house 5×22: house divided

Here are my thoughts about this amazing episode.

  • This was the first time I felt any glimmer of interest in Thirteen as a character.  Watching her and Foreman check out the strippers together was hilarious, and when she dug happily into the booze-flavored ice cream, I actually said out loud, “I love Thirteen.”  And then I had to stop and check whether I’d gone insane.  I hadn’t.  She actually was entertaining for once.
  • The scene where Chase turned on the kid’s cochlear implant was really striking, kudos to whoever came up with it.  It really made you feel how chaotic it must be to experience sound for the first time.
  • I am TOTALLY ON BOARD with the dead!Amber plotline.  House has been having hallucinations and dream sequences and near-death experiences since season one, so it seems perfectly natural at this point.  Her comments gave us real insight into how House’s brain worked… until the whole suddenly went from amusing to really creepy.
  • Bachelor party = FUNNIEST SCENE ON HOUSE EVAR, Y/Y?
  • Cuddy said to House, “Talk to me,” and he did.  Not the hallucination part, not yet, but still, OMG.
  • Promo for next week = aslkdjfalsdfjasodigu.  My brain just exploded.

science meets entertainment

This article caught my eye in USA Today this morning – partly because my educational background is in science, and partly because in the print version of the article, there are side-by-side photographs of Spock from Star Trek and Temperance Brennan from Bones.  Um, okay, interesting juxtaposition.

The article is about the increasing emphasis on accurate portrayals of science and scientists in the media – it mentions Doctor Manhattan’s quantum physics in Watchmen, the antimatter bomb in Angels and Demons, etc.  It’s an interesting read, but in annoyed me a bit because it seems to be dissing Spock, my favorite-ever fictional character.  Someone is quoted as saying, “The scientists you see today are not Mr. Spock, they’re human, and that’s a real change.  Even if they’re depicted as über-geeks, they are still interesting people you’d probably like.”  Excuse me?  Are you implying that Spock is not an interesting person I’d probably like?  What universe’s version of Star Trek have you been watching?

life 2×19: 5 quarts

According to River Tam, the human body can be drained of blood in 6.8 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.  Good news for this week’s blood-stealing murderer, as it meant they had plenty of time left over to get away.  Seriously, this show always has the strangest murders – remember the woman wearing angel wings who was thrown off a building?  And the buried Zen master with the flower and the “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt?  Well no, you probably don’t, seeing as how I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the universe who actually watches this tragically underrated show.

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still detoxing from fotc

If you, like me, are still wishing there was just a bit more Flight of the Conchords out there somewhere so that you could get another fix, you’re in luck.  Turns out Mel has her very own video blog!  All the clips are worth watching for the true FotC fan, but my favorite has got to be the one from March 16 (at the top of the site as of today), thanks to Doug’s lurking in the background and commenting.  I love Doug.  I think he may be my favorite character, other than Bret, and Jemaine, and Murray.

a flight of the conchords post-mortem

Now that this show has, as far as anyone can tell, ridden off into the New Zealand sunset, I find myself mulling over just what it was that made it so fabulous.  Of course it’s easy to say “the songs!” (or even just “the lulz!”) and leave it at that, but the truth is, as fun as the music was it wasn’t the only thing that made FotC, the TV show, great.

The subtle, deadpan humor made such a great contrast to the over-the-top musical numbers, and the two leads didn’t hog all the great lines – Murray, Mel, Dave, and even less-important characters like Doug and Greg all made contributions.  And that’s not even mentioning all the excellent guest characters, like Jemaine’s friend the mugger, the Crazy Dogggz, the members of the Tough Brets, Brian the Prime Minister, all the various girlfriends… each one was a memorable part of the show.

Another thing I always loved was the attention to detail.  I mean, even the costumes are part of the humor – Jemaine’s denim shirts, Bret’s penguin-print pajamas, Murray’s 1970s suits.  Whoever was in charge of this sort of thing clearly made a big effort at continuity, and continuity warms the cockles of my TV-lovin’ heart.  Whether it was Bret’s hair-helmet or Jemaine’s “camera phone,” the same little site gags would pop up over and over again, rewarding consistent viewers and making the Conchords’ world feel like a real (if bizarre) place.

Any successful show has a lot of elements that make it what it is.  In any case, my Sunday nights will seem empty without my weekly dose of Bret and Jemaine.

castle 1×03: hedge fund homeboys

This episode was a big, big improvement over last week.  The murder case was confusing (in a good way) and the B-story wisely focused on what’s shaping up to be the most interesting aspect of the show: Rick Castle’s relationship with his daughter.

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intrigued by doctor who promo pics

I know next to nothing about the actual plot of the upcoming Doctor Who Easter special, Planet of the Dead*, but these photos are enough to make me look forward to it.  There’s a bus!  And what looks like Tatooine!  And aliens with insect heads!  And the Doctor is wearing sunglasses!  Count me in.

*What, are we just recycling bits from previous Tenth Doctor episode titles now?  Is the next special going to be “Forest of the Ood”?

flight of the conchords 2×10: evicted

Part of me is pretty sure that if the boys come up with new material there’s a chance this show could be revived in the future, but take note: that was how you do a series finale.

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better off ted pilot

Over the weekend I watched the pilot of the new sitcom Better Off Ted.  There’s a lot of things to like about this show.  For one thing, it’s well-cast; Portia de Rossi is spot on – she’s hilarious– and Jonathan Slavin as Phil is also good.  (I recognized him from an episode of Bones where he played Brennan’s publisher’s murderous assistant.)  It’s got a refreshingly quirky sense of humor, and I loved the scenes between Ted and his daughter.  She seems to be essentially his conscience, and the fact that he’s a single father gives him a bit of depth and relatability that might otherwise be missing.

This show needs that touch of relatability, actually, because if the pilot had a flaw it’s that most of the characters, while hilarious, didn’t feel like real people.  They were more like overcaffeinated Barbie dolls with snappy dialogue.  In the best comedies, the characters are human enough that we can see bits of people we know in them, and at this point Better Off Ted is totally over-the-top in that area.  Still, characterization can be a tricky thing to nail in a pilot so maybe this is something they’ll improve in subsequent episodes.

I don’t know if I’ll be back to it each week, because I tend not to follow comedies as closely as I do dramas; I’ll forget about them for several weeks at a time and then get caught up when I’m in the mood for something light.  Regardless, this is one to keep an eye on.

dollhouse 1×06: man on the street

I’m sorry, but I absolutely must resort to profanity to express how I felt about this episode.  Here goes.

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