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?

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Day in the Life: Heels, Cramps, and Harassment

I remember a quote I read from Sofia Vergara’s Covergirl page to the effect that women should wear heels! Flats weren’t as flirtatious or fun. I, personally, love wearing heels; I love the way they make my calves, outfits, and height look. My goal, however, isn’t mass flirtation. I just love to feel and look good. Nonetheless, what I also have to consider is that I may have to use said heels for protection against the advances of someone who thinks my choice to wear heels down the street is his green light to pinch or grab me. There is no reason women should feel the need to cover up for fear that a man won’t be able to control his sexual urges and physically act upon them. Whether a woman is wearing a pencil skirt and blazer or crop top and hot pants, no one is entitled to another person’s body but that person alone.

I’d like to live in a world where my biggest concern as a woman is why manufacturers have yet to expand upon a larger assortment of tampon variety packs. A box of Super Plus and Light? Ding, ding, ding! However, the world we live in almost forces women to continuously campaign that they are not inferior, walking music videos here for some men’s grinding or verbal bashing pleasure. I put my pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else, in addition to wrestling out of my skinny jeans like a WWE champ. Therefore, when I go out I would like to go about my business without living in a constant state of awareness of my safety.

Snickers Australia had an advertisement where construction worker actors yelled out intellectually positive, empowering comments to unsuspecting women walking down the street. The ad ended with its usual slogan of, “you’re not you when you’re hungry,” implying that what these men would normally be doing on a full stomach is practically pounding on their chests while yelling out brutish, unintelligible, sexual remarks. The ad was an insult to all involved and acknowledged a national awareness and acceptance of the roles society has come to believe genders should be playing and tolerating when we are in our right minds. Further, it illustrates that women should be okay either way when a lone man or group of men yell and single her out on the street. Honestly, unless you’re yelling in a state of caution for her to watch out for a sinkhole or bee hive, it is unnecessary. I don’t need to be told to smile by a man who will see my face in passing for about 6 seconds out of life and knows nothing about me; neither whistled at; offered a suggestively vulgar “ride;” or told that my breasts, butt, and thighs look good in my clothes. The fact that women often subconsciously contemplate these things as they dress and plan for their day is one of the major problems resulting from this social acceptance in and of itself. It is horrible to think that a man exhibiting harassment against a woman feels comfortable doing so in the presence of other men because either they, too, subtly take pleasure in the degradation, or they would rather not cause contention in the name of pack mentality.

Women move through their daily lives in a world where it is almost socially tolerable for a man to walk up on her in a public place thrusting his pelvis at her, grabbing her hair on a subway, cornering her at a bus stop, and the majority of eyes around sheepishly fall only upon her as the single voice that speaks up is her own; that is to say she is even motivated to do so without the lingering fear that a rejection of such harassment will lead to additional verbal berating or physical assault.

Santa Barbara murderer Elliot Rodger is a prime example of the misogyny and violence women often receive when they don’t fulfill a male sense of entitlement to their bodies. There have been many arguments towards Rodger’s mental health, and while there may be something to that, based on his premeditated video announcing his “retribution” and “revenge” before his killing spree, I see an angry pubescent with a superiority complex who, with malice and forethought, sought to kill as many women and minorities he could with the weapons and ammunition he meticulously acquired. He collectively resented young women who may, or may not, have rejected him as though sex should have been based solely on his anatomy and not his character. Here is an example of entitlement to women’s bodies and a belief that we should have little to no standards at all to ensure that every youthful male loses his virginity at a socially appropriate age.

I often wonder if the number one question some women hear in severe situations is a variation of, “well, what did you do to him?” It could be related to a man’s resulting road rage, domestic violence, rape, etc. It seems that society has an accepted mindset that every woman’s action results in an unequal and extreme reaction from a man. My hope is that as tragedies, like the one resulting from Rodger’s killing spree, and the countless other acts of violence and harassment upon women are acknowledged for the true offenses that they are and not the “occurrences” many have grown numb to expect, we will see a decline and, ultimately, an end.