Saturday, February 28, 2009

Television Week In Review (week Ending 2/28/09)

Sunday

The Amazing Race: I was getting worried for Mike White and his dad for a while there but glad to see they managed to move up a few spots while amusing Phil with their inability to open the iron gate that would lead them to the pit stop. The pie throwing challenge was damn funny. I am sorry to see the hillbilly couple go. They're the people who really appreciate being on the race.

The 81st Academy Awards: Hugh Jackman wasn't a bad host. He did a very nice opening number and boy, can Anne Hathaway sing. Good for her. Slumdog Millionaire won just about everything, Kate Winslet FINALLY got her long overdue oscar and some other stuff happened but I mostly fast forwarded through it. I love my DVR.

Legend of the Seeker: Well, there was good news and bad news. The bad news is that this episode was mostly a retrospective "This is what's happened so far" recap episode. The good news is that a retrospective "This is what's happened so far" recap episode included a cameo performance by the magical talking sock puppets. Woo Hoo!

Monday

Chuck: I really liked this epsiode. It was pretty funny. Jeffster is awesome. And boy, can Sarah take a punch or what?

House: I really liked this episode too. Liked House's snarky comments like how their patient (with both male and female cells) was Thirteen's dream date. Liked the idiot broken finger guy...I liked the whole damn thing.

The Closer: Well, Brenda and Fritz finally get married. This was a good episode too. I'm kind of tired right now so I'm not feeling very prolific but it was good. A nice way to end a somewhat uneven "season".

Tuesday

Is it possible I didn't watch anything tonight? Well, thanks to Obama's address to Congress, yes, it is. Miracles happen every day.

Wednesday

American Idol: Due to Obama's address to Congress, the second group of twelve performed tonight. The singer I was most interested in seeing was Nick Mitchell, aka Norman Gentle, just out of sheer curiosity as to what this guy would do next. I mean, there's no way he should realistically have made it thus far but he is never boring. And, in fact, he was the fourth singer to perform and was the best of the night, to that point. He even gave a shout out to Neil Patrick Harris who happened to be in the audience that night. "Doogie!" It didn't get much better so honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if he did make it into the Top Twelve. Allison Ireheta, who sang Heart's Alone, was amazing and was the best of the night by a good few hundred miles. Adam Lambert sang "Satisfaction" and parts were good and parts were....weird, but I think he will also make it through to the next round.

Thursday

Survivor: Brazil: Jerry was voted out and I don't think Jerry was really all that upset over it. I missed most of the episode because I was busy running around doing other things.

American Idol Results Show: This was on at the same time as Survivor so I recorded it with my DVR. It's amazing how much shorter this show is when you record it and fast forward through all of the feeble banter. Anyway, Adam Lamert and Allison Ierheta and Kris Allen who sang Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror" and apparently has a lot of friends, are going through to the top twelve. Sadly, Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchell will not be. I'm betting he won't be making it into the Wild Card round either.

30 Rock: Tracy Jordan makes an appearance on the Larry King Show and sends NYC into a panic. Peter Frampton was referenced and other hijinks ensued. This was a very funny episode.

Burn Notice: Michael's ex-fiancee shows up, much to the delight of Fiona. Sam the ex-fiance needed Michael's help to steal a government chip back that she had originally stolen in order to save herself and the life of her son. My DVR cut off right before the end so I don't know how it all turned out. I'm guessing it turned out all right because I didn't hear anything about it being a series finale.

Friday

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: I remember in the first season I was calling episodes explosion happy...well, I guess they didn't have much of a budget or something because the second season, with the exception of the outstanding premiere, has been explosion unhappy. You have an awesome kick ass female terminator, for crying out loud. Let her get all terminator on someone's ass!

Dollhouse: This was a good episode. It was also written by Marissa Trucheon and Jed Whedon, two of the brainchildren behind Dr. Horrible, so it should probably be said that I was bound to like this epsiode regardless. Why is Amy Acker only a guest star???

Battlestar Galactica: Now, this was a good episode. Still seem to be creating new questions instead of wrapping up loose ends but I have faith in the powers that be. Starbuck spent most of the episode talking to some piano playing guy. I said right off the bat that the piano player was her father (some message boards think her father is Daniel) and that the piano also is in her head. Well, I was half right. The piano was real but her father was just in her head. Apparently, her father taught her to play the cylon anthem "All Along The Watchtower" which was drawn out by the ever creepy Hera. Meanwhile, Boomer plays Tyrol like a banjo and gets him to spring her from the brig so she could then beat up Athena, frak Helo (who is gonna be in soooooo much trouble next week!) and kidnap Hera. Now, way back when Hera was a less creepy baby, she knew the difference between Boomer and Athena, so it would stand to reason that she would know the difference now between the two. So maybe she wanted to go with Boomer (presumably back to Cavill). Dunno. There's talk on the message boards that like how Liam was downloaded into Anders, Daniel was downloaded in Hera. There's also speculation that Daniel is Baltar...or Starbuck...or Galactica herself. No one knows. But what we do know is that there are only three frakking episodes left and it ain't looking like Galactica herself will make it to the very end. Eek.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Television Week In Review (week Ending 2/21/09)

Sunday

The Amazing Race: I am so excited that this show is back. I miss it when it's gone. I think I am going to write a drinking game for this show because one could really get sloshed. You could take a shot when one half of a young dating couple calls the other half "babe". You could take a shot when one half of the team of blondes makes a comment on how being cute and blonde will get them far in this game. You could take a shot when someone utters the line, "This was the one thing I didn't want to go!" or "That was the hardest thing I've ever done!" You can do a shot every time the locals laugh at the Americans as they flair around trying to complete whatever task has been set to them. Or when one team try to outwit another team. Or when a team has an Ugly American moment (i.e. saying something like "Why doesn't anyone here speak English?!?"). Anyway, one of the dating couples arrived on the mat last. Too bad, so sad. Joe was sorry to see them go sadly because the woman had nice breasts (I'm so proud.). I hear this season they're going to Siberia. I'm very much looking forward to that leg of the race. Hell, I'm just looking forward to the whole damn thing.

Legend of the Seeker: Still no magical talking sock puppets! What the hell? This week, Stupid Richard goes deer hunting with some locals and takes a detour to Brennington, the village where he was born. He manages to cause trouble, gets chased through the streets and eventaully betrayed and arrested. Since the series would be short lived if Dick dies, he is, of course, saved by his trusty sidekicks, Kahlan and Zedd. I was thrown for a moment because Richard met a woman claiming to be his mother which was odd because I've read the books (well, the first three of them anyway) and had no recollection of that. I know they're not following the books word for word, but that would be a pretty major thing to veer away from. Turns out she wasn't his actual mother. Just the midwife. Next week's preview promises new episodes in which Dick will continue to get himself in trouble. But no word on the magical talking sock puppets. I will, however, keep my fingers crossed.

Monday

The Big Bang Theory: Repeat. Why are they showing repeats now? Doesn't CBS understand that it's February sweeps?How I Met Your Mother: Ditto.Chuck: I haven't seen this show for a while. I think, however, I have only missed one episode this season and that was the 3D episode that aired the Monday after the Superbowl (I didn't have any 3D glasses so I skipped it). At any rate, I felt like I must have missed something in that 3D episode that happened between Chuck and Sarah because they seemed stranger than usual. Of course, this happens a lot in this show, where Chuck has to learn and re-learn the lesson that he and Sarah are a dead end. In this episode, they go undercover in the suburbs to find a potential terrorist. I figured out very early on that the entire neighborhood was terrorists because I saw that in an episode of Alias once. Anyway, still fun. And an interesting side story, of course, with Big Mike dating Morgan's mother.

House: Everyone's trying to play everyone else and it's another Thirteen centric episode. Hey, what else is new? The medical mystery was kind of interesting though. There should really be some fallout for Taub's decision to track down the kid at the restaurant and tell him the priest had AIDs but I can't imagine there will be because there never are on these types of shows (Grey's Anatomy...I especially mean you.) I didn't get Cuddy's mind game at all. Usually she's much better at that sort of thing, isn't she?

The Closer: This episode was a lot of fun. Amy Sedaris guest starred as Fritz's sister, Clair the psychic. Hijinks ensue and a good time was had by all. One question though...how do you make a vegan chicken pot pie? Tofu chicken? It just sounded odd.

Tuesday

American Idol: Well the first twelve in the top 36 performed tonight. I liked Jackie Tohn (or however one spells her last name) and Ricky Braddy. He had a great vocal performance but, I agree with Simon, that I don't see star quality in him. Alexis Grace was fantastic. It was funny to hear an Aretha Franklin song come out of that little teeny tiny woman. Good for her. And Danny Whatshisface was very good too. And once again, I agree with Simon. The other three judges were ready to hand him the winner's trophy right then and there but Simon was all like, "Well, you were good but you weren't fantastic." Which was both fair and true. Everyone else who performed sucked ass. I mean, they really did. There were quite a few singers about who even Paula couldn't find something nice to say. They showed Danny's friend Jamar (the cheek piercing guy) in the audience. I bet he was pissed he got passed over for some of the assclowns who performed. Also performing tonight (for hopefully the LAST time...) was Tatiana. I think the producers must have slipped her some valium or something because she was SO much more subdued than she'd EVER been. She sang a Mariah Carey song and, at times, sang it well. Her low range isn't her strong point though. Anyway, guess we'll find out what America thinks tomorrow. I'm betting they don't agree with me. They seldom do.

Wednesday

American Idol Results: Alexis Grace, Danny Whatshisface and Matt the Roughneck all made it to the top twelve. Ryan Seacrest was untolerably cruel to all the contestants. I know the producers make him give the results in certain ways but it is still unbelieveably cruel. Especially when they brought Danny and Tatiana down at the end and were like "One of you is in...one is out" when obviously it was Danny who would be moving ahead. Carly Smithson and Michael Johns popped by to promote an album and reminded us why they didn't win in the first place. Next week, Norman Gentle will be performing and I'm, sadly, a little bit excited to see what the hell he'll do. Because it'll be wild.

Lie To Me: The problem with this show is that they haven't figured out how to give the information that the audience needs without making people who shouldn't sound dumb dumb. In this episode, the team spends a lot of time explaining stuff to the secret service that one would damn well hope the secret service would already be aware of. All these sort of procedural shows have those moments but the good ones are the ones that make the dumb audience talk a seamless part of the scene. This show hasn't quite figured that out yet. I still like Tim Roth's character and I still don't like Kelli Williams's character.

Thursday

Survivor: Brazil: Well, I was texting family and friends during most of this epsiode so I missed pretty much everything but I did get to see the second total blindsiding of a contestant in two weeks of a season that's shaping up to be pretty damn interesting. Gotta love it when a contestant has absolutely no idea everyone's plotting against her...especially when she tells the cameramen she's sure she's not going home.

Bones: My DVR cut off right at the end so I missed some of it but this was a very funny episode. Nice promo, by the way, FOX for your newest show Fringe.

Grey's Anatomy: This episode wasn't that bad until Derek and Mark started punching each other.

Burn Notice: I want to go to Miami and be a super cool ex-spy type person.

Friday

Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles: The gang goes to a town funeral. When is Cameron going to get to do something useful???

Dollhouse: I will kill FOX if they cancel this show before Joss gets a chance to tell us this story. Amy Acker was back. Badger also made an appearance. Just made me love the show more.

Monk: This was the season finale. The episode coming back in the summer are the start of the last season in which we are going to find out what happened to Trudy, I mean, as far as who killed her and all. I thought this episode would've nudged us in that direction but no such lcuk. Kali Rocha appeared as the key to the case. Kali Rocha, for those of you not in the know, played Halfrek and Cicely in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Psych: Kind of intense for an episode of this show. Glad they didn't forgo the humor entirely. I would've missed it. Liked the serial killer expert thing...the whole "My father's name was Mary and his father's name was Mary and his father's name was Craig" was just so random, it was hysterical. As was his later "Talk about your civil war buff..." It did feel a little unresolved with the whole serial killer thing so I'm thinking maybe she was right when she said it wasn't over. And, last but not least, I was glad Shawn went back out to Abigail and had his date with her instead of taking off with Juliet.

Battlestar Galactica: YOU SHOULD KNOW THE DRILL BY NOW, BUT THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS SO IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW, THEN DON'T READ ANY FURTHER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Anyway, I feel like since this is the sixth episode out of ten that maybe they would be wrapping up more storylines but it seems like they're only adding more. Ellen showed up on Galactica, as did Boomer and all hell broke loose. Boomer was promptly taken to the Brig. Tyrrol looked at her longingly. Ellen screwed Tigh on a table and then was mean to Caprica Six who must be vulnerable in her pregnant state because I don't know why she let Ellen get to her. Not the same woman/cylon from before. Anyway, Gaius reappeared and scared Adama into giving him guns for some reason that escapes me. I think it has something to do with human/cylon mingling...which might be a little too late since half the cast are cylons. Adama and Tight get drunk and Ellen claims that Tigh loves Adama more than either herself or Caprica Six. Tigh and Six's baby boy named Liam died and Ander's EEG suddenly started showing life. Some of the message boards are talking about how Liam's lifeforce was downloaded into Anders. Next week it looks like we get some clarification on Starbuck's situation. The message boards had a lot to say about that too...their money's on Romo Lamkin (Badger from Firefly) being Daniel, the cylon model Cavill poisoned out of jealously. There are only four episodes left...how the frak are you going to manage to tie up all the loose ends?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

25 Albums...Another Facebook Time Waster...

Here's what you do:

"Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, and emotions.

When you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!"

Melissa's Note: This is, to the best of my abilities, a chronological list. Please be kind and remember, I am an 80's child.

1. The Muppet Movie Soundtrack- Had the LP and I listened to it a lot. This is the first album I can remember really listening to. A lot. Especially "Rainbow Connection"...someday, we'll find it.

2. Michael Jackson- Thriller. Yep. I, along with my siblings and our neighbors, listened and danced to this (particularly the title track) in our basement. A lot. We even wore gloves. One each, of course. Because we were that cool.

3. Madonna- True Blue. I danced around my room a lot to this album. Papa Don't Preach and Live To Tell.

4. Tiffany- Her self titled debut album from her mall touring years. "I Think We're Alone Now" was my dance track and "Could've Been" was, like, my favorite song ever. Hey, I was eleven. Don't judge.

5. Debbie Gibson- Electric Youth- I repeat. Don't judge.

6. Def Leppard- Hysteria- This tape my friend, Amanda, and I listened to a lot. Much, I am sure, to the absolute delight of our parents. Pour Some Sugar On Me.

7. Cinderella- Long Cold Winter- For when Amanda and I weren't listening to Def Leppard. You Don't Know What You've Got 'Till It's Gone.

8. Guns N Roses- Appetite For Destruction. My mother didn't want me to buy this tape because there were skulls on the cover. So when I did finally get the album, I listened to it constantly. Because I could. Welcome to the jungle, you sweet child of mine.

9. Poison- Open Up And Say Ahhhh.. My mother let me buy this tape because it did not have skulls on the cover, just guys wearing eyeliner. Loved Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Still kind of do.

10. Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 Cast Recording)- The very first CD I bought. I listened to this one during middle school. Thanks, Mr. Nick.

11. Les Miserables (The Complete Symphonic Recording)- My older sister's influence. I listened to this one so much I was once able to sing every single note of this amazing musical. "On My Own" was my, perhaps predictable, favorite.

12. John Rutter's Requiem- More choral influence at work here. It's really an amazing piece of music. I still enjoy listening to it. It's good music to write by.

13. Violent Femmes- Add It Up- This was the influence of Mirjam, my family's much cooler than me German exchange student my senior year of high school. Waiting For The Bus is still one of my all time favorite songs.

14. Counting Crows- August And Everything After- This CD serenaded my first semester of college. Anna Begins is probably my favorite track from the entire album.

15. Alanis Morissette- Jagged Little Pill- This CD seldom left my stereo my second semester of college. Much, I am sure, to the delight of my dormmates.

16. Dave Matthews Band- Under The Table And Dreaming- The CD I listened to when I wasn't listening to Alanis. "Lover Lay Down" was my favorite.

17. Jewel- Pieces of You. The tape Joe and I listened to in the car nonstop for a long time in the early days of our relationship. Joe was so nice back then...

18. Evanescence- Fallen. Yeah. We listened to this one a lot too, as to which my brother and sister in law can attest. Hope it didn't make that road trip to North Carolina much longer for you...

19. Ani DiFranco- tie between Dilate and Little Plastic Castle. Once Joe got me to listen, I didn't seem to want to stop. Still don't.

20. A Perfect Circle- Thirteenth Step. My God, I love this album. It's constantly in my CD player now.

21. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Soundtrack- I think this is probably self explanatory.

22. My Chemical Romance- Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge- This album is just damn cool. I love "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" and "The Ghost Of You"

23. The Kinks- The Ultimate Collection- "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" is perhaps the best song ever written. I listen to it whenever I need to improve my mood.

24. Trespassers William- Tie between all four of their albums. First discovered this band after watching the season six Buffy episode "Gone." Have been obsessed with them ever since.

25. Laurel Brauns- Swimming. A Celtic folk singer from the Mount Washington Valley area, but now living in Oregon. I was introduced to her by my friend CB and immediately fell in love. She is amazing.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Television Week In Review (week Ending 2/14/09)

Sunday

Legend of the Seeker: Still no sign of the magical talking sock puppets but this week, Ted Raimi played a magical map maker who creates magical maps that show the Seeker's whereabouts so bounty hunters can track him down, turn him over to the bad guys and collect the extravagant bounty the bad guys are offering for him. There was also a monster in a cave that reminded me of the monster in the cave in Monty Python and the Holy Grail...you remember, the cartoon monster, not the rabbit. The sword fighting in tonight's episode seemed to rather Matrix inspired (lots of sudden slow mo and the like.) but still awesome.

The Grammy Awards: Oh wait. I don't watch the Grammy Awards...does any one watch the Grammy Awards?

Monday

The Closer: This was one of the better episode that I've seen in quite a while. Really, really good. Got pissed when the lawyer was defending how he defends sex offenders, that they're branded like animals, well, they're fucking sex offenders. They SHOULD be brnaded like animals. Anyway, a really good episode, very well done. It's not often when Brenda misses closing a case but it usually makes for a good episode when she doesn't. Not that she should miss more often but this episode was so well written and acted that you didn't mind. It also made me think. The bad guy walked on this one and I was mad that he did and yet I watch Dexter, which is a show about a serial killer, and I never want him to get caught. Weird.

The Big Bang Theory: This epsiode was moved because of President Obama's press conference. I'm very glad they decided to show it because it was fantastically hysterical. Leonard's mother (played by the brilliant Christine Branski...or however you spell her last name because that sure as hell isn't it...) comes for a visit and leaves the entire group in turmoil. So damn funny. Will save this episode forever and watch repeatedly every time I need a good laugh. By the way, I think Sheldon stole his guitar hero moves from Famous Joe. Watch the playback. You'll think so too.

The Westminster AKC Dog Show: Watched this for the herding group, which was, of course, the last group of the night. There was a very nice looking Belgian Malinois and an all right looking German Shepherd (I will never, ever find a German Shepherd I think is prettier than mine.). The stupid judge picked the Mop Dog (the Puli...you should go a google image search for Puli and check out some of the pics of this breed doing agility. They're insane.) over either of my breeds. Whatever.

Tuesday

American Idol: God, isn't Hollywood Week over? It's been like two weeks long already. Anyway, tonight's the final solo night and I hate, by the way, the way this episode is cut and presented. But I pretty much hate all result shows and very seldom watch them. I watched this one because there were supposed to be solos. And there were. A couple. Best friends Jamar and Danny got through. I like them both but Jamar's cheek piercing is rather distracting for me. Danny's cool. I worry about him though because I think Paula has a thing for him and no one, I suspect, should be subjected to that (Remember last year when she told David Archuleta that she wanted to rip his head off and dangle it from her rear view mirror???). Scott McIntyre is through, singing a version of a Daughtry song. A lot of the ladies sang Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats, which is a cool song but one I find should not be attempted by these contestants. Crazy Tatiana somehow got through. Don't know why or how but BOY, are they milking her appearance on the show because they cannot be seriously considering putting her through much further. Norman Gentle is the man. He really is. He won't make it much further which will be a shame because at least he'd definitely be entertaining. Jason Castro's little brother Michael was cut tonight. Didn't matter to me because, honestly, I forgot he was even in this competition. And Kaylan I suspect was chewing gum. Choir directors, I have it on good authority, hate that kind of thing. Anyway, tomorrow night they decide the top 36 performers. I think it's entirely results and no actual singing so I'll probably be skipping that episode.

Fringe: Mr. Jones is back, fresh from his stay in a hyperbaric chamber following his transportation trip from a German prison to Boston. He wants to speak to Olivia because she's some drug study kid and has the power to turn light bulbs off with her mind. Dunno. There's also this mysterious manifesto circulating that was typed on a typewriter Walter has in his lab. Walter spent much of the episode obsessed with the cow and pound/coffee cake. Nina Sharpe and her robot hand were back too. I still can't decide if I like this show or not. Olivia is a little hard to like, I think. I like Peter and Walter though so I think that's what keeps me coming back week after week.

Scrubs: This week didn't make me laugh as much as last week did. There were some all right moments, but, overall it was kind of disappointing.

Westminster AKC Dog Show: The standard poodle looks ridiculous. I'm sorry, but it does. I don't understand the reasoning behind the big ass pompoms. Standard poodles are great looking dogs when not groomed to look the way show dogs look. Anyway, the main prize went to the Sussex Spaniel so like, congratulations or whatever. I may still be a little miffed that my own beloved breeds were snubbed by a mop with legs.

Wednesday

American Idol: I know I said I'd probably be skipping this episode but then it turned out there was absolutely nothing else on so I ended up watching it anyway because I couldn't possibly be expected to actually turn off the television, now could I? Anyway, the judges picked the top 36 performers tonight and I don't know what they were smoking when they picked the top 36 but apparently it is a rather strong hallucinogen because they did NOT put Jamar through (guess they too were distracted by the cheek piercing) but they DID put both Norman Gentle AND Tatiana through. What the HELL is up with that? Normally, I don't get this riled up in the AI process but I cannot help it now.

Thursday

Survivor: Brazil: Since Bones isn't on tonight, Joe and I watched this instead. I read online somewhere that Jeff Probst thought this would be a great season because of the cast, the location and the twists. Well, the twists started right when the tribes got off the bus that was dropping them off in the middle of nowhere. They had to vote out a member of their tribe based solely on first impressions. Sandy, the older lady was booted from the red tribe and Sierra the model was voted out of the black tribe. They were both pissed. They became less pissed when Jeff told them they weren't out of the game and were, instead, getting a helicopter ride to their camp. Sandy jumped for jou. Sierra did not. She, instead, went on and on about her strep throat and how she's got a fever and antibiotics and made me wish she was out of the game already because SHUT THE HELL UP!!! But in the end, Sandy's tribe had to go to tribal council and they totally blindsided the overly annoying bartender Carolina and voted her out over Sandy. Awesome.

Grey's Anatomy: Addison shows up her with asshole of a brother who needs Derek to remove brain worms from his brain. Addison says she needs Derek to be a God to make the impossible possible. Meanwhile, Owen's ex fiance and her father show up and Cristina, in addition to discovering that Owen has an ex-fiance (with whom he broke up with in a two lined email, by the way...classy.) also discovers that no one, including Owen's mother knows Owen has returned from Iraq. Owen has a good reason though and I'm glad he's on the show because I maybe actually sort of care about his storyline. Izzy seems to be developing some major issues (more than her usual set of issues, I mean.) and Alex knows something's coming and wants to run but, for now anyway, seems to be staying put.

Private Practice: The parts in Seattle were at least watchable. The rest? Not so much. How is this show still on the air? You cancel Pushing Daises, ABC, but you keep this? Who do you think you are? The Fox Network?

The Office: This show used to be funny once, right? I mean, it wasn't just my imagination, was it? I did like Kelly getting an hour of sleep at work. That would be cool. And, I admit, it was funny when Dwight came and woke her up with the trash can covers and then said, "Now you have to work twice as hard to make up for the time you missed."

30 Rock: Now this show is funny. This wasn't one of the funniest episodes they've had but it was still pretty good. Liz goes on a date and, of course, it was the worst date in the history of dates. Jack goes to church and tortures the priest in confession...now that was funny. And then he and his girlfriend get back together over McFlurries. McFlurries, for the record, are pretty damn good. Ask for Hot Fudge to be added. Makes them even better.

Burn Notice: I haven't watched this show for a while. I really liked the first season, ended up missing most of the second, but saw a preview for this week's outing and thought it looked cook. Michael gets caught in a bank heist and does what he can to stop it. Loved it when he called Sam for help and Sam had to tell his date, "My buddy's caught in a bank heist and I have to go break him out...it's true!" Great delivery. I've missed this show and I hereby resolve to stop missing it. You know, because that's what I need...more shows to watch.

Friday

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: This week's episode picked the fall finale (which, if I recall properly, I found to be rather lackluster) left off. John's girlfriend Riley had slit her wrists and Sarah had been shot in the leg while following up on a potential lead. So Sarah kidnaps a doctor to help save her and Cameron doesn't do much except tell John they don't have to give a damn about Riley. "Future You has more important things to worry about," she tells John. Wondering when Derek's going to figure out that his girlfriend is not on the up and up. I'm also wondering when Cameron is going to get to do something interesting.

Dollhouse: Oh look. A new Joss Whedon show. Buried on Friday night by the idiotic Fox Network. It's hard to judge this show in the one hour we've seen so far. I love Joss, you know that, and I love Eliza Dushku and I will watch this show religiously. The supporting cast I don't know about yet because they're a supporting cast and we didn't get to see much of them. Loved seeing Amy Acker again and hope she continues to make appearances. I've read a rumor that Alan Tyduk (Wash) will also be popping in so I'm looking forward to that. Anyway, it's an interesting show with a very original premise and so I'm much looking forward to diving into another Whedon universe. Don't frak it up, Fox.

Monk: This was one of the better episodes I've seen recently. Sorry that poor Kevin had to die though. He was a nice recurring character. Loved the part where Monk was checking out the collaspable knives and used the one real blade on Natalie. Next week is the season finale and the rumor is the next batch of episodes will be the series' last. We're supposed to find out who killed Trudy and it seems as though we'll get a clue to that next week.

Psych: Not one of my favorite shows ever. Maybe it would've been funnier had I actually seen Friday the 13th, I don't know. There were some good lines, for example, Gus stating he's not going anywhere because he knows what happens when brother goes into the woods. Or Shawn's, "What does the parrot from Aladdin have to do with this?". Next week's the season finale and looks kind of intense. It'll be interesting.

Battlestar Galactica: AS ALWAYS, THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCH THE EPISODE YET, AND DON'T WANT ANYTHING RUINED FOR YOU, TURN BACK NOW........So, last week's preview promised answers. And we got some. Kind of. I always kind of hate the plot device where a character suddenly remembers vital information. Like what the final five were like on earth and how they got from there to here and resurrection and whatever else. I mean, it can be done well or it can be cheesy. Still not sure where the jury is on this use of that particular device. But like Ellen and the other four cylons gave the centurians the ability to create the other skin jobs or whatever and gave them the resurrection technology. Cavill, whose name is John and who was named after Ellen's father (and also created in his image), grew jealous nad whatever and so boxed an unknown cylon model, the seven, named Daniel. Then he wiped Ellen, Tigh, Tory, Anders and Tyrol of their memories and threw them in amongst the humans so that when they died and resurrected themselves, they would have a proper hated of humans? Then he planned to operate on Ellen to get back the resurrection knowledge but Boomer intervened and took Ellen away before Cavill could operate. It looks as though Boomer and Ellen show up on Galactica next week which will be interesting because Tigh's living with the pregnant Six (and was that scene between them weird or what?). Boomer and Tyrol are finally free to be together so I wonder if they'll end up doing just that. And, oh, by the way, Tyrol's slowly going to be turning Galactica into a cylon ship and Anders, who had all the word salad answers before his surgery, is now apparently a vegetable. Eek.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Best Thirty Buffy Episodes Ever.

This is a hard list to make. For one, I love each and every single episode of this amazing series. I could quote you a favorite line or describe a favorite scene from each of them. But this list is the elite. The top 30. It was going to be 10. And then 15. And then 20 and 25 but I decided on 30. And I'm sticking to it. Probably. So here it is, for your enjoyment, my favorite episodes of Buffy:

30. Anne, season three, written and directed by Joss Whedon- Some people think this is a rare Joss misfire of a episode. It makes my list because it was the first episode I ever saw and left me wanting to see more.
Highlights:
Buffy: "Wanna see my impression of Ghandi?" (debrains bad guy)
Lilly: "Ghandi?"
Buffy: "Yeah well, he was really pissed off."

29. When She Was Bad, season two, written and directed by Joss Whedon- Again, not everyone's favorite but one of mine.
Highlights:

Cordelia: "Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it."

Willow: "Well, what about the rest of the note?"
Buffy: "What rest of the note?"
Willow: "The part that says, 'P.S., this is a trap'?"

28. Band Candy, season three, written by Jane Espenson and directed by Michael Lange- This episode is a frakkin' riot. Giles and Joyce listening to Cream and then going out on the town, Snyder hanging out with the gang, plus Ethan Rayne.
Highlights: All of the above plus:
Buffy: "Something's weird."
Oz: "Something's not?"

Willow: "Kiss rocks? Why would anybody want to kiss...oh wait. I get it."

27. Angel, season one, written by David Greenwalt and directed by Scott Brazil- The episode where we find out that Angel is actually a vampire. It's a classic.
Highlights: The very end, where Buffy and Angel share a kiss and Buffy's cross burns Angel. Love hurts, baby.

26. Pangs, season four, written by Jane Espenson and directed by Michael Lange- The Thanksgiving episode. And the epsiode where Angel returns, albeit briefly and without Buffy knowing (at least until the very end), to Sunnydale. It's really a very funny outing. Which is nice except that in its orginial airing, it was followed by Buffy's crossover on Angel that made you cry your eyes out. But isn't that what life's all about? Laughing followed immediately by bawling? Anyway....
Highlights:
Spike: "I'm saying Spike had a little trip to the vet and now he doesn't chase the other puppies anymore."

Spike: "A bear! You made a bear!"
Buffy: "I didn't mean to."
Spike: "Undo it! Undo it!" (The line delivery is hilarious...it might lose something on the page or the screen as the case may be.)

Angel: "I'm not evil again. Why does everyone think that?"

25. Something Blue, season four, written by Tracey Forbes and directed by Nick Marck- Another hysterical episode. This time hijinks ensue when Willow casts a spell that goes awry. The gang's left fulfilling her will. Xander becomes a demon magnet, Giles is blind, and Buffy and Spike are engaged.
Highlights:
Giles: (Re: Buffy and Spike kissing) "Stop that right now! I can hear the smacking."

Buffy: "What's wrong with Buffy?"
Giles: "Ah, such a good question."

Spike: "This is the crack team that foils my every plan? I am deeply ashamed."

24. Checkpoint, season five, written by Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie, directed by Nick Marck- The epsiode where we find out that Glory is a god. I love this episode for the end of it where Buffy puts Quentin and the rest in their places. And throws swords. That's always a good time.
Highlights: Buffy throwing the sword at Nigel.

Buffy: "You're watchers. Without a slayer, you're pretty much watching Masterpiece Theatre."

23. Dopplegangland, season three, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The episode where evil Vamp Willow reeks havoc in Sunnydale. This, as you can imagine, leads to some very funny moments.
Highlights: It's all Willow.
Willow: "Well, did you try looking inside the sofa in hell?"

Willow: "Say, you all didn't happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?"

Willow: "That's me as a vampire? I'm so evil. And skanky. And I think I'm kind of gay!"

Willow, undercover at the Bronze, breaking character to wave at Oz.

22. Lovers Walk, season three, written by Dan Vebber and directed by David Semel- The episode where Willow and Xander's affair is brought to light when Drusilla dumps Spike for a Chaos Demon and sends a broken hearted Spike back to Sunnydale. Some definite funny moments, but also some very heartbreaking ones too.

Highlights:

Spike: "You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love 'til it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag and you'll hate each other 'til it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screaming inside of you to work its will. I may be love's bitch but at least I'm man enough to admit it." AND Spike drowning his sorrows in hot chocolate and mini marshmallows with Joyce.

21. The Prom, season three, written by Marti Noxon, directed by David Solomon- Well, this is the prom episode. Angel breaks up with Buffy, some psycho plans to ruin the prom, Buffy, of course, puts a stop to it and gets her one perfect high school moment when Angel shows up unexpectedly for one last slow dance.
Highlights:

Giles (to Wesley): "You have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."

Buffy receiving her "class protector" award AND the aforementioned slow dance.

20. I Only Have Eyes For You, season two, written by Marti Noxon and directed by James Whitmore Jr. In this episode, Buffy and Angelus are possessed by poltergiests reliving a tragedy that played out in Sunnydale High fifty years earlier. Lots of excellent angst.
Highlights:
Xander: Something weird is going on. Isn't that our school motto?

Willow: The only solution is the final solution.
Xander: Nuke the school? I like that.
Willow: Not quite. Exorcism.
Cordelia: Are you crazy? I saw that movie. Even the priest died.

19. Storyteller, season seven, written by Jane Espenson and directed by Marita Grabiak. Andrew, the last surviving member of the Trio, is making a documentary of Buffy called Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres. Thanks to his liberal use of revisionist history, the episode is quite hysterical.
Highlights:
Warren: What'll it do to Buffy?
Andrew: Make her super magnetic!
Jonathan: Wow, she won't be able to get out of her car.
Warren: And knives and other sharp things will fly at her.
Andrew: We could walk right by her, and she wouldn't be able to stop us.
Warren: Unless we were wearing metal belt buckles, then we would stick to her.
Andrew: In my plan, we are beltless.
Jonathan: Wow, you're the best, Andrew.
Warren: Yep, and good-looking and smart too.

18. Helpless, season three, written by David Fury and directed by James A. Contner. It's Buffy's eighteenth birthday which means the Watchers Council is preparing to put her through a cruel and sadistic test where they strip her of her powers with a mild muscle relaxant and stick her in a house with a psycho vampire that she has to kill without the use of her superpowers. Things go awry when the psycho vamp escapes and kidnaps Buffy's mom.
Highlights:

Buffy: If I was at full Slayer power I'd be punning right about now.

Quentin: You think the test was unfair?
Buffy: I think you better leave town before I get my strength back.
Quentin: We're not in the business of fair, Miss Summers, we're fighting a war.
Giles: You're waging a war. She's fighting it. There is a difference.

17. Earshot, season three, written by Jane Espenson and directed by Regis Kimble, the first of two episodes in the third season which were postponed due to the Columbine High School tragedy (the other was the season finale). This one because Buffy, thanks to her suddenly developed psychic powers, discovers someone thinking the ominous this time tomorrow, I'm going to kill you all.
Highlights: Buffy using her telepathy to show up the snobby smart girl in class.

Xander: (his thoughts) What am I gonna do? I think about sex all the time. Sex. Help! Four times five is thirty, five times six is thirty-two. Naked girls. Naked Buffy. Oh stop me!
Buffy: God, Xander, is that all you think about?
Xander: Actually... bye!

16. Family, season five, written and directed by Joss Whedon. It's Tara's birthday and she feels like she's having trouble fitting into Willow's group of friends. Then Tara's family shows up and say they've come to collect her to bring her home before the demon in her comes out. Tara doesn't want to leave but doesn't want her friends to see the demon side of her so she casts a spell to disguise that part but, of course, it doesn't work out the way its intended. Spike comes and saves the day. Amy Adams guest stars as Cousin Beth.
Highlights:
Tara: (to Buffy about Glory) You learn her source, and we'll introduce her to her insect reflection. (Everybody gives her a weird look) Th-that was funny if you, um, studied Taglarin mythic rites and, um, are a complete dork.
Riley: Then how come Xander didn't laugh?
Xander: I don't know that Taglarin stuff.

Donny: So all these books got spells in 'em? Turn people into frogs, things like that?
Xander: Yeah, we're building a race of frog-people.

Spike punches Tara in the nose and they both react with intense pain)
Willow: (angry) Hey! (with dawning realization) Hey...
Tara: He hit my nose!
Willow: And it hurt! Uh, him, I mean.
Buffy: And that only works on humans.
Spike: There's no demon in there. That's just a family legend, am I right? Just a bit of spin to keep the ladies in line. Oh, you're a piece of work. I like you.
Tara: (softly, to Willow) I'm not a demon.
Willow: You're not a demon.
Tara: He hurt my nose.
Willow: Aw.
Spike: Yeah, you're welcome.

15. Surprise, season two, written by Marti Noxon and directed by Michael Lange. It's Buffy's birthday and the gang is planning a surprise party for her. The real surprise comes for the audience when we find out Jenny Calendar isn't all she's cracked up to be. The surprise comes for Oz when he gets inducted into the Scooby gang when witnessing first hand Buffy's calling. Oh, and Buffy and Angel sleep together which robs Angel of his soul and turns him back to Angelus.
Highlights:
Oz: I'm gonna ask you to go out with me tomorrow night... and I'm kind of nervous about it, actually. It's interesting.
Willow: Oh, well, if it helps at all, I'm gonna say yes.
Oz: Yeah, it helps. It creates a comfort zone. Do you want to go out with me tomorrow night?
Willow: Oh, I can't!
Oz: Well, see, I like that you're unpredictable.

Oz: Uh, did anyone else just see that guy turn to dust?
Willow: Well uh, sort of...
Xander: Yeah, vampires are real, lot of them live in Sunnydale, Willow'll fill you in.
Willow: Now, I know that it's hard to accept at first.
Oz: Actually, it explains a lot.

14. Innocence, season two, written and directed by Joss Whedon- It's the morning after episode. Angelus is back plotting to destroy the world while a sad Buffy tries to stop him.
Highlights: The scene where Buffy storms into Jenny Calendar's classroom to confront her about what she knows. And the following dialogue:

Oz: So, do you guys steal weapons from the Army a lot?
Willow: Well, we don't have cable, so we have to make our own fun.

13. The Weight of the World, season five, written by Doug Petrie and directed by David Solomon- Buffy, following the loss of Dawn, is in a catatonic state. Willow performs some very powerful magic to bring her back.
Highlights: One of the first scenes when Spike realizes that Ben and Glory are the same but no one else does because of the spell that doesn't affect him.

12. Fool For Love, season five, written by Douglas Petrie and directed by Nick Marck- The first part of a Buffy/Angel crossover that explores some of our favorite vampire's history. We get to see Spike as the man known as William the Bloody, for his bloody awful poetry.
Highlights: William's poetry, Willow and Xander and Anya "helping" Riley patrol.

11. Conversations With Dead People, season seven, written by Jane Espenson and Drew Goddard. Directed by Nick Marck. A pretty cool episode where Buffy, Dawn and Willow all have seperate encounters with, well, with dead people. Thus the title.

10. Him, season seven, written by Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Michael Gershman- Dawn develops an intense crush on a classmate. Then Buffy develops an intense crush on the same classmate. Willow and Anya follow suit and then hijinks ensure. It's a filler episode but a damn funny one.
Highlights: The scene where all four women strive to prove who loves RJ the most, especially the part where Buffy plans to kill the principal with her rocket launcher and Spike stops her. Also the scene in the bronze when both Xander and Willow are checking out the hot chick dancing with RJ and then their horror when they realize the chick is Dawn. Plus this conversation:

Buffy: You shredded my outfit.
Dawn: I'll buy you a new one.
Buffy: That's not the point. I don't want a new cheerleading outfit.
Xander: Now, now, let's not be hasty.

9. Becoming, Part One, season two, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The first part of the second season finale, the one where Kendra dies and we see more of Angel's journey, from the human Liam to Angelus to Angel.
Highlights:
Spike: It's a big rock. I can’t wait to tell my friends. They don't have a rock this big.

8. Becoming, Part Two, season two, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The conclusion of the second season finale, the one where Buffy teams up with Spike in order to stop Angel. Angst galore. And then some.
Highlights: Well, the aforementioned angst, of course. And the following conversations:

Angelus: Just tell me what I need to know.
Giles: In order to be worthy...
Angelus: Yeah?
Giles: You must perform the ritual... in a tutu. Pillock!

Buffy: Okay, fine, you're not down with Angel. Why would you ever come to me?
Spike: I want Dru back, I want it like it was before he came back. The way she acts around him..
Buffy: You're pathetic, I lost a friend tonight!
Spike: I wasn't in on that raiding party.
Buffy: And I may lose more! The whole earth may be sucked into Hell and you want my help because your girlfriend's a big ho? Well, let me take this opportunity to not care.
Spike: I can't fight them both alone and neither can you.
Buffy: I hate you.
Spike: And I'm all you've got.

7. Selfless, season seven, written by Drew Goddard and directed by David Solomon- The episode that explores Anya in her various incarnations from Sweden in the year 880 to the lost musical number from Once More With Feeling.
Highlights: The aforementioned lost musical number and seeing that Swedish Anya (or Aud) was not afraid of bunnies. Also, the truth about Willow's alledged "Kick his ass!" statement (a reference to the season two epsiode Becoming, Part II.

6. Passion, season two, written by Ty King, directed by Michael Gershman- The Angel narrated episode where Angelus stalks Buffy, tortures her friends, kills Willow's fish and then snaps Jenny Calendar's neck. Ahhh, good times.
Highlights:
Jenny (to Giles): "I know you feel betrayed."
Giles: "Yes, well, that's one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal."

AND (this is so not a happy highlight), the scene where Giles discovers Jenny's body. It's beautiful and tragic and sad and while not a happy scene, who says it has to be in order to be a highlight?

5. Restless, season four, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The season four finale, where the gang is stalked, via their dreams, by the first slayer and some guy with cheese. Very unusual for a season finale which, up to this point, were all big battle based shows.
Highlights: Giles sings.

4. The Gift, season five, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The season five finale, the one where Buffy dies. I figured out what was going to happen about thirty seconds before it happened and screamed. A fantastic episode to cap an amazing season (one of the best, in my opinion.).
Highlights: Glory slaying the Buffybot and saying, "Did everyone know the slayer's a robot?"

3. Hush, season four, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The nearly silent episode. So cool, I actually forgot I had full use of my voice.
Highlights: Giles's presentation to the Scooby Gang, Buffy and Riley finding out each other's secret.

2. The Body, season five, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The episode where Joyce Summers (AKA Buffy's mom) dies. Well, technically she dies in the episode before, but this is the one that deals with it and blows your mind in the process. Makes me cry every single time I see it.
Highlights: Anya's speech in Willow's dorm room.

1. Once More With Feeling, season six, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The musical episode. If you haven't seen this one, please do so but don't watch it on cable because they cut scenes out of it. Borrow someone's DVDs for the best viewing experience.
Highlights: What isn't a highlight, really? From the opening credits to the singing Mutant Enemy logo at the end, this entire episode makes this section.

The Top Fifteen Angel Episodes Ever.

15. Not Fade Away, season five, written by Joss Whedon and Jeffrey Bell, directed by Jeffrey Bell- The series finale, forced by the now defunct WB network so it could make room for shows like Smallville and whatever. Not that I'm bitter. Oh wait, yes I'm bitter. Of course I'm bitter. This is a great episode and a good series finale so it makes the list. But, like Buffy, it's the one episode I hoped to never see. So it makes the end of the list.
Highlights:
Conner: "C'mon, you drop by for a cup of coffee and the world's not ending?"

AND
Sebassis: "This circle does not abide secrets."
Angel: "Which is interesting for a secret society."

AND

Spike reciting the poem he wrote for Cicely so long ago and receiving applause for it.

Also, Wesley's last scene is nice. Sad, but nice.

14. Life Of The Party, season five, written by Ben Edlund and directed by Bill Norton. It's a Halloween party at Wolfram and Hart. Lorne has his sleep removed so he has more time to get everything just perfect and, well, you guessed it, hijinks ensue as everyone ends up doing what Lorne tells them to do.
Highlights:
Lorne: Angel. It's a graveyard out there, and all the guests wanna meet the new guy in charge.
Angel: Look, Lorne, I--I--I have things. I'm busy. I'm brooding.
Lorne: (sees the television) Oh, you're watching hockey!
Angel: Yeah, but my team is losing.

Fred: I mean, wow. Wes. Wesley. I am totally drunk-faced.
Wesley: Because you can't hold your--what are you drinking?
Fred: Nothing.
Wesley: You can't hold that.

Wesley: Hey. Hey, Gunn. Is something weird going on? Charles, you just peed on my shoes.
Gunn: I'll be damned. That's weird.

Angel: Lorne told you to pee all over the office?
Gunn: God I hope so!

Angel: Eve. So I guess we should, I don't know, talk?
Eve: About what?
Angel: About what happened back there with us.
Eve: Angel, it's not like this is the first time I've had sex under a mystical influence. I went to U.C. Santa Cruz.

Spike: You pissed in the Big Man's chair? That's fantastic!
Gunn: Spike, can you please turn off that warm fuzzy?
Spike: What, the Lorne thing? Worn off. I just think that's bloody fabulous.

13. Guise Will Be Guise, season two, written by Jane Espenson and directed by Krishna Rao. Angel goes to visit a swami to help him sort through some feelings. Meanwhile, Wesley is forced to pose as Angel and act as bodyguard to Virginia Bryce. Hijinks ensure, naturally. I love the funny episodes. I really do. Plus, Wesley gets to be the hero and get the girl.
Highlights:
Cordelia: [Pretending to be Angel] Oh no, I can't do anything fun tonight. I have to count my past sins, then alphabetize them -- oh by the way, I'm thinking of snapping on Friday.

Swami: Vampire living in a city known for its sun, driving a convertible... Why do you hate yourself?

Swami: How many warriors slated for the coming apocalypse do you think are going to be using that hair gel. Don't get me wrong, you’re out there, fighting ultimate evil, you're gonna want something with hold.

Angel: I'm not a eunuch.

12. Destiny, season five, written by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard. Directed by Jefferson Kibbee. A tortured vampire slayer escapes from a mental hospital and Angel and Company are on the look out. Andrew also puts in an appearance. A good mix of the funny and the serious.
Highlights:
Andrew: Spike? It's you. It's really you! My therapist thought I was holding onto false hope but, I knew you'd come back. You're like... You're like Gandalf the White, resurrected from the pit of the Balrog, more beautiful than ever. He's alive, Frodo. He's alive.

Andrew (to Angel): Check the view screen Uhura. I've got twelve Vampire Slayers behind me, and not one of them has ever dated you.

Spike: She is one of us now. She's a monster.
Angel: She's an innocent victim.
Spike: So were we, once upon a time.
Angel: Once upon a time.

11. You're Welcome, season five, written and directed by David Fury. The series's 100th episode, and Cordelia's last appearance. She calls in a favor with the Powers That Be and gets one last chance to set Angel back on the right path. Evil Lawyer Lindsay also returns.
Highlights:
Cordelia: Oh, my God. Gunn? You have hair.
Gunn: Oh. Heh! Yeah. What’d you think, I was prematurely bald?
Silence
Gunn: I wasn’t.

Angel: I'm not gonna risk anybody I care about.
Spike: I'll go.
Angel Okay.

10. In The Dark, season one, written by Doug Petrie and directed by Bruce Seth Green. Oz is in LA, delivering a special item from Buffy to Angel, the ring of Amarra, a ring which will make Angel invincible. Spike, however, is also in town, also looking for the ring. Let the games begin!
Highlights: The opening scene where Spike, overlooking Angel and his latest damsel in distress, makes up some hysterical dialogue for the two:

Spike: (as Rachel) How can I thank you, you mysterious black-clad hunk of a night thing?
Spike: (as Angel) No need, little lady, your tears of gratitude are enough for me. You see, I was once a badass vampire, but love and a pesky curse defanged me. Now I'm just a big, fluffy puppy with bad teeth. No, not the hair! Never the hair!
Spike: (as Rachel) But there must be some way I can show my appreciation?
Spike: (as Angel) No, helping those in need is my job, and working up a load of sexual tension and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough.
Spike: (as Rachel) I understand. I have a nephew who is gay, so...
Spike: (as Angel) Say no more. Evil is still afoot. And I'm almost out of that nancy-boy hair-gel I like so much. Quickly, to the Angel-mobile, away!

9. Hellbound, season five, written and directed by Steven S. DeKnight. Ghost like Spike is slowly being drawn into hell. No one seems very concerned by this except for Fred who is determined to find a way to save him. It's creep and at times graphic and scary.
Highlights:
Spike: Never much cared for you, Liam, even when we were evil.
Angel: Cared for you less.
Spike: Fine.
Angel: Good. (they sit in silence) There was one thing about you...
Spike: Really?
Angel: Yeah, I never told anyone about this, but I--I liked your poems.
Spike: You like Barry Manilow.

8. Spin The Bottle, season four, written and directed by Joss Whedon. Desperate to cure Cordelia's amnesia, the gang resorts to magic. Magic, of course, never works out the way it is supposed to work out and, again, hijinks ensue. The gang reverts back to their high school selves.
Highlights:

Cordelia: (re: Fred) Oh! We're both in school. Oh gosh! Let's be best friends, so I can lose all my cool ones.
Wesley: There's no call to be snippity, miss.
Cordelia: This is a Clarion call for snippity, Princess Charles.
Wesley: It's Wesley, thank you. Wyndham-Price. I attend the Watcher's Academy in Southern Hampshire. In fact, I happen to be Head Boy.
Cordelia: (sarcastically) Gee, I wonder how you earned that nickname.
Wesley: A lot of effort I don't mind saying.

Wesley: The cross obviously doesn't affect me or our friend the pugilist.
Gunn: Oh, your ass better pray I don't look that word up.

Fred: I'm ready, I'm ok, it'd be cooler if we could score some weed though.

7. Darla, season two, written and directed by Tim Minear- The second half of a Buffy/Angel crossover event, otherwise known as Vamp History as it deals with the doing of Angelus, Darla, Spike and Drusilla. The episode's all angst sprinkled with more angst. It's great. No specific highlights because the entire episode is its own highlight.

6. Orpheus, season four, written by Mere Smith and directed by Terrance O'Hara- Faith and Angelus take a magical drug coma induced tour of Angel's past. Willow also appears to restore Angel's soul.
Highlights:
1920's Angel saving a puppy and a 1970s Angel listening to Barry Manilow.

Willow: You must be Angel's handsome yet androgynous son.
Connor: It's Connor.
Willow: And the sneer's genetic. Who knew?

5. Five By Five, season one, written by Jim Kouf, directed by James A. Contner- Faith's back and she's pissed. Wolfram and Hart pay her to go after Angel. She kidnaps and tortures Wesley, Angel comes to the rescue of both Wesley and Faith.
Highlights: Faith's meltdown in the rain.

4. Waiting In The Wings, season three, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The ballet episode. Fun and sexy and intorduces to the Whedon verse a young actress named Summer Glau....otherwise known as River Tam.
Highlights:
Angel (re: a ballet company): "Oh yeah, yeah I saw their production of Giselle in 1890-- cried like a baby. And I was evil!"

Angel: "Back in the day I'd always get box seats...or just eat the people who had them."

3. Smile Time, season five, written and directed by Ben Edlund- The now famous puppet episode where Angel and the gang take on a sinister children's education television show and Angel is inadvertantly turned into a puppet. Also a double whammy because you're laughing so hard you're crying now but the following episode makes you cry because Fred dies.
Highlights:
The Self Esteem song.

Spike "You're a bloody puppet!" and the following fight between Angel the puppet and Spike, resulting in Spike getting his ass kicked.

Nina thinking she ate Angel the puppet.

Also Angel's line, "I do not have puppet cancer."

2. I Will Remember You, season one, written by Jeannine Renshaw and David Greenwalt, directed by David Grossman- The episode where Buffy comes to L.A., Angel becomes human, he and Buffy have a few perfect moments together and then Angel gives up his mortality to return to his cursed vampire life in order to save Buffy. The kicker? No one knows it ever happened but Angel.
Highlights: Buffy and Angel's final moments together before the Oracles set back the clock. It'll make you teary-eyed.

1. A Hole In The World, season five, written and directed by Joss Whedon- The episode where Fred, our dear sweet Fred, who has just connected with her soul mate, Wesley, dies and becomes inhabited by the demon Illyria. One word for you: Tearjerker. If you don't cry, there must be something wrong with you.
Highlights: Sad but true, the very end where Fred actually dies. Her conversation with Wesley, too long to put in here, but you'll need a kleenex. Unless you're a Cylon or something. But even Cylons cry. I've seen it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Best Fifteen Firefly Episodes Ever.

In honor of the premiere of Joss Whedon's newest series, Dollhouse, I have decided to list my favorite episodes of his other three television series. I decided to start with Firefly because it was the easiest of all his series to choose my fifteen favorite episodes only because, due to the stupidity of the Fox Network, there were only fifteen episodes. So here they are, listed in the order they were intended to be aired.

1. Serenity, Parts 1 and 2: This was the pilot episode that Fox, in all their infinte glory and wisdom (yes, sarcasm.) decided to air last. Whatever. Anyway, this episode was written and directed by my idol Joss Whedon. Highlights include the whole damn episode. Since I can't list the whole damn episode here, here are some highlights from the highlights:

WASH: This is a Fertile land and we will thrive...
WASH (as stegosaurus): We will rule over all this land, and we will call it... This Land.
WASH (as T-Rex): I think we should call it... your grave!
WASH (as stegosaurus): Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
WASH (as T-Rex): Ha HA! Mine is an evil laugh! Now die!

JAYNE: Testing. Testing, Captain, can you hear me?
MAL: I'm standing right here.
JAYNE: You're coming through good and loud. MAL: 'Cause I'm standing right here.
JAYNE: Sure you don't just wanna piss yourself and back down like you did with Badger?

ZOE: I know something ain't right.
WASH: Sweetie, we're crooks. If everything were right, we'd be in jail.

3. The Train Job: Written by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear and directed by Joss Whedon, this is the episode Fox actually aired as the pilot. Whatever. Highlights:

INARA: What did I say to you about barging into my shuttle?
MAL: That it was manly and impulsive?
INARA: Except that the exact word I used was "don't".

MAL: Kaylee, what the hell's goin' on in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?

SIMON: What are we doing?
KAYLEE: Crime.

MAL: Hell, this job I would pull for free.
ZOE: Can I have your share?
MAL: No.
ZOE: If you die, can I have your share?
MAL: Yes.

4. Bushwacked: Written and directed by Tim Minear: Highlights:

HARKEN: You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?
ZOE: Fought with a lot of people in the war.
HARKEN: And your husband?
ZOE: Fight with him sometimes, too.

WASH: Have you ever been with a warrior woman?

JAYNE: He looked bigger when I couldn't see him.

5. Shindig: Written by Jane Espenson and Directed by Vern Gillum. Highlights:

ZOE: If I'm gonna wear a dress, I'd want something with some slink.
WASH: You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have money for a slinky dress?

KAYLEE: Yes, sir, Captain Tightpants.

KAYLEE: Is that him?
MAL: That's the buffet table.
KAYLEE: Well... how do we know unless we... question it?

MAL: Sure, it's humiliating. Having to lie there while the better man refuses to spill your blood. Mercy is the mark of a great man. (Stabs Atherton in the side.) Guess I'm just a good man. (Stabs him again.) Well, I'm all right.

6. Safe: Written by Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Michael Grossman. Highlights:

SIMON: I'm very sorry if she tipped off anyone about your cunningly concealed herd of cows.

BOOK: (after being shot) Afraid I might be needing a preacher.
MAL: That's good. You lie there and be ironical.

JAYNE (faux-reading Simon's journal): "Dear Diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. Today we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever."

MAL: Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
ZOE: Big damn heroes, sir.

7. Our Mrs. Reynolds: Written by Joss Whedon and directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. Probably the most hysterical of all the episodes. Lots of highlights. Here they are:

MAL: I swear by my pretty flowered bonnet, I will end you.

BOOK: If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.

MAL: Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

MAL: Whoa, good Bible.

MAL: It's been a while -- a long damn while -- since anybody but me took ahold of my plow.

MAL: Oh, I'm gonna go to the Special Hell.

WASH: Whoa, good myth.

8. Jaynestown: Written by Ben Edlund and directed by Marita Grabiak. Possibily the second funniest epsiode. Highlights:

Uh...the Ballad of Jayne. Duh.

WASH: We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!

River freaking out at Book's unbound hair.

ZOE: He's putting the hair away now, River.

9. Out of Gas: Written by Tim Minear and directed by David Solomon. One of my absolute favorite episodes. Non linear, giving good background on the crew, just overall awesome. Highlights:

ZOE: Get her running again? MAL: Yeah.
ZOE: So not running now?
MAL: Not so much. But she will.

JAYNE: Yeah, 'cos sick people are hi-larious.

MAL: I need that in Captain Dummy talk.

MAL: Well. Looks can be deceiving.
JAYNE: Not as deceiving as a low down dirty... deceiver.

MAL: Offering to shoot us might not work so well as an incentive as you might imagine.

Mal and Wash's fight over boosting the beacon which ends with Wash's well delivered "Well, maybe I should do that then!" line.

10. Ariel: Written by Jose Molina and directed by Allan Kroeker. Highlights:

The whole sequence where the crew is preparing for the heist, including exchanges like the following:

MAL: Pupils were fixed and dilapidated --
SIMON: Dilated.

The scene where the crew arrives at the hospital and finds they don't need their careful medical memorization and Jayne blurts it out anyway.

The last scene between Mal and Jayne. You do not want to see Mal angry.

11. War Stories: Written by Cheryl Cain and directed by James A. Contner. Highlights:

WASH: I am a large, semi-muscular man. I can take it.

JAYNE: I'll be in my bunk.

WASH: Hey, I've been in a firefight before! Well, I was in a fire. Actually, I was fired from a fry-cook opportunity.

WASH: I don't want you to spare me, Mal. If you think you know what's happening, then you tell me. You wouldn't spare Zoe if she were in this situation with you, would you? You would be planning, and plotting and... possibly scheming. So whatever Zoe would do in this instance is what I wanna do. Do you know why? No matter how ugly it gets, you two always come back with the stories. So... I'm Zoe. Now, what do I do?
MAL: Probably not talk quite so much.

WASH: I mean, I'm the one she swore to love, honor and obey.
MAL: Listen... She swore to obey?

ZOE: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
BOOK: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.

NISKA: You died, Mr. Reynolds.
MAL: Seemed like the thing to do.

RIVER: No power in the 'verse can stop me.

ZOE: This is something the Captain has to do for himself.
MAL: No! No, it's not!

12. Trash: Written by Jose Molina and Ben Edlund. Directed by Vern Gillum. Highlights:

INARA: Well, since I can't seem to find work as Companion, I might as well become a petty thief like you!(an uncomfortable silence descends for a moment)
MAL: Petty?
INARA: I didn't mean petty.
MAL: What did you mean?
INARA: Suo-SHEE?
MAL: ...That's Chinese for "petty."

RIVER: Also, I can kill you with my brain.

RIVER: Jayne is a girl's name.

13. The Message: Written by Tim Minear and Joss Whedon. Directed by Tim Minear. Highlights:

Jayne's hat.

Simon: This may come as a shock, but I'm actually not very good at talking to girls.
Zoe: Why, is there someone you are good at talking to?

Mal: He calls back, you keep him occupied.
Wash: What do I do, shadow puppets?

14. Heart Of Gold: Written by Brent Matthews and directed by Tom Wright. The crew goes to a whore house! Highlights:

INARA: I suppose you heard most of that?
MAL: Only 'cause I was eavesdropping.

KAYLEE: Look, they got boy whores! Isn't that thoughtful?

WASH: Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.

INARA: Every well-bred petty crook knows the small concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.

15. Objects In Space: Written and directed by Joss Whedon. The last of the Firefly episodes. Stupid Fox Network. Highlights:

MAL: Fully loaded, safety off. This here is a recipe for unpleasantness. (to Simon) Does she understand that?
RIVER: She understands. She doesn't comprehend.
MAL: Well, I'm glad we've made that distinction.

WASH: Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. What'll she do next?
ZOE: Either blow us all up or rub soup in her hair. It's a toss-up.
WASH: I hope she does the soup thing. It's always a hoot, and we don't all die from it.

WASH: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
ZOE: We live in a space ship, dear.

JAYNE: Yeah, and if wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak.

JAYNE: Are you saying she's a witch?
WASH: Yes, Jayne. She's a witch. She has had congress with the beast.
JAYNE: She's in Congress?
WASH: How did your brain even learn human speech? I'm just so curious.

SIMON: You're out of your mind.
EARLY: That's between me and my mind.

EARLY: Where'd she go?
SIMON: I can't keep track of her when she's not incorporeally possessing a space ship.

EARLY: You folks are all insane.
SIMON: Well, my sister's a ship. We had a complicated childhood.

EARLY: You know, with the exception of one deadly and unpredictable midget, this girl is the smallest cargo I've ever had to transport, yet by far the most troublesome.

Well, there you have it. My list of Firefly highlights. Tune in tomorrow when I explore my fifteen favorite episodes Angel. That is, of course, if I can narrow it down to just fifteen. Which I probably can't.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To The Staff of Classic Trains Magazine...

Dear Classic Trains Magazine,

Please, please, please stop sending me renewal notices telling me that my subscription is in danger of running out. I do not care if my subscription is running out. Mostly because I do not have a subscription to your magazine. This, I realize, has not seemed to discourage you from sending me your magazine on a regular basis.

I thought this would have been taken care of last November when I first received a subscription renewal notice. The November issue would be my last, you threatened, if I did not send in payment. I did not send in payment and yet, and yet, another magazine appeared in my mail the following month. And the month after that. And the one after that.

I do not want your magazine. No offense. I think trains are swell. I think trains are great. When I'm stuck waiting for the Conway Scenic Railroad trains to pass, I wait patiently. I even wave to the people waving at me. I rode a train to New York City once. It was fun.

But I do not want your magazine. Nor do I want the special commemorative coin commemorating your magazine. Nor do I want the Classic Trains DVD series. Nor do I want the special commemorative coin commemorating the Classic Trains DVD series. I also do not want the Classic Model Trains magazine nor the Classic Trains catalog. If there is a special commemorative coin commemorating either the model trains or the catalog, I don't want that either.

So, please, let's stop the insanity. You're getting to be as bad as Guidepost magazine who awarded me a one year subscription back in 1994 that didn't run out for about ten years. Let me be very clear on this: I do not want your magazine for the next ten years. I do not even want the magazine for the next ten months, weeks, or days. One issue was a fluke, the second was funny, now you're just stalking me. Please stop.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oops...Forgot to Post This Earlier: Television Review (week ending 2/7/09)

Sunday

Superbowl LXIII: Did I get the Roman numerals right? Anyway, I already wrote a blog about the hour and a half of the game I did watch, so I'm just going to refer you to that instead of rewriting everything again.

The Office Post Superbowl Special: The opening sequence made me laugh so hard, I cried. The rest of the episode was less amusing.

Legend of the Seeker: No magical talking sock puppest this week, sadly. This week involved someone killing off members of the resistance. Kahlan and Richard worked together to get to the bottom of the mystery. I had it figured out long before they did. Don't know if that makes me really smart or them just really dumb.

Monday

The Big Bang Theory: Remember, there fifty bucks in Green Lantern's ass. This show really is too damn funny.

How I Met Your Mother: I want Barney to make my video resume too! Neil Patrick Harris, I think, is really hitting it out of the park every damn week. I don't know what this guy has to do to get a frakking Emmy already but let's find out, okay?

House: Oh, hey, look, another Thirteen centric episode. How original.

The Closer: I figured out that the cruise singer was a man long before the cops figured it out. Don't know if that makes me really smart or them just really dumb.

Tuesday

American Idol: Hollywood Week. I hate that the producers never seem to show the singers that I'm actually interested in. For some reason, Bikini Girl made it to the next round.

Scrubs: I do adore this show. It never fails to make me laugh. Loved Ted's reaction upon seeing Kelso back in the Chief's office.

Wednesday

American Idol: Hollywood week continues. It's group night. Some are fantastic, some are...well, really really bad. I can't belive the judges put Tatiana whatsherface through to the next round and booted Rose the Sweet high school kid. I guess being a total psychotic drama queen makes for better television but it seemed very unfair to me. At least Bikini Girl is, at last, on her way home.

Lie To Me: Still don't like Kelli Williams, but I like Tim Roth enough to at least record it for another week.

Thursday

Bones: I really don't know what to make of this episode. It felt rushed and not as interesting as when the Gravedigger first appeared. Wondering how the lawyer woman dragged 190 pounds of unconscious Booth out of his apartment and into a yellow submarine in the first place. And then there was the ghost....but, I guess, overall, it was a good episode. Just different and rushed.

Supernatural: Evil strippers! I think this may have been Joe's favorite episode in a long time. It was great to see Bobby again, loved it when the boys called him to get out of trouble with the (fake) FBI guy, by calling Bobby on his FBI phone. I want to have an FBI phone too! There didn't appear to be a preview for next week, so I thinking we are missing out on a new episode. Odd for February sweeps, but, whatever.

Grey's Anatomy: Derek spent the entire epsiode wondering how to propose to Meredith. Cristina and Owen spent the entire episode acting like they were in a Victorian novel and Izzy spent the entire episode trying to figure out what's wrong with her. So far, all we know is that she's anemic. Mary McDonnell (Pres. Roslin from BSG) was back as Dr. Dixon. I don't particularly like her character. Oh, and at the end, Derek was about to propose but ended up getting a call from Addison. Apparently, this was the start of the crossover event the media's been talking about. I didn't watch the Private Practice half. Life's too short and that show (Private Practice) sucks.

The Office: I don't laugh as hard at this show as I used to. The second season was absolutely brilliant, I thought, but lately it's been more hit or miss. This episode was mostly miss. Creed and his three dollar bill at the end was pretty funny.

30 Rock: Loved Evil Alec Baldwin and guest star Jon Hamm and Matt Lauer's cameo. This was really a very funny episode. Favorite line: "I get to cut the line at Disney World...if I come mid week."

Friday

Monk: I had the twin thing figured out long before Monk. Don't know if that makes me really smart or Monk just really dumb...Hmmm. Anyone else notice a theme this week?

Psych: Well, I had no idea what the frak was going on with this show but it was hysterical at any rate. Shawn and Gus are AWESOME!!!

Battlestar Galactica: WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCH THIS EPISODE YET AND DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, STOP READING THIS NOW......Anyway...Whaaaat? Well, Gaeta had his ass shot because you do not frak with Adama and walk away from it. Zarek also had his ass shot. I was a little sad to see those characters go because they were rather interesting characters, but, again, you do not frak with Adama and walk away from it. Anders got shot in the back of the head, which can't be good, and was last seen bleeding to death in the arms of his estranged wife, Starbuck, while she pleaded with Badger (I know that's not his (Mark Shepperd) character's name on the show but I can only think of him as the character he played on Firefly.) to help her bring Anders to Doc Cottle. Next week, Anders goes on some sort of mindquest that reveals a lot of stuff (about time, considering there's only six episodes left in the series.) and Ellen Tigh makes a return appearance. And I bet she's pissed.