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

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Washington, DC, United States
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.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Random Info: Scrubs

I read an article today (E!Online, Watch With Kristin) discussing the possibility that Scrubs may move to ABC for an eighth season. Everything seems to be in the very speculative stage at the moment, but I ask; can the small screen really afford to loose the egomaniacal ravings of Dr Cox? Can I please have the job of whomever is running NBC?

The TV Girl

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lost (0): Like Heroin, You Don’t Need to Try It to Know it is Bad for You.

Luke threw down a challenge: write about Lost. Do not doubt my ability to have unbelievable and verbose hatred for a show of which I have seen only two complete episodes. If hatred were rational it would not be hatred. And I hate Lost. So, fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

I do not believe that there is one single viewer in my age range who can look at Matthew Fox every week and not want to call him Charlie. In some cases a character becomes so culturally identifiable that the actor has a hard time adopting new roles. Other actors are just bad, and it doesn’t matter if they are on an island or running a restaurant and getting cancer, it is the same worthless looks of longing and boring martyr complex. Watching Matthew Fox is like experiencing an externally projected coma. Don’t try to say that it isn’t his fault if his characters are similar. Face facts, he is a half-trick pony! He would play Iago with that same stupid “I am wounded but noble” facial expression that makes me want to slap him in the face with a two-by-four.

“But, even if you don’t like one character, there are so many to choose from, there is bound to be someone you like.” Uh, no. What others have convinced themselves is variety I call writer's laziness. Having a huge cast actually relieves writers of creating identifiable, sympathetic, interesting characters. The more you have the less screen time each gets, therefore the less work each takes. Anyone watched Days of Our Lives lately? Same principle. Yes, in the first season each character’s back-story is revealed. One episode out of at least twenty-two, not that much. I thrive on developing emotional connection with characters. When your character list is the analogous to an ADHD kid off his meds actually caring about any particular character has to take forever. Once you meet them who knows if they will be back for the next four episodes. And why does this “mysterious and unknown” island seem to have more visitors than some Italian towns? Give me small portions of the highest quality, not an all you can eat deep-fired buffet.

All of these characters take a great deal of work for the audience to keep straight, and I am not opposed to the attention a complex show requires. Bring it on. But I have no patience for trying to juggle multiple plot lines that are going nowhere. And history is on my side. J.J. Abrams can set up a story like no other. He cannot finish one to save his life. For almost four seasons Felicity was so perfect; the graduation episode was so wonderful (Ben followed her in a loving reversal of the way she followed him, I sobbed like an estrogen junkie). This is where it should have ended, but no, there are six more episode involving time-travel (I wish I was joking but I am not). Not only are these episodes really thin as far as story goes, the event that precipitates the traveling back in time is fixed in the past, and doesn’t exist in the present. It is a glaring logical loop (you know like the ones Heroes is so good at). And who at the end of Season Four was still holding out hope for Noel? It was like Mr. Abrams looked at the beautiful show he had given us and decided that he just didn’t like us, so he would ruin it. (I do not own Felicity right now, because I am still upset about those last six episodes.) As if doing this once wasn’t bad enough, he did it again. Don’t we all remember just how much Alias defined our viewing week? What color would Syd’s hair be this week? Was Will ever going to get some lovin? Where would Syd get to go? When was Vaughn going to kiss her? What do you mean her mom is alive? What do you mean Syd has been dead? (The glory years of Alias amount to half that of Felicity so do the math, Lost was doomed after the first season.) For two years we rooted for tormented but persistent Sydney, we wondered just what kind of guy her father would turn out to be, and we drooled over Michael Vartan and Bradley Cooper. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I leapt to my feet in astonishment as the season finale of Season Two ended. And then, beginning with the Vaughn’s-wife storyline, we watched the slow but unstoppable decline; like meat as freezer-burn accumulates. Buffy recovered from Season Four, The O.C. recovered from Season Three, but Alias just dragged itself towards an obscure death. I am just not willing to go round three with a man who has betrayed my twice so heinously.

But endless frustration seems to be the ultimate draw of this show. I have so much more self-respect as a viewer than to purposely allow myself to be manipulated. You know that the new episode is not going to bring any resolution to any of the stories (except for the serial killing of characters, but dying doesn’t seem to stop these people), you know that you will have more questions when the hour is over, and you know that the preview for the next episode will look like it will give you what you want and you choose to believe that “this time it will be different,” and the next episode is the key. It is the fourth season people, and well, you are still buying the horse crap they are selling. I get frustrated enough by what I encounter accidentally, why would I tune into an hour of thwarted expectation that I know is going to be thwarted expectation. Lost is not (as a show) the drawing out of when the main love interests will get together. That is the ritual of courtship. Lost (as a show) is jerking off; you know it will not be what you really want but you do it anyway.

At this point I should probably stop. I am sure I have offended anyone who has read to this point. It makes me so irate that so much money, time, and energy is wasted on a show that will never deliver on its promise. Not to mention the viewers. (And I think the world of the people I know who watch Lost. Friends, I think you are intelligent people and this show is unworthy of you.) Each week people, who could be supporting amazing shows that struggle, like Supernatural, are allowing himself or herself to be manipulated and emotionally tortured.

But hey, this is just one girl’s opinion.

The TV Girl

Wait, I forgot some things.
I do not like dirty (as in not showered) men.
Evangeline Lily looks like a fifteen year old male soccer player.
No flight is so perfectly ethnically diverse. It is just unrealistic.

Okay, now I am done.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One Tree Hill (4.5): Oh the Meta…

I strongly considered not writing about this episode. It was entertaining, and the underlying assumption they are prosecuting ( the circumstances that develops our personality is based on those we love and who love us) rings true. As an episode, it just was not inspiring. I didn’t get that contact high of triviality that energizes me to write about One Tree Hill. I will soldier on, work through the pain.

Despite what I just said about “underlying assumption” one of the major joys of One Tree Hill is that everything is spelled out. I would be willing to apply the adjective anvilicious to this show, and I adore it. One Tree Hill does not force even a single brain cell to engage. So, I have been expecting Haley’s “this is how Lindsay and I became friends” speech. Of all the things they could have picked the whole school-shooting-chapter-of-the-book scenario is probably the least trite (if maybe the most sentimental). Haley would become attached to someone who wanted what was best for Keith. Haley may be blind to her own problems, but recounting to Peyton how she bonded with Lindsay reminds the audience why Haley is lovable, why she is the character we, and the other characters, listen to. Now if she would only turn all that insight onto herself.

I have to admit I am conflicted. I am starting to want to like Lindsay, but I have such a long-standing attachment to Peyton. It has been Peyton and Lucas for so long, and Peyton rocks so much on her own that I feel like I am cheating on her by even thinking that Lindsay may be growing on me. I am not completely sold on Lindsay, so I’m flirting at a bar, not having a nooner at a motel. While revealing Lindsay’s personal tragedy defines her as a character more than simply “Lucas’ girlfriend,” she is just too unknown/underdeveloped for me to sympathize with her particular pain. The death of a parent is a universal experience, and therefore we all naturally empathize, but Lindsay’s father had only been mentioned in two other sentences in the entire time she has been on the show. Unaware of the closeness of their relationship prevents me from feeling anything other than general connection to her situation. Finding out that her father is dead makes Lindsay sympathetic to Peyton; more important for future episodes than how I happen to feel about things. Despite all this, Peyton is Peyton, and I have been in her situation; heartbroken and daily facing the girl that got the life you wanted. It makes you say things that you never thought you were capable of, things you don’t want to say, but you cannot seem to stop yourself. You are so hurt that as hard as you try to do the right thing you always end up doing the wrong thing. My personal situation healed years ago, but watching Peyton try and fail, try and fail, and eventually lash out like a child I could not help remembering how crappy it is from that perspective. You see, I am conflicted: new acquaintance with the dead daddy or the old friend with the shattered heart?

And I do not seem to be the only one comparing the old and the new. Nathan isn’t so much comparing as caught, and I have to give him a high-five for recognizing that honesty with his wife will be better in the long run than evasion. I know that we have not seen the last of Nanny Carrie, but can we all just take a moment to congratulate a man who recognizes his own failings and determines to do better. With all this in mind, I have to ask seriously; are they hinting that Jamie is Lucas’ son? Making a point of saying Haley and Lucas never slept together? Making a point of saying that Jamie looks exactly like Lucas. It seems too obviously insinuated that the (utterly adorable) little kid may be mistaking daddy for uncle (how Arrested Development). There is very little this show won’t do, so let us all entertain the possibility that the nice Nathan/Lucas brotherhood may be soon ending over a paternity issue.

And in conclusion: Tim has always, always given me the creeps. Not because of his homoerotic crush on Nathan, but because of the stalker quality to it. Time has not changed my feelings about Tim. No more cameos.

The TV Girl

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fictional Throwdown: And The Winner Is…

The undisputed champion is Sam Winchester. Anyone see that one coming? Okay, maybe everyone saw that coming, and “undisputed” is not the word others would use. My imagination, my words, so get over it.

I don’t want to repeat what I have said before; I think that my presentation of Sam and Peter’s respective strengths and weaknesses testifies to the validity of my claim. Even so, I will give you two reasons why if Sam and Peter were locked in a death match, Sam would arrive alive.

The first reason: Peter is stationary, and therefore uninventive. I can hear the objections already: “why does he need to move?” Well, um, do I have to explain this? If you don’t move, then you don’t get a sense of the space you’re in. If you don’t get a sense of the space you’re in, then you don’t know how to use that space to your best advantage. If you aren’t using the space to your best advantage, then you are (most likely) repeating the same actions. If you’re repetitive, then you’re the looser. If you watch Peter fight on Heroes he tends to stand in one spot and hurl whichever power he is using at his opponent. When he moves, he either walks, or he stops time and relocates, and even though this might be a momentary distraction, it is still a distraction. A moment is all Sam needs. For all of Peter’s powers, he doesn’t have any that Sam has not confronted in some form or another, therefore Sam knows how to withstand and eventually counteract anything Peter would use against him. Sam would quickly notice Peter’s leaden-foot style, and he would know he has an edge over Peter. (Peter can both fly and turn himself invisible, but he doesn’t draw upon these powers often in tough situations (except as modes of escape, and escaping is a disqualification), which seems odd to me, but this sentence is a tangent.) Sam will move as much as he is able (Sam and Dean often end up pinned to walls), and will always utilize what is around him. Because he is moving he will find resources available for his disposal that Peter would miss. I think there are plenty of examples in history to prove that quickness and creativity trump brute force.

The second reason Sam would reign victorious is experience. Now I am repeating myself, but when it comes down to it, Sam has been fighting longer and harder, and against (quite frankly) scarier things. What I have said above about style is just one example of where Peter’s inexperience hinders him; in a sense Peter just doesn’t know any better. G.I. Joe taught us all that knowing is half the battle. Considering the ratio of what Sam knows to what Peter knows, in this case knowing is about 95% of the battle.

I doubt that I have convinced even one person to see my point of view on this issue (at least anyone who didn’t agree with me at the outset). One may then consider my endeavor a failure, but I disagree. I satisfied my intellectual curiosity through an (prolonged) examination of the question. I got to take a look at two shows I love side-by-side. I had something to write about when there is nothing by reruns airing. What I discovered writing the Fictional Throwdown is that Peter and Sam are similar people. When I started I thought they were fairly different, but as I have analyzed them both I began to see that not only do they have similar powers, they have a similar outlook, they are a similar character type. What initially looked so weighted in Peter’s favor turned out to be fairly balanced. Honestly, I am unconcerned who agrees with me and who does not. All I hope is that I have convinced someone to give one, or both, of these shows a chance. Fewer people watch Supernatural than Heroes, but maybe there is something in all that I have said over the last couple weeks that sparks the interest of a potential new viewer.

The TV Girl

Random Info: Pushing Daisies

For those fans out there who are feeling a definite Lee Pace absence in your lives, may I suggest the movie Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. The story seems kind of thin, but Frances McDormand is rather talented, Amy Adams is delightful, and all of Lee Pace's adorableness is wrapped up in 1930's tailored suits (men knew how to dress back in the day). I am justifying recommending a movie (which I will not make a habit of) by the fact that most people know him from a TV show, and also that I discovered he is in this movie by catching a glimpse of him in the trailer that ran during an episode of Law and Order: SVU I was watching yesterday.

The TV Girl

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Weekend Fling: Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I have a low tolerance for awkwardness. There are scenes of Arrested Development where I have to leave the room. I bury my head in my hands for entire sequences of The Office. I want to cry for Liz Lemon every time she speaks on 30 Rock. I have an unending willingness to humiliate myself, but watching other people humiliating themselves makes me nauseous. This is also the moral ground upon which I protest the audition episodes of American Idol (I protest the rest of the season because it sucks). I got about five minutes into the first episode of Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I realized that if I were going to watch anymore I would need a drink. An entire bottle of white wine and four episodes later I gave up on this show, went to bed, and woke up with a slight headache this morning. (Mom if you’re reading, please do not take this to be the pattern of my weekends.)

I had heard a great deal about this show, and it had all been positive, so I was looking forward to it. I can see why people like this show. It works like a twenty-minute build up to a single punch line; all the plot elements are designed to pull off one joke at the end. And I have to say that the jokes are funny, but the characters are borderline repulsive. Of course it is the premise of the show that the three main characters are “regular guys.” “Regular” must be functioning as a euphemism for selfish, rude, egomaniacal, rash, uncouth, shiftless, and suffering from permanent foot-in-mouth syndrome. It is a slice of life show; a glimpse of what the unexceptional in society think about race, religion, abortion, etc. Maybe one reason I am not inclined to finish watching the seasons of this show that are available to me is that these three guys are too regular. I know guys like them; I happen to be single and am occasionally terrified that these guys are all that is left in the world. If that turns out to be true I am perfectly happy to die alone.

The style of the show increases the feeling of familiarity. It does not have the polished look of most TV shows, but it also does not have the documentary vibe of The Office and Friday Night Lights. The show is filmed in such a way as to make the viewer feel as if they have just walked into the bar the protagonists own. It makes the show distinctive, and indicates an attention to craft I admire. But form cannot induce me to overcome content that makes me cringe.

For those of you out there who don’t know too many assholes in real life, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia will expose you to what you are missing.

The TV Girl

Friday, February 22, 2008

Supernatural (8.5): The Blood, The Demons, and The Inappropriate Humor.

It is rare that I am lost for words. I get shocked or stunned, but I recover quickly and return to hyperbolic rhapsodizing, verbose mockery and rhetorical questioning. As Supernatural went to credits last night I had only one thought. And this morning I still have only one thought: I DO NOT LIKE EVIL CHILDREN.

Some of you may be thinking right now that I am making a fairly obvious statement, but I am not kidding. I have never seen The Exorcist series, The Omen (either version), The Children of the Corn series, and I was not sad when Spike fried the Annoying (Anointed) One early on in Season Two of Buffy, because I couldn’t deal with him anymore. One reason I like Supernatural is that it generally stays away from children as monsters; in 57 episodes there have been 3 killer ghost children, one set of changelings, and one murderous projected soul of a coma patient that was figured as a child. Call me naïve, but I believe in the innocence of childhood, and that without will and free, informed consent there can be no (mortal) sin. I tend to stay away from CBS and NBC procedural shows because without fail there is a physically/sexually abused child that is either the murder victim or the murder witness. I do not live in some kind of Disney-inspired delusion, but it hurts my soul to be constantly (and sentimentally) berated with one of the horrifying perversions of humanity. That was a digression, but children being or causing hurt upsets me quite a bit (naturally). Aside from the exceptions mentioned above, Supernatural maintains that children are innocent and require the utmost protection. This not only makes our heroes all the more heroic, it makes the show much easier for me to watch.

But then came Lilith. Now, my friends Calah and Christopher came over to my apartment last night to watch, and she and I had quite a hoot when the new demon-leader’s name was revealed; as you all should know Lilith is the mythic first wife of Adam whom is replaced by Eve, and in C.S. Lewis’ conception of the universe she goes to Narnia and founds the race that the White Witch comes from. This name could not have been chosen randomly, and it just makes me smile when show creators ask viewers to draw upon a wider range of connotation than what is explicitly stated in the show. I sure as shit stopped smiling when that little girl walked onto the screen. Her eyes turned white, so this demon is something different than what we have encountered before, and when we see her again it may be in a different body/form and all of my horror might be extinguished, but as you can tell, right now I am overwhelmed and overwrought.

The white-eyes are defiantly a wonderful twist. Calah suggests that a kind of demon hierarchy is being suggested; the black eyes for demons that are the souls of deceased humans (like Ruby), the yellow for demons that are the traditional fallen angels, and the white for something other than these options (and again, the name indicates she is a new element in the mythos of the show). I am inclined to agree with her hypothesis. I am continually impressed that this show refuses to rest on its laurels, that they take the chances of expanding and developing.

Change is not always a positive step. Sam, darling, this is not ancient Greece. We no longer sacrifice virgins. (Tangent: anyone else notice that her name was Nancy, and that was what she was called until it came out that she was a virgin and then that became her name?) Granted, we are not supposed to be sacrificing (in the literal bodily sense) anyone nowadays, but unless Agamemnon made a comeback and no one informed me, then the time for virgin sacrifice has passed and we all need to move on to better scenarios. I am so proud that Dean called Sam out for agreeing with Ruby’s plan. Nancy may have been willing, but it would not have been right. And by thinking outside the box, Dean may have established that the war can be won. At the very least he reminded everyone why the war is worth fighting in the first place. Dean also gets a gold star for ‘but you did not shoot the deputy.” No situation is so dire that it is above mockery.

Regarding Ruby, people keep asking me if I “like” Bela and Ruby, and I am not sure how to respond. I can say I was not a big fan of Ruby last night. She acted as if her annihilation would have been more important than Nancy’s death. True, you don’t end up in hell by living as a selfless person, so I shouldn’t be surprised she was concerned with number one. It just makes me question if she is truly trying to prepare Sam for his life after Dean, or is she attempting to manipulate Sam into joining her in the afterlife. I am trying my best to hold off judgment of Bela until her back-story is revealed, but my patience is running thin. (Plus I like jumping to conclusions; I find it a relaxing pastime.) I will be slightly disappointed if this plays out that she is not the hardcore bitch she seems to be at the moment. I kind of want her to be evil, not only because then I could justify my current exasperation, but also it would provide an interesting contrast to Ruby: a human who chooses to do wrong against a demon who chooses to do (limited) good. The best I can say for these girls right now is that neither of them pisses me off as much as Jo managed to in her few scenes.

There is something that I find less irksome than Jo but irksome nonetheless. Why do Sam and Dean never wear gloves? Sometimes we see them wipe down what they touch, and it should be safe to assume that they always clean their prints from a room when they leave it. I should be thankful that this show is good enough that such a minor issue is my only major (continual) complaint, but the no gloves thing just drives me around the bend. They have been given a clean slate; legally they are dead. There will be no more law enforcement types trying to catch them, so I would much prefer that they did not give anyone a reason to come looking for them by (apparently) leaving fingerprints everywhere.

I hate myself for being so pedestrian and so easily manipulated, but the tattoos are hot. Since they serve a practical purpose I will forgive my weakness.

Final Note: Christopher commented last night that it was a shame Henricksen got all blown up, because he would have made a good hunter. I agree intellectually, but not emotionally. Though I completely understand that in the beginning of the episode he was possessed, therefore it was a demon speaking and not he, I was not sorry to see him go because out of his mouth came an accusation that John had sexually abused Dean. Again, yes it was a demon speaking, but it was Henricksen’s face, so I am fine saying sayonara to the Fed, simply for the fact that I don’t have to think about that moment ever again.

The TV Girl

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Random Info: Friday Night Lights

If this show was not the most amazing thing ever, I would be kind of ashamed for anyone to be inside my head and know the full extent of the anxiety I have been suffering for weeks as rumors of cancellation swirl over FNL. A bit of relief came to me today. NBC is trying to figure out a way to continue the show by basically farming it out: a new episodes would air on NBC and then at various other times during the week that same episode would air on another (most likely cable) network, thereby reaching a wider audience and lowering the cost of the show to NBC. More chances to watch: good. More people watching: really good. After loosing Veronica Mars I do not think I can take the disappointment of loosing Friday Night Lights, so this news lightens my burden just a bit. But we cannot give up until something is finalized, so keep watching, signing petitions, and mailing tiny plastic footballs to the NBC executives.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random Thought

I almost wish that I watched Jericho. Not because I have a great love for CBS (not one of my favorite networks, and yes I do rank networks), or because I have a burning interest in the premise (the Mid-West frightens me at the best of times, so a post-apocalyptic Kansas is not my cup of tea). What makes me wish I watched this show, or maybe I wish I wanted to watch this show, is that when it was cancelled last spring the fans petitioned long and loud enough to actually resurrect it. Now, most of the world is populated by total freaks (with completely awful taste), so I am not saying this is the most sane course of action in the history of recent events, or that it necessitates Jericho's overall worthiness of airtime, but I have to respect a fan base with that level of commitment. I don't foresee watching Jericho, but I am glad it returned.

One Tree Hill (5): Not Bad, For a Transition.

On any TV show there are some episodes which function mainly to get the viewer from exciting and dramatic plot point A to exciting and dramatic plot point B. There is a kind of choral aspect to them: characters rehash previous or recent events which reminds the viewers what has occurred over the course of the show; the emphasis of dramatic irony is placed on situations the characters perpetuate through inaction or repetitive action (the purgatorial necessity of waiting); minor stories wrap up and move into different territory; and by letting everything percolate we all prepare for the next arc.

I think transition episodes are wonderful. As a viewer you get the chance to catch your breath (assuming the show moves at a fast pace and has a great deal of detail, neither of which apply to OTH) or simply laze about with characters with which you are familiar, remembering the good times and smiling indulgently at their foibles. And there are some worthwhile moments that take place while things stew.

For instance, Mouth finding out that Alice the Cougar was the best indoor sport for miles around (I got this phrase from a professor of mine and I couldn’t help myself from using it). I will pass along some advice KP gave to me: get tested. Alice got it on with every male in that news station, therefore Mouth did too. I will not stand for charmingly awkward Millie catching something nasty down there because she gives Mouth a second chance. Forgiveness should be repaid with gratitude, not STDs.

And who says TV is not instructional? Haley did a wonderful job last night reminding us all about that Biblical mandate to worry about he plank in your own eye before the splinter in your neighbor’s. All of her unsolicited advice on marriage and being a good person in general sounded ridiculous considering that Nanny Carrie kissed Nathan. Nathan is not the brightest bulb (should have fired her before she kissed you buddy), but he is trying to deal with a really uncomfortable situation to the best of his ability. Haley is supposed to be the diligent and keen-eyed one in their marriage, but she is so busy getting in everyone else’s faces that her home is turning in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. I wonder if I will have much sympathy for her when this all explodes.

Let us hope this inevitable explosion takes place during the Lucas/Lindsay nuptials. That would be entertaining. There was a "left at the alter" scenario back in Season Two, so I’m not placing my money on Lucas or Lindsay not showing up to the blissful event, but this is OTH; no public event takes place without a public catastrophe. And let no one deny that Peyton Sawyer knows how to loose the battle but win the war. She sincerely meant everything she said last night about letting Lucas go and allowing him to be happy in his choices, because Peyton can be a bitch, but she isn’t deceitful. At the same time, could she have made a more persuasive case to Lucas than to compare him and her to Keith and Karen (whom I dearly miss, and am very sure would stop Lucas from marrying Lindsay)? I am not accusing her of manipulation, the universe is on Peyton’s side even if Haley isn’t, and her genuine sentiment will make the truth even easier for Lucas to see…eventually.

Final Note: There were so many structural inconsistencies in this episode I am starting to think this show does not employ a story-editor. I openly offer my services because it is getting pathetic.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Random Info

I do not under any circumstances support, advocate, or even approve the existence of Dancing With the Stars, but in my internet perusing today I found the list of "contestants" for Round Six. Low and behold Steve Guttenberg, who was mentioned yesterday in my review of Veronica Mars, Season Two, will be one of the "contestants" on this twice a week snooze-fest. I mention the name of an actor who should be enjoyed with an attitude of gentle irony, and the next day find that that world is taking him seriously (and don't doubt people take DWTS seriously). What are the odds?

Prison Break (7): That Was Not What I Expected.

Take a trip into my past with me. On May 19, 1998 I was a freshman in high school. That evening Buffy Summers skewered the love of her life Angel in order to close the world-devouring portal his vampire alter-ego Angelus had opened. As her friends contemplate the fact that the world didn’t end, Buffy takes a last look at her home, and then gets on a bus out of town. That night I cried for a fictional character for the first time in my adult life (that is to say, not as child, I don’t think I am quite an adult yet). I will never forget that episode; I will never forget how I felt when I watched that bus drive away from Sunnydale.

I am sharing this experience because I felt something similar last night, watching the season finale of Prison Break. I am not trying to make a direct comparison, more like trying to describe something that is just at the edge of my peripheral vision. As the episode closed, the shot pulling away from Michael driving alone down the Panamanian highway in search of Whistler and revenge I was overcome with that vague sense that something has gone very, very wrong and it will not ever be quite right again. For all those who hurt Sara, they get what’s coming to them as far as I am concerned. I do not think that it is Michael’s desire for vengeance that got to me. He could not shoot Gretchen in the back in a public street, so he has not become completely other than that which he was. What broke my heart is that he was alone; for the first time in three seasons he and Linc have parted ways with no intention of reconnecting. When they part neither needs to say that Linc is actively choosing not to help him; that since LJ is safe and Sophia will live Linc has no reason to pursue the Company. Because of the intermediate events, Michael is renouncing his original purpose; he is not taking the opportunity to live with his reunited family. This is his free choice, but I have to believe it is not one with which Sara would agree. Part of me knows Linc is making the right choice (and the series ending choice), but another part of me is furious. Linc has no right to abandon Michael now. (Side bar: if you have a problem with patterns of mutually destructive, fraternally motivated, self sacrifice a la Supernatural, I wouldn’t recommend Prison Break.) Going with Michael now would makes Michael’s initial sacrifice for Linc completely worthless, but still, why does Linc get to be happy when Michael is so miserable? Sometimes it is hard to see if justice and love are concurrently present.

I have to take a moment to give Sucre a round of applause for his loyalty. Sona is a horrible way to be rewarded for such devotion, but in the whose-a-good-person race, he is definitely a front-runner.

Someone who was never entered in that race is T-Bag, but what happened with his character last night was so in-character and so brilliant I am immensely impressed. T-Bag’s amalgamation of Brutus and Marc Antony knocked my socks off. I always think that this character has run his course, and then they find away to reinvent him. First T-Bag murders his predecessor in the name of friendship, and then secures his power over the other inmates by claiming absolute equality and distributing money he got from the naughty nun. Expanding the scope of T-Bag’s manipulative and selfish personality opens new possibilities for the character and the show. I predict Season Four will feature a power struggle between T-Bag and Sucre within Sona.

I assume there will be a Season Four, but TV is an unpredictable place. Some shows disappear without being given a real chance (Kitchen Confidential), while others hang on after their prime (Alias). Then there are shows that are perverse miracles; never good to begin with but they seem to continue forever (Walker Texas Ranger, I am looking at you). It is way too soon to call the line-up for Fall 2008. Be that as it may, I will carry on predicting the possibilities for shows that have a reasonable chance of returning.

Shout Outs:
Little Things to Know That Make Watching Better

Evil, evil, evil Gretchen (or Susan or whatever her name is) is played by Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, and it took me a while to figure out from where I knew her. Last night it hit me; she is the uber-bitch girlfriend in She’s All That. Maybe realizing that has increased my nostalgia for the mid/late 90’s.

The TV Girl

Monday, February 18, 2008

Veronica Mars: Season Two (9), Was It Worth It?

Originally I planned to write a review of each season of Veronica Mars to answer a question for KP in the hopes that I could convince her to watch the show that I love so dearly. Well, my mission was accomplished with the review of Season One, which begs the existential question; do we pursue a course of action when the goal is already accomplished? I am a big fan of futile activities and Pyrrhic victories, so here is what I think of Season Two; two disclaimers and three reasons why to watch.

First Disclaimer: The Main Crime
Season Two is not as good as Season One. The truth is that Season One is so good, there is no possible way the show could live up to itself. This is an unfortunate consequence for many shows that have excellent first seasons (Heroes and Prison Break for examples). This is not to say that Season Two is bad; Veronica Mars, in its entirety, is one of the best shows that ever aired. That said, the emotional connection between Veronica and the case in Season One cannot be repeated. The major case in Season Two is interesting, and as a viewer you really want to know who is responsible, but it is a sense of general outrage that drives Veronica, not the personal attachment that propelled her to hunt down Lily’s murderer. Veronica is the (main) central intelligence, and when she doesn’t care as much, it makes it harder for the viewer to care as much. I will say that I was, and still am, immensely affected by the outcome, but I know that few who have seen it share my point of view. The reveal scene in the season finale is so well done I think it makes the season worth watching, even if you disagree with the choice of antagonist.

Second Disclaimer: The Popularity (or Lack Thereof)
In Season Two, the show creators tried to reach a larger audience (to avoid getting canceled and their plan never worked) so they attempted to open the show through more generally familiar plots. There is one storyline in Season Two that adopts a basic cliché of TV, and even though it’s rendered well, I still don’t like it. It deals with two characters I don’t particularly like, and it ends up being a way of disposing of a character that had been eclipsed by another. Watching the first airings of the episodes I got caught up in it all, but when I watch them again I find this particular plot draining on the show. I know that the cast and crew are better than this plot. It is the only storyline that really uses the teenage-show conventions, so I forgive just how forgettable it is.

First Joy: Logan
Luke will cringe as I make this analogy, but Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is the Veronica Mar’s Falstaff; as a character he became more than his creators envisioned, he took on a life of his own. Logan transformed from a douche-bag extraordinaire to an empathetic, very human, character. Logan is one of those characters who is immensely flawed but fundamentally good. Logan grows as the show goes on; he never looses certain aspects of his personality, ingrained in him from upbringing and circumstance, so as he becomes more comfortable demonstrating his virtues it never feels like a false change. Nor is personal growth ever portrayed as an accomplished act. Logan takes steps forward and steps back, learning one thing requires learning another, and there is always a struggle. It is his flaws that make him the man who can handle Veronica. Her strident personality is unmatched by any of her male romantic counterparts; she either steamrolls right over them, or extinguishes herself in order to be on their level. Logan takes her on her own terms and is strong enough to both love her and challenge her. Knowing the perfection that is LoVe everything else seems cheep in comparison.

Second Joy: The Guest Stars
Guest stars are usually either a sign of pretension or desperation. In Season Two there are some notable guests, not Oscar winners, but known names nonetheless. These guests are either genuine fans of the show; Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon, or are a matter of inspired casting; trampalicious Charisma Carpenter’s showdown with sluttacular Alyson Hannigan (these adjectives are for their VM characters only) is a thing of beauty for us die-hard Buffy fans. There is one major misfire guest: Kristin Cavillari. This girl cannot act, and it isn’t even campy fun to watch her woodenly deliver her lines while mugging for the camera. Other than this Laguna Beach alum, it is like ice cream on (Ned baked) pie to see these familiar faces spar with Miss Bell for a few moments. Plus Steve Guttenberg, need I say more?

Third Joy: The Consistency
The problems with Season Two are basically overextension; trying to do too much. The majority of what is wonderful about Season One (the characters, the acting, the witty and intelligent writing, the engaging episodic mysteries, the relationships) remains at the highest level. The characters develop, but their foundation remains firm; you never feel that the creators forget who their characters are. The show, on both the creative or technical level, never appears to suffer from laziness. Season Two cannot have everything from Season One, but you will not sit there trying to remember why you fell in love with the show in the first place.

The TV Girl

Fictional Throwdown: Back-Up

There are people in your life that support you through anything: family and friends mostly. They are there to help you tackle your demons, and once that is done, they annoy the living daylights out of you to the point where your demons look like the better option. No man is an island, so though Sam and Peter are the two competitors, (and this is not really a team situation) each has a network of people watching out for them. When playing the what-if game, one should take advantage of all the possibilities; therefore what kind of aid is available to our two boys if the need arose?

The First Competitor: Sam Winchester

Maybe I am being unfair by sending Sam into a fight by himself, because in the end Sam is part of a team. Sam and Dean’s respective strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. Dean would actually be more adept at handling things on his own; he hunted by himself for a time while Sam was in college. But in comparison to Sam, Dean is an ordinary person. He has all of the same physical skills but he does not have any of the meta-natural powers that Sam has. What Dean does have, that has helped Sam out of many a tight spot, is resilience. No matter how bad a situation looks, no matter how beaten they seem, Dean keeps fighting. And more than anything, what he fights for is Sam; the quickest way to die on Supernatural is the threaten Sam. Furthermore, Dean is a more instinctual person. He is willing to suspend questions of right and wrong until the job is done. He would not worry that Peter, or anyone aiding Peter, is human (not an evil creature to be hunted) if Sam were in danger. Dean’s, shall we say, ardor makes for a slightly off-kilter psyche but I would defiantly want him as an ally rather than an adversary. Bobby and Ellen would do some damage as well.

The Second Competitor: Peter Petrelli

Given Peter’s power of absorption, I have to ask whether Peter would need help were it available? Anyone who would help Peter would not have an ability Peter does not already possess. But as I mentioned in “Personal Attributes” Peter cannot always remain in control of his various powers simultaneously, therefore he might need some back-up. The constantly shifting alliances on Heroes make it difficult for me to say who would fight for Peter. Nathan is a given, he proved at the end of Season One he will do what is right out of love for Peter, but all that Nathan could do would be to fly Peter out of the situation, but that would be grounds for disqualification. If Hiro fights for Peter then he could stop time, and reconfigure the situation. Claire would be most useful as a living shield, but I would hope Peter would be better than to use her as such. Nikki/Jessica/Whomever is way too unpredictable for anyone to want her anywhere near this event. Quite frankly, the same goes for Elle. Adam would probably be perfectly happy to see Peter bite it. Matt would be an incredibly useful ally, but he is not firmly established as a man of action, there is still a tendency in him to hesitate. I think that ultimately, any aid Peter receives would be more to neutralize any aid Sam receives.

Up Next: And the Winner Is?

The TV Girl

Brothers & Sisters (5): The Afterlife of TV Dads.

At the end of an uninspiring weekend (I really do not function well without a new Friday Night Lights) I tuned in for my weekly dose of hypocritical heavy-handed liberal propaganda, known to the rest of the world as the family drama Brothers & Sisters. I wonder that anyone who has actually seen this show could be surprised by Sally Field’s Emmy speech (“if mothers ran the world there would be no more war”); the overdone sincerity on this show borders on Alan Sorkin territory. But it is a compelling cast, including Rachel Griffiths (and despite the fact that I didn’t take to Six Feet Under, I think she is a talented actress), Ron Rifkin (whom I can’t help but look at and wonder why he isn’t evil yet), and the adorable Sarah Jane Morris (whom married Noel in the last episode of Felicity). Brothers & Sisters is a fairly innocuous way to end my weekend, as long as I remind myself to take everything in context and that political pretensions are not equal to political opinions.

I learned something interesting by tuning in last night. Apparently, after you have played the father to a teenage girl on a (popular or cult) hit TV show the next step in your career is to play a gay man helping another middle-aged man out of the closet. A while ago (maybe last season) Saul (Ron Rifkin)’s old friend Milo came a calling to tell Saul that he was divorcing his long-time wife because he is gay, and that maybe it was time for Saul to admit his own homosexuality as well. I don’t feel that I could view this storyline with the respect the show obviously desired because the actor who plays Milo is Michael Nouri, and to another generation he is that dude from Flashdance, but to me he is Summer’s dad from The O.C. I was unattached to the pathos of the storyline because in my head it seemed so obvious that you would switch teams after being engaged to Julie Cooper. Last night what could have been considered an isolated casting incident turned into a pattern. What name should cross the screen during the opening credits but Enrico Colantoni. My heart skipped a beat to see the wonderful Mr. Keith Mars in my living room again. Upon seeing his name I mentally flipped through the “previously on” scenes to predict where Enrico would be appearing in this intricate web of Walkers. I congratulated myself on a prediction well made when he opened the door of Milo’s apartment for Saul (Milo is in Europe and Evan is staying at his apartment because he just broke up with his boyfriend). There is an apparent love-thang with Saul and Evan, and I hate to admit that I am so attached to a character an actor previously played that I will watch that actor in just about anything, but I am that person, so I am happy to watch Mr. Colantoni in any incarnation. I just doubt my ability to take the plot seriously. Can there really be a lasting relationship between Mr. Mars and Sloane?

What I am taking immensely seriously is the uncontrollably stupid behavior of Kevin (Matthew Rhys). I wasn’t watching this show when he and Scotty (Luke MacFarlane) were together the first time. When I started watching Scotty was already an ex, Kevin was in a secret relationship with Chad (Jason Lewis, and funny enough I had no problem believing he was a gay man), and was about to go on his disastrous set-up with Jason McCallister (Eric Winter). And just like in real life, if you become friends with someone just after they end a relationship, but then they get back together with that person, you never really warm to the former ex. I am just unable to warm to Scotty. And therefore I (unfairly) blame Scotty for Kevin breaking up with Jason while the latter was overseas. It doesn’t help that Jason is so obviously the right guy for Kevin. Kevin is neurotic enough for a dozen people, so I was particularly unimpressed with Scotty’s jealous display two episodes ago. Jason is calm, fair, and forgiving, which is exactly what Kevin needs, and Jason never asked Kevin to change who he is. I have a severe aversion to relationships where one person asks the other to change personality accidents (different from character essentials). Granted, Scotty didn’t ask Kevin to be more fun to impress his friends, but Kevin felt like that was what he had to do for Scotty; not a healthy situation. Jason on the other hand addresses a seriously hurtful issue, allows himself to be angry about it, and then not only forgives his brother, but also provides him with the support he needs. Love is supposed to encourage us to become better people, and based on that criteria Kevin is a total moron for not seeing that Jason is the better man for him.

I am so worked up over Kevin being a freetard that I do not even know how to address the issue that Rob Lowe may be elected president.

The TV Girl

Friday, February 15, 2008

Random Info

I must share that I just read on MSN that Jeffery Dean Morgan and Mary-Louise Parker are engaged! The official union of Supernatural and Weeds: SWEET!

Supernatural (8.5): I'm Quite Satisfied, Want All the Details?

I’ll stop, I’ll stop, I promise. I don’t think I can maintain my tongue-in cheek sexual innuendo/double-entendre/whatever when I spent an hour laughing hysterically and then sobbing uncontrollably. My reaction might have been extreme; I spent nine hours at work and then five hours with a toddler. That could not have been the best frame of mind to watch Dean die over, and over, and over, and over again.

Before I get down into the nitty-gritty of last night’s episode, I want to say something about a conversation I had last week with my friend Jennie. The best way I can describe my relationship with Jennie is that when it comes to TV we are kind of like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (or maybe Butch Cassidy and Mozart): we travel the TV-land together out for all we can get and jumping off cliffs. Since we live in separate states now, we have to discuss shows over the phone after we have viewed them in our respective time zones. Discussing last week’s episode she passed on a phrase to me that she received from her friend Emily: “anvilicious” which functions roughly as an antonym to “subtle.” I grant that Dean’s confrontation with himself wasn’t subtle, but subtle wasn’t working. Hell, direct wasn’t working. The kid needed to be hit by an anvil. I understand Jennie’s point, even if I disagree. Similarly, last night’s episode struck me as slightly un-even. I can’t quite put my finger on it, other than the fact that the second half of the episode needed more time, but it wouldn’t have work to make it two separate but continuous episodes, because the first half would have become frustrating if drawn out too long. I think this episode was wonderful, but there has been something just vaguely off about the last couple episodes. I read an interview with the show’s creator on "Watch With Kristin" in which he said that the final four episodes (of which last night’s was the third) that they completed before the (now resolved) Writer’s Strike had to be adjusted from his original plan for the season so it could have some sort of resolution. The preview for this resolution of sorts (because I’m fairly sure there will be more new episodes in April) almost made me wet my pants.

All of this feels like snobbery in light of just how fantastic this show is, and the huge question we all need to ask ourselves after last night’s episode: who really is the more fraked-up brother; Sam or Dean? They both qualify for a whole new sliding scale of damaged, but it’s kind of hilarious that all of the demons, evil gods, creatures, and so on have an opinion on this issue. Dean sold his soul to bring Sam back to life, which is not the most mentally balanced thing to do. On the other hand, we now know what Sam is without Dean, a glimpse of the life he will lead after his brother’s death. Post-Dean Sam makes their father look like a slack-jawed yokel. Apparently, Ruby has nothing to worry about when it comes to “preparing” Sam for his solo-fight. Speaking of Ruby, I am asking as politely as I can; will all the evil things please stop trying to teach Sam lessons? While overall I love the way that Sam and Dean learn from their interactions with that which they hunt, and the show is spot on that the way evil works is by bending and truncating the truth, but little Sam is getting hammered. Now, the Trickster (and I am so happy they brought this character back, one because he’s awesome, and two because my friend Calah and I were talking about that episode from Season Two just the other day) is not wrong that Sam and Dean have a mutually unhealthy pattern of sacrificing for each other, but when he told Sam that no good comes from any of it, he lied. The good is just for neither of them; the good is for those they save. The ancient Greek culture understood that he who protects the city cannot be an integrated part of it until he lays down his arms, and the same is true for Sam and Dean. Luckily, they never listen to the evil; Sam asks for Dean back knowing he will loose him again and knowing what is future will be like. Time and again this show reiterates that love is a vulnerability, but never a weakness.

As serious as all these concerns are, I have not laughed so hard in a while as I did for the first thirty minutes. Is there a more hysterical torture than to wake up to Asia’s “Heat of the Moment” over a hundred times? I would have just killed myself. Sam displacing all his anger onto the bottle of hot sauce he had to keep catching could not have been more priceless. Bugs Bunny would be so proud that Dean was crushed by a falling piano. Dean attempting to calm down the bound and gagged mystery-spot owner while Sam tore apart his place of business with an ax is something we have never seen before and will most likely never see again on Supernatural. The random, but carefully calculated, hilarity reached almost to Arrested Development level. I would give anything to see the outtakes from filming this episode.

The big bad showdown is in store for us next week. Not since Buffy fought the Mayor have I been so excited about confronting evil.

Final Thought: Does it make me a sick person that I think the trunk of their car is really sexy? I am not in any way shape or form some kind of gun aficionado and I have trouble with my own kitchen knives, but I can’t help myself, I start to drool every time they open the back of that car. Maybe this is something I should talk about with a therapist.

The TV Girl

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Random Thought: Valentine's Day

Toady is one of those days. Even if you don't want to talk about it, you end up talking about it: expressing your joy that your in a mutually affectionate relationship, wailing your angst that your heartbroken and alone, venting your annoyance that as a single person you are required to feel lonely or anti-lonely, or just writing down that you would rather not talk about it at all.

I am unattached romantically to another human being. That doesn't mean that I do not celebrate Valentine's Day. I am doing the most loving thing I can think of: babysitting my friends' two-year old so that they can go on a lovely romantic date. But after my heroically selfless act of giving to others, I am going to do something loving for myself. I'm going home to curl up in bed with two of my favorite men: Jensen and Jared. The gift of love the universe gives me is a new episode of Supernatural. Check in tomorrow; I'll tell you how my threesome goes.

Happy Valentine's Day

The TV Girl

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pushing Daisies: KP Converted Me.

I trust my friends a great deal. I am willing to take advice. These two statements may be shocking to those of you who know my in person. To those who do not, you now have more information than you did three sentences ago. KP's review properly oriented me to give Pushing Daisies another try, and I can not thank her more. I devoured the episodes on that are available. I smiled the whole day. I am inspired by the wardrobe to wear more dresses, but ones that provide more appropriate coverage.

There is one element of the show that I find irritating. All of the characters, but Chuck more than anyone, interrupt each others' sentences and conversations. I did a little fist-pump-in-the-air when Emerson would call Chuck out on her very, very rude habit. I understand that it is part of a metaphor: love is an interruption to our lives. While I can appreciate the purpose, I cannot excuse Ned for looking on so lovingly while she continuously displays such bratty behavior. Loving someone does not mean you allow them to be disrespectful and indifferent of the human beings in proximity. I find Chuck's interrupting even more irksome since she is portrayed as a loving person who reaches out to others.

Other than this very minor quibble, which now that I have written down I will get over, I am utterly enamored.

The TV Girl

One Tree Hill (4.5): Zac Efron Bangs, Attack!

Oh. My. Side-Swept. Goodness. When the featured band, which after the hideously placed “this is who we are in a symbiotic endorsement relationship with this week” (hence the drop on my rating scale) I will not name, took the stage on One Tree Hill last night I was transfixed. Not by their amazing emotive skills. By their hair. Only unattended babies necks’ should lob around that much. When you cannot see the strings of the guitar you are un-impressing your audience with, get a hair cut or buy a head-band.

I’m better now.

Little Brooke Davis, you are the cutest thing. The acting on this show is, shall we say, limited, but Sophia Bush gets major kudos for staying on her appointed message of "overly-confident-girl." Her take-no-prisoners pursuit of Owen the Bartender should have been cloying, but she was so committed to it that it was adorable. His respectful rejection of her was nice; he reassured her she won’t turn into her mother, the evil cougar, but he notified her of the age inappropriateness of their coupling. The world is always better when good bartenders are around.

Evil Nannies, on the other hand, only destroy. Haley, wake up and smell the skank. Foiling K-Fed’s plot for world domination through uninspired music is a noble cause, but there is an alcoholic home-wrecker taking care of your son. No more ironic one-liners; take control of your house.

It looks like another couple is making their way towards martial dis-function. I knew that the show muckity-mucks had plans for a wedding in the season finale, and considering where the show is at, Lucas and Lindsay was the only logical possibility, but this is OTH; when did logic enter in? I am going to ask a question I have asked myself about my wonderful Battlestar Galactica: what kind of woman marries a man she knows is in love with another woman? Life and love aren’t complicated and difficult enough you have to set yourself up for failure consciously? (In BSG-land, I am talking about Dualla, whom I hate so, so, so much I have no pity for her pain. Go Lee and Kara!) I cannot imagine having so little self-worth as to accept such a proposal, but that is just me. On TV women do it all the time. The matching leaden-eyed delivery of their news to Peyton does not indicate future bliss.

And finally, just as a female, I hope precious Millie gets her revenge on Mouth.

The Strike is officially over. I bring this up, not only because it is good information to have, but also a few days ago KP commented that she could not wait for the end of WS 2007/8 so that she could stop watching One Tree Hill. I kind of chuckled to myself. There will not be new episodes of any returning favorites until at least April, some will not be back until Fall 2008 (for an updated schedule: Watch With Kristin, E!Online). What we have is what we get: the last eps of a few good shows, OTH, and “reality” in all its fake glory. Lent is over but it is going to be a long Good Friday.

The TV Girl

Prison Break (7): Who Falls For the Sprained Ankle Trick?

Sara is dead. Not just dead, Gwyneth Paltrow at the end of Se7en dead (which makes her another inappropriate use of Gwyn’s decapitation in Fall 2007, the other was a reference by Dean in the season premiere of Supernatural). I simply do not have the time to do all that I want to do, and so I had to cheat on this one: I read the (immensely detailed) plot summaries on (Prison Break is a very complicated show, so I had some difficulty following even the plot summary without being able to put a face with a name.) Sara’s head was severed from her body and mailed to Linc. I know that I am repeating myself, but I think I am in shock. I cannot believe this has happened. I do not know that I will be able to watch this event when Season Three comes out on DVD. Sara. I don’t know if I can watch Michael live without Sara. I could tell in the episodes that I saw without (confirmation of) this information that Michael was different, but I kind of thought “Panamanian prison, complete psychopaths, family and beloved in danger, I would be different too.” But Sara is dead, so Michael is more than different. I will try to make an analogy to explain the extent of devastation I am talking about. On The Office, in the Season Two finale, when Jim and Pam have their first official kiss, it is a moment when you clasp your hands to your mouth as a huge smile breaks across your face; you have just witnessed a fairy-tale moment in a paper supply office. In Season One, when Michael kisses Sara for the first time you almost pass out because you stop breathing; it is one of the most tragic and beautiful moments. Besides the fact that few of us are (or will be) doctors in prison hospitals and the government is not orchestrating plots to frame slightly disreputable and ruggedly handsome men for crimes that may or may not have happened, that kiss is the kind of kiss any woman would be happy to have and will most likely never get. Now, a little more than a season later, (which translates to about 6 months on the show) Sara is dead, and with her Michael’s hope.

Monday night’s episode was actually very good. I gave a shout of triumphant justice when Michael left T-Bag and Bellick out in the lights to take the fall. Couldn’t have happened to nicer guys. Theses kinds of double-crosses and unexpected turns are what this show excels at. Michael knows both men well enough to know that their serpentine natures will make them want to go first, so he works it into his plan and lets them think they have convinced him to do something that was not in his plan. But now T-Bag has identified Sucre as an accomplice, and a week ago I would have pacified myself by saying that there is no way Sucre would be killed off, but I have no such assurances anymore. I have a feeling that getting Sucre out of Sona is the set-up of Season Four. No matter the outcome, I know that once he finds out Sucre is in danger Michael will do whatever he can to save him.

The season finale is next Monday. Are we going to find out who Whistler really is, and who is really working for whom? He did get away after all, by faking an ankle sprain.

The TV Girl

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh (Qualified) Happy Day!

For the latest on what is happening with major network shows, go to Watch With Kristen on E!Online. She has a run down of when each show may be back to work since this little strike thing is almost (so close we can taste it) over. It's looking like Chuck, Heroes, and Pushing Daisies won't be back until the fall, while 24 most likely won't be back until Jan 2009. But the most fabulous, amazing, wonderful, spectacular piece of information you can find out by reading her article is that Season Four of Battlestar Galactica will be starting April 4th. Taxes might be due, but I can not wait for April.

The TV Girl

Random Question

Does the kid from Kyle XY, Matt Dallas, creep out anyone else? If you have never seen him, look up a promo for this ABC Family show. He was in one episode of Entourage Season One and he was icky as all get out there. Every time I see his face I want to take a shower and pray a rosary. He looks like Satan's GI Joe.

The TV Girl

Fictional Throwdown: Character/Moral Understanding

Now everyone has had a little more than a week to contemplate the abilities of the two competitors, and I hope you have all been taking a great deal of time to seriously consider what I have so far presented. I even gave you an opportunity to declare your opinion with only limited input from myself. Not surprisingly, of the 10 votes cast 7 went to Peter, meaning he has 40% more support from my readers than Sam. Well, power isn’t everything. Environment and perspective can be the deciding factor in a fight. So, what kind of world do these two boys live in, and how do they understand that world?

The First Competitor: Sam Winchester

The cosmos Supernatural posits that there is evil outside of the human. The show does not deny the existence of God, Sam believes, Dean doesn’t (but he wants to), but over all the show operates on the premise that evil is readily evident, whereas good is mysterious. The treatment of demonic possession is interesting. I was taught that invitation on the part of the possessed is necessary for demonic possession. In the show, they bypass this, addressing it more as the necessity of “openness.” It seems like anyone can be possessed (Sam is during one episode) which indicates an argument that we are all fallen creatures, no one is purely innocent. Therefore the various planes of existence interact with each other. Sam works to save the lives of those who are in danger from that which is outside themselves, but is particularly attached to them. His goal is always twofold: save the life by eradicating the evil. To do so requires Sam to find out two things: what is the nature of the evil and why is it attached to the person. For Sam, planning is key. I said before that Sam and Dean were raised to be warriors, and they always do what has to be done to finish the job. When action is required Sam delivers (he beheaded a guy by wrapping barbed wire around his neck and pulling it with his bare hands). Sam know that what is right, or necessary, is rarely pleasant. But they, especially Sam, don’t fall back on a Nuremberg-Defense type of life. Sam questions his own choices, and what type of person he is based on those choices. Sam’s willingness to examine himself indicates that reflection is part of his nature, and a requirement of retaining ones humanity. For avid viewers the question of whether Sam is evil is a deeply troubling one. I am taking the January 31st episode for my answer. Sam is changing of his own volition; he is not minus one soul. Sam’s potential for evil is actually only slightly greater than any other person’s (you, me, dude down the street). His choices make him who he is, and he makes those choices informed by his understanding of a universal context.

The Second Competitor: Peter Petrelli

Heroes is kind of a different story. Within the parameters of the show there is no order other than the human. The powers the characters have result from spontaneous evolution. I personally don’t believe in spontaneous evolution, but I do believe in divinely guided evolution. I mention this because there is a very fine line between interpreting a work (in this case a TV show) and imposing ones own belief system upon it. As much as I would say that the Heroes’ powers should come from God, there is no indication within the show that such an argument is being prosecuted. Furthermore, there is no account of evil other than spontaneous evolution. All of the major villains so far encountered on Heroes have abilities. While much of the show focuses on the choices either for good or evil that each character must make in response to their gifts (the show doesn’t deny free will), this situation means that Peter has only encountered enemies that exist on the same plane as himself. His fights have been a matter of power versus power. Within this more circumscribed universe Peter is a deeply loving person, and arguably the most loving person on the show. Peter has a general view: his attention is always on humanity at large, and when it has been particularized there was a specter of insincerity to it. I apologize for my digression, back to serious business. He wants what is best for the largest amount of people, and as noble as his intentions are, Peter’s broad perspective means that his objectives are often indistinct. He understands the final outcome he desires, but is often surprised by the intermediate actions necessary to achieve that goal. Being guided by an ultimate result helps Peter to be concentrated and fixed, but he has trouble properly evaluating people and situations as they arise, because he can’t see the trees for the forest.

The TV Girl

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

In case you haven't heard, the Writer's Strike is 97% resolved. According to E!Online's Watch With Kristin a deal has been reached to the tentative satisfaction of both sides. The WGA is supposed to vote on Tuesday, and if they approve the new contract, then the strike is over. I do not yet know how this will effect particular shows, but as soon as I do I will pass it along. Till then:

Spastic dance of rejoicing that looks like epileptic fit!

The TV Girl

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Friday Night Lights (9.5): “Give It A Chance.”

I can’t help but believe that Jason Street’s plea to his baby-mamma that ended this episode is also intended for viewers and NBC executives. The final new episode aired last night, and according to reports it may have been the last episode ever. NBC is strongly considering not finishing the second season when the Writer’s Strike ends. Speaking quite seriously, our world will be a sadder place without this show. Go to and watch the eps from Season Two, buy Season One at Target for $19.98, write an e-mail, do something.

And yes, I did say Jason Street’s baby-mamma! The unexpected pregnancy may be one of the top five clichés on TV, but leave it to FNL to make it exciting and important. Due to Jason’s injury his waitress one-night stand is having his “miracle” baby; all his doctors told him he would not be able to father children. I jumped for joy that Jason is going to be a daddy, because that kid will have one of the best fathers. Network television avoids saying the word “abortion” let alone making it clear a character intends to have one. FNL does not skirt the full reality of the situation; the treatment takes into account both societal norms and respect for life. Jason accepts that ultimately it is her choice, but also speaks up for himself, for his own feelings as the father of her child. (Just an observation: why would you go to someone to tell them you intend to abort his child if you did not want him to talk you out of doing so?) I’m rooting for the miracle baby, and I wonder that anyone could remain unmoved by Jason’s determination and positive attitude.

Balancing all the seriousness is Tim Riggins and his borderline stalking: dragging Billy to church with him, convincing the Christian radio station to give him a talk-show, flirting with the middle-aged church ladies. He is completely serious that he will do “whatever it takes” to win Lyla back. Since she looked unbelievably bored with Jesus-boy’s family, how much could it really take? Tim may be trying to win Lyla, but he is still him. I was gasping laughing when Tim hung-up on the caller who said his long hair made him look like Jesus. His straight-faced claim of innocence when Jesus-boy accuses him of trying to mess with Lyla is priceless. I know that my raving about Taylor Kirsch seems hyperbolic, but I am not exaggerating: this dude is one of the best actors working on television. The friendship between Jason and Tim kind of confused me in the first season. They are supposed to be childhood best friends and it seems weighted on Jason’s side; he is the golden boy who can’t shake the town’s lost puppy. As FNL has gone on we are able to watch the way Jason and Tim respectively address situations, and it emerges that their personal approaches complement each other. Jason makes you believe through his sincerity, Tim through his humor.

Coach Taylor could take a lesson from Tim about disarming your opponent with humor. Coach seemed to be channeling the other side of Riggins by having a drinking competition followed by a brawl with Tami’s ex. Good to know that Coach might be a wonderful man, but he is not a saint. Apparently Mo cheated on Tami, so I’m not sorry that Coach hit him.

Despite his foray into PWT-land, Coach Taylor guided Smash to a second chance. Smash’s particular experience may not be relatable to many viewers, but his more general disappointment should be. College is a huge part of many people’s lives, and to some extent we all glamorize our ideas when we are trying to choose one. Often those ideas are, if not unachievable, at least impractical, and we make a choice to accept what is less than our ideal. Smash’s difficulty in accepting a good thing that is different from what he wanted is one with which we should all recognize and empathize. I can personally empathize with his dislike of the game dogeball. (What Neanderthal with a little-man complex thought up that stupid game? Was this how they picked the victims for the pagan sacrifice?)

I hope that this was not the last episode. I hope that the powers-that-be at NBC, and maybe 10 million more viewers, will come to their senses. If not, so be it. Either way I will still be writing about this show, but it will have to be a part of a feature I’m working on about shows we lost before their time. Please everyone; don’t let Friday Night Lights become the Freaks and Geeks of the 2000’s.

The TV Girl

Friday, February 8, 2008

Supernatural (8): Dean Spoke Against His Father, I Don’t Know What to Do.

I frighten extremely easily (a guy I know used to love jumping out at me from around corners because I would scream every time), but this episode freaked me the hell out. I have had trouble sleeping lately, and the idea that some dude with an otherworldly drug habit could get into my dreams does not increase my prospects of getting some decent shut-eye. Well, maybe I could curl up with Dean instead. Sorry, got distracted for a moment.

I couldn’t be happier that they filled in Bobby’s back-story. It makes sense that he would have a strong attachment to John, since they share loosing wives to evil. Bobby’s calm acceptance that all hunters get into the business for a reason demonstrates that there is hope for Sam and Dean to be somewhat emotionally well adjusted. They can take Booby as a model and not become megalomaniacs like daddy. (Not implying that anyone can replace their father.)

Or they might just be freaks. What was with Sam’s sex dream about Bella? I am in no, mark me no, mood to deal with some kind of brother battle over Bella. I find Bella a less annoying character than most of the women who pop in on this show; I don’t want her storyline to be botched. (This statement should in no way be construed as a complaint that Supernatural is sexist. I did not wake up as Katherine Heigl.) The way things are playing currently Dean’s anger at her doesn’t appear to be anger masking sexual tension, rather a genuine dislike of her opportunism and solipsism. So, unless something changes, I have not great fear of any fratricide due to Bella. But where did Sam’s dream come from? It just feels out of place. Not to mention that she is a harlot and Sam deserves better.

But do we ever get what we deserve? Isn’t that the question underlying Dean’s horrifying self-revelation? Often on TV when a character has their moment of self-consciousness (either forced upon them by another, or through confrontation with the self) that moment doesn’t provide anything new to the audience. The moment of self-consciousness is different from the moment of revelation. But as Dean battled with himself we learned about Dean. In two and a half seasons Dean has never said a word against his father, but now we know that there is a part of him that is hurt and angry about the way his father treated him. To believe yourself to be nothing but a blunt instrument has to be the epitome of despair. He did deserve better from his father, and I don’t know why no one seems to comprehend that. How a parent could foster such feelings of worthlessness in a child is unfathomable to me. Dean is presented as a (somewhat) limited character: loves Sam, kills evil, drinks, has sex. Sam is presented as the complicated character, and the contrast does a great deal for the show. But in accord with the way the show treats the creatures and demons the boys encounter, we are getting more glimpses about the subtleties and difficulties of these two characters.

I want Dean to live, so as traumatizing as it is experiencing his discovery of that desire in himself, I know that if Dean wants it he will achieve it. If nothing else, the Winchesters are determined.

The TV Girl

Thursday, February 7, 2008

One Tree Hill (5): I Can Never Figure Out What Day It Is On This Show

My confusion is an editing problem. There seem to be things that take place midway through the episode that should be taking place in the morning, or the characters wear the same clothing for what appear to be multiple days. It distracts me and those in charge should fix it. This has been a problem since the beginning of One Tree Hill, so I should be used to it by now.

Brooke’s mom may be a witch, but what an awesome witch. Brooke should have known better than to try to connect with a woman who seems barely able to restrain herself from saying “you were an accident.” As ill advised as her overture may have been, it worked well to remind us that Brooke and Co. are still very young. At 21 you are still trying to figure out your relationship with your parents, and Brooke’s success can only make the situation more complicated. The parent/child relationships were kind of the foundation of this show; Lucas and Nathan hated each other because they share a father who picked one over the other, Lucas’ relationship with his mom Karen (the missed Moira Kelly) contrasted with Nathan’s relationship with his mom Deb (the not-so missed Barbra Alyn Woods), Brooke and Peyton both had absent parents, and Peyton’s grief over her mother’s death (and then her second mother’s death) is a fundamental of her character. I understand allowing these storylines to grow, to show the transformation of children into parents, but without Brooke’s mom as a reminder of where we started it would feel too much like a completely different show.

While I’m on the topic of parenting (or lack thereof), oh crazy nanny. I don’t think Lindsay is going to keep her mouth shut about Nanny Carrie’s little passive-aggressive revelation. Nathan defiantly stayed out on that balcony too long, but I don’t think Nathan is so stupid that he doesn’t see what this girl is all about. The long and short is that Nathan will not cheat. Nathan and Haley are obviously distant (I think that kiss at the end of last week’s episode was their first physical contact since his accident), but no matter what happens, he won’t cheat. I predict his rejection is what will push Nanny Carrie off the deep end.

Can I take a moment to gloat that I was able to predict dialogue. … Thank you. Peyton has every right to be angry, and I clapped for every single book she threw at Lucas’ stupid head. Why did they both assume that after the way they ended, and the not talking, that they would be able to magically be friends? He is still holding on to the ring he wanted to give her, and she doesn’t seem to have dated anyone since him. Friendship between them would take a great deal of time and effort on both their parts. What is with all of these people trying to put on a front, and for whom? Peyton needs to embrace her honest nature, and not let anyone tell her she should like Lindsay. Anger is so much more entertaining than winning.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Guest Star: KP

I would be quite surprised if anyone chooses to watch October Road after KP's scathing (and from the two episodes I have seen, entirely accurate) review. Why eat tripe when there is kobe beef? The delicacy KP recommends is one I tried, but for which I wasn't, let us say, properly prepared. What she has to say has given me the courage and proper perspective to give this show another go. So let KP convince you why you should spend your Wednesdays watching Pushing Daisies.

The TV Girl

Pushing Daisies: A Sweet Slice of Magic Realism

I’ll admit it. I have a sweet tooth. Lemonheads really get me but Pushing Daisies is jam packed with enough sugary goodness to equal 300 pounds of lemonheads. And that’s a lot of lemonheads.

Pushing Daisies has quickly become a viewer favorite and folks have attached all sorts of words to it like quirky, odd, endearing, charming, sweet and a modern fairy tale. The weird thing is, for once, the masses are correct. Pushing Daisies embodies all those adjectives with a dose of film noir, a touch of sadness and a smattering of dark humor. Like the pies that Ned bakes, Pushing Daises is stuffed with salacious ingredients that end up making it quite a delicious treat.

Key Ingredients for a Sweet Success (according to Asiankp):

1.) Cast-The big berries of our metaphorical pie. The ensemble cast of this show is one of the finest. Ned (Lee Pace), Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Anna Friel), Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) and Olive Snook (Kristen Chenoweth). Also included are Aunts Lily and Vivian (Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene). Together they make the show run. The chemistry between Ned and Chuck is so real, you can almost feel the sexual tension oozing out of the screen. The love/hate relationship between Ned and Olive is so endearing to watch that you gradually come to love Olive, quirkiness and all. And the fact that Kristen Chenoweth is so small compared to everyone else gives it an extra dose of humor. She reminds me feisty chihauha among great danes. Emerson Cod is the apathetic member of this crime-fighting “team” and although he acts like he is just using Ned to make money, deep down he is a big old softie with a passion for knitting. And the deadpan, sarcastic delivery of lines by Mr. Chi McBride is one of the highlights of the show for me. Ned (Lee Pace) is about as charming as they come. With his boyish grin, shining brown eyes and a general aura of sweetness, he reminds me of a young Carey Grant. While Chuck (Anna Friel) may be the weakest member of the cast in terms of acting and character, when placed in scenes with the other folks, she is given an opportunity to shine and shine she does. Although a majority of the action centers on Chuck and Ned’s peculiar predicament, Emerson and Olive are inches away from stealing the show.

2.) Plot-The premise of the show revolves around Ned who possesses an usual gift of bringing people back from the dead with one touch but killing them as quickly as they came with a second touch. In this writers mind, that aspect of the show is highly original and although a tad morose, the shows writers treat this “gift” in a humorous and respectful manner. While the pilot, aptly named Pie-lette introduced Ned and his gift, the writers did a great job of not revealing everything in the first 20 minutes. As the show progresses, you learn the upsides and downsides of such a gift and Ned’s constant struggle to function on the same plane with the rest of the universe while he retains this unearthly skill. The storylines are often a bit absurd but it works for this fairy tale-eque story. No one expects CSI and the show has no intention of conveying that message. The formulaic nature of the show, it usually opens with a narration about young Ned’s life as a boy and how it foreshadows something later on to a bizarre murder case to the solving of the murder to opening more questions about the past, is reminiscent of another phenomenal show known as the Pretender where the formula always included three distinct parts that gave viewers a certain comfort level and familiarity. With so many shows like Lost and Heroes and their complex storylines, a simple question/answer plot is a welcome change. Spoiler alert: Although for fans of the complex storyline, Pushing Daisies addresses that too for in the final episode before the writers strike, we discover that Chuck’s Aunt Lily may actually be her mother.

3.) Artistic design-This is some of the finest work I’ve seen in television in terms of artistic design and set design. From the Pie-hole diner with its pie crust awning to the windmill farm country, the bright colors literally jump off the screen. I often feel as though I’m watching a Roald Dahl book come to life before my very eyes. The design is somewhat similar to that of Tim Burton’s Big Fish or even Amelie. The almost cartoonish architecture and coloring help create this feeling of magic that gives the show its quirky, endearing charm.

4.) A competent narrator-The narration of the show reminds me a lot of Arrested Development. Instead of a lame 1st person voice over, think Grey’s Anatomy, the narrator of Pushing Daisies adopts a omniscient, 3rd person point of view. It plays right into that fairy tale theme and the accent doesn’t hurt either.

5.) Writing-I love the rapid fire pace of the dialogue. Instead of annoying word vomit a la Lorelai Gilmore, the fast, sharp witty dialogue reminds me of Carey Grant/Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. And even though the show borderlines on romantic comedy fodder, you never feel like the characters are forcing their expressions of a love that can never be expressed physically. Which brings me to another point, given their unusual situation (ie. Chuck and Ned can never touch) it allows the writers to be creative and challenges them to make Chuck and Ned’s relationship more than just sex. Because they can’t ever have it. Together, that is. The show moves pretty effortlessly from film noir to dark to comedy to dramatic to sad to heartwarming and back again and that is due to the smooth transitional writing.

6.) Wardrobe-This is a minor detail, kinda like powdered sugar on a top of a pie. But Chuck’s dresses are always gorgeous and remind me of the 50s or rather 50s with 90s colors. And you have to love Olive’s green diner outfit although I sometimes question whether Kristen Chenoweth has a cleavage clause in her contract because literally every episode, I’m afraid one is just going to pop out Janet Jackson style.

7.) Guest stars-again, a minor detail, maybe some whipped cream to top it all off. Instead of going with high power celebs (Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis on Friends), Pushing Daisies employed over the last season Molly Shannon, Mike White, Joel McHale (I love Talk Soup) and Paul Reubens. Fairly under the radar stars, but hilarious nonetheless and give the show its added boost of quirky.

I’d like to think of watching Pushing Daisies akin to devouring an entire French Silk or Lemon Meringue pie. The appearance is attractive, the ingredients are tasty and when you are done, you are left with wanting more.

A few other things to make watching better:

-Ned wears Chuck Taylors almost religiously. Chucks. Think about that. The name of his childhood crush and it also happens to be the same name as another favorite show of mine featuring the effable Chuck Bartowski.

-Aunt Lily’s eyepatch. Since Tim Burton has said to be a slight inspiration to creator Brian Fuller, I found it awesome that Aunt Lily sports an eyepatch, which is identical to the witch (Helen Bonham Carter) in Burton’s Big Fish movie who also wore an eyepatch.

-Kristen Chenoweth and Ellen Greene are both Broadway stars. That’s a cool factor plus 10.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Prison Break (7): The Universe Conspired Against Me

Yesterday in my post about House I made a confession, and included in that confession I mentioned how in the Fall of 2007 I had been watching Chuck instead of Prison Break. Two events induced me to tune in last night. The first is, of course, the Writer’s Strike. There is a limited amount of new programming on nowadays, so why not watch a show that I would have been following anyway, if not for Chuck? (Tangent: if the schedule change on The C.W. is permanent, then Prison Break, Chuck, and Gossip Girl will all air Mondays at 7pm. This could compound my already numerous problems.) The second event has to do with a friend of mine. One of my oldest and dearest friends moved to Los Angeles in October. She is an immensely talented actress, and I have no doubt that she will be unbelievably successful. She calls me every couple days to tell me who she’s seen/run-in-to/met. She calls me to tell me about the lesser famous people that I know about from my ridiculously avid TV watching. On Sunday I received a message from her saying that she met Wentworth Miller. If you’re a woman with a pulse, I don’t think I need to explain the extent to which I freaked-out. (According to her he is really nice.) It was marveling over her good fortune that made me think about the fact that a new episode would be airing the next day. Last night a 7pm I settled in to my cosmically mandated viewing.

Since the last episode I saw was the season premier I didn’t know many of the characters, or why the Company wants Michael (Wentworth Miller) to break this guy named Whistler (Chris Vance) out of Sona, the Panamanian prison. The episode hinged on some “coordinates” Whistler needs to hand over to this season’s Company representative, who is holding his girlfriend hostage. Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) has obviously fallen for said girlfriend, and the Company is still holding his son L.J. (Marshall Allman) hostage as well. This is what I pieced together as Michael readjusted his escape plan to account for the unexpected rain, and T-Bag (Robert Knepper) attempted (and succeeded) to undermine that plan.

Something I realized based on pieces of the conversations is the very real possibility that Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies), who was taken hostage with L.J. in the season premier, is dead. My mission is now to catch up with this show, however I can, however long it takes, because I need to know if this is true, and if it is, how it came to pass.

I forgot how addictive this show is and it caught me again. But I had no choice, the universe told me to watch.

The TV Girl

House (8): Will I Ever Love Anyone Enough to Drink Their Urine?

I need to make a confession. If I don’t what I’m about to write, and the next thing I will write, will not make sense. Fall 2007 I spent both Monday and Tuesday nights in the classroom. On Mondays I had class from 5pm to 6:30pm and then from 7pm to 10pm. Tuesday nights was only 7pm to 10pm. My academic career took priority over my viewing, and therefore I had to catch up online with the shows I wanted to see. That list got very long, and I made a choice between supporting the new and following the known. I knew that House would survive, while Reaper needed viewers. With the same logic I chose between Chuck and Prison Break. It isn’t that I abandoned former loves for new flings; it was more a cool-down than a break-up. Ah, I feel so much lighter. (Complete tangent: Hugh Laurie was my first actor crush. At age eleven one Bertie Wooster drunkenly stumbled into his apartment and my heart. I heart Hugh Laurie like I heart no one else.)

Sunday night after the Super Bowl I had a chance to pick up where I left off with the good doc. Oh how I’ve missed that sarcasm and those eyes. My whole evening kind of worked out beautifully (and that is not to say I am a Giants fan). After House I put on an episode of Planet Earth before I went to bed. The episode happened to be “Ice Poles” concentrating on the North and South poles. Watching Mira Sorvino re-inflate her own lung tempered the desire to visit Antarctica evoked in me by the stunning pictures of ice cathedrals and frozen oceans.

House (Hugh Laurie)’s attraction to Dr. Kate and his dedication to her case intrigued me. The connection between them was obviously sexual attraction, but she held her own without being a brat. The episode worked so well, because Kate’s attitude with House matched her willingness to perform procedures on her herself. I like to see him reach out to patients, and since I know it won’t fundamentally change his character, it’s like a cynicism vacation. But we all come home eventually.

I have heard from a friend that this Amber chick is not the most pleasant character. I cannot imagine a better punishment for a backstabbing dame than dating Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). Wilson and House crack me up; they may be the greatest bromance currently on TV. Wilson has the perfect bleeding-heart, handholding liberalism to spar with House’s personally damaged, pain-induced rationalism. They are never sappy, always funny, and obviously care about each other. But, dating Wilson is a guarantee of infidelity. He has ex-wives (take notice of the plural), and as far as we know, cheats on every woman he dates. So, if Amber is a she-devil, she will get what she deserves as Wilson’s girlfriend.

I don’t feel qualified to say much more about the new cast members, I haven’t seen the Survivior-esque episodes that resulted with these new doctors. No one, and I mean no one, could annoy me as much as Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), so I’m not worried about the (to me) newbies. Personally, I could never let Taj (“Kutner,” Kal Penn) be my doctor, but at the same time Chase (Jesse Spencer) hooked-up with Heather Locklear in Uptown Girls, so I will have to be sure not get sick in New Jersey (or Cuba, or Antarctica).

And I will have to be sure to take off my socks so a broken toe doesn’t go unnoticed.

The TV Girl