Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lost: Leader of the Leftovers

Matthew Fox needs to shut his damn mouth.

I don’t think the fangirls can take eight months of him blabbering on about how much he would enjoy seeing Jack die. I include myself in that category, because that would just absolutely kill me.

Mae and I were talking last night and we agreed that our greatest obstacle for Jate is no longer Skate (so suck it), but rather the untimely demise of Dr. Shephard. Or even the timely demise of Dr. Shephard. Really, any kind of demise.

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This is one of those ideas that Damon just loves to talk about. He had an op-ed in the New York freaking Times a couple years ago about how it was JK Rowling’s sworn duty to kill Harry Potter. But resigned himself to the fact that Rowling wasn’t quite so ballsy. He talks about how it would be coming full circle for Harry, who started the book series as “The Boy Who Lived.” Now, we started Lost watching Jack’s eye open. You want to get literal on me? If you really want bookends, the series ends with Jack’s eye closing.

Jack is a tortured fellow, and so perhaps it would be fitting to watch him fulfill his ultimate destiny, something great and astounding and life-affirming and FATETASTIC. And then, like all the others before him, destiny fulfilled, he dies.

It’s poetic, it’s dramatic, it’s surprising.

EXCEPT FUCK NO.

I will not stand for it.

I will not stand for it, even if Jack throws himself in front of the smoke monster to save Kate and their baby daughter. Even if this would mean that the smoke monster would forever be vanquished and could never bother the remaining Shephards ever again. Even if this would mean that peace would reign across the island and there would be no more evil, no more polar bears, no more Others trying to steal babies, no more dead pregnant women, no more evil men inhabiting John Locke’s body, no more bad news EVER.

I would still be effing pissed.

And here’s why.

#1. Jack’s destiny has to be more than death. He has to be able to find peace and happiness after everything he’s been through. I think an important part of that destiny is going to be becoming a father. And it’s going to be really hard to one-up Christian Shephard if you’re dead.

#2. One of these love stories has to end well. Of the three on-island love stories we’ve been told, the first two have ended quite tragically. Charlie drowned; Juliet got sucked down into the hatch. Jack and Kate need a happily ever after.

#3. I don’t care what you say--Jack Shephard is not a tragic hero. Desmond is the epic hero, Sawyer the anti-hero, Jack the reluctant hero. I don’t see it as a literary inevitability that Jack has to die. I just don’t see it.

While we’re on the subject of Sawyer, how’s this for the Lost series finale?
Something dangerous happens. (I think we can all agree this is somewhat of an inevitability.) Jack, ever the captain of the A-Team, volunteers to go handle the situation. Problem is, Kate’s pregnant. Or Kate has a newborn. Or just Kate is there, and I’m at home crying because what the hell, Darlton, where’s my Jaby? But anyway, Jack and Kate are together, as they damn well better be by the freaking series finale. Sawyer knows this and tells Jack he can shove it, and he’s gonna go take care of this business himself. And he does. And he dies. And in a flash of light, we see Juliet greet him from the other side or from another dimension or whatever, and it’s less cheesy than it sounds. Or maybe it’s exactly that cheesy, but it’s awesome.

And the Skaters are appeased because, oh, holy crap, Sawyer friggin’ died for Kate.

And the Jaters are appeased because, um, neener neener neener.

So Sawyer’s ultimate display of heroism comes from a big explosive exhibition of might and power and purpose and, okay, fine, love. Jack’s comes from acceptance of his fate as the leader of the leftovers. The final moments of the show should not be of Jack dying, but rather of Jack living, fulfilling his destiny on the island, with Kate (and their family--okay I’ll stop now) and in peace.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grey's Anatomy: Blinded By Post-it Rage


Okay, okay, okay. I know I said nearly a week ago that I was going to write a Grey's blog about the finale, but... the thing is, I keep trying to come up with something intelligent or philosophical to say, and I just can't. Try as I might, I can't do it.

I was on the phone with Caroline last night and when this subject came up, this is what I told her: "I'm pretty sure that the way you feel about the Bones finale is more or less how I feel about the Grey's finale. I know there were tons of great things in the episode that I loved and thought were amazing (Alex/Izzie), but none of that matters to me because all my brain can think about is Post-it notes and how angry they make me."

But then news about George's fate was leaked, and I figured it was as good a reason as any to sit down and try to talk about the finale. I make you no promises that this will be insightful, but I'm pretty sure it will at least be an adventure in spiteful sarcasm and a lack of anger management.

Shall we?

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As reported yesterday by E!Online's Marc Malkin (so strange when it's not Dos Santos, don't you think? Oh wait, I hate her), George O'Malley is very much dead. As if that wasn't blatantly obvious, but still. I mean, not only had we been hearing about TR's supposed inevitable departure for what feels like years now, but did anyone actually think George was going to come back after that kind of an injury? Really?

No, seriously, if you even for one second stopped yourself and considered that maybe - just maybe - George would survive, I beg you to explain to me why and how? WHY? HOW COULD THAT HAPPEN? The man's face was crushed, and we've already (annoyingly) done that story before. If you remember the sheer torture that was Ava/Rebecca, then you should remember that the only way that worked was because they gave her a "new" face and she didn't even look like how she supposedly looked before a giant chunk of concrete took a nap on top of her.

Tell me, then: How exactly was TR Knight going to carry on portraying the character of George if George was never going to look like TR Knight again? Ever, ever again?

If that dose of not-so-subtle hinting wasn't enough for you (How?!?), then the fact that George was already off the elevator and waiting for Izzie to join him should have solidified it for you.

The cliffhanger wasn't whether or not George was dead. He was. He is. The end. The cliffhanger was about whether or not Izzie would be joining him on the other side.

Which, by the way, she won't. That would just be stupid.

But let me just say for the record that if Izzie Stevens-Karev dies and/or abandons her adorable husband just so that Katherine Heigl can leave the show, I will never watch again. I mean it.

You know why?

Because Alex/Izzie have slowly but surely become the only real reason I watch this show anymore. I love Derek/Meredith. I really do, and I'm sure that I always will, but Shonda Rhimes just does not know how to stop fucking with them. She's like an anal retentive cook in the kitchen who can't stop poking at the grill instead of leaving the chicken alone to cook through on its own time.

I do not understand why she has this apparent aversion to a Der/Mer marriage.

She got Alex and Izzie married, and that's precious and adorable and I love every bit of it. I loved their plot in the finale, I really did. I loved Alex's frustration and fear, and his admittance (which I saw coming a mile away) that things are kind of screwy now because they only got married since she was supposedly dying. It's not like he actually wants her to die or regrets marrying her, but they're married now nonetheless and he's the one left picking up the pieces... just as Alex has always done with all of the women in his life. I love those two together, and I was waiting for the bottom to drop out beneath them the whole time because as soon as Izzie signed that DNR I said, "That's totally going to bite her in the ass later."

Lucky for her, she has a stubborn husband who wouldn't just let her die without a fight and friends/co-workers who care too much about them both to let that happen. Screw the DNR. There's more Alex & Izzie plot to explore in the future, and you can bet your ass that those two won't resort to Post-its in order to say how they feel.

Because, honestly. Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me, Shonda? Why? I beg you, please, explain to me why it's so difficult for you to let Derek and Meredith be totally and completely committed to each other? You keep saying that they're together "for good" now and that we have nothing to worry about, but you still can't seem to let them take that final step. Stop being so damn terrified that you'll ruin the show and any interest in that pairing if you actually allow them to be happily married and experiencing life without internal angst.

The two of them being happily married isn't going to ruin the show or make people lose interest in them. Screwing with your fans and stringing them along by a trail of Post-it notes, on the other hand...

I've heard several people (including Leigh) say that the "wedding" scene in the locker room was actually very romantic and sweet. It was, I agree, but you know what? I don't care. It was a cop-out. It was a pathetic excuse to say, "Hey they're married now! Well, at least they are in their hearts! Isn't it sweet?" and yet still bypass anything official so that the window is left wide open for things to go wrong between them all over again.

I get that Meredith isn't the kind of girl who would put on a white gown and walk down the aisle with violins playing and people smiling all around her. I get it, and it's totally true. But what was wrong with going to city hall? Did we really have to resort to something as easily disposable as a colorful square of paper with adhesive on the back? Seriously?

Shonda says that "the Post-it wedding will have big reverberations next season." Fuck that. You hear me, Shonda? Fuck. That. Of course it's going to have reverberations! It wasn't legal!

I play to win, kids. I'm not in the game of 'shipping for the pure fun of it, okay? When we're dealing with OTPs, I want my engagement rings to be sparkly, my first-born children to be girls, and my weddings to be legal. Is that so much to ask?

I really don't think so.

Wherever Shonda Rhimes thinks she's going with this Post-it business, I have no idea. But I'm pretty sure I'm not going to care anymore unless she gives me something else to cling to.

I'm willing to accept a McBaby as a consolation prize. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spring Cleaning and the Checking Off of Wishes Granted

Since TV season is good and over for all of our shows here on the blog, I wandered into the archives to see how far we've come. What's more, I was re-watching the season finale of Bones and was reminded that I should really go check "Booth calling her 'Bren'..." off of our OTP wish list.

I originally compiled the list on October 16th, 2008. Going back just now, it was thrilling to see how much I got to cross off because they had actually happened since then.

You should really go take a look: The Top 5 Tiny Wishes for Our Top 5 OTPs.

For the record, Jim/Pam and Jack/Kate really need to do better on fulfilling the wish list. Especially Jack/Kate. At least Jim/Pam bypassed the wish list altogether and gave their fans a surprise pregnancy instead. I can cut them some slack for that, wouldn't you say?

But seriously, it's way too much fun to see how well we did with our lists this year. Time to start compiling new wishes, kids! Let's get to it - we have so many new OTPs now, too, so leave us a comment with all the tiny wishes you'd most like to see for your fave couples next season!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bones: But What Does it All Mean?


As Caroline has already mentioned in her recent blogs and our podcast of live reactions to the season finale, the difference of opinion between she, Leigh and myself over the past week and a half has been pretty widespread. It took me about two minutes to decide that I loved the cliffhanger shock, though, and I've spent all this time since then sorting through lots of different speculations and predictions in my mind.

The initial course of brainstorming dealt with Booth actually having anterograde amnesia, having forgotten the past six - eight years of his life, and what that could mean for his relationship with Brennan and the show as a whole. It's still on my short list of possibilities, but then Hart Hanson started tweeting messages about alarm clocks and how the whole episode "wasn't a dream, wasn't a book" but actually, perhaps, "a meeting of two minds." That, coupled with the official Fox Network synopsis for the upcoming fifth season, has completely changed my thoughts on the game.

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Let's start with this mind-boggling, Lost-esque information from Hart. In the opening scene where we see Brennan come home and crawl into bed, the clock on the bedside table reads in standard format. After the delicious sex (and really, fake or not, that was hot), the sun has risen and that same bedside clock is now glaring numbers in military time. This, to me, suggests that the sex taking place at 4:47 and the "morning after" occurrences of a supposed hour later are not, in fact, in the same realm of reality at all.

But then what does it mean? Personally, I'm of the opinion that it's this very mismatch that explains the meaning of the episode title, "The End in the Beginning." Sure, Booth had a dream for 99% of the episode. Sure, nothing about the club and the AU of it all was real. But what if the sex was for real? What if it was a flash-forward? I know this isn't a new idea to Bones fans, as we were all tossing around that possibility before the episode even aired, but I think most people gave up on it as soon as they saw how the episode played out. Flash-forward is still my top theory right now, however, because I think it makes perfect sense. Hart Hanson kept saying that this episode - the sex scene in particular - was "a love letter to the fans." If it was all a complete sham, why would we think of it as a love letter? I don't buy that, despite the fact that Caroline and many other fans are certain to never believe a word the man says, ever again.

I think what he meant by "love letter" was that it's a promise - a commitment of things yet to come. I choose to look at that sex scene as "the end of the story/series in the beginning of this episode" - it was a glimpse of where Hart Hanson and Co. will be taking Booth & Brennan in the future. It was a promise that by the time the series finale of Bones rolls around, that's the love story we'll see these two living. They will be in love, they will be happy together, and they will absolutely have lots of sex and babies... someday.

And I'm okay with that. I honestly agree with Hart's recent explanation: "There has to be dancing, not just falling in love." I, for one, love watching the dance they do.

Other than the real/not real issue over the opening moments, though, there remains the complex mystery of what the hell was even going on. Booth woke up claiming he had a dream that was "so real," but now Hart has confirmed that it wasn't exactly just a dream at all. We saw Brennan typing out what we'd heard as voiceovers (well, almost - more on that in a minute), but Hart also tells us the whole thing wasn't her writing a new book, either. It was "a meeting of two minds," and thus my brain says: ...wait, what?

Throw in the network synopsis for next season, which includes this interesting little bit:

As Season Five of BONES begins, Booth and Brennan contend with the emotional fallout resulting from the sea-change in their relationship brought about by events at the end of Season Four. This includes Brennan's request to have Booth father her child and the strange, profound, almost psychic link they shared during Booth's coma, which left both of them wondering what thoughts and emotions the other is experiencing.


And this is the point at which I threw amnesia out the window and started to realize we're dealing with something completely different. It sounds like Booth doesn't actually have amnesia at all. It sounds like Booth is merely confused about who's in his hospital room - is it Bones? Or is it Bren, the wife he remembers so vividly from his "dream?" (I'd also just like to point out how much I consistently win at predicting character names, since I've been saying he should call her "Bren" once they become an official couple all along.) Booth's shocking question of "Who are you?" was meant to do exactly that: shock us. But he didn't mean it in the literal, "I have absolutely no idea who you are at all" sense. He knows her - in fact, he knows her on many different levels and in many different ways, and that's why he's so confused.

He probably doesn't remember how he ended up in the hospital in the first place, as is a typical effect of anesthesia and (oh, I dunno...) spending four days in a coma. So he's disoriented, the last memories he has being of his dream where Bones is his wife and she's just told him they're expecting a presh little baby. He wakes up in this hospital room and she's right there, smiling at him and so happy to see him alive and well, but he's entirely unsure of which Temperance Brennan he's talking to. That is what he meant when he asked who she was.

So, then, how does this actually change things between them next season, you ask?

I refer again to the bit from the official synopsis. Apparently what happened in the finale was practically a psychic event in which (at least this is my opinion) Brennan was writing out the voiceovers we heard - possibly even reading them aloud as she wrote - and Booth's mind grabbed onto her thoughts/words that then formed the rest of the story in his mind. If this is correct, then Booth and Brennan are reaching levels of universal recognition that rival that of Jack and Kate.

The implication is that what's taken place here is a revelation of true emotions, and that both of them struggle with what that means and how to go about their lives despite this newfound knowledge of overwhelming love for one another. Booth is completely aware now that his subconscious adores Brennan to the point of dreaming of her as his wife, the mother of his children. And Brennan... well, she wrote out all of those very telling voiceovers, effectively admitting to the audience that she's also realized her true feelings for Booth.

The difference is that Booth believes his dream, whereas Brennan deleted what she wrote. Booth, I suspect, will be entirely ready to be with her now and tormented by the inability to do so because - here's the rub - Brennan still isn't ready yet. If she were ready, she wouldn't have deleted it. And if she were ready, then what's with the mismatch of the final voiceover and what we see her typing on her laptop?

This screencap shows us exactly what Brennan wrote on her laptop in that final scene, and yet the words we hear Hodgins saying are a message of the exact opposite: "You see two people and you think 'They belong together,' but nothing happens. The thought of losing so much control over personal happiness is unbearable. That's the burden. Like wings, they have weight. We feel that weight on our backs, but they are a burden that lifts us. Burdens that allow us to fly." What does it mean that what we hear and what she's written are so vastly different? I screamed in protest when she hit the "DELETE" button (Really, I did. Go listen to the podcast.), because I knew instantly what that meant - she feels it, she knows it, but she's not ready to take on that burden yet. She's not yet ready to fly. Still, the words we hear coming from Hodgins are fitting of the Booth/Brennan relationship we've known and loved for so long, whilst what Brennan has actually written is much more of a reluctant acceptance of her emotional attachment and romantic love for her partner.

I don't know what it all exactly means, but I do know it's going to make for a very interesting new season. I can understand what Hart Hanson meant now when he said the twist at the end of the finale would "have lasting repercussions" on their relationship. Seems to me that the repercussions will revolve around the revelations of love they've both had, and how that changes and affects their relationship as a whole.

We know they're not just going to admit their true feelings and dive into a romance now - there's more dancing left to be done.

The dance is wrought with a new level of tension and angst now, though. And that's a dance I'm very much looking forward to seeing play out.

P.S. You know what I just realized it's like? The X-Files. "Sixth Extinction" and "SE: Amor Fati." You were my constant. My touchstone...

The Office: Maybe I Misinterpreted the Phrase "Hysterical Pregnancy"

Not even two weeks ago, I discussed the likelihood of a Jam pregnancy.

Buy Some Onesies Because: According to TV Guide, Pam breaks her ankle and is rushed to the ER. Why is this storyline interesting (read: season finale material), except for the fact that Jam’ll be alone in the hospital--and Pam’s gonna need x-rays. Could this mean Pam also needs a pregnancy test?

Don’t Hold Your Breath Because: Man, that’d be random.

Likelihood: We’ll say 10%. But I’m glad it’s out there that I recognized the possibility.

Now, when I first saw that TV Guide synopsis, I called Mae laughing.

I was, like, "You know I have babies on the brain when I think even this screams pregnancy."

And then as the days ticked away, as the prospect of tiny Shephards and tiny Booths crumbled into Wednesday night, it became increasingly clear that, yes, I am that bad at predictions sometimes. And the only baby we were going to get (beyond those who exist solely in hallucinations) was the baby who I hadn't been spazzing about.

And it was so, so sweet, wasn't it?

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I'll try to say something more coherent than ZOMG DADDY!JIM!

Yes, Pam's the one who's pregnant and everything, but it's her fiance who's the foreman at the cute factory. Maybe it's because I'm so partial to season two, but I think in a lot of ways I see The Office and Jam from Jim's perspective. I want to go back to "Casino Night" and tell that man that in three years, he'll be starting a family with Pam "I Can't" Beesly.

I think the sweetest part about this whole unplanned pregnancy thing is felt in light of Pam's speech in "The Job," where she laments that her and Jim's problem has always been timing.



And then a surprise brings tears to her eyes, a moment she shares only with the cameras.

Jim and Pam still can't get the timing right--but now, it's okay. Yeah, maybe in a perfect world, they'd be married and would have saved up a little more money, but they get through these bumps together now. And they're both really happy. I grinned like a fool after that scene aired, and when Mae paused Grey's to talk to me, I think she could hear the mirth in my voice when I told her how hysterically wrong I had been.

"Guess what?!" I asked, and she laughed. "I know what you're going to say. But tell me anyway."

Here's the thing about Jim and Pam. If we had found out in the Lost finale that Kate's pregnant, I would have been happy for me. But seeing Jim and Pam in that moment, I was happy for them.

This scene was also a beautiful bookend to the way they started the season, a distanced shot of a muffled moment.



A lot of people complain that Jim and Pam have gotten boring. I think they've just been underused. Their scenes in "Stress Relief" are the most poignant of the whole season, in my opinion. And not that every episode needs to be wraught with Jam angst, but they should have a solid B-story in at least two out of every three episodes. So hopefully the baby story will infuse a little excitement in the writer's room and encourage them to just write things for Jim and Pam. We know they can do it.

Obviously, this is what Jim and Pam have been planning all along, but it just happened in the wrong order. Watching them try to dodge concepts like "shotgun wedding" is bound to be hilarious. Watching Michael inappropriately say the word "bastard" is bound to be cringe-inducing.

Think about Creed's reaction. Angela's. Kevin's. KELLY'S! (I just did a little dance 'cause it was the first time I'd thought about Kelly's reaction and I'm sure i'ts going to be just delightful.) Toby's. Dwight's.

Yes, we've seen children and babies (Jan's, Stamford lady's) in the office before, but never when it was "one of their own." And even Jan's baby came practically full-term; pregnancy is going to be a fun and new topic to cover.

And at the end of the day, you're gonna get to see Jim Halpert holding a baby. If that's not enough to get excited about, then I don't know what is.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

True Blood: That's a Dealbreaker, Ladies

I'm six episodes into the first season of True Blood, and if there's one word to describe how I feel about this series, it's disturbed.

While the plot is compelling and the characters are richly drawn, there are certain things I can't reconcile in my mind.

For starters, I just don't get this whole vampire thing.

Because it's definitely not the hotness of the guys that's a problem. (Even though I really don't see the hotness of pasty emo Vampire Bill.) But let's get serious. I spend about six hours a day talking about this guy:



And I will never be a Buffy fan.

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Since Twilight hit the scene, this country has been obsessed with vampire stories. And it's all pretty much the same--vampire and virginal (but ass-kicking) girl. Forbidden love, sense of danger, blahdy blahdy blahdy blah.

True Blood is the story of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic young woman who lives in modern day Bon Temps, Louisiana. But in this universe, the recent invention of synthetic blood has allowed vampires to "come out of the coffin" and live amongst humans. At least at night. And just because vampires don't have to feed on humans anymore doesn't necessarily mean they don't want to; it also doesn't mean that humans are 100% okay with having vampires in their midst. Sookie is an exception, an open-minded individual who thrives on the adventure of learning about and experiencing life with a vampire.

I just don't get it.

Maybe it's my inherent practicality, but it just doesn't make sense to me that any human woman in her right mind would want to be in a relationship with a vampire. Like, I get that whole danger thing, but I can't imagine wanting it to go beyond a one-time thing. You know what it's like? To me, being in love with a vampire is like being in love with Sawyer from Lost. Yeah, you might have a really hot makeout session while he's tied to a tree, but when the shit comes down, Sawyer's gonna expose your fugitive status to the whole group. Sawyer would've let Kate carry the dynamite through the jungle, unlike that other guy, who snuck it into his own pack. (Oh, snap, "Exodus." Guess we know what I'm doing when I'm done with this post.) A sensible woman would be trying to make it work with Sam, the bar owner who (I think?) is the True Blood version of an Animagus. He's loyal and trustworthy and honorable, and when Sookie's grandmother was viciously murdered, he just sat with her. He's protective of her without having to pull out his fangs every time someone acts suspiciously. But that's obviously going nowhere, so whatever.

So, yeah, I think these girls are dumb.

Beyond the massively effed-up ship, I have a couple other problems with True Blood.

Let's spend a moment talking about pay-cable. I did a blog last summer about the injustice of including premium cable series in Emmy competition, and I still maintain that argument. As I said then, these shows have shorter seasons, bigger budgets, and freedom from the FCC. Comparing, say, Sex and the City to Friends is just asking for an apples and oranges problem.

But what I find so reprehensible about premium cable is that they almost seem to flaunt their freedoms. Almost all of the series I've ever seen on pay cable are just absolutely rife with cursing, violence, and graphic, gratuitous sex. You know how I know it's gratuitous? Because it's never the main characters. Those guys get no-nudity clauses written into their contracts. It's always the secondary characters, the ones who aren't famous enough to be choosy. I think Jason Stackhouse has had sex in every single episode so far, and the only love scene they've shown so far between Sookie and Bill was, comparatively, pretty tame. (Oh, except for the part where he bit her. Yuck. More on that later.) Anyway, come on. This show isn't made any better by the fact that I've seen this many naked people.

Okay, so once we get those two (pretty big) problems out of the way, let's talk about what's good. Because despite these factors, I do really like the story.

First of all, it's a really interesting take on this vampire crap. The way the show depicts the in-fighting of the vampire community and the tension between vampires and humans is fascinating, and obviously a pretty thinly veiled analogy to the non-supernatural tensions that continue to exist in America today.

It's also very suspensful, and I like that. I want to watch the back six, because I'm intrigued to see how the story continues. (Especially this business about Sam's shape-shifting abilities. That's gonna come out soon, I'm sure, and is probably gonna cause some problems.)

Sookie Stackhouse is a really great character, despite her bad taste (hahahahaha get it?) in men. The telepathy thing is something I was unaware of going in, and it definitely gives her an edge that her predecessors don't have--it gives her a one-up on the vampires that the others don't have. I loved that she saved Bill's "life" before he got the ever chance to be sexy vampire rescuer. I just want her to start using her ability to start solving these crimes. I watched the episode where Sookie and Bill go to Fangtasia, and I really liked watching her try to get some answers. Obviously, she's been a little distracted in these last couple episodes, what with the deaths of her colleague and then her grandmother, but come on, Sookie, get to work!

I also do enjoy the logistics of vampire lore. Most notably, how come all of these women (including, now, Sookie) get bitten by vampires and don't become vampires themselves? I thought that was the whole point?

And I really, really love Sam Merlotte. What a charming little canine bastard. Favorite scene so far:


Friday, May 22, 2009

House: I've Looked at Love from Both Sides Now


Well, it's been over a week now since all of my season finales, and honestly I haven't blogged about any of them until now because it's taken me this long to even gather my thoughts. The problem has mainly been that, a week ago, a House blog would have consisted entirely of "A;HDGAGH;AAD;FGLKHAD I WIN!" whilst a Bones blog would have merely said "...wait, what?" My thoughts on Lost were along the lines of, "That was awesome! But wait, I still don't get it..." And then there's the Grey's Anatomy blog, which a week ago would have consisted of only three simple words: "Fuck that, Shonda."

However, it's a week later now and I believe I've managed to come up with a few more constructive things to say. I decided that it's time to sit down and really re-hash what's happened in my TV worlds over the past week - all four of the above-mentioned shows suffered game-changing elements and shockers (as well as some really cute - or really stupid, Shonda - celebratory moments) in their final hours - so now it's time to pick them apart, and tap into what it could all mean for the future.

And since it's been at the forefront of my fandom experience all season, we'll go ahead and start with House:

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I promise this is not a blog entirely about Chase/Cameron, but let's go ahead and get the fangirly squeeing over with real fast, shall we? Chase + Cameron + wedding vows = MY 'SHIP GOT MARRIED. No, really, look how cute they are! Okay, but seriously, the build-up to the ceremony was a very interesting (albeit frustrating) exploration of the two characters, and I felt as though the way it was all wrapped up in the end was perfectly fitting and quite sweet. Doris Egan (who wrote this finale) explained it quite perfectly, I think, when she expressed that Cameron's need to always see herself as a reasonable, rational human being was actually what caused her to push down the true feelings of grief over her long-since-dead first husband, instead choosing to create a scenario in which she felt it necessary to hang on to Poor Dead Husband's frozen sperm "just in case" Chase ever fell out of love with her, became unfaithful, and left her childless & alone once again.

But Chase is, as Egan confirmed, a man with many insecurities and deeply-hidden fears when it comes to the woman he loves. So her statement that "no one plans on getting divorced," mixed in with her supposed doubts over their lifetime commitment to each other, struck him like a sucker punch that left him unable to see things more clearly - to see the reality of Cameron's blatant "self-deception." Once he realized what was really behind the issue of the sperm, we saw the sweet, understanding and incredibly loving Chase return to true form.

The plot had initially annoyed me, but now I can look back on it and see that it was about so much more than just frozen sperm and miscommunication - it was about these two characters learning the importance of give & take, compromise, and a willingness to sacrifice in the name of love before they ever actually stood before that altar and said their "I do"s. I saw another fan describe it as "a very God & Abraham moment, which is the true test of love," and although I had definitely thought of similar comparisons, I had never realized the truth of that biblical parallel. Just like with Abraham and his willingness to to sacrifice Isaac, his beloved son, in order to prove his faith in and love for God, Cameron was also (although I doubt consciously on Chase's part) being tested. And in the end, her simple willingness to destroy Poor Dead Husband's sperm in order to make Chase happy and keep him in her life was all the proof of faith and love that her soon-to-be husband needed. It was never, I believe, actually about destroying the sperm - it was about proving to Chase that she loved him enough to do something unpleasant - something heartbreaking, even - if that's what it was going to take.

As Leigh said to me after watching the scene in the locker room, "You know what it's like? It's like drinking the fat."



And, really, I suppose a good Friends comparison using Ross/Rachel may work just as well as - if not better than - the bibical one of God & Abraham. Either way, the message remains the same and ultimate test of love and sacrifice was handled quite wonderfully. Love them or hate them, Chase and Cameron will surely have a journey of ebbs and flows in the seasons to come of their new marriage, but I'm convinced of their endgame status now more than ever. Surviving a test like that only to come out of it more in love than you were before is a definite sign of strength for their abilities to overcome more obstacles in the future, and I (of course) can't wait to see what's in store.

But for now, let's move on, shall we? This finale was about so much more than Chase and Cameron (obviously), and (believe it or not) I do actually enjoy the show for its quality overall. "Both Sides Now" was a brilliantly woven episode, subtle in that you weren't even aware of its brilliance until almost the very end. I had heard pre-show rumblings that House/Cuddy sex was going to turn out to be nothing more than a hallucination, and I honestly felt sick for the fans of that pairing. What I somehow never expected, though, was that none of it - the Vicodin detox, Cuddy's comforting words, her confession of crushing on him for over 20 years, etc - had actually happened. That, to me, was a major shock. And Hugh Laurie just pulled out all the stops when we saw House's moment of realization... that reveal of a pill bottle in his pocket where he had been convinced he was keeping a tube of Cuddy's lipstick... I have no words, really, except for, "Wow."

And to be honest, maybe it's just because I'm more of a House/Cuddy supporter than a full-on House/Cuddy 'shipper (and hopefully any Huddy fans reading this can tell me if I'm right or wrong) but once I actually looked at the big picture of everything that had happened, it seems to me that the reality of "Both Sides Now" is far better for House & Cuddy than the hallucinated love affair of "Under My Skin." What we learned in the finale is that House is truly, completely smitten with her, and that he was also more than ready to jump into a fully committed romantic relationship with her. He was indescribably happy with what he believed to be his post-coital reality, to the point of actually suggesting that he and Cuddy move in together. House is clearly very much in love with her, and I think it was very telling that he chose to stand up and fight for her when Wilson posed the question, "Do you want to be the man with all the answers? Or do you want to be the man with Cuddy?" House's loyalties and romantic affections, in my opinion, lie very obviously with Cuddy... and isn't that revelation actually far better than one night of passionate, clothes-ripping sex?

The sex would have been a nice bonus, of course, and I understand that it's painful to have the rug pulled out from under something as potentially awesome as that, but I honestly believe what the writers have now created is a much more complex and interesting scenario than anything that could have come into play otherwise. The exploration of House's newfound feelings, compounded with his illness and Cuddy's mixed emotions about it all, will be a fascinating one to watch. If the Huddy fans choose to stay tuned, I doubt they will be disappointed with what's to come.

Moving away from 'shipping for a moment, I would be remiss if I didn't at least attempt to analyze what's happened to House's mental state and what it all might mean from here on out. It appears that our snarky doctor is officially schizophrenic, which Enigma and I had been predicting all along, but my fascination lies in how they're going to make this work. As Wilson clearly stated, House can't practice medicine if he's hallucinating. House can't practice medicine if he's taking anti-psychotic meds. House can't practice medicine if he's walking around with an untreated mental illness. So, then, wherein lies the answer? Clearly, we're not going to have several more seasons of House, MD in which the title character isn't even working in the hospital. He has to get back to his job somehow, and I'm so incredibly intrigued as to how it's all going to play out. Is he going to try electroshock therapy, as he once mentioned? Will they find a way to more or less cure him of the schizophrenia, leaving him sane and capable of practicing medicine without having to take any psych meds of his own? How will this all play out? I can't wait to find out.

But in the meantime, there's the question of what happens on the show between the season premiere and House's eventual return to his office. What of the diagnostics department? Will Foreman just take over? God, I hope not. He's proven several times (and most recently in "Emancipation") that he is pretty much terrible at handling diagnostics cases without any help from House at all.

My hope (and this isn't just a 'shipper bias, I swear) is that House's absence will be the opening for Chase's and Cameron's long-promised reintegration. I'd love to see them working as doctors more, and I'd really love to see them working together as doctors - since they haven't really had to do so since before they even became a canon couple. The existence of the diagnostics department without the leadership of House (and for a long-term, undefined amount of time) holds the potential for a lot of great character exploration of the ones left behind - the push and pull, the battle for power, the ongoing struggle of everyone learning to work together - in harmony - without their father figure there in the next room to referee the fights on the playground, so to speak.

In a nutshell, it's time for all the ducklings (new and old) to truly grow up and come into their own; to learn how to work, love and simply just live without House there to keep them on the right path from day to day.

Things are definitely about to change again, in a very major way, but I for one am extremely excited to get started on that adventure. September can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Glee: Don't Stop Believin' ... That This Show Is Going to Be Awesome

We now interrupt this one-person danceathon to bring you this important announcement:

You should watch Glee tonight on Fox after American Idol.

Last week, I went to the New York premiere of Glee (thanks, Skristin) and was just blown away by how much I enjoyed the pilot, airing tonight.

Glee is for the grown-ups (like me) who sometimes listen to the High School Musical soundtrack on their iPods. The show centers around a failing high school glee club in Lima, Ohio. We get the idea that even if this glee club were overwhelmingly successful, the kids in it would still be unpopular.

But beyond the campy premise (and sing-alongable soundtrack) is a heart that puts HSM to shame.



More discussion under the cut--
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The characters are expertly drawn, even if they seem familiar. (If anyone seems like a caricature of a HSM character, it's Finn Hudson, the football player with a secret aptitude for music.)

But this show is a lot more than cliches. There's something deliciously dark about this show--the humor is biting, sarcastic, and not always appropriate. Definitely not Disney material.

And the music, rather than cheesy songs about breakups, makeups, and going to prom, are sexy glee-ified remixes of mixed-CD standards like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Rehab."

No, seriously, you can download the full versions on iTunes now, and I've been rocking out all freaking day.

It's just delightful.

There's also (gasp) a little romance to be had--and one of the more interesting ship beginnings I've seen in a while.

Of course, we have the obvious, predictable potential pairing between Finn and Rachel Berry, the unpopular, glee-obsessed headcase with the powerhouse voice of that girl on the Spring Awakening soundtrack.

But the surprising potential ship is between their teacher, Will Schuester, and the guidance counselor, Emma Pillsbury. I don't want to spoil it, but by the end of the pilot, you'll know there's no hope between Mr. Shoe and Emma for a good long while.

Oh, right. There's also lots of angst in this show.

The good kind of angst. Moral ambiguity angst. You don't really know what to hope for or what's right or wrong. And just when you think everything's gone to hell, they're singing "You're the One That I Want" and you're dancing in your chair.

The downside?

I'm not really sure what this show is going to be like on an episode-by-episode basis. They've set up several awesome arcs, but I'm not sure what the baby steps are. I saw some cast interviews that said the glee club's going to need more members, so that's something. More characters is good for business. And the already established characters are delightful, so they've got a lot to build on, I just don't really know what the premise of week two is going to be.

But there's time and heart and some witty writing. And so even though I have to wait another four months to see episode two, I'm on board.

Summer Hiatus Catch-Up: Inching Toward Full-On Couch Potato Life

Last summer, I picked five series to start watching over the break. Fortunately for me, I only ended up "keeping" two of them. Unfortunately for me, those two were The Big Bang Theory and a little show we like to call Bones.

This year, I've only got four shows to get caught up on--unless you all have any suggestions.

The Mentalist, 23 episodes. I like the concept, I like the guy. Seems like it might work for a Bonesphile like me, although Leigh says she's not crazy about it. I'm going to give it a chance.

Gossip Girl, 43 episodes. I like The Hills. I can appreciate a good, campy, soapy romp about teenagers doing it with each other and then making lots of drama. We'll see.

True Blood, 12 episodes. I'm going to try to get caught up before June 14, when the second season premieres. I kind of just love Anna Paquin (Fly Away Home? Anyone?), and if I'm going to have anything to do with this silly vampire business, it's with a show like this. And I just saw on Wikipedia that the main characters are together in real life and gasped with excitement. Count me in.

Doctor Who, a bajillion episodes, but I'm just going to stick with the most recent series. Okay, you Brits are going to have to help me out here. Mostly, I think British television is weird and/or not funny (sorry), but from what I've heard/read/seen, I might like this one. And I have some time to kill. But with such a huge history, I can't imagine it's going to be easy to fit into this fandom. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I also have to get legit with The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, because I haven't seen every episode of those and I definitely want to.

Any other suggestions?

Bones: Please Don't Ask Me To Do This

You may have noticed we've been quiet since the finale of Bones aired. I can't speak for my colleagues, but I, for one, have been utterly speechless until now.

Heartbroken.

Deceived.

Outraged.

Frustrated.

Confused.

These are just a few of the emotions I have felt since watching "The End in the Beginning."

If you listened to the podcast, you'll know that my reaction was probably best described as, well, angry.
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Here's the thing. I spent months analyzing these spoilers. So did a lot of people. And I really felt going into the finale that the only way all of those things could add up was with an unplanned pregnancy. Call me pretentious, call me an asshole, but I still think that might be true. Because Hart Hanson can Twitter his little heart out about how he only obfuscated and fancy-danced, but I maintain that he lied. He specifically said, "No dream sequence here." And, folks, that whole damn finale was a dream sequence. Yes, it could have been Brennan's book (more on that later). Yes, it could have been a flashforward (more on that later). Yes, it could have been "the meeting of two minds," as Hart said (more on that later). But please tell me if you can think of any literary device they can use on the show to tell us which of these (if any) it was. I'm pretty sure there isn't one.

For all practical intents and purposes, that was not Booth and Brennan naked in bed together. Again, please tell me specifically how that will have "serious ramifications," how that will be something they can't walk away from? Because that's what I was told, and that ain't what happened.

So, yeah, I should probably be eating crow and admitting I was wrong about my months of baby!spec. But I won't, because given the information I had, I maintain that that's where I should have been. I don't think I was wrong because I suck at speculating. (Okay, seriously--go ahead and call me deluded and stupid and pretentious. It's okay.)

So yes, I have a problem with the fact that I feel lied to. I also have (had?) a problem with how trite this amnesia business is. You know what the last show was that pulled this stunt? Desperate Housewives. Yeah. It's soapy and silly and I just don't like it. Mostly, my issue is this: We all know that Booth's going to regain his memory. I give this storyline two episodes max; Mae gives it upwards of half a season, but at the end of the day, we all know he's going to remember. What I wanted and expected from that finale (baby or no baby) was a real gamechanger. Real sex would have been a real gamechanger, in that all of a sudden, Booth and Brennan know things. The sexual tension may even have been heightened by the fact that Booth knows the sound of her heels hitting the wood floor as she disrobes to get in bed with him and she knows how his voice sounds when he's whispering to her in bed.

Not only do I feel lied to, I feel cheated. Hey, Leigh, remember after "The Bones That Foam," I called you and told you that I had translated that last scene as "Buckle your seatbelts everybody, 'cause in eleven episodes, they're totally gonna do it"? I know I'm not the only one who felt some serious build-up over the last eleven episodes. From tearful confessions of childhood abuse in "Mayhem on a Cross" to frank conversations about the power of love in "Cinderella in the Cardboard" to slamming her up against a wall in "Science in the Physicist," I really thought we were headed toward Booth and Brennan Naked in Bed Together. Literally. Without ambiguity.

But apparently there was more ambiguity in that sex scene (in that entire episode, really) than in the season finale of Lost.

And that's what I have a problem with the most.

Since everyone's initial shock wore off, other (more observant and less angry) people have found some inconsistencies. Most notably, there are two different clocks in Booth and Brennan's bedroom (the first, in standard time; the second, in military time). Some of Hodgins's voiceover (specifically "You see two people and you think they belong together, but nothing happens") isn't typed on Brennan's computer. And according to some people, Brennan's wearing two different engagement rings.

There are other inconsistencies that I did notice and was slightly perturbed by. For instance, why does Sweets maintain his "psychologist" persona in his role as the bartender, but Angela is no longer a "visual" person? Why is Jared still Booth's brother, while Max isn't "Bren"'s dad? Doesn't make sense.

All I have to say is seriously?

Even if all of those things are there on purpose (and Hart Hanson says that everything was done for a reason), what now? Does it matter? I just spent twenty minutes on the phone with Leigh theorizing that, perhaps, "Mr. B" and "Bren" are the introspections of Brennan and Booth, respectively (explaining why Mr. B doesn't wear a ring, but Bren does), while the sex is the fantasy/future/etc. of both of them. But so what? Even if by the end of the summer, the fandom has concluded that it was something like that, or that the voiceovers are Brennan and the visuals are Booth, or that the sex takes place sometime in the future, making it more of a "promise"--who cares? No matter what it was, I don't see how they're going to bring it back up. Are Booth and Brennan going to have a conversation about his dream and what she was writing? "I dreamed you came home at five in the morning and I made love to you." "ZOMG me, too!" I just don't see something like that going down.

Hart wants to call it "a meeting of the minds," but it just doesn't matter what it was, because the canon outcome is going to stay the same: nada.

Which is why it bothers me so much. One of the reasons why I love Bones so much is that it's usually so easy. I love that Bones isn't Lost. I don't want to overanalyze Booth's nightstand, y'all. I just want it to be light and fun and campy on occasion. Especially because on Lost, it's like...well, take the four-toed statue. It's taken three years to piece together all of the little details and identify it as Tawaret, the Egyptian goddess of fertility. But Darlton gave us the clues. It all added up there, in the end. We have these details for Bones (the clock, the ring, the damned character inconsistencies), but I have no expectation that it's going to add up in the end. How could Hart give us the "aha!" moment of "Okay, I get it. That was Booth hallucinating Brennan and Brennan writing Booth as Andy Lister" or whatever without a convention like, say, I don't know, time travel?

I'm sure he knows exactly what it was/is in his own mind, but without the literary devices to relay that to the audience, it's useless. It's inconsistency for inconsistency's sake.

However, even with alllll of that, I'm still warming to this idea. (I know, right? This is me warmed up.) Because now I can see that Bones is no stranger to cliches. This is the show that did buried alive and Christmas quarantine and joining the circus, for crying out loud. And I happen to really enjoy two of those three episodes. If anyone can do the amnesia story, it's these guys, right? And it lays the groundwork for some pretty good Booth/Brennan moments. I think I'm going to get through this summer powered only by thoughts of his first post-breakthrough "Bones."

And then there's this, Fox's official teaser synopsis for season five.

As Season Five of BONES begins, Booth and Brennan contend with the emotional fallout resulting from the sea-change in their relationship brought about by events at the end of Season Four. This includes Brennan’s request to have Booth father her child and the strange, profound, almost psychic link they shared during Booth’s coma, which left both of them wondering what thoughts and emotions the other is experiencing. While Booth endeavors to come to grips with these unleashed emotions, Brennan insists that, with the aid of her “squints” in the lab, the two of them focus their attention and energy on their main job – catching murderers that no one else can catch.

"Strange, profound, almost psychic"? Really? Maybe we are going to elaborate on their cerebral connection. (I'm sorry, but didn't this happen on Fringe?) It also sounds plausible that Cyndi Lauper, who's going to be recurring as a psychic, will play a role similar to Sweets--she helps with cases and then analyzes Booth and Brennan when she's off duty. But I'm skeptical of the idea that either Booth or Brennan would admit that they felt they had an "almost psychic" connection during his coma.

The one word I do like? Sea-change. Like I said, I wanted a gamechanger. So if they can convince me that what happened was a gamechanger (beyond the few episodes it's gonna take to avail Booth of his memories), I'm all for it. If you're going to go with this psychic thing, I'm in.

But be warned, Bones. You're officially on notice.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chaos in Stereo: This Is What You'd Call A Mixed Reaction

When we first discussed watching the Bones finale simultaneously while Skyping, I thought for sure this podcast would be one big squee session. Instead, it's a lot of confusion, excitement (for some of us), and anger (for some of us). No squee to be found here. What you will find is hilarity. We pick up in the middle of Mr. B and Bren's last scene together, and you get our genuine, first-time reactions to the shocking conclusion of Bones's season finale.

As a caveat--we usually try to censor ourselves when it comes to foul language, but we were a little too excited to do so the other night. If you're bothered by bad words or by certain unnamed individuals telling Emily Deschanel that she can "go suck it," this might not be the podcast for you.

Platonic Chemistry and the Anti-Ship

If you look at my list of ships, from Jate to B&B to, I don’t know, Carter and Abby, there’s one single reason why I ship those couples. It’s simple, really.

I was told to.

Not by Mae or Leigh or anybody else--but by the writers.

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This scene is eight minutes into the pilot of Lost.



This ER scene is poignantly wedged between Abby’s first patient death in the ER and Carter getting stabbed downstairs.



Here’s Derek and Meredith in their pilot, fifteen minutes in and already experiencing some morning-after angst.



And of course, if Booth and Brennan's firing range scene in the pilot of Bones doesn’t scream “SHIP US!” then I don’t know what does.

To illustrate my point about latching on to what I feel I’m being fed, I’ll admit that at the beginning of Alias, I was very serious about Sydney/Will. (I know, right?) For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, Will (Bradley Cooper) was Sydney’s best friend who helped her get through the death of her fiancĂ©. As a journalist, he sought (and ultimately found) the truth about Danny’s murder, which would have been great if the truth wasn’t something that (A) Sydney already knew and/or (B) was gonna get Will murdered for knowing, too. Sydney/Will played prominently in the first three episodes (they even shared a kiss), but soon after that, the Sydney/Vaughn got played up, and I realized the error of my ways.

I hate to say that my ships are the easy ones to get behind, that I’ll only follow the ships that are being crammed down my throat. But there may be some truth to that. I don’t want to ship a couple who’s never going to end up together. (Sydney/Sark folks, I will never understand you.) I want the dreamy, savior-type leading man and the doe-eyed brunette with a fear of commitment. I mean, look, that’s pretty much all of those people pictured above. Plus, let's face it. Getting on board is about the easiest part of dealing with these people. Shipping Jate has never been easy.

It’s so hard to verbalize why this is okay. There are about a million other reasons why I ship Jack and Kate, a million glances and touches and Darlton quotes since that scene in the pilot, but there’s just something about those early, setup scenes that are reassuring as a Jater. This is the endgame; this is what you should ship.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe others are okay with accepting that their ship is just never going to happen and appreciate the AU fandom for what it is. I’m not. Having Carter and Abby collapse around my fandom, when they were so clearly heading toward Doug-and-Carol Land before Noah Wyle ditched the show, almost ruined me as a fangirl. I might stop watching television altogether if Jack and Kate don’t figure it out in the end.

Anyway, this blog is about the anti-ships. I mean that with all due respect, in the same way that anti-matter is still something. It's just not the foreground screaming and hollering, canon canon canon ship.

I’ve been engaged in a little Twitter back-and-forth about the ships of The Big Bang Theory. As a caveat, I should say that, while I watch this show every week, it’s not something I flail about. Except during the theme song. I honestly had never thought about this show’s ships until last week, when someone (Anna?) asked if I ship Sheldon/Penny.

Um, what?

No?

Again, I’ve never been a flailing fangirl about this show, I’ve invested no time in analyzing these ships, but if there’s gonna be a romance on the show, isn’t it between Leonard and Penny?

I mean, I get the hilarity of Sheldon and Penny as friends. But I’m not sure how their chemistry is any different from, say, the love/hate dynamic of Sheldon and Raj or Sheldon and Wolowitz.

I highly doubt (and so does Jim Parsons) that something could ever happen there. And what’s the fun of that?

The real build is between Leonard and Penny. I’m incredibly curious to hear the other side of this argument, because I just don’t understand how you could disregard the fact that the emotional romantic arc of the show is blatantly, explicitly Leonard/Penny.

To me, this is similar to the debate over Liz and Jack on 30 Rock.

Tina Fey has said, explicitly, that that’s not going to happen. And yet, there are people out there shipping Liz/Jack. And, yes, there are hints there week-to-week (some might even call them anvils), but as someone who’s not shipping them, I don’t see any significance beyond feeding into the platonic chemistry.

So I guess that’s my question for those of you who do ship couples like Liz/Jack and Sheldon/Penny and Cam/Hodgins (and most slash pairings, too, I suppose)--do you think these couples will eventually hook up, or is it just fun to ship them as an aside?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Office: Finale Twist-a-Mania 09 Predictions

Now when I first heard that The Office finale episode was entitled "Company Picnic",  I couldn't have been more excited.   It smashes together some of my favorite things, employees in casual dress, the reintroduction of lovers and enemies, and Michael's shenanigans.  However, there were no hints at all about what the finale twist might  be, and as we well know, there is always some finale twist.   Let's explore some possibilities, shall we?

More...Now, not only do we have the traditional Office characters, as Jim and Pam always have some big news in the finales, but now in contention for Twist-a-Mania 09 is Holly, the long lost love interest all fans have been waiting for since she left. So through some major speculation, and I do mean, major, this is what I have managed to come up with.

1. Pam is pregnant.

Not too much of a stretch for this one. With all the talk of babies and our favorite couples finally getting it on, this could actually fit in to the finale trend quite nicely. Jim and Pam have had a nice relationship this season but they've been a little bit less of the focus. The proposal in the premiere was one of the only major event this season. In this past episode, they were going to get married, however, due to the fact that they obviously need to have an actual wedding, they held off. Seriously, how disappointed would the fans have been if Jim and Pam didn't have a wedding. Now, other than that, I feel like PB&J need a little bit of action. They've had an average relationship this season, jut happy to be, which has been nice, but when hasn't there been something huge about PB&J in the finale.

Also, in the same vein of pregnancy speculation, this could cause more than one conflict for PB&J. Pam had the longest engagement ever with Roy, and it has been made clear that it's not something that she wants again. A baby could do one of two things - speed the wedding along, or put it on the back burner until the baby is born, and either could cause a good deal of interesting conflict. Wedding stress is never fun. I'm the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding this summer, and I can attest to that. Brides get a little crazy, and add in a dash of pregnancy hormones, it's just comedy waiting to happen. That's not to mention the pregnancy jokes from Michael, advice from Dwight and disapproving glares from Angela. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this one will take the cake.

2. Angela and Dwight get back together

Despite my reservations, Dwight and Angela are actually a couple I grew to love. Unconventional, yes, awkward, extremely, but somehow they made a perfect match. When they broke up, I understood. Sprinkles was Angela's favorite cat, she was upset, I get it. But when she was with Andy, she cheated on him with Dwight - something that I never thought she would do. Despite the duel for her affections, I feel like the two of them added a really interesting dynamic to the show that took the relationship focus off of PB&J.

Another interesting aspect of this dynamic is the newly found friendship between Dwight and Andy. I never thought that I would love Dwight and Andy as friends, but omg that scene of them goofing off in "Heavy Competition" proved me so wrong. I think they're so adorable. However, he rivalry between them is much more dynamic. If Dwight and Angela were to reunite, the friendship they had built would be destroyed. I'm not sure yet whether I would be okay with that.

3. Angela and Andy get back together

Yeah, it's all about Angela with relationships this season. My only prompting for this theory came from last week's episode, "Cafe Disco". As Andy was dancing with Kelly, Angela was giving him a look of longing. Or at least I interpreted it as longing. I may be wrong. let me know. The downside is also about Andy's relationship with Dwight (see above)

4. Michael & Holly reunite!


The reunion that all Office fans have been waiting for has finally arrived! Michael and Holly will finally see each other again! It's been quite some time since Holly left for the Nashua branch. ( I still find that episode hilarious, by the way. I'm going to school in New Hampshire, and I can verify, there really is nothing between Scranton and Nashua.) Although Holly has a boyfriend, I thoroughly believe that she and Michael are absolutely perfect for each other. It would make my day if they could be together. However, according to Ausiello, Amy Ryan has other commitments, so Holly returning long term is unlikely. Eh, the romantic in me is going to hold onto that one anyway.

5.What if it's not that twistful, and that's what makes it the twist?

This idea was suggested by my friend Kayla. We were chit chatting and she mentioned that it was, in fact, possible to have a happy ending for a finale, without shocking the hell out of people. I tend to disagree, however, she is poking me incessantly as I write this, so I had to give it a mention. :)

I think that the finale twist may have something do do with PB&J, or Angela and [insert chosen male counterpart here]. My only doubts come from Ausiello, who said none of the guesses we have come up with even come close to the actual twist, but we shall see.

Lost: The Finale Conundrum


You could argue that the big questions surrounding the Lost season five finale was what exactly is Jacob, who is his "frenemy" and what is their game, but since that would be like asking what is God, who is his "frenemy" with the pointy tail and what is his purpose for this world, it would be far easier to concentrate on the more tangible questions.

Like who is dead? Who remains dead? And who gets a reprieve.

But more importantly, questions of whether or not time travel can alter the course of history, or whether it truly is written exactly as it goes on, infinite possibilities delicately woven into a set fabric by our decisions creating a tapestry that exists to be admired.

And can it be destroyed?

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What exactly are the consequences of detonating a hydrogen bomb over a large pocket of electromagnetic energy? It seems to be a question that has plagued Lost fandom for the better part of the past season, focusing the ideas in the existing body of Lost mythology as it stands of debate over whether destiny or free will frames our story, and what part course correction plays in it all.

So does this bomb alter the course of history, creating a paradox in that altering the course of history would also alter the course of the future which – given the time travel – in turn, alters the course of history, which negates these events ever even happening, thus changing nothing?

The belief of many on the show is that it can alter history, or at least the hope of a lot of characters is that it can. Jack's overall theory is that it can turn back for them all the events of the past five years. That those they have lost because of crashing on the island would still be alive, that those who have been separated can be reunited, and that they might have a second change at normalcy – something they've been lacking since arriving on the island.

But more directly, as Sawyer wrenches out of him, Jack hopes that given a second go around, maybe things between him and Kate would work out differently, that he'd never have to lose her. And he believes he will get a second chance with her, as confirmed by his line, "If it's meant to happen; it's meant to happen." His proclamation moments later, that blowing up the hydrogen bomb is the most right thing he's ever felt in his life, could easily be applied to his relationship with Kate. THEY are right; they just got the TIMING wrong.

Similarly, and yet oppositely, Juliet hopes to change things because she hopes that if she never has to meet and fall in love with Sawyer, she never has to lose him the way she feels she's going to lose him to Kate. Given her childhood experience of seeing parents who claim to love one another ultimately decide to divorce anyways, compounded by her ex-husband's infidelity, and her own transformation into the adulteress, it's easy to see why Juliet has lost faith in love. It's also easy to see why she'd be so eager to alter her past, even if it means she might die in the process.

Sawyer, meanwhile, doesn't WANT to change anything because he's finally been privy to a life where he's loved (by Juliet) and accepted (by the Dharma Initiative) and is upset Jack and Kate returned and disrupted that life. His childhood interaction with Jacob though, oddly enough, was the only one that held no encouragement for good behavior, simply a push towards his vengeful nature, something that may factor into whatever happens next season, especially if Juliet dies and nothing is changed. The fight between him and Jack might only have been a taste of what's to come.

And Kate? Kate trades in her mantra of "we have to stop Jack" for "we have to help Jack" fast enough to inflict whiplash upon viewers (especially those who hate her), but she's a character who lives on whims to disguise the fact that she's made a choice, she just struggles with committing to it by running from it. Kate was given the line, "I have always been with you," earlier in the season, with regards to Jack, to set up her place now as a point of conflict. Would anyone ever actually imagine a scenario in which Jack and Kate are rivals? Part of the excitement of the finale was wondering whether she would stand her ground in deciding Jack is wrong – but the question is: does she think he's wrong because he's RIGHT and WILL change the past (erasing THEM) or does she think he's wrong because he might kill them all (the adamant claims she made most of the night)?

The answer lies in how he convinces her to help him: they can change the past.

By bringing up Aaron, bringing up the fact that Jack knew she returned to the island for the boy and her confirming that she came back with the hopes of being able to reunite the true mother and son, Jack reveals that Kate's greatest fear is truly change. She's been given a glimpse at a life with Jack and she would rather keep that glimpse and hope for more than risk losing it altogether. But she sacrifices her chance with Jack (possible with the same hope as Jack, that if it's meant to be, it's meant to be) for giving Claire a chance with Aaron.

Of course, there are also other possibilities to consider, other than 'death' or 'changing the past'.

Most creatively, the Magnobomb could create a parallel timeline, killing all our characters in the actual timeline (explaining why Richard says he saw them all die – unless that's an even bigger clue) while simultaneously kicking a copy of themselves into an alternate timeline that branches off in 1977 in which the paradoxes of changes through time travel are encapsulated in this alternate timeline because the timeline only begins at The Incident.

Does this keep our people in an alternate 1977, or would it throw them into an alternate 2007, where they could view the consequences of their actions, should they have CHANGED something, before being reunited with their proper timeline, where nothing has changed. It would work to give incredibly insight into who these characters are, and into how destiny and free will would work. The problem with this story, oddly enough, is time.

Just like the previous option of having it actually CHANGE the events of the past, you could easily spend multiple seasons (and spin-offs) exploring the possibilities of all of these characters following different routes to the same end, or different routes to different ends. Another problem is that it's also a choice that allows previous characters to return as main characters again, something the actors portraying those characters probably won't be able to do (through scheduling conflicts or residual bad feelings). It's something I would enjoy seeing as a premier, the possibilities, and the outcome being the understanding that the grass isn't always greener… before returning "home" to the proper timeline.

The most probably premier scenario (or post-premier scenario, because I would really love to explore the 'alternate future' storyline for at least one episode) is for this event – like the key-turning in the season two finale – BE The Incident, avoiding timeline issues of cataclysmic proportions by setting off everything that we know to be true up until this point, simultaneously catapulting everyone who shouldn't be in 1977 forward thirty years to 2007 to continue the journey exactly as it stands.

Maybe I stand firmly in the camp of Destiny, or maybe I stand in the camp that provides that free will leads one down a path towards their Destiny. But I don't believe we've just spent five years with these characters just to hit a re-set button on it all and jump into the final season as a complete blank slate. I also believe Jacob's, "They're coming," is indicative of all those he's "touched" along the way – his own "loophole", and his last chance to prove that people can co-exist and be peaceful. And "win" the war.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lost: Too Flipping Cute Not to Share

My dog, Freckles, sometimes reacts to the phrase "Freckles" when she hears it on television, whether it's from Jack's grandpa, Pam Beesly on one occasion, and, yes, even Sawyer. But nothing compares to her reaction when she heard...

Vincent.

Bones: The Finale On The Brain

Since it feels like I've been speculating about this episode since -- August, it's time for me to purge my brain and share some of the things that are actually relevant.
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What's In A Name?

Very rarely, in fact almost never, do I find myself searching for a deeper meaning in a Bones episode title. It's always the same, comforting format. "Headless Witch In The Woods." "Man In The Outhouse." "The Man In The Bear." I mean, they are nothing if not consistently on the nose. However, once or twice a season the titles actually have meaning. "The Woman In Limbo," "The Pain In The Heart" and tonight/tomorrow's "The End In The Beginning." I had sucked all the meaning I could out of it but after reaching my limit on the real sex vs. dream sex debate, I decided to dust it off and revisit it last week. I started to think that the clip of them all adorable in bed together is what we see in the beginning. We're all taken off guard and treated to a little pre-sessy time. Then, by the end of the episode, it's ACTUALLY happening. Thus, the END in the BEGINNING.

Here's why...

Someone, whom I thank for this even though I can't remember their name, said that the image of what we assume is Brennan sliding off her heels, looks like it belongs in an opening sequence. Agreed. We could follow her feet through the doorway and up to the side of the bed, a la the beginning of The Truth In The Lye, but this time, you know, with Brennan and without the "sleeping with the exes" nonsense. She slips into bed, climbs on top of Booth, they kill me for a few seconds but -- no sexing.

If you're like me and haven't been able to take your eyes off the promo photos, you can see that Boothie has a niiiiice scar near his left eye. Not sure why -- but that's irrelevant. In the promo clip -- I can't see a scar. So, that bedroom exchange must come fairly early on because I don't think it's too long before he gets it. "Fairly early on" being another term for "beginning."

Then, in a sneak peek released yesterday, Booth and Brennan are called down to The Lab by local law enforcement, Cam and Jared, to look at a murdered body in the bathroom. Brennan says she was in her office from midnight until 4am and then went home. So, I'm making a leap and assuming he was already in bed when she got home and decided to give him some 4am lovin.

Plus? It would also explain why he looks half asleep in that promo. His face does not look like that of a man who's about to get his groove on.

Despite all the other meanings the title could have about old relationships ending in the beginning of new ones, if my meaning is correct, I will run out of my house and shout. Full. On. Shout.

"...You were right."

One thing that I'm almost demanding is a scene where Booth wakes up in the hospital to find Brennan at his bedside. I have this ongoing fantasy that Booth and Brennan will be canoodling on the railing in The Lab and it will end with her telling him he has to wake up. His surgery is done. It's time to wake up. He'll question what she's talking about and why she's telling him this. He may even sweetly protest it a little, "...I own a club...we're getting married...I like it here." With a smile she says, "I know you do -- but the Brennan you really want is waiting for you to wake up." Dream!Brennan continues to whisper in his ear to wake up as we transition into real!Brennan by his side.

...You were right.

Right about what?

You said that the -- that you would see me in recovery.


That sound? That's my heart deflating inside my body.

"WHAT is that NOISE?"

Since most of us assume all of this takes place in Booth's head while he's recovering from surgery, I kept thinking how funny it would be if at random times during the episode, there's a beeping noise in the background. He's looking around and asking where it's coming from and everyone is like -- wtf, Booth? because they don't hear it. Finally he breaks and just shouts, "What the hell is that noise???" Or they find a clever way to believably weave the beeping into the scenes. Either way, it ends up being the beeping of his heart monitor that has crept into his subconscious.

I think we've all experienced dreams where sounds from "reality" make their way into our dreams and become a part of what's going on. I realized that the hard way when I used to think my alarm was some other random noise in my dreams and NOT the buzzer telling me I needed to get up and go to work. Oops.

Depending on how creative they want to be, there are a lot of chances to explore Booth's sensory perception while he's recovering. Jumping back and forth between dream and reality would help to make a better connection between the two but that might require more time than we have. Brennan could be by his bedside holding his hand as we crossover into a scene of dream!Brennan holding his hand or kissing him on the forehead or doing any number of surrogate relationshippy things.

Although -- I'm not quite sure how they would tie dream and reality together when she's on top of him.

Maybe they'll just skip that one.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

House: What A Mind Trip



Another season is wrapped and now many House fans are left reeling from last night's events. Under the cut are my own thoughts and ponderings, along with speculation as to where we fans can find ourselves and House next year.

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Perhaps it is best to break this all down into categories. Without further adieu, let's begin:

The Good


-Carl Reiner, for me, garnered a lot more sympathy than the PotW. Here is this man thinking that he only has a ridiculous squawking problem but in the end, it is something far more serious. He delivered the one bright comedic moment in this whole episode, when he handed Cuddy his stool sample while she was in a meeting. Two “gifts” at the same time.

-Apparently, I miss Kal Penn's Dr. Kutner more than I thought I did. Seeing him last night made my heart sink a little and reminded me that he is truly gone.

-The vicodin bottle/lipstick metaphor is both confusing and somewhat brilliant. Was Doris Egan trying to write it so that fans are lead to believe Cuddy is House's new version of a high? Or is this a case of showing us that he depends too much on something/someone that cannot save him? I have my own idea of what it all means, but I am curious to hear what the rest of you think.

-The House/Wilson friendship is, by far, one of more stable relationships of the show. This season, we are shown a parallel that brings back a sense of deja vu from last season's “House's Head/Wilson's Heart.” This time, Wilson is at House's side in one of his darkest hours. He is there for emotional support and truly shows what a dedicated friend he is. Many wondered why Cuddy did not accompany him as well, which was my initial reaction too. In the end, it makes sense for Wilson to be the one taking him if the writers are truly trying to show some tie between last seasons end and this one. Only this time, the relationship that needs mended is that between House and Cuddy.

-Cameron and Chase: This pairing seems to be a juxtaposition of every other relationship on the show. They have been through a lot over the past few seasons, with Cameron still holding on to a bit of her past and with Chase questioning her bond to him. I am honestly glad the marriage between these two came to fruition. If David Shore and Co. are staunchly against happiness for any of our Princeton-Plainsboro employees, it is saying a lot that these two have come together. And for once, I must say that seeing them work is refreshing.

-The House/Cuddy angle: I'm biased. Sad, but true. So anything I write will inevitably have a House/Cuddy slant on it. I am trying to find something positive to type right now in relation to this. Being emotionally invested in this pairing is very difficult, so like many other fans, I was blindsided by the events that unfolded. But, on to the “good.” If anything can be taken away from this, we know that somewhere in House's head, he is capable of being happy and that vision contains Cuddy. As far as that spilling over into the real world? It's hard to say at this point. Regardless of the events that have transpired, it is quite clear that House deeply cares for her and maybe is even in love with her. (A point I would have argued against before) Of course, there is always a “but” though....

The Bad

-Hallucination again. Really? Unless this is some adverse affect stemming from last seasons trauma, I must admit disappointment. I am still having trouble processing which parts of the last two episodes were real and which parts weren't. Anyway, I am not sure what happened this season, but it seems the writers all took a class and everyone is cheating off one another's notes.

-Not only is poor House hallucinating and being sent to a psychiatric facility, he is also jobless. The double whammy seems a bit too much for an already broken character.

-I am still wondering about how Cameron and Chase's roles will be utilized more next season. It was really a hit and miss this season where the two of them were concerned. Jennifer Morrison had a few story lines that let her stretch her acting skills as Dr. Allison Cameron. She had a large role in “The Itch” and when she stepped in for Cuddy during her leave of absence. Sadly, the same can not be said for Jesse Spencer's Robert Chase. He had very little to do this season outside of surgeries and trying to salvage his relationship with Cameron. Hopefully for Cameron and Chase fans, next season will be show more of these characters.

-As a supporter of House/Cuddy, I must say that the least of my issues are with the admission that the supposed sexual coupling was a figment of House's imagination. (Although the UMich story would have been nice to have in place.) It is clear that he is in no state for a relationship with Cuddy or to even attempt one. My main problem is that a lot of the focus this season was used to highlight their feelings for one another and that, in the end, no advancement was made between them. This is equally disconcerting to supporters and those against them as well. Whether you mark yourself as a “Huddy” or not, I think we can all agree that some sort of decision needs to be made. They either need to let them have an honest to God attempt somewhere down the line or they need to drop the prospect of romance between them. I can only hope for the first possibility.

The Ugly

-I know that House has often used a loose construction for basing its stories off of reality. At this point though, fans are left wondering: Where can House go from here? Things are a huge knotted mess right now, a feat I am not envious of the writers having to unravel in Season 6. Even if House can deal with his issues, does that make him fit to practice medicine again? Moreover, could he even get his job back? Where does that leave his fellows? They are now without a leader, which I speculate will leave Foreman to head diagnostics for a while. In the end, this finale seemed to create more questions than even the most talented writing staff can attempt to answer.

-The whole back and forth fan jerk is getting somewhat tiring. I understand the element of surprise and shock, but if I'm doing the same dance over and over, I am going to get off of the floor eventually.

-This season has been a fairly volatile one in terms of House fans clashing over differences. “Shipper Wars” have been raging throughout the season between the various factions of the fan base, sometimes becoming overly heated. Lets face it though: shipping is an inevitability. True enough, the show does deal with medical issues, but many of us feel personally invested in these characters and how they influence one another. As a fellow shipper, I know we have to wade through a lot of criticism. I stand by the fact that if not for these investments, David Shore would have a lot smaller fan following for his show than he does. It's what sells his dvds, what pushes his merchandise, and what keeps fans rewinding the episodes. That being said, it is still an often ugly thing to deal with or admit.

Conclusion

As I have stated, love or hate, I suspect many of us are secretly glad that the summer hiatus is upon us. Maybe we can all step back and contemplate what has transpired over this season. If you are feeling disappointment and anger, maybe the wait period will give you some semblance of peace and forgiveness. If you are pleased with the end, then the summer can be used as a introspective look back on a great season.

Thus begins the four month wait to see how this seasons events will be handled. I am apparently a glutton for punishment and like to feel like I have been punched in the heart or something. Or maybe it is my undying love for Lisa Edelstein. I am not sure. Anyway, I suspect I will be back in front of my television some September night at 8/7c, seeing where they begin to tear apart this rubber band ball they have created.