Friday, December 30, 2011

The Lying Game: Emma Wins Ethan

There's a largely unacknowledged rule in the world of romance that in order to really get behind a couple, the audience has to fall in love with both of them. On the zillions of shows I watch with angsty guys, only about half of them are paired with a girl who doesn't annoy the crap out of me. When the girl sucks but the guy is a great character, the romance part of it falls flat. This isn't always a bad thing. Then we can wish for the slow, painful death of Sookie so we can have Eric all to ourselves. But in some cases, like Emma and Ethan on The Lying Game, I like each of them best when they're together.

Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse and Alexandra Chando as Emma Becker dance on The Lying Game
The chemistry between Ethan and Emma was there from the beginning. Despite the fact that Blair Redford couldn't quite pull off dance-instrcutor, I enjoyed watching him teach her the moves.

Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse and Alexandra Chando as Emma Becker on The Lying Game
Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse and Alexandra Chando as Emma Becker on The Lying Game
They've had quite a few conversations where Ethan told her how unlike Sutton she is. In one of those conversations, Emma took it as a slight to her performance. But Ethan corrected her, telling her he didn't mean it as a bad thing.

His former relationship with Sutton is one of the most confusing aspects of his character. Why would that guy want anything to do with her? Maybe Sutton has unexplored layers, but Emma and Ethan make sense in a way that Sutton and Ethan do not. They're both wrong-side-of-the-tracks kids, they're both parentless, they both have a self sufficiency that's fun to watch. In essence: they're both strong. When Ethan showed up at homecoming, he chose to do what Emma wanted in direct contradiction to what Sutton wanted. And I loved it.

Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse and Alexandra Chando as Emma Becker kiss on The Lying Game at Homecoming
Their relationship hasn't been all hearts and rainbows since. Ethan seems to be a bit hung up on Sutton, punching Thayer the moment he sees him. And Emma felt all insecure about her past, worried that Ethan would judge her. He, of course, and totally adorably, told her she was dumb for thinking that considering he lives in a trailer.

Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse on The Lying Game
Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse and Alexandra Chando as Emma Becker kiss on The Lying Game
Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse and Alexandra Chando as Emma Becker on The Lying Game
And in perhaps my favorite moment of their relationship, he said, "Wherever you go, Emma. I'm coming with you." He's promising to be the thing from Sutton's life that Emma gets to keep no matter what.

Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse on The Lying Game
There's something very stirring about being chosen over someone else. It's one of those things that shouldn't be a competition, but we all want to win anyway. In Emma's life, where Sutton pretty much came out on top in every aspect, it's nice that Ethan is committed to being the thing she wins on. I'm looking forward to more of them. And happily, I don't have to wait long!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Angst Initiate: Jason DiLaurentis of Pretty Little Liars

I am SO glad Pretty Little Liars recast Jason DiLaurentis. I'm sorry to all you Parker Bagley fans out there, but he just oozed too much douche-bag for my taste. Drew Van Acker, however, I can get behind.

Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis on Pretty Little Liars
I don't want it to seem like I'm totally obsessed with hair, (too late, huh?) but they've given Jason the same haircut Griffin was rocking back in the early 90s on Party of Five. It's a weird choice and I sort of wish they'd change it.

Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis on Pretty Little Liars
What I love about Jason so far is how enigmatic they've kept him. When they finally did reveal that he was worried he had actually killed Alison, that was pretty angsty and I felt for him. Plus... he might have done it. Also, he made a comment about his parents thinking that the wrong kid had died. I mean - COME ON. Angst Central.

Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis on Pretty Little Liars
Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis on Pretty Little Liars
Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis on Pretty Little Liars
Coupled with the budding tension of a forbidden romance with Aria (only forbidden because she's already wrapped up in a different forbidden romance...) and I'm on board.

Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis shirtless with Aria on Pretty Little Liars
Maybe when they finally get around to demystifying Jason, I'll be less enthusiastic about him. But for now, I'm happy with the moodiness and his chemistry with Aria. In reality, Ezra would probably be the best boyfriend material possible, but who cares about reality? I crave the screwed up. Hopefully the show screws things up good and angsty when it returns next week. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Angst Initiates? The Other Guys on The Lying Game

Remember how yesterday I lamented the boy-band-ish-ness of the guys on the first season of Pretty Little Liars? Now, I'm looking at you - Lying Game.

There are quite a few secondary males. Let's consider their Angst possibilities, shall we?

Randy Wayne as Justin onThe Lying Game
First we have Justin Miller played by Randy Wayne. He's obviously up to something but we've yet to learn what. His cover story is that he's on his own, sans parents, and in order to go to college, he needs to be at a school with a good golf team. On the dubious side, he worked pretty hard to get close to Laurel, he demonstrated some pick-pocketing abilities early on, and he's interested in the Mercer clan. My personal theory is that he was hired to get close to Laurel to get information about something. Either way, the homeless thing is potentially angsty, but otherwise, I find this Izod golf guy a big snooze. I mean come on... it's golf. 

Christian Alexander as Thayer on The Lying Game
Next up. Christian Alexander as Thayer Rybak. His dad is a bit of a d-bag to him and he's got a crush on Sutton. Why anyone wants Sutton, especially now that an equally attractive, far more normal version of her exists, is beyond me. But I guess unrequited love and jerk-dad equal angst. However, he's a techie with the body of an Abercrombie model and the head of a fifteen year old. I hear Mr. Alexander is very lovely in reality, but Thayer doesn't really work for me and he needs to avoid the gym.

Benn Elliot as Derek on The Lying Game
Just look at this guy. Sorry. No. 

Rick Malambri as Eduardo The Lying Game
Finally, Rick Malambri as Eduardo Diaz. Oddly enough, Eduardo was probably the best angst candidate amongst the not-Ethan guys. He had a certain broodiness to him and he didn't seem to be from the land of rich snobs like everyone else. Plus - he went through a spell looking like this:

Rick Malambri as Eduardo in the hospital on The Lying Game
That was his best look. Being mangled always ups ones angst quota but, unfortunately, it seems like he's gonesville.

It's okay. I really enjoy Ethan and hope springs eternal that they'll torture Ethan a bit more, up the angst for one of these other guys, or bring in some new twisty dude. Don't worry, I'll keep you fully up to speed on all the angst possibilities. And... for good measure, I think there will be one more Ethan post later on this week. Until then!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Angst Initiate: Caleb Rivers of Pretty Little Liars

I'm going to go ahead and admit that before beginning this post, I had no idea what Caleb's last name was on Pretty Little Liars. In fact, I have trouble keeping the name Caleb in my head at all because I actually think Tyler Blackburn is a better name for an angsty character.

Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers on Pretty Little Liars does illegal stuff
Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers on Pretty Little Liars
The first season of Pretty Little Liars, I was severely disappointed with the variety in the male population. They were all boy-band clones (except for dear Toby...) and it was hard to tell them apart. Angsties simply can't be so... clean. There's usually something a little dirty or scruffy about the best tortured souls because they're too busy dealing with internal anguish to worry about getting their hair trimmed every six weeks. But hey, that's part of why we love them.

Tyler Blackburn in an ugly hat as Caleb Rivers on Pretty Little Liars
I was incredibly pleased with the appearance of Caleb. Just check out that hair, man. From his look alone, we could see that this boy was going to be troubled.

Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers on Pretty Little Liars
On the surface we have: abandoned by family (and serious mommy issues that go along with that), homeless and living in the school (hello Luke Brower...), and a fair few criminal tendencies. All these angst qualities aside, I think Tyler Blackburn is the most attractive dude on the show. Sure, he's a little on the pretty side (and sometimes looks eerily like Michael Jackson) but here at The Angst Report, pretty isn't a problem.

Tyler Blackburn gets emotional as Caleb Rivers on Pretty Little Liars
Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers cries and kisses Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin on Pretty Little Liars
I also love him because he's half of the best romantic pairing on the show. When Caleb left Hanna to go visit his mom, I was disappointed. I think Hanna is most interesting when she's with him. The two of them have a lot of chemistry; their hook-up scene was one of the better steamy scenes I've seen in the past few television seasons, and I watch a LOT of HBO and Showtime. (More on their hook-up in a future post!) These two crazy kids sizzle together. And I think they're the only couple on the show that really does.

Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers and Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin on Pretty Little Liars in the shower
Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers and Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin on Pretty Little Liars in the shower
Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers and Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin on Pretty Little Liars in the shower
I'm looking forward to seeing more of Caleb in the future and I hope they do some fun stuff with him and Hanna. Pretty Little Liars returns the same night as The Lying Game. I'm pumped! Are you?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Angst Initiate: The Lying Game's Ethan Whitehorse

Now that American Horror Story is officially gonesville for a while, I need a new crop of shows to keep me busy. Luckily, a few of ABC Family's light as marshmallow-goo mysteries are on their way back. And up first here at The Angst Report: The Lying Game

Yeah, I pose shirtless on my bed to Skype with my girlfriend. Who doesn't? 
This is Ethan Whitehorse. From moment one, it's clear that he's our resident bad boy. Rides a motorcycle, did a stint in juvie, lives below the poverty line, and has no parents. Let's forgive the fact that Blair Redford looks like he graduated high school ten years ago because he's extreeemly easy on the eyes.

Look! I'm Eighteen! I have a backpack!
What's interesting about Ethan is that he seems to be the most together character on the show. He's incredibly pragmatic, always wanting to plan and figure things out, and he comes off quite thoughtful. These aren't typical qualities of a bad boy. Usually the bad boy is wild and impulsive; not so much the level head under pressure. I'm not entirely certain if this is how he's written or it's what Blair Redford is bringing to the table, but I like that our bad boy is the character who is most steadfast and true. 

Steadfast and true? What am I, a ship?
Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse on The Lying Game
Initially, Ethan is the only one who knows the truth about Emma. So it's natural that she'd trust him. And from his point of view - how awesome would it be if someone showed up who looked just like your girlfriend but was a hundred times less bitchy? Yeah, I'm totally on the Ethan and Emma train.

Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse and Alexandra Chando as Emma on The Lying Game
Too bad I'm not just ON Ethan...

Ba dum.

More on Ethan and Emma later this week. And The Lying Game comes back Monday, January 2nd.

Friday, December 23, 2011

American Horror Story: Goodbye Tate's Hands

Sigh. I'm pretty bummed. No more Tate. I know I kept saying that all I wanted was Evan Peters in season two, but it turns out that was a lie. I wanted Evan Peters in season two as Tate. Obviously, I enjoy Evan Peters the actor, (and man, it must have been exhausting to cry so often...) but him being a different character on American Horror Story is akin to him just being in a new movie or on another show. (And I do believe he'll be part of the cast they keep. But who knows. I'm wrong with this show, like, 75% of the time). I was never worried that Evan Peters himself was going to...vanish or something. No, I wanted Tate in season two. 

Also. I do not think anthology shows are a brilliant idea. There's a reason they haven't really worked since the fifties and sixties: most people don't like them. Plus they're difficult to do well. Questions get left unanswered. Things get left unresolved (*cough* fourth child *cough*) Anthologies are for PBS and HBO miniseries. And by golly, we should know in advance that that's what it is.

At least going into season two, I know not to get too attached to anyone because they'll all be gone in thirteen weeks. 

And - wtf with the scars on Tate's face, man? I can't believe that wasn't explained. I don't know why I'm so hung up on that, but I am. 

I feel like I should say something about the finale itself. About how it seemed like they were beginning a redemptive story arc for Tate or how much I liked the scene between Ben and him. But it doesn't really matter now, does it? Maybe Tate will apologize to Vivien, apologize to the exterminator, apologize to Chad and Patrick, and then next  Halloween apologize to his school shooting victims. And all of the above will forgive him. And then Violet will love him again. Ryan Murphy saying they never spoke again is like Margaret Mitchell saying Rhett and Scarlett never get back together. And I know that's an insane comparison and I don't even like Gone With the Wind but I don't think writers should do that. If they aren't going to actually WRITE it, then they should keep their mouths shut.

I can't have a picture-less post, but I'm angry at the finale and I don't want to look at its face. So here are some pictures of Tate's hands. Because I think Evan Peters has lovely hands. Maybe next year he'll portray a pianist or something. That'd be nice.  

Evan Peters' Hands on American Horror Story
Tate's hands American Horror Story
Evan Peters as Tate Langdon with his hands  on American Horror Story 
This is the best picture I've gotten of Tate's ring
Tate Langdon's hand on American Horror Story
Evan Peters with his hand on Taissa Farmiga's mouth American Horror Story
Evan Peters still has hands...
My Precious 
Evan Peters and Tate Langdon have the same hands on American Horror Story (I'm just being weird...) 
Good bye, Tate. You were a fun character. And I'm going to miss you. Fingers crossed that at the very least, Evan Peters gets to play another fun character next year. Come on AHS, give me something.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

American Horror Story Season 2 Info?

Tod VanDerWerff of A.V. Club is tweeting some stuff that doesn't thrill me:

"American Horror Story is going to be a season-long anthology drama, like laid out in first graf of my review. Could be cool!"

"Some of the actors will be back, but as totally different characters."

"This is all coming from a conference call with Murphy, incidentally."

"Full cast and tease of storyline for season two will be out in February, most likely. (Sorry, Twitter. I am using you as a note-taking app.)"

"You'll never see the Harmons, Constance, demon baby, etc., again."

"There's a clue in the season finale that will tell you what season two will be about, apparently."

Gah. Not happy. Hopefully Evan Peters will one of the actors who will be back. It might be time to start writing some fan fiction, ya'll.



American Horror Story Finale: What It Means For Season Two

Okay. Having just checked IMDb, obviously a lot of people read this finale differently than I did.

Evan Peters as Tate Langdon on the American Horror Story season one finale
I got the impression Ryan Murphy was leaving himself wide open to try and corral all these actors back for season two, especially Jessica Lange. And - it seems they were all being honest when they said they didn't know if they'd be back.

Evan Peters as Tate Langdon on the American Horror Story season one finale
From this point, anything could happen. But to my mind, the very very positive thing is that no one "crossed over," there was no insaneo it's-all-in-Ben's-head twist, no ridiculous so-in-so is really so-in-so, no random move to New York. The finale was all about the characters we've known all season and the crazy murder house. And if Ryan Murphy was being truthful when he said the finale would hint at season two, it seems to me that season two will be about Tate's evil spawn kid. As long as Constance lives next door to the murder house, anyone could be back.

Evan Peters as Tate Langdon and Taissa Farmiga as Violet kiss on the American Horror Story season one finale
In terms of Tate and Violet, I think as a stand alone season, sure. They're over. For now. But season two hasn't been written. And Tate just said he'd wait forever. That leaves... well forever.

I know Ryan Murphy said he doesn't think she'd ever talk to him again, but remember when he said half the cast of Glee was leaving? I think we've learned that sometimes he means what he says and sometimes things change. AND ALSO it's not even up to JUST him. But even if that's the end of Violet and Tate as a couple, I really do believe Tate will be back. Especially if season two revolves around his anti-christ kid. I think it's more likely that The Harmons are gone forever than Tate.

Evan Peters as Tate Langdon on the American Horror Story season one finale
The point is, Ryan Murphy hasn't closed any doors yet. And that, for now, makes me happy.

Evan Peters as Tate Langdon and Kate Mara as Hayden on the American Horror Story season one finale
I really do believe all our favorites will be back next year, whether as series regulars or occasional ghosts who just pop up. And even if I'm totally wrong, I'm just really glad it wasn't all in Ben's head.

**Update: Door slammed WAY shut

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

American Horror Story: Pre-Finale Jitters

The time has come. It's finally American Horror Story finale day. In a few brief hours, we'll (hopefully) have an idea of what second season might bring. 

 Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1 Please. Season two? Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1
More than anything, I found last week's episode, Birth, depressing.  Although - Tate not understanding youtube was pretty adorable.

I bet you don't know who the Kardashians are either, do you?
Violet Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1 Lucky you. Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1 Violet
I'm absolutely dying to know how things are going to be left. If Tate and Violet really are going to spend eternity in that house together, there's no way she'd be able to keep her distance indefinitely. Also, I find it a little off putting that we're supposed to be somehow comforted by the fact that Violet gets to be with Vivien. I'm sorry, I love my mom, but an eternity trapped in a house with her? ETERNITY?

Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1 Birth Evan Peters Tate Langdon AHS Season on AHS Tate Langdon American Horror Story
Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1 Birth Evan Peters Tate Langdon AHS Season on AHS Tate Langdon American Horror Story
Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1 Birth Evan Peters Tate Langdon AHS Season on AHS Tate Langdon American Horror Story
Man, I love Tate. Have I mentioned that lately? I don't like to see him and Violet fight, but I do like to see him be evil and twisted. How creepy was it that he was propositioning Patrick to get his ring? And propositioning him while using some not-so-subtle hand gestures on a phallic piece of baby crib. 

AHS Tate Langdon Gets Beat Is that a baby bottle in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? AHS Tate Langdon Gets Beat
And can ghosts feel pain? Patrick sort of implied they could. They can bleed - which is weird. Do they shower? Do they sweat? I mean, it all makes very little sense. And where do their clothes come from? This is the second time we've seen Tate wear this little ensemble.

The first rule of American Horror Story is we do NOT talk about American Horror Story
Evan Peters as Tate Langdon American Horror Story Season 1 Birth Evan Peters Tate Langdon AHS Season on AHS Tate Langdon American Horror Story
Finally, the crushing scene to end all crushing scenes. Violet knows the truth about Tate and her mom. And the only way to punish Tate is to withhold herself. That sucks.

This whole house really sucks. I try to think of it as campy fun, but when I really think about, I just feel bad for everyone. These kids who get no life, who don't get to grow up. Ghosts whose entire families have died off without them. They touch on this a bit with Violet's comments about technology moving beyond them - and yes. That would happen. Like Tate calling her iPod "that thing" in the pilot.

At least they get Halloween, though. Right?

Evan Peters Tate Langdon Taissa Farmiaga Violet American Horror Story Season 1 Birth Violate Tate Violet Evan Peters AHS Season on AHS Tate Langdon 
Evan Peters Tate Langdon Taissa Farmiaga Violet American Horror Story Season 1 Birth Violate Tate Violet Evan Peters AHS Season on AHS Tate Langdon 
Evan Peters Tate Langdon Taissa Farmiaga Violet American Horror Story Season 1 Birth Violate Tate Violet Evan Peters cries AHS Season on AHS Tate 
I don't know what's going to happen tonight. Like I've said twenty-five times already, I really want Evan Peters to be in season two. I'd also like to just stay with this house and these rules and these characters. But... we'll see. Enjoy tonight, kats and kittens. Who knows if we'll ever have this AHS fun again. Twas good while it lasted.