Arrow through my heart

arrowThe mid-season TV break gives us all a chance to catch up – on a good book (in my case, One Shot by Lee Child), a movie or two (we watched a lot of old favorites on Blu-Ray including Zombie, Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, They Live and House By the Cemetery), or a show that you didn’t have time for during the jam-packed regular schedule. For me, that show was Arrow.

I watched one episode of Arrow when it started in the fall, so I knew it had potential (unlike Beauty and the Beast, also on CW, which I decided was a hopeless mess after two episodes – really, don’t get me started). After watching the rest of the first part of the season of Arrow, I will definitely be adding this to my weekly watch list.

First off, Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen/Arrow, is an excellent actor. And he is very easy on the eyes. He’s the type of guy who you just know is destined for bigger things – I could see him in big-budget action movies or opposite popular starlets in romantic comedies in the years to come. The rest of the cast is also great – his bodyguard-turned-partner, Diggle; his scheming mother; his sometimes-annoying but overall likable sister; his rich-boy best friend; and of course his love interest, Laurel.

And you don’t have to be a fan of the Green Arrow comics, or comics in general. I’ve never read them, and I enjoy the show just the same. If you want the perspective of someone who has, Mark might be able to chime in. For the non-fans, the show gives plenty of back-story in the form of flashbacks to the island.

A lot of people might be turned off by the fact that Arrow is on the CW. I happen to like the CW, but I will say this show breaks their mold of high-school, boyfriend-girlfriend drama. It’s really just a solid drama with lots of action and intrigue, as well as a little romance. So if you have a chance, check it out when it comes back on Jan. 16 at 8 p.m.

Dear Thursday TV,

Elena escaped the clutches of Elijah, but this is just the beginning.

This note is to thank you for an utterly satisfying evening.

First, you served up a fresh episode of The Vampire Diaries on The CW, complete with a brand new villain, Elijah (after all, Katherine needs to cool off in the tomb for at least an episode). Not just any villain, he’s a super sexy, seemingly invincible vampire with a seriously cruel streak. And you gave us a very bittersweet scene between Damon and Elena, a scene that we’ve been waiting for since these two met. Swoon. To top it off, you gave us a blossoming romance between Jeremy and Bonnie as well as a newfound bond between Caroline and Tyler.

Second, you gave us new episodes of 30 Rock and The Office. What can I say? If I had to pick my favorite character on TV, it would be Jack Donaghy. He needs DIHC, and he’ll take it any way he can get it.

Then, you served up one of the best episodes of Fringe to date. Olivia began what promises to be an arduous journey home, with Peter as her spirit guide. Nowhere is the expertise of the show’s writers more evident than in an episode like this – which seamlessly weaves together overarching mythology with a single-episode storyline. In this case, Olivia and the Fringe team investigate someone who broke out of the amber, only to find that twin brothers have pulled the classic switcheroo, thereby leading Olivia to consider the possibility that she has switched places with her doppelganger.

Lastly, you ended the night with a new episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I have yet to watch it, but I know it will be funny, so thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Your ever-devoted, Thursday-night, couch-potato friend, Andrea

Thanks, CW, for a bloody good time

Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev do a great job with their respective characters, Damon and Elena. I’m guessing we will see a lot of these two young, talented actors in the future.

As you may know from previous posts, I am a die-hard Truebie. So at the end of season two, I was suffering some severe depression. Then came Vampire Diaries (CW, Thursdays at 8 p.m.), which immediately lured me in with the hope that I could somehow survive eight months without Sookie, Bill and Eric.

When Vampire Diaries was announced I thought it had potential, but I was a little worried that it might be Gossip Girl with fangs. I was even more worried when I picked up the books, which are really quite ridiculous. Trust me, as an avid reader of science fiction and horror, I can say with confidence that the show’s writers have done remarkable things with the weak material from the books by P.C. Cast.

As the first season progressed, it became clear that the show was much more than a teen romance drama that happens to involve vampires. It’s got some great young actors – Nina Dobrev (as Elena Gilbert) and Ian Somerhalder (as Damon Salvatore) really stand out, and the story has mystery and intrigue. And it’s not afraid to take risks. This season major characters like Vickie, Pearl, Anna and John Gilbert all bit the dust.  

Of course, last week was the season finale – and what a finale it was with the return of Katherine, Damon’s newfound conscience, Jeremy’s suicide, John Gilbert’s murder and the revelation that Tyler is more than a high school football player. As with all shows, you can’t really judge it until a few seasons in, but the final episode really has given fans a lot to think about and look forward to.

Throughout the course of the year, I tried a few new shows (Eastwick, Parenthood, Funny or Die and Happy Town) but none of these held my interest. Except Vampire Diaries. So if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and catch the first season online, on DVD, or on re-runs. I think you’ll be sucked in.

The end is nigh

Just a quick post to say that I am ridiculously excited for the season finales of Fringe and Vampire Diaries, and to share a couple other random TV thoughts.

Fringe’s finale is going to be a two-part episode, beginning tomorrow. Finally we get to see more than a glimmer of the alternate universe. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking out the extended trailer. It is completely nerdtastic.

Also airing tomorrow is the season finale of Vampire Diaries, which looks to be pretty juicy from the trailer. After last week’s revelation that Damon is in love with Elena, all bets are off.

I would talk about Lost, but well, my co-blogger Mark perfectly summed up my feelings. What a boring hour of TV that was.

The end of all these shows means one very awesome thing – True Blood is right around the corner. Did everyone see the latest minisode with Jessica? Did I mention that #waitingsucks?

The Vampire Continuum

I just got around to watching this week’s episode of Vampire Diaries, so you’ll have to forgive my delayed reaction. It should suffice to say, though, that I could barely stand the wait until I had some free time to catch up with my DVR.  

First off, the obvious – Stefan is back on the sauce, and I have to say I kind of like him better when he is being bad. Sometimes his adherence to vampire vegetarianism is downright boring. And of the two Salvatore brothers, Damon is definitely sexier and more intriguing, largely because he embraces his nature.

I like to think of Vampire Diaries as being in the middle of the Vampire Continuum. On one side you have Twilight (a lot of innocent romance, and soft on the horror) and on the other side you have True Blood (very steamy romance, heavy on the supernatural horror). And right in the middle you have Vampire Diaries, which shifts to be closer toward one extreme or the other depending on the episode. I like all of these movies/shows, by the way, but my favorite is True Blood, so I relish the times when Stefan, Elena and Damon are more risqué. I’m also hoping that Damon is going to up the ante and bite Elena soon.

Then we have Elena’s uncle, John Gilbert, with another invincibility ring. This, like the Lost dynamite, screams TV trope. Clearly these rings just exist so that the vampires in the show can have worthy adversaries. Let’s just hope there aren’t too many more of them around, because it could get stupid.

Lastly, there is Jeremy, who read Elena’s diary and now knows everything. I figured this was going to happen eventually. That diary was like a celebrity sex tape – it was bound to get out and cause a stir.

For those who tuned in this week, what did you think? I’m hoping that we get to see some werewolf action soon out of Tyler and his father.

27 Vampires

Well, well, well – isn’t Jeremy quite the little fang-banger? I don’t know about you, but I would have pegged him to be more of the vampire slayer type, so I was more than a little surprised when he offered Anna a drink. If I had to guess, I would say Elena won’t be too happy to find out that he is in the market for a double-wide coffin.

In case you aren’t up to speed yet, I’m talking about last night’s episode of Vampire Diaries.

Moving on, the double date between Elena and Stefan and Caroline and Matt was awkward, to say the least. Even though I believe she loves Stefan, it’s pretty clear that Elena has a strong connection with Matt (who I find to be quite charming, for a human). Too bad for Caroline.

I’m still not sure what Pearl is planning with the 27 Vampires, but she is one tough vampire broad. No worries though, with or without eyes Damon is still a VILF. From the sneak peak we had of next week, it looks like Stefan is going to get captured and it’s pretty clear that P-A-I-N is in store.

No Bonnie again this week and Alaric was noticeably absent after his central role in last week’s episode. All in all, though, it was a good one. What did you guys think?

I’ll take Bachelor #5, please

For the trouble of waiting weeks for a new episode, fans of Vampire Diaries were treated to a solid hour of smoldering vampire good looks, brewing trouble, and some interesting twists and turns.

I’m a big fan of Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon Salvatore on the show. I loved him as Boone in Lost, and I love him even more as the bad-boy vampire in this show.  He’s witty and charming, and also ruthless, and all of these personality traits came out last night. He mourned Katherine’s betrayal in typical fashion – by nibbling on some co-eds and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. And when Elena (Nina Dobrev) told him she had discovered the identity of her birth mother he showed genuine concern for her, in his own way. You could cut the sexual tension between those two with a knife. Also, I would be remiss if I did not add that he looked gorgeous sans shirt.

Elena’s back story has taken some interesting turns, and last night’s episode left me with as many questions as answers. We now know who Elena’s mother is, but who is her father? Has Isobel been watching and waiting for Elena all this time? And we know a little more about the mysterious Alaric Saltzman, but his newly discovered ring of invincibility sure is a wild card. And where is Katherine exactly? Her minions seem to be coalescing around Pearl, but I have no idea what plans they have in store. There is obviously some connection between Elena, Isobel and Katherine, but it has yet to be revealed. Bonnie was also absent from this installment.

The weak link in this episode was Matt’s mom, Kelly, who is quite the smelly pirate hooker. It’s never good when shows centered on teenagers feel the need to insert random parental figures – it comes across as forced and awkward. I don’t even remember Kelly or Matt mentioning Vicki, which is just bizarre. Nevertheless, I actually felt bad for Caroline, in spite of the fact that I have previously categorized her as a psycho hose beast undeserving of Matt.

We have four more episodes in season one, and I can’t wait to see what questions are answered, and what turns the story will take. For its first year, the show has done a great job of mixing in back story, stage-setting, and compelling storylines. As with all shows, I think it’s going to have a lot of momentum next year. What do you think?

The missing lost and found and other musings

Creed Bratton

Last night’s episode of The Office essentially revolved around the newfound bravado of the sales staff under Sabre (which I still pronounce Sa-Bray).

One of my favorite characters on this show is Creed. When Michael announced that the lost and found was lost, Creed (wearing what looks to be a pair of Ryan’s hipster glasses) gave a deviant glance that indicated he was the culprit behind the missing lost items. Perhaps he is keeping the lost and found in his desk drawer with those mung beans.

Andy and Erin continued their bizarre courtship, which is almost painful to watch at times. It seems like the writers are setting them up to become the next Jim and Pam, but they are both too awkward to be completely lovable. Speaking of Andy, his clothes become more ridiculous each week – coral Dockers and a yellow sweater vest? He looks like he raided the closet of Long Duk Dong.                                                 

 Also new last night was 30 Rock, a show that usually has me in stitches but last night only evoked a few chuckles. I did love Jack’s comment about Don Geiss’s funeral – an Episcopal cryogenic freezing service open only to Six Sigma Black Belts. Hilarious. “Madder than a bat in a suitcase” will be deposited in my mental bank of idioms. And who didn’t laugh when Wesley said, so non-chalantly, that his last name is Snipes. He does have a point though – it sounds like a middle-aged British guy’s name.

Thursday is a big night for TV, and I am looking forward to new episodes of Vampire Diaries (next week) and Fringe (coming back in April). What are you watching on Thursdays?