11.30.2007

DC Fridays Part 2: The Parents of Dawson's Creek


One of the most intriguing things about DC is its depiction of parents. When the show first aired, it was criticized in part for its unrelentingly harsh portrayal of adults. The Parents Television Council proclaimed the show the single worst program of the 1997–1998 season. Reviewers described the teens of DC as “out of touch with the adult world,” with Salon.com quipping, “parents and other authority figures are absent, distracted, or virulently disapproving.”

I just assumed Kevin Williamson didn’t have the greatest relationship with his own parents.

When you really think about it, it is shocking just how awful the parents of Dawson’s Creek are. With a few exceptions, they’re all pretty crappy, even if they don’t mean to be. Was DC the first show to portray deadbeat dads, verbally abusive moms, and uncaring families? No. Was it the first to do it so sweepingly? I have no idea, but I’d be willing to bet that it was at least one of the first. Admittedly, most of the parents attempt to make some type of amends, and by the end of the show you don’t hate most of them quite so much. But, the parental role on DC seems to function mainly as an explanation for why these kids are so damaged.

Pacey’s father is verbally and physically abusive, while his mother is also verbally abusive. He is constantly being told that he’s worthless. He moves out of the house at 17, his parents could care less, and you rarely see them again.

Joey’s father is a criminal, in prison for drug trafficking. When he finally gets out, he starts dealing cocaine and goes right back to jail. He is overly critical of Joey’s life, especially the men she dates. Her mother is depicted as a saint, but she died when Joey was very young.

Jen’s father is an adulterous alcoholic, and her mother is a self-numbing addict. When Jen acts out as a teenager, her parents don’t feel like dealing with her, so they send her to live with her grandmother. As the years pass, Jen’s mother makes only one attempt to contact her daughter, and understandably it does not go well.

Jack’s mother, MIA through most of the show, has a mental condition that she developed after his older brother dies. His father refuses to accept his homosexuality, to the point that Jack is forced to move out of the house.

Dawson has the most “together” parents, though that’s not saying much. His parents have a ton of problems with each other, and that certainly fucks him up a bit, but unlike the other parents they don’t have problems with him.

And even the secondary characters have parent issues! When Audrey's mother visits, she calls her daughter a "California blonde" and says she's embarrassed to be her mother. Joey’s boyfriend Eddie admits that he doesn’t want her to meet his family because his parents will tell him he’s not good enough for her. And this type of thing crops up again, and again, and again.

What are your thoughts on the parents of Dawson’s Creek? Share with us in the comments!

Guest Blogger: Alligator



Gossip Girl – Blair Waldorf Must Pie!

Dan invites Serena’s family to share Thanksgiving dinner with his family, unaware of the awkward situation this creates for Rufus and Lily. Elsewhere, Nate and his parents also share an uncomfortable holiday meal, and Blair gets upset when she finds out her father won’t be coming home for Thanksgiving. Photo © The CW.

Chuck was noticeably absent in Wednesday's episode. His storyline is increasingly becoming more interesting while Dan and Serena are becoming Boresville.

So instead let's talk about Blair. We now know she's a recovering bulimic and she misses her gay dad. Apparently he made really good pie. Speaking of pie, there was a weird Blair bulimia/pie eating montage. After yet another fight with Serena over the Blair/Chuck affair, Blair un-invites the van der Woodsen clan to the Waldorf thanksgiving fete. In a predicable twist of fate, Dan invites Serena to his house and her fam ends up at the Humphreys for some home-cooked grub. When Lily walks into the Humphrey home to see Allison back with Rufus, things go sour fast. Allison makes Rufus choose between the two ladies, and foolishly Rufus chose orange Allison. He looked super sad about it too.

No need to worry, Nate got his GG face time this ep too (although, mostly in goofy flashback sequences). His dad nearly overdoses and Nate saves his ass. Ahh Nate…what a guy!

In the next episode there needs to be more Chuck, more Jenny/Nate developments, and of course, Rufus needs to man up and choose Lily.

11.28.2007

Granny knows you're BFFs with Satan.



Reaper – Ashes to Ashes
Sam does plumbing work for a woman (Melinda Clarke) he discovers is dating the devil, and he finds himself attracted to her daughter, but he wonders who her father really is. Meanwhile, Ben refuses to introduce Sam and Sock to his family.
Photo © The CW.

Julie Cooper returns to TV!

Reaper's theme-of-the-week: "Is it worth waiting around for someone to decide they're ready to commit?" Apparently, the answer is no. Sam meets Mimi (Melinda Clarke), who is dating the devil but
thinks he's just a nice guy named "Jerry." And naturally, she is unfulfilled in the relationship, so Sam tells her that maybe it's time to stop waiting. Which naturally parallels the issues he's having with Andi, who he has asked out again and who keeps saying no. So Mimi and Sam both decide to move on, and Sam ends up meeting Mimi's daughter, Cady, who is super cute but who Sam suspects may be the offspring of the devil.

In "Ashes to Ashes," Sam is hunting the soul of a crematorium owner who used to sell people's body parts before cremating them (ew) and who uses the ashes of his victims to take corporeal form (this is actually kinda cool). The boys go around collecting all of the ashes so the soul can't take form -- Sock being charming as usual while Ben & Sam swipe the goods. Except rather than taking care of the ashes, Sock leaves them all in the trunk of his car. Which doesn't bode well when they capture the soul in a vacuum cleaner and then put the vacuum in the trunk. Oops!

This week had a nice little departure from the norm, in that Sam doesn't technically capture the soul in the devil-provided vessel. When they come face to face with the swirling-ash-figure, Sam doesn't have the vessel so Sock grabs the closest thing, which happens to be a vacuum cleaner. And this works! They suck the soul up and transport it to where the vessel is, and when it escapes from the vacuum they nab it with the vessel instead.

"Ashes to Ashes" also focused somewhat on Ben, and we learned that Ben is ashamed of Sock and Sam. When his grandmother comes into The Work Bench to pick up some items for a big family party, she is very suspicious of Sam, and Ben admits that she has "The Eye" and that his family believes she can see the future. He also admits that he is a huge disappointment to Grandma, who had wanted him to be a priest. Sam eventually asks for Grandma's help to "see" where the soul is, and though for a moment it seems like she will help, instead she stabs him in the hand with a fork and screams "El Diablo!" Which was awesome. Of course, one could easily predict that she would come around in the end, and when she accidentally sees them conquer the soul, she tells Ben that he is doing God's work.

As for the Andi-Sam relationship, GOOD LORD!!!!! I have nothing against Missy Peregrym, but come on! After she turns Sam down twice more, Ben tells Andi to "stop being a guy" and asks why she's torturing him. And she admits that Sam still has a chance with her. But, when Sam decides to give up on waiting for Andi, Ben keeps his trap shut (thank god). So obviously she'll be jealous when Sam starts dating Cady, but hopefully the new relationship will last and we will see a little less of Andi.

Top Sock moments:
On persistence: "Little waves of Sam crashing on the shores of Andi until she wears down."
Eulogy for the ashes: "We saved your families from a giant ash monster. You're welcome."

And finally, Sam's dad appeared in this episode and made me remember -- whatever happened to the hinted-at deeper connection between Sam's dad and the devil?!? Get it together, Reaper!

11.23.2007

And just like that, you’re fifteen again.



Last Christmas I went through a bout of re-watching Dawson’s Creek , and it has since become one of my favorite shows. This all came about because Target was having a sale on Season One, and then every time I went back to Target, more seasons were on sale. I bought all 6 for about $15 each, and sold a few on Amazon (for more than I paid, score!) but I kept Seasons Three (the lead-up to Pacey & Joey getting together), Four (Pacey & Joey are together), and Six (the final season).

DC aired from January 1998 through May 2003 on the WB. The show is vaguely autobiographical, based on the life of creator Kevin Williamson. DC made stars of its unknown lead actors and was a flagship show for the network. According to a Wikipedia article:

“Dawson's Creek generated a high amount of publicity before its debut, with several television critics and watchdog groups expressing concerns about its anticipated ‘racy’ plots and dialogue; the controversy even drove one of the original production companies away from the project, but numerous critics praised it for its realism and intelligent dialogue that included allusions to American television icons such as The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. By the end of its run, the show, its crew, and its young cast had been nominated for numerous awards, winning four of them. The series is known for the verbosity and complexity of the dialogue between its teenaged characters—who commonly demonstrate vocabulary and cultural awareness that went beyond the scope of the average high school student, yet that is combined with an emotional immaturity and self-absorption reflecting actual teens. This precociousness has been a staple of a number of teenaged-themed shows since, notably including Gilmore Girls and The O.C.

When I first started to re-watch the show, I was happy to see it again mostly to relive a particular time in my life. I first began watching DC in high school but, like many other things in my life, it was lost to me once I entered college at a beautiful but remote institution in the middle of Ohio, where television reception was spotty at best. When I rekindled our affair at the ripe old age of 27, I certainly did not expect to like the show. Enjoy it, sure, but not actively like it. Imagine my surprise.

And so, in the wake of the WGA strike, we begin SDYW’s five-part Friday series on the magic of Capeside, Massachusetts.

Part One: The Characters
The main reason Dawson’s Creek was so appealing to me, and remains that way all these years later, is the attention paid to character development. All five of DC’s main characters change immensely over the course of six seasons, but — and this is really the key — they are all still completely themselves. The viewer continues to catch glimpses of the characters’ 15-year-old selves well after they have matured into adults. Each character has one severe hangup that they let dictate (often subconsciously) how everything in their lives goes down: Joey's fear of change, Dawson's naivete, Pacey's self-deprecation, Jen's deluded sense of self-awareness, and Jack's homosexuality.



Joey Potter

“Just because I don’t fit into that place you want me to doesn’t mean there’s not a place for me.”

Joey is easily the most complex character in the DC universe. Equally tough and vulnerable, she is from “the wrong side of the tracks.” Her mother dies of cancer when she is young, and her father is in prison for drug trafficking. Her older sister Bessie raises her, and the family is poor, looked down upon by other members of the community, and — for lack of a better word — kind of white trash. Joey has a complicated, co-dependent relationship with her best friend Dawson, which morphs from adoration to love to hate to friendship and hits every high and low point in between.

Over the course of six seasons, Joey goes from a from scared, prudish little girl desperately afraid of growing up to a successful, independent woman who recognizes and is able to deal with her own downfalls. Throughout the show, Joey is terrified of change, so much so that she contributes to her own self-destruction via her refusal to act. Going along with this, she consistently blames others when things do go wrong (as she expected them to, naturally). The queen of the “worst-case scenario,” when Joey misses an exam during her second year of college, her train of thought goes from “missed exam” to “I’ll be kicked out of school” to “I’ve ruined my entire future” in about five minutes. And yet, when we flash forward in the final episode, Joey has made peace with herself and her OCD tendencies in adulthood.

In the finale, we see that Joey moved to Paris after college. In adulthood, she works as an editor at a New York publishing company, and is happily living with her boyfriend until she returns to Capeside for a wedding and realizes she is meant to be with Pacey Witter. In the end, Joey and Dawson are soul mates — meant for each other, certainly, but not meant to be together in a romantic sense.



Dawson Leery

“I guess everyone has someone who challenges them and makes them shoot for something just beyond their reach … you’re with me everywhere I go.”

Dawson Leery is an idealistic, romantic film geek who is determined to spend his life making movies in Hollywood. Of all the characters on DC, he has the most stable family life (more on this in Part 2: The Parents of Dawson’s Creek). Dawson’s main problem is that he bases his life largely around another person, and that person is Joey.

After the first season, when Dawson realizes that he has romantic feelings for his best friend, he never, ever gets over her. He is a whiny, self-righteous brat right up until the moment that he faces death for the first time—the death of Mr. Brooks, a friend & film icon, and the death of Dawson’s father, Mitch. Unlike many shows, the death of Dawson’s father is not wrapped up in just a couple of episodes. After Mitch dies, Dawson drops out of USC film school and moves back to Capeside to help his mother care for his newborn sister, and from this moment on Dawson becomes a man. He does not return to school, and ends up working from the ground up as a PA for a director he had met earlier in the show. The shock of real life in Hollywood cements Dawson's character change. He continues to make mistakes, to be sure, but now he actually takes responsibility for them.

In adulthood, Dawson is the creator/director of a popular teen soap called “The Creek,” which is based upon his own life. In the finale, he and Joey finally gain closure in their relationship, with Dawson telling her that he will always love her. They are beyond romance and beyond friendship, and are true soul mates.



Pacey Witter
“Now all I can do is wait for the other shoe to drop. Wait for you to realize what a big mistake you’ve made. Wait for you to realize that I’m just gonna be a big disappointment.”

Pacey Witter is a charming, roguish slacker. He is a poor student, and his family life is abysmal. His father is an alcoholic and a domestic abuser who both verbally and physically attacks Pacey and his siblings. Pacey is constantly being told that he’s worthless—by his parents, his brother, his teachers, and even by his supposed “best friend” Dawson.

In reality, however, Pacey is probably the most self-aware, mature member of the bunch. From the very first season, when Pacey has an affair with a teacher, he comports himself with style and grace, always taking full responsibility for his actions. However, due to his upbringing, he craves respect from others while not respecting himself, often to his detriment. Pacey is never able to believe that he is “good enough” for any opportunity that might come his way. Like Dawson, Pacey invests much of his being in another person. Like Dawson, this person is Joey. Unlike Dawson, Pacey believes that Joey is far too good for him, and his insecurity ruins their relationship.

After losing everything in a stock market meltdown, Pacey returns to Capeside. In adulthood, he runs a successful restaurant while having an affair with an older woman (i.e. comes full circle from first season). When Joey returns for a wedding, she tells him that they are meant for each other, and he moves to New York to be with her (which is actually kind of lame, but we’ll get into this more in Part 3: Dawson vs. Pacey).



Jen Lindley

“Relationships are just one big sorry after another culminating in a big, final, messy sorry.”

Jen Lindley is a smart, savvy girl with a precocious past of abusing alcohol, drugs, and sex. Unable to handle her, Jen’s parents send her from New York to live with her grandmother in Capeside. Jen is considerably more sophisticated than the rest of the gang, but as a teenager she often fools herself into believing that she “knows it all.” Jen is terrified of trusting others, because when she does she usually gets hurt.

Jen eventually makes peace with herself in college, when the revelation that her grandmother has cancer, a great therapist, and her involvement with a teen help line cause her to realize that she can’t control external forces. In adulthood, Jen is a single mother with a heart condition who ends up dying far too young.



Jack McPhee

“It’s na├»ve to think that people aren’t gonna be small-minded and bigoted and ignorant and this whole thing isn’t just gonna get worse from here on out.”

Jack McPhee moves to Capeside during second season. He is a shy, clumsy, earnest boy who begins a relationship with Joey but eventually comes out of the closet after much soul-searching. His brother passed away at a young age, his mother went nuts soon after, his father refuses to accept his homosexuality (at first), and his perky, overly driven twin sister also goes nuts (though she bounces back eventually). Jack, left alone, moves in with Jen and Grams, where he is fully accepted and becomes part of their family. In college, Jack goes through small downward spiral of drinking and partying, but he cleans up his act.

Unfortunately, most of Jack’s character deals solely with the fact that he is gay. He has a few non-gay storylines, but mostly it’s him berating himself. He can’t handle having a boyfriend, other gay males he meets are “too gay,” and he refuses to accept himself or others. By the final season, however, Jack has come to terms with himself and his lifestyle. He is comfortable in his own skin.

In adulthood, Jack has returned to Capeside and is a teacher at the high school. He is in a committed relationship with Pacey’s older brother Doug, although Doug is closeted. After Jen dies, Jack and Doug adopt her baby daughter.

11.21.2007

Short Hiatus!

Like many shows this week, I will be taking a short hiatus from SDYW. Back on Friday, Nov 23!

11.20.2007

You just got slapped.



Although I watch -- and LOVE -- How I Met Your Mother, I don't blog about it because I really don't think there's anything to write about. However, if you would like to relive Marshall's song "You Just Got Slapped," today is your lucky day.

In other news...
* A Chuck recap on BuzzSugar.
* Midseason replacement news.
* Cuddy talks about House.
* An interview with the guy who plays my new favorite TV character.

Sorry I'm so boring today, folks.

11.19.2007

The team will be his family.



Friday Night Lights - Pantherama!
Smash’s college options are revealed on the first official day of recruitment; Coach Taylor focuses on a new athlete; Matt is tempted by his grandma’s nurse even though he has a new girlfriend; Julie befriends a teacher; and Lyla and Tyra work on an event together at Tami’s bidding.
Photo © NBC.

I would have rather opened this post with a photo of Santiago, but believe it or not I can't find a decent one. This episode was pretty much all over the place, so try to keep up!
As “Pantherama!” opens, we learn that recruitment is beginning for the senior players of the Dillon Panthers. Eric sits all the players down to have “the talk” – accept no gifts, take no meetings without running it through him, etc, etc.

Smash receives call after call, and I can’t help but wonder what will happen this time (faithful viewers will remember that the last time Smash was faced with a recruiter, he seriously ate it). Fortunately, Smash is courted by all the best schools – and a black college with a paltry football program who tries to sway him by offering a full education scholarship instead. Smash and his mom get into it – she using Street as an example of why Smash shouldn’t put all his eggs in one basket, he retorting that he needs her full support because he is absolutely going to make it to the NFL – and finally he tells her that he will deal with recruitment without her help. She appeals to Coach Taylor to step up as a father figure, making my aside during last week’s post quite topical, and Coach puts Smash in his place.

And speaking of father figures! This week we find Santiago much improved at football, but when Coach sends him to Tami to make sure all his schooling is squared away, he is forced to admit that his parents were deported, and he has been living with his uncle … who hasn’t been home in 10 months. Tami informs Eric, and they get into a mini-fight about what to do after Buddy offers to let Santiago move in with him. In the end, Tami finally agrees that it’s better not to throw Santiago into the system, and he moves into Buddy’s apartment, where he heartbreakingly explains, “this is the first real bed I ever had.” Up to this point, Buddy seems to be trying really hard, but at this he looks awkward and leaves the room, leaving me to wonder if he can actually step up and do this. Don't fuck this up, Buddy!

Santiago is growing on me, and I am curious to see how the relationship between he and Buddy will play out. I have always liked Buddy, even when he was a cheating bastard, and I could see him being a good father for Santiago. The fact that he stocked his fridge with steak was cute, as was Tami telling him to "get some vegetables in here." And speaking of father figures and my amazing precognizance, when Eric explained to Tami that the team would be Santiago’s family -- I just loved it!!!

Meanwhile, Riggins has moved out of the house because he is uncomfortable being around Jackie and his brother. Or something. At first I thought she had moved in, but that makes no sense because she has a kid. So I guess it's just that she's there all the time. He goes to Tyra, who gives him a 48-hour time limit (I think, details like this are the casualty of my lack of Tivo), and he eventually ends up living with some random dude that Tyra’s stripper sister knows. I foresee this ending badly. Oh, and he’s still not back on the team, nor does this episode even mention it, which is pretty lame.

Julie, still upset about Saracen and the new cheerleader, befriends a young teacher who also happens to be the newspaper advisor. She writes a controversial story about the money raised during Pantherama & where it goes (Eric is not happy), and she very clearly has a crush on this guy, who looks like that guy from A Walk To Remember, although I don’t think it’s him. [Update: I looked it up, his name is Shane West). After seeing Julie and the teacher together once – and only for a few moments – Tami immediately knows that something is going on, but she doesn’t really say anything. For his part, the teacher doesn’t seem like a sleaze, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Tami, with her usual “sweet bulldozer” technique, forces Tyra and Lyla to run a portion of Pantherama, and they repay her by choreographing a striptease (in the loosest sense of the word) for the Panthers to do during a pep rally. Once again, Tyra is a side character here. Considering what has been happening in her life recently, and that she was JUST! forced to break up with Landry against her own wishes, she seems awfully carefree. Her hallway conversation with Landry was awfully uneventful, considering he was telling her that not only did his father figure out that he had killed someone, he then destroyed the evidence. WTF?!?

Matt Saracen, trying to learn the moves for the aforementioned striptease, gets a little closer to his grandmother’s nurse, and then a little closer still when he unexpectedly kisses her in the parking lot after the pep rally. She looks uncomfortable, he feels stupid, but then the next morning at breakfast she lays her hand on his back as she puts his plate down and smiles over her shoulder as she walks away, and suddenly Saracen can’t wipe the grin off his face. But isn't he still dating cheerleader girl, you ask? Why yes, he is! This should be interesting. Cheerleader girl doesn’t have much spark yet, but for some reason I can totally see her as a psycho stalker a la Swim Fan.

And, in the most disappointing news of the night, Street is totally MIA from this episode. Damn.

11.16.2007

More tomorrow. XOXO, Michael.



The Office – The Deposition
Corporate and legal complications hound Michael when Jan sues Dunder Mifflin and he’s summoned as a witness. Meanwhile, Darryl and Jim face off in table tennis, with Kelly talking trash. Photo © Byron Cohen/NBC.

The Office goes out with a bang. Sigh.

When Jan sues Dunder Mifflin for firing her, Michael is called to testify at her deposition and finds himself torn between two lovers -- his girlfriend and his company. While Jan and Michael drive to the deposition, we are treated to a lovely little scene in which Michael memorizes what Jan has told him to say during the proceedings ("Disrespect:
My friend Disray got new specs. Disrayspect.") He starts off quite well, leading to a talking head interview where Jan admits that Michael is actually good at some things. However, things go downhill from there, turning Jan and Michael against each other.

Or that's what you'd think. Although some terrible things do come out (Jan has stolen Michael's diary to use as evidence, and gave Michael terrible performance reviews during her time as his boss), I really get the impression that truly Jan loves Michael. I was terribly glad that they didn't get into a fight at the end. They were both quiet and a little sullen, but there was no big blow-up. Their relationship may be fucked up, but in many ways they are perfect together. The moment in the cafeteria when Jan says I love you to Michael was very sweet -- and, if I remember correctly, the first time we've heard her say that.

Another sweet cafeteria moment was the interaction between Toby and Michael ... right up to the point that Michael pushed Toby's tray onto the floor. I thought the two would bond, even if later Michael would pretend it never happened. But no! I love the fact that there is absolutely no reason for Michael to hate Toby. He just does, no explanation needed.

Back at the office, Darryl and Jim are embroiled in a hardcore ping-pong match ... hardcore for Kelly and Pam, that is. Kelly continually harasses Pam with "smack talk" -- not "trash talk," which is hypothetical ("Your mama's so fat she could eat the internet"), but "smack talk," which is real ("You’re ugly and I know it for a fact cause I've got the evidence right here").

Pam, sick of being smack talked (“Were Jim’s parents first cousins that were also bad at ping pong?”), turns the meeting room table into a ping-pong table so that Jim can practice, and we learn that Dwight is a ping-pong prodigy. Jim improves, but when he and Darryl face off again Pam gets fed up and challenges Kelly to a game. They are both terrible. The end.

11.15.2007

Guest Blogger: Alligator



Gossip Girl – Seventeen Candles

At her 17
th birthday party, Blair attempts to mask her strained relationship with Nate, and Dan invites Vanessa to the party so that she and Serena can bond. Meanwhile, Jenny brings her mom home for a visit, much to Rufus’ surprise, and Nate’s parents pressure him to make a sacrifice for the good of their family. Photo
© The CW.

Last week's episode had lots of sex. Dan and Serena. Chuck and Blair. Rufus and Lily???

Let us discuss Chuck and Blair for a moment. Suddenly Chuck discovers "butterflies" in his stomach for Blair. He has finally met his match and found someone to love. Awww … how sweet. But, he is still a slimeball and Blair can't shake her love for Nate. Although, she gives it a darn good try when Chuck gives her a diamond necklace. I guess a little bling helps wash away the slime.

Dan is having trouble sorting out what it means to be friends with a girl and simultaneously have a girlfriend. After doing it with Serena he takes her out to a breakfast, and of course their waitress is Vanessa. Awkward! In order to help Serena and Vanessa bond, Dan chooses to bring her to Blair's birthday party that night, where the two ladies battle it out on Guitar Hero. There were also some gratuitous sushi making scenes at the party. Apparently rich people just eat a lot of sushi.

Jenny surprises her family by schlepping her mom Allison back from her new Hudson home. The most shocking thing about this scenario was this lady's crazy orange tan! Apparently there's tons of sun up on the Hudson. Rufus gets over his problems with Allison, and soon they are making out on the floor of their Williamsburg loft. This bummed me out because I'm totally rooting for Rufus and Lily love.

Nate finally stands up to his parents and doesn't give Blair the family jewels. Good for him! The total surprise of the episode, though, was the crazy chemistry between Nate and Jenny. Who would have thunk it? Although for now, the two are claiming to be just friends.

11.14.2007

Breaking News!

Logan from Gilmore Girls joins Friday Night Lights! I can totally see it!

Reading gives you migraines.



Reaper - The Cop
Gladys the DMV demon comes to the Work Bench, her purchases lead Sock to believe she's hiding bodies in her house. Meanwhile, the Devil's gift of a watch to Sam turns out to be problematic.

Hooray for Reaper! "The Cop" was very different from previous episodes -- in a good way. Mitch Pileggi (a.k.a. Skinner) guest stars as a cop on the hunt for a copycat serial killer loose in Seattle. But Sam knows (thanks to the Devil) that it's no copycat -- it's an escaped soul on the loose, getting his revenge and killing all those who helped put him on death row.

The Devil gives Sam a fancy watch to thank him for being such a good employee, and although Sam is wary of this, he accepts the gift. However, after accidentally tasering a police officer (Pileggi) with the vessel du jour, Sam becomes the number one suspect in the case, because the watch turns out to belong to a prosecutor (or something) who was killed earlier in the episode. And the cop (wish I remembered his name) was the one who collared the soul in the first place. Sam, on the verge of being thrown in prison, completely loses it and tells the cop everything (escaped soul, bounty hunter, devil, etc). Naturally the cop thinks Sam is nuts, until he sees the soul with his own eyes. Sam then rescues the cop. And I'm thinking, "Woah! Someone else knows now? Someone in law enforcement? This could be kind of a cool twist."

And then BAM! Reaper pulls yet another cool twist on me! (Spoilers ahead). After Sam saves the cop from certain death, the cop turns his gun on him, telling Sam that he needs a high-profile arrest in order to restore his former glory. The devil intervenes, forces the cop to shoot himself in the head, and we learn that the cop had sold his soul to the devil years earlier in an effort to jumpstart his career. I did not see that coming.

Meanwhile, Sock and Ben stalk Gladys after she comes into the Work Bench and buys ten pounds of toilet paper. After a series of rather depressing incidents (including the neighborhood kids egging Gladys' house and calling her a monster) -- and after learning that all demons are just fallen angels -- Sock feels sorry for Gladys and goes to apologize. And they end up doing it on her couch.

BAM! Another twist! That last part was a dream, and Sock wakes up screaming. But I totally bought that it was real, and that it was happening. Nice one, Reaper!

Finally, Andi breaks up with Greg after he plans her a huge surprise party that she doesn't want. And Josie tries to help Andi realize that what she does want is Sam, but Andi says she doesn't want to date Sam because she's afraid of ruining their friendship. And Sam gives her a diamond necklace for her birthday, and Andi cries and refuses to accept it because it's not "something a friend would wear." (WTF?!?) And Sam, amazingly, actually makes a move and tells her "Then don't wear it as a friend." And Andi cries, and tells Sam he's too important to her as a friend, blah blah blah. This strife is great, it's exactly what I was hoping for ... except that the writers don't seem to have a clear notion of what Sam and Andi are actually supposed to mean to each other.

Sometimes they're "best friends." Sometimes they're "friends." Obviously they are attracted to each other. But one minute she's telling him they can't be friends anymore, and the next minute she's whisking him off to a secluded movie date and falling asleep on his shoulder. The way this is supposed to go is that they remain casual buddies on the surface while secretly (though obviously to us) pining for each other. Pam and Jim, anyone?

Also, Ted and Greg both said "aboot" instead of "about." Anyone else notice that? Eh?

The best bits:
Hooray, Ted is back!
The soul taking his tattoos off to kill people (i.e. barbed wire to strangle the judge).
Sam & Greg's slap fight.
Gladys telling Sock he has a pretty mouth.

And...

Sam: Don't do anything stupid.
Sock: I am almost definitely going to do something stupid.

11.12.2007

You’re a brooding … rough … whatever.



Friday Night Lights – How Did I Get Here
Building pressure forces Landry to tell his dad the truth about the killing, the arrival of Tami’s sister (Jessalyn Gilsig) prompts Tami to reexamine her life, and Riggins has something to prove after he’s kicked off the team. Photo © NBC.

In the Taylor home, Eric is furious when he discovers that his salary has been cut by 37%. He goes to Buddy, who works out a deal to make Eric the school’s Athletic Director, though they tell him that it’s not really a job, just a title and a salary bump. However, we learn that is not the case when the Women’s Soccer coach comes storming into Taylor’s office with a deflated soccer ball, railing on him because the Football department gets all the school’s money. I’m sure she will be back, and if they even hint at the fact that Coach Taylor could possibly be unfaithful (even if he doesn’t go through with it, much like Sandy in the first season of the OC when he came this close to kissing another women), I will be pissed.

Tami’s sister Shelley (Jessalyn Gilsig as a nice person, hooray!) comes to visit in this episode, and we see how different the two women’s lives are. Shelley is a free spirit who travels a lot and doesn’t have a family to tie her down. Tami freaks out when she is forced to face facts and it hits her that she has 18 more years of caring for another human being in front of her. Though her sister comforts her, it doesn’t end in smiles.

Matt Saracen meets a new girl at school, a cheerleader, who introduces herself in the hallway. His teammates vibe him as he talks to her, laughing and nudging him, and he is so adorable that he asks why they are hitting him. Later, Julie comes to see Matt at the diner and apologizes for everything, telling him she hopes they can be friends again someday, and Matt reciprocates the sentiment. Even later, however, he makes out with new girl outside a party, where Julie sees them and tears up. Tyra, taking on a big sister role, takes Julie home for movies and ice cream. Other than that, Tyra does not make much of an appearance in this episode except when she provides Landry something to look longingly at.

And speaking of Landry, I WAS RIGHT!!!! Landry’s father figures out that he had something to do with the killing, and to protect his son he drives their station wagon out to the middle of nowhere and sets it on fire as he prays to God for forgiveness. I have no idea where this storyline will go next. Will the detectives figure everything out and end up arresting Landry’s father for tampering with evidence? Will he lose his job? I’ll be on the edge of my seat until we find out!

Meanwhile, Riggins has gotten himself kicked off the team, as missing a week’s worth of practice does not sit well with Coach Taylor. His brother takes him to meet with Tami (who has returned to her job as a guidance counselor), and after a hee-larious conversation about how a breast pump works, Riggins’ bro asks Tami to pull some strings with the Coach to get Riggins back on the team. Tami is not down. Riggins then proceeds to get drunk (who saw that coming?) until Lyla asks him to help her new ex-juvenile-delinquent buddy Santiago learn to play football. Riggins blows her off, but then sees Santiago practicing (horribly) by himself and comes to his aid. Smash and Matt join in the fun, and when Coach sees them he offers Santiago a chance to practice with the team. So far Santiago appears to be acclimating nicely to the school and the team – I expected to him to have more of a chip on his shoulder, although I guess nobody has done anything but be really good to him. They seem to be creating a character that can take over Riggins’ position, which is interesting. As Coach walks away, Riggins asks if he’s “showing him something” and Taylor just laughs and tells him he’s not even close.

I adore the whole notion of “coach as father figure” that this show has cultivated. The Dillon Panthers have great home lives, terrible home lives, and everything in between. However, one thing that most of them do not have is a father. Riggins’ father is a drunken jerk who abandoned his kids, Saracen’s father is a decent man who nevertheless abandoned his kid to go fight in Iraq, Smash’s father is dead (and we learned in first season that he was an adulterer)... The coach is all they have. He is the one who pushes them to be the best they can, who listens to them when they need it, who is tough on them when they that, and from who they are constantly vying for approval. In fact, I would say they are desperate for his approval.

Or at least, they were. Now that Eric abandoned them (to go teach at TMU), the dynamic is very different. They talk back to him more, and respect him less. I am looking forward to watching the relationship between Eric and his players mend itself as second season continues.

Finally, after a birthday party during which they WATCH A VIDEO OF HIM PLAYING FOOTBALL (!!!), Street realizes that he has to quit coaching the team and move on with his life. But what will he do in Dillon, a town that is all about football? Tune in next week to find out!

11.09.2007

They would call me the Overkill Killer.



The Office - Survivor Man
Ryan organizes a woodsy corporate retreat but excludes Michael, who in turn enters the wilderness for his own survival adventure. Meanwhile, Jim tries to put a new spin on office birthday parties. Photo © NBC.

Yawn.
The Office continues it's up-and-down trajectory with a decidedly "down" ep. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't that good. The part that had the most possibility turned into a cute but pointless "that's what she said" yuk-fest.

The time of Michael's 20s is shrouded in mystery. We have seen pathetic moments from his childhood, but last night was the first time (that I can remember) we learned that perhaps Dunder Mifflin has not always been Michael's be-all and end-all. That moment came at the end of the episode, when we clearly saw that Jim has the very real potential to become Michael, and that 10 years ago Michael did not think he would still be at Dunder Mifflin in his own future. I was expecting the show to end with Jim quitting (I know, too dramatic) or at least sitting dumbfounded in stunned horror.

It did not.

After chatting with various other Office viewers in my own office this morning, I have realized the scene that did take place was much more realistic than my fantasy scene. Jim is both horrified at the notion of being at Dunder Mifflin for the rest of his career, and comforted by the realization that it might not be such a terrible thing. Like many of us, he does not love his job, but he doesn't hate it enough to get off his ass and look for a new one. Though Pam might have something to do with that.

Also,
Michael knows the word cathartic?!? I doubt that very much.

The good moments:
"Blacks do crack! Not crack the drug."
"At birthday parties, Micheal always does something horrible ... or inappropriate ... or both."

Enjoy next week's episode, as it will be the last one for a while.

Guest Blogger: Alligator



Gossip Girl - Victor/Victrola
The kids face a variety of parental issues – Nate worries his father has a drug problem and confronts him; Jenny uncovers a secret her parents have been keeping from her; and Chuck tries to impress his demanding dad by investing in a club. Elsewhere, Blair is disappointed in Nate once again, and Dan and Serena acknowledge their true feelings for one another. Photo © The CW.

Nate's dad is out of control! Nate confronts him about his coke problem and like any typical coke fiend he ends up in a huge downward spiral and punches his son in the face. There is some crazy shit going on with the Archibald crew. After punching Nate he gets arrested (cops happened to be just around the corner), and the cops find the coke in his pocket and also a pre-existing warrant for his arrest on embezzlement charges. I have now realized that Nate is also super hot. I guess he just needed a little family coke-and-embezzlement scandal to catch my eye.


Of course Blair finds out that Nate is still in love with Serena and that he confessed this somewhat obvious fact to Serena look-a-like Jenny at the masquerade ball. So what does Blair do about it? She makes out with Chuck in the back of a town car after doing a lackluster strip tease at a burlesque bar. Apparently, as she told Chuck, she's "got moves."

Chucks' dad and Lily are still hot and heavy and decide to start going steady. There is some drama when Chuck spots his dad with a lady "friend" and then confesses this to Lily. Lily gets pissed and decides to go hang out with Rufus at his gallery while he hangs a video installation. This works well for Rufus because he just found out that his wife is cheating on him. Rufus and Lily cuddle together underneath the video installation. How romantic!

Oh yeah, Serena and Dan probably had sex during this episode. Big whoop(ie).

This episode was pretty goofy. Chuck and Blair's illicit makeout session had the look of a bad Stone Temple Pilots video with all the crazy editing and splotchy film treatment. Plus, to add to the cheese factor, there were several strange fantasy scenes involving Dan and Serena. These were actually kind of funny, but in conjunction with the bizzaro town car scene the show was pushed over the top in a bad way. GG needs to figure out what kind of show it wants to be and it needs to do it fast. Hopefully while the writers are taking some time off they will figure out how to steer the show back in the right direction.

Related:
* Chace Crawford (Nate) & Carrie Underwood are smooching.

11.07.2007

The code word is "jambalaya."



Reaper - Love, Bullets and Blacktop
A song on an eight-track holds the key to capturing the latest escaped soul, but there’s a twist: it’s actually two souls who have been involved in a series of muscle-car wrecks.

Reaper continues to be an enjoyable way to spend a Tuesday night ... but only if there is absolutely nothing else going on. The theme of this week: "living in the moment." The schlocky life lessons that the Devil tries to impart each week are growing tiresome. Come on, he's the Devil! No morals! No lessons! Bring on the evil!

The lack of Ted in this episode was also disappointing.

However, the guest stars made me happy. Buffy & Angel fans will have recognized Harmony (Mercedes McNab) playing much the same character she did in Buffy (less spoiled, perhaps), and '80s movie fans will have recognized the whacked-out best friend from Better Off Dead (Curtis Armstrong) as a whacked out Work Bench employee.

It's almost as if the writers read my mind, because the Andi & Sam relationship was much more tolerable. Buddies who are secretly in love ... is is really so difficult? Their adorable (angst-free) movie night hidden away in the bowels of the Work Bench was very cute. Andi's little outpost (her "Ted-free zone") was also a nice addition -- thus far, Andi's character has been underdeveloped, and it is alarmingly one-dimensional.

The addition of a love interest for Sam, named Taylor, also helped the A-S relationship. Now Andi can be happy for Sam on the surface, but secretly be kind of jealous. Taylor was a little irritating, but she could grow on me. I don't know if I'm biased by Sam's bias (he kept talking about how they had nothing in common), but she doesn't seem right for him. I guess we'll have to stay tuned to find out.

Reaper does need to change up the fight scenes, though. Every one is the same -- during the first run-in, the soul escapes easily. During the final fight, Sam drops or loses the vessel, his friends step in to help, he regains the vessel, and sucks the soul back to hell. Yawn.

The good bits (which are all Sock, as usual):
Sock's pelvic bullets.
Sock's dancing.
When Russ invites them out: "Yeah, that sounds like something someone might do."
To the soul: "You are a man of discriminating taste ... I can tell by the four buttons undone on your shirt."

And last, but certainly not least...
Russ: "Who wants to rip some peyote?"
Sock: "I took a horse tranq on the way over, so I'm good."

Also, is it just me or are there way more commercials during Reaper than during other shows?

Next on Reaper:

Sock (Tyler Labine) becomes obsessed with Gladys, the DMV demon, after she comes into The Work Bench and makes some questionable purchases. He and Ben follow her home and suspect she may be hiding bodies in her house. Meanwhile, the devil gives Sam an expensive watch as a gesture of gratitude for all his hard work. Unfortunately, Sam discovers the devil was setting him up to take the rap for a murder the latest escaped soul committed.

11.05.2007

I sin daily and I'm a better Christian than you.


Friday Night Lights - Let's Get It On
Coach Taylor comes home to a team in chaos, fueled by the feud between Matt (who is becoming increasingly bitter) and Smash (who surprisingly is not actually being more of a jerk than usual). Meanwhile, Riggins and Lyla try to talk Street out of surgery, and Landry finds that he has a lot to contribute to the Panthers. Oh, and Tyra breaks his heart after his father forbids her to see him anymore. Bitch! Photo
© NBC.


Sorry for the late post, dear readers. But this episode of FNL sure did give us a lot to discuss!

"Let's Get It On" centered around Tami & Coach Taylor finally getting back to a normal routine. This was all presented within the framework of their sexual relationship, which was both funny and touching. From Tami kicking Eric out of the bedroom so she could sleep, to Mac telling Eric about how he and his wife rekindled their own sex life (much to Eric's disgust), to Eric shuttling Tami off to book club in the hopes that she would get a little drunk and therefore a little horny, to the sweet ending scene of Eric chasing Tami into the bedroom ... it was perfect. The strained relationship between Eric and Tami has certainly been well played this season, but I am glad to see it go. Their realistic "fight & make up" dynamic is absolutely one of the best parts about this show.

About halfway though this episode I thought that the threesome scene teased by TV Guide's Matt Ausiello was about to reveal itself and I must say I was a little horrified. Will Riggins, Lyla, and Street really have a threesome? Have some self-respect, people! I was shocked when Street got back together with Lyla after her dalliance with Riggins during the first season, and I find that the whole threesome thing falls a little flat. But with that being said ... yum. Lyla Garrity is one awfully lucky girl.

Best line:
Lyla: "All you've done is go to whore houses and karaoke bars."
Riggins: "Well yeah, we're in Mexico."

The developing relationship between Street and Riggins continues to floor me. In the scene on the boat, when Riggins tells Street
that he loves him with absolutely zero self-consciousness ... sigh. Sure, it was hokey, but Street throwing himself from the boat only to realize moments later that he isn't ready to die made me sniffle a bit. Scott Porter continues to be fantastic in his role as a paralyzed football player who -- against all reason -- you somehow never pity.

On to Matt Saracen, who finally appears on screen for more than a few short minutes. Our sweet little QB is becoming increasingly bitter as the days wear on. Matt has basically been abandoned by everyone. Coach Taylor left him, Julie left him, his father left him, his grandmother's health is deteriorating. After a few typical Saracen moments -- including the stammering "so I'll talk to you when you call me" and the awesomely awkward scene in which he asks Tami if he's a chump -- he finally stood up for himself and told Julie she could shove it, and go to the Decemberists concert by herself. I keep waiting for a romance to blossom between Saracen and his grandmother's nurse -- anyone else? Perhaps now that he has finally stood up to Julie, that path has been cleared.

I too think Smash is kind of an ass, and I get that Matt is acting out due to his sense of general frustration, but regardless I am tiring of their feud. Coach Taylor trying to bring them back together with his "award-winning chili" was a cute moment, and I did love when the two decided to bury their feelings in order to get back into play after Taylor took them out of the game --the "we're BFFs again" line was a nice small touch -- but this fix is only on the surface and they will doubtless continue to fight. Which could get boring, fast.

Finally, we come to Landry, who is fast becoming one of the best characters on FNL. His evolution from season one has been great, and I'm waiting with bated breath for his father to finally figure out his role in the murder. I was unsure about the assignment of Landry as a football player -- he was the only male character who wasn't on the team, right? But I love that Coach calls him Lance, and every time he shouts it whoever is in the vicinity says "You mean Landry?" I loved the moment when Coach told him that he would become an important part of the team, affectionately rubbing his head. I was surprised that his father would forbid Tyra to see him, because I thought it was obvious to parents that that sort of behavior only drives people closer together.

I did NOT love Tyra in the moment that she broke up with him. Ouch! That was harsh. "Take a look in a mirror, I don't know what I was thinking with you." And his face just crumples, and it was the saddest thing. I found this to be completely out of character for Tyra. I understand the idea behind making a breakup so harsh that the other person is too stunned to react, or hoping that it makes them hate you too much to argue, and that I can see Tyra's character doing. However, I do not see our "bad girl with a heart of gold" crushing someone she loves simply because his father threatens her. It just didn't jive with how her character has heretofore been portrayed. And I was really annoyed when Landry walked back into the diner and looked at Saracen with that crushed puppydog look and Matt DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE. Hello, aren't they best friends? That was fucked.

In the realms of "TV on DVD Land" I have started watching "Studio 60." And I am pissed at myself for not watching it when it was on. Aaron Sorkin, holla! More analysis to come as I get further into it.

11.02.2007

WHAT are you microwaving?!?!



The Office - Branch Wars
When recently appointed Utica Regional Manager Karen tries to lure Stanley to work at her branch, Michael and Dwight kidnap Jim to help them strike back with a poorly planned prank. Meanwhile, the exclusive "Finer Things Club" rubs the rest of the office the wrong way. Photo © NBC.

I'm torn. I'm delighted that this episode was so great, but I'm disappointed because The Office's track record as of late makes it clear that it can no longer be depended upon to provide a routine ray of sunshine on an otherwise boring Thursday night.

"Branch Wars" was literally overflowing with choice bits, not the least of which included Jim finding the Molotov cocktails in the trunk -- "These have been back here the whole time we've been driving?!?!" -- as well as "I think I cut my penis on the lid," "Wanted: middle-aged black man with sass," "The eyes are the groin of the head," and my personal favorite, "WHAT are you microwaving?!?!" In fact, I think pretty much every single moment was pure gold.

But the best part was the cringe-worthy awkwardness between Karen and Jim. How much did you wince when Karen told Jim that he should have just called her if he wanted to see her ... because of course, you knew what was coming. You just didn't expect it to be quite as awful as it was. Jim has always had a firm grasp on the rules of social propriety, but he absolutely ate it when he came face-to-face with Karen. And it just kept getting worse and worse, until he wasn't even forming words anymore. A fantastically written scene, and terrific acting from John Krasinski and Rashida Jones.

Finally, in my running tally of "things that will eventually lead to a Jim & Pam breakup," comes the book club scene at the end. It's entirely possible that I'm over-emphasizing certain moments just because I cannot believe that a breakup is not imminent, but what that scene said to me -- buried way beneath the humor -- was that Pam let Jim be a part of something that is important to her, and he scoffed at it. He didn't bother to read the book, and he just didn't get the point of the Finer Things Club. Call me crazy. Tell me I'm over-analyzing. But just watch, and wait...

11.01.2007

In other news: kittens on parade



Pushing Daisies - Girth
When horse jockeys start turning up dead, Olive must face her past and admit a dark secret. Meanwhile, Chuck and Olive take their first steps toward a tentative friendship, and Ned goes to the aunts for hints about his own past. Photos © ABC/Justin Stephens.

Does the narrator of Pushing Daisies always rhyme? I'd never noticed before, and last night I found it profoundly irritating. But! This is the first episode since the pilot that I have really enjoyed. Kristen Chenoweth and Chi McBride are amazing, and it was a delight to see an episode that used -- nay, revolved around -- the fact that KC is about 4 feet tall.

Perhaps I am too angst-ridden, but when I first heard about PD I
expected the show to be a hell of a lot darker than it is. Admittedly, this expectation came from nowhere. I imagined that the romance between Chuck & Ned would be more ... unrequited. Actually, that's a poor choice of words. I guess I mean ... veiled. (This is becoming a theme, dear reader. Obviously I am a fan of the "we like each other but keep it a secret" plot). I thought there would be an even mixture of cuteness and awkwardness and sadness, and this would be compounded by the fact that they can't ever touch. I didn't think they would instantly be in love. I mean honestly, they haven't spoken since they were children, so they don't even know each other. I didn't think they'd be all cutesy, kissing through plastic wrap and hand-holding with gloves on and whatnot. I thought they'd be "moodier than a pumpkin full of PMS," to steal a phrase from last night's episode. I cannot suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy this relationship.

That being said, I am interested in the nicely-developing triangle consisting of Olive,
Chuck, and Ned. When Ned rescued Olive, literally sweeping her off her feet, I felt a little thrill. And then when he dropped her -- again, quite literally -- to rush to Chuck's side, I thought "ah yes, this is the show I wanted." More character development, more moodiness, more angst -- now that's a PD I can get behind. As for the scenes from the next episode, I don't hold high hopes for Olive and Ned ending up naked (nice bit of cropping there, ABC) and I can only hope that their kiss does not take place in a dream.

Top bits:

-- "And he's going to kill agem."
-- Chuck trying to convince herself that she's the scary dead person.
-- And then throwing oyster crackers at Emerson's head when he startles her.
-- Digby's matching ghost outfit.

Where do I recognize Barbara
Barrie (Mrs. Jacobs) from? A quick look at IMDB leads me to believe it's from Dead Like Me, though that doesn't seem right. Anyone know what it might be? Comment us!




Supernatural - Bad Day At Black Rock

After the Winchester brothers discover their father's secret storage facility -- and that it's been broken into -- they find a cursed rabbit's foot that gives anyone who touches it good luck ... until you lose it, and then you die. In a race to save their own lives, the pair runs up against a mysterious thief who steals cursed items in order to line her own pockets. Photo
© The CW.

I am now caught up with Season 3 of Supernatural. Without commercials, the episodes fit perfectly into my lunch breaks at work -- pop open the iBook, pop on the headphones, and ignore the weird looks people give me when they pass my cubicle, because obviously it looks like I'm wasting time while on the clock.

It is a disappointment that nobody I know watches this show, because it is SO GOOD. Hot boys, check. Perfect mix of creepy and silly, check. Hot boys, check. Hot father, even! What's not to love?!?

Sure, it blatantly steals from about 100 other sources (The Ring, 28 Days Later, Children of the Corn, Final Destination, to name a few) but it doesn't care. And neither do I. So far Season 3 is a lot bloodier than the previous seasons; yesterday I found myself making little "eek" noises out loud (thus provoking even more weird looks from co-workers), especially when that dude fell onto a barbeque fork and it stabbed him through the throat. Gross!

I love the new baddie, who is hopefully sticking around, cause Michael Massee is awesome. Side note thanks to Wikipedia:
Massee has the unfortunate distinction of firing the gun that killed Brandon Lee during the filming of The Crow, though it was found to be an accident. Huh. Anyway, the man is perfect as a crazy hunter who believes he's doing God's work and is hell-bent on killing Sam Winchester. Poor Sam just can't catch a break, can he? Damn!

This episode also introduced Bela, a British chick who steals artifacts in order to sell them. She does not appear to have a conscience. The writers should stick with that. I was doubtful when I heard that Supernatural was going to introduce two female leads -- Ruby (a.k.a. "Blondie Demon") and Bela. Fortunately Ruby is a demon, and Bela is a bitch. But, I do foresee some type of romantic involvement between Dean and Bela (even if it's just flirting), so we'll see how that goes. I'm sure she has some sob story about why she became a thief. Blech. The angle that there is little difference between Dean and Bela is nice, though. I loved her back-talkin' speech after Dean bad-mouthed her:

"[Hunters are] a bunch of obsessed, revenge-driven sociopaths trying to save a world that can't be saved. We're all going to hell ... might as well enjoy the ride."

However, hands down the best line in the entire episode came earlier, when crazy-hunter's friend was trying to convince him to eat at a particular restaurant by showing him the menu online and crazy-hunter replied, "Looks good. I like that when they dip a whole onion in the fryer."

In other news...
* Whatever will we do?!?!
* Felicity is in a new movie. And it looks really terrible.
* ICK!
* Chuck's Zachary Levi enjoys nerding out.
* And what's wrong with The Simpsons, I ask you?
* More Friday Night Lights love.
* Yeah, sure it is.
* Like Project Runway?
* Spoilers from Ausiello.
* HIMYM's Barney lost his virginity to...