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.