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Hey Ian! How’s it Hanging? – A Recap of the Pretty Little Liars’ Season Finale “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

 

When a television show ends with someone being shot, or blown up, recappers typically describe it as “ending with a bang.”  Well . . . this episode of PLL ended with a hang . . .

Ummm . . . nice scarf?

Wildly inappropriate corpse jokes aside, Pretty Little Liars’ season one finale definitely did not disappoint, this week.  In fact, the entire hour was jam-packed with twists and turns, unusual (and, sometimes,  downright icky) alliances, oodles of OMG moments, and, of course, plenty of “A.”  (Though, admittedly, all these supposedly “SCAAAAARY” text messages are getting a bit . . . how do I put this kindly . . . LAME!)

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OK . . .  maybe that was putting it less than kindly.

So, what are we waiting for, my Pretties?  Let’s get that bell tolling!

Video Killed the Blind Incestuous Porn Star

Hanna:  “Wait to go, Tobster!  Look who’s rocking the ABDOMINALS!”

Spencer:  “Shut up!  He’s mine!  You already have three love interests!”

Hanna:  “Come on!  I only have TWO!  Everyone knows that Weiner head Sean doesn’t count!”

The finale episode begins precisely where we left off last week.  The PLL girls are huddled together in bed (kinky!) watching the disturbing videos captured on the flash drive that Dead Ali stored away in her Tweety Bird lunchbox, before she died.  In addition to some SUPER CREEPY images of the PLL girls, as tweens, unknowingly dancing in front of the camera in their underwear, the flash drive also includes some EVEN CREEPIER footage of a not-yet-blind Jenna seducing a not particularly willing (though not as entirely unwilling as I would have liked) Abs Toby .  . .

And YES, he was shirtless in the video . . . (Can I get a HELL YEAH!)

In the video, Jenna is heard blatantly threatening Toby that if he doesn’t let her . . . “play with his flute” . . . she will tell their parents that he “forced himself on her.” 

“Wow!  I’ve never seen such a big . . . flute.”

By the way, if you were Jenna, and you were trying to SECRETLY SCREW YOUR BROTHER, would you REALLY do it in front of a WINDOW, so that anyone who happened to be wandering by with a VIDEO CAMERA could SEE? —  Incestuous Sociopath FAIL! 

*sings*  “I once was lost, but now I’m found.  I was blind, but now I . . . nope . . . still blind.”

(Interestingly enough, the video appeared to have been taken through a window, and yet the sound quality was PERFECT.  So, I’m guessing the house was bugged?)

Disgusted by the sight of her new boyfriend macking it with his nasty ass sister, Spencer insists that the girls stop watching the videos.  In hindsight, this was probably a mistake.  After all, based on later scenes in the episode, it appears that more Rosewood Residents may have been featured in these videos, aside from the PLL girls, Ali, Toby and Jenna.  Like, this GUY, perhaps?

“Oh no!  If they watch the rest of the videos on the drive, they might find out I was in that Hillary Duff movie!”

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As far as the PLL girls are concerned, Ian “I Like to Make Out with Girls Who Still Wear Training Bras” Thomas seems to be the most likely videographer of this Kiddie Porn DuJour.  And, since Blind Jenna obviously knew about the flash drive and its contents (After all, she hired Man Whore Caleb to steal it for her.), they figure that Little Miss Brother F*&ker might be willing to share information with them that will incriminate Ian in Ali’s death. 

But what if Blind Jenna is “A”?  Are the girls walking into a trap? 

Fitzy spells trouble J-A-C-K-I-E

This week, the role of Ezria Cock Block will be played by Jackie Molina . . .

Things actually seem to be going pretty well for Aria when the episode begins aside from her being stalked by a sadistic stalker psycho killer.  Admittedly, we were all a bit worried for Aria and Fitzy, when Police Boy Garrett knocked on the English teacher’s door last week, asking questions about “one of his students.”  And we became even MORE concerned, when SOMEONE stole the VERY POORLY HIDDEN hide-a-key from underneath Fitzy’s Welcome Mat, and broke into his home. 

Yet, when Fitzy meets Aria at the school, to tell her what went down, we learn that Police Boy Garrett didn’t ask any incriminating or even vaguely interesting questions at all!  (Gotta love Rosewood’s Finest, and their top notch investigating skills!) 

But WAIT!  There’s more!  Fitzy, apparently, just got a job working at the local college . . . which means that he’s NOT going to teach at Aria’s high school anymore . . . which means that Aria and Ezra can feel free to date in public, without fear of persecution (except for, you know, the whole STATUTORY RAPE thing).!

What’s more?  Aria’s dad, who also works at the local college, and REALLY wants to get into Fitzy’s pants is holding a Faculty Mixer at the Montgomery Household that evening as an excuse to get into Fitzy’s pants.  So, since Fitzy is now officially FACULTY at the local college, he gets to go to Aria’s house and .  . . visit her bedroom.

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And we all KNOW what happens when boys get into girls’ bedrooms!  (Right, Abs Toby?)

But then, things go south at the Faculty Mixer, when SHE shows up there . . .

Uh Oh!

It turns out that Jackie, the long-ago ex-fiance from far, far away, is not-so “long-ago,” nor is she so “far away.”  In fact, she TEACHES at the college too! 

To make matters worse, Fitzy has been with Jackie as recently as last year, back when she was a T.A. at the same college where the pair will now both be teaching. 

(I hope you are wearing a bulletproof vest, Fitzy!  Because you are NOT exactly Aria’s favorite person right now . . .)

But, hey!  At least you got inside her bedroom!  That’s gotta count for something, right?

In other BAD news . . .

None of my Exes Live in Texas .  . .

Emily’s mom wants her and Emily to move to Texas, where Emily’s father will be stationed for a year.  Poor Emily!  What will happen to her 85,000 girlfriends in Rosewood?

And what exactly is the Gay Scene like in Texas?  Will Emily have to change her “look,” in order to fit in there?

 

Tune in next season when we will, of course, learn that she is not actually moving, as she is one of the four MAIN characters of the show to find out!

In other news . . .

Marry me, Lucas!

LUCAS IS BACK!

And he’s wasting no time reminding us why we fell in love with him in the first place.  When we first see Lucas, after a WAY TOO LONG HIATUS, he’s still giving Hanna the cold shoulder, as a result of her highly UNFORTUNATE rejection of him at the “I Didn’t Have to Get My Spleen Removed, Even Though I Was Ran Over by a Car” Party that Mona threw for her a few episodes back  .  . .

Yes, Lucas looks like a beaver died on his head, in this picture.  But we are going to forgive him for that, since he is SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME.

Even though Lucas was deeply hurt by Hanna, he CLEARLY is still watching out for her.  After overhearing Annoying Ass Mona lie through her teeth about the letter she was SUPPOSED to give to Hanna from Caleb, in which the Hot Man Whore professed his love for her  . . .

Do, a little dumpster diving, Hanna!  You might still be able to find it!

 . . . Lucas THEN overhears Mona using Hanna’s PHONE to talk to Caleb.  Mona actually has the GALL to tell the Poor Slutty Bastard that HANNA ripped up his love letter to her, when we all know that it was MONA who did the not particularly effective ripping.  When Lucas confronts Mona about this, she offers to help Lucas win Hanna’s heart, if he agrees to keep quiet about what he knows.

Well, THIS turn of events was kind of a head-scratcher for me.  After last week, I was under the assumption that Mona didn’t want Hanna coupled with Caleb, because she wanted Hanna to stay single, like her.  So, why, suddenly, would Mona prefer that Hanna date LUCAS, as opposed to Caleb?  After all,  just a few weeks back, Mona seemed determined that Hanna DITCH Lucas, in favor of Boring Ass Sean?

HUH?

I’ve actually got three possible theories regarding the above conundrum:  (1)  Mona is a WAY better friend than us PLL fans give her credit for.  And, as a GOOD friend, Mona recognizes that Lucas will be a better boyfriend to Hanna than Caleb. (2) Self-absorbed Mona wants to be Queen Bee at Rosewood, and she figures she will have a WAY better chance of doing so, if her biggest competition ,is dating a so-called”loser” than if he is dating the schoolest Hottest Homeless Bad Boy.  And finally (3) Mona doesn’t have any intention of helping Lucas win Hanna’s heart.  She just wants to keep Lucas’ mouth shut, and will say whatever she has to say, in order to accomplish this.

“I’m glad she only came up with three possibilities.  Because I can’t count any higher than that.”

Whatever Mona’s intentions are, Lucas doesn’t give a RATS ASS about her shady offer to play matchmaker between him and Hanna.  He proves this by tracking down Caleb (in Arizona?) and bringing him back to Rosewood.

“Why are you doing this for me?”  Caleb asks incredulously, as the two men, who are both CLEARLY in love with the same woman, ride back to town with absolutely NOTHING interesting to say to one another.

“Because I am about twenty times more awesome than you will ever be.”  “Because Hanna deserves to be happy,” Lucas replies solemnly.

(*Sigh!*  Please put this recap on pause, while I retrieve my panties from the floor . . .)

OK . . . I’m back!  Little do these newfound bromantic buddies know that, at the same time they are both gearing up for a Caleb / Hanna reunion . . .

. . .  Hanna is deleting the Man Whore’s number from her cell phone.  Oops!

You know, it might be a good thing, that most of our PLL girls have (at least temporarily) left their respective love interests in the dust this week.  After all, they’ve got ENOUGH to worry about, without having to cope with Boy Drama . . .

The Flute Player Gets Played (In more ways than ONE!)

Creepy Kiddie Porn Flash Drive in hand, the PLL girls confront Jenna at school, about how the latter made her bedroom into her very own City of Brotherly Love.  The PLL girls want answers from Jenna.  They think they are  entitled to them.  They want the TRUTH!

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As Little Miss Brother F*&ker shares what she knows with the PLL’s, we are treated to a Blind Jenna Flashback for the first time EVER, since the beginning of the series . . .

(Did anyone else think it was weird that Jenna was already wearing her “Blind Person Glasses,” back when she was first put in the hospital, following her Little Firecracker Accident?  Wouldn’t her eyes be bandaged?  Her face burned and bruised?  I mean, those are DESIGNER GLASSES she’s wearing!  Please, tell me what hospital gives THOSE out for free.  Because I’m getting admittted!)

So, Ali comes to visit Blind Jenna at the hospital, following her trip to “Georgia.”  She then promptly presents the Freaky Flute Player with the same video we saw  earlier, of Jenna threatening, and subsequently making monkey with, Abs Toby.  “The guy I like likes to make movies.  I thought they were just about me.  As it turns out, the Boy Next Door, likes watching ALL the Girls Next Door,”  Ali monologues unnaturally, as if she is villain in a Batman Comic Book (The Riddler, perhaps?).

 Now, of course, Jenna can’t SEE the video.  But I’m assuming, she figures out what was going on in it based on the extremely poorly written dialogue what is being said. 

“Really Jenna?  You ACTUALLY said, ‘It will be so easy to make my parents think you forced yourself on me?’   Ever hear of a little thing called subtlety?  I mean, seriously, I know comic book villains that have a better way with words than you do, and I am one of them.”

Caught between a rock and an incestuous place, Jenna is forced to make a deal with Ali.  Ali will make sure the incriminating flash drive never sees the light of day.  And, in return, Jenna will leave Rosewood FOREVER!  (Aha!  So, now we know why Jenna RETURNED to Rosewood for Ali’s funeral! Little did Ali know that their little agreement had an, easy out, Death Clause . . .)

After her confrontation with the PLL’s, Blind Jenna makes two phone calls . . .

“Can you hear me now?  GOOD!”

The first call is to Creepy Pedo Ian.  Upon hearing that the girls found the flash drive (which presumably includes videos he took), Creepy Pedo promises to “take care of it.”

“Hey, by the way, do you happen to have any 13-year old friends who are single?  I’m looking to mingle!”

But it’s Jenna’s SECOND call that’s the MOST disturbing.  Remember when I mentioned earlier that SOMEONE ELSE may have also been featured in Ian’s “home movies?”  Well, that UNSEEN porn star, arrives at Jenna’s house.  Jenna complains to him that this video is going to ruin all of their lives.  But HE promises her that he won’t let that happen.  Then HE takes off her glasses, and THIS happens . . .

Oh no, Police Boy GARRETT!  Not YOU TOO!  Man, are their ANY boys on this show who actually like girls their own age?

I stand corrected!

Nice Knowing Ya, Ian!  (But, not really . . .)

“Now that I’m dead, I wonder if I can get a better deal on a cell phone plan . . .”

So, Melissa and Ian are planning to have their yet-to-be-born baby baptized at the local church.  But Spencer is concerned that this might be a bit premature, since the baby might not be  . . . entirely human.

Awww!  He looks just like his dad!

Meanwhile, Spencer and the gang attempt to procure a confession from Ian about making the videos contained on the flash drive.  They do this, by sending Ian a text from a blocked cell phone number (They stupidly used Spencer’s phone for this.)  In the text, they instruct Creepy Pedo to bring $10,000 to a nearby park, in exchange for the flashdrive. 

Hanna:  “Hey, aren’t those the bears from the Charmin commercials? What are THEY doing here?”

Aria:  “What do you THINK?”

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Taking things one step further, the girls call upon Garrett the Police Boy to help them with the sting operation.  Of course, as we know from watching him clean Blind Jenna’s teeth with his tongue, earlier in the hour, Police Boy’s intentions are not necessarily pure.  Fortunately, Hanna, who knows a thing or two about shady police officers with ulterior motives  .  . .

. . . has the foresight to lie, and tell Police Boy that her mother knows where they are.  (In other words, “don’t try any funny stuff, Officer Kid Groper!”)

Tensions are high, when a car pulls up, and a man emerges, carrying a bag filled with $10 grand in Cold Hard Cash . . .

Hey there, Sexy?  Who are YOU?  And why aren’t you a REAL cast member on this show?

Unfortunately, as you probably noticed already, that guy is NOT Ian.  He’s WAY HOTTER!  Rather, it’s some dude that Ian paid to drop off the cash, and retrieve the flash drive on his behalf. 

Woah . . . wait up . . . you’re telling me that Ian . . . a twenty-something high school hockey coach . . . has ten grand in cash, lying around his house AND has MORE money than that left over to pay hot guest stars?  Ummm . . . I don’t think so!

Then again, Ian coaches at the SAME school where a youngish English teacher can afford to rent a limosine to (1) drive him all the way to Philadelphia; and (2) WAIT around for him for an entire evening, while he makes out with his underage girlfriend . . . so . . .  yeah.  (I’m SO getting a job teaching at Rosewood!)

Meanwhile, Spencer is cuddling with Abs Toby, falling asleep in his arms, and letting him adoringly play with her hair (AWWW!) . . .

This lovefest is interrupted, when Spencer gets a text from Melissa, stating that Ian never picked her from the church, following the Baptism . . .  . interview(?). 

(Wait . . .  if Melissa walked to the church, why couldn’t she have walked HOME from there too?  Lazy pregnant biatch!)

Fortunately, for us, Spencer doesn’t leave to pick up her good-for-nothing sister, right away.  Instead, she spends some time sweetly telling Abs Toby that he is her “safe place to land.”  In return, Toby tells Spencer that he will ALWAYS be there for her, whenever she is ever in need.  (Something tells me she is going to be taking you up on that promise REAL soon, Tobster!)

Then, of course, the two makeout .  . . again . . .

Never .  . . gets . . . old.

Eventually, Spencer finally manages to pick up her bratty ass sister, who’s Pregnancy Brain made her leave her cell phone in church. 

“Wahhhh, MY PHONE!  Waaahhhh My Creepy Pedo Husband!  Wahhhhh you’re mean to me!  Wahhhh I’m one of the most unlikeable characters on a show that is FILLED with unlikeable characters!  Wahhhhhhh I miss WREN!

Spencer stops the car, to return to church, when WHAM, her car gets broadsided by another car (on purpose?).  Next thing you know, Spencer is in the hospital, without a scratch on her.   But Melissa seems pretty banged up, and is at risk of losing herbaby.  So, being the caring sister Spencer is, she decides to go back to the church and retrieve Melissa’s phone.  (Because, cell phones are way more important than stupid babies, anyway!  Yeah, way to have your priorities straight, Spencer!)

“Oh, please!  The baby is going to be EVIL, anyway!  At least the cell phone comes with cool ring tones!”

So, Spencer heads back to the church.  And there . . . SURPRISE . . . is Creepy Pedo IAN!

You know how, up to this point, it was kind of hard to figure this guy out.  Because, as creepy as Ian was, he sometimes did NICE things, like rescue Spencer from the Fun House that he may have trapped her in, in the first place?  Well, all that is GONE in this scene.  Creepy Pedo Ian is in full on EVIL mode! 

“Melissa would want me to take care of this,” Ian says menacingly.

Creepy Pedo then admits that he KNOWS his wife was in the hospital, having just been HIT BY A CAR, but chooses to accost Spencer in the church, rather than tending to the mother of his child.  (It is almost as if he KNEW they would be in an accident.  Interesting . . .)

So, I’m convinced that the reason the producers chose to show a full moon in this shot, is to imply that Creepy Pedo Ian is actually a werewolf . . . Yes . . . I DO watch too much Vampire Diaries and True Blood.

“You were planning to’ take care of this,’ like you took care of Alison,” Spencer sneers. 

Spencer then shows Ian the incriminating  flashdrive (makes some fairly lame “home movie” jokes, while she displays it). Thinking fast, the “Smartest PLL”  tosses the flash drive at Ian, before dashing up to the Church’s bell tower.

Wait . . . WHAT?  You THREW AWAY the evidence . . . AGAIN, Spencer!  I’m hoping you were smart enough to make a copy this time, Little Miss Supposed Over Achiever!

Oops!

Now, Spencer may have been silly, when it came to her flash drive evidence, but she WAS smart enough to call Emily on her cell phone, as Ian chased her around the church . . .

ARIA:  “Crap!  I forgot to DVR Pretty Little Liars, tonight!”

EMILY:  “Don’t worry!  It’s playing on my iPhone RIGHT NOW!”

This enables all the PLL’s to hear all the SUPER INCRIMINATING things Ian is saying while he TRIES TO MURDER Spencer.  (I hope you recorded that, Emily!) 

Admittedly, I had to watch this chase scene twice, to figure out what Ian was saying.  And I STILL don’t think I got it all down.  Mostly, Ian was talking about how he was planning to kill Spencer in the church, and make it look like a suicide.  He planned to leave a note on Spencer’s computer, after she was dead, saying that she couldn’t deal with the pain of Ali’s death, and, therefore, offed herself . . . in a church.

There are two interesting things about Ian’s monologue: 

(1)  He inadvertently cites the WRONG cause of Ali’s death.  While Ali ACTUALLY died of strangulation, he cites, in Spencer’s fake suicide note, that she “fell to her death.”  This comment would seem to go AGAINST the commonly held notion that Ian killed Ali.  

 (2) Ian notes, once AGAIN, that he is killing Spencer, FOR Melissa.  Is it possible then that MELISSA killed Ali (or at least that Ian THINKS she did)?  Has Ian’s creepy behavior merely been a result of his trying to cover for his wife, because he feels GUILTY about cheating on her with Ali and about being a disgusting pedophile, who videotapes half-naked tweens?

It wouldn’t be the first time this actress played a psycho killer!

The answers to these questions, apparently, are not ones we will get first hand.  Because, moments later, Ian is dangling Spencer from the church bell tower.  In a strange twist of fate, she is grabbing on to her would-be killer’s arm for dear life.  Then, she pulls herself up onto the scaffolding.  What happens next is pretty shocking.  (As if all this WASN”T SHOCKING!)  A black cloaked figure comes out of the darkness, and pushes Ian off the scaffolding.  And yet, Ian doesn’t FALL to his death.   Instead, he gets tied up in the ropes and is hung. 

Of course, the rest of the PLL’s arrive, after the hooded figure (A?) has left the building.  They reach the top of the church tower, to find the disturbing image of Dead Ian swaying back and forth, like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, as Spencer watches on silently traumatized . . .

Yet, by the time the police arrive on the scene . . . IAN’S BODY IS GONE!

But, look who’s back from the PLL Lost Boy Vortex?

It’s Bushy Eyebrows Noel!

In the final moments of the episode, the girls, OF COURSE, get, yet another text message from “A” . . .

And here’s what it says: “It’s not over until I say it is.  Sleep tight, while you still can b*tches!” – A

Oh boy!  Something tells me, many of us PLL fans will be having some trouble sleeping, between now and when the show returns in June for it’s second season!  Fortunately, that gives us plenty of time to piece together all the clues we’ve gathered so far during Season 1.  So, I now turn things over to you, My Pretties!  Start sleuthing!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Vampire Katherine just aged another year . . . – Happy Birthday, Nina Dobrev!

In honor of Nina Dobrev’s 22nd birthday, Ian Somerhalder baked her a cake . . .

Unfortunately, for Nina, Vampire Katherine (who shares the same birthday) got to it first . . .

“Mmmmm . . . red velvet blood  . . . my favorite flavor!”

22-years ago today, one of the most promising young actors of our generation was born.  (Nina Dobrev was born January 9, 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria, but moved to Canada at age 2.)  Roughly 20-years later, Nina won the hearts of two-GORGEOUS vampires, and of millions of fans wide, through her portrayal of both the headstrong and plucky Elena Gilbert . . .

 . . . and the devious diabolical (and tons of fun!) Vampire Katherine Pierce . . .

You know, I spend a lot of time on this blog extoling the virtues of the dreamy and delectable Damon Salvatore . . .

 . . . and his sensitive, yet sultry, brother Stefan . . .

But where would either of them be without the two women who hold their hearts and their humanity in either hand?

I mean seriously, without Elena and Katherine, who would these boys MAKE OUT WITH?

They’d probably have to resort to lots of Air Kissing . . .

And no one wants that . . .

So, that’s why today, in honor of Nina Dobrev’s birthday, I’ve decided to take a short break from celebrating the oh-so-sexy TVD men, in order to pay homage to the one woman who is literally the Gal Friday to EVERY GUY IN MYSTIC FALLS . . . 

 

Sorry BOYS!  It looks like you are just going to have to share . . .

Since most of us already know Nina from The Vampire Diaries, I thought it might be nice, for a change, to take a look back at some of her most noteworthy pre-Elena roles . . .

(Special thanks to YouTube maven sciolist2b, who has BY FAR the most comprehensive and highest quality collection of Nina Dobrev clips on the entire Internet!  sciolist, I don’t know you, but I definitely couldn’t have written this post without you!)

Mia Jones – Degrassi

Nina Dobrev’s Season 6 debut on Degrassi: The Next Generation was MY first introduction to the actress.  On Degrassi, Nina played Mia Jones, an unwed teen mother, forced to transfer to a rival high school, after her’s burned down.  Forget 16 and Pregnant, Mia Jones had her baby, Isabella at age THIRTEEN! 

Mamma MIA!

Though no where near as complex and multi-layered as the two characters she plays on The Vampire Diaries, Nina definitely got the opportunity to flex her acting chops here, as a young mother, trying to balance the responsibilities of parenting, with her desire to do typical “teen stuff” like cheerleading, parties, and dating.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a real juicy Mia Jones clip on YouTube for you to enjoy. 

However, I did find this on-set footage taken from her first day on the job.  And it’s pretty darn adorable.  All I have to say is . . . hell hath no fury like a TV baby who WON’T STOP CRYING!

 

Ally – American Mall

Around the same time that she was starring in Degrassi, Nina also picked up the lead role in the very High School Musical-esque American Mall, an MTV original film about mall employees who sing their feelings . . .

American Mall certainly wasn’t going to win any awards in its time (and I may very well have been the only one who actually watched it when it first aired).  However, as cheesy teen musicals go, this one was surprisingly enjoyable.  And Nina was extremely likeable as Ally, the girl who worked at her mother’s music store, but would much rather make out with the hot singing janitor her OWN music . . .

Rosabella – Mookie’s Law

Sometimes I wish I was Canadian.  Because Canadian Teen Television is just AWESOME!  I don’t think there is any country in the world (including the United States) that almost exclusively caters its media products toward the young adult demographic, like Canada does!  It seems that every time I flip the channels, I am finding another obscure (but oddly awesome) Canadian teen show, on some obscure U.S. cable channel, and wishing I had access to it when it first aired, back in Toronto, or wherever. 

Did I mention that the same 8 young actors (including Nina, of course) seem to be in EVERY SINGLE MOVIE!  It’s like one big happy family up there, ay?

Nina Dobrev starred as the lead character’s love interest in Mookie’s Law, a short Canadian film that was written, directed by and starred Al Mukadam, who — if you are a Canadian TV junkie like me — you may remember as Ray from Radio Free Roscoe.  Oh, and you can bet that Degrassi star turned Big Time Rapper, Drake, is in this one too . . .  (See what I mean?)

Justine – My Daughter’s Secret

You know, people joke all the time about Lifetime movies, and how cliched and lame they tend to be.  But a lot of really talented actresses got their start in Lifetime movies, and Nina Dobrev is one of them.  In My Daughter’s Secret she plays Justine, a teen who got herself roped into a romance with a VERY BAD BOYFRIEND.  (And in Lifetime movies, aren’t they ALL very bad?)

Jessica Carpenter – Too Young to Marry

As far as Lifetime movies go, this one looks kind of fun!  (For starters, neither of Nina’s two leading men in it are abusive, or “bad news.”  YAY!)  In Too Young to Marry, Nina stars as Jessica Carpenter, a girl who married her high school sweetheart, Max, at age 17.  However, she begins to doubt the decision she has made, upon experiencing the joys of drunk college makeout sessions.  (And who can blame her, when, at least based on the clips, it seems like her “husband” spends half of the movie in bed . . . just sleeping?) 

It sucks to be the “Nice Boy” in a Lifetime Movie . . . you get no lines . . . and you never get laid, until the very end.

Interestingly enough, Dillon Casey, who plays Nina’s husband in the movie, also played Vampire Noah, the first bloodsucker who tried to attack Elena on The Vampire Diaries.

But Canadians will remember him better as the often-naked Trevor Lemonde on the hockey-themed soap opera MVP.  (He lasted a bit longer on that show, than on TVD . . . in more ways than one ;))

Loren – Never Cry Werewolf

I actually learned about this film when I was writing a recap for TVD’s Bad Moon Rising episode.  I came upon the movie poster, almost entirely by accident, during my search for a solid werewolf-themed picture to kick off the recap. 

In Never Cry Werewolf, Nina plays Loren, an innocent teen who learns that her next door neighbor is actually a bloodthirsty werewolf, in search of a hot young prepubescent mate, to howl at the moon with . . .  Interestingly enough, I read on Wikipedia that the film itself is actually a shot-by-shot remake of a VAMPIRE film from the 1980’s called Fright Night.  Only here, the vampire Big Bad Villain was inexplicably substituted for a werewolf one. 

Knowing this, as I watching the following scene, where Kevin Sorbo’s werewolf character ties up a scantily clad “Loren” and threatens to turn her into a “monster,” I couldn’t help but imagine how much BETTER the film would be if Damon Salvatore was in it . . .

Sorry, Sorbo!  I’m going to have to agree with Damon on this one . . .

 

Rachel – Hearts of War a.k.a. The Poet

Far from starring only in teen dramas, Nina also gained recognition in feature films as well.  In Hearts of War she plays Rachel, a rabbi’s daughter who falls in love with a Nazi soldier during World War II.

Bella – Fugitive Pieces

Going along with a World War II theme, Nina alsoplayed the enigmatic Bella in Fugitive Pieces.  Bella was the main character Jakob’s sister in the film.  Bella was taken away (and eventually killed), along with the rest of his family, by Nazis during the Second World War.  Only Jakob survived the raid.  As a result of this tragedy, Bella’s youthful and emphemeral image haunts Jakob throughout his life . . .

Anna – Chloe

Nina Dobrev provided some much needed levity (and pants-lessness) to this dark and twisted thriller about the complex psycho-sexual relationship formed between a married gynecologist (Julianne Moore), and the looney tunes call-girl (Amanda Seyfried) said gynecologist hires to seduce her husband (Liam Neeson).  Nina plays Anna, the girlfriend of the main characters’ son in the film. 

While she’s certainly nice to look at, “Anna” doesn’t exactly seem like the sharpest tool in the shed.  Check out Anna’s reaction when Julianne Moore’s character learns the young woman has spent the night in her son’s bed . . .

Goth Girl – Away from Her

Of all the Nina clips I’ve shown you today, this one, from the Academy Award nominated film Away from Her is probably my favorite.  It features Nina in a way we’ve never quite seen her before.  Goth Girl is a person who most of Nina’s other characters probably wouldn’t have anything to do with . . . well, except for maybe Vampire Katherine . . .

Something tells me these two would have A LOT of fun together . . .

Speaking of Vampire Katherine, I thought I’d end this tribute post with a fun little scene from The Vampire Diaries, in which Elena and Katherine come face to face with one another for the first time.  The scene is from an episode entitled “Memory Lane” from Season 2.  Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Nina Dobrev!  Here’s hoping your 22nd year provides you with as much fun and entertainment as your first 21 have given us!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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