Movable Type 3.2
April 13, 2011
Guest Post: I Heart Property Law and Vampires Should Too
Hi. I'm Christine, and I love property law. (Kate is probably rolling her eyes right now. I might sometimes bug her about it. "But how can Isobel get into foreclosures? The bank still owns them. Does it have to be owned by a person? She still hasn't been invited in by anyone who has a right to be there in any capacity!" *insert Kate's groan*)
Aaaaanyway, last Thursday on The Vampire Diaries:
PPPPS- I also wonder why the boys didn't each give Elena, say, a 1/40 undivided interest in their house. They could use their annual exclusions AND get a minority interest discount AND she'd still have 100% right to occupy the whole house as a tenant-in-common, as long as she didn't try to prevent them from occupying the house also. I guess that wouldn't come across very well on screen.
March 29, 2011
Hey, it's me! On a podcast!
Melissa and the other kind folks at TheTelevixen's Vampire Diaries podcast were kind enough to invite me to join them for a recent episode, when they discussed "The Descent." I can't bring myself to listen to my own voice, but a kind friend listened and promised it isn't completely embarrassing, so I might as well tell you all that you can listen here.
February 22, 2011
Vampire Diaries Meaning Through Music: "The Dinner Party"
This episode had THE MOST APPROPRIATE song ever, but we'll get to that at the end . . .
Foster the People - "Pumped Up Kicks"
I've waited for a long time.How it fits . . . This one is less directly related than a lot of the songs are, but Jeremy is waiting for Bonnie to make up her mind about their relationship, and the bit about fire of course sounds like a Bonnie reference. And Luka, of course, had better run, far away from Bonnie and her powers, if not bullets.
Pet Lions - "When I Grow Old"
When I grow old I'll still belongHow it fits . . . Sure, there's lots of other stuff going on, but right now, Damon is hanging out at the local bar with his girlfriend and his best friend, and for Damon, that's saying a lot. He never really planned to make a life in Mystic Falls again, but it happens, and he has acknowledged that he belongs whether he likes it or not. And it's easy to overlook the fact that Alaric, too, never planned to make a life there, but they've both put down roots and it's their home now. They started out as two strangers at a bar, but they've gotten to the point at which Alaric can openly criticize Damon's treatment of Andie, and a) not end up dead as well as b) manage to stay friends. Ah, personal growth.
The xx - "Islands"
I don't have to leave anymoreHow it fits . . . Several ways! The "searching" theme of the song goes along with Elijah's quest (and Damon and Alaric's attempts to stop him, and John's . . . whatever John's doing), and the relationship stuff in the song could connect to Alaric and Jenna's issues as well. But we're basically back to Damon: both his feelings for Elena and the fact that he has a home again. As we saw this episode, last time, he was driven away by Katherine's actions and Stefan's behavior; now he has the chance to stay because he's found Elena, and Stefan is more or less back on his side. And again, like at the Grill, regardless of all the undercurrents and hidden agendas, Damon's doing something normal: The eldest Salvatore brother is hosting a dinner party for his friends at his mansion. Sniff. If he doesn't watch out, he's going to become a real boy.
The National - "Lemonworld"
I gave my heart to the ArmyHow it fits . . . Er, I'll admit that this one has me slightly stumped. The army and war talk ties in to the flashback we saw with Stefan, and serves as a reminder that while Stefan saw the Civil War as a buffet, Damon actually fought in it, and became a conscientious objector. (Or just a deserter? Was that ever clarified?) And the talk of sisters with Jenna in the scene brings to mind Elena's mother Miranda - they're the only sisters we've heard of, right? It made me wonder how poor Jenna's doing, emotionally, with her sister's death. She seemed to enjoy some girl time with Andie at the party, at least.
Airborne Toxic Event - "Happiness Is Overrated"
And speaking ofHow it fits . . . Is this not the most perfect song for a scene EVER? I'm actually wondering how long they kept it in reserve, waiting for the perfect Katherine scene; two other songs from this album were used in season one, so they certainly knew of it. The "And speaking of Little Miss Catherine" line plays as Katherine turns around, which makes for an amazing moment. The rest of the song describes Damon's conflicted feelings to a T, and anticipate an interesting dynamic to come now that Katherine is free and, presumably, around all the time. And really, losing Katherine and losing his head are two of Damon's talents.
February 16, 2011
Vampire Diaries Meaning Through Music: "Crying Wolf"
Sorry this is so late! I will be more prompt next week, I promise.
Free Energy - "All I Know"
And I know what a fake looks likeHow it fits . . . Caroline knows she's lying to Matt, and knows he knows, and she knows she should give him up for his own good, but she can't. And while it seems on paper like it would be better for him, I'm not actually convinced that it would be better for either of them to be apart at this point. Hmm.
Smith Westerns - "All Die Young"
It takes all my time to be in love with youHow it fits . . . Wow, the music is really angsty about Matt and Caroline this week, huh? Aside from the obvious connection to them, this show is all about people dying young: Caroline, Stefan, Damon, Mason, Anna, Vicki, Isobel, just to name a few. And the big question of the season is whether Elena, too, will die young (either as a sacrifice or by turning).
Ladyhawke - "Manipulating Woman"
Better not try to get inside my head, you'll find a nightmare waitingHow it fits . . . Well, obviously, Bonnie is literally manipulating Luka here. But really, this sounds like it could be Katherine's theme song. (Where is Katherine? I want her back! Someone get her out of that tomb.) And it presages the way Elena is currently manipulating the boys to some extent by not exactly making it clear that she knows that if she goes through with her deal with Elijah, she'll die.
Kyler England - "You Wait for Rain"
It's more than a crack in the wallHow it fits . . . During this trip, Elena finally brought up the elephant in the room: the possibilities for a future with Stefan. They didn't really confront it, but at least it's out there now, so the "charade" is a little less complete. I suppose it's unfair to accuse them of "drifting along" when they've been dealing with all of these life-or-death situations, but I'm glad this issue is out in the open. Also, Stefan may have taken the "bring on the wrecking ball" line too literally, as he immediately starts ripping the house apart.
Matthew West - "Family Tree"
You didn't ask for thisHow it fits . . . Oh, gosh, how doesn't it fit? The theme of dysfunctional families and legacies could apply to literally every character on the show in one way or another, and they're all trying to break out of the established patterns and figure out what's actually right. The first verse plays during Bonnie and Jeremy's kiss, which is perfect, because they're both caught up by their families in events they can't control but care about too much to not get involved. The bit about finding real love and holding your kids played when Matt was on screen, which almost made me cry, because Matt is one of the few characters who still has any chance of having a normal life, and yet we know he probably won't, because of his love for Caroline. "You'll change the course of generations" sounds like a reference to breaking the curse (or not), and made me think about how much pressure there is on Elena from every direction, including her own conscience. (If she goes through with the sacrifice, sure, it will save the people she loves, but it will also turn vampires lose on the world, and most of them aren't as nice as Stefan or even Damon.) And the ending about seasons changing and bringing new life to the family tree played as Tyler left with Jules to figure himself out. Come back soon, Ty!
February 10, 2011
Vampire Diaries Recap Roundup: "Daddy Issues"
My favorite recaps this week, with quotes...
Thomas Galvin: "Damon Salvatore: Stupid Stefan in his stupid boxers getting the stupid fangirls all lathered up with his stupid abs. You want to see squee? Fine, I'll show you squee. Look at this, ladies. I'm taking a shower. A hot, steamy, naked shower. And I'm all alone, and sad, and vulnerable. So what now?"
Forever Young Adult: "At the Bronze, Aunt Jenna introduces her news-lady friend to Damon, and Elena watches, jealous. But Damon blows her off. Elena pretends not to be, but she is secretly pleased. Damon is awesome. *Drink!*"
TheTelevixen: "Every Day should be Salvatore Banter Day. Who do we have to talk with to make this happen? Somebody should get on that."
TWoP: "Mossy Manse: Damon takes a shower. The camera pans up his torso, as the water drips down it. I think. Let me rewind that, just to be sure.
Vampire-Diaries.net: "How is it possible that Nina looks awesome with hair up or down, curly or straight, present day or 1860s styles?"
TV.com: "I hadn't noticed the enormous flat-screen TV in his bedroom the day before, when Rose was vomiting blood everywhere, but then again I'm probably the only one who noticed the flat-screen TV in this scene at all. There is a flat-screen TV in Damon's room now, you guys. Trust me."
Show Tracker: "After Tyler confronts Caroline about lying to him, she sends Stefan a 911 text. (FYI, if someone in Mystic Falls texts or calls you, just assume it is an emergency and feel free to panic.)"
Iphignia939: "3) Dear Kevin and Julie: if you want to keep having Damon deal with his manpain by showering, I have no problem with that.
EW.com: "Curiously missing from these 60 minutes was the abundance of hot Henleys that usually clothe the men of Mystic Falls. I hope my recurring commentary hasn't made the costume department self-conscious about its fashion choices."
Zap2it: "Hey, slutty Andie Star. I don't want to, but I kind of like this woman. In a show where all the kids are forced to act like grown-ups and all the grown-ups are insanely childish, it's really nice to see a grown up making grown up decisions. Like heading on over to the Salvatore house for some casual bathtub sex, for example.
Off-Color TV: "And speaking of horrified? Matt catching her lying. Sigh. Guys, I am still SO Team Matt. Yeah, I said Team Matt. Do I need to call them Maroline, or Catt? Because I will. I will do it. Don't push me to that edge. But yeah, I keep thinking she's going to tell him everything and then shit keeps coming up (NOT NOW, DANA!)."
My Entertainment OCD: "Though Damon is not the Salvatore I wanted to see in the shower, if I'd accidentally walked in on him I wouldn't turn and run away. Just to be honest."
February 07, 2011
Vampire Diaries Meaning Through Music: "Daddy Issues"
I've been wanting to write some sort of Vampire Diaries recaps, but there are so many great ones out there that I felt like most of the ground had been covered. But I realized that none of them focus on the lyrics to the many wonderful songs used on the show, so I thought I'd try that out. For each song in the episode, I'll give you a link to where you can hear it, a little context, some particularly meaningful quotes from the lyrics, and a few thoughts on how the song fits in with what's going on in those scenes and/or the themes of the show in general.
Adele - "Don't You Remember"
But I know I have a fickle heart and bitternessHow it fits . . . Some of this - "fickle heart and bitterness / And a wandering eye" - sounds like John acknowledging his mistakes, and hoping that his daughter/niece and his ex-girlfriend/sister-in-law can find room for him in the family eventually. Isobel is discussed in these scenes, and "Don't you remember / The reason you loved me before . . . I hope that you find the missing piece / To bring you back to me" could echo Alaric or John's thoughts about her. And, of course, all of this reflects Damon's feelings for and about Elena as he struggles to "be the better man" for her - and realizes that part of that is giving her space and letting her be free to be with Stefan without (as many) complications.
Alex Band - "Only One"
My eyes are painted redHow it fits . . . Anything about red eyes recently must, of course, bring Damon to mind, and the "Whose side you fighting for?" question is one I would very much like John to answer. But this song in general is so, so Caroline and Matt and their possibly doomed love. Oh, the poor things. I just want them to be happy.
Hurts - "Stay"
All right, everything is all rightHow it fits . . . Actually, both Salvatores see Elena this way: she gave them both a reason to literally stay in Mystic Falls and also to build lives and try to keep themselves under varying levels of control. In this scene, of course, it shows how Elena is the reason why Damon has sworn off women, at least for the next twenty minutes. Damon sees Elena as the only one who can see his humanity, and his only option for someone to hold on to if he tries to be "good."
Natasha Bedingfield - "Strip Me"
Every day I fight for all my future somethingsHow it fits . . . Elena spends most of her time trying to protect all the various people she loves, while most of them seem convinced that they know what's best for her and try to deprive her of her agency in the name of protection. In this scene, John is joining the list of people telling Elena what she can and can't do without really thinking about how much credit she deserves for what she's accomplished already.
Ryan Star - "Losing Your Memory"
Call all your friendsHow it fits . . . Caroline is still dealing with the fact that her life as she knows it is over, and she, Bonnie, and Elena all have to let go of their previous lives in order to move on and become friends again. Andie, of course, is literally losing her memory and being forced not to react to what's going on, and while Damon doesn't actually kill her, yet, a point of no return is passed when he confides in her and drinks from her. Damon himself isn't literally losing his memory, but is using Andie to seek a sort of hopeless oblivion.
February 06, 2011
A few thoughts on the L.J. Smith rumors . . .
Overnight, a rumor cropped up that L.J. Smith, author of the Vampire Diaries novels, had been fired from writing the remaining novels. At the time of this writing, this has not been confirmed by the publisher. The always wondering Red and Vee from Vampire-Diaries.net have a good summary of the issue, and you can see a few of the alleged emails to fans here and here. A few quick thoughts:
1. I've only read the first four books so far, but from what's I've heard (and some of her other posts and short stories I've read), the new trilogy is kind of nuts, and IF Smith really isn't writing more, that's something of a relief.
2. If Smith really wrote those emails, I must admit I'm a bit distressed by her grammar issues. I realize that's not the point, but still.
3. To those saying the publisher has "no right" to fire her: This is blatantly untrue. Smith signed away all rights to The Vampire Diaries decades ago. You may not like this, but that's how it is.
4. Smith claims not to have realized she was giving up her rights, but honestly, I have very little sympathy for someone who signs a contract and then pleads ignorance of its contents.
5. It seems odd to me that the publisher would care who dates whom in the books - unless, of course, Smith was specifically hired to write a book with a particular ending and then refused to produce that book.
6. To me - and I have no inside knowledge here or anything - it seems more likely that Smith was fired for other reasons and is spinning it, rather brilliantly, by making it about 'shipping.
7. Regardless of what's actually true, the best course of action is to BE NICE, people. Don't blame other groups of fans. Don't tweet awful things at HarperCollins. I promise they won't reach people who have anything to do with the decision. And don't harass Red and Vee or other fan site administrators. That really won't help anything.
Deep breaths! They're books! No one died! Perspective!
Update: Please read The Televixen's comment below for another really good point. In short: BE NICE.
February 03, 2011
Vampire Diaries Recap Roundup: "The Descent"
To help you prepare for the new episode tonight, here are some of my favorite recaps of last week. (Starting this week, I'm going to try my own twist on a recap - we'll see how it goes.) And hey, let's have some quotes.
(Bonus: a transcription of the recording from "Isobel's" number.)
When Jessica again begs him not to kill her, Damon de-thralls her. So she runs to her car. Damon turns to watch her go, and then Stealth-Salvatores up behind her and sinks his fangs into her throat. NOOOoooooooooooo. Okay, actually? YES! I love a good redemption story, but a good one isn't a smooth one. I don't want Damon to be a woobie. If he's going to end up a real boy, I want him to get there the hard way.Forever Young Adult (with drinking game and bonus recipe!):
Then a girl is driving down the road, and there's a guy lying in the middle of it. And it's Damon! And he's really having a bad day, what with all of his feelings.iphignia939:
Tyler kissed Caroline! "Everyone just needs to stop kissing me!" I WANT THAT ON A SHIRT RIGHT NOW, CW. (Also, while I like Matt, I am totes on Team Tyler/Caroline. I would pay real money if they lasted like a billion years and had awesome adopted kids who knew not to go in the basement when Daddy's a wolf and understand about Mommy's dietary eccentricities.)Vampire-Diaries.net:
Like Tyler, Matt trusts Caroline but he sees that there's something she isn't telling him, the something that's keeping them apart. (Besides Dana.)TheTelevixen:
There are good scenes, there are great scenes, and then there are scenes that are so unforgettable they'll be recalled by fandom for seasons to come and seasons after the show has passed. Damon's "This Is My Secret" scene in "The Descent" is one of those scenes. There is something equally eerie and excellent that happens when Ian Somerhalder slips into the true guise of Damon Salvatore. Not the cheeky one-liner, sexy smartass Damon Salvatore, but the tortured blood-lusting bad boy antihero lost between the man and the monster, desperate to be saved but knowing he can never be. That is the Damon Salvatore who made me his diehard defender. That is the Damon Salvatore that, without question, stole the show.Heroine TV:
Yes, being evil "hurt" Rose. This earned some eye-rolling from me. I imagine that it hurt the people that she killed even more. Help! I'm a vampire and I don’t like it! This makes a lot of sense for a new vampire, but after five hundred years? Seems like sometime in half a millennium one should either get comfortable in one's skin, or move on. How did she even survive for so long? And if she hated being evil so much, why didn't she change her ways? Try to help people? Or just end things by stake or sun?Zap2it:
It's so telling that he lets her go and then attacks her anyway. He genuinely can't decide who he's supposed to be in this moment. I know that a lot of people are going to be upset that Damon seems to be regressing back to his old ways, but I think there's a clear difference between then and now. Then, he was flippant and cold and cruel because it was easy. Now, he's going to be flippant and cold and cruel despite the fact that it's difficult. He's fighting for his life, essentially.TV.com:
I bet when Macy's asked him what threadcount he wanted, he just said "TONS." . . .Show Tracker:
(Somerhalder filmed this episode while sick. Really? Maybe he should be sick for every episode.)
January 27, 2011
Catch VD? No thanks.
The Vampire Diaries comes back from its winter hiatus today, and as anyone who's spent much time here knows, I love this show madly. What I don't love, though, is the new ad campaign with which the network is heralding the show's return. It's . . . unsavory, to say the least.
First, the billboards: They started out as black backgrounds with just the words "CATCH VD." And they're being replaced by images of the actors - with the same tagline.
Next appeared the promo and a poster version of the billboard:
Now, the "Got Wood?" tagline, on its own, would probably make me roll my eyes but not be particularly upset. But "Catch VD"? No no no. There are any number of reasons why this is bad: It's completely illogical, since obviously the proper response is to turn and run in the other direction. It helps ensure that the show will never be taken seriously. It cheapens the image of hard-working actors whose images are linked with it. It makes even parents who are themselves fans of the show feel weird about watching it with their kids. Fans call it TVD, anyway, and fan sites like Vampire-Diaries.net have deliberately encouraged that abbreviation to avoid things like this. (For that matter, what is this, 1970? STD is the commonly-used term now anyway.) It has certainly created buzz among people who already watch, but a totally unscientific poll of my Twitter followers indicated that people who have never seen the show are just turned off by it. In addition, it has nothing to do with the show itself. (That's where I think it's different from the controversial Gossip Girl OMFG ads a few years ago. Those were at least relevant, and not misleading.) I mean, really, of all the dangers inherent in a visit to Mystic Falls, I think STDs are pretty low on the list of things to worry about.*
But here's my real problem with it: This ad campaign uses a very real, serious health issue as a cheap joke in order to sell something. If someone made an ad campaign that said "Cancer is awesome and sexy!", people would be up in arms. (Now that I think about it, Alzheimer's is the disease that's probably played for laughs the most, and that drives me crazy too.) Disease - no matter what kind - is not funny, or risque, or alluring. That's it.
Does this change how I feel about the show? No, of course not. But it adds yet another caveat to my usual spiel when I defend the show and the fact that the CW is worth watching, even for adults, and it means more potential viewers who will never be convinced.
* Since I have been told that I "don't get the joke," let me just point out that that sentence was facetious. I get the joke. I just don't think it's funny.
October 13, 2010
I LOVE MASQUERADES.
There's no new The Vampire Diaries this week - I know, I know, let's all hold hands and get through this together - but there is this amazing teaser for an upcoming masquerade episode. I was going to make some blanket statement about how I love masquerades on TV shows, but now that I think about it, Gossip Girl is the only other specific example I can come up with. But STILL. I am excited. Also: Matt in a suit.
(As always, Vampires-Diaries.net is the best source for news.)
October 07, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: "Memory Lane"
"Memory Lane" was a fun episode, but didn't really have many openings for legal discussions. Did that stop us from rambling about it for a while? Of course not!
Katie: So . . . is it just me or is there just not much to talk about this week?
Christine: I don't think there is. Other than me wanting to know about the testamentary dispositions of various Lockwoods, that is. But nothing from the actual plot of the episode. Mostly what I came away with last week was a greater love for Uncle Mason.
Katie: Well, tell me what you want to know about testamentary dispositions. That's fun to say.
Christine: It IS. I'd love to know who owns the Lockwood place now. It seems like it passes from eldest son to eldest son, so I am assuming that most of the property passed to Tyler, and that Mrs. Lockwood is the guardian/conservator of the estate (depending on the terminology Virginia uses). Mrs. Lockwood probably also got some money herself, and perhaps a life estate in the house. Didn't you have a theory about primogeniture and why Tyler was able to call off Mason when he was attacking Caroline?
Katie: Oh, I did! That was just about the wolves, though, not the property. My theory is that leadership of the pack passes to oldest son, which means that when his father died, Tyler became head wolf, not Mason.
I'm not convinced about the house thing, though. What makes you think Tyler owns it? Mystic Falls is weird, but it's not THAT weird, and I think it would be bizarre for a modern couple to arrange things that way, instead of having the parents co-own the house and so have Mrs. Lockwood be the owner now. Isn't that how this usually works?
Christine: Yes, but in this case I am thinking of the house more as a family estate (like you'd have in aristocratic families) than as a family home. The Mayor could have given Mrs. Lockwood a life estate- i.e. she has the right to reside in the house for the rest of her life- without actually passing title to her. (The life estate thing often happens when the testator leaves his second wife a life estate, but actually devises the house to children from his first marriage. This way the Mayor could provide for Mrs. Lockwood without running the risk that she'd have a midlife crisis and marry the FedEx guy and leave him the estate, instead of Tyler.)
And how would the head wolf thing work since as far as we know the Mayor never activated the curse and so wasn't a wolf?
Katie: Ah, interesting. Okay.
Do we really know that the Mayor never activated the curse? I guess I'm not necessarily believing anything Mason says.
Christine: You'd think Tyler would have noticed if his father always disappeared on the full moon. And the Mayor looked terribly confused when the Gilbert device affected him. Mason could be lying, of course, and he doesn't seem to have been close to his brother, so he could also be wrong. Did the Lockwoods keep journals? I wonder if they passed on their werewolf knowledge with the vampire knowledge and Tyler just hadn't been inducted yet.
Katie: That's my guess - that even if the Mayor hadn't actually transitioned, he knew all about it, and just hadn't told Tyler about it yet. One would assume they kept journals. Hmmm.
Christine: You'd think. All those founders seemed set on preserving their brilliance for future generations.
Katie: Anything else? Or are we just hoping that there will be more legal stuff tonight?
Christine: I think the latter. I am hoping for total awesomeness tonight.
Katie: Indeed. See you next week, folks!
September 30, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: "Bad Moon Rising"
Katie: Okay, the Lockwoods said the word "liable" several times. I know you're just chomping at the bit here. Go ahead.
Christine: Mason and Mrs. Lockwood are right. If someone were to get hurt at Tyler's party, the Lockwoods would be liable as long as the injury was reasonably foreseeable - which, as I think the kids were probably drinking, it would have been. Booze and swimming don't mix. This is complicated by the fact that I think the swimming hole is not man-made, which means it might have crevices or underwater caves or similar that the Lockwoods would have reason to know about but their guests wouldn't. If one of the kids were to get stuck underwater and drown because the Lockwoods hadn't warned them of the danger, that would be bad. Of course, this is all civil liability - the Lockwoods wouldn't be criminally liable for injuries on their land unless they actually caused them. So Mrs. Lockwood won't go to jail, at least. I could go on for pages about this, but I like you, so I won't. I know you were really curious about Alaric's responsibilities when he takes Elena on their road trip.
Katie: What exactly was Alaric thinking? Are there any legal issues with teachers transporting their minor students across state lines without written permission and for non-school-related activities? Is Alaric always acting in loco parentis, or just when they're physically in the school building? How about in the school building after school hours?
Christine: Teachers are only in loco parentis in limited circumstances - basically when acting in the course of their professional duties, or for furthering educational purposes, which this trip was not at all. Going to Duke was completely extracurricular; Alaric wasn't acting as Elena's teacher, he was acting as a family friend. There's no issue there either, because to be in loco parentis you have to act as the parent - financially, emotionally, etc. A day trip just isn't going to be enough. I don't see how they'd run into legal issues unless Jenna complained, because Elena's a minor and Jenna is the only adult who'd have the right to bring suit in her name. Since Alaric is taking Elena on the trip with Jenna's permission, he's good.
Katie: Oh, yes, I wasn't concerned about the family friend part, just the teacher part.
Christine: Oh, OK. Basically, Alaric won't get in any trouble for taking Elena across state lines in the company of a homicidal psychopath. Though if said psychopath hurt Elena, I suppose he might be an accessory. That's criminal, though. Nothing to do with parental anything. Oh, and disclaimer here: I should point out that I'm just looking at common law - I haven't bothered going into the Virginia statutes, because the issues we're looking at are fairly vague and also I like the common law better. Laws vary from state to state, but are usually broadly similar.
Katie: Okay! Are there any other topics? Hmmm.
Christine: I don't think so, though I vaguely wondered whether, were she charged with attempted murder, Vanessa the grad student could use insanity as a defense if she convinced the court she truly believed that Elena was an eeeevil vampire. Clearly self-defense wouldn't work because the danger wasn't imminent, though you could argue that with the vampire the danger is always imminent. Hmm. I have no solution to this and it's totally pointless, but it's legal, so here it is.
Katie: Would insanity only work if the court didn't believe there were in fact vampires? Hmmm.
Christine: Vanessa would have to show that a mental disease or defect either prevented her from understanding that her actions were criminal or made it impossible for her to conform to the law. I suppose her insistence on the existence of vampires would help, unless the judge and jury were in on the secret. Insanity's a pretty high bar, though.
Katie: It is, but perhaps the fact that we spend so much time figuring this stuff out just proves that we're insane. Ah well. Until next week, when flashbacks will allow me to demand you research 1864 law!
September 24, 2010
Vampire Diaries Promo and Web Clip!
Want a peek at next week's episode of The Vampire Diaries? Here you go. (As always, check out Vampire-Diaries.net for the best clips, pictures, news, etc.)
September 21, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: "Brave New World"
Katie: Okay, first things first: How the heck did Caroline get into her house? This has been bothering me. I want answers.
Christine: I don't know! She can't just have invited herself in, because she's dead and therefore no longer has the right to reside there, or something like that, right? Maybe her mom was home and let her in and then left? This is really bothering me too, because with Vicki and Logan Fell it was very clear that once you've vamped you need an invite into your own house.
Katie: She said her mother wasn't home yet. My completely crazy theory is that her mother IS NOT HUMAN EITHER, so no one needs to be invited in now that Caroline's dead. I don't think her mom's a vampire, but she could be . . . something else?
Christine: Oooh! That IS completely crazy, but I like it! I can't think of how she'd have gotten in - she lives alone with her mother, right? Anyone other than her mother being able to let her in would come in from left field. Unless her mother left her a "welcome home, honey, come on in" note on the door?
Katie: They've certainly never mentioned anyone else being there. I'm going to assume that Sheriff Mom isn't human, just because it amuses me.
Christine: I haven't got a lot from this week, other than that. But I was thinking about the Gilberts' Magical Life-Protecting Rings some more, because I don't get the supernatural death thing. I mean, having your neck snapped isn't supernatural, unless, apparently, Damon does it. So then I thought - aha! This is all but-for causation!
Katie: And what's that?
Christine: It's criminal law. Before you can convict someone of murder, for example, you need to establish that they caused the death. So say I push you into a pool and you drown.
Katie: Um, okay.
Christine: This is hypothetical, of course. But HYPOTHETICALLY, you wouldn't have drowned BUT FOR my action in pushing you into the pool. I pushed you, so I caused your death. Ergo, if your death is caused by a supernatural being, even in a non-supernatural way, the Gilberts' Magical Life-Protecting Rings will save you. The supernatural being must be a but-for cause of your death for the rings to work. QED.
Katie: I had assumed that about the rings as a matter of common sense, but it's good to know there's actually a legal basis! Next week, Alaric's taking Damon and Elena on a road trip, so I'm going to be asking you all sorts of stuff about in loco parentis. Not that any of the actual parents act parental on this show, but whatever. Get researching!
September 15, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: "The Return"
Welcome to the second edition of Vampire Legal Issues! Wondering how vamping will affect your ability to take advantage of the Lockwoods' open bar? Read on.
Christine: What a delightful episode! Is it wrong that I now sort of love Katherine’s fraudulent little self? Sort of like I love Scarlett O’Hara, which you might too, if you’d ever read Gone with the Wind? *cough* Also, I CAN’T BELIEVE DAMON DID THAT.
Katie: *ignoring that* This episode had a lot of new invite stuff. I was wondering how things work as far as intention? Tyler invited Katherine in thinking she was Elena, but apparently that doesn’t matter.
Christine: I wondered the same thing. He said “Elena, come in” and clearly did not intend to invite Elena’s Evil Doppelganger into the family manse. The same with Aunt Jenna, in last season’s finale. Does mistaken identity not matter? Why can Invite Magic not suss out the intent of the person doing the inviting? I was thinking vaguely of mortgages, and how you can't use false statements to induce someone to sign a mortgage or other contract, but Katherine was just coming in for Hey-the-Mayor's-Dead! Cocktail Hour, not buying property or otherwise entering into a contract with Tyler. Certainly if Katherine fraudulently induced Tyler to sign a contract by telling him she was Elena, the contract would be voidable. Or void. (It depends on jurisdiction and type of contract.)
Katie: Do written invitations ever work? What if you get an invitation to a birthday party? What if you tack a note to your door that says "Damon, please come in"?
Christine: I would never tack a note inviting Damon in to my door. You never know what the moody little beast will be up to, do you? When Tyler invited Katherine-as-Elena into the Lockwood house, he was standing outside (also, he said “come in,” not “go in,” which means either that vampire law is highly formalistic or that the accident has induced predicate confusion on his part). So clearly you don’t need to be in the house to invite someone in, as long as you have the right to issue an invite. I suppose written notes would work as well, or phone calls.
Katie: I think you're reading too much into "come in" vs. "go in." Tyler is standing outside his house welcoming people, so I think it's natural to say "come in." Also, I'm not convinced that linguistic precision is one of Tyler's strong suits even on his best days. Anything else?
Christine: The other thing I was wondering- Katherine told Snark, in the kitchen, that Jenna had to go talk to the firemen about the fire in the office building. But we know that John is trustee of the estate, because Pearl would have needed his permission to purchase the building. So what does Jenna have to do with it? What is the division of control of property and kids? Is Jenna guardian of the kids, and both Jenna and John are trustees of the estate? I suppose that's possible, though John made it seem like he was the only trustee. And of course the Gilberts' property could have been broken down into more than one separately controlled trust. Inquiring minds want to know, Show.
Katie: Yup, THAT's the mystery that fans are just clamoring to have cleared up, Christine. Hey, are we assuming that Elena's not 18 yet? (I think she's 16, but I'm not positive.) If she were, she'd have to be consulted about the buildings and such, right? Does John have some diabolical plan he's trying to carry out before she comes of age? Anyway, the promos for the next episode suggest that we will see Damon and Stefan at home, and I'm looking forward to it, because their house is pretty. Well, and also because I can use it as an excuse to ask about vampire property ownership and drive Christine back into the arms of her property law textbooks. See you then!
September 09, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: First in a continuing series
Instead of writing episode recaps like every other blog out there, I decided to take a slightly different slant for my Vampire Diaries posts this season. I'll be examining the TVD world's vampire rules and the various legal issues the show brings up, and I'm even bringing in a legal consultant! My law student friend Christine will be with me each week. So if YOU have lingering Vampire Legal Questions, please let me know in the comments. And now I'll let Christine explain what we're doing:
We talk about The Vampire Diaries. A LOT. And our conversations generally go something like this:
What's wrong with a Salvatore on each arm?
The lovely folks at Vampire-Diaries.net asked me to write a guest post for them in the lead-up to the season to premiere, and I totally forgot to link to it. So in case anyone is interested and hasn't seen yet, click on over for my argument for why Elena needs both Salvatore brothers.
September 07, 2010
Promos for The Vampire Diaries
A few people have asked to see all the available promos for the Vampire Diaries premiere. Here's what I've found. The premiere is Thursday at 8 Eastern!
August 31, 2010
Vampire Diaries Stars Thank Fans
As I mentioned in Morning Coffee, season one of The Vampire Diaries comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray today. The three stars of the show, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, and Paul Wesley, have released a video thanking fans for their support:
This sort of thing shouldn't be rare, but I feel like it kind of is. Stars of various sorts often thank fans in interviews and speeches, but I can't think of many examples of this sort of dedicated thank you that isn't part of a larger interview. Good for them!
August 26, 2010
"Isobel" - What are they thinking?
The CW is showing the "Isobel" episode of The Vampire Diaries tonight, so I dug this up from an e-mail I wrote to a friend. She'd asked me to interpret the three main characters' facial expressions after Isobel's announcement that Damon is in love with Elena. So here's what I decided they were thinking. (This is meant to be funny, and just one interpretation, obviously!)
Damon: Damn it! She got me! I thought I was being so clever with the whole I-have-no-feelings ruse. I should have realized that the fact that she's the girl in question's mother AND my ex would have made the
Stefan: No he's not. He's a monster. He's not in love. He couldn't be. Nope. Wait. Darn it. He totally is. How did I let that happen? What's wrong with me? Will she fall for him? Of course she will. Everyone falls for him. I practically fall for him. Why can't the nice guy ever get the girl? What should I do? Should I fight him? No! Wait! I'll mope about it, because that will annoy Damon way more than fighting would!
Elena: Wait, WHAT? He WHAT? No way! That's ridiculous! Isn't it? ISN'T IT? Maybe it isn't. OMG. But I love Stefan! But Damon's so pretty, and he does the Eye Thing! And he's really nice for a psychopathic serial killer! But wait! I love Stefan! And PEOPLE, my BROTHER was KIDNAPPED and I just met my EVIL VAMPIRE MOTHER and I CANNOT DEAL with anything else right now. So let's just pretend none of us heard that and carry on. Right? Okay? Let's do that . . . OMGWTFBBQ I CANNOT STOP LOOKING AT HIM.
Bonus Song of the Day: Ian Somerhalder Victory Song
I mentioned earlier that Ian Somerhalder's Damon Salvatore won the Sexiest Beast contest at Entertainment Weekly. Well, that led to this: his costar Matt Davis, who plays history teacher/vampire slayer Alaric on the show, wrote and recorded him a song, and it is HILARIOUS:
August 20, 2010
Vampire Diaries Season 2 Trailer!
The CW finally put out a full-length trailer, and it's pretty awesome:
July 23, 2010
The Vampire Diaries is casting...
I'm putting this behind a cut because it's slightly, although not very, spoilery for next season of The Vampire Diaries. Proceed at your own risk!
From Ask Ausiello:
Question: Vampire Diaries scoop pretty please with a Smurf on top? —RandiTwo thoughts:
1. They specify that she's young and attractive, and, well, this is the CW, where everyone is young and attractive, so I supposed we shouldn't read too much into that. But it makes me suspect that Vanessa will be some sort of romantic interest for at least one of the boys, and I'm not wild about that idea. I was hoping to see the Alaric/Jenna relationship actually get developed this season, so I don't want him distracted by another girl. On the other hand, Damon, for all his psychopathic tendencies - and because of his psychopathic tendencies, really - is probably rather less likely than most TV characters to fall for a random new girl. I think Elena is the only real threat to his loyalty to Katherine - and vice versa.
2. Is this description just screaming "Kristen Bell" to anyone else? I'd love to see her back on TV, and she's one of the few young actresses who could hold her own against Ian Somerhalder and Matt Davis.
July 12, 2010
First Vampire Diaries Season Two Trailer!
I think it's the first, anyway. And it's all about Damon. Not that I'm complaining.
July 01, 2010
Vampire Diaries: September 9!
The CW released its fall premiere schedule yesterday, and since I'm honestly much more interested in The Vampire Diaries than any of their other shows at this point, I will go ahead and tell you that season two will begin on Thursday, September 9, followed by the new show Nikita on the same night. The other new drama, Hellcats, will appear the night before, and Gossip Girl gets going on the following Monday, September 13. (Click for the dates for the shows I don't watch.)
A sign of just how excited I was when I read this: my boss was in a meeting when this news broke yesterday. I'm pretty sure that was the only time I've ever felt compelled to text him about something while he was in a meeting without me. Clearly my priorities are in order.
June 18, 2010
The Vampire Diaries 1.3: "Friday Night Bites"
Again, you're getting more or less my stream of consciousness notes from my rewatching of this episode, made slightly more coherent after the fact. If I'm just doing these random thoughts, maybe I should start actually putting timestamps on it and making it more like a liveblog? Hmm. What do you think?
Okay. I know what Damon did to Caroline was wrong and all, but if you HAD to wake up all bloody, there are worse ways to do it than in such a pretty nightgown with Damon sleeping next to you. I like that these vampires actually sleep and stuff. Do Caroline's wounds hurt after the fact? She covers them up, but she never seems to say "ouch" or anything.
What is WITH this history teacher? Why is he always asking about random unconnected dates? Shouldn't they be studying a particular part of history? And he's a bad coach, too!
The football itself seems reasonably realistic in this episodes - much better than on Glee, say. Not that I'm any football expert, but my brother plays and I attended many of his high school games.
I had sort of forgotten about the whole Vicki thing, by the way. Do all of Jeremy's important scenes with girls happen at the grill? Well, not all, but a lot of them do. I suppose that makes some amount of sense.
The dinner party with Elena, Bonnie, and Stefan is so awkwardly cute, and Stefan is trying so hard. He's such a good boyfriend. And then, of course, Damon and Caroline show up, and Stefan can't manage to stop Elena from inviting Damon in. Caroline is hilarious as always, and even Damon can't believe how offensive she's being talking about Elena's "blah phase."
The scene with Elena and Damon in the kitchen was adorable, even if he thinks he's faking. A lot of his fake nice stuff in this episode ends up being true by the end of the season. Elena and Damon are somewhat inexplicably comfortable together from the beginning - watch them load the dishwasher. And Damon is the one who realizes that Elena was miserable at cheerleading practice, and tells her to quit. And she does.
When Damon tells Elena about Katherine, she's clearly uncomfortable with the whole thing, but she cuts right to the chase: "I'm sorry. About Katherine. You lost her, too." Stefan would never, ever say that sort of thing to Damon, and no one else really knows what happened, so far as we know, so is this the first time Damon has had his grief openly acknowledged like that?
How old is Damon trying to pass for, anyway? Early twenties? Do we ever find out exactly how old he was when he turned? Is he pretending to work or anything? What does he tell Caroline? I guess it doesn't matter, since he wipes her memory whenever he feels like it.
When Caroline tells Stefan that Matt and Elena were each others' first, is she meaning to imply that they slept together, or does it just sort of sound that way? Did they? The extent of their relationship, and Elena's sexual and romantic history in general, is kind of unclear. I guess the point is that nothing before Stefan really mattered that much, but I'm still curious, especially since Matt remains such a major character.
Even in Elena's dream, she says Damon isn't so bad, and Stefan says he is. Was the dream totally dictated by Damon or did Elena's subconscious play a role? Unrelated: Elena's bed always looks so comfortable with that big fluffy white comforter. I want it.
Stefan: "There must be a shred of humanity left inside my brother. Somewhere. I keep hoping. But how do I make him see it? And how do I protect her?" Interestingly, Damon ends up realizing his humanity BY protecting her, basically. So Stefan's looking at this all wrong. Sort of.
Football game: This is making me miss football season. The drinking here is way more obvious than at any of my high school's games, though. The Elena/Stefan scene with the necklace was adorable, and he frames the gift in a very chivalrous way - as a token for her to wear while he plays. Of course, this is a cover for it being for protection, but still.
The Damon/Elena scene at the game: What's Elena doing at her car, anyway? Or is it an SUV? Do we see this car again? Am I just forgetting things? Quite possible. Anyway! Damon and Elena's conversation about Caroline is interesting. It's slightly surprising to remember that in these early episodes, even Elena thought Damon was just . . . you know, a guy. So having these conversations about his dating life and whatever seem so strange to the audience but are completely reasonable, given what people know (or don't). And even this early, Elena's the one who has Damon's number and isn't afraid to stand up to him. Sure, it helps that she thinks he's human, but still. The slap scene is great, and Damon looks so confused.
Stefan thinks Damon keeps him alive to torture him because he loves Katherine, but I think deep down it's just that Damon loves Stefan. Yes, this ties in to my ongoing theory that the Stefan/Damon relationship is the core of the show. Damon's like a little kid here after Stefan says there's some human in him - "You say I'm human? I'll show you!" And then he chomps on the evil history teacher. It was nice to have him kill someone so unlikeable, for once, and to open up a spot for Alaaaaric.
I love Stefan's voiceover of "There's nothing human left in Damon" over the visual of Damon watching Elena sleep. After Damon's whole "I can do with Elena whatever I want" speech to Stefan, we see that what he actually wants to do is gaze at her, touch her hair and her face, gently, and leave. Oh, Damon. Swoon.
A few other random things:
June 13, 2010
Vampire Diaries Quotes (1.1-1.3)
I'm always trying to look up quotes from TV shows I like and getting annoyed that various sites either don't have what I want or have too many typos or whatever. So! I am going to start recording quotes from various shows, mostly for my own reference. But who knows - maybe they will help someone else out there Googling for quotes. I'm going to try to put the actual quotes behind a cut so they won't take up space on the main page of the site, and I'll update this as I rewatch various episodes.
Stefan: For over a century I have lived in secret, hiding in the shadows, alone in the world. Until now. I am a vampire, and this is my story.
Darren: He sounded like James Blunt.
Stefan: I shouldn't have come home. I know the risk. But I have to know her.
Elena: Dear Diary, Today will be different. It has to be. I will smile, and it will be believable. My smile will say "I'm fine. Thank you." Yes. I feel much better. I will no longer be the sad little girl who lost her parents. I will start fresh. Be someone new. That's the only way I'll make it through.
Elena: It's all about the coffee, Aunt Jenna.
Bonnie: But then I started thinking - I predicted Obama. And I predicted Heath Ledger. And I still think Florida will break off and turn into little resort islands.
Elena: Really, I can't be freaked out by cars for the rest of my life.
Bonnie: Look at the shower curtain on Kelly Beech. She looks a hot - can we still say tranny mess?
Tyler: Hey, Pete Wentz called. He wants his nail polish back.
Elena: All I see is back.
Elena: You haven't seen crazy, Jeremy.
Elena: Dear Diary, I made it through the day. I must have said "I'm fine. Thanks." at least thirty-seven times, and I didn't mean it once. But no one noticed. When someone asks "How are you?" they really don't want an answer.
Elena: Okay. Hi, bird. That's not . . . creepy or anything.
Elena: I'm Elena.
Jeremy [to Vicki]: When's the last time you had sex with a puppy?
Caroline: His name is Stefan Salvatore. He lives with his uncle up at the old Salvatore boarding house. He hasn't lived here since he was a kid - military family, so they moved around a lot. He's a Gemini, and his favorite color is blue.
Elena: No worries. I get it - blood makes you squeamish.
Elena: How did you know where I lived?
Stefan: If I don't write it down, I forget it. Memories are too important.
Elena: Any siblings?
Mr. Tanner: Mr. Donovan. Would you like to take this opportunity to overcome your embedded jock stereotype?
Mr. Tanner: Salvatore. Any relation to the original settlers here at Mystic Falls?
Elena: What makes you think that I'm sad?
Stefan: You won't be sad forever, Elena.
Vicki: No. Ty. I'm not having sex against a tree.
Stefan: Crow's a bit much, don't you think?
Stefan: Why are you here now?
Damon: Took my breath away, Elena. She's a dead ringer for Katherine. Is it working, Stefan? Being around her. Being in her world. Does it make you feel alive?
Damon: Imagine what her blood tastes like! I can.
Stefan: But wherever you go, people die.
Damon: I promised you an eternity of misery. So I'm just keeping my word.
Caroline: I'm inappropriate, I always say the wrong thing, and . . . Elena always says the right thing. She doesn't even try, and he just picks her. And she's always the one that everyone picks. For everything. And I try. So hard, and . . . I'm never the one.
Stefan: I know it's late, but, uh, I needed to know that you were okay.
1.2: The Night of the Comet
Stefan: I'm awake. For the first time in a long time, I feel completely and undeniably awake.
Jenna: Hair up or down?
Caroline: You and Stefan talked all night. There was no sloppy first kiss or touchy-feely of any kind?
Caroline: Okay, it's easy. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. Sex.
Damon: You must be Elena. I'm Damon. Stefan's brother.
Elena: Wow. This is your living room?
Damon: I see why my brother's so smitten. It's about time. For a while there, I thought he'd never get over the last one. Nearly destroyed him.
Damon: Great gal. She's got . . . spunk. You, on the other hand, look pooped. Did you overexert yourself today? Let me guess - hospital.
Damon: Remember, if you don't feed properly, none of those little tricks work right!
Damon: We both know the closest you'll ever get to humanity is when you rip it open and feed on it.
Stefan: What game are you playing, Damon?
Elena: He's on the rebound, and has raging family issues.
Elena: We never got to the texting part.
Zach: What is Damon doing here? Why did he come home?
Zach: Is she worth it? Uncle Stefan. This girl you came back for?
Stefan: I think it's just a ball of snow and ice, trapped on a path it can't escape. And once every 145 years, it gets to come home.
Elena: You seem to spend a lot of time apologizing.
Elena: You didn't tell me that you had a brother.
Elena: He told me about your ex . . . Katherine?
Elena: We met, and we talked, and it was epic. But then the sun came up and reality set in.
Vicki: I know you.
Damon [when Stefan jumps onto the roof]: Not bad! Have you been eating bunnies?
Stefan: That's what this is about? You want to expose me?
Damon: It's good to be home. I think I might stay a while. This town could use a bit of a wake-up call, don't you think?
Stefan: What are you up to, Damon?
Caroline: Ugh! So much drama. Ever notice how the druggies are the biggest attention whores?
Caroline, on Bonnie: Yeah, she kind of wigs out? It's like her thing.
Caroline: I was hoping I'd see you again.
Stefan: I met a girl. We talked. It was epic. Then sun came up and reality set in. Well, this is reality. Right here.
1.3: Friday Night Bites
Damon: This could have gone a completely different way.
Tyler: Oh look, there's Elena and her new boyfriend. What are they doing? Oh, they're walking. Walking. Walking. Yep, right into the sunset.
Elena: I didn't know you played football.
Elena: To them you're Mysterious Loner Guy. Wouldn't hurt to be part of. Make some friends.
Matt: First my girlfriend, now my team?
Caroline: I got the other brother. Hope you don't mind.
Damon: Very Emerson, the way you reveal your soul with so many . . . adjectives.
Damon: I've got my own cheerleader now.
Bonnie: I don't want to be a witch. Do you want to be a witch?
Stefan: Salem witches are heroic examples of individualism and nonconformity.
Damon: You don't seem like the cheerleader type, Elena.
Matt: She's my sister, and I love her. But sometimes she can really make you work for it.
Damon: I like you. You know how to laugh. And you make Stefan smile, which is something I haven't seen in a very long time.
Elena: What was she [Katherine] like?
Damon: I'd quit cheerleading if I were you.
Elena: I'm sorry. About Katherine. You lost her, too.
Caroline: Does it look like I do dishes?
Stefan: They are people, Damon. She's not a puppet. She doesn't exist for your amusement, for you to feed on whenever you want to.
Stefan: Now it's time for you to go.
Stefan: There must be a shred of humanity left inside my brother. Somewhere. I keep hoping. But how do I make him see it? And how do I protect her?
Stefan: What happened? No more cheerleader?
Stefan: We're a work in progress. We'll figure it out.
Tyler: Don't look so down. You can have her when I'm done.
Bonnie: When I touched Stefan, it was a feeling. And it vibrated through me and it was cold and -
Damon: I'm hiding from Caroline.
Damon: Isn't that nice. Stefan joins a team, makes a friend. It's all so rah rah go team yeah!
Damon: Guess I could just seduce her the old-fashioned way. Or I could just . . . eat her.
Stefan: Katherine is dead. And you hate me because you loved her, and you torture me because you still do. And that, my brother, that is your humanity.
Damon: If that's my humanity, then what's this?
Damon: Anyone. Any time. Any place.
June 11, 2010
Ridiculously Adorable Vampire Diaries Cast Interview
As usual, they're charming and gracious, and they actually have a kind of interesting answer to whether they would choose to become vampires themselves. But there's a lesson here, kids: Don't run around chewing on your coworkers! Someone might get hurt!
June 08, 2010
The Vampire Diaries 1.2: "The Night of the Comet"
Okay, I don't really have anything deep and profound to say about this as a whole, so you're getting my stream-of-consciousness notes I took as I watched. Sorry!
Another starting scene with an attack, and the fog. There's also a lot more of jumping out of trees and stuff than I remember later on.
I really love Jenna and her attempts at parenting. She's not doing too badly, given the awful situation.
I had kind of forgotten about this whole comet thing. Doing math . . . 145 years ago was indeed 1864. Does this end up being actually relevant somehow? Bonnie says it created a bed of paranormal activity. So is that why the vampires are coming back now? Because of the comet? Hmm.
I love how Stefan has an original Wuthering Heights. Hee.
The whole scene with Stefan, Vicki, and Matt in the hospital seems... odd, somehow. Off. Vicki isn't supposed to be starting to turn or anything yet, is she?
With all these doctors and everything, does no one notice that Vicki and Matt have no parents around? Do they have insurance? Does their mom send them money? How does this work?
Why does Elena just walk into Stefan's house? That's rather rude. But boy, this is a gorgeous house. I want it. Damon and Elena stare at each other without saying anything for an awfully long time, there.
It's interesting that Damon starts talking to Elena about Katherine immediately. And he's doing the eye thing already! And the hand kiss! Damon kisses her hand before Stefan touches her at all, huh?
I don't know if it's just later events coloring my feelings, but I'm finding Bonnie kind of annoying already.
Song lyrics are "I say yes when I oughtta say no" as Damon and Caroline look at each other. Perfect.
I like how this group of friends all have their problems with each other, but still band together when someone's in trouble - like when Vicki is missing. It reminds me of Gossip Girl, where everyone ends up together when something's really wrong, and they all know that they care about each other underneath everything.
And finally - "epic"? No, kids, that was not epic. Go watch the Veronica Mars "epic" scene and then get back to us, okay?
June 07, 2010
The Vampire Diaries 1.1: "Pilot"
I know the Vampire Diaries episodes currently airing are reruns, so it seems a little late to blog about it, but I'm going to do it anyway. Specifically, I'm going to be thinking about the way that the early episodes set up some of the big reveals later in the season, so assume that all these posts might have spoilers all the way through season one and proceed accordingly.
One of the things that struck me most when rewatching the pilot was how different some of it was from later episodes. It certainly seems like they were trying to make it look like Twilight in order to get picked up, and then spent the rest of the season getting away from that. For one thing, I had forgotten the way the episodes used to always start with attacks. I guess it nicely set up the fact that they're not messing around about killing people, but I'm glad they stopped after a while. Of course, now I can't remember when exactly it stopped.
There are a few events in the pilot that really set things up, in ways I didn't necessarily see the first time around. It's telling that Damon's first line is "Hello, brother," as I think there's an argument to be made that the Stefan/Damon relationship is the core of the show, and Elena and Katherine are both somewhat incidental to the whole thing. And the episode ends with Elena inviting Stefan into the house, which is really the perfect ending for a pilot like this.
More things that go away as the season progresses:
All the fog! They certainly got their money's worth out of the fog machine in the pilot, huh?
Was it ever firmly established that it was Damon who killed the couple at the beginning? It certainly looks like it could be him, and there's a ring, but at this point, I guess I'm questioning everything. Similarly, Stefan walks out of the woods in a way that makes us think that he might have be the one who attacked Vicki.
I like Zach, and he's pretty hot. Too bad he didn't stick around for long.
Other random observations:
I love the clothes in this series, especially Elena's shirts. But in the school shots, there are an awful lot of jackets and long sleeves for Viriginia in early September, aren't there?
June 04, 2010
I've heard from various people that this afternoon is going on forever. Need a pick-me-up? Here a slideshow of the sexiest scenes from season one of The Vampire Diaries. (There are at least two extremely sexy scenes they left out, so I'm wondering if they restricted it to shirtless scenes.) If that's not enough, here are 92 pictures of Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev at a basketball game. You're welcome.
May 13, 2010
The finale season has been won.
The Vampire Diaries finale that just aired was so mind-blowingly amazing and shocking that I'm pretty confident in saying that I seriously doubt any other season finale I'll see this spring will top it. (I mean, go ahead, Bones and Gossip Girl. Bring it on. We'll see.)
More over the weekend, when I've recovered from my shock enough to form coherent sentences beyond "OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG." (Yes, I just texted that to someone.)
The Most Incredibly Exciting Week Ever
Okay, that may be overstating things a little, but seriously, folks, there's a lot of exciting pop culture stuff going on in the next week or so. Here's a rundown of the things that interest me. (Notes: All times are Eastern. Here's an explanation of "upfronts".)
Thursday, May 13
Friday, May 14
Monday, May 17
Tuesday, May 18
Thursday, May 20
May 11, 2010
I'll hate myself for this in the morning...
I can't believe I'm actually about to post this. A fanvid. For a teen CW show. About vampires. Set to Celine Dion. But really, if someone sat down and decided to make a video that perfectly encapsulated my guilty pleasures, this is pretty much what they would come up with.
May 10, 2010
The Hottest Characters on TV Right Now
I'm sure you've all noticed that I enjoy making lists. The other night while I was doing dishes or something, I started absentmindedly creating a list of the top five most attractive characters currently on TV. I was somewhat astonished that I got stuck at four. I can come up with these four who stand out, and then the next tier has 15 or so guys and I simply cannot decide who to elevate. Of course, if I were to wait a week or so, this problem would go the other way, because The Good Guys would be out and I'd probably want to include both of the male characters from that. But anyway! Here are my top four, at the moment, and than an incomplete list of honorable mentions. (Caveats: the order among the four changes based on my mood. As usual, I am judging by looks, personality, and whatever else, not just looks.) And hey, how about a quote from each? Because if there's anything I like almost as much as lists, it's quotes.
2. Marshall Mann from In Plain Sight (Frederick Weller)
Interestingly, two of those (Marshall and Booth) are in law enforcement of some sort, and the other two are . . . very much not. One could even call them criminals. If one wished.
Honorable mention: Robert McCallister and Justin Walker from Brothers and Sisters, Rick Castle from Castle, Will Schuester from Glee, Will Gardner from The Good Wife, Derek Shepherd and Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy, Raylan Givens from Justified, Patrick Jane and Wayne Rigsby from The Mentalist, Adam Braverman from Parenthood, Pete Wilder and Sam Bennett from Private Practice.
April 30, 2010
Vampire Diaries 1.19, "Miss Mystic Falls"
(I'm going to try doing some more TV blogging. I know I've said this before and it hasn't stuck. We'll see. You can assume that any posts that mention an episode title will have spoilers for the show in question through that episode.)
I know some Vampire Diaries fans were on the Damon bandwagon from day one. I wasn't. I'm not one of those girls who automatically goes for the bad boy. If anything, I go for the sad boy, the emotionally and/or psychologically tortured boy*, so the Elena/Stefan pairing was fine by me. At the beginning of the show, Stefan was good and Damon was evil. It was all fairly simple. But, fairly quickly, Damon began to get more complicated. Stefan stayed good, and good was starting to look boring. And then, of course, Stefan abruptly turned evil, and that was also boring. Meanwhile, Damon became probably the most complex character on the show, and it became obvious that, much as he denied it, he actually did care about both his brother and Elena. And there started to be these moments - just looks, sometimes, or throwaway lines like Damon referring to Elena as "our girlfriend" - that made the chemistry between Damon and Elena undeniable.
And then this happened. A little background: Elena is in a town pageant that basically plays out like a debutante ball. Stefan is supposed to be her escort and perform this historical dance with her, but he has suddenly and mysteriously vanished, so his brother steps in. Earlier in the episode, Elena and Stefan danced this in practice, and, despite Stefan's best efforts, it was cute but not particularly hot. After being told by a teacher (? authority figure of some sort) that they weren't supposed to actually touch hands during the first part of this dance, Stefan claimed that "The near-touch is overrated." Remember that, and watch this:
So. No, Stefan, the near-touch is not overrated. You're just not your brother. Okay, a few things here:
1. Please tell me I was not the only one struck by the Pride and Prejudice look of this scene. Oh, how I do love dancing scenes.
2. Damon's dance with Elena, in which he followed the rules and didn't touch, was a heck of a lot hotter than Stefan's version. Honestly, I do think that Ian Somerhalder (Damon) is just a better actor than Paul Wesley (Stefan), and has been chemistry with Nina Dobrev (Elena). But he's also being given more interesting stuff to work with, so who knows. The way he plays this scene is great - it's so controlled that it practically explodes from the tension. As Cindy McLennan says in her recap, "Damon's gaze is mature, appreciative, flattering, and not at all a leer. He changes into the antebellum southern gentleman he was meant to be. When it's time for them to part, Elena realizes she's just had OMGEYESEX with her boyfriend's brother. She can't meet Damon's gaze. He can't take his eyes off her." Oh, DAMON.
3. And on a plot level - Damon has spent a lot of time talking about how he doesn't care about Elena, at all, but he really doesn't have to do this. Sure, people would be curious if Elena had no escort, but they'll be curious anyway, as her escort's name was very clearly announced as Stefan Salvatore and it was Damon Salvatore who showed up. And the whole town knows who the Salvatores are, so the intention wasn't to fool anyone. He really just did it to save Elena from the humiliation of walking down those stairs and having no one there to meet her. And I don't think he even tried to justify it some other way afterward.
So. After this, I have to say that I am firmly on Team Damon. Cindy McLennan again: "And that's it. That's the moment. That's the game changer." At this point, an Elena/Damon pairing at some point in the future seems inevitable. Honestly, I hope it takes a while. What I think would be really interesting, and I have no spoilers here, so this is all speculation, would be if Damon and Elena recognized their feelings for each other, but also realized that since Elena is all Stefan is living for at this point, she couldn't just break up with him. And that situation would make for some delightful angst all around.
* Really, show me any book or TV show or ANYTHING and I will automatically gravitate toward the guy most likely to jump off a bridge or put his hand through a window. It's a talent. Or something. For example, I couldn't figure out why I liked Gossip Girl's oft-reprehensible Chuck Bass so much until he started threatening to jump off buildings, and then it all made so much sense!