Monthly Archives: August 2012

Buffy and The Scooby gang

 
           I just discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books recently.  I watched and adored it all 7 seasons on television. This year my son watched and adored all 7 seasons.  Though I am now reading the comic books,  I still yearn for Sarah Michelle Gellar’s portrayal of Buffy. The spunky blond girl doing a flip over a grave stone and kicking a vampire in the head, then when he down, staking him in the heart.  Sigh….The film came first. It is where the idea of  Buffy the Vampire Slayer” came from.
 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
 
             I personally will never watch the movie. The story goes that in the world, at any one time, there is only one slayer to fight vampires, demons and dark entities.  A watcher helps train her and guides her in her battles.  The slayers are chosen from birth, or “fated”, and usually they lead a short, lonely existence. That is until Buffy Summers transfers to Sunnydale, California from Los Angeles. She was in a lot of trouble, so her mother moved her to the suburbs to give her a fresh start.  This slayer is fresh all the way around.  Petite, blond, rather cynically perky ( I know that is a contradiction in description, but true nonetheless), and she can kick the butt of any or all the demons and vamps necessary.  Sunnydale sits on top of Hellmouth. The portal to hell is in the HS library, also known as the lair of librarian Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head)Giles, is Buffy’s watcher. So the demons and evil creatures are constantly available to fight.

 

 
              Buffy unlike most slayers has friends, her side kicks helped her fight demons. She calls them the Scooby gang. On a slightly interesting note, Sarah Michele eventually plays in a Scooby Doo movie with her real life husband Freddie Prinze Jr.  Anyway, I am veering off topic.   She meets Xander (Nicholas Brendan) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) when she first comes to Sunnydale High.  Xander and Willow have been friends for a long time, and are socially nerds.  Willow has a secret crush on Xander, who pretends not to notice mostly.  A couple of seasons go by and they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other until they are caught and damage their own relationships.  Xander also always is crushed on Buffy but they remain  friends. Well except for that episode when Xander does a spell that  makes all the women love him. 

 

 
              The characters that appear in the show are some of my most favorites in television.  Buffy dies twice in the show. Once very briefly, which introduces Kendra Young (Bianca Lawson), a new slayer.  For the first time ever in history there are 2 slayers.  She is killed by vampire Druscilla. When Kendra dies, obviously “the powers that be” have not caught up as to what is happening, and that generates Faith (Eliza Dushku), the dark slayer.  Faith appears in the books, and the comic books. At first she tries to fit in with Buffy, and then goes Rogue. She is as bad as some of the vampires she kills. Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), and Harmony (Mercedes McNab) are the two popular girls who play rivals to Buffy during high school. Cordelia eventually dates Xander for a time, until he hooks up with Willow and is caught in a compromising position. Willow finds a quiet boyfriend in OZ (Seth Green) who plays a band and is a werewolf.  Eventually he needs to find himself and leaves Sunnydale.  Willow then meets Tara (Amber Benson), falls in love and is forever more a lesbian. Willow also becomes a powerful witch during the show. Now I almost forgot one of the most interesting characters, Dawn (Michele Trachtenberg).  One day Buffy comes home to find out she has a sister.  She is the only one who remembers a time before Dawn. To everyone else she has always been there. She was not a real person, but a “Key” created to protect Buffy From the villainous Glory ( Claire Kramer).
 
           The high school is destroyed after graduation, Cordelia goes to Los Angeles and works for Angel (David Boreanaz) in his spin off. I actually like Cordelia, as she grows and evolves in Angel.  One of my favorite characters is Anya Jenkins (Emma Caufield) the vengence demon that dated, almost married Xander.  She was hilarious.  I read Joss Whedon considered her comic relief. She was a cross between socially awkward and a girlfriend from the 1960’s. She seemed to struggle with being human.  She was a vengeance demon, turned human afraid of bunny rabbits, that’s right I said bunny rabbits. Then there is Druscilla (Juliet Landau) and Spike (James Marsters).  A pair of co-dependent vampires that come to Sunnydale. Druscilla is gone and leaves Spike behind. Spike really needs a blog of his own. He is a bane of Buffy, and helps eventually save the world.
 
              Buffy has really 3 lovers (except for the creepy guy freshman year) during the show. Angel is the first. Their story line is a Romeo and Juliet kind of love. I say that because Angel is a Vampire with a soul.  When he sleeps with Buffy the pure joy makes him lose his soul, and eventually Buffy has to send him to hell.  Not to fear, he comes back, and when it is unbearable to be around a woman he loves but can’t have, he moves to LA and has his own show. Angel then helps the helpless. Riley Finn (Marc Blucas) is a straight arrow, boy scout-military type guy, Buffy meets in college. Where Angel was elusive and mysterious, Riley was reliable.  He is participant in a covert government project to rid the world of Vampires and demons. He was was written out of the show, and off he went. Which brings me to my favorite lover of Buffy’s– Spike. He was a complex character which seemed to be a bit of  martyr. He seemed lack character, was selfish and yet he truly loved Buffy. For a long time Buffy hated him, then they were lovers. Buffy seemed to hate herself for her feelings for Spike, and was not afraid to let him know that constantly. In the end Spike sacrificed his life to save the world, proving him to be a true hero.  Then he showed up in LA and was in Angel’s show.

That is the basics, and if you have not had the pleasure of meeting or viewing Buffy and the Gang please do, I will introduce the comics later.  I could go on and on with the topic of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The comics start after (SPOILER ALERT)the demise of Sunnydale and the television show. You can find these seasons on Amazon.com. I am sure they are on Ebay, and probably your local second hand entertainment store.  So, Happy viewing and have a great week!!

 

Michael Weston and His Merry Band of Men

 

 
Last year I seemed to be on a Netflix kick. I was watching TV shows I never caught for one reason or another while they were on TV.  Then I discovered Burn Notice. I saw ads, it just never looked that appealing from the ads.  Well, on Netflix, I watched all 4 seasons they had to offer and almost expired waiting for the release of season 5. Which was unfair, because they did not release it until right before season 6. Grrr…
 Burn-Notice
 
It is like good ice cream.  That would be Haagen Das, for me.  Sweet, rich and can not be replaced by cheap imitations. So Michael Weston (Jeffery Donovan) is a spy given a “Burn Notice” from the CIA. For those who don’t know what a burn notice is, the intelligence agency discredits or basically fire agents.  In this case Michael Weston is dumped in Miami, Florida, no bank accounts (they are frozen), no I.D. nothing.  In the show an old girl friend, Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar, Love Her!!), is called to come to his aid, as he awakens bruised and battered in a cheap motel.  Fiona (who sticks around, God only knows why),  is joined by Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) a drunken, semi retired Navy Seal who a has a penchant for rich middle aged women. Michael is Robin Hood and they are his merry band of men. Later they are joined by his chain smoking mother, Maddie (who finds out he is in Florida), and  his slightly ne’er do well younger brother Nate. His mother is the wonderful actress  Sharon Gless who won my heart in Cagney and Lacey, and his brother Nate is Seth Peterson. This is the basic line up until later when Jesse Porter (Coby Bell), a spy Michael accidentally burns, joins the band. He eventually finds out Michael burned him, is angry for a while but then forgives him.
 
The premise of the show was to find out why Michael was burned and get him back into the CIA, it is the only life Michael can imagine. Even when he and Fiona rekindle their relationship and she questions why he can not just have a regular life, he tells her it is all that he is. Anyway, He rents a $200 a month ratty loft in a warehouse building behind a club. It kinda grows on you after awhile, and they go to work doing odd jobs that require the wonderful sleuthing skills he acquired while in the CIA.
 
Fiona is an former IRA bomber, who has extensive knowledge of making homemade bombs, she also buys and sells guns. She makes herself very useful to Michael, which provides them the opportunity to grow close again. Sam Axe is charming in his tropicals shirts, and unshaven manly man appearance.  He provides contact with people he knows at the “agency”.  He helps Michael in his jobs too and sometimes goes undercover as “Chuck”.  He and Fiona become friends, though at times they seem to be at each others throats. One character I love is Barry (Paul Tei) He is the metro-sexual  bookie, fake ID maker and money laundering genius that helps them, and even goes to them for help. He is also called “Bad Checks Barry”.
 
I love this show, this year in sadness, I had a hard time watching the first few episodes this season.  They put Fiona in prison. I glanced at the show a few times, but until the episode came that let her out of prison, I did not watch them all the way through.  Sadly the episode she is released, Nate, Michael’s brother is shot and killed while helping them catch Michael’s arch nemesis, Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns).  Seth Peterson did a great job, my only hope is that they will find a way to bring him back.  TV can bring anyone back from the dead.

 

One of my favorite parts of the show is the narrating during the show.  When they are assembling bombs, or bugging cell phones, Michael narrates spies techniques,  used in surveillance and espionage.  In my next life I want to be a high tech spy. So every  Thursday, when I am not watching Project Runway you can find me at Burn Notice, on the USA Network.  If not there I will be on Netflix watching the reruns, or my purchased copy of season 5.
 Burn Notice

It’s Sunday Again

Sharks

I  have said it before, but I love Sundays on TV. As I get ready to settle in for a few of my favorite shows, there is an additional treat for me. For those of us who loved the movie Jaws, and  love the water, it is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Once a year the Discovery Channel presents a whole week,  of  different shows of sharks, their attacks on humans, their feeding habits and their patrols. Sharks, Sharks, Sharks!!

TV guide says Shark Week starts at 9pm today. However there have been shows on about sharks from 9am.  In fact my favorite was at 1pm pacific standard time, called “The Summer of the Shark”.  It was filmed in Australia, about the summer of 2008 when 18 shark attacks happened in Australia. 15 of them were great white sharks. I love watching the gigantic white shark leap from the water and grab at a seal in mid air. So I am having a shark fest all week long.  I have always wanted to say this. I have an issue when scientists say they are just biting us to see if we are edible, they don’t feed on humans.  I don’t believe it matters.  It is minimizing a behavior that can kill us. I don’t think I care what their motivation is. They are still biting us.  With their steel trap jaws.

Enough shark week, I want to talk about Drop Dead Diva, one of my Sunday faves.  Brook Elliot stars as Jane Bingum a Los Angeles attorney.  Jane died protecting her boss, Jay Parker (Josh Stamberg), and she was revived. Now shehas the spirit of Deb Dobkins living in her, the original Jane passed on. Deb was a model/actress killed in a traffic accident.  Deb hits the button for return and comes back to earth.   Jane Bingum is a plus sized attorney who is brilliant, charitable, and a productive attorney. Watching Jane morph into the shallow Deb, and back to Jane is hilarious.  She becomes more clothes conscious, and I love to watch her flip her hair back, with a flick of her wrist. That shows Deb is still alive and well in Jane. You really can’t keep a good shopper down.

 
One twist, is that Deb was engaged to Greyson Kent (Jackson Hurst), a handsome, very sad attorney who works in the same office as Jane. He and Jane are good friends. He started to catch on that Jane could be Deb, and so Jane had to throw him off. One of the provisions of her return is that she doesn’t get the guy.  Jane is now engaged to Owen French (Lex medlin) a court judge with a heart problem.  Deb’s best friend was Stacy (April Bowlby), and she is also the only person, besides Jane’s guardian angel who knows her secret. Stacy is a slightly vapid blond, with a good heart. She is Jane’sroommate and best friend (obviously, after all she very loyal).The premise of the show is that Deb assumes Jane’s life and develops herself.  One character I love is Jane’s secretary, Teri Lee, who is always up to something wacky. Her goal now is to become a singer, so she is donning wacky clothes. She is played by comedienne Margaret Cho.  This week was great, they had cast members from Abby Lee Millers Dance Studio, in particular, Abby Lee, and Maddy. You know them from the reality show on Lifetime, Dance Moms!!  I still hold out hope that Greyson and Jane will get together, damned be the guardian angel. I liked the old one Fred (Ben Feldman- he left when he got a job on MAD MEN).  Who can blame him?  I don’t like the new one.
The other show I love on Lifetime Sundays is Army Wives.  Now I have absolutely no ties to the American military.  I have never been that interested. That is until this show.  It shows the nobility of the military that keeps us safe, and the wives who sacrifice to be their mates.  I have a whole new view on patriotism and the military.  The wives, Claudia Joy Holden (played by a fave Kim Delaney-NYPD), Denise Sherwood (the famous Catherine Bell), Roxy LeBlanc (Sally Pressman), Pamela Moran (Brigid Brannagh, who has moved to California), new transplant Jackie Clark (Kelli Williams),  Joan Burton (Wendy Davis- Joan is actually an officer, it is her husband that hangs out with the wives), Roland Burton, (Sterling K.Brown, therapist on base-civilian), and the privates wife, Gloria (Alyssa Diaz). Wow, a lot of cast mates, and I didn’t even include the husbands, well except Roland.

 armywives.jpg image by sashac86
The focus of the show is the wives, how they band together and their experiences in the military.  They deal with many topics the real military faces from terrorism to the closure of bases due to budget cuts, deployment, post traumatic stress disorder, addictions and Denise Sherwood loses her son in battle, as he enlisted like his father. One of my favorite story lines is gay soldier Army Captain Nicole Galassin (Kelli Martin), and her girlfriend  Tonya (whom I could not find the name of). Kelli Martin was in a wonderful show in the 1990’a called Life Goes On, with Patty LuPone as her mother. There is an episode where Captain Galassin comes out to her mother, and they bring in Patty LuPone. I loved it.

Well that’s it for tonight. As I sit with popcorn on lap, watching my shows, I know tomorrow I must rise to the occasion of a new week, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Tonight I am TV girl. I now disappear into Fort Marshall, home of Army Wives. Have a good week.