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

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How I Met Your Mother (8): Ted and Barney Broke Up!

I can’t stand it, really I can’t. To me, this is like when Season Three of The Office started and Jim was working in Stanford. Actually, this might be worse.

I am genuinely interested in the dynamics of male friendship. This doesn’t not mean I want a full recitation of the bro-code, rather I am amused by the idea that there is such a thing. From a female perspective, close male friendships seem inscrutable; we are as confused by your ability to never talk as you are by our ability to always talk. It looks like so little is said between bros that it easily looks like nothing is going on.

But between Ted and Barney there was a lot, and now it is in shambles. Because of just how guilty Barney felt, it all seemed so sad when Ted left Barney behind. That is probably the first time he has felt real remorse for his actions but because Ted made one of the fatal mistakes of human interaction (“yeah, but the would never do that to me”), he can’t/won’t give Barney a chance. But, I am not a bro. Maybe Ted is justified.

Marshall and I have a similar approach to job hunting. Good to know I am not the only one waiting for the magic phone call and willing to accept anything that comes along.

So, sometime in the next year Robin will be moving in with Ted?

I kind of hope we never hear the goat story. There is no way it can be as good as all the buildup and I like the idea that there is an amazing story there.

The TV Girl

Gossip Girl (7.5): What Did Serena Do?

Really, what did she do? What is so terrible she thinks Chuck will judge her? Ah, I know I have to wait until the next episode, but it is going to be such a long wait. I do not like secrets.

But something that is out in the open that I adore: Nate and Vanessa! I kind of feel sorry for the confused look on Dan’s face, but Nate and Vanessa are ridiculously cute, without being sappy. He laughed more with her in this one episode than I think he has the entire series. She is a good enough person to apologize when she knows she is wrong, he wants her to have options in her future. They are wonderful together. And maybe seeing Nate happy will encourage Blair to return to where she belongs: with Chuck.

Serena is right, at some point Chuck and Blair have to settle their issues. Soon, please? Anyway, despite the fact that he is doing it in the totally wrong (and sort of illegal) way, Chuck seems to be taking his role as brother seriously. Would Chuck have been different if he had grown up with siblings?

Maybe Dan could get some advice from Chuck on proactive involvement. Jenny is acting like a class act brat and running full tilt towards the dark side, so this is not the time for Dan to be too distracted by girlfriend and school. Jenny stole a dress from a friend’s home, pawned the dress, then she stole it back from the shop she pawned it to. That is not “one mistake.” Actually, it is three mistakes. And considering how much that dress was worth, her actions were fairly serious crimes. But she does not seem to be grasping the enormity of her choices. Rufus (who should not wear a mandarin collar ever again) has my full support to punish her for a few more seasons. But I will be honest; if someone showed up on my doorstep with a bag full of hotdogs I would probably be more lenient too.

Jenny is not Dan’s only blind spot. The dog ploy, really? Is this kid some kind of stupid? Rule of thumb: when you see Michelle Trachtenberg, your best bet is to run before you get annoyed to death, or like in Serena’s case, drugged. Funny how Georgina was just a drunk version of Dawn: manipulative, selfish, pathetically desperate for attention and validation, horribly attired to be trendy but it is ultimately unfaltering. Blair fills the scheming quota for this show; Georgina needs to go back to the Continent.

Anyone else excited for next week’s big reveal that is not actually a surprise? I am.

The TV Girl

Monday, April 28, 2008

Brothers & Sisters (5): I Didn’t See That One Coming.

No, I am lying. I totally saw that one coming. And by that one, I mean the whole episode.

First and foremost: Rebecca is not William Walker’s love child. Shocker! At some point some creative director of this show decided that because Dave Annable and Emily VanCamp have chemistry (which has always seemed more friendly than romantic to me) that the characters (who have always believed they share a father) should have a romantic storyline. So one of them had to turn out to not be a Walker, and despite all the speculation, it turned out to be Rebecca. There was just no way it was going to be Justin. (That actually could have been interesting, even if completely devastating for him.) But the plot is ridiculous and gross. Now Rebecca has lied to Justin and told him that the DNA test said William really was her father, so Justin is probably thinking he is some kind of perv for at any point even wondering about any possibilities. (And I am not entirely sure he should not feel that way. Dude, you think she is your sister.) Genetics aside, they believed they are siblings, so I find the whole thing so creeptacular I can barely watch it. My friend Lauren put it best that this particular plot is just a bit too Days. Next thing we know Stefano is going to kidnap Rebecca.

Who would have guessed that Kevin would be able to drain a proposal of all affection and desire? Oh, anyone who has seen one episode of his entirely analytical approach to long-term relationships. I have never been Scotty’s biggest fan, but he gained some respect in my eyes for politely and respectfully turning down what amounted to a business merger invitation. Gay, straight, or otherwise, health insurance is not a reason to get married.

And, the family business is in trouble. You mean, Sarah was right all along? Well, that is something they have never done on this show before.

Sorry, my deep discomfort with the Justin/Rebecca storyline is making me a tad more cynical about this show than it deserves.

The TV Girl

Battlestar Galactica (7): Craft Killed This Episode.

There were two fully possible episodes going on Friday night. I would have been entranced by a proper development of one; the other would have only vaguely bored me. Inappropriately matching them made this a disorganized and ineffective episode.

In the wake of Callie’s “suicide” Chief is distracted from properly taking care of his job, and almost gets Racetrack killed. After a few too many drinks Tyrol lashes out at Adama, telling him (and the whole bar) that he settled for Callie because Boomer turned out to be a Cylon and that his marriage was miserable. Adama demoted him. Baltar’s sanctuary was ransacked by religious traditionalists, prompting him (with help from Tory) to decide to crusade for the one true god. The President tries to curtail their freedom of assembly, but Lee fights for their civil liberties. A marine beats Baltar, but Lee informs them of the order being lifted. Baltar gives a huge speech about the one god’s love of perfect humanity.

These two storylines had little or nothing to do with each other; they neither reflected upon nor contrasted to each other. I could not concentrate on the enormity of Tyrol’s grief and the dark path it propelled him down when the scene kept jumping to Baltar’s self-indulgent non-logical ramblings cloaked in religious terms. I have no personal problem with the religious storylines of the show; my problem is that the only thing that has changed about Baltar is his diction. He is the same p.o.s. with a fancy new vocabulary. This fact is even more evident in the face of Tyrol’s distinct and shocking change, and while this may be something I see, I don’t think that was the point the episode was designed to convey.

This was not one of BSG's finest.

The TV Girl

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Supernatural (7): Even Not At Their Best, These Boys Are Good.

“You managed to pay tribute to him while completely exploiting the manner in which he died.”

Is there any better commentary on the nature of reality programming? (You can suck it 30 Rock.) Can you tell me this is not genius? Or, if you saw it can you tell me that?

This episode was one of those independent, comic relief episodes, which means that there is less for me to say about it. I am usually annoyed by this type of episode so late in a season; as time runs out I need forward momentum on overarching plots. This TV season has been so frakked up that I kind of don’t have the energy to get all that upset. Plus, it has been such a long time since there was a new episode it kind of worked well to ease viewers back into the show.

Plus, it was really funny! The return of Ed and Harry, the “ghost hunters” from Season One made my day. So I didn’t really wonder what happened to them after Sam and Dean sent them off on a wild goose chase to California with a car full of fish, but I cannot help but be impressed that no amount of incompetence can keep these kids down. The camera guy asking Dean if he had cancer was so inappropriately hilarious. And I kind of loved that they got a chance to point out that there are only certain words you can say on network television, but that such limited vocabulary is not what the situations call for. (Juvenile of me to enjoy that so much, but what are you going do?)

All this said, I am fully prepared to say that this is not one of the best episodes of Supernatural, and this could most likely be the weakest episode of the season. It is not often that my friend Jennie and I have opposite reactions to a show we both deem worthy of viewership, but she was immensely put out by this episode. For her, the episode was not funny enough to justify using the limited time there is left (3 episodes more I think). Issues of taste be what they may, but what makes our disagreement interesting is that when the boys arrive at the Morton House and find the amatures with the cameras, Sam says that they are wasting time (apparently Dean has only 2 more months to live). It looks like Dean and Sam find themselves out of options and therefore their usual activities take on a coloring of the ridiculous. From the perspective of impending death is not everything a waste of time?

According to the preview next week’s episode looks to be the opposite of funny.

The TV Girl

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Thank You

My friend KP had an unfortunate experience yesterday with a commenter on her blog. There is no point in open discussion if no freedom to disagree exists, but this person crossed the line into attacking my friend's character. While the commenter later erased his/her foul language filled assault, KP (an intelligent, loving, and enthusiastic human being) still saw it, still had to process the hurt of an unwarranted verbal attack.

I am sharing this not to force KP to relive it, but rather to explain why I would like to say thank you to my readers and commenters fro being generous and kind to me. I greatly appreciate your support, and now more than ever I appreciate the good natured spirit of your responses to my opinions and theories.

Thank you.

The TV Girl

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Poem About TV

So what will I be watching this evening?
Not Grey's Anatomy you best be believing.

But why? You ask trying to be smart.
Because it's crap and Meredith is a tart.

And why waste my time, when for my viewing joy
Supernatural is all new, oh my wonderful boy(s)!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Riches (8.5): Ding Dong Dale is Dead.

At least that is what it looked like in the last scene of last night’s episode, and I think it is a beautiful beautiful thing. I just refuse to feel bad about the fact that this possibility makes me so happy. I should probably calm down, since Quinn is a whole heaping pile of dung scarier than Dale, and he has Cael.

Cael, just a warning. Literary history is strewn with the bodies of those who have chosen sex over family. And I do not think that any honest argument can be made that Cael actually feels comfortable in Camp, that it is where we wants to be. The hope of getting some made him linger, and now that he got some he is staying; not good decision making criteria! He has lost faith in his father, leaving him doubting his upbringing and susceptible to manipulation.

Even so, Cael was right that the house stole the family’s souls (and I am not a really superstitious person, but I think he might be literally right). Dahlia’s relapse was heartbreaking after seeing her try so hard to change herself and her life. To see her act out in the belief that all her effort was towards a goal that no longer existed (her family) could have simply been a pathetic ending to her storyline, but rather it was so sad because Dahlia has a dignity she retains in even her most undignified moments. But was any one else confused by the eventual conversation between Wayne and Dahlia about Pete? Why couldn’t/didn’t Wayne simply say that Dale had already murdered Pete before Wayne got back to the house? I doubt that would have substantially affected the outcome of the argument, since she is completely correct that causally Pete’s death is their responsibility. And she is completely correct that protecting his family was not Wayne’s only priority in returning to Eden Falls, and then lying to Dahlia about Pete. Still, Wayne would not have murdered Pete, and that seems to be how she understands the situation. Is he so tangled in his own lies (to others and to himself) that he doesn’t actually know what the truth is anymore or how to tell it?

And did he really burn down an orphanage?

On a happier note, how cute was Di Di’s kiss with the little security guard in the chapel? Maybe not the kind of chaste behavior that her new school organization demands, but ridiculously adorable. This dude is so much better than her former boyfriend. That kid was a tard.

Conversely, poor Nina. Could someone give this woman a break, please? Her semi-openly gay husband drunkenly tells her that he loves her during the drag themed birthday party she organized for him, and then he drops dead. It seems unfair to me. Granted, this may be the most emotionally healthy scenario for Nina; there was a kind of healing between her and Jim and therefore she is not plagued with questions and regret as well as grief.

I cannot believe that next week is the Season Finale!

The TV Girl

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gossip Girl (8): Should Serena Really Be Giving Lectures on “Being Nice?”

New episodes of this show can redeem any Monday.

Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, what are you doing? I am working on an eyeliner-to-desperation ratio; the more eyeliner you wear the more willing you are to debase yourself for popularity. Jenny’s self-possession and integrity did not last very long, but she sure is a quick study. Setting Blair up to be alone at a restaurant, using Nate to be “forgiven” for her grand larceny, using tears to manipulate her brother; this girl is playing for keeps. Just wondering how long Blair will let her play.

Because, let’s be honest, Blair might be down, but she is far from out. I think that we can understand this as analogous to our political process: the longevity of a candidate is in large part determined by their ability to raise funds. Blair simply has the means to hold out a lot longer than Jenny.

But, Nate needs to stop letting these conniving ladies lead him around by the short hairs. Here he is, genuinely concerned about Jenny’s well being, enough not only to warn her about the dangers she faces, but also to go to Dan when he believed she needed familial intervention, and what does she do? Trots him out like a male escort to be passed along to the next rich-bitch airhead. I cannot wait for the (rumored) Nate/Vanessa thing to get going, because this boy deserves so much better than how he is being treated.

Also, Chuck deserves a little, tiny, itty bit better, or at least the benefit of the doubt from Serena that if he wanted to mess with her he would not resort to such pedestrian measures. He is good at being bad, not cheap porn in a box. And after convincing his father to kick him out and making her brother so unhappy, she goes to Chuck to fix her problem! Sorry, but I was less than happy with Miss Serena last night. What is with these girls?

And finally, I would like to congratulate Ed Westwick on having balls of steel. Did the leaping fish on that sweater happen to be bass? Was that sweater not only horrifying, but also punny? I hope he got a raise.

The TV Girl

How I Met Your Mother (8): FINALLY!

The fact that we have know since the Pilot that Robin is not Ted’s future wife makes it completely okay that I am so excited about the Barney/Robin hook-up. Barney and Robin have always seen like a natural pair to me; their outlooks are similar, she would not be fooled into expecting anything for him, he actually respects her and sees her as a human being. Barney comforting her and making her realize that Simon was a total douche kind of indicates that he has a tiny-tiny heart, but lets hope not enough of one to ruin the show. I cannot wait to see how this plays out.

Less exciting, “Revertigo” is kind of my worst nightmare. (Does that made up word make you think Marshall doesn’t know what Vertigo actually is?) Isn’t this kind of why we let people fall out of our lives? After a while the time between when we established our patterns of behavior and our current circumstances is just too distant. As another of my friends approaches his wedding, I have been thinking about this a lot. I did love getting a glimpse of what Ted and Lily were like in high school, which is radically different from what they were like at the beginning of college.

And let me not forego mentioning the phenomenal performance by one Mr. James Van Der Beek. The total lameness of Simon as a human being (living at home, still thinking he could be a rock star, ill-fitting cargo pants) was made all the better by the beautifully self-mocking casting.

Brilliant brilliant episode.

The TV Girl

Monday, April 21, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (9): RIP Callie.

There are some episodes that shock you and galvanize your creativity, and then there are episodes that shock you into a coma. “The Ties That Bind” is an episode like the later. I have no idea how to process the information.

What would help, a Quick Recap: The Cylons attempt to forgive and forget after the massacre, which according to Six means unboxing D’Anna. The Cavels say that the vote confirms it, and so they all need to go to where the Threes are being kept, but the models stay on separate ships. When they make the jump, the Sixes and the Eights realize that no Resurrection ship has jumped. The Cavel Basestars destroy the Six Basestars, killing them for good. Boomer’s defection saves her life. Kara’s search for Earth is not going well. The crew (including Helo, Sharon, Gaeta, and Anders) are discontent with Kara’s abrupt navigation changes, but she makes it clear she doesn’t care what they think. Frustrated by her inability to find her path, she confides in Anders that she feels disconnected from her body and unable to feel anything that is happening to her. The President confirms Lee’s place as the Quorum Representative for Caprica, but it is obvious she distrusts/dislikes him. Zarack tells Lee that her feelings are unlikely to change and points out to Lee a suspicious proposal the President is making. During the Quorum meeting Lee tries to defend the need for military secrecy (the Fleet has noticed that one of the ships is missing), but the President publicly rebukes him, so he brings up her proposal, thereby backing her into a corner, a move she does not appreciate. Callie has been taking anti-depressants since the ship was in the nebula, and she is not in full control of her faculties. She explains her dilemma to Doc Cottle, who encourages her to rest and talk to her husband. Believing that Tyrol is having an affair with Tory, Callie follows them and while spying finds out that they, and Tigh, are Cylons. Back in her room, in a state of delirium, she attacks Tyrol with a wrench, takes Nicky and goes to an airlock. Tory finds her before she can kill herself and her son, and Troy convinces her that being Cylons does not mean they are evil. Callie gives Nicky to Tory, who hits her and then opens the airlock, murdering Callie. The last scene shows Tyrol and Adama sitting in silence.

For me, Callie’s death has overshadowed everything that happened in this hour. Callie has been there from the beginning. She might not have always had the most rational reactions to events (remember when she shot Boomer) but she always loved Tyrol, even when he didn’t love himself, even when she thought he didn’t love her. For Callie, a wife and mother, troubled as she may have been, to die like that seems nothing short of tragic. Very few shows have the guts to portray the kind of suffering and trauma that would induce a woman to kill her own child, and no other that I have seen have the integrity to portray it with such honesty and charity. Callie did not die a ripped-from-the-headlines caricature, but rather a full person, know and loved, utterly devastated by circumstances beyond her control.

Before the next episode I am sure I will have more to say about what took place in “The Ties That Bind,” but for right now I am going to leave it here. Goodbye Callie.

The TV Girl

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Office (8.5): How Old Was That Catalogue?

I expressed a fear yesterday that I know many other fans of The Office shared with me: would our beloved show ever be as good as it was in Season Two? (Season Two is what I meant when I used the word “again.”) Last night, for one episode, my fears were assuaged. That was an awesome episode. It had all of the elements that were missing from the last episode: the majority of the episode took place inside the office, there was at least on work-related plot line, the incidental characters got to have their say, Pam and Jim seemed like themselves and not strange relationship robots. Again, awesome!

I know that we will never know and we are probably better off not knowing, but I have to ask: what does Creed need three office chairs for?

I am so jealous of Andy and Kevin. Am I the only one who would love to reinterpret/reenact a scene from The Godfather? I wish I could call a meeting of the Five Families to address minor inconveniences to my day. I loved their righteous indignation over the parking situation, and the enthusiasm with which they attacked the problem. And major points to Mr. Andrew Bernard for matching his socks and his tie.

Disagree with me all you want, but Michael Scott is a better character as a jerk. The guy is a total ass-hat and it is fantastic. He requires his employees to set him up on dates with their friends. He tells a woman he thinks is ugly that all he wants is a companionable relationship, and he tells a woman he thinks is hot that he should be having a torrid affair. He visits the grave of a total stranger and sings. He is preposterously self-involved, and while the small moments of vulnerability make him bearable, attempts to make him sympathetic or relatable do not do the show any favors.

And Dwight's old-world understanding of male/female interaction can only be described in one word: brilliant.

I suppose I should talk about the big news from last night’s episode. Well, if I must. Jim is going to propose to Pam! And he is going to fake her out about it to torture her and us! That is the prank-pulling guy Pam (and we) fell for. Though the rational part of my brain wonders about the wisdom of buying a ring after dating for a week, or the wisdom of getting engaged so soon after ending an engagement, I am unable to hear that rational part of my brain over the excited giddy part of my brain. I think Jim and Pam’s marriage would be a good place to end the series.

The TV Girl

30 Rock (8): I Really Never Noticed Just How Pigeon-Toed Tina Fay Is.

Okay, “MILF Island” was just a misstep (or I just missed something, because other people really liked that episode), and the 30 Rockers are back on track.

So if I write in “God” on my ballot this fall, it will count as a vote for the Republican Presidential candidate? Sweet! You can watch only The Food Network and still have opinions about campaign finance reform? Double sweet! This is the genius of 30 Rock; the complete mockery of political views/lifestyles goes both ways.

The best moment has to go to Tracey correcting Jack’s diction, changing “Blackmericans” to “Black Americans.” This story line might give Alicia Keys more fuel for her nonsensical ramblings, but since Jack conceded that even the prestige of Tracey will not sway the majority of black voters to join the GOP, she should sleep a little easier.

The second best moment goes to Dennis attempting to throw Liz in front of a train in order to save her and be a hero again (and methinks be able to wear that amazing porkpie hat again). Part of my heart believes that Dennis and Liz deserve each other. If you are willing to even consider being in a relationship which is analogous to freezing to death, then I cannot see a lot of hope for rehabilitating your self-esteem enough to the point where a better guy would be willing to give you a chance. Of course I want better for Liz, but could the woman try, even the slightest bit?

The TV Girl

A Poem About TV

Hooray, hooray,
It's Battlestar Day!

The TV Girl

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Random Question

Sorry to be so random today (see post below), but something is irking me and I am wondering if anyone has any more information than I do.

If you have opened a web page lately chances are you have seen the banner for Scarlet, the "new hit series." Desiring more information, like what does it mean to be "the director of Smallville and Supernatural," I have searched YouTube, IMDb, and the series official web site. Guess what I found: more questions!

I found "the director." His name is David Nutter, and he directed the pilot episodes of both those series as well as many others. According to the self-serving press release on the Scarlet site, every pilot he has developed in the last ten years has been made into a series. But I only found out the names of his other projects by looking up his name on IMBd. He is supposedly the "king of TV" and I had to do all that work.

But, this is the only thing I can figure out. The trailer on YouTube/the official site looks like it is a parody or a spoof, not a real show. There is no network listed anywhere that this show will be premiering on, supposedly in two weeks. I cannot figure out if this is a real show or not and it is really bugging me. I happened to be watching the pilot of Supernatural over the weekend, and I thought to myself just how good it is, that it is one of the better pilots out there, so if this thing is a real show, there is a possibility it could be worthwhile, but every attempt I make to find out more information only leads to more dead ends.

Anyone know anything?

The TV Girl

Random Thought: What A Waste Of A Wednesday.

Maybe I am the only one who feels the absolute boredom of today. I blame today on yesterday, at least in part. Last night was a waste of airwaves (I do not care what anyone says about Men in Trees) and while next week I will be extremely happy for a mid-week-catch-up-on-shows-that-conflicted day, right now I wish I had brought a movie to work. I actually considered grabbing something off my DVD shelf on my way out the door this morning, but I thought that might be missing the whole concept of "work."

Is is not that there is nothing to look forward to. Quality NBC comedy tonight, the best show ever tomorrow night. And it is not that I have nothing to talk about. It might be that I have too much to talk about and my thoughts are all scattered around. My un-focus and boredom are breeding some serious anxiety. Will I be able to withstand Michelle Trachtenberg, the most annoying actress in the history of evolved humanity, on Gossip Girl, even for a single episode? Will The Office ever be as good again, or are we doomed to watch the slow decline into scenarios so humiliating it is completely unwatchable? Is Dean really going to die? Will Lyla and Tim get back together, and if they do will it work? Why, oh why, is there even talk of a Justin/Rebecca romantic story line on Brothers & Sisters? I just do not think that there is any way they can write such a thing so that it does not feel incestuous and gross. Is it just a matter of time before Wayne and Dahlia split up? Are there really no humans, just Cylons? Can I actually, as just one woman, do anything to stop the horror that is Grey's Anatomy? Is Smallville a good argument for physician assisted suicide?

Before this gets too dark I am going to take a breath, find something online to occupy my time, and wait it out until 7:30.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gossip Girl: And You Thought It Was Bad That I Watch The Hills.

At least Gossip Girl admits that it is scripted. My deep and abiding love for The O.C. combined with my deep and abiding love for Kristen Bell was enough for me to try GG and within an episode I was hooked. I am super pumped for the return of new episodes on Monday (despite the scheduling conflict it creates), so I thought I would jot down a few notes on the major characters, just to let you know where I stand.

Chuck and Blair Forever!
He is a snake (but may have a heart) and she is a self-righteous ice-queen (who always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop), but I am not advocating their coupledom because “they are both so awful they deserve each other.” No, no, no. We always talk about chemistry, how it can make or break a show/couple, and they have chemistry in spades. Their first kiss was so hot it gave me chills. Oh, and she has the whole respectability thing that could guide him towards a purposeful existence and he has the passion that could allow her to actually enjoy her life. Chuck and Blair are the dark horse couple that could easily become the center of the show.

Nate and Serena cannot be done.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like Dan and I really like Dan and Serena, but the Nate issue was just dismissed too quickly for my taste. They seem to have been friends before they slept together, and he obviously still has feelings for her, so I do not accept that she just dates someone new without any reservations. There are rumors that Nate is getting a new love-interest and that is someone we have already met, so that means it is most likely either Jenny or Vanessa. Either will make Dan quite uncomfortable (his sister or his best friend) so I look forward to the drama.

Rufus and Lily belong together.
Yes, this will be awkward for their children who are currently dating (Dan and Serena) and their children who might end up dating (Jenny and Eric), especially if there has been breaking-up involved, but the fact of the matter is that these to rents are soul mates.

Kristen Bell’s narration is fantastic.
Miss Bell does the voice-over narration of the unknown “Gossip Girl” who has all the dirt and spreads all the stories about this clan of privileged friends, enemies, and lovers. And her voice work is wonderful. Her tone is snarky and ironic, but never veers into cynical.

Gossip Girl does not quite have the heart that The O.C. does, at least not in the same way. But I am hopelessly addicted.

The TV Girl

The Riches (8): No Amount Of Money Is Worth This.

Can you believe they kicked Priscilla off DWTS? Oh, wait, I wasn’t watching that and why would I care? I have really important things to talk about.

I do have a confession to make. I missed last week’s episode of The Riches, and my efforts to find it online were thwarted (much to my chagrin does not even begin to describe it), but I got the impression from last night’s episode that while I missed an hour of my favorite gypsies, it does not seem that I missed too many plot points that I could not glean from “previously on” and this episode. Well now, my soul feels lighter.

Dahlia feels the opposite of lightness, and no wonder. Now she is living a triple life, because she is trying to hide her Eden Falls life from her parole officer and her parolee life from Wayne. Dahlia is a stronger person than I, because all that plus her daughter holding her responsible for her son leaving would drive me back to drugs in a heartbeat. But is honesty a half way type thing? What kind of life can she build with each foot in a different partial truth? She has alienated her parole officer because he knows she is lying to him, even if he does not know about what. Also, she and Wayne are extra fighting because deep down he thinks she is still doing drugs. The trust is eroding between Wayne and Dahlia, and while I admire her efforts to act according to her conscience, more lying will not help to rebuild that trust.

But, is Wayne worthy of that trust anymore? He did not kill Pete, but he is doing everything he can to cover it up. He is working with Dale even after Dale attacked Dahlia. He is not even doing a very good job of covering up because, Dahlia knows that Wayne is hiding something and avoiding talking about whatever it is. Furthermore, nothing seems to be as important as the Bayou Hills deal, even the respect of his children. He would not talk to Sam when it was obvious Sam was upset. He kind of just let Cael leave without even offering to follow him, make sure he is okay. He reassured Sam at the end, and I do believe him that he would never abandon Sam, but Sam was in trouble in the first place because money has become the most important thing to Wayne, whether he really realizes that or not.

Which is why I cannot blame Cael for leaving, even though he is a total moron. I had to call my friend Jennie and ask her if it was completely obvious that Cael is being manipulated or if I was entirely making up a parallel story that did not exist on screen. She assured me I was not crazy; that it is readily apparent that the Travelers who picked up Cael were instructed to do by Quinn in order to bring him back to camp, and that Cael fell for it. Cael is either extremely out of practice (more so than thought previously), or extremely (shall we say) lonely to fall so easily into what appears to be a trap. Whatever the reason, he better catch on sooner rather than later (but the previews looked like he will be getting some in the next episode, so if his stupidity is the result of reason #2, at least that problem will be taken care of). Why Quinn wants Cael is not as clear as Cael’s stupidity. Could be that the camp ran out of males and the little blonde needs a new husband (Jennie’s theory), or could be they intend to hold Cael hostage in order to flush out his parents (my theory) or most likely it is for some reason I could not possibly think of. While my heart is with Cael (I would leave too, because Eden Falls is bullshit) and I think he is right about what he said concerning the overemphasis on stuff in most people’s lives, it seems fairly evident that family unity is necessary for success, as well as fairly evident that he has forgotten this.

On the other hand, the Malloy family is cracked, so maybe all Cael has done is state the truth out loud. Or at least that was all he had done before he got in that RV.

The TV Girl

Battlestar Galactica: Pressing Questions from "One of Six"

As I said earlier, “Six of One” raised/highlighted some very important questions beyond the two obvious ones we have been pondering since the Season Three finale. These are the kind of questions about which we can kind of speculate, but it seems that we will really have to wait until the show feels like revealing itself to us. So:

How long have the humanoid Cylons existed?

Who are/were the “original Cylon programmers?”

Are they the Final Five? Or just the Final Cylon?

Why are the Known Cylons programmed not to think about the Final Five?

Is the Six who rationalized the Centurions Gina Six who blew up Cloud Nine?

Why is Sharon/Boomer model number Eight? Unless I am mistaken, the Known Cylons are numbered One-Six and then Eight, so why skip Seven?

Will Caprica Six start to see her Baltar-projected-self in her own projections instead of her projected-Baltar?

Is Tory having a nervous breakdown? (Okay, this is maybe not a pressing question, but could become a big issue.)

As I write these questions I am coming up with all kinds of possible answers, but I just want to put the questions out there for now. We have plenty of time, and we need more information.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One Tree Hill (5.5): I Draw The Line At Relay Readings of Hallmark Cards.

Aside from some initial fist on face action, this was a talking episode. Despite the torturous dialogue and the angsty overly-determined attitudes (hate to say it, but sometimes things in life just don’t work out), last night’s episode was one of those good hours of TV that sifts everything out that has been blown around by the (drama) storm.

For episodes like this, a summary is as affective as commentary. The whole episode was about evaluation of circumstances, so these are the circumstances.

Even though it is difficult, Peyton is willing to wait for Lucas. But she decided, with some help from her favorite (former) record storeowner, to still be the person she is. She is going to keep the car she loves and listen to music and run her business. I do not know what I would do if Peyton really sold her car. It would be like a whole different show.

Lucas on the other hand, with some help from his mother’s boyfriend, decided to go to New York for the purpose of winning Lindsay back. He hopes that editing his second novel together with repair their relationship. Count me as one vote for not going to happen. The book made her realize that she needed to leave him at the altar, so why would more time with said book help matters?

But according to their therapist, Nathan and Haley are going to be fine, that is if they reincorporate the things that they love (basketball and music) into their lives, which the end of the episode indicated they are attempting to do. It is as important for them to be individuals as it is for them to be a married couple and united parents. I have to say I was kind of astounded to here practical, good-sense, advice on this show. (Ten point to whomever correctly identifies the actress who played their therapist. Hint: she was a major character in an iconic 80's movie.)

And while their marriage might be on the mend, Dan is infiltrating his way into Jamie’s life, which has very little chance of ending well. Nathan and Haley should have taught their son not to keep secrets.

Brooke’s not so secret desire to be a mother hit a roadblock when she was rejected as a candidate by an adoption agency, because she is too young, single, has a demanding career, and her own mother committed total character assassination against her. I believe Brooke that she will be a mother, that nothing will stop her from getting what she wants, but I understand why the adoption agency would be less than enthused by her.

All in all, the Tree Hillers are not doing too badly. Let us see how long it lasts.

The TV Girl

How I Met Your Mother (7): I Was Supposed To Finish A Ninja Report Yesterday.

This is the kind of episode I have been waiting for. Ted was being a nice and slightly fussy guy, Barney enlightened us all about another aspect of the nature of modern life, and Robin tried to solve a problem with guns. And Marshall finally said out loud that Barney and his brother have two different fathers! Funny, sweet, all around fine episode.

I would like to thank How I Met Your Mother for raising our awareness of the horrible consequence of career unhappiness: decreased sex drive/opportunity, trouble urinating in public, crying in front of your boss, realizing that your friends do not have any more of an idea how to handle problems than you do. A bad job doesn’t just stay at the office; it follows you home and infects every aspect of your life.

And while we wish we were better people, show of hands: who has participated in the circle/chain/pyramid of yelling? My hand is raised. I do not think anyone is really innocent of having yelled at someone beneath them after being yelled at by someone above them. (In fact, as I was watching the episode a superior snipped at me and I in turn snipped at a coworker. Are there jobs that do not start before noon?) Marshall’s experience with the waiter makes clear that you cannot attempt to manipulate the system through artificial scenarios and the final result of his attempt shows that all manipulation inevitably brings the system down upon your own head again.

These varied effects are valuable things to know, especially if you have a sucky boss/job. Yelling a friend will never be as cathartic as yelling at that sucky boss, but by yelling at that boss you may end up quitting and eating an overly ketchuped burger in a friend’s new car. Will your friend be a generous as Ted and sell that new car in order to give you the money to pay your mortgage?

Guys, just to let you know, I won’t be like Ted.

The TV Girl

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (10): I Adore This Show!

I do not want to be all gushy-gushy but I have a feeling that is how this post may end up. I am so ridiculously in love with this show I wonder if any real life relationship will be as fulfilling for me. Probably not, oh well. But when you found the one why question things? When you find a show that defies your expectations and intelligently explores the complexities of the human condition there is no need to worry about tiny details like the fact that the conversation is very one-sided.

I sound as crazy as Baltar. And I am kind of kidding.

But a Quick Recap: Kara tries to convince Roslin to listen to her and Roslin tries to shoot her, but misses. Kara is taken to the brig, where Adama tells her that she has lost her last ally and she taunts him about being too devoted to Roslin. The Galactica Cylons decide that Baltar might have information about the Final Cylon, and send Tory to seduce it out of him. On the Cylon Baseship Cavil decides that the Raiders need to be re-engineered because they refuse to fight, but Six, Leoben, and Eight fight him, arguing that something has changed and they need to find the Final Five. The vote is deadlocked, but Boomer votes independently, against her model, and Cavil has his way. The pilots have a going away party for Lee. A drunken Adama and a belligerent Roslin get into an argument about Kara, miracles, and death. Adama leaves angry with Roslin, who ends up crying when she pulls out some of her hair. Lee visits Kara in the brig to say goodbye, telling her he now understands what she means by having a destiny, and that he cannot explain his choice but he knows it is right. They shake hands and as he is about to leave she calls him back. He kisses her, hugs her and tells her he believes her, then goes. He stands in the ready room one last time remembering his command. On the hanger deck he finds the crew, officers, Adama, and Roslin there to send him off properly. He salutes and hugs his comrades, and says goodbye to Dualla, telling her “she got the house” which publicly acknowledges that their marriage is ended. Baltar notices Tory noticing him in the mess hall, and when he talks to her about her motives he sees a projection of himself, not of Six, who tells him to use Tory as a source of information. After the Raiders are lobotomized, Six interrupts a meeting of Cavil, Dorals, and Simons to inform them that she, the Eights, and the Leoben’s have given reason to the Centurions, who proceed to murder Cavil and the others. During an intimate moment Baltar tells Tory that he believes Cylons are capable of feeling and that he believes in the one true god. Helo removes Kara from the brig and takes her to the hanger deck where Adama is waiting. She assumes he is going to abandon her in space, but he tells her that he is giving her a ship and a crew to find a way to Earth, because he cannot afford to ignore her if she is right.

On with my gushing. What the frakkedy-frak frak is Baltar seeing? There has never been a definite conclusion about what Baltar’s Six actually is; hallucination, projection of his own psyche, proof that he is a Cylon, or the voice of the one true god have all been hypothesized. Now he is seeing, and conversing with, someone that looks like himself, only him the way that Caprica Six sees him in her projection/hallucination/whatever. I will admit that after this long with Baltar’s Six I had stopped questioning her nature and simply accepted her as present and talking to Baltar the butthead. I doubt I am the only one so complacent, but I am no longer allowed to be so, because Baltar no longer sees Six. If she/he/they are simply manifestations of Baltar’s psyche, then this might indicate that he has absolved himself of any guilt he felt about his actions regarding the original genocide or New Caprica. He no longer needs another form to reinforce his narcissistic rationalizations. If she/he/they are the voice of a higher power then this shape change might indicate that his conversion to the one true god is (from his perspective) sincere and complete and that he can be his own spiritual guide. Or, regardless of the origin of his companion, the change could indicate that he is no longer concerned with simple self-preservation, but rather is turning his attention and energy towards establishing himself in such a way that he will not be as vulnerable to downfall again. It could mean so many things, and I am intrigued by the possibilities opened up here.

I am also intrigued by Roslin’s unflinching faith in herself. I kind of wish I had the confidence/delusion to believe that my drug-induced prophetic visions were worthy of blind loyalty and that another person’s word about their instinctual knowledge based on an unexplainable journey is a bunch of crazy nonsense. Furthermore I am intrigued as to why Roslin considers a recitation of her own plot-points proof of miracles and Kara’s return from Earth and/or death is not. One cannot confuse the public face of decisive leadership with personal infallibility, but that seems to be what Roslin has done, and that cannot bode well for anyone. It is no accident that when trying to shoot Kara she hit a picture of herself and Adama; there is a division between them coming, and she will be the one to initiate it.

The Known Cylons do not have to wait for impending division. I wonder if they have ever heard the phrase “pride goeth before a fall.” I am thinking not, otherwise they would have been a bit more reticent with all their high horse disdain of the human tendencies towards power-struggle, infighting, and division. On behalf of the human race: take that you stupid machines!

A double take that for how beautifully the Cylon inter-destruction was juxtaposed with human healing and solidarity. I am neither joking nor ashamed to say that I cried from joy at both Lee’s and Kara’s leaving. It would have been so easy for Adama and the rest of Galactica’s crew to revile Lee for his choice, to consider him weak or cowardly for leaving the military. But their respect for his service and knowledge of his integrity overcame any disagreement they may have with his decision. As for Kara, I could not take too much more animosity between her an Adama. It just broke my heart, but he is trusting her in the way he did before she died. As he has before, Adama put aside his personal fears to give humanity the best chance of success. It was almost as wonderful as Lee and Kara’s kiss.

“Six of One” raised a great deal of questions, but I will compile a list and post it later in the week.

The TV Girl

Friday, April 11, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (10)

I am not quite ready to write down all I have to say about this episode, but I have to say something before I go to bed. I love this show. Watching this episode it was clearer to me than Kara's sense of Earth. If you are not watching you are missing what has to be the best show airing at the moment. If you are watching I have to believe that you saw what I saw. There are few things that make me cry out of pure joy, but BSG makes me do so.

The TV Girl

30 Rock (5): Flat As Liz’s Address Book.

I hate myself for saying bad things about the beautiful Tina Fey and her baby 30 Rock, but last night’s episode was boring, verging on tedious.

The MILF Island mimicking of the main plot was too obvious. We all would have understood the comparison without the host of MILF Island narrating the episode of 30 Rock. As an intelligent viewer I do not like a show pointing out to me that the audience in general is considered too unintelligent to understand what is going on.

How could Liz not realize that Jack’s story of his childhood sounded like he grew up in a mill town in the 19th Century! Well, I guess at times we all get so caught up in the proximate end that we cannot see the final end, but he laid it on pretty thick. Maybe her connected foot/head gear messed up something in her brain, making her incapable of noticing when she is being shamelessly manipulated.

Tracey is over the top, but that is why he is wonderful. He needs to be more than a bit player.

This episode could be a warning of things to come. There are rumors that Oprah will guest star as Liz’s best friend. I cannot think of an un-funnier guest star. I despise Oprah, but if she was even remotely funny I would be open to the idea. “MILF Island” could be an isolated misstep of an episode, or 30 Rock could be another show to be impaled on its own popularity.

The TV Girl

The Office (7): Please No Jan Babies!

I have been under whelmed by Season Four of The Office. The hour-long episodes are tiresome; the plots are exposed as thin when prolonged past half an hour. While I am one of the five Karen fans out there, I am glad the Jim/Pam storyline has moved forward. But I feel like they are no longer characters; as if now that they are in a relationship neither of them have any personality or aspirations. All of Pam’s desires for a more fulfilling career really stemmed from her unhappy engagement to Roy? Jim will be perfectly content to work at a desk next to Dwight as long as he goes home to Pam? In real life when people begin a new relationship they have a tendency to insulate themselves, not wanting to share their happiness with friends, keeping all of themselves for each other. Real life is one thing, but when this is the prospective of fictional characters towards an audience then the show suffers.

Furthermore, I wish the episodes would be more confined to the office. Last night’s episode demonstrated how necessary the supporting characters are to the overall effectiveness of the show. This episode basically concentrated on the principle characters (Michael, Dwight, Jim, and Pam), with only a few subordinate characters (Jan, Angela, and Andy). The whole episode seemed to be a showcase of Jan’s lunacy, but no amount of Jan can replace the brilliance of Creed’s disturbing stories, Kevin’s giggle, or Stanley’s utter disinterest.

Despite the problems I see with this season of The Office, I am still really excited to tune into the new episodes. There is still nothing quite like The Office on TV. And there is no character as self-deluded as Michael. How could he have told Jan that he and Pam dated? How could Jan have believed that? It is like Jan has been brainwashed because she knows from personal experience that Michael exaggerates everything. Could it be that she is using her candle business to hide another habit? It was kind of sweet that she tried to fix the Dundie she broke, but considering that the cops tried to take Michael into protective custody, the end looks to be near for Jan and Michael. I can only hope that arrives before any bundle of joy. But after three operations Michael’s, um, potential may be too severely diminished for any little Michaels.

And one last question: was Jim really going to leave Pam at that dinner party by herself?

The TV Girl

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Samantha Who? (6): Why Is Everyone Calling Her Mean?

I only know one other person watching this show, but it is not a bad half-hour of entertainment. Sam (Christina Applegate) lost her memory due to a car accident. The more she discovers about herself, the more she realizes she was a terrible person, so now she is trying to be a better person. Complicating matters further are her mom Regina (Jean Smart), who has shading of a suburban Lucille Bluth, her best friend Andrea (Jennifer Esposito), who wants the old Sam back, her childhood friend Dena (Melissa McCarthy), who wants to help her change, and her ex-boyfriend Todd (Barry Watson), who has started dating someone else, but with whom Samantha is still in love. It is kind of a charming little show; sweet without being syrupy, awkward moments do not devolve into unwatchable embarrassment, and aloof doorman Frank (Tim Russ) is the perfect straight-man to balance all the crazies. I like it.

Last night I had a chance to catch up with the episode that aired on Monday (the first new episode since the strike). Regina and Dena's make-over/drinking party that ended with graffiti and stolen statues was immensely funny. (Who hasn't gotten drunk and stolen a neighbor's lawn art?)

But I am a bit confused that Todd is supposed to be this really "nice" guy. I am not saying he is a bad guy, but he lives in Sam's apartment (presumably rent-free, because she owns) and he asks her if he can move his new girlfriend in. Why is Sam competing with Chloe (Kiele Sanchez) for the affection of a guy who does not recognize that having your new girlfriend live with you in your ex-girlfriend's apartment is just a kind of schmucky thing to do? It is rude, selfish, and inconsiderate to both parties. Todd's fallback position seems to be that no matter what he or anyone else does, Sam has always done something worse. While I happen to find such an attitude juvenile it is kind of understandable when you see some of the things this girl has done. But this episode shows that Sam may have been worse at times, but Todd has been better.

Shout-Outs: Little Things To Know That Make Watching Better
I could possibly be the only one who remembers this, but once upon a time on a network called The WB there was a single-season show called Related, which stared both Jennifer Esposito and Kiele Sanchez as two of four very close sisters. Even though I do not think they have shared a scene on Samantha Who? it is funny to see them in opposite camps.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Random Question: Should The Past Be Left There?

What I am about to say is much more about my life than a specific TV show, but I have some things on my mind and I thought I would share. Let me tell you a couple of stories.

Recently, via MySpace (or as I like to call it, "un-fun Facebook") I reconnected with my best friend from high school. For various reasons she and I had lost communication. I joined MySpace to talk to my first college roomate (who refuses to be on Facebook) and in addition to finding MM, there was NC, and I couldn't have been happier. She is still one of the most loving, talented, funny women I have ever met, and she was an amazing friend to me during some very difficult times.

Plus, she was my first TV buddy. In our separate homes we talked on the phone during Dawson's Creek (only during the commercials, but the line was open the whole episode). Lunch periods were spent discussing the finer points of Felicity. We both actually read the "Roswell High" book series. Dr Doug Ross' departure was an event for us. We took opposite views on most issues: she was a Dawson girl, I was Pacey all the way; her heart was with Noel, I knew Ben was the one; I embraced sci-fi, she tended more towards the romantic drama. Interacting with NC again has put a point on some nostalgia I had already been feeling because of another old friend I saw recently.

On my recent vacation I was lucky enough to spend some time with an friend from college JKY, who happens to be a huge Dawson's Creek fan (okay, maybe this post is about Dawson's Creek). JKY and Jennie were in the process of rewatching the series, so one afternoon we all settled in for an episode or two. It was the "Breakfast Club" episode from Season One, and between the music, the clothes, and Katie Holmes' shoulder shrug/talking out of the side of her mouth combo I was in memory lane heaven. I was inspired to start from the beginning and relive every amazing/agonizing moment.

Reconnecting with NC has only increased this desire, but as of yet I have not made any steps towards fulfillment. And a huge reason why is that I am wondering if I go back now to something I loved when I was such a different person, will I destroy all the good memories? Great TV shows stand the test of time (if not the test of fashion taste); Battlestar Galactica and Arrested Development with be coming to the nursing home with me. Even the good can hold up. Felicity was a highly successful (except for the last six episodes) series rewatch for me a couple summers ago, and when in doubt I will still throw in an episode of Buffy (different post would be needed to decide if I think this show is great or good) to keep me company on a Saturday afternoon.

But if you have that feeling inside that the show you loved so dearly may not be quite as good as you remember should you just leave well enough alone?

(Adding even more complication to the particular case of Dawson's Creek is the fact that my beautiful Jensen (aka Dean Winchester) is in a few episodes towards the end of the series. This disposes me in favor of a rewatch, but I can just watch Supernatural. Very complicated.)

Any thoughts?

The TV Girl

The Hills (3): On The Immensely Trivial Side of Life.

I know that I am way too old, and way too smart to care about the "exploits" of a bunch of self-absorbed, under-educated, party girls, but what can I say? It is like watching the slowest moving, societal train-wreak in recent American history. I feel like an anthropologist of the moronic while I watch.

As dumb as these girls are, the guys they date should be studied as examples of the missing link. If you need proof that it requires more than physical beauty to find a decent, let alone a good, partner look no further than Heidi and Spencer. No amount of fame is worth even pretending to agree to marry this a-hole.

So imagine my distress when watching the first of last night's two episodes in which Spencer harmed not only those idiotic enough to remain in his path of destruction, but also innocent human being like myself. My stomach turned when Spencer said he needed his sister's TV to watch 24! Freetards like him are not allowed to watch good shows. They should be limited to watching the crap shows that they star on! 24 is for adults who are able to form a complete sentence, not the mentally sub-par who graffiti the inside of their apartment.

Why, oh why is Jack Bauer fictional? He could fix this situation with two fingers (and then go work in Scranton).

The TV Girl

Monday, April 7, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (9): What If It Had Been Zack?

I did little fist pumps in the air when Lee said that because I had been tossing around ideas with some friends that it would be an amazing twist if Zack turned out to be the last Cylon. So, as my sister asks: is the door now open to bring the other Adama son back to life?

But let us have a Quick Recap: After some bewilderment, Kara and Lee join the battle. Tigh has a vision of shooting Adama, but then follows orders and commands anyone who can fly to suit up. Anders is unable to fire his weapon, and a Raider scans him. His eye turns red, the Raider turns away, and the entire Cylon offensive jumps away. Kara is brought onto Galactica, says she was only away for six hours, and that she has pictures of Earth. Despite passing Doc Cottle’s test, Roslin does not believe she really is Kara, the ship Kara returned on is in mint condition, and Kara cannot give any definite information on the location of Earth beyond her feeling, so the fleet continues to jump based on the path of the nebula. Baltar is being protected by a cult living in a storage container on Galactica. While he is willing to get it on with one of his “followers,” he tries to leave, but stays to pray over a sick boy to the one true god. While shaving away his icky faux-Jesus look, he and one of his followers are attacked by Joe, whose son Kevin was killed on New Caprica. Baltar begs Joe to kill him, proving to Unseen Six (this is how I am going to refer to the Six only Baltar can see) that he would be willing to give up his life for the sick boy. When he escapes Joe, he finds that the young boy is miraculously healed. Adama offers Lee his wings back, but Lee tells him that even though he took them off for the wrong reasons, he is going to accept a position in the civilian government. Kara confronts Anders in front of her picture on the Remembrance Wall, and she starts to doubt what she is. He tells her that even if she is a Cylon he still loves her, but she does not reciprocate the sentiment. While they talk, the fleet jumps again, and Kara decides she has to convince Roslin to listen to her. She attacks he guards and Anders, makes he way to Adama’s quarters where Roslin is sleeping, and the episode ends with Kara raising a gun to the President. Got all that?

This could have been the crappiest episode in the history of Battlestar Galactica, and I still would be over the moon about its very existence. In fact, I had to rewatch the episode, because when I tried to think about what had happened, I realized that in my euphoria nothing had really stuck in my mind. Luckily for all of us, I realized on the second time around that “He That Believeth in Me” is a quality episode.

And one of the most quality moments: could Lee and Kara’s hug have been any more wonderful? She pulled away/pushed away from Anders, but she held onto to Lee, and boy did he hold onto her. I know that I am repeating myself and I do not need to point our every single time they show affection for each other, but Lee and Kara are a very important issue to me, and I just cannot help myself.

It has been too many episodes since we have had such a good battle scene. And it has been a long long time since a Fleet ship full of people was destroyed. For a while the Cylon/Galactica interchanges were skirmishes at most, stand-offs often, so I kind of forgot what an adrenaline rush it is when all the Vipers and Raiders are zooming around and shooting at each other. For the Cylons to launch such a large offensive I would think they were planning on destroying the Humans once and for all. But they turn back after scanning Anders, so were they looking for the Final Five? The Known Seven are not supposed to think about the Final Five, but the Threes did, and now the Sixes are, so it is possible they were fishing. There is something afoot on the Cylon side. Last season when the show starting taking place so often on the Cylon Baseships I was less than compelled, but now I want to know why they attacked and why they turned back, which only the Cylons can tell me.

I am not the only one wondering, but unlike the Galactica Cylons, I am not coming up with solutions. I have to question Tigh’s plan. I understand the principle behind it; he believes that his choices make him who he is, not whatever his DNA happens to be, so he will choose to end his life and/or their lives if it seems some sort of programming is taking over. His determination is a wonderful contrast to Anders’ crippling confusion. It would be unrealistic for all of them to simply “accept” that they are Cylons, and it is in keeping with Tigh’s character that he refuses to give up on the life he has lived. But even if they shoot themselves to prevent any damage they would do, aren’t there just other copies of their models? This leads me to another question: where are the other copies? This question can be absorbed into another question I have been pondering for a long time: is there a Cylon home world? There may be no answers to my questions, or they may be unimportant in the grand scheme of things, just something I have been tossing around in my head, re-prompted by this episode.

Tigh was not the only one resorting to gun-waving. Kara, whatever/whoever she is now, is not messing around. I do not disagree with Roslin’s wary attitude towards Kara reborn, but maybe she is a bit too presumptuous in thinking that Kara would just be ignored without fighting back. Normal Starbuck wouldn’t do that, so why would she return any less insistent or emphatic about something in which she believes? But Roslin is being rather persumptous in a related area as well. If I were sharing dreams with two Cylons and a Humalon baby, I would start to wonder if I were a Cylon. So concerned with what Kara might be, Roslin so far is not entertaining this (obvious) possibility. But maybe that is part of human frailty; it is always someone else, never me.

It is when you can no longer deny that it is someone else that things get complicated, and interesting. Lee couldn’t seem to care less what Kara came back as, and he asks his father if they could have Zack back would it matter that he was a Cylon. Lee is now facing a potential reality that the woman he loves is not human. He could be in the same situation Helo was two years ago, a situation to which Lee has been less than sympathetic. Now that it might be him, will he be more respectful of Helo and Sharon’s family? With Kara’s return Lee is in a position not just to change, but to grow.

Finally, and this may be highly trivial, but I love the new opening. I am usually hesitant when shows change their credits or intros, but I am a big fan. By concentrating on the issues of the Know Cylons, the Battlestar Cylons, and the Final Cylon, the intro focuses the viewers’ attention to be congruent with that of the characters. The general threat of the Cylons has been particularized over the years; it is not so important anymore what they are, so much as who they are.

The TV Girl

Friday, April 4, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: Marriage, Divorce, and Adultery

In the name of full disclosure I am going to get a few more things out on the table in the final hours before Season Four.

Dualla is the character I hate the most. As irrational as you many think I am, I blame her for Billy’s death. She humiliated him and then got him killed. I did not really give her much consideration before that, but when it happened repulsion took root in my heart, which will live forever. The fact that she married Lee after acknowledging that he will always be in love with Kara (see extended version of “Unfinished Business”) just makes me want to dismiss her entirely. A woman so stupid is not even worthy of my hatred, and she is defiantly not worthy of Lee.

Granted, Lee is kind of a screw-up, and loosing Kara did not help. It is not a coincidence that when Kara died he left the military. Lee is like his father, but he is not his father. It is interesting that he never actually says why he joined the service. We know it was for Adams’s approval, but I think Lee respects what he does too much to reduce it in that way. Whatever his faults, his love for Kara is so sincere that it guided his life as much as his relationship with his father. He could not trust her completely enough to leave secure mediocrity with Dualla, but he loved her too much to let her abandon herself to doubt. Kara tells Lee to let her go into the storm because his love is what ties her to life.

Lee, not Anders! Kara married Anders after talking with (a drunk) Tigh, proof beyond doubt that she made the wrong choice. Anders is to Kara kind of what Riley was to Buffy: not horrible in and of himself, but to weak to handle a girl like that. Love is not enough if it is not paired with any strength of character and a willingness to challenge the other.

And there is the minor detail that Anders is a Cylon. I just do not think he and Kara have what Helo and Sharon have. But really, is anyone as wonderful as the Agathons?

Enjoy tonight everyone!

The TV Girl

Battlestar Galactica: Bill and Laura

The big day is finally here, and I still have so much to say, but I am accepting that I will never be able to say it all.

One of the accomplishments of Battlestar Galactica is the portrayal of how a respectful relationship is formed. In the beginning Bill Adama and Laura Roslin could not have been more different (they still are different) and they could not have been more at odds. Her more humanitarian mindset did not mesh well with his military training. The basis of their relationship was necessity; in order for humanity to survive, the civilian fleet need needed protection. Through acts of trust and mutual forgiveness Bill and Laura have not only come to admire each other, they have come to love each other. I mean love in more than the romantic sense (and I see that plain as day between these two). I mean love in the sense of genuine friendship, the kind of friendship that is necessary for society to continue. They see the strengths and weaknesses of each other, and over time have learned when to give and when to take in order to achieve the best results.

Over time is the key. Between them there have been mistakes, disagreements, disappointments, and messes to clean up. She once incited mutiny for which he put her in prison. He defied a direct order from her to execute Cain. She stole and hid Hera without telling him so that he would not have to lie about it. He refused to prosecute Helo when he disabled the biological weapon, even though she was irate enough to want it. They have opposite view points on the verdict of Baltar’s trial. Through each encounter and the consequences thereof they learn they know each other more and forge a stronger friendship.

Bill and Laura are, professionally, at the highest level: the President and the Admiral. From that point the serve as leaders for humanity, but it is their private friendship that serves as an example of conduct for those they lead.

It took until Baltar became President for me to get to the view I express here. For a season and a half I would clench my teeth every time Roslin spoke. She verged on a bit too bleeding heart for me, but she was such a pain in the ass at the same time. Seeing her cry over Billy’s body (through my own tears) was not what changed my mind about her, but it opened the door.

I am thinking that the cancer getting her this time might be the right ending for her: a way to free her of her responsibilities without betraying her character. But I also think that she is the last Cylon.

The TV Girl

Miss Guided (6.25): There Could Be Something Here.

KP asked me if I intended to watch Miss Guided and it only took two words to convince me to do so: Judy Greer. She is one funny lady, evidenced in her exploits as Kitty the receptionist on Arrested Development. And I like the premise of the show: Becky Freeley (Judy Greer) the goody-two-shoes outsider is all grown up and now works at her former high school as the guidance counselor, but no matter how old you get high school stays the same. There is still the beautiful girl who gets everything she wants, Lisa Germain (Brook Burns), the cute but dumb guy who is inexplicably crush-worthy, Tim O’Malley (Kristoffer Polaha), the power-hungry staff member who seems to hate the students, Vice Principal Bruce Terry (Chris Parnell), and the ultimate authority that may or may not be paying attention, Principal Phil Huffy (Earl Billings).

I watched the two episodes that were on last week, and I watched the two that were on last night. The plots are amusing; the Vice-Principal’s office is vandalized, the evil teacher everyone hates unexpectedly dies, the terrible lead in the musical quits moments before curtain, a fire-alarm puller is unfairly punished. The cast works well together; the interaction between Becky and Lisa demonstrates both actresses giving their own interpretation of fairly similar emotions. (One of these actresses is obviously stronger than the other, but it would be unkind to name names.) Bruce is the gem. I predict this man could give Michael Scott a run for his money in the delusional short man race.

It is the early episodes of The Office that Miss Guided makes me think about. Dredge your memory, or press play on your Season One DVD, and think about how in those first few episodes you knew that the cast was strong, the writing was good, and you were interested enough to come back, but something just didn’t quite work. Basically, the producers had not yet figured out the proper balance for all the elements. If Miss Guided is picked up for the fall, this first season indicates that it could be a wonderful comedy. It has everything it needs, and with a bit of time and patience could easily find its way.

If you want to give Miss Guided a try, has full episodes available.

Shout Outs: Little Things To Know That Make Watching Better
30 Rock fans already know that genius of Chris Parnell: he plays the renowned Dr. Spaceman. Also, you may remember Kristoffer Polaha as the blood-doping cyclist from House.

The TV Girl

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Riches (8): It Was A Different Color, It Could Not Be Real.

Before I get into the crazy joy that was Tuesday’s episode I have to pass along a criticism that was pointed out to me by my friend Jennie. If a show is pursuing a baby-plot with an actress who is not actually pregnant, it is stupid of them to point out to the audience the fact that the actress was never pregnant by putting her in a belly-shirt. While some women loose the baby weight quickly, Ginny’s muscles definition screamed “I go to the gym every day and have not gestated another human being recently.” I promise that she can be just as trashy in shirts that cover her abdomen, so let us hope the costumer learns his/her lesson.

Back to business. I am going to say it and not even defend my statement: Dahlia did not turn herself in for parole violation. Moving on, there are not enough forks in the world that could be stuck in enough places in Dale to make me even slightly less irate. And as repulsed as I am by Dale, I am furious with Wayne. I thought that by taking a day and letting myself process I would be able to discuss this episode sort of rationally. Well, all I have gotten is angrier.

Dahlia is the great love of Wayne’s life; wife of many years, mother of his children, partner in crime. He finds out that Dale threatened her, choked her, and tried to drown her, and he reacted without even a glimmer of anger, or outrage, or protective instinct. That is bullshit. Yep, I said it, bullshit. He is not giving her a better life; hell, he is not even giving her a life equal to their Traveler days. One presumes that back before the Rich-con Wayne protected his family, kept them in relative safety. One assumes he would not let some sub-prime dirt-bag like Dale even talk about hurting Dahlia. For money he rolls over and tells her to deal? Cael is not pulling any punches, and I commend his honesty. But is his son’s dismissal enough to make Wayne see that he is not pretending to be an asshole, he is one. (I have no doubt that this show will find a way for Wayne to win my heart back, but right now I am pissed.)

And speaking of being pissed, so, I was wrong on my theory about the prison dude’s identity. Now the interesting question is why does a man who has been in prison for twenty years have a grudge against Wayne? And, is there a relationship between his dislike of Wayne, Ginny’s dislike of Wayne, and Ginny’s father’s murder?

To end this on something of a happy note, Sam started a new mural! This one seems to be about his desires for his family’s future, rather than a document of their past. Maybe Sam can save them all.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just To Let You Know

I have always enjoyed the campy/crazy of America's Next Top Model. The photo shoots are always really neat to look at, Tyra always does something dramatic, and someone always cries.

But after twenty minutes tonight I am washing my hands of this show. Dominique was allowed to go on national television and gloat that Whitney was discriminated against. The challenge was group go-sees (fancy model term for "job interview") and Whitney, the plus-size model, was told by the designer she was modeling for that as a size 10 she would simply not be considered as a viable choice. Understandably, Whitney was upset by this, and while Dominique kept her mouth shut in front of her competition, in her taped interview she rejoiced that Whitney's weight would be used against her. Dominique joyfully assumed that because one designer is ignorant and shallow that Whitney would automatically be eliminated.

Well, I am done. I refuse to waste my time on absolutely ridiculous animosity. We live a country where it is unacceptable to dismiss another person because of their physiognomy, except for weight/body size. And while I do not believe that the designer should be required to hire a plus-size model, it is repulsive that another person would be allowed to publicly display her glee over the unjust perception that heavier equals uglier.

Frak that kind of uncharitable perspective. I will find a better way to spend an hour a week.

The TV Girl

Random Info: The Future NBC

Some announcements have been made about the Fall Line-Up on NBC. Chuck and Heroes are confirmed to return to our Monday nights. Lipstick Jungle and Life have also been renewed. Scrubs will be moving to ABC for an eighth season. A pilot has been ordered for a spin-off of The Office. Cannot say I think this is a good idea; keep what you have going strong. I will always pick quality over quantity.

But the most amazing, wonderful, God-I-have-been-waiting-for-this, news: Friday Night Lights is coming back after the end of the regular football season (you know the real life one that is all boring and such)! Excuse me, I have to go pass out from relief.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Show: Caprica

If you want to read some details about the premise of the Battlestar Galactica spinoff (for which a pilot has been ordered) then go to Watch With Kristin, E!Online. It sounds quite good. (Hippie!)

The TV Girl

P.S. I herby officially apologize to my sister for this tiff we got into a couple weeks back about the possibility of this spinoff's existence or non-existence. I was the denying-Thomas and I am sorry. Love you.

Battlestar Galactica: Why Are People So Stupid?

Sorry to be writing about this again today (I have something else to be writing for KP), but I cannot help myself when I "stumble" upon BSG articles. And it seems I cannot help but get annoyed. There are two characters disqualified from the "whose the last Cylon" race: Helo and Callie. Way back in Season One Sharon (Helo's wife, not Boomer) tells Helo that Cylons cannot sexually reproduce. The birthing farm Starbuck is held at in Season Two attests to the need for human DNA in order for Cylons to have children. Therefore, the only way that Callie or Helo is the last Cylon would be for the difference between the final five and the known seven to be biological (maybe a better word would be mechanical) rather than ideological (which is how it has been presented thus far). BSG goes out of its way to shake things up, but until they officially change the rules, Helo and Callie are off the table. Get cracking on better theories people.

The TV Girl

Battlestar Galactica: This Is A Boy’s Show?

The big day is closer, and I am not the only one whose anticipation has spilled over onto a web page. (Far from the only one I am sure, but we need not get into my internet-phobias here.) And there is something out there for everyone. For the virgins (KP) there is an video on that in eight (very funny) minutes tells you everything you absolutely need to know in order to start watching on Friday. “What The Frak Is Going On?” is informative, entertaining, and probably guaranteed to convince you of BSG’s worth. For the tramps (me) there are debates and theories and Last Supper recreations. An article I just finished is about how BSG could save your marriage. I (almost) wish I were a virgin again, because the female side was glaringly inaccurate, but if I had never seen the show I would not know that, therefore I would not be so annoyed right now. But the husband/wife debate propelled me to thinking, because it is based on a premise that I would never have thought in the first place, let alone assented to. Who is the nimrod that posited that Battlestar Galactica is a show for boys?

Frak that!

Let me explain something. I have four brothers and a very strong mother. I have believed since birth that women are intelligent, dignified, and honorable creatures; it is only through laziness and abnegation of personal responsibility that to be different from a man means to be less than a man. Do not mistake any of this for Jane-Fonda-women’s-lib-herstory bullshit. I am talking about my inherent worth based on the fact that I am a being created by God with a rational soul. My brothers did not get to have my dolls, but I was encouraged to make use of all the toys in our home: G.I Joe and I were dear friends, Lego open up new possibilities for me, and there was nothing like a Saturday morning in the dirt with Tonka. There has never been a point in my life that I believe aliens, Westerns, guns, or not showering is boy territory. (But really, we should all shower.)

So, can you see why I am a bit confused by this idea that BSG is in a genera for boys? My TV taste has always embraced science fiction, and not just the kind that portrays ass-kicking women. Supernatural is one of my favorite shows, but both of the main characters are male, and quite a few plots revolve around rescuing a damsel. (But did anyone else catch that the actress who plays Ellen on Supernatural was also on an episode of BSG?) My initial reluctance to BSG was not the genera or subject matter, rather it was a result of having seen a few moments of the camptastic original version. Shudder.

I have to say that I think women are intentionally built into the show as an audince. I am not even talking about Starbuck’s badassness, or Sharon’s awesomeness, or Six’s ability to remind all of us that the gym is not necessarily optional. Can you honestly tell me that with the amount of time that Apollo and Helo spend with their shirts off that the producers are not completely aware of just how many women (and gay men) are watching? Those beautiful scenes are not cheep ploys to lure in female viewers; they are proof that the show creators/producers realize that the question of what makes us human (the primary question of BSG) is non-gendered, and will be applicable to and appreciated by both sexes. Therefore they know that they have women viewers who need a little eye-candy to lift up their spirits when things look bleak.

The TV Girl

How I Met Your Mother (8): Time For Me To Play A Little Catch-Up.

I am going to roll my commentary on three episodes into one post. This might end up a bit out of order.

Last night’s episode might have been a dream come true for some viewers. I have to be honest. I did not watch Doogie Howser, MD. At the time it aired I was only allowed to watch (at night when my parents observed me) The Simpsons, therefore I missed some of the cultural “landmarks” of my generation. No Saved By The Bell or Clarissa Explains It All for me. (For those of you currently pondering why I was encouraged to view the, sometimes, objectionable-for-children material of The Simpsons, all I will say is that I make no apologies for my upbringing.) Despite the blessing of being spared the early 90s, I have of course caught glimpses of Neil Patrick Harris’ infamous sap-fests recorded on ancient technology, so I could laugh out loud with everyone else upon seeing Barney sitting at his computer typing to chiming instrumental music. I have to respect an actor, and a show, that properly utilizes the value of self-parody.

Is Robin right? Do the women Barney seduces have any claim to righteous fury? I cannot feel that sorry for any woman who believes something like “I am the Prince of Norway.” But I do love seeing Barney get slapped; it never ceases to be funny.

There is nothing quite like coming home from an awesome vacation to two new episodes of How I Met Your Mother. And there is nothing quite like the best-friend-smack-down-when-your-being-an-ass. I have always loved Marshall’s quiet and quirky wisdom. He is a better person than me; I would have punched Ted in the face if he told me the story of his Saint Patrick’s Day.

Even though I saw pictures of it beforehand, nothing could really prepare me for the glory that is Barney’s green suit. Even so, the St. Patrick’s Day episode is not one of their best. Personally, I just did not find anything amusing about Ted’s behavior. The point of the episode is perception; at times we see our lives in a way that is incongruent with reality. I know that we were supposed to see what Marshall was going to say before he had to say it, but I found it difficult to watch anyway. Barney being Barney is fantastic, but Ted being Barney is uncomfortable. I have no problem per se with Ted’s tiny existential crisis. I just wish he had recognized he was having it before it got so bad.

But Ted redeemed himself in my eyes in the next episode. His “two minute date” was thoughtful, fun, and charming. That is the sweet Ted I like to see. Also, I found Stella far more pleasant than Eliot. I would strongly suggest a character change for Sarah Chalke.

Britney Spears’ guest appearance has been talked to death. I liked her character, she did an adequate job, and from what I read she was profession and pleasant on set. Enough. There is a prospective guest that we should all be looking forward to with baited breath: James Van Der Beek. Dawson might be making eyes at Robin Sparkle! (The late 90s was my time.)

The TV Girl