Thursday, May 21, 2009

simply looking on the bright side of life

i don't watch very many half-hour comedies, in fact we can limit them to four: "how i met your mother," "the big bang theory," "the office," and "my boys." but i love these shows. they are all quite different, but have one quality that i think encapsulates why they are great: the ensembles have terrific chemistry.

how i met your mother
this season has been a strange mix of episodes that felt like filler, episodes that contained some pure comedic genius, episodes that felt like "how i hid your pregnancy" should be the show's new title (alyson hannigan and cobie smulders, the show's two female leads were both pregnant for most of the season), and episodes that really moved the show's story along. you know what, even with the filler episodes, i think that this season has been fantastic. i enjoyed sarah chalke's arc as stella. i think it makes perfect sense that he needed to meet her before he actually meets the mother. i think the reveal that she was in the first class he taught as a professor of architecture is pretty good. because it will let the show "try out" some of his students as prospective love interests (hopefully in a non-skeevy way), and let them hit upon the right person to be the mother. because we have to like the mother and i would like to know her a little bit before the show tells us who she is. and that is a risk.

another risk has been the barney and robin relationship. but i think that the season finale handled the reveal masterfully. all season long we've known that barney has a thing for robin, and slowly the rest of the group has been made aware of it. and when robin finds out, of course she is horrified, and she decides to "mosby" barney into pulling back. when lily lets barney into robin's tactics, what follows is a pitch perfect scene that captures both characters' wariness about relationships and commitment, while still allowing their amazing chemistry to shine through. i really think they are perfect for each other.

the big bang theory
this show has grown on me. the characters are so likeable, and the show is quite hilarious. penny and sheldon's relationship is one of my favorite things on television. ultimately what makes this show great is its good-heartedness. the guys may be socially awkward, but i never feel like the show is making fun of them, instead it is making fun of the rest of us.

the office
season 5 had its ups and downs. there were quite a few changes at dunder mifflin scranton, and not all of them have worked out. but this season did have some great jim and pam moments: his proposal in the rain, their almost elopement, and the reveal of pam's pregnancy. i enjoy the office, even when it is uneven, and i know many people watch for michael and dwight or the supporting players, but i watch for jim and pam. and my interest in them has nothing to do with the longstanding bet i have with a co-worker that they will not break up. i've had two season's worth of free lunches. i'm looking forward to more.

my boys
i'll admit that i am not the biggest p.j. and bobby fan. but they have been inoffensive as a couple and ultimately, the reason i watch the show is because i feel like i'm just hanging out with friends. and it's comfortable and funny and just plain easy to watch.

simply treading water until the big finish

so i know i'm behind. but before i get to the "lost" season 5 finale, i feel that i should cover "follow the leader"...but what to say about it. i'll admit that on first viewing i didn't love it. and on second viewing my mind didn't really change. it's one of those episodes that is so clearly moving the chess pieces. everything and everyone is being positioned, getting to where they need to go in order to allow "the incident" to play out.

as someone who has a degree in writing (bet you didn't know that with my unfortunate run-on sentence habit) i understand the need for this type of plotting. but it's still not what interests me about the show. i'm one of those people who is big into character development. and clearly have my own biases as to whom i find interesting and whom i do not. so the entire subplot taking place in 2007. not of much interest to me.

i find it ooky when locke refers to the others or whomever it is who camp out with richard alpert as his people. i'm annoyed by the constant talk about jacob and the need to follow him. to be fair, i'm not the most likely to follow the leader, i've always been the independent type and i respect those who follow the beat of their own drum more that i do those that blindly follow. this has always been my problem with john locke. his idea of being a man of faith was being a man who didn't ask questions, a man who followed direction without questioning the source--and this doesn't only apply to the island, it applies to ben, to richard, it applies to his birth father, and to his birth mother too! john locke has been led astray so many times, that this new decisiveness, this new knowledge of "his path" seems suspect.

jack has always been positioned opposite john locke as the man of science. the man who questions everything and only believes what is laid out right before his eyes. this season however, he's become more that man of faith. and if he annoyed me before with his sense of righteousness, he's even more annoying now as he waits for his destiny to come up and hit him in the gut.

and once it does hit him, he decides to listen to crazy science guy and go detonate a hydrogen bomb. [sarcasm] yeah, that seems like a great idea [end sarcasm].

sawyer and juliet spend most of the episode tied up and being interrogated. they don't really give up the goods, but eventually negotiate passage to the "real world" after phil punches juliet in the mouth. interesting that phil is the one to figure out sawyer's weak point. if they had punched him out for the count he wouldn't have said anything. but for juliet he would do anything. even sell out and choose to leave the island and abandon his friends.

the episode closes with sawyer, juliet and kate sitting in the sub, sayid (yes, sayid, i forgot to mention earlier that we do get to see him once more) and jack in the tunnel with the hydrogen bomb, and miles, jin, and hurley watching everything go down. and we must wait too, because "the incident" will eventually answer the question of what happens next, though perhaps not as completely as one would like.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

simply not enough time in the day

i don't know what happened. if it is the fact that turning 30 means that time slips by that much faster, or if this year my travel schedule for work is really just that insane, or if i continue to overcommit to things that i should just say no to, but regardless, i have a lot of things i want to discuss, a few posts i've started but have yet to complete.

hopefully that will happen over the next few days.

Friday, May 1, 2009

simply changing the story

i think it's funny that abc's hyping of the six-year-old shooter seemed to render that storyline the least interesting. i don't know if it was the little girl, who was very cute, but i didn't think she was very good actress. wouldn't you think there would be something more fundamentally broken about an abused child who shot her father 17 times? i don't know. and though i often get annoyed when the patients they are treating parallel the doctor's lives or emotions too neatly at least this case brought out some juicy stuff for meredith.

that final scene between meredith and the chief had me in tears. and i think the storyline, meredith's plea that the battered mother do something, anything to change her daughter's story, so that she doesn't grow up to be the girl so broken by her father's abuse, really shed light into meredith's childhood. all of the adults in meredith's life abandoned her. and they all pretended that it was okay.

it goes back to when derek proposed and he told her that he saw her dark and twistiness as a strength because she has been through the worst and survived. finally someone gave her some positive spin on her past. and this episode someone finally tells her that they are sorry, that they should have looked out for her, and that seems to finally put her on the path to healing. in the past two seasons it has been amazing to watch meredith grow.

she is finally a person. i know there is a ton of meredith hate on the boards, but she has always been my favorite female character. i like how complicated and tortured she is, and having made the journey with her, i like how she is healing. my favorite character, one alex karev, is on a similar journey. as much as izzie has annoyed me in the past, i find myself hoping that she doesn't die. i want alex to be happy, to believe in something. i want him to heal too, and i'm afraid that if izzie dies, that he'll be broken in a way that won't let him come back together again.

also, owen and christina are awesome. sandra oh and kevin mckidd really bring it. i can't wait to see where their relationship goes from here. it won't be easy, but there is a lot of love there. just more healing needs to take place.

finally, i just have to say that i love mark and lexie together. he went to meet her dad. how cute can they be?

i think i just love how everyone is growing up. i'm really enjoying these more mature relationships, and i like that the doctors are all interacting with each other again.

simply why time travel is a bad idea

poor daniel faraday (and spoiler alert if you haven't watched this week's "lost"). killed by his own mother while trying to change future events. i have a feeling that dan's brilliant plan to stop the chain of events that brought everyone to the island is going to blow up in everyone else's faces. dan had finally come to the conclusion that the survivors were variables because their present is their present and free will should overcome destiny.

except all his actions jibe with what will happen. his plan is likely what sets everything in motion that gets everyone to where they once were. he says that there will be an incident where they are building the swan station and he knows there is an incident because his past was the future. so he comes back early and decides that the way to counteract the incident, the way for them to alter the current timeline is to detonate the atomic bomb we were introduced to in "jughead".

i'm pretty sure that the bomb is going to go off. but i'm also pretty sure that this bomb's detonation is what causes the incident and is the root cause of everything that happens. this is what eloise faraday knows that dan did not, could not have known. this is why it is jack's destiny to be on the island, because he is the one who detonates the atomic bomb. at least that is what i think.

dan's arrival definitely shook jack out of his complaisance. and sawyer's reversion to calling kate freckles certainly raised juliet's hackles. i still have a hard time knowing which pair to root for especially having been a skater for so long, but if i'm honest i'm really enjoying sawyer & juliet.

he's just so damn hot.

i like him grown up with juliet and all, but i also love the bad boy who calls his girl freckles. ah well. i am more than a little worried now that radsinsky has sawyer and juliet in custody. i guess it's a good thing that we know that desmond and penny are for the most part ok. considering they are the only real successful love story that this show has had. of course desmond may regret his assurance that he'd never leave her. those seem to me like they might be famous last words.

some good reveals about dan's connection to the overarching plot, though no real surprises. eloise was indeed the same ellie we met in 1954. and charles widmore is also dan's father. i wonder who penny's mom is.

one last thing, when penny left charlie alone in the waiting room with the nurse did anyone else think that eloise was going to spirit him away to the past somehow and he would become charlie pace? even if that makes no sense my mind still went there.

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