Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It's an interesting phenomenon, this Bones-from-Canada thing. It could be argued that this activity is hurting the show in the long run, as potential Thursday night viewers are tuning in to commercial-free streaming video online the night before; it could also be argued that the Canadian preview night is helping sneak-peekers promote the show on Thursday, before it airs in America to presumably more viewers.
I will admit that I usually watch the night before, and have thus far not watched or DVRed the show on Fox. But many fangirls do not fall into this category. Indeed, it must be true that most of the people willing to hit refresh, refresh, refresh after 11:00 eastern time just to watch the episode 20 hours in advance are probably going to want to see it on their larger screen and DVR it for posterity ... or just freeze-framing a Booth/Brennan brush-pass.
For me, the benefit of watching the night before is simple--I don't like other people knowing things before I do. I am a knowledge control freak. And anyway, you're bound to get spoiled on Twitter at some point on Thursday, so it's also a preventative measure. Thirdly, my Thursday nights are effing crowded, so getting Bones out of the way on Wednesdays is pretty much the only reason why I'm actually watching Bones at all.
And sometimes, you have to use your imagination.
Like when Addison Montgomery and Temperance Brennan shared the cover of TV Guide last year. An inquisitive fangirl imagines how ridiculous such a crossover would look if it really happened. As I said then, "It always gets me in a good mood seeing my favorite characters from different television universes get together for one fantastic adventure or just a TV Guide photo shoot."
So one can imagine how sillyface I find this breast cancer awareness PSA from Funny or Die:
Because that's basically Bones, Lily Aldrin, and Lila Garrity feeling each other up.
I'm just waiting for the icons.
This plotline was tired when it happened to Ed and
Literally the exact same plotline we saw on TBBT on Monday.
I mean, if you think back, even Ross and Rachel got off to a rocky start. I'm sure y'all can name even more examples of sitcom couples who took two tries to get it right.
The one thing I will say in favor of The Big Bang Theory is that even when it brings harried plotlines, it adds a level of delight by including some truly funny jokes, including the following winner from Sheldon:
"If you people spent less time thinking about sex and more time concentrating on comic books, we'd have far fewer of these embarrassing moments."
Also, I really hate Lewis Black. Why must he insist on talking in such a hateful tone? I am such a fangirl for Jon Stewart, but even I fast-forward through his insufferable segments. He is an intolerable man, and I hope he had a spider in his collection that paralyzed his character and then he got buried alive.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Jate's back, people!
Yes, Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly have been spotted several times on set together--including once to film a touchy-feeling kind of scene:
"Jack and Kate appear to hug/kiss or something and hold hands but it was hard to make out all the detail," says one of DarkUFO's sources. Forget how excited I am about the possibility of hugging and kissing--HAND-HOLDING??!!?
As we all know, Jack and Kate are the rulers of tactile romance. Who could forget the epic glass!hands scene in "I Do," which is TOTALLY the most romantic scene in that episode, amirite?
Or how about the even more epic graspy!hands scene in "The Man From Tallahassee," which is basically as close as two people can come to saying "I love you" without actually using the words?
And, y'know, there's always the classic grabby!hands scenes in "There's No Place Like Home," where Jack refuses to let Kate get left behind by the chopper.
So, yeah, I'm jazzed about the possibility of adding one of those to the list. Hugging-slash-kissing doesn't hurt, either.
All in all, we still have no idea what to expect from Lost's sixth and final season. Spoilers seem to indicate now that rather than a standalone "course correction" premiere showing what would have happened had Oceanic 815 not crashed, we'll instead be seeing a full-on alternate timeline--or three. It appears that the premiere will pick up in three separate years: in 2007 with Sun, Fake Locke, Ben, and the new people; in 1977 with the aftermath of the Jughead explosion; and in 2004 with the safe arrival of Flight 815 to LAX. The photo shown above suggests that Jack and Kate share screentime at the airport in Los Angeles (notice their crashwear). Whether this is a casual brush-pass as they gather their stuff at baggage claim or an epic aiding-and-abetting situation has yet to be determined. Either way, I'm excited.
Some shippers, including myself, are fearful of the possibility of Kate ending up with Sawyer in one timeline and Jack in the other. However, I remain optimistic for two reasons. One is that the timelines will eventually have to converge and she'll still have to end up picking one. Second, I'm still hopeful that they'll use the alternate universe to further pursue the concept of fate, ultimately giving Jaters (of course, Jaters) the satisfaction of knowing that our OTP is, in fact, totally fate. Like in that Gwyneth Paltrow movie, Sliding Doors, where she ends up with John Hannah in both timelines. Except the epic Lost version.
In other unrelated-to-Jate Lost fandom news, check out the bitchin' cookie cutters I just bought:
I am imagining a party in which I serve airplane cookies decorated to look like Oceanic 815 (and, of course, broken in half). And look how easy it would be to slice off that thumb with a knife and make a perfect four-toed foot cookie. WHO WOULDN'T WANT A FOUR-TOED FOOT COOKIE?
That's right, y'all! DarkUFO confirmed that Desmond is indeed in the season six premiere.
Not exactly sure what that means (especially since if they're working the reset idea, Desmond would theoretically be shot back to the island), but I like it!
(More Lost flailing later tonight.)
The other reason is Twitter. It's so easy to have a squee freakout in 140 characters! I can spaz about Jim's Office promotion and then move seamlessly into a brief analysis of Derek and Meredith's Grey's sexcapades.
(You can follow me on Twitter here, by the way.)
Anyway, from now on, I'm going to try to post very regularly, expanding upon my tweets of glee and bringing the fangirl flailing back where it belongs -- Chaos in General.
Our first piece of excitement comes, shockingly, from my real life. The University I attended for my Bachelor's is not my favorite place in the world. I could write a dictionary-length diatribe about my hatred of the school and the people who work there--and often, the people who attend there, too. See, my opinion of the student body is that they're selfish, overprivileged, and paying way too much for both their crappy education and their designer leggings.
And then today, I look out the window of a classroom and I see this:
Oh my gosh, when did this school get witty nerds!?!
For those unfamiliar with the awesome signified by Bad Wolf, it refers to an important part of Doctor Who, most often associated with Rose Tyler. The Bad Wolf loomed large over the first season of the modern series, with the words showing up all over the adventures of The Doctor and Rose. It was only in the first season finale that the true meaning became apparent--Rose herself was the Bad Wolf, scattering the words throughout the universe to lead her and The Doctor to that moment: "I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words. I scatter them ... in time, and space. A message to lead myself here."
The words continued to appear randomly throughout the next few seasons, a consistent if not constant reminder of the connection between Rose and The Doctor--and always a nice throwback to the sacrifices made in "The Parting of the Ways." Putting up the words "Bad Wolf" in huge letters on the wall of the Academic Center (and seriously, that had to take a good long while) is not only a nod to Doctor Who, but it's a deeper, more clever reference, since it used it in a way the canon would have used it to signify something important, as if Rose Tyler herself had actually scattered the phrase onto the campus. What I'm saying is if they had just thrown up the word "Dalek," I would have chuckled, but I probably wouldn't have felt the need to pull out my Blackberry and take a picture.
So not only did I "Oh, my God!" in an otherwise quiet room, my faith was restored that there actually are, as I said, witty nerds in my presence.
This witty nerd will be back tomorrow with quick updates about more stuff in need of a good flail. (Like The Office.)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Every TV series has that one episode that everyone remembers, that provides mass debate and discussion and that is the authoritative commentary on what the show is about. For True Blood, I think that episode is 2-9 ‘I Will Rise Up.’
What a fantastic episode! I honestly think this the definitive, game-changing episode of the season and possibly the series. There is just so much to say about this episode – the storylines, the cinematography, the characters and the wider implications for the vampire/human world.
OK, while I obviously understand that TV is fiction and purely a method of entertainment, I take TV seriously and am emotionally and mentally invested in the shows I watch and over analyse anything and everything (hence this blog!). So while one could take True Blood at face value as a sexy Southern vampire show and the episode as just part of the ‘story’, I was thinking about why this episode is so revolutionary. Eventually I came to the conclusion that it was the ‘message’ of this episode. I could try to clumsily explain but I think it is best expressed by Jung “The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” This episode has relevance and meaning for not just the world of vampires, but the world of man and the reason for humanity.
But before we delve into the deep end, let’s take a swim in the shallow end of the pool. I have two words for you - Alexsander Skaarsgard. Oh. My. Good. Lord. What a delicious man!*Jumps out pool* So, back on topic *sigh*, the dream sequence between Sookie and Eric. This has stirred up mass debate and conflict. Many were put off by this new ‘schmoopy’ Eric, arguing that it was completely out-of-character for Eric and was honestly just quite cheesy. However, we must remember that this is Sookie’s dream i.e. this is how Sookie imagines Eric in bed. For me the most powerful moment between Sookie and Eric was the moment where they just lightly brush hands when Eric leaves Godric with Sookie. So much was said and unsaid in that tiny touch, in that infinitesimal caress.
Forget Bill and Sookie. Forget Eric and Sookie. The hottest new vampire/human couple in town is Hoyt and Jessica. Their sweetness factor is through.the.roof. It’s just such a cute tale of first love, but it’s not all sugar and spice. They’re going through some real difficulties but what I love about them is they don’t just use it as an excuse to break up and create more drama, they deal with it together and are growing up. In this episode, they are fighting the bigotry and hate of Mrs Foytenberry who is used as a foil to show us the bigotry and hate of the outside world. Their relationship shows us the ‘real’ issues a vampire/human couple face. Through their ‘supernatural’ problems, like Jessica’s hymen growing back, we glimpse into how they are as a couple and people and how together they work to find a solution. Too often with vampires, we assume they are these superior beings, but with Jessica we see she is just a scared teenage girl and through this, we glimpse their humanity.
There was FINALLY delevopment for the storyline of Maryann. If it wasn’t for the phenomenal work done by Michelle Forbes, to be honest I would FF through the Maryann scenes because there has seemed to be such little reason for this arc. You know I thought I would never hear these words out of my mouth but Jeez, am I glad there are no more orgies – seriously they were getting boooorrrrrrriiiiinnnnngggg. Now, this could have been deliberate storytelling by the writers to show us the banality of excess, but I’m slightly sceptical. In this episode, we were actually shown a glimpse into her psyche and what drives her.
However let’s get down to the real nitty-gritty. For me, Godric’s death is the most important event in the True Blood verse. I was struck by how delicately this was handled. I’m not sure how this event can be topped in terms of impact and emotion.
First we have the powerful imagery and cinematography. The sight of this child burning alive in blue flames against the background of the dusky dawn and the unknowing city. The audience were granted a rare chance in seeing someone with the utmost dignity sacrifice himself towards God. We saw this formidable 1000 year old ‘super human’ alight due to the effect of the sun next to this tiny innocent girl who stood by unharmed. It showed the true weakness of vampires – they are ultimately the dark.
This idea of light/dark is highlighted by the use of the Christian message of love and forgiveness. While I don’t want to get too over-involved in the discussion of religion (too many foot/mouth moments), I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions, I will underscore the different ways religion in particular the concept of sacrifice was portrayed. We had the act of war with Luke with the bomb, the frenzy of pagan excess with Maryann and the town; and then we had Godric, truly offering himself, still, willing and the true meaning of awe-some as in awe inspiring, breathtaking act of sacrifice.
One of the ways I think True Blood differentiates itself from other vampire shows, is that it not only tells us what it is to be a vampire, but what it is to be human. Alan Ball explores Life and all it means. Godric says “Why would you be so cruel?” when Eric is trying to convince him to live. For all the vampire benefits, the one that is the most sought after is eternal life. But through that one question, we see that life without end is meaningless and actually ‘cruel.’ We see the ultimate irony of how eternal life is perceived as heaven but in reality is the complete opposite - hell. Godric genuinely longs for mortality, for time with meaning, for life with meaning, for death with meaning. I believe in his last moments, like Pinocchio, Godric was bestowed the girft of life. Maybe not in body, but in soul. Where he expresses surprise in Sookie’s empathy – me=floods of tears. I hate to be all pretentious and slightly lazy by using a quote but Richter expresses eloquently what I am clumsily trying to explain “Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.” Godric and Sookie were truly never so exquisite as that fateful morning.
“I’m scared for you”. This quote shows us why Sookie is the bomb. A lot of people have criticised the character of Sookie, and while she has her faults, I think this episode shows her best nature and why Bill and Eric are so fascinated with her because at her core she is a compassionate soul, which both of them have so little experience of. She is so novel to them in their world of night, ego and cruelty. Particularly to Bill from what we have seen in his flashbacks with Lorena.
Ah, Lorena. Psychopathic bitch that she is, we see a certain, if not love, then bond with Bill. This bond of maker/makee is explored in the episode. We have the contrast of Bill/Lorena and Bill/Jessica compared to Eric/Godric. Bill and Jessica were both unwilling and their ‘turnings’ were violent, dark struggles. However, Eric sees Godric as his personal saviour, as his own god. This is almost reversed at Godric’s death. Godric till the very end is astounded and in awe of Eric’s vitality. The fact that Godric knows Eric still has ‘life’ left in him and so commanded him to leave is testament to their love and loyalty. We see their different outtakes on life - Godric is weighed by the burden of his years, Eric still has his joie de vivre and this ultimate disparity is encapsulated by their exchange: Eric “I would fight you now if I could.” Godric “I know.” It’s beautiful and reminds us of their history as warriors. They were not just brothers-in-arms, they are each others “Father, Brother, Child.” Godric says he’ll be all those things, and at the very end he is all those things to Eric and vice versa. The caress by Godric says it all. Such tenderness and hope. If anyone doubts whether vampires have feelings, this must surely prove otherwise.
And last but certainly not least, I must praise the acting in this episode which was absolutely stellar, in particular by Anna Paquin and Allan Hyde. Their exchange on the roof should be the one they both put in for the Emmys.
So, there you have it, my long, convoluted explanation of why you MUST MUST MUST watch True Blood, if not at least this episode. Cast aside your preconceptions of a vampire show, Twilight this certainly ain’t!!!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I’m a fan of Lost, Heroes, Alias, Fringe, X-Files – any story that can blend a little (or a lot) of science fiction and time travel into a complex and mysterious serial drama, and I’m sold. So it says something when I have to stop getting excited for FlashForward to take a deep breath and remind myself that these types of shows fail to deliver (except Farscape, bless you).
I often get the feeling that the show writers are a bit confused themselves. The starting idea is brilliant, they love their characters, and they keep a little something out of the mix to help stir things up in season two and three... and then, the flame sort of sizzles and you’re left with Alias’ Elixir of Life, or in the case of X-Files, some overly complex, muddled plot that involved bees, Super Soldiers and The Syndicate, I think?
Heroes is resetting again, apparently unable to build upon the season before and once more wiping the slate clean (not that I can blame them). Lost is nearing its finish line, and I am more and more convinced that we’ll be left with a lot of unanswered questions and a fairly unsatisfactory answer as to what the island actually is. And you can tell JJ and team learned because they started to go down the same path with Fringe and all of a sudden it was like someone smart finally said, “you know, let’s just get to the damn point and tell them there’s an alternate universe.” Thank you, Someone Smart!
The thing is, I like science fiction and time travel and complex and mysterious storylines. I like fully fleshed out characters and confusing relationships. But if I am going to commit to watching your show weekly, and hang on for the ride season after season to the finish, is it too much to also ask for a well crafted show arc? I want to think and question and be surprised when there are twists and also satisfied when there are answers. Hell, I’d be more proud to be a fan of writers that thought out a brilliant six seasons and just walked away at the end of their contract instead of getting reeled in by the network that decided they wanted to milk more from the cash cow.
So please forgive me if despite my excitement for FlashForward, I’m coming into it a little hesitant. I have no doubts the first season will be brilliant, but there will be ranting like no other if this show goes the way of most.
Now, all that said, here’s why I actually think this show is going to ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF:
1. I read the book, and though I already know the two aren’t going to be alike in much more than a layer of primer, the book was thought provoking and romantic (I know). It was the usual fate vs. free will main plot, but the subplot was all about reality now vs. reality future, relationships and hope. They also announced at Comic-Con that the novelist, Robert J. Sawyer, will pen one of the episodes.
2. Unlike the book, the “flash forward” takes everyone to April 29, 2010. For a television series, putting the flash 21 years in the future isn’t nearly as exciting, so good move there. What will happen when we hit the date? Or the better question, what will happen after?
3. It’s almost like the writers know the Lost fans are going to watch but are also coming in slightly bitter and suspicious, heh. They have already confirmed that we will not be facing “Island Time” with this series. It will progress in normal time. Praise be!
4. It has an impressive cast; among them, Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Gabrielle Union, and Losties Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger.
5. The writers have a five season arc (22 episodes each). And that means it will have continuity that actually makes sense, and satisfactory answers to questions that were set up episodes or seasons before. Hello! Music to my ears. Please stay true to this and I may actually have one additional show to add to my Best Shows Evar!1 list (hi, Farscape - also seriously, you all need to see this).
Unlike Lost, where a bracelet worn by two women and deliberately shown in one episode is there to MEAN NOTHING (argh, rant), Robert J. Sawyer himself had this to say about FlashForward, "I've had very fascinating conversations with David [Goyer, executive producer] about things that we're putting in the pilot that we hope most people won't notice, but are there so that when we play that card 10 episodes or five seasons down the road, nobody will be able to go back and say, 'That wasn't set up properly,'" Sawyer said. "That's the level at which this show is being thought out."
Guys, it might just make me cry of happy.
Season One premiers in the U.S. on September 24th.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Any fan of JJ Abrams can tell you that he has a penchant for creating female leads struggling between two worlds. With 'Felicity' there was Felicity's conflict between becoming the doctor her father expected her to be, and becoming the artist her heart wanted to be.
In 'Alias' there was Sydney's battle between remaining a secret government agent to make the world a better place and becoming a regular woman, wife and mother, to live the life she'd always dreamt of.
On 'Lost' there is Kate's choice between playing into the bad girl fugitive lifestyle she thinks she deserves and being the good and happy family woman she desires to be.
With 'Fringe' there is literally a female lead struggling between two worlds.
The season one finale saw Olivia mysteriously escape into an alternate universe, of which we know very little, and the premier skipped past the events of her time there and thrust her, literally, back into this one with veiled memories of her meeting with Walter Bishop's previous partner, William Bell, among - possibly - other things.
The questions of how she got there, how she got back, what exactly happened to her during that time, who is this shape shifting soldier after her, and what do they want with her will be the context of the rest of this season. It is curious that she woke only when Peter sat at her bedside (much like she telepathically lit the lights on the puzzle last season with Peter standing behind her) and the words she muttered – in Greek – were words Peter's mother, an unseen force thus far in this story, used to recite to Peter on a daily basis.
Be a better man than your father.
The frustration of a show like this is speculation. Did Olivia meet Peter's mother? Or did Olivia somehow tap into some memory in the recesses of Peter's mind? And if she did, why? Is there some bond between them that allows her to tap into her powers? What exactly IS her power? The video of her as a child seemed to suggest – when compared to the images of Mr. Jones' artificially created time/space jump location from the prison cell – that she had herself made some sort of possibly natural time/space jump.
By doing so, did Olivia create the alternate universe that is predicted to destroy ours?
Or did she simply travel there? (Since they opened the doors to it -- Is our Olivia really OUR Olivia -- or did each universe's Olivia switch over? And while we're at it, just how alike ARE the two worlds? Is there a second Walter? Or is William Bell REALLY that world's Walter Bishop?) And will Peter eventually be forced to see Olivia as an experiment in order to prevent that from happening?
Alternate universes are an old staple of science fiction, and that Fringe comes from the same people who have more recently created 'Lost' and the newest 'Star Trek' movie, it brings to mind the same themes those works emphasize: fate and destiny and free will and the consequences that each brings.
And it brings us back to choices. If Olivia does have the ability to transport herself between the universes, is the proverbial grass greener on the other side? Does she have the responsibility to put Peter back in his universe? Or was it his destiny to be in ours? Most importantly though, does Olivia have the power to decide which universe survives the impending merge? Or does she have the ability to seal the alternate worlds permanently from one another.
And what are the consequences of it all?
At the heart of all these things is one woman with very real feelings and very real connections to the people around her – whether they are from this dimension or another – and the knowledge that her actions could put any one of them in danger, or eradicate them from existence will weigh heavy on her shoulders. But is it any different from her situation now?
One could argue that Olivia wants the same things Felicity, Sydney and Kate wanted before her: the freedom to choose the life she leads. To not have extenuating circumstances and the aspirations of others direct her paths, and to be able to ultimately walk away from the path her life had been on towards what she truly wants. And what Olivia wants is, whether you deem it to be misogynistic or a natural instinct, to be a regular ol' mom in an ordinary world.
Her character came to life midway through the first season with the introduction of her sister and niece, and she is most human, most empathetic, when she's cutting loose in those few moments outside of work, most especially with Peter and her niece. Her line of work, you could say, is what Walter Bishop and William Bell engrained in her as a child – the rules of some imaginary future army (much like Sydney Bristol in 'Alias') that would be beckoned when the time was right. Her life has become the byproduct of that.
But is that her destiny? Does she walk the fine line between these worlds protecting them both as some sort of superhuman soldier? Or can she walk away, creating a new life – a new dimension of herself.
It's a good thing we have another season to get closer to that answer.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I haven't blogged about Bones all summer, a feat I'd feel more proud of if I had blogged about a ton of other things all summer. But now, with the premiere airing
And even if I am abstaining from Bones flailing--no, really, I am, ask anyone--that doesn't mean I don't see and hear things, and it doesn't mean my brain stops theorizing. Better to get these things on the blog (or at least out of Twitter) before the premiere airs.
Okay, here's what we know.
Cyndi Lauper's in
"I see a sick man in the hospital. He takes refuge in a dream life. You're there, in the dream, and you're helping him to create that dream life by telling him a story. You're both so happy in the story, so happy it's almost sad when he wakes up.... The man whose life you saved is really excited to see you again."
Brennan, of course, dismisses this, but it's hard for us, the audience, not to believe Avalon may be on to something when we see a following clip, in which Booth greets Brennan in her office with a hug and a very happy face.
From promos, we know that Brennan does have a fight scene, presumably the scripted one in the clinic that was also scripted to end in Booth rescuing--and then making out with--Brennan at the crime scene. (At this point, all signs point to that having been Hart messing with the fans, and I would be incredibly impressed if he managed to pull off hiding that big of a reveal.) We know there is a kiss of some kind, however, though we've been told that it's a mere forehead kiss.
I know a lot of fangirls who were disappointed by that, and to that I have two important points. #1: I learned the hard way, never get too excited about a Bones storyline that seems whoa obvious. And #2: This could actually be a really good thing.
Because we saw a little split-second scene of them on the street, in which Brennan jokes, "Do you want me to kiss you on the forehead?" and Booth agrees, closing his eyes and leaning toward her. She laughs it off, but we guess Booth's request was an effort to prove or disprove something Avalon said regarding the pair's relationship. We assume that later in the episode (perhaps once he's saved her?), she'll actually give him that forehead kiss, and it will validate for Booth whatever he's confused about. The point being, Booth doesn't need a crime scene PDA to prove what he feels for Brennan is real; it's even more poignant to show that he gets all fluttery inside just from a kiss to the forehead.
Speaking of Booth being confused, we know from another clip (also in the YouTube video above) that Sweets is trying to push Booth to revisit the feelings evoked from the "coma dream." Putting together a few key pieces of intel, it seems like Booth is having regular brain scans, and Sweets is analyzing them, in conjunction with therapy, to help Booth get back to normal. The joke I've been using is, Sweets says to Booth, in a different turn of phrase, "This is your brain. This is your brain on Brennan." We love what Cam tells Booth at the bar (heard on audio clips): "Be sure about your feelings, because if you crack that shell and you change your mind, she'll die of loneliness before she'll trust anyone ever again."
We also know, from the last clip included in that YouTube montage, that Brennan is familiar with this "coma dream" business. (Sorry, that's still hard to type without air quotes.) Booth knows she wrote it as part of her book. Whether we actually see a scene where they put these pieces together, or whether we get the idea that they talked about it before she fled to Guatemala, has yet to be determined. I think far more interesting that what Booth subconsciously experienced while under the knife is what Brennan consciously typed while sitting in his hospital room.
I think the end scene will be Booth coming to the realization that he definitely feels something epic for Brennan. It'll hit him like a slap in the face, but still being confused--and having heard what Cam had to say--he won't be sure enough to really act on this yet. (We, the audience, will be convinced, because it will corroborate Avalon's predictions and, subsequently, the "coma dream.") I think the "device" that's been alluded to will be Booth struggling to reconcile what he thinks he feels with what he knows about his relationship with Brennan, and we'll see this play out in the coming episodes as Booth, to use David Boreanaz's turn of phrase, "courting" Brennan.
A lot of people I know have their hopes up really, really high. The premiere has been getting good reviews, but I think it's important for everyone to try not to anticipate having a huge, massive squeefest. The difference between what critics think and what fangirls think can often be huge. I think it seems likely that the premiere is going to set up a strong season, with potential for a further build for Booth and Brennan, but I don't think viewers are in for a Booth and Brennan fluff party. I don't think they'll make out at a crime scene. I don't think they'll necessarily take the qualifiers off of their ILYs. So if that's what you're waiting for, you might want to exhale. I'm not saying it doesn't have the potential to be entertaining (Cyndi Lauper's accent could probably carry the entire episode by itself), but I'm concerned about a mass disappointment at about 11:30 tonight.
Oh, hell, what am I saying? You all liked the damn finale.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Excels At: Delicious drama. I've long argued that Gossip Girl is what The Hills would be if it didn't even try to be "reality." Between hookups, breakups, frenemies, and long-lost half-siblings shared with your ex-boyfriend, this show succeeds week to week at bringing the crazy. It's well-done, too. Even when the show reaches deep into the cliche jar (no, really, Serena and Dan share a half-sibling, who's now in New York looking for his parents), it puts a fresh spin and a Blair Waldorf smackdown on an old trick.
Needs Improvement: The end of the second season was hard to watch. Dan hooked up with a teacher, a move that could have been interesting if it wasn't so heavy-handed and creepy. Or if it had been Chuck. Chuck could've gotten away with teacher-doing. Nate probably could have, too, but he had his cougar-hookup arc earlier in the season.
Part of the problem was that the stories have begun to over-feature recurring characters. After the hugely awesome Georgina arc in season one, the writers began to introduce more and more characters to come in and stir up drama. In season two, Nate's grandparents came to make crazy, as did sketchball Aaron Rose, Poppy Lifton, Lord Marcus Beaton (and his aforementioned cougar stepmom, Lady Catherine), sucky friend Agnes, would-be rapist Jack Bass, noted sleazy Spanish teacher Rachel Carr, and bizarro-plotline driver Elle the "Nanny." And that list doesn't even count Scott, Lily and Rufus's biological son, who made his first appearance in the season finale.
Too much! Can we get back to the show where the biggest drama comes straight from our main characters?
Also, can someone please tell me what purpose Vanessa and Nate serve? They are so freaking useless.
Interpersonal Dynamics: Most notably, Chuck/Blair seems to finally be officially on. It's exciting, mostly because it seems like they're still going to be up to no good, only now, they're kind of like this little mischief-making team. Which I guess they always have been. Look for their wily ways to get the best of them as the season progresses, as they struggle to keep from manipulating each other. (I think it can't be done.)
Dan and Serena is on the sidelines for a while, it looks like. Which is sad, but what can you do when you find out you share a half-sibling? We all know they'll figure it out in the end; for now, it'll be interesting to watch them grow as individuals for a little while.
And of course, there's Lily and Rufus, who are also finally official after two seasons of grown-up tension. We figure they're probably not over all of their problems, either, but it's more interesting to watch them try and figure it out together rather than continue the will-they-or-won't-they. The OMGSOMUCHSEXUALTENSION is really best left for the barely-legals. Also, just some early speculation? I wouldn't be surprised to see Lily get pregnant this year. Just throwing that out there.
Particularly Notable: Hilary Duff is joining the cast for an arc, where she plays an
Pay Attention To: Dorota. I'm still convinced she's Gossip Girl.
Overall Score: 3.5 Stars.
Season Two premieres in the U.S. tonight at 9:00 on the CW.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Floods. Hurricanes. Swine flu. North Korea. And... fangirls?! THE END IS TRULY NIGH.
"Look Mr. Edlund. Yes I'm a fan, but I really don't appreciate being mocked." Well, I hate to tell you this Becky, but...
The season five premiere of Supernatural, 'Sympathy for the Devil', aired last night on the CW, and I might sound like a broken record at this point but why are you not yet watching this show?! The episode did not disappoint in ANY aspect: it had humor (oh, the postmodernism of it all!), drama, wtf moments, angst and everything else that makes Supernatural the best show no one's watching - and those who do watch it, well, they're crazy, as this episode establishes. SamLicker89, I'm looking at YOU.
NOTE: This post contains spoilers for SPN 5x01 'Sympathy for the Devil'. However, it also contains several MORE excellent reasons why you should give the show a try, aside from the ones I've already mentioned, so do keep reading and let yourself be convinced!
"What in the devil is your name?" "Little old Sammity-Sam!"
When season four ended, Sam and Dean were standing at the Boca del Inferno itself (oh wait no, that was Buffy), after Sammy accidentally set Lucifer free. Oops. Yeah, Dean's not going to be so quick to forgive and forget this one, and he spends most of the episode preparing us for the big angsty ending by telling Sam that his apologies aren't good enough. Very inappropriately this kept reminding me of a scene in Greek where Casey found out that Frannie is dating Evan. This upset her because Casey used to date Evan, but Evan cheated on her with Rebecca, who is now dating Cappie, who used to date Casey, who is Frannie's sorority sister, and Frannie told Casey to stay with Evan anyway, after which Casey slept with Cappie, but then Casey and Evan broke up and now Casey doesn't want to be friends with Frannie anymore, and then she... says her apologies aren't enough..... um, huh? What? This is SRS TELEVISION people, honest!
Basically it's all very angsty though. And see, as is the case of all good television friend-/ships, angst only serves to strengthen their relationship in the end. I KNOW this. But seeing Dean stand there and tell Sam that nothing could be like it was, that was a tough moment. I think honestly I only really like angst when I'm seeing it in retrospective so I know everything will be alright. And who knows what will happen to the Winchester brothers at the end of this season (which is in all likelihood going to be the last)? Even though my ideal ending for the show is the two brothers riding off into the sunset in the Impala, rock music blaring as they bicker, I just don't see it happening at this point. Sad smiley face.
Kodak moment!! Sort of. This is a random picture but it's one of the precious few smiles shared between any characters in this episode. Besides the crazy fangirl smiles of course.
As far as characters in this episode go, I must say Dean might have been a tad too emo, even for me. Of course the tense relationship between the brothers dampened any interaction they had with each other and other people, but he was just moping, and his voice was way deep, and was it just me or did his eyes seem smaller than usual? Don't get me wrong, if ever there was a time to be mopey this would be it, but even though we all love Harry Potter (right? RIGHT?!), we can all admit that he was a bit of a pain in Order of the Phoenix. This season definitely looks like it'll be darker than the rest, but then, we knew this. And in Supernatural, darker usually equals more absurd and black humor, so count me in. Ah the humor. I'll get to that in a moment. As for Sam in this episode, he was really a pleasant surprise. See, I've always been a Dean girl, it's never really been a question, but actually I was surprised by how much I understood and emphasized with Sam here. He's made some bad choices in the past year, but he's honestly had the best of intentions at any given time. He reminds me a lot of Jack Shephard when I really stop to examine it, and with all the crap he got this episode from fake!Bobby and Dean and the angels (indirectly), I think I'm actually on his side so far, loyalty-wise. I hope I won't have to take that any further though, because I prefer to just be on the Winchester side and leave it at that.
"You know your surrogate daddy's still awake. Screaming in there." Oh good... Meg is back. /sarcasm
Thank god Bobby was possessed. I mean, there's no way he couldn't have been but still!! He truly is their surrogate daddy, and unlike Dean, Bobby actually showed some compassion for Sam in this episode: "I ain't cutting you out boy. Not ever." I LOVE Bobby! He's my favorite non-main character and personally I think that he's a much healthier father figure than John ever was, and seeing him struggle against the demon possession because of his love for the boys (again, we've only ever seen John be able to do this, because of his love for Sam and Dean), and impale himself with the knife... Bobby is the anchor of Supernatural, I keep saying this, amongst all the deceit and bad blood Bobby has always been the one person who would never ever betray Sam and Dean (and implicitly us, the viewers). Him losing the use of his legs is horrible and I hate to see what it'll do to him, but I hope it'll only give him even more chances to be awesome. Kicking ass and taking names, wheelchair-bound – if anyone can do it, it's Bobby!
Before I continue though, I have to call out the writers. I'm sure other reviews will mention this too, but I just couldn't let it go. I mean I'll forgive the writers of Supernatural for just about anything because they're so over-the-top awesome, but how on earth do they justify Bobby ever getting possessed?! He was the one who gave Sam and Dean the charms to prevent possession, and if the boys were smart enough to get the tattoos surely a seasoned hunter like Bobby would have done it years ago! The only possibility would be if other demons grabbed him somewhere, ripped off his charm and held him down while he was being possessed...? I don't know. I'd like this cleared up. It seemed a bit rushed, but I suppose they had a lot to get through in this episode.
The Devil Wears Island. In a theater near you. SOON. *Muahaha*.
Oh, actually there is one more character who deserves a section of their own: Lucifer! Or rather, his pre-possessed (haha see what I did there?) vessel. It is, of course, our very own Jacob from Lost, and man... that's the best typecasting I have EVER seen. From THE Jacob to one of the most ambiguous figures ever, the fallen angel. I mean man, talk about irony. The episode was called 'Sympathy for the Devil', but honestly I don’t think we got to see a lot of that yet... I'm very intrigued by the way Lucifer will be portrayed on the show, because I don't doubt he will be interesting. We already know that Mark Pellegrino can bring the necessary depth to a character like this.
Now we're on the subject, did this remind anyone else of the scene with Ben and Jack in the church in '316'? Hmmm.
Speaking of vessels, Dean was informed that he is meant to serve as the vessel for Michael, the arch angel who is supposed to kill Lucifer. Eh. I'm sure fellow blogger Scarlett will agree with me that this wouldn't be... the best thing ever... exactly? I have a feeling that in the end, Dean will have to submit his body to Michael, and this will end up killing him/destroying his soul. And that would be a terrible thing to watch. Poor, tortured Dean's last minutes/scenes would not even be DEAN, it would be someone who possessed him, and the fight would indeed end up being bigger than the boys, but carry less emotional weight because of that fact. There is an alternative though: when Dean was talking about forgetting the angels and the demons and fighting to save the planet themselves, it might only have been empty words – but could they actually hold some promise of what's to come? They've got Cas (yay, btw!!) on their side it seems... so here's hoping!
Um... way to play into Becky's fanfictional assumptions there, Dean. OH COME ON everybody's thinking it!
Okay I think that's all the mythology stuff out of the way! Now I want to talk about the writers of the show, who are clearly on crack. Or something. EL-OH-effing-EL people!! Please do me a favor and watch the clip below. Even if you never want to watch another minute of this show you WILL want to see this. Basically someone's written a book series about the boys, and this girl is a fan. Like, a FAN...
*calms self* I have so much to say about this. First of all, the fact that the show exists within the show in the form of a cult book series with a group of "small, but dedicated followers" was first introduced in the season 4 episode 'The Monster At the End of This Book', and it builds on what I'm sure is a great inside joke within the writers' room responding to the fact that such an overwhelming portion of the real SPN fandom consists of screaming fangirls and Wincest shippers. In season 4, they took this joke as far as to make a few sarcastic comments ("Don't they know we're brothers?!" "That doesn't seem to matter."), but now apparently they've thrown out all pretenses and actually introduced a fangirl into the story! The writers have NO shame, and I love them to bits for it! What other franchise dares to take such royal piss out of their own fandom – and gets away with it?! I'm sure the "SamLicker89"s of the world realize that Wincest is bizarre, and honestly I think it's pretty neat that rather than condemning these fans' existence, the writers are actually incorporating it all into the story! Just like they're incorporating swine flu, and the hurricanes, and the other disasters. I like to believe that we're meant to associate crazy fangirls writing slash and coming out of the woodwork with the apocalypse. Oh my god you guys, SERIOUSLY, not just any show could get away with stuff like this! A character not only commenting on the show itself ("The demon stuff was getting kinda old") but writing honest to god pornographic incestual fanfiction about the main characters, on prime time network television! And this in the same episode as some of the most gripping, emotional material the show has yet produced. "Sam touched, no caressed, Dean's clavicle. 'This is wrong,' said Dean. 'Then I don't want to be right,' replied Sam, in a husky voice!"
This show is bat-shite crazy. I love it.
To finish off here, I could not have been more pleased with this premiere. I breezed through the show over the summer and after that I've rewatched a lot of it, and I only loved it more the second time around. The premieres have never stood out to me though, including the Pilot, so I wasn't expecting too much with this one. Also, I've never before experienced waiting for a single episode of the show before so I didn't know how much I would enjoy it as a weekly event rather than as a marathon show, but it's shaping up to be pretty epic! This episode had it all, including of course heaps of angst – which better be leading up to the hug of all hugs, and the SamLicker89s of the world better not have scared them off such showings of affection! I hope this is truly a sign that season five is going to be the BIGGEST, the BEST and the most BADASS (I couldn’t think of another b-word and I was on a roll. A BREAD-roll, omfg I’m so funny. They should really hire me on the show. For the lulz) season ever.
Score: 9/10. = IT WINS.
((Also this is the first post I've done where I succeeded in posting it correctly on the first try!! Yay me!))
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I think this should settle the “Is Glee Ripping Off High School Musical?” debate.
Riddle me this—is High School Musical allowed to make jokes about crazy-train filicide? Is High School Musical allowed to not-so-subtly make reference to oral sex—or worse yet, push “the C word”? And did you see the brochures in Emma’s office?
Definitely not HSM material.
Last night’s episode of Glee was every bit as entertaining as the premiere we saw four months ago—and it answered what I think is an even more important question:
What’s Glee going to be about?
After the pilot, the direction of the show seemed nebulous. Obviously, the A-plot (getting to sectionals/regionals) was set, but the B-plots seemed harder to come by. Now, we can see those supporting stories developing, and they’re delicious.
The hilarity of Terri’s hysterical pregnancy is her character’s saving grace. If the show was trying to sell her as a sympathetic character, she’d be hard to take. Fangirls like me would see her only as a roadblock to the Will/Emma relationship; with this development, we’re totally allowed to love-to-hate her. It’s a bold choice for the show, and one that’s making for an interesting ship. For instance, in Matthew Morrison’s recent TVGuide.com interview, he said, “It's hard trying to defend [Will and Terri’s] relationship.”
Normally, you find actors trying to play devil’s advocate. There were times back in the day when Jenna Fischer of The Office would talk about how she thought maybe it was more interesting if Jim and Pam never figured things out, because her show is realistic and sometimes those things just don’t happen. Just this morning, Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv from Fringe were quoted by Entertainment Weekly as going against their oh-so-obvious ship. It’s refreshing to have a show not even try to sit on the fence about where they’re going.
Watching Terri flounder as she tries to conceal the very fake nature of her pregnancy is going to be amazing. I guess joint baths are out the window, eh? She’s obviously going to have to remove sex from the equation, and is that really the way you want to go when you’re trying to convince your husband not to leave you? Also, Terri doesn’t even know Emma exists at this point, right? There’s gotta be some intrigue down the road once she realizes her husband might have his eyes on his coworker. (Oh, yeah, we know a thing or two about that around here.)
The angsty goodness between Finn and Rachel is just as yummy. The show is doing an excellent job showcasing just how awkward young like can be, and how confusing the associated emotions are. Last night solidly built an impressive love triangle between the high-schoolers. It’s obvious already that Finn and Rachel like each other, but the status problems associated with that coupling, along with his girlfriend, are clearly going to put this relationship on hold for awhile. I can’t remember the last time premature ejaculation was used as a sweet device to show just how smitten our hero is. Finn’s subsequent lack of explanation did nothing to demonstrate this fact to poor Rachel, who pwned that last number.
It’s interesting to see how the Terri-like wheel of this love triangle, Quinn, is constructed differently. She’s still got her shrew-like characteristics, but I also kind of like seeing her take on the role of Vindictive Bitch Christian Cheerleader. While we’re on the subject, how un-High School Musical was that Celibacy Club meeting? I love how forthright Rachel was, discussing the pitfalls of preaching abstinence. It would be easy to have written Rachel as a prude, but it’s way more interesting to make her sexually aware.
So then let’s talk about the music. Last night we saw “Superfreak,” “Gold Digger,” “Push It,” “I Say a Little Prayer for You,” “Take a Bow,” and a delightful little snippet of “All By Myself.”
All I have to say is … good GOD, how hard are these people working?
The one problem I have is that I’m a little troubled by the staging used in “Take a Bow.” If this was my freshman undergrad course on “University Writing Through Hollywood Musicals,” we would say that episode had a diegetic conflict. All of the songs in the pilot and all of the songs except for “Take a Bow” are used in a diegetic context: the singing is actually happening. No one is breaking out into song randomly. But then in “Take a Bow,” and similarly, in a clip from an upcoming episode using the song “Bust Ya Windows,” the songs are used in an extradiegetic context: we’re not to assume that Rachel was actually belting out the chorus while watching Finn and Quinn (eww to that rhyme, by the way) canoodle at the lockers. It bothers me because it’s inconsistent. I have no problem with using music to highlight a moment, as “Take a Bow” expertly did last night, but it was confusing in a "is this really happening?" way.
It would be better if the show would keep the songs onstage or in rehearsal, but intersperse them with other scene snippets to spotlight how the song is relevant to other stories. This was done to great effect by showing Terri making redecorating plans during “Gold Digger,” and “Take a Bow” would have been just as moving were Rachel NOT singing in the hallway, but rather just standing there looking forlorn as the sound of her emotive rehearsal plays in the background.
Okay, fine, I’m just a musical snob.
All in all, another great showing from Glee and an excellent start to the 2009-2010 television season. Now bring on Week Two!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Hello fellow Supernatural fans! *crickets chirp* Just us then? Well at least there's two of us! The 5th and Final season is looming very close and so we (Scarlett and Selina) decided to join forces to bring you the ultimate HOPES AND FEARS roundup post! Because there is so much to say, we've divided our points into five categories, and we'll address them individually below.
The end of season 4 saw Sam and Dean as far apart as they've ever been emotionally, yet when the world was ending they still held on to each other, and this gives us hope for their reconciliation. However, making up isn't fun without some angst first, so hopefully this reconciliation doesn't come too soon! Too often, TV depicts people having an argument and making up straight away. We need to see the tension, not just for the beautiful man tears of Jensen and Jared, but for the progression of the characters and the brothers' relationship. Sam and Dean *literally* went to hell and back and their relationship has never been under such strain. We have seen the lengths each has gone to protect the other and this desperate need to save each other is what effectively caused the apolcalypse - Sam wanting to protect Dean from getting himself killed fighting Lilith, and Dean wanting to protect Sam from his foretold dark future. Ultimately however, we want the brothers to continue being a team because the show is always at its best when Sam and Dean are working together and bantering as they go. They are THE WINCHESTER BROTHERS and even though things are going to be mighty tense and awkward in the Metallicar, their loyalty and love for one another would never waiver while fighting the evil forces, especially against the most evil evillest evil the world has ever seen. There are many issues they have to resolve and we want them BOTH to work towards bridging the gap between them. Sure, Dean will probably go off with Castiel and Sam needs his moping time with his emo bangs, but this show is ultimately about Sam and Dean vs. The World. Kripke has talked about revisiting S1 themes so we sincerely hope this is one of the things he was talking about. Yes, the stakes have been raised and Sam and Dean are pawns in a game far bigger than them but Supernatural is not about angels and demons, Supernatural is about family, friendship and belonging, and we need our mushy moments! More epic hugs please!
Plea to the CW - Please please please give SPN a decent budget. Why? We hear you ask, things seem to be pretty good. Ok, we'll tell you why. Are you sitting comfortably? We're going to tell you a story of what a poor budget can do to a show. We call the show, let's say, Smallville. Now producers had been bigging up the 'Greatest Fight' between Superman and his oldest and most deadly adversary Doomsday - "It's going to be AMAZING", "The best thing you've ever seen", "You won't be able to sleep because of the nightmares about this horrifying monster". What happened was, Doomsday turned out to be a relatively tall man in a rubber suit fighting for about 30 seconds with Superman. That's it. Seriously. So please, CW, heed us when we say we will not be impressed if all we get in the season premier is Sam and Dean in a burning field, wiping their sweaty brows saying "Phew, what a fight." We do not want the apocalyspe to happen in offscreeenville, we want to see it unfold before our very eyes. We want Sam and Dean and their band of merry men to FIGHT the good fight. We want to see the action - preferably with Sam and Dean in torn shirts.... Yes we know we're demanding but here's one other thing we want: no more vessels! We do not want to see Sam-as-Lucifer, Dean-as-Michael (to clarify, Michael is the archangel who defeated Lucifer, and possibly what Zacariah is hinting at when talking to Dean about his destiny of defeating Lucifer). We want to see Sam and Dean as themselves fighting Lucifer and the Angels. It's clearly been established through Castiel/Jimmy Novak that humans do not keep their personality when possessed. If Lucifer is a fully-formed evil spirit/demon/angel/thing, we want to see Sam and Dean take him on in an epic battle scene, punches, fire, powers, hordes of angels, hordes of demons - basically a Lord of the Rings style war.
3. OTHER CHARACTERS
Even though the show is mainly about Sam and Dean, there are a lot of side characters rumoured to be coming back this season! Castiel, of course, will be a regular, and we anticipate lots of awkward incomprehensive-angel-amongst-humans situations... imagine Castiel trying to pick up a girl! What we DON'T want to happen though is to see him divide the brothers' time too much. Obviously he's mostly concerned with Dean and doesn't seem to have much time for Sam, and what with the brothers' current lukewarm feelings for each other, Castiel might hinder their reconciliation. We like the guy, but not even John could tear these guys apart... let's keep it that way! As for the others, well Bobby has obviously been a key player since season 2, acting as a substitute father for the boys, and here's hoping that this will be his role in season 5! Jim Beaver teased some big changes for Bobby... uh oh. It's always been such a relief amongst the possessions and backstabbing that Sam and Dean could always trust Bobby to have their best interests at heart - it would feel wrong to lose that. Oh and one last thing? Ruby needs to be GONE from our TV screens FOR GOOD. kthanx.
Ghostfacers: They've appeared in every season since they were introduced in season 2, and these characters (especially Ed and Harry) deserve one last hurrah, especially if this is to be the final season. The Ghostfacers have become an integral part of the cult fandom, with their website and their involvements in the last two Comic-Cons, and seeing as the last time they appeared they were unwittingly instructing Sam and Dean in how to do their job (4x17 'It's a Terrible Life'), perhaps this time when they show up they'll actually end up helping Sam and Dean again rather than hindering... of course with the hilarious commentary self-referential banter they always bring to the screen!
General: When Supernatural was named #37 on TV Ate My Brain's list of the top 100 Sci-Fi shows (OH YEAH!), the show was described as "often terrifying, often hilarious", and we couldn't agree more! It's the show's perfect balance of horror, angst and comedy that makes it stand out to us, and with the impending End of the World we worry that this means an upping of the angst and a downtoning of the fun. But knowing Kripke and his writing team, most likely MORE DEATH just equals MORE INAPPROPRIATE JOKES, so we're excited! Upping the scales of action is sure to bring us some hilarious moments! Also, more self-aware episodes please, ala 'Hollywood Babylon' and 'Ghostfacers': episodes where we're being made aware that we're watching a TV show and where the premise of the whole show is ridiculed, yet at the end we're still as invested in the story and the characters as we ever were... because that's what makes the show brilliant!
Shipping and Supernatural is an odd combination, however we suppose we HAVE to tolerate that there is some romance... *sigh*. In this blog we'd like to address two more or less canon pairings and our hopes for them this season!
While Sam was being indecent with the devil, Dean very symbolically found solace in an angel. Anna was supposedly destroyed towards the end of the season, but surely she's too kickass to really be gone! It's hard to ship Dean with anyone, but Anna seems to be one of the few exceptions - their relationship would definitely be interesting, seeing as she's an angel and all (but still feels human emotions as far as we know), and it's better than the string of no-name small-town single mothers he tends to go for. At least Anna is a character in her own right and can fend for herself, which makes shipping the two so much more interesting! Bring back Anna!
Ahh. See, we don't ship Wincest, so kudos to us, but Dean/Castiel is fair game as far as we're concerned! Their long looks... their smoldering sexual chemistry... the fact that Dean's siren was a dude... the evidence is overwhelming! "I'm the one that gripped you tight and raised you from perdition" "Yeah, thanks for that." See, see *looks around to see nodding* ....Okay, right, yeah, maybe not so much in canon. But girls can dream right?? (And we do *ahem*) We know that Dean and Castiel will have more scenes this year, and while these are almost certain to be of the heterosexual variety, but there's nothing wrong with Dean/Castiel, and it would add a whole new dimension to the show. 4 srs.
So that's it, our hopes and fears for season 5! It premieres next Wednesday, we could not be more excited! Hopefully a few of you readers have taken more interest in the show at this point, so we'll have some readers for our posts on the show during the season. Look for our post on the ideal ending for the show soon! Thanks for reading!
(Caps courtesy of screencap-paradise.com)
Friday, September 4, 2009
I know what you’re thinking. Sour taste in the same sentence as UST, a Bones picture... what?! Because really, UST is the most powerful ‘shipping force on TV and when written and acted well, it can be absolute perfection and help hold a show up for years. Trust me, I get it; I believe the hype and my stomach gets all fluttery and I can write an entire post about that time when my ‘ship shared that meaningful glance. Hell, I ‘ship from cast photos before a pilot has even aired (thank you, Stargate Atlantis).
However, for a moment, step with me into madness and try subscribing for a brief moment to what I call the RST Scenario. Yes, Resolved Sexual Tension is a real thing, and I know almost every writer and actor (and fan) will tell you that putting the ‘ship together means death. But honestly. HONESTLY. That has to be my single, biggest grievance with TV ‘ship today.
First, let’s discuss how a UST can die all on its own.
I’m still surprised every time I hear a Bones fan say they don’t want Booth/Bones together yet. I’m sorry, but how much more unbelievable do you really want their relationship to get? We’ve taken most of the journey with them and completely experienced partnership, then friendship, then trust, and now we’re pretty much watching them go through the entire love factor. ALL WHILE SOMEHOW STILL NOT GETTING IT ON. I mean really, everyone knows they love each other, they know they love each other; can anyone name a couple in real life that has actually gotten this far in a relationship without having committed to an actual relationship? And yet, it’s Bones and Booth, man. I’ll stay for the ride because the UST right now is just that good.
But here’s where we start to see the dead end: they’re working through everything now! Fears, hopes, dreams, trust issues, family drama, babies, vices... what’s left when they finally become a couple but happily ever after?
Second, how RST can kill a show.
There is the inevitable Moonlighting scenario. I never watched more than a few episodes of this show and yet somehow it always comes into play with articles about will-they/won’t-they TV relationships. I would just like to know why this show is still being talked about. It went off the air in 1989! Was it the first show to have sexual tension? Can we not find a more recent comparison?
Okay, maybe we can say Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was one such RST casualty. I’m sure there are more recent examples of shows that fell to their demise once the ‘ship became a couple, but I’m hard pressed to find one. And no, Gilmore Girls does not count.
Third, how RST is done wrong.
1. Do not over extend your UST welcome.
Law and Order: SVU taught us you can only dangle the treat in front of everyone for so long. Some of us still watch, but we whine, and it’s doubtful we’ll think it’s worth it when it happens.
2. Do not exhaust the minute relationship workings or personality quirks before the ‘ship becomes a couple.
3. Do not skip the good stuff.
The Office, I’m looking at you. We went from OMG OMG UST to happy couple? I let it slide because it still kind of works, but cheaters! Also, Stargate SG-1, nice try.
Fourth, how RST can be done right.
1. Do explore sex before a relationship.
Farscape. Bloody genius show. Sex in season one, and still they managed a will-they/wont-they relationship? This wins at life.
2. Do start a relationship too soon.
Standoff was running from the start and chock-full of sexual tension even while they were sleeping together. At first it was just sex, and it was hot, and then it was more than just sex, and still hot. And I know it was cancelled, but I promise it wasn’t because of the ‘ship. Go watch.
3. Do evolve the relationship naturally.
Jericho paired Stanley and Mimi perfectly. The wedding plans may have started a little early, but in a war-torn, post-apocalyptic setting, and with a ticking cancellation clock, who could blame them?
4. Do keep something in your back pocket.
If timing had been on our side, ER could possibly be the crown jewel of the RST Scenario. Carter and Abby, you guys. Excuse me for a nostalgic moment. It’s what we didn’t see them work through before they became a couple that will tantalize forever. Luka/Abby is nothing compared to what Carter/Abby would have been. We didn’t see how Carter’s parents would react to an engagement (we love you, Gamma!). We didn’t see Abby go through the bipolar disorder freak out when she got pregnant. We didn’t see the ups and downs of the ever-recovering addicts. We didn’t see how their trust and timing issues would ever resolve so that this relationship would actually last. And while it may not have had the same UST thrill as the first time they saw each other as more than just co-workers, or the first time they touched or kissed, the RST was built on a swiss cheese foundation – full of enough holes to keep us hoping they’d fill in the gaps before it all fell down.
So seriously, stop with the excuses!
How great would it be to watch Booth/Brennan try to hide a relationship? Brennan into it for sex, and Booth something so much more? Brennan pregnant? Booth’s family interacting with Brennan as his girlfriend? There are still things we haven’t seen, but those are getting fewer and the predictability of these scenarios is greater.
Don’t start writing a show planning to avoid RST and drag the UST to the bitter ends of absurdity (Hart Hanson). Man up, think creatively, plan the relationship arc with the storyline, and show us something amazing!
I was brought on board sometime last year toward the middle/end of the season to write on my thoughts in relation to House/Cuddy and managed to pump out two blogs before the end of the year and that finale. I italicized “that” because at the time, I had a little bit of contempt for David Shore and Company that night in May. But now that some time has elapsed and a little under a month is left until the Season 6 premier, I believe it was high time to write something.
I started out this piece with the full intention of addressing spoilers and making a few predictions on the season. Due to some highly controversial stuff floating around in the fandom with regards to the premier, I decided to deviate from my original thought and pose a question to all of you.
It's inevitable really. You turned on your television set, plopped down on your couch, and decided to become invested with a show. You're a fangirl. (Or boy.)
I admit, I can be a fairly rabid one at times and the last few days, I have come to question my sanity. Do others experience the same heated emotions I do? Do some feel the overwhelming need to punch out their screens from anger or buy a lifetime supply of mood stabilizers?
I suppose all of this stems from the crazy atmosphere surrounding my favorite show, House. (Although Bones runs a close second.) I am a House/Cuddy shipper, which is probably painfully obvious to all of the four people who read what I wrote down last season. It's a roller-coaster relationship. What makes the two of them sexy together is the fact that they were miserable and weren't afraid to admit it or hide it from one another. It was flawed which made it an almost train wreck, yet oddly compelling and lovely. To know someone for the span of twenty years, to have a draw to them, yet never act on it for fear of getting hurt. The finale sort of put a wrench in the two of them starting anything up.
But if these two get together, the rest of the fans are up in arms. Well, what about the House/Wilson shipper? They make valid arguments on their side. Wilson is an excellent friend and has even forgiven House for being involved in the death of his girlfriend. They've known each other years and House relies on Wilson when he is in trouble. Wilson even serves as his relaxant, someone he can just kick back with and enjoy the company of.
On another side, there's Cameron. She was a loyal student of his, taking his way of solving cases into her own repertoire as head of the ER. House seems pretty resistant to change but Cameron's heart was in the right place when she did want to save him because he was broken. If we care about someone, don't we naturally hate to see them suffer? But alas, now she is married to Chase.
Many of us take up our paddles and get on our ships, manning cannons to aim at the other boats in the House Sea. At times though, I hate to think that we are all aiming at one another, destined to blow ourselves up from the inside. All in all, I suppose I am wondering if all of this just is what shipping is about. It's the tears, the laughter, the heartache, the fury. It's hugging your virtual and actual friends when the going is great and passing them a pillow to punch when all seems for naught. I am sure there are many more factions this pertains to out there (who don't “yell” as loudly, so I am not as aware).
It seems that whichever direction House turns, a “love interest” could be in his view if he would allow himself the indulgence. But...does it help to root? Is House "incurably himself" like the new promo suggests, destined to be alone?
Which leaves me to my ultimate question, the one I am posing to all of you. Does “shipping” affect the way you view a show or does it simply exist in your psyches as an added bonus interest? Are we just a bunch of collective “idiots” for having faith in our ships?
Alright, alright. That turned in to more than one ultimate question. But I am just as curious to see what all of you think and have to say. Sound off below!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Ok, to truly understand this post you must understand something. I am completely INSANE. To explain more fully the reason for my insanity - I am a completionist. I HAVE to see things through. And this trait has become the bane of my TV world. I just can not stop watching awful shows. Shows with bad writing, complete jump the shark moments, character assassinations. But I just. Can. Not. Stop. Watching. Please help me! Rehab 101 here I come.
Hi. My name is Scarlett and I am a TV completionist.
Ok, I have acknowledged my problem.
Next step, confronting this problem.
So I have decided to make a list of cut-off points. Moments so OOC, badly written, and WTF that in order to stay healthy I must leave the show. Here goes...
Grey’s Anatomy: When Alex Karev leaves.
Dead Denny Sex. You know what I thought that was it, I did, truly. I was so disgusted, horrified and offended. I honestly felt like writing a letter to Shonda telling her to DIAF. I held off for about two weeks, but then had to watch. Why? I hear you ask. Good question. Because in my heart of hearts, I just have to see Alex Karev get his happy ending. I just could not leave him alone in Seattle Grace Hospital with a crazy girlfriend. Watching his heart break when the truth came out was one of the saddest moments, if not the saddest moment ever on Grey’s *sob*. I can not give up on this show until I know Alex has his fairy-tale ending.
Gossip Girl: When Chuck Bass and Jenny Humphrey become an OTP
Let’s be honest, I originally started watching this show to watch beautiful people swan around New York and imagine myself as them. But, one word changed all that for me – Chair. What? What on earth does a piece of furniture have to do with why you watch? Ah, but you see Chair is the portmanteau of a fascinating, wonderful, tortuous couple made up of one Chuck Bass and one Blair Waldorf. These two characters are possibly the most intricate personalities of any teen TV drama. Their sizzling chemistry and sadomasochistic mating dance has set my shipper heart alight and my viewing eyes fixed. I don’t care what they do, as long as it is Blair and Chuck, Chuck and Blair. They could go to Africa to volunteer with baby elephants, they could become poor, they could have just one second per episode of screentime, I don’t care. But one thing I will not take is for either one of them to be endgame with someone other than themselves. I even don’t mind them not being together and ending up alone. I choose Chuck/Jenny for my most hated endgame couple. They can hook-up, though I don’t really want to see it happen, but I will stop watching if they become an OTP.
Smallville: When Chloe dies.
Please, please, please kill her off, TPTB. Put me out of my misery. This show has gone rapidly downhill from the end of season 5, yet I am stuck watching it because I am way too emotionally invested in a fictional character called Chloe Sullivan. She is Clark’s rock and heart, yet TPTB are so afraid to recognise this we have had 8 seasons of the Clana (Clark and Lana) merry-go-round till I am sick and tired of spinning, much like the sick and tired storylines. The recent Smallville finale sucked so bad, I’m surprised the show didn’t get cancelled right away, and to be truly honest, I wish I could say I would not be turning in to the season 9 premier, I wish I could I swear, but until the fat lady sings and Chloe is declared dead beyond all doubt, God, I’m going to be there. This show has abused, humiliated and exploited me, yet I still cling to the vestiges of hope that things will change. Please, please, please, TPTB, let me and Chloe go!
Heroes: When we find out Claire is the mother of Sylar’s son.
Oh so many improbable storylines have been and gone and will come, but actually I’ve come to realise most of them I could probably live with. I mean we’ve had the Jessica/Nikki/Tracey fiasco; the deaths and fake-out deaths of nearly every character; the bizarre world of ancient Japan; weird incestual vibe between Claire and the entire Petrelli family; and the Claire/Peter/Sylar show; but when we find out that Claire is the mother of Sylar’s son Noah, POOF, that’s the sound of me flying like Nathan Petrelli and getting the fuck out.
Supernatural: Sam and Dean become involved in a love triangle.
I watch this show for the relationship between the Winchester brothers. I like the fact there is no ‘Chick Flick’ TV. It’s not that I’m averse to a ship per se, it’s that I don’t want to see the brothers fight over a girl to the detriment to their relationship. They’re just too perfect and special to have something so trivial come between them. I do not want to see Supernatural 90210.
So, there we go. You’ll know if I break these. Help me stay strong if hell breaks loose and these storylines ever happen.
It has made me feel rather pathetic acknowledging the depths of TV viewing I am willing to sink to just so I can complete a series so here is one example where I’ve managed to stick to what I said. Round of applause, please. *Blushes, blushes. Accepts statuette.*
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: When Angel left.
I’m sticking to this one, I swear. No matter how much my friend bugs me to watch the whole thing, no matter how much I want to see how it ends, no matter how much I want to see the hotness that is James Marsters aka Spike and Sarah Michelle Gellar get it on. That is it. I’m sticking to it.
And then there are times when one just has to realise, no matter how well you do, once an addict always an addict, and just give in.
One Tree Hill: Never
Stop laughing in the back, yes you! I don’t have to explain how ridiculous the show has become and judging from the spoilers, how even more ridiculous it is going to get, but I’m going to anyway. Could I stop watching when they ret-conned the entire Brucas relationship? No. Could I stop watching when Haley had almost no screentime? No. When Nathan grew a beard? No. When a dog ate Dan’s heart (Yes, that’s right, I typed that correctly)? No. Could I stop watching when I knew Leyton would be endgame? No. Even when they were getting married with the compulsory OTP daughter, I knew Leyton were leaving so I’m still sticking around in the vain hope that the Chad will soon realise this is the only acting gig he’s going to get and come back and Brucas will be forever. One Tree Hill and I are stuck in a Chinese finger trap. One of us has to let go. It’s not going to be me.
So there you have it, my pathetic patheticness in all its pathetic glory. Go on, I’ve shared. Don’t be afraid. Share your abusive TV relationships with us and trust me, it’ll feel better.