Wednesday, January 28, 2009

simply catching up

somehow i always feel like i'm running behind. oh well. i've been more or less keeping up with the dvr and figured it was about time to publish my thoughts. because i can.

so "the incident" that gh is counting down to is driving me insane. not because it isn't well-executed, because if there is one thing that gh does well it is sweeps events. i just hate the drawn out anticipation, why won't things just happen already!! hopefully the rumored deaths won't involve characters i like or legacy characters that form the show's core. here's a list of people i think can go:

1. kate howard -- what is the point of her character now? her fabulous bob is returning but will be forever sullied by the insane mob apologist she became. megan ward has zero chemistry with maurice bernard, kate and sonny were a snooze-a-thon. lately kate wanders around town throwing hissy fits at olivia, claudia or carly, and threatening to fire maxie and lulu at every turn.

2. nadine crowell -- oh nurse crowell, you are so sweet and so, so boring. now that notemily is on the canvas there is no point to you. so you can die, because no one, not even nicholas will care.

3. leyla meir -- they'd seem to have lost interest in leyla a while ago, and now that she is in love with an iranian suitor her mother finds acceptable, i suspect that she will probably die. because the other shoe has to drop somewhere, and i guess someone will actually care.

4. anthony zacchara -- i doubt anthony will be one to go, but his over-the-top sturm and drang are getting old. and his death might propel the sonny/claudia story someplace interesting.

5. trevor lansing -- i'm not sure why he is still on the canvas either, since he doesn't seem to have anything to do, especially now that ric has assumed his position in the zacchara organization. i have nothing against the actor or the character, i just can't figure out why he is still in port charles.

6. olivia falconeri -- i actually enjoy olivia way more than her uptight cousin kate, and i think she interacts beautifully with carly, jax, sonny, and others. however, olivia came to port charles for her cousin's wedding. she stayed to help kate recover, there is no reason to have her remain in port charles. of course, she's still holding on to the secret that she had sonny's kid back in the day, so i don't see her going anywhere.

7. sonny corinthos -- okay, this one will never happen. but seriously, sonny is driving me nuts. maurice bernard's elocution is bizarre and seriously annoying. what i really want to happen is to have jason get re-quartermained and then dedicate his life to putting sonny behind bars. or something. because...i'm TIRED...of peoPLE...having to...PAY for what...THEY did. no really, he talks just like that.

8. winifred -- yeah, i'm not interested. i know she's not going to die, but i'm really not interested.

9. lulu spencer -- so this goes against my plea for no legacy characters, but at the very least lulu can get a personality transplant. she is the smuggest, whiniest little bitch. her storyline with johnny is so boring, i genuinely like brandon barash but he and julie marie berman have absolutely no chemistry. watching them together is about as interesting as watching paint dry.

10. jerry jacks -- oh wait, he's alread dead. but i hate this hunt for dvds storyline so much. just stop it now. we don't need more jerry jacks, the sociopath.

ok, i feel badly that there are more women on my list than men, because the last thing gh needs is a reason to be more misogynistic. but these are the characters i would like to see go the most.

changing gears, "grey's anatomy" finally delivered a good episode, at least in my opinion. the latest three-episode arc centered around the treatment of a serial killer on death row. meredith, derek, owen and christina were all charged with treating him, and treating him affected each one of them very differently. meredith can't help feeling empathy, even if the patient is a man who has done something unforgiveable. derek and christina see the world in black and white, and this is a man who has done serious wrong and doesn't deserve forgiveness, doesn't deserve to be listened to, only deserves to have doctor's do their job. owen actually doesn't express much of an opinion, wisely deciding to stay out of it.

derek's reasons for being unforgiving are quite valid, his father was killed in a robbery gone bad. this makes his drive to become a doctor so much clearer, his struggles with what he and meredith were doing during the clinical trial more layered, he wants to save lives because he couldn't save his father. meredith understands this, but she can't simply say this patient deserves no empathy because he has done horrible things. at one point it seems as if this difference of opinion will become yet another stumbling block, but in a beautiful scene we see that meredith and derek are stronger than a difference of opinion.

i think that scene simply proves how amazing a job ellen pompeo does with meredith grey. so many people hate the character, and she so often gets outshined by sandra oh and chandra wilson and katherine heigl. but she really does some amazing, understated work.

speaking of katherine heigl, izzy's brain tumor plot was finally exposed. and i still say it's a sad day when grey's is unapologetically ripping off storylines done gh. sadder still that i enjoyed the gh version of the storyline way more than i have enjoyed grey's. also i don't like it when tv shows get all mystical, religious. i watch tv to escape the world, not to ponder what happens after death thank you very much.

now i have 6 episodes of "fringe" to catch up on. i should probably get moving on that. especially since everyone is telling me that it has gotten way more interesting...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

simply lost

wow. just wow.

i watched the first two episodes of "lost" last night. i have no idea what is going on. other than it is awesome. i mean everything in the first episode clicked perfectly. the episode opened typically enough, some person waking up at 8:15 starting their day, you don't see their face until a few minutes have gone by, and you are left that jin? with another asian woman and a new baby? is it jack, has he somehow put his life back together and left the island behind?

instead it is dr. marvin candle aka a number of other names. and we realize then that this is taking place when the dharma initiative was first on the island. and suddenly daniel faraday shows up in the frame and who knows how he got there in the first place?

the show takes us back to the events of the season finale, this time from the point of view of those left behind on the island. everything is different. there is no beach camp. as the core group of left-behinders explore, they find the hatch intact, then it is blown up, then it is intact, day and night shift suddenly between the bright, white-lavender-colored flashes and the metallic noise that indicates perfectly that the very fabric of time is being rent apart on the island. and that the left-behinders are affected by this in such a way that enables them to skip through time on the island.

daniel tries to explain this to sawyer, to everyone. but there is no explaining the unexplainable, what he says makes no logical sense. though the island has never claimed to be a logical place. i can't help but wonder when the opening scene took place, if daniel was there after having skipped through time, or if he was there when it all originally happened.

whatever the answer is, i have to say that what is ultimately amazing about this, is how the show remains so consistent and manages to convey these shifts in time so well. as a seasoned "lost" viewer i found myself watching the small plane crash with locke and thinking 'that is eko's brother on that plane. it's the 90s.' later the plane was on the floor and it was nighttime and i knew that it was sometime after boone had died.

and as they skip through time you start to wonder, what is it about this island that bends the notions of time. have the flashbacks and flashforwards been a function of memory? or are all the losties somehow special, were they called to the island because of their ability to move through time? the more i think about this kind of thing, the closer my head comes to exploding...

anyway, i loved both episodes. i love where this season is going so far. i'm glad that there was a lot of sawyer, and i can only hope that this continues through the season. one of my favorite moments is when he lets slip that he sacrificed himself, his chance to go back, for her (he never says kate's name, but she is who he means), and now he thinks she is dead and clearly wishes he could have been with her. he is my favorite. and i admit that i like sawyer and kate together way more than jack and kate whom i actively dislike when they are together.

Monday, January 12, 2009

simply a lot of gh

huh, so i'm finally all caught up with "general hospital" i mean, like i watched a whole month's worth of episodes over the last couple of days. i often find that catching up with gh is a lot of work, and not work that is particularly rewarding. however, much to my surprise in the last month a good amount of gh was actually entertaining. unlike my year in review, i think i should start with the bad first. work it out of my system so that this post ends on a high note.

claudia and the search for the hidden dvds
oh jerry jacks, why did you have to come back for this? so many gh characters taunt us with leaving and then randomly show up when we least expect them, but at least track-suit wearing alan quartermaine is somewhat welcome. you are just smug and annoying in your britishness when you are supposed to be australian and i can't get past how the writers clearly had no idea what to do with you as a character since you pinged and ponged from maniacal to skeevy from one scene to another. please make this stupid plot go away, or at least stop having claudia rewatch the stupid dvds and get walked in on by yet another random person who has full access to a mobster's allegedly secure home.

which reminds me, how is it that you had access to sonny's home for enough time to hide these dvds all over the place? are max and milo just the most useless bodyguards to have ever existed?

sam and jason redux
so i'm not a liz and jason fan at this point. the fact that they are over after so much teasing, before they ever had the opportunity to explore being a real couple is so beyond frustrating that much like liz, i have given up and am moving on. but i don't see why the end of liz and jason means that sam and lucky have to end too. i mean, sam and lucky have some serious hotness and chemistry going. i like how they have redeemed sam, and with lucky i actually found her sort of likeable.

of course, that's when the writers decide that sam and jason should get back together. because somehow sam can stand the danger where liz never could. and the months of anger and bitterness that sam felt during her break-up with jason can be erased now that the thrill of danger and the excitement of smelling jason's pheremones has her on the mob train yet again.

strangely, i'm not against liz and lucky getting back together. for some reason, liz and jason's break-up didn't feel forced and contrived (it's only annoying in the sense that it majorly dicked over fans of the pairing that had been waiting for them to get together for the last ten years). but the way sam and lucky have fallen apart feels contrived, and the propping of sam's attraction to jason and danger feels completely forced and i am not really all that interested in going down that road again.

nicholas and nadine's adventures across the united states
first a farm in rural america, then washington, dc. watch out everyone, nicholas and nadine are taking on the world. blah.

i seriously can't wait for natalia livingston to come back on the canvas, claire coffey is okay as nadine, but i can't stand her "aw shucks" nature and am sick to death of watching any scenes involving her and tyler christopher, who couldn't be less engaged if they were paying him--oh wait they are!--but it doesn't matter because this whole storyline is so stupid and boring that to waste any more time on it would be a travesty.

johnny and lulu against the world
why is lulu such a smug prat? this whole thing with johnny leaving the family and how are they going to get by on only lulu's salary is aiming for "living on a prayer" sadly the whole storyline isn't even half way there...and that's all there is to say about that.

jason versus sonny versus the fbi
i keep hoping that one day jason wakes up and remembers that he is a quartermaine and is horrified with what he has done with his life and sets out to make amends and earn his medical degree. with all the mob-propping this show does (you know here in boston, the cops and the feds are out to get the mob, and they aren't the heroes of the story, they are the criminals), i have little hope of anything actually interesting happening here, other than jason and sonny becoming friends again and rejoicing in their lifestyle of crime and violence.

but i do hold a shred of hope, because maybe for spinelli, jason will finally turn on sonny. who is a smug, self-important, misogynistic bastard.

carly and jax avoid divorce by dragging the process out
i don't hate this pairing the way so many others do. i don't hate carly the way so many other do. so really, i just want them to get back together so that we can be done with this stupid storyline and maybe have them become a couple with real issues a la robin and patrick.

also, as an aside, what the hell is the show doing with all the falconeri women. kate is an annoying mob and sonny apologist who treats everyone close to her horribly. olivia is kind of cool, though insanely jealous of sonny, is sticking around port charles even though there is no rational reason for her to do so, especially since she is terrified that her son may come find her there and also happen to run into his biological father, the one and only sonny corinthos, jr.

at least the divorce provides some good diane and alexis repartee.

maxie and spinelli
when spinelli first fell for maxie and kept having those stupid daydreams from film noirs i thought, eww. not maxie and spinelli. but i think kirsten storms and bradford anderson are amazing. somehow they have redeemed both their characters to a point where them getting together is not something icky. their fight scenes from last week and this week's scenes in the precinct have been spectacular. i love them together.

that being said i do wonder what will happen between maxie and matt hunter. because why bring the character on if they aren't going to do anything with him. he's a retconned legacy character with ties to the scorpios and the drakes, we should see more of him. now that he's not acting like a prick all the time, i'm interested to see what they will do with his character.

robin and patrick
i love how this couple that kept having the same argument for over a year about how she wanted a baby and he was afraid of commitment now have a beautiful baby girl and are married.

their wedding episode was beyond sweet, it was a fitting tribute to robin's character, especially considering the fact that she's grown up on the show. and watching them deal with the changes in their life, marriage and a baby, i love that it's robin who is having such a hard time with it. especially since that's what she claimed she wanted...granted i do think it is what she wants, but i love that she's having a hard time getting used to the changes, and that she sees patrick take all the challenges of being a husband and father in stride.

i love that they are exploring her post-partum depression, especially since i remember when she wasn't so forgiving of carly when carly went through it after giving birth to michael. i love that as a married couple, they are being given a meaty storyline that doesn't involve adultery or falling out of love, but rather facing the challenges that real life often throws at newlyweds and new parents.

but i said i wouldn't end on a downer, so here is a little something from the wedding episode to make us all swoon with love gh style:

Monday, January 5, 2009

simply the year in review, a bit overdue

i meant to do this earlier, but circumstances beyond my control prevented my posting this any sooner. without more ado, the 2008 year in review...

the good

true blood and all that is sookie stackhouse
i fell in love with the television series and then with the books. i can't believe that i have to wait until summer for the second season and until may for the next book to be released. i fell in love with vampires again, who knew that after "buffy the vampire slayer" and "angel" ended that i would one day be anticipating a show about vampires every week. "true blood" is a lavish production with amazing visuals and a lush sense of ambience. it's a pleasure watching not only for the story, but also for the amazing sense of place that the show gives you. it's like bon temps is real and all the crazy vampire stuff a possibility.

gossip girl
i can't say enough about "gossip girl" other than it is the best show on television. again a show rich with visual and sensory pleasures, it is just an absolute joy to watch week to week. the high melodrama and insanely good-looking good actors make this even more enjoyable to watch.

joshua jackson returns to network tv
i'm not so sold on "fringe" in fact, i have about 4 to 5 episodes stored on my dvr that i have yet to watch. but instead of deleting them as i have with other shows where i've fallen behind, i've held on to them because, well, joshua jackson is on network television and i should watch. because pacey witter is on my tv, even if he has a different name and different role in life.

definitely, maybe
ok, so maybe this was actually released in 2007, but i watched it for the first time in 2008, so it counts. i loved abigail breslin in no reservations and little miss sunshine, and i've always had a soft spot for ryan reynolds, and i love isla fisher in whatever she does. no it's no surprise that i loved loved loved this movie. it's from the people who made love actually, something else i happen to love. there's a lot of love flowing in this paragraph isn't there? another one of the reasons i enjoyed this movie so much was the rampant 90s nostalgia i was able to indulge in. i freaking loved the clinton years.

how i met your mother & big bang theory
both "how i met your mother" and "big bang theory" stepped up their game this year. i enjoy both these ensemble casts, they have great chemistry and are absolutely hilarious. neil patrick harris is one of the funniest people ever.

another reason why mondays at 8 are both a delight and absolute torture. this show is so cute and funny and utterly enjoyable. it's "alias" meets "scrubs" set in a best buy knock off called the buy more. zach levi as chuck is engaging, charming, cute and easy to root for. his chemistry with the rest of the ensemble cast is nothing short of spectacular. i love the spy stuff, but love that this show doesn't let itself get overwhelmed by dark and scary mythology. it's simply fun to watch.

"lost" may have lost its way a little in year 3, but year 4 proved that with an end game in sight, it was so easy to get back on track. the flash fowards have done wonders for the story the show is telling. watching every week, figuring out where in time you are and what the stakes are for the survivors has been absolutely thrilling. i'm so glad the long wait is over and season 5 begins again in 2 weeks.

the bad

the room
there is no other possible way to describe this movie other than bad. because it's bad. it's terrible. and also amazing, because that level of terribleness takes a lot of work. you can read more about it here.

general hospital
the truth is the show should be called general mobsters, since port charles is filled with the most insipid, stereotypical mobsters. and really, the mobsters and the violence are what make this show bad. this year the show continued to cut veteran and legacy characters in favor of introducing more mobsters and mindless bimbos. the writing team flailed about mindlessly changing characters personalities without rhyme or reason. anything good on the show relates solely to the scorpio-drakes. i often wonder why i keep watching. but somehow i can't help thinking that it will get better.

hereos, desperate housewives, ugly betty, my name is earl
this is the year i lost interest in all these shows. i wanted to care but couldn't and i think that that is just depressing.

the ugly

grey's anatomy
the fact is that this show has lost its way. the izzy and denny debacle, the ill-fated erica and callie as lovers storyline, the george as object of desire, the lack of focus...well, the show isn't only poorly plotted, it's also pretty boring. nothing compelling happens. there are no moments that you want to relive or discuss or feel all that strongly about anymore. and that is sadder than anything. actually, the fact that "general hospital" has been at times more entertaining than "grey's anatomy" is saddest of all.