A review by Jenni:

So watching TBAA every Friday night is my thing.  But tonight I had a prior commitment and it ran later than I thought so... it's now 11:51 PM and I'm just starting this.  But I made it!  And with this big ol' mug of chai, hopefully I can stay up.

What I love about this episode:

I like how Monica describes herself as being in Communications.  It's accurate!

I also love how Monica doesn't give Buzz anything to go on when he gets rude during her first day.  She doesn't play into his disrespect and she doesn't go to pieces.  Way to be.

"I am the morning DJ at W-O-L-D-D-D!"  :-)  Buzz's backstory kinda reminds me of that song but I'm cool with it cause I love Harry Chapin.

"I'm here to tell you that God's listening."  Thank you, Andrew.

I like Buzz.  I don't mean I like him as a person.  But I like that he's complicated.  Even though I've seen this before, I find myself wondering what the deal is with this guy.  Oh, he's decent!  Oh no, he's just playing Scott...  It's compelling to watch where as with some assignments I just find myself wishing they'd get back to the angels.

Well, it's a good advertisement for Employee Assistance Programs.  This plot certainly shows how personal problems can work their way into one's performance at work...

John seems to have liked extreme close-ups.  The ones of Buzz after he hears from his lawyer are really gripping.  I also really like the score during that scene.  Not sure why...  It's pretty and sad.

As scary as it is... the scene of the crowd shouting "Jump!" seems true to life.  In the wake of a couple news events, I've been reading about mob mentality.  Freaky.  You'd like to think this would never happen...  But you'd also like to think everyone would stop to help a dying toddler.  You'd like to think college students would see reason and not riot on campus over just a touch of long-delayed justice.  But you'd be thinking wrong.

"There's a book... the Book of Life.  And God has written your name in that Book.  He has a plan for you."  Another really beautiful Andrew
quote.  He's making me cry at this point. 

Ha.  Tess going off on an adulterer makes me happy.  Especially cause she isn't at all proper and prim about it.  "A
roll in the hay"!!!

Back to mob mentality...  I like that, with Tony, they also show how pulling away and acting as an individual can save lives.  And you may get more individuals to join you.  And then mob mentality can become a group of people working together for good. 

I really love how Monica tells Buzz that God loves him but not what he's become.  Because I do believe God's love is eternal and unconditional.  But that's not a free pass to act like a jerk.

This episode just makes me miss TBAA all the more...  Cause Monica's right.  Envelopes get pushed.  Standards fall.  The world, bit by bit, becomes more crass and more angry.  We need more shows that offer hope and love.  Or else we just really need all DVDs of the ones that did in the past...

"He loves you more than you can ever imagine.  But He requires something of you, too: that you turn around and offer that love to someone else."  Excellent quote from Monica to Buzz.

I'm really glad Scott made a point to tell Andrew good bye!

What I didn't love about this episode:
I'm trying to cut back on pastries and cakes and such...  Why did Gloria have to bring up doughnuts???

I just really wish Scott's friend hadn't been named John.

Kinda weird that Tess says "I'm no lady, I'm an angel."  If angels can be girls and boys a la Angel Girl and Angel Boy... I would think they could be ladies.

Lingering questions:

What happened to some TBAA writer that they did not one but two episodes about local shock jocks?  Just seems odd as I don't think of shock jockery as an issue of the importance of, say, eating disorders which they never really tackled at all.

I wonder if John had a choice on which episode he could direct?  If yes, I wonder why he chose this one?  I mean I really like it and he did an excellent job.  Just curious.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
I love him...  So cool that he's both actor and director here.

There's another example of a wordless Andrew scene that conveys so much.  His expression when the boy steps onto the ledge...  Poor Andrew.  Poor Scott.

I love that Andrew tells Scott he'd love to help him.  Not "I've been sent to help you" or simply "I want to help you."  "I'd love to help you."  I like it when it's obvious the angels aren't just following orders but find joy in what they do and want to help us... love to help us.

There aren't that many shots of Andrew.  Normally, this would be disappointing.  And, admittedly, I do wish there were more.  But it's really rather touching to think that John directed this and truly let others shine.  He didn't use his directorial stint to grab as much screen time as he possibly could.

The look on his face when Scott asks him why no one told John about the Book of Life and he says "I did..."  I just wanna hug him. 

Such a lovely smile when Scott tells Andrew good bye. 

Random thoughts:

Music: Buzz's theme music. 

At points I can really hear Alec Baldwin...  I wonder if it's confusing when one Baldwin brother calls another on the phone?  Maybe not with caller ID.  Also, family members usually can tell each other apart, I think.  Lotsa people confuse my mom and me but not my Grandma or dad.

Scenes Hallmark cut:
- Geez.  They cut into Andrew's Book of Life quote.  Here's the full version as it originally aired:
"There's a book, Scott... the Book of Life.  And God has written your name in that Book.  He has a plan for you.  He chose the moment of your birth.  He's chosen the moment of your death.  And if you take that out of His hands then you're gonna miss the life that He wanted to give you."  Then Scott asks why no one told that to John which THC keeps.  It's just a shame they chose to cut the "He chose/He's chosen" sentences because there's something really powerful in hearing John say them.  Because that was a really hard thing for me to come to terms with.

- Sheesh.  They cut more from that scene.  After Andrew tells Scott that he did tell John the same message, he goes onto say "You're not John, Scott.  You're still alive and you still have a choice."  Then the police officer pokes his head out which THC has.  What did they have against Andrew's four sentences???  I mean it's a shame they had to cut anything but there are some lingering purely visual scenes that they coulda cut instead!

Further on down the road...
Welcome to my first review from my new computer, Willowveil.  I'll still be screen capping from Serendipity sometimes, I think, cause, frankly, the recent versions of PowerDVD are horrible.  I found a fix with another program which I'm using tonght but it's kinda too complicated.  But at least I can watch from here.  Now.  Had to call customer service to fix the color.  It's been an ordeal of sorts!  It really made me realize how personal color perception is.  It was like my very own white dress/blue dress debacle.

Not to defend Buzz but that lady who called in wasn't very coherent.  Complaining about politicians has nothing to do with a lack of appreciation for our power to vote.  I complain about politicians a lot... because it's disappointing that our power to vote still sometimes gives us clueless wonders.

I'm really surprised the head of the station didn't get involved.  Had this gone south, people woulda been out for blood and wouldn't have settled on just targeting Buzz. 

ll sad that the dead friend's name is John.  It catches me off-guard every time they talk about "John" being gone.

Gotta wonder about this lawyer.  I agree that Buzz needs to get himself together before he has custody of the children but the lawyer seems annoyed that he even tried the case.  So why did he?  If he did just want the money then it's pretty lousy to act like a jerk.

I really like the scoring after Buzz learns the custody change is a no-go.  Very sedate and pretty yet kinda eery.

TBAA really did like the theme of idealistic media person turning into distasteful hack... and then back.

I wonder about "the envelope."  And something worry about it.  What is a creative person's responsibility to their audience?  And how does one weigh education and realism against not wanting to drag someone down?  Like even though I don't watch Game of Thrones, I read some of the philosophizing about it cause it is such a hotbed for these ideas.  Though I realize it's fantasy, it's obviously got a Medieval vibe and that real life era was terrible.  War is terrible.  Is presenting that in a brutal way okay since reality can be brutal or not?  Maybe is it about balance?  While I'll certainly never write anything on par with GoT, I have wondered at times if I've gone too far.  I just don't know...  In the case of this episode, what Buzz was doing was undeniably wrong.  But sometimes it's not so clear. 

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