Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015 – The Grown Up Fangirl’s Year in Review

Goodbye 2014 Hello 2015 HD Wallpaper Images PicturesGoodbye, good riddance 2014!!! 2014 was the year I really could have used a clone, because I did not get to do nearly as much as I wanted to do, fandomwise. Not enough cons, not enough podcasting, not enough TV/movie watching, and not enough blogging. Even so, there were a few highlights to my fangirlish year, and it’s enough to motivate me to make more effort in the coming year. So…let’s cover a few things, shall we?

BOOKS – Trying to work full-time and go to school has gotten harder for me to juggle in the past two years, so I haven’t gotten to read quite as much as I wanted to this year (my reading goal on Goodreads was 25 books – I fell waaaaayyyy short of that goal). In anticipation of the reboot (which I still have yet to see), I re-read V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic for the millionth time (and am still adequately fascinated/disturbed at the story). I finally sat down and read/listened to the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (or, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the books, the series that HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on). I found some sense of closure with The Mortal Instruments: A City of Heavenly Fire, but was reluctant to give up on the Shadowhunter world, so I picked up The Bane Chronicles in an effort to get into the head of one of the more mysterious and interesting characters in the series, warlock Magnus Bane. As of right now, the jury is still out on this one; whereas most of the books I’ve read lately have been of the can’t-put-it-down variety, sadly this book doesn’t fall into that category, and I am finding it harder and harder to remember why I liked Magnus Bane in the first place. But the book series that has really had a grab-me-and-don’t-let-me-go effect is the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

divergent1Until June 2014, I had worked the past two years in the public library system, and the Divergent books were always in the hard-to-find category, especially with to the March release of the first film in the series, Divergent. For awhile I had given up on trying to read the books, deciding that I would just wait until I bought them to read them. However, once I sat down to finally watch the film, I was drawn in by the chemistry of the lead characters Tris and Four (portrayed onscreen by Shailene Woodley and Theo James, respectively). So, Halloween weekend consisted of me reading Divergent (Friday), Insurgent (Saturday), and Allegiant (Sunday). I followed up with Four a couple of weeks later. Even though I’m late to the faction party, I’ll probably end up doing a re-read and then blogging about the books at some point, because those books were a doozy to read. But I haven’t fangirled about books/movies as much in the past few years as I have in the past few months with these characters, so that’s a good thing. (BTW, I will totally spaz out if I ever get to meet Theo James in person. Just warning y’all in advance). Oh, and if someone could find a way to convince Veronica Roth to write more books about Four, I’d appreciate it.

TV – Television was kind of huge for me in 2014. I enjoyed some of my newer favorites (Game of Thrones, Sleepy Hollow, Walking Dead, The Originals, Orphan Black), fell back in love with an older one (now that’s the Supernatural I know and love), said goodbye to an old friend (rest in peace, True Blood) and got sucked in to a couple of others (How to Get Away with Murder, Teen Wolf).  Scandal consistently kept my jaw on the floor, and The Vampire Diaries is getting interesting again now that Delena isn’t so much the focus of the show. I am currently catching up on Season 4 of Lost Girl, but am apprehensive because I already know one of my favorite characters dies. Oh yeah, speaking of beloved characters dying…

WTF, Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow? (Spoilers be ahead, for those of you not caught up).

I know that in the reality of the zombie apocalypse, it’s unrealistic to think that all of our favorite characters will escape unscathed. Episode 1 of Season 5 nearly gave us a heart attack thinking that Glenn was going to be head-bashed with a bat not once, but twice, Carl was almost raped by a rather ogre-ish looking biker dude, and even little baby Judith was threatened with a knife to the throat (RIP Martin…not). But we knew someone from the group was gonna have to die, and unfortunately the first casualty was Bob Stuckey. After what happened to him (being bitten by a walker, and then taken hostage and partially turned into Bob-B-Q by some survivors of Terminus), I expected him to not make it. No, the death that got me was Beth. Beth’s death for me equaled the WTF? incredulity I had when Hedwig was killed by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was just one of those deaths I really feel was unnecessary to the whole of the story; it really serves no purpose except to solidify the fact that the group needs to pay attention to Rick when he tells them that being nice isn’t getting them anywhere. And poor Maggie’s face…

Moving along to Sleepy Hollow – I will admit that I am still pissed about the killing off of Captain Frank Irving. That was another WTF? for me. Orlando Jones is a talented actor and his character brought a sense of balance to the group of Ichabod, Abbie, Katrina and Jenny. It was bad enough that the character was grossly underused in the first part of season 2 (bring him back and send that damn Sheriff Reyes away, okay? She irks the hell out of me and serves no purpose), but then to kill him? (Although the manner of death was heroically glorious). However, I do realize that dead does not always mean dead in Sleepy Hollow and hope that there’s some great way the writers will bring back Irving’s character.

In the meantime, check out this HILARIOUS video from the Captain himself, giving us a recap of his character’s journey through Sleepy Hollow:

MOVIES – I totally suck in the movie department for 2014 – aside from Divergent, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy (last week), X-Men: Days of Future Past (two weeks ago), and Maleficent (opening weekend). Pathetic, I know, and I will hopefully get a chance to change that in 2015.

PODCASTS – Due to scheduling conflicts and other real-life BS, I only recorded a few episodes on Sci-Fi Party Line this year. They are as follows:

20140830_215700CONVENTIONS – I only got to attend one convention this year: Dragon Con. The experience wasn’t as great as previous years, mainly because I spent most of the week prior sick as a dog and literally had no energy, but it wasn’t a total flop. After podcasting together for 5 years, I got to meet Cat (@fancyfembot) in person!

I also got to meet Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter) and Osric Chau (Kevin Tran, Supernatural – he was there as an attendee but was nice enough to pose for a photo when I recognized him outside of Starbucks). I got to ask Karl Urban (The Chronicles of Riddick, Almost Human) a question during his panel, and I was a panelist on the “Growing Up to Save the World” panel on the Whedonverse track.

All in all, not such a bad year, but I plan to do so much more in 2015. To those of you who follow and have stuck with me, thanks again for another great year! Happy New Year 2015!!

RIP True Blood: a very long recap of the series finale and a few of my thoughts

true-blood-season-7-teaser-trailerWell it’s over. Done. Finished. Kaput. Finite.

After seven seasons, the coffin has closed on the series known as True Blood. The series finale aired this evening at 9pm EST, as expected, it was a doozy. The show had some good notes, some sad notes, and some unexpected ones, but it’s what you’d expect from a finale, right?

This post will be long, since I don’t usually do recaps (and since it’s a series finale) and WILL have spoilers, so if you haven’t watched yet, you’ve been warned.

The show begins with Sookie and Bill. Bill starts out being nostalgic over the fact that they are in her grandmother’s house, where he first came to call on her, met her family, etc. Sookie has no time for reminiscing – she wants to know why Bill is so intent on dying. He explains to her that since he’s been sick, he’s felt more human than he’s ever felt, and talks of his wife and children, and how he should be with them. His whole purpose in wanting the true death is so that Sookie can be free of him and pursue a human life, complete with children – which she could never have with him. It all makes sense, and Sookie begins to soften as she grudgingly acknowledges his view. But then, here comes the kicker: Bill asks Sookie to use her fae light on him, giving him the true death which will also free her from the supernatural gifts that make her so appealing to vampires (which is something she’s been considering since last season). However, Sookie is angered by Bill’s suggestion (or maybe because she realizes that he’s really, really thought this through and it makes sense), and she kicks him out.

Continue reading

Dragon Con is almost here!!!

dragoncon2014

5 MORE DAYS!!!!!

 

It’s finally here, time for the streets of downtown Atlanta to be taken over by cosplayers, celebrities and fans en masse! Dragon Con – the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film – will take place in Atlanta next weekend, August 29th – September 1st, and the guest list contains something for everyone: a little bit of 70s/80s nostalgia, some sci-fi/fantasy, big names, new names – Dragon Con will have it all.

 

Here’s a look at some of my favorite shows/movies/book fandoms that will be well represented:

Harry Potter – You guys know it just would be a post worth mentioning if I didn’t talk about the HP guests first! 🙂 Two actresses from the series will appear for the first time at Dragon Con: Evanna Lynch, who plays the faithful and loyal (if a little quirky and eccentric) Luna Lovegood; and Scarlett Byrne, who is known as that annoying girl from Slytherin/Draco’s girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson. Byrne is more recently seen on television as Lexi in Falling Skies.

It’s the 80s baby!! – Enthusiasts of the 1980s period of television and film will be well represented this year, with guests from popular cult classics such as The Princess Bride, The Karate Kid and The Outsiders. Recently, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Martin Kove, Cary Elwes have all been added to the guest list. Actors Nancy Allen (Carrie, Robocop), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Gil Gerard and Erin Gray (Buck Rogers), and John Ratzenberger (Cheers, various Pixar films) are just a few of the “blast from the past” names that will appear.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV – So much to choose from! We have actors from returning favorites (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, the Stargate universes), as well as a few of the newer shows (Defiance, Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Lost Girl). Cast members from popular shows Warehouse 13, Being Human and True Blood will appear; all three shows will have ended by the time Dragon Con begins (the last episode of True Blood will air this Sunday at 9EST on HBO).

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film – Dragon Con will have mutants (Patrick Stewart and Shawn Ashmore of the X-Men films), futuristic cops (Peter Weller and Nancy Allen from the original Robocop film), and pirates (Kevin McNally and Lee Arenburg from the Pirates of the Caribbean films); Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Chronicles of Riddick, RED) will make his first Dragon Con appearance.

Personally speaking, I – along with a few of my fellow co-hosts from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast – will be at Dragon Con the whole weekend. We will be recording shows, blogging, and generally having a grand old time, considering this weekend will be the first time most of us will have ever met in person, although we’ve been recording the show for years. You can find all of our combined posts on our Dragon Con portal at http://www.dragoncon.scifipartyline.com.

I will be speaking on two panels related to Harry Potter during Dragon Con. The first is Shipping Wars in Harry Potter!, which will discuss one of the largest shipping debates ever, Ron/Hermione or Harry/Hermione (I am of course on Team Ron!). This panel will be held on Saturday, August 30 at 10 pm. The second panel is Growing Up to Save the World, which will discuss the roles of teens from several different fandoms (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Buffy, Teen Wolf, etc) and their roles in “saving the world”. That panel will take place on Sunday, August 31 at 1 pm.

Sci-Fi Party Line #187 True Blood

bill-sookie-love-hep-v-nakedOn this week’s episode of the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast, there’s just sooo much to talk about!! Cat and I discuss Violet’s “50 Shades of Grey” room and her attempted corruption of Adelyn and Wade, the pros and cons of wooden dildos when used by vampires (yes, I’m serious), our unexpected soft spots for former comic relief’s Andy and Arlene (and that sex dream, wow!), our opinions on the dynamics of the Jason/Hoyt/Jessica drama, our absolute delight at a Japanese cowboy, a sexual reunion that everyone saw coming a mile away, and give a few predictions for the end of the series. There might be a Twilight/Renesmee prediction/reference in there, much to Cat’s chagrin LOL.

You can check out the full episode here: http://scifipartyline.com/2014/08/sci-fi-party-line-187-true-blood/

And here’s a clip of next week’s episode, and let’s just say, Hoyt is not the same man who left Bon Tomps!

Side Note: Several members of SFPL will be at Dragon Con, August 29 – Sept 1. You can follow our Dragon Con adventures exclusively at http://dragoncon.scifipartyline.com/

Falling out of love with True Blood

True Blood Season 6 promodFalling in love is easy. Falling OUT of love? Not so much.

Nobody ever wants to admit when they’ve fallen out of love with something. We make excuses as to why something no longer “works”; we try to remember and re-capture those initial feelings of anticipation, excitement and joy. We try to drag out our feelings when the truth is, the longer we deny it, the longer we delay the inevitable. Unfortunately, this is how I’ve come to feel about what was once one of my favorite shows, True Blood.

Like most relationships, my love for True Blood has had it’s ups and downs. As a fan of the book series from which the show was adapted, I had high hopes for the show and the characters and for the most part, I’ve really enjoyed what Alan Ball and his team of writers did with some of the characters. Even when the show began to deviate heavily from the canon, the presentation of the show and characters continued to compel me to watch. However, the past couple of seasons has shown me that the shelf life on this show is coming near it’s expiration date, and truth be told, I can’t say that I’m sorry to see it go.

After falling out of regular viewing at the conclusion of episode 4, I’ve spent the past two days catching up on the rest of Season 6. Early on, I had my misgivings on whether or not the show would be able to continue: this was my response when I shared this article on Facebook back on June 24, “I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, but I will say that the season premiere didn’t impress me at all. As much as I have loved the show, they need to do something quick to fix what it’s become.” On September 3, it was confirmed by several media outlets that while True Blood has been renewed for a seventh season, that season will also be its last. I don’t pretend to be an expert on what makes a show work, but I will offer my own opinion of why the show no longer worked for me. (SPOILER ALERT!)

Take time to smell the roses. I understand that relationships on TV are unrealistic, but can we at least try? If we believe the time frame for the season (as implied by Andy Bellefleur’s “teenaged” faerie daughter, Adilyn), then the whole of season 6 took place in the time span of two weeks. TWO WEEKS. So, in that short period of time we’ve seen:

  • Sookie going from “I-don’t-want-anybody-I-need-to-be-alone”, to being hunted down by Warlow (who tells her that she is the soul mate he’s waited almost 6,000 years for), to falling in love with Warlow (who turns out to be the vampire/faerie hybrid who murdered her parents – who were in fact trying to kill her in order to prevent her from becoming Warlow’s “destined” vampire/faeire bride), then falls out of love with him when he tries to force her to become said bride, then stands by and watches while he is killed by her brother Jason, and her faerie great-grandfather Niall. All of this while trying to convince herself (and everyone else) that she’s no longer in love with Bill. And THEN ends up in a relationship with Alcide. Poor old Eric, who Sookie was so much in love with a few seasons ago, didn’t even merit a mention in her romantic afterthoughts. So much for true love!
  • Sam didn’t even let Luna’s body get cold before he was jumping in bed with Nicole, knocking her up and declaring his love for her!
  • Jessica and Jason – while still harboring unresolved feelings for each other – both jump into their first ever relationships with vampires. Jason took a detour first with the returning-and-annoying-as-ever Sarah Newlin, before becoming vampire food/oral sex slave vagitarian (“I’ve gone down on you for 178 nights in a row. Sometimes twice, sometimes three times!) without receiving any sexual gratification of his own. (How the hell did Jason end up with such a selfish vampire anyways?) And for the record, for 178 days straight…no further comment needed!

Character assassination. While I’ve gotten the grasp on separating characters when it comes to book-to-movie/TV adaptations, there are some things that really irk me about completely changing a character’s traits, while expecting us to still give a damn about the character.

  • Alcide Herveaux – initially one of my favorite characters because of his loyal and goodhearted nature (and the fact that he looks completely godlike without a shirt on doesn’t hurt), I actually found myself hating his character for most of the season. Becoming pack master did not do this werewolf any favors in the personality department, and I’m glad that it seems like he’s back to his old self.
  • Bill Compton – Bilith. Enough said.
  • Terry Bellefleur – I understand that the character of Terry has always suffered from PTSD, and the events from last season are sure to make any man in his position insane, but for him to arrange for an old friend to kill him while leaving a wife and three children behind? No, no, a thousand times, no.

Enough with the Sookie stalking! I understand Sookie is the main character and all, but her storylines get more ridiculous every year. I was not a fan of the whole Warlow storyline and really hope that the writers have something better in mind to send the character off with when the show ends next season.

Some of the things I actually did love about the show this year:

0609Lafayette1Lafayette. Lafayette has always been one of my favorite characters, in both the book and TV series. Although his character was killed at the beginning of book 2, the show chose to keep him on throughout the course of the show, and it has been one of the best decisions they’ve made. Lafayette remains true to himself, and his “take me as I am” attitude has not changed during the course of six seasons; no matter what knocks he takes, he always comes back stronger than ever. And, when you can pair a debonair suit ensemble with matching eyeshadow and some fierce extended lashes, and absolutely KILL it, well no further words are needed on how awesome you are.

Andy and Adilyn Bellefleur. The circumstances regarding Andy’s children amused me at first, because Andy is not a character you would normally associate with fatherhood. But the addition of his faerie children (and subsequent murder of three of them), changed Andy’s character for the better. It made him more tolerant of the differences he encounters in the residents of Bon Temps, and makes him more likeable altogether.

RIP Terry Bellefleur. While I didn’t like the circumstances regarding Terry’s death, his funeral was probably one of the best scenes during the whole season.

Eric the Vulnerable. Eric’s scenes with the dying Nora showed a softer, vulnerable side to the usually cold-hearted and selfish Viking, and his scream at her final death broke my heart.

I’ll be talking more about season 6 of True Blood in an upcoming episode of the Sci-Fi Party Line podcast, so be on the lookout. All in all, I really think that True Blood has run its course, and the show runners were smart in making the decision to voluntarily end the show before HBO decided to cancel it. I hope that next season will bring the show full circle and return it to being the show I first fell in love with. Nobody wants to remember a great love in a bad light.

Happy New Year, and let’s try this thing again…

So, about that whole “I’m going to be better about updating my blog in 2012” thing that never happened…well, let’s just say that I overestimated my ability to not let real-life issues get in the way of my blogging, podcasting, etc…in other words, all of the fun stuff in my life got put on hold! 😦  To those of you who have continued to encourage me while patiently waiting for me to come back to my blog, thank you so much for your support, it means so much!!! I am determined to make 2013 a better year for me by doing ALL of the things that I love, and that includes the re-birth of the Grown-Up Fangirl.

So, just a few updates on what I’ve been catching up on, and then we’ll see where things go from here.

BOOKS: I ended 2012 with a resolve to do a lot more reading this year, and I literally began immediately after making that decision. Since New Year’s weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the young adult genre – completing all five books (so far) in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and I’ve finished Book 1 in The Caster Chronicles, “Beautiful Creatures”; I’ll begin reading Book 2, “Beautiful Darkness”, sometime tonight and will probably finish Book 3, “Beautiful Chaos” by the weekend. Both sets of reads were prompted by movies trailers for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Beautiful Creatures, which I saw during the previews for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2. I’m not going to post any reviews yet, but I will eventually get around to adding them both here and on my Goodreads page. However, I will say that aside from a few minor irritations, I am enjoying both series immensely.

TV: Aside from episodes that have aired this month, I am completely caught up on Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries. I still think someone should start a petition to HBO and let them know that these months-long hiatuses for “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” are agonizing!! Season 3 of SyFy’s “Being Human” has started, and I plan to watch that this weekend. Other than that, there aren’t any other shows I’m actively watching, although I have quite a few (Scandal, Deception) that have been recommended and are on my “To Watch” list.

MOVIES: Sad to say, the aforementioned mentioned “real life” issues kept me from the theaters and without cable TV for 2012. I only saw a few movies: The Woman in Black (loved it), The Avengers (my birthday weekend, and LOVED IT!!!!), and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (I DID see that one three times, and loved it as well). BUT, there are so many highly anticipated movies coming out this year (Iron Man 3, A Good Day to Die Hard, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, etc.), that I am going to make it a priority to get to the theaters!! Entertainment Weekly has a pretty good starter list for upcoming films, and I’m excited about quite a few of the films listed, but I’ll make a more detailed post next week.

CONVENTIONS: 2012 marked a first for me in terms of conventions: for the first time since I began attending in 2007, I missed Dragon*Con. Anyone who has been following my blogs for years knows that Dragon*Con is a MUST for me every year, and it really hurt to miss it. However, I am determined NOT to let that happen again, so I will bring you updates as usual. (SIDE NOTE: Writing this entry prompted me to go and check the guest list, and I’m glad I did! Kelly Hu – one of my MAJOR girl crushes – is listed as a guest! Woot woot!!!)

One of my other favorite local conventions is returning this spring as well. EyeCon will invade Atlanta once again with their fan convention for the CW-hit show, “The Vampire Diaries”, March 2-4. The convention will take place at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Downtown Atlanta, and will feature games, panels, Celebrity Q&As and Photo Op Sessions, Celebrity Autograph Sessions, a “Casino Royale” Party, a Banquet with the Stars, and a Haunted Masquerade Celebrity Party! As of this writing, featured guests will include Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore), Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert), Nathaniel Buzolic (original vampire Kol), and Trent Ford (Trevor the vampire). For more information, visit the EyeCon website.

I guess that’s enough catching up…for now. Feel free to add this blog to your subscriptions, and if you like this blog, be sure to check out some of my friends at the Sci-Fi Party Line website and podcast.

Dragon*Con brings Sci-Fi TV presence to Atlanta

That rustle of excitedness you hear is the sound of thousands of geeks, nerds, gamers, fanboys/fangirls and other fandom enthusiasts preparing for what is probably the largest geek party in the United States, and Dragon*Con looms closer.

Taking place in the downtown streets of Atlanta, Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Spanning the lobbies, convention spaces and streets of five hotels, there is literally something for everyone at Dragon*Con.

As always, Sci-Fi/Fantasy television will have a strong presence at Dragon*Con. One of the fan tracks that should be very popular this year at Dragon*Con includes the Dark Fantasy track, which will have panels and celebrity guests from shows such as the SyFy Channel’s Being Human (stars Sam WitwerSam Huntington and Meaghan Rath), the CW Network’s Vampire Diaries (stars Michael TrevinoSara Canning and David Anders) and is filmed locally in Atlanta, and HBO’s immensely popular series True Blood (stars Kristen Bauer van StratenJim ParrackDenis O’HareJoe Manganiello and author Charlaine Harris, who wrote the “Southern Vampire” novels that the show is based on).

For the first time, stars from the popular CW series Supernatural will also appear during Dragon*Con: series regular Jim Beaver will be joined by stars Misha CollinsMark A. SheppardJulie McNivenChristopher Heyerdahl andSamantha Ferris for fan Q&A panels, photo op and autograph sessions.

Fans of Joss Whedon and/or the Stargate culture (SG-1, Atlantis and Universe) will find whole tracks dedicated to those two sub-genres (Whedonverse and Stargate: Multiverse, respectively), while those who mourn the loss of shows such as LOST, V: The Series, and Battlestar Galactica can do so alongside other fans of those now defunct, but still loved shows during panels such as “BSG Universe: Evolution”, “V: Find Your Bliss”, or “Lost: One Year Later”.

Dragon*Con will take place Friday – Monday Labor Day weekend; most programming will begin around 10 am with the exception of Saturday, when the annual Dragon*Con Parade will take place. Host hotels include the Hyatt Regency AtlantaAtlanta Marriott MarquisHilton AtlantaSheraton Atlanta Hotel, and the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Full details on fan tracks, celebrity guests, and membership (admission) costs can be found at the official website.

“True Blood” Season 4 premiere: my thoughts (SPOILERS)

Credit: HBO

There will be lots of spoilers in this post so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, proceed at your own risk.

To say that I felt the season 4 premiere of the HBO hit series “True Blood” was a bit weird is an understatement. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, but wow…WEIRD.
 
At the end of last season Sookie – having just found out that vampire love Bill betrayed her – decided to take a trip with Claudine to the land of the Fae (Fairy). Season 4 starts out with Sookie entering Fae, where she runs into Barry the Bellhop and her long, thought-dead grandfather Earl Stackhouse. Earl, who doesn’t realize he’s been “dead” for the past 20 years, is distraught over the fact that what seemed as days to him has meant that he has missed out on being in Sookie and brother Jason’s lives, and that wife Adele has grown old and passed away without knowing he was okay. All of this, however, doesn’t matter as the true nature of Fae land comes to light.
 
While talking with Barry, Sookie takes notice of the behavior of other humans who are visitng the world of Fae (one can only assume that these other humans are also part-Fae as Sookie is). When presented with a strange “light” fruit, Sookie gets suspicious and has a mental (telepathic) conversation with Earl, where she panics and decides that they need to escape.  Her thoughts are overheard by all of the Fae, and Mab – who is apparently a leader of some sort – reveals the true nature of the visit to Sookie: the Fae are dying out and need to harvest the humans with Fae blood. Mad tries to force Sookie to eat the fruit and when Sookie refueses (by blasting Mab with her strange new powers), the true face of the Fae is shown, and they are not the perfect, beautiful people they appeared to be.
 
At this point, the scene gets kind of corny, with a fight/chase scene that could have been pulled straight from an old “Star Trek” episode. Claude (Claudine’s brother) helps Sookie to escape through a portal that leads back to her world, and although Earl is not supposed to go (anyone who has eaten the light fruit cannot go back to the real world), he jumps in with Sookie to make sure she is safe. Sookie and Earl land in the cemetary, where Earl dies atop his late wife’s grave.
 
Sookie returns to her home, only to find out upon Deputy Jason’s arrival that even though she was only in the Fae world about 10 minutes, almost 13 months has passed in the real world, where the city of Bon Temps has declared her missing. This revelation will lead to viewers seeing the many major changes that have taken place since Sookie’s disappearance. Among those changes:
  • Jason is now the responsible Sheriff’s Deputy, while Sherrif Andy Dearborn is now an addict of V (vampire blood)
  • Tara has left town, traveling to different cities every few months and channeling her rage as a cage fighter. Oh, and she also is now in a relationship with a woman who apparently thinks her name is Toni and that she’s from Atlanta. As sad as it is, it’s nice to see that some things (Tara’s inability to have a dunctional relationship) haven’t changed.
  • Lafayette and Jesus are still kicking it strong, although it seems that things are not great with them as Jesus is still pushing Lafayette to explore his “witchy” side. Adding to the tension is the addition of Marnie (Harry Potter’s Fiona Shaw), a witch who likes to channel dead vampires and bring dead birds back to life. (Side note: am I the only Harry Potter fan who absolutely cracked up when she cried about her dead bird, Minerva? Maybe McGonagall got tired of being a cat all of the time). Although she was a bit…off in this first episode, big things are rumored for Marnie in season 4.
  • There’s trouble in paradise with Hoyt and Jessica. The two lovebirds had made the decision to move in together at the end of season 3, and our first glimpse of them in season 4 shows that the honeymoon is clearly over. They have an unusually human argument about Jessica’s lack of skill in the kitchen, followed by a “make-up” date at Fangtasia, where Jessica flirts with a fangbanger, flees to the restroom out of guilt, where she is cornered by Pam who teases her about her dilemma.
  • Arlene has given birth to Rene’s child, and is still convinced that baby Michael will inherit his murderous father’s tendencies. She comes home and finds that the baby has taken all of the heads off of his sister’s Barbie dolls, and prompty has a panic attack. “What kind of child beheads Barbies?” she asks her now-husband Terry, who replies, “Boys.” I couldn’t agree more, Terry. Arlene’s fretting will probably do more damage to the child than his dead father’s DNA.
  • Bill is now the vampire king, although not much is said about when or how this came to be.
  • During Sookie’s “disappearance”, Jason sold the Stackhouse property, saying that he was too sad at being reminded how everyone else was gone to hold on to it. Turns out the mystery buyer was none other than Eric, who uses his ownership to his advantage by inviting himself into Sookie’s bedroom, telling her with a toothy declaration, “You are MINE”. Wonder what lil’ ole Miss Stackhouse has to say about that? Guess we’ll find out next week.

Speaking of next week, HBO has made the second episode immediately available for HBOGO subscribers on their website.

Fan Faves from “True Blood”, “Vampire Diaries” Added to Dragon*Con

After more than a week with no updates, Dragon*Con has added some fan favorites from two of the hottest current television series to the guest list.

And while you’re drooling over the photo at the left, I will shamelessly admit to adding this blog post with just a teensy bit of lust going on.

If you haven’t guessed by now, Joe Manganiello – who plays hot-blooded werewolf Alcide Herveaux on the HBO hit series “True Blood” – has been added to this year’s guest list for Dragon*Con 2011. This makes the third guest from the show, with Jim Parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry) having been added about a month ago, and Denis O’Hare (Russell Edgington, Vampire King of Mississippi), who was added back in April. Joe joined the show in season 2, and was quickly promoted to series regular for season 3. Expect for Alcide to play a larger role in the show, now that love interest Sookie is unattached. Season 4 of “True Blood” premieres June 26 on HBO.

Another fan favorite comes to Dragon*Con from the locally-filmed television series, “The Vampire Diaries”. Sara Canning, who plays Aunt Jenna on the show, has been confirmed to appear. SPOILER ALERT Jenna’s role on the show took a major, unforeseen turn in the last few episodes of the second season, beginning with her finding out that vampires exist to her being turned into one and eventually killed as part of Klaus’ ritual to become the first vampire/werewolf hybrid. Canning will be joined by fellow cast mate David Anders, who played John Gilbert on the show.

Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon*Cons past at this link.

‘Breaking Up Sucks’ New Promo for True Blood Season 4

Credit: HBO

Breaking up does indeed suck, and die-hard Truebies will find out just how much when the HBO hit series “True Blood” makes its’ Season 4 debut on June 26.

In the season 3 finale, Sookie (Anna Paquin) had just learned that Bill (Stephen Moyer) originally set out to find her under the command of Queen Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood), who was interested in using Sookie’s telepathic abilities to further her own causes. Judging by the new promo for season 4, looks like Sookie will not want for suitors intent on mending her broken heart.

“True Blood” Season 4 begins on Sunday, June 26 at 9pm EST.

True Blood Panel at Dragon*Con 2010 (VIDEO)

Me with True Blood's Nelsan Ellis at Dragon*Con 2010

I know, I know…I promised more Dragon*Con updates and haven’t had the chance to post them! Real life has kept me busy, but never fear! Today I bring three videos from the first True Blood panel that was held on 9/3/10. Panelists included Kristen Bauer van Straten (Pam), Sam Trammell (Sam), and Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette). I will most likely edit this post later this weekend with more commentary (and hopefully, some transcription), but for now…enjoy. 🙂

True Blood panel at Dragon*Con, Part 1

True Blood panel at Dragon*Con, Part 2

True Blood panel at Dragon*Con, Part 3

My Dragon*Con Countdown Has Officially Begun

In about a month’s time, I will be participating in my annual geekout weekend when Dragon*Con returns Labor Day weekend. For those of you who don’t know, Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. I first attended in 2007 and it has now become a must-attend event for me.

This year will also include some firsts for me, as I have been asked to sit on two panels for the Young Adult (YA) Literature track. The first panel, “Minorities in YA Lit” will focus on the role that minorities play in Young Adult Literature, and what trends are popular in regard to race, gender, religion, etc. So far, I am the only panelist listed (no pressure, right?)

The second panel is the one I’m most excited about, “Freaks and Geeks in Harry Potter”, where we discuss the “oddballs” in the HP universe, such as Neville and Luna. My co-panelists include Racheline Maltese (author of The Book of Harry Potter Trifles, Trivias and Particularities), Todd McCaffrey (who co-writes the Dragonriders of Pern series with his mother, novelist Anne McCaffrey), Davey Beauchamp (Writers for Relief anthologies), and M.B. Weston (author of The Elysian Chronicles series).  How the hell I was able to get on such a distinguished panel confuses the hell out of me, and I will try not to feel intimidated. Try being the operative word.

But you guys want to know about the guests, don’t you? You can view the complete Dragon*Con guest list here, but this is the list of the people I’m excited to see and the movie/books/shows I loved them in (the ones in red are musts for autograph/photos).

  • Lee Arenberg (you know, the “Ello, Poppet!” pirate on Jack Sparrow’s crew in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy)
  • Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy)
  • Rene Auberjonois (Odo from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”)
  • Morena Baccarin (Anna on the ABC Series “V” and Adria/the Orici on” Stargate SG-1″)
  • Kristin Bauer (Pam from “True Blood”)
  • Robert Beltran (Chakotay on “Star Trek: Voyager”)
  • Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”)
  • Ben Browder (Col. Cameron Mitchell in “Stargate SG-1”)
  • Chris Bruno (Sheriff Bannerman on “The Dead Zone”)
  • LeVar Burton (READING RAINBOW!!! Oh yeah, and he played Geordi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Jim Butcher (author of The Dresden Files books)
  • Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Daniel Cudmore (Felix in the Twilight movies, and Colossus in X2 and X-Men 3)
  • Lexa Doig (Rommie in the series “Andromeda”)
  • Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette in “True Blood”) THIS IS A MUST!!!!
  • Michelle Forbes (Maryann in “True Blood”)
  • Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte in “True Blood”)
  • Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Joel Gretsch (Father Landry in “V”; Tom Baldwin in “The 4400)
  • Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing in “Dallas”)
  • David Hewlett (Rodney McKay in “Stargate SG-1”, “Stargate: Atlantis”)
  • Christopher Judge (Teal’c in “Stargate SG-1”)
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon (author of the Dark-Hunter series)
  • Martin Klebba (Marty from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy)
  • Stan Lee (do you really need an explanation of who he is?)
  • Paul McGillion (Carson Beckett on “Stargate: Atlantis”)
  • Alex Meraz (Paul in the Twilight movies)
  • Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis in “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” and Jonas Quinn in “Stargate SG-1”)
  • Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate: Atlantis”)
  • Mark Sheppard (demon Crowley in “Supernatural”)
  • Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Chaske Spencer (Sam Uley in Twilight: New Moon and Twilight: Eclipse)
  • Brent Spiner (Data in “Star Trek: Te Next Generation”)
  • Laura Vandervoort (Kara/Supergirl in “Smallville” and Lisa in “V”)
  • Garrett Wang (Harry Kim on “Star Trek: Voyager”)
  • Paul Wesley (Stefan in “The Vampire Diaries”)

I believe that the guest list for Dragon*Con has been capped this year at 400, so I don’t think anyone else will be added to the list. It would be nice, however, if they could add some more stars from “The Vampire Diaries” (especially since they film the show here in Atlanta). Some Harry Potter stars would be nice as well, as they were the main reasons I’ve been there the past three years.

Catching Up With The Grown-Up Fangirl

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a proper Fangirl post here, and I apologize. Things have been so hectic for me in real life that I had been behind on a lot of stuff. With my Harry Potter assignments over at Hollywood News, along with the summer hiatus of several of the shows I fangirl over, I’ve been neglecting most of my fandoms that aren’t HP related. However, I am desperately trying to catch up with everything. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Harry Potter: Last weekend I attended Infinitus 2010 in Orlando, and got a chance to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I have yet to sit down and gather my thoughts about the convention, but I did manage to do a write-up about the park, which can be found at my Hollywood News blog here. I will say that it was one of the best experiences I’ve had, as I’ve gotten to meet a lot of “online” friends and they’ve now become real life friends, which is great. I can always use more Harry Potter fanatics in my life. 🙂

True Blood: With the frenzy I’ve faced over the last two weeks preparing for Infinitus, I had completely missed the two most recent episodes of True Blood. I finally got a chance to watch them last night and WOW. I don’t even know where to start!!! I am loving the additions of Alcide and Jesus (OMG his scenes with Lafayette!!), and the casting for Debbie Pelt was perfect! Batshit crazy doesn’t even begin to cover it!! And I’m loving James Frain’s version of Franklin Mott; he’s creepy but so pathetic at the same time, while being scary. There’s just a lot going on in this show so far, and we’re only what, four episodes into this season? Speaking of which, a new trailer for the second half of season 3 premiered at Comic-Con and holy hell!! This season is about to get even more intense!!

The Tudors: After getting completely hooked onto this series this past February, I wasn’t ready for it to end. This was a series brilliantly done, and has some of the best casting I’ve seen. The series ended on a very classy note, although I was sad to see the death of one of my favorite characters, Charles Brandon. I would really like for Showtime to re-visit this series and cast, possibly showing the reign of Mary Tudor, especially with Sarah Bolger as Mary. Would be a very good show, indeed.

The Vampire Diaries returns to the CW for its second season on Thursday, September 9 at 8pm. Supernatural follows two weeks later when its new Friday night schedule premieres on September 24. Both of these dates seem so far away, but at least it’s not January, which is when Caprica is scheduled to return.

So for awhile, at least, I may have to find a few new shows to watch/catch up on, and believe me, there has been no shortage of suggestions. I’ll do my best to keep up this blog a bit better, but don’t forget, for all of my Harry Potter related news, check me out on Hollywood News.

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

Cover image provided by CharlaineHarris.com

I finally got a chance to go over to LiveJournal today, and found this gem of information in one of the True Blood communities. Apparently, there is a new Sookie Stackhouse book scheduled to be released in February 2011. This is great news for Sookie fans, who up until now weren’t expecting the next Sookie installment until May 2011.

According to CharlaineHarris.com, “The Sookie Stackhouse Companion” will include a new Sookie novella, and an exclusive interview with Alan Ball (creator of the HBO series True Blood, which is based on the Sookie books). There will also be a Q&A section where Charlaine answers questions sent in by fans.

You’re invited to send in your questions (limited to three) to askcharlaine@gmail.com from June 17 through June 26. (After that, the email address will be inactive.) Sending in your questions doesn’t guarantee they’ll be included. Please add your name and a valid email address to each question in case Charlaine selects your entry. All questions should pertain to the Sookie Stackhouse series.

Breaking News: HBO’s “True Blood” renewed for Season 4!!

That was quick!

Just two episodes into the third season of HBO’s popular series “True Blood” comes the news that the show has already been renewed for a fourth season. HBO made the announcement this morning that “True Blood” will begin production on the 12-episode season early next year, and episodes will air Summer 2011.

Season three debuted last weekend to an amazing 5.1 million viewers.

First three minisodes of HBO’s “True Blood” online

Okay guys, I know I’ve been slacking and I offer my deepest apologies!! Now that that’s out of the way, are you ready for some “True Blood” goodies? The first 3/6 minisodes of the popular series have been released, in anticipation of the June 13 premiere of Season 3.

The first features a bored Pam and irritated Eric, who are auditioning some (very horrible) dancers for Fangtasia. However, the auditions take an interesting turn towards the end.

The second video features our favorite newborn vamp, Jessica, as she searches for a little nighttime fun. I think the clip shows how Jessica has matured from the angry, defiant vamp she began as in her undead life.

The third clip features Sookie and Tara discussing dating, while Lafayette offers his two cents worth.

Enjoy all three, and I’ll have #4 for you next week once it’s been posted!

Details Magazine brings on the True Blood Sexy

True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgård (Eric), Stephen Moyer (Bill) and Ryan Kwanten (Jason) are featured in this month’s issue of Details Magazine. The magazine shows us the trio’s sexy sides (as if we didn’t already know!), as well as provides fans with great information on the backgrounds of these three talented men. You can view the complete interviews on the website.

But in the meantime, here’s some hot pictures of our favorite men from Bon Temps. 🙂

True Blood’s Hottest Men slideshow from Details Magazine

More “squee-worthy” DragonCon guests confirmed from True Blood, Star Trek: TNG, Stargate, BSG, and Andromeda

I am in my bed losing my mind right now, because several favorites have been confirmed to appear at DragonCon.

First off, adding to the True Blood roster is Michelle Forbes, who played our favorite, creepy Maryann. She has also appeared in roles on 24, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. She joins previously confirmed guests Nelsan Ellis, Sam Trammell, and Kristin Bauer.

Michelle Forbes from Season 2 of True Blood

Next up is Michael Shanks, who is probably best known to most Sci-Fi fans as Dr. Daniel Jackson on the series’ Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. He was also most recently seen in episodes of Smallville (Hawkman) and Supernatural. Also confirmed on the list is his lovely wife, Lexa Doig, who is probably best known for playing the title character (ship?) on the show Andromeda. She currently plays a Visitor doctor on the ABC Series V.

Michael Shanks as "Dr. Daniel Jackson", Stargate: SG-1

Lexa Doig as "Rommie/Andromeda" on Andromeda

Edward James Olmos returns this year as well; he is more recently known as Admiral William Adama on Battlestar Galactica but has been acting in Hollywood since the early 80’s.

Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama, Battlestar Galactica

And I had to save the best of this crop for last! An actor who has captured the hearts of children (Reading Rainbow) and adults (Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Roots”) alike,  LeVar Burton has been a fan favorite for over 30 years. I am very excited about this, because this is the first time he’s been at DragonCon since I began attending in 2007, and I was obsessed with Reading Rainbow as a child. It was one of the shows that made me a lifelong lover of books and reading. Mr. Burton joins a long list of other Star Trek attendees, which can be found here.

LeVar Burton

I’ll continue to update this blog with more guest confirmations as they happen, but you can also find out the full DragonCon guest list on their website. DragonCon takes place every Labor Day weekend in Atlanta.

Images from Season 3 of True Blood

With a little over two months to go, HBO has released 13 new photos from the upcoming third season of it’s highly popular series, True Blood. The series, which begins Season 3 on June 13, will have lots of new faces to keep us occupied, including Joe Manganiello (Alcide), James Frain (Franklin Mott), and Lauren Bowles (Holly).

Fangtasia’s Femme Fatale and POTC’s loyal pirate added to DragonCon guest list

Having a MAJOR fangirl moment here: Kristin Bauer, who plays Fangtasia’s quirky but deadly Pam in the series True Blood, has been confirmed to attend Dragoncon. Kristin makes the third member of HBO’s hit series to appear on the roster; fan favorites Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte) and Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette Reynolds) were added to the guest list last month.

Credit to true-blood.net

Kristin Bauer as Pam on True Blood

Also confirmed on the guest list is Martin Klebba, who portrays the tiny but loyal pirate Marty in all three of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. He has recently appeared in the film, “Zombieland” and has a very extensive resume in film and TV.

From prlog.com

DragonCon is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the US. It will be held this year during Labor Day weekend, September 3-6 in Atlanta, GA. Details can be found on their website: http://www.dragoncon.org

Dates announced for True Blood Season 2 Encore and Season 3 (finally!)

HBO has finally given True Blood fans something to look forward to this summer! It was announced today that Season 3 of the popular hit series will premiere on Sunday, July 13th at 9:00pm. Fans have been eagerly waiting for this announcement since the cliffhanger ending of Season 2 late last fall. What’s that? You don’t remember how it ended? Well, you can blame HBO and their agonizing months-long hiatus! But we’ll forgive them, because HBO will broadcast an encore of Season 2 beginning next Sunday, March 21st at 9:00pm.

Me personally, I’m very interested in seeing what additions/changes the show writers have made to the immensely popular Southern Vampire series of books from which the show is based. As a fan of the books, there have been changes that I have been quite happy with, and there are some that I’ve questioned the whole point of the storyline. But overall, the series has been yet another addiction for me, and I can’t wait to see what surprises are in store for Sookie, Bill, Eric and the rest of Bon Temps.

And for those of you who are fans of the book, the tenth installment, “Dead in the Family” will be released on May 6th. If you’re the least bit curious as to how it begins, check out this post for info on Chapter 1.

True Blood confirmations for DragonCon

I am all in a tizzy here in my seat because two of the stars of “True Blood” have been confirmed for DragonCon! Sam Trammell and Nelsan Ellis, who play Sam Merlotte and Lafayette Reynolds, respectively, have both been added to the guest list on DragonCon’s website this weekend. As I am a HUGE fan of Lafayette (and Trammell’s portrayal of Sam make him more likeable for me than the book character), I am very excited!

This is probably my most favorite scene from the whole True Blood series, and I always post it whenever someone asks my why I love Lafayette. Enjoy!!

Looks like I better start saving up those dollars now…