Sunday, 26 October 2008

Supernatural = Super-awesome!

Normally it takes forever for me to publish my next post on my blog (check my archive if you think I'm bluffing) but after watching an episode of Supernatural titled Yellow Fever I had to kick my bad habit to the curb and do some immediate posting!

A brief synopsis: Dean Winchester catches a spirit virus that causes its victims to go through some kind of anxiety attack times a million. They become scared of ... everything (people, animals, pencils, erasers, etc). And in the end they die of a heart attack. So basically Sam and Bobby must come up with a way to save Dean in 24 hours or it's 'bye, bye Dean.' Again.

Now Dean is a tough guy. Always has been. He was the one who convinced Sam to give up law school and become a fulltime demon hunter. So seeing Dean act like this (see below) is pretty effing awesome!

At the end of the episode, just after the initial credits rolled, the good writers of Supernatural treated us to this:

I loooooove this show! Eye of the Tiger, baby!

Monday, 20 October 2008

What’s really good on TV?

So I've been watching a lot of TV shows of late. In fact, I've watched more TV shows than I have movies this year for research reasons (it has to do with my book). It's been a bitter-sweet ride so far, and I have to tell you, some shows have got to go.

Here are my reviews of my favourite shows based on what I've seen so far (granted, you will find that I haven't started the latest seasons of some of them for a number reasons, like school work). Please be aware that there are potential spoilers:

Smallville (CW)

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, on a planet called earth, a show was born. It was called Smallville. It promised to chronicle the life of Clark Kent, a farm boy, as he walked the path to becoming Superman, the greatest and most powerful (yeah, right) superhero earth had ever seen (all fiction, ladies and gentlemen). And so everyone loved it. Including me.

Alas, my love for this show was ephemeral. It lasted for four seasons (the show is currently in its eighth and a rumoured ninth is in the works. Dear lord, when will it end?). After season 4 everything slopped to disaster level; the plot, the characters, the dialogue, the overall writing – everything.

First there was the on-going, monotonous makeup-breakup love tale between Clark and Lana that got to a juncture where calling it nonsensical was a flattering remark. The episodic plots started to make no sense at all, with storylines feeling more ad hoc than planned. Sure, season 5's finale sort of sparked the series back to life (Clark was imprisoned in the phantom zone by General Zod) and the premier of season 6 promised greater things to come (Clark escaped from the phantom zone in company with some very pissed off, irrepressible phantoms). Somewhere along the middle of season 6 that flare died out. Then the finale arrived and the fire burned bright again (the last phantom stole Clark's DNA and became Bizarro). Nice ending to an otherwise substandard season.

You would think they (the producers and writers of Smallville) would continue in this fashion but noooo. Season 7 saw the introduction of supergirl A.K.A Kara Zor-El and a baffling plot with so many gigantic holes. When the bloody hell did Lionel Luthor belong to a secret society? How come this wasn't addressed long before or at the start of season 7? It didn't feel right. Why? Get this: Lionel Luthor's secret society was headed by a certain Dr Virgil Swann. Ring any bells? Yes, that's right – Swann, played by Christopher Reeves (R.I.P sir), appeared in a number of episodes in season 3, and Lionel Luthor visited him once. The conversation they had was very formal, as though they had only heard of each other but never met until that moment. Fast-forward to season 7 and we find that Lionel and Virgil used to meet every week to discuss aliens and fortune cookies. Rubbish.

The nail in Smallville's coffin is unquestionably season 8. Every character seems mystified, like they haven't a clue what they're meant to do. The new characters are out of place and add little to no interest to the show (please, did the producers really think they could replace Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor with some anorectic chick?). And the holes in the plot just keep widening; I doubt there's any way of stitching them without making a right mess. What happened to Kara? Don't know. Apparently, so do the writers. And it makes no sense that Clark or anyone else who knew Kara isn't a tad worried about her absence. It's like she never existed to them.

Even if you put all of these things aside, the show has become the perfect definition of humdrum, so much that I am left feeling delirious after watching each episode. I can't take it anymore. Sorry, but I give up.

You know the sad, sad thing about Smallville? We already know what happens at the end of the day. We know Lex will be evil, we know Clark Kent will be superman, we know Clark Kent does end up with Lois Lane not Lana, we know Jimmy Olsen does not end up with Chloe Sullivan, and plenty more. Consequently ... there's absolutely no point in watching this show. Given this incontrovertible piece of information, one would expect the writers and producers to come up with something extraordinarily good, but instead we get this – dog poo.

Criticisms aside, they did manage to get one thing right – the show's theme song: somebody saaaaaaave meeee! Because every time I watch Smallville, that's what I cry to the lord.

Clark Kent should do us all a favour and crawl next to a bag of kryptonite rocks and die.

Rating: 3/10

One Tree Hill (CW)

Drama. I'm not one for drama. But there's something about One Tree Hill's drama that keeps me coming back for more.

The show is about a bunch of people living their lives in a spirited town called Tree Hill, and every now and then something crappy happens and affects all of them. I've fallen in love with all the characters, because they've grown and matured right from season 1 to season 5. However I do not like Lucas Eugene Scott. Don't get me wrong, he's an interesting, amusing and congenial character who I can see myself hanging out with from time to time, but I've never seen a boy act like a big fat emotionally-disturbed bitch the way Lucas does, and I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere along the line in season 6 the writers reveal that he bleeds for seven days. Honestly, this dude has issues. Issues that only chicks should have.

First it was Peyton. Then it was Brooke. Then it was Peyton. Then it was Brooke. Then it was Peyton. This freaking Peyton-Brooke cycle of madness is driving me insane, and every time I watch the show and this hackneyed storyline pops up I feel like shoving my flat screen TV out the window. That's how frustrating Lucas is to me.

I don't get how the writers can't let him settle with one girl for longer than one season. They did okay with Nathan and Haley; those two have gone beyond teenage romance issues to couple dilemmas. Lucas, on the other hand, is still stuck in the past and experiencing the same crisis as in season 1: trying to figure out which girl to spend his life with. The writers even added Lindsey to the Peyton-Brooke merry-go-round. Sons of bitches.

Seriously, this has got to stop!

Everything else appears to be wonderful. Playing on its greatest strength, characterisation, the show introduces new and diverse characters, and, I must say, I love them too. Jamie, Nathan and Haley's son, is adorable, Quentin is rebellious and funny, and Victoria Davis, Brooke's mother, is a bitch from hell. As far as Villainy goes, Dan Scott's got some stiff competition with Victoria. Dan's bad, but he's on a path of redemption. Victoria, on the other hand, doesn't know the meaning of the word nor does she care to know.

I'm definitely rooting for this show.

Rateing: 9/10

Supernatural (CW)

The yellow-eyed demon made an infamous appearance in the first season of Supernatural, and when he departed at the end of the second season (got shot in the chest by Dean with the remarkable Colt) all hell broke loose literally (a gate was opened and demons from hell gained unlimited access to earth). Did I forget to mention that Sam died and Dean sold his soul to bring Sam back?

Lilith arrived afterwards and made the yellow-eyed demon look like Michael Jackson dressed in a tutu. The Colt – deemed the most powerful and effective weapon against demons – was useless by now. There was only one goal in Lilith's mind: find Sam and kill him.

Even with the imminent writers' strike the producers and writers of Supernatural were able to do something I didn't think they had the balls to do – kill Dean. I say this because the entire third season was mostly about saving Dean, but he ended up dead anyways. Where's the logic in that, you ask? Well ... I have no idea but it sure as hell worked for the show.

Season 4 has begun, and now we have Castiel, an angel of God. Yep, you read that right – there are angels in Supernatural. And Lucifer just might parade his ugly face on the show too, so be prepared for some action!

Things are spiralling out of control for the Winchester boys. It's one thing to hunt down demons; it's another thing to fight Lucifer. Awesome. Can't wait for that to happen.

There aren't enough words to truly describe this season's Supernatural, but I'll settle for one: incredible. I am impressed with how far this show has come. The writers are one of the few brilliant cadres of their kind in the business and it shows in every episode. Kudos.

Rating: 10/10

Samantha Who (ABC)

Meet Samantha, a girl who suffers from amnesia as a result of a hit and run. Not long after she wakes up from her coma she realises that she would much rather not remember who she was, because who she was is a major bitch without an ounce of sentiment for anyone or anything. A major bitch, I tell you.

So instead of trying to get her old life back she decides to start afresh, turn a new leaf. The phrase, 'Easier said than done,' springs to mind as Samantha's infuriating past always manages to claw its way into her present, leading to some serious identity crisis for her.

Samantha Who is a simple, funny show that doesn't attempt to take things over the top, and Christina Applegate (who plays Samantha) is so sassy I could spend my entire life just staring adoringly at her even if the show made no sense.

Rating: 8/10

Heroes (NBC)

In a world where a new kind of evolution has occurred, we find a multitude of characters with abilities to perform feats beyond our imagination: fly; run faster than a speeding bullet; teleport into the future; transform moist to ice; become invisible; generate electricity; regenerate from any type of injury, be it minor or major; dream of the future; paint the future (in a way, this is lame); and so on. That is what Heroes is all about – a bunch of freaks with nothing better to do with their time besides to cause mayhem or save the world.

At first sight, Heroes appears pretty refreshing when you consider all the other stuff on TV, though when you look beyond each character's power(s) you realise that most of them are 2-dimensional. There is nothing interesting about Matt Parkman other than that he can read minds. Peter Petrelli was by far the most boring of all in the first season until we found out he had the ability to copy everyone else's abilities, then things got interesting. The only engaging, 3-dimensional character in Heroes capable of stealing your affection is Hiro Nakamura.

What am I trying to say? Heroes relies too much on everyone's abilities/powers to drive a plot. Characterisation is nonexistent. If Nathan Petrelli or Peter Petrelli died, I wouldn't care, because I don't sympathise with them or what they're going through. If Dean Winchester died, I would be really sad and ticked off. See the difference?

Heroes has got a massive cool factor, no one can take that away from it. But in terms of storyline and character development, it completely falls short.

Also Heroes has never impressed me with any of its season finales. I remember season 1 when the show teased us viewers with the looming battle between Sylar and Peter. Well, that battle sucked ass. And don't get me started with season 2's finale – that one was terrible too. I expect season 3 to carry on the same tradition, after all, the show's rating in the US has plunged.

Rating: 71/2/10

Ghost Whisperer (CBS)

So this girl can see and speak to ghosts. She uses this special ability of hers to guide any ghost she comes across into the light. 9 out of 10 times in Ghost Whisperer ghosts will refuse to go into the light until they have completed an important task or tasks they failed at when they were alive, and because this girl is uber-obsessed with getting them into the light, she'll have to make time and help them with whatever they need doing.

Already in its fourth season, Ghost Whisperer is an okay show. It could be better if Jennifer Love Hewitt's character, Melinda Gordon, wasn't such a whinny little sissy all the time. I'm not wrong in saying we would all feel better if one of the ghosts she encountered slapped some sense into her and told her to stop acting like a pussy cat and man up. Or woman up. Whatever.

Every so often Melinda meets ghosts which are going through lots of pain or are in confused states over some random issue. It's pretty clear they have unfinished businesses, but rather than saying something like, 'Let me help you finish this so you can go into the light,' she says (and this is her trademark line), 'You need to go into the light. You don't belong here.'

Well, duh. What part of 'unfinished businesses' don't you understand, Melinda? Is it 'unfinished', 'businesses', or 'you're a sexy idiot'? It's very clear they're not in the light because of some issue keeping them on earth so why say something that inane, Melinda?

That line, once uttered, gets my eyes rolling sardonically in my eye sockets.

Irrespective of my criticisms you should give Ghost Whisperer a chance. You'll love it, honest. It's got an engaging storyline and better season finales than Heroes. At least that counts.

Rating: 8/10

Other shows that might interest you are:

24 (Fox): One man versus one government. Good stuff. Great stuff.

Rating: 9/10

Bones (Fox): The best show since CSI. Trust me, you'll love this one.

Rating: 9/10

House (Fox): His name is Gregory House and he's a sarcastic egomaniac who likes to grab his boss's perfectly formed butt. What more can I say? Oh yeah, he's incredibly brilliant and 10 out of 10 times, he's right.

Rating: 10/10

Prison Break (Fox): Michael Scofield is constantly being chased by the American government or a part of the American government that the rest of the American government knows not about. If Michael were in England I would say he was having these government predicaments because he forgot to pay his TV licence fees. But as the case may be, it's something significantly less serious. Good luck, Michael.

Rating: 9/10

Lost (ABC): I don't think written or spoken words can ever do Lost any justice. This is a show you absolutely must see for yourself. It never disappoints. Hell, what is that island made of? It can move? Can I get a 'Say what?'

Rating: 10/10

Merlin (BBC): The best thing BBC came up with since EastEnders. And it's absolute crap. So is EastEnders. Bite me if you can.

Rating: 5/10

Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox): John and Sarah Connor are on the run right after the events of Terminator 2, but we all know, from Terminator 3, that Skynet takes over the world and judgement day comes to fruition. It's sort of like Smallville (we know what happens to Clark Kent in the end). I sincerely hope, unlike
Smallville, the writers don't screw this up. Otherwise, great show.

Rating: 9/10

Ugly Betty (ABC): I have no idea why I watch this, really, but it's addictive for some reason. Betty, a supposedly ugly woman (even though the actress playing her is sexy as hell), somehow gets everyone to love her despite her shortcomings in the looks department. Even hot guys fall for her. Strange. Oh well, it is called fiction, right?

Rating: 9/10

Desperate Housewives (ABC): Funny, insane, drama, more drama, and even more drama. You will not be disappointed.

Rating: 9/10

If I forgot to mention your favourite show then it means either I was too bored to write about it (my fault), it's horrendous so I can't be bothered to write about it, or I haven't watched a single episode of it. But take heart – the important thing is you're happy watching it, right? Right.

Friday, 3 October 2008

My Apologies, Matt Damon vs Sarah Palin, Twilight Spoofs

It's been a long time since I posted anything on my blog and I apologise to myself for the temporary setback. I was moving houses (from Wolverhampton to Birmingham) in preparation for my Masters at the University of Birmingham, and when that was done I had to attend the freshers' week (a week set aside for new students) and a lot of lectures. A lot. I mean 5 lectures a day, 5 days a week. I'm presently working on cutting them down, believe me.

One interesting and niggling issue I have always had with packing is how things I thought gone forever pop back from the dead to surprise me with a 'Hey, remember me!' Old Manuscripts (of discarded plots that have since been re-written) jump forth from derelict corners of my room with wide Sylar-esque grins. They've been stalking me, I tell you.

The problem is I can't just chuck them into the bin for fear of someone picking them up and turning them into bestsellers (no, it doesn't matter how badly they were written – look at Twilight; not a very well written book but selling buckets of copies worldwide). I must figure out a way to get rid of them for sure. They are becoming a real pain in the behind, a reminder of how terrible my writing skill was (some would argue it hasn't changed, and some would prefer The Bold and the Beautiful to Prison Break).

Maybe I still have these manuscripts because they mean more to me than I realise. Reminders, whether good or bad, can generally be good. These manuscripts are the product of my hard work at a time when I hadn't a clue what I was doing. I admit, sometimes I glance through them and laugh. It's always pure comedy reading bad writing.

I'll probably keep them anyway.

Back to business, though. Here are some of the posts I should I put up days ago:


Matt Damon vs Sarah Palin

Ladies and gentlemen it looks like one of my favourite American actors doesn't like the idea of Sarah Palin as Vice President or President of the United States (the argument here being that McCain will be dead by the end of his first term).

"It's totally absurd and I don't understand why people aren't talking about how absurd it is."

Well Matt, people are talking now.

Twilight Spoofs

Trust me when I say you're going to have so much fun watching these videos.

Twilight movie trailer:


Breaking Dawn Review as a song:

"I lived on lots of fan-fiction, but if this book was a fan-fiction I would report it for SPAM."

Simply class.


In Breaking Dawn's defence:

"Renesme rocks! She's the coolest little girl ever - I want one!"

Oh dear.

This video really frightened me. I had nightmares for four straight nights after watching this for the first time. I propose that the United States government use this video as a torturing device. It would reap fantastic benefits, I promise.


Twilight at Comic Con (not a spoof of Twilight):

Fan support for Twilight is insane, you have to agree. But I really hope this movie doesn't tank, because if it does ... if this movie so much as sucks...

David Blaine, the amazing magician?

For those of you who haven't heard of him, David Blaine is a supposed (??) American magician and endurance artist who holds numerous world records. He has performed many idiotic – I mean – fantastic feats in the past. I'll list them below.

Buried Alive (5 April 1999): Blaine is entombed in a transparent plastic box underneath a 3-ton water-filled tank for seven days.

Frozen in Time (27 November 2000): Blaine is encased in a massive block of ice for 63 hours, 42 minutes and 15 seconds.

Vertigo (22 May 2002): Blaine is lifted onto a 90ft high and 22in wide pillar with the assistance of a crane, and remains there, standing for exactly 35 hours.

Above the Below (5 September 2003): Blaine is sealed inside a transparent Plexiglas case suspended 30ft in the air for 44 days.

Drowned Alive (1 May 2006): Blaine is submerged in an 8ft diameter, water-filled sphere for seven days and seven nights.

Revolution (19 November 2006): Blaine is shackled to a gyroscope rotating at a rate of eight revolutions per minute, hanging above an empty lot in Manhattan.

And his latest daredevil, so-magical-it-astounded-the-whole-world stunt:

Dive of Death (18 September 2008): Blaine is hung upside down without any safety net for 60 hours above Wollman Pink in Central Park.

If you would like to read more about David Blaine, go here

But, amazing magician he is? I think not. If this is what you call magic then I have definitely seen Africans in Sudan and Somalia perform greater, mind-boggling tricks than yours, Mr Blaine.

Want to convince me? How about you get shot, die and come back from the black pits of hell in two days – then I'd be most convinced. Until then, you're just a fraud for the average white man's amusement.

I end this post with a word from the illustrious Stephenie Meyer: laterz!