Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2007 Recap: Travis Yanan's Favorite Episodes (30-21)

30. Desperate Housewives, "Now I Know, Don't Be Scared" (originally aired November 4, 2007). Hah! The Simpsons isn’t the only show on television that can run a Halloween episode in November. This episode gave us so much. Lynette is free from cancer (so long, crappy plotline!) Danielle had her/Bree’s baby (and can you imagine if you were one of the Savo kids and saw the birth from a window, on Halloween? And the guy delivering the baby was Frankenstein’s Monster?) Speaking of, we had plenty of fun costumes. Andrew as Cher (thanks to Bree, covering for the fact that neighbors thought they saw Danielle, who was supposedly out of the country). Nathan Fillion as Frankenstein’s Monster. Danielle as Bree. Mrs. McClusky, the neighborhood witch, in a witch costume… can this be an annual event on Wisteria Lane?

29. The Sopranos, "The Second Coming" (originally aired May 20, 2007). I really have little to say about this episode. My heart plunged in the backyard pool along with AJ in his (thankfully failed) suicide attempt. Also of note, Dr. Melfi’s dinner discussion with other therapists about analyzing sociopaths, and how it may in fact enable rather than rehabilitate them.

28. Brothers & Sisters, "Matriarchy" (originally aired May 20, 2007). There was almost nothing wrong with the season finale of Brothers & Sisters. Almost. I even appreciate the symmetry of the entire Walker family (sans Iraq-bound Justin, but now including McCallister, Holly Harper, and Rebecca) jubilantly jumping into the pool as a bookend to the premiere’s ending where patriarch William Walker drowned in said pool (much better use of symmetry than Shonda Rhimes saying that Meredith Grey helping Izzie out of her prom dress at the beginning of Grey’s Anatomy season three and her helping Cristina out of her wedding dress at the end was symmetry). It was all a little soured by the introduction of Senator McCallister’s extended family, which is huge and out-crazy-s the Walkers by a long shot. It wouldn’t be so terrible, but we’d just gotten a dose of “look at this other big, crazy family” a couple episodes back in “Game Night”. At least the show joking called attention to this when the Senator asked Kitty if she thought he was still electable given his family. But you have to love Kevin and Jason as the Gay Scouts / Gay Party Planning Brigade (also that they made out). And Sarah and Holly making up (despite Sarah not getting to throw a cake at her father’s ex-mistress). And Kitty and Nora’s trip to the airport, where the show actually made use of the fact that people can’t just run up to waiting gates any longer. The moment the show let us think that Justin managed to leave without seeing them was a sucker punch that was, obviously, followed by the requisite, sappy strong goodbye moment. And that’s what you have to love about this show. It wears its emotions on its sleeves in the form of smeared mascara.

27. Gossip Girl, "Hi, Society" (originally aired December 5, 2007). Oh, Gossip Girl. How could you do this to me? I get in the mood to laugh at you during America’s Next Top Model. I never laugh with you. This episode was good. And not in the “Gossip Girl is so bad it’s good” way the rest of the series has been. The story was about a Cotillion Ball and, I’m not up on my high society timetable, but if these girls are juniors in high school, shouldn’t they have already debuted? Whatever, not important. Serena doesn’t want to make her stuffy debut, but is conned into it by her grandmother, a duplicitous, lying old sag of (apparently) cancer-ridden crap. My goodness, but Grandma CeCe is evil personified. Manipulative, class-minded, age-wisened… where has she been the entire run of this show? She also manages to throw a spork in the Dan/Serena relationship (which is really no feat at all, since they seem to have minor squabbles on a weekly basis… ah, young lust). But the real revelation is that she broke up Lily, Serena’s mother, and Rufus, Dan’s father, ages ago. So this is, like, a rerun for her. She forces Lily to change Serena’s debut statement, but when Serena catches wind of the falsities about to be spewed about her at her supposed debut to high society (have you understood the pun in the title yet…?) she changes it to something wild and rebellious. And my God I was ROLFMAO at “Miss Van der Woodsen hopes to bed as many billionaires as she can…” Burn on that, Grandma CeCe. Also, Chace Crawford gets shirtless as Nate and Blair dive into pre-coital bliss. I’m still stumped as to how he didn’t know that the very vehemently virginal Blair was not a virgin when he finally got down to business. And we see that beneath his well-clothed, bad boy, rapist exterior, Chuck might just have the semblance of a heart.

26. Scrubs, "My Long Goodbye" (originally aired April 5, 2007). Scrubs is a wacky show, but I do think its best episodes come hand-in-hand with the more serious ones. For instance, “My Screw Up”. And so, we bid our goodbyes in this episode to Laverne, the nurse who always had a sassy comeback. We get some faith checking. And we get some reality instilled in our characters (the sixth season, generally, lacked far too much reality even for the wacky standards of this show).

25. House, "You Don’t Want To Know" (originally aired November 20, 2007). This episode just might go down as the fan-favorite episode of House. Not because it was the best story ever (um, “Three Stories” much?) but because, well… the patient had lupus. I had to rewind my recording about seventeen times to savor that revelation. And now, of course, I’ve ruined it for you. The patient in question was a semi-infuriating magician that Kutner and Big Love brought in (why, I’m still asking, was Kutner at a magic show with Big Love?) And, naturally, the whole episode rotated around the idea of “the reveal”. Of not showing your cards, not explaining the tricks. And, given that ultimately Thirteen made House’s team, I’m just dying to know whether or not she has Huntington’s Chorea… and I totally support and understand her decision to not know. The subplot about stealing Dr. Cuddy’s thong was also genius. Genius, I say!

24. How I Met Your Mother, "How I Met Everyone Else" (originally aired October 22, 2007). How I Met Your Mother struggled in the beginning of the season, in the wake of Ted and Robin’s break-up. But, holy heck if this episode didn’t demand a rewatch or two. The “Future Ted is narrating form the year 2030, he has a pretty damn good memory” problem was given a tip of the hat in the form of Ted’s date of the episode, the forgotten “Blah Blah”. They met of World of Warcraft. Ted’s character is a scantily-clad female. This episode gave us Barney’s Vicky Mendoza Hot-Crazy scale, some nice continuity fill-ins (um, did you read the title?), and “eating a sandwich” as a kid-friendly euphemism for “smoking a joint”.

23. Grey's Anatomy, "Walk On Water" (originally aired February 8, 2007). I’ve previously been able to discuss my feelings on the infamous Ferry Crash three-parter. So I won’t embellish here (no, “Some Kind of Miracle” does not have a place on this list). This episode’s non-ferry shenanigans revolve around the Chief’s bad hair dye job (shudder) and Cristina’s inability to tell Meredith she got engaged. Hm, you think she’s going to have cold feet eventually? Anyway, for all the grandeur of the ferry crash, the moments that really got me in this episode involved Meredith and that quiet, lost little girl. Especially the ending. I dare you to not gasp when Meredith’s patient convulses and accidentally pushes her over the pier. Seriously!

22. 30 Rock, "Jack Gets Back in the Game" (originally aired October 11, 2007). “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” may have existed as a novelty party tune before this episode, but now there’s a Thriller-parody video to go along with it. Also… “You want to watch me eat this steak…? Okay.” “Me want food!” “The pillowy abyss of a lover’s bosom”. The Church of Practicology (“By the eye of Zohak!”) “You do the meth” medical pamphlet. “ICU81MI” license plate. “Angie is in the past, like Dracula and broadcast television.” Kenneth seducing Tracy’s wife, Angie. And any scene that involves Will Arnett is guaranteed to be funny. I mean, Alec Baldwin is hilarious and, unless he famously yells at his little, eleven-or-twelve-year-old pig daughter again, he’s practically guaranteed the Emmy for a different episode (we’ll get there, too). But Will Arnett steals all scenes. His smoldering gaze at Kenneth from behind a window as the page gets a soda. “I’m going to make your heart explode.”

21. Chuck, "Chuck Versus the Hard Imported Salami" (originally aired November 19, 2007). Rachel Bilson needs her own TV show, or to be a big movie star. I think the former is more likely. Bilson’s Lou was such a sweet casualty of the spy games that happen on this show. I’d prefer to see more of her, and more of Chuck’s hilarious romances outside of his Sarah Walker cover. Not that I don’t like Sarah and Chuck together, especially because we know (thank you, truth serum episode) that she is developing real feelings for him. I’m sure, eventually, the awkward hoops Chuck would have to jump through to keep a romance alive with a non-spy would get dull, but I didn’t have my fill. Zachary Levi and Bilson had great chemistry, too. At least they got to make out in the Nerd Herd Mobile.

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