May 28, 2003
What in the complete bloody hell is going on? I’m not in a humorous mood today so let’s just get right to the point, shall we? This show is SUCKING the life out of ME! I’m supposed to be spending 12:00 – 12:30PM EST “escaping” so why is it that all I want to do is run as fast and as far away as I can from this show? Half the time it just grosses me out, and the other half I spend wondering why in the world I am wasting my time with these characters anymore. Oh, and pretty much all of the time is spent rolling my eyes, we mustn’t forget that. Good grief, what are tptb thinking? This show CAN work. This show has good writers. This show has awesome talent, oodles of it. So what is the problem? Whose idea is it to squander away the talented writers and actors? I am choosing to believe that even the very people who are writing this crap aren’t happy with the continuance down a path that is wearing so many viewers out. I choose to believe that someone “higher up” has mandated this path, and that person obviously has no investment in these characters, they are only invested in what they perceive as the “bigger picture” (though they are wrong, as I’ll be glad to tell them) and they have been mislead into believing that PC can pick up enough new viewers from the so called buzz the vampire saga generated once upon a time. Sorry, but I firmly believe that 99% of new viewers that are snagged right now won’t be around in about twelve weeks. That, you see, is how long it takes to figure out that what you are watching has already been done…and that you would be ill-advised to bother getting to know any of the characters on the show because, let’s face it, they aren’t characters they are caricatures. They are imitations of real soap characters, and they are poor imitations at that.
If PC were on once a week, I’d watch it and probably like it because I wouldn’t expect to know what the characters would or wouldn’t do. I’ve watched these people for years though and I DO expect that I should A) Understand what they are doing and why, B) Be able to follow the logic and intent of why they are behaving out of character when necessary, and C) Throughout all of that have some iota of a reason to still care about the characters. I know I’ve said all this before, but I cannot come up with anything else to say so I guess I’ll say it again. There are no families. The children are gone, which makes sense because there are no parent’s left that don’t have serious, scary issues going on. Victor showed up for two days, became a vampire, spouted about making a church into a vampire pen or some such thing then left. Amanda Barrington showed up for thirty seconds, just long enough to show us that she is no longer “herself” and to prove she’s still around, but can’t be bothered to mourn Alison. Who cares? Kevin is drugged and he’s no longer the stalwart defender of Livvie (and goodness knows she needs one), we don’t have a clue what drug he’s taking or why it makes him suddenly follow orders, but we do know that he’s hooked on it and administering it to himself so you can chalk that up to something that won’t change anytime soon I’m guessing. Mary…oh, why bother? Suffice it to say that the usual suspects are missing and I’m at the point where even spoilers and promises of stories for Chris, Karen, etc. mean absolutely nothing to me. Sure, they’ll have a story, for five minutes maybe. Caleb, Ali, Rafe, and Livvie are all great characters and I fully enjoy them all but I don’t believe it’s enough. The only thing I’m enjoying about this show right now are the scenes between Caleb and Alison; Caleb, Alison and Livvie; and Alison and Livvie. Why you ask? Because those are the only scenes that are about the characters, their history and their emotions. PC has even managed to turn me cold on Alison and Rafe. It’s not that I don’t like them together, but since they rarely interact on a human level anymore I just find I don’t care much. Why should I anyway? It’s not like the fact that they’re together means much more than the very occasional lovemaking or tender scene in between being at war with the world and all. They have no personal life outside that anyway. The connection feels lost…whether that’s their connection to each other or my connection to them really doesn’t matter, now does it? The characters that have real conversations about things other than vampires are the only ones that have any chance of interesting me these days.
So, it’s with some trepidation that I jump on the Caleb/Alison bandwagon (wait, let me guess: CAli?, CAlis?, AlisCal?, Aliseb? lol) and announce my ever-so-important endorsement of them. I couldn’t care less (surprise, surprise) if they actually become a couple or just continue this little dance of sane, reasonable, realistic conversations they’re having, in the meantime you better believe I’m eating it up with a spoon because I’ve been starved of all of the above for far too long. While I’m on an honesty kick about the way my PC world has been torn apart, I may as well say that I’m finding Rafe more and more uninteresting by the day. The character has gone in big circles since he showed up and it’s starting to completely bore me. Ask yourself, why is Rafe necessary right now, in this story we’re watching at this moment? Is it because Ali needs him? Hell no, wrong answer. Is it because he is one half of the strongest love ever to grace PC? Hell no, wrong again…Lucy and Ian have a healthier relationship than Rafe and Ali, with less secrets and more passion, sad to say. Rafe is necessary for one purpose only. He is Caleb’s nemesis. There is no other facet of his character that is being explored, acted upon or acted out. Rafe is fast becoming as one hero as Joshua is one note villain. I like them both and think the acting is fine, but the characters are cardboard. Cardboard has bored the heck out of me ever since I passed age eight and stopped using it to invent my own entertainment. Call me lazy, but these days, I expect more. I used to care about these characters but I find that really, I mostly don’t anymore. They have no lives, no jobs, mostly no loves. They have few motives and even fewer objectives. It’s just all so…one note. Or, okay to be fair, it’s more like a few notes that are repeated over and over again. It’s like the “first five notes” to Caleb’s song. You hear it and think, “hey, that could be good!” and you listen for a few more minutes and you think “hmmm, are we going somewhere with this?” and then it hits you and you realize that this is really all there is. Then you’re left feeling disappointed, and in my case for today anyway, you’re left feeling like you need to take knife to the whole thing and just rip it to shreds in the hope that maybe afterwards you’ll see some glimmer of something worth keeping in the wreckage. Or not.
I guess I’ve said what I came to say about that. Here are a few other random thoughts that I had intended to make into a column before I got out my filleting knife and went after PC like a hunk of salmon. Do you fillet salmon? Have I mentioned that I’m not much of a cook? That should explain my lack of finesse with this chop job – but I think I made my point.
Anybody else get a kick out of Rafe trying to convince Alison that she shouldn’t trust Caleb? He said that Caleb “…saddled up your mother…”! My dirty little mind skipped over the “with this curse” thing and was thinking that maybe Rafe would want to use a different tack than reminding Alison of Caleb’s obvious prowess. I don’t find Caleb that attractive but after watching him with Liz and Livvie, he has even me convinced that Caleb has special “powers”! This is his choice of persuasion after he finds out Caleb kissed Alison? Okaaaay then, we’ll see how that works out for ya Rafe.
In case TPTB need an example of dialogue that utilizes actual drama and interpersonal reactions. From Livvie: “She’s taken every man I’ve ever loved” and “She’s everything I’m not, especially now”. Those are good, true, character driven lines. Loved that. The more focus on relationships of any sort, the better. The cave dwellers, sitting around talking about how they are all going to get along and work together is vastly more interesting than any vampire club scene so far.
Hey Lucy! If you don’t cut your bangs sometime soon, you’ll be able to use them in place of a garter belt or something. Sheesh – the angst in your eyes over your illness might actually mean something if we could see it.
I think it is just spectacular that tptb saw fit to create a special circumstance (a fistfight…how very ordinary was that?) during which they could bestow “The Blood Drip” on Rafe. Knowing that Rafe would never have the honor of getting that precious little thing running down his chin was practically killing me, so you better believe that it made my day!
Special thanks to Jack this week for helping keep the Vampire Nation strong. Way to encourage a friend Jack! “Nah Jamal, don’t fight it, just go with it.” Whatever. I’m hoping Jamal is just pretending to “go with it” but either way, I have no clue where Jack’s head is these days. Anyone else suspect that we will have a Jamal/Livvie mutual feeding for convenience thing going on before long? Might be interesting.
Why the heck are there so many flashbacks lately on this show? Flashbacks of things that aren’t even that important if you ask me. We only have a half hour to fill to begin with so what’s the problem with coming up with new material? The only flashbacks that felt necessary or interesting to me lately were the Jamal/Alison ones. Those were worthwhile and fit the story (not to mention a breath or fresh air) but the rest felt like filler, which is totally unacceptable on a half hour, thirteen-week story timeline.
Ian being tortured by his vampire needs is making for a decent story. TK is doing a great job with the material and it makes sense for the character to be going through what he’s going through. I thought he was going to attack Liz right there on the porch the other day! Kudos to him. I don’t know where Lucy’s senses are but she’s a little too clueless for my liking lately.
Ricky? I don’t care about Ricky one little bit. His hair is icky and his singing isn’t all that much better. Be gone Ricky. Be gone.
Can’t believe I’m saying this but I think Casey can stay. During her scenes with bad hair boy, in the park before Alison’s memorial when she was saying that it just wasn’t going to happen, etc., I really bought her. Joy Bisco is improving and I’m almost getting into her zany approach to everything. Plus, I enjoy seeing the actors have to freeze and stay in the same position while she waxes on about being a screw up, watching to see if they move gives me something to focus on. Scary, huh? I may change my mind, but for now, she can stay.
So, how did you like Livvie the flying bat? Apparently the fangs and growling aren’t cutting it so we’ve cranked it up another notch. Honestly, I haven’t had that good of a laugh in quite some time. As soon as Alison started waving her hands around in the air and the camera started zooming up and down at her from above, I knew what was happening and I laughed until it hurt. I totally don’t understand why we didn’t get the pleasure of seeing the Livvie bat in action, that hardly seems fair, does it? How long can it be until the entire town is crouching and swatting at thin air? Oh and could Rafe have possibly reacted any slower to Alison’s screams for help? Gimme a break.
I don’t know you guys, maybe it’ll pass but at the moment I’m just way fed up. It’s not all bad, but it seems that the good lately is fleeting and it usually serves to remind me of what could be if the focus was in the right place. Even with my relative disinterest in vampires, I enjoyed the first few arcs involving them and bringing Caleb back didn’t bother me all that much. The supernatural is admittedly not my thing but I think it worked when the arcs were still actual separate arcs and I knew that if I became unhappy or bored with one, the next one would probably be better. Now, I just feel tired and cranky about the whole thing. The first week or two of each vampire arc is worth seeing to catch glimpses of characters I never see otherwise, and since they usually jam thirteen weeks worth of story into the last two weeks I usually enjoy those, but otherwise, I think I’d rather be watching just about any of the previous non-vampire contaminated arcs over again. At least back then, the characters and the plot were still the primary players. Mostly though, watching this show just makes me sad because it could be much, much more than it is.
P.S. – Well shoot! This column was so rambly and incoherent that I was hoping to spruce it up a bit with pics of Lucy’s too long bangs, Rafe’s blood drip, Livvie crouching behind bushes after coming in for a landing…scintillating stuff like that, but my favorite screen cap site ( http://groups.msn.com/PCScreenCaps/shoebox.msnw ) is on vacation. Let me take a moment to thank all the screen cappers out there because you provide a marvelous service for which I, for one, am really grateful.
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