cordelianne: (Default)
One hundred is a really important number in television. Sure it means your show can now be sold into syndication, but it means more than that. If you've actually managed to produce and air 100 episodes, that's a huge accomplishment. Most tv shows are never even produced, and few make it past a season or two (some don't even make it past one or two episodes). If you've reached your 100th episode it means that you've had an audience for 5 years, and good enough ratings to continually be renewed.

By some marvelous miracle both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel got to celebrate the 100th episode mark. Buffy went on to two more seasons, whereas Angel ended it's run (stupid almost defunct WB) ten episodes later. Last year was Gilmore Girls' 100th. In the last couple of weeks, Smallville, Reba and Scrubs all aired their 100th episodes.

I've noticed that 100th episodes tend to fall into a few categories (which I've just made up now!):
1. The big dramatic OMG did you notice this is our 100th episode, 2. The just another episode, and 3. We've done something special for 100 but are still keeping true to the premise of our show.

And, guess which category Smallville is in? If you guessed 1. The big dramatic OMG did you notice this is our 100th episode you're absolutely correct. I know! I'm surprised too, Smallville is normally so subtle. hee

Smallville's 100th episode ("Reckoning") almost made it in the other two categories because it has all the features of a regular Smallville episode except that they're super-sized AND there's a major character death. It has the usual bad and obviously telegraphing plot, dodgy acting by Kristin Kreuk (Lana), lousy dialogue and extremely over-earnest Kents. So what made this episode special? Because they actually killed a character!!! For five freaking years characters have almost died so many times that death has stopped meaning anything on Smallville. Actually having someone die is a big deal for this show. Of course, Smallville figured that the audience wouldn't get the significance of this, so they had a long funeral scene with no dialogue just music (it was like all those final montage moments of Smallville episodes, only this time it lasted for basically the final act).

See the thing about Smallville is that it's kind of a bad show, but once you realize that it's so much fun to watch. There's superhero angst and dorkiness, Clark/Lex homoerotic subtext and the cool and sexy cousins - Chloe and Lois. I've also enjoyed watching Tom Welling (Clark) develop more than two facial expressions. I think he's up to about four or five now!!

Oh, and did I mention that I sobbed during the funeral scene, while simultaneously noting cynically in my head that my emotions were being manipulated?

Reba's 100th episode was totally 2. The just another episode. In "Parenting with Puppets", Reba and Barbara Jean disagree on Barbara Jean's parenting technique. (Are we sure they're not the married couple on the show? I'm just saying). Meanwhile Brock and Van go to a spa on their "guy's day" and get mistaken for a gay couple. (See there's queerness everywhere on this show!)

Reba's done some "very special episodes" before (eg. helping Katrina victims), but this episode returns to what makes Reba a great show: dealing with the everyday issues of being a parent and part of an unconventional family. Ultimately Reba and Barbara Jean bond over how difficult it is to be a parent when you have to be "mean" and discipline your kid. Brock and Van's storyline actually becomes about parenting and how important it is that kids have parents who love them regardless of sexual orientation. Bonus points to the show for focusing on the four strongest characters (and actors), and downplaying Cheyenne, Kyra (is she still on the show?) and Jake.

And what would a [ profile] cordelianne discussion about Reba be without lesbian subtext? In this episode Reba spanks Barbara Jean. TWICE!! I don't need to watch The L Word, I can get lesbian action on the WB's family-friendly Reba, thank you very much!!

Scrubs definitely falls in the final category: 3. We've done something special for 100 but are still keeping true to the premise of our show. "My Way Home" is a funny and beautiful Scrubs-esque homage to The Wizard of Oz. The episode could have been gimmicky or too derivative of the movie but instead it felt like any other Scrubs episode, but one that referenced The Wizard of Oz in a fun and loving way.

The episode had all the things that make me love Scrubs:
- J.D.'s straight man girlyness Living with Elliot was certainly different: every inch of her apartment was filled with girly stuff. There were lavender scented candles, pink robes, bath salts.. IT.. WAS.. AWESOME! [J.D. has a pink towel on his head in this scene.]
- Over-the-top funny surreal moments, such as J.D. driving his scooter into a huge water trench, and Jordan (aka "Wicked Witch of the East Wing") melting in her office.
- Music numbers, eg. Laverne's church choir singing "Payback's a Bitch", and Ted's barbershop quartet singing "Maniac" during the montage of Elliott faking being really knowledgeable (I also love Elliott's neuroses!!).

Of course I loved all the Wizard of Oz stuff: J.D.'s red shoes and being called Dorothy, the yellow brick road, Dr. Cox saying "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", Ted's a cappella group does an instrumental version of "We're Off To See the Wizard," and so much more!!!

So it was a typical awesomely funny Scrubs episode with a little extra goodness.

In case you're wondering how I'd categorize the 100th episodes for Angel, Buffy and Gilmore Girls:

1. The big dramatic OMG did you notice this is our 100th episode - Angel. Cordelia comes back, Lindsey's there, and they fight because of some thing (?) in the basement. Not a good plot (did they ask Smallville for advice?) but we're not supposed to care because Cordelia and Lindsey - who were both in the first episode - are back. Also, Cordy and Angel finally kiss, right before we find out she's dead. Oh god, I'm feeling teary. It's so sad. Poor Angel, poor Cordy.

Okay, so it's actually a pretty good episode (because I now just ignore the plot) and Angel's so much better than Smallville, but it really feels like it's more about "yay 100" than "here's a well-written and heart-wrenching episode". It's like the producers were trying to please fans - and most fans LOVE this episode - so worried more about what fans would like than about a good plot and story. Sure the Cordy is dead thing is REALLY sad - and makes me sob - but the episode is more about spectacle than content. For better episodes to represent the show that season watch "Soul Purpose", "A Hole in the World", "Shells," "Smile Time", and "Not Fade Away".

2. The just another episode - Gilmore Girls. Sure there was a wedding and relationship issues (between Lorelei and her mother, and Lorelei and Luke), but it still could have been any other really good Gilmore Girl's episode. So basically it kicked ass!!

3. We've done something special for 100 but are still keeping true to the premise of our show - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "The Gift" we return to the premise of the show, that this girl with a big heart is forced to make horrible decisions to save the world. She's lucky because she's surrounded by awesome allies and friends, but ultimately she alone makes the tough decisions. Definitely one of the best Buffy episodes ever, as well as one of the best hours of tv ever.

Here's hoping that Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galactica, Everwood, My Name is Earl, and the Office also all make it to 100. I'd have included Arrested Development on that list but - at this point - I'm just praying it'll get picked up by Showtime. Let's hope that the next heart-wrenching television moment I experience is during the 100th episode of one of my favourite shows and not because of Arrested Development's demise.
cordelianne: (Default)

Here's TWO lines from the most recent episode ("Don't Mess with Taxes" 5:13) in which Barbara Jeans says she wants to be Reba's girlfriend:

I love how tough you are. When we're in prison, I'm so going to be your girlfriend.

Even if we didn't go to prison, I'd still so be your girlfriend.

These lines caused me to flail in excitement!!!

To read the lines in context (which just possibly makes the lines more slashly) click here. )

I was so excited by those lines because of my longtime love for Reba/Barbara Jean:

1. My first entry in which I suggest there's a lesbian subtext between Reba and Barbara Jean.

I said: It's just that they're written the way you'd write a male/female couple before they get together - lots of bantering and insults but deep down you know they care about each other. Even though Barbara Jean is married, Reba seems to be the most important person in her life.

2. More Reba/Barbara Jean love here.

Here's a quote I used in that entry: Barbara Jean to Reba (describing Reba's presence in her life): "You're like Patrick Swayze in Ghost."

3. Fun Reba/Barbara Jean quotage.

Quote used in the entry: Barbara Jean: "Reba, this is Texas. You're lucky I don't tackle you right now."

4. General discussion about my love of the show here.

5. Discussion between fellow Reba fan [ profile] ladyinhottpink and myself about the lesbian subtext here.

Here's what [ profile] ladyinhottpink said in that discussion: i don't even think that the reba/BJ lesbian subtext can even be called subtext anymore it is so intense. "i can give her anything a man could," "she's mine," and "i would rather you were single and miserable than with someone else and happy." OMG. so good.

The whole Reba/Barbara Jean dynamic is interesting because even though Reba's single and Barbara Jean's married, it's Barbara Jean who consistently expresses her affection for Reba. It's almost like Barbara Jean's marriage makes it safer/less threatening for her to make these comments.

As I mentioned in first entry I've linked to: Lesbian subtext aside, I think it's awesome that they have a strong friendship. It's impressive that they're written as friends despite that Brock cheated on Reba with Barbara Jean. Even though that's often an issue in their friendship, they are able to let the blame lie with Brock and not let a man come between them. It's all very women-unite.

On a silly note: Reba is so the butch AND the top in her relationship with Barbara Jean!!! I've looked around online but I think that [ profile] ladyinhottpink and I are the only ones enjoying the lesbian subtext. Oh well, more fun for us I guess?!!

Must bask in awesomeness of Barbara Jean's comments one more time:

I love how tough you are. When we're in prison, I'm so going to be your girlfriend.

Even if we didn't go to prison, I'd still so be your girlfriend.


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