‘iZombie’ and the Blaine situation

“iZombie” has been the best show the CW has to offer since it began. It’s mix of humor, drama and crime solving has always been flawlessly delivered by a stellar cast.

One member of that stellar cast is David Anders who has played the vicious, cold-hearted Blaine since the start. Blaine was established from the very beginning as a villain and his actions over the seasons have only solidified that he’s a villain meant to be a character you love to hate.

Near the end of last season however, “iZombie” made its first real story misstep giving Blaine amnesia and putting him in a relationship with Peyton. A story that’s continued into its current season.

This isn’t really about the Blaine/Peyton/Ravi love triangle, though not a fan I get that Peyton doesn’t deserved to be judged for sleeping with Blaine when she did. She didn’t know who he was really or what he’d done, she wasn’t with Ravi. (Though I could probably write a whole other piece about the nonsense of that love triangle: both Ravi and Peyton have made mistakes, but non so damning that Ravi, the man of color, is framed to be the mess up while Blaine, the white homicidal maniac, is alright). It’s such a CW plotline, a thing iZombie has usually been above and avoided.

This is more about the simple fact that by giving Blaine amnesia and having a woman who’s been fairly sensible and strong fall for him they’re actively trying to make us forget that he’s not a good person. Prior to his amnesia Blaine showed no regard for others nor any remote desire to redeem himself in any way. Then enter the amnesia and since he can’t remember he was horrible he tries to be less horrible.

Personally, amnesia storylines are one of the most overused and unnecessary trope storylines especially when used in this context. It’s similar to when “True Blood” gave Eric amnesia and had Sookie fall for the amnesia ridden version of him. Somehow amnesia made her also actively forget the terrible things he’d done.

Blaine DeBeers is a murderer and manipulator who’s used harming others for his own gains his whole life, but especially so since becoming a zombie. Now the show seems to be retconning these facts (or attempting to) for both the audience and the characters themselves, sans Ravi who’s not having any of it.

It’s not a personal desire to see Peyton with Ravi or anything of that nature (Ravi could do better honestly), it’s the simple fact that all these characters are smarter and deserve better than to seemingly forgive a man like Blaine just because he’s lost his memory.

He’s still the man who murdered kids that Major was in charge of looking after, he’s still the man who murder Lowell a man Liv loved, he’s still the man who’s largely responsible for Major being a zombie (remember how he tried to murder him?), he’s still the man who’s killed and turned and blackmailed an unknown number people. He did none of that for survival or self-defense, he did it all simply because it made him rich and he could. Amnesia doesn’t change that, and doesn’t change the personal crimes he’s commited against these characters.

Just because he’s charming, good looking and has been given amnesia doesn’t mean we the audience or the characters have to or should forgive him. He didn’t choose this ‘redemption’ and once he gets his memory back (if he does) it’s likely he’ll revert to his old ways, especially with his father and Don E threatening everything he’s built.

Where are Liv and Major warning Peyton and completely distrusting him as they always have? How is Liv expected to look a man in the eye who she watched murder her boyfriend in cold blood? Where’s Clive in general in this mess? Cause we know he’d be on Ravi’s side in holding onto good old fashioned distrust of Blaine.

Think of it this way if Ted Bundy suddenly got amnesia would all be forgiven and you start dating him?

Maybe this is too quick to judge, but it’s been done on so many shows before it’s hard not to recognize the pattern. “iZombie” airs on the CW on Tuesdays @ 9/8c.

Popular shows on the bubble: what deserves renewal and what maybe doesn’t

As we approach the end of the season for many shows a number of networks have yet to make officials decisions on some longer-running established shows. But do all these bubble shows deserve a renewal or is it time to let some go? And will they even get them if they deserve the chance?

New Girl

The producers of “New Girl” were well prepared since mid-season for the fact that they might not get a renewal and it showed in their satisfying season finale. That being said though the finale was satisfactory bringing Nick and Jess back together finally and announcing Cece’s pregnancy the long-running comedy deserves a shot at one last ride. If for nothing else we all absolutely need to see what a Winston Bishop wedding looks like. Renewal seems likely, though chances are the renewal will be a short order final season.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

If there’s any comedy on TV right now that doesn’t get the respect it deserves and deserves at least a seven season run its “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” While “B99” has always been a show living on the bubble it has managed to survive through to its current fourth season. That being said things aren’t looking good after Fox’s decision to have an excessive long mid-season break and now the decision to double episodes to finish out the season. It deserves a renewal more than any other comedy on TV.

Gotham

Much like “B99” Fox sent “Gotham” away for a long mid-season break that ends Monday. The comic book inspired series has been at its best this past season especially with its rise of Ed Nygma, Barbara Kean and Tabitha Galavan. While no renewal has come through yet it’s likely the heroes and villains of Gotham City will return for a fourth season.

The Originals

The CW is notoriously known for quick renewals and low ratings. If you’re on the CW as a mid-season series and haven’t been renewed by your fifth episode it’s concerning, hence why “The Originals” is sitting heavily on the bubble. The “Vampire Diaries” spin-off is having an incredible current season in terms of story and characters, probably it’s best yet but the ratings have not been reflecting that. It truly deserves another season, if for no other reason to wrap up, but it’s currently sitting in a spot it could go either way.

iZombie

Much like “The Originals” the lack of an early renewal on CW is concerning. “iZombie” is the best show on the network, but often the most underappreciated as well. Though personally certain plots in the current season have been less than desirable (i.e. Blaine’s amnesia, the love triangle nonsense), the show overall is still worthy of a shot at continuing on. The question is does the CW still find it lucrative especially with its ever-growing DC superhero landscape? Much like “The Originals” it could truthfully go either way.

Agents of SHIELD

Since moving to a new timeslot this year “AOS” hasn’t performed as well which is ironic considering it’s been better this season, especially this current second half of the season with the LMD and Framework storylines, than it’s ever been in its four season run. The Marvel series has long been a show  with incredible characters, but less than impressive overarching storylines, that’s changed lately but the ratings haven’t reflected that (seeing a theme with a number of these shows?). It deserves another shot at a new season and being Marvel you’d think it’d be safe, but ABC proved it’s not scared to cancel Marvel shows last season with it’s horrible axing of “Agent Carter.”

Once Upon A Time

“OUAT” has had an interesting and let’s be honest cheesy six year run and of all the long-running bubble shows it’s probably the only one that really doesn’t need another year. Truthfully logic and the actual use of fairy tale stories flew out the window seasons ago. With the wedding of the one couple it seems fans still care about coming soon and a lot of stories (sensibly or not) being wrapped up if “Once” doesn’t make its return next season it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

Also, NBC has yet to decide the fate of freshman comedies “Powerless” and “Trial and Error,” the latter fell flat but could go either way on renewal and sadly though “Powerless” absolutely deserves a chance at a second season things aren’t looking too promising.

Most decisions will be made by early May at the latest so soon we’ll find out the fate of some fan favorite shows.

Why we should be talking about ‘Power Rangers’ LGBTQ+ rep more than “Beauty and the Beast”

Recently two films got a lot of attention for their first time LGBTQ+ representation. And after seeing both “Beauty and the Beast” and “Power Rangers” this weekend, the one that got the more attention definitely was given too much credit.

Being bisexual I welcome any and all representation, but I saw so many people talking about how Disney was introducing its first ever queer character in Le Fou, Gaston’s sidekick, while I saw only one article discussing the fact that “Power Rangers” was introducing the first ever queer superhero on the big screen.

Sure, “Power Rangers” didn’t have Trini blatantly state her sexuality or have a love interest (not that there was time for that), but they made it clear she was not straight, while if I hadn’t heard about Le Fou in the media prior to seeing the film I never would have noticed it. It’s never acknowledge directly in dialogue and  the moment that had conservative southern moms boycotting the film where Le Fou dances with another man is roughly two seconds long and barely noticeable.

You can’t really compare the two considering “Power Rangers” not only more directly acknowledged it but also had representation in more way than one with an actually diverse cast, including Trini who is played by Mexican American actress Becky G.

Disney and Disney owned properties have had the chance to go there before with LGBTQ+ representation, most recently with obvious space husbands Chirrut and Baze in “Rogue One” or definitely not just bros being bros Finn and Poe in “The Force Awakens.” Not to mention Marvel seems to refuse to use any of their canonly queer characters in their films or actively interpret any of the Steve, Bucky and/or Sam scenes the way the rest of us have.

“Power Rangers” is likely to become a franchise where in future films Trini’s character and sexuality can be explored more, whereas there won’t ever be another live action “Beauty and the Beast.”

The point is there’s representation for representations sake, which is what Disney gave us with a highly publicized queer character who’s sexuality was never really blatantly acknowledged, whereas “Power Rangers” actually gave intersectional representation that has potential to grow in the future.

 

A farewell to ‘The Vampire Diaries’

On Friday after a rollercoaster ride of eight seasons “The Vampire Diaries” will take its final bow. It’s been one hell of a ride, and while the ride hasn’t always been pleasant there will be things about this crazy show I’ll miss.

why-do-i-remember-having-a-notebook-with-this-photo-on-it-in-vivid-detailBack in 2009 when the series began I was actually drawn in because of the Stelena/Delena debate, wild to believe right, because it reminded me of the classic Spuffy/Bangel debate of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Stefan was Angel, the incredibly brooding dark past with great hair and Damon was Spike, the bad boy whose actions were vile but was in general the more ‘fun’ character if you will. Now my attachment to the love triangle faded pretty quickly admittedly (and in a show built on ships there’d be plenty of other couples for me to root for with more passion down the line), because while I’d never been attached to any character in the books particularly the show changed that big time.

Bonnie Bennett stole my heart somewhere in the middle of that first season and never gave it back. I knew back then that no matter what happened I’d never be able to quit this show because of my warrior witch goddess. And here I am eight seasons later still holding on because of Bonnie.

My relationship with the show has always been evolving, sometimes it’s been my favorite show and other times I’ve wanted to punch myself for still watching it. But no matter what was happening, no matter how much the show was making her suffer I was there for Bonnie.

Now I know this sounds like I was only ever in it for one reason, but truth be told there’s a number of things I’ve loved about this show over the years that I’m glad I got to witness.

There’s been epic plotlines. Tyler Lockwood’s incredible journey was easily the best redemption arc of the series, and one of the best I’ve ever seen on any show. The Mikaelson’s era was so good I found myself anticipating each new episode, no ‘villain’ has ever quite lived up to the bar they set.

fjslfdgdgdThere’s been epic romances. Bonenzo (Bonnie and Enzo) reawakened my belief in this series pairing two of my favorite characters together and letting them wholly and completely love each other the way they both deserve. Klaroline (Klaus and Caroline) was something unexpected, something a little wild and I loved every second of it.

And of course epic bromances. Damon and Alaric will always have had the most unexpected and strongest friendship this series gave us. Never forget after Ric’s first death how Damon saved that barstool at Mystic Grill and ordered his departed friend a drink every time. I’ll never quite forgive the show for letting it fall to the wayside.

There’s been scene’s I’ll never forget. The moment Enzo killed a witch and gained access to her home by throwing a doorknob at her marking the best kill of the series (aka the moment I fell in love with Enzo). The hauntingly beautifully choreographed fight scene of Klaus murdering the pack of hybrids to a somber rendition of ‘O’ Holy Night.’

decade dance ridiculousnessThere’s also been fantastic holiday episodes, specifically Christmas, which were undeniably my favorite each season. Ridiculous dances that people always died at and for some reason continued to occur after they’d all left high school.  And of course there’s been some fantastic music that carried scenes to new emotional heights. I seriously don’t know where I’ll discover new artists after Friday; I’ve relied on this show bringing them to me for so long.

Sure there’s been bad: too many damn doppelgangers, that time Ric (who’s basically everyone’s dad) essentially dated Caroline, Bonnie’s constant unnecessary suffering, the traveler’s season and the complete and entire existence of Jeremy Gilbert as a character.

Yeah a lot has happened in these eight seasons and it’s definitely time to let the show end. But that doesn’t mean saying goodbye isn’t a little bittersweet.

I walk into this finale ready to see how it all plays out, good or bad, and hopefully get them to answer my burning questions: Will a Salvatore die? Will the residents of Mystic Falls finally all just leave because this town has a serious ‘gas leak’ problem? Will Matt actually survive this whole thing? Will Bonenzo’s ‘unexpected happy ending’ leave me filled with rage? Will Klaroline actually end up together somewhere down the line? And most importantly will they finally tell us what year it’s supposed to be on this show? I’ve lost track with all the time jumps.

So here’s to the end, to the farewell. It’s been a wild, winding road we’ve taken with this Mystic Falls gang and a part of me will be sad to see them go. #TVDForever my friends.

Celebrating 20 years of ‘Buffy’ and what it meant to me

20 years ago this month “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” aired its pilot episode and began a legacy of television that’s bound to surpass these 20 years.

I grew up on “Buffy” and its spinoff series “Angel.” I was four years old when I watched it for the first time; Killed by Death was the episode. Now, most four year olds would be terrified by an episode in which kids are being eaten by a terrifying monster, but not me. Instead four year old me thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.

From there I watched the series regularly. Buffy Summers quickly became my hero; Xander Harris was my favorite with his hilarious quips. As I grew up so did the show.  I distinctly remember feeling my first real television heartbreak when season five ended with Buffy sacrificing herself. I had a seizure when I was about seven years old and the only thing I remember from the entire experience was insisting that I watch the episode of “Angel” that aired that night. My dedication was strong and incredibly real.

It was easy to watch a show where the good guys always ended up winning and love that as a child.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that watching it so young some of the deeper meanings and issues with the show went over my head. Re-watching the series in its entirety as a teenager was a great decision. Watching it the second time granted me the opportunity to look at it with mature eyes.

It shaped my childhood as a fun, quirky monster series. But upon seeing it again the impact was more significant. While Xander was my goofy favorite growing up I now could see his flaws. The second time around I saw myself in Willow Rosenberg; her importance far more significant on me than almost any fictional character ever. I looked at my favorite baddie Faith and saw new layers of someone who was far more than just a villain. And well, my major crush on Eliza Dushku definitely played a hand in me figuring out my bisexuality.

But even with its flaws “Buffy” remains incredibly important to me. No matter what shows come around it and “Angel” will always remain my top favorites. No it’s definitely not as progressive as it was 20 years ago, but I can still enjoy it for what it meant to me growing up.

The importance of a strong, multi-layered character like Buffy Summers being present in my childhood shaped a piece of the woman I am. Buffy Summers inspired and continues to inspire generations of women. The show itself has inspired countless other series. The impact of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is far-reaching.

In its 20 years of existence its changed lives, built friendships and inspired media. I’m happy to know I’ll get be around for the next 20 years as well to watch people take the ground floor “BTVS” built and make even better, multi-layered, well-written, diverse pieces of work.

‘Shadowhunters’ mid-season finale review: everything’s falling apart, but love is in the air

This is so much later than I usually am, but I can’t help it I’ve been flailing about because Magnus Bane and Alexander Lightwood are officially in love my friends. Oh, and some other stuff happened in tonight’s mid-season finale “By the Light of Dawn.”

I’ll be keeping this pretty short, but here we go.

DOWNWORLDERS, DOWNWORLDERS, DOWNWORLDERS! It was amazing to see so many of them assemble, but a couple bones to pick: please stop killing people Luke is close to, treat Maia with more respect she’s hurt and she’s allowed to be, and for the race allegory to work Clary needs to stop being the person that brings everyone together.

We can finally put an end to the awful incest plot with Clary and Jace, as long as Jace doesn’t decide to keep it from her for some dumb reason.

Izzy getting better and out of her toxic, awful storyline so quickly may seem unrealistic but I’m glad to see it go. Isabelle and Raphael deserve better and I hope we see that going forward.

Now, let’s talk about my boys. Individually they were great tonight, Alec kicked some ass and was saved by a certain adorable little warlock, who is safe with Catarina now, and Magnus and Madzie together was a sweet scene (though it’s ridiculous that Magnus would need Clary to inspire him to save a warlock child, he always is ready to protect his people so that was unnecessary).

Then there was their big scene, their big moment. From the second Alec thought Magnus was dead, I too died a little. His fear, his emotion that maybe he’d lost Magnus was palpable; he didn’t care about anything else in that moment other than Magnus’ safety. And then they reunited and it was something beautiful. Alec being honest and open with his emotions, Magnus doing the same; and then the first I love you’s being exchanged, so simple yet so real. You could hear it in the way they both said it, it was simple, it was easy, and it’s been there all along really. Then a kiss that poured every bit of emotion, a forehead touch that spoke volumes and a hug that said I need you, I love you, and I can’t ever let you go. It was beautiful and yet again showcased the incredible onscreen chemistry that Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario have.

Finally a quick salute to Nick Sagar who brought some vulnerability to Victor tonight (even though we know he’s very wrong about Downworlders and Shadowhunters not being able to be together), Luke’s emotions about his former parabatai was a nice little touch, Dot not being dead and we need more of it and to the Jimon scene that felt more romantic than anything Climon has had so far.

Now, let’s talk 2b, I’ll be honest I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing these reviews when the show comes back. It’ll depend on my time and if the show takes some of the criticism it’s received in 2a and improves upon it. But either way I’ll be watching because my heart belongs to Magnus, Alec and Luke. So here are a few things I know I’d like to see in 2b:

  • More Malec intimacy. Did you see that hug? That forehead touch? Give me that on the regular not just when they’re professing their love for one another.
  • Downworld council. I want to see it again, and again, and again.
  • Don’t drag out the Clace/Climon love triangle too long; wrap it up as quickly as you wrapped up missing Jace at the start of the season.
  • Introduce Catarina Loss onscreen dammit.
  • Put Clary and Jace on the backburner sometimes. I know they’re the lead protags, but its okay to put them in the foreground for some episodes. When they don’t the other characters get sidelined and underdeveloped.
  • And lastly I just hope they listened to the criticism they received from POC and LGBT fans about the missteps that occurred in 2a. This show has a lot of good characters, they just need to treat them right.

That’s all for now! So, I’m going to get back to rewatching the Malec I love you until it’s burned into my retinas (I’m kidding, sort of). See you June 5th when we return.

 

Let the Oscar blunder moment pass

On Sunday night’s Academy Awards in the final five minutes of a fairly overall smooth running show things went wild with the Oscar blunder heard round the world. Much in the same vein of Steve Harvey’s now infamous Miss Universe mix-up presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were given the wrong categories envelope and announced “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner, when in actuality “Moonlight” had won.

It was an insane moment and anyone who managed to power through the show which ran 40+ minutes over to see it were not disappointed that they’d stayed awake. But here’s the thing while that was crazy and wild the moment has passed and it’s time to start talking about all the other important things that happened Sunday night.

1024x1024“Moonlight” won Best Picture, and yes it was wild how it happened, but the point is a small movie about a young gay black man won Best Picture. That in and of itself is something more noteworthy to be talking about than the blunder that led to their big moment. Those final moments will go down in Oscar history, they’ll be reshown for years to come, next year’s Best Picture presenter will make a joke about it. The blunder has been granted it’s jokes, it’s memes, it’s wild conspiracy theories and it’s 24 hours of fame. Now it’s time to talk about some other things.

Talk about how Mahershala Ali made history as the first Muslin actor to win an Oscar (just talk about him in general cause he’s incredible). Talk about how Viola Davis is now one step away from being an EGOT.

Talk about how Iranian director Asghar Farhadi boycotted what was one of the most important nights of his life to stand by what he believes in and protest Trump’s Muslim ban. Talk about how only a year after #OscarsSoWhite two black actors won in the major acting categories.

Talk about Gael Garcia Bernal taking his presenter moment to denounce Trump’s wall. Talk about the producers of “Zootopia” not disregarding the timely importance of their film in their speech. Talk about Dev Patel’s history making nomination.

Talk about how “Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho was the most poised 16 year old in history that continued singing as if nothing happened after she was hit in the head by a flag while performing. Talk about Sunny Pawar, he’s just a little kid so he didn’t make any political statements or anything, but he’s the cutest kid on the planet possibly and we should talk about that.

In general a lot happened Sunday night that needs to be talked about and the blunder has had its moment, so let’s talk about the important stuff now.