Thanks for sticking by us through this time of nothing to watch and nothing to blog about. The poll for what to watch next has decided that Boots will watch Once and Again, so she will. However, Alligator has just lent her My So-Called Life, so that may have to come first. Sorry!
We are in Seattle for the holidays, and will be until after New Years, so posts will be spotty. Fortunately we still have remaining eps of Friday Night Lights and (we believe) Reaper when we come back, so god bless us every one!
I know, I'm super lame and it's Monday. Things have been nuts.
As I made my way through the 6 seasons of DC, there were tons of guest stars I was shocked to see—including Tony Hale (Buster from Arrested Development) as a doctor in season 4, Ken Marino (Vinnie van Lowe from Veronica Mars) as a teacher Joey almost has an affair with in season 5, Seth Rogen as a slacker in season 6—the list goes on and on. When you glance over the partial list below, you will notice certain titles keep popping up—in particular Buffy, Six Feet Under, Twin Peaks, and various Judd Apatow-related projects.
Now, is this because there are a limited number of bit players in Hollywood, or does this somehow make DC cooler? I vote that it makes it cooler!
Busy Phillips (Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared)
Seth Rogen (Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared)
Monica Keena (Undeclared)
Bianca Lawson (Buffy)
Mercedes McNab (Buffy)
Jason Behr (Roswell, Buffy)
Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under, 24, The OC, Buffy)
Jeremy Sisto (Six Feet Under)
Hal Ozsan (Six Feet Under, Felicity, Roswell)
Scott Foley (Felicity, Scrubs, Sweet Valley High)
Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Reaper)
Mädchen Amick (Twin Peaks)
Dana Ashbrook (Twin Peaks)
Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks)
Jennifer Morrison (House)
Tony Hale (Arrested Development)
Taylor Handley (The OC, Hidden Palms)
Jensen Ackles (Supernatural)
Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill)
Ali Larter (Heroes)
Ken Marino (Veronica Mars, Wet Hot American Summer)
Michael Pitt (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Dreamers)
Mika Boorem (Blue Crush)
Julie Bowen (Lost)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire)
Brittany Daniel (Sweet Valley High)
Mimi Rogers (X Files)
Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement)
Jack Osbourne (The Osbournes)
Andy Griffith (The Andy Griffith Show)
Rachel Leigh Cook (Las Vegas, Babysitters Club, She’s All That)
Paul Gleason (Breakfast Club)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind)
Virginia Madsen (A Prairie Home Companion)
No Doubt (duh)
Supernatural – A Very Supernatural Christmas
Sam and Dean investigate murders committed by an “anti-Santa” who pulls his victims up chimneys. Meanwhile, Dean wants to celebrate a traditional Christmas since it will be his last, but Sam refuses. Photo © The CW.
The kitsch factor was super high in this one, and the episode was all the better for it. Yes, it’s times like these that highlight why I love this show so freakin’ much. Investigating the murders of people who have been pulled up chimneys at Christmastime, Sam and Dean believe they are hunting the “anti-Santa,” Santa’s rogue brother. [Note: in the Season 2 DVD special features, I learned that every story on Supernatural is based on actual lore. Sure enough, Wikipedia does turn up articles on the “anti-Santas” Sam tells Dean about - yikes]. But after a quick call to Bobby (who, in true Bobby fashion, tells them they’re morons), the brothers realize they’re barking up the wrong tree.
Eventually the discovery of meadowsweet wreaths leads the boys to the home of Madge and Edward Carrigan, an overly bright-and-cheery Cleaver-esque couple that immediately raises red flags for our intrepid hunters. Played by Merrilyn Gann (Everwood) and Spencer Garrett, Madge and Edward turn out to be pagan gods who “assimilated” with the onset of Christianity. They proceed to torture the boys, and Supernatural proceeds to gross me out by showing Sam’s fingernail get pulled off. When a peppy neighbor interrupts the proceedings to invite the Carrigans caroling, Sam and Dean manage to turn the tables. A brief scuffle ensues, ending with the boys ripping apart a Christmas tree with their bare hands and stabbing the Carrigans with the branches.
Seriously kids, this show is awesome.
The subplot was built around flashbacks to Sam and Dean’s childhood. Today, Dean wants to have a “real Christmas” because he believes it will be his last. Sam refuses, partly because he still can’t accept his brother’s impending death and partly because he has terrible memories of the holiday. In the flashback, we see that Sam and Dean spent Christmases alone, with John off hunting. Dean does his best to protect young Sammy from the truth of their lives, but around age 8–10 (I’m really bad with kids’ ages), Sam finds his father’s journal and realizes that his big brother (who’s what, 10–12?) sleeps with a gun under his pillow.
Although I’m not a big fan of the childhood flashbacks, this one did have its moments. I particularly loved the bit when young Sam asks, “So monsters are real? But Dad said there were no monsters under my bed,” and young Dean replies, “That’s because he had already checked.” Then, there was the scene in which young Dean wakes Sam up on Christmas morning. Sam, disappointed that his father has not returned home, gives Dean the gift meant for John. I’m thinking, “Please let it be something he still has,” and lo and behold, the gift turns out to be the amulet necklace that Dean wears.
In the end, Sam decides to give his big brother what he wants. Dean returns to their hotel room to find that Sam has decorated and made some (very potent) eggnog. The brothers exchange gifts wrapped in newspaper: porno mags and shaving cream for Sam, motor oil and a candy bar for Dean. For an instant it seems like Sam is about to get weepy, but instead he turns on the TV and the brothers settle in for a nice holiday together.
Other good bits:
Sam telling the elf at Santa’s village they’re only there “to watch.”
The brothers attempting to sing Silent Night: "Round… the table…"
Dean reminiscing about their family’s beer-can wreath.
Also, I want to thank you all for the rash of commenting lately and welcome new reader D.
And ... scene.
Friday Night Lights – The Confession
Landry comes clean about the killing, but his conscience still plagues him. Elsewhere, Herc urges Street to date, and the Taylors prepare to christen Gracie as the conflict between Tami and Julie grows. Photo © NBC.
“The Confession,” which could have been one of the best eps of the season, was actually kind of boring. Landry FINALLY confesses to the killing, and naturally no one really cares. I mean he accidentally killed a rapist who was in the process of attacking his girlfriend, so duh. The cops simply send him home after he confesses, and Landry freaks out, wanting—no, needing—to be punished for his perceived sin. But, he is the only one who sees it in those terms, and eventually everyone convinces him to plead self-defense (his dad even goes to Tyra for help, which was frankly unbelievable after he forced her to stay away from Landry in the first place). So Landry does tell the cops that it was self-defense, and that’s the end of that. No charges are brought against him. And after he tells Tyra this, the camera focuses on his mournful face and we see that he is not feeling any better. But hopefully this story arc is over. I was irritated when it began, because it is so not what FNL is about. Part of the charm of this show is that the problems are all rather commonplace (a la My So-Called Life in its heyday). To throw in something as dramatic as a murder and then have the story go nowhere is kind of lame.
And my complaints don’t stop there. WTF is going on with the continuity of relationships this season? As my friend Pants commented, it seems that each relationship exists solely to fulfill whatever role it needs to for a given ep. Some examples: Tyra & Landry, who I have complained about enough so I won’t bore you anymore. Street & Lyla, who had a dramatic breaking off of their engagement last season, and who had a kissy-cuddly moment in Mexico though the breakup business was never resolved, and who are now suddenly best friends chatting casually about who they are dating. Tami & Julie, who got into a HUGE screaming fight about Noah last ep and yet it is not mentioned at all in this one.
Anyway, on with the recap. Street returns! Herc convinces him to date again, and he makes a date with a girl he finds online (WheelLovers.com if I remember correctly). Street meets the girl, who tells him she likes being peed on, and he tries to sneak out while she’s in the bathroom. His waitress objects to this until he tells her about the pee thing, and he ends up with her instead. She is cute, but doesn’t have quite enough sass. We’ll see. In other big news, Street moves in with Herc, and it’s about time. I am thrilled about the prospect of more Herc, and it will be interesting to see how Street grows now that he’s on his own.
The Taylor family is gearing up for Gracie’s christening, and godmother Julie is feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated. She and Tami get into yet another screaming match, with Julie telling Tami that she would like to be thanked for everything she’s helping do. She storms out, and Tami retorts that she would also like a thank you, though she says this to an empty room. Awww, how sad. Or not, because she’s a mother and that’s her job. I get that Tami is also feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated, but tough. Tami is behaving exactly like Julie, and Julie is FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. I haven’t had much sympathy for Tami this season. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to and I’m just an ass, or what.
Santiago returns! I knew Buddy would be a good dad, and I am so, so glad that I was right. With a game coming up, Santiago convinces himself that he can’t handle the pressure and freaks out on Buddy, telling him that he hates him. Buddy reacts by not reacting, and begs Coach Taylor to let Santiago play. After getting pummeled a few times, Santiago throws his all into the game and makes a fantastic tackle. I actually yelled, “Somebody hug him!” at the TV, but alas, no one did. The other players did pat him on the helmet, which is ok too. The “bad-player-suddenly-does-something-great” bit was awfully familiar (Landry, anyone?) but I liked it because I like Santiago. And when Buddy was outside waiting for him after the game and Santiago wholeheartedly thanked him for everything—whew! Turn on the waterworks.
Riggins’ creepy meth roommate stalks him before waking him up with a gun to the ribs, and Riggins finally leaves the house. I’m tiring of this storyline, though I imagine we have not seen the last of the roommate. Otherwise everything involving Riggins was fabulous, as Coach turns him into his own personal assistant as payback for Riggins’ recent bad behavior. From Riggins’ comments about the girls’ gymnastic comp he helps out with (“Jenny’s just not sticking her landing, she’s her own worst enemy”), to him sitting in the locker room with a ribbon baton (how very Get In Shape, Girl), to him sleeping in his truck outside Coach’s house until Eric wordlessly gives him a sleeping bag, it was all perfection.
Finally, Matt and Carlotta are blissfully in love and boring as hell.
And that’s it for FNL until 2008.
Gossip Girl - Hi, Society
Serena’s grandmother has much to say about the upcoming debutante ball, insisting that her reluctant granddaughter attend – and find a more suitable escort than Dan. Meanwhile, Nate accompanies Blair to the ball as her friend, and Jenny hopes to go to the event, though her parents would rather she didn’t. Photo © The CW.
Can't trust those blue bloods! Serena's "sick" grandmother, Ce Ce, pays the fam a visit and her dying wish is for Serena to come out at cotillion. She's tricked into getting all fancied up in a gold frock and Ce Ce even lines up a smarmy escort for her. No, not that kind of escort. Apparently back in the day Ce Ce tried to split up the burgeoning romance between Lily and Rufus by paying him off. Rufus couldn't be bought but unfortunately Lily could. Fast-forward twenty years and we have the same scenario again. Ce Ce tries to buy all of the work in Rufus's rinky dink gallery (ironically all Alison's artwork). Rufus tells her to shove it and tells Dan that Ce Ce is a creep and not to be trusted. Sweet Dan runs off to Serena to break the news about her lame-ass granny but she doesn't take it too well. Serena goes to Cotillion with Carter Baizen, who you may remember from the Nate gambling scandal earlier in the season. He is the mayor of creep city and Ce Ce loves him.
Blair kicks Chuck to the curb and takes Nate back. I liked the Chuck/Blair romance and the possibility of the Jenny/Nate romance so this plot line was a disappointment. But, Chuck is a slime ball and Nate is super hot so I suppose I can't blame Blair.
Jenny decides to blow of her mom's important art opening at pop's gallery to be a Cotillion volunteer. She even refuses to wear the uber-cute vintage shoes her mom finds for her. That was really sad. Alison is much more appealing when she stands up to Jenny and tells her to get her ass into gear. Of course, Alison's new appeal came at the wrong time because Rufus essentially confesses his feelings for Lily. FINALLY!! He saw his son stand up to Ce Ce and he wishes he had done the same. Is it too late?
Joey loves Dawson, but they are just friends. Finally, he sees her in a new light and they kiss. But then Joey needs to “find herself” because her life is tied up too tightly with Dawson’s. Her father is released from prison, but Dawson discovers he’s dealing cocaine. Dawson convinces Joey to wear a wire and get a confession from her father, but afterward she feels terrible and tells Dawson she doesn't want to know him anymore.
Joey tries to rekindle her romance with Dawson, but he rejects her and asks Pacey to “watch out for her.” After tons of building sexual tension, Pacey and Joey begin dating in secret. When the relationship is accidentally revealed, Dawson is so angry that Joey dumps Pacey in order to make amends. But, after seeing how miserable she is, Dawson realizes he’s being a dick and Joey finally tells Pacey she’s in love with him. However, Joey & Pacey’s relationship begins to suffer when Joey is admitted to a prestigious college in Boston. Pacey, with neither the grades nor the money to attend school, decides he is holding Joey back. After the couple has sex for the first time, Joey lies to Dawson about it…and then agrees to let him pay her college tuition. An increasingly insecure Pacey publicly dumps Joey in the middle of senior prom, and Joey ends up kissing Dawson three episodes later.
As Dawson leaves for film school, he confesses to Joey that he wants to be with her. She rejects him (get used to it, folks) but then rushes to the airport to declare her love. Dawson is tempted to stay but she convinces him that film is his destiny. After a summer of not speaking, Joey and Dawson have sex for the first time. The next day, she finds out he has a girlfriend. Joey says goodbye to Dawson once again. Then, after her boyfriend Eddie leaves for school in California, Pacey admits that he still loves her. The two briefly rekindle their romance, but she dumps him when Eddie returns to town.
The final two episodes are set 5 years in the future, where Joey freaks out after accidentally finding an engagement ring hidden by her live-in boyfriend. Realizing she doesn’t want to marry him, Joey finally chooses: although Dawson is her soul mate, she is meant to be with Pacey.
D: Do you think it would’ve worked out between us if things had been different?
J: I don’t know. They never are, are they?
Pacey and Joey, on the other hand, were clearly meant for each other. Both were scrappy, sarcastic, and vulnerable in similar ways. Both had highly dysfunctional families and trust issues. Both were forced into self-sufficiency at a young age, and were driven to take care of themselves. In their respective relationships with Joey, Dawson focused on abstract ideas of love, on semantics, and on himself. Pacey focused on Joey. Dawson and Joey were forever bogged down by their past, unable to move beyond it. Pacey and Joey were all about the future, challenging each other to grow up and move forward. Here's a scene from the finale:
P: I've never really put much faith in all that “if you love someone, set them free” crap, as evidenced by everything I've done in my life up to this very moment, but I am determined to be happy…And I love you. I mean, I have always, always loved you…but I also want for you to be happy…I want you to be with someone who can be a part of the life that you want for yourself. I want you to be with someone who makes you feel like I feel when I'm with you. So, I guess the point to this long run-on sentence that's been the last 10 years of our lives is just that the simple act of being in love with you is enough for me. So you're off the hook.
J: For the record, I don't want to be let off the hook. Everything I've done in my life has led me here, right now, and the last thing I want, need, or deserve is to be let off somebody's hook… I love you. You know that. And it's very real. It's so real that it's kept me moving—mostly running—from it, never ready for it…I can't be let off the hook because I just might get the notion that it's ok to keep running.Related: A highly entertaining treatise on the similarities between Pacey/Joey and Logan/Veronica.
Friday Night Lights – Seeing Other People
Smash visits a college that’s recruiting him; Matt considers an open relationship; Tami lashes out at Julie’s teacher; Eric is jealous of Tami’s relationship with a colleague, and Tyra’s attacker’s brother asks to meet with her. Photos © NBC.
I have newly converted a friend from work into a FNL fan, so I will likely be mentioning her in my FNL posts. Her name is Pants. Just, you know, FYI.
As FNL opens, Matt & Smash are at odds again. The Panthers have just lost a game, but Smash is far too self-involved to care. He’s being recruited, and that’s all he can think about, as he is on his way to visit McNair State for the weekend. Smash is starry-eyed after being wined, dined, and girlied by the college, and all of the players are welcoming – except one huge guy named Katrell, who is super rude to Smash for no reason. Later, Smash is in his boxers and on the verge of doing it with some random girl when Katrell bursts in, furious. Is it his girlfriend? His sister? Alas, it is not for us to know. Regardless, Katrell chases Smash from the room, and from the campus, screaming at him to choose another school. I sense we have not seen the last of Katrell, and I foresee some type of male bonding in the future. Pants wondered if Katrell is the brother of the girl Smash was macking on last episode, but we have no idea.
Meanwhile, Matt is given the opportunity to sleep with Lauren (previously known as “New Cheerleader”), but he refuses due to his feelings for Nurse Carlotta. Moments later, however, Carlotta attempts to shut down his growing crush by pretending nothing has happened between them. Later he makes another move, and this time Carlotta responds, but the two are interrupted by a surprise visit from Lauren.
The two storylines converge when Smash calls Matt to pick him up from where his hideout under an overpass. Apparently they are buddies again after all, although when did this happen? A few episodes ago, when Eric kicked Matt & Smash out of the game until they agreed to “be BFFs again,” it was obvious they were just doing it so they could play. But then suddenly, the rift between them has healed – when and how did this happen? Did I miss something?
Anyway, Smash tells Matt that the best way to get Lauren to dump him is to ask her if they can have an open relationship. This does indeed work, but Lauren is understandably upset and tells Matt she can’t believe his behavior after she told him what her last boyfriend did. I feel the crazy bubbling up, folks! Matt goes back to Carlotta and tells her that he has broken up with Lauren, that he can’t stop thinking about her, and that he “really likes her.” How adorable is this boy? He goes back to his room, but Carlotta comes in and attacks him, and Matt loses his virginity.
Although I'm no Lauren fan, I'm also not into the Matt-Carlotta relationship. As Pants pondered this morning, "Isn't that statutory rape, again?" When you think about it, there is an awful lot of that sort of thing going on in Dillon, and yet no one bats an eye.
Across town, Riggins has moved in with a freaky guy that Tyra’s stripper sister knows. The guy is kind of gross but seems nice, convincing Riggins that there’s more to life than football and taking him hunting. They have a nice day drinking and not shooting anything. But, in a not-so-shocking twist, the roomie turns out to be a drug dealer! Or he’s running a meth lab or something, I wasn’t really clear. But it’s something bad. And he tells Riggins, “It’s a good thing you’re a cool dude or I’d have to kill you.” And he’s totally not joking.
Understandably upset after this glimpse of what life may have in store for him, Riggins goes to practice, suits up, and refuses to leave the field. He individually apologizes to each member of the team, and they all forgive him. Eric concedes to let Riggins take his spot, although he tells the boy that he still has a long way to go. Will Riggins move back home? I hope so, I love the relationship between Tim and his brother.
During the aforementioned football game, Shelley confirms Tami's suspicions that Julie has a crush on her teacher Noah, though she assures Tami that nothing is going on. Not one to treat such things lightly, Tami corners Noah in a classroom and reams him out, threatening to have him fired and thrown in prison. He looks completely taken aback, and FNL is walking a nice fine line with this character. It does seem possible that something untoward is going on, but at the same time Noah doesn't appear to be doing anything wrong. It's kind of nice that we don't really know what's going on, and are left to draw our own conclusions. Naturally, all the students find out about Tami's tirade and it sets the school abuzz. When Julie hears the news, she storms into the guidance office, screams at Tami, and then rips a few posters off the wall for good measure.
Moving on in her reign of destruction, Tami gets into a huge fight with Eric after she goes for a night out with some other teachers. Upon hearing that Glen was there, Eric tells Tami that he doesn’t like her spending time with Glen, and his reprimand is almost word-for-word what Tami has said to Noah earlier that day (right down to “lunch behind closed doors”). Eric tells Tami she needs to pay more attention to her family (!!!) and although it would have been perfectly within reason for her to smack him, instead Tami tells him that he’s sleeping on the couch. Finally, after a mini-fight with Shelley, Tami realizes that her actions have had mortifying consequences for Julie. She also makes up with Eric, who admits that he’s feeling neglected and he misses her.
Once again, no mention of Street. Also, no mention of Santiago. This sucks!
Last but not least, the cops come to see Tyra because her attacker’s brother wishes to make amends. Tyra agrees to see him but then freaks out, so Landry agrees to go in her place. But seriously, WTF is up with Tyra & Landry!?! After everything they have been through, and the way she treated him during their breakup, I can’t believe things have just gone back to normal. Their interactions are really stilted and weird, and I don’t understand what their relationship is supposed to be anymore.
Anyway, Landry meets with the brother, Jeff, who goes on about how he can’t believe his brother would do such awful things, it’s not like him, blah blah blah. Landry, suffering equal parts guilt and anger, gets increasingly upset until he finally blows up and walks out on the guy … and runs into a beatific Lyla. Landry admits that he has a terrible secret eating away at him, and Lyla tells him that truth is a surrender to God. This was really much less hokey than it sounds, and the show ends with Landry walking into the police station and confessing to the killing.
The scenes from next week’s FNL looked kind of awful.
“Was it murder … or self-defense? Will he be ... convicted?”
In an earlier post I referred to the incident as “the murder” and then I immediately felt stupid. Isn’t this pretty cut-and-dried self-defense, or at least manslaughter? Plus there’s the fact that this guy has attacked and raped other women, which we discovered in this episode. The attempt to entice viewers by dangling the possibility that Landry will be convicted of murder seems like NBC thinks we’re all idiots.
I still love FNL, but upon talking with Pants this morning I am left wondering what will happen at the end of this season. The seniors are graduating, right? Smash, Riggins, Street … how can FNL continue with all these boys in college? Will Riggins flunk out? Will Smash leave? What do you think? Leave us a comment!