Tag Archives: Alan Ball

Battle of the Bad Boy Vampires: Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries) versus Eric Northman (True Blood)

Those of you who know me and/or have read this blog before, probably suspected that the time would come when I would write a post that pit my two favorite television vampires (both of whom are based on characters fromnovels) against one another . . .

But WAIT!  Before you stake me, or snap my neck like a twig, please know that this is REALLY not a competition, in the traditional sense of the term.  I merely aim to illustrate some similarities between these two extremely unique and dynamic fangsters . . .

(But, before I begin, I’d like to give a shout out to the Always Brilliant Amy, over at imaginarymen, who remains the reigning queen and founder of the TV Boyfriend Olympics.  Without her, this post would never have been written.  Additional thanks go out to the Fabulous Cherie, over at myspideysenseistingling, and the Remarkable Madeleine, both of whom have a depth of vampiric fangirl capacity that knows no bounds.)

Above all else, Viking Vampire, Eric Northman, and Fangy Rebel Without a Cause, Damon Salvatore, are both EXTREMELY SEXY!  In fact, they are unequivocally sexy, no matter what they happen to be doing, at any given moment.  Whether they are . . .

 .  . . preparing for war . . .

 . . . or lounging around in bed . . .

. . . or driving around in hot super expensive sports cars, with the top down . . .

 . . . or having a little “snack” . . .

 . . . or forgetting how to button their shirts . . .

 . . . or getting dressed up for a night on the town . . .

 . . . or breaking in their new leather jackets . . .

. . . or wearing certain BLUE PANTY DROPPER articles of clothing 😉 . . .

 . . . rest assured these immortal beings are going to be looking hot, while they are doing it.

And yet, being an INSANELY AWESOME Television Vampires isn’t just about looking good.  (That’s most of it . . . of course . . . but not all of it. ;)) To be truly insanely awesome, you’ve also got to have the personality to match the looks.    And for both Eric and Damon, a fun and snarky sense of humor functions as the perfect accessory to any item of clothing (or, no clothing at all, for that matter)!

Behold . . . the funny .  . .

(Don’t worry!  I’m not playing favorites, by using a longer video for Eric than for Damon.  I just take them, as I find them!)

So, now we’ve got a handle on their looks, and their respective senses of humor.  But if you want to learn what REALLY make Damon Salvatore and Eric Northman tick, you’ve really got to watch them in action.  What follows is a comparison study of fourteen (seven a piece) arguably similar Damon and Eric scenes from their respective shows .  . .

(Note: For clips that are non-embedded, just click the internal links for your viewing pleasure!)

Let’s BITE into it, shall we?

Romantic Manipulation

In the REAL WORLD, when you look like Ian Somerhalder or Alexander Skarsgard, NO fancy hypnotic magic, or blood bonds are necessary to ensure romance.  When you want to get laid . . . all you’ve got to do is ASK!  But in TV Land, virtually EVERYONE is beautiful, and girls can be (no offense to Elena and Sookie) kind of dense, sometimes.  For this reason, both of our Bad Boy Vamps, at least initially, used vampire magic to add a little OOMPH to their respective courtship rituals .  . . with varying results.

First up is Damon, and his attempt to mesmerize Elena — the number one object of his affections — to make out with him.  The “mesmerizing” part seems to work . . . (She’s not BLIND, after all!).  But the “making out” part . . . well . . . not so much.  Because what Damon doesn’t know is that Elena is wearing a vervain necklace, which makes her impervious to vampire mind control.  He gets an “A” for effort, though!

Eric Northman had slightly better luck with Sookie, when he tricked her into drinking his blood, thereby establishing a Blood Bond between the pair.  As a result of the Blood Bond, Sookie will have uncontrolled sexual dreams about Eric (I have those ALL THE TIME!).  He will also always be able to sense her feelings (like, when she’s horny, for example ;)), and instinctively know when she’s in danger (so he can rescue her).  Well played, Viking Vamp!

 

Dream Walking (a.k.a. Inception – Vampire Style)

So, by now, we’ve all probably seen, or at least heard about the film, Inception, and its erudite discussions about one’s ability to manipulate the dreams of another. 

In TVD world, vampires are capable of controlling other’s dreams, Inception style, as Damon does in this next clip.  (Hint: We know it was Damon making Elena’s dream, based on his creepy crow mascot hanging out by her bedroom window, near the end of the scene.  By the way, I’m SO GLAD the writers nixed that lame plot device!)

In True Blood, sexual vampire dreams tend to stem from the blood bonds between human and vampire.  Never do the writers of True Blood ever explicitly mention dream manipulation.  And yet, in this next clip, Sookie clearly KNOWS that she’s dreaming, and Eric does appear to be purposefully using the dream to send her an important message.  This particular dream scene may also give you a little sense of deja vu, when you watch a similar REAL LIFE (well . . . real TV life . . . at least) scene that takes place between the two characters, later on in this post.

(Note:  This is actually just one of THREE dreams Sookie has about Eric, and it’s not even the HOTTEST one.  I simply chose it to make a point about Damon and Eric both using Dream Manipulation Tactics on Sookie and Elena.  You can watch Sookie’s other dreams about Eric here.)

 

Murder By Seduction

Of course, Damon and Eric would never WILLINGLY hurt the women they love.  But they don’t seem to mind hurting others all that much . . .

In this next clip, Damon lures the unsuspecting Vicki Donovan into his lair, plies her with liquor, sexy dancing, and promises of genuine understanding and affection.  And then . . . well . . . I’ll just let you watch, and see for yourselves.

Though Damon’s motives for “murdering” Vicki Donovan were never made entirely clear, during the series, one suspects they had something to do with Damon wanting to wreak havoc on his little brother’s life.  (Damon promised to make Stefan’s life an unliving hell, after the latter coerced him into becoming a vampire, seemingly against his will).  Damon eventually “revived” Vicki from death, by turning her into a vampire, shortly after initially killing her.  Ironically enough, it was at the hands of STEFAN that Vicki met her True Death.

This picture SHOULDN’T be funny . . .  but it kind of is!

Likewise, Eric seduces and ultimately murders Vampire Talbot, to wreak havoc on Vampire King Russell Edgington’s life.  Eric seeks vengeance against Russell, for murdering his parents, centuries ago.  You see, Talbot is Russell’s “soulmate.”  Though, as you will clearly see in the next clip, vampires and monogamy don’t exactly mix . . .

(Note:  This clip is DIRTY with a capital “D.”  Parental discretion is advised, KIDDIES!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

 

Hot Bod Taunting

“When you’ve got it, flaunt it!”  These are words to live by . . . even if you’re undead!  And Damon and Eric have NO qualms about displaying their “wares” to the women they love, in order to show them EXACTLY what they are missing . . .

In this next scene, Damon might be drunk, but he’s NO dummy!  He knows that, once Elena gets close enough to him to button up his strategically opened shirt, she will get a peek at those abs, a whiff of that vampire man musk, and be his forever.  Even if she doesn’t know it yet . . .

As for Eric, he takes Hot Bod Taunting to a whole other level!  Unlike Damon, who tactfully alludes to the fact that he’s a Lion in the Sack, Eric wears his HOURS and HOURS of nonstop Sexual Conquesting like a badge of honor . . . one located right below his belly button . . .

 

Vulnerability Due to Loss of “Maker”

Damon may be head over heels in love with Elena now, but for about 140 years, he loved her doppelganger Katherine, the woman who initially turned him into a vampire.  Damon loved Katherine so much, in fact that he risked everything to “rescue” her from the tomb in which he thought she was buried undead.  So, when the tomb was opened, and Katherine was still nowhere to be found, Damon was heartbroken.  It was the first time in the series, where we really saw this tough-as-nails vampire break down emotionally.  And when he needed a shoulder to cry on, Elena’s was the first one he sought . . .

Unlike Damon, Eric may have never done the horizontal mambo with his maker, Godric (at least, not that we know of).  But he did love him, in the way that a father loves his son.  And when Godric “met the sun” (i.e. committed suicide by burning to death) Eric felt completely lost.  For the first time in the series, the Viking Vamp cried tears of blood.  Eric was inconsolate over the True Death of Godric.  Without Sookie there to support him, who knows what self-destructive acts he might have committed?

Romantic Gestures with BITE!

Who said bloodsuckers couldn’t be romantic?  Let’s face it! When guys have been on this earth for as long as Damon and Eric have been, they KNOW when they are in love.  And they are NOT afraid to show it.

In the episode Rose, Damon has just rescued Elena from an Evil Old Vampire who kidnapped her.  He also retrieved from said Evil Old Vampire her precious vervain necklace, which protects her from vampiric compulsion.  When Damon visits to Elena’s home to return the necklace, he decides that this is the perfect moment to let Elena know exactly how he feels about her. 

Sounds simple, right?  It isn’t . . . Because Damon knows better than anyone, that True Love sometimes requires us to make the most painful of sacrifices.

Eric Northman knows a thing or two about sacrifices, himself!  After all, he’s willing to DIE the True Death, in order to rid the world of the PURE EVIL that is Russell Edgington.   When you are about to die, the things that are most important to you, suddenly become crystal clear.  And nothing else matters. 

Remember when I showed you that Dream Scene between Sookie and Eric?  Well . . . IT’S BACK . . . for real, this time!

Rescuing the Woman He Loves . . . For Her OWN GOOD . . . Whether She Wants It Or NOT!

As a member of the fairer sex, I can admit, that us ladies can be pretty stubborn when we want to be — especially when we feel strong enough about something, that we are willing to fight to the death for it.  And while, most of the time, we are ABSOLUTELY right . . . there are sometimes (very rarely, of course ;)) when we are wrong.  Enter the Hot Vampires with Hero Complexes to rescue us . . . even if they have to drag us away, kicking and screaming, in order to do it . . .

In this next clip, Elena has set off on a Suicide Mission.  She plans to turn herself over to an EVIL HOMICIDAL VAMPIRE, in order to save the lives of the people she loves.  But Damon loves HER . . . and he’s not having it . . . AT ALL!

Like Elena Gilbert, Sookie Stackhouse always seems to be throwing herself into harms way.  But she doesn’t have to go far from home to find trouble.  It usually just knocks on the door, and comes right in!  In this particular instance, Sookie is unwittingly being stalked by some Killer Werewolves.  It’s a good thing her Friendly Neighborhood Vampire  is available to help her in her time of need (even if she would rather talk about Boring Vampire Beeeel, than do important things . . . like NOT GET EATEN)!

So, there you have it: seven situations and fourteen sexy scenes to compare and contrast.  Not bad, for a pair of undead bloodsuckers, right?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Alexander Skarsgard, Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood

What Lies Beneath – A Recap of True Blood’s Season 3 Finale “Evil is Going On”

Tonight’s Season Finale dealt mainly with the types of things that are hidden beneath the surface.  They can be “hidden” in the literal sense,

Oh hi, Russell!  I didn’t see you there!

 . . . the geographic sense,

Welcome to Hicksville, U.S.A.

 . . . or the internal sense.

Inner Fairy

Inner Dick

However, perhaps, the most pernicious things hidden beneath the surface are secrets.  And it was those secrets that truly drove tonight’s episode.

Another F&cked Up Fairytale . . .

“Beam me up, Fairy!”

The episode opens with yet another one of those trippy fairy dream sequences that have become so prevalent, during the latter half of this season.  Sookie is frolicking in the forest, when she comes across what appears to be a giant chandelier, descending from the sky.

Don’t buy it, Sookie!  The monthly electric bill alone would kill you.

Sookie looks in awe at the beautiful alien chandelier for a few moments, before closing her eyes.  Then, unfortunately, the beautiful image is replaced by a much less attractive one . . .

No, this picture is not inverted.  That is actually how Bill’s head looked in the screencap.

Sookie is not at all happy to be woken up from Fairly Land, and she lets Bill know it.  “You f*ckin betrayed me again,” she growls at Bill.  (Damn straight, Sista!)

“I wuz jes trah-ing to pro-tect yuuu, AGIN!”  Bill replies.

They spar a bit longer.   However, when Sookie learns from Pam that the future love of her life (Eric) is outside getting one hell of a sun tan, she leaves Bill’s mopey butt, and dashes out of Fangtasia, to save her man.

What’s with Sookie doing so much running in this episode?  Can’t fairies fly?

They have wings, don’t they?

Sookie finds Eric, whose massive sunburn makes him look a bit like a teenager with a really bad case of acne.  In fact, it was probably the first time in Alexander Skarsgard’s life that he didn’t look the least bit sexy.

Don’t worry, Eric!  A few dabs of Proactive will clear that right up!

While Sookie pouts, and tries to figure out how to move the six plus feet of pure sex that is Eric’s bod, Russell taunts her mercilessly about not using her Fairy Glow Fingers to save him.  Though not AT ALL in a position to threaten, Ballsy Russell tells Sookie that he will kill everyone she loves, if she doesn’t use her magic.

I use this picture of Russell, because it’s the only I could find to show him burning.  But this screencap MASSIVELY overestimates his appearance.  Here is a more accurate represenation . . .

While all this is going on a delirious Eric is talking to the apparation of his daddy . . .

. . . who has taken time out of his busy Angeling Schedule to lecture Eric about being good, kind, and forgiving, and blah, blah, blah . . . I almost fell asleep typing that.

Papa Killjoy

Finally, Sookie figures out how to be a fairy!

She uses her Glow Fingers to toss Russell against a fence, and break the silver chains encircling Eric.  She then drags him inside.  As Eric is in desperate need of blood, Sookie has Bill bite her arm to release some.  She  instructs Bill to keep watch on Eric to make sure he doesn’t accidentally drain the life out of her, like Bill did a few episodes ago.  Ever, the gentleman, Eric maintains his control, taking just enough blood from Sookie’s arm to clear up the acne on his face.  The feeding scene is sweet, and VERY sexy.  MOMMY LIKE!

Yes, boys and girls, arm sucking is the Gateway to Sex!

Once Eric is back to his gorgeous self . . .

 . . . he informs the group that he has to go save Russell, because Ghost Dad told him to do so.  Pam, is not cool with that AT ALL.  “He killed your family.  Rip off his f*cking head,” she says. 

I love Pam.

The only LIVING being in the bunch, Sookie, reluctantly runs outside AGAIN, to grab Russell . . .

 . . . and bring him back inside Fangtasia.

But, alas, just when the party is really getting started, the vampires realizes that they must “go to ground.”  Eric asks Sookie to watch Russell, since she is the only human-ish person he can’t glamour.  Sookie does not care for this idea one bit.  “I’m not babysitting this f*cker, while you all take a nap!”  She whines.  (Have you ever noticed that they say f*ck a lot on this show?)

Bill offers to stay with her while she watches the Russell Steak thaw, but she denies his ass.

Adventures in Babysitting

In a fun, but slightly disturbing scene, Russell attempts to bargain with Sookie for his release, while she boredly reads the latest issue of US Weekly.  Interestingly enough, she requests: $7 million, Russell’s home in Mississippi, and  . . . the DEATHS of Bill and Eric.

But then she changes the subject, turning her attention to Russell’s prized container of Talbot Soup. . .

I taste delicious when sprinkled with some oyster crackers.

Sookie inquires why Russell has been carrying Talbot Soup around so long.  He admits that he hopes that Sookie’s fairy blood will help to restore Talbot from the viscous liquid he is now, to the adorable, fashion advice-giving stallion he was a few episodes back.  So, Sookie, laughing maniacally the whole time, POURS TALBOT DOWN THE SINK!

“Ick!  When’s the last time Eric had his pipes cleaned?  This place is rank!”

And that was when any hope I had of an Eric / Talbot Revenge Sex Reunion literally went right down the drain . . .

Sam’s Grand Redemption Tour

If you recall, during the last episode, a drunk and belligerent Sam made a buttload of enemies, by more or less insulting all of Bon Temps.  Then he screwed Tara . . .

Apparently, there is nothing like a good roll in the hay with someone just as f*cked up as you are, to help you see the world in a new light.  The following morning, Sam is all happy, perky, and well-adjusted.  He’s making his hot cakes, with bacon grease.  Because, “it’s all about the bacon grease.”

See, personally, I think hot cakes are all about the syrup . . . but that’s just me.

In fact, Sam is in such a good mood, he decides to give Tara a pep talk about starting a new life, and banishing the demons of her past.  (Because those who CAN do, and those who CAN’T teach . . .)  Sam also confesses to Tara that he is a shapeshifter, to which she responds “Shut the f*ck up!”

Coincidentally, “Shut the F*ck Up” just so happens to also be the title of Tara’s upcoming autobiography . . .

Once Sam is done rocking Tara’s world, he heads over to Terry’s house to apologize for calling him a headcase and firing him the night before.  When Sam finds Terry crying on the porch, he immediately thinks  its because of his own drunken rampage.

“You’re so vain.  You probably think this tantrum’s about you . . .”

As it turns out, Terry is crying tears of JOY!

Oddly enough, Terry seems to be the ONLY person living in Bon Temps who is GENUINELY HAPPY!  (Weird, I know.)  He shares with Sam his good news about his Devil Baby still being alive, and his future stepkids being OK.  But what pleased ME most was Terry’s positive report on Felix the Armadillo, who I have been worried about terribly, since he was mentioned once during Season 1 and then never again . . .

It lives!  Hooray!

Sam goes to visit Tommy next . . .

. . . but the little Doggie Dude is missing, and seems to have ransacked his living quarters.  At Merlotte’s, Sam learns that Tommy has also emptied out the ENTIRE safe of all cash.  So, Sam hunts down Tommy in the forest with his trusty gun.

 Talk about handling things the WRONG way!  It was so very obvious that Tommy took the money, because he had no other way of supporting himself, but dog fighting.  The kid can’t even READ for crying out loud!  All Sam had to do to get his money back, was rehire Tommy, and ask him to come back home.  But he didn’t.  He just threatened him . . . with a GUN!

So, when Tommy told Sam that the latter didn’t have the guts to shoot him, and walked away cash in hand, Sam called his bluff  . . . and shot him. 

Now, I know we are supposed to believe Sam KILLED his own brother over a bit of petty cash and some lame insults.  However, the scene didn’t fool me for a second.  I’m thinking Sam shot Tommy in the foot to incapacitate him.  This way, he could get back his money, and bring Tommy back home.  But, I’ve been wrong before . . .  (By the way, if both Sam and Tommy wanted to out run eachother, why didn’t each just shapeshift into a fast animal?)

Fang-intervention

“Is this thing on?”

Speaking of guns, up until this episode, Self-Righteous Witch Maxine Fortenberry was just about the last person I would have expected to purchase one.  That is, until the end of the episode, when she DID.  If you recall, last week, Maxine and Summer banded together to “save” Hoyt from the clutches of Vampire Jessica. 

Because Hoyt and Vampire Jessica are currently the cutest vampire / human couple on the PLANET . . .

 (remember, Sookie and Eric aren’t technically together . . . yet), we hope Maxine’s PLAN fails miserably.  So, far ait has.  Maxine’s Big Idea was to stage an “intervention” at Hoyt’s job . . .

Most Pathetic Attendance at an Intervention EVER!

Heading up the intervention is Hoyt’s high school guidance counselor, who has NO experience in psychological counseling whatsoever.  Hoyt, who, by the way, is looking INCREDIBLY sexy and buff, this episode . . .

 (maybe it all that vampire blood he ingested) . . . told the Intervention Crew in no uncertain terms that he loved Vampire Jessica, and anyone who didn’t approve of that, might as well get out of his life.  Mama Maxine tried to win him over with threats of disownment.  However, seeing as Hoyt is now financially independent, and has his own place, there was nothing Maxine could say to change his mind.  The fact that Maxine is such an odios poopyhead, certainly didn’t help matters .  . .Hoyt then gallantly told Summer that he wished her the best, and hope she met the perfect guy one day (a male porcelain doll, perhaps?), before stalking off. 

Later, in a very sweet scene, Hoyt surprises Jessica, by inviting her to live in a brand new apartment that he rented just for the two of them . . .

When Jess comments that she can’t live without him, Hoyt replies that she’ll never have to.  (Ummmm, yeah, except she’s IMMORTAL and your NOT, so . . .)  Logistics of vampire / human relationships aside, the way that statement was made, while the camera lingered on a strange item on Hoyt’s new living room floor, and the way the scene immediately shifted to Maxine and her “target practice” made me worry about Hoyt’s fate in a way that I haven’t before . . . particularly, since, another fairly major character from the books, unceremoniously bit the dust this week.

“My name is Jason”

Jason Stackhouse: Guardian and Protector of all things trailer trashy

After seeing the DEA piling into to squad cars, right outside the police precinct . . .

 . . . and speaking with Andy, who inadvertently revealed that there would be a raid on the trailers at Hotshot that day, Jason jumps into action.

He and Crystal head to Hotshot, to warn the all the inbreds to hide their meth and V stashes . . .

. . . though initially skeptical, the “Hotshots” eventually agree to hide their stash.  But then, a hopped-up-on-V, Crazy Felton leaps into the scene, inexplicably shooting Calvin Norris dead.  He then threatens to kill everyone, if Crystal doesn’t go with him, and leave town with the massive V stash.  Jason pulls out the classic, “You’ll have to kill me first,” line, but Crystal has other plans . . . 

I’ve gotta say, sex with Crystal must be FABULOUS.  

How else could she possibly get Jason to agree to become King of the Trailer Park?  Because that pretty much looks like the WORST JOB EVER.    Nevertheless, the position does have ONE job perk that Jason might enjoy.  This will probably be the only workplace on the planet where Jason Stackhouse is the SMARTEST GUY IN THE ROOM  . . .

In Other News . . .

Before I get back to Sookie, and the Main Event, lets get some of the less important (and less interesting) storylines out of the way, shall we. 

“Just keep smoking up, Tara.  Because if ANYONE needs to loosen up, it’s YOU!”

You know your character is going through a storyline dryspell, when it’s the SEASON FINALE of a show, and the most exciting thing you do during the ENTIRE HOUR is give yourself a bad haircut, one that makes you look a bit like Vanessa Huxtable from The Cosby Show.

 . . . which would be fine, if it were still 1988.

(Based on some of the message board comments, I know some of you out there really liked the new ‘do.  But it just really didn’t work for me.  Sorry!)

After not-so-subtly saying what sound like final goodbyes to Sookie and her mother (What?  NO Lafayette?), we last see Tara driving off into the sunset.  Hopefully, she’s just going to the beauty salon to FIX THAT HAIR, and isn’t gone for good . . .

Speaking of Lafayette .  . .

. . . he’s still tripping on the aftershocks of that V he took with Jesus.  And now, it’s making him see auras (?), secrets(?), hallucinations(?) — it’s hard to tell exactly what.  All I know is his visions involved Sam with blood on his hands, and an evil murderous Rene strangling, Arlene and warning Lafayette that he is INSIDE of her.  The fact that both visions are ostensibly TRUE (Sam shot his ex and her boyfriend, and, possibly Tommy.  And Arlene DOES seem to have a Devil Baby.), just makes this whole storyline even stranger.

Fearing he is going schizo like his mother, a very freaked out Lafayette seeks help from Jesus . . .

 . . . but THIS GUY comes instead . . .

The OTHER Jesus explains that Lafayette’s visions will calm down once Lafayette learns how to use MAGIC to control them.  Yes, apparently, Jesus is a WITCH . . . .

 . . . meaning, maybe, Lafayette is one too.  Geez, is ANYONE just plain human on this show, anymore?

Sookie de-friends ALL vampires on Facebook / joins Fairy Group.

“It’s complicated.”

Back at Fangtasia, Sookie is babysitting Russell still, when Alcide ARRIVES!

 . .. and he is looking so INSANELY GORGEOUS that Ginger can’t help but scream like a fangirl at the sight of him.

 .  . . OK .  . . that wasn’t why she screamed.  But that would have made a lot more sense. 

Alcide wasn’t even in werewolf form.  What the heck is so frightening about a modelesque hunk with perfect abs?  Seriously, Ginger.  Overreact much?  Did you forget you are working in the same room with someone who LITERALLY looks like this?

Anyway, apparently, Eric invited Alcide over to watch Sookie.  (This also didn’t make any sense, seeing as Eric himself appeared, just moments later.)  But, hey, no complaints here!  Alcide and Sookie flirt a bit, which is always fun to watch.  “You in trouble again?”  He asks wryly.

“When am I not in trouble,” she replies smirking.

Alcide REALLY turns on the charm.   And Sookie, who, at this point, is pretty much pissed at every other man on the show, is not immune.  “Why do you have to be such a good guy, right now?”  She asks.

“I am always a good guy,” replies Alcide matter-of-factly.

“I may be a GOOD GUY, but I can still do BAD THINGS with YOU, Miss Stackhouse!”

Unfortunately, Sookie’s and Alcide’s brief hot moment is interrupted by the return of the vamps, who have come to take Russell to his “final death.”

Still pissed, Sookie makes a point to rescind all preexisting vampire invites to her home.  This causes a smug smile to erupt on Alcide’s face, and causes Bill to glare at his would-be werewolf replacement.  “When you two are finished eye-f*cking eachother, can we go?”  Eric inquires impatiently.

(Honestly, I’d take a good eye f*ck from Alcide, any day!)

Wouldn’t you?

Outside Fangtasia, Alcide announces that his father’s debt to Eric has officially been paid off, and his time being Vampire B*tch is DONE.   Boy do we hope he’s lying, because we LOVE our, Alcide! 

“Oh, he’ll be back.  Even the toughest of werewolves can’t resist the charms of a fairy . . .”

Bill and Eric drop Russell into a cement pit.  Russell threatens that, when he gets out in 100 years (a “nap” for a vamp), he will wreak even more havoc on all of them.  Bill and Eric don’t really seem to care.

Eric is about ready to flip the switch, when Godric arrives AGAIN to bore us with his annoying pleas for peace and love.   Did you ever see those cartoons, where the angel sits on one of the main character’s shoulders, and the devil sits on the other?   But the angel is always so self-righteous and lame, that if you didn’t want to see the character sin before, you REALLY want him to sin, after the exchange is over? 

 Oh yeah, that’s Godric, in this episode . . .

Dear sweet, Godric.  You were so much more fun, when you tragically sacrificed yourself to the Sun, causing Sookie and Eric to almost have sex, as a result . . .

Ever the petulant teen, Eric disregards his “father’s good advice” and he and Bill flip the switch, covering Russell in cement.  (Wouldn’t it have been easier just to bake him in the sun, when the episode started?)  Then Bill surprises Eric, by offering him a hand to shake.  However, when Eric takes that hand, Bill tosses him into the cement, and flips the switch AGAIN!

Not cool, Vampire Bill!

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the so-called “kinder, gentler” vamp, steals Eric’s cell phone, and orders a hit on Pam, impersonating Eric to do it.  Next, Bill visits Sookie, explaining to her that he has killed Eric. Furthermore, he will kill ANY vampire who has tasted her blood, or just knows that she is a fairy (like Pam), because none of these vamps will ever be able to resist her once they know.  (Ummm, Bill?  Doesn’t that definition include YOU?)

(Why do I suddenly feel like I’m watching a Lifetime Movie, and the crazy stalker boyfriend who’s just been dumped has uttered the oh-so-cliched “If I can’t have her, no one can!” line.)

But Sookie, ever the glutton for punishment, is obviously turned on by stalker / murderer types.  Because she rushes right back into his arms.  And then Eric magically appears . . .

 . . . looking hotter than ever, with strategically placed bits of cement on his face and in his hair. 

Question:  If both Eric and Pam (as we find out later in the episode) could break through cement in a relatively short amount of time, aren’t we to assume Russell can too?

Eric has come to get back his phone, and to tell Sookie the truth about Bill.  Apparently, not only did he EXPLICITLY court Sookie, solely at the behest of Sophie Anne, who wished to procure a fairy for her collection.  He also orchestrated the whole vampire blood drainer attack from the pilot episode, to get her to feed him her blood, thus forging the initial connection between them.

WOW!  I really didn’t think Alan Ball had it in him, given his insane and irrational love for Vampire Bill.  And yet, Ball has managed to make the Bill character EVEN MORE DEVIOUS than he was in the books!  Color me impressed!

And I have to say, my heart really went out to Sookie, who was genuinely shocked and heartbroken by this admission.  Our Favorite Fairy promptly rescinded her home invitation to both Bill and Eric once again.  She then told Bill, in no uncertain terms, that she never wants to see him again.  “Go back to Hell where you came from you f*cking undead piece of sh*t!”  She yells tearfully. 

To his credit, Eric does not appear the least bit pleased with his moral victory over the Man Who Tried to Kill Him.  And it is Eric’s genuine guilt over hurting Sookie that makes me KNOW that those two have a genuine shot together.  “It pains me to see you suffer like this.  I thought you had a right to know,” the Viking Vamp says solemnly, before quietly leaving Sookie’s property. 

The episode ends with Vampire Bill, dumped, demoralized, and with nothing to lose, challenging Sophie Anne . . .

 to a . . . flying contest?

Something tells me Vigilante Bill is going to be WAY more fun to watch than Mopey Boyfriend Bill.  Just saying . . .

Oh, and then Sookie communes with the fairies, in the cemetery, while visiting her Granny’s grave . . .

 . . . she then disappears inside the Giant Chandelier . . .

So, that was it . . . That’s all the True Blood we’re going to get, until next summer.  I for one was expecting a more action packed finale, with a few more questions answered. Honestly, this didn’t really feel like “season ending” episode to me.

 And yet, there were parts of this episode I really liked  — most notably, the return of Alcide, and the final confrontation between Sookie, Bill and Eric, which, for me, had been a LONG time coming.  Not to mention that if Season 4 of True Blood is ANYTHING like Book 4 of the series on which the show is based, then we have A LOT of fun coming our way . . . 😉

Well, that’s all I have to say about “Evil is Going On.”  Now, it’s your turn Fangbangers.  What did you think of the episode?  Were you as underwhelmed as I was?  Or was there some brilliance to it all that I missed?  Perhaps, more importantly, what do you think will happen to our favorite Bon Temps residents, next year?  And how are you planning to pass the time, until then?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, True Blood

Trust me! I won’t bite! – A Recap of True Blood’s “Fresh Blood”

Eric Northman:  Making mouths (and other body parts) happy since 950 A.D.

Tonight’s episode of True Blood belonged to Eric Northman, and, by extension to Alexander Skarsgard.  He was the one calling the shots.  His lead was the one that everybody followed.  His storyline was the only one that seemed to have any significant plot development.  Not that there is anything wrong with that . . .

And yet, despite Eric’s storyline being the most intriguing and forward moving, there WERE other things going on in this episode.  And if I had to tie them together somehow, I would say they all related to the theme of “Trust” (or, in some characters’ case, a lack thereof).  So, before we get on to the MAIN EVENT, lets take a look at the opening acts.  Shall we?

Performance Enhancement

“Performance enhancement?  I don’t need any of that sh*t!  I’m Jason F*cking Stackhouse, and I PERFORM just fine, if you catch my drift . . .”

“Well . . . most of the time.”

When we last left Jason, he was coping with a “wild animal problem.”

Crystal made for a pretty funky CGI-looking panther, didn’t she?  Those of us who read this books knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it any less bizarre seeing it on the small screen.  And, I don’t know about you, but was I the only one who was hoping she’d be pink?

“Take me, Jason!  I’m a REAL sex kitten!  And I’ve got nine lives.  You know what that means . . .”

So, anyway, Jason is having a little bit of trouble wrapping his head around the whole “Werepanther Thing.” 

“Trailer Trash Barbie say WHAT?”

(Other things Jason has had trouble wrapping his head around:  the “addition thing,” the “subtraction thing”, the “reading books that don’t contain pictures” thing, the “having sex with more than one person in a 24-hour period makes you slutty” thing . . .)

Crystal is a bit insulted that Jason isn’t totally down with her offers of bestiality.  “I told you I had secrets.  You said you were OK with it,” she whines.

“I thought it was shoplifting or something,” argues Jason. 

Then the two resort to name-calling and petty insults.  Jason calls Crystal a “Meth Dealer’s Daughter”  . . .

 . . . and Crystal accuses Jason of not being a “man.”

“Oh no, you didn’t!”

But before any “catfights” break out, Jason detracts his claws, and apologizes for not being more understanding of Crystal’s “predicament.”  “I’m sorry, Crystal.  My brains feel like Scrambled Eggs right now,” he explains.

“Nice Jason!  Way to pick on the guy you just shot.  And I’m not ‘scrambled!”  The appropriate word is ‘decomposing,’ thank you very much!”

Then, Crystal begs Jason to help her stop the raid on her family’s meth lab, in order to “save the children.”  Jason is willing to consider it.  But right now, he has more important things to do like head to the high school football field and re-live his Glory Days  find Sookie.

While Jason is driving around searching for  Sookie, he just so happens to wind up back at his only high school football field.  (Riiiiight, because there’s nothing that murderous bloodthirsty vampires love more, than tossing around the ole’ pigskin.)  There, he spies his mancrush archrival highschool football star Kitch.

I’m sorry, but what kind of name is that?  Is that supposed to be short for “kitchen”?  Perhaps, that was where he was conceived?  Whatever, it is, I don’t like it.  Fortunately, I’ve come up with a new name for Jason’s mancrush archrival, Douchey McTeen.

So, Jason watches Douchey McTeen toss around the pigskin for a while with his minions butt buddies friends, and figures out that Douchey’s “talents” can only be attributed to one thing: excessive V usage.  Jason confronts Douchey, and is all, “That’s not FAAAAIIIIR!  You’re a CHEAATTERRR!  I’m TELLING, you stinky Poopy Head!”

 Unfortunately for Jason, everybody already seems to know about Douchey McTeens steroids V problem.  In fact, his coach, the school principal, even his own parents ENCOURAGED it.  Plus, apparently, unlike other performance enhancing drugs, V is completely undetectable through medical screening.  Poor Jason!  Douchey McTeen is going to take his high school football record away.  And without his football record, what does he have?

I stand corrected!

Summer’s Days are Drifting Away . . .

Speaking of V . . . and perpetual V cards, the adorable Hoyt has just had a taste of both, thanks to the lovely Vampire Jessica.  “I feel muscles in places I didn’t know I had,” exclaims Hoyt.

Mmmmm hmmmm, we bet you do, Lover Boy  — strong, hard . . . muscles.

Coming down off her post-coital high, Vampire Jessica FINALLY confesses to Hoyt about her little “Trucker Snack” from earlier this season.  However, she promises Hoyt that she has since learned to control her feeding, so as to prevent the death of her . . . meals.  “I can’t live on True Blood.  I need human blood.  That’s how it’s always going to be,” she insists.

“So drink me,” whispers Hoyt, as he unbuttons his shirt, illustrating the extent to which he loves and trusts his dear sweet vampire lover.

And that was when the panties of the entire female fanbase of True Blood fell to the floor. 

Jessica straddles Hoyt, and begins kissing him gently, gradually moving up his stomach, toward his neck, where she finally moves in for a big bite.  The whole thing was so hot, I swear, I almost passed out.  Way to go, you two!  May you go on to produce many very attractive vampire babies . . .

Meanwhile, Summer . . .

 . . . whose offers of biscuits, a nude body, her virginity, and lots of antiques and porcelain dolls, had failed miserably in winning over Hoyt’s heart, still had one more desperate trick up her sleeve.  And so, in the middle of the night, she runs crying to the doorstep of Hoyt’s MOTHER!

From the sound of it, Maxine Fortenberry was SO determined that her son NOT end up with the vampire that tried to eat her, she more or less HIRED Summer to seduce Hoyt away from Jessica.  Is that sick or what?  When Summer tells Maxine that she was willing to give up her virginity to her son, Maxine doesn’t even flinch (or laugh, which was what I did, when I heard that).  “I’m sure the Lord will forgive you, even if you are a sinner,” says the self-righteous witch.  “Don’t give up hope yet.  This is not over,” exclaims Maxine triumphantly.

Talk about a Bad Mommy!  I think I liked Maxine better when she was possessed by the Maenad, and obsessed with Bill Compton’s Wii Entertainment System . . .

At least THAT was a game you could win, Honey.  Because you are going to LOSE this one!  Hoyt and Jessica Forever!

She’s STILL having a baby!

Speaking of Bad Mommies . . .

. . . Arlene has been so obsessed with getting rid of her Future Serial Killer Baby . . .

. . . that she seems to have completely forgotten about her other kids!

“Please help us!  We haven’t eaten or bathed since Season 1.”

I love how Arlene commandeered Holly to help her with her “baby situation,” because she doesn’t believe in abortion.  Yes, Arlene, the man (or woman) upstairs would much rather you perform some weird Wiccan ritual to magically kill your baby, than to do it in a doctor’s office.  After cutting out early from work, Arlene follows Witch Holly . . .

. . . out into the woods.  There, the two light candles, sprinkle salt in a circle, and talk to Mother Nature (?), as well as Arlene’s deceased mother.  To complete the ritual, Arlene is told to put her own blood in a cup, and drink this nasty tasting concoction four times a day.  “We did our best. But if the baby is meant to be born, it will be born,” cautions Holly.

“What, no 100% guarantee?  Can I at least get my salt shaker back, if it doesn’t work?”

That night, Arlene has a weird dream about going fishing as a teenager.  In the dream Arlene’s mother is calling to her, but Arlene can’t see her.  She is woken up by Terry, who is freaked out, because Arlene’s nether regions are covered in a pool of blood.  When Arlene tells Terry she might have suffered a miscarriage, the poor man starts blubbering like a baby, which is so sweet, considering he KNOWS now that this isn’t his kid.

At the hospital, Terry continues to bawl, while Arlene, secretly relieved that her plan has worked, tries to prepare him for the worst.  But it’s Arlene who looks ready to cry, when the doctor comes in to deliver the news.  Future Serial Killer Baby LIVES!

Really?  With all that blood?  That is one strong baby! 

Maybe Arlene has been right about this whole “evil spawn” thing, all along!

Two Broken Souls = One Hot Screw

“Let’s make some dysfunctional shapeshifter babies together!”

So, for whatever reason, the True Blood writers have decided that Sam should have a Dark Side.  It inexplicably resurfaced two episodes ago, when Sam, with little provocation, almost beat that meth dealer to death . . .

 . . . then, last week, we learned he was a thief, a con artist and a double murderer . . .

 . . . and this week, we got to  add “mean and belligerent drunk” to this lovely list of qualities growing under Sam’s name. 

(Speaking of Sam’s name, if he was running from the law, don’t you think he should have changed it at some point, rather than . . . I don’t know . . . NAMING A BAR after it.)

So, Sam stumbles into the bar, and starts insulting his customers and staff, like it’s his job.

“Man, you’re ugly,” slurs Sam to one of his patrons.  (How’d you like to be the extra who got saddled with THAT part?)

He then calls Sweet Terry a “Shellshocked” Loser, and Arlene a B*tch.  He also FIRES his little brother Tommy, who’s crestfallen face breaks my heart, as the latter argues feebly that he has no where else to go.

“At least the Mickens always gave me dog bones to chew on.”

And then he told Sookie . . .

 . . . oh wait . . . he didn’t tell Sookie anything . . . because she wasn’t there . . . because she hasn’t worked a day since Season 1.

Eventually, Sam kicks everybody out of the bar, except Tara, because she refuses to leave.

Ummm . . . yeah, because that’s what I like to do on my days off from work – hang out at the office.

As it turns out, Tara’s been having a kind of crappy day herself.  She spends the whole morning crying in front of Eggs’ grave . . .

She then tearfully confronts Andy about his “taking credit” for Eggs’ murder.  After that, she drowns her sorrows in tequila, as her and Sam wax poetic about what not-nice people they are.  And, let me tell you, nothing says “lets bone” like a conversation in which both parties prove themselves to be total and complete a*sholes.  But bone they do, and it’s hardcore — like something straight out of a porno . . . Not that I would know ;).

“Oh yeah!  I needed a cigar after that one!”

Welcome to LaLa Land

“It’s OK.  We don’t understand our storyline either . . .”

So, while his cousin Tara was busy getting laid, Lafayette was busy . . . umm . . . NOT getting laid.  After that one trippy hit, his once holier -than-thou “Just say no to drugs” boyfriend is all about getting more V.  Jesus claims he wants to do it to “reconnect with his family.”  Right, just like those guys who say they read Playboy just “for the articles.”  But Lafayette, or, as he now calls himself, “LaLa” . . .

Lala?  But I thought Tinky Winky was supposed to be the gay one?

 .  . . is hesitant.  And that hesitation is only confirmed when he has a hallucination of Jesus looking like this . . .

Ummm . . . why is Jesus suddenly wearing the Shredder mask from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

More than a bit freaked out, “Lala” kicks Jesus out. But soon after, his toys religious figurines start dancing and talking to him again.  That will teach you to keep creepy figurines in your house, Lafayette.  You should have stuck with the Care Bears . . .

At least they won’t talk back . . .

And finally, the storyline we’ve all been waiting for . . .

Let the Sunshine In .  . .

Since you apparently lack experience in the whole sunlight thing, allow me to enlighten you.  Wearing black?  It’s only going to make you hotter.  (And you are hot enough, as it is.)  Might I suggest a certain Baby Blue Panty Dropper Sweater for your next daytime stroll?

When the episode begins, Beeaaallll heads to Fangtasia in search of Sookehhhhh.  Instead, Bill finds Pam, who beats him up and sprays him in the eye with silver.

Bill whines about how much he loves Sookie and blah, blah, blah.   But Pam isn’t having any of his sappy lovesick B.S.  “This isn’t about your relationship, you infatuated teen!”  She lectures.

Pam then admits to Bill that Eric plans to sacrifice Fairy Sookie to Big Gay Vampire King Russell in order to save his own life.  Meanwhile, down in the dungeon, to everyone’s surprise, the one who ACTUALLY rescues and unchains Sookie is YVETTA!

Sookie and Yvetta commiserate for a bit about what an ASS Eric is, and then they dash upstairs.  Bill then escapes with Sookie, while Yvetta absconds with the cash.  Poor Vampire Pam is left to drown her sorrows in the blood of Screaming Ginger . . .

Meanwhile, Eric is at the Jackson mansion, confronting Russell . . .

Silly, Screwed Up Russell!  Still clutching his Goblet o’ Talbot, he actually seems hurt that anyone would think to betray him in this way.  “Why did you kill Talbot?  He has done nothing to you!”   Russell whines.  (Right, Russell . . . as if that newscaster did anything to you . . .)

As someone who clearly has more patience, and less of an appreciation for the ironic than I do, however, Eric is willing to explain.  “You killed my parents, in order to obtain my father’s crown for your vast collection of meaningless sh*t,” he offers.

Meaningless sh*t, indeed.

Russell plans to kill Vampire Eric immediately, for his transgression.  However, Eric makes him an offer he can’t refuse.  The wise Viking entices Russell, with talk of vampires walking in the sun.  He asks for an extra day of life to prove he is telling the truth.  Russell agrees. 

That night, Russell and Eric literally hold up a car . . .

The car contains within it Bill and Sookie.  And the action thankfully interrupts the two from their cheesy conversation about what they would do, if they were a NORMAL couple.  (Bill as a school teacher?  PLEASE!  Mr. Compton can barely take care of Baby Vamp Jessica, let alone a classroom full of young kids he wants to eat.)

Sookie looks genuinely  freaked out that two  vampires are “high” jacking her car.  Bill just looks bored . . .

Russell and Eric hop in the car, and the foursome head back to Fangtasia.  There, Vampire Eric stages a fake fight with Bill, so that he can inform the latter of his ingenious, but risky, plan to save Sookie and kill Russell, in the process.  Meanwhile, Russell drags Sookie inside. 

At Fangtasia, Eric explains to Russell that Sookie is part-fairy, and that fairy blood is, as Sookie so eloquently put it, some form of vampire sunscreen . . .

Eric also admits that he learned this important piece of information from Vampire Bill, who spent some time in the sun after ALMOST KILLING Sookie!

Sookie is not pleased about these recent developments, as they, once again, illustrate Vampire Bill’s penchant for lying to her, and keeping secrets from her.  Unfortunately, however, Sookie doesn’t really have a say in what’s about to happen to her next.  The Fairy Waitress is forced to lay flat on a bar table.  The oh-so-gallant Russell, waits for Eric to take the first bite.  However, Eric hesitates, undoubtedly, thinking about “other” things . . .

Eventually, Russell grows impatient and takes the first bite himself, with Eric reluctantly following suit.  So much blood is taken, that Sookie eventually falls unconscious . . .

Pam and Eric then head off to a backroom to set up the security cameras, and prepare Eric to take his first walk outside, thus proving to Russell that it can be done.  An unusually emotional and vulnerable Pam cries tears of blood, at the prospect of losing her maker to the Sun.  “You know I love you more, when you are cold and heartless,” whispers Eric into Pam’s ear, as he brings her in for an affectionate hug.

I LOVE THESE TWO!

With a final goodbye to Pam, Eric takes his first steps outside, and gets a bit emotional, as he meets the Sun for the first time in centuries.  Russell watches in awe and with anticipation, from the security cameras inside Fangtasia. 

Just as Eric’s skin begins to burn, Pam cajoles Russell to follow Eric outside.  Eric turns his head away, praying in an ancient tongue that Russell will not see that he is burning and ruin the whole plan.  When Russell DOES begin to burn, Eric handcuffs himself to the Big Gay Vampire King, and attaches them both to the floor, his once beautiful face now hideously scarred.  “Now we will die together,” Eric says ominously.

We hear Russell’s pitiful screams, as the final credits roll. 

(Wait, couldn’t Eric have just chained Russell to a post and ran back inside?  I don’t really get the whole “dying together thing.”  It seems a bit overdramatic, if you ask me.  It makes for a good ending though . . .)

So, there you have it, the last episode of True Blood, before the Season 3 finale, which is set to air in two weeks.  What did you think?  Are you a fan of the new Dark Drunk Sam?  Are you as confused by “LaLa’s” storyline as I am?  Can you imagine a True Blood without Vampire Eric?  I mean . . . obviously . . . he’s going to survive . . . right?

See, you in two weeks, fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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True Blood Dream Casting – Amelia Broadway (May Contain Slight Spoilers)

A few days back, I put on my amateur casting director’s hat, and offered some suggestions to Alan Ball, should he ever decide to translate the character of J.B. DuRone from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books to their companion television series, True Blood.  Seeing as I had so much fun doing that, I’ve decided to try my hand at casting another popular character from the book series, namely, Amelia Broadway.

Introduced in the sixth book of the series, Definitely Dead . . .

. . .  Amelia eventually becomes intimately linked with many of the series’ already established characters.  When we first meet Amelia, she is living in New Orleans . . .

 . . . where, for a time, she acted as landlady to Sookie’s cousin, and Queen Sophie Anne’s lover, Hadley . . .

In addition to being a landlady, Amelia also happens to be an aspiring witch . . .

 . . . but a GOOD one . . .

Unfortunately, Amelia’s “bewitching” skills are not quite up-to-par.  For example, there was this one time, when she wanted her boyfriend, Bob, to be more adventurous in the sack . . . so, she accidentally turned him into a cat . . .

In the books, Amelia is said to be around Sookie’s age (late 20’s).   The two become fast friends, especially after Amelia relocates to Bon Temps.  Single, spunky, fun, flirty and a little bit flighty, Amelia is certainly not the kind of gal who has any difficulty finding dates on a Friday night. 

Did I mention that she’s also bisexual?  Or that, in addition to her many male suitors, she also catches the eye of a certain female vampire, we all know and love?

Let’s cast this little witch, shall we?   Below are my top five choices, in no particular order.

1) Rachel Bilson

Age:  Turns 29 TODAY (August 25th)!  (Happy Birthday, Rachel!)

Where you’ve seen her: as the adorable Summer Roberts, in The O.C., as Cindy, in How I Met Your Mother, and as Millie, in the film, Jumper

Why she’d make a great Amelia: 

Rachel Bilson would really shine in a role like this!  As Summer on The O.C., Bilson played a character who, on the surface, was ditzy, shallow, and self-absorbed.  And yet, she gave the role a surprising amount of complexity, intelligence, and heart.  Thanks to the actress’ charm and talent, Summer, who started off the show as a two-dimensional “mean girl,” blossomed into the most charming and likeable female character on the entire series! 

Bilson also has the comedic chops to pull off Amelia’s less than stellar witchy moments, without making them seem too cheesy or slapstick.  Finally, in terms of age and temperment, I think she would be relatively believable, as a good friend of Anna Paquin’s Sookie.

2) Allison Munn

Age: 35 (but looks about 10 years younger!)

Where you’ve seen her: as Amanda Bynes sarcastic and slightly promiscuous friend, Tina, on What I Like About You, as Fez’s girlfriend, Caroline, on That 70’s Show, and as Lauren, on One Tree Hill

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

Of all the actors on this list, Allison Munn bears the most resemblance the image I had in my head of Amelia, when I was reading the Sookie Stackhouse books.  In terms of physical appearance, she is almost a perfect match!  Like Rachel Bilson, Allison has proven herself to have the comic timing necessary for a role like this.  Plus, those of you who have ever watched What I Like About You would likely agree that there are A LOT of similarities between Amelia, and the role she played on that show, at least in terms of both characters’ personality traits.

3) Rachel McAdams

Age: 31

Where you’ve seen her: as Regina George in Mean Girls, as Allie in The Notebook, as Claire in The Wedding Crashers, as Clare in The Time Traveler’s Wife . . . and the list just goes on . . .

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

I know!  I know!  There is VERY little chance that at this stage in her career, Rachel McAdams would have any interest in taking on a non-starring role in a television series.  But hey, I called this post “Dream Casting” for a reason, right? 

You know what’s so great about Rachel McAdams?  She has this flawless ability to literally transform herself for every role she plays.   (Not to mention the fact that she is the ONLY HUMAN ON THE PLANET who actually looks good as a blonde, brunette AND a redhead!). 

I remember seeing The Notebook, shortly after watching Mean Girls, and being absolutely shocked that the same actress played the lead (second lead?) in both.  But no matter WHO she’s playing, Rachel McAdams brings a certain likeability and relatability to her roles that is virtually unmatched in the industry.  This role would be no exception.

4) Monica Keena

Age: 31

Where you’ve seen her: as mean girl, Abby Morgan on Dawson’s Creek, as boy crazy Rachel on Undeclared, as “E’s” one-time girlfriend, Kristen, on Entourage, and as Lori Campbell in that pitiful Freddy vs. Jason movie

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

In my other three casting choices, I noted a few traits that made the aforementioned actresses particularly suited to play Amelia: comedic timing, charm, likeability, age appropriateness, and the right physical appearance.  Monica Keena has ALL of those things going for her.   But she also has something else:  sex appeal. 

Let’s face it, with the possible exception of Sookie (who, in my opinion, is WAY too monogamous, especially given all the FABULOUS male options she has available to her), Amelia probably gets laid more than any other female character in Charlaine Harris’ series.  She’s boy-crazy!  And GIRL crazy! 

Whoever plays Amelia must have what it takes to be a believable seductress for PAM!  Not very many women can pull that off.  I think Monica can . . .

5) Rose McGowan

Age: 36

Where you’ve seen her: as Neve Campbell’s DOOMED B.F.F., Tatum in Scream, as Dr. Teddy Rowe in Nip Tuck, as Cherry in the film, Grindhouse, and, perhaps, most importantly, as WITCH Paige Matthews in Charmed

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

Talk about sex appeal!  Rose McGowan has it in spades!  She’s also proven herself to be a solid comedic actress  (that “doggy door” scene in Scream never fails to make me giggle), as well as a remarkably energetic and likeable one (as evident in the Charmed series). 

Sure, McGowan would be a more mature, and certainly edgier Amelia, than any of the other actresses I’ve suggested.  Then again, isn’t Kristen Bauer a more mature and edgier Pam than the one Charlaine Harris described in her books?  Speaking of Kristen Bauer, how utterly cool would it be to watch her and McGowan share scenes together?  I suspect their chemistry would be amazing!

So, there you have it  — my top five casting picks for Amelia Broadway.  Who would YOU choose?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under casting, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, True Blood

You say you want a REVOLUTION? – A Recap of True Blood’s “I Smell a Rat”

Why does one bad apple  vampire have to spoil it for the whole bunch?  You see, up until this point on the show, Humans and Vamps?  They were getting along JUST FINE! 

Sure, there was a certain fringe group of humans that weren’t all too keen on letting the vampires play in their Human Games . . .

But they were just a bunch of religious wackjobs.  And no one cares what religious wackjobs think, anyway. 

That was before THIS happened . . .

Special thanks to Carol for this awesome GIF!

Suddenly, those “religious wackjobs” were starting to sound mighty convincing to a lot of people.  As a result, many of our friendly neighborhood vampires found themselves having to take certain “defensive” measures, to maintain the “status quo” . . .  And that was when all the POO really started to hit the fan.

Secrets were revealed, loyalties tested, and plenty of supernatural creatures were forced “out of the closet,” in the process.  In fact, so much went on during this episode, that I don’t even know where do begin.  Wait . . . yes, I do  . . .

Everybody Loves a Good FAIRY tale . . .

After weeks upon weeks of hinting and speculation, Bill finally revealed to Sookie, “her TRUE Nature” (or as Bill calls it, her “Nashahhhhh.”) When she finally finds out, Sookie is less than pleased.  “I’m a FAIRY?  How f*cking lame!”  Sookie gripes.

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

You know Sookie, there are a lot of WONDERFUL things about being a fairy.  After all, every time a bell rings, there’s a chance you may get your wings . . .

Oh, that’s angels?  Nevermind . . .

So, anyway, apparently, vampires just go CRAZY for fairy blood!  In other words, to Vampire Eric and Vampire Bill, Sookie tastes something like this .  . .

This begs the inevitable question as to whether Bill loves Sookie for her spunky, mind-reading, big-boobed self, or because her blood tastes like something he would order at Baskin Robbins.  Bill, of course, claims it is the former. 

“It is not your blood I love.  It is the way you scream ‘BEAAAAAAAAAL’ that really makes my heart flutter and my ear drums burst into flames.

Bill begins to wax poetic about how much he LUUUUUUVES Sookie, and wants to protect her for all eternity, and blah, blah, blah.  While he speaks, you can literally hear the violins playing in the background.  Super small ones . . .

When there’s a WILL, Vampire Eric gets his way .  . .

Meanwhile, Eric is at Fangtasia, drafting his Last Will and Testament with a lawyer, while Pam (who is looking FABULOUS, in her smokin hot purple leather dress, by the way) looks on, in not-so-silent protest.

“Let’s see, the rest and residuary of my Estate goes to Pam.  My heart .  . .

. . .and my weiner . . .

. . . belong to Miss Stackhouse.  But to whom shall I leave my crown?

Of course!  Lafayette – a King’s Crown for my favorite QUEEN!”

Vampire Pam is disappointed in her Maker.  It’s not like Eric to just roll over and “play undead,” just because some Big Gay Vampire King is mad at him.  She thinks he’s acting like a total pussy, and tells him as much.  But Eric, convinced he is about to meet his Maker . . .

Yeah . . . that one too, I guess.

 . . .  is determined to make his final arrangements.  He immediately asks SlutBall Yvetta to act as his witness, while he signs the will  . . .

Poor Dumb Yvetta!  She actually believed Eric was going to leave all his fortune to HER, just because the pair had a few good rolls in the coffin.  OK, a few good SIX-HOUR rolls in the coffin, but still . . .

“But you PROMISED!”  Yvetta whines, like the whorish Dancing Baby she is . . .

“I promised you a job and lots of good sex.  That’s all,” insists Eric, causing poor Yvetta to wet her diaper, before storming out in tears.

Out, Out, Damn Spot!

“Dammit!  This is the THIRD shirt I’ve lost to Vampire Guts.  If only there was a way to cope with tough-to-remove stains like these . . .

Thanks Tide!”

When we last left Tara, she was being rescued by Jason Stackhouse . . .

. . . who turned her abusive ex-boyfriend, Franklin . . .

 . . . into THIS . . .

Poor Franklin, if only he could have used his “Mad Texting Skills” to dial 911, things might have worked out differently for him . . .

We love you too, Franklin . . . you creepy psycho stalker, YOU!

Now, Jason, has had SOME experience killing EGGS . . .

 . . . but virtually NO experience, killing VAMPIRES (well, unless you count poor, Vampire Eddie, but that was purely for recreational purposes  . . .)

“Did I ever tell you about this time I drank Vampire Blood and got this massive boner for HOURS?  Good times!”

 So, the elder Stackhouse was, understandably,  a little freaked out . . .

I can’t believe I’ve killed such a brilliant texter!  Oh the lack of humanity!

So, Tara, who is VERY experienced in the art of Vampire Cleanup, takes charge, instructing Jason to pick up Franklin’s guts . . .

. . . dump them in his truck, and drive them FAR FAR AWAY! 

While Jason is handling the first load, Tara takes some time to pay her last respects to the love of her life  . . .

Nothing says loving like a LOOGEY!

“Oh, Tara!  How I’ve longed to taste your spit again!”

Jason and Tara then ride back to Jason’s house, where Fairy Sookie is waiting for them, and looking for some protection.

Sookie Plays Shrink . . .

“I should really charge by the hour for this!”

Poor Sookie!  She came to her brother’s house looking for safety, and some R&R  — after being on the run from vamps, werewolves, and maenads for THREE SEASONS without any breaks.  But NO ONE will let the Poor Fairy rest!  All they want to do is talk her ears off about their petty little problems.  First up is Tara, who wants to give Sookie the play-by-play in her neverending “Why I hate vampires” saga . . .

“He made me wear an ugly dress.  And he was a VERY bad kisser!  It was TERRIBLE!”

Next up was Jason, who inexplicably stayed clothed for the entire episode.  And for that reason, he must be PUNISHED!

“Bad for him.  Good for US!”

Jason finally admitted to Sookie that HE  broke killed Eggs, not Andy.

Take that, recent outbreak of Salmonella Poisoning!

Sookie responds by giving Jason the WORST ADVICE EVER!  “Tell Tara.”

Seriously?  What good could it possibly have served for Jason to tell Tara about Eggs, just moments after she suffered the traumatic experience of watching her abusive boyfriend die right in front of her, AGAIN!

And yet, tell Tara, Jason did, just moments before the fiesty femme was about to give him a Gratitude F*ck, for saving her from being murdered by Franklin.

“See this, Jason?  This is your chances of getting laid during this episode going down the drain . . .”

“Sh&t!  Not AGAIN!”

Tara dashes out of that room, faster than you can say “blue balls.”

Next, Vampire Eric comes to visit Sookie . . . TWICE!

The first time Vampire Bill is there.

The second time, he is in SOOKIE DREAMS!

“Woo hoo!”

Both times, the message is the same.  “Sookie, you want me, and my sexy body . . .

“Who doesn’t?”

 . . . and don’t trust Bill.”

In the first encounter, Sookie more or less blows off Eric.  And yet, she is noticeably distraught, when he not-so-subtly alludes to the very real possibility of him meeting his “final death.”  It is likely Sookie’s anguish over THIS first encounter, that causes her to DREAM of Eric that night.  And that dream . . . well . . . it deserves it’s own BOLD SUBHEADING, don’t you think?

Why aren’t MY dreams like THIS?

Sookie is dozing on the couch, when she awakens to find Eric perched on its armrest, peering down at her.  “Will your blood ever wear off?  I’m tired of dreaming of you.”

“Huh?”

(Hey Sookie, if you ever get tired of dreaming of Eric, I’d gladly take those pesky dreams off your hands for you.  No problem.)

“It’s not just the blood.  You KNOW you have feelings for me,” whispers Eric, as he leans in closer.

“Ew,” replies Sookie, but her rapid breathing, and “f*ck me” eyes  say something else entirely.

Dream Eric then leans in and kisses her gently.

In spite of herself, Sookie closes her eyes and moves in closer.  “You know you like this,” probes Eric, kissing the side of her neck, “and this,” he continues, kissing the front of her neck.  “And you know you can’t trust Bill.  That’s not my blood talking.  It’s your survival instinct,” concludes Eric, as he leans in to bite Sookie’s neck. 

Sookie sighs in ecstacy, and then (unfortunately) wakes up with a  start.  She HAS to go see Eric to engage in a hot six-hour sex session with him find out why he said he was about to die, and she can’t trust Bill.

Hallelujah!  Dreams CAN come true!

NOT a DREAM!

Sookie sneaks out from the “grounding” Papa Bill Compton enforced on her, and heads off to Fangtasia to visit Eric.

Time for dessert!

Sookie begins the meeting with all intentions of talking business, but Eric is much more interested in enjoying the Sookie Stackhouse Tongue Special, for his “Last Supper.”  Eric moves in close to Sookie, invading her personal space with gusto, just like he does in ALL of my favorite scenes, “If I meet the true death without at least having kissed you, Sookie Stackhouse, it would be my biggest regret.”

SQUUUUEEEE!

“That’s what I did during this scene!”

“Why does it sound like you are saying good bye,” whispers Sookie.

“Because I am,” responds Eric mournfully.

And then he leans in . . . and kisses her .  . . for REAL!  And guess what?  She KISSES HIM BACK!  And I’m not talking that peck on the lips, “I’m just humoring you, but you really remind me of of my grandpa,” kissing, either.  I am talking REAL, HONEST TO GOODNESS MAKING OUT, complete with arms fondling backs, and bodies squeezed tightly together like two halves of a delicious peanut butter sandwich.  In short — It’s the moment Sookie and Eric fans have been waiting for.  And it. is. AWESOME!

But then Pam (who I usually adore, but not today) has to come and screw it all up.

Pam implores Eric to either give Sookie up to Russell, or USE her, to save his own life.  (Note: There was some talk earlier in the episode, of Sookie’s blood permitting vampires to walk in the sun.  However, Bill assured Eric that the effect was only temporary.)

In the final scene of the episode, Eric shocks all of us, by carrying Sookie into a dungeon (the same one where he held Lafayette prisoner during the early part of Season 2), and chaining her to a wheel, by her neck. 

Who knew Eric was so into S&M?

Sookie immediately concludes that Eric has betrayed her.  But has he?  Or is he just doing this to save HER life?  Only time will tell . . .

Tommy Makes His Move (But So Does Hoyt!)

Back at Merlotte’s, our favorite Baby Vamp and Teen Shapeshifter are working HARD, and getting dirty together on the floor . . .

 Mmmmm, KINKY!

Unfortunately, Arlene the Ass isn’t helping them AT ALL!  Instead, that b*tch is  watching TV . . .

And who’s on the tube, you ask?  It’s Looney Tunes Hatemonger, Steve Newlin, of course!

For those of you just tuning in, Steve Newlin was one of the main villains of True Blood‘s Second Season.  He is the leader of a Vampire Hate cult called the Fellowship of the Sun.  The oddly charismatic Steve even briefly indoctrinated Bon Temps own Jason Stackhouse into his Sick Sad Cult World . . .

Fortunately, however, Good Ole’ Jason couldn’t keep it in his pants, as per usual . . . And when he started doing the horizontal mambo with Steve’s wife, Sarah . . .

 . . . Steve decided he didn’t want Jason in his little club anymore.

So, anyway, Arlene is busy not-cleaning, and watching Steve Newlin peddle his hate, when she suddenly blurts out, “It was only a matter of time before one of y’all got caught on film.”  (“Y’all” obviously referring to Jessica and the rest of her vampire kind.) 

OH NO, she DIDN’T!

Well, needless to say, Jessica doesn’t like that comment very much . . .

OK.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I loved this scene.  But the whole “Vampire gets mad and pushes the bad guy (or girl) against the wall, super fast” thing?  It happens EVERY SINGLE EPISODE.  And it’s getting kind of old.  Why can’t they just drop kick the bastards, and be done with it?

Apparently, Jessica has a little something she wants to say to her Good Ole Pal, Arlene.  “OK.  We get it.  You don’t like vampires.  Well I don’t like narrow minded skinny bitches with bad dye jobs.  But at least I’ve got the courtesy to keep my mouth shut about it . . . most of the time,” seethes the  Baby Vamp.

Meanwhile, Tommy, who has been watching this entire exchange take place, is clearly turned on . . .

“Damn!  This is better than the porn I watched on PayPerView last night, and charged to Sam’s credit card.”

“You don’t think he knows, do you?”

After Arlene scampers away, like the whiny coward she is, Tommy moves in for the “kill,” telling Jessica how hot her fangs and rage issues are to him.  But Jessica is still hung up on Hoyt, and she tells Tommy as much.  “Then why are you here with me and not him?”  Tommy asks, with surprising amount of bravado, seeing as Jessica has given him NO REASON whatsoever to believe she’s interested.

“If you want my body, and you think I’m sexy, come on Vampire let me know!”

“Because this is my shift.  Duh!  Because Hoyt is too good for me,” Jessica pouts.

Never much for self-respect  (You know what they say about lying down with dogs, after all .  . .), Tommy responds, “But I’m not too good for you.”

Then, Jessica leaves his ass.  BURN! 

Ummm, Tommy.  I have a book recommendation for you . . .

Meanwhile, Hoyt is in the car with a VERY HORNY Summer .  . .

Summer is ready to do it with Hoyt, because she thinks screwing him will save their dead-in the-water relationship.

“I have a mouth like a hoover, if that helps!”

To Hoyt’s credit, he doesn’t enjoy his Summer.  Instead, he grows some balls, and finally kicks the antiquing, porcelain doll collecting, freako to the curb.

“Does this mean no more biscuits?”

Immediately after ditching Summer, Hoyt rushes to the bar to profess his love to Jessica!

But she once again blows him off . . .

When Hoyt storms out, Tommy rushes after him, to rub salt in his nemesis’ wound .  . . so Hoyt decks him.  Then Tommy turns into THIS . . .

. . . and attacks Hoyt.  (Ummm . . . weirdest fight over a girl, EVER!)

When Jessica comes outside, and sees Hoyt being attacked by Doggy Tommy, she easily tosses him into the trees, like he’s a random piece of dust that got on her shirt.  It is the coolest thing EVER! 

 (Another note: It’s uncertain at this point, whether Jessica KNOWS what Tommy is.  Perhaps, she just thought Hoyt, was being attacked by some random mangy mutt.  Perhaps not . . .)

As Naked Tommy looks on sadly from the bushes, Jessica tells Hoyt she loves him too.  She then forces him to drink her blood, to heal his Tommy bites.

Awwww yeah!  It’s only a matter of time, before these two are de and re-virginizing eachother regularly once again.  And I for one, couldn’t be happier . . .

I’m sorry, Tommy!  I know things haven’t exactly been easy for you during this episode.  Fortunately, however, I have something that is sure to cheer you right up . . .

You’re welcome!

Sam Merlotte Gets “Lost”

While Tommy was busy getting beat up by a girl and rejected, his dog partner in crime, Sam, was equally busy altering his entire personality from the past three seasons — by snapping at everyone, drinking heavily, and experiencing flashbacks.  Since when did Sam Merlotte become Sawyer from Lost?

“Is this another Flash-Sideways?”

Just like a certain, Flight 815 survivor, apparently Sam Merlotte was somewhat of a con artist in his “past life.”  In fact, he made most of his cash by robbing banks and jewelry stores, using his shapeshifting abilities to sneak in and out unnoticed.

“And to think, all this time, I’ve been relying on my good looks and great abs to get me in the door . . .”

In Sam’s little flashback, he seems to have a girlfriend . . .

Yeah, bye bye is right, b&tch!

The girlfriend is played by Arielle Kebbel.  And if you know the actress, you knew the character was a goner, the moment she appeared on screen.  After all, Arielle bears the dubious distinction of being the girl who’s character gets tragically killed in EVERY SINGLE supernatural TV show or horror movie in which she is featured . . .

This is DEAD Arielle Kebbel in The Vampire Diaries.  Believe it or not, she actually played a VAMPIRE in that one . . .

Anyway, apparently, Arielle (or whatever her name was in the episode) was only using Sam, so that she and her boyfriend could get his money and booty .  . .

 . . . runoff, and live Trashily Ever After.  When I heard this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another blonde brat who tried to do the EXACT SAME THING to the man who loved her . . .

Yeah . . . her.  Apparently, it was LOST Day on True Blood . . .

So, b&tchy Arielle and her beau escape with poor Sam’s moolah, while Sam lies writhing on the floor, plotting his revenge.  He gets it the next night, when he arrives in dog form at the couple’s campsite.  (Really?  A campsite?  All those jewels and cash, and these two couldn’t afford a hotel?  What gives True Blood?)

So, Sam morphs back into human form, and holds a gun at Bad Boyfriend’s head . . .

Sam then knocks the dude unconscious and waves the gun over his prone form.  Then Arielle takes out a gun and holds it at Sam’s head.  Not thinking clearly, Sam instantly shoots his so called lady love dead.  In anguish, he then shoots the boyfriend to cover his tracks, and leaves the campsite. 

AHA!

So, NOW we know why Sam was on the run from the cops during the first season!  It all makes sense now!  I just wonder why he never got around to changing his name, seeing as “Sam Merlotte” may or may not still be wanted for murder . . .

Speaking of Murderers .  . .

Arlene FINALLY tells Terry that the baby in her belly is not his, but rather Evil Rene’s.  And you know what?  Terry is AWESOME about it . . .

He offers to raise the baby as his own, and give it so much love, it can’t possibly turn evil.  (Awwww, I heart HIM!)

And yet, Arlene STILL wants to get rid of the baby.  So, she asks her new “Wiccan” friend Holly to help her out in this regard.

Arlene is a total Poopyhead!

In fact, that’s what I think I will call her for the rest of the Season .  . .

Have a nice trip, boys!

Lafayette’s and Jesus’ story this week, started with a miraculous rescue . . .

 . . . and ended with a “trip” that looked like a Disney World ride . . .

“Hey, isnt that the old hag from Snow White?  Weird!”

It all started when Trailer Trash Barbie . . .

  . . . Crystal, along with Jesus . . .

 . . . and Lafayette were driving around with a half-dead Calvin Norris in the backseat.  Since there didn’t seem to be any time to get to a hospital  (And lets face it, with the exception of Jesus, NONE of those folks have an ounce of health insurance.), Lafayette decides to take the whole gang to his house.  There, he feeds Calvin some of that vampire blood he has been dealing.  Calvin heals almost immediately, but then disowns his daughter for letting two gay guys feed him V.  Talk about ungrateful!

“Them f*ckers is a WHOLE NEW DIMENSION of trash!”  Lafayette muses. 

Trash . . . the final frontier.

Alone again, Jesus, who despite being all holier than thou, and “I can’t date a drug dealer,” just episodes earlier, begs Lafayette to take V with him. 

Remembering how much he LOVED the stuff last time . . .

 . . . Lafayette agrees, and the two have this weird theme park-esque tripping sequence, where they proceed to tell eachother about their family roots, both of which seem steeped in freaky voodoo-type magic.  But the absolute weirdest hallucination of them all was THIS GUY . . .

Apparently, Jesus has an evil grandfather of some sort.  (Hope his name isn’t Judas . . .)

And finally . . .

Bat sh*t crazy Russell . . .

 .  . . picked up some random male prostitute, holed up with him in a random hotel, and talked to him as if he was Talbot, before staking him.

“Oh, Russell!  This is BEYOND offensive!  I am WAY cuter than this guy!  And you did it in a seedy motel, with COTTON sheets instead of silk.  If my guts weren’t trapped in that vase of yours, I’d be ROLLING OVER in my grave!”

Oh, and I almost forgot . . .

After Jason uninvited Bill to his apartment, because Bill gave him WAY TOO MUCH crap for accidentally letting Sookie, a GROWN woman, escape, Crystal . . .

 . . . snuck into Jason’s house, and revealed herself to be one of THESE . . .

Watch out Tara, I smell a CAT FIGHT in your future . . .

So, there you have it folks, another spectacular installment of True Blood is in the can.  Can you believe there are only two episodes remaining, before we bid this fabulous Season adieu?

 [www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under True Blood

True Blood Dream Casting – J.B. DuRone

One of the fun things, for me at least, about having read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse Books . . .

. . . prior to watching the True Blood series on HBO  (which is more or less based on those books) . . .

  . . . is the added insight it gives me into these complex television characters, and the fictional lives they are destined to lead in the future.  Sometimes, it makes me feel downright telepathic . . .

Well . . . maybe not telepathic, but at least like someone who has the “inside scoop” on things.

And while Alan Ball has certainly exercised his right to CHANGE a few things from the books, in creating the show . . .

Not DEAD!

Not a mild-mannered, girly-girl clothing store owner.

Will not GO AWAY!

 . . . one thing he HAS adhered to pretty faithfully, is author Charlaine Harris’ colorful cast of characters, and the various ways in which they impact Sookie’s universe.

For this reason, I predict that it won’t be too long, before a certain hunky personal trainer, named J.B. DuRone, graces our television sets on Sunday nights.   (Because, lets face it, Alan Ball LOVES his sexy men!)

For the uninitiated, J.B. DuRone is Bon Temps townie, born and raised in Louisianna.  He was friends with Sookie and Tara back in high school, and even took Sookie to her senior prom.

“Like my pretty prom dress, y’all?  My Grams bought it for me!”

Now, J.B. works as a popular personal trainer at the local Bon Temps gym, and lives in one of those apartments behind Merlotte’s that Sam rents out.  J.B. has always been a loyal friend to Sookie, and even harbored a little crush on her for a short time.  (What guy didn’t in this series?)  Later in the books, he functioned as an unusually healthy and well-adjusted love interest for Perpetual Dater of Losers and Nutjobs, Tara . . .

“It’s about DAMN TIME!”

In terms of character traits, J.B. has a little bit of Jason . . .

 . . . a dash of Hoyt . . .

 . . . and a dollop of Sam . . .

 . . . all rolled into one glorious package.

Like Jason, J.B. has the looks of Hollywood Heartthrob, and the body of a male model.  He also shares Jason’s not-so-keen intellect.  J.B. isn’t exactly the sharpest crayon in the box . . .

And yet, like Hoyt, J.B. is charming, and sweet, and polite, almost to a fault.  He is the quintessential Southern Gentleman.

With Sam, J.B. shares a protective, almost paternalistic, relationship with Sookie (and later with Tara).  He is always ready to help her out of a jam, even if he doesn’t always no HOW to help, or what the heck is going on.

So, of course, all of this begs the question, who should Alan Ball CAST in the role of J.B. DuRone.  Well . . . I’ve got a few ideas . . .

Below you will find my Top Five casting picks (in no particular order) for Bon Temps’ Favorite Bodybuilder.

1) Channing Tatum

Age: 30

Where you’ve seen him before:  the romantic comedy She’s the Man (starring alongside Amanda Bynes), those Step Up dance movies, the action flick, GI Joe, the anti-war drama, Stop Loss, and that chick flick, Dear John.

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

Like J.B., Channing Tatum is a native Southern boy, having grown up in a small Alabama town.  So, not only will Channing be able to effortlessly pull off the Southern charm necessary for this role, he will also be able to provide fans with a remarkably authentic Southern accent, (something which, honestly, is hard to come by on this show).  In addition to all that “Southern stuff,” Channing clearly has the physique of a bodybuilder, and the chiseled looks to match.  A very young-looking 30-year old, Channing is also “age appropriate,” in that he is believable as someone who would have gone to high school with Sookie and Tara.

2) Nick Zano

Age: 32

What you’ve seen him in: the WB sitcom, What I Like About You (also starring Amanda Bynes) and the ABC show, Cougar Town

Why he’d make a great J.B. :

Not to typecast or anything, but the character of J.B. DuRone is remarkably similar to Vince, the character Zano played on What I Like About You.  Both are charming ladies men, who are capable of being disarmed and “tamed” by the right woman.  Both have startlingly beautiful bodies that are painstakingly well-cared for.  And both aren’t too bright, at least in the traditional sense of the word.  Then again, maybe I’m just shamelessly angling for a chance to see Nick on my TV screen again . . .

3) Cam Gigandet

Age: 28

Where you’ve seen him:  the teen drama The O.C., as Bad Ass Bully, Kevin Volchok,  the film Never Back Down, as Bad Ass Bully, Ryan McCarthy, and Twilight, as Bad Ass Vampire, James.  (Notice a pattern here?)  Cam will also be featured in the upcoming movie / musical, Burlesque  and the upcoming teen comedy Easy A.

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

Under that douchey exterior, and penchant for bad boy roles, there’s a heartthrob inside Cam Gigandet, just waiting to get out.  And this is the perfect role to bring it out of him.  True, Cam would probably make for an edgier J.B. DuRone than the one mentioned in Charlaine Harris’ books.  But, then again, to be a believable match for someone as edgy and abrasive as True Blood’s Tara, maybe he will have to be.  I can just imagine the chemistry between Rutina Wesley and Cam Gigandet, and it would SIZZLE!

In terms of physical appearance, Cam has the body of fighter —  someone who spends hours and hours at the gym, just like J.B. DuRone.  In fact, I’ve never seen a film with Cam Gigandet, where he WASN’T throwing a punch, or exposing those enviable abs in some way!  To top it off, Cam is EXACTLY the same age as Anna Paquin and Rutina Wesley, which would work out perfectly for the J.B. character.  Seriously, how often do actors actually get to PLAY characters their own age, anymore?

4) Tom Hardy

Age: 32

Where you’ve seen him: the Guy Ritchie-directed, trippy action-romp, RocknRolla and the recent box office blockbuster, Inception

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

No modern day male actor exudes more inherent masculinity than Tom Hardy.    Ever word out of his mouth, and every inch of his body just screams “MAN!”  This is exactly the type of guy Tara needs in her life.  He is strong, and a protector.  But he is also remarkably stable, and lighthearted.  This is a guy who can soften Tara’s rough edges, and make her laugh.  Yet, when it is necessary, he can also give a royal beatdown to any evil vampire or werewolf stupid enough to get in her way.

5) Joshua Jackson

Age: 32

What you’ve seen him in:   the long running teen drama, Dawson’s Creek, as the loveable hopelessly romantic, Pacey Witter, the sexy teen film, Cruel Intentions, the teen slasher pic, Urban Legends, and currently, the sci-fi mystery-of-the week show, Fringe

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

Joshua Jackson is the ideal TV Boyfriend.  End of story.  In his role as Pacey Witter, we saw Joshua’s ability to melt girls hearts with a single crinkle of the eyebrow, or a knowing smirk, or a gentle touch.  Pacey, though never particularly ambitious or “wise,” in the traditional sense of the word, was a true believer in true love.  And he would sacrifice anything to protect the object of his desire and make her happy.  These are innocent motives he shares with J.B. DuRone, who is also somewhat of a hopeless romantic, with an inherent need to “care” for the women he loves. 

In his more recent roles, Joshua Jackson has had the opportunity to exhibit a manly side.  Sure, he can be soft and cuddly, but he can also be tough.  This is a guy, who’s not afraid to throw a punch, if the recipient truly deserves it.  And I’m pretty sure, J.B. has thrown a few punches in his day too.

So, there you have it.   My casting choices for Charlaine Harris’ loveably lunkhead, J.B. DuRone.  Alan Ball, if you’re reading this . . . take note!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under casting, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, True Blood

“We are going to EAT YOU!” – A Recap of True Blood’s “Everything is Broken”

OK.  So what’s the deal with Vampires and their Dead People Souvenirs?  I mean, think about it.  We’ve got Russell and his Talbot-filled urn . . .

“I look like a delicious Blood Gelato!”

Eric and his daddy’s crown . . .

and Lorena and her Rib Cage Hat  . . .

You would think that creatures who have been around for hundreds of years would have learned a thing or two about CLOSURE, by now.  Apparently not . . .

The Softer Side of Eric Northman

Yes, I know that Eric and Sookie had NO SCENES together AGAIN this week.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t have scenes together on my blog, dammit!

After watching Eric behave particularly ruthlessly last week (He both hoodwinked the King, AND killed his lover.), it was interesting to see him vulnerable and very much on the defensive, this week.  When the episode begins, Eric Northman is on the run from Russell, with sexy bits of Talbot still hanging off his open-shirted body . . .

In fact, Eric probably could have really used one of THESE, today!   (More wishful thinking on my part.)

By the way, even though I was mourning the noticeable absence of Eric’s Blue Panty Dropper Sweater, this week . . .

Clearly, SOOKIE liked it too!

 . . . the sight of an Open-Shirted Eric on my television screen went a long way in providing ME with closure.  (Not to mention, more dropped panties in the TV Recapper Household.)

But I digress . . . So, Eric rushes into Fangtasia and instructs Vampire Pam that the two of them will need a place to hide, until all of this blows over. 

“They’ll never recognize us in THESE!”

Vampire Pam immediately suggests the duo hide out at Sookie’s house.

But Eric nixes the idea immediately, because that would be the first place Russell would look.

So, Vampire Pam suggests Dumb Waitress Ginger’s house, as a backup plan.

“Ooh, golly!  I just LOVE slumber parties!  I just wish they didn’t always end with me getting an STD . . .”

Unfortunately, before Vampire Pam can glamour Ginger into letting her and Eric stay at her place, the police arrive  . . . The VAMPIRE POLICE, a.k.a. The American Vampire League.

“The clothing may seem like a bit much.  But we just came from eating the cast of The Matrix.  All that tight leather just seemed too good to waste!”

For reasons that escape my understanding, Vampire Nan Flanagan immediately orders one of her crew of extras from Terminator 4 to “silver” Eric, which, I guess, is the vampire equivalent to tasering.

“I’m so friggin constipated!  I KNEW I shouldn’t have eaten Taco Bill for dinner, last night.”

“It’s called Compton-zuma’s Revenge,  b*tch!”

When the “silvering” happens, Ginger starts randomly screaming her head off . . .

I would have HATED to be on set the day they auditioned people for this character.  Can you imagine?  Hours and hours, of women screaming at the top of their lungs.

Yes, Vampire Eric (a.k.a. Mr. Stamina), we know YOU can imagine it very well.

As it turns out, Nan and her Robo Cops aren’t interested in Eric’s role in Talbot’s death at all.  Instead, they are concerned about the death of the Magister.

It’s OK.  I forgot about him too.  With all these pretty dead characters, the average-looking ones often get short shrift.

If you recall, it was Russell, not Eric,  over whom the Magister  . . . um . . . “lost his head” a few weeks back.  Eric tells Vampire Nan and her cronies as much, during his “webcam testimony.”  With a stoic expression that thinly veils his anguish, Eric (in a performance worthy of an Emmy nomination) completely exposes himself to the American Vampire League.  Fighting back bloody tears, Eric tells of his family’s demise by Russell’s army of V- addicted (leaving out, of course, the whole, “I only survived, because I was schtupping the milkmaid” part.) 

He also tells the Vampire League of Russell’s current dealings with werewolves, and his desire to overthrow the Vampire League, thus allowing vampires to walk the world freely, eating whoever they want, whenever they want them.”

“Check me out, on my high horse.”

Eric concludes with a request that he be allowed kill Russell, himself.

Nan agrees to take Eric’s testimony back to the American Vampire League for its review.  However, during that time, Eric and Pam are kept on lockdown at Fangtasia pending a verdict.  Fearing that the League will use Eric as a scapegoat for the Magister’s death, rather then prosecute the powerful King Russell, Eric mentally prepares himself to be put to “final death.”

In yet another emotional scene, Vampire Eric tells Vampire Pam that if he doesn’t make it out of this “trial” alive, Pam should create a new vampire.  “It is time for you to be a Maker,” says Eric, tearfully.

“My future Grandpa is SO HOT!”

It’s interesting that, while Vampire Bill considers his vampiric nature a curse, and was anguished over having to make Vampire Jessica, Vampire Eric clearly has pride in his species, and, apparently, feels some obligation to extend his “familial line” within it.

The next day Nan Flanagan returns to give Vampire Eric the good news.  Not only will he NOT be put to death for killing the Magister (which he didn’t do) or for killing Talbot (which he did), he will also be given free reign by the Vampire League to kill King Russell, provided he does so without the help or outward approval of the League.

“I know what you are . . . (but I plan to drag out telling you for as many episodes as possible).”

“I know something YOU don’t!  I know something YOU don’t!  Nah Nah Nah Nah, Nah, Nahhhh!”

OK.  They’ve officially strung along this “What is Sookie?” mystery for WAY TOO LONG!  With all of this buildup, people are just bound to be disappointed, when they find out the truth.  Anyway, most of Sookie’s storyline this week involved her trying to figure out what exactly she is, and why her gifts seem to be, at least, partially, genetic.  (Jason has yet to exhibit glow fingers, to our knowledge.)

Perhaps, he reserves his glowing for OTHER parts of his anatomy, if you catch my drift . . .

When we first see Sookie, she is taking a bloody shower with Vampire Bill .  . .

Watching this particular “bloody shower” scene reminded me of two things . . . well, images, actually.  Wanna see them?  Sure you do!  Here’s image one . . .

 . . . and here’s (the much nicer) image two . . .

Unfortunately, this was NEITHER of those shower scenes.  In this one, Bill and Sookie exchange quite a bit of blood.  A portion of this is accomplished by Vampire Bill fervently jabbing his bloody finger into Sookie’s gaping wounds.   (Ummm . . . Owww?)  Believe it or not, this kinky sex act is actually crucial to the plot of this episode . . . And, no, I’m not just saying that sarcastically.

When Sookie emerges from her Shower of Pain, she stumbles upon a dead naked dude in her living room.  Now, while the Sookie of previous seasons would likely have reacted to the sight, by doing this . . .

“Beeeeeeeeeeaaaaal!”

 . . . new and improved Sookie just looked kind of bored.

“Dammit!  I ORDERED a TALL naked corpse.  This one is 5’8”, tops!”

When a contrite Vampire Bill tries to explain to Sookie his whole “dead werewolf sob story,” Sookie cuts him off, completely uninterested in any excuse he may have.  “There’s an old tarp outside.  We can use it to cover him,” she suggests helpfully.

While the on-again, off-again couple are dragging the dead body outside to be buried, they bicker like an old married couple about love, trust and relationship expectations.  I found this scene, in particular, a bit bothersome, as, during it, Sookie is basically reitering to Bill her “dumping” speech from the week prior.  Since then, precisely NOTHING has changed, of course.  All of the problems that existed in the relationship between Sookie and Bill previously (Sookie’s non-immortality, perpetual danger, a lack of love and trust) are still there.  And yet, Sookie took Vampire Bill back in less than an hour’ s time.  That vamp must be SUPER in the sack, that’s all I’M saying . . .

But, not as good as Mr. Stamina, I bet!

Once the body has been buried, Sookie begins to interrogate Bill about that dossier he seems to have on her.  “I don’t know how things were back in the 1800’s, but today, when your boyfriend keeps a file of personal information on you, that’s just plain creepy!”  Sookie gripes.

“It’s not just creepy, Sookie.  It’s Rib Cage Hat, creepy!”

Bill claims he collected the dossier to find out why Eric Northman was so interested in Sookie, so that he could “protect her” from Eric.

Why is everyone blaming Eric Northman for their problems, today?  We all KNOW from watching previous episodes that BILL and Queen Sophie Anne knew about Sookie’s “special  talents,” long before Eric Northman had any clue.   And in terms of Eric’s “interest” in Sookie, up until last week, IT has been almost entirely of a sexual nature . . .

Later, Sookie sits alone in her living room examining Vampire Bill’s “file” on her, which, truth be told, makes a WAY better scrapbook than the empty and super lame “Sookie and Bill” one, that Sookie cried over last week.

It figures that Vampire Bill would be good at this sort of thing.  Right?

In Sookie’s defense, Vampire Bill has had 100’s of years to practice the art of scrapbooking, while Sookie has had only about 26.

In the “scrapbook,” Sookie comes across an article about her father’s public claim that he possessed a “sixth sense” about certain things.  This caused Sookie to wonder whether other members of her family were telepaths too.  And THAT was where young Hunter came in . . .

“If  my son ends up being anything like YOU, I’ll kill myself.  No offense.”

While Sookie is examining Bill’s “pretty” scrapbook, she receives a call from her Counsin Hadley, who has somehow escaped the Vampire King’s mansion and wants to see her cousin before she leaves.  Sookie meets Hadley at a bus station.  There, Hadley apologizes to Sookie for blabbing the origins of her “super secret powers” to the ENTIRE vampire community.

Apparently,  Hadley had become deeply enmeshed in that comunity, lately, due to her having become Queen Sophie Anne’s favorite sex toy . . . . 

This is Hadley.

Of course, even though she has already told most of the Vampire World, Hadley NEVER tells Sookie, herself, what she is, because that would just be too easy . . . (She’s saving it for sweeps week, perhaps?)  Of course, Hadley has not only come to Sookie to apologize, she has also come to “test” her son. Hadley fears that if Hunter is “like Sookie,” that he will be in danger of being tracked down by the vampires too.  So, Sookie sits down next to Hunter and tries to speak to him with her mind.  Lo and behold, HUNTER is a telepath too!

When Hadley finds this out, she grabs her child and escapes the bus terminal,  faster than you can say, “Beeeeeeeeeaaaaal!”

Ummmm . . . yeah . . . because THAT’S not insulting at all!

“Was it something I mind read?”

Dream a Little Dream . . . of Electroshock Therapy.

That day, due to his ingestion of massive quantities of Sookie’s blood, Vampire Bill finds himself in the same cheeseball dream sequence Sookie inhabited just a few weeks earlier.  You know, the one with all the flowers and the spaced out dancers?

When Claudine .  . .

 . . . notices that Bill’s in her little “Hippy Dippy, Age of Aquarius” forest, she becomes immediately convinced that Bill has killed Sookie.  She then zaps his face with her glow fingers, causing him to crumble onto the grass.

Once, he has recovered, Bill tries to glean information about Sookie from Claudine.  Truth be told, Bill gets very little direct intel.  Rather, for most of the visit, Claudine continually (and annoyingly) babbles about how Vampire Bill is “stealing Sookie’s light” and blah, blah, blah. 

Claudine does, however, reveal to Bill that it is her purpose in life to protect Sookie.  “Wow, you must be doing a really sh*tty job, then.  Because that b*tch gets her ass kicked in almost every episode,” retorts Vampire Bill, echoing the thoughts of the entire True Blood fanbase.

And yet, sh*tty security detail or no, Vampire Bill leaves the dream sequence knowing EXACTLY what Sookie Stackhouse is.  “I know what you are,” brags Vampire Bill, when he reunites with her the next evening.

And .  . . then the scene ends.  You know what that makes YOU, True Blood?

Jason Stackhouse leads the War Against Inbreeding

“Take that procreators of two-headed babies!”

Speaking of cockteases, you know who else is one?  THIS GIRL!

Once again, Jason barges into Crystal’s trailer, and once again she is there with her betrothed (and probably brother) Felton.  As if that isn’t bad enough, Crystal tells that loony hick Felton that Jason RAPED HER!

Felton, who has always prided himself on being the ONLY one who can rape Crystal, charges at Jason, knocking his gun from his hand.  Then, Crystal, undoubtedly realizing that all of this is her fault, knocks Felton unconscious by pistol whipping him from behind. 

“Will you stop making me a rapist?”  Jason whines, as the two try to determine how to move the unsconscious Felton’s limp body.  The pair ultimately decide to tie him to a nearby tree in the forest, using rope (because handcuffs don’t work on him, according to Crystal).

Once that is done, Jason, doing an awesomely bad impersonation of a female for no reason whatsoever, alerts the authorities to Felton’s whereabouts. 

“While I have you on the phone, I was wondering .  . . can I borrow some tampons?”

In a surprisingly astute, though highly unethical move, Jason also plants a plastic bag filled with vampire blood in Felton’s pocket, before fleeing the scene with Crystal.

The next day, Jason and Crystal head to the police station, and are alarmed to learn that Kevin, the police officer who visited Felton on account of Jason’s call, was beaten to a bloody pulp by all the other inbreds living in the trailer park.  Now completely determined to get vengeance upon these Deliverance movie extras, Jason approaches Andy with a surprisingly devious and well- thought out plan as to how the Bon Temps PD can infiltrate and arrest the entire trailer park.  The plan is to use the (planted) bag of vampire blood found on Felton as  probable cause to search the trailer park’s premises for crystal meth.  The fact that JASON came up with this idea, and Andy didn’t leads to only one logical conclusion.

 . . . these two have temporarily swapped brains.

But Jason and Andy weren’t the only ones not acting like themselves this week.  You know who else wasn’t?  THIS GUY  . . .

When Calvin Norris, Leader of the Inbreeds, came into Merlotte’s to chew out Crystal for snitching on her own family, Sam surprised everybody, by going totally Incredible Hulk on his ass, tearing up his own bar, and knocking over Crystal in the process.

After Calvin was shipped off to the hospital, Jason triumphantly shared with Crystal his “brilliant” plan to bring down the evil members of her trailer park community.  He presumed this Great Ideea would help him get laid  . . .

 . . . again.  Instead, Crystal cried hysterically at the thought of her father/brother, cousin/ grandfather, sister / mother-in-law etc., possibly going to jail.  She then stormed out of Merlotte’s, leaving a flustered and highly unsatisfied Jason in her wake.

“So much for an early Christmas present.  Maybe there is no such thing as Santa Claus, after all . . .”

Franklin’s BACK!  Annnnnnnd . . . now, he’s gone again!

I never realized how much I truly missed using this disturbing picture in my recaps, until I couldn’t use it anymore . . .

If Jason was suffering any ill effects from his recent endeavors with Crystal . . .

. . . he sure wasn’t showing it.  In fact, when Jason saved Tara from the clutches of the Evil and Unsquashable, Franklin Mott, he seemed like he had Balls of Steel!

But, perhaps, I should backtrack a bit.  When we last saw Franklin, he looked a lot like THIS . . .

 . . . because Tara had hit him with THIS . . .

 . . . while he was sleeping.

Understandably, this was a highly traumatic experience for Tara, who spends most of the episode coping emotionally with her post-traumatic stress.  She even attends a rape support group, alongside, new Merlotte’s waitress, Holly.  Then, toward the end of the episode, Tara finds herself face to face with her living nightmare, once again . . .

“I’m Baaaack!”

Giving no explanation whatsoever as to HOW he survived Tara’s head bashing, Looney Franklin accosts Tara outside Merlotte’,s and threatens her life.  His threats are surprisingly half-hearted, as the vamp actually appears to be more HURT than angry that the “love of his life” tried to literally bash his head in with a blunt object.  In fact, when Tara informs him that she would rather die than spend another second with him, Franklin actually looks like he is about to cry.  And it is in that teary moment, that JASON COMES TO THE RESCUE!

In his THIRD smart move of the night (I’m pretty sure this is a record of some sort.), Jason somehow has the foresight to preload his gun with wooden bullets, which are the only kind that can actually KILL vampires.  (Apparently, Tara could have saved herself a lot of trouble, by simply doing some internet research at the Big Gay Mississippi Mansion where Franklin was holding her captive.) 

So, Jason fires a few rounds at Franklin, and THIS happens . . .

Talk about CLOSURE!

In Other News . . .

Arlene, convinced her new baby will be EVIL . . .

. . . because it’s REAL daddy was a serial killer . . .

 . . . talks to new waitress, Holly, about terminating her pregnancy.

Plus . . .

Hoyt and Jessica . . .

 . . . FINALLY shared a sweet moment together . . .

. . . after weeks of pining after eachother separately.   In fact, Hoyt went as far as to admit that he HATED his lame-ass, biscuit-baking, antique- scouting, doll-hugging, new girlfriend, Summer . . .

 . . . but was staying with her anyway, because he was afraid to be alone.  This admission caused the Baby Vamp to burst into tears . . .

 . . . which, of course . . . Tommy Mickens interpreted as a grand opportunity to get into her Perpetual Virgin panties . . .

Speaking of Tommy .  . .

He’s a thief, who enjoys sassing his elders, and slutting about with big boobed floosies . . .

 . . . but, for whatever, reason, I sort of like him anyway.  Weird.

Also . . .

Lafayette and Jesus seem to be having a lot really hot sex.  And Jesus looks adorable in Lafayette’s Queeny Pink Kimono.  If that’s not a sign of a long- lasting relationship, I don’t know what is. 

 (I’m not really sure where they are going with this sweet, but kind of dull, storyline.  Are you?)

And finally . . .

Russell Edgington . . .

. . . upon seeing his boyfriend reduced to what looked like the insides of a can of red Silly String . . .

 .  . . COMPLETELY SNAPPED.  So, while Nan Flanagan was busy “eating out”  (seriously, are there ANY completely straight vampires on this show?), and eagerly awaiting passage of the Vampire Rights Amendment, Russell was breaking into a local news room, and killing the anchor on live television.  “Humans, us vampires are NOT your equals,” The Old Nutbag announced to the World.  “We are superior to you in every way.  We are going to eat you, after we eat your children.  Back to the weather, Tiffany.”

Now, see, THAT is why I don’t watch local news.   It’s WAY TOO DEPRESSING!

Well, that’s all I’ve got, folks.  See you next week . . . unless Russell Edgington eats me, first!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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