Sunday, June 03, 2012

an update! on ... tv?

Lately, I've been catching up on TV. And I'm not going to feel guilty about that. Because, no output without input, right? I've found that I get more ideas for my stories when I read or expose myself to as many narratives as I can.

So here's what I've been preoccupied with:


It's a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classics, with all the essential characters (Holmes and Watson, Mycroft Holmes, Irene Adler, Mrs Hudson, Moriarty and Officer Lestrade) and their idiosyncracies. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a convincing Sherlock Holmes, and Martin Freeman brings a new depth to the character of Dr John Watson. The nineteenth century narratives are re-adapted to relevancy in the twenty-first, while retaining their original keen wit and bringing greater urgency to the story. There've been two seasons so far - the third will only be out next year (ye gods!) - and each season only has three hour and a half-long episode. I need some SHERLOCK already!


Grimm's another modern adaptation of the Grimm brothers' classic tales, this time with detectives Nick Burkhardt and Hank Griffin. Nick is a Grimm, one who descended from a long line of hunters who see monsters where normal people wouldn't. It's essentially a cop drama with supernatural elements, yanking out those monsters from under the bed and bringing the bad and the ugly to fairytales. So far (I'm at episode 16 of season 1), they're still churning out the monster-of-the-week type of storyline, but there's an overarching, more sinister (cue dramatic music), narrative thread. I was a little hesitant about this show initially, but boredom drove me to take another chance on it. And while it's no SUPERNATURAL (I still think that show is unparallelled in screenwriting), it makes for suitable entertainment.

(Oh, and just in case you need a reminder of how amazing SUPERNATURAL is, here you go:



Oops, I mean this:

But the main reason is really Ian Somerhalder. Well, you know me.

I know, I know. Yet another vampire story with two pretty boys and a damsel in distress. How is this contributing to the progress of women and our cultural landscape. I did swear I will never watch this show. TWILIGHT was enough, thank you very much. (To think I had been obsessed with that franchise.) But VAMPIRE DIARIES exceeded my expectations. I took a shot at it, intending to just feast my eyes on Ian Somerhalder even if everything else is going to be disappointing, but there are some bright moments in the three episodes I've watched so far. Sure, there were some cliched moments (the vampire element itself is a cliche, given these times of Stephenie Meyer) and cliched phrases:

Stefan: For over a century, I have lived in secret. Hiding in the shadows, alone in the world. Until now. I'm a vampire and this is my story.
Stefan: Everything I've kept buried inside came rushing to the surface.

But there are also some redeeming moments like this:

Elena: People are going to stop giving you breaks, Jeremy. They just don't care any more. They don't remember that our parents are dead; they have their own lives to deal with. The rest of the world has moved on. You should try to.
Jeremy: I've seen you in the cemetery writing in your diary. Is that supposed to be you moving on?


Stefan: It's been 15 years, Damon.
Damon: Thank God! Couldn't take another day of the 90's. That horrible grunge look did not suit you. Remember, Stefan, it's important to stay away from fads.

And then there's a mix of cliches and redeeming moments:

Elena's diary:
Dear Diary, Today will be different. It has to be. I will smile, and it will be believable. My smile will say, "I'm fine, thank you. Yes, I feel much better." I will no longer be the sad little girl that lost her parents. I will start fresh, be someone new. It's the only way I'll make it through.

Dear Diary, I made it through the day. I must have said "I'm fine, thanks" at least 37 times. And I didn't mean it once. But no one noticed. When someone asks "How are you?", they really don't want an answer.

Plus, they've got a rocking soundtrack. Ross Copperman, Ternt Dabbs, Peter Bradley Adams... Need I say more?

So I guess you can say ... I'm hooked. On yet another vampire franchise. But I think it's safe to say VAMPIRE DIARIES is better than TWILIGHT.


And can I just say that this cycle's winner is my absolute favourite so far! Sophie Sumner, from Britain's Next Top Model Cycle 5, was second runner-up to some girl called Mecia. But her loss led her to something even better, and winning ANTM she's gained so much more experience and the prizes are way better than those offered by BNTM.

Here's Sophie, by the way:

Here she is rocking pink hair, which she was really excited about during the makeover on the show:

And here's she with Emma Watson:

I've had several favourites on the show, like Raina Hein from cycle 14, Jane Randall from cycle 15 and Nicole Fox from cycle 13. But Sophie has to be my absolute favourite out of all the cycles I've watched so far. She's smart (she's from Oxford, which is probably how she met Emma, I'm guessing), funny and low-drama - generally a very bubbly, likeable and positive person. Like a little fairy with the spirit of a pixie. Plus, I absolutely ADORE her style. I mean, look at this dress she has on!

So that's it on my obsessions for now. Till next time!

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