The Wife:

Flash Forward, at its core, is a show about epistemology. When everyone in the world blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, each having their own vision of what they believe to be the future, the show asks its characters and viewers to constantly question the knowledge we’re being given:

  • How do we know these are flashes of the future, and not something else, despite the fact that everyone flashed forward to the same date, April 29, 2010?
  • How do we acquire the knowledge/facts to help us determine what we think we know?
  • What is truth, belief or conjecture?

And from these central questions of epistemics, the show branches out into a Lostian exploration of fate and destiny, asking whether or not they exist, if the future can be changed and how much control we can exert over a predetermined course.

So far, I am into it. It’s slightly more penetrable than Lost, but still contains that show’s crucial elements of action, human drama and mystery to keep up interest in the show. Lost was reinvigorated when it introduced the flash forward structure at the end of season 3, and I like the idea of this show also having a similar endgame. It’s nice to know, as a viewer, that your showrunners have an idea of where they’re going and the experience of finding out if the flash forwards will come to pass is the same for us as it is for the characters on the show.

Because of that, we’re learning things in time with the characters, so all we know at this point regarding what may have caused the blackout is that there is a person of interest called D. Gibbons (who stole the credit card of DiDi Gibbons of DiDelicious Cupcakes) who was working on some major hack in a creepy-ass doll factory, and who made a call 30 seconds into the blackout to the only known person to not fall asleep: a man at a Detroit Tigers game, veiled in black, who walked away nonchalantly as if he knew this would happen. (For my money, I am sure he will be played by Dominic Monaghan, as I know my favorite hobbit has a deal to appear on this show and hasn’t yet done so.)

Lost in time, lost in space . . . and meaning.

Lost in time, lost in space . . . and meaning.

By the end of the second episode, we’ve unveiled almost all of the symbols on the flash of the Mosaic board that Joseph Fiennes’s Mark Benford was putting together in the future: we’ve seen the friendship bracelet his daughter gives him, the name D. Gibbons, the crime scene photo of the burned baby doll, but not yet the blue hand or the man with the star tattoos. John Cho’s Demitri Noh learns that there are other people who saw nothing in the blackout, but not five minutes after meeting one, she dies. He also receives a phone call from someone in Shanghai (I think) (Husband Note: It’s Hong Kong, but I shall correct my wife instead of editing the right answer in because I’m MEAAAAAN!) informing him that she was reading a report of his death in her flash forward, on March 15, 2010. Sonya Walger’s Olivia meets the man with whom she’ll have an affair (Swingtown’s Jack Davenport, using his natural accent), and her daughter Charlie recognizes Davenport’s son from her flash forward.

It’s too early for us to start building Lostian theories about the nature of the “future” or even what we think we know here, but I’m sure we’ll find out next week if Benford burning his daughter’s friendship bracelet has any effect on the future. If this show were to take a banal turn, I’d expect that little Charlie would just keep making them for her daddy, constantly, feeling hurt each time she saw him without it.

Stray thoughts:

  • How good was the opening of the pilot episode? The simplest images stood out: the balloons floating away, the kangaroo on the loose. These were a lovely, almost surrealist expression of the disjointedness of life after a disaster.
  • Speaking of which, has anyone ever seen children playing make-believe versions of disasters on the playground? Watching a bunch of children play “blackout” while “Ring Around the Rosy” sang out was terrifically creepy, as was the repetition of the song in the doll factory. I ask about the validity of this exercise because, while I understand the notion of communal play acting as a method of coping, I don’t remember ever play acting those kind of current events as a child. We play acted the 1994 Lillehammer games, where the worst thing that happened was Nancy Kerrigan’s knee getting bashed in by Tonya Harding.
  • Can Sonya Walger now only play women with children named Charlie?
  • Nice FBI agent cameo, Seth McFarlane! (Husband Note: He’s coming back, which further pisses off everybody who hates his funny shows.)
  • Seeing Joseph Fiennes on TV makes me mourn the unwanted pilot that was Ryan Murphy’s Pretty/Handsome, which was to be an F/X series about a man struggling with a gender identity crisis. The trailer for it was lovely, and I’m sure you can find it on YouTube. But know that when I try to see Fiennes as an FBI agent, I have a really hard time because I think of him surreptitiously fondling silk panties or, of course, unwrapping Gwyneth Paltrow’s bubbies.

The Husband:

The mystery is there, but the characters aren’t. The show has picked up some bizarre backlash in only its second week (with major complaints about Courtney B. Vance’s comic relief bathroom blackout story), but I think that’s just a gut reaction to having yet another deep mystery show on primetime, and this time people have their guard up. The themes and general questions being thrown about are, without question, fascinating, but I can understand some people being frustrated by some very one-dimensional character work. Right now, I’m only feeling Sonya Walger as far as emotions are concerned, because it’s tough for the rest of the show to work its procedural angle without losing some major character time, something from which most procedurals that aren’t named Bones tend to suffer. (But hey, at least Demitri Noh is an awesome name.)

But I’m not hating on the series so much as being distracted by my complete lack of connection, and after the first sequence of “holy shit,” things have settled into a procedural groove a tad too quickly.

The showrunners and writers must have a lot of information up their sleeves, because right now they’re racing through this mofo. Give me a reason to care other than the central conceit itself. Because I’m there, but I don’t know if others will stick around.

The Wife:

It’s very difficult to write about the final episode of Pushing Daisies, as we were all told by our humble narrator not to treat it as an ending, but as a beginning. It’s unfortunate that ABC’s axe deprived us of a fully-told story, leaving Ned’s father and Zombie Charles Charles roaming about somewhere in the town of Couer d’Couers in Papen County (or possibly in America or Europe) without any explanation or raison d’etre. But those are stories, I’m sure, will be told in the much-talked-about comic book, whenever it debuts. I think Daisies can go on to live a good life in comic/graphic novel form, and now has myriad cheaper ways to engineer its signature quirk in full-color panels. Buffy and Angel have gone on to live long, fulfilling lives in this format, and I hope Daisies does, too. So with that promise of new beginnings and format changes, I can’t talk about the series finale as though it is, in fact, a finale. It didn’t try to be one because it knew it wasn’t one. I will, however, pretend it was a season finale, in which case I have to say that it adequately tied up another long-standing storyline, as last week’s “Water & Power” did for Emerson Cod. And that’s basically what we expect a season finale to do: to tie up some things, while leaving others to be dealt with at a later date. So while we may not know why Ned’s father returned or where Charles Charles is, we do know that Emerson is reunited with his Lil’ Gumshoe and that Chuck finally faces her aunts as an alive-again dead girl.

The Children of St. Clare wish all the best for the cast and crew of Pushing Daisies. We loved you guys, and we hope you all get to do some great, inspired work in the future!

The Children of St. Clare wish all the best for the cast and crew of Pushing Daisies. We loved you guys, and we hope you all get to do some great, inspired work in the future!

It was great to see an episode that focused primarily on the Aunts – and especially on the antiquated ridiculata that is professional synchronized swimming. I love both Ellen Green and Swoosie Kurtz, but I could tell that, as a season finale, this plot was meant to bring both of their character’s closure and allow them to exist in a world outside of Couer d’Couers. Taking them out of the main cast would allow for some new characters to enter into the Daisies universe, with Lily and Vivian returning as guest spots. I’d miss them dearly, but a change in the main cast would have undoubtedly been healthy growth for the show. So here the aunts decide to honor the half birthday of their dead niece/daughter by attending the Aquacade, the very aquatic circus in which they once performed before they retired from synchronized swimming and the world at large. Ned, for some reason, decides it would be a good idea to give Chuck a great half-birthday gift by also taking her to the very same show (and Emerson and Olive – but not their respective significant others, both of whom are ill for the purposes of this episode, and so Olive could say the phrase, “Out with the gout,” which is funny to anyone who doesn’t have gout). Naturally, there are some silly avoidance tactics in place so that dead-Chuck is not seen by the aunts who do not know she’s alive again; chief among these non-sighting sight gags include the gang hiding behind various balloons shaped like aquatic denizens. I was particularly fond of Emerson’s crab balloon and his insistence on talking through its many legs.

The Aquacade itself might be the quirkiest, weirdest thing this show has ever shown us. It includes an announcer (Joey Slotnick, forever known to me as Merril Bobolit, dog-hair transplanter and inventer of Bobotox on Nip/Tuck) riding in Neptune’s chariot with a triton-shaped microphone (which I need, by the way . . . my half-birthday’s next month!), a shark-cowboying act featuring Mad TV‘s Michael McDonald as Bubba the Shark’s wrangler, a very homosexual Wilson Cruz as Sid Tango the Aquadancer and skinny bitches Nora Dunn and Wendy Malick as the Darling Mermaid Darlings’ biggest synch-swim rivals, the Aquadolls. Oh, yeah, and Dr. Swingtown from Private Practice/Swingtown (Josh Hopkins) plays their himbo manager/Blanche’s husband/Coral’s lover. But amid all that finery, something awful happens: somehow, Bubba the Shark escapes his tank and finds his way into the pool where the Aquadolls are performing one of their many star-spangled routines, where he proceeds to gobble up Nora Dunn’s Blanche mid-backwards summersault. Because someone rubbed lard in her hair gel. Awesome. Gross. Hilarious.

With the Aquadolls officially defunct, Jimmy Neptune’s traveling Aquacade clearly needs a new headliner, so he invites the Darling Mermaid Darlings to come out of retirement and get back into the pool. Seriously, Jimmy Neptune had the best aquatic puns ever in his pitch to Lily and Vivian: “I wanted from the water wings.” “The audience soaked it up.” I imagine the writer’s room bursting into giggles while working on this episode. “These are so bad!” someone would exclaim. “But they’re also so good!” someone else would say. Daisies writers, I hope someone gives you guys jobs, because you people were awesome. My praise of the writers and their terribly awesome puns aside, Chuck sees the Aunts’ decision to return to the biz they call show as an opportunity for the rest of the gang to infiltrate the Aquacade and find out who murdered Blanche. Emerson poses as the Aunts’ coach, with Olive running hair and makeup and Ned, in a totally gorgeous 1960’s-style suit and a pair of sunglasses that made Lee Pace look the fucking hottest he has ever looked on this show EVER, as their manager. (If I take nothing else from this episode, I take away the shot of the first time Ned turns around in that suit and how it made my heart skip a beat. And I am very much not exaggerating here.)

As they investigate, they find a variety of incriminating things attached to Sid Tango: he’s taken over Blanche’s dressing room, where her lard-laced hair-gel is kept, and, apparently, keeps a remote trigger to open the shark cage on his very phallic belt. But Sid is innocent, and suggests that Olive and Emerson turn their investigation toward Blanche’s sister, Coral. In addition to being bitter rivals, you see, the Aquadolls and the Darling Mermaid Darlings had more in common than their mutual interest in synchronized swimming. Like Lily, it seems that Coral was also guilty of sleeping with her sister’s lover. Coral assures everyone that while she may have been sleeping with Himbo Dr. Swingtown, she would have never killed her sister. Vivian, having been born with a hole in her heart, takes pity on Coral and invites her to swim in the Darling Mermaid Darlings’ act. But being around Coral makes Lily feel all the more guilty for what she’s done to her own sister, and the two adulteresses share some harsh words. Coral knows Lily’s secret, and threatens to expose it to Vivian unless she gets to stay in the act, but Olive quickly thwarts her plan by revealing to Lily and Vivian that Coral had another costume under her senorita garb and had planned to steal the show from her fresh-out-of-retirement rivals.

Meanwhile, Ned negotiates the Aunt’s contract and finds out that Jimmy Neptune wants to take the Aquacade on a European tour, which Lily and Vivian both agree to. Chuck, however, is not pleased with this information. She feels like being near her aunts, even though she can’t actually visit them, gives her some purpose to being alive again, like she’s meant to be their earthly guardian angel, slipping homeopathic curatives in the scads of free pies they never seem to question receiving. She tells Ned that she isn’t sure she could be happy with her aunts on the road, and that she might have to uproot and go with them somehow. Clearly, this would make Ned very, very sad. Before the big show, Emerson catches Chuck, disguised as a handyman, trying to sabotage the Darling Mermaid Darlings performance with an unauthorized music change, and catches Ned waiting in the shadows to sabotage her sabotage. Despite their confusion, from their vantage point in the control booth, they can all see that a more pressing situation is about to take place in the pool below when a giant lobster man karate chops Jimmy Neptune and steals the triton mike. With the lobster-head removed, Himbo Dr. Swingtown announces his intent behind Blanche’s murder and the imminent electrocution of the Darling Mermaid Darlings: everything he did was to give his lover, Coral, her own show. Fortunately, the underwater speakers drown out anything he has to say so that the Aunts never know of his plot to kill them and Chuck and Ned manage to capture both the Himbo and the microphone before any harm can befall Lily and Vivian.

Nonetheless, harm is about to befall them, as Lily wakes one day to find that Coral has dropped by her house and informed Vivian of everything. But just as Lily is about to kick her sister out of the house, Chuck and Ned arrive to announce the thing that would free and resolve the sisters: their daughter/niece is alive. And for Chuck to have them know that allows her to stay with Ned while they go out into the world on tour, just knowing she’s still around to take care of them. As for the others, Emerson’s Lil’ Gumshoe finds her way to him, and, randomly, Olive and Randy decide to open up a mac and cheese joint called The Intrepid Cow. I would say that these endings felt hurried, by, at least as far as Emerson and Penny and Chuck and her aunts are concerned, the swiftness of these resolutions carries with it some of the magic with which Daisies has always been imbued.

However, the moment I caught sight of Oscar Verbinius as the camera swept through the sewers and took us around the world as narrator Jim Dale assured us that endings should always be thought of as beginnings, I couldn’t help but wish he’d had something to do with the revelation that Chuck is alive-again. His arc in season one was truly incredible, and while I’m happy to see him again, I wish he’d figured into Chuck’s reveal to her aunts in a bigger way. Perhaps he’ll turn up at a later date – for even though the Aunts know she’s alive-again, there are still others who do not. Or perhaps he could be useful in sniffing out the location of Zombie Charles Charles. I guess I’ll take comfort in the fact that he’s still there, in the sewers, lurking. Just as I’ll take comfort in the fact that the beating heart of Coeur d’Coeurs will continue, panel to panel on the page.

On a final costuming note, I think the most fabulous thing in this episode, other than Ned’s suit, was Chuck’s orange-and-brown blossom skirt. I’ll miss the fabulous costumes on this show most of all – that just won’t be the same in the comic book.

The Husband:

I can’t talk long, because my bosses are hovering over me here at my work, but rushed or not, I absolutely loved the final 90 seconds of this episode, which swept through Couer d’Coeurs and flew by at least a dozen locations previously seen on this show, from the convent to French Davis’ bee empire to the graveyard where Stephen Root met his maker to the sewers, finally finishing on Digby in the field that opened the series, and am glad that the effects house was able to deliver it even after the show’s cancellation, thanks to some quick Bryan Fuller thinking and a great big hug of CGI charity.

Another good show dies young, because people apparently don’t want to see anything too original, too quirky or too fantastic in their everyday television viewing schedule. Let the CSIs and Law & Orders reign proud, because they’ve hypnotized their audience into watching the same damn show time and time again. Don’t blame the network. Blame the viewers. They gave up after the high-rated pilot, and that’s their fault.

Well, now I can give DC Comics some of my hard-earned money, and hope that Lee Pace finds a more welcoming home either on our television or in our movie houses.

The Husband:

Since this isn’t technically a recap site, despite how much my wife writes recaps, that’s more of her personal stylistic choice than an agreed-upon structure. I’m more into critique, and sometimes I feel myself moving away from this stylistic choice in instances where I just have to get an article off the ground in a restricted amount of time (usually at work when I’m super-busy), or when my brain just isn’t working, because as long as you have a good memory, recapping isn’t hard. But since I’ve been way behind on both Shonda Rhimes shows, thanks to a four-day weekend in Arizona as well as me having a month-long coughing fit that has forced me out of the office and into the world of work-from-home, I think I can easily jump back into the showrunner’s world without completely overwriting anything.

First, things that have been on my mind over the last three weeks of Grey’s Anatomy.

Karev

Formerly my least favorite character on the show (and aside from Tommy Walker, perhaps of all the ABC shows I watched), I am amazed to declare that he has, post Elizabeth-Reaser-needs-a-face drama, grown into maybe Seattle Grace’s most emotionally and intellectually interesting. Who knew that banging Izzie would bring out his tender side (when that happens, that character either dies [Denny] or becomes a whiney joke version of his former self [George]), which does wonders balancing out his friendly but professionally stern bedside manner? He has become the resident you want to have next to you, thanks to his major leaps and bounds in his own medical prowess as well as being able to completely control any case that comes his way. His immaturity that completely turned me off to him has been replaced by some residual charm left over when Addison left Seattle Grace right around the time she and Karev shared a couple kisses here and there. He’s the one character who seems to live by my sister’s all-time best words of advice – “just handle it.” He has Sloan’s swagger without his dickishness, and he has Meredith’s heart without her…Meredith-ness.

Derek

So I get the whole what-does-my-life-and-my-job-mean freakout that Derek had after losing Jennifer Westfeldt and being called a murderer by Ben Shenkman, and I get that it’s a terrible thing to stack every single one of his medical cases next to each other and realizing that he has “killed” more people than he has “saved” (kind of a given when you’re a neurosurgeon, though), his mobile home drunken nonsense was just that – nonsense. Killing brain cells and getting all up-in-a-bitch’s-face with Meredith, ending with him ultimately taking the engagement ring he bought for her and smacking it into the forest thanks to a handy nearby baseball bat, was emotional, yes, but it was also completely not-Derek. Way to create some random drama for no real reason, writers. We viewers already declared that we are no longer into a will-they-or-won’t-they with Deredith, so it was just a complete waste of time. And the only thing to get him out of the drunken funk? Izzie having metastatic melanoma in her briz-ain. Which moves us into the next category…

Derek’s Proposal

I seem to be disagreeing with a great deal of people here, but I found Derek’s ultimate solution to proposing to Meredith to be remarkably creepy. What he did was take an elevator at Seattle Grace and put it out of service, and he then lined the walls with C.T. scans that chronicled his case history with Meredith’s services, right from the beginning all the way to their current Izzie-has-melanoma case, and then told her he wasn’t going to “pop the question” so much as just mumble some stuff about destiny and hospitals and junk. A.) the hospital probably needs that elevator because…well…they’re in a hospital; B.) those are scans of dying people, an oddly terrifying display of the morbidity that defines Deredith. But hey, at least they’re engaged now. That ain’t no problem.

Izzie

Just quit whining and accept your treatment. Jesus Christ. First you took all the interns and focused them all entirely on your case, then you complain about how far the melanoma has traveled, even though you basically just should have opened up immediately about her hallucinations months ago, and then you whine some more. People say Meredith is the whiner. No sir. That honor belongs to Isobel Stevens. But at least this story is progressing. And unless we want Derek to completely lose his shit for letting a good friend die, she is going to be fine by season’s end. She may not be capable of being a doctor anymore, which makes it easy to write her out of the show, but she will live. Just like Penny IS NOT DEAD on Lost, because those writers are basically hopeless romantics at heart, Izzie has to live.

Owen & Cristina

No, for the last time, your name is not Dan Vassar!

No, for the last time, your name is not Dan Vassar!

Hey Cristina, did you think you’d be able to actually sleep after getting nightmare-strangled by your PTSD-ing doctor boyfriend? I appreciate the effort to keep y’all together, but sometimes your head does stupid things…like letting the man who almost unintentionally killed you spend another night next to you in bed. I still think they are one of the show’s perfect couples, so now that Owen is actually dealing with his army past, we may be in for some very nice final episodes to this season.

Guest Stars

This is a complete throwaway section, but I was just happy to see a nice mixture of guest stars in one episode. This was the three siblings whose family had a big history of nearly everybody suffering from cancer, and those three siblings were A.) Heather Mosby from HIMYM, B.) the jailbait-loving English teacher from Swingtown and C.) the woman who voiced both Jane and Quinn on Daria, all together in one room. (So hey, MTV, when are you going to release full seasons of Daria on DVD aside from the occasional special. We’re waiting.)

Now onto Private Practice:

Addison + Men

Man, people online are really turning on Addison. Why? Because she’s interested in a married man. You see, she was scrubbing in at St. Ambrose at the same time that a cute male doctor was scrubbing out, and this became a major back-and-forth bit of flirting. And since it’s Josh Hopkins from Swingtown, and I always forget his character’s name, I refer to him as Dr. Swingtown. At the end of Dr. Swingtown’s first episode, we find out that he is not only married, but he is actually married to Amanda Detmer (from Saving Silverman and What About Brian?), a major patient of Addison’s, being a pregnant woman who keeps losing her pregnancies. Addison has so far resisted Dr. Swingtown’s advances post-discovery, but this dude is really setting her loins on fire, and she really isn’t going to last much longer. Now, the online bloggers and commenters are really getting on Addison’s case for being an adulterer yet again. But here’s the thing: this time she’s not being the adulterer. That would be Dr. Swingtown. She’s just the other woman, and IMO that’s really not on her. She’s not married to Derek and cheating with Sloan, and she’s not dating SWAT guy and banging the dude from Better Off Ted. Call her a homewrecker, and that’s fine, but this is a new Addison, who just happens to have some bad luck in love. But this is not her up to her old tricks, because she’s not. Got it?

(And yes, I realize that Grant Show, who plays Addison’s brother Archer Montgomery, was also on Swingtown playing the über-swinging airline pilot Tom, but Archer Montgomery is too good of a name to deny, and so Josh Hopkins, who played the far more conservative character Roger who by the end of that dearly departed show was heavily lusting after Susan, another redhead, is now labeled with the moniker. Just FYI.)

The Show’s Actual Concept of Psychiatry/Psychology

Okay, I get why Violet had to really get inside Amber Benson’s brain a few episodes ago in order to rejigger her repressed memories about when she was carjacked and beaten to a fucking pulp, because she was using some basic Psychology 101 for that. But during the next episode, I really started to question her actual methods and if any of them work. Amanda Foreman (the goth roommate from Felicity and the bartender wife from What About Brian?) had struggled to get pregnant, and now that she had, she’s unwilling to deal with the actual truth – the fetus inside her is dead, and the longer she keeps it in her, the more susceptible she is to sepsis and all other kinds of ookiness. No matter what Violet told her, Amanda Foreman just simply wouldn’t accept the truth. Until Dell shows up. You see, Dell has been dealing with Baby Mama Drama, which ultimately results in said former drug addict Baby Mama taking their daughter and moving to Missouri. And so Dell, saddened by this news, stares at the wall and mutters something about losing children with Amanda Foreman nearby, and it’s this speech (and not any of Violet’s tactics) that gets her to accept that she needs to get that dead fetus outta her body. Nope. Nothing that Violet did. Just some mumbling from a bleached-out surfer boy midwife. Me? I don’t think that’s how it works. I’ve been in enough therapy to at least reach some opinion on that.

Taye Diggs

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Actually, I’m fine with everything Taye has been doing, and I very much like his interplay with his ex-wife Naomi (Audra McDonald) as they rejoin the dating world. I just bring him up because of something Vanessa L. Williams said to Marc on a recent Ugly Betty:

“What is it with white people and Taye Diggs?”

Good point, Wilhelmina. Good point. I guess it’s his sweet lovin’ marriage to the awesome Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel that attracts us to him. Or it’s just because he’s awesome. (Btw, good job, Shonda, for finally bringing Idina onto Private Practice as a single mother and potential love interest for Pete, who is so over which sperm, his or Sheldon’s, got Violet pregnant.

The Husband:

Well, that was a bizarre week. Both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time — as Ten Things I Hate About You pointed out, you can’t merely be just “whelmed,” except in Europe — the week taught me, more than anything, that this is a strange show, and America is a fickle bitch.

Predictions I was wrong about:

Jorge + America = Success

Despite his protests in song, the sun did, in fact, go down on Jorge and he had to say goodbye.

Despite his protests in song, the sun did, in fact, go down on Jorge and he had to say goodbye.

I was really pulling for this guy to go far, where certain portions of the country would learn to better accept things they don’t always understand, things such as minorities, other languages and passion in performance. Hell, I actually liked Jorge’s performance quite a bit, and definitely rank it in the top 5 of the week. But he didn’t inspire anybody, and that was the problem. My plan to turn this season of American Idol into a Kumbaya circle of understanding and world harmony has fallen apart. Blimey. The first out of this week’s two contestants to go to the land of Vanessa Olivarez and David Hernandez.

A Danny Gokey Backlash

Now, there’s plenty of time for Mr. Gokey to become the enemy of America with his over-reliance on personality instead of just doing some good performing, but I didn’t necessarily expect that, according to DialIdol.com, he’d be the top vote-earner of the night. I’m not jumping on the “I hate Danny Gokey” bandwagon, though. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Boy’s got some major chops. But do I feel his heart and soul with every note? With his story, I probably should, but I don’t. I need to get that he’s here in the competition to win based on him and not his story. But so far, I’m not throwing any votes his way.

America Will Hate Kris Allen And Realize Their Mistake

Look how cold he is without a jacket!

Look how cold he is without a jacket!

I don’t know why Kris Allen got into the Top 13, and I don’t know why people liked his performance of “Remember The Time” this week. People say he’s Jason Mraz-esque. No. Jason Mraz is brilliant. Kris is a cute guy who undersings everything and somehow convinced the country that his guitar bumbling was actually something to vote for and praise. Show me a star, goddamn it, because I’m not seeing it.

Anoop Desei Will Rock You All This Week

Man, his “Beat It” was fucking weird, wasn’t it? I think it got into his head that his Wild Card performance of “My Prerogative” was what got him pushed into the Top 13, and kept with the same fake badassery. No, sir. You got through from your earlier performances, soulful and unexpected. I like unexpected. But not this unexpected.

(A similar mistake happened in s3, when Jon Peter Lewis got into the Top 12 with his Wild Card performance of “A Little Less Conversation,” only to be voted off weeks later doing another Elvis song, “Jailhouse Rock.”)

America Will Hate Megan Joy [Corkrey] And Her Mere Existence

Wow, not even getting saddled with “Rockin’ Robin” could do this girl in. Has she gained some fan base that is currently completely quiet on the Internet? Did everybody come to the same realization that, with about 85% certainty, Megan probably did a coin toss with somebody else for another MJ song — “P.Y.T.” or more likely a more bluesy version of “I’ll Be There.”

Jasmine Would Suck

Actually, Jasmine did better than I expected with “I’ll Be There” — definitely one of the most gorgeous songs from an entirely pre-packaged kid group — but she suffered from Lisa Tucker disease (i.e. too young to perform like a professional) and was the other contestant of the two this week to be eliminated. Or, to be more esoteric, she was the Leah LaBelle Wild Card fail of season 8.

(Clearly, based on all my trivia, s3 was a very important season for me in becoming an Idol maniac.)

Extra Note: Oh, and I actually really love the new Judges Veto twist, but will probably have far better things to say about it when it is used or at least when there’s more dramatic tension on the show.

The Wife:

Because I write the modeling blogs around these parts, my contribution to American Idol is to critique/make fun of how these artists “package” themselves, to borrow Kara DioGuardi’s favorite phrase. So to the Idol glam squad I pose this question: What the fuck, ya’ll?


Can someone please hire him to be in the next Twilight movie? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase?Can someone please hire him to be in the next Twilight movie? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase?

They spent all their money buying Matt Giraud and Vampire Lamb Bear those fabulous leather jackets and kind of let the girls all destroy themselves. In fact, every dude but Kris Allen had the benefit of a cool jacket, although I know some are tired of the military-inspired outwear donned by Scott and Anoop this week. I maintain my long-stated position that a well-tailored jacket completes an outfit, so for Kris Allen to be the only jacketless guy only cemented my thoughts that he shouldn’t be here. I, too, am in the internet minority in hating his guitar rendition of “Remember the Time,” a song I admittedly do not know at all but hated on a folk guitar. Had he come out in a jacket and with an electric guitar, things might have been different. He is pretty adorable, I’ll give him that. But I have to believe in the power of the jacket to lock in a look. And from the jackets chosen, I know that Michael Sarver wants to be a cool but sensitive tough guy, Matt Giraud wants to be a soulful, blusey rocker (brushed leather, oooooh) and Vampire Lamb Bear wants to be Freddie Mercury. I mean, seriously, he had on steel blue leather with a mandarin collar. Where did the glam squad find that? That thing was the best piece in the whole show tonight.

And then there are the girls, two of whom worked in their style and while the other two came across as complete disasters. It’s evident to me that Alison Iraheta told the glam squad to go fuck themselves, because she came out looking like any kid who likes to go smoke cigarettes by the dumpsters at their high school: skinny jeans, ill-placed belt, lots of greys and blacks. I wouldn’t say this was a killer outfit, as I have a general disdain for anything that comes from Urban Outfitters, but at least it made sense with who she is. I want more Cyndi Lauper-esque stuff out of her, though. More like what she wore for her Top 36 performance.

I'm going to write to EW Style Hunter to find me this crazy-ass dress.

I'm going to write to EW Style Hunter to find me this crazy-ass dress.

The red dress with the macrame straps on Megan Joy was definitely her best outfit yet. She definitely stepped on the red hot mama train with this little number, which was cute, but also too quirky for most people to like. That dress is exactly like the person who wore it and its a perfect statement about who she is as an artist. Over at Best Week Ever, Michelle Collins wrote that she should be the lead singer of a band called “Quirky Quirk Quirk and the Twees.” I agree, and I totally want her to front some kind of swingin’ indie rockabilly band, and possibily have a threesome with Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard, for there can be no more twee a marriage than their marriage will be, unless they have regular sex with Megan Joy Corkrey. Also, I would totally wear that red dress. Just sayin’.

And then there was that strange pink creation that found its way on to poor Jasmine Murray. I can’t even adequately explain why I hate it. I just do. It did absolutely nothing for her, except maybe make her look like she was an extra on Swingtown. And even then, Lana Parilla wouldn’t go anywhere near that dress. Bringing up the rear, literally, was Lil Rounds, who doesn’t understand that when you’ve got a booty like that you cannot put it in tapered white pants! Why did the glam squad let her get away with this? Those pants were doing her no favors, nor was that top, which might have worked if someone had decided to cut off the ruffle sleeve. If Jasmine Murray was on her way to a 70s-themed party, then Lil Rounds was on her way to a high school dance in a John Hughes movie. I fail to understand how people who are paid to make other people look good let these disasters happen. Not to mention that neither of these outfits complemented the song choice or said anything about these ladies as artists.

Why, God, why????????

Why, God, why????????

The glam squad most succeeded with Alexis Grace, whose stirring performance of “Dirty Diana” is still earworming its way into my brain as I write this. Her black exposed-zipper onesie didn’t say much to me about who Alexis is, but it further proved to me that she’s the only person on this show who understands costuming herself for a performance. She sang her Aretha song weeks ago in a slip and trashy heels, like a hooker who’d been kicked to the curb, which fit the character of the song. When she had to do that Jason Mraz group number, she actually dressed up like a lady version of Mraz. And this week, given a song about a very naughty lady who works in the sex industry, she dressed like a dancer in a production of Cabaret. The girl is a performer. She gets it.

The Husband:

There’s a pattern, much like the one on Fringe, here on Private Practice that has a strong influence on all the show’s characters, one that seems designed to wreak havoc on the good doctors on Oceanside Wellness. No, it’s not scientific anomalies fabricated in order to cover up vast conglomerate conspiracies such as time travel and the literal breakdown of physical space. No. It’s that the clients of Oceanside Wellness are fucking idiots.

I think this is a major factor of what makes Grey’s Anatomy work so well and Private Practice kind of hit the middle of the road. On Grey’s, all the stupid shit the patients have done were before they were received at Seattle Grace, where the doctors will do everything they can to treat your presumably fatal illness/dismemberment before it’s too late. On PP, it’s a clinic with expertise in fertility, psychology and new age medicine, created to suggest medical procedures to their predicament, pressing or not, before the worst is yet to happen. (Another major difference is that GA usually takes place over one or two days, while PP, with few exceptions, spreads out its episode timelines through several days.)

So what am I talking about? Well, in the last three episodes, the patients/clients of Oceanside Wellness have made some very stupid decisions, and it’s those decisions that have been driving the medical drama on the show. Me? I find it highly problematic, because I would rather see the doctors have to deal with inevitable consequences despite a great deal of intelligence and know-how instead of stupid-ass blunders.

How is it that every patient we see is a complete and total moron?

How is it that every patient we see is a complete and total moron?

Two weeks ago, a highly religious couple came in because, after experimenting with some fertility drugs (good!), they have been experiencing issues during their pregnancy. Specifically, they have triplets, two of which (the identical twins) suffer from TTTS Syndrome, wherein they share the same placenta and blood vessels and will die unless surgery is performed (bad!). Unfortunately, the religious couple believe that this affliction is God’s way of punishing them for using fertility drugs, so after telling Addison they need help, they refuse any surgery and hope that it will all be sorted out by the Almighty. When it nearly becomes too late, Addison has no choice but to do surgery (after the non-afflicted baby has died) to snip the vessel connection between the twins. I forget if one of the twins died in the process, but I know at least one lived. But hey, maybe that baby wouldn’t have died if you just listened to your doctor who you went to in the first place.

In last week’s episode, we met a man whose pregnant wife was in an irreversible coma due to kidney failure and Wegener’s Granulomatosis. The baby is nearing birth, so Addison suggests (rightfully so) that  they perform a C-section so the baby will be born without complications (good!), because if they do it the natural way the baby could easy suffocate on the way out (because the mother is in a coma!). However, because the man had heard of one (read it: one) case of a comatose woman waking up while giving birth, he refuses the C-section and demands that his wife gives birth naturally (bad!). This leads to major complications in both mother and baby, and so the surgery happens too late (also after finding out that the man wasn’t married yet to the woman, so he had no say over her parents’ decision). The baby is born, but due to medical issues the comatose woman dies! Yeah, that’s a major fail.

This week we have two blunders. The first, a famed but retired bicyclist goes to the fourth floor practice (where Charlotte has set up a competing clinic), but is stolen away by Sam and Pete. The bicyclist has a SoCal race that weekend and would like to stage a comeback to make big bucks to support him and his wife (Ione Skye still as beautiful as ever). Sam and Pete work on helping his knee recover in time, but then it comes to their attention that he retired not because of a bum knee but because he was suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the muscle of the heart contracts under extreme pressure (see: hardcore bicycling). The doctors don’t want the bicyclist to compete, but he says that it’s his choice once they fix his knee. So they fix his knee, he wins the race and dies at the finish line. Great job, asshole.

Addison’s case this week involved a woman who was dying of stage 2 ovarian cancer, but she wouldn’t let Addison remove her ovaries and uterus (or, you know, the things that were killing her) because she was dead set on having a baby the natural way, even if she was going to be a single mother. The issue was that a hotshot doctor on the fourth floor had an experimental trial that could potentially remove the tumor without surgery, but by the end of that very day parts of her reproductive track had collapsed on her colon, so surgery was needed anyway. Fail.

So there you have it. Oceanside Wellness gets its business from morons.

Hello, Audra. It is I, Grant Show. Ive come to ask you to join me and Lana Perilla at a key party. Jack Davenport and Molly Parker will be there. Maybe even Miriam Shor. Wont you join us?

Hello, Audra. It is I, Grant Show. I've come to ask you to join me and Lana Perilla at a key party. Jack Davenport and Molly Parker will be there. Maybe even Miriam Shor. Won't you join us?

So what’s been going on other than idiotic clients? Pete’s former and now regained lover (Jayne Brook) started working at a free clinic, but had some of her clients come to Oceanside (because it’s awesome), where she started allowing abortions. Naomi, being the owner of the fertility clinic, refused the procedure to be done under her roof (which I think is actually an offense worthy of a steep fine in California), but then relented. Violet started dating fourth floor psychiatrist (Brian Benben from HBO’s gloriously filthy comedy Dream On, an actor who once told Letterman in the early 90s that Brian Benben was just his stage name, and his real name was Brian Benbenbenbenben…), but then he couldn’t get it up so they broke up. Violet then made out with Pete, leading to presumed bitchin’ sex. Addison’s brother (Grant Show from Swingtown, which you should buy on DVD right now) came into town and banged Naomi, and then Sam punched him in the face. Cooper and Charlotte broke up because she lied to him about starting up the fourth floor competing practice, and then had a false pregnancy scare. Addison is still taking care of her injured S.W.A.T. boyfriend. Dell loves his young daughter.

That’s about it.

And Cooper uttered one of the most unique sentences I’ve heard in a good long while:

“Oooooh…unlimited spanikopita!”