Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Vampire Diaries 'Monster's Ball' review: Babies having babies

I must really be a masochist. OK, here's a stream of consciousness (I apologize in advance):

Well, let's be honest: that wasn't a bad episode of The Vampire Diaries. But, then again, as I've been reiterating for this entire season, this season is just a reiteration of the show. Even Caroline is tired of having the same talk with Tyler about him leaving and having to do things elsewhere. Tyler should take the word "hi" out of his lexicon, because he's more prone to goodbyes, anyhow.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review: Lorde - Pure Heroine

Lorde is just so tired of your teenage antics and vapid pop songs. Can't a girl feel connected to something with substance? Gosh.

That's how she opens up her debut album, anyway. Lorde wants you to know that she's just bored. She's striving for something with more meaning, but continues to only find trite mainstream songs that she can't see herself in. And yet, she fantasizes about the very thing she despises. She's desperate to see what's out there, and fearful of what she may be losing in the process — her friends, her city, and her innocence.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Vampire Diaries 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' review: Ghost whisperer

When Stefan lost his memory last week, I was split pretty evenly about it. On one hand, you have what could be a trite plot twist. On the other, it could be a lot of fun having Stefan rediscover this weird world. I mean, these are people who are vampires and where a friend is dead but is making sure no one knows. That’s kind of funny, and maybe he would point out some of these oddities in a breaking-the-fourth-wall kind of way. He did do that, a bit. And then there was a lot of what was supposed to be serious that, to put this blatantly, was just hilarious. Ultimately, I struggled with whether to be much more lenient with this episode because it was, in a way, entertaining, but in the end, it failed at what it wanted to accomplish. It’s not like this is worst-episode-ever territory (the worst TVD episode is still “Into the Wild”). But it just did not live up to what it set out to do.

Monday, October 21, 2013

In defense of last night's Homeland twist

Eureka! Moment: Claire Danes in Homeland Season Three, Episode Four "Game On."
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched last night's Homeland episode titled "Game On," just stop reading.

Saul and Carrie have been working together this entire time. And plenty of people aren't buying it. Why would she react when she was alone or with people that didn't need her to put on a show for them? I like to call that the Dan Humphrey Effect.

Let's face it: Homeland season three has been anything but superb. Season one of Homeland was just absolutely fantastic. In fact, I told several people that it was "perfect." It came in a year when someone on Twitter finally made me catch up on Breaking Bad. And while I was so-very glad that they made me watch Breaking Bad, I also had to tell them that there was just no way that Homeland wasn't taking home the gold statuette on Emmy night. It was just that good.

Season three of Homeland has been something of an excruciating anomaly. While plenty of people were upset with season two, it never bothered me like season three has. It's just been, in a word, boring. A show about a bipolar CIA agent fighting terrorism should never be boring. And yet. Keep in mind, I've never ascribed to the camp that thinks Brody should have been killed off ages ago, but seeing the Brody family meander in the fringes of every episode has been irksome. For one: we know where Dana's story is headed — page six scandal. And for another: we should probably care more about the Brody family aftermath ever since Nicholas Brody was labeled a terrorist, but we don't. I think that says more about the structure of the show than it does an overwhelming majority of the audience.

But that's beside the point. On last night's Homeland, it was revealed that Saul and Carrie have been in cahoots this entire time. Alan Sepinwall called it "a hail mary pass." Linda Holmes of NPR said that it basically undoes everything we've seen for the past four episodes. I'm inclined to disagree.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

On being obsessed with Gillian Flynn

I have just finished reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. Well, I didn't just finish reading it; it has been about three days and three hours since I finally finished the novel, which ended more like a whimper than the punch I wanted it to follow through with. No matter, that's not what the point of this post is. (Though, if you want to read that short review on Goodreads, be my guest.) The point is that I hardly read anymore.

This year alone, I've read a total of three and a half books. Allow me to explain: The first book this year was The Fault in Our Stars. I had TFiOS sitting on my shelf for a good year before I ever decided to pick it up. (Side note: why do people constantly add "good" to things when they really just mean "long"? Also, can a year even be long, per sé? A year is as long as it is, which just so happens to be a year.) I fell in love with it the way I fall in love with all John Green novels. I have no idea why it took me so long to read it, but I think it may be that I kept trying to get through Will Grayson, Will Grayson just because I love John Green novels. But I just couldn't. So I picked up TFiOS and read it last spring and loved it.

Then, someone on Goodreads suggested I read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, which is overwrought and deals with incest. I didn't know what to think about it.

Needing a laugh, I decided to buy Ellen DeGeneres' latest book. It wasn't funny like the first two books. I got through half of it and said no more. This is the "half" as aforementioned.

So, after hearing about Gillian Flynn's "weird" novel Gone Girl and how it has become a #1 New York Times Bestseller more than a year and a half after it was published, I figured why not. I powered through that novel so quickly, I lost time. Reading new books takes quite an investment, so when you find an author whose voice and prose you just love, you want to cling on to them and never let go. It happened with John Green, and it happened again for me with Gillian Flynn. Halfway through the book, I knew I had to read one of her past novels — and soon.