Monday, June 14, 2010

Glee: The Journey to Regionals

I've watched this episode 4 times now, and I still can't watch it without crying. Maybe I'm just a big ol' sap, but I blame Cory Monteith. His work as Finn is my favorite thing about the whole series in this first season, and he sold the hell out of his scenes in this season finale. And really, its not just because I find him incredibly pretty to look at. I liked other things about the finale too!

Finn & Rachel: I really liked how Finn was sitting on the arm of the couch next to Rachel in the sequence with the club at Will's house. Even though I feel like the writer's have dropped the ball the past few episodes where the couple is concerned, that little bit of body language helped draw me back into the tension between the two. I loved that Rachel just kissed him in the hallway, though I had to laugh at how it had to be staged on the stairs so that little Lea could plant one on Frankenteen. Finn's "I love you" was perfect and the expressions on both of their faces before they began "Faithfully" were just breathtaking to me. The sweet moment of her head on his shoulder at the end was just the icing on a delicious cake for this Finn/Rachel shipper.

Puck & Quinn & Baby Drizzle: I almost wish they hadn't shown us the scene of Drizzle's conception, cause Puck just came across as a douche. I know I should expect that after his past behavior, but it was still not fun. I wonder if the audience was supposed to be convinced by his line about it not being a random hookup, but if so, Mark Salling didn't sell it for me. I'm pretty much ambivalent about the rest of this storyline, including Quinn's mom and Baby Drizzle being adopted by Shelby.

Will & Emma: Whatev, I just don't care any more. Emma has been gone so much that I'm no longer invested. Bring on Dentist!Stamos.

Regionals: "Faithfully" was just beautiful and made good use of Finn and Rachel's outrageous chemistry when they sing together. "Anyway You Want It/Lovin Touchin Squeezin" was joyous, and "Don't Stop Believing" was a perfect parallel to the pilot, though I prefer the pilot arrangement more. The New Directions girls' dresses were just gorgeous, as were the Vocal Adrenaline ladies'. "Bohemian Rhapsody" was a perfect companion piece to the birth scene and the editing was phenomenal. I liked Quinn echoing the lines of the songs, though I did cringe a bit during "let me go." Jonathan Groff just oozes charisma from his pores and I wanted to kiss him and slap him for his obvious arrogance all at the same time. Perfect delivery from him. Vocal Adrenaline deserved to win and I'm glad that they left New Directions something to work towards next season.

To Sir with Love: *sobs* Finn's "And I didn't have a father" line just killed me dead. Brought on the big ugly cry. Everyone looked so sad, but Cory's face gets me every time I watch it. Such a cheesy song, but it worked for me.

Sue Sylvester: I thought the issue of Sue helping New Directions was deftly handled. Sue being made fun of by Josh Groban and Olivia Newton John worked very well. I even bought Sue's tears as she watched "To Sir With Love." Kudos to Jane Lynch for selling the hell out of that, when it so easily could have been hard to convince the audience that Sue was capable of such a thing. I just hope we still get plenty of Evil!Sue next season.

Favorite lines:
"Are they a poor person's school?" - ONJ
"We have something the other groups don't have....Finn's dancing." - Will
"Break a leg" "I love you"  - Rachel and Finn *sigh*

See you gleeks next season!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Awkward Polar Bears & Awesome Mancandy: "Tabula Rasa" & "Walkabout"

When I first saw the title to the 3rd episode (if you count the pilot as 2, which Netflix streaming does), all I could think about was the Buffy episode of the same title, "Tabula Rasa." The concept of Tabula Rasa, promoted by John Locke (hee.) basically argues that the mind is a clean slate to be influenced by experiences and perceptions. In Buffy, that took the form of the gang having their memories erased and trying to figure out who they were based on the things around them.

In this episode of Lost, the concept is applied to Kate mostly, to her clean slate after whatever crime she committed which led to her being chased down in Australia by the YED!Marshal. Jack says that it doesn't matter who they were before the crash, that they all have a clean slate now. Its a nice sentiment, but I'm not sure Jack believed it fully and neither do I. As Buffy and the gang found out, our pasts catch up with us, and I'm sure that's true of everyone on the island. I kind of felt like Jack was sticking his head in the sand a little by not letting Kate tell him what she did. If he doesn't know, then he doesn't have to feel as guilty about keeping it from everyone. Hurley knowing she's the fugitive will probably be an issue, I'm guessing.

Sawyer was also very interesting in this episode. I knew I was predisposed to like him, because I've always pictured Josh Holloway in my head as one of my favorite book characters ever, Sam Starrett. And boy are the characters of Sawyer and Sam similar. They're sarcastic and macho and sexist, but you kind of like them anyway. I actually felt bad for Sawyer when he shot the marshal and the guy didn't die, but dude, if you're looking to help someone die and all you've got is one bullet, a headshot seems much more efficient.

I was very suspicious of Locke being the one who found the dog and brought him back. Seems to convenient, but then I think I'm just permanently suspicious of Locke cause I know I kept reading his name over the years and he's quite plot-important. Also, was it me or was there a growling noise on the last shot when Locke was watching Walt's reunion with Vincent?

The second episode I watched was "Walkabout" which could have just as easily been titled "Tabula Rasa 2: Electric Locke Boogaloo." I found Locke to be pretty disturbingly nutso pre-crash and his calm after his confrontation with the thing raises some questions about whether Locke is still Locke. I'm also sure that it wasn't coincidence that Black Suit!Man disappeared into the woods in the approximately the same spot that Locke emerged with the boar.

I thought this episode did some interesting things with Jack and the concept of leadership, as he continually asserted that he didn't want to be in charge of things. Once you prove your ability to lead, its often expected of you, and I anticipate that this will continue to be the case with Jack. I'm not altogether certain that Jack is really a natural leader, and I'm curious to see his backstory for more detail.

Stray observations from these two episodes:
  • I didn't buy Boone's explanation for why he took the gun. There's something going on there.
  • Do Charlie's fingers still say "fate" or did they say "late" in Tabula Rasa?
  • "Any bodies we bury won't stay buried for long." Jack, I have a feeling that truer words have ne'er been spoken.
  • Jack sitting with Rose? Heh.
  • Shannon still sucks and I hope she dies.
  • Favorite Line of these eps: "Was it a dinosaur?" - Hurley

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Awkward Polar Bears & Awesome Mancandy: Adventures of a Lost Virgin

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm six years behind, but I'm finally getting around to watching the pop culture phenomenon that is Lost. I've always been interested, but knew that it was a mythology heavy show (much like my beloved Supernatural) and that I'd need to be able to pay close attention to it when I decided to take the plunge. It was also attractive to wait until the show was off the air, so I didn't have to wait for new episodes. Thanks to my handy Netflix Instant Watch capable Blu-Ray player, I have access to the first five seasons to stream, and the summer seemed to perfect time to start since most all of my shows are on hellatus til the fall.

Somehow, I've remained fairly unspoiled about the show. I know that: its a scifi mystery type show, people were stranded on a island after a plane crash, there's a huge cast, some of them seem to have a problem not driving while intoxicated, and I know most of the actors who are regulars. I know that some of those actors have left the show over the course of the years, but I have no idea how or when that would fall in the show, so it keeps me from anticipating exits. I even managed to avoid hearing anything about how it ended, beyond the fact that some people liked the finale and some didn't (go figure!).

I intend to blog regularly about the show as I watch, covering every episode. I may watch several episodes in a single night or weekend, so I'll probably lump those together in one post. I'll probably do mostly review and speculation and not much recapping (I'm too long winded to recap, see my Glee posts).

Without further ado, my take on the pilot:

The Lost pilot is probably one of the best I've ever watched, ranked up there with Justified, Glee, and The West Wing. I was afraid that there would be too many characters for me to keep up with, but that wasn't a problem. My only issue was that I caught myself watching for actors I knew appeared on the show like Michelle Rodriguez. I thought it did a great job with the exposition of the immediate plot: plane crash survivors marooned on a island, rescue is hampered by being off course, and there's a mysterious something in the jungle that likes to eat Greg Grunberg.

I know Matthew Fox is basically the lead, but I found him to be pretty bland. I hope this changes as we go forward, but I found Sawyer, Sayid, and Kate to be far more compelling right away. Ian Somerhalder brought the pretty as always, but I'm not sure what I think of his character. I keep waiting for him to be quippy and evil like Damon Salvatore, so I've got to learn to turn that off. I also found myself incredibly frustrated and angry with Jin, though my Twitter peeps assure me I'll change my mind eventually. I also didn't like Boone's sister Shannon, and was kinda disappointed that Sawyer didn't let the polar bear (WTF?) eat her. Overall, the mancandy quotient is off the charts, and I'd probably keep watching just to moon over Somerhalder's eyes.

Its hard to draw a lot of speculation from the pilot, other than "the island isn't what it seems and the polar bear probably wasn't the thing in the jungle" but stray speculations include:
  • Charlie is either a psychic who sees the future or a time traveler
  • The labrador is plot-important and may or may not actually be a real dog anymore
  • Orange Mouth guy (who I know from the interwebz is Locke) is creepy and might be evil
  • The marshal was played by Frederic Lane, probably my favorite incarnation of Supernatural's Yellow Eyed Demon, so obviously it was demon hoodoo that brought down the plane. Somebody get Jack and Kate some salt and a Zippo, stat.
Tune in sometime this weekend for more!