Tag Archives: White Collar

My Interview: The Televixen, Melissa Girimonte

My favorite writer this week is Melissa Girimonte, Founder & Editor-in-Chief for TheTelevixen.com. Melissa is a big fan of my favorite vampire shows (True Blood and The Vampire Diaries) and one of the smartest writers on the web. She also does some amazing podcasting and theorizing. Be sure to follow Melissa on Twitter (@thetelevixen) for all the latest her brilliant mind has to offer.

Brilliant mind? You are way too kind …

You love television so much you were driven to create one of my favorite blogs on the subject. Of everything you’re watching right now, what is your favorite?

I’d have to say Fringe holds a very special place in my heart at the moment. The fourth season recently wrapped and I was sooooo happy to hear that it is getting a proper sendoff with a fifth season. I am so invested in each and every one of the characters and their journeys. I’m usually not one to “ship” a couple, but I absolutely adore Peter Bishop and Olivia Dunham together. Whenever something great happens for them (which is rare on Fringe), I can’t help but cheer and clap as if they were close friends. And Walter Bishop – how could you not want to just reach through the screen, smooth his hair and tell him everything is going to be alright?

Anything you are wishing you could give up?

I know I’m going to catch some serious heat for this one, but throughout the third and fourth seasons, I really wanted to say goodbye to True Blood. With a universe that rich with potential characters and storylines, they just seem to spend too much time on things I don’t give a rat’s a$$ about! Every summer, I say I’m not going to watch, and like clockwork, I get sucked back in by clever marketing and the hope that it will recapture the magic of its first two seasons.

With season finales upon us, which show had/will have the greatest cliff hanger? The saddest goodbye?

I’m expecting Revenge to end its season on a juicy note, and I’m nervous to see who’s going to meet their end on Game of Thrones. The saddest goodbye would have to go to Alaric Saltzman on Vampire Diaries. I may have cried and yelled at my television over that one. But there were also some sweet endings that left me smiling, like on Castle and How I Met Your Mother.

There have been a lot of great new shows this past season. Do you have a favorite?

Revenge is definitely up there. I never expected to get caught up in that web of lies quite so easily. The LA Complex was also a great little surprise. It’s been a long time since there was some really good, soapy fun on my TV, and this one totally fits my smut quota!

Is there one that you were expecting to love but just don’t?

Touch. It totally breaks my heart that it wasn’t what I hoped it would be, given my love of Kiefer Sutherland. They’ve played it way too safe to keep more people watching and that’s been its downfall in my opinion. Plus, I prefer Sutherland as the good guy with questionable methods!

What are your feelings on The Vampire Diaries Season 3? Do you have a stand out character and/or story line you just can’t get enough of?

Klaus was completely awesome all season and I really loved the little dance between him and Caroline. Some of those scenes had me reaching for the smelling salts because of major swooning! Elijah continues to rock as well, even sans side part. He just owns the screen whenever he’s on it!

What summer show are you most looking forward to?

Breaking Bad is at the top of my list. After last year’s jaw-dropping (pun intended) finale, I can’t wait to see where they go next. I’m also really excited for White Collar and Awkward. Oh, and there’s a new Canadian sci-fi series, Continuum, that starts at the end of May. It looks really promising!

Favorite television character of all time:

It’s a tie between Gwen Cooper on Torchwood and Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. A lot of people call Gwen a “Mary Sue”, but I have to disagree. She’s a strong, smart, gorgeous, butt kicking lady who faces unknown terrors head on, rocket launcher in hand, ready to help save Earth! And Lorelai Gilmore because I wish I could be as witty with words as she was.

Favorite television moment of all time:

I have a few. The phone conversation between Penny and Desmond in the Lost episode “The Constant”. I could watch that over and over again. Monica proposing to Chandler on Friends, her, down on one knee in the candlelit apartment when he thinks he’s missed his chance. The scene in the Angel episode “I Will Remember You” where Angel tells Buffy – after a moment of bliss and being a real couple – that he’s asked the PTBs to make him a vampire again because he can’t protect her. That exchange ruins me every single time! And finally, Jack and Ianto’s final scene together in Torchwood: Children of Earth. There isn’t a box of tissues large enough to sop up those tears!

I think I just realized something about myself. For someone who claims to not be invested in TV couples, I sure have an interesting choice of favourite TV moments!

The show you wished would have never ended:

I think that most shows that I’ve truly loved ended at the right time – Six Feet Under, Friends, Scrubs, just to name a few – but there are a few that I wish had at least another season, like Veronica Mars, Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terriers. I think they still had some great stories to tell and their lives were cut way too short.

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

I know it’s easy to stick with TV shows that are “safe”, like most procedurals out there, but once in a while, you should jump head first into a series with an intricate storyline. It saddens me every TV season that some really great shows don’t get a fair shake because people don’t want to become invested. TV watchers should be willing to take more risks. This is a great time to be a TV fan!

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My Interview: Vampire-Diaries.net

There is a well known truth within the fandom of The Vampire Diaries. If you want to know something about TVD there is only one place to go: Vampire-Diaries.net. They cover the latest and greatest from the books, the AMAZING show and the very talented cast. And the site runners are a very talented cast all in their own rights. Last year the extraordinary Red (@redcognito) and Vee (@dieslaughing) were joined by Abby (@AbbyGraham) and Kate (@katelinnea) and together the four of them rock it out on every level of class, creativity and care on a daily basis. Things on TVD are still in high season 3 gear but the V-D.net Crew  were sweet enough to take time away from their busy posting lives to chat with me about TVD and TV in general. Be sure to follow them on twitter (@tvdnews)  for all of the best TVD goodies.

As I mentioned, TVD season 3 is still racing ahead at full speed. Do you have a favorite moment of the season so far?

Vee: There have been so many moments so far his season. SO MANY. The phone call between Stefan and Elena in The Birthday, Stefan finding Elena in the closet in The End of the Affair, Damon and Stefan’s bar adventure in Ordinary People, etc. But if I had to go with the moment that took me completely off-guard and turned my TVD-loving world upside down? It would be Klaus telling Caroline what it could mean to live at the end of Our Town. I lost my ever-loving mind in those few minutes. I haven’t been that emotionally manipulated since Extreme Makeover: Home Edition went off the air.
Red: Anna and Pearl reuniting at the end of Ghost World. Call me a sentimental fool, but it was so satisfying to see someone get closure on this show. Anna was a fantastic character, driven by the single goal to free her mother for over a century, only to lose her again. It was a fitting send-off for her. They got their happy ending, and those are a rare commodity on this show.
Kate: It would have to be the speech Klaus gave Caroline about the reasons why she should live. It was really nice to finally see a vampire on this show interested in the world outside of Mystic Falls – and smart of Klaus to realize that beauty and art and travel would be the way to reach Caroline.
Abby: Elijah’s return. He didn’t just get out of the coffin,  he came in like a boss with a handful of hybrid heart. Melt down those daggers, please! Elijah needs to stay forever.

How about characters? Is there one that is standing out for you, more than others?

V: You know, Paul Wesley has really been owning this season, but I have to give huge props to Joseph Morgan for adding depth to Klaus without compromising the fear factor. I wouldn’t get too attached to seeing this new side of Klaus because I firmly believe we’ll see the master manipulator back at work very, very soon. And cheers to Mr. Morgan for making me readily eat all facets of Klaus with a spoon.
R: Caroline. She’s having to deal with the fact she’s a vampire and has forever on her hands, and yet also has to deal with the very human reality of being a teenager growing up in a very confusing world. She somehow manages to be adorably vulnerable dealing with everything that gets thrown at her, while also being so brave and strong, facing each challenge as it comes with style and aplomb. She’s come a long way since season one, and has the potential to go so much further.
K: Klaus Klaus Klaus. As they’ve made him more complex this season, he has become one of my favorites. I hope we can keep him around for a long time.
A: I’m calling a tie between Klaus and Stefan, because a lot of what stands out to me for season 3, they’ve done together or in spite of each other.  There’s no more “good guy/bad guy” stuff on TVD this season, everyone is both and all the shades are gray. I love it. I’ve had a blast watching Stefan go to town as a no-holds-barred badass, and I love seeing echoes of humanity that are surfacing in Klaus. Joseph Morgan and Paul Wesley have really shone.

There is a lot happening on this season of TVD. Is there a story line you are wanting to see more of? One that you are sick to death of?
V: I recently offended a lot of people with my Matt Donovan rant on Twitter but I maintain that Matt Donovan should be in the center of the supernatural happenings. The “but he’s our resident human!” excuse does not fly with me anymore. I’m sick of him “choosing” to be on the fringes; it’s time for him to be in the center of it all. Look, Matt Donovan: You live in Mystic Falls and you know better than most that you live in Crazy Town. So you either leave (if you want nothing to do with it) or you nut up and get in the fray. Yes, you’re human and therefore vulnerable, but your life is never going to be normal. You killed yourself to talk to your sister, for crying outloud. Get in there, dude. We’re three seasons in and you’re killing me with the “just a high school kid” routine. Before it was kind of charming but now it’s just pathetic and lame, and Matt SHOULD NOT BE LAME.
R: I… uh. Vee stole my feelings about Matt! That boy is just all the more awesome for the fact he’s completely human in all of this, and his kickassitude needs to be more recognised. Also, for the love of all that is holy, STOP DAGGERING ELIJAH! The guy is turning into a pincushion, and someone that cool should not have so many sharp suits ruined by pointy objects.
K: I always want to see more of what long-unconscious vampires go through to adapt when they’re suddenly confronted with the modern world, so with all the Originals back, I’m sad that the show didn’t explore this more. And the ghost storyline is one that I could just never really get into.
A: I’m ready to be done with the “parent” storylines. It’s Mystic Falls. Everybody has absent parents who make terrible choices, and those parents inevitably make things worse whenever they appear. Whether or not they eventually come around –like Carol Lockwood and Liz Forbes- they’re still terrible parents because the kids are constantly in mortal danger, turning into monsters and never going to class. That said, on a show like this the parents are pretty much obligated to be terrible. Otherwise the sacrifice rituals have to be over by curfew or next week’s show is everyone sitting in their rooms because they’re grounded, during which time all the vampires (who also had terrible parents) will be out murdering everybody in town. I understand wanting to add depth and history to the characters, but I’m ready to move on from the agonizing reunion stuff.  I’d like to see more interaction between the Originals, the Salvatores, and Caroline. There’s a great stepladder of age, attitude and perspective going on there.

If TVD was canceled today, what is your dream ending?
V: My view on this is colored by the books but I believe the series should end with the death of Elena – by her making a terrible but necessary choice. The Vampire Diaries, to my mind,  is ultimately about the bond between the Salvatore brothers and I believe Elena’s death is inevitable. And I don’t think it should have a fix, as it did in the book series. It sounds weird to say, but I would love nothing more than to be a sobbing, hysterical mess on my couch during the series finale. And that would do it for me in a satisfying way.
R: As a book fan, I have to go with Vee on this one. It would be the ultimate nod to book fans, utterly tragic, and utterly compelling television. I admit it, 12 year old me cried at the ending of The Fury, and I would love to be able to revisit that emotion.
K: Honestly, I’d love to see all the vampires move to Europe or something and let Elena, Matt, and the other humans go to college and have lives.
A: I think I’m with Kate on this one. Close the chapter, not the book. Send them to college, to Europe, or just leave them quietly in Mystic Falls. Whatever happens to Elena, I see no need for any kind of romantic ‘endgame’ with one Salvatore or the other. I realize it’s a very unpopular opinion, but I honestly think that a final choice and domestic bliss would be a great disservice to the story. I’d rather we just never know.

Other than The Vampire Diaries, what is the one show you never miss?
V: I recently devoured all of The Good Wife and am now current with what’s airing. It is an INSANELY GOOD show and manages to defy categorization in a lot of ways. You can’t quite describe it in a pithy soundbite, nor would you want to. Every single character is so well-drawn and unique and ESSENTIAL. Close second: White Collar, by far the breeziest, most stylish show I watch, I think. Sometimes you just want candy.
R: White Collar. I am far too invested in this show, and the whole relationship dynamic between Peter and Neal, and by extension El. Castle is another one. Because who doesn’t want to have Nathan Fillion on their screen every week?
K: Oh, way too many, but my favorites right now are The Good WifeCastle, and White Collar.
A: Strange as it sounds, I don’t actually follow much TV.  There are plenty of shows I like, but in terms of watching each episode as it airs during the season, The Vampire Diaries is my exception, not my rule. For everything else I inevitably end up missing episodes and have to catch up later. If I miss too many, I give up and wait until there’s a whole bunch and then watch them all one after another in a glorious, productivity-defying weekend. Revenge and Castle are at the top of that list right now.

There have been a lot of great new shows this season. Do you have a favorite?
V: I have two. First, Revenge, which has quickly embraced its own OTT soapiness and become true appointment TV. It’s the perfect cocktail of bitchy, badass, and batshit. My television practically frosts over when Madeleine Stowe and Emily VanCamp are onscreen, though Gabriel Mann (and his awkward yachting hipster wardrobe) really steals the show as Nolan. And Nick Weschler is so very, very pretty. Second – as anyone who follows my personal Twitter knows – is Game of Thrones, which I am UTTERLY OBSESSED with. I’m going into the new season now having read all of the books the series is based on and even though I know how things go down, it’s made me even more excited. So, warning to everyone who knows me: I’m going to be insufferable come April 1st. Aside from Vampire Diaries (obviously), I haven’t been this into a show since Lost.
R: The Finder. It’s so utterly quirky and amusing, and I kind of love having a mildly insane but lovable main character. It’s nice to not be able to predict the crazy turns. It’s also fantastic to not be bogged down with darkness and angst, which a lot of my other shows tend to have. I know for a fact that Game of Thrones will become an obsession, which is why (much to Vee’s frustration) I’ve been putting it off until I can get caught up and done with some other shows – I won’t have a life otherwise!
KRevenge! It’s way better than I ever expected, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. My one frustration is that Emily is bothering to think about Jack OR Daniel when Nolan is RIGHT THERE BEING AWESOME.
A:  I’m anxiously waiting for The Borgias to return. Vee’s probably crying as I write this, but I just don’t care about its historical accuracy. It’s well written, beautifully shot, gorgeously costumed, and has a great cast. Honestly, Jeremy Irons could wear ugly pajamas, sit on a box and read the phone book aloud for an hour every week and I’d totally watch that show.

Is there one that you were expecting to love but just don’t?
V: Sadly, The Secret Circle – another L.J. Smith adaptation by Kevin Williamson. I genuinely loved the pilot and thought it had SO MUCH potential, but I gave up five episodes in. I have friends who say it’s gotten a lot better in recent episodes, but at this point I’ll wait for Season 1 to be over before giving it another go. If I bother to at all. Oh, and Ringer. What a colossal disappointment that show is.
R: Terra Nova. It started out so well, and then just failed to hold my interest. I hear that it perked up again towards the end of the season, but I’m failing to muster enthusiasm to give it another go.
K: Ringer. I tried. I really did. (Unlike everyone else, apparently, I’m rather liking The Secret Circle.)
A: The Secret Circle.  I also loved the pilot and was really excited about it when it first came on. I’m not sure what doesn’t work for me, but it needs a little more punch to pull me in as an adult viewer. The time slot is also a big problem, The Vampire Diaries is a really tough act to follow. I think TSC might have held me better if it aired on a different night.

Favorite television character of all time:
V: This question will haunt me until the end of my days, but I’m going to settle on Lucas Buck from American Gothic. I’m not sure sinister has ever been so sexy. My crush on Gary Cole persists to this day because of that show and character.
R: Jack O’Neill, Stargate: SG-1. His snarky sense of humour gets me every time.
K: Josh Lyman of The West Wing.
A: Lucas Buck, American Gothic. (True story: Vee & I had no idea until this interview that we’re both totally obsessed with this show.)

Favorite Television moment of all time:
V: Probably the Six Feet Under series finale. I bawled through the last 10 minutes as if a loved one had died. And I’ll be damned if Sia’s “Breathe Me” isn’t a major cry-trigger for me entirely because of this finale. As far as I’m concerned, it was the most perfect final episode of a TV series, ever.
R: There are so many to choose from. One that sticks out is the Babylon 5 finale, Sleeping in Light, with John and Delenn’s goodbye as he heads off into space to die after his extra 20 years were up. Given all they’d been through together, it was just heartbreaking. TV moments that can actually make me cry are my favourite, because it’s a sign I’ve not succumbed to total cynicism quite yet.
K: The ending of Studio 60′s “The Focus Group.” It has dancing and a perfect song choice (“Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”), which are two of my favorite things to see on TV, and it manages to perfectly encapsulate the characters, relationships, and themes of the show in one short scene. Plus it has Bradley Whitford and Matt Perry rolling around in the sand together.
A: I can’t pick a favorite moment, there are too many. I can say that the final montage of the Friday Night Lights series finale were probably the most satisfying of all time.  It was a perfect end to the journey that characters and audience had been on together. It left me feeling uplifted and happy, which was a nice change after the endless tears I cried during the course of that damn show.

The show you wished would have never ended:
V: There are many, MANY shows I wish hadn’t ended or that I believe ended too soon, but by far the most FRUSTRATING was Carnivale. The end of Season 2 (its last) was balls-out incredible and truly set up the ultimate arc of the show – but that’s it. That’s where it ended. Every time someone mentions that show, I want to weep for what might have been. And I think of it often because Tim DeKay, who played Jonesy, is now on White Collar. So every week, I clutch a throw pillow and softly moan, “Whyyyyyyyyyy.”
R: Stargate Universe. I am still bitter over the fact that SyFy cancelled a show with such good characterisation (Robert Carlyle was awesome as Rush, and I never could decide if I loved him or hated him) and interesting storylines in favour of Sanctuary, of all things.
K: Sports Night. The premise and format would have allowed it to go on indefinitely (unlike several of my favorite shows that have natural ending or turning points when a specific milestone is reached), and when it ended, virtually all of the relationships, romantic and otherwise, were left ambiguous in a way that I would have really liked to have seen explored.
A:  American Gothic. It’s been 17 years and I should probably get over it, but I just can’t forgive CBS. That show was brilliant, creepy, perfectly cast and Gary Cole was fan-freaking-tastic in the role of Lucas Buck. Introduced today, the show would probably be a smash hit, but it was a few years too early and got axed before it really got a chance.

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

V: HAVE FUN. I feel the need to say this on Twitter a lot, but it’s really true: Fandom – If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. So, SO wrong. Understand that you have no control over what unfolds on your screen, so either enjoy it or don’t and move on. That’s all.
R: Don’t get attached. The characters either get killed off, or the show gets cancelled. Either way, you’re left heartbroken and watching shows on repeat on DVD and lamenting that there were never enough episodes.
K: IT’S JUST TV. Seriously. It’s supposed to be entertainment. If a show itself or your interactions with other fans are causing you pain or stress, just turn it off. With all the very real problems in the world and in everyone’s lives, why create more for yourself?
A: Keep it classy. It must be a nightmare trying to make a show with people breathing down your neck all the time, trying to find everything out before it airs and then complaining about it as soon as it has. If we want great TV shows (or movies, or theater, or books) we have to give the people creating them time to do the job right. We also need to remember that they are people, with feelings, and treat them accordingly.

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My Interview: Carrie Raisler

WRITER OF THE WEEK!

My favorite writer this week is Carrie Raisler from A.V. Club.com. Like me, Carrie is a huge TV addict (One Tree Hill, Supernatural, Justified and hundreds of others). She is also a Vampire Diaries recapper and an avid sports fan. Even when we don’t see eye to eye on a subject I can always count on her wit and sarcasm to make me smile or, more likely, laugh until I pee my pants. Be sure to follow her on Twitter (@TVandDinners) and check out her stuff at The A.V. Club to see exactly what I mean. You won’t be sorry. Trust me.

As most of the coolest people do, you watch a TON of TV. Of everything you’re watching right now, what is your favorite?

Sure, Erin, start with the hardest question in the entire world, why don’t you? It’s like choosing your favorite child, or sandwich. Impossible! If I must choose, at this very moment it has to be Justified, which hits almost all of my dramatic sweet spots in all of the best ways. I love its examination of class, its very specific language, its sense of humor, its intriguingly wobbly sense of wrong and right, and its wonderful exhibition of Southern accents and attitudes. But let’s face it: most of all, I love its Timothy Olyphant.

Anything you are wishing you could give up?

If I could stop watching 90210, I might throw myself a party. Complete with pony rides and a piñata. It is literally the worst show on television and yet I cannot bring myself to delete the season pass. Part of this is loyalty towards the original, which is one of my favorite shows of all time, but the rest of it is just plain denial because last season was actually really entertaining! Then they fired the showrunners (again) and sent everyone to college and rehabilitated their one good villain and it all became a complete nightmare. If I took my blood pressure during an episode I’m sure it would be high enough to put me in the hospital, yet I can’t turn away.

We are getting pretty close to February sweeps! Is there one show you are expecting to put out the best sweeps episode?

Sweeps are so different than they used to be. No one does big event episodes anymore. I want Brad Pitt on Friends, people! Of all the shows I’m following right now the two I expect to have the best episodes during sweeps are Parks and Recreation and The Vampire Diaries. Although neither are likely to pull any sweeps “stunts”, both are at really interesting places in their storytelling and totally know how to knock an episode out of the park.

There have been a lot of great new shows this season. Do you have a favorite?

As much as I love Revenge (and boy do I LOVE REVENGE) I’m going to have to go with Homeland. That is a show that came out of nowhere to completely captivate me. Claire Danes and Damien Lewis are absolutely incredible, both together and on their own, and the writing was consistently surprising. The best thing about it, though, is how it portrays a strong, complicated, smart, messed-up, stubborn, unique female character and isn’t afraid to show her in a negative light. It’s a rare thing indeed, and it is amazing.

I also want to give a quick shout-out to Misfits, which is not technically a new show but one I discovered this year and absolutely fell in love with. Every human being who likes things that are awesome should watch this show. (It’s on Hulu!)

Is there one that you were expecting to love but just don’t?

There are always so many I expect to love but don’t. This season the biggest disappointment for me was probably Terra Nova. It’s a show about dinosaurs! How do you screw that up?! Well, they certainly figured it out. Also disappointing is Ringer, which has a fun premise and is full of actors I love but is simply terrible. Writing about it every week for The A.V. Club is a good way to release pent-up frustration, though.

We are both huge fans of The Vampire Diaries. Who is your stand out character for Season Three so far and why?

This is a tough one because I think the show is in a really precarious place right now, and character dynamics are completely in flux. My MVP for the season thus far has to be Stefan, though. Paul Wesley is simply fabulous as playing Stefan’s darker side, so much so that I almost don’t want him to ever go back to the way he was before. Although I have major problems with Stefan’s little revenge quest against Klaus, the show’s willingness to essentially completely destroy its romantic male lead is pretty darn brave, and at every moment Wesley still manages to make him sympathetic. Good stuff all around.

Favorite television character of all time:

Veronica Mars. She’s smarter than me and I want to be her when I grow up. (Honorable mention: Pacey Witter, because he’s perfect.)

Favorite Television moment of all time:

Pacey kissing Joey by the side of the road in the “A Cinderella Story” episode of Dawson’s Creek. Not a “cool” choice, but it will always be number one in my heart.

The show you wish would have never ended:

Veronica Mars. Although the third season wasn’t my favorite, I could watch stories about those characters and that town for the rest of my life and never get tired of it.

Marathon-ing TV shows you’ve never seen is all the rage these days. Any you are looking to start?

I always feel like I’m on the verge of starting at least ten different shows, especially now that Netflix streaming makes it so easy. Right now I’m in the middle of catching up with White Collar, and next on my list whenever I get through the hundred hours of shows on my Tivo will probably be Strike Back and United States of Tara.

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

Try things. Don’t judge something just because it has a horrible title, or features an actor you’re not usually fond of, or sounds like something you haven’t liked in the past. Just try it! I guarantee someday you will discover your favorite show this way, and if you don’t like a show after sampling it you can just stop watching. DVRs make this so easy. What do you have to lose?

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