Tag Archives: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

10 Random Questions with Melissa Leaman

If you don’t know my friend Melissa Leaman, you should. Melissa is a great author with passionate opinions, impeccable taste in television  and so much more. Mel is always happy to discuss The Vampire DiariesOne Tree Hill, Teen Wolf, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with me and I always love to hear her thoughts.  We also share detest for shipper wars, political atrocities and chips with calories. Be sure to follow Melissa on Twitter, on her personal blog and on her tumblr. Right after you read her brilliant, (more than) 10 random answers.

Favorite Color:

Blue. Yankee blue to be exact.

Do you read fanfic?:

Obsessively. And I kind of wish more people did. There’s a lot of really awful fanfic out there and that’s usually what gets referenced in media as a joke. Plus for every one good story there’s ten “what the hell is this and why can’t you spell anything and holy wow that is not how shotgunning works” terrible stories. But the good ones are impressive. A lot of aspiring writers seem to be working out their style through fanfic these days and if you’re willing to ask people for recommendations, you can find 50,000 word epics that are better than a lot of books & don’t require an indepth understanding of a show.

And of course, if you just want some good porn, that’s there too. Just not 50 Shades.

Person you’d most like to have dinner with tonight

Joss Whedon.

Last episode of television that made you cry

It feels like it’s been way too long since I’ve cried at a newly aired episode of TV. But probably something from Grey’s Anatomy.

The drink you order when someone else is buying

Assuming it’s not a cheap happy hour…some variation on a martini. Huckleberry ones preferably but that tends to be a Northwest thing.

Song you will never get enough of

“Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who. “Livin’ in the Future” by Bruce Springsteen. “Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash. “Train in Vain” by The Clash.

The name of your secret spy identity

If I told you, I’d have to kill you.

Tumblr. Yes or no?

YES. A thousand times yes. The more I’ve gotten into tumblr, the more my own blog falls by the wayside. It’s just so accessible and easy to use and definitely easier to engage followers than standard blogs. I’m just sorry for any non-Teen Wolf fans lately. I’m a wee bit obsessed.

Last movie you saw in the theater and did you like it?

Technically Argo–which was a thoroughly amazing movie, but it was a repeat viewing. The last new to me movie was Amour. I enjoyed it even more than I expected.

Favorite musical instrument

Drums. Specifically guys who play the drums. That still counts right?

If you were forced to be on a reality show, which would it be?

I’d create a new one. “Survival of the Fittest”. Family and friends nominate the most moronic people they know who then fight to the death Hunger Games style. Then I’d cheat my way on and machete my way to victory.

The movie you can recite the most lines from

Oh gosh. Probably Mean Girls, Newsies, and Empire Strikes Back.

Ferris wheel, Roller Coaster or Arcade?

Roller coaster. Always. Just not the ones with giant hills. I’ll take pitch-dark, spins, & twists any day.

Holiday you’d most like to abolish

Columbus Day. It’s such a bullshit holiday and celebrates genocide and prejudice. Nice one USA.

You’re a groupie. Who’s the band?

McFly

Your favorite food to make for yourself

Mashed potatoes. Ultimate comfort food and I make damn good mashed potatoes.

Best book you’ve ever read

This is a stupid unfair question. But I probably reread “Dealing with Dragons” by Patricia Wrede, “The Emily Trilogy” by LM Montgomery, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, and “Rainbow Six” by Tom Clancy the most.

Favorite smell

The Pacific Northwest coastline. A stormy night on an Oregon beach is full of good, bad, and haunting smells. Also old books.

Waffles, Pancakes or French Toast?

In the morning, I’m making waffles.

Best GIF you’ve ever seen

Travel and/or flight ritual?

Unless making sure I have books to read is a ritual, not really any. But I do try to bring coloring books, crayons, and a couple toys with me. I color anyway because it’s fun but it’s been a life saver if small kids are on a plane when I travel. Parents get treated like shit by other passengers and being able to help them out a little makes everyone happier. And it’s gotten me free booze from the flight attendants later.

Your favorite thing to do alone

Well there is one thing…

hahaha! Appropriate answer would be read or sing and dance around the house to cheesy pop songs.

First concert

Newsboys. The first one I paid for was I think OzzFest in 2001. That and the co-headlining Green Day/Blink 182 are the ones that stand out.

Cake or Bacon?

Maple bacon cake.

Pajamas in public. Yes or no?

That’s why drive-thrus were invented.

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‘The Vampire Diaries’ – The Originals: Review

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This isn’t my usual recap/review but I wanted to share a few thoughts on “The Originals” since it’s not just another episode, but a Pilot for a possible new show. I have said several times that I feel that the only show that would be successful after TVD on Thursdays would be another TVD. Because when we are all finished watching The Vampire Diaries at 8:00, all we want to do is talk about The Vampire Diaries and watch more of it. A spinoff about the oldest vampire family seemed like the very best option. I guess we’ll see. In the mean time, I have some things I want to talk about:

  • Marcel is hot. Like, REALLY hot. I am all in favor of Marcel. Is it too early to buy an “I love Marcel” t-shirt?
  • I still get chills every time Elijah shows his magnificent face on screen. Good chills. And maybe frightened chills as well. No one heart rips like our beautiful Elijah. People in the TVD world need to show him some more damned respect. And home boy rocks a three-piece-suit like no one else. Lord have mercy.
  • Joseph Morgan continues to delight me. Klaus has been such a great edition to TVD and if The Originals is picked up, he will be sorely missed in Mystic Falls. If anyone has earned their own show though, it’s this guy.
  • I may get burned at the stake for this, but I am NOT a Haley fan. I have nothing against Phoebe Tonkin, she’s fine, I suppose, I just do not care much, one way or the other. AND:
  • The way that they have pulled Haley into The Originals is pretty much the stupidest thing to have ever occurred on TVD and this is a show where precious stones are “hidden” in soap dishes. This pregnancy IS soap. I can’t even really discuss it without rolling my eyes. I have nothing against babies but I do not believe that they belong on my vampire shows. There were rumors about possible puppies on TVD ages ago and I threatened to stop watching if they became true. I’m not sure I can follow through with that, in this case, but I want to. Just. Wow. I don’t even know.
  • What’s up with all of these rules? Are we going to get a copy of them? I feel that without knowing, I could possibly break one or 10 of them and endanger my own life, completely by accident.
  • I like Camille. A lot. We will get more of her, yes?
  • What are the chances we could just trade Elena for Katherine, full time? Katherine is the best of the best and I want her always.
  • The downiest of the downsides of this episode going to show is the possible loss of the Klaus/Caroline stuff. Love me some Klaroline. That message he left her? How could she deny him?

Without the THING THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED, I am not sure what the other options were for pulling the Original family out of Mystic Falls and into this new world, but certainly there WERE other options? I am just really unsure about it and that’s unfortunate because I actually loved every other thing about this episode/pilot. The new characters are wonderful and we always need more time with the original vamps. Before watching this episode,  I was having day dreams of all kinds of cross-over episodes in the vein of Buffy season 4/Angel season 1. That was some killer television. Can the TVD world pull it off? Or will the entire possibility reek like a dirty diaper?

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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.

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My Interview: Clarissa of TVOvermind.Com

My favorite writer this week is Clarissa (@clarissa373 on Twitter), managing editor for TVovermind.com and BIG Supernatural fan. Clarissa has written extensive and detailed articles about what should and/or might come next for all of our favorite Supernatural characters when season 8 begins in the fall (find those articles here) and she continues to work hard on a multitude of other projects. Despite her busy schedule, she was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions for me about Supernatural and TV in general.

We’re all highly anticipating an 8th season of Supernatural. You’ve written your wish lists for all the main characters but what is the ONE THING you are most looking forward to seeing in S8?

The ONE THING I’m most looking forward to seeing is the Purgatory storyline, and everything that it entails. See what I did there? I made it more than ONE thing. The good thing about Supernatural is that it can occasionally revisit storylines without necessarily feeling repetitive. The Purgatory storyline give Dean an opportunity to revisit his Hell storyline which, in turn, gives him an opportunity to: (a) survive a terrible ordeal and, hopefully, find his purpose for fighting once again, and (b) gives Sam an opportunity to save his brother this time around, thereby repairing any remaining fractures in their relationship. The Purgatory storyline is an opportunity for both of the main characters to grow, even if it’s separately for a little while.

You have mentioned that you don’t think that Bobby should come back from the dead another time. Maybe I am seeing things but it looked a bit like his flask hadn’t totally burned. IF Bobby were to return, what would you like to see happen with him?

I really wish they had never killed Bobby in the first place, if only because they brought him back for what amounted to little discernible reason. I accept the fact that death is not necessarily a permanent state in Supernatural, but why kill him twice only to bring him back a third time in season 8 (assuming that happens)? It seems like emotional manipulation for the fans. That being said, if Bobby does come back, I want him to come back alive. If that means that God steps in and resurrects him – or the angels, like they did with Adam – then I’ll happily accept that as a permanent state. He gets reanimated and goes back to fighting with the boys. No more ghostliness, no popping up in Purgatory or Heaven, just straight-up living/breathing Bobby. And maybe he gets a night with Sheriff Mills, because God knows that man needs to get some after his recently hellish ordeal.

We both agree that Dean’s trip to Purgatory could be a great way for him to kind of snap back into his former, hot shit, less apathetic, hunter self. There are lots of monsters for him to fight. If ONE monster fight were to affect him more than any other, what monster would you choose?

I would like to see him fight a “monster” from his past … ideally, Azazel. But I have all sorts of rules in my head about what should/should not be in Purgatory, and I don’t think demons would be there. But keeping in line with monsters from Dean’s past, I would pick Gordon Walker. Some fans argue that the show hasn’t always had continuous characterizations of its main characters, but I’ve always felt that secondary characters have had great continuity. Gordon was one of those characters who was consistently a nuisance and/or evil from day 1. The villains in Supernatural usually fall into a few categories: you have the big bads of the season(s) who stick around for a while, you have the monsters- of-the-week who can often be compelling, you have people like Meg and Crowley who have been long-lasting, but are occasionally allies, so sometimes it’s hard to see them as true villains, and then you have people like Gordon, who was always a villain and stuck around for a while, even if he was pretending to be a good guy. Like we’ve both mentioned, Dean’s trip to Purgatory could be a kick-in-the-pants for him, and what better way to get back to his fighting spirit then facing a (literal) monster from his past? And, more particularly, a monster from his past when he *was* an ass-kicking hunter.

Supernatural has had an AMAZING Technicolor dream coat of guest stars. If you could have one of the recurring characters back for an episode, who would it be and in what capacity?

I want John Winchester to return. I think that, out of all the characters who have died on this show, he is one character that still has an unfinished story. We learned most of what we know about John through his sons and I’d like the boys to have an opportunity to see their father one last time. More importantly, I’d like John to have the opportunity to see the men that his boys have become. A lot of people give John grief for the type of father he was, but I think he did the best that he could under the most terrible of circumstances. The fact that, in the end, he was willing to endure an eternity of Hell to save his eldest son’s life tells me what kind of a father he was. I appreciate Bobby’s place as a surrogate father in the Winchester boys’ lives, but before the show ends, I’d like to see John just one more time.

The 2011-12 Television season provided a large number of amazing shows. Other than Supernatural, was there one you loved more than all of the others?

I love so many shows, including dramas like The Good Wife, which I feel consistently delivers each and every episode. And The Vampire Diaries have been firing on all cylinders this season. But if I had to pick two shows that I loved more than all of the others, I would have to say Revenge and Once Upon a Time, and I love them both for very different reasons. For me, Revenge was a return to the true primetime soap opera. Does it have ridiculous scenarios? Of course it does. But it realizes that and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I like that this soapy drama proved itself to be must-see-TV. With Once Upon a Time, I liked that it was so different from anything else on television. The show had some problems with pacing in its first season, but I liked the fact that it took chances and delivered the type of show that can be watched by both children and adults. Josh Dallas riding a horse didn’t exactly hurt the show either.

Is there currently a show in your watch list that you wish you could give up?

Gossip Girl. No one seems to like it anymore – least of all the cast themselves. But I started watching it on day 1, and I’ll be there at the end (just like I was with Passions….shut up).

Sounds like there are a lot of great pilots coming to us in the fall. Is there a pilot that you are more excited about, above all others? If so, what can you tell us about it?

I’m most excited by three pilots right now: Nashville, Arrow and The Following. Nashville feels like a grown-up version of Dallas, but without all of the soapiness. I didn’t think I would like it, because I don’t like country music, but I adored the pilot. Connie Britton, who I didn’t really know until now, is sublime as an aging country music star, and all of the other characters fit perfectly into the story. Sure, there’s going to be an element of soap opera, but it doesn’t feel cheap. Arrow is the complete opposite of Nashville….a true super hero story. I didn’t really watch Smallville, but it’s a different look and feel altogether. I love Stephen Amell in the title role (staring at his abs isn’t exactly a hardship, if you know what I mean) and the whole show is a combination of fun/complex fight scenes and a compelling- enough story. I think that with Arrow, The CW has the next Vampire Diaries on its hands….finally.

Finally, I don’t know how to describe the wonder that is The Following except to say that the pilot feels like a two hour movie in less than 60 minutes. And that’s not an insult at all. It doesn’t feel crammed or rushed, it just feels *big*. The performances are stellar, the production value is terrific, and the story will scare the hell out of you. If the American public doesn’t absolutely adore The Following I will throw my computer at my television and declare myself done with the entire television industry.

Summer TV is in full swing. Is there anything you are watching right now that you are totally in love with?

I always love watching Pretty Little Liars during the summer. The truth is, I actually prefer to take a break throughout most of the summer because I watch so much TV throughout the fall-winter season that I feel like I need a break. Between Comic-Con and watching new pilots, I keep myself busy. Although, I have to say that I’m liking Breaking Pointe a lot more than I thought I would. I find it fascinating to watch the sheer amount of work these dancers put in to become professionals. Also, while watching stuff like Cake Boss makes me feel hungry, watching Breaking Pointe is a huge deterrent for snacking at night.

Now it’s time for the hard questions!!

Favorite television character of all time:

Buffy Summers. This actually wasn’t that hard of a question (although the next one is nearly, nearly impossible). To me, there’s two ways of looking at Buffy: on the one hand, she’s a supernaturally- gifted fighter, on the other, she’s a human being. In fact, Buffy is probably one of the most human – and, therefore, flawed – character I’ve seen in a long time. If you take the series as a metaphor for life (which you very often could), then Buffy’s characterization reveals that she’s a person like the rest of us – strong, brave, needy, funny, loving, and occasionally stupid…in other words, she’s a normal person.

I don’t always agree with her choices (the whole Spike storyline comes to mind), but I respect the fact that Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar made her as human as they could.

Dean Winchester comes in a close second. Like Buffy, he’s a tragic hero figure who is so painfully human it makes him compelling to watch. I find that characters in genre shows – the kind of characters who are put in fantastical situations that you think could never be real – are the kinds of characters that are more human than the regular humans.

Favorite Television moment of all time:

It’s impossible to choose a single moment. I love the final moments of the LOST pilot, which is still one of my favorite pilots ever (followed very closely by The Following). When Charlie asks where they are, as the culmination to all of the crazy occurrences in the pilot, it feels like a big moment. Little did we know what it would lead to. That island would spawn some incredible (and, yes, silly) moments throughout its six year run, but I keep going back to those final moments of the pilot and thinking “we’re in for a wild ride”. I love two moments in Buffy: the scene where Buffy fights Angelus and then sends him to Hell, because it’s such a great fight scene followed by utter despair, and the moment in the finale where Buffy is getting beaten down and then finally stands up against The First Evil. The line Buffy delivers (“I want you… to get out of my face”) is so utterly *Buffy* that it always resonates with me. With Supernatural, there are so many incredible, emotional moments, but if I had to pick just one, I would say the final fight scene in “Swan Song”, when Sam/Lucifer is beating on Dean, and he’s just sitting there and taking it, brokenly telling Sam that he’s not going to lose him. Then there’s that beautiful (silent) montage of the brothers’ relationship, and it breaks my heart every time.

The show you wish would have never ended:

I wish Supernatural had never ended. Oh, we got another season? Wicked. Next question. But seriously, as much as there are many shows I wish had never ended (I think Angel ended before its time, even if I wasn’t crazy about every storyline), I think there’s a natural ending to most shows and most of the shows I’ve watched have ended at a time that felt right.

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

Please, PLEASE love The Following. Also, stop with the ‘shipper wars. Instead, concoct elaborate fantasies in your head whereby you are one-half of your favorite couple. Trust me; it will make you far happier than getting involved in ‘shipper wars.

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My Interview: Thomas Galvin

Just so you all know, Thomas Galvin (@thomascgalvin on Twitter) was the very first Vampire Diaries recapper that I followed RELIGIOUSLY!! When I got my sister hooked on the show she was stationed overseas and did not have regular internet access. I was so in love with his recaps that I would print them out and mail them to her through the US Navy Snail Mail. Just so she could enjoy all of the same wonders I was enjoying here in the states. Thomas also blogs on a number of other topics with the same great humor and he collects goodies from around the web so that I don’t have to. His blog (Thomas-Galvin.com) is one of my favorites so be sure to check it out. Thomas is now also a respected novelist! Please buy his awesome book, Sire here. Between writing amazing recaps and writing his sequel, he took time to answer some of my favorite questions!

Aw, thanks Erin. That may be the first time anyone has used the words “respected’ and “novelist” that close to my name before. Usually it’s more like “Novelist? What’s that? Like, do you sell ‘novelty’ items in that shady store with no windows in the seedy part of town?” And then they call security.

You have written a novel set in a brand new vampire world. Who is your favorite vampire of all time?

There are a lot of vampires that make me happy in my pants. Obviously Damon Salvatore is my current go-to for snark with a side of fangs, and Spike (from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was always good for a laugh back in the day.
But the iconic vampire, for me, is Angel, also from Buffy. Anne Rice had already introduced the “vampire with a soul” motif, or at least “vampire with a conscience,” but Angel was really the first character that did something about it. He didn’t sit around getting emo all over the carpets – at least not all of the time – he actually went out and tried to make the world a better place.
The “monster who fights monsters” is one of my very favorite characters, and the modern incarnation really started with Angel. Without him, we probably wouldn’t have Stefan Salvatore, and I probably wouldn’t have Michael McKenna.

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

This is going to be shocking and controversial, and I’m sorry for the flame war that I’m going to unleash on your blog, but The Vampire Diaries is the best show on television right now. No other show blends humor, horror and hormones as well as TVD, and the show’s breakneck pace it unmatched.

You recap a lot of genre shows. Have you ever thought about throwing your unique style on a show that is set in the “real world”?

Not really. I’m a huge genre whore, and I have a really hard time getting interested in the mundane. Also, genre shows are kind of absurd on their face – no one really believes a two-hundred year old vampire is going to enroll in high school, no matter how cute the cheerleaders are – and that lends itself to my kind of absurd humor.
Also, recapping two shows at a time nearly kills me ever week. I don’t have room in my life for any more. Also also, if taking on another show didn’t kill me, my wife would.

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

Summer is on its way, and an interesting thing happens to television … it starts to suck. More people are out playing in the Big Blue Room, which means fewer eyes on the shiny magic box, which means fewer advertiser dollars, which means a lot of reruns and also-rans get tossed at us.
All of my favorite shows – TVD, TSC, Grey’s, and  House – are either done for the season or just about to wrap up. And in their place … I’m honestly kind of not looking forward to recapping Teen Wolf and True Blood this year.
But here’s the thing. I don’t watch any show because I have to. I’m not paid to do this. When I watch a show, it’s because it’s awesome, or because it has the potential to be awesome.
True Blood has really gone off the rails the last couple of seasons. I could not care less about Lafayette’s devil ghost baby problem or Sam’s werehorse fetish. But there are enough brilliant moments to keep me coming back, like when Russel Edgington ripped a guy’s spine out on national TV, or Eric drank from a guy’s heart like it was a vampire Capri Sun. I don’t want to give up True Blood, I just want it to live up to its potential.
Teen Wolf has a lot of elements that could work really well together. Stiles is easily the best character on that show, and I wish he was the werewolf instead of Scott. Derek has a lot of potential as a brooding badass (and he has a really sweet car), Chris Argent is stone cold, and his daughter has this unusual buttoned-up sex symbol thing going on.
I just get the feeling that the show runners aren’t exactly sure about what story they want to tell. Last season basically flipped a coin at the beginning of each episode to decide if Derek was treated like a good guy or a bad guy, and Scott spent more time worrying about making first line than about the mythical hell beast intent on destroying everything that he loves.
But, like I said, there’s potential there. I really hope the show lives up to it this season.

Most of the decisions have been made as far as network cancelations, renewals and pickups go. Anything you would give a limb to get back? Anything you wish would die in the fires of hell?

I’m really bummed that The Secret Circle didn’t get picked up for a second season. That show was really uneven, and like Teen Wolf, I don’t think the show runners knew what story they were trying to tell.
The thing is, in the last five or six episodes, they figured it out. There were a couple of weeks where TSC was actually better than TVD, and the season/series finale set up some fantastic plots. I would gladly trade an entire season of topless Anna Paquin to see what happened to the Balcoin children.
And no, there really isn’t anything I want condemned to the infernal depths. Like I said, this isn’t my job, so I’m allowed to change the channel. I don’t begrudge people their favorite shows.
Except Fox News. Seriously, fuck those guys.

Of all the new shows that came up in 2011/2012, was there one that you were expecting to love but just couldn’t?

The Lady and I were looking forward to Smash, but it just never grabbed us. Scandal is good – aside from the OMG THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT AND AWESOME musical two-by-four they keep whacking the audience with – but it isn’t great.

Vampire Diaries Season 3 is over and out. Do you have a stand out character? A stand out story line?

Evil Stefan, bar none.
I kind of hated Stefan after Season Two. The only reason he existed was to agree to Elena’s stupid / suicidal plans and cock-block his brother. I hate goody-two-shoes characters, and Stefan was just insufferable.
And then he went on a six-state bender, leaving a trail of exsanguinated sorority sisters behind him, and everything was awesome again.
I’ve never seen Paul Wesley in anything else, and I had no idea what he was capable of. His turn as the Ripper made me realize that PW is actually fantastic, and Stefan’s cardboard personality is a choice. I really can’t say enough for what that storyline did for my opinion of the actor and the character he plays.
I really hope they do something similar with Bonnie next season. She’s been a lot better lately, and I’m all aquiver at the idea of her going to the dark side.

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?

Erin, I’m a thirty-something straight guy who writes about teenage vampires. “Embarrassed” left town a few years ago.

Favorite television character of all time:

Tough But Sensitive Snarky Ass Kicker Guy. That’s more of a Jungian archetype than a character, but he manifests in Greg House, Damon Salvatore, Dean Winchester …

Favorite Television moment of all time:

The entire arc where Angel lost his soul was fantastic, and there were so many great moments. Like in Innocence, where Angel told Buffy he “thought she was a pro,” and she falls into bed sobbing. Or in Passion, where Angel leaves Jenny Calendar’s corpse in Giles’ bed, with opera music playing. But the best moment was probably in Becoming – Part Two, when Angel gets his soul back but Buffy has to kill him anyway, and Buffy says “close your eyes,” and then she stabs him, and then Sarah McLachlan starts playing, and, and … yeah, that left me gutted.

The show you wished would have never ended:

All good things come to an end. Eventually, no matter how talented you or your writers are, you run out of stories to tell about a particular character in a particular universe.
I love House, but it feels done. Same with Buffy … the “season nine” comics were pretty solid evidence that everything that needs to be said about Buffy has been said already.
It would have been really nice to watch Firefly unfold, though. That show was mishandled from the start. It was something really special, but the network never gave people the chance to find that out.

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

Most TV watchers don’t need to hear anything from me, but there’s a very small, very vocal minority who need to be sat down, given a lollypop, and told that the world will not end if $ATTRACTIVE_MALE_CHARACTER doesn’t end up with $ATTRACTIVE_FEMALE_CHARACTER.

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Watch Out for Falling Ships

Tonight is TVD finale night and I know that there are a lot of troubled minds out there, whiling away the hours until we know for certain what to stress about all summer long. My only hope for this last hour of season 3 is that the true fans really enjoy it.

Trust me when I say that there is a difference between good TV and TV I want to fall asleep to, watching  over and over and over. Sometimes they are one and the same but that is a rare thing to find. Take Buffy for example. “The Body” and “Hush” are two of the finest hours television has to offer. But neither gives me happy warm feelings that I want to carry with me through my dreams. Bad TV is not TV that upsets me, it’s TV that fails to make me give a crap.

I love that TV invokes such passion in people. In me! In us! I also hate that it becomes something that perpetuates hate and disharmony among those that take it too seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I take my shows very seriously! I just think that it’s important to remember that watching television is a leisure activity. If you are so upset about a show that you are willing to use one of your precious life moments to type out a death threat or a suicide note over a character, coupling or story line, maybe you should stop, take a step back and reevaluate what it is you’re really missing in your life.

I cannot imagine how difficult it is to write a successful television show. The thought of even trying makes my brain hurt. It is a true art form that is sometimes so overlooked. When I see gifted writers and show runners getting hate for the simple fact that people disagree with their art, with their passion, I take personal offence. I reflects poorly on everyone who has taken the time to watch. It’s impossible to please everyone all of the time. It’s also time consuming and exhausting. If your television show has stopped pleasuring you there is something you can do! STOP WATCHING! I know. It sounds really hard. But trust me, SO worth it! Farewell Glee and Gossip Girl!! You left behind sweet memories and less animosity! Thank you!

So, no matter what happens , keep these things in mind as you watch tonight and as you watch any other show you claim to love. Great television is not about warm bunnies tucking you in to bed and there are no ships that will return your dignity once it sails away. Happy viewing!

(dibs on the show about bunnies tucking brats into bed)

 

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Retro Recaps: One Tree Hill – 1×01, 1×02, 1×03 & 1×04

Four weeks ago today we said goodbye to One Tree Hill for good and I wrote my final recap of the show. Or so I thought. Like many other OTH fans, I’m having a hard time letting go. So, starting today, I will be writing up the first eight seasons of One Tree Hill  from the beginning. I had such a great time recapping season 9 and have missed my OTH Wednesdays and my OTH Family so much that I’ve decided to go back and recap them all, 4 episodes at a time, every Wednesday for 44 weeks. I can’t seem to make myself stop watching it anyways so I may as well, right? I’m really looking forward to writing them and hope you guys enjoy reading them as well! XOXO

1×01 – “Pilot”

Overview: Half brothers Nathan and Lucas Scott find their separate worlds colliding when Lucas is invited to join the high school basketball team.

Random Observations:

  • Good LORD James looks so young. It’s rather shocking after watching season 9. Baby boy grew up very nicely.
  • Every time I see one of the players take off their over shirt thing, I think of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie and the coach that was always folding them on the sidelines. How awesome would it be to see Whitey folding shirts?
  • Peyton is gross. “Don’t bother showering tonight.” So she WANTS him to be stinky and sweaty when they bone later? No thanks (ok, maybe. It is James we’re talking about).
  • Junk is hilarious. I wish we would have had more of his commentary throughout the seasons.
  • So many iconic scenes in the Pilot. The bridge being the most iconic of them all I would say. I get chills every time I see it.
  • Karen has always been an HBIC.
  • Nathan’s nipple piercing. Who thought that would be a good idea? Hilarious.
  • Also, I am going to need to ask my guy friends if their girlfriends were allowed to shower with them in high school.
  • I love that Nathan has his own entrance song. It makes me laugh and roll my eyes at the same time. And it’s kinda hot.

Best Bit: I loved Lucas and Peyton’s convo on the side of the road. Knowing NOTHING about the show, I knew after seeing that, they’d end up together.

Ugh! Moment: Every time Dan Scott opens his mouth. What a douche bag.

Fave Quote: Lucas (quoting Shakespeare): “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune but omitted, and the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat and we must take the current when it serves or lose the ventures before us.”

Biggest Question: How exactly did Tim & Nathan escape punishment for the bus thing? Was it Dan? Principal Turner? Can anyone tell me????

On My iPod: “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Jet, “Lapdance” by N.E.R.D, “Rest In Pieces” by Saliva.

 

1×02 – “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most”

Overview: Lucas struggles to find his place with the Ravens and with Nathan’s girlfriend.

Random Observations:

  • Nathan’s headphones make me laugh. As does the way he wears them. Thank GOD for ear buds. Did we all look that ridiculous back then?
  • How awkward is it when Dan yells “Son!” and Lucas turns around? Makes me cringe.
  • Nathan and Peyton appear to be trying to eat each other’s faces off while making out.
  • Nearly everything that comes out of Whitey’s mouth makes me laugh: “I’d stand up, but every time I do somebody kicks me in the ass for putting you on the team.” “Jagielski, when you find the pumps to match your skirt, you might meet us in the gym.”
  • “THUD Magazine” sounds like porn. Every time I hear it my first thought is some kind of Penthouse spoof.
  • How cute is it that Haley had a pet bunny as a kid? Hee!
  • The first two episodes have included a Dawson’s Creek references. Way to pay homage.
  • “Your art matters.” Another Lucas & Peyton moment that makes me smile.
  • Hearing Gavin’s “Belief” puts me in such a different OTH headspace that I forget that it plays on this episode. GREAT song.

Best Bit: Lucas turning to reveal that he had taken his last name off of his jersey. Such a bold move and proof that actions speak louder than words.

Ugh! Moment: “I didn’t invite you to come in. I just asked if you wanted to.” Peyton is such a bitch! And a total tease!

Fave Quote: Haley: “She doesn’t want to go. She doesn’t want her high school sweetheart, slash your brother Dan, slash the jerk who abandoned Lucas, slash the father of Nathan, the team’s star player… Slash my wrists if I have to hear the story again. Let’s go!”

Biggest Question: I don’t think I ever realized that it was Whitey who told Dan to take the scholarship even though Karen was pregnant. Did Dan decide on his own not to ask her to come along?

On My iPod: “Belief” by Gavin DeGraw

1×03 – “Are You True?”

Overview: Nathan takes his hazing of Lucas to the next step by asking Haley to be his tutor.

Random Observations:

  • Even though Nathan is still a total dick at this point, I feel bad for him when he misses that basket. Fricken Dan, man. Blech.
  • Keith and the hissing. I DIE LAUGHING. Can’t believe I had forgotten about that.
  • Naked people in the back seat count now sits at 1.
  • Ok. How hilarious is Nathan’s pouting and whining? He looks and sounds like such a toddler. Arms crossed and everything. Someone call the waaamulance.
  • Haley is pretty much the cutest thing ever.
  • How did I never see Lucas throw his name sticker thing on the burning boat? It’s amazing what you notice on the 8th rewatch.
  • Still amazed that they were allowed to show that much nakedness on The WB. That is a LOT of skin not being covered by basketballs. Wowzers.
  • Nathan’s black socks with his black shoes make it look like he’s wearing dress socks with gym shoes. Drives me nuts. Don’t ask me why. And no, I will never get over it.
  • There it is!! THE moment! *squeeeeee!!!!* Our favorite couple has now locked eyes for the very first time.
  • Every exchange Nathan and Haley have between now and 1×08 makes me a bit giddy.  Just so you know. (Ok, fine, I’ll admit it, they ALWAYS make me giddy).
  • GAH! That cocky smile. KILL ME NOW.

Best Bit: I bet you’ll NEVER guess! “Don’t say I never gave you anything.”

Ugh! Moment: Dan. Again. His constant yammering to Nathan makes me want to kick him in the nads. When I’m done with that, I’ll kick all those booster women in the box. What a bunch of slunts!

Fave Quote: Haley: “The point is at the end of the day, all your bluster and BS don’t mean anything to math because math don’t care. And neither do I.”

Biggest Question: Why does Haley apologize to Lucas before she goes to see Nathan? For the lie she hasn’t told yet? For helping the enemy?

On My iPod: “How Good It Can Be” by The 88 and “You Dance” by Eastmountainsouth.

1×04 – “Crash Into You”

Overview: As part of his deal with Haley, Nathan invites Lucas to a party where he does exactly what Haley told him not to.

Random Observations:

  • HA! This is the game Nathan tells Haley about in 6×02! Finally I figured it out!
  • LOL at Haley’s hat. She’s too cute.
  • Haley is so smart. And so sweet. Trying so hard to get those Scott boys to walk in the other’s shoes.
  • Nathan sees Lucas outside with Peyton before he decides to put the Dan & Karen video in. Not sure I realized that before. Still, not nice.
  • Haley: “I am really fine.” Nathan: “You’re a little high on yourself aren’t you? Goin around telling people you’re all fine?” CORN BALL CITY!
  • I really loved Deb for reaching out to Karen that way. She “seemed” so stable and normal and sweet.
  • Nathan is the worst liar. If some guy gave my car to ANYONE I would beat his ass. And then he wants sex. Adorable (not really cute at all though).
  • I cannot help but laugh at Nathan & Peyton’s last fight. He legit seems floored that she would break up with him. He even includes a lovely, high pitched “WHAT?”
  • EEEP! Haley is caught in a lie! All for a good cause though, right?

Best Bit: Nathan’s moments of honesty with Haley. First, about the possibility of life being easier without basketball and then about needing basketball to get away from his dad . The first glimpses of his vulnerability.

Ugh! Moment: Also Nathan. The party game, the video, the car accident. Dick moves. Majorly.

Fave Quote: Peyton: “I guess I’m just a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a bitch.”

Biggest Question:  Does Nathan know that Peyton is the one who drew the comic because he’s the guy who left his hat on during sex?

On My iPod: “Empty Apartment” by Yellowcard

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