Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beauty and the Beast... When You Like the Other Guy Better

I've had mixed feelings since I started watching this show last year. Partly because I can't decide whether or not I like Kristen Kruek in the roll (I seriously didn't like her as Lana Lang in the Smallville series) and partly because some weeks it was so good I'd be on the edge of my seat waiting for the next episode to roll around, while some other weeks I was a bit "whatever" about it.
They didn't do themselves any favors when they killed off the hot British guy, Evan, in the late stages of season one, but I pushed past that.
The season one finale ended up being good enough to suck me back into season two. The show has still been pretty up and down for me... until a few weeks ago.
For those of you not familiar with the show's basic story, the two main characters. Catherine (Cat) and Vincent, have this tragic, fated lovers, Romeo and Juliette kind of thing going on. It was almost love at first sight, though a huge number of things kept them apart, the biggest obstacle being that Vincent was experimented on during his years with the military and is now half "beast." But that sort of thing can't keep a good love story down, and they inevitably couldn't stay away from each other, despite the external and internal danger, including some shady organization who may or may not be connected to the government trying to take Vincent out.
Once they did get together, they went through the expected pseudo-relationship issues, until at the end of the season, when Vincent got kidnapped and taken away.
Cue season two; months have gone by in which Cat and her friends have been searching for Vincent. When they find him, he doesn't remember them, he's been reprogrammed.
In the meantime, another character, Gabe Lowan, (who was a beast himself during season one, until he was accidentally "cured" by Cat) has been supporting Cat and steadily building quite a flame for her.
At first I thought, "oh yeah, it'll be the usual unrequited love thing to distract us from Cat and Vincent's relationship."
Cat and Vincent had been through a falling out that it seemed they couldn't come back from. Vincent met a female beast and they have a kind of primal chemistry, which resulted in Catherine catching Vincent kissing another woman, and ended with Vincent choosing his vengeance over Catherine, and her shooting him to stop him from carrying out that vengeance. And Gabe was always there in the background, ready to give her whatever she needed, when she needed it. I was really starting to like Gabe and was annoyed that he was going to be the sappy schmuck moping after a girl who wouldn't ever like him that way.
But then in the past couple of weeks, it seemed Cat was beginning to reciprocate his feelings. 
Now, I know I'm in for some serious disappointment, because the whole point of the show is mostly Cat and Vincent's relationship. But I was really happy last week when Catherine kissed Gabe, after realizing he trusted her in a way Vincent never had.
And then I realized I was actually more interested in seeing Cat have a relationship with Gabe than I was wanting her to get back with Vincent.
Usually I'm not that person. Usually when I'm watching a show and some outside party gets in the way of the main relationship, I'm the first wishing for them to make the inevitable mistake that will send the main character back to the person they should be with. A quick example would be Meredith and Derek on Grey's Anatomy. We all knew they were fated to be together, so anytime one of them got distracted by another possible love interest, I'd be hoping they'd come to their senses sooner rather than later.
This is the first time I've ever started hoping the Other Guy would permanently shoe-horn his way between the two main characters.
I find it interesting that in this case, I'm basically supporting the losing team. And I can't decide why that is. Maybe I prefer the Catherine-Gabe chemistry to the Catherine-Vincent chemistry. Maybe I just like this reformed Gabe better than Vincent, who, let's face it, is being a total d*#k... excuse my language.
I was hoping that this week, Catherine and Gabe's relationship would evolve farther, that they would actually have something of substance until the inevitable time when Catherine would go back to Vincent. Yet at the beginning of the episode, Gabe was standoffish because he thought Catherine was "unresolved" and then at the end, after Gabe had told her he'd decided he was all in, she used the "I need to find myself" line on him. Of course, he told her he'd wait until she was ready, but I have a feeling that might be forever, and the Catherine-Vincent reunion is closer than I'd like it to be.
Come on, B&B writers! I know that the show is meant to be about Catherine and Vincent's star-crossed lovers thing, but break the mold! Do the unexpected. Take us somewhere you never planned on going, it might pay off better than you could imagine.
But I know, this won't ever happened. Catherine and Vincent will be back to their angsty relationship in no time, leaving Gabe out in the cold, and me wondering how long their conventional storyline can sustain the series. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Supernatural -- Just When I Thought They'd Done Everything...

...Dean gets *insert dramatic music here* The Mark of Cain.
What is it? What does it mean? Will it make him even more bad-ass than he already is, if such a thing is even possible?
Supernatural is into its 9th season, and I'm still a huge fan. Sure, there were some times when I was a bit "meh" about it (like when one of them dies and gets brought back again for like the 20th time or this latest tiff the boys are having in their on-again-off-again bromance), but with Dean Winchester still kicking, I wasn't going to stop watching it.
This week, I got a taste of classic Supernatural awesomeness. Seriously, it was kind of at the point where I'm thinking "its been nine years, what can they possibly do to these boys that hasn't already been done to them before?"
So for a quick recap, this week the boys had gone their separate ways, Sam and Castiel return to the bunker to work on healing Sam, while Dean heads off to god-knows-where to hunt Gadriel, the angel who had been the latest idiot to screw them over (come on, EVERYONE knows Sam and Dean. Just being friends with them can get you killed, so why would you ever cross them unless you wanted to commit suicide via Winchester?).
Anyhoo, Crowley drops in on Dean and is all like "hey, I got totally stolkhomled when you guys held me prisoner and tried to turn me human, now I want to be your BFF and go hunting together." As you can see above, Dean was really impressed about it. But of course, Crowley talks Dean around and off they go on an adventure that is sure to be all kinds of whacky.
They're looking for a weapon that can kill a knight of hell (specifically Abbadon, who's been doing her damnedest to usurp Crowley) but instead of finding the blade, they find Cain, as in Cain and Able from the bible. At this point, I'm not surprised. The writers have been all over the religious themes, so I wouldn't be at all shocked if in another few episodes they're chatting up John the Baptist. But seriously, it turns out Cain became a demon and trained the knights of hell himself, before he turned on them because they killed his missus. In another series of unsurprising plot revelations, the demons work out where Dean and Crowley are, and come to kill them (you silly demons, you).
Cain reveals that the weapon to kill Abbadon won't work unless the person wielding it has the mark of
Cain which causes Crowley to make the sign of the cross... um, just how evil is this thing?
But Dean is not deterred, and before you know it, he's offering to take the mark himself. Cain distracts the demons (by flash-roasting them from the inside out with petty red energy) while Dean and Crowley get away.
In the closing minutes, Dean seems to work out that Crowley had planned the whole thing, which I did not see coming.
And that's pretty much where things were left. Now I'm sitting here going "but what does it mean?!" Because the mark comes with a price, these things always do, and no doubt it will be something dark and twisted that will push Dean closer to that edge he's always hovering around.
On a side note, the interaction between Sam and Castiel was also very interesting. Up to this point, its always been Dean and Castiel, with Sam kind of in the background and not really connecting with the angel. Sam is struggling with everything that happened to him, but I don't think its going to get dragged out too long, because Castiel really seemed to help him, obviously physically with the healing, but also emotionally. And I have to admit, I did get a bit of a kick out of the way they hugged it out at the end. Despite the fact that Castiel had very recently been human himself, there's still so much he just doesn't get, but that's part of the charm.
So I'm totally hanging out for next week, to find out what this latest devolpment means for Dean, and where Castiel and Sam might find themselves.
Well done, Supernatural, because after 9 years, you can still get me on the edge of my seat.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Quick Update...

...And 12 days went by without a blog post. So my new year's resolution to update my blog at least once a week fell by the wayside pretty quickly. Partly I'm still in holiday mode, not thinking about work at all. I took most of December off after doing some revisions for a publisher (I'm now waiting to hear whether or not a contract will come out of that, so fingers crossed!) and then when January came around, I decided not to get back into my "professional" writing straight away (as in, the stuff I'm working on for my agent or anything else with a view of getting it published) and spent the last couple of weeks writing for fun, reminding myself why I started this whole crazy journey in the first place.
I have absolutely loved it, though the disciplined side of myself has been standing in the background with her arms crossed, glaring daggers at me. Admittedly what I've done has been lazy writing -- I haven't worried about grammar, passive voice, showing not telling, all of the usual stuff I regularly have to remember not use when I'm writing -- and just told the story without a care as to how technically correct it is. It's been freeing, and I think definitely replenished the wellspring to keep me going for the rest of the year.
The only problem now is that I'm dragging my feet at the idea of getting back into my work, because doing the other stuff was just too much fun. Also I'm a little bit worried that all that lazy writing is going to come back and bite me when I start working on my manuscripts again. But I'm sure once I get back in the saddle, things will settle down.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Muse - David Lyons as Sebastian "Bass" Monroe from Revolution

Welcome to January! Here we are, in 2014, and what better way to start the year off than with a Monday Muse? Just a side note, I know that 2013 was a bit spotty when it came to my blog, but this year I'm hoping to get back into old habits of posting at least once, if not several times a week.
But on to more interesting topics.
Revolution had been on my to-watch list since it premiered back in 2012 (I think, correct me if I'm wrong.) I'd heard mixed reviews about it, some saying it was really great, while others saying "meh, not so much." I knew that Eric Kripke was behind the show, and since he was the creator of Supernatural, that was enough to get me interested. However, when I also found out that JJ Abram (Alias) and Rockne S. O'bannon (Sea Quest, Farscape and Defiance) were involved, I realized I might be in for something great.
So I started watching... and then I couldn't stop watching. Season one was good, and steadily got better. But season two has so far been kind of awesome. There are a couple of reasons why I think this. One is the complexity of Miles and Monroe's relationship. When Revolution first starts, Sebastian Monroe is made out to be the bad guy -- totally black and white -- a power-hungry sociopath obsessed with arming his militia with weapons of mass destruction to wipe out his enemies and take over the continent. But as season one shapes up, its revealed that Monroe and Miles grew up together, were once brothers in all but blood.
This relationship came to an awkward end when Miles attempted to assassinate Monroe, but at the last second couldn't pull the trigger. In the second half of the season, when Miles and Monroe have the inevitable face-off, Monroe says that everything he ever did was for Miles. That was when things started getting really interesting. The two end up teaming up for like a minute to take out a common enemy, but before long they're beating on each other again.
This relationship has echos of Sam and Dean's crazy, co-depandant brotherhood on Supernatural, and where Kripke really leaves his mark. Que the inevitable blogs about Revolution's homoerotic subtext. But it seems the writers are aware, and willing to work with it, as at one stage, Tom Neville, who used to be under command of Monroe in the Militia says to Monroe "you have a borderline erotic fixation on Miles Matheson." 
Whether or not the relationship is truly homoerotic, as many people argue Sam and Dean's is, this is the type of stuff I really love; exploring the bounds of an extremely complex relationship between two people who have a long history together.
The other thing I'm really impressed with as we get farther into season 2 is David Lyons as Sebastian "Bass" Monroe.
I first saw David Lyons on a little Australian drama called Sea Patrol, portraying Josh "ET" Holiday, the story based on an Australian Naval ship. He had an arcing storyline and a love interest on the show, which kept me tuning in every week because of the Navy's non-fraternization rules and the fact that both he and his girlfriend had everything to lose if they were caught. Unfortunately, the writers killed off his character at the end of season 2. It was one of those TV-deaths I didn't see coming, and was annoyed about for a long time after.
Fast forward to now, and Lyons is currently playing one of those gray characters I love so much.
At the beginning, he's simply the bad guy, but then we get a hint that maybe he's really a good guy at heart, lost on a dark path. After losing everything when the Monroe republic fell, now Bass has the opportunity to set himself on a new path. But of course, people's perceptions of him, his past, and old habits will see him struggling to redefine himself. 
Secondary to Bass redeeming himself, is the surprise twist of the writers having Bass and Charlie team up as unlikely allies. Despite the age difference (Charlie supposedly being something like 25 years younger than Bass) and the fact that I'm pretty sure in the near future, the writers are going to reveal that Miles is Charlie's father, I think there's a really awesome chemistry between Bass and Charlie. And I'm not the only one to think so. "Charloe" fanfiction and youtube dedications have been popping up all over the internet.




 There are a lot of reasons why Bass and Charlie shouldn't be together, starting with the age gap and ending with the fact that Charlie spent most of season one hating Bass, and then the first few episodes of season two trying to kill him. But I'm kind of hoping the writers will do something with the chemistry between them, even if they just continue teasing fans with the idea that it could happen, and spurring on the Charloe fanatics. Part of me is a realist that thinks it'll never happen, yet I have distant hope that the writers will just say "what the hell" and get them together... plus I found this on twitter:


So I'm going to hold out hope that if Sebastian Monroe really does get a love interest in the second half of season 2, that it will be Charlie, despite the minefield that would create. If not, there are going to be a lot of disappointed Charloe fans out there. 
For me, right now, this show has all the elements I love. Its due to start back in around two days time, and I can tell you, it can't come quick enough!
In the meantime, gratuitous shirtless picture...