A Case of the Mondays

First and foremost, I’d like to wish a big time congratulation to my big brother, who found out this week that he passed both the New Jersey and New York bar exams. He got sworn in for New Jersey today, and this is definitely a major accomplishment.

Also, I received an e-mail from one of my readers, Ferdinand, who reminded me that Chris from Survivor Vanuatu was able to overcome a six woman alliance to eventually win the whole thing. Thanks for that reminder, and I will discuss the latest episode of Survivor a little later in the column.

CONTINUITY POLICE, VOLUME 11:

After a repeat and a couple weeks’ hiatus, the Continuity Police is back. This week, again, we look at Friends. In one of the first season episodes, when Ross is still majorly depressed about his divorce, the guys take him to a hockey game in order to cheer him up. Of course, hijinx ensues, resulting in hilarity. During this episode, he reveals that the reason why he’s so depressed is because his ex-wife is the only woman he’s ever been with sexually (since they had been together for so long). However, much later in the series (during the tail end of the show’s run), when the series made more detailed recollections of Ross and Chandler’s college years (even doing a few flashback episodes of that time period), we learn that Ross had indeed slept with other people. This, of course, contradicts what Ross had said much earlier, that he hadn’t been with anybody else besides his ex-wife.

LOST:

This week we found out what the other survivors went through during the 48 days since Flight 815 crashed onto the mysterious island. We learned that this crew had a much tougher time, as they didn’t have many of the luxuries that the fuselage survivors did. For one, the actual fuselage served a very practical purpose, as the seats and materials were used for shelter, amongst other things. Along with that, the tailies didn’t have the luxury of their luggage, so (as you saw), they are forced to wear the same dirty, wet clothing every single day. A lot of the simple amenities were lost amongst the tailies, making much harsher conditions for them.

What I found interesting was how different the pace of the 48 days was for the tailies. For one, they had to abandon their hopes for being rescued in order to survive almost immediately. If I remember correctly, several days had passed before Jack made that suggestion to his crew. With the tailies, they were forced to retreat to the jungle after a day or so. It gave a nice real contrast for the amount of despair they were in right from the get-go.

I also appreciated the throwback to Boone’s message in the plane (right before he died), and how he actually communicated with Bernard. That also complimented where each crew was by a certain point. It just seems as if the tailies had gone through so much by this point, when the front end survivors had not really reached the brunt of their obstacles yet.
I’m also still not entirely convinced that the others harassing the tailies are the same others that we have been introduced to (Ethan, the people who kidnapped Walt). I can’t quite put my finger on why, it just seems as if their tactics are different. The ones attacking the tailies seem quite a bit more aggressive, and, arguably, more rustic. That said, the similarities are undeniable as well. Both Ethan and Goodwin masqueraded as survivors of the plane crash, and used this as a method of kidnapping certain people. They also seem to have abnormal strength (i.e. Ethan lifting up Charlie by the neck with one hand, and Goodwin seamlessly breaking a full grown, well developed man’s neck), but are unquestionably mortal (a gun shot killed Ethan, while Goodwin perished when he was impaled). It is also worth noting that Ethan did not kill Claire when he kidnapped her, and that evidently this is the same case with the tailies that were kidnapped last episode. Remember, we saw the children with the teddy bear walking through the jungle when Jin and Eko went looking for Michael. With this in mind, I’m very curious as to what The Others are doing to the people they kidnapped. Also, Goodwin looked very surprised when they found the Dharma bunker, which seems to challenge the theory that The Others are actually the people running the experiment. Goodwin definitely didn’t seem to know what they were finding.

So the real question is, did this episode make me like Ana Lucia any more? Yes, it did, but I still don’t like her very much. I appreciated the emotional journey she went through, but I’m not quite sold on why everybody turned to her as their leader. Yes, she stood up to the plate, but so did Eko and Libby. Sure, I understand that Eko was pretty out of it for 40 days, but even so, that “lets get Ana Lucia” when they found Jin was pretty grating.

The episode also made me really understand why the tailies were SO untrusting of Jin, Michael, and Sawyer. After being terrorized by an Other who was pretending to be one of them, it’s completely understandable that they’d be wary of believing another group of people that came from the water claiming to be survivors as well. The episode also made Eko make a huge leap on my list of favorite characters. I look very forward to seeing his interactions with Locke. Along with that, I found the whole last few minutes (with the fast pulsing background music, as they gave us an abridged version of what has happened since Michael, Jin, and Sawyer’s arrival) absolutely marvelous. From what we learned, their frantic and paranoid behavior seems mostly justified. And, best of all, we discovered that Ana Lucia didn’t even see Shannon when she shot her.

I’m definitely, DEFINITELY looking forward to this week’s episode. Jin reuniting with Sun will definitely be a very touching moment, and the new chemistry between the tailies and the classic crew will be very entertaining. I’m not QUITE sure I want to see Kate and Sawyer all lovey dovey (like they appear to be in the previews), but I’ll have to wait and see.

THURSDAY NIGHT LINE UP:

YES! THEY FINALLY VOTED OFF JAMIE!!! The look on Judd’s face during tribal council, when he realized that everybody but him voted for Jamie was absolutely priceless. One thing I didn’t understand is how Judd was so clueless. Sure, I can understand him not thinking Jamie would be voted off, but how could he think that Jamie would only receive “one vote tops” when BOTH Gary and Danni openly said the night before that they wanted to vote him off. Not to mention how often people in his own alliance stated how annoyed they were with him. With that said, I think they made the right decision not telling Judd about their decision to eliminate Jamie. First of all, I think he would have told Jamie, and considering how confrontational and hot headed he can be, it would have made a big scene.

Also, Rafe made a very strong argument about making himself a threat after his strong performances in immunity challenges. With this in mind, I have to say that he should have thrown the challenge this week. Basically there were three people they would potentially want to vote off: Jamie, Gary, or Danni. None of them had a strong chance of winning (Cindy was right behind Rafe), so winning did Rafe more harm than good. When it gets down to the nitty gritty, people are going to remember that Rafe is an immunity threat.

Anyway, right now I’m still throwing my support towards Danni. Love that girl.

Speaking of loving a girl, Rachel Bilson! The OC was a pretty fun episode. I’m enjoying the utilization of Taylor, as she’s in a sympathetic role (you clearly feel bad for her when she’s being berated by her mother), but not completely likeable (she was almost constantly very annoying, and her plot with that horse was downright premeditated). She’s a lot more complex than writers usually devote to extras, so I’m impressed. However, you’d have to be a F’n moron to ever leave Rachel….

I also really enjoyed Julie outsmarting Charlotte. That bitch had it coming.

Reunion was another strong episode. They seem to be working a little better around the interrogation orienting the flashbacks. Initially, I didn’t think they made sense. It’s like “Somebody was just killed….instead of me asking where you were, ya’ know, the NIGHT OF THE MURDER, tell me about what you and your pals were doing in 1986.” It didn’t make sense. Now the show is doing a better job of explaining why 1991, for example, is relevant to a recent murder. Anyway, at the end when Jenna told Craig she’d never forgive him, I know they probably wanted us to think she was talking about the murder, but I’m we’ll find out that the two of them had a falling out some time ago, and that’s what she was actually referring to. Who do I think committed the murder? Well, it seems that they all seem to be hiding SOMETHING, but right now I’ll just say I don’t think it’ll be Craig or Will, since they seem too obvious. But a lot of the story still needs to be told, and a lot of the relationships can get more complex.

By the way, a little side rant. I don’t think I’ve ever understood the argument Craig was making with Aaron. So let me get this straight: Craig is still getting money from his father, and doesn’t appear to really offer much in the way of the partnership, while Aaron is the brains and is struggling to make his rent month to month. Aaron gets an amazing offer in which he’d be set for life, but Craig guilt trips him out of it….and Aaron is supposed to be the bad friend in this scenario? I don’t know how I’d act in that scenario, but I sincerely hope I’d give my friend my blessing.

SUNDAY NIGHT LINE UP:

The Simpsons have gotten to the point that at the end of the episode, I ask myself “What did I just watch?” That’s all I have to say about that.

Family Guy got off to a bit of a slow start, but by the end of the episode, I was on the floor. Stewie idolizing Peter was great, and the two of them laughing endlessly after attempting to murder Lois was hilarious. Come to think of it, Peter’s complete disregard for Lois’ well being was incredible throughout the entire episode.

Who else has noticed the recent trend of giving actual names to gimmicky side characters? First we found out Comic Book Guy’s name, then we found out Upside Down Face’s name, last night we found out the Crazy Old Cat Lady’s name, and now they’ve given a name to the Boy Loving Old Man on Family Guy. What’s next? Finding out the Greased Up Deaf Guy’s name is Gerald Murphy?

American Dad was funny, but not as good as Family Guy. It was a bit funny seeing Haley and Stan openly admit to hating each other, and Roger’s ridiculously uneven reactions to people doing minimal things against him was humorous.

TV FUN FACT OF THE WEEK:

This week, let’s take a look at ER, a show that has changed so drastically, I barely know what I’m watching any more. To tell you the truth, I usually actively forget that the show is even on. Anyway, after that glowing praise, here’s your fun fact:

Doug Ross frequently hung his head low, appearing ashamed or thoughtful or privately amused, depending on the scene. This wasn’t just an element of the character: George Clooney had taken to writing his lines on papers, sheets, and other props (especially that complicated medical terminology).

Anyway, hope everybody has a fun week. I think a lot of shows are on repeats this week, so next week may not be as action packed as usual.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.