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Random seasons 2 episodes of N -

I had forgotten how Jewish Joel was. I don't know why it stands out, but it does. He's not religious, he's not even particularly culturally devoted, but it's just there. He mentions it, he jokes about it. Even his surreal fever dreams are rooted in Jewish motifs and history. It's not even so much the Judaism, per se, as seeing a character that is distinctly rooted in, and influenced by a culture without it being either the whole of the characterization or a throwaway thing. It's like, say, the little mention that Joan (from Elementary) knows Mandarin, not as well as her mother would like. It's not a big deal, but it just makes her a tiny bit more real - she's multilingual, she's the product of an immigrant experience, etc, etc. I'd love to see more of that. A Jewish, or Asian, or Black character is *probably* going to have at least slightly different cultural baggage and family history than a white one, but all TV-Americans, regardless of race, often seem to have been raised in some kind of total cultural uniformity.
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Person of Interest was actually pretty good this week, despite having many of the things I hate. Carter was fantastic, and while the Shaw story should have been cheesy schmaltz, (it's certainly something of a shift in her characterization, but whatever) it somehow just about worked. Less for the moppety kid and more for that almost surreal and strangely intimate moment with the blood transfusion.

All I have for the Good Wife is generalized squee. Alicia! Diane! Carey and Diane! Will! Will and Kalinda! Kalinda and Carey! Peter! What the hell, Peter! You're making a mistake.

Elementary is growing on me, somehow. I still wish it was less precious about Sherlock, but it's settled into a groove and it's ok. It works better for me when it seems to be closer in on Watson's POV. I don't care much about Sherlock.
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- Blacklist, so far, is absurd but fun, thus making it the opposite of SHIELD, which is absurd and no fun at all. I like the main guy's ridiculous over-the-top attitude and am curious about whatever is going on with Read more... ). Oh, and I have a strange amount of sympathy for the skeptical blond agent, like Ward on SHIELD, who is like all straight(probably)-white-male-hegemony-action-reaction-etc, but has no secret past or chosen-one status or anything, andis always running after someone and seems to do a lot of the gruntwork, both physical and mental, and to just work really hard at his job and care about it a lot.

- I watch Elementary entirely for Lucy Liu's choices in textiles, I think (come on, they're worth it. That grey-white tunic dress thing!) Not sure what the politics over there in this episode were, though Sherlock being unable to let go of someone being wrong on the internet was amusing.

- Bang Theory was really sweet this week. Well, no, 2 out of 3 subplots were incredibly depressing, really, but they were deliberately dark humor laughing at messed up people's messed up problems, which is ok. (And Amy and Sheldon were actually really cute and mature.) Unfortunately, I think my strange, strange love for this show comes from the moments where it's more unthinkingly bleak, so if they've actually managed to get a handle on that, i'm now worried that I will like it less? Please, Big Bang Theory, keep being your brutally cruel self!
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...yeah, this is weird for me.

Elementary 2.1 - Read more... )

The Big Bang Theory 7.1/2 - Read more... )

Angel 5.22 - Ok, I have never seen the Angel finale before. I don't know why, I was in the army or something or something, and then I pretty much got spoilered for it by osmosis, but at some point I realized that I had actually never seen it, so now I have. I knew the big stuff, but goddamn, the scene between Read more... ) SO CRUEL. So perfect. So many possible readings. Just damn. Best thing in the episode.
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Hannibal, eps 1&2.

Oh come on. Gosh this is silly. I absolutely cannot take this seriously, at all, not for one minute. I just kept giggling throughout. Mushrooms! (Oh, the mushrooms! I must be horrifically insensitive, but all that did was make me want to cook some mushrooms.) That's fine, i'm not sure it wants to be taken seriously, but i'm not sure what the point is either. Is it deconstruction? parody? What am I watching this for, exactly, once I get bored of mushroom porn and architecture porn and clothes porn and possibly some amount of porn porn?

Ah, hang on, you say, this thing has characters! Usually, one watches things to find out what happens to the people in them, right? It's just, OMG, do not care. They're too goofy. The depth of Will's carefully conveyed, much-discussed, pretty, pretty angst is just as silly and parodic and ridiculous as the mushrooms.

There's just something about the portrayal of intelligence and social isolation here - which also bothered me in Elementary - where it's just so dignified and downright ennobling. Loneliness becomes this terrifically elegant thing. These guys have a world of people just waiting at their door to protect and befriend and defend their vast specialness, while they gaze out at the rain in their apartness. I could live - just about - with Will. The vast chunks of time devoted to other people discussing how broken and special and broken Will is? It's both absurd in it's intensity, and it just bores me.

Good grief, i'm going to end up watching the Big Bang Theory again, aren't I? Where all sleeves comes with special pockets for hearts and the only thing loneliness does to people is to strip them of dignity and slowly peel them raw. I will seriously take an episode of quasi-funny sitcom featuring two people sitting on a couch and trying to touch and mostly failing for no particular reason, except that it would require them to be ever so slightly braver or kinder than they are, over a season of Will just being too impeccably sensitive or Sherlock being too clever for this mean, mean, muggle world to comprehend. All day long.

Er, tell me it gets better?
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Everyone seems to like Elementary now. I guess i'll have to go back to watching it. And I so enjoyed embracing my disheartment with it early on too...
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Well...serious episode for a given value of serious. 

Read more... )
"A sitting duck!"
"Duke. Sorry"

Oh, show. You had me at feminism and egalitarian characterization and sexy, thorny romance and shirtless Pierce Brosnan and awesome wackiness...but you also give me bad puns and now I am yours forever.

I'm still unimpressed with Elementary, thought I'm really trying. The mystery was halfway, at least, but the character stuff was painful. 

Read more... )

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...and, inevitably, Remington Steele. First, I actually rather liked Elementary 1x09. Read more... )

But it did get me thinking about the way that kind of character is portrayed and the ways Remington Steele kind of looks like a pretty goddamned radical deconstruction of that. Except, um, it's thirty years older. Nevermind! In a thousand years, this will all make sense. What's thirty years, and the order they come in, in the grand scale of things?

(spoiler free, if you've not seen RS. WHICH YOU SHOULD. Because, AWESOME.) Read more... )
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I have no idea why I still watch Elementary, it's just a thing that I do with my sister because we can never agree on something else to watch together. Once again, the mystery is boring to tears. Theres no intellectual hook or human sympathy element or anything. Ok, most people (me included) don't watch this kind of thing for the mystery but still! The problem with even character focused storytelling which does not have a good story is that it gives the characters nothing to do. They never have to stretch or be challenged or change or deal in any way with anything, and you can't even develop a real sympathy to characters like that.

A cause/symptom of the bad mysteries on Elementary is that theres never any good one-shot characters for them to bounce off (yes, theres was that episode with the child kidnapper. Thats the saving grace of this season, atm) and the show is so ALL ABOUT SHERLOCK that they never have each other to bounce off all that much either. Watson does nothing episode which is not entirely about Sherlock. All that guy who steps up to be his sponsor does is hang about and show his commitment to Sherlock. But at least we get Lisa Edelstein. You can't go wrong with Lisa Edelstein, can you? Well, you can, if the only thing you can think of doing with her is making her a killer hooker with a liking for crosswords instead of a personality (and, honestly, what a cop out with the solution.)

And what kind of lunatic has Lisa Edelstein and Lucy Liu in the same episode and manages to avoid having them ever exchange a word? Seriously? Fail. Terrible episode. One star out of the entire Pleiades for that thing with the wall being kind of clever.

Screw it,i'm going back to watching Remington Steele.

Ep 2.06 - A Steele at Any Price - is like an antidote to Elementary here. (and wow do they invite comparison) It has another great convulted farce plot with like half a dozen distinct one-shot characters, (3, I think, of whom are woman) all of whom are interesting or fun or sympathetic or something, ("She once said murder is the only truly erotic act.") and all of whom have their own agendas and personalities. It's also chock-full of the characters getting to do things - run around, climb walls, drive wildly, hide behind things, fall over, get into fights, etc - whereas Elementary in comparison turns out to consist almost entirely of people standing about in a series of differently decorated rooms.

If Elementary managed to deliver as some kind of intellectual/psychological drama, then ok, but it doesn't. It can't, really - it's far, far too precious about it's characters (and by characters, I mean Sherlock) dignity and image to toss them about the way RS does, and so RS, despite being a far lighter show, tonally (for the most part) ironically enough becomes the more compelling character study.

Anyway, enough comparisoning. RS here offers a bit of a role switch, again, with Steele being back in his element for once, and Laura being the newcomer taking to it with rabid, and perhaps unhealthy, enthusiasm. It's cute and funny (and Laura's "pretentious art critic" is hilarious) but it's also got an interesting undercurrent. Steele isn't just the one who's competent, he's also - within limits -the responsible adult, while Laura is all giggles and reckless changes of plan (and horniness!) Steeles typical irresponsibility is at least partially a product of being in this position of having someone else holding his hand, and Laura is perfectly capable of slipping into the same shoes when she's not the one holding up the world for once.

Vague side thought - Steele is really not a technophobe, is he? I had sort of assumed he was, but he doesn't even pretend he is, per say, it's just the whole 'louche upper class English playboy fellow' persona that he plays as being the one playing Remington Steele (uh, if you follow) kind of has that associated with it as a character type - his disdain towards guns and computers...but when nobody is watching, so to speak, he's got no problem hacking security systems or sending ur-emails.


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