Cult: You’re Next

Have you ever seen Farscape? It was this lovely little show in which some of the characters were played by people and the others were played by puppets. It was basically awesome in a really weird sort of way. Cult, created by the same man who created Farscape, is awesome too. Actually, it’s the most awesome show I’ve seen on television in five years (or maybe ever. Time will tell).

The rundown:
Cult is a show within a show. You see, Cult is about the fans of a television show named Cult. (Meta, right?) The fans are obsessed with finding secrets hidden within the show. They go on websites and find links which take them to underground fansites. Those who get in that deep often are scared by what they find. Some disappear. Some even die.

Jeff, the hero of the show, is pulled into the fandom when his brother disappears. His brother had previously claimed that people connected with the show were following him. Jeff, knowing it seems crazy, suspects that somehow fans of Cult are involved with his brother’s disappearance. He visits the production lot and begins asking to see the showrunner. This is impossible because the showrunner, Steven Rae, is mysterious and reclusive. A research assistant on Cult, however, has been looking into these underground sites. She takes Jeff to a fandom cafe (I KNOW!), and they learn that Jeff’s brother and some woman cosplay the main characters of the show. At this point, things in our Cult begin to eerily mirror things happening on Cult’s Cult (the lines they say, the things that happen, and the people coming into play). Cult begins to look like it’s not just a television show, and Jeff begins to question what is fiction and what is reality.

Verdict:
Oh my gosh! If ever a show were written for me, this would be it. I love meta television, and this is the most meta-y-ish thing I’ve ever seen. It’s about television and fans and television productions. There are tons of little in jokes (the Fox/Joss line is the most fabulous thing ever), and it’s just a great and slightly frightening depiction of fandom gone wrong. I haven’t been this excited about a television show since Dollhouse. The cast is wonderful (T-Bag, Alaric, and Jo!) and the writing is clever and tight. Tonally, it’s very similar to Supernatural and X-Files, but it’s more intricate than either of those shows. Oh gosh, this is a really, really smart show with tons of layers. I can’t wait to watch it again. I will definitely be tuning in Tuesday, and you all should too. The previews are a bit vague and dark, but this isn’t some gory slaughterfest. This is an intelligent, highly addictive show. I love it and especially recommend it to fans of X-Files, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Joss Whedon, and Life on Mars.

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Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal Has a Premiere Date!

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I’ve been a huge fan of Bryan Fuller’s since Pushing Daisies.  I, of course, also love his short-lived Wonderfalls and even shorter-lived Mockingbird Lane (one episode, really?).  I’m really looking for to his Hannibal.  I mean, I’m not looking forward to a show about a cannibal.  Not at all.  But I am looking forward to a new Bryan Fuller show.  Every time I rewatch his shows (and this is often), I fall in love with his dialogue and zannyness all over again.  He’s one of the few showrunners on television that have a truly unique and defined voice.  Of course, this doesn’t seem to be working for him since all his shows get cancelled, but still, his fans love him for it.   I can’t wait to see the color and the tone he brings to this show.   I’m just a bit disappointed I have to wait until April 4th.  I was hoping that the cancellation of Do No Harm would move things up a bit.  Oh well.  At least, it’s coming to television.  Let’s just hope that the death slot of 10pm Thursday night doesn’t spell out an early doom.

To Ship the Impossible Ship

Have you ever needed two characters to get together? Have you latched onto any and every brief scene they had together? Have you felt the sinking feeling when those characters go off with others you cannot even stand? Basically, have you known the pain of having a non-cannon opt? I have. I seem to have a habit of willing characters to be together who will never be united in love. The writers obviously seek to plague me with unrequited feels. The following five ships are my personal torment. Try not to judge my weirdness too strongly.

1. The Tudors: Charles Brandon and Lady Mary: I thought I’d start with my weirdest ship. Going into this one, I obviously knew they wouldn’t end up together, but even so, that doesn’t stop me from watching inappropriate fanvids of them on Youtube.com. These two are actually really sweet together in my head. Their tortured love affair would have had to be kept secret from the king–Brandon having learned his lesson after marrying Henry’s sister–and they would have had to have romantic rendezvouz in the woods and fleeting touches in corridors. Sigh. Of course, you kinda sorta have to ignore the fact that she had his granddaughter executed for the romance of it all to work. Still, wouldn’t Henry Cavill and Sarah Bolger have been beautiful together?

2. Rookie Blue: Peck and Luke: I don’t think anyone else ships this. There are no fanfictions for it online and no videos. I must be alone in thinking that these two tortured souls deserve each other. Okay, confession time. I have this weird obsession with Rookie Blue. It’s really not a great show, but it draws you it. It’s like watching a train wreck unfold. In the last two seasons, the only bright spot I find in watching this show has been my desire for Peck and Luke to get together. Unfortunately, Luke was almost non-existent in last season. I was freaking out at the end, however, when he showed up and was interviewing her in the hospital. There was nothing romantic about it, but all the same, I swooned. The writers, like everyone else, don’t care about these two. I alone will languish over their suitability until the show it cancelled.

3. Arrow: Oliver and Felicity: I just discovered her name two weeks ago, but I have shipped them from the very first. Forget Laurel. Felicity is the one for Ollie. It’s too early to tell if this ship is hopeless, but I have a feeling it will be. My only hope rests on that fact that in Smallville, Ollie ended up with another clever blond. Oh gosh, Felicity is awesome and funny and obviously has eyes for the hunky superhero. I’m hoping that she will be brought in on the secret soon and get to spend more time with him. He’ll have to see her amazingness then, right?

4. Once Upon a Time: Hook and Aurora: I’m sorry. This is more about The Tudors than anything else. Colin played the Phillip Mary didn’t marry in that show. I want them to be together now since they didn’t get their proper chance before. Besides, she need someone to make her forget about her lost love. Hook would definitely do that for her. Sigh, oh gosh, I love Hook so much. I think he could legitimately end up with any female (or maybe male) character on that show. Aurora and he are just my top choice. Maybe he and Belle next. All I know is that I don’t want him to end up with Emma because. . .

5. Once Upon a Time: Emma and Rumpelstiltskin: I have shipped these two from the very, very beginning. Yes, I realize that he is her son’s grandfather. You know what? I don’t really care. They would be great together. I was really hoping in the last episode that this roadtrip would be the perfect opportunity for them to fall in love. Unfortunately, stupid Henry had to come along. I still am holding out hope for them. The only thing that complicates matters is that Emma seems to have a veritable harem of men clambering at her heels. I have no idea what the writers’ endgame is. I can only hope she choses Rumpel and NOT Hook or August or her ex or any of the others.

Ladies Kicking Butt: La Femme Nikita

So it begins…La Femme Nikita a.k.a. the French film which spawned the American adaptation, Point of No Return, and three television shows (Nikita, Alias, and La Femme Nikita). The film is dark and less action packed than you might think, but it’s really a must see if you want to see the film that inspired J. J. and Craig Silverstein to make their (sometimes) awesome TV series.

(Spoilers After the Break)

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Swoon a.k.a. What Women Do Not Want

For centuries, men and women have tried to discern what women really desire in a man.  Some have claimed women are drawn to power, wealth, and physical strength.  Others have touted women’s attraction to the proverbial bastard. And others still have looked to the great lovers of history for their answers.  The new nonfiction book, Swoon: The Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them, attempts to debunk the myths of feminine attraction by looking at the men who have historically had the most success with women a.k.a. lotharios of the Casanova make.

The following is a handy dandy guide based on Betsy Prioleau’s book that illustrates the difference between what women are supposed to like in a man and what they actually do like.

What Women Do Not Want: Money, Power, or a Good Physique

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                First and foremost, women do not desire men with money, power, or a good physique.   These things are just icing on an already delicious cake.  If a man is not smart, funny, impulsive, a good conversationalist, and sweet, he really won’t have staying power in a woman’s heart.  And yes, while some women might marry for money, most would not live in those marriages happily if her husband didn’t have some of the attributes mentioned above.  Take into account the film Reality Bites.  Lelaina goes out with the powerful television executive, Michael.  He seems perfect.  Compared to her friends, he’s wealthy, powerful, and fairly good-looking.  Unfortunately, things soon go sour when she realizes that he is more interested in the bottom line than herself and her work.  She dumps him because he doesn’t understand her and doesn’t even seem to try. Reenter her friend, Troy.

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Troy is an often out of work musician.  He quotes Shakespeare and waxes eloquently about life, the universe, and everything.  He shows interest in what Lelaina does and, although he is difficult and less powerful than Michael, he is the man she chooses in the end.  I have heard some men question the logic in this, but when I first saw the movie, I had no doubt that Troy was the right man for her.  In her shoes, I would have made the same decision, and I believe across the board, most women would be more drawn to the penniless musician than the business executive.

What Women Don’t Want: Brawn at the Expense of Brains

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Brains will also always trump brawn.  A man might be an excellent physical specimen, but he will have little potential if he doesn’t have a mind to back up that muscle.  Women want to be mentally stimulated.  Truly desirable men can ruminate on poetry, art, music, philosophy, and literature.  Women want to talk about important things and not just the weather or what your significant other did on any given day.  If a man is gorgeous yet a bit of an idiot he won’t have much of a chance to leave an impression on most women.  Talk is a powerful aphrodisiac and brainy is most definitely the new sexy.   In The Hour, Belle is pursued by two men, Hector and Freddie.  Hector is an athlete with medals for bravery and Freddie is a slight journalist.  While Belle originally is enamored with Hector, he doesn’t hold her interest for long because he is both a bit dull and ingenuine. Freddie, however, is smart, passionate, and completely real.  He’s not the sort most would immediately fall in love with, but he is the sort that would draw you in.  It is his mind, conversation, and enthusiasm that are attractive.  In the end, both the audience and Belle would much rather have a Freddie than a Hector.

What Women Do Not Want: Completely Responsible Men

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                Women also don’t want completely responsible men.  Responsibility is hardly sexy.  Men with a bit of a wild side are absolutely more attractive than the staid, buttoned up type.  This is not to say that women are attracted to bastards or shifty men.  Women just like being surprised once in a while. Spontaneity adds interest to life and spice to a relationship.  Women often lead stressful lives.  It is helpful if she has a man who lightens her load rather than adds to it.  Surprise dinners, impromptu vacations, and romantic nights are exactly the sorts of things that add a little sparkle to a woman’s life.  Night after night of home cooked meals, evenings in front of the television, and early lights out are hardly the stuff of epic romances.  A woman wants to feel like she is worth the extra effort.  A woman wants a little adventure and that’s why roguishness is a more attractive quality in a man than responsibility.  This is why the fantasy of the Doctor is so intoxicating.  The very idea of a fabulous man whisking you across time and space is many a woman’s fantasy.   Rose, tellingly enough, quickly falls for the Doctor and leaves behind her responsible and slightly boring boyfriend, Mickey.  Amy also falls a little for the Doctor in spite of having old, reliable Rory at her beck and call.  The Doctor is unpredictable and a little bit dangerous.  It’s not really surprising that he’s a bit of a ladykiller.

What Women Do Not Want: A Man’s Man

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Tough, alpha males with no interest in anything that isn’t deemed “manly” are hardly catches.  Women don’t want men who look down on everything feminine and think that calling another man a girl is a viable slight.  Women want men who are in touch with their emotions, like things that aren’t sports related, and truly love the Feminine.  Good smelling, nicely dressed, and well spoken men are far more attractive than he-man hulks.  In fact, women are often most attracted to men who are more in touch with their femininity.  Pretty men with good grooming are often looked down on by other men, but women like men who take care with their appearance and aren’t slobs.  Women are not, I repeat NOT, turned off by pretty men.  Historically, some of the greatest ladies men had feminine qualities (some even cross dressed).  This is important because this fact totally undercuts the boys should be boys ideology.  Women don’t want rough and tumble men.  They want poets, artists, dancers, and philosophers.  Following “girly” pursuits actually make men more attractive rather than less.  So if a man is dissed by other men for acting like a girl, he’ll most likely stand a better chance with women than his more chauvinistic counterpart.

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 Disney has long since learned this.  It is no coincidence that the villain rather than the hero of Beauty and the Beast is the brawny hunter who is puzzled by books and Belle’s dislike of him.  The Beast, in contrast, is the man more in touch with his emotions.  He dances.  He enthusiastically allows Belle to teach him to read.  He tries to please her rather than trying to please himself.  He’s humble, gentle, and, eventually, well dressed.  The Beast earns Belle’s love not through shows of strength but through the revealing of his heart.  He has a bit of the poet about him, and in the end, we see that his face is just as pretty as his heart.

 

(Images from X, X, X, X, X, X)

Emily Owens: The Finale

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Finales can make or break a television show. Some finales are fabulous codas (most notably, in my mind, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Life on Mars). Others leave something to be desire (i.e. Pushing Daisies and Veronica Mars). And still others are downright infuriating (Lost, V, and Battlestar Galactica to name a few). It’s really aggravating in particular when a television show’s finale taints everything that came before it.

(Spoilers After the Break…)

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