Monday, November 30, 2009

Weeklong Vampire Diaries Snarkfest Begins... Now.

As promised, your week of VD pain starts now. And it's going to burn when you pee. But first, you may ask, "Jen, why the long gap between snarks? What were you doing? Fabulous, authory things?" No. I forgot to pay my cable bill and my service was turned off, and then I was like, "Hey, that's a lot of money for tv... I bet I can live without it," and then about a week ago I was like, "NO I CAN'T I WANT MY TV." So, that's why. I'm bad at paying bills and fell off the no-TV wagon.

So, when we last left Fells Church Mystic Falls, Damon had been thrown into the time-out dungeon by Stefan, because Damon is the no-fun kind of vampire who doesn't think it's cool for other vampires to terrorize cheerleaders. Duh, that's kind of the point of vampires, Stefan. Well, when episode five begins, Damon is still in the naughty corner and, according to Stefan, has been there for three days. He doesn't have his magic ring to protect him from the sun, and he hasn't had a drop of blood since giving Caroline the old nibble hickey. Stefan informs Damon that in the middle ages, if a vampire went rogue, they were rehabilitated rather than destroyed. Which sounds to me like the middle ages were a whole lot different for vampires than humans, but whatever. Stefan plans to let Damon cure like a piece of vampire jerky, and then he'll throw him in the family crypt to think about what he's done. For fifty years. Oh, that's real humane, Stefan. I'm sure after fifty years of living death, your sociopath brother is going to be all better. After fifty years, Stefan will "reevaluate" the situation. What the hell is this, the vampire version of Demolition Man? I'm guessing Stefan never saw that movie, because if he had he would know that he's setting himself up for one hell of a Wesley Snipes problem in fifty years. Damon warns Stefan that he's stronger than he thinks, and Stefan is all, "Yeah, sure, whatever." Which can only end well in this show.

Meanwhile, Elena wakes to an Imogene Heap song and tries to write in her diary. She gives up, apparently because there isn't anything interesting to write about besides the whole domestic abuse situation going on with Caroline and her boyfriend. She goes to the bathroom and runs into Vicki, who plays it off all nonchalant. "Morning! Fucked your brother!" Elena runs to tell Aunt Jenna about her Jeremy's carnal transgressions, but AJ doesn't care. She's got a date with Newsman. Elena tells Jenna that she hasn't heard from Stefan in three days. Wait a minute, has Vicki been living at their house for three days? She came over at the end of episode four. Has no one noticed her presence in their house for three days? Elena tells Jenna that everything is fine with Stefan disappearing off the face of the planet, but it's pretty obvious that things aren't fine, because Elena is never fine with anything.

At Salvatore Castle, Stefan is planning to go back to school after his three day, unexcused absence. You're going to have a lot of homework to make up, buddy. Zach doesn't think it's such a good idea, leaving Damon alone with him in the house, but Stefan just warns him to keep out of the basement. Right, Zach, you're the only member of the regular cast over age thirty, I'm sure you'll be totally safe alone in the house with a dangerous killer.

Caroline and Bonnie are hanging out in Caroline's room, and Caroline expresses concern that she can't remember if Damon kissed her, or bit her, or if she wanted him to bite her, or what, because she has holes in her memory. Bonnie, who is becoming ever more pyromaniacal, is playing with a candle and not really listening, and the crystal Damon stole from the mayor's party is hanging in direct sunlight. This is important, and I know this because they linger on it. That's a trick of the trade, kiddos. It's just usually not done so artlessly.

At school, any worries Elena might have had about Caroline's well-being are squashed when Caroline strolls through the halls, instructing all the cheerleaders to be sure and slut it up hardcore at the bikini car wash they're having on the weekend. Stefan shows up and reassures Elena that Damon has been, "taken care of," or "dealt with," or some other kind of mob talk, and apologizes for his absence. He tells Elena that he'll meet her at the restaurant in town to explain everything. That's really the best place to do it. If there's one thing I learned from Jerry Maguire, it's that if you're going to fire someone or tell your girlfriend that you're a vampire, you want to do it in a crowded restaurant to avoid a big scene. Elena is going to come to school the next day and say, "Don't worry. I'm not going to do what you all think I'm going to do, which is just flip out!" right before she steals the well-mannered fish from the biology lab. Caroline sidles up to ask Stefan what happened to Damon, and he informs her that Damon won't be coming back, ever. Why Elena doesn't immediately assume, from the earlier comments about having dealt with Damon and now this little tidbit about him never coming back, that Stefan has murdered his brother, I don't know. Because that would be the first thing I would think.

Later that day, at the Mystic Grill, Matt is playing pool and waiting around to fulfill his sole purpose on the show, which is to have Elena walk up to him and ask if he's seen Stefan.

Back at Casa Dracula, Zach thinks, "I'm going to completely disregard my uncle's warning about staying away from the vampire. In fact, I'm going to go taunt him." This doesn't go over well, despite the warning he gives to Damon that he's "full of Vervain." Luckily, Stefan shows up just in time to save his nephew from certain dismemberment. The entire point of the scene, I guess, is to show us that Damon still has some strength, and that there is some serious shit going on in the Salvatore family. Thanksgiving is probably... tense.

Back at the grill, Elena decides to rachet up the awkward between her and Matt by talking about how his sister is boning her brother. Then, she asks Matt if he thinks Stefan is a good guy. This is Matt's chance to be like, "I saw him curb stomp a puppy!" but Matt isn't that kind of person, so he tells the truth. Stefan is good at football, so that makes him a-okay in his book. Just then, Stefan shows up-- an hour late-- and Elena decides that rather than let him do that explaining she just waited an hour for, she's going to storm out. An old guy (not really old, just super ancient to kids watching the show... this guy is probably fifty) thinks he recognizes Stefan, but Stefan insists he must be mistaken. The guy argues that it has to be him, and "you haven't aged." Elena knows there's something up, and Stefan knows she knows, but he lets her storm off in a huff, anyway. Interestingly enough, Elena goes home to write in her diary about instinct... which is awfully rich coming from the girl who doesn't realize her boyfriend is a vampire.

The Newsman and Caroline's sheriff mom are at the grill, trading notes on their plan to eradicate the vampires, when Jenna shows up for her date. You know, if this whole, "kill the vampires" thing is so super secret, to the point of having to form a cabal to deal with it, maybe you shouldn't be discussing this shit while waiting for a date, Newsman. You would not last a day in The Da Vinci Code.

Jeremy takes a time out from his anti-teen-abstinence protest to check on his sister. Elena tells him that she's miserable, but Jeremy has something up his sleeve. He knows that Stefan is downstairs cooking dinner for Elena. Elena isn't as impressed by this orchestrated assault on her dating life as Stefan though she would be, I'm guessing, but he keeps cooking anyway and informs her that if she's going to dump him, she's at least going to know who she's dumping. Then, he starts telling her about Catherine. So, is she dumping Catherine? He tells her that Catherine was the most beautiful, sexy girl ever, but she was with Damon first. He and Damon fought over her like mongrel dogs, and Stefan's biggest regret is that he didn't tell her what she truly meant to him before she died.

While Stefan pours out this heartwarming tale of the girl Elena will never measure up to, Vicki goes through the upstairs medicine cabinet and finds the left over Vicodin prescription Elena got after the car accident that killed her parents. While most people would be like, "Yurgh, what a very creepy reminder that this poor girl watched her parents die in front of her very eyes. I need to reevaluate my life," Vicki takes a "waste not; want not," approach to life and decides that crushing them up and snorting them is a better idea. Jeremy laments that all they ever do is get high, and Vicki accuses him of wanting her to change. I have to side with Vicki on this one. Jeremy, you used to be her dealer, and you used to get high with her all the time. You think your awesome skills with your wang are going to just snap her out of the prescription narcotic habit you helped her build?

Back in the kitchen, Stefan is still talking about himself. I mean, really, really talking about himself, and Elena makes the obligatory comment about him eating garlic that people always make to vampires when they don't know they're talking to a vampire. I think she was trying to change a subject, just so he'd stop talking about his musical preferences. Or, she's figured out he's a vampire and wants to stuff his mouth full of garlic to shut him up forever. I'm good with either one. Elena decides to help cut stuff up and, like people always do when they don't realize they're in the kitchen with a vampire, and you'll never, ever guess what happens next. No, seriously. You'll never guess. She cuts everything up in uniform pieces without cutting herself. JUST KIDDING! She totally cuts herself. She rushes to the sink to rinse off the blood, and Stefan just stands there, vamping out with crazy eyes and bulging veins. Unlike the Buffy vampires, Stefan has a reflection, and Elena sees him getting all monster-like in the window above the sink. He turns around to hide his face and get under control (why didn't he do that to begin with?), but it's too late. In the single most charming act ever performed by a male on this show, Stefan lets Elena think that she was hallucinating rather than fessing up to being a vampire. Taking lessons from a certain sparkly young cad I know, aren't you, Stefan?

Back in timeout, Damon tries to mentally communicate with Caroline, and a giant crow shows up on her windowsill. Caroline proceeds to beat the fuck out of it, and Stefan decides that Damon is ripe for more taunting, so he goes to do that.

Next up, Elena wears a sweater to the bikini car wash. And another shirt underneath that. What this is basically telling the audience is that, unlike all the other whores at this school, Elena is pure and good, because she is unwilling to shake it for the athletic boosters. It's like whoever is writing the teleplay for this read Twilight and thought, "You know, the strong feminist message in this is really turning me off." Bonnie is standing by when a cheerleader calls a nerdy kid's car a piece of crap, and she uses her witchy powers to make suds explode from the bucket and drench the mean girl. Yeah, that will show her! You got her all wet! At the car wash! She was never expecting that!

Because nothing news-worthy has happened in Mystic Falls, you know, aside from several people dying horrible in the last four episodes, Newsman is there covering the car wash. Aunt Jenna comes to reminisce with him about the time they had sex in the back of a minivan (no, I'm not kidding), which Newsman thinks is the definition of a good date. Elena notices that Stefan is wearing his ring and suggests he take it off while dunking his hand in suds and potentially scratching the shit out of a paying customer's paint job, but Stefan isn't hip to burning alive, so he doesn't. Caroline goes into the school to get "more shimmy things," and encounters Damon's ghostly image, which freaks her right out. The "old" man from the grill shows up and Elena grills him (ha! a pun!) about how he used to know Stefan. When the old man first moved to Mystic Falls, he stayed at the Salvatore boarding house, and was staying there when the owner, Joseph, was mauled to death in a mysterious animal attack. The rude cheerleader strolls up and informs Elena that this is her grandfather, and he has Alzheimer's disease. Which would explain why he thought he knew Stefan. But then he goes on to tell Elena about the ring that Stefan wore, and how he knew him and his brother Damon in 1953.

Elena confronts Stefan about this information in a sneaky kind of way, and pretends that she didn't know he was Italian. Yeah, he's not buying that, either.

Vicki decides that since she and Jeremy are a couple now, he needs to meet the important people in her life. And those people are the burnouts in the cemetery.

Elena busts AJ macking on Newsman and asks if things are going well enough that she can ask a favor. She wants to look at all the news clips from the past century or so. Newsman is happy to complain, so they pile into the newsmobile and take off.

Meanwhile, Caroline has abandoned the bikini car wash, as well. The cheerleaders are fleeing this thing like rats from a sinking ship, let me tell you. Guided by Damon's ghostly commands, she goes to the basement and finds him in vampire jail. Then, she snaps out of his spell and says she won't open the door, because, "you bit me." Damon counters with, "you liked it," and gets her to open the door. Zach tries to stop her just in time, but Damon is too strong. He busts out and takes off after Caroline, who has the good sense to run. Upstairs? Downstairs? What's happening in this chase scene? She makes it to the door, and Damon charges after her, straight into the sunlight without his ring. The results are... not favorable. While he fries like Hayden Christiansen at the end of Revenge of The Sith, Caroline runs away like her life depends on it. Which it does.

Back at bikini car wash, the rude cheerleader hands Bonnie a squeegee mop and tells her to get to work drying off the pavement. Bonnie Potter has other ideas, though, and uses her mind powers to dry off the pavement with witchcraft. Somehow, she sets the water on fire, which sets a car on fire. Stefan, recognizing another freak, realizes that it's Bonnie doing it, and stops her before she goes full Firestarter on the entire car wash.

At the station, Newsman gets called away, presumably to cover the fire at the bikini car wash (Fire at The Bikini Car Wash, wasn't that a movie? Like, on USA Up All Night?), leaving Elena to investigate the newly digitized archive footage. In a clip that looks stunningly like a modern day newscast, Elena sees Stefan standing at the door of his house, in 1953. Or, 2009 with a grainy black and white filter on it. Six of one, half dozen of another, right?

Back at the cemetery, Vicki produces the bottle of pills she took from the Gilbert house and offers them to her friends. Jeremy is understandably pissed that Vicki would steal prescription drugs from his house, and tells her it's not cool. Vicki gets all self-righteous, like Jeremy has done something wrong, and threatens to go back to Tyler. Which is right on schedule, really.

Back at the car wash, Matt decides to give Stefan some friendly advice about Elena. She's apparently "big on trust." Yes, the girl who is using her connections in the news media to investigate her boyfriend is "big on trust." He goes on to warn that if Stefan is hiding something, Elena will ferret it out somehow. Big on trust. Trust.

Sheriff mom finally checks on her daughter, after how many episodes of violence and sex happening right in her very own house. Caroline informs her mother that if she's having boy trouble, she'll talk to her dad about it, since he's successfully landed a boyfriend. Zing! Top score, Caroline!

Night has fallen. While Elena's voice over insists that she doesn't believe in the paranormal, Stefan finds Damon missing and Zach all knocked out on the ground. Caroline sleeps in beams of light filtering through the super important crystal. Bonnie's grandma is Mimi from Rent. Newsman paws through Jeremy's stuff and steals the Gilbert family pocket watch. And, in the moment we have been waiting for through four episodes of screaming, "He's a vampire, dummy, why don't you get it?" at the TV, Elena finally realizes that her boyfriend is not human.

Vicki is drowning her sorrows in pills, booze, and the company of her burnout friends in the cemetery, when she finds Damon doubled over in pain. She tries to aid him and... I would assume this is the end of Vicki, because they show her her hand clinging to something and then limply letting go. That's the universal visual sign for death, right?

Stefan is about to head out the door, stake in hand, only to find Elena on his doorstep. She demands to know, "What are you?" and the audience collectively facepalms, because HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW AT THIS POINT? EVEN BELLA SWAN FIGURED THIS ONE OUT.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Announcements! Announcements, one and all!

Hear ye, hear ye! Because of the following comment, from Aleks:

Would you please go back to making fun of bad vampire books/TV/movies? It's what you do best and it's even fucking topical now, man.

I will return to my regularly scheduled snarking of The Vampire Diaries television show, starting Monday. Expect a new snark every day, until I am caught up with the series as it stands now.

Then, on Monday, November 7th, I will embark on the madness of "100 Pages In 5 Days." I've done this before; you can read a sampling of what happened on day five.

I encourage anyone reading this to try it with me. See, I know a lot of people are doing NaNoWriMo and then NaNoEdMo or whatever they call December, but there is something beautiful in the madness that is writing one hundred pages in five days. It's like if someone held NaNo down and shot heroin straight into its eyeballs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Worlds Effing Collide.

If you thought "Bad Romance" was weird, well, Beyonce proves once again that she is the master of EVERYTHING. No one else can come close. She tries to give you a seizure rather than depicting one through interpretive dance, plays with Nerf guns, and I'm pretty sure she challenged Lady Gaga to a Flashdance chair-off.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Help! Teenage girls have taken over the art department!

So, I was browsing my local Barnes and Noble just the other day, and it was a grand old time. I didn't buy anything, a Herculean feat for me, but I'm glad I went. If I hadn't, I would have found out that the art departments of several major publishers have been seized by teenage girls.

How else could one explain how the first print cover for P.C. Cast's Elphame's Choice went from this:



to this:



Really? That second cover doesn't speak to the content of the book at all. If you picked up the book (which you should, by the way, because it's amazing) with the first cover, you wouldn't be surprised to find that it's a romantic fantasy set in a world of ancient Celtic lore. If you picked up the book with the second cover, you'd be surprised to find that Elphame was not questing for more clip-in color streaks at her local Hot Topic.

And then, in the YA section, I saw this:



This book has been out for a while, so I'd seen it before. But I'd also seen it before it came out. Like, years before it came out, because the art department of this publishing house has also been overrun by teenage girls:



Authors have little to no control over what gets put on their book covers. In the case of the second book, that is a YA book. The first book isn't. How can you tell the difference these days? Could publishers please forget that Twilight happened and go back to selling books with covers I wouldn't be embarrassed to show in public? You know, like clinch-covers?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," the pitch meeting.


Music video planners: Lady Gaga, we're so excited about working with you, and we've come up with some great ideas for your video.
Lady Gaga: Okay, that's great, let's hear them.
Music video planners: For starters, we explored the concept of literally interpreting the story told by your lyrics--
Lady Gaga: That's really not going to work. Most of the song is nonsense, punctuated by wordless babbling and also, some French.
Music video planners: Ohhhkay... well, let's see what else we had. Ah, right here we have the video opening with you, wearing a freakish old-lady wig and a pair of glasses made out of razor blades and some other sharp stuff you shouldn't put by your eyes, in a room all in white. I'm thinking you should be staring vacantly into middle distance, one finger poised above the power button of a sound system.
Lady Gaga: Can I be surrounded by degenerates and malcontents dressed in freakish metal masks? And could we get some of the girls from the Robert Palmer video in there, as well?
Music video planners: Of course! This is exactly what this meeting is about. An exchange of ideas! Now, when you push the button on the sound system, the beginning of the song proper will start.
Lady Gaga: We should all look like startled robots!
Music video planners: Sure! Then, we were thinking of a cut to another white room, with sensory deprivation pods. You know, like the coffins on Anubis air in True Blood, only white.
Lady Gaga: They should say something on them, though.
Music video planners: Maybe an "L" and a "G"?
Lady Gaga: No, they should say "Monster." And then they should have monsters coming out of them.
Music video planners: Uh, okay. Yeah, we could work with that. Do you think they should be hairy monsters, like on Sesame Street or--
Lady Gaga: No! Dancers, all in white, dressed like that kid in the pajamas from Where The Wild Things Are. Except it should be a one-piece latex suit, with just the mouth cut out. And then we could dance like the nurses in Silent Hill!
Music video planners: That's... very high fashion of you.
Lady Gaga: There should also be shots of me with pink hair and oddly disproportionate bug-eyes. And then, I want to dress like Tom Petty and sing to myself in a mirror.
Music video planners: Oh, okay, I think we can--
Lady Gaga: We should probably get our dancers from a local production of Cats, because I want those kinds of moves. Like, "batting at a ball of yarn in the air" type moves.
Music video planners: I'm sure we can find someone like that.
Lady Gaga: But I don't want it to be completely freaky. I want to be able to sing into the camera with minimal makeup, and look very earnest.
Music video planners: You're right, it's good balance the more artistic elements with some traditional--
Lady Gaga: Because then I want there to be some implication of forced medication, and after that I want to be practically naked with chandelier on my head, while my dancers strip a graffitied Burberry coat off me.
Music video planners: Does this chandelier have to be crystal, or...
Lady Gaga: And I want to dance for a guy with a gold plated jaw.
Music video planners: This is getting kind of expensive.
Lady Gaga: And there needs to be a hairless cat.
Music video planners: I think Jan in accounting has one--
Lady Gaga: Did I mention I wanted to do full nudity, too? As much as I can get away with? We need to dispel this weird transexual rumor.
Music video planners: As long as it's tasteful, and shot from the side in low light, we can accomodate that.
Lady Gaga: I want to have some kind of hairless bat thing in my hair, too. It will only be seen briefly, but I feel it's important.
Music video planners: Well, this all sounds great, and I'm sure we can make the arrangements to shoot by--
Lady Gaga: Now, in the next scene--
Music video planners: Next scene?
Lady Gaga: Yeah, you didn't think we were done here, did you? This is barely half-finished. We're going to need another chandelier. I'm thinking I should be dressed like Madonna, only more sexualized, surrounded by the suspended pieces of a broken chandelier. I'm probably going to wear a cross and throw in a few gestures to offend super religious people. You know, the kind who write letters?
Music video planners: Oh dear.
Lady Gaga: Do you think we could find someone to make high heels with snake spines wrapped around them?
Music video planners: We'll add it to the list.
Lady Gaga: Great! I also think we should use the spinny ring thing I wore on SNL, just so I get my money's worth, you know? And I've got this sequined Imelda Marcos costume and a pointy wig I bought at Gwen Stefani's garage sale. I can wear that for the bridge.
Music video planners: We're only up to the bridge at this point?!
Lady Gaga: It's amazing how much I can pack into this, right? Okay, when we go back to the chorus, I want to be wearing a polar bear.
Music video planners: A what now?
Lady Gaga: And Baron Von Underbite from The Venture Bros. waiting to have sex with me, on a bed flanked by taxidermy Antelope heads.
Music video planners: I'm sorry, Ms. Gaga, but... how many animals have to die for this video?
Lady Gaga: I'm going to have to have some serious back up dancers for the all-red sequence.
Music video planners: All red? Where is this going to fit?
Lady Gaga: Oh, close to the end of the video. Right before the bed burns up, and I'm shown wreathed in flames and burning polar bear.
Music video planners: Did you bring any Advil with you? We feel a collective headache coming on.
Lady Gaga: And at the end, I want to be lying on the charred bed, next to the smoldering remains of Baron Von Underbite. I think it goes without saying that at this point, I should look like a blonde Amy Winehouse, and have sparks shooting out of my nipples.
Music video planners: Why not? Fuck it, do whatever you want. I'm going to go hang myself in the bathroom.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wait, what?



Oh, expect a full blog post on this one. Right after my mind is done exploding.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The internet ruins everything.

Had an awesome signing last night at Schuler Books in Lansing. Super cool, although they served wine and I ended up signing a bunch of stock, "Legalize it!"

So, this morning I'm nursing my hangover (no, it wasn't just the wine... the fishbowl of Margarita at La Senorita was a contributing factor to my delinquency) and enjoying Pocoyo with my daughter.

What is Pocoyo, you ask? Only the single most soothing thing on the face of the motherfucking planet.



It's a Spanish show that was dubbed into English and narrated by a super enthusiastic Stephen Fry. When we discovered this show on Netflix on XBox Live, I thought, "This will distract the kid for a while, so I can make a poo in peace, without her leaning her chubby elbows on my knees and engaging me in a babbling discourse about something only she has a clue about. But once it started, I couldn't look away. I just kept staring at the screen.

I suppose one could say that Pocoyo's world is a nightmarish white void of possibility, and that Pocoyo represents our Id, materializing desires from thin air in a realm of limited responsibility and resulting in his ultimate destruction, but I choose instead to enjoy the quiet simplicity of a child of indeterminate gender cavorting with various animal pals in an easy-to-digest format.

But for a long time, something about Pocoyo, himself, was puzzling. I could have sworn I'd seen him somewhere else. Where was it? It seemed like it wasn't in a particularly nice context... where had I see him before?

Oh, yeah. From one of my LJ friend's icons:



The internet ruins EVERYTHING.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You know how much I love vampires...

I love funny vampires even more. So, I bring unto thee, straight from Atom.com, the super awesome, Twilight... Five Years Later

Twilight - 5 Years Later

The creator of this awesomeness, Jacob Fleisher, is also responsible for the web series, Intercourse With A Vampire, which you can also see at Atom.com.

I strongly urge you to check it out, it's amazing.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Panera of the Damned

How is it that Panera bread can be this busy at 10am on a Monday? Seriously, what is up with this? I'm sitting here waiting for Bronwyn Green to get here, and the place is packed. Don't any of you people have jobs? You can't all be as irresponsible as me.

As you can see, I'm really out of ideas in the blog arena. I swear, I'll have something interesting to say soon.

BTW, there is a guy up here that looks just like Michael Stipe, and another guy who looks like Billy Ray Cyrus.