cylons from the humans, and taking that away does not eliminate the distinction entirely. The fact that little miss Eight (the one with Helo that isn’t Boomer or Sharon/Athena, so I don’t know what to call her) didn’t seem to see why it is totally creepy that she accessed someone’s memories and experiences and then proceeded to behave as if they were her own evidences that (at least at this point) Cylons do not have a proper grasp of what it means to be human. I am hoping that since she believes Helo agrees with Roslin’s deception regarding who would talk to D’Anna first that she will cut out flirting with him.

And I cannot express how happy I am for the return of the (now not so) late, great Ms Lucy Lawless. Can any other character compete with that sick sense of humor or that manipulative determination? Telling Roslin she is a Cylon was priceless.

This Friday, the midseason finale, is a big old coming out party and not in the gay way. Should be exciting.

The TV Girl

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Weekend Fling: Weeds, Season Three (0)


I don’t actually want to be any more articulate than that.

I will try. Truncated and incoherent storylines. Repetitive and stagnate characterization. The actor who plays Shane is too old for his pudding bowl haircut. Too much Celia (she is one banshee that can only be taken in small doses).

The most glaring and fundamental problem with this season is that the “other Mrs. Scottson“ plot had the unfortunate consequence of forcing the viewer to ask the question that the viewer has to knowingly and actively avoid asking, because if the viewer does so, the entire premise falls apart. I am not being any more explicit because Season One of this show is worth watching, and I don't want to ruin it but being more clear. It would have been nice if they had not done themselves in, but so be it.

I have no more inclination to expend any more energy on such a pointless and unfunny collection of episodes. I am going to go back to my first reaction.


The TV Girl

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In Plain Sight (3): Did It Hurt When You Fell Out of the Boring Tree?

Pilot episodes are tricky. You do not want to judge a book by its cover, but with a new series that is all you can do, and it is difficult to know if you are more right than wrong. Sometimes a wonderful pilot is the highlight of a disappointing series. Sometimes a weak pilot is the shaky foundation upon which wonderfulness is built. Sometimes the viewer is blessed with the perfect pilot; an episode through which the viewer is introduced to a fully realized cosmos and taught how to participate in that cosmos. Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, and Supernatural are three series I think have prefect pilots (the BSG miniseries is technically the pilot for the series, but doesn’t really count for what I am talking about, despite its perfection). In Plain Sight will not join last ranks, nor will it be part of the first. Most likely this episode was a dull introduction to what will be a dull series.

The basic premise is that Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack) is a U.S. Marshall working in the Albuquerque NM branch of the Witness Protection Program, and she may be a rock-star at her job, but she doesn’t (or possibly therefore doesn’t) have time for her alcoholic mother, druggie sister, and “fun” buddy who may want more. She has a friend/coworker with a desk next to hers who may or may not be her partner (their professional relationship was immensely unclear), but whom she treats like a lackey.

I think you can see where I am going with this: none of these characters are particularly engaging or sympathetic. As I have mentioned before, the high-powered-career-woman-with-messed-up-personal-life is a common character on TV (I think this is what I will write about next week), and Mary as yet has failed to demonstrate any individuality to distinguish her from her character type. The other characters are just too vague at this point to be evaluated in any way. All of the actors read like relative strangers, portraying very little ease with their own persons or relationships.

The bigger problem is that so far character is the focus of the show, in particular Mary, because regarding plot I don’t really see what they are striving for. Those in witness protection are not the primary narrative concern, despite the fact that in the pilot a young man in Mary’s charge is murdered and she forgets to take groceries to a young woman just placed in her custody. If Mary fails to be an interesting heroine, then her job needs to be interesting, but it seems that this facet of the legal system is not readily fruitful, at least from the enforcement side.

Furthermore, Mary’s voice over is more Grey’s Anatomy than Veronica Mars, meaning she spells out the metaphor for the viewer, rather than providing the viewer information and insight we otherwise would not have had. And someone decided that she should be constantly taking her jacket on and off. I have no idea why this was decided upon to be her personal quirk that discloses something of her personality, because it is unbelievably annoying and distracting, as if someone in the wardrobe department gave her a piece that doesn’t fit.

Judging by the pilot, In Plain Sight is its setting: dry. But what else am I going to do on Sunday evenings in the summer? Go to church?

The TV Girl

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Greek (5): Is It Really A Lie If...

Can you see my dance of joy that Evan has been exposed as a jerk? Okay, you can’t, but that doesn’t mean that I am not. I kind of feel sorry for Casey that she seems to end up in relationships with guys who don’t feel they can be honest with her about what they want (but Evan’s transgression is way more serious than Cappie’s).

Honesty was the connective theme for the episode: being honest about what you want, honest about why you want it, honest about the difference between what you want and what you need, and most importantly being honest about who you are. We got to see a whole new level of honest about Evan. Knowing he was wrong, he quickly lashed out at Casey, behaving childishly and giving her cause to be angry with him when she had been rather understanding. I have to wonder why Frannie wants him.

Frannie’s action, convincing Ashleigh to confront Shane knowing full well why he backed off Casey and knowing that Ashleigh would tell Casey the truth, poses one of those little metaphysical questions. Have you really done the right thing if you do it for the wrong reason? Inexplicably, she wants Evan, so she needed Casey to find out what he did, but she couldn’t be the one to tell her because Evan would be angry with her. Evan acted badly and should not have been allowed to continue to manipulate Casey, Casey needed to see Evan for what he really is so that she can decide what is best for her, and Frannie and Evan are kind of perfect for each other, therefore Frannie’s choice will have positive results for all. Does the end justify the means? I propose that if Evan and Frannie find long-term happiness together then the show is affirming that the end is paramount in matters of ethical concern.

But the long term is a bit much to ask of college students, which is why credit companies are able to make a killing. Ashleigh’s foray into the wonderful land of unstoppable charging is far too common a story, much to the chagrin of many parents and the low credit scores of many 20-somethings. One of those mistakes you just have to make, no matter how forewarned the lure is too great. I think that we should all take a moment and give at least a golf-clap for Amber Stevens. How this young woman manages to perform with a straight face while cover head-to-toe in plastic, flowers, cherries, hearts, and other various shinny fabrics/accessories is a mystery to me. Kudos to her.

Rusty got the reality check Ashleigh has to look forward to. After inciting an argument that looked to prevent a marriage, Rusty realized that you can only borrow (in his case someone’s identity) for so long. Will this stop Rusty from using Chad Stewart’s ID during Spring Break next week? Probably not. Or maybe he will use someone non-song-writery.

A Rebecca-less episode, how refreshing.

The TV Girl

Monday, June 2, 2008

In Case You Haven't Noticed...

Summer has begun.

Season finales have come and gone, this (irregular) regular season is over. I have some things to catch up on, a few shows that fell by the wayside due to other commitments. Sadly, Greek and Battlestar Galactica, two shows still airing new episodes, are soon to go on hiatus as well. There are a few summer series worth looking into, and I look forward to July when Season Three of Psych starts, but the fact is that the TV landscape is sparsely populated at the moment.

So what is The TV Girl to write about?

Well, my project for this week is to post on the BSG episodes I have missed. My more long term plan relies a great deal on my Netflix subscription; My Weekend Fling (s) may become My Weekday Fling (s). Also, in keeping with the lazy spirit of the season, I think it is time to wax poetic on topics that arise in my thinking but that remain unaddressed because of more pressing issues.

The pace is slow, but the creativity is not at a (total) standstill.

The TV Girl

My Weekend Fling: Robin Hood, Series One (4)

There are stories (historical, semi-fictional, and entirely fictional) we are attracted to, that we return to, time and again: Odysseus and his travels; Caesar, Brutus, Antony, Octavian, and the fall of the Republic; King Arthur and his Knights; Henry VIII and his wives; Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet; Othello; Napoleon (okay, I might be overemphasizing the general interest in this particular figure); WWII, Wolverine. Robin Hood is one of these stories: we all know the basic plot, have a general notion of the characters and our attitude towards them (a good rendering will broaden our attitudes of course), and we approach it with a sense of security since there is little chance of our being “surprised” by what we will get. The downside of being drawn to something in this way (with a greater interest in the how since the what is somewhat known) is that one experiences a great variety in the quality of expression.

This is not English Lit 101, so I am not going to go into the why of this phenomenon. For the tale of Robin Hood, personally, there is just a great deal of fun in it: running around the woods, smiting injustice, and (here I am basing my understanding on the Disney 2-demensional interpretation) singing. Let’s be honest, Robin Hood is the Batman of the time before indoor plumbing, and just kind of cool. So, even though in many respects BBC’s Robin Hood misses the mark, I don’t regret watching. The problem seems to be that it falls victim to its own cleverness: the elements that evidence a desire to be more substantive that a simple adventure narrative do not blend well with some of the over-the-top theatrics and simplistic characters.

I think I am about to fly in the face of popular opinion and say that one of the huge drawbacks of this show is the Sheriff of Nottingham (Keith Allen). As a character, rather caricature, he is utterly preposterous and Mr. Allen’s scenery chewing would make Al Pacino proud. I think he is supposed to inspire fear, and he does some really awful things like cutting out tongues and almost burning a child alive and such, but he is too ridiculous to take seriously. He starts out menacingly enough, crushing a bird in his bare hand, but with no attributes beyond love of money and love of inflicting physical pain, he remains completely undeveloped. Early on there is the possibility that they might be going for a Deadwood’s Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) type, but instead of increasing in personality he simply increases in vocal volume. The (unintentional) hilarity of the Sheriff makes him a decent foe, but not much of a foil for Robin.

But, there are some drawbacks with Robin (Jonas Armstrong) too, which indicate the problems with the show as a whole. Robin of Locksley has returned from Crusading with King Richard, due to a life threatening injury, as a changed man. He has read, and quotes, the Koran. (Which is problematic because at one point it is unclear if he understands Arabic and I just cannot believe there was an English translation by 1192. And that is not quibbling, because it is a significant dimension of his character, so there should be plausibility and continuity.) He no longer believes in any justification for a holy war and eschews killing (granted, in favor of injuring). His commitment to evaluate others based on their character and not on their class, creed, or gender is admirable, and leads him to allowing Djaq (Anjali Jay), a female Muslim, into the gang. The complication arises in the lack of complication. There is no counter-balanced viewpoint. Any mention or display of Christianity is either immediately mocked as ignorant superstition, or is so negligent that it is easily dismissed. Without two voices the potential for an intellectually and dramatically rewarding exploration of religious differences and human similarities is squandered, and reduced to somewhat heavy-handed didacticism.

The treatment of gender is similar. Djaq and Marian (Lucy Griffiths) are action-oriented, mind-speaking, free-choice-making women, but since they are really the only two regular female characters it is not apparent that there is anything special about them. The viewer can be relied upon to understand that women in the Middle Ages rarely played with swords (I suppose). But because all the elements of the show are weighted one side of any given argument the show is deprived of nuance and subtly.

On the other hand, there is evidence that I am asking for something Robin Hood never intended to give me, and is really trying to give me what I wanted in the first place; bright excitement, vicarious daring-do, and witty banter.

I almost stopped watching after the third episode, entitled “Who Shot the Sheriff?” If you are hoping that this episode didn’t end with the Sheriff’s potential assassin being caught by using a double and that they refrained from making the horrifyingly obvious joke about the whole situation, let me tell you right now that you are wrong. There is a deputy, he is shot instead of the Sheriff, and yes, they say it. This is an example of a failed attempt at levity (no laughing, just groaning), but this is the low-point.

In general, the more whimsical elements entrance the viewer. Every episode ends with a still shot in black and white, and it is always horrendously cheesy (longing /knowing looks, toasts to comrades, etc.) but it sends the viewer off with a bit of silly, good-triumphed-euphoria. It suspends disbelief that Robin and his men get tricked as many times as they do, but it is immensely entertaining to see how little effort it takes for them to slip past the Sheriff’s guards and spoils his plans. The fight scenes boarder on Jack-Bauer-invincibility, but they are quite well choreographed and filmed, and dispersed appropriately throughout the episodes so as not to appear redundant or boring. Furthermore, the score is properly vivacious and heroic, tonally complementing the action.

Essentially, the experience of Robin Hood, Series One is disorienting, and not in a successful way. The individual pieces have merit enough, but there seems to be no cohesive vision, which tends to make those pieces feel at extremes and disjointed. The comedy feels too light, the seriousness seems too truncated (even shallow), and characters seem at turns too smart and too dumb.

I said earlier that I do not regret watching this show, and despite my criticism I stand by that. While not perfect, there is plenty of room for this show to improve, and even if it doesn't, it is plenty enjoyable as it is. My friend Asian KP told me that Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage), who I didn’t mention here despite the fact that he is a major character, was voted the “most interesting current TV character.” After Series One I am not in a position to agree, but this tells me that maybe Series Two stabilizes what was shaky and dispenses with what was unnecessary. Or I have grossly underestimated the moron levels in the population.

And finally, a casting tangent. How to put this delicately, and not sound like a completely shallow bitch? Jonas Armstrong is not a handsome man, but very charming (even though Robin and Marian are a tad cold). I point this out not as a flaw, but as a strong (if maybe surprising) choice. It allows for a clearer sense that Robin persuasive ability is based upon his integrity rather than physicality, and corresponds to the show's thematic concern with who a person is rather that what a person is. Not the most important thing for me to leave you with, but I thought it was worth noting.

We will see what Series Two brings.

The TV Girl

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Office (6): My Prayers Were Not Answered.

Well, kind of.

I will admit that I am kind of a hoarder: some times I save up episodes of shows I enjoy so that I can watch them when I am having a really rotten day or need a pick-me-up. That is what I did with the last three episodes of this season of The Office, and even though everyone else saw the finale a week ago, my strategy is totally worth it for me. Today was the right day for some time in Scranton.

Since, no matter what is going on in my life at least I am not facing federal prosecution on charges of fraud. Oh how the lowly have fallen. Despite Ryan’s utter failure as an authority figure, and his newfound drug problem, I didn’t think that he would go so far as to hoodwink investors, but now that I think about it, it does make a lot of sense. Of course he lashed out at Jim for complaining about the web site because that would draw attention to what he was doing. Funny how we think people are just being tard-holes, but really they are engaging in criminal activity. Note to self; observe co-workers more closely.

Not that I want the kind of close observation that Phyllis got. Who knew all it would take for Dwight and Angela to get back together was her accepting a marriage proposal from another man. If Andy was slightly less ridiculous (even though he wouldn’t be nearly as funny) I would kind of feel sorry for him. He thinks that Angela is just completely cold, not that she is cold and still emotionally invested in another guy. She is apparently a bit confused about some of the Christian virtues, for instance fidelity, or honesty. Granted she cheated on a guy who has been carrying an engagement ring in his pocket for six years with a guy that owns a beet farm. Really, in this situation what would Jesus do?

Jim’s engagement ring for Pam stayed in his pocket and now Pam is disappointed. It sucks that Andy co-opted all of Jim’s planning, but it is kind of karmic, since Jim was planning to co-opt Toby’s going away party. Jim’s speech to Michael about how you should get to know someone before you tell him/her that you love him/her showed that Jim has to propose to Pam in the office; it has been the setting of their entire relationship (hopefully not in an Angela/Dwight way). But shouldn’t he propose on the roof of the building where they had their first “date” of grilled cheese? The big gestures don’t really work for Jim, like how he told her he loved her and kissed her, and she still remained engaged to Roy, so he should leave the extravagant public displays to the Andy’s of the world, make her a sandwich and ask her to marry him.

But will Michael ask Jan to marry him now that she is pregnant with some a random dude’s baby? This is what I am saying about my prayers being ignored: pregnant Jan is the Godzilla to Michael’s Tokyo and I simply do not think another human being should be subjected to what will happen to him if he tries to be all baby-daddy. (Minor problem: IVF is expensive, time-consuming, and usually requires someone to give you shots, so how did Michael not notice what she was up to? And if she got pregnant while they were still together why was she getting all drunkedy-drunk at the dinner party they threw?)

Jan’s pregnancy makes me wonder if Holly will be a character next season, or if it was only a guest spot for Amy Ryan. She was great by the way. She managed to treat Kevin “delicately” without making it look offensive or cartoonish. If she stays, I am starting a pool to decide how long it take Kevin to figure out that she thinks he is mentally handicapped.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Greek (5.5): If He Seems To Good To Be True…

No “possibly” “maybe” “probably” about it: he (simply) is.

Casey learned this sad lesson with the pre-med boy who kissed like Richard Gere in the preview of First Knight (okay that might be too obscure a reference, but Kathleen should get it). Evan didn’t have to send Calvin to sabotage her male prospects, because the males themselves did all the work.

Speaking of people shooting themselves in the feet, seems to me that Rebecca made a big mistake telling Cappie he would eventually have to choose between her and Casey. More than the fact that anyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell that he would/will pick Casey (wow, if he picks Rebecca I am going to be so embarrassed), this was not a bright move on Rebecca’s part because it makes her look like an immature shrew. Making the demand in the first place puts her in the position of being an undesirable option.

Undesirable could have been the tagline of the episode. Little Rusty has now experienced another first: first STD. What a wonderful display of the male ego; Rusty was convinced that she kept calling because she wanted to have sex with him that badly when really she wanted to tell him he had been exposed to crabs and shouldn’t be having sex with anyone.

The beginning (Cal and Michael, so cute) and ending (Evan, get over Casey!) of romantic relationships aside, here is the big question: is Cappie realizing that he and Evan are more successful as friends than as enemies? They are good enemies. But, Evan used his argument to win over the board and get the restrictions lifted, thereby structuring Cappie’s thought for an audience that doesn’t think like him. Evan needs someone in his life to show him how to be less of a drama queen (and therefore less of a binge-drinker). Like friends should, they (could and used to) compliment each other, helping each other be better versions of themselves. So am I seeing something not there, or is this feud about to be put to rest?

The TV Girl

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How I Met Your Mother (7): No Way!

My title pretty much sums up my feelings about this episode.

Sarah Chalke cannot be the Mother! Can she? I would adore it if she is, but it cannot be a real possibility. Can it?

Before not answering that question, since I am incapable of doing so, I am going to point out something. Maybe everyone else already saw this, and it has been in the back of my mind for a while now, but I find it odd that Ted is so determined to “find the one” and plan his future, and yet he is terrified of commitment. Agreeing to go to a wedding six months in the future causes him to break-up with Stella, so I wonder if Ted has every really asked himself if he is qualified to be a husband.

Well, he thinks he is because he proposed to Stella. It was apparent what was going to happen, but I am still kind of shocked. Even though it is a wonderful way to set up the next season, (and I maybe think that she is going to say yes) I just don’t know how to feel about it.

Also odd that Ted’s snapshots of the people he loves were all painful moments. Arguments and break-up is not how I want to remember my loved ones moments before I die. Minor quibble.

And even though it took being run over by a truck while running to the hospital, Barney has his friends, and his bros, back. This is awesome, no doubt about it.

Oh, yah, and Barney is in love with Robin. This is, of course, the miracle. As endearing as his bright-eye existential optimism is, Marshall's examples were timing and luck.

How I Met Your Mother is changing. Next season will tell us if it is growing or festering. (My money is on growing.)

The TV Girl

Gossip Girl (6.5): Are We Being Punished For Something?

I am officially pissed off at The C.W.

I mean that as a blanket statement for the entire network; I am disgusted with all of you. First Veronica Mars is cancelled, then more obnoxious reality programming is foisted off on viewers (anyone who is actually watching the show I am thinking of should be deeply deeply ashamed), then there was the season finale of Supernatural (but I am preparing a reevaluation of my post, to take into account comments and a few good nights sleep), and then, then after one, maybe two, little kisses Chuck and Blair are apart, again!

Network, what have we the viewers done to you?

I can only hope that at some point in the upcoming season, which we have to wait an entire summer for, we will get to know what took place during the conversation that led Rufus onto the road and Lily to become Mrs. Bart Bass.

But I also hope that she quickly becomes single again. Divorce, widowed, doesn’t matter to me. There needs to be some divine retribution for Bart ruining Chuck and Blair. Chuck admitted that he loves her, to Nate, who forgave him for everything because of said admission. He stood up and gave a toast that, if you knew what was going on, was a public declaration that he was going to make her realize that they belong together, and then he got to tell her that flat out. She was excited, and happy, and hopeful enough to convince Serena, Chuck’s un-fan, that the two of them are a good couple. And then instead of keeping his mouth shut and letting his son mature at his own pace, Bart expounds upon how love and a relationship turn you into a hen-pecked shell of yourself that you will not recognize. It is like the adult version of “there is a bogey-man under your bed” type story that you tell kids to make them behave: terrifying, destructive, and utterly irresponsible. Yes, the rational part of my brain is telling me that if Chuck was so easily deterred then he is not ready to be with Blair. But, my rational brain also assumes that as a successful businessman Bart would be able to properly evaluate his audience, and he should have known better than to say anything.

Also there is the little foursome known as Serena, Dan, Vanessa, and Nate.

Serena and Dan needed to break-up, and not because of the you-lied-so-I-cheated dynamic that was going on. Serena spent a year lying to family and friends about her actions and emotional conditions. Just free from that she was willing to start lying to herself about what Dan did or did not do with Georgina. She tried to go from one fearful state to another. That is not a healthy situation to put yourself in, and her willingness to do so highlighted the fact that she absorbed some of her mother’s neuroses about being alone. Being horrified at the prospect of loosing someone is not the same thing as loving them, and Serena should not be with anyone until she learns the difference.

And Dan needs to learn to not be a prat. “Most understanding person” my left foot.

The wonderfulness of Nate/Vanessa is already over? I get it, they both have prior emotional commitments and unfinished situations. There was so much potential in that relationship. Obviously from where the show started Nate/Serena has to be revisited at some point, so maybe it is better to do it early, so there was no lasting damage for Nate and Vanessa and they can get back together in the future. Vanessa has got to see that Nate is the better option at this point. I wanted to extra smack Dan when he rattled off all the possible reasons Nate and Vanessa parted ways, because he projected all his issues onto her and it was completely unfair. (I apologize to any Dan-fans who read this. In the beginning I like him, but for a while he has been driving me nuts.) It was especially unfair because Vanessa probably needed some understanding after having to endure the bile of Blair. I adore seeing all her scheming turned towards toppling a foe in the name of justice, (calling Georgina’s parents, genius!) but Blair needs to retract the claws when it comes to a girl who can actually look stunning in a bright orange dress shaped like an inverted tulip. Blair should show a little more respect for Vanessa.

Is Jenny still a character?

Well, this is probably one of the most successful season finales I have seen in a while. I mean that, because I need/want Season Two to start as soon as possible in order to sort all this out. This was not a matter of giant cliffhangers and shocking reveals (Gossip Girl saves that for the rest of the season), this was a matter of general wrong-ness that from the seeds of this episode will grow throughout the summer until I cannot take it anymore. At that point I think Season One will come out on DVD. Oh, the brilliant manipulation.

The TV Girl