Tag Archives: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Redemption Maybe? – Vampire Diaries Season 4 Revamped Part 3 – Klaus Mikaelson

klausy smirk

“If you want to be bad, be bad with a purpose.  Otherwise you’re just not worth forgiving.”

These are the iconic words Damon utters to Klaus Mikaelson, during a mid-season conversation that’s about as “Meta” as TVD gets . . .

One could probably imagine a similar conversation taking place in the TVD writers’ room, around the time Plec and Co. got their greenlight to film the back door pilot to “The Originals.”

3 14 originals party photo

After all, Klaus had been the series’ main Big Bad for three seasons know, roughly 75% of the life of the show.   And now, there was a good chance the Original Hybrid would be blessed with a series of his very own . . . a series where the character would be featured, not as the show’s antagonist, but as its protagonist.

santa klaus

how you like me now

It was a tall order.  Fortunately, the writers  already had two templates as to how such a feat could be accomplished.  The first was another blonde villainous vampire, by the name of Spike, who made a similar journey from Season 2 Big Bad, to Season 4 Questionable Ally on the critically acclaimed TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

spike-on-buffy

The second was Damon Salvatore himself, the ultimate TVD Bad Boy MOSTLY Redeemed . . .

big bad vampire out here

Step 1 – Make the Villain Fall in Love . . .

Everyone remembers the first time Spike spied Buffy at a party, and was instantly plagued with an intense desire, both to kiss her, and kill her.  Damon felt the same way about Elena, the first time he laid eyes on her   . . . his brother’s girlfriend, who bore the same face as his lost love.  She seemed to be the ultimate pathway toward Sweet Revenge.

the almost kiss

So, too did Klaus experience this conundrum, firsthand, when, to get revenge on his errant sire hybrid Tyler, he compelled him to lethally bite his girlfriend, Caroline . . . potentially ending her new vampire life, before it even really had a chance to begin . . .

3 11 klaroline savior

When Klaus first arrives at the Forbes household, his motives are unclear.  Is he planning to let Caroline die, to teach Tyler a lesson in obedience?  Is he hoping to seduce her, thereby taking from Tyler, the one aspect of his life, over which Klaus, up to this point had no control?

klaroline lovers

Whatever Klaus had initially planned to do, it’s clear from the way he looks at Caroline, lying vulnerable on the bed, that he’s changed his mind.  Seeing this young woman, on the cusp of young vampire life, lying helpless before him, does something to Klaus.  It changes him imperceptibly.

2 19 klaus petrovacaptures

So, Klaus tells this dazzling woman, what no one else would, that vampirism, while “dark” and “monstrous,” can also be beautiful, because LIFE is beautiful.  And then, he gives her a choice . . . immortality or death.  This insanely powerful vampire, who has done nothing that wasn’t directly in his selfish interest, from the moment he set foot in Mystic Falls, for the first time, relinquishes control of his life and his Master Plan to Caroline, for reasons he may not yet entirely understand.

3 13 shh klaus rupertgrint

The result is a scene that remains one of my favorites in TVD history . . . And this is coming from a staunch Damon fan . . .

Klaus may have begun his wooing of Caroline back in Season 3, through expensive gifts, vacation promises, and pictures of ponies . . .

3 14 klaroline dances

3 11 klaroline gift from klaus 1 loveablesins

But it wasn’t until Season 4 that Klaus really started making headway toward winning Caroline’s heart.  And he did it in a way that the Klaus of earlier season’s would never have even considered.  He did it by listening to her, opening up to her, and by not taking advantage of her when he had the opportunity to do so  . . .

klaroline truce

Like, for example, when he was in Tyler’s body, early on in the Season . . .

Sure KlausiTyler comes off like a bit of a cad in this scene. But he’s also surprisingly chivalrous!  Michael Trevino does a great job conveying Klaus’ emotions during this season.  He’s clearly turned on and pleasantly surprised that the woman he loves is FINALLY attacking him sexually.  And yet, as much as he wants Caroline, there’s a part of him that can’t bear to have her under false pretenses.  So, he exposes his true identity, and, in doing so, loses the opportunity for Hot Hybrid Sex . . .

klaroline

blue balls

It’s the second “half-way” decent thing he did for Caroline in Season 1.  (Rescuing her from that anti-vampire cult, being the first.)  And there’s plenty more where that came from . . .

Let’s not forget that Klaus came as Caroline’s date to the Miss Mystic Falls Dance?

Just as Buffy reawakened the quiet poetic side of Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Elena awakened the selfless side of Damon, so too does Caroline seem to bring out an oddly lighthearted cheeky version of the usually single-mindedly power hungry Klaus.

klaus cheersHe smiles, he jokes . . . he makes a good show of pretending to care about things that Caroline cares about . . . things that would otherwise have no meaning for him whatsoever, like pageants, proms, and party dresses . . .

stole prom dress

And what girl wouldn’t appreciate a guy with the unique ability to be the Fairy Godmother to her Cinderella, while still looking like Prince Charming?

the dress

(Even if it does make you wonder what happened to all the girls who used to wear the dresses he stores in his closet?)

klaus dinner

3 10 klaus best respond to violence westhalder

3 12 bonnie klaus knew youd catch me

Of course, every budding relationship hits a bit of a snag.  And Klaus finds himself relapsing into old habits, when he, once again, is responsible for Caroline’s receipt of a lethal werewolf bite . . . a bite he issues himself, out of anger at Tyler, and Caroline’s brutal rejection of him . . .

calories

klaus tums

And yet, when all is said and done, Caroline and Klaus make amends, and end up parting as “friends (?),” with Klaus temporarily ceding the love of his life to the same young hybrid that’s been a thorn in his side all season .   . .

first love 2

in love 2

love saved 3

You know what they say, “if you love something set it free, if it comes back to you, due to series cancellation, it was meant to be.”

So, why the ultimate change of heart, with respect to Tyler?  Especially, considering how intent Klaus initially seemed on keeping these two lovebirds apart indefinitely . . .

klaus moving on rebekahmkaelsn

I suspect it had a little something to do with Step 2 of our Redemption Plan . . .

Step 2 – Find a New Big Bad, So the Old One Can Unite with the Scoobies Against Him . . .

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike joined the Scoobies after the ultimately corrupt initiative put a chip in his brain, preventing him from hurting humans.  This made Spike no longer a threat to Buffy and her gang.  It also gave him impetus to fight on their side, as it enabled him to kill the only type of being he still could . . . demons.

buffy_-_spike

Likewise, in Season 2, Damon promptly put aside his differences with his brother, so the two could battle a mutual, and much more powerful enemy . . . Klaus, himself . . .

2 20 damon klaus headnods laurenhoward

The writers must have had quite a difficult time coming up with a Bigger Bad than Klaus.  After all, we are talking about a 1,000-year old virtually unkillable vampire, who also possesses full werewolf powers.    But it wasn’t Silas’ strength that made him such a threat to the Scooby gang, it was his impressive ability at mental manipulation . .  .

silas big fat problem

Not only could Silas impersonate any person or thing, he could also see inside people’s minds, and expose their deepest darkest fears and secrets.  As a result, Klaus found himself reluctantly found himself in a role entirely foreign to him . . . that of VICTIM . . .

American Gothic

Sexy buff shirtless, victim . . . but victim, nonetheless . . .

Ahh yes, the infamous bloodline . . . another nifty way to align Klaus to the Scooby Gang, was for the writers to literally tie his survival to their own.  Thanks to some crafty mythology, Klaus can no longer die, because killing him would effectively demolish the ENTIRE CAST OF THIS SHOW . . .

laughing klaus

I bet Spike is wishing he thought of that one.  It sure beats his method of maintaining character relevance . . .

torture her

While, in previous Seasons, Klaus was the Ultimate Enemy, like Spike and Damon before him, Klaus suddenly found his own personal interests aligned with Damon, Stefan, Caroline and co.  And so, he helped them, in their quest to defeat Silas, by solving the key to the Hunter’s Map that would lead to the vampire cure.  (He hoped to use that cure on Elena, so her human blood could produce more hybrids.)

3 5 eleklaus

“Human blood bag for all eternity . . . BFF . . . same difference.”

A vulnerable, lovelorn, character, fighting on the side of good, to defeat the Big Bad, who sometimes becomes prey to the ultimate predator . . . Season 4 Klaus sure sounds like a hero to me . . .

3 1 klaus smirk tbtvdgifs

except when he isn’t .  . .

Step 3 – Keep the Former Villain Behaving Badly Enough That He Doesn’t Lose His Edge . . .

3 13 salvatore groupie klaus hissyfit

Heroes are great and all . . . but they can be SUPER boring.

4 10 nod off

So, when writers are tasked with redeeming a Bad Boy, they always must make sure he remains just evil enough to still be interesting.  (Plus, there’s the ever present issue of character consistency.  A guy like Klaus doesn’t just automatically start shaking hands and kissing babies, just because he fell in love with a pretty girl!)

shoots klaus

And so, for every kind, romantic, or selfless act Klaus committed in Season 4, he had to do something truly awful, just to balance things out . . .

klaus sex 2

Revenge Sex with Hayley . . . definitely not your finest hour, Klaus . . . (hot triangle tattoo notwithstanding)

No act was more awful than the Christmas Massacre Klaus committed in episode 9 of the Season.  Betrayed, once again by Tyler, and the hybrids, who Tyler systematically taught to break themselves of their bond with the Original, Klaus is BEYOND pissed.  This single calculated act has painfully exposed the Original Hybrid’s two Achilles Heels’ his pride and his loneliness.

utterly alone

And so Klaus lashes out in the only way he knows how, by ripping from Tyler everything he cares about.  Murdering 13 people in a single episode,  one of whom is a completely harmless human.  It doesn’t get much more villainous than that . . .

And yet, as Caroline once said, “Anyone who can love, is capable of being saved.”

3 11 klefandiaries love never dies

Can New Orleans be Klaus’ salvation?  Can Caroline?  How about that ridiculous plotline spawn in Haley’s belly?

stefan shrug

Throughout Season 4 of TVD, Klaus has shown himself to be capable of both exceptional good, and horrifying evil.  But is it enough to make him a relateable protagonist on his own series?  A series without Caroline . . . the woman, who made all this sort-of redemption possible?

itsdelenalove klaus caroline

Only time will tell . . . and for an immortal like Klaus, time is definitely on his side . . .

3 11 klaroline thousand b days faerywonderland

Speaking of everyone’s favorite Vampire Barbie, she’s next on my Re-Vamped list.

3 3 caroline petrovadiaries

See ya then, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com] [My Tumblr] [Fangirls Forever]

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Teen Wolf: The Television Series, a.k.a. MTV’S Latest Attempt to Cash in on our Love Affair with All Things Supernatural (and Shirtless)

Having pretty much given up entirely on showing actual Music Videos, and having already cornered the market on “unscripted” reality series featuring all the young adults your parents didn’t let you hang out with when you were a kid . . .

 . . . MTV has decided to try its hand on “scripted” television series , that are ripped off from inspired by OTHER successful shows and films.  MTV’s most recent attempt at scripted fare, Skins, based on a critically acclaimed British series of the same name, was intially met with a whole lotta buzz-worthy controversy.  Unfortunately, that controversy ultimately did not translate into ratings or advertising revenue.

Now, MTV has found a new target: Fangbangers, i.e. the same teens and young adults who have helped shows like The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Being Human achieve cult status, the world over.  People like ME, and, I suspect, like YOU.

MTV’s Teen Wolf may share it’s name with a certain 80’s comedy film starring Michael J. Fox . . .

However, based on my review of the trailer — and the little bit of research I’ve done on the series, in general — the show actually seems to have a lot more in common with the recent onslaught of supernatural television series, than with any movie in which the so-called “Evil Beast” bears a striking resemblance to the “Teddy Bear I Still Sleep with at Night.”

There is no shame in Teddy Bears!  OK?  They don’t snore.   They don’t drool.  And they NEVER hog the blankets.

(In fact, Teen Wolf is actually SHOT right outside of Atlanta, Georgia, just a few miles from the set of The Vampire Diaries.  So, if you do happen to catch a vampire roaming across your screen, while watching the new series, you’ll know why . . .)

Now THOSE are some SEXY extras!

Teen Wolf stars Tyler Posey as Scott McCall, the wolfy adolescent, in question . . .

For those of you who remember Tyler as “the cute kid from that awful Maid in Manhattan movie, starring J Lo” . . .

 . . . be prepared to feel like a Big Ole Dirty Lech, because he’s SUPER hot now.  And, if the trailer is any indication,  he’s also at least partially NAKED for at least THREE-QUARTERS of the series!

Can I get a “HELL YEAH?”

“Scott’s story” is neither complex, nor particularly original.  (Then again, judging by what you just saw above, does it really have to be?) To make a not-all-that long story, even shorter, our protagonist is a fairly run-of-the-mill high school student, living a, more-or-less, unremarkable existence in a Sleepy Town, where he doesn’t get out much, and, probably never gets laid. 

 “How do I KNOW all this about Scott?”  You ask.

Well, let’s put it this way . . .  if you DIDN’T live an unremarkable existence in a Sleepy Town, where you don’t get out much, and never get laid, would you REALLY think it was a good idea, upon finding something like THIS, in the woods . . .

. . . to go out LOOKING for it’s chewed up and spit out OTHER HALF?

But go out and look, Scott does!  And I bet you’ll never guess what happens next . . .

That’s right boys and girls!  Scott get “mysteriously” bitten by a “Strange Creature.” [Insert Evil Laugh here.]  As a result, our Studly Man Child is left with a gnarly, but oddly attractive, gash on his toned little tummy.

Don’t worry, Scott.  Chicks DIG scars!

It’s time to bring on the Supernatural Teen Show About a Kid with Strange Powers Cliches!  Like, for example, the  Modelesque Love Interest (played here by Crystal Reed), who is somehow unaware of how modelesque she is, and is, therefore, still a Really Nice Person who’s “fun” and “oddly quirky” . . .

They are probably going to meet in class.  And he’s probably going to let her borrow his pen, while they engage in their Very First Eye F*&K . . .

And they called it “Puppy Love” . . .

The soon-to-be-couple is then going to probably have an Adorably Awkward (yet undeniably sexually tense) Conversation that is unfortunately interrupted by the arrival of Modelesque Love Interest’s Major Asshat of a Dad . . .

In this particular show, it looks like Dad may be the Major Villain of the story, leading his Red Neck Gang of Wolf Killers in a season- long game of Catch the Protagonist . . .

Rounding out this cast of characters will be the Sweet, but Dorky, Male Friend, who exists solely to (1) offer up mildly funny one-liners; (2) provide geeky insider information about Scott’s “condition” (discovered mostly through internet searching); and (3) illustrate first-hand just how much Scott has “changed” since his transformation, from the loveable loser that Sweet but Dorky, Male Friend once adored to . . . Roid Rage Man.

Also, let’s not forget the Alpha Male Douchebag, (Colton Haynes) who, deep down, has a heart of gold, and, probably a rich stuck up dad, who verbally (if not, physically) abuses him . . .

Wikipedia refers to this character as Scott’s “friend, Jackson.”  That, admittedly, would be a bit of a twist on the old formula.

We’ve also got the Popular, Kind of Slutty Girl, who’s Really Just Insecure .  . .

Then again, they can also turn this formula on its head, and make her the “Pining Gal Pal who’s Actually the Main Character’s Soulmate.”  (The verdict is still out on this one, since she only appeared for about a second in the trailer.)

And finally, we have the Wolf Version of Damon Salvatore, and, to a lesser extent, Eric Northman . . .

This is Derek Hale (played by Tyler Hoechlin a.k.a. That Kid Who Used to Be on 7th Heaven.). 

He’s the wolf who bit Scott “for fun.”  He also always wears black, considers wolfishness to be a “gift that keeps on giving,” refers to Scott as his “brother,” and, more or less, just seems to KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS, and be a whole lot more awesome (not to mention, hotter) than the main male character.

Sound like anybody ELSE you know?

Now, that we’ve got the characters down, let’s run through some obligatory scenes we will MOST definitely see on this show, shall we?  We’ve got the Sports Scenes (to appease our  straight male viewers .  . . or . . . perhaps I should say . . . straight male viewer?).  . .

 . . . the Sexy House Party with the Top 40 Soundtrack, that starts off Awesome, until Everything Inevitably Goes Wrong . . .

 . . . We’ve got the probably disappointing Jaw-Dropping First Transformation, which ALWAYS starts with the development of Dirty Yellow Fingernails  . . .

(Why IS that, anyway?  I’ve never EVER met a canine with fingers like that!)

 . . . and ends with the Must-Have Glowing Yellow Eyes.

Top it off with a few Well-Choreographed Matrix-Type Fight Scenes . . .

 . . . and a dollop of Supernatural Sex . . .

. . . and you’ve got yourself a HIT Series (maybe)!

But don’t take my word for it.  Watch the trailer and see for yourself.

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:636898

Teen Wolf is set to “transform into something hairy” on MTV on June 5, 2011.  Will YOU see it?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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When Bad Dancing Happens to Good TV Stars . . .

When you’ve resorted to “ass-slapping,” it’s never a good sign . . .

Ahhhh, dancing.  We all do it on occasion.  But only a few of us can actually do it well.  But, even if you aren’t exactly the “Life of the Dance Party,” perhaps, you can sleep better tonight, knowing that you are not ALONE.  In fact, there are many, otherwise, very cool, talented, and debonair television stars out there, who undoubtedly dance just as bad as you do! 

Anyone who watched television during the 90’s, undoubtedly remembers The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

If you ever watched The Fresh Prince, you probably know that, regardless of what an AWFUL dresser he was (see picture above), Will Smith, who played the titular character on the show, was a VERY GOOD DANCER!  His cousin, Carlton (played by Alfonso Ribeiro), however?  Not so much . . .

Around the same time Carlton was “getting jiggy,” on The Fresh Prince, another, very different, comedy sitcom was also gaining popularity . . .

Seinfeld had always been a show known for its crazy characters, and ridiculous occurrences.   Of all the characters on that show, Elaine (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was probably the most “normal.”  That is . . . until she stepped out on the dance floor . . .

But that all happened during the 90’s.  And we can’t really blame television stars for dancing badly during the 90’s, right?  After all, in the 90’s, our idea of “good dancing” was this . . .

So, in order to make YOU feel better about YOUR bad dancing, we need to show you some television stars who dance badly, in this decade!

Josh Holloway, a.k.a. Sawyer from Lost

*Sigh*  How I miss Sawyer, let me count the ways.  Not only did he have the best body EVER, he was also the quintessential “Bad Boy,” and a closet romantic, who was pretty gosh darn hilarious, to boot.  Honestly, who wouldn’t want to get a slightly insulting / highly stereotypical nickname from Sawyer, after joining him a rousing round of Bear Cage Sex?

And yet, Sawyer, as much as I adore you, your dancing skills leave a bit to be desired.  Allow me to draw your attention to Bad Dancing Example 1:

And Example 2:

Then again, can you really blame a guy who’ s been stuck on a deserted island with Psychotic Others and Killer Polar Bears for six years for never learning how to “Dougie?”

Ryan Kwanten, a.k.a. Jason Stackhouse from True Blood

Jason Stackhouse’s half-naked body is a sight to behold, FOR SURE!  And yet, just because you look good half-naked, doesn’t mean you dance well half-naked too.  Then again, perhaps, Jason instinctively understood this.  Why else would he be wearing that Creepy Ex-President Mask?

Speaking of True Blood stars . . .

Alexander Skarsgard, a.k.a. Vampire Eric Northman on True Blood

Eric Northman.  Now THAT GUY is the epitome of COOL!  Not only is his body flawless . . .

. . . but he always seems to know exactly what to say to make the girls’  hearts melt . . .

That vamp is like a Human Panty Dropper!

That being said, I’m not quite sure what exactly he was trying to do here:

Speaking of Super Cool and Sexy Vampires doing ambiguously gay things . . .

Ian Somerhalder, a.k.a. Vampire Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries

If you’ve read this blog before, you already know that I am OBSESSED with Ian Somerhalder, in general, and his character Damon Salvatore, on The Vampire Diaries, specifically.  Not only is Damon Salvatore, a Brooding Bad Boy . . .

 . . . the Life of the Party . . .

 . . . and a Hopeless Romantic . . .

 . . . he’s also a FABULOUS DANCER.

So, why, you ask, is HE on this list?  Remember what I said earlier about “Half-Naked Dancing,” not necessarily being “Good Dancing?”  Well . . .

 . . . I rest my case.

In other Bad Dancing Vampire news . . .

David Boreanaz, a.k.a. Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and Angel), and Booth on Bones

David Boreanaz . . . he’s a pretty cool guy, right?  I mean, this is someone who KNOWS how to wear a suit!  And yet, he also looks fairly amazing wearing NOTHING AT ALL . . .

Perhaps, we know him best now as the smart, loveable, and adorably snarky Booth on Bones.  But, like Ian and Alexander after him, David Boreanaz is no stranger to donning THE FANGS.  On both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel, David played the sometimes sweet, sometimes evil “Angel”  (although, when he was evil they usually called him “Angelus,” weird right?). 

Whether Angel was trying to kiss Buffy, or KILL HER, he always looked like a true gentleman doing it . . . except, of course, when he was dancing . . .

GIF provided courtesy of my AWESOME blogging pal Cherie, over at myspideysenseistingling.

Ummm . . . Booth?  Perhaps, you better stick to your Day Job of playing with skeletons.  Because I’m guessing Dancing with the Stars is not in your future.

Hey, you know who used to be on Angel with David Boreanaz?  Vincent Kartheiser!

What a coincidence!  Because he made this list too!

Vincent Kartheiser, a.k.a. Pete Campbell on Mad Men

A lot of people don’t like Pete Campbell on Mad Men.  They find him slimy, manipulative, whiny and insecure.   Well,  they are RIGHT!  He’s all of those things! 

 (Although, in his defense, he’s gotten A LOT kinder and gentler, this past season.) 

I, for one, have always LOVED Pete.  And a lot of that has to do with Vincent Kartheiser‘s  amazing acting ability.  I just find him so intriguing, and fascinating to watch.  Whenever, he’s on screen, I just can’t keep my EYES OFF OF HIM!  Unless, of course, he’s dancing.  Then, I have to look away . . .

Speaking of Mad Men stars who can’t dance . . .

Jon Hamm, a.k.a. Don Draper of Mad Men

Don Draper, I am very disappointed in you!  You just got engaged to Megan

What the heck are you doing, getting jiggy with Betty White?

I hope you don’t plan on dancing like that at the wedding . . .

Elsewhere in Manhattan . . .

Chace Crawford, a.k.a. Nate Archibald on Gossip Girl

Spotted:  A gorgeous rich white boy, teaching us that, just because you were born with a “silver spoon in your mouth,” doesn’t mean your parents ever paid for you to have dance lessons . . .

And, of course, who could forget . . .

John Krasinski, a.k.a. Jim Halpert on The Office

If John Krasinski wasn’t already married to Emily Blunt and if I looked anywhere near as pretty as Emily Blunt, I’d totally marry him.  This guy is the WHOLE PACKAGE!  He’s smart, sweet, funny, caring, and, perhaps, most importantly, a bit of a goofball.  Did I mention that he makes this face ALL THE TIME?

ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!

In fact, John Krasinski is almost TOO perfect.  I mean, what would I bring to the relationship? 

Aha, now I know what I would bring!  Two right feet, for his dual left ones . . .

So, you see Fellow Bad Dancers, you are in VERY GOOD COMPANY!  There are plenty of successful, attractive, and powerful people, who don’t know there mambos from their cha-chas.  Heck, our very own President might be one of them!

But even if your the Worst Dancer in the World, that’s NO EXCUSE not to be dancing!  Dancing brings people together.  It makes them happy.  It gets their hearts racing, in a good way.  In short, dancing makes the world go round. 

So, don’t worry about looking silly.  Just strap on your party shoes, hit the dance floor, and EVERYBODY CUT FOOTLOSE!

(Grrr!  Pesky Copyright Requirements 😦 . . . Click on the embedded link, if you want to DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY!)

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under 90s television, Alexander Skarsgard, Awesome 80s movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dancing Television Stars, Dirty Dancing, Gossip Girl, Ian Somerhalder, Jason Stackhouse, Lost, Mad Men, Ryan Kwanten, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood

Don’t Be a Dummy (or an Ass)! – A Recap of Grey’s Anatomy’s “That’s Me Trying”

JACKSON:  So, I hear this is the episode where we all just play with dolls for an hour  . . .

APRIL:  I love dolls!  I used to have a Barbie Dream House when I was a kid.  I would make Barbie throw these awesome slumber parties, for all my other dolls.  It was hard though.  Because I had a lot of dolls, and the Dream House only had one bed . . .

ALEX:  I am so turned on by you, right now . . .

In the five or so years since it has been on the air (MAN, I’M OLD!), Grey’s Anatomy has tackled some pretty heavy and hard-hitting issues: terminal illness, mental health issues, divorce, emotional abuse, loneliness, death, mass murder, hot naked men  . . .

Never . . . gets . . . old.

This week’s episode, however, was about dummies . . . and asses.

So, grab your favorite blow-up doll . . .

 . . . and BACK THAT ASS UP. . .

 . . . because it’s time to do some RECAPPING!

Nothing Like a Good Old-Fashioned Autopsy to Work Up an Appetite . . .

“I have nothing against Dead People!  Some of my best friends are corpses.”

Poor Bailey!  She still can’t figure out what mean-spirited and manipulative plot twist rare medical abnormality resulted in the untimely death of Special Guest Star Mandy Moore Mary Portman.  And so, off she heads to the Autopsy Room, in search of answers . . .

(By the way, does anyone who watched the episode know if Mandy Moore was actually in it, Weekend at Bernie’s style?  Or was that just a Madame Tussaud – type “dummy” of her on the autopsy table?  Either way, it was SUPER CREEPY . . .)

Now, I know that the Pathologist performing “Mary’s” autopsy was just “doing her job.”  And I know that she is probably used to working with patients who don’t . . . um . . . “talk back.”  So, Bailey’s non-stop barrage of questions and generalized buttinsky-ness was probably pretty gosh darn annoying for her.  I am also sure she is the “best in her field.”  (After all, isn’t every specialist who works at Seattle Grace?)

OMG!  Anna Draper from Mad Men came back from the dead, as an ill-tempered pathologist!

However . . . I don’t care HOW MANY YEARS of my life I had spent cutting dead bodies open . . . NEVER would I consider it OK to chew gum, and make dinner reservations, while doing it.  Aside from majorly disrespecting the dead . . . that’s just GROSS!

So, when the Undead Anna Draper told Bailey that the results of Mary’s autopsy would be inconclusive for at least another two weeks (Apparently, Mary’s brain had to “soak more” or something), I can understand why Bailey wanted a “second opinion.”  And, truthfully, I hope that Bailey finds the answers she is seeking, if only so that she can get some much-needed closure on the dark chapter of her life entitled, The Shooting.

Speaking of beating a dead storyline corpse . . .

Yang Quits Seattle Grace

“Give me back my Kickass Character, or I’m going to jump!”

OK . . . so I’ve been noticing quite a bit of heated debate on the internet amongst Grey’s fans, regarding this whole Cristina / PTSD storyline.  There are many of you out there (like me), who find the storyline to be growing tiresome, and increasingly difficult to watch.  While there are others of you who praise the authenticity with which the show’s writers have dealt with the very REAL issue of post-traumatic stress.

To some extent, I can see those fans’ point.  After all, it would be perfectly understandable for a real-life doctor, who endured what Cristina had to endure during The Shooting, to experience some long-term effects of that trauma.   And I also agree, that dramas like this too often sweep events like The Shooting under the carpet, failing to address their lasting impact, at all. 

And yet, when it comes right down to it, I watch Grey’s Anatomy to be entertained, not to be lectured about the devastating effects PTSD can have on the human psyche, and the importance of seeking long-term psychological treatment for those effects. 

Sometimes as a producer / writer for a popular television drama, you have to sacrifice a bit of realism for entertainment value.  And, in the case of this storyline, I feel like that is a lesson that Grey’s Anatomy still needs to learn . . .

All right . . . I’m off my soap box now.  Back to the recap .  . .

This was supposed to be an “Easy Day” for Cristina Yang.  She was supposed to spend the day with her new husband, playing with dummies, along with the rest of the residents.

But Evil Teddy had to go and ruin that, by telling Cristina that she (gasp) actually had to help a REAL LIVE patient, instead . . .

Oh, the horror!

As it turns out, that Sweet Smiley Old Man on who’s behalf Cristina negotiated, so that he could get a spot on the lung transplant list a few weeks back, was set to go into surgery that day (once Teddy picked up his New Lungs, of course).  And so, Teddy requested that Cristina monitor the patient, while she retrieved the vital organ.  Giving Teddy that Deer-in-Headlights look we’ve come to come to expect from this “New Yang,” Cristina reluctantly agreed to perform the task.

 

We are treated to a tiny glimpse of the Old Cristina, when she exchanges some dry banter with her adorable patient, who — despite some evidence to the contrary — we can tell she likes and really cares about.  “Any joke that begins with an animal walking into a bar is, by definition, not funny,” insists Cristina wryly, when the patient in question tries, in vain, to make her laugh.

I don’t know . . . it looks pretty darn hilarious to me!

Despite refusing to laugh at his jokes, Cristina is remarkably kind and supportive to her patient, when he admits his fear of getting “New Lungs.”  “Don’t think of it as ‘getting New Lungs,'” offers Cristina.  “Think of it as getting rid of Old Crappy Ones.”

During this exchange the patient’s estranged daughter, Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, enters the room . . .

“I don’t really get this whole  ‘Hospital  Thing.’  Whenever people got sick on my show, we just performed spells to make them better . . .  It was SO much easier.”

 When Tara apologizes for her not-so-subtle barb about her father not being in her life for twenty years, Adorable Patient surprises her, by complimenting her snarkiness.  “You get that from me,” he says proudly.

It’s actually, a very sweet moment . . . or, at least it would be, if Adorable Patient didn’t go into cardiac arrest, during it.

That’s right!  I said cardiac arrest.  Now, in addition to needing a new set of lungs, Adorable Patient might require a new heart, as well!

As a bevy of nurses rushes to her father’s aid, and DOCTOR Cristina stands stock still, suddenly becoming fascinated by shiny objects, Tara begins to wonder whether witchcraft might be a preferable solution to letting her absentee father rot in this Crackpot Hospital . . .

Worried about his wife’s mental health (aren’t we all!), Owen grants Meredith trauma surgery certification immediately, despite her not having completed the skills course (How unfair is THAT?).  This way, she can help her “Best Friend” through her “diffcult time.”  But Cristina doesn’t want Meredith’s help.  Instead, she brusquely sends Meredith to provide Tara with updates on her father’s status, while she attends to stabilze Adorable Patient’s heart, solo.

“So Tara, you and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are like ‘friends,’ right?  Do you think you could get me her autograph?”

Although pushing off the “interpersonal stuff” on a friend, so that she can do the “medical stuff” sounds precisely like something Old Cristina would do.  We can immediately tell that something is off about our old Robo Doc.  Cristina’s tenacity and aggressiveness are gone.  Her heart is just not in it.  Oh . . . and she’s being a TOTAL BIATCH to Poor Meredith . . .

Later Cristina admits to Meredith that she doesn’t want to speak to Adorable Patient’s daughter, because she is afraid.  Everything about Seattle Grace that Cristina used to love, now petrifies her.  And abject fear does not exactly inspire confidence in Witches from Sunnydale a patient’s family members.

Later, while Meredith and Cristina are on the roof of the hospital, waiting for Teddy’s triumphant return, Meredith confronts her “bestie” about her excessive b*tchiness, of late.  And yet, by the time Cristina finishes her tirade, Meredith undoubtedly wishes she hadn’t brought it up and so do we.

“How are you fine?  How are you just completely fine?”  Christina yells.  “I am ruined, OK?  I am dead.  I am wrecked. . . . Why are you okay?  You were there too.  You were there  . . . with your sad eyes, screaming at me to save his life. Telling the guy to shoot you, and not giving a crap about yourself or your pregnancy.  I didn’t have a choice.  And you did that.  If it was anyone else on the table . . .  if it was anyone else standing there . . . I would have walked away . . . I could have walked away, and, then, I wouldn’t be here!”

“Does this mean you won’t be having Sleepover Parties, with Derek and Me, anymore?”

Ultimately, Cristina is able to stabilize Adorable Patient’s heart, long enough for Teddy to return with his organs, and perform the planned surgery.  But when Chief Webber approaches Cristina, to compliment her on a job well done, Cristina asks to speak with him privately.  As she later admits to Owen, she quit Seattle Grace, right then and there.

“You were right.  I can do it.   I can still be a surgeon,” explains Cristina.  “I just don’t want to.”

It’s possible that we might never get back, Old Cristina.  But one thing is for certain: this New One has GOT TO GO!  Take care of yourself, Cristina!  Here’s hoping that you get the help you need, and come back REALLY SOON. with a brand new storyline that doesn’t involve your ever having to give us the Deer-in-Headlights Look ever again!

  (Oh, and kudos to Sandra Oh, for some outstanding performances, these past couple of weeks.  Just because I didn’t like the things you “did” and “said,” doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the skill with which you did and said them.)

This Butt’s for YOU!

While Cristina was busy “butting out” of Seattle Grace, Mark and Sloan were “butting in” to the life of a late twenty-something patient, who desperately wanted to get some more ass . . . literally.

I don’t know which part of this scene was funnier: the patient’s repeated insistence on increasing the size of her computer-generated butt double (despite the fact that a woman with that small of a frame would probably topple over, if she had that ass); or Lexie’s increasingly horrified reaction shots . . .

“My goodness!  Get an ass like that, and you might have to actually wear Size 6 jeans!  THE HORROR!”

But you know Lexie, every patient’s case has to be ALL ABOUT HER!  So, instead of rationally expressing concern about the fact that the patient’s “new ass” was be highly disproportionate to the rest of her body, and would likely throw her back out of alignment, Lexie ASSUMED that the patient was having the surgery to impress “Some Guy.”

And you know what they say about people who ASSUME things, right?  They make an ASS out of . . . well . . . everyone.  (You thought I was going to say, “You and Me,” didn’t you?  See what I mean about “assuming” things?)

As it turns out, Butt Girl, isn’t Lexie.  Because Lexie, at least according to Butt Girl, has a FABULOUS ASS!  (Also, Butt Girl doesn’t rashly decide to move in with her 20-years older than her boyfriend, before she’s really ready, and agree to raise his 18-year old bastard child.)

Ahem!

All Butt Girl wants is to be able to look good in a pair of jeans.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently . . . at least, as far as Lexie is concerned.

Later, at Joe’s Bar, Lexie finds a Lonely Mark lecherously assessing the veracity of Butt Girl’s claim regarding the SHEER AWESOMENESS that is Little Grey’s ass.  And, although Lexie feigns moral indignation at being treated by her former lover colleague like a Pair of Firm Grapefruit, the little Wiggle Move she does, when she walks away from him, says otherwise . . .

“My Humps.  My Humps.  My Lovely Lady Lumps!”

“Alzheimers is a Bad Disease.  We Should Cure It.”

While Sloan is busy checking out Lexie’s ass, Derek seems to have lodged his head up his.  I always thought that doctors worked these CRAZY hours.  Yet, this week, we see virtually the ENTIRE Seattle Grace staff playing with dolls, for a whole day.  Meanwhile, Derek spends about 12 hours in the board room “researching Alzheimers” for his upcoming grant proposal, only to come up with this . . .

Come on Dr. McDreamy!  I know eight-year olds that can write better Book Reports than that!

Fortunately, Bailey, who’s been dealing with her own problems this week (See Anna Draper story, above), is wise enough to see the REAL reason behind Derek’s writer’s block.  She is also kind enough to take time out of her own busy sulking schedule to help him see it too.  “I am not the one who can’t stop  thinking about his wife getting Alzheimers long enough to write a damn essay!”

As if things weren’t sucky enough for him already, Poor Derek then has to go home and break the news to his wife — who has just been unceremoniously dumped by her best friend — that he’s going to have to dump her from his surgical trials too, in order to maintain some modicum of objectivity in his research . . .

MEREDITH:  Well, THIS is depressing . . .

DEREK:  I know . . .

MEREDITH:  Let’s f*ck.

DEREK:  OK.

In other Want-to-Slit-Your-Wrist Couple’s News . . .

 Arizona Goes to Africa . . . ALONE.

Surprisingly, Callie and Arizona’s breakup had absolutely nothing to do with Arizona’s insistence on wearing this hideous hat . . .

When the episode begins, Callie and Arizona are still doing the same thing they were doing when last week’s episode ended.  Namely, they are packing.  Or, perhaps, more accurately, they are giving away their useless crap, so that they won’t have to pack it. 

(I mean think about it. You’re traveling halfway across the world, to a place where you plan to spend THREE YEARS.  Do you have any idea how EXPENSIVE checking all that luggage would be?)

And don’t even get me started on those SUPER embarrassing Full Body Scans . . .  No wonder Callie would rather stay home!

So, Arizona tries to pass off some of Callie’s cooking utensils on Mark  . . .

Oh come on!  As if Mark ever eats ANYTHING besides TV dinners and underaged hookers, anyway . . .

Then, Callie starts TOTALLY bitching Arizona out for giving her crap away, without asking first.  So, yeah, it becomes pretty obvious, pretty quickly, that Callie has NO desire to go to Malawi and help the “Tiny Humans” . . .

To add insult to injury, Chief Webber starts really laying the guilt trips on thick, as he gripes to Callie about how incredibly HARD it will be to replace not one, but TWO awesome attendings, like Callie and Arizona.

Hmmmm . . . maybe if your doctors spent less time groping dummies, and more time helping patients, you wouldn’t be so short staffed all the time. . .

Sensing weakness in Callie, the relentless Chief Webber pushes the knife in a little deeper, by telling her that, had she decided to stay at Seattle Grace, he had “big plans for [her.]  Really BIG!”

“I’d show you those plans right now.  But they are currently in my pants.  Unless, of course, you would like to go get them . . .”

Throughout the episode, Callie snarks on and on, about how utterly LAME Malawi will be.  So, really, is it any wonder that NO ONE wanted to come to her’s and Arizona’s going away party?

Seriously?  I’ve seen funerals that were more lively . . .

Later, when Callie meets up with Mark for another extended “I Don’t WANNA GO!” Complaining Session, Mark takes this opportunity to compare Callie’s trip to Africa to a boob job.

You stay classy, Mark Sloan (you Dirty Old Man, you)!

“You’re sounding an awful lot like a girl who’s getting a boob job, just because her boyfriend likes girls with Really Big Racks . . . and by Big Racks, I mean Africa,” explains Captain Obvious Sloan.

“But I love her,” argues Callie.

“I know.  But you are going to have to learn to love Africa too,” Sloan remarks wisely, before pulling his bestie in for a sweet embrace.

I heart these two .  . .

Talk about waiting until the last minute!  It’s not until Arizona and Callie are already at the airport, waiting to board the plane, that Arizona drops the bomb on Callie that she will be going to Africa, without her.

“Geez, Arizona!  Do the words Frequent Flyer Miles mean ANYTHING to you?  Do you have any idea how many pairs of shoes I’ve charged to my American Express Card, so that I could get this flight?”

Arizona explains that going to Africa, and providing medical care to third world children, has always been her dream.  And Callie’s sulking and carrying on, is ruining that dream.  Callie begs and pleads with Arizona to reconsider, but to no avail.  So, finally, she issues an ultimatum . . .

“If you get on that plane and go without me we are done. Do you hear me? We are over,” Callie insists.

“Really?  Were you planning to ground me, and forbid me from going to prom too?”

Rather than run crying into her arms muttering apologies, Arizona just nods sadly after all she’s just going on maternity leave, not leaving the show.  No need to get so dramatic!  “We are standing in the middle of an airport screaming at each other. We are already over,” replies Arizona, as she turns and heads toward her gate.


 “Oh please!  Screaming in the airport means we ARE a couple!  That’s what couples do!  They FIGHT . . . and have hot makeup sex . . . possibly, while becoming members of the Mile High Club!”

Don’t worry, Callie!  She’ll be back . . .

And finally, last but not least . . .

April Kepner – Dummy Doctor Extraordinaire!

“I pity the FOOL who messes with MY dummies!”

When, at the beginning of their trauma certification class, Owen informed the residents that there had been a bus accident outside, with massive casualties, they ran to the scene of the incident, like BATS OUT OF HELL!

So, you could imagine how disappointed / pissed off they were, when these “fine doctors” found out that their “trauma victims” were actually the cast of those lame (and incredibly creepy) Old Navy commercials . . .

Man, I HATE those commercials . . .

Apparently, Owen spent his “million dollar” trauma training grant on: (1) a bunch of impeccably dressed dummies; and (2) flashcards listing various fake injuries that the dummies are purportedly suffering from.  (Coincidentally, you can buy all of these things at Old Navy, for the banner price of $19.99!) 

Here’s how trauma training works.  The residents break up into groups of four.  Together, those groups tend to the injuries of the fake dummies.  If they can keep the dummies “alive,” long enough to get them onto a “rescue helicopter,” they can earn their certification. 

Now, there are PLENTY of teams.  But the only one that the episode writer really seems interested in is “Blue Team,” starring April Kepner Dr. Hotness Avery, and Alex Karev.

Though Blue Team is the only one that seems to really care about the exercise (continuing to tend to their patients, long after all the other teams have “failed,”  and hours into a very rainy night) Dr. Power Tripper Hunt inexplicably seems determined to PUNISH them for their dedication.  He does this by making up more and more fake injuries for Blue Team’s dummies, and refusing to let the FAKE helicopter come and take the “victims” away.

“Here we are, seven episodes into this season, and ALL of my lines so far have been some form of ‘Cristina, are you OK?’  Well, now, I’ve got my OWN storyline, and I’m going to make the best of it, dammit.  Even if it means babbling on about things that make NO SENSE WHATSOEVER!”

Dr. Hotness (who is quickly taking over the “Cocky-Bad-Boy-Who-Deep-Down-is-Just-Insecure” role, formerly held by Alex Karev) eventually gets fed up, and quits the “game.”  This was fine by me, because it gave Owen an excuse to yell at him, which gave ME an excuse to gaze into those dreamy eyes of his . . .

Observe . . . the Sexy Brood and Smoulder of Dr. Hotness, in his natural habitat.

Eventually, Owen has Avery return to complete the certification course.  However, before that happens, April  — upon deciding that TWO can play at the “making sh*t up” game — has come up with an “ingenious” (and by, “ingenious,” I mean “adorable, but incredibly dorky”) way to “save” her victims and “win” the game.  While rambling on like an INSANE person, April dashes off to a nearby ambulence.  Then, despite being told by Owen that it is “not in play,” April stuffs her’s and Alex’s dummies in the back of it.

By the way, the cheesy Action Movie Music that was playing in the background, while April was doing this, made the WHOLE scene TEN TIMES FUNNIER!  If anyone knows what song that was, PLEASE tell me!  Because, once I find it, that puppy is becoming part of the “Running Mix” on my iPod, STAT!

While Alex looks on with amusement, Owen tries in vain to reason with Crazy April, telling her that the ambulence . . . um . . .  broke down . . . or something.  But April will not listen to reason.  “Now MOVE!  Or I will RUN . . . YOU . . . DOWN!”  She growls, before putting her key in the ignition, and driving the ambulence around to the Emergency Room entrance.

April then starts picking up the dummies, and carrying them, BY HAND, into the hospital . . .

“Hey there, Old Navy Mannequin!  You are much shorter, in person . . .  By the way, are you single?”

She probably would have performed surgery on the damn things too, if Owen didn’t FINALLY put the kibosh on the whole exercise.  “OK.  Fine!  Blue Team Wins,” Owen mutters.

“Blue Team, wins?  BLUE TEAM WINS!”  April yelps, throwing her poor defenseless Old Navy Mannequin on the ground in triumph, with all the verve of a Football Player, who just scored the winning touchdown in the Superbowl.

This Crazy Chica even had her own ENDZONE DANCE, for crying out loud!  Once she’s finished self-congratulating, April rushes to Alex, and pulls him in for a tight embrace.  Alex honestly, looks a bit taken aback by the sudden show of affection.  However, he is obviously pleased to be a part of this insanity.

“I’ve never been hugged by a Real Virgin before . . . weird.”

That night, at Joe’s, Alex teases April, by doing a spot-on impersonation of her “I WILL MOW YOU DOWN,” speech.

“I will make you walk the plank, Matey!  Arrrrgh!”

But then, the Former Bad Boy sweetly compliments April on how “awesome” and “hilarious” she was, during the course.  He’s ABSOLUTELY signing up for April’s team, the next time Seattle Grace has a skills lab!  After he tells her all this, April gives Alex this look, and it’s a look us girls know all too well . . .

Yup . . . that’s the one . . .

Oh, April, honey . . . You are in SOOOOOO much trouble!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Grey's Anatomy

Anatomy of a Trailer: Scream 4 (Contains Possible Spoilers)

I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since the first Scream movie came out in theaters!  It seems like only yesterday that I was sneaking into the movie theater to see it on opening night, having sneakily purchased tickets to some more “family friendly fare.”

That’s right!  Just like, I suspect, many of you, I wasn’t yet 17 when the first Scream came out in theaters . . .

(You know, I’ll never, for the life of me, understand why horror films, like this one, scrabble for the “Hard R” rating, when probably more than half of their movie viewing population has to be dropped off at the theater by their parents, because they don’t have their drivers licenses yet.  I mean, I get that it’s supposed to be this big “Status Symbol” to be “Rated R,” as a horror film.  Yet, all that Big Bad Letter really does is end up getting a lot of Movie Ticket Takers fired, for not properly ID-ing their patrons.)

“I swear, boss.  He totally looked 17 to me!”

But I digress.  There I was, underage, hanging with a bunch of my friends, and viewing Scream for the first time.  I remember when the movie started, seeing Drew Barrymore on the screen  (who was kind of a “big deal” at the time), and kind of rolling my eyes a bit.  “They aren’t going to kill Drew!”  I whispered to whoever was sitting next to me.  “Her face is on the movie poster.  And her name is one of ‘top billed.'”

 

And then they gutted her like a fish, in the first five minutes . . .

I was HORRIFIED . . . but, at the same time, very impressed.  I knew, right then, that I was witnessing the start of something pretty amazing.  As far as “horror movie cliches” were concerned, all bets were off!  We were all going to be in for quite a ride . . .

I saw the next two films in the trilogy on their opening nights as well.  And while neither had quite the shock value of the first installment  (The minute Jada Pinkett Smith walked into that movie theater at the beginning of Scream 2, I knew not to get too attached to her character . . .

 . . . ditto for Buffy the Vampire Slayer . . .)

 . . . I still found both films to be enjoyable, witty, and surprisingly well-written.

So, I was intrigued, when I started hearing buzz around the internet that the first film of a new Scream trilogy would be “stabbing” its way into theaters in 2011.  Like the first film, Scream 4 will be penned by Kevin Williamson (writer of none other than my current FAVORITE television show, The Vampire Diaries) . . .

 . . . and directed by, that denizen of horror himself, Wes Craven. 

As the poster for the film suggests, the new tagline for Scream 4 is “New Decade, New Rules.”  At this year’s Scream Awards, Wes Craven promised us a movie for  the “next generation” of horror fans.  Here, the same, now- tired, old rules, won’t necessarily apply.  You know what that means, don’t you?  Oh yeah . . . the Ghostface Killer is TOTALLY iPhone-ready.

“Psycho Serial Killer?  There’s an app for that!”

Sure, Scream 4 may be ready for the “next generation of horror movie fans,” but, the question remains, is it ready for us?   After all, in this new culture, of leaked scripts, pirated films, screencapped trailers, and endless film analysis on message boards and blogs, it is REALLY hard to keep a secret, and even harder to genuinely surprise fans.  Because, now, not only are horror movie goers more savvy, as Craven, himself suggested, they are also more well-informed.

For example, we NOW know that when an actress boasts a “cameo” in a horror film, and her character doesn’t have a “name” on the movie’s IMDB page , we can probably expect her to show up in one scene, die a quick but gruesome death, and never be seen again . . .

Usually a lover of all things spoilery, I personally found myself a bit disappointed when, after merely viewing the film’s teaser trailer and perusing the message boards, I already pieced together what will probably be the opening murder sequence (including the “fakeout” that will likely come with it). 

And . . . well . . . why don’t I let you watch for yourself . . .

Now that’s a trailer chocked full of spoilery information, if I’ve ever seen one! 

I’m just going to share a few screencaps with you that I found particularly instructive.  However, you can find ALL the screencaps for this trailer here.  (Special thanks to CNE20, who was kind enough to post these!)

Oh, and for all you Spoilerphobes out there, this would be a good time to STOP READING!

:12 “Welcome home, Sydney!  You’re a survivor, aren’t you, Sydney?  What good is it being a survivor, if everyone around you is DEAD!”

Yes, boys and girls, Scream queen, Neve Campbell (now 37), will be reprising her role as the much-abused Sydney Prescott.  After all this poor woman has been through, you would think she would FINALLY suck it up, and cancel her landline.  Cell phones, Sydney!  They are all the rage these days . . . not to mention that having them makes it much easier to RUN AWAY from the Psycho Serial Killer who always seems to be INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!

:18 – “All you can do is WATCH!”

Anna Paquin (Soookeh! of  True Blood) and Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) have both publicly admitted to having “cameos” in this film.  (We all know what THAT means!)  Many “experts” have posited that the first “murder” of the film, will not be a “real” murder, but actually a scene from the fictional Scream-like series, Stab (featured prominently in Scream 2 and 3), which Anna’s and Kristen’s characters will be watching at home on DVD.  These same experts suggest that Anna and Kristen, like Drew Barrymore and Jada Pinkett Smith, before them, will be the new film’s first REAL victims.  This scene here, which features Anna, turning off a DVD, while a frightened Kristen looks on, would seem to suggest as much . . .

:19 – “Ahhhhhhhh!”

Golly gee!  For two girls credited as having “cameos” in the film, Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) and Shenae Grimes (90210) sure got a lot of face time in the teaser trailer!  Many suspect that this is because these two will be stars of the Stab installment that Anna and Kristen are watching, in the film’s opening scene. 

(Note to Kevin Williamson:  It is not too late to CHANGE THIS!  In fact, if this is the actual concept for the opening sequence, and you want to REALLY shock fans, as you have done consistently in the past, you probably SHOULD!)

:21 – “Modern fans have become savvy to the rules of the originals.  I mean, there are still rules, but the rules have changed.”

OMG, Rory Culkin!  My, have you grown!  (I bet you’re taller than Macauley Culkin now . . . and Kieran Culkin, for that matter.)  It looks as though Rory will be inhabiting the “Horror Film Geek”  role, previously inhabited by Jamie Kennedy (who played “Randy Meeks”), in the first two films.

:50 – “Go ahead, if you have the guts!”

This highly controversial, and much discussed, screencap features Courtney Cox, seemingly about to get gutted by the Ghostface Killer.  Could the makers of this trailer be brave enough (or stupid enough, depending on how you look at it) to forecast the death of Gale Weathers –one of the three MAIN CHARACTERS from the original trilogy — so early in the film’s promotional campaign?  (Or will someone come to to her rescue, at the last minute, as is usually the case in these type of movie situations?)

:54 – “Well, it’s time for someone new to die.”

Here’s Rory Culkin again, along with Hayden Panettiere and Marielle Jaffe.  These three will likely function as the “Scooby Gang” to lead player, Emma Robert’s “Jill.”  Hayden will be playing Kirby Reed, “Jill’s” best friend.  The “best friend” moniker should keep her safe for at least the first half of the film.

Marielle will be playing “Olivia,” who, based on this  scene alone, looks and sounds like kind of a b*tch.  Since b*tches never fare particularly well in this genre, I’m guessing “Olivia” will be a goner, fairly early on . . .

:58 – “These aren’t just random killings.”

David Arquette (who I am liking SO MUCH LESS NOW, especially after his ridiculous drunken T.M.I. rant on Howard Stern) will be reprising his role as Deputy Dewey.  Also donning the dorky Rent-A-Cop uniform in this film, will be the adorable Adam Brody . . .

(Seth Cohen is a cop?)

 . . . and the very cuddly, Anthony Anderson . . .

1:00 – iPhone product placement alert!

I said it before, but it bears repeating.  Between the killer videotaping his murders, and the cast members running around with iPhones, it does seem that new technologies will play a major role in the new trilogy.

1:01 –  Emma Roberts alert!

Although she looks like she’s in a pretty tough spot right now, I’m thinking that Emma Roberts, who has been tauted by producers as “the NEW Sydney Prescott” (she plays Sydney’s cousin, in the film), will probably be around for a while.  In other words, if you happen to be watching the film, and really have to pee, the scenes where “Jill” is in “peril” are the best time to go . . .  At least, this way, you won’t risk missing a “cool death scene.”

1:16 – “I hear you like horror movies.”

              “It’s for you.”

I know I showed these two already.  However, this line was the only one in the trailer that actually made me giggle out loud.   It also seemed a bit cheesy, by Scream standards.  This only supports my hypothesis that all scenes featuring Shenae and Lucy are meant to come from the fictional Stab series.  Of course, I could be wrong . . . (I still kind of hope I am.)

Scream 4 scares into theaters April 15, 2011.  Will YOU see it?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Movie Trailer Recaplets, Scream 4, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks

So You Wanna Be a Vampire? Read this before making your “life-changing” decision.

 

As a recapper of television shows involving vampires, and a voracious reader of “vampire literature,” people often write to me requesting information on how one should go about turning into a vampire.  I always welcome these questions.  After all, the decision to make the “human-to-vampire transition” is not one that should be taken lightly.  And I’ve seen far too many friends jump into this life choice, without having been truly informed as to all of its attendant consequences.

It’s like my Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandmother Vampire Sara once said: “Life is short, but immortality is forever.”

Don’t believe Vampire Sara? Just ask THIS GUY . . . He’s ANCIENT!

Since, regretably, I do not have the time to answer ALL of your questions (I am only human, after all), I’ve decided to devise this list of Frequently Asked Questions on the topic of vampirism.  Hopefully this list will serve to shed some light on this increasingly prevalent issue.

1) How do I go about becoming a vampire?

There are some shows schools of thought that would have you believe that in order to become a vampire, all you have to do is be bitten by one.

Still other movies like The Lost Boys schools of thought would suggest that you can become a vampire, merely by drinking a few sips of another vampire’s blood.

Well GEEZ!  If THAT was the case, EVERYBODY would do it, now wouldn’t they?   Unfortunately, making the transition is not so easy.  For starters, in most cases, it involves you DYING!

NOT FUN!

So, how do you die?  Well in most cases, a hot vampire can kill you, by draining all of the human blood from your body.

If you are lucky, he will break your neck first, so you won’t actually feel any pain when he does it.  And if you’re REALLY lucky, he’ll let you dance with him, half-naked, first . . .

The next step involves YOU drinking vampire blood.  This part can be tricky.  Especially, if you are already dead, and therefore, not  thirsty.  So, I say, drink lots of vampire blood NOW, while you are alive.  This way, by the time you want to turn, it won’t be an issue anymore.

Not sure where to get vampire blood?  Call me . . . I have some L.A. connections . . .

But don’t wait too long . . . because I have a feeling my “connection” is going to “dry up” real soon.

For those of you with cash to burn, rumor has it that, somewhere in a remote village in Alaska, there is a medical clinic that can perform the procedure in three days.  So you can become immortal, and be back at work in NO TIME!  The procedure is performed by a well-renown plastic surgeon  . . .

. . . and a highly experienced anesthesiologist . . .

All it takes is a simple lethal injection, and a quick-as-a-wink blood transfusion.  The best part?   NO unnecessary bodily decay or unsightly death scars!   In fact, many local celebrities have already been spotted frequenting the clinic  . . .

Feel free to contact the Alaska Division of Tourism for more information on this exciting opportunity.

2) All the vampires I know are young and/or hot.  I’m old as dirt and ugly as sin.  Can I still be a vampire?

First of all, sir.  I am SURE you are NOT nearly as old or ugly as you say you are. (pauses to look at the picture included as e-mail attachment – gags reflexively)

Hmmmmm . . . OK . . . well . . . Surely, there are SOME vampires that are neither young nor hot.  Let me think about this for a moment . . .

Nope.  You are right.  Unfortunately, there just doesn’t seem to be a real market out there for old ugly bloodsuckers.   Sorry about that.  Thanks for playing.  Better luck next life time . . .

3) What about that whole “can’t go out in the sunlight” thing?  I’m kind of a morning person.  So, I’m not sure I could handle that.

I can see how the whole “sunlight allergy” and “dead until dark” thing, could put a real crimp in your social and professional life.  Fortunately, today’s vampires have found many ways around this pesky inconvenience.  For example, you could, wear ugly sun-repellant jewelry like those boys in The Vampire Diaries . . .

. . . or pour glitter all over your naked body, like a drag queen at a gay nightclub  . . .

And if THAT doesn’t work, just suck it up and hang out with other vampires, who keep your same hours . . .

After you’ve become a super cool vampire, you aren’t going to want to associate with us lame ass humans, anyway.

4) I’m a pretty peaceful person.  I just don’t know if it’s in me to kill other people for their blood.  How would I survive?

Wait . . . you mean to tell me that you DON’T lick and bite people for fun?  Clearly, you are missing out.

You see, nowadays, most vampires don’t need to kill to survive.  There are lots of other options available to you.  For example, you can take a little nip of your lover during foreplay.  Very sexy!

You can also “borrow” blood from blood banks, like that dude from Moonlight . . .

. . . Or drink that synthetic stuff that looks like beer, but tastes like orange soda . . .

And, FINALLY, if you HATE little defenseless animals, and have no heart, you can go out into the woods and drink from Bambi’s mother . . .

Personally, I think this is the WORST / most immoral of ALL the above options.  However, folks in the literary world seem to equate Deer-Sucking with sainthood.  So far be it for me to judge, right?

5) Will I have any special powers when I’m a vampire?

You mean, ASIDE from being IMMORTAL, HOT and TOTALLY AWESOME?  . . .  Plenty.  As a vampire, you will have super-human strength and speed.

You will also f*ck like a rockstar . . .

Some say that you can even fly.  But, as far as I’m concerned, the coolest vampire skill of all that you will obtain is your ability to control people’s minds.

Aside from being hot, young, and Olympic-caliber f&ckers, THIS is probably the main reason why vampires ALWAYS get their mate.  Call it compulsion; call it “glamour;” call it “persuasion.”  Whatever you call it, it always works the same way.  Stare at your target with your beautiful eyes.  She falls into a deep trance.  You tell her exactly what you want her to do.  She does it.  Now, how awesome is THAT?

6) Do I REALLY need to be invited in EVERY time I want to enter a new human’s home?

The fact that you are even asking this question tells me that you are a completely rude turd, with no manners whatsoever .  . . no offense.  YES, you have to be invited in!  But the better question is, why is that a problem for you?  Is it your “thing” to just randomly go barging into people’s houses uninvited?  Talk about a BAD house guest.

Fish and YOU smell after three days . . .

Coincidentally, if you REALLY want to get into someone’s house, and the person isn’t inviting you in, just COMPEL him or her to WANT to invite you inside.  Problem solved.

7) I’ve been a vampire for many, MANY years now. All my friends are dead.  I’m bored.  What do I do now?

Ugh!  Type O, AGAIN?  I just drank that on Tuesday!

Simple.  Off yourself.  There are plenty of easy ways to do it.  For starters, you can, go on vacation someplace tropical . . .

Take a long walk into a short stake . . .

 . . . lose your head . . .

(I made this picture small, because it creeped me out too much, when it was larger.)

 . . . or just hang out with Buffy . . .

You’ll be chilling in Heaven in NO TIME!  Well . . . maybe not Heaven . . .

8 ) Any parting advice before I make “the change?”

Yes . . . invest in some good dental insurance.  You are going to have some f*&ked up teeth, for sure!

Well, that’s all I’ve got, folks.  See you on the “Other Side.”

 [What is Life Sucks Death Bites?]  [What is The Exquisite Corpse?] [ Who is Bellamy Jordan?]

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Filed under Buffy the Vampire Slayer, FAQs, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Twilight Book Series, Vampires

OMFG? Not so much . . . – The Top Ten “Been There, Seen That” Teen Television Cliches (Part 2 of 2)

A couple of days ago, I came up with a list of the top ten plotline cliches featured in teen-oriented television dramas.  In the first installment of this blog entry, I posted the first five of these cliches.  That list included: (1) the Pregnancy Plotline; (2) the Death of a Peripheral Character Plotline; (3) the Student / Teacher Relationship Plotline; (4) the Cheating on a Test  / Plagiarism Plotline; and, finally, (5) the “Bad Influence” Plotline.

This installment will focus on the following popular Teen Television Cliches: (1) the Love Triangle; (2) the Summer in Europe; (3) the Love / Hate Relationship; (4) the School Ski Trip; and, of course (5) the Prom.  So, without further adieu, what do you say we take off our creative thinking caps, embrace conformity, and get started?

1) “Can’t we all just . . . have a threesome, instead?” – The Love Triangle Plotline

The Storyline:  Girl meets boy.  Boy is attractive. 

Boy is also nice and sweet, albeit a tad boring (and, sometimes, a bit of a whiny b*tch). 

Or, conversely, Boy is total douche; 

but Girl’s parents love him;

He looks “good on paper.”

and Boy is sure to make Girl a very wealthy, but very bored, housewife, some time in the not-so-distant future, if she plays her cards right.

But then . . . Other Boy magically appears.

Unlike the original Boy, Other Boy is a little dangerous . . .

Maybe he’s from the wrong side of the proverbial “tracks” . . .

Or, perhaps he has a reputation for being a bit of male slut . . .

 . . . or a criminal.

 Or maybe he has a bit of a mean streak, so Girl isn’t sure she can really trust him.

But there is just something about the way Other Boy makes Girl feel . . .

She smiles and laughs more when she’s around him. 

(Click the internal link to watch.)

He makes her more fun!

And Other Boy continues to believe in Girl, and support her, long after everyone else has seemingly abandoned her (including the original Boy).

So, what’s a Girl to do, when she wants them both?

Who does she choose?  Well, that depends on the season . . . the Television Season, that is . . .

Examples: Joey, Pacey, and Dawson (Dawson’s Creek); Veronica, Logan, and Duncan (Veronica Mars); Marissa, Ryan, and Luke (The O.C.); Elena, Damon, and Stefan (The Vampire Diaries); Rory, Jesse, and Dean (Gilmore Girls); Blair, Chuck, and Nate (Gossip Girl); Peyton, Lucas, and Nate (One Tree Hill); Emma, Sean, and Peter (Degrassi: The Next Generation); Felicity, Ben, and Noel (Felicity); Casey, Cappie, and Evan (Greek); Lyla, Tim, and Jason (Friday Night Lights)

Why it’s a cliche?  Three words (One of them is a contraction).  Because . . . It’s . . . AWESOME!

When it comes to successful teen drama plotlines, The Love Triangle, is a surefire WIN!  After all, what girl wouldn’t want to have two totally hot guys, who are complete opposites of one another fighting over her!  Aside from allowing female fans to vicariously fulfill their deepest fantasies, Love Triangles provide the added benefit of making Teen Television watching a TEAM SPORT!  Boys have football and basketball.  Girls have  THIS . . .

Yes, boys and girls, choosing sides in a Love Triangle War is SERIOUS business!  (Girls have been shot over WAY less!)  Don’t believe me?  Check out the sheer intensity of THESE fan-fueled debates  . . .

About Blair, Chuck and Nate

About Elena, Damon, and Stefan

About Felicity, Ben, and Noel . . .

(The above video debate between these two twenty-somethings kind of goes off the rails, after the first five minutes.  But I love their obvious enthusiasm for a show that’s been off the air now for nearly a decade!  I also love their accents . . . and the very impressive “Portrait of Ben” one of them created.  Scott Speedman, himself, would be proud!)

2) “Go to Europe . . . because no one could possibly ‘find themselves’ in the States!”  – The Summer in Europe Plotline

“When in France, do as the French do . . . French kiss!”

(Here we go again!  Internal link clicking time!)

The Storyline: It’s close to the end of the Season.  Our female protagonist’s life is a mess!  It’s just jam packed with unresolved love triangles, family issues, and massive blowout fights with former friends.  And what better way is there to deal with all of your problems, than to run away from them?  So, our female protagonist jaunts off to Europe (usually Paris), leaving pining boys and cliffhangers in her wake . . .

 Once there, our female protagonist sees the sights . . .

and miraculously FINDS HERSELF!  When she comes back, she’s a COMPLETELY different person, than when she left.  Who knows?  She might even have a new completely random, doesn’t belong on the show at all boyfriend!

Examples: Serena and Blair (Gossip Girl); Joey Potter (Dawson’s Creek); Brenda and Donna (90210); Holly (What I Like About You)

Why it’s a Cliche?  The main character’s temporary departure from his or her home base is a great way to bring about a Teen Television Drama’s summer hiatus.  If us fans are forced to spend an ENTIRE summer away from our beloved gang of characters, at least we can sleep better knowing that they aren’t hanging out with one another EITHER!  Plus, filming a scene or two “across the pond” makes for a great excuse for the show’s writers to say to their producer, “I’d like an all expense paid European vacation, please.  What!  It’s for THE SHOW!”

A summer in another country is also a pretty good excuse to suddenly change the entire personality and demeanor of a character, without any rational explanation whatsoever .  . .

“I got my new girlfriend and a frontal lobe lobotomy in Prague.  Doesn’t everybody?

3) “He Loves Me  . . . He Hates My Guts . . . He Loves Me . . .” – The Love/ Hate Relationship Plotline

The Storyline: He’s a playboy, and a real ladies man.  But he comes across as mean, and kind of shallow.  She’s a Type A personality, who comes across as cold and a bit uptight. 

They butt heads from the moment they first appear on screen together.  They fight, and call eachother names.  They insult one another, and play nasty tricks on eachother. 

But there is a passion boiling beneath the surface, that both he and she are trying desperately to deny. 

At the time, he and she are both involved with other people.  Their significant others notice the sexual tension laced beneath their supposed hatred, and try in vain to ignore it.  But the tension only grows.  Jealous and longing looks become prevalent.  Lingering touches, and moments of out-of-character “niceness,” between the two make each member of the pair begin to question their feelings. 

The guy in this scenario typically recognizes his feelings for her first. 

(You know the drill . . .)

But he usually keeps this to himself, out of fear of being ridiculed by the new object of his desires.  Then the two are placed in a dramatic situation.  Suddenly their mutual passion for one another overtakes them.  And they both give in to their desires.

Examples: Joey and Pacey (Dawson’s Creek); Buffy and Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer); Veronica and Logan (Veronica Mars); Seth and Summer (The O.C. – sort of . . . well . . . she hated him); Elena and Damon (The Vampire Diaries); Blair and Chuck (Gossip Girl)

Why it’s a Cliche?  You know how everyone always talks about how hot Makeup Sex is?  A couple fights, and then they make up.  All that angst and sexual energy, built up from all that red-faced arguing, is just kindling for the inevitable Orgasmic Fire of “Getting Back Together.”  And THAT’S from a fight that might last a day!  You can just imagine how hot Makeup Sex would be if the couple fought nonstop for TWO SEASONS!

4) “When the temperatures get COLD, the action gets HOT!” – The Ski Trip Plotline

The Storyline:  I’m going to be honest, this one was less of a “storyline” and more of a “plot convention.”  (Hey!  YOU try to come up with ten of these things . . . It’s not as easy as it looks.)  But did you ever notice how virtually EVERY teen drama features at least one ski trip?  BIG THINGS always happen on ski trips too!  People get drunk, get laid, get raped, or cheat on their significant other!   And someone ALWAYS hurts their foot, and conveniently can’t ski!

Examples:

Dawson’s Creek:

Jenn hurts her foot, gets wasted, and almost screws Gay Jack. 

Pacey and Joey do it for the first time!

Boy Meets World:

Cory hurts his foot too!  And makes out with Linda Cardellini!

Other fabulous shows featuring wild and crazy teen ski trips include Degrassi: Next Generation (Darcy gets date raped), and What I Like About You (Holly comes to terms with her feelings for Vince).

Precisely NONE of these characters were ever shown ACTUALLY skiing . . .

Why it’s a Cliche?  There’s just something about being away from home and your parents . . . about sleeping in a log cabin, right next to the fire.  You relax.  You let your guard down.  You get a little slutty and make bad choices.  (Except in the case of Pacey and Joey . . . that choice was GOOD!)  Plus, it’s WAY cheaper to film on location in some fake ski lodge than say . . . taking your entire cast and crew to Europe.

5) “Question:  What happened at Prom?  Answer: EVERYTHING!” – The Prom Plotline

The Storyline: It’s the event of the WHOLE season!  The entire cast will be in attendance!  But not everybody is going with the person they WANT to be going with. 

 A couple will break up.  A couple will get back together. 

Someone will win prom queen. 

 

Someone’s heart will be broken. 

A couple will finally do it. 

Another couple will ALMOST do it, but decide to wait . . . Oh, and someone will get wasted and make an ass of herself.

Examples: Dawson’s Creek, The O.C., 90210, Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl

Why it’s a Cliche?  For every high school girl, the Prom is the culminating social event of her entire pre-college academic career.  Even the most jaded of high school students (and I, myself, was already pretty jaded by that time) can’t help but dream of having the perfect dress, the perfect limo, the perfect Prom date, and the perfect slow dance.  For most of us, with all that build up and preparation, Prom itself ends up being pretty anti-climactic.  (The Post Prom Beach Trip, on the other hand . . . now, THAT ROCKED!).  But if we CAN’T have the perfect Prom, at least we can get the joy of seeing our television friends experience it for us.

So, there you have it – Ten Trashtastic Teen Television Cliches for your viewing pleasure!  Doesn’t it all make you feel OLD?

 

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Filed under 90210, Boy Meets World, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Felicity, Gossip Girl, Greek, nostalgia, teen dramas, Television Super Couples, The O.C., The Vampire Diaries, Top Ten Lists, Veronica Mars, What I Like About You