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

My photo
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.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Comment/Joyous News: Southland

Nothing like awesome news to get me out of my illness and medication induced shell. TNT has made a super brilliant move and picked up Southland, the fantastic show that NBC (otherwise here known as "those douches") decided to not air for a second season.

Those douches get the name those douches not (only) for canceling a well-structured, well-acted, and immensely engaging show, since shows do get cancelled. Those douches are those douches because first they decided to do some format tweaking, then they pushed back the premier date, and then for no apparent reason the show was simply not going to air. Those douches had a chance to air some wonderful television and instead they treated it with less respect than their bottom feeding dating shows. It is understandable that a network would bail on goodness, but do so with some dignity.

TNT is going to air the first season, all 7 episodes, and the produced episodes of the second season, 6 so far, and depending on the rating will decide if we are going to be blessed with more. It is going to be like Christmas in January!

The TV Girl

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sons of Anarchy: Who Will Crack First?

“Small Tears”

How is Tara possibly going to keep Gemma’s abduction a secret? Gemma’s reasoning to not tell Jax or Clay is fairly solid, since it was an attack on the club and therefore any form of retaliation, which her family would (and will) inevitably engage in, would in some way be giving the League the upper hand. But if there is ever a time to have a violent-prone family, this would be the time! And Gemma is enough of a tough bitch that she will hold onto her information, but Tara isn’t as calculating or battle-weary. She might be okay patching bullet wounds, but since she insisted that Jax be honest with her, her resolve will crumble soon.

But what will Jax resolve to do about Clay? In deciding to blame the Niners for Opie killing one of the Mayans, Jax has inadvertently created conflict between the two, and the League is exploiting this conflict. Jax couldn’t have possibly foreseen that consequence, but now he has put himself in a position where solidarity with Clay is necessary. And considering that Opie walked out into open gunfire, his “revenge” hasn’t really done any good. The good-of-the-one vs the-good-of-the-many might turn into the good-of-none.

Was that Tom Arnold as an icky porn guy? And did Jax make a Sopranos reference? Now, backing Luann will give the club a legitimate business, aiding Jax in his moves away from gunrunning, but I have to think that there may be some unforeseen problems involved in the “adult entertainment” industry.

Just a question, because there were no subtitles and I therefore am hoping I heard incorrectly, but did Tig say that he threw pregnant girlfriend out of a moving car and she was hit by oncoming traffic? I can only hope that I misunderstood.

What is impossible to misunderstand is how frakking cute baby Able is. Adorable.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random Comment/Funny Story: NCIS

I usually don't watch NCIS when it airs, but every time I go on vacation I end up watching hours and hours of it in my hotel room. This has been happening quite a bit lately due to my funemployment-induced-traveling. Well, the last vacation I took was with my mom and my sister, and I won't say that my mom got hooked on NCIS, because she would never lower herself to do something so silly as actively follow a current TV show, BUT last night we finished dinner at exactly 8pm, and I said "I think I will watch the season premier of NCIS," and instead of the eye-rolling-while-leaving-the-room that I was expecting, SHE STAID TO WATCH THE WHOLE HOUR.

I don't know if she and I are forming some kind of new Tuesday tradition, but the only other shows of mine that she approves of are The Big Bang Theory and Psych, so this is kind of a big step for me and my mom.

The TV Girl

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Office: Stanley, You Have Achieved the Dream.

“Gossip”

Stanley, the cheating bastard, has done what so many have wanted to do: Hulked-out on Michael Scott’s car. Not that Stanley should be applauded for stepping out on his wife, not sorry at all that he got caught, but swing that tire iron for all of us.

Best rumor: Kevin has a tiny man inside him controlling him. Though Andy’s orientation-confusion rates a close second, Kevin is just too funny.

A little less Dwight than last season, and I am okay with that. Off to a good, and painfully awkward, start show. Good job.

The TV Girl

Random Comment: Gossip Girl

Sorry to be such a 90's dork, but Sonic Youth is going to guest star! Wonderful gifts like this, and Lisa Loeb in S1, make me feel better about being older than GG's target audience.

The TV Girl

Community: I Do Heart Joel McHale.

“Pilot”

I adore Joel McHale, but I am not entirely sold on this show. I am going to keep watching, see how it progresses, and there is plenty of potential. We’ll see.

The TV Girl

Supernatural: THERE WAS MUSIC!

“Good God, Y’all”

My Mom: “Demons…”
Me: “I don’t want to hear it. Leave me alone with my theologically questionable but amazingly wonderful show.”
My Mom: “I just think you should watch something more cheerful.”

Now, someone tell me, what wasn’t cheerful about Thursday’s episode? Oh, yeah, everything. But I did do some cheering, cheering about how kick-ass that episode was.

Jennie and I had an over-the-phone happy-dance that our show is awesome again.

First of all, I could not be happier that instead of dragging it out forever that the logical conclusion of God is not only being spoken out loud but also actually being pursued. Not that I am a huge fan of ridiculously obvious metaphor, but lets trace this one out. Castiel took Dean’s necklace (is there another word dudes use, I wouldn’t know) because it will “burn hot in the presence of God” therefore forcing Dean to give up the physical symbol of the I-understand-that-you-will-always-take-care-of-me relationship between him and his brother. (Of course this prepared us for the end of the episode and Sam going off on his own.) If this is so, doesn’t that mean that there is redemption out there for Sam, since he is the one who gave Dean the necklace. Isn’t it really that Sam is leading all of them to God?

A God who better fix Bobby!

Say what you will about it, but I think Castiel had every right to yell at Dean. End of the world and all, everyone is loosing something and being ripped a new one by a (sort of) angel might be just the thing to keep Dean from going back to all sorry for himself. And yay for Ellen for forcing him to rely on his instincts and his knowledge to figure out what was going on in the town manipulated by The Horseman War, but not actually possessed by any demons. Not that I am anything but distraught that Bobby is broken, but Dean and Sam went for two seasons without having to call Bobby every single episode, so you cannot be upset with me for being really excited that Dean and Sam have stopped being LAZY hunters, aka dumbasses.

And how cool was the answer? War speaking for itself? No one actually possessed? Social commentary on the Irish? BADASS!

Sorry, I will stop being excited. We all knew this was coming, we knew that there would be a moment when Sam and Dean would part ways, but did Dean have to make it so easy? No fight at all, to just let Sam go. I feel like I need to touch the Impala like Sam did before he got into someone’s car; say goodbye to what was. Don’t misunderstand, I know that this season is about bringing them back together, but they will never be the same.

I would add another cliché here and say “you cannot go backwards, only forwards” but that looked a whole lot like Jessica in the preview for the next episode.

The TV Girl

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Supernatural: It Will Be Ok Sam, I Promise.

“Sympathy With the Devil”

One of the best things about a new season of Supernatural: new title design. The blood= very very creepy and totally awesome.

But on the not awesome side of things, I put up with a lot from this show; the occasional truly terrible episode, close-ups of people eating (which as my younger brother can tell you bothers me almost more than anything on this earth), gory scenes of dismemberment, the odd acting anomaly that Emily refers to as “the Bateman voice.” But I do not feel that I have to put up with any more Dean and Sam having sex references, innuendos, jokes or otherwise. I get that it is supposed to be a gentle tribute/slight rebuke of those fans of the show who have taken things WAY too far, but the point is made. Show, please drop it. Fans, please stop. All of you are grossing me out.

Can I ask the nagging question? How did Bobby get possessed? Isn’t he the one who taught Sam and Dean how to protect themselves? Was he asleep or something? And how could they not tell that it wasn’t Bobby? As he said in the hospital, he would never ever say something like that to Sam. Obviously Dean accepted Bobby yelling at Sam because it is how he feels, but from all that Bobby said while they were trying to stop Sam from opening the last seal, Dean should have known something was up.

Even so, Dean is back! Real Dean who tells assholes where to stick it and refuses to be some pawn. And as much as it breaks my heart that Dean told Sam he couldn’t trust him anymore, that kind of honesty is the way he should be, neither secretive nor self-pitying. And giving hope to Bobby, as a gesture of appreciation for Bobby paralyzing himself to save him, is just the kind of foolish determination that makes Dean amazing. And who knew he had a GED?

The scenes involving Lucifer and his vessel were brilliantly done. The process of tragedy being turned into horror though mental manipulation was perfectly paced and incredibly sad. Lucifer has his vessel and Michael doesn’t, proving once again that rhetorical approach is everything.

In the spirit of honesty, I am just going to say it so that it is out there: who saved Dean and Sam from the convent, who cleared up Sam’s nasty blood addiction, who put Castiel all back together again? God. I will try to act surprised as this (painfully) slowly comes out this season.

Even though everything is as more frakked up and depressing than ever, I haven’t laughed so much during an episode of Supernatural as I did in the first half of this one in a long time. I shouldn’t have laughed so much when Chuck picked the tooth out of his hair, but come on, it was priceless.

The TV Girl

Glee: I Actually Know Someone Who Lost a Thumb in a Shop Accident.

“Showmance” and “Acafellas”

I am going to spend the day with “Poison” stuck in my head aren’t I?

Maybe it’s worth it, since I couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous the Acafellas were, both line-ups. It is a toss-up which was more inappropriate: grown men forming a “boy-band” or the Glee Club performing “Push It” for a school assembly. Well, neither was really in good taste.

I don’t feel right saying how awesome their performance of “Gold Digger” was considering how, shall we say, inappropriate Kanye West has been over the last few days. It was, but I can say no more.

But there must be more Mercedes singing! “Bust Your Windows” was fantastic. And I really want her and Kurt to be friends again because they are non-romantically adorable.

Yay for Rachel standing up for herself and not letting Finn push her around (even if he would be doing so out of SHEER STUPUDITY and not malice)! Good for him for standing up to her too, but you have to respect the girl for sticking to her, slightly skewed, principles. She’ll relent as soon as Finn figures out how to look up “cliché” in the dictionary, but that may take a while.

Poor little Emma could take a lesson from Rachel. Just because you cannot have the guy you want, because he is inexplicably in love with his crazy of a wife, does not mean that you should hitch your wagon to the pot-smoking short-shorts wearing gym teacher. Especially since it is obvious even to the wife who you really want.

The crazy of a wife who is not really pregnant! What! I feel kind of sorry for Terry, grasping harpy that she is. Even if she manages to get pregnant, one assumes Will can count, so she is going to have to fess up at some point. At least she didn’t insist on buying the house after she found out she was having a hysterical pregnancy.

Speaking of hysterical, it is completely redundant to praise Jane Lynch but I just cannot help myself. I cannot think of any other actress working out there who could so perfectly deliver the line “it is my personal recommendation that these students be hobbled.” It sucks for Party Down to have lost her, but could Sue Sylvester be so deliciously evil played by someone else? I think not.

I do have a complaint, besides just how uncomfortable it was to watch a performance of “I Want to Sex You Up” for a PTA meeting. I think that it was wrong to have Victor Garber as a guest star and not have him sing. Come on, he plays Will’s dad, how is it not logical that Will’s talent is genetic! He better be back and he better sing, or else.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sons of Anarchy: My Hands Were Over My Eyes A Lot.

“Albification”

(Due to Hulu’s posting schedule I am a week behind, but I am okay with that.)

I feel that I need to say again that this show is not for the faint-of-heart. In this first episode of Season 2 a man was shot in the jaw, then the head, then a huge A was carved into his chest (thank you so much subtitles for scrolling “flesh being carved” across the bottom of the screen at that moment), then his corpse was shot multiple times to cover that up, as well as a woman was repeatedly rapped.

My biggest question right now is, in the wake of Donna’s murder and her instigating role in it, will Agent Stahl become more or less determined to bring down SAMCRO? For the sake of the innocents and semi-innocents that can get caught in the crossfire I hope that she is at least smarter about her approach.

I understand Jax’s reasoning behind keeping his, Piney’s and Hale’s suspicions about Clay’s responsibility for Donna’s murder from Opie, but I personally felt sick to my stomach every time Clay or Tig hugged Opie or patted him on the back. How much can Jax compromise and conceal before calling Opie his “brother” will be as hollow a mockery as it is for Clay and Tig? It isn’t just that they murdered Donna, but now they have made Opie into a murderer, and a bit of a sadistic one at that. In scapegoating Opie’s revenge onto the Mayans they have destroyed his soul as utterly as they destroyed Donna’s body.

As unbelievably ridiculous as their ideology and rhetoric is, there is NOTHING funny about the Aryan Nationalists that are setting up in Charming. I cheered for Hale when he got up and left the meeting with Ethan Zobelle (Adam Arkin), refusing to trade one gang for another. His principles may not be in any way effective, but you have to be proud of someone for having some. I have a feeling his opposition to SAMCRO is going to be compromised when he realizes what a threat Zobelle and Assoc pose to Charming. Since Gemma was a crazy bitch before, I can only imagine what is going to happen in the fall-out of her abduction and rape. I don’t think anyone stands a chance in the face of her wrath. I wonder how valid Tara will see Gemma’s advice to "learn to love the club" in light of what it has now cost her?

I am rooting for Piney like me life depends on it. He is willing to say what needs to be said, even when he cannot say all this is true. His encouragement to his son to be a good father is of course qualified. The standard of good parenting is ever shifting in this landscape. As right as he is that if present Opie must be involved, Piney’s demand that Opie take up his responsibilities would carry much more weight if Piney and John Teller had had the sense as parents to not impose a world upon their sons (from the moment of their births) with rules and expectations those sons may be temperamentally unqualified for or morally opposed to. There is a good argument to be made that Opie’s children would be better off without him (as much as I love him), but it is the great tragedy of fundamentally compromised people that such clear-sighted understanding of a situation is unavailable to them. Similarly, the viewer must ask upon what grounds Unser tells Gemma that Jax will be a “good dad?” There is no doubt that Jax is in many ways a better person than Clay, but Able is just as doomed as all the others by the fact that he has been born to people who hang framed mug-shots on the wall with the pride of family portraits.

The TV Girl

My Weekend Fling: Leverage, Season One

Kay Pea asked me to watch this show, and since she has awesome taste, I acquiesced.

I will be upfront. I cannot whole-heartedly endorse this show for a really ridiculously personal reason that does not apply to anyone but me. I cannot get over Christian Kane’s hair. Not only is it creepy on its own, it makes him look frighteningly like a guy I know (whose wife is probably reading this, hi Calah!). I fully subscribe to the philosophy that art is an imitation of reality, I just get kind of distracted when it is happens to be a duplication of parts of my reality. It makes it impossible for me to really suspend my disbelief and enjoy the show.

And there are things to enjoy about this show. It seems to me that this show is marketed improperly, because it is much more funny and much less drama-y than I expected it to be from the commercials that I have seen. Not that there are not drama-y elements. Timothy Hutton stars as Nathan Ford, as former insurance claims investigator who manages a group of thieves, whom he previously pursued, and they steal from the corrupt on behalf of the needy and oppressed, while he trys to manage his drinking problem. He has turned his back on law and order because his company refused to pay for treatment that would have prevented his young son from dying. (So see, sad drama-y stuff.) Tech specialist Hardison (Aldis Hodge) is really hysterical and kind of reminds me of Mos Def in The Italian Job. I was pleasantly surprised by how funny this character is, and how funny Hodge’s performance is, since on the two other shows I have seen him on (Supernatural and Friday Night Lights) his characters were surly or stoic, therefore he hadn’t had a chance to display his talent for comic delivery. Ninja-esque Parker (Beth Riesgraf) is sad and damaged, but it makes her socially incompetent and blunt to the point of rude, but not at all whiney or self-pitying. Also pleasantly surprising is Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux, the grifter extraordinaire. Anyone who has seen Coupling (which EVERYONE should have seen by now) knows that Ms Bellman can play absurdly-crazy-but-sane like nobody’s business, but here she is lovely as the diabolically-minded but kind-hearted voice of reason and grounding force for Nathan. Sophie’s attempts at a legitimate acting career give a wonderful showcase for Ms Bellman’s capacity for over-the-top antics. (In one episode Sophie plays a nun in a fake movie and I laughed so hard there were actually tears in my eyes.) Not to mention that an occasional guest star is Mark Sheppard, who plays Nathan’s insurance-man-nemesis Jim Sterling, just happens to be a favorite “that-guy” of mine. (You should know him from roles on Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Dollhouse.) The cast is a strong element of the show.

The particular episodes, the various heists, are for the most part entertaining and relatively clever. On occasion the conclusion is a bit too convoluted to fully follow (specifically the episode with the race-horses, I totally didn’t get it), but the viewer doesn’t necessarily fell like the writers have cheated and tried to pass off totally illogical plots with quick cuts, which is a feeling one can experience with the poorer quality of these types of stories. Interestingly, this show displays a respect for somewhat traditional values. One episode centers on a wounded soldier, another on a Catholic priest, and in both the subjects are treated with deference and appreciation for their contributions to society. Where one might expect to find snark and loaded social commentary one finds an instance where people who inhabit roles others may not agree with are considered worthy of the same justice to which everyone is entitled.

Leverage is really good summer TV: well crafted and fun without being either shallow or self-important. Now if the evil-hair-of-evilness would just be cut I would be a much happier camper.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer Suggestion: 10 Things I Hate About You

I am trying really hard to like this show, but I am struggling.

Do you ever have that movie that seems like it was made perfectly for you? It came out at the exact right moment in your life, it appealed to your personality and tastes, it was well-made and not matter how many times you see it you still love it. For me, one of those movies is 10 Things I Hate About You. When it came out my high school classmates, who only spoke to me to insult me, kept coming up to me and telling me how much I reminded them of Kat. I took that to mean that there was a hot Australian guy in my future that would sing to me in a horribly embarrassing public display. Still waiting for that. Be that as it may, this wonderful Shakespeare-adaptation of a movie is immensely close to my heart, so I was none too thrilled to find out there was going to be a TV show.

My curiosity, and the recommendation of a good friend, got the better of me. If you are interested in watching this show through a combination of the ABC Family web page and YouTube you can find all the episodes; there have been 9 so far, and the season finale airs next Tuesday.

My main gripe with this show is that the casting is, well, kind of terrible. Kat (Lindsey Shaw) and Bianca (Meaghan Jett Martin) are pretty good, and don’t seem like they are doing caricatures of their movie-counterparts. On the other hand, Cameron (Nicholas Braun) and Michael (Kyle Kaplan) have to be two of the most miscast actors ever. There is nothing charming or sweet about either of them separately and together they just seem like boyfriends who don’t know it. I think it is supposed to be a joke that Bianca thinks Cameron is gay, but it doesn’t play as a “cute misunderstanding” because it really does seem like he and his little buddy are in a very creepy version of a romantic relationship. Chastity (Dana Davis) has a voice that could cut glass and mannerism that remind one of an evil robot; it’s too much, too over the top. I am torn as to whether Chris Zylka, who plays Joey, is giving an astounding performance or is actually an illiterate incapable of more than one facial expression. As for Patrick (Ethan Peck), this show really hasn’t done anything with him so far, so maybe he seems a little, well, blank because of the plot/writing.

But, there is always room for improvement, I guess. Limiting the show to a half-hour format was a wise choice because the brisk pace prevents endless scenes of emo-teens. The show would be well served to give a little bit of family context to all of the characters, because despite the fact that Kat and Bianca are the main characters, without rounding out the supporting/auxiliary cast, the show will always remain stunted. This first season has made all the standard-teen-pit-stops (sneaking out, fake IDs, parties, dances) so maybe the future can focus on sharper writing and character development.

Maybe I am just being a bitch.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Greek: EVAN CHAMBERS I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!

“The Day After”

No joke if I could find a way to reach into my computer and strangle a fictional character I would end the existence of one ex-rich-boy named Evan Chambers. I am sure that there is a rational part of my brain that would say he made a somewhat decent point that Cappie and Casey have certain incompatibilities and that the possibilities of it not working out in the end might be hurtful for future-Cappie, but I don’t care about rational right now.

Okay, I am going to breath and then maybe my brain will be able to form the words that will result in a recap of events. After blowing off his make-up lab to hang out with Jordan at the End of the World Party, Rusty had to enlist Casey’s help to get into the locked lab, because if he didn’t he would fail out of the honor’s physics program. Finding out about this from Dale Cappie decides to help Rusty, who he thinks is acting distant, which is accurate since Rusty is mad at Cappie because he thinks Cappie’s instigation is the reason that Casey broke up with Max therefore causing Max to move back to England (in one night mind you). He helps by sacrificing himself to campus security when all three are about to be caught in the building, but not before Casey sets Rusty right about who-pulled-who-into-the-closet at the party. Dale is feeling guilty about having sex with his girlfriend and decides that the way to make it right for his conscience is to propose to her. Like any good cougar, she breaks up with him. Witnessing his dilemma, Calvin decides to take it slow with Grant, who is adorable btw. Pressured to reveal her mystery hook-up, Rebecca offers to pay the now broke Evan to pretend to be her crush so that no one finds out SHE HOOKED-UP WITH FISHER at the party! Yes, that’s right, Ashleigh’s boyfriend Fisher. And that was happening while Evan was convincing Cappie, who finally decided to take Ashleigh’s sage advice and be with the love of his life, that Casey will dump him at the end of her senior year, frightening Cappie, therefore disappointing Casey’s hopes for a fairy-tale ending.

AND MY HOPES!

I am glad that Cappie and Evan are friends again, I think it is best for both of them and that storyline was getting a bit old, but what terrible advice to give. I am so mad.

Not just at Evan. How dare Rebecca and how dare Fisher! Ashleigh is so sweet and kind and she has actually been a friend to Rebecca and a good girlfriend and she doesn’t deserve to be cheated on. Well, no one deserves to get cheated on, but Ashleigh is going to be devastated. At least this time Rebecca seems to feel bad about her not-so-good behavior.

I’m not mad at Cappie for getting scared, since anyone would freak out if someone told them they would end up dumped. And Casey isn’t giving up, so, yay!

Poor, sweet, newly-un-virginal, Dale. At least his downfall has helped Calvin realize that he wants a relationship with Grant and not just sex. Of course, having a real relationship is a bit difficult with Grant still in-the-closet-ish, but at least it is a step towards Calvin’s future happiness. Happiness that is will be the opposite of how Ashleigh will feel.

Now I am getting all upset thinking about how upset Ashleigh is going to be.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fall Forward: Shows I Am Excited About.

One of my best friends in the world has finally discovered the joy of Veronica Mars. She is obsessed now and I could not be prouder! This made me realize that I really need to be a whole lot more on the ball about updating this blog, because otherwise how are people like her (who has two kids under two years old and no time to waste on shows that suck) know what will fit them best. Because, after all, mine is the only opinion that matters.

In that spirit, here are some of the shows that I want to be able to watch right at this moment, and that I (hope hope hope) I will be able to write about with regularity.

Mon:

Greek (8/31/09)- Casey and Cappie work it out for the love of pete!

How I Met Your Mother (9/21/09)- Barney and Robin are (sort of ) together, "The Mother" is in this class that Ted is teaching, the goat story is out of the way, and no one should be going on super lame maternity leave this season.

The Big Bang Theory (9/21/09)- This is without a doubt one of the funniest shows on TV. Even the creep factor of Walowitz's little little pants will not be enough to keep me away.

Gossip Girl (9/14/09)- Yes, I am way too old to be watching this show, but when Tuesday morning roles around I always check YouTube for the previous night's episode. What can I say, Blair's headbands are mesmerizing.

Tue:

V (11/3/09)- I am willing to give this new show about aliens living on earth a chance. I have never seen the 80's original, but the concept sounds interesting, and one of the cast members is a Firefly alum.

Sons of Anarchy (9/8/09)- This is an amazing show. Brutal, uncompromising, and somewhat incestuous, SoA is in no way an easy show to watch. But the performances are amazing, the storylines are layered and thought-provoking, and the events of the second-to-last episode of S1 were the most shocking and tragic I have seen in quite a while.

Wed:

Glee (9/9/09)- OMG did you watch the pilot of this show! I don't know how to put my excitement into words. Just watch it.

Thurs:

FlashForward (9/24/09)- This new show is maybe a bit too high-concept for me, but John Cho deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Bones (9/17/09)- Even though the season finale was huge cheating lie, I have a very nice Friday morning routine that involves coffee and David Boreanez and I am really unwilling to give it up.

Fringe (9/17/09)- Also part of my Friday morning, this funny and creepy show got better and better as S1 progressed and now I have to know if Walter is ever going to tell Peter that he is actually parallel dimension Peter.

Supernatural (9/10/09)- While I disagree with the casting choice for Lucifer (Wentworth Miller would have been sooooo much better), this is the show that I would pick if someone asked me "if you could only watch one show this year what would it be?"

The Office (9/17/09)- Jim and Pam are getting married!

Fri:

Dollhouse 9/25/09)- No joke this show was a slow start (which is sad since if you watch the original pilot that is on the DVD you realize that it didn't have to be), but once it got going it proved that there are few other shows as challenging on the air. Addressing upfront the issues of free-will, the soul, ends-versus-means, and moral responsibility, there is nothing comfortable about this show, and it is almost impossible to like any of the characters, but they are utterly compelling.

Southland (9/25/09)- Unbelievably well acted, this documentary-style law enforcement show is gripping and at turns both tragic and hopeful. Apparently there are going to be "tweaks" in the upcoming season, which I think would be a horrible mistake. No change needs to be made that will not be accomplished through organic growth with the characters.

Psych- Episode 4 of S4 is airing this Friday, but I added it to this list because Shawn and Gus always deserve a shout-out.

Wow, this is a lot of TV. Plus, at some point Chuck and Friday Night Lights will be returning, and in November Legend of the Seeker will light up Saturday syndication. Dexter and Mad Men are strictly on DVD shows for me, so I don't have to worry about them. God bless the internet that allows me to space out most of these shows for when I actually have time for them.

The TV Girl

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Week-Long Fling: Doctor Who Seasons 1-3

It really only took me seven days to watch 3 seasons of this show. Isn’t funemployment grand?

My sister rented Season 1 of Torchwood and I watched it with her, and found myself intrigued enough not only to watch Season 2 with her, but also to watch all of the new Doctor Who available on Netflix Watch Instantly. (I am waiting for Season 4 in the mail.) More than anything, I avoided this particular franchise of geek-dom because the fans frighten me. They seem to be particularly, um, intense. (That really isn’t a very nice thing to say, but have you read some of those fan-sites? And in all fairness, I am nervous about most of the fans of shows I love. Those Supernatural people are terrifying.)

But I don’t watch that much of anything that doesn’t hold my attention in some way. (Don’t be fooled, I give up on shows that bore me.) I have been immensely entertained this last week. Honestly, I want to be a writer for this show, just so that I would get to write some really ridiculous stuff and make other people say it. It looks like fun. I think I would have the Doctor go meet Michaelangelo.

For those of you who have no idea what this show is about here is my simple summary. Don’t laugh, because before I actually watched, people would try to explain it to me, and I wouldn’t have any idea what they were taking about. The Doctor is the last of the Time Lords, an alien race with two hearts that live exceptionally long lives and can travel in both time and space using biological machines called TARDISes. When mortally injured, instead of dying, the Doctor regenerates into a new physiognomy, but is still the same person (pretty much), hence the seven actors who played the character in the original run of the series, and the two actors (so far) in the current series. He is the last because his race was destroyed in order to end the Time War with the Daleks, who were also entirely destroyed, except that a few survived and show up every so often. Therefore, lonely and just a bit guilty, the Doctor travels around time and space with a human female companion, meeting famous figures of human history and foiling the evil plots of destruction-bent alien races. Okay, that is the best I can do explaining the premise.

In Season One Christopher Eccleston plays the Doctor with a great deal of charm and gusto. The Doctor is regenerated into David Tennant at the very end of Season One, and he plays it just the slightest bit darker; still bright and appealing, but with a more dangerous edge. Billie Piper plays his companion Rose Tyler for Seasons One and Two, before she is trapped on an alternate Earth because a doorway between the parallel realties must be closed. Even though Rose is more sweet and loyal than particularly interesting, Rose’s “death” is actually quite sad, and made me cry. I much prefer Freema Agyeman’s medical student Martha Jones, the companion of Season 3. Rose was just a bit too lost for me. She lacked her own purpose, making her a somewhat flat character. Martha, on the other hand, was more fully developed as a person, more well rounded as a character. I wanted the Doctor to love Martha Jones. Maybe it was just that Rose seemed so much to belong to/with the Christopher Eccleston Doctor and less so the David Tennant Doctor, or maybe that Martha was funny and smart and loved him so much that it felt wrong for her to get hurt. It was so sad in “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood” that while human he fell in love with someone else and Martha had to accept it.

I wonder how I will feel about Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) as the companion in Season 4?

The ultimately redeeming factor of this show is that everyone seems to know just how hokey it is. It doesn’t feel like anyone is trying to pass this show off as deep, tragic, or relevant. The writers and actors seem to so enthusiastically embrace a spirit of light-hearted fun that the show is silly and engaging, rather than self-important or abrasive.

For me, one of the really fun things about this show is that it is kind of parade of “I’ve seen that person before.” In the sense of adjusting to David Tennant, that was kind of difficult for me. (It took a few episodes for me to stop holding my breath for him to be evil.) But otherwise the rotating door of guest stars is great: Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes both appear in very a-typical roles, Ian Holm and John Simm (from the BBC mini-series State of Play, which is much much much better than the American movie) are both fantastic as stages of the Master, Zoë Wanamaker is delightfully devious as Cassandra, and even though the Doctor looses faith in her, I would vote for Penelope Wilton’s Harriet Jones. Almost every episode had someone I recognized, turning the viewing experience into a little bit of a game, without being all ostentatious about it (30 Rock I am talking about you). This show does make me wonder just how many British people are named Jones…

I will say that I am super annoyed that Jack is (or at least maybe is) the Face of Boe. That head is gigantic, how is Jack supposed to turn into that? For some reason, I find this little, possible, detail rather irksome.

If you are looking for some enjoyable science fiction that does not leave you with that horrible damn-the-universe-is-super-depressing feeling, this is your stuff. Want to ponder the mystery of human nature, then watch Battlestar Galactica.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Suggestion: Legend of the Seeker

Hulu might have done me a great disservice, making so much TV so readily available. I have to believe that the only reason that I watched an entire season of a Saturday afternoon syndicated series is that it was all there right in front of me with just the click of the mouse. Otherwise I might have to do some soul searching.

I might have to do that anyway, because I immensely enjoyed Legend of the Seeker.

There is nothing terribly ground breaking about this show. The adventures of Richard, (the first true Seeker in a thousand years) Kalin (the Confessor pledged to protect him) and Zed (the Wizard guiding him) employ most of the tenants of fantasy/hero-quest stories: the emergence of a hero who didn’t know he was one; love that cannot be express because it will be a detriment to the greater good; a villain attempting world-domination; wise-cracking side-kicks/friends; detours due to mistaken identities, lost weapons, temporary capture, double-crosses, prophecies, spells and enchantments; and random people with all kinds of special powers.

Even though you can guess what will happen next (and might occasionally be thinking that you have seen the same thing a million times already), and most of the dialogue is slightly ridiculous, there is an infectious zeal in the show. You want sweet and noble (but not smug or goody-two-shoes-boring) Richard to vanquish the almost cartoonishly villainous Darkn Rahl with the Sword of Truth. You kind of can’t help laughing along with Zed’s bad jokes. Kalin’s semi-angsty intensity can get a bit irritating, but she makes up for it by being all knife-wieldy and having the ability of mass murdering with her mind (but yes, she is one of the good guys). Without the perceived and highly debatable metaphysical depth of something like Lord of the Rings or The Wheel of Time, this show is freed from any self-importance or weighty “mythology.” Therefore the viewer is given a chance to enjoy fast-paced and funny little stories interspersed with decently choreographed fight scenes, without being bored by pedantic metaphor.

I have to admit that I found the final episode of the season a bit anti-climactic. Sometimes that is the way of things; is the epic battle ever really all that epic? Granting that, I was still a bit disappointed, and am hoping that they do something really cool in the coming season to make up for it.

Okay, planning to watch the upcoming season means it is definitely time for some soul-searching.

The TV Girl

Summer Suggestions: Fringe

Sometimes it is nice to be wrong.

It is no secret that I have a somewhat strained relationship with J.J. Abrams. I cannot truly dislike someone who gave me Felicity and (the first two seasons of) Alias but I would rather be stuck in a room with a rampaging chimp than watch an entire episode of Lost.

So a couple of months ago I was struck by some serious nostalgia and borrowed Dawson’s Creek from a friend and all my love for Pacey came flooding back. As I rode the tide I decided to give Fringe a chance and watched all the episodes available online at the time. I was interested, but not quite hooked. There were many elements I enjoyed, but once bitten twice shy, so I was resistant to growing too attached. A while ago, trolling Hulu for something to watch, I decided to catch up on the end of the season. (Star Trek softened me up a lot on my Abrams issues.)

And I am so glad I did.

There is two big reveals in the season finale: one very personal, one very universal. The personal one an observant viewer will have guessed based on hints throughout the season, but even if you know what it is, the moment is still so poignant it will make you cry. The universal one is genuinely surprising and I can only hope is handled with delicacy and thought in the coming season.

The joy of joys on Fringe is Walter Bishop (John Noble), the mentally unstable, genius-man-child, scientist. While keeping dark secrets from his past, because he cannot remember, (but we know he remembers more than he is admitting to) Walter explains unimaginable scientific phenomenon, usually through some association to his favorite foods. It is hysterical and tragic all at the same time.

The slow progression of healing between Walter and his son Peter (Joshua Jackson) is heartwarming without being overtly manipulative or soppy. Peter has lived a life of duplicity and avoiding responsibility, due in large part to his anger at what he perceives as his father’s abandonment, but week by week he grows to see his father more as a person and less as a monster. The lovely symmetry is (of course) as he must act more like the parent Peter becomes a better child.

Olivia Dunahm (Anna Trov) took a while to grow on me. Initially she behaves very much like the beautiful-but-brilliant-and-tough-as-nail-with-emotional-complications type of female law enforcement agent that litters the TV landscape at the moment. Once the storyline involving her former partner wraps up and her unintentional involvement in “The Pattern” begins to be revealed she emerges as more of a character and less of a type. Her cool and slightly sarcastic persona plays really well with her boss (Lance Reddick) as well as with fellow FBI agent Charlie.

The death of this show will be ANY attempt to unite Peter and Olivia in a romantic relationship. Not only do the actors not have that kind of chemistry whatsoever, but also considering the “history” between Walter and Olivia, it would be really ridiculous for any sort of functional romance between her and his son. I vote for Peter and Astrid, the FBI agent who assists Walter in his lab.

Unlike with other shows, the best I can hope for is that Fringe will maintain internal logical consistency, because I doubt it will ever actually make sense. I don’t grope around for “big answers” in the way I did during the last season of Battlestar Galactica, leaving me free to just enjoy the scary stories and light banter.

This show will be near the top of my viewing schedule in the fall.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Weekend Fling: True Blood, Season One (4)

I’m sorry, no pun intended, but this show sucks!

There is always the possibility that I am just not cut out for HBO shows. I am going to give it a shot with The Wire at some point, but despite all my efforts I either hate shows on this network, or I get too exhausted to make it through more than one season.

So that is my preemptive apology to all of you out there who are obsessed with this show. I am not among your ranks.

The guiding metaphor, that it is wrong to hate what is different from yourself, is depicted with the subtly of a bull in a china shop due to the unending parade of stereotypes and clichés: religious people are ignorant and murder-happy; economically hard-pressed people are alcoholics and devoid of basic reasoning skills; politicians are hypocritical and corrupt; slutty boys really do have hearts of gold, not just STDs; the nice guy is inevitably the serial killer. I am not interested in debating the accuracy of Hollywood’s perception of small town Southerners, I am simply vocalizing my boredom with the utter unoriginality and condescending attitude both of and towards the majority of the characters and plotlines on this show.

Anna Paquin deserves her Golden Globe; she did an amazing job of portraying possibly the dumbest girl on television. Say what you want about Bella Swan, at least she has the excuse of being a teenager. Sookie (which I assume would be pronounced Sue-Key by anyone with an even remotely plausible accent) is supposed to be open-minded and non-judgmental, due to her special gift of being able to hear other people’s thoughts, therefore accepting of newly “outed” vampires, and so she is super excited when Bill, whose thoughts she cannot hear, walks into the bar she works in. As a voice of reason or a moral center, Sookie is ridiculous; she has no regard for either her own or her loved ones safety, she equates similar situations of social isolation as an equality of inherent personal goodness, she despises the opinion of others, as well as taking advantage of her friends and family yet acting out childishly when harm comes to them. One example of her utter bratty disposition is the scene where her boss (and friend and hopeful but unsuccessful suitor) Sam explains to her that he is a shape-shifter, able to turn into animals at will. This supposedly compassionate and enlightened girl storms off in a self-righteous huff because Sam didn’t tell her his secret the first second they met and her inability to control her own reactions to hearing other’s thoughts when in public apparently makes Sam’s self-control a lie he uses to fool the community. Why Sam actually desires the affection of this woman is kind of baffling.

The central relationship is supposed to be Sookie and Bill, but it is kind of absurd. She saves Bill’s life from some trailer trash trying to drain him in order to sell his blood (did you hear that vampire blood is the newest designer drug?), and when said entrepreneurs beat Sookie to holy hell, Bill has her drink from him in order to save her life. True love, isn’t grand? Now, I will grant that mutual life saving seems like it would generate a fairly strong bond between two people, which could be used as a foundation for a relationship, but between Sookie and Bill, nothing is built and yet is asserted to exist. They never really seem to find out anything about each other, with the exception of Bill’s presentation of his history to the town and her revelation of childhood sexual abuse (I left that off the cliché list). They (sort of) speak as if they have a deep and meaningful relationship, but I couldn’t actually figure out what reality that would be true in. It doesn’t help that the actors have very little chemistry; their interaction is stilted and almost insincere. The moment I gave up on the possibility that their relationship would be something other than completely funny is when a graphic sex scene between the two actually serves no purpose other than as a how-to guide of developing a UTI.

But not to be totally negative, there are some enjoyable moments with the more minor characters. While Tara is slightly shrill and repetitive, her loyalty to Sookie is genuine and provides a realistic element. Sam is a relatively descent person, trying to do the right thing, but his complicated personal feelings allows for a more rounded character, not just a gullible white-knight. Lafayette is a brilliantly balanced combination of self-assured individualism and possibly menacing selfishness. But all the possibility these characters have is drowned in the debilitating boredom of Sookie’s idiotic non-existential non-crisis and Jason’s sexual exploits. (He is her brother, and the town man-whore, but I do not have the will to spend any more than this amount of energy discussing him. Waste of space.)

Oh, and the sound effect used for the descending vampire fangs is hilarious.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Supernatural: (Since I Have Only Said One Thing About) The Road So Far…

It is a perplexing situation to be in when you do not understand the thing you love. And I have been in that situation for months. I haven’t missed an episode of this season, but I have just been so confused that I haven’t known what to say. But since I moved away from the lovely viewing party that I partook of every week (it will never be the same without you Jennie and Emily), I guess I am on my own again to figure it out week to week.

So, the big problem everyone seems to be having this season is: angels. Okay, even if it does happen to be a logical progression, the addition of Castiel and Co. has thrown a wrench into things for loyal viewers. Since we all approach things from more or less our own perspective, I will say upfront that I am Catholic, and believe in the existence of angels, and I have some problems with the way the show is addressing them, but not as many as other people. This whole idea that they’re “dicks” is what the show is going for, but it is hard for me to see it that way. Since angels are higher beings, which are neither bodied nor gendered, who have experience of Heaven, obviously their priorities would be a little bit bigger than mortal conception, and their interpersonal communication skills would be lacking. I have always found the whole cubby-babies-on-white-clouds thing a crock, and if you watch “Houses of the Holy” the show describes angels in a very biblically accurate way, so really I am not bothered by portraying the angels as remote, mysterious, and with serious superiority complexes. (I would appreciate if they would invest in some chap stick, but of course that is part of what is going on.)

I do have a serious problem with this whole Anna thing. And not just because Dean did her in the car that should never have been soiled in such a way, and that still makes me angry on behalf of the Impala. Her whole storyline is ludicrous. Beyond the fact that I have no desire to watch Nicholas Cage movies in the first place, I have absolutely no desire to see knock-off plots on a show that is so much better than that. Furthermore, it indicates that while the writers were willing to do a bit of research into angels, they are unwilling to pick a tradition and stick with it. Consistency is key, and when you are just picking and choosing bits and pieces from the Cliff Notes version of tradition and theory without any perceivable rhyme or reason the viewer ends up frustrated and confused.

Oh, and why on earth does everyone keep Castiel “Caz?” It sucks.

Despite these disagreements on my part, I feel better and better about this season. Yes, Dean is lost and uncommitted, too mess up with personal guilt and existential confusion to be the funny little badass that he is deep in his heart, but I love watching characters grow and develop, and it would be utterly ridiculous if Dean came back from hell the same person as when he died. While I keep yelling at the TV for Dean to make a wisecrack and then kill the shite out of everything, I am intrigued to watch someone so resistant to believing in good being faced with evidence of their place in a larger cosmos.

The bigger problem is Sam and his little demon blood addiction. I haven’t been able to see him without yelling at him for being all in cahoots with Ruby and acting like he is so much better than his brother. It took me until about today to figure out why Sam is being such an ass-hat this season. Of course, it is simple in the end. If you lost someone you loved more than anyone else, but then you got to have him or her back, what wouldn’t you do to keep them? Would you bother to worry about the bounds of nature or morality if it meant that you could protect them (and yourself) from having to be taken again, and as a bonus got to punish the thing that took them in the first place? While it breaks my heart to see Sam turning into John, focused so much on what he perceives as his mission that all the compassion inside of him dies, I don’t know that I can really blame him, considering that he was never taught any other outlet for grief. Dean is alive, but Sam is still grieving his death. And that would leave anyone a little, shall we say, confused about proper behavior.

It has been hard for me to remember when all turned around that this is one of the best put-together shows on the air. The stark lighting, the bleached, dry color palate, and the noticeable lack of music (which I dearly miss) all work to compliment the bleak and scoured lives Sam and Dean are living right now.

I guess bleak really is the word for this season so far, and I don’t hold out much hope that it is going to get any less so as we come to the season finale.

The TV Girl

My Weekend Fling: Hex, Season 1 (2)

In the perfect storm of my life falling apart and my sucker-hood for the fantasy/sci-fi genera, I watched THE WORST SHOW EVER! No joke, terrible.

Hex is supposedly about Cassie, a student at a private boarding school, who is a descendent of a woman who through voodoo gave bodily form to the fallen angel Azezeal. Apparently, his body is wearing out (or something) so he needs to sacrifice Cassie’s best friend Thelma, because her love for Cassie will make the sacrifice pure. Thelma returns as a ghost who can touch everything but people, and is visible to Cassie and the demons. Okay, then Cassie becomes possessed by having sex with the guy she is into (who Azezeal has possessed in a very Wrath of Kahn way) and then she does it with his demon-ness, but then she claims that she is actually in love with Azezeal. Oh yeah, and then she gets pregnant, which she tries to abort, but the doctor is convinced by the baby-daddy to save the magically super-growing baby (hi 4th book of Twilight, how ya doing?). Ella, an immortal witch/demon hunter, shows up to kill the baby, but accidentally kills Cassie. Thelma sticks around to help Ella find the baby, but Azezeal and his demon buddy drive Ella crazy with memories of her torture and trial for witchcraft hundreds of years before.

I am not making this up. I am sad for the person who did.

First of all, those who are inclined to say that British TV is always superior to American are forever proven wrong by the existence of this show. There are many many British shows that are fantastic, but this isn’t one of them.

Second of all, is Azezeal the only name aside from Lucifer that anyone knows for one of the fallen angels? This dude is freaking everywhere; in a comic my friend Emily told me about, in Supernatural (we found out in S3 that that is the name of the “Yellow Eyed Demon” who made Sam all bad-blooded), and now he is here. He is one tramp-tastic demon. At least on SPN his main goal wasn’t to get laid.

Thirdly, and less nit-picky ranting, these were some of the most wooden and unrealistic characters I have ever seen. At no point when all of these creepy and ridiculous things are happening does anyone say anything remotely natural in reaction. No tears, no concern, no even “this is kind of strange.” Everyone just kind of goes along, talking to ghosts, doing demons, having nightmares. Plus, these characters were not just fake and slim they were boring. There was nothing interesting about them. I think the show creators where trying to go for a moody/brooding vibe, but they failed. I can accept preposterous storylines, even enjoy them very much, as long the characters are layered and organic. Again, massive fail.

Fourth, the pacing and tone were all over the map. In each episode huge “mysteries” were revealed, but nothing ever seemed to happen. So much time was wasted on mist filled shots of the school and the grounds, but there seemed to be no time to actually explain what was happening. Teen dating angst were somehow equivalent to world-ending offspring. You had no idea what you were going to get one scene to another.

Just terrible. Not the campy kind of fun terrible, just the time wasting kind.

I will say one good thing for this show. The theme/opening credit song was “#1 Crush” by Garbage, which I adore. It was such a moment of hope when the first episode started, but it turned out to be the only redeeming moment of each episode.

AVOID THIS SHOW AT ALL COSTS.

The TV Girl

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Random Comment: The “That Guy” Moment.

You know there are those actors/actresses that show up on what feels like everything, and you know where you have seen them before, but most likely you cannot remember his/her name? You point and yell “that guy” or “that chick” and whomever you’re with is either stuck in the same face-but-not-name-recognition scenario, or shakes their head at you and mumbles under their breath something that sounds like “needs a real life.” A “That Guy” moment is not always a happy experience: sometimes it is someone you want to see, other times you want to call the casting director of your favorite show and ask them why they hate you so much.

My current favorite “That Guy” is Billy Burke. I was sitting in Twilight wracking my brain trying to figure out where I had seen Charlie before (can you tell how much attention I was paying to the movie?) and it wasn’t until almost the end that I realized he was Jack from My Boys! You know, Bobby’s brother that PJ sort of started seeing and slept with right before Bobby came to tell her that she was really the woman he should be marrying? What a difference a mustache makes. And then, where should he show up, but on an episode of Fringe I was watching online the other night? Crazy! While I am fairly sure that he will not be reappearing on Fringe (which is a shame, since that show will die a swift and painful death when someone makes the bad call that Olivia and Peter should be romantically involved), I don’t know how the current situations on My Boys will be resolved in the coming season without Jack’s involvement.

Yay, more Billy Burke! At least most likely.

Anyone else have a current favorite “That Guy” or “That Chick?” Or a current least favorite?

The TV Girl

Monday, January 26, 2009

Supernatural (7.5/8): Criss Angel is a Douche Bag…Didn’t Everyone Already Know That?

SAM WINCHESTER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?

The saddest thing is to see someone do the wrong thing for what he or she think is the right reason. We have been through this before: deals with demons to bring people back from the dead; using Reapers to smite the “wicked;” bumbling into witchcraft to get a lower mortgage rate. But I cannot help but think that Sam giving into Ruby and using his “powers” to go after Lilith because he doesn’t want to be hunter when he’s old is possibly THE STUPIDEST THING HE HAS EVER DONE.

Sorry for being so strident, but I didn’t really realize when the episode was happening just how strongly I oppose his decision. Part of the not realizing was that, obviously, the episode had so little to do with Sam and Dean. And I am okay with that. As my indignation at Sam has grown over the last few days so has my appreciation of Thursday’s episode.

Those of us in fairly mainstream society easily derided both magic and magicians: I wouldn’t break for Criss Angel, I will be upfront about that. And that is what makes it such a wonderful trope to contemplate the difficulties of old age. It would be easy to say that Jay has sold his soul and murdered others for nothing: why would it matter if a bunch of dudes doing parlor tricks get back their youthful form? This is what you do with immortality? But of course, we are supposed to wonder if the difficulties of aging, the loss of what you once had, is only as meaningful as that which you did with your youth? As cheesy as “magic” may or may not be, it was what Charlie loved, what united him with his dearest friends, and his despair is not any more or less important than Sam’s, even though objectively Sam’s life has been more stressful and necessary than Charlie’s.

And yes, I am saying that following the plan of demon is despair. Especially considering Dean’s incredibly valid point that people in their profession do not have a terribly long life expectancy. I hope we all realize that the moment Sam got in that car with Ruby is most likely the moment that will divide Sam and Dean, possibly irrevocably.

Not to be a downer or anything.

The TV Girl

Friday, January 23, 2009

Battlestar Galactica (7): Why I Haven’t Said Anything Yet.

I did watch last week’s episode. In fact I was so looking forward to it, I convinced myself that I lived in the Central Time Zone, so I was all prepped at 9PM to be showered with newness.

But I am hesitant to venture any opinions at the moment. I need to see how this plays out. My gut reaction is that the choice of Ellen as the last Cylon is weak and unsatisfying. I don’t know how this thing with Kara is going to be resolved. And is it ever going to come to light that Cally was murdered? A long time ago my sister and I were talking about BSG and I half jokingly suggested that no one is really human, that everyone is a Cylon. I am going to be mightily upset if I turn out to be right.

Okay, so that is my jumble of thoughts/reactions that even after a week have not really managed to calm down. Given that, something happened that should be noted.

Obviously, I am talking about Dee’s suicide. I really didn’t see it coming. I thought that I was about to be tortured for episodes on end with a rehashing of the abysmal relationship between her and Lee. I was groaning when she kissed him and dreamily rummaged in her locker. And then she shot herself. Really shot herself, not like Boomer’s half-assed “cry for help.” I have been advocating Dee’s exit for a long time (she got Billy killed, and I have never managed to forgive that), but I am impressed that her death was handled in that way. Contrasting her to the Agathons, who hoped for Earth, but do not need it to have a fulfilling life was a really interesting way to indicate her state of mind and her situation. That she approached her own death with the same precision and determination that she approached her duties with lent a kind of dignity to her final moments.

Not that I am all for suicide or anything, and the extended consequences of such an act were addressed. For the first time, when she needed help Kara turned to Lee (I mean she turned to anyone and that is a huge deal in and of itself), but because of Dee’s choice he couldn’t be there to help Kara. She did the right thing and put what she needed aside for the moment (anyone wonder why I love this girl so much?), but it would be a mistake to say that whatever is the deal with Kara it can just be brushed to the side indefinitely.

I wonder what tonight has in store?

The TV Girl

Monday, January 19, 2009

Friday Night Lights (9): I Never Thought I Would Miss Texas…

But that big sunny sky looked awfully inviting considering that it is below freezing in the greater DC area.

Actually, everything looked inviting about Dillon, because it has been so long. I know that there are ways to find and download the episodes of S3 that have already aired on DirecTV, but I am a purist, I waited until NBC decided to give me back my Panthers.

And I like so many, have to ask who the Panthers are without Smash. For him to have fought so hard for his college scholarship, and then to have his mother’s worst fears come true is just heartbreaking. Not to the same degree as Jason, and I am immensely proud of the show that Smash’s decision to continue working with Coach Taylor, and to try to regain his dreams, didn’t arise from a conversation/inspirational speech from Jason. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Jason, and I cheer for every one of his inspirational speeches. It just would have been so cheep for him to say something to Smash like “well, at least you can walk” and for Smash to cry and decide he would play football again. The show is like Coach Taylor: there is no easy way out, you have to work for it.

It seems that hard work is in everyone’s future. While Billy’s proposal to Mindy might be one of the funniest things I have ever seen on TV, Tyra’s terror was anything but. I am going to go a bit in the face of general opinion and say that I think Tami’s devotion to Tyra is a bit disproportionate considering just how much guidance Julie needs. Her own daughter manipulates and disobeys, and Tami says that it is partially her fault because she is overextended, but then she just takes on more responsibility. I find it strange and a bit off-putting.

Guess what I found not off-putting? TIM AND LYLA! I have no desire for Tim Riggins to be any less badass than he is, and I don’t think that is really possible, I think part of what makes him so endearing is just how much he loves Lyla. Therefore, them together as a real couple is, in my opinion, the start of something that could be fantastic. I want to remember for all time Buddy’s face when he saw them kissing. I wonder what it would look like if he knew that there had been some sleepovers at his apartment?

Before I do what I am afraid the good people of Dillon are about to do, let me beg and plead that the precious Matt Saracen not be forgotten. Dallas McDouchee can shove it as far as I am concerned: Matt was not a placeholder between Jason and the arrival of his son. Coach Taylor is obviously one of the best men ever, and saw right through that creep, but I just have this sinking feeling in my heart that things are not going to go well for Matt, who just deserves good things in life. I’m worried.

But so happy that it is football season again.

The TV Girl

The Office (7): Does Anyone Else Think David Wallace Must Be an Idiot?

I know that such questions are not on the mind of others, since Michael’s trip to corporate was barely a subplot of “The Duel,” but I revel in useless questions, and it seems to me that someone has to ask. How is the man who both promoted Ryan and wants management tips from Michael, is the CFO of a company? I may never know. Or I could just chock it up to the standard joke about corporate America that no matter how dumb you are you can rise to the top.

This is all incidental, because ANDY TRIED TO RUN DWIGHT OVER WITH HIS CAR AT 5 MPH! I can’t believe that I live in a world where I really do feel bad for Andy and how he has been so badly treated by Angela. Andy, guy who went fishing for Jim, has my full support in trying to break Dwight’s legs. I’m with Oscar: he needs the win.

But since they both decide to move on from Angela, I guess they both win. And Kevin got to win by making fun of her. Granted, she is probably going to make everyone even more miserable now that she will have neither frequent sex nor someone to boss around, but in a way it is like the celebration in Munchkin-land for all of Dunder Mifflin. For now, the wicked witch is dead.

Jim was so adorable as he tried to keep the peace; not convincing Michael to keep his mouth shut, collecting all Dwight’s weapons stashed around the office, running out to make sure Dwight was okay. And Pam was out of the way. I am a big fan of her keeping her mouth shut until she decides not to be a shrew.

The TV Girl

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Supernatural (6): I Am Going To Have Nightmares

When Dexter is not the creepiest thing you watch in a day, you know you have problems.
I know that certain outlets are upset that the first new episode we have had in almost two months does not directly relate to the season’s story-arch, but such is the way every season. I have no problem with the tradition, it is a nice way to ease the lovely viewing populace back into the grizzly and emotional tortured world of Sam and Dean.

That said, there was nothing nice about tonight’s episode. I do not deal well when the “thing” that they need to fight is actually human, and luckily up until this point I only had to face such a situation one other time. (For the record I have never ever rewatched the Texas Chainsaw-esque episode from S1.) I know that I should be appreciative that as a show they recognize the strictly human, but as evidenced tonight, it ends up being just amazingly disturbing.

Come on, secret incest twins locked in the basement escaping and going on a killing rampage! Could they have thought of something more icky? (I shouldn’t tempt fate.)

As a way of exploring Dean’s guilt, I found it somewhat ineffectual. I am always willing to pour my little heart out to Dean, to all that he has experienced, but there is no real way to connect with what he is going through. The more he talks to Sam about it, the more we can understand his current situation, but what he did in Hell is just a bit too out-of-body to allow for empathy.

I suppose that “a bit too out-of-body” could stand as a general comment on this season so far. I actually love the basic principles: I applaud them for trying to examine good, I think Biblical-type angels are awesome (and it doesn’t hurt that Castiel is way hot), and the underlying Cain-and-Able scenario developing is an organic possibility. (Please don’t misinterpret that. Sam and Dean’s devotion to each other is of course the core of the show, and it is incredible to watch, but there has always been a division between them. It is only now that Sam’s curse is being contrasted with Dean’s blessing.) Unfortunately for all of us, there is no continuity to the source material for the episodes. In “Houses of the Holy” Sam claims that there is 10x more lore on angels than on demons, but as far as I can tell, none of the writers are reading any of that at this point. City of Angels and Stardust are not appropriate sources to draw plots from! I am not asking anyone to espouse my particular religion, I just want them to pick something and stick with it.

I am not even trying to imply that I am giving up on Supernatural. I know that this can get straightened out. I have seen shows come back from a lot worse than a lack of foresight.

P.S. Kudos to the makeup department: those sibs looked beyond torn up and scared the living daylights out me.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Least Favorite Time of Year!

Seriously, I hate when American Idol starts. And every second that it continues.

It makes me want to choke myself.