Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Striving Toward Normalcy

This week Amber West and I dive back into the world of science fiction on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, as she updates us on her latest thoughts on Fox’s first season of Terra Nova and I introduce one of SyFy’s new popular series, Being Human.

Okay, perhaps it’s not so much of a surprise that Being Human is a big hit; let’s be honest, the supernatural is the new big thing – vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, demons, etc.  Men and women alike dream of having some sort of fantastical power or paranormal romantic interest in his or her life.  This isn’t so much a new fad, but the Twilight books and movies (love ‘em or hate ‘em) birthed a new generation of supernatural lovers.

So if we want the supernatural in our life, why be shocked that they want to be like us – be human?  That’s the premise of SyFy’s adaptation of a British hit, Being Human.   The BBC program starts its fourth season (or series for the British folk) this year.

BBC's Being Human

The series follows three supernatural friends living in Boston, wishing they could go back to being human: a vampire, Aiden (Sam Witwer, one may recognize his face/likeness as the lead character in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars); a werewolf, Josh (Sam Huntington, Superman Returns); and a ghost, Sally (Meaghan Roth).

SyFy's Being Human

Aiden and Josh work at the hospital, Aiden as a nurse and Josh as an orderly.  One might wonder why a vampire would work in a hospital surrounded by blood all the time, especially when he fights day and night to not feed like a “normal” vampire.  But despite the obvious torture of his career path, he remains faithful to helping those who need him.

Aiden was turned in the late 1700s during the Revolutionary War, leaving behind a wife and son.  Throughout the years, Aiden remains close to his maker (Bishop, played by the great Mark Pellegrino, also known as the Devil from Supernatural, or Brenda Leigh’s attorney from The Closer), but recently has started to distance himself from him.  This undoubtedly has caused quite a heave-ho type relationship between the two, and makes for some of the best scenes.

But then again, doesn’t Mark Pellegrino steal the scenes of most everything he does? 

Josh doesn’t quite have the same daily struggles as Aiden, but then again a werewolf only turns once a month during a full moon.   However when it is “that time of the month,” Josh panics and does everything in his power to not hurt anyone.  Sometimes he locks himself up in the catacomb-like basement of the hospital, or sometimes he drives out to the woods and roams free (but the latter has proven a bit more dangerous for him on more than one occasion, so one can usually count on his locking himself up).

Perhaps a blessing, or perhaps not, Josh meets Nora (Kristen Hager, Aliens Vs Predator) at the hospital and the two begin dating.  Josh shelves his sexual attraction to her for as long as he can, afraid he will hurt Nora.  But he finally gives in to the urge on the eve of a full moon.  This encounter leads to a pregnancy and later a miscarriage, but not before Nora starts to show signs of turning herself.  This makes for a very interesting storyline in season two…

Then there’s Sally, poor little ol’ Sally.  Aiden and Josh meet Sally when they move into the brownstone that she recently died in, or better yet – was murdered in, courtesy of a light shove (or angry, it depends on the point of view) from her fiancé Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta).  After Sally’s death, and for obvious reasons, Danny can no longer live in the couple’s starter home, so he rents it out to Aiden and Josh.

As a ghost, Sally is tied to the house and it takes a bit of time for her to learn the necessary abilities to move through time and space, thus having the freedom to leave the house.  She really battles with the realization that Danny not only killed her, but later begins dating her best friend.  To make matters even worse, Danny hires a medium to perform ghost-ridding-rituals on the house, angering Sally to no end.  Despite being weakened from the mediums chants, Sally still manages to wreak havoc on her ex and empower herself.

But will she ever cross over?

Watching the three supernatural beings strive for everyday normalcy hooked me, maybe not in the first few episodes, but eventually the show definitely drew me in.  So much so, that after our season one DVR marathon, I was tearing up at the thought of anything happening to the characters: like when Josh is forced to fight another werewolf for the vampire council’s amusement; or when Aiden decides to settle the score with his maker and fight until the death.

It is because of this love for the characters that I award Being Human the JFTV rating; it’s like an addiction to Kettle Baked Salt and Vinegar Chips that we just can’t get enough of, and before we know it, we’ve chomped down on every last chip inside the bag.

Definitely a Thumbs Up!

As soon as the first season ended, I was immediately online to see if Being Human had  been picked up another year.  It was!  Season two premieres Monday, January 16th on SyFy.

What do you think? Do you watch Being Human?  BBC or SyFy?  Which of the characters is your favorite and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see if Fox’s Terra Nova has moved up or down the rating scale since her last simmering review.

Come back next week when Amber and I review…. we don’t know yet.  Tricked ya!  We’ll figure something out in time. Don’t worry!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday: TV’s Bad Girls We Love to Love

As promised, we’re sharing TV’s bad girls today – the girls that love to blow things up, steal fine art, scam other criminals out of their riches, and kill anyone standing in their way.  That’s right: not all females on television are the goody-goody type, thank goodness.  We like to see a girl light up the screen and take charge of her own destiny, even if she breaks the law along the way.

Oh, and did we mention that these ladies aren’t too hard to look at?

*****

Fiona Glenanne – Burn Notice

Fiona is a former IRA agent who now doubles as an arms dealer and a bounty hunter.  She loves to blow things up and always jumps at the chance to build and plant explosives.  Fiona is a master manipulator; she has even learned to perfect playing her boyfriend’s mother against him at times.  Fiona’s sharp-tongue and quick-wit make for some of the best banter between characters on television today.

Parker – Leverage

Parker is the cat burglar of all cat burglars; she is one of the best thieves around, and her supreme safe cracking skills and extreme acrobatics make her the best at what she does.  Moving from foster home to foster home, Parker lacks many social skills, but might just have the biggest heart of all the cons.  One might think she is not empathetic, but when she’s emotionally involved in a case, she’ll stop at nothing to take down the bad guys.

Sophie Devereaux – Leverage

Known famously as a grifter,Sophie masters the art of playing roles and keeping secrets.  She even has secrets that the audience is still trying to figure out: is she royalty? Is she married? Or is she just a great actress? Well, maybe she’s not as great on stage as she is at playing the marks of a con.  But regardless of her profession, Sophie has a soft heart and isn’t afraid to play the motherly role for the rest of her team of criminals.

Alex Hunter – White Collar

Alex may just be the closest thing to a female Neal Caffrey; she’s stunning and talented – at breaking the law.   Officially, she fences things on the black market, but Alex has managed to pull off many a con with one of our favorite bad boys.  The mere fact that she helps her friend who is strapped to the FBI tells us that she’s not all bad; she’s just trying to make a living the only way she knows how.  Right?

Katherine Pierce – The Vampire Diaries

Played by the same actress as the protagonist, many prefer bad girl Katherine to good girl Elena.  Katherine is a vampire who doesn’t shy away from her vampire needs.   She knows what she wants, and nothing can stand in her way.  To quote Katherine, “My list of victims is a long one, and I have no problem adding one more name to that list.”  She’s responsible for turning the Salvatore brothers into vampires, for selfish reasons at that.  Thank you for Damon, Katherine.  Thank you.

*****

Over the years, there have been other wonderful portrayals of the TV bad girl, including Law & Order: Criminal Intent’s Nicole Wallace, Supernatural’s Ruby, and Justified’s Mags Bennet.

What do you think?  Are you a fan of these ladies?  Which of TV’s bad girls do you love to love – past or present?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Tele-Tuesday: TV with Bite – The Vampire Diaries

 

What makes The Vampire Diaries so successful?  For one, the allure of the vampire will always seduce a television audience.  Secondly, production cast perhaps the most beautiful ensemble on TV.  And, most importantly, the writing is absolutely stellar.

Based on the YA series of the same name by L.J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries attracts teenage and adult viewers alike every Thursday night for the CW network.  So, why is it so popular?

#1 – The Vampire

Vampires have mesmerized readers, movie-goers, and television viewers for decades.  In addition to a vampire’s ability to compel a human, they also possess seductive traits including super strength, lightening fast speed, immortality, and eternal youth.  How is it that biting into the neck of a human is sexy?  It just is.

#2 – Beautiful People

Elena Gilbert played by Nina Dobrev (Degrassi: The Next Generation), is a human teenager surrounded by the supernatural.  Dobrev also plays Elena’s doppelganger, Katherine Pierce – vampire maker of the Salvatore brothers.

Elena loses both parents in a car accident, and later learns that she is adopted.  She dates vampire Stefen, while shamelessly shelving her attraction to his vampire brother, Damon.

Stefen Salvatore played by Paul Wesley (Wolf Lake, Everwood), is a 150 year old vampire.  Stefen is the good again/bad again vampire.

In the 1920s, “bad” Stefen, also known as the “Ripper,” leaves a long trail of bodies during his tenure in the greater Chicago area.  A friendly vampire later saves Stefen, and she teaches him to feed on animals, not humans.  “Good” Stefen then saves Elena from the car crash that claims her parents’ lives, and he instantly falls in love with the Katherine look-alike and resumes residency in Mystic Falls to be near her.

Damon Salvatore played by Ian Somerhalder (Lost), is Stefen’s older brother, and he is also a 150 year old vampire.  Damon is the “bad” boy with bite that we all love to love.  Like Stefen, Damon adored Katherine and he similarly shares the same feelings for Elena; and, just like in the 1800s, Damon suffers as Elena chooses his brother over him.  Why can’t Damon catch a break?

Unlike his brother, Damon never claims to be the “good” vampire.  Damon returns to Mystic Falls to make his little brother’s life a living hell.  He laughs at Stefen for preferring animal blood over human, and Damon has no problem compelling females to get what he needs – sex, blood, and/or information. Regardless of his intentions to make Stefen’s life miserable, Damon will do anything to protect his brother – just don’t tell anybody or he will deny it.

Jeremy Gilbert played by Steven R. McQueen (Everwood and Piranha 3D; and yes, he is Steve McQueen’s grandson) is Elena’s little brother.  Like his sister, Jeremy is human; however since being brought back from the dead by his witch girlfriend, he sees the ghosts of his former vampire girlfriends.

As with  generations of Gilberts before him, Jeremy wears a magically protected ring preventing him from dying any supernatural death.

Caroline Forbes played by Candice Accola, or “Vampire Barbie” as she’s called in our house, began the series as a human.  Caroline’s the bossy teenage best friend of Elena, but that friendship doesn’t stop her from being extremely jealous of Elena.

Seizing an opportunity, vampire Katherine turns Caroline after a car accident hoping to use her against Elena and the Salvatores.  Katherine failed.  Caroline might just be my favorite character on the show, behind Damon of course.

Bonnie Bennett played by Kat Graham (Honey 2), is best friends with Elena and Caroline.  She recently discovered that she is an extremely powerful witch, and she continues to increase her powers by learning witchcraft via spells from her ancestors.

Bonnie is dating Jeremy, but so far in season three she has been MIA.

Matt Donovan played by Zach Roerig (As the World Turns), is one of the rare humans roaming the streets of Mystic Falls.  Matt previously dated Elena and Caroline, and is now a bit spooked since learning about all of his supernatural friends.

Even though they are his closest friends, Matt finds it difficult to trust the vampires because they killed his sister.

Tyler Lockwood played by Michael Trevino (Cane), is the resident high school jock and cursed werewolf.  After his father’s death, his uncle Mason arrives hoping to reclaim the family moonstone – a stone necessary to break the werewolf curse; and, unbeknownst to anyone at the time, a stone also required for an original to transform into a hybrid.

Both thrust into the world of the supernatural, Tyler and Caroline continue to grow closer.

Alaric  “Ric” Saltzman played by Matt Davis (Legally Blonde), teaches at Mystic Falls High.  Rick came to town a vampire hunter, however now he assumes the role of “protector” for the Salvatores and Gilberts, as well as their vampire and werewolf friends.

Ric is cursed on the relationship front : his ex-wife/deceased vampire Isobel, is Elena’s mother (therefore, similar to Jeremy, he also possesses a Gilbert protection ring); and his girlfriend, Jenna (Elena and Jeremy’s aunt) was recently turned and killed as a part of Klaus’ plan to take over the supernatural world.

Klaus/Nick played by Joseph Morgan (Hex, Mansfield Park), is one of the “original” vampires, and is also a new breed called a hybrid (vampire/werewolf) courtesy of a witch’s spell – the simultaneous death of a werewolf, vampire, and doppelganger.

Klaus is one bad vamp.  The current episodes are airing just enough back story so the viewers can learn a tad bit more about this original and his sister, Rebecca, who is in love with Stefen.  Uh-oh, Elena!

#3 – The Writing

Without giving too much away, the writing on The Vampire Diaries is enough to attract all ages.  Really. It is.

The first season focuses on the history of the vampire and witch in Mystic Falls.  Season two continues with the Katherine/doppelganger storyline and also introduces the werewolf curse.  The suspense, sexual tension, and the twists and turns involving every character is perhaps some of the best on television.  Season three just started a few weeks ago, and we can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for us!

 

Do you watch The Vampire Diaries?  Did you read the books?  What do you like/dislike about the YA series versus the TV series?  Who’s your favorite character and why?  Better yet – Stefen or Damon? 

Do you think when it’s all said and done, that The Vampire Diaries will rival Buffy the Vampire Slayer as one of the best supernatural series of all time?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FabOoolousness – Beating the Heat with Movie Madness

Due to the horrendous Texas heat this summer, we’ve been staying indoors as much as possible.  What’s the best pastime when stuck inside?  Watching movies!

We’ve made it to the theater a few times, but mostly we’ve picked up the $1/night rentals at Redbox or caught an almost-new release on the cable channels and On Demand.  Mostly, we’ve focused on comedy and suspense, but occasionally we throw in some action and the supernatural. 

Grab the popcorn, and turn out the lights! Here are just a few picks of what we think is worth a watch.

Laughs, Laughs, and More Laughs

First Place goes to…..

Horrible Bosses – hands down, laugh out loud funny, from start to finish.  Everyone knows that Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis are funny, but what about Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx? 

Personally, we thought that Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey stole the show.  Jennifer Aniston’s sexy role is a far cry from the “Rachel” we all know and love; Colin Farrell nails the coked-out tool roll; and, Kevin Spacey’s character is the perfect combination of paranoid and crazy. 

While Jaime Foxx didn’t play that large of a role throughout the film, we did laugh out loud every single time his character was called by name….   

Honorable Mentions go to….

Just Go With It– starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.  Watch out for scene stealers Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck, Dave Matthews, and Nicole Kidman.  Sandler and Aniston’s chemistry is fabOoolous throughout, but the entire supporting cast makes the movie. 

Grown Ups – starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider.  Everyone saw the advertising for this film, but there are many more laugh-out-loud moments than what we saw in the trailer.

Hall Pass – starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis.  We had actually heard that this film was a disappointment, but we have to agree to disagree.  Granted, we watched it late at night, but we laughed a lot – in particularly during one scene that caught us completely off-guard. 

Edge of our Seats Suspense

First Place goes to….

The Lincoln Lawyer – without naming names, someone in my household must see every single movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe.  Because of this, someone else in my household does not want to see every single Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe movie, which is why we had to wait for this film to be available at Redbox. 

After we watched The Lincoln Lawyer, that same certain someone loved it just as much as the Matthew and Ryan fan did.   In other words, men and women alike will enjoy this flick.

From the trailer, everyone knows that Matthew’s character is defending Ryan’s character for a murder that he actually committed.  But what we don’t know pulls the audience smack-dab in the middle of masterful suspense.  To what lengths will one go in covering up a crime?  Do we ever know all who are involved? 

A very close second goes to….

Limitless – starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.  What would you do if you were handed a mysterious pill that promised to activate 100% of your brain, as opposed to the usual twenty percent?  Would you take it?

Attention writers: Cooper’s character is an author, and after he takes the pill, he finishes his novel in just around four days.  Does this tempt you, even the slightest bit? 

It’s Not Real, but it’s Still FabOoolous

The award for the most awaited release of the summer goes to….

Fright Night – this much awaited remake did not disappoint.  Colin Farrell finally brings the bad-boy vampire back to the big screen.  Viewers experience a vampire that actually feeds on humans and still has the ability to seduce every female in the audience.      

The story remains very close to the original 1985 horror film, but also introduces a few new twists to make it its very own.   A few of the 3-D special effects were great, and we even saw a tiny cameo by one of the original Fright Night actors. 

While Roddy McDowall was and always will be the great Peter Vincent, vampire hunter, David Tennant makes the role uniquely his.  Every scene of Tennant’s is brilliant and very entertaining.   I’d say more, but I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it yet.      

The award for heroes of the summer goes to….

Transformers 3: The Dark of the Moon – once again, Bumble Bee and Sam’s (Shia LaBeouf) relationship, as well as Optimus Prime and Sam’s relationship, made me cry.  Yes – for the second Transformers movie in a row, I actually teared up.  Never in a million years did I think I’d enjoy these movies about robots transforming into cars and saving the world, yet alone grow to love these Autobots the way that I do. 

Josh Duhamel’s role grows immensely in this third film and hallelujah for that!  Everyone needs a little more Josh in their life…  Oh, and don’t worry – many cringed, especially the men, when it was announced that Megan Fox would not reprise her role as Sam’s girlfriend; but, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s character fills the void perfectly.    

The award for the biggest surprise of the summer goes to….

I am Number Four – based on the bestselling YA novel of the same name, this science fiction hit targeted for the younger generation pleasantly surprised the thirtysomethings in this house.  We immediately called family members, young and not-so-young alike, and recommended a quick trip to Redbox.

Every single one of them loved alien John Smith (Number Four) and his handler/warrior/guardian, Henri.  The special effects in the fight scene at the end are absolutely fabOoolous, and the anticipation for a sequel is astounding.  The Power of Six is on book shelves now; does anyone know when the movie starts production? 

Not every movie can earn a top spot, but a few other films that kept us entertained and out of the hot-summer heat include: Priest. Life As We Know It, You Again, Date Night, The Hangover Part 2, The Mechanic, The Rite, The Dilemma, and Little Fockers.

Next up on our must-see list:  Sucker Punch, Season of the Witch, Arthur, Red Riding Hood, and Your Highness. Which one should we watch first?

What’s the last movie that you watched? What’s next on your list of must-sees?  Do you prefer going to the movies or staying in?  Have you tried a Redbox near you?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Queue This Up Too!

Amber West and I are staying with Netflix on this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Courtesy of all the programs that television has to offer, we’ve got a few more series that are definitely worthy of queuing up!

Moonlight

The series begins when private investigator Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin, Hawaii 5-0) meets reporter Beth Turner (Sophia Myles, Tristan & Isolde) at the scene of a crime.  Mick immediately feels a connection with Beth – one that he doesn’t place immediately.

But, it doesn’t take him long to remember exactly where he met Beth for the first time.

Mick is a vampire, turned fifty years ago on his wedding night by his wife Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon, A Knight’s Tale).   Needless to say, the couple never lived happily ever after.

 

Mick is a good vampire; he doesn’t hunt or hurt people, unlike his best friend Josef (Jason Dohring, Veronica Mars) who relishes his life as a vampire.  Instead, Mick satisfies his hunger by harvesting blood from the local morgue.

But, back to Mick and Beth.

Twenty-two years ago, Mick saved a kidnapped girl from a house fire – a fire that he started in order to kill Coraline.   As luck would have it, Beth was that little girl.

After meeting at the crime scene, Mick and Beth become instant friends, and it doesn’t take much time before Beth learns his secret.  She handles it quite well, considering, and even allows him to feed on her once to save his life.  Mick and Beth fall in love, but in addition to the fact that Mick is technically dead, Beth is dating the local assistant district attorney (Jordan Belfi, Entourage), and neither she nor Mick succumb to their urges.

The love triangle becomes a square when Beth asks Mick to help her friend; a friend that looks exactly like Coraline.

Moonlight may have only lasted one season on CBS (it’s very possible the 2007-2008 writer’s strike is to blame), but it remains a favorite and is worthy of a queue up.  I don’t want to give too much away about the individual episodes, especially since there are only sixteen to watch, but it sounds like a perfect weekend marathon, doesn’t it?

Moonlight earns a GTV rating; it has everything we want and more.  I can’t remember the last time I was so upset about a program’s cancellation.  It is highly recommended that you watch Moonlight at night – lights off, candle burning, and a glass of red wine in hand.  Keep a hand fan nearby – Mick St. John is one sexy vampire.

Oh, and don’t worry.  The show didn’t necessarily end on a cliffhanger.  Even with the premature cancellation, and a great storyline for a second season, it wraps nicely considering.

What are you waiting for?  Queue it Up!

If by chance you do not subscribe to Netflix, watch for the Moonlight daytime marathons on SyFy.

Episodes with Bite:

“Fever”
“The Ringer”
“12:04 AM”
“Fleur de Lis”
“What’s Left Behind”

Did you watch Moonlight?  Like me, are you waiting for Steve McGarrett to vamp out on Hawaii 5-0?  What show’s cancellation absolutely infuriated you?  Is it available on Netflix?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see why she recommends you queue up Downton Abbey.

Come back next week for another SyFy edition as Amber and I review a few more of the network’s most popular programs – Eureka and Warehouse 13.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our August and September schedules and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds

SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out

NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer

LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Friday FaBOOolousness – The Boo Factor: Fright Night

Most vampire movies today want the audience to fall in love with the vampire.  Take the Twilight series for example – none of the Cullens actually feed on humans (not that we see, anyway).  No, the bad vampires (like Victoria) are the evil vamps killing innocents; and the good vampires, like the Cullen family, fight these bad seeds to protect Bella and the other humans.

The same can’t be said about Tom Holland’s 1985 classic, Fright Night.

That’s not to say that the viewers don’t secretly love Fright Night’s vampire lead.  Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) possesses all the qualities we love in vampires; he’s sexy, seductive, brooding, and he’s not afraid to sink his teeth into a nightly feed.

But, Jerry is not the character that the audience is supposed to cheer on during the big showdown at the end of the movie.

Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) lives a normal teenage life with his single mother, Judy (Dorothy Fielding), quirky best friend, Edward, aka “Evil Ed” (Stephen Geoffreys), and girlfriend, Amy (Amanda Bearse), until one night he notices the new neighbor moving in with what looks to be coffin-like boxes.

Being a horror fan, Charley immediately questions whether or not a vampire has just moved in next door and he begins investigating.  He reaches out to a television vampire hunter, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) for ways to prove, or disprove, that his new neighbor is indeed a blood-sucker.

Watching women disappear after joining the mysterious man next door, Charley decides to sneak over and put some of Peter’s ideas to the test.  His suspicions are confirmed when he notices Jerry’s image does not reflect in a mirror.  But, unfortunately for the teenager, Jerry learns that his young neighbor has been sneaking around when Charley leaves behind a piece of his mirror.

Jerry stalks Charley, terrorizes him, and makes his life a living hell.  He lures those closest to Charley by turning them and compelling them to do as he wishes.

Charley’s only hope is to trust Peter.  Armed with holy water, crosses, and wooden stakes, Charley and Peter enter the vampire’s house with one goal – kill.

Fright Night is not a feel-good vampire movie.  It’s mysterious, dark, and at times spooky.  Even the music was eerie, particularly the instrumental “Come to Me” by Brad Fiedel.

The movie won awards, spawned a novelization, a sequel, a comic book series, and a computer game.

What has this child of the ‘80s so excited about Fright Night today?

DreamWorks (Steven Spielberg) has remade the classic film, and cast Colin Farrell as Jerry.  Colin Farrell!  Who doesn’t think this is the best casting for the sexy, dark role of Jerry?

The casting all around is FaBOOolous: Anton Yelchin (Terminator Salvation, Star Trek) plays Charley Brewster; Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, United States of Tara) plays Jane Brewster; David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) plays Peter Vincent; and, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Role Models, Kick-Ass) plays Evil Ed.

A few other notable roles to watch for include: James Franco’s (Freaks and Geeks, Spiderman, 127 Hours) little brother, Dave Franco, playing Mark; Sofia Vergara’s (Modern Family) little sister, Sandra Vergara, playing Ginger; and, Lisa Loeb (1994 hit song, “Stay”) playing Evil Ed’s mom.

Fright Night 2011 hits theaters August 19th.

Are you a fan of the 1985 classic? Do you plan to see the 2011 remake?  What do you think about the casting of Colin Farrell to play Jerry?  What’s your favorite vampire movie of all time? How much does the music play a part for you? Do you like the traditional role of cinematic vampires or the newer heroic roles? I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: TV with Bite – The Bad Boys

The supernatural is especially hot right now, and more often than not, the television vampire and werewolf is sexy.  These physically sculpted and beautiful characters are mesmerizing and seducing – to the other characters on-screen and those tuning in to watch the show.

Every television supernatural can moonlight as both a bad-boy and good, but more often than not, the audience prefers the naughty over the nice.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Bad Boy #1: Spike (James Marsters)

Turned in the late 1800s, the former poet known as “William the Bloody,” transformed into Spike after Drusilla drained him and forced him to feed off of her blood.  Mentored by Angelus, Spike tortured Europe for years and killed two slayers.  The bleach-blonde Billy Idol lookalike then moved to Sunnydale to destroy his third – Buffy Summers. 

Spike successfully defeats his enemies by using a combination of his combat skills, his ability to withstand large amounts of pain, and his great observation and perception skills.  But Spike has one big weakness – he’s impatient.  

Spike overcomes many battles to reach his ultimate goal, such as withstanding the microchip inserted into his body (a chip that inflicts pain every time Spike attempts to hurt any non-demon) and his alcoholism.  After his defeat of the Demon Trials (physical challenges not survived by many), Spike regains his soul. 

Early on, Spike proves to be Buffy’s nemesis, and is a constant thorn in her side.  But over the years, Spike grows to appreciate Buffy and her friends, and eventually falls in love with the slayer.  

Marsters’ character was so popular, that after Spike died on the series finale of Buffy, he was resurrected on the spin-off series, Angel.

The Vampire Diaries

Bad Boy #2: Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder)

In the 1860s, Damon meets Katherine and falls head over heels.  Not long after meeting the woman of his dreams, Damon learns that the she also shares a romantic relationship with his younger brother, Stefen. 

Making matters worse, Katherine is a vampire.  After being trapped by the Salvatore father, Katherine turns both boys and leaves them behind believing she’s dead. 

Deeply scorned by the betrayal of his brother and maker, Damon transforms into an arrogant, selfish, and dangerous vampire.  He lacks any remorse, and he is unpredictable.  Damon lives in a world of isolation, but continues searching for acceptance and love.

After decades, Damon follows his brother back to their hometown of Mystic Falls, where he meets Elena, Stefen’s new girlfriend.  Elena looks exactly like Katherine.  And so, the games begin.  Damon is drawn to Elena and eventually falls in love with her causing even more tension between the Salvatore brothers. 

After learning that Elena is “The Doppelganger” and is wanted by the strongest and oldest of all vampires, the real Damon emerges putting forth the necessary plans to save Elena from damnation.

Where Stefen takes the morally high road (he refuses to drink human blood and feeds off of small animals), Damon isn’t afraid to tear someone’s head off or rip out their heart.  Damon is the stronger of the two brothers, and will do whatever it takes to protect Elena.

True Blood

Bad Boy #3: Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard)

A tall, blonde former Viking over 1,000 years old, Eric Northman is one of the most powerful vampires in the Louisiana area.  He acts as sheriff of northern Louisiana, and takes his role in the vampire hierarchy very seriously.

At night, Eric owns and operates “Fangtasia” – a bar with a basement that serves as his dungeon and torture chamber.  He’s proven to be violent, keeping a few souls chained up until he’s satisfied.  Eric’s also very arrogant and manipulative. 

Many fear Eric, but not Sookie Stackhouse.  Eric is fascinated with Sookie when he realizes that she can read minds.  After his maker commits suicide, Eric forms a close bond with her.  He dreams about Sookie, and develops genuine feelings for her.  There’s only one problem: Sookie belongs to another vampire in town, Bill Compton. 

Similar to everything else, Eric doesn’t let Sookie’s relationship with Bill stand in his way.  He manages to force her to drink his blood, and then becomes enamored with her scent.  In addition to her mind reading skills, Sookie possesses fairy blood; and when a vampire consumes such blood, he can walk in the daylight.  Eric decides at this moment to protect Sookie, no matter what it takes. 

Besides Sookie, Eric’s only loyalty is to himself and to Pam, one of his vampire spawns. Everyone else is just a means to an end.   

Teen Wolf

Bad Boy #4: Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin)

Born a wolf, Derek spends most of his days running from the police and the Argents, a family whose werewolf hunting lineage dates back to the 1700s.  He’s blamed for most of the crime in his town, including the murder of his very own sister.  When a wolf inflicts a bite on local high school student Scott McCall, all fingers point to Derek.   

The Hale family was destroyed in a house fire set by the hunters.  Derek and his sister weren’t home at the time, and his uncle barely escaped.  With his family gone, and his uncle comatose in the hospital with third-degree burns across half of his body, Derek swears revenge against the hunters.

As a beta wolf, Derek knows that it is up to him to find and kill the alpha responsible for the town’s murders and chaos before the alpha has time to recruit and build his pack.  In return for training on how to control his new wolf urges, Scott reluctantly agrees to help Derek. 

Despite Derek and Scott’s agreement to work and train together, Derek has difficulty being friendly.  His mere presence makes those around him nervous, and even his so-called “friends” know not to let their guard down.

Do you prefer the bad-boy over the good? Who is your favorite television supernatural bad-boy and why?    In a head to head battle, who would win – Spike, Damon, Eric, or Derek? I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FabOoolousness – July’s MarvelOoous Mashups and Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Stacy Green awarded me my third blogging award – The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.

THANK YOU, Stacy!  Winning this award for my Tele-Tuesday, Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, and Friday FabOoolousness posts means so very much to me.  I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, and sweet isn’t one of them.  Just kidding!

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award icon on my site, they will experience Stacy’s fabOoolous blog!

I’d also like to thank my great friend, Kathy Owen, for awarding me the Stylish Blogger and Versatile Blogger awards this month.  PLUS, Kathy is the brains behind Amber West’s and my new blog series, The Tamberny AwardsHave you voted?

Kathy writes the best blog series.  Her Monday Masters of Mystery and Fashion Fridays are two of my must see posts each week.  Check them out!

Before I answer the questions associated with The Irresistible Sweet Blog Award, click on these fabOoolous sites in the July edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: A Trip Down Memory Lane – the ‘80s and ‘90s

Did anyone keep an old mixed tape? Check out The Lost Art of the Mix Tape by my dear friend, Jenn Alexinas.  What do you think?  Does every mixed tape say something about its maker?

“The Two Coreys” – Corey Feldman and Corey Haim.  What girl didn’t Dream a Little Dream of these two in the ‘80s?  Stacy Green (yep, the one and only from up above) takes us back to the classic film, License to Drive.

It may have all began in the late ‘70s with Halloween, but the ‘80s are often times associated with the birth of many horror films like Friday the 13thSonia Medeiros discusses Who was That Masked Slasher in this Fear Friday Feature.

Not to leave the ‘90s out, Catie Rhodes delves deep into the friendship, character conflict, and theme of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion in this great post.

PART II: FabOoolous writerly posts

Interested in writing fantasy? Check out these demon names and meanings by Graylin Fox.

Need help with the scenes? Check out Structure of a Scene by my fellow Warrior Writer buddy, Suzan Isik.

How many of us put a book down if the first page doesn’t hook us?  The Bookshelf Muse, aka Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, offer some First Page Tips.

Guilty of information dumps? Paying too much or not enough attention to setting? Check out 12 Pitfalls to Avoid by Roni Loren.

Want to use artifacts, archaeology, and human history in your writing?  Check out this great example by Gene LemppDystopia Island.

 PART III: Just because they’re fabOoolous

Heard about the new Google+?  Not sure what to think about another social media site?  Check out Amber West’s post.  She says to not be scared….

Deep in the woods, and inside a bloodied bunker, what exactly will we find at Site 27?  I mean, besides dismembered feet.  Vote Your Own Adventure here and support the great Jen Kirchner.

Like choosing the story’s direction?  Then remember Mark Lidstone’s Zombies Vote Your Own Adventure story.  There are zombies everywhere, and our protagonist is cut. How long before the infection sets in?

Love vampires, warlocks, and tons of action? Check out Steven Montano’s flasfiction series, Tales of Blood Earth.  The twelve chapters published on his website make for some fabOoolous reading.  Remember, start from the beginning….

And, now my answers to Stacy’s fun questions associated with the Irresistible Sweet Blog Award.  Enjoy!

If you were a vampire, which celebrity would you first sink your teeth into?  Wow, this is a tough one.

The word vampire immediately makes me think of Damon Salvatore, so I guess that would be Ian Somerhalder. 

What’s you’re middle name? Not your REAL middle name. Your middle name.  I try to keep this blog rated-PG, so let’s go with Brat.  Yep, it’s definitely Brat.

You’re stranded on an island. There’s a monkey with you there, but he’s not too chatty. You also have a ball at your disposal. A ship passes by, but it’s daylight. How will you attract their attention?  My mind immediately goes to streaking….

What are you secretly afraid of? And what are you REALLY afraid of?  I don’t keep many secrets; if I’m afraid of something, everyone around me knows it.  I’m deathly afraid of severe storms (I hide the second I hear the tornado sirens nearby, even if it’s a false alarm; okay, well maybe not on a false alarm, but you catch my drift), sharks (and pretty much anything that swims around in the ocean), scorpions, and things that fly and sting (well, moths too – they fly, but supposedly they don’t sting).

Describe your best friend in five words.  Incredibly intelligent, patient, strong, hero, and love (I’m not counting “incredibly” or “and” as words).

What’s the last movie you watched? Was it good?  Because I’m difficult, I’m breaking this down into two categories:

At the theaterTransformers 3. Great summer entertainment – full of fabOoolous stunts and special effects.  Plus, I actually teared up twice.  What can I say?  I love the bond between Sam and BumbleBee.

From RedboxHall Pass.  We heard really bad things about Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis’ film, but we laughed our rears off.  One scene especially caught us so off guard, that I was glad we weren’t eating dinner.  Someone would have spit his food everywhere; I’m just saying.

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? What are some of your favorite things from the ‘80s and ‘90s? What are you afraid of?  What’s the last movie you’ve seen?  Please share!  I’d love to hear from you!  Happy Friday FabOolousness everyone! 

Tele-Tuesday: TV with Bite

Vampires are especially hot right now, but technically the story of the television vampire has been popular for decades.

The history and mythology of the vampire has us believing the following to be true for the supernatural creatures: vampires have super strength, lightening fast speed, immortality, eternal youth, and no souls (therefore no conscience).  Vampires have pale skin and are cool to the touch.  They fear holy water, crucifixes, and garlic, and sunlight will burn their flesh.  Vampires sleep in coffins during the daylight hours, and walk the night in search of food, or play toys; whichever you prefer to call it.  A vampire doesn’t have a reflection and can’t enter one’s residence without a proper invitation from the homeowner.  And, most importantly, a vampire experiences the most excruciating hunger that only blood will satisfy.

Intriguing, right? But there’s more!

More often than not, the television vampire is sexy.  Whether the blood-sucker is male or female, the character is both mesmerizing and seducing, and has the power of extreme mind control.  The older TV series show their vampires transforming into bats, giving them the ability to fly away; today, the vampire possesses lightening fast speed and doesn’t have to shape shift anymore.

Over the years, the television vampire has adapted and has discovered a few ways around previous restrictions.  For one, the vampire has emulated today’s watchful eaters, such as vegetarians.  Instead of feeding on human blood, vampires may drink only the blood of animals.  Spells and elixirs have assisted today’s vampire in walking among the living in broad daylight.  And garlic?  It’s been left behind as an old superstition.

Are you hooked yet?

Future TV with Bite posts will discuss vampire television in further details, but the list below provides just a taste of my television favorites:

Dark Shadows, 1966-1971 – ABC; 1991 – NBC; 2004 – The WB, and syndicated on Chiller today

Vampire Barnabas Collins (Ben Cross) hides his curse from the young and beautiful Victoria Winters (Joanna Going) who just happens to resemble Barnabas’ previous love hundreds of years ago.

Forever Knight 1989, 1993-1996 -CBS, and syndicated on Chiller today

Detective/Vampire Nick Knight (Geraint Wyn Davies) fights crime in an attempt to make up for his cold-blooded killings centuries before.  He manages to keep his secret from everyone, including his partner, except for the medical examiner/confidant, Dr. Natalie Lambert (Catherine Disher), who provides him at times with human blood.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997-2003 – The WB, and syndicated on multiple channels today

A young teenage slayer, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), works alongside her watcher, her witchy best friend, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) , her vampire boyfriends, Angel (David Boreanaz) and Spike (James Marsters), her human friends Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), an occasional werewolf (Seth Green) and demon (Emma Caulfield), and fellow slayer (Eliza Dushku) to protect Sunnydale from the Big Bad.

Angel, 1999-2004- The WB, and syndicated on multiple channels today

A popular spinoff from Buffy, Angel (Boreanaz) and Cordelia (Carpenter) continue to battle evil in the search for Angel’s internalized redemption alongside with new minions: Wesley (Alexis Denisof), Charles (Jaime Augusto Richards III), Winifred (Amy Acker), and Connor (Vincent Kartheiser).

Moonlight2007-2008– CBS, syndicated on Chiller and SyFy today

Private Investigator/Vampire Mick St. John (Alex O’Laughlin) and reporter, Beth (Sophia Myles), fall in love while keeping Los Angeles and Mick’s secret safe.  Mick, however, keeps an even larger secret from Beth – his vampire wife, Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon), had kidnapped Beth as a little girl, and he was the one who saved her decades ago.  Moonlight may have only lasted the one year, however it remains one of my absolute favorites.

Two of the most popular television shows on today revolve around the vampire world, True Blood on HBO, and The Vampire Diaries on The CW.  These shows are so hot, they require a future Tele-Tuesday post all their own.

While not airing new episodes, these vamp series live-on in the ever-popular syndication world: Kolchak: The Night Stalker, 1974-1975 (Chiller and SyFy); Kindred: The Embraced, 1996 (Chiller); and Blood Ties, 2007, (syndicated outside the United States).  Chiller and SyFy run a different marathon every day making it easy to catch up on these older series; check them out!

What are your thoughts on the mythological versus the television vampires?  Which is your favorite vampire television series of all time?  Who is your favorite television vampire?  Do you think these television shows will live forever like their eternal characters, or will someone jab a stake through their heart?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday #6 – Only on Cable…and Netflix!

 

Over the years, HBO has reigned supreme with some of the best series and mini-series available on television.  Who hasn’t watched, or at least heard buzz about, Oz (1997-2003), Sex and the City (1998-2004, plus two motion pictures in 2008 & 2010), The Sopranos (1999-2007), Six Feet Under (2001-2005), Band of Brothers (2001), and Deadwood (2004-2006)?

HBO’s programs have launched powerful and everlasting characters such as Carrie Bradshaw, Tony Soprano, and Al Swearengen.  These successful shows have also helped popular actors land hot new roles such as Christopher Meloni in Law & Order: SVU, Timothy Olyphant in Justified, and Michael Imperioli in Detroit 187.

In 2008, HBO aired its own take on the ever-growing, ever-popular supernatural drama, True Blood.

True Blood – Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, True Blood focuses on the lives of the supernatural and the regular people in fictional Bon Temps, LA.

The series follows the love story between Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and Vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and all of the consequences of such a love.  The show oozes sexuality with characters like Vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard), and Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), and holds nothing back with the sultry sex scenes.  True Blood isn’t for the faint of heart; the show doesn’t hide behind the sensors, ensuring blood and gore in most of the episodes.

Season 1 followed the upturned lives of Bon Temps while a serial killer murdered many, including Sookie’s beloved grandmother.  The audience also meets the local folk of Bon Temps, who tend to be just a bit odd: Sookie’s confidant, and boss, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) shape shifts into a friendly dog; Sookie’s brother, Jason, becomes addicted to V (drinking vamp blood), and is the main suspect in the murders around town; and Sookie’s best friend, Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), while human, is all sorts of a mess.

Season 2 introduced a maenad, who manipulates Sookie’s closest friends hoping to gain control of the small town, and sacrifices many along the way.  Season 2 also builds more in the storyline for Vampire Eric, including his maker’s demise.  The second season also follows Jason as he learns to battle vamps at the Fellowship of the Sun church, and introduces the vampire queen of Louisiana: Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Cook).

Season 3 added the werewolf, more specifically Alcide (Joe Manganiello), another of Sookie’s protectors.  What a lucky girl! First Shape-Shifter Sam, then Vampire Bill, and Vampire Eric, now Werewolf Alcide: four hot men protecting little ol’ Sookie.  We also meet the evil vampire king of Mississippi: Russell Edgington.  Oh yea, and Sookie is revealed as a fairy, in addition to her telepathic abilities.  What will happen in Season 4?

 

Showtime joined the party launching successful programming of its own in 2000 with Queer as Folk (2000-2005), and has held its own in the series & miniseries world since with The L Word (2004-2009), Weeds (2005-present), Dexter (2006-present), The Tudors (2007-2010), Californication (2007-present), and new hits such as Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara, and Shameless.

Let’s start with two of the best 30-minute dramadies on television: Weeds and Californication.

Weeds – Over the past six seasons, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) has done what she needed to do in order to provide for her young sons (Silas, played by Hunter Parish; and Shane, played by Alexander Gould) after her husband, Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), passes away suddenly – she sells weed.

The surprise visit of Judah’s brother, Andy (Justin Kirk), rocks Nancy’s world even more and her life spirals even further out of control.  Despite her shenanigans, Nancy truly tries to be the best mother possible to her boys.  However, Nancy has the tendency to screw things up and fall for the wrong men along the way:  Conrad, her weed-growing partner; Peter, her second husband/FBI agent; and Esteban Reyes, her third husband/Mexican drug cartel crime lord.

In Season 5, Nancy’s life is saved by the birth of her third son, Stevie Reyes; but, the lives of her family will never be the same.  So, what does the Botwin family do?  They flee, assume false identities, and return to the world of selling hash only to come face to face with Esteban, who has been diligently searching for his son, and his goons in the season finale.  Season 7 returns June 27th – what crazy antics are in store for Nancy, Andy, Silas, Shane, and Stevie?

Californication – Hank Moody (David Duchovny) has never met a drug or a woman that he doesn’t love.  Pair that with his recurring writer’s block, and Hank’s life is a disaster just waiting to happen.

The show starts after Hank, and his baby’s momma, Karen (Natascha McElhone) move with their daughter, Becca (Madeleine Martin) from New York to Los Angeles.  Joining the Moody clan, is Hanks’ agent/BFF, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), and his wife, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), a waxing professional to the stars.

Hank’s successful novel was adapted into a screenplay much to his dismay, and feeling down-n-out, he picks up a hot Mia (Madeline Zima) in a local LA bookstore and beds her.  That is, after all, what Hank Moody does – he beds beautiful women with his alluring charm.  During sex, Mia punches Hank; not long after “the punch”, Hank discovers that Mia is the 16 year old daughter of Karen’s new fiancé. And, there you have the setting for all five seasons thus far.

Californication is pure brilliance, but raunchy.  In Season 2, Hank is hired to write the biography of a rock star – just want Hank needs, an invitation to party like a rock star! In Season 3, Hank is hired as a college professor – that’s definitely a disaster waiting to happen! One of my favorite laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-face, scenes aired in Season 4 with the entire cast of characters sitting around Stu’s (Stephen Tobolowsky) dinner table.  Another unforgettable scene was early in Season 1…let’s just say it involved Hank and Charlie in bed, with a “shooter”.  Watch with caution….but be prepared to laugh and cry!

Dexter – Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) = member of the Miami Police Department by day (specializing in blood spatter), and vigilante/serial killer by night.  Dexter only murders other killers; that’s ok, right?

Dexter’s ties to his family (foster-sister, Debra; wife, Rita; stepchildren, Astor and Cody; and son, Harrison) force him to doubt his secret life, but he continues to kill, wrap the bodies tightly, and dispose of them at sea from his boat, “Slice of Life”.   Each season, Dexter faces a nemesis: “The Ice Truck Killer” (S1); “The Bay Harbor Butcher” (S2) — Oh wait, that’s Dexter! – so, let’s say his rival in Season 2 is Sergeant James Doakes; “The Skinner” (S3); “Trinity Killer” played by the fabulous John Lithgow (S4); and the “Santa Muerte Killer” (S5).

What demon will Dexter battle next? And what horrific murderer will Dexter permanently remove from Miami?  Will anyone catch Dexter?  Rumor mills report that Season 6 will be air sometime in 2011…

What’s your favorite movie-channel series of all time? Least favorite?  Which is better: HBO of old, or Showtime of new? Who’s your favorite HBO/Showtime series character?  Least favorite? I’d love to hear from you!

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