Being Human: Horrible Nora (Spoilers BBC, SYFY)

I suppose I should thank the writers on the Syfy version.  I’ve been struggling to separate Nora’s character from the one on BBC whom she’s ever so loosely based on, Nina.  The connection has been severed, because Nina is fantastic and Nora is simply awful.  It is suddenly hard to imagine that Josh can’t do better.

For the unlucky fans who don’t know, Nina is a little spitfire who fell in love with George in the very first season, worried about him losing his humanity and tried to convince him to embrace it in the second, and then returned to his side to make a family with him in the third.  She is the great love of George’s life and apart or together, she always had his back.

On the BBC, the women lift the men up, but on Syfy (with the seeming exception of Sally), they can’t stop dragging them down.  Since Nora became a werewolf, she’s enjoying her furry self much more than the human one.  This makes her detrimental to everything Josh and Aidan (and, off on her own, Sally) are trying to do.  The idea seems to be that someone who was once vulnerable enough to be abused by her boyfriend to the point of being viciously burned would prefer some access to power and even a separation from her own humanity, as if she equivocates her humanity with weakness.

The show implies that unlike Josh, who is completely separate from his wolf side for most of the month while he is human, Nora is ruled by wolf instincts, which cause her to jump to the defense of the two strangers who happen to share their condition.  Though she was quick enough to make Josh feel guilty about attacking her ex the previous week, she now admits that she finds Josh’s intent to have the werewolf pair murdered attractive—even as it threatens her suddenly sacred “pack”.

While Nora goes native, Josh continues to love and protect her, which ends up threatening Aidan’s life  and ending vampire cop, Cecelia’s.  Annoying (if sexy) sociopath Connor, the brother-werewolf who started all the trouble for Josh and Nora, finally gets got and his corpse conveniently takes the blame for the vampire murder that Nora committed.

You had to feel sorry for Brynn, who clearly never meant to cause trouble by approaching the two new werewolves with her different ideals.  But how irritating was Nora, who holds and comforts her new best pal, easily trading her loving boyfriend for what is now a pack of two?  Will Nora ever rediscover the urge to be human?  If so, can it be written in a way that will make her likable again?

Right now, that feels like a stretch.  Nina once left George because he participated in covering up a vampire murder.  Neither Nina nor George ever left the other because he or she didn’t want to stay wolves and eat people with impunity.  Considering the focus of the show, it puts Nora very firmly in the “Do Not Want” category for Josh.  At this point, she’s as damning to him as Suren is for Aidan.  Judging by the BBC, that’s not the way their relationship was supposed to go down.

Touching base with the other two roommates:

While it was fun the previous week to watch Aidan hallucinate my favorite vamp, Bishop, it was even more satisfying to watch the two roommates actually interact with each other this week, with Josh forcing Aidan deeper into the vampire conspiracy but both Josh and Aidan ultimately choosing their friendship over the werewolf/vampire politics that would tear them apart.

Sally looks as though she might not fight the Reaper after all.  She had a very brief confrontation with now-dead murderer, Danny (giving me immediate fantasies about the possibility of a similar circumstance for Annie and the diabolical Owen—how about it, Whithouse?!), and was saved by the Reaper.  She then admits she feels left behind by her roommates and is looking to move on.  She looks tempted to tell at least Aidan about this decision, but both Aidan and Josh are too busy to realize anything is amiss.  Too bad she was too busy last season to bond with them properly…surely they’d pay more attention then.

What’s to come?  It’s hard to say, being well away from most of the BBC second season plotlines.  All I know is how sorry I feel for Josh:  the person he fell for no longer exists.

Being Human: “Addicted to Love” (Syfy, BBC Spoilers)

Oh, Nora.  Girl.  What are you doing??

Last night’s episode is still careening off into no-man’s land, as far as nothing that we BBC fans have seen before.

There’s a flashback of Princess Suren’s temper tantrum, which didn’t seem impressive enough to warrant her punishment.  Granted, she killed in a public place, forcing Mother and the other vampires to mass murder the rest of the human witnesses.  I suppose this is the same as BBC:  the old ones wanted to force Mitchell underground for drawing too much attention to himself with his own mass murders, but he was able to refuse their offer.  For a time, at least.

Sally gets stuck possessing her living crush’s girlfriend until she’s driven out by the Reaper.  I notice many viewers are wondering why the Reaper is after her in the first place, which is made clearer on the BBC.  Instead of a ghostly figure, the BBC Reaper takes the form of Annie bleeding on the floor where she died, but thereafter uses the ability to communicate through radio or television…which is extremely creepy, but at least it’s verbal.  Annie is targeted because she turned down death and pissed off the powers that be…powers that are never explicitly defined.  As punishment, they try to drag her into hell in a variety of ways, and she has to learn how to fight death.  I can’t say if this will be the same for Sally—Syfy has the luxury of more episodes in a season, and therefore can take their time with the reveal.

We also get to meet the psycho ex who burned Nora, and see him get some richly deserved if brutal justice.  Nina’s ex never made an appearance, though she had the same story and the same vicious burns.  There is a pilot episode where the original George confronted his ex-fiance’s new abusive boyfriend with a violent reaction like Josh’s,  but no such episode where Nina does anything remotely similar.

Nora is not Nina.  That has to be my new mantra; they are nothing alike.  Nina never killed, and in fact was the one spending the second season searching for a cure.  Therefore, I can find little insight to Nora within Nina.  Nora seems to love Josh, but her wolf loves murder and mayhem—both represented in this new werewolf, Connor.  Josh/Nora fans like myself have reason to worry…Nina and George did part ways in the second season.  Nina refused to be sucked into George’s acceptance of the murder and chaos that surround the three roommates.  It’s possible that Nora and Josh will part on the opposite basis.

I’m looking forward to next week for one reason, and if you’re with me from last season, you know exactly what it is:

Herrick flashbacks on the BBC all involved actual memories, and I found it odd that Bishop wasn’t around for Aidan’s Suren background.  You might say I’ve missed him.  I can’t wait to get his take on the new order.  I bet he finds Mother and Suren as tedious as I do.

He Gets…A Letter.

I love him.  I really do.  I mean sickening…stomach-turning love…practicing my signature with his second name kind of love.  But I look at him, and I want to pull chunks of flesh from his face.

Being Human: “(ILoathe You) For Sentimental Reasons” (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

Still digging through Syfy in my search for similarities to BBC, which should be waning as time goes by.  They can still be found if you’re willing to stretch for examples.

Sally attempts to help her living friend Zoe find a date, which is somewhat like when Annie attempts to help Hugh reconnect with his ex-girlfriend.  Hugh is one of those everlastingly nice guys who never get the girl, in love with Annie without realizing she’s a ghost.  Seemingly as a consequence of escaping the plot of the afterlife to suck her beyond the door, Annie becomes invisible to him but tries to help him find a more practical and appropriate love interest.

Zoe’s situation is the opposite, as by the end of the episode she prefers to date a ghost than a living human being.  Sally goes back to inhabiting a woman in order to get physical with the doctor she finds attractive.  Here, Syfy introduces an interesting addiction problem similar to Aidan’s.  Sally is the one who attends a support group of ghosts, whereas in the BBC version it is Mitchell who institutes a kind of Vampire AA—or would that be BA?  Of the two, the ghost support group is a bit easier to accept as a concept, since it’s hard to imagine the savagely blood-thirsty Being Human-style vampires sitting around expressing feelings.

Speaking of vampires, this week featured the return of boring, serious Suren with her ever-monotone voice.  I can’t help but wish she was played by Lucy Liu, who can deliver a line with the straightest face and still manage to inflect both humor and attitude.  If not, maybe the character needs some livening up through the writing.  I know what they’re trying to sell, I’m just not buying it.  The rebellious child of presumably the oldest and most powerful vampire in existence should be a lot more impressive.  I miss Bishop.

Aidan fights against dealing with the mafia, which is like Mitchell’s reluctance when dealing with dirty politician Chief Constable Wilson  in order to protect the vampires in Herrick’s stead.  Herrick”s progeny continued to kill teens and couples with impunity, forcing Mitchell to compromise his ideals in order to clean up after them.  Similarly, the mob man catches a rogue vampire as an act of good faith and to convince Aidan that his aid is necessary.  Aidan killed the mafia man because he succumbs to his blood addiction and his jealousy for Suren (unwarranted, if you ask me—what’s so great about her?).  Mitchell kills Wilson in much the same way, minus the sexual aspect.

In the BBC version, there is no brother/sister pair of natural born werewolves.  There IS a werewolf father/son duo claiming to be born werewolves in the third season, but their claim turns out to be false.  In the BBC version there is only one example of a natural born werewolf, and that’s Nina and George’s baby.  I do think the fact that it has never happened before adds a lot of drama and angst that Syfy will miss out on, and I did not fall in love with the idea that the resulting werewolves would prefer not to be human at all.  Should Nora and Josh follow that path, I guess their baby would be like that as well?  That seems to defeat the purpose of the show.

On Syfy, the three roommates continue to lead mostly separate lives.  This was also the case in the second season of the BBC version, but they’d already had a solid foundation built the first season.  There are a lot of satisfyingly dramatic scenes between them that can’t realistically occur without that closeness, such as George trying to break down a door to save Annie or Mitchell going psychotically savage to save them all.  I can’t see Aidan, Josh, or Sally getting that roused about each other.  Each one does fine without the others, and to me that’s a pity.

Those who worry about the future of certain main characters based on what happened in the last few episodes on BBC should rest easy—Syfy has no intention of letting them go that soon.  Maybe that’s why the characters can take their sweet time becoming close to each other.

Being Human: “All Out of Blood” (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

This was a pretty tame episode, but at least we weren’t subjected to boring “Princess Suren”.  Instead they delved deeper into the roommates’ personal issues.  Syfy makes a lot of the same points as BBC, even if they’re not using the same exact stories.

Off the three roommates,  Sally has to do her own thing almost completely.  Initially in Season 2, Annie could be seen by and interact with regular humans.  There was an entire plot point where Annie gets a job at a local bar and is targeted there by some entity from the other side, the BBC equivalent of Sally’s dark, misty reaper.  The entity uses a human who had a near death experience to try and drag her through a door.  After this experience she goes back to being invisible to normal humans, at which point Sally could possibly pick up the same storyline again—or not.

It’s still similar:  Sally’s in danger from an entity because she turned down her door, and though it’s not explicitly stated as it is in Annie’s case, she’s beginning to worry about her roommates moving on without her.  For the BBC version, Annie has good reason to worry, as Mitchell is always gone because of his new vamp obligations or his new crush, and George actually moves out.  Combined with her own experiences in her failed attempts to build some sort of social (after)life, she starts to realize the downside to eternity in one state of being.

Sally has come to this realization much faster, but that makes sense since she hadn’t bonded as much with her roommates as had Annie in the first season—they’re not grounding her in the same way.  This season, even in only 3 episodes, has already shown her reaching out more to the boys than she did before.  There hasn’t necessarily been much depth involved in the reaching, but there’s still plenty of time for that.  I appreciate any improvement.

Aidan is struggling much more with his addiction than Mitchell initially did in the second season, but there are reasons that I think this helps with the continuity if Syfy intends to have a similar third season.  Mitchell ‘s stress mostly sprang from being unable to keep the other vampires clean and then being ill-equipped to deal with their indiscretions.  Trying to work within the dirty but effective system that Herrick left behind to protect the vampires’ secrecy was enough to test his self-restraint, but there were no blood bags or whores to fall back on.  The problem for me with continuity came when Mitchell had little trouble sleeping with a mortal woman, yet in Season 3 he tells Annie he’s incapable of separating sex from blood and in fact uses one to get the other.  If Aidan has a similar future in store, it makes more sense to show a great deal of struggle now.

Julia, the doctor that Aidan’s been dating, is revealed as Josh’s ex-fiance.  Lucy, the doctor who dated Mitchell for much of the second season, had no prior relationship to any of them.  George’s fiance never makes an appearance except in the pilot, which isn’t included in the first season because it had different actors for Annie and Mitchell.  At one point during the first season, George mentions to Annie that he has seen his ex-fiance with someone else, and that’s the end of it.  I won’t appreciate them using Julia as Aidan’s love interest for the rest of the season because they don’t need that wedge driven between two best friends—that would ruin Aidan for me.  That friendship should continue to be the most solid part of the show.

Finishing up with my favorite couple, Nora and Josh are very different from Nina and George, but perhaps on a similar trajectory regardless.  I’ve said before, Nina never killed—George did, and it made him much more aggressive but not necessarily looking to kill again.  Fortunately, I was looking for a tougher Nora and this is a way to get one.  There must be something wrong with my brain, because I love this savage Nora.  Watching her stalk Josh’s ex—c’mon, which one of us wouldn’t do that??  I love the way Kristen Hager, the actress playing Nora,  reveals the beast within with a simple change of tone and expression.

Last week I wondered about Nina’s wrath with Mitchell, which Nora would have no reason to feel since Aidan never set her up with Josh.  I missed this plot point because it lead to such an intense confrontation between the two.  Instead of not being angry at all, Nora directs that wrath at Josh, rightfully so, because he fled from his relationship with his fiance, Julia, but felt free to take chances with Nora.  Which way is best?  George was too kind-hearted to take a chance with Nina’s safety but Mitchell thought dating Nina was part of “Being Human” and so he asked Nina out for him.  Josh made that same decision for himself, presumably having been convinced by the success he’d had so far in their joint experiment.

Speaking of experiments, this show has Josh attempting to find his own cure.  On BBC, George never returns to medical school because of his condition and though he is still a genius, he never believes there is a chance of a cure.  Season 2 does revolve the idea of a cure, but from outside sources, which have yet to be hinted at on Syfy.

Next week shows some extra-curricular (read:  nothing to do with BBC) werewolf problems for Josh and the return of the very stereotypical vampire princess (yawn).  I think I know where some of this is going—I’m just not telling you yet.

Syfy’s Being Human: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

Two episodes in and I’m having a much better time than last season.  Admittedly this could be because I found more fault with the BBC’s second season than I did with the first.  Syfy has a lot of opportunities to improve upon it.

I mentioned last week that George was kind of useless for Nina.  Like when he finally faces the fact that he changed her, it’s Nina who comforts him while he cries.  Every time I see that scene I want to reach into the screen and shake him.

Anyone who watched Syfy tonight saw Josh contain his own guilt as he attempts to convince Nora to survive this.  Two things in George’s defense:  First, Josh’s circumstances allow his mind to be more stable; he never killed, is not being constantly attacked by vampires, and has not given more ground in his head to the wolf.  Second, Nina is far stronger than Nora…heck, Nina is a lot stronger than George.  That’s why they complement each other so well.

I’ve decided the best thing to do is to stop expecting Nora to behave like Nina and accept her as a completely different character.  That’s why now I kind of like her.  I suppose she doesn’t need to turn any of that blame Aidan’s way as Nina did with Mitchell.  Mitchell is the one who encouraged George to date Nina, going so far as to invite her over for their first date.

Nina:  You loaded a gun and you fired it into a crowd.

My feelings for Sally are, per usual, slightly more mixed.  It’s good to see that she had some bonding moments with both roommates that didn’t involve whining and I was thrilled to see that she called for Aidan for help after her nightmare.  In the BBC version, Mitchell and Annie had already had some “moments” in season one that never happened for Sally and Aidan, so I was wondering if they were going to scrap the connection between them.  Maybe not!  🙂

Another Syfy plus is Sally’s ability to enter the bodies of humans.  I thought Meaghan Rath did a great job portraying something anyone could imagine:  the ultimate high, for a ghost to really be human again.  In the BBC second season, Annie is also testing her powers but the best she can do is touch the human and feel what that person experiences.  One finds out in Season 3 why that’s just not as good…

At this point, I can’t tell if Aidan’s storyline will resemble Mitchell’s second season at all.  True, the young woman that Aidan met at the hospital could be the human who was Mitchell’s love interest for a time, but she didn’t get the job and this episode ends with them leaving the bar together.  If he is hunting her, then she’s not the love interest.  That woman sticks around.

BBC has no Mother, nor Mother’s Daughter, Suren, but perhaps Suren is supposed to replace gorgeous, psychotic vampiress Daisy?  If so, Suren should step up her game because in comparison she’s completely dull.  I’m just not thrilled with all the cliche vampire posturing from her character.  Daisy was all about having fun:

“A lot of vampires, it’s all about the blood and the world domination. Me and Ivan… we’re just about the tourism.”

Daisy’s story was completely different from Suren’s, but she was the most important female vampire of Season 2.  She influenced Mitchell and even George, to some extent. But this wouldn’t be the first time I thought they were replacing a main character from the BBC’s version, only to see that character show up later in the season.  Syfy has more episodes, so they’ve got plenty of time.

Syfy’s Lost Girl: UF Fans Should Take a Look

This is a no-brainer.  The whole reason I watched Lost Girl, besides the fact that it conveniently aired after Being Human, is because it looked so much like some Urban Fantasy series brought to life.  A chick in leather with magic powers and quick wit who kills a bad guy within the first ten minutes?  I even Googled it to make sure it wasn’t based on something I’ve read or could read.

Main character Bo (played by Anna Silk) is the primary draw for me.  She embodies the quintessential UF heroine with her tough girl leather outfits and contrasting lighthearted humor.  Yet she is humanized by an obvious sense of loneliness and a longing to belong (which tells me to look forward to some ultra-fun angst).  Also magnetic is her elfin-looking but fully human side-kick, Kenzi (actress Ksenia Solo), who is rescued by Bo in the beginning but manages to rescue Bo right back by the end of the premiere.  You just know she’ll be kicking ass at some point.

A possible problem for UF fans is the way this show warps mythology for the sake of its world-building.  My first problem was the Morrigan (played by Emmanuelle Vaugier), whom you might identify correctly as an Irish goddess of battle, yet here she wears heels with shiny jewelry and a ton of makeup.  She is no one’s idea of a warrior queen.  She looks like one of those Real Housewives—the Real Housewives of Unseelie Court.

Of course they don’t use that word, they just say dark court, and it’s versus the light court, not Seelie.  Recognizable wins over accurate, especially in TV.

The succubus mythology has also been seriously messed with.  Bo may remind you of  Richelle Mead’s UF heroine, Georgina Kincaid, but they’ve stuffed her in with fae mythology and left out anything about demons or hell or immortality.  Instead, she’s a changeling, a fae baby given to humans to raise, or at least that’s the way that I’ve interpreted her story.

I’ll give Lost Girl a chance, because it still reminds me too much of the typical UF universe.  It’s up to the writers and actors to provide suspension of disbelief, despite a mythological background that’s out of whack.  But we know it can be done.  After all, Being Human just proved it the hour before.

SyFy’s Being Human Season 2: Off the BBC Track (SPOILERS BBC & Syfy)

Here we are again:  another series and another chance to play Syfy versus BBC.  At the end of season 1, I speculated that there were enough differences between the two that perhaps Syfy would be branching off in its own unique direction.  One episode in and it definitely still looks that way.  Just to be clear, I intend to spoil the ending of both BBC and Syfy’s first seasons, and the BBC second season.  If you didn’t see either of those endings, don’t go forward—you’re supposed to be surprised.  🙂

Let’s start with the end of last season, which is important in order to understand some big differences that exist before the second season even begins.  If you don’t recall and you missed the replay tonight, let me remind you that Sally tries to torture Josh via bitching and moaning so that he’ll use his wolf to kill Bishop for Aidan, since all three friends are veritably certain that Aidan will lose the fight.  Josh reluctantly agrees, but then Sally and Aidan turn the tables on him in order to protect him from having to kill.

That was a huge surprise for BBC fans, which was great because I thought I could only be surprised the first time around.  In ours, George pretends he intends to run away with Nina, when in fact he tricks Herrick into being locked in with his wolf.  He changes and tears Herrick to shreds.   The American version does offer a more satisfying fight, as the BBC focuses on a battle of words and the fight itself is a few blurry moments of audible savagery.  Yet this is George’s attempt to accept his wolf in order to save his best friend.  That’s why George and Josh begin their respective second series in completely different places.

This might be a good thing, since in the BBC version, George spends much of this season being kind of a dick and poor newly-turned Nina deals with most of her problems alone.  Will this happen for Josh?  Hard to say, but so far there are few similarities.

Both Nina and Nora keep having been scratched a secret until the first change.  However, Nina can see Annie, so she asks for help and swears her to secrecy.  I had hoped that Sally and Nora would have a similar bonding experience, which in my mind could have been done without allowing Nora to see her yet, but Sally continues to be solely immersed in her own ghostly realm.  While it seems likely that Josh will find out about Nora, depending on how he manages to escape being shot by the vampire, Nina continues to keep her secret until the truth comes out in an argument.  She has distanced herself sexually from George, which he interprets as her rejecting his wolf.  (This may still happen with Nora and Josh, since the series starts with her gently refusing him.)  Nina begs George for patience and support but he is overwhelmed with self-loathing and the new level of anger and violence that are the result of his having embraced his wolf in order to kill Herrick.  He is also on edge because vampires are constantly attacking him in retaliation for Herrick’s death.  This is obviously not part of Josh’s reality at this point, which may change the direction of the series.

BBC’s Being Human Season 1 ends with an introduction to the villain of the following series, and it has nothing to do with any vampire “Mother”.    I’ve said before that the Old Ones were only introduced on BBC in Season 3, and the finale suggested that there would be a conflict with them next season.  The villain for Season 2 is an old man who has apparently been searching for the trio, and found them with the help of mental patient and fiance-murderer, Owen.  We find out in Season 2 that he’s a religious man who views all non-humans as abominations.

The environment between the roommates is fertile for a villain to exploit.  Mitchell is overwhelmed with being the new vampire king; George attempts to separate himself further from his wolf and causes more problems with his denial; and Annie is threatened by the world beyond the door that she turned down and also begins to think about the implications of immortality as an unchanging ghost.  Given Sally’s nightmare about a reaper coming after her and Aidan’s problematic attempt to keep the vampires clean, some BBC plot lines will clearly prevail.  The future of Josh and Nora is much more unclear.  I do hope Nora will go through the same anger and angst and love that Nina went through as she struggled to accept her new role.

One thing is clear, Syfy has an advantage because they’re two seasons behind.  This gives them a chance to avoid the pitfalls that poor Toby Whithouse’s show has run into because three of the four main characters are leaving before the story is told.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, those are  more spoilers than I really want to put here—Google at your own risk.

HIMYM: Swarkles or…Bora??


 

 

 

 

When it comes to How I Met Your Mother, I’m a Swarkles fan all the way.  From the first season they’ve been a startlingly good match that came from left field (which is my favorite way for any OTP to begin).  Yet I’ve seen enough reruns to realize where Team Ted gets its steam, and even I wasn’t thrilled with the rushed rekindling for BRotp at the end of last season.  With only two seasons remaining, the writers are promising to wrap up their story once and for all.  I suspect we’ll see a Robin-Barney happy ending, but even I’m not sure if it will be the right one.

Ted VS Barney

Originally I was not a fan of the Ted/Robin relationship because, as the show stated, they want completely different things.  Ted’s this mushy, lovestruck type, while Robin is more independent and somewhat anti-status-quo.  His grand romantic gestures seem a bit pushy and awkward towards a chick who isn’t looking for a picket fence scenario.  The impression I got was one of those relationships where the guy is with a reluctant girl and therefore becomes determined to have the unattainable and the girl is afraid to reject the rare perfect-boyfriend type…even if she knows the timing is all wrong.  Compare that with Barney, a character with a  more similar lifestyle and self-interest.  That’s what makes them match, but the idea of commitment-phobes falling in love with each other is where it got interesting.

Except they break the relationship not long after it begins.  Both characters move on, though only Robin seems to mourn the loss.  Meanwhile, Robin’s character has changed so much that it’s no longer clear that she isn’t a good match for Ted.  Several times she mentions that she still hopes Ted will be available when she’s ready to marry (the episode where he almost married Stella, their “if we’re single at forty” pact, and most recently in False Positive, when Robin asks if Ted will be her best man “if I ever get married and you’re not the guy I’m marrying”).  They have a deeply romantic past (which wouldn’t be as uncomfortable for the newer, softer Robin) and when she thinks of marriage she thinks of Ted, though they’ve been apart for years.   Suddenly their connection seems to have a lot more depth, while her relationship with Barney seems a bit less appealing.  As she becomes more romantic, his single antics seem to frustrate her even as Ted’s reliability remains attractive.

So what about Barney?  Season six the character does seem to be thinking romantically about Robin as he comes to terms with his abandonment issues, though nothing as overt as his crush in season 4.  Robin shows impatience with Barney’s inability to commit to Nora, which doesn’t suggest that she wants him for herself.  Actually she supports him throughout the season, more than the other characters, but is this a hint of lingering feelings or just residual closeness since they are so alike?   I wasn’t sure.  Yet the two of them become inspired to be together during the very last episode.  Since I couldn’t recall any prior hints for Robin’s feelings, it felt thrown together; more like a weak moment between vulnerable exes than any realization of a romantic story arc.

Why am I bothering with this?  Obviously “Aunt Robin” can’t marry Ted, and I wouldn’t want her to.  I’m trying to point out that if the writers really want fans to be satisfied with a Barney-Robin End Game, they might have to step up their storyline.

Admission time:  I started this post after the last season ended, and now the new series has premiered.  Based on the Swarkles-centric first episode, I feel that at least some of my doubts have been addressed.  If Robin showed a friendly interest last season, she certainly nurses deeper feelings now.  It seems as though it’s her turn to suffer the pangs of unrequited love.  The couple was the most fun to watch when Barney was pining away, so this seems like a good move.  And though I still think Barney will marry Robin, I don’t think Robin is the bride at that wedding.

At least not initially.  That might be a surprising thing to say, but come on, the whole “did I pick the right tie?” thing?  Like many fans, I’ve had my doubts about a traditional wedding being appropriate for Barney.   Craig Thomas has said that Barney will end the day married.  If it happens in that church, I suppose I can rationalize that he has shown some potential for it.  Pre-Shannon Barney was  even more sappy than Ted and there’s that sentimental side that we still see occasionally.

However,  if he does choose Robin, I’d believe second thoughts about marriage itself before second thoughts about her versus another girl, which is what the tie question suggests.   I just assume that Robin is the one he inspiring those second thoughts.  Besides, a character like proper Nora would require a conventional ceremony, but I’m less certain that Robin would.

This is a lot of conjecture that might amount to thin air.  Spoilers indicate that there will be more options for both Barney and Robin to consider, so it isn’t as if I have all the information.  I still believe that  Barney and Robin = End Game.  I just want to enjoy the road that takes us there—not just the destination.

 

Paranormal Books and Series: Best to Worst

I like when people make lists of the paranormal books that they’ve read, sorted by loves and hates.  I love the genre so much right now that I’m forever looking for more in the hopes I’ll find some new fandom to obsess over.

The thing is, it isn’t necessarily enough to check out posts of recommendations, because one person’s 5 star favorite might be my idea of empty, meaningless drivel.  That’s why I like the complete list, so I can see which side of the fence my favorites (and least favs) fall on, and thereby whether or not I have compatible taste.

So here’s my list, in case anybody is looking for one.  It’ll be a work in progress that gets edited from time to time.  Books on my first list are my favorites that I consider buy-worthy and rate between 4 and 5 stars on Goodreads.  The second list are books that I still consider entertaining, mostly rated between 3 and 4 stars.   If it falls under Comfort Food, that means the plot is probably fairly predictable or possibly derivative but will pass the time if all else fails.  Obviously with the last category, I’m just trying to get you to save your money for something better—no matter how sexy the cover might be.

Before you begin, you should note that I am essentially a fan of urban fantasy and I generally try to avoid paranormal romance, which I think is just regular romance wearing vampire teeth and a cape.  That kind of stuff generally falls under “Comfort Food” if it makes this list at all.

The BEST:

Adult:

  1. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series, (only 1-9, mind you), by Laurell K. Hamilton
  2. Rachel Morgan, The Hallows Series, by Kim Harrison
  3. Mercy Thompson Series, by Patricia Briggs
  4. Song of Ice and Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
  5. Otherworld Series, by Kelley Armstrong
  6. Sookie Stackhouse, Southern Vampire Series, by Charlaine Harris
  7. Kitty Norville Series, by Carrie Vaughn (*book 10 just dropped from a 4 star rating to a 3…concerned about possible series decline)
  8. Anna Latham, Alpha and Omega Series, by Patricia Briggs
  9. Eric Courtney, Void City Series, by J. F. Lewis (1st book incredible, think I’m done after the 2nd though)
  10. Odd Thomas Series, by Dean Koontz (don’t be scared off by his other fare, this is a standout series)

Teen:

  1. Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
  2. Claire Danvers, Morganville Vampires Series, by Rachel Caine
  3. Clara Gardner, Unearthly Series, by Cynthia Hand
  4. Darkest Powers Series, by Kelley Armstrong
  5. Jenny Thornton, Forbidden Game Trilogy, by L. J. Smith
  6. Elena Gilbert, Vampire Diaries (can only swear for 1-4), by L. J. Smith
  7. Bella Swan, Twilight Saga, by Stephanie Meyer
  8. Shari Cooper, Remember Me Trilogy, by Christopher Pike
  9. Nightworld Series, by L. J. Smith
  10. Kaitlyn Fairchild, Dark Vision Trilogy, by L. J. Smith
  11. Tamsin Greene, Once a Witch and Always a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough

The Pretty Good:

Adult:

  1. Alex Craft Series, by Kalayna Price
  2. Joanne Baldwin, Weather Warden Series, by Rachel Caine (Gets better with time…)
  3. Merit, Chicagoland Vampires Series, by Chloe Neill
  4. Harper Blaine, Greywalker Series, by Kat Richardson (Liked the first 2 a lot, the 3rd…eh)
  5. Anton Gorodetsky, Watch Series, by Sergei Lukyanenko
  6. Riley Jenson, Guardian Series, by Keri Arthur
  7. Chess Putnam, Downside Ghosts Series, by Stacia Kane
  8. MacKayla Lane, Fever Series, by Karen Marie Moning
  9. Victoria Nelson Series, by Tanya Huff
  10. Meredith Gentry Series, by Laurell K. Hamilton (at least the first bunch)

Teen:

  1. Clary (Clarissa) Fray, Mortal Instruments Trilogy, by Cassandra Clare
  2. Luce (Lucinda) Price, Fallen Series, by Lauren Kate
  3. Rose Hathaway, Vampire Academy Series, by Richelle Mead
  4. Madison Avery Series, by Kim Harrison

The Comfort Food:

Adult:

  1. Sophie Garou, Tales of an Urban Werewolf Series, by Karen MacInerney
  2. October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire
  3. Dark Hunter Series, Sherrilyn Kenyon
  4. Cat Crawfield, Night Huntress Series, by Jeaniene Frost
  5. Georgina Kincaid Series, by Richelle Mead
  6. Cassandra Palmer Series, by Karen Chance
  7. Joanne Walker, Walker Papers Series, by C. E. Murphy
  8. Joanna Archer, Signs of the Zodiac Series, by Vickie Pettersson
  9. Luna Wilder, Nocturne City Series, by Caitlin Kittredge
  10. Sisters of the Moon, by Yasmine Galenorn
  11. Sabina Kane Series, by Jaye Wells
  12. Atticus O’Sullivan, Iron Druid Series, by Kevin Hearne
  13. Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files Series, by Jim Butcher

Teen:

  1. Liza, Bones of Faerie, by Janni Lee Simner

The Library if You Must:

Adult:

  1. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (10 & beyond), by Laurell K. Hamilton
  2. Jaz Parks Series, by Jennifer Rardin
  3. Faythe Sanders, Shifters Series, by Rachel Vincent
  4. Diana Tregarde Series, by Mercedes Lackey
  5. Carpathians Series, by Christine Feehan
  6. Betsy Taylor, Undead Series, by Mary Janice Davidson
  7. Lily Yu, World of the Lupi Series, by Eileen Wilks

Teen:

  1. Nora Grey, Hush, Hush Series, by Becca Fitzpatrick
  2. Wendy Everly, Trylle Trilogy, by Amanda Hocking

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