Friday, October 5, 2007

TV & Hand-Holding: So Not Past the Jam Hands Phase

My future best friend forever, Jennifer Garner, has a quote I’d like to share with you. In an InStyle magazine from about three years ago, Jen said, “The first thing I notice about a guy is his hands. I imagine them picking up a baby; it’s a sensual thing.”

Like I said, this is from many years ago, so I’m sure it has nothing to do with Ben Affleck. If she used this theory on Ben, then she failed, because he has no baby-holding skills. (He is also completely inept at fixing Violet’s hair. Anytime Jen goes out of town, you can tell that an amateur is snapping in that child’s barrettes. And she’s almost two. I’m just saying.)

Anyway, this blog is not about Jennifer Garner.

It’s about hands.

I am just blown away with love for hand-holding. It’s a widely-accepted form of public intimacy, one that is shocking innocent in today’s world—and especially in today’s TV world. Hand-holding in private is just as sweet, as it demonstrates a relationship based on connection, not just sex. On TV, where the rules permit broadcasting pretty graphic sex, showing something as innocuous as hand-holding is really special and sweet.

Let’s start with Jim and Pam, who’ve been on hand-holding overload for the past eight days. In the first episode, I melted a little inside when Jim reached over to grab Pam’s hand as they took a slow start to Michael’s 5K. It was so sweet, just a cute little tender gesture of affection. Since they got together, we’ve seen one far-away peck on the lips and a little cheek kiss. But we’ve also seen quiet contented smiles, whispers over the reception desk, soda-sharing, lamp-buying, and the aforementioned hand-holding.

Jim and Pam are also found on the cover of Entertainment Weekly this week—holding hands, no less. I’ve already talked about the sweetness of Pam’s smile, Jim’s cardigan and OHmyGOD the HANDS my GOD, but I think it deserves another mention, particularly if we’re talking about the hands. This little grasp is more covert, as if they’re in a crowded space but can just get away with this simple display of affection.

Part of the fun of a new season is the lead-up to the premieres, which usually involves episode synopses, promotional stills, and perhaps the occasional video clip. Along with many TV addicts, I will overanalyze those episode stills till kingdom come. When it’s The Office, you look at desk arrangement; if it’s Grey’s, you focus on Patrick Dempsey’s facial expressions.

In any case, I’ll look at hands. Especially when there’s engagement/wedding rumors circulating, checking out fingers is an important part of analyzing these photos. Last year, pre-season Office set photos were a hot commodity, because we all wanted to know whether or not Pam and Roy had gotten married. (You might even remember that Jenna Fischer stirred up a little controversy when she posted a snapshot on her MySpace of herself on set wearing a wedding ring. She really played into Pam Ring Hysteria by removing, cropping, and reposting the picture with her left hand out of the shot.)

Hand!Watch 2007 is way more fun than that was. Rewatching last night’s episode this afternoon, I zoned in on Jim and Pam’s hands throughout the conference room scenes to make sure I wasn’t missing any Jam contact. Apparently even Office folk are focusing on Jam Hands—Phyllis sure showed her true colors when she concerned herself with Pam’s reception skills and asserted that she couldn’t see Jam’s (clearly tabled) hands.

Jim and Pam are the current king and queen of hand-holding, but they surely aren’t the first to hold the title. Let’s take a look at some more of my favorites.


Well, of course there’s Carter and Abby, whose new relationship in season nine of ER was cute enough before “One Can Only Hope” (906), where they spent almost this entire scene with clasped hands. Carter has a cute line that “love makes you do crazy things,” and then he grabs her hands and gives her a little twirl—get it(!?!), a crazy thing. After they settle on the doctor’s lounge couch to talk about her brother’s weirdness (he has a milkshake obsession), they hold hands again and play finger-footsie throughout the entire scene.

It was one of the first times we got to see them talk as a couple about something serious, and it was so nice to see them be casual, together, and innocently intimate. Yeah I’m still hung up on Carter and Abby, and I often return to this poignant little scene to remind me of all that’s been lost.


There are a lot of reasons why being single sucks, but one of the main reasons is the lack of a good nap partner. Sharing naps is maybe the greatest thing on the planet. I love co-napping, which is best—seriously wonderful—if your nap partner is skilled at the art of spoony hands. Spoony hands are found when the cuddly couple is not only spooning, but also holding hands, normally up by the inside spoon’s chest. It’s the most cozy, intimate way to sleep, and Derek and Meredith are particularly good at it. The episode “Six Days” (311 & 312) is framed by their unfortunate sleeping situation—she snores, so he escapes their bed to sleep on the couch—ultimately resulting in Derek wearing earplugs and some serious spoony hands.

You can see it here, and please comment if you do not explode with the sweetness of the spoony hands.

For a couple whose relationship started as a one night stand, Derek and Meredith can be very intimate and loving when they want to be. This scene shows the extent of their closeness and that they really extend past the sex part of sharing a bed.


No one does desperate hands, however, like Lost’s Jack and Kate. For the first half of the third season, my all-time OTP was completely separated, and their two most poignant scenes were all about hands. The first, from the sixth episode (otherwise an awful, awful episode), shows Jack and Kate finally in the same room, but separated by a glass wall. As they have an emotional conversation (the Others are gonna kill Sawyer!), Jack and Kate place their coordinated hands up on the glass and cry. It’s as close as they can get to each other, and it kills them. I’ve long held that if that wall didn’t exist, the ridiculous cage sex would never have happened. However, without the glass wall scene, we wouldn’t have gotten the first lovely Jate!Hands scene.

The second of these is even more desperate, even more poignant, even more I-Do-Not-Understand-You-People-Who-Don’t-See-The-Inevitablity-That-Is-Jate. It occurs when Jack thinks he’s going to escape the island by submarine; Kate’s rescue mission is thwarted not only by the fact that Jack’s not looking to be rescued, but also by the Others. Again they cry, they exchange emotional words, they stare at each other, and they hold onto each other so, so tightly. They know they might never see each other again (despite Jack’s unbelievably moving line: “I will come back here for you”), so they cling to each other. Angsty, sexy, full of romance and sexiness, this scene just absolutely kills me.

As the only couple in this post who aren’t together, their tactile scenes are extra-sweet because their hand-touching is the only touching they’ve got, I guess unless you’ve got a handy dandy net trap. Jate!Hands is as close to sex as those two are going to get for a while, and damn it comes pretty close.

If they’re this precious as just friends, what could they be if they really expressed their feelings?

These couples teach an important lesson: that television romance doesn’t have to be all about sex. Audiences follow celibate couples through the torture of will-they-or-won’t-they, yet producers expect us to find sex and nudity a necessary part of their viewing experience? Not true. Sure, we occasionally like to see our OTPs touch more than just hands, but we’re okay with innocent tactile sweetness, too. Particularly spoony hands.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Private Practice: This is What They Call Hero Worship

Perhaps my favorite part of having three part-time jobs is having three watercoolers. Although only one of my offices has an actual device, that doesn’t stop me from having light TV conversation with any colleague who seems particularly interested. Oftentimes, it’s frustrating because I’m a pretty serious TV watcher (hello, I have a blog) and I have to try not to come across as an asshole when I, for instance, talk about the Grey’s chronology with my work friends. (Look here for my recent take on the Seattle Grace calendar.)

However, sometimes they bring up really excellent points. My friend and I were discussing the Private Practice premiere, and she said she was blown away by how much she cried while watching last week’s episode. “Pilots shouldn’t make you cry. It was unnatural,” she said.

It’s true. In that same bitchy Grey's blog, I also talked about pilot magic, and Private Practice, at least in my opinion, definitely had it. (Dirty Sexy Money, meanwhile, did not. But that’s a story for another post.) The episode had humor, likeable male characters, and a hero who I am totally ashamed to have hated.

I liked that it didn’t rely too heavily upon the spinning-off episodes of Grey’s, which had that whole elevator-as-conscience storyline and, oh yeah, a different Naomi. Speaking of which, Audra McDonald is way better than Merrin Dungey in that part. First of all, she fits the age better; Merrin seemed a little too young for the role. She also has a much more versatile range of facial expressions, a warmth that I can connect to, and the poise of a brilliant fertility specialist.

Plus, she’s an AMAZING singer. Her rendition of “Stars and the Moon” from Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World” is beautiful. I love when my favorite Broadway actors get Hollywood jobs; I can’t wait to see Norbert Leo Butz (“Wicked,” “The Last Five Years,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”) play Steve Carell’s brother in “Dan in Real Life.”

Seriously, Private Practice, figure out how to get Audra and Taye Diggs to sing a duet. Stat.

Anyway, this is not supposed to be about my love of musical theatre (which is unflinchingly rigid), but I digress.

I love Tim Daly’s character, too. He’s sweet but not all up in Addison’s business, and even though his medicine is weird, he himself is the polar opposite of weird. I think it’s funny how similar Tim Daly’s return to TV is to Patrick Dempsey’s. Both were big a dozen or so years ago, disappeared, and when Shonda Rhimes rediscovered them, there was a definitely “Oh! You!” moment. There’s so hot, I have no idea why they weren’t getting jobs for so long. (Ooh, good job being superficial, Caroline.)

Competing for preciousness is Cooper. He’s a little more rough around the edges than Pete, but oh-so-sweet (especially to Violet). As they highlighted in tonight’s episode, he’s such a brilliant contradiction between stripper-hirer and kid doctor. (Doug Ross, anyone?)

And then there’s Addison.

She is such a beautifully multifaceted character. She’s not so good at relationships (but a great friend), a team player, a strong voice, a vulnerable lady, a brilliant doctor, a confident and proud professional, a sympathetic listener with a comforting bedside manner, and a truly gorgeous woman. What’s not to love?

At the end of the first episode, I really felt like she had emerged as this show’s hero. She’s someone we can rally around, who’s got flaws for sure but, let’s face it, is a hell of a lot more generally likeable than Meredith Grey’s ever been. (I still think McDreamy chose correctly, don’t get me wrong.) Fascinated as I am with her, I’m not clamoring to grow up like Meredith, whose character traits include a near-pathetic inability to commit (unless the guy’s seriously about to leave her for aforementioned hero), a horrible attitude toward family, and a strong affinity for tequila. (For more on Meg’s lack of role model skills, read this.)

Centering a show around Addison was risky, sure, as she’d previously been known as simply a member of the ensemble, and a relatively late-joining one at that. Executives have no real way of knowing if an ensemble player can function on their own. However, Private Practice is great because it was so quickly built around a new ensemble, one that I am just as drawn to as the doctors of Seattle Grace. And, again, Addison is just plain awesome.

And rather than competing with Grey’s, Private Practice offers a completely different approach to the medical drama. It still combines patient and doctor storylines, but the pace is decidedly different and the characters don’t seem like mere counterparts of Grey’s doctors.

Overall, it’s been getting pretty mixed reviews, but I’m quite enamored by the Oceanside staff. I don’t even have a problem with the fact that I cried at the first episode.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Office: Unexpected...Sadness?

I am so not one of those people who turns the TV off when "will they or won't they?" concludes with a sweet "they will." Alan Ball once said, and I can't find the exact quote so bear with me, that he found the drama of staying together much more interesting than the drama of getting together. I agree. I was most entrenched in ER, Gilmore Girls, and Alias when the couples weren't involved in love triangles, but rather were making it work together.

Then WHY am I so saddened by the premiere of The Office?

Ostensibly, I got everything I wanted. Jim and Pam are together--and decidedly precious--kissing, sneaking around, having lunch, holding hands (aww), and buying lamps. Who didn't die a little inside there when he grabbed her hand walking down the street? My heart just skipped a beat remembering it. I want Jim Halpert to grab my hand and carry my lamp and "help me with that research" (wink wink).

However, lurking in the documentary format is the Achilles heel of my relationship with Jim and Pam. There's so much more to their relationship that we're just not going to get to see--and it KILLS me.

First of all, the fact that the writers skipped several weeks (maybe even months) of time means that we didn't get to see their first date, their first kiss, their first...lots of other things. However, with Jim and Pam trying to subvert the efforts of the cameras, we probably wouldn't catch that anyway, I guess.

The Jim/Pam relationship in the early days was easy to appreciate through the documentary style, because, as "just friends," all of Jim and Pam's relationship ostensibly took place in the office. Now, though, that they're presumably going on dates, hanging out at home, and (gasp!) having sex, their most intimate--their most important--moments are going to happen after the camera crew goes home.

The producers seem to be dealing with this in a pretty logical way: creating reasons for Jim and Pam to stay at the office. Upcoming episodes bring an Angela office party--in which we might find Jim and Pam escape to the roof and recreate some "first date" magic?--and a Jim/Pam overnight getaway to Dwight's beet-farm-turned-B&B. Hopefully these reasons will be enough to keep the happy Jam (or PB&J) alive. I'd love to see a return to their early-season-two days, only now their touches can linger a little longer (again with the hand-holding!) and the episodes can end with them heading home to their cute little house and even cuter and even littler babies.

While we're on the subject of Jim and Pam, how 'bout that Entertainment Weekly cover? AGAIN WITH THE HAND-HOLDING! Good God, I could stare at John Krasinski's face all day. Not since TV Guide's ER cover from five years ago, in which Noah Wyle declared Maura Tierney "the Molly Ringwald to my Andrew McCarthy," have I felt so filled with glee over a piece of paper. (Michael Scott would be so pleased.) With his cardigan and rolled-up sleeves and her sweet secret smile, the picture conveys something so innocent, so precious. It's their little smiles and MY GOD their clasped hands and the caption ("Jim and Pam pretend not to notice that their hands are sweaty") that makes me know that, even if we don't get to see the cuteness than I'm sure is Jim and Pam watching movies and eating ice cream out of the tub, this season of Jam is really going to be something.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Friday Night Lights: Mae and Caroline Pilfer The S2 Premiere

Before I even start, I'm going to make one thing blatantly clear: SPOILER WARNING.

Like many hardcore FNL fans, Caroline and I have already gotten our grubby hands on the Season 2 premiere of the show and watched it several days ago. Due to our schedules, we only got around to discussing it tonight. Just below, I'm providing the relevant FNL pieces of our conversation tonight as we reacted and dissected what I have only been able to refer to as a general mindfuck of shock and overload. We only touched on two of the major plot points, so there's plenty left unsaid - which will be discussed after everyone else sees the premiere on it's regular night and time.

Once again, you have been warned of the spoilers that live immediately underneath this sentence. It's no longer our fault if you read it and ruin the surprises.


Mae (5:04:35 PM): holy fnl premiere, batman.
Caroline (5:04:43 PM): i know right
Caroline (5:04:49 PM): gracie!!!!!!
Mae (5:04:52 PM): i was like *jawdrop*
Caroline (5:05:25 PM): specifically tyra/landry (how ironic they were watching fried green tomatoes) or all of it?
Mae (5:05:41 PM): specifically them. but overall, too.
Mae (5:06:23 PM): like, it was predictable as soon as she sent him into the store without her. and i knew he would be dead as soon as landry hit him with the bottle. but the whole not calling the cops and just dumping the body thing...
Mae (5:06:27 PM): yeah didn't see that coming
Caroline (5:07:00 PM): i mean, they would have been FINE calling the cops. it was totally playable as self-defense
Mae (5:07:11 PM): i know! that's why i was so shocked!
Mae (5:07:18 PM): cuz they didn't do anything wrong at all
Mae (5:07:25 PM): they wouldn't have gotten in any trouble
Caroline (5:07:41 PM): i know
Caroline (5:07:54 PM): i can't believe you said they were gonna have a boy
Caroline (5:08:15 PM): by the time i finished last season, i KNEW that kid was a girl. if ANYBODY EVER was a father of daughters, it's eric taylor.
Mae (5:08:33 PM): k but here's the thing about mr and mrs coach
Mae (5:09:28 PM): it could have gone either way. he is a blatant father of daughters. but he is a football coach. i could see him getting the son he has always wanted to play catch with, etc. he spent a lot of season 1 trying to football-up julie, lol
Caroline (5:10:36 PM): but that's why he has a teamful of boys
Mae (5:10:46 PM): point taken.
Mae (5:10:48 PM): but still.
Mae (5:10:58 PM): julie is not fond of gracie.
Mae (5:11:58 PM): she's all boo you baby, daddy left me and he comes rushing home to hang out with you.
Caroline (5:13:15 PM): oh whatever
Caroline (5:13:30 PM): three episodes i give him. three episodes before coach taylor's back in dillon
Mae (5:14:03 PM): well that seed was planted the second assface new!coach was revealed
Mae (5:14:29 PM): you know that won't stick. coach taylor will be back to protect his boys.
Caroline (5:14:50 PM): gawsh i love him
Caroline (5:15:23 PM): friday night lights has even put the code black episodes of grey's into a whole new context for me
Mae (5:15:52 PM): i know! you see him on grey's and you're all "oh, you are SO coach all the time, everywhere!"
Mer (5:16:17 PM): in the limbo episode, i laugh my ass off when he's arguing with denny or when he's lecturing mer because it's so coach.
Caroline (5:17:06 PM): i have not rewatched that since
Caroline (5:17:12 PM): but kyle chandlerrrrr

_______ we interrupt this convo to talk about non-fandom topics_______

Mae (6:13:51 PM): in a brief return to fnl talk, i'm back to wondering about tyra and landry. why wouldn't they realize they wouldn't get in trouble? landry told mrs. coach about the first attack, and mrs. coach made tyra report it.
Mae (6:13:53 PM): so like
Mae (6:14:06 PM): it was already on file that the shithead was giving her grief
Caroline (6:14:07 PM): i know. it's ridiculous
Caroline (6:15:13 PM): i really just think....bad choice, writers.
Mae (6:15:22 PM): that's what blows my mind. i mean it made for a great shock factor and wtf moment, but it wasn't necessary for a great storyline for them. they could have built a brilliant storyline over them dealing with what happened that night and the aftershocks of the "murder" and the town rallying around them, etc
Caroline (6:15:47 PM): exactly
Mae (6:15:53 PM): there were so many other brilliant ways to write it while still keeping the whole "landry accidentally killed the jerk" aspect of it
Mae (6:17:07 PM): i think that was the main shock to me... it was just unnecessary, despite making for great scenes for their acting skills
Caroline (6:17:52 PM): honestly, though, through most of that episode i just kept waiting for them to go back to coach & baby
Caroline (6:17:56 PM): so sweet
Mae (6:19:00 PM): kyle is just basically the most brilliant man on television. and connie with the crying and the breaking down after he said he was leaving and... love
Caroline (6:19:25 PM): oh i agree. they are TAL-EN-TED
Mae (6:19:33 PM): i can't wait for gracie to grow up. because i adore more than anything else the coach/julie scenes like the one in the car. now i long for more of coach/gracie.


On a side note, I realize I've yet to post my review of the ABC pilots I previewed a few weeks ago. I'll be taking care of that tomorrow. Because obviously it's pointless if I don't do it before they actually air. Hee.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grey's 2.0: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Most of the time, you can pretty much judge an entire series based on its pilot. Which is a good thing, considering that network executives are paid to judge entire series based on one episode.

Aaron Sorkin is particularly skilled in the craft of the pilot, with his medias in res approach to cable sports, the White House, and sketch comedy. Sam Seaborn having awkward morning-after conversation with a prostitute was witty enough before she mused on the curiosity that is POTUS.

Laurie: “Tell your friend POTUS he has a stupid name.
Sam: “I would, but he’s not my friend, he’s my boss; and it’s not his name, it’s his title.”
Laurie: “POTUS?”
Sam: “President of the United States...I’ll call you!”

So lovely. In addition to the Sorkin pilots, I’ll add Lost, Alias, and Desperate Housewives to the pile. They set up the entire premise of the series, without giving me too much backstory and boredom—in fact, leaving me clamoring for lots more. A good pilot can be a work of art, a real promise. There’s a feeling attached to first glimpses that tells you that you can follow this show.

I felt it pretty strongly after watching the first episode of Friday Night Lights. Man, that show had me from the moment we saw Matt Saracen take the field for the first time.

It’s a good feeling, especially when you focus on appointment television as much as I do. Good TV is hard to come by, and when it does, it’s super great.

The Grey’s pilot is just okay. Obviously, it was good enough to make it on air and to grab people’s attention, which is more than 99% of writers can say about their screenplays, but Grey’s really caught its stride later in the first season, if not at the beginning of the second.

Though I definitely enjoy the awkward post-coital Derek and Meredith, “007” George O’Malley, and everything that is Miranda Bailey, it’s nothing special.

Flash forward two-and-a-half years to today, when we were treated to a short but very sweet sneak peek of the upcoming season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. If you’re a fan of the show, the first thing that should have struck you was the throwback to the pilot episode: specifically, the first meeting of Bailey and her interns. She rattles off a speech that lays out the five rules of the hospital and serves as a guide to how much interning sucks; in this sneak preview, we see our four new residents (Alex, Cristina, Izzie, and Meredith) rattle off these rules to their interns. (For Meredith, her gaggle includes George; for Cristina, Meg’s half-sister.)

Aside from the obvious precious factor (look how they learned from Bailey!), this also serves a nice display of continuity throughout the passage of time. It’s the equivalent of ER’s “You set the tone,” which passed from William H. Macy to Greene to Carter. Eventually, I’m sure it will pass to me in my role as Carter’s sassy-but-brilliant niece. (Hey, I’ve already got the name, people.)

The idea of harkening back to the pilot is also a great way for Grey’s Anatomy to begin the season. It connotes a new beginning, something that Grey’s desperately needs and that Shonda Rhimes promises is around the corner.

The passage of time—or lack thereof—has always been the Achilles heel of Grey’s Anatomy. Three seasons covered only twelve months, which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t so damn ridiculous. (Lost has covered only 93 days in its three seasons, yet I have no problem with that.) For example, we’re supposed to believe that in the course of one year, Izzie broke up with her hockey player boyfriend, slowly moved into a relationship with Alex, ended that, fell for Denny, got engaged, lost her fiancĂ© to a pulmonary embolism (man, those suck), got over that, slept with Alex again, realized that was a mistake, and then fell desperately in love with George?

Dude, that much hasn’t happened to me in my entire life.


In this premiere of Grey’s, we get a sense (finally!) of the insane (and ultimately unsatisfying) cycle completing itself, beginning anew, and looking forward to the next cycle.

Though I’ve spent the summer occupied with other matters—you know, The Office and the office—I will at least tune in for the premiere of what we’ll call Grey’s 2.0.

Who knows, maybe it will fill me with that happy pilot feeling that eluded me so long ago.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

'Tis the Season: Pilots, Pilots Everywhere!

I have to say, as if living in New York or Los Angeles didn't already offer more than enough amazing perks, one of the best is the ability to view the new network pilots at the Paley Center for Media (on both coasts, respectively) a few weeks before the new TV season actually begins.

Over the past few days I have completely immersed myself in these new pilots - although I did maintain the CiG bias of "I'm not watching it unless I really want to, so there." I had (and still have) zero interest in the new pilots for CBS, FOX or The CW. So I have nothing to say about those, considering I completely skipped those nights at the Paley and chose to have a social life instead. A rare occassion for me, really.

But what I did see (NBC and ABC), I have plenty to comment on. Let's start with NBC and the four pilots I was presented with on Saturday: Chuck, Life, Bionic Woman, and Journeyman. Whoo, what a night for a TV freak. It came in second to the ABC night, and that had a lot to do with Michael Vartan's return to television and my inevitable swooning reaction. But more on that later...

Chuck is the story of a computer geek working at the local Buy More (for the Nerd Herd, specifically) who inadvertantly downloads the entire database of US government CIA/NSA secrets onto his home computer and ends up with all of these secrets imbedded in the depths of his subconscious. In true spy game fashion, this makes Chuck a government target. He knows too much. The show is like a cracked-out episode of Alias with an adorable geek at the helm instead of Jennifer Garner in lingerie. It's actually a fair trade, seeing as Chuck is adorkable and the dialogue is classic Josh Schwartz sarcasm and wit harkening back to the early days of The OC and the briliance of Seth Cohen. The cinematography and SFX are brilliant as well, and McG's directorial standards from Charlie's Angels come shining through quite clearly. The relationship between Chuck and his sister is really sweet, and Chuck's best friend Morgan is already on track to become the next great "annoying guy who's already there" sidekick that you can't get enough of from week to week. And don't even get me started on the awesomeness of "Captain Awesome," who only shows up sporadically and barely has any purpose other than to say something entirely hilarious in Abercrombie Perfect Man fashion. The show is generally full of genius, and I could not love it more after just one episode. If you don't have time to get addicted to any new shows, don't watch this one. You won't be able to stop once you tune in longer than five minutes.

Moving on to Life, this one took a little getting used to. The concept is interesting, but it was the lead character of Detective Crews that really started to grab me. I will admit that for the first half of the show I just wasn't feeling it and I couldn't pinpoint what was bothering me, but in the end it was that I couldn't figure out if the character was actually just completely dry-humored and beyond oddball or if the actor was just delivering a poor performance. As the pilot carried on, I realized the answer to be the former: Detective Crews is just effing weird. And it's hilarious. After over a decade in prison for a crime he didn't commit, this man is released back into the real world with no true concept of what has changed during his incarceration. He's fascinated by cell phones that can take pictures, completely confused by the concept of a bluetooth wireless phone connection inside his car, and reading "The Idiot's Guide to the Internet" to find out the definition of an IM. Not only that, he's always spouting commentary about a zen lifestyle and trying to maintain a calm, collected and non-obsessive relationship with the drool-worthy car he just purchased from the million dollar court settlement he received for his wrongful imprisonment. His new female partner, Reese, is intriguing in her own right with her shady drug past and apparent current alcohol/sex addiction problems that she is desperately trying to hide. The relationship between Reese and Crews is something that I can see eventually coming together quite strongly if written properly. I suppose the main issue I had with this show is that the pilot, in the end, was more about character development than storyline interest. In the last two minutes of the pilot you finally get a glimpse of what Detective Crews is really looking for - what his true motives are - and I personally feel like if that had been the basis for the pilot I may have found it more interesting. But if that's going to be the basis for the show overall, then it's worth it to continue watching for at least a few more episodes to see if it can hook me for real.

I can't even keep track of how many people there have been lately talking about the brilliance of Bionic Woman... and now that I have seen the pilot, I have to say that I don't get it. It had some really cool moments - the fight scene between the two respective bionic women of the world was pretty much entirely kickass - but overall I just wasn't sold. The actress that plays Jamie - the bionic woman herself - perhaps just isn't right for the part. She's not a bad actress by any stretch of the word, but it just doesn't seem like a good fit to me. And the relationship between Jamie and Will (at least I think that was her boyfriend's name...) isn't working for me. The chemistry isn't there. And we all know that if I can't find something to 'ship within five minutes of tuning in, we're going to have a problem. I suppose I'm just not sold on where this whole thing is going. I don't see the point. What is the endgame, here? Now she's all bionic, but what? I understand that she's basically the equivalent of a super soldier at this point and that she's going to be doing the bidding of certain people in charge, but I'm still not understanding why I should care. I didn't care enough of Jamie to begin with, which I'm sure is the root of the problem. I had no interest in her life before she became bionic, so why should find her interesting now? I mean, other than the fact that she's pretty damn awesome when she gets pissed off or beats people up. But that's always fun to watch - I need to be interesting in the calm moments, too, and it's just not happening. Oh well. If I don't get interested in this one, it's just a fabulous excuse to never see Isaiah Washington on my TV screen ever again. I can definitely live with that.

Last (but most certainly not least) we have Journeyman. I don't know what to say beyond LOVE. Everything about this show has me hooked. I love it just as much as I love Chuck, but yet they are two entirely different shows and so I love them equally but for different reasons. Oh, Journeyman. So much wonderful. If you haven't yet already caught any of the 5972349857 promos for it that run on NBC constantly, here is the rundown: Dan is a journalist living in San Fransisco with his wife, Katie, and their young son, Zack. Dan's brother works for the San Fransisco Police Department and everyone is just one big, happy (interconnected in far too many ways - you'll see) family. Until one day Dan gets in a cab, falls asleep, and wakes up in a completely different cab 20 years earlier. As the show carries on he keeps randomly time-traveling against his will, and you start to notice a common link in what happens and who he sees on every "journey." It's a fun puzzle that you start to piece together whilst also sympathizing with Dan and the situation he's having with Katie and Zack, who can't understand or grasp why he keeps disappearing for days at a time with no explanation. Everyone thinks he's insane and needs serious mental help, but he's determined to follow through on his "mission" from the past whilst also keeping his family together in the present. That is, at least, until Olivia. Olivia, his ex who we learn died in a plane crash nearly 10 years ago. But with all of this time travel, Dan keeps finding past-tense Olivia everywhere that he goes. And Mae keeps finding herself falling in love with Dan and past-tense Olivia, despite the fact that it's far from realistic. The thing that kills you is that he's completely devoted and in love with Katie, but everytime he ends up in the past with Olivia... he just can't help himself. You can tell how much he loved her and how much he misses her, and you can see on Katie's present-tense face that she still cringes at the mention of Olivia - for she knows first hand just how in love Olivia and Dan were, a fact you learn in more shocking puzzle-building moments. The best part for me, though, came during the last act near the end of the episode. Caroline and I love a good show that can make your brain hurt and give you plenty of WTF moments (despite how much we scream endlessly about wanting to kill the writers of Lost) and Journeyman did not disappoint. The puzzle of past and present itself is plenty confusing and more than enough to keep your mind working and throw you into moments of shock, but there was a brilliant reveal near the end of the episode that had everyone at the Paley Center intaking a sharp gasp of air and then silently struggling to figure out what exactly was going on. And it doesn't take long to figure out what's going on, but even the understanding of what's going on just presents you with more questions and confusion. And makes 'shipping Dan/Olivia so much more fun and viable. I seriously cannot wait to get deeper and deeper into this show and the crazy puzzle of mindfucks that it surely has up its sleeve from week to week. Kudos to NBC for this one, because if I had my way this would be the breakout of the year.

Of course, if I always had my way with new TV shows Friday Night Lights would be nominated for several Emmys right now and not looking at bleak future on, ironically, Friday nights. But that's a bitter argument for another time.

I realize I have yet to say a word about the ABC pilots - fear not. Tomorrow is a day of no work for this busy TV freak, so despite the fact that I now must start my battle for the paycheck... tomorrow is reserved for swooning over Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, Samantha Who?, and Big Shots. All of which I have more than enough (good and unfortunately bad) to say about.

Get out the streamers and bring on the party cake! It's TV season again!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Hiatus: I Can't Get No Satisfaction

I hate the summer hiatus. There is never anything of consequence on TV, and that inevitably leads to me taking my own hiatus from the blogging world. It's as if I am completely incapable of finding anything to blog about when there's nothing new on TV to obsess about. I get bored and yet I also get a life - summer is when I get truly busy, as my mind focuses on things outside of the pretty picture box in my living room. That's not to say I'm not still constantly thinking about my fandoms, but with no new episodes and months of zero new spoilers it starts to feel like there's nothing to say that we haven't already said a hundred times. Caroline has already pointed out that I may want to stop beating certain dead horses that I so desperately like to discuss in our own private conversations, so it's no surprise that I seem to lack any real motivation for blogging during hiatus.

Sure, there are new programs coming out all summer long and you'd think I'd have plenty to occupy my time and my fandom-loving mind. But you would be wrong, because my brain personally finds itself a bit too elitist and snobby to focus any free time on such shows as So You Think You Can Dance, Age of Love, America's Got Talent, or Rock of Love with Bret Michaels.

Okay, so maybe that last one is pretty damn entertaining and maybe I have picked which girl I want to win, but that's totally beside the point.

The only thing I do find myself keeping up with on a regular basis these days is, well, Days. I have become a whore for the soap opera world and it's lack of any realistic plotlines, simply because I'm desperate to 'ship a couple - ANY couple - right now and, quite frankly, Sami and Lucas are doing the damn trick. Am I ashamed? Sure. Does the show completely amuse, entertain and charm me every day with it's stupidity? Hell yes. I won't deny it. But I will blame it on summer hiatus.

For a short while I was thinking Traveler would save me from my hiatus issues, but it turns out that Traveler and I just weren't a match made in TV heaven. I was intrigued by it, and I had quickly started to fall in love with it... but before I knew it, I had missed several episodes and I really could have cared less. Clearly, it wasn't meant to be and I'm back to longing for some sort of televised stimulation during the summer months.

At Caroline's pleading however, I am going to focus all of my efforts on blogging my thoughts and frustrations for the rest of the summer. I can't guarantee it will be anything highly intellectual, but I can promise it will be entertaining.

As soon as I figure out what "it" is going to be...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The X-Files: Bringing Back Baby

Long before Mae and I set our sights on Dr. John Carter and Matthew Fox, we followed a different Carter, a different Fox. The X-Files remains the pinnacle of high-concept television, five years after its series finale.

For years—perhaps even before the series ended—there have been rumblings of a second X-Files feature film. Rumors have come and go, a lawsuit between FOX and Chris Carter has been settled, but this week David Duchovny all-but-confirmed that development is underway; he even admitted he expects a script on his desk this week.

Mae and I are pretty jazzed.

Just last week, I was bad-mouthing Sex and the City for not quitting while ahead, and now I am just so jazzed about the possibility of seeing MY original ass-kickers, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, back in action.

But before you get started, Mr. Carter, Chaos in General has a few small demands.

First of all, we don’t like what we’re hearing about the flick being a “Monster-of-the-Week” story instead of a continuation of the mythology. “Bite me with the monster plots,” Mae says. “I want my hunt for William.”

Yep, at the end of the day, we want William.

I’d prefer the movie to be called The X-Files: Fight the Really Stupid Mistake You Made in Season Nine. Mae and I both find this film to be an opportunity to get Baby William back. Rather than crying over the fact that she gave him up, like they did in the finale, we want to see them “kicking ass and taking names to get their kid back,” as Mae so eloquently puts it.

No crying, no cuddling, please. And no Mimi Rogers while you’re at it.

I go so far as to request no weddings.

(Caroline doesn’t want to see a wedding? Gasp!)

“I almost wonder if they won’t be kind of like the Order of the Phoenix,” I told Mae last night on IM, done with my day of Harry Potter-induced radio silence. “You know, there’s the really bad guys, the Voldemorts of the X-Files world, if you will, and then the government/ministry who isn’t being very helpful or good. And they are like these vigilante do-gooders. Sort of like Boondock Saints. Or Daredevil.”

“I prefer to think of them as Boondock Saints,” Mae says. “Merely so that I don’t have to picture Ben Affleck in a codpiece.”

After reminding my esteemed colleague that she must have mistook the Garfleck “action” movie for Shakespeare in Love, we got back to business.

What else do we want? Skinner, Ghost!Gunmen, and Gibson Praise, please. Perhaps a fourth X-Files role for Terry O’Quinn who plays Lost’s resident Man of Faith, Locke. (Figure out how to include the Man of Science himself, Matthew Fox, also known as Foxy #2, and I’ll be a very happy camper.)

Things we can live without? Doggett, Reyes, and any kind of shapeshifter.

We acknowledge that a mythology flick may be rather difficult, what with the cast of characters diminished quite seriously: Krycek, the Lone Gunmen, and the Cigarette Smoking Man all met their end in the last year of the show.

“The Cigarette Smoking Man is for reals dead,” says Mae. “I don’t think even I can suspend my disbelief on that anymore.”

“No, we pretty much saw the flesh burning off his face,” I said, and direct you here for proof. He is dead.

Whatevs. It’s not like that son of a bitch was going to be helpful in the search for William.

When it comes down to it, Mae and I are wholeheartedly in. We want to see our favorites—our first favorites—back in action. On the lam, redeemed by the military tribunal, or back at the bureau, we don’t care. So long as we’ve got Mulder, Scully, and William, we’ll be there.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Get Your Venti Red-Eye Ready...It's Almost Time for Emmy Nominations

I do this every year, but it never gets less fun. Emmy predictions (of trophies and nominations) give me a sort of thrill, as I anticipate the year when I get 100% of these correct. Maybe it’s this year, maybe it’s not.

Best Actor in a Drama
• Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
• Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy
• Matthew Fox, Lost
• James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
• Hugh Laurie, House

Of course the Drs. Sheph(e)(a)rd continued to make me fall in love with them—that is, of course, when they weren’t being assholes. Patrick Dempsey’s post-ferry-crash performance was really the highlight of that arc, although I despised the way he carried out the rest of the season. I really don’t care for i, but it’s going to get nominated, probably. (It took me a long time to figure out that Emmy Predictions should be more realistic than, say, nominating all of the socks from Lost and The Office.) Hugh Laurie is a previous winner, and House is still one of the biggest things coming from the Fox network... I’m predicting, though, that Friday Night Lights is going to take home a lot of trophies, and it’ll probably start with Coach himself.

Best Actress in a Drama

• Courteney Cox, Dirt
• Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
• Evangeline Lilly, Kate Austen, Lost
• Ellen Pompeo, Dr. Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy
• Kyra Sedgwick, Brenda, The Closer

Look, people! Members of my favorite TV families! Courteney Cox is doing something new, a little edgy, and definitively non-Monica. Sally Field is Sally Field, and she’s so good on Brothers and Sisters. I still haven’t watched every episode, but it is just joyful to see her back on television. Kyra Sedgwick is The Closer, and it wouldn’t be the top-rated cable series of all time (or so TNT keeps telling me) without her fantastic performances week after week. Ellen Pompeo is Grey’s Anatomy in the most literal sense, and while she’s not necessarily the greatest character on the show, she is the de facto leader of the ensemble. But it’s Evangeline Lilly, with her gorgeous portrayal of the strongest Kate we’ve seen so far, who stops my heart. The Jate!Hands scene in “The Man from Tallahassee” is enough to merit her an Emmy.

Best Actor in a Comedy
• Zach Braff, Scrubs
• Steve Carell, The Office
• Ricky Gervais, Extras
• Jason Lee, My Name is Earl
• Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock

NBC really does have a monopoly on funnymen right now, even if their ratings are still in the toilet. (Remember Conan’s opening sketch last year at the Emmys when he sang “We got trouble, folks, right here at NBC”? Yeah, things haven’t gotten better.) But, Jesus, Steve Carell is hilarious. So are Jason Lee and Tracy Morgan. Zach Braff is kind of a wild card, because he’s talented, but no comic genius. I wouldn’t peg him to win this category, but he could eke out a much-deserved nomination. Ricky Gervais could get nominated, too, for the brilliance that is Extras, although it would be a slap in the face to the truly hilarious men of American television comedy.

Best Actress in a Comedy
• America Ferrara, Ugly Betty
• Tina Fey, 30 Rock
• Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
• Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
• Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program

Tina Fey is a new kind of TV woman, one who I very much appreciate. America Ferrara is the face of Ugly Betty, a role that requires, I’m sure, a great deal of guts and dedication. She’s not the greatest actress I’ve ever watched, but neither is Nicole Kidman, and she won a freakin’ Oscar for wearing Virginia Woolf’s nose, if you know what I mean. Sarah Silverman is so so funny, and while I’m not sure she’s in the right category, she’s still an hysterical comedian. And then there are my two favorite actresses of all time. Mary-Louise Parker has basically inspired my career choice, which is pathetic but true. She’s so unbelievably talented that she turned me on to pay-cable for the first time in my life. Weeds remains the one non-network show I make a point to watch weekly. And Felicity Huffman was the shining star of a so-so Desperate Housewives season. The episode “Bang,” her Emmy submission, was phenomenal. Let’s face it: I just want to see Ann Stark face off with Amy Gardner.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

• Dave Annable, Brothers & Sisters
• Michael Emerson, Lost
• Robert Iler, The Sopranos
• T.R. Knight, Grey's Anatomy
• Masi Oka, Heroes

Three of these (Annable, Iler, and Oka) are from shows with large ensembles, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see co-stars replace any of them. They’re on acclaimed shows, and while they are fantastic supporters, they don’t necessarily stand out ahead of the pack. Hopefully this won’t lead to Brothers & Sisters or Heroes getting shut out (Mae would flip), although I wouldn’t be disappointed with a non-Sopranos category. T.R. Knight’s got the Hollywood gossip machine working majorly in his favor, and it would be a nice opportunity to support the gays. The Emmys haven’t really had the chance to do that since Will and Grace got bad. And Michael Emerson is such a great villain. It’s his beady little eyes (the Jason eyes we call them in my family) and his creepy little voice. He’s so scary! And apparently very nice in real life, which means he must be a very good actor.

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
• Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
• Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
• Sarah Paulson, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
• Aida Turturro, The Sopranos
• Kate Walsh, Grey's Anatomy

This is a huge category, and also the category I hope to one day win. Elizabeth Mitchell is great as Juliet, even though I basically want to hurt her, and Sarah Paulson was the one saving grace of an otherwise sad Studio 60. Grey’s Anatomy continues to have the best ensemble, while still allowing characters to step into the spotlight. For Katherine Heigl’s Izzie, this resulted from her wide range of scene-stealing. In episode one, she had taken to the bathroom floor, in the ferry crash she was using a power drill to perform a craniotomy, and by the finale she was pining for George. It’s Kate Walsh, though, who has truly made a name for herself, so much so that they’re spinning her off. She’s the most high-profile supporting actress on television right now, and I would be shocked if she didn’t get a nod.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

• Danny DeVito, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
• Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
• Jeremy Piven, Entourage
• Ethan Suplee, My Name is Earl
• Rainn Wilson, The Office

Probably the category I am least familiar with, and one chock-full of big personalities. Ethan Suplee’s sweet-but-stupid Randy is one of the most huggable guys on television, and Jeremy Piven plays the opposite—but just as hilariously. Neil Patrick Harris could be the nod for How I Met Your Mother, a show that’s not going to win Best Comedy, but at least deserves something. My money stays on Rainn Wilson, who was way funnier than John Krasinski this year. (Sorry, Jim, I love you, but you were mean to Pam.)

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
• Jenna Fischer, The Office
• Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
• Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
• Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl
• Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

Jenna Fischer did some serious back-breaking work this year (har har), and she deserves this award. She’s so funny, so charming, so precious... Her face there in the last moments of the finale was just the happiest face I’ve ever seen. The others, I’m sorry to say, are seat-fillers, at least in my Emmy predictions. They’re all wonderfully talented, funny ladies, but they just don’t live up to Fancy New Beesly.

Best Drama
Friday Night Lights
Grey’s Anatomy
The Sopranos

Lost is back on track and deserves back on the list after last year’s shut-out. (Who didn’t love Jorge Garcia’s Emmy night joke during Conan’s opening, though: “Dude, we kinda weren’t invited.”) Heroes and Friday Night Lights are the saving grace of NBC, and Grey’s had 24 episodes of greatness (#25 was just horrible), and The Sopranos has one last chance to piss me off. Nobody’s got a lock on this one.

Best Comedy

30 Rock
Two and a Half Men
The Office
Ugly Betty

The buzz is on for Two and a Half Men, although I DON’T GET IT. Whatever, Emmys, keep watching washed-up CBS non-coms. The real laughs are, of course, over at NBC, with 30 Rock and The Office. Weeds is brilliant, too, and in an unconventional way. And Ugly Betty remains boring with its one joke, but it’s a pretty funny one joke.

That’s it. I’m probably way off this year, but I’ll see you July 19 for the nominations! Big day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Could Get Pregnant Today and Still Give Birth Before Lost Returns. What Gives?

It’s a difficult question to answer: when a project disappears from the airwaves for nine months, how do you make sure that everybody tunes in upon its return?

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are attempting to field that question as we speak, working with ABC execs to make sure that the Lost buzz doesn’t die out in its extended hiatus.

Their answer comes in a variety of marketing. A Lost video game is expected to street later this year for PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, and PC. (Apparently, us Mac users will have to hit up our Wii-owning friends. Or convince our dads that they’re ready to part with their PS2s. I’ve been trying to do that for years now.) They’re also touting these “mobisodes,” Verizon-only mini-episodes that show new shorts featuring our favorite characters.

I have to say, I’m excited about both. I have really excellent hand-eye coordination, and while I’m not exactly an avid gamer, I did kick my best guy friend’s (Pete’s) ass at car racing on Xbox. That said, I’m a little confused as to how a Lost video game is supposed to work. I mean, they do an awful lot of walking. Is it going to be sort of first-person shooter, letting us take on some hand-to-hand combat with the Others? More strategy-type escape-the-island business? Will I get to pick my character and be Kate and just make her sit next to Jack for hours and hours? Will there be cheat codes that let me make Hurley do ridiculous little dances? Can I let off a little steam by attacking Michael and Walt?

Anyway, I’m excited. But I don’t think I’m excited because the video game will “tide me over” until the next season premieres. It won’t. It’ll be fun, but no computer graphic can replace the real Jack Shephard for me.

So the mobisodes sound like a great idea. Real content, never-before-seen, with, Damon promises, our favorite characters. I’ve never been so happy to be a Verizon customer. I mean, I thought I was happy when I found out that I get service in the D.C. Metro, or that Verizon was building a cell tower on top of the science building on my campus, but this really takes the cake. Verizon, you have officially redeemed yourself for making it incredibly difficult to make “Cosy in the Rocket” my ringtone. (I had to make the ringtone in Audacity, then email it to my Dad, who then text messaged the Grey’s theme to me from his Blackberry. It was way too involved.)

Lindelof said at a recent electronic media conference: "Nobody wanted to see two people sitting on a beach that we've never heard of talking and saying, 'Hey, did you hear what Jack and Kate did today?' You want to see Jack and Kate. It's taken us three years to get those deals in place.”

First of all, the fact that Damon always uses Jack and Kate as the example lets me know that the ultimate Lost goal is absolutely, undeniably lots of Jabies. For the record, yes, Damon, I do want to see Jack and Kate.

Real content is basically ideal. Last summer, I relished in The Office’s webisodes, featuring the accountants. It was thirty minutes spread out over ten weeks, but those were seriously the most fun three minutes of the week. Plus, I trust the Lost team to make these mobisodes count for something. It’s not just throwaway, keep-Lost-in-the-news content with these people ever. They’ll matter.

Last summer’s vacation plan for Lost involved The Lost Experience, an intense online project that required participants to basically turn internet-searching into a full-time job. There were phone calls and weird website passwords and decoding Navajo and binary code. At some point, you had to call in Marshall Flinkman for an assist. I tried to pick up on it, but I just couldn’t keep up with that insanity. Several people did take on the challenge, and they ultimately uncovered…something… I don’t think it’s become relevant on the show yet, but maybe someday it will. If you disagree with me, or if you want to explain TLE to me (even the Lostpedia article on it confuses me), email me, by all means.

This is to say that if you can’t even get me on board, you’ve got a problem.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only people willing to take on such a challenge probably would have tuned into season three with or without The Lost Experience.

A nice little project for the hard-core Lost-philes, not so good for marketing.

Ultimately, I think, good promoting is key. Last year’s “Plan Your Escape” promos were exceptionally good. I would stop what I was doing to watch those promos when they came on. Jack with that wall of water rushing at him? Don’t remember how that ended up playing out, but it was a great commercial tool.

And this year’s Jack/Kate promo seriously melted my heart. It was so good I devoted an entire blog about it — find my emotional squeefest about the glory of “I will come back here for you” here. The ABC promo department is a really talented group of people, y’all. “Pick Thursdays, Choose Thursdays, Love Thursdays” was a great Grey’s campaign. “The Only Network With The Doctors Shephard” made me smile. Hell, they super-sold me on “October Road.” (Read about my reaction to that promo here, and Mae’s sadly-accurate commentary on the show itself here.)

ABC has the benefit of having all eyes right now. Promoted correctly, the February premiere of Lost isn’t going to slip past anyone, be they obsessed fangirl, regular watcher, or even just somebody looking to get out of the Grey’s business.

Regardless, it’s going to be a long wait for the season premiere. I look forward to the mobisodes—I’ll watch every second of original Lost content, even if I do have to watch it on the tiny screen of my Razr—and to having complete control over the characters in the video game. Just wait until they have to act out my plotlines for a change. Hahaha.

Sawyer, you better watch your back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lost: Babies Miss Their Moms. It's Really Not That Complicated.

When Lost went to black last month, I had one thought: Wow.

Blown away by the flash-forward reveal, I remain at a loss to predict what’s next for the Lostaways. Are they going to get rescued for real right now? Or is the rescue still a way’s away, the approaching boat just another near-miss?

What happens that turns Jack into a pill-popping suicidal sad-sack?

Is Christian Shephard alive? How? Did the same people that faked the Oceanic 815 wreckage also fake his death? Why?

Will Desmond meet up with the rest of the team in time to warn them about the boat?

Why won’t Patchy die? Does it have anything to do with why Richard Alpert hasn’t aged in decades?

When are they going to realize it’s two days until Christmas?

Who is waiting for Kate at home?

That last one, I’m pretty sure I can answer.

Jabrams and the gang want you to think it’s Sawyer, which means, basically, it’s not. I have a prediction that’s maybe even a little too idealistic and fluffy for my taste, but here goes.

It’s the Jaby.

Jack’s cell phone supposedly dates the episode to current time, making it about three years post-island, if they indeed are being rescued right now. Let’s say Jack and Kate have a heart-to-heart on the rescue boat, knowing full well that they’re probably sailing toward Kate’s arraignment. They kiss, and he promises to help her get through the whole ordeal.

Of course, she gets acquitted, because, seriously, any jury member could discern that Others Jail is way worse than any kind of punishment the American Correctional System could think up. Juliet gets hit by a train, Jack and Claire find out they’re related, and Jack and Kate begin their relationship.

Not long after, she gets pregnant and they decide to keep it. Their son is born, life is great for a while, Jack is the super-cute dad we all know he will be. Until he starts becoming obsessed with island nonsense. Maybe there’s some event that trips him up—perhaps the death of a fellow Lostie, perhaps not—but he starts acting all weird. Kate tries to help him, tries to get him to stop working so much, but to no avail. Eventually he gets so weird that Kate decides she has to do what’s best for their son and move out. It’s torture for her to move away from the man she loves, the father of her child, but nonetheless, it pretty much has to be done when he starts collecting maps and dressing like the Unabomber.

Now, it’s two months later, their son is about two, and Jack calls Kate and asks her to meet him at the airport. The baby is going through some serious separation anxiety, which is hard for Kate, because she doesn’t have anybody to lean on.

Yep, she’s clearly talking about the Jaby there.

There are some problems with this theory. First of all, it’s way too easy. Finding out that Jack and Kate survive the island was a big gift already from Team Jabrams; it would have been unthinkable for them to give up the end of the triangle so easily. Also, it clearly doesn’t account for the overriding policy we have here at Chaos in General regarding children. The firstborn Jaby has to be a girl, people, so unless little Can’t-Stand-to-Be-Alone Shephard is the younger half of a fraternal twin set, I think we’re at a bit of an impasse here.

I have the patience of an adult, and I’m more than willing to wait for Jabrams, Carlton, and Damon to unfold the story to me. And while I am no longer standing on the edge of the quitting-Lost precipice, our relationship remains as tenuous as Jate’s. They’ve got some explaining to do over there, and I’m excited to hear it.

Too bad we have to wait until 2008.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Grey's Anatomy: An Exercise in Futility

A few months ago, I issued an ultimatum to Lost: stop screwing around with Jack and Kate, or I'll stop watching. As predicted, Damon and the crew did not stop screwing around with my favorite Lostaways, and yet I am more involved in the mythology than ever before.

Go figure.

All sarcasm aside, the ultimatum I never thought to issue was not with Lost, but with Grey's Anatomy. I remained true to the Seattle Gracers through the ferry disaster, even heralding Meredith's limbo as a fantastic (if predictable) hour of television. However, the last few episodes of the season were so disappointing, so unbelievably miserable, that I feel I have no choice but to cut ties with the show.

I've had this conversation with what feels like every college student on the east coast. The season finale left virtually every character in a woefully miserable point in their lives. Bailey got passed over for Chief Resident, George failed his intern exam, and Cristina had her heart broken—or did she? Burke may or may not be gone, Callie's only happy 'cause she doesn't have all the facts, and Izzie's facing the ever-popular unrequited love storyline.

The happiest story in the whole episode was Adele's miscarriage!

Don't even get me started on Derek and Meredith. Derek's been acting like an asshole for the past eight episodes or so, going so far as to stop returning Meredith's phone calls, dangling his dalliances with other women in front of her, and to roll his eyes at his girlfriend's rare fun time with her friends. Yet, suddenly, when push comes to shove, it's her fault? Maybe it's the feminist in me, but that's not right. Now, it's like even though I still want them together, I think they'd each be ridiculously stupid to stay with the other.

And Izzie, my God! Let's recap.

In the past year (remember, we're only one calendar year past the pilot!), Izzie has broken up with her hockey-player boyfriend, hooked up with Alex, broke up with Alex after finding him with "George's skanky syph nurse," fallen in love with Denny, gotten engaged to Denny, lost Denny, hooked up with Alex again, and is now pining for George?

I don't buy it. I just…don't buy it.

Grey's has been marketed from the beginning as a primetime soapy drama, and I've gone along with it since the beginning. Since its inception, the show has masterfully married the dramatic with the light-hearted with the downright insane. My all-time favorite Grey's hour is a season two episode called "Name of the Game," which brings Meredith's pregnant sister into the hospital as a patient. In between dealing with Meredith's tenuous-at-best relationship with her father, her still-awkward let's-be-friends attempt with Derek, the fact that she's on the outs with George after their disastrous hook-up, and the beginnings of the George-Callie romance, this episode shows us some classically Grey's comedic moments. The hour opens with George, Callie, Burke, and Cristina playing a rousing game of Celebrities at the Burktina apartment. Cristina's competitive streak is in full force, and she is mortified when "Blonde Ambition Tour" doesn't connect with her boyfriend. (Neither does ""Blonde Ambition Tour! Vogue! She's blonde! And ambitious! With the...with the...cones! Boob cones! Vogueing!" Brilliant.) It also introduces Meredith and Izzie's knitting, as well as wrong-place-wrong-time-wrong-girl victim Finn Dandridge.

Anyway, it's great. If you haven't seen it, go watch it, and if you have, go watch it again.

The most recent episode of Grey's, meanwhile, had way too much of the dramatic and just not enough heart. And I am very upset by that discrepancy. It made for a tedious finale that left everyone miserable and, well, pathetic. We can't even rejoice in Callie's moment of planning-a-baby, big-promotion joy, because we know what's waiting for her around the corner: a cheating husband who's also jobless.

I need my television to give me hope, some fluff every once in a while, and the occasional side-splitting laugh. Lily and I have been getting this in spades from our recent binge on West Wing DVDs. It's also found in droves anywhere you can spot John Krasinski's face.

Next year Grey's Anatomy is going up against The Office, and I know how to navigate my remote control. Gosh, that one precious look on Pam Beesly's face at the end of that episode was more happiness than Grey's had all season.

The real winner in this situation?

Kate Walsh. She and I will be spending Wednesday nights together.

Studio 60: No Hard Feelings

I have trouble describing how excited I was for Aaron Sorkin’s triumphant return to television last season. I scoured the internet for every Studio 60-related piece of information, and was actually in the audience when Bradley Whitford all-but-confirmed his decision to play Danny Tripp. It was a beautiful eight months.

And it was a beautiful three weeks, I’d say, of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip joy.

Those first few episodes were everything I had missed about Aaron Sorkin since his departure from The West Wing. The wit, those little throwaway lines, the walk-and-talks, my God. I bought into it so hard.

Studio 60 didn’t live up to NBC’s expectations. Extremely expensive, extremely over-hyped, and stuck in an unfortunate timeslot, the return of the Sorkin/Schlamme dream-team was a little less than dreamy.

So, they reworked it. Sorkin was, according to rumor, forced to turn his backstage drama into a romantic comedy, something that Sorkin has never been very good at. One need only look at Dana Whitaker, Mallory O’Brien, or the constantly-woebegone Donnatella Moss to recognize that one of Sorkin’s only weaknesses is in writing romance.

And, God, the Danny/Jordan thing was just so ridiculous. I never thought that Bradley Whitford — my beloved Josh Lyman — could come across as sick and creepy, yet somehow he did. And she was so pathetic, and so poorly played by Amanda Peet, that I was never able to find sympathy for her.

And then everything had to be political.

Sure, Sports Night on occasion drifted into current events. Dan (Rydell, not Concanon nor Tripp, mind you) had his little speech about drugs, and there was that time where there was that riot and Natalie freaked out, and I guess you could count that one time Dana went to church, but still…

Aaron Sorkin used Studio 60 as his private political soapbox, something that works well when you’re writing a show about the President, and a little less when you’re writing a show about comedy. Why-oh-why would anyone tune into Studio 60 for its pithy commentary on the war in Iraq?

I am still watching these last few throwaway episodes. I like to yell at the TV. I like to giggle about things I recognize from West Wing. I like to change my away message on AIM thirty-five times during one episode to keep up with the meta references involved in Allison Janney’s guest-host gig. (Like, isn’t it weird for “Cal” to reference Allison Janney being on The West Wing, since, um, I’m pretty sure this “Cal” fellow looks an awful lot like CJ’s babydaddy?) I’ll also watch anything that mentions Jenna Fischer.

I also like to attempt in my mind to reconcile West Wing’s “Memorial Day” with these recent hospital episodes of Studio 60. When Danny leans over Jordan’s bed and asks her to marry him and says he wants her to be his family and he wants her baby to be his daughter, I try to picture that scene where Donna is all sickly and embolism-y and Josh is at her bedside being all precious and flower-bringing.

I’m just waiting for somebody to make a video combining the two. I will enjoy that with glee. Please send me a link if you come across such brilliance before I do.

Someone at Television Without Pity suggested that Studio 60 would have been better if it had been set at a news program, not a late-night sketch comedy show. I really like this idea. I think it would have been a much better setting, given what Studio 60 eventually turned into. It would’ve allowed Sorkin to keep all of the great elements and get rid of the awkward superfluity. You could’ve still had the Matt-Harriet dynamic, the unfortunate network relationship, the current events, only it would have actually made sense.

You also would have needed fewer characters, probably, more similar to the Sports Night cast than the freakin’ shitshow that is the Studio 60 cast.

What it ultimately came down to, I’m sure, was money. After spending an insane amount of money on the pilot and on promoting the pilot, NBC was of course disappointed when Studio 60 didn’t deliver. That said, the show never had the potential to draw in the crowd it was marketed to. Like West Wing, it primarily appealed to a wealthy, high-brow crowd—a small minority of people who buy a lot of stuff, and who buy stuff like Macs and cars and use American Express Platinums.

However, West Wing was one set (with the most expensive part already done) and a few trips to Washington a year, plus a cast of relative unknowns, save Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe. Studio 60 was a huge financial undertaking from the beginning, thanks to high-profile cast members like Matthew Perry and Amanda Peet.

Eventually, it just wasn’t a good fiscal match for NBC. Perhaps if the show had been on a different network, or on NBC a few years ago, it would have had more success. I think Sports Night would be incredibly successful in today’s market, that it was a super-smart show ahead of its time.

I am disappointed that Studio 60 didn’t make it, because I really do love Aaron Sorkin’s writing, and I really do love Bradley Whitford’s adorable face. Seriously, I’m gonna die this week when that baby comes and I get to see him hold her. Somebody better figure out how to Photoshop Janel Moloney into that picture for reals.

I predicted at the beginning of the season that it would become more profitable for celebrities and musicians on promotion-patrol to “guest-host” Studio 60 than it would be for them to go on actual Saturday Night Live. And that was a bad call. But it would’ve been nice.

Until next time, Aaron Sorkin. I still want to have your babies.

Friday, May 4, 2007

BROTHERS AND SISTERS: You're a Bitch, But I Love You Anyway!

So, um, yeah. Clearly, I may have misjudged little Rebecca Harper-Walker just a smidgen. I just had so much faith in her that she cared too much about her budding relationship with the Walkers to actually risk that on a make-out session with Joe. In actuality, she was the one who initiated the whole thing. She was the one that tried to take it even farther. Her mother saw right through her and suspected that Rebecca had tried to seduce Joe in order to turn the tables on him and get the family to take her side - a theory that Becca angrily denied and I was refusing to believe - and she was completely and totally right about it.

The thing is, now that I've had about a week to mull over the entire issue, I've decided that I still stand by my initial feelings toward Rebecca. I still totally love her. She's still one of my absolute favorite new characters on television. And, really, I wasn't actually that wrong about her after all. l was, clearly, wrong about thinking she was completely in the right and had been taken advantage of by Joe; but I wasn't at all wrong about my belief that she cares a great deal about becoming an accepted and loved member of the Walker clan. She cares about that so much that she's willing to bet Joe will never rat her out and instead take the fall for himself. If (and when) the Walkers find out that Rebecca wasn't exactly innocent in the whole fiasco, she's bound to be stripped of her newfound family and any chance of ever being trusted by them ever again. I can't really explain why it is, but I find her moxie and completely twisted logic to be rather endearing.

Think about it: she's had a tough time of it since the day we met her, and she wants so desperately to be loved and accepted by Nora and the gang. She tries to pretend as if it doesn't matter to her if they like her or not, but obviously it's what she wants more than anything. She wants to belong and she wants to be a part of something special - a part of a family unit where she can make memories with her brothers and sisters just like so many of her other friends were lucky enough to do their entire lives. And she wants that so, so badly that she actually is willing to risk losing it all on the off-chance that Joe won't ever tell the truth and everyone will rally around her. I'm not saying that what she did is right - I think it was really underhanded, actually - but I am saying that I can understand why she would find it necessary. For chrissake, Joe was the one who told her that if you want the Walker clan to truly support you and show you all of their love, you need to be having a terrible time with life.

So, really, I could play the devil's advocate and say that Joe more or less gave her the idea to do what she ended up doing to him. She took his advice and created a terrible situation for herself. Maybe he shouldn't have made such a suggestion! He brought this upon himself! Plus, just because Rebecca initiated the flirting doesn't mean Joe is any less of a skeezbag than I initially theorized him to be. Whether he started it or not, he still kissed his wife's sister. Willingly.


Personally, I just feel a weird connection with Rebecca and it makes me want her to be happy. I really do want her to get what she's been hoping for - the family she never had. Yes, she's an underhanded little wench who I'm sure has plenty more skeletons in her closet, but at the same time she's an underhanded little wench for whom I feel a lot of empathy. I want her to come out on top, here. Joe doesn't deserve to have his marriage fall apart and his family turn against him just because he was complicit in Rebecca's actions... well, actually, yes he does. He skeeved me out before and he's still skeeving me out now, so I'm pretty much okay with whatever bad things fall upon him. It's Rebecca with whom I somehow find it easier to overlook the faults. Mainly because, like I said, I can empathize with her dreams of family and acceptance - and I really want her to find that happiness. She went about it all wrong, but... she was desperate. It's no excuse, but at the same time it totally is.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

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There’s really no excuse for not following.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

LOST: Skabies is a disease. No one wants that.

After last week's episode, there was one prevailing sentiment that flowed loud and clear from me and Caroline: if they're trying to drop hints that Kate's two dirty rumbles in the sack with Sawyer have left her pregnant, I will be forced to stop watching this show. And I will be PISSED.

PISSED PISSED PISSED, as was the ongoing message Caroline and I typed to one another on instant message immediately following the episode.

I honestly don't know what other theory we're supposed to come up with based on that cryptic ending. Juliet finishes a sonogram on Sun to check out her pregnancy and then records a message for Ben in which she says she completed the work-up on Kwon and should have samples from Austen soon...? What the holy effing Hell is that supposed to mean if it doesn't mean Juliet suspects Kate to be pregnant?!?

Honestly, I don't actually believe that the storyline is going to go down that path at all. But the mere idea of it makes me sick to my stomach and makes me need to vent about how much I hate them even insinuating such a thing.

Personally, I would rather Kate come down with a case of the syph so that she learns her lesson about having all the sex with dirty, dirty bastards. Having a Skaby is just the wrong kind of punishment altogether.

Which leads me to point out that Skabies (unlike Jabies) sounds exactly Scabies, which is something no one in their right mind would ever want. Yeah, let's all go out and get infested with tiny little mites that bury themselves in our skin and lay eggs that will itch with unbearable pain for weeks and weeks on end! Sounds like great fun! Kate should totally be hoping for a case of the Skabies, really, because I'm sure carrying the spawn of a dirty, dirty bastard is just as enjoyable as that infectious disease.

Jabies sounds a lot more comfortable, and a helluva lot more adorable. I don't know what JAbrams, Damon and Carlton are all thinking if they actually plan on going the route of Kate + Sawyer = baby and family. It's just stupid. Caroline has always said that she felt as though she was promised Jate in the pilot of this show, and not long ago I read an article in which Damon flat out said that by the end of this season they would make good on a promise they made in the pilot. He didn't say which promise that was, but he said we didn't even need to ask - we would know.

I can't imagine what promise he's possibly talking about if it's not that promise of Jate. And that just makes me more and more annoyed every week when I have to keep watching the whole Skate/Jate triangle playing out. It's tiring and pointless, and if Juliet has reason to believe that Kate is pregnant... well, then, I'm going to have to figure out what kind of angry-looking stationary I need in order to send off a lot of hate mail in crisp white envelopes.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Fit For Ben Franklin: The Most Shocking Moments on Television

I am currently sitting in National Airport, waiting for my flight to board to Atlanta, my hometown. I’m jetting home for one night to surprise my sister, who is playing Marty in Grease this weekend. Nobody knows I’m on my way home, thanks to some particularly Sydney Bristow-like maneuvers; namely, my neighbor is picking me up at the airport.

In honor of this big surprise, I thought I would recount my favorite television surprises of all time. Here are my ten favorite shockers, in no particular order.

1. Carol and Doug are reunited on ER. My parents let me stay up late to watch Julianna Marguiles’s episode, and it certainly did not disappoint. Being the spoiler whore that I am, I was grateful to Jack Orman for keeping the reunion so under-wraps. It made for maybe the sweetest ER scene ever shown. Next time, though, show us the babies!

2. Jim confesses his love for Pam on The Office. I guess we were all expecting a Jam cliffhanger, but Jim’s teary confession to Pam in the parking lot was more than I ever could have hoped for. And then they kissed and everything I knew about the rules of television were thrown out the window. Until “Gay Witch Hunt,” when they were all reinstated. Still, it was a nice summer of speculation.

3. Rachel is pregnant on Friends. Friends was so stale during the season of Chandler and Monica’s engagement that I often felt like I was the only one watching. The Monica pregnancy storyline was predictable and trite. Sneaking in that cliffhanger, where Phoebe comes to the realization that the pregnancy test was Rachel’s, began a brilliant upswing for the show. The next season (the eighth) was perhaps my favorite ever.

4. Meredith wakes up with Denny in Grey’s limbo. Holy crap, Meg, don’t scare me like that! I think I’ve said it here before, but everybody this side of the Grey’s writing staff knew that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was coming back. We just all assumed it would be in an Izzie-related manner, and that we would think it was stupid. My roommate Lily hated the Denny episodes of season two more than anything in this world and was incredibly dismayed at the news of his resurfacing. However, his return was so smart, so unexpected, so downright terrifying. And then Kyle Chandler was there, too! Good job, Grey’s, at making for the most shocking episode-ender ever.

5. The Others take Walt. Just when rescue seemed imminent—hugging, backslaps, and general bilingual joy—turns out the Others had other plans. When those effers threw that Molotov cocktail, effectively destroying the raft, I was so terrified that I gripped my computer screen like a crazy person. “The Bagel” remains my favorite B-story cliffhanger ever. It was this insanity that kept me waiting for the season premiere.

6. Sydney Bristow is the Prophecy. The first-season episode “The Prophecy” connected Milo Rambaldi and Sydney Bristow for the first time. Probably the first taste of real live Jabrams the world ever got, this reveal set the rest of the series in motion. Terrifying, thought-provoking, and downright shock-inducing, the Sydney-is-The-Chosen-One storyline started with the phrase: “This woman here depicted will possess unseen marks. Signs that she will be the one to bring forth my work...”

7. Josh and Donna kiss. After waiting for six—six!—seasons, one of my favorite couples ever hooked up for the first time in “The Cold,” an episode that marked the beginning of the end for this beloved series and set in motion the wrapping-up of West Wing’s (arguable) only love story. This super-sexy kiss (find the YouTubed version without the Dizzy Gillespie music if you want to hear the breathing) was long overdue, yet in no way anticlimactic.

8. Rory boffs Dean. In a season finale chock-full of surprises, including Luke and Lorelai’s first kiss, nothing was more shocking than the reveal that Rory had given her virginity to the very-married Dean. That ending scene, with Rory breaking down on the front porch, marked the ending of young Rory and the beginning of adult Rory, as the choices she faced in the next season were profoundly the result of her decision to become somebody’s mistress. Not how any girl probably imagines her first time, but it was especially disappointing for super-smart Rory.

9. Michael Vaughn might be evil. I suppose I should have been hesitant to believe that Jabrams really would have let Alias’s fourth season end with Sydney and Vaughn riding off into the Santa Barbara sunset, but I never could have expected what occurred in that beach-bound car. The show had given us many wayward turns throughout the run, but stuck to some guidelines. Sloane is evil. Dixon is pointless. Vaughn is a good guy. Questioning that particular tenet of Alias threw me for a total loop—it took me the entire summer to recover.

10. Ethan Rom is an Other. By far the creepiest shocker, Ethan Rom is probably the scariest villain of any on television. It’s that squinchy-nose thing he’s got going on, added to the fact that he’s got superhuman strength and the creepiest voice inflection maybe ever. And he steals babies. I was so scared in the Season One episode when Hurley finds out Ethan’s not on the flight manifest and then it cuts to Ethan approaching Claire and Charlie. YIKES! (PS—that actor is totally Tom Cruise’s cousin.)

ER: A "Dedicated" John Wells? What's that?

Currently, there is a full page article in TV Guide dedicated to ER and the upcoming episode that will feature the wedding of Abby and Luka. This is also known as the episode that makes me want to vomit. I will be the first to admit that I know basically nothing about this show anymore, seeing as how I haven't bothered to watch more than maybe five episodes in the past several years. If even that many episodes, really. But that doesn't change the fact that I know Abby and Luka pretty damn well, and I will forever hate them together.

I love that Abby finally had a baby, because she deserves that happiness and (let's face it) her becoming a mother was always predestined since the moment her own mom told her she needed to stop being afraid of the good things in life before she misses out on the greatness of marriage and motherhood. But still! The fact that it had to become a reality with Luka, of all people, makes me ill. I would have rather it been with Jake (Remember him? Aw.) or some other random dude we hardly knew. Never Luka. Never.

It's hard for me to believe that Abby and Luka would have ever stayed together, much less gotten engaged, were it not for her becoming pregnant. Their entire love story has always been a sham to me. I'm sure that I'm currently alienating a good deal of readers right now, seeing as I'm more than well aware of the battle between Carby and Luby fans - but I don't care at all. I don't buy what Luby is selling. The first time they were together was a big effing joke. He told her she's not that pretty and not that special. I'm sorry, but I wouldn't exactly be giving him any second chances in my lifetime if I were her.

What infuriates me the most about the article in TV Guide is that one of the last statements made declares that John Wells says he is completely dedicated to the Abby/Luka love story and plans of having them go the distance. That's not word for word, but it's close enough and it's still the same "pisses me off beyond belief" gist of it all.

First and foremost, it's not exactly a secret that Goran is leaving. He has made it perfectly clear that he intends (as of right now, at least. Please let it stay that way.) to do no more than five episodes next season. Maura has also said that next season will be her last, but then again Maura has a tendency to say that every couple of years and still she remains. On the other hand, NBC only has the show contracted through next season so there's a good chance that (unless they salvage it again, which would be beyond me) next season will be the end of it all, no matter what. So that begs the question: if Goran is only doing five episodes, but Maura is planning to fulfill the entire season, how in the name of Jack Orman does that idiot Wells think he can pull off a "love of a lifetime, happily ever after" story with those two?

Some people think Luka will leave the show to go home to Croatia, which I would have thought a plausible ending for his character a few years ago... but not now. I find it unbelievably ridiculous to think that Luka would ever leave his son, even if he and Abby were on bad terms. I don't care if they don't end up married or if they do but quickly decide it was a mistake - he would never just move an ocean away from his child. I don't necessarily like Luka, but I do know that he's a dedicated father and he has always been very much about the love he has for his children, past and present.

So, really, the only option I can see for Goran leaving without Maura is for Luka to be killed off. Now, Abby has always been my favorite character on the show and I would never wish her pain and suffering - so it's a little bit cruel for me to say Luka needs to die. I don't want him to die just so that he can't be with Abby anymore - that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying it seems to be the only believable option for the situation the actors are in right now. The only other possible out would be for him to have to go off to Croatia or whateverthefuck for months on end for whatever stupid reason, and then have Abby and baby Joe go to live with him there in the end when Maura actually leaves. But you know what? That idea is pretty much ludicrous. I would think that to be a really idiotic cop-out and a just plain retarded storyline. You can't try to recreate what happened with Doug and Carol, so don't even go there with me.

All of that aside, the most infuriating point of interest to me is that John Wells is - by and large - an incredible effing idiot. I have no idea why NBC loves and trusts him so much, seeing as he is more or less solely responsible for the decline of two of their once top-rated shows (ER and The West Wing, respectively). They had two shows that were living on top of the world, and suddenly he takes over the reigns and they both go to Hell in a handbasket. They both became virtually unwatchable because of what he did to the foundations and the relationships of those shows. The man does not understand the concept of writing for television, because if he did he would understand the importance of couples and solid relationships. One could argue that he clearly does understand that, given his dedication to the Abby/Luka storyline, but I would be forced to start a debate.

And that's exactly what I'm doing.

John Wells is completely incompetent when it comes to keeping viewers involved. He is so incredibly self-righteous about his worldview and his opinions, to the point where he could care less if the audience disagrees with him. I don't know what his purpose was for never fulfilling the Josh/Donna dynamic on West Wing, but it was a huge mistake. They were basically canon, and he just ignored it. As for ER, I could write an effing novel on the disaster that was the Congo storyline. And I'm not even talking about how it ruined my 'ship with the introduction of Kem and the subsequent exit of Carter. I'm simply talking about how he shoved it down our throats, time and time again, to the point where I sadly no longer gave a shit about the plight of the Congo people and their war. I was well aware of what's happening over there long before he brought it to my favorite show at the time; it's a true, terrible story that's actually happening, and I get that he wanted to give it some attention so we Americans would open our eyes to the rest of the world - but SERIOUSLY. To this day, a mere mention of Africa or the Congo makes me roll my eyes in boredom. It's like when a really great song gets overplayed and you suddenly can't stand to hear it anymore, eventhough you used to love it more than life itself. Not that the Congo storyline ever had a chance of being as cool as a really great song, but you get my point.

If the man paid any kind of attention to his fans, he would know that the number of Luka/Abby fans has always paled in comparison to the number of Carter/Abby fans. I'm not one of the crazy Carbies who still believes in her heart of hearts that it will go my way (although with the possibility of Noah's return next year, I kind of am.), but I definitely am the type of Carby who will always defend what they were and why it was better. There were two seasons of build-up for that relationship, then ongoing angst and fuzz and mutual understanding that they were meant for one another. Carter had stated loud and clear that despite how infuriating she can be and despite how often he wonders if they're meant for one another, in the 24th hour he would always come back around to the fact that he loved her and that was all that mattered.

All of this happened under the penmanship and production strategy of Jack Orman, mind you, and I will probablly never get over him leaving the show. He had Carter/Abby set up so perfectly, and 99% of the viewership totally bought into it. Then in comes John Wells (who I believe is responsible for Orman's exit, personally) and he fucked with so much shit that it was as if seasons 7 - 9 never even happened. He worked his ass off to make it seem to any casual or new viewer that Carter and Abby were never anything more than colleagues to one another - neither character ever even acknowledged what they once were to each other, and that was pretty much downright infuriating. Wells is, in my opinion, a laughable excuse for a television writer and producer. He clearly doesn't care about what his audience is interested in, and so I find it even more laughable that he now claims to be dedicated to the love story of Abby and Luka.

He doesn't know how to be dedicated to a love story. No romance has flourished or survived at all since he took over as the Executive Producer, and the only reason he's now "dedicated" to Abby and Luka is because they are the only believable (generally speaking, that is) couple on that show. No one else has enough history to make anyone really care. Abby and Luka's history isn't exactly one filled with smiles and fuzzy moments, so I don't quite get that one either - as I have already previously argued.

Let me just say this loud and clear: if Luka leaves to run off to Croatia, then Carter comes back for this "maybe" arc that has been rumored, thus putting Abby in the position to have to choose between the two of them... and then she chooses Luka? After he moved an ocean away and abandoned her and the kid? I will be livid. Well, I'm already livid but it will absolutely solidify my belief that John Wells is a freaking idiot.

I think the world will be a safer place if I just end this rant here and now, because chances are I could actually write about this for years. I just... I really think I may hate John Wells more than I hate Ben Affleck.

If you ask Caroline, that's really saying a lot.