I am a sap, and Christmas episodes make me intolerably mushy, so here, have some flail with regards to Thursday night TV.
- I couldn't get into it right away - writing it as something that Abed saw was a little off-putting for me, and I wasn't exactly into watching the stop-mation at all (despite thinking it was a cool idea) - but I adored this.
- The tiny clay props were wonderful, and I love that the show didn't let take it easy with the scale of this episode - we had the cafeteria and the study room, yes, but we also had a winter planet, and a cave (complete with ice), and a moving train, and another room. And so much detail! Troy and Jeff didn't look a lot like Donald or Joel, but I enjoyed every bit of everything physical here all the same.
- I was surprised at how much I felt for this episode, which is ridiculous because it's a Christmas episode and Community isn't shy about having sweet messages/undertones to their stories (though they are very repetitive). The emotion in this episode didn't feel forced at all, which I'm usually used to expecting from Christmas episodes (I enjoy all Christmas episodes, even the terribly-written ones, but still). The saddest part, for me, was Pierce coming back first because Christmas without his mother would've been lonely. Aww. Something about Pierce giving up and going along with Abed to put off being alone is sad and a little touching. I like when the show lets Pierce be more than the old, weird guy who's unintentionally funny.
- I would love so much to see what was happening in real-time and in real life, in the study room, where all the characters are sitting around the table and playing along for Abed - Annie and Troy dragging Duncan away, Jeff storming out of the room but leading the group back into the room, etc.. They're so wonderful, ugh. I love this gang. When they're all together but don't talk about how much they mean to one another (and they all do mean something to one another, because they must be so lonely on their own) I get a little sappy and nutty for them. (/sap)
- Jeff and Britta taking Abed to see Duncan was so great. PARENTS! It's almost as great as Troy and Annie getting all knowing when Abed talked about his mother.
- Speaking of Troy and Annie, how cute was Troy's appreciation for her song lyrics? TOO CUTE, THAT'S HOW CUTE. I 'SHIP THEM ALL, I TELL YOU.
- The Office
- I think this was one of the best-written episodes in a long time, and I'm a little surprised that I have Mindy Kaling to credit for it - she's spectacularly funny, but I think she relies on the absurd a little too often, making her episodes hilarious and pretty brilliant, but lacking some of the realism that I enjoy about this show. Not here, though! I adore how tightly-written this was, how neatly the storylines overlapped, how well all the characters were utilised - I loved it.
- Angela's date being gay was kind of glorious.
- snoorella was telling me how sad the Jim-Dwight storyline made her, which I understand, but I feel like it's a reasonable comeback for the torture we've seen inflicted on Dwight for years. years. (Also, frazzled!Jim is hot, and I'm sure I've said this before, but he's also incredibly funny and a lot of fun to watch.)
- Also, look, I found it ridiculously sweet that Jim headed out to the car park, ready to have a snowball fight with his
brotherarchenemy. Cynical!Jim being game for Charlie's Angels poses and getting happy over snowfall and getting sappy over gifts warm my heart.
- Jim and Pam, I adore it when you remind me why I tag all your posts on Tumblr with "my OTP". Pam's gift for him was perfect, as was his reaction to it. AWWW.
- I watched Fringe first today and had my heart broken into a million pieces (multiple times), but I think it's fair to say that the emotional trauma I went through watching the Michael/Holly storyline was a little bit similar, because I spent ages pausing and wailing every time someone did something. UGH, MY HEART. They are the Office end-game, you guys. I will accept no less. How they stumbled around each other despite continuing to be on the same wavelength was heartbreaking. And Michael saying "I am dead inside". AGHH.
I feel like this was the most well-written that irrational,-immature!Michael has been in years. I never got upset with him despite the stupid things he did, and when he choked in the car park as he said, "Yeah, well, at least she was married!" my heart broke for him a little bit. Oh, Michael. If it helps, I wish A.J. could die. I disliked him before, but my feelings turned into a deep, burning hatred when Holly mentioned he hadn't seen the Toy Story movies until she told him to. YOU DO NOT DESERVE HER, A.J.. GO AWAY.
- Daryl and his daughter! Pam! Pam! Pam! PAM. I loved that storylines in this episode reacted to her presence (if that makes sense) in a way that it hasn't for a long time - she changed things around simply by reacting to things and being herself, and I loved that. (Also, she got Stanley his favourite cookies! YAY.)
- A lot of my lasting connection to this show is how I feel about the characters and the relationships they have with each other (Jim-Dwight, Jim/Pam, Michael/Holly, etc.) and I love it so much when the show focuses on those interactions to bring out the humour instead of forcing a special situation or forcing characters' antics. Ah, Mindy. Well done.
- 30 Rock was disappointing. I love Colleen, but can we please not have her back just for every Christmas episode? A couple of years ago 30R had a Christmas episode that moved me far more than The Office's did, but this week they were repetitive and a little bland and the closest I felt to emotion was the end, because Jack and Liz being best friends is delightful. I blame it partly on Avery, whom I have no real affection for, or maybe the lack of emotional involvement was intentional, but I don't really feel like it is. I was watching this episode and pausing to write out most of this entry, because that's how involved I was.
- Parks & Recreation is COMING BACK!!!! Even the spoilers I've seen made me flail in excitement. AHHH. I haven't watched episodes from this show in a while because I'm waiting for my DVDs to have a massive season rewatch, but that's not the only reason I can't wait for this show to come back. Oh, Parks. I am still pissed I don't get a Christmas episode with you, but it's okay, I can deal. Every episode with you is delightful enough to be every other show's Christmas episode! (i.e. this show, it feels me with joy!!!!)
- This show breaks my heart. I've said this before, but the best thing about Fringe is how it isn't science fiction, but more of an exercise in using the genre to explore levels of humanity and heartbreak that mere drama cannot do. Maybe it's the fact that it's fringe science, which is so based on the hypothetical anyway anyway, but the lack of focus on the technicality in favour of consequences is gorgeous. I have no frame of comparison for these situations, nothing to help me decide what I should feel for these characters, and I love that. This is a messy, shitty situation, and all characters must be misplaced, and we as an audience have no real sense of who to root for or who to feel for.
- OLIVIA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME. ANNA TORV, YOUR FACE IS KILLING ME. AND YOUR VOICE. AND I DON'T LIKE SEEING YOU CRY. I don't know if I'm relieved that she doesn't cry more, because it shatters my soul, or that I'm annoyed she doesn't cry more, because maybe then I wouldn't be caught so off-guard seeing her fall apart, even by a little bit. Ugh, my heart.
- I mean, really, Olivia. I adored how much the episode focused on her rationalising, like she knows that it makes sense that no one realised it wasn't her, but at the end of the day, she just doesn't understand it. How devastating must it be to see your life so lived in? to come home after saying with so much conviction that her world would fight to get her back, only to realise that she doesn't seem to have made enough of an impression on anyone she knows - her coworkers, her friends, the man she loves - for people to realise she hadn't even been there? There's so many levels to this - not just a sense of betrayal, but almost a loss of her identity, and that's just heartbreaking.
And at the same time, she can't do anything about it, because she must know that the others didn't realise, either, and that Peter wasn't the only one to blame, and that Fauxlivia was only doing her job. Damn, show.
- Anna Torv is magnificent, and I need to put this in a separate point just to emphasise it. All of her scenes! All of them! Loved her talking to Broyles, adored her conversation with Astrid. I liked how much lighter she was in the earlier parts of this episode - her smile at Walter's joy at the living corpse, her enthusiasm at coming back to work. The worst of it, though, was the way she reacted to Peter, because I knew it wouldn't last and it killed me. In the cafeteria, when Peter talks about what she told him on the other side, she finishes his sentence - "because you belong with me" - all quiet and sheepish and flustered and slightly thrilled, which is too much, too much. Watching her face morph from that tentative joy to the devastation of realising the extent of what happened shattered me. The range of emotion on her face within thirty seconds! Fuck, you guys. Fuck it. The swearing is necessary.
I also loved watching her face in reaction to the man telling her that he knew the reanimated girl wasn't the same girl. It's not a fair thing to say, maybe, and she knows it, but clearly she's thinking, "Why couldn't he tell?" Why couldn't anyone? OLIVIAAAA. We shan't talk about her voice breaking in her final scene with Peter ("she's taken everything"), because it ruins me just thinking about it. We also shan't discuss the way she pushed her wet hair out of her face because she didn't want to look anything like her, and how it was finding his t-shirt in the laundry that pushed her over the edge. We shan't, because it killed me. I am now dead inside.
- I like how closed-off and jaded Peter was - resigned? Trying so hard to pretend things are okay (even though they clearly aren't), even in the way he first addressed the situation. Yes, telling her that Fauxlivia smiled more is a dumb thing to say (and her face as she flinched and looked away! ugh.), but I like that it felt like he was trying to say that he could believe that she was happier with him.
Plus, he's a boy. So.Peter's face when Olivia mentioned the opened mail - oh, boy. I appreciate that he said the truth.
- Someone mentioned on TWOP that the Bishops and Astrid may be the family unit, with Olivia just barely fitting in, and watching Peter being smiley while greeting them both at the lab made me think that maybe that is true. Ugh, this is depressing.
- I like how many reaction shots there are on this show. There were ten seconds where you could see Broyles just filing away the fact that alt!Broyles had been married. There were ten seconds which just focused completely on the reanimated girl's face so you could observe for yourself how blank she was. I love that a show that has chase sequences and massive action scenes can still a camera like this to let their actors shine.
- On a lighter note, I like Olivia's appreciation for coffee.
- I thought the bloody eyeless man would be gross enough, but then this show went for the DEAD MARIONETTE DOING BALLET. Oh, show. Your creepy fascination for things like this is one of the many reasons I adore you. No wonder the writers sympathise with Walter Bishop and his kookiness so easily - they are him.
I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH. SO MUCH. Can you tell? CAN YOU TELL? Favourite thing on TV.