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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*)

So as you might imagine, this week's episode made me VERY HAPPY. It answered a question I've been bugging Kate about since I started watching: who the hell owns the Salvatore Boardinghouse? The boys are dead, so they can't unless they've been wandering around compelling the appropriate authorities to give them legal documentation that makes them legally exist. It's also possible that Zach left them the house in his will, but no one knows he's dead, right? HOW DOES THAT WORK?

[Disclaimers: First, I know I'm being ridiculous. Just go with it. Second, I am not yet licensed so cannot give legal advice. Always seek qualified legal advice when transacting property transfers with your vampire boyfriends.]

Aaaaanyway, last Thursday on The Vampire Diaries:

Elena & Stefan: Blah blah dead mother blah.
Damon: Look! I have brought LEGAL DOCUMENTATION into the PLOT. *eyebrow action*
Christine: Swoooooon.
Stefan: Here -
Christine: Hold on. I need my smelling salts. *rustle, rustle* Right! Carry on.
Stefan: Here is the deed to our house, which is currently in Zach's name, but the script says we're pretending that we now own it.
~five minutes later~
Christine: Boys? Don't forget to file a gift tax return.

I think about the Vampire Invite Issue probably more than is healthy. I can't help myself. It's not unclear, really; it's just that I keep beating it down and beating it down, looking for an underlying pattern (nerd fun), and the show is a little inconsistent. (I love you, Show!)

Here's my issue in a nutshell: is it ownership or occupancy?

At first it seems to be merely occupancy. Jenna can invite vampires into the Gilbert house. Tyler invites Katherine into the Lockwood house (though I wonder if his mother inherited the house, or he did? Or some combination of both? Inquiring minds want to know.).

But last week John invited Isobel into the Gilbert house. As far as we know, John is just a guest at there. How does that work? I am assuming, since John once said that he was the estate's trustee, that the house is in trust for the kids, in which case the deed is probably in John's name as trustee. Jenna can live there with Jeremy and Elena, but she doesn't have any ownership interest in it, and Jeremy and Elena are beneficiaries of the trust but not, as of yet, owners of the trust property. If the invites work by occupancy, then sure, Jenna, Jeremy, and Elena should all be able to invite vampires in.

BUT. John doesn't live there, and he doesn't have any individual ownership interest in the house (that we know of- he could have some sort of contingent interest from his brother's will if Jeremy and Elena predecease him, but that's stretching kind of far even for me, isn't it?). But he can issue invites? Does this mean that guests can issue invites? Bonnie spends most of her time at the Gilbert place, too. Can she issue invites? If, on the other hand, the estate is not in trust, but John is only guardian of it (terminology is important, Show), then he has no ownership interest at all, in any capacity.

NOT TO MENTION that if John, who only has ownership in his role as trustee of the estate which actually owns the property, can invite people in, then why can Isobel get into foreclosures, which are also owned by a non-human entity? She's never invited in by a representative of the bank. Do banks not count?

Which brings me to apartments: apartments are still owned by someone. Sometimes it's a group of investors, but sometimes it's an individual. When an apartment is leased out, there's no real issue- traditionally the lessee (i.e. the person renting) has exclusive control over the space (though that can be changed by contract, and usually is). Certainly a person who is renting an apartment can issue invites, as they have some degree of control over the premises. (I'm still confused about why Logan couldn't get into his apartment after he turned, but we'll leave that alone.)

When the Manwitches die, Damon can get into their apartment, which is presumably owned by someone else, possibly even a business entity, like a bank in the case of foreclosures. So actually, I suppose that makes sense, as long as we're thinking about occupancy, not ownership.

BUT. This week two things happened to make me doubt that: Uncle John as mentioned above, and the boys giving Elena the deed to the house. If invites work as I suspect they do, Elena moving in to the house should be enough. Perhaps they're just taking every possible precaution. Perhaps I need a hobby. Who can say?

Thank you for bearing with me,


PS- I know I'm probably forgetting loads of examples. I did this from memory, because I'm supposed to be studying for finals, not watching TVD for a more informed essay. Bummer, right?

PPS- Stores and restaurants, while privately owned, are open to the public during certain advertised hours, which is an implied invite to everyone, presumably including handsome vampires who have run out of hoodies and black v-necks and need to go to the mall.

PPPS- Which brings me to another question: can invites be implied? If you say, "the party's through there" and point at the backyard, why doesn't that count? If it doesn't, then vampire law is fairly formalistic and relies on magic words, not just intent, which makes it EVEN MORE MYSTIFYING.

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.

PPPPPS- To the two of you who have gotten this far: I love you. Clearly we are meant to be friends.

Posted by Kat at 11:36 PM | Comments (10)

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.

Posted by Kat at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

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"
While it's playing . . . Jeremy and Bonnie talk in the Grill, and Luka comes in.
What it says . . .

I've waited for a long time.
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger,
I reason with my cigarette,
And say your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah.

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

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"
While it's playing . . . Alaric, Damon, and Andie talk at the Grill.
What it says . . .

When I grow old I'll still belong
I'll still belong here
When I grow old I'll still belong
I'll be waiting for you here
Drank all night with a stranger
But I found all you left me back home
How 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"
While it's playing . . . The dinner party itself happens! And Elijah, of course, talks about witches.
What it says . . .

I don't have to leave anymore
What I have is right here
Spend my nights and days before
Searching the world for what's right here

I am yours now
So now I don't ever have to leave

How 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"
While it's playing . . . The dinner party reaches its dessert course, and Andie starts asking Elijah questions.
What it says . . .

I gave my heart to the Army
The only sentimental thing I could think of
With cousins and colors and somewhere overseas
But it'll take a better war to kill a college man like me

You and your sister live in a Lemonworld
I want to sit in and die

How 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"
While it's playing . . . Damon finds Katherine in his shower.
What it says . . .

And speaking of
Little Miss Catherine
I feel swell, oh well
Because losing you
Was something I always did so well

I guess I just can't tell anymore
And the feeling I get when I see your clothes
Spread out on my floor
Oh, I'm such a bore, I'm such a bore
I don't do anything anymore
I just count these ceiling tiles falling through my floor

Sorry, I really lost my head
I'm sorry, I really lost my head
But you know those words that you said
They get stuck here in my head
And this feeling I dread, it makes me wish I was dead
Or just alone instead, I'll be alone instead
I don't need anyone in my bed

How 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.

Posted by Kat at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

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"
While it's playing . . . Bonnie and Caroline talk at the Grill; Matt gives Caroline a dirty look but she's not sure why.
What it says . . .

And I know what a fake looks like
I saw him come out tonight
And that's hard, so hard

Well, I can't let go
That's all I know

How 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"
While it's playing . . . Matt and Caroline talk about how Caroline's lying to him.
What it says . . .

It takes all my time to be in love with you
It takes all of my time, what do I do?

All die young
When love is love and when you are young

How 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"
While it's playing . . . Bonnie witch-roofies Luka at the Grill.
What it says . . .

Better not try to get inside my head, you'll find a nightmare waiting
You make it worse
Leave it to the ones who know me, playing that game will only hurt you
You make it worse and never better

Manipulating woman, you're making friends and using them all up
Manipulating woman, you must be used to the pain

How 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"
While it's playing . . . Stefan cooks and is cute with Elena, she gets nostalgic about her parents, they make out, he finds the secret room.
What it says . . .

It's more than a crack in the wall
It's a whole lot bigger than we thought
A hammer and nail won't fix it this time
So bring on the wrecking ball

It's like we've been drifting along
Pretending like nothing's wrong
We play the game, keep up the charade

How 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"
While it's playing . . . Bonnie and Jeremy finally kiss, and Tyler takes his leave of his family and friends.
What it says . . . Sorry, quoting a lot here, because it's SO APPROPRIATE.

You didn't ask for this
Nobody ever would
Caught in the middle of this dysfunction
It's your sad reality
It's your messed up family tree
And all you're left with all these questions

Are you gonna be like your father was and his father was?
Do you have to carry what they've handed down?

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

I have a dream for you
It's better than where you've been
It's bigger than your imagination
You're gonna find real love
And you're gonna hold your kids
You'll change the course of generations

And just like the seasons change
Winter into spring
You're bringing new life to your family tree now

How 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!

Posted by Kat at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

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.
Three hours later...
Yep. Damon. Shower. Camera. Up. Water Down."

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.
4) There's something really cheering about Jenna's total and absolute hate for John Gilbert. It's not a long story! Just hates him! Can we get her in on the phone tree now?"

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.
I love when she calls Damon tall, dark, and handsome, and he says "I'm not that tall." It's true. He's not.
It's amazing that this scene is between Damon and another naked woman, and meanwhile, it's entirely a Damon/Elena scene."

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."

Posted by Kat at 07:31 AM | Comments (0)

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"
While it's playing . . . Alaric and Jenna talk in the Grille; John joins them; Damon and Elena arrive and have their first "Be the better man" conversation; Damon starts to talk to John.
What it says . . .

But I know I have a fickle heart and bitterness
And a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head.

But don't you remember, don't you remember?
The reason you loved me before,
Baby please remember me once more.

I gave you the space so you could breathe,
I kept my distance so you would be free,
I hope that you find the missing piece
To bring you back to me.

How 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"
While it's playing . . . John and Damon talk in the Grille; Caroline talks to Matt.
What it says . . .

My eyes are painted red
The canvas of my soul,
Slowly breaking down, again

One life to live
One love to give
One chance to keep from falling
One heart to break
One soul to take us

You say you want it all
But whose side you fighting for?
I sit and wonder why

How 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"
While it's playing . . . Damon meets and blows off Andie; Damon tells Elena he's steering clear of all women and gives her various Meaningful Looks; Stefan calls Elena.
What it says . . .

All right, everything is all right
Since you came along
And before you
I had nowhere to run to
Nothing to hold on to
I came so close to giving it up.
And I wonder if you know
How it feels to let you go?
How 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"
While it's playing . . . John stops Elena from leaving the restaurant; she tells him she'll never be his daughter.
What it says . . .

Every day I fight for all my future somethings
A thousand little wars I have to choose between

Take what you want
Steal my pride
Build me up
Or cut me down to size
Shut me out
But I'll just scream
I'm only one voice in a million
But you ain't taking that from me

How 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"
While it's playing . . . Stefan delivers a slumber party to Caroline; Damon and Andie take a bloody bubble bath.
What it says . . .

Call all your friends
And tell them you're never coming back
Cause this is the end
Pretend that you want it
Don't react
The damage is done

You're losing your memory now

How 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.

Posted by Kat at 06:42 PM | Comments (1)

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.

Posted by Kat at 11:08 AM | Comments (4)

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.)

Television Without Pity:

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.
George: (imitating girl) why can't I move? (as Damon) Because I'm so handsome.
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.)
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.)
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?
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.
I bet when Macy's asked him what threadcount he wanted, he just said "TONS." . . .
He was so pathetic and in need of confessing that he compelled the poor woman to stand in place and listen to his existentialist ramblings. It was a sad, scary scene - the guy really seemed to be struggling with his identity, like for centuries he's been perfectly fine as a murderous jerk, but now he's not so sure that's how he is. Why didn't he just tell her that he's reading Gone With the Wind?
Show Tracker:
(Somerhalder filmed this episode while sick. Really? Maybe he should be sick for every episode.)

Posted by Kat at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

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.

Posted by Kat at 07:26 AM | Comments (2)

October 13, 2010


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.)

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

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.)

Posted by Kat at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (1)

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!

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (2)

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:
Katie: "FEELINGS!"
Christine: "Whatever. How does that WORK?"
Katie: "What?"
Christine: "I mean, how can they possibly own the boarding house? Look at it! It's missing the central hallway typical of antebellum homes! It must have been built after they died, but how can they have gotten title to it then? There's no dead hand control in property law, Katie."
Katie: "You are SUCH a dork."

And we can't keep such brilliance to ourselves. Besides, we thought that posing some of these terribly important questions would be a unique way to look at the show as it enters season two. (I should point out that yes, many of these issues could be fixed by compulsion, and yes, I realize it's magic. But I can't stop myself wondering.)

For example, here are some of the issues that we wondered about last season:
1) Zach says, early on, that he doesn't own the Salvatore boarding house. It seems that Stefan and Damon do. But HOW? Their name can't be on the deed, because they've been dead for 145 years, and besides, the house was built after they died (or so I assume, from its architecture; I suppose there could have just been some major renovations). Surely some enterprising county record office clerk would notice if the house didn't change hands for that long. So do they have a large number of fake identities they rotate through? Lawyers who forge the necessary documents for them? I'm not just talking deeds to real property- what about identification cards, bank accounts, and the titles to their cute little sports cars?
2) Poor, poor Alaric. Not only did his wife leave him alone and grieving, but she left him in legal limbo. We know that, as far as the North Carolina police are concerned, Isobel's case has gone cold. Has Ric had her declared legally dead? How did he dispose of jointly owned property in NC before moving to Mystic Falls? What if he wants to marry Aunt Jenna? Bigamy is SO not going to fly, Ric. (Except here, obviously.)
3) INVITES. This is my biggest area of fascination - so much so that I even pulled out my first year property law hornbook, much to Katie's amusement. The show's mythology, as we've seen it so far, implies that the invite must be verbal and explicit, and from a person who has a right to reside in the property in question. But:
a) Why can't an invite be implied? This is a form v. function sort of argument; in many areas of law, your intention can override your failure to follow the proper legal procedures to the letter. Why does tilting your head to indicate an invitation, while saying "the kitchen is this way" not constitute an invite?
b) What if the property changes hands while a vampire is inside, and the new owner refuses to issue an invite? Would the vampire have the magical equivalent of a right of occupancy until he left the property?

Posted by Kat at 05:30 PM | Comments (1)

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.

Posted by Kat at 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Kat at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

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
whole intuition thing twice as strong. Maybe Stefan and Elena were too distracted and didn't notice what she said . . . maybe . . . nope. Damn it. Now I'm all flustered. Am I BLUSHING? I hate when people know I have FEELINGS. I'll have to make fun of Stefan so he can't tell it got to me. I have a reputation to keep up here, folks!

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.

Posted by Kat at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

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:

Posted by Kat at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2010

Vampire Diaries Season 2 Trailer!

The CW finally put out a full-length trailer, and it's pretty awesome:

September 9!

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

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? —Randi
Ausiello: New blood alert! The show is casting the potentially recurring role of Vanessa, a very attractive, smart, young grad student who assists Damon and Alaric with their werewolf research at Alaric’s alma mater, Duke University.
Two 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.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

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.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

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.

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

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:
Bonnie: Nice to see her abilities emerge slowly, but the number thing was a little far-fetched.
Tyler: Nice arms! Did they deliberately cast the guys on this show for their arms? It's quite a trend.
Katherine: As a Katherine myself, I appreciate how the Salvatore boys enunciate her name, with all three syllables.
Matt: He's so darn NICE. I love him.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

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.

1.1: Pilot

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.
Brooke: What's wrong with that?
Darren: We already have a James Blunt. One's all we need.

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?
Elena: No, that's over.
Bonnie: Ugh . . . find a man, coin a phrase. Busy year.

Tyler: Hey, Pete Wentz called. He wants his nail polish back.

Elena: All I see is back.
Bonnie: It's a hot 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.
Stefan: I'm Stefan.
Elena: I know. We have History together.
Stefan: And English and French.

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.
Bonnie, skeptical: You got all of that in one day.
Caroline: Oh, please. I got all of that between third and fourth period. We're planning a June wedding.

Elena: No worries. I get it - blood makes you squeamish.
Stefan: (laughs) Something like that.

Elena: How did you know where I lived?
Stefan: It's a small town. I asked the first person I saw.

Stefan: If I don't write it down, I forget it. Memories are too important.

Elena: Any siblings?
Stefan: None that I talk to.

Mr. Tanner: Mr. Donovan. Would you like to take this opportunity to overcome your embedded jock stereotype?
Matt: It's okay, Mr. Tanner. I'm cool with it.

Mr. Tanner: Salvatore. Any relation to the original settlers here at Mystic Falls?
Stefan: Distant.

Elena: What makes you think that I'm sad?
Stefan: Well, we did meet in a graveyard.

Stefan: You won't be sad forever, Elena.

Vicki: No. Ty. I'm not having sex against a tree.
Tyler: Come on, it would be hot.
Vicki: For who?

Stefan: Damon.
Damon: Hello, brother.

Stefan: Crow's a bit much, don't you think?
Damon: Wait'll you see what I can do with the fog.
Stefan: When'd you get here?
Damon: Well, I couldn't miss your first day of school. . . . You're hair's different. I like it.
Stefan: It's been fifteen years, Damon.
Damon: Thank God. I couldn't take another day of the nineties. That horrible grunge look? Did not suit you. Remember, Stefan, it's important to stay away from fads.

Stefan: Why are you here now?
Damon: I could ask you the same question. However, I'm fairly certain your answer could be summed up all into one little word: Elena.

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?
Stefan: She's not Katherine.
Damon: Well, let's hope not. We both know how that ended.

Damon: Imagine what her blood tastes like! I can.

Stefan: But wherever you go, people die.
Damon: (shrugs) That's a given.

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.
Bonnie: It's not a competition, Caroline.
Caroline: Yeah, it is.

Stefan: I know it's late, but, uh, I needed to know that you were okay.
Elena: You know, for months that's all anyone's wondered about me. If I'll be okay.
Stefan: And what do you tell them?
Elena: That I'll be fine.
Stefan: Do you ever mean it?
Elena: Ask me tomorrow. It's warmer in the house. We can talk. Would you like to come in?
Stefan: Yes.

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?
Elena: [Referring to hair up] Sexy stewardess . . . [hair down] Boozy housewife.
Jenna: Up it is!

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.
Elena: Profound.

Damon: You must be Elena. I'm Damon. Stefan's brother.
Elena: He didn't tell me he had a brother.
Damon: Well, Stefan's not one to brag.

Elena: Wow. This is your living room?
Damon: Living room, parlor, Sotheby's auction. It's a little kitschy for my taste.

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.
Elena: The last one?
Damon: Yeah. Katherine? His girlfriend? . . . Oh, you two haven't had the awkward exes conversation yet.
Elena: Nope.
Damon: Oops! Well, I'm sure it'll come up now. Or maybe he didn't tell you because he didn't want you to think he was on the rebound. We all know how those relationship end.
Elena: You say it like every relationship is doomed to end.
Damon: I'm a fatalist.

Damon: Great gal. She's got . . . spunk. You, on the other hand, look pooped. Did you overexert yourself today? Let me guess - hospital.
Stefan: Someone had to clean up your mess.

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?
Damon: Guess you'd just have to wait and see, won't you?

Elena: He's on the rebound, and has raging family issues.
Jenna: Well, at least it's an ex-girlfriend. Wait until you date a guy with mommy issues. Or cheating issues. Or amphetamine issues.

Elena: We never got to the texting part.
Bonnie: That's an important milestone in any relationship.

Zach: What is Damon doing here? Why did he come home?
Stefan: Because I came home. He wants to make my life miserable. It's how he enjoys his.

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.
Stefan: I have a lot to apologize for.

Elena: You didn't tell me that you had a brother.
Stefan: We're not close. It's, uh . . . it's complicated.
Elena: Always.

Elena: He told me about your ex . . . Katherine?
Stefan: What did he say?
Elena: That she broke your heart.
Stefan: That was a long time ago.
Elena: When you lose someone it stays with you, always reminding you of how easy it is to get hurt.

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: Well, that's unfortunate.

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: No, I want you to remember who you are.
Stefan: Why? So, what, so I'll feed? So I'll kill? So I'll remember what it's like to be brothers again?

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?
Damon: That's for me to know, and you to - dot dot dot. Give Elena my best.

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.
Damon: I know.
Caroline: Cocky much?
Damon: Very much.

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.
Stefan: I used to. It was a long time ago.

Elena: To them you're Mysterious Loner Guy. Wouldn't hurt to be part of. Make some friends.
Stefan: Says the girl who spends her alone time writing in a cemetary.
Elena: Hey, come on. There's more to me than just Gloomy Graveyard Girl. There's a whole other Elena that you have yet to meet. She was into everything, very busy.
Stefan: Well, I look forward to meeting her. And when will that be?
Elena: Soon. She's working on it.

Matt: First my girlfriend, now my team?
Tyler: Dude, this is an opportunity. Football's a contact sport. Sometimes people get hurt.

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?
Elena: I don't 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.
Caroline: Oh, that's just 'cause her parents died. Yeah, she's just totally going through a blah phase. She used to be way more fun. And . . . I say that with complete sensitivity.
Damon: I'm sorry, Elena. I know what it's like to lose both your parents. In fact, Stefan and I have watched almost every single person we've cared about die.

Matt: She's my sister, and I love her. But sometimes she can really make you work for it.
Jeremy: I find it pretty easy.

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: She was beautiful. A lot like you in that department. She was also very complicated. And selfish, and at times not very kind, but very sexy and seductive.
Elena: So which one of you dated her first?
Damon: Nicely deduced. Ask Stefan. I'm sure his answer differs from mine.

Damon: I'd quit cheerleading if I were you.
Elena: Why do you say that?
Damon: Oh, I saw you at practice. You looked miserable.
Elena: You saw that?
Damon: Uh-huh.
Elena: I used to love it. It was fun. Things are different this year. Everything that used to matter doesn't anymore.
Damon: So don't let it! Quit. Move on. Problem solved. Ta-da!
Elena: Some things could matter again.
Damon: Maybe. But that seems a little unrealistic to me.

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.
Damon: Sure she does. They all do. They're whatever I want them to be, they're mine for the taking.

Stefan: Now it's time for you to go.
Damon: That's not a problem. Because I've been invited in. And I will come back tomorrow night and the following night and I'll do with your little cheerleader whatever I want to do, because that is what is normal to me.

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?
Elena: I quit. I'm a quitter.
Stefan: No, hey, you're not a quitter. You suffered a great loss. You're not the same person. You should be looking ahead. You should be starting over.

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 -
Elena: What?
Bonnie: It was death. It's what I'd imagine death to be like.

Damon: I'm hiding from Caroline.
Elena: Why is that?
Damon: I needed a break. She talks more than I can listen.
Elena: That could be a sign.
Damon: Well, she's - she's awfully young.
Elena: Not much younger than you are.
Damon: I don't see it going anywhere in the bigger picture. I think she would drive me crazy.
Elena: Caroline does have some really annoying traits but we've been friends since the first grade and that means something to me.
Damon: Duly noted. I - I'm sorry if I make you uncomfortable. That's not my intention.
Elena: Yes it is. Otherwise you wouldn't put an alternate meaning behind everything you say.
Damon: You're right. I do have other intentions, but so do you.
Elena: Really.
Damon: Mm-hmm. I see 'em. You want me.
Elena: Excuse me?
Damon: I get to you. You find yourself drawn to me. You think about me even when you don't want to think about me. I bet you've even dreamed about me. And right now . . . you want to kiss me.
Elena: What the hell? I don't know what game you're trying to play with Stefan here, but I don't want to be part of it. And I don't know what happened in the past, but let's get one thing straight - I am not Katherine.

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.

Posted by Kat at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

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?

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

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?
And Damon's crow! I'd practically forgotten about that. When it lands on a street sign, the street is Laurel Ave. Laurel symbolizes victory - is this a message about Damon always winning? Am I overanalyzing this? Probably.
Jenna's a grad student? I'd totally forgotten that. Is it ever mentioned again?
The diary voiceovers. THANK GOODNESS. They work as a framework to set up the show, but I'm glad they didn't continue, because that would have become annoying pretty quickly. Again, I can't remember when they stop, but I know they're gone by the end of the season.
The Falls themselves, where the kids go to party. Do we go back there much? Most of the outdoor stuff I can remember involves the woods.

Lingering questions:

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.
The look on Stefan's face when Elena tells him about her parents almost makes me wonder whether he didn't realize she was the one he saved from the car accident. But he had to have known. Right?
Caroline says Stefan is a Gemini, but when we have Stefan's birthday later, that's certainly not June. So either Caroline's making stuff up, Stefan lied to her, or the writers forgot about that throwaway line. (I realize it's likely the last one.) Saying he's a Gemini does obliquely promote the importance of his brother, though, huh? Or of Stefan's own dual nature . . . Or, again, I'm overanalyzing.
In the foggy graveyard scene, I'm actually not sure whether that's Damon or Stefan standing behind a monument watching Elena.
Apparently Elena's "You don't have to stay out there" doesn't count as inviting Stefan in. Interesting. Do we ever get an exact definition of what counts? Because Jenna's "You'd better come inside" or whatever in the finale works for Katherine...

Character stuff:

I like Zach, and he's pretty hot. Too bad he didn't stick around for long.
I am rather a Damon partisan, but Stefan and Elena really are completely adorable with the beginning-relationship stuff, and they do have good chemistry.
Matt looks really young. But I love how he's making such an effort to be nice to Stefan, even though he still wants Elena. He's such a good guy. And it's SO NICE to see a non-evil ex on TV.
I'd forgotten about Tyler's attempted rape of Vicki. You'd think after the Chuck Bass issue, the CW would have learned not to have potential regulars try to rape people in their pilots, especially if there's any chance they'd later want the character to be at all sympathetic.

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?
In case the exact details are important later, Elena's parents' tombstone lists their names as Grayson Gilbert and Miranda Sommers Gilbert, and the date of death as May 23, 2009.
I rather like the use of the Katy Perry song in the Matt/Stefan Grille scene, even though it doesn't obviously correspond to anything.

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2010

Long afternoon?

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.

Posted by Kat at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

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.)

Posted by Kat at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

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
8 p.m.: The Vampire Diaries season finale (The episode description promises death and destruction. Damon says he wants to eat cotton candy and steal Stefan's girl. Yes, please!)
10 p.m.: Private Practice season finale (Okay, I'm not actually that excited about this, but apparently a main character will die, so there's that.)

Friday, May 14
Robin Hood and Letters to Juliet come out. No, I'm not expecting cinematic greatness from either, but as I am a fan of Matthew MacFadyen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and laughably bad historical movies, in the former case, and Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, silly Taylor Swift songs, and Italy, in the latter case, I am looking forward to both of these.

Monday, May 17
9 p.m.: Gossip Girl season finale (Blair responds to Chuck's ultimatum and, as usual, Jenny does something that makes us want to kill her. Necessary preparations: watch An Affair to Remember; buy scotch.)
10 p.m.: Castle season finale (I'm rather hoping this will see the end of Anders Demming getting between Castle and Beckett, but we'll see. It's too early in the series for Castle and Beckett to get together, anyway.)
Muse's new single, "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)," is released. (On a Monday? Yeah, I don't know.)
NBC and FOX Upfronts

Tuesday, May 18
9 p.m.: Neil Patrick Harris guest stars on Glee. Joss Whedon directs. (I don't need to explain why this is exciting, do I? Didn't think so.)
11 p.m.: Bradley Whitford on Chelsea Lately
The Demon's Covenant, the second book in Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon trilogy, is released.
The third album of songs from Glee comes out.
ABC Upfronts

Wednesday, May 19
8 p.m.: The Good Guys preview episode (If you're unclear on my feelings about this, um, head over here.)
Google I/O 2010 begins.
CBS Upfronts

Thursday, May 20
8 p.m.: Bones season finale (They're saying it's going to be shocking and polarizing, again. So I'm a little worried. But at least no alternate realities this time!)
9 p.m.: Grey's Anatomy season finale
10 p.m.: The Mentalist season finale
Google I/O 2010 ends, so we'll hopefully have an Android-as-hotspot announcement by then.
CW Upfronts

Posted by Kat at 12:00 PM | Comments (4)

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.

Posted by Kat at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)

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.

1. Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries (Ian Somerhalder)
"It's Founder's Day. I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl."

2. Marshall Mann from In Plain Sight (Frederick Weller)
"Here's to the best friend I've ever had, could ever hope to have, a girl for whom no man will ever be good enough, I hope you know that... I love you and I wish for you nothing but a lifetime of happiness."

3. Seeley Booth from Bones (David Boreanaz)
"I'm the gambler. I believe in giving this a chance. Look, I want to give this a shot."

4. Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl (Ed Westwick)
"You and I are magnetic. You can feel it. Our pull is as undeniable as ever. I love you. Saying it was hard, but I did. And I've never looked back."

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.

Posted by Kat at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Kat at 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

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