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Spoilers abound!

NCIS: Original Flavor

- Tim is looking very smokin' lately. Just sayin'.

- That whole bomb scene = <3. Tim and Tony's little "Look, don't die, okay?" bit is perfect. I love the proud look Gibbs gives Tim when he digs in his heals and then makes with the calm banter after the bomb does not go boom. I also love that the bomb not going boom was actually an accident.

- I love that Ziva quietly, competently sums up the sketchy side of this show's approach to civil rights. For me, it's one of those moments that makes the entire show turn on a dime, just by virtue of acknowledging that they are aware of exactly what they're doing, and what it means in a larger context. For the record, Ziva remains one of my favorite female characters ever. I think this is largely because who she is is not defined by her gender, while still being influenced by it. She's written as a person (which is still a hell of a lot rarer than it should be) and for all that they may have some issues with their characterization of certain personality types of women, when the NCIS writers are on, they are on.

- Speaking of those issues, though: OMG whoever it is in the writing room that has decided that Gibbs goes for "feisty" women, please stop. Just, stop. You keep writing these characters to be foils to Gibbs, which is great in theory, and their actions are really commendable, for the most part, and yet... Every last one of them makes me want to smack them a good one upside the head for a large percentage of their screen time. Jenny, Lt. Mann, and now Lawyer Lady Whose Name I Am Too Lazy to Look Up... All of them. Lawyer Lady is smart! She is tenacious! She is calling everybody on their bullshit! I should be rooting for her really hard and yet still with the slapping urge. I think what it comes down to is that she suffers from the same crappy writing that her predecessors did, with the thing where she isn't allowed to acknowledge her mistakes or doubts, and where her motivations are less about people than principle. They keep trying to write women who are a match for Gibbs, and they get the ass-kicking mentality down okay, but they leave out the vulnerability that makes Gibbs interesting. (Well, except for Lt. Mann, who kind of had the opposite problem, to me. She was solid on paper, but came off as really more bluster than badass in practice. *shrug* YMMV, of course.)

We don't like Gibbs just because he tells the rules to go fuck off when he feels it's necessary; we like him because he is singularly motivated by doing what he feels is right. We also, and this is the important part, like that he takes every failure very, very hard. He's an arrogant son of a bitch, in his own way, but it isn't about ego, and it isn't all that he is. He has depth.

I want Lawyer Lady to have acknowledged that doing things the way she wanted them to could have lead to many deaths. (Because, seriously, that could have gone down very, very ugly, even with them chucking civil liberties by the wayside for a little while. They all got lucky, several times over.) I want her to be torn by the results of playing by the rules, but absolutely clear that the alternative is worse. I want her to be as clearly motivated by moral code as Gibbs, rather than reliant on this weird dogma.

There is so much room to work with the general outline of her. It would be amazing if they could introduce a character who is both completely against our crew and still one of the good guys. I would love a foil for him who champions the importance of the law, who holds it up as not just a mess that gets in the way, but a protective force. I would adore a clever, adversarial relationship that I can buy leading to more. I want someone real, instead of someone plucky. It's kind of sad that they keep reinventing the exact same wheel.

What confuses me is that these characters seem to be created to be wrong in the face of Gibbs' rightness, but they also feel like they're supposed to be sympathetic, or at least incredibly alluring. I get the sense that whoever is behind this actually really likes these women, and expects the audience to as well, but takes that part for granted. Stop assuming I'm on board with the love, here. Show them being awesome, okay?

"Feisty" does not mean you have to be forceful and wrong, show. Write me a character that is confident and driven and not played as a caricature, and then we'll talk. I know you can do it. Ziva and Abby are proof of this.

Um. I'm done ranting now.

And now for something completely different:  NCIS: LA

- Wow. They really do play up the gay more and more all the time, don't they? *blinks*

- We now know that G Callen has a healthy gag reflex. I... You know, the jokes just write themselves. For extra bonus fun, watch Sam's (or LL Cool J's - I can't really tell if that was breaking character or not) face during that whole scene. He clearly finds this hilarious.

- Can we have more of Sam in danger and Callen silently losing his shit while pretending not to be losing his shit, please? Because that was a little bit of awesome. The question about the vaccinations was great, and the conversation with Kensi was nicely played.

- Speaking of that conversation: I love that the ghost of Dom was there, and that his name was never mentioned. I don't know whether that was played as written or whether Daniela Ruah is just that good, but somebody deserves kudos.

- And speaking of Dom: The start of this episode seems to imply that they are going to eventually have another agent join the mix. I'm really hoping they're smart enough not to do that, since the whole point of ditching Dom was that they had more cast members than they knew what to do with. *sigh*

- "We've been together longer than most married couples in this town." More and more all the time, folks.

- I have noticed it before, but is anybody else amused by the fact that this version of LA must be the size of a postage stamp, given how fast everybody gets from Point A to Point B? I mean, I know they're a super secret agency offshoot with really cool toys, but I didn't know they had Star Trek-style transporter tech. (And now I kind of want to see the scene where Hettie reveals that one to the crew. Sam's technojoy would be beautiful.)

- What's that flying through the foodcourt? Is it a bird? A plane? No, it's a giant Seal-shaped mother hen! SuperSam to the rescue! *g*

White Collar

- Eee. This entire episode made me squeak with squeaky joy.

- June! Hi, June! You are so cool, and I love it every time you show up.

- Breakfast! That whole scene is grin-worthy, from the total lack of respect for the door to the fact that Elizabeth just calmly offers a bowl. I love that Peter drops the grumbling in about half a second when Neal turns serious, because Peter totally knows when to play with Neal and when to listen.

- I love Elizabeth's giggle attack at Peter having to break out the Mad Flirting Skillz. I love that I honestly thought they were going to go the insecure jealous wife route, and then they took a left turn at Albuquerque. I'm a little less amused that they did eventually go there, but the sweetness of the Peter-picks-up-El scene wins me back again.

- I love Mozzie being quiet and a little heartbroken when things go wrong.

- HighAsAKite!Neal is unadulteratedly adorable and hilarious. He sings! He talks to inanimate objects! He never did pick up that scotch he ordered in the tennis club scene, and it's totally my personal canon that Neal keeps a very, very tight rein on his use of inhibition-lowering substances, because he knows what he's like drunk and it just never ends well. There is table dancing and karaeoke, people. It's not... well, okay, it is a pretty sight, but there are cameras in phones now and blackmail is a dirty thing.

- Peter freaking out with worry just about made the ep for me. Even if we didn't get the super panic that the promo promised (and wow, that's a lot of accidental alliteration), I'm kind of thrilled with the way it went. They have code words! The fact that Neal might go back to prison isn't just a disappointment anymore. Peter's way beyond that stage, and into actual fear.

- Elizabeth continues to be awesome. Full stop.

- And then there was the "No, really, you're kind of it for me" confession in the board room and the Head Pet of Helpless Affection and I uttered actual obscenities of glee. I am not in the least surprised that Peter would break the law for Neal, but Neal clearly is, and just... aw. Seriously, this show. *squishes*

Date: 2010-02-03 10:44 pm (UTC)
ext_1175: (Colin/Bradley)
From: [identity profile]
We now know that G Callen has a healthy gag reflex.

Oh my god. *dies*

Date: 2010-02-04 01:11 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I know, right? I mean, just... gag reflex. There go all those 'deepthroats like a pro' fics. *sigh*

But then, wait, apparently he's been exposed to the toxin, so... Since we're going by TV science rules, he should be temporarily affected just a little bit. I am sure this would require further investigation. In the name of science, of course. (And now I sort of want the fic where Sam uses bad bj pickup lines to mask his attempts to check that Callen really isn't going to keel over. *g*)

Date: 2010-02-03 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For extra bonus fun, watch Sam's (or LL Cool J's - I can't really tell if that was breaking character or not)

Was that awesome or what? I adore Sam. Or LL Cool J. Or both. He was totally cracking up.

I get the impression the cast adores Linda Hunt. They all have this look of utter fondness in every scene with her.

As for White Collar, hell yes, that show gets more and more fabulous with each ep. Stoned Neal was utterly adorable, and the head pat, aw, Peter! You find stoned Neal adorable, too, don't you?

I also loved the scene with Elizabeth giggling. As for the magic hands, I still got the impression she was teasing him, but being just a bit snarkier about it. Which also rocked.

Also, Mozzie, in the hospital. Hee!

Date: 2010-02-04 01:28 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I adore Sam. Or LL Cool J. Or both.

Sam is like my favorite cuddly monkey of Star Trek-loving deadly Seal-ness, and LL Cool J... Some of the stuff he just randomly quotes in interviews is insane (and, frankly, incredibly hot). He just comes off as a genuinely fascinating, good guy (who happens to be built like a god). *g*

Stoned Neal was utterly adorable

It's his secret superpower. Can you imagine if he figured out how to be both genuinely stoned and still on the make? The world would tremble. (And then pat him on the head, because who wouldn't?)

Also, Mozzie, in the hospital. Hee!

Ahaha! I forgot about that. The "Yippeekayay!" cracked me up like crazy.

I still got the impression she was teasing him

Hm. I have to go watch it again. Oh, the hardship. *g*

Date: 2010-02-04 04:10 am (UTC)
ext_3572: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
NCIS! Yes, Ziva = <3333333333 forever oh man. I love her so so hard.

And also ditto on everything you say about the women who are Gibbs's foil. I don't even know why I find them all so slappable, but. Yeah. I honestly cannot figure out if we're meant to find them likable - the only way I could understand Jenny Shepard at all was that some of the writers really didn't like her, and were sabotaging her character. But. Yeah, I dunno.

Gnine's been urging me to watch White Collar for a while - first by saying how gay it was, and now she's switched over to talking about CUTEST MARRIED COUPLE+OT3 ever, knowing how weak I am to cute married couples and OT3s. Maybe when I'm done Buffying...

Date: 2010-02-04 04:49 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Ziva is amazing, and that's just all there is to it. *g*

I honestly cannot figure out if we're meant to find them likable

Yeah. I'm frequently very bewildered. I'm just chalking it up to a disconnect between writer(s) and audience. I think I'd be okay with the idea that Gibbs is just perpetually attracted to this personality type, if they didn't also seem to be insisting that I like them. I honestly don't think Jenny was originally supposed to be disliked at all, but somewhere along the way they figured out that she just wasn't catching on, and had to do something. Ironically, I kind of felt like the way they wrote her at the very end there finally hit the note they should have been taking with her all along. I respected her, even if I still wasn't sure I liked her.

Gnine's been urging me to watch White Collar for a while

DOOOO IIIIIT. White Collar makes me flail. I am not an OT3-er by nature, being boring and conventional and generally prone to monogamous OTPs, but this show converts even me. Neal and Peter and Elizabeth are all adorable and smart and so good together, and really there is no one on this show that I don't like. It's very typical of USA Network, with this emphasis on characters and team-y goodness, and capers going on around it all. I'm trying to spoil as little as I can, so I'll just say that this show is so much love. :)

Date: 2010-02-04 05:31 am (UTC)
ext_3572: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I occasionally see anti-Ziva sentiments about, and I can't even get outraged or argue against them because I'm just left going "h-how???"

Heh, I OT+ because I'm an OTPer who can't stand love triangles, so OT3 (or more) becomes my default solution. But sometimes I'm more passionate about it than others, and White Collar sounds like it would be one of those. USA does have a bead on delightful chars; Psych and Burn Notice have been regulars for a while, so adding a new one couldn't hurt...

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