Posts Tagged ‘True Blood’

MTV’s Teen Wolf: Well, Of Course I’m Watching It

Of late, those of us who follow the Paranormal/Fantasy genre are being catered to pretty extensively.  Writers and TV and movie producers are slapping together more fodder for our obsession with the lives and loves of various creatures of the night than we can shake a stake at (pun embarrassingly intended).  The fact that much of it is shamefully predictable—the obvious work of copycats trying to jump on an apparently lucrative bandwagon—doesn’t temper this insatiable greed for sharp-toothed diamonds amid all this rough.

The genre flooding does take some of the fun out of it, of course; there isn’t much I’m reading/seeing that I haven’t read/seen before.  Most of the time I’m saying to myself “wow, what an Anita Blake wannabe” or “okay, clearly that guy’s the Edward and the other one’s the Jacob”, possibly even “oh, no, he’s being so rude to her, they’re arguing constantly, wonder if they’ll end up being soul mates?”  Sigh.  If only that stopped me, but it doesn’t.

Which brings me to Teen Wolf.  I told myself very firmly that I wasn’t interested, and proceeded to watch both the pilot and the following episode.  In my defense, there is good stuff here!  Tortured main character Scott is a little too pretty to be believable as a dork, but he does have good chemistry with best friend Stiles and that helps.  Slight nods (including that name Stiles) to the show’s fun 80’s movie predecessor in cliche Mean Boy Jackson, who bullies and threatens Scott, and beautiful, bitchy Lydia, with her intense dedication to the line that divides “winners” and “losers” (two words she repeats way too much).  Honestly, her superficiality would’ve felt more real if it was conveyed through actions and attitude instead of blatant dialogue.  However, in fairness, she is created from the character Pamela from the original film, and all the winners/losers talk was the way Queen Bees expressed themselves back then.  As the TV series is only loosely based on the movie, I assume that Lydia’s character will develop more subtlety as the show progresses.

MTV leaves the movie behind in order to add some comfortable metaphysical staples and give the show the currently required edge.  Such as dark and lovely Allison, a somewhat mysterious yet likable new girl.   Smart move—I don’t know how many ‘shippers would be inspired by a female romantic lead named “Boof”.  Tucked into place for conflict are the local werewolf hunters (Vampire Diaries’ “Founders Council”, anyone?), one of whom is Allison’s father; and sexy-scary werewolf sire Derek, who lurks around smoldering at everyone and is possibly a murderer.

Clearly, MTV is sticking with the formula that the world now knows we like, and that probably means I”ll keep watching.  At least until June 26th when True Blood returns, because naturally basic cable cannot compete with HBO.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll watch both.

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Being Human: UK Season 3 Appearing in US Season 1? (SPOILERS)

So here I am, still watching, still complaining.  I’m not sure what’s going on with this version.  I’m up to date on this season in the UK, so imagine my astonishment to see some of the new season 3 plotlines appearing in the US’ season 1.  I find it confusing.  I’d love to know what new fans think of it, because maybe it’s a BBC-Fan-Personal-Problem.  See, the first season in the UK was all about the 3 roommates becoming close and relying on each other for safety, acceptance, and understanding.  The US version seems all over the place.  Storylines appear and disappear and a lot more characters have been introduced.  Some of the differences work, and some I just don’t like at all.  I’ll helpfully share just a few of each kind.

Last week’s Bernie episode went differently.  Presumably the writers didn’t feel that it was realistic to have Aidan confide in Bernie’s mother and turn Bernie himself,  leaving her with a vampire child (Mitchell’s move).  That’s okay; most vampire fans have read enough and seen enough to believe that vampire children never work out for the best. (Claudia from IwtV anyone?)  Instead Rebecca turns Bernie in the hopes of making a family with Aiden.  Not bad; it goes along with her struggle in her reluctant life as a vampire.  The only part that disturbed me was Bishop’s apparent sympathy for human children.  I’ll explain that later.

This week’s episode was where the new UK season has showed up a lot.  BBC has just introduced the concept of vampires hosting werewolf cage matches, so imagine my surprise when Josh gets kidnapped for this same purpose in Dog Eat Dog. The difference is that instead of tossing some poor human in to be slaughtered, the vamps pit two werewolves together.  In the UK version, Mitchell was not even aware that the cage matches still existed; it is supposed to be another example of the crueler side of things that Herrick hides from Mitchell in order to keep him from leaving.  That’s why it was hard for me to watch Aidan stand by looking chagrined at best, mostly just because his best friend happens to be involved.

The Elders that have been mentioned for the first time in the UK (whom we’ve yet to glimpse) have appeared here as Amish vampires who show up now and then to kill the vampire king.  Their presence keeps Aidan from being able to outwardly rescue Josh, so he makes a deal to return to Bishop in exchange for Josh’s release.  This takes the place of Mitchell deciding that vampirism is the answer to humanity’s problems after Bernie was killed, causing him to return to the fold.

If Aidan isn’t going to have this misguided epiphany, that could explain why I saw a very similar storyline to  Mitchell and his human love, Jonie, shockingly applied to Bishop.  Jonie is the one to help Mitchell see the error of his thinking, but now she isn’t necessary for Aidan.  Of course, the story changes quite a bit, since Bishop is offered his leadership in exchange for giving up (by choking her to death) his love.  This entire idea is a huge departure from Herrick, who has never had a moment that was not pure evil, unless you include his indulgence for Mitchell.    Herrick scares the crap out of me most of the time, just because he is capable of anything and really enjoys himself all the while.  Yet Bishop shows sympathy for human children, and seems as if he was once on the same journey as Aidan is now and was forced by the Elders and Aidan to give it up.  What gives?  How does this softness coincide with his plan to have vampires come out in the open and take over the world from humanity?  More importantly, does this mean they won’t be including the following vital scene?

Anyway, right next to that big softy is Aidan when he was still drinking the kool-aid, quoting party lines and living it up vampire style.  He’s the one convincing Bishop to renounce the human woman, threatening betrayal if he will not.  I could be wrong, but I don’t recall a single Mitchell-Herrick flashback where Herrick was not completely in charge.  Herrick has always been King, while it now seems that Bishop and Aidan were fellow peons once.  BTW, I didn’t really appreciate this added line about Aidan, while fighting the Revolutionary War,  leaving behind family, a wife and a son.  Sounds sooo familiar…True Blood’s Bill Compton minus the pretty southern accent?  Just about.  Trying to differentiate your story from its source by borrowing from another, more popular story seems like a mistake.  Maybe it’s just me.

Shocking to the point of horrifying, the trailer for next week’s episode shows Nora announcing that she’s pregnant, which causes nightmares for Josh.  Is this for real?  Nina is pregnant now, season 3, after they’ve been through so much and she’s actually a werewolf herself.  Why make Nora pregnant before she even finds out about Josh?  Season 1, they’ve just been getting closer together, and struggling to do so because of his gigantic, dangerous secret.  Sure, throw a baby in the mix.

I don’t know what the Syfy version intends with all this skipping ahead.  I do think my point of view is irrevocably biased in favor of BBC, so I can’t tell for sure if these changes are actual problems or not.  Maybe it’s better to give Bishop a softer side and knock Nora up straight out of the gate?  Maybe with more episodes in a season, events move faster?  I don’t know.  Maybe it doesn’t matter.  George owns “Who wants some of my chair?” anyway.

The Untimely Demise of Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter

Let me begin by saying that the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton was once my ultimate, all-time favorite.  So much, that when the Southern Vampire Series was optioned for an HBO series (hello, True Blood), I remember feeling that Anita Blake had been overlooked.  I didn’t blame HBO, I blamed the author.

If you aren’t familiar with this series but you love vampire fiction, you really should try them and start at the beginning with Guilty Pleasures.  For the first 9 books, you’ll find truly exceptional plots starring a tough, wry heroine who raises zombies for a living and works for the police on the side, putting her firmly in between humanity and the monsters.  These books have everything; mystery, romance, drama, and of course, blood, guts, and all the scary beasts you can imagine.  Each book is better than the one before.

At least, until book 10, Narcissus in Chains.  Then it becomes porn.

Of course, if that’s what you’re into then that’s fine.  But these are very light on plot, with a quick turn for the heroine from a woman with a strict Christian background and sexual hangups to someone who has sex with almost every stranger who crosses her path.  Practically every scene is a sex scene, and that’s only part of the problem.  The first 9 books show Anita struggling with unwelcome feelings for the local vampire Master of the City and, after book 3 (Circus of the Damned, fantastic story), a powerful but troubled werewolf.  Don’t worry, nothing Twilight about it.  The sexual tension builds between them slowly, with a lot of feelings and inner turmoil involved.

Then in Narcissus in Chains, Anita is suddenly bestowed with a “power” that forces her to “feed off of sex”, whatever that means.  Off the bat, she has sex with a stranger and a previously abused, much younger, former male-prostitute named Nathaniel that she’d rescued in a previous novel, Burnt Offerings.  Beyond this novel she starts having sex with almost all the other powerful men that she knows and/or meets.  I know that characters in long-term series need room to grow and change, yet this new Anita is IMO completely incomparable with her previous self.

Even if you could look beyond the drastic character change, the plots have gone down the tubes.  The  police don’t trust the new Anita and her harem so there are no more crimes for her to solve, which had always been a big part of the original 9 stories.  Her regular job as a zombie raiser is forgotten  for the most part, for no real reason that I can see.  Most of the books deal with long distance “psychic attacks” from European monsters or Anita fighting off animals in her head, and the solution to and/or result of both problems usually involves Anita having sex with more friends and strangers.

So why do I keep reading them?  Because the first 9 books were so fantastic that I guess part of me is still waiting for the old Anita, the old Laurell K. Hamilton in fact, to resurface.  But you can bet I’ve stopped buying them; library or nothing for me.

All and all, I will always recommend this series, despite the eventual flatline. The replacements that I’ve found since can only pale in comparison with this series’ original potential.

All Time Favorite Ships

So aside from being a Fangirl, I can specify that I’m a Shipper.   If you didn’t already know, a Shipper is someone who fixates on a certain relationship or pairing in any fandom, whether intended by the creators of said fandom  or just imagined by the maniacal shipper.  So here are my current favorites, in no particular order, and the reasons behind them.

Romantic Relationships:

Doctor/Rose – Doctor Who (OTP!!!) – As mentioned in my first post, they are my current favorites.  Rose is a young woman with a boring dead-end life,  little money, a boyfriend she’s known forever, and no future prospects when she bravely leaves it all behind to be whisked off among stars, planets, past, and future by one badass alien.  That’s why when I say Doctor/Rose, it doesn’t just refer to the 9th or 10th Doctor, but the Doctor himself, in any incarnation after 9.  I know it couldn’t have worked out for them long term, I just believe that on some level they will always be in love.

Veronica/Logan (LoVe) – Veronica Mars (OTP) – This is another top favorite of mine, because the relationship wasn’t originally intended by the writers, and I never saw it coming since they started out the series as mortal enemies.  Their first kiss was epic on its own and the relationship took over the entire show for me from that point on.  All her other boyfriends couldn’t touch this guy, even if he was a little crazy.  Besides, save someone’s life 100x, you’re entitled to burn down a few community pools when you need to.

Buffy/Angel – BTVS (OTP) – They were best the first 3 seasons.  I almost forgot about them until YouTube reminded me, but Buffy and Angel were the reason I got into that show in the first place.   The relationship built slowly because it was hard for them to be together but they were always drawn to each other. Until he loses his soul and tortures her for a season.  After that, it didn’t matter who she met, she was always going to love Angel more.  Of course, since this is how I feel, I didn’t find any interest in the Cordy/Angel match or any other when he got his own spin-off.

Elena/Stefan – Vampire Diaries – Sorry Damon fans, he is an incredible character but if you’ve read the original trilogy you know that all Elena wanted from that first time she saw him was to be with Stefan.  The TV show might be different, but that could be why I don’t watch it.  I must have read that original trilogy a billion times and am loyal to that version.  I also don’ t know what happened with any books after the trilogy, because the reviews are poor and I’m told that Damon’s character is pretty much castrated.

Bella/Edward – Twilight Saga (OTP) – books & movies.  A lot of people have a problem with the new brand of vamps Stephanie Meyer invented, but I’m not worried about them sparkling in the sun.  This is a great love story, even if the first book dragged in parts.  I don’t really get the ‘Team Jacob’ point of view; in the books I mostly wanted to punch him.  Love him in the movies though.

Sookie/Bill – True Blood/Southern Vampire Series (OTP) – Both the TV series and the book for this pair, although True Blood has more passion because of the searing-hot chemistry between the actors.  Like Damon, Eric is such an awesome character and everybody likes a witty, bad-boy type, but how do you forget that first look Bill and Sookie shared in Merlottes, that went on forever??  The way I see it, they are so in love and would be perfect for each other, except events beyond their control continually pull them apart.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t meant for each other.

Robin/Barney (Swarkles) – How I Met Your Mother – I think they want similar things and I like all these little hints between them, even when she was supposed to be Ted’s great love.  I don’t actually mind that they broke up, although that wasn’t my favorite episode.  I mean the show is still going, they’re both pretty funny when they’re single, and when I’m shipping, sometimes its more fun watching and waiting for subtle hints and moments between them when they’re apart than actually watching them happy together.  I do feel like the writers will eventually reunite them, and I hope by then they can approach the idea in a unique way that suits the characters, instead of trying to make them fit the ‘ideal couple’ mold, the way that Marshall and Lily do.

Christina/Jesse – Point Pleasant – This is a show that not many people would remember, because only 8 episodes actually aired.  But she was the daughter of the devil and he was the lifeguard who saved her when she washed up on the shore.  She had dark powers and even a being from Hell in the form of Grant Show trying to get her to embrace her evil heritage, yet her love for Jesse (and the friends she makes) keeps her human.  The show is full of mystery and darkness, all the characters are constantly choosing between good and evil,  and nobody firmly belongs to one side or the other.  I ended up buying the DVD set just so I could at least find out how the season would have ended.

So these are the ships that I’ve been into for the past few years, but I’m always on the hunt for more.  If anybody knows of some pairings that I might be missing out on, I’d love to hear about them.  🙂