Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lucy Liu and Fandom Freakouts: A Retraction

Apparently the news that Lucy Liu had been cast in CBS's Elementary broke yesterday. And then a fandom war broke out, like, instantly.

I wasn't actually aware of it until after I posted my knee-jerk reaction on Tumblr.

My knee-jerk reaction:

I really do think that casting a woman as Watson was to keep the homoerotic subtext fairy away, and also so that Watson and Holmes could have a romance instead of just subtext. If I could side-eye it any harder my eyes would pop out of my head
One of the problems with social media is how easily you can say something that you later regret. I have thought about it (having had time to digest it) and I can't see it as anything worse than BBC Sherlock's "No, we're definitely not gay!" standpoint. And I love the show, but it is seriously problematic in its treatment of women and POC (Start with Sally Donovan and slut-shaming and move on from there). I'm not sure how accurate the Game of Shadows movie was in regards to Romani culture, either, and I've gone on record about how much I hated what happened to both Irene Adler and Mrs. Watson in that movie. (Augh!)

And it's not like the subtext was anything more than subtext in any of those, ever. So we're losing subtext buried under casual homophobia at best, and we don't know what we're gaining out of it yet, other than a WOC in a lead role on TV.

So I formally retract my earlier statements. Having read the concept of the show, it looks like they're trying to do something new and different with it, which I support. Whether it will be awful or not, I don't know. But normally I'm much more reserved about shit like this, and I apologize. I want to judge the thing on it's own merits when it airs- and rest assured, I WILL be watching.

Ending on three notes. 1: CBS is also responsible for HIMYM which I kinda love. 2: Lucy Liu is awesome. 3: Elementary will not end with Holmes in a hot air balloon chasing his brother in a flying metal dragon over London, and that's terrible.

Seriously, you have to watch this movie.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Buffy and Being a Girl

When I was growing up, I was heavily influenced to never be a girly-girl. My mother had a problem with girly-girls, liking pink, wearing make-up, wearing nail polish. I used to believe that there was some merit in not being girly, in being 'one of the guys'. That it made me superior to other girls. I was meaner than I needed to be about this to some of my friends, which is one of my biggest regrets. (If any of you are reading this: I am truly sorry. Sometimes I was a real asshole.)

For the record: this is bullshit.

There's nothing wrong with eschewing traditionally feminine things for traditionally masculine things, but there's nothing wrong with the opposite, or for embracing both. For any gender. Doing none of the above makes anybody superior.

If you had told my 12-year-old self that she would regularly paint her nails as an adult, she would have told you that you were full of it. If you had told that same 12-year-old that she would eventually dye her hair pink and fucking love it, she would have assumed you were on too many drugs to hold a reasonable conversation with.

That is where it turned around for me, the day I decided to fuck everything I believed about myself and dyed my hair pink. It was kind of on a whim, and I thought "maybe next time I'll go green or blue" but I fell in love with pink as a color. I now actually own items of clothing in pink, as well as pink nail polish (multiple shades).

Then, I started getting into makeup. I even blogged about it for a while, although that blog maybe is permanently abandoned (maybe when my health clears up I'll pick it up again, who knows). I had never really worn makeup before, and so figuring out how to use makeup was a bit like learning how to ride a bike for the first time. Except I never stabbed myself in the eye with eyeliner when I learned how to ride a bike. I learned how to do some really cool things with makeup, and now I carry makeup around with me in my purse, so I can throw some on in a hurry if I feel the need. This is still kind of an alien thing to me. I own a compact mirror. Just typing that feels weird.

Long story short (too late), I'm just now embracing some of the really feminine aspects of myself that I have been suppressing for a good portion of my life. So, why did I mention Buffy in the title?

As I'm sure all of you know, Mark Oshiro has been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time, and I have been reading along (and waiting with baited breath until he reaches some of my favorite episodes, like today's). It has been bringing up an aspect of Buffy that I never fully embraced until now, which is that Buffy is without a doubt, a girly-girl.

You can't argue around it. She was a cheerleader when she went to school in L.A. She generally dresses fashionably, and wears nail polish and makeup. She generally looks cute and put-together. She really, really cares about prom queen and homecoming queen and likes fashion and basically she is the kind of girl I abhorred and secretly wanted to be in high school. It's one of the things about her that doesn't ever really change. (Also, round of applause for Cordelia, who becomes such an awesome character that it blows minds.)

The more I think about this, the more I love it. We live in a culture that seems to abhor women and everything they love, there are politicians that run on platforms that are outrageously anti-woman, women are shamed for reading romance novels because that's such a GIRLY thing to do, women are often cheered on when they shrug off typically 'girly' traits for more masculine traits (but only when it makes them hot, we don't want our women to be MANNISH now do we?) and it's really, really fucking frustrating.

Buffy has its problematic episodes, and one of these days I'm probably gonna sit down and categorize em, but it also lets Buffy be a girly-girl without apologizing for it. I appreciate that, a lot.

If you feel like commenting, tell me one typically girly thing you do. Bonus points if it's something you do on the sly.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vincent Price Appreciation Post

I had no internet this weekend due to financial fiasco going on, so I watched some of my Vincent Price collection. I don't have nearly enough of his movies in my possession, but that will change, precious. Oh yes. Because he is my favorite.

Part of my fondness is nostalgic. I watched several Vincent Price movies when I was a teenager, and I've been hooked since. I think the first I watched was House on Haunted Hill, but I swear to nothing. Oh, and Edgar Allen Poe-based movies. I went through this Edgar Allen Poe phase as a kid where I couldn't stop reading and re-reading his stories- stories like "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "Cask of Amontillado", which is my favorite. Vincent Price starred in something like a jillion (approximately) Poe-based movies, and that plays into why I am so fond of him.

I have not, by any means, seen all of his films. I tend towards movies where he's killing people through hilariously improbable means, like "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" or "Theatre of Blood" (how much fun is he having with that Shakespeare?)

I love how many things he's narrated through the years, and it's always fantastic to start watching something and suddenly Vincent Price. If I had a time machine, the first thing I would do is go back in time and meet Vincent Price.

Because of reasons.
The movie I wanted specifically to talk about is Madhouse, which stars Vincent Price and Peter Cushing. We missed the ultimate horror trifecta by not having somehow cast Christopher Lee as well, but what can you do?

I really like Madhouse because it's kinda... well, meta. Vincent Price plays an actor named Paul Toombs who's known for doing horror films. I know, what a stretch, right? Well, he was famous for a character known as Dr. Death. But there's a scandal- his fiancee dies after they quarrel under suspicious circumstances. By which I mean someone dressed as Dr. Death cuts her head the fuck off, and then leaves it on her neck, so when Paul Toombs goes to make up with her, her decapitated head falls off, scarring Paul life. Then he spends a few years in a mental institution.

That's the first, like, fifteen minutes of the movie. Paul Toombs eventually gets back into film, reprising his role as the infamous Dr. Death, and more mysterious murders happen. It's set up so that Paul could possibly be Dr. Death, though he doesn't believe he is (there's an indication early on that someone might be hypnotizing him or something).

I love this film because A: they try to pretend Peter Cushing and Vincent Price are of a similar enough build to be mistaken for each other (ha!) and B: because it has both gory and inexplicable deaths and an air of actual mystery to the perpetrator. Also, Vincent Price, but that pretty much goes without saying. If you like Price and you've somehow missed this one, give it a once over.

I couldn't resist this one.
Edit: I have more things to say.

I call "Madhouse" meta and never really delve into why, because I'm easily distracted by shiny things.

The film references many of Price's earlier films, "Tales of Terror" and "Pit and the Pendulum" most notably, and serves partially as a commentary on how fucked up the movie business is. It also feels like the prologue to every Vincent Price film ever. Like, if there had been a follow-up film called "Toombs' revenge" or "Back from the Toombs" (I crack myself up) where Paul Toombs was killing people for trying to fuck with Dr. Death or something, it would not have surprised anybody in the slightest.

It makes sense to me that Price would do a picture like this, because he preferred playing bad guys who have a compelling reason to act as they do. He likes characters who, while they may have lost their grip on sanity or reality, have a clear motivation. Not just IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE or BECAUSE EVIL, but often out of revenge and grief, motivators that most people can sympathize with.

I can never completely hate the characters he plays, just because they all have a core to them that is just a wounded and broken man who can't make sense of anything. The worlds rules have ceased to mean anything to him and he responds in kind. He also tends to have fun with all of his roles, which makes him very watchable.

...okay, I think now I'm done talking about him. For now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stress, Insomnia, and Depression

So I am falling behind on TVD. If you are looking forward to my next recap, I'm working on it, but they take at least two viewings of each show for me, so they take a while.

Part of it is because my life has recently gotten complicated- there's money issues and whatnot. I'm stressed and depressed, and because of the depression I've got insomnia. Or maybe it's because of the insomnia that I am depressed, either way the root cause is stress. I am asleep during the daylight hours when most people are doing stuff, and I hate it. Even when I do sleep, it's not good sleep. I don't sleep as long as I really need to and I don't sleep as deep as I really need to. Over time, it adds up.

I have always been a bit of a night owl and staying up until 2-4 is normal to me and, also, just fine by me. I hated working when I had to get up early. I can get up early, it just makes me miserable. 6-7 am is not a time I enjoy being awake, my body actively revolts at it. I'm pretty sure that was a contributing factor into why I was so miserable working a normal office job. My ideal job: for a while I worked from about 6-7 in the afternoon until, potentially, 4 in the morning, and that was just fine by me. I got up early enough to get stuff done and slept when my body thought I should sleep.

Now that I work from home, my sleep schedule has become a thing of wackiness, and not in the fun way. I have tried and tried to reset it and the truth is that my body will not sleep at night right now. Medication (Tylenol PM and the like) doesn't work. Alcohol doesn't work- at least not in doses small enough to prevent a hangover (hangovers are NOT WORTH IT). Meditation and breathing techniques and every other thing I can find online don't work. I've managed a couple of times to reset my sleep schedule only to have it flip back on me. After I recovered from strep I thought I had it pinned down, but that sucker flipped on me almost immediately.

The worst part is how disorienting it is. I have trouble keep track of the days because they change during my 'day'. I forget to eat. I'm having panic attacks at least twice a day, now. I struggle to get any writing done- that's the scariest, because writing has always been as easy as breathing for me. I have ideas, but the words don't pour out like they used to. This has happened before, but it's still scary. What if I don't find them again? What if my ability to make fiction just vanishes?

It didn't feel right to talk about movies and TV as if nothing was wrong, so I thought I'd let everyone know where my head is at right now. I've been doing lots of nostalgic stuff because it's less stressful than watching new stuff for me right now.

New TV and movies are too stressful for me to watch right now. That's a pretty apt descriptor of my state of mind.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guilty Pleasures: George of the Jungle

George of the Jungle started as a cartoon in the late sixties. It ran on some network all the time, and I watched it religiously. It was produced by the same people who did the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, and it's on the list of "Shit I'm Nostalgic for Even Though it Aired Before I was Born", alongside the Mission Impossible and Columbo TV shows. I'll have to make a list of these things one day.

That, however, is not the George of the Jungle I'm talking about. I'm talking about this one:

And now, for a moment, my southwest upbringing will become very apparent.

Oh my god, y'all, I don't even know how to tell you how into this movie I was when I first saw it. This movie came out the year I turned 13, and I destroyed the VHS I watched it so much. To be clear on what I mean by this: we had a tape of the Princess Bride from the year it came out on VHS that Nick and I watched ALL THE TIME and it survived until we moved onto DVDs, but this one didn't. I had every line memorized, including the Swahili bits.

You see, this movie was the first time where I actually started to understand, well, sex. I mean, I understood it on an intellectual level to a very small extent (tab A, slot B, baby) and that people who love each other in romantic ways have sex. I had romantic feelings about boys from time to time, and I assumed that meant having sex with them at some point long down the road, but I had never really connected the "pure" romantic feelings I'd had with sex.

I think I had, until that point, bought into the 'good girls don't actually LIKE sex' idea. I don't know, but I'd never had that moment where I looked at a guy and went "Oh, yeah, break me off a piece of that," until George of the Jungle. Not even joking.

I can tell you the exact SCENE that happened in the movie, too. And it may surprise you that he wasn't naked OR shirtless during it (although his shirtlessness was the reason I watched the movie over and over and over...) Towards the middle of the movie, he's in San Fransisco with Ursula and she leaves him in her apartment while she goes and does... something. He leaves and starts exploring. Then he ends up playing bongos in a dance studio and that is the exact moment I discovered how hot he was.

Look, I don't know. He spent most of the movie largely naked, and a tiny portion of it actually naked. Maybe it was the first genuine moment in the film (or the only)- the rest of the movie, Fraser is mugging and generally acting like an idiot. Which is in character for George, but this is a scene where it looks like the actor is genuinely having fun with the character while being the character. It doesn't matter, really. It was just the precise moment where I fell in lust with Brendan Fraser.

One of the subplots of the movie is about George discovering his sexuality and how to deal with it. That subplot is about as deep as a kiddie pool (and doesn't really go anywhere because she was falling for him anyway) but it was the thing I related to most in the movie: George awkwardly using gorilla pick-up moves on Ursula.

Look, I know the movie is bad. It's a mess of 'trying too hard' and not-very-good meta humor, with lots of breaking the fourth wall because they could. Fraser's ridiculous mugging and random monkey noises is really... well, it gets annoying. The material it's adapted from is not substantial to begin with, and the movie doesn't have anything new to bring to the table, nor does it update the concept in the slightest.

The movie hasn't aged well and feels very dated. George doesn't actually learn or grow in any way. He doesn't end the movie any smarter, or more sure of himself. There's a minute where they try to convince you that he doubts his worth, but it's not expanded upon and ends up going nowhere. Ursula has one moment where you think she might turn into a badass because she swings in on a vine and saves George. Then Lyle kidnaps her and she ends up hollering for George throughout the climax even though Ursula could clearly snap Lyle in half. The story of the movie is that they fall in love and, after some minor conveniences, get married. At one point, a character gets into an argument with the narrator of the story, and the whole movie stops while they bicker. The movie is full of pointless padding (the above scene with the bongos included) and the concept is stretched so thin you could read newsprint through it.

None of that matters. If it's on TV I stop everything and watch in anyway. I started watching for this so I could do some screen captures and I can't turn it off. I CANNOT STOP WATCHING THIS MOVIE. And I enjoy it and laugh at the jokes and look I don't know, stop judging me. I know it's bad. I don't love it because it's bad, this is not 'so bad it's good' for me. I really just have no excuses.

I do wonder if this wasn't meant to pander to the moms who would be watching this film with their kids. I mean, on top of all the mostly-nude, later in the film there's a scene where Brendan Fraser chases a horse with his shirt unbuttoned, and it's like the cover of a romance novel in motion.

No joke.
There was a glut of Brendan Fraser movies to follow this one, including a cringeworthy adaptation of Dudley Do-Right, which I didn't even enjoy a little. I watched a lot of them. Blast from the Past, Bedazzled, and of course the Mummy movies, which will get their own post in the near future. Without a doubt, The Mummy was the best, and have no doubt that I love it. George of the Jungle was first and, therefore, will always have a piece of my heart. It's as embarrassing as it is true.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hey, it's Monday!

I don't really want to talk about the Superbowl because I just didn't really care about the teams this year. I loved the half-time show like candy, but there's not much more I can add to that. However, there was some fair bit of movie news this weekend, some of which I actually care about.

So let's talk about Battleship (trailer here). I kinda loved the trailer for it! I don't mind that it looks like Transformers, I kinda hope that means there will be a lot of really cool explosions. Since my major issue with the Transformer movies won't even come up -

This guy and his 'wacky' family

- I'm totally on board for this one. All I want from this film is for things to explode in cool ways and to hear Liam Neeson give just one inspirational speech (or verbally threaten terrorists, I'm not picky). Is that too much to ask?

In case you hadn't heard some slightly older news, there's probably going to be a Blade Runner sequel. The new news is that Harrison Ford is supposedly negotiating to appear in it. The producer has said in the past that neither Deckard nor Ford would be showing back up in the sequel. Which makes sense from the "Deckard was a replicant" standpoint, although I imagine it was partly because they didn't think Ford would be amenable to a remake. The news seems shaky at best, but I am definitely curious as to where they're going with this. I know a lot of people are shouting BETRAYAL but I think they could make a really decent film, there's a lot of material in that universe just waiting to be picked up.

Speaking of sequels, one I'm really excited about is the new Riddick film. Vin Diesel will reprise his role in a new sequel that is filming right now, and the official plot summary for the movie has been released. The plot looks a little closer to the plot of Pitch Black, and supposedly they're trying to embrace the feel of that film better in this movie. I hope they can, but I'll probably watch it either way.

I guess I am a bit of an optimist. If you have thoughts, leave me a comment and we'll talk about  'em.

Friday, February 3, 2012

TVD Recap: Season 1 Episode 7 "Haunted"

I'll admit that I nearly quit watching after episode six. The whole thing was long and, again, mostly filler. However, the end of the episode had kinda erupted into HOLY SHIT WHAT so I wanted to see where they were going. Vicki as a vampire had to be kind of a hot mess, because Vicki is... well, kind of a hot mess. Of course, the end of episode five featured Stefan storming out to FUCK DAMON UP and then we had an episode full of flashbacks and Damon being Damon. So I was a bit... hesitant the first time. Fortunately, this episode is much improved.

One problem I have with TVD is that the passage of time is hard to follow. Sometimes, it's clear that some time has passed between the episodes. Sometimes that amount of time is stated, sometimes it's unclear. Sometimes one episode ends where the next begins, such as episodes 5 and 6. Sometimes an undefined amount of time happens during an episode. I plan on doing a timeline of the events of the seasons at the end of each season. It may cost me my sanity.

This episode takes place during Halloween. If the first day of school was in mid-to late August, which I think is relatively standard for grade school, then a little over two months has passed since Episode 1.

Season 1 Episode 7: Haunted

Tyler, who we haven't seen much of, is in the school parking lot after dark. I'm not a hundred percent sure if this is a continuation of episode six, but I think so. Anyway, Vicki is hungry and Tyler is definitely on the menu.

This episode is kinda dark, so most of the pictures are too. Sorry.
Stefan and Damon arrive and save the day. Tyler (who clearly doesn't understand what the hell is going on) punches Damon. Damon grabs him by the throat... and compells him to forget this ever happened. Huh, not how I pictured that going. Oh, then he flings Tyler across the parking lot.

Matt's at school, and he gets a call from Vicki. She's checking in with him, letting him know she's okay (I almost said alive but... yeah). Vicki's hanging with both the Salvatores. Stefan is definitely Keeping an Eye on Vicki. Damon is reading the news, acting disinterested. He notices that the death of Logan Fell has been covered up for some reason.

I don't know why, but Damon just chilling with the paper cracks me up.
Stefan gives Vicki some of his animal blood. She is unimpressed, and wants people blood. Even Damon points out that they don't have to kill to eat, you can just grab a bite and erase their memories. Damon kinda has a point. Stefan's concern is that Vicki wouldn't be able to control herself, which turns out to be true. Nobody said Stefan didn't also have a point, but he's more annoying about making it. He doesn't lay out all the facts for her in a rational way, he tells her what he thinks he ought to.

Elena arrives at the Salvatore boarding house and is kinda snarky to Damon, which is ballsy. Damon points this out, because he likes keeping a hanging death threat over her. She responds that if he wanted her dead she'd be dead. Then Damon makes a My Fair Lady reference, which actually made me clap my hands with glee. "Where's Stefan?" "He's upstairs, singing the Rain in Spain."

Have I mentioned how much I like Elena?
Apparently the plan with Vicki is that Stefan will Obi Wan her until she's no longer dangerous. This, in case you were wondering, does not work in any way. I understand what Stefan is getting across here, but we later find out he is bffs with a vampire he likes who drinks blood stolen from blood-banks. He knows there are other options, and this DRINK ONLY ANIMALS thing seems to be limited to Stefan Salvatore. So I don't like how hard he pushes Vicki on this, because he comes off as... well, patronizing. It's totally in character for him, he's closing in on 200 years old, but it's aggravating.

He's kinda like those after school specials where they tell you "drugs are bad, m'kay?" but don't actually give you the facts, and exaggerate the negative effects. Wait a minute. Was that the point they were making? Holy shit. I'm just gonna pretend it is.

Oh, Bonnie! We haven't heard from her for a while! I guess she's been hanging with her Grams, learning about her witchy roots. Grams teaches an occult course at a nearby university. What university would that be? Mystic Falls Community College? I'm not making fun, I just want to know. It doesn't seem like a big enough town to have it's own CC, and I'm not at all clear as to exactly where in Virginia Mystic Falls actually is.

Now that I think about it, there could be a Something County Community College.
The Mayor and his wife are talking at the Grill. Mrs. Lockwood is freaking out about everything, worried that the vampire will know that they know the vampire is in town. Horse, barn door. Plus, Damon is sitting at the bar, listening to every word they say. Vampire hearing makes him a cheating bastard.

Matt tells Tyler that Vicki called, and she's okay. This normally would irritate me, I don't like scenes of characters telling other characters things that the audience already knows without serving a purpose. However, Tyler offers to help (I'm not sure with what), and he seems pretty genuinely concerned. Not just for Vicki, but for Matt as well.

Tyler Lockwood is Not a Dick this Episode.
Caroline got Bonnie a Halloween costume, because. Caroline just wants to forget about Damon and everything and have a good time. Caroline got Bonnie a witch costume, and gave her Damon's mystical crystal to go with it. Bonnie is a little "Really? Really?" but we later see that Caroline also dressed as a witch, so it's just a cutesy matchy thing.

Stefan is talking to Vicki about being a vampire, apparently coffee helps keep vampires warm. Vicki is really having none of it, his talk is a little too AA for her. I wonder if it's some kind of requirement to have an overt anti-drug message in shows, and that's why they're subverting it with Stefan's "Just say No" bullshit. I'm totally sticking with that interpretation, btw.

Vicki and Elena end up alone. Elena wants her to stop seeing Jeremy, and Vicki's response is basically "I'm a vampire, you can't make me."

There's a lot of baggage here, too, involving Matt and Vicki feeling inferior.
Elena is freaked out and Stefan admits that he doesn't know how long it'll take Vicki to adjust to everything, which is not really reassuring at all. He thinks it'll help that she has someone to guide her but he's never been in this situation before, and Vicki has issues. So do he and Damon, but apparently it's a lot worse for a fresh vampire, and sorting shit out is very confusing.

Vicki asks Damon why he turned her. According to him: he was bored. She doesn't really like that answer, and he admits it's one of the problems of living for so damned long. She's clearly frustrated with everything, and Damon says she's just been cooped up. He takes her outside to show her the fun side of being a vampire. He shows her the fast running trick, which she's done before now without realizing I'm pretty sure. So she disappears. Damon totally planned on this, judging by the look on his face.

He actually says "My bad."
Vicki tries to go home, but she can't get inside until Matt invites her. They get into a fight because she's very vague about where she's been, and he's been worried sick about her. Stefan shows up, hoping to talk some sense into Vicki. Of course, he can't come in unless he's invited, and Vicki has Matt send him away.

Elena tries to talk Jeremy into letting Vicki go. I understand that she promised to keep Stefan's secret, but considering that Jeremy might get eaten or turned into a vampire by a very stressed out Vicki, it might be worthwhile to let Jeremy in on the secret. Of course, she doesn't. Also, apparently Jeremy's hair is only really happy around her. Vicki texts him on the sly, asking him to meet her at the Halloween thing at school.

I guess without Vicki there's no reason to comb anymore.
Tyler is offering spiked cider to Caroline in Bonnie. Bonnie is against, Caroline is for. Hooray underage drinking! The Mayor and Mrs. Lockwood are at the bar, and apparently Mrs. Lockwood is getting all kind of drunk. The Mayor goes ahead to the Halloween party, leaving Mrs. Lockwood to finish her martini. Damon swoops in and starts flirting with her, since that's his modus operandi.  He tries to compel Mrs. Lockwood, but she's wearing vervain. So he mentions the vervain, and so reveals that He Knows. Damon is playing an interesting game.

At the Halloween party: Jeremy is dressed in a black (like his soul) hoodie. Elena is wearing a nurse outfit, Matt is wearing a doctor's uniform- apparently they had gone matching the year before. They both wound up there at the last minute, and wore what they had. That's kinda adorable. Vicki is dressed up as a vampire, either because she's being funny or through sheer coincidence. Vicki is wandering around, distracted by all of the necks, and Stefan grabs her and takes her into a class room. He's doing his best to convince her that now is not the time to be around all the tasty people.

They were probably sickly sweet as a couple.
Damon tells Mrs. Lockwood he can get them the vervain they need, and decides to walk her to the school shindig. I'm having a hard time figuring out how big Mystic Falls is, too. I'm just going with it. Oh, apparently one of the things they did to eliminate vampire suspects was keep track of who showed up to the founder's ball during the daylight hours. You can see Damon registering that it means he and Stefan aren't suspects.

Stefan, with Vicki in tow, finds Elena and Matt. Vicki freaks out at Stefan, making him look like a creeper, so he lets her go. She vanishes. Matt tries to keep Stefan from following, but Stefan brushes him off. Vicki's already found Jeremy, and they sneak outside for hot makeouts.

I really just capped this because it looks kinda cool.
Damon approaches Bonnie and asks about Caroline, which was really the wrong question to ask. Bonnie is Displeased with him and his behavior. Then he sees the crystal Bonnie is wearing (which is probably why he was after Caroline). He tries to convince her to give it over, which goes over like a lead balloon. Being Damon, he then tries to snatch it off her. The crystal raises an objection by burning Damon's hand, which he Did Not Expect. Neither did Bonnie, who flees.

Jeremy and Vicki sneak into the parking lot where the buses are and start making with the smooches, while Elena and Stefan are looking for her. (Sidenote: I like the music during this scene.) Vicki says she has to leave town, and asks Jeremy to go with her. She wants to turn him into a vampire, either that or use him as a snack that carries itself. Then Vicki bites his lip and starts licking up the blood, and then sucking on it. Which, to his credit, freaks him out. Then she vamps out on Jeremy.

I still really like the vampire effect in this show.
Elena arrives in a timely fashion, swinging a piece of board. She misses, but sufficienatly distracts Vicki from her meal. Then Vicki throws Elena her across the parking lot, into a pile of wooden pallettes. Ouch. Stefan shows up and Vicki disappears. Then Vicki reappears and takes a bite out of Elena. Stefan stakes her, which makes her go all grey and die. I will say that the 'dead and staked vampire' effect is also really kinda fucked up. In a good way.

It's also hard to see in this episode. Again, sorry.
Jeremy is hearbroken, poor baby. Elena is fairly wounded and Vicki is dead. It's definitely been a bad night. Elena insists that Stefan get Jeremy gone. In a move that surprised me, Stefan calls Damon, asking for help. Elena stays behind with Vicki's body, waiting for Damon to arrive.

Bonnie shows up to see Grams in her costume. Grams sees the crystal, and recognizes it. She shows Bonnie that Emily Bennet from 1864 had the crystal before her. It's a family piece, and presumably magical. That's probably why Damon couldn't yank it off.

I feel like Grams deserves more love.
Damon shows up to take care of what's left of Vicki. Elena blames him for the whole thing, and he's like "So I give a fuck why?" Elena, both grieving and now angry, hits him, and then slaps him in the face. Again, Elena knows that he is a super-strong, super-fast vampire and she SLAPPED HIM FULL ON IN THE FACE. If you don't understand by now why I like her, I don't even know what to tell you. Damon then points out that she's bleeding and it'd be safer for her if she, uh, left. Again, hanging death threat.

Matt catches Elena on her way out and notices she's covered in blood. In a move that could only possibly work on Halloween, she claims some idiot splashed her with fake blood.  When he asks about Vicki, she says she doesn't know where Vicki is. Which, is technically true. No telling what Damon's done with her by now.

Doesn't change the fact that she's moving like she's in pain, but whatever.
Elena gets home and Stefan is waiting on the porch for her. She heads in to check on Jeremy, but he's just miserable. She tries to figure out if he understands what's going on, but he doesn't seem to get any of it. Hell, even if he did he wouldn't be able to get it into words just now, I bet. Elena lets him cry on her, poor kid is really heartbroken.

Elena steps back outside, and asks Stefan how he's doing. He's very upset that he had to kill Vicki, even though he came of patronizing he really did want to help her out. Elena asks Stefan to compel Jeremy to forget what happened, which I totally get. Stefan admits that he probably won't be able to do it well. When he compelled Vicki she started remembering some things almost immediately, so we know this is a fact.

There was a pouty-faced shot but it just looked funny the longer I stared at it.
Damon appears, and volunteers to compel Jeremy. Elena doesn't seem happy, but she agrees. I'm not entirely sure why, except that he seems sincere enough and he did help... uh, hide Vicki's body. You know, that doesn't sound nearly as charitable written down as it seemed in the show. Even so, you'd expect Damon to brush Stefan off, in a 'clean up your own mess' sense. I do think Damon feels a little responsible, whether he'll admit it or not. Elena gives Damon the story to give her brother and trusts him far enough to let him in the house alone with her brother. I suppose if Damon actually meant Jeremy harm, there isn't much anybody can do about it.

Elena admits that she sorta wants to forget, because everything is awful. She doesn't want to lose the way she feels about Stefan, though. I'll admit, that kinda made me groan. I mean, yeah, she's a teenager and is in love, but she's also known this guy for TWO MONTHS. His brother is an admitted murderer, and constantly reminds her that he could kill her with his left elbow. He also turns people into vampires because there's only reruns on or something. So, yeah, I rolled my eyes so hard they got stuck.

Damon, looking surprisingly somber, says "It's done."

I do wonder how much of Stefan and Elena's conversation he heard. Oh well.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grief and Star Trek

Warning: This post is more serious than what I normally do, and is kind of a bummer. I don't have much of a point, I'm just bummed and felt like blogging about it.

The 2009 Star Trek ends with the classic Star Trek narration. You know. "Space: the final frontier." and so on. Nimoy narrates it. I thought, "Man, I'll bet Mike recites that narration every time-" and stopped.


Mike is dead. He has been for nearly three years.

So that's how I wound up sobbing to the end credits of Star Trek.

Mike and my mother went to high school together, and he knew my brother and myself from the day we were born. We considered him an uncle, blood or not.

My brother came home on leave a week or so before Mike died, and we decided we'd round Mike up and all go for food and to see Star Trek. I called and left a message and we went by, but he wasn't home. That wasn't so odd, he had other friends and went out, he didn't have a cell phone so if he wasn't home he wasn't home. We made other plans. I knew Mike would call me back, because he always did.

This time, he didn't.

It's why I associate Star Trek with him, just a little. Not all the time either. Every once in a while my brain catches me off guard, and suckerpunches me right in the feelings.

I'm absolutely certain he would have loved the movie, though.