Movie Review: Underwold Bloodwars (2016)

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Plot:Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.

Although my fondness for the franchise has not dimmed in the least, the last two Underworld films have been really bad compared to the previous three. It feels like they story has veered far off from what the original was about. Bloodwars does not mention what happened in Awakening. Apparently the human race conveniently forgot that vampires and lycans exist and just happily ceased the war that they subsequently raged on them. Seline’s daughter was spirited away by executive producers for no other reason. There are some strange new vampires that have been to the other side. Seline soon joins them and gains delightful highlights. It seems like the writers are desperately trying to replace Scott Speedman with Theo James. I’ve said it in my review of Awakening too, so please note that Theo James, for all his deliciousness, isn’t the character we want to end up with Seline. There is no one for her but Michael, and whatever issues the directors have with Scott Speedman better be resolved before the next film because no one believes the easy copout they sicced on us. I enjoy his inclusion as David, but really, give me my Michael back. Tobias Menzies as Marcus was okay. He provided the necessary antagonist, but was he really convincing? The character isn’t developed or explored. He has a terrible backstory, similar to Michael and Lucian, but he isn’t properly introduced and felt like an empty antagonist by the end of it.

Underworld Bloodwars is the sloppiest of the franchise, with bad writing and heartless performances. It certainly isn’t my favorite of the bunch, and I do hope that when the sixth film gets the light they will have a story to tell again.

Rating: 5.5/10

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Movie Review: Underworld Awakening (2012)

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Plot: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrior Selene leads the battle against humankind.  

The fourth film in the Underworld franchise, Awakening, was incidentally my first exposure to them. I watched it with my then boyfriend in cinema, and was slightly bemused by it all. It probably would have been more efficient to have watched the first three before watching the fourth, but I wasn’t as smart back then. Five years later I have now watched all five films can tell you that Awakening still isn’t my favorite film in the series. The return of Seline should have been enough to make Awakening exciting, but even Kate Beckingsale can’t save this mess.

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The biggest flaw of Awakening is that the lycans as the disgusting enemy again. Where the four previous films made a bit of effort to give a showed that the ancient war between the two species is much more than just black and white war, Awakening parrots the introduction of the very first film.

The decision to include humans and make them aware of the existence and the subsequent outbreak was an expected but disappointing decision. I was perfectly fine with a covert war continuing.

Charles Dance has such an ability to be cast as some vampire / ancient douchebag. He has a twinkle in his eye which tells me he had a lot of fun being a vampire. I enjoyed him thoroughly.

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I will take some Theo James any day, but really now, he’s no Scott Speedman. I refuse to believe Michael is dead, and even if he is brought back in the very final film, he better be bought back. I’m glad they didn’t try and push another romance here, I would have been furious – Michael and Seline for life.

Introducing a kid – also something I wouldn’t prefer but it is the natural process for Michael and Seline to have a kid. India Eisley as number 2 / Eve was quite terrifying when she transformed.

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It came as surprise during the last part of the film when you realize what is actually happening in the city. I didn’t see it coming, and I usually catch a plot twist a mile away, so that was pretty good work by the writers.

I really like how short these films are. They are mostly under two hours and works to underline that they are good and honest fun, not to be taken seriously. I am still really interested in the lore here and I think some parts of the franchise could have been better managed, but for the most part this remains a sexy, dark story of the world’s creepiest creatures.

Rating: 6.5/10

 

Movie Review: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

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Plot: An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0834001/

Rise of the Lycans is perhaps to Underworld what Tokyo Drift is to the Fast and The Furious (although not that bad). It took a risk by removing their main audience draws – Seline and Michael. Rise of the Lycans is set in long long ago where we finally get to see why Lucian embarked on his vengeful path against Viktor (Bill Nighy).

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Casting Rhona Mitra as Sonja was obviously a designed and successful choice. It is mentioned in the first film that Viktor was unable to kill Seline because she reminded him so much of his daughter, and comparing the two, both on personality and on looks I agree with Viktor – they really do share similarities.

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Michael Sheen has never struck me as a man with any appeal, and yet as Lucian I was not immune to his charms. He lost that leery look that I associate with Sheen for his work (mostly as the icky Aro in Twilight) as Lucian, for which I thanked him.

The film has its’ own version of some political commentary with the harrowing conditions the lycans are enslaved by. It is cruel and inhumane, and if there was any misconception that Viktor was a “good” vampire left, this film serves as final proof that he likely had it coming to him.

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Although not part of the main story I enjoyed Rise of the Lycans. It is probably my third favorite overall. The film at least maintains its gritty and sexy feel, something the following films never quite managed to achieve as of yet.

Rating: 7/10

 

Movie Review: Underworld (2003)

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Plot: Selene, a vampire warrior, is entrenched in a conflict between vampires and werewolves, while falling in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

Rating: 7.5/10

A peek at the IMDb scores for Underworld left me certain that I was in for cheese and melodrama and bad performances. Contrary to IMDb, I received intel from trusted persons that Underworld is hated unnecessarily by the “gurus” for whichever murky reason Hollywood powers decide a film should get poor ratings. Kate Beckingsale is front and foremost and brings forth a fantastic strong female character that is in no need of being saved. She does the saving. Seline is strong, powerful, really attractive, brooding and won’t shy away from confrontation. Miraculous qualities for a female protagonist!

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Kate Beckingsale is incredibly beautiful. I’d love to hate her on principle, but the fact is this is a really intelligent women takes on such a fierce role with energy is to be admired. Seline is a mix of power and female, and I was cheering all the way. The relationship between Michael and Selinehas impact because it doesn’t overshadow the political or war elements of the film, yet manages to demand attention when the two get a few moments of peace together.

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The lycans were terrifying. Underworld isn’t this pretty watered down Twilight-version of vampires and werewolves. The lycans live in dark shadows and haunt the decaying sewers of the city. Their leader, Lucian, has a plan and initially you are led to believe that he’s solely a villain, and as the leader of the Lycans he must be stopped at all cost. One sentence from Seline should immediately alert the watcher that things are not as they appear, because whenever a species is banned from looking into the past, there is bound to be things hidden people in power want swept under the rug.

Bring in Bill Nighy’s Viktor, whose awakening is fearful to behold. He plays the role of the Elder vampire with such pizazz it is obvious that he had the time of his life being a vampire.  Shane Brolly as Kraven is the weakest link in the story, his angle of action was really the cheesiest direction of which the other cast members steered well cleared of.

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The directing by Wiseman is excellent. The film remains gritty and gory throughout, and the atmosphere is accurately depressing. Underworld is a long one, but I didn’t mind as much as I really enjoyed it. The last few scenes, which obviously serves as the conclusion of the film is gory and blood filled, but to its’ credit I didn’t need to repress the urge to skip some of it.

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I had a surprisingly good time watching Underworld, and I’m definitely checking out the rest. They might not all be as good, but I will most certainly explore and provide feedback.

Have you seen Underworld? What is your impression?

Watched, Read, loved: March 2017

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Here is my monthly rundown of what I was up to the previous month. Right now it is still pretty much only addressing entertainment, but I hope to add some more life things into it soon too. Please feel free to comment below if you’ve seen any of these, or just to say hi!

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Southpaw (2015) – I love a good sport movie. Even though they are all pretty much the same story, I’m always caught up. It was no less with Southpaw, and even though Jake Gyllenhaal irrationally annoyed the shit out of me, I really enjoyed this one.

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Letters to Juliet (2010) – Amanda Seyfried delivers another charming performance. Objectively I know this isn’t a strong film, but it is so feel good I actually couldn’t care less about ratings. It is foolishly optimistic and cheerful, and a great film to watch if you are feeling down.

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The Wedding Singer (1998) – The 90’s atmosphere, combined with a surprisingly affable Adam Sandler and an adorable Drew Barrymore, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Definitely one of the best Adam Sandler films I’ve ever seen.

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My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) – I HATED the ending and I really disliked the main character. What a stupid movie.

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Enchanted (2007): This spectacular Disney production made me so happy when I watched it again. It is on a grand scale and very elaborate and so lovely to look at.

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Underworld (2003), Evolution (2006), Rise of the Lycans (2009), and Awakening (2012)

After years of ignorance I am finally familiarizing myself with this franchise. I had a great time with all these movies. Seline is such a strong female character and saves herself and her love more than once, and the feminist in me was cheering all the way.

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Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Continuing on this journey to watch more romantic films that are seen as classics, I got to see this. It was… okay. Hugh Grant really was quite the adorable English actor in his prime, and it is easy for him to be quietly charming. Andie McDowell also had no clue how to act. I’m not sure if she’s ever had a clue in that regard, but it really is prominent here.

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The Lucky One (2012)

The Lucky One  is not by any means the worst Nicholas Sparks film – Best of Me still holds that title – but what is most notable is the awful acting. Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron just don’t gel together. I’m forced to ask whether Zac Efron actually has a brain – there is nothing shining behind those pretty blue eyes. Sure, he’s cute and ripped, but his attempt at a tortured marine invoked less sympathy than concern about synapses firing at an appropriate rate. Schilling, yeah, also pretty bad. They also have zero chemistry and the scenes looked stage and neither actor really wanted their hands on each other. Okay, I’m done. But sheesh.

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Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island is what it was supposed to be: a nice action packed adventure with a handsome cast and a big gorilla. Ticked all the boxes for me, excellent popcorn entertainment.

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Power Rangers (2017)

I had not planned going to cinema for this. I would have preferred John Wick, but I was sorely outvoted by a bunch of 30 year old men who wanted to watch Power Rangers. There is something to be said for nostalgia. I ended up having a decent enough time – I  was unaware up until this point that Power Rangers could be made into something that resembles a non-cheesy film. I’m still shocked.

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The Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts: Stars of Fortune, Bay of Sighs and Island of Glass

I read these three books in the span of two weeks and I don’t regret one second of it. It is the most fun I’ve had in ages with Nora Roberts’ fantasy work.

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Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (JK Rowling)

The penultimate book in the best series to have ever been written is overshadowed in intensity only by the last book. Half Blood Prince is consistently one of my favorites. It features the more mature trio, naturally Dumbeldore’s death and the discovery of the reason behind Voldemort’s apparent immortality.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling)

Horace Slughorn returning to the castle to fight, Snape’s secret, Fred dying, Lupin and Tonks, Colin Creevy being tiny in death, Kreacher’s bullfrog voice, Dobby’s death, Hagrid throwing MacNair, Molly vs. Bellatrix– the last hundred pages of this book is nonstop goosebumps. I get tears in my eyes every time. Every. Single. Time. Deathly Hallows binds every single event that occurred in Potter from the very first page of The Philosopher’s Stone to the very last page of Deathly Hallows in a neat bow. This is truly the best thought out work I’ve ever read by an author.

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Angel’s Fall (Nora Roberts)

I really enjoy reading through my Nora collection at least once a year. Right now I’m with Reece and Brody, and I particularly enjoy the book – I like both main characters, the setting, the plot and development of said plot.

Book Review: From Dead to Worse (Charlaine Harris)

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Book #8 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Chronicles

What I liked:

There were some stories that hopefully came to a close, and I was thankful for that. Alcide becoming packmaster was finally one of them. At this stage you need a large dose of being able to deal with a lot of fantasy, because the were war and Sam turning into a lion was quite a lot to handle. I also liked that Eric got his memory back to the time he spent in Sookie’s house, and hopefully they will get together some time soon.

Some of my favorite characters were included a bit more. Sam definitely springs to mind, as I really like him. I don’t I think that he and Sookie would work out, but he is an enjoyable, affable guy without too many chips on his shoulders, completely unlike the other supernatural creatures. We also had some more Eric. Reading the novels just proves what an excellent casting Alexander Skarsgard was for this character – the look and the attitude is spot on, and I honestly can’t think of anyone else who would have been a better fit.

The characters I appreciate less – especially Bill and Sophie-Anne, were featured very little or not at all. Bill really only had a few pages where he showed remorse and wanted Sookie back etc. etc. Sophie finally met her end, and I was really not that sorry to bid her farewell.

I was also really happy when they turned Bob back to his human form. That was stupid to the ninth degree, and I am glad it’s done. I’m fine with Amanda as a character, but this part was way too grating.

What I didn’t like:

The story escalates in incredibility and preposterous some more. I think the worst is Sookie being 1/8 fairy, and the inclusion of her grandfather Niall. There really isn’t a need for more supernatural beings at this point, and it is getting tiring to read about it.

The conclusion with Quinn – I thought he was a good character and thought he was both human and supernatural enough to deal with Sookie and all her shit. She basically ends up dumping him because he has family problems, and that is a really mean thing to do.

Jason and Crystal have to be two of the most boring and grating characters in these books. Hotshot was always a strange decision to include, and I hoped that after Sookie turned down Calvin Norris they would move on to better things. However, it was just another case of Poor-Sookie-needs-to-get-involved, and it was exhausting. The whole crushing of fingers business added some more stupidity – it was marketed as this dangerous treatment and ended up as a mild joke considering the Panthers heal so fast.

Sookie saving everyone – at the Were war, Eric and Sam and the New King, taking Octavia in, breaking Calvin’s fingers. Man, this girl loves the drama too much.

Rating: 7/10

From Dead to Worse was a much more enjoyable read than the previous book in the series. I generally liked everything more and getting to read about some of my favorite characters a bit more cheered me right up. I thought the idea of Niall and fairies are still an impressive waste of my time, and hope they disappear in the next book!

Book review: All Together Dead (Charlaine Harris)

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Book #7 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Chronicles

What I liked:

Quinn. I’m still rooting for this guy, but it is quickly becoming clear that Sookie is not going to end up with him because she’s a judgmental cow. He’s still all manly and I love that, and felt a bit sorry that he wasn’t all that present in this book.

Sookie and Barry saving people after the terrorist attack – for once Sookie’s powers were actually helpful to the world and she didn’t use it to gather pity for herself.

What I didn’t like:

The summit. The major event of the seventh book grated on me. For creatures that have been living for thousands of years the vampires can be quite stupid. Having a summit is obviously a stupid idea.

Sophie Anne’s trial was marketed through the entire book and ended up being a few pages.

How many things want to happen in one book? Was the author bored and decided now’s the time to have an attack every five to ten pages? The bomb, the massive attack, the fact that Sookie is made the heroine every time she enters a building and finally Sookie and Barry saving everyone with their magnificent abilities piled up page after page and I think the book should have been called “A book of events more improbable than Vampires existing”

Sookie judging Quinn for his past was a bit high handed for someone who is in her position. I’m still very for team Quinn, but I acknowledge now that Sookie has enough suitors to start with.

Rating: 6.5/10

I think this was the book where I stopped reading the last time around and I realize why – there is nothing strong about this book and one of the worst in the entire series. The Vampire Summit was ridiculous to the extreme and was just – ugh. That said, I really find these novels so much fun. They are adulty without being Mills and Boon, the vampires aren’t wimps and they have a huge appeal while remaining true to a lot of the lore that has always surrounded them, and the characters end up being wildly entertaining most of the time – especially Pam and Eric, my two favorites. I read on quite a bit after this, because these books are excellent when you just want something basic to read.

Book Review: Definitely Dead (Charlaine Harris)

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Book #6 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Chronicles

Plot: Since Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has so few living relatives, she hates to lose one – even her cousin Hadley, undead consort of the vampire Queen of Louisiana. Hadley’s left everything she has to Sookie, but claiming that inheritance has a high risk factor. Some people don’t want her looking too deeply into Hadley’s past, or Hadley’s possessions. And they’re prepared to do anything in their power to stop her. Whoever it is, they’re definitely dangerous – and Sookie’s life is definitely on the line…

Rating: 7/10

I reviewed these books way back here, and boy, I seemed to have hated it quite a bit back then. It sucks, because I really seemed to enjoy it this time around. I was a bit worried that I would get confused because I started in the middle of the series, but luckily Harris doesn’t mind reminding her readers of previous events (incessantly so) and repeating information all the time here and there. Is Definitely Dead a literary masterpiece? Oh hell no. What it has is very grownup vampire business, and it a significant amount of sexy time in it, and the characters have a way of talking southern that is so obvious that the author really wanted them to sound southern. So if you don’t mind some hillbilly vampires, you are headed in for a good time.

Anyway, I enjoyed the following:

Quinn – he comes across as so big and masculine and human. I liked that. I know the whole story is mostly about Sookie and vampires, but this guy was at least partly human and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Let me just say it – totally my type of guy.

Bill fessing up to his true reasons for arriving in Bon Temps. I am so not team Bill, I’ll tell you that. He’s just too ick and grouchy and needy and a general pain in the ass. Sookie is welcome to choose Eric, Quinn, Alcide or even Sam Merlotte, but I won’t deal with her ultimately choosing Bill.

Sookie having fairy blood – her breakdown about it was super annoying but I did appreciate it that it explained the attraction all the supernatural creatures had towards her.

The books are surprisingly well written. Like I said, no masterpiece, but it doesn’t drag and the characters aren’t insufferable. I really hated Tara in the TV series, but she is much more tolerable in the books. Pretty much everyone is more tolerable in the books – even Bill – because I felt suicidal every time Stephan Moyer said “soookie” in the series. UGH.

What I didn’t like:

It annoyed my quite a bit that so many things happen to Sookie. Yep, I get that she’s the heroine and I get that things need to happen to move the plot along, but sheesh, if someone isn’t killing her cousin they are trying to kill her. The attack on Sookie and Quinn by the young vampires?Quinn taking her to that strange bar? Is he a dumb dumb? Like WHY? Jake Purifoy? I mean come on, he was written into the story for absolutely no reason – and I’m not on board with what happens with him in the next book either. I think adding so many witches was the first mistake Charlaine Harris made in this series – You can only pile so many supernatural creatures into a book and expect it to work out.

I also have some grief with the Queen of Louisiana. If we can focus on the little fact that there is a vampire Queen for Louisiana first. It is so preposterous. I have no idea about the gross capital income of that State or even its’ size, but allocating a Queen to it seems quite severe. And then her name is Sophie-Anne LeClerq. I understand that I’m dealing with a book where the main character’s name is Sookie Stackhouse, but I need good names for characters or I always feel a little bit done in. Sophie-Anne is also a bit of a pain and seems to have no real reason for her inclusion in the story except for Sookie to meet hot men, get rich and travel. Okay, apparently I need a Sophie-Anne in my life, so there we go.

I didn’t like that Alcide was just cut from the book. I love me some Alcide man. The fact that they chose to keep the Pelt melodrama and chuck Alcide was yet another bad choice, but anyhoo.

It sounds like I wasn’t all that fond of the book – but I actually was! It is in a nutshell some very vacant reading, it doesn’t require any brainpower (I have none to spare while exams are ongoing) and the story is fun. If I can deliver some honesty here, while I am MUCH more tolerant of Twilight than the usual populace on the internet, I do think the idea of virgin 100-year vampires is ludicrous. The vampires might have zero sexual inhibition in The Southern Vampire Mysteries, but at least that is more believable than all that prudishness.

Have you read the Southern Vampire Mysteries, and in particular Definitely Dead? What is your opinion of the book? Let me know!

Series Review: Vampire Diaries Season 3

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What I liked:

The flashbacks to Chicago during the prohibition era. I really enjoy when the show makers do flashbacks – they are really well done in the show. It is good to understand a little why Klaus wants Stefan to travel with him and is the first glimpse that Klaus might have some redeeming qualities to him.

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Damon in this season is on fire. He is his usual gorgeous self and as alluring as always, but he has matured and has changed his game plan when it comes to Elena, realizing that the only way he would ever get to her would be through honesty and a fair fight with Stefan.

Jeremy’s shorter hair. Can this count as something I liked? He looks much more grown up and I am so glad that floppy nonsense is gone. The character is much more stable and that can only be a good thing. I’m happy that he leaves for a bit because his story gets a bit much at times.

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Caroline and Tyler. This is my second favorite relationship for Caroline. Actors Candice Accola and Michael Trevino certainly have enough chemistry to make their relationship plausible. I also really enjoy how far Tyler has come. He was the world’s biggest high school jock jackass punk in season one, but becoming a werewolf and dealing with everything that went down (and nearly killing Damon, FFS), made him grow up and take accountability for what he does.

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Claire Holt as Rebekah Mikaelson. She’s annoying, that is for sure, but the character is the female version of Klaus – powerful and paranoid and worried that no one loves them.

I’m still wishing that Alaric Saltzman was my teacher in high school. Not only would he have been really nice to look at, but he is badass and besties with Damon. I mean really, what more do you want from a teacher? I like that he isn’t the together guy we met in Season one and how he lost most of his ability to cope – not blaming him, his wife and girlfriend have at this point been and been killed as vampires, something that would mess most people up quite badly. His friendship with Damon is still sob worthy and beautiful, and his death made me so mad the first time around – how many people must Damon still lose?! Losing him caused a lot of pain for Elena and Damon, and the lead up to his death was so heart

Klaus – man, after killing Jenna at the end of Season 2 I thoroughly hated him. The hate is still quite strong in the beginning of season two, and his actions remain deplorable, but as the season continues you start getting a glimpse of why he is like he is, and that he is lonely and terrified of Michael. Klaus’ puppy like devotion to Caroline is gut wrenching, and can we just discuss this whole scene?!

Which brings me to Michael –I think he was legitimately badass and worthy of scaring Klaus shitless. But we can hate him thoroughly whilst we admire him, because he is the main reason vampires exist and why Klaus is the way he is. The big reveal that although he isn’t Klaus’ father, he is the father of all the other Originals, was clever and really well done. His death is also really fiery and awesome, and the tension that is in the air with the last standoff between Klaus and Mikhael is electrifying. It is also one of Joseph Morgan’s best moments in the show – the heartache and disillusionment of not being loved by his father figure is heartbreaking to behold.

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Klaus and Caroline. I do enjoy Caroline and Tyler together, and the only way I would chose her to be with someone else at this point is with Klaus. She will always speak her mind, and he really is a guy that needs it. The scene below is one of the sweetest in the entire series, and it broke my heart just a little. If you haven’t seen the show yet, I think this is the first real time where you start to wonder if Klaus has redeeming qualities.

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Elena – the girl has grown. She’s angrier and feels violent towards her blood bag fate. Her character is so much stronger than in seasons one and two, and we finally see some progression.

This. Kiss.

What I didn’t like:

How many times must Caroline go through the same drama of a parent that wants to kill her? Her father pitching, THANKS CAROL, and trying to exorcise the vamp out of his daughter. At this stage it is feeling quite repetitive and unnecessary. Her father also – there was such a magnitude of possible ideas around him – that repelling compulsion without vervain? That could have been an incredible story line.

Jeremy seeing the dead. Why did the showrunners feel inclined to even include this? I couldn’t cope (again) with all the Bonnie business, and especially seeing Vicki back – I really hated the character. I did enjoy having Anna on again, she was quite cool and I really wanted her and Jeremy to work.

Bonnie – I’m bitching here again as I’ve done in the two previous seasons, but she’s whiney, entitled and really very bitchy towards her friends. She wears her witch crown like it’s a cross and it is too much to bear at the best of times.

Can I just ask why being an evil female is automatically equated with being slutty? Katherine? She’s all over every man available and the same seems to be going for Rebekah. Just an idea, but having an evil agenda doesn’t have to mean you want to bang everyone.

Matt, who is quickly becoming obsolete.

Rating: 8.5/10

I’ve always considered the second and third season of Vampire Diaries my favorites of the lot. The original story line was intact and they didn’t have to do any major modifications to keep things going. Overall this show has always had decent writing and production, and they’ve stayed consistent in the way they depict their supernatural creatures (I’m looking at you, True Blood). My favorite character in this show will always be Damon – so many layers. The third season has him becoming so much better, and it is probably mushy but I like how he can’t help being a better person because of Elena. The only other character that I have come to love almost as much is Klaus – talk about damaged and insecure, and his development throughout the show is fascinating and so good. My favorite female character is still Caroline – I’ve been on her team since season 1. I love that Klaus has a soft spot for her – the only chink in his armor. I really did like season 3!

Series Review: Vampire Diaries Season 1

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What I liked:

  • Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert. It had to be a nearly impossible task to cast a beautiful woman in a “perfect girl” role and keep it on a level where people would still like her and not want to cut her up and sell her organs on the black market (that went really dark and violent, sorry). Nina Dobrev walks that line with seeming ease, because I don’t often want to murder her character out of jealous rage.

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  • How beautiful the cast is. Seriously, no-one is ugly. Even the hardcore-prototype-cop-mom Liz Forbes is beautiful. They all make me sick. But I need to watch them be beautiful.
  • It is very different from Twilight. This released in the height of the Twilight phenomenon and the only thing it took over was the animal diet and the walking in the sun thing. Elena is blessed with more personality than Bella ever was and the relationship she’s in is neither as controlling nor as oppressive as the Edward/Bella vibe. Also, no man falling in love with baby. There is even this delightful little snarky comment to it:
  • Damon Salvatore – the character, the actor, it all. Ian Somerhalder looks as uncomfortable in the first episode as I do at work birthday parties, but he grows into his character by the third or fourth episode. Everyone hates Damon in the beginning, especially with his killing spree that includes a teacher and his brother’s best friend. But what made Damon the way he is? It breaks my little soft heart all the time! Also, the eyes on Somerhalder makes that grief his grief relatable. YUM.

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  • The way the vampire’s eyes look when they change. It is ridiculously hot.
  • Lexi – gosh I loved that character. I can forgive so much from Damon but this is the one thing that I will always be angry at him for. Lexi is one of the only things that made Stefan happy, and Damon’s idea to kill her to cover himself and Stefan was really selfish. I absolutely love Arielle Kebbel, and she would have made the best addition to this show as a permanent cast member.

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  • Vampire Caroline. No one enjoyed Caroline as the preppy teenager, but becoming a vampire is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
  • Mason Lockwood. It boggles my mind that this man is engaged to Lady Gaga, really it does. I think the biggest problem between him and Damon was that they were both the same, and that the testosterone driven competitiveness just made them both idiots.

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What I didn’t like/wish they explored a bit more:

  • The pilot episode is quite bad for several reasons. The acting is first and foremost godawful. It improves over the course of season one, but that first 45 minutes is painful. Ian Somerhalder looks uncomfortable in his skin when he appears at the end of season one. Poor Caroline (honestly one of my favorite characters of the show) is presented as preppy and awful, and while she’s preppy, she’s not awful.
  • Vicky Donovan – I could never attach to the actress and I still can’t. I was glad when they killed her off. Sorry not sorry.
  • Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett: what a weak and annoying character – you are a witch for Pete’s sake, grow a pair.
  • The whole crow arc that is in the books was touched on briefly and never really taken any further. It is a shame, because it could have been sufficiently creepy/eerie and is about the only thing that works in those terribly written books.
  • Stefan Salvatore is the Sam Winchester of his tribe. Whine whinewhine, blame humanity, whine some more. Ugh. Hearing his internal thoughts at the beginning of the episode makes me feel so violent. Though this scene worked wonders in redeeming the character… I mean oh my goodness.

Rating: 7/10

After a shaky pilot episode Vampire Diaries Season one is so much fun to watch. The characters have surprising depth, there are a few twists and turns that manage to be shocking. The level of teen drama is quite high and everyone is very dramatic, but it is really entertaining and rather intense.

VDS11