Friday, December 25, 2009

something from the archives: magic, or the holiday special - part 2

and here's part two. merry christmas to those who celebrate it! (part one posted yesterday, in case you missed it.)


Thursday, December 24, 2009

something from the archives: magic, or the holiday special - part 1

hmmm, i thought this one was a challenge, but i must have simply been inspired to write a roswell christmas tale. this one focuses on kyle and maria, and of course, michael and liz. this takes place sometime during the final season, since isabel is married to jesse. it's a cute little story, so i hope you enjoy it. i'll post part two tomorrow, in the spirit of the holidays.

by the way, happy holidays to all! and enjoy the story after the break.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

something from the archives: after vegas - part 3

so here is part 3, which gives all the other characters a chance to chime in. hopefully it isn't too repetitive. also i've found a holiday story i wrote as part of another challenge. i'll post that around christmas eve & christmas day. it will give me something to do while at the in-laws. enjoy.


anyway you can read the third chapter after the break. if you need it here are links to chapters 1 and 2.

Monday, December 21, 2009

simply loving the new 90210

i know i've said this before, but when the new 90210 started i watched for a while and then gave up on it. it was boring. the lead guy [i forget his name, it was ...who knows, he left the show] was cute but boring. the lead girl [annie] was annoying and just terrible at acting, which made her interest in said profession all the more preposterous. the main arch-rival [naomi] was written inconsistently. the parents [deb and henry] were no jim and cindy.

but now, while deb and henry are still no jim and cindy. and annie, who seems to have been demoted from lead status to supporting player is still as terrible and annoying as ever. however, at least her storyline now works with the terrible-ness and annoying-ness of her character. meanwhile, naomi has been given more to do. and we've been able to see her softer, more vulnerable side, while at the same time maintaining a high level of ridiculous fashion and boy craziness that makes her character really fun to watch.


and adrianna, the drug addict who was only supposed to be on a handful of episodes became a regular and is awesome even when her storylines are completely ridiculous. they sound like they're getting juicier, so that's something to look forward to.


silver is still my absolute favorite character. what's great about silver is that she is the one character who has concrete ties to the original, she's david silver and kelly taylor's half-sister. i actually love her romance with teddy. and i like how they've complicated it with dixon's realization that he had a good thing with silver.


dixon has spent the last few months on his high horse, yet for no good reason because he definitely made some really bad choices. like pretending he was a music executive and much older than he really was in order to get into the older woman's pants. also how anyone would ever believe that he is older than twelve is beyond me, when you see him with the other actors you think he is years younger (even though there isn't that big an age difference in most cases, except for teddy's).

but anyway, teddy and silver. i love them. i'm rooting for them. and the mini-cliffhanger that ended the last new episode is still killing me. i can't believe i have to wait until march for more 90210. at least until then i'll get to check out life unexpected (with shiri appleby!).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

something from the archives: after vegas - part 2

chapter two picks up the story from liz's side of the story. one of the challenges of writing this particular story was that i had to make sure that i was making each journal entry in each character's distinct voice. i'm pretty sure i did okay with michael and liz, but the others i'm not so sure about. we'll see what you think when we get there.

anyway you can read the second chapter after the break. catch up with chapter 1 here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

simply too much to laugh about

last year i probably would have said that "how i met your mother" and "the office" were my top two half hour comedies. it doesn't take too long for things to change.

the fall season's fresh crop of comedies--"modern family", "cougar town", and "community"--have proven to be enjoyable, smart, funny shows. even as the shows grow into their own in fits and starts, the writing has been working on a consistently higher level on these three shows than on either "the office" or "how i met your mother".


maybe it's that they've hit the fifth season slump, but while i still make both shows appointment tv, more often than not i am let down by the episodes. one of my favorite things about how i met your mother last year was the barney-robin romance, this season there were so many ways the writers could have gone about addressing the pairing as a couple. unfortunately for us viewers, they picked the worst possible way. lily forcing barney and robin to declare themselves boyfriend and girlfriend was the worst. the fact that the show then had both barney and robin act completely out of character and forced them into a conventional relationship when what made them interesting in the first place was the fact that as commitment-phobes their relationship would be a challenge for them both. theoretically it should have let them both grow as characters while still keeping them interesting.

massive fail and so many missed opportunities. by putting the focus on how their relationship changed the dynamics of the group, instead of it just being a natural step in the group's evolution to adulthood, the show stopped being funny. and except for ted, who for some reason remained unscathed, the rest of the characters became annoying caricatures. so they broke barney and robin up. and barney has regressed to being the same player he always was, and robin is robin. and so i feel like the show wasted three months of my life to have things go back to where they were before the whole storyline started.


so yeah, i'm a little bitter about that. especially when you take a look at how "big bang theory" handled putting leonard and penny together. i love that the relationship has been allowed to progress with no major manufactured dramas, and that the dynamic between the friends hasn't really changed. because the romance is not the focus of the show, it's just something that is going on incidentally, the occasional episode where it is the focus isn't unwelcome.

with the office the problem has more to do with the complex corporate issues they keep throwing into the mix. having michael and jim as co-managers puts too much focus on their own power struggles and less time on the ensemble. angela, meredith, stanley, ryan, kelly have really been missing this year. though with ryan in on dwight's diabolical plot there may be some comedy forthcoming. the problem with this, however, is that the show has consistently put pam and jim as the show's "good guys". they are the characters who are supposed to be most in tune with reality. and though their wedding episode was very sweet and a perfect cap to the five seasons of their relationship, since then they've become a bit smug, annoying, and patronizing. the fact that jim is a manager means he's actually trying to make this job work, when in previous seasons he was brilliant as the foil or instigator to the various dwight plots.


i miss that jim. the one bright spot has been the slow-burn romance between erin and andy. both characters are so sweetly oblivious, that they consistently misread each other's interest. i can't wait until they figure it out. they have become the couple to root for on the show.

Friday, December 11, 2009

something from the archives: after vegas - part 1

so back when i wrote fan fiction i penned it under the name etoile1. this story is a challenge i took up from another roswell fan named CarolRoswellFan and the conditions were as follows: the story needed to be set after the "viva las vegas" episode and it needed to explore the relationships of max/tess, maria/alex, kyle/isabel, michael/liz. i remember really liking this challenge because the conditions weren't too tough, and because it required tackling relationships that included all the teenage characters on the show, i decided to use a journal-style narrative. and because i was (still am) a michael and liz fan, i spent more of my time on them. anyway, so this story is called "after vegas" and at the time i rated it r for language, though i think now-a-days it's probably a pg-13.

anyway you can read the first chapter after the break.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

simply unable to contain all my glee

omg, you guys. i'm so bummed that there will be no more new episodes of "glee" until april. even more so because "glee" will be airing against the final season of "lost" and since i share a television with the husband who watches "lost" and not "glee" i think i know what i will be staying up late for on tuesdays this spring.

anyway, right now i'm consoling myself by listening to "glee - the music, vol. 2" which is awesome and oh-so-cheesy. i don't know what it is about this show that i love so much. especially since the writing is totally inconsistent, there are too many characters and often when something deeper is revealed about them it is immediately forgotten in the next episode, the suspension of disbelief required to get through watching a single episode is pretty astronomical, but in spite of all of that, i LOVE this show.

one of the more fascinating things about the show is the character of rachel berry. she is annoying, a total diva, incapable of understanding social cues, but she is also so very endearing. her personality rubs so many the wrong way, but all rachel has ever wanted is to be part of a team. it's why she's a member of every club she can be a member of. she tries so hard, and it often doesn't get her to where she wants to go. ultimately, the glee club understands that she is a cornerstone to their road to victory, and that to have rachel on their team makes them a better team, no matter how annoying she is.

i happen to love rachel. i love her relationship with finn, the clueless quarterback. one of the more interesting things at play during "sectionals" was the fact that the entire glee club was aware of the fact that quinn's baby wasn't finn's but was puck's. i personally never bought the rationalization from mercedes that quinn chose finn to be the father of her baby and that everyone else needed to respect that, because i felt that it didn't take into account the fact that finn's life was also being ruined. not that having a baby means your life is ruined. but finn has dreams and aspirations and having a baby before he graduates high school wasn't one of them.

in both the pregnancy plots this season it was very clear that the rights of the father weren't considered to be of importance. and while rachel was partly being selfish in telling finn the truth, she also did it because he deserved to know. he was bearing a weight on his shoulders that wasn't his to bear. it was a secret that needed to be told, and in the end, i think it made a difference that it was rachel who told him. i happen to like finn and rachel together. though apparently there is a larger puck and rachel fandom. i didn't mind the episode they were together, but i also think the point of that episode was that neither of them was really free to be in a relationship, because puck is hot for his baby momma and rachel loves finn in spite of his stupidity.

it took to long for the show to reveal the baby drama, especially since the whole plot meant that we were supposed to believe that mr. schue and finn were barely intelligent enough to function.

i love that mr. schue left his lying wife behind. i really hope it sticks because my favorite moments in this episode were all will-emma moments. this one is my absolute favorite:



squee! they totally kissed. and it was such a climactic moment, even though anyone with half a brain could call it in. i still love it. i'm such a sucker for forbidden romance. here are some more moments from a fan video:



love it. i really hope that the storyline actually progresses. the situation is complicated, but will and emma have some good chemistry. and even though terri and ken are still around, i'm hoping that the obstacles ahead of them aren't so insurmountable. because really their romance isn't really the main thrust of the story. so theoretically you don't need all these challenges in their relationship. them being together or not doesn't really affect the outcome. right? i just happen to like them together. i can't help it. i'm a total sucker for romance.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

something from the archives: a new feature

so a long time ago i was obsessed with the television show "roswell", in fact, i felt so strongly about that show that i became a pretty active member of the online community. the other day i decided to google myself, in part because i wanted to see if my real name was associated with any of the fan fiction i wrote during that period of time. it's not. but i also found that a lot of the archives that contain my fan fiction are incomplete which is kind of a bummer.

i also spent a lot of time rereading the stuff i wrote, and while some of it isn't polished, it's actually not that bad. i really liked some of those stories. i never finished some of those stories. and i don't know, but i think it's time i focused on my writing again. and as ridiculous as some people think fan fiction is, it's also great practice for writing. most of my fan fiction was alternate universe and involved unconventional couples. in roswell fan speak i was a dreamer, a polarist, and a loyalist. mostly i loved the character of liz, and as i watched the show there came a point where i believed the writers lost sight of who that character was, and fan fiction gave me an outlet. i met some great people on those fan sites, and every once in a while i still think of them.

so here's what i've decided to do. since i've been feeling uninspired when it comes to talking about television and romance here, i'm going to repost my roswell fanfic. i'm not going to post all of it at once, i'm actually going to try and take a look at what needs some work, some editing. i've noticed typos and choppy sentences and weird transitions. so i'll work on those things. and some of the stories remain unfinished, so i'm going to try and complete them. it will take me a while to do this, but it's also kind of a fun project for me. and let's face it, i mostly write this blog for myself anyway. [i mean that in a good way, i do appreciate my readers.]

so going forward any posts labeled "something from the archives" will be a fan fiction post, and it should be easy to ignore if it's not something you're interested in. i'm actually pretty proud of a lot of the stuff i wrote back then, even the sex scenes. [any posts containing explicit scenes will be labeled as such.] here's the thing, i really, genuinely loved the characters, and i felt like i knew them well. well enough to write almost an entire novel! some of the stories are really that long. anyway, this will be a fun experiment. and i'm going to try to be better about posting so that i'm mixing this older content up with new content.

Monday, November 30, 2009

simply need to post something before the month is out

um, oops.

so, i just finished watching the amazing (!!) thanksgiving episode of gossip girl. every year, they manage to make a good thanksgiving episode. in part, i think because it's the one holiday a year that they can contrive to have everyone together in a way that is somewhat natural and also manage to propel the story forward.

this year's episode was a doozy. i wish i knew what the hell was going on. here are the highlights:

1. serena and tripp are k-i-s-s-i-n-g
and of course everyone finds out. chuck spills the details to nate when it's captured on his hotel's security tapes. tripp's wife hears it from nate, after lily raises some red flags when she invites maureen and tripp over for thanksgiving dinner. and everyone (except maybe rufus) finds out when maureen decides to blab about it over rufus' lame thanksgiving joke. i don't know what the joke was, but it probably had to do with music since the punchline is "plymouth rock" and we all know how rufus is a washed up rock star.

2. cece is a-ok
and lily is a big fat liar. and somehow her big fat lies have to do with the first (and really only) dr. van der woodsen. what he wrote in his letter for serena is the big mystery that leads us to next week. when maureen will more than likely blow it out of the water. again, poor rufus gets the shaft here, i don't know why he thinks he can keep up with the van der woodsen women and the lies they tell.

3. jenny and eric are friends no more
and i'm actually intrigued by this storyline. it's actually giving them something to do this season, i like eric's association with kira and can't wait to see what happens when they go to the trenches. i think the mean girls will have some fun, though i ultimately hope these two find their magic again.


4. dan and vanessa are still boring
and vanessa's mom is a pill. honestly, i love anna espinosa, but she's so crunchy granola and self-righteous on this show that it's a pleasure when she's not on the screen. at least we know where vanessa gets her wet blanket jeans from. also jessica szohr is a very pretty girl, why is she always made to look so hideous on this show? i don't get it.

what i also don't get is how penn badgley can be so hot and not have any chemistry with anyone except blake lively. the thing is everyone has chemistry with blake. we need to find dan an interesting girlfriend.

5. chuck bass needs more to do
i mean, it's great that he is acting the superhero lately. my friend, miss l, says he has a batman voice and he just swoops in at the last moment to save the day and prevent his friends and family from acting stupid while he wears purple suits and ascots. all of this is great. but, chuck bass is more than that. and him and blair could be something more than what they are at the moment.


6. dorota is preggers
a cute subplot, though i'm not sure whether vanya and dorota's love affair should evolve any more than it has. but perhaps there will be a wedding in dorota's future. at least that will be an interesting event that will get our series regulars in the room together.

so next week we wait for the fall out. and i have to say after weeks of spinning its wheels, gossip girl feels on track. that might have been the most insane, nonsensical episode, but i loved every second of it. may the trend continue.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

simply working too hard to make platinum

so i feel terrible. i really meant to post more before now. but a 16-day vacation overseas and craziness at work has really gotten in the way of my being able to write anything. but i promise i'm working on things and hopefully as this blog turns 1 year old, i'll be able to keep up with it more regularly.

upcoming posts will talk all the usual, tv (especially glee and greys) and books (i've made a lot of progress on my grandmother's books, i just haven't written about any of it) and movies (i'm positive i've seen a few that i can talk about here), i'm also going to focus more on the romance aspect of things instead of plot, because that's my favorite part of it all.

p.s. i did actually make platinum on my frequent flier program on this last trip. part of me is thrilled, the other part of me feels lame for traveling all the time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

simply more season openers

so i started writing the previous post last monday, and it took a week to post because the carpenter redoing the basement door decided to cut our cable and "fix" it with electrical tape, ensuring that our cable, internet and phone were completely out for over two days, and then we had out of town guests for the rest of the week.

so, even though it took me all weekend, i've finally caught up with television that aired last week.
show more

monday's premiere:

"gossip girl"
oh, upper eastsiders how i've missed you and your ridiculous parties. and even more ridiculous clothing. and utterly ridiculous lack of plot and character development. "reversals of fortune" feels like a transition episode from start to finish, the gang is recovering from their summers and are eagerly anticipating their falls, and the show tries to balance recapping everyone's summer with some teasing of storylines to come, but it's just not that good at it.

here's what we know:


blair and chuck are together and still going strong. even as they struggle to make their relationship work for them. blair and chuck are unique, and for them to work as a couple, they can't be quite like just any other couple. their attraction to each other is a bit twisted. blair looks prim and proper but she isn't sweetness and light, she loves chuck because he can express the darkness that she represses. their relationship cannot be totally vanilla for them to work as a couple. [granted because it is essentially a teen show on a teen network it skirts around the possibilities.]


nate can't help being boring. he's caught up in a romeo-juliet type plot with the daughter of a rival political family. but at least he's pretty.


serena looked gorgeous in this peach-colored gown. except she was also a little overdressed for the occasion [a polo match]. she is also involved in some crazy scheme to get her father's attention by misbehaving and having her photograph plastered all over the tabloids. carter baizen also has something to do with it, but they chose not to let us in on the secret just yet.


rufus is stuck with the van der woodsen and humphrey kids in the hamptons, and his look of confusion here accurately reflects his state of being throughout the episode.


eric and jenny continue to be adorable together. it's just too bad that they don't have any sort of interesting plot line.

tuesday's show:


"90210"

the second episode of the second season continues to demonstrate the show's improvement. "to sext or not to sext" further expands on the relationships developing on the show, and for once, it's not that focused on romance, but rather on the friendships.

naomi, adriana, and silver continue to be besties, in the most ridiculous way possible. they are observing the boys trying out for the surfing team, and preening on top of naomi's car.

the boys are also adorably excited upon making the surf team. they are also instant buddies in a way that defies explanation. liam needs a haircut.

meanwhile at the blaze, navid tries to make things interesting but ends up being forced to interview teddy and act like a jealous douchebag. ade is appropriately upset with him, though if she stopped being angry at navid for a second she would realize that a little reassurance from her would go a long way. [in the background you may spot rumer willis, beginning her guest stint as a student at west bev.]

wednesday's show:

"glee"
i'm going to admit that i didn't love "acafellas" as much as other people. i think because i enjoy the characters interacting, and not all doing their own thing. there were a couple great moments. and i think jayma mays is amazing as emma. her understated performance and the tension teeming between her guidance counselor and matthew morrison's spanish teacher is hot.

i did also love seeing victor garber and debra monk as mr. schuester's parents. [ok, i admit, i can't remember his first name.] i really hope we'll get to see garber sing a song or two at some point. he usually plays such a badass that his musical theater background is easily forgotten.

thursday's premieres:

"the office"
office gossip spins out of control culminating in the big reveal of jim and pam's pregnancy. what is great about the reveal is that michael spreads it as a falsehood to hide the fact that he accidentally spilled the beans on stanley's affair with his physical therapist. but because michael is inept in all things, he bungles his revelation by masking it with fact, and all hell breaks loose at the office. it's up to jim and pam to salvage the situation. and they do. of course, they can't stop michael from revealing stanley's affair to his wife and the last shots of stanley bashing in michael's car were priceless.

"community"
in the opening moments of the show, we are given the stereotypes of people who attend community college. these stereotypes inhabit the cast, and in an unlikely series of events all end up in the same made-up study group run by joel mchale, a lawyer who has been disbarred for faking his credentials. he tries to con his way through community college and into a fellow student's pants, but all of this manages to backfire on him. because it seems that this time, he'll actually have to work hard to succeed at something. and somehow the premise works. mainly because the characters are funny.

abed is my favorite so far. but they all have their charm and i will keep watching to see if the show can keep up with all the comedy. in a nice touch, after numerous references to the breakfast club, the pilot episode is dedicated to john hughes' memory.

"vampire diaries"
ok so not technically a premiere, but the second episode picks up pretty much where the first one left off. this time there is more damon. ian somerhalder is the most interesting actor on this show of pretty people. in part because his character is so juicy, but in part because he is actually more than just a pretty face. he is completely different from every other role i've seen him play. and he seems to be having fun with it.

stefan needs to lighten up a bit. otherwise, he's just a boring goody-two-shoes who happens to be a vampire. [i might have to admit to having a thing for bad boy vampires: spike, eric, and now damon are all on the list. angel and bill, and now stefan don't do much for me as the dark, brooding vampire filled with nobility. blah.] i also happen to like jeremy. in part because the actor is steve mcqueen's grandson, and i think it's possible i just like the actor more than i like his storyline.

this show really works because of its eye candy. because so far, story-wise it hasn't done all that much. but i'm giving it a chance, because sometimes it takes a couple episodes for the stories to really gel. at least that's what i'm telling myself.

images courtesy of cwtv.com

Sunday, September 20, 2009

simply blood and gore

it seems that vampires are all the rage, no? so after a summer of avoiding "true blood" [for no specific reason, dh and i just never got our act together.], i spent the weekend catching up on the show just in time for the season finale. and what a season it was.

watching it almost all in one go, i think, gave me a sense of what worked and didn't work this season. in list form, here are my thoughts on season 2 of "true blood":


1. maryann and the zombie-eyed orgies
one of the challenges i face when i watch this show is that i really love the books. and i've read the books. so going in i knew that maryann was a maenad. what alan ball did with the character expanded on what happened with that character in the books. and it did give tara a significant storyline for the season, obviously an area that ball will tend to have more creative license with, since her character in the books is almost tertiary.


the story about maryann was the frame for the whole season. this was the season's over-arching mystery: what is up with maryann? and ultimately, the answer to that question wasn't really interesting. seeing the bon temps townfolk get zombie-eyed and have crazy, orgiastic sex [including, apparently, the sodomizing of a pine tree. i ask how can one sodomize a pine tree? isn't a pine tree lacking in parts that one would be able to sodomize?], wasn't interesting after the first two times, especially since the naked girl parts were all displayed by cute, youngish girls, whereas the naked boy parts were all displayed by old fat men. not cool hbo. not cool.

when the vampire queen of louisiana, sophie-anne, finally tells bill how to solve the problem of the maenad, i kept hoping that maybe she told him the wrong thing. i wanted her to be wrong or to have willfully misled bill because something more dramatic than making maryann believe that the ritual worked this time needed to happen. and while sam's "sacrifice" and sookie's reactions were all dramatically compelling, it still was a big letdown.


2. dallas and the nest of vampires
so i've been to dallas. in fact, one of the worst trips i've ever taken was to dallas. i had a cab driver who accused me of being an fbi profiler trying to pin a murder charge on him and the adam's mark hotel checked someone else into my room--while i was clearly using it! i've never quite forgiven the city for these things. and i also hate that america's team is considered to be the dallas cowboys. i am not a fan of the cowboys. i wouldn't be married if i were.

anyway, the trip to dallas for sookie and bill isn't exactly a success, what with all the kidnapping, near-rape, suicide bombers laced with silver, and general creepiness associated with the newlins and the fellowship of the sun [more on them later]. but where the book concentrated the action on the events in dallas, the dallas interlude on the show was much shorter.

spending a little more time on the vampires--the politics, the hierarchy, the opposing factions--all of that stuff is dramatic and can serve as a metaphor to any number of social groups. learning more about isabel and stan, and where they stand in the vampire pecking order, and how that compares with eric's position, would have been nice. godric isn't eric's maker in the books, but it i thought that particular change worked well within the realm of "true blood" the show. it gave us insight to another side of eric.

a side very much worth seeing.


3. fellowship of the sun and other kooks
in the books jason never joins up with the fellowship of the sun, but if he had, well, i don't think things would have turned out much differently. the character of jason is fascinating, in the books he is petulant, selfish, and has a real mean streak. in the show, he is dumb as bricks, self-absorbed, but has a good heart at the bottom of all that prettiness. his relationship with sookie is much more contentious in the books, sookie is more critical of her brother, even though they do have as little to do with each other on both the show and the books.though they did have some sweet moments this season.


tv jason means well, he is just easily distracted from the path of righteousness. and abstinence is certainly not his strong suit. watching the interaction between the newlins and jason, it was obvious that "god" was going to point sarah toward jason's pants [or rather what's in jason's pants]. and it was also clear that reverend steve and his wife exist on completely different wavelengths. this is highlighted in one of their last appearances on the screen this season, and i can't help but think that they'll be back and just as dysfunctional as ever.

all this being said, the light of day institute stuff, the plan to "force" godric to meet the sun, wasn't as fleshed out as it could have been, but was also kind of boring. luke was possibly the least interesting character they could have introduced, and his death by suicide bomb had little impact because he was a jackass competing with jason half the time, and an earnest lost soul the other. gabe was also introduced clumsily, and as boot-camp instructor, reverend steve's lackey, and near-rapist he had a thankless role, but the character could have been developed with a little more depth.



4. the young lovers: hoyt and jessica
one of the great things that alan ball has done with the show [even though i am occasionally frustrated by this] is to treat the source material as a roadmap. he hasn't been afraid to put his own spin on things. and the calculated risk of introducing jessica paid off big time over the course of the second season.

deborah ann woll does an amazing job playing jessica, who is at times a petulant, rebellious teenager; a naïve young woman forced to adapt to difficult, life-altering circumstances; and a person capable of monstrous things, who needs to learn to control her baser impulses. when they first introduced her in the first season, i thought it was a terrible idea. but she won me over, and her sweet, tender romance with hoyt fortenberry has done a lot to counter a lot of the violence and ugliness that comprises the show's dna.

there is something so pure about first love, and the fact that it is first love for both these characters, makes the journey for them that much sweeter. but they have some tremendous obstacles ahead. hoyt's mama is a force to be reckoned with, the fact that she's kept her boy so tied to her apron strings that he's reached the age of thirty without having sex is pretty amazing, especially considering he is close friends with jason stackhouse, the sex machine. he is such a mama's boy that even as she insults him and jessica, he can't bear to shut her up, and quickly comes to her defense when jessica bites her.

it's a tough scene, and it is completely understandable that jessica wouldn't have been able to control that impulse. and it's not surprising that hoyt choses his mother, she's been the main woman in his life for so long. it's not until mrs. fortenberry reveals some horrible things about hoyt's father that he is even able to stand up to her. it's only then that he choses to seek jessica out, but it might be too late to save their relationship.

because jessica is still reeling from the realization that she will forever be a virgin. her first time with hoyt will be the first of many first times. and this knowledge makes her a little crazy, as does her fight with hoyt. when we last see jessica, she's feeding off a trucker at a rest stop after having told him she's a virgin. it's an act of rebellion, it's seedy and repulsive, the complete opposite of her first time with hoyt. and the scene at the rest stop is nicely contrasted with a scene showing us that hoyt has gotten all dressed up, he's bought a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and knocks patiently at jessica's door ready to ask for forgiveness.

forgiveness given and granted will be the thrust of their story next season. because the obstacles keep rising up between them, and how they cope will make for an interesting turn of events.


5. eric is awesome
i still say there wasn't enough eric. alexander skarsgård is delightful as the sheriff of area five. this season we learn more of eric, he is a manipulator, an enforcer, and a loyal friend. he's been a vampire for so long that he has little empathy or time for regular humans, but he in his efforts to help godric he is forced to be in touch with his feelings. godric, sheriff of the dallas vampires, is his maker. it is a complex relationship between a vampire and his maker, and unlike bill and lorena, there is a deep love between godric and eric. they've known each other for at least a thousand years.

this connection humanizes eric. at one point, while helping sookie escape the fellowship of the sun, eric and sookie have the following exchange:
sookie: he's your maker isn't he?
eric: don't use words you don't understand.
sookie: you have a lot of love for him.
eric: don't use words i don't understand.
eric may not understand love anymore, but it is obvious that he feels it for godric. and as he continues to struggle with his fascination with sookie, it will be interesting to watch how he handles emotions that he hasn't been in touch with for a long time. [a key indicator that he feels something for sookie is when he is discussing bill and his human with sophie-anne.]

ultimately, there wasn't enough eric in the season finale. the show works best for me when it's dealing with vampire stuff. and while i understand why the focus on bon temps, and know that the were and shifter stories will pick up next season, the show needs more eric. a LOT more eric.


6. and they're cousins: tara and lafayette
in a major departure from the books, lafayette is kept alive. but after being held hostage by eric as a punishment for dealing v [vampire blood], lafayette has lost some of his pizzazz. tara has also lost her pizzazz after discovering that the psychic who performed an exorcism on her and her mother was a big old fake.

the cousins have a pretty rough season of it. tara is inextricably caught up with maryann the maenad, and lafayette needs some serious recovery time from dealing with the vampires. with a little help from her friends, tara is released from the maenad's influence. but lafayette is not necessarily as lucky. released as part of a deal by sookie, eric forces him to again trade in v, which is later revealed to be part of a plot by sophie-anne and maybe something bill has unfortunately mixed himself up in.


7. sophie-anne, the capricious vampire queen of louisiana
as played by evan rachel wood, sophie-anne is child-like, frivolous, and likely full of mischief. we discover early on that sookie's cousin hadley is living with her. which will very likely play into future seasons' storylines. when bill goes to see her, it is unclear whether or not she is simply toying with him. when she dismisses bill for eric, we discover that she enjoys wielding her power. as the head vampire of the state of louisiana, eric and bill have no choice but to submit to her whims.

when bill threatens eric over what he believes to be eric's trafficking of v, he doesn't realize how deep the waters he is stepping in are. eric, we discover, is trafficking v on sophie-anne's orders. not only that, the blood that he is trafficking happens to belong to sophie-anne. this opens up the suspect pool to bill's disappearance in the closing moments of the season. is it eric? is it sophie-anne? eric acting on sophie-anne's orders? or is it the spurned lorena?

the black gloves could mean it was either a vampire wielding a silver chain or just a general criminal covering their tracks. and the fact is, i'm just hoping we get a little less bill and more eric as a result of whatever happened.

[i'm not even going to talk about the proposal.]

images courtesy of tvguide.com

Saturday, September 12, 2009

simply watching the new season begin

ah, it's back. network television in the fall. professional football. reasonable weather in new england. these are all good things.

this week started off light, giving just a small taste of the fall television goodness to come, but i think that was a good thing considering i essentially stopped watching television this summer. [i'm not one to turn on the t.v. and flip. i'm the absolute opposite of a channel flipper and happen to be very lucky to not have married a channel flipper. we lose track of the remote so often in our household we wish it would come with a pager from the cable box. why hasn't anyone invented that yet?]

anyway, so this week the cw premiered about half of its fall schedule and fox premiered "glee" [if other channels premiered things i don't know about them, the aforementioned lack of channel flipping and the fact that most of what i watch i schedule on the dvr and watch when i'm in the mood to.]

anyway, here are my thoughts on the premieres i watched this week:

1. "90210"
so last season i definitely had a love-hate thing going on with this show. i watched the first couple of episodes and then decided that it was incredibly boring. so i deleted it off the dvr, but then i read about how it was getting better so i checked it out again and kind of got into it, and since i wasn't watching anything else on tuesdays at 8, i figured i might as well. but then i forgot to watch the last two episodes of the season, which were apparently spectacularly ridiculous.

but i was excited to put it back on the dvr, and i really enjoyed the season premiere. it finally feels like it is becoming the show it always aspired to be. the new season opened at the close of summer, but did a good job of making sure that the repercussions of the season finale were still being felt. one thing that was slightly weird was the close friendship between naomi, adriana, and silver, but i really enjoyed seeing them as friends, and am willing to overlook that it doesn't exactly follow that they would be that close.


sometimes it is easier to forgive these things when i think back and remember high school. friendships were so fluid then, the ones that last, the ones that survive college and life and marriage and divorce and all the crap, those friendships are worth treasuring. but high school is such a strange moment in life, when you look back on it, it's as if you were a part of a sociological experiment that you never agreed to participate in. that is probably the reason it provides so much fodder for drama and comedy and story on television, and reliving it again with the beautiful people on the television screen is always enjoyable.


"90210" has a new showrunner who is committed to making a show that fulfills its aspirations. and i think that so far, so good. from what i've read online the second episode of the season improves on the first. and the first was already an improvement on last season. if only they could dump lame annie [poorly played by shanae grimes], though they've definitely moved in the right direction with her character. she's no goody-goody anymore, and her "brenda-fication" can only be good for the show. shanae does okay at snide, bratty teenager, but she can't really emote much else.

annalynne mccord, as naomi, is being dressed less like a forty-year old woman, which can also only help. [the fug girls often refer to her as drunkface, and sadly her acting often causes her to pull said face into use.] she's best when she's not trying so hard. let jessica lowndes [adriana] and jessica stroup [silver] pick up the slack on the emoting and the show is a million times better. luckily as the former drug addict and pregnant teen, and the bi-polar girl who filmed a sex video with her [now-ex] boyfriend, respectively, they do have the meatier stories.


the introduction of teddy [pictured above], will also be good for the show i think. i like his chemistry with silver, and will be interested to see where that goes. especially since teddy was the sole witness to annie's hit-and-run from the finale. he has an agenda at west beverly, and i can't wait to see it play out. elsewhere on the guy side of things, dixon, navid, and liam remain, and their relationships with the girls are definitely in flux at the moment. but i think it is a good thing. the boys need to interact on their own, what made the original flavor 90210 work was the enduring friendship between the guys. the girls switched allegiances weekly, but brandon, dylan, and steve, and sometimes david, were fast friends. and you understood why these people stuck together. the new version needs to work on forming some stronger relationships between the guys in order to succeed too.

2. "glee"
this show actually premiered after "american idol" last year, but i didn't watch it then. and throughout the summer i've read a ton of good things about it, so i decided it would be worth checking out. as a former glee club member, how could i not watch a show about glee club? though having watched it, i don't know about you guys, but my glee club was never quite like the one on this show. we existed to supply music at church and hold an annual spring concert, these kids aim slightly higher than that.


as i watched the first two episodes of "glee" last week, i was stunned by how much i enjoyed the show. i think what makes it work, is that it is so different from anything else on television at the moment. the way it tells stories is unique, and i really like how you [as viewer] shift from the leads' point-of-views seamlessly, learning a little bit about them [in each segment] that none of the other characters know. the colors are bright, and the show is imbued with a note of surreality, a hint of sadness, and a burst of unrestrained joy that reminds me of "pushing daisies" without the saccharine-sweet cuteness.

the story at the heart of the show hails back to the breakfast club [with labels adjusted slightly for the times] but you have the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal [well, okay, let's replace criminal with the gay kid] forced to spend time together for one specific reason. there's a dash of footloose in there as well, and some heathers in there for good measure.

ultimately, the fact that it isn't that original a story doesn't matter, because it's the way the story is told is what makes this show work. and i will definitely keep watching.

3. "the vampire diaries"
so many comparisons have been made between this and twilight and "true blood". but i don't think that it is fair to compare "the vampire diaries" to "true blood" and whatever similarities it shares with twilight, the fact remains that the source material for this show was written well before stephanie meyer wrote her first book.

vampire diaries isn't anything new or groundbreaking, but the leads are all such pretty people.




[ok the girls are also pretty.]





how can anyone resist? i don't have a lot to say about this show as yet, other than i thoroughly enjoyed the pilot. and that knowing that the creative genius behind "dawson's creek" is behind this, means that we can only expect some amazing teen angst. and boy, am i looking forward to it!

photo credits: cwtv.com and fox.com

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

seriously romantic: a few old favorites

i've been reading a lot lately. my dvr will attest to this, i have over a month of "general hospital" episodes, almost the entirety of season two of "true blood" [there are only two episodes left], and well, i still haven't watched the finales of "dollhouse" or "fringe" [and i really like these shows, well excluding "general hospital" which i love to hate or something like that]. so anyway, i've been reading a lot lately and viewing nothing at all and i keep feeling like i have nothing to write about except with the ten+ books a week i've been reading i have plenty to review.

i want to adhere to a more frequent posting schedule, and once fall tv kicks up i hope to get back to a regular routine. but in any case here are a few of my favorite romance/chick lit reads:


1. something borrowed by emily giffin
i know girls who hated this book. they couldn't get past the fact that the main character, rachel, sleeps with her best friend's fiancé, dex. and though i understand that reaction, the fact that rachel isn't perfect, that she and dex do selfish and hurtful things, that the love story as it develops in this story is far from ideal, are all reasons why i absolutely love this book.
rachel, who is the book's narrator, doesn't shy away from acknowledging that she is trying to justify the unjustifiable. she recognizes that she is not being a good person. but she is also incredibly sympathetic, and as you read the novel you are so very clearly on her side. but darcy, the best friend, isn't completely unsympathetic.
her flaws may be played up more during the course of the story, but there are reasons she and rachel are friends and if she isn't simply a terrible human being who deserved to get cheated on, neither is she so totally and completely innocent of wrong-doing. we get to see her side of things in the follow-up to this, something blue.
me, i like shades of gray. the murkier the better. my sister-in-law could never read this and be okay with rachel's actions, because she has been cheated on one too many times, that to even consider this happening to her with her best friend would be devastating. but i think it would be too easy to say that rachel and dex are in the wrong, that isn't the story being told here. the story is that love can be found at the most inconvenient times, in the most inconvenient places, and when these things happen, you have to make a choice. and sometimes following love is the selfish choice, but it is also the correct one.
i can't say how many times i've reread this book. it's one of my favorite plane reads. i also happen to love the book design, i think all books should be so well-designed.


2. devil in winter by lisa kleypas
i don't know what it is about sebastian and evie, but i love their story. this is another book that i've started re-reading as soon as i finished.
we first meet sebastian in it happened one autumn, where he plays the dramatic foil to marcus, earl of westcliff. our last glimpse of sebastian in the closing moments of that novel, he has been beaten up by westcliff for nearly raping lillian. needless to say that in the opening moments of devil in winter you are surprised by the fact that he seems to be the hero of the tale.
but what a hero he is. devil in winter is a story of redemption. even though the series is focused on "the wallflowers" in this book, evie clearly takes a back seat. that isn't to say that she isn't interesting or compelling. in fact, i would say that evie and daisy were my favorite wallflowers, though daisy gets the edge because she's just more vibrant. that's the problem with evie, she's sweet and giving and kind, and not at all vibrant. but her chemistry with sebastian is unbelievable. and amazingly she is the one that melts the ice in his veins.
through evie, sebastian gains a new direction in life. instead of losing himself further in vice, instead of surrendering his soul to waste, sebastian learns that love has a place in his life. what could be more romantic than that?
nothing.

3. his wicked promise by samantha james

historical novels that take place in medieval times [this one dates to the 13th century] aren't really my favorite, but this is one of those books where i enjoyed the characters and the story so much that it didn't really matter when the book was set. glenda and egan have a spark between them. but glenda, still grieving for her husband and stillborn child, isn't prepared to open her heart to love again. and egan has been in love with glenda since she first arrived to be married to niall mckay.
now that i think about it there are some similarities in theme between this and when he was wicked an old favorite i've talked about several times before. i guess we know what my kind of story is. actually all the books on this list are stories of finding love in complicated, unexpected places and making it work.
that's what egan and glenda do. there are plenty misunderstandings: a marriage of convenience, an unexpected pregnancy, miscreant neighbors, kidnapping. but ultimately, love wins out. and that's all this girl wants to see.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

seriously romantic: butterfly tattoo by deidre knight

i've been a bad blogger lately, but the last two weeks have been a whirlwind and among my excuses are: birthday, work travel, personal travel, my niece's christening, and crazy deadlines at work, plus my recent obsession with cataloging my books instead of reading and writing about them [which i am blaming on my dear husband] and all my excuses amount to the fact that i haven't really been writing in part because i have been to busy to write and in part because i couldn't bring myself too. but that isn't to say that i haven't had anything to write about, i've had blog posts going on in my head for days now!

so i discovered butterfly tattoo while reading smart bitches-trashy books. twice recently, it came up on their top romance picks, and the first time i read the description, i thought--well, that sounds interesting--but being a judgy bitch myself, i couldn't get past the cheesy cover art [displayed in all it's cheesy glory above]. when it came up a second time, however, i figured maybe i should really give this book a chance. i mean we all know the saying regarding books and their covers. [sadly i will admit that i have often chosen not to read books because of their covers, and that one of the nice things about owning a kindle is that i read a lot more things that i probably wouldn't have read before because i can't see the covers at all.]

realizing that i was being silly about this cover, especially since i was going to download the book onto my kindle [since it isn't available in print just yet] i decided to go for it. and then i read. [actually what i find even more astounding is that samhain publishing prides itself on its cover art, but from what i've seen it's usually terrible and not all that sophisticated. though that is most likely the graphic design snob in me--not all their books are terrible looking, but a lot of them do look cheap, ahem...]

it's a beautiful story. it's about love and healing and hope and second chances. it's a story about two people with complicated pasts and how they overcome their pasts to make something of their lives together. it's actually a common enough story, but butterfly tattoo takes the tropes and turn them on their ears, and that, on top of the wonderfully evocative writing, make for an excellent reading experience.

the story follows michael, a widower still in the throes of grief and struggling to connect with his young daughter, and rebecca, a former actress who was viciously attacked and left scarred by a fan [the story is told in alternating chapters from each character's perspective]. rebecca is still learning to trust that others aren't out to hurt her, and in part because she is still in hollywood, a location renowned for it's superficiality and hunger for beauty, her scars inhibit her healing fully. michael works as an electrician on the studio lot and they run into each other in the dark, perhaps because of this they both open up to each other more than they would have otherwise.

because michael has secrets. secrets about his young daughter [i won't spoil it here but this one was pretty obvious from the get go] and secrets about his sexuality [i don't think i mentioned this, but michael's spouse alex wasn't a girl], and these are such big secrets, and they are so wrapped into his grief, that michael's journey, as it unfolds in the book, is utterly amazing.

michael is such a unique hero. his capacity for love is astounding. more than anything, that is what struck me about this novel. he is a tough guy but he is such a romantic, i don't know that he could exist anywhere but on paper. i loved michael. i loved all the characters in the book actually, all of them were beautifully drawn.

the one issue with the book, i think, is the rushed ending. the book develops the relationship over the course of weeks, months. i'd say the pacing is slow, but i mean that only in the best sense of the word. the book has a serenity, a wistfulness, a weight that is both light and heavy--it's so hard to describe. so after an event that causes rebecca to reconsider the relationship, and whether or not michael is ready to get past his gried, the couple spends about a month apart. and they do some healing, and then they meet up. and then the story is over. and it kind of goes from zero to sixty, and i think that speed struck me as unnatural. because the rest of the book had been so meticulously paced, it felt like all of a sudden they realized that the book going to reach three hundred pages and they wanted to wrap it up.

regardless this is a beautiful story. i loved it, and would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

simply what i end up watching when i'm not home

i had said i'd write this up a long time ago...there is something shall i say, special about television viewing while away from home. when i'm traveling for work, staying at hotel rooms all across the country [a sampling of the cities i've visited since january this year: san diego, cincinnati, chicago, las vegas, new york, philadephia, detroit, denver] life takes on a sense of unreality. channel line-ups are so weird in hotel rooms and so often it is impossible to find a piece of paper telling you what the channel line-up is so you have to go through every channel available in order to find the one you want.

and this may be just me, but i can honestly never remember the channel numbers in hotel rooms. it's weird, it's like you can only ever know two channel line-ups at one time. i know my parent's television channel line-up and i know mine [obviously we live in different states], that's it. so in a hotel room, even once i've found a channel i like, when i accidentally start flipping because of a commercial break, it usually takes me so long to find the channel again that i end up missing a chunk of the show.

i find i miss my dvr incredibly while i'm away. i like fast-forwarding through commercials [or even scenes that i find incredibly boring or storylines that don't interest me] when i'm traveling during the regular television season i've ended up staying up late to watch new episodes of my favorite shows online on my laptop.

i forget when things are on, you see, and i miss the convenience of being able to watch whatever i want whenever i choose to watch it. when i do watch the television in the room, i'm often stuck watching "hannah montana" [a show i've never watched while at home, i can honestly say that the only time i've watched it is while traveling. and actually, i've kind of enjoyed it in that it reminds me a lot of watching "saved by the bell" in it's acting style and production values.] or "law & order: svu" [which i usually find too grisly and usually have better alternatives to watch while i'm at home.].

all in all i end up watching things while i travel, but it definitely is an odd mix of things compared to the things i usually sit down and watch at home.

print versus screen: confessions of a shopaholic


so i recently watched confessions of a shopaholic, and well, it wasn't good. having read the books [at least the first three in the series] i knew that i couldn't expect too much of the story or the characters, but i love isla fisher, so i decided to give it a chance anyway.


i often wonder at how popular this series is. i mean, the books themselves are not badly written, but rebecca bloomwood has to be one of the most singularly idiotic characters ever written. from book one she has a hard time managing money, goes to crazy lengths to hide the extent of her shopping addiction and inevitably ends up hurting the people she is closest to and then making it up to them. [even bridget jones exhibited some growth in edge of reason.] and then becky does the same thing over again in shopaholic takes manhattan and in shopaholic ties the knot.


the thing is, if it were a novel about drug or alcohol addiction where the character struggles with relapses and destroys their life without everything coming up rosy in the end it would be one thing. but her addiction is played for laughs. it's serious and yet not so serious. becky never learns anything from her mistakes because there is always another credit card or another person with money willing to bail her out.


granted, i'm not sure what happens once she has a baby and finds her long-lost sister, but i can't imagine anything changes.


anyway, even though isla fisher is really charming, and hugh dancy is super-cute, the problems with the story are still there. becky is a liar and she's inconsiderate of others, she does a lot of unforgiveable things in both the books and the movie. and if i did like her better in the movie it was only because i happen to love isla fisher.

interestingly, the movie changed the setting to new york city from london, which does actually happen in the second novel. but becky was also made american instead of british. this is really only interesting because isla fisher herself is british, so i find it amusing that they had her lose her accent for this. particularly because even though it takes place in new york it really could have taken place in any big city. so why not london? there must be something with american movie audiences not going to films with british leads speaking in their british accents, because that's really the only reason that would make sense and would mean anything. since as we learn in the movie, everything is about money.

so i didn't love the movie, but i liked it better than the books. so i guess that says something.

♥♥ out of ♥♥♥♥♥♥