Erin Ranks TV Vampires

It was only a matter of time before I took my 15+ year running obsession with vampires (yep, 7-year-old me was watching The Lost Boys and pining over Kiefer Sutherland) and turned it into a list.  This post isn’t exactly an original idea, plenty of websites have ranked TV vampires.  I’m just ranking my favorites and adding my two cents in.

pamtb10. Pam Swynford De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer van Straten, True Blood)/Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt, The Vampire Diaries): For the first upon my list I decided to start off with a tie between two bad ass vampire chicks.  First, Pam from True Blood.  She knows what she wants, when she wants it.  Turned by Eric Northman in 1905, Pam helps run Fangtasia, the vampire bar in town.  She is loyal and even a tad funny.  Even though she rarely shows emotion through out the series, she agrees to turn a dying Tara into a vampire.  At first she despises the idea but develops a bond and even a love for baby vampire Tara.

rebekahtvdRebekah: The youngest of the ‘Original’ first family of vampires, Rebekah is also the only girl.  Often trying to stand up to and beside her brothers (especially vampire-wereworlf brother Klaus) Rebekah is still a teenage girl at heart.  When first introduced she comes off as one sided and evil, but as her character reacclimatizes to the present day (she had been “dead” since the 1920s) she slowly starts to show her true colors, a girl who just wants to be loved.  She is able to kick ass and manipulate. Rebekah is not just evil or flat out good.

stefantvd9. Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries): In Season 1 of TVD, Stefan is introduced as the main vampire protagonist of the show.  He quickly falls in love with human Elena and the two form a typical teenage TV romance.  As the series progresses, Stefan becomes more than just the good guy.  In the end of Season 2, he leaves his home in Mystic Falls with vampire-werewolf Klaus to save his brother Damon.  Sworn to only animal blood because of his evil tendencies on human blood, Stefan becomes a “ripper.”  There are two sides to Stefan.  The good, loving boyfriend of Elena, and the sassy, evil ripper who can tare through a town in one night with his fangs. His smart ass, villainous ways is what made me a Stefan fan.

erictb8. Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård, True Blood): A once Swedish Viking over 1,100 years old, Eric is as complicated as he is sexy.  First coming off as the hardcore owner of Fangtasia, Eric slowly starts to show is personality after meeting Sookie Stackhouse.  Eric is out for Eric but is faithful to his maker, Godric.  After losing his memory in Season 4, Eric and Sookie’s love blossoms.  He soon regains his memory but his love for Sookie and softer side still somewhat remain.  In Season 5 he is the only one to not give into the vampire Authority and their religious beliefs in the vampire God “Lilith.”

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Year 5 TV Stills7. Spike (James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer): The comic relief vampire of Sunnydale.  Spike’s evil ways are edged with a bit of humor.  This is what makes Spike so likable.  Throughout the series Spike remains a constant.  Although not a part of the “Scooby gang” he is always somewhere around.  Spike’s character makes his way from antagonist to anti-hero somewhere in the series and he and Buffy have a love affair.  Acquiring his soul back and finally dying in the finale, Spike pops up as a ghost in spin-off series, Angel, once again becoming the comic relief of the show.

lacroixfk6. Lucien LaCroix (Nigel Bennett, Forever Knight): The maker of main protagonist, Nick Knight, LaCroix is the voice of narration for his progeny.  Turned by his young daughter in 79 A.D., LaCroix is an ever turning history book.  To keep an eye on his progeny, he hosts a late night radio show in Nick’s hometown of Toronto.  Not always a seen presence, his wise words spoken on his show often strike a cord with Nicholas.  LaCroix loves the vampire life, opposed to Nick.  He is a voice of reason but also takes an understanding to Nick’s hardships of living as a vampire.

josefmoonlight5. Josef Kostan (Jason Dohring, Moonlight):  Another vampire who loves being a vampire, Josef is the best friend of main character Mick St. John.  Although Mick would do anything in his power to become human again, Josef would do anything to stay a vampire.  He is rich and cocky, fun, and engaging.  Even though he comes off as a playboy Josef did fall in love with a human in the 1950s.  After trying to make his human lover a vampire and failing, Josef adopts a tougher exterior.  Inside though he is emotional and has a very caring relationship with Mick, even going as far as turning Mick back into a vampire in order to save the love of Mick’s life.

henrybt4. Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid, Blood Ties)/Henry Durham (Kyle Schmid, Being Human US): Perhaps the most interesting pick on my list.  Actor Kyle Schmid has had the coincidental opportunity to play two different vampires, both named Henry, on two different television shows.  First, Henry Fitzroy (based off of a real historical royal, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England).  Fitzroy is a close to 500 year old artist and graphic novelist who often helps private investigator Vicki Nelson with her supernatural cases.  Unlike other television shows where vampires are surrounded by others of their kind, Fitzroy is unable to live in close proximity to other vampires for hunting reasons.  He is refined and charismatic, often providing an edge for sometimes uptight Vicki.

henrybhusIn Being Human (US), Schmid plays younger vampire, Henry Durham.  Turned during World World I by main vampire Aidan, Henry becomes rebellious towards his maker.  He thirsts for power, lying and cheating his way to gain it.  Finally exiled by Aidan, Henry is unseen for 80 years until he turns up in present day, surprising Aidan.  The two have an uneasy yet loving bond, much like a real father-son relationship.  Durham is still more rebellious in present day but a little nicer and less conniving.  He pines for his makers trust and acceptance, saving Aidan several times from danger and willingly having all his skin removed to prove himself, but prefers the more villainous side to being a vampire compared to his maker.

aidanbh3. John Mitchell (Aidan Turner, Being Human UK): Mitchell is a vampire trying to live in a human world.  With his werewolf and ghost roommates he tries hard at “being human.”  Another vampire with villainous tendencies when drinking human blood, Mitchell quits it cold turkey.  After years of hard work and resistance he becomes blood free, able to live a more human-like life.  He struggles with the lust for blood though and slips up over his time on the series.  He is lovable, humorous, and easy on the eyes (well, aren’t all the vampires on this list!?).  Mitchell’s final act comes at the end of Season 3 and he sacrifices himself in the end for his friends, a heart breaking and truly human move.

carolinetvd2.  Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola, The Vampire Diaries): Perhaps my favorite lady on TVD, Caroline is a girl who became a better character once turned into a vampire.  Starting off as a self absorbed, human cheerleader on the series, Caroline is turned by Katherine in the beginning of Season 2.  At first Caroline is unsure of how to handle herself, often becoming neurotic in the process.  As the series progresses, Caroline becomes a truly awesome character.  She kicks ass and takes names but also provides moral support for Elena and the rest of her friends.  She isn’t afraid of being a vampire and she isn’t afraid of anyone else.  She stands her ground and stays strong willed, even through all the craziness in Mystic Falls.

Bringing Out the Dead1. Elijah Mikaelson (Daniel Gillies, The Vampire Diaries): Meant to only be a small guest character on the hit series, a henchman for hybrid Klaus, Elijah quickly became so much more.  Gillies’ flawless performance as regal Elijah spawned the idea for the ‘Original’ family of vampires.  The moral head of his family, Elijah is a friend to everyone.  Although his intentions aren’t always quiet clear, it is clear all he wants is to make things better for all parties involved.  He is level headed and full of stories.  In Season 2, when it is revealed he is Klaus’ half brother, it is also revealed that Elijah’s main goal is to reunite with his family (whom Klaus had “daggered” (temporarily killed) one by one through out their 1,000 years on earth).  Elijah wants to kill his brother for what he has done but in the end finds his love and trust too strong to do so.  His trust is not reciprocated by Klaus and Elijah himself is daggered at the end of Season 2.  Elijah, and the rest of his family, are un-daggered in season 3 and the Mikaelson’s are reunited once again.  Elijah can be the protagonist and antagonist at the same time.  He feels apathy for human life and feels unease when he commits villainous acts.  Elijah is one amazing vampire (it should be noted that Elijah has yet to “vamp out” on the show, we have yet to see his fangs) who will continue to provide support for the Mystic Falls gang and his own family.


British TV and Me

I like British TV.  I like British TV a lot.  I can’t say when exactly my love for the niche of television shows began.  I guess I can thank my family for introducing me to Monty Python at a young age, sparking my odd and sometimes dark sense of humor.  I guess I could also thank a friend of mine for introducing me to Doctor Who when I was 19.  I would have to say that’s when the love affair officially began.

David Tennant - "10th Doctor"

For those unaware, Doctor Who is a sci-fi series that centers on “The Doctor,” an alien “time lord” who hails from a planet called Galifey.  The Doctor’s home planet was destroyed in a great time war, leaving him the only time lord who still remains.  The Doctor travels through time and space in his police box shaped ship called a “Tardis”, often with a female (and a few male) companions.  The Doctor is similar to humans except for one thing, he has two hearts. He is able to regenerate and has lived for hundreds of years.  As such, several actors have played The Doctor in its reincarnation (the show originally aired from 1963-1996).

dwMy first episode of Doctor Who was one of the more famous of the series, “Blink.”  A great episode about demon statues who can send a person permanently back in time with just a simple blink of the eyes.  I was a little weary at first since I wasn’t a huge television sci-fi fan and didn’t know much about British television shows and how they differed from those on American television.  But, after my first experience I had to watch more.  I became hooked on Doctor Who.  I decided it was time to look more into the world of British TV series.

bhukMy next venture was with the show entitled Being Human (a show I’ve talked about on here before and a show the US has recreated for SyFy channel).  The exploits of a ghost, werewolf, and vampire living together are followed through a series of crazy shenanigans (to put it lightly).  I thought it sounded silly a first, a little cheesy, but instead I fell in love.  From that moment on I knew British TV was for me.  Although not too different from American TV shows, British television can often show more in terms of language, sexuality, and content, making it grittier and overall more entertaining.

Another series I fell in love with was Misfits.  A group of delinquent teenagers are forced into community service together, only to be caught in a storm that ends up giving each of them (and many others around the world) special powers such as time travel and immortality.  Along with Misfits, I also delved into Skins.  A look into the lives of teenagers as they deal with sex, drugs, and the curveballs of life.

British TV has proved so popular over the years the US has tried (and sometimes succeeded) at reinventing these popular shows for American audiences.  Shows like The Office, Shameless, and Queer as Folk all started out as British television shows.  I will continue to explore the world of British television shows as it has proven an excellent substitute for the sometimes horrible television America puts out.  I highly recommend it to everyone, no matter what your interest in shows are.

Breaking Good: A Redemption for Walter White?

(Warning: Major spoilers ahead.  Do not read on unless you have finished all current seasons of Breaking Bad.)

bblog4Walter White is a villain.  For five seasons now, Walter (commonly called ‘Walt’ on the show), has transformed from a timid, quiet spoken high school chemistry teacher to a vocal, manipulative drug king pin.  His maddening descent into the shows character we most love to hate has been over a span of five seasons with a few key misdeeds that have led to the Walt we know now:

bblog1The death of Emilio Koyama and Krazy-8: Perhaps the beginning of Walt’s devastating descent began at the very beginning of season one.  After producing their first batch of blue meth, Jesse attempts to sell it for a large profit to drug dealer, Emilio. Wanting to know where this pure meth is being produced, Emilio makes Jesse show him.  Emilio and fellow drug dealer Krazy-8 infiltrate Walt and Jesse’s RV.  In an act of protection, Walt poisons both dealers, instantly killing Emilio.  Krazy-8 however wakes up.  Walt helps Jesse dispose of Emilio’s body by dissolving his body in hydrofluoric acid and a barrel (a form of body disposal that became a staple through out the entire series).  Instead of instantly killing him, Walt and Jesse keep Krazy-8 chained in the basement of Jesse’s house.  Not wanting to cause another death, Walt personally opens up to Krazy-8 and eventually decides to let the dealer go.  Krazy-8, not feeling as sentimental towards his captor, tries to attack Walt.  Once again, Walt protects himself and in self defense, kills Krazy-8.

bblog3Negligent homicide:  Season two proved to be a tough stride for fan favorite Jesse Pinkman.  His lack of authority and frequent drug use took a downward spiral when he met Jane Margolis, the daughter of Jesse’s new landlord.  Between Jesse’s sudden wealth and Jane’s recovery from heroin, the two became entwined in a dangerous love affair, leading to the heroin dependence of both characters.  Walt becomes more and more frustrated with Jesse’s lack of motivation and and inability to work because of his addiction.  In the end, Jane blackmails Walt for money.  Walt, deciding he can help Jesse break his addiction, break away from Jane, and get back to the work he originally set out to do, forges his way into Jesse’s apartment.  He finds both Jesse and Jane in a heroin induced sleep, unable to respond.  In his effort to wake Jesse, Walt accidentally knocks Jane onto her back and she begins to asphyxiate.  Instead of trying to help, Walt stands over her as she dies.  Walt leaves, unnoticed by Jesse, and Jesse wakes hours later to find his girlfriend dead.

bb4Poisoning of Brock and subsequent death of Gus Fring:  Season four found Walt and Jesse at odds with each other.  Drug king pin Gus Fring had used all his ability to turn Jesse against Walt.  Fring wanted Walt dead and gone but felt that he could help Jesse.  In an effort to regain Jesse’s trust and rid of Fring once and for all, Walter uses his resources and his powers of manipulation.  Walter uses a toxic but common garden plant called ‘Lily of the Valley’ to poison the son of Jesse’s love interest, Andrea. In agony over Brock’s hospitalization, Jesse believes Walt when he convinces him that it is all a ploy by Gus and his men to rid of Walter.  With Jesse finally back on his side, Walt executes his final plan and blows up Gus Fring and one of his men in a final confrontation with enemy Hector “Tio” Salamanca.  The final shot of season four pans in on a close up of the ‘Lily of the Valley’ plant Walt used to almost kill Brock and the beginning of season five put to rest the debate over whether Walt really did or did not poison Brock (he did).  Thus proving Walt would go to any means to save himself.

Walt has slowly morphed from the protagonist to the antagonist of Breaking Bad. So, with a half a season left to go of the beloved series, can Walt be redeemed? The answer is: No.

The opening of season five showed us a brief glimpse into the future with a flash forward.  Walt, sitting in an Denny’s, alone on his 52nd birthday seems to look healthy but depressed.  He plays with his food, forming the number ’52’ with his bacon, reminiscent of how his wife Skyler celebrated his birthday in years past.  A glimpse of his drivers license presents a different state and name all together.  Walter White is no longer Walter White.  Upon his exit he meets with a gun dealer, who uneasily hands him keys to a car.  Once outside, Walt opens the trunk of the car, finding a very deadly machine gun.

At the end of season five, Walt seemed to have found peace in his life.  Finally breaking away from the meth making and dealing empire he had built for himself.  Even though Walt wanted to be the number one, the new Gus Fring, he chose the family path.  Walt finally put his family before his “business.”  The last scene of season 5 shows Walt enjoying time with his family by their pool.  His brother-in-law, DEA agent Hank, makes his way into the master bathroom, settling down on the toilet.  He picks up a book behind him, flipping through it to pass the time.  The book is revealed to be a Walt Whitman book of poetry.  As Hank skims through, he turns to the first page of the book, finding a note: “To my other favorite W.W. It’s been an honour working with you. Fondly, G.B.”  and boom, all is revealed.  Cut to credits.

bblog5We don’t know what will come after Hank’s discovery and seemingly long a wait on the toilet, but we do know where Walt will be in a few months time.  A different person, a different mission in life.  Walt has proven time and time again that you can’t go back.  He dug himself deeper in to the world of meth and by choice.  He could have had the easy life, chosen not to get involved with Gus Fring, not baited Jesse, an addict, into continuously being his partner, and not have taunted Hank about his involvement with meth maker Gail Boetticher.

In the end, who could Walt be planning to use that deadly weapon on that we caught a glimpse of at the beginning of the season? Could it be Hank?  Could it be Jesse? Maybe even Skyler?  One thing is for sure, Walt is out to save Walt.  The time for redemption disappeared with the choices he has made as he delved deeper with his voluntary and unemotional involvement with the dark world of crystal meth.  Two roads have diverged and he cannot travel both.  Walt has chosen the one less traveled and it has made all the difference.