Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Doctor Who: Do British People Know How to Write Happy Endings?

I feel like this all needs to prefaced with a loud, "Hear me out, y'all."

Because to explain my love for Doctor Who requires me to explain at least a little about Doctor Who, and to do so is to make me sound ridiculous. So let's start with the background.

Doctor Who is a BBC series whose history spans more than forty years. Its most recent incarnation started in 2005, a modern continuation of a classic science fiction story. On its face, Doctor Who is a show about a time traveling alien and the humans who join him for the ride. But at its heart, it's about redemption, bravery, loyalty, family, and, yes, love. (It's also quite funny.)

Since it's inception in the '60's, ten actors have portrayed the lead character, known only as The Doctor. He's very old (nine hundred something?), the last of the Time Lords, a species of aliens who look just like humans, but have two hearts and the ability to travel through time and space. And when he get mortally injured, he doesn't die--he regenerates. (Hint: this comes conveniently whenever the current actor decides to stop being The Doctor.)

Aside from being an updated version, the 2005 series also became the first Doctor Who chapter to really, truly be a love story.

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Because this series came with Rose Tyler.

Rose was introduced as the companion to the Ninth Doctor. In season one, she tags along on his journeys and generally, you know, gets captured and then has to be rescued. And there are some cute, shippy scenes (I particularly liked "The Doctor Dances"), but the chemistry just wasn't there.

Also, in season one, pretty ridiculous things happen. (I think they were still finding their groove somewhat.) Their first couple of adventures involve everything plastic becoming animated and traveling to the far-far-future where the last living human is just a flat piece of stretched skin with eyes and a mouth, plugged into the wall.

But that's the thing about Doctor Who. If I sat here and explained what a Dalek is, you'd roll your eyes like Mae did the other night when I tried to explain the awesomeness of the show to her. But it's also hard to explain the emotions stirred by these characters. At the very beginning of "The Impossible Planet," I said to said, out loud, to myself, "Oh, man, y'all, the TARDIS is going to effing save the day, and it's going to be AWESOME." And then, when in the next episode, the TARDIS totally saved the day? I jumped up and down and hollered with excitement. Because it was awesome. (By the way, for non-watchers, the TARDIS is their spaceship. It looks like a police box and is pictured in that top Christmasy snapshot. It's bigger on the inside. And it is awesome. Also, that's what she said.)

Okay, back on track.

So season one was a struggle for me. But the end of season one is where it gets AWESOME, because that's when the Ninth Doctor regenerates into the Tenth Doctor.



Because, yeah, she was close with Nine, and yeah, he kissed her to suck the essence of the time space continuum out of her so she wouldn't die or something, but he had large ears and an annoying accent and really not that much chemistry with her. And then as soon as Nine became Ten......Things. Got. AMAAAAAZING.

AND ME AND ROSE WERE, LIKE, ZOMG UPGRADE. Because this one, not only is he way hotter on a scale of hotness, but he's also funnier and goofier (in a good way) and touchy-feelier (in a good way) and way way way sexier AND HE WEARS GLASSES AND A SUIT and he's so charming and JUST OMG I LOVE TEN. The chemistry is SO GOOD. They hug and hold hands all the time, and they just say the SHIPPIEST SHIT.

No seriously. Their "hey, how ya doing?" hug makes Jack and Kate's "hug of all hugs" look like a friendly pat on the back.

See, when the Doctor regenerates, he doesn't just change appearance. He changes personality, too. He retains his memories and his feelings, but the way he interacts with the world is very different. This one, for instance, is witty and charming and perfection in a way that his predecessor just wasn't. (Sorry, Nine.)

Okay, so throughout season two, they go on all of these adventures. And it's great because now, Rose is a full participant in the travels. At the beginning, she just kind of did stupid shit and had to get rescued, but now she's learned from the Doctor and they basically just run about saving each other now. In fact, toward the end of season two, Rose (and the mothereffing TARDIS) saved the Doctor a lot more than the Doctor saved her.

Maybe this is a British thing, but I find it really interesting how the Doctor very rarely like, swoops in Jack Bauer-style and saves everybody. Mostly, he empowers the people around him, including Rose and the guest stars of the week, to become heroes. And it makes him all the more loveable. (Random thought: Is Jacob on a similar mission on Lost?)

And then, at the end of season two... Oh, it's so heartbreaking.

Watch out for spoilers, because seriously, this is good stuff, so if I've convinced you to watch the show, just go watch it now and don't read the rest of this post. If you're thinking, Oh, this sounds like the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard, but that Caroline is an amusing girl, so I'm just going to finish this post for the hell of it, then by all means, continue.

Something goes haywire on an adventure (one of those season finale-worthy adventures where EVERYTHING is on the line) and Rose gets transported to another dimension. It's actually very similar to what's been happening on Fringe, only in this universe, there's no magic elevator to take you to that other dimension. It's a fluke that Rose ended up there anyway.

The Doctor rigs the TARDIS to project his image to her; he's running out of power and the hole in the universe is closing. This is all they've got. They're both crying, and she tells him she loves him. He responds, "Rose Tyler, I..." before the power runs out and they're both left alone, in two different universes, crying in pain.

Okay, so compare these two scenes:





Same basic concept, right? Beautiful British people desperately in love with each other but separated by really bizarre and unfortunate circumstance. Only in the American version, Desmond and Penny get cut off after they get their "I love you"s out of the way (a couple of times). The British version is just painful and...other words that mean really painful.

BUT WAIT!

That's not the end!

Rose, seemingly lost to the Doctor, returned for three episodes in 2008. See, she'd been trying that whole time to escape her alternate reality and return to the Doctor, and she finally succeeded in catapulting herself into his dimension. Reunited at last, the pair had a couple of epic hugs and saved the world again.

This is where it gets weird. (I know, right? Like it wasn't already weird.) Because here's the thing. Never in the history of Doctor Who had they had such an epic romance on their hands. Something had to be done to give Rose an ending that wasn't tragic; and any ending that didn't involve her living happily ever after with The Doctor would be unbearably tragic.

The Doctor gets shot by a Dalek (think R2-D2, but evil, and English-speaking) and may be forced to regenerate (OH NO!). But instead, he's able to use his regeneration energy to save himself and put the rest of that energy into a discarded hand he had lying around. (He'd had his hand cut off before, during his Nine-to-Ten regeneration, but because he was still regenerating, he just immediately grew another one. UGH THIS SHOW IS RIDICULOUS BUT IT'S OKAY 'CAUSE IT'S ALSO AWESOME.) So he kept the cut-off hand in a jar.

Well, then, left to her own devices, this woman, Donna Noble, who I don't really know because I skipped all the episodes that didn't involve The Awesome That Is Rose Tyler, touched the hand. And poof--she created a Second Doctor.

Shit.

So this new Doctor, 10.2, looks just like our beloved Doctor, has the same memories, same sense of humor, same personality, same affection for Rose, but he has a couple of different features:

1. He's half-human.
2. His emotions are more attuned to his old self. This part didn't really make sense, but we'll go with it.

Basically, he's crazy. He doesn't have that whole "let's let others play the hero and leave the guns at home" thing. So he destroys an entire species, and even though it's the Daleks and they're evil, Doctor 10.1 is really upset and kind of pissed that he's getting blamed for genocide. (Hey, you would be, too.)

Okay, so 10.1 takes Rose and 10.2 back to the other dimension. Because the world's not safe when there are two Doctors out and about, and this new one's really dangerous. And our Doctor, Rose's Doctor, tells her that he's leaving 10.2 in her care because the way he is now is the way The Doctor was when he met Rose--angry. And she made him better. (No, really, he says that. "You made me better.")



Let's do a Gilmore-style pro/con list of this situation.

PRO:
He's half-human, so he can spend his life with Rose.
He's still The Doctor, really.
He's desperately in love with Rose (and tells her so, unlike 10.1).

CON:
No more adventures.
Um, he's evil.
Uglier suit.

So, forget everything I've said up until now. Forget about the plastic coming to life and the Daleks and the regeneration and the cut-off hand becoming a whole human man. And think about this conundrum:

Is it better to have a whole life with a man who is almost the man you're in love with, or to have a few moments of a life with the original?

I DON'T KNOW! I've been thinking about this for days and days, and I just don't know.

Here's the thing, British people. Would it have killed you to give these two a plain ol' happily ever after? Did you really have to make 10.2 kind of evil? Did you have to leave Rose with a REALLY DIFFICULT PROJECT?

I mean, seriously. I should've known. I really don't like the U.K. version of The Office, because David Brent has zero redeeming qualities and the whole Tim/Dawn business is never really resolved (no epilogue). I'm really not putting down British film and television, because the fact that things don't end happily doesn't mean it's bad. I mean, the very fact that I've spent the last five days ruminating on the relative merits of spending forever with someone who's not precisely what you asked for means this show is quality. But all I'm saying is, you guys gave me this and The Office and Love, Actually, in which almost everyone ends up miserable and alone. But then you also gave me Notting Hill which not only includes a happy ending, but also an epilogue. So maybe you're not as one-dimensional in your romantic comedies as I've made you out to be. I apologize, Great Britain.

I think ultimately, it's all going to be okay for The Doctor and Rose. Because Rose Tyler will make him go from almost to perfect. She'll make him better, the same way she made The Doctor better. And they'll have adventures together, just a different kind. They can get married, have children, be happy.

And as a viewer, the most important thing that Ten gets to live on. We know that, come Christmas, Ten is going to become Eleven. And while I'm not sure if I'll be interested in seeing that Doctor, I do know that it makes me happy to know that, unlike any of his predecessors, my Doctor, Rose's Doctor will survive.

Hey, they could even come back.

Summerly Advice #2: Arrested Development

This is a win-win-win situation.

#1. This show is awesome. If you've ever laughed during 30 Rock, you owe this show a chance, because without it, Tina Fey's show could have never existed.

#2. Thanks to you, the non-watcher, this show is no longer on the air. (Thanks, jerk.) There's no further commitment involved.

#3. The entire series is available on Hulu. SCORE.

#4. They are (fingers crossed) probably making Arrested Development: The Movie for a 2010 release. So even though there's no commitment involved, you'll be able to appreciate the awesome of the movie when it comes out next year.

Arrested Development tells the story of Michael Bluth, who plays the unwitting straight man to his family of lunatics. (His mom, Lucille, is one of the greatest television characters of all time.) Michael's father has been sent to prison for various fraudulent business activities, and for the family to stay afloat, Michael has to run the company and the household. (Nobody else could possibly keep it together.)

You will laugh so hard you'll cry.

Bones: New Sides Are First Spoilers of the Season--and Hopefully Harbingers of A Good '09-'10!

The casting sides for "Harbingers in a Fountain" were released today, and there are a couple of spoilery doozies to be had.

But first, can we just rejoice for a moment at the wonder that is the first day of spoilers? I love it. June sucks for TV fans, as it's pretty much a dead zone for news and material. But July--ah, July! Not only are sides starting to trickle in, but we'll also start getting good scoop from Comic-Con and the TCA tour and the accompanying parties. (TCA time is one of Mae's and my favorite times of the year.) Not to mention Emmy nominations come out very soon, and before you know it, it'll be premiere time, and everything will be back to normal and HOORAY.

Okay, onto the goods.

More...Y'all. If we are to believe these sides, Booth and Brennan totes make out at a crime scene.

Reasons to Believe These Sides:
1. In my time reading Bones spoilers, I've never seen fake sides. (Apparently there were doctored sides for "Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House," but that's one out of 83 episodes.)
2. Everything else is intricate and seems to track. Very unlike the fakeout we saw on April Fool's.
3. They were on Showfax. Actors are getting these sides, y'all.

Reasons Not to Believe These Sides:
1. Hart Hanson is a tool.
2. Really? Booth and Brennan make out at a crime scene?
3. Hart Hanson is a tool.

So we're gonna go with cautious optimism, and since this is the first day of spoilers, we're gonna talk about 'em like it's true.

Honestly? This is a good idea, Hart.

I felt, as any of you who've read my previous Bones posts know, like we were owed something at the end of last season. There was a payoff I thought we (and Booth and Brennan) were promised as season four progressed, and they ultimately didn't make good on that promise. Even though I don't expect them to full-on have sex/get together/get beyond first base in this episode, a really good, line-crossing kiss would be an excellent way to start the season.

Because, of course, it's gonna have to be tempered with a big fat "not yet."

In that official synopsis from the network, it said that Booth is going to want to figure things out with Brennan, while Brennan's going to throw herself back into work. Makes sense. Booth's just spent four days imagining he's married to her and expecting a baby with her. (And having lots of sex with her.) That may be all he needs to try and push their relationship to the next level. And Brennan, well, even if she spent the last four days imagining the same thing, she wasn't inside it.

She was writing it for the same reason I sometimes design me and Josh Groban's wedding invitations on Photoshop. 'Cause it ain't never gonna happen. Brennan spent those four days knowing he might never wake up. She knows what it's like to lose him.

I think it'd be great if, in this episode, they're allowed to be confused about each other. And if that manifests itself in making out at a crime scene.

Because I think it sets up a great final scene wherein she says, in not so many words, not yet. Knowing how painful it is to lose Booth at this level, why would she want to move to another level, where it's just going to hurt even worse? What she hasn't figured out yet is that there isn't another level. Booth is everything to Bones.

And personally, I love the idea of ramping up the tension by giving Booth the option of grabbing and kissing her. I love the idea of watching him try and figure out how to pursue her--'cause the wooing of Dr. Brennan is different than the wooing of any other woman. (Hint: Bones has never Photoshopped her wedding invitations.) I love the idea of him getting frustrated and, having just had a near-death experience, deciding to move on and get himself a proper love interest. (And, of course, this lasts for three episodes in May sweeps before Brennan gets as frustrated as we do and puts a stop to that crap.)

In any case, we gotta build the tension. I've been saying this for months. A forbidden, angsty, just-until-the-ambulance-gets-here kiss is a good way to do that.

But it's Hart Hanson and he's probably screwing around with us. And if it turns out he purposefully added that to the sides to intentionally murder the emotions of the fangirls? It's over. Really, really over.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summerly Advice #1: Friday Night Lights

Our friend Hannah suggested that, as we follow through on our own summer catch-up plans, we offer some suggestions for everyone else on what they should check out before fall. (She'd know--the girl's already watched every single episode of Lost and 30 Rock this season.)

My first recommendation, and I really can't say this enough, is Friday Night Lights.

Normally when you hear emotional requests to watch Friday Night Lights, it's because it's in danger of being cancelled. Well, not this time. My pick for the all-time best television series has been renewed for not one, but two seasons, meaning you need not worry about picking this show up just to have it torn away from you. (Believe me, that's a legitimate fear, especially with a show as mind-bendingly amazing as this one.)

Be prepared to have your life changed, folks. And remember--clear eyes, full heart, can't lose.

Emmy Hopefuls 2009: Credit Where Credit is (In Some Cases, Massively Over-) Due

Rather than doing Emmy "predictions," I prefer to pull together a list of who I hope gets nominated. I like to assume these people have at least a fighting chance in getting on the list, but, hey, you know these voters. They don't always get it right. So here are the people who I think deserve some serious recognition for their work this year. Read my list after the jump and leave your hopes (and predictions, if you've got 'em!) in the comments.

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Outstanding Drama Series: Friday Night Lights. Again, as long as this show is on the air (and probably even beyond that), I’ll be thinking it needs to get nominated for things. It kills me how underappreciated FNL is, because it is hands down the best show on television. 30 Rock makes me laugh, Lost makes me deliciously frustrated, but it’s only this show that can move me to tears every single week. For its inventive storytelling, honest portrayal of its subjects and their lives, and warm-fuzzies amidst crap-crappys (i.e. Matt Saracen forgoing college to take care of his Grandma), this show is hands-down the best one on television--and it’s high time it gets recognized for that.

Outstanding Comedy Series: 30 Rock. It’s won the last two years in a row, and dammit if it doesn’t deserve it again. 30 Rock is consistently funny. It’s so inventive. There was a long period in there where all the jokes on television seemed stale--after you’d heard them the first time on Seinfeld and the second time on Friends, they were old. But 30 Rock didn’t just update the old jokes; this show has a different sense of humor, with updated characters and a fresh single-camera style that makes comedy television new again.

Outstanding Actor in a Drama--Joshua Jackson, Fringe. As the “civilian consultant” who liaises between his father’s wacky science and the FBI, Peter Bishop often has to be a translator, a mediator, and a calmer-downer for Walter. He’s at once frazzled by his relationship with his father, an arrogant ass with a mysterious (and dangerous) past, and a sensitive, affectionate friend to Olivia. Joshua Jackson plays him with a nice edge; he never gives away too much. It’s a performance I enjoy week to week, as the most normal member of this crime-solving team. Oh, right, and he’s from another dimension.

Outstanding Actress in a Drama--Evangeline Lilly, Lost. Only one person in the cast really rocked that DHARMA jumpsuit, and that was this woman. If that’s not deserving of an Emmy, I don’t know what is. In all seriousness, Evangeline pulled off a real coup this year. Her character (Kate? Is that right?) had the strongest arguments both for and against Island Return ’07. Pro: Find Claire and return Aaron to his rightful mother. Con: Stay and keep living the charmed life you’ve set up with your kid. Her conflictions during Young Ben Death Watch ’77 and Jughead Explosion ‘?? were similarly awesome and well-played. Watching Evangeline play these emotional stories, especially in “The Little Prince” and “Whatever Happened, Happened,” was a thrill, even as it pained us to see Kate in such distress. Both Skaters and Jaters came out of this season kind of shrugging our shoulders, because Kate’s story this year was (finally) all her own.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama--Justin Chambers, Grey’s Anatomy. When we found out about the Izzie drama coming down the pike, this team was more excited for how this would affect Alex than his girl. Seeing their romance unfold--remember, it was just last season finale that they started things up with awkward comfort/pity sex--has been the shining light in an otherwise pretty dull season of Grey’s. Watching Alex mature in the face of his relationship with Izzie, watching him become a married man who thinks about his future children and their careers and their life together--it’s extraordinary.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights. As long as Connie Britton keeps submitting her name, I’ll keep praying for her to get nominated. Her performances on Friday Night Lights are consistently jaw-dropping in their honesty. Tami Taylor is, I swear, the most realistic character on television. Somewhere in rural Texas, she exists. And Connie plays her with such depth, such heart, such poise, that I can’t help but be moved by everything she does. From taking on Buddy Garrity’s Jumbotron to navigating Dillon’s fiscal crisis, this has been another banner year for this show and especially this character.

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory. Probably a shoo-in, Jim Parsons is announcing the nominations next month. And if-slash-when he gets nominated, it will be heartwarmingly well-deserved. As Sheldon Cooper, the neurotic brainiac physicist who sucks the fun out of everything and can’t handle change, I can’t help but laugh out loud at just about everything he does. Watching him handle otherwise uncomplicated life dilemmas (such as someone taking your spot on the couch) with atypically ridiculous behavior is the best part of watching The Big Bang Theory. And Jim Parsons plays this character with such earnestness, such matter-of-fact rationalism, that I would be remiss to champion anyone else’s cause.

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy--Tina Fey, 30 Rock. Fine. I’m boring. Tina Fey wins everything already. But (A) this is a weak-ass category and (B) there’s a reason why Tina Fey wins everything. It’s because she’s awesome. This year, Liz Lemon did more crazy Liz crap. She met Oprah (but not really), dated Jon Hamm before that went south, and, you know, just generally handled the business of TGS with Tracy Jordan. As awesome--some might even say as unbeatable--as ever, my money’s still on Tina.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy: John Krasinski, The Office. Just for the last fifteen seconds of the finale. Well, there's more than that. But seriously, watching Jim this year has been similar to watching Alex this year--only without ghost!sex. Jim took a little responsibility for his life this year--getting engaged to, buying a house for, and starting a family with Pam. He also tried to take his job seriously this year, even though he didn’t do a convincing enough job for Charles. For his maturity with a sense of humor, I think this is the year John should be considered.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock. She’s an underappreciated part of an otherwise highly appreciated series--and wouldn’t Jenna Maroney love to hear me say that? This year, a little spotlight was shone on Jenna as she prepared for her role as Janis Joplin Jackie Jormp-Jomp in the not-quite-a-biopic Sing Them Blues, White Girl: The Jackie Jormp-Jomp Story. Jane Krakowski brings dimension to a character who would otherwise be rather intolerable. Jenna demands loyalty, respect, and attention--but Jane makes us feel like she might actually deserve it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chaos in General Knowledge: The Emmys, Your Favorite Show, and You

So I've been seeing some confusion around the interwebs lately about the Emmys.

Having followed the Emmys for years and years and years, having read all 65 pages of this year's rules and regulations, and having perhaps written an acceptance speech for when I win Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, I felt like I could help set the record straight on how this process works.

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The first step is submitting your name for consideration. Actors and actresses do this for themselves; producers do this for their series.

Katherine Heigl made waves last year when she declined to submit herself for consideration.

So far this year, just about all of our faves have submitted themselves; you can find the complete list here: http://goldderbyforums.latimes.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1106078764/m/358107362

Whether you submit for lead or supporting is up to you. Patrick Dempsey chose to go supporting this year; so did Connie Britton for Friday Night Lights. Presumably, they do this to try and up their chances. The people who really get screwed in these situations are people like Angela Kinsey, who is awesome on The Office but has little hope of getting nominated over Jenna Fischer, who is in the same category. (Then think about how this makes the Office win in the Ensemble category at the Screen Actors Guild Awards that much sweeter.)

It's also interesting because on Lost, only Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly submit for Lead Actor and Actress every year. I think Josh Holloway has interesting chances this year, because he had a really strong season for someone in the supporting category. Evangeline, meanwhile, had a strong season, too, but her category's definitely going to be tougher.

At this stage of the game, some categories require that you do episode submissions.

Guest Actor/Actress does submissions at this step. Actors submit only their scenes from one episode.

Most of the technical and creative categories also submit at this step. Writing and directing submissions go in now.

This is how the Emmys are weird. Drama and comedy series submit two episodes at this stage. Upon nomination, they'll submit an additional four. So for instance, last year, Lost submitted "The Constant" and "Ji Yeon." Upon being nominated, they submitted, additionally, "The Beginning of the End," and the three parts of "There's No Place Like Home."

Okay, so now that that's cleared up--

The acting categories.

Actors in lead and supporting categories do not submit episodes until they have been nominated.

This means you get nominated based on your body of work for the season.

This means you have to have buzz.

This is why I'm intrigued by Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly's chances. Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory feels like a shoo-in at this point--he's also reading the nominees, and they rarely ask folks to do that if they're not getting a nod. Tina Fey is undoubtedly a good choice. Anna Paquin would be a nice bet. Neil Patrick Harris would be an excellent bet. Toni Collette, Christina Applegate. I'd be interested in the odds on John Noble from Fringe.

So who haven't you heard me talk about?

Yeah. Bones.

Let me put it this way: If Bones gets nominated for an Emmy, my jaw will hit the floor.

It is practically impossible for the show or the cast members to get nominated. Not only is it lacking in buzz, but it's also in the wrong category. Bones is in the drama category. You really think this season has been a landmark year for drama on Bones? You think people are going to scan their Emmy ballots, get to David and Emily's names, and think, Oh, yes, what fine dramatic work this actor did this year?

Really?



Really?



REALLY?




Yeah, me neither.

More on this in an upcoming blog, but basically, don't get your hopes up on Bones.

And for clarification, Fox aired a promo tonight for "Hero in the Hold" tagged with Emmy consideration. It's definitely not been submitted for an acting category, though I wouldn't be surprised if that was David's chosen episode. Ian Toynton submitted "Hero" for his entry in the Directing category; and although this info's not out yet, it's likely that it's one of Bones's two series entries for the first round. (My second suggestion? "Con Man in the Meth Lab.")

So, basically, does it suck that shows without significant buzz or press or hype don't get nominated? Yes. I ache for Friday Night Lights to get the credit it so, so, so deserves.

But it's just how it works. It's built into the system. And shows/performers have to figure out how to navigate that system to the best of their ability.

Any questions?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Suck It, TVGuide: The 20 Hottest Kisses of All Time


Back in February of 2005, TV Guide celebrated Valentine's Day by making a list of the 20 Hottest Kisses of All Time. We knew this list existed (mainly because Mae has never forgotten a JJ Abrams quote from it), but we hadn't really looked at it in years. A few days ago, Caroline and Mae got to talking about this list on Twitter with several other fangirls, and one opinion was resoundingly clear: that list sucks.

Completely unhappy with what TV Guide had done so many years ago, we decided to remedy the situation by creating a Top 20 list of our very own. We polled other TV fans and took in opinions on shows/pairings that aren't necessarily universally loved here at the blog, so we feel like we've managed to create a pretty objective list of the Real 20 Hottest Kisses of All Time. Take a look for yourselves and let us know if you agree!

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Hot Kiss #20: Carrie and Big, Sex & The City, "An American Girl in Paris (Part Deux)"



After waiting practically a lifetime for these two to get their acts together, this moment was the perfect ending to the TV series--and a fabulous setup for the movie that followed. Mr. Big finally realizes that Carrie is the only woman he's ever really loved and, after seeking advice and permission from her friends back in NYC, jets over to Paris to win her back. Sure, the kiss isn't long and overpowering, but the emotions behind it definitely are. And the pure knowledge of what it finally means for their future is enough to get it a spot on this list.

Sexy Bonus Points: 10 for the "it's so epic" music playing over the kiss, another 10 for Big holding her so tightly and repeatedly kissing her cheeks.

Hot Kiss #19: Luke and Lorelai, Gilmore Girls, "So...Good Talk"



Their romance shattered thanks to the uninvited meddling of Lorelai's mother, Emily, Luke and Lorelai had been moping around town and completely falling apart as individuals who just wanted to be together and had no idea how to make it right. Emily, fed up with Lorelai for ignoring her and refusing to attend Friday Night Dinner, pays Luke a visit and tells him that he's won--go reunite with Lorelai and fix what's broken. Emily thinks this will solve all of her problems with her daughter, but all Luke cares about is the fact that he can be with the woman he loves again. Wallowing on her sofa and watching A Star is Born, Lorelai gets the best pick-me-up ever when she opens the front door and is instantly kissed by her own "Man That Got Away."

Sexy Bonus Points: 40 for the way no words are spoken, he just pounces. Day-um.


Hot Kiss #18: Josh and Donna, The West Wing, “Transition”




Even though some people around here still think Josh should’ve ended up with Amy, no one can deny that this kiss is sexy. After a few campaign-trail trysts, Donna told Josh she wanted to actually sit down and talk about things. Back in Washington, Josh was really not liking that idea. So when she shows up at his door late at night, he’s really not interested in having The Talk with her. Turns out, neither is she. Bow chicka wow wow. Nothing like seeing straight-laced ex-assistant Donna Moss turn into a wanton sex goddess to make Josh stop asking questions.

Sexy Bonus Points: 40 for the mutual feet-kicking-the-door-closed moment, 10 for the sheer awesomeness of “Who said anything about talking?”

Hot Kiss #17: Ryan and Taylor, The OC, "The End's Not Near, It's Here"



It's the series finale of The OC, and Ryan and Taylor have been broken up for six months. She's back in town, Julie and The Bullit are about to get married, Kirsten just gave birth to little Sophie Rose and the Cohen family is more than likely about to leave Newport Beach for a calmer lifestyle in Berkeley. Taylor has been slightly panicked about what this means for any potential future with Ryan, but he's been pretty unreceptive until now. Finally, he pulls her aside before the wedding to talk about it and... well, as is often the case for pretty TV people, the lingering feelings can't be pushed aside.

Sexy Bonus Points: 30 for the frantic nature of it all, another 25 for dom!Taylor and the ripping open of Ryan's shirt.

Hot Kiss #16: Dana and Casey, Sports Night, “Special Powers”



Having just broken up with her fiancé, Casey’s following the “rules” by observing the statute of limitations on asking Dana out. Unfortunately, somewhere their wires got crossed and no one really knows what the statute of limitations is. During a commercial break, they try to figure things out, and they do--they decide to put off their first kiss until after the show. Luckily, though, Casey’s got enough common sense not to procrastinate their moment, and when he turns around and seals the deal, we swoon.

Sexy Bonus Points: 30 for Dana checking out his butt as he walks away post-kiss (and feeling deservedly proud of herself!), 15 for the perfect timing of “It’s In His Kiss.”

Hot Kiss #15: Seth and Summer, The OC, "The Rainy Day Women"



It's so cheesy, it's actually kind of epic. Seth and Summer broke up at the end of the first season and when Seth returned to make amends, he found Summer already dating Zach, the perfect non-geeky version of Seth. Half a season passed with Seth and Summer attempting to be friends and denying their residual love for another, until Summer was scheduled to spend a few weeks in Italy with Zach and his family -- Seth makes one last attempt to win her back, but not until she's already at the airport does she realize the mistake she's making and where her heart really belongs. She ditches Zach (but he's really sweet about it--"Can't fight fate.") and rushes back to the Cohen house where Seth has been up on the roof in his waterproof Spiderman cap trying to fix the satellite system. Like we said, it's cheesy as can be, but it's pretty hot and you have to give props to Josh Schwartz for using an epic movie moment to create an almost-epic TV one.

Sexy Bonus Points: 10 automatically for kissing in the rain, another 10 for the sheer difficulty of kissing upside down and still making it look hot.

Hot Kiss #14: Mulder and Scully, The X-Files, The X-Files: Fight the Future



This one definitely isn’t canon, but we’re also including the Mulder/Scully deleted kiss from The X-Files: Fight the Future. This one combines a lot of the elements of our other favorites: desperation, angst, the removal of barriers... The X-Files have been decommissioned by the bureau and Scully’s been transferred out of DC, just as the partners are closer than ever to finding the truth. In the canon, a bee stings Scully right before their lips touch, but on the DVDs, they’re allowed to kiss--and maybe more!

Sexy Bonus Points: 50 for their facial expressions (these two excel at conveying emotion without words), 20 for Mulder lifting her off the ground.

Hot Kiss #13: Ross and Rachel, Friends, “The One With the Prom Video”



Forget “The One Where Ross Finds Out.” That didn’t work out anyway! For us, it’s all about their first real kiss. Ross and Rachel had been fighting and making up and fighting and making up for so long, it was looking pretty hopeless. But then Monica stumbled upon a video of her and Rachel getting ready for senior prom. When it looked like Rachel’s date (the oh-so-lovable-NOT Chip) was going to be a no-show, Ross high-tailed it upstairs, borrowed his Dad’s tux, and prepared to take Rachel himself. Years later, she still had no idea that happened, because Chip showed up before Ross could get back downstairs and made the sweet gesture moot. Well, until NOW, when Rachel thanked him with a sweet (and sexy!) kiss.

Sexy Bonus Points: 20 for how his hands immediately go to her sides (love it!), 40 for the best post-kiss line ever--“See! He’s her lobster!”


Hot Kiss #12: Jim and Pam, The Office, “Casino Night”




A point of contention between Caroline and her fellow Office Twitterers arose earlier, as we debated the merits of all of Jim and Pam’s kisses. See, we were leaning toward their kiss in “Weight Loss” (not the proposal kiss, but the one where he shows up at her dorm at Pratt) or the one in “Job Fair.” But the others ultimately steered us in the right direction; their first kiss, their “just once” kiss, is definitely the sexiest. Jim tells Pam he’s in love with her, that he needs her to hear it. She’s quick to shoot him down with an “I can’t,” but we see her minutes later, recalling the night’s events to her mom on the phone. And when Jim interrupts her, ready to go all or nothing, she so totally kisses back. (And now they’re having a baby.)

Sexy Bonus Points: 15 for the continuation of this scene in “Gay Witch Hunt,” where Pam runs her hands down from Jim’s shoulders to clasp his hands, another 10 for Jim’s sheer bravery.

Hot Kiss #11: Tony and Michelle, 24, “Season Two: 2:00 AM-3:00 AM”

Note: If you have a clip of just that scene, please leave us a link in the comments!

Click here to watch!

(Scene starts with 15:30 left in the episode.)

Y’all, none of us here at Chaos in General even watch 24, but when our friend Carrie Twittered us with the clip, we couldn’t deny that this kiss is definitely worthy of inclusion. We don’t know much about 24, but I guess the days get kind of stressful around there. Tony and Michelle had been dancing around something for a while, but when things got particularly crazy in the office (A bomb! Sibling issues! Terrorism!), they stopped dancing long enough to have a really passionate, very open-mouthed kiss in the corridor. And it was hot.

Sexy Bonus Points: 10 for her being sorry--but not sorry enough to stop kissing.

Hot Kiss #10: House and Cuddy, House, "Under My Skin"



Fact of the matter is, this probably would end up higher on the list if it had actually been real. Unfortunately, the entire situation (House detoxing from Vicodin with a supportive Cuddy by his side, Cuddy confessing a twenty-year crush, their flirty banter and - yes - this incredibly hot kiss & the sex that followed it) was all a hallucination thanks to House's schizophrenic brain. Still, this is pretty damn hot. There's a desperate hunger about it; an untamed passion caused by decades of UST. It's sexy as hell, and one can only imagine what it might actually be like when it finally happens in a reality beyond House's mind.

Sexy Bonus Points: 30 for the heavy breathing/moaning on Cuddy's part, another 20 for House pinning her against the wall (Mae's favorite sexy thing ever).

Hot Kiss #9: Derek and Meredith, Grey’s Anatomy, “The First Cut is the Deepest”



Derek’s got a thing for ferryboats--and apparently for the new intern. Though she’s trying her damnedest to keep her distance, neither one of them can keep their hands off each other, as evidenced by this sexy three-story kiss in the elevator. This scene, from only the second episode of the series, shows just how much chemistry these two had from the very beginning.

Sexy Bonus Points: 30 for the all-over hands, another 25 for the fact that four seasons later, they’ll get engaged in that very elevator.

Hot Kiss #8: JD and Elliot, Scrubs, "My Monster"



On again/off again so frequently over eight years, there were lots of kisses to choose from for these two. But this one clearly takes the cake. Elliot had just temporarily moved in with JD and Turk after falling on hard financial times, and they were finding it more and more difficult to ignore the sexual tension between them that is always, always, always lingering. They become sex buddies, but eventually (as usual) it all falls apart again. However, like another "we were sex buddies once upon a time" couple on this list, it's all good because the "My Finale" flashforward shows them happily married (and parenting the requisite OTP baby daughter).

Sexy Bonus Points: 10 for the way JD swiftly brushes her hair aside and grabs her face for the initial kiss, another 20 for all of the groping and ass-grabbing involved.

Hot Kiss #7: Chase and Cameron, House, "Hunting"



These two had wanted to "jump" each other practically since the Pilot, with Chase more or less admitting it in episode three ("Occam's Razor") and (if you believe in the importance of scripted-but-cut-at-the-last-minute scenes, which we totally do) Cameron admitted it in that same episode, as well. It's not actually surprising, then, that her life-affirming response to an HIV scare would be to lose her "good girl" inhibitions through a dose of meth and place a booty call to the dependable Aussie she knew had been crushing on her all along. Unorthodox as it may be, this is more or less the foundation of their coupling. (And now they're happily married!)

Sexy Bonus Points: 50 for Jennifer Morrison apparently getting caught up in the moment & forgetting it wasn't real (she and Jesse were actually dating at the time) when she stuck her hand down his pants, another 15 for their precision in blindly navigating themselves into the bedroom.

Hot Kiss #6: Alex and Izzie, Grey’s Anatomy, “From a Whisper to a Scream”



Another kiss we love is Alex and Izzie’s first kiss on Grey’s Anatomy. Heretofore, their courtship had been an epic fail. After several dates, Alex had failed to seal the deal, and Izzie was ready to call it quits. Then, when all seemed lost, he manned up and planted one on her--at Joe’s in front of all of her friends. It’s romantic, sexy, and funny--the perfect beginning to one of our favorite OTPs.

Sexy Bonus Points: 10 for each little kiss this kiss is comprised of, 30 for the well-deserved “Seriously” that follows.


Hot Kiss #5: Chuck and Blair, Gossip Girl, “Victor/Victrola”




Of all the characters on Gossip Girl, Caroline probably likes Chuck the least. And yet when we look at all the liplocks on this show (and there are an awful lot of ‘em), we’d be hard-pressed to find another that outdoes this one. Because hot damn. Feeling reckless and out of control, Blair gives her virginity to Chuck in the backseat of his limo after a night of dancing at his nightclub, Victrola. It was probably a bad move, considering Chuck’s narcissism and downright rudeness, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t really hot.

Sexy Bonus Points: 20 for the cinematography of the episode, culminating in this choppy, film-strippy sequence, 40 for whatever Chuck’s doing with that spaghetti strap.

Hot Kiss #4: Jack and Kate, Lost, “316”



It was hard to pick a Jate kiss, but we ultimately decided upon the kiss in “316.” It contains many of the same elements as their first kiss--a tinge of desperation, a stressful situation--only now, their relationship is tempered by years of history, not just days. Here, they speak more in looks and tone of voice than in words--and they both understand. And instead of Kate running away, leaving Jack all confuzzled, the scene ends in babymaking sex.

Sexy Bonus Points: 30 for Kate’s heavy breathing, 50 for Jack’s fingers on her neck.

Hot Kiss #3: Pete and Addison, Private Practice, “In Which Sam Gets Taken for a Ride”



Why, Shonda!????? WHY????!!!! These two were the hottest thing you had going, and now you’re pushing Pete/Violet? And Addison/Married Man? So wrong. We’re all about the Pete/Addison, especially this kiss. The camera work shows it’s more than just about the lips touching--it’s also about his hands on her calves, her black you-know-what-me-pumps behind his legs, and the oh-so-dangerous glint in Pete’s eye. This kiss is locked in the CIG vault, too.

Sexy Bonus Points: 50 for how swiftly he lifts her onto that countertop, 20 for his hands in her hair.

Hot Kiss #2: Sydney and Vaughn, Alias, “Phase One”



One shoo-in (and the only one from our countdown also featured on TV Guide’s list) was Sydney and Vaughn’s first kiss in “Phase One.” For the first season and a half of Alias, these two characters circled each other, caught between their desire to be together and the certain death that would follow their coupling. (See, he worked for the CIA while she was a double agent inside a terrorist cell--tough break for a fledgling romance.) SD-6 was the one and only thing keeping them apart. And in this episode, they destroyed that one and only thing in a takeover of epic awesome proportions--and immediately ran to each other for an even more epic and awesome kiss. Their makeout sesh in the rubble of SD-6 not only made us cheer for the resolution of some serious sexual tension, it also made us shout “America! Fuck yeah!”

Sexy Bonus Points: 20 for being so into the kiss they ignore Weiss, 40 for this quote from JJ Abrams: “They were dating at the time, so it wasn't very tough for them to do." (‘Cause she was also married at the time. To someone else.)


Hot Kiss #1: “Booth” and “Brennan,” Bones, “Santa in the Slush”/Real Life




Okay, this one probably doesn’t technically count, but we’re including “Booth” and “Brennan’s” first kiss in “Santa in the Slush”--but only the sextended version available exclusively on YouTube and DVD! Yep, David and Emily went SO above and beyond on this assignment (was tongue really necessary?) that it actually had to be tamed down in post-production. It may not be official canon for Booth and Brennan, but the more-than-enough-steamboats version is definitely canon in our book (and, apparently, David and Emily’s).

Sexy Bonus Points: 40 for David getting so flustered he has to consult his script for his next line (the oh-so difficult “I don’t know what that means, but Merry Christmas”), another 30 for David opening his eyes twice to check on the status of the kiss.

How I Met Your Mother: Flight-Suit Up!

I've been a big fan of How I Met Your Mother for a few years now. It started when I saw a commercial in which Neil Patrick Harris gave Jason Segal a hypothetical high five. Then I got sick and started playing with Bit Torrent, and the rest is blissful post-Friends era sitcom history. I say that as a diehard Friends fan, mind you--my sisters and I can have entire conversations just quoting that show, although more recently we've begun to swerve into Office territory as well. But part of what's wonderful about HIMYM is that it is sort of a post-Friends Friends. Similar premise--group of friends sharing love, laughs, and adventures in New York City--albeit with a creative twist, and also Neil Patrick Harris. But the characters on HIMYM are a bit more grounded--no one here has (or would) "married a lesbian, fell in love with a gay ice dancer, left a man at the altar, threw a girl's wooden leg in a fire, [or] live in a box!" That's not to say they're not ridiculous--it's a sitcom! But the ridiculous is mainly extensions of reality, more so than many sitcoms.

And it is delightful and delicious (much like learning and C.J. Cregg).

The basic premise, beyond the Friends, is that Ted, several decades in the future, decides and proceeds to tell his two teenage children how their parents met, in more detail than anyone could ever want. There's a method to the madness, it turns out--if Ted hadn't met Robin, in the first episode, a series of events that leads him to meet the mother (which, the Season 4 finale implied, may well finally happen in Season 5) would likely have been averted (because how would he have met Tony?) and thus he starts from the very, very beginning. But there are plenty of twists along the way, not to mention some creative uses of the show's flashback format, like Ted's mixing up chronology and editing the R-rated language.

For those of you not up to speed on this awesome (or, dare I say, LEGENDARY) bit of television, get there! And since, like much good television, it's so much about the characters, I will give you five and a half reasons why you should be watching. Suit up!

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Robin Scherbatsky, mocking local television journalism with grace and skill Joey Tribbiani could only wish for. She's a refreshing sitcom woman--almost Joey-like in places with her aversion to committed relationships but without being particularly promiscuous in the process. She also has a background as a Canadian bubblegum-pop star while subscribing to "Guns & Ammo" and exhibiting an impressive knowledge of cigars. It's fun to watch her easily become one of the boys just as often as she's one of the girls, and the moments of in between are what get you most, as she's so often unsure of how to balance romance with her desire to travel and advance in her career field. I'm a faithful canon shipper (Buffy loves Angel, people, did you even watch "Chosen"?) so despite the first two seasons I never latched onto Robin's relationship with Ted as much as some, as it's clear from the pilot they're not going to end up together. But I loved watching the two of them play off each other and juggle their feelings for each other alongside the different desires and priorities they both voices from early on. Robin's just-begun *something* with Barney has a lot of potential to be the next Monica/Chandler--the unexpected couple that just sort of happens and works--but with even less of a mutual idea of how 'normal' relationships should work. In a strange way, they're sort of great for each other.

Quote: "Guideline for Harmonious Living #2: Marijuana is illegal in the United States, yes, even when baked into a blueberry muffin, that someone might mistakenly eat for breakfast, before leaving for their job as a TV newscaster. 'This just in, look at my hand, how weird is my hand?' is not an appropriate thing to say on the air."

Marshall Eriksen, an evolved John Dorian of sorts. Though currently a corporate lawyer with degrees from Wesleyan and Columbia, Marshall is definitely the goofball and the heart of the group. He's reasonably manly (6'4", from Minnesota, former slam-dunk champion) but lives up to his wife Lily's nickname for him, "Marshmallow," with his affection for nightshirts, "Star Wars," the Loch Ness Monster, and Lily, to say nothing of his absolute conviction that robots will eventually overcome us all and belief in ghosts. He serves as the 'angel' on Ted's shoulder in many cases, pointing out when his behavior (as in "No Tomorrow") starts to border on troubling and reminding him (often just by example) of how important and great romance and love can be. After all, his proposing to Lily is what kicks off Ted's roundabout search for the mother of his children. You mostly want to hug this guy, and possibly sing a duet with him. It's also worth speculating when he'll use the remainder of the slaps he owes Barney from their Season 2 "Slap Bet." (He had five and has used three.)

Quote: "Ted, the only people in the universe who haven't seen Star Wars are the characters in Star Wars, 'cause they lived them, Ted. They lived the Star Wars!"

Lily Aldrin, for reasons beyond her being Willow Rosenberg, or the band chick from "American Pie," or relatable because I've been with my dear boyfriend since mid-freshman year of college and we're sort of 'that couple,' too, though with fewer nicknames and adorable rituals (pity, that). She provides a bit of a bumper on the craziness of the group, and is often the "mom," counseling those she's not married to (and sometimes those she is) on various aspects of their lives, mostly romantic. As a kindergarten teacher, she is by turns idealistic bordering of hippie-ish and cynical about her job; in one scene she'll want a beer after having been peed on during the day, and later she'll be encouraging her little angels to soar. That said, Lily, like Robin, can be one of the boys and tends to overshare about her and Marshall's sex life, to amusing results. She's schemed to end a number of Ted' relationships (for his own good, of course). She's also a skilled beer-chugger and speed-eater, although attending therapy for shopping addiction might negate those. Though quirky as anyone else, she is in many ways, aside from Ted, the most believable character on the show. And she does have great clothes.

Quote: "Oh, but Ted, if you get rid of the butterfly [tramp stamp tattoo], how's everyone gonna know you're a stripper from Reno with daddy issues?"

Barney Stinson, the guy made of so much awesome that when he gets sick that's what comes out of his nose. Joey, Samantha, and various other sitcom characters over the years might have racked up their share of conquests, but no one does it like Barney, who among other things has played "Party School Bingo," custom-ordered a champion belt for having a threesome, and designed a bracket to discover which one-night-stand was badmouthing him all over New York. NPH goes at it with such lovable enthusiasm that you want to party with Barney, even when he's misleading drunk blondes into thinking he's from the future, a corporeal ghost, or in fact a lesbian. His humor is generally sarcastic and biting but the others have grown so used to it that they ignore him--which is all the funnier, such as when he spends most of an episode waiting in vain for a high five. Over the series, though, Barney has consistently proven his loyalty to his friends, by finding Robin a job or "teaching" Ted to live or ensuring that Marshall and Lily stay together despite his disdain for relationships and marriage. I found his one-night-stand with Robin in Season 3 a bit of a shocker and did not like it for "friendcest" reasons, but this season Barney/Robin has completely grown on me. I can't wait to see the awkwardness of their fledgling relationship, as they try (or don't) to reign in seeing other people, hide their situation from the others, tell Ted, and so forth. These are two generally confident people, and Barney in particular has rare moments of weakness. Of course, he also has an ex-truck-stop-hooker mother who's told him Bob Barker is his father, a tendency to order from The Sharper Image catalgoue when stressed, and a life-size Stormtrooper in his apartment, so...you gotta love this guy. He's also played by Neil Patrick Harris, which should be enough reason to watch almost anything, including tonight's Tony Awards (also at 8pm on CBS, curiously enough).

And that leaves us with Ted Mosby, our fearless narrator searching for the mother of the title. I think he's like the guy many of us would like to meet (if we've not yet found our respective Marshalls): sweet and funny and together and a little dorky. And genuinely looking for love, although he's definitely not above something short and superficial given the right circumstances. It's of course through his point of view that we see the show's events unfold, and he's such a likable and well-rounded character that you root for him through every mistake and misguided date. You know this guy: even if you aren't crushing on him, you want to set him up with someone great and see them happy together. His narration is present just enough to guide the story and make the flashback format ever so effective; it rarely feels excessive or rote, as "Scrubs" sometimes gives you. He's armed with some wonderfully quirky quirks, like pronouncing words such as "encyclopedia" with extra pomposity, and he's prone to sweetly grand gestures of love, like tracking down a mystery girl he meets at a wedding, learning a rain dance, or, in a moment of the pilot episode that makes me ask, "How can you not love this show?", steals a blue French horn for his date. What's not to love?

Quote (regarding the aforementioned blue instrument): "For you, I would have stolen the whole orchestra."

The half is of course the mother in question. While not every episode directly concerns Ted's meeting her, he claims most of the events impact the person he "needed to become" to meet her. And in the Season 4 finale when everyone takes a literal and metaphorical leap of their own, it's finally almost clear how the events from the pilot episode onward are actually relevant in meeting her. And we know so little about her even now, besides that she went to the party in "No Tomorrow" and that there was a thing with a yellow umbrella. Having bought not one but two yellow umbrellas because of that revelation, I am psyched for Season 5. As Barney says, "It's going to be legen--wait for it, and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of the word is--dary!"

So, what's keeping you from watching? (Seriously, I caught up on this during my horrific sophomore year college semester from hell. No excuses. Play like a champion.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bones: Hopes for Season Five

::waves:: Hi, I'm Kat. Long time watcher, first time writing. Blah blah blah blah.

Mostly I'll be commenting here on all things Joss Whedon, with some Neil Patrick Harris and Broadway celebrities thrown in. (Read: Dollhouse, How I Met Your Mother, Glee...and there may later be a 30 Rock drinking game for every Tony-nominated guest star that appears.)

But as a shared love of Bones brought me to this blog in the first place, I give you my inaugural post with 3 major plot points I hope to see in the early part of the upcoming season. I'm curious what others think of my ideas.

For the record, all of these assume that Booth has amnesia enough not to know who Brennan is. I do think it's feasible that he was just confused at the end of "The End in the Beginning," and either way I'm generally choosing to ignore the bizarre FOX summary for Season 5.

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1) The return of Special Agent Tim "Sully" Sullivan.

It's been a while since we bid farewell to the other FBI agent we love and kind of love to look at. (My love for David Boreanaz knows no bounds, but Eddit McClintock isn't bad.) His world tour was meant to be for a year or so, bringing him back to D.C. sometime in Season 3. I think it's safe to assume, though, given how things ended with Brennan (and his and Angela's presumption that Booth had something to do with it), he wasn't about to drop by the lab for a quick hello.

If Booth is out of commission, as we've seen in the past, the FBI pairs Brennan up with another agent. I don't think she or anyone else is a particular fan of Perotta (especially after the events of "The Hero in the Hold"), so if they want to send someone familiar, Sully's a reasonable choice. This also presents a great opportunity for emotional exploration on Brennan's part. We can revisit her choice not to leave with Sully--even if the line about not wanting to lead a purposeless life checks out, partnering with Booth is a major part of that purpose, no? We can also see Sully questioning her on her personal life; I think he'd have moved on by now (though not, one hopes, directly into marriage and gloating a bit á la Riley Finn on "Buffy") but would still care enough to be curious or encouraging, as the case may be. This opens up one of two doors: first, Brennan ends up inadvertently using him as an awkward emotional soundboard much as other squints (mostly Zack and the interns) have done. Second, a conversation with him leads mid-sentence to a major realization about her relationship with Booth.

I think the former is more likely, depending on Sully's brand of friendly interrogation, but either way his presence would both allow the procedural parts of the show to continue relatively unhindered while forcing Brennan to do some serious introspection. Either way, you know Angela will have a field day with the whole situation.

2) Brennan and Parker bonding.

In "The Critic in the Cabernet," no one mentioned alerting Parker (or at least Rebecca) of Booth's upcoming brain surgery. I can understand not alerting an eight-year-old of his father's possibly life-threatening situation, but don't hospitals usually ask about family in situations like this? Did anyone even call Jared?

If Booth's amnesia persists, though, Parker's going to have to find out eventually. We know he's close with his dad, and he's grown up a bit over the course of the series. Not to mention he has to be pretty tough, between meeting serial killers, finding human fingers in birds' nests, and having a father and an uncle with serious military backgrounds. I don't expect to see Rebecca, as I think she's hooking up with The Lady of the Lake Callie on "Grey's Anatomy" just now. But Parker should make an appearance--perhaps his presence could jog Booth's memory, at least in the minds of his doctors. If Booth can't recognize his own kid, prepare for a heartbreaking moment to end all heartbreakers--surely even amnesiac!Booth wants desperately to make this child happy and to grab onto any shreds of himself that he can.

If Booth really doesn't recognize Brennan, she and Parker have a very fundamental sadness over which to connect. We know they get along and Parker adores her (and is the only other person allowed to call her "Bones"). We also know Brennan was just planning to have Booth's baby--and here she is, presented with just that, but without Booth. She lost her parents once, too, and may know just what to say, like she did to the foster kids she's encountered in the past. It's also one more step toward her being with Booth romantically and more permanently--even if Parker lives primarily with Rebecca, he's still very much part of the Booth "package" (which gives me pause regarding Cam and her children hangups, but that's for another post).

It's also worth considering that Parker is presumably the most important person in Booth's life. Regardless of his feelings for Brennan, this is his only child (nicely paralleled in "Angel" with Connor and Buffy) and as much as I'd like her to be the revealing factor that miraculously brings back his memory, surely Parker will have some kind of role in the process.

3)A very un-Brennan Brennan speech.

This is in part a shipper-loving fangirl's trying to make a fanfiction-esque scene a reality, but given that it's Bones we're talking about, it's not totally out of the realm of possibility. Here's what I picture.

After an episode or two's worth of Booth not being Booth and Brennan crimefighting on her own or with a substitute agent (see above), Brennan gets fed up. She storms into Booth's room. He greets her as Temperance, or Dr. Brennan--nothing familiar. And now she's had enough and launches into a rant:

"It's Bones. You call me Bones...you always call me Bones, whether I like it or not, and you have to call me Bones. And you have to come back. Because Parker wants to grow up to be just like you, and he can't if you're not you. And Sweets is still writing his book, and Jared will still need a big brother after India, and Cam misses you, and Sully doesn't...I can't be Bones if you're not Booth. I can't be Bones without you, and I want to be Bones again."

It's more emotive than she is normally, but extreme times call for extreme measures.

As an alternative, I will accept a variation on a sequence from "Angel." (Spoilers follow.) Angel/Cordelia as a pairing makes my insides curdle, but they do have a poignant moment when she reappears after a mysterious abduction sans memory, just when she and Angel were about to meet and confess feelings (at least on her part). She sees myriad pictures of them together and asks, "Were we in love?" He replies, "All I know is you were my dearest friend." When she gets her memory back, he asks her the same question, and she says, "We were." Of course, a number of other things proceed to get in the way of any consummation, she turns way evil, has sex with his son, and then dies in a mystical coma. But the exchange is a good one.

And if Booth--with the events of "The End in the Beginning," whatever innate instincts he has, and anything that anyone relates to him about his relationship with Brennan--has reason to think they may have been in love, it's a worthy question.

* * * * *

However all of this shakes out, though, I think we'll see some emotional evolution on Brennan's part next season. She needs to take more of a leap than Booth for them to happen as a couple; really facing a future without him will bring out some of that. And I'm sure we can all agree it'll make damn good television.

We officially have 103 days until we find out.

Pushing Daisies: Did It Lack Sustainability?

So this may be an unpopular post, but it needs to be said: Pushing Daisies kind of had it coming.

I've seen and delighted in every single one of this show's episodes. I fell head over heels for the Piemaker, sympathized with Chuck's confusion and frustration over her new lease on life, and thrilled whenever Kristin Chenoweth opened her mouth in song.

But the fate it suffered is not entirely undeserved.

Pushing Daisies would have made a better movie than a television show. I have to say, it peaked in the "Pie-Lette." It had nowhere to go from there. It's never worked as a procedural; whereas Bones still frames itself around cases for the most part, Pushing Daisies has always been about the main characters. The cases are merely a distraction--and almost always the B-story.

The model is cute; the model is not sustainable.

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The crux of the story has always been that Ned brought Chuck back to life. Except after it happened, there's really nowhere to go. They...can't touch each other. The show could only be headed in a couple of directions when it came to the ultimate story. Option One is tragic: Chuck and Ned touch. The most fitting conclusion would have been Ned mortally wounded and Chuck watching, powerless to help him. In his last moments, she would kiss him, and they would both die together. MORBID. Option Two is lame: Loophole. There’s some rule of dead-waking that Ned doesn’t know, like that after five years or something, the curse is lifted and you can touch.

And while in the meantime, the show has never strayed from being cute-cutesy, I’d have to admit that the plotlines have been rather iffy. Olive in the nunnery? Ned bringing Chuck’s dad back from the dead? Come on.

Watching last week’s episode was a perfect example. It was cute, it had Olive singing (Lionel Richie’s “Hello”), and it involved Chuck and Ned putting winter attire to good use (and thus being adorable). But it ultimately did very little to advance the plot. Olive’s over Ned now? Haven’t we already done this? A couple of times?

So, yes, Pushing Daisies would have made a much better film. The drama and whimsy of this show would have worked much better contained to a finite timeframe. Imagine all the goodness of this show--with none of the filler. And seriously, it has a LOT of filler.

While we’re on the subject, there are several shows that would’ve made better movies.

Mae says Heroes would’ve made a better movie. The main conflict of the series was solved by the first season finale, and she argues that the subsequent plotline didn’t compare. (I’ve heard it’s had a resurrection as of late, but I’ve never been a viewer, so I can’t really say.)

My greatest example of “would’ve made a better movie” is Jack and Bobby. I just rewatched the pilot on thewb.com and cried my freaking eyes out. But while this is easily one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen, it gives away the biggest secret of the series--and the only one that really matters. That pilot is so moving and touching; the characters are so nicely developed and beautifully pivot about each other, but there’s just really nowhere to go when the only thing you’re really pushing toward is the death of your lead character.

A good television serial drama has to have a model that exists beyond the pilot. What separates a good pilot from a good film is the notion of sustainability--that you can spend years with these people and still have more to learn, and that their status quo will have changed. You have to be working toward something. And Pushing Daisies, lovely at is is/was, just never had that.