Tag Archives: Shirtless Jim Parrack

True Blood Dream Casting – J.B. DuRone

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

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

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

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

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

Not DEAD!

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

Will not GO AWAY!

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s about DAMN TIME!”

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

 . . . a dash of Hoyt . . .

 . . . and a dollop of Sam . . .

 . . . all rolled into one glorious package.

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

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

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

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

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

1) Channing Tatum

Age: 30

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

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

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

2) Nick Zano

Age: 32

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

Why he’d make a great J.B. :

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

3) Cam Gigandet

Age: 28

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

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

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

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

4) Tom Hardy

Age: 32

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

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

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

5) Joshua Jackson

Age: 32

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

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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“Conscience Off! Dick On!” – A Recap of True Blood’s Season 3 Premiere “Pack of Wolves”

“Hey, look at me.  I’m naked on TV!  That never happens!”

Welcome back fellow Fangbangers!  Another season of True Blood is officially upon us.  And from the looks of it, the town of Bon Temps is, once again, about to get very bloody (not to mention slutty).  Tonight’s premiere episode, may not have given us all that much in the way of plot development.  However, it did offer a ton of biting, a prospective new group of villians, some great one liners, and more hot shirtless men than a Gay Pride Parade. 

Speaking of gay pride, am I the only one who was TOTALLY shipping a Bill and Sam coupling, after this episode?  Those two are SPICY!  And with a cool shipper name like BAM, it’s pretty obvious that this is a couple destined for greatness . . .

“I’ve always admired a man with big ‘belt buckle.'”

But, perhaps, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here . . . let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

He’s My Boyfriend, and I’ll Whine if I Want To . . .

Bon Temps has installed a new security security system.  Here’s how it works.  These two nag and yell . . . and all men are instantly repelled.

The episode begins pretty much right where the Season 2 finale left off.  Bill has been kidnapped, and Sookie is desperate to find him.  And let me tell you, hell hath no fury, like a nearly-engaged woman jilted.  After chewing out the female police officer investigating the crime scene, and interrogating a very distracted (and for good reason) Vampire Jessica, Sookie heads out to Fangtasia to put the moves on question Eric.  But before she can speak to him, she has to get by Pam first.

Have I mentioned lately how THRILLED I am that this fabulous femme has been upgraded to “season regular” status?

“I don’t recall telling you that purple was my favorite color,” coos Pam, making Whiny Purple Dress-Wearing Sookie noticeably uncomfortable.  (But Sookie, I thought you were bisexual? Or, maybe I’m mistaking you for the actress that plays you.)

“I don’t have time for any lesbian weirdness from you,” replies Sookie.  (Awww!  Poor Pam!  Foiled again!)

After pushing past Pam, (“She overpowered me!”), Sookie finds Eric in the midst of a LONG screwing session with new Fangtasia dancer, Yvetta.

I’m not usually one to notice high production value, but I ADORED the way this encounter between Sookie and Eric was shot.  With it’s soft lighting, and hazy pastel hues, the scene felt more like an erotic dream than a television show.  Alexander Skaarsgard’s blatant nudity certaintly didn’t hurt either. 

The tension between these two nearly hits a boiling point, when Sookie shamelessly accuses Vampire Eric of orchestrating Bill’s kidnapping.  Eric gamely denies these allegations.  However, he does take the opportunity to berate Vampire Bill’s sexual prowess (“Is Bill’s stamina not up to snuff?”), and flirt with Sookie (“I want what is his.”).  After securing Vampire Eric’s “promise” to find Bill, Sookie heads to the police station to yell at more cops, before heading back home.  There, she encounters fellow Spurned Sister on the Rag, Tara . . .

Tara’s Eggs are No Longer Sunny Side Up . . .

“Bacon just isn’t the same without Eggs . . . “

Now don’t get me wrong.  I feel for Tara.  If my boyfriend looked like this .  . .

 . . . and was shot dead, after confessing to a series of murders he committed while “not in his right mind,” I would be pretty bummed too.  But it’s really hard to like Tara, when she spends all her time screaming at everybody.  I mean, it’s always OK to yell at Arlene, because she’s dumb, annoying, and more than a little racist.  But cute, cuddly, Andy Bellefleur?  Unacceptable! 

 The worst, however, is when Tara lays into SOOKIE (who put a roof over her head, and saved her LIFE) for letting Eggs “see” the many murders that he committed, while under the influence of the maenad.  “You basically signed his death warrant, you b*tch,” growls a Rabid Tara at her “former” best friend!  (Someone shoot this girl with a tranquilizer gun, and put us ALL out of our misery, please!)

Tired of babysitting his unruly witch of a cousin, Lafayette passes Tara off to her self-centered, crazy, former alcoholic, born-again Christian MOTHER.  BAD MOVE!  After just a few hours with this unbearable woman,  Tara is in the bathroom trying to OD on pills. 

Of course, we already know she’ll survive.  So, there’s really not much suspense here.  After all, based on the promos we’ve seen, Tara has to LIVE, so that she can have some very NOT HOT vampire sex with THIS BLOODSUCKER . . .

Hey, Bad Kisser Guy!  Do us all a favor, and bite off her tongue, will you?”

First Sign of the Apocalypse: Jason Stackhouse can’t get it up!

“My weiner is depressed.  Kiss it, and make it better?”

Thank heaven for Andy Bellefleur!  Without his taking the rap for shooting Eggs, Jason Stackhouse would most certainly have been put in jail for murder.  And while he would undoubtedly look cute in an orange jumpsuit, a SHIRTLESS Jason Stackhouse is a terrible thing to waste.  Andy visits Jason at his house, in an attempt to keep him in line and to keep their “shooting story” straight. 

And then, suddenly, and out of no where, it seemed as though Andy Bellefleur had been possessed by female True Blood fans everywhere.  Because, for no rational reason whatsoever, Andy stopped talking about the dull “murder thing,” and started talking about how important it was for Jason to get laid . . .

“The Fangirls’ wish is my command!”

In order to “eliminate suspicion” and “keep up appearances,” Andy instructs Jason to act as he did BEFORE he shot Eggs (and BEFORE he joined that religious cult too, I guess).  That means LOVING THE LADIES, and LOVING THEM LOTS! 

“Conscience off!  Dick on!”  Andy commands.

Now THAT is a Jason Stackhouse motto, I can LIVE with!

Later, Jason hits up Merlotte’s with new roomie, Hoyt.

Welcome back, Jim Parrack!  LOVE the new buff bod!  Not such a fan of the new hair, though . . .

The two quickly and effortlessly pick up these pretty, but kind of dense, recent NYU grads, both of whom randomly have a thing for dogs.  But when they bring the girls back home, Hoyt is too busy whining over the loss of Vampire Jessica to do much screwing, and Jason keeps picturing the girls with bullet holes in their heads.   NOT a turn on!  (Note to the men out there:  If you TELL a girl that you keep seeing bullet holes in her head, she WILL think you want to murder her.  Some things are better left UNSAID.) 

Needless to say, neither of these sexy men get laid during this episode.  This is too bad.  Because I was REALLY hoping for some Jason Stackhouse Post-Coital Dancing . . .

“WOW!  Look at the size of that bullet hole!  Just kidding . . .LET’S BOOGIE!”

The Miraculous Tale of Vampire Bill, the F-U Crew, and Some Old Lady . . .

Well, the writers sure didn’t make us wait too long before telling us who took Vampire Bill.  Although his captor referred to his Band of Bumbling Idiots as the “F*&k You Crew,” those who have watched the promos, undoubtedly recognized him Werewolf Biker Badass, Coot (played by Grant Bowler). . .

Coot and his DOGS are trying to drive Bill to their secret lair.  The only problem is that they can’t seem to stop eating him.  (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)  So, the car goes off road, and Bill manages to escape.  Having been drained of quite a bit of blood, Vampire Bill wanders into some Old Broad’s home, feeds on her, and leaves, but not before glamouring her, and extracting some very important information for the viewers at home.  It turns out, our pal Bill is in Mississippi!

The Shirt Off His Back . . .

“Vampire Bill, I’m so upset!  I had the lamest plotline of this ENTIRE episode!

“Let’s f*&k!”

“OK, Vampire Bill.  That would make me feel much better.”

It’s a real shame that Vampire Bill is in Mississippi, and not Arkansas, where Sam is, because that would have undoubtedly improved this portion of the episode.   Sam’s storyline tonight was a MAJOR snoozer.  Apparently, he’s on a hunt for his biological trailer trash Mommy, and deadbeat brother .  . . blah, blah, blah.  Now on to the good stuff! 

So, if you recall, last season, Sam was stabbed in the chest, and was seriously wounded as a result.  If not for his massive intake of Vampire Bill’s blood, he would have died.  Of course, taking a lot of blood from a Vampire has its consequences.  For one thing, it makes you have sexual feelings for the Vampire you drank from, regardless of your previous sexual preference. 

So, one night, while Sam is sleeping, he has a dream that someone has visited him at his hotel.  THIS Vamp . . .

After being invited in, Vampire Bill asks Sam for some clothing, and Sam literally gives him the shirt off his back.  But Vampire Bill doesn’t put it on.  Instead, after admiring Sam’s physique, he asks to use his shower.  He then invites Sam to join him, and Sam AGREES!  “We are going to have a great time,” replies Bill.

And just when these two crazy kids are about to make out, Sam wakes up . . .

I WANT MORE BAM!  And I want it NOW, dammit!

Vampire Blood for Sale!  Get it While it’s Cheap!

So, it turns out, Vampire Eric wasn’t being entirely honest with Sookie, when he was asked if he had anything to do with Bill’s disappearance.  In fact, HE had hired people to kidnap Bill TOO!  Except, the F-U crew got there first!  Pam instructs Eric to tell Queen Sophie Ann about Vampire Bill’s disappearance, since Bill is the only other vampire aware that the Queen and Eric are selling vampire blood on the black market. 

Eric scoffs at this idea.  However, soon after, Queen Sophie comes to HIM, along with that creepy dude who played J.J. on Big Love . . .

Apparently, there is some sort of two-for-one special on HBO Series stars.

I don’t recall what position “J.J.” holds in the vampire community.  However, I assume it’s high ranking, and has something to do with “law enforcement.”  (If you recall, this was the guy that forced Vampire Bill to “make” Vampire Jessica, as punishment for his killing another vampire.  “J.J” also seems to be higher up than Queen Sophie Ann, because he was bossing her around quite a bit, throughout this scene.

I must admit, initially, I wasn’t overly impressed with Evan Rachel Wood’s portrayal of Queen Sophie Ann during Season 2.  I just found her to be too over the top, and not nearly “queenly” enough.  However, Wood went a long way toward redeeming herself in my eyes tonight.  Watching her manipulate “J.J.” into thinking she was unaware of the marketing of Vampire Blood was pure poetry.  And seeing her strong arm the typically unfazeable Vampire Eric into selling off all of his black market vampire blood at a major financial loss to him, was even more satisfying.

This classic scene was followed up by another equally pleasurable one in which Vampire Pam, on Eric’s orders, pressured Lafayette to sell off his “goods.”  “Are you picking up what I’m putting down?”  Pam whispered in the ear of a terrified Lafayette.

Clearly, no further elaboration was necessary.  When Vampire Eric makes a request, Lafayette listens.  End of story . . .

Cartoon created by the folks at  www.campblood.org

16 and Pregnant?   And a Vampire?  (Well . . . not exactly)

When we last left Vampire Jessica, she had taken a major bite out of some D-baggy trucker dude, she picked up at a bar.  Now, with Papa Vampire Bill nowhere to be found, Baby Vamp Jess is forced to pick up the pieces all by herself.  She tries to revive the nearly dead dude, but does so to no avail.  Eventually, he dies (or does he?).  And in impulsive decision that, while misguided, was surprisingly astute for such a young vamp, Vampire Jessica feeds the maybe dead guy her own blood.

We don’t know yet whether he was actually turned into a vampire.  All we know is that he’s stinking up Bill’s house.  If I recall correctly, in True Blood world, the “transition” from human to vampire takes a few days.  It’s also possible that if this guy was TOTALLY dead, it would be too late for him to actually “drink” Jessica’s blood and change over.  So, we can’t really be sure whether Vampire Jessica has just made herself into a “teen mom” and Vampire Bill into an “absentee grandpa.”  Only time will tell.   But I’m excited about this plotline, nonetheless.

At the end of the episode, Sookie, having noticed that Vampire Pam can “feel” her maker, Eric, “call her,” approaches Vampire Jessica, wondering whether SHE can do the same thing.  Apparently she can.  Unfortunately, just like the airing of award shows, Vampire Jessica’s “sense” of Bill is on a time delay.  So while, she was able to help Sookie find Bill’s crashed car and the dead F-U crew member in it, she was not able to find his current location, which is in the middle of a pack of ravenous werewolves.

It seems that they used REAL wolves in filming this scene, which makes the above picture all the more adorable, fangs and drool, notwithstanding.

So, there you have it folks, my first True Blood recap of the season.  What did YOU think of the episode?  Was it worth the wait?

 

 

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