The Vampire Diaries: So Much More Than A “Ship”

Stelena. Delena. Melena. Elejah. Forwood. Klaroline. Klefan. Steroline. Bamon. Beremy. Kennett. Dabekah. Mabekah. Dalaric. Jalaric. Jeranna. Maroline. Mapril. Japril. Jicki.

Wait..let me stop myself.  I could go on but unfortunately I want to write something worthwhile.  The Vampire Diaries is no stranger to love triangles, squares, octagons, and spider webs.  A new ‘ship’ (for those new to the TV lingo world: a ‘ship’ is short for relationship.  Two characters combined in an intense love/friendly interaction is often referred to as a ‘ship.’  For example: The TVD fandom loves to ship Elena/Damon or Elena/Stefan) can be created with just one simple interaction or even NON interaction between characters.

Unfortunately, The Vampire Diaries fandom has become entangled in an all out social media brawl when it comes to ‘shipping.’  Fans of the Elena/Damon (Delena) relationship will often get into heated and sometimes nasty arguments with the Elena/Stefan (Stelena) fandom and so on with all other character pairings.  What fans sometimes forget is that within the confines of these relationships lies an actual show.  A show full of character dynamics, history, mythology, and even humor.  Sometimes fans forget that The Vampire Diaries is not solely about Elena and her love between two brothers.  Sometimes fans need to step back and look at the bigger picture of the show.

Underneath all the pairings is a show that has taken us from a world full of only humans to a world full of vampires, werewolves, witches, hybrids, and other mystical creatures  that are bound to be running around in the TVD universe.  That’s the part of the show I love.  When the ‘Originals’ were introduced I relished in every storyline they were involved in because they weren’t part of the central love triangle and the other teenage love angst.  I love flashback episodes because it gives us a new piece of mythology and often furthers the supernatural storyline forward (and who doesn’t love some gorgeous men and women in period costume?).  If we take a step back and stop worrying about who Elena is going to kiss every episode or if Caroline really does like Klaus we will find a fast-paced and invigorating show.  One that pushes new boundaries and one not only for the teenage population of the world.

If you’re so inclined to hardcore ‘ship’ a couple don’t get mad when you don’t get your way.  Don’t threaten the actors, writers, creators, and fans of the show.  Engage in conversation.  Nothing lasts forever in the TV world and just because your ‘ship’ didn’t have screen time this week doesn’t mean something won’t happen next week.  Take time to watch the show for what it is and ENJOY it.  Who wants to spend time being angry at a television?

And if you have to ask the question of who do I ‘ship’?  Well, that’s easy.  I ‘ship’ The Vampire Diaries/My TV.

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Saved By The Inconsistencies

On any given afternoon you can find me watching MTV2’s “Old School” TV line up.  I love the several hours each day MTV2 airs re-runs of Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World.  Even though I’ve seen every episode, it never gets old.  The two shows have become staples in my television life.

As I watch repeats of Saved by the Bell, it’s become apparent to me that the show borders on, well, a mess.  I have become so jaded by Zack’s charm, AC’s abs, Kelly’s perfection, and Screech’s wackiness, I never wanted to look beyond the lighthearted comedy.  I take the show with a grain of salt.  There have been so many inconsistencies through out the series I figured it was time to point them out and go “WTF” to things we never received answers to during the series.

Whatever happened to Tori Scott? Tori, a biker chick, arrived at Bayside High senior year. She was tough, rode a motorcycle, and was immediately turned off to everyone she met at the preppy Bayside.  At first, Zack didn’t want anything to do with Tori.  He couldn’t handle her hardcore exterior and her ability to fire back at him (because how dare a woman?) But, over the course of the few episodes, Tori and Zack became an item.  At the same time Tori arrived, Jessie and Kelly mysteriously disappeared.  In the real world, actresses Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley refused to re-sign their contracts and the show needed another female presence to fill the void. Welcome Tori.  Once Thiessen and Berkley re-signed their contracts, they were immediately written back into the show, and Tori went quietly into the night.  No explanation was given and it almost seemed as though Tori never existed.  Unfortunately, this was not the last time a character would mysteriously disappear.

Laura and Frank Benton. Homeless forever? In a Christmas themed episode, Zack was introduced to Laura, a newcomer who worked with Kelly at a men’s clothing store at the local mall.  At the same time, the boys came across a homeless man, Frank, hanging around the mall.  When Frank passed out from hunger, the gang went to visit him in the hospital, finding Laura at his bedside.  It turned out Laura was Frank’s daughter and the two had lost their home after Frank’s lay off.  Laura worked to support the two, but it wasn’t enough.  Zack romanced Laura and in a ultimate act of kindness and the Morris’ took the Benton’s in, promising they could stay in the Morris household until Frank found a new job.  And POOF.  The Benton’s disappeared just like Tori.  Did Frank ever find a job? Did Laura and Zack’s relationship continue? We never found out.  The Benton’s vanished into thin air, becoming permanently homeless in the recesses of our minds.

The College Years.  An alternate universe? In the last season of the show the gang each applied for different schools, planning to go their separate ways.  Jessie was headed to Columbia, Lisa to FIT, and Zack even got into Yale after getting an almost perfect score on his SAT test.  It all seemed to be a pretty perfect academic ending for most of the gang.  Then, NBC ordered The College Years of the show.

Zack, Slater, Screech, and Kelly all reunited at fictional California University where they lived in the same suite together (Very mad my college freshman “dorms” did not include my own kitchen, living room, and huge bedroom with cute guys).  Most of the story lines from the original series seemed to vanish and the show only lasted one season.  In this time, Kelly fell inappropriately in love with her Anthropology professor (and it was reciprocated), Zack dated Kelly’s roommate and his suitemate, Leslie, and Slater started dating another suitemate, Alex.  We never really found out what happened to Lisa and Jessie, presumably they actually went on their Saved by the Bell paths to Columbia and FIT.  The two did pop up for Zack and Kelly’s Las Vegas wedding in the end.  I guess that’s all that mattered?  The show officially ended after Zack and Kelly’s wedding and we can only imagine the entire gang went off into the sunset, getting into more mischief and crazy situations, forgetting that Saved by the Bell: The New Class ever existed.

In the pile of inconsistencies and general “WTF” moments Saved by the Bell provided us with, it did in fact give us an escape from our own mundane school lives.  We were never best friends with our principals, we never had a movie star invite us to his mansion for a party, and we never stopped big oil tycoons from taking over our school.  Or maybe you did and your life was just as awesome as the Bayside kids’.

Shows That Said Goodbye Too Soon

The problem with becoming a TV addict is the very real chance a show you watch may be canceled during its run.  It could be 8 seasons or it could be 1 season in and BAM, without any notice you’re left to say goodbye to shows you fell in love with.

When a show is canceled it isn’t too often the creators get to give the show the proper goodbye you’ve been waiting for.  Will your favorite couple finally get together? Will everyone live happily ever after? Or was the whole show just a dream!?  I’ve chosen three shows to look at that met their demise too soon.

Show #1: Veronica Mars (2004-2007, 3 seasons)

I know I’m not alone in the mourning of Veronica Mars.  The witty adventures of Veronica (played by the amazing Kristen Bell), a self declared private investigator, was a fun and intelligent show.  Through three seasons we saw Veronica progress through high school into college as she dealt with love, friends, and mystery solving.  This show sprouted one of the greatest fandoms and in return, one of the greatest ‘ships.’  Veronica and her on-again, off-again beau, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), went from hating each other to being irrevocably in love with each other.

Besides a great love story, this show also had great mysteries and drama.  From her best friends murder to finding her own mother, Veronica was a genius.  I wanted to be Veronica.  She was cute, smart, and super sassy.  Unfortunately, in its 3rd season the show was cancelled and we never learned the fate of our beloved Veronica, her love life, or if her dad, Keith Mars, won the election for acting sheriff.

You should watch if you like: ‘shipping’, mystery and suspense, Kristen Bell

Show #2: Moonlight (2007-2008, 1 season)

This is my second (and probably not last) time I am mentioning the CBS vampire drama, Moonlight.  Before its time (a year before) Moonlight was another show about a private investigator.  Except this PI, Mick St. John (played by the gorgeous Alex O’Loughlin), was a vampire.

Turned against his will by his bride in the 1950s, Mick wanted to become human more than anything.  He even had a human love interest, Beth Turner (Sophia Myles), whom he had saved as a young girl from his evil wife, Coraline (Shannyn Sossaman).  Plagued by mediocre reviews and ultimately the writers strike of 2008, Moonlight was never given a second chance. As mentioned before, this show was created before Twilight exploded and HBO premiered True Blood.  It was fun, campy, and gave a great twist on vampirism (they could walk in the sun).  The show ended in a cliffhanger and even though fans hounded the network and signed petitions, 16 episodes were all we were given.

Oh, and did I mention Veronica Mars vet, Jason Dohring, was in this show was well!?

You should watch if you like: vampires, sexy men, new material for fan fiction

Show #3: Dead Like Me (2003-2004, 2 seasons)

One of Showtimes short lived shows, Dead Like Me, will continue to be a cult favorite amongst fans.  Georgia (Ellen Muth), was an unmotivated young adult who felt like an outsider.  After her first day at a temp agency, she was struck and killed by a falling toilet seat (yes, toilet seat) from outer space.  Instead of moving onto the afterlife, Georgia became a reaper.  Reapers collected souls of people right before they died.  Georgia was assigned to the “accidents” division where she met Rube (played by the amazing Mandy Patinkin), Mason (Callum Blue), and several other interesting characters.

For two seasons we watched Georgia struggle to accept her life as a reaper, make friends, and correctly execute her job (both as a reaper and as an administrator).  We also watched Georgia’s family struggle with their grief.  Since a reaper took on the looks of a different person in death, Georgia was able to keep tabs on her family.  The show was cancelled after season 2 and several cliffhangers loomed in its wake.  In 2009, a direct-to-video movie was released.  It sucked and the show never received the proper ending it deserved.

You should watch if you like:  new takes on the afterlife, Mandy Patinkin, humor

Honorable Mentions: United States of Tara, Heroes, Pushing Daisies

Gossip Girl: 5 Reasons Why It’s Time To Say ‘Goodbye’

As a middle/high schooler I enjoyed the mindless entertainment that was the Gossip Girl series.  I would finish a book in 1-2 days and then eagerly await the next installment.  So when The CW adapted the book series into a television series you can imagine how NOT excited I was.  What would they do with my beloved books? What would the characters be like? How much would change?

I swore off the television series when it first aired, refusing to give into the wreck The CW had created.  But, out of boredom and sheer curiosity, I dove into the series shortly after its premiere.  After the first few episodes of season 1 I stopped comparing it to the books, deciding to think of it as its own creation that just happened to have the same name.  The drama was good, the characters were intriguing, and everyone looked damn good in a suit/dress.  After a few seasons though (I honestly can’t remember because this show has become one big blob of seasons) the show began to dwindle in keeping my attention.  This final season is no different; the show is not what it used to be.  So, ladies and gentleman (because I’m sure there’s at least one of you) I present to you the top 5 reasons why it’s time for Gossip Girl to say goodbye:

5. Ivy still exists.  Remember season four when Ivy was Charlie Rhodes? She scammed her way into the van der Wooden/Rhodes clan by pretending to be Carol’s (Lily’s sister) daughter.  Carol had hired Ivy to pretend to be her daughter in order to gain inheritance money from the family. Somewhere in between the mess everything came to light and it was revealed Ivy was just a lonely scam artist who claimed she belonged on the Upper East Side.  Just when you thought Ivy was a goner, once the real Charlie was introduced, she came back in full force.  Now, in the sixth season, Ivy is still around and the real Charlie has gone off to greener pastures.  Ivy is now Rufus’ girlfriend (WTF?) and still trying to scam her way around the UES.  I’m not sure what the point of her character is anymore.  I’m temped to see what would happen if someone handed her a cough drop.  I venture to guess her storyline would probably be over.


4. Blair still uses a Blackberry.  Come on Blair, you’re a fashion “expert”, a connoisseur of many things.  Apparently not phones though.  She must be too busy waiting for Chuck to finally say “ILOVEYOULET’SGETMARRIEDNOW” to realize the iPhone 5 came out weeks ago.

3. The fashion.  Over the years I coveted the different styles of GG.  I’m still in a headband phase.  What used to be a what’s what in fashion has quickly become a – WAIT, WTF ARE THOSE FLOWERS ON SERENA’S NIPPLES?  High fashion, I tell ya.

 

2. We’re expected to ‘ship’ creepy couples.  Serena is dating Matt Camden (who slept with her mother, Lily), who’s high school aged daughter is dating Serena’s ex, Nate.  And we’re suppose to be okay with that! We’re suppose to like both couples and ‘ship’ them!  I’m not even sure how old Serena and Nate are anymore but I’m pretty sure both age differences are significant in terms of maturity and life paths.  Also, who casted Sage? She may be the worst actress this show has seen so far.  That’s just my humble opinion though.

1. The values. Like I said before, in the time line of Gossip Girl I’m not even sure how old they are anymore.  I’m positive they’re younger than 21 (maybe) and older than 18 (maybe).  At one point all these characters went to college.  At one point all of these characters dropped out of college.  Not one character graduated but each character seems to run their own empire.  Nate runs a high powered website.  Blair runs her mothers  fashion empire.  Chuck did run Bass Industries and probably will again by series end.  Dan wrote a bestseller. Now, I’m not saying college is for everyone, but Gossip Girl is teaching us that if you come from a privileged life, everything is handed to you.  It’s okay to forego college. Who needs silly classes when you could go live on the UES and make your first million by tomorrow; no experience needed!  No wonder I can’t find a job in my field, I graduated with a degree!

There you have it.  My top five reasons why it’s time to bid farewell to Gossip Girl.  I could have done more but that would have meant paying more than 50% attention to this show anymore.  That said, I am looking forward to the series finale if only for Kristen Bell making an appearance on my television screen again.

The Vampire Diaries Tackle The “Cure”

Since I was young I’ve been fascinated with the world of vampires (I guess you could have called me a morbid child).  I made it my life mission as a child to watch, read, and invest in anything vampires.  My interest was mainly focused on television shows and movies and each new media I watched tackled vampires in a different, unique way.

The Vampire Diaries doesn’t stop short in pulling out all the stops.  The mythology, the powers, the story lines, are unique to the show.  A newly introduced sub-plot is tackling the topic of the “cure.”  This however is not the first show to explore this idea.  Now, the idea of this so called “cure” was only loosely introduced in last Thursday’s episode, The Five.  We can’t say for sure what this “cure” will entail and if it’s even still in existence within their world, but characters Stefan and Klaus (or as shippers refer to them as, Klefan) have now made it their mission to track down and discover what exactly this “cure” is.

As I mentioned before, The Vampire Diaries is not the first vampire themed show to tackle this topic.  I’ve chosen to look at two past television shows that also delved into this moral story line.

Show #1: Forever Knight (1992-1996)

A Canadian television show that ran in the ’90s about a vampire detective and how he himself dealt with vampirism in an ever changing world.  Main character, Nick Knight, was an 800 year old vampire who was desperate to find a cure to make him human again.  Nick, similar to Stefan on TVD, had relegated himself to drinking animal blood in order to curb his thirst for human blood.  He found himself constantly battling his inability to have actual relationships with humans, especially for fellow colleague and medical examiner, Natalie.

In the 3rd and final season, Nick is reunited with his vampire sister, Janette.  Janette it seems has mysteriously turned from vampire to human.  The exact events are never made clear as to how Janette became human.  The process is only described as Janette feeding on her human lover and through the ultimate act of making love, she was transformed from vampire to human.

Through a series of events, Janette is killed but it does not stop Nick’s quest from finding out what exactly this cure is.  In the series finale, Nick makes a decision to try to cure himself by using Natalie as his lover.  Given Nick’s inability to control himself while drinking human blood, the process is deemed extremely dangerous.  Natalie agrees though if it means that she and Nick can be together as humans.  Spoiler alert: The process fails and Nick ends up killing Natalie by accident, unable to control his thirst.  In a grief stricken state, Nick has his maker, LaCroix, kill him so that he can be with Natalie in the after life.

This is a show where the cure ultimately failed for our main protagonist, but gave us the illusion that vampirism isn’t a permanent curse.

Show #2: Moonlight (2007-2008)

Moonlight, similar to Forever Knight, was also a show about a vampire detective (and a show I will never forgive CBS for canceling).  Protagonist, Mick St. John, was an 85 year old vampire who worked as a private investigator.  Mick was forcefully turned by his wife, Coraline, and after murdering her (or so he thought) in the 1980s, lived in a wallowing existence.  He constantly was fighting to be as human as he could (thankfully these versions of vampires could walk in the sun, in fact these vampires were straight up awesome: screw a cure).

In an episode entitled, The Ringer, Mick is asked by his friend (and wannabe lover, Beth) to help find the missing cameras of Beth’s friend, Morgan.  All seems normal until Mick meets Morgan, who bares an uncanny resemblance to Mick’s ex-wife, Coraline.  No, this show did not implore the use of doppelgängers, Morgan was in fact Coraline, masking herself as human using a special “compound.”

In an effort to make up for the horrible things Coraline put Mick through (I won’t go into it, watch the show! It’s only 1 season..unfortunately), Coraline allows Mick to use some of the compound on himself.  This compound isn’t exactly a cure and the ingredients of it aren’t exactly known either.  All that is known is that the compound was created hundreds of years ago for a royal family of vampires to use to mask their vampirism during a purging of the creatures.  Mick is unsure as to how long the compound will last but has Coraline give it to him without hesitation.  What looks like a thick blood-like concoction is placed on an open wound of a vampire and sinks into the blood stream.

Mick becomes human but in the end has his vampire friend, Josef, turn him back into a vampire in order to save Beth from a pack of evil vampires.

It is unclear as to how The Vampire Diaries will tackle this topic.  Will the cure be an elixir, a  spell, a donut sprinkled in unicorn blood?  The show has already tackled witch craft being able to turn vampires human again so I venture to guess this cure will be a little different.  All I know is that The Vampire Diaries vampires are also pretty awesome (eternal hotness, ability to blurry run, and the ability to eat whatever the hell you want without counting calories) and I would probably say “nah, I’m good.” if I was a vampire offered their cure.