Posts from the ‘Bad Television’ Category

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 8

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

While talking to Stefan about his heightened bloodlust, Damon actually raises some good points that are food for thought. I would expect him to just try and convince Stefan to be an old-fashioned hunter-killer human-feeding vampire, but instead he proposes going to a blood bank. It’s almost a victimless crime, and certainly doesn’t require Stefan to hunt or kill. Instead of taking Damon’s rare good idea, he says he has his reasons for not doing so and returns to self-imposed brooding as he tries to resume normal life…unlife? Afterlife? Eventually I’m going to figure out a term for this.

 

Clearly he let himself in, since nobody would invite that guy into their home, so he's almost certainly not a vampire.

"Hi, I’m uncle John. I have a face which says 'I love babies, can I eat yours?'”

So sketchy Uncle John has come to town to keep Aunt Jenna from selling Elena’s father’s old office (something we barely established was happening in a D plot from like two episodes ago). After about 60 seconds it’s pretty clear that no one in the whole world likes Uncle John, I wonder why.

 

I really don’t understand the Jeremy/Tyler dynamic. Tyler approaches Jeremy and tries to be friendly, which strike me as odd because Jeremy did that a few episodes ago and Tyler shot him down, since Vicki’s the only thing they had in common. Now she’s STILL the only thing they have in common but Tyler’s taking a break from being the least friendly guy on a show full of vampires? I don’t understand.

 

Uncle John shows up at the first meeting of the Founder’s Council that I’ve really seen, and actually addresses the conspicuous vampire activities generated by the Home for Wayward Vampires. Maybe his job is to point out obvious logical inconsistencies…if so, it’s no wonder that no one in town likes him; sci-fi and fantasy shows hate having their plot holes pointed out.

 

Stefan tells Damon what I’m thinking, “I really liked you a whole lot better when you hated everybody”, as the brothers enter the founders’ kickoff party. Still not sure what it is they’re supposed to be “kicking off”, though.

 

In fairness, I'm not really sure why you hire a DJ to play classical music. This outcome was largely inevitable.

"For the Love of God, no more Black Eyed Peas!"

Shortly thereafter, Elena arrives and finds Stefan drunk. First he can’t control his instincts to not get rough with her, now he’s turning to alcohol. Seems like they’re telling us that blood is an addiction that leads to abusive behavior. At first she’s upset, but then Stefan tries to turn it into a positive. He says when drunk he’s much more willing to dance, and even compels the DJ to put on a contemporary song to dance to. Drunk Stefan is suspiciously like Damon, and Elena is alarmingly okay with this paradigm shift. Stefan better watch out now that Damon’s trying to move on from Katherine!

 

While dancing, Elena bumps into a rude jerk on the dance floor. Stefan grabs the guy and compels him to apologize…wow, you can use vampire powers to coerce civility? I’ve never been more interested in being a vampire than I am right now. Of course drunk/detoxing Stefan isn’t satisfied with the apology and very nearly assaults the guy…yet somehow Elena isn’t really alarmed. She’s definitely concerned, yes, but she continues to rationalize all of his strange actions as being a temporary side effect of human blood.

 

Uncle John knows a fair amount about vampires: he knows the truth behind the vampire tomb and he also seems to know both that Damon is linked to the tomb incident and that he is a vampire. Obviously he doesn’t take any action to try and kill Damon…if only he’d had the Saltzman Stake-o-Matic (now just ten low payments of $14.95 plus shipping and handling), then Mystic Falls would be one step closer to solving its undead infestation problem, instead of John having a broken neck in a heap below the balcony.

 

Kelly (Matt and Vicki’s Mom) starts making out with her dead daughter’s ex-boyfriend (Tyler), which proves two things: First, Kelly is the exact same person as Julie Cooper and Secondly, Matt seems to have some weird sixth sense for when his Mom is awkwardly making out with somebody he knows, as he stumbles onto the scene almost immediately and gets in a fistfight with Tyler.

 

After the fight, Stefan senses Kelly’s open head wound and finds himself very hungry. He starts touching her open wound while she’s just sitting there staring at him. She gets upset but not as upset as she should be, it’s super creepy. He then tastes her blood from his fingers and falls off the wagon.

 

"You sure? The contours of your neck feel very familiar to my snapping hands."

"Hey,didn’t I kill you?" "No, I’m pretty sure I would remember that."

I think Damon’s losing his touch. First he killed Saltzman, who turned out find and is still ambiguously indestructible, now Uncle John saunters back into the party like he just took a power nap. Guess it’s not a coincidence, Damon looks closer and realizes that John has the same ring as Saltzman. Saltzman, who got his from Elena’s mother, who allegedly got it off of Elena’s adopted father while she was a patient. Makes you think Damon should stop trying to piss off everyone connected to the Gilberts, huh?

 

That guy Stefan compelled to apologize picks a fight, and Stefan almost eats him. You wouldn’t like him when he’s hungry.

 

During the party Elena makes a poor word choice while talking to Jeremy and suggests his theory about foul play regarding Vicki’s death might be true. He goes home and locates Elena’s vampire diary and discovers that she knows about vampires and was an accessory to the cover-up of her murder. Elena, this is what you get for calling the show The Vampire Diaries instead of the Totally Plausible Vampire Cover-Up Story.

 

John seems to know everything, not just about Damon being a vampire, but also his past with Katherine, Saltzman’s part in everything and he even claims that he sent Isobel to Damon when she wanted to be turned. It seems like everyone who comes to town knows a suspicious amount about the characters of Mystic Falls, is there like a primer in the town tourism center or is everyone just reading spoilers online?

 

When Stefan returns home, Damon starts to tell him about the problem posed by John, but stops himself when he realizes he has a chance to tempt his brother into being evil. He leaves an unfinished glass of human blood to not only turn his brother to the dark side, but also further alluding to symbolic relationship between vampiric blood drinking and alcoholism.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

Since the council was already aware of vanishing blood bank supply, it’s not exactly a shock to know that they’re already on to Stefan. Not entirely sure who to blame here. From the sounds of it, Stefan covered his tracks well, and only because John has knowledge of how vampires operate did they detect the theft. On the other hand, hooking your brother on human blood when the town’s on high vampire alert seems to implicate Damon.

 

It’s a bit of a tangent, but I wonder why John doesn’t outright tell the council about the possibility of daywalking vampires? It’s one of their bigger weaknesses as a group of aspiring hunters. Maybe they would finally be suspicious enough to force people to ingest vervain as a rite of entry, you know, a really obvious way to make sure they aren’t being infiltrated by vampires?

 

I love how Damon, one of the most obvious sociopaths I’ve ever seen, is often the only person on this show with any common sense. Anna comes over and apologizes on behalf of the vampires that kidnapped and tortured his brother, but sort of defends it by saying those vampires were misbehaving. Damon’s response is to point out that a group of vampires who’ve been trapped and starved for over a century aren’t likely to play by anybody’s rules but their own.

 

I don’t think I follow this “Miss Mystic Falls” concept. For one, it sounds more like and ABC Family plotline than a CW one…the fact that I can make this distinction is probably how I am occasionally mistaken for a gay man. Secondly, it seems like the contest coincides with Founder’s day which presents two sources of confusion.

 

Firstly, I’m still watching season one, how have we already come all the way back around to founder’s day? I don’t even remember summer happening on the show. Secondly, Elena refuses to drop this pageant she’s not really interested in because her mom signed her up for it. Her mom was dead by the time the last founder’s day came around, and I believe it had been at least a few months since her death at that point. What kind of pageant is this that coincides with an annual event but doesn’t happen each year, and requires a signup like 18 months or more in advance?

Considering that all this blood came from a hospital and not a blood bank, I’d be surprised if the had enough blood for a single transfusion.

"I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough! *hiccup*"

 

With the tipoff from Anna, Damon attempts to confront Stefan about stealing blood. He first tries to establish Stefan’s taste for human blood by arguing that Stefan is usually depressed, but now he’s not. Is drinking human blood something you do when depressed, like an alcoholic? You have to admit, it makes sense for vampires to be abusive in their relationships if drinking blood is supposed to represent alcoholism.

 

From the sounds of things, Uncle John is on Isobel’s vampiric payroll (definitely not a company you want to fudge your time card for), and he’s trying to track down one of Jonathan Gilbert’s illogical steam punk inventions that fell into the hands of a vampire from the tomb, Anna’s mother Pearl. John tries to blackmail Damon into finding the macguffin, but Damon reminds John that he’s both a vampire and a sociopath, and if the council learns he’s a vampire, he will just kill them all. I approve.

 

Bonnie is the WORST. She’s finally back in town, but all she’s done since returning is act quiet and depressed. Elena finally confronts her about it and she explains her issue: she’s upset her grandmother died in vain since the vampires escaped from the tomb, and now she blames the Salvatores for it…

 

Excuse me!? I’m quite certain you were the one who insisted your grandmother try to temporarily release the seal and you even coerced her into doing the spell. Plus it was your own lack of talent as a witch that forced her to overexert herself to compensate for your…Bonnie-ness! You are the singular source responsible for any and all consequences of your own terrible idea, you witch!

 

Jeremy just can not stop lending out dangerous information about Jonathan Gilbert’s journal! First he lends it to Alaric without a second thought, then he tells Anna where it is so she can steal it and now he’s telling untrustworthy Uncle John about its existence. On the one hand he’s going to eventually get everyone killed, but on the other hand his idiocy makes him a huge asset to vampires, so he’ll probably die last.

 

Not sure how to feel about the addiction plotline. I mean, Sci-Fi and Fantasy have a history of disguising serious issues to address them, especially in television on shows like Star Trek, and I much prefer this to the brief subplot where Jeremy was a drug addict. Still, I really prefer when Damon and Stefan are begrudgingly working together, and I really don’t find the internal struggle thing very exciting…probably because a basic understanding of television dictates that Stefan will go back to normal soon enough.

 

"But hey, even if I die, I know some delicious teenage girls you could feed on!"

"Thank you sir, may I please have another? Oh...oh no wait, I'm bleeding out. A shame, that."

Damon sneaks into the dressing room for the pageant and tells Elena about Stefan’s new diet (I’m sure that’s totally why he came there). Stefan walks in and freaks out when he discovers that Elena knows his secret, which causes him to accidentally kidnap Amber, another contestant in the pageant. Unfortunately for Stefan, the cops generally frown on even accidental kidnapping, and I would know…er from secondhand information.

 

Amber, the girl Stefan kidnapped from the party totally exemplifies the willing victim of an abusive relationship. As she’s gushing blood from her bite wound “it’s okay, it doesn’t hurt that much, just not so hard next time”. Even Stefan is kind of freaked out by how calm she is, but that’s what you get for compelling your victims. The ability to compel equates to a level of charm that convinces someone to rationalize away all the relationship red flags, you know, like Elena is doing naturally.

 

Bonnie does the first truly useful thing of her witching career and psychically beams dial-up noise into Stefan’s head when he’s hunting Amber. It puts him back to normal just in time for him to freak out about everyone seeing him covered in some innocent girl’s blood. Seriously, though, where did she learn to do that? I know Bonnie left town for a while, but mind punching a vampire seems like a pretty high-level skill, and she’s….well, she’s Bonnie.

 

"Hey, maybe it will decode secret messages from Van Hellsing!"

“What is this thing? Looks like you got it out of a box of Cheerios.” “No, it is a plot device, it will almost certainly be essential for something by the end of this season.”

Pearl gives Jonathan’s device to Damon as an apology for nearly getting a bunch of people killed by wayward vampires, including Stefan who (as a result of the vampires escaping the tomb) now hungers for human blood and is jeopardizing all of the vampires in town. Oh, and she doesn’t know what the device does either. I guess it’s the thought that counts, so at least it’s slightly better than a Hallmark card.

 

Elena goes to see Stefan. She tells him that she knows his actions aren’t him, they’re her fault for giving him the blood (coughrationalizingcough) and he tries to convince her that he is truly a monster and the blood just makes it more obvious. He finally agrees to accept her help, so she injects him with a syringe full of vervain and locks him in the Salvatore’s dungeon.

 

In review, Damon is thinking through the consequences of his actions and helped Elena at the Miss Mystic pageant to spare her feelings, Stefan is feeding on living humans and functioning almost solely on pure instinct and Anna and Pearl have mellowed out dramatically and are asking nicely for Damon’s trust. I’m pretty sure it’s opposite day.

Lidsville – Part 2: Show Me The Way to Go Home

The following are the only known recorded history to survive Lidsville. No one knows their origin, but intelligent individuals know not to ask.

 

(An entry from Mark’s Journal)

 

Day 9

 

Today Colonel Poom came charging into town screaming at the top of his lungs about some ancient map he discovered while cleaning his house. He claims the map was retrieved from the “newbie newbie tribe” and that the map allegedly leads to a golden ladder in the sky. I’m pretty sure that if such a ladder exists, we’d probably be able to see it from anywhere in Lidsville, and the rest of his story makes even less sense, but after spending over a week in this horrible place, I’ll take any opportunity I can to get out of here.

 

I managed to convince Poom to take us to the location on the map, but he insisted that we gather supplies in his unnecessarily obtuse safari idioms. Weenie wanted us to leave right away, claiming that gathering supplies would “take too long, because we’re in a hurry”. Screw you, Weenie, not all of us can survive on literally nothing for hundreds of years, and I certainly don’t plan on dying in this living nightmare.

 

We followed Poom for a while, until I was worried he had gotten us lost. He took out the map to verify out route, but as he did he said the Newbie Newbie tribe was notoriously unreliable and that the map might be complete balderdash.

 

Gee, thanks. Thanks for leading us through the desert via the most circuitous path possible to lead us all on a wild goose chase!

 

No. No, I can’t be negative. As dumb as it is, this map just has to be authentic…it’s just go to! I don’t want to think about the alternative…

 

Leave it to a hat person to completely fail at the one role he was born to perform: not only had Poom gotten us lost, but he completely failed to notice that we were being followed and even surrounded by Hoodoo’s bad hats! I warned them that I learned karate at summer camp, hoping that these monsters who didn’t believe in Earth with find my strange words threatening.

 

Of course, then I remembered that despite their hideous features all hat people have a common weakness: general incompetence.

 

Though for all we know this is some strange, uncomfortable ritual for raising one's spirits after a disappointment in hat culture.

The degree of incompetence with which Hoodoo's minions are described seems to transcend talent and reach all the way to gift.

I stomped on each of the Bad Hats’ feet, giving us enough time to escape. Plenty of time, in fact. I glanced over my shoulder as we ran and saw that they had managed to collapse into a giant heap of hats that was so pathetic it had to be deliberate.

 

As I said, they have a common weakness.

 

We continued on our path and…I swear I heard the strangest thing. At one point I’m sure Colonel Poom muttered to himself something about a tax never being around when you need one. Sure it’s a common enough joke…on Earth! The only vehicles I’ve seen in this dreadful place are the Hatamaran and that unsettling motorcycle. Why would a hat person know what a taxi was? They don’t believe in a world outside Lidsville.

 

I must be imagining things. All the stress from Hoodoo.

 

Right, it wasn’t too long before Hoodoo himself began to chase us in the Hatamaran. We took cover in a nearby forest and lost him. I almost wish we hadn’t, for this was no ordinary forest, it was the most horrid forest imaginable. It was…the hair forest!

 

The trees of the hair forest have creepy, lifeless faces carved in their trunks, like horrible, hostile masks. Making matters even more nauseating, they don’t have leaves or palms or any ordinary type of foliage, they’re crowned with long, flowing human hair.

 

This place will never cease to terrify me.

 

Despite Poom’s warnings, we had managed to navigate much of the forest without incident, but as soon as I’d finally grown complacent and almost comfortable in that evil place, the trees revealed one last horrifying secret: they could move.

 

I feel like fire or hedge clippers would have been at least as effective.

For poor Mark's sake I'm glad that the hair spray kept the hair trees at bay, but they seem to grab people with their branches, not their hair. I wonder why they're so susceptible to the hair spray.

The trees grabbed me and Poom, leaving only Weenie to save us…it goes without saying the situation seemed essentially hopeless. Miraculously, though, Weenie’s moronic idea of fending off the trees with hair spray inexplicably worked! We escape the forest as quick as we could, and continued to the spot marked on the Newbie Newbie map.

 

Poom led us to the top of a mountain, from which we should be able to see the golden ladder. As I tried to spot it, though, Weenie tried to get my attention with another inane tangent.

 

“Look Master, you can almost see Downtown Lidsville from here!”

 

I humored him, knowing that we would not drop the issue if I didn’t I turned my telescope towards the town.

 

“You sure can, I can even see the hat people.”

 

It's incredible that in the time it took Mark and the others to return to Lidsville, that Big Daddy Hoodoo had caused no damage at all.

A curious account indeed! How does one manage not to see a Godzilla-sized creature rampaging through the town, yet make out its buildings and inhabitants perfectly?

Then another strange thing happened. You know how when you read something and the letters are scrambled your brain can sometimes read the word it’s supposed to be because your brain WANTS the letters to spell a word? Well I think my brain WANTED to see all the hat people crushed, because I managed to completely ignore a 50 foot tall Hoodoo rampaging through the city (a sight my brain probably didn’t want to acknowledge).

 

“Hey what’s going on?” I asked rhetorically as I finally began processing the scene, “It looks like a giant’s chasing ‘em!”

 

Weenie seemed even more intent on getting to Earth than I did, but I could clearly see that there was no ladder, and as horrible as living with the hat people was, it still had to be better than tossing my hat in the ring with Hoodoo’s gang…damn it!

 

It’s strange though, this hulking Hoodoo double had ample time to destroy the town and the hats in it before we arrived, but he only managed to destroy one statue. It even made a very deliberate show of not killing Weenie when it had the chance. I wonder why that was…

 

Anyway I snatched Chief Sitting Duck’s bow and arrow, knowing that he was likely to miss a giant 4 times the size of any building in town and punctured the beast…or should I say balloon?

 

It turned out that the giant Hoodoo had simply been a large balloon all along, even though it was incredibly articulate, and had an appearance completely unlike a balloon in every way. I’m not sure why a giant balloon monster even seemed like a good idea, in theory it may not have had the mass to crush anything, attempting to do so could have been enough to puncture and destroy it.

 

Note to self: do not overestimate Hoodoo.

 

One also wonders why a wizard couldn't simply control such a golem with his magical powers.

Curious, I see no reason why Hoodoo would have to operate his contraption in his underwear, perhaps he's just a pervert.

My self destructive instincts, which are definitely heightened by this backdrop of terror, kicked in as Hoodoo revealed himself from inside the deflated balloon. On some level I surely hoped the powerful, evil wizard would destroy me, because I taunted him for being in his underwear and lead the whole town in spiteful laughter.

 

(Un)fortunately, he merely ran off back to his hat home.

 

The hats expressed condolences at my failure to escape. I tried to put on a brave face as I choked back some tears and said maybe I’d have better luck next time I try. I hope I’m not just kidding myself.

 

 

(Included in our limited archives is a relevant excerpt From Raunchy Rabbit’s Mission Report)

 

Mission Report

 

Author: Raunchy Rabbit

 

Mission: Operation Dirty Pool/Big Daddy Hoodoo

 

Mission Outline: Operation Dirty Pool was another of the boss’ clever names for just getting the bad hats to catch someone.

 

Big Daddy Hoodoo was the boss’ plan to go to Downtown Lidsville and to crush all the hat people for not paying their taxes.

 

Notes:  I might as well get this over with, Hoodoo’s been very insistent that I make a note of his schemes ever since that Mark brat showed up. He wants to “archive his awesome achievements” and “monitor his minor mishaps”. I’ve been working for this blowhard for as long as I can remember, so I know him well enough to know he won’t ever read these…even if he does I’ll have to read them for him.

 

Still, I don’t like to argue with an evil wizard.

 

Here is Hoodoo's magical "zapper" in action, allowing him to launch destructive magic from his fingertips. It could probably destroy a human, but the gradual abuse from their master has made Hoodoo's minions resiliant.

It seems even Hoodoo's minions aren't safe from his wrath. Is there truly no safe place in all of Lidsville!?

Of course if Hoodoo had to work by himself, he’d be even less good at his job. He can’t even figure out when Mark is trying to leave with his genie without my help. And what do I get for my service? A zap to my sorry cotton tail!

 

And the first thing he does once he knows Mark’s escaping is to try and get someone else to catch him: the bad hats. He calls them on the stupid Hot Hatline, which he NEVER remembers that he told me to heat to an irresponsible temperature for the sake of a bad joke.

 

He declares that there is a “meanie alert” and that Mr. Big should use “Operation Dirty Pool”. Of course none of that means anything, the boss just likes to hear himself talk, but the bad hats have been around for a while themselves and know that they should pretty much always try to catch someone leaving the safety of Downtown Lidsville.

 

Since the bad hats couldn’t catch him last time, I don’t know why Hoodoo thought they could now. He was wrong though, and decided to go zap Mark for himself. His chase lead Mark into the hair forest so Hoodoo, like a lazy bum, just assumes he’s dead and starts planning revenge against the “good hats”.

 

He shouts that there will be haberdashery homicide and plans to crush the hats since it’s “the worst thing you can do to a hat”. At least it makes more sense than the time he wanted to destroy them with the weather bureau…

 

Sadly his big ego was deflated just like the balloon he modeled after himself. Maybe he should make his giant crushing machine out something more durable than rubber and hot air next time, but hot air is his specialty.

 

 

Memorable Quotes: Yes, Hoodoo loves to revel in his terrible puns and jokes, and asks me to write down some exchanges with each mission.

 

Mr. Big: We can’t stop! If we let them punks get away, Hoodoo’s going to rub us out!

Hoodoo: Shall I start rubbing?

Mr. Big: Hoodoo!

Hoodoo: You were expecting perhaps Mary Poppins?

 

(…whoever “Mary Poppins” is, he’s probably better than Hoodoo.)

 

Hoodoo: What is the worst thing you can do to a hat? CRUSH IT!

 

Hoodoo (controlling Big Daddy): Hi there! Big Daddy Hoodoo’s the name and stomping is my game!

 

Hoodoo: I want my mommy, I want my mommy Hoodoo!

 

(Heh heh, that last one was just for me.)

 

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 7

This will be of the utmost importance, considering we expressly prohibit any vampires from leaving the home.

Here, at the Wayward Home for Vampires' Fashion Center, we will style your hair and clothes to be more appealing to the tastes of our target demographic...I mean, to blend in with society.

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Welcome to the Home for Wayward Resurrected Vampires! Here we will update your wardrobe, explain the concept of television and let you feed on our hypnotically Stockholm syndromed hostess as you attempt to acclimate to life (unlife? Undead terminology is very confusing) after being magically sealed in a tomb for roughly 150 years.

 

Matt has wasted no time in having a father-daughter conversation with his deadbeat mother. There’s a really creepy sentence for you. He asks her to tone down her party lifestyle and get a job, causing her to complain that he’s being too judge-y. Moments later Caroline arrives and Kelly leaves the room with a scoff and a super passive aggressive brush off. Starting to understand why Viki was so screwed up…

 

Matt suggests that he and Caroline have a movie night, which she objects to because his Mom clearly and openly hates her for no reason. Caroline’s idea of compromise is to ask Matt’s ex-girlfriend and her now vampire boyfriend to movie night and make it into a double date, ripe with wacky misunderstanding potential. Did I mention she extends this invitation without Matt’s consent? I’m pretty sure Caroline wants this to explode in her face for some reason.

 

"I'd totally press charges if vampires had a judicial system!"

"Gah what the heck!? I was just waiting for you to say 'please'! This is terribly rude!"

As much as I love Damon, I never get tired of seeing people put him in his place. Anna and her mom arrive as unwanted guests in his home Apparently Anna managed to find out that Damon’s on the inside with the founder’s council, and the mother daughter team wants to use him to defeat whatever vampire hunting force remains and reclaim Mystic Falls. True to form, Damon is too smart to get tangled in this ridiculous plan, but he’s not too smart to have his eyes gouged out by a much more powerful vampire.

 

Ah, now I feel better. See, Stefan’s spent most of this episode being so irritatingly charming that it was actually starting to bother me. Then he goes and infers that he was making plans for Elena to be his girlfriend while he was still just stalking her and tops that off with a double date story about Hugh Heffner and some twins. Now I’m annoyed by Elena not being bothered by any of that weirdness.

 

I feel conflicted by this setup: we’ve got Matt’s Mom, Kelly, planning on letting loose at a bar with a sulking Damon and a reluctant Aunt Jenna. On the one hand this sounds entertaining and I’m interested to see what come of it. On the other hand it sort of just feels like we blindly threw darts at a wall of names to assemble this group together. Maybe I should give dart-writing a chance, for all I know it could be a great, untapped source of creativity!

 

Clearly Caroline hadn’t actually thought this double date through. She tells Elena the point was for her to show Matt she had moved on, Elena thought she and Matt were supposed to become friends again. Maybe next time, before we invite our boyfriend’s ex along on a double date, we’ll consider any outcome other than an extremely unlikely one that involves said ex’s cooperation without telling them what they’re meant to be doing.

 

Oh…that’s bad. I hadn’t actually considered the side effect of the tomb vampires mistaking Elena for Katherine, which should have been fairly obvious. I’m not sure exactly what the vampires might do as a result of this misunderstanding, but I’d venture a guess that it won’t be wacky. Guess I’ll have to save my canned laughter for the double date plotline.

 

I think Elena needs to reprioritize. At first she was very reluctant to go on this double date because it would be too much fun and she’s a brooding teenager. Now one of her best friends is mad at her about the double date AND there’s at least one unknown vampire running about unchecked and she’s like “no, we need to have fun RIGHT NOW!” Is she sure she’s adopted? I’m started to see a resemblance between her and Jeremy’s carelessness.

 

Well that was pretty anti-climactic. Team booze hounds sort of just got drunk…then Kelly and Damon started flirting really hard until Jenna finally left. I am disappointed by your dartboard scenario!

 

Cutting yourself then having a vampire drink your blood is like the goth-emoest thing that anyone has ever thought of.

"I knew you were a vampire!" “Technically this proves nothing, I could just have a REALLY unsettling fetish”

Oh boy, remember that time I referenced Jeremy’s carelessness? Deliberately cutting yourself and inviting your Vampire crush Anna to feed on your blood counts. It counts super, SUPER hard.

 

Oh great, Damon had the same idea to bring Matt’s Mom back to Salvatore manor, so Matt and Caroline see their respective mother and ex-boyfriend hot and heavy in the hallway. I finally have my wacky misunderstanding worthy of a sitcom laugh track!

 

Nothing like a good old-fashioned vampire brawl to get brothers to set aside their differences! I remember the good old days when my brother and I would wander the spooky woods with stakes and torches, looking for trouble. I wonder if that has anything to do with my psychological issues.

 

Oh boy, remember that time I referenced Jeremy’s carelessness? Figuring out that vampires exist, then that your “missing” (read: dead) girlfriend was a vampire then trying to get your new love interest to turn you into the walking undead counts. It counts pretty hard.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

So this episode picks up immediately after the last one ended, and yet its suddenly thunder storming for dramatic effect. I thought that type of thing only happened in melodramas and cartoons.

 

Jeremy and Anna are still hanging out, and she claims that running water also does not effect vampires as Dracula would have you believe. She’s still refusing to turn Jeremy, and for good reason…well, for lack of good reason actually. Jeremy has no clue why he wants to be a vampire, that makes two of us.

 

Pearl tells that disgruntled vampire Frederick that they shouldn’t fight for revenge, and that they should use patience and cunning to take back the town of Mystic Falls. Personally I feel like Vampires, who are essentially immortal, are probably the most likely creatures to hold grudges.

 

Here’s a question, now we’ve probably got at least 20 vampires running around town, and most of them don’t have a problem feeding on humans. They can’t all be feeding off of Miss Gibbons, the lady who owns the Wayward Vampire Home, cause she’d be very dead. How are all the vampires feeding without the town noticing more “animal attacks”?

 

And Stefan fangirls everywhere have incredibly conflicting emotions about tortured fanservice Stefan.

“We didn’t HAVE to take your shirt off, but since we’re here and your abs are here, we figured: might as well.”

I guess Vampires like hoods…Stefan goes out to hunt for some food and gets ambushed by three vampires in hoods and staked in the chest. They drag him back to the Home for Wayward Vampires where Damon discovers that a living person lives there and won’t let him in. This gives the vampire jerk squad plenty of time to start torturing Stefan. More importantly it gives them an excuse to take his shirt off. Hello ladies.

 

I’m not sure how I feel about trying to ask Saltzman for help rescuing Stefan. I mean, logically he’s a good choice: seasoned vampire hunter, potentially unkillable…however, he does have a slight problem with vampires, specifically Damon for turning his wife. I’m surprised they even managed to get a serious audience with him, but Damon says Pearl knows where he can find his wife, so he agrees…though I’m not really sure what he would do with that information at this point.

 

Oh good, Anna has presented us with an easy system for classifying the justifications of turned vampires. A vampire turns someone because of:

A)   The need for a henchman

B)   Some twisted revenge scheme.

C)   Boredom (to which she gives the footnote “That never turns out well”

D)   True love, which the vampire doing the turning wants to last for eternity

She did of course forget to mention “a need for using the carpool lane” as a reason to turn someone, but otherwise a solidly comprehensive list.

 

I understand why Elena is constantly trying to force herself into a position to help on these dangerous missions, especially with Stefan being held captive, but I have to side with everyone telling her no…and wonder how she hasn’t picked up on this after so many no’s. Damon is a super-powered socipathic killing machine, Saltzman, again, is as close to a pro vampire hunter as we’ve seen whereas she…she is a teenage girl. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but commissioner Gordon doesn’t call for Batman, Robin and Alfred the butler, Gotham need people with actual crime fighting skills!

 

Glad to see the Stake-o-Matic in full force once again. Speaking of Batman, with just a few more anti-vampire gadgets , Saltzman could totally go full-on undead vigilante.

 

So Caroline got stranded on a mud road in the middle of the Nowhere Woods because of the rainstorm. She’s actually having a pretty good day; instead of being attacked by vampires she just found a dead one. Viki, to be precise. Incidentally, her boyfriend (Viki’s brother) is not having an especially good day.

 

I'm sure Stefan feeding on Elena will eventually lead to a new conclusion for my abusive relationship vampire theory, for which I am excited.

"I've never seen you drink blood, so this finally confirms you're a vampire and not just a superhero." “Technically this proves nothing, I could just have a REALLY unsettling fetish.”

Ugh, finally! Half of this episode has been telegraphing the scene where Elena saves Stefan’s life by offering him her blood!

 

I’m going to be honest, this house Vampire House storyline is not my favorite. It doesn’t really focus on any of the main characters and the vampires’ plan lacks a direction or focus to give it any gravity. Also, when Damon’s not in charge he doesn’t get to act like a deranged game show host, which is perhaps the best part of the show.

 

Just when it seems like all hope is lost for the buddy slayer team of Saltzman and Salvatore, who are slowly being surrounded by a slew of angry vampires from the wayward home, Pearl shows up and everyone just sort of disperses on slightly bitter terms. Blast this infernal episode and its refusal to be interesting!

 

"Aw man, and I just cleaned in here! This is why we can't have nice things!"

"Lucy, you got some splainin' to do!"

And even further adding to my general apathy towards this episode, most of this last act just seems to be a montage of people reacting to Viki’s death, which happened kind of a while ago. Is it in character and completely logical for these people to have this reaction? Absolutely. Is it interesting to watch? No, not at all. I  can only hope this is setting up for something relevant, probably something to do with Jeremy becoming a vampire.

 

Nope, I was mistaken, this has lead to the exact opposite of that outcome, which Jeremy proves by confessing to Anna that Viki was his reason for wanting to turn vampire in the first place. So all of this uninteresting stuff happened so that more interesting things could NOT happen. This is some crack storytelling.

 

At least our final shot of the episode shows morbid promise! Looks like Stefan has a taste for human blood again, which he can’t control. Who’s looking forward to a very special episode about addiction…to human blood? I know I am, if only to have an episode of Vampire Diaries focus around one of its main characters again.

Jargon Spotlight: Torchwood Plan

For those of you who have already read some of my various blog entries, you surely have some sense of my eccentric personality. One facet of said personality is a particular affinity for creating strange terms or utilizing obscure references for very specific sentiments, usually originating from TV shows, of course.

 

Showrunner Russel T. Davies doesn't mind ruthlessly killing off his team.

The members of Torchwood Three...membership subject to change without notice...

Now since I’ve reached the point where I’m very well aware of my own tendency to use these indecipherable expressions and quotations, I’m usually pretty good about either avoiding their use when communicating to people who won’t understand them, or at least offering enough explanation for people to follow whatever convoluted point I’m making. However, my “Dear Vampire Diaries” posts very pointedly follow a stream of consciousness pattern as I lay out my first impressions of watching this unfamiliar show, and as such on at least one occasion I know I’ve left something of a mystery for the uninitiated.

 

There’s an expression that has become common parlance amongst many of a friends (a group consisting largely of aspiring screenwriters such as myself, interested in discussing the finer points of storytelling). It’s an expression that I believe I technically coined, though its origins become fairly obvious once you understand the context. You see, today I aim to explain just what exactly a “Torchwood Plan” is and, believe it or not, it originates from a television series known as “Torchwood”.

 

I couldn’t exactly blame you for not being familiar with Torchwood, since it’s technically a British series, even though the American cable channel Starz helped produce its most recent series “Miracle Day”. Torchwood is both a spinoff and an anagram of “Doctor Who”, which is probably one of the most seasoned scripted TV series of all time. Although the ever-increasing popularity and influence of Doctor Who has definitely begun to spread to North America and other parts of world, its origin is also British, so I’ll take a step back and start with the very basics, since the point here is to have you understand what on Earth I’m talking about.

 

It also really saves the series when someone decides they want nothing to do with the franchise ever again *coughecclestoncough*

In addition to their time travel capabilities, Time Lords can also regenerate from near-death situations, but to do so will change their appearance. The Doctor has experiences this many times.

 

The Cliff’s Notes version goes something like this: The Doctor is an alien from a species (known as Time Lords) who have mastered time travel. Time Lords generally frown on interfering in the course of history, and take on a role as observers in time. The Doctor got bored with this, however, and likes helping people in need, so one day he stole a rather finicky Time/Space travel conveyance known as a T.A.R.D.I.S. At this point, The Doctor had pretty much all of time and space at his fingertips…so of course he spent a disproportionate amount of time in and around Great Britain. Of course with an entire universe in need of his help, even The Doctor can’t be around all the time to help us…that’s where Torchwood comes in.

 

Torchwood is the name of a secret quasai government-sanctioned organization, founded to defend the Earth against alien invasions. Torchwood has a few known branches/offices, but the series focuses on Torchwood Three, the branch located in Cardiff, Wales. In addition to their standard alien defense duties, Torchwood three monitors the unusual occurrences surrounding a nearby rift in space and time. Their leader, Jack Harkness, even has an incredible amount of experience dealing with aliens, since he was born in the distant future, sent back in time to the 1800s and is still alive in the present day. You see, Jack has some unique chronological properties that make him nearly indestructible and practically immortal.

 

Now with the kinds of technology and resources that Torchwood has been known to utilize, together with a leader of Jack’s description, you might think they’re the Men In Black times a thousand…and you’d be kind of wrong.

 

Torchwood has had four series (seasons for us yanks) at this point, two produced like a more typical TV series and two produced more like miniseries. I’m going to avoid an unnecessarily arduous, detailed and spoiler-ridden account of Torchwood continuity for the purpose of this discussion, and simply look at series three a.k.a. Children of Earth, in order to explain just what one must do to employ a Torchwood Plan.

 

The 456 simply ruined my last family reunion, we couldn't leave them alone with my cousins for five minutes without something terribly unsettling happening.

And you thought your deadbeat brother-in-law was a bad influence on your children! They ain't got nothing on the 456!

In Children of Earth, all the children in the world start acting strangely for precise intervals, until their strange behavior proves to be heralding the arrival of aliens known as the 456. After some unconventional negotiations with the government of Great Britain as well as some representatives from other governments of the world, the aliens reveal their true and unsettling motives causing great concern and discussions of considerable moral ambiguity amongst the civil servants.

 

Meanwhile the Torchwood crew, who were simply minding their own business while trying to perform their collective job, find themselves the target of a team of assassins. They manage to cheat death, but without some collateral damage. The team must also waste a bunch of their time trying to rescue each other instead of solving the alien mystery at hand, but they too discover what the aliens want.

 

It’s at this point, with the Torchwood team working out of a makeshift base, most of their resources unavailable to them and with the government considering them a threat to public interest that their leader decides they must make a stand against these creepy aliens.

 

It makes a certain amount of sense though, right? Torchwood was specifically created to deal with alien crises, and that’s what they’re up against now. Plus, Jack Harkness has more experience interacting with aliens and supernatural problems than you’ll ever have doing anything with your one measly lifespan. Surely he knows something the audience doesn’t know. Surely he has an idea of some exploitable weakness these aliens have, so he can force them off our planet. Surely Jack has a plan, any plan at all!

 

Well, he does. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it is THE quintessential Torchwood plan.

 

So Jack and his closest colleague force their way into the room where the governments’ representatives have been negotiating with one of the aliens, who has actually come down to Earth. Once there, Jack very forcefully tells the aliens that they won’t meet their demands or even compromise with them. He basically tells them where they can shove it.

 

The aliens, understandably annoyed by this, respond by killing a number of innocent people, to demonstrate that they can back up their threats. Meanwhile Torchwood cannot, and pretty much just watch all those people die, then retreat because they didn’t actually have any way of stopping the aliens in the first place.

 

For the record, I have no idea what's happening in this picture, thus easily making it the best candidate to post here.

It's like the sci-fi- equivalent of saying "Swiper no swiping!" and expecting the cartoon thief to set aside his criminal past for you.

Basically, Jack applies logic that occasionally stops a school bully from tormenting a child on a playground to an alien representing a technologically advanced and definitely hostile alien species making lofty life-or-death demands of an entire planet. They have no weapons, spaceships or technology capable of forcing the aliens to leave, or even reduce their demands, yet they charge in and tell the aliens to leave. I honestly don’t know what they expected to happen as a result of this encounter, they practically had the absence of plan.

 

So that’s the Torchwood plan that coined the term. A plan so terrible it absolutely ruined my enjoyment of that miniseries. They tried to threaten a powerful, destructive alien threat not to destroy humanity in the emptiest way possible, then were somehow surprised when it backfired HORRIBLY.

 

Granted, I think my annoyance with the Torchwood style of problem solving leads me to overuse the term somewhat, but any time someone enacts a plan with virtually no thought for the possible consequences, or even a full-bodied idea of how the plan will turn out in the best case scenario, you can bet that Jack Harkness is smiling to himself somewhere in space and time.

 

So now you know and, of course, knowing is a large portion of the battle, not quite totaling a majority.

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 6

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Remember that time I asked why it is that becoming a vampire makes you inherently creepy? That was not a rhetorical question. Seems our friends Anna and Ben, that bartender (who strikes me as a vampire redshirt), haven’t just kidnapped Elena, but also Bonnie. In case you were unclear, serial kidnapping is definitely creepy.

 

If anti-virus software was this effective against invasions I might actually buy a PC again!

"Argh, this is the worst brain freeze I've ever experienced!" "Don't test me, or I'll show you my magical wet willie too!"

Holy crap! Bonnie’s grandmother just like gut-punched Damon with just her mind. “I’m not Bonnie” she says, and she’s not kidding. Bonnie’s response to Damon asking for witch help would probably have been to go willingly with Damon into an obvious trap or something.

 

Wow, maybe I should take that back! She just turned a glass of ordinary motel water into fire using just her mind and magic, to attack and escape from her vampire captor/ex-boyfriend. And she would have gotten away with it too, had she not let her best friend get taken hostage on the way out. Two steps forward, one step back. Plus, in fairness, it was MOTEL water, so it was probably pretty close to flammable to start with.

 

Once Stefan inevitably rescues the girls, they regroup at the casa del whatever the Spanish word for “witches” is. There they hatch a pretty terrible plan…actually no, what they do is resurrect the same terrible plan Stefan already pretended to have (helping Damon free Katherine, but kill the other vampires sealed with her). This time, though, they have an experienced witch agreeing to help. So really all they’ve managed to do is make their bad plan worse.

 

I feel like Stefan should at least already have his flamethrower ready, honestly!

"What could go wrong? We're just going to open the door to a magical prison containing 27 hungry, angry vampires." "Everything about that is wrong!"

Damon’s certainly a tough one to read. At first he was a full-blown sociopath, then he was just the irresponsible brother for a while and now he’s mellowed to the point that he’s practically a gentleman. I mean, I can’t remember the last time he compelled someone selfishly, not even when he took Elena to Georgia without her vervain. She even takes it off again to try and prove to him that she and Stefan really want to help him, and he just takes her at her word.

 

Jeremy finally opens up to his vampire stalker-ess (is there a female form of the word stalker?), and she responds by revealing that she’s leaving town suddenly for no plausibly defined reason. Well, unless you count her undead mother being resurrected by witches in an underground tomb. Then her thug boyfriend knocks him unconscious so he can meet the parent. You could have just asked!

 

You know, in a way, the Vampire Diaries take on teens and alcohol is refreshing. They just acknowledge that it exists. Now personally, I’m against alcohol period, so trust me when I say I’m not being biased about this point. But so many shows make such a big spectacle out of teen drinking one way or another. It’s kind of nice to see a show treat the issue in a way that seems more realistic. It’s around, no one’s surprised to see it at a party…it just adds to the totally realistic vampire slice of life story.

 

I notice the witches are wearing precautionary vervain necklaces, which gives me an excuse to make an aside here. If I live in a world full of vampires, I don’t think a thin metal chain would make me feel safe from their influence. They do have super strength, after all. For my money, I’d want it live woven into my clothes or something. That seems like a pretty good barrier.

 

Convoluted? Yes. Badass? Also yes.

"Oh my god it burns! We’re in a freaking forest, wouldn’t it have been easier just to stake me!?"

Generally I have to say I prefer Damon’s style as a character, but I can’t deny that Stefan has some pretty amazing moments himself. For example, clotheslining a vampire and then setting him on fire with a makeshift flamethrower.

 

I probably shouldn’t have sold Bonnie’s grandmother so short, after all she’s not Bonnie, just as she pointed out earlier. She didn’t even need a plan to compensate for Stefan’s bad idea, apparently the seal keeping the vampires in the tomb was unrelated to the door they opened using the witch ritual. This means all the vampires inside are still stuck inside, new ones can just enter.

 

When Stefan goes inside to try and save Elena from a whole slew of vampires – actually “slew” seems like a very fitting plural noun for vampires – Bonnie threatens to try and take the seal down herself to save him, if her grandma won’t help. I say let her try, she’s more likely to spontaneously turn into a newt than successfully pull off that spell.

 

Unsurprisingly, that whole “living corpse” thing they’ve been alluding to for a while now is pretty gross.

 

Damon discovers that Katherine isn’t in the tomb after all, and is rightfully pretty pissed. When Elena comes to fetch the boys while the witches are still keeping the seal at bay, he seems to think she’s Katherine for a split second. Which raises an unsettling thought. Assuming Elena is really related to Katherine, then if Damon dated Katherine and Stefan dated Elena, then they’d have all the creepiness of brothers dating identical twins AND brothers dating a mother and daughter. That’s some kinky stuff.

 

Aw, sad Damon’s no fun :(. He interrogates Anna and her mother, only to discover they knew the whole time that Katherine’s been loose. She’s known where to find Damon and didn’t care. Even vampires can’t escape the abusive vampire relationship cycle.

 

So let’s review Bonnie’s track record for the episode. She managed to get herself kidnapped by a guy she pretty much knew was a vampire, but then she cast a pretty cool spell. Of course her own incompetence undid the usefulness of said spell, but she got rescued anyway. With her grandmother’s help she managed to open the door to that tomb using an old ritual, enacting a trap that should have sealed all the vampires they know away forever. Bonnie persuaded her grandmother to assist her in breaking the seal to the tomb to save one vampire (Stefan) while releasing three potentially dangerous vampires, as well as permanently leaving the door open to the rest of those living corpse vampires in the tomb. Oh yeah, and the spell that broke free all of those man-eating vampires? It killed her totally awesome grandmother.

 

Bonnie sucks!

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

We’re back to business as usual, with our newly escaped vampire friend feeding on a human hiker in broad daylight. I actually really like the blocking here, where the camera focuses on the vampire’s hand as he kills that guy so we can see his lapus lazuli ring. Since we found out that Emily the witch enchanted those rings, it makes sense that the vampires from Mystic Falls back in the day would all be daywalkers. All the more reason not to let them escape the tomb for any reason, Bonnie!

 

Utilizing a laughably implausible series of deductions, Aunt Jenna has tracked down a high school yearbook photo of the woman who could well be Elena’s birthmother. You can tell they’re related because of their shared dark features and brooding expressions.

 

Does it really come as a shock that I watched The O.C. considering that I'm watching the entirety of Vampire Diaries?

"Hey, Melinda Clarke, I loved you as Julie Cooper on the O.C.!" "Thanks! Wish I could say the same about your work defiling my son and couch."

Oh good, a completely unmotivated scene’s worth of fan service between Caroline and Matt. And here I was worrying that I wasn’t going to see Caroline without a shirt on today. That sounds like sarcasm, but she’s cute so if she wants to take her shirt off I’ll allow it. Unfortunately even that won’t cause her or Matt to contribute anything worthwhile to the plot. It will, however, provide an awkward context for Matt’s loosely established mother to mysteriously come back to town. Oops.

 

All things considered, once they revealed that Alaric’s wife and Elena’s mother had the same first name, it seemed pretty much impossible for that to be a coincidence. When Aunt Jenna and Alaric hook up, there’s going to be a weird quasai-incestuous web to untangle.

 

Hey, good for Isobel! She’s the one person who managed to figure out that those “animal attacks” were the laziest cover-up in history. Also sort of explains why she got eaten by a vampire. Be careful what you wish for?

 

At least vervain is more versatile and less conspicuous than Kryptonite.

"Would you like one lump of vervain with your tea or two?"

Vervain is sort of starting to have that same disproportionate availability problem that Kryptonite has in the Superman world. I’m pretty sure they said it was pretty hard to come by, at least in Virginia, and now every Tom, Dick and Harry’s serving vervain tea with crumpets.

 

Seriously? This is our B-Story du jour? The founders are having a charity bachelor auction? That sounds more like a Desperate Housewives plot or something. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, Vampire Diaries, but I suspect someone(s) in the writers room was drunk.

 

I find this auction system confusing. They seem to be suggesting that you buy raffle tickets which then represent the cash value you spent on them, which you can use to bid on bachelors. Wouldn’t is be easier to just…have an auction?

 

With some help from the Sheriff, Damon pieces together that this Isobel woman everyone’s clamoring about is Alaric’s dead wife who he sort of ate. Of course, being Damon, he finds the most tasteless and humiliating way to confirm this fact for Alaric. I imagine Damon doesn’t know about his Saltzman Stake-o-Matic, cause I sure don’t want to mess with that and I’m not even a vampire.

 

Okay, so now I finally understand this date auction…as much as I’m going to. Looks like it is in fact a date raffle, with the winners of dates being chosen randomly, through a raffle system. This is awkward in so many ways. For one, you probably don’t raise as much money for charity this way and secondly people donating to the charity could get stuck on a super-awkward blind date.

 

No wonder the IMF only ever has a handful of people on staff!

I’ve heard of a message self-destructing after five seconds, but a messenger? That seems needlessly wasteful.

Pro tip, Isobel, when you don’t want to be found, but the only person looking for you already thinks you’re dead, sending a messenger to tell them you don’t want to be found is only going to make them want to look for you. You might as well tell me NOT to push a giant red button!

 

Alaric confronts Damon with a stake and learns that Isobel wasn’t killed, she was turned. He is then quickly killed by Damon and left for dead as his craziness renews his quest to find Katherine. “Quickly” here meaning both shortly thereafter and for a short amount of time, as a flashback vaguely explains that Alaric’s family heirloom ring isn’t lapus lazuli, but some sort of undeath ring. I wish my Cheerios had one of those in it!

 

Again, Isobel, when you send a self-destructing messenger to tell people that you’re alive, dumb things can happen. Like Elena stealing said messenger’s phone and using it to call you. This is why you can’t have nice things.

 

That one vampire who escaped discovers a halfway home for receased (re-undead?) vampires, run by Anna and her mother, Pearl. Whatever happens as a result of this is also Bonnie’s fault.

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 5

Dear Vampire Diary,

Vampire Pizza is very quick, but if you don't tip the delivery guys well then you'll become dinner.

“Hey, if I slip you an extra twenty, will you not come back and attack my sister?” “Hmmm, no promises.”

Here’s a reason to tell Jeremy about vampires: so he doesn’t invite the pizza guy into their home, thus allowing a shady vampire free access to Elena, who seems to be made of like vampire nip or something.

 

On that note, I don’t think we should really trust Jeremy at all. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been a much more interesting character since his vampire girlfriend died and he was hypnotized to forget about her, but he never even noticed the family heirloom pocketwatch go missing, and then he hands over that journal from his ancestor to Alaric without any hesitation. A book like that is probably very delicate…though he was carrying it around school in his backpack, so it may actually be better off.

 

At this rate I should just start writing “Jeremy Gilbert” in my vampire diary and dot the i’s with hearts…and probably put little vampire fangs on the m’s. Anyway, now he’s pushing away the cute home school girl because he’s hung up on his dead vampire girlfriend, who was a terrible influence and that he doesn’t even know is dead. If he’s not careful, this entry is just going to be reasons I hate Jeremy.

 

Remember that time all the vampires were going to leave town? I do. I know the Salvatores now have reason to stay, I just think it’s funny that neither of them ever really addressed sticking around, they just sort of didn’t leave.

 

Again, the Vampire Compass (TM) isn't very useful if the person most likely to drop by unannounced, your boyfriend, constantly gives you a false positive.

"Hey Elena, what’s hanging? Other than me of course! Hahaha, I crack myself up."

So the vampire pizza delivery boy comes back and tries to eat Elena, but he uses the oldest trick in the book to hide.

 

I think it’s kind of funny that people are finally on board with trying to kill Damon now that he’s mostly behaving himself, and occasionally being helpful.

 

Well, I was all set to congratulate Anna for having common sense once again for reprimanding Jeremy for giving out his journal indiscriminately, until she turned out to be a vampire. If I had a nickel for every time I ended a story with “until she turned out to be a vampire” I’d be a rich man.

 

It seems like people who get involved with vampires have a tendency to keep getting involved with vampires. First Caroline with Damon, then Logan and now Jeremy with Vicky followed by Anna. So according to my vaguely defined abusive vampire theory, some people are just the vampire type, and keep getting attracted without learning their lesson.

 

Turn-offs include responsible decision making and his physical and emotional well being.

Jeremy Gilbert: Turn-ons include candle-lit dinners, (super) strong, independent women and undead monsters who want to feed on him both literally and figuratively.

Anna’s vampire obsession seems weird now that we know she’s a vampire. Like, why bother trying to convince Jeremy that vampires exist when she knows they exist because she is one, and having people know about it is a liability.

 

Oh good, the journal that Jeremy irresponsibly lent his teacher contains a lead toward opening the tomb full of angry, hungry vampires. It seems weird to have Stefan be the one torturing this information out of Anna’s friend the, vampire pizza guy, though.

 

It’s a good thing that every single person in this world keeps a journal, because they seem to be a great source of vampire-related information. I’m surprised, though, that since the pilot they’ve always been referred to as journals and not diaries. That’s like having Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom take place in a regular old church. In theory they are similar concepts, but it’s just not the same.

 

So it looks like Anna has a vampire boyfriend, and together they’re trying to free all of the angry vampires too. This seems like a poor decision. I mean, taking care of an army of vampires is a big responsibility, you’ll have to feed them and walk them and clean up after them…did they really think this through?

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

So we get our episodic dose of cold open vampire attack in the form of a Flashback to Katherine-era Mystic Falls. Despite all of Stefan and Damon’s talk of their rivalry over Katherine, this is the first time I really sense the drama behind it. We’ve already seen the moment when Stefan got turned against his will, but now we see Damon asking to be turned and Katherine forcing him to wait.

 

This whole scene with Damon intruding on Elena and Stefan’s morning-after-glow raises an uncomfortable point about vampires cohabitating. You thought it was bad hearing your roommate going at it? Try hearing every agonizing detail with your super senses. I now have the heebie jeebies.

 

For a hundred and forty five years Damon has ruined Stefan’s happiness every chance he’s gotten. Isn’t there an expression that goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me consistently over the course of a century and a half, shame on me”?

 

"Look, It even tells the time! Oh no, wait...yeah it's just broken."

"Behold, I've invented a device to track vampires!" “What is it, Magic?” “No! It operates on Newtonian laws of Vampires...shut up.”

I’m glad that even people in 1864 called shenanigans on the vampire compass, though it’s kind of concerning that the people of Mystic Falls have either gotten dumb or complacent enough to just accept these sorts of things. Like “animal attacks” and “large quantities of people leaving town suddenly for no reason”.

 

Woops! Apparently papa Salvatore was a vampire hunter. I bet that made Thanksgiving dinners pretty awkward.

 

Okay, now I certainly had my reservations at first, but Saltzman is definitely shaping up to be an awesome character. He’s the only person who really seems to grasp the vampire threat, and can handle himself against them. Plus, apparently he invented some sort of anti-vampire stake cannon fit for a really sweet action cartoon.

 

It just occurred to me that Katherine is a daywalker, despite inferences in the present that only Damon and Stefan can use their magical decoder rings to eat lunch at outdoor cafes and such. She must be the source of their vaguely explained power!

 

I hear he's already developing an automatic version due for release in time for Christmas this year!

The Saltzman Slay-o-Matic 5000, available at all fine sporting goods retailers.

Woah, wait, vampires can parlay their reflexes into super video game playing power!? Imagine the quality of my Let’s Plays if I just added some human blood to my diet!

 

Ah-ha! There we go! Emily is apparently the one responsible for whatever nondescript enchantment on those rings lets vampires survive sunlight. Between that and whatever deal she made with Damon to release those vampires from the tomb, I’m finally starting to see the family resemblance to Bonnie.

 

Looks like Anna, Jeremy’s socially awkward, vampire-obsessed vampire stalker is actually Annabelle, Katherine’s vampire friend’s vampire daughter. Whether or not you managed to follow that description to understand the relationship, I think you and I can both agree that we’re finally delving into soap opera grade relationship territory.

 

Shucks, looks like the Damon/Stefan partnership built on a foundation of lies has finally crumbled. The brothers met at their father’s grave since it turns out his vampire hunter status led to him being entrusted with the Grimoire with the spell which can open the tomb. This confrontation, in turn, facilitated possibly the least plausible moment of the series so far; an emo teenage girl with vampire blood forced into her system NOT trying to kill herself to gain eternal life as a vampire.

 

"Oh no, don't make me a vampire. While you're at it, you better not have hot vampire sex with me, that would be 'terrible'".

"Hold the phone, if I die right now I get to be a vampire? This seems like a win-win to me, a typical emo teenage girl."

I hope at some point they explain why Emily wanted to put herself on the line to help out a bunch of vampires. Isn’t just being a witch dangerous enough in the 1800’s? And if they were all such good friends, why didn’t they turn her so she could be a vampire witch? In the rock paper scissors game of witch, werewolf, vampire, I’m pretty sure vampire witch trumps all.

Lidsville – Part 1: World in a Hat

The following are the only known recorded history to survive Lidsville. No one knows their origin, but intelligent individuals know not to ask.

 

 

A lesser man than Mark surely could not have survived the first night surrounded by waking nightmares.

What little knowledge we do have about Lidsville comes mostly from the writings of Mark, the only known human to step foot into the world of living hats.

(An entry from Mark’s Journal)

 

Day 1

 

Why did I go in the hat? The second it began to grow, I knew it was trouble. I was terrified! But it was like a train wreck…in that once it hits you, you die and are sent to a place of unimaginable suffering.

 

Before the horror of this place could even truly set in, I was captured by a band of bad hats. Oh lord, I’m already making hat puns. Lord have mercy on my soul. After accusing me of being a spy, the pirate, vampire, gangster and executioner dragged me to an enormous top hat, and introduced me to Raunchy Rabbit. Raunchy seems to have difficulty communicating without the use of puns, pratfalls and generally bad jokes. Can’t say I blame him, this place could easily warp a fragile mind.

 

Then a gaudy, green-skinned Wizard of Oz reject arrived in a flying hat, complaining about “the hat people” and complaining that he didn’t even collect one hat check.

 

I already hated that man.

 

His name, which I would come to both know and fear, was Horatio J. Hoodoo. Just like his bad hats, Hoodoo accused me of being a spy. I tried to explain that I didn’t know any hat people, thinking this was some jive talk I hadn’t heard before. Hoodoo was skeptical and brought me into his lair, seating me in the most comfortable chair he could find in order to interrogate me. I thought it was a joke at first, until the torture began.

 

Mark Wasn't Expecting the Bloody Spanish Inquisition from Hoodoo.

This historian notes a similar methodology between Hoodoo's torture methods and those of Monty Python's portrayal of the Spanish Inquisition.

Living behind a curtain in the dark wizard’s home live a band of singing hats, known as the Hat Band. Of all the terrors in this world of living hats, they will be the thing to haunt my dreams forever.

 

Using the Evil Eye, some sort of magical television, Hoodoo showed me these hat people he talked about earlier. Half human, half hat…they truly were hat people. I resisted the urge to be physically ill.

 

The multitude of minions who live around Hoodoo’s lair suggested he employ physical torture on me to learn my secrets. Instead he summoned Weenie the Geenie from his magical ring. When I first learned this I was incredulous. What does a wizard even need with a genie anyway? Surely that’s overkill! Making matters more confusing, Weenie was merely instructed to take me to the cellar, a task that clearly didn’t require magic.

The backhanded compliments with which this genie exalted his master made me think I could trust him…or her. To be honest, I’m still not quite sure what Weenie is. I explained to Weenie that I was merely lost, I wanted to return to the world in the sky; the world that I came from; the REAL world.

 

At first, Weenie didn’t even believe that such a place could exist. What a wretched life it must be, thinking that Lidsville is all there is! Eventually, though, I convinced him to join my quest to go back to the real world…so long as I could retrieve his ring.

 

This plan probably explains why Hoodoo, even being an evil wizard, makes for a very ineffectual landlord.

For someone who lives in a magical world of hats, Hoodoo seems surprisingly uninformed about how hats work...and surprisingly well-informed about Earth-based puns.

Luckily for me, at that exact moment Hoodoo was hatching the worst revenge plot in the history of the universe. “What do hats fear the most?” he asked his minions, rhetorically, “They fear bad weather!” Aren’t hats specifically made to endure weather conditions? Either way, Hoodoo conjured a magical chest of drawers which can alter the weather, known as the Weather Bureau.

 

For some reason, using the bureau prompted Hoodoo to remove the magical genie ring. For the first time since stumbling into this awful place, fate smiled on me, as that ridiculous rabbit from earlier accidentally caused a snowstorm inside, giving me a chance to grab the ring and escape with Weenie. Well, in theory.

 

It seems Weenie’s confidence has been shaken after years working as one of Hoodoo’s minions, so his ability to perform magic is miserable…at best. He wanted to use magic to get away from Hoodoo’s hat home, but he couldn’t remember the magic word. I wanted to just run. We had the time, why not put some distance between ourselves and Hoodoo? Unfortunately I couldn’t, it was if Weenie were emanating some aura of incompetence that affected me, quickly ridding me of my common sense.

 

Since we were mere steps outside Hoodoo’s door, he quickly caught up to us, and threatened to zap us with his dark powers. Luckily Weenie remembered a word that would transport us magically and save the day! Again, in theory.

To say this would be the only time Weenie's magic caused problems would be a bald-faced lie.

From the sounds of this "Lidsville" place, Mark may have been better off taking his chances in the deadly suds of the Shampoo River.

 

Weenie’s spell actually dropped us onto a tree branch suspended above the “Shampoo River”, leaving us hanging on for dear life. At least that’s the impression Weenie gave me, claiming that the river would “suds us to death”, should we fall in.

 

I already hated that genie.

It turned out we were close to Downtown Lidsville, where the hat people reside. Hearing our cries for help, they dispatched a beanie hat named Tiwrly, whose propeller actually allowed him to fly.

 

I thanked the hats for their help, but had no intention of staying in this horrible place. I had no plan, and no clue where I was going, but I had to go somewhere else. They insisted that there was no world outside of Lidsville, but they filled a sack with “supplies” (which seemed to be a collection of whatever was within arms reach) and got a motorcycle-riding motorcycle helmet named Mother Wheels to give us a lift out of town.

 

Turns out Hoodoo was ready for us, as his Bad Hats set up a detour sign and the most pathetic ambush I’ve ever heard of. The worst part is that it worked! It’s like being in proximity to Weenie is making me dumber! If I just had the sense to run from these slow and awkward villains I’d be free and clear. Once again Weenie barely got us out of trouble by creating a smokescreen whose effectiveness was a perfect match for their ambush. Sadly there was no place to go but Downtown Lidsville.

 

For example, Hoodoo can create lighting from his fingertips. Surely that's all the incentive he would need to collect his precious taxes, so how is he such a failure?

Judging by Mark's descriptions, it seems the laws of physics and even logic may work differently in Lidsville. Perhaps ONLY terrible plans have a chance of success there.

It wasn’t long before Hoodoo showed up in his hat-themed aircraft known as the Hatamaran and started trying to zap all of the residents of Downtown Lidsville. The hat people responded to Hoodoo’s attack by throwing fruit, sporting equipment, cookware…pretty much the same garbage they gave me as supplies earlier, at Hoodoo. Clearly that Hatamaran is a shoddy piece of engineering, as it malfunctioned from this pathetic assault, and caused Hoodoo to bail into the shampoo river.

 

I can’t help but notice that Hoodoo survived his plight with the river. Along with all of his mistakes before, I have to wonder if I can trust that Genie. Weenie used to work for Hoodoo after all. Perhaps he’s a double agent.

 

With Hoodoo out of the way for the time being, the hats offered to let me stay and town and help me find a way home. I begrudgingly accepted the generosity of these monsters. When I did, I even said “I’d take my hat off, if I had one”, assuming that this must surely be offensive to hat people. They didn’t notice.

 

I hope this place doesn’t make me mad as a hatter…damn it! It may already be too late.