"no opinion. they are condescending."
- Random things about Soulmates that I loved:
- Leslie calling Ron on her team for hypothetical hockey games, because of course she would, they’re BFFs; and his tiny smile and little huff like he completely approves, because he understands why she’d want him on his team, and because the only reason he’d even play the game is if Leslie asked him to - they’re BFFs. Oh you guys. Favourite friendship on this show.
- I LOVE HOW SMART PEOPLE ON THIS SHOW ARE. They’re not all White Collar-competent (I haven’t talked about this, but that show hit my “people being extremely intelligent at their jobs” kink very hard), and they’re not all smart in that ‘decent grades in school’ way, and yes, some of them are absurdly naive (Andy more than others), but they’re not emotionally-stupid—they can read situations and they can read the people they’re closest to pretty easily.
And then beyond that, these characters do something about it. Andy and April are the exception to this because they’re both young and have had their feelings regularly, frequently distorted by proximity to one Ann Perkins (I think he still likes her! / I think she may still want me!), but the older characters are wonderful. Leslie in particular is so refreshingly straightforward in her interactions with every adult on this show: she kind of liked Justin, she kind of liked Dave, she understood both of them kind of liked her back, so they dated. When she didn’t think it was going to work any longer, she left it alone, and she moved on.
She knew about Ben. Leslie and Ann have discussed this before! (“He seemed so into you!”) And she asked him out! I’m probably getting too gleeful about this, but the other show I’m crazy-invested right now in is The Good Wife, and I spend every scene moaning about how stupid everyone in the show is about talking properly about their feelings and being quietly devastating when no one else is looking. (hyacinthian understands.) That Ben’s heart-eyes and his way of getting slightly dorky about Leslie’s general existence haven’t exactly escaped her attention is giving me a lot of joy, especially because it’s being reciprocated. Oh, you two.
- Ben was using the snow globe museum love to have something to talk to Leslie about pretty obviously, but he loves her wildflower mural without even knowing she loves it!! That’s almost nauseatingly perfect. ‘Shipping these two has been one of the most delightful ‘shipping experiences of my life - they’re obviously going to be something, they’re both not going to be dumb about it, they’ll both have to figure some things out but it’ll all work out. I’m not anxious that they’re going to pull away from each other, and I’m not worried about the writers dragging it out. They’ll get there. I’ll just...smile stupidly at them from the sidelines and flail every time one of them smiles unrestrainedly at the other. (I mean, really. They don’t even pretend to reign themselves in. Amy’s gorgeous little smile and how happy she looked when talking to both Chris and Ben at the end of the episode was perfectly played.)
- I don’t talk about this enough, but Tom is really such an excellent character: on one side we have him been hilarious because Aziz Ansari delivers every line with so much style and such perfect timing and with his brilliant facial expressions, because his comedic genius is severely underrated but by god does he bring it every week, and then we have the other side - a Tom who’s surprisingly really good at his job, who knows how to schmooze and how to interact with different people to get things done, who can sometimes be sweet and aware of how exactly to tackle certain situations. Soulmates was way more about the former than the latter, but it made people talk about him, so I’m not fussed. His talking head about his nicknames for everything was flawless (I lost it at “chicky chicky parm parm”, I think), as was his three wishes, and his Dating Leslie song.
And then we had him talking to Ben post-kiss (side-note: so satisfying to have Leslie know exactly what to do to shut the man up and have it work. every time.), where he seemed to needle him about how not-bad Leslie was at kissing almost knowingly, which is glorious. He’s on to him, too. And I love that he made it clear right off the bat that he wasn’t actually interested in her - it didn’t seem to be a matter of his own pride, as it could’ve been - he just wanted to make sure that Ben knew there wouldn’t be anything there.
(Also a few days ago on TWoP someone said that she’s decided that Tom/Ann could be building up quietly in the background and they’d be the series endgame, and I’ll say it now: I LOVE IT. I love it so much. I have decided I ‘ship it.)
- Chris was fantastically utilised in this episode, which is a relief - his ‘quirks’ are pretty one-note and having him be a joke rather than an actual part of a storyline could get tiring, so I really loved the way they used him against Ron and with Andy.
- The Chris-Andy and Ron-April parallels were fucking adorable. Of course Andy would bug Chris to buy him something (“I said only one!”), and of course April would ask Ron to buy two crows just because they were cheap (and of course Ron would buy them just because they were cheap, too). The Ron-April dynamic is especially wonderful. I adore them both and I adore seeing the joy they get from each other. Seeing Ron smile at anyone makes me spectacularly sappy, I think. oops.
- I love Kyle being Jerry’s Jerry. This is why your shoes are never shined, sir. Even Jerry doesn’t like you.
- Leslie’s perfect man is the Phantom. Also her “fuck you, Ann!” is wonderful - I like how much more frequently the characters on this show swear compared to other comedies.
- Andy/April are effortlessly perfect together. I love them very much.
- Ben loves the wildflower mural too! (I know I already said it, whatever.)
- The Office was fantastic. Mindy Kaling’s always been pretty deft with balancing out humour with freely emotional scenes, I think, and I think you could see it best with the song they sang for Michael - they didn’t break the perfection of that song with a joke or something to tone it down, they just cut to Michael saying what we’d all figured out by then - it’s going to hurt like a motherfucker. IT ALREADY DOES, THOUGH. IT ALREADY DOES.
I mean, everyone sang for him, even the people who wouldn’t even bother with things like this. I teared up, I can’t even lie. My love for this show started in 2007, and in many ways it was my first real exposure to an actual fandom - with beautifully-written fic, and people who felt equally strongly about these characters, and people who thought equally hard about what scenes could mean or how they played into the overall structure of the series. (S2 and S3 are still gorgeous writing on that level, I think, structurally - S3 was weakened by the way they dragged Jim/Pam out, but I think it worked overall.) I haven’t been around this fandom for well over a year at this point, but not having Michael around is final and kind of depressing. It’s the end of The Office as I’d once known it.
Next week. :/
- Community was surprisingly funny, I think. I like being able to like this show! I don’t think they sustained it, but the first ten minutes were brilliant, and overall I think they handled the clip-show concept really well. Also: called Jeff/Britta after the Halloween episode. Also: the little bits of the adventures they've had off-screen were maybe my favourite moments of this show ever - glee club! ghost cowboy town! glee club!
I’m disappointed with 30 Rock. This show really doesn’t work in the one-hour format, and it felt more like an extended “remember this old character? remember this joke? sometimes Liz makes up words!” callback episode than it should have - and at the same time, somehow, it felt too rushed? How does that even work? Jenna’s storyline was all over the place. The episode itself was fine, and definitely better than most of S4, but still.
- Have I mentioned that Cougar Town is my second-favourite comedy on TV right now? I think it balances humour and emotion a lot better than Scrubs used to, and I think the ensemble is fantastic, etc., but really I just wanted to say how much I love the women on this show. On paper and at first glance these ladies are all pretty stereotypical ladies - the shrill high-maintenance mother-type, the sharp, cool, mean and sly type, the young, ditzy, easily-emotional type - but I really love how fully-fleshed out they all are, and how much they own themselves. They are strong and independent and aren’t one-sided at all - and I love how much they love and support one another, because fictional ladies being nice to one another is ridiculously rare and this makes me happy. This paragraph of love was prompted by Laurie’s Walk of Awesome in the second episode this week - own it, girl.
- Doctor Who’s finally back!!! !!!! !! This show airs right in the middle of when I’m asleep, so when I’ll watch it depends on how early I wake up for it, but you guys, I’m fucking psyched. New Matt Smith Faces! River Song! Amy Pond! Rory Williams. (I love the guy, but I’m hoping the sixth series does enough for his character than my ‘.’ turns to an exclamation point. I’m waiting for it, show.)