Sunday, October 20, 2013


I don't like True Blood. I don't like Twilight. Actually, in general, I don't like TV shows or movies about vampires, unless they're Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel. A few years ago, I made an exception for The Vampire Diaries and started watching the show when it premiered.

The first season was okay. The second was good. The third was great. And then everything went downhill last year, during its fourth season. The show became repetitive. I think we spent three or four episodes on an island, maybe more, and if I wanted to spend extensive time on an island, I'd watch Lost, thank you very much. The entire season was a mishmash of the same idea, over and over again- "I want the cure." "Give me the cure!" "I will kill you for the cure." Of course, it was coupled with the love triangle of Stefan, Elena, and Damon.

Now, let me tell you something about love triangles. THEY. ARE. BORING. No one cares. Let me explain. Teenyboppers? Yes, they care. But when a group of writers has an entire show riding on whether the heroine (and I use that term very loosely when I apply it to Elena Gilbert) chooses Hero A or Hero B, that is just shitty writing right there. Not only is it shitty, it's heteronormative. And here we return to what I explained just three weeks ago about the CW's lack of LGBTQ characters. Yeah, that's right. Name one LGBTQ character on The Vampire Diaries OR The Originals (besides for Caroline's dad who was in the show for all of five episodes).

My next bone-picking with The Vampire Diaries is how much Julie Plec and her team of writers just copy and paste from Joss Whedon. Stefan in a box underwater for an entire summer? Hmmm, I wonder where I've seen that before (Angel, season 3 and 4). A witchy sidekick whose power grows so fast she loses control? Willow Rosenberg (a superb character in all the ways Bonnie is not) does come to mind. An ordinary guy like Matt? Hmmm, anyone met Xander Harris before? And now we've got Gypsies! Oh my God, that does not sound familiar at all. The heroine (again, term used very loosely) ends up in a relationship with the bad vampire instead of the good one? Wow, this is all very original storytelling. Honestly, if Elena walks away from both Damon and Stefan and starts giving us a speech about cookie dough, I might scream.

I comfort myself with the knowledge that Joss Whedon was and always be the master at what he does, and with the knowledge that the characters and the actors who played them on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were better than the actors in the copycat.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's 2005 Again

No, we haven't traveled back in time with Castiel. He lost his wings, remember?

What we have done is entered another golden year of television. The first that I can remember was in 2005. Do you remember what premiered that year? No? Well, here's a list:
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • The Office
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Prison Break
  • Supernatural
  • Bones
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Criminal Minds
  • The Colbert Report
  • Doctor Who
And let's not forget The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, right? Wink, wink.

So far in 2013, we've got The Following. Butt-on-the-edge-of-your-set suspense, and great character chemistry. House of Cards and Hemlock Grove earned Netflix their first Emmy nominations. Orphan Black has won over the critics, especially with Tatiana Maslany's incredible performances. Hannibal was an instant hit, its darkness contributing to the creepy jokes of the show's official Tumblr and its fans. Orange is the New Black, another Netflix hit, is real, funny, and relatable. Sleepy Hollow is Fox's new big genre hit, filled with nice, gooey mythology on the inside and wrapped up in characters we can't help but love. Hostages is what I like to call the autumn season's The Following (just as intense, with Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott- can you get any better than that??). Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Crazy Ones, The Michael J. Fox Show, and Trophy Wife actually make me laugh out loud, unlike some shows that have given up on nerdy, science humor and have elected to make sex jokes for 23 minutes every Thursday evening. And of course, Joss Whedon has returned to the small screen with Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which definitely has room for improvement but has already won me over.

Is it just me, or is anyone else excited about this year of TV?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Let's Talk About Revolution

No, I am not Ichabod Crane. No, I do not think I live in 18th century colonial America. Yes, I do think that a 41-cent tax on a donut is a bit much. But I'm talking about the show Revolution

The show that, last year, was uneven. At its best, there was blood spattering everywhere (a personal favorite of mine), some great fight scenes, and a drop of character development (mostly Charlie's, who I personally couldn't care less about). Then, of course, there were David Lyons, Billy Burke, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Zak Orth, who kept the show going when all I wanted to do was give up on the whole damn thing.

But, you see, this is Eric Kripke and JJ Abrams. You don't just give up on the creators of Supernatural and LOST. It is simply not done. So I slowly slogged through the first season (don't get me wrong, there were very many parts I enjoyed) and now, I know that I was right- because seriously, who gives up on Kripke and Abrams? Crazy people, that's who.

This season, although it's only two episodes in and the next episode could very well prove me wrong, is much better. The pacing is even. I don't necessarily have violent urges to strangle Charlie Matheson. Stephen Collins is playing Juliet's- whoops, Rachel's- dad to perfection (he is the ultimate TV dad, isn't he? Even in a post-apocalyptic sans-light world). The story actually seems to have a direction- a direction that I care about, too. And, as always, the actors who drove the show last year are doing phenomenally well this season too.

It probably also helps that Ben Edlund joined the crew as a consulting producer for Revolution's sophomore season. Edlund, who worked on Joss Whedon's Firefly and Angel, is most notably known among the fandoms as the man who "fixed" Supernatural in its eighth season, after the sixth and seventh seasons dragged. Seems to me like he's already doing a superb job on Revolution as well. 

Revolution airs on Wednesday's at 8PM on NBC. If you haven't already, catch up on the season. It's worth it. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Is the CW Bigoted?

As I've explained before, when someone ships two people together, it means they support the idea of a romantic relationship between them. As I also explained in the same post, I am an avid shipper of Dean Winchester and Castiel on Supernatural- they are my OTP. (For reference, this ship is called Destiel by the fans of the show.)  

On Supernatural, this ship is not yet canon, which means that a romantic relationship between the two hasn't been acknowledged or discussed. Dean and Castiel are not yet in a relationship together. However, for most of the fans, including myself, this ship is as real as Monica and Chandler, as Derek and Meredith, as Buffy and Angel. Please see this study for reference. We know that, if they choose to, the writers of the show could make this ship happen. 

But they haven't yet. And it seems, from the season 9 spoilers we've received so far, that they aren't planning to. I've wondered for a long time now why they haven't gone in this direction yet. Why haven't they made this relationship actual fact? Regardless of romance, Dean loves Castiel, and Castiel loves Dean. They've sacrificed for each other countless times. They've saved each other, emotionally and actually. Dean prays, and Castiel listens. So why? Why haven't the writers taken the plunge?

It only just occurred to me over the weekend that this may have nothing to do with the writers. I searched google for a list of LGBTQ characters on the CW, and here's what I found- Wikipedia. If you go through the list, you'll find that in the past five years, the CW has had maybe three main characters who are LGBTQ on their shows. 

Three in five years. 

I won't start in on the implications of what that means, but I will say that maybe, just maybe, it's not the Supernatural writers who are at fault here. It's just possible that their hands are tied by a network who cares nothing for representation. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Another Post About Whedon, This is Such a Shock

Here's what it comes down to: I'm nervous for Joss Whedon. Sounds ridiculous, right? The man's got it made. Even if you ignore every single one of his achievements other than The Avengers (which is something many ignorant latecomers to the Joss Whedon party do), the success of his Marvel enterprise is unrivaled.


There comes a time in every famous man's life when the media gets overbearing. I get tweet after tweet about how many days are left until Agents of SHIELD airs, all the exclusive scenes that have been released, all the interviews with every major actor in the show, etc., etc. 

None of this hullabaloo existed when Buffy the Vampire Slayer started airing, or Angel: the Series, or Firefly. Maybe a bit more when Dollhouse first aired, and more when The Avengers was released, but even then, it was only a fraction of the media exposure now. Media exposure, that could, with a quick snap of a thumb, go from positive to negative overnight.

I'm incredibly happy that Joss Whedon is getting all the attention he deserves. Who knows? Maybe I'm just a Whedonite who doesn't like bandwagon-jumpers. But I miss the days when the world wasn't already given what seems to be half the footage of the pilot episode before it even airs. 

Agents of SHIELD premieres on Tuesday, September 24th, at 8PM on ABC. (Here's to hoping the suits at ABC are smarter than the suits at FOX!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Give Me a Real Character, Please

I'm going to preface this post with a few facts about myself and my relationship with The West Wing. Firstly, I just finished the second season finale. Secondly, I have no knowledge of what will happen in the next five seasons. I am spoiler-free (other than knowing that John Spencer passed away while Season 7 was still filming). And thirdly, I am so in love with this show that I'd like to marry it (that last one is to soften the coming criticism).

Recurring characters. Very important, recurring characters. They keep the show running, in a sense- they bring plot arcs back, and they keep important character arcs going. If, of course, these recurring characters are well-written. When I watch a show, I know that recurring characters are well-written if I don't feel that the writers "brought them back." If I feel that they are there to tell their story, I know that these are characters. People. Unfortunately, Aaron Sorkin seems to have trouble with this.

Let's take Danny Concannon as the first example. He has no storyline at all, other than that he likes CJ and he's a White House reporter. We know nothing else about him. And then, somewhere along the beginning of Season 2, his character simply disappears. Ainsley Hayes is the second example. The entirety of her character is that she's a Republican working in a Democrat White House. Again, we know nothing else about her, and she was brought back to the show simply when Mr. Sorkin needed someone to argue with the character of Sam Seaborn. 

In comparison, let's take Charlie Bradbury, a recurring character on Supernatural. She's been on the show three times- three- and I know more about her than I know about Danny, who was in 28 episodes of The West Wing, and Ainsley, who has so far been in 8 episodes. You see, that's the difference. When I think of Charlie coming back to Supernatural in Season 9, I don't think of it as her character being brought back for x, y, or z reasons. She's being brought back because she's a character and she has a story that needs to be told. Unfortunately, on The West Wing, it feels like the writers bring a recurring character back for a simple, technical purpose and nothing else.

Don't forget the people standing on the side. Good writing is in the details, my friends. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Teen Wolf aka Teen Writers Can Do Better Than This

I'm currently in the middle of re-watching Teen Wolf. Not because the show is so deep and complex that it requires a re-watch, but because, I'm embarrassed to say, I wasn't paying so much attention the first time around.

I am now, and I have to say that I'm somewhat disappointed. I'm enjoying the show very much- on one level it's a guilty pleasure, but on another level the characters are not only enjoyable, they also develop as people (which, to me, is the most important aspect of television writing). As much as the characters' development gets my writer's senses tingling, however, the basic plot of each episode also has to make sense.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always. 

In the third episode of Season 1, "Pack Mentality," Allison is in her room with Lydia getting ready for a double date. Lydia dismisses each article of clothing Allison presents and then picks out a sparkly black top for her. Allison's father comes into her room and tells her that she's not going out tonight because there's a curfew, given the recent attack on a bus driver. When her father leaves, Allison then sneaks out of her window in the same clothes, and Lydia opts to take the stairs. 

Now, a few things: If there's a town curfew, why hasn't it been announced in school? Why doesn't anyone seem to know about it? Later on in the bowling alley, there are plenty of people who are there bowling- did no one tell the owner of the alley that they had to close before curfew? Allison and Lydia have seemingly been trying to pick out a blouse for her for a while- but when they do pick one out, it's discarded and Allison sneaks out of the house for the date wearing her regular school clothes? Then Lydia decides to take the stairs to leave the house- wouldn't Allison's father question her? Why is she even at the Argents' house in the first place if there's a curfew?

It's in the details, Teen Wolf writers. The details.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Emmy's 2013

Jordan asked: Can you please explain to me why Sam Waterston from The Newsroom isn't up for best supporting actor in a drama series for the Emmy's?

Jordan, I'll explain it to you as soon as someone explains to me why Monica Potter and Peter Krause didn't get nominations for Parenthood. Why no one on the CW ever gets a nomination, even though there is fantastic acting on that network. Why didn't Hugh Dancy get one for Hannibal, or Jennifer Carpenter for Dexter? Happy Endings and New Girl were the funniest shows on television this year- why didn't they get nominations? I think this season was Shameless's weakest season, but Emmy Rossum rocked it. Her acting was beyond incredible- why didn't she get a nomination?

I'll tell you why.

The Emmy's is a very exclusive little club that rarely, if ever, lets anyone in. It's a cycle- the same thing every year, until a new show comes out. And when a new show does come out that they deign to put on the nominations list, it will be on the list for the next five years at least, I promise you. I don't know if it's rigged, or if they're snobs. But I will tell you that this year, I'll be boycotting. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

And when you smiled, the whole world stopped and stared for a while

This isn't my typical kind of post. I'm hesitating even as I write this, because I can already see people rolling their eyes as they read it. Crying over a "celebrity death." It's ridiculous, right? You don't even know him. You've never met him. That person he played on TV is not him. So why do you even care.

To those people, I summarily say the following: Fuck off. To the people who feel the same was as I do, I apologize for the crude language, and I grieve with you. 

Because here's the thing. He was a young man with his whole life ahead of him. He'd admitted to having a substance abuse problem since he was a young teen, and had voluntarily gotten help for it (again this year, in April). He had a family, and a girlfriend, and friends/coworkers who loved him and supported him through his struggles. He had a fan base, a huge fan base- millions of people, including myself- who looked up to him. All these people, all of us, are now stunned in grief after finding out that their idol, their son, their lover, their friend, had died, alone, in a hotel room on Saturday night. 

I hope that everyone can eventually find some measure of comfort. 

Rest in peace, Cory. 

P.S. "Look, he obviously had his own demons. I know it's hard, but try and remember that he died alone, but through Glee, he was able to show millions of people that they weren't alone. Glee is going to be remembered for quite a while as a show that promoted acceptance and tolerance despite differences, and he was instrumental in that." -Oz Shapiro

Friday, July 5, 2013


I've become increasingly annoyed at friends- both on Tumblr and in the real world- who say that Supernatural is a sexist or misogynist show. "All the women die" or "All the women are weak."

These two statements are gross misrepresentations of the show. Firstly: yes, not only do most of the recurring or guest female characters die, but all the men do too. What a horror. Oh, wait. Isn't the genre of this show horror? Secondly, the women are not weak. Look at Jo and Ellen Harvelle! They're only two examples of incredibly strong women on the show. Half of the females who "need to be saved" end up helping the Winchesters save themselves. So please don't tell me that the women are weak.

Besides, even if the women were weak, and even if only women were being killed off, who cares? Just because we live in a society that has progressed towards equality, and continues to do so every day, does not mean that there can no longer be books or television shows that focus on men. You don't watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and go, "Oh my god this show! Look at all the weak men who just fall all over Buffy- it must be misandry." You don't watch Charmed and ask why there's no Charmed brother, do you? No, you accept that it's a show about women, and that just like there can be shows about women, there can also be a show about men without it being misogynist or unequal.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I love Awkward. I think it's one of the funniest teenage comedies out there right now. Which is surprising, considering MTV's track record of airing absolute mind-numbingly moronic crap on their channel. But they really did hit the jackpot with the tales of Jenna Hamilton and her awesomely weird friends and family. 


It's 2013, and we still see so much sexism on television- most of it aimed at women. Joss Whedon has done a lot to combat that, as have many other writers, but it still exists on a large scale. What doesn't exist on as large a scale is sexism aimed at men. Which is why the eighth episode of the currently airing season of Awkward. had me gaping at my computer screen in consternation. 

Forced by her English teacher to read one of her pieces at an open mic night, Jenna begs Matty not to come because she doesn't want him to see her make a fool of herself. When she adds that, "We don't need to do everything together," Matty gets defensive. "Are you implying that I need to do everything together?" he asks, and in the next breath says that he and Jake already had plans. 

The two boys end up spending an evening together, hanging out and barbecuing. And also committing acts of complete idiocy. Apparently two male friends who are in relationships can't spend more than one minute away from their phones in case they get a text or a call from their girlfriend. They also can't spend an evening doing anything intelligent or productive. No, of course not. Boys who are left to their own devices will end up doing ridiculously stupid things, like eating a dirty steak or an entire onion, drinking half a bottle of hot sauce, shoving dry powdered cinnamon in their mouths, and painting their nails and shaving their legs (because that's something a man could never normally do, oh no, no homo.)

I was laughing at the beginning of the dares, but I was cringing and covering my eyes by the end. Is this what the writers of Awkward. think? That, left to their own devices, females will attend an intelligent night of literary fun and males will make complete asses of themselves? 

I love this show, but this episode left me with a horrible aftertaste. And no, it wasn't dirty steak.

Monday, June 3, 2013

"I don't want to go."

It's been no secret that for the past few months, I've become more and more disenchanted with Doctor Who. It's even come to the point where I criticize and rail at Steven Moffat in anger publicly. Although I do not, and would not ever, spout hate, complaining about Moffat is something I promised myself I would never do after the threats and hate that were sent his way last year. It's also now come to the point where I can't stand the fandom- a fandom that is made up of newbies (many of whom have only seen the Matt Smith years), a fandom that is made up of Americans who enjoy bad writing and twists at every turn, a fandom that every New Whovian I know has left. 

I could probably be called a hypocrite, considering that I've never watched a single episode of Classic Who. I'm okay with that, although I disagree. I've read up on Classic Who, and I know that it was a completely different show than the reboot that Russell T. Davies brought to life in 2005. And please don't give me the nonsense that idiots have spouted to me before about Moffat's Who also being a reboot- just because Moffat does not understand the concept of continuity does not mean that the first Matt Smith season is a reboot. In the Whoniverse, a new Doctor and a new season does not equal a reboot. 

I think everyone can agree that this past season of Doctor Who was terrible, and it got even worse when Clara was introduced. She is substance-less, a character who, by the very definition of her mystery, means nothing to us because we have no idea who she is. At least we knew who Amy and Rory were (and at least Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill had chemistry with Matt Smith). Jenna Louise Coleman seems like a very sweet woman in her videos with Matt, but her acting is so boring it makes me want to gouge my eyes out for entertainment (I'm looking at you, fellow Following fans). Unfortunately, the numbers agree with me: since the 2012 Christmas episode "The Snowmen," Doctor Who viewership has fallen by almost 2.5 million viewers. 

I watch a lot of TV, but there are only a few actual fandoms that I belong to- I'm a Whedonite (basically anything Joss Whedon does, including his tweets about being sick), a Whovian (Doctor Who), and a Hunter (Supernatural). As you can tell, I belong to fandoms of smart, quick, witty shows with mythology and depth. So when I say that I am leaving the Whovian fandom, I don't say it easily. It fills me with sadness, because this used to be a good show with a solid fandom. I have made friends- good friends, the best of friends, both in real life and online- because of this show and the intellectual, literary discussions we've had about it. 

The reason I'm so upset about giving up Doctor Who is because the show is so smart, and so are its fans. This isn't Pretty Little Liars or Revenge- both shows that I've stopped watching this season. I stopped watching Pretty Little Liars because its stupidity eventually unsuspended my disbelief when Aria didn't call the police after Malcolm was kidnapped, instead choosing to try and find him herself. When that happened, I shut the video player and instantly deleted the whole show from my computer. I gave up Revenge because I may have skipped 4th grade, I may have graduated as valedictorian from high school, and I may have graduated from university with honors, but even I couldn't keep up with the convoluted plot without writing notes, and that was just not something I was willing to do for a guilty-pleasure, soapy show.

Who knows? Maybe I'll start watching Classic Who if I actually am forced to stop watching New Who after Eleven regenerates (which is what I'm predicting- Moffat's horrible showrunning is currently worth it because of Matt's acting, but after Matt leaves, I'm pretty sure it won't be worth it anymore). I do know that I will always be a Whovian, and Ten will always be my Doctor. And one day, when Steven Moffat leaves and a better showrunner takes his place, I hope to come back to the Doctor Who fandom.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


This season of TV has to be the most disappointing one for me yet, both in terms of the quality of TV and the idiocy of the networks. Of course, there were some very well-written shows that definitely fulfilled their potential this season (Parenthood, I'm looking at you) and some network decisions that didn't make me roll my eyes (CW, I'm looking at you), but overall, this season, ending with upfronts this week, has me wanting to take Hollywood by the shoulders, shake them, and ask exactly how much crack they've smoked this year.

Let's take the shows that went downhill this season. I have officially given up on Pretty Little Liars and Revenge- the former because there's only so much unnecessary drama I can take, and the latter because it has become so ridiculously convoluted that I'd have to take notes to make sense of it all. Grey's Anatomy needs to kill off April Kepner before her shrieking voice kills meThe Vampire Diaries became so boring that I've had to yawn my way through eighty percent of this season's episodes (although the last few have vastly improved upon the first twenty). The amount of jokes about sex on The Big Bang Theory makes me sad, because the show used to actually be funny, on its own merit. Doctor Who gets the award for the show I am most disappointed in. It used to be a show that inspired me- now the writing, and even the acting, makes me cringe. And Glee? My God, someone direct April Kepner and her death-inducing shrieky voice my way.

Then there are the networks. I honestly don't know what NBC was thinking when they canceled Go On. It was the best thing they had going this year in comedy. Then ABC finally did what we've feared for two years- they axed Happy Endings even though it was one of the smartest, funniest shows on TV. Here's to hoping USA will pick it up (fingers crossed). Another one on the stupid list for ABC is giving Agents of SHIELD the 8PM timeslot on Tuesday nights, right before other, brand new shows. The last time I paid attention to that timeslot was never. Yes, this is Joss, and yes, this is Marvel, but they're not giving AoS any lead-in that could boost the show. On the Doctor Who news front, Steven Moffat has been quoted talking about developing the story for the 8th series. I'm sorry, but the show's writing has severely declined since he took over, there is absolutely no character development, and the show has lost over 2 million viewers in the six months since the 2012 Christmas Special- why hasn't he been fired yet?

I raise my glass in a toast to less stupidity next year.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Random Acts 4 Misha

On March 30th, 2013, the apocalypse destroyed the world. The Mishapocalypse, that is. To counteract a hate campaign against Misha Collins, his fans showed how powerful the Supernatural fandom is by taking to Facebook, Twitter, and especially Tumblr to share their love of the actor who is most notably known for his portrayal of the angel Castiel. Last week, Russ Hamilton spoke about the power of the fandom, saying that getting "the Fandamily and cast and crew involved is, in my opinion, hugely important." 

It seems that a few very special people had the same thought. While the fandom decided to create another Mishapocalypse for Collins's birthday on August 20th, Sarah Garner, Sam Resner, Giovanna Bonavoglia, and Ellie had a better idea- a Random Actopalyse. Based on Collins' charity organization, Random Acts, this event sets out to kill the world with kindness. The idea is that, as a birthday surprise, the fandom- and anyone else who wishes to participate- will perform acts of kindness and donate to Random Acts in Misha Collins's name. 

Others have had this idea before. I, myself, wanted the fandom to do this during the first Mishapocalypse and wrote a blog post about it. The official administrators of the event have seen countless posts on Tumblr with a similar mission, as have I. But now this event actually has a fighting chance to succeed. With over 100 attendees on Facebook, 500 followers on the official Random Acts 4 Misha Tumblr, and over 3,600 notes on the original blog post, the fandom has reached thousands of people from all over the world, including England, New Zealand, and South America. We can now succeed in bringing about a Misha Collins day dedicated to raising money for the under-privileged, spreading random acts of kindess, and putting smiles on strangers' faces. 

**Logo credit: Chava Weisberg
**As noted, this is a surprise for Misha Collins. Please do not tweet him about this event. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Russ Hamilton, God of the Fandoms

This week, I was lucky enough to be in touch with Russ Hamilton, the location manager for the CW's Supernatural, and ask him some questions about the fans of the show. Fans who want to be heard, who want their opinions to matter- people with whom Russ is in touch via Twitter and Tumblr on a daily basis. 

One of my main platforms, as a writer and as a fan of television, is that the fans matter. Furthermore, the people who are involved in the show- the creators, the writers the executive producers, the actors- need to acknowledge that they matter. Fans, or fandoms, can make all the difference. It began when the Browncoats, fans of Joss Whedon's Firefly, organized themselves on the Internet after the show's cancellation in 2003. As a result, Serenity, the movie that wrapped up the show, was produced and released three years later. 

Since then, fans have stormed onto the scene and made a lasting impression. In its last season, after killing off a core character, the writers of Alias had to rethink, and then re-write, the rest of the season. Why? Because the fans stopped watching. Doctor Who, a show that was off the air for fifteen years, was rebooted in 2005 and succeeded because of its loyal fanbase. The entire Whedonverse fandom takes part in a weblog on a daily basis- posting news, photos, and well-wishes in reference to anyone who's ever been in a Joss Whedon project. Ten years after Firefly spawned a revolution that its characters would be proud of, Arrested Development is coming out with a new season on Netflix and the fans of Veronica Mars raised almost $6 million for a movie of the ill-fated TV show. 

The cast and crew of Supernatural operate on a whole different level. Many of them interact with the fans on Twitter on a consistent basis, and they show up to cons (Supernatural conventions) that take place around the world at least once a month. I've previously mentioned the Supernatural Harlem Shake that Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles put together, and the Eye of the Tiger sequence that was at the end of "Yellow Fever" (4x06). Misha Collins also values his fans, tweeting to us fairly often and calling us his minions.

Then there's the above-mentioned Russ Hamilton, the god of crew interaction with fans. Not a day goes by without Russ speaking to us and making us feel important and included. Out of everyone in the SPN Family, Russ talks to us as if there is no difference between the crew and the fans, and in our Q&A below, he talks about how Supernatural bridges that gap. Read on for the illuminating, and highly entertaining, words of Russ Hamilton.

Dear TV | Why do you do what you do, interacting with us? Why do you think it's important?

I interact with the fans (Fandamily) because I enjoy it, and it's important to me, because I like to know what people think, what they see in a scene, and what they take away after it. I enjoy knowing what they (you) want, and whether or not I agree is of no matter. We all hold valid opinions and beliefs.

Dear TV | How did you start interacting with us? Are we, as a fandom, ever frustrating?

I started interacting at the first VanCon. It went from there to me eventually being convinced to join Twitter last year, and on my own decided I wanted to jump into the Tumblr Nation. I love it. Getting to interact is great fun, but we all must walk a fine line. There is only so much we can share after all. I try not to get frustrated, but sadly I am human and it does happen. There is a line, and even I am known to cross it from time to time. But I refuse to take any of it too personal. We all have a common bond, and that is this show. 

Dear TV | Do you think every show could have a crew member who does this, or do you think it's specific to Supernatural and the SPN Family?

I think that any interaction from anybody on any show is subject to the individual. I am sure that some do it for attention, some for personal gain. I can only speak for myself when I say that I feel very connected to this Fandamily, and when I say I love you all, I genuinely mean it. I fully believe the SPN Family has set the mark for all other shows- past, present, and future- for fan interaction, because we all care and know in our hearts, that without all of you, there is no us.

Dear TV | I'm sorry if this is a sensitive question, but do you ever get hate? How would you react if you did?

Do I get hate, GAWD YES!!! Last year, I had a death threat that was dealt with, without getting the authorities involved, because in the end, even she was and is a member of my Fandamily. She crossed that line that we spoke about and had a hard time not pursuing what she wanted. And besides that, there is still much hate. I try to drown it down with Love, as I put it. The hate is just someone that wants to be heard, and more often than not it can be resolved easily. Of course, I am not an actor, and that is a whole new world. I have been attacked on Twitter, and all in all I accept most of it. I have only ever decided to block two people.

Dear TV | What do you think of organized events like Misha Love Day, aka the Mishapocalypse? Pointless fun or significant?

Organized events are gggggrreat. It is highly significant in my eyes. To get the Fandamily and cast and crew involved is, in my opinion, hugely important. The wall of "us and them" has always bothered me. I do not often understand why or how our show has become such a great way to bridge that gap, but I am glad that we have, and that we have people on our show who seek out ways to interact. It speaks volumes of the genuine dedication and love we have.

Dear TV | Do you think the fandom had anything to do with Charlie Bradbury surviving "Pac-Man Fever" (8x20)? Were the writers ever planning on killing her off?

I genuinely do not know. I am, as much as I hate to phrase it this way, just a Location Manager. We get the scripts, we break them down, have the scouts look for a location to film that work for the script, and then put it all together. Do I believe that the writers know who the fans love? Yes, of course. But in the end it is all about the storyline and how it can be made.

You can follow Russ on Twitter @RUSS_MOVIEGOD. His Tumblr URL is

Friday, April 26, 2013

TV For Dummies

This isn't so much going to be a blog post as it is a public service announcement. Or a dictionary, really. For people who don't know any television jargon. So read on and learn some English that you can use in conversation with me. 

Series- if you don't know what this is, we have a problem. However, there is an added definition that I wouldn't blame you for not knowing (theoretically. In reality I blame everyone for not knowing everything about TV). In British television, a series is what we Americans call a season. Example: There have been two series of Sherlock, and the fandom explodes on a daily basis waiting for the third.

Series Premiere- the first episode of the show, aka the pilot. Often, TV shows have unaired pilots that never see the light of day. Sometimes it's because they have to recast, sometimes it's because the plot needs to be tweaked. Or almost completely redone, as was the case with The Big Bang Theory.

Season Premiere- the first episode of the season. It usually introduces the season's arc (see below), both in plot and character development.

Season Finale- the last episode of the season. Usually, something really big happens in a season finale. People die (sort of like basically every season finale of Supernatural), people leave (I'm still mad at Angel for the third season finale of Buffy), people survive (you go Kristina Braverman!), and companions leave and Doctors regenerate (Ten and Rose, come back to me! Oh, wait, you are!). 

Series Finale- the last episode of a show. You'll probably cry in happiness and scream from sheer grief. If you're not doing either of those, you're living your life wrong. Unless you're watching the series finale of Political Animals, which is probably the point at which you should be yelling at the TV, "GODDAMMIT, why weren't you renewed?!"

Ships/Shipping/Shipper- A ship is short for "relationship." Shipping is also a verb. For example, I ship Buffy and Angel, the ship of all ships (no, seriously, they started the concept of hardcore shipping). When Spike came along and Buffy became romantic with him, the first shipping wars ensued. A shipping war usually involves shippers (people who ship) yelling at each other on the Internets about why their ship is better and using gifs like this to express their emotions:

OTP- One True Pairing. This is your ship of all ships. Usually, people who say they have one OTP are lying. Like me. Right now, my OTP is Destiel (Dean and Castiel on Supernatural). But on any given day, my OTP is also Bangel, Spuffy, Fresley, Victor/Sierra, Dean/Lisa, Ten/Rose, Eleven/Rose, WilTara, WillOz, and Janto. It really just depends on my mood.

BroTP- This is a non-romantic One True Pairing. The "Bro" stands for bromance, or bros. Example: Charlie Bradbury and Dean Winchester (Winbury) are my brotp. Again, you can have more than one. Again, if you say you have only one, you're probably lying. Booth and Sweets are also my brotp. So are Sam and Dean, Emily and Nolan, McSteamy and McDreamy. I also have real life brotp's, like Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.

Christmas Special- This is a "British thing" in which they air longer episodes of their TV shows on Christmas and call them special. Do watch them. Do not call them season finales. Example: This year's Doctor Who Christmas special was terrible, and Steven Moffat should step down as showrunner (that bit at the end was just an added opinion).

Arcs- character development or plot that is spread out for more than one episode, usually three or four, up to a whole season (the latter is also known as the season arc). Example: Every season of Buffy had a Big Bad that was utilized as the season-long plot arc.

Standalones- these are episodes that can be watched regardless of your knowledge of the season's arc. You can turn the TV on, flip to an episode, and understand 95% of it without knowing anything about the show. Although again, if you're watching random TV, what are you doing? Would you just pick up a book and open it to page 394 and start reading?

In conclusion, things that we have learned today: television terms, and that Emily has a deep, passionate- one might say insane- love for all things TV. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Joss, You Beautiful Badass

I never really understood, until a few years ago. What is it about superhero movies that has crowds rushing to the theater at midnight every time one comes out? Why do they get so much attention? Why is it that even not-comic-book-obsessed, "normal" people love these movies?

I'm sure that part of it is because they're usually released in the summer, a time when hordes of people have nothing to do with their life. Another part is that statistically (don't quote me on this, I haven't actually done any research), 99% of human beings have an undeniable attraction to beings that have superpowers or super martial arts skills, especially when they're damn good-looking. Or when they're Scarlett Johansson. 

I used to think these were the basic reasons why the superhero franchise made so much money. But I know now that it goes deeper than that.

Audiences want characters. They've moved past going to see a movie that solves a mystery, kills off the bad guy, and ends with the hero kissing the girl he saved (don't get me wrong, sometimes they still want that too). They want what they're getting on TV these days- a focus on character development. They want people, real people who struggle and get hurt and die and, at the same time, save the day. They don't just want superheroes anymore- they want people who develop, who they can get to know and relate to. The closest an audience can get to characters who exhibit these traits without spending hours on a TV show are the superhero trilogies and franchises that have rabidly taken over Hollywood.

Now, I'm not talking about series like Twilight that contain stalker boyfriends and a female protagonist who's as shallow as an episode of reality television. I'm talking The Dark Knight trilogy, the X-Men movies, even the new Spider-Man. I'm talking Die Hard, a trilogy that, in the past 6 years, released two more movies about John McClane, the bad-ass New York cop who saves America, and the world, from destruction via terrorists. Interestingly enough, even just one of the two latest movies- take your pick- develops its lead character more than any of the first three combined. 

What I'm really talking about, as you've probably gathered from the post title, is Joss Whedon, whose bottom line has always been characters, characters, characters. Joss Whedon, who, with BuffyAngelFirefly, and later on, Dollhouse, is in fact the showrunner who got audiences hooked on character development. At a time when audiences are craving superheroes who are real, Joss came to the big screen (for the first time since Serenity) with Avengers- with characters his audience shrieks for more of. Sure, these characters had major screen time before Joss came into the picture, but it was he who transformed them into people.

It was Joss who made Avengers into the biggest movie of all time. It was Joss who made these superheroes into one of the most beloved fandoms on Tumblr. He wrote Loki's character and directed the incredible Tom Hiddleston in such a way that fans don't know whether they want to give Loki a cup of tea and hug him, or stab him with his own scepter. Joss utilized one elegant, simple scene with Natasha Romanoff to re-introduce her character and to show the world that women are not to be fucked with. With Joss's writing, we finally, finally (one finally for each terrible Hulk movie) got a Bruce Banner who both tugged at our heartstrings and made us laugh. And it was Joss's directing that put Pepper Potts in a pair of cut-offs discussing business barefoot with her boyfriend, Tony Stark, instead of placing her in a dark alley waiting to be saved by Iron Man. 

Human. Real. That's what an audience wants, and ironically, it's what superhero movies give them. 

In conclusion, Hulk SMASH.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Can you hear them singing?

It's no secret- or surprise- to anyone that Saturday night's episode of Doctor Who had me crying. And no, it wasn't just because of Eleven's speech at the end. Don't get me wrong. His speech- and, to a lesser extent, Clara's- were heart-wrenching. But that's not it.

It's because after two and a half seasons that kept the fans waiting, Doctor Who is finally back. With Neil Cross writing and Farren Blackburn directing, not only did Matt Smith finally achieve his potential as The Doctor, the show also returned to its core. Going to an alien world. Exploring. Running into trouble. Saving the day and learning a lesson. If you go back to the episode and pay attention to the credits, you'll notice that Steven Moffat did not write this episode. Yes, he still runs the show (which is the reason why the episode wasn't perfect, see below), but without his words or vision running the episode, the show and The Doctor were finally able to be who they are. 

Don't get me wrong. Steven Moffat has some chops. I have nothing but respect for what he does. He wrote The Pandorica Opens, A Christmas Carol, and The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe. What made this latest episode hit so hard- at least partly- was a combination of elements from these three episodes: respectively, the ferocity of The Doctor as he calls out to beings who want to destroy everything he wants to protect; the sociological and poignant aspect of a people coming together and singing for their lives; the emotion that leads The Doctor to cry, that shows us how, sometimes, despite his two beating hearts, he is just so very human.

This is what made David Tennant so all-powerful, so moving, as The Doctor. The combination of his strength and weakness was written superbly by Russell T. Davies and his writing crew, and was portrayed without fault by Tennant. I have no doubt that Moffat has a grasp on The Doctor's characteristics, but unlike Davies, he doesn't know how to put them together to make the man. In one episode, Neil Cross succeeded where Moffat failed- for over two seasons- by writing a complete character for Matt Smith to play.

There are still issues. As a friend of mine says, the show has gotten too big for its britches. I believe that this critique should be directed at Steven Moffat, as he is the one who turned Doctor Who into somewhat of a joke. From the time he took over after the last special of the 4th series, there's always been some mystery, always a twist, that leaves the audience with a plot so convoluted it a) leaves out important character development, and b) tends to make the writers forget about smaller continuity details (aka plot holes), which has the fans (aka me) ecstatically pointing them out on the internet and longing for the days of Davies.

I believe that this is what will happen with Clara Oswin Oswald. Moffat clearly has a plan for this character's storyline, but I predict that important aspects like character development and continuity will be left by the wayside. That's why, as much as I loved The Rings of Akhaten, the parts of the episode that dealt with the mystery of Clara didn't hold any interest for me. What held interest for me was the child who needed help, The Doctor's philosophy on saving people and the development we finally saw in his speech and his sacrifice, and the companion who took part in the action and helped save the day.

"Did you know- in nine hundred years of time and space I've never met anyone who wasn't important before." The entire point of Doctor Who, for me, is that every human being is special, and you don't need to be surrounded by mystery to be special enough for The Doctor. Here's to hoping Steven Moffat will one day internalize that and continue to bring the show back to what it was. (If you scroll down a bit and look to the right, you'll see a picture of me in which I am not holding my breath.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why You Should Watch: Beauty and the Beast

Okay, so it's got mistakes. All first seasons do. In fact, I don't think I've ever watched a freshman run that doesn't have flaws (other than Firefly, and good luck to you if you ever set out to beat that). But it's solid. It's good, and it has a chance to become great. 

Flaws: The show seems to think that it's in its second or third season. There are too many complicated character and plot arcs going on. A freshman run should have one, maybe two, season-long arcs. For example, the first seasons of Buffy and Supernatural do really well by having a bunch of stand-alone episodes and ensuring that their arcs- respectively, killing the Master, and finding John Winchester and Azazel- don't take over the show. Multiple complex arcs in a first season can overshadow the subtle character development that needs to take place, which is, to an extent, what's happening in Beauty and the Beast so far. 

Another flaw is how quickly the writers have gotten their belle and her beast to fall in love and be together. It took Buffy 22 episodes (a season and a half) to have sex with Angel. The Doctor and Rose only kissed four seasons into the Doctor Who reboot. It took Booth and Brennan six seasons to come together on Bones. Writers, you have to keep the romance suspenseful and in danger. Your audience doesn't want to be bored. 

With all that, I am still saying that you should watch this show. Yes, their characters were brought together too soon, but regardless, Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan have a wonderfully alluring chemistry together. J.T., played by Austin Basis, is hilariously witty (and loyal), and Evan Marks, played by Max Brown, the token British actor every American show needs, only adds to the cast as the mysterious medical examiner.

Plot-wise, the Meerfield arc is intriguing and keeps me hooked- I'm still wondering about the first scene of the show, and what exactly happened to Cat's mother.  I'm dying to know the extent of Vincent's mutation and what the military did to him. In addition to all this, each episode also has a crime of the week- ranging from mildly interesting to OMG WHODUNIT- to keep the momentum going. 

Character-wise, Vincent is tortured enough for me to empathize and want better for him, but he doesn't brood to the point where you want to shake him (cough as-much-as-I-love-you Angel* cough). Cat is steely and strong, a character any writer would be proud of. She's not the type to fall simpering to the ground when the going gets tough (cough especially-this-season Elena** cough). There are a couple of characters I don't like, but the only show I've ever watched that has a flawless character list is, again, Firefly

Beauty and the Beast has a lot of potential for character depth that an audience can just sink into, and well-paced plot that they can enjoyably keep up with. So go watch. And if none of that swayed any of you to watch the show...well, this show is on the CW. These actors are HOT. 

(Yep, there it is. The sound of my audience scrambling to download all the episodes of Beauty and the Beast that have aired so far.)

*Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel
**The Vampire Diaries

Thursday, March 28, 2013


There is a rule on Tumblr: do not tag your hate. If you're going to spew about how much you hate a character, actor, writer, or show, you're not allowed to tag their names in your post. It is in bad taste to do so, and users will send you messages telling you to take the tags down. 

I understand hating a character. For the sake of this article, and ONLY for the sake of this article, I will say that I cannot stand River Song from Doctor Who, I hate April in Grey's Anatomy, and the best plot line I could think of for Bonnie in The Vampire Diaries is a slow, painful death. So I understand the need to hate on a character, to actively vent about how much you can't live one more day with them on your television screen. 

HOWEVER. It is rude to do so on a public forum. It is rude to take an artist's work and tell the world that you think it's horrible, for no good reason other than to spread hate. It's even more inconsiderate when, on Tumblr, you're using a tag that people use to show their love and appreciation for said artist's work. (Side note: criticism is understood- appreciated, even, by good writers- and allowed to be tagged.)

Now, on to my main point. I understand the need to hate on a character. What I don't understand is this: hating on a writer, a showrunner, an actor, a producer, etc. In the fall, Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock) deleted his Twitter account. According to speculation, it was because of all the hate he was getting from Whovians (fans of Doctor Who) who don't like or appreciate his way of running the show. I, myself, do not like the way he runs Doctor Who, but I do not send hate or threats simply because I don't agree with him.

And now, there's this: 


Promoting and spreading hate is a horrible thing to do. Bullying is bullying is bullying. Hate is hate is UNACCEPTABLE. Putting his acting chops aside for the moment, the man himself is incredible. He has a way with his fans that few actors have, relating to them in ways most Hollywood veterans don't even understand. In 2009, he founded Random Acts- "working with volunteers, Random Acts encourages people of all ages to perform their own acts of kindness wherever, and whenever, possible." In 2010, he rallied his fans to raise over $30,000 for UNICEF. He also holds the Guinness World Record for putting together the world's largest scavenger hunt (GISHWHES- Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen).

I honestly don't care how much a fan dislikes Castiel on Supernatural. I love the character (although I don't always love the direction the writers take him in) and I'm very happy that he will be a regular in Season 9. What bothers me is not dislike of a character, but the terrible things a person will say about an actor as a result. 

To counter the hate, I urge you to go to on March 30th (this Saturday) and either: donate money for funding, learn about AMOK so you can get involved next year, or put together and submit a proposal for an act. Good luck and spread the love.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine"

For the past twenty-four hours, I've been sharing this picture of Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof (oh hey, Tom Lenk) on every social media platform I'm a part of:

It's on FacebookTwitterTumblr, and even my own personal social network profiles- and I've seen it on plenty of others as well. Many fans who have only clued in to Joss Whedon's brilliance throughout the past year or so, with Avengers, have no idea why this picture holds so much significance to us Whedonites, and more specifically, Angel fans. 

I fell in love with Winifred Burkle the moment she graced my screen in the first of the Pylea episodes in Season 2. The same can't be said of Wesley Wyndham-Pryce's entrance in the third season of Buffy, although it can definitely be said of Alexis Denisof (who, in my opinion, ended up playing the most complex character in the Whedonverse). It took two and a half years for Fred and Wesley to finally become a couple, although in the hearts and minds of many Angel fans, they already were from the moment they met. 

When Fred died and Illyria took her body, I was overcome with disbelief. Not complete disbelief. After all, this was Whedon- Tara, Cordelia, Joyce, Anya, and even Buffy herself (although with a resurrection after) had been killed. These were all characters we loved and cherished. So I wasn't completely surprised. But I- along with other fans- was hurting. Fred and Wesley had finally gotten to the place we'd all been rooting for them to get to, and she was torn away at the first sign of their happiness.

So it's understandable- the excitement that has overtaken me, along with the rest of the Internet. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof playing Beatrice and Benedick in Joss Whedon's production of Much Ado About Nothing? Finally! Aside from Acker and Denisof's undeniable chemistry, which I can't wait to see again, Fred and Wesley get to "be together." We've been waiting for this for what seems like eternity. 

But I'm just scratching at the surface here. We, as an audience, were introduced to heartbreak and star-crossed love very early on in the Whedonverse. Buffy and Angel, Willow and Oz, Tara and Willow, Buffy and Spike, Cordelia and Doyle, Angel and Cordelia. Why were Fred and Wesley so important? Why did their story hit us so hard? Why the excitement and the passion, almost eight years later?

Because they weren't star-crossed. There was nothing magical or fantastical separating them- no vampire immortality keeping them from living a life together, no memory spells being used on each other, no lycanthropic violence tearing them apart, no Powers That Be Bitches raising one of them to a different plane of existence. Just...another boy. Charles Gunn, who made his move before Wesley could. 

Wesley and Fred's separation was the romantic equivalent of Joyce's death on Buffy- completely natural, in a world that was anything but. For two and a half years, we rooted for a couple that was separated only by human apprehension and mistakes. We wanted to see them together so badly- because, despite Joss's penchant for not just breaking but destroying our hearts, he made us believe in love in a way that no writer has, before or since.

So I, for one, can't wait until June 7th. Not just because of the movie itself and the excitement that's surrounding Joss's interpretation of Shakespeare, but because the couple who stole our hearts will finally return them to us, safe and intact again. 

So here's to you, Joss, Amy, and Alexis, for making our dreams come true.