Tag Archives: spells

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

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

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

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

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

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

 . . . but a GOOD one . . .

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

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

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

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

1) Rachel Bilson

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

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

Why she’d make a great Amelia: 

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

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

2) Allison Munn

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

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

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

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

3) Rachel McAdams

Age: 31

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

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

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

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

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

4) Monica Keena

Age: 31

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

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

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

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

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

5) Rose McGowan

Age: 36

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

Why she’d make a great Amelia:

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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10 Things I Learned from Watching Lost’s “Across the Sea” that Might Help Me Later in Life . . .

[This is a snarky Lost post.  One that contains subtle (if, perhaps, ineffective) attempts at using humor, to discuss certain aspects of this week’s episode.  If you are a “serious” Lost fan who ONLY enjoys “serious” Lost episode analysis, this might not be the best place for you to hang out . . .]

Seeing as Lost is supposed to be a “smart show” . . .

“Sawyer is DREAMY!”

. . . and I subscribe to the school of thought that television can be educational, whenever I watch Lost, I am always on the lookout for whatever tidbits of knowledge I can glean from Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and Co.  Since I learned quite a few things from this week’s Jacob and MIB-centric Lost episode, I figured, why not share that knowledge with my readers?  So, without further adieu, here is my list of the Ten Things I Learned from Lost’s “Across the Sea” that Might Help Me Later in Life:

1) If you are about to give birth on a seemingly deserted island, and you run into C.J. Cregg from The West Wing, except she’s looking a bit worse for wear, and rocking some SERIOUSLY bad hair extensions . . . RUN . . . AWAY . . . FAST!

2)  When expecting a child, always have a few spare names handy.  You never know, when you might unexpectedly give birth to twins. 

Because, if your second child doesn’t have a name, people may very well start referring to him or her, by using the title of a popular comic book or movie franchise. 

No child wants that . . .

3)  You know how it’s considered rude to exclude people from your conversation, by whispering to others in front of them, or speaking in a different language that you know they won’t understand?  Well, the same goes for dead people and haunting. 

“Oops!”

Haunt ALL of your kids or NONE of your kids!  To do otherwise, is just plain mean . . .

4) Speaking of MEAN hauntings, if you plan on reaching out to your child in the afterlife, and instructing him or her to GO somewhere (like say “off the island”), it might be nice, if you told your child HOW TO GET THERE . . .  (Not everyone who sees dead people, can also read their minds).

“You got THAT right!”

5) Not the favorite child in your family?  That’s OK.  All you have to do to remedy this is NEVER LEAVE HOME . . . EVER.  That way, when the “favorite” child eventually leaves (and he or she definitely will), your “parents” will be stuck with you, and you ALONE.  So they’re going have to pretend to like you better.

Still breastfed, after all these years . . .

6) A little color can spice up anyone’s wardrobe!  Don’t be afraid to experiment. 

The Man in Black / Man in White Look?  SO LAST SEASON!

And, if, by chance, you CHOSE a particular colored wardrobe, because you are supposed to represent some sort of metaphor, like say “Good” or “Evil,” worry not.  There are plenty of other ways to establish the true nature of your soul, through fashion.  For example, if you are supposed to be the “bad guy,”  you can wear a skull and crossbones tattoo;

 or a handlebar mustache (That just screams evil!);or the Ghostface mask from Scream (See?  Evil can wear WHITE too!).

7) If you have the magical ability to put “spells” on your kids to prevent them from killing one another, you might want to include YOURSELF in those spells . . . Just saying.

Tying up your potentially murderous children would be another option . . .

8 ) Speaking of spells, if you have the power to prevent yourself from getting old, and/or the unique opportunity to look the same age for all eternity, why choose middle-aged, when you can skew younger . . .  like the vampires and werewolves do?

Heidi Montag, take note . . .

9) When hanging out by a deep, rock-filled, body of water with your brother, who wants you dead, prepare for the inevitable.  Always keep handy the following: a life jacket,

 a life saver, 

and some swimmies. 

Heck, even a kickboard might work, in a jam . . .

And, finally . . .

10) If you happen to end up dead and buried on a seemingly deserted island, and people find you a LONG TIME later, in the future, they are ALWAYS going to call you “Adam and/or Eve. ”

To prevent this from happening, might I suggest wearing a nametag.  Here’s one I particularly like .  . .

So, there you have it, my list of the ten things I learned from Lost’s “Across the Sea” that might help me (or you) later in life.  Who said television wasn’t educational?

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Who knew the Civil War could be so sexy? A Vampire Diaries Recap for “Children of the Damned”

 

This may make me sound vapid and un-intellectual, but I am the complete opposite of a history buff.  When it came to studying the past in school, I was always of the admittedly shallow mindset that if something happened before my grandparents were born, it simply wasn’t worth my time. 

Of all “pre-Grandma” time periods, I always hated learning about the Civil War the most.  The endless list of seemingly identical battles to memorize, all those pictures of stony-faced, heavily-bearded generals, the astounding lack of women mentioned . . . ummm . . . anywhere at all –  it all put me right to sleep.

(Wake me up when we get to the Depression . . .)

Thus, admittedly, when I saw the previews for this week’s installment of The Vampire Diaries, with all my favorite characters clad in ill-fitting, decidedly unsexy and archaic garb, I was less than thrilled.  After all, I like my Damon Salvatore in leather, or shirtless (preferably shirtless) — not in some starched up and stiff button-down shirt with suspenders. 

(All dressed with no leather makes Damon a dull boy . . . and Julie a sad girl.)

However, I found myself pleasantly surprised by how much fun “Children of the Damned” actually was.  Fun and important, in that it dispelled a common misconception (Katherine was NOT responsible for turning the Salvatore brothers)  and gave some crucial insight into the main motivations of our favorite characters (Damon is at least somewhat justified in being royally pissed at Stefan in the present day.)

(Oh Vampire Diaries, you have shown me the Civil War light!  Wait . . . did they even have bulbs back then?)

So, without further adieu, let’s begin our history lesson:

In the Past . . .

The episode opens with “damsel in distress” Elena’s undead doppelganger, Katherine, begging the driver of a stagecoach for help for her “sick husband.”  However, when the driver stops to provide assistance, Katherine gets all vamped out and attacks his ass, while a surprisingly innocent looking and still-living Damon looks on in horror.  Turned on from the hunt, Katherine begins to make out with Damon, who complies and politely refrains from saying, “No way, you Pointy-Toothed Biatch, not until you wash that driver off your face!”

Meanwhile, Elena’s ancestor, Jonathan Gilbert (or perhaps another Mystic Falls resident . . . it is a bit unclear) is handing off the Grinimore (which turns out to be another name for Witch Emily’s spell book) to Damon and Stefan’s daddy for safe keeping.  It appears that the Civil War era residents are gearing up to kick some major vampire ass (or burn them up in a church, whichever is faster), and the Grinimore plays a key role in this.  We also learn that Mystic Falls’ founder, Honoraria Fell, has outfitted some of the living residents of the town with vervain to protect them from the vampires’ powers.

Apparently, all Gilberts possess a gene for vampire loving.  Like Elena and Jeremy after him, Jonathan appears to have fallen for the undead Pearl. To make matters even more complicated, Pearl just so happens to be the mother of Anna, the creepy stalker vampire who has been following Jeremy around in the present, in order to retrieve Jonathan Gilbert’s diary.  Like Stefan and Damon, at this point in the past, Anna does not appear to have turned vamp yet.

Katherine is just having the time of her death, toying with and alternately screwing Damon and Stefan, both of whom she plans to change into vampires in the near future.  This way, she can have her boy toys and eat them too . . . forever.  Because sex with the bloodsucker tends to be pretty darn hot, Damon and Stefan are understandably miffed that their father is leading the effort to destroy all vampires.  Naïve Stefan expresses to Damon his bright idea of informing their dear old dad about their relationship with Katherine, reasoning that doing so would save the vampires from destruction.  To this Damon replies, “What are you out of your f*&^*ing mind, you dumb f*&*ing asshole?”  (or at least he would have said that, if he was on HBO, instead of the CW).

(Not on this channel, buddy!)

Despite Damon’s warnings, Stefan confronts his dad indirectly, explaining that not all vampires are “bad people” (or people at all, for that matter).  Daddy Salvatore seems moderately understanding but is generally unreceptive to Stefan’s arguments.  Later, while Stefan is doing the horizontal mambo with Katherine, she suddenly goes all fangy and moves to bite him.  When she does, however, she becomes instantly sick and falls to the ground.  It appears that Stefan has ingested vervain at some point prior to the sex act.  Poison  = a major turnoff for vamps.  “The mood” is officially as dead as Katherine.

While Katherine is writhing in pain, Daddy Salvatore pops in and muzzles the vamp like a wild animal. Papa explains to Stefan that he figured out that Katherine was a vampire based on Stefan’s sudden change of heart toward the undead species.  Katherine is then dragged out toward the church of her eventual doom, along with 25 other vampires. One of these vampires is Pearl, who is turned in by her Benedict Arnold boyfriend Jonathan Gilbert, after his vampire-pointing pocket watch goes crazy in Pearl’s presence.

Damon curses Stefan for his involvement in Katherine’s demise, and runs away in anguish.  Meanwhile, Anna and Witch Emily watch the scene in horror.  Witch Emily turns to Anna and promises to do a spell to protect the vampires.  She also assures Anna that she will one day be reunited with her mother . . .

The Present . . .

Speaking of shirtless, we join the present day in bed with Stefan and Elena.  Suffice it to say that the former has drool worthy-washboard abs that made this whole scene worth it for me.  To make things even hotter, Damon intrudes on the scene, and I again wish I was watching HBO, so that I could have the opportunity to witness the best threesome ever.  But alas, this is basic cable and nothing happens . . .

(“I’m not a smart man, but I KNOW what ménage a trois is . . . and I have them all the time.”)

Instead, Damon commandeers the couple to help him obtain Jonathan Gilbert’s diary, which he believes will detail the location of the Grinimore.  After a conversation with Jeremy, the crew learns that Alaric Saltzman currently has the diary.  Now, the Salvatore gang must race with Anna to retrieve it. 

Alaric is studying the diary when he is confronted by Stefan, who he shoots with a wooden stake gun, but misses.  Alaric confesses to Stefan that he knows that Damon killed his wife, but her body was never found.  The history teacher admits that he has come to Mystic Falls to find out exactly what happened to the love of his life.  When Stefan and Alaric turn their attention back to the sacred ancestral diary, it is gone . . . It appears, the while the boys were gossiping like little school girls, Bad Ass Anna was taking action.  Fortunately, Stefan is able to get a copy of the diary for himself.

Meanwhile, hot newbie vamp, Ben McKittrick, is out on a date with Bonnie to try to get information out of her about the Grinimore.  Believe it or not, Bonnie gets her wish from last episode, and these two actually spend their first date doing karaoke.  Unfortunately, we don’t get to see it.  However, based on the pair’s discussions about the evening, we can surmise that Ben probably sounded a lot like this . . .

Bonnie and Ben get flirty and the former moves in for a smooch, but backs away when her witch Spidey Sense gets a distinct vampire vibe from the hottie.  Sensing he has been found out, Ben attacks Bonnie and foreplay is officially over . . .

Meanwhile, Elena and Stefan are reviewing Jonathan Gilbert’s diary to no avail, when Stefan conveniently remembers a conversation he had with his dad, during which the latter explained that he would take all of his darkest secrets to his grave.  The pair head to the cemetery to exhume Papa Salvatore’s body and retrieve the Grinimore hidden in there.  Damon finds the couple at the gravesite, and concludes that both Elena and Stefan had lied to him about their willingness to help him to find the Grinimore and rescue Katherine. 

Damon seems genuinely hurt by Elena’s betrayal, in particular, as she was the only one he truly trusted.  In anger, he grabs Katherine’s present-day doppelganger, slits his wrist, and force feeds her his blood.  He then threatens that if Stefan does not turn over the spell book, Damon will turn Elena into a vampire.  Stuck between a rock and a fang place, Stefan reluctantly tosses the sacred book to his once-again estranged brother.

A defeated Elena and Stefan then head back to Elena’s house.  Once there, Stefan learns, to his chagrin, that Glutton-for-Punishment Jeremy has invited Psycho Vamp Anna into the Gilbert home.  Soon after, Elena goes missing . . .

Well, there you have it, “Children of the Damned” in a nutshell.  Tune in next week, when Hottie Vamp McKittrick uses his mind control powers on Elena, and an angry Damon wishes our female protagonist dead in order to achieve the ultimate vengeance on his brother.

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