As Seen By Rae: From Surviving China to Meeting Cell Phone Man   

As Seen By Rae: From Surviving China to Meeting Cell Phone ManThis commentary started out being about Thursday shows but, when I realized I only had one show for Friday and Sunday, I decided to combine them all. So in this post, I’ll be covering last week’s season premiere of Survivor: China, the two-part season finale of Burn Notice, the two latest episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the premiere of Book 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the newest episode of Side Order of Life. All commentary is “hidden” behind the jump to avoid spoiling anyone who hasn’t seen those episodes yet but, first, let’s briefly discuss what’ll be on tonight.

On my schedule for tonight: How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, Prison Break, Heroes, Rules of Engagement, Journeyman, Weeds, and Californication

Look at all that new TV! It’s a thing of beauty… and horror. There’s no way to keep up with all of that and this isn’t even my busiest night!! The items in bold are what I’ll be watching live and the rest will be DVR-ed for later. That’ll change next week, though, Chuck is all new for me and I switch to watching it live. Below is a list of shows that I won’t be watching regularly each week but that are also new tonight.

Also new tonight: Dancing with the Stars, The Big Bang Theory, K-Ville, Two and a Half Men, The Bachelor, and CSI: Miami

So much to watch… so little time! I predict that Heroes and Dancing with the Stars will win the night even though I really hope Chuck has a good showing as well. Now on to the commentary…


Survivor: China – Episode 1: A Chicken’s a Little Bit Smarter

Chicken gets eliminated on the first episode of 'Survivor: China'I am weak! I can’t resist this damn show for some reason. And, I gotta say, I liked it. It’s too soon to judge whether it’ll be a much better season than last year but I already like the cast a bit more and I think the location could be a good change of pace.

I also can’t pick out any favorites just yet. So far I like James the Gravedigger the best. I’m not sure why he’d apply to be on the show if he’s such a loner but it’ll be interesting to see how far he gets. Courtney was annoying but I’m betting that she’ll have to tone down that attitude or she’ll be gone quickly. I’m glad they didn’t kick the wrestler (Ashley?) off for being sick. I don’t know that I care for her all that much but it would have been stupid for the group to get rid of one of their strongest females.

I guess I should comment on the ceremony and Leslie leaving but it wasn’t that big of a deal. Courtney’s behavior was so much more disrespectful than Leslie’s. I loved the challenge. I wish they had shown more overhead shots because it looked pretty damn cool from above. I hope we get more like that. Hmmm, I also liked that they gave Zhan Hu fire at tribal council because it’s obviously too cold there at night to leave them out there without any way to warm themselves. I surprised they didn’t think of that when they were making them leave behind their bags. Speaking of, when the hell will these contestants learn that they could be losing their luggage at any moment? I wouldn’t care if I was told to dress a certain way, I’d make sure I was wearing stuff I wouldn’t mind being stranded in.

By the end of the episode Chicken was sent packing and I couldn’t be happier. The thing is Chicken theoretically should have been around for several weeks with his knowledge. I sorta understood why he was annoyed at first by the others ignoring his ideas. However, at some point you have to stop pouting about being ignored and step up. When they keep asking you for help and you keep refusing to give it, what do you expect? No one is going to keep someone like that around.

Hopefully Fei Long will lose next week so we’ll get to know some of those contestants a little more…

 

Burn Notice – 1×11 & 1×12: Loose Ends

Michael gets ready to meet the people put the burn notice on him on the season finale of 'Burn Notice'.How great was that ending? I love it directors use unique ways to fade to black. Michael disappearing into the belly of the truck and the door closing ending the episode had me jumping up and down in my seat. Also, I love the way they’ve set themselves up for a second season. The only thing that sucks is how long we have to wait to see what happens next!

Normally I’d complain about killing off the guy who put out the burn notice on Michael but I actually like the way they explained it not to mention that it was a satisfyingly shocking moment. It makes me a little scared for what Michael’s walking into, though. Obviously he’s going to be ok because we know we have a second season coming but I’m thinking that whatever they want him to do isn’t going to be quite as easy to get out off as the final showdown in these episodes.

Sam and Fiona were awesome as well. Sam trying to sacrifice himself only made me love him more. Fiona never walking away should tell Michael everything he needs to know about how she feels. Plus, her jumping off that bridge was just plain neat… I’m not sure I’d have done the same. I might have preferred being captured to jumping into a random body of water in Florida.

I should have more to say about this episode but it’s been a few days and I’m forgetting all the stuff I wanted to bring up. That shouldn’t be used as an indication of my feelings for these episodes, though, because I loved them. It was a great end to a great season and I’m kinda in denial that I won’t be getting a new episode of this show until next summer. How shall I get through Thursdays without Michal, Fiona, and Sam?!

 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – 3×03: Dennis & Dee’s Mom Is Dead, 3×04: The Gang Gets Held Hostage

Charlie, Mac, and Dennis create a flier to find some guy friends.From what I’ve read online, people loved this week’s hostage episode more than “Dennis & Dee’s Mom Is Dead” but I’m just the opposite. There were some great moments in the hostage episode but the entire first half hour had tears rolling down my face. The guys looking for other guys but “nothing sexual”? HAHAHA. The funny thing is, they own a freakin’ bar and they don’t see the one thing that would probably make guys want to hang out with them?! I did love the flier looking like a penis. I had wondered where they were going with the “arm flexing” design but I still didn’t see it coming. So funny.

THEN, there was Dee and Frank pretending that they were married. Oh, show. Dee’s confusion over why Frank wanted to wear a disguise was great because I was thinking the same exact thing. Then they got married!! Oh, you KNOW that’s going to come up again later.

I think my favorite parts of the hostage episode were the various “alliances” they were all forming (Mac telling Frank he wasn’t near Charlie anymore and then Charlie’s face when Frank suggested they sacrifice Charlie was great) and the whole roof scene. The McPoyle brother hanging off the side and slowly sliding out of his brother’s grip only to realize it wasn’t a long fall was one of the funniest moments of this season so far. Especially when the rest of the McPoyle’s just calmly climbed down and walked away with the gang realizing it was all a prank. SO FUNNY.

This week we get two more new episodes and, from the video clips available online, they look to be hilarious.

 

Avatar: The Last Airbender – 3×01: Awakenings

Aang reacts to Sokka's reveal of their secret weapon against the Fire Nation.Yay!!!! This wasn’t an outstanding knock-your-socks-off episode but I was so happy to have a new episode that I didn’t care. Aang with hair is just weird. How exactly are they going to explain away Appa though? It’s not just that he’s huge, it’s that he also has an arrow on his head and that kinda gives things away, don’t ya think?

I sad at the burning of Aang’s glider. It is just an inanimate object but it was the last thing he had left of his kingdom and childhood (besides Appa). It was a sad moment.

What the heck is up with Zuko and Mai already being together? I’m guessing it’s still a secret thing given that Azula didn’t understand Mai’s sudden happiness but it’s too fast for me! Yes, yes, I know I’m being unreasonable and a little biased seeing as I much prefer the pairing of Zuko and Katara but, come on, at least give us a hint at how they reconciled so quickly! The one positive to the whole thing for me is that Zuko’s not exactly love-struck. Well that and them being together so soon may bode well for them not being together the entire season.

Azula asks Zuko if he thinks Aang miracously survived.Azula remains her bad ass self. As soon as the King revealed that Azula had lied about what happened to Aang, I knew she was doing it to set Zuko up. She suspects that he knows something more about Aang’s supposed death and she was making sure he takes the fall for it. You gotta love how devious she is… unless you’re Zuko. I feel bad that he finally got the loving welcome home that he’s always wanted only to know that it’s all built on a house of cards.

The parallelism between Zuko and Aang was a bit anvil-icious but I’m ok with that. I hope that we see Aang starting to understand Zuko a bit more now that he feels like he needs to restore his own honor. Also anvil-icious was the scene between Katara and her father. I try to remember that this is a kid’s show and I suppose they might have needed her to really spell out that why she was so upset about Aang’s disappearance. I’m just used to the show being a little more subtle about these things. Still, I did like how we had that scene juxtaposed with Zuko’s father welcoming him home. It was a nice compare and contrast of the difference between the two fathers. One admitted to thinking about his children every night he was separated from them while the other was only happy to see his son because he had met his requirements for returning home. The whole thing just makes me feel for Zuko. I hope he truly does see the difference here in how his own father treats him versus how Iroh always treated him.

Sokka makes it easy for the Universe to vex him.What else? Oh, the battle between the ships was kinda cool. Love seeing Toph using her metal bending abilities and that they are actually putting her ability to hear things to good use. Nothing I hate more than when an ability like that is ignored in favor of plot. Sokka remains awesome. “Thank you, the universe!” Heh. Nice to see that he’s still the same even if he’s also changed. I love that he was getting credit for the plan to invade the Fire Nation. Sokka deserves his moments to shine just like the rest.

Look at me going on and on about a 30 minute cartoon. This is why everyone should be watching this show. Too bad I have to wait another whole week for the next episode. Also, if your DVR was like mine and didn’t tape this episode, you can watch the full episode online at Nick.com.

 

Side Order of Life – 1×10: Awakenings

Vivy has a way for Jenny to find Cell Phone Man.I’m going on record now and guessing that Ian Ziering is not actually Cell Phone Man. It was just… too convenient. Plus, he wasn’t acting like a guy who had just told this woman that he thinks he’s falling in love her a few weeks ago. Well, all of that and the fact that he’s not the voice we’ve been hearing. I suck at remembering faces. Voices are much more my thing and I was apprehensive when I heard Ian was supposedly cast as the mysterious Cell Phone Guy because I knew their voices didn’t match. His is not quite deep enough to be the voice on the other end of the line. Of course, I was always worried that they hadn’t actually cast the guy yet and this would end up being something that would bug me. That may still be the case but I really think the whole thing was anti-climatic which makes me think that he’s not really him. And, of course, that’ll make it even harder for Jenny to meet the real Cell Phone Man once she finds out!

Other than that, I was a little disappointed that Jenny’s story of the week didn’t play a bigger part this time. Don’t worry, I didn’t miss the anvil-icious point that she needs to “wake up” and start taking part in the life going on around her or that she needs to start trying to connect with people before she becomes just like the nurse, using her job to fill that void in her life. I suppose that’s exactly why her photos didn’t reveal something more to her this time but I kinda missed that part.

Ummm, what else? Ian and what’s her face’s engagement was kinda quick but I don’t really care about them much as characters so I ended up being kind of glad it means we wouldn’t have to cope with their struggles to have a long distance relationship. If I cared more about what’s her face, I’d probably a little concerned that she’s giving up a huge opportunity to advance her career to get married to a guy she’s been dating less than a month and who was just engaged to be married to someone else. As for Vivy, I wish she could see that Rick loves her. Although, I can’t blame her for enjoying the free hook-up with Eduardo either. I do kinda love their handling of the hair situation. Yes, the audience knows damn well that it’s her actual hair but at least they didn’t just let her go right back to her usual hair without giving us an explanation like say they did with Parker on Veronica Mars. (That always annoyed me.) And, finally, I got a kick out of Jenny’s mother this week. I laughed out loud when I saw Jenny’s entire kitchen emptied out. Her constantly being at Jenny’s house was a nice subtle way to point out that she really was upset about Jenny’s dad leaving, since it was obvious she wanted to spend as much time out of her own house as possible.

Next week, Jenny’s date with “supposed” Cell Phone Man continues and her friends want to know just how well she knows this guy. Anyone want to bet on whether he’s really the mysterious guy we’ve been waiting all season to meet and, if he’s not, how she’ll find out? Personally, I’m hoping she gets a call from Cell Phone Man while she’s out with Fake Cell Phone Man but, since I’m starting to get a bit cocky about this theory now, I’ll probably turn out to be wrong… as usual.

Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on tonight’s shows!

 

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