That was Sunday. Saturday I'm afraid, being very hot and very humid, and me being a bit wobbly, was limited to catching up on a week's worth of papers and a weeks worth of tv, but at least the papers went in the recycling and the IQ had some stuff deleted so that's sort of like housekeeping, right? I know, I have so much stuff to be cracking on with, but it was such a lethargic day. It's really hard to crack on with anything when it's that sticky and breathless. I know, excuses, excuses, but there it is.
Cracking episode of Dollhouse, though. It kind of turned into the Faith and Wes show and it was wonderful and I always said there should have been so much more Faith and Wes in Angel and now I know I was right about that. Actually, there were a lot of the usual suspects popping up in the episode, and while it felt like Dollhouse for Dummies at times (let me explain, underline, demonstrate, explain, watch this powerpoint presentation, have you got it yet, let me repeat and restate the main points yet again) I was willing to let it slide just for the joy of seeing Faith and Wes again, just for a moment.
Too bad the show got trashed, because when it's good it's really good. And I never tire of seeing Ballard do his Bodie thing in his Bodie gear. Is it just me, or is his outfit just so Bodie? Just me, huh? Oh well.
And for those of you complaining about Neal in the grey turtleneck on White Collar, well, I just sat through an hour of Leo McKern in a grey turtleneck in The Prisoner, so quit your whining. And poor Leo, apparently he threw himself into the role so much he was carried off on a stretcher and spent months in hospital. Pace yourself, man, and was it worth it, because it was another wtf episode. The Peanut Gallery snipped that in the 60s actors/writers didn't need minders to keep them away from drink, drugs or prozzies but they did need to be kept well away from experimental theatre, because this episode, like a great many late 60s tv SF atrocities (cf the Web Planet, the Empath), played out like that awful experimental theatre that they're still doing out here. There's another hour of my life I'm not getting back.
I did watch back last week's Burn Notice, and remember how I said the only accent American tv does worse than an Irish accent is an Australian one? Yep. And I think the actors were all Kiwis, in fact, there's been a lot of Kiwis lately, including some of the Oirish the other week. Anyway, the main point being cringe! And ouch! But it was good to see Sugar back again, I kind of have a weird soft spot for Sugar, the drug dealer with the heart of.
Re-watched episodes 101 and 102 of White Collar, American versions thereof, because there was some detail that I kept felt I was missing out on. I was struck about how completely all over each other Neal and Peter are from the get go, it's kinda cute (especially in one scene where Peter is so checking out Neal's, well, he's checking out Neal, and right in front of El, too). Poor El, complaining about competing with Neal for years (and coming off a poor second, by the sound of it), but being very stoic. And, episode one and Neal is already introducing the idea of Peter as adulterer, specifically with a co-worker. And since the best lies are always more truth than lie...hmmm.
Other things that jumped out at me this time around was Neal having spent his time researching everything there was to know about Peter, including sending him birthday cards, which the first time around was ever so cute but this time felt kinda of stalky and sinister, because of the sort of research Neal does for any job I took it this time as a know your enemy thing. And as adorable as the boys are together, and despite Neal proposing the whole deal to Peter and seeming to be a willing and happy participant, behind Peter's back he is immediately trying to get the tag off and working on his own project, namely Kate (though Peter must know about all this, surely), and hooking up with the old fraternity, which surely would have or should have been a conditon of his parole, the no clandestine meetings with old associates clause.
Also, loved Neal's cell in the prison. Lots of stuff, for a max security prisoner. Shows his ability to scrounge and smuggle? And we get to see a frustrated and distressed Neal throw his first tanty when he scours out his calendar and smashes the light in an absolute fit of despair before marking off the first day of his new sentence on the other wall. This is not a boy who does capitivity well. Peter really needs to give him the there's no such thing as perfect freedom speech, because what Neal is chasing is an illusion. With a slightly dangerous and unhinged vibe, too, at rare moments.
The bit were Neal shows the old letter from Kate that comments on their being watched by the FBI before Neal was arrested, well, at first I thought it was Peter, we're meant to think that, surely, but now I'm pretty sure it was Fowler and crew. Was Neal set up by Kate, and/or did he make a deal with OPR to get Peter (removing the only man who could catch him if he ran = true freedom)? Would Neal set up and betray Peter? I'd like to think no, but given how often Neal betrays Peter's trust in the small matters of absconding, fraternising and committing criminal acts, you'd have to think yes (and it distresses me greatly that my fic is marching off in that direction).
But that's all a bit dark for White Collar. Aside from the arc plot (and I swear if that damn music box is some secret illuminati code thing I will scream) the boys, oh, the boys. When he's not being a backstabbing sociopathic bitch Neal gives every appearance of being completely smitten with Peter, and Peter the same. There was even that cute bit where Neal bounces into Peter's office asking where they're having lunch that day. Peter has to turn him down (El wants to see him and Peter is trembling with guilt...hmmm...) and it's so cute and this means it's been lunch dates every day? Aw, sweet.
Not to mention the scene where Neal musses up Peter's suit to make him look more like a heavy in the fashion week ep. Boundaries, anyone? Nope. And by this stage Peter has completely lost all authority and control of the situation. Neal is pretty much running the whole case, even teasing Peter doing the hero thing. Poor Peter, such a puppet, and a mocked puppet at that. It'd be so cute if we could trust Neal to only use his powers for niceness, but he doesn't.
I mean, it's cute when Neal flirts and plays with Peter, but a part of me is wondering where is that alleged respect Neal is supposed to hold for Peter? Yes, Neal trusts Peter to keep up and follow his lead, but it's still following Neal's lead, but I guess it's Neal's show, so I'll just shut up now.
Oh, and in the pilot where Peter and Neal have their little chat, with all the sirens outside, it's so nice, why don't we get more of that, the boys in their own little world, and the gorgeous bit where Neal just cocks his head a little, just so he can touch Peter, or grab at the banknote crap on his shoulder, without getting his hand shot off. A bit flirty and comfortable for adversaries, but cute. Did Neal taunt and tease during the great chase? I suspect so.
So, as much I as I love the early episodes with the flirty, flirty, watching the back through the prism of the last episode, and how Neal has gone from desperate to get out of prison to desperate to get out of his contract with Peter, not to mention all the machinations, I wonder if Neal isn't playing Peter a hundred per cent, or, as I think is more likely, playing Peter but, dammit, liking him so incredibly our poor little boy is a touch conflicted about the whole thing.
Then there's the odd suggestion here and there that Peter is playing Neal, but also, dammit, loves him to bits. Oh dear, it's a switch on a switch on a switch on a switch on a switch (see Paris When it Sizzles). All this game playing though, it does come between what should be one of the cutest tv couples ever. Sigh.
Everything can be watched again completely differently from the way I first watched it. Like, is the fact that Neal remembers exactly what Peter was wearing when Peter arrested him a demonstration of love at first sightness or something Neal has filed away for his own purposes. Were the birthday cards cute or passive agggressive? Does Neal actually love, admire and respect Peter as he professes, or is he secretly seething with revenge and resentment for losing some of the best years of his life and the girl of his dreams? Or all of the above?
I was mainly just watching so I could make sure I had things right (since I wasn't paying attention enough when I first watched it, quite obviously, blinded by the pretty) like Peter was chasing Neal for three years plus his four year prison sentence equals seven years? I get confused because sometimes it sounds like thre three years and/or four years are interchangeable, or part of the sum total of the whole and, argh, I just wanted to know stuff like that bascally, Peter has been married to Elizabeth for ten years, and for seven of those he has been obssessed with Neal Caffrey (to the point where Elizabeth refers to Neal as her rival, and, oh, honey, you' don't know the half of it, or, maybe you do). Poor Lizzie (but setiously, who could compete with Neal, who, aside from being the prettiest, smartest and funnest boy on the block has probably studied all of Peter's buttons and plays them like music).
Anyway, leaving aside White Collar (so cute, but Neal does have a nasty habit of seriously burning friends and associates) and the other stuff I watched? Well, tv westerns, they just keep giving.
Supernatural, which I, personally, classify as a western, well, there was a lot of Sammy arc blah but I was just dazzled by the pretty, and I giggled when Dean ranted over why the poor rabbit always had to get it. Jensen was a treasure in this episode, everything was just spot on, perfectly times, whatever, he made me laugh. And thank goodness for the yummy Fox8 replays, it's really tided me over.
High Chap was disappointing, though it did feature Mr Montalban, playing a priest who seemed to be six parts scam artist, so it was bemusing but it all got so gosh darn earnest at the end, bleuck.
The Virginian, which I don't like, and only saw the end of, offered better value. It seemed be curiously devoid of the titular character and seemed to involve three guys vying for one ditsy chick, and, once the'd finally chosen, well, everyone seemed to couple up. Really coupled up, because we then switch to the end tag where the ditsy chick and her hero drive off waving in their buggy that proudly proclaims "Just Married", waved off by the other two guys on the train together, and it was so cute the Peanut Gallery wondered why the two boys didn't have a "Just Commitment Ceremonied" sign as well. Because, man, that's sure what it looked like.
Oh, but I forgot to tell you about Friday night's viewing. Sure, it was the second last White Collar, but the lads were up against some, ahem, stiff competition as the tv coughed up some of my very favourite boys. First, oh, first there was a Bart/Doc episode of Maverick. Squee! So cute, especially the way Doc when and put Bart's hat on for him (and the less said about the bedroom scene, heh). And so devious. Poor Bart, he'll never know if Doc really would have shot him for a very, very large sum of money. But at least Doc was up front about it, so that's something. They are still my favourite couple. Sure it's a limited canon of only half a dozen episodes, but what episodes.
Then Oz turnned up in James May's train set episode, so that was fun, too.
And finally, White Collar. Dear Neal, so put in his place, so coolly delighted, when Peter shows up (then quite chippy when Peter sasses the other Fibbie), and poor El, knowing she's not getting a word of sense from her hubby while he's pining for his puppy. Then we have seriously preening Neal, and I was right, he does consider all that flossying up as part of the tools of his trade. Then we have seriously pissed off Peter when his snookums is put in peril! Oh noes! Not that Neal seems that imperiled, still being lippy as ever (and note, another 'partner' Neal has burnt) and see how easily Neal turns on the distress, although just a bit of it wasn't acting, because he was under pressure, but still, the man is a touch mechanical in his so called human interactions. That said, Matty was looking really hot in the shirtsleeves. Ahem. Moving on...
The way Neal relises the situation was serious makes me wonder just what sort of situations the lad has found himself in, and it's one of the few times I really believe him when he announces his belief that Peter will find him.
Peter does, shawing up at the airport, to be quickly dismissed and it's suddenly the Neal and Moz show. Again. Oh well. Neal does the whole hero thing, then, after a very cute scene with Peter, slinks off to do the scuzzy behind Peter's back thing. Peter, quite rightly, is umimpressed and gives Neal a yellow card, re planning heists when on parole is pretty much a no no. Peter tries, in vain, to explain the difference between naughty and nice to Neal. Neal, child that he is, doesn't listen, or doesn't understand. Neal has his eyes on the prize and doesn't care who he tramples over to get it. Poor Peter, how very bloody heartbreaking, especially when he thought he had A Connection.
Every bit of sweet in this show in undermined by Neal being a self absorbed arsehole. I'm just saying. Doc, Bart and yes, Simon too, might have their flaws and they're all fairly shady characters but they all know right from wrong, and push comes to shove, they'll always do the right thing (or what seems the right thing at the time, watching with 21stC goggles sometimes makes the plots a bit iffy, especially in The Saint). I mean, Doc spent the latter half of the episode wrestling with ethics (to the point where the flooze wonders who this Ethics is that Doc keeps muttering about) and whether or not he could betray Bart for money he desperately needed to support his girl. I dunno, I get it with Doc, but with Neal, it just seems so much more childish, somehow. And I really don't see Neal seriously wrestling with ethics and conscience, the way Doc was. Doc damn nearly strained something working through his moral queasiness. I don't think Neal has moral queasiness. At least, not yet. Maybe it's something he has yet to learn, if he can learn it, because so far, Peter's patient tutelage seems to have borne precious little fruit.
Damn, they are so cute. Why does Neal have to be such a ratbag?
Speaking of ratbags, how's that antichrist thing going for ya, Sammy? No, I won't believe it until I see the whites of his eyes. Or should that be ywllow? Black? Whatever, Channel Ten, I trust ye not.
Weirdly, all the tv characters I sat with over the weekend seemed to be wrestling with ethics, frindship, freedom and free will (or a demonstrable lack thereof). Oooh, there was a theme. Pity I'm too far gone from uni these days to be able to say anything intelligent about it. Basically, there's no such thing as freedom, no one is truly free, no one is who they appear to be and friendship/loyalty can have a monetary value (but shouldn't).
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