Friday, April 15, 2011

Of Hot Men, New Series and Stupid Plots

*********Warning, possible spoilers ahead for various things*****************

There is only one reason that I am still watching Vampire Diaries in the second season.  Okay, maybe one and a half. The main reason is right here - Damon Salvatore. The additional second partial reason is that the writing started to get better in the second season, as compared to the first. Getting better does not mean it's good, though, or that I think it'll last. Seriously, they would have been a lot better off following the books.

That aside, I constantly have to ask myself - what the fuck does Damon see in Elena. Seriously. I see no compelling reason for him to be so smitten with her. She's got a martyr complex a mile wide, refuses to listen to reason even when it's for her own good. She isn't any great shakes in the looks department. With Damon's looks, he can get any girl he sets his mind - or heart - to. Even that old chestnut of her being Katherine's lookalike doesn't cut it for me any more, cause as we all know Katherine is a major bitch, so what sort of selling point is that?

You know why Damon is in love with Elena? You could make a point that it's in the books, therefore it's canon. Canon only works when it suits the writers to use it, which isn't often. No, my theory is that it's because otherwise Damon has no reason to stay in Fell's Church. Sorry, I mean Mystic Falls (did anyone catch the blooper in a previous episode where it was actually referred to as Fell's Church? I sure did). And if Damon leaves, the ratings plummet and it's bye bye Vampire Diaries. Obviously it works, doesn't it? I'm still watching, even though I moan and groan through it a lot. Like last night. I just knew deep down that Bonnie wasn't going to stay dead, even if I didn't know how it would happen. What about Elena's next stupid move? Reviving Elijah?  Good one, Elena, we saw how effective he was before. Let's just set him against Klaus, shall we?  Gah!

Enough of that. On to the Hot Men front. My new hot man/love interest comes to us from the new Showtime series The Borgias. With the Tudors being done, they had to find another interesting historical period, one that hasn't been overdone, and they certainly found it in this original crime family. The action begins in 1492 (does that year ring a bell anyone?) when the current Pope is dying, and the Cardinals have all convened, cause they know what comes next - the election of the new Pope.On the death of the old Pope, the cardinals are sealed inside a room and begin to cast their ballots. When the votes are counted, if there is no candidate with the requisite majority, then a signal goes up to the outside world in the form of black smoke; if there is, then it's white smoke. There are some rather ambitious Cardinals who would love nothing better than to sit on the Papal throne, for at this time the Pope wielded far more power in the known world than most people can imagine, so it was a very prestigious and powerful position to attain. Rodrigo Borgia wishes to be Pope very badly. Rodrigo has three children and a wife. I don't know when he joined the Church or began his rise to power, but his family isn't exactly a secret. His two sons are Juan and Cesare - Juan is in the military, while Cesare has been forced to become a man of the cloth, very much against his will.

HOTTIE ALERT!  Cesare Borgia is very hot, he lights up the screen when he is on it. The role is played by Francois Arnaud, whom I've never seen before but hope to see a lot more of in the future. Cesare is his father's pawn. Without his help, Rodrigo wouldn't have been able to bully and buy his way into the Papacy. Cesare has an assassin in his employ by the name of Micheletto. When I first saw this guy, I thought he looked familiar, turns out I was right. He played Thomas in Jesus, which I just saw recently. Cesare has a very complicated relationship with his younger sister, the infamous Lucrezia Borgia. Everyone has heard of her, surely, one of the most famous poisoners ever. Must be a family trait. The series hints at a very close relationship between the brother and sister, one which I believe is historically accurate, although I'm not sure how far the series will take the innuendoes or what they'll do with them.

Only two episodes in and I'm hooked. It's a full rich series with great characters. Sir Derek Jacobi appeared in the first episode, as Cardinal Orsini. Having recently been exposed to the videogame Assassin's Creed by my good friend Jack, I was fascinated at the similarities, especially recognizing the Borgia courtyard from the game as well as the series. Also, there is another pc game which deals with this time and these people, called Machiavelli. In the game you can buy your way to the Papacy too.  I recommend The Borgias to anyone, but especially to history buffs. It's not limited to them, though, it's a drama I think anyone can enjoy.

CBS - I have a complaint! How do you expect people to keep up with a series when there's no rhyme or reason to when you show it? That's the case with Hawaii 5-0. I never know when there'll be a new episode, it's hit or miss.  Show one, skip a few weeks, show another. What's up with that? Lack of consistency will lose you viewers, who will get tired of hunting the show down and waiting for it to be on, even one like the 5-0. Why do I watch this show?  Primarily for one reason:

Yes, it's for Alex O'Loughlin.  Not the only reason I watch, but the primary reason I ever started watching in the first place, having fallen in love with him in Moonlight (I never even watched this series til it was off the air, what a waste that it only lasted one season, but at least I own that season in its entirety). That being said, I do like the show a lot. It has good writing, interesting plots and great characters. My son-in-law Michael really likes Konno and Chin, and so do I, but my favorites are the main characters, Steve McGarrett and Danny (Book'em Danno) Williams. It's the relationship between these two that makes the show, in my eyes.  Yes, the scenery is quite gorgeous. Every time I watch, I envy my son more and more (he is stationed in Pearl Harbor). The writers have created quite the bromance here, between these two guys, one which is echoed by fangirl fanfiction writers in their slash fiction starring them. I've not yet gone that route, and haven't decided if I will - they are cute together as they are. The last episode was no exception.  ****** again, possible spoilers********  Steve was injured at one point, and Danno hiked up the mountain in order to find a signal and send for help for his friend. As Steve was being lifted away to treatment, Danno pointed to himself, then drew a heart in the air, then pointed at Steve. It was a squee-worthy awwwwwww moment indeed.  That and the way that they bicker like an old married couple, to borrow a phrase from HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  All I'm saying here is CBS, get your shit together, and be more consistent with  your scheduling, or you'll lose viewers. (No, not me, but less committed watchers).

Now, on to Justified. The second season of Justified is every bit as interesting and satisfying as the first, and the writing has just continued to soar, no complaints in that department whatsoever. I'm not saying it needed improving or anything, cause it didn't, but even great things can become greater. It's no secret why I watch this series:  It's for Marshal Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant. Besides being easy on the eyes, Raylan is a great character, and this season is showing just how versatile he is. He has his own brand of justice, but you know he will always do what is right. That being said, when ex-wife Winona approached him with her little dilemma, he didn't hesitate to offer his help.Apparently she gave in to temptation and took a bill from some money that was going into the evidence locker. That part of the story lasted for a few episodes, and I kept scratching my head as to why. Not why she took the money - she's got money problems, so that part is understandable. But what the hell did she want with just one hundred dollar bill? Well, my instincts were spot on - it wasn't one, it was a satchel full. And watching them trying to get that money back into the evidence locker was hilarious (and it also involved Stephen Root as the speedo wearing judge).

As  you'll recall from the first season, Bo Crowder is deceased. He was the main antagonist at that time, while his son Boyd was on the periphery as a secondary villain whom one was never sure how to take. My daughter finds Boyd (played by Walton Goggins) to be quite cute. It's nice to have different tastes in men between us, we never fight about them at all. I'll take Raylan, she's welcome to Boyd. Last season, Boyd experienced a religious conversion, which may or may not have been sincere. This season, he's developed in other ways, and is on the wrong side of the law again, or at least heading that way. The new baddie for this season is Mags Bennett, who controls her county with an iron fist, as well as the weed market, and her three sons - Doyle, Dicky and Coover. Doyle is the corrupt sheriff, Dicky the inbred junky and Coover is the slow Neanderthal eejit. Or was, anyway, til Raylan dropped him into a mine shaft. Don't worry, the shooting was justified. Mags is an interesting adversary, and I see a feud building up on the order of the Hatfields and the McCoys - the Bennetts and the Crowders.  Should be interesting to watch.

I'm also curious to see where, if anywhere, the relationship between Raylan and Winona goes. I'm not even sure where I want it to go. Wherever it leads to his happiness, sure, but I don't know about her sometimes. I do like her better than Ava, though, who seems to be with Boyd. Art, Raylan's boss, is funny, a good foil, almost a father figure to Raylan. Which is good cause Arlo, his real daddy, ain't much of one.I own the first season of Justified and will own the second when it's available. This series just keeps on getting better, I highly recommend it.

I started watching Top Chef Season 5 from netflix - it's the only past season that is available, for some odd reason, but that 's okay, cause it's the one I wanted to see the most, cause it was Fabio's season.  Who?  Let me show you Fabio:

I first encountered him in the Top Chef All Stars season - he quickly became my favorite, and I was sorry to see him told to pack his knives and leave. But it made me curious to watch his season, which I'm doing now. The only other chefs in that season that I recognize are Carla and Jamie.  I love Carla and can't stand Jamie. Obviously all three will get axed at some point, or they wouldn't have been on All Stars. One interesting point of watching the fifth season was that I actually saw the house where the losing contestants stay - I'd always wondered about that.

We're watching Top Chef Masters now. It's interesting, although I haven't picked a favorite yet. We've also watched some Chopped, and I've come to like that show too. Remember Ted Hall from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? He's on Chopped - he's the host, if you will. It's great to see him again. My favorite on Queer Eye was always Thom, I wonder where he is now.

We're also watching Six Feet Under. I'd been interested in the show when it first came out but wasn't able to watch it. I recently learned that Michael C Hall, of Dexter, is in it, so of course I had to see if I liked it as much as Dexter. The answer is a resounding yes!  

We haven't started the second season of Dexter yet, but we are on the second season of Six Feet Under. This series involves a family owned funeral home - Fisher and Sons. In the first episode, Nathaniel Fisher is dead, and the family must deal with his loss. Nate Jr (Peter Krause) comes home from Seattle for the occasion. At the airport he meets and fucks a strange woman named Brenda (Rachel Griffiths). David (Michael C Hall) has followed his father's footsteps and works at the funeral home, along with Federico, the only other employee. The boys have a sister named Claire (Lauren Ambrose of Grounded For Life). She's in high school and has quite a skewed view of life. It turns out that their mother, Ruth, has been having an affair with a hairdresser for two years, which she confesses to her flabbergasted sons (who really don't want to hear this). David has a secret of his own - he is gay and having an affair with a totally hot black cop named Keith.  Let's throw into the mix, Brenda's bad boy crazy brother Billy, played by Jeremy Sisto.  It's a great show,  I love it to death, especially David. It's so funny to see Dexter with emotions, which only goes to show what a versatile actor Michael C Hall is. There are only five seasons of Six Feet Under. My friend Aly has already watched them all.  We'll get there, I know.

Finally, Queer as Folk.  Still watching that, just started the third season. A lot is going on. At the end of the second season, Justin left Brian to be with Ethan, and Emmett and Ted decided that they are in love. The third season picks up there - Brian is relying heavily on Michael's company, and Ben is being very understanding about it. Emmett and Ted are having some strange times, trying to balance their friendship and their relationship and Emmett slips up. Justin and Michael are on the outs, understandably, putting their joint comic venture in jeopardy. Brian finds relief in fucking guys that resemble Justin. And Lindsay and Melanie are discussing having another baby. Or is that fighting? I love these characters so very much, I can't say enough about this series. It's funny, warm, sexy, hot, dramatic, and wonderful. If you love gay men, you'll love it, the scenes at Babylon are worth the price of admission alone - lots of nude hot men, and yes, there is full frontal. Oh, that reminds me that I'm also watching Spartacus, watching it now on Netflix. Quick comment - I like the series okay, it's pretty, the plot is nothing great yet (I've only seen two epsiodes) but the blood is definitely over the top and the effect is totally lost. It needs to be toned down cause it's only making a mockery of itself, and it's way too much an imitation of 300, and then some. I doesn't even resemble blood. Okay, we get the idea already. Now, concentrate on something more interesting, like plot. I like watching John Hannah and Lucy Lawless as a couple, although I never imagined I'd see Lucy naked like that, but now I have. I haven't decided yet if the series lives up to its hype - I'll keep you posted.

All for now, back to my writing and editing. I'm editing Ranch Hands for Wicked Nights. It was written by my friend SL Danielson, so added bonus there. It's a good story about real men, it's worth taking a look at. I'll review it later.

Have a great day!

♥ Julie


  1. I love the books of the Vampire Diaries, but have trouble keeping up with the series since I get irritated with the differences between them.

    I do think that Elena and Damon in the books were perfect for each other though. Just a pity the Elena in the series is an entirely different person and the writers failed to pick up on this rather crucial point.

  2. I know, right? I never saw what she saw in Stefan in either, or what Damon sees in her in the series. And yet, they totally butchered her character in the series, and how she developed as a character. (I could have done without the angel thing, though, gag me.)