And I know I'm usually an avowed aetheist but I'm going agnostic on this, for whatever arrangement of the planets that gets me out here once a month so I'm away from Team Annoying and I get to sleep in, watch telly, have breakfast, stroll down to the bus stop, get a bus, get a seat, get to work just half an hour later, in my old building, on my old floor, doing as near as dammit my old job. Bliss.
I know it's really just an arrangement of things. Like this being my Dad's old work, only different address and different name, but as near as dammit, and thus the old house is perfectly placed for the buses going this way, catching them at a civilised hour, at a civilised pace. And the work? In this day and age I should be able to roll out the updates automatically, and last year I could, but enter Miss Management and her bizarro backwards tech and now I have to spend a day out here a month doing the updates by hand, server by server. I should be annoyed, from a professional wtf pov, but I enjoy this far too much. This is meant to be a punishment. I am far too contrary, I enjoy my close to buses and shops exile (not to mention the bliss of just coding without being screamed at). And yes, I am working, I'm just waiting for Person B to upload my shit to the test server cause I don't have access, because that'd just be too sensible.
Anyhoo, White Collar, eps 1.13 and 1.14, I think, whatever (I can never do episode titles), the old diplomat's kidnapped daughter plot (wot, no wrecking ball for extra perilness?), a plot so old and creaky I remember when it used to wear flares and wide collars, and the one where Neal gets his shirt off (was there a plot to go with that gratuitous piece of gratuitousness? Not that I'm complaining mind, oh, heavens, no).
Despite some disappointments with the overiding arc (so over the whole Kate, Alex, Fowler, music box thing and if they're trying to do something illuminati that's like so 2005 or whatever) I think the episodes are finally starting to click, really click, though I still could do with some more demonstrable evidence of this great love Neal professes for Peter, because I'm not sure I entirely buy the whole 'you're the one, the only one' speeches when Neal spends the whole episode running around behind Peter's back and putting Peter (and worse, his family and friends) in real peril. If Neal is going to be that high maintenance then maybe Peter ought to cut him loose. (But then again, he is so pretty and fun).
That's what I think now, though. At the time I was all oh noes!!! and little Neal is all teary and will we ever know what he was going to say to Peter? It'd be cool if we never did. Personally, "Cancel my subsciption", "the sex toys are yours" or "I think I left the stove on" have wandered to the top of my playlist. Like I said, I should have done this earlier, now I'm just being silly and am no longer having the vapours over young Mr Bomer. At the time I was all for Neal turning back and staying, just cause. How very unCasablanca it would be of him. It'd be nice, though, if he chose Peter above somebody else, just the once, just to show he could.
So, the diplomat's kidnapped daughter one (a plot so old and creaky I just can't watch it without thinking of Funky Squad and their wicked pisstake of it). Well, way to drop a few bits about the job that originally got Neal in this fix, and, dare I say it, was that remorse I saw in Neal there, actual messy remorse rather than the undoing of professional pride at job he was caught on, though considering the amount of boasting he was doing about the bitchin' bonds he forged, I suspect the professional pride is still intact and impervious, it was having to face someone he'd ripped off again, that was the kicker. Just a mild spot of social embarrassment, then. Something akin to all those accusation in RTD Doctor Who about always running forward, never daring to look back. There's a bit of that in Neal, but, to be honest, he spends so much time bragging about the good old days it's hard to make a real case for it. This newly spung conscience thing, it's a work in progress, obviously (and it's kind of hard to make a case for character growth and development when the writing tends to the episodic, a lot of hitting of reset buttons on this show).
And, again with the reset button, you'd think Neal would appreciate Peter more considering the taste he gets of being roughly handled by other less caring and sharing Feds, but nope (at least, not on the evidence of the episode that followed), but the adversaries of the week, one from Peter's side and one from Neal's, did make their limited interaction cute and, oh, the chemistry and I just wish they'd do the whole buddy cop thing more. Sigh. (I saw a brief one par in EW about the highlight of WC being the budding bromance which made up for the paint by numbers plots, which bemused, that's another vote for more bromance, please).
And what is it with the people Neal has hooked up with, cause I know, (dis)honour among thieves and all that but is there anyone he hasn't burnt so badly that they really, really want him to hurt? (Right up there with Michael Westen on the how to win friends and influence people books). Peter, take note. Either Neal, incredibly, for an allegedly astute guy, has absolutely no sense when it comes to hooking up with folks (pretty much proven), or he burns them so badly only revenge will do (also proven). Ah well, the Mavericks were always doing over, and getting done by their mates as well (quite viciously and venally at times).
I mean, just the other day Bart was involved with a caper that involved counterfeiting and bankrobbery and he left three corpses in his hotel room but none of that mattered so long as he got his cut of the stake at the end, split with an ex showgirl, ex counterfeiter, ex at the end.
Anyway, we had cocky Neal tasered in van, which actually didn't seem to ruffle him all that much, but the guns did (oh, hello to the quivering untold backstory), and it made it more interesting to see the boy under pressure and actually giving a damn. Peter got to be all concerned and he tried so hard to pat Neal on the head and set him on the right path, but it just wasn't enough (vis the next ep). I wonder just how patient Peter will be with these constant betrayals of trust, because, to me, it demonstrates a lack of respect and a lack of friendship, but Neal isn't real good at the whole friendship thing, and seems to get far more than he gives (and gets away with it far more than he should, because he's so damn pretty).
I mean, I want to see the boys together, I really do, but Neal has to seriously ease up on the lying and duplicity or he's really going to start to look like a douche.
But that's just me, today. I don't have a problem with my other tv bad boys doing the whole lyin'. cheatin', back stabbin' thing. And I suppose the whole never knowing if Neal is going to do the right thing or the wrong thing, or the wrong thing for the right reasons or the wrong thing for his own selfish reasons gives the the show its jeopardy, but still...
I dunno, I've gotten interrupted so often trying to write this I'm all over the place. Matty was very pretty in the faux vintage suits. It was an old favourite plot (much lampooned though it may be, and where was the hysterical mother, as used to be tradition?). There were some very nice moments. And did I mention Matty was very pretty?
The finale. Oh dear. Okay, there was sex object Matty, which was very nice indeed (though I feel a bit bad for Matt but hey, it's his job to sell himself so whatever). There was that bloody music box, though I did like the heist. Nothing near as clever as anything I've seen on Hustle, Leverage, Maverick or The Saint, but I liked it nevertheless, cause I finally got to see Neal doing some of this art thieving which he swears he's good at (but which we'd rarely ever seen - it was a huge flaw with Remington Steele, too, all hat and no cattle), and just for a moment there was a tiny breath of Bryce in the character, which I liked a lot. I'd actually to see Neal being less of a lying ratbag to Peter and more tricksy and clever and doing naughty things for Peter that'd never stand up in court (I've seen enough L&O to know all about fruit of a poisonous tree) but it'd be cooler, somehow, and I really did enjoy finally seeing Neal in full flight, as were, as it had been a bit all tell and no show as Neal brags about jobs but if he ever pulled them off, he did it off screen, which is no fun. I mean, you always get to see Michael Westen pull his stunts, not be told about them later (unless there's been a budget blowout - grin).
Btw, in the Chuck pilot, which just tripped and fell into the dvd player the other night, I think there's a poster for North By Northwest up inone of the snes. So not seeing any influence that film might have had on Chuck, no sir. Ahem.
Back to WC. That ending, well, I'd been a bit spoiled (despite my best efforts) and I bet they ruin it when they pick up again, but it certainly was cliffhangery, though since lunch, when I walked into a shop and they were playing the old Sarah Mac, I've suddenly remembered where I'd seen something like before, only better, I think, and that was Due South.
But it sounds like I didn't like it, I did. Very much so. Okay, I'm going to have to leave this and come back to it later.
WED: Okay, had to leave off. My wonderful day yesterday rapidly became unwonderful and I got tired, real tired. And I was wrong. It wasn't Due South at all. It was Get Smart. Saw the WC finale played out, beat for beat, right down to the exploding girlfriend. Heh.
Yes, everything stops in the house for a Hymie episode. Which meant of course I was faffing about during Top Gear but it couldn't be helped though. The Peanut Gallery ducked and covered when they mentioned Constable, but you weren't there for my Constable rant the other day. Sufficed to say I'm a touch over Constable at this precise moment (it went something along the lines of if I see one more snotty brat or some effing mangy animal near some poxy piddling waterway I WILL SCREAM...so you can imagine when they flashed up the Hay Wain on Top Gear. Just when you thought it was safe, eh?).
I dunno why, but I just seem to have reached my capacity with Constable. Ditto any painting that dares to show me scruffy peasants milling in the foreground of fictional crumbling ruins, and I'm waning with regard to high Victorian beach parties, too. Gallery fatigue, I've invented a new complaint. And haystacks? Don't get me started on haystacks...
Crikey. Either I'm having a rough week (true), or the PMS is kicking in for the whole effing month now. It'd probably help if I slept but I'm up all night scribbling away, and, as it's been years and years and years I'm inclined to let myself carry on, and so what if it's rubbish, at least it's better than just work, work, work. But man, I'm tired. Like crazy tired. Helps with the fic but precious little else.
Oh, and I don't think I'm getting the Brit List done until the weekend. I've got stuff happening all over the place and I meant to crack on last night but I came home in such a state the other day I just curled up and watched a cracking episode of Primeval. Yes, it's just chasing dinosaurs, but this was just a fantastic, tick all the boxes shit yeah we're being chased by monsters romp and it cheered me up so yay.
I think I set myself up too much with my cargo cult expectations of my grand day, well, not out, but it was meant to be close enough but it was just one thing after another and my hoped for big shopping lunchbreak was curtailed so far that it became a game show challenge just to run around trying to get a third of what was on my list and getting none. One store was entirely devoid of staff so I couldn't buy anything (they appear to be experimenting with a 'leave your money on the fridge' system of commerce), there was no magazines to be had (that I wanted, we've skipped an issue again and I am extraordinarily and unreasonably filthy about that) and everything was just in the too hard/too far basket so that was unfun and I got tired and miserable and sigh.
And it started so well, what with the White Collar and all.
So, White Collar. I forgot to mention, with the wine ponce episode, with Peter grousing about the tie, does this mean Neal is dressing him now? That's so cute. Yes, it was for a cover, but my point stands: Neal picked out the clothes and Peter wore them. Heh.
I think there should be more of that, because I do think it's unfair that Peter is made to appear so dowdy next to Neal. I know it's because Neal is a preening peacock, but still, it doesn't present Mr Dekay to his best advantage, imho.
But, re the finale, I am sorry to see the friendship between the two boys strained. I wonder Neal's rejection of Peter's friendship, his hopes for Neal, his rejection of Peter's own life and values. I worry about the way Neal seems to burn through friends, and yet can appear so needy at times, even if he's just fishing for appreciation of his cleverness. I wonder at how many real relationships Neal has had, or imagines he's had, when he's willing to throw everything away for an idea of love that everyone else can see has no basis in fact. I guess it's that whole romantic thing, and I use it in the 19thC sense, with that whole doomed romance, a romance that exists mainly in his head with precious little interaction. Neal was the proverbial prince in the tower, the whole deal, with his four year stint, I suppose, so he fits the bill for falling for the idea rather than the fact, like some tragic Arthurian maid. And how long had been hooked up with Kate when he was nabbed? Did she ruin his game, like a biblical hussy, or betray him, like a biblical hussy? Did she betray Neal to Peter? That'd track, but I hope not, because it'd make Peter less clever and it'd ruin everything between Peter and Neal that Kate hasn't already ruined.
Damn, just on a roll, but it's time for another meeting...
Okay, where was I? Rather big of Peter to still want Neal to stay after the demolition job Neal just did on Peter's life. Don't give me that Neal didn't know what would happen, he's not an eejit, he was playing a dangerous game and he must have known something was likely to happen, but he didn't even warn Peter, he just went ahead and did it (that boy, all ID and reward).
And is Peter's desire for Neal to stay wholly altruistic, wanting to set the wayward boy on the straight and narrow, even though the very idea apparently causes Neal great emotional and spiritual distress (there's a whole 'nother post brewing that would bring in The Prisoner and the like, if we weren't up to the wtf episodes on Fox Classics)? What's in it for Peter, exactly, aside from the pleasure of Neal's company? I've heard something about Peter having an agenda, but I'd rather not have Peter be anything but a good cop, if it's all the same to anyone.
That said, I know some folks have a problem bigging up the bromance because Peter is married, and apparently happily so (though it sure looked a touch strained of late, thanks again, Neal), and he'd never ever look elsewhere. But then we have Peter constantly, and always on account of Neal, pushed into situation where he has to play up and get flirty just to maintain a cover. So, is it just a consequence of hanging out with Neal, or is Neal testing Peter over and over until he stops being squeamish, and, which, I note, he's getting a lot less squeamish, certainly with the wine auction house strumpet.
Not to mention that there's a great many things Peter thought he'd probably never, ever do before he met Neal, like lie, steal, cheat, interfere with evidence and crime scenes, cover up, blackmail and shoot another agent. All these things Peter has done in the name of Neal. I wonder if Peter ever stops to take stock, asks himself is it worth it, asks himself who he is becoming and if he wants to be that person, because as much as Peter wants to nake a good citizen of Neal, I think Neal's instruction in the dark side has been far more effective. Peter is pretty extraordinarily compromised by Neal by now, and anyone one, including Neal, can use that against him.
Not that the show is ever that dark, but I seem to be watching the fall of a good man as much as the redemption of an amoral one. I don't think Neal is evil, bad or wrong, he's just operating to his own limited set of morals rather than within the wider family of social expectations as a whole. Neal's operating on this whole "want, take, have" thing, and he must have been bouncing around the world for a good portion of his young life because he really just doesn't get this whole duty, respect and friendship thing, at least, not on the evidence, not even in abstract. It's still all about what Neal wants, and that's a bit selfish, no matter how you slice it.
I mean, I understand the attraction of a very pretty, charming man, oh, I do, and I fully understand the sort of shit you'll put up with just to stay in their orbit, to feel special, chosen, lucky and all that, but handsome is as handsome does and a ratbag is a ratbag and it'll all end in tears and yes, dammit, I am watching the finale with my bad boyfriends blinkers on but I promise, the moment I meet a fellow who doesn't make my skin crawl or who isn't delightful but very, very gay, I'll stop regarding all men as duplicitious, selfish man sized toddlers with the moral compass of ameoebas, and I apologise to all upstanding amoebas thus slighted by my cruel generalisations.
Anyhoo, this picture, triangle much? Or am I just looking at it wrong? It sure says triangle to me.
Thursday: Damn. Robert Culp. Damn. You may or may not be aware that I adored Kelly Robinson (and any other version of Kelly that subsequently appeared in too many shows to mention over the years), really adored him, adored I Spy so much to the extent that I trailed around locations in Hong Kong, Tokyo and San Francisco, and, well, damn. This is distressing.
So you're spared any more White Collar wiffle as I mourn my beloved Kelly Robinson. I Spy, one of the original buddy shows, one of those buddy shows that set the bar, a bar so high that few shows have ever reached it (oh, the tight accommodation budget of whatever agency they worked for, how I loved it). It was the coolest show over. It outdid Bond for locations (watch it and weep, Chuck), it outdid MacGyver with stunts like the fish bomb (watch and weep, Burn Notice). Angst, bromance, silliness, the Sixties in all their full colour glory, super villains, the world's tighest trousers - you name it, it had it.
Oh, Kelly, Kelly. I'm gonna miss ya. Well, it's Robert I'm gonna miss. Kelly Robinson, well, he lives forever, forever travelling the planet fighting the good fight, in very tight trousers, and never once playing tennis - grin.
Meanwhile, I can't believe it, I'm nearly halfway through another notebook. Those boys, they're off and running, they won't shut up and I'd never want them to. There's even a plot, of some sort, though entirely unoriginal, and I freely admit it. I should feel bad for my multiple plagerisms, but we'll just call it a homage or a mashup and, dammit, it works. So often I've stalled to a dead stop searching for inspiration or something original, and considering what I've been writing, why on eath would I even bother? Anyway, White Collar's terrible unoriginality has given me permission, if you like, to just smash and grab. Whenever I get stuck I just think of where I want to go next, and if I have to borrow a snippet of this show or that book, so be it, because then I'm off racing again. It just works. So yes, I'm borrowing from The Saint, The Persuaders, James Bond and Maverick and yes, even I Spy, but it gets it done, and I'm onto part three already (sorry, only time to write, no time to type), though I must point out that I started reading Casino Royale because I had a significant section set in a casino (ahem, inspired by The Saint) and I thought it couldn't hurt. It hasn't. Nor is it hurting the boys, because I'm not using that scene, I swear, as much as I feel Neal richly deserves it. Heh, maybe later. Oh Neal, my dear, are we sitting comfortably? Good, then I'll begin...
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