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  1. Bastet

    Major Crimes

    Raydor was originally an antagonist character intended for just those three episodes in season five, offered to Mary McDonnell (having just finished Battlestar Galactica, which James Duff loved, and thus back in L.A. full time), who said, basically, Eh, I don't know. James Duff said I really want you for this, please let me address your concerns and she wound up signing on (at the fairly last minute, which is how Sharon wound up decked out in Armani on a captain's salary; Greg LaVoi [wardrobe supervisor], pressed for time, asked her what designer's clothes tended to best fit her off the rack and across the board). Neither she nor James Duff have spoken - because, as far as I can tell, they haven't been asked - about the specifics of her concerns with the character as described (when only one of those three episodes had been even somewhat written), but I know McDonnell will not take roles in which women are pitted against each other for stereotypical reasons (e.g. a well, of course they hate each other, they're two powerful women vibe), so I suspect "Red Tape" needed some tweaking to make it palatable and then the next two expanded on the professional differences that were the root of their conflict. Because she's Mary Frakkin' McDonnell, the cast/writers/producers loved her, it was a welcoming set so she loved them, the network (TNT's old leadership, very supportive of the show) salivated Do you think you can get her back?, and much of the audience loved to hate Raydor while some (me included, although I didn't watch until later) just plain loved her, so Duff asked McDonnell to return as a recurring character in season six and she was happy to do so. Around this time Kyra Sedgwick reiterated nope, she would not be continuing past her (7-year) contract no matter what happened with the series. But TNT didn't want to let the franchise go, given its cast and ratings, and started talking with Duff about how it could potentially carry on without Brenda, and as those conversations continued, it seemed to everyone like Raydor was a potential bridge for that transition. Thus her numerous appearances in season seven, as the spin-off was being developed. So it could have all gone so very differently, or not gone at all. As frustrating as it wound up, thank goodness we got it to begin with.
  2. I think their relationship worked, generally like both of them as characters, but wouldn't marry either one of them (again, assuming I'd get married, which I won't) if they were real people. My issue is that Brenda's flaws were loudly and consistently acknowledged as such, while Fritz's were waved away, as if he put up with so much from her that his own issues were irrelevant. And I'm not going to get terribly fired up about the lack of analysis of his side of the equation, given how many female Fritzes there have been in the history of television (and, you know, life) without anyone raising an eyebrow. But the lopsided way in which their negative traits/actions were presented is just another side of the same sexist coin, so I'm not going to ignore it, either.
  3. I had just started to swallow, and choked on my drink at "druid" instead of "dogsled". Ice (giant) and captain I was expecting to be correctly answered (not immediately, but with two guesses ruled out, yes), but Edith Wharton was the only TS that truly surprised me. I got everything in the first round other than two British spy clues. But in DJ, I was terrible at the historical TV shows, missed a few music clues, a couple of the literary clues, and a couple more scattered others. FJ was an instaget, though.
  4. Like Sharon told Brenda, sometimes a relationship is about what you're willing to overlook. Would I be married to Brenda? Hell, no. (Well, I wouldn't be married to anyone, but go with me here.) But Fritz loved her, and needed to either accept her as she was (understanding you can't separate the things you like from the things you don't; they all combine to make the person you love who they are, and that whole person is either right for you or isn't) or decide her myopic nature and lack of self awareness was too much and move on. Marrying her and launching a passive-aggressive campaign to change her, however, was not an appropriate course.
  5. Bastet

    Major Crimes

    I don't have the emotional energy to truly get into my myriad feelings (which, yes, I still have, strongly, three years later) about killing Sharon off, making the whole damn show about Rusty vs. Stroh in the end, and Rusty and Provenza's actions in Stroh's death, but since you weren't around at the time, I'll just tell you that James Duff has given at least six different answers for why he did what he did, and one of them was to claim he wanted to show that without Sharon, everything went to shit, that Rusty and Provenza would never had done what they did if she'd been alive. (Mind you, this is an answer he gave after being raked over the coals for months, so I do not believe him, and it's stupid even if true, because it states that her influence on them died right along with her.) Duff also said - as if this is an amusing anecdote - that he used to threaten TNT with killing off Sharon all the time to get what he wanted in season renewal negotiations. (This is not information he ever shared with Mary McDonnell in the past, but he did tell her heading into season six - which, while they hadn't officially been cancelled yet, they knew would be their last despite still being TNT's highest-rated show [the new exec hated it; he wanted "edgy" programming] - that he was going to do it.) The only thing we will ever know as true is that the story of Stroh's death as we saw it is what he wanted to tell in the end, and that couldn't happen with Sharon alive. (She'd have never allowed Rusty to be anywhere near the scene to begin with, she wouldn't have allowed Rusty or Provenza to get away with it, etc.) And, like you, I'm glad she didn't live to go through that; having to let the two of them face the consequences would have been a fate worse than death to her. But, holy shit, if the story you want to tell in the end requires giving your main character the world's most-rapidly progressing case of cardiomyopathy so she won't live to see two of your other characters who've changed so beautifully under her leadership and love take a shit on her legacy, maybe that's not the right story to go out on! I like the way she dies itself (I love a death in the line of duty not involving a single bullet or drop of blood), I love the case her final four episodes were about, Tony Denison does great work with the scene where Sharon wants to postpone the wedding until she knows what's in store for her, Mary McDonnell knocks it out of the park and into another park on the other side of the country with Sharon's last day, the squad's reaction in the hospital to the news of her death is perfect, etc. There was good television in there. But it wasn't worth it for what it took away. And that's all I can get into these days, because I've never reacted so strongly in my life to a fictional character's death and that night is still this surreal thing in my head. Those season six threads are among the few parts of the old forum that can be found via the Wayback Machine, if you want to track down what everyone said at the time. Here's the thread for Sharon's final two episodes, and here's the one for the finale.
  6. I love hot tea of various kinds, but not iced. If I somehow had to drink it, I'd be fine, so long as there was no sugar in it (lemon I could take or leave). My lemon + servers peeve is a minor one: how many forget my request to include lemon with my water. When I'm not having beer, wine, or a cocktail with a meal out, I just have water, and I often have water alongside those other beverages. At home (where I drink water all day long), I drink it plain because it's filtered. Depending on the municipality, sometimes unfiltered tap water tastes not at all bad, but a little distinct in a way I don't want to be distracted by, so when I order it in a restaurant I ask for water with lemon just in case. Forgetting it is no big deal, since I just have to wait a minute or two after reminding the server of my request and then lemon shows up at the table. Far better that than having food or drink arrive with something I'd asked to be left off. But water with lemon is not at all unusual here (in fact, some places automatically put a slice/wedge on the lip of the glass), so it shouldn't be a brain fart as often as it s. Also, if they remember from jump, we avoid dirtying (and thus using water to wash and rinse and energy to dry) the bowl/plate used to bring it out after the fact.
  7. Well, this is how I'll be singing it from now on. Hilarious!
  8. Bastet

    NFL Thread

    Godsdammit, Saints! You had one job - get Tom Brady out of my post-season life. I will never have rooted for Green Bay as fervently in my life as I'm going to do next weekend.
  9. The one where the kid gets a bike and is so bummed he didn't get an insurance bundle instead like his sibling he kicks it? I love that one.
  10. Bastet

    Major Crimes

    Yes, Linda Rothman was Phillip Stroh's lawyer. He got the best of her during the preliminary hearing (season two finale), getting the previously-excluded threatening letters admitted. I tear up every time I watch it. It's terrific specifically for Sharon, and she's also standing in for women everywhere, so we feel it in a particular way when she finally gets her due. (BTW, we have Mary McDonnell to thank for the promotion; she'd periodically ask James Duff if Sharon was ever going to be Commander.) I love it, too, because it's so clear without Sharon needing to say it that she knows he wouldn't speak that way to a male superior officer, and that pisses her off. Yes, he is, and, no, he doesn't ever wind up having a clear purpose. Granted, they wound up with only 13 episodes to work with, and there's another new character introduced, too (plus, Mason is new), but just like the storyline of a cop trying to reintegrate to squad life after being undercover - and with Nazis to boot - for so many years doesn't get explored in season five, it doesn't get any better in season six. Mason does prove to be problematic in season six, but in a different way and manner than Davis would have been. Same here. I love to picture Rusty mowing her lawn for eight years, like he agreed to as part of getting her to sign off on him interviewing Slider. I also love when she snaps her fingers in his face instead of just asking him or otherwise politely gesturing for him to hand her a file in "Cleared History". Yet only slight. There's only a small percentage of each episode available for personal storylines, and with about 10 characters in the main credits, the overwhelming majority of that precious time is given to Rusty. And not just more than the other members of the ensemble, but more than the main character. It's infuriating, no matter how I feel about Rusty himself at any given time. That is a particularly egregious aspect of the Rusty worship going on at that point in the show, because Judge Grove had always been so deliciously cranky and annoyed with Rusty despite the judge's friendship with Sharon. Very. Duff and the writers have said the audience hated her more than they intended; they tried to redeem her in the second half of season two, but it didn't work and she only ever appeared again in conjunction with the Stroh case. Which was fine with me; I found her very out of step with the rest of the show, and how often she was the subject of the camera's gaze - especially in that wardrobe of hers - was disturbing. Gloria Lim is another problematic character, and it's disturbing two women of color were written as such stereotypical antagonists.
  11. He influences me to change the station post haste. He had a significant impact on the genre, certainly (and unfortunately, IMO). How much his influence is still felt, I can't properly speak to; I listened to less and less country starting around 2000.
  12. Bastet

    Major Crimes

    She was already Commander; Mason, in his first act as Asst. Chief, promoted her in "Shockwave" (the season five finale).
  13. I got caught up with the Still Woman Enough reading (I love Kathleen Madigan's reactions, especially to all things "Doo"), so started watching the Nickel Dreams stuff last night; Tanya's crazy life is tame by comparison. Oh, hell to the no. This needs to be significantly higher. I now have this song stuck in my head. And I don't mind.
  14. I love her reaction when her grandma goes to get that guy's number at the gas station.
  15. I, on the other hand, will take a hard pass on all of them.
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