Of Musings and Wonderings











{September 26, 2012}   Time to Weep: Great Sad Songs

My taste in music has been largely informed and influenced by my family. Anyone who has seen my work on Fictionpress (or even at University) can see how important music is to me. The truth is, it’s important to my whole family. In this house, in the morning, there’s sometimes three radios on; Nation Radio playing in the bathroom and my bedroom, and Radio 2 in my parent’s bedroom as me and my mum get ready for work. As a kid, I remember the house always being full with music of various kinds. Trips to my great-grandparents (most likely about half hour, but back then it felt like it took half the day) meant Queen playing in the car, despite Dad’s objections. When we discovered Napster, Mum, my two brothers and myself downloaded everything and anything we could get our hands on. From that point, car trips meant playing the CD we had burnt for my dad, involving some of his favourite hits. Most of these were pretty sad – heartbreak and death being the main theme running through them. Thinking about the songs that were usually played when I was growing up, it’s no surprise really that I’m drawn, even now, to songs with real stories behind them. Maybe it’s partly the writer in me, too. Either way, I decided to compile a list of five songs with great stories to them, mostly from the sixties and seventies, and the ones that make up just part of my dad’s music collection. Enjoy!

1. Keith West – Excerpt from  a  Teenage Opera (Grocer Jack)

If you haven’t yet heard this song, or never really listened to the words, please listen now. I’ll wait. Done? Okay, good. This is one of those songs that I heard countless times as a child, but it wasn’t until I was a bit older – and hadn’t heard it for years – that the words really struck me. As a kid, I thought Jack had simply left town. In reality, his heart was weak and after years of working for the townspeople with no affection or thanks from them, he dies. It’s a sad, sad story, and one of the most powerful things about the song is the use of the kids. They don’t understand what’s happened to him, as much as I didn’t understand it years ago. It draws out a great emotional response, especially at the end.

Best line: Is it true what Mummy says, you won’t come back?

2. Bobby Goldsboro – Honey

One of the reasons I think this song works so well is because some of it does sound light-hearted, especially the parts in the song that talk of stories revolving around Honey, including her worrying about his reaction to the car, or being embarrassed that he will find her watching sad shows in the afternoon. Throughout it all, there’s such a sense of love between the two. Their story is told in just under four minutes and, yes, it is a much better love story than Twilight. Their relationship is revealed to the listener through little tales, and there’s a nice sense of subtly when he tells of coming home early one evening. It works because he has made you feel for Honey as much as he does, in the same way you would feel for any character in any book, and it makes it that much sadder.

Best line: I came home unexpectedly, and caught her crying needlessly, in the middle of the day.

3. Ricky Valance – Tell Laura I Love Her

Well, I had no idea he was Welsh. One up for us, I guess. Moving on…as the video explains, Ricky Valance bucked the tread for ‘death songs’, and did pretty damn well with this one. It’s a beautiful, haunting story of a man so in love with his girlfriend he risks his life in order to give her an expensive engagement ring. He doesn’t really even get to speak to his beloved one last time. The image of him riding to his death in a car race is simple but oddly powerful, and his echoes in the chapel as Laura prays…there’s also a bittersweet feel to it. I doubt Laura would have wanted something expensive. Of course, in songs like these there’s little we really get to know about the characters, meaning we fill in the blanks. Which means I can say Laura wouldn’t have minded a piece of rope for a ring, and someone else could say Laura was a selfish cow who wanted an expensive ring and therefore killed him, but we’d both be right. Yet I doubt it’s the second one. There’s too much love there, from Tommy, and as it says at the start, ‘he wanted to give her everything’. It’s sad because in love, you do want the person to have everything.

Best line: No one knows what happened that day, how his car overturned in flames…

4. John Leyton – Johnny Remember Me

This song is pretty haunting. The imagery is enough to make any writer jealous, in a over-the-top sort of way. Mainly because songs can actually do that sort of thing effectively, whereas in writing it would just fall flat. Anyway, the descriptions work to create a scene in a short space, important for any song. And the addition of the female in the background…again, haunting. You can imagine a lone man wandering through some woods, trapped in his own memories and trapped by his past. That’s what’s so sad about it; not just the death of his loved one, but the fact that she’s always there with him, reminding him. There’s almost a touch of hope in one line, where he sings about finding a new love, but you know any relationship he has in the future is going to be overshadowed by her death. It is, in essence, the story of a man who cannot move on.

Best line: Yes I’ll always remember, till the day I die, I’ll hear her cry, Johnny, remember me…

5. Meatloaf – Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

The only song on this list that isn’t about death. Instead, it’s about something that at times can be just as devastating. Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad has the ability to make me tear up every time I hear it. Anyone who has ever loved and lost can relate to the words. It’s the breakdown of a relationship, of a man who just can’t love the girl he’s with. And you can feel the pain, for both of them. Again, it’s easy to picture; him, reaching for her, her – curled up, perhaps – refusing to look at him or acknowledge him. The thing is, who’s to say what he feels isn’t love? And who’s to say you could stay with someone, if they’ve already told you love – as far as they know – isn’t something they can feel? It’s hard, and painful, because there’s so much emotion there. Let’s face it, Meatloaf’s love songs are powerful. He does have a great voice, and he manages to convey so much here. The saddest thing about this isn’t what’s happening during the song; it’s the before and after. It’s the creation of this vicious cycle, the idea that he’s still in love with a woman who’s still in love with somebody she used to know, so what happens to the girl he’s singing to here? Two out of three may not be bad, but it depends on what the missing factor is – it can easily outweigh the other two he – or she – can offer.

And, after being in any break-up, the song hits home even harder. That’s what makes it so God damn powerful. You can relate to it; you can see where he’s coming from and you can feel her pain.

Best Line: She kept on telling me, I want you, I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. Now don’t be sad, ‘cos two out of three ain’t bad.

 Notable Mentions: Meatloaf – Not A Dry Eye In The House, The Shangri-Las – Leader of the Pack, Dr Hook – Sylvia’s Mother, Driver 67 – Car 67,  Johnny Preston – Running Bear

So, what about you? Any great stories, hidden in songs (sad or happy) that you want to share?



It raged around him, tendrils reaching forward to lick his skin as he ran. The heat was overwhelming, smoke working its way into his throat and mouth. Behind, the cabin burnt fiercely, black smoke against the dark sky. The fire didn’t leave him; it followed, each tree trunk ahead catching as he tried to escape the flames.

“Stop!”

The shape in front of him begged until his feet skidded in the mud and he tumbled forward. His eyes darted around, searching for any sign of water. The girl flickered, but he ignored her. There were tears on her face, as she stepped towards him.

“Get away from me!” Somewhere in the back of his mind, he was reminded that men didn’t scream. But he didn’t think he was a man. He wasn’t sure. If he wasn’t a man, what was he? “Just…get away!”

“Please…my love…”

His hand reached forward, grasping for the vial in the grass. His fingers wrapped around it and he brought it closer to his chest, fumbling with the lid.

“No, no, don’t…it’s not…stop! It’s…”

X X X

“Poison!”

If he had still been human, he knew he would be drenched in sweat. As it was, his skin was dry as he dragged himself from sleep and faced the girl sitting opposite him. She looked scared, a look he hadn’t seen on her in years.

“Jesus bloody Christ, Poison, you were screaming.”

He shook his head, running a hand through his hair. Dry. Every detail was slipping quickly away from him.

“I thought vampires didn’t dream?”

“Do you dream?”

“Yes.”

He grinned. “There we go then.”
“It’s not the same.” She rolled her eyes, standing and crossing the room to the boarded up windows. “You know that.” Slowly, she peeled back one of the boards, glancing out.

“What do you dream about?” he asked, watching her carefully. She had been growing more and more restless as the days went by, and he’d noticed how she stared openly at every human that passed the house. Most of them learnt to control their hunger as the years went by. His companion, his friend, the once-teenage girl he had met in a house not too dissimilar to the one they were currently in, was going in the opposite direction.

“A life. A guy. Having a relationship without you or the others chasing after me to ruin it.” She glanced over her shoulder at him, and he could see it in her eyes.

She hated him.

Those eyes, one bright blue and the other a swirling mix of blue, green and grey, had once stared at him with awe. At fifteen, she had practically worshipped it. At sixteen, he had saved her life. Now, almost a decade later, she looked at him with nothing but contempt.

But she wouldn’t leave him.

She knew he could do nothing but follow.

“You’re still pissed off about that? It was years ago, Shadow.”

“Four years,” she muttered. “And you said it yourself, I was young, naive. I was in love.” Try as he might, he couldn’t contain the smile at her imitation of his drawl. “I was just never allowed to make my own mistakes, was I?”

“You know how difficult it is for us to…”

Before he could finish, she was gone, and he cursed the speed they had both been graced with. She had no idea how much he hated himself for what he had done to her, but if she had been left alone, there would have been a bigger mess to clean up after.

He climbed out of the bed, moving quickly towards the door though nowhere near as quick as she had gone. He found her downstairs, in the kitchen, sitting at the table as the kettle boiled. Coffee, strong, with just a dash of milk and three sugars.

Shadow took out a cigarette, lighting it up and inhaling deeply. Her eyes fell on him.

“I dream of other things, too,” she muttered, watching as he pulled out a chair and lowered himself into it. “I dream of Raven, and New York. And Marcus.” Even now, there was a flash of fear in her eyes as she said his name. “They haunt me, Poison.”

“I know.”

“Do…does it ever stop?”

“The haunting?” He shrugged. “Sure, it does. Well, more like it takes a break. But it comes back at times. Not always the same ones, though.”
She dipped her head. “I never thought looking for Theo would end up…” She stopped, shaking her head. “I shouldn’t think like that, should I? I dream of other things, too. I keep dreaming of fire.”

Poison crossed the room, falling into the seat opposite her. He took her hand, squeezing it gently, feeling just the slightest warmth coming from her skin. He turned her wrist over, placing his finger against it. There, he could feel her pulse. Dull, slow, but still there. “Your heart still beats,” he said. “That means you’re still alive. You’re not grasping onto a straw of humanity, Shadow. You’re not like us. And what you feel about them, all of them, you need to hang on to that. As long as it’s still there, your heart will beat.”

Slowly, she nodded, closing her eyes as she took another drag of her cigarette. “The prophecy…”
“Is bullshit. You’re not the end of us, and you’re not the bloody saviour either. Bollocks to all that fate crap. It’s just a bunch of stupid vampires looking for meaning in a long, meaningless life.”

“You never wanted meaning, did you?”

“No.”

“And neither did Blake, or Calista?”

“Neither did they,” he replied, smiling softly.

“So if none of you believe in fate,” she said, her voice slow, carefully choosing her words, “why can’t you just let me live?” Her head snapped up, her eyes locking on Poison’s. He could see the anger there, the pain. “Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Her voice rose into a screech, before she was up. The chair flew back and she stood over the table, staring down at him. “Why do I always end up caught in the middle?”
Before he could stop her, she whirled around and left, the back door swinging shut. He groaned, lifting his hands to his face. She would be back, he knew she would. But that wasn’t what worried him.

He was scared of what she would do in that state.

X X X

“You need to keep a better eye on your charge,” Calista drawled, standing at the door. She was holding Shadow’s ear, practically lifting her off the ground. Shadow was whimpering, as Calista shoved her forward. The girl fell to the floor, but scrambled quickly up, glaring at the vampire. “Have you fed?” Calista asked, ignoring the girl and focusing on Poison.

“No. I…I didn’t know when she would be back.”

Shadow shrunk against the wall, looking like a sullen teenager. He had hoped it would get easier, over time, that the impulsive, moody teenage girl would melt away to reveal a mature woman.

It seemed that if it was ever going to happen, it would be a long way off.

“Go to your room,” he said, watching as she huffed and stamped up the stairs. Calista reached out, placing a hand on his shoulder. She squeezed.

“She has had it harder than most of us did, Poison. She’s struggling, that’s all.”

“I don’t know what to do. I never thought it would be so hard.”
She smiled softly. “Being a parent is never easy, and there’s a reason we tend to go for the, well, older humans.”

“It’s the half…”
Calista laughed. “The human in her? Yes, I suppose it is. Go, feed. I will keep an eye on her. And you know I will be more strict than you. She won’t stop foot outside this house.”

“Thank you.” He bowed his head, before edging past her and out into the night.

Note: Currently a work-in-progress, this is one of many short stories I’ve done for the 100 Theme Challenge. This one is going to be added to my collection A Drop of Poison on Fictionpress; a series of short stories based on the vampire Poison as he wonders through his eternal life. As always, all feedback is welcome on this piece, and feel free to check out the stories I’ve got on Fictionpress, too, if you’ve enjoyed this or any of the other pieces I’ve posted up here.

 



{September 18, 2012}   The Addiction Returns…Part II

The Addiction Returns…Part I.

Last time, I covered four of the shows I’m looking forward to in this year’s falls listings. I decided to do it in order of appearance, and as such, the next four don’t appear until October. But, three of these four are brand new shows, broadcasting the pilots in October. So, rather than explaining why I love them (similar to what I did last time) this will be more of why I am really, really looking forward to them. With the exception of the last show, which will be starting its second season in October. Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

10/10 – Nashville

You worked out yet that I love musicals? I will check out anything musical or musical-based; I’m the kind of girl who gets super excited by seeing the trailer for any musical, or any superhero film (which I’ll come back to later). But, in truth, that trailer kind of disappointed me. I’d heard that Nashville was a musical-based series, but from the trailer, you just wouldn’t know. Still…I guess it could work. I lovedHeroes, but Claire in it really, really annoyed me. At times, she was too sickly sweet, passive, and the ending, well, the ending just made her seem stupid to me. And to be honest, I kind of wasn’t looking forward to Hayden Panettiere’s appearance in this, either. But the fact that she’s an absolute bitch makes me think I might just like her. Of course, disliking a character shouldn’t mean disliking the actor/actress, but I think it’ll make a nice change from “OMG save me Peter!” And I really loved Connie Britton in American Horror Story, and once more it’ll be interesting to see her do something different. The only problem, I think, is that Nashville just reminds me of Robert Altman’s film of the same name. Not well-known, perhaps, but the film is a musical that focuses on different characters all involved in the country music scene. There’s politics, too. Which, it seems, also appear in the show. But it’s a small point. I’ll give Nashville a chance, just because…well, musicals!

10/10 – Arrow

Yes yes and yes! I have been craving something like this since Smallville ended. Plus, out of all the characters on the show, Green Arrow would be the one best to have his own series. I mean, come on, it’s Batman meets Robin Hood! What’s not to love? The most disappointing thing about this is that it’s not got the same actor from Smallville playing Green Arrow. But that’s such a minor, personal point. The truth is, despite the popularity of superheroes on the big screen, the only small screen hero is recent years has been Superman. (As far as I’m aware, anyway.) Oh, and Heroes, but that didn’t have the same comic book appeal as the rest. Arrow will get compared to both Smallville and Heroes (by me, at least) which means it’s going to really have to prove itself. And fingers crossed, it will. Plus, it’s on The CW. Can’t help but trust them slightly with this – if memory serves me correctly, (which it sometimes doesn’t – and I don’t like in the States so please correct me if I’m wrong) Smallville was on the same channel, as was (is?) Supernatural. Two of my favourite shows in the last few years…maybe Arrow will reach the very esteemed place on my list. But, still…

Any excuse to Google him makes me happy

So, yes, Arrow could just work. Like I said, Batman meets Robin Hood. Green Arrow in Smallville was the one at a disadvantage; he didn’t have superpowers, meteor rock induced or not, and ended up revealing himself as playboy Oliver Queen. Yet it worked, because it proved that he was one of the best even without that, and he offered a great contrast to Clark. But it’ll be very interesting to see the character really stretch his bow on his own. Of course, the series isn’t related to Smallville but, like I said, it will get compared. And, talking of Smallville…

11/10 – Beauty and the Beast

Another one where the trailer doesn’t make it look that good. Ah well. I’ll still give it a chance. Oh, and another show where the actress previously played a character I really didn’t like. Seriously, have you seen her in Smallville? I’m not a fan of characters who are there simply so the hero has someone to save, and how did she never twig it was Clark? I preferred Lois, mainly because she actually kicked some arse at times. Lana was too much a product of events, passive and simply reacting to events. Still…it’s another CW show, too, which means, well, hot guys. (Meh. I’m shallow) Which isn’t, of course, enough to keep me invested in a series. From the trailer, it looks like ‘Beauty’ will end up just getting saved by the beast again…and again…and again…but fingers crossed it actually changes. I’m watching this out of interest rather than because I think it’ll be great. I’m watching it because I want to see how her character stacks up against Emma in Once Upon A Time. Because, yet again, here’s a show that’s going to get compared. Like films, TV seems to be moving more and more in the direction of imitating what’s done well, rather than having something unique. Grimm and Once Upon A Time came out around the same time but were vastly different; this one looks like it could be a mix between the both. It could work, but it could fall flat on its face. Expect my judgement after 11/10. (And that’s 11th October, by the way, because I’m British.)

17/10 – American Horror Story

That theme song is the only thing on-screen – outside games – that has managed to scare me in years. When I watched the first episode of this last year, I freaked. I actually had to grab a teddy and hug it during the opening. And then again later on. I fell in love with this show. It’s original, and clever, and I wrote a whole essay on how series one linked to the history of horror. (I got a First, by the way.) It pays homage to previous staples of horror really well, while retaining a unique perspective on it. And that trailer really doesn’t give anything away, except what was revealed a while back. Mainly, that series two is going to be set in an asylum. I love the fact that they’re taking this approach; rather than following the same plot, each series is going to turn to a different aspect of horror. And I can’t wait to see what they do with this one. Also, did you see Zachery Quinto at the end? He hasn’t been anywhere close to that scary since the first season of Heroes. (I’m really going to have to do a blog about how much I love that show at some point.) He was brilliant in season one, and if he has a bigger part here…well, all I can say is, I expect great things from you, AHS.

So there you have it, the eight shows coming out this month and next that I’m excited about. Well, Glee has already aired and you can read my blog about the first episode here. I would say that out of all of them, the ones I’ve talked about here have the most to prove. Although Once Upon A Time is the same age as American Horror Story, I feel like it doesn’t have as much to prove. AHS is such a different concept, and it has the potential to pull in new audiences as well as retain the old ones. As for the other three…I would say they may struggle, because they need to stand out against films of similar natures, as well as Nashville competing against Glee and Smash, Arrrow‘s potential to be compared to Smallville and Beauty and the Beast being yet another fairy tale *with a twist* show (not to mention the films that have been coming out recently). They’re competing a lot more than other TV shows have needed to in the past. So…let’s hope that Darwin proves right and the strongest survive.

So, there’s what I think, what about you? Any points you disagree with? What are you looking forward to watching on TV in the next few months?



{September 15, 2012}   Heading In A New Direction

Last night, I watched the season four premiere of Glee. As if it wasn’t obvious enough in my last post, I love this show. And I was very excited to see new episodes. Partly because of the introduction of new characters and, after seeing the trailer, I wanted to see how they would deal with the graduated cast members. And, despite the fact that she’s had the spotlight all the way through, I really, really like how Rachel is still a main character and, now, with her own storyline. It was good to see Kurt struggling, too – despite some plot flaws contained in the show, at times they manage to really dig deep and come out with something great. Here, it’s showing someone who hasn’t yet reached his full potential, at a loss as to what to do. Plus, well, Rachel meets a very cute guy – possibly the best looking guy the show has ever had. (A title I would have previously bestowed on Sam.)

It’s clear that none of the characters are going to have an easy time. Rachel – amazing, talented Rachel – meets her dance teacher, who looks set to destroy her, played by Kate Hudson. It’s done quite well, and waiting for ages to show a nicer side to her, there’s a short scene in this episode where she’s seen talking to another student, congratulating him on his first Broadway performance. Behind the harsh teacher, there’s someone much more vulnerable lurking – as the student leaves, she pours herself a drink, and you can see there’s one of two things happening. Either she’s living through her students, pushing them hard because, perhaps, she sees herself through them, or she pushes them because they have what she doesn’t – their lives ahead of them and the possibility of actually making it. Or maybe it’s a bit of both. Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if, at a later date, she tells Rachel “you remind me of me”. (Hey, I never said I expected originality when it came to plot in this show.)

Another thing to mention…well, it’s Kate Hudson! She’s good. And she brings something new to the show, too. Gone is the support of a teacher aiming to inspire, replaced (for Rachel, anyway) by a woman determined to push her students, to possibly make them the best that they can be. And she can dance. The main reason I was excited for her appearing in the show is due to the film Nine. If you’ve never seen it, it really is worth checking out. Hudson does a brilliant number – my favourite from the film – and that energy, the same feel from Cinema Italiano is moved to Glee.

So, while Rachel is off having her adventures in New York, what are the rest of New Directionsup to? Well…they’re supposed to be heading in a (there’s no other way to say it) new direction, but I feel there’s a flaw.The show runs the risk of simply replacing the characters who have left, rather than letting new characters flourish in their own right. Firstly, you have Marley. She, like Hudson, has the possibility of bringing something new and fresh to the show, if she’s allowed to, that is. She has a different voice and style to Rachel, which should be enough. But she looks set to be the new Rachel, no matter what the other members want to believe. Still, her storyline should be an interesting one, but I’ll return to that in a bit.

Rachel 2.0

Next, you have Jake. More importantly, Jake Puckerman. A kid with a chip on his shoulder, an angry kid, a kid who can sing…so, basically, his older brother. Sorry, half-brother. Who Noah never knew about. Convenient, right? He says “I’m not my brother,” but he really is. Except maybe slightly more intelligent. The truth is, he’s going to simply step into his older brother’s shoes – teachers will love him and try so very, very hard to help him, and he will just scrape through by the skin of his teeth…maybe. Hopefully, the writers will push him in a different direction. (Also, how can Noah not know about him? Is it a secret? Because if it is, the surname might be a dead giveaway.)

Unique….ah, Unique. Introduced at the end of the last series, and someone who could have had the potential to really rival the members of Glee club. Yet they insist on bringing Unique to New Directions, causing panic among the members as they fight for the top spot. Part of the point of the introduction is to show the club is still about diversity, still different, but again, it feels like there’s the potential for Unique to turn into an exaggeration of Kurt, though more confident and comfortable in their own skin. I do like Unique, and I think it’s an interesting thing for the creators to look at, but fingers crossed, like Jake and Marley, they’ll try to find a way of keeping these characters separate from Rachel, Noah and Kurt.

In terms of plot, the first episode kicked off with New Directions being the best club in school. Everyone wants to be a part of it, and the members enjoy, for the first time, a taste of real popularity. And they see what it’s really like. Popularity, for this school, means insulting the dinner lady and making fun of anyone who is different. It strikes a chord with anyone who has ever seen how bitchy and horrible you have to be to stay on the top, and rather than Artie, Tina and the others viewing it from the outside, they now get to see the pitfalls from the inside. And it’s great to see them come through at the end for what New Directions has always stood for; stereotypical diversity. Yes, the characters are stereotypes and at times, not very well thought out, but hopefully, as the writers hit the fourth season, they may just push slightly away from that.

Maybe.

But I’m not holding my breath. For all its flaws, Glee remains one of the happiest shows on TV, yet still has the ability to have me, at least, in tears at times. So I’m going to take it for what it is, and just hope it improves. After all, with Smash and Nashville, it now has competition for musical based TV shows, and competition can only be a good thing.



{September 13, 2012}   The Addiction Returns….Part I

I love Autumn. Or, considering the topic of the post, maybe I should say Fall? It’s that wonderful time of the year when the weather starts to turn towards the rubbish side (well, actually, that’s August, it just gets a bit colder now) and the evenings shorten, and most American TV shows return. Obviously, there are the exceptions, Game of Thrones and True Blood don’t return until 2013, and Pretty Little Liars resume their season in October, rather than starting. But, even so, there’s a lot coming out soon, so here’s my list of the shows I’m really, really looking forward to this Autumn/Fall.

13/09 – Glee

Firstly, I apologise that this isn’t a better promo. It was the best one I could find. But, anyway, it’s back. Tonight. Or maybe by the time you’re reading this it’s already back. Either way, I’m pretty damn excited. I love Glee, I really do. It just has the ability to put a smile on my face, no matter how I’m feeling, no matter how crap my day or week or month has been. Christ, this show kept me going through University. I started watching it in the second half of my first year, and the series ended right before I left Hull to come back home. The graduation episode had me in tears, and I have no idea if it would have had the same effect if it wasn’t for the fact I was going to be donning my own cap and gown just after a month after the episode aired. (In the UK, mind. We don’t have graduation ceremonies for high school. Actually, you don’t even graduate high school here. Just…leave.) Anyway, Glee…songs, music, dancing, at times it can be misguided and at others it can forget previous plots, but despite that it’s still worth watching. And I’m really looking forward to seeing how they incorporate the graduated characters, as, from the promo, you can see they’re still there.

21/09 – Haven

Haven, Maine, is a town full of people with strange, unusual powers. It mainly focuses on Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) as she comes to terms with the events and strange goings on that all seem to revolve around the ‘troubles’ of the past. It’s a SyFy original and, well, it’s really good. I would strongly recommend anyone who liked Heroes, Supernatural and Once Upon A Time to check this out. It’s like a mix of all three. (Which made it feel like it was made specifically for me…) I made the mistake of rushing through the first two seasons, under the impression that the third would be out during the summer. And when I found out it was actually returning this September, I regretted it. Still, I don’t think I could have stretched out longer even if I had wanted to. Like a good book, Haven really draws you in, making you constantly eager to find out what happens next. And with Nathan (Lucas Bryant) and Duke (Eric Balfour) circling each other like lions, aiding Audrey when they can, and constantly comparing testosterone levels, plus all the ‘trouble’ related events in the show, there’s never a dull moment.

30/09 – Once Upon A Time

Just watched the trailer for the first time and holy shit did you see the hook? It looks, to me anyway, like season two is going to push the show, with the introduction of even more characters and bringing magic into the real world. I absolutely loved series one, and have been itching to see this since the finale. I mean, come on, magic! In the real world! What’s not to love? One of the things I think the show does brilliantly is the female characters. The production company is owned by Disney, so a lot of the time, it feels like watching updated versions of classics. Only, whereas Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty were pretty passive in the Disney cartoons, the princess characters here really aren’t. They kick arse. They save the guys. They redeem the men who, to be fair, are the most flawed characters in the show. Forget virgins and whores. The girls in Storybrooke are the ones who, even when at the bottom, manage to prove themselves. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is an amazing lead, and I think it’s interesting that there’s never a real love interest for her. For me, that seems rare. Sure, you can have guy centric shows where the guy never has a solid love interest, but most shows with a female character, it’s like there has to be a man somewhere. And, yes, they do crop up, but the romance never takes over. On the other hand, the main romance of the show (Snow and her prince) is the right level of Disney cheese mixed in with modern twists and complications. It balances men and women quite well, and like I said, feels at times like an update on Disney classics. Perfect for multiple generations. (And yes, I did get my dad hooked to it, too.)

3/10 – Supernatural

This is a big one for me. Not least because it is my current top favourite show. I also wrote my dissertation on it. After reading it, my supervisor commented that he now wanted to watch the show. He asked what my plans were for the last few weeks of Uni, and after explaining I only had a couple more essays to hand in, I told him I was going to catch up with S7 of the show. His reply? “You still want to watch it?” Me – “Of course.” Of course I do! I wouldn’t have done my dissertation (nine months of work) without loving the show. For starters, what would I have done with two books on Supernatural essays? (For anyone who is interested, the focus of the dissertation was masculinity in the show. It was pretty damn fun.) Despite the fact that decent female characters are difficult to find in the show (or dead. Mainly thanks to the fans, but that’s a post for another time), Sam and Dean really, really pull it forward. Their relationship is entertaining, gripping and downright emotional at times, as they dis and reconnect time and time again. If you’ve ever wondered the true extent of brotherly love, you’ve never seen the show. Plus, you have the great additions around them; Bobby, Cas, Crowley, Satan…and it’s really not afraid to tackle the big topics. This is a show that actually asked where God is, even while celebrating older religions with multiple gods. To me, only a good show could have so many religions side by side. Though, in recent seasons, it has focused a lot on the one religion, you still get times when they bring in Egyptian gods and the like. Demons, werewolves, vampires, gods, shapeshifters and classic rock, what’s not to love? If you haven’t seen it already, then please, go check it out.

Part II coming soon.



et cetera