I. SO over the last few days I watched Wonderfalls with rose_dawson! I do not remember this show ever existing, presumably because I wasn't paying much attention to TV fandom at the time and also because it aired like 3 episodes. Anyway, it is Bryan Fuller, and I've only seen Pushing Daisies but I can see the similarity in style (and also Lee Pace). If you are reading this and have never heard of it and want to know the premise, I will say that it's the kind of show where a summary makes it sound awful. But basically it is about overeducated and underemployed Jaye suddenly having inanimate objects with animal faces talk to her. TOLD YOU THE SUMMARY SOUNDED WEIRD.
Overall, I really liked it. It's one of those shows where I think I didn't realize quite how much I was enjoying it until the last episode was ending and I was thinking "oh, that's too bad". The best part of it for me I think was Jaye, which is good considering she's the main character. I'm sure part of it is that the whole "I have a useless Bachelor's degree and don't know what I'm doing with my life" bit ~spoke to me~, but I think she was also quite well characterized. I was worried her misanthropic ways would grate on me as time went on, but I think in their 13-episode run they managed to develop Jaye quite nicely and sort of dig out the person underneath all that. Which I guess is the point. I was suprirsed how much it upset me in later episode when Jaye was upset. Kudos to Catherine Dhavernas for making Jaye quite vulnerable under all that snark. Also, it was just nice to have a female-lead show, I guess. I like when women get to be ~*the chosen one*~ in one way or another.
The rest of the cast varies, I guess. Initially I quite liked Mahandra, Jaye's BFF, but as the show went on I found Mahandra to be sort of questionable as a friend, and sometimes I think Mahandra was motivated by the plot more than was really necessary. (Also I suspect she falls into the Sassy Black Friend stereotype.) Jaye's sister Sharon grew on me over time and I ended up finding her pretty funny, if frustrating. I guess basically at some point in the show, every character was frustrating. Which is fair enough, I guess. Eric was an adorable innocent bunny. Aaron was Lee Pace. I found Jaye's parents annoying.
While I'm going through the cast I will also mention HEIDI IS THE FUCKING WORSTTTTT. She was played by Jewel Staite which means I see her in icons all the time from whatever Whedon show she was in and now they'll just fill me with impotent Heidi rage. I think there's probably some criticism to be made of the fact that the show made the main "villain" the ~other woman~. I don't know if it's better or worse that they gave us a reason to root against her besides just being the other woman -- she's also just flat-out a terrible, selfish person. According to rose_dawson in the commentaries the cast talks about how great they are for humanizing Heidi and showing she's a real person!! but I don't know what tehy're talking about because they didn't do that at all, all the motivations they gave her just made her more of an awful person. (IT'S NOT MY FAULT I BLEW THE BELLHOP IN OUR HONEYMOON SUITE ON OUR HONEYMOON, YOUR EYES MADE ME FEEL PRESSURED TO BE A GOOD PERSON shut up Heidi shut up).
Also there's an episode that I'm pretty sure was racist as all fuck but I am not enough of an expert to articulate why. But the whole episode I was kind of like 'lol yikes'. In general I would never pretend this show was particularly progressive in any way -- a main cast member is gay and that's probably the extent of it. But most TV isn't and this wasn't egregiously offensive so w/e.
The other main criticism I have is that sometimes the format of every episode became a bit much. It's not really a procedural, but it's definitely a... monster-of-the-week type show except where the monster is a talking toy animal, lol. You can predict how every episode is going to more or less play out. Animal tells Jaye to do something Jaye doesn't want to do; grudgingly Jaye tries to do it; things go wrong; Jaye realizes she was misinterpreting what she was meant to do. It required a bit of plot stupidity from the characters at times -- namely Jaye, who didn't seem to clue in that the animals' vague advice might have more than one meaning. And while I think it's a shame the show got cancelled and only ever had 13 episodes, I think the resolution in the last episode is pretty decent and I think some of the plans they had for the future seasons sound pretty dubious, so maybe it's for the best.
Ultimately I would say Wonderfalls was pretty good, a lot of fun, and probably if you liked Pushing Daisies you'd like Wonderfalls. It's definitely worth watching if you're looking for something different and sort of quirky. And you can snicker at 2004 fashion.
II. I've also been playing Portal 2 because I got it for $5 and I have been having a lot of fun. I'm on like puzzle 17/22 or something which I assume means I'm almost done and that makes me kind of sad. It's been a really long time since I played any video games but the whole thing is definitely reminding me that I do actually enjoy them. It reminds me of days spent playing Spyro at friends' houses, lol.
III. Uhhh I guess that's it. "Pond Life" is on episode 3 and it's predictably dull and/or irritating. I just can't stand Eleven anymore o m g. The whole "ha ha I'm so childish isn't it cute don't you just love the idea of being friends with someone who is 1000+ years old but behaves like they're eight ha ha ha ha hahaha!!! CUTE AND QUIRKY LOL!!!!!!!" ugh I want to shoot him into the sun. I have a rant in me about how I think what the Doctor has done to the Ponds is just terrible and selfish and terrible but I guess I'll wait for 7x01 to air on the off-chance it changes my mind. (It won't.)