44 episodes. 10 characters in the credits. 48 deaths. Three vampires, one hybrid, one werewolf, one witch, four humans. Two ghosts. One birthday. 3 months off. One season premiere. BUCKLE THE FUCK UP.

1) "What with one thing and another, two months passed." Yes, that's a paraphrase from Princess Bride. No one look surprised.

2) Joseph Morgan's American accent is iffy, though that could be because he's doing a Southern variant. I haven't heard him do flat-voweled, region-free American.

3) "I thought you country folk were supposed to be more hospitable." "I'm from Florida." Slam or not, that's true: we don't trust a motherfucker in this state. I never thought that would come in handy on this show, but here we are. (We also tend to be better at at least pronouncing Spanish, if not speaking it; I can't speak for current schools, but I had Spanish from kindergarten on, all through high school and two semesters in college. So.)

4) It's hard not to see the premiere as kind of an indictment, on some level, of True Blood, which prides itself on being sexy and creepy and Southern and all of that. Except everyone still manages to look sexy? Somehow? As if by magic? And here they sort of accidentally look sexy, because for real: this week was rough. Everyone was either sweaty, grimy, or hungover (hi, Alaric!); Damon needs a haircut, and Caroline's clearly using her vampire powers to look Scotchguarded in the middle of Virginia (i.e., Georgia) summer.

--seriously. Points for that: everyone's wearing not that much, and not to be sexy. You just want to not drown or die of goddamn swamp-ass. UGH THE SOUTH YOU ARE UNKIND I MISS HOODIE WEATHER.

5) Damon's back with Andie! I was unsurprised, because Dawn Olivieri tweeted about filming again, but still.

6) The opening was legitimately creepy. (Actually, a lot of things tonight were, but we'll get to those.) Points again, guys. Stefan--we'll get to Stefan, but nice to see that Klaus is still fucking awful in a really charismatic-yet-hateful way. (Which is to say, I really like Joseph Morgan, and anything that gets him further away from Hex should be rewarded.)

7) Padding naked and covered in soap suds to get more champagne: how we all wanted to see Damon his first time back, really. I missed you, Oldest Salvatore! And wish you would get a haircut, while remaining a fan of what it takes to maintain those abs!

(Sidebar: Ian's presenting at the Emmys this Sunday, in case anyone hasn't heard. 8 PM EST, Fox.)

8) Elena flailing and refusing to look directly at Damon even after he put on pants: WIN. Still my favorite, Gilbert.

9) Wait, Bonnie's with her dad's family? Wait, Bonnie has a dad?

10) Jeremy Gilbert: gainfully employed, back on weed, still seeing dead girlfriends. I approve of the new hair, Littlest Gilbert.

11) David Gallagher did a pretty good job as Ray Sutton, for all that he did not do a hell of a lot. He looks a shitload better than he did on 7th Heaven, but honestly, who doesn't? Come on.

12) SO: Klaus can apparently only make new hybrids by bleeding werewolves and giving them his own blood, then killing them (or, you know, how you make a vampire, but just with werewolves). And he...does not seem to be doing a lot of compelling, leaving that to Stefan. I'm thinking the witches put in a Plan C of their own just in case he broke the curse, in which case: high five, dead witch ladies, good thinking ahead.

13) "Truth or wolfsbane" is a horrifying game. On the other hand, this is from TVD, the creators of Let's Have A Chat With Uncle Mason and The Revolving Damon Salvatore Mutilation Hour, so again, not surprised.

14) --seriously, though, that entire bar full of compelled people? Messed. Up.

15) Ahahahahahah Team Badass roadtripping to Memphis to do recon on a rumor about Stefan. They both look like they're still drunk and just miss grudgefucking. <333

16) Aaaaand apparently they call Stefan "Ripper" because--oh, this is great, this is--he feeds, gets too into it, blacks out, wakes up, finds his victims, is overcome with remorse, and REASSEMBLES THEIR GODDAMN BODIES LIKE JIGSAW PUZZLES. WHAT. That--wow. That is fucking awful. Congratulations, Stefan, you are now kind of scarier than your brother. Your batshit crazy brother.

17) "Just because I tell you things doesn't mean you're allowed to know them!" And once again, Caroline Forbes is the voice of reason. I missed you too, Forbes.

18) And Team Badass's roadtrip ends when they commit arson on a house loaded with dismembered bodies and a bondage werewolf cellar. I MISSED THIS SHOW SO GODDAMN MUCH, YOU GUYS. Hilariously, Alaric is fine with this, but show him students drinking and he needs a hairshirt.

19) Seriously, Saltzman, Katherine's gonna come back eventually. You really need to move.

20) Elena: Just invite a few people!

And then Damon whammies people away from the good shit and towards the Coors Light. ALL THE HEARTS.

21) If there's any two people on this show who need to get high, it's Matt and Jeremy. No argument here.

22) Matt, I know you're having issues, but for real, kissing Elena's cheek in front of your other ex-girlfriend? Kind of a dick move.

23) "I'm every parent's worst nightmare. I'm the chaperone teacher from hell."
"I love high school parties."

Alaric Saltzman and Damon Salvatore, ladies and gentlemen, in two sentences.

24) "Jeremy's smoking up again."
"Is his stash any good?"

Oh my God, I would pay a million internet dollars to see Damon get stoned. He'd just be relaxed, drinking blood bags, eating all the food and calling Alaric to make Tostitos runs, sitting in a beanbag chair and listening to Jimi Hendrix really loudly while shouting stories about how awesome it was at Woodstock, but Altamont was sort of a buzzkill.

(Also great: Elena's "you're an ass". It's Damon! At what point did you start thinking he was a role model? It's Damon. I would think he'd be more worried his compulsion was wearing off, but it's been a while.) (Do not even fucking ask me how long. Jesus Christ, this show's timeline.)

25) Aaand then Elena and Caroline find Damon's Nazi-killing map. Dude, you could have hidden it better, come on.

26) "Hold down the fort."
"You mean the fort filled with my drunk history students?"
"Drink more. It'll feel less weird."

I have nothing to say here. I just think we should start silk-screening some of this shit onto tote bags.

27) I--again, I'm not surprised Stefan compelled Andie to kill herself, but that doesn't mean it's not sad. She deserved better. But then, almost everyone who's ever died on this show has, so at least they're consistent.

28) Stefan's "Hello, brother" is a nice little echo of Damon's from the pilot.

29) "All you have to do is let me go."

Which is sort of the point, the same one they drive home at interventions and AA: you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped, and you can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved. Ten bucks says this is Stefan's own personal hairshirt for--something, that he's throwing this away as some kind of fucked-up grand gesture. And that's...sort of backwards? But fits with Stefan Salvatore and the ongoing story he's telling himself.

30) Vicki and Anna want Jeremy to help them. This is either worrying or really fucking worrying.

31) Caroline and Tyler. Oh, kids. I have seen a lot of TV and movies; I have read a lot of books. When two people who are just friends repeatedly say so to all their friends, and themselves, and each other, it's basically time to eye your watch and see how long it is 'til pants come off. Tonight, it's Act Five. Kudos!

(Also, let's keep that going, because Jesus Christ.)

32) For those of you just joining us, when Damon is too upset to drink? That is Not Good.

33) I think Damon's just as (weirdly) disappointed as Elena re: Stefan. Elena, at least, has a straightforward reason she's expressed kind of often: she loves him, she wants him to come home. With Damon, I think it's more that--

--well. If Stefan changed--Stefan, who ate a migrant village once; who was called "Ripper", and with good reason--if that guy could change, it would be possible for Damon to change, too. (Not that he would, because getting Damon Salvatore to do shit before he's ready is literally harder than cold fusion or alchemy.) But it would be possible; and maybe someday, he could change, too. When he wanted, if he wanted. When he was ready. And now?

Now maybe it's not. Now maybe they're just monsters, telling themselves stories so they don't scare themselves.

34) I love that with a best friend who's a werewolf and an ex-girlfriend who's a vampire, ghosts are Matt Donovan's limiting point.

35) I'd pay real money if Alaric ended up moving in with Damon.

36) Alaric leaving because he can't be a bad influence on Jeremy and Elena--he allowed drinking! and drugs! and bad behavior!--kills me. Dude, this is Mystic Falls. You're basically a city councilman, are you kidding me?

37) My favorite part of what Elena said to Stefan was deleted but left in the CC: "You can survive this. Whatever you do, just hold on."

38) Aaaaaaaand then Caroline, trying to walk-of-shame it out of the Lockwood house, gets TRANQED AND VERVAIN'D BY CAROL LOCKWOOD, HOLY SHITBALLS. Motherfucker, who told her? I AM REALLY HOPING IT'S NOT YOU, LIZ. You're gonna miss your mom, Tyler.

Next week: Everyone worries about Stefan! Klaus is creating a new race! NO ONE SEEMS TERRIBLY WORRIED ABOUT CAROLINE. WE'RE BACK, BABY.


Continuing in this vein (ow), The Secret Circle--based on another series written and created by LJ Smith--premiered tonight. Unsurprisingly, I have some thoughts.

1) Okay, to start: TSC series : TSC novels :: TVD series : TVD novels. They have some similarities from the jump, but they tend to move away from those in five or six episodes. Remember how not-necessarily-great the first few TVD eps were? And then Damon killed Zach and ate his bird and everything got BATSHIT AMAZING? Yeah. Keep that in mind, because this...this does not bear a lot of resemblance to the novels, is what I'm saying.

2) --no, seriously. Cassie and her mom move to New Salem, CT in the books, not Chance Harbor, WA; they're staying with her grandma, but just 'til her mom finds a place of her own. There are twelve people in the Circle; seven have been omitted from the show, and replaced with Melissa, who needs to somehow be Laurel, Melanie, Deborah, Suzan, Sean, AND BOTH GODDAMNED HENDERSONS. That is a lot of Hendersons, you guys. Also, Adam and Cassie meet before she ever gets to town, when Cassie saves Adam from witch-hunters. (They turn up later in the series and are an actual threat.)

Also, no one has parents, but it's for plot-related reasons, for once, and here they do. But we'll get into that in a bit.

3) Cassie Blake started off pretty normal: her dad died when she was a baby, and her mom moved away from Chance Harbor, WA, where she grew up. She and her mom were on their own, not even talking to Cassie's grandma. They loved each other, even though Cassie's mom couldn't change a tire.


4) Okay. To use a really awkward Twilight Zone metaphor: Mystic Falls is any of the people from "It's A Good Life" who just wanted to placate Billy Mumy--"everything is fine! We certainly don't have vampires here! EVERYTHING IS COOL!" with just a hint of cracked-ice drunken housewife at a dinner party. Chance Harbor, OTOH, is that guy who gets shitfaced, really wants to listen to his music, and rails against the kid until he ends up a jack-in-the-box and ends up in the cornfield.

5) Yes: Diana's dad totally killed Cassie's mom. THAT HAPPENED. REMEMBER THAT.

6) I have no real read on the cast, except for Britt Robertsen and Phoebe Jane Tonkin. They all seem--fine? Melissa's new, so I have no sense for her whatsoever; Thomas Dekker wears a lot of eyeliner; Louis Hunter and the girl who plays Diana haven't really done a lot yet. We'll see.

7) Britt Robertsen (?) is really good, you guys. She manages to play Cassie as a smart, funny, nice girl who really misses her mom and is open to getting to know her grandma; someone making the best of a shitty situation. She also has a temper and thinks she's moved to a town full of crazies, and she's pretty upfront about saying so. She looks freaked out without going terrified, and is scared without backing down. I think I'm gonna like her like I like Elena (in that she's different from her book!self, without being totally unbelievable).

8) Phoebe Tonkin is--oh my God, you guys, I don't want to be this person, but I really, really hope she gets better. Like--okay, book!Faye is great. She's smart, seductive, and charismatic; she's also a total bitch, prone to blackmail and a great deal of arson, and she's the closest thing the books have to a villain 'til Black John shows up. (We'll get to him.) She's also Diana's cousin, and a vital member of the Circle: Diana's mirror-twin, her polar opposite and balancing figure. You might not like her, but you realize she's necessary.

This Faye is like a really nice girl playing at being a bad girl, down to the clothes and makeup, and just missing the mark. She's power-hungry, hates the idea of being limited, but is terrified when she summons something she can't control. She's not a bad guy; she's not even really much of a threat. I'm willing to give her the 6-episode chance, but I'm a little afraid she's gonna be not that good. Which sucks, because a good Faye is sort of important. You might have doubted Ian's casting, but once you saw Damon, it made sense. This...does not make sense, so much.

9) It's hard not to love that Cassie spends the entire pilot being like "THIS TOWN IS FULL OF NUTBARS", mostly because it is.

10) YOU GUYS GALE HAROLD WAS SO GOOD. I just--it's really easy to peg him (heh) as Brian Kinney, and he did an amazing job there, but he manages to do something here: act like someone who's not Brian Kinney. Seriously, this is--you know how a lot of people saw Somerhalder and thought he was gonna do a Boone, and then it turned out he was the goddamn Batman? Well, so's Harold. He's creepy, he's menacing, he has his own agenda - and he clearly loves his daughter, and is personable and charming. UGH HE WAS AWESOME. Charles Meade, you guys. Don't sleep.

11) Blah blah blah 1692 six founding witch families came here and settled blah blah made a coven blah blah probably Black John.

12) Here, Cassie's arrival increases everyone's power; the Circle is used to bind those powers, not increase them. 's weird.

13) Also, everyone lost one parent in whatever happened 16 years ago; in Cassie's case--as far as she, and we, know--it was her dad.

14) 16 years ago was 1995 OH MY GOD I AM OLD.

15) Can we just ditch the rhyming spells aspect like we did the bird? Can we just kill that because we're starving and can't eat Uncle Zach, who dosed daily on vervain? Please?

16) "You said take it slow, and we all nodded." Okay, so she got one line right.

17) Thomas and Britt need to work to make me believe in Adam and Cassie, though. Plus, the lack of a silver cord between them makes this whole thing reaaaaaaaally hinky.

18) I love that Diana's all "you did magic with her?" as if Adam had sex with her. Yeah, get used to awkward magic-as-sex metaphors, guys.

19) "Your father was a bad man." YES, BECAUSE HE'S BLACK JOHN.

(Sidebar: Black John is awesome. He's up there with Klaus, for me, in terms of LJ Smith villains. He was one of the founders of the original coven, who instigated witch trials and paranoia to get them to follow him and found a new colony; he returned in the 1970s--remember, originally published in the 90s--and was (temporarily) destroyed, but at the cost of half the coven. He also paired people up how he wanted, which led to awkward shit when kids were born, and seduced Cassie's mom to have a daughter. He tries to do the same thing again. He's like Klaus, if Klaus was a hundred percent less crazy and more a smooth-talking bastard. He manages to make Faye his coquette and starts hurricanes by himself. HE IS GREAT. Do not foul this up, guys.)

20) Aaaaaaaand I'm not saying Cassie's Black John's daughter, but she stopped that storm all by herself when Faye freaked out and couldn't. I AM JUST SAYING.

21) Ho hum, BRB, casually invoking drowning in Ethan, Adam's dad.

22) "Faye's always been a little...unpredictable." The best summation of Faye Chamberlain I've ever heard.

23) I do like that, since we're not going the 12-person coven route, we're making this a generational thing, with Cassie's grandma giving the stink-eye to Dawn, and Dawn and Charles in cahoots to bring Cassie here in the first place. It makes the show its own thing.

24) --so yeah, Faye's mom and Diana's dad totally killed her mom. Way to be, elders!

All in all, it's a solid B. I knew what I was in for, having gotten through TVD's awkward stage, and I can only assume this one will be less harsh with experience. I'm in.
scy: (a vampire and his boyfriend)

From: [personal profile] scy

I am tentatively signing aboard on TSC - Gale Harold FTW. Srsly.

Meanwhile, on TVD, Damon has got to deal with looking after the family while his brother goes on a spree - which, is never good for Stefan, and well - Damon's only just learning why it's good not to kill people whenever you're bored. Maybe.

He and Alaric being 'chaperones' was hysterical. NGL.

And oh dear, Damon is upset, but he's not drinking. He's THINKING.
threerings: (TVD-DamonElena)

From: [personal profile] threerings

Not reading TSC commentary, as I haven't seen it yet. I remember very little of those books, except they got me into Wicca at age 12.

Anyway, your point about why Damon is disappointed by Stefan is profound. He really is losing his hope for himself by watching his brother relapse.

Oh, and, yeah, can we start a collection to get Alaric to move in with Damon? Or a petition?

YAY, show!
scy: (Default)

From: [personal profile] scy

Yes, because if Stefan, the 'good brother' can't hold it together, then what is the point, in Damon's mind.

allburningup: Art of a brown-skinned, purple-haired, green-eyed woman with an orb of light hovering between her hands. (Default)

From: [personal profile] allburningup

Dammit, Gale Harold is in it? Now I have to watch this goddamn show.


iphignia939: (Default)

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