Grey's Anatomy - 17 Seconds Another impressive episode - I find it hard to understand why I resisted this show for so long: I suppose it is a general antipathy to medical shows that are not Nip/Tuck. Katie Heigl's big break-down scene was so intense that I had to put the DVD on hold and go and walk up and down stairs for five minutes - she has become an impressive actress since Roswell days. I am completely on board with the idea that McDreamy should be eaten by bears, preferably mashed, on toast; I found myself loving Meredith all over again when she said 'you don't get to call me a whore' and the way that she and Addison, the two women in love with this spoiled brat of a man, sometimes bond for seconds.
Talking of Addison, I was meh! about the material establishing the spinoff show in last week's US episodes. I shall certainly give the show a go, because Kate Walsh is a goddess, but I am not entirely convinced. As far as I am concerned, the whole point of the show is that, with her in LA, jennyo will be able to write her into Nip/Tuck fic as the Kimberspawn's obstetrician.
Ugly Betty Inevitably, I have some reservations about Alexis, not because she is a quasi-villainess, because hey! I know plenty of trans people who have done worst shit than that, but because they sometimes sentimentalize her pain a bit and indulge her sense of entitlement. On the other hand I absolutely loved and identified the vague awkwardness about having sex with new bits for the first time, and her intense vulnerability in the face of betrayal by the first person she sleeps with. I remember that gawky sense of oneself as suddenly plunged in one's thirties back into adolescence and the terrible fear that it was all going to go wrong, all over again. I now officially hate Wilhelmina for what she has done to Alexis and to Clare; there is a character I won't be cutting any slack for ever again.
Heroes I am still entirely impressed by this show and the way that it recycles old old superhero tropes and makes them new all over again. As for last night's US episode 'The Hard Way'I note with interest the way everyone is disagreeing as to whether the scene between Sylar and his mother, the snow globes and the big knife is reminiscent of 1. Edward Scissorhands 2. Citizen Kane or 3. Carrie. My guess is that the writers are smart enough that it is a complex quasi-punning reference to all three; this is what I mean by 'a thick text', children.
Rome is another show where everyone else was right, and I was wrong. Blame it on the BBC. It has some of the most shockingly violent scenes I have ever seen - the arena scene in Season One is staggering and yet hardly gratuitous as a reminder of how alien these people that seem like us some of the time are, and they managed to make the assassination of Caesar matter all over again even though one has known all the way through the show that it was coming. Season Two is patchier, perhaps, but I was amazingly impressed by one scene. Pulo, the working class legionary character, is sent by Octavian to kill Cicero - the old politician recognizes that he has played the game of betrayal one time too many and is perfectly polite to his executioner, who is deferential back. Cicero is flattered that Octavian has sent a famous stone killer to take care of him - he knows who Pulo is from the aforementioned arena scene - and Pulo asks permission before picking all of Cicero's peaches. Afterwards, Pulo says that Cicero was a pleasant enough man 'less stuck up than you'd think'; which is the epitaph we would all want from our assassins. I also loved the Lets Kill Cicero children's picnic, and the almost random mislaying of Cicero's letter to Brutus.
One thing which works surprisingly well, and which I am not convinced that Americans fully understood, is the way that the Roman criminal classes, while resembling the Corleones in all sorts of ways, are completely Sarf London and EastEnd crims; one of the ganglords entertainingly disapproves of Mark Antony's funeral oration in the following terms -'It's a fahkin Consular funeral, innit? Nah fahkin respect.' Totally incongruous and totally right.
Talk of mega-violence should bring me to Grindhouse but that, I think, is a post for another day.