Alan Ball

Actress Nina Dobrev of The Vampire Diaries (above), who is playing 2 parts this season.

While HBO’s hit series Trueblood, the vampire show first to the scene of the recently recycled vampire genre, and most in vogue, has abandoned any and all plausibility, and just capped its worst ever season with its worst ever episode, The Vampire Diaries made its quiet but stunning return to the small screen last week.  In that return, The Vampire Diaries wasted no time in ramping up the intensity on an already sizzling show. 

While Trueblood gave us more ridiculous plotlines than a million monkeys on LSD locked in a hangar with a million typewriters–right up to its final moments with Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) escaping from a cement tomb with no explanation, while Bill (Stephen Moyer) and the Queen (Evan Rachel Wood) get in a Matrix style aerial tussle, as Sookie apparently boards some sort of alien mothership–The Vampire Diaries only got harder, deeper, and more sinister with the formal introduction of Katherine.  Katherine, who you may not know, is Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) spitting image in vampire form, and a distant ancestor of Elena.  Also, she just happened to turn Damon (Ian Somerhandler) and Stefan (Paul Wesley), who have both been pining for her to some degree for the last 145 years, and who is largely responsible for the brothers’ intense sibling rivalry.

The Vampire Diaries established Katherine as a plot force last year early on, but showed intense discipline and story development by only giving its viewers two scenes with Katherine (also played by Nina Dobrev) last year–the last scenes of the season.  Katherine, allowing Damon to think she’s Elena, let’s Damon kiss her on the front porch, and at that point, Jonathan Gilbert (David Anders), the vampire hating douche who just happens to be Elena’s biological father and adopted uncle, home fresh off of his nearly successful master stroke to seek out and destroy all of Mystic Falls’ vampires with his special vampire finder–a gadget that sends out a signal at a frequency that only vampires can hear and are disabled by, or so we think–runs into who he thinks is Elena in the kitchen.  Gilbert, protected from death by vampire by a “supernatural ring”, thinks he’s in the clear, when Katherine–not Elena–quickly wields a knife from the butcher block, separates Gilbert from the fingers on his ring hand, and then, stabs him up and leaves him for dead on the kitchen floor.

Should you visit The Vampire Diaries website, you will see that the CW has labeled this season as “The Year of the Kat.”  We’ll talk more of the site later.  Katherine certainly did not disappoint in season 2’s premiere.  The episode picks up as the real Elena comes home to find Jonathan Gilbert massacred on the floor, and she calls 911 while Gilbert stammers out a warning to his daughter while gurgling blood.  “Behind you”, he warns his daughter, because Katherine is right there, still in the house. 

Katherine however, just seemed to want to take a look at her veritable twin, and was far too busy at that point to do her any harm.  Having kissed Damon, already planting that seed of destruction in the Katherine/Elena obsessed vampire brother, and then having seemingly killed Gilbert, Katherine has to crash a funeral, still posing as Elena, so that she can get all the dirt she can on the current state of Mystic Falls.  For her, the condolence call to the deceased Mayor Lockwood’s family proved very fruitful.  She learned from Bonnie (Katerina Graham), thinking she was talking to Elena, that Caroline (Candice Accola) had almost died, and that Damon had saved her by giving Caroline his blood.  But when Bonnie, Mystic Falls’ resident neophyte witch, goes to give Elena a hug, she knows at her touch that she has hugged a vampire.  Katherine knows Bonnie knows, and is set to get medieval on Bonnie, who is able to pull off a neat little trick.  She uses her mind to blow open the door to the room, as Katherine has her up against the wall by the throat.  At that moment, Stefan appears.  Katherine quickly loses interest in Bonnie as she and Stefan go for a walk on the Lockwood estate.

Stefan, the physically weaker of the vampire brothers, because he refuses to drink human blood, has kept more of his humanity, and keeps a cool head with Katherine, as he pretty much has figured out that for whatever reason, Katherine is back to destroy the Salvatore brothers–two of the vampires she has created.  In fact, at some point Damon mentions that Katherine turned nearly all of the vampires in Mystic Falls once upon a time.  While Stefan is able to keep cool, and even tells Katherine that he hates her, and that he never loved her, Damon doesn’t do as well when he returns home to find Katherine waiting in his living room.  They start hooking up, and then Damon asks Katherine if she is kissing him because she loves him.  Katherine tells him she does not, and that “it’s always been Stefan.”

Though Stefan wisely prepped Damon, and told him that Katherine has come to break them and that “how we respond will define us”, Damon, all hot and heavy, is enraged at being spurned by Katherine.  He goes back to Elena’s, where he forces himself on her.  Elena tells Damon pretty much the same thing when she says she cares for him, but that “it will always be Stefan.”  Damon, hearing more bad news, then attacks Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), who has entered the room to see what the commotion was about, and who then tries to protect his sister.  Damon snaps Jeremy’s neck, but we believe Damon saw that Jeremy was now wearing Jonathan Gilbert’s supernatural ring, which originally belonged to Gilbert’s brother and Jeremy’s father, and which Jeremy has all but asked Gilbert for.

Gilbert might be gone, but he’s not dead.  He only leaves town when Stefan threatens him, after biting his wrist and forcing the weakened Gilbert to drink his blood when Elena and Stefan visit him in the hospital.  Stefan tells Gilbert to beat it, and gives him 24 hours.  Since Gilbert has ingested Stefan’s blood, should he die with it in his system, he will wake up a vampire.  The decisive, violent action was necessary, and has been suggested by hardcore fans of the show is the persona of the “new Stefan”, who some have conjectured feel that the quiet, brooding vampire brother from last year came off as boring.

Boring or not, Stefan will have to keep it together, because not only has Katherine already wreaked havoc on Damon, but in the end, she heads to the hospital to do more damage.  Recalling that Bonnie told her that Caroline has Damon’s blood in her system, Katherine visits her in her hospital bed and puts a pillow over her mouth, after telling her to give the Salvatore’s the following message: “Game on.”

The dynamic is sure to be excellent for the show.  Caroline will wake up a vampire.  Her mother, the vampire hating police chief who is prominent on the council that plans vampire attacks and hunts and whatnot, should get a real kick out of that.  Many are equating the move to a stolen page in the Trueblood playbook, when the magister made Bill make Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll).  But Jessica was abducted, and was not a character prior to that.  Caroline is a character who was establsihed, and played a naive, boy crazy immature girl, which should make for a very interesting vampire.  One who could become like Katherine, potentially.  Take a look at what some of The Vampire Diaries’ fans are saying:

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Default Re: September 9th Season Premiere Episode – Tell Us What You Think!!!

OMFREAKINGOSH!!!!!! Wow! This episode kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time!!!!! And just like everyone else, I felt so bad for Damon after everybody kept saying how they loved Stefan and not him! I just wanted to grab him out of the tv and kiss him!!!!!! lol! I was watching w/ a friend and her and I both agreed that if he was here w/ us, we would make him feel better w/ a group hug!!!!

And yeah, not how I wanted Damon/Elena’s kiss to go down. And you know, he may have had a slight chance w/ Elena too….but now, you can count that out of the question!!!!!

But yeah, and Caroline as a vampire? That will be VERY interesting…..

Overall, this season premiere was AMAZING!!!!!!! I can’t wait until next week!!!!!

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Default Re: September 9th Season Premiere Episode – Tell Us What You Think!!!

Originally Posted by pinogabr
ilusdhfliudsahfasdliufhdsifhsadfiuh AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! every second was amazing!!! i can barely think straight I was so blown away. BUT. im confused about something and I’m worried about the answer to my question. I LOVE Caroline. I don’t know why but I do and I was shocked to see what Katherine did. I expect no less from Katherine since she’s been playing around (violently) with everyone BUT. Damon gave Caroline blood to heal her… Does that mean that Caroline is now a vampire?!?!?!?1

yah. that is totally what that means.

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Default Re: September 9th Season Premiere Episode – Tell Us What You Think!!!

WoW!!! That was great!!! the entire episode when someone would talk to katherine thinking it was Elena i would get mad at them lol!! when the comercials came on i would be like “oh my god!!!” this episode was great i can hardly wait for the next one. I really hope the Caroline dose become a vampire that’d b great!!!. i feel so bad for Damon though. no body loves him.

I hate to say it (because i love Stefan and Elena) but, Katherine and Stefan have Amazing chemistry!!!! And im not sure how i fell about this new “Bad ***-ish” Stefan. I kinda like but i kinda dont.

The episode just goes to show how great the show is can’t wait till next episode!!!!

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Default Re: September 9th Season Premiere Episode – Tell Us What You Think!!!

One questionid Damon’s blood turn Caroline or is she just dead?
OMG,now jeremy has uncle john’s live-forever ring.(Carp! He’s still human but…jyler bromance is awesome.)
I HATE KATHERINE!!On the side note,I love Tyler’s Uncle Mason!! He’s so chill and so cooler than his older brother!!
Oh,and Carol Lockwood’s taken to sleeping pills…and does John apply now that Jeremy knows of vampires(hello,he fell in love w/ 1) he’s expected to jion the concil and kill the vampires.
Poor Damon! Everyone seems to like Stefan more than him…don’t see why-he’s seems sweeter than Stefy. And funner!
But that’s not HOW I wanted the first Delena kiss to go down! Ahh sucks,just when we thought Damon got his humanity back…
Overall it gained my OMFG.

I think what some of the posters there are saying is correct, in the sense that Caroline was largely an inconsequential character before she was a vampire, and now is a major character, really greatly minimizing the amount of um, dead time, for the show.  And aren’t the fans of The Vampire Diaries the best?  “Group Hugs”?  “Delena?”  Please read the thread.  The thread is hilarious.  I promise you.  So what if I like a show that only 16 year-olds seem to care about?  It’s the best show in its genre, and while it may seem to be for a young crowd, it in no way demeans the audience the way that Trueblood does with over done fantasy that has us questioning the sanity of the great Alan Ball.

It’s Renee’s baby?  Stupid.  Tara and Franklin?  Horrible.  Werewolves that thrive on vampire blood so they subjugate themselves to vampires?  Werepanthers/white trash crystal dealers?  So stupid.  Whereas The Vampire Diaries fans are telling us how awesome that show is.

In the end, I gotta agree with gossipahalic101.  The Vampire Diaries has gained my OMFG too.

The Vampire Diaries will air episode two, season two, tomorrow at 8 PM on the CW.

Crack (


Season premiere tonight on HBO @ 9 PM, pushing Treme (below) back to the 10 PM slot…

The Tudors (above), tonight @ 9 PM on Showtime.  Only 2 episodes left…

Breaking Bad’s season 3 finale tonight at 10 PM on AMC.

Mad Men’s season 3 finale, 2 AM on AMC.

Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, and Ian Somerhandler (above).

Will Stefan regain his taste for human blood yet again?  Was Damon really convinced that Bonnie would break the compass’s spell in good faith and did he really hand over the actual compass?  Will Jeremy’s vampire girlfriend Anna (Malese Jow), who’s mother, Pearl (Kelly Hu), was locked in the tomb but later staked by Jonathan Gilbert, join forces with the Salvatores to avenge her mother’s death?  Will she turn Jeremy, whose asking for it, or will Gilbert get to her first?  Will Elena learn of Bonnie’s treachery and can their friendship ever recover?  And of course, will the aforementioned Katherine make an appearance in Mystic Falls, and if so, how will Damon react?  Or will Stefan hook up with Elena, with whom he’s grown increasingly close in recent weeks?  And just maybe, can Damon and Stefan find a way to get along?

I’m not sure about any of it, though it would be nice to get a glimpse of Katherine, and to see Jonathan Gilbert somehow killed.  What I am sure of, is there will be blood.

Those were the questions and a couple of predictions we left you with Thursday morning in preparation for the season finale of The Vampire Diaries.  If you saw last night’s The Vampire Diaries, you already know the answers, but in case you didn’t: Stefan does not regain his taste for human blood.  Damon was convinced that Bonnie (Katerina Graham) had broken the spell, and did hand over the real device.  Anna was staked by Jonathan Gilbert (David Anders), but not before she could give Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) a vial of her blood to drink, which, would turn him if he died with it in his system–a cliff hanger for next season, as Jeremy drank the blood and then took a bunch of pills, after Damon came and told him that he saw Anna get killed.

Bonnie and Elena would see their friendship recover, as Bonnie, feeling guilty over knowing that Damon was about to die a fiery death with the town’s other vampires–deaths she would cause by not deactivated the vampire finding device, used a spell that parted the fire so that Stefan could rescue his brother.  Though not all is well between the witch and vampires, still. 

Damon and Stefan would get along, as Stefan, in addition to saving Damon’s life, would admit to Elena (Nina Dobrev) that he did care about Damon, who usually plays his destructive foil.  Though in the end we would be led to believe for a few moments, deftly done really, that Elena and Damon would betray Stefan by kissing on Elena’s door step.  Aunt Jenna opens the door to the shocking sight, and calls Elena in and asks her “what are you doing?”, steeped in disapproval.  “I don’t want to talk about it.” she replied.  The next time we see her is up in Jonathan Gilbert’s face in the kitchen, behind the refrigerator door he had just closed.  A startled Gilbert begins to explain things to Elena about her mother and about vampires, while Elena is stocking cutlery in the butcher block.  When Gilbert put his hand on the counter, Elena’s spitting image, Katherine, as it turns out, moves quickly with a butcher’s knife in hand, and cuts Gilbert’s ring finger off, separating him from his ring that gives him vampire immunity.  Then Katherine wields the butcher knife, and plunges it into Gilbert’s chest repeatedly.  Gilbert figures out that it’s Katherine as he is dying, and a moment later, the real Elena enters the house.

Katherine needed Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) to open the door for her, because as a vampire, she must be let or invited in, otherwise she can not enter.  Elena therefore did not kiss Damon–Katherine did, though right now, Damon thinks that he kissed Elena.  Lucky for Stefan that Damon kissed Katherine in two ways: Elena hasn’t cheated on him with her brother, and Damon, smitten to obsession with Katherine for about 150 years, will probably be very happy to learn the truth, as he is now under the impression that Katherine didn’t want anything to do with him since he learned she was alive.  The brothers thought Katherine was buried in the tomb under the burning church, but when Damon learned she was not and had not contacted him, he was extremely disappointed.

In an interesting but predictable plot twist, the vampire device did not only work on vampires, but also, on Mayor Lockwood and his son Tyler (Michael Trevino).  The Mayor was killed by vampires in the basement they were locked in as the fire raged, when they realized he was not a vampire.  But what is he then?  As Damon noted, the vervain, a chemical more damaging to vampires than whatever’s in garlic, hadn’t affected him.  The device had disoriented Tyler, who was driving, and caused him to have a car accident with Caroline (Candice Accola) and Matt (Zach Roerig) in the car.  An unconscious Tyler, being examined by paramedics, had his eyelids lifted to reveal a brownish, yellowish, orange eye that shocked those on the scene. 

Just then Caroline falls unconscious, and the last we know is that she has internal bleeding, and her status is in doubt.  Caroline’s health, in the balance, is just one of the open plotlines The Vampire Diaries has set up for next year.  Will Jeremy wake up a vampire or still human?  Will Bonnie hurt Damon, like she pledged to Stefan she would with her considerable witch powers, if he doesn’t change as she told Stefan he must?  What of the love parallelogram between Stefan, Elena, Damon, and Katherine, and how much more of Katherine will we see, who right now is the only living vampire in the subtext of the show besides Damon and Stefan?  And what is the wild eyed Tyler, and what was his father? 

Though the plot eerily mimics that of True Blood last season–a finale in which the humans and vampires come to war–the show is done well enough that such a prominent unoriginal aspect doesn’t bother us.  And let’s be frank: neither True Blood nor The Vampire Diaries invented vampires, but each show has put some original twists on vampire lore.  In fact, I’m already thirsty for next season, even though other horror genre cliches and True Blood overlap are unavoidable.  Like when we find out that Tyler is a werewolf, a werepanther, or a shapeshifter.  But The Vampire Diaries, mostly well acted, and with considerable eye candy for men and women, is sure to throw us enough curves that will keep us guessing next season, with a healthy dose of our suspension of disbelief thrown in of course, even if we will mostly be able to guess right.

Don’t Be Afraid,

Crack (

Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) of True Blood.

With HBO’s Vampire themed hit True Blood returning next month, the network recently posted a few minisodes, calling them “A Drop of True Blood.”  The one below features Eric and Pam at Fangtasia.  Give it a look below:

There are 3 other minisdoes at  Thanks to Mr. White for spotting these previews of one of our favorite shows.

Be Careful,

Crack (

  My mother is a tough critic.  And we don’t always agree on taste.  Like the other day, when I sent her a picture of a contortionist, twisted up like a pretzel, and giving himself a taste test, she called me and said “You can’t text people those types of pictures.  You’ll get arrested!”  So far, the lady likes my blog.  She especially liked how in entry 1, I discussed the fact that I actually listened to the priest at the wake.  Speaking of priests, that guy was nothing like Tim’s priest, who has a girlfriend, likes to go clubbing, drives a motorcycle, and lives in a loft he describes as “the tits.”

  Of course I am talking about “The Priest,” or even more simply, “Priest” from the HBO cartoon, “The Life and Times of Tim.”  I’m sure my moms would not approve of Tim, but it’s a much more reasonable cartoon than the Aqua Teens, with a lower ceiling as well.  One possible gauge is that my wife approves of Tim and his misadventures.  Tim’s boss is played by veteran character actor of soap, drama, and movie fame, Peter Giles, who plays a snappy, rich executive who ends all his conversations with “Bang!”

  Tim’s new roommate is Stu, played by the very rye witted Nick Kroll, best known to me from VH-1’s Best Week Ever.  Tim and Stu are friends through work and Stu takes Tim in after his girlfriend kicks him out.  They are forced to share a bed, and on their first night sleeping together, Stu goes through a list of things that give him night terrors, including “the ’86 Mets.”  More on that later.  You have to love Stu’s only pick up line with the ladies, which is “do you wanna get Stued?”

  Back to my mother as the tough critic.  She only casually liked The Sopranos and thought 6′ Under was tolerable in “small doses.”  Take that, Alan Ball.  And another thing: Dr. J can not fathom how I could possibly like Ball’s current HBO show, TrueBlood, because he is a man of science and vampires are “stupid.”  What can I tell you?  I’d watch almost anything compelling to me and well written.  After all, as you know, I am a big fan of a show about a piece of raw chopped meat.

  There’s Tim and soon there will be Treme, an HBO original series coming soon about an artsy section of New Orleans called Treme, mostly populated by musicians, and the show will explore the massive corruption in the nation’s poorest city, and how their art and music has been affected by Hurricane Katrina.

  Most impressive about Treme is its producer, David Simon, a true renaissance man responsible for bringing many fine shows to television and books to print, most notably HBO’s The Corner and The Wire, the official all time favorite of yours truly.

  Moms stopped paying for HBO long ago, and recently, that probably was a wise move.  Though HBO has five staples in their original program lineup (Curb Your Enthusiasm, TrueBlood, Entourage, Big Love, and now Hung), it was disgraceful that they had no original programming to follow Larry David this fall.  And many fans, including myself are less than thrilled that the cult hit Flight of the Conchords and the critically acclaimed In Treatment have appeared to have been discontinued.  Gabriel Byrne turned in some phenomenal work on In Treatment, and every episode was loaded with intensity.  While Flight was perhaps the most original and funniest show brought to television by HBO since Da Ali G Show.

  With a new season of Tim, the highly anticipated Treme, a new Band of Brothers, and an original period piece on prohibition Atlantic City, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, things are looking up for HBO, the king of finely made original television.  And then this week, they broke news of a new drama, created and produced by David Milch (Deadwood, John from Cincinnati, etc.),  starring The Dustin Hoffman, who will portray a career degenerate gambler–bringing Hoffman to the small screen for the first time in some 40 years.  There is much excitement around HBO these days.

  Speaking of Dustin Hoffman, not too long ago I heard him on Howard Stern’s Sirius Radio Show, as he called in as a guest for a friend, so that his friend may win a contest in which the person who got the biggest celebrity to call in would win $5,000.  A star of the magnitude of Dustin Hoffman could have many reasons to shy away from Howard Stern, but he provided a fascinating interview.  For me, the highlight was when Hoffman discussed how his life changed due to the success of The Graduate.  After getting some advanced word, Hoffman explained that his agent urged him to move from his apartment in the village, that he shared with Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall.  Hoffman, a 26 year old at the time, thought it was crazy advice, and didn’t heed it.  A few days later he returned home to a throng of young women, mostly Jewish, who had baked goods in hand, and had mobbed the steps of his building and the hall corridors leading to his flat.  For a fuller account of this interview one may try or for a transcript. 

  Howard is another of whom moms doesn’t approve, but I couldn’t resist in pulling a page from Howard’s book and speaking about my mother publicly.  I only hope she takes it as well as Howard’s mom. 

  While on the topic of radio shows, and while I am not the biggest fan of Mike Francessa, to put it kindly, I heard a fantastic interview today with Gary Matthews Sr., who was an excellent player when I was growing up.  Baseball is the major sport that holds the least interest for me, as I find it slow moving, and dominated by artificial numbers due to the steroid age, which is a fiasco and has made a complete mockery of baseball’s hallowed record book.  Nontheless, Matthews told a great story about Bobby Bonds, who was one of the most talented players in the 70’s, and his teammate on the San Francisco Giants.  Bonds was a leadoff hitter with incredible speed and power, like his son before his hat size and his numbers grew out of proportion, by taking a steady diet of HGH.  Matthews spoke of a game against the Mets in which Bonds tested the waters early against Tom Seaver, and came back to the dugout excited, telling everyone that Seaver was off and they were going to have their way with him.  It would turn out that Seaver pitched a 2 hitter that day with 14 K’s, and he struck out Bonds 4 times.  Interestingly enough, Matthews and Bonds were just good old fashioned hard ball players, while their progeny have both disgraced the game via the needle.  Much more on steroids to come. 

  With ’86 Mets and dominant Tom Terrific mentions, one might get the wrong impression.  I am not a Mets fan.  One of the only things I agree with Francessa on is his characterization of the Mets that I find hilarious, that they are New York’s “junior varsity squad.”  BTW, I’d be remiss to not mention, since New Orleans is also a topic of this entry, that Mike Francessa picked the Colts to win the Superbowl by 14-17 points, proving his expertise as a pompous know little.

  And in other sports news, though this is by no means to be a sports blog, Rafael Nadal’s knee still hurts today.

  Trying to do this body building thing all naturally for about 19 years now, I am proud to say.  The results are still coming, after all these years, though in my experience, diet is by far the most important component of the equation.  Dr. J would also agree.  If you guys are good to me, and I like the number of people who come back and read tomorrow, I will divulge the ingredients of my latest recovery shake.  I’d call it a protein shake, but that characterization, for some reason, has always conjured up male semen-y type images for me!

  So moms likes the blog so far.  But what’s she gonna say, right?  I am her only son.  Hoping you guys like it too.  Gonna take my leave now.  See you tomorrow.  Bang!



P.S.  My blog is newly formed…just a little baby right now.  If you enjoyed this page please check out the entries under the category “Formula 411” where many of my entries will be appearing.  Thanks again.