a watcher scoffs at gravity

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Sunday, February 08, 2009
My Coraline movie experience: unhad, unknown, still a mystery, since it was SOLD OUT! Last night, and all 3 shows I'd be willing to go to today/tonight. So the new plan is to try some time during the week. I'm glad it's doing well, but dang! I wanted to see that movie already.

Dyeing Orange, an Oompa Loompa Story: No gloves = orange hands. Need I say more?

Ye Olde Tyme Televisionne: This afternoon was the quasi-monthly meeting of people with whom I watch Buffy. (we clearly need some kind clever name.) We're working our way through the entire series in order -- there are six of us, and all but one saw all or most of the series when it aired. One of us had never watched it, so we have a strict no-spoiler policy. (it's so funny -- there's always furious elbow jabbing, shushing, and laser-eyed looks if someone accidentally says something that might be interpreted as a spoiler, which is often more spoilery than whatever the innocently uttered comment was.) It's so fun to watch this way, and I'm not kidding!

Despite having seen all the episodes at least once, they still surprise me. Today was the day we watched Restless, which was the episode with the freaky First Slayer dream sequences that followed the official season 4 finale. This is one of my favorite episodes of the whole series!! It's trippy and funny and scary. It follows story logic AND dream logic (which are not traditionally compatible), yet is still true to each of the 4 main characters. It's so skillfully done! Each of their fears and strengths are on display. It was so visually beautiful, too. Sigh. Anyway, Giles (who was underutilized in season 4) has several stellar moments, including on the swingset with Spike ("Put your back into it -- a watcher scoffs at gravity!"), and his Exposition Song later on. Of course I also love Willow's Death of a Salesman anxiety dream, Xander's Apocalypse Now anxiety dream, Giles' She Doesn't Need Me anxiety dream, and Buffy's I Will Find You and Kick Your Ass, I Am My Own Person! dream. Oh, Buffy.

I love Buffy. I have loved other Joss Whedon shows, but I'm dreading Dollhouse. I will give it a fair chance; I hope I'm wrong with my misgivings -- but... I guess going from the strong but vulnerable Buffy Summers to the "I'll be whatever you want me to be because I'm programmed that way" Echo Nolastname doesn't seem like forward motion, you know? I know he plans to subvert the trope, but there is so much room for this to go spectacularly wrong. I love Eliza Dushku, I love Joss. I wish I felt better about this.

LOST: I'm still loving it! I think the smartest thing they ever did was give it an end date -- they were able to go WAY OUT THERE, but I don't think they're going to leave us hanging. Things are coming together. I'm also impressed with the way that the story is so different than it was in the first season, but the first season's stuff still (mostly) makes sense. We (and the Losties) had only partial understanding, which is not unlike life in general -- as understanding increases, things get more complicated. I enjoy the episodes with less Jack and Kate more than episodes with more Jack and Kate. Now that I think of it, Sawyer too. His Sarcasm In Need of a Shower routine is wearing a little thin with me. (I could change my mind.) Anyway, I love the time-travel aspect, I love that the show doesn't seem to be afraid of the crazy ideas. Those crazy ideas may not always work, but that they're willing to TRY means a lot to me. (doesn't that sound silly? But it's true! So many things are so careful, it's refreshing to watch something (especially on a major network!) that's a little reckless and willing to embrace big ideas. )

BONES: I enjoy this, but it seems more and more that they're just looking for excuses to put Bones and Booth in costumes/disguises. I generally enjoy it when they do (undercover at the carnival!), but I feel vaguely guilty about it. To me, this show has never really been about the procedural aspect of whatever body-droppin' criminal they're chasing; it's been about the team. However, they seem to be playing pretty fast and loose even with that (they have Bones in particular doing things that seem reaaally unlikely for someone of her established temperament, but people change, right? ha ha!). To be honest, I'm usually doing something else while this is on (reading the internet, crocheting, etc.) so perhaps I'm mistaken. I still love Sweets, even though he is their on staff Deus Ex Machina.

LIFE ON MARS: This is my favorite show this season!! (Pushing Daisies was my favorite, but it is sadly no more.) This is the show that I close my computer and just watch. I know that many fans of the original BBC show have not been won over by this remake, and I can understand that -- especially since I hear that the first several episodes were directly, almost word for word, from the original. (I haven't seen it yet, but will gladly watch it when dvds become available.) Once again, I like the time-travel stuff (and that it's as yet unexplained); I love that it's set in 1973 New York, which seems as wild as the frontier contrasted with set-in-the-present procedurals. It's got a rough and tumble energy that's lacking from a lot of other cop shows. I like all of the actors, I dunno... it just appeals to me on a lot of levels.

FRINGE: I mainly watch this not for Pacey (aka: Peter Bishop, although I Iike him) nor for Agent Dunham (she's got a great cop poker-face), nor for Daniels from the Wire (he should be in every show!), but for John Noble as Pacey's freaky, fragile, genius scientist dad, Walter Bishop.

BIG LOVE: This show is a weird one for me. I have to think about it a little bit before I can say much more. It is very irritating yet compelling -- I started watching and can't stop, but I can't really recommend it, either.

THE MENTALIST: I've only watched this a few times, but I love Simon Baker in it for a very simple reason: he smiles. He's not playing an idiot, he's a smart man with a complicated past, YET HE SMILES. This is so rare on TV! I think more men should smile on television, even when they're not in a sitcom, even when they have Secret Pain and a Troubled Past. I'm tired of all these grim-faced stoics.

On that note, I am tired in the completely prosaic sense and have to go to bed.
2 comments on "a watcher scoffs at gravity"
  1. I don't have the same sort of "Joss Whedon is great" thing I used to have, mainly cos he's been bricking it in the comics world more or less. (Astonishing X-Men had good character writing but horrendous plots, Runaways was mostly throwaway, Buffy has gone totally off the rails. Angel, the book he has the least to do with, has been wonderful, though.) Also, I think Firefly/Serenity is godawful. That said, I think Dollhouse has potential, in part because it negotiates that reverse of empowerment, and has concept that can get into a lot of the ickier aspects of modern life.

    I can't imagine what you might dislike about Big Love! I think it's one of the most relentlessly great shows on television.

  2. Dr. Horrible is what tipped the scales for me, since I am way, way behind on all joss-related comics. Oh, wait! Dr. Horrible and Inara the Space Whore Who is Really a Priestess Or Something from Firefly/Serenity. Inara is a better example -- it seems pretty clear that he meant to take the stigma from her profession and set up this whole geisha-like "trained from a young age on planet sacred SEXXAY," but at the same time he made as many space whore jokes as he could. I see how they could be irresistible, but he undercut his intended message.

    I think Dollhouse has potential for the reasons you state, but will he actually get there, or will he be having too much fun with his posable action barbie? I haven't seen anything more than a couple of ads and read a few interviews. I'm perfectly happy to be wrong, wrong, wrong about this.

    Bill is my problem with Big Love! I thought I thought he was boring, but I realize that's not exactly it. he's most interesting when they explore that crux between his earthly and celestial ambitions: "do I want another wife because having nonstop sex with three women isn't enough? or because I'm following The Principle?" but mostly he's yelling at people on his cellphone. He does the same thing with his business dealings, too. I hope they get into that some more!

    I love Nicki (my favorite of the wives -- she's got a lot going on), I love Margie, I love Barb (although I think they did something weird with her from the middle of season 2 going forward), I love Lois (!) and the details of life on the compound. There's so much great going on, but every time they cut from one of those stories to Bill sitting in a meeting at Home Plus I think, "I should turn this off." which, of course, I CANNOT.

    Part of what made me slightly queasy about the show was that I watched it all over the course of a few weeks. I had free HBO, so I watched all of season 1 on demand, then watched season 2 on DVD. It's a lot to take in at once. I guess I have a while to digest it while I wait for season 3!


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