TV Preview: Vampire Diaries

September 9th, 2009

I’ve been dreading and putting off writing this preview, but we’re now a day away from the premiere, so I’ve got to say something about it. Anything. But to be honest: I still haven’t gathered all my thoughts about it, and I’m just too scared to even think about this show.

For most of you (I’m guessing practically ALL of you) this will just be another vampire show piggybacking on the hype of Twilight and True Blood. And I’m not disagreeing; that’s definitely the reason why CW picked up this show. For me though this show is much more: the TV adaption of one of my most beloved book series from LJ Smith. I adoooored these books as a teen and can’t begin to tell you how often I’ve read them. While they weren’t my favourite books from LJ Smith (have a look at the Nightworld series, Dark Visions, and the Secret Circle trilogy), they are the first books I read from her and they’ll always remain “sacred” to me.

When I found out the CW would make a TV show out of this, a part of me was ecstatic, but a larger part of me was just dreading it. You know how it is with book-to-TV/movie adaptions; you’ll never satisfy everyone and there will be some disappointments on the way. Whoever they cast in it, it will never match up 100% with however the characters looked in your mind.

And the more I see and hear about this Vampire Diaries TV show, the more I think that in the end I’m just going to be completely disappointed in it. Maybe it will still be an okay series (I doubt it though), but it won’t be my Vampire Diaries. Here’s one of the trailers:

Eek, there is just so much that is wrong! Some of the things might seem minor, but I don’t understand why they had to change it. For starters, Elena (the main character) is described in the books as a blue-eyed blonde, who starts off the series as a bit of a shallow self centered bitch. Not at all remotely like how they’ve portrayed her in the TV series. Then Bonnie is supposed to be bubbly short redhead, descended from druids and is psychic. Apparently they’ve changed  that in the show to “voodoo princess”. Then the third best friend Meredith is just completely missing from the show! There are more changes like this and I just don’t get most of them. Why base a show on a book if you’re going to change the entire thing?

Besides that though, even if you haven’t read the books, I still think it looks awful. Nothing about it seems compelling enough for me to watch it: the dialogue sounds dreadful, the characters look dull, and the plot laughable. It just seems as if they’re cashing in on the whole Twilight and True Blood buzz (“hey, let’s make our own vampire show!”).

Maybe it will turn out okay, but my gut feeling is telling me this will be utter crap. I’m definitely going to try to see when it comes out, but I’m not hopeful about it at all. My tip: ignore the TV show, buy the books instead (Amazon UK, Amazon US).

What do you think of Vampire Diaries? Will you be watching? Or maybe you had a beloved book that was adapted horribly? Discuss in the comments.

I love How I Met Your Mother; it’s I think my favourite sitcom at the moment. It’s got some of the best quotes; most all coming from Barney: “It’s gonna be legen… wait for it… dary!”, “Haaaaave you met Ted?”, “Suit up!”.

Last season ended (SPOILER ALERT for season 4) with a couple of long awaited revelations: Barney declared his love for Robin (yay!) and as Ted began teaching Coumbia University, it was revealed that the Mother is in his class room. I love the Barney-Robin relationship and can’t wait to see more of it.

The TV addict has a bunch of photos from the season premiere of How I Met Your Other up on his blog, and I just had to share them with you. Here’s one of them:


To see the other ones, just head on over to The TV Addict.

How I Met Your Mother – Season 5 Premiere: 21 September 2009 on CBS

TV Preview: Fringe Season 2

August 18th, 2009

Fringe was one of the most interesting new series of last year, so I’m pretty curious to see how their second season will be. There was a big revelation at the end of last season’s finale, and I really want to know how that will affect everyone involved.

Fox has released a couple of different ads to promote the upcoming season, which will be airing on Thursday September 17th. The first is a short promo showing, some scenes from the new season:

Besides that, they’ve also released a season 2 poster, with a couple of cryptic clues hidden within:


I can’t find a high res version of this, making it a bit tricky to see the cryptic clues. So far I’ve spotted the six-finger handprint, the white bunny, the butterfly and something like a tarot card on the ground. Anybody found anything else?

Another soapy drama with pretty people: The Beautiful Life revolves all around the fashion industry about a pair of fresh young models. Here’s the description from The CW:

The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but as every new model learns, behind the beautiful façade is a world of insecurity and cutthroat competition. Two teenage models just discovering this world are Raina Collins (Sara Paxton, Last House on the Left), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth, The Line), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy. Raina befriends the newly discovered Chris, introducing him to her friends at the “models’ residence’ she calls home. After an intense photo shoot and an exclusive industry party that a violent turn, Chris questions whether he can survive in this world of dangerous excess and fleeting fame.

I want to not like this series, but I have a feeling that just like with Gossip Girl and 90210, I’ll get hooked.

The trailer is a bit long, but I’m already curious to see more of the characters; they seem likable already. The main girl Sara Paxton seems so familiar to me, but I can’t figure out where I’ve seen her before (browsed through her IMDB page, nothing popped out). I’ve always hated Mischa Barton, but if her character remains the bitchy girl-we’re-supposed-to-hate I don’t have a problem with her.

The Beautiful Life – Serie Premiere: Wednesday September 16th

It’s a bit depressing when a new sci-fi series opens with “From the producer of Grey’s Anatomy”. Yeah, that’s not exactly what I’m hoping for when I hear “sci-fi”. I love Grey’s Anatomy, but basically it’s just a soap set in a hospital. So what can we expect from this? A soap set in space?

The description from ABC also doesn’t seem that hopeful:

Four women and four men hurtle through space with nothing to do for six years and eight billion miles, except maybe solve a powerful and awesome mystery. Maybe, just maybe, some of them will even hook up. How cool is that?

Defying Gravity is a sexy, provocative thriller set in the very near future against the backdrop of our solar system, in which the eight astronauts from five countries undertake a mysterious six-year international space mission on the spaceship Antares.

They can’t run from karma, however, as their past actions reveal intimate and interconnected relationships that have a strange effect on the present. As the astronauts travel towards Venus, we travel into their past with flashbacks to earlier years from the grueling selection and training process. What could have happened?

Maybe there is something to this fate thing after all.

Hmm, it could turn out great, but I’m not keeping my hopes high. It just doesn’t sound right. And here’s the trailer:

Defying Gravity – 2 Hours Series Premiere: Sunday August 2nd

TV Preview: Day One

July 10th, 2009

This might actually be a good year for sci-fi. I had heard about NBC’s new show Day One, but it sounded a little bit similar to Jericho. A global disaster, a group of people banding struggling to survive together; it didn’t seem that interesting. But now the first trailer has come out, and it’s got me intrigued.

Here’s the description from NBC:

In the aftermath of a global event that devastates the world’s infrastructures, a small band of survivors strives to rebuild society and unravel the mysteries of why the event took place and what the future has in store. Told from the point of view of an eclectic group of neighbors in a Van Nuys, California apartment building, this journey of survival will show us that hope is found in the smallest of victories and heroes are born every day.

And the trailer:

[Watch on]

I’m not too sure about the CGI (but maybe a higher res video would show it better), but the story has got me curious. It’s an alien attack, right? Those weird pillar thingies can’t be man-made. Plus what’s with the whole “I chose each and every one of you”; there’s definitely something more behind that. It somehow seems very reminiscent to The Stand, a Stephen King mini-series from a couple of years ago.

What do you think? Worth watching?

Fans of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse might have heard about the “missing” 13th episode Epitaph One, which never got aired. The story behind that is the Fox network counted the original pilot (also unaired) as part of the 13 episode order, while the Fox production company needed 13 actual completed episodes for international DVD releases. Because that original pilot wasn’t enough to qualify as an actual episode (cause they re-used a lot of that material for other episodes), Whedon decided to make a new 13th episode on a lower budget, which will be available on most DVDs as an extra.

Starring Felicia Day, Epitaph One is a stand-alone episode, set in the future after a apocalypse. From what I’ve understood most of the cast will make an appearance, so I’m curious to see how this will fit in the timeline. Take a look at the preview clip which has just been released:

[Watch the video on]

My guess at the moment is that it’s a fantasy or a virtual reality type of scenario. I mean, it’s a bit weird to show all these characters that we’re invested in, so many years in the future; it kind of tells us “hey, they’re alive, so in the next couple of seasons they can’t die”. I’m thinking there must be some sort of twist to it, so that this future isn’t set or maybe just doesn’t exist at all.

Dollhouse Season 1 DVD – £14.98 on (14 September), $31.99 on (28 July)

I never watched the original series of Melrose Place; I was eight when the series came out and unlike Beverly Hills 90210, I don’t remember ever coming across the repeats. This new version of it looks pretty good though: it’s like Gossip Girl, but with characters actually my age!

[Watch on]

TV Preview: The Middle

June 19th, 2009

I don’t have that much to say about this new series; it doesn’t look particularly new and exciting. The only thing that has got me slightly curious is that it has Scrubs’s favourite janitor, Neil Flynn. For the rest though: boring.

Here’s the trailer:

As promised, here is the second part of the interview with Ron D Moore (check out the first post here):

Q: I absolutely love the Caprica pilot, so I was wondering if you could talk about this virtual world. Is this at all kind of similar to the holobands that was introduced on the Caprica pilot?

Ron Moore: I was sort of aware of the similarities between the two. They do have different purposes and different sorts of constructs to them. They both involve putting a set of goggles on your face, so they’re similar in sort of that perspective. In Caprica it’s really much more akin to the Internet where you go out and the virtual spaces are practically infinite and they intersect with one another. On Caprica you can go from the V-Club where we establish in the pilot is sort of a hacked world and then, presumably, there are worlds of war craft type of worlds, etc., etc. It’s all sort of interconnected into their version of the Internet.

In Virtuality we’re looking at something much more discrete, much smaller, much more of a gaming type of environment where an astronaut has a specific virtual reality module that they go into and play whatever game or have whatever experience they want, but there is no expectation that you can cross from one module to another.

Q: Ron, just still following up, if it only lives as a two-hour movie and doesn’t get picked up is there any thought of maybe trying to push to do another two-hour movie where you could tie up some of the thoughts that you wanted to or, as a lot of creators are doing now, maybe taking it into a different media, like a comic book so you could continue to expand on the theme?

Ron Moore: I think all of those are possibilities. We’ve talked about all of those possibilities. It’s just kind of one step at a time. I think it’s really hard to say. It depends on where we go after the broadcast and, A, after the ratings, after they start looking at demographics, after they start looking at word of mouth. Sometimes these things have a bigger life that sort of blossoms a few weeks after the broadcast. There’s a buzz going. People talk and then they start wondering when it’s on DVD … and decisions about where we would go with the underlying properties is just really hard to say where we are right now.

Q: Are you ready in your mind on where exactly you’d want to go if it either stays in the same medium or if it jumps somewhere else?

Ron Moore: Yes. I mean either way I think Mike and I pretty much have an idea of the direction that we would take the show or the book or whatever it would be. We have an idea of where we would take the story after this, yes.


Q: I really love the idea of the virtual worlds and I was wondering what type of virtual worlds could we see in the movie and maybe in the series if that continues.

Ron Moore: You’ll see kind of a range of virtual worlds. Like I said earlier, it opens in the Civil War in an action sort of piece and then there are more pastoral settings. There is a home. There are actually doctor’s offices. There are rock concerts. There is quite a range of areas that we went into, which was a deliberate choice. We wanted to sort of show that we were going to use these worlds in sort of disparate ways and that they would all be sort of tailored to specific characters and what they were interested in going to do, so you’ll see quite a range of virtual worlds when you get in there.

Q: I was reading somewhere that you don’t really reveal the year or what the actual emergency to the earth is. Was that done intentionally?

Ron Moore: Actually, that changed over time. Initially we didn’t really specify those things. We wanted to keep it looser and kind of vague because I just thought it was more interesting than nailing down the specifics on all of that, but as we went through the process we started to nail those things down. We just started to feel like we had to answer certain questions. I think we did; I know you’re going to ask me what year it is and I’m not going to know off the top of my head, so don’t ask; but I think we do refer to the year and we definitely talked more about the nature of the emergency.

Q: Yes. There was something written, a piece of dialogue, where it said, “Dry land is really expensive now,” so I …

Ron Moore: Yes. We expanded on that idea a little bit more.

Q: Okay, so there are just like hints?

Ron Moore: It’s kind of explicit. I mean there is a commercial for the reality show within the show. Within that commercial it kind of lays out some of the broader parameters of the mission, about what’s happening on earth and why the mission has taken on a new urgency. The mission started out as just one of exploration and then something going terribly wrong back home in terms of climate change, in terms of the environment, or so the astronauts are told. That’s kind of where we are.

Q: Okay. Did you look to any other properties for inspiration, like Sunshine or 2001?

Ron Moore: Not specifically. I mean I think we were aware of Sunshine and we sort of wanted to try to not go into it. We had seen it and we were like aware that there were certain similarities to some of it. We then kind of wanted to go out of our way to make sure that ours was different, so we were kind of like in that place.


Q: What is your relationship with reality TV? Are you a fan?

Ron Moore: I started off as a skeptic/hater of it. Now, actually, there are definitely reality programs that I like. I think probably at the top of that list, I’m a very late convert to Deadliest Catch, which I had heard about for a few years. I was even on a panel once with the executive producer and never really watched it. Then this last season finally my wife and I decided to give it a try and I was really taken with it, really drawn into it and impressed with the quality of the production and the seriousness with which they do this reality show that’s really a documentary every week. From there I like Project Runway. I like Top Chef. I’ve been suckered in, as it were.

Q: Thank you. Do you have any closing remarks?

Ron Moore: Well, I do actually. There is a series of Webisodes that were created for Virtuality. Webisodes are not just your traditional here’s an extra piece of story that you didn’t see on the show and here’s another little segment to tease you. The Webisodes for Virtuality are actually segments of the reality show within the show itself, so when you would log onto the Web site what you would see when you tagged on the Webisodes is you would see pieces of the reality show as it was broadcast back to earth, which was in the pitch when we sold it to the network originally. We said, “Everyone is always looking for this sort of interaction between the broadcast show and driving people to the Web site.” It’s always been sort of an uncomfortable marriage and they never seem to quite marry up in an interesting way for the audience. Ours has this really sort of organic way to do that where you could go to the Web site and experience Edge of Never is the name of the show, so you could go see Edge of Never on the Web site.

The concept and the plan would have been if the show went to series that every week you could log in on the Web site and see pieces of the reality show and buried within those pieces of the reality show would be actual information and clues that would not be accessible to the people watching the broadcast of the show. There was going to be a deliberate effort to sort of say, “Really, if you want to get all of the idea of what’s going on and to even crack some of the underlying mysteries to what the series is about, you would have to go and watch these pieces of Edge of Never,” because the idea within the show was that the astronauts may not be aware of how the show itself is being viewed back on earth. They may not understand certain things, but the audience back on earth might understand certain things.

There was this interesting relationship between the Webisodes and the series. My understanding is that right now Fox is going to put them up. There is a Facebook page for Edge of Never and I think in the next few days, if not early next week, certainly by early next week, you can go to the Facebook page and you can start downloading or streaming or however they’re going to make it available to you, these Webisodes, which would sort of build interest in the show and show you chunks of Edge of Never only on Fox. It would have the logos and it would have the astronauts behind the scenes of their reality show, sort of content for viewers to check out. I would encourage people to go and take a look at it, because I think it’s a unique bit of Virtuality.

Virtuality premieres on Friday 26th June at 8.00pm on Fox.