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29 November 2006 @ 11:21 am
brief TV update... and a meme!  

Howdy! Since the Turkey Day holiday wiped out a lot of new TV, my commenting here is fairly brief.  I'll add a couple of links to W-I:

The Nine: 1.07 - "Outsiders"

Heroes: 1.10 - "Six Months Ago"

And a couple of real cuts here:

General thoughts on Friday Night Lights:

I know I've slacked on saying anything about the last couple of eps for this show, but I'm still hooked and just can't keep up with commenting on everything I'd like to.

I won't go into much now either, but last night's ep - 1.08 - "Crossing the Line" - continued this show's excellence so far.  It is easily my favorite new show of the fall season. There have been a few naysayers online saying it's like 'Dawson's Creek with football mixed in' - and that is just insulting. It makes me wonder if they've even watched a single episode of this show.

All of the characters are as real as any I can recall from recent TV.  The dialogue is how people actually talk, the situations they encounter are everyday things - sometimes mundane - but written so well, with so much heart, that the plot is always engaging.  The acting by most of the ensemble cast is usually stellar, and the adults have just as much importance to the stories as the teens in the school (Kyle Chandler as coach Eric Taylor is phenomenal). The up-close, hand-held style of shooting may be off-putting for some vieweres, but for me, that docu-drama style of filming only adds to the authenticity that is vital in establishing the theme of the show as a whole.

I'm glad that NBC has ordered a full 22 eps for the series, I just hope we get a chance to see them all air.  It is just outstanding television.

Veronica Mars: 3.09 - "Spit & Eggs"

I love it when Rob Thomas writes the episodes.  As creator, he obviously has the most insight into who these characters are now at this point in the show, and he manages to spread the wealth of quality moments pretty well.  We actually had an appearance by almost every recurring cast member this season so far - and that's a lot of casting to cover. The only absent regular was Lamb, but he got mentioned in Veronica's criminology class as "the local sheriff bit the dust" in one of the perfect murder papers, and later as Deputy Sacks delegates Lamb's instructions at the sheriff's office.  Keith also vehemently refuses Lamb's request to have Veronica stick around for questioning while Mercer is brought in. So all the characters got some props this ep.

The promo had touted this ep as the biggest of the season, and for me, I was satisfied.  Although hyped a bit, the events lived up to my expectations. I liked the intro with terrified Veronica running through the dorm looking for help, then going back to how we got to that point starting two days prior. And and the final scenes still had me on the edge of my seat - I was kinda almost shaking there, as Veronica was hiding in Moe's closet.  But I'll get back to that in a sec.

Logan's breaking-off the relationship was handled just about right, even as it was and will continue to be painful and frustrating for all LoVe 'shippers.  In that moment, as he affirms her query that "something is wrong", I believe he's trying to give Veronica an ultimatum of sorts, as gently as possible, as he tells her he can't keep going like this.  He can't continue to try and jump through hoops to be the model boyfriend she seems to expect him to be, especially as she is so resistant to any compromise for him on her part, with regards to her recklessness, and just being more emotionally intimate with him.  He sees that the longer they stay together, the more she will maintain certain walls around herself, as some sort of protection from any truly devastating emotional turmoil that could arise.  It's as if both of them would be going through the motions, waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.

I think Logan was hoping to possibly get some kind of reaction from her then - for her to ask him to not do it, that she would be willing to work at things, for any outward indication that she feels as strongly for him as he does for her.  As she's essentially stunned, Logan also sees his move as a pre-emptive measure for his own sake.  As an audience, we've seen how in love with her he is.  We know how hard this is for him to do, so his whole spiel is just... ugh: "... we could have a tough but survivable amount of pain now, or stay together and deal with an unbearable amount of pain later. I vote for the pain now... I'm always here if you need anything, but you never need anything."  When he's referring to that unbearable pain, he really means it.  The longer he's with Veronica, the deeper he falls, and if she were to allow that other shoe to drop at some later point, Logan isn't sure if he'd be able to deal. 

As the word spreads to Mac and Wallace, Veronica appears to be non-plussed, handling everything well, with no visible reaction or fallout from the split.  But it's pretty obvious that she's got her shell out in full force, not letting anyone get a glimpse of how she's feeling, internalizing everything until she's alone.  Her far-off stares at the food court, then later at the apartmet as Keith is heading out, are proof that she's still a little in shock over the "unexpectedness" - which I think for her it very well may feel that way, because she was essentially taking Logan for granted. 

She knows how much Logan cares about her, so I think she felt somewhat assured that he would stick around through all of her issues (which she's yet to really face or own up to as her fault in their relationship woes).  If anyone were to end things, I think she figured it would one day be her, not him, so she's not expecting to be the one let down easy.  And agree with it or not, but to me - in spite of the fact that Veronica has rarely come out to verbally express her love for Logan - her breakdown in the shower showed that she really is in love with him, and she may be realizing what she's pushed away.  That's what I saw as she was finally able to let her guard down by herself - away from even Keith - and actually let out what she keeps bottled up so much. 

Of course, once news of the Pi Sig party breaks, and the ad is taken out in the paper about another future victim, it's back to business for Veronica, and the whole scenario was a good way to get all the supporting players a piece of the story.  Wallace knows from her tone of voice that Veronica's in full-on P.I. mode, and that any fun he and Piz had planned on having was out the window: "I always get stuck blowing up the pity balloons."  And I'm sorry, but I've not warmed up to Piz at all, past my initial indifference.  He just seems like background noise, providing convenient distractions with a goofy quip or moment of self-deprication.  He served such a purpose at the party, so at least his presence was justified there, as he helps out Wallace.  Mac was also used for comedic effect quite well, too: "Are you kidding me? The Pi Sig Megapocalypse? Hump the furniture, party back to the stone age, 50 keg bacchanalia?" And her wearing the STD t-shirt as she was scoped as a "major minor" by a skeeve was just a hoot.

Keith's side-plot with Cyrus's cheating wife Mindy was handled well, as he initially had good news - then Veronica informed him her discovery of Mindy's affair with Prof. Landry. - and Keith has to deliver the bad news.  The set up for Cyrus taking a bullet in the noggin leads to possibly Mindy or Dr. Landry as suspects, since we saw Cyrus come to the Neptue Grand, with a gun on his person.  Weevil's discovery of the body was a nice cliffhanger of sorts, as the events we did not see between Cyrus and his wife at the hotel will be part of the investigation for the second mystery-arc. I would almost bet that one of the perfect murder papers in the criminology class was used as reference/source material for offing the Dean.  Should prove to be interesting.

Back at he Pi Sig "bacchanalia", we learn that Tim Foyle's investigative "rape wall" of evidence in his office wasn't about catching the rapist, but about keeping track of his slutty girlfriend Bonnie ("she always gets a replay, and she never tilts"). His confrontation with her may lead to Tim as a later suspect in another violent crime (if she were, say, sleeping with Landry, too), so we'll see.  I was glad that the Veronica/Logan encounter at the party happened the way it did.  It's pretty obvious that the both of them are still so into each other it's not even funny, but the issues between them are beyond just talking around them now.  This is just random spec by me, but had Wallace not found the evidence of the spiked drink, the possibility of a temporary but passionate LoVe relapse might have been there.  I did like the fact that Veronica actually listened to Logan's insistence that she stay at the party - in relative safety - while he took off to find the victim (her name slips my mind - I know her ID-borrowing sister, Carrie, was the real victim). Wallace going along with Logan kept him useful, too.

But, alas, once Veronica is alone at the party, and Mercer has taken off to do his radio show, she hears the distorted tape sound over his supposedly "live" broadcast, and her red flags are all raised.  Mercer's alibi of the call-in show is shot to hell, as he very well could have had plenty of other pre-taped shows, and the other evidence she found in his room fits together.  Veronica's lack of sound judgment comes through again, though, as she should have called the police or campus security or Keith - somebody - before she went all gung-ho into Carrie's dorm room to stop Mercer herself.  From that point, as Mercer has smacked Veronica around, I was literally vibrating with anticipation as to how all of it would finally wrap up.  The unicorn to the thigh was a great way to slow Mercer down as she hauls ass, and we see that the R.A. Moe is the guy at Wallace's and Piz's dorm room door from the teaser intro.

As Moe takes her in his room to supposedly call the authorities, I honestly wasn't sure he was in on it - not until he leaves and the sound of him locking the door is apparent. Veronica then sees the photos of Moe with Mercer - during last year's sociology guard/prisoner experiment - that Moe said had been "life changing".  It appeared that Mercer was a guard and Moe was a prisoner, and that domination/control relationship (similar to Rafe (guard) and Horshack (prisoner) with the test-taking) has carried over into this nightmare of rapes.  We see that Moe's tea is drugged, and I actually was almost queasy for a sec.  Veronica buys some time by hiding, but thank the gods for Parker and her rape whistle - and for being alert enough to hear it and essentially come to Veronica's rescue.  That whole "full circle" angle as Parker becomes the liberator after being a victim was a nice touch.

Once all the crises were averted (for now), as Veronica comments to Mac and Wallace that she hasn't seen Logan yet, I was just starting to get frustrated that of course he should be there - before anyone else.  Then we see the cops in the diner, as Logan casually strolls up to their crusier in the background.  I laughed out loud because I knew what was coming then.  Logan's twirl of the bat before he laid into the windshield was just perfect, as he gets carted off to county jail, and I'm sure was locked up with Mercer by request.  The look on Logan's face as Mercer realizes who his cellmate is was just priceless.  Totally in-character for Logan, and I do hope he gets some solid ass-kicking in before the deputies break it up.  The fact that his vouching for Mercer established the fake alibi only adds to the rage he has over Veronica being attacked - more than once.  Mercer has every reason to have that pissing-in-his-pants look.

All-in-all, a superb episode, with a bit of a twist on the red-herring angles in the Hearst rapes, as I was still unsure of the true culprit until the last couple of scenes. Dean O'Dell's death is left as the ending hook, and the suspects as to who might have it in for him are numerous.  The Logan/Veronica separation will be trying, but could be intriguing, as there is nothing but love still between them, amongst the stubbornness issues. I look forward to the next arc as much as I do for anything on any other show, but having to wait until January (the 23rd, I think) is going to be torture.  I am so Rob Thomas's bitch.


In addition to great TV, I also wanted to add another meme of sorts, one ganked from _cinjudes_, who got it from dodger_winslow.

Go to Pop Culture Madness and select the year you became 18. Snip the 75 songs from the list and paste it in your journal. Bold the ones you like, strike the ones you dislike, italicize the ones you know but neither like nor dislike and leave the ones you don't know as common text.

1997 Greatest Hits
 

1. Barbie Girl - Aqua
2. 
ESPN Presents Jock Jams - Various Artists
3. Wannabe - Spice Girls
4. Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
5. To The Moon and Back - Savage Garden
6. 
You Make Me Wanna - Usher
7. I Like It Like That - Blackout All-Stars
8. Hard To Say I'm Sorry - Az Yet
9. Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band
10. Fly - Sugar Ray
11. 
How Do I Live - LeAnn Rimes
12. Da' Dip - Freak Nasty
13. 
It's Your Love - Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
14.
Let Me Clear My Throat - DJ Kool
15. Missing You - Puff Daddy & Faith Evans
16. 2 Become 1 - Spice Girls
17. MMMBop - Hanson
18. 
Fly Like An Eagle - Seal
19. Say You'll Be There - Spice Girls
20. For You I Will - Monica
21. 
Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle
22. I Believe In You And Me - Whitney Houston
23. This Is Your Night - Amber
24. 
A Long December - Counting Crows
25. Show Me Love - Robyn
26. 
We Trying To Stay Alive - Wyclef Jean
27. Semi Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind
28. Mo Money Mo Problems - Notorious B.I.G.
29. 
Say... If You Feel Alright - Crystal Waters
30. The Impression That I Get - Mighty Mighty Bosstones
31. I Want You - Savage Garden
32. Song 2 - Blur
33.
CoCo Jamboo - Mr. President
34. Love Rollercoaster - Red Hot Chili Peppers
35. Head Over Heels - Allure
36. All Mixed Up - 311
37. 
Can't Nobody Hold Me Down - Puff Daddy
38. 
Honey - Mariah Carey
39. Spice Up Your Life - Spice Girls
40. 
Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit - Gina G
41. Dancehall Queen - Beenie Man
42. Building A Mystery - Sarah McLachlan
43. I Say A Little Prayer - Diana King
44. Santeria - Sublime
45.
Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik
46. Men In Black - Will Smith
47.
Wrong Way - Sublime
48. Criminal - Fiona Apple
49. Where's The Love - Hanson
50. Your Woman - White Town
51. You Were Meant For Me - Jewel
52.
Firestarter - Prodigy
53. Feel So Good - Mase
54. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone - Paula Cole
55. If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow
56. Don't Go Away - Oasis
57. Staring At The Sun - U2
58. Lovefool - The Cardigans
59.
Blood On The Dancefloor - Michael Jackson
60. Thirty Three - Smashing Pumpkins
61.
Secret Garden - Bruce Springsteen
62.
Desperately Wanting - Better Than Ezra
63.
How Bizarre - OMC
64.
I'm Not A Player - Big Punisher
65.
Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart) - Backstreet Boys
66.
Daylight Fading - Counting Crows
67. All Cried Out - Allure
68. Dream - Forest For The Trees
69. Push - Matchbox 20
70. Alright - Jamiroquai
71. The Freshmen - The Verve Pipe
72. The Rascal King - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
73. The Old Apartment - Barenaked Ladies
74. Hell - Squirrel Nut Zippers
75.
All By Myself - Celine Dion

Goddammit the Spice Girls were all over the frakkin' radio in '97.  I'd almost forgotten (or blocked it out).  Some decent songs that are a few of my favorites are in the list, but all-in-all, kinda ho-hum for the year.  And there are a few I absolutely despise. But I recognize all of them - none are unfamiliar (pop-culture whore that I tend to be).  That was a bit fun.

Back to work.