Saturday, March 29, 2008
I’m actually finding it near-impossible to suggest the next steps for my favorite castaways, because I myself am so freakin’ lost. (Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, I suppose.)
Anyway, a few character-related predictions from me and the gang.
One arises from a recent quote from Damon Lindelof, who said, “Romance is always blooming on and off the island. I hereby promise you one of the most spectacular kisses you’ve ever seen on the show in this year’s finale.”
I DON’T WANT TO GET AHEAD OF MYSELF. I DON’T WANT TO GET MY HOPES UP.
Remember what happened the last time I did that? I told y’all about my investment in Jate and how that led me to (mistakenly) believe that Juliet would try to kiss Jack and he would shove her away with a grossed-out look and a Clueless-esque “As if!”
But.....could this quote be about Jate?
(1) We’ve heard rumbles that the season finale will be Jack-centric.
(2) So far, they are the only couple we’ve seen who could fit Damon’s “on and off the island” bit.
(3) Who else needs a spectacular kiss? If Jacket was going to get a spectacular kiss, wouldn’t it have been the kiss in “The Other Woman”?
(4) It’s time. Regardless of your chosen ship, we all know that at some point, Jack and Kate are going to make something happen. Maybe you still think she’ll end up with Sawyer, but you have to allow at least a few episodes of them doing something. (Hey, y’all, I did it for you!)
(5) It’s Mae’s and my favorite convention...harkening back to the Pilot. They’re on the rescue boat, watching the island get smaller and smaller as it fades into the distant horizon; they think about all they’ve been through in the past three months...and they kiss.
Reasons why it could be OTHER people’s kiss:
(1) People are leaving the island. People are staying. There’s likely to be some goodbye kisses, no?
(2) The finale is likely to contain a game-changer. Who’s to say Jack and Kate are the only post-island couple?
(3) At present, Jack and Kate’s relationship isn’t exactly lovey-dovey. Jack seems to be starting something with Juliet.
(4) People are getting off the island. Is there ANY CHANCE we could see a Desmond/Penny reunion? That would be a seriously SPECTACULAR kiss.
I shall choose to remain cautiously optimistic. You know, like when you go on a date and you don’t get your hopes up, but you do shave your legs. Like that.
I told our Skate friend Lili, who mentioned that she appreciates the cage!sex as a culmination of months of pent-up passion and lust, that if she thought that was hot, then she better hide her eyes for the consummation of Jack/Kate. It's going to happen, people, at some point, and it's Damon's word spectacular that's giving me reason to believe it's them.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Share below!
Friday, March 28, 2008
While writers create characters who they think represent "the modern woman," they create a caricature of this independent big-city girl who's really not like me at all.
Cashmere Mafia? Lipstick Jungle? I've never even met someone like those women. The girls who I hang out and work with are nothing like that.
And, yes, they're characters. On TV shows. Meant to entertain us. But I've been missing characters with whom I could share experiences, who I could identify with on a regular and situational basis. I've been looking for someone like early-series Monica Geller, who was neurotic and nit-picky and bad at relationships...but who knew what she wanted and worked hard to get it.
And finally, a full fourteen years after Friends went on the air, I watch a show centered around a character who I know.
Her name is Liz Lemon, and she is me.
It's so easy to identify with Liz. So much about her is exactly what my friends and I experience. She's sort of slouchy, she's not overly concerned with how she looks or what people think about her, and she's everybody's go-to girl for fixing situations.
Jack Donaghy freaks the crap out of Liz by pinpointing her as a "New York third-wave feminist, college educated, single and pretending to be happy about it, overscheduled, undersexed, you buy any magazine that says 'healthy body image' on the cover and every two years you take up knitting for...a week."
When I saw that episode, I looked sadly across the couch at my unfinished knitting project, a purple jacket that I might finish two years from now.
What Tina Fey as Liz does brilliantly, though, is to embrace the funny in this description. From hearing that, you might get the (wrong) idea that Liz is some pathetic, lonely loser. But she's not. Her social skills may be lacking, and she is sort of a geek, and she's certainly a stress eater, but so am I. And that's okay!
One of the things I love most about Liz is her approach to relationships, marriage, and babies. I feel like a lot of my peers are ready to really get into the work thing. We're on the verge of graduating or have just graduated from college, we're poised to take good jobs...and none of us really have boyfriends. Like, seriously, all of my guy friends have dates all the time, and I have no idea where they find these girls, because they're certainly not running in any of my circles. I think most of us appreciate the fact that, in the traditional sense, we would not be good girlfriends right now. I work forty hours a week, I'm taking fifteen credit hours, and I'm in a play. My social life is talking about The Hills with my roommate while we sit back to back writing papers at midnight.
Are we okay with it or are we just pretending?
Liz says she's okay with it, and we don't usually see her stressing out about finding a guy and having a baby, but that stuff definitely creeps up on her from time to time. And when it does, it's this unique combination of heartbreaking, honest, and hilarious. Take, for instance, when Liz goes along with Cerie to a wedding gown fitting and ends up not only maxing out a credit card to purchase a dress, but wearing it back to the office. She's not willing to part with that image of her wedding, yet she refuses to settle for a situation or a guy who doesn't meet her standards. This is why she's a little disgusted with Cerie for getting engaged after only five weeks of dating. [Cerie: "It'll be two months in three weeks."] To Liz, Cerie is rushing into things with someone she doesn't really know or respect...but she also has something that Liz really, really wants and doesn't know how to get.
That sentiment is doubly so for babies. When asked to hold her co-worker's baby, Liz ends up with "highway hypnosis," accidentally carting the baby home to her apartment. She wants kids, but can't picture herself doing it under a set of less-than-perfect circumstances, i.e. alone or with the wrong guy. (You may remember that Monica Geller had the same realization in a pre-Monica & Chandler episode of Friends.)
That's why I'm so, so intrigued by an upcoming episode recently teased by Kristin dos Santos. Apparently, Liz, who according to Tina Fey, "probably hooks up once every seven years," hooks up with two of her exes (Dennis and Floyd). She worries she might be pregnant and finds herself questioning who the potential babydaddy would be.
First of all, yes, please, bring back Jason Sudeikis (Floyd). While you're at it, send him over to The Office and have him play Jim's brother. Kthanksbye.
Secondly, I might judge Liz a little for getting back with Dennis--even for one night--after the way they ended things. (She ditched his sorry ass after finding out that he was being investigated by To Catch a Predator.) I can see her being whoa grossed out by the idea of having a baby with Dennis...it's not a pretty thought.
Where would she stand with Floyd on the subject? She might like the idea at first, thinking about Floyd moving back to New York, starting a little New York family with him, how freakin' cute a Floyd/Liz baby would be...
Ultimately, though, I think she'll be relieved by a negative test. She won't have to be suspicious of daddy drama for nine whole months (that's SO not what 30 Rock is about, anyway), and she knows that she wants the whole thing to happen on her own terms. I still don't think she's opposed to making it happen with Floyd, who's attractive and smart and sort of perfect for Liz, but "her own terms" includes New York and includes her job, which may still leave her at an impasse with Cleveland-aholic Floyd.
We shall see, I suppose, what fate/Tina Fey has in store for the delightful Ms. Lemon. Hopefully by the series' conclusion, Liz will not only have many, many more Emmys (and Tina, too!), but also a super-presh family like Tina Fey has herself.
Right now, I’m sitting at my desk with a bag of ice on the tops of my feet. How are you supposed to scratch the tops of your feet?
Anyway, this whole itchy, restless ordeal has me thinking about bees. I had a close encounter with a bee yesterday. I wasn’t stung, but I could have been. I’ve never actually been stung by a bee before, but I really don’t want to find out what might happen if I was. My dad once accidentally ran over a beehive with the lawnmower, was swarmed, and had a really scary reaction. Like, now he carries around an EpiPen just in case. And so nobody knows if the anaphylactic shock was because he had an encounter with, you know, dozens of bees or because he’s allergic. And if he’s allergic, then maybe I could be. Again, no use trying to find out.
Bees are scary. They’re not friendly, they’re not fun, they’re not cute.
So why do my favorite TV couples make them so damn sexy?
Three of my OTPs have had run-ins with bees, and these sticky situations all end up providing a honey-sweet romantic moment.
Just ask this bee right here:
Yeah, recognize that little bugger?
So do Mulder and Scully, who have that bee to blame for another three seasons of sexual tension.
Yep, in Fight the Future, my X-Files OTP (my firsts, bitches!) came ludicrously close to a kiss before being thwarted at the last minute by the alien corn virus bee. (Chris Carter would later say that the near-kiss plus the spaceship mouth-to-mouth resuscitation scene equated a kiss. I disagree. Try again, Mr. Carter. P.S. We’re not related. I come from the Chicago Carters, obviously, not the Outer Space Carters.)
I might be super-frustrated by that fake-out kiss, but I also really like the actual bee attack scene. First of all, it’s kind of funny. I mean, really? Bees in a “giant Jiffy-Pop popper” next to a cornfield in the desert with scary black helicopters hovering overhead? It’s ridiculous. But second of all, it’s one of those 17,000 times in the movie where we get to see Mulder save Scully. Seriously, I hope my future husband loves me enough to run into a swarm of bees for me, make deals with a creepy British dude, and, you know, trek to Antarctica and onto a freakin’ spaceship so he can literally carry me away from certain death by internal alien gestation. Is that too much to ask?
Bees obviously play a huge role in the mythology of the movie, but they also take on that element of romance for these two. Very strange.
Moving on to the cutesy Pushing Daisies bee segment, recall this:
Chuck and Ned can’t touch, obviously, so they have to come up with ways to work around such an intense limitation. Plastic wrap, plexiglass and rubber gloves, beekeeper suits...whatever works. After Ned frets about not being able to “catch” Chuck when she takes a spill, the two work out their neuroses by donning these beekeeper suits and dancing on the roof.
It’s very sweet.
Obviously, the suits are just another in a long string of creative ideas to come from the minds of the Pushing Daisies team. It’s just darling watching these two come up with ways to get close to each other. Whereas in The X-Files movie, bees were terrifying and fatal and ridden with an alien virus, on Pushing Daisies, the beekeeper suits add to the show's pervasive sense of whimsy.
Then there’s my favorite bee scene. I appreciate it for its sheer anvilitude. It’s one of those scenes similar to say, a trapped-in-the-elevator ordeal or a have-to-pretend-we’re-married episode. It doesn’t matter if it’s Mulder and Scully or Ross and Rachel or Luke and Lorelai or Josh Lyman and Amanda Peet on Studio 60...it’s always the same plot. It always turns out the same way.
::Wistful:: Oh, I’m strangely sad we’re being let out of the meat locker after having to spend the night there, Felicity Huffman!
It’s first-season Jack and Kate, back when they thought their only relationship issue was that Kate was a fugitive. Ha. Ha. That was fun. To me, they defy convention on a grander scale, but with them I appreciate the tried-and-true plot conventions. By falling into occasional traditional OTPatterns, Jack and Kate remind me of their relationship's inevitability.
So Charlie accidentally climbs onto a beehive (kind of like my dad did, only without a lawnmower) and after they swarm, everyone takes off running. Jack and Kate happen to run in the same direction, shedding their bee-covered clothes in the process. It turns out like this:
Yeah there’s a little checking-out action (and a joke about bees and C’s from Charlie), but the real ogling occurs later in the episode.
Either way, the bee swarm is largely a plot device to get Jack and Kate half-naked together. And let’s just say, neither of them has peely patches or a post-cruise food baby. It’s a nice little ship moment. When I made my Season One Chart of Jate, chronicling all of their scenes together and rating them on a scale of Jateness (Lord, I wish I was lying about this), I drew two hearts next to a scene I called, simply, “Clothes Off.”
Lost’s bee scene, I think, zeroes in on why bees seem so prevalent in my OTP repertoire. There’s something dangerous about the possibility of being stung and something inherently sexy in escaping that danger together. Bees teeter on the edge of going-to-sting-you and hey-I-make-honey. It’s pain and sweetness in the same tiny creature, and isn’t that basically what all my OTPs are about?
Taking the clothes off is just an added bonus.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Not that sitting in the same room with Carter, Spotnitz and their gang of genius minds is an obligation - as if I would have actually been anywhere else tonight. I'm moving halfway across the country in less than 48 hours, my apartment isn't even close to packed-up yet, and still I abandoned my need to stay home and work in order to attempt to gain some new insight into the upcoming movie.
To lay the scene for you, let me immediately make it clear that David and Gillian were not in attendance. However, Mitch Pileggi was up on stage along with Nicholas Lea and Dean Haglund. Woot! Lone Gunmen representation! That doesn't mean any of those three are in the movie, mind you, but it was still great to hear their thoughts on the series as a whole. Pileggi made several comments alluding to the idea that he actually isn't in the upcoming movie at all, but Jen and I both agreed that it's hard to say whether or not he may have simply been playing up the gossip mill... especially since Chris Carter is adamant about his refusal to let on about anyone from the series who may or may not appear in the film. We'll have to wait and see, I suppose.
We started off with a lovely retrospective montage of the 9 seasons of TV greatness, and then our moderator for the evening delved into her line of questioning. They discussed their lives during those 9 years of filming, the relationships and bonds that were created, and how most of them didn't even realize how incredibly popular the show was until it was nearly completed. One of the directors spoke of how they always spent so much time and energy trying to make sure the monsters-of-the-week looked realistic and believable, because they felt that if they ruined the believability of the monsters then the entire episode would tank. As an example, he recalled a specific episode in S7 that had been put on hold for weeks and weeks, constantly postponed because they didn't feel as though the monster's look was coming across properly. In the end, they ran out of time and had to air it with whatever they had managed to accomplish for the monster, and to their surprise they found that the audience didn't care a single inkling about monster believability... because the Mulder/Scully dynamic of that episode was so strong; so classically perfect and memorable.
He was referring, of course, to "Arcadia."
All of it was very walk-down-memory-lane and inspiring, but really let's get to the main point, shall we?
Talk of the upcoming film finally made it's way into the discussion, and Carter was asked whether or not the film will be keeping true to the passage of time since the series finale. "The movie picks up six years later," he says. "Mulder and Scully will have lived those years."
"...In a New Mexico motel room?" asked the mod, resulting in an uproar of woots and applause. It was one of the great moments of MSR fangirl-ism for the evening, and a quote that had everyone laughing for hours to come. Carter has always tried to escape the MSR and making it central to his stories, but you could tell that by now he's totally made peace with it and realized that seeing them in love is one of the strongest draws for his audience.
And everyone knew we couldn't wait to catch a glimpse of them together once more, so waiting wasn't part of the deal.
We were blessed with being able to preview the full, completed trailer for the upcoming movie.
And all thanks to an audience member with more piece of mind than I have, it's already been bootlegged and uploaded for you all to view. Which is much more fun than reading my attempt at describing it to you in perfect detail.
For the record, that video cuts off a few seconds early. Immediately after the question is posed as to whether or not he believes in such things, you hear a Mulder VO answering simply, perfectly: "Let's just say, I want to believe."
And if you didn't catch the quickest flash of an almost-kiss in the history of movie trailers, go watch it again. Because it's definitely in there. The MSR fangirls were out in full force tonight at PaleyFest, because nary a moment of Mulder/Scully romance was mentioned or seen without an uproar of squees and applause from the crowd. It was a joyful sound, indeed.
Eventually we entered the land of audience Q&A, and I found myself greatly disappointed with the questions being asked and also the fact that our moderator seemed unwilling to move discussion forward. Much love to the panel, but they had a tendency to digress and ramble off into different anecdotes that had nothing to do with the original question. This resulted in losing way too much Q&A time, and I started losing interest. People were wasting precious opportunities to try and coax info out of Carter by instead taking a mic and thanking him for giving us such an incredible show... or asking him about unknown shows of his past that even he himself couldn't remember.
Sorry, but I think he knows everyone in that audience loves and appreciates him for giving us The X-Files. Our simple presence tonight made that obvious. Don't waste my Q&A time being redundant.
So I was angry and bitter because the moderator let us know that we had run out of time and the evening was ending - after only 4 questions, none of which shed any light on anything new. I didn't even get the chance to ask about Baby William and whether or not we'll ever see him again. Suffice it to say I was not the happiest fangirl in the room.
That is, until that same previously-annoying moderator took it upon herself to ask one final question before ending the evening for real. She looked Chris Carter directly into his eyes and said two simple words that made me fist-pump and bite my tongue to keep from screaming out in pure joy:
The audience applauded, I almost died then and there, and she proceeded to elaborate on her question. She asked if William is now a happy-go-lucky and well-adjusted child running through the wheat fields of Wisconsin, or is he setting corn stalks on fire with his eyes? Chris Carter, God love him, is never one to give much information away. I'll always take whatever bread crumb he offers, and so I found great joy in his response. He said, with great hesitation and a big cloud of vagueness over it all, that Baby William and his well being are not going untouched in the upcoming movie. Whether that means we see him or he is simply discussed, I don't know. But I'd settle for a quick 2-second mention of his existence in the world AT ALL, if I'm being honest. I don't ask for much. I'd just like Mulder and Scully to remember, in some way, that they have a child out there somewhere.
Knowing that I'm likely to get exactly that, if not even more, makes me all the more excited and thrilled about July 25th and all that comes with it.
Granted, I'll be on a cruise ship in the middle of the Baltic Sea when that day finally comes but don't you dare doubt my ability to find some way to see it. If you're willing to bootleg and stream it to me live, I'm willing to take you up on the offer. I may have to settle for watching it a few days late once I get back to the mainland, but I believe I can find a way on the 25th.
Or, at least, I want to believe.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
At long last, the strike is over (Hallelujah!) and our shows are back in production. And you know what that means – pictures from the set!
At least it does if your show is Gossip Girl.
There’s been a steady stream of paparazzi pictures coming in all week and it’s such a tantalizing taste of having the show back. And just in case the daily pictures weren’t enough, tonight I spent an hour and a half watching the live streaming video feed from the Gossip Girl panel at the Paley Festival. What a pretty, pretty cast full of people with ridiculous names.
After suffering through the cancellations of so many shows over the last few years, I was ready to wash my hands of The WB/CW this season. But then along came Gossip Girl. Josh Schwartz + NYC + rich prep school kids? That’s like catnip to me!
I hadn’t even realized until this week how much I’ve missed the show during the strike. The pictures brought it all back. S & B on the steps of the Met! The cracked-out fashion! The homoerotic vibes between Chuck and Nate!
Are they making an Emmy-caliber television show? No. But it’s fun and surprisingly addictive. It’s TV chick lit that’s actually better than the chick lit it’s based on. To me, anyway. I may be the only person who likes the show better than the books. I could only make it through a few of the books before I wanted to punch every character in the face. I much prefer Dan, the cute, less-twitchy Seth Cohen to Dan, the creepy, pretentious, bad-poetry-writing stalker.
Unlike most shows, Gossip Girl left for the strike hiatus on a high note. The last episode they aired was kick-ass and would have made a great season finale, had it come to that. Dan and Serena exchanged “I love you”s, Blair became an outcast when the world discovered she’d slept with Chuck and Nate, Chuck and Nate threw down, Jenny was poised to take Blair’s place and be a total bitch to some poor, desperate girl, Rufus had a prospect for a girlfriend that wasn’t Lily, and, after a tearful helipad conversation with Serena, Blair chose to stay and fight for her reputation instead of running off to France to weather the scandal.
All in forty-two minutes! That is drama, people.
Now we’re at least getting five more episodes. And the semi-spoilers are starting to make the rounds.
It just came out (hah!) today that one of the male characters will reveal he’s gay before the season ends. And you know? That’s not an easy route of speculation. Dan goes gay for a little while in the books. But he’s in love with Serena and they’re adorable, so no. Nate has that Zac Efron hairstyle and mysteriously disappears with Chuck off-screen. Chuck is the most flamboyant character in the world, who also tries to date-rape every girl he meets, when not having threesomes with hotel staffers or taking Blair’s virginity. Overcompensation much?
Still, my money’s on Serena’s little brother, Eric. They’ve never given a reason for his depression and suicide attempt pre-series. Difficulty coming to terms with his sexuality would fit. And he’s got highlights at fourteen! I think Lily’s reaction to his coming out would priceless. Plus, this gives the show a great excuse to not go any further down the Eric-and-Jenny path. They’re friends and they’re cute together and they’re the only characters their age on the show. But it’s already icky enough that Rufus and Lily are mooning over each other while two of their kids are dating. If Eric and Jenny even thought of hooking up, the Humphreys and van der Woodsens would become one big incestuous heap. Which they sort of already are.
The GG development I’m not thrilled about is the casting of Michelle Trachtenberg as an uber-bitch wild child. When Mischa Barton passed on the role, that was good news. Or so we thought. I was once a big Buffy fan. And I don’t think any Buffy fan can embrace the idea of Michelle Trachtenberg joining their show. The hatred that she instilled as Dawn… it doesn’t go away. I don’t know if it’s fair to blame her acting or if it was solely the atrocious writing for her character and storyline. Either way, her presence there wasn’t a pleasant experience.
At least we’ll get to see some of Serena’s badass past.
And now I’ve stayed up all night watching six episodes in a row and indulging in the joy that is Gossip Girl. We need to get back to the cattiness and snark. We need to revel in soap opera cheese. We need more Dan/Serena cuteness and Lily/Dan banter.
Is it April 21st yet?
Saturday, March 22, 2008
When I heard Rob Lowe (!!) had joined the film, I was, well, ecstatic. Sydney Bristow and David Brent and Sam Seaborn all together.
This has since snowballed into Sydney Bristow and David Brent and Sam Seaborn and George Bluth, Sr. and Michael Bluth and LIZ LEMON!!!
Today, it was announced that Jeffrey Tambor and Tina Fey (love love heart heart heart) had joined the project. And an IMDb message board pointed me toward this YouTube video of Jason Bateman saying his third (!!) film with the much-beloved Jennifer Anne Garner would be Ricky Gervais's movie. (Suffer through Lisa Rinna's awful award show banter.)
I'm so excited, y'all. I wasn't blogging yet when I heard about Juno uniting Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, and Rainn Wilson, but I was so, so psyched. This is hands-down even more exciting than that. (By the way, my extreme feelings of pumped-up paid off with Juno, which I LOVED.)
I love seeing Jennifer Garner be funny. 13 Going on 30 is precious funny. I love it. And her off-the-cuff "I do my own stunts" at the Oscars two years ago was pretty freakin' witty, too:
Mix her in with maybe the funniest woman this century has seen so far and you make my heart pound with excitement, folks. Tina Fey on 30 Rock is absolutely today's everywoman. I can't even count the number of times I've laughed or awwed because she's just so much like me. But she deserves a blog post of her very own.
So, as it stands, we have the Wernham Hogg Slough general manager, some prominent Bluth Family representatives, the best White House speechwriter EVER, the executive producer of TGS with Tracy Jordan, and the greatest superspy the CIA has ever known.
Sounds like a barnburner to me.
I just got back from a beautiful week-long cruise vacation with my family. The Bahamas trip represented quite a few firsts for me. It was the first time I'd been on a cruise, the first time I made it a whole week with my sister without a massive blow-up fight, and the first time since I started watching Lost that I didn't watch its original airing.
Cruises go, you know, beyond the boundaries of the United States. You, like, need a passport or a birth certificate to go on one. Because of a variety of issues, including copyright laws and satellite technology, cruise ships don't offer real-time network television.
Instead, they show a lot of movies (in a lot of languages) on closed-circuit TV, and a few channels have licensed with the specific cruise line to show their programs at sea. My sister and I were therefore introduced to a handful of shows we'd never otherwise watch. We watched several episodes of #1 Single, Lisa Loeb's reality show that aired on E! in 2006. That show is cute, y'all! I'm a fan of Lisa Loeb's--her song I Do came out during my VH1's Top Twenty Countdown phase--but I was surprised at how sweet and funny the show was. Anyway, it's over, and there were only, like, six episodes total or something. Cruise Ship E! also showed a lot of Celebrity Home, which is basically normal people and a crew of designers, etc. stalking a "favorite celebrity" and redoing a room in the style of a said celebrity's favorite room--only on a much smaller budget. I put favorite celebrity in quotes because the "celebrities" are people like Constance Zimmer. Now, I really enjoyed Constance Zimmer as Penny on Good Morning, Miami, and I read about her adventures with her daughter on the Celebrity Baby Blog, but if she's seriously these people's "favorite celebrity," then they need to pick up a People magazine or something.
Anyway, so CBS is the only broadcast network that's in cahoots with Royal Caribbean. And it's not like you can tune in at 8:00 and catch the new episode of CSI: New York, because you can't. It's just that they've provided a bunch of episodes of their shows and they show them on the ship to get people interested.
Now, I've long been curious about CBS.
I watch a total of zero shows on that channel, and yet it is America's most-watched network, or so they keep telling me. Two and a Half Men is the #1 comedy in this country? Seriously? Anyway, I think the explanation for this can be found in my last pre-vacation blog, so I won't dwell on this fact.
I watched a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother on the boat, though, and that show is funny.
Just last week, I was saying to Mae that we might want to cover HIMYM's Britney-related drama, and we both wrote it off because none of us actually watch or appreciate the show.
Now, I still don't watch it, but I kind of appreciate it, I guess.
The characters are all pretty likeable (Jason Segel is emerging onto the Judd Apatow scene with Forgetting Sarah Marshall AND he was on Alias), and after doing a little internet research (i.e. Wikipedia), I found this YouTube video of "Robin Sparkles" and think it's pretty brilliant.
However, I'm still not sure I can get into a show whose OTP is destined for doom. (Same reason I never got into Smallville.) In Fall 2005, I watched this show's Pilot, and never tuned in again, because I couldn't deal with the set-up. Ted fell for Robin in the Pilot, it was adorable and precious, and then Future Ted revealed that Robin was not, in fact, the titular mother, but rather a lady known as "Aunt Robin."
It's like if in the first ten minutes of Definitely, Maybe, Ryan Reynolds had revealed to Abigail Breslin that Isla Fisher was dead or something.
I remember reading something, perhaps on Wikipedia, about a year ago, that included theories for how Robin could still turn out to be Mom. When I went last night to search for that list, it was nowhere to be found. This leads me to believe that either the HIMYM Wikipedia page has just been seriously cut down, or fans no longer hold out hope for such a turn of events.
Maybe it will turn out like Definitely, Maybe, where Robin isn't their mom, but rather the woman who their dad is getting ready to marry, since she's his true love and all that. Although the fact that she's "Aunt Robin" might make for some awkwardness there.
Anyway, so the Britney drama.
Alicia Silverstone was set for a recurring guest role, and many were speculating that she might be Mom.
As an incredibly casual viewer, I thought this sounded interesting. Who doesn't love Cher Horowitz? I might be able to settle for this.
And then Jamie Spears had to go and sign up his daughter for hands-on acting school, and Britney Spears was announced as a guest star for the show. Alicia Silverstone, either not wanting to be upstaged or not wanting to interact with Brit-Brit, promptly backed out.
Silverstone in, Britney in, Silverstone out...Sarah Chalke in.
Again, as an incredibly casual viewer, this disappoints me. Sarah Chalke whoa annoys me on Scrubs, and if she turns out to be these kids' mom, then I can guarantee I won't be Netflixing the HIMYM boxed sets. I read somewhere that the role change might end up just being for the sake of the episode: Chalke will play the dermatologist role Silverstone would have played, but won't take on the potentially more-longterm potential importance potentially offered to Silverstone.
Alicia Silverstone may even be invited back for a post-Britney story arc, some sources are saying.
This is sounding more confusing than Lost, no?
Am I up for the challenge of taking on another show, one whose romantic storyline has an extremely low payoff potential? Probably not. But I salute those of you who do and will continue to look for updates on the on-screen and off-screen drama surrounding the show.
If you've got your own theories on who the mom is, let me know!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Or, if you'd prefer: Ding dong, the Gizzie's dead!
Nothing - not even the last moments of "Eggtown" on Lost a few weeks ago - has thrilled me this deeply about my television world in a long, long time. The new word on the street, according to Ausiello, is as follows: "Gizzie is no more. Sources confirm that the ill-conceived plot twist suffocated to death under the weight of its own absurdity shortly after the writers returned to work last month."
Suffice it to say that I heard church bells ring out in celebration and I couldn't resist jumping up and doing the happy dance. And I don't want to hear any complaints of being spoiled without any warning, because I personally think anyone who truly believed George/Izzie was a great idea probably deserves to have those delusions crushed sooner rather than later. I have never been able to figure out what the hell Shonda Rhimes was thinking when she decided to attempt a love story between those two, and trying to hold a civil conversation with anyone who actually 'ships them has proven to be more detrimental than trying to argue Jate/Skate or Carby/Luby. One of my dearest friends - a friend who has always chosen the proper 'ships, in my opinion - somehow strayed and found herself falling hard and fast for Gizzie. That friend and I can no longer discuss Grey's Anatomy outside of general logistics or the Der/Mer dynamic. Past conversations with her that steered into Gizzie territory only ended with my blood boiling over and a sick feeling in my stomach as I found myself wishing I could reach through the telephone and literally attempt to strangle her - I love her desperately, but the idiocy of George and Izzie together stirs up an anger inside of me that I can't begin to supress.
And I really think it's all because even the idea of a romantic relationship between those two is so unspeakably irrational. With Sawyer and Kate, I may hate it passionately but at least I can see where there's some semblance of a foundation for it along the way. For George and Izzie, that's never been the case. They were best friends - and not in the way that many OTPs start off as best friends and that makes them destined to be together. Their best friendship was of the non-sexual, non-flirtatious, sidekick and partner-in-crime kind of nature. It worked for them, and it worked brilliantly. I'm not even close to being a fan of the Izzie character, as I find her completely irritating and ridiculous, but I've always appreciated the humor and chemistry that existed in her friendship with George. I loved their scenes together. At least, I did until suddenly someone snapped their fingers and George and Izzie were madly in love with one another faster than you could blink. It NEVER made any sense.
Here's what has always bothered me about Izzie's romantic storylines (and the Grey's timeline, in general): Over this span of 3 and a half seasons, we've covered only just over 1 year in the world of these characters. And really, considering that Season 1 was only half a season in and of itself, you could say we have the equivalent of only 3 total seasons covering stories that all happened in 1 total year. Other than wondering how in the world someone like Meredith Grey still maintains any sanity at all after what she's been through in just one year (falling in love, finding out he's married, being dumped, surviving a bomb, re-locating her father, finding out she has sisters, dating two men at once, losing her step-mother, being humiliated by her father, falling into the frozen ocean, losing her mother, dying and coming back to life), it baffles me that Izzie has managed to break up with her hockey player, fall for Alex, hate Alex, fall for Alex again, fall for Denny, profess her life-long love for Denny, mourn Denny's death, contemplate Alex again for a moment, and then apparently fall desperately in love with George... all in one year.
Excuse the use of the catchphrase, but: Seriously?!?
As annoyed as I was with the Izzie/Denny storyline (I thought she was being selfish and irresponsible, so I couldn't get into it), I did buy it for the most part. Her and Alex never really got far enough off the ground for me to think it impossible for her to flit from one guy to the next, but I did think she was a bit of a bitch for ditching Alex the way she did once she struck up a friendship with Denny. I've always liked Alex and Izzie together, and I've had them pegged as great OTP potential since very early on in the series. They're opposites, and yet they come from similar childhood backgrounds. They have more in common than they'd ever like to admit. It's always struck me the way that they balance one another so well - Alex can be a total ass to everyone who crosses his path, but put him in a scene one-on-one with Izzie and he's a totally different person. He's charming and boyish - you see a side of him that makes you want to love him regardless of his jerky nature. Before Gizzie got started, I just always assumed that Shonda would throw "rebound" and "meanwhile" relationships into the mix for Alex and Izzie in order to let Izzie properly heal from losing Denny until she was truly ready to venture into a romance with Alex again.
This tiny little scene, which takes place after Alex randomly kisses her in the stairwell not long after her return to work post-Denny, makes me smile so big and has always been the reason I've thought it would only be a matter of waiting until Izzie was completely over the loss of her ill-fated fiancé:
I've always assumed that the introduction of Elizabeth Reaser as Ava/Jane Doe was meant to serve the same purpose; to give Alex a storyline whilst Izzie was getting her life back together. Same goes for his little fling with Lexie right now. I've never expected it to work out, and it's clearly never going to, so the fact that Ava keeps re-appearing on my screen is really starting to work my nerves. One can only hope that her last episode this season will conclude with either Alex telling her to get lost for good or her realizing that his heart belongs to someone else. Even those crazy aura-reading patients could see it: Izzie just totally brightens Alex in every way.
The solution to the whole conundrum is quite simple, and has always been pretty obvious to me. Shonda just missed a step somewhere along the way and got all of her wires crossed, because somehow we ended up with George and Izzie together on one end of the spectrum, and Alex and Lexie hooking up on the other end. It's a quick fix, my friends: FLIP IT. I've already made my case for Alex and Izzie (and if I haven't made it well enough, trust me you'll be hearing about it again), but I swear to you that George and Lexie would be simply perfect together. I pegged them in their first couple of scenes together, and I've never understood why the character romances are so mixed up these days. A simple "swing your partner 'round and 'round" game would solve so many problems here - George and Lexie have so much potential and a truckload of chemistry, I can feel it already, whilst Alex and Izzie have been waiting to fulfill their destined OTP status from day one.
So long as Katie Heigl doesn't abandon Grey's for her movie career, I'm confident that my prediction of a major Alex/Izzie romance is in store for all of us.
And now that Gizzie has finally - officially - eaten it's own dust, I can look forward to spending Thursday nights without a vomit bucket in my lap. Maybe I can even hold a civil conversation with that dear friend of mine again soon.
April 24th seriously can't come fast enough now. Seriously.
So help me understand this island time versus real time conundrum that exists…
Based on cell phones and a 3-year old-ish Aaron, it seems the “future” is meant to be 2007. So you have to wonder why it took two to three years after the Oceanic 6 rescue for Kate to end up in court for her initial hearing. Could it be that they haven’t been back for as long as it appears? Of course, she managed to buy a house and hire a nanny in a short amount of time, but I’m going to ignore that for now.
Walt leaves the island and a month later on island time, appears a few years older. Faraday discovers that there is a 31 minute time discrepancy between the boat and the island. Desmond experiences a 75 to 5 minute ratio of time difference when flitting from 1996 and 2004.
So, time on the island is slower than real time?
If we believe that island time is slower, possibly by years at this point, then it makes you wonder about a couple of moments. For example, when Ben showed Juliet the feed of her sister and niece (with the newspaper providing a date stamp), I think we are meant to believe that the video is live. But if island time is slower than real time, doesn’t it make you wonder if Ben planned for this to be pre-recorded in advance in order to show it to Juliet at this precise time on the island? Evil, manipulative man.
And if the calendar on the boat shows Christmas 2004, and we believe the “island time is slower” theory, then the Boaties are keeping track of island time knowing about this time discrepancy, yes?
It wouldn’t be Lost unless there was also evidence against this theory, so of course, the arguments.
Why does it take two island days for the helicopter to get back to the boat when those on the helicopter experience little to no delay? Why does Faraday act surprised/concerned about the 31 minute delay (if the Boaties are keeping track of island time, that is)? Why is Penny seemingly waiting on Christmas Eve 2004 (or is it really 2007 and she’s been waiting every Christmas Eve since)? And why doesn’t Penny or Desmond bring up the “you’ll never hear from me again until 2004” conversation from 1996 when they meet up in the early 2000s at the arena where he’s jogging?
Oh wait, that’s a separate issue.
Perhaps I’m missing a piece of the puzzle, but sometimes I get the impression that it hasn’t really been all that thought out. Every theory has a contradiction. And this scares me.
But then, I have to hope that maybe the ultimate ending will end up bigger than all these ideas we’ve thrown out. Just so long as all of Lost’s mystery can’t be wrapped into the Elixir Of Life…
JJ, I’m watching you.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
iTunes video downloads have been around a little longer than that, but not by much. Even TiVo and DVD box sets are relatively new technology. Not long ago, if you missed an episode of your favorite show, you might have a chance to see it again if it reran over the summer...or you'd have to wait for syndication.
So it boggles my mind--and, frankly, I think it's got a lot of people majorly stressed out--that the Nielsen ratings still have such an iron grip on advertising dollars. For a few years now, it's seemed that network executives and advertisers alike have been trying to come up with a new system of doing business. They want to take TiVo into account and they want to figure out how to account for the fact that when people like Caroline Carter sit down to watch Lost at 8:58, she ain't getting up from the couch until 10:02.
Optimedia recently released what is being called "the media industry's first multi-media ratings report."
Instead of looking solely at how many people tune in to a show, they're looking at a wider variety of factors, in keeping with the changing viewership of television:
1. Audience size across TV, Web and mobile properties
2. Audience appeal, including awareness, core values, and quality
3. Interest, which includes PR and news mentions and word-of-mouth buzz
4. Streaming--watching the program online
What happened when they did this was pretty great, at least for the Chaos in General crew. What happened was that our shows, the shows we watch because we think they're high-quality entertainment, absolutely skyrocketed in value.
Grey's Anatomy rose from #7 to #3.
The Office rose from #79 to #6. When The Office was at risk of cancellation after its first season, iTunes download numbers absolutely saved this show. It's still on the rise in the Nielsens, but this shocking discrepancy in value shows, I think, the rabidity of the online fan community (Optimedia Factor #2), the number of people watching this show on NBC.com or elsewhere (Factors #1 and #4), and the media attention paid to the show (Factor #3). Honestly, The Office has become such a universal part of my life (particularly my college campus), that if you asked me to guess its Nielsen rating, I probably would have put it somewhere around #15. This show's audience is young: we watch it online, we watch it often, we have the bobbleheads and the DVD boxed sets, and we use "That's what she said" jokes whenever possible.
Lost rose from #15 to #7. There's no fandom out there that's as intense about our show as Lost's. I mean...enough said.
Pushing Daisies rose from #38 to #13. If you're not watching this show, I'll repeat my two word associated with this show: precious and whimsical.
30 Rock rose from #88 to #18. Its humor is similar to The Office's, except that it's maybe even funnier. (It doesn't have Jim and Pam, though, so...) I'm also obsessed with Tina Fey lately. Frankly, who's not? She's the best.
Other shows with huge jumps include Gossip Girl (#115 to #15), Ugly Betty (#51 to #11), and Prison Break (#59 to #20).
Meanwhile, CSI, Deal or No Deal, CSI: Miami, and Survivor dropped dramatically in value. House, a show we cover here, dropped from #6 to #10.
But perhaps the most shocking jump--and the most critical at this point in its history--is Friday Night Lights which moved from #84 to #17. Suddenly, this severely-on-the-bubble show with heart and wit and, damn, that Kyle Chandler, goes from being a critical darling with no audience...to a top 20 show.
There's clearly a sense of "I told you so" in this new ratings system. I'm constantly frustrated by the fact that the shows I watch are SO good and yet SO seemingly underappreciated. This Top 20 list says to me, "Hey, Caroline, you make good TV choices." And I'm grateful for that.
Now, we realize that this new system isn't perfect. We're not even really sure how much credibility Optimedia deserves. But I think their study shows something really important: that at the very least, we need a new system. Networks and advertisers need to take a step back and reevaluate their money situation, because to cancel Friday Night Lights is a mistake when you look at these numbers. Maybe the money to be made from FNL comes from internet ad revenue or product placement, but, people, as Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night once told us, "Anyone who can't make money off of Sports Night needs to get out of the money-making business."
Before networks finish making the cuts for next season, they should seriously take a look at this list. I'm sure it's not perfect, but there's strong justification here for not cancelling FNL.
Television is changing. We have TiVo and the patience to wait until tomorrow or this summer to catch up on the shows that are premiering right now. (I'm just now watching last summer's season of Weeds.) Damon Lindelof thinks that one day soon a computer is going to replace your television, and we'll all be sitting around watching an HD monitor. If we're willing to introduce all of these new methods of watching, shouldn't we also be willing to accept that a lot of people are going to take advantage of them?
Friday, March 14, 2008
It’s so true, y’all!
The "DUI Curse" theory applies particularly to those cast members who are involved in drunk driving incidents, but really driving while doing anything illegal is fair game for J.J. Abrams to fire your ass.
During her stay on the Lost set, Michelle Rodriguez was pulled over by Honolulu police many times: once for driving 83 miles per hours in a 55 miles per hour zone, once for driving 90 in a 35, and another time for going 80 in a 50. (Fines totaled $854 for these three incidents.) On December 1 of that year, she was arrested for driving under the influence. She would go on to serve time in jail; though sentenced to 260 days, she actually spent less than 24 hours in jail. Probation violation issues and continued legal troubles have plagued Rodriguez since then.
Her character, Ana-Lucia Cortez, was murdered in “Two for the Road.”
Cynthia Watros was pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence on December 1, 2005, the same night as Rodriguez’s run-in with the Honolulu police—actually, the two arrests were made within
Her character, Libby, was murdered by Michael, mere seconds after Ana-Lucia was gunned down.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was arrested in September of 2006 for disobeying a police officer and driving without a license. He spent six hours in jail, but was later cleared of all charges after proving he had a license.
His character, Mr. Eko, was brought down by the smoke monster in “The Cost of Living.”
Daniel Dae Kim was arrested for driving under the influence in Honolulu on October 25, 2007.
His character, Jin-Soo Kwan, appears to be dead in the future—a future that’s not too far off.
While it is certainly true that there are other regulars who’ve met their deaths on Lost without having troubles with the po-po (Maggie Grace, Ian Somerhalder, Kiele Sanchez, Rodrigo Santoro, the dearly missed Dominic Monaghan), it is also true that every cast member who has had an alcohol-related driving mishap has been killed off. What’s more, their on-island deaths correspond time-wise with their arrests. (Compare Watros and Rodriguez, whose arrests AND deaths occurred nearly simultaneously.)
The producers assure us that the so-called “DUI Curse” has nothing to do with the decision to kill off these characters. Still, it’s not hard to postulate that perhaps J.J. Abrams and the gang have an even stricter alcohol policy than my zero-tolerance southern high school did.
My colleagues and I, therefore, have a plan of attack.
Caroline: Matthew Fox’s personal designated driver.
Leigh: Purchaser of shots for Josh Holloway.
Mae: Professional dangler of Josh Holloway’s keys.
Yes, yes, we know that drunk driving is not funny, so we’ll recruit Sophie to make sure Drunky McBusted doesn’t get anyone else hurt and Jen to call the cops immediately.
After we get Holloway boozy and busted, we’ll head on over to Elizabeth Mitchell’s house—Girl’s Night!
The “DUI Curse” seems a little hard to believe, but it sure should make the leftovers more than a little hesitant to get in a car without full use of their faculties.
And seriously, Foxy? Call me anytime you need a DD. Now there's a job I can handle.
Friday Night Lights is quite possibly my absolute favorite show on television.
Yes, I'm totally obsessed with Lost and can't even describe how much I'm looking forward to the return of Grey's. I adore the Walker family and everything about Brothers and Sisters. House is an absolutely addictive dose of weekly sarcasm and intrigue that I simply cannot miss. I have plenty of shows that would, on the surface, appear to be my favorite show during this phase of my life. I would even go so far as to actually claim them all, at any given moment, as "my favorite show ever." I have a tendency to do that, but that's allowed when they're all so entirely different.
However, FNL is something very special. Anyone who watches it can attest to that fact - even though they probably can't find the words to describe why it's so special. I can't even find the words, honestly. It's just sort of magical. I told Caroline that for several months, trying to break her down and get her to watch it - I got my way, and she is now totally hooked on it, too. It's just such a great show.
And that is precisely why I spend the end of every season/all of summer fighting tooth and nail, alongside the rest of it's fiercely loyal fanbase, to make sure this show lives to see another season. Currently, there are official campaigns as well as groups on both Facebook and MySpace. The FNL equivalent of Lostpedia, The FNL-Wiki (www.fnlwiki.com) - which I somehow didn't even know existed until last week! - is all over this outreach to the studios and the network. And I mean, ALL OVER IT. I'm impressed. They just completed a shipment of 6,250 footballs (50 boxes) to Ben Silverman (the Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment) and had 7,500 footballs (60 boxes) delivered to Jeff Zucker - President of NBC.
Did I mention that I'm impressed? Because, wow.
I've been more paranoid than usual about losing this show since the writers' strike, because that resulted in the show losing the chance to finish out the second season properly. Last thing I saw, Smash had finally settled on a college and Saracen was getting a reality-check from Coach by being shoved, fully clothed, into a cold shower while getting the "come to Jesus" talk that he's been desperately in need of for a while now. Tyra and Landry are finally on the right track, and Coach/Mrs. Coach were hitting the height of the adorable hilarity for the year. I just love them so much. And I really, really need to know what happens next. They cannot possibly just leave it at that and never finish the story. I won't accept that happening.
News has been leaking out recently about whether or not the show will be blessed with another renewal, but nothing is solid yet. The first trickle of hope came on March 5th, when we received news that NBC and DirecTV would share the show. This would greatly release the financial pressure on NBC to continue carrying an incredibly low-rated show (and why it remains so low-rated is beyond me.) whilst still allowing them to hang on to a show they really believe is of great quality. It would mean that NBC and DirecTV would both be airing the series across multiple platforms, and I personally don't see how that could possibly be a bad thing in any way. I don't really care how they do it or who they have to share it with, I just want it back.
However, the very same day both Ausiello and Alan Sepinwall reported that we shouldn't break out the champagne and throw confetti just yet - it's still a deal in the works, not a deal that's signed and guaranteed. To be honest, I don't really care - I'm still leaving the champagne chilled in the fridge and ready to go at any moment. A deal that pretty much just needs to be signed is still a deal worth getting excited about, my opinion.
Leave it to E!'s Kristin (who we love to hate around here) to get the biggest scoop of them all and help clear things up for us. She spoke with Jason Katims, who is the McBossy-Boss in the world of FNL, and he had this to say regarding the rumored deal:
"We remain optimistic about the future of the series and appreciate the overwhelming fan support, but it is too premature to comment on the status of any negotiations."
I don't really know what to think about that, but I'm going to choose to see it as a positive and remain optimistic just like Jason. The fan support for this show is overwhelmingly intense - as Caroline would say, the FNL fans are freakishly fierce. And she would know, because she's one of us. Honestly, I think very good things are on the horizon for our favorite citizens of Dillon, TX. NBC knows what a great quality show it has in FNL, and hell - they've kept Las Vegas on the air all of these years... that show lost my interest a long, long time ago but it's still alive and kicking. I feel pretty confident that Kyle Chandler and his cast mates will be happily employed and back on the football field in no time at all.
It's all about thinking positively and believing it will go our way. That's the whole point of clear eyes and full hearts. They can't lose.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Long story short, it saved me from writing up an entire entry about something that is no longer completely true.
That would have pissed me off. A lot.
But even given the new, different information, I'm still left with the same central point that I had in the first place - and so I've decided to write this blog anyway.
Ausiello reported on the 6th of this month that the first post-strike episode of Grey's, "...flashes forward a few months and, per one source, picks up at the end of Derek and Rose's latest date."
Now the average, general viewer [read: non-fangirl] may have read that tidbit and gotten a tad peeved that they're going forward with the Derek/Rose relationship. Not me. First of all, we knew it was going to happen. It continues to be incredibly annoying and frustrating that Der/Mer keep going around in a vicious circle, but Rose is like Derek's McVet - a mere thorn in the side of our OTP who will only be around just long enough to bring about fantastic epiphanies to our beloved couple. I'm not worried about her, and there's definitely no reason to be after what Shonda recently said regarding the Meredith/McDreamy relationship.
Secondly, I was thrilled at the idea of picking up the story a few months down the line - to me, that automatically means we've been spared the torture of watching the better half of Derek/Rose's relationship take place.
But only six days later, Ausiello again reported his latest news and this time he retracted a bit: "I'm told that roughly six weeks will have passed, not 'several months.' And the first scene will most likely take place at Seattle Grace, not at the end of Derek and Rose's latest date. Damn script revisions!"
Damn them, indeed.
However, E!'s Kristin also had this to add to the post-strike ep news: "It looks like they're casting... for a newlywed couple whose medical situation makes Meredith think about the risk inherent in commitment."
I'm kind of thinking that Meredith considering the risk of commitment may actually be a damn good thing for once, because otherwise it's not like it would be anything new or relevant in Meredith's world. When is she not evaluating the risk of commitment in a negative way? It's pointless to even mention that happening if it's the same old pity party story, unless of course it's leading in the opposite direction and Meredith is on the verge of a plot-advancing realization.
(As an aside, Derek and Meredith's vicious cycle of never progressing in their relationship reminds me of a quote from Summer Roberts during Season 2 of The O.C.: "Are we gonna do this again, or did you actually come here to, like, advance the plot?" Hmm. That same sentiment has been hanging over my head with Mer/Der for far too long now...)
Anyway, back to the original point - a time jump is taking place, albeit not the "few months" that Ausiello had originally reported but a time jump no less. I'll take missing out on the first 6 weeks of Derek and Rose getting comfy together, I absolutely will. I have no interest in watching their first official date, or the first time she visits the trailer and gets the grand tour, or their first couple of weeks in that "honeymoon" phase of new romance.
I'd prefer to pretend as if absolutely none of that ever did or ever will happen. Because, ya know, ew.
The other thing we all have to keep in mind is that you can't just take each singular spoiler and/or interview quote at face value - put the pieces together, and then you'll feel so much more optimistic about the rest of this season! I swear! See, if we're skipping an entire six weeks of the Derek/Rose relationship and Shonda has also outwardly stated that she is determined to have Derek/Meredith back together in a "for good" fashion by the end of this season... well, that stands to mean that what we do end up seeing of Derek and Rose can't actually last for very long at all. Because Shonda needs to be spending a good several episodes on getting McDreamy and Meredith to that fully-committed place in their currently-broken relationship, and that can't be accomplished in a believable way if she plans to make it happen in only the last two episodes of the season.
Or, at least, I wouldn't really buy it if it happened that quickly.
So! Rejoice and be glad, my lovely 'shipper friends! We may have to suffer through Derek and Rose momentarily, but the spoilers are shedding a beautiful light on what's in store for us in April. The torture won't last long at all. You can do it, I swear. Pretend you're Sydney Bristow being tortured by The Covenant - if she can survive endless months of that and still come out kicking ass, we can all survive a few weeks of Derek pretending to be in love with Rose.
And with a promise like "for good" from Shonda, how can you not hang on for dear life?
However, most of you probably know that when you’re a fangirl, your mind works a little differently. We often take to hyperanalyzing every aspect of OTP-dom, both within and surrounding the shows we love.
So tonight I want to talk about Jack and Kate without actually discussing Jack or Kate. I want to talk about promos and music videos and non-spoilery, non-plot-related comments from Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Because maybe I’m just looking at this stuff a little too hard and with a little too much Jate bias (hello? were you here last week?), but the subtle Jate affinity that ABC and the Lost showrunners seem to have makes me giddy.
First, let’s talk about ABC in general. The Alphabet Network has been ramping up its creative promos in the last few weeks, trying to get people excited about the return of television. Lost features prominently into this marketing campaign (as do Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and the like), but whenever they show Lost, the promo dudes always use Jack, Kate, or Jack and Kate. From the ABC commercials, you’d think those two were the only cast members.
Here’s something you may have seen here before; it’s ABC’s back-from-strike promo that got me all teary the first time I saw it.
Let’s continue with the ABC promo theme for a moment.
That’s, like, all my feelings about Jack and Kate in one thirty-second promo. The fact that ABC made that specifically for “The Man From Tallahassee” speaks volumes. One, I think it lends credibility to the idea that most people who watch Lost—not just the ones who get online and use messages boards and read blogs—are compelled by the Jack/Kate storyline. I think it also says something about the forces behind Lost. I mean, let’s look at the key words in that promo: together, chance...”nothing in the world will keep them apart”?
I just scanned YouTube for comparable Skate promos (looking specifically toward “I Do”), but came up with nothing. Shocker.
Moving away from promos but staying with ABC’s clear Jate bias, let’s check out this ABC-crafted music video.
There are four of these videos: Locke, Kate, Sawyer, Jack. The Jack video, to “I’ve Got a Bad Case of Loving You,” is Jate. The Sawyer video, to “Bad to the Bone,” is Skate. Surprise, surprise. Kate’s, however, is entirely, entirely Jate.
A close-up of Jack’s face for “I’ve been careless with a delicate man.”
Jack’s sad face as he watches the cage!sex during the chorus.
Jack’s hands on Kate’s face for “...to the one I’ve sinned against...”
And the Jate kiss for “...because he’s all I ever knew of love.”
So, ABC music video department, are you telling me that Kate sleeping with Sawyer was a “sin,” for which she has to be redeemed?
I’ll take it.
Then you have some more subtleties. Damon Lindelof, executive producer of Lost and brilliant adorable little genius, seems to subconsciously (or perhaps consciously, who know with these dudes?) put Jack and Kate ahead of everyone else, including Sawyer.
For instance, when he was talking about the mobisodes several months ago, Lindelof told The Hollywood Reporter, “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.” See? He could have picked any two characters, but he picked Jack and Kate. Maybe I’m reading too much into that, but...
There was another, more recent, quote in which Lindelof talked about the characters they were focusing on: “We've made a choice to focus on the characters that fans have loved since the beginning - Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Sayid and Hurley." Yes, he includes the other characters, BUT...he mentions the Jack and the Kate before everyone else. Perhaps because they’re the only (living) characters we’ve been told to love and trust since the pilot, which showed the first A-Mission of Jack, Kate, and Charlie heading for the cockpit.
So see how I told that whole story without showing anyone saying, “JACK + KATE = <3 <3 <3”? ‘Cause I did. Fangirlishness demands attention to detail, and I am nothing if not attentive.
By all means, I hope Skaters leave comments with links to comparatively shippy YouTube videos from Lindelof and the ABC crew, but I’m fairly confident they don’t exist. I’m more than willing to be proven wrong, though. I’ve gotten pretty good at it lately.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
It wouldn’t be a day ending in Y if I couldn’t find some reason to complain about ER. EW.com has some interesting quotes up today, courtesy of our good friend David Zabel. Suggesting that it might be possible to get George Clooney and Julianna Margulies to appear next season.
NOT IN A MILLION YEARS, BUDDY.
Zabel admits it might not be realistic. Ya think? He’s the biggest movie star in the world and she seems to… not have such great things to say about the show that made her career. If this actually happened, I would – I don’t even know. Some equivalent of “eat my hat.”
Even if a deal could be worked out, didn’t Gloria Reuben’s return prove what a bad idea it is? There’s been such a cast overhaul that none of our characters from now know our characters from then. Carol would know Abby and Luka (if he were around). She and Doug would both know a couple of nurses. Not a treasure trove of story material there. Nevermind that they live in
Would it be better to bring back some other character? Not really. The same logic applies. Weaver, certainly, could return. And as much as I’d love to see Susan back, I know that ain’t happening. But anyone else from the first decade would be just as awkward as Jeanie was. The nostalgia factor doesn’t matter if the story you’re telling sucks.
And then there are the other ex-cast members returning next season, The Two That Wouldn’t Leave. In recent years, I’ve gone on and on and on about the lameness of Noah Wyle still doing guest appearances. His last few seasons completely destroyed Carter’s character. He has no place on this show anymore. Noah himself once used the analogy of the kid who graduates from high school, but still hangs around the playground. Yes. That. That’s what’s happening here. There’s nothing I would like more than a Carby reunion, but I gave up hope on that one a long time ago. They’re not gonna pull it together in the space of four episodes next season. Also, there’s the thing where I can’t stand the sight of Carter anymore.
We’re playing the same game with Goran Visnjic. “I’m leaving, but I’m not really leaving, I’ll just have my own story going on on another continent, even though it totally disrupts the rest of the show.” Luka in
God willing, next season will finally be the last. And the show will have only lasted twice as long as it should have. “Jump the shark” is such a played-out phrase. ER deserves its own. “Drop the ‘copter?”
To their credit, there were parts of this season that were remarkably watchable – even good! Most of that was Abby’s alcoholism storyline, but I’ll watch Stanley Tucci do anything and I love Gates playing Daddy. Maybe that’s some kind of residual Uncle Jesse thing on my part. But the good was overshadowed by the awful. The pervy med student? Surgical hockey team showdowns?
There’s something to be said for going out on top.
Greetings and salutations, as my old boss used to say. Oddly enough, I used to shudder each time I heard her say it. But alas, my blogging career has begun.
My good friend Mae and I share a love of all things television. A few days ago she mentioned that I should put my rants to good use and share them with the masses. So I grabbed a couple of beers, sat down at the computer and started typing.
My name is Leigh and I’m a fangirl.
Before I even knew what a fangirl was I remember sitting on my couch and squeeing with glee when Carol finally went to
When did I realize my addiction? Abby wanted everything to stop. Carter grabbed the bottle, set it on the counter and pulled her into a hug while simultaneously pulling me into the first stages of becoming a full fledged fangirl. Abby continued to passive-aggressively search for reassurance that she had someone to count on. He said he wasn’t going anywhere. I fell to the floor. Now, had my addiction been more advanced, I would have regained consciousness after receiving an anvil to the frontal lobe and braced myself for the hell that was to come. Instead, I did what any green fangirl would do: I swooned, fell in love and began combing the internet for other people who felt like me.
The rest, as they say, is history.
From Carby, I moved on to Gilmore Girls. Which holds the title of Leigh's Favorite Show of All Time. Despite the feeling of being dragged naked through a cactus garden during its final season and then having a jagged wooden spoon jammed into an orifice when we found out 13 days before what should have been the season finale that it was not coming back for another season…nothing, and I mean nothing, can beat the love I have for that show. The Luke and Lorelai love knows no bounds and you shall all learn that in blogs to come. Get used to it.
A few months after discovering Gilmore, I discovered Alias mainly (ok, only) because of Michael Vartan. After periodically watching some episodes, my friends caught wind of Syd and Vaughn and were relentless in telling me that I had to continue watching. Thus giving birth to the S/V affair. Hi, can you point me in the direction of the nearest Vaughn? I'd like to have one.
Derek and Meredith blossomed during the first round of the Meredith/Derek/Addison triangle. Specifically, the infamous train episode. Well, actually that was when I fell madly in love with Patrick Dempsey but there’s no need to get technical. It led to the love of Derek and Meredith, which is really all that matters. [Side note: After watching him with pipe-in-the-stomach lady when describing what’s going to happen, then grabbing/rubbing her hand and having tears in the elevator…anyone who didn’t just
want to push him against a wall and love on him adore him, doesn’t have a heart…or a pulse.]
Let me also give a quick shout out to my most recent new love, Brothers & Sisters. If you haven’t discovered the joys of Kitty and Robert…I…you…just rent the dvds. I’m ready to go shoe shopping with Robert anytime he wants. That’s all I’m sayin’.
It makes you squee. It gives you scars. It feels damn good to win.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
For my very first post here at Chaos in General, I’ve been kicking around a number of topics. None of them felt particularly relevant in these strike-addled times, when discussing most shows means talking about episodes from four months ago. So I decided to go another way.
When you watch as much TV as we do here and spend as much time thinking about it, your patterns of behavior become pretty obvious. In the spirit of introduction, I offer up some of the guidelines that have shaped my fandom tendencies and maybe give a glimpse into what I'll be writing about later.
Just a few of my many, many rules to live by:
1. When a love triangle pits a “bad boy” against a “best friend,” I side with the best friend. Like everyone else on this blog, I’m a big ol’ ‘shipper. I’m a fan of adoring gazes and unrequited love. The best friend, the partner in crime, the nice guy – these are my men. I have no use for their flashier competition. (See: Carter/Abby/Luka, Jack/Kate/Sawyer, Noel/Felicity/Ben).
Strictly speaking, Luka and Ben are not really bad boys. They’re just broody and moody and, in Ben’s case, not that bright. They’re the ‘unattainable’ guys that keep our girls from seeing what’s right in front of them.
There are exceptions to my bad boy rule, certainly. Veronica Mars’
2. I love everything Aaron Sorkin has ever done and will ever do. My love started with six hundred viewings of The American President on cable and snowballed from there. I got hooked on The West Wing in season two and bought the Sports Night DVD set sight unseen. It was one of my all-time best purchases. I’m one of the few who will defend Studio 60 to the death, despite its many faults and disappointments. And there were many. Someday, I’ll write a depressingly long post about them all.
Sorkin’s out of the TV game right now (and given the hoopla surrounding Studio 60, who can blame him?), but I can only hope that someday he’ll bring the walk-and-talk back to my television.
3. I’m a sucker the Herskovitz/Zwick model of television. By this I mean the painfully earnest, introspective type. Maybe a little melodramatic. Herskovitz and Zwick have been making news lately for the failure of their latest show, Quarterlife, the pilot episode of which is still waiting to be watched on my DVR. I consider them masters of this genre (My So-Called Life, Once and Again, etc.), but their philosophy applies to plenty of shows from other producers. I’m talking about your Party of Fives, your Felicitys, most of what Greg Berlanti did before this season (Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, the brief, forgotten Jack & Bobby). Haters are quick to write all these shows off for their gloomy yuppie whining. I don’t care. Go ahead – fight and cry and be a little self-centered; I’m along for the ride.
4. I am not above girly trash TV. I try to keep things a little higher-brow. But I won’t be a snob. Well, okay, I draw the line at most reality shows, especially ones that involve dating or washed-up former celebrities. Especially ones about dating washed-up former celebrities. But I’m shamefully addicted to shows like The Hills, America’s Next Top Model (I’m on my way to kicking this one), even last summer’s horrendous Fashionista Diaries. The Hills is a love-hate relationship if ever there were one. Those girls are everything I hate in life – they’re rich, spoiled brats who are famous for nothing, get great opportunities they don’t deserve and can barely string together a coherent sentence. I know the show is totally fake and staged and yet I CAN’T STOP WATCHING! I need help - a world without MTV and its weekend marathons of ANTM and My Super-Sweet Sixteen.
5. I get fandom tunnel vision. I can’t juggle my obsessions. I can only manage one hardcore ‘ship at a time. Periods of my life are absolutely defined by my fandoms. My tween years were all about Friends and Ross/Rachel. In junior high, I was really into Buffy. 2001 was the year of The Practice and Bobby/Lindsay. My first few years of college? ER and Carby.
Sadly, there are times like right now, where I lack an all-consuming fandom. Lost is doing a pretty good job of monopolizing my interest, but the internet is also keeping House alive for me, maybe more than the show itself. These things are cyclical and I’m sure there will come a time when I eat, sleep, and breathe only one show. To the point of embarrassment.
Alrighty then. I look forward to rambling on about all manner of TV here in the future and I can only try to measure up to the wonderful work that Mae and Caroline have done already.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
“The Other Woman” wasn’t my finest hour, and I’ll (however painfully) admit it. Our Jate bias led us to put pieces together that maybe didn’t quite fit right. I wanted to see Jack shove Juliet away, so I believed it would happen. It’s what my policy analysis professor would call investment. Or what John Locke might call faith. My own beliefs and hopes and predispositions led me astray. Ausiello with his “an even bigger shove” only made matters worse.
I’ll take credit for my prediction gone horribly wrong. (Except the part about finding Kate in the jungle—I was right about that!)
That said—and you can call me out for the utter pretension I’m about to display—I’m not ready to take all the credit. It wasn’t just me leaning too far on the Jate spectrum; there’s something else leaning in another direction that only served to exacerbate my wrongness. The writers of that episode are going to have to meet me in the middle on this one.
Because that episode was ridiculous.
After it was over, I stomped around my living room, fists aquiver, before deciding to go meet my roommate at a bar before I broke something.
Once the rage wore off, I gathered my thoughts (and my cell phone) to consult with my esteemed colleague Mae. We both agreed there was just something wrong with this episode.
See, we’ve both been so wrapped up in this season. So willing to believe, willing to listen and appreciate and...believe. And after watching this episode—from the previously-ons to the scenes-from-next-week—we needed a breather. We took a step back, looked at the season to date, and let out a pretty critical, pretty irritated what the hell?
Something’s not right.
Let’s dispense with the Jack/Kate/Juliet thing before we get into the real stuff. Jack was entirely out of character for that episode. Because Juliet, as I anticipated, acted absolutely sketchtastic last night. Because first she’s being all coy and desperate, begging Jack for his help, and the next minute, she’s ditching him in the jungle! What part of “Okay, I’ll help you” doesn’t she understand?
This should have made Jack a little suspicious or, at the very least, angry. The only reason he kept going into the jungle was ‘cause Juliet acted like she knew what she was doing and asked him to accompany her. When they were reunited at The Tempest, I expected Jack—and let me be clear, I mean Jack, not the Ja in Jate—to be pissed at her. To ask her what she was thinking and, I don’t know, maybe have a little less than unwavering trust in a person who’s done nothing to prove her loyalty to the team.
Jack doesn't typically take too well to being Scooby-Doo'd. Especially when it comes to dealing with the forces of good vs. evil on the island. I can't even count how many times he's come upon Kate after she tricked him and went against his wishes only to give her hell and rip her a new one about how much he hates that shit. And not just Kate, he's reacted the same to Sayid and Locke and plenty of others when they've tried to deviate from the plan.
I did not expect Jack to kiss her! Allowing Jack and Juliet a tender, even sweet moment in a situation that should have been nothing but tension-filled was absolutely unacceptable.
As I told Mae on the phone last night, I just didn’t buy it. Desperate, gonna-get-killed cage sex? I hate it, I think it’s grody, but I buy it. Hell, if I were trapped in a cage with Ben Affleck and the Others were about to kill us, I’d probably tap that.
Jack was just really poorly written in this episode. Mae goes so far as to call him “pod-Jack.” Real Jack would never send and/or allow Kate to go off into an unknown/possible unstable situation without any backup or protection - he'd always either (A)go with her, (B) make sure someone he trusted did so instead, or (C) simply forbid her to go at all. And yet when Kate remains justifiably suspicious of Charlotte (the bitch did pistol-whip her not long before!) and wants to go inside the new hatch to see Daniel and find proof of them having saved everyone's lives, Jack basically shrugs it off and watches her go alone... even though she actually looks right at him as if asking whether or not he's gonna have her back on this one! Instead, he's calm and even a bit timid - practically trying to shoo her off alone so that he can flirt with Juliet for a moment. What a pod.
I'm sorry, but if Jack is such a pansy that the idea of Kate staying back at the barracks to hook up with Sawyer one more time is enough to turn him into a jealous jerk who's using Juliet just to piss off and hurt Kate... well, I'm not so sure I'll be liking his character for much longer.
Okay, enough with the Jate stuff. We were bothered by a LOT more than that in this episode.
Maybe by this point they’ve just gotten really good at A-Missions, but last night’s trek through the jungle was way too easy. You’re telling me that if you plotted a course from the beach to The Tempest, the Barracks would be right on the way? Really? Because that’s what I assume when Kate’s Barracks-to-beach path crosses with Jack and Juliet’s beach-to-Tempest path. And that’s dumb. For as difficult as it was to find the first hatch, they sure seem to be easy to come across now. They seem to be freakin’ everywhere. Also, it took them about five minutes to get there, and I think that’s dumb, too.
I felt like last night, they had a story to tell and they kind of disposed with the established conditions of the island and of Lost to tell this story. Which, ultimately, had no purpose. We learned nothing from the gas story, except that that’s probably how Ben managed to make the Purge happen. Other than that? Totally pointless journey.
Then you have Locke letting Ben out. What’s that about? Team Locke needs to start a mutiny spit-spot, because I don’t understand that much about Lost, but I do understand this: Benjamin Linus is not your friend. He doesn’t like you. And if Locke is making friends with that dude, you need to be changing your alliances.
Or maybe you’re going to end up dead and a fugitive is going to end up raising your baby.
You know what else? I don’t feel sorry for Juliet. And you know how I said I wasn’t sure if she was going to be an Addison or a Lauren Reed? She’s definitely a Lauren Reed, folks. Anyone who’s feeling sympathy for her best remember that she is an Other. Remember the Others? THEY STEAL YOUR CHILDREN AND HANG YOUR FRIENDS FROM TREES.
I just don’t think Juliet deserves the credit she’s being given. She keeps doing stuff that gets her loyalty questioned, and she keeps getting off on a technicality or an excuse that I myself wouldn’t buy.
Frankly, I think she and Ben deserve each other.
My next point is from last week’s episode, but I only noticed it in the previously-ons last night: why is Desmond on the freighter?
Because if anybody should be wary of the freighter, it’s Desmond. He’s the most likely to believe that little bit about NOT PENNY’S BOAT. What a slap in the face to Charlie’s memory to be the first guy to copter out onto that NOT PENNY’S BOAT. When Mae and I discussed this point last night, neither of us could remember specifically why Desmond ended up getting on the helicopter.
It seems pretty clear that the reason was to engage that pesky time travel story. And until this episode, I had never felt like Lost made a wrong or an out-of-canon choice for benefit of a single episode.
No, we’re not tuning out. We’re in this for the long haul, but this episode definitely changed something about our relationship with Lost. We’re not taking anything at face value anymore; the show’s going to have to earn our trust back. Last night was not quality—it was just dumb.
I’ll leave you with a quote from TV Guide’s recap of the episode. As I listened to Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye to You” on repeat (“I’ve been searching deep down in my soul/ Words that I’m hearing are starting to get old/ Looks like I’m starting all over again/ The lat three years were just pretend”), Trish Wethman gave me a little perspective when she said, “I am a big Jater, I do like [Jack & Juliet] together and I am curious as to what's in store, since, at this point anyway, we haven't seen a future Juliet off the island.”
Mae Vaughan in all her brilliance contributed significantly to this post!