Game Changer!

TV Mode = ON

It might be somewhat of a good thing that there isn’t any new episode of Chuck this week because if there was, my brain might just explode. OK, I’m overreacting. Whatever. I’m a fan of TV.


So it’s official. I am now a Castle fan. I know, you’d think that after The X-Files, Bones, and all those other shows that have a man and a woman solving crimes together, we’d all be sick and tired of the same old formula. But… Nathan Fillion, everybody! Nathan Fillion! 😮 How can you not love him? The expressions on his face and the way he delivers punch lines like, “This is the part where you say: And I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” (S2E19 – Wrapped Up in Death) It’s impossible not to love him.

I’ll admit it. I didn’t want to see this series at first because I thought it was going to be a ho-hum murder mystery show where the leads will never ever get together (like in Bones), but then it got renewed for a 3rd season and I thought, why not give it a chance? So it starts out cliche-ily enough with the usual murders and the usual suspects and even the usual banter between the two leads, but Nathan Fillion just makes everything around him about ten times more fun! And in case any of you are wondering if this is just me projecting my Firefly fangirling onto Nathan Fillion’s new show, it’s not. Because the main reason I started watching Firefly (Note: It was never shown here in the Philippines. I know, we’re so unlucky.) is because I liked Nathan Fillion so much in Castle!

Plus, you know, I just love mysteries. The book I borrowed the most from our library when I was in Grade School was a mystery (sadly, I can no longer remember it’s title or the author, it was one of those unknown books that you’ll probably only see in a Grade School Library) and the only real classic literature I’ve ever been interested enough to read is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, so naturally, I just love it when Rick Castle (this is the name of Nathan Fillion’s character, BTW) goes all literary on the NYPD and describes their murder mystery in a mysterious and spooky non-scientific/boring/CSI-ish way.

I know TVGuide has said that this series has “jumped the shark” because Season 3 has become formulaic (See that TVGuide article here), and maybe that’s true of the previous episodes, but this week’s episodes is a total game changer (hence, the title of the post). In this week’s episode, Last Call, Castle ends up buying a bar. As in, a place that serves alcoholic drinks. So yeah, the characters now have another place to hang out in, and Castle will finally have something else to do other than trail after Detective Beckett (Stana Katic) like a puppy. Plus, the bar he bought? It’s got a secret basement and a hidden room behind a book shelf and secret passageways to the sewers under New York City. So… Excitement ensues!

I’m particularly thankful for this because my now previous favorite murder mystery show Bones, is the one that I think has “jumped the shark”. As much as I love David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, and their chemistry and their love story was just so great from Season 1 to Season 4, and although it’s OK for me that they’re still not together even now that the show is on Season 6, even someone as loyal as I am am going to have to say that Bones is just really not that great anymore. There’s no character development for Bones (Emily Deschanel) at all, she just keeps being the “awkward scientist lady”. And it used to be funny, but now it’s an overused joke and so contrived that her so-called awkwardness is not fun anymore and more painful to watch. As for Booth (David Boreanaz), I think he’s doing the best he can, but his new “love interest” Hannah is just… Blah. She’s not interesting and it’s totally not believable that she and Booth are in love. And even their cases are getting boring. I mean, finding a “meat head” on the Jersey Shore and identifying him via hair products? That has got to be one of the worst episodes of any show on TV ever.

Right. Sorry about the Bones rant. But I think it does need mentioning because I’m talking about a show that has basically the same formula. Oh, and also, Nathan Fillion and David Boreanaz, the leading men of both shows, both have ties to Joss Whedon. Hello, they were only the two leading men of his only two shows that featured leading men (except for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which stars Neil Patrick Harris, but that’s really more of a “small project” than an actual show). So… Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity VS Angel, the Vampire with a Soul. It’s ON!

Gossip Girl

Also! Another TV show I was hesitant to watch because I just thought, “Ugh, East Coast version of 90210 much?!” But it’s totally not! 90210 is like a teen soap opera, but Gossip Girl, it’s your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s Elite! 🙂

So, Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf are like “the life of the show” (Oh, don’t try to say anything different. We all know that although Serena was originally intended to be the lead for this series, it was really Chuck and Blair who won the audience’s hearts.) and I love them whether they’re loving or hating each others’ guts. But I was totally not disappointed with Blair when, knowing how much she loves Chuck, she said, “I need to be Blair Waldorf first before I can be Chuck Bass’ girlfriend.” It was a great moment for her and I thought, great! Let the will-they/wont-they begin again! That’s always fun anyway, even if it’s been done before. But, after the latest episode, it seems that a new “ship” becomes somewhat canon.

Dan and Blair! 😯

OK, I’m overreacting. No, maybe not. OK, so I guess it’s “normal” for TV characters to all hook up with each other at one point or another (Hello Dawson’s Creek and previously mentioned 90210), and sometimes it’s so contrived that you think “Don’t these characters have nothing but lust in their minds?” I mean, Jen is single. Pacey is single. Hey, why not have them hook up? Because you know, even though they have zero chemistry, you just can’t have single characters on a show about relationships! But don’t worry, it’ll only be “physical” so that if the idea doesn’t work, the writers can throw it away quickly. 😕 So yeah, it’s annoying when characters hook up with other characters that they originally weren’t intended for. But sometimes, things do happen organically, and though nobody expected them, when they happen, suddenly they just work! It’s like Jackie and Hyde from That 70’s Show. I didn’t like the idea at first, but because the way they got together was written well, it just turned out so cute. 🙂

I think that’s really what happened to Dan and Blair. I mean, look, Blair wasn’t in love with Chuck from the beginning of the series. In the beginning, she completely loathed Chuck! Ah, but it wasn’t just Chuck that she hated. She hated Dan, too. She couldn’t stand either of them. She kept telling Serena to break up with her boyfriend from Brooklyn who had no money and no important connections. And then, Chuck fell in love with Blair mid-Season 1, so naturally, she would be all preoccupied about that. And Chuck and Blair really are great together. But now it’s Season 4. Dan’s now somewhat connected to the money of Bass Industries, and Blair’s matured a lot from being the prissy class-obsessed high school girl that she was, and it wouldn’t do them both any good to be back with Serena and Chuck because Chuck needs to mature and save his business now that Lily doesn’t seem to be the greatest person to handle Bass Industries, and Serena needs to be alone for a while because she’s never really done anything without a guy beside her. So Dan and Blair are left in the city hating each other. And you know what happens when Blair hates someone, I mean, really really hates someone. 😉

[So after reading some reactions on the internet, it seems that a lot of people think that Dan/Blair is forced, but… it’s really just another case of opposites attract, which you know, is actually not that new and usually really fun in a TV series. As long as the writers don’t screw up and write them like Barney and Robin (circa Season 5 of How I Met Your Mother) who lost their unique identities and became a boring couple, I think Dan and Blair can really work. I mean, I still want Chuck and Blair to be endgame, but Blair needs a new man in her life and somebody like one of those from Serena’s list of guest star boyfriends wouldn’t work well with her. Blair falling for another one in their circle, and it’s Dan Humphrey, a guy that Chuck Bass hates, it’ll get Chuck jealous if Dan and Blair are together! So, it can actually ultimately help Chuck and Blair get back together! Come on! How can anybody say that this isn’t a good twist?!]

Gah! Can it be January 2011 already?! I want to know what happens next!!!


Let’s Talk Firefly

Mal speaking Chinese.

River and Jayne growling at each other.

A new episode of Firefly? I wish. But nope, it’s just our dear actors showing that after 7 years, they, just like us, still haven’t gotten over how great the show was.

I didn’t even start watching Castle because I was curious about whatever happened to Nathan Fillion after Firefly. After all, I didn’t watch Firefly until after I started watching Castle. And Chuck, too. I wasn’t even planning on ever watching Firefly since I’m not a big fan of the wild west (although I am a fan of sci-fi) but my obsession with Chuck led me to watching ComiCon panels on YouTube and inevitably witnessing the mania for Adam Baldwin, simply because he was, once upon a time, the man they called Jayne.

So there. I have now watched each episode of Firefly at least three times, and the movie Serenity at least four times. There is just something about it. And I can learn all the words in the ‘verse and still not be able to explain it. All I know is that I’m not the only one who feels this way. And you only need to look at any website dedicated to Firefly, and you’ll know, that all of its fans are obsessive like this. And, just like in the introduction of this entry, I guess the actors are, too.

In both shows, Castle and Chuck, Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin have been making subtle references to Firefly. They’re so much fun to spot and it’s just so cute to know that they’re still thinking of the show-that-was.

In Season 2 (Episode 6) of Castle, Nathan donned his Captain Mal costume for “Halloween”. In Season 1 of Chuck (Episode 11), Adam’s character John Casey, referred to his car as “shiny”. And I guess there have been other references that I might’ve missed, but I definitely didn’t miss the ones that were in their episodes in this week.

Both in Castle and in Chuck, both last Monday night, both Nathan and Adam and (bonus!) Summer Glau (who played River in Firefly) just reminded me so much of the fun that Firefly was.

In Chuck, Summer Glau guest-stars as one of the Gretas–the CIA agent that changes every week at the Buy More. Although Greta’s played by different actors, he/she doesn’t really have much to do and hardly ever interacts with the main characters. But this week, she does, and with John Casey to boot. Because she’s such a hottie, the non-CIA agents of the Buy More (Lester and Jeff) do some investigating into her life. So as not to blow her cover, Casey tells them that she’s a petty thief stealing head massagers from the Buy More. Afterwards, he and Greta have a conversation wherein she tells him that she’s disappointed in him because he used to be this great agent, and was now just a glorified babysitter of salespeople in retail. But what made that scene was how she growled, indicating frustration, just like how Casey growls, and he growls at her right back. It’s shallow and it’s not even really a Firefly reference, but you know, River did a lot of times mock the crew of Serenity, most especially Jayne (since he’s the easiest to mock). And growling at John Casey, well, isn’t that a way of mocking him as well?

In Castle, the story’s about UFOs and government conspiracies, so it’s really more a shoutout to The X-Files, especially given the Castle-Beckett dynamic, which can be paralleled with Mulder and Scully. But there was still Firefly magic towards the end where Castle (played by Nathan Fillion) ran into some Chinese factory workers and had to speak to them in Chinese so that they’d leave the room. Wondering how he learned to speak Chinese, Beckett asks him, “Semester abroad?” And he replies, “No, a TV show I used to love.”

And didn’t we all used to love that TV show? 🙂