Monday, September 13, 2010

True Blood Season Three Finale: In Pictures

The finale of True Blood happened Sunday and, to be honest, I found myself shrugging quite a bit. No huge moments, no signature cliffhanger. Yet, not all the moments were bland. Here is a recap in images:

1. New I-don't-take-crap-from-anyone Sam tracked down Tommy after he took off with the Merlotte's safe. Being held at Sam's gunpoint, Tommy revealed in a perfectly Angsty My So Called Life sorta way that he can't read. Tommy made to take off and Sam shot in his general direction. (You know the effort it took to get a screen-cap with gunfire?!).

2. Tara chopped off her hair (although I was hoping she'd use those scissors to slit her throat) and left town. Thank God. Hopefully she never comes back.

3. Hoyt and Jessica were perfectly adorable as they admired their new digs. But Hoyt's mom and crazy ex are up to no good buying guns and whatnot. Oh no - I guess?

4. Jason took over a landfill full of trailer trash and Chrystal went away. Shrug.

5. Layfayette is seeing stuff. Jesus is a witch. Shrug.

6. Sookie garbage disposed Talbot in the only cringe inducing moment of the hour. Poor Talbot...

7. Eric buried Russell in a cement pit ending the major season long arc. Godric appeared in his pajamas and got all redundant telling Eric to forgive. Eric said no.

8. Bill went crazy, tried to kill Eric, tried to kill Pam, failed on both accounts (shocker) and Eric revealed to Sookie that Bill was manipulative way way way back in the pilot. I guess that matters. It made Sookie angry at Bill (again) and prompted her to kick him out of her house (again).

9. Bill decided to fight Evan Rachel Wood. Shrug. I'm guessing Bill lives. But her outfit was awesome.

10. Sookie disappeared into a big poof of fairy light. What? Okay, whatever. She'll be back.

I was underwhelmed. I enjoyed the Tommy-can't-read bit only because I love seeing the oldest trick in the Angst book pulled again and again. Eric looked hot covered in cement. And garbage disposing Talbot - while totally un-Sookie like - was pretty gross. Other than that, Season Three ended with a whimper.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dear Diary...

Dear Diary,

Today marks the return of the most clever, teen angsty show to be on The CW since the departure UPN holdout Veronica Mars. Oh, Diary. Remember when The WB existed? When shows like Dawson's Creek and Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Roswell and Felicity and Everwood were fun and full of drama drama drama? I miss those days. I loved watching teenagers talk like they had pondered and rehearsed every word they spoke. I miss the conceit of soul-mates and delicious love triangles they spawned. I miss the tragedy of dead parents and poverty stricken teens.

But Diary! It's all coming back. Kevin Williamson is so totally dreamy and his writing is to die for! Supernaturals, orphans, poor kids, bad boys, Angst?! OMG, who could ask for more? Dawson Leary as a vampire? Now that may be too much.

Until later, Dairy.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sons of Anarchy: Season Three Premiere

Wow! What an episode. I was NOT disappointed. Angst angst angst angst angst.

In the opening moments, Jax is drowning in alcohol and depression over the kidnapping of his son and Opie has to carry him to the shower. (How great was the shot of Ryan Hurst carrying Charlie Hunnam?)

This is just the kickoff to a fantastically constructed episode including the funeral of Half-Sack (tear tear) and an audience misdirection plot point involving the introduction of Hal Holbrook as Gemma's father. We also get a spectacular climax culminating in the death of a series regular.

More often than not, premieres do not live up to the finales they follow. In this case, SOA knocked it out of the park. I can't wait to see more.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Before They Were Sons: The Men of Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy returns to FX tonight, September 7th. In honor of the season three premiere, let's take a look back at the careers of the sons before they were sons.

If you're anything like me, when you first saw the show, you exclaimed (more than once), "Hey! It's the guy from X!" Or, the slow cousin of such an exclamation, "Hey! Where do I know that guy from?" Well, dear Sons of Anarchy fans, here are your answers.

Charlie Hunnam as Jax Tellar: The two things you should know about Charlie Hunnam are 1. He's English. 2. He's extremely pretty. They do a phenomenal job of hiding both these facts on Sons of Anarchy. Charlie's been around a long time. Fans of Queer as Folk would be interested to know he played the Justin-like role in the original British series. He also appeared in three episodes of Young Americans along side fellow angst hottie Ian Somerhalder. He was also a part of short lived but well loved Judd Apatow sitcom Undeclared. You may also recognize him from the Katie Holmes thriller Abandon, where he played her psycho stalker boyfriend. Or, my personal favorite, Green Street Hooligans (or Hooligans depending on where you're from) co-staring Elijah Wood. As the nutzo football hooligan Pete, his cockney accent was no where near as good as his American.

Ron Perlman as Clay Morrow: Poor Ron Perlman. So rarely does he get to play a person who looks like Ron Perlman. He's a big thick guy with a deep scary voice. So he's perfect for monsters and such. Hence his casting in the recent Guillermo del Toro Hellboy franchise. But go back a few years and Ron Pearlman was Vincent, the Beast in the oh-so-80s Beauty and the Beast series. There's a semi-old rumor going around that he'll be at least a voice in The Hobbit, but with del Toro's departure, who knows. In fact, concerning The Hobbit, who knows anything.

Mark Boone Junior as Bobby Munson: I'll be honest. Mark Boone Junior was not one of the many faces I recognized upon first watching SOA. After a career of playing characters like Greasy FBI Man in Se7en and New York Guy (a role he was apparently not credited with) in Armageddon, it was nice to meet him. He's great on SOA and maybe his future roles will have names. He also had bit parts in Die Hard 2, The Quick and the Dead, The Thin Red Line, Memento and Batman Begins. If you remember him in any of those things, you were paying more attention than I was.

Kim Coates as Tig Trager: Prison Break and CSI: Miami are probably the two things most people would recognize Kim Coates for (unless I'm underestimating the fan base of late 90s show NightMan). But, if I'm being honest, I recognized him from The Client. A fave of mine, I've seen that movie dozens of times. Kim Coates is one of the baddies (big surprise).

Tommy Flanagan as Chibs Telford: Braveheart/Gladiator. It's a toss up which you might first connect him with. Or maybe you first connect him with Awesomeness (capital A). If you're curious - his scars come from a mugging in Scotland. He's amazing on Sons, especially when he gets to be angst ridden in season two when his (ex)wife shows up.

Theo Rossi as Juice Ortiz: He's been all over television for the past few years. A couple episodes of American Dreams, a Veronica Mars, a Jericho, two Grey's Anatomys, a Lost, some Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. All possible explanations for why I find him familiar. However, I don't specifically remember him in any of those things. He was also in Cloverfield. But he's really great on Sons! So I'll remember him from that.

Ryan Hurst as Opie Winston: Remember the Titans. Need I say more? Okay...I'll say a tiny bit more. He was a regular on Wanted - a show I've never heard of that also starred Rashida Jones and Campus Cops - another show I've never heard of that was apparently on USA. But if you've seen Remember the
Titans on ABC Family a million times like I have, you recognized him immediately as Gerry Bertier.

Johnny Lewis as Half Sack: First off - did Half Sack actually die? They left it hanging but it didn't look good. I'm sad. I liked him. But Johnny Lewis. You, like me, might remember him from The O.C. as doomed Johnny's bff Chili, or American Dreams where he was Roxanne's nerdy bf. He was also on the one season long show Quintuplets which also starred Evan Chambers from Greek.

William Lucking as Piney: Again, didn't recognize him. Sorry, Mr. Lucking. He had a part in Erin Brockovich although I can't place him. And he was Frank in The River Wild. I think I remember Frank. I think he dies. But other than that, an episode of t.v. here a nameless detective there.

Kurt Sutter as Otto: I gotta mention Kurt Sutter - creator of the show and husband to Katey Sagal (Gemma) - who plays behind bars son Otto, now nearly blind from that gruesome fight involving a broom handle. It's been a rough road for Otto what with the death of Luanne and all. Kurt Sutter was also in three episodes of The Shield for which he also wrote. Dear Mr. Sutter, hire me.

So there you have it SOA fans. The men before they were sons. Join the crew and catch Sons of Anarchy starting tonight! (Tuesday September 7 at 9:00pm of FX).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Being Human: Series One

I've finished Being Human: Series One and thanks to BBC America On Demand, I'm well into Series Two. Everyone should watch it. Here's a little rundown to get you intrigued. See that pic below? That's Annie (ghost), George (werewolf) and Mitchell (vampire). They're roomies. *Spoilers below.

Annie: Annie was murdered by her boyfriend. She doesn't know this at first, so she's heartbroken when he stops by (he's the landlord) with his new girl. He can't see her. Her visibility goes in and out. Her traumas work like a visibility light switch. Supernaturals can always see her. She loves to make tea and coffee despite her inability to eat or drink. And she's stuck in the clothes she died in. She's uber-cute.

Mitchell: He's the vamp. See above. That's really all that happens when vamps go vampy. Black eyes and fangs. I appreciate this choice. It doesn't destroy hotness like Buffy vamps. He vamped out during World War One and he's given up blood. Vamps in this world don't need it - they just really want it. They can eat and drink normal food, they can go out into the sunlight (but they don't like it), and religious artifacts only sometimes matter. They do, however, have to be invited into homes. Mitchell's mostly happy - which I find amusing in a vampire - but when he angsts (as in Series 2 Episode 5 - one of my faves) it's hard core angst. Season one is all guilt guilt guilt over the fact that he lost control and turned an innocent girl.

George: George is the werewolf. He got scratched by a werewolf and voila. He lost his finance and turned to life a loneliness. Until he met Mitchell. He's neurotic, he's prone to panicing, and he loves making lists. Sometimes you think he's a total wimp but then he does something lovely and heroic and you love him again. He's also the funniest. The best bits of the season finale are George centric. Series Two brings some new interesting dilemmas for George and his desire for normalcy.

George + Mitchell = Bromance: Mitchell saved George from a pack of mean vampires (because naturally, vampires don't like werewolves) and they became besties. They had both been lonely souls but they formed a freak friendship and moved into an apartment haunted by Annie. Mitchell rocks it out with the ladies and gives George a hand once in a while. It's a lovely little bromance and when Series One was ending and the fate of Mitchell was in question, we got the bro-hug you see above.

So that's some more about Being Human. I hope I've been convincing. It's got some good laughs and some good angst and there are only six episodes in the first series so it's easy easy easy to get into. Check it out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Less Pretty of Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars isn't my favorite show. But in summer's dry season, when Angst runs thin, it'll do. In the land of ABC Family, it's only a couple rungs below Greek and a zillion rungs above everything else on ABC Family. But the area in which it lacks most is angsty men.

Let's look at the men of Pretty Little Liars.

Ezra: Probably the largest male character, he's seriously lacking in development and characterization. He's got a cute smile but he's not much more attractive than your average underwear model. Questionable morals abound in his hooking up with a student but apparently we should forgive him because he looks like he's about fifteen himself.

Alex: Probably my pick for most attractive male on the show, he could be Ezra's brother. Clearly the casting director has a type. Adorable boyishness with some volume in his hair. Apart from having less money than Spencer and being kind to Spencer's drunk ass mom, we know nothing about Alex.

Toby: The only male character with serious angst possibilities, they cast the weirdest looking gump of a guy ever. Not to mention homeboy has the acting chops of an oak tree.

Darren: At least he's got some motivation going on. He wants to know WTF happened. But again, zero in the way of a life outside of his relentless stalking of the girls. He gets a few bonus points for being Bryce Johnson - one of very few recognizable faces on PLL. I loved him as Josh on the short lived, uber-clever series Popular.

Sean: A TOTAL yawn in terms of looks, at least they've attempted to give him a character. Is he really super religious or does he too have a secret? Either they're doing an awful job of hiding Sean's homosexuality or Chuck Hittinger is a bad actor.

Ian: If I weren't a huge (ex?) fan of Ryan Merriman, I wouldn't include Ian on this list. However, the show seems to have more in mind for this character than the two episodes in which he's already appeared. Hopefully, he'll go beyond being just another dude Spencer back-stabbed her sister over. Mr. Merriman, it's difficult to be a fan of someone who never works.

So there it is. I haven't included everyone. Chad Lowe has a character but dude's over forty and he's no Johnny Depp. He's not even Rob Lowe who can still turn out the angst on occasion. And adorkable Lucas who's gaming for Hanna. Eh. I don't care. And Wren - guy Spencer got caught kissing oh so long ago when that plot point was still original - he seems pretty donesville so he doesn't deserve a screencap.

Hopefully Pretty Little Liars will pick up its game when it comes to the dudes. If it doesn't, I'll still watch it as long as nothing better is on. Who's with me?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Obsession

Okay - who knows about Being Human? The show. Not the act of. If you happen to be a Gordon Ramsay devotee as I am, you might be inclined to watch BBC America (which could be renamed the Gordon Ramsay network - does that man ever sleep?) BBC America has been showing non stop commercials for Being Human (apparently airing during their Gordon free timeslot). On BBC America, it's in series two (as the crazy Brits say). So I Netflixed series one. Now I'm in love.

Picture it. A neurotic, up tight werewolf, a somewhat jovial British vampire (they're all British, but I care most with the vampire), and a perky mom-ish ghost all sharing an apartment. Hilarity ensues.
It is a funny show. Luckily, it also has plenty of angst. Werewolf doesn't want to be a werewolf. He struggles to accept it. Ghost girl's fiance has found a new girl and moved on without her (plus she was murdered...). And vampire wants blood but doesn't want to be bad. Aww...

It's got a great balance of charm, wit, and drama, and the characters are almost immediately endearing. When I catch up all the way, I'll probably have more to say. For now, if you haven't seen it, give it a whirl. Especially if you're not sick of the vampire craze yet.

*Apparently a SyFy produced American version is in the works. We shall see. American T.V. is pretty saturated with the vamps these days...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

For the Trubies!

Let's talk True Blood.

As always *Spoilers*

This is a show that gets better every season. Season one was very much a whodoneit. It was okay for what it was but half the planet (including myself) seems to find Suckie (yeah. I did that.) and Bill the least interesting characters on the show. And man was season one chock full of them.

Season two gave us the brilliant hair cut of Alexander Skarsgard. If Keri Russell's haircut killed Felicity, Aleander Skarsgard's saved True Blood. (Okay, it didn't need to be saved per-se. But man did it elevate the hotness factor. Which is really what t.v. is all about). Not to mention Godric. Oh, Godric. The arc of my True Blood dreams. The Godric episodes of True Blood are the best although I think season three is better than two overall. Godric is my current desktop. Just so you know.

Now season three. True Blood has an amazing ability to add characters at a frightening pace and make them all more interesting than Bill and Sookie. I adore Alcide partly because he's a great character and partly because he's extremely easy on the eyes. Russell is one of the coolest villains ever. He's about a million times more bad-ass than Maryann was. (dude, killing that news anchor on television! And staking that hustler who looked nothing like Talbot!) And Talbot! I loved him too! It's prompting mass exclamation point usage! And Tommy! I forgot about Tommy! I love the dogfighting storyline. Angst galore. Even Crystal - Lindsay Pulsipher is a great actress (or actually trailer trash. But I'm assuming it's acting).

Plus, characters we've known all along have been given new shades and colors. Pam is remarkable. Maybe my favorite chick on the show. And Terry (who I still refer to as Zack from Gilmore Girls) is also a whole new character. Todd Lowe. Make a mental note. His name is Todd Lowe. And Hoyt and Jessica and Lafayette and Jason and Eric Eric Eric.

Okay, I'm just listing characters now. But my point is, season three is blowing one and two out of the water. And it's mostly because the vast quantity of story and character True Blood is handling correctly. The writers of Glee need to take a lesson. True Blood services an immense cast and eats story at breakneck speed but doesn't resort to ridiculous plot lines and underdeveloped arcs. I'm very much looking forward to the finale two weeks from Sunday. I need to get some True Blood lists going. Best deaths? Best kisses? Best Eric moments? Best Jason moments? Best True Blood list ideas? It's all coming up!