{May 7, 2012}   Shows I Can’t Stand, but Watch Anyways – Part 2

1) Revenge

I hate it. I love it. Who are we kidding, I can’t get enough of it. The story line is wrought with twists and turns. I watch every episode wondering what the new cliff hanger is going to be… and yet. Yet, it’s almost too much. You’re telling me that Daddy Dearest was able to anticipate the motives, thoughts, and actions of people twenty years in advance in order to properly prepare his daughter for revenge? Am I to believe that this little pampered girl, spent some time in foster care and juvie and all of sudden is cunning and wily enough to take down all of these sophisticated businessmen, and women, who have made it a way of life to be deceitful. I think not. I think not.

Though I love the storyline, I don’t tune in every week. I HULU (yes, I’ve turned it into a verb) the show about once every other week. I need time to digest the new cliff hanger, and shocking information revealed. I also need time to stomach the over acting. It’s no surprise that many of the lead actors hail from soap operas, teen dramas, and other overacting-type shows (Everwood, Brothers & Sisters,  Roswell, Gossip Girl, etc.) and former models (Gabriel Mann aka Nolan Ross) . In fact, my favorite characters are the most trained, though I didn’t know it when I developed an affinity for them: Madeline Stowe, who plays Victoria Grayson. Madeline Stowe has some training from the University of Southern California in film and cinema. However, she has appeared in a number of episodes and TV movies over the course of a quarter century. I often think that some of the better actors are the ones who have had the opportunity to play a myriad of characters. Stowe is definitely one of those people. This is really the first time she has been a series regular in a television series. I hope she doesn’t get stuck in a rut and basically lose the ability to change with each role (i.e. Tom Cruise — but that’s a different post).

The other character I enjoy is Ashley Davenport played by Ashley Madekwe. It was no surprise to me, when I learned that she was classically trained at the Brit School of Performing Arts (an extremely prestigious performing arts academy, notable alumni are Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, and Kate Nash) and is an alumni of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Iwan Rheon, from Misfits, also studied with LAMDA. I should also note that Josh Bowman is also a British trained actor. While none of the lead male characters are reason enough for me tune in, I think Bowman’s character, Daniel Grayson, is my favorite of the men… go figure.

Side Note:My absolute favorite of the male characters is Courtney B. Vance, but he isn’t a regular nor a lead.

Hence, once again, I continue watching, mostly for the performances of specific actors, or in this case actresses… and the twists. I think I’m waiting to see how ridiculous the show can get.

2) The Vampire Diaries

I’m late on the vampire front. I wasn’t really a Twilight fan (Gasp). I only recently got into Anne Rice, who is the better of all the vampire writers, (recently being 10 years ago when Aaliyah was Queen of the Damned)… Almost 25 years too late. However, I stumbled onto the Vampire Diaries, because I woke up in the middle of the night and caught an episode. I spent almost a week catching up on the season. Once I started I couldn’t stop!

For a teen drama, I find myself not rolling my eyes nearly as much as I thought I would. Some of the initial appeal was Nina Dobrev. I admit it, the Degrassi connection was there. The whole savior of the world story line is a little much and very cliché (Side note: I think it says something about our youth driven liberal culture that seems to reject religion, yet is constantly recreating the Judeo-Christian storyline). Also, the actors are somewhat melodramatic. One thing I enjoyed was the brooding sexual tension between Damon and Elena, come to find out their dating in real life… Oh I get it. That’s just real sexual tension. LOL!

Paul Wesley, plays Stefan Salvatore, I like him well enough but he lacks facial expressions. For someone who got his start in soap opera’s (Guiding Light) he hasn’t really mastered non-verbal acting. I mean sure he has the intense brooding stare down, but you can even switch that up. If I wasn’t listening to the dialogue I would have no clue about what is happening with him and that is a shame. To be honest it  kind of bugs me. Most of his intense stares in the beginning just came off as stalker-ish and creepy. I’m not sure a girl like Elena would have fallen for a guy who so obviously wears eyeliner. Overall, I don’t have any deep criticisms of the show mostly because it doesn’t try to be anything but what it is. A teen drama. Really, it made the list because I have some continuity questions and questions bug me (… that and my pure shame at enjoying such an obvious teen drama compels me to put it on the list to save face).

a) If vampires can hear so well how come simple things like stepping outside or turning on a blender can interfere with their bat sonar hearing?  On the same note, why are they still surprised by people who come around the corner or ease drop on them from behind a wall or in another room? They can’t hear  them breathing?

b) Why was Elijah (Episode Title: Rose)  able to tell that Elena was the doppelgänger by sniffing her and realizing that she was human? Why were the Salvatore brothers unable to smell that Katherine wasn’t human and therefore, was not Elena?

c) Also related to Kathrine, why didn’t anyone notice the hair change? Curls like that take time, you just saw her a few minutes ago, wouldn’t you notice different hair? Also, why didn’t anyone set up a code word, how hard would that have been?

d) Why are all the witches Black? Are the writers trying to say something? I get many have been related to Bonny, and the writers didn’t have enough imagination to think that a Black witch could have White relatives, especially when her lineage intertwines with the American Slave Era  (two words: Thomas Jefferson or Sally Hemming… It happens).

e) Why was Caroline’s transition to a vampire so quick when everyone else seemed to evolve slowly overtime? I mean she woke up craving blood… Who does that?

f) When Katherine was in the tomb, how come it took both Damon and Stefan to move the rock that covered the entryway, when Caroline was able to open it without much struggle by herself, when Elena went to see Katherine? If they are older and stronger shouldn’t it have only take one of them?

There are more continuity questions, but those are the one’s that really bugged me.

Overall though, I keep coming back for the cliff hangers. I love them. It’s funny, when CW cut The Game for more teeny boppy shows I was through with the network. Seriously, I didn’t watch the channel for almost two years, but now they are my guilty pleasure… ssshhh… don’t tell anyone.


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