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I’ve been going back and forth on which episode to review and it’s been a tough decision.  I’m super busy right now, as is everyone, so I didn’t want to do something too involved, deep, or extremely beloved.  Instead, I was inspired by the news that Hulu is now streaming Osric Chau in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  I’ve decided to review Osric’s first episode in Supernatural - which is quite beloved anyway, and to talk about Dirk Gently and the joys of streaming.

 

The Road So Far

Charlie Bradbury, played by Felicia Day, has joined Team Free Will and has gotten her arm broken in the process.  Bobby is in danger of becoming a vengeful spirit, and the boys have gotten away with Dick Roman’s special package.

Recap

Sam and Dean break open the clay stone that they stole from Dick Roman.  Thunder rumbles and far away this happens:  Advanced Placement Student Kevin Tran gets struck by lightning in his home.  Meanwhile, Castiel awakes and Meg calls the boys to come to the hospital.  Kevin is obliviously driving himself to the hospital, also.  Castiel plays Sorry! with Dean while Kevin steals the demon tablet.  Sam chases Kevin around the hospital grounds for some time, and then things get worse when Angels show up wanting to take Kevin “The Prophet” Tran away with them.

Everyone scrambles to the safety of Rufus’ cabin, but Meg shows up and so do those pesky Angels.  After more arguing and some stabbing, the Angels agree to take Kevin back to his own home to translate the demon tablet.  Things go awry from there, as they usually do.

Review

I love this episode and it’s another great example of what was enjoyable about season seven.  The scene where Dean is breaking up the clay surrounding the tablet is awesome.  Thunder booms and Dean utters this great line: “Does that sound like - No…Wait…Stop, to you?”  Ha.  I think that I’m going to have to add some more quotes in this review because there are some great lines here. 

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We are introduced to the wonderful character of Kevin Tran as played by Osric Chau.  Kevin is so young, floppy-haired, and sweet.  He’s also very confused because he has no clue why he is with our boys, or why he was compelled to drive all that way just so he could grab onto a stone tablet and ruin his perfect Advanced Placement Student life.  What a fantastic character and a great addition to our show.  More than that, we see some great interaction with Dean who is also confused about who Kevin is, and we get to see the greatest chase scene in Supernatural.  Kevin is running low to the ground and turning on a dime, while Sam is loping after him and sliding all over the place.  That was magic.  I could watch that scene over and over. 

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Castiel is also turning into my favorite incarnation of Cas, ever!  I love Crazy Cas.  He doesn’t want to argue, he doesn’t want to fight; he just wants to watch the bees.  Oh man, I adore that guy.  He’s so sweet and befuddled.  His Heavenly Mission is over and he just wants to exist in peace and love.  Aww.  Dean, however, doesn’t love this Cas as much as I do.  He wants answers and he needs help, so doesn’t appreciate Cas’ newfound Zen attitude.  I loved it when they played the game Sorry! but Dean was just not in the mood to play, sadly. I also love Kevin’s reaction to our crazy gang and to Dean’s reaction to seeing Kevin for the first time.

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Kevin: “What's happening!?  What's happening!?” 

Dean: (looks at Kevin) “What is that?” 

Sam: “It's uh... Kevin Tran. He's, uh, in Advanced Placement.”

The car ride to the cabin is also great fun, with Kevin sitting next to Castiel in the back seat.  Poor Kevin just doesn’t know what he has just gotten himself into.  Kevin isn’t thrilled with Dean’s order to translate the demon tablet in that scary cabin.  You just can’t help but feel sorry for the poor kid, who's so young that he still has to worry about his mom and his scores on his SAT’s. 

Kevin: “This looks like a sex torture dungeon. Is this a sex torture dungeon?”

After giving the boys some help with the demon tablet, Kevin gets to go back home to his mom and relative safety, or that’s how it should have been.  Meg has a large part in this episode, also, and she’s as sweetly snarky as ever.  I like Meg as portrayed by Rachel Miner.  She’s always compelling to watch and she brings a new dynamic to the character.  On our show, one just should get used to the idea of different actors portraying the same character, as it happens - all the time.  Most of the time it makes sense and fits in well with the story, but sometimes…not so much.  There were many great exchanges between characters.  Here’s a couple of my favorite ones:

Meg: “He's been like the naked guy at the rave ever since he woke up. Totally useless.”

Castiel: “Will you look at her? My caretaker. All of that thorny pain. So beautiful.”

Meg: “We've been over this. I don't like poetry. Put up or shut up.”

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Castiel: (talking to Sam) “You seem troubled. 'Course, that's a primary aspect of your personality, so I sometimes ignore it.”

This episode was written by Ben Edlund, and it’s clear that he brings a lovely and creative energy to his scripts.  He seems to love words and he just makes the dialog sparkle.  Ben also did a terrific job directing this episode.

Reading IS fundamental and I’ve haunted enough libraries in my lifetime to know, but there’s another magical thing that has made my life so much richer.  Well, maybe not in my bank account, but hundreds of new worlds are on my screen to explore and I love it.  I spend too much money on cable, DVRs, Blu-rays, and streaming, but I balance that by not going to the movies as much as other people do.  I’d rather stay in the comfort of my own home, anyway and leave the movies for a special treat once or twice a year.  Below, I’m going to explain what Dirk Gently is all about, tell you more about Osric Chau, and tell you about some of my streaming favorites.

Random Musings on Dirk Gently and the Wonder of Modern TV

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – I wasn’t going to watch this show after reading some bad reviews, but I gave it a chance because Osric was so proud of it.  Lo and behold, I loved every episode, even when I couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on.  Season one was just added to Hulu and season two will premiere on BBC America this Fall.

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Okay, so these are the things to pay attention to when you watch the show:  Listen to everything that Dirk says.  There are clues in his prattle, plus that guy is hilarious.  Also, Todd knows more than he thinks he does and watch out for jumps in time.  You’ll see a Corgi or a black kitten running past, a blood-soaked lottery ticket, a girl named Lydia, lots of government types in black, a wandering assassin, and a sister with a bizarre disease.  You also need to pay attention to the Rowdy Three, even though there are really four members of it.  There’s a bad guy played by Battlestar Galactica’s Aaron Douglas that you also need to listen to carefully.  It’s difficult because he talks in a strange, muttering voice.

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Osric plays one of the Three and if he has a coherent line in the whole first season, I must have missed it.  He’s there, though, jumping around and giving it his all.  Osric was also in the film 2012 with John Cusack.  He played a monk and I don’t remember his part very well.  I’m definitely going to have to watch that again.  See Osric’s webpage - www.osricchau.com - for more info. 

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I got to tell Osric in person that I liked Dirk Gently at SFCon (Supernatural's San Francisco convention) last December.  He was very nice and it was easy to see that he loves his fans.  Even though the celebrities are supposed to stay behind their tables at autographs, while we were waiting in line we saw Osric jump up many times to hug a fan.  I also like to watch Osric in the Hillywood Parodies.  He’s in several of them.  I love those Hindi Sisters, they are very talented and obviously are having a great time together in their productions.

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Amazon Prime – I love this service.  I get to have free shipping on all my orders, plus there are many great shows to watch.  Among my favorites are:  The Man in the High Castle, Orphan Black, and Justified.  

Netflix – Has so many original programs that are very good, plus tons of sci-fi and fantasy shows.  God bless The CW for making a wonderful deal with Netflix.  I’ve discovered many shows from The CW’s past, plus the newer shows are on the streaming service very quickly after they end their seasons.  My favorite Netflix programs include:  Stranger Things, The Crown, Jessica Jones, Longmire, and almost every sci-fi show. 

Hulu – I wasn’t a big fan at first, but then they rolled out the “no commercial” option.  For a few extra bucks, those annoying commercials go away and it’s worth it to me, for sure.  Hulu has lots of programs, including The Handmaid’s Tale, 12 Monkeys, The X-Files, Buffy, and most of the Stargate shows.  They also have a large catalog of past episodes for many shows.  I watched The Amazing Race from the beginning and you can also watch most of the seasons of Top Chef and Project Runway if you’re feeling nostalgic.  I wish they would have all the seasons of everything.  Sometimes they have every season and then other shows will only have a few seasons available.  Currently airing shows are shown also, but just a few episodes at a time. 

I’m terrible with all these subscriptions.  I have Amazon Music Unlimited, Sirius XM Satellite Radio for my car, and I’m thinking of getting the HBO add-on this Fall because they are going to do some adaptations of my favorite books.  I might have to start selling off random possessions on eBay to pay for it all.  It would be nice to have all the programing in one place, but competition between production companies means that that will probably never happen.  This isn’t all up to just me, anyway.  My autistic daughter wants to watch all her shows on her DVR with the commercials.  Since she watches kid shows, the commercials are entertaining to her, especially if they feature McDonald’s or Toys R Us.  She has resisted every attempt that I’ve made to get her to watch Netflix.  I put in the satellite radio for my vehicle because ironically, my daughter hates radio commercials and gets upset when they come on.  Not that I blame her - I agree that radio commercials are long and boring, too.  TV viewing (and enjoying music) can be a complicated and expensive process nowadays, but way too fun to give up.

When I was a kid, we had three to five channels on our black and white television, no internet, no cell phones, and if you said the word “streaming,” I would’ve thought that you meant going swimming in a stream.  I love modern life, don’t you?  Let me know your thoughts about any of my random musings...I’ll be right here in cyberspace.

-----Mallena

Screencaps:

Dirk Gently courtesy of tvinsider.com

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Osric Chau in 2012 courtesy of osricchau.com