C: What with good shows getting abruptly canceled and once-good shows outliving their watchability, it’s not often I see the preplanned finale of a series I’m invested in. And in fact, I almost gave up on How I Met Your Mother at the end of last year (we can agree, I think, that Season 8 was pretty dismal), but I hung on because I was curious about The Mother. Yes, that ploy got me. And while the premise of Season 9 — the whole season taking place over Barney & Robin’s wedding weekend — should have been terrible, there have actually been some great episodes, especially those featuring the funny and delightful Cristin Milioti. Oh, and let’s not forget Billy Zabka. The gang lacked fizz with Marshall on a too-long road trip, but once Jason Segel was back in the mix, we got some scenes as good as anything in the earlier, classic seasons. I had no fears about the finale.
M: I will start with a GIANT sigh of relief, as I was genuinely worried that Castle was going to kill off Castle. Oh wait, no, that was a sigh of exhaustion with plots like that. Sorry, my mistake.
E: Well, at least we got that silliness over with, so that’s good.
C: What’s good about a lack of silliness?
M: You’re fooling yourself, E, if you think I’m done being silly, but let’s move on. What did you think?
E: I didn’t mean – oh, whatever. I found the episode startlingly unmelodramatic.
M: That is true, they didn’t play it up like they have done in the past, and like most TV shows do. So, that’s a silver lining with this tedious and lazy plot.
C: It’s a good thing there was a silver lining, because this was a truly bad Castle episode. It was probably a pretty good episode of some other show, one about federal investigators and government coverups of war-related crimes. But it was just about unrecognizable as Castle.
E: We’re ever so close to the shape of the tour, So You Think fans. And we’re far enough along in the season now for contestants to make a second round with certain styles. We have injuries, heartbreak, dancing choreographers, choreographer contestants, and a certain celebrifan judge whom I was absolutely determined to hate.
A red lit stage hosts a writhing armada of dancers dressed in red, with everyone but Jasmine wearing a stiff crimson tunic with even stiffer shoulder pads. Clearly the queen, Jasmine stands in the center in a pretty, girly frock with a straight neckline and spaghetti straps. There’s a sort of futuristic fantasy look to it that makes me think of Chinese opera at the same time – the exaggerated shapes, maybe. Midway through the dancers pull off the strange red clothes to reveal shorts and tanks in a variety of neutral shades, draped and natural and free; Jasmine no longer directs their movements from on high, but dances with them. Is this the end of monarchy, in time to celebrate the baby prince’s birth? The music is “New World” The Irrepressibles, and the piece was choreographed by Stacey Tookey and Peter Chu.
E: Hey, guess what? They listened! Not to me, because my words I’m sure came far after they made the decision to abandon the format change, but generally to fans and bloggers and the social media outcry over Carlos and Brittany’s brutal ouster at the beginning of last week’s show. No more dancers will be forced to perform after being eliminated! Excellent!
Instead, they’re placed in jeopardy at the start of the show, and by the end it’s incredibly obvious who’s going home. Is that breaking the news more gently? Is that better? Maybe. At any rate it couldn’t be worse…
E: Last week brought us dancers from the usual two day long auditions in both New York and Dallas. By contrast, this episode was a two hour feast of a single day’s auditions. Was the team really only in LA for a single day? Or was the first day that great and the second day, terminally boring? Either way, there’s a lot to talk about.
Joining Nigel and Mary at the judges table is “superfan” Jesse Tyler Ferguson. I still honestly don’t know how I feel about that (he’s fun and funny, but is it really fair to the dancers to put a non-pro in a power position?) but he acquits himself well enough. He’s confident in his opinions and seems generally to concur with Nigel and Mary. Except when it comes to groping oneself and booty shaking, that is; he’s in favor, but Mary is not.