You don't mind if I just do some stream-of-consciousness, do you? Before either LJ or my computer turn on their belly and give up the fight? They're just random thoughts I've had lately about a few tv shows, some movies I love, actors, and a bit of Abby thrown in for good measure (because she's eyeing me now and fully expects to be mentioned). I'll start off with The Closer/Major Crimes, then God only knows where I'll end up - but I know I'll need a cut tag...because there may be spoilers in those random brain
I'm not sure I like the new "Major Crimes" - and I don't just mean because I loved The Closer or that the 'team' can't get along without her, or even that I never enjoyed Captain Raydor (let alone Mary McDonell - who still looks and sounds as she did during her guest appearances on Grey's Anatomy) - no, what seems to bother me is...the new method of 'catching' the bad guys?
Brenda was called a "closer" because she closed cases with a "confession" which is a very good thing, as opposed to gathering evidence, presenting it to the DA and then allowing the judicial system to take over which would be the norm. Confessions really are hard to break if they're not only in writing (if you watched the show, you know how many times Brenda said, "Could you write that all down, just as you told me?"). And of course, all the confessions were taped - hello? So I doubt that many of her criminals ever walked (in spite of what the writers did in order to start the show-ending process). But deal-making? Really? Seriously? That's the 'new way' to get the bad guys? That's how Captain Raydor is going "walk them to their jail cell" and be different from Brenda Leigh Johnson?
I don't think so.
I've always hated the real 'deal-making' that makes up our broken judicial system - for two reasons: 1) it favors the bad guys - DA offices need convictions and they'll deal to the ground to avoid a trial, even if the 'criminal' only goes to prison for a few years, and...
2) it hurts the truly innocent - who, afraid of a guilty verdict from a jury (come on - leaving your life in the hands of your supposed peers? Plz) will plead out for the reduced sentence.
That's not a goal to aim for in my opinion. Especially since, when dealing down, you know the bad guy can end up with even less time, thanks to 'good behavior' etc., and sure, any time in prison is bad, but for most criminals, it's pffft, while for the innocent? *shivers* Yet we're supposed to accept this method as Captain Raydor's standard? Accept that Commander (now the new Asst. Chief) Taylor has been faking out his 'discovered' high regard for Brenda several seasons back? And I add that because he's seems positively giddy now that Raydor is in charge AND he's proud to be saving, "thousands of dollars" by making the deals, thus avoiding the high cost of a trial. So yeah, I hate that too. The writers seem to be turning Taylor back into the man he was before his years working with Brenda (meaning a better man now). We're back to the 'short-cut' Taylor seen in the episode where Brenda was suspended and Taylor was reassigning cases to make his own operation look better - yeah, that Taylor.
I was also bitterly disappointed in Provenza. Yes, I expected him to be angry that he was no longer in charge, but that appeared to be the only reason for the, "I quit" speech. I wanted the writers to allow The Closer to have existed and to have made a positive impact on these men (she did, after all, raise the bar for them and gave them an atmosphere that forced them to up their game) and thus, Provenza would be not only angry at losing Major Crimes, but equally angry and offended by the "Lets' Make a Deal" style of detective work, which is everything The Closer was against. So yeah, I wanted him to defend Brenda (which I know they can't do if they want the show to stand on its own, but still....), so yes, I know the show has to be different - but that doesn't mean it has to be less by trying to convince us, the audience, that deal making is the way to go? We're not stupid...er...are we? *G*
I'm also guessing that Jon Tenney won't even be a semi-regular (but he'll be in a couple of episodes? and I know he's directing at least one), and Pope is gone too? with no guest appearance even listed? At least he appears to have a new show on the horizon, though.
Oh, and as for how The Closer ended? *shrugs shoulders* At least she didn't die and she and Fritz are still together. Can't ask for more than that - other than allowing Major Crimes to pay homage to Brenda Leigh Johnson, the greatest female character to come along in AGES on TV - as opposed to A) acting as if she never existed and/or B) acting if everything she did was wrong - but gosh darn it, now we're going to do things RIGHT. Bah humbug. Hell, they've even removed The Closer from it's 2:00pm rerun slot just to ensure we don't compare it to Major Crimes - or vice versa (but HA-HA! It's still on our channel 13!!! Take THAT, you idiots!).
Overall, Sharon Raydor will never be as good or as watchable as Brenda Leigh (and not fond of the kid they've added either, btw - and the new female? SHAME ON THE WRITERS!). Period. Do I really have to add: IMHO? No, we all know that's all any of this is, right? Thanks.
Okay, so...Suits. Can I just say that Harvey coming to Mike's apartment, not to mention getting stoned with him, was the BEST EVER? OMG. I know I woke up every old person in this place with my squeeing. And then the two of them, like little boys (really cute, naughty little boys) go sneaking around the office? *THUD* And Mike whining that "...but it's going to be ORANGE!" *DOUBLE THUD*
Sure, the whole 'getting-rid-of-bad-old-returning partner-who-screwed-them-all-over' was done too quickly (I thought it wouldn't happen until next January), OTOH, I was kind of glad to get it over with, you know? Sad about Mike's grandmother, and now he has that great apartment (he and Harvey really need to move into it *g*), but it gave us a great opportunity for Harvey and Mike to actually interact - which was STUPENDOUS. Mike and Harvey are just so...so...RIGHT.
Oh, man, am I the only one who thinks he's way smarter than we thought? I don't mean by being as good a lawyer as Harvey, I mean 'saavy' - as in at the end of the series finale, his smirk meant "this worked out exactly as planned" saavy. Yeah, that kind. Sure, he looked appropriately shocked by hearing that Hardman had planned the whole thing with the fake memo, but now I think he knew it all along, knew he could appear to be going along with Hardman, get his promotion, and then, when Harvey finally figured everything out - which Louis knew he would - he could raise his hand in the meeting to get Hardman out, thus 'doing the right thing' and starting the process of getting back on Jessica's good side. After all, he's the oily snake salesman you hate to love, but come on, they always know where the dirt is; what's happening everywhere...so yeah, it seems very plausible as an explanation for his smirk. OTOH, he could just have been happy that no matter what, he still had his senior partnership. *G*
I'm not sure I like the tack White Collar is taking this season. I really think it would be perfectly fine if Neal could get that damn anklet off and then voluntarily continued to work for the FBI. I don't think the trust issue needs to be a reoccurring theme, you know? There's so much material in this show, that relying on those tropes is unneccessary now. Even Mozzie has accepted their new life - has 'chosen' it now, so come on, guys, let it go. Let the friendship blossom, deepen, and give us good cases, more of Neal's past (without it interferring with the trust/friendship), etc.
BTW: I loved the insight into Mozzie that last week's episode provided. AWESOME. And one final note: Will Treat Williams turn out to be Neal's father or the killer? Oh, and btw, I don't slash Neal and Peter in any way now. It doesn't work for me. Darn it. Guess I love Peter's wife too much. And Mozzie. :)
Oooh, now movies. Only a couple, but still. I'll start out by saying that Matt Damon is the most underrated actor in the business. That man is brilliant. Comedy, drama, action, action-hero, hurting man, just-a-guy man, con man, buddy - it doesn't matter - he's everything; can be anyone. Two movies, both seen recently (one for the hundreth time, the other for the first), showcase his acting chops magnificently. One, Contagion (seen for the first time), the other, Hereafter. I also have to state that the directing on both films was so incredible that Contagion left me feeling cold (in the scary way, not the unfeeling way) while Hereafter left me in tears (the good kind) and a longing I still can't explain. And in both cases, Damon's performances were the primary reason for such feelings lingering long after the movies ended. The direction was so great, that sure, I experienced those emotions 'during' the films, but usually they die away after the final credits and then eating something chocolate. This time, both infected my life for days.
When you consider the number of actors in Contagion - and their caliber - it's earthshattering to me for Matt to be the stand-out. And believe me, every single performance in the film was brilliant - but Matt had the most demanding role; he had to be us. Normal. A family guy; an everyday schmo, lowest on the totem pole; a man faced with our worst nightmare and trying to survive it after a devastating loss - all while knowing he's at the bottom to those who can make a difference in stopping the disease. And, as we learn at the end of the film, he's also a part of where the whole disease starts (talk about a brilliant ending - holy smokes!) to begin with.
His character, the way Damon brought him to life, was the rock I clung to as I watched, against my will, a movie that takes a disease, plays it out in a very real and chilling way, and then ends with a shocker. He allowed me to continue watching; that's how good he was. I suspect Jude Law's character - and possibly Laurence Fishburne's - were supposed to be our rocks, with one trying to get to the truth (Jude) while the other was trying to find the cure (Fishburne) - but for me, it was Damon all the way.
In Hereafter, a movie brilliantly directed by Clint Eastwood (yes, I love him even if he is a...*shuts up*), Matt is the major component of one of three stories that interweave and finally intersect at the end. We have three individuals - in the three different stories - all dealing with death, near-death experiences, loss, and trying to discover what might - or might not - come after. Damon's character, a blue-collar working man, has the added touch of also being a real psychic, something he's running from as the movie starts. His performance is haunting and I know that because I really understood what a burden such a gift could be as a result. This is yet another movie where each performance is utterly brilliant, from Cecile de France, Frankie Mclaren, Jay Mohr, Richard Kind to even Derek Jacobi, who played himself. And yet, it's Damon who again, is the glue that holds you tight. When he finally allows Marcus into his hotel room to do the reading the boy has been pleading for (and 'stalking' for), omg. The lighting, the choice to film him in half light/half dark, all permit us see this man through and through and I don't think another actor could have done it. It appeared so simple - yet was extremely difficult. I know folks who have seen the film and I've had a few discussions about one question: When Marcus' dead twin starts to 'leave' and the connection Damon's character has with the dead boy is ending, Marcus starts to cry, asking for his brother to remain. At that moment, the camera goes to Damon's face, we see just half of it again, but in that brilliant blue eye, we see understanding. I think we see this man not only accept his gift, but realizing that he can help.
At that moment, I think George (Damon's character) pretends that the brother is returning - and this is where others have disagreed - and that it's George who says that Marcus and his brother are one, one cell; one person, thus giving Marcus what he needs to go on. I think at that point, the dead brother really has left so George is striving to help a lost boy continue living without the twin he always looked up to and believed he needed to survive.
Oh, and another great series of moments is when George goes on a Dickens tour of London (he's a huge Dickens's fan), I just loved his expressions as he tours Charles' home, answers questions asked by the tour guide, but always under his breath; the way he touches items and drinks in the history of the writer. Lord, it was if I were there with him. Matt has that ability - to transport us to wherever he is and allow us to experience everything he does. Anyway, it's a movie that always leaves me feeling warm, wonderful and teary-eyed. And do I need to mention the score, one written by Eastwood (I'm not in the mood to give credit right now, but he deserves this)? Haunting, beautiful, mysterious - everything this movie is, and more.
Matt Damon, I love you. *G*
Okay, time to discuss the cooking shows and HGTV, with shows like Chopped, Top Chef, Love it or Lose It, and House Hunters, etc.
Cooking is up first:
I'm beginning to see a pattern in the challenge shows, one I really hate. I guess I was naive when these shows first started; the chef challenge-type reality game show, because I assumed they'd be legit as in, "On the up and up (well, as up and up as any show like that can be)". But now? I so don't think so, not even close. Of course I always knew they edited them to make them more interesting, rid us of the banal, the mistakes (unless they wanted those boo-boos), etc. but they're now editing to FAVOR certain individuals and that's something I think is better left to the "Housewives of GOOD GOD, Don't Do That To Your Face ANYMORE" or maybe Big Brother, you know? (sorry if you love those - just my humble opinion *G*). This new editing is always to the detriment of others (and is often a dead giveaway to what is coming up). Sure, we know when we watch Top Chef that we're going to see arrogance and snippy attitudes - it comes with the chef territory - but mostly chefs tend to be honorable folks so the gimmick of these shows - because chefs tend to be honorable - used to rely on just throwing them curves, thus giving the audience the suspense and fun they craved while allowing everyone to be 'honorable' - including the judges. *shakes head sadly* Not anymore, it seems - especially with Top Chef Masters. These chefs are proven already and most have years of experience behind them; cooking under all sorts of conditions - so apparently the producers have decided they need more than curves - so they now rely on artful editing to provide 'color' - and if that means editing each episode to favor one chef while destroying the reputation of another, they apparently had no problem doing it.
After this season, in fact, I wonder if they'll find any chefs in the future to compete. After all, Chris Cosentino is not only a famous chef, but a ground-breaker too who achieved celebrity chef status at a very young age - so taking him down a peg or two evidently appealed to the producers. :( At the same time they felt it their duty to bolster a career that, for those who are true foodies, know has started to slide (mostly because he simply wants to live his life now) and yes, I'm talking about the loveable Chef Art Smith. I love both chefs. Dearly. But they're as different as night and day, have different styles and cooking methods, not to mention different demeanors in their kitchens - and Top Chef Masters seems to have chosen Art for the "Saint-Chef" award (probably because they know his limits and recognize he won't make it to the end) (EDIT: he's gone - Thai food was his downfall, which is no surprise). Anyway, a Top Chef MASTER needs to have mastered all cooking skills and he hasn't and the producers recognized that. So why not take down a snippy youngster with clever editing that, in past shows, would never have see the light of day? And the proof?
Yep, he's the proof. As the host of this season's Top Chef Masters, he's been directed to appear blatantly anti-Chris (heck, maybe he is) and that's downright embarrassing to watch. I mean, throwing a brunch in Vegas - around a POOL - on a blazing hot day - with each brunch item devised by the chefs required to be small (as in one or two bites) and yet when Chris comes up with a cool brunch bite, Stone gives us that "Are you kidding" look and even asks Chris if his "Tuna bacon with water melon" was the right thing for a brunch in Vegas. WTF? Why the HELL not? The people they were feeding were show folks; it was after a raunchy night and they'd all be 'hungover' as the guest-eater, Holly Madison (who the hell is she, anyway? Anyone know? And why doesn't she have any expressions?) told the chefs when she was introduced - along with the challenge. So why wouldn't a small chunk of tuna bacon, with watermelon on a skewer/toothpick be just right?
Needless to say, Chris was in the bottom three.
So until this week, the writers seemed to enjoy creating 'tension' between Chris and Art, with sympathies going to Art. However, more proof of their cruel editing came in the form of 'creating' and 'showing' new tension between Art's best bud, Lorena, and the only other female chef left, Patricia, since they knew Art wasn't long for the Top Chef kitchen. I'm sorry Chef Smith, but in all reality, you should have been booted after your shockingly bad wedding cake. Yep, he blew an entire wedding - and yet stayed with one of only four women going home instead! A total shocker and WRONG. I'll even go so far as saying that on all the chef challenge shows, (Chopped, for instance), judging on all has been transparently prejudiced against female chefs and for male chefs. It's like we're still living in the 60's where women were only good for being Pastry chefs. Poor Julia Child is probably turning over in her grave - everything she tried to accomplish - gone - and it's ruining the fun of being a foodie, gosh darn it!
I was going to rant about the judging on Project Runway, but finally decided they got what they deserved based on who they had selecting the finalists. Maybe next year, they'll actually use EXPERTS, as in BALANCED experts? *shrugs* So instead, we go to HGTV and House Hunters, which gets the first rant. This show is so formula-ridden, it's like Goldilocks:
"This house is too big. This house is too small. This house is JUST right."
Except the house they end up choosing is never the one they said they wanted!!! *smacks forehead* I'm so tired of "I HAVE to have granite counters and I HAVE to have stainless steel appliances AND I HAVE to have an open layout" - like, hello? Does no one have an imagination anymore? Are we all sheep? And since when can't women see beyond the color of a bedroom wall when they're house hunting? I swear, if one more woman walks into someone else's home and says, "I can't handle the color of this room" or "This wallpaper is a deal breaker!" I'll SCREAM!
Hello? Can of PAINT? My GOD, everyone knows that when you buy a house that's been...you know...LIVED in, you know you're going to paint and do flooring. You know it. Oh, and these couples or singles NEVER go in with a tape measure. What's up with that? You go househunting (or apartment hunting) and you take a tape measure. Hello?
Wait. I shouldn't complain about that one - I have this horrible couch because my sister didn't measure and just 'thought' my own couch wouldn't fit; my wonderful, dreamy, comfortable couch, which, as it turns out, WOULD have! LOL! But in her defense - sort of - she'd gotten used to sizing up rooms and always did think that couch of mine was larger than it was, maybe because of the fat lady sitting in it? *G*
Okay, so now onto House Hunters International and the return of the Ugly American.
"Oh, we want a place with CHARM, and one that reflects this incredible country we're moving to"
In almost every episode, THE most beautiful, charming places are turned down, and always because they DO have charm and they DO reflect the country (which usually means smaller kitchens and bathrooms) so the couple or individual ends up choosing the one place that's just like home. *rolls eyes again* Oy. When I look at some of the places they turn down - I want to KILL. Okay, maybe I should stop watching for awhile. *BG* But why do Americans always want one bathroom for every bedroom? And when they see a tub and start crying that they need a shower, what happened to hand-held shower attachments? Or if the shower head is too short? Hello AGAIN? SHOWER ATTACHMENT? *notes blood pressure is starting to rise*
BTW: Barcelona? I HAVE GOT TO MOVE THERE. *swoons* And leave it to the gay couple (too cute for words) to pick the RIGHT place! BRAVO!
Okay, so onto Love It or List It.
Would ANYONE let Hilary renovate their home? Seriously?
She looks at the house after getting the couple's wish list, then thinks about the new design - and THEN asks about the budget? AND all without getting the home inspected FIRST? I SO don't think so. No wonder they usually decide to list it. *at least all the shows I happen to catch, they do* She always runs into a major problem that an inspection would have FOUND, like a 'wet' basement (whatever the heck that is), a bad roof (should have been the first thing she looked at), a wall that 'can't come down' or a post that's holding up the entire house and that's the precise post that must come down in order to make her entire plan work. And in every episode, the couple NEVER get everything on the renovation wish list because Hilary doesn't do her homework FIRST. Something is ALWAYS sacrificed. Always. And just how much are the couples getting from HGTV to appear anyway? Surely that adds to their 'budget'? Nope, this show just doesn't play. And do I have to bring up Property Brothers? I mean, can we say 'SCAM'?
"oh, I'm a real estate agent and my brother is a contractor - so hire us and instead of you buying the house of your dreams, I'll find you a cheaper version and MY BROTHER will turn it INTO your dream house!"
How does HGTV not see how this appears? *scratches head*
Now it's time to bash the cable companies and end by calming down and talking about Abby....
At least I'm going to talk about my cable provider - although, maybe what I hate is also happening to you with your provider if you have cable? Like:
A) my provider interrupting shows mid-word for their commercials while ignoring the breaks already built into the show specifically FOR commercials, B) interrupting COMMERCIALS for other commercials! (isn't that illegal? I mean, businesses BUY time, even on channels like TNT, USA, FX and so on, and yes, for reruns too, and yet, their ads are being slashed; cut into by another commercial, usually local, and both ads end up getting the short end of the stick while Cox gets richer?).
It's CENSORHIP and in a BIG way and no one seems to care. Even shows like The Daily Show make fun of it, but that's about it. And no, we don't really have a choice. I wish we did. But for many of us, our cable companies have us by the
Did Cox just...did they just censor me????
*gives up and switches to talking about her
I've finally learned to speak "Abby" and it's ticking her off. *G* She's never actually meowed, but she does have a range of vocal 'words' like: "Meh", "Maeh", "Meeaw", "mchirp", "Maaeh" "Mow" & "Meaw". So, for those who may someday visit me and would like to know what the
"Meh" = "Pet me NOW"
"Maeh" = "Can we play 'fetch'? I promise I'll bring it back."
"Meeaw" = "You TOUCHED me! Did I say you could touch me? I think not" (she's usually channeling Sheldon at this point - her hero)
"mchirp" = This one means either "Bird" or "Rabbit" if she's looking out the window, and if looking at the wall, it's, "Spider" or "Bug" which, for me, means "SQUASH IT WITH MY CANE!"
"Maaeh" = "FEED ME NOW" (and if her bowl is full, it's "I want a treat NOW" - emphasis on the '...aeh' part of the word)
"MOW" = "You're homehomehomehomehome!"
"Meaw" = "You're homehomehomehomehome and I missed you madly, let's cuddle!"
She really hates the idea that I have her language cracked. *cackles evilly*
I wish LJ wasn't being a stinker (I've had to open and shut four times so thank GOD it still saves) because then I could avoid TV - and those who know me - know why. *rolls eyes* Is there ANYTHING good on? Although...watching The Daily Show last week was awesome, and I expect the same later this week...bleeps or no bleeps.... Oh, well, I should be writing anyway....