Tag Archives: twentysomethings playing teens

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]

 

71 Comments

Filed under The Vampire Diaries

Dead Girls Who Text, Underage Sex, Kind of Perplexed – A First Look at ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars”

Yesterday, I wrote a blog entry about the television shows I planned on watching this summer.  My awesome blogging buddy Amy, over at Imaginary Men, suggested I add to my roster ABC Family’s latest attempt at undermining its reputation for being the “Good Little Christian Cable Channel.”  The show, entitled Pretty Little Liars, is based on a young adult novel series of the same name, which was written by Sara Shepard, and produced by Alloy Entertainment (a.k.a. the folks responsible for the Gossip Girl series).

And, boy am I glad I did!  This show is a snarky recapper’s DREAM!

But before I get started with my official recap, let me take a moment to discuss some of the casting decisions for this show . . . particularly the casting of its adults.  Now, on most teen shows, “adults” aren’t generally given all that much to do.  Rather, their limited screen time tends to fall into one of two categories.  There is the: “I’m a sweet, but bland, parent with no discernable personality, who has absolutely no clue about what my kid does everyday” type; and the “I am a raging a-hole parent, with no redeeming qualities, who is totally intent on screwing up my kid’s life” type.  Based on what I’ve seen from the pilot, this show is no exception.

Surprisingly, however, some of the “adults” on this show, were given an impressive amount of speaking lines in the pilot.  And I’m thinking that this anomaly probably can be attributed to who they are.  Ready to feel REALLY OLD, fellow 90’s era TV watchers?  Try this on for size . . .

One of the character’s moms is played by Holly Marie Combs.  You might remember her as Piper, the “smart sensible sister” on the television series Charmed, who also happened to be a bonafide witch.

Her husband on the show is played by Chad Lowe, brother of THIS GUY . . .

(Sorry Rob!  We know you are supposed to be all “respectable” now.  But some of us still remember your sex tape scandal . . .)

As for Chad himself, a few of you might remember him as “Jesse” a.k.a. “the loner kid with the earring, from Life Goes On, who just so happened to have AIDS.”

But more of you probably remember him as the former Mr. Hilary Swank.

This time, let’s try to say NO to drugs, Chad!

Next up is Laura Leighton, who you might recall playing “that crazy slutty b&tch Sydney” from the OLD Melrose Place . . .

 . . . OR “that crazy slutty middle-aged DEAD b&tch” from the NEW (and recently cancelled) Melrose Place.

Oh, and even though she doesn’t technically play a “parent,” I would be remiss not to mention Torrey Devitto, who plays one of the Pretty Little Liars’ obnoxious significantly older sister.  Torrey is perhaps best known for playing Crazy Nanny Carrie on One Tree Hill.

This was the storyline that made me stop watching One Tree Hill.  It was THAT BAD!

She is also the lucky chica rumored to be engaged to THIS GUY . . .

That’s right boys and girls, Crazy Nanny Carrie and Vampire Stefan apparently do the nasty together, on a regular basis.  It’s a good thing vampires can’t have kids, because otherwise, he would DEFINITELY have to hide HIS from her!

Anyway, now that I’ve written virtually an ENTIRE blog entry on the supporting cast of this show, perhaps its time I get on with the actual recap.  So, here goes . . .

It was a DARK and STORMY night!

Bet you thought the above-referenced tired cliche went out of style during your grandma’s time.  NOT SO!  Because that is exactly the setting for our opening scene, which takes place in an old dirty barn, that probably smells like horse poop, in a small town in Pennsylvania, one year ago.  This is where we meet the girls for the first time. 

First up is Aria (Lucy Hale), who we KNOW is supposed to be the “loner bad girl” because she wears black and has (gasp) a pink stripe in her hair.  Then there’s Spencer (Troian Bellisario), who is obviously the “smart girl,” because she wears argyle sweaters.  Third, is Emily (Shay Mitchell), a.k.a the jock.  She’s gotta be the jock, right?   Because what other high school girl would wear SNEAKERS to a dirty barn party!  Finally, there is Hanna (Ashley Benson), who we instantly realize is the “fat dorky girl who is about to become thin and popular” because she wears . . . wait for it . . . baggy t-shirts and hoodies.

The girls are chatting away when they hear A NOISE!

But when they go to investigate, it ends up only being the soon-to-be-dead, Alli (Sasha Pieterse).  At least initially, Alli is provided with very few defining qualities, aside from being kind of mean.  She also has a habit of saying weirdly foreshadowing things that no human being would ever actually utter in real conversation.  Here’s an example: “It’s important to share secrets.  It keeps us close.”  

Yeah, whatever, girlfriend!  Your days are numbered . . .

Later that night, the girls are asleep on the dung covered barn floor (still in their dress clothes and shoes, of course — too poor to buy PJs and slippers, I guess?), when one of them wakes up and realizes that two of them are missing: soon-to-be-dead Alli, and “smart” Spencer.  Spencer comes back, looking really creepy, and says that Alli is GONE! 

And no one suspected this Spencer chick of any wrongdoing, why, exactly?  Oh, that’s right .  . . “smart girls” who wear argyle CAN’T POSSIBLY be killers . . . How foolish of me to forget.

Sex in a Fetid Public Bathroom is HOT!  (But doing it with your teacher is not . . .)

One year later, “bad girl” Aria is back from a year long stint in Iceland . . .  And she’s DIFFERENT!  Apparently, her year in Europe scared that pink stripe right out of her hair.  And now, she doesn’t wear BLACK anymore.  She wears PURPLE!  Clearly, this is a changed woman . . . 

Based on a stilted and awkward “we needed to include this scene, in order to give you information” chat she has with her mother, we also learn that Aria and the other girls drifted apart after the “Alli Incident.”

Speaking of “chats,” when Aria leaves the house, she has a creepy conversation with her dad about promising to keep his “secret.”  And if this wasn’t ABC Family, I’d be really worried about the implications of that awful-sounding statement.  But it is ABC Family . . .  so I’m not terribly concerned.

After dropping her little brother off at Lacrosse practice, Aria heads to a local bar to pick up a cheeseburger.  While there, she meets Ezra (Ian Harding), a recent college grad who just got a teaching job in town.  Ezra has bland, goofy good looks, bad hair, and an ineffectual, almost effeminate, quality about him.  He also “woos” Aria with cheesy lines like, “If you write for yourself, it’s true passion.” 

In short, Ezra is Hugh Grant in every movie he has EVER been in . . .  except Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Not wanting Ezra to know she is jailbait, Aria, without exactly lying, subtly allows Ezra to believe that she is in college.  After chatting for about a minute, these two start boning in a nasty unisex bathroom, right there in the bar.

Way to stay classy, former Goth Girl!

Wouldn’t you have loved to see the exchange that led to this?  Here’s how I think it probably went:

Ezra:  “Hey .  . . I hear the bathroom here is INSANELY CLEAN.  Wanna check it out?”

Aria:  “Actually, I don’t really have to pee.”

Ezra:  (Tries to wink, but can’t, and ends up looking like he is having a seizure.) “Neither do I.”

The next day at school, in a scene that surprised precisely NO ONE, we learn that Ezra is Mr. Fitz (Could the dude HAVE a geekier name?), Aria’s English teacher.  “Brilliant” college grad that he is, Mr. Fitz responds to this revelation by saying “Oh Crap!” 

He does so loudly, and in front of the entire class.  Clearly, this guy WANTS to be arrested for statutory rape.  As if being called out for boning the English teacher wasn’t enough, Aria’s phone rings loudly to inform her she has text message.  (Ever heard of the “vibrate” function, Aria?”)  This is the message she receives . . .

So much for her dad’s “Big Secret.”  Aria instantly suspects the “A” who sent the message is Dead Alli.  (Hmmmmmm, how much do you think texting minutes cost in Heaven?  Because, I’m willing to bet they aren’t cheap . . .)  Through a flashback, we learn that Aria and Alli were running away from a dorky girl at school named Mona, when they came across Aria’s dad making out with one of his young students in his car. 

Speaking of making out with your students, Aria approaches Ezra and tells him she still wants to be his permanent f*ck buddy.  Statutory rape regulations BE DAMNED!  Ezra responds by making this speech about what an amazing girl she is, and how much she means to him.  (Am I missing something?  Because from what I saw, all these two did was make out in a bathroom.  We’re not exactly talking Romeo and Juliet here . . .) 

 Anyway, despite his “undying love” for the youngun, Ezra breaks it off with Aria.  Ever the idealist, Mr. Fitz truly believes that one day he will find an 18-year old, someone who, unlike Aria, he can screw in the potty, without fear of repercussion.  Aria is crushed . . . especially since she probably caught a bad case of hepatitus from that toilet seat . . .

Aw Man!  My Mom Never Screwed a Cop for Me!

Next up on this “Where Are They Now?  Dead Alli Reunion Special” is Hanna, who we find shopping (or rather shoplifting) at the mall with fellow former dork, Mona.  We know that Hanna is thin and popular now, because she wears tight tops, and “mean girl” music plays virtually every time she is on screen.  After flirting with the customer service guy, Hanna quickly exits the mall with an expensive pair of sunglasses she totally didn’t pay for. 

Later, while Hanna and her mom are eating dinner alone together. (Daddy apparently skipped town, probably after watching Mommy “act” in the New Melrose Place.  Can you really blame him?)  Their discussion is interrupted by a visit from the Shoplifting Police. (Oh I’m serious!)  They are here to arrest Hanna for taking those darn sunglasses.

At the police station, while Hanna’s mom is trying to talk her daughter out of trouble, Hanna, like Aria, receives a “mysterious” phone message from the “mysterious A.”

Very clever A!  But I was kind of hoping for a “don’t drop the soap” joke  . . .

Finally, Hanna and her mom are allowed to leave the police station.  While in the car, Bad Mommy tells Hanna how important it is not to do anything to jeopardize her newfound popularity.  She instructs Hanna to deny the shoplifting allegations. 

Later at home, while Hanna is watching TV and eating ice cream, Bad Mommy stumbles in, making out with none other than the Chief of the Shoplifting Police!  The two start going at it, RIGHT IN FRONT OF HANNA!  To make matters worse, Bad Mommy, looks RIGHT AT Hanna, while she is making out with Sheriff D-bag, just before taking him upstairs to bone him.  EWWWWW! 

So, it looks like Laura Leighton will be playing a Crazy Slutty B*tch on this show.  Thank goodness, she doesn’t have to worry about being typecast.

Les-be Friends!

Someone new is moving into Dead Alli’s house.  Apparently, that family is Amish, and doesn’t watch television.  Otherwise, I hope they bought the place dirt cheap.  After all, unsolved disappearance/ murder locations are not exactly top sellers in the real estate market.  When Jock Emily brings a “welcome basket” over to the new neighbors, she meets Maya (Bianca Lawson), a girl around Emily’s age. 

Maya is obviously supposed to be a teenager.  However she looks, talks, and acts, like the star of a gay porno loosely based on that old 70’s movie, Jackie Brown . . .

Everything Maya says to Emily is followed by an exaggerated wink and suggestive nod.  Her dialogue is laced with a series of bad puns and sexual innunedos that would make Samantha from Sex and the City proud.  Here are some of my favorites:

“Oh, I bet your a great swimmer.  You TOTALLY have the body for it.”

“I just really want to get to KNOW you better.”

“I’m corrupting you!”

“Is this your first time?”

Maya conveniently has a picture of her “boyfriend back home” in her bedroom.  But the dude has “beard” written all over him.  They don’t actually show the guy’s face, but I bet if you zoom in, you will find out that it’s someone like THIS GUY . . .

I’m talking about the openly gay Kurt from Glee, in case you missed it . . .

While walking home from school one day, Maya and Emily decide to make out.  Later, at school, Emily gets a letter in her locker from A, who, apparently, blew all her Heaven cell phone minutes, and now needs to resort to more inexpensive methods of communication . . .

My Sister’s Creeper . . .

Back in Uptight Over-Achieving Land, Spencer is basking in the glory of her new cottage, which she decorated herself and plans to move into during her junior year.  Unfortunately for Spencer, Crazy Nanny Carrie her older sister has other plans.  Her and her fiance are waiting for their own place in the city to be finished.  Meanwhile, THEY will be moving into the cottage. 

Crazy Nanny Carrie Spencer’s sister can really care less about what this does to Spencer.  However, her boyfriend, Wren (Julian Morris), is more sympathetic.  We know these two are going to connect, instantly, because they both  share a love of argyle.  It’s a match made in Heaven!  Too bad Crazy Nanny Carrie Big Sis is in the way . . .

If Ezra is Hugh Grant from every movie OTHER THAN Bridget Jones Diary, Wren is Hugh Grant FROM Bridget Jones Diary.

In fact, Ezra and Wren look SO MUCH alike, I almost couldn’t tell them apart.  While his fiance is away, Charming and Cute, But Super Sleazy Wren hits on Spencer shamelessly.  My favorite exchange between them is when they are both in their swimwear, and Spencer pulls out the oldest guy-getting trick in the book, by faking a sudden neck injury.  

Fortunately, Shirtless Ezra has come to the RESCUE!  After all, he is a future med student.  And EVERYBODY knows that sexy pornographic massages are the first thing you learn how to do in medical school . . .

Later, Spencer is up in her room “fantasizing” about Wren, when she gets an e-mail from the highly prolific “A.”

In a flashback, we learn that this isn’t the first time Spencer has made a play for one of her sister’s men.  She also apparently got down and dirty with Crazy Nanny Carrie’s (See, I didn’t even bother crossing it out this time.) last boyfriend, who, interestingly enough, bore a striking resemblance to both Ezra and Wren. 

OK . . . now this is getting weird .  . . Is there some sort of unwritten rule in this town that EVERY guy who lives there HAS to look like a young Hugh Grant?

The Body, The “Jenna Thing,” and the Return of the Shoplifting Police

Toward the end of the pilot, Alli’s body is magically found.  Horrified and frightened, the girls admit to one another, that they have each received messages from A, the Most Chatty Dead Girl Ever!  Later, at Alli’s funeral, the four former friends sit together at the front of the church.  They share looks of horror when JENNA– star of the mysterious “Jenna Thing” the foursome have been ominously referring to throughout the hour — arrives to attend the funeral.

Apparently, Jenna is blind.  How did she become that way?  Did the girls do something to bring about her blindness?  Did she simply watch too many episodes of the New (now cancelled) Melrose Place?  Here’s hoping they don’t cancel this show, before we can find out . . .

After the ceremony, the girls are confronted by none other than the Chief of the Shoplifting Police!  I was about to remark that it is highly inappropriate to discuss contraband designer sunglasses at a FUNERAL.  However, apparently, that wasn’t the reason for the Chief’s visit.  

It seems that when Chiefy is not making out with slutty mommies, or taking teens to the slammer, for failing to pay for chewing gum at the local 7-Eleven, he likes to solve murders!  And he plans on solving Alli’s murder!  Be afraid, girls!  Be very afraid!

So, what did you all think of Pretty Little Liars?  Did anyone actually watch it, besides me?  If so, are you planning to watch it again?  Or was this just a one night stand?

(Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC Family.)

14 Comments

Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Create Your Dream Cast – Vampire Academy Series

A few months back, I became absolutely obsessed with a little book called The Hunger Games by groundbreaking author, Suzanne Collins.  Upon hearing that Lionsgate had purchased the film rights to the book, I decided it might be fun to create a sort of “dream cast,” of actors I would “hire” if I had the opportunity to do casting for the film.

Writing the post was a ton of fun for me.  Plus, a lot of people really seemed to respond to it. 

So, now it’s a few months later, and I find myself obsessed with a brand new Young Adult book series.   In many ways, Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy is the anti-Twilight.  On the surface, yes, like that other series, Vampire Academy is about a girl in her late teens who is enmeshed in a world of supernatural creatures, most notably, vampires.  However, Rose Hathaway, the main protagonist who narrates the books, for lack of a better phrase, kicks ass!  She is a dhampir.  A half-human, half-vampire amalgamation, who is training to become a guardian of vampires.  That’s right, boys and girls, she protects vampires, as opposed to being protected by them! 

While these books definitely focus MORE on action and less on the romance, there are enough longing looks and steamy scenes in these novels to sate the desires of even the most sappy of romantics.  And don’t even get me started on these dhampir and vampire men . . .  (swoons and faints).

Even though there are currently no plans to convert the Vampire Academy books into a film or television series (SERIOUSLY?  What are you WAITING for, Hollywood?), I thought it might be fun to return to the casting couch, and select who I would cast in a hypothetical film or television show based on these books.  

I plan to try EXTREMELY hard not to inadvertently spoil any of the main plot points of these books, in the context of explaining my various “casting” decisions.  However, there ARE lots of jaw-dropping twists in this series, particularly in the first novel, that impacted my ultimate decisions as to which actors should play these characters.  So, if you are a MAJOR spoiler-phobe, please tread lightly.  And don’t say I didn’t warn you . . .

Rose Hathaway:

My pick: Nikki Reed

Why I think she’d make a great Rose:  In many ways, Rose is the toughest character to cast in this series.  After all, as the series’ protagonist and first-person narrator, her likeability and relatability will drive the entire story.  Rose is a fairly complex gal.   On one hand, she is tough-as-nails, extremely brave, and fiercely loyal.  However, she can also be prone to impulsive behavior, moodiness, icy sarcasm, and intense bouts of rage.  To top it off, at the start of the series, Rose is quite the popular party girl, one who has a reputation, whether deserved or not, for being “more than friendly” with many of the guys at her school.

In terms of Rose’s physical characteristics, Nikki Reed meets them to a tee!  In the novels, Rose is described as being of medium height, muscular, and slightly curvy (at least in the chest area).  She also has lightly tanned skin, dark eyes, and long dark brown hair.  Additionally, as an actress still in her very early 20’s, Nikki will have no trouble passing for a 17-18 year old girl, particularly one as mature beyond her years, as Rose.

Of course, ideal physical characteristics alone do not make a perfect casting choice.  Undoubtedly, many of you likely remember Nikki as the blond and beautiful, but slightly bitchy, Rosalie Hale in the Twilight series . . .

However, what you may not know is that Nikki Reed has been acting in films and writing screenplays LONG before Twilight was even written.  Nikki was not even 15-years old when she wrote, and starred, alongside Evan Rachel Wood, in the heartbreaking and highly disturbing film Thirteen, about two young teens who find themselves falling into an unforgiving world of drugs, crime and sex.  The film was critically acclaimed and even received an Oscar Nomination.

Aside from “looking” right for the part, I think Nikki Reed has the acting chops, intelligence, physicality, and natural sex appeal to pull off a role as multi-faceted as Rose Hathaway.

Lissa Dragomir

My pick: Julianne Hough

Why I think she’d make a great Lissa: In the novel, Rose’s best friend, the vampiric Lissa Dragomir, is described as being tall, thin, and pale-skinned, with blonde hair, and piercing green eyes.  In terms of personality, Lissa and Rose are almost polar opposites.  While Rose, is loud, and tough, and brash, Lissa, a descendant from a long line of royal vampires, is more reseved, a bit more fragile, and a lot more graceful and sophisticated.  She also excudes a certain innocence, and charisma (part natural, part magical) that draws others to her, making her extremely well liked at the Academy where she and Rose study.  On the other hand, whoever took on the role of Lissa, must be able to display intense emotionality, as certain things happen during the course of the series that cause Lissa to lose her characteristic cool.

Most people are familiar with Julianne from her role as a dancer on Dancing with the Stars

In that capacity, Julianne’s grace, innocence, likeability, and natural charisma practically leap of the screen.  The question is, “Can she act?” 

I would be inclined to say, “yes.”  Hough has already been slated to play the female lead, Ariel Moore, in the upcoming remake of the popular 80’s musical film, Footloose, which originally starred Kevin Bacon. 

 The role of Ariel in that film is a fairly meaty one, particularly for an actress making her big screen debut.  For the producers of the movie to cast Julianne in that role, she must have shown them something truly special at her audition.  If Julianne can pull off Ariel Moore, I have no doubt that she would also be able to pull off Lissa Dragomir.

Dimitri Belikov

My pick: Channing Tatum

Why I think he would make a great Dimitri: As Rose’s mentor, and main love interest throughout the series, 24-year old guardian, Dimitri Belikov is arguably the most important male role to cast in a film or television show based on this series.  In the books, he is described as being extremely tall, and impressively buff, with dark eyes and brown hair. 

Dimitri is basically every girl’s dream.  On one hand, he’s strong and amazingly tough.  He described as a “god” by many at the Academy.  And yet, he is also stern, secretive, and sensitive — a natural born-caretaker, one constantly torn between doing his job well and giving in to his desires.

Having starred in films like G.I. Joe and Step Up, we know that Channing Tatum has the physicality necessary for this role (And have you seen those abs?  WOW!).  Yet, Tatum has also had the opportunity to prove himself capable of taking on the role of romantic lead, as evidenced by his portrayal of John Tyree in the recently released chick flick, Dear John.  I’m just hoping he can fake a Russian accent . . .

Christian Ozera

My pick: Ed Westwick

Why I think he’d make a great Christian:  As Lissa’s main love interest throughout the series, Christian is probably the second most important male lead to cast.  The character is described as being tall and lean, with dark hair and pale skin.  Christian begins the series as a loner and an outsider, due to a questionable family history.  He has a dark sense of humor, a biting wit, and is not afraid to challenge authority.  Christian also can do very cool things with fire . . .

I chose Westwick, mainly because, aside from him being an amazing actor, I felt Christian’s relationship with Lissa, at least as it was portrayed in the first book in the series, dovetailed nicely with Westwick’s character Chuck’s relationship with Blair, during the early seasons of the CW series Gossip Girl.

In both relationships, the male lead is instantly sure of his feelings for the object of his desire, while the female will ultimately take a bit more convincing.   Like Chuck and Blair, Christian understands Lissa in a way that nobody else does, not even Rose.  To win her heart, he uses his intelligence and wit, as opposed to any sort of brute strength or macho bravado.  Christian’s and Lissa’s relationship has a fun, and undeniably sexy, push and pull, in its early stages, that I would love to see play out screen.  And who better to exemplify the “push and pull” of young love than Chuck Bass?

Mason Ashford

My pick: Douglas Smith

Why I think he’d make a great Mason:  As Rose’s best guy friend and fellow guardian, who just so happens to harbor a not-so-secret crush on Rose, Mason doesn’t play a particularly big part in the first book of the Vampire Academy series.  However, he DOES play a major role in Frostbite, its sequel.  In the books, Mason is described as being tall (Am I the only one noticing a pattern here?), and red-headed, with boyish good looks.  In casting Mason, it is important to find a guy who is likeable and fun enough, to function as a reasonable, if not exactly heart-stopping, alternative to Dimitri, to fulfill the role of Rose’s boyfriend.  Douglas Smith’s portrayal of Ben Henrickson in the HBO series Big Love is so genuine and inherently likeable, you almost want to reach through the screen and give him a hug.  Yeah, that’s our Mason!

Mia Rinaldi

My pick:  Ashley Benson

Why I think she’d make a great Mia: Every high school series needs a mean girl.  And, in the Vampire Academy series, those shoes are filled, at least initially, by Mia Rinaldi.  Rose’s and Lissa’s nemesis, Mia, is one year younger than they are.  She is described as being short (YAY!  FINALLY!  Short people represent . . . too bad it had to be the bitchy one . . .), with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a childlike cherubic face that belies her catty and manipulative nature.  And yet, there is also a vulnerability to Mia.  Behind that cold facade, Mia hides a few dark secrets, ones that make her actions, if not necessarily justifiable, at least understandable.

Best known for her role as Carson in the fourth installment of the Bring it On film series, and for her upcoming turn as Hanna in the new ABC Family teen drama, Pretty Little Liars, premiering this summer, Ashley has plenty of experience playing the girl you love to hate.  And yet, there is always a soft-side to her portrayals — one that allows the “love” part to dominate just a bit more than it would otherwise . . .

Natalie Dashkov

My pick: Tina Majorino

Why I think she would make a great Natalie: In Vampire Academy, Natalie is more or less described as a plain-jane.  Natalie is the quiet, sweet, and socially awkward friend of Rose’s and Lissa’s.  Unlike the others, she seems to care little about the politics of high school.  The actress who plays Natalie must be sweet and inherently likeable, but have sufficient acting chops to pull off a major dramatic turn toward the end of the first installment of the series.  Majorino’s recent portrayals of Heather in Big Love and Mack in Veronica Mars, have shown her to be precisely the right girl for the job.

Jesse Zeklos

My pick: Michael Trevino

Why I think he’d make a great Jesse:  In the novels, Jesse is described as being a tall, dark, and handsome, spoiled rich kid.  He is popular, D-baggy, manipulative, and rumored to have slept with multiple members of the cast.  Now if that doesn’t SCREAM Tyler Stratton from CW’s The Vampire Diaries, I don’t know WHAT does!

Eddie Castile

My pick: Chris Lowell

Why I think he’d make a great Eddie:  Admittedly, at the start of the series, Eddie is little more than Mason’s friend and sidekick, and, therefore, a sort-of adopted member of the novels’ “Scooby Gang.”  However, by the second and third installment of the series, Eddie comes into his own, as a loyal friend and strong protector of those around him.  In casting Eddie, the producers would need someone relatable, who has a sense of humor, and isn’t afraid of getting knocked around a bit (and bitten?).  Seeing as Chris Lowell’s character Dell on Private Practice recently died of a brain hemorrhage, I’m thinking the actor’s schedule is WIDE open . . .

Adrian Ivashkov

My pick: Jason Dohring

Why I think he’d make a great Adrian:  OK, this is sort of cheating, seeing as Adrian doesn’t appear AT ALL in the first book of the series.  However, the character plays such a major role in the subsequent books, I just couldn’t resist trying my hand at casting him.  The novel describes Adrian as tall and fair haired with penetrating eyes that see EVERYTHING.  He is more muscularly built than most vampires, but leaner than super-buff dhampirs, like Dimitri.  At first glance, 21-year old Adrian might appear to the casual reader as just another spoiled rich vampire — a hard drinking, heavy smoking, womanizing, cad, with too much money and time on his hands. 

However, as we get to know Adrian throughout the series, we see that he is much more than that.  He is smart and often scarily perceptive, instantly knowing things about Rose that she might not even understand about herself.  Adrian can also be surprisingly generous with his money, his time, and his soul.  He quickly develops a friendship with Lissa, and harbors an as-of-yet unrequited MAJOR soft-spot for Rose.  More so than Mason, Adrian could wind up being a major contender in the battle for our main protagonist’s heart.

So why Jason Dohring?   Basically, a few years back, I fell in LOVE with a character by the name of Logan Echolls!  On Veronica Mars, he too was a spoiled womanizing rich kid bad boy.  Or, at least, he started off that way.  That was before he fell in love with Veronica Mars, who like Rose, was a kickass, hardcore, take-no-prisoners, protagonist, who began the series, despising Logan. 

In my opinion, Veronica’s and Logan’s relationship remains one of the hottest and most compulsively watchable couplings in television.  Please forgive me for wanting to see my Logan again, even if it has to be with another leading lady . . .

So, there you have it, my Dream Cast for the Vampire Academy film and/or television series.  Now we just have to find someone willing to buy the media rights . . . Any takers?

17 Comments

Filed under Book, casting, Vampire Academy

Explosions! Car Crashes! Deaths! Kisses! And the Twist to End all Twists! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season Finale “Founder’s Day”

Prior to the airing of The Vampire Diaries first season finale, the show’s creator, Kevin Williamson, admittedly, set the bar pretty high for himself.  By all accounts, The Vampire Diaries had a freshman season most television shows only DREAM about . . . a cast that was both beautiful AND talented;

 a show concept that, in the age of Twilight  and True Blood, was pretty much guaranteed to be a ratings dynamo with the core 18-49 TV viewing demographic;

sharp and snappy writing, and brilliant plotting that was genuinely unpredictable, without a single “jump the shark moment.” 

Stay cool, Arthur Fonzarelli!  Your services will not be needed here this season!

After its midseason hiatus, The Vampire Diaries truly came into its own!  No more lame diary writing scenes and voiceovers, no more “Damon as crow” CGI-laced images. 

We all have to “eat a little crow” sometimes . . .

The show had become a lean-mean plotting machine, with each subsequent episode besting the one before it, both in terms of shock value and sheer greatness.

See?  Greatness!

As if there wasn’t enough pressure on Williamson to produce television gold this week, the show creator himself decided to up the stakes.  In a number of interviews he gave before the finale, Williamson promised a season-ending episode that would literally stop hearts!  E! Online and Entertainment Weekly both teased that the show’s finale, entitled “Founder’s Day,” would offer fans no less than EIGHT cliffhangers, a car accident, two major deaths, and a shocking first kiss . . .  

We can dream, can’t we?

To be honest, going into this finale, I was a bit worried for my good pal Kevin.   After all, he and I go WAY back to the early 00’s, during his Dawson’s Creek days.

Pacey and Joey, forever!

Oh, hush up, Dawson!

So I really, really didn’t want my old friend to fail.  And yet I feared that he would.  I mean, who could live up to ALL THAT HYPE?

Answer . . . this guy!

I am happy to report that, this finale did, in fact, deliver! (Did it EVER?)   It was truly everything all those spoiler blogs promised, and so much more! 

I did have one complaint though . . . There were no Shirtless Salvatores!   

Nor were there any open-shirted Salvatores!

Not even was there a Salvatore in wife-beater tank top!

 Not a single bit of skin to whet our appetites until next season.  Kevin, honey, I love you, but that’s just plain cruel!

Clearly, Dawson agrees!

Excess clothing aside, surprisingly, the finale still left me an extremely happy girl.  (And that’s saying a lot, especially considering how much I love my shirtless men!)  So, without further adieu, on with the recap!

“I’m Here to Eat Cotton Candy and Steal Your Girl”

Tonight’s finale started innocently enough.  It was the day of the Founder’s Day Parade, an event that probably looked a lot like your high school homecoming parade.  That is, if you were lucky enough to go to high school with super hot vampires, and if your school had a substantial wardrobe budget for historically accurate dresswear from the late 19th century.  (Come to think of it, it probably didn’t look like your school’s homecoming parade at all . . .) 

Our heroine Elena, with ringleted hair and a gown that made her look suspiciously similar to her (heretofore seen only in flashbacks) vampire doppelganger, Katherine, rode the high school’s premiere float, along with her escort, the no longer blood-crazed, Stefan, 

as well as the recently plotline-light couple, Matt and Caroline.

The CW is still paying us . . . We might as well make ourselves useful.

And then Damon magically appeared . . .

Sigh!

And boy was our newly out of the “Elena-closet” lover boy an emotional rollercoaster, this evening!   When we first see him, he is very much the cocksure badass we know from early Season 1.  When Stefan questions him about why he’s at this event, he remarks, in classic Damon fashion, “I’m here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl . . .”  (By the way, do vampires eat in Vampire Diaries’ world?  Because I’ve never actually seen it happen . . .)

Dear Damon,

BITE ME!

Signed,

Julie Cotton Candy

Unlike many television characters who find themselves on the outskirts of a love triangle, Damon is NOT a silent piner!  From the moment Isobel called Damon out on his love for Elena last week, he has made sure the world knows his feelings!  Starting with Stefan.  After having been surprisingly civil to one another these last few episodes, Damon and Stefan really went at it this week.  Snarky comments flew through their air like boomerangs in the Australian outback. 

 And yet, not a single punch was thrown!  In fact, Damon’s and Stefan’s encounters looked a bit more like “girly catfights” than, “macho man brawls.”  This made the interactions between them all the more adorable.

Catfight!  Ladies in your corners!

In other news, Damon confronts, Witchy (and Bitchy) Bonnie (who, thank goodness, is no longer sporting those awful bangs we’ve seen on her in past weeks) to “thank” her for curing Ancestor Gilbert’s “invention” of its Vampire Torture properties.  The scene is particularly interesting,  since we learned last week, that Bonnie only pretended to do this . . .

I bought you something, Bonnie . . .

“I can turn you, Jeremy.”

Poor Jeremy Gilbert.  It seems like this guy is an Angst Magnet.  Having recently re-learned about the tragic and bloody death of his erst-while girlfriend, Vicki Donovan . . .

Jeremy now has another dead body on his hands, his new vampire girlfriend Anna’s mother, Pearl. 

Having initially balked at the idea of turning Jeremy, Anna, now truly alone in the world, offers to turn Jeremy for real, going as far as to offer him a vial of her blood for safe keeping.  (Speaking of blood vials . . . remember when Angelina Jolie used to wear one of those around her neck?  And make out with her brother?  Good times!)

To a sincerely angry and depressed Jeremy, Anna extols the virtues of vampirism in a way that we heard echoed by nearly all of the vampires on this show.  “You can turn your feelings off, whenever you want.  It won’t hurt so much,” she explains.

And, I’m sorry, but I call BS right here.  Because, really, is there anyone on this show more emotional than the vampires?  First you have broody Stefan, who, though usually even-keel, gets  a single drop of human blood in his system, and quickly becomes a raving lunatic. 

Then there’s Damon, who alternates between making snarky comments, to breaking characters’ necks for no reason, to mooning over his sweetheart. 

 

(He looks hot doing all of the above, by the way.)

 And now, we have Anna, who has gone back and forth throughout the season between needing Jeremy and wanting to be left alone, wanting to turn him, and wanting to protect him from vampire kind. 

If THIS is vampires turning their feelings OFF, I’d hate to see them with them turned on . . .

Ummm . . . did I just say that?   Because I totally take it back!

“The Eye Thing”

Later, Elena stops by the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls and runs into Damon.  In a fabulous scene you may have seen posted on YouTube or, perhaps, on this blog, before this episode even aired, Elena confronts Damon about “Stefan’s concerns” regarding Damon’s “feelings” for her.  Initially, Damon plays it coy, as if to say, “I have no idea what on earth you are talking about.” 

However, Elena has his number, and calls him out on his “flirty comments” and  signature “eye thing,” (which I could watch on continuous loop for hours, by the way).

In fact, I think I WILL!

And yet, things start to get truly interesting, when Elena says these words to Damon, “Don’t make me regret being your friend.”

At this point Damon’s face falls noticeably.  Some might say, it’s merely because he has been explicitly tossed in the “friend zone.”  However, I think it is something more.  As callous as Damon might appear to the outside world, he truly loves Elena, and would much rather be her friend than nothing at all.  He nods imperceptibly, and probably for the only time this entire season, we watch Damon pine, just a little bit, as Elena walks away to talk to her brother. 

Elena tries to smooth things over with Jeremy, but he basically tells her to go to hell.  Damon hears this and promptly goes into full protective boyfriend mode, threatening Jeremy that he better be kind to his sister, “Or else.”

At which point, Stefan magically appears .  .  .

 .  . . and surprises us all, by openly admitting to Jeremy that, although Damon may have been the one to erase his memory, it was Stefan, and not Damon, who ultimately killed Vicki.

From a Whisper to a Scream . . .

It is not until the night of the Founders Day fireworks that the poo really hits the fan!  Here, we learn that the hidey hole vampires are back with a vengeance!  (And we thought they were gone!)  After all, thanks to the “Founders” these guys have been stuck underground since 1864, with nothing to do but be pissed off!  So, understandably, a lot of them have anger issues. 

To further complicate matters, Creepy Uncle John (who I guess we now have to refer to as “Father John,” since he seems to be Elena’s Daddy) . . .

I SO HATE THIS GUY!  (How the heck did Elena come out so NORMAL with Wackjob Bio Parents from Hell, John and Isobel?)

 . . . has decided to reenact that lovely old 1864 flashback, where the townspeople rounded up all the vampires and burned them to a crisp inside an abandoned building.  Except now, he has the “invention” to help him out.  He also, at first glance, has a traitorous vampire on the inside to help things along, Vampire Anna . . .

But all is not as it seems, because Vampire Anna is playing both sides.  She warns Damon of the respective plans of both the hidey hole vamps and Uncle John.  But before, Damon can rescue Stefan and “his girl,” Uncle John breaks out the crazy invention, and we finally get to see what it can do.  It’s a bit disappointing that the “invention” turns out to be nothing more than a dog whistle for vamps. 

 Turn it on and vampires crumble to the ground incapacitated, by what looks like nothing more than a super intense migraine.

As the invention “plays,” we watch as Anna, Damon, Stefan and the Hidey Hole vamps immediately fall to the ground.  This is not surprising.  What IS surprising is that the Mayor of the town is affected too, as is his son, Tyler . . .

 . . . who, while driving with Caroline and Matt, swerves upon hearing the sound, and gets into a massive car crash, leaving Caroline extremely wounded.  “But they aren’t vampires,” claims the Mayor’s wife / Tyler’s mother.

So what are they? If you’ve been reading online interviews about the show, it should be no secret that Tyler comes from a family of werewolves, a fact that will undoubtedly be explored in greater detail during Season 2 of this show. 

Who knew Ancestor Gilbert’s crazy invention extended to ALL supernatural creatures?  (How very True Blood of the show’s creators!)

All Hell Breaks Loose

In a scene eerily reminscent of those Civil War-era flashbacks from the Blood Brothers episode, Uncle John decks the town Sheriff, and proceeds to round up all the writhing headache-suffering supernatural creatures of Mystic Falls, tossing them into an abandoned building, which he promptly douses with gasoline.  Vampires Anna and Damon are inside, as is the Mayor of the Town.  Stefan, however, somehow manages to avoid the frey.  

If you recall, up until this point, Damon used to be on the Mystic Falls Vampire Killer Council.  Me thinks he won’t be invited back next year . . .

Elena sees Uncle / Father John entering the burning building, and tries to reason with him, explaining that she knows he is her father.

Don’t worry Elena, Father’s Day sucked for Luke Skywalker too . . .

Elena hopes that her admission will soften John’s heart . . . not so much.  The Evil Creepo Dude enters the building and STAKES ANNA . .

 . . . giving us our first major (and very sad) death of the episode.

The second death belongs to the Mayor, also killed on the scene, at the hands of Damon himself (having woken from his headache).  He does this, presumably in hopes that when this is all over, his true identity will not be exposed to the town.  (Did NOBODY else in Mystic Falls see the Extremely Hot Man writhing on the ground?  Unlikely . . . Sorry Damon!)

Outside the now-burning building, Elena, who has come to realize that her friend Bonnie is a total poopyhead, who lied about curing the vampire torture invention, confronts her fairweather friend.  The two duke it out a bit over the merits of dating and befriending vampires.   Then Bonnie starts mumbling some witchy hoo hah.  We worry she’s merely doing this to speed up the death process for the Grandma-killing blood suckers she hates so much.  However, she surprises everyone by stopping the burning, and allowing Damon to get free . . .

The Aftermath and the MAJOR OMFG Twist . . .

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Caroline remains in critical condition, and one of the eight cliffhangers of the episode is thereby revealed. 

Looks like you got a storyline, after all, Candice Acola . .  . but probably NOT the one you wanted, huh?

Another one follows shortly after.   A newly free Damon comes to see Jeremy, and admits to him that Anna is dead.  The two share a sweet and gut-wrenching moment, brilliantly acted by them both, in which they discuss, love, vampirism, and, of course . . . you guessed it . . . turning off one’s feelings.

  Surprisingly, Damon even goes as far as to apologize for how he treated (and ultimately turned Vicki).  Damon then offers to remove Jeremy’s memories again, but Little Gilbert declines.  The last time we see Jeremy, is staring forlornly at the mirror, drinking Anna’s blood and swallowing a mouthful of pills.  Will he die?  Will he turn into a vampire?  Or none of the above . . . It looks like we will have to wait until next season to find out . . .

With all of their friends rescued, Stefan finally has time to confront Elena about Damon’s purported feelings for her.   She assures him repeatedly how much she loves him.  And yet, me thinks thou doth protest to much . . .

Be afraid Stefan, be very afraid! – Love, Elena Cotton Candy (See what I did, there?)

Back at the Gilbert house, Damon is waiting outside Elena’s doorstep when “she” arrives home. 

In yet another heartfelt conversation  (And this episode had a TON!), a wistful Damon discusses the nature of his desire for redemption.  He feels fortunate that Stefan and Elena saw something in him, worth saving.  The two lean close to one another and . .  . wait for it . . . SHARE A HOT KISS!  At first it is small and chaste, on the cheek.  And then not so chaste, complete with hands around necks and fingers in hair.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good screencap of these two hotties . . . so look at this picture and imagine Isobel as Elena!  (Or YOU as Isobel . . . because that’s fun too!) 🙂

And at that moment the entire TVD watching population shares a big fat O, if you know what I mean . . .

In classic style, of course, that “O” is interrupted by none other than Useless Aunt Jenna, who forces “Elena” to come inside (and I don’t mean in a fun way, either) . 

Aunt Killjoy

(But note the “invitation,” because it’s going to become important, in just a few brief moments.)

As the two leave, Damon strokes his mouth, and you just know the memory of that kiss will take an eternity to erase.    And I would have been content for the episode to end right there .  . . but BOY was there more!  “Elena” heads to the kitchen and meets up with Evil Uncle / Father John, who tries in vain to explain his actions to his vampire loving daughter.  By way of a truce, he offers to cook a meal with her.  She complies . . . by grabbing the knife, and cutting off his hand containing the ring of immortality!  She then STABS HIM IN THE CHEST! 

And her then face gets all veiny and puffy eye baggy!  We know that look!  That’s not Elena at all!  It’s her doppelganger, Vampire Katherine! 

“I’m back bitches!  Thanks for inviting me in, Useless Aunt Jenna!”

Dun Dun Dun!

At the end of the episode a non-veiny and non-eye baggy Elena arrives home, calmly leaving a message for Stefan on her cell phone (I love you, blah, blah, blah).  She is completely unaware, of course, of the carnage into which she is about to walk. 

“Hey, Kev W!  What gives?  Why are you always picking on me?  Haven’t I been through enough?”

A potentially dead biological father?  A potentially dead or vampiric little brother?  An angry Aunt Jenna who thinks she’s a cheater?  A lovestruck Damon who thinks so too .  . .  but likes it?

Throughout this series, I’ve always totally envied Elena Gilbert’s life.  During this episode’s concluding moments, for the first time this season, I didn’t envy her  . . . AT ALL!

So, there you have it folks.  A brilliant end, to a brilliant first Season.  It’s truly been a wild and amazing ride recapping this fabulous show.  And I sincerely thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing it with me.  (Especially, Amy over at Imaginary Men, who shared my obsessive fangirl love through many a comment and email, and was still willing to speak to me, after our failed liveblog event.)

 And to show you all my thanks, I’d like to leave you with these lovely gifs, that may help ease the pain of a Salvatore Brother-less summer . . .

(The people over at Gif Soup are officially my NEW BEST FRIENDS!)

Until next season . . . (or until they start airing the reruns).  Bite ya later!  🙂

11 Comments

Filed under Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, The Vampire Diaries

Those darn kids! – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Ex-Husbands and Wives”

In tonight’s episode of Gossip Girl, our Upper East Side Scooby Gang banded together to “save” one of their own (Serena) from a common enemy.  Unfortunately, not everyone was playing for keeps.  Bet you can’t guess which member of our Scooby Crew was being a total b&tch?

When the episode begins, Serena is helping Blair pick out an outfit for her date with . .  . well according to IMDB, his name was “Cameron,” but I couldn’t have told you that, without cheating and looking it up.  If you recall, “Cameron” was the guy Blair almost kissed a couple of episodes ago at that Brooklyn party, to make Chuck jealous.  IMDB also told me that the actor who plays him is Ben Yanette.

He’s the one pictured above who isn’t Blair . . . the one wearing the Mr. Rogers sweater . . .

And while “Cameron” was cute in a sort of bland way, to the writers’ credit, they didn’t make any bones about the fact that this dull dude isn’t going to be around for the long haul.  (I mean, come on, he was on a first date with Blair Waldorf, and he talked about “rugby.”  Who does that?)   So, anyway, even though Serena is supposed to be helping Blair prepare for her date, in true van der Woodsen fashion, she finds a way to make this all about her.  “I found out that Rufus is cheating on my mom with our neighbor,” Serena whines.

Blair tries to be supportive of her friend.  However, she clearly has misgivings about Serena’s supposition.  “No way would another Upper East Sider schtup Rufus,” asserts Blair later, when talking to Nate and Dan.  (Way to go Blair, using the Yiddish!)  “What?  My stepdad’s Jewish!”  Blair explains, when Nate and Dan look at her, as if she just told them she enjoys shopping for clothes at Walmart.

“Schtup? Is that like a new fashion designer or something?  Think he has a men’s line?”

Back in Brooklyn, a grounded and very gothy looking, Jenny is chatting on the phone with Chuck.  The two are plotting to prove that the pills Dr. van der Woodsen is prescribing to Lily are not pills typically used to cure cancer.  Jenny, of course, had figured this out, last week, by doing a websearch using the search engine that is clearly the CW’s biggest sponsor.  After all, it appears at least once on literally EVERY CW show.

Bing . . .  the only search engine clinically proven to cure cancer.

So, Rufus catches Jenny chatting with Chuck and takes her phone away.  So, Jenny makes some lame excuse about not having her “stuff” with her, and sends Rufus traipsing to La Casa de van der Woodsen like the big wimp he is, to retrieve Jenny’s personal belongings.  When Rufus arrives, he runs into Serena, who tells him to leave, in no uncertain terms.  Conveniently, the ENTIRE van der Woodsen / Humphrey clan (and Nate – What was he doing there?) are here to witness this exchange.  When pressed as to why she is being such a total ass to Rufus, Serena explains that she believes him to be “schtupping” the neighbor, whose name is Holland (And if there was ever a name reserved JUST for rich and snobby people . . . that’s the one.)

But at least they have nice tulips . . .

So, Brilliant Rufus gets the fabulous idea to bring Holland down to the apartment to set things straight.

  . . . rhymes with Doofus.

So, of course, Holland . . .

 . . . repeats to virtually the entire cast of Gossip Girl (and special guest star, William Baldwin)  . . .

Was it just me, or did he look HOTTER during this episode, for some reason?

 . . . the same thing she told Serena last week, “I totally schtupped Rufus.”  (OK, she didn’t exactly say it like that.  But she should have.)

Most of the cast looks shocked by Slutty McNeighbor Holland’s admission. 

 But Serena and Dr. VDW seem to be having a particularly difficult time hiding the sh*t-eating grins from their faces.

Separately, bromantic buddies, Nate and Dan, and worst-prospective-couple EVER (hint, hint GG writers) Chuck and Jenny, decide to hunt down Holland . . .

Last time, I promise . . .

 . . . and expose her for the fraud they know she is.  Both groups also decide that they need an “expert” to do their dirty work for them.  Who is this expert, you’re wondering?

Duh!

(By the way, I’m not typically a girl who obsesses over television fashions, but Leighton Meester had the best wardrobe EVER for this episode.  There wasn’t one thing she wore that I wouldn’t purchase . . . if I could actually afford it . . . which I can’t.)

Jenny and Chuck approach Blair for help first, and she turns them down.  After all, she’s still pissed at Chuck for pimping her out to the EVIL Jack Bass, a few weeks back.  And Jenny . . . well, she just pretty much thinks Jenny sucks.  Fortunately, Nate and Dan fare a bit better in their quest, and Blair agrees to help them.  With the entire Scooby crew now fully in tact, the group head down to Holland’s office, because apparently she’s a psychiatrist of some sort.  (I could have sworn that the first time Rufus met Holland, she told him she was a house wife.  But maybe I’m wrong.) 

As it turns out, it was Holland who prescribed the pills for Lily.  And the pills were NOT for curing cancer, but for curing some other ailment entirely.  Apparently, Holland also had the pills repackaged into “cancer pill” bottles, so that Lily wouldn’t be suspicious.  Not that she would be, anyway.  I get the impression that, like Doofus, Lily-brain isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

“But at least I’m pretty!”

Why did Holland do this, you ask?  Well, apparently, she owed Dr. VDW a “favor” i.e. he had something on her, and blackmailed her ass.  I imagine she also wanted to ACTUALLY schtup Rufus, instead of just pretending to do it.  Although, publicly calling your crush out as an adulterer is not exactly the recipe for starting a healthy relationship . . .

Now, it was up to the Upper East Side Scooby Crew to expose Dr. VDW as the Big Fat (but kind of hot for a middle-aged dude) Liar that he was.  And, because it wouldn’t be Gossip Girl without a random fancy party, the group decides to make their move at some library charitable event thing.  The plan?  Corner Holland with the information they have against her and make her squeal like a pig. 

(BTW, there was a cute scene, where Chuck and Blair approach the shrink, under the guise of seeking relationship adivce, and REALLY tell her their actual problems with one another.  It didn’t further the plot along all that much, but it was nice to see these two working off one another, and being funny together again.)

What the Scooby Crew didn’t count on?  Little J going all Benedict Arnold on them . . .

Jenny’s sudden change of heart and rationale for suddenly WANTING VDW to succeed in his plan to singlehandedly drug her stepmom and RUIN her dad’s relationship, was a bit unclear.  Perhaps, Little J finally realized that her unfortunate wardrobe, untenable weave, and racoon-inspired makeup style . . .

Little J is having a bad day . . .

 . . . were never really going to cut it on the Upper East Side.   Anyway, Jenny hides the evidence against Dr. VDW, and warns him to take his family and ditch the party, before Holland can squeal on him.  Crafty Dr. VDW plans an impromptu trip to Bali on “medical emergency.”  However, before the van der Woodsens can get out of dodge, Scooby Gang comes to expose him.  Dr. VDW excuses himself, promising to return with evidence to prove his innocence, but instead, heads to the airport, leaving a very depressed Serena waiting for him alone in the lobby.

Now, I’ll never get to meet Alec or Stephen . . .

As if plotting against Serena’s “happy” family reunion, wasn’t enough, Good Ole Nate hammers the final nail into the coffin containing his relationship with Serena, by calling the cops on Dr. VDW.

Sorry, I just really wanted to use this picture again . . .

When Serena confronts Dr. VDW at the airport, he comes clean to her, explaining how he had actually treated Lily, back when she came to visit him, but fell in love with her again, in the process.  He did all this bad stuff, because he thought it would be the only way Lily would let him back into her life.  Dr. VDW then has the gall to ask Serena to come away with him.   And, I’m sorry, but it really sounds more like a sex proposition than anything else. 

(Sidenote:  Billy Baldwin really grew on me throughout his guest appearance.   He’s cute and a good actor.  And I definitely started to like him better than Snoozy Rufus.  And yet, I couldn’t help but feel like he was interpreting some of his lines in a “hit on Blake Lively” sort of way.)

Serena refuses to “escape” with him, telling him, “I don’t forgive you.” 

However, she does care about him enough to tell him to fly away, before the PoPo arrive.  And fly away he does.  Then Serena returns to her limo to find none other than Snoozy Dan waiting with a boring shoulder for her to cry on.  But is he there for moral support, or something more?

Good lord, not again!  You do realize you two are STILL related.  Don’t you?

At the end of the episode, Chuck and Blair share a sweet and quiet, albeit slightly contrived, scene that will undoubtedly lead us into next week’s finale, entitled Last Tango, then Paris . . .

Chuck tries to get Blair to admit that she “felt something” for him when the two were playing “couple” at the party.  Blair denies it.  So, he gives her an ultimatum.  “Meet me at the top of the Empire State Building, at 7:00 p.m.  If you are not there by 7:01, I will close my heart to you forever.”

“You can’t affair to remember me,” remarks Blair.

But Affair to Remember her, Chuck does.  And it was a sweet gesture.  Although, I am not exactly sure why Chuck specifically chose 7:00pm as the couple’s meeting time.  I actually never saw Affair to Remember (I’m a big disappointment to “Girl Kind,” I know).  But I’m wondering if that was the time they were supposed to meet in the movie?  If not, my best guess is that Chuck is big Jeopardy fan . . .

 . . . and if he’s about to get dumped, the last thing he wants to do is miss his favorite show, on account of it.

Although Blair initially seems immune to Chuck’s charms, Chair fans can’t help but notice that she looks longingly up at the Empire State Building, as snoozy “Cameron” talks about rugby, during the final moments of the episode.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot, Jenny ran away from home . . .  AGAIN.  This time, it looks like she’s staying at Chuck’s and Nate’s place, which is wrong on SO MANY LEVELS!

That’s all folks.  See ya next week, for the big Season Finale.  Can’t wait that long?  Head to Chuck and Blair the Perfect Pair for all your finale and spoiler needs.

XOXO

3 Comments

Filed under Gossip Girl

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Vanessa & Dan-itive (a.k.a. My Gossip Girl Season 4 Wish List)

 

Greetings fellow GG fans!  Can you believe there are only TWO more episodes left, before Season 3 draws to a close, and our favorite Upper East Siders ride off into the sunset (most likely to the Hamptons) for summer hiatus?  (The season finale episode, entitled Last Tango, Then Paris, is scheduled to air on May 17th on the CW.)

“OMFG, S!  That TV Recapper Girl is staring at us again!  Doesn’t she know we’re on vacation?” 

As the summer months will definitely be long, hot, and lonely, without my wealthy and stylish New York friends to party with on Monday nights, I thought it might be fun, just this once, in lieu of my usual weekly recap, to peer into my crystal ball into Gossip Girl‘s future, a.k.a Season 4.

Here’s the thing . . . I’ve been a fan of Gossip Girl pretty much since it started, which was back in 2007.   (Sheesh, I can’t believe it’s actually been that long!  I feel OLD!).  When you’ve been with a show for that long, you can’t help but become invested in its characters and storylines.  You also can’t help but form some REALLY STRONG opinions on which aspects of the show you think work, and which . . . well . . . don’t.  So, without further adieu, here is my Wish List of Ten Things I’d Like to See More (or Less) of during Season 4 of Gossip Girl .  . .

1) More C&B Moments!

This one is so obvious, it almost goes without saying.  But, of course, I am going to say it anyway.  As far as I am concerned, Chuck and Blair are, and have always been, the true heart and soul of Gossip Girl.  Every time Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick are on screen together, their explosive on-screen presences and undeniable sexual chemistry are so intense, that I sometimes fear that their collective “heat” will burn a hole in my television set.  Check out this SMOKING HOT fan video of the pair, if you don’t believe me!

Early on in Season 3, Chuck and Blair fell into that WAY TOO common trap suffered by many of television’s great super couples.  Here’s how it goes. . .  You have these two sexy characters that are TOTALLY hot for eachother.  But, for one reason or another, they can’t couple.  (Maybe one of them is dating someone else.  Maybe the two are pretending to hate one another.  Or maybe each member of the pair is simply too proud to admit their true romantic feelings, out of fear of hurt or rejection.)  In Chuck’s and Blair’s case, it was ALL OF THE ABOVE!

So, FINALLY the Season Finale comes.  And the writers give fans what they have been clamoring for since the first episode, a dramatic event that throws the two unrequited lovers together and FORCES them to admit their feelings for one another.  Fans rejoice!  Pause and rewind buttons are worn out on television sets, as “shippers” replay the sexy satisfying moment of coupling OVER AND OVER AGAIN!  DVDs of the Season are preordered en-mass, JUST so people can rewatch the finale.  Fangirl blog posts are written in ALL CAPS with lots of smiley face emoticons!

Then the following Season begins and the pair is now a COUPLE.  And the writers are stumped as to what to do with these fan favorites.  So, first, they give the new couple a lot of makeout and sex scenes to appease the fans.  Then they throw the pair into ridiculous situations, just so the two can fight with one another, and somehow be involved in the story.  But the “fights” seem lame and contrived, and the loyal fans don’t buy into them for one second.  These fans soon grow bored with the same people they once tuned in week after week to see.  Unfortunately, it happens all the time.  And it happened to Chuck and Blair.

But now that the two have broken up (but obviously still care for one another), the writers have an EXCELLENT opportunity to rebuild the angst and sexual tension Chuck and Blair once had.  There can ONCE AGAIN be longing looks, and ALMOST sex moments!  There can be sexy “I want to rip your clothes off, because you infuriate me so much,” bickering.  And there can be the inevitable jealousy that arises when one of the pair tries in vain to “move on.”

You have the power to REALLY make this work GG writers, so DON’T SCREW IT UP!  Don’t instantly throw Chuck and Blair into random and unfulfilling relationships with new characters we don’t care about, or old characters we don’t like that much (cough, Jenny, cough).  Curious as to how to fill Chuck’s and Blair’s time while they are single and, once again, longing for one another, writers?   #5 on this list, should help you out there . . .

2) DOWN WITH DAN AND VANESSA!

“Hey Vanessa, what are you watching?” 

“The Chuck and Blair parts of our show.”

“Cool, let’s do that for the remainder of our screen time.  Maybe it will make us more interesting .  . .”

People who read my recaps might get the idea that I HATE Dan and Vanessa.  I don’t (or at least, I didn’t).  You know when I liked Dan and Vanessa?  Back during Season 1, when they were the poor kids, thrown in with a bunch of rich kids they didn’t like and felt morally superior to.  Because Dan and Vanessa were different than the rest of the GG crew.  They were snarky, and not as well-dressed, and a bit less attractive (Sorry guys!).  So when they made fun of Serena, Nate, Chuck and Blair, you laughed with them, and related to them.  Then the writers got the “great” idea to incorporate Dan and Vanessa into the gang.  They even made Dan RICH! 

“Yo, Jeeves!  I called you TWO WHOLE minutes ago!  Where the F is my limo?  I’d rather DIE than ride the subway!”

What’s worse?  They took these two GREAT sidekicks,  and not only put them center stage, but put them center stage TOGETHER!  Why?  Vanessa and Dan are practically the SAME PERSON!  They are both artsy fartsy, self-righteous, outsiders, who prefer talking about art and literature to partying and having sex.  How can such people even exist on a show like Gossip Girl AT ALL?  Let alone take up 15 minutes of screentime each week .  . .

The TV version of a sleeping pill . . .

Now, I’m not saying to get rid of Dan and Vanessa ALTOGETHER (Although, seeing as the writers just shipped Vanessa off to Haiti, they may, ultimately, have decided to do just that).  I’m simply saying keep them as snarky sidekicks.  Let them give sage advice to our less “level-headed characters.”  Let them provide a grounded sense of realism to the show (as long as such grounded realism lasts under 7 minutes . . .).  Gossip Girl is supposed to be about ostentation, fashion, gorgeous people, bad immoral behavior and teenage angst.  Mature cast members need not apply.  Which leads me to #3 on this list . . .

3) Ix-Nay on the Parental Units’ Storylines, Por Favor!

OK, this one is probably going to sound a little ageist.  But just as I am not cool with Dan and Vanessa eating up twenty minutes of perfectly good GG screentime, nor am I copacetic with that same screentime being devoured by:  Lily van der Woodsen, Dr. van der Woodsen, Rufus Humphrey (and/or that slutty neighbor chick who wants in his pants), Eleanor Waldorf, and Cyrus Rose.  I would, however, make an exception for the Dead Bart Bass . . .

This guy is just too cool!

Look, I’ll be the first to admit it.  There are PLENTY of great shows out there that revolve around the “Over 40” set.  Like, for example, Desperate Housewives or The Golden Girls.

Gossip Girl just ISN’T one of those shows . . .  It’s on the CW, for crying out loud – The NETWORK for late teen, and early twenty-something angst!  Now, I know these teens DO have parents.  And I am not expecting the show to convert said parents into off-screen incoherent buzzing sounds, a la Charlie Brown. . .

 . . . nor should they be just a pair of “feet,” like The Nanny in The Muppet Babies.

All I’m saying, is I don’t need to be informed EVERY time Lily is propositioned by one of her many, many, MANY aging bachelors.  And I don’t need to see that furrowed brow look that Rufus gets every time he feels “insecure.”  Enough is enough!

4) Fire Little J’s Stylist!

(Self explanatory)

5) Bring Back Scheming Blair and Self-Destructive Chuck!

Earlier in this post, I suggested that the writers keep Chuck and Blair single and hot for eachother during most of Season 4.  I also suggested that I would provide the writers with guidance, as to how to keep the characters’ busy during those long uncoupled months.  Here it is!  Gossip Girl was never about “good behavior.”  We love our characters best when they are being naughty!  So, enough of all of this maturity!  Let Chuck get self-destructive, drunk, and slutty with random girls.  Let Blair scheme and connive to get what she wants and to get revenge against those who double cross her.  Better yet, let these two awesomely adorable baddies self-destructively scheme and connive TOGETHER, like they did during Season 1!

6) Get thee to Columbia, GO!

When a high school show transitions into a college show, it is typically a make or break time for the series.  Lesser shows have failed in making the transition, but Gossip Girl did a fairly good job of it.  The writers managed to keep all of the characters in NYC and, therefore, relevant to the series, while not falling into the “they should all go to the same college” trap, into which other shows have fallen.  For example, it makes total sense, that the non-academically inclined Chuck, and the under achieving, Slutty Serena would not attend school at all, while the born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth Nate would be able to use his lineage to get into an Ivy League school.  However, I can’t say I’ve been all that pleased with the show’s portrayal of NYU.

Having taken summer classes at NYU, I am happy to report that it’s a fine establishment, no where near the lame artsy fartsy place it’s portrayed as on the show.  Now that BOTH Nate and Blair are attending Columbia on the Upper West side, the writers have a BRILLIANT opportunity to portray a second college in a more realistic way than they portrayed the first.  The change of scenery might be nice too . . .

7) “New York . .  .  it’s streets will make you feel brand new.  It’s lights will inspire you.”  USE IT!

As someone who works in NYC, I generally love Gossip Girl’s glamorous and CLEAN portrayal of my city.  However, they keep showing us the SAME TWO BLOCKS!  NYC is a vast playground, in which our favorite characters can thrive and play.  Take advantage, writers!  Wouldn’t you LOVE, for example, to see Blair muck it up in the not always so classy, Times Square?  Or watch Serena get laid in the Bronx?  Because I WOULD!

8 ) Put the “F” back in OMFG!

I absolutely ADORED the “OMFG” Gossip Girl campaign that jump started Season 2 of the show.  After all, how could you possibly top posters like these?

Except, lately, I feel like the show has gotten a bit .  . . how do I say this . . . TAME!  So, here’s a tip for the writers: in Season 4, try to include at least one OMFG (slutty) moment per every 20 minutes of Gossip Girl.    You get extra bonus points if the slutty scene in question involves Chuck and / or Blair.

9) Little Eric . . . BIG Backstory!

In last week’s GG installment, “It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World,” the chronically underwritten Eric van der Woodsen really got a chance to shine.  And fans FINALLY got to see Connor Paolo flex his acting chops.  The episode also gently reminded us that ERIC TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE back in Season 1!  Why did he do this?  What made him so depressed?  I would really love to see this storyline explored (possibly through flashbacks) during Season 4.  And I think Mr. Paolo is up for the challenge . . .

10) If Nate only had a brain (and a decent storyline) . . .

It’s no secret that Chace Crawford is easy on the eyes.  But I THINK he can actually ACT too.  Although, you wouldn’t really know this from watching Gossip Girl, of late.  In recent episodes, it seems as though Nate’s only function is be the sex toy for whatever lady happens to desire his “services” at the moment.  If GG was a porno (and sometimes I wonder if it is), Nate would be the Pizza Delivery Guy.

Earlier in this post, I saved you writers A LOT of screentime by nixing storylines for Dan, Vanessa, and the Upper East Side Parental Units (except for, of course, Awesomely Dead Bart Bass).  Let’s fill some of that screentime with a meaty Nate storyline — perhaps, one that doesn’t involve him taking his clothes off at the the first opportunity . . .

There you have it GG fans, my Wish List for Season 4 of Gossip Girl.  Oh, and if, by chance, you happen to be experiencing GG-related withdrawal symptoms this summer, I recently came across an EXCELLENT Gossip Girl blog site, that will be sure to satisfy all of your OMFG needs.  Here’s the link:

http://chuckandblairtheperfectpair.wordpress.com/

The writers of the site are VERY nice, and will be happy to assist you. (Just don’t mention the whole “Chenny” thing to them.  You might make them angry . . .  ;))

XOXO

6 Comments

Filed under Gossip Girl

When The Vampire Diaries’ Meets Lost . . . : A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Blood Brothers”

Fans of both Lost and The Vampire Diaries likely found a lot of similarities between this week’s TVD installment and that other show trickling across the airwaves right now.  And I’m not just talking about how both shows feature Ian Somerhalder playing a ” hot dead guy” . . .

Like that “other show,” “Blood Brothers” split its time between the present day and a flashback this week, in order to: (1) further develop the characters featured in the flashback; (2) explain these characters’ actions and motivations; and (3) provide viewers with additional insight into the show’s “mysteries.”  In addition to being profoundly Lost-ian . . .

 . . . this week’s episode, also featured: some truly sexy moments (way to go Jeremy and Anna!), some shockingly disturbing moments (Stefan ate his dad?), a vampiric re-death (R.I.P. Vampire Pearl), a vampiric rebirth (Hi, Isobel!), and, if you were really looking hard for it (like I was), some yummy grist for the Damon and Elena shipper mill . . .

Sigh . . .

Let’s bite into the episode, shall we?

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Eat Daddy .  . .

When we last left our pal Stefan, he was acting like a total human bloodaholic, and, in Damon’s words, “going around chewing on people.”

Before you chew on me, Stefan, may I interest you in a nice stick of gum, instead?

Same gushy center, less mess . . .

And so, with the help of Damon and Elena (It has such a nice ring to it, don’t you think?), Stefan met up with the business end of a vervain-filled syringe, and ended up locked up in a sort of jail cell, conveniently located right inside the Salvatores’ La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  (You know, if I ever make it big enough to buy myself a mansion, I am TOTALLY putting some sort of cage in it . . . )

Because CAGES are SUPER KINKY!

Anyway, being “locked up” and all, Stefan suddenly has a lot of time to think.  So, he flashes back to the time in his life when he and Damon first became vampires.  This is great news for us fans, because we FINALLY get to learn how it all went down . . .

When we last left Flashback World, the Mystic Falls townspeople were in the process of forcibly gathering up all of the town’s vampires, in order to stuff them in a church and burn them to smithereens.  The mob is being led by none other than Damon’s and Stefan’s father, who uses the information he learned from Stefan, himself, to get to Katherine.  This is a very RUDE thing of Daddy Salvatore to do, putting a muzzle on a woman with whom you used to play croquet . . .

“But, Mr. Salvatore, I let you WIN!”

When Katherine is captured, Damon and Stefan band together to come to her rescue.  While they are attempting to untie and unmuzzle her, two gun shots are fired in rapid succession off-screen, one landing in each of the Salvatore brothers’ chests.  As the brothers’ lie on the ground, bloody and unconscious, Katherine is dragged away by the angry townspeople.

A few days later, Stefan and Damon wake up in a secluded area.  There, they are promptly informed by Witch Emily . . .

 . . . who just so happens to be the ancestor of Witch Bonnie . . .

 . . . that because both brothers drank Katherine’s blood (Damon, by choice, and Stefan, by compulsion) prior to being killed, they are now in transition toward becoming vampires.  The catch?  In order to fully transform into vampires, they need to drink . . .

 . . . ASAP, or they will DIE (for good, this time).

Initially, both Stefan and Damon agree that, without Katherine, there is no reason for eternal life. So, they must allow themselves to die, rather than complete the transition.  However, on a whim, Stefan decides to go to his father’s house to wish him goodbye.  Once there, his father informs Stefan that HE WAS THE ONE WHO SHOT THEM!!!!!  This bastard shot his own sons, because he didn’t like the girl they were dating?  Overreact much? 

 To make matters worse, Daddy Salvatore seems intent to finish the job.  He rushes at Stefan, clutching a large stake-like poker in his hands.  But Stefan, who has already gained some of his legendary vampire strength from those legendary (and hot) vampire arms of his . . .

 . . . stabs his DAD with the poker instead.  And while Stefan’s Daddy is moaning, groaning, and basically dying in front of him, Stefan begins to EAT HIM (well . . . drink his blood, at least).  The scene is NASTY!  I mean, sure, Daddy Salvatore was a TOTAL PRICK, no question.  But drinking the guy who gave you life, is kind of like drinking yourself .  . .

Stefan returns to Damon, all crazy-eyed and red-haired (not sure when present day Stefan found time in his busy “chewing on people” schedule to get a dye job, but, apparently, he did).  Trailing behind Stefan is a teenage girl, clearly under compulsion.  Stefan tells Damon that they were wrong.  That there is no need to die, not when drinking blood can “take away the pain” of life and “open up whole new worlds” for the Salvatore brothers.  Initially, Damon seems repulsed by his younger brother’s behavior, and hesitant to make the transition.  But, ultimately, his vampire urges take hold of him, and he sucks on (and very likely kills) the teenage girl.

After Damon returns from his “snack,” he angrily vows to make Stefan’s life hell on earth for all eternity.  And, in hindsight, we know that, for a good portion of his undeath, Damon did just that . . .

You just KNEW I’d find SOME WAY to use this picture again, in my recap, didn’t you?

They’re Bringing Sexy Back (from the dead . . .)

So, I’ve got good news and bad news.  Which news do you want first?  The good news?  OK.  Jeremy and Anna?  They are a SUPER HOT COUPLE!  And if their sort-of sex scene and post-coital cuddle wasn’t all of two-seconds long, I would have TOTALLY shown you a Shirtless Jeremy pic from it.  The actor who plays him (Steven R. McQueen) is, after all, 21-years old . . .

In addition to being HOT, Jeremy and Anna were also really sweet together.  Between Anna’s willingness to stand up to her mother, and revisit the slings and arrows of high school, just to spend time with Jeremy; and Jeremy’s sleepy whisper of “Oh, that feels so good,” when Anna lovingly rubbed his face, as the two laid in bed together, I instantly became a Team Jeranna fan! 

So, here’s the bad news:  near the end of the episode, Anna’s mom, Vampire Pearl . . .

 . . . was bludgeoned by a crossbow, shot at her from long range, and instantly killed!  Who killed her, you ask?  Presumably, this CREEPO . . .

 . . . Uncle John (I HATE THIS GUY!), who realized he no longer had any use for Pearl, upon learning that she had given his ancestor’s Magic Vampire Killer Thingy (that nobody knows how to use yet) to Damon.  Just one question:  What happened to Hottie Vampire Harper?

Vampire Pearl’s loyal associate was standing right next to Vampire Anna when she was bludgeoned, but has not been seen or heard from since . . .

Damon and Alaric – The Bromance Continues . . .

This week, Alaric calls his new buddy Damon (LOVE these two together!) to check out a lead he had on the possible whereabouts of his previously-thought-to-be-dead-but-actually-a-vampire wife, Isobel.  Damon immediately agrees to come along.  And although I know that Damon was the one responsible for turning Isobel, my Damon and Elena shipper sense tells me, that Damon went on this “little journey” with the secret hope of helping Elena to find her long lost biological mother.  After all, Alaric’s “ex” and Elena’s “mom” are one in the same person.

“Damon Salvatore is currently out kicking some Serious Vampire Ass for the woman he secretly loves . . . Leave a message.”

When Damon and Alaric arrive at the house initially thought to contain Isobel . . .

 . . . she’s not there.  However, some random Hidey Hole Vamp is!  (And WE thought they were GONE FOR GOOD!)  Upon learning that Random Vampire Henry is somehow connected to Creepy Uncle John, Alaric and Damon KILL HIS BLOODY BUTT for good!  Congratulations to Vampire Henry for winning the Senseless Death Award for the week!  Here’s your trophy . . .

 Teacher (as Damon lovingly calls Alaric) is getting surprisingly good at murdering folks, now, isn’t he?  Once the deed is done, the two engage in a heartwarming personal conversation about the struggles of pining over the “one who got away.”  “Two years pining over the woman who left you, is remarkably healthy, I think,” remarks Damon, self-deprecatingly, having mooned over Vampire Katherine for way over a century now.

Although the two pals end their little road trip empty handed, in the last scene of the episode, Isobel comes out of hiding and confronts Alaric at the local bar.  Seeing as how next week’s episode is entitled “Isobel,” I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of this chick . . .

The Will to Live (and to wear sexy white tees that show of your KILLER arms) . . .

When Stefan wasn’t flashing back to his past, he spent most of the episode, brooding, refusing to drink blood, and flexing those drool-worthy pectoral muscles of his.  Elena, who has been basically living at La Casa de Rich and Awesome with both Salvatores for a few days now  . . . (Threesome anyone?) . . . continually tries to get through to Stefan, and break him out of his funk.  At one point, she even goes as far as to enter the “lion’s den” with the hungry vampire, putting her life at risk.  But Stefan, feeling incredibly guilty for his recent behavior, and for the part he played in making Damon become a vampire, wants to die, as he feels he should have done all those years ago.  During the episode’s climax, Stefan escapes his cage, leaving his “I can be in sunlight without rotting” ring on the floor by his prison cot.  His plan, of course, is to meet the sun and die at dawn.

“I put up with your crap for 20 episodes, and all I get for it is this UGLY ASS RING?   You could have at least got me something from Tiffany’s . . .”

Having recently heard Stefan’s flashback tale of woe from Damon (BTW E and D have been sharing adorably snarky barbs and smirks with one another ALL NIGHT . . . just saying), Elena instantly knows she can find Stefan at the very spot where he got Damon to eat that teen way back when.  Elena explains to Stefan that she too is no stranger to guilt.   After all, she was the reason her parents were out driving on the night they were both killed in the car accident.  Elena explains to Stefan that she knows he is “good,” and that, together, they can beat his human blood addiction.  Ultimately, Stefan puts back on that UGLY ASS RING, and the two kiss and make up.

With Stefan back to being the “good brother” and Damon’s alone time with Elena over, it is now Damon’s turn to brood.  In the last scene featuring the sexy Salvatore brothers, Damon admits that the REAL reason he hates Stefan is because Katherine chose to “turn” Stefan too.  And now, it seems, once again, that the two brothers are in love with the same girl . . .

Love sucks . . . and so do these guys .  . . literally.

 Can’t wait to sink your teeth into “Isobel?”  Non-spoilerphobes can click the video below to watch stills from next week’s episode, in which Slutty Bad Ass Vampire Isobel seems to be wreaking havoc on Mystic Falls.  The pictures feature, among other things, quite a few photos of Damon Salvatore adorably open-shirted.  So, put your fingers on those “print screen” buttons, ladies . . . 

 

8 Comments

Filed under The Vampire Diaries