Wednesday, July 23, 2014

75 Years of Batman

Happy Batman Day!! Today marks 75 years of the Dark Knight. The Caped Crusader. Comic and book stores nationwide are hosting special events, parties, games, and giveaways for this momentous occasion. Some celebrations are even lasting through the weekend. As they should:

 Even Batman's fortune cookie fortune is heroic

"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now...Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight."

I don't know a hero more deserving of his own day. So many styles have shaped his suits and many fortunate actors have donned the mask and cape that are synonymous with justice. I've had a great day and I hope you have too. Did you do anything to celebrate? 

Now, "riddle me this, riddle me that. Who's afraid of the big, black bat?" ;-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

True Blood Episode 7.5: It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To

This week on True Blood, Sookie finally mourned the loss of Alcide...sort of. It all goes back to the fact that Sookie never loved Alcide as much as he loved her, that it's difficult to empathize with Sookie's stifled emotion.

After sleeping for a day, Sookie wakes up to Jackson Hevereaux at the Stackhouse home helping gather up Alcide's belongings. Lafayette and James are throwing a party to celebrate life and Sookie reluctantly agrees to host. The party basically goes off without a hitch and has high points like Andy and Jessica reconciling, Andy's proposal to Holly, and powerful toasts honoring the memory of Alcide and Tara. However, the party has its share, to be expected, of shenanigans arise. Jessica finds James and LaFayette getting their doggie style on in the car James and Jessica bought together; Jason rescinds James' invitation to the Stackhouse residence. LaFayette lets Jessica know that while the situation is messed up, she needs to love James or let him go so that he can have happiness of his own. In a moment of vulnerability Jessica has sex with Jason. If Violet wasn't crazy before, hearing Jason and Jessica having sex is bound to make her go batsh*t. That scorn looks like it will be making its way to Adilyn, and Jessica and Violet will be going toe to toe.

Lettie Mae stabs Willa in the dining room in a continued effort to contact Tara through the power of vampire blood. (A storyline, might I add, that is quite tiring.) Nicole isn't used to the Bon Temps lifestyle and loses it. Crazy crap has been happening in Bon Temps for years and her mind is blown while everyone else continues partying. I have a feeling the prospect of possibly bringing a were-baby into this world is going to start to weigh on her. Sam better watch out.

On the other side of the border Eric and Pam are on the hunt for Sarah Newlin who is on the hunt for Laura Bush. "I'm not a monster. I'm a Buddhist," Sarah tells her mother at a Republican party. Unfortunately, Sarah is also a target on the Yakuza hitlist. The Yakuza bust in on the party killing all attendees, including Sarah's parents. Eric gets his bloody revenge on the Yakuza assassin who killed one of his many loves and momentarily gets his hands on Sarah.

In a startling turn of events, after numerous flashbacks to Bill's former life with his family, it appears that Bill, too, has Hep-V. I can't help but wonder if the power of fairy blood would help cure vampires of Hep-V. However, that would open up another can of worms as those with fairy blood would become delicious targets of vampires across the nation.

There are only 5 episodes left before True Blood meets its true end. At this rate, I just expect more main character deaths and only a couple happy endings. As for heroine-ish character Sookie, I've got my money on her ending up solo, but content.

What did you think of tonight's episode of True Blood? How do you think these last 5 episodes will play out?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Teen Wolf: Full Moon Rising

Photo credit:
If you haven't been watching Teen Wolf on MTV then you're missing out on life and need to watch it...right now. At least that's what my brother told me last fall before we binged on seasons 1-3A on Thanksgiving weekend. Food coma? Forget 'bout it. I was too engrossed in this fun, refreshing, supernatural show to sleep. Season 1 took a little while to gel for me. As you can expect, a shy high school lacrosse player getting turned into a werewolf while trying to juggle a part-time job, a budding teen romance, and full moon shifts is definitely awkward. However, the seasons progressed seamlessly with strong character development, structured storylines, and action. Although the writers were attempting to introduce a diverse pack scenario, fitting the past characters together felt a little like trying to fit triangles into round peg holes. Derek brooded under his eyebrows, the twins were never fully trusting or trusted, Allison had a reoccurring identity crisis, and not a day passed when Scott wasn't Alpha-shouting "ISAAC!!"
Fast forward to season 4 and I am in LOVE with this colorful, fearsome, gender balanced pack! 
  1. Scott is coming into his own as Alpha pack master with a roar that shakes the earth.
  2. Stiles is the witty brains of the operation.
  3. Lydia is an intelligent, feisty Banshee.
  4. Derek broods with a little less brow.
  5. Kira is a spunky, Katana wielding Kitsune.
  6. Malia is a sassy, but slightly socially awkward, were-coyote with a quick tongue, much like her V-neck loving werewolf father Peter.
Season 4 started off with an action packed trip to Mexico and glowing nunchucks! Teen Wolf is currently exploring mysterious pasts while introducing new, creepy villains. I'm on the edge of my seat Monday nights and I can't wait to see what happens next. It is literally only the call of the wolf that gives me the energy to stay up past 10 pm. :-)

Monday, July 7, 2014

True Blood 7.3 "Fire in the Hole" Vent Post

SPOILERS: If you have not yet seen True Blood episode 7.3, turn away now, but return after watching so we can chat about the details in the comment section below...

There have been a lot of weak storylines in the past three episodes that just feel like fillers, such as the return of Sarah Newlin. At this point in the series finale season, fillers are just unnecessary and are contributing to the rushed feeling of storylines and character development. A sick Eric was once again rude to Pam, while in full out emo mode, and viewers were suddenly supposed to feel some type of emotion over the loss of his past shag buddy, Sylvie. It was really just a way to introduce a new villain-ish entity.

After shooting Jessica in the shoulder during a stand-off in the road, Maxine Fortenberry has her heart ripped out by Violet. All the other filthy humans fled like roaches, but would unfortunately return at the end of the episode for what would send me into table flipping mode. 

Apparently True Blood's final season promo "Goodbyes Suck" was actually a foreshadow for the sucky ways in which major characters, we have grown with for years, would meet their final deaths. The season premiere, 7.1, brought the death of Tara, off screen, leaving nothing but a bloody pool of her remains. Those close to her didn't really mourn her true death, and the reason seemed to be because she had already "died" once before.

Tonight saw the death of fan favorite, Alcide, which viewers paying attention could probably see coming from the start of the episode through a series of events that played out like this:
  1. Sookie leaves Alcide behind at the house without a word of her plan to go with Bill and get taken by Zompires to the other hostages.
  2. Alcide goes to Compton Manor in search of Sookie and then follows her trail.
  3. While sitting in the woods as bait, Sookie proceeds to tell her "gal pal" Bill that she does not love Alcide as much as she knows he loves her and she could live with him loving her less. You know, in order to eliminate some of her guilt.
  4. Alcide and Sam come to both Sookie and Bill's rescue as Alcide ganks a Zompire.
  5. Alcide immediately shows concern for Sookie's well-being, instructing her not to open her eyes or mouth to Zompire blood without first bathing in the pond.
  6. While naked in his human form, Alcide is shot in the head and heart by the filthy humans hiding in the bushes.
  7. Sookie doesn't cry over Alcide's body half as hard as she did when Bill came to her rescue against Rene and got fourth degree vampire sunburn. 
  8. All in all, in an effort to save Sookie from another one of her misguided attempts to "keep anyone else from dying" Alcide pays the price and gets killed.
Now, due to past seasons' lackluster writing, Alcide and I haven't always seen eye to eye. However, it's apparent that, just as Sookie said, he is a good, grounded man. A whole lot better than the other men she has let into her heart and bed because, let's be honest, Eric was only going to look out for himself, Bill used Sookie for everything but her fine china, and Ben tried to kill her. I don't know what to say about the direction these writers have been going. If anything, this final season was the time to truly utilize Charlene Harris source material to tie up loose ends and significant storylines. Think X-Men: Days of Future Past. Sometimes fans will overlook plot-holes if it means giving them the ending that will make them happy, rights wrongs, and shows respect to the characters and series that started off extremely strong. I can't say I'm excited about these next few episodes, especially considering that it feels as though more characters will die, but after seven years, I am interested in seeing how the show will end.

Fellow fans, what was your reaction to the loss of Alcide (Joe Manganiello) on True Blood? What did you think of this episode? How do you think the show will end?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Drop Dead Diva: The Final Farewell

After a final season that felt rushed, convoluted, and, at times, over the top, the series finale of Drop Dead Diva left a lot to be desired.
I can still hear viewers’ disapproval and disappointment over the left-field storyline of Stacy (Jane’s best friend and roommate) and Owen (Jane’s former fiancĂ©) procreating and eventually getting engaged. The relationship felt forced, unrealistic (considering the serious circumnstances), and a stab in the back to fans who saw Stacy treat Fred like crap but still get a happy ending. Kim’s happy ending romance felt awkwardly shoved down our throats in about a 15 minute span of time. This season also saw too little of Teri, and her series finale return centered around a botched Star Search audition storyline. The explanation was like pulling teeth to get out and didn’t utilize the pizzazz and wittiness of Teri at all.
For a shining moment within the season, fans got to see Grayson and Jane embark on what looked to be their destined, happily ever after. However, a cheap shot to the gut from writers would send Grayson to his deathbed, and his soul into a new actor fans had to quickly adjust to; many never made it that far. Some fans were downright irate. I don’t know about you, but after five and a half seasons of heart flutters between Jane and Grayson, to expect instant chemistry between Jane and Ian to close out the final few episodes was asking a lot. Owen was especially upset over Jane's rebound to Ian and voiced his concerns several times. It felt more like a scorned lover fuming rather than a friend looking out for a friend, considering Jane and Owen hadn't really been friends since their tense break-up and his choice to impregnate Stacy. He spent the majority of the series finale acting like a huge d-bag taking out his angry feelings on Jane's client. It was despicable. At that point, the writers had to expect that  no one would really possess any positive emotions when he became a father. Further, there were no details about the twins; just a more than usual loopy Stacy.

During the rush of the finale and the final season in general, I was left with a lot of questions that were never answered:

1. Why wasn’t the series finale two hours? Not all shows need it, but I believe it would have helped alleviate some of rushed feeling.
2. What happened to Britney (the real Jane Bingum)? I loved her character and the last we saw, her heart was broken and she angrily called Jane out for failing to tell her about her mother's death before rushing off.

3. Let's be honest. I'm pretty sure fans' top favorite characters were Jane and Fred. So what became of Fred helping send Grayson back to earth in another body? Was he punished? Forced to start guardian angel training all over again? I would have appreciated Fred having a happy ending (and a cameo in the series finale).

4. Why didn’t Ian (the new Grayson) have his own personal guardian angel? That part just felt off as though the guardian angel unemployment rate was too high. Britney had a guardian angel, but viewers had to deal with Paul doing double duty for Jane and Grayson when he's barely been a good guardian angel to Jane. While I realize she was quite self sufficient, the transition from Fred to Luke to Paul was a continuous downward spiral.

5. Why did this show avoid following through with wedding ceremonies like the plague? Viewers never got a wedding but we saw plenty of wedding dresses.

Now that Drop Dead Diva has come to an end, I hope to see more of Brooke Elliott. Her personality, voice and smile are amazing and she shines on the screen. Since she left the firm I wouldn't mind seeing a spin-off show still starring her, but focusing on her own firm and fabulous adventures.  

What did you think of the Drop Dead Diva series finale? What would you have like to see happen differently? 


Sunday, June 22, 2014

True Blood 7.1 "Jesus Gonna Be Here" (SPOILERS)

This recap containers *spoilers*. Stop here if you have yet to see True Blood 7.1!

True Blood's final season premiere didn't waste any time picking up right where it left off in the season six finale, with great intensity, and putting the axe to major and minor characters alike. The final minutes of episode 6.10, "Radioactive" fast forwarded the characters and audience six months ahead where Sookie and Alcide are lovers living in Gran's house (something tells me Gran would "tsk" about that), Sam is the new mayor with a pregnant girlfriend, and Hepatitus-V is spreading, turning big bad vamps into zombie-like creatures. On orders of Mayor Sam, every human has a vampire bodyguard. As season seven opens at a vamp-human mixer, Hep-V 'Zompires' attack and kill Tara, deputy Kevin Ellis, and many other Bon Temps citizens. Holly, Arlene, and Sam's pregnant girlfriend Nicole are kidnapped and held under Fangtasia in-line to become 'Zompire' meals. Despite being able to turn into literally any animal (many with heightened sense of smell), Sam decides to turn into his usual Border Collie during Nicole's kidnapping. It took everything inside of me to not flip a table...again.

Let's just take a minute to address Tara's death, shall we? Tara (Rutina Wesley), who has been a shining star on this show (I don't care what anyone else says), was on screen for about two minutes attempting to get her mother to shelter before taking on a jacked up 'Zompire.' The last moments you see of Tara are her stomping a mud-hole in said 'Zompire' with her snazzy kicks. A few minutes later, however, Lettie Mae laments the death of her daughter while sitting in a pool of blood with blood covered clothes.

Everyone in Bon Temps seems to blame Sookie for the 'Zompire' attack. Even during the fallout of the attack, Alcide resents her past choice for loving vampires, as if that love conceived Hepatitus-V. Sookie mopes about a bit, walking home alone in the woods, ignoring Alcide's calls, and I was ready for the next scene.

In another part of the world the radiant Pam plays a game of Russian Roulette with another vampire and boasts about her impending threesome with the devil. That Pam. So colorful. It turns out that Pam is on the hunt for her Maker in South Africa. It should be pointed out that Pam was unable to feel the demise of Tara after having released her to search for Eric. It will be interesting to see how Pam responds to the news; that is to say her storyline even leads her back to Bon Temps.

Speaking of reactions, or lack thereof, to Tara's death, LaFayette reveals to vampire James (formerly played by Luke Grimes) that he feels relief. After having grieved Tara's first death, he now feels nothing. He and James then have a heart to heart about the Vietnam War and the uselessness of personal attachments.

Jason got his sex. A "f*** for f***'s sake".

Chris Bauer's stellar performance stole the show for me tonight. Between his speech on the severity of taking a life, referring to his kidnapped loved one as "my Holly," and letting Bill know that they will never be good, I couldn't take my eyes or ears off of Andy Bellefleur.

Jessica redeemed herself, somewhat, by sticking to her promise to protect the Bellefleur residence from 'Zompires', even in impending sunrise. After being invited in by Adilyn, Jessica resists the urge to eat her.

At the town church service, Lettie Mae rebuffs Sookie's attempt to console her and continues the blame game. Upon her graceful exit, which is marred by the angry, insulting thoughts of citizens, Sookie begs the town to let her help them as I sat and wondered why she didn't point out the hypocrisy of all those people sitting in church thinking horrid thoughts about her. One crisis at a time, I suppose. The season overview of what's to come on True Blood continues the look of intensity and I can only wonder how this show will come to an end.

What did you think of tonight's episode of True Blood? Are you excited about what comes next?