Saturday, November 18, 2006

Supernatural—Crossroad Blues

If David Boreanaz is the hottest hottie on TV, then Jensen Ackles is a very, very, very close second. By like a hair. Or, in Ackles’ case, a freckle. Mmmm, freckles. I’ve had a long-term relationship with Boreanaz, starting when I discovered Buffy, so I guess Ackles is my approaching-midlife-crisis fling with a younger man.

Yeah, Padalecki’s okay, too, but for me this is the Dean Winchester show. He’s hot and conflicted and tormented and angsty and bow-legged and freckled, with limpid green Anime eyes that emote more pain than a human being could possibly bear and the prettiest mouth I’ve ever seen on a man. Yeah.

Over the last few weeks, Crossroad Blues, based on the legend of blues great Robert Johnson, emerged as one of the most highly anticipated episodes of the season. Thematically, it promised tons of angst, because there was no way they could manage a case about deals with the devil without addressing what happened in In My Time of Dying, when John traded himself for Dean. Dean knew this implicitly, but not explicitly. The anticipation was that the dynamic would change in the course of this episode, and that Dean would take a painful trip into angst-ville, having to face full-on the fact that not only is he alive and his father isn’t, but he’s alive because his father isn’t.

Penned by Sera Gamble, Crossroad Blues definitely lived up to the hype. While the main plotline of folks bargaining with the devil was a bit pedestrian, it proved a perfect backdrop for Dean’s soul-searching encounter at the Crossroads, and a brilliant and hot performance by Ackles. Seriously, whose ovaries didn’t explode when Dean went from OMG I am in such pain with my limpid green Anime eyes to Gotcha complete with smirk when the demon stepped under the Devil’s Trap?

Even the Hellhounds plot had some great moments, though. The scene where the surgeon was torn apart on the hotel floor by the invisible Hellhounds was genuinely creepy, as were the brief incursions of the demons into the hotel manager and Evan’s wife. Evan’s bargain to save his wife was, of course, a good complement to Dean’s dilemma, and John’s decision to trade himself for his son. We’ve known since In My Time of Dying that Dean was eventually going to find out what happened, and that when he did, it was going to fuck him up. And guess what? We were right.

The final conversation between the demon and Dean left some highly charged questions unanswered. Like Sam, I have to wonder if John is really in hell, or if the demon was just taunting Dean. I think it could go either way…but the first option is probably the most likely, given this show’s tendencies and the storyline’s high potential for pain and angst and Dean being hot while conflicted and emoting with his limpid green Anime eyes.

And I am so looking forward to that.

Favorite Moments:
Sam pouting because Dean has a police record and he doesn't.
Dean: Usually I like a warning before I'm violated by demon tongue.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bones—Aliens in a Spaceship

I’ve been a devoted Bones viewer since the premiere episode. I came to the show mostly because of David Boreanaz, who is the hottest hottie on TV. I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, especially the latter, and was more than happy to see him back on network TV.

Of course, there’s always the fear that the hottest hottie on TV will end up on a crap show, but that’s not the case with Bones. I’ve enjoyed it from the get-go. It’s not a deep show like the Whedonverse shows Boreanaz migrated from, but it’s fun. The characters are great, and I was happy to see the focus of the show more on the whacky, eccentric gang at the Jeffersonian than on the dry details of the case of the week. And while I expected to be interested in Boreanaz’s character, because he’d undoubtedly be looking really hot every week, I’ve also found myself enamored of the rest of the Jeffersonian crew. I even like Cam. (Pauses while the Booth/Brennan fangirls scream and throw rotten vegetables.) She’s a tough chick who gets what she wants.

After getting into Bones, I went on to check out Kathy Reichs’ novels. I enjoy those, too. There’s been a lot of online discussion about book-Tempe versus TV-Tempe. The characters are markedly different, and of course serve very different roles. Overall, though, I kind of prefer TV-Tempe. She’s clueless past willing suspension of disbelief, but she’s tough. She doesn’t shirk at conflict, and she rarely displays Too Stupid To Live tendencies. By contrast, in the novels, there is always one point in the book where Tempe does something really stupid and ends up kidnapped and usually locked away in some sort of confined space by the bad guy. (I listen to them on audio book—this usually happens about halfway through Disc 5.) Every single book. You’d think she’d learn.

Anyway… on to tonight’s episode.

As a rule, I’m not crazy about flashback stories. Having the flashback gives away a chunk of the story, to start with, because right away you know Brennan and Hodgins are ending up buried alive (well, we knew this from the previews, but bear with me). But we also know they’re going to get out, because they’re series regulars, so there you’ve just undermined yourself twice as far as being able to build suspense in the story. Maybe I’m being picky, but it seems like the writer’s unnecessarily hamstringing himself to take that tack. In this case, I think it took a little of the edge off the shock when Hodgins and Brennan were abducted so abruptly, because we knew it was coming. The change in mood from the first half to the second half was pretty abrupt, and it could have been moreso without the little preview in the teaser.

With that said, if the story works, it works, regardless of the structure. And this story worked. In fact, I think this was one of the best episodes of the series so far, right up there with The Man in the Fallout Shelter, which has been my favorite episode up to now. This was really well put together, with the parallels between the Ryan/Matt case and the situation with Hodgins and Brennan, and the full-team cooperation that was required to find their way to the buried car. Booth’s assessment at the end was exactly right--without any one of them, they wouldn’t have found the car. Hodgins and Brennan MacGuyvering to the bitter end was completely in character, as was Booth’s insistence that they would, and Brennan’s insistence that Booth would find them. And the twist of them not actually finding the killer at the end put a nice cap on the story. T.J. Thyne put in a tour de force performance, but the core group knocked it out of the park across the board. A stand-out episode. I cried. Did I say that out loud?

Standout moments:

Booth’s expression when he gets the ransom call… Horror, desperation, growing panic… Just perfectly played. Boreanaz just gets better and better. And I love it when Booth goes psycho in defense of Brennan, a la The Woman in the Garden. It’s hot, I tell you. HOT. Plus I keep expecting Booth to grow fangs. Just call him Angelus!Booth.

Booth: I need you to be Dr. Brennan.
Zach: I don’t know what that means.

The return of the Angelator.

“Putting testicles on the outside didn’t seem like such a good idea.”

And of course the end, with Angela taking Jack home, and Booth and Brennan in church.

Did I mention I thought this was really good?

House—Son of Coma Guy—More

Yeah, thought there was something iffy about the science in that episode.

Here's the scoop at Web MD's TV Check-Up.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

House—Son of Coma Guy

Real-time comments as I watch…

Hugh Laurie sounds like he has a cold tonight.

Hugh Laurie is hot. He has incredibly blue eyes and Alexis Denisof should totally be on this show playing his brother, or his nephew, or his cousin, or I don’t even care as long as it’s Alexis Denisof.

Omar Epps is hot. Just sayin’.

I sense a rupture in the happy domestic relationship between House and Wilson with the whole Vicodin scandal. That cop is going to ferret out what’s going on sooner or later, and Wilson’s going to get dragged down with House, which is unfortunate, but Wilson’s doing it for love, so it’s tragic and romantic, too. Right? Right.

So Vegetative State Guy just… woke up? I can’t wait to see what the Web MD blog says about this tomorrow, because it seems pretty far-fetched. However, I haven’t seen Web MD trash House’s medical creds yet. Therefore I suspend disbelief.

Well, until now, because a guy who’s been in bed for ten years isn’t going to be getting up and running around. Muscle atrophy, anyone?

Okay, okay, Chase is hot, too.

The byplay between House and Vegetative State Guy is good. House may have met his verbal, emotionally constipated match here. And he may have met his downfall with the cop, although we all know that won’t happen because the show is called House, not Thermometer in Rectum Cop Guy.

Overall, an interesting episode, and another wrenching moral dilemma, much like the Joel Grey episode a few weeks ago, and with a twist I didn’t see coming.

And House says maybe he doesn’t want to push his relationship with Wilson until it breaks? This gives me a warm fuzzy. And he gave House an alibi. Greater love hath no Wilson.

Looks like things are going to heat up with the legal investigation. I’m looking forward to seeing how all this plays out.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Heroes—Seven Minutes to Midnight

Good grief—they’re introducing ANOTHER hero? Miss Memory Lady, I guess. I still like Hiro best of all. None of the other Heroes have really sparked my interest. This show has a serious shortage of hotties, in my opinion. Well, sure there are good-looking people, but somehow I’m not finding any of them particularly interesting other than Hiro (Masi Oka). Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) is hot, but he keeps waffling. Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) is hot but he’s a prick. D.L. (Leonard Roberts) is incredibly hot, but I’m withholding judgment on his character for the moment. I kind of like Matt (Gregg Grunberg) so far, so he still has hotness potential.

This is another show I had really high hopes for. I enjoyed the pilot—I thought they did a great job balancing the several characters and the obviously destined to be complicated storyline. But then things got even more complicated, and they added even more characters, and with storylines dropping all over the place, it’s hard to keep the faith that they’re going to be picked up again and made sense of. It just seems like they’re making story promises they can’t keep. I’ll stick with it a while longer, though, just to see how things play out. Or maybe I’m old and bitter, too, like Captain Jack, and still suffering from keeping the faith with Lost for two seasons… I do hope it all manages to come together, because there’s a lot to like here, storywise.

And I’ll definitely say one thing for this show--they’re damn good with the cliffhangers.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Vintage Dr. Who on a Snowy Day

It's snowy and dreary outside, so I'm lounging about watching William Hartnell. Not exactly a hottie, but--Dr. Who!! The first one! Without him we wouldn't have Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant and... and... and... Captain Jack!! And who could bear a world without Captain Jack?

So, because of the snow and dreariness, I've tossed Dr. Who: The Beginning, Volume 1, into my DVD player. This set includes An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, and The Edge of Destruction. I bought it at Border's a couple of weeks ago on a crazed binge full of Dr. Who and Neil Gaiman. (Shut up. I had a coupon.)

It's interesting to see how much has stayed the same over the 43 years of this show's existence. Seems like it's only been in the most recent incarnation that the Doctor's female companions finally figured out how not to trip on their own shoes while running away from Big Ugly Dangerous Aliens. The Doctor is still crotchety and arrogant with questionable taste in wardrobe. And can we talk about Barbara's hair? Good grief. How many cans of hair spray died for that do? Of course, I always felt Rose Tyler's hair was a bit questionable, too...

Then we have Ian Chesterton, who is fairly easy on the eyes, and Susan, whose status as the Doctor's "granddaughter" has, as far as I know, never really been explained. Nor has her ability to literally trip on anything when she's being pursued.

I was surprised to see the Daleks introduced in the second serial. I didn't realize they'd been around that long. (I'm sure I knew this at some point, in the zenith of the Whovian Fangirl Days, but I'm old now and the memory's not what it used to be.) Their very first appearance is at the end of the first episode of The Daleks, The Dead Planet, when a mysterious and obviously very dangerous toilet plunger appears on-screen to menace a screaming Barbara Wright.

Anyway, off to watch the rest of The Daleks. Susan's wearing flats--but I bet she falls down, anyway.