Brain Dump from a Teeming TV Filled Mind

Random thoughts and observations on this and that as seen on my teevee.

The Walking Dead

Did you see the episode of The Walking Dead called “The Grove?” Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy as the two young girls were fantastic. Brighton, in particular, was 100% convincing. Very impressed to see such outstanding acting from two young actors.

I’m loving what they’ve done with The Walking Dead this season: splitting everyone up and charting their journeys to find each other again. (Assuming that they will be reunited at Terminus.) It’s given them a way to let characters develop with full episodes devoted almost exclusively to just one or two characters.

Glee

Brittany and Santana kiss on Glee
Brittany and Santana kiss on Glee

What about this kiss in the episode “100” of Glee. Glee has never been about grown up sex. Yes, there have been relationships but they are immature high school kinds of things. Even the teachers have immature relationships on Glee.

But in the episode called “100” (as in the 100th episode) we see a grown up Brittany, (Heather Morris) dragged into adulthood by numbers and a failure of joy.

Brittany evolved. Who’d a thunk that?

Couple that with a sort-of-grown-up Santana (Naya Rivera). I say sort of grown up because Santana still has a mouth on her that needs to embrace tolerance and forgiveness – mature ideas she hasn’t mastered yet. Nevertheless, Brittany and Santana exchange a kiss that is the first grown up, adult looking kiss I’ve seen on Glee.

Person of Interest

A whole episode of Person of Interest was built around Root (Amy Acker). The episode was called “Root Path.” Most of the time, Root is only on the screen for a few seconds. Even then she’s the most interesting thing in the show – mysterious, powerful, illusive. You know what would make me really happy? An episode that featured only Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker together for a whole show.

Castle

Is Castle getting better this season? It seems like the writing has improved. The stories are flat out good. Last year Castle frequently put me to sleep, but there is none of that this year.

The Fosters

The crazy adjustable bed that Stef’s mom gave Stef and Lena as a wedding gift on The Fosters is keeping them apart. I say we start a Kickstarter campaign to get Stef and Lena a new bed. A nice flat one. Or, as they put it on OITNB,

The Americans

This show gets more fascinating each week with all kinds of complicated loyalty questions and emotional issues. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys impress me in a new way in every episode. Keri Russell’s character slamming that guy’s arm over and over again with a trunk lid was really intense and surely will make her face the fact that she’s cracking. Plus Margo Martindale was back this week, which is guaranteed to make me happy.

Still ahead this week are Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Must dump brain before then!

What is burning in your brain from this week’s TV?

Random Thoughts from a Teeming TV Filled Brain

The TV is brewing a brain full of random ideas in me this week. It’s a mish-mash.

  • The Americans season 2 started last night on FX and it’s extra good. Don’t ask me why I care so much about Russian spies, but Kari Russell and Matthew Rhys make me care. The stakes are so high in this show, the situations so tense, and the drama so tight. I can’t tell from the first episode if Margo Martindale will be back in season 2, but they were talking about her as if she won’t. She’s off on another show now, and I’ll miss her here.
  • With so many shows, I have to record a bunch of them. When I play them back I fast forward through the ads. I really appreciate the shows that have a second or two of something recognizable before each new segment starts. That brief cue lets me stop in time to get the beginning of the action. For example, Person of Interest often shows cityscapes and camera locations just before the action starts. Could all shows please do something like this? Thank you.
  • Why do actresses decide to have a baby while they are on a hit show? Jennifer Beals and Lauren Holloman both did it on The L Word. Anna Silk did it on Lost Girl. Kerry Washington is having a baby soon with Scandal in the middle of astronomical popularity. There has to be some logic to this, but what is it?
  • Wow! Did Naya Rivera ever knock “Don’t Rain on My Parade” out off the ballpark on Glee this week! The Barbara Streisand franchise on Glee up to now belonged to Lea Michelle – as well it should, she’s got it locked – but Naya can belt, too. Indeed.
  • Can you tell Lady Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) two suitors apart on Downton Abbey? Me either.

Image Credit: Still from The Americans by Craig Blankenhorn via IMDB

Glee: The Quarterback

Thursday evening when Glee’s The Quarterback episode in memory of Cory Monteith aired, I was at a reading by writer Terry McMillan about her new book Who Asked You? I watched Glee the next morning. I’ll get to it in a minute, I want to tell you a story first.

Before Terry McMillan spoke, there was a reception with food and music by vocalist Catherine McGill. I was seated at a table with a friend and several women I didn’t know. One of the women hummed along, kind of under her breath, with the music and I noticed what a lovely voice she had. Later we went in the auditorium where Ms. McMillan would read. While we waited, recorded music played. I wasn’t far from the woman with the lovely voice and I heard her again quietly singing a note or two with the recording. After the talk, a line formed to get books autographed, and I was standing behind the singer. I asked, “Do you sing somewhere?” She smiled and said she was raised up in the choir but she had horrible stage fright and only sang in the car and the shower. (I don’t think she realizes how much music leaks out of her by accident.) She indicated that she had given up on the idea of performing because she was so paralyzed by stage fright. She said it was the most vulnerable feeling in the world.

As a writer, I’m aware of how hard it is to read your own words – to give voice and breath to words. I said something to her about how you can’t sing without emotion and we talked about how you can’t hide when you sing, the emotion is there in your voice whether you want it to be or not.

It was a short conversation, really, but it came back to me the next morning when I sat down to catch up with Glee.

Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson
Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson

At the end of the episode, Lea Michele as Rachel Berry presented Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) with a plaque for the Glee club room with a photo of Finn and a quote about “the show must go on.”

The show must go on seemed to me to be the real theme for this episode. What plot there was to the episode explored how every person deals with grief in a different way. Everyone showed up and sang, they went on with the show, because they had to.

The show felt very personal. The emotion in the voices and in the music cut close to the bone. It almost felt as if the writers asked each person what they wanted to say and let them say it or sing it.

Lea Michele
Lea Michele

Lea Michele showed up and sang, how she managed I’ll never know. She clutched herself as she sang, as if her grip was the only thing holding her together.

Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester

In one scene with Santana and Sue Sylvester, as Sue talked, Jane Lynch’s lines about loss and lost potential sounded like the thoughts of everyone involved in the show.

Glee
Romy Rosemont as Finn’s mother, Kevin McHale as Artie, Naya Rivera as Santana, Chord Overstreet as Sam

There was a lot of pain in people’s faces, in their voices, in their music.

Glee couldn’t ignore Cory Monteith’s death. Something had to be done. The show had to go on. As a fan of the show, and for all of us out here on our couches, I want everyone involved with Glee to know that you are troopers – everyone who sang, spoke and appeared in “The Quarterback” –  you honored your friend, and you did it beautifully with every vulnerability you possess ringing in your voices.

It must have been hard as hell to do. Thank you.