Monday, December 22, 2008

"What the Hell is Going On?": New Promo Pics and Synopses!

Listen to this hilarity:

Caroline: [Saw the new information, stresses about WHAT DOES IT MEAN?] So it begins, huh? "Welcome to the wonderful world of not knowing what the hell's going on.
Mae: That's actually the name of the show in many other countries: "What the hell is going on?"
Caroline: Seriously?
Mae: Should be. It is in my own little world, i know that for a fact.

Dark's got new synopses for the first two episodes of a little show we call Lost, and I'm stressed about speccing. So it begins, indeed.

Here are the new promo pics--they don't give much away.

The synopses are way more interesting:

For 5x01, "Because You Left":


The remaining island survivors start to feel the effects of the aftermath of moving the island, and Jack and Ben begin their quest to reunite the Oceanic 6 in order to return to the island with Locke's body in an attempt to save their former fellow castaways.

Okay, so this shines a little light on who has to go back to the island: the Oceanic Six and Locke. And what does that mean, "start to feel the effects caused by the island being moved"? Seems like it means "start traveling awkwardly through time," judging by the other spoilers we've heard.

As for whose centricity this is? (I'm holding onto the fact that, even if it's not so much flashback/flashforward in nature, there will still be centricity in some way, shape, or form.) Sounds like a left-behinder. Juliet? Or maybe it's Locke. Show how he ended up in that coffin. Maybe.

For 5x02, "The Lie":


Michelle Rodriguez Guest Stars as Ana Lucia

Hurley and Sayid are on the run from the cops after stumbling into trouble at the safehouse; the island survivors come under attack by unknown forces; and an old friend offers some shocking advice to Kate in order to ensure that "the lie" remain a secret.

Definitely sounds like Kate-centric, if only because it's called "The Lie" and the synopsis alludes to Kate and this aforementioned lie.

Which sounds like The Aaron Lie.

Mae and I were sitting here a few minutes ago trying to think of what (and who!) this might me.

'Cause "an old friend" sounds like Cassidy, but the guest cast list looks complete and doesn't include Kim Dickens.

Obviously, the release mentions Ana-Lucia, but what would she really have to say to Kate? It's not Claire, we don't think, because we know Emilie de Ravin's not supposed to be around this season. For fluffy Jaby reasons, we'd love for it to be a pregnant Penny Widmore, saying Jack and Kate should have another baby, but we (A) don't think this is very plausible and (B) don't see how this would help keep the lie a secret.

But we know that Kate needs convincing for her to make it back to the island. And, much as it pains me to say it, Cassidy and Ana-Lucia seem like they could work at convincing Kate, if only as The Other Women Who've Done The Unthinkable.

I mean, "shocking advice" could just mean "go back to the island, Kate," right?

Oh, man.

Seriously--welcome to the wonderful world of not knowing what the hell is going on.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bones: Hi-Res Photos Spell LOTS of "Trouble"

QFemale at the LJ comm 206_bones has hi-res versions of the promo shots for "Double Trouble in the Panhandle."

Knowing they were playing married couple Buck and Wanda Moosejaw, I was clearly looking for the Moosejaws' wedding rings. In this shot, you can clearly see both Booth and Brennan's left hands, and they are decidedly unadorned. But this picture also looks like it's from the "day-after recovery scene" we so often see, with Booth and Brennan laughing off a particularly ridiculous case. (I'd compare it to the above scene from "The Mummy in the Maze.")

Here it is:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It makes sense--they're obviously all askew in the light of day, having a cup of coffee by the trailer and thinking about the silliness of their jobs. (The FBI! Such a lark! What a giggle!*)

But if that was the case, then why is Brennan still in that costume? Because it does not by any means look comfortable, and if I was her, I'd have long since given in and validated that old Booth-and-Brennan-naked-in-bed-together rumor about 12 hours ago.

Maybe they have to stay up all night doing paperwork. Maybe Booth just really likes the outfit.

In any case, have a look at those pics. They are of the ridiculous and make me very excited for the season's back half. Yay spring!

* At a White House event I was at recently, the Chief of Correspondence told a story about Ronald Reagan and what sounded a lot like Flat Stanley. Apparently President Reagan's response to receiving the thing, whatever it was, was "Such a lark! What a giggle!" I love that.

The Office: Let RingWatch '09 Commence!

The question is--how do Jim and Pam avoid what happened to the Vances happening to them?

Everyone--including the notoriously dense Kristin dos Santos--is speculating that a casting notice for a 50-year-old male relative of Pam's is, in fact, Pam's dad, hired to walk her down the aisle at a wedding to that one guy with the floppy hair.

While I would love to see Jim and Pam's wedding during February sweeps, I kind of doubt it'll happen quite so soon. I mean, yes, Jim says he's aware that Pam didn't want a long engagement ("something about a guy who used to work here"), but do we really foresee them getting married in, like, six episodes time? There haven't been any storylines about wedding planning yet--and that's something you'd think the writers would want to milk, right?

There are a few ways of looking at this.

1. It's The Office and I haven't been able to accurately predict anything correctly since I guessed Jan would get pregnant last season. Jim and Pam's brilliantly traditional-for-real-life/untraditional-for-television relationship has had me flummoxed since the moment Jim said "It's a date."

2. A significant amount of the relationship focus--and the entire amount of the "wedding" focus--this season has been on Andy and Angela. It could be funny if Jim and Pam have been taking advantage of having the spotlight on Andy and Angela to plan a quiet wedding--maybe even one that doesn't involve Michael Scott (gasp!).

3. I feel more comfortable speculating that Pam's dad is arriving not to walk her down the aisle but to have a few pre-wedding words with Mr. Halpert. I mean, fanon (and common sense) says that Mrs. Beesly is whoa charmed by Jim. (Canonically, we know that Mrs. Beesly was interested to meet Jim, as evidenced by her "Which one is Jim?" comment in "Sexual Harassment.") But what if Mr. Beesly is not quite so keen on his daughter's fiance? The casting notice stipulates that he might look similar to Roy, meaning perhaps Mr. B and Roy were likethis, making Jim really not the kind of guy he anticipated Pam ending up with.

And, you know, Jim joked about planning a future for him and Pam that he wants Pam's parents to "be psyched about," but I'm sure their approval does mean a great deal to our favorite Big Tuna.

So my hunch is that maybe Pam's dad is not so stoked about Jim, whom I imagine a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy would consider a smartass. And then, hopefully, it could all end with Mr. B offering a big ol' guy hug and a "Welcome to the family" to his new son-in-law.

Or I'm totally overthinking this again and Pam's parents will just be head-over-heels for Jim.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lost: If There's a Secret Message Hidden in These Promo Pics, I Don't See It

Making their way around the internets are some cast promotional photos for season five of Lost. Individual shots of the actors in character posing, looking at the camera. Not a big deal.

Except this year, ABC is being a huge hardass about these shots, making them a pretty hot commodity on the Lost black market. That's fine, I guess. It's not like we don't know how to outsmart Darlton and the network (cough LostFan108 cough). But it strikes me as a little odd that they've gone to such great lengths to get these pics off the internet.

I mean, they are supposed to be promotional pictures, right?

There are a couple reasons I can think of for why ABC's cracking down so hard.

1. They're spoilerish inasmuch as they tell you who's in the cast. Note: There aren't shots of Daniel Dae Kim or Emilie de Ravin, perhaps lending a note to the fates of Jin and Claire.

2. There are SO many shots for each actor, that maybe they're not supposed to be out at all yet. Some of them are kind of awkward-looking; maybe the photo experts are still working on whittling these down to the best of the bunch.

3. They're really effing weird. Here are a few I snagged last night:

I mean, what the hell? For starters, what's with all the props? And why is Sawyer all dressed up? And why is Ben striking such a sexy pose? It's all really freaking me out.

But is there really anything hidden in these photos that ABC folks really shouldn't want us to see? Doubtful. If there is, I'm not figuring it out.

What ARE interesting are the behind-the-scenes photos Dark posted today.

Perhaps most exciting are those sexy jumpsuits.

You know, it's funny, because scrubs are notoriously unflattering, but shows like Grey's Anatomy and ER get tailored scrubs made for the actors so they end up looking super-sexy in them. (Shonda Rhimes says theirs come with lycra, an essential fabric ingredient.) Leave it to Lost, though, to forego any sexifying ingredients in those swank DHARMA jumpsuits. Evangeline Lilly would look adorable in a paper sack, but that jumpsuit isn't doing anything for Elizabeth Mitchell.

Then there's Sawyer, clearly wearing a jumpsuit that says "LeFleur, Head of Security."

1. I suppose this means that the episode "LeFleur"/"LaFleur" is Sawyer-centric. Unfortunate for me, but I guess since he's had exactly as many centric episodes as Juliet, who's been in fewer than half as many episodes as The Future Mr. Juliet, he's sort of due.

2. Normally, I'd jump to the conclusion that Sawyer just grabbed a random jumpsuit. But Juliet's jumpsuit identifies her as "Juliet, Motor Pool."

3. Someone didn't accurately read the results of the career aptitude test. Having Sawyer as Head of Security is like having Sayid as Head of the Party Planning Committee.

You know, I have total faith that Jack and Kate will figure things out, and it's obvious that they'll figure out a way to get back to the island. While I am so excited to see them come back together--I'm super-jazzed about Jorge Garcia's insistence that the Oceanic Six, facing complications, will have to split into teams, giving the Lie!Fam some quality time together--I think my greatest excitement for the new season is seeing what's been happening on the island.

(Read: I can't wait to see Suliet in action.)

Thanks to DarkUFO for the pics!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Hills: Lauren and the Gang Utilize the Frozen Donkey Wheel

Um, what?

Okay, so, on August 27th, reports surfaced that Whitney Port had relocated to New York and started working at Diane von Furstenberg. This news came almost three months after it was announced that Whitney was getting her own spin-off of The Hills. Getting a fancy new job seemed like an important part of the plan.

Then, in late November, US Magazine got the exclusive story that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt had gotten married in Mexico.

So my roommate and I were a little confused, to say the least, when these two events were highlighted in the same episode of The Hills.

We can excuse some fudgery for the sake of season finale time, but that doesn't excuse the fact that, like, Stephanie Pratt showed up at Audrina's the same day of Whit's going-away party to talk about how Spencer and Heidi had just disappeared without telling anyone.

I mean, yeah, we all know the show's fake, but the timeline just doesn't make any sense.

The way I see it, one of these things happened:

1. Heidi and Spencer are way sneakier than anyone ever thought, and actually got married around the same time as Whitney moved to New York.

2. The wedding was TOTALLY planned, because (as has been reported), The Hills was on filming hiatus, so Spencer and Heidi called the cameras anyway. Producers had to shove that footage in with something else, so they filmed some random scenes with Justin-Bobby and Lo and everybody saying "Hey, I wonder what's going on with Spencer and Heidi."

3. Lauren used the frozen donkey wheel to transport herself from Whitney's party in August to late November.

Well, numbers one and three seem equally implausible, so I'm going to go with door number two.

Which means, in all likelihood, that the most brilliant line of the evening--Justin-Bobby's "Maybe you should put up fliers"--was probably practiced. The whole episode felt practiced, didn't it? Lots of that awkward exposition that accompanies those things on The Hills that you just freaking KNOW are faked.

This is just a little too egregious for my tastes, though.

Because do they really think that people don't read gossip blogs? If they didn't, they wouldn't have felt the need to hurry and show everyone the Super Secret Speidi Wedding Footage, because without Perez, we wouldn't have even known that existed, right?

Speaking of that footage, what the hell?

Isn't it weird that they showed us footage of Spencer and Heidi seemingly getting wasted on tequila shots, seemingly getting up to get drunkenly married in Mexico in the middle of the night, and seemingly waking up hungover and married the next morning--BUT THE WEDDING FOOTAGE ON SPENCER'S CAMCORDER SHOWED A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STORY?

Because seriously, if you're going to get drunk!married in Mexico, who has time to buy a bridal gown? And matching (expensive-looking) rings? And flowers?

Oh, and while we're at it, WHY WAS THE WEDDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY?

Again, I'm okay with The Hills being fake. But this episode just didn't even try to maintain a grasp on the "reality" part of reality television. Everyone had fake smiles, like they knew they were trying to pull a fast one on us and it wasn't working. Heidi even looked into the camera in one moment, which no one ever does. It was like watching really bad live theatre.

And Heidi and Spencer are married. Which doesn't make matters any better.

The West Wing: This is What Josh Lyman Would Call "Switching Parties"

First of all, check out this sweet new layout! We're still working out the kinks, but I can't say I'm not pleased. Snaps for Mae, the reluctant XHTML expert!

So, I'm finally moving to a new apartment in January, as soon as I get back from Christmas vacation in Georgia, which meant that I had to go ahead and pack up all my junk because after tomorrow night, I won't be spending any more nights in this apartment. A tear of sadness rolls down my face as the sound of a fire engine and a car alarm blare in the distance. And since it's finals, I went ahead and packed up the non-essentials last week, including most of my DVDs. (I know, I know, how could my boxed sets ever be considered non-essential?)

So the only boxes I left out were the Lost DVDs necessary to keep going with 108 Days in 108 Days and two seasons of The West Wing.

I was really into this show when it was on, a loyal viewer throughout seasons five, six, and seven, when the quality was severely lacking. It's not a series I often return to, and, in fact, my season six boxed set is still in plastic wrap in my bedroom in Atlanta.


Anyway, during the series' run, I was a serious Josh/Donna shipper. I watched it with my high school BFF, and we both were extreme followers of their relationship. This meant, of course, despising Amy Gardner, the only serious love interest (besides arguably Donna) Josh had throughout the run.

In the last four years or so, I've learned a lot:

1. Amy Gardner is awesome, and I basically want to be her.
2. Josh definitely should have ended up with Amy, not Donna.
3. My high school BFF was certifiably insane.

For starters, Amy just kicked a whole lot of political ass. I'm sure part of the reason why Aaron Sorkin wrote the character was that he knew the cast at the time included only three women, one of whom was Donna who, let's face it, wasn't winning any awards for feminism following Josh around for years on end. Because we can talk about her not getting Josh coffee and calling him names, but at the end of the day, Donna was usually around so that Josh could explain political complexities to the audience without staring directly into the camera.

The choice was pretty obvious there, Mr. Sorkin: we're lacking in women; let's hire Mary-Louise Parker to play a feminist lobbyist.

Amy really doesn't take Josh's crap. She's his intellectual and professional equal, and she doesn't hide behind years of misdirection and silly girl behavior. She shows up at Josh's brownstone and kisses him; she tells Josh she's broken up with her Congressman boyfriend; she breaks up with Josh when he gets her fired.

When I was a Josh/Donna shipper, I loved that scene in "Commencement" where Donna calls out Amy on not understanding Josh. Donna dispenses a reality about Josh's psyche (that he "doesn't leave people") and Amy, taken aback, asks Donna, "Are you in love with Josh?"

When I watched this episode during a particularly heinous bout of procrastination, I took a different approach. It felt more like Donna being overly doe-eyed about her boss and Amy calling Donna out on that.

Because in one of her very early appearances, Amy pretty accurately pinpoints Josh as someone who does leave, whenever he gets uncomfortable, calling him "Hit-and-Run Josh."

Josh and Amy's banter is better than Josh and Donna's. Amy challenges and frustrates and allures Josh in a way that Donna never did. In fact, the more I watch in my enlightened state of being, the more the Josh/Donna relationship feels siblingish.

Apparently, Bradley Whitford is inclined to agree with me.

Mary-Louise recounts their filming her first episode: "He came running up to me, saying, 'I love her! I love her! Can we keep her?' And I said, 'Well, OK, if you promise to walk her and feed her and everything'."

Bradley contends to this day that he would have preferred his character end up with Amy instead of Donna.

Yes, I have spent the last two and a half years satisfied with Josh and Donna ending up together, but I'm taking it back. It's hard to feel disappointed at this point, so removed from my shipperdom, but now I wish John Wells & Co. had had the balls to do the right thing and have Josh end up with Amy. Then I could be content that Mr. Lyman would be entertained, intellectually stimulated, and never chided for coming home late. At the time, it was nice to think that Donna could settle Josh down and raise precious little blonde Jewish baby girls with him, but would that have been true to the character?

Not really.

And my best friend from high school can suck it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mid-Season Report Card: The Office

Show: The Office.

Excels At: Once again being consistently funny. I contest that, in seasons one and two, The Office was cashing in on the hilarity of inanity--the everyday ridiculous crap that goes on in typical offices. By the time season three rolled around, those story ideas were running out, and so instead of seeing episodes about healthcare benefits and Take Your Daughter to Work Day, they were writing eps about bird funerals and Benjamin Franklin impersonators. And even though season four brought the Jim and Pam, the Michael stories were exceedingly painful.

This season, however, I'm thrilled to see that they've compensated for the lack of typical-office-antics plotlines with brilliant story arcs like Michael's new girlfriend Holly is the female version of Michael, Angela is cheating on Andy with Dwight, and Jim and Pam have a totally normal relationship.

Needs Improvement: I know you've heard this already, but PLEASE bring back Holly. She made Michael tolerable, finally. Remember when Michael made the Schindler's List parody joke and immediately followed it with "That was inappropriate?" It was, and he never would have realized that pre-Holly. Also, I don't find the awkward-to-the-point-of-painful humor to be as funny as basic laughable situations. I will always love "Safety Training" more than "Dinner Party."

Interpersonal Dynamics: Jim and Pam as happily-engaged is one of the best things I've ever seen, ship-wise, on television. I'm also so entertained by the Andy/Angela/Dwight love triangle and am waiting on a resolution. I'm really hoping for a May-sweeps Jam wedding, and the only thing potentially standing in the way (as always) are Andy Bernard and his stupid plans.

Particularly Notable: My favorite moment so far this season has been from "The Surplus"--Pam trying to butter Michael up with remarks about his sexiness. Her "There's that ass! Aww, don't take it away!" was amazing.

Pay Attention To: I feel like there are a lot of people who could pop up at this point and ruin everything: Roy, Karen (who's rumored to be appearing in an episode this season), Art School Alex, Jan, Todd Packer. Will any of these people show up in the future?

Next Semester: Okay, Jim and Pam, can you at least set a date? And it's time to shake things up again with the storylines. The ones you've got going are great, but the thrill that "Goodbye, Toby" brought is starting to wear off.

Overall Grade: An appreciative A-.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mid-Season Report Card: Fringe

We fangirls are taking on a little challenge this winter--giving progress reports on our favorite shows as we careen into the "spring semester." With February sweeps just around the corner, we figured it's about time to take stock of where we are now, where we're headed, and what might need some work. First up...

Show: Fringe.

Excels At: Scaring the bejesus out of me. Fringe is completely terrifying week-to-week. I feel like I could write a thesis about how The X-Files represented the fears Americans had of government in the 90's (conspiracy, information-withholding), 24 represented the fears we had in the new millennium (state-sponsored terrorism), and Fringe represents the fears of the future (science turning against humanity, bioterrorism).

My interest is consistently piqued. What's the deal with the apple? What was in that space pod that looked like Eve? What happened to Peter as a little kid?

Needs Improvement: Decide whether you want to be a serial drama or a procedural. Right now, it's feeling like a procedural (which is good! I like!), but not a single episode has really felt totally self-contained. This huge mystery is being created--apples, Little Hill, John Scott, Olivia's stepfather--but it's seriously lacking in cohesion at this point. Either take a step back and just have the team solve freaky-ass crimes or dive in and start having them investigate the root cause: The Pattern, the Observer, Massive Dynamic.

Interpersonal Dynamics: I'm falling in love with Peter Bishop, and he's definitely getting curious about Olivia. The show hasn't turned the ship volume up very high yet--making it feel very much like the slow burn of Sydney/Vaughn in season one--because they've kind of had bigger fish to fry as of late. With Olivia's abduction (and inevitable ultimate rescue), I'd love to see a little development in the ship department--a first hug, perhaps?

Particularly Notable: I really loved the last episode, "Safe," which seemed to bring a lot of elements together (finally!). I was quite fond of Peter's line, "You violated the laws of physics, and Mother Nature's a bitch." He's my favorite.

Pay Attention To: Charlie is Agent Francis; John was Agent Scott. Anybody else feeling like there's gotta be a Key around here somewhere?

Next Semester: Time to rescue Olivia! Hopefully we'll get insight into how her brain can be disconnected from John's once and for all, a more cohesive track to this fascinating (but disjointed) story, and--please!-- storylines for Astrid and/or Charlie.

Overall Grade: A solid B.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gossip Girl: No. Happy. Couples. EVER.

It’s been two days and I still don’t know whether I loved or hated Monday night’s Gossip Girl. Like last season’s finale, there was a ton of angst and drama and twisty-ness. And also like that finale, things were looking good for every couple on the show… before it all crashed and burned by the end of the hour.

I get the dilemma of the Humphrey/Van der Woodsen quadrangle. It would be creepy to pair up both children and parents and then your boyfriend is also your stepbrother. And if I had to choose only one ‘ship – Rufus/Lily or Dan/Serena – well, that would be an impossible choice to make. Of course, this episode crushed all of our dreams, so right now nobody wins.

They’ve left a tiny bit up in the air, but let’s assume that Lily had Rufus’ baby and gave it up for adoption. I’m not thrilled with GG going this route three months after the new 90210 did it. We don’t need a little Rufus or Lily showing up during sweeps and being all sweet to its new parents and half-siblings, only to be revealed to have sinister motives. While I have no doubt that GG would do that story a thousand times better, we’ve still been there and done that. At least, those of us who spend too much time on the CW have.

P.S. A tip for you, Lily and Rufus. Stop making plans to meet up with each other and run off for a weekend away. Something will always happen and you will never make it out of the city. The only time you two managed to hook up? It was spontaneous and in New York. That’s the only way it’s going to work.

And then there’s Dan/Serena/Aaron. S & D are totally still in love and they both know it. Aaron is gross and they both sort of know that, too. I would hope that Serena lands in Buenos Aires with an inbox full of text messages like “It’s okay! My dad hates your mom! We can be together again!” But we’ll see.

Unfortunately, Aaron’s now a legitimate part of the show, as Blair’s stepbrother. Go back to RISD, Aaron, please! Or make yourself over in the vein of the book version of Aaron Rose, at least. If you’re going to continue to be on the show in any capacity, take pity on the audience and shave your horrible little facial hair.

Last but not least, Chuck and Blair. Chuck was pretty damn brutal this week, to everyone. And, okay, he’s entitled to some of it in his grief. But what did Eric ever do to you, buddy? I’m not a hardcore Blair/Chuck fangirl, but they’re definitely hot when they’re together and entertaining when they’re not. But I’m sick of being jerked around when it comes to them. They’ve gotten almost-but-not-quite together about a dozen times already this season and it’s only been thirteen episodes. Blair was right – she’d have to be a masochist to put up with any more of this. Man up, Chuck. Do your little suicidal rooftop dance in the next episode, have a nice breakdown, then grow up and get with Blair for real.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When Wikipedia is Insufficient: The Lie!Fam, Blood Transfusions, and Massive Confusion

In the two-minute clip from the premiere of Lost, in which we learn that Kate still keeps pictures of her ex-fiance prominently displayed in her home, our heroine must act fast when her blood and Aaron's are requested by some lawyers. Set aside the fact that the firm's name (Agostini and Norton) feels like it should anagram into something and you're still left with something pretty problematic for Kate and her pretend son.

And then I wondered--

Why can't she get Jack's? As he so politely alluded to in "Something Nice Back Home," Jack, unlike Kate, is blood-related to Aaron.

In Athena Alexandria's lovely new spec!fic, "Sanctuary," she posits that the leukocytes (white blood cells) would show that Kate's blood was inherently "male," and therefore, um, not hers.

I don't know if she researched this. Wikipedia's page on DNA testing didn't address this specific issue (which is surprising, since I'm sure it's SO common), but it stands to reason that if you look at a person's chromosomes, there's going to be an XX or XY situation going on there.

Okay, that makes sense to me.

But then how could you get a blood transfusion? They don't have to make sure that you get "female" blood if you're female or "male" blood if you're male, right? Does your body turn that blood into blood with your DNA on it somehow? Or is it just assumed that the ratio of transfused blood to own personal blood is such that it would never really be a problem? Or could you hypothetically have a blood transfusion when you're five, be involved in a custody battle when you're thirty, and be disproven as your kid's dad because they happened to grab a white blood cell that belongs to someone else and has been zooming through your circulatory system for the last twenty-five years?

::Screams in frustration.::

In any case, I really like the speculation over in the comment section on a recent Dark post that Kate shows up wherever she shows up at (Sun's? Cassidy's?) to drop off Aaron for a little while, then goes to meet Jack. It's really hard to go on A-Missions and raise a kid at the same time. It would also explain why we've seen filming reports that involve Jack and Kate--and not Aaron.

Dana Scully looks at me and says, "I told you so."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bones: Pile of Anvils Leading to...What, Exactly?

Spoilers for upcoming episodes of Bones.

Fact: We've seen Parker--and talked about Parker--more this season than in seasons past.

Fact: We know that, in an upcoming episode, Brennan decides she wants to have a baby with Booth.

Fact: We're seeing Booth's house a few times in upcoming episodes.

Let's put some pieces together, shall we?

Brennan is going to shock the hell out of Booth by telling him she'd like for him to father her child. Now, I think we can all probably surmise how this is going to go down. This is Bones, there are very few overarching season-long story arcs, and I highly doubt that a baby will actually result from the (almost positively entertaining) conversations they'll have in "The Salt in the Wounds." Yes, there will be some Booth/Brennan development, because he'll have to explain to her why he doesn't want to have a baby with her in that kind of way: the next kid he has, he wants it to be with someone he's going to be with forever (Brennan), who he's madly in love with (Brennan), and who's gonna need him to be around a lot to be on dad duty (Brennan).

I guarantee you that the underlying tone of this episode will be "Booth wants to have children with Brennan, but he wants to do so as Mom and Dad, not as Mom and Sperm Donor."

Yeah, it's great, but it's not going to do much for the plot.

You know what would advance the plot, provide Booth and Brennan opportunities to do cute parent-y things together, and (more importantly) doesn't require a nine-month waiting period?

Booth gets full custody of Parker.

There are really only two ways for this to happen. And neither is very pretty.

#1: The Reese Benton Situation. Carla dies, leaving Peter and Cleo to take care of the kid.

#2: The Gigi Hayden Situation. Sherry becomes a huge flake and leaves her baby to move to France. Christopher is left to clean up the mess, and Lorelai helps. (PS, Leigh, I get major points for remembering that kid's name.)

I could definitely see a season finale revolving around Rebecca's death. Booth and Brennan solve the case (duh, she'd be murdered--perfect high-drama crime for a season finale) and simultaneously deal with emotional family drama. Brennan is helpful because she knows what it's like to lose a parent. Booth is nervous about being able to be a good dad by himself, but of course realizes that he's not really going to be by himself. Cue end of episode, where Booth and Brennan tuck Parker into bed in his new house.

Okay, it's kind of depressing.

But it sets up a future wherein things are quite different for our favorite partners.

For one, they'll be even more involved in each other's personal lives, making it even harder for them to date other people. And why would you even want to when you've got this cozy ready-made family going on?

For another, raising Parker can stir up lots of drama for Booth, Brennan, and their respective Daddy Issues.

And, finally, Parker is freaking adorable. Who doesn't want to see more of those three interacting?

What do you think? Plausible?

Friday, December 5, 2008

30 Rock: Pardon Me While I Diverge Into Feminist Goofiness

I'm a huge fan of Google Reader. I check it every time I check my email. (For those who don't know, Google Reader is a service that allows you to stream all of your RSS blog feeds through one beautiful applet, so you can read all your blogs throughout the day without having to visit, in my case, 53 different Web sites.)

I'm a women's studies major, and a lot of my classmates are obsessed with Jezebel, a blog about "celebrity, sex, and fashion for women." I've resisted subscribing until now, because they post, like, 100 times a day, and that's pushing it, even for my blog-obsessed heart. I work really hard to keep a good balance on my Google Reader, and between Dark's updated Lost set pictures and posts from my favorite ABC News political correspondent, I just don't have time for all that girl crap.

But this week I caved, maybe because I was bored at work or with my other blogs or whatever. Maybe I was just feeling left out.

In any case, they had a post this week about Tina Fey, who's on the cover of Vanity Fair this week, looking super-hot.

In a post titled "Would Tina Fey Be a Star If She Still Looked Like This?", the Jezebel writers talk about the unconquerable relationship between celebrity and hotness.

(What's nice about having a blog like Jezebel that has thousands of readers is you can basically not say much of anything in your posts, and then leave it to the commenters to kill each other.)

And what I was frustrated by was not that they said that, yeah, it would have basically impossible for Tina Fey to become a celebrity without her mid-90's makeover, but that they didn't talk at all about what Liz Lemon looks like.

'Cause she cleans up good (like last night in "Reunion"), but she's usually pretty underdone, casual, and average-looking. Honestly, she looks a lot like I do. And I swear I've had my glasses since before 30 Rock came on the air.

Yeah, Tina Fey is hot--in both the sexy definition and the "currently very famous" definition--but she's not using it to say that girls should get liposuction and breast implants--or even that women and girls should look the way she does with no effort. Last night, Jack told Liz, "You found a hairstyle that works for you so long as it’s not too humid." That's what normal girls do when they grow up. This semester, I discovered hair product and eyeliner.

So even if you think Tina Fey sold out, I for one am really glad that she did. Liz Lemon is giving a face and a voice to girls who work their asses off, are no longer ashamed of their nerdiness, and, yeah, sit at home talking television at 10:00 on a Friday night.

Did that sound too much like a personal therapeutic rant? Sorry. Carter out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Action on the Bench: Second-String OTPs and the Fangirls Who Love Them

In light of recent developments, Leigh and I spoke briefly this evening about Hodgins and Angela from Bones. Now, we know there are a lot of folks out there who are really invested in these two, and we have to say—we’re kind of not. It’s not that we’re rooting against them, necessarily, and we definitely find some of their “moments” pretty sweet, but at the end of the day, we’re in it for the Booth and the Brennan. It got me thinking about other “second-string” couples over the years, and how they sometimes sort of fizzle (think: most of the couples on Grey’s Anatomy, Weiss and Nadia on Alias...) and sometimes become our favorite couples of all time—the ones discussed in this blog.

Let’s start with an obvious one: The Office’s Dwight and Angela. The bizarre tales of these two may not be the only reason why I tune in every week, but they definitely keep me laughing—and intrigued. I never know what in the world Angela wants, but I definitely would love to see her figure things out with Dwight. They’re just too weird not to work, frozen cats and all.

I don’t know how many of y’all watched Sports Night, but Jeremy and Natalie are a pretty archetypal second-string couple. Most of the will-they-or-won’t-they tension belonged to Casey and Dana, but these two had the most consistently sweet and romantically interesting storylines Aaron Sorkin has ever written. They also follow a relatively consistent rule of second-stringers: they break up when it’s time for the drama to happen between the starter couples. Once Casey and Dana’s relationship drama picked up in the second season, Jeremy and Natalie broke up (for a while, at least).

Notice that the same thing happened to Dwight and Angela circa the beginning of season four. As a more serious follower of starter couples, I sometimes find myself a little excited when the secondary couples split, as it often means there’s good stuff ahead for my OTPs. On the flipside, it makes double dates really difficult.

Lost’s Charlie and Claire are also a pretty good example. Notice that their tension begins in mid-season two, around the same time things get more flirty for Jack and Kate. Ultimately, though, it’s the peanut butter lovers who get to do the overtly romantic things—like calling “meeting you” the best moment of his life. But, you know, one of ‘em ends up dead and the other one gets her baby stolen by my OTP. Hi-yoh!

Around here, we’re really fond of Grey’s Anatomy’s Izzie and Alex. Who doesn’t love how these two bring out the best in each other, and that week-to-week, we really get to see them try to figure things out? Okay, maybe not so much for her right now with the Denny sex, but she is working at it, kind of, and he told her he loves her! I almost hesitate to call these two second-stringers, because with the lack of attention being paid to Derek and Meredith right now, Izzie and Alex are pretty much pulling the romantic storyline weight around here. And, let’s face it, Alex’s adorableness was the saving grace of tonight’s episode. Pretty soon, they’ll be the only reason I watch this show.

Because that’s what I have trouble understanding. It’s the same problem I have with those of you who watch Lost and hate Jack—why bother watching when this character that you despise is such a prominent and integral part of the series? How could you stand it? I tolerate Sawyer because he’s only had three centric episodes in the entire series! Jack’s my man, and he’s had NINE. Three times as many!

So for this, we’ll go to Mae, who, as you may be aware, is right now going through a pretty intense period of love for Chase and Cameron on House. I asked her and her friend Michelle why they can watch 22 episodes a year knowing there’s going to be a cumulative eight minutes of Chase/Cam. No seriously! Mae talked for MONTHS about “The Itch” before it aired and all that happened was that she gave him a drawer! (She assures me that the episode actually meant a lot more than that.)

Michelle says, “I watch for them because I think it's far more interesting to watch a relationship formed of little nuanced moments.” I guess she doesn’t need to get beaten over the head with ship all the time, which one would upon watching Bones.

She says, “They’re quirky. It's not the traditional love story, as it can't be in House-verse. Everything's a little bit backwards and a little bit reversed, and never quite what we expect it to be.” It fits their universe.

“Also, they're pretty together.”

Mae calls them “endlessly fascinating,” saying, “I'm always fascinated watching two screwed up people realize that they balance each other out and that, together, they're actually not that screwed up at all.”

No, seriously, she loves them.

And, finally, the best second-string OTP of all time...Monica and Chandler. I have such affection for these two, who first hooked up at the end of season four and never broke up. The next six seasons chronicled their awkward beginnings and sneaking around (“We know, but they don’t know we know they know we know!”) to their marriage, infertility, and ultimate adoption of twins. I often wonder how shows like Friends convince themselves that they can’t write established coupledom for Ross and Rachel without destroying the show, while simultaneously writing some of the best relationship storyline of all time.

Second-stringers often become the glorious consolation prize to the delayed consummation of a show’s OTP. Booth and Brennan can’t hook up for another three years? Here, have some Hodgela. Ross just married Emily even though he said Rachel’s name during his vows? Now introducing Mondler! So while they sometimes have to play second fiddle, we often get to see even more development for these couples while we wait (sometimes for as long as six years!) for something to happen for the starters.

And, no, Hodgins and Angela are never going to be enough for me. It’s gotta be Booth and Brennan, and if you told me I could have Booth and Brennan together tomorrow if Hodgins and Angela, like, were given Angela and Hodgins repellant, respectively, I’d be purchasing that in bulk.

Bones, Alias, and the Art of Getting Buried Alive

Goodness, when are we going to get hi-res versions of those promotional shots that came out yesterday afternoon?

I, for one, am dying.

I was in class last night, surreptitiously checking my Google Reader when my teacher’s back was turned, when I saw the pics from “Hero in the Hold” were up on Dark.

I could barely contain my excitement, but managed to do so until class was dismissed (ten minutes late, might I add) and I could call Leigh from the hallway of the business building.


First of all, the episode will air January 22 and is labeled 4x13, making the January 15 episode (undoubtedly “Fire in the Ice”) 4x12.

As Leigh posted last night, all is right with the world.

Secondly, damn.

We keep getting this stuff right.

As more and more information trickles in about this episode, it continues to shock me that the Chaos in General initial speculation and squee seems to be coming true.

Because I don’t want to make a claim on something when these pictures are so decidedly low-res, but that sure looks like Brennan in formalwear with a trench over it. I mean, check out those earrings! Either she and Booth (and, from the looks of it, Cam and Angela) were at a fancy function, or she is way done up for work.

I no longer believe that they’re going to kiss in this episode, given what Hart Hanson said about keeping the audience (and Booth and Bones) perennially frustrated, but I am not rescinding my assertion that this episode is going to bring serious forward motion for these characters. Leigh and I spent almost an hour last night speccing on how this might happen.

Basically, this episode has to end with them having a scene where the theme is “You almost died today and I just want to be next to you.” We’ve both accepted this theme and have been arguing about where this scene will take place. (She thinks Brennan’s office; I think an empty post-party ballroom at the Jeffersonian.)

Today, I remembered (perhaps belatedly) that there’s a buried alive episode of Alias--it’s from season four and it’s called “Tuesday.” It’s kind of great: Marshall has to rescue Sydney because there’s a biological contaminant at APO and they’re under quarantine, but Marshall was late for work, so he has to be the one to go to Cuba and dig her out. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is also the infamous spork episode.)

You wanna know something interesting?

That episode is Alias’s 4x13.

And while Vaughn doesn’t get to be the one to rescue Sydney from The Gravedigger/”Third Faction,” he does get to dance with her.

See, they were talking about going dancing when she got kidnapped, and he made up for the interruption in the end by taking her dancing in the train station at the end of the episode.

Here it is, all minute-long sweetness:

So WHAT IF that’s a similar motif for “Hero in the Hold”? What if Booth and Brennan are at this event, and she owes him a dance? He’s going to go run to the bathroom real quick and ends up getting kidnapped and stuck on a ship. Ruh-roh.

And that sets up for the end of the episode to be Booth and Brennan making up for the fact that they didn’t get to dance at the party. Whether this is in the now-empty ballroom or in her office or her apartment or whatever, it could be delightfully romantic without them having to force anything. I love in that clip how they start out with a formal hands-clasped dance and end with Vaughn whispering something into her ear. Just freaking wonderful.

Is that too much to ask?

As an aside, 4x13 of Lost is "There's No Place Like Home," in which Jin, Desmond, and Michael are trapped on the Searcher with a bunch of C4. Heh.

ETA: Apparently, inexplicably, "Double Trouble in the Panhandle" is 4x12. I'll let Leigh rant away, because this is ridiculous.

Bones: Episodes being shown in order? What a concept!

About a week ago I typed up a rant.

I was raging at Fox because they decided it was better to show "Hero In The Hold" before "Fire In The Ice".

The original order has "Fire In The Ice" up first. We are introduced to Agent Payton Perotta, flirting occurs between her and Booth and the episode concludes with an empty ice rink, a disco ball and a wobbly Brennan locking arms with a concussed Booth. Next would be "Hero In The Hold" where Booth is having drug-induced hallucinations and, oh yeah, trying to find his way off of a Navy destroyer littered with C4 off the Atlantic coast. Payton pops in again to aide in Booth's rescue but hopefully just long enough to see she has no chance with him. All building up to an intense rescue and a patented B/B end scene that, as of yet, I know nothing about but still has me squeeing with excitement.

Fox thought they knew how to tell this story better than the team of people who wrote it and wanted to reverse the order. Right -- because it makes perfect sense that Booth, after nearly becoming nothing more than a reef decoration and addressing some demons from his past, would be rescued at the last minute by Brennan (who clings to him after the rescue, no less) only to turn around and flirt with Payton a week later. It also makes a ton of sense to see everyone at the Jeffersonian already know who she is and then see her meet them all for the first time. Brilliant!

Can you see the reasoning behind my anger?

Fast forward to last night when I received a call from Caroline telling me to "get online! now!" so I could check out some promo pictures from Hero(!!!), found here. Much to my delight, it was announced that it will air on January 22nd and is numbered as 4x13. Since we've only seen through 4x11, 4x12 should be shown on the 15th and should be hockey time. Should being the operative word.

Phew. No rant needed. No more anger. Good job, Fox. I'll gladly take back or withhold a rant if it means I get what I want.

Just a quick sidenote on those pictures; I really don't know how it never occurred to me that Booth would be soaking wet during a good part of this episode. I guess my Christmas is coming in January.

Fine by me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lost: Fake Lawyers, True Love

There’s not much to say about the Lost sneak peek that was released yesterday except for ZOMG.

You know, whenever I have a bad break-up with someone who I want out of my life (and my kid’s life), I always leave adorable pictures of them prominently displayed in my home.

Don’t you?

I mean, if ever an example of how, yeah, Kate doesn’t want Crazy Bearded Jack to be part of her and Aaron’s life, but she’d really like it if Normal Jack could reappear. She really loves that guy.

How’d you feel if you were on a date with a guy and things move back to your house and his eye catches on that framed photograph of a guy with your kid?

“Is that Aaron’s dad?”

“No, that’s my ex-fiancĂ©.”


Also, the kid in that picture is not the actor who’s been playing Aaron in recent flashes and in that clip. It’s a significantly younger kid, which says to me that the Jack/Kate established relationship lasted longer than the one week the Skaters are allowing.

That glimpse alone was enough to make up for the fact that yesterday was a dark day for my 108 Days in 108 Days project. (See: “I Do.”)

So Kate, world-class Runner, is back on the run—but from whom?

And where will she be going?

We’ve seen (perhaps) the back of this person’s head, which we spotted in the music video two weeks ago. Some people are speculating that this could be Cassidy, others suspect it’s Sun, and I think we’re all in agreement that she’s not going to head to Jack’s.

‘Cause once the lawyers come back with the sheriff, they’ll take one look at her living room, spot the picture of Jack and Aaron, and be like, “Well, find that guy.”

Obviously he is important to this family.

In fact, I think what will happen is Kate will have to call Jack and tell her that somebody’s after her. Because she obviously knows something fishy’s going on, and that’s going to affect Jack, as well. And maybe this will be part of the impetus that tells Kate that she has to go back to the island. Yeah, on the island, there are smoke monsters, but in the real world, there are (fake?) lawyers.

Photo from Dark.