Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pushing Daisies: Sealed With a Kiss?

One of the only redeeming qualities of WGA Strike 2007-2008 is that it gave me some time off from my favorite shows to find new favorite shows. During the strike, I got caught up on Weeds, watched every episode of 30 Rock, and fell madly in love with Pushing Daisies. I remember when Daisies came out that I thought it looked interesting and full of OTPotential, but I knew I just couldn’t make time for it in my busy TV schedule. Nevertheless, I caught the last five minutes of several episodes as I tuned in for Private Practice. Those closing moments were enough to pique my interest and demand that I watch the whole series.

I love it, I really do.

The only words I can find to describe it are precious and whimsical. I’ve been a fan of the fantastic Kristin Chenoweth and Swoosie Kurtz forever, but the jaw-dropping talent and downright sweetness of the leading actors is what really drives the show, which, let’s face it, surrounds itself completely around an achingly delicious romance.

Chuck and Ned can’t touch, you guys. But what Shonda Rhimes would see as a terrible limitation, the producers of Pushing Daisies use as an unbelievable plot device with limitless potential.

The bee suits. The car barrier. The plastic wrap.

It’s all just so sweet. Coupled with amazing photography and impeccable writing that perfectly describes the joys and woes of being in love (heightened by this unfathomable barrier), the series is an exercise in creativity and childhood glee and grown-up romance and desperation, really. The delivery is fast-paced but spot-on, as beautiful syntactically as it is in content.

Here’s the twenty-second version of Chuck and Ned cuteness.



Here’s a slightly longer version.



Ned’s bumbling description of his selfishness (“I just thought my world would be a better place if you were in it.”) just makes my insides sigh. He has millions more quotes like these. I’m particularly fond of his frustration at making choices: "Everything we do is a choice: oatmeal or cereal, highway or side street, kiss her or keep her. We make choices and we live with the consequences. If someone gets hurt along the way we ask for forgiveness. It’s the best anyone can do.”

“Kiss her or keep her”? Are you kidding me with this adorableness?

It’s so inventive, too. Who in the world dreamed up not only this insane story (complete with a litany of do’s and don’ts for reviving the dead), but just the incredible details that go into every episode. These tragically hilarious death stories, like the jockey-with-horse-legs caper or the totally-bizarre dandelion car disaster, are partially fun to watch just for their silliness.

Enough with the love-fest, though. Because I’ve got one big ol’ question for Pushing Daisies:

Is Chuck immortal?

Digby’s been alive and kicking ever since Ned gave him the magic touch years and years ago, and yet he’s not looking any older. One could assume that Digby’s going to be alive until Ned magic-touches him again (ooh! dirty!). Can I be sensing a season finale moment: the decision to let Digby go?

Anyway, enough about Digby. What about Chuck??

Is she just in this constant state of limbo, one that can only be broken by Ned touching her again? What if something happens to Ned? Even worse, how could Ned possibly decide to kill her? And this show has already proven that its conclusion will deserve much more than Ned accidentally grazing Chuck’s arm.

It seems to me that the only way the show could end is for Ned and Chuck to die together. Like, he’s been fatally wounded, she can’t touch him to help him out, and so in a final moment, she kisses him and they both die at the same time.

HOW MORBID IS THAT?

Perhaps there’s another rule that Ned doesn’t know about yet. Maybe one of these days, he’ll accidentally touch Digby to find that the “spell” wore off or something. So Digby’s all happy and everything, because now he gets to have his master pet him, but poor Chuck is still starved for physical affection. (PS, Thanks, ABC, for the absence of condom jokes. I’m forever grateful.) So they calculate how long it’s been since Digby’s magic-touch and realize they only have to wait that long before they can touch each other—one wouldn’t want to risk a preemptive touch, not knowing precisely when the magic wears off. And then the show can end with that moment, twenty-so or whatever years later, with a kiss of freedom.

For as much as I’d love to be able to see those two just absolutely go at it, the sexual tension is pretty gratifying just the way it is. And I really don’t want to see a cop-out rule change unless it really makes sense. I worry at this point that the show is painted into an insanely small box...but it’s a pretty box for now, and it sure is fun to watch.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lost: Back to the Future

Yep, it's back. Applause, glee, squeelicious Jate scenes, etc.

Mae and I have been absolutely beside ourselves for the last week or so, discussing this Aaron drama, the dramatic breakup/breakdown of Sawyer and Kate, and these new folks. (That Daniel Faraday is a cutie, no?) Hopefully we'll post about "Eggtown" before the next episode airs, but I have a project due Thursday and I haven't even started it. Wow, so proud. The other night I procrastinated on a paper by making a magazine cut-out mini-collage with a picture of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, two post-its (one heart, one stop sign), and a Sharpie.

So anyway, we have a lot to say about "Eggtown." (Kate's a mom. Yeah, we want to talk about it.) But what's on my mind tonight is the following quote from Damon Lindelof:

"Season 4 is about who gets off the island and the fact that they need to get back. Season 5 is about why they need to get back, and season 6 is about what happens when they get back."

Damon seems to have given us a pretty dramatic spoiler, because if I'm reading this correctly, the Oceanic 6 are going to end up back on the island. While we acknowledge that we'll undoubtedly have more information by then, Mae and I are pretty sure this route is a big cop-out.

We don't want to see them go back to the island. (Jack and Kate in particular, but really, none of the 6. Now's a good time to say that we're spoiled on who the six are, but we won't spill without warning.) We're really enjoying the dichotomy this season has introduced: those for whom there's nothing to live for on the mainland, and those for whom there's nothing on the island. It's telling us a lot about their characters, and doesn't sending them back to the real world just to bring them back to Craphole Island just waste two seasons of my time and attention?

Plus, what's so bad about the real world? Seriously.

The whole thing, and obviously I am having trouble putting this into the perspective of this is two years away, maybe, is that it just seems a little sci-fi for me. Yes, I know, I'm watching Lost. There's a magic box. There's a smoke monster. There's la casa de Jacob. But SO FAR, it's been pretty grounded in some kind of reality. Yeah, the island is freaky, but I think I understand the DHARMA Initiative, the electromagnetic anomalies, and how the Others traveled back and forth from the island to America. I get it.

I'm having trouble with the time travel, folks. And I'm having serious trouble with this idea (which I guess has kind of been purported by Locke since season one, but really, who listens to Locke anyway?) that the island has some kind of magic draw. That the island brought the Oceanic 815ers crashing into the ocean in the first place. That Jack, Kate, and the rest of the Oceanic 6 really weren't supposed to leave and are forced to live miserable lives until they return. That Hurley's talk about "feeling it" wasn't just the musings of a troubled, deranged, chubby little guy.

It's just so science-fictiony. It's utterly unbelievably in the context not only of the rules of the world, but of the rules of the show thus far. It's going to take another totally game-changing experience to create a Lost universe where that mentality is acceptable for Jack Shephard to buy into.

Let's play with the idea.

I'd imagine it has to be all six of them. That's why Jack's jaunts to Sydney and back don't work. They have to be together. Do they take down another plane? Do they attempt to sail there? Does Ben just give 'em a ride?

For me to accept something like this, they're going to have to send Jack and Kate back together. Like, together together. Why? Because of this conversation I just had with Mae:

Caroline: Yeah, and you know who's on the island...
Mae: .....
Caroline: .....
Mae: .....
Caroline: .....
Mae: Yeah.

We will not accept a Sawyer/Kate reunion without an awkward introduction to, I don't know, let's call her Caroline Shephard, just for fun. Age five, very precious, green eyes and a nose for trouble. And Jack just smiles.

Even still, though, I don't like it. I don't want to see Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Desmond, Aaron, Michael, Walt, and whoever the last two Oceanic 6ers are end up on the island. The island sucks, guys. It sucks. It's hot and it rains all the time and what do you do when you wear your shoes out?

And you're drinking DHARMA brand box wine. I would not enjoy that.

Polar bears. Smoke monster. La casa de Jacob. Whispers. Juliet Burke. All things I'd prefer not to have to deal with.

Over the summer, though, I had a moment of fanfictiony epiphany. At that point, we knew that Jack wanted to go back to the island and Kate pretty much didn't. What would it take to change Kate's mind? We still don't know the answer to that question, and it's nine months later. In fact, now that she's confined to California, we're pretty sure she has less incentive to return than we previously thought. Anyway, in my moment of fanfictiony epiphany, I scribbled this down:

I will go back there for you.

The post-it is still sitting here by my bed and I'm just thinking to myself how full-circle that would bring my favorite pair. It's Kate making the same promise Jack did in "The Man From Tallahassee," just in a totally different situation.

It's just fanfictiony epiphany, but I wanted to get it out there. Take it as you will. Discuss.

When it really comes down to it, Damon Lindelof could also be just plain screwing with us. I wouldn't put it past him. It's fun to talk about and get angry about, but this conversation can probably wait for another year and a half. Let's talk then.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Heads and Tails: The Writer's Strike

It infuriates us. We’re ready for the strike to be over and for our TV schedules to get back to normal. That said, we’re also taking advantage of the time off to do other things, like get into Pushing Daisies and read books. In this post and its soon-to-be-published sister, we’ll give you a point/counterpoint of the strike from the Chaos in General perspective. We’ll give you the bad news first.

The Return of John Carter and the (Inevitable) Reunion of Carter & Abby. When we heard Noah Wyle was planning a return to ER and that said return would neatly coincide with Goran Visnjic’s departure, we were elated. We were convinced that this turn of events spelled CARBY FOREVER, and we’re sure that it would have...if not for the strike. The timing was apparently too perfect to be true, and it might never be so perfect again for our ill-fated physicians. (Fingers crossed, though!)

Joshua Jackson on Grey’s. I talked here about the similarities of Patrick Dempsey and Tim Daly...late ‘80s/early ‘90s has-beens who were reinvented by Shonda Rhimes as millennium-style hotties. Joshua Jackson, who hasn’t done much since being the last decent guy Katie Holmes has made out with, could have been the newest project of the Grey’s machine. PACEY!

The Golden Globes. I love awards shows. I want to meet my future husband at an awards show. He’s presenting, I’m nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Drama...it’s a nice image. The Golden Globes sometimes disappoint in the actual awarding (although less so than the Emmys), but the post-show after parties always produce the best tabloid fodder in the following days. We missed that this year. If anything, the Globes news conference reminded us that award shows really aren’t about winners and losers, but about red carpet fashion and getting wasted with George Clooney.

Pilot season. We’re so scared! Chaos in General needs more material, and after how hard we fell for Private Practice and some other new shows, we need new pilots this fall. JJ Abrams has a new show (Fringe, currently in casting) for the geek core, and we REALLY want to see it.

Last season’s freshmen. Mae already talked about Journeyman’s cancellation, but we’re worried for all of our newbies! I just got into Pushing Daisies, and I need more of it! It’s going to be hard for those guys to come back after being gone for so long—many of them haven’t yet built up the requisite fanbase and were just beginning to gain momentum. It’s going to be an uphill climb.

Angela Kinsey’s written-in pregnancy. Oh, man. How funny would The Office’s Angela Martin be as a pregnant lady? If this season is written off, we definitely won’t see it written in. We know it would have been difficult to hide her pregnancy, and damn, we would have loved to see her become a mom.

The Upfronts. We love the Upfronts. It’s television and business and strategy combined into one really fun week. We’re introduced to new series, new actors, and we start to plot a course for our own fall schedules. It’s a rare time of network loyalty, as the stars of the respective channels get together to trumpet the arrival of the next season, and we love it.

This just in! Variety is reporting a "breakthrough" in the WGA/AMPTP talks and that official meetings are scheduled for Monday. Could this be the end of the strike? Pip pip, writers!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

It's Back. We're Back. If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands.

Clap, clap, blog world! After many, many months of speculation and gutwrenchingly agonizing waiting, Lost has returned. Yeah, the strike's still going on, but we finally have new material! Not only are we back in the blog business with a vengeance, I also got my BFF Mae, back! This afternoon, we spent two hours dissecting "The Beginning of the End," the premiere episode of Lost. I tell you what, it's good to be back!

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Mae: Okay, so did you watch Eli Stone to see the "special secret Lost clue" on Thursday?
Caroline: No. Did you?
Mae: Yes.
Caroline: Was it super secret and clue-like?
Mae: It was... I mean, I don't know. Ya know? It was an Oceanic Airlines commercial and in the middle of it the transmission would flicker and you'd see some dude's face looking into a camera (a la when you see someone on one of the old DHARMA TVs) and it would do that a few times really quick... then suddenly the transmission completely switches to this dude and he's saying something along the lines of, “We can't trust these people, they're not who they say they are... we found Flight 815" or whatever, and he pans the camera and you see the wreckage on the ocean floor. So. I don't know.
Caroline: I just YouTubed it. Creepy. Did you get my message/watch the popup Lost?
3:20 PM
Mae: Yeah, it was cheesy lol. I fell asleep.
Caroline: I loved the popup for the "because I love you" scene.
Mae: Oh, yeah, me too. But I needed to run things past you because my mom spouted a theory to me and made my brain hurt, because I can't remember if we have enough details already to discredit her.
Caroline: Ha. Okay.
Mae: So remember in the finale when Jack is yelling at the hospital and he says like, "Go upstairs and ask my dad" or whatever? As if his dad is alive? Re-explain that to me, because the basis of that moment could be all I need to know.
Caroline: He was on drugs like whoa and he kept demanding for them to go get Christian Shephard. I think he was just being dumb.
Mae: That’s what I thought. I just couldn't remember. Because my mom was saying... what if by going back, going home, they changed the entire realm of existence. Meaning things that had happened before the crash were no longer true. I don't believe this theory because Sarah and Jack are still divorced, she's remarried. But just the little seed of that idea made me think and my brain hurt a little bit trying to find a possible reasoning for it, lol. I’m *thisclose* to reading spoilers, really. I want to know who the six are. And I want to know what the fuck happened to the rest of them that is so bad that the six swore never to reveal they still exist on the island.
Caroline: HA. The flash-forwards are just crazy-fying everything.
3:55 PM
Mae: I need to know. What happened?!? Why are they keeping it all a secret?!? Why did they just LEAVE THE REST THERE?!? And what happens to make Jack change his mind about going back?!? OMG I NEED TO KNOW.
Caroline: Okay well to ease your mind let me tell you this: I know all the spoilers, and I don't know that.
Mae: Booooo. Jen and I watched together and we were trying to figure shit out. She was saying how maybe leaving the island in the way they did was some kind of curse... maybe one by one they all start dying, thus Charlie saying they have to go back. And maybe Hurley dies after trying so hard to convince Jack, and his death thus convinces Jack that they're all fucked if they don't go back and make it right. *Shrug*
Caroline: I feel like it's just massive, massive guilt.
4:00 PM
Mae: Well yes. But I’m trying to figure out what triggers that guilt. But as of "now,” meaning when we just saw him with Hurley, he doesn't seem the least bit concerned about it.
Caroline: I also wonder if, like, in the next episode or so, we'll see *Hurley* discount another six's desire to return.
Mae: Like perhaps it started with someone else, almost immediately after their return, and we see it slowly take over the rest of them one by one over time?
Caroline: Yep.
Mae: Charlie is their conscience, perhaps.
Caroline: See, but I also think Hurley's crazy.
Mae: Okay, well at least tell me this, because I’m working through a possible idea but I need some solid info: Is Claire one of the six?
Caroline: No.
Mae: Hmm. Then I...hmm. Also, I guess Hurley clearly changes his mind about being on Locke's team before they get rescued...for whatever reason.
Caroline: I LOVED what Rose said: Even though she would probably stay on the island, she would not go with Locke. LOVED LOVED LOVED.
Mae: I agree. I could see why she would stay on the island, with its healing powers and junk, but she's nothing if not completely loyal to Jack.
Caroline: ...and Kate, too! It wasn't even a choice for her. She has reason not to go back----a good reason----but she's Team Jack to the end! ...PS loved that hug.
Mae: I love theeeeeeem.
Caroline: What a GREAT Jate episode that was. LOVED her Sydney Bristow steal-the-phone move. Loved their perch by the log. Love love love.
Mae: See here's my thing... I really think that "he" who is waiting for Kate is a child. Not Sawyer. Not some random new boyfriend. Not her parole officer who's keeping watch over her. A kid.
Caroline: I know who it is. Don’t get into this conversation with me.
Mae: And I started thinking... Something obviously goes batshit weird over at Camp Locke to convince Hurley to return to Jack and his team. Perhaps Locke’s campers become all brainwashed or Jacob-fied and Hurley decides if he can't convince any of them to come with him, he's not letting them hold captive and destroy the innocent little life that Charlie loved. So, blah blah blah, he "kidnaps" Aaron and takes him back to Team Jack, and then Uncle Jack goes apeshit crazy after a while (like Hurley, ya know) and Kate takes the little cheeky thing into her own home to keep him safe and loved until Jack stops being a crazy person. The end. And I don't care that you know. If I’m wrong, just say I’m wrong. If I’m right, tell me and we can have fun discussing that.
Caroline: You really want to know?
Mae: Yes. That’s a spoiler that won't really do much to ruin it for me. Because if I’m right, there's still so much left to figure out. It’s not a spoilery spoiler to end all spoilers.
Caroline: ...Aaron is known in the flash-forwards as "Kate’s son."
Mae: Really?? And for a fact we know it's actually Aaron?
Caroline: Yes. She calls him Aaron. Kate Austen raises Christian Shephard's grandson. We knew it would happen one way or the other.
Mae: Does she claim him as her son when they get rescued, immediately? Or do we not know that much yet?
Caroline: We don't know that much, but I CANNOT figure out why Claire would stay and Aaron would go.
Mae: Okay so all we know is that she's raising him as her own. We don't know how the hell he ends up with her in the first place.
Caroline: But now you can refer to my blog about the subject and note just how effing perfect it is for the Jate canon and the Aaron canon..."the couple in LA,” "raised by another.”
Mae: OMG THE COUPLE IN LA! I forgot about that!!!!
Caroline: Yep.
Mae: Wow. Hee, now I can go read the blog that keeps taunting me with it's "Mae, don't read” first line. Reads
Caroline: Note: Aaron is *not* known as one of the six.
4:20 PM
Mae: Oh okay I see. He’s not one of the six, but he came home with them. That still makes sense though.
Caroline: Yeah. If you're trying to make a count in your head, don't include Aaron, is what I’m trying to say.
Mae: Right so still we only know three of them, by way of what the show has shown us. I still need to figure out three more, not including Aaron.
Caroline: Yep.
Mae: Is the man in the coffin one of the six?
4:25 PM
Caroline: I don't know who the man in the coffin is.
Mae: Hmm. I'd like to think he isn't one of the six, because if they're as famous as they appear to be, I’d think his death would be a much bigger deal in the headlines, etc.
Caroline: That's what everyone's been saying at TWoP, etc. Changing topics slightly, I’m worried by something. We've seen Jack and now Hurley express a desire or "pull" if you will to go back to the island. What I DON'T want to see is the six (primarily Jack and Kate) return to the island for good. Because when I read future!fic that's based on the island, I get really depressed. There's this story by mysticxf called "Tidepool" that shows Aaron, Sun & Jin's kid, and a jaby playing on the beach and it's just SAD. I want the jaby to grow up in civilization and not have to have Sayid craft him some shoes, as this writer proposes.
Mae: Well, the more I think about it, I really don't think the pull is about going back to stay forever. I think it's guilt, like you said, and that they have unfinished business with the island. It could be that they have to go back for the others and do whatever needs to be done to put the island to rest so they can go home in peace.
Caroline: You know what I REALLY don't want? A Kate/Sawyer reunion scene. Unless she's whoa jaby pregnant with a whoa huge diamond ring. Well, not pregnant with a ring. You get what I’m saying.
Mae: LOL, yeah. I agree. And HI OMG RACHEL JUST SPOILED ME ON SOMETHING AND I AM SPAZZING.
Caroline: Haha what?
Mae: She told me who the man in the Jacob's rocking chair is/was.
Caroline: Oh. Was that not obvious?
Mae: I was too concerned with Hurley's ability to SEE him, not really who it was.
Caroline: Oh. I think it kind of confirms that Jacob can manifest himself as whatever. Christian Shephard, Walt, Charlie...a horse...Ben’s mom...a smoke monster?
Mae: Crazy crap. But anyway, I’m with you. I can do without a Sawyer/Kate reunion. Ever.
Caroline: Let's see. What else? Oh! Talking about Locke, one of the points I saw on TWoP was that Ben chose to go with Locke, and shouldn't that be good enough reason for the other Losties to be like, "Yeah, peace out. I’m choosing Jack"? And do we know who Danielle picked? Or Alex and Karl?
Mae: I don't think we saw who Danielle picked. She was a toss-up for me because she's really connected to the island and never needed to leave, but now that she has Alex back...?
Caroline: Also, have you thought about/heard discussion of the white sneaker?
4:40 PM
Mae: No?
Caroline: Whenever Christian Shephard appears on the island he is wearing white sneakers, including in the chair this week. And what was basically the third thing we saw in the Pilot after Jack's gorgeous face and Vincent?
Mae: Shoooooes.
Caroline: White Shoe. I just love Jabrams. It's like Vaughn’s watch. Also: Jack's Watch.
Mae: For reals. Dude, Jabrams is the craziest person ever, and I love him.
Caroline: But yeah. I can't imagine Claire giving up Aaron. Either something happens and the freighter people go crazy and DRAG the six back plus Aaron, or Claire goes crazy and they have to remove Aaron from her or...Claire dies.
Mae: Yeah. To me she either dies or Hurley (or whoever) decides she's unfit so long as she's determined to stay at camp Locke, and just up and takes Aaron away for his own safety.
Caroline: But that is just CRUEL. That's like Ben Linus cruel. You can't take babies from their moms.
Mae: Something has to happen though. I don't understand why Aaron goes home without her. Unless she dies, which I find terribly sad.
Caroline: And that would render Charlie’s death sort of pointless. I just really want to know the circumstances of Kate ending up with Aaron. And I also want to know the probability of cute Jack/Kate/Aaron scenes. I mean, is he like "Uncle Jack"? Is Kate "Mommy"? Are they "Uncle Jack & Aunt Kate"? Are they "Mommy and Daddy"?
Mae: To me it makes enough sense if they find out Jack is his uncle. But if they don't, then I’m sort of confused.
Caroline: Like I said in the blog, does Claire put Aaron on the helicopter with his uncle? With Kate? So many questions.
Mae: Because if they don't find out, then Kate just sort of falls into being the caregiver. Which doesn't strike me as something she would do off the cuff, but who knows. But if they do know, then it makes perfect sense that Jack is caring for him as his uncle and Kate bonds with them both even more over time as a little family unit, but then Jack goes crazy and she takes over to keep a sense of normalcy and regularity in Aaron’s life.
Caroline: Kristin said the other day: "Remember Laverne and Shirley? Get ready for Claire and Kate." Obviously, take this with grain of salt, but... I don't want to see like a forced friendship start over the next few episodes
just as a plot device for Kate ending up with Turniphead.
Mae: Well they never hated each other, they just were never BFF.
Caroline: Kate delivered Aaron. They have a history. But they're not BFF.
Mae: But also, how would they forge any kind of friendship? Claire went with Camp Locke.
Caroline: Well I know the answer to that.
Mae: Damn you.
Caroline: Sorry.
Mae: Oh well, I have just enough info to give me great speculation material for a long while.
Caroline: For serious.
5:00 PM