Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Muse -- Steve Lund as Nick Sorrentino on Bitten

Making Monday easier by starting off the week with a Monday Muse...
I'm a bit up in the air about this new TV show, based on a book of the same name by Kelly Armstrong. I've watched it up to date, and I have to admit, the last few episodes have kind of sucked me in. However, in the beginning I wasn't too sure about it, though I couldn't put my finger on why... sometimes the acting came across as a bit melodramatic or something. It would have been easy to do this Monday Muse post on Clay or Phillip as the two contenders for Elena's heart, but I'm actually more intrigued by the character of Nick Sorrentino.
Nick was first portrayed as the handsome, carefree playboy of the pack. And that might have been fine considering he's a secondary character and really just there in a supporting role, but the season's developments brought some interesting changes for Nick. As things become more critical, Nick becomes a little more serious, though the others kind of seem to brush this off, as though it wouldn't last.
However, Nick's father, who also acts as the pack "fixer" -- taking care of problems and making dead wolves disappear from the human world -- is killed, leaving Nick devastated.
It is assumed Nick will take over the role is father played, though Nick doubts he can ever live up to his father's example. However, he steps into the role, and a more intense Nick is born of necessity. At the moment, he's all about the pack, following the rules, and doing everything to preserve their way of life as it has been for hundreds of years, which put him in direct conflict with one of his brothers, Logan, who wanted to break some of the rules for the sake of his pregnant girlfriend. Elena sided with Logan (though Nick doesn't know that yet) and made the grand sweeping statement that if they wanted the pack to survive, then maybe it was time they changed the rules.

If I had to guess, I'd say change is coming, forced by Elena making the pack reconsidering everything they've ever believed. As the only female werewolf in existence, I don't think its far fetched to say she would have that kind of power. This will also mean that conflict and tension within the pack will be rising, and it will be interesting to see how Nick handles this, and where he ends up.
At the moment he's one of those background characters who has the potential to be great and really impact the storyline, but of course most of the story is currently being taken up by the Clay/Elena/Phillip love triangle... which is kind of the half the point of the show, I suppose. As a new series, its hard to say how well this one is going, and whether it will get renewed for next year. I think overall its really starting to hit its stride now, so I'll be watching with interest to see what becomes of the series, and where the storyline takes Nick.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ships That aren't Shipping -- Part Nine: Andy and Sam on Rookie Blue

Welcome to part nine of my series of posts on ships that aren't shipping, but totally should be. I know, its been a while since my last post again, but what can I say? Life keeps me busy!
If for some reason you missed the eight posts that came before this, they were:  Part One: Oliver and Felicity on Arrow, Part Two: Charlie and Monroe on Revolution, Part Three: Emma and Hook from Once Upon a Time, Part Four: Skye and Ward from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Part Five: Wade and Zoe from Hart of Dixie, Part Six: Aria and Ezra on Pretty Little Liars, Part Seven: The Tomorrow People...Stephen/Cara/John/Astrid and Part Eight: Damon and Elena on the Vampire Diaries.  
Today we're here to discuss one of my most favorite TV couples, Andy and Sam on Rookie Blue.

They got it together and then totally screwed it up.
I love a good cop drama, and when I discovered Rookie Blue a few years ago, it didn't disappoint. Unfortunately its one of those off-season series that gets aired over summer when the big-name shows are on hiatus, so it only gets a thirteen episode run every year. But boy, do they make those 13 episodes almost unmissable! So, its probably not surprising to hear that apparently for the new season, Rookie Blue has been given a 22 episode run.
So Andy and Sam. Like I said, they're currently one of my favorite TV couples, even though they can't seem to get their act together. From early on, these two had some great moments where you wanted to yell at the TV "just kiss her already!" 
Right from the first episode, Sam and Andy's interactions had friction. On her first day on the job, Andy arrested Sam, thinking he had something to do with a drug and murder case they were investigating, not realizing that Sam was a cop on an undercover operation and her actions were quickly ruining months of hard work. Even though Sam was pissed about the situation, it quickly became apparent that there were sparks between the two of them.
At the same time, Andy also gained the interest of a detective, Luke Callaghan. Sam was basically considered one of Andy's direct superiors and was meant to be teaching her, so obviously anything between them would not have been acceptable, plus I think for Andy, she didn't want anyone to think she was getting anywhere because she was sleeping with a commanding officer. So she started seeing Luke, and things got serious pretty quickly.
Even though Andy was with Luke, Sam was always there for her, and it was plainly apparent that Sam's feelings for Andy were getting deeper all the time.
However, Andy and Luke's relationship didn't go so well. Luke got shot, and of course Sam was there to help Andy through it, but then Luke was an idiot and ended up cheating on Andy, which I did not see coming. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and I didn't expect their relationship to combust that way. Except I couldn't complain about it, because it resulted in some awesome Sam and Andy moments. The scene where Sam confronts Andy about what's going on with her and Luke will always be one of those TV moments that sticks in my mind. No one knew for sure what had happened between Andy and Luke, not surprisingly, Andy wanted to keep things quiet. But Sam managed to put the pieces together, and took an educated guess, I suppose. Her reaction confirmed his suspicions, and the look of shock and hurt on his face was just so perfectly executed.
So the whole Luke and Andy thing was over, while things between Sam and Andy slowly grew. Every episode, the tension was so well balanced with everything else going on by the writers. But that's where things kind of went to hell. Sam took on an undercover op, I can't remember why, it might have actually had something to do with what was going on between him and Andy. So he disappears without telling Andy anything, leaving Andy somewhat confused. But as luck or fate would have it, Andy stumbles across Sam in a bar one night. I have to say, this series of events always annoyed me. Of all the times they could have gotten together, they did it while Sam was on an undercover op, putting not just the case in jeopardy, but their new relationship as well.
But whatever! A hot night ensues and then instead of thanking themselves lucky they'd gotten away with that much and leaving things be for the time being, they keep seeing each other. Seriously? It wasn't the smartest decision either of them had ever made.
So of course, the bad guy Sam is supposed to be schmoozing works out that Sam is really an undercover cop. The show's writers actually did this finalization of events quite well. They made it seem like the bad guy had worked it out because of the whole Sam and Andy thing, but in actual fact, it was a slip up in the cover story Sam's handlers had created.
When Andy realizes that Sam has been compromised, even knowing its going to get both of them into huge trouble, she goes back to the station and tells everyone what's happened. They start searching, while the bad guy has Sam locked up in some old house somewhere. The final confrontation was done really well, and when Sam comes out, with Andy sitting in a squad car outside, when they don't even exchange a single word, its an ominous shadow of what is to come. I was hoping for at least an emotional hug, but instead Sam just looks pissed and walks off. What? Like he thinks it all Andy's fault? Does he not care that if she hadn't reported in, the team wouldn't have gotten there in time to save his life? And you know what else really bugged me about this three episode (I think it was) arc? When Sam worked out the truth, that it wasn't Andy who'd blown his cover, no one bothered to tell her. WHAT THE HELL, people? I felt it really kind of left the storyline unresolved. So that was the end of season 2.
When season 3 returned, we find out that Sam and Andy haven't seen each other for weeks/months and whatever relationship they'd developed had been totally smoked. They both got called in to a disciplinary meeting (or something like that) about their actions, and while Andy took the warning to heart and avoided Sam at all costs, it is revealed later that Sam pretty much told them to go to hell because Andy was more important to him. So he's kind of pissed that apparently she discard their relationship so easily because a couple of superior officers told her to.
But this romance is the stuff of fate, so they couldn't stay apart for too long. Unfortunately, the relationship wasn't exactly smooth sailing, and following the death of one of his closest friends, Sam decides he and Andy can't work together and be together at the same time. When they had the break up conversation, it seemed like at the last moment Sam was thinking "am I really going to do this?" But he went through with it, walking away from Andy and breaking her heart.
Of course, it didn't take him long to work out what an idiot he'd been. Three episodes later, which also happened to be the finale of season 3, Andy ended up in a situation where she was holding a bomb, and Sam refused to leave her. He also decided to take that moment to tell Andy that he loved her. Andy's reaction was not exactly elation. After everything he'd put her through, now he was telling her he'd been wrong? Although her actual words were "Sam, I'm holding a bomb." It was obvious she was thinking something along the lines of "you idiot."
Just when all the McSwarek (don't you just love these shipper names they come up with?) fans thought everything would be right in the world again, Andy decided to take a place on a taskforce that sent her and fellow officer Nick Collins into a deep cover assignment. And the kicker? She couldn't even tell Sam where or why she was going. Partly, I think this was Andy getting her revenge for Sam doing the same thing to her 2 seasons ago, but also for messing her around so much.
There was already chemistry between Andy and Nick (although it didn't burn with anywhere near the intensity that Sam and Andy did.) so it probably wasn't surprising that in all the months Andy and Nick pretended to be a couple, they developed feelings for one another.
In the opening episode of season 4, Sam finds out that Andy and Nick have gone missing and that their cover might be compromised. Sam basically leads the charge to find them, and when he does track them down, the moment he and Andy encounter each other, that awesome tension that we all love so much was immediately back. Except as the writers of Rookie Blue have continually tortured us, just when the fans think everything is going to be all flowers and rainbows, they totally destroy our dreams.
Andy is all ready to talk things out and maybe take the next step with Sam, but she finds out the hard way that in the months she's been gone, Sam has started up a relationship with a new cop at the station, leaving Andy wondering just how deep his feelings for her could have been if he's moved on so easily.
But while Andy doesn't see it, the truth quickly becomes apparent that Sam hasn't moved on, and seeing her again is reviving all the emotions he'd been trying to deny.
Sam's BFF, Oliver, could see the truth, and seemed to be a McSwarek fan himself, always subtly hinting that Andy was the one Sam should be with. And while Sam refused to admit the truth, continuing with his other relationship, Andy and Nick grew closer, until they final got together.
Things between Andy and Nick were good and simple. Nick is a great guy and really cares for Andy. However, the close of season 4 brought another angst-ridden cliff hanger (the writers at
Rookie Blue are really good at those.) Sam's relationship had fizzled, and at last he admitted to Andy that he still had feelings for her, but it was done in the roundabout way of telling her he wanted her to be happy, but he couldn't be around her any longer.
Andy wanted to talk it out, but before they could, Sam got shot. The episode ended with Andy telling Sam in the ambulance that she loved him before he loses consciousness. At the hospital, Andy tells Nick she's sorry, and he seems very accepting of the fact that his girlfriend is going to pieces over another man. When the doctor tells the waiting room full of cops that only one of them can go in to see Sam, Nick does the gallant thing and sends Andy. While things are looking grim for Sam, and Andy is standing by looking heartbroken, Nick walks to the back of the waiting room, tears in his eyes and and look of painful resignation on his face. If fans didn't already love this guy, how could they not after that? He clearly deserves better than being Andy's second choice.
So the end of season 4 left us hanging. Obviously Sam is not going to die, and I don't necessarily think Andy and Nick's relationship will be over. The writers are good at creating these angsty twists that I never see coming, so I can't wait to see what is in store for the 22 episodes of season 5.





Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ships That aren't Shipping -- Part Eight: Damon and Elena on The Vampire Diaries

Sorry for the hiatus, life has been getting in the way of me and the Internets this past week or so!
But, Welcome back, we're here with part eight of my posts on ships that aren't shipping but totally should be. The seven couples featured before this have been: Part One: Oliver and Felicity on Arrow, Part Two: Charlie and Monroe on Revolution, Part Three: Emma and Hook from Once Upon a Time, Part Four: Skye and Ward from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Part Five: Wade and Zoe from Hart of Dixie, Part Six: Aria and Ezra on Pretty Little Liars. and Part Seven: The Tomorrow People...Stephen/Cara/John/Astrid.
Today we're visiting the epic will-they-won't-they romance that is Damon and Elena on the Vampire Diaries.

Best Vampire Diaries picture EVER
Drama much?
Really, I could devote several posts to these two if I went into every detail of every encounter they've had since they met. So let's just stick with the more outstanding facts. Still, apologies if this ends up totally convoluted, it would be an apt reflection of their relationship.
So from season one, even though Elena was committed to Stephan, it was apparent that Damon and Elena had chemistry that couldn't be denied. While Elena had boyfriend drama with Stephan, Damon was always there in the background, ready to play reluctant hero, or simply be there for her when Stephan was doing things like not understanding her point of view, or going off the rails and getting all ripper-like from drinking too much human blood.
For a while Damon even tried his version of being noble, as he tried to track down Stephan, who'd gone off with the pseudo-evil vampire-warewolf hybrid, Klaus. Damon tried not to fall deeper in love with his brother's girl during that time, but he might as well have tried to stop the tide coming in. Damon and Elena have shared some pretty epic kisses, and to date, one of my favorite TV kisses of all time is the one where they're at the motel and its like Elena just can't resist any longer. (which reminds me, I need to do an updated and third installment of my top TV kisses of all time.)




So through a series of unfortunate events, Elena dies with Damon's blood in her system and becomes a vampire. For about five minutes, it looks like Elena and Stephan might actually get back together as Stephan helps Elena navigate a new world she never wanted to be a part of. But then there's Damon in the background again, helping Elena with what she really needs when Stephan is trying to be too helpful and not really listening to what's really going on with her.
As a newbie vampire, Elena was having trouble keeping blood down, and one of the most memorable Delena moments was when Damon insisted she tried feeding off him, which I could not find a good picture of, dammit! Anyway, though Elena didn't know it, the apparently intimate offer caused even more tension between Stephan and Damon. However, as the next few episodes went by, Elena steadily drifted closer to Damon, until there was no use resisting anymore. But even as Damon and Elena were finally getting together, Stephan and Caroline were working out that somehow, Elena had been sired to Damon and would do whatever he asked of her.
I believe a lot of fans were unimpressed with this turn of events, voicing the question of why couldn't Damon and Elena just be together, why did there have to be some reason possibly making the whole thing false.
Following Damon and Elena learning the truth, there was a whole lot of up and down, and back and forth, which was abruptly ended by Damon getting the brilliant idea of telling Elena to turn her emotions off when she had trouble coping with the death of her brother, Jeremy.
Then started the quest to get Elena to turn her humanity back on. Through all sorts of nefarious mechanisms and plotting, this was finally achieved, and apparently Elena's sire bond to Damon was finally broken. After all that, Elena declared that she loved him, and at last it seemed, Damon and Elena would be together with nothing clouding the relationship.
Except that lasted all of five minutes. Before we fans knew it, they were trying to save Stephan and Elena was feeling guilty. Caroline kept up her disapproval of Damon in general (well, she can't talk now, after randomly having sex in the woods with Klaus a few episodes ago.) and once again we were faced with everything that could possibly get in the way of Damon and Elena's relationship.
Most recently, Katherine hijacked Elena's body, pretended to be Elena and dumped Damon, which in true Damon style, sent him on a murderous rampage. Because of that, Damon got infected with a virus that makes him want to feed on other vampires, and even though the gang worked out Elena was really Katherine and then managed to get rid of their pseudo-nemesis once and for all, it seemed the Damon and Elena relationship had been destroyed once again... until Katherine revealed to Bonnie that she'd infected Elena's body with the same virus, her final revenge against them all.
So that brings us up to the current episode. With both of them suffering the same vampire-feeding virus, it seems like Damon and Elena will need to rely on each other to get through this latest drama, which is obviously a good thing.
Despite the fact that I've always been a Delana fan, and a fan of the Vampire Diaries in general, I really have to wonder, after five season, what else could possibly happen to these people that already hasn't. I'm kind of worried about where the writers are going to take things next season, and don't want it to get to the point where I don't or can't watch this show any longer. But I stand here, ready to be pleasantly surprised.