Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fall 2013 Television Lineup

There is a lot of talk about the upcoming Fall 2013 television schedule. Between the main networks: ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, and NBC, there are a lot of new shows and awesome renewals in store. 

I, for one, can NOT wait for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC! I don't think I've been this excited about a new show since Angel on the WB. You remember that channel, don'tcha?. Anyway, the straight-faced but undeniably cool Agent Phil Coulson is coming back from his seemingly big screen death in The Avengers in a resurrection style that can only be executed by Joss Whedon. Okay, and I know this technically isn't the Fall, but FOX is bringing the return of...wait for it...24!!! 24: Live Another Day will have 12 episodes over 12 weeks premiering in May 2014!

However, with the new comes the renewal and, shockingly, considering poor ratings and bad reviews, American Idol got renewed. And...I just put my head through a plate glass window. I love most of the CW shows but I'm surprised Beauty and the Beast got renewed, but Arrow and Supernatural (of course) got renewed. Yay!! The CW is also bringing back Whose Line Is It Anyway. I love that show. Kevin Bacon will still be bringing home the bacon this year with the renewal of FOX's The Following. ABC's Once Upon A Time is renewed and the spin off, Once Upon A Time: In Wonderland premieres on Thursdays this fall.

The Originals on the CW is a spin-off of Vampire Diaries. Thousands of tween hearts just leapt for joy. James Spader starring in The Blacklist on NBC sparks my residual 80's crush on Spader, whose acting chops are above par, and is motivating me to watch. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula on the NBC. Yum. The undead just got even sexier. The Night Shift on NBC is trying to go for that ER vibe. Pass. However, Believe on NBC is a show I'm super, no pun intended, excited about. "A drama about an orphan named Bo who has special powers — levitation, telekinesis, etc. — and is raised by a group called the True Believers, who safeguard her from outsiders. When Bo turns 10, the group decides a wrongfully convicted felon from death row (Jake McLaughlin) should be her new protector." I'm all about psychic powers, cute, talented kids, and hot male leads. This show is a trifecta of "yes" for me. Sean Saves the World on NBC stars Sean Hayes, of Will and Grace fame, who is hilarious and stars as a gay, divorced dad whose teen daughter comes to live with him. I'll check it out.

Ironside...Blair Underwood...Marry me?

Michael J. Fox returns to NBC in a semi-autobiographical comedy. Who won't be watching this awesome actor? FOX's Rake: "This “House”-esque drama series features Greg Kinnear as a brilliant, charming, self-destructive criminal defense lawyer who lacks a self-edit gene." I like Greg Kinnear as an actor and "House" did great on FOX, so this show could go far. Another FOX show is Sleepy Hollow, an upcoming action adventure series that has time travel and mystery 'unravelage'. Eh. I think I'll pass. FOX is also bringing Gang Related to the table which has a gang member going undercover as a member of the SFPD. Wait, what?

I love me some Michael Ealy. But I don't think buddy cop shows are his cup of tea, especially coming off of the heels of the failed Common Law on USA. However, both he and Karl Urban are great actors, and I am definitely excited about Almost Human, which partners LAPD cops with androids in the year 2048. Dads on FOX is a Seth MacFarlane live action comedy series featuring Gionvanni Ribisi and Seth Green as two successful 30-something guys whose dads move in with them. I can see this showing starting strong and then flatlining. We'll see.

It's looking like NBC is going to pack a punch this upcoming fall season with a great line up of original shows. What shows are you excited to see? What shows were you sad to see end or get cancelled to make room for these new shows?

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sam Winchester's Lost Loves

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not yet seen season 8 episode "Clip Show", beware that spoilers follow.

I think Charlie Bradbury said it best in the Supernatural season 8 episode "Pac-Man Fever" when she empathized with Sam over his, "zero luck with the ladies." Throughout the series, all but one of Sam's significant relationship interests have succumbed to a tragic fate at the hands of a supernatural related force, though that relationship also met a sad fate. I have yet to shake my sadness over the death of Sarah Blake last night at the hands of Crowley's witch spell. Sam and Dean met the beautiful, smart and kind Sarah seven years ago on a case of a murderous ghost attached to a painting. Though only a civilian, Sarah was tough and jumped in on the case to help the brothers while simultaneously falling in love with Sam. Their last moment together, before last night, was a passionate kiss.

Sam's first love and fiancée, Jessica was viciously murdered in the same manner as Sam and Dean's mother, Mary, by the Yellow Eyed Demon who sought to make Sam the leader of his evil, psychic-powered army. Amy, a Kitsune, was Sam's childhood love who saved Sam from being murdered by killing her own mother. Sam lets her leave and years later Sam returns the favor by not killing Amy and her son, though she was feeding off of criminals. Dean, however, felt compelled to kill Amy and, without telling Sam, stabbed Amy in the heart and threatened to come back after the boy if he followed in his mother's footsteps of killing. Sam and Dean's relationship was fractured for a while.

Amelia is initially a widow of a soldier killed in Iraq who connects with Sam during Dean's apparent death and time in Purgatory in season 8 as both she and Sam were broken, lonely, and attempting to escape their pasts. However, her husband turns up alive (weird storyline) and she returns to her old life, only to eventually attempt to reunite with Sam, though he chooses a reemerged Dean.

Madison appears in the season 2 episode "Heart" and is a werewolf. As Sam begins falling in love with Madison, the brothers attempt to cure her of her lycanthropy but the attempt fails. Sam and Madison make love, but upon realizing that she would not be cured, Madison decides that she does not want to live as a monster killing innocent people and asks Sam to kill her. Sam is heartbroken and Dean offers to do the task. However, Sam resigns to kill Madison upon her wish. If you don't understand exactly how difficult it is to watch Sam lose his loves, just watch the clip below of Sam's tearful decision to kill Madison. Dean shares in his pain and the scene is simply, heartbreaking.

Dead Ever After Review (Spoilers)

Last year as I read Deadlocked, the next to last novel of the Sookie Stackhouse series, I laughed, I cried, and by the end I wondered how I was going to survive after May of 2013. Fast forward to yesterday and as I read Dead Ever After, I laughed, and by the conclusion I thought: “Well, that was…nice.” I wasn’t overly impressed with the final novel in the series, but as far as finales go, I think Ms. Harris did a nice job. Storylines were wrapped up pretty well and characters made cameos in a sign of love and support to their friend and heroine, Sookie.

My biggest gripe comes as a result of Sookie’s Happily Ever After, similar to many angry fans, though not in the way that you might think. I wanted Sam and Sookie to end up together ever since it wasn’t going to work with Quinn. (I’d been Team Quinn since Dead As A Doornail. I’m definitely a Q-Cat.) However, Sam as the love interest for Sookie’s Happily Ever After felt a bit stale only because she seemed to possess stronger romantic warmth towards Quinn in the short time of his appearance in this novel than Sam. But I knew in my heart that Sam and Sookie would be together in the end, I just wish the setup and plot had conveyed and echoed the passionate plot that was bouncing around in my head. Sam is the first guy that actually loves Sookie without wanting, needing, or blackmailing anything in return and she treats him and their budding relationship with what I felt as mild interest and keeps him at a distance. And I’m going to be honest; I wanted lots and lots of details about their first time making love: sights, sounds, hell, even smells since Sam’s sense is heightened. But it seemed to be rushed in with lackadaisical descriptive interest. It’s one thing to learn from past relationship experiences and take it slow, but I feel that Sam was getting the short end of a stick that should have been hovering above past suitors’ hearts such as Bill. I liked Bill before the huge blowout of the lie, betrayal, and let’s call it what it was, folks: rape. Yet, when it was all said and done, Bill became Sookie’s BFF of sorts who she chose to confide in. She’s better than me because my exes have done less awful things and I still encourage them to go kick rocks. Also, there was a huge disconnect between Sookie and Sam for the majority of the novel between his difficult adjustment after resurrection and bowing down to Eric's heavy handed blackmailing tactics. Therefore, I needed the mother of build ups for Sookie and Sam’s romance, but it was just sort of…meh.

Oh, and speaking of Eric, I never wanted to see Sookie ride off into the moonlight with him, but his ending seemed like a slap in the face to just about everyone. I read a review that described Eric’s fate as essentially becoming “arm candy” to Freyda, and I have to agree. The big, ominous Viking sheriff gave up all he had to be by Freyda’s side for 200 years and resented Sookie for not choosing to get him out of the situation with the Cluviel Dor. Eric’s last scenes depict someone who wanted to forcibly turn Sookie into a vampire against her will (which in my eyes would have been another form of rape), and his last act is revealed to have been blackmailing Sam into not communicating with or courting Sookie. I believe it is Eric’s fans who are attacking and reviewing Ms. Harris and her work so harshly.

Claude’s back. Wait, what?

Last readers read, access in or out of the fairy world had been closed up tighter than a wedgie in the summertime. Therefore, Sookie’s panicked surprise mimicked that of my own surprise. Based on his tattered and scarred description, I couldn’t help feeling like I was reading Terminator. You know the part where only a little flesh remains on the cyborg form and he’s pissed out of his mind but he keeps coming back? Yeah, that. Claude’s return and the reason for his ability to return is addressed in a line or two, but I couldn't wrap my head around why that should suffice. 

I give Dead Ever After 3 out of 5 stars. I think if you're a fan and have followed the Sookie Stackhouse series from the beginning, you should definitely read this final novel...or just wait for CODA: After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse in October. Either way, I thank Charlaine Harris for bringing Sookie Stackhouse and her crazy, awesome world and characters
to life.