2.29.2008

A new approach.



Lost – The Constant
Sayid and Desmond run into turbulence on their way to the freighter, causing Desmond to suffer unusual side effects.

I’m taking a new approach to this this week. I’m sick of writing a detailed recap every week because I figure if you’re watching the show you don’t need me to retell what happened for you. They’re also super tedious to write and I’m sure you can find a detailed recap on ABC.com or somewhere else. This week was far too detailed to write out EVERYTHING that happened so I’m just going to react to it because it was nothing short of amazing and doesn’t deserve any trite commentary I throw in every once in a while. I’ve believed for a while that Desmond may be the key to unlocking everything that is going on with the island and this episode just cements that more and more in my mind.

Don’t be fooled. I’m not so sure this was a time travel episode. It may have been but I think something else is going on. There is a lot of speculation out there about who Daniel Faraday actually is. One of the most popular rumors is that he is the great-grandson of the famous British physicist Michael Faraday. Michael Faraday did a lot of studies on electromagnetism and discovered that magnetism could affect rays of light. If you remember in the first episode of this season, Daniel remarked that light didn’t seem to work the same on the island. I’m inclined to believe that there is sort of an electromagnetic field around the island that affects everything within its sphere of influence whether that be light, sound, or time and space. I know this episode seems like it was about time travel but I don’t think it was. I think that Desmond is jumping between real time and imaginary time. Imaginary time is a theory popularized by Steven Hawking. “Imaginary time is a way of looking at the time dimension as if it were a dimension of space: you can move forward and backward along imaginary time, just like you can move right and left in space.” After seeing a screen cap of Daniel’s notebook I’m fairly certain that’s exactly what is going on here.

A really interesting piece of Desmond’s story was during one of his flashbacks to 1996 when he came into the auction that Penny’s dad Charles Widmore is at. He was bidding on the first mate’s ledger from the Black Rock and the seller’s name was Tobard Hanso. This caught me right away because the captain of the Black Rock was Magnus Hanso. Alvar Hanso founded the Hanso Foundation which created the DHARMA Initiative. Why would Charles Widmore be interested in a ledger that possible talked about the island back in 1996? Maybe that is how Penny knows about the island and perhaps why Charles got Desmond into that sailing competition that landed him on the island. Ok I’ll be honest, anything involving the former Caleb Nichol gets me in a tizzy. He has got to be one of the best “son of a bitch” actors out there. No matter what he does you want to poke him in the eye and call him a jerk.

This episode really didn’t get into details about anyone other than Desmond so it doesn’t leave a lot of questions. It was mostly explaining how things on the island work. I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole card game thing Daniel and Charlotte were doing in the previous episode had something to do with Daniel skipping in and out of different times himself. Remember one of the first times we see Daniel he is crying while watching a camera swim around the fake wreckage of Flight 815 and he doesn’t know why he’s upset. Daniel had been exposed to a lot of radiation in his lab at Oxford, and Desmond had been exposed to a lot of electromagnetism while down in the hatch. Daniel says that those are factors that can trip the symptoms that Desmond exhibits when he leaves the island.

I want to make a special note to point out the last part of the episode. Who is their right mind didn’t get a little teary when Sayid finally fixed the phone and Desmond was finally able to talk to Penny. He called her eight years later on the day he said he would. She’s spent three years looking for him and she finally gets to talk to him and know for sure that he is alive. I know "long-lost lover" tales are told way too much in the movies but I thought this was handled very delicately and I never felt that I was being milked for tears. I was generally happy that Desmond and Penny FINALLY got to have some contact because obviously they dearly love each other no matter what occurred between them in the past.

This episode only left me with two questions. I wonder who the “friend” on the boat is that left the door open for Desmond, Sayid, and Minkowski to get to the communication deck is; and I wonder why Desmond Hume is Daniel Faraday’s constant. I have a feeling that Daniel is going to start making a lot more sense and seem a lot less absent-minded.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll probably go back to the old format for the next episode but I thought this episode was so different I wanted to address it in a different manner.

2.28.2008

ANTM Cycle 10: Homeless Edition



America's Next Top Model – NYC, Here We Come
The 14 models move into a NYC apartment and visit a modeling agency, where they are critiqued by Paulina Porizkova. Later, they pose as homeless individuals for a photo shoot.

The girls move into their NYC loft, where there is one room of bunk beds and one giant bed that apparently some will have to share. Marvita (who was homeless) and Fatima (the girl from Somalia who suffered through genital mutilation) are bitches at first, but along the way they decide to be friends.

Immediately I like Amis, Claire, Lauren, and Dominique. The girls do a Badgley Mischka runway show in Times Square -- already it’s clear that being in NY is going to make this a very different ANTM. In my opinion Dominique does the best, though Whitney (this season’s token plus-sized model) is also good.

On their first task the girls go to Elite and meet Paulina Porizkova, who tells them their faults. This brief scene was shown in its entirety during the commercials, so nothing too exciting here, although it's still funny when Paulina tells Dominique she looks like a transvestite.

Anya talks weird, like she’s deaf. There is way too much screaming and clapping. The “Tyra mail” comes electronically and they all read it out loud together. Ick.

For the first shoot, ANTM wants to “spotlight a major issue in America” so the girls team up with a foundation for homeless girls. The contestants are dressed as very fashionable homeless individuals while the real homeless girls pose in the background dressed in couture. Unless they’re about to “discover” a homeless girl who will join the show, this seems unnecessary and a bit weird. Amis is worst, way too bouncy and unfocused. Assuming that the first girl chosen in the judging room is still the “winner,” Anya takes the best photo.

Claire is voted Cover Girl’s “model of the week” by viewers. In terms of personality she reminds me a lot of Danielle, and unless she does something drastic I predict that she will go far, and continue to be a fan favorite. She’s a sweet, outgoing, somewhat unusual-looking activist and so far, she takes great pictures. I mean, duh.

In the judging room, Tyra announces that Paulina Porizkova will take Twiggy’s place as a judge. So far she’s great– opinionated, funny, and honest. And she’s amazing-looking. Through the entire episode, Kim has talked about how she doesn’t believe in high fashion because “no one should spend $500 on a piece of clothing.” Unbelievably she says this to the judges, and they are horrified. Tyra asks if she wants to leave, and she says yes. As far as I know that’s a first…

Regardless of this, the judges go on with their elimination. It comes down to Amis and Atalya. Amis has an “interesting face” and Atalya looks like “a pretty Barbie.” So guess who gets cut?

2.27.2008

You know Blake, he went to Northwestern.



Once and Again – Cat-In-Hat
Random but related: I was looking through a catalog at work yesterday and saw a one-sheet for the DVD release of Across the Universe. There was a large picture of Evan Rachel Wood, and damn if she didn’t look almost exactly the same. Anyway, it’s become clear that I prefer the episodes that revolve around the Sammler family so hopefully I’m in for a treat. We open with Karen and Leo in bed, while B&W Karen talks about how she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. Rick calls and she lies about being at work. Leo wakes up and tells her she’s cute, and Karen says, “That’s not really an adjective that I get a lot.” Leo is good for her.

And woah, Adam Brody! In much the same role as ever, but this time he’s a jock and music geek. And … WTF?!? Rilo Kiley?!? Eli and Adam Brody run into Blake and Jenny in a guitar store and keep making references to Northwestern. I’ll have to look that up. Considering that she got her start in Troop Beverly Hills, Jenny Lewis is a terrible actress. Ha.

Leo shows up at the Sammler house unannounced and Karen’s dirty little secret is out. Rick and Lily also happen to stop by, so everyone knows. Eli wants to go see “Blake’s band” – they have yet to name the band, which is weird – but the show is at a bar so Karen says no. Eli goes behind her back to Rick, leaving out key details, and Rick gives him permission. Unfortunately, Leo takes Karen to the same show, where she is thrilled to be carded. Naturally, Eli runs into Karen and, because he’s a dick, tells her she’s too old to be there. Finally, at this point, Jenny says, “We’re Rilo Kiley” as they leave the stage. Too bizarre.

Jessie is going for her black belt in Tai Kwon Do, and is set to spar against a cute boy who is flirting with her. When she beats him, he starts treating her like crap. Jessie decides not to take the black belt test, but then she realizes she’s being stupid, takes the test, and gets her black belt.

Once and Again – My Brilliant Career
Lily is easier to take when she’s not acting like a princess, but not by much. In this ep we see her floundering in her new job as personal assistant to Christie, the young, high-maintenance editor of a hip magazine. Christie doesn’t trust Lily with any real work, which annoys Lily. Christie is irritated by Lily’s incompetence yet jealous of her for having a life.

Also in this ep, we discover that Jake and Tiffany are still together. And Grace accidentally discovers that Jake started dating Tiffany while he was still married to Lily. It’s pretty awful, and Jake is forced to put on a happy face for Zoe, who has no idea what is going on.

2.26.2008

I think we could be part of the same karass.



My So-Called Life – On the Wagon
While Rayanne struggles to stay sober, Angela spends all her time with Jordan. Searching for something to fill the void, Rayanne tries out for lead singer of Jordan’s band.

Rayanne has been clean for 33 days, and since she is only required to see the guidance counselor for a month, she stops going. Jordan and Angela have broken up, but are spending more time together than ever. Even though Rayanne plays it tough, she feels neglected. As the distance between the two girls grows, Rayanne decides to try out for lead singer of Jordan’s band so she can spend more time with her friend. Since she can’t turn to Angela, she goes to Sharon for advice.

Rayanne’s mom still drinks around her, making the poor girl’s sobriety even more difficult. Patty wonders if she should speak to Amber, but Graham tells her that it’s inappropriate to infer that another parent has done a bad job raising their children. Patty, unable to control herself, calls to casually ask Amber to ask if Rayanne is drinking again, and Amber tells her to butt out. As it turns out, Rayanne sings decently, but at their first gig she is so nervous that she runs off stage, crying about how everyone has been expecting her to fail. Rickie absolutely freaks out, thinking that he’ll find Rayanne in a gutter somewhere. He calls Angela for help, and Patty intervenes. She goes to Rayanne’s and accuses Amber of being a bad parent who doesn’t know anything about her own child, only to have Rayanne trudge sleepily from the bedroom and Amber haughtily explain that they spent the evening eating cookie dough.

Rickie is furious that Rayanne has caused so much worry, but in the end everyone makes up. Rayanne, Rickie, and Angela go to see a movie. In line, Rayanne begins to sing a sultry, soulful version of the Sesame Street theme song, cheered on by the crowd. The guy in line behind them in line is holding a beer, and as he dances with Rayanne, she automatically takes a swig of his drink without thinking. And that’s the end. This is a great example of the realism of MSCL. Rayanne doesn’t have one bad experience and suddenly stop being an alcoholic. Instead, she faces a long road of temptation and missteps but still remains committed to facing her demons.

2.25.2008

Highlight of the Oscars



If you love Jennifer Garner -- and really, who doesn't -- you must watch this wonderful clip of Gary Busey kissing her on the red carpet. It has been a source of much workplace laughter today. He has since apologized, and it's really not that big a deal. Personally, I always like to see that actresses I like are cute and funny in person as well as onscreen.

$120,000 worth of feminist theory, down the drain…



Ed. note: please welcome new blogger Sexy Bacon!

Maybe it’s because I minored in Women’s Studies instead of committing to the full blown major. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read Judith Butler to the point that I ever really understood her. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t breastfed. The road to hell is paved with maybes (I know, I know, it’s good intentions, but that doesn’t really work with what I’m saying). Anyway, my road to hell is paved with a genuine love for Rescue Me -- misogyny, gender stereotypes, and all.

So I’m a bit of a crammer when it comes to TV on DVD. As in, six seasons of Alias? No problem, just give me a month! And a measly three seasons of Rescue Me? Pshaw, I’ll get back to you in two weeks!

Well, my friends, that two weeks is up, so let’s just cut to the chase here—who on God’s green earth would have thunk that my reaction to a fairly violent rape scene could be, “yeah, but you could tell she was kind of into it.”

Thus sums up my utter confusion: why exactly do I adore these completely messed-up, misogynistic, beefsteak specimens of all our society deems masculine? To be fair, they are all fairly complex characters in their own right, dealing with heavy shit—911 losses, family expectations, addiction of all sorts, divorce, death, not to mention risking life and limb on a daily basis. And they’re freakin’ hilarious. But across the board, their interactions/relationships with women are completely messed up and stereotypically gendered—from Franco, who goes out every night to get laid (“go at it like an oil rig,” as he puts it); to Lou, who is taken for all he’s worth by a conniving prostitute; to Sean, who falls for the meanest woman alive; to Tommy who, well, rapes his ex-wife, among other things.

And the ladies, the ladies, the ladies—don’t get me started. They’re no better—manipulative, demanding, at times shrewish, oftentimes whoreish, in very predictable ways. When you look at these characters’ actions, across the board, they fall into every tired old gender stereotype in the book.

So what, dear reader, is so appealing? We might just have to write it off to that certain je ne sais pas. Could be the acting—something about the way the actor who plays Sheila (Callie Thorne) still manages to make her so incredibly touching and endearing, even when she drugs Tommy (who is in recovery) in order to talk at him for hours, rape him, and destroy his house. Could be the writing—dealing with topics that explore the darkest sides of human nature while still managing to draw laughs.

Whatever it is, Rescue Me is not amazing in spite of its take on gender—it’s amazing because of it. Developing characters, stories, and dialogue that feed into and showcase all of these gender roles and interactions in very real ways, then exploring them not overtly but in ways so subtle that it’s difficult to even identify where it happens—brilliant.

And I don’t care what you say, that rape scene was kinda hot.


2.22.2008

No use having rules, if there is no punishment for breaking them.



Lost – Eggtown
Kate’s need to get information from the hostage could jeopardize her standing with both Locke and Sawyer.

We start out with Locke making breakfast for Ben. He uses the last two eggs. I still haven’t seen a chicken on the island but that’s ok. Locke takes the breakfast down to the purple and yellow version of Ben. I’m sort of wondering how much more punishment Ben can take. The guy just won’t shut up and he has to antagonize someone whenever he decides to open his mouth. Mental note: if I ever turn out like Ben, remember not to antagonize two ripped guys like Jack and Sawyer because even if I wasn’t tied up it wouldn’t be a fair fight. At this point Ben is lucky he isn’t missing teeth. Anyway, Ben antagonizes Locke and tells him he’s more lost than he ever was. If Locke would pistol whip Ben we might have something good going on but Locke just shuts the door and throws Ben’s food around. Ben gets that creepy look on his face because he knows he’s getting to Locke.

Flash Forward: Kate’s going to court. Well that screws my theory about her not being a member of the Oceanic 6. I also take back what I said about Kate looking better dirty earlier this season. Yeah, I’m wrong, because wow. Kate pleads not guilty for about 23 different charges but most glaringly murder in the first. If you remember that’s because she blew her father up for beating her mom. Remember that before you ever touch a woman boys. They won’t let Kate go on bail and she is remanded into custody.

We’re back on the island. Sun and Jin get a quick little segment. I think this is the most they’ve said all season and it basically consists of Jin wanting to go to America and Sun wanting to raise their baby in Korea. I suppose she misses the life of her husband being a thug enforcer for her Korean mobster dad. Jack walks out of the trees and introduces Daniel and Charlotte to the group. Blah blah blah, Kate has decided to stay with Locke. Obviously she has a reason and that’s because she wants to talk to Miles. Locke won’t tell her where he is so she finds Hurley bringing food to Miles and tricks himinto telling her where Miles is locked up. Kate wants to know if Miles knows who she is (a wanted murderer). Miles won’t answer but promises to tell her anything she wants to know if she gets him one minute with “Him.” I’m just going out on a limb here and saying he means Ben.

Flash Forward: Kate’s in jail and her lawyer wants her to take a deal. The lawyer wants to turn the case into a trial about her character rather than a trial about whether she blew her father up or not. The lawyer wants to bring in Kate’s son to prove her character, but she won’t allow it. Ummm…Earth to Brent. When Sawyer and Kate got it on did they make a mini-them? Back on the island Sun wants to know where Sayid is and why Kate stayed with Locke. Now we’re with Kate and Claire. Claire wants Kate to pick up Aaron because he’s crying but Kate doesn’t know how to hold a baby. Ok .wait a minute. Duh! Could they have made that more obvious? Here’s my prediction for the night: Kate’s "son" is Aaron.

Flash Forward: Kate’s on trial and her lawyer calls Jack to the stand to testify on her behalf. Kate doesn’t look too happy about it and the lawyer apologizes to her because he had to do it. The DA doesn’t want Jack to testify, but the judge allows it. Kate’s lawyer questions Jack about how he met Kate and Jack says flight 815 crashed in the water. Only eight people survived the crash, and Kate nursed them all back to health. Wow that’s a bombshell right there. So only six made it back to civilization out of eight living people according to liar Jack. Kate looks really uncomfortable and stands up and tells Jack to stop. The DA cross-examines Jack and ask if he loves the defendant. Jack stares at Kate and says, “Not anymore.”

Back on the island Kate uses Sawyer to help her break into Locke’s house so she can let Miles have his minute with Ben. Sawyer shows up on Locke’s doorstep wanting to play backgammon, and Locke accepts. Locke wants to know if Sawyer thinks Locke knows what he’s doing as far as leading everyone. Sawyer tells Locke that Kate wants to break Ben out and he and Locke go running down to find out why Miles wants a minute alone with Ben. Meanwhile Kate has already broke Miles out and is breaking into Ben’s cell. Once Miles is in contact with Ben he says, “I won’t tell ‘him’ where you are if you get me 3.2 million dollars.” OK, who is “him” and why does Miles want 3.2 million and not 4 million dollars? I’ll bet “him” is Abbadon the lawyer, who was after Hurley in the first episode. I have no idea why Miles wants to extort only 3.2 million though.

Miles knows Ben has or can get the money so obviously Ben has connections off the island. Kate pulls Miles out of the room and asks what Miles knows about her. Miles knows everything. He knows all the nasty little details about everyone on Oceanic Flight 815. Later, Locke comes to Kate and Claire’s house and wants to know what Miles and Ben spoke to each other about. Kate tells him and then Locke tells her to be gone by morning. Serves Kate right!

Flash Forward: Kate’s mom comes to her in court. She is the prosecution’s star witness because Kate confessed to her mom. Kate’s mom is really sick, and says she has lived four years after the doctors gave her six months to live and that she doesn’t want to fight with her daughter anymore. She agrees not to testify if Kate lets her see her grandson. Kate says no. The girl really seems to have a lot of animosity towards her mom. I guess it makes sense since her mom kept trying to turn her in after she wacked her dad.

On the island Kate shows up at Sawyer’s door. She tells him that Locke wants her to go. I can tell they’re about to have some sexy time and guess what…they do. Back on the beach with Jack’s crew, Daniel and Charlotte are playing some weird card game where Daniel tells Charlotte which cards are on the table while they’re flipped upside down. He gets two out of three, and why does she say "This is progress"? Jack has been trying to call the boat all episode and can’t get an answer. Charlotte tells him there is another channel for emergencies only. She calls it for Jack and Regina answers. Jack wants to know what happened to Sayid and Desmond. If you recall they got on the helicopter with Frank, the Keanu-Nolte hybrid, and flew off to the boat the day before. Regina says nobody ever made it to the boat.

Locke walks into the boathouse where Miles is locked up and he looks pissed. He sticks a grenade in Miles' mouth and pulls the pin. “Enjoy your breakfast,” says Locke. Boo yeah! John Locke is officially a badass. If Miles lets that thing go he gets splattered on the walls of that boat house. That might have saved an otherwise mild episode for me! Apparently Kate and Sawyer didn’t do the nasty the night before because Sawyer is a bit randy in the morning. Sawyer asks Kate if she still thinks she’s prego and she says no. Sawyer is real happy because he, like most men, doesn’t think having a child together would have been a party. Kate looks upset and says she’s going to the beach so Sawyer lets her have it. He basically says she’ll go to the beach until she gets mad at Jack, then come running back to him. That gets him slapped but he’s dead on.

Flash Forward: Kate’s mom won’t testify so Kate gets a plea bargain. She agrees to serve ten years probation and never leave the state. If I knew it was that easy to get out of approximately 47 charges I would do the same thing. When she walks out to get into a cab Jack is waiting for her. He tells her he didn’t mean his testimony. I assume he’s talking about the not loving her part. Kate wants Jack to follow her for a visit. He won’t do it and Kate says that there will be no relationship between the two of them until he wants to see the baby. Kate goes to her giant nice house where she has a nanny. I guess she got a nice settlement from Oceanic. She heads upstairs to see her baby and its name is Aaron! I was right, I was right!

• The obvious questions that arise out are who are the 8 that originally survived the crash and why are they all sticking with this phony story? Did Claire die or did she just make Kate take Aaron off the island while she stayed behind?
• Why does Jack not want to see Aaron? Did he find out that he’s technically Aaron’s uncle since Christian is Claire’s dad, or did he have something to do with Claire either not being able to get off the island or dying? I suppose if she died she couldn’t get off the island but hopefully you get my point.
• I think Claire is dead. Aaron didn’t seem to know Kate wasn’t his “mommy.”
• I think, since Jack’s testimony said Kate was the hero of the crash, Locke isn't one of the Oceanic 6.
• If Kate’s son Aaron is really Claire’s son Aaron I think you would have to assume that he’s one of the Oceanic 6. So then we only need to know one more.
• The part when Sun told Jin she wanted to raise HER baby in Korea and Jin said “you mean OUR baby.” I’m just thinking here. Sun conceived on the island, this we know. We also know Jin was sterile. Perhaps the island could have cured him but remember before how Sun and Michael had a weird moment once when they almost kissed in one of those mobisodes? I wonder…
• When Locke shoved that grenade in Miles’ mouth and told him, "No use having rules, if there is no punishment for breaking them." That was freaking awesome!
• I wonder why the lawyer was so emphatic that Kate couldn’t leave the state?

How are we gonna Houdini out of this one?



Supernatural – Jus In Bello
Sam and Dean are double-crossed by Bela, who has them arrested, but when Agent Henriksen arrives to take them into custody he discovers they’ve been surrounded by demons intent on killing everyone.

Just another fantastic episode of Supernatural, and a great taste of what's to come as we go into the break. The boys track down Bela, but arrive at her hotel room to find that she has eluded them yet again. She phones them, and when Dean says he believes she will sell the stolen Colt, Bela replies, “You don’t know me at all.” There have been some subtle hints that Bela isn’t 100% bad girl, but so far all her actions have been at odds with that notion. I am not a fan of the character, but I am interested to see how she will develop. Personally I hope she doesn’t come around to the boys’ side. She is an unsentimental, unscrupulous foil to the Winchester boys … and yet they are inexplicably attracted to her (and I don’t just mean physically).

Bela sics FBI Agent Henricksen (the beleaguered agent from “Night Shifter”) on the boys, and they are arrested. When he takes them to the prison in whatever small town they happen to be in, he explains to the sheriff and his men that Sam and Dean are grave-desecrating, Satan-worshiping killers. We always see the relieved reactions of those people Sam and Dean save, but we rarely see the POV of those individuals who can't see the big picture and believe that the Winchesters are monsters.

The FBI deputy director arrives to escort the boys to a maximum-security prison, but it turns out that he’s possessed and he shoots Dean in the shoulder. Sam exorcises the demon and the man’s body collapses, dead. Henricksen’s partner discovers that all the policemen who were outside are dead, then is killed himself. Henricksen takes control of the station, thinking that Sam and Dean are plotting an elaborate escape plan.

Sam coerces frightened secretary Nancy into giving him a towel for Dean’s shoulder, but when she approaches the bars of the cell he attacks her. She manages to escape, and the whole thing is totally confusing for a moment until we realize that he stolen her crucifix. The boys discuss how strange it is that the demons are suddenly coming right for them, as they’ve never done so before. “You think its cause we’re so awesome?”

The sheriff comes to let the boys out so everyone can make a run for it, but Henricksen shoots him point-blank in the head. Holy shit! Turns out Henricksen is possessed, but he doesn’t die when Sam exorcises the demon. I totally did not see that coming. It’s a nice twist, though, because now Henricksen is a believer. “Demons are real. So are ghosts, vampires, werewolves, changelings, and evil clowns who eat people.”



Dean ventures outside to get some weapons from the Impala, and sees a huge cloud of black smoke (read: demon energy) swirling above them. Inside, the gang paints symbols on the floors and lines the doors and windows with salt, creating a stronghold the demons cannot penetrate. Dean and Henricksen bond as they discover they have a lot in common, and at this point I’m thinking that if Henricksen survives he could make a powerful ally for the boys.

Ruby arrives and the boys let her into the building. She tells them that the “new rising power” mentioned in the last episode is named Lilith (as a religious studies major I take some issue with this, but whatever), and that Lilith has sent the army of demons to kill Sam. Dean is furious that Sam has kept the knowledge about Lilith to himself, adding a nice layer of strife. The boys have been getting along so well lately that this is rather refreshing. The relationship between the brothers is always more interesting when there is a level of discontent brewing just below the surface.

Ruby offers to cast a spell that will destroy all demons within a one-mile radius – including herself. She needs the heart of a virtuous person, and the meek secretary is just the ticket. The secretary actually agrees to this, wanting to save everyone, and Sam is down with the plan as well. Dean, however, is flabbergasted and tells Sam there is no way they are going to kill the poor girl. “Stop! Nobody kill any virgins!”



They decide to let the demons in, and fight. As they break the salt barriers there is lots of shouting and shooting. Meanwhile, in another twist I didn’t see coming, the secretary and deputy are hiding on the roof. Once all the demons are inside, they re-salt the doors and windows – although one demon manages to escape while they are doing so. Inside, Henricksen broadcasts a tape of Sam reciting the exorcism ritual through the PA system, and since the demons cannot escape they are all destroyed. As the boys leave, Henricksen says that he will tell everyone they were killed.

Later, a cute little girl shows up asking about Sam and Dean. When the secretary asks her name, the little girl says, “Lilith” and her eyes turn white. White, not black. This must be important.

Back at the hotel, Ruby shows up and turns on the news. The police station has been blown to bits, and everyone inside – that means Henricksen, damn it! – is dead, including “two fugitives.” Ruby gives the boys protective amulets and rails on them for not letting her cast the spell. “Don’t you know how to fight a war? You leave no survivors, so then no one can run to the boss.”

2.21.2008

It's a dream. I'm having a dream. I've had this dream … without the cold cuts.



My So-Called Life – Pressure
Angela, pressured by Jordan to have sex, turns to Sharon for guidance. Meanwhile, Graham is pressured to open a restaurant by an attractive student in his cooking class.

This episode opens super cute, with Jordan teaching Angela how to drive and then attacking her with kisses after she backs into a wall. He says he wants her to have sex with him and she giggles, but he’s dead serious and he’s kind of a dick when she puts him off. Jordan shows up at Angela’s house in the middle of the night to tell her that he knows about a “party house” where they can have sex. Her mother comes downstairs to talk to Angela, not realizing Jordan is hiding in the kitchen, and says that they want to meet him. Angela is horrified.

As much as I am all about Brian Krakow this time around, the physical chemistry between Claire Danes and Jared Leto is undeniable. I have to keep forcing myself to forget that he was 22 and she was 14. Uck.

Angela talks to Sharon, assuming that the reason Sharon & Kyle broke up was because she didn’t want to have sex. However, she is shocked to discover that they did it “like, constantly.” She then speaks to her doctor, obviously hoping to be dissuaded, but instead the doctor just tells her to use a condom and a sponge.

Hallie wants to open a restaurant and she wants Graham to cook for it, so he invites she and her fiancé to dinner. Jordan arrives to pick up Angela, and Graham finally gets to meet him. Angela tries to back out of the date, but Graham tells her to go ahead and have fun. Jordan and Angela go to the party house but there are no empty rooms, so they sit awkwardly on either side of the fireplace. Angela finally can’t take it anymore so when she sees Rayanne at the house, she lies and says she has to go, leaving Jordan alone in the house.

Patty comes home, disappointed that she didn’t get to meet Jordan, but Hallie sums him up: “Fairly out of it, not unintelligent, sort of a stray puppy. You know, the type you’re always trying to ease their pain. He may even be a halfway decent person but let me tell you, TROUBLE … way too gorgeous.”

After talking to Rayanne, Sharon realizes that Angela is afraid to have sex to she shows Angela a sex tape, which is way more adorable than it sounds. She also tells Angela to talk to Jordan. Angela sees Brian riding his bike, and starts to ask if she can borrow it but then says, “I’m always doing this! I’m always asking you for something that it’s totally unfair for me to ask you for. And just because you’re polite about it doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s not, it’s wrong, it’s totally selfish of me and I’ll never do it again.” So naturally, Brian gets off his bike. And naturally, she takes it.

Angela goes to see Jordan, who is pissed off that she lied to him. She tries to explain that she wants to have sex but she’s scared, and Jordan tells her that she doesn’t get it – it’s what you’re supposed to do unless you’re abnormal. He obviously feels bad as soon as he says it, but a shocked and hurt Angela walks home. At school the next day she thinks she should have just had sex, but Rickie convinces her that sex should be meaningful.

At home, Graham is napping on the couch but is awakened when Brian arrives to get his bike. When he discovers it's at Jordan’s he starts yelling, and when Angela doesn’t respond he says, “Well, don’t just take it. Yell back at me.” Angela admits that she’s sad because boys “only care about getting you into bed” and Brian says, “Not all boys.” Then they have a really cute, honest conversation about sex. Goddamn it why can’t she see Brian for what he truly is?!!? But maybe she does ... Angela always, always turns to Brian when she needs someone to talk to. There is clearly a deeper connection between these two, but she is blinded by her attraction to Jordan.

Jordan arrives at the Chase house with the bike. Angela tells him she’s not ready to have sex, and he says he won’t hold it against her. Of 19 hours of heartbreak and awkwardness, Jordan and Angela date for less than one full episode. They go through a tearful, heart-wrenching breakup, ending with:

“I guess this is it, so … goodbye.”
“Bye. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Ahhhh, high school.

2.20.2008

Poll Time!



I'm always tempted, and I always decide against it.
Should I watch One Tree Hill?

Help me, readers -- vote in our poll!

I refuse to panic just because she's happy.



My So-Called Life – Self Esteem
Angela doubts herself when Jordan won’t acknowledge their relationship. Graham wonders if he can measure up in cooking class, and a new teacher reaches out to Rickie. In my humble opinion, this is probably the best MSCL episode.

Jordan and Angela are making out daily in the boiler room [“the room where certain people go for only one reason”]. In Angela's words, “My whole life was divided into kissing, and not kissing.” She seems to think they are sort of dating, though in reality the situation is purely physical. She’s also skipping geometry review sessions to make out, even though she really needs the help. After they are almost discovered by one of Jordan’s friends, Jordan tells Angela to keep their trysts a secret and she starts to get unsettled.

Meanwhile, new English teacher Mr. Katimski takes an interest in Rickie, who is irritated. After catching Rickie imitating him, Katimski asks him to join drama club. Rickie is reticent, but in the end he finally concedes. In parent world, Graham goes to cooking class and the teacher shows up drunk – when he manages to show up at all. Graham meets an outspoken young woman named Hallie, who ends up convincing him that he should teach the class.

Rayanne tells Angela that she’s letting Jordan control her. Sharon and Rayanne bond about the issue in the girls’ bathroom, and when Angela catches them they attempt to convince her that Jordan kind of sucks. Feeling defensive, Angela tells them that Jordan asked her to meet him at the Buffalo Tom show. After having just watched the Once & Again episode that featured Rilo Kiley -- where they barely mentioned the band’s name -- it is amusing how many times they say “Buffalo Tom” during the course of this episode. Also in the fun facts department, Jordan’s friend is played by Jared Leto’s brother. Angela asks Brian to tutor her in Geometry, and he gets all huffy about how selfish she is but naturally shows up at her house anyway. Alas, Angela has gone to see Buffalo Tom. Burn!

At the show, Jordan is beyond rude to Angela when she tries to talk to him. And we’re not talking about too-cool guy behavior; he is actively unkind. After Angela leaves in tears, Rayanne tells Jordan that he knows he likes her, that he’s being a jerk, and that Angela isn’t going to wait around for him forever. The next school day, Jordan leaves a note in Angela’s locker asking her to meet him in the boiler room. He tries to kiss her, but she pushes him away and they have the exact same conversation they had last episode, only the roles are reversed and it is awful rather than sweet:

A: [angry] Why are you like this?
J: [also angry] Like what?
A: Like how you are!
J: So … leave.

Angela, to her credit, doesn’t just walk out. She tells Jordan that he can’t treat her one way in front of his friends and another way in private … or at least, he can’t expect her to put up with it. Jordan just looks after her as she walks away. It’s clear he wants to say something, but he doesn’t.

In English class, Mr. Katimski read the students a Shakespearean sonnet about a woman who is not beautiful, but who the poet loves regardless. Both Brian and Jordan take part in the class discussion, and both realize how they truly feel about Angela. In the end, as Buffalo Tom’s “Late At Night” drowns out the ambient noise, Jordan’s friend encourages him to talk to Angela, so he approaches her in the hallway and asks if they can go somewhere. She agrees, and as they walk down the hall together Jordan takes her hand in front of everyone!!! It’s a huge moment for these two.

And Brian watches sadly from the sidelines.

2.19.2008

I'm supposed to count on you now, suddenly?

Blogger is being super difficult so you don't get a picture today. And let me tell you, though I am determined to stick this out through the end of the season, I am so ready to be done with this show and get back to blogging about something more relevant. Yay for TV coming back to us!

Unfinished Business
Lily’s dad Phil is in town for some reason. Lily has a job interview for an assistant editor position at a hip young magazine. Christie, the editor she interviews with, is kind of intense. Phil takes Grace to her school play rehearsal and they get into a car accident on the way home. A few days later Phil and Lily get into a huge argument when he tries [again] to butt into her relationship with Jake. Although Phil is insensitive to Lily’s feelings, he is kind of entitled to an opinion because he owns 40% of the restaurant. They both go to bed angry and – of course – when Lily comes downstairs later to apologize she finds her dad unconscious, sprawled on the kitchen floor.

It turns out Phil has had a stroke, and the doctor is not particularly reassuring. Lily is remarkably calm and holds the family together admirably (much like she did in the ep where Rick nearly cut his finger off), so apparently she’s good in a crisis though you wouldn’t guess it. Lily gets a call telling her she got the job – and learns that she misunderstood the ad; the job is for assistant to the editor. She arrives at the hospital to find Jake and Judy looking absolutely wrecked. Phil has had another stroke, and there is no hope.

The family has to decide whether or not to take Phil off life support. The kids debate and argue, only to find that their mother has made the decision on her own. This ep was really quite sad, but then at the end they had to go and ruin it by having a little B&W interview with Phil about “the important things in life” that ends with him laughing and throwing his hands gleefully in the air … in über slow motion. It’s really, really bad.

Strangers and Brothers
Holy crap! Patrick Dempsey plays Aaron, Lily and Judy’s schizophrenic brother, who is really in bad shape. Dempsey is quite good in the role, but unfortunately I have trouble not seeing McDreamy. I haven’t watched Gray’s Anatomy since mid-second season, and yet the show is so pervasive in the media that I can’t envision him as anything else (not even Ronny Miller). Anyway, Mom and Aaron have some weird issues that either haven’t been explored , or I just wasn’t paying attention. Lily and Judy are amazing with Aaron, while their mother seems to wish she could forget he exists. Having had some experience with dealing with this type of thing, I really like the fact that the show doesn’t treat Aaron as though he’s particularly “weird”; compared to how everyone else treats him it’s the mother who seems weird.

During shiva, Phil’s best friend/lawyer Manny tells Lily that Phil set up the business so she & her mother could fire Jake without repercussions – even though Jake owns 30% of the restaurant. Later, Manny tells everyone the news and Jake storms out of the house. In the end, Lily gives Jake her father’s watch and tells him to make the restaurant work.

In addition to dealing with Aaron’s schizophrenia, this ep deals with the notion of widowhood. Not only has the mother just lost her partner of 50-odd years, but the kids were always closer with their father, and now that he has passed away the mother is terrified of where this leaves her in the scheme things. It seems their mother has never been a part of their lives, so when Lily and Judy tell their mother they want to be there for her, her reply is, “I’m supposed to count on you now, suddenly?” How sad.

2.18.2008

I have no clever line with which to title this post.



Once & Again – Mystery Dance
First a decent ep, then an enjoyable one, and now a Judy-centric one?!? Suddenly I like this show. The ep begins with Judy complaining about how she attracts weirdos. She and Lily go to an art opening and Judy meets Rick’s sculptor friend Sam (Steven Weber!) who is kind of weird but also charming.

Judy and Sam totally hit it off, and end up kissing a whole bunch after a somewhat awkward, protracted, and very non-physical courting. And then – and you see this coming a mile away, really – it turns out that Sam is “very married.” Judy is irate and heartbroken, and cuts off all ties with Sam. But he turns up on her doorstep and convinces her that he and his wife don’t love each other anymore. Judy is so drawn to him that, in the end, she ignores her best judgment and sleeps with him.

Meanwhile, Lily wants to talk to Rick about what happened with Jake in the hopes that it will help them move on. Rick is reticent on the subject and, big surprise, they fight about it. How can two people who fight so much actually enjoy being in a relationship?

Once & Again – Daddy’s Girl
And just like that … O&A turns on me. I’m pretty sure I just hate Lily, so Lily-centric eps are bad news. In this ep Lily’s dad comes to town for the opening of Jake’s restaurant. Lily and Jake continue to fight about money. Lily’s friend convinces her to hire a lawyer, and she gets a good one, so Jake freaks out. But the opening is a success. One cute moment: Rick gives Lily a cricket for Valentine’s Day and she screams her head off.

Grace likes a new boy, Jared, and he likes her back. Jared and Grace are cute and awkward but when they finally kiss, O&A ruins it with this tripe: “I think you are amazing. The way a lake is amazing. Or snow.”

Think it can’t get worse? You’d be wrong. “I think they should invent a new word that describes the moment before you kiss someone. I think it’s like when a bird decides that it can fly.”

Yeah. I just threw up a little. At the end, in a shocking twist, Lily finally stops being a fucking princess and realizes she can’t depend on [or, according to me, expect] Jake to take care of her financially for the rest of her life, so she looks through the classifieds and creates a resume. About time!

2.15.2008

When Hurley says "dude" it makes me laugh almost every time.



Lost – The Economist
Locke’s hostage could be the key to getting off the island, so Sayid and Kate search for their fellow castaway in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful deal.

This episode starts with Sayid praying. I hate to tell you Sayid, you might as well quit because if there is a god you’re going to burn in hell for what you’ve done. Sayid looks at Naomi and takes off her bracelet, which says “N: I’ll always be with you, R.G.” Sayid decides he really wants to go to the boat and get off the island. So much so he’s willing to get into a helicopter piloted by Frank. From here on out I will refer to Frank as Keanu Nolte. I don’t know what Sayid is thinking but I’d rather eat mangoes and bananas for the rest of my life rather than get into a helicopter piloted by that guy. Keanu Nolte tells Sayid that he’ll take him off the island if he can get Charlotte back from Locke’s crew. Sayid promises he can make that happen. Sayid, Miles, and Kate strike off into the jungle to go looking for Charlotte and all is well.

Flash forward and it’s Sayid playing golf. An Italian guy drives up on a golf cart and bets he can make a better shot than Sayid. At that point I knew it wasn’t going to end well for this guy. They chat a bit and then Sayid tells the guy where he got his money from -- which was the Oceanic 815 settlement -- calls the man Avelino, whips out a pistol, and makes quick work of him. Silly Italians should know never to make a bet with a pissed-off Iraqi torturer. This Avelino fellow really got uncomfortable when Sayid mentioned he was one of the Oceanic 6. He was probably some sort of executive at Oceanic or involved in Dharma. We get another flash and Sayid is in a coffee shop in Berlin “introducing” himself to an attractive woman named Elsa. Sayid is quite the smooth talker when he wants to be. He asks her out to dinner and she says yes, but then once she leaves Sayid makes a phone call to his “employer” and says he has made contact.

We get a quick cut to Locke’s crew looking for Jacob’s cabin. Locke knows that they are where it should be, but it’s obviously disappeared. Maybe Hurley was right when he said it was another direction. Ben has this knowing, giddy look on his face but he’s not answering any questions because he knows Locke looks like an idiot in front of his whole crew. I love it when Locke is about a hair away from completely losing it. He gets this wild-eyed, crazy look. I’m loosely stealing this from Bill Simmons but it’s accurate. He looks just like Jonathan Papelbon when he got the final batter out in the 2007 World Series. He threw his mitt as high as he could and looked like a wild-eyed, piss-drunk kid from Boston screaming at some poor bastard to come at him and fight. Locke’s “I’m going crazy” look is a lot like that.

Jack’s crew is just hanging out by the plane. Sayid and Miles are getting ready to go after Charlotte. Jack convinces Kate to go along with Sayid and Miles. The three of them go trudging off into the forest. Miles is really starting to make me mad. He’s angry all the time and doesn’t answer any questions. It’s completely frustrating at times and sometimes I really enjoy it. I still think he’s the best candidate for doing something stupid that’s going to get himself or someone else killed because he refuses to answer to reason. I don’t buy anything he says about not caring about the other members of his boat crew either. The three finally get to the Others' barracks and find Hurley tied up in a closet. He says that Locke’s crew tied him up because he was starting to believe they should be trying to get off the island.

Hurley tells them everyone went to Ben’s house, so they all head that direction to see if there are any clues telling them where Locke’s crew went. They start poking around and Sayid finds a secret door behind a bookcase. Behind the door is a room that looks like a captain’s quarters on a submarine. There are some suits hanging on the walls, and a desk. When Sayid opens some drawers on the desk he finds cash from different countries and what looks to be about 40 passports from various countries, all belonging to Ben. I really wonder what Ben really is. Meanwhile Kate is poking around Ben’s room when Sawyer walks in and shushes her. Too bad Sayid…they got the drop on you. Hurley set you up sucka!

While all of this was going on Daniel decided to do a little experiment. He called the boat and had them shoot a missile at a beacon on the island. Regina counts down the time until the missile lands on the island. Guess what? The missile doesn’t show. A little bit later, crazy Daniel looks up and there is a missile headed for him. Once the missile smashes into the ground Daniel jumps on it like a meth addict in a meth house. He opens up the payload and pulls out a clock. Bingo bango bongo I was right. The time is 31 minutes off, meaning that time works differently on the island.

Flash forward and we have assassin Sayid in bed with Elsa. She tells him she loves him but she doesn’t think he’s opened up to her. He’s just about to when her beeper goes off. This is the employer that Sayid is supposed to get at. Sayid finds out where he’s staying and decides to tell Elsa what he is and that she needs to leave so she isn’t asked any questions about his death. Obviously she freaks out a bit, and she runs to the bathroom to wash her face and cry. I get the feeling Sayid may actually care about her. Just when I feel bad for her, though, she comes out and shoots Sayid in the shoulder. So she wasn’t quite who she said she was either. Elsa calls her employer, the “economist,” and says she’ll bring Sayid in. But, when she comes out of the bathroom Sayid puts two rounds in her. She slams up against the wall and smears blood all the way down. Too bad, she seemed smart.

Sayid comes back with Charlotte sans Miles. This doesn’t make Keanu Nolte mad so he agrees to take Desmond, Sayid, and Naomi’s body back to the boat. Desmond really wants to know why they had a picture of his girlfriend Penny but Keanu Nolte is less than forthcoming with that information. I can’t believe they actually took off and are flying off the island. We get another flash forward and it’s wounded Sayid walking into a veterinarian’s office. He’s obviously here to meet with his employer and get that bullet wound taken care of. He walks into the operating room and a voice tells him to sit. I could tell it was Ben’s voice the second I heard it, but it was still a bit of a shock when it actually turned out to be Ben.

• It will be interesting to find out how much time has actually passed off the island as opposed to on. I thought I heard Jack say it was hard for him to believe he hadn’t seen a baseball game in 100 days.
• Finally Sawyer made his point to Kate about why he stayed. He’s totally right. She doesn’t have anything but handcuffs waiting for her when she gets back so why is she trying so hard to get off the island. It makes sense she decided to stay with that crew.
• Ben and Sayid are pissed about something. I know Sayid isn’t above killing but it really seemed like he was trying to get away from that part of his life. Someone must have really crossed him to make him go on a killing spree for Ben.
• It was kind of cool when Ben said he was glad people knew they were after them. I also liked it when Ben gave Sayid crap for thinking with his heart instead of his gun.
• So we know Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid are off the island. I doubt Ben was one of the Oceanic 6 because nobody knew he was in Berlin [and he wasn't on the Oceanic flight -- ed note]. Chew on this one…what if Kate isn’t one of the Oceanic 6 either? Just because she survived a plane crash doesn’t mean she's off the hook for blowing up her dad. What if nobody knows she’s off the island either?

Sam Winchester cries his way through sex.



Supernatural – Mystery Spot
Dean is shot and killed while investigating the disappearance of a man with Sam, who is stunned when he wakes up the next morning to find his brother alive and well. He realizes he is reliving the previous day, and tries to prevent Dean’s death.

A fantastic turn for Supernatural, and one that was much less humorous than the previews led us to believe. We open with Sam awaking to Asia’s “Heat of the Moment.” He and Dean go through their morning routine and sit down to breakfast at a diner. Dean wants to hunt Bela and the Colt, but since they have no leads they are looking into the disappearance of a professor at a local “Mystery Spot.” The brothers check out the spot after hours, but the owner, thinking they are trying to rob him, accidentally shoots Dean in the chest. And he dies. Ouch!

Cut to Sam waking up to “Heat of the Moment” again. This is not a new plot device for television, though here it is done better than most. While it is clear that Sam is reliving the same day over and over, the days move along at a nice clip. Sam tries a variety of tactics, but Dean ends up dying every time: he gets hit by a car, crushed by falling furniture, chokes on a piece of sausage, slips in the shower, gets food poisoning (“these tacos taste funny to you?”), gets electrocuted, gets killed by a dog, and – my favorite– watches as Sam takes an axe to the Mystery Spot only to get struck by the axe himself.

After 100 Tuesdays in a row, Sam is feeling defeated. Suddenly, he notices that a man in the diner has strawberry syrup instead of maple, and the brothers goes after the guy. Turns out it’s our old pal the Trickster, who the brothers thought they killed in “Tall Tales.” The Trickster tells them that this exercise is to teach Sam he can’t save his brother. Sam threatens to kill the Trickster, who promises he will let them out of the time loop if they let him go.

Bam! Sam wakes up to “Back In Time.” It’s Wednesday! Alas, as Dean is loading the car he gets shot by a mugger and dies. But this time, Sam doesn’t wake up.



Cut to a medley of scenes showing “life after Dean.” Sam has become a hard-as-nails loner, taking on dangerous fights by himself and pulling bullets out of his torso without flinching. Over this, we hear numerous voice mails from Bobby, and it becomes clear Rogue Sam hasn’t spoken to Bobby in three months. Flashes of his “research wall” show that he has become as obsessive about finding the Trickster as his father had been about finding the Yellow-Eyed Demon. Bobby leaves a final voice mail saying that he’s found the Trickster, but when Sam shows up Bobby tells him they need a gallon of fresh blood. Unperturbed, Sam prepares to kill an innocent person, but Bobby offers himself instead. At this point it is clear that “Bobby” is in fact a creation of the Trickster, who reveals himself when Sam stakes “Bobby” in the back.

“Holy Full Metal Jacket,” says the Trickster, and proceeds to inform Sam that the lesson he’s trying to teach is that nothing good can come of Sam's obsession to save Dean. “Dean is your weakness and the bad guys know it. He’s going to be the death of you.” Sam cries and begs to have his brother back, and the Trickster says, “This stopped being fun months ago." This implies [to me] that the Trickster has set up this entire exercise at the request of another (perhaps Ruby) in order to knock some sense into Sam and toughen him up. However, while Dean is Sam’s greatest weakness, he’s also the source of Sam’s strength. Catch-22, my friends.

The next ep looks like a season finale, with the return of Agent Henriksen and an army of demons poised to kill everyone in sight. However, now that the strike is over we will supposedly be treated to 4 or 5 additional episodes that will air in April/May. Will Dean die? Will Ruby turn out to be truly good? Will Dean and Bela have sex? Will Sam and Bela have sex? Will they kill Bela off already and move on? Only time will tell!

2.14.2008

Party of Five Season 3 on DVD!



Sorry if this is old news, but I was looking through a catalog at work today and they're finally releasing Party of Five Season 3 on DVD!!! You can preorder it on Amazon. This gives me hope that someday I will be able to relive the entire series.

2.13.2008

Finally, an erection from actual physical contact.



My So-Called Life – Life of Brian
Brian’s unrequited devotion to Angela is tested when another girl becomes attracted to him. Everyone struggles with how they fit in at the World Happiness Dance, and Patty wants Graham to take cooking classes. This is one of two eps not voice-overed by Angela, and is one of my favorites.

In a fun twist, this ep is told from Brian’s POV, and opens with Brian talking about how his parents are a behavioral psychologist and a Freudian psychiatrist, “which basically means that they fundamentally disagree on, like, everything.”

Sharon introduces Brian to a new girl at school, Delia, who is totally into him. Brian is socially awkward, and has been obsessed with Angela for years, so he doesn’t know what to do. Fortunately the World Happiness Dance is upon us, so Sharon tells Brian to ask Delia. Brian is torn, because he can’t stop thinking about Angela, but he decides to stop being her “puppet” and ask Delia to the dance.

Meanwhile, Angela’s more traditional side rears its head when she realizes wants to go to the dance (and she’s hoping Jordan will ask her, though Rayanne minces no words telling her this will never happen). Rickie is interested in Corey, a new boy in school who seems like he might be gay. Trying to be helpful, Rayanne asks Corey to meet she & Rickie at the dance, though she doesn’t intend to show up. Oh, the mystery and intrigue! Also, Rayanne has been clean for 10 days and is seeing the school counselor.

After hearing that Rickie will be at the dance with Corey, Angela realizes she has to find another way to get there, so she asks Brian if she can tag along with he and Delia. [Which is so, so weird. And although it drives the story, I can't believe she couldn't come up with a better option]. Anyway, Brian interprets this as Angela asking him to the dance, so he breaks his date with Delia.

When Brian picks up Angela sans Delia, Angela realizes what has happened and is horrified. Once they arrive at the dance, Brian says a variety of things that make it obvious he thinks they’re on a date. So Angela leaves Brian sitting alone on the bleachers, and as she walks away she sees Jordan. The two make all sorts of significant eye contact while Brian is forced to watch…

…and then outside, Jordan lags behind his friends and waits for Angela to come to him, which of course she does. He pushes her up against a fence and they have a fantastic J&A interaction, which [as some of you may remember] is repeated again in a later ep, but in a very different context:

J [tenderly]: Why are you like this?
A [nervously]: Like what?
J: [more tenderly] Like how you are.
A: [desperately] How am I? How...How am I?

But Jordan just walks away, leaving her breathless and giddy and, let’s face it, totally turned on. Jordan may not be able to read books, but he sure can read girls.

Inside, Rickie and Delia end up dancing and have a fabulous time. Angela, feeling suddenly benevolent, asks Brian to dance. Pouting, Brian says no, but he's really thinking, “Her hair smelled incredible. Her hair smelled like this orange grove we drove past when I was 8 on the way to see my grandmother. But I guess that’s just, like, her shampoo, or whatever.”

And they’re playing Toad the Wet Sprocket!

In parent world, Patty enrolls Graham for cooking classes and he’s irritated.

2.12.2008

Apologies for the lateness, work is hell.



Lost – Confirmed Dead
The survivors begin to question the intentions of their supposed rescuers when four strangers arrive on the island. [Including Jeremy Davies, yum-Ed. note]

The episode starts with a nice underwater shot of a couple of robots being controlled by two people who are obviously looking for pirate’s gold. I haven’t seen an underwater scene this stunning and well acted since Seaquest went off the air (that covers the Roy Schneider reference for the evening…RIP). The voices in that shot sounded like those ridiculous commercials that the NBA is doing now where the player reads some script a PR guy wrote about caring and giving back to his community. Dan, the parachuting guy, is now watching the video of the airplane underwater and he’s crying and doesn’t know why. So they’re either trying to show me that Dan is unstable or that he cares that much about a bunch of people he’s never met. Either way we now know that someone went to a pretty spectacular effort to make sure it looked like the survivors of Oceanic 815 look dead to the outside world. They even put the plane in a part of the ocean that is too deep to send any submarines for recovery efforts.

So Dan has just parachuted onto the island and says he’s there to rescue everyone. I suppose I should mention that he didn’t parachute in willingly so much as he was thrown out of a distressed helicopter. He has conveniently lost his backpack that contains his satellite phone. He’s also acting like a tweaker and that’s really not helping with his whole credibility thing. We’re finally getting to the other group who took off with Locke. Locke says that he’s taking the group to Jacob’s cabin and Hurley asks why they’re heading in the direction they’re going because Jacob’s cabin is the other direction. Apparently Hurley said something Ben and Locke wants to know more about because their heads almost twisted off they turned so fast to look at him. Locke says he’s taking orders from Walt now. Sawyer wants to know where Locke saw Walt and Locke talks about being shot by Ben. Since Locke’s dad stole that kidney from him the bullet passed clean through. In my head I’m thinking, “just a flesh wound.” Sawyer does have a valid point in wanting to know why Locke didn’t ask more follow up questions -- like why Walt didn’t want Naomi to radio her friends -- but of course Locke had that whole "getting shot" thing to hide behind.

Sayid and Juliet have decided that Ben is either telling the truth or lying about the people coming to the island. So they strike off to find some answers. Jack, Kate, and Dan find some gas masks from the helicopter and Dan says the rescue really isn’t their primary objective. My only reason is why in the hell are Kate and Jack following this tweaker Dan?!? They find another parachutist whose name is Miles. Miles isn’t very friendly and he turns out to be a ghost whisperer/con man with a heart. He wants to find Naomi’s body so he can have a nice conversation with her spirit. After Miles communes with Naomi’s spirit he decides that Kate and Jack didn’t have anything to do with her death. Sayid and Juliet show up to rescue Jack and Kate. Sayid finds out Dan is a physicist and Miles lies about his profession. That’s probably a good thing.

We have another flashback where Charlotte is introduced. She’s in the desert at an archaeological dig where they’ve found a polar bear skeleton. She digs around a bit and finds a Dharma collar in the sand. I don’t even want to know why there was a polar bear in the desert with a Dharma collar. Ok, I lied, I do.

Back on the island Locke’s crew finds Charlotte. When her phone starts beeping Locke attaches it to Vincent the dog’s collar and sends him running off towards Jack’s group. Another flashback and we meet a guy who looks like an old Nick Nolte playing Keanu Reeves in a surfing cop movie. His name is Frank and it turns out he was supposed to be the pilot for Oceanic 815 but he was too drunk to fly that day. He sees some of the footage of the crashed flight 815 underwater and calls the NTSB to tell them the pilot for the crashed plane isn’t the pilot who was flying 815. The pilot who was flying 815 that day was named Seth Norris and he always wears his wedding ring. The bloated dummy corpse in the plane was clearly not wearing anything on its finger. When he calls the NTSB to tell them all of this they sound like they want to know more from him. Not in a good way, but more in a “you know too much and we’re going to kill you” way.

Back to Locke’s crew. Frank has shot a flare and Charlotte is pissed Locke won’t let her go find him. Ben steals Karl’s gun and drills Charlotte a couple of times. Fortunately or unfortunately Charlotte was wearing a bulletproof vest and doesn’t die. Sawyer wants to kill Ben immediately and Locke seems willing to do it but he asks Ben what the smoke monster is before he puts a cap in his head. Ben is turning out to be one of my favorite characters. To save himself he spouts off Charlotte’s name, profession, and history. Ben knows all of this because he’s got a man on the boat and the reason these people have come is for him. Touché Mr. Linus, touché. This makes Locke reconsider blowing Ben’s brains all over the island.

Jack’s crew is hanging out around the helicopter that the drunk Nick Nolte/Keanu Reeves human-animal hybrid miraculously landed and it is in flyable condition. Miles tries to talk to a guy on the boat named Minkowski who is unavailable to talk. I wonder if this is supposed to be Abaddon’s real name. He’s the lawyer who tries to get Hurley to leave his insane asylum. Juliet is patching up Frank’s head and he figures out she wasn’t on the flight manifest. This really sets Miles off and he demands to know where “he” is. That man in question is their primary objective, Benjamin Linus.

• I really like Ben. I can’t help it. At some point I think he and Locke are going to have a very serious disagreement and reenact the fight scene at the end of Karate Kid II. The only difference is I think this would be more like if Sato and Miyagi had finally had the chance to battle to the death instead of kissing and making up.
• I like the introduction of the new characters. I’m still undecided on whether or not they know very much about why they’re there. Naomi knew more but even she didn’t expect there to be actual survivors from 815 on the island. Miles is unstable and I’m willing to bet he’s going to do the most stupid stuff that will get everyone killed.
• Dan’s comment on the light on the island not scattering properly has me thinking. I know the writers are trying to get something across with this but I’m not sure what it is. Maybe they really are in some sort of magnetic snow globe that hides the island.
• The boat people brought gas masks and hazmat suits. Naomi doesn’t think anyone from 815 is alive. At least a few of the boat crew have pretty obvious connections with flight 815. If they’re there to get Ben would they gas the whole island the way Ben did when he purged the island the first time?
• Charlotte knew exactly where to look for that Dharma initiative collar on the polar bear. Has she been hunting for the island for a while?
• I’m starting to think that time on the island may be different than time everywhere else.

2.11.2008

Yes honey, I'm your prize Guernsey.



Friday Night Lights – May The Best Man Win
Smash refuses to give up on his college football plans, a visit from Tami’s ex irks a jealous Coach Taylor, Street receives life-changing news, and Riggins continues to pursue Lyla despite her new relationship.

Friday afternoon I made an impassioned plea for you all to watch Friday Night Lights. Now I’m embarrassed. Considering that it’s entirely possible this may have been the final ep of the show, it was pretty disappointing. Here’s the rundown:

Smash, still reeling from the news that TMU has revoked his scholarship, starts contacting the schools he turned down. No one bites, especially the University of Alabama, who “doesn’t play second fiddle” to anyone. Notice the increased use of “Brian” instead of “Smash,” which is a nice little touch. Running out of options, Smash meets with the director of an arena football league, who tells him that he could be making big bucks. Finally, Eric takes Smash to meet Coach Deeks at Whitmore. Deeks says six years ago he told Eric that Smash was the “whole package,” and that the Whitmore team is like a family. Touched, Smash realizes Whitmore is the place for him.

Now, most of us probably saw something like this coming back when Whitmore first offered Smash a scholarship … but NBC managed to ruin the surprise for those who didn’t by running a commercial with a little poll asking which option Smash would choose (A. Alabama, B. Arena League, C. Whitmore) … before Whitmore was even mentioned in the ep. Nice going.

In other big news, Street and his terrible hair are working at the dealership when Erin (the waitress from a few eps ago) pops up and announces she’s pregnant. Much like the Landry/killing storyline, this is overall pretty lame and yet has some great moments. Street is shocked by all of this, as his doctors had told him it could never happen. When Street shares the news, Herc’s response is to call the girl a bitch. I love Herc. Herc is also the voice of reason, suggesting that if it's not supposed to be possible then perhaps the child is not his. For whatever reason -- probably hope -- Street accepts Erin's claim that she has not been with anyone else and views the pregnancy as a miracle. He tries to convince Erin that they should have the child, which she is totally not down with, but since nobody on TV ever has an abortion I think we can all see where this is going. Street meets with Eric for guidance, explaining that this could be his only shot at having a child. It does have interesting implications – we feel for Street, but at the same time it is not fair of him to put this kind of pressure on a 19-year-old girl be barely knows. He goes to talk to Erin again, and begins to wear her down.

I think the best moment to come out of this storyline was Street telling Erin quite loudly, in the middle of her place of work, “I didn’t know I had the duct function to get sperm into the semen.” It doesn’t translate too well on paper, but it was priceless.

Riggins continues his pursuit of Lyla by regularly going to church and getting a job at the radio station hosting his own sports call-in show. Considering the size of Dillon and the reputation Riggins has, I find it hard to believe the station would give him his own show, but I guess it makes sense that the station would want to use his fame to bring more kids into the fold. Again, we got a couple of nice moments out of this, particularly the revelation that most of the calls were girls asking him out, and the girl who calls in to say that “his long hair reminds her of Jesus.” Nice. Also, Riggins defends Smash on-air, saying that he would have done a lot worse.

Thankfully Lyla remains unresponsive to Riggins’ wooing, though Chris tells him to back off anyway. Chris takes Lyla to meet his family, where we had a weird extended montage of the family eating dinner and laughing uproariously to the strains of some song I can’t remember. After dinner, Chris and Lyla get hot & heavy but he doesn’t want to have sex. Even though it’s dumb, I get why Lyla would feel rejected. BUT, her running straight to Riggins was pretty awful. It implied (to me at least) that Lyla doesn’t even really like Chris. In the end, Riggins tells Lyla that he will do “whatever it takes” to win her, and it is clear that he is wearing down her resolve. Grrrr.

I believe this ep had the briefest Saracen scene we've seen yet, in which he and Landry talk about Tyra and Matt basically calls her a whore. Fantastic.

Finally, in perhaps the stupidest story of the night, Tami’s ex-high-school-sweetheart Mo McArnold comes into town and Eric is jealous. I love me some Peter Berg, and he was great in this role, but this is the Taylor family’s finale story?!? The trio goes to dinner, where Mo and Eric drink an entire bottle of Jack Daniels and get into a fistfight. The end.

Overall, this was not a great ep, and it certainly wasn’t worthy of a season finale. If, as it appears, it was actually the series finale, then I am sorely disappointed. What do you guys think?

2.08.2008

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.



Please, for the love of god, read this and WATCH FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT!

Everybody got into hunting somehow.



Supernatural – Dream a Little Dream of Me
Bobby is poisoned with a dream potion and lapses into a deadly coma, so Sam and Dean take the potion themselves to enter the dream and save him … but to do so they must confront their own personal nightmares.

This Supernatural ep was a little different from the usual fare. It opens on Bobby, who is having a terrible nightmare while asleep in his hotel room. The maid cannot wake him up, so he is taken to the hospital and the doctor calls Dean, who is listed as Bobby’s emergency contact. Adorable.

In Bobby’s notes, the brothers discover a reference to a murdered doctor, and learn that he was involved in sleep studies – more specifically, helping people who cannot dream using a plant, Silene capensis, commonly known as African dream root. Dean talks with a student named Jeremy, a test subject in the murdered doctor’s experiments. Reading up on the legends, Sam finds that with practice, a person using this plant could become “a regular Freddy Krueger.” [A reference to Nightmare on Elm Street, for those who don't know].

The boys call Bela for help, and surprisingly she brings them the herb. When asked why she’s helping, she claims that Bobby once saved her life. Also, Sam has a fantastic sex dream about her before she shows up. This is fun. I get the impression that Bela is hot for Dean, and I keep waiting for them to hook up at some point. For Sam to have a schoolboy crush on her [“Nice to seeing you, Bela!”] adds a dimension of humor but also a darker layer of possible future resentment between the brothers.

The Winchester boys go into Bobby’s deliciously creepy dream, where Sam encounters Jeremy. Dean finds Bobby cowering in a closet, and we learn that some time ago Bobby killed his wife because she was possessed, and he didn’t know what to do. Dean begs Bobby to wake up, saying he's like a father to him. Awwww. This works, and the three spring back to life – Bobby in the hospital, the bros in their hotel room. When the trio reunites, they don’t discuss the situation much beyond Bobby explaining that everyone becomes a hunter for a reason.

They try to stay awake for several days, but finally Dean gets fed up and goes to sleep, with Sam taking more African dream root so he can tag along. When we enter Dean’s dream world, we see Lisa sitting serenely on the grass with a picnic, talking about Ben. This has huge implications for Dean’s character. For those who don’t know/remember, earlier this season Dean had come to believe that an ex-girlfriend’s son belonged to him. This was later disproved, but that was the second of two eps in which Dean ponders a different future for himself. The first, of course, was second season’s “What Is and What Should Never Be,” when Dean is drugged into a comatose state and imagines what his life would be if his mother had never been killed. His vision of Lisa is yet another reminder that for all his bravado, Dean desperately wishes he could have a “normal” life.

And then the dream turns even darker. The boys are separated, and Jeremy reveals himself to Sam again, after [literally] crucifying him to the ground. Sam uses his knowledge of Jeremy – and perhaps some of his latent psychic ability – to gain control of the dream, revealing Jeremy’s abusive father. Dean, meanwhile, encounters himself. Dream Dean says that John always loved Sam more [all demons try this angle], that Dean simply provides blindly obedient muscle, and that he hates himself so much he can’t be bothered to try and save his own life. Real Dean is having none of this, so he shoots himself in the chest, and the brothers wake up only to discover that Bela has stolen the Colt. Bitch!

After all the fun dies down, Dean finally admits that he doesn’t want to die. Part of the beauty of Supernatural is the stoic emotional scenes between Sam and Dean – there is rarely voice cracking or tearing-up of eyes because, you know, they’re tough. This huge moment is simple and clean:

Dean: Sam?
Sam: Yeah?
Dean: I've been thinking. And the thing is I don't want to die. I don't want to go to hell.
Sam: Alright, yeah. We'll find a way to save you.
Dean: Okay, good.

But in Dean’s head, Dream Dean pops back to life as a black-eyed demon, screaming, “You can’t escape me, Dean! You’re gonna die, and this is what you’re gonna become!”

Woah.

2.07.2008

I've never ever said "go figure" in my entire life.



Once & Again – Mediation
After Lily and Rick break up, they are both distracted and depressed. Lily and Jake go to a mediator to help them divorce amicably, but they just end up fighting the whole time. Jake is still having money troubles and thinks they should sell the house, but Lily refuses. Obviously I understand Lily’s reticence to uproot her kids and all that, but considering that Jake is barely scraping by I think she’s being kind of horrible.

This ep introduces a new minor character named Miles Drentell, a business tycoon for whom Rick begins designing a building. He is haughty and a perfectionist, and Rick and his partner have trouble living up to the man’s demands. Grace begins tutoring Eli in English, and she tells him about the breakup (which he didn’t realize had happened). I’m FINALLY starting to warm up to this show, largely due to a nice little scene in which Eli calls Grace for help on a paper, and both parents are asked to hang up once the kids get on the upstairs extension. So there they are, both on the phone, each able to hear the other breathing and wanting to speak, but just … not being able to. Later, they have a terribly awkward moment at the high school when they both arrive to pick up their kids and Eli & Grace force them to interact in the hopes that they will make up.

Unable to handle the depression anymore, Rick calls Lily and the two meet up. She thinks he wants to get back together, but instead he tells her that he’s no longer bitter toward her, that their timing was just wrong, and that it’s clear the relationship will not work. However, by the end of the scene – which is honestly one of the most unembellished and frankly sad breakups I’ve seen – Lily and Rick realize they can’t bear to be apart.

A quick aside: the B&W interviews are beginning to confuse me. They have always focused on one character at a time, so I thought they were supposed to represent each person’s innermost thoughts. In the Thanksgiving ep, though, Lily’s parents had one together – which I thought was a neat idea, like they’ve been together so long that their thoughts are one. But in this ep, Grace and Zoe share one. Huh?

Once & Again – Sneaky Feelings
What is going on? The last ep was decent, and this one I actually liked – for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that stupid Lily does not make an appearance.

Now I admit, “Sneaky Feelings” started off on a bad note because it is Jessie-centric and the last Jessified episode almost made me quit the show for good. But almost instantly, we are greeted with a shining beacon of hope – the introduction of Mark Feuerstein (The West Wing, Good Morning Miami) as Leo Fisher, a new client/love interest for Karen. Leo is a young, idealistic, socially awkward doctor who is frustrated by the roadblocks he comes up against while trying to get outpatient housing built for AIDS patients. [Side note: Feuerstein himself is a passionate activist for AIDS charities]. He and Karen begin arguing immediately, and there is so much sexual tension between them you could cut it with a knife. Finally, they come to the shaky realization that they are very much alike. He kisses her, she responds, and they share a passionate, shove-the-other-person-up-against-the-wall kind of kiss.

AND, holy crap, a very young Jason Dohring (Moonlight, Veronica Mars) plays one of Eli’s basketball teammates. AND, Alexandra Holden (Friday Night Lights, Six Feet Under) plays Cassidy, a cute volleyball player to whom Eli is instantly attracted.

Anyway, the Sammler family is in an uproar. Eli has been feeling stifled by Jennifer, who is admittedly clingy. Karen is dating Lloyd, who she never really liked very much. Jessie, who loves Jennifer because she is like an older sister, is pissed at Eli for being interested in someone new. Jessie also likes Lloyd, who is really sweet to her, and she is pissed because her mother is clearly not interested in him. And I think I hear the Get-Up Kids in the background.

In the increasingly complex Eli-Jennifer storyline, Rick tells Eli that he is too young to be spending all of his time focusing on one person, and he shouldn’t feel bad for wanting to break up. Karen tells Eli that’s crap, that breakups are terrible no matter what, and that he needs to be more sensitive to Jennifer’s feelings. Both parents are right, which is what makes this interesting.

Karen comes home one night to find Cassidy at the house, and tells Eli he needs to do something before someone gets hurt. Alas, as Eli and Cassidy leave the house, Jennifer comes bounding up the front walkway. Caught! Meanwhile, Leo pursues Karen and so she breaks up with Lloyd, who is is devastated.

2.06.2008

Did you ever try to protect someone so much that it hurt?



My So-Called Life – Other People’s Mothers
Angela finds Rayanne’s mother enchanting during her first visit to their house, but it is Patty who can be counted on to get Rayanne to the hospital when she overdoses at a party. The above picture is from the booklet; it's not that I really love blue checked backgrounds.

Angela, Rickie, and Rayanne are hanging out at Angela’s house, and Rayanne grabs a beer. Rickie is carrying it for her when Patty comes home, and she is overtly judgmental about it (understandably).

The next day, the three friends go to Rayanne’s house, where Angela meets Rayanne's mother Amber for the first time. Amber is a tarot-reading free spirit, and Angela starts to parrot everything she says. We see that Amber and Rayanne both drink a lot, together, and have a relatively nontraditional mother-daughter relationship in that they more like buddies. Angela’s mom comes to pick her up and Patty can’t even pretend to be civil; she looks around the house like she’s in a rat-infested crack den. To be fair, Amber is super touchy-feely and instantly brings up the fact that Patty is adopted (which Angela has told her).

Meanwhile, Patty’s mother is in town for her anniversary party even though her husband is in the hospital. She certainly gives more insight into why Patty is the way she is – just as her father is super judgmental, her mother is super manipulative and undermines her at every turn.

Rayanne has a party and gets wasted on alcohol and ecstasy, and when Amber come home she kicks everyone out and then goes out for a night on the town, ignoring the fact that her daughter is practically swallowing her own tongue. Angela phones Patty, who has this mother’s intuition thing when the phone rings, and when Angela calls her “Mommy” she knows something is really wrong. Patty is calm and takes control of the whole situation, getting Rayanne to the hospital and even managing to find some of the drugs she’s taken to give to the paramedics. And, shockingly, she doesn’t yell or get self-righteous about the whole situation. She does, however, realize that Rickie was not the one drinking that day in their house, and that Rickie truly tries to protect Rayanne from herself.

In this ep we learn that Patty once had a friend like Rayanne once , and the same thing happened to her ... only she died. When Amber finally makes it to the hospital, she goes into histrionics over her sleeping daughter's body and Angela realizes maybe her mom ain’t so bad after all.