Thursday, December 29, 2011

There is only One Tree Hill

I fought watching this show for SO MANY YEARS. I felt like I had lots of good reasons. When UPN and The WB merged back in the day One Tree Hill was picked up and my favorite Everwood was not. My feelings were hurt and I can hold a grudge like none other! I had also heard a ton of stories about unrest on set, fights to keep it on air and fans who were wildly unimpressed with later seasons.

Thankfully I had a group of wonderful friends, kind enough to hound me into watching it. Finally. (Thank you Sandi. Again).

There were a lot of things about One Tree Hill that I found silly. A lot of things I found ridiculous. And many more things that I found absolutely maddening!!

And yet...... And yet.....

I fell madly in love. With something I wanted so badly to hate. There is probably a lesson in all of this. A totally "make me want to barf for having these kinds of feelings" lesson, but a lesson just the same.

So what did I fall madly in love with? Too many things to count, name or catalog. But here is a start:

Favorite Couple:
I want to get this one out of the way quick because everyone on twitter has been asking me about it since I first started: Nathan and Haley. No doubt, no question. They survive, they love, they make it SO REAL. They have problems, they suffer through life. And still.... they make dreams come true. They feed each others' souls. They have so much passion. They don't always agree but they do make it work. They talk, they doubt, they believe, they fight. And even when they tease each other they believe in their love above everything else. That makes them so real to me. And real is very sexy. Real is beautiful.

Favorite Character:
This one is pretty easy too. There have been a lot of characters that I started off hating and ended up adoring. And I love being wrong about characters. None more so though than Nathan Scott. I thought he was such a dick in the beginning. And then he became the anti-hero. And then an actual hero. And then everything any girl would ever dream of. He is faulted and troubled but, he is also sweet and noble and strong. And he's a really great dad. Is there anything hotter than that? Watch him do it and I DARE your ovaries not to ache. And holy LORD he looks good with his shirt off. Hello arm porn!

Favorite Episode:
This is a super-duper hard choice to make. There are a lot of things that go into a great episode of TV. And because I watched 8 seasons in less than 2 weeks, it is very difficult for me to pick just one. Or 6. So... I've chosen my top 3 Happy and my top 3 Sad. And that is the best that I can do!
  • Sad #3: 3x16, "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept." There is not a whole lot more devastating in a high school than a school shooting. Especially when you lose a friend. Especially when you lose someone you love. Tree Hill and everyone in it was forever changed after these events. And not so much for the better.  
  • Happy #3: 3x14, "All Tomorrow's Parties." What's more fun than a class trip? Scott brother bonding and cheerleaders gone crazy!! And when the entire routine goes to crap in a totally hilarious way, the girls make the most of it and have the time of their lives! How can you not dance along?
  • Sad #2: 7x18, "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance." No matter how much Haley and her sisters prepare for the death of their mother, her loss is no easier to bear. Watching the girls try to let her go is so beautiful and yet so hard to see. Haley's subsequent breakdown is no picnic either. 
  • Happy #2: 4x21, "All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone." This episode did not have a happy start. The song  (Lightning Crashes) was epic and sad and beautiful, but did not give away our happy ending. Two babies born. One of them being the beloved James Lucas Scott. And then the High School life of our darling Ravens ends in a game at the River Court. Even Dan Scott couldn't take that happy away.
  • Sad #1: 6x03, "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly." Another character I hated at first and grew to love. And then he died. The death of Quentin was so much harder than I ever thought it would be. But he was Jamie's friend. Haley's student. And Nathan's inspiration. And when Jamie spread his cape over his coffin I wasn't sure I would ever recover. Because he was a true hero to my favorite OTH family and truly missed by all. 
  • Happy #1: 6x24, "Remember Me As a Time of Day," started out pretty intense. Would Peyton make it? Would she live to see the little girl she sacrificed herself to make? Certainly. And Peyton and Lucas and baby Sawyer got to be a family and drive off in the Comet into the happy blue yonder. Then Nathan too, got what he always wanted. The NBA. The thing he had worked toward his entire life. With his always supportive and loving wife and son by his side, he got to walk onto the court of his life long dream. What on earth could be happier than that?
Favorite Moments:
There are so many things that I have loved throughout these 8 seasons. Big things. Tiny things. Things that have made me clap my hands together in giant bouts of joy. Things that have made me bow my head in absolute sadness.Things that have made my heart swell into something 10 times its normal size. So many things.

  • 5x13: Nathan & Haley make up and get down after way too much time apart. And Nathan. UGH! "You know, sometimes I find your goodness staggering."
  • 6x22: When Brooke says goodbye to Sam. "You'll always be my first mom."
  • 6x14: Lucas & Nathan bond over children. "What's going on?" "Just playing walkie talkies with my brother."
  • 3x13: Nathan and Haley make up in the rain. "I was hurt, Haley, but I was still proud of you, everyday."
  • 4x16: Even in a fight, Brooke risks her life to go after Peyton. "Welcome to prom P. Sawyer."
  • 6x13: Peyton shares amazing news with the love of her life. "I'm having your baby, Lucas Scott."
  • 4x10: Haley fights for her life after a terrible accident. "Please… Please don't take her from me. Don't take our child from her."
  • 7x15: Reenacted bits from all of my favorite 80's movies. And my favorite couple plays my favorite couple! "I already have everything I ever wanted."
  • 8x11: Jamie & Brooke fight to escape an accident during a terrible storm. "Brooke! Don't leave me baby!"
Musical Moments:
One of my favorite things about One Tree Hill was the constant music and recurring talent. Bethany Joy Galeotti (as Haley James Scott) and Kate Voegele (as Mia Catalano) provided so many beautiful songs. But there were others too. Music and lyrics to fit the most amazing moments!
  • 1x08: "Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot: Nathan & Haley kiss for the first time.
  • 4x09: "Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez: Lucas realizes his love for Peyton.
  • 6x03: "Quiet In My Town" by Civil Twilight: Quentin's funeral.
  • 7x22: "Timshel" by Mumford & Sons: Haley jumps into the pool & reflects on her life.
All of these moments and quotes and songs are just a small taste, a small portion of the magic that I found in Tree Hill over the last couple of weeks. Not bad for something I set out to hate huh?

Now Brooke has her boys. All three of them. Nathan and Haley have all they've ever wanted with a baby girl on top. What comes next?

Can't wait to watch Season 9 with all of you who love this show as much as I have grown to. Thanks for keeping me company during my marathon! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

To All the Television I've Wept Before

For some reason, over the last several days on Twitter, we’ve been chatting about the most sob inducing television episodes of ALL TIME. Bless my dear friend MelissaLeaman for starting this trend and my friend Carrie Raisler for dubbing said episodes as #cryisodes.  I guess the holidays are really starting to wear on us. Either way, I suppose it’s best to get all of the creys out now instead of next week over gifts and too much eggnog surrounded by family. Right? So let’s get to it. Grab a glass of wine (or 6) a box of tissues (or several) and read all about my favorite television breakdowns.

P.S. These are not in any kind of order. It seemed wrong to rank my points of emotional annihilation.

P.P.S. I decided to choose only one episode from each show so all mentioned shows get a “Runner up”

*Dawson’s Creek 5x04 “The Long Goodbye”
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Reason for tears: Dawson loses his dad in a car accident and blames himself.

Quote: (Telling Dawson about his last conversation with Mitch) Mr. Brennan: “Well, when I mentioned your name, his whole face just lit up. He said you were this brave kid, but he had no idea how you got to be that way. He said you had a romantic streak a mile long, and he said he was proud to know you. I'm sorry if that makes you sad, Dawson, but I figure if somebody says that about you, you ought to know it.

All the feels: I lost my own mother just a month and a half before this episode aired. Dawson’s Creek was always something my sister and I shared and we always felt like it was a pretty big part of our lives. Never before though had we related to the characters so much. Holding each other while watching this one will always be a bitter-sweet memory for me.

Runner up: 6x24 “...Must Come to an End”
 – The death of Jen Lindley – please never again make me watch that video she made for her daughter. “Hi Amy, it's mom. Well, by the time you see this, I won't be here anymore, and I know how much that sucks, for both of us. So seeing as how I won't be around to thoroughly annoy you, I thought I would give you a little list of the things that I wish for you.”

*Grey’s Anatomy 2x27 “Losing My Religion”
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Reason for tears: Izzy risks her career and everyone else’s to get Denny a new heart only to have it give out on him after she leaves to get dressed for the hospital prom.

Quote: Izzie: "An hour ago he was proposing. And now... and now he's going to the morgue. Isn't that ridiculous? Isn't it the most ridiculous piece of crap you've ever... " (starts sobbing. Alex picks her up, cradling her, and sits down on a chair holding and rocking her while she sobs).

All the feels: If she hadn’t been so damn happy when she left to go get dressed, if she hadn’t crawled into bed with him after he died, if Alex wouldn’t have cradled her the way that he did to get her to let him go, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. Except that it was SO BAD.

Runner Up: 6x24 “Death and All His Friends” 
– Nearly everyone at Seattle Grace is shot by the husband of a dead patient – please never again make me see Christina’s tears as she is forced at gun point to stop performing surgery on Derek. It only makes me think of “She’s my person.”

* The O.C. 4x01 “The Avengers”

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Reason for tears: Months after Marissa was killed in a car “accident” the residents of Newport are still reeling from her loss.

Quote: Ryan: “Face it. I always bring troubles. Trey, Volchok. You and your family... You're better off without me.

All the feels: Because Ryan Atwood chooses to cage fight instead of cry about losing the love of his life, I feel like I must cry extra for him. He has shunned anything resembling love and comfort as some kind of punishment he doesn’t deserve. Which makes the unveiling of his Origin Story that much more heart crushing. Comic books are not supposed to make people cry. SETH! 

Runner up: 1x27 “The Ties That Bind” 
– Everyone mourns when Ryan feels he must leave Newport – please never again make me witness Kirsten Cohen breaking down as she folds up Ryan’s abandoned bed clothes. Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” serenades everyone’s pain perfectly.

*Buffy The Vampire Slayer 5x15 “The Body”
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Reason for tears: In the land of all things supernatural, Buffy loses her mother to natural causes.

Quote: Anya: “But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens, how we go through this. I mean - I knew her, and then she's... there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore! It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! And... and Xander's crying and not talking, and... and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, "Well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch - ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever," and no one will explain to me why.

All the feels: Again, because I have lost my own mother, this episode is especially hard. But Joss Whedon did something with this episode that no one else has tried before or since for a major character death: silence. There was no score or soundtrack or song. Just the normal sounds of the opening and closing of doors, of birds chirping outside. Which just made it all so much more REAL. Because when you lose someone in real life, there is no orchestra standing behind you to score your emotional breakdown. There is just loss.

Runner up: 2x22 “Becoming, Part 2” 
– Buffy is forced to send Angel to hell in order to save the world just as he gets his soul back – “Close your eyes.” Please never again make me listen to "Full of Grace" by Sarah McLachlan.

*Castle 3x24 “Knockout”

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Reason for tears: Beckett learns more about the murder of her mother and then is gunned down at a friend’s funeral.

Quote: Castle: (After gunshot) “Kate! No Kate... Ssh. Kate please. Stay with me Kate. Don't leave me, please. Stay with me okay? Kate... I love you. I love you, Kate.

All the feels: We all knew Beckett wouldn’t actually die. Obviously. But watching her get shot and Castle’s subsequent reaction proved to be more than my emotions could handle. His confession of love when it may have been too late didn’t help much either.

Runner up: 4x01 “Rise” 
– Beckett fights for her life after being shot – please never again make me suffer through Castle screaming at Beckett out of love and anger when she never called him post recovery.

*Friday Night Lights 4x13 “Thanksgiving”

Reason for tears: After getting caught running an illegal chop-shop Tim Riggins takes all of the blame so that his brother Billy can care for his new family.

Quote: Tim: “You are my brother. You are all that I have. You have a family now. You are a father. You need to be one. This is my decision. This is what I have decided. This is what’s gonna happen. You’re my brother.”

All the feels: Tim messed up a lot. But most of the time he just got crapped on. Time and again. And then he took all of the blame when the law came down just so that his brother could be a father in a way that their father never was. He gave up everything for family. And while he never had lofty goals, I doubt being in prison a year after his senior state championship game was ever on his list. It’s probably easier to choose FNL episodes that DIDN’T make me cry but this one will always bring the rain.

Runner up: 4x05 “The Son” 
– Matt loses his dad – please never again, I just cannot. “I gotta get up there in front of everybody and say good stuff about this man. And all I really want to say is 'Hear lies Henry Saracen, his mother annoyed him, his wife couldn't stand him and he didn't want to be a dad so he took off to be in the army because that's the only way he could come up with to get out of here and ditch all your responsibilities and no one could call you out on it and that worked out great so you just decided to enlist four more times and that ended up getting you killed and now here you are. And all you left behind is a mother with dementia, a divorced wife and a son that delivers pizza. Thank you for coming 100 people I do not know.' You know what the worst part is? Even if I did get up and say all that I don't even know if I'm saying it to him because I don't know what's in that damn box. It's a closed casket-- might be someone else, someone funnier or a bunch of rocks. I understand Matt. I really do.

*Angel 5x15 “A Hole in the World”

Reason for tears: Moments into realizing true love with Wesley, Fred loses her battle with a supernatural virus after opening an ancient sarcophagus.

Quote: Fred: “I need you to talk to my parents. They have to know I wasn't scared. That it was quick, that I wasn't scared. Oh God!” Wesley: “I need you to fight, you don't have to talk, just concentrate on fighting. Just hold on.” Fred: “I'm not scared. I'm not scared. I'm not scared. Please. Wesley. Why can't I stay?

All the feels: Wesley loved Fred from the moment he saw her. And isn’t it Joss’ way to take her away from him just as he gets her. And Fred, always so brave. Of course, it gets worse for Wes and the rest of Angel’s inner circle when Fred’s body becomes the God Illyria who couldn’t be more different from Fred. Too bad Illyria insists on wearing Fred's face. You know it’s bad when even Spike is suffering. “There's a hole in the world. Feels like we ought to have known.

Runner up: 5x12 “You’re Welcome” 
– Cordelia comes out of her coma to give Angel both a proper goodbye and what he needs to win – “Don't make it hard, Angel. I'm just on a different road...and this is my off-ramp. The Powers That Be owed me one, and I didn't waste it. I got my guy back on track.” Please never again make me see his face when he realizes that she has been dead the entire time. 

*The Vampire Diaries 2x21 “The Sun Also Rises”

Reason for tears: Despite everyone’s hard work to keep death at bay, Aunt Jenna is turned and then murdered by Klaus.

Quote: Elena: “Just turn it off. Jenna turn it off. You won’t be scared anymore.”

All the feels: TVD has never shied away from killing major characters. And it has always hurt. But none quite like this one. Even though a lot of us made fun of Jenna for being a mostly drunk door opener, her loss had us all hitting rock bottom. In order to really feel the pain we were forced to face those who loved her most. Jeremy, Elena and Alaric. And all of their tears came together to create a Molotov cocktail of sorrow no one was prepared to swallow. Making the cocktail stronger is “Skinny Love” by Birdy. OUCH.

Runner up: 2x06 “Plan B”
 – Elena gives up her relationship with Stefan to keep her family safe - please never again make me watch Paul Wesley cry like that. When he cries like that all of my unicorns stop eating and nearly die. It’s gut wrenching. (Made worse/better listening to “Wires” by Athlete).

*Bones 5x16 “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole”

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Reason for tears: After revisiting their first case, Booth gives his heart to Brennan only to have it refused.

Quote: Booth: “Well then let's go for a different outcome here, all right? Let's just, hear me out alright? You know when you talk to older couples who, have been in love for thirty or forty or fifty years alright? It's always the guy who says ‘I knew.’ ... I knew, right from the beginning.” Brennan: “Your evidence is anecdotal.” Booth: “I'm that guy. Bones, I'm that guy, I know.” Brennan: (crying) I- I am not a gambler. I'm a scientist. I can't change. I don't know how ... I don't know how.

All the feels: After overcoming years of a “we’re just partners” partnership and his own insecurities, Booth finally lets Bones know just how much he loves her and is immediately shot down because Bones doesn’t know how to feel her feelings. And it is not for her own sake that she stays away, but for his. Because she doesn’t feel that she has the love to give him for the 30-40-50 years he wants and deserves.

Runner up: 6x22 “The Hole in the Heart” 
– Intern Vincent Nigel-Murray falls victim to a hunted sniper – please never again make me watch Brennan tell him he will be ok.

*Supernatural 5x22 “Swan Song”
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Reason for tears: Knowing that there is no other option, Sam gives himself up to Satan in order to help Dean stop the Apocalypse.

Quote: Dean: “Sam. Sammy. It’s ok. I’m here. I’m not gonna leave you." Sam: “It’s ok Dean. It’s gonna be ok. I got it.”

All the feels: It’s hard for me to even talk about this one. Dean finally lets Sam grow up. But letting Sam grow up means letting him go. Dean has to trust Sam to take on Satan himself. It’s so hard to watch Dean take that brutal beating before Sam gets the reins back, but Sam wins. Except that when Sam wins, the Winchester brothers who have spent the last 5 years together, saving people, hunting things, lose. Because they lose each other.

“So what's it all add up to? It's hard to say. But me, I'd say this was a test... for Sam and Dean. And I think they did all right. Up against, Good, Evil, angels, devils, Destiny, and God himself, they made their own choice. They chose family. And, well... isn't that kinda the whole point? No doubt--endings are hard. But then again... nothing ever really ends, does it?”

Runner up: 2x22 “All Hell Breaks Loose: Part II” 
– Dean sells his soul to bring Sam back from the dead – There isn’t much in this world more powerful than one brother trading his life for another. Please never again make me watch Dean take the blame for losing Sam. “It's like I had one job. I had one job, and I screwed it up. I blew it, and for that, I'm sorry. I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love. Y'know, I let Dad down, and now I guess I'm just supposed to let you down, too. How can I? How am I supposed to live with that? What am I supposed to do? Sammy? What am I supposed to do?”

So how did I do? Did I make you cry? What did I miss? Go ape shit in the comments. After I recover from putting this soul sucking list together I may read some of them! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - My Review

From the moment I put down my hard cover copy of Breaking Dawn for the first time, I knew this movie would be next to impossible to make. There is just too much that works only on the page. That has been the case with most of the Twilight series, especially in regards to a lot of the dialogue (which is cheesy on the sweet side when read but mostly absurd when heard aloud) and the sparkling effect of the vampire’s “marble” like skin. In this movie I felt that there were some parts that turned out really well on screen. And a few that really didn’t.


What I Loved:
  • Before the movie even started I got to see a commercial for The Vampire Diaries on the big screen (can you imagine getting to watch them that big every week? EPIC. Must win lottery) and I got to watch the trailer for The Hunger Games (which I am obsessed with). I did good this time though. No choking sobs. Yay me!
  • The wedding was beautiful. Edward and Bella were stunning, Charlie Swan & Jessica Stanley were hilarious (as a matter of fact Billy Burke and Anna Kendrick stole every scene they were in). And while usually I feel like Kristen Stewart couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag, her nerves heading to the alter were more than believable, they were gripping. As was her relief at seeing Edward at the end of the aisle. Bella’s moment with Jacob was also very well done and came across almost exactly how I saw it when reading. I loved the use of the Iron & Wine song from Edward & Bella’s first dance in the first movie. It was a great way to bring their relationship full circle.
  • I loved almost everything about the honeymoon (OMFG I WANT THAT HOUSE!) Though I would have loved to see the rated R sex scene, what they did show was romantic and sexy and really beautifully shot (the bed breaking was fun and made the entire theater laugh really loud). And oh my God yay! Feathers! I’m glad they didn’t actually show him ripping the pillows open with his teeth. That would have looked so dumb. Bella prancing around in her nighties and getting Edward all riled up was adorable. I also really loved the chess board with the red & white pieces as a shout out to the book cover. Subtle and fun.
  •  I thought some of Bella’s pregnancy and death special effects were pretty awesome. They really made Bella look so nasty. Sunken eyes and bones protruding. I thought that was pretty true to the book. I also loved the effect they used when showing Edward’s venom traveling through her veins and her body repairing itself (ok, some of that looked silly as hell but some was really awesome). Robert and Taylor did an excellent job playing two men losing the love of their lives as Bella lay dying on the table. Edward’s desperate attempts to spread more of his venom and give her CPR were moving and intense. I was wringing my hands rather much for someone who has read the book several times.
  • My favorite of the movie is when she opens her eyes to flash those red irises right before the screen cuts to black. Excellent place to make the cut. I was impressed

What I hated:
  • The shot of Stephenie Meyer as a wedding guest was wicked stupid and way too long. Was it in her contract or something? Who does she think she is? Stephen King? Stan Lee. I think not lady. Sit the hell down.
  •  Are they sure they can’t create the honey color of the vampires’ eyes with CGI? Did they even try? Those contacts are awful and they make some of the most mediocre acting even worse. The Cullens weren't as bad as the Alaskan cousins though. WOW. Very distracting.
  •  One of my husband’s least favorite things in the world is animals in costumes. Drives him nuts. The only thing he hates more is talking animal movies. When the wolves started having a human conversation in dog form I thought he was going to walk out. Had they been wearing clothes over their fur I am sure he would have. It’s another one of those things that works on the page but not at all on the screen and it was definitely one of the most ridiculous things I have seen from these movies so far. My entire group was howling (ha! Get it?) with laughter.
  • Carter Burwell, who scored the first film, was back for this one. Much to my chagrin. I hated what he did with the music in Twilight and I hated it in Breaking Dawn. Scenes that should have felt scary or somber came off confusingly light due to the melodies he used. Especially the birth scene. It didn’t fit at all. On the other hand, I thought the songs chosen for the soundtrack DID fit with each of the scenese they were chosen for and can't wait to listen to them nonstop on my iPod.
  • Speaking of the birth scene, and maybe I’m getting picky here, but the scene when she gets to see the baby for the first time just didn’t have the same desperation and intensity I was expecting. It moved a little slow for a life or death situation. Very strange pacing. And like the sex, I could have used more rated R stuff here. Damn PG-13 rating.
What did you think friends? Love it? Hate it? Favorite part? Least favorite part? I haven’t quite decided where this one ranks with the other 3. I may have to see Part 2 before I can decide. I’m not sure it’s my favorite but I may just have to see it a second time before I am sure about that. Yes. A second time would totally be for research and nothing else. Uh-huh.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Smells Like Teen Spirit

The title of tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries has had me doing a lot of thinking. Not just about the episode (which I am VERY excited to see) but also about where the title came from. My guess is that 98% think immediately to the Nirvana song of the same title which is absolutely iconic of course! (If you’ve never heard the Tori Amos cover please seek it out. Also totally epic).

Anyways, the reality is that it’s about deodorant. More specifically, the very first deodorant made just for teens. And if you did not have this in the locker room at my Jr. High you may as well skip gym altogether. (I am totally aging myself aren’t I?) I think they still make this stuff but I want everyone to remember that it was created for a generation of teens who watched Saved By The Bell live on Saturday mornings and then had to travel to Blockbuster Music to stand in line for concert tickets. Perhaps those concert tickets were to see Nirvana live as well.

The senior class of Mystic Falls High really doesn’t have time for Saturday morning TV and if they wanted concert tickets they could purchase them from their phones. So, the question is, what will their anthem be and what will they remember about this time when they are ancient like me?

Here we are now. Entertain us.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TVD’s Midsummer Night’s Horror

Ok, I know it’s not midsummer but I have been thinking a lot about this since last week’s episode and the subsequent conversation I had with Tiff on Friday. The relationships on our favorite show have never been more complicated. And I mean NEVER. And since my opinions on the subject are SO important, I thought I’d break it all down and share with you all.

• Elena. Oh Elena. Clearly she loves Stefan. No doubt about that. But was his growling at her last week enough for her to be able to press pause until she can get him back from the dark side? (Personally I’d have jumped him right then and there just for that but, I digress). How will she feel once she learns about Rebekah? She knows there was Katherine and a playboy bunny or two before her but can she let slide a real ripper love affair?  And let’s not forget about the OTHER Salvatore. How IS she feeling about Damon these days? Will this break from the Save Stefan mission give her time to finally decide? Will Damon be willing to let her make the move, knowing that if Stefan were to return it would likely tear her in two? Is there even the possibility of happily ever after with Stefan’s loss hanging over both of them like rotting fruit?

• Speaking of Stefan. He loves Elena. He’s trying to keep her safe. Blah, blah, blah. We know all of that. But how does 2011 Stefan feel about Rebekah? Were his prior feelings fueled only by blood rage or was it something more? Can true love ever be compelled away? We all know the quote from the original books about Stefan and Elena finding each other regardless of the circumstances, but could that be true? If he was never made to forget Rebekah, would he have ever found Elena?

• Let’s address Stefan’s third lady in this situation (he certainly gets around). Miss Katherine. It’s quite clear now (to me) that she has true feelings of love for Stefan to this day and she wasn’t lying about stalking him all that time. At one point I could try and make the case that her feelings for him were gone but her little trek to Chicago has made that argument invalid. She wants him. Oh yes. But how much does she know about Rebekah? And how far is she willing to go to get her out of the way? Not sure that  it matters who she gets out of her way though. Stefan doesn’t love her. Not anymore. I think he has forgiven her for what she did to them but his love was that of an innocent boy which he has not been for a very long time. As opposed to Damon's love for her which took him through the greater part of a century and a half. Which leads me to:

• UNPOPULAR OPINION TIME!!!!! I think Damon and Katherine need to get over themselves and admit that they belong together forever. The kind of love Stefan and Elena want and need could never be provided by the likes of those two. They just aren’t built that way. Plus, who besides each other could keep up with their speedy wit and snarky quips for all eternity? Damon and Katherine are two sides of the same coin my dears and the faster they come to terms with that the happier they’ll be.

In closing: Elena loves Stefan and Stefan loves Elena but they can't be together right now. Damon also loves Elena but we don't know if how she really feels about him. Katherine loves Stefan and I imagine has lingering feelings for Damon but no one will admit to loving Katherine cuz she's an evil bitch. We think that Rebekah loves Stefan and that Stefan might love Rebekah but one shared neck is hardly enough to judge by.

What do you think friends? Did I get it right? Did I get it wrong? Do you have the answers to any of my burning questions? And lastly, IS IT THURSDAY YET?

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Summer Book Report: Supernatural Edition

The “Hellatus” between seasons 6 and 7 of Supernatural got to be a bit too much for me to handle this summer so I decided to fill as much time as I could scarfing up any and all Winchester bits I could get my hands on, including a few of the Supernatural novels. Something important to know about these books is that you DO need to be pretty familiar with the show before reading but you DO NOT need to be familiar with any of the other novels released before or after the one you’re about to indulge in. You also DO NOT need to read the books to keep up with the show. They are simply previously unseen adventures that, for the most part, fit neatly between already aired episodes (also, the covers are very pretty to look at). A lot of you Supernatural fans may have already read every one of these novels and formed your own opinions (which I’d LOVE to hear! Please share!) but for those of you still thinking about giving them a try, here are a few of my (spoiler free) thoughts on a few that I’ve read.

Title: Coyote’s Kiss
Author:Christa Faust
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Timeline: Events of this novel take place between “Caged Heat” (6x10) and “Appointment in Sumara” (6x11)
Coyote’s Kiss is one of the latest of the Supernatural novels and also the first that I picked up. I was both anxious and apprehensive about diving in. Dean and a Souless Sam take on a case involving a monster they’ve never ganked (which fits right in with the rest of season 6) and a brand of hunter they’ve never experienced who leads them deep into Mexico with the goal of saving the world. Again. My strongest hope was that it wouldn’t venture too far off episode canon or too far away from the characters' voices. Some people watch Supernatural for the action, some for the eye candy, but I watch because I’ve fallen in love with who the Winchesters are. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. I imagine Souless Sam isn’t an easy character to write but he seemed pretty on point here. Not perfect by any means but I have few complaints. However, there were instances where I thought to myself, “Dean would NEVER say anything like that.” Mostly “chick flick” moments (come on. We all know Dean Winchester isn’t the touchy feel your feelings kind of butt kicker) but it didn’t happen often enough for me to throw the book out the window. For the most part I could clearly hear Jensen Ackles’ voice as if he himself were delivering Dean’s lines in a scene. The mythology was a little sloppy and confusing but engrossing overall. In the end I was able to over look the snags and really enjoy the ride.
Final grade: B-

Title: One Year Gone
Author: Rebecca Dessertine
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Timeline: Events of this novel take place between “Swan Song” (5x22) and “Exile on Main Street” (6x01)
I was especially excited to read this novel after reading the foreword by the Supernatural god himself, Eric Kripke as the book was written by his assistant. I wonder if Eric ever read the final book. Warning: I’m gonna get a little knit picky here. The individual(s) who edited this book need to be fired. There were countless wording, spelling and grammatical errors that just ripped me right out of the story time after time. The other issue, which not many others would ever have, is that it takes place in Salem. Where I live. Just a tiny bit of research or one glance at Google Maps would have saved me from so much aggravation. To give some credit, this was written to be a case that Dean and Souless Sam take on during the year they’re apart so they never actually have any interaction. Since the story of the Winchesters is all about their relationship, this tale would be next to impossible to tell for anyone. I do however want to point out that even without technical errors or difficult story lines, this book still would have probably made me mad. There was an incident on a pirate ship that was really fun to read and Souless Sam was detached, cold, & a bit scary. In other words: perfect. But Dean? Oh man. Aside from a few quiet moments where he mourned the loss of his brother, it was not even close. And the bits of his relationship with Lisa covered here were also pretty unbelievable. Not gonna lie. I wasn’t sad when it was over.
Final grade: D

Title: War of the Sons
Author: Rebecca Dessertine & David Reed
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Timeline: Events of this novel take place between “My Bloody Valentine” (5x14) and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” (5x15)
After reading One Year Gone I was a little nervous about taking on another of the Supernatural novels but my thirst for Winchester proved to be too much to resist. I worried for naught. War of the Sons was fun from the start. Their adventure took them to a time and place I’d never have guessed I’d love. Sam and Dean go on a mission to avert the apocalypse and, low and behold, find a bit of trouble along the way. What was great about it though was the character loyalty. The brother to brother dialogue was written true to voice as were their inner thoughts. Dean was actually very funny. Which at first I had a problem with considering how “My Bloody Valentine” left off. But once I thought about it, that’s how Dean is. He’s a survivor. He’ll allow himself a breakdown now and again and then it’s time to move on. He’s good at tucking bits of his misery away and getting on with the job. The pace, mythology and quick wit had me waiting on pins & needles when I had to be away from the book. A great way to fill the space before September 23rd.
Final grade: A

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TVD Season 3 Questionnaire Extraordinaire

Wow you guys. We're almost there. Can you believe we survived yet another TVD free summer? Only a little over one day left to wait so I put together something to help pass the time! I asked some of my favorite fellow Vampire Diaries fans to fill me on what they've loved about the season 3 promotion and what they're most looking forward to in the coming weeks. Their answers are a delight to read and (if at all possible) have made me even more anxious for Thursday night to be here. Thomas Galvin (@thomascgalvin), Melissa Leaman (@onlymystory), Crissy Calhoun (@crissycalhoun), and Abby Graham (@AbbyGraham ), all decided to play my little time killing game. Be sure to follow each of them on Twitter to keep up with all of their amazing words and projects.

1. Favorite image from a TVD Video promo:
Thomas: Elena's mouth dropping open when Damon walks out of the shower, covered in soap suds. And is it just me, or did she look a little longer than necessary before turning away? No, it's not. That girl wants - nay, needs - a little Damon in her. Life. In her life.

I also really love that you can tell the difference between Nina Dobrev playing Elena and Nina Dobrev playing Katherine, even when she isn't talking. That girl has chops.

Melissa: Klaus whispering in Stefan’s ear. While my slash loving side totally ships Klefan, I also love the idea of there being a literal devil on his shoulder. We’ve all known for a while now that Stefan is constantly fighting his inner demon. The implications of a flesh and blood demon tempting him at every turn fascinates me.

Crissy: Stefan pulling Elena’s hair.

Abby: Klaus and the cake.

2. Favorite TVD promo poster and/or episode still:
Thomas: The paintings where the vampires are all holding fruit / ripped out hearts are fantastically well done. And seriously? How awesome is it that the people who run this show decided "pretty people holding ripped out hearts" was the best way to speak to their core demographic?

I have to say, though, that Stefan's poster is my favorite, just because it makes a promise: Stefan can be awesome. I've been really hard on him in the past, mostly because he's a giant girly-boy who contributes nothing except agreeing to whatever suicidal plan Elena has cooked up this week, but there are glimmers of hope there. The Ripper has a lot of potential, and it'll be fun to watch Paul Wesley have a character he can actually sink his teeth into.

And actually, if the promos are accurate, he's going to have entire sororities full of characters he can sink his teeth into.

Melissa: The pomegranate. I actually enjoy the entire fruit motif because symbolism and mythology are particular interests of mine. I went way too into the whole thing on my Tumblr page but I like the pomegranate best. It manages to factor into both Elena as a character and the show as a whole.

Crissy: Hmm, I try not to look at the stills because I am a huge spoilerphobe, but the ones where Matt and Jer were hanging out looking all serious and ridiculously handsome were a nice reminder of all the goodness to come.

Abby: The illustration-looking one that looks like an evil children's book cover.

3. What you’d most like to see happen in the Season 3 premiere:
Thomas: A lot of people didn't love the Season Two opener, because they didn't think enough happened. But it turned out that a ton of fantastic plots were established in those short forty-five minutes.

I'm of the opinion that you shouldn't break what works. I just want them to set the scene for all of the craziness that's going to happen over the next twenty-two episodes. We've got Stefan and Klaus, Damon and Elena, Caroline and Tyler, Jeremy and Bonnie and The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and Katherine, and... maybe Alaric will get to talk a few times? That would be neat.

Of course, if they wanted to yank the Dagger of Not Really Dying out of Elijah, I wouldn't cry about it.

Melissa: Since I know that Stefan won’t really be letting his ripper flag fly until later, I think I’d most like to see some touching scenes between Alaric, Elena and Jeremy. People say your real family is the people you choose and those three have been developing their own version of a family for a while. I’d like to see some evidence of the three depending on each other, even if they don’t realize it.

Crissy: Klefan.

Abby: Ripper. Stefan. I know he'll happen, it's just the thing I'm most excited about, to see how Paul Wesley will play it.

4. What you’d most like to see happen within the first 6 episodes of Season 3:
Thomas: Six episodes is probably long enough for the writers to get Stefan back to Mystic Falls, and possibly free of Klaus. It would be very interesting to see how the Salvatore dynamic changes when Damon is the most rational one... not because Damon mellowed out, but because Stefan is batshit crazy.

I would also love for them to do something interesting with Bonnie. I've hated on her even more than Stefan, but I'd be ecstatic if they'd just make proper use of her. Give her some emotional development besides "I hate vampires and get nose bleeds a lot. But don't worry, it's not from the cocaine, it's from the magic." I'm still kind of rooting for her to become a Dark-Willow-style Big Bad. I think she'd be a fantastic tragic hero.

Melissa: Obviously I’m thrilled for RIPPAH STEFAN and the Roaring 20s flashbacks. I always love this show so it’s hard to say what I most want to see. But I guess that Elijah is woken up, lots of Damon/Alaric road trip bonding clich├ęs, tons of Anna and the beginning of a Matt story line.

Crissy: The rise of Elijah. (Actually I’m willing to wait a little longer to see that happen, as long as it does happen…)

Abby: Elijah: The Revenge

5. Which character do you think will offer the most surprises in Season 3?
Thomas: Stefan, just because I don't think people are used to seeing him as a bad guy. Even though we know it's coming, I think a lot of people are going to be shocked at how brutal The Ripper can be. And I really, really hope that's true.

Melissa: To me? I’m hoping Elena. I’d really like to see her go a bit darker. I think Matt’s going to be the Caroline of S3 though for most people. At the end of S1, the majority of fans hated Caroline and we’re hoping she wouldn’t make it through the premiere. Now of course, she’s one of the most beloved characters on the show. This time around, Matt seems to be in that boat but I know there’s not only so much more to the character but a wealth of talent in Zach. I can’t wait for this fandom to see that.

Crissy: Safe bet’s on Klaus, but I’m going to go with Elena.

Abby: Bonnie. I know that's a weird answer, but I think Kat Graham has more to offer the show than nosebleeds and moralizing, and I think the writers may be ready to show it.

6. Special predictions?
Thomas: Despite the troubled economy and a raft of failed promises, Obama will win a second term, largely because the American people are sick of the "political circus" in Washington.

Oh, you mean about TVD? Okay then.

I predict that there will be a Magic McGuffin that will cure Stefan of his Ripper tendencies, that Bonnie will be key in procuring said Plot Device, and that she will be emotionally conflicted over helping a vampire that has killed so many people. And then Damon will be all "STFU or GTFO," and she'll be like "okay fine, I'll help you this once," and Damon will be like "Witch please, you know you can't resist the eyebrows," and she'll be all like "you're right," and look at the ground like she's ashamed.

Melissa: Matt & Caroline will save Stefan while Elena & Elijah kill Klaus. Also, at some point, Katherine will have fun giving Damon & Alaric sexy dreams about each other.

Crissy: I’m terrible at guessing ahead — my only prediction is that we will not see it coming. Whatever “it” is.

Abby: None that come immediately to mind.

7. Your most burning TVD question:
Thomas: Not so much a question as a promise: if Caroline and Tyler have werepire puppies, I will walk to Atlanta and burn the set to the ground. Nothing says "jump that shark" like magic babies.

Though I guess you could turn that into a question. Like, "what kind of accelerant should you use to burn down an inexplicably empty high school?" Or "could they rebuild Caroline's house as fast as they repaired the Grill?" Or "where does Damon keep that flame thrower?"

Melissa: What is Mama Donovan and did Matt inherit some freaky gene from her?!

Crissy: The Original Petrova — who was she, why was she important enough to bind Klaus’s curse, and is she dead or undead?

Abby: None at the moment, I'm just waiting to see what will happen.

Just in case anyone reading this doesn't yet have September 15th tattooed on their foreheads yet, don't forget to watch the Season 3 premiere of The Vampire Diaries Thursday night at 8:00 PM EST on The CW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!