TV of 2007

Jan. 9th, 2008 09:56 pm
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For the third and final part of my Fictional 2007 review, I bring you my year in television shows. This post has been an embarrassingly long time in the making (as evidenced by the fact that I did the first two within the same day and yet have been adding onto this one for the better part of the week), because, wow. I don't think I quite realized just how many new TV shows I've picked up on the wayside. I remember a few years ago making an agreement with myself to limit my major TV fandoms to only House and Lost, because I was HUGELY invested in both of those and didn't think I could make room for another obsession of a similar caliber. And then somehow I justified watching a few summer shows, some reality TV, maybe some educational programming... and holy bejeebies where did all these fandoms come from? I also blame the fact that, through some installation mix-up or something, I've been getting full cable (70+ channels) at school for the past semester despite the fact that I only pay for basic (about 15 channels); and being the terrible person that I am, I've decided to milk the mistake for as long as I can (and, ooh, spooky coincidence -- my Comcast bill literally just popped up in my inbox as I typed this. Weirdly enough, this is one bill I don't get annoyed at paying; instead, I get excited about having another month of TV!!! :D Yes, I am in desperate need of a life).

Caution: contains lots of large-ish images, as well as spoilery discussion of the most recent seasons of Lost, House, Robin Hood, Psych, Star Trek: TOS, Star Trek: DS9, American Idol, and Pushing Daisies

Part Three: Television

Lost

Oh, Lost. Where would I be without my weekly mindfuck from you? (Trying to distract myself with other fandoms for the last nine months, that's where.) After leaving me on tenterhooks during the winter hiatus over whether Ben would make it through his surgery or not, the second part of the season came back with a vengeance. A few episodic highlights:

-DFSAKSDFASDKDF WAS "FLASHES BEFORE YOUR EYES" NOT THE MOST GLORIOUS MOMENT OF OMGWTFAWESOMMMMME EVER?
-"Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" played perfectly into my love for strange surreal macabre humour. It also features on of my all-time favourite Lost quotes: "Let's look death in the face and say, 'Whatever, man.'"
-"Enter 77" - PATCHY!!!!

Mikhail as Best New Lost Character of the 2007, amiright?
-So we finally learned how Locke ended up in that wheelchair in "The Man from Tallahassee," and it wasn't from slipping on a banana peel as Damon & Carlton have always maintained! Shocking! This episode also inspired the insanely funny Dad in a Box parody.
-Say what you will about Nikki and Paulo, but "Exposé" was a terrific send-off of their characters. I mean, how many other shows respond to negative fan reaction by burying the offending characters alive and then completely forgetting about them? The writers must have previous experience as a "cleaning crew" for a mob boss or something.
-Thank you thank you THANK YOUUU for the Ben flashback in "The Man Behind the Curtain." About. friggen. time.
-And then the finale. OMG. Lost is the one show where I never ever never want to read any spoilers EVER because I wouldn't trade my reaction to the fast forward reveal for anything. Just. OMG. AWESOME!

Even though this was the big season of Jaters vs. Skaters, I've decided to spare myself the mental anguish of deciding where I stand on the issue by instead focusing on other ships.



Forget about flashback!Goodwin/Juliet; Ben/Juliet is where it's at, people. theirloveissomanipulative!



For me, the highlight of Kate's flashbacks will always always be Kate/Marshall. theirloveissostalkerishlyobsessive!



And then my one actual, legitimate, romantic OTP, Penny/Des. Because the girl knows a hot monk when she sees one. theirloveissoGreekepic!

House, M.D.

Much to my frustration, the majority of the House clips on YouTube have been removed recently, preventing me from sharing my top moment from the show this year. Well, I'm sure you can already guess what it is anyway, but it was so filled with win that it bears repeating.

HOUSE TELLS WILSON "I LOVE YOU." HOUSE TELLS WILSON "I LOVE YOU." HOUSE TELLS WILSON "I LOVE YOU." HOUSE TELLS WILSON "I LOVE YOU."


House: I love you.
Wilson (and everybody else ever): 'Bout damn time.


I seriously cannot believe that a lot of fans have been complaining about the decay of House/Wilson this season, because. Honestly. HOUSE TELLS WILSON "I LOVE YOU." HOLY CRAP I DID NOT THINK THAT WAS EVER GOING TO HAPPEN BUT IT DIDDDDD. And it was beautiful! And I'm certain I let out a fairly audible, "Oh my GOD!" while watching it in a dorm room full of non-House fans.



And let's not forget the total brilliance of the season premiere (with much delicious casual Wilson, dreamysigh). Really, I think that is where a lot of grumblings are coming from, because the House/Wilson/Cuddy-centric episode set a standard that no team, old or new, could ever live up to. "Are you erasing my TiVo? House, not the season finale!" "You ever tighten a guitar string really, really slowly? Past the point it can handle the strain? It makes this weird... sound. Almost like a scream. Eee-eee-eeeek!" Then going back to the beginning of 2007, the second half of season three featured perhaps the greatest run of House/Wilson ever, with the four-episode block of "Act Your Age" through "Resignation." "I'm not on anti-depressants, I'm on speeeed!!" Ohhh, Wilson. Plz to be makin babies with me. From here to eternity.

I have to give House major props for having the balls to fire half the cast at the end of season three (even if they all sort of came back, but whatever. It was still an impressive risk), for having so much fun with hiring the new fellows, and for bringing Cutthroat Bitch into my life. ♥ ♥ ♥



Smart, sassy, mini-skirt wearing Amber Volakis: you were too precious for this world. I already ranted about how much her firing sucked, so instead I will commemorate the happier times.



Swaying public opinion with donuts! I'm pretty sure there's a chapter on that in How to Win Friends and Influence People.



"I wasn't exactly popular in high school." "Really?" "People said I had a superior attitude but that's just probably because they were all so stupid." (From that other show with an overachieving young doctor)

As a corollary to my CTB obsession, I also became seriously invested in Amber/Taub. They're such an unlikely match, and yet at the same time so weirdly perfect for each other. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Amber's demise is that this relationship never got a chance to fully play out -- but they still had plenty of great moments.



Dating tip: couples who manipulate Cameron together, stay together.



Amber: Can I have a kid too? I'm working too hard.
Taub: I could hook you up.
Amber: If I had two minutes and some anti-nausea meds, I'd take you up on that.

Then the thong stealing in 4.08 wins as the best childish plot contrivance ever, if only because it gave us so many glorious Amber/Taub scenes.



Amber: Thought you weren't playing?
Taub: I'm not.
Amber: She'll fire you if she catches you.
Taub: I don't think she can fire me for not trying to steal her panties.
Amber: You trying to will them off?
Taub: If I had a plan, the first part would be not telling you what the plan was.

And yet they plan together anyway, because they just can't fight their love.



OMG HE HAS APPROPRIATED HER UNDERWEAR! Even if House sees through it right away, this plan is still made of SO MUCH WIN for all of the intriguing suggestions of how exactly Taub went about getting his hands on these.



"Way to blow our cover -- now everybody's going to know I let you feel me up in the locker room!" (And I swear I started writing this fic ages ago, but it's still sitting neglected on my desktop.)

ETA: Oh, snap! At the time of this posting, the panty challenge is actually still up on YouTube, so watch it while you can.

Robin Hood

Dear show,

Goddamn you for ruining my entire life.

Sincerely,
My residual FINALE OF DOOM-induced trauma

Yeah, that's one blow I don't think I'm going to wholly recover from ever. I mean. Just. Yeah. My OTP was quite literally run through with a broadsword, and my major girl!crush of the year is gone from the show FOREVER. In all of my worst, most tragic mental scenarios for the finale, I don't think I came up with anything could even hold a candle to the amount of soul shearing horror incurred by this episode.

That said... despite occasional relapses into despair, I have made my peace with the finale. I even quite like a lot of it, reaffirming my belief that my brain secretly hates me and revels in my pain. And, yes, I'm sticking around for next season, at least for the first few episodes.

As with Amber's firing, however, I know I've already shared my very lengthy feelings on this upsetting turn of events; so let us look rather to all of the goodness this show has brought me during the past year. Because, wow -- my entire relationship with Robin Hood thus far has been contained within 2007. Considering my recent level of obsession, it's weird to think that I only started watching the first season in April on BBC America, and I only became really hooked with the second season in October. I'm quick to bestow my affections, apparently -- but who can blame me? All (and by "all" I primarily mean "two"; I think you can guess who they are) of the gorgeous, wonderful, non-traumatic reasons to explain my torrid love affair with this show:



1. Guy



2. Marian. And that's all you really need to know. Oh! I forgot something...



Guy and Marian! These two together seriously rock my world.





I can't decide if I prefer them more when they're being flirty or angsty; but we're given such a wide array of both that I don't really have to choose, now do I? And either way, they are simply swimming in awesomesauce.

And just to make up for how much I've been ragging on Robin lately, I'll include a hugely adorable Robin/Maz scene.



Robin: *squinting* OMG, Marian! Your overwhelming awesome is too brilliant for me to gaze into directly.
Marian: Hmm, yes, I do seem to have that effect on a lot of people.



Marian: What do you mean, the show's named after you? Everybody knows The Night Watchman >>>>> Robin Hood!

Because these, my friends, are TRUE FACTS.

And then all of the good things I'm going to remember about season two:



Gratuitous displays of muscles and bosoms.



Tender comfort and emotional bonding.



INSANELY PASSIONATE MAKE-OUTS!



And, bascially, Team Leather FTW. Even if you don't follow the show, do yourself a favour and spend ten minutes watching all of their scenes from this episode. It'll take you on a perfect journey of everything life changing about their relationship -- their unlikely love borne out of betrayal. And, y'know, their overwhelming hotness. Plus, ooh, a bonus side of Allan! (Run, don't walk, to [livejournal.com profile] team_leather.)

Psych

Public Service Announcement: Psych starts back this Friday!! The EPIC LULZ begin 10 PM on USA. If you, like me, are in dire need of some fluffy happy time after suffering through the aforementioned fandom implosion, Psych is the cure for what ails ya. Let's revisit some of the moments of wonder and hilarity (and slashiness!) the show has bestowed upon us in the past year.

The second half of season one resumed in January, bringing with it "From the Earth to the Starbucks," or what I like to call, "The Finest Hour of Straight Up Shawn/Lassiter."



Slightly shortened version of their conversation:

Shawn: Lassy?
Lassiter: Spencer! Why am I surprised? Listen, there is something I have got to get off my chest.
Shawn: Is it your shirt? Please say no.
Lassiter: You astound me.
Shawn: Come again?
Lassiter: It's beyond astounding. It is some of the most impressive reasoning I've ever seen.
Shawn: Is there a punchline coming? Let's get to it.
Lassiter: I don't know how you do it. I mean, it's not psychicness; we both know that's a crock of crap. You, sir, are unstoppable. Guaranteed arrest.
Shawn: What's happening here?
Lassiter: Can I tell you a secret?
Shawn: I wouldn't recommend it, no.
Lassiter: You know how everyone thinks my wife and I have been separated for nine months?
Shawn: ...Yes?
Lassiter: Two years. Two years tonight, and I'm the one who keeps trying to fix the thing.
*Lassiter further bewails his career, while Shawn tried to reassure him*
Lassiter: Spencer, stop, okay? I am done. Here, I want you to have these. *pulls out cuffs* I don't need them. I am over.
Shawn: All right, stop this. This is nonsense. You're not over. Look, you're a striking man with strong features, eyes that women wanna do cannonballs into, you have great posture, and penmanship the likes I've never seen.
Lassiter: No. I have officially hit rock bottom.
*more depression over his current case*
Shawn: Come on, you'll figure it out.
Lassiter: No, I won't. I can't, and I've accepted that.
Shawn: All right, look, Lassy -- *struggles with calling him by his first name* -- Carlton, I believe in you. I really do.



And then at the end of the episode, Lassiter grabs Shawn to offer his private thanks for helping him on the case. And! And! They exchange their coded version of "I love you"s -- "Detective, you astound me."

The next episode also features an adorable Shawn/Lassy scene, which is just so perfect that it requires no fangirl reinterpretation whatsoever.



Shawn: Jules, may I please have a pen, and something to write on. *scribbles semi-orgasmically* *hands off pad to Gus, who then runs it to Lassiter*
Lassiter: *reading* "To Lassy: On the alpine highway of life, you're my all weather tires. H&Ks, Shawn." What the hell is this?
Juliet: "H&Ks" stands for "Hugs and Kisses"!
Lassiter: Not that part, this part!

Ahahahaaaa I love how completely Jules is fangirling it up here.



The season two premiere, "American Duos," wasn't one of my favourite overall episodes, buuut this performance is too funny to pass up. Despite my disappointment with the season opener, I felt like the episodes were immediately back on track. (Okay, quick aside, but does anybody know of a good place for Psych screencaps? I'm afraid the scenes I have represented here are fairly scattered because I had to cap them myself and only had a small smattering of season two episodes on my computer.) Best out of context quote EVER, said by Lassiter in episode two: "Spencer! Enjoying your time riding my behind?"

And then "Psy vs. Psy" was fan-freakin'-tastic. After the guest hottie of the week has revealed that she and Shawn slept together...



Lassiter: ...You... what?
Shawn: OH NO! Why'd you say that? And in front of mah boyfriend? Sooo busted. D:
Lassiter: Time to take out the competition!
[But it's okay, because she ends up being the baddie so we're allowed to hate her.]



Shawn: You're not still made at me about the whole sleeping-with-the-criminal thing, are you?
Lassiter: That would be a, "Yes."
Shawn: Come on, man. Let me make it up to you with my sweet, sweet lovin'. Kisses? Or possibly hugs?
Lassiter: *not quite ready to forgive*



Oh, but don't be too upset when they fight. Juliet doesn't let it bother her; instead, she imagines the hot make-up sex. (Seriously, Jules is SUCH A SHAWN/LASSITER SHIPPER. I love it!)



Random love for Lassiter's mugs in the final summer episode (never mind the fact that Kevin Sorbo is drinking out of it -- Lassiter doesn't appreciate him spreading his cooties everywhere!). In addition to the "SHOOT FIRST, DRINK COFFEE LATER," mug, later in the episode he has one which says "REAL DETECTIVES DO IT WITH A CHALK OUTLINE" (couldn't get a good cap of it, sorry).



And... yes... I do so love this scene...



Detective Carlton Lassiter: Officially Cooler Than You

Star Trek: The Original Series



Living in a family of giant nerds, Star Trek was always a fixture in our household as I was growing up. My parents were big fans of both Next Generation and Voyager, and I would often sit through an episode with them. I enjoyed both series, but neither left a huge impact on my life.

...And then I went to college and discovered the wonders of late night TV -- or, more specifically, the remastered episodes of TOS on the CW. And. Just. What? After watching my first full episode ("The Immunity Syndrome," which is still one of my favourites), I recall a distinct feeling of betrayal towards the world at large for never introducing me to it sooner. I mean, yeah, okay, so everybody knows Captain Kirk, but I never knew that somewhere behind all those William Shatner jokes laid one of the most innovative and entertaining television programs ever -- not to mention the greatest OT3 the world has ever seen.


Kirk/Spock/McCoy surrender to their love for one another.

Honestly, I sometimes get the strange feeling that TOS has been tailored precisely to my preferences. Aside from the rampant male bonding, the show features awesome costumes and hairdos and plenty of campy storylines; and yet it often surprises with a depth which is thoughtful without being (too) self-indulgent.



So much shiny! No wonder I'm having a hard time deciding on who to dress up as for the Star Trek XI opening.



For the most part, I think my favourite episodes are those filled with ridiculous plot contrivances and coincidences...



...Although Kirk would like to remind you that he still means business, thank you very much! (Never mind the alligator head on the wall.)

Even though I generally identify as an OT3 shipper (awesome parody and yet also kind of hilariously good Kirk/Spock/McCoy music video), if forced to choose I must express my preference for Spock/McCoy.



McCoy: Spock, I know we've had our disagreements. Maybe they're jokes. I don't know. As Jim says, we're not often sure ourselves sometimes, but what I'm trying to say is--
Spock: Doctor, I am seeking a means of escape. Will you please be brief?
McCoy: Well, what I'm trying to say is you saved my life in the arena.
Spock: Yes, that's quite true.
McCoy: I'm trying to thank you, you pointed-eared hobgoblin!

(Kirk can just... go make out with his lady of the week or whatever. [livejournal.com profile] arcadiaego linked me to this video of Kirk's many kissing scenes. Which, wow. It's slightly mind-boggling -- and also slightly disturbing that I actually find some of them to be sweet and romantic. When he's frolicking with Miramanee? He's so happy...! And then that episode makes me so sad! And God help me but I kind of love their kissing scene.)

As with Robin Hood, almost all of my TOS viewing has been encapsulated within 2007. I still have four more episodes left to watch (This Side of Paradise, Devil in the Dark, The Cloud Minders, and The Way to Eden), but with the help of TVLand I should hopefully close that gap sometime soon.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

DS9 is the other Trek series that I very sadly missed out on as a child -- why, Mom and Dad, why? I really don't understand their distaste for this series, because for me it is second to only TOS. I watched it a few times the summer before last with my sister thanks to reruns on SpikeTV, but didn't become seriously invested until this summer. Consequently, my viewing schedule has been a bit wonky. I've seen bits of the seventh season with my sister; in 2007, since deciding to watch the whole series, I made it through all of seasons two and three (almost done with four).

What I enjoy most about DS9 is that it has one of the best ensemble casts. Everybody plays so well of each other, providing an endless combination of character interactions. It makes it hard to get bored with any one storyline, because each episode handles it from a unique perspective. Keeping that intriguing, layered characterization in mind, I have a confession to make: I totally have a thing for Kira/Dukat. Back when I was first getting into the show, I saw that pairing mentioned on [livejournal.com profile] ship_manifesto and had a definite "Where the hell does that come from?" moment because it just made zero sense to me.

...And then I recently watched "Indiscretion" and "Return to Grace," both of which were amazing. It doesn't help that I watched them in the midst of my Guy/Marian obsession, either -- because Kira/Dukat is basically a much, much, much more sinister version of GM (and again, this is me feeling guilty for perhaps subconsciously jinxing Guy/Marian. I drew up all these comparisons before the Robin Hood finale, already knowing how completely doomed Dukat's pseudo-redemption arc was; so perhaps the comparison is more apt than I originally intended).



Unlike G/M, however, I am at a point of total acceptance with all of this, and can appreciate Kira/Dukat for its brief moments of brilliance while turning elsewhere for my OTP warm fuzzies. Not that Kira/Dukat are lacking in occasionally adorable scenes -- obligatory out of context screencap:



(Okay, not all that out of context; she's pulling a burr from his bum.)



And there's no getting around the fact that Dukat is a great character, be it as a villain or as a potentially redeemable man.



You know, I was watching a few Jake-centric episodes recently, and realized that, if this show were real life where it'd be inappropriate for me to lust after alien overlords or middle aged married men, I'd totally have a crush on Jake. At the point where I am with the show, he's just about my age, and he's the "sensitively artistic" type who every girl wishes was in her college writing class (or maybe just me, whatever -- I'm generalizing to keep from feeling like too much of a dork).

...But since this isn't real life, I instead spend the majority of the show fixated on Bashir/O'Brien.



So very canon! Except for that whole part where Miles has a wife and a kid.



Keiko: *cleaning up all of his goofy costumes* Miles, what exactly is it that you and Julian spend all of your time in the holosuites doing? I mean, gosh -- looking at these big furry jackets, I'd think you were arctic snugglebunnies or something.
Miles: Heh! How ridiculous... *awkward* [That would be Battle of Britain snugglebunnies, actually.]

*flash to all the Bashir/O'Brien Guy Love scenes, most of which consist of the two of them getting totally wasted and then overly grope-y with one another* One of the very best drunken B/O'B exchanges:

Miles: You're not an in-between kind of guy. People either love you or hate you.
Julian: Really?
Miles: I mean, I hated you when I first met you.
Julian: I remember.
Miles: And now...
Julian: And now?
Miles: Well... Now, I don't.
Julian: That means a lot to me, chief.
Miles: And that is from the heart! I really do... not hate you.

YouTube has another great clip exploring the differences between Miles' relationships with Keiko and with Julian. Really, I can't hate on Keiko too much for interrupting my OTP, because she does plenty to get the two of them together.



Slightly edited version of their actual conversation:

Keiko: I'm going to be working for another few hours. If you want to go do something [other than mope around our quarters all night]...
Miles: I'm fine.
Keiko: Why don't you go find Julian? You know... cheer him up.
Miles: Maybe I should spend an hour with him. [ZOMG YAAAAY!! Wife-approved boyfriend time!] *dashes out of the room*
Keiko: Maybe two.

American Idol



... ... ...Did I seriously spend the majority of my summer fangirling these two? *sigh* I think that's a record low, even for me. Ohhh, American Idol -- remember the good old days when you were just a silly pointless show that I had on for background entertainment? Before you became the show that sucked up two nights of television a week, not to mention all of the time spent online in between shows frantically refreshing for news? And then the show that still gnawed at my brain even when you ceased to be a show, forcing me to mooch off everybody's tour videos because I was too poor to go myself? American Idol has stripped me of my dignity. D:

But whatevs -- at least I got some CAKE in return! It's pretty long (7+ minutes), but Chris's elimination still totally breaks my heart every time I watch it. It qualifies as one of the most bittersweet TV moments of 2007 (because sob for him leaving, but awwwwwadorable!! for them declaring their love on national television).



Pushing Daisies

I just started watching the show over Thanksgiving, and even accounting for the truncated season, I've only seen about half the episodes. I passed it up initially because I figured the over-stylized cuteness couldn't be sustained for a full series; I still sort of feel that way, but I'm willing to stay around for as long as that adorable glimmer lasts. :D I haven't formed many solid opinions about the characters yet, other than OLIVE ROCKS MY WORLD.



I would say hello to my new girl!crush, but I haven't exactly been having the best track record with those lately so I don't want to jinx Miss Snook just yet. She's seriously so amazing that, as boring-and-doomed-to-go-nowhere as Ned/Chuck is, I can't even bring myself to ship Ned/Olive because Olive is just too cool for him. Seriously.



Weirdly, the only ship I'm into at this point is Chuck/Oscar; who knows if that's every going to go anywhere, but I like the idea. Oh, and Chuck's Wardrobe/My Closet, because that's one hookup which needs to happen ASAP.

Resources: Lost caps from Lost Media; House from [livejournal.com profile] jukebox_grad; Robin Hood from Gisborne fanlisting; Psych by me; Star Trek from Trek Core; Cake from I honestly don't remember where; Pushing Daisies from Pushing-Daisies.com
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