Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Girl: Nick and Jess

Umm... so I'm about to spoil New Girl. Which isn't something I often have cause to spoil here in blog-land. Spoilerphobes beware.

New Girl is officially the only half hour comedy I've ever felt compelled to Angst Report on. Congratulations, New Girl! I'm sure you're very proud. But in the land of sit-coms, Nick is actually one of the angstier characters around.

New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
They must mention the fact that Nick is screwed up at least once every episode. It's kind of his thing. In fact, it's his pogo. Often it's funny, but sometimes it gets dangerously close to heartbreaking. In season one, when Nick thought he might have cancer, that was when I decided I loved this show. Coincidentally - that was episode fifteen. This week's episode was also lucky number 15.

New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
Things are all lovely lovely Nick/Jess tension most of the episode. He accuses her of being a cooler when it comes to his hook-up attempts so she's left behind when the guys go out. Jess makes a sad melon version of Nick to hang out with instead. Okay. But after he's home - blah blah blah True Americans blah - they end up locked in a room and they won't be let out until they kiss.

New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
They give it the old college try a few times, but things are too awkward. And finally, Nick says, "Not like this." And  then, with the sweetest non-speech ever, he says, " That, that, no i didn't, nothing, I just, I didn't mean it like, I just, we can't like that because that's not, do you know, like, it's very, like you don't, that's not what I..." Yeah.

After all the hijinks of the episode have ended (and Nick's returned his delightfully ridiculous women's trench coat) Nick and Jess are headed off to bed. When this happens:

New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
It's brilliant. You should see it in motion. Screen-caps can't do it justice. He grabs her arm, there's nothing but diegetic lip-smacking sounds, there's a looooong kiss followed by a short kiss, and then he walks away and slams his door. It was smokin.

New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
And then Jess looks like this. ^^ And then melon Nick ends up looking like this vv

New Girl S02E15 Cooler Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel Nick and Jess Kiss New Girl Nick and Jess Nick/Jess Kiss New Girl Jake Johnson Zooey Deschanel
Sigh. Not a good sign. Where-o-where will they go from here? 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Criminal Minds: Spencer Reid & Maeve Donovan

So, yeah. I'm a few days late. But holy hell, Criminal Minds! You haven't shocked me thusly since season five! I feel the need to use lots of exclamation points! If you're Criminal Minds spoiler-phobic, I bid you be gone.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
CHA--yeah. That's what my face looked like at the end of this episode. ^^ I'm really surprised they went there. So where did they go? Hold up. I'm getting there.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Okay, the episode started off nice and CBS-y with a weird faceless bride dream sequence. Matthew Gray Gubler still managed to look disheveled despite being clad in a tuxedo. But it was a fairly innocuous teaser otherwise.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then Reid went off to have his standard Maeve date over a magical pay phone that totally still exists. Not only do they exist - but there are SO many, he's able to have each and every conversation from a different one. Yeah. Suspension of disbelief indeed.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Only this time, it's not Maeve he gets. It's a scary voice saying "Zugzwang." I love when things happen on Criminal Minds that Reid has to explain to everyone, including the audience. Apparently it's a chess term that means you gonna lose. Which... how unpleasant. Why does such a term exist? It's like chess trash talk.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then Reid gets to be super angsty and sad and ask for help from the team. They have to do all their investigating off the clock because they're not even sure anyone's actually missing. That probably makes it super illegal for them to run around flashing their FBI badges. But whatever. I suspended my disbelief back with the pay phone thing.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
So the only girl who has ever been an intellectual match for Reid is in danger. And Reid is beside himself with panic. He can't concentrate, which means he's effectively unable to help. He's got to rely on the team. And when he says he's the dumbest person in the room, you just want to jump into the screen and promise him it'll all work out. Because this is Criminal Minds, after all. It WILL work out because 99.9% of the time, they get the bad guy and save the victim.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
They visit Maeve's ex-fiance and Michelle Trachtenberg opens the door. Well - there's your un-sub. I'm pretty confident any actress whose name I know didn't take the role of suspect #1's girlfriend. Bad planning Criminal Minds.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then comes a lovely, angsty scene in which Reid talks about all the hours him and Maeve have spent chatting on the phone. It was during this scene I decided to write a post about this episode. Reid's worried those hours on the phone will be the only time he ever gets to spend with her.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
And you know what? He's FREAKIN right. Like, WTF?! Derek promises they'll find her alive. Reid will get the girl. This will have a happy ending. But Derek is a big fat liar.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Reid mentions that one time, on the phone, Maeve said super causal-like "love you" before she hung up. Reid never said it back. He was waiting to say it in person. Awwwww. Guess what? HE'LL NEVER GET TO.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
They go back to their investigation and Reid hangs around being anxious and worried and terrified.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then he goes and plays some chess with... Blake. Had to look that up. She hasn't made much of an impression on me yet. Side note - normally I really like Jeanne Tripplehorn. I enjoyed her on Big Love. But I'm not feeling her here. Either they haven't figured out how to write Blake yet or she hasn't figured out how to portray her.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
During the chess match - which  is sort of a macabre idea on Blake's part given the chess doom message from Michelle Trachetenberg - Reid realizes that MT was likely a rejected grad candidate of Maeve's. Because we're nearing the final act break, he's correct. Through some lameo non-genius-level clues (Easy as pi? Really? That's the best you got?) Reid figures out where they are.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Michelle Trachtenberg makes Reid wear a blindfold because she knows the super angst-tastic story Reid told Maeve about how the cutest girl in high school blindfolded him and then had him take off his shirt in front of everybody. Maeve had promised to make blindfolds fun again. I'm pretty sure after this, blindfolds are irrevocably ruined for Reid. Side note #2 - their endless string of Reid was bullied in high school stories are odd. He was 12. Maybe my high school was just a happy fairy land of wonderful, but how fun is it for seventeen year olds (especially girls) to torment twelve-year-olds who aren't their annoying little brothers?

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Whatever. Irrelevant. Okay. Now the you-know-what hits the fan. (Such a gross expression...) Reid does a fantabulous job convincing MT that he choo-choo-chooses her over Maeve. Because that's what she wants in life. He even convinces her that she should leave Maeve alive so she has to suffer with her inferiority forever. But then, THEN, he blows it all on a kiss.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
MT realizes that Reid's lying. His lips can't lie!! Ahh!!

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
The whole gang watches on in horror as MT grabs Maeve. Reid tells MT to take him instead. MT is all: 'You'd die for her?!' and Reid is all: 'Hellz yeah.' And he says it that way with the z and everything. The sad part is - that's the exact wrong thing to say because it means Maeve has love that MT will never have. Reid should have been all: 'Kill her. Whatevs. Aint no thang.' But he doesn't say that.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
MT murder/suicides herself and Maeve. One bullet. Two deaths. All our jaws drop because shit just got heavy. They didn't let Reid save her! They killed her! And it's kind of Reid's fault! Twice!  Of course, it's not really his fault. But he'll think it's his fault. Oooooh the angst to come.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
And that's that. I'm genuinely surprised they went there. After so many seasons of Reid being alone and unhappy, it kind of seemed like the right time to give him some something. Instead, they decided to gut him completely. I can dig a good gutting, but still. It's really really sad. And really cruel to the character. And after season five when Pony Boy got Haley, they waited a long time to cheer Hotch up. I sort of doubt Criminal Minds has another three seasons to spend repairing Reid.

But kudos, Criminal Minds. You've made yourself must-watch for the first time in a very very long time. Maybe Reid will fall off the wagon! That'd be fun. But knowing them - Reid won't even be in next week's episode. Sigh. Spencer and Maeve, the cutest little love story that never was.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Downton Abbey: Season Three Premiere

Oh, Downton Abbey. I have so many thoughts and issues and THINGS I'd like to rant about, but I've made the frustrating decision to write these posts along with the PBS airing in The United States. So despite having seen season three in its entirety - I'm not going to spoil things for all those American lovers of legal modes of television watching. And - let me warn all ya'll spoiler free people - don't Google Downton stuff. I'm telling you - you'll be sorry. I just did a quick google search on one of the characters and BAM spoiler. Beware!

Dan Stevens as Cousin Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey Season Three Matthew Crawley Downton Abbey wedding season three premiere
So let's start at the start. It's wedding time! I have to admit - I actually find the husband version of Matthew to be a little creepster. Maybe I'm alone - but there's something Dan Stevens doesn't quite pull off with the sexual innuendoes. When he says, "I'm looking forward to all sorts of things" I get the impression he means slitting Mary's throat and then wearing her skin like a bathrobe. (CRAP! I've spoiled you!! JK) But... maybe not. It's a minor complaint - Matthew and Mary still own my Downton Abbey heart.

Allen Leech as Tom Branson on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Tom Branson best man Matthew Crawley Allen Leech Downton Abbey Season 3
And Branson. I've never really talked about Branson before. The poor, former chauffeur who absconded with the Lady Sybil. He returns to Downton for Mary's wedding and man are things awkward. But if Mary and Matthew are my OTP Branson and Matthew are totally my #2.


Dan Stevens Allen Leech as Cousin Matthew Crawley Tom Branson on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Matthew Marry wedding Branson Matthew
I love the brothers-in-law bromance. It's so freakin adorable. And Branson could use a male on his side.

Dan Stevens Allen Leech as Cousin Matthew Crawley Tom Branson on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Matthew Marry wedding Branson Matthew
Allen Leech as Tom Branson on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Tom Branson best man Matthew Crawley Allen Leech Downton Abbey Season 3
Matthew makes Branson his best man. And it's just as cute as pie.

Dan Stevens Allen Leech as Cousin Matthew Crawley Tom Branson on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Matthew Marry wedding Branson Matthew
Yeah, I sort of watch Downton Abbey for the cute-as-pie stuff. I want these two to be besties forever and ever.

Dan Stevens Allen Leech as Cousin Matthew Crawley Tom Branson on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Matthew Marry wedding Branson Matthew
I also find the Sybil/Branson relationship worthy of a squee now and then. They aren't as old-timey romantic and Mary and Matthew, but their dynamic might actually be the more interesting one - especially now that Mary and Matthew's will they/won't they thing has pretty much concluded. Tom and Sybil have got all this baggage from their different worlds. And Sybil tries so hard to push Branson into this happy medium spot without obviously pushing. It's fun to watch.

Allen Leech as Tom Branson Jessica Brown Findlay Lady Sybil Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Tom Branson Lady Sybil Crawley Sybil Downton
Allen Leech as Tom Branson Jessica Brown Findlay Lady Sybil Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Tom Branson Lady Sybil Crawley Sybil Downton
Allen Leech as Tom Branson Jessica Brown Findlay Lady Sybil Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Tom Branson Lady Sybil Crawley Sybil Downton
But back to Mary and Matthew. It's their day.  They've got this inheritance money conflict looming on the horizon - but frankly - that's not a conflict that much interests me. But look! Pretty pictures of them together.

Dan Stevens Michelle Dockery as Cousin Matthew Crawley Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Matthew Marry wedding Downton
Dan Stevens Michelle Dockery as Cousin Matthew Crawley Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey Season Three Premiere Matthew Marry wedding Downton
That's all for episode one of season three. Matthew and Mary are married - huzzah! What awaits? I'll never tell. (I will... eventually.) But Google will tell you now if you want. This later airing schedule in The US thing is stupid and I hate it. Just for the record.