Somewhere, there is a shark. And after Bombshells (Hulu linkage), I'm not sure which side of that shark House is on. In as few non-spoilery words as possible: I have never seen regression look more like Glee. The entire episode is a collage of different genres, and while that is one of my favorite things to do, ever... it's a freaking weird way to cover something that is such a serious part of the show's mythos. And by the time we got to the musical number... Actually, the best explanation for the weird dissonance that produces is to have you watch it, but the only place it exists is on iTunes (here) and though it's free, if anyone else's computer hates HD video in iTunes as much as mine does that isn't going to do you much good. That number is just so weird that my immediate reaction was to put my hands over my face and watch it from between my fingers (which is how I always watch Glee, so maybe it has more to do with musical television in general, but...). But the thing I really couldn't shake? How much the whole visual style seemed to have been very thoroughly influenced by Panic! At the Disco or something. (Maybe it's the eye makeup, I just don't know.) Now that I've watched the video a couple of times outside the context of the episode, though, it's... still weird, but not nearly as much so. It stands up a little better as a kind of diversion than something in the middle of an episode (at a turning point, even). But now I want to tear into it as metaphor for what was really going on in that scene, because I know it's more than slightly awkward caduceus-themed steamgoth pastiche.

I also love that Hulu sometimes has the habit of posting little interviews with the writers of episodes, because I'm getting ready to level the literary scalpel again this episode (it's begging for it; 3/4 of it is in metaphor anyway), and I like to know exactly what I'm supposed to be looking for with "authorial intention." (I always find it kind of weird when writers speak with utter certainty about the nature of their characters. Then again, I don't have any characters of my own, so I have to take an uncertain stance toward what I write.) Between this and Bones, I think there is some meta coming up about TV Relationships and Audience Expectations vs Authorial Obligation to the Story.

From: [identity profile]

I could only get 25 seconds into the musical number before it crapped out on me, but may I just say: WTF did I just watch?

I'm an intermittent House viewer. For me, once a show becomes more about the "will they, won't they" hook-up B-plot, I stop devoting my undivided attention to it. Also, I heard that House's drug addiction was back, which irritates me: I thought they'd already dragged all the dramatic miles they could out of that device. I know relapse makes it much more realistic: a crazy percent of addicts always do. But I don't always look for realism in my TV escapism.

So what was really going on in that scene?

I think my strategy of watching television that's already been out for 5+ years and passed the test of time is pretty solid. Firefly was awesome. Now what do I move on to?

From: [identity profile]

It only gets weirder. I'm still trying to sort it out, but I think it's Cuddy subconsciously sorting out House's relapse before she consciously realizes it, and seeing herself being dragged back into it (literally, later in the video) and then deciding to turn away. Plus, you know... eye makeup, crazy costumes, and gratuitous use of the caduceus just in case you forgot it was a medical show.

House has always been the same episode over and over again, really, but I was more upset when he got together with Cuddy at the end of last season than I am about the relapse now. It made his recovery almost entirely about her (and now his relapse is... entirely about her. Should've seen that one coming sooner). My one hope is that he'll get back out of it again on his own. Otherwise... who am I kidding? I'll probably still watch it because I am a sucker for the House and Wilson sort of of bromance.

Ah, Firefly is a really tough act to follow. (I'm assuming you've watched Serenity, too, then? Because otherwise you're not technically done.) I'm not too great with TV shows, since there are very few that have stood up to the test of time. I'm still in love with the The Wire, though, and... yeah. Definitely watch that when you get the chance. (Even if you have to watch it with subtitles for the first season or so--the street dialect is pretty tough to get a handle on.) Completely different genre than Firefly, but... actually, it's one of those rare shows where the characters are just themselves, and (once you're past the first season) none of them are left to carry or represent an entire group on their own. That's what sticks with me most about it, more than the policing and politicking and everything else (which is also awesome).

From: [identity profile]

House has always been the same episode over and over again

But that's what I liked about it! I'm a big fan of procedurals: Law & Order, CSI, the Sherlock Holmes short stories, etc. The format is just a vehicle for telling the story of the crime/case/caper of the week. As long as the main characters are strong, I don't mind that there's very little development of the main ensemble: it's all about that week's drama. I want to see House be House, I want to see Cuddy be Cuddy, I want to see Wilson be Wilson, and I want an interesting puzzle for them to solve within the hour. All of the Stacy, Vogler, Vendetta Cop, Nuthouse, Cuddy-romance B-plots just get in the way, as far as I'm concerned.

I gave up on House a couple seasons ago: I only catch the occasional episode now. I still think it's a great character, but I'm just not interested in the rotating cast and their various dramas.

Yep, watched Serenity! (WTF is up with killing Wash?! Unfortunately, I was spoiled for that detail before I saw the movie: it's hard seeing a 6 year old movie completely spoiler-free, even for a hardcore cave-dwelling hermit such as myself. But seriously: GOD DAMN IT! It was just so spiteful, too! And they don't even mourn him properly! And yes, I realize that the Shepherd died, too, but I never really understood what the hell he was doing there in the first place. I words.)

I suppose I'll have to break down and watch The Wire, but *whines* there's just so much of it! 60 episodes?!

I wonder: is Nathan Fillion's series Castle still on the air, and is it worth watching?

From: [identity profile]

I kind of ignore the people drama in House... so much so that I forget that it's there for everyone except House and Cuddy (who are a bit unavoidable). But unfortunately I think we're in the minority. Most people are in it for the will-they/won't-they, and writers/execs think there has to be some kind of plot line to make it feel "adult" and so that's what we get.

I kind of had a feeling that Wash was going to get it. Joss is kind of infamous for doing that to sympathetic characters. Definitely completely unnecessary, though, unless you want to look at it from a "death is messy and unpredictable and unsatisfying" point of view. Which is, I think, what Joss goes for with those things, but I just know he's also laughing, so I still want to conk him over the head for it.

I spent a lot of time trying to sort out what, exactly, was up with Book, since there was obviously a lot of history there. It got fleshed out in the comic books later, but I don't find it particularly satisfying.

Yeah, The Wire is a pretty big investment of time. My friends and I have been watching two episodes of it a week since... June? (...omg it's been since June.)

I've only seen a couple episodes of Castle. I have a lot of friends who are into it, but it still hasn't really grabbed me. I don't know whether it's because it's more about the will-they/won't-they or because the mysteries aren't all that exciting or... I dunno. But everyone other than me seems to be enjoying it, for what it's worth.

From: [identity profile]

I read an interview where Whedon said that if the show hadn't been cancelled, Wash would still be alive. I don't know, that just seems really spiteful to me! I do buy the whole "death is messy and unpredictable and unsatisfying" angle, but just the way it was all set up. The way he fought so hard to bring the series back as a movie, to give the fans just one last story and a little bit of closure, and then kill off two of the main cast? Bah! Bad choice, as far as I'm concerned.

I'll have to look for the Firefly comics and read this backstory for myself. I buy that there's something up with him, and that he's more than just a simple Shepherd; that much is obvious. I can imagine for myself what reasons he might have for wanting to remain with the crew on Serenity. What I cannot wrap my head around is why Mal and the rest of the crew let him stay, and accept him so readily in the beginning! I mean, there's all the drama in the beginning about letting River and Simon stay, which is completely understandable: they're fugitives being actively hunted down by the Alliance, and River is a temperamental nutcase. However, those issues are dealt with! It's clear they can use Simon's medical skills on board, so the fact that they put up with River in the beginning because he saved Kaylee's life is believable. Later on, they get to know River, and understand that she's an innocent victim of the government's tampering, and so there's a feeling of protectiveness/nobility that leads them to accept her place; most of the crew are victims of the Alliance, and so it's no big stretch that they feel for her. All of that is explicitly explored on the show.

But Shepherd Book? Mal doesn't like him because he's a man of God. He's too upright and moral to take part in the smuggling/thieving. He thwarts Jayne's attempts to deal the federal Marshall. He doesn't really do much of anything for anyone until halfway through the series, when they've already accepted his place on the ship! And it's just never touched on: "Hey Captain, why are we letting this guy stay again? Just what is he doing to earn his keep?"

It bothered me, and struck me as a gaping hole in the plot/characterization. Sure, if the show had gone on, we might have gotten more of his backstory, but that doesn't explain why they let him stay to begin with! (I would have liked just one or two scenes where they talk about kicking him off the ship, and someone makes a case against it. And the fact that he himself doesn't ever consider leaving is also...weird.)

Ok, these are probably conversations you had 9 years ago when the show first premiered! This is what I get for being a decade late to the party.

I never bothered with Castle because it seems to be part of a particular genre (formula, really) of shows that are popular at the moment: "kooky, slightly off-kilter male lead paired with straight-laced, highly-competent female partner." There's a bunch that are/were on: Lie to Me, The Mentalist, Castle, etc. Bones very nearly subverts the genre, except Bones and Booth sort of take turns with who's kooky and who's straight-laced, depending on the circumstances.

For that particular type of show to work, you have to invested in the characters and their dynamic. I wouldn't have given Castle another thought, except Firefly's given me a fondness for Nathan Fillion, and I think he might be fun to watch. (I don't know much about his partner on the show, except that someone on my flist likes to cosplay as her. Go figure.)

Because I can only devote my undivided attention to one, maybe two, shows at a time, I like procedurals that allow me to catch an episode here and there and enjoy it, without being completely in the dark because I missed the episode where A & B shared a meaningful glance in the hallway after B's blind date with C.


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