Monthly Archives: November 2012

My Interview: Writer, Dianne Sylvan

Dianne Sylvan is a well known author, blogger and tweeter. She has incredible insight on television, movies, and life in general. You will increase the value of your life by following her on twitter and by reading her blog. You can purchase all of her wonderful books on Amazon.com, including the novels in her “Shadow World” series. She was kind enough to take a time out from writing her next novel to answer some very important questions for me.

You write about vampires all of the time. Who is you very favorite vampire?

Aside from my own characters (I don’t think it would be fair to list any of them since I know them inside and out, so it would be like picking my friends first for dodge ball), I think I’d have to go with Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the beginning he was just a murderous badass, and a gleeful one at that; you so rarely get to see vampires genuinely enjoying what they are. Spike was a big inspiration for my own work because the vampires I write about don’t waste time feeling all mopey about being vampires; they’ve got stuff to do, people to shag, lives to save. So did Spike. A lot of people hated when he fell in love with Buffy, but Season Six was my favorite because it was so deliciously dark and twisted, and the Spike/Buffy relationship was the best part of that. I understood people feeling like they de-baddassified
the character, but I found his evolution toward sort-of-hero fascinating.

According to me, television is better than it has ever been. Of everything you’re watching right now,
what is your favorite?

That’s so hard to say because all of my shows are so different! I wouldn’t want to rate Castle against The Vampire Diaries or Grimm – it’s apples and oranges. But The Vampire Diaries is the show that gives me the most agony as well as the most ecstasy, so I think it comes out on top.

You recap The Vampire Diaries every week and share an amazing amount of insight. What about this
show inspires you to write?

I think two things made me start recapping: one, the shipper wars were driving me bananas and I wanted to offer an alternative (At this point I’m Team Wickery Bridge), and two, both the show and the fandom take themselves so seriously (not necessarily a bad thing) that I absolutely had to snark on it. As I’ve said on the blog, it’s important to be able to poke fun at the things you love, because if you can’t, you begin to lose touch with reality. Speaking as someone who lives in her own world most of the time, reality does still have its benefits – it’s where your real three-dimensional friends live.

Anything you watch that you wish you could just give up?

Right now, no, but I definitely have in the past. I have this theory that all TV shows should have a maximum five-year lifespan. So many shows go on and on way past the point where they run out of story, but if every show had a time limit, the writers could plan the story arc and character evolution, leave a little room for surprises, and really devote themselves to those five seasons. Typically seasons two and three are the best, four and five are great, and after that it starts spinning its wheels – I’ve given up on two shows in the last few years right around that time because I just got tired of feeling jerked around by the writers. I was intensely devoted to both Supernatural and Bones, but finally, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I dreaded new episodes because I spent so much time throwing things at the screen. So I dragged myself away, and though I’ve heard both shows have gotten way better, I haven’t been terribly interested in going back.

As always, there have been a LOT of new shows this season. Anything you are madly in love with?
Anything you were hoping to love but just didn’t?

I try really hard to keep the number of shows I watch to a minimum, so I haven’t watched a whole lot of what’s new this year. But during premiere week, I had a boring evening with nothing to do, and I watched the pilot of Arrow fully expecting it to be ridiculous. It was awesome. I’ve become hopelessly hooked. I can’t even say why; there have been some cringe-worthy moments and stumbles like any infant show, but I just love where they’re taking it and some of the storytelling decisions have been fantastic. Even if I wanted to look away I can’t because they brought in John Barrowman. Plus Stephen Amell spends a lot of time shirtless, and that’s never a bad thing.

Vampire Diaries Season 4 is well under way. What has been your favorite part of the season so far?

I think so far Damon’s character has been the best thing. He consistently gets the best dialogue, especially in the standout ep “Memorial,” which many people agree is the best so far this season. I love that he’s the one who asks the questions nobody else will ask, like whether Stefan wants to “cure” Elena for her sake or because he can’t love her as a vampire. I don’t especially want Damon and Elena to hook up because both brothers are way more interesting, smart, and enjoyable when they’re not with her. But the dynamic between the two brothers remains the best thing about the show. I love that their roles are so different from what was established in the first season – it’s not just a question of good brother/bad brother. It’s so much more complicated than that. Neither is wholly good or bad, and their dark sides bubble up to the surface over and over. I’m kind of hoping that we’ll get to see Damon go back off the rails…preferably for reasons unrelated to Elena. I think everyone’s done enough fretting and pining over Elena.

I hate using the term “guilty pleasure” because I never feel guilty about TV but, is there something
you’re embarrassed to admit you watch regularly?

I agree – unless you’re kicking puppies, your pleasures should never be guilty. Having said that, it’s surprising how many people my age give me the hairy eyeball when they find out not only do I watch a show about teenage vampires, I blog about it. I’m not into YA literature for the most part; my books are definitely for an adult audience. On the other hand I’m not into adult vampire shows like True Blood (I have a serious aversion to True Blood, in fact). But people who’ve never watched TVD think it’s just Twilight all over again, and if they had any idea how much more complex, mature, believable, and well-written it is, they might not make such a comparison. Not all adult women have to confine their viewing to medical and police procedurals.

Favorite television character of all time:

Willow Rosenberg from Buffy. Aside from the Buffster herself, Willow had the most dramatic and believable character evolution on the show, from awkward nerd to powerful witch to Darth Willow and eventually into her own woman. Two of my favorite episodes are the ones that feature Vampire Willow, an “evil, skanky, and kinda gay” version of Will from an alternate universe. As you might have guessed I’m a sucker for great character growth. All her doubts, insecurities, and strengths made her so real, and her goofy wit made her enduringly endearing.

Favorite Television moment of all time:

Oh, there are so many, but if I had to pick one right at this second I think that would have to be the moment in the season 4 premiere of Supernatural, Lazarus Rising, in which Dean, newly escaped from hell, first meets Castiel. That one moment completely changed the course of the show and turned its entire universe on its head – up until that point angels had never been mentioned, and bringing that mythology into the show was just a ballsy move on all fronts. A lot of people would disagree, preferring the monster-of-the-week format of the early seasons, but I love, love, love a good mytharc, and the possibilities that sprang up just in the wake of that one conversation made my little writer’s heart do a Snoopy dance. The phrase “game-changer” is way overused nowadays but that scene was definitely a game-changer.

The show you wished would have never ended:

I’m still pissed at the CW for cancelling The Secret Circle. Was it perfect? No. But it had so much potential – they really hit their stride midseason and that finale was amazing. Given some of the stuff they’ve kept on for years and years, it’s doubly galling that something smart and complicated with the potential to be even more awesome was thrown away…and has since been replaced with Beauty and the Beast, a wholly unnecessary remake that is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on television.

If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?

Calm down, guys. Seriously. Between the ridiculous shipper wars and people heaping abuse on showrunners on Twitter, online fandom is really showing its ass these days. Imaginary people are not worth hurting real people.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Interviews, Movies, Television

Movie Review: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II’

I have to be honest. Going into the theater this afternoon, with the same friend I saw Twilight with four years ago this month, left me feeling pretty nostalgic. I’ve read all of the books several times. Have memorized all of the music on the soundtracks. And with this final installment, the series that created the intense, world wide, vampire phenomenon, comes to an end. It’s important to remember that these movies won’t be winning any Academy Awards. Some of the dialogue is awful and often the acting even worse. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun.

***SPOILERS***

I’ve only seen this one once so far but I feel pretty good about calling it my favorite of the five. Though, it definitely had it’s issues.  I understand the need for a CGI baby. You can’t direct infants. But it was weird. And a little creepy. The little girl she grew into, though was darling and I loved the familial interactions. Watching Edward with her filled me with warm and fuzzy feelings and may have caused a bit of a squeal to escape.

I loved Bella as a vampire. It certainly cut down on the cringe worthy moments and the incredibly awkward dialogue. Not that it was completely gone. But less of that is always better. She was graceful and strong and her scenes with everyone were greatly improved. And her moments with Edward were fantastic. Swoonworthy even. The fangirl in me was swept away by all of the romance.

I was excited when I learned that they were going to change up the end a bit. After reading the books so many times, it was nice to look forward to a surprise. And what a surprise it was. They actually had me convinced that we wouldn’t get the happy ending we were all looking forward to. The loss of so many characters we’ve grown to love was heart breaking and a much bigger shock than I was prepared for. When they finally revealed the truth of it all, I felt sufficiently mind f**ked and it took me a few minutes to recover. Awesome.

My favorite part of the movie was the end (HA! not because it was over). Bella’s gift of showing Edward just how much she has always loved him was filled with flashbacks from their most beautiful scenes from the first four movies and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me a tad emotional. The way they set it up was really stunning.

A few other notes:

  • I’m sad that they skipped Bella’s first jump out the window and her throwing the high heeled shoes back at Alice. It wouldn’t have taken much time and it was a really cute moment from the book.
  • Bella’s arm wrestling match with Emmett was really fun and her fight with Jacob was really intense. Both were awesome to watch.
  • I want Bella & Edward’s house SO bad. I am mad that they didn’t make the bedroom look like the one on Isle Esme  (as it was written) but it was an incredible, gorgeous home.
  • Michael Sheen as Aro let out a laugh on the battlefield that was really strange. Scary, almost. Not really sure why that’s the take they decided to go with. It was weird.
  • Could not get enough of the happy, laughing, Edward. We’ve never seen him so full of smiles. It makes me giddy just thinking about it all again.

What did you guys think? Did you hate it? Love it? Are you happy with the way that it ended? Are you upset that it’s all over? Are you going to go see it again? You’re welcome to come with me. I can’t wait!

3 Comments

Filed under Movies, Reviews

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Recap: We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes

Leave a comment

November 16, 2012 · 12:01 pm

Sibling Rivalry Pt. 1: ‘Supernatural’ – Thoughts on Winchesters in Distress

My sister has been visiting this week. She’s never watched Supernatural and I have been determined to get her hooked on it while she is here. We have been skipping around a lot, watching episodes from all of the seasons. I keep wondering if she is waiting for a big romantic story line or if she will be satisfied with the entire premise being all about the love between two brothers. I would hope that she would be. Her and I have always been very close. We have always had our differences as well. Neither one of us is happier than on the road, traveling to a new place. Together.

The Winchester brothers have always had issues, too. Starting even before season one. This week’s episode did a great job of pulling almost everything the brothers have ever fought about into one place. And we are all sitting around holding the pieces. Some of us are trying to keep score while others are doing their best to keep from falling apart.

There is something that people who are only children and people who are not close to their siblings need to know: we will say anything, ANYTHING to hurt the ones we love most, when we ourselves are hurting. Not because it’s true. Only because WE CAN. We do it to each other all the time. When we are in pain, the only thing that feels better sometimes is inflicting that same pain on the person we love, that person who gets us more than anyone else does. It’s wrong and it’s unfair but it is the way it is.

Sam and Dean are masters at it. Especially this week. They are finding every excuse to bicker and be snarky toward one another. They make faces and snide remarks in place of actual conversation. Of course, this has been going on since the beginning of season 8. And, if we want to look further, in many ways it has been going on forever. Newsflash: Sam and Dean are fundamentally different.

We know for a fact that Dean has always seen family differently. For him it is tied into his own circulatory system. He remembers losing his mother. He remembers rushing Sam from the burning fire of his nursery. He lived every day of his life trying to protect and take care of Sam. This is all that he knows. He was also raised under the tutelage of the John Winchester school of everything that isn’t human is bad. In most cases, that is true. And even though the Dean we know sees only black and white, he has seen the gray on occasion (Lenore) and the Dean of now sees gray better than ever before. John Winchester was cruel to tell Dean that he may have to kill Sam at some point. No one should have to carry that burden. But, in “Croatoan,” we learn, not for the fist time,  that Dean would never live without his brother.

Family is a different feeling for Dean. It’s the only thing that he has always clung to. The only thing that has kept him going at times. It was incredibly hard for him to accept Cas into his family and once he did, he was terribly burned by that. But he found a way to forgive. He always does. Dean holds his family to a higher standard than he does anyone else. Nothing in the world is more important to him. And even while playing golf and buying beers for buddies in season 6, he asked for Cas and tried to get Sam back. He would have traded anything to have his brother walking the earth again. He would have traded his own life. We know that, because he did it once before.

Dean has every right to be angry about Ruby. Sam got high and chose a demon over his own brother. Nothing could have devastated Dean more. Never before is Dean’s sense of family more apparent than in “Dark Side of the Moon.” Dean has been to hell, he has seen some GOD AWFUL SHIT. And still, one of his worst memories is Sam leaving him to go to college. The first thing he wants to know after getting into heaven: Where is Sam? So why is it any surprise that Dean would be upset when he learns that Sam didn’t look for him after he was zapped into Purgatory? Why is it a surprise that Dean would find family there? Not just any guy, but a guy that helped him AND Cas. A guy that saved both of their lives. Dean has never taken family lightly. Why would he with Benny?

Sam has always been different, too. and I don’t just mean in the demon blood kind of way. Sam does not remember his mother. Sam only remembers a father that was difficult at best, a tyrant at worst. Sam only remembers wanting a normal life. The exact opposite of the life he was born into. He is allowed to want that. Who wouldn’t? Sam has been dealt every wrong card in the deck and he has done the best he could with every single one. Being told at the ripe old age of 23 that something is wrong with you, cannot set well with any soul. And yet, he always did his best. To fight not just with his brother, but for his brother.

Sam made a terrible mistake with Ruby. He knows that. And he more than covered his recompense. He sacrificed himself into the pits of hell in order to save the world. And mostly, to save Dean. We all know that Sam cannot be held accountable for what happened while he was sans soul. It hurt Dean while it was happening but the real Sam never meant to do harm. He only wanted to save people and to make the world a better place. His intentions were always good.He dealt with Lucifer hallucinations time and again because he would never leave his brother out there alone.

I can only imagine what Sam went through after Dean disappeared. He must have been destroyed. Disparaged. Reduced.  I am beginning to understand why he didn’t look for him. Life has always held a different meaning for Sam. Dean has always lead the way. And when he didn’t have Dean, he had Cas or Bobby. When all of those options are gone, where do you go? Sam fled. To distances unknown. He met a girl, he found a life, he tried to live outside of everything he was born into. Just as he had always hoped to do. I don’t think that it means that he doesn’t love his brother. I don’t think that it means that he was able to live easily without him. I think that he was lost. And broken. And devastated. He did what he has always done. He tried to build a life outside of his family. Outside of the life he was destined for.

Dean has always had a problem with keeping secrets. He knows that it’s bad and he he does it anyways. Sam will always try to rebel against Dean. It’s in is very makeup to do so. We must also remember that we’re not allowed to tell someone that they cannot FEEL the way that they feel, no matter how wrong we think their feelings are. If Dean FEELS betrayed by Sam, we have to deal with that. If Sam FEELS misunderstood by Dean, we need to deal with that, too.

These favorite brothers of ours must be able to communicate. To empathize. To understand each other. Sam cannot possibly understand the horror that was Purgatory. Dean cannot possibly understand what it must have been like to be left all alone. We have to understand that they never set out with the intention of hurting each other. But, if they do not meet eye to eye, there is little hope that they will be able to do what needs to be done. They are always stronger when they work together with understanding. Can we hope that they will find the common ground in time to save the world, yet again?

13 Comments

Filed under Reviews, Television

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Recap: The Killer

 

Happy TVD Thursday! So many things to worry about. We received some warnings about sadness and blood. So, basically just another Thursday, right? My sister is visiting from Colorado and I am excited to get to watch the episode with her. My husband is taking bets on whether or not Bonnie will bleed from the nose and demanding that we take a shot for every scene at a party. Are we getting wasted this week?

  • What is this professor guy up to? I don’t like him. Hopefully there’s a heart-snatch in his future.
  • Connor has a lot of balls to just walk around in public like that. There are a lot of dangerous “people” who would like to see his head on a stake.
  • Dear Diary. WOW. Both of them are writing again. It’s so cheesy but so lovely at the same time. I kind of love the season one feels it’s giving me.
  • It’s nice to hear Stefan say that he trusts Damon more than he trusts Klaus. We’ll see if he’s right to do so, I suppose.
  • Why don’t I remember Jeremy being compelled last week? Did I have too much wine?
  • “He shot me like 9 times.” Poor Tyler.
  • Hush Damon. I like Stefan’s bossy pants.
  • Is teacher dude the key to turning Bonnie to the dark side?
  • I kind of love Stefan and Klaus in cahoots and keeping secrets. It feels bad in such a good way.
  • Elena is a bad ass. I don’t think she’s that much like Damon but I don’t think she needs to be babied any longer.
  • I feel a little bad for Damon but he has a habit of going in half cocked. Wasn’t he the one who said that there was no bad plans? Just poorly executed awesome ones? His plan was not going to be executed well.
  • Didn’t Tyler offer up the hybrids and now he is telling them to stand back?
  • Also, Tyler is going to be in SO MUCH TROUBLE. He should not have kept secrets about Haley from Caroline. No one should ever do anything to hurt Caroline. THOSE ARE THE RULES.
  • Stefan is wearing bossy pants AND smarty pants!! He knows just how to push Connor’s buttons.
  • HOLY CRAP!! Glass in the face and then his chest blown all the way through? That sucked. Poor guy I don’t really know.
  • A little jealous of Connor’s tattoo. I wish mine grew automatically.
  • “I DON’T MAKE DEALS WITH VAMPIRES!!!” He is really upset. That is clearly his upset voice.
  • Stefan has been eating his Wheaties. Or super bunnies? Bears?
  • Fraking crap Damon!! Stop being an idiot!! Stop hurting your brother and trust him. MY GOD. Stefan never does anything to purposely hurt Damon. He has risked his life to save him so many times. A little trust goes a long way.
  • Damn it Elena. Damn it. And Damn it Stefan. You should have told her the truth. This is not good. At all.
  • Is there ever going to be a point where April is compelled so much she’ll turn stupid? The boys were sweet to give her the bracelet.
  • OMG!! Has Jer inherited the tattoos? Is he the key now???
  • Poor Elena. She is really not cool with having killed someone. Even an evil hunter. And both of the boys look like they wish they could just take that pain away from her. It’s heart breaking.
  • I absolutely LOVE that after everything that happened between the brothers, they are willing to have a real discussion about the way things are. I am glad that Damon has agreed to help him look for the cure and even happier that he is doing it for Stefan. I think that there will be a lot of talk about each of the brother’s motivations. Damon says that he loves Elena either way. That doesn’t mean that Stefan doesn’t. He just knows that what she would want is to be human again, and he is willing to give her up in order to give her that gift. The brothers both have love for each other and for her. They just show it in different ways. I hope that everyone can accept that after tonight.
  • Also, Stefan in a wife beater. Thank you.
  • That bloody bathroom is REALLY gross and nightmare or not, I would have flipped out WAY more. Go Elena.

KATHERINE??? I really hope that is not a hallucination. So ready to have that girl back. I am loving the hunter mythology and all that it entails. Cannot wait to see what Connor has left behind for both of the Gilberts. And I am looking forward to the brothers working closely together to help each other and the woman they love. What did you guys think?

2 Comments

Filed under Recaps, Television

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Recap: The Five

My most sincere apologies for missing last week’s recap. “The Rager” was all that and a bag of my favorite chips.  But, Halloween starts early in Salem. Starts early and rocks HARD. That’s just how the witches roll. Ask Bonnie. Or don’t, she was not invited. Oops.

This week, we get to go on a little trip, take a little walk down memory lane and maybe see some blood? Here’s hoping. Let’s DO THIS.

  • That was my back yard yesterday. How did they get it on film so fast?? And what are they doing with my sword??
  • Damon. The next star of “Pawn Kings.”
  • Stefan. No one looks cool when they do air quotes. Even you, buddy.
  • They are so cute, threatening each other with weapons. Very sexy. Maybe the husband and I should try arrows…
  • Matty is adorable. And tragic. Becks is just tragic. And blonde. Klaus is divine. As always. And smart. Boy has knowledge.
  • I kind of like it when Bonnie tells Damon that he’s gross and Damon accepts it as a compliment. It just works for them. It’s awesome.
  • Ugh. Eye sex. Barf.
  • Klaus and Stefan are kind of a team!! YAY!!! I will take “kind of” all day long!!!
  • HAIR PORN. LOTS OF HAIR. AND ELIHAH!!! I know that the costume department works really hard on their period garb, but let’s be honest. Klaus and Elijah could prounce around in burlap sacks wearing squirrels on their heads and we still swoon. Am I right?
  • Klefen. The fanfic is writing itself. Hot.
  • Was Stefan in the Mafia at some point? He’s like, wicked awesome at playing all of the sides in order to get what he wants. Like, wicked good. Boy got SKILLS.
  • “Elena is educating me int the importance of feelings.” Sometimes, Damon. Sometimes.
  • I actually just snorted (TASH!) while laughing at Klaus and Rebekah fighting over the dinner table. They sound like bickering siblings but they say things like, “You broke my neck,” and “You threw away Elena’s blood!” As if they were fighting over busted toys. All the while, Stefan just sits there, amused at it all. It really is the most comical thing. “Let me just name the million other people I’d rather be having dinner with, right now.” I honestly cannot catch my breath from laughing.
  • Does Alexander remind anyone else of The Groosalugg from Angel?? Anyone?? I guess you had to be there.
  • Holy crap!!! JER. Stefan, you have not been eating the most hippity hoppity. Must be faster. Damn it.
  • Who drinks Bloody Marys at night? Even at a party? Ugh. College kids.
  • Damon thinks that he is helping her. He is creating a monster. I know it.
  • Klaus is kind of scary when he yells. Should I go stand in a corner or something?
  • Evil genius. It’s like a thing that should be in a museum or something. Except, this genius would eat all of the patrons. Or, convince Stefan to do it for him. Tricky, tricky.
  • What is Damon even wearing? Did he rip off John Travolta??
  • Jeremy is still a good artist. Love that shout out to the baby cakes we met 3 years ago.
  • Also, that Connor is a son of a bitch. Pretty sure Klaus wants him killing more vamps (that are not him) until the map is complete, yes?
  • I effing HATE to admit when Damon is right. But FRAK ME RUNNING. He is right. About Elena. About himself. About Stefan. But he is wrong, too. She was having fun. But she was high, not her real self at all. It always feels like the real you in the moment. But eventually you have to wake up and take 3 Advil while chugging a Gatorade.
  • Excuse me, there are unicorns in my tears, I can’t even see past Stefan telling Rebekah that he would give up his eternity with her, just so she would never feel the pain of killing someone. And all of the unicorns splashing around in my tears is making it hard to hear how jealous Rebekah is of the love that Stefan & Elena share.
  • And it is their love that changes Rebekah’s mind. She gives up her secret. Because she knows, just like we all do, that Stefan would actually give ANYTHING to live his life with Elena. He just wants to grow old and die with her. Just as she always wanted as well.
  • I am glad that Stefan at least has the decency to have tears in his eyes as Klaus stakes his sister. Again. That poor girl. I don’t think I have ever felt this sorry for her. Even after everything. Sad.
  • “It’s just you and me in this, Stefan.” QUE FANDOM. I am waiting.
  • She feels like Damon’s Elena. But she wants to be Stefan’s. It’s fucking heart breaking.
  • Also, Connor is free. EEEEK!!!  Not great.
  • OR IS IT???

That episode was full of awesome. I do not even know where to start. I have a lot of feelings. And they are all fighting with each other. Can you put feelings in playpens? Or are chains & closets the way to go? I don’t even know anymore. Can you guys help me? What did you think?

7 Comments

Filed under Recaps, Television