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The Kids are All Grown Up . . . Sort Of – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “The Undergraduates”

I’m pretty sure this kind of thing happens at least once every season.  Except, this time, Serena has raised the stakes, by discovering the art of camouflage.  Seriously!  Who else, besides Serena, would dress to match the curtains at a fashion event? 

I never thought it would happen, but after four seasons of scheming, cattiness, and hijinks, our Upper East Side crew is FINALLY showing some signs of maturity . . . well, some of them are, at least.  Others are . . . well . . . not.

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look back at this episode, to find out which characters are still in diapers . . .

 . . . and who got to graduate to Big Boy Pants!

Gossip Girl gets an Upgrade.  Serena gets Downsized.

 

When the episode begins, Serena and Blair are preparing for their first day at Columbia University.

Unfortuntely, their first day of school just so happens to be a very dark day on the Upper West Side.  As it turns out . . . the Gossip Girl website is temporarily DOWN.

Clearly, this is a tragedy of EPIC proportions, especially for Blair, who just so happens to be one of those people . . .

 . . . who is simply not happy, unless some low rent media entity is documenting her every move.  As their first official order of business as new Columbia students, Blair and Serena .  . . go to class.  HAHA!  JUST KIDDING!  We don’t do actually that on this show . . .

Instead, Blair and Serena head off to the “Hamilton House” (i.e. this season’s version of the “secret society” Blair tries to join every year, whose members’ innate snobbery and elite status cause our Queen Bee to temporarily forget who her REAL friends are)  . . .

It’s not just for cans and bottles any more.  We do it for PLOTLINES too!

As Blair and Serena enter the insanely stuck up Hamilton House, Serena notes her very familiar surroundings, and gripes, “I thought college would be different from high school.”

“Who would want that?”  Blair inquires, without an ounce of humor or irony in her voice.  (You gotta love Blair!)

Speaking of high school, just moments after arriving, the girls encounter a “old friend” from “back in the day” (i.e. two years ago).

It’s Perpetual Queen Bee Runner Up, PENELOPE!

And, I am happy to report, that she is just as much of a saucy biatch, as she was in high school!  After Penelope and Blair exchange a few bitter barbs for old time’s sake, the diva reveals that one of her ancestors was a founding member of the Hamilton House.  This accident of birth makes Penelope a legacy at Hamilton House, and and automatic club member.  Fortunately for Blair, Penelope is NOT, however, the Key Master, i.e. the person responsible for personally inviting new members to join the club.

Poor Penelope!  Always a minion, never a royal!

But, you know who IS Key Master at Hamilton House? THIS GIRL . . .

It’s Crazy Potential Psycho Stalker, Juliet Sharp, of course!  (Clearly, Hamilton House is a VERY classy establishment, if they are letting homicidal maniacs join.)  When Blair and Serena approach Juliet for their keys to the club, Looney Tunes herself surprises EVERYBODY (well, at least everybody who didn’t see the trailer for the episode, before it aired), by offering a club key to Blair  . . . and NOT SERENA!

At that very moment, Gossip Girl comes back online with a BRAND NEW FEATURE.  It’s called Live Video Streaming, and it’s like Botox for websites.

The Video Stream shows Serena getting rejected by Hamilton House, as a politely reserved, but secretly smug, Blair fondles her new key to the kingdom elite Columbia society.  Of course, this poses the very important question of WHO is Gossip Girl, that she was able to get such close-up footage of the girls at this elite event?  You see, in the past, any onlooker could have sent Gossip Girl the pictures and intel that the site happened to be seeking at the time. 

However, seeing as the GG site had been down for a period of time; and, presumably no one, except Gossip Girl herself (or himself), knew at the time that the site had video capabilities, that pretty much narrows the suspects down to someone in that room.  Could it be Juliet?  Penelope? 

 Only time will tell . . .

Outside of Hamilton House, Blair half-heartedly offers to decline membership in the club for Serena’s sake.  However, Serena, who knows a fake gesture of kindness when she sees one, replies that this will not be necessary.  “S” would never stand in the way of her Best-ie’s social progress.  Besides, Hamilton House may just be a bit too “right wing” for a bohemian gal, like Serena.

Famous Hamilton House Alumnis

Upon receiving Serena’s “blessing” to stay in Hamilton House, Blair responds like THIS . . .

 . . . and bounces off excitedly, but not before making plans to meet Serena later for dinner and drinks.

Feeling a bit like the Stinky Kid in Elementary School, who nobody wanted to play with,  Serena calls Dorky Dan, in hopes of bolstering her recently diminished self esteem . . .

. . . and he BLOWS HER OFF . . .

 . . . to hang out with a guy who still POOPS IN HIS PANTS!

Then she calls Hot Pants Nate . . .

. . . and HE BLOWS HER OFF TOO!

(Apparently, Hamilton House is coed, and Nate’s a member as well.  How CONVENIENT!)

Yes, Serena.  Apparently, college IS just like High School.  Except, now, you are the NEW Jenny Humphrey . . .

It’s not easy . . . being sleazy.

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Rapist

While the rest of his friends are stories below, pretending to matriculate at Columbia, Chuck Bass is sleeping on million-thread count sheets, in the Penthouse Suite at the Empire Hotel.  He wakes up to find his new Gal Pal Eva missing.  When he sees the sliding glass door to the balcony open, Chuck worries for a moment that the idea of being the most HATED new cast member of Gossip Girl got to be too much for Eva, and she threw herself out the window.

Goodbye, Cruel Fangirls!

(At the same time, Chair fans across the nation are keeping their fingers crossed for the same result.  It’s nothing personal, Eva.  You’re just NO Blair Waldorf!)

But, alas when Chuck arrives outside, he finds Eva simply looking out at the city skyline, with her feet planted firmly on the ground.  “Your world . . . it’s magnificent,” says Eva, with all the emotion and excitement of a person saying, “I have a dentist appointment today.”

Chuck is so enamored by Eva’s innocence, that he can’t help but set out to destroy it.  Immediately, he offers Eva room service, a spa day, and unlimited access to his credit card.  You know, Eva, I recently saw a movie just like this.  Wanna know which one?

Yes, Eva.  I AM calling you a whore (but a VERY nice and well-mannered one, just like in the movie)!

“Your life is perfect,” Eva says in a dull monotone that would make Ben Stein proud.

“Bueller . . . Bueller . .  . Bueller.”

“Now, so is yours,” lies Chuck through his teeth.

Meanwhile, Nate stops by Chuck’s hotel suite to return the Bass-tard’s Black Book, and lecture the hotel scion about being honest with his girlfriend about his shady past.

Riiiiight.  Just like I’m sure Nate is going to be honest with HIS new girlfriend about all the STD’s he undoubtedly contracted this summer, as a result of using said “Black Book.”

Leaving Eva to her own devices, Chuck goes to visit Lily . . .

 . . . the one person member of his Post-Sex with She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named Fan Club.  Chuck tells Lily that he is a changed man, who has stopped screwing raccoons . . .

. . . and has, instead, fallen in love with a character from the Harry Potter series.

Eager to make things right with her extended family, Lily invites Chuck and Eva to attend Fashion’s Night Out.  There, she supposes, the van der Woodsens, Basses and Humphreys can mingle without the added pressure of a formalized dinner.  Chuck agrees.

Later, Lily convinces Rufus to give the New and Improved Bass . . .

“I’m singing a Redemption Song!”

 . . . a second chance at the fashion event.  Rufus initially agrees to have an open mind.  However, when Eric . . .

Welcome back, Buddy!  We missed you!  You’re the least screwed up character on THIS SHOW!  (Well . . . aside from the whole “tried to commit suicide” thing.)

. . . spills the bean to Rufus about Chuck’s attempted rape of Jenny during the pilot episode her freshman year . . .

 . . . Papa Humphrey radically changes his tune.

That afternoon, while Eva shops her little heart out on Chuck’s dime, she runs into Blair.

Of course, in typical Mean Girl fashion, Blair taunts Eva the Robot about her modest beginnings, plain looks, and peasant hands. With a scathing sneer and biting wit that would make Season 1 Blair proud, Queen B lets her latest competition for Chuck’s heart know, in no uncertain terms, that she is a “woman off the rack,” who does not belong in GG society.  (And most Chair fans would AGREE!) 

You can take the girl out of Constance Billard Prep . . . but you can’t take Constance Billard Prep out of the girl.

The bitter exchange upsets Eva enough (to the extent that she is capable of expressing human emotion) to cause her to confront Chuck about it, as the two prepare for Fashion’s Night Out.  In an admittedly sweet moment, Chuck tells Eva that he loves that she doesn’t fit in to his snooty world.  He truly believes that, once given a chance to meet her, the Upper East Siders will love Eva just as much as HE does . . .

Oh, Chuck!  You Sweet, but Ignorant, Slut!  How willingly you overestimate the kindness of your friends and family.

As we watch Eva childishly recite the GG cast members’ names, like a child trying to remember a nursery rhyme, we just KNOW this girl is in for some seriously bad sh*t, in the weeks to come.  It almost makes me feel bad for her . . . almost.

Who’s Your Daddy, Baby Milo?

Meanwhile, Dan is still playing proud papa to Georgina’s spawn, Baby Milo . . .

 . . . when he receives a Gossip Girl blast that Georgina is living it up in St. Barts, while he is cleaning spit up off his unlimited collection of ugly flannel shirts.  To make matters worse, Busy Body Rufus rushes over to tell Dan that, based on his own expert opinion (Read: complete lamens’, not to mention, LAME MAN’S opinion), Baby Milo CANNOT be Dan’s son.

Cue the entrance of Vanessa “Never Met a Plotline She Couldn’t Make Boring” Abrams.

Together her and Dan enter into a positively snooze-worthy discussion about Dan’s options regarding the care of Baby Milo.  Unfortunately for Dan, he has gone and fallen in love with the little Demon Baby, and can’t imagine giving it up for adoption or putting it in foster care.  Dan wants to raise Milo himself.  However, he fears that his student lifestyle will provide him with neither the time nor sufficient income to get the job done.

Then Vanessa, saves the day, by offering to move in with Dan, and help him to raise Baby Milo.

(This is the point in the recap where I would insert a “YIPPEE” . . . if I cared enough about this storyline to do so, which I don’t . . .)

Dan initially cautions his girlfriend against this idea.  He fears he is asking too much of Vanessa, and will ultimately end up jeopardizing their relationship as a result.

Well . . . that got a response from me!

Even though she was CLEARLY not born yet when the film in question came out, Vanessa argues that if Tom Selleck and Ted Danson from Three Men and a Baby could raise a kid, so could Dan and Vanessa . . .

“As long as that doesn’t make me Guttenberg,” quips Dan.

Ummm . . . I hate to break it to you Dan .  . . but you are TOTALLY Guttenberg.  And Vanessa is Tom Selleck’s mustache . . .

Dan agrees to let Vanessa move in and help him raise Baby Milo.  However, before she can return to the apartment with all her hippie skirts, mismatched scarfs, incense, and patchouli . . . GEORGINA RETURNS!

In what was undoubtedly the most interesting and hilarious part of this lame and second rate B-plot storyline, Georgina explains that Milo’s father is some Russian businessman who she met and screwed on an airplane.

“Now, I’m a super villain AND a member of the Mile High Club.  I RULE!”

Unfortunately, for Georgina, the Russian businessman’s wife found out about the tryst, and when she heard Georgina was pregnant, she put a hit out on the dimunitve vixen.  By doctoring Milo’s birth certificates to say that Dan was his father (as opposed to the 100’s of other men Trampy Georgina undoubtedly was banging during that time), Georgina got the killers off her tail.  Now, however, she’s finally decided to grow up and be a real mother to Milo. 

Dan tries to protest.  However, he has no REAL claim to the Baby, so Georgina ultimately takes the child with her.  At the end of the episode, Vanessa and Dan decide to move in together, anyway.

And they all lived Boringly Ever After . . .

(Honestly, I was kind of hoping for more Georgina Hijinks and Histrionics here.  Weren’t you?  Like, for example, watching her be chased by a bunch of Russian Mafioso would be absolutely HILARIOUS, in my opinion!

But, perhaps, not everyone agrees with me . . .)

Rufus Humphrey Cock Block Extraordinaire

“As the Lord is my Witness, Chuck Bass will NEVER GET LAID AGAIN!  Mwahhahaha!”

At Fashion’s Night Out, Chuck approaches Lily, Rufus and Eric to make his apologies, and hopefully, to introduce them to Eva.

Unfortunately for Chuck, Rufus is not too keen on forgiving his daughter’s Date Rapist.  In fact, he doesn’t want the Bass-tard anywhere NEAR HIS FAMILY.  And yet, Rufus the Doofus takes his Chuck-sized hatred one step further.  He wants Chuck to become a re-virginized MONK!

“Whatcha you talkin’ about, Rufus?”

When Eva enters the fray, Chuck, fearing that Rufus will spill the beans about his pervy past to the woman he is passing the time until Blair takes him back with loves, throws himself on the sword saying, “That’s just another social climber making a play for Chuck Bass.  She is not with me.”

Oh no you, didn’t!

Eva dashes off in tears.  And Chuck, after another heart-to-heart with surrogate Mommy Lily, finally finds the courage to rush after her, come clean about his sordid past.  At first, Eva is disgusted, and leaves him.  Almost immediately, a tail between his legs Chuck confronts Blair.

And the Queen B is so smug and self-satisfied about Chuck’s failure and Eva’s resultant departure, that she practically does a dance of joy, right in front of him.

But then Eva returns.

“It was hard for me to learn what kind of man you were.  But I’ve seen the kind of man you can be.  And I choose to be with that man,” announces Eva.

Her and Chuck then kiss (BARF!), as Blair looks on disgusted.

“Once lips have tasted caviar, it baffles me how they can return to catfish,” Blair notes wryly, toward the end of the episode.

Well said, Miss Waldorf!  Because it sure beats the heck out of me . . .

Secret Society Hijinks Ensue .  . .

I wanted to save the most intriguing plotline for last, so allow me to backtrack a bit, and tell you what happened after Blair was admitted into Hamilton House, and Serena wasn’t.  Well, first the Slimy Seductive Juliet took Blair aside, and poured a little metaphorical poison in her ear, when the latter inquired as to why Serena wasn’t admitted into their little club.

“Isn’t it better to have something at this school that is just yours,” Juliet suggests casually, with all the finesse of a snake in the Garden of Eden.

Boy!  Juliet sure has Blair’s number!  Little Miss “I’ll take the West Bank, you take the East,” is no one if not a person who is constantly seeking out her own fame and recognition.  Juliet then takes things one step further, insisting that Blair attend a Martini Event thrown by Hamilton House, instead of keep her dinner plans with Serena.  Then, when Serena calls to find out where Blair is, Juliet instructs her to LIE about her whereabouts, so as not to “hurt Serena’s feelings.”

Blair stupidly takes the bait. 

Moments later, in a move that surprised precisely NO ONE, Gossip Girl streamed the Martini Event live, allowing Serena to catch Blair in her fib.  (It was at this moment, Boys and Girls, that I became pretty certain that Juliet was Gossip Girl.  Little did I know that something would happen later to prove me wrong . . .)

The next day, an angry Serena confronted a very flowery-dressed Blair about her deception, suggesting that Juliet sabotaged Serena’s ability to get into Hamilton House.  Blair, as per usual, gets defensive, “There’s no conspiracy.  Hamilton House just doesn’t want YOU!”  Blair yelps.

Blair then walks off in a huff.

Later, Serena sees other girls getting keys to Hamilton House, even after Juliet suspiciously claimed there were none left.  So, “S” decides to confront the BIATCH.

Turning the tables on Serena, Juliet asserts that it was BLAIR who kept Serena from getting into Hamilton House, by revealing to the alumni the existence of a sex tape involving Serena and Pete Hammond. . . as in THAT GUY SHE “KILLED.”

At Fashion’s Night Out, we see an angry-looking Serena stalk into the building in search of Blair.  The next thing we know, Gossip Girl is live-streaming footage of a hair pulling, name-calling argument between the frenemies, in which Blair awkwardly notes that Serena’s dad couldn’t raise herproperly, because he was busy giving her mother, FAKE CANCER! 

(OUCH!  That had to hurt!)

Meanwhile, a smug Juliet, who, along with her new Hamilton House minions, is watching the whole fight on her iPhone, decides to put the whole altercation on wide-screen television, for all the Fashion’s Night Out attendees to enjoy.

Eventually Juliet tells her minions that it is time to “step in and save ‘her sister’ [Blair] from that b*tch [Serena].”  However, when Juliet rips back the curtain, all she finds is Blair and Serena sitting calmly on the sofa, watching the same pre-recorded broadcast, the rest of the party is enjoying.  As it turns out, they had leaked the fake fight footage to Gossip Girl, in order to catch Juliet in the act of trying to ruin both of their reputations. 

(This turn of events just made it very unlikely that Juliet is actually Gossip Girl.)

“Your little plan might have worked on us in High School, but not now,” lectures Blair maturely (before sticking her tongue out, and singing “Nah-Nah, Nah-Nah, Nah-Nah.”)

She’s right.  Juliet’s plan probably WOULD have worked on Blair and Serena, back when they were in High School.  In fact, it DID work.  If I recall, Georgina Sparks, herself, had done this exact sort of thing, once or twice, in earlier seasons, to break the besties apart.)

Lily van der Woodsen, who, OF COURSE, just so happens to be on the alumni board at Hamilton House, immediately dethrones Juliet, and offers her own daughter a “much-deserved” key to to the house.  Juliet skulks off.  And Nate, who has witnessed the whole ordeal, begins to run after her.  However, Serena stops him first.

Never exactly the “sharpest tool in the shed,” Nate surprises everybody, by siding with PSYCHO STALKER JULIET in this little battle of wits.  And why not?  After all, Serena cheated on him with Dorky Dan Humphrey last year, and then just automatically expected him to take her back.  And Nate DID want to take her back . . . at least, at first. 

But now, all the sudden, Nate has decided that he’s MAD at Serena (an emotion he should have experienced MONTHS ago . . . and probably would have, if he wasn’t so busy porking all those whores in Chuck’s Black Book).  Now, given all Nate’s “MAD-ness,” no matter what Serena does, she’s going to be a Big Fat Poopy Head in Nate’s eyes.

After leaving Serena to comprehend the concept of a boy actually NOT wanting to bone her, Nate rushes to Psycho Stalker Juliet.  Crazy Train tells him that she only schemed against Serena, because she didn’t want Nate around her all the time at Hamilton House.  In short, Juliet claims that she acted out of jealousy.

Sure, it’s obvious to everyone that Juliet is lying.  But not to Moronic Nate, who’s just arrogant enough to believe her.  So, while Serena is moving in to La Casa de Waldorf with Blair and Dorota; Nate and Juliet are making out, and sealing their fate as the most effed up couple in Gossip Girl history (well, aside from Chuck and Jenny of course — but they don’t count.)

It all ends in a fairly commonplace way, until the last scene.  There, we see Juliet visiting some guy in prison.  Upon listening to their conversation we can conclude that (1) HE’S the one who’s hired Psycho Stalker Girl to screw with Serena and the rest of the Upper East Side Crew; and (2) the prison-bound pair are romantically involved in some way — thus, making Juliet’s romantic advances toward Nate (for now, at least) completely phony.

But who IS this guy?  My first thought was that he was Carter Baizen.  After all, Carter’s criminal dealings and grudges against most of the GG cast, would make him a likely candidate for something like this.  The problem, of course, was that this guy didn’t look like Sebastian Stan (the actor who plays Carter).

My second guess was that this Prisoner Dude is somehow related to Pete, the guy Serena “killed.”  After all, Juliet made a point to mention Pete’s name, when making an excuse as to why Serena wasn’t admitted to Hamilton House.  How else would she know all that information, if not from a connected outside source?

Well, I’m all out of ideas.  What about you guys?  Any suggestions as to who this orange-jumpsuited man might be, or why he hates Serena so much?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Gossip Girl

Let your fangs be your guide! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Brave New World”

There’s a crazed newbie vampire and two VERY testosterone-y werewolves on the loose in Mystic Falls.  But worry not!  The Salvatore Brothers have it all under control . . . sort of.

Last week, our heroes, Damon and Stefan, had their hands full with Vampire Katherine and her crazy, sexy, evil doppelganger ways . . .

This week, Katherine seems to have taken a little siesta from Mystic Falls.  But that didn’t make life any easier on our Bro Vamps, who still managed to spend most of the episode tending to supernatural creatures, and cleaning up their magical messes . . .

“Who you calling a MESS, b*tch?”

So, without further adieu, let us head off to the Mystic Falls Carnival, and pay a very special visit to its fabulous House of Freaks!

 Hospital Food BITES

After suffering the massive inconvenience of having the life smothered out of her by an antiseptic-smelling hospital pillow . . .

 . . . Caroline “wakes up” in the middle of the night, mildly disoriented and MAJORLY hungry.  Unfortunately,  B*tchy Night Nurse, won’t let her eat until morning.  So, Caroline does what any girl would do in a such a situation.  She improvises.

“Mmmmm, is it just me or have these juice boxes gotten bigger, since I was a kid?”

The next morning, Caroline’s boyfriend, Matt, comes to visit . . .

. . . and Caroline gives him a shoulder so icy cold, it can only be offered by the undead.  She refuses to kiss him, flinches at his touch, won’t eat the food he brings her, and cowers against a wall, when he tries to open the blinds.  Like all boys forced to deal with moody mates, Matt undoubtedly wonders whether Caroline is “On the Rag.”  Little does Mystic Falls’ resident nice guy know that his girlfriend has a WHOLE DIFFERENT “Blood Problem” on her hands (and in her mouth .  . .).

In addition to coping with her brand new kind of “thirst,” and the fact that her face now occasionally sprouts dark lines and wrinkles that even Botox won’t be able to cure, Caroline is also stressed out about not being able to run the Mystic Falls Carnival.  The Carnival was something Caroline had organized every year, since she was a freshman.  And now, with her “out of commission,” Elena and Bonnie are forced to take her place.

While the girls are unpacking boxes, and stacking Team Jacob t-shirts . . .

Every screaming thirteen-year old girl should have one . . .

. . . they can’t help but make a few jokes at Type A blood drinking Caroline’s expense.  “If we mess this up, she will KILL US,” quips Bonnie.  “I don’t know how she does this every year!”

“Simple.  She’s not human,” replies Elena.

Little do they know how VERY RIGHT they both are .  . .

Fortunately, for Caroline, she may have found away to attend the Carnival after all.  Even though Blondie is not due for hospital release until the next day, she somehow “convinces” (read: threatens then compels) B*tchy Night Nurse to discharge her early.  Never one to be discourteous, Caroline thanks the Nurse for her help by NEARLY CHEWING HER NECK OFF!

It was kind of a sloppy move on the new Baby Vamp’s part.  After all, massive neck wounds?  Those are the kind of thing people tend to notice.  Fortunately, the intrepid Caroline has a cover story up her sleeve.  “My boyfriend likes to get kinky,” says a newly Zombie-fied B*tchy Night Nurse, after taking in enough mind compulsion to scramble her brain for weeks. 

(Now, that’s fine for a good hospital tale, but how is B*tchy Night Nurse going to explain all those massive hickeys to her ACTUAL boyfriend?)

Dating discepancies aside, Caroline admires her mind control handiwork.  “I don’t know what THAT is, but it’s SPECTACULAR,” she concludes, as she struts out of the hospital, looking absolutely TO DIE FOR!

You can hardly even tell she’s been dead for 24-hours!

Bark at the Moonstone

Wolves will be wolves  . . .

Considering the fact that TVD fans have known that Tyler Lockwood is a werewolf since the end of Season 1, the writers are REALLY dragging out this “major reveal” a bit long, aren’t they?  Week after week, I just keep waiting for the kid to finally figure out what EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE PLANET already knows.  But, alas, Doofus Tyler keeps missing the boat, on this one . . .

“I may be dumb.   But, hey, at least I look pretty when I’m topless!”

 After a random excuse to show off Michael Trevino’s hot bod, clad in nothing but a towel brief jog around the neighborhood . . .

Well HELLO, Tyler’s crotch and abdominals!  It’s so nice to finally meet you!

 . . . Tyler continues to “bond” with Mr. Wolf in Black Sheep’s Clothing, Mason.

And YOU are wearing a shirt . . . because?

And by “bond” I mean that Mason peppers Tyler with so many questions about his “rage issues” that for a moment I thought I had accidentally switched channels, and was watching a rerun of the Dr. Phil Show . . .

My final diagnosis is . . . you’re CRAZY, Wolfboy!

“I’m an angry guy,” explains Tyler matter-of-factly.  (Now THAT’S the understatement of the year!)

From this exchange, we also learn that Tyler “loses himself,” when he gets angry, and sometimes even suffers from “Rage Blackouts” a la Summer Roberts from The O.C.

When he’s not interrogating Tyler, arm wrestling, or defending his brother’s honor (more on all that later), Mason seems to spend most of his time at Mystic Falls searching for something called a Moonstone.

Riiiiiiight, because that’s EXACTLY what this show needs, MORE ugly jewelry that possesses magical powers . . .

Detective Damon and his Trusty Sidekick, Stefan

“Cheers, to me already getting, in just two episodes, more sexy facial closeup-shots, than I did during the ENTIRE last season!”

But Mason isn’t the only one investigating Tyler during this episode.  Damon seems to have his eye on the Baby Werewolf too.  (Or, maybe he’s just trying in vain to keep his mind off of a certain someone . . .)

Whatever the reason, Tyler’s “Secret” is occupying most of Damon’s thoughts.  Big Brother Salvatore, is pensively pouring himself a goblet of blood, when Stefan arrives home from a morning of “Hunting Wascally Wabbits” with his good pal, Elmer Fudd.

“So, that thing you told me about your brother eating humans . . . you were just kidding about that, right?”

When Stefan turns down Damon’s offer of a blood glass, Big Bro can’t help put take a pot shot at his brother’s Drink of Choice.  “Aren’t you worried that, one day, all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back.  I mean, surely, they talk,” quips Damon.

Be afraid, Stefan.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Damon, who has recently been crowned new head of the Anti-Vampire Council by Ms. Lockwood, herself (How’s THAT for irony?), peppers Stefan with questions about the Lockwoods.  Specifically, he wants to know why they were affected by that Supernatural Clock Thingy during the Season 1 Finale, even though they are not vampires.  Unfortunately for Damon, Stefan sees Damon’s new hobby of “playing detective” for exactly what it is, a way for a guy who’s recently been dumped (TWICE) to pass the time.

“Come on, Damon!  We all know you’re suffering from Man Pain.  Wouldn’t it be easier to just massage your Willy, and call it a night?”

“Well, DUH!  But I’d much prefer massaging YOURS . . .”

Ever the jealous ex, Damon just can’t resist asking Stefan if Elena talks about him.  (How adorable is he?)  And, based on Elena’s exchanges with Stefan during this episode, we know that she DOES talk about him.  However, most of those exchanges involve her repeatedly saying, “I want to be normal and do human stuff, like kiss at the top of the Ferris Wheel.  And I DEFINITELY don’t want to talk about the D- word.”

“D?  As in DELICIOUS?  DEBONAIR?  DECADENT? DRUG-LIKE?  DESTINED TO BE YOUR MAN?”

While over at the Lockwood’s house for an Anti-Vampire Pow Wow,  Damon overhears Tyler talking to Mason about his “rage blackouts,” and comes up with a plan to expose the pair’s supernatural nature.  At the carnival, Damon commandeers Super Human Strength Stefan to challenge Mason to an arm wrestle.

Stefan loses badly.  It’s kind of an embarrassment really.  (I mean, have you SEEN those arms?)  The loss forces Stefan to agree with Damon that Mason is not human.  Stefan’s diagnosis?

Mason and Tyler are Ninja Turtles!  (You know what, I kind of wish he was right.   Because that would be AWESOME!)

Damon rolls his eyes at the joke, echoing the thoughts of some TVD fans, who believe that Stefan “has no comedic timing whatsover.”  I, however, beg to differ.  I thought that Ninja Turtle line was pretty darn hilarious, and his dry emotionless delivery made it even more so.  And I NEVER disagree with Damon.  So, you know I must really mean it.

All this arm wrestling and talk of rage blackouts inspires Damon to come up with a plan, as to how to break Hero Mason Lockwood, out of his “half-shell.”  (TURTLE POWER!)  And so he finds Poor Random Guy, Connor (who is about to have the WORST NIGHT EVER, by the way) and compels him to pick a fight with Tyler, and never back down, no matter what is done to him in retaliation.

The idea is to get Tyler to rage at Connor, and for Mason to go all “Supernatural” on Connor’s ass in Tyler’s defense.  The plan, of course, works flawlessly.  And we watch with amusement, along with Damon and Stefan, as Poor Connor picks a losing fight with Tyler.  Tyler predictably rages.  Then, Mason gets all yellow-eyed . . .

 . . .  and starts “jumping over cars” to break up the wrestling match.  But the fact that DAMON AND STEFAN still can’t figure out what kind of creatures these guys are, EVEN after witnessing THAT, bugs me to NO END!  In fact, I think I may have just had a Rage Blackout, just thinking about it . . .

I’m Burning Up For Your Love

A Newly Undead Caroline arrives at the school, and runs into Damon who has been lurking the hallways.  Caroline confronts Damon about all that mind controlling and physical abuse he heaped on her during Season 1.  Damon, of course, denies it.   But Caroline is insistent. 

NEW VAMPIRE RULE:  Apparently, if you were compelled a vampire, while you were alive, you can remember it, once you are undead.  (This is probably also how Stefan figured out that his love for Katherine was largely the result of compulsion.)

“I have a message from Katherine,” Caroline whispers in Damon’s ear.  (You know, I forgot how hot and hilarious these two were together, during Season 1)  “GAME ON!”

Caroline then throws Damon across the room.  “You suck,” she says wistfully, before stalking outside.

Once at the Carnival, Caroline runs into her loyal, but clueless boyfriend, Matt.

“I’m all better now,” the Undead Girl insists when asked how she was so quickly discharged.

The two quickly head off to the Ring Toss.

Still unused to her superhuman strength,  Caroline’s ring flick ends up shattering about five or six bottles within range.  “They must have already been broken,” Caroline mumbles cleverly.

The “neat trick” totally turns Matt on, and he pulls Caroline in for a kiss.  However, once the Little Vampire gets to close to his human flesh, she becomes incredibly hungry.  Not wanting to hurt Matt, she pushes him away violently.  “Leave me ALONE!”  She screeches, before running away.

An ashamed and humiliated Caroline is crying in the corner, when who should spot her, but a Lip-Bloodied Connor.  “Is everything OK?”  The Nice Guy / Poor Sap asks.  “I am so sorry,” cries Caroline, before doing this . . .

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would hereby like to award Poor Connor this week’s Senseless Death Award!

Meanwhile, Damon pulls aside Elena . . .

It’s amazing how fast Elena seems to have forgiven Damon for the whole “attempted killing of her brother” thing.  Not that I’m complaining . . .

. . . to warn her about Caroline’s newfound vampishness.  Stefan is called in for support, and our three main characters engage in their obligatory Pow Wow of Sexiness and Plot Explanation for the week.  Gently reminding everybody about how lousy the whole Vicki Vamp Conversion went . . .

. . . and what a “manipulative nasty little slut” Katherine is for doing this to all of them . . .

“That’s ME!”

. . . Damon suggests that they have no choice but to stake Caroline, and put her out of her undead misery.

“Absolutely NOT!”  Elena insists.

Stefan agrees with Elena, but does so half-heartedly,  so that everyone in the room knows that, deep down, he thinks that Damon is right  — Caroline won’t be able to survive as a vamp.   And the longer she lives, the more all of their  lives will be in danger.  When Elena confronts Stefan about his true feelings he PUNCHES A WALL.  (SO HOT!)

“Oooh, baby!  Do it again!”

Damon finds a tearful Caroline outside, crying over a lifeless Poor Connor.  He moves in to “console her,” cupping her chin with his hand, and gently brushing her bloody hair out of her face.  “Don’t cry.  I can help you,” coos Damon with enough faux sensitivity that I almost believe him, myself.

“How?”  Caroline sniffles.

“I’m going to kill you,” replies Damon, matter-of-factly.

Caroline starts bawling now, begging for her not-life.  “Please don’t, I’m not ready to die.”

“But you’re already dead,” explains Damon.

Eventually, Damon convinces Caroline that he’s NOT going to kill her.   He pulls her into a hug, and, then, TRIES TO KILL HER with a sharpened stake!

But then Stefan comes and SAVES THE DAY, knocking the stake right out of Damon’s hand.

(I’ve gotta say!  I’m not ready to see Vampire Caroline go.  Human Caroline was really boring (except, of course, when she was Damon’s Play Toy).  But THIS Caroline?  She. Is. AWESOME!  Way to go, Candice Accola for making me warm up to your character in a big way!)

Then Damon picks up the stake AGAIN, and lunges for Caroline a SECOND TIME . . .

 . . . this time Elena blocks his path. Damon’s stake is now just inches away from the heart of the woman he loves.  “She’s my friend,” whispers Elena.

The two lock eyes, and say nothing for a few moments, the expressions on their faces revealing everything.  It is UNBELIEVABLY HOT!

Damon eventually drops the stake.  “Whatever happens, it’s on you,” Damon warns Elena — the vampire, himself, knowing a thing or two about residual guilt.

In the midst of all this, Bonnie arrives, touches Bloody Caroline and instantly learns that she’s a vampire.  Being a Vampire Hater, and a total bitch Bonnie turns away from her former BFF in disgust.  This causes Caroline to start bawling.  When Elena goes to her, Caroline pushes ELENA away, thinking that Elena was the one who turned her into a vampire.  Elena explains that the vampire who did that to her was Katherine.  But Caroline has had too much excitement for one day, and runs to the bathroom to pee.

Stefan rushes off to the bathroom (the Women’s Restroom?  FOR SHAME, STEFAN!) to comfort Caroline.  He carefully wipes the blood off her face, like a loving father.  Stefan then patiently teaches Caroline how to control her blood lust.  I guess Stefan is like the Mister Miyagi of Vampires . . .

. . . or a Vampire Jiminy Cricket.

He promises not to let anything happen to Caroline.  He  says he will do everything in his power to protect her.  It’s really sweet, actually.

Outside a bawling Bonnie, uses her magic Migraine-Giving powers to initiate a gas leak . . .

 . . . which causes a fire, and results in Damon looking like this . . .

But, despite what he did to her brother, Elena finds enough forgiveness in her heart to come to Damon’s rescue . . .

“This is not US!  This can’t be us!”  Elena tearfully screams at Bonnie, breaking the latter out of her witches’ spell trance.

All That Mushy Stuff

In the post-carnival portion of the episode, we get to see everyone, more or less, kiss and makeup.   Well, Tyler doesn’t really kiss or makeup with anyone.  But  . . .

he does finally find that Moonstone, and the information regarding his ancestry, under a floorboard in his father’s office. 

Matt . . .

. . . sneaks into Caroline’s bedroom and expresses his love for her.  She returns the favor by kissing him, without literally chewing off his face.  Thank you, Stefan-y Cricket!

Damon . . .

 . . . bonds with Jeremy . . .

 . . . over them both having parents that hated vampires, and Jeremy’s inability to whittle a proper stake with which to kill Damon.  Good times!

And finally, Stefan makes good on his promise to have a “normal moment” with Elena, by flying her *rolls eyes* up to the top of the ferris wheel and kissing her there, a la Ryan and Marissa from The O.C.

“We have to take this moment,” comands Stefan.  “I came back to this town to start a life with you.  We can’t forget to live it.”

(Awwwww!) 

And yet, just to keep things from getting too sappy, Kevin Williamson makes sure to end this romantic scene on a slightly dark note.  “It’s not going to get any easier, is it?”  Elena inquires.

“No, it’s not,” replies Stefan, before the screen eerily fades to black.

So, that was Episode 2.  What did you think?  Did you love Vampire Caroline as much as I did, or did you miss Vampire Katherine?   Were you insanely happy (like ME) or slightly disappointed that Elena has started talking to Damon, so soon after she claimed to HATE him?  And finally, were you as underwhelmed by the werewolf storyline as I was, or did Michael Trevino’s shirtlessness make it all OK?

That’s all I’ve got!  See you next week, fellow Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries – 10 Ways to Prepare for “The Return” on September 9th

Do you adore this new promotional poster for Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries as much as I do?  If so, you are going to LOVE THIS ONE!

Labor Day Weekend is just days away.  And you all know what that means  . . . summer is almost over.

But it ALSO means that the fall television viewing season is about to begin!  And would anyone like to guess what the FIRST show to RETURN will be?  I’ll give you a hint . . .

It’s The Vampire Diaries!  And it’s coming back to the CW on Thursday, September 9th, which is only ONE WEEK AWAY!

And yet, when hot shirtless vampires are involved, a week can seem like a REALLY LONG TIME!  That is why I have devised this fool proof ten-step plan to get you through the last Salvatore-less week of YOUR LIVES (at least until the next hiatus).  So, without further adieu, here are ten things you can do to tide yourself over, while you are waiting to watch the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries.

1) Rewatch ALL of Season 1!

Not only does today mark the final week before Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries premieres, it also marks the day that the Season 1 DVD was released in stores and online.  What better way to refresh your memory on old TVD episodes than to watch them in the comfort of your OWN home, on your OWN time schedule.  In addition to all 22 original episodes, the DVD also features: deleted scenes from the show, creator and director commentary, a gag reel, a webisode series, and much more!  You can purchase it here.

Low on funds right now, and not quite ready to shell out the “big bucks” for the Season 1 DVD?  Fear not!  You can find a fairly comprehensive (if I do say so myself ;)) recap of the Season 1 Finale, by clicking here

2) Watch Season 2 Promos (and then watch them again .  . . and again . . . and again)

In anticipation of the upcoming second season of The Vampire Diaries, the CW has been releasing titillating trailers for the series, throughout the summer.  You can probably find ALL of the trailers, by doing a quick YouTube search under “The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Promo.”  However, I’m going to post the three most popular ones, right here, for you to enjoy.  The first trailer, of course, belongs to my favorite character on the show, DAMON SALVATORE!

Watch him be deliciously DAMON-Y, to the tune of OneRepublic’s “Everybody Loves Me.”

This next trailer was the second one released in the series.  And it definitely wins the award for SEXIEST TRAILER EVER!  The song featured in the trailer is “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine.

But, if I had to choose a favorite trailer, it would have to be the this next one, because IT features BRAND NEW SCENES FROM THE SEASON PREMIERE!

For a more in-depth look at THIS trailer, click here.

3) Rock out to music from the show!

Nothing gets you in the MOOD for a show about sexy vampires, like the music you were listening to when you first met them.  CW shows are known for their amazing soundtracks.  And The Vampire Diaries is no exception.  Featuring a host of songs from  a”Who’s Who in Contemporary Artists” including Katy Perry, The All-American Rejects, Placebo, The Fray, White Lies, OneRepublic, and TONS more, The Vampire Diaries soundtrack has a little something for everybody. 

The official soundtrack for the show is slated to be released in October 2010.  However, you can check out the track listing here.

“But WAIT,” you say.  “How am I supposed to PREPARE for the season premiere by listening to a soundtrack that ISN’T EVEN OUT YET?”

Good point .  . .

Fortunately, I found this AWESOME website that lists EVERY SINGLE SONG featured in The Vampire Diaries (organized by the episodes in which they aired).  This website also offers you links to download the songs (and accompanying music videos) from iTunes and other popular music download sites.  Ready to rock out to some fangy tunes?  Just click here, and get ready to do some serious dancing!

4) Follow the stars and creators of The Vampire Diaries on Twitter.

These days, it seems like EVERYBODY (except me) has a Twitter account.  And the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries are no exception.  And while I don’t actually “tweet” myself, I still like to visit the Twitter pages of the stars of my favorite shows on a fairly regular basis.  Why?  Not only is it a great way to get to know the real people behind the characters you love, it’s also a FABULOUS way to get the inside scoop on your favorite shows, from the people working on the front lines.  Sometimes, they even post set pictures and script pages there! 

Here are the Twitter pages for MOST of the stars of The Vampire Diaries.  (Paul Wesley doesn’t have one. 😦 )

For Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Candice Accola (Caroline Forbes)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Katerina Graham (Bonnie Bennett)’s Twitter page, click here.

For show creator  / writer Kevin Williamson’s Twitter page, click here.

And for show creator / writer Julie Plec’s Twitter page, click here.

5) Watch cast and crew interviews on YouTube.

If reading a star’s Twitter page helps you get to know what he is like as a person, watching that star interview helps you get to know what he is like as an actor, and how he develops his respective roles.  The cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries interview like CRAZY!  And folks on YouTube POST these interviews online like crazy.  A quick YouTube search of “[insert TVD actor’s name] interview” is sure to find you more content than you could ever watch in a lifetime.

But, just in case you AREN’T a vampire, are NOT immortal, and, therefore, have limited time to watch interviews, I have taken the liberty of posting a few for you here.  For example, here is a fun one featuring Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec discussing how they came about casting Nina Dobrev, as Elena, and Ian Somerhalder, as Damon.  (There is some GREAT audition footage of both actors in here as well).

Here’s a nice interview with Paul Wesley  . . .

 . . . and here’s one with Nina Dobrev . . .

 . . . and here’s one with Ian Somerhalder . . .

But, of course, the ULTIMATE TVD cast interviews would have to come from Comic Con 2010. . .

For THOSE interviews, and more information on THAT event, click here.

6) Watch video of the cast of The Vampire Diaries from BEFORE they were vampires . . .

Believe it or not, Ian, Nina and Paul weren’t ALWAYS on The Vampire Diaries

 In fact, they each already had pretty extensive acting resumes, by the time the show aired.  Sometimes, watching stars in some of their earlier work, can be as much fun as looking at your friends’ embarrassing baby pictures.  For this reason, I would like to introduce you to two non-TVD videos for each of the show’s main stars.

Check out Paul Wesley’s brief career as an angel in the short-lived ABC Family series’ Fallen (and watch him converse with a talking dog).

Angelic, Dog Whisperer, Paul Wesley, not your thing?  Perhaps, you’d prefer him evil, shirtless and doing pullups, his guest starring role as the nefarious Lucas on Smallville.

Before Nina Dobrev was Vampire Katherine, or even Elena Gilbert, she starred in a Nickelodeon version of High School Musical, entitled American Mall.

Watch her sing, dance (and act a little) here.

But even before American Mall, Nina got her start as Teen Baby Mama, Mia Jones on Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Watch her cope with a possessed high school pal, in this “very special” Halloween episode of the show.

And then, there’s Ian (sigh)!

Here’s a guy who could make even INCEST sexy.  And he DID, as Boone Carlyle, on Lost.  (OK, Boone and Shannon, weren’t blood-related.  But still!)

OK.  So, most of you probably already knew that Ian Somerhalder played Boone on Lost.  However, many of you may not have known that he also played Hamilton on the ill-fated Dawson’s Creek spinoff, Young Americans — a guy who fell in love with a girl, who he THOUGHT was a guy (even though his character wasn’t supposed to be gay  . . . weird).

7) Ogle Photos and Gifts of Your Favorite TVD stars!

One of the great things about being a television recapper, is that you manage to amass a FABULOUS collection of stills, photographs, and animated GIFS of actors and actresses from your favorite programs.  For your viewing pleasure, here are just a few of my favorite TVD photos and GIFS:

8 ) Get to know the NEW TVD characters (and the actors who play them) BEFORE the season starts.

By now, you are probably pretty familiar with the characters of The Vampire Diaries and the actors who play them.  However, this season, the writers will introduce at least TWO more characters (and actors) into the mix, with whom you might not be so familiar.  The first is, Mason Lockwood, Tyler Lockwood’s uncle, a fellow werewolf, and the black sheep of the Lockwood family.  He will be played by actor, Taylor Kinney.  You can hear what Taylor has to say about his new role, in his interview with TV Guide, here.

Another new character that will be introduced during Season 2 of TVD is Vanessa, a Duke University graduate student, with supernatural origins.  (She’s a “blue devil” — whatever THAT means.)  Vanessa will be played by actress, Courtney Ford

A bit more information on Courtney and her character can be found here.

9) Read the novels on which The Vampire Diaries are (loosely) based.

As you may or may not know, the idea for The Vampire Diaries television show was derived from the characters in a series of four books written by author, L.J. Smith — the first of which came out as early as 1991!  Those books were entitled:  The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, and Dark Reunion, respectively.  Although you will notice quite a few differences between those books and the CW series (the LEAST of which being that “Book Elena” is a blonde), the former are still interesting and intriguing in their own right, and, therefore, worth a read by TVD fans.

The books are sold in groups of two.  The first two, The Awakening and The Struggle, can be purchased here.

The second two, The Fury and Dark Reunion, can be purchased here.

As a result of the success of The Vampire Diaries series, L.J. Smith decided to add a new trilogy to The Vampire Diaries Series, nearly two decades after the first book was written.  The books in The Return series are entitled Nightfall, Shadow Souls, and Midnight,respectively.  The first two are already available in bookstores and online.  The third is said to be available some time in 2011. 

You can purchase the not particularly popular, Nightfall, here,  and the slightly better reviewed, Shadow Souls, here.

In addition to the aforementioned books, L.J. Smith has recently joined forces with show creators, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, to produce a prequel trilogy, based on the SHOW itself.  The first of those three books, which have been collectively entitled Stefan’s Diaries, will be available sometime in November 2010.  Howevver, it is available for preorder (but, so far, only in E-book format) here.

10) Purchase FABULOUS TVD-themed swag online!

Have money burning a hole in your wallet, and nothing to spend it on?  Or, perhaps, you have a birthday coming up in the near future, and could think of nothing you would want more than a little TVD magic to take home with you, and enjoy during the show’s off hours.  Fortunately, the internet is FILLED with fabulous Vampire Diaries -themed swag.  From t-shirts, to calendars, to book marks, to posters, to coasters  – if you can dream it up, it probably exists.  While a quick internet search of “Vampire Diaries Merchandise” is likely to find you more than enough swag from which to choose, I’ve decided to post a few of my favorite TVD items here, just for you.

For example, check out this AWESOME WWDD t-shirt.  (It stands for “What Would Damon Do?” of course!)

You can purchase this lovely article of clothing here.

This funky vintage tee can be found at the WB store website, along with other choice merchandise

.And finally, since you ALREADY count out the days of your life, based on when The Vampire Diaries airs (Don’t deny it!  I know you do!), why not do it with a Vampire Diaries’ CALENDAR!

So, there you have it, 10 ways to pass the time, while waiting for Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries to begin.  Happy fangirling (or fanboying?)!

(As if it bears repeating, The Vampire Diaries’ Season 2 premiere episode, “The Return” airs September 9th at 8 p.m.  However, thanks to this post, we now have plenty of things to do to keep us busy until that time . . .  See you then!)

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

 

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Filed under Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries’ Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert: The Top Ten WINNING Season 1 Moments for OUR Team!

 

It’s a choice that heroines in teen dramas have had to grapple with for ages: the brooding and sensitive good boy versus the unrepentant and dangerous bad one. 

And nowhere on television is that eternal question more fully explored than on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, where good can be bad . . .

 . . . and bad can be deliciously GOOD!

Unlike in other shows, where the “good guy” is so bland and boring as to make the heroine’s choice completely obvious, writers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec actually make a startlingly good case for both the “straight-laced” Stefan Salvatore, and his “fun loving killer” brother Damon.  Nonetheless, a choice HAS to be made . . .

Threesomes are fun, but they can’t last forever . . .

 . . . and I’ve made mine.  In Stefan’s defense, 9 times out of ten, when this sort of question is raised, I will throw MY lot in with the Bad Boy, without a second thought.  But there is something about Damon’s and Elena’s relationship that makes it special.

Unlike most heroines in these type of dramas, Elena is NOT drawn to Damon out of any sort of need for rebellion against authority.  After all, Elena’s parents are dead, and Useless Aunt Jenna certainly isn’t going to be “reigning her in” any time soon.  As for Damon, well, sure, his attraction to Elena may have started because (1) he wanted to stick it to his baby brother; and (2) she looked SO MUCH like his ex .  . .

 . . . but that changed almost immediately after he met her. 

Damon and Elena understand one another in a way no one else around them can.  They know eachothers’ vulnerabilities and weaknesses, as well as their respective strengths.  This allows them to be at ease with one another, and let their guards down in conversation. 

When Damon and Elena are in the same room together, the sexual tension between them crackles and pops like a sparkler on Independence Day.  And even when they aren’t saying anything, the pair can carry on entire conversations through eye contact and body language.

This is why what I am about to do here is so difficult.  When EVERY interaction between two individuals is electrically charged with sexuality, emotion, and meaning, how can one POSSIBLY boil down their entire complex relationship into JUST 10 scenes?   Nonetheless, I figured it was worth a try.  What follows are ten Damon / Elena scenes from Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries.  These scenes, in my opinion, really encapsulate the pair’s relationship, and comprise the best of what this couple has to offer.

[Note: For whatever reason, The CW has always been a bit finicky about what videos it allows us fans to embed in our blog posts.  Therefore, most of the below videos will require you to click on an internal link, that will redirect you to YouTube, before you can watch.  That being said, when I tell you the slight inconvenience you must endure to see the videos will be entirely worth it, I promise, I am not lying . . .]

10) Damon and Elena get flirty in Elena’s bedroom . . .

Nothing says “manly” like a boy in a pink bed, cuddling with a Teddy Bear.

Episode: “Under Control” – 1 X 18

Setting the scene: Elena invites Damon over for an emergency meeting to discuss Stefan, who has been acting strangely ever since he ingested Elena’s blood, during the prior episode . . .

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “You ask, I come.  I’m easy like that.”

DAMON: (Calls out to a suspicious Jeremy, who is eating cereal in the next room) “No, Elena, I will NOT got to your bedroom with you!”

Why it made the list:  I love how Damon challenges Elena’s growing attraction to him here, by invading her personal space.  Watch the glee Damon takes in laying on Elena’s bed, hugging her teddy bear, fingering her photographs, and fondling her bras and delicates.  Then, at the end of the scene, Damon invades Elena’s person, as he moves in close, trapping her up against the vanity table.  In that moment, without saying so, Damon is forcing Elena to confront her feelings for him, and how they differ from her feelings for Stefan.

9) Damon gives Elena a rose

Episode: “Under Control” –  1 X 18

Setting the scene:  Damon and Elena are at a Founder’s Day pre-party, where Stefan is drinking heavily, in an attempt to dull his hunger for human blood.  Elena expresses her concerns to Damon as the two sit next to one another at the bar.  But Damon is more concerned about Elena’s brother, Jeremy, who has been asking questions about Vicki Donovan’s death. 

 (Background: After Damon made Vicki into a vampire, she violently turned on Elena and Jeremy.  Stefan killed Vicki to save them.  Then, at Elena’s request, Damon buried Vicki’s body, and compelled Jeremy to forget what had happened.)

Potent quotables:

DAMON: (Mimicking Jeremy) “Oh, but sheriff, someone buried her.  Who would do that?”  (raises hand)  “I know, I know!  ME!”

And later . . .

DAMON: (Upon agreeing not to use any more compulsion on Jeremy) “OK.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Why it made the list: For me, this scene really illustrates the snap, crackle, and pop of Damon’s and Elena’s witty banter.  These two are clearly at ease with one another.  Check out the pair’s body language, as they angle their chairs toward eachother, and repeatedly brush limbs.  I also love the old-fashioned way Damon “courts” Elena, by selecting a rose from a nearby bouquet, sniffing it to make sure it is of top quality, and delicately placing it in her hand. 

So often, we forget that Damon “grew up” in the mid 1800’s.  This scene gently reminds us of that.  When Elena receives the rose, she can’t help but be flattered and intrigued by Damon’s gesture, even though she knows she shouldn’t be.

8 ) Things “heat up,” while Damon and Elena are in the kitchen together. . .

Episode: “Children of the Damned”  – 1 X 13

Setting the scene: Damon has dropped by the Gilbert home for dinner, unannounced.  After the meal, Damon and Elena wash dishes together.  Things quickly evolve from fun and flirty, to serious and intense, when Damon inquires as to Stefan’s true motives, in agreeing to help Damon free his long lost love, Vampire Katherine, from a nearby tomb.  Elena initially shrugs off the question, but Damon confronts her directly, imploring her to be honest with him.  She isn’t . . .

Potent quotables:

ELENA:  “Don’t do that”

DAMON:  “Do what?”

ELENA:  “That move was deliberate.”

DAMON:  “Yeah, I was deliberately trying to get to the sink.”

And later . . .

ELENA: “I’m wearing vervain, Damon.  It’s not going to work.”

DAMON:  “I’m not trying to compel you.   I just want you to answer me . . . honestly”

Why it made the list: So many of Damon’s and Elena’s interactions revolve around the issue of trust.  Can these two individuals trust one another?  Well . . . that really depends on the episode. 

For me, this scene can really be broken down into two parts.  The first part of the scene is lighthearted and flirtatious.  Notice Damon’s highly sexualized “Ohhh . . . mmmm” when he “accidentally” bumps into Elena on the way to the sink.  While Elena pretends to be annoyed by the grope, the sly grin on her face says otherwise.

The second scene is more intense.  Damon can sense that Stefan and Elena are lying to him, but instinctively trusts Elena, and refuses to believe she could do anything so dishonest.  When Elena accuses Damon of trying to compel her to tell him the truth, he appears to be truly offended that she would think he would do that to her, after all they had been through.  When Damon asks Elena if he can trust Stefan, he is revealing to her a vulnerable side of him that she hasn’t seen before.  She feels guilty about lying to Damon, as evidenced by the way her eyes drift downward, refusing to meet his, at 1:18.  Then again, she may just be mesmerized by those gorgeous lips of his . . .

7) Damon and Elena get wet (in the rain)

Episode: “Let the Right One in” – 1 X 17

Setting the scene: Stefan is being held captive by the Hidey Hole Vamps (a random plotline developed, and promptly discarded mid season).  The Hidey Hole Vamps came from the tomb Damon opened during “Fool Me Once” (Episode 14).  You know, the one that was SUPPOSED to contain Vampire Katherine, but didn’t?  So, understandably, Damon feels a bit responsible for his brother’s kidnapping.  Elena of course, is beside herself, and wants part in the rescue.  But Damon fears that if Elena comes along, the responsibility will become too much for him.  And he will lose both Stefan AND Elena, in the process.

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  (Lovingly cupping Elena’s wet face in his hands).  “Elena, I know.  But I don’t know how to get him out.”

Why it made the list:  This short scene is intensely emotional for both Damon and Elena.  Both characters have completely let their guard down.  Elena, who is intensely strong willed, and usually highly adept at keeping her emotions in check, is near tears, at the thought of Stefan being killed by the Hidey Hole Vamps.  She feels helpless, and has stored all her hopes in Damon. 

As I mentioned earlier, Damon feels responsible for this whole situation.  He desperately wants to protect Elena and Stefan, and fears he is about to let them both down.  Damon, who has always been supernaturally strong, and can usually mask his feelings with bravado and snark, is completely stripped down and vulnerable here.  And he hates it .  . .

6) Damon watches Elena sleep

Episode: “Friday Night Bites”  – 1 X 3

Setting the scene:  Ummm, I think you all are smart enough to figure this one out on your own . . .

Potent quotables: 

STEFAN: (in voiceover) “I felt there was hope.  That somewhere deep inside, something inside Damon was human, normal.”

Why it made the list:  This scene, from the third Episode of The Vampire Diaries, is important, because it is truly the first time we see anything resembling humanity in Damon.  Up until this point, all we have seen him do is kill and manipulate people.  Every word spoken by him had an ulterior motive.  Every gesture was made in malice.  Here, we know, Damon’s actions are completely uncalculated, BECAUSE no one else can see them.  Not even Elena, herself, who is unconscious the entire time. 

It’s a short scene, only a few moments long, and (aside from the voiceover) dialogue free.  But those few seconds speak volumes about Damon’s complexity as a character, and his early feelings for Elena — feelings that would only grow stronger, as the series progressed . . .

5) Elena falls victim to Damon’s “Eye Thing”

Episode: “Founder’s Day” 1 X 22 (The Season 1 Finale)

Setting the scene: Elena has just changed out of her 1800’s attire, following the Founder’s Day parade, and a ride on the Miss Mystic Falls float.  Ever since Elena’s biological mother told Elena that Damon “loved her” (“Isobel” – Episode 1 X 21) things have gotten a bit awkward among our favorite Vampire Threesome.  And Elena desperately wants to clear the air. 

Speaking of clearing the air, things of become unusually chilly between Elena and her little brother, Jeremy, following Jeremy’s discovery that Elena has been keeping information aboutVicki’s vampiric demise from him.  She also played a major part in having Jeremy’s memory of the event wiped from his consciousness.

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “I like you better like this.  The period look, it didn’t suit you.”

ELENA:  “Is that an insult?”

DAMON:   “Actually, Elena.  It is a compliment, of the highest order.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “So, I think you should stop with the flirty little comments, and that . . . Eye Thing . . . that you do.”

DAMON:  “What eye thing?”  (Does Eye Thing . . .)

ELENA: “Don’t make me regret being your friend.”

Why it made the list: In this scene, we can truly see how far Damon has come, from seeing Elena as a conquest, and a doppelganger of his long lost love, to being a sexy, intelligent, and caring woman, in her own right.  The fact that Damon prefers Elena wearing modern clothes, to Elena wearing Katherine’s clothes, speaks volumes about how much his feelings for her have grown.  Further evidence of that is found later in the scene, when Elena tells Damon not to make her regret being his friend.

Initially, of course, Damon’s face, which has been playful and seductive, since the opening of the scene, falls.  Here’s a sexy popular playboy, one who has NEVER had any trouble with the ladies.  And he has just been placed in the Friend Zone. 

But what makes things really interesting, is what Damon does next.  We watch as he takes a beat to ponder his relationship with Elena.  Instantly, he comes to the conclusion that a friendship with Elena would be far better than no relationship at all.  He nods sadly, but with a deep understanding and respect for Elena’s strength, as she goes to talk to Jeremy.  And don’t even get me started on that “Eye Thing.”

4) Damon tries to compel Elena to kiss him / gets slapped in the face

Episode: “Friday Night Bites:  – 1 x 3

Setting the scene: Damon has basically been compelling Elena’s friend Caroline to be his blood whore throughout the entire episode.  But Caroline has started to bore and annoy Damon, so he sets his sights on greener pastures, Elena’s.  Never one to go about things the “hard way,” Damon corners Elena, alone in the parking lot, during a high school football game.  He plans to compel her to be his love slave, just as he has done with Caroline.  Little does he know that Stefan has armed her with a vervain necklace, rendering her impervious to all mind control . . .

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “You’re right, I do have other intentions.  But so do you . . . I see them.  You want me . . . I get to you.  You find yourself drawn to me.  You think about me, even when you don’t want to think about me.  I bet you’ve even dreamed about me .  . . (Damon’s eyes glow green, with the power of compulsion behind them).  And right now, you want to kiss me.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “I am NOT Katherine!”

Why it made the list: The acting in this scene between Ian Somerhalder (Damon) and Nina Dobrev (Elena) was positively brilliant.  For starters, the sexual tension between these two is undeniable  — even though, at this point, Elena is trying desperately to deny it, and Damon is trying to force it, for his own personal gain.  When Damon first makes his speech about how “hot for him” Elena is, we, as viewers, know that a lot of what he is saying true.  Elena DOES feel drawn to Damon.  She DOES think about him, even when she doesn’t want to.   And she HAS dreamed about him.

But what’s really interesting is to watch the scene from Elena’s perspective.  That dreamy, faraway, look in her eye.  The way she keeps leaning closer and closer to him, as he speaks, unable to break eye contact.  The first time I saw the scene, I wondered, for a moment, whether Damon had SUCCEEDED in compelling Elena to want to kiss him, in spite of the fact that she was wearing vervain. 

Then I wondered whether Elena knew what Damon was trying to do.  Based on that theory, she was  just pretending to fall under his spell, only to catch him off guard, when she went in for the slap later.  But here’s the thing:  at this point, Elena doesn’t KNOW that Stefan and Damon are vampires.  (Notice how Elena didn’t catch on to Damon’s ironic intimation, that he was MUCH older than Caroline.)  So, she has no idea, they are capable of mind control.  So, Elena’s seemingly lovestruck initial reaction to Damon’s words?  It was REAL!

3) Damon and Elena do the “Mating Dance”

Episode: “Miss Mystic Falls” – 1 X 19

Setting the Scene: Elena has unwillingly agreed to take part in the Miss Mystic Falls pageant.  Stefan has agreed to be her escort.  But on the day of the pageant, Stefan mysteriously disappears.  (Turns out he’s gone all blood lusty, and has set out to eliminate Elena’s competition, by eating it.)  Unbeknownst to Elena, Damon has stepped in to fill Stefan’s shoes, and, subsequently, save the day.

Potent quotables:

USELESS AUNT JENNA:   “What is she doing with Damon?”

ALARIC:  “I have NO IDEA!”

Why it made the list:  Like the earlier referenced scene, where Damon watched Elena sleep, this scene is nearly silent, save for the music to which the contestants dance.  I love the first part of the scene, where Elena has her “Oh so Teen Cliched” Staircase Moment, and we see Damon’s eyes light up with love and sexual desire, as he sees her in that blue dress for the first time.

You can see the changes that take place in the couple, as the dance progresses.  When it first starts, the two are wary of one another, stiff and business like.  But then the music starts to take over.  Smiles form on their faces.  They are actually enjoying THIS! 

Damon’s a surprisingly good dancer (much better than his younger brother).  The first part of the dance, during which the partners can’t touch, is a mating ritual in every sense of the world.  Damon and Elena circle one another like predator and prey.

But things really heat up when they are finally able to grab hold of one another.  He grasps her body firmly, in a manner that is strong and protective.  They both get a bit lost in the moment, wanting to move in closer, but unable to do so, based on the regimented nature of the dance.  When the music stops, and the pair are forced to break from one another, they both seem a bit jarred by the intense emotions this experience has brought to the surface.

2) Damon kisses Elena Katherine

Episode: “Founder’s Day” – 1 x 22 (Season 1 Finale)

Setting the scene: At the Founder’s Day Carnival, Bonnie, at Elena’s behest, used her magic to rescue Damon from death by fire.  Filled with gratitude, Damon goes to Elena’s house to set things right with Elena’s brother, Jeremy, by explaining to him, what truly happened with Vampire Vicki.  As he leaves the house, he runs into who he THINKS is Elena.  (It isn’t . . .)

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “I’m not a hero, Elena.  I don’t do good.  It’s not in my nature.”

KATHERINE (as Elena):  “Maybe it is.”

And later . . .

DAMON:  “She did it for you [saved me], which means that, somewhere along the way, you decided that I was worth saving.  And I wanted to thank you for that.”

KATHERINE (as Elena):  “You’re welcome.”

Why it made the list: At first blush, it may seem like sacrilege to put a scene that didn’t even INCLUDE Elena, in a list of the “Top Ten Best Damon and Elena” scenes.  But the fact remains, that, from Damon’s perspective, this WAS Elena, to whom he had bared his soul, and with whom, after an entire season of trying and failing, he had finally shared a kiss.  All this time, us fans always assumed that Damon did “bad things” simply because he wanted to.  Now, we realize, that he did them, because he thought himself to be completely incapable of goodness.  He is confused by, and uncomfortable with, his growing humanity, but at the same time, excited by it.

And Damon is excited by Elena, who for the first time, seems truly open to his advances.  He kisses her tentatively at first.  And then, when she doesn’t pull away, really lets himself get carried away in the moment.  His hands cup her face, his fingers run through her hair.  All thoughts of this awful day, escape from his head, and all that is left is love and passion.

In hindsight, we can see that “Elena” was different — that she seemed colder and more aloof, then she had in previous scenes.  A few cocked eyebrows and vague responses here and there, betray Katherine’s lack of knowledge, as to what has been going on in Mystic Falls this season.  She notices the change in Damon immediately, and is bit intrigued by it, especially since, all this time, she thought SHE was the only woman who held any power over him.  And when they finally kiss, Katherine shows none of the extreme guilt the ever-faithful Elena would experience had she just made the decision to cheat on her vampire boyfriend.

And it’s this complexity, that makes the scene so compulsively watchable . . .

And finally . . . (drumroll please)

1) Damon returns Elena’s necklace

Episode: “Fool Me Once” – 1X14

Setting the scene: Having recently learned that Stefan and Elena have stolen the spellbook that he needs to free his love Katherine from the tomb, Damon feels hurt and betrayed.  After all, the couple had promised to help him get Katherine back, and Elena had given Damon his word that their intentions were genuine.  Later, Elena comes to visit an uncharacteristically broody Damon at his home, waving the metaphorical “white flag” and carrying the proverbial “olive branch.”

Potent quotables:

ELENA:  “I was protecting the people I love, Damon.  But so were you, in your own twisted way.  As hard as it is to figure, we are all on the same side, after the same thing.”

DAMON:  “Fool me once, shame on you.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “You and I, we have something.  An understanding.  And I know my betrayal hurt you — different than it was with Stefan.  But I promise you, I will help you get Katherine back.

And still later . . .

DAMON:  I didn’t compel you in Atlanta, because we were having fun.  I wanted it to be real.  I’m trusting you.   Don’t make me regret it.

Why it TOPPED the list: This scene contains everything we LOVE about Damon and Elena, all rolled up into one beautiful and sexy package:  the witty banter, the silent looks filled with meaning, the complex innuendos, the invasion of personal space, gentle caresses, and an admission, on both Damon’s and Elena’s parts, that their relationship is special.  It travels far beyond the expected boundaries of friendship.  The episode, begins with a betrayal of trust, and concludes with the ultimate exchange of trust.  Elena, who has always secretly worried that Damon has been trying to compel her (how else could she explain her strong romantic feelings for him), really puts herself out there for Damon.

By taking off the vervain necklace that protects her from mind control, Elena is exposing herself completely to Damon.  She might as well be standing naked before him.  And Damon, who wonders whether he will ever be able to trust Elena again, has the perfect opportunity to exert ultimate power over her.  And just like in Atlanta, he refuses to take that opportunity.  He will not take advantage of Elena in that way.  When Damon closes in on Elena, and reaches behind her to take the necklace, she is frightened and a bit aroused.  All of this is evident, when, to her surprise, Damon gently clasps the necklace back around her neck.  

A gentle brush of Damon’s fingers across Elena’s throat is enough to send her eyes rolling back in her head in pure ecstacy.  But this scene isn’t just about sex or power.  It is about love, friendship, understanding, and a willingness to let someone see you at your most vulnerable.  And THAT is why this scene made Number One on my list . . .

Season 2 of the Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, September 9th at 8 p.m. on The CW, and we all know what THAT means — more juicy Damon and Elena scenes to gush over and explore.  I for one, CAN’T WAIT!  Can YOU?

Neither can HE! 😉

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

Before They Were Vampires – My Slightly Smutty Tribute to Alexander Skarsgard

Hungry?

If you’ve ever stopped by this blog before, you know that I ADORE HBO’s scary and sexy summer series, True Blood, in general, and Alexander Skarsgard’s deliciously devilish Viking Vampire, Eric Northman, specifically.  Honestly, can you blame me?  How can you NOT love a man who looks like THIS . . .

And SOMETIMES this . . .

And OTHER TIMES this?

So, yes, he’s pretty to look at.  (DUH!)  But there’s more to it than that . . . much more.  Skarsgard’s Northman is smart and sardonic.  He also has a mean streak a mile long. 

It’s true.  Vampire Eric can be brutal, but he can also be charming and surprisingly sweet.  Eric Northman has the unique ability to make you go from laughter, to tears, and back to laughter again, with nothing more than a sharp one-liner, a withering look, and a (seemingly) sincere apology. 

Eric is strong and ambitious.  He has a take charge attitude about every aspect of his life (and undeath).  This attitude encompasses his work, as much as his play.  This Vampire is Pure Epicure.  He LOVES being undead.  And undeath loves him . . .

Did I mention he can make your DREAMS COME TRUE?

But, as much as it seems as though Alexander Skarsgard was BORN to play Eric Northman, there WAS life B.V., “BEFORE vampire”

It’s ALIVE!  Hallelujah!

As it turns out, Skarsgard’s been doing this whole “acting thing” for quite some time.  According to Wikipedia, his acting career began in 1984, when he was just 7-years old.  Back then, he starred in the Swedish film, Ake and His World, based on a children’s book by Bertil Malberg.  Here’s what he looked like back then . . .

How cute was HE?

But Alexander Skarsgard didn’t enter MY life until about 17 years later, in 2001.  That was when he appeared in THIS film . . .

Even those of you who SAW this movie, might not have caught this.  (I certainly didn’t, when I first saw it.)  But, in Zoolander, Skarsgard played Meekus, Derek’s model friend, who died tragically in a freak gasoline accident.

R.I.P. Meekus

OK.  Maybe some of you already knew that.  But did you know that Skarsgard also makes for a really pretty girl?

I always knew Alexander Skarsgard was better looking than I was.  But does he also have to be a better looking WOMAN?  NO FAIR!

In 2006, just five years after his small part in Zoolander, Skarsgard starred in the kidnapping and crime caper, Kill Your Darlings, as a disturbingly hot, and decidedly suicidal, transvestite, named Geert. 

 Here’s a clip from the film that I think you’ll really like . . . You’ll figure out why in just a few seconds . . .

So, by this time, Alexander Skarsgard was quite the A-list star in Sweden.  However, he hadn’t quite “made it” in the U.S. just yet.  (Tragic Zoolander death, notwithstanding).  That all changed in 2008, when he landed the role of Sergeant Brad “Iceman” Colbert in the HBO miniseries, Generation Kill.  The series, which was based on a book of the same name by Evan Wright, detailed the lives of a real-life Marine Corps battalion during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. 

Just like a certain vampire he would begin to play that same year, Iceman was a force with which to be reckoned — a calm, cool, and calculated soldier.  Though many lives were undoubtedly lost at the hands of both of these “killers,” both Eric and Iceman possessed, beneath the surface, a refreshing amount of humanity and heart. 

Now I know that a good film and television viewer can separate any character from the actor playing him.  And yet, I couldn’t keep myself from being reminded of Eric Northman when watching THIS scene . . .

No one does the deadpan delivery of a “biting” one-liner like Skarsgard!

Finally, this year, while on hiatus from filming True Blood, Skarsgard took the opportunity to flex his comedic chops in Beyond the Pole, a British mockumentary about a group of friends who head to the North Pole on a mission to save the world from the scourge of GLOBAL WARMING.

 

Here, Skarsgard plays Terje, a gay Norwegian athlete, with a tendency to get a little frisky (and dance-y) after a few drinks (and you all KNOW how I LOVE my stars getting dance-y).  Check THIS out . . .

I’m willing to bet that Sookie is wishing she was the guy in that video, RIGHT NOW .  . .

Aren’t you?

So, there you have it.  A brief, and slightly smutty, look into the wild and wonderful film and television career of Alexander Skarsgard.  But, before you go, I DO have one more Alexander Skarsgard image you might enjoy.  This one comes from a film he made in 2000, called Hundtricket or The Dog Trick.

WARNING:  You might  . . . (clears throat) . . . need a COLD shower, after viewing this . . .

 Sweet Dreams!

 [www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Alexander Skarsgard, Generation Kill, Shirtless TV Stars, True Blood, Zoolander

Anatomy of the BRAND NEW True Blood Trailer Released at Comic-Con 2010!

Tonight, the True Blood cast held a panel session at Comic-Con 2010 in San Diego.   I wasn’t there . . .

But I DID manage to snag a copy of the BRAND NEW trailer for the second half of Season 3, which was released during the panel session . . .

And, of course, it was AWESOME!  Check it out . . .

OK.  It’s time to ANALYZE THE HELL OUT OF THIS THING!  So, remove your jaw from the floor, retract your fangs, put your shirt (and pants) back on, and let’s get to it, shall we?

:07 – I don’t know about you, but this has always been how I preferred my Vampire Bill:  Hot, Shirtless and Chained to the Floor where he can’t get in the way of the inevitable Sookie / Eric lovefest going on nearby.

:08 – Who knew that when Franklin Mott bought Tara that UGLY ASS NIGHTY / WEDDING DRESS (probably back in the early 1800’s), he had also purchased a matching one for HIMSELF! 

(At least he finally SHAVED though.  That morning stubble must have been HELL to wake up next to . . . and I’m not talking about the one in his pants. . . )

:16 – It looks like Creepy J.J. from Big Love the Magister has got Pam!  That’s not good . . .

:17 – Hey, Vampire Bill!  That’s a nice tan your sporting!  How did . . . wait . . . uh oh!

:28 – ERIC: “I don’t know what it is.  But I know it is quite valuable.”

Look how lovingly Sookie looks at Eric, even when he is trying to pawn her off on the Big Gay Vampire King, like she’s some early 19th-century antique (Vampire Bill?).  But seriously, can you blame her?  Have you SEEN what Vampire Eric looks like in that Baby Blue Panty Dropper Sweater of his?  He can sell ME to the highest bidder, ANYTIME!

:32 – Shirtless Tommy Mickens (Marshall Allman) – Not really my cup of tea, personally.  But someone found this blog by searching for THIS EXACT IMAGE.  And I DO hate to disappoint my readers  . .  . So, here you go!

:35 – OK.  I’m confused.  When did I STOP watching the True Blood trailer, and randomly switch over to outtakes from the movie, Deliverance?

(Cringes, as “Dueling Banjos” plays in the background.)

:37 – Question: When white trash gets cleaned up, is it called “White-Washed Trash?” 

 (I didn’t like that comment Mommy Mickens made about Sam not being “family,” one bit, by the way.  But it DOES confirm what I always thought about her character.  Hint:  It rhymes with “masshole.”)

:41 – SHIRTLESS STACKHOUSE ALERT!   SHIRTLESS STACKHOUSE ALERT!

It looks like him and Crystal will be getting VERY CLOSE, VERY FAST . .  . and that her family doesn’t approve of the coupling AT ALL.  Awww . . . it’s like Romeo and Juliet . . .

 . . . if Romeo and Juliet took place in a trailer park in Louisianna . . .

:43 – Way to go Jason!  Whipping out the BIG GUNS!  (And I’m NOT talking about artillery . . .)

:53 – I just LOVE when Vampire Eric gets all up in Sookie’s personal space . . . and so does SHE!

(Note: I’m pointedly choosing to IGNORE that MEAN thing Eric said to Sookie in this scene, because his body language here CLEARLY implies otherwise . . .)

:54 – Speaking of foreplay . . .

1:00 – Of course, it wouldn’t be a True Blood trailer without at least one, “BEEEEEEEEELLLLLL!”

1:04 – It’s nice to see our former BFF’s, Sookie and Tara, bonding again.  It’s also REALLY NICE to see Tara (1) out of captivity; (2) in the sun (It means she’s not a vampire yet.); and (3) dressed in normal clothes from the 21st Century . . .

1:09 – First Deliverance, now The Matrix?  I think this trailer is broken . . .

(Actually, I’m pretty sure that Leather Chick is Vampire Spokesperson Nan from Season 2 . . .)

1:13 – White fur?  Red glowing eyes?  Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have just met our first WERE-VAMPIRE!

(Some vampire lore states that if a person consumes enough vampire blood, he or she can become a vampire without actually . . . you know . . . dying.  If that’s true HERE, and all those werewolves have been consuming Big Gay Vampire King Russell’s blood for lord knows how long, this is some SERIOUISLY BAD NEWS for Sookie and Co.)

1:14 – ALCIDE:  “I don’t take orders from vamps!”

Oooh, Alcide is SEXY when he’s angry!  And he’s sticking it to Vampire Bill too .  . . which makes it even hotter.

(By the way, I heard they just recently announced that Joe Manganiello, who plays Alcide, has officially been awarded SEASON REGULAR status!)

Here’s a little something to help you celebrate this AMAZING news!

And another SOMETHING . . .

You’re welcome.

1:19 – SOOKIE:  “If I knew what was best for me, I would have fallen in love with someone like you.”

(Get in line, Sookie!  Get in line . . .)

1:24 – SOOKIE:  “GET .  . . OUT . . . OF MY HOUSE . . . B*TCH!”

YEAH!  You go, Bad Ass Commando Sookie!

Be afraid, Trashy Debbie She-Mullet!  Be VERY afraid!

1:34 – Don’t you just HATE IT when you get stuck in the ceiling, next to the multi-million dollar chandelier!  I know I do .  . .

1:47 – You know, for some reason, every time I see Lorena, I get that song by Flo Rida stuck in my head.  “You spin my head right round, right round, when you go down, when you go down, down.”

I can’t imagine why . . .

1:53 – Poor Sookie!  If  this was any other character on this show, a picture like this would have me really worried.  But it’s SOOKIE .  . . so, I’m not.  

(No Sookie = No True Blood, and if the ratings are any indication, this show is going to be around for a LONG, LONG time!  Therefore, I’m thinking our girl is going to be just fine.  Just a little hunch I have . . .)

1:57 – Hey, I don’t like this Dream Sequence!  A Dream Sequence without a shirtless male in it, is like  . . . well . . . I don’t know what it’s like . . . something LAME though, that’s for sure! 

2:01 – Here is our first glimpse of Claudine (played by Lara Pulver). She was a fairly important character in the latter half of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse Book series.  Unfortunately, I can’t TELL you what role she plays in Sookie’s life, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.  I CAN show it to you though . . .

(Warning: Spoilerific picture, below.)

And there you have it.  The new True Blood trailer in a nutshell.  So, what did you think?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, True Blood

Change Your Partner, Change the Game: A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Homecoming Hangover”

To call tonight’s installment of Pretty Little Liars a “game changer” is a bit of an overstatement . . . a very cliched overstatement.  And yet, in the most literal sense of the term, that’s what “Homecoming Hangover” was.  After all, this was the episode where everything  . . . CHANGED.  Formerly “hot” romances fizzled out  . . .

I still haven’t given up hope, Wren!  COME BACK!

. . . recently broken relationships were mended, new prospective couplings blossomed, and a MAJOR suspect may very well have been taken out of commission for good.

Now that you know all of the rules have changed, what do you say we start playing the game?

“I Was Hunted Down by Creepy Toby, and All I Got Was This Lame Wrist Brace . . .”

“Thank goodness for this stylish butterfly stitch on my forehead, or you might have never known I was recently in ‘GRAVE DANGER.'”

When the episode opens, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna are still at the Homecoming Dance, searching for Emily when they find her cell phone on the ground . . . along with some broken glass . . . and BLOOD!

“I TOLD Emily she should have never chosen the theme song from The Shining as her ringtone.  That’s just asking for trouble.”

But fear not, boys and girls.  Emily is not dead . . .

 . . . She’s just out for a romantic, late night car ride . . . except, she’s all bloody . . . and unconscious . . .  and Creepy Toby is behind the wheel . . .

Now, those of you who truly believed that Toby would chop up Emily into little bite-sized pieces, and eat them with french fries, have clearly never watched an ABC Family show.  Because in the next scene, Emily is chilling in her bedroom with no injuries at all, except for what appears to be a sprained wrist, and a small, very attractive, cut on her forehead.  Then again, maybe Emily suffered some  brain internal injuries, invisible to the human eye, because she was inexplicably on bedrest for two days. 

As it turns out, Creepy Toby . . .

“That’s ME!”

 . . . merely drove Emily’s unconscious body to the hospital, dumped it near the entranceway, and skipped town on his motorcycle, faster than you could say “raving lunatic.”

The next morning, cops swarmed upon Emily’s home, inquiring as to both Toby’s whereabouts and the location of his psychological records, which seemed to have gone missing that same night (because Hanna took them). 

“Oh yeah!  I’m one Bad Ass Chica!”

At some point during the evening (not sure if it was when Toby was chasing her around the school like a mad man, or dragging her, limp unconscious body into his car), Emily decides that Toby is a “totally sweet guy . . . just misunderstood.” What a moron!  So, she comes up with the brilliant idea to lie to the cops on his behalf, by claiming that her injuries were due merely to her own clumsiness, and nothing more. 

Unfortunately for Emily (and Creepy Toby), precisely NO ONE believes her story, particularly not Emily’s mom.  In fact, Mommy Dearest sees this as a BRILLIANT opportunity to lecture the recently beat up Emily for EMBARASSING her family, by having the NERVE to go to the prom with someone SO UNCOOL!

I don’t understand, Emily.  Why can’t you just date statutory rapists in their mid twenties, like your friends do?”

While Emily is resting up in bed with her barely there injuries, she receives some visitors.  First up are Spencer and Aria, who inform Emily about Toby’s whole “Sister Sex with Blind Jenna” Thing.  Emily who has always really wanted a hot brother to screw, is not quite sure what to do with this information.  Fortunately, My New Favorite Character, Hanna, arrives next, to put things into perspective . . . . She sweetly (and wisely) tells Emily that being a Lesbian is WAY better than dating a Sister F**ker who may very well also be a Stalker / Killer, like Creepy Toby.

Third on the guest list is Blind Jenna . . .

. . . who seems to have replaced her Cane of Destruction with a Hound from Hell.  Blind Jenna’s Guide Dog was so menacing and unstable looking, that if this was a different show, I would have sworn it was Creepy Toby in werewolf form . . .

Jenna also brings cookies, which she insists that Emily eat with milk because it helps the poison in them go down easier.

Fortunately, for Emily, she has seen Snow White enough times to know that taking food from Creepy People is a Bad Idea.  So, she leaves the cookies untouched.  Upon realizing that Emily knows about Creepy Toby’s missing psych file, Blind Jenna begs her for its safe return.  Emily promises Blind Jenna that she will do everything in her power to keep the latter’s Brother F*c*ing Secret safe, by retrieving the file.  However, when Emily texts the other Pretty Little Liars regarding said promise, they have already thrown the file in the LAKE, fully in tact.  

Riiiiiight . . . because NO ONE is going to find it THERE!  Haven’t these girls ever heard of a SHREDDER?

NO!  Not THAT Shredder!  THIS Shredder . . .

Only two can keep a secret, if one of them is SHRED . . .

During this episode, Emily also wins a car . . .

and decides to make a go of it with her lady crush, Maya . . .

 . . . which I would be excited about . . . if these two weren’t the most BORING lesbian couple on the entire planet  . . .

Hanna learns the joys of YouTube . . . and Lucas

“Hey, Hanna!  I found this GREAT video where they make fun of all the girls from Pretty Little Liars.  Wanna see?”

The next day at school, Hanna has to take a makeup picture, for the yearbook, wearing her Homecoming Queen crown. Hanna’s photographer is none other than THIS GUY  . . .

 . . . no . . . actually it’s not him. 

However, OUR guy, Lucas, looks and acts JUST LIKE Seth Cohen from The O.C., which undoubtedly has a lot to do with why I like him so much.  After initially getting adorably shy and flustered around Hanna, upon seeing her once again decked out in her homecoming finest, Lucas quickly develops an easy repoire with the Queen Bee, tossing cute jokes and sarcastic quips her way, as he hones in on her with his camera lens. 

Then, unfortunately, the Boring, Quite Possibly Gay, Sean has to come and ruin everything, with his bitchy attitude and his blubbering about how Hanna ditched him at the dance.    Boo Hoo, Rich Popular Jock Boy, the world’s smallest violin is performing an entire concert in your honor . . .

Beauty and the D-Bag.

Did I mention that this A-hole couldn’t even be bothered to put on a PAIR OF PANTS, before appearing in the photo shoot?  (Then again, Sean was probably just trying to hit on Lucas, by showing him his hot dog . . .)

It’s a tough job, but SOMEONE has to be Sean’s little weiner.

 Sean ultimately throws a temper tantrum, and storms out of the room, leaving Hanna and Lucas alone to flirt with eachother.

Later, Hanna and Lucas bond over the wonderful world of YouTube, and, in particular, a video involving a Snowboarding Turkey.

Not exactly the video I would have chosen to help land ME a date.  But it seemed to work prettyh well for Lucas.  So who am I to judge?

While enjoying their YouTube, Lucas and Hanna learned that they both had something else in common: both had a bad high school nickname bestowed upon them by none other than the Now Dead Ali . . .

Lucas’ was “Herme the Hermaphodite,” because Ali didn’t like his glasses (Huh?  I don’t get it.)  Hanna was “Hefty Hanna” (Now, that one I get, at least).  Wise Lucas then asks Hanna what many Pretty Little Liars fans have undoubtedly been thinking since the start of this show.  Namely, “Why the heck did you all hang out with Ali, if she was such a b*tch?”  (Well, put Seth Cohen Lucas!)

Hanna spouts off some nonsense about Ali having a way of “making people feel special.”  However, I suspect the REAL reason for their friendship was that Ali had a way of “making people popular.”

At the end of the episode, Hanna makes up with Sean, but soon learns that HE, unlike Lucas, has NO appreciation for Snowboarding YouTube Turkeys OR Loud Music (two things which should clearly signify the death knell for ANY high school relationship).  Worry not, Sean . . . you’ll always have Jesus . . .

First Wren Leaves, Now Fitzy, What is this show coming to?

Watch with a heavy heart, as those pasty twig legs and dweeby haircut ride off into the sunset  . . . alone.

But before I get to Fitzy, there’s something else you should know about Sean.  Aside from loving Jesus, and hating Snowboarding Turkeys, he’s also a two-timing bastard.  He taught us that, when he sent a huge bouquet of flowers to his girlfriend’s best friend, Aria, in hopes that doing so would help him to get into her pantalones, pronto.  (By the way, I’m not buying Sean’s whole “abstinence thing” for a minute.   Are you?)

Say what you want about Aria, but she KNOWS bullshit when she sees it.  Suspecting that Sean is only feigning interest her to get back at Hanna for her Homecoming Dance antics, Aria calls Sean out on his behavior, extracting a heartfelt apology from him, in the process.  Aria’ is lucky that this incident blew over fast, because she REALLY doesn’t have time for any more BS in her life.  She’s already chock full.  During this episode, Aria had to deal with the trial separation of her mother and father, AND her brother’s acting out in school . . .

To further complicate matters, overnight, her lover, Ezra a.k.a. Fitzy, seemed to have went the way of Wren and Creepy Toby — having disappeared into thin air overnight (They REALLY are dropping like flies, aren’t they?  It SURE doesn’t help your employment status to have a weiner on this show!). 

Desperate for answers, Aria heads to Fitzy’s apartment, and lets herself in using the hide-a-key he has left under his welcome mat. 

REALLY, Fitzy?  A HIDE-A-KEY?  Under a WELCOME MAT?  In an APARTMENT COMPLEX?  You might has well put a sign on your door that says, “Please Rob Me!”

Anyway, soon after Aria is safely inside Fitzy’s apartment, she hears a message on his answering machine from a nearby high school.  Apparently, Fitzy is applying for a job out of town.  Aria is crushed, though I’m not exactly sure why.  If Fitzy starts teaching elsewhere, Aria and him can bone without fear of repercusion for the whole “student / teacher thing.”  Then again . . . there’s still the whole “statutory rape” thing on the table.  Fitzy can’t exactly make that one disappear, now can he?

Spencer Shish-Kabobs and Salsas into Alex’s Heart

While Aria was LOSING her OLD man (emphasis on the OLD), Spencer was digging her claws into her NEW one.  With Wren seemingly no where to be found he’s probably off shooting a pilot episode somewhere, Spencer has devoted herself wholeheartedly to getting Alex’s pants. 

 Her campaign begins in the kitchen at the country club where Spencer plays and Alex works.  Spencer barges in to apologize for her bad behavior during the Homecoming Dance.  Clearly turned on by Spencer’s persistence and agression, Alex quickly forgives her and agrees to give her another chance, provided she let HIM pick the terms of the couple’s next date.  Spencer is overjoyed.

One – Love. (Two, if you count Wren, which I STILL DO!)

Just in case you forgot what he looks like . . .

Unfortunately, on the day of the Big Date, Alex calls Spencer to cancel, claiming he has to work.  Knowing the country club is closed that day, Spencer quickly becomes convinced that she has been stood up.   So, she does what any good stalker girlfriend would do, she heads to the country club, to catch him in a lie.  Except that, the jokes on her, because, HE’S WORKING AFTER ALL!

You’ve really gotta hand it to Spencer.  Rather than leave with her tail between her legs, she insists on sticking around to help Alex skewer shish kabobs.  She even wears a HAIR NET!  Now, if that’s not love, I don’t know what is . . .

Love means never having to get your hair in the mashed potatos.

And I have to say, despite a slight tiff involving a defaced photograph of Spencer hanging in the kitchen supply closet (someone who works there is apparently not a fan), these two made a mighty cute couple.   As the pair cooked and listened to the radio, an adorably booty shaking Alex (who has a really cute butt, by the way) commandeered Spencer to participate in a surprisingly spicy salsa dance.  And while it wasn’t quite enough to make me jump ship and switch to Team Alex, it WAS fun to watch . . .

At the end of the episode, two fairly important (and spooky) things happened:

(1) Creepy Toby’s Creepy Motorbike was found mangled in the woods.   He is now believed by authorities to be dead.  This prompted the Absent- for- NEARLY – An- ENTIRE Episode, A to, text the following message to Emily:  ‘Thank you for getting Toby out of the way for me;”

(2) That weird leather jacket-wearing, black-gloved person (who must be REALLY hot wearing all those layers, by the way, seeing as it always seems to be pretty sunny in the fictional town of Rosewood) retrieved Creepy Toby’s Creepy Sister F&*king Psych Evaluation from the lake.

So, there you have it.  “Homecoming Hangover” in a nutshell.  All in all, I thought it was a pretty solid, well acted, at times, even surprising, episode.  What did you think?

 

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