TV: Roswell

Music Recommendation: “The Way You Are” by Mackabella

Guys! Guys! GUYS! I finally watched the Netflix hit Stranger Things and it is amazing. Like, as an 80’s sci-fi fan, I was in awe of the score, the tone, the characters, the creepiness, the cheese-factor, and of course just the production of such a great addition to the sci-fi television hall of fame. With the new year, I started thinking about my favorite science-fiction television dramas and I’ve already posted about Buffy, Smallville, and Supernatural. I  have a strong emotional connection with Roswell and you can’t get more sci-fi than aliens, so here we go…

635944688051077755335169110_giphy

The series dares to delve into the world of science-fiction, while at the same time stays human. It has everything that I love about television (and film and literature to be honest). It has all the genres: drama, sci-fi, romance, comedy, and a little horror / the ‘spook factor’. Plus, it premiered in 1999, and you all know how I love my 90’s television!

c73089b0c42338b6cc24e9b775ea5bde

It’s cool and interesting and the characters keep me invested and I just NEED to be a part of their squad, which is built on trust and loyalty. I just hate that I decided to finally watch the show so late in the game – back in 2012. From the pilot episode, I was hooked!

tumblr_no2ol32qOa1qg1euzo1_250

Some background: I always knew of Roswell as I grew up watching shows on The WB network. I would see ads (Max and Liz can be seen starting at 1:28) for the series. Also, here’s another one of my favorite The WB ads. I also recognized Shiri Appleby from the Gavin Degraw ‘I Don’t Want to Be’ music video. You know the One Tree Hill theme song. I kept telling myself that I’d watch the show later. Then, later became years and time passed by…

roswell gif 1

Flash forward to my third year in college and I’m living in my first apartment and pretty much living in my own little bubble. It was the year of self-improvement and peace. I had caught on to the flow of classes and I was getting stuff DONE while being comfortable having enough time to myself…to watch TV. I needed some new shows to ‘study’ and obsess over. Then Amazon had a ton of shows free to view through Prime. I decided hey, let me watch all those shows on my list that I always said that I would get around to. Keep in mind that at the time, I was a hardcore Buffy, Smallville, Charmed, and Angel fan. Science-fiction was one of my favorite go-to TV genres. I saw Roswell listed, watched the pilot episode – BOOM, I was in love. Just like that. I bought all three seasons on DVD after I finished season one on Amazon!

xpsnf7.jpg
I love it! I love it!

Before long, I found myself in a daze. All I could think about was the show. In class, I was thinking about the show. In the shower. While eating lunch. Dinner. Rare occasions where I ate breakfast. While sleeping. While walking. And even while talking. Lucky for me, the series is only three seasons long. Otherwise, I would be forever in a Roswell cosmic trance.

tumblr_mtc66iKzGn1qcn84xo2_250

In high school, I spent [wasted] a few precious moments watching (and reading) the Twilight series. I truly have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with the series. But the films (and books) did clue me into more of the sci-fi/teen drama/romance mixed genre: the human girl falls for the ‘outsider’ [non-human, vampire, werewolf, alien] guy.

091219115833Hallway_SceneB
Stop and stare.

Plus, the show just hooked onto my teen drama heartstrings. Shall we journey down the hallway?

roswell gif 2

3

summer-seth-anna

312fyoh-jpg

200_s

Seriously, Roswell was right up my alley. Something that I truly love about it is that the show includes the ‘love triangle’ trope that most of the other teen drama series like to hammer down hard on us, but you clearly know the two who are actually meant to be and there isn’t too much of a dilemma in deciding who you’re rooting for.

This is nice because I like to see two people make up their minds about who they’re in love with and the show can focus on the growth of their romance. And there is absolutely no doubt or debate that the two are soulmates (cough, Felicity). Max and Liz are honestly meant to be – despite them being different species and despite the world (and other worlds) trying to tear them apart. They just, somehow, naturally and seamlessly fit. Liz is the soft-spoken, wide-eyed, sweetheart and Max is her intergalactic prince charming. They are literally star-crossed lovers and sparks fly when they’re together. Simply, no ordinary love.

liz and max

What I also love about the show is that the aliens are two siblings and a best friend, so one of them is ironically the outsider. Brendan Fehr said during the ATX TV Festival reunion (around the 10:30 mark) that he enjoyed that Michael was the “outsider of the outsiders”. Years after their ship crashed and the aliens came out of their pods (I told you how hardcore sci-fi the show is), Max and Isabel were found by loving parents while Michael had to be put in the system with a not-so-fatherly foster dad. It’s an interesting take. There’s always a power struggle between Max and Michael as well as with Isabel (being the lady of the group) having to fight for her right to voice an opinion and make important decisions. Be her own alien-woman.

tumblr_n4kgq8oBwd1qg1euzo4_250

tumblr_nc5pzoju7z1ra0efio9_250

Side note: When I was really young, I had a deep appreciation and love for the Disney Channel and their movies. Wish Upon A Star was one of the first movies that I absolutely obsessed over. I loved Katherine Heigl and this was all before I started watching Grey’s Anatomy. And yes, I am aware of her less-than-stellar acting reputation these days. What a shame!

anigif_enhanced-13123-1401297233-1-1435700242

Back to Roswell: If it were up to Isabel and Michael, they all would have stayed below the radar. However, Max fell in love and he is the leader, so hello story. With Michael, it is always the question of who gives Max the right to be in charge and is he just suppose to fall in line because his ‘earth home’ is crap? Because he doesn’t get a family breakfast and dinner? Because his assumed earth identity is ‘beneath’ the others?

roswell gif 4
I’m leading for once.

What if he was rightfully the leader on their home planet? What if they were all related and shared the same social status? The show just makes you think on a deeper level about being separated from your birth right and not knowing who you really are. The three stick together for the most part until they allow their new human friends and lovers in on their big secret. Even then, Michael always feels like the lesser of the three and watching his growth throughout the series is a part of why I enjoy the show so much.

Adding to the mix is their newly found human friends and companions: Liz, Maria, and Alex (and later Kyle and Sheriff Valenti), the three aliens become torn between having the chance to learn about who they really are. They have to decide between “going home” and “staying home” and where their hearts are. They also have to figure out who to trust, including themselves. Their motivations fluctuate from time to time and sometimes they need those on the outside to remind them how to feel like they belong.

tumblr_n7wareKxrV1ra0efio1_250

There’s a lot of action and the sci-fi stuff can get heavy, but the show does a great job letting the characters’ “human side” shine through all the chaos. It’s great television.

Missing
It’s science.

I’ll talk about some of my favorite episodes (mostly from season one and two). I’ll also talk about my favorite character moments and relationships. I hope you all enjoy!

The Opening Credits

The show’s opening is mainly focused on Max and Liz at the Crash Down – watching and longing for each other as they are separated by a glass window. With Max on the outside and Liz on the inside, the two seem to merge into one as the glass reflects one onto the other. They are one despite their literal and figurative separation. The opening can be interpreted as Max being almost angelic and watching over Liz or Liz keeping Max grounded – pulling him close to something as earthly as a diner. Max’s background is the desert and basically emptiness. He appears out of nowhere.

roswell intro

Dido’s “Here With Me” goes perfectly with the story and Max and Liz’s romance. Liz is home and Max won’t go until he’s with her. She’s it. He’s it. They can’t ‘be’ themselves without the other. Plus, there’s almost an alien-like/sci-fi sound to the song. Especially the “I am what I am” part. Big kudos to the music department of the show, because it’s a perfect song for the human side of the story, but it diverges a bit into the alienness – but not too much to smother us. The rest of the opening consists of scenes from the pilot with the other characters’ titles.

Favorite Episodes

“Sexual Healing” from Season One

Before this episode, I found Liz and Max’s budding romance to be sweet and innocent. But as I watched this episode, I constantly had to pick up my mouth off of the floor. They were hot and the tension was building and exploding as they were drawn to each other and it was breathtaking. Seriously, I was out of breath. All Liz and Max could think about was, well…you know…

tumblr_mbx6oyLXPD1r32rq4o5_r1_250

I like to think the “draw” was more than sexual, but also a matter of love. Why else would Liz be getting the flashes other than that there was a true connection between her and Max? What other way is there to describe love but “out of this world” and seeing the stars and galaxies from the moment that you touch the one you love?  Sure, it’s also the ‘alien thing’ tying the episode together, but it’s also a brilliant metaphor for love. True love. Being blasted off into space and soaring into nothingness. Bright lights and strobes of color opening up your senses.

roswell1x16_078-StripedWall

The hilarious thing about this episode is Michael and Maria. Liz raves about this explosive feeling that she’s getting while kissing Max, so, of course, Maria has to try it out on Michael. And after hearing about it from Max, Michael has to experiment as well.

tumblr_n4yo8gagt91ra0efio7_250

The funny thing is that Maria isn’t feeling anything from Michael. Well, not like Liz. The episode does hint that Michael feels something for Maria, but he plays it off like he doesn’t feel anything either. I’m still unsure if this means that Liz is special and is linked to Max after he saved her life with his healing powers and that all aliens can feel, but it’s rare that humans do. So, maybe Michael does feel this incredible feeling, and he’s offended when Maria doesn’t. They, of course, fake it as long as possible not to be overshadowed by Max and Liz.

“Blind Date” from Season One

Through and through, this is one of the cutest episodes. It’s Valentine’s Day and as Max and Liz dance around their budding romance, Liz wins a blind date contest for a radio station candid camera feature. Liz describes her “dream date” and it’s definitely a draw-up of Max: a serious, dark-haired, mystery man from an exotic place.”

tumblr_ob44dn7iMx1rkhucho1_250

She ends up getting another Mr. Perfect, so, of course, this makes things very interesting. I’m sold. I got my popcorn in hand. The episode also reminds me of the “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date” episode of Buffy. Max is clearly crushed and Kyle can’t help but feel smug, but at the same time relate to Max. Max did steal Liz away from him, after all.

blinddate2

kylemax2

The two unlikely fellas bond over their mutual adoration of Liz Parker and get drunk. The cool thing is that Max’s drunkenness is amplified due to his alien nature, so things spark up a bit. Kyle is as oblivious as usual to piece together the strangeness, but seeing Max open up and cut loose is so much fun to watch!

tumblr_nznwiwsc011ra0efio5_250

tumblr_m3orbcvzpv1ruwg5po1_500

Max is honest and candid about his feelings for Liz. All of the brooding and ‘us against world’ cautiousness is thrown out of the window. It’s the moment when the guy that you love is saying all of the right things and saying everything that you have been waiting for him to say.

tumblr_mzpou8QsZq1tq4of6o1_250

tumblr_mc9kl3T0kn1qa6axgo6_250

It’s also like a ticking time bomb because you’re falling into the madness of the moment and you know that it’ll fade eventually. It’s like a dream and you know that you have to wake up. The question is, why get swept up in the overwhelming feeling of love? Because why the hell not!

a1fd48ba1b8924269b316ca6ba74f0bc

Also, Liz looked absolutely gorgeous in this episode. Shiri Appleby really has the looks of an angel.

tumblr_nxeuz9As8t1qcpnrro1_400

“285 South” from Season One

I didn’t really care much for Maria during the first few episodes of season one, but when I watched this episode, I couldn’t help but love her and her interactions with Michael. All I could think of during the episode was: “Of course, these two would make a cute couple! Of course, these two will be the comic relief!” And it all started with Michael trying to steal Maria’s car.

tumblr_n4yo8gagt91ra0efio10_r1_250

It’s just exciting to see the budding romance of another important couple. One couple would foil the other. Maria can also stop obsessing over Liz’s newfound romance, and focus on something that’s hers. What I love about Michael and Maria is that Michael is the outsider and has a tough exterior. He needs someone to challenge him and keep him on his toes. Maria suffers from word-vomit and is a little neurotic. She needs someone who’s frank and a little hard to latch on to. At the same time, Michael needs someone who isn’t afraid to try to latch onto him. With their time on the road and stay at the motel, we’re introduced to a lighthearted tone of the show as well as a chance to humanize Michael and soften him up a bit.

Michael-Guerin-michael-guerin-34089961-245-167

Their constant bickering and one-upping in this episode is only the beginning. From the first moment that they have to spend time together, it’s like they’re an old married couple. Their relationship totally tones down all of the drama and brings in the laughs.

tumblr_odu2v0pk5i1ra0efio1_250

tumblr_odu2v0pk5i1ra0efio2_250

We also get to see Liz and Isabel’s relationship in this episode. Liz has become more and more important to Max and he’s exposed so much of himself and Isabel and Michael’s secret to her. You have to wonder how this makes Isabel feel because for the longest time she’s been the only girl in Max’s life that knows the real him. All of a sudden, Liz has taken over and become something of the dominant female. The two bicker on the road and we see Isabel fighting to let Liz know who’s boss.

tumblr_mo50ebe06a1ra0efio3_250

From a certain perspective, it just looks like the girls are fighting like normal teenage girls do…even like sisters. The whole telling humans their secret is all new to Isabel too, so she’s figuring out what the humans mean to her. What Liz means to her. Isabel knows who she really is and in a sense, her life is in Liz’s hands. She has to open herself up more and trust Liz. She has to adapt to this new situation. Liz is just falling in love. It’s all a bonus that she’s accepted into this crazy world of aliens and the supernatural. When it’s all boiled down, she doesn’t want to take Max away from anyone or hold him back from discovering more about his true identity. She just wants to help, because of her love for Max. For her love of all of them.

tumblr_mo50ebe06a1ra0efio5_250

“Independence Day” from Season One

Michael is the center of this episode as we get to see his home life at the trailer park. His foster dad is a real son-of-a-gun and uses Michael as a punching bag. Sure, we’ve seen the tough side of Michael, but to see him being hit reminds me that he’s just a kid (more or less) with feelings. He came from the same place as Max and Isabel, yet he gets the crappy lifestyle. Why? Why is this fair? Michael also finds solace in the arms of Maria in this episode and we get to see her home life with her single mom. Guys seem to come and go (including Sheriff Valenti), so Maria is going through the normal emotions of a teenage girl when trying to figure out the guy that she likes and her mom is there to remind her to be careful with her heart.

b21

What’s amazing is seeing that Michael is feeling a whole new set of emotions. He’s always been closed off and to see him break down a wall to let in Maria instead of Max or Isabel when he’s at a low point is a huge change and growth in his character. He’s also been treating Maria pretty crappy lately, so she fights her feelings to let him in.

michael and maria
Go away!

Also, this episode has one of my favorite songs (at least in the DVD version) – “Did You Disappoint Your God?” by Neva Dinova. It’s a great way to show Michael’s vulnerability and basically to center his importance in the show. Though I love Max and Liz, it’s a more fulfilling viewing experience to see the character growth of other characters. And here is where I began to love Michael. I also would like to mention the 180 in Sheriff Valenti’s character here. He goes from being the villain and the guy that you better watch out for to a regular man flirting with a woman. It’s pretty hilarious and a nice way to show the comedy of the series. Each character is so complex and there’s always more to them than meets the eye.

Valenti2

valenti2

“Heat Wave” from Season One

Since this is a show about aliens AND teenagers, you have to respect the show’s full understanding of the teenage mind and the similarities with the science-fiction genre. The show blends both of the genres and it’s themes of loneliness: wanting to be accepted, to be loved, and to be understood. The highlight of this episode is Alex. So far, he’s been on the outside of this whole new alien crew. Max and Liz are falling for each other, Maria and Michael have been getting closer, so that leaves Isabel and Alex. Isabel has always had Max and Michael and Alex has always had Liz and Maria.

Roswell TV Series, Shiri Appleby (Liz Parker), Katherine Heigl (Isabel Evans), Emilie de Ravin (Tess Harding), Majandra Delfino (Maria DeLuca), Jason Behr (Max Evans), Brendan Fehr (Michael Guerin), Colin Hanks (Alex Whitman), Nick Wechsler (Kyle Valenti)

roswell 4

However, Alex is now on the outs as his besties have paired off without him. Isabel luckily is “in” on the whole alien thing…because she’s an alien and has had to give some sort of approval of letting Liz and Maria in on the big secret. But Alex is totally out. Liz and Maria have been lying to his face – calling the aliens “Czechoslovakians” when he’s around. I guess they just expected him to just not question them. To not be smart enough to figure out that something has been up with these three new friends that Liz and Maria have been hanging out with.

roswell gif 3
Shh, don’t tell Alex.

Honestly, in my first watch of the series, I discounted Alex as well. I figured, if Liz and Maria didn’t let him know the truth from the start, then he must not be that important. I was wrong, though. See, Alex is the conscience of the three humans. His existence keeps me judging the others and wondering whether or not who they are and what they’re doing is right. I mean, it’s very suspicious and questionable to hide aliens and the supernatural. What about the public? Should everyone know what’s around them and what’s really out there? The aliens need to be accountable for their actions, because what if they wanted to invade? What if they wanted to keep the humans in check?

Alex is so right to be pissed at Liz, his best friend, for keeping this huge burden from him. If she really does love him and wants him to trust her with his safety and everyone else’s safety, then she needs to be upfront with him. This is a guy she’s known forever and who has always been there for her. Why put him on the sidelines? Why bench him? What made Maria more important than Alex, to tell the truth to first?

roswell109_0394
What kind of friend are you?

roswell109_0395

Liz even asks Isabel’s opinion of including Alex in on the big secret. Isabel decides to ‘dream hop’ into Alex’s dreams to see if he is trustworthy. Come to find out that when he sees her in his dreams, he’s charming, charismatic, and sincere. Isabel feels drawn to him. She then feels as if he can be trusted and brings the issue to Max for his opinion. When it’s all said and done, Isabel wants to protect her family and herself, but she feels like Alex can be trusted as well.

Roswell1x09_224

I get it that Liz thinks that she is protecting Alex by lying to him, but I think to leave him in the dark just makes him vulnerable and an easy target for danger. It just always breaks my heart when Liz and Alex are in the jail cell and Alex basically calls quits on their friendship if she doesn’t speak up. It’s painful to see Liz struggle with deciding whether or not she should just let Alex go to protect him or if she should be the friend that he holds her accountable to be and tell him the truth. She eventually tells the truth, but of course how easily can you believe in aliens?

I think the main reason, though, that Liz doesn’t want to tell Alex the truth is that she doesn’t know if she can trust him. He’s well aware that they’re all hiding something and Sheriff Valenti is aware as well. He wants to use Alex to give up the rest of them. Liz doesn’t think that Alex can keep it all hidden from Valenti. However, once Alex knows the truth (whether he believes it or not), he holds out on Valenti after all.

Another great thing about “Heat Wave” is Maria and Michael’s hot and heavy relationship. As they physically get closer, Michael worries that he’s going to hurt Maria somewhere down the line. I mean, he may well have to leave her and go back to his home planet soon. At this point, anything is possible. Getting close is just going to make things harder for the both of them.

Maria is holding him to the standard of being a good human boyfriend, but Michael is still trying to figure out the alien thing. Adding on being human is just a little more than he can handle all at once.They have their little make-out sessions, but someone is going to get hurt in the end.

tumblr_n1o7l7rkks1ra0efio10_250

tumblr_n4yo8gagt91ra0efio1_250

tumblr_n4yo8gagt91ra0efio2_250

tumblr_n4yo8gagt91ra0efio8_250

“Tess, Lies, and Videotape” from Season One

I guess we have to talk about Tess. We get to meet her in the previous episode “Crazy”, but here we get to see how the new girl affects the rest of the gang. Instantly, I hate Tess. Seriously, why on earth would Max be dreaming about making out with another girl when he has met Liz, the love of his life? He’s probably one of the most loyal boyfriends in all of the teen dramas that I’ve watched, and to see him fantasizing about someone else other than Liz really pisses me off. It’s like, we’ve come so far in getting Max and Liz together and we’ve fallen in love with their love and then here comes Tess.

41553_640
Who’s that girl? It’s Tess!

Of course, it has to be some sort of supernatural alien hypnosis that’s drawing Max in, right? The more I try to tell myself during this episode, the less I believe it. The same with Max – he’s trying to convince everyone that something is wrong and that they should be suspicious of Tess, but then he’s still drawn to her and he really does eventually make-out with her. And Liz sees him. Tess’s whole innocent pleas that she doesn’t know why Max is attracted to her is the infuriating part. She makes it so believable that Max is the bad guy and that she’s just innocently caught his eye and it’s a shock that he’s into her.

862034_orig

Surely, Tess is doing something to Max. I mean, she has to be. It can’t be that Max is actually attracted to her because he’s feeling super guilty for being into another girl beside Liz. When it’s all said and done and the gang figures out that Tess is actually an alien and she’s put some sort of whammy on Max, the damage is done and I trust Max a whole lot less.

tumblr_n7y207kycx1ra0efio3_250

I grew so fond of him and Liz and I believed in their love and to have someone come in and easily tempt him just sickened me. So yes, I hate Tess (trust me, it’s with good reason). And I still get upset watching Max fantasize about her.

Michael1

And I’m not the only one who’s upset here. Seriously, my anger has merit as Michael is even pissed about the situation. When he was dreaming about Isabel and they thought that they were having an alien baby a few episodes prior, he fought off the urge and didn’t let his alien nature take over what he was feeling for Maria. So, how dare Max drag Liz down this rabbit hole? She loves him and we all believe that he loves her. He shouldn’t so easily allow Tess to destroy all of this. Michael’s got Liz’s back…and mine!

tumblr_n7warekxrv1ra0efio6_250

“Destiny” from Season One

After the last few episodes of Tess coming in and shaking up everything with Max and co. about their true heritage and nature, the gang decides that they need to know the truth about who they are. They allow Tess to guide them back to the cave where their ship crashed and where they get answers about their home planet and real relationship with one another. On their home planet, Tess is Max’s bride and Isabel and Michael are a couple. It just feels like too much is changing and everything is shattering. What about the humans that they have grown close to? Those relationships are the ones that I care about.

roswell-1-22-2

Liz does not want to be in the way of all of this destiny news, so she breaks up with Max. It’s heartbreaking. I mean, who is she to stand in the way of destiny? She feels insignificant. Max fights to stay with her because he truly does love Liz and it’s as big as all the news of his alien heritage. Michael and Maria also say those 3 little words and the finale is very emotional for all of the characters. Alex and Isabel have also steadily become closer during the season, but just as they’ve gotten somewhere romantic, Isabel chooses destiny.

destiny-1x22-alex-and-isabel-of-roswell-27635804-1024-576

Sheriff Valenti now knows what Max, Isabel, and Michael are. However, he’s conflicted about his duty to do something about it, because they save Kyle after the evil FBI guy, Pierce, shoots Kyle. All in all, the events of this episode breaks up the crew that we have come to love, but also clears up a lot of the alien mystery. Kyle and Sheriff Valenti no longer have to be on the outs, but Liz, Maria, and Alex have been pushed aside as their alien lovers are pulled into a world much larger than high school romances.

tumblr_n7y207kycx1ra0efio8_250

That feeling from “Blind Date” all of a sudden comes back with a vengeance as this whole romance with Liz and Max just feels like a dream and I all of a sudden have to wake up.

shiri-appleby-as-liz-parker-in-roswell-shiri-appleby-34544006-500-300

“Skin and Bones” from Season Two

For season two, The WB took some cues from Buffy and wanted the teens to look hotter. I saw nothing wrong with how everyone looked in season one, but of course, sex sells. I have no complaints either, but the hotness kind of distracted me from the story at times.

tumblr_lg8rv18M3Y1qay2jco1_500

With all the stuff that went down in season one’s finale, relationships within the group have changed. Max and Liz are now broken up as Liz doesn’t believe that things can go back to how they were in the beginning between her and Max. She’s threatened by Max’s destiny with Tess, but Max tries to assure her that she’s the only one for him.

Michael and Maria are broken up too, as Michael tries to understand his alien-soldier destiny. Maria challenges him, but he stands firm on keeping his distance. You can tell that he still loves her, though, despite the new girl at the Crashdown, Courtney, constantly flirting with him. Turns out that she has a secret of her own. I honestly hated her character, so I’m not going to go into detail. I’m always annoyed when new characters join a season to break up the main cast and start trouble. Courtney was no exception and I became hotheaded every time she was on the screen.

tumblr_o1w48prqai1ra0efio1_250

This episode really hits me, because I’ve fallen in love with the idea that these characters are in love. But now they’re separated and they’re pushing each other away. It’s like I’m being broken up with multiple times. The heart ‘stings’ keep on coming. The best part about this episode is Mackabella’s “The Way You Are” playing in the background as the characters go their separate ways.

“The End of the World” from Season Two

This episode is amazing. It’s probably my favorite out of the entire series. I’ve talked about how addicting and beautiful Max and Liz’s romance is and this episode solidifies their true love while at the same time rips them apart. Seriously, I cry every time I watch this episode because it’s such a tragedy to see true love destroyed.

tumblr_myco7di5jy1qcnaeuo4_250

The beginning of the episode begins with future Liz and Max as they try to dodge some sort of doom coming their way. Future Liz tells Future Max to go back in time to make sure this doesn’t happen, which means that he needs to make sure that present Max and present Liz do not fall back in love. Their love means a terrible death for Liz in the future. What I love about this scene is seeing how long Max and Liz have been together and how strong their love has grown. It sucks that they’re still battling outside forces, but it’s bittersweet that they’ve grown older together.

Back in the present, Max tries to win Liz back by standing outside her window to serenade her. It’s definitely cheesy, but I can’t help but smile. Present Max isn’t worrying about the doom and gloom. He just wants his girl back. He’s not worrying about what the future holds or his alien destiny – he just wants to be Liz’s Romeo (but we all know how that story ends).

roswell gif 7

Future Max appears to present Liz and of course, she’s stunned to see the older version of Max. It’s beautiful to see future Max seeing Liz back as she was when he first fell in love with her. It’s like all of those feelings rush back to him coupled on with the feeling of losing her in the future. He gets to spend time with her once more and she gets to see that for sure, Max is her end-game. However, the bad part is knowing that she meets her end because she falls and stays in love with him.

It hurts Future Max to see himself and Liz fighting and falling out of love and he knows that once she sees his future self and that longing in his eyes, that she still loves him and that he never stopped loving her. So what’s the point of fighting? What’s the point of pushing him away? Well, the point is that he is an alien and there’s a price to pay to be in love with him.

roswell gif 9

Future Max needs to get Liz to fall out of love with him, but Liz knows that she loves him and it’s going to hurt her just as much to see present Max broken-hearted. The only way to do that is to enlist Kyle and pretend that they sleep together and to have Max witness them in bed.

tumblr_n1qamhpupy1ra0efio3_250

roswell gif 8

tumblr_n1qamhpupy1ra0efio7_250

It’s nice to see Liz and Kyle catching up and bonding. Their friendship has surely blossomed over the years. Kyle is aware of the chaos of Liz’s life and how her choice to love an alien has affected everyone’s world. He just does what he can to let her know that he’s around and he still cares.

tumblr_n1qamhpupy1ra0efio10_250

Max knows that Kyle is just a friend and that Liz has to be in some sort of trouble to result to something so dire to push him away. However, she insists that she’s not in love with him anymore and Max has to accept this and walk away.

max-liz-max-and-liz-25121391-500-372

The little set up does hurt all parties, including me. After all of the hurt, Future Max and Liz dance one last time to their would-be wedding song. Then, he fades away, leaving Liz alone. This episode just crushes me.

roswell gif 6

“Meet the Dupes” and “Max in the City” from Season Two

This two-part episode is probably one of the most shockingly COOL episodes in the entire series. I really didn’t see it coming. The fact that we get to see different sides of the alien trio is amazing. Huge kudos to the acting chops of Behr, Fehr, Heigl, and de Ravin.

dupes

I honestly felt bad for Tess and felt her vulnerability. Her dupe character showed a reflection of being the girl in love with a guy that was in love with someone else and she was just a pun in some larger end-game that she wanted no part of. She just wanted her own identity. Her own story. Even the real Tess could see this.

image

Also, until this point, Max has been the good guy. He’s always been Mr. Right. Seeing his dupe version being so quickly dismissed and KILLED by his own crew reminded me of how much the real characters take his speeches and holier than thou attitude and self-righteousness. He stands up as a leader and this sometimes puts Michael and Isabel off. However, they love him and choose to follow him. The dupes…not so much.

ros2-8p3

Michael and Liz’s relationship started off strained and he resented her for how easily Max exposed their secret identities because he fell in love with her. All of the chaos and big revelations can be traced back to the day in the Crashdown when Liz was shot and Max saved her with his alien powers. So for the most part, Michael and Liz bickered until Michael realized how much Liz loved Max, and Isabel, and himself. And he loved her too. She was now family. By the end of season one, Michael and Liz had an understanding that they were all in this together.

tumblr_n7warekxrv1ra0efio9_250

tumblr_n7warekxrv1ra0efio8_250

The hilarious thing about “Meet the Dupes” is an alternate reality of Michael falling for Liz. It’s hilarious, ridiculous, and downright scary.

tumblr_n47fgurazg1ra0efio1_250

tumblr_n47fgurazg1ra0efio5_250

tumblr_n47fgurazg1ra0efio9_250

tumblr_n47fgurazg1ra0efio10_250

Liz and co were lucky to have met the normal aliens and not the dupes, otherwise, this would be a totally different story.

“Heart of Mine” from Season Two

The thing about this episode is that it truly makes your heart hurt. It’s filled will joyous moments and then heartbreaking and then joyous again. You’re on this rollercoaster (as cliche as that sounds) and you feel like your world is spinning. You’re emotionally going through loops, spiraling, and coming to a screeching halt. We travel through this episode mostly from Liz’s perspective as she narrates. At the beginning, she’s seen spinning and dancing in her socks.

heart of mine

By this time, the group has gone through the most, but they all come together for their junior prom. It’s time to push aside all of the alien destiny explorations, and boogie on the dance floor. Michael and Maria bicker as usual because Michael tells Maria that he’s not going to prom. For the most part, they’ve come to terms with their relationship and keep each other close by even though Michael puts distance in between them. He knows that he loves her. She loves him. They will fight, but they’ll make up somehow. It’s the sweetest thing.

michael and maria

michael and maria

michael and maria

Michael really has become more human and has given into his love for Maria. She seems to be the only thing that makes sense to him. He even takes dance lessons with a mysterious Juanita to help him make Maria’s prom night perfect. It’s great seeing the look on Michael’s face as Maria realizes that she has been foolish and overacting and jealous. Michael knows it’s all out of love and it’s amazing that someone truly cares about him so much. I’m so glad that he decided to pursue Maria.

michael and maria

Isabel finally realizes that Alex is the guy for her, and Max and Liz totally have broken up, but they decide to go prom together for old times sake. Liz has been hanging out more with Sean, Maria’s older cousin. By the way, it’s Brian Krackow from My So-Called Life.

tumblr_n8o681pnjf1ra0efio2_250

anigif_enhanced-27173-1428284856-2

Kyle has been spending a lot of time with Tess as she has moved in with the Valenti’s.

tumblr_mmytee29A41r0pc44o4_250

Since it’s a special occasion, they all put aside their differences and come together as a group, more or less. However, Liz warns us that all may not be smooth sailing as it seems.

roswell gif 12

Liz’s narration: “And there we were. All together, with everything we’d all been through over the last two years. The battles we’d fought, the relationships that were formed, the feelings for each other, stronger than any feelings we’d ever known could exist. And somehow in this moment, I had this really strong, really upsetting feeling, that this was the last time we’d all be standing together.” 

Once they are all at prom (minus Michael…because he’s being mysterious about his whereabouts), the truth starts pouring out and the facade of normalcy comes crashing down for some of the gang.

roswell-couples-isabel-alex-liz-max-michael-maria-tess-kylie-100-real-allsoppa-27442735-500-500

True feelings are shared: Isabel really does care about Alex…romantically, Tess only sees Kyle like a brother, Liz and Max can’t get back to how things used to be, and Michael shows up to woo Maria with his not-so-learned dancing skills.

But the big exchange of feelings is between Max and Tess. They finally give into their destiny and kiss. This really sucks, because Liz has a last-minute realization that maybe she’s being too stubborn to make things work with Max. But then there’s an awful blow to our guts as Liz sees Tess and Max.

278

291

roswell216_2014

Oh my god, it’s REALLY OVER! Maybe it’s a good thing for Liz to have a way out from all of this madness and fall in love with someone normal? It’s bittersweet. At the very end, Liz begins writing in her journal again (like she used to in season one) and she states that:

“We try to live responsible, logical lives. But we can’t tell our hearts how to feel. Sometimes our hearts lead us to places we never thought we wanted to go. And sometimes our hearts can be the sweetest, gentlest things we have. Sometimes our hearts can make us feel miserable, angry, excited and confused. All at once. But at least my heart is open. And I’m writing again. I’m feeling. I’m breathing.”

She’s seen dancing and talking with Sean after catching Max and Tess share the passionate kiss. It’s the kiss that she’s been trying to avoid seeing, but she knew that it would come eventually.

roswell216_2103
So, it happened…

I think Max was trying to avoid the same thing, but he knew that learning about his true heritage from Tess would bring them closer and through their nature – they were bound to become intimate. I mean she was his “young bride” on their home planet. After a little heart to heart with Liz on the dance floor, they both conclude that it’s “really over” and Max is shattered. Vulnerable. Tess just happens to come in and console him. Seeing Max sitting in the chair after he and Liz really break up really does hurt. He’s been doing all that he can to keep them together despite all of the alien heritage mumbo-jumbo. There’s been so much weirdness going on, but he’s been trying to stay grounded with his love for Liz. How can he love someone so much and not be destined to be with her? It just doesn’t make sense to him. How can someone else be his soulmate?

normal_blinddate-516

ef1caabc7a4607e1bbae260086742f80

Even though Liz knows that she and Max are supposed to end up together, she also knows that it ends in tragedy. Their whole relationship has been filled with love and tragedy. Whenever they would find each other, something else comes crashing in. Like Tess. When it’s all said and done in this episode, Max looks truly lost after sharing a kiss with Tess. Liz looks happy as she comes to terms with the breakup and talking and dancing in her socks with Sean. She’s getting to know someone else.

tumblr_n8o681pnjf1ra0efio3_250

On another note, it’s great to see Maria and Kyle bonding in this episode. Kyle has really become one of my favorite characters in the series for his comedic naivete and relationship with the other characters.

tumblr_nzj6x54kt81qm73ogo1_250

tumblr_nzj6x54kt81qm73ogo2_250

tumblr_nzj6x54kt81qm73ogo3_250

tumblr_nzj6x54kt81qm73ogo4_250

“Cry Your Name” from Season Two

Something I’ve talked about a lot in my grad school personal statements is my attachment to characters in favorite TV series. I oftentimes use TV to escape the real world’s problems…especially today. I understand that TV is fiction, but when the screen begins to mirror reality, it’s a surreal draw into the story. Real life is fleeting and unpredictable. When people die, that’s it. They don’t return as part of some plot twist to explain their absence. Characters on TV become my friends and family and I root for them to survive the craziness of the plot. If they do die, I want them to wait in purgatory and return with stories to tell (cough, Supernatural).

In all seriousness, I only expect this in shows that are supposed to be rooted in science-fiction and fantasy. If a show like Grey’s Anatomy kills a character off (and it certainly does) and they return, there better be a highly logical and rational explanation for their reappearance. When any series, fantasy or drama, suddenly kills a character and they are really gone, I experience a sickening reminder of life and death. The characters have to cope. I have to cope with the loss of those whom I have become attached to. Roswell is no exception as Alex is suddenly killed off in “Cry Your Name”.

Roswell2x21_463

It’s a complete punch in the gut and the episode is so eerie. The first time watching it, I was so sick that I had to pause the episode several times to get through it. I was hoping that it was some sort of alien-twist of fate, but when Max is unable to heal Alex back to life, I lost it. Just like Liz. In fact, Liz is basically me throughout this entire episode. I am upset that the creators allowed Alex to die just like how Liz is upset that her friends easily accept Alex’s death and try to convince her that her theories of foul play are nonsense.

And I’m not going to lie, Liz’s personality this season created some distance between my love for her character. In the beginning, I loved that she and Max had such a strong connection and that she was normal and kind. However, as Tess enters the picture Liz allows herself to give up even before Future Max assures her that the end for them is fatal. I don’t think that she had to accept that. She should have said screw it and fought harder for Max like he did for her. It was like she felt entitled to have Max’s affections and the fact that his destiny sensibly got in the way made her annoyed that he had to deal with things that were entering his life and not 100% focusing on her. She began to have this stone cold look on her face whenever Max would try to talk to her and it chipped away at how much I loved her in earlier episodes.

large
You are cold as ice.

“Heart of Mine” actually revived my love for Liz and I accepted her maturity about her situation with Max. Now I was pissed at Max for allowing Tess to screw everything up for him and Liz. If it was true love, he shouldn’t have allowed it to be over. So with all of that, Liz and Max are more distant than they have ever been. At this point, them getting back together seems very unlikely. Coupled on top of that, one of Liz’s best friends is now dead. The person that she put on the back-burner for so long for Max and the alien A-team is now gone forever. Just like that.

image

It’s like everything comes rushing to the surface for Liz and she is pissed. It just has to be the aliens fault. Even if they didn’t have a direct hand in killing Alex, the fact that Liz wasn’t paying attention to him as much as she could have been if she wasn’t dealing with Max and Tess could have made her more available to Alex and prevented his death. Liz puts it all on the aliens and doesn’t try to hide that she will figure out the truth. It’s “The Departure” from the once sweet and kind Liz to the ‘somebody-will-pay-for-this’ vengeful Liz. And I don’t blame her.

roswell season 2 the departure

This episode is great and a total wake-up call for me to watch these characters more closely and enjoy my time with them. I honestly took Alex for granted just like Liz and his absence certainly cuts deep. At least Michael stands by Maria to help her get through the pain. Alex was her best friend too.

michael and maria

I also feel bad for Isabel, because she finally let someone in and found someone that she loved and trusted and he’s ripped away from her. If she would have admitted her feelings sooner to Alex, she would have had more time with him. Doesn’t it all feel just too real?

Cry-Your-Name-2x17-alex-and-isabel-of-roswell-27650407-854-480

“The Departure” from Season Two

Liz discovers the truth about what happened to Alex. Spoiler alert – Tess killed him. Liz knew that there was something fishy about the whole situation. Max ended up sleeping with Tess in an earlier episode and now Tess claims that she’s pregnant and the baby can’t survive on earth. How convenient.

roswell_-_tess_wife_set_5

Before she completely fools Max, Michael, and Isabel to going back to their home planet to save the baby, Liz shows up to reveal the truth and it’s ON! Max is wrecked with guilt and pissed that Tess not only seduced him, but she killed Alex and destroyed his relationship with Liz. Now she’s supposedly carrying his baby that he has to save.

image

Max ultimately wants to kill Tess, but he makes the right decision (I guess) and just sends her off back to their home planet.

tumblr_n7y207kycx1ra0efio4_250
Tess, bye!

The sad part about this episode is that Tess used her alien powers to whammy Kyle to be her accomplice in Alex’s death. She makes him believe that he is putting luggage in the car, but it’s actually Alex’s body. Yikes! That’s going to scar him for life along with the fact that Alex died the day before Kyle’s birthday. Gosh, I hate Tess.

The best part about this episode is Michael realizing that he truly loves Maria and he doesn’t want to leave her. They sleep together and Michael is the most vulnerable that he’s ever been. He knows where is heart belongs and that is home.

michael and maria

“The Departure” is actually the departure of the greatness of this show. Season three has poor writing and most of the storyline seems rushed and not thought out too well. I mean there’s also a lot of weird things that go on in season two that are kind of annoying and less interesting (Michael’s human family? The skin aliens? Sean?). I’ll list what I think are highlights from season three and what are just “WTF” plot moments.

Highlights from Season Three

1. Michael is happier and less broody than usual. He’s often smiling, being quirky, and hanging out with Kyle, Maria, and Max. Also, I love his hair this season. When I first watched season three, I obsessed over Michael’s long hair. Also, the ‘Snapple’ episode is hilarious.

2. Liz and Max are back together. It’s great that after everything they have been through, Max and Liz are solid. However, their relationship seems to be off at the beginning of the season. I honestly feel like they have been brainwashed and are not the same Max and Liz from season one. Every once in an episode I’ll catch a glimpse of what they used to be. With all of that, I just love that they get married in the end. It’s beautiful.

max and liz 2

tumblr_noe9x9fr9f1ra0efio7_250

3. Kyle being Kyle and his relationship with everyone, especially Isabel. When Alex was around, I felt like maybe he and Isabel were an odd couple but I accepted that he loved her and she eventually fell for him. Kyle seemed to be focused on Liz’s well-being and later Tess’s. However, Kyle and Isabel are a duo that I totally ship. His comedy plus her sass is a pleasure to watch on the screen.

tumblr_n5fi1yfgzf1ra0efio7_250

tumblr_n5fi1yfgzf1ra0efio3_250

tumblr_n5fi1yfgzf1ra0efio2_250

Though there is a bit of a problem that gets in the way of Kyle winning over Isabel, and it’s not because he’s now a Buddhist.

tumblr_navi8fxuwe1ra0efio8_250

4. Seeing everyone hanging out and just being normal. This show is wild, but the gentle moments of the characters being regular teenagers and hanging out always puts a smile on my face. They’re more relatable.

tumblr_n1qamhpupy1ra0efio4_250

tumblr_n7warekxrv1ra0efio4_250

tumblr_navi8fxuwe1ra0efio1_250

tumblr_n1qamhpupy1ra0efio8_250

WTF Moments from Season Three

1. Liz and Max are rebels who wear a lot of black. When did they become rebels and why is Liz acting all bad-ass? It just doesn’t suit them. Is this another take on “Meet the Dupes”, because I miss my sweet and adorable Liz.

a81206ddece2ecd7b02dc535c68ef32b
We’re here for the Snapple.
tumblr_lbep39bs8C1qed5f8o1_500
That’s better.

May I also include the WTF moment of Liz having alien powers? That whole plot was cringe-worthy.

fouraliensbaby-452-roswell

2. Isabel is barely recognizable with her new hairdo and she gets married to a new character. I don’t hate the haircut, but it’s so drastic that Isabel just doesn’t look like Isabel. Also, she just does it with little to no explanation. Her marriage is a shocker, because not only does she marry a new character but it just seems so out of character for her to put love at the forefront. If she was going to marry anyone, it should have been Kyle.

IsabelPic

roswell isabel wedding

tumblr_n5fi1yfgzf1ra0efio9_250

3. Maria pushes Michael away. The fact that Maria plays with Michael’s heart this season frustrates me. I get that she wants him to keep up his place and be more ambitious, but breaking up with him and dating someone else when he’s become so open is just annoying. Look how long it took for him to shake away that hard exterior. In the end, he declares his undying love for her, but I honestly don’t know where they stand. She doesn’t deserve him.

tumblr_n4yo8gagt91ra0efio6_250

All in all, this series is amazing and got me through some of the most challenging times in college. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I had Roswell to keep me sane and entertained. I hate that I missed the reunion at the ATX TV Festival. I was so close by! It seemed like fate that they would reunite so soon after I discovered them and in my location.

ROSWELL-REUNION_612x380_0

Watch the show, guys! It took me forever to write this and I’m so glad that I can finally share it with you all.

P.S. I really love Kyle and I love how he turned out to be a completely different character than I thought he would from the pilot episode. He turned out to be so lovable and caring and I thought he’d be the typical high school jock/scorn ex-boyfriend that would vow to make Liz and Max’s relationship a living hell. Nope! He’s the greatest.

tumblr_n1qamhpupy1ra0efio2_250

‘Til next time!

 

 

TV: Supernatural

Music Recommendation: “Space Oddity” by David Bowie

I’ve watched this show since day one. I still remember the premiere night on The WB. All of the advertisement / promos (2:38) had me at Two Brothers, Saving People, Hunting Things. I was even more sold when I noticed that the two brothers were Jared Padalecki (Dean from Gilmore Girls) and Jensen Ackles (Jason from Smallville). It was like fulfilling a The WB fan’s ultimate wish of having actors from two of their favorite shows team up for a whole new show. I was ready to see some references to the other shows (and Gilmore Girls was actually mentioned as an early meta-moment on the series) and I was just excited to see the actors become two new characters.

spn promo
You guys don’t know it yet, but there’s a long road ahead of you.

So, I don’t watch horror movies. I get the most intense nightmares and my body physically and mentally start to shut down if I see a horror movie character that’s utterly frightening and nightmarish. However, I grew up with family members that love horror movies. So unfortunately due to this – I’ve actually seen a few of them. Who wants to sit in a room by themselves when everyone else is in the living room watching scary movies?

The volume is turned up and the walls seem to close in on you. I decided I’d rather sit in the living room with them. At least they were there to protect me. Sometimes I would just cover my eyes while still hearing everything. Other times I would just watch the movie and pray that I wouldn’t dream about Leprechaun, Freddy, or Pennywise (I only lasted through the first 2-5 minutes of ‘It’, before I was like hell no). This was basically me.

dean scream
That was scary!

Fortunately, there were some movies that were less horror and more supernatural like The Craft, Blade (trilogy)The FacultyUnderworld (all of them)Interview With A Vampire, The Mummy (first two), and many others that I found intriguing and fascinating. I was drawn to the mythical worlds and ‘other-worldly’ phenomena. The supernatural. Witches and vampires were my favorite to watch. There was just something about magic and (and even science) that has always kept me glued to the screen and buried in the books.

Hocus pocus

With that, I was attracted to seeing a TV series about urban legends, dark fairytales, magic, and other-worldly stories. The premise of Supernatural seemed to keep all of the ‘supernatural stuff’ somewhat grounded in reality. When it came to all of the religious tropes, legends, and characters, I was fully invested. I felt like the show was truly teaching me something. I’m not even all that religious, just more so spiritual. I like to think I am as rational as they come, but uniquely open-minded at the same time. I’d say something like, maybe witches do exist – but they certainly don’t fly on brooms or have talking black cats. Or, if there are fairies in this world, they certainly don’t have wings.

fairies

I think that’s why these types of films and television series (Charmed, Smallville, Angel, Buffy, Roswell, etc.) have always had a special place in my heart. Clearly, I don’t see this type of stuff everyday, so my eyes are wide open to seeing what types of paranormal things can happen on screen. Maybe some things hit closer to reality than others, like practicing voodoo (and witchcraft) and biblical protests and outcry. But other things like  vampires, werewolves, leprechauns, fairies, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and angels and demons are all far out there. Though, I enjoy each incarnation of the stories as I can take from literature, cinema and television.

spn19
Must be that evil spirit broad that we’re gunning for.

It really helps that Sam and Dean are human (at least for the most part during the earlier seasons) and they walk into these situations ready to kick some butt. I like to think that I view all of this madness through them instead of all of the victims in the series, because Sam and Dean know what to do and how to make these creepy things go away. And the victims – well, they’re victims. I don’t want to be them.

So, let’s talk Supernatural.

Dean Winchester

spn2

You can’t be a SPN (Supernatural) fan without loving Dean Winchester. He is just a damn good character. I was partially excited about seeing Jensen in this role because of watching him on Smallville. So I was already invested in what he could bring to this new series. And there’s so much depth to Dean that I don’t even know where to start.

dean impala
Hmm…

First off, who doesn’t love a guy that can kick some demon a**, eat a whole pie, polish up his whip (um, his car), play some sweet classic rock tunes, battle with himself about how he could do better at saving his brother from the dark side, bromance with his favorite angelic amigo, woo the ladies, bicker with his little bro, bicker at imminent victims when they’re just asking for it or at guys that actually go chasing after the paranormal (Ghost Facers, vampire fans, etc.), and can eat a greasy burger and fries from the nearest whole-in-the-wall diner joint before the day’s over with? And there’s actually so much more to all of this.

spn diner4

Dean is just so relatable and believable in terms of all of the crap that he, Sam, and co. have to put up with. He’s the macho guy that will definitely scope out the ladies in the room during an interrogation. He spends most of his time of the road – with his brother – so there’s no shame. He’s just so rock ‘n roll. And if scoring a few phone numbers doesn’t pan out, there’s always the menu.

spn diner5

In all seriousness though, Dean has been through a lot on SPN. Literally going to hell and back in the past decade and some change. He’s hit those points where he’s like why do I even keep trying? Sure, he kicks some butt, but there seems to always be something bigger, badder, or just more annoying and cunning around the corner to screw with him!

spn28
Really? I just saved the damn world!

So when it’s all said and done and you can’t catch air with your bare hands (because that’s how I see Sam and Dean’s plight to saving the world) you have to think about all of the good in the world and all the better things that you could be doing or eating like…

spn8

Then you have all of the classic hits rock out to, because what’s better to listen to on the road than some Queen, Zeppelin, KISS, and even some Asia. Demons, you may be taking over the world. And angels, you may be as corrupt as the demons, but damnit I still have my Bon Jovi.

spn4

Even when Sam is busy losing his soul (oh, and I haven’t forgotten that Dean becomes Dean-mon [get it] in season 10 – I’m just using my selective memory here) or sleeping with a demon or being possessed by a rogue angel, Dean fights for those moments where he can just be with Sammy, his little…

dean's reply

Sam Winchester

spn9

Alright, alright. So I came to this show for this face. For Jared Padalecki. For that innocent grin / moody-brooding lovable face. I loved him in Gilmore Girls and I was ticked that he was leaving the show, but I was stoked that he had his own show coming with another The WB star. I was also excited that Jared was playing the younger brother and the studious type, because Gilmore Girls basically had him as an average Joe. Smart, but not the genius and studious type like Rory. Anyway, this was a whole new show giving Jared a whole new attitude. I couldn’t be more ready to watch.

spn17

While I’m discussing Sam, I loved pre-season four Sam with his short shaggy hair and his lanky physique. I don’t know if his physical appearance coincided with his character’s demeanor and personality, but he was just so adorable during the earlier seasons. And he also really emphasized how much he struggled to be in the family business vs. rather being in law school and having a normal life. The thing is, when you live in the world of SPN, and you’re 100% aware of all that goes bump in the night, there’s no way that you can just go to law school and be normal. Because law school isn’t normal.

spn16
No more Mr. Nice guy.

So, Sam had to buckle down and hop on the bandwagon with Dean and poppa Winchester, because there’s no point in wanting a normal life when there are so many forces making sure that you can’t. You have to fight for the life that you want and fight for those that are oblivious to all of the evil in the world (or at least in Midwest America).

spn25 sam

And In terms of his family, yeah, Sam had some issues with John and the fact that Dean was kind of following in John’s footsteps. Sam was the sensitive one, thinking about how the forces of evil robbed his opportunity to ever be a normal guy. To spend time with his family during a normal holiday or bring home his girlfriend to meet them. Demons had a way of taking away the women in Sam’s life (his mom and Jess) so if anything, he just regretted that this was the life for him. Being a hunter. He foresaw beautiful things in life that he could never have. Or, he would have to spend a long time fighting to have.

spn3
Does it ever stop?

I felt for Sam. I really did. He loved his big brother and wanted his dad to be safe, but he hated that he had to give up so much more. A life. The irony is, Sam was the good son, but somehow was destined to be evil or to go dark (first). His story in the first few seasons seemed to come full circle. Finding out that he had demon blood and was chosen to lead a demon army, splitting up the two Winchester brothers and choosing the least suspected one. Even I didn’t see that coming. I also didn’t see this coming…

spn15

Because wow, Jared Padalecki was filling out and he was definitely not skipping arm, leg, chest, or back day. Sam had become a beefcake. Like, I couldn’t take him seriously as the little brother anymore and was (still am) torn on how I felt about that. He could throw Dean around a few times without breaking a sweat (and did when they were pitted against each other). Sam could also handle his own now. If he wanted to go rogue – he could and I wouldn’t worry about him easily dying (or not coming back). But, I would worry about him coming back evil, because an evil version of this fitted guy – whoa. Trouble. I just miss the times where he was sweet and adorable and calling Dean a…

sam's response

The Family Business

spn18

The show begins with Sam and Dean following in their father’s, John, footsteps to solve some of the supernatural cases across the (mostly Mid-West) country. As boys, John prepared them to be aware and cautious of things that go bump in the night, especially since their mother was killed by a supernatural force. Some time down the line, John decided to go solo on a “hunting trip”. It had been years since all three of them went on a case, with Sam leaving the family business and going off to Stanford University. Dean shows up and warns Sam that John is missing and it’s time to get back into action. The first season centers around Sam and Dean looking for John while using his journal to solve cases that aren’t suited for regular investigators or FBI agents.

And did I forget to mention that [older] John Winchester was played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan? Guys, I have the biggest screen crush on JDM. Even before I started watching Grey’s Anatomy, I was in love with his mug. His eyes. His smile. His charm. He just exudes charm. Even on Supernatural as the gritty, broody John Winchester, I found him absolutely dashing. He’s got that whole kill ’em with kindness appeal. It’s also amazing how much he and Jensen Ackles favor each other. Great casting.

spn39

The whole find John storyline in season one was fantastic. The boys were following in his footsteps and using his clues to all of the evil crap out there and the ways that they could fight said evil crap. The human element to all of this was that their dad was missing and possibly dead. But, he was kind of like a Mufasa (in theory) to the boys. Guiding them to their destiny. Or, leading them to where he was waiting for them. Because John had all of the answers.

spn23

Finding him didn’t necessarily mean that they could just hug it out and slap backs telling funny stories about their journey along the way. No. Hell no. The boys were pissed, because John was actually alive and well. Oh and he was on a hot trail to the thing that killed their mother, Mary. He could have let them know that he was alive or that he was on a trail or that he didn’t want them in the line of fire. But, weren’t they always going to be in the line of fire?

The fact of the matter is that they pretty much thought  that John was dead. That they were orphans. So, they were pissed that they had to believe and feel this. Then, poof, no just kidding. Then, you know they were ready and willing enough to face the thing that killed Mary. It’s a family matter and they should all go down swinging in their mom’s honor. How dare John go at it alone? It’s the FAMILY business. Yeah, I’m not completely irrational. I understand that John had his reasons. He just seemed a little too suicidal for my liking. Even if he was doing it for Mary.

spn38 mary winchester

I really do appreciate the time traveling / alternative realities where we get to see what was and what could have been – in terms of the Winchester family. It’s a powerful thing to start a series off with a loving parent and having that parent die during the first few minutes of the first episode. Guess that’s why I love super hero legends as most of the time, the super heroes begin their quest after the catalyst of losing parents / family.

spn37 young parents
Flashbacks and Throwbacks.

I love that Sam and Dean were given opportunities to see their family when they were around their own ages. Young, fresh – beginning this good vs. evil fight. Sam and Dean were given the time to spend with their folks after losing the both of them in their actual reality. There’s something about being able to see so little of John and Mary as their older selves (even less of Mary) and then getting to go back in time and see them in another time, being oblivious to the future and to the fact that the two grown men in front of them are their children. And that their children have been through a whole lot. Though, the look on young Mary’s face in the above picture just hints at her actual awareness that something is not right and of her hunter capabilities. She doesn’t trust so easily as the hunter life has hardened her. I love the twist that her family was the hunter side and that she became a hunter long before John did.

spn10
Idjits!

Bobby. Dear ol’ Bobby. I really miss having him around. He was definitely the father figure that the boys needed after John passed. He took care of the more below the line necessities in the hunter life. Like making sure that everyone had fake identities to fly under the radar as well as having an adequate amount of books and lore on the evils and whatnot. He also represented history and proof that a hunter could live at least until their 50s. Not bad?  Bobby had been around the block a few times and could pick up on cues to what evil was making a return or what felt familiar and how it could be stopped. Things were less of a surprise to him and more of an opportunity to teach the next generation. I definitely saw Bobby as the parent-type, figuratively (and literally?) paying bills and keeping up shop while the kiddos went off and did their work…hunting. Bobby taught them a thing or two and kept them together, as a family. Because the hunter life is hard-knock life.

spn12
Squad.

And Bobby was just one pivotal part of the extended Winchester family. Ellen and Jo fulfilled the strong women roles in the boys life, because you got to have that woman’s touch. I’ll say more on that in a bit. But just looking at the image above, I think Sam and Dean were at their happiest and most whole when they had their makeshift family: an actual angel as a close friend, two hunter ladies that understood the lifestyle – one being a mother figure and the other a possible romantic figure for Dean – and of course, Bobby. Good times.

Bros Over Demons

spn30

Ever since they were boys, Sam and Dean have had to stick together no matter what. Their blood always pulled them back together despite situations that would easily tear any other relationship apart: like going to hell, losing a soul, etc. A brilliant aspect of the show is the emphasis on family and brotherhood through thick and thin. These guys literally went to hell and back and the #1 thing that they care about and hold dear is saving one another. Keeping their family alive. Keeping them out of harms way.

As the older brother, Dean had to look out for Sam and for the most part, he wanted Sam to stay pure. To somehow not let the darkness consume or eat away at him. The business is a hard life and though we see that Sam is capable of kicking some butt and taking some names, his heart was never fully into being a hunter. Dean’s destiny seemed to be following and becoming John. But, with Dean desiring to keep Sam and hunting at arms length, he also needed him to have his back. He needed Sam to want to find John. He needed Sam to save him. So, they were bound to bump heads on a number of occasions.

spn24

And something that I find ironic, and you probably do too if you’ve been keeping up with the series, is that Dean seems to be the most pure from the evil that tries to change and corrupt them. Sure, he keeps his feelings bottled up until he just can’t anymore. Sure, he’s the macho one that tends to easily get pissed off. Sure, he’s the oldest with the most responsibility. But with all that said and done, his mission has always been clear: Keep Sammy alive. Keep his family together. Fight the good fight.

evil good people

As the series progressed, Sam seemed to be the easy target and the easiest to be swayed or corrupted. He never really seemed to have Dean’s back as much as Dean had his. I think I lost faith in Sam after he came back from hell without his soul in season six. From then, I just didn’t trust him. No matter how much Dean ‘forgave’ or trusted him when he got his soul back. Sam just wasn’t the kid brother / innocent one anymore. Not in my eyes. I missed when he had his little shaggy hairdo and served as the shy/research wiz.

spn20
Just look how cute Sam was.

The show tried a ton of things to re-humanize Sam and put the brothers back on track, but I just didn’t see the same relationship that the boys had in the beginning. Too much had happened. Too much had changed the both of them. They continued to love and save each other, but there seemed to be a thick glass wall between them. It doesn’t help that they’re constantly pulled apart due to different alliances.

I Think I'm Gonna Like it Here

And speaking of brothers, will we ever see or hear about this guy again?

spn41 adam
They left me in hell. How rude!

Castiel 

spn36 castiel wings

The angels have landed. Season four was quite the surprise for me. I spent the end of season three basically holding my breathe as the concept of hell was being more and more depicted and the boys, at least one of them, would be heading there fairly soon. We’ve seen the possessions and black eyed demons consume a number of victims, but hell being an actual place and destination – kind of twisted my stomach into knots.

For me, the scariest seasons will always be seasons 1-2, with season 3 still being one of my favorite in terms of when it was just Sam and Dean being the main characters. There’s just that core premise that I cherish of the story being about two brothers. Nevertheless, season four was dope! I mean come on, angels? Really? In this dark world of SPN? I was excited just to see how they would be depicted based on what we’ve seen as the evil in the SPN universe. And the fact that they even existed in the SPN universe after having seen all for the crappy things that had happened to Sam and Dean. Like seriously, we could have used an angel or five back in seasons one, two, and three.

spn7

But I’ll never forget the experience of seeing Castiel introduced on the show. His entrance is one of the best of the new characters (after Lucifer’s). There were just so many feelings happening as I was seeing the portrayal of an angel on this show. Sure, I had seen angels before on screen – I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Cage’s City of Angels.

It was just that angels existed in the SPN world. It seemed like the show was steeping into new territory and the boys only slightly alluded to actually believing that angels existed in the previous seasons. I guess it all made sense seeing as Dean was dragged to hell at the end of season three. The show was getting more into religious lore / myth and I couldn’t help but be excited to learn what ‘characters’ would be introduced that I could reference back into biblical study. To see a future portrayal of God or Lucifer actually frightened me, but I was more curious than anything else.

spn34 castiel

After a an exceeding amount of [corrupt] angels (no, seriously, most of the time the angels were causing more harm than the demons) and I couldn’t help but sigh and roll my eyes every time they showed up with their questionable and dry antics to stop the other side or teach Sam and Dean a lesson. I mean, at least the demons were humorous at times and rightfully made a mess of things. I understood that they were the bad guys and that they understood their place as well. But the angels were becoming too self-righteous and I absolutely did not understand how they were supposedly the good guys. How were they even angels? But you know, it’s television and if the angels came to save the day, what would Sam and Dean have to do?

spn35 castiel

With my whole lack of faith (pun intended) in the angels on the show though, I enjoyed seeing Castiel constantly getting stripped of his powers and his character becoming more humanized. His dry arrogance become more of a gag to have him learn how to ‘come down to earth’ and be a regular guy and learn the basic nuances of us human folk.

spn33 casteil text

What better way to humanize Cas than to have him tweeting and being really excited about indulging in social media? Because yeah, we live in those times. Season six’s The French Mistake episode really caught me off guard (in a good way) and I saw the show through this new lens of the characters actually being characters and the actors should be given so much credit for their portrayals of them. Misha Collins exceeded my expectations in his portrayal of…Misha Collins. I don’t think I ever laughed so hard watching the series.

spn6

Also, the beauty of having Castiel on the show alleviated some of that need to see Dean trust and bond with someone other than Sam – as their relationship was changing. Castiel being the one to pull Dean out of hell and give him further purpose to fight the good fight all the more sealed his pivotal presence in Dean’s life. Someone else besides Sam was important enough to fight and sacrifice for. And don’t get me wrong, I love Sammy, but sometimes I just don’t believe in his efforts.

I enjoy seeing the bromance between the guys, but Castiel and Dean can really tug at my heart strings. I personally love seeing Dean’s emotional and vulnerable side, so the fact that Castiel can push him to that level makes him a no-brainer choice addition to the cast.

spn5

Even though Castiel is the powerful divine-being of the trio, he constantly puts his own faith in the Winchester brothers. He believes that they are more than just two humans throwing punches – but two of God’s sons that are equally in this world for the right reasons. It’s also nice to have him around when demons decide to pay a visit. I love seeing Cas’s nonchalant smiting.

The Ladies

chicks

spn32
Excuse us?

So, being a chick and watching this show as a teenager – I couldn’t help but desire to see some tough women on the series. Like, sure I loved the eye-candy and seeing all of the macho-macho manly creature butt-kicking, but I was about ready for the show to represent my own gender. No, I didn’t need the show to turn Sam and Dean into boyfriends and have their girlfriends become the focus of their motivations and our attention. But, I did want to see some femininity and see the lifestyle of female hunters. Because – they existed. They had to.

spn jo

Indeed, I was really happy to meet hunter Ellen and her daughter Jo. Two kicka** ladies with some history with John Winchester. Not only did they exceed at challenging the boys, but they added depth to Sam and Dean’s characters and to the series in general. I touched on their family-oriented relationship with the boys, but that’s just the surface. With their association with John and the hunter community, I was really hoping that Ellen and Jo wouldn’t be revealed as John’s mistress (Ellen) and illegitimate daughter (Jo). I just didn’t want their characters to go in that direction, because sure I loved Ellen’s mother figure role – and even though Jo was like a sister to the boys, I held out hope that Jo and Dean would fall in love.

spn26 dean jo

I know, I know, I’m chasing my tail here as I just said that I didn’t want the boys to have girlfriends. But, Jo genuinely brought something out of Dean. To have Dean be a protective boyfriend and have him be attracted to Jo, but at the same time enjoying their old married couple bickering that he would be too embarrassed to let her know that he thought she was hot. Did that make sense? Basically, Jo was much more than a damsel and more of an equal to Dean. She kept him on his toes and biting his tongue.

They battled with each other, because there was some realness to their budding romance. I was heartbroken when Ellen and Jo didn’t make it and we had to see Dean’s heart broken. I don’t think he ever honestly cared about any other romantic partner the way he could’ve loved Jo (Not even that one chick he shacked up with when Sam went to hell). I also loved how Sam would be in the background, trying to stay out of the way of the heated bickering. Like, sorry Dean, you’re on your own. Jo’s just that scary. Maybe the scariest thing Dean has/will ever encounter. True love.

spn14

Speaking of Sam and love – this guy made some questionable choices in the ladies department. But he and Jess seemed like the cutest and most comfortable couple. Just look at how nice the two paired off. Totally hate that we lose Jessica at the very beginning, but I think Sam’s loss jump started his tainted decisions in romance. He basically cuts off his humanity toward the next few ladies that he gets with, because Jess holds a special place in his heart and no other seemed to replace her.

spn44 ruby 1

Off of the top of my head, Sam ends up hooking up with a werewolf, being swayed by a demon (Meg), becoming buddies with another demon (Ruby) and later hooking up with said demon (but played by a different actress). I’ll call her Ruby 2.0. There are other ladies also in the mix, including that one chick who’s husband returned. I wasn’t interested or invested in watching that ordeal. And yes, I do remember that Dean hooked up with a fallen angel and an Amazon that got pregnant with an rapid-aging daughter. Both Sam and Dean permanently scarred me with their romantic decisions.

spn ruby2
I’m the other Ruby.

And I hated Sam’s relationship with Rudy 2.0, because it just seemed so uncharacteristic (well, actually not because Sam and Dean don’t know how to choose the right ladies) of a Winchester. But, I thought Sam was suppose to be a the smart one. The fact that he was knowingly sleeping with the enemy just kind of upset me and made me more distrustful of him. He definitely wasn’t the Sam from the previous seasons. I thought that he was becoming a little twisted and basically gave up on caring to be the good guy. Plus, Ruby 2.0 bored me to tears. She just didn’t command my attention like the Ruby played by Katie Cassidy (thankfully we can now see her kicking butt on Arrow).

spn ruby2 sam
Yawn.

I could talk about all of the other ladies on the show, most of them being redheads. Seriously, is there something about redheads that the show runners find symbolic to the show, or is it just a coincidence? In any case, after Ellen and Jo died, I lost interest in the female dynamic of the series.

Going Undercover 

spn fbi4

I have so many questions about the boys’ FBI / pastor / health coach / gym coach / whatever else disguise necessary for the case. First off, why is it so easy for the guys to just assume federal identities when there are sometimes other cops and officials casing out the scene? And in the earlier seasons, the guys just flashed a badge and weren’t even in ‘costume’. Like, who’s going to believe that they are FBI? They could’ve be in on the crime as far as the official investigation goes. I mean, they do know a lot about some of the incriminating details – wouldn’t they be able to help out some of the cops who are just doing their job to save the day? Maybe?

spn31 fbi

And then it starts to get ridiculous with the quick flashes of the badge and their interrogations to know more details about the strange cases. Wouldn’t victims and witnesses be just a little more on their toes about talking to just anybody? Badge or no badge. I guess that’s where Bobby came in with all of the phone lines and whatnot. But seriously, when Cas gets in on the disguises it’s just even more unbelievable.

spn fbi2
Am I doing this right?

I do love when the guys dress in their suits though. Dean is good at interrogating while Sam is the sympathetic one. Basically – bad cop and good cop, respectively. I don’t even know what I would call Cas. If he isn’t appearing to be absent-minded or stand-offish, he’s just plain ol’ goofy. Back in seasons two and three, the guys were made and their identities were no longer so secret. The show really let them have it in terms of what could happen when the real cops could lock you up for impersonating cops, or for withholding information on cases, being too close to the case that you actually appear guilty, or for just getting involved in places where ‘normal’ people shouldn’t be sticking their noses. Like, who gave them special permission to solve the gruesome murders and unusual activity? After all, being a hunter is unofficial business.

sam and dean jail.gif

Another question that I have is, why don’t the guys let the cops know who they are and what they do? Let them in on the supernatural world with some proof. Maybe they could become liaisons with all of the official crime investigators. I think that would save them a lot of trouble with the cops arresting them or having to have fake phone lines and get cheap suits. Maybe the guys could earn some extra dough and be official. Not having to scramble up news clippings or do all of that extra research. With funding from the government, hunters could have top-notch research equipment at their fingertips. Though, that path could go sideways in so many ways. I guess you can’t put a price on saving the world, huh? *But who pays for all of their weapons and their clothes? Food?

Seriously, what if the FBI had a demon-specialist division or protocol on what to do when Lucifer ascends? Hospitals could be on stand-by waiting for all of the victims stabbed after possessions. If I was a normal human in the world of SPN, I would want to be informed that demons, angels and the paranormal walked among us. There could be special training in exorcisms and how-to-guides on what to do when you come across a Wendigo. Sam and Dean and hunters in general could make a fortune. They could also reduce the amount of lives taken. Just give them clearance at the FBI and special forces. Because they specialize in supernatural forces.

disguise masters
But we would miss out on seeing this.

Diners and Motels

spn diner1

If we’re talking earlier seasons before Sam and Dean had the Men of Letters fortress, which is basically an actual place to call their own, we could relish on the goodness of having the guys utilize diners and motels as their places of business and residence. Some of my favorite situations took place where Sam and Dean were getting a meal and going over the case. It’s the sense of travel and being on the road that I found uniquely interesting about Supernatural. Even though they seem to choose the same types of places to go over pivotal information, they are constantly moving and allowing us to see them surrounded by normal people going about a realistic routine like eating…

spn diner6
Cas and his awkwardness / Sam and his salads

…and sleeping. They guys may be super heroes in their own rights, but they are firstly people and they need their cups of coffee, a daily shower, some food, and a bed to lay their head at the end of the day. A lot of other shows have their central and recurring meetup places like Central Perk (Friends), P3 (Charmed), The Peach Pit (Beverly Hills, 90210), The Crashdown (Roswell), etc. Supernatural uniquely has recurring places, but at the same time the guys are always somewhere different. Even in later seasons, the guys still move around and travel to cases rather than only sticking around situations that are conveniently close to their Men of Letters fortress.

Heartache
The guys are regular rolling stones.

The Music

dean dancing

And speaking of rolling stones, the music in SPN cannot go unnoticed. I wonder how much the show-runners pay just for the rights to use most of the music. The music isn’t just the Top 40 “hits” like many other shows use, but some of the best classic rock tunes from the 70s, 80s, and even early 90s. The soundtrack adds to the authenticity to the characters and geography. To their family’s history and life occupation. Their lives are gritty and poetic. Very much rock and roll. You can’t help but turn up the volume when something largely exciting is moving the story forward and Bon Jovi is playing or when Dean is dancing to Eye of the Tiger in his impala. I’ve discovered so much good music on this series. Music that I knew, but just didn’t have saved in my iTunes library. Best believe I have my own Supernatural playlist now. Here’s one of my favorite music moments.

Dean and His Baby (Impala)

impala4

Also supporting this story and making the nature and characters of the guys more believable is Dean’s 1967 Chevy Impala. Because, what other type of vehicle would be used to drive the story forward? Dean loves his car, nicknamed ‘Baby’, and he gets seriously butt hurt when something happens to it – which is basically all of the time.

driver

And Dean likes to be the one in charge of all things Baby, including driving her and choosing what music to listen to. He drives Baby as if he’s Batman driving the Batmobile. She gives him major demon hunting street cred.

As many times as Sam and Dean have died and come back, Baby herself has been resurrected quite a bit. She looks the same as the first time we saw her and we’re on season eleven. After she’s been wrecked or totaled, Dean makes it his mission to restore and bring her back to life. She’s basically a symbol for his own life and she represents this timeless connection to the Winchester family.

Impala crash

The best moments with Baby are when the boys are driving down long roads and trying to figure out where they stand – with each other and with the season’s big bad. Baby keeps the boys moving and is just as much of a hero herself. She stands in for comedic moments as well, because the bad guys know that to get to Dean, all they have to do is mess with his Baby.

dean impala3
SON OF A…

The Things That Go Bump in the Night

spn29

I think the moments when Sam and Dean hunt down the baddie of the episode and figure out how to take it down are some of the most interesting segments in this series. We get to know how the baddie operates by way of the carnage from the victims and then we have Sam and Dean (and Cas) swoop in to case out the place where the baddie was last seen. As someone who doesn’t like scary movies, I sure did allow myself to be scared early on watching this show. It’s mostly due to Sam and Dean being there to explain what was causing all of the havoc and how they were going to stop it.

I have to give props (pun definitely intended) to the costume, special effects, and writing and research teams during the early seasons. I found comfort seeing Sam and Dean recite exorcisms, use rock salt to create barriers and use other charms and spells to attack and take down the creatures and baddies. Sometimes they would be so nonchalant about their job that the episodes were funny.

spn11

For me, the scariest and coolest of the baddies include:

  • Reaper (season one’s Faith)
  • Bloody Mary (season one)
  • Hookman (season one)
  • Scarecrow (season one)
  • Djinn (season two’s What Is and What Should Never Be)
  • The Clown / Rakshasa (season two’s Everybody Loves a Clown)
supernatural-clown.jpg
“Look mommy, another clown.”
  • Throat slashed spirit/ghost (season two’s The Usual Suspects)
  • Vampires (especially season two’s Bloodlust)
  • Werewolves (especially season two’s Heart)
  • Wendigo (season one)
  • Evil Santa and Mrs. Clause / pagan gods (season three’s A Very Supernatural Christmas)

spn1

And the boys usually have a black and white sort of perspective in terms of what should and should not be killed. A perfect example is spirits, because no matter who they were when they were alive and how much they meant to you – they should stay dead. Bringing them back would not be bringing them back, but something hollow and virtually evil.

Also, the creatures that look human and that claim to be ‘good’ or promise to find an alternative way to live (no eating humans, drinking blood, etc.) sometimes make the boys debate on their perspective of good and evil. Because, if we’re getting philosophical – some humans are actually bad. Does being born or created into something inhuman (werewolf, vampire, whatever the heck Jewel Staite’s character was) automatically mean that you’re evil? Think about vampire Benny and werewolf Garth. Plus, what about all of the time the guys allowed Crowley to tag along. He’s the freaking King of Hell.

crowley2

The Comedy and (Meta-Situations)

spn fan fiction

With Supernatural being a show about creatures and demons and the endless battle between good and evil, the show certainly knows how to poke fun at itself on multiple occasions. The show gives us a break from the blood and gore (to an extinct) every once in a while with an episode being meta-aware of the characters and actors in the series (Jensen being in a soap opera, Jared being in House of Wax and Gilmore Girls), making fun of the series itself with the Ghost Facers, exploiting Sam and Dean’s life with fan fiction and graphic novels written by a prophet, or having commentary on horror and supernatural films like The Exorcist and Twilight.

gf1

gf2

I particularly love the moment at the end of The Usual Suspects (season two), when Dean asks Sam if the female detective looked familiar to him. The detective was played by Linda Blair, the star of the original The Exorcist. Dean then jokes that he’s in the mood for pea soup. Very funny.

And Supernatural didn’t shy away from dissing Twilight, which was much appreciated. I still don’t understand how millions of people were persuaded to obsess over a series with vampires that sparkled. I unfortunately got caught up in it myself, mostly because Harry Potter was ending and I wanted to continue to fangirl with the lot. Now, I would like to blackout that entire portion of my life. Like a bad dream.

twihard
Vampires don’t sparkle!

The most notable episode that is hyper meta is season six’s The French Mistake where Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles play Sam and Dean pretending to be Jared and Jensen playing Sam and Dean. Yeah, I know. It’s the most hilarious situation ever.

fm1
Sam pretending to be Jared acting as “Sam”.
fm2
Dean pretending to be Jensen acting as “Dean”.

fm3

There you go, folks. That’s about all my head can take when trying to think about my love for Supernatural. And I have to admit, while typing this post, I’ve noticed that I have no patience for the later seasons. Particularly seasons seven – eleven. Things and plot points just don’t stand out the way they did in the earlier seasons. But, I’m a loyal fan so I’ll stick around.

I’ve even been to two Supernatural conventions and got to see the cast really engage with their fans, most of them being really young or new to the series. I’ve been with the guys since day one and I am just in awe that they’re still on the air and the oldest show on The CW. They’re also the only show left from The WB. Amazing. Check out the series if you haven’t. It’s got the drama, and the horror, and the comedy, and just great chemistry between the cast and characters. I’m going to stick with it to the end.

Here’s one of my favorite season promo trailers.

 

‘Til next time.

TV: Smallville

Music Recommendation: “Weapon” by Matthew Good Band

Smallville is my favorite show. Hands down, without question. Many come close, but nothing competes with the memories spent watching this show (several times). I love Superman. He honestly gives me this [un]realistic hope that this world isn’t totally screwed up and doomed to destroy itself. There are actual writers out there who have created the ultimate hero. He believes in truth and justice. He fights for our safety. He’s from a world beyond ours, sent to correct our wrongs. He’s courageous and charismatic. He’s strong, but not a macho jerk – too difficult to connect with. He doesn’t let us get pushed around by bullies – including the government (#ARGUS #Checkmate #Cadmus). He’s some guy, to say the least. Plus, his cover is a journalist. Out of all things. He likes to be in the know and have a voice within this world that he’s saving on a reg. Did I mention that he’s easy on the eyes, too?

4 Clark
Well, hey there good looking.
Ok, ok. Let’s talk Smallville.

I started watching Smallville during it’s fourth season. Flipping through the channels, I caught the episode, Devoted (on The WB), and I was hooked. Like I said, I love Superman and comics in general so automatically I was baited into being a fan of this show. To jump in on this episode was quite the experience. I had no idea who most of the characters were – but it was set in high school. From my previous posts, you know how much I love high school / teen dramas. Then, there was this guy with super strength saving his friends from being pummeled to death by jocks affected by a super gatorade-esque drink spiked with love potion from cheerleaders – WHAT!? Then, I realized the super strong guy’s name was Clark. Clark Kent. And one of the girls’ name was Lois.

devoted1

Hold the phone. As in Superman ‘Clark and Lois’?? Let me just read up on the show… It’s called SMALLVILLE. Surely enough this was a show about the teen life of Superman and his journey to becoming Superman. I hurried up and found out what channels were airing the first few seasons and never looked back! Thanks ABC Family.

The show is what got me into my other favorite sci-fi dramas including Charmed, Buffy, Angel, Roswell, Supernatural, Heroes, and Firefly. The list certainly goes on. More than just a high school drama, the show was an interesting interpretation on the story that I thought I already I knew. A funny thing about my experience with this show is that I couldn’t exactly binge watch it like I can do now a days (except for ABC Family’s marathons). I watched a few episodes out of order, because I had to catch it when it was being syndicated on ABC Family. The first episode I watched after Devoted was Zero, from season one. I was also watching season four as it aired on The WB (0:26). Basically, I was all over the place with this show and when I finally circled back to the pilot episode – I wouldn’t let anything or anyone disturb me from catching on to every name, every Superman reference, every romantic moment between Clark and Lana, because I was trying to figure out what had happened with those two while watching the current fourth season. Because you know, Lois was there.

21 Lana

21 Clark
Clark’s default ‘playing dumb’ face.
Then, after experiencing (watching) the rocky relationship between Clark and Lana during the three seasons, Lois’s entrance to the show was a breathe of fresh air. I mean, I love Clark and Lana’s drama and romance, but after a few seasons of Clark’s lies and Lana’s demands – Lois’s quirkiness and kick-ass attitude coupled with Clark’s awkwardness was amazing to watch.

lois and clark s4

lois and clark 4.2
Their chemistry was undeniable!
Now that I have watched the entire series (several times over) and own all of the seasons on DVD – I am pretty much something of an expert on all things Smallville. Here are some of the things that I absolutely love about the show, along with things that annoy me as well. There were a few things that I thought I was entitled to seeing on the show and at times (later seasons) the show didn’t live up to my expectations in terms of character interpretations and connections to the comics (and the animated Superman and Justice League series). I mean it’s my favorite show, and I am not shy to talk about some of the crap that I had to put up with while watching it as the writers were really testing me in the later seasons. So, here we go…

Clark Kent

My first impression of Clark was: Wow, he’s pretty. Seriously, Tom Welling is absolutely beautiful and back in 2001, he played the heck out of the high school freshman Clark Kent. From the comics, I expected the stereotypical terribly awkward and clumsy kind of a guy (even though Clark was faking it to mask his totally poised nature). And sure, Tom did ‘justice’ to Clark’s awkward and clumsy nature (see what I did there), but the stereotypical high school (outsider) was NOT an impression that Tom could even try to fake. I mean, the guy looked like a modern day prince charming. Gorgeous.

23 Clark

His eyes alone could pierce right through you (even without the heat vision)! Now, enough with my semi-objectifying of Tom Welling. His portrayal of how lonely Clark was and how strongly he just wanted to fit in and be a normal teenager in high school was believable, especially scenes where he would tower over everyone as they moved out and about their lives without him.

Due to his burgeoning super powers, early on in the series he had to miss out on being a part of sports (football), being totally honest about this whereabouts (when he was saving people), and dating. He actually only wanted to date one girl in particular, Lana Lang, but she wore a meteor rock (kryptonite) necklace – so she literally made Clark weak to his knees when she was around him. But, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her and I loved seeing their longing stares.

2 Clark

2 Lana

Other than his love for Lana, Clark had to deal with obeying his father’s wishes (Jonathan Kent) to just blend in and try his best not to get caught using his powers, while at the same time accepting that he is different from everyone else.

clark jonathan

A lot to put on a teenager’s shoulders, huh? Since Clark had the superhero mentality from the beginning, he couldn’t just sit and watch when danger loomed over his town. He was always at the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time – depending on how you look at it. So when the time came for questions to be asked, Clark had to lie about his whereabouts or his connection to anything beyond the normal. Most of the time he tried to prove his innocence to his best friend (soon-to-be-arch-nenemis)…

Lex Luthor

Some of the best scenes in Smallville come from Clark trying to convince Lex that he’s totally a normal teen and the fact that he was always at the scene of something out of the normal happening was totally a coincidence. I got to give it to Lex, he does try his best to believe Clark in the beginning and just wants a normal friendship. Clark was like the brother that he didn’t get the chance to have (re: Julian and all of the other bros/siblings (Tess) that popped up later on). He even protects Clark on a number occasions when his money could do the talking.

But, Lex always had something dark inside of him and I think all of the lies and deceit (coming from his end too) just caught up with him and blurred the lines between good and evil. His distrust of Clark after he knew for sure that Clark was lying to his face (Lex’s got resources, so it was only a matter of time when he could buy the truth) ate away at his soul and he couldn’t and wouldn’t take it any more. The same with Clark. Season five’s Mortal allowed both Clark and Lex to punch it out on an even playing field when Clark became mortal.

Mortal 2

Mortal 3

Clark knew that Lex was losing his soul (figuratively and literally) and there would be times when he knew Lex was definitely lying to his face. All of the back and forth – I’m your best friend – I would never lie to you – You can trust me – pretty much crumbled their friendship and Clark made it his mission to catch Lex in his wrong doings and Lex wanted to reveal Clark’s true powers (and take advantage of them).

There’s a perfect example in season four’s Transference. How could Clark explain this situation? Other than the fact that his body was possessed by the evil Lionel Luthor and Lionel was using Clark’s powers against Lex…

choking lex?

Of course, when Clark approached Lex again (having returned to his own body), Lex was prepared for some answers. Like right now!

defend lex 2

defend lex
I’ll just play dumb and hopefully he buys it.
Clark always had to play dumb and convince Lex to believe some story of how he “wasn’t himself” and that the strength was “adrenaline”or something. Slap to the forehead! Really? That wasn’t the only time this type of situation and even crazier situations have happened to prove that Clark and Lex’s relationship would be the stuff of legends. I think Lex’s final descent into darkness came in season four’s Onyx, when Lex is literally split into his two selves – good and evil.

Face / Off, I mean Transference

Season four’s Transference is one of my favorite episodes as it reminds me of one of one of my favorite films, Face / Off, starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. Basically, good guy’s identity is held hostage by his nemesis via face swapping. Hmm, I wonder if the writers knew what they were doing here. In any case, it’s a great episode, especially the prison fight scene with Jimmy Eat World’s Pain playing as the soundtrack. But look, am I wrong…

face off 1
I’d like to take his face…off.
lionel prison 3

clark prison 2

And then…

castor troy prison

lionel prison
Come at me, bro.
transference

john travolta face off
Did you catch that reference?
Chloe, The Wall of Weird, and Meteor Freaks

Back at Smallville High School, home of the Smallville Crows…Clark has this genius and adorable bestie named Chloe Sullivan. Chloe was one of the names I didn’t recognized when I first watched Devoted, so I didn’t catch on quick enough that I was watching a show about Superman. Chloe is a character made up specifically for the show as a “Lois Lane proto-type.” She’s the editor and chief at The Torch (high school paper) and the pioneer of the Wall of Weird.

chloe wall of weird

She’s collected clippings and articles about the paranormal and ‘weirdness’ in Smallville after the first meteor shower (Clark’s plight to Earth from the planet Krypton). A mere notebook couldn’t contain all of the strange and questionable happenings, so she used a wall. Of course, she showed the wall to Clark to impress him, but little did she know that Clark is the sole reason that her wall even exists. The wall jumpstarts Clark’s mission to help those that he affected by coming to Earth and allowing people to be transformed by the infected meteors and thus becoming monsters of themselves and wreaking havoc in Smallville. Thanks, Chloe.

clark chloe
And the monster of the week is…
The infected persons are dubbed ‘Meteor Freaks’ (basically meta-humans or mutants). The kryptonite-laced meteor fragments from the meteor shower somehow mixed into their system during some extraordinary event, like getting caught in frozen water littered with kryptonite meteor rocks for an extended period of time (Ice Man-type freak), or having a flock of insects attack you after crashing your car full of kryptonite infected insects (Bug Boy-type freak). After the freaks set their sights on destroying those who’ve wronged them while they were relatively normal teens – Clark comes in to save the day! With a little help from his friends…

clark and pete and chloe

Chloe (along with Pete Ross [who annoys me, so I’m not going to bother writing about him]) is unknowingly and knowingly Clark’s sidekick – filling him in on the freaks and giving him a head start on how to stop them from causing more damage. Once again, thanks Chloe. But of course, Clark has to lie about how and why he can even go toe to toe with the freaks to stop them.

play dumb chloe 2

play dumb chloe
I’ll just play dumb and hopefully she buys it.
Before long, it’s revealed that Chloe is in love with Clark (how could she not be) and just being his sidekick and best friend was not always enough. Clark did love Chloe (how could he not), albeit only as a friend.

chloe adorable
How could you not love this smile?
Their bond grows deeper after she finds out that she was right all along about Clark being extraordinary. All of the lies and dumb excuses start to make sense and Clark can just tell Chloe that he’s going to save the day and she’s like, ‘I got your back’ and gladly embraces her sidekick status! THANKS. CHLOE.

chloe sidekick

Clark’s Loves

I mentioned earlier that the early seasons of Smallville centered around Clark’s love for Lana Lang. And I admit, I rooted for them until I realized that Lois Lane would soon be gracing Smallville with her presence and SHE was Clark’s soulmate. But I was torn (still am) by which girl is rightfully Clark’s true love. I sometimes argue that Chloe is Clark’s true love by her wit and heroism from the earlier seasons – before the writers turned her into some sort of ‘computer wiz’ and living ‘brainiac’ in the later seasons. Seriously, after she leaves The Daily Planet, she loses her Chloe-ness that I grew to love over the years. I mean, she rightfully deserved to be at the Daily Planet and that’s more than I can say for Lois Lane (later on).

chloe daily planet

But Lois’s first few seasons (seasons four – five and some of six) were when I loved her the most. She was strong and quippy. Most of all, she ticked Clark off. Before Lois, Clark tried his best to get along with everyone and was always Mr. Likable until Lois came around to shake things up. There was actually someone to annoy Clark and to get him into ‘normal’ trouble with his folks like in season four’s Gone.

tough lois 5

tough lois 6

tough lois 8
Didn’t know Clark had it in him, huh Mrs. K?
tough lois 7

Lois drove Clark crazy…in an adorable way. The more she spoke up for herself and got herself into hot water, the more Clark had to step in and be HER sidekick. I think he liked that about her.

Lois and Clark usual

However, in later seasons, Lois becomes this whiney damsel, pining after The Blur (Clark’s first attempt of a Superhero name). I got so sick of her meeting in the telephone booth, calling after this mysterious shadow vigilante. I honestly think, their relationship was rushed into a romantic one anyway. Especially since the writers kind of weakened her character after she already dated two other superheroes in previous seasons (Aquaman and Green Arrow). I struggled taking her and Clark seriously. I never saw the romantic-chemistry between the two of them like I saw between Clark and Lana.

25 Clark

25 Lana

I feel like the writers were shoving Lois and Clark down our throats after Lana left the show. The earlier seasons took the time to show Clark falling in love with Lana, and she with him. Clark put Lana through so much crap, because she knew that he loved her and she let him pull her in. But he wasn’t honest with her and all of the lies pushed her away. The fact that she loved him made her forgive him on many occasions and Clark constantly had to try his best to be the best for her while at the same time keeping his responsibilities in check. His true identity could put her in more trouble than he already had by being close to him (re: season three’s Exile). When he did hurt her, it took him time to forgive himself to be close with her again. He had to push her away to keep her safe, but Lana didn’t understand that.

11 Lana

11 Clark

Even at some of Clark’s most vulnerable moments like in season five’s Reckoning, when Jonathan Kent dies. Lana tried to hold on to the threads of her love for Clark, even though he was hardening up and closing himself off. If she knew what he was really going through (Clark going back in time to save her from dying and instead Jonathan’s life is switched for hers), she probably wouldn’t have been so hard on him about the faults in their relationships.

JK funeral Lana

JK funeral Clark

Which is why Lana started to tick me off in later seasons. She treated Clark like he was this horrible person (mainly because he sometimes had to be to keep her safe) who lied and willingly hurt her feelings. I hated the both of them for treating each other terribly (especially Lana marrying Lex in season six’s Promise). I think Clark could have just told her the truth though instead of stringing her along all of those years. She found out eventually, though, and it’s excellent. But, being honest from the start would have saved them both a lot of heartache. However, Reckoning was a gift of an episode where Clark actually told Lana everything and proposed to her.

14 Clark

14 Lana

Their blissfulness led them down a dangerous path, though, as Lana (now knowing Clark’s secret) became a target to Lex’s crazed demand to be in on the truth as well…resulting in Lana dying. Clark (not having that) changes the past and this time around he doesn’t tell her the truth, thus further pushing Lana away, losing her anyway. She’s now the reason Jonathan is gone, Clark unintentionally weighing her life over his own father’s. The episode is beautiful though, especially the ending soundtracked with Peter Gabriel’s I Grieve. The episode is what I had been waiting to see happen between Clark and Lana FOR YEARS, but I also got to see how (why) Lana knowing Clark’s secret was a dangerous idea.

No matter how much in love Clark was with Lana, I don’t think Clark trusted her enough to be strong enough to handle whatever bad could happen to her if she knew his secret. At least, not in the beginning. It could be that he loved her too much to burden her with the task of keeping his secret. Though she found out eventually and we see how well that worked out (Clark ends up with Lois). All of their ups and downs made a relationship worth watching on television, though.

playing dumb lana
I’ll just play dumb and hopefully…

playing dumb lana 2
Not this time, Clark!
When the Comics Invade Smallville

I think Smallville finally became Superman’s story, when more other DC superheroes and villains made their way to town. Season four introduced a few comic characters like Myxlplyx in Jinx, Bart Allen (“Impulse” / The Flash) in Runand of course Lois Lane in Crusade. Also, Clark (as Kal-El) actually flies in this episode and it’s amazing!

clark flies

Season five introduces fan favorites like Brainiac (played by Buffy alum James Masters), Aquaman, and Cyborg. I think season six is where the series and comics smash-collide in a great way. Green Arrow becomes a re-occurring character, later to become a series regular, played by Justin Hartley.

His presence pushes Clark to finally see that he can’t do this whole saving the world thing alone and needs a little help from others like him – superheroes. You gotta love season six’s Justice. Seeing so many of DC’s finest in live action was something Smallville fans (DC fans in general) had been waiting on for a long time. Can you imagine how stoked I am for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad next year?

justice league smallville

We get a full view of Martian Manhunter in season six’s Phantom (he’s introduced in season six’s Static). Season seven introduces Kara Kent (Supergirl) who’s a series regular that season. Clark basically gets to train her to get used to her abilities just as he had to do in earlier seasons. He became something of a big brother figure. His relationship with Kara was strong, because he had to protect her from those willing to exploit her (cough, Lex) and teach her about the importance of having a secret identity. The thing was, Kara wasn’t raised by humans and she didn’t like to think of her powers as a secret or burden. Well, until she meets Jimmy Olsen (introduced in season six). Then, she wants to be a relatively normal girl. Overall, Kara and Clark’s relationship on the show is a great nod to the comics.

kara smallville

In the case of other characters like Davis Bloome, Tess Mercer, and ‘Major’ Zod – I could have lived without on the show. Surely they tried to fill the void of the villain / anti-hero after Lex Luthor left in season seven. I mean, maybe if they had more time to develop and they started their origins in earlier seasons, I would have taken them more seriously. But honestly, after seeing Lex from season one to his last episode (not including his return in season ten’s series finale) and him developing as the villain, any other bad guy was just filler. Tess Mercer was forced on us and I grew annoyed by how she was supposedly bad, but also good. What made Lex’s villain status so amazing was his chemistry with Clark. Something the later villains lacked.

Characters like Hawkman, Black Canary, and Dr. Fate’s time on the show was just so rushed and I didn’t care about their characters other than the fact they were from the comics. That’s what pains me the most about the series – rushed storylines and empty-important characters. Yeah, sure it’s great to see the Justice League coming into fruition, but what about filling out the characters more? Major props to the costume department though. At least the characters looked great!

canary and flash
…before they were on The Flash

Hanging with my favorite Martian.
Hanging with my favorite Martian.

Anyway, I love the show and I’m sure that if I watch the series again (for the hundredth time), I’ll spot even more things that I love and hate about it. I grew with the show as a teen and now that I am an adult, my perspective of certain characters could possibly change. Maybe. In any case, I hold the show dear and there’s so much more that I could say about it. I mean season eight through ten deserve their own blog (Post-Lex Smallville). Then there’s my love/hate view of what the series did with The Daily Planet and how Lois and Clark somehow became journalists without finishing college. Or even, community college. Then I could rant about Chloe’s character evolution.

Plus, there’s all of the actors that started on Smallville and went into their own series or starred in other DC related films: Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), Adam Brody (The OC), Amy Adams (Man of Steel), Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries), and Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries). Then, there’s appearance from Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210), Christopher Reeve (Superman), Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman series), Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark), Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), and so on! Also, Smallville set the tone for new DC comic-centric shows on The CW like Arrow, The Flash, and even Gotham (on Fox). So much to discuss, and maybe I’ll do a part two. Maybe. Watch the series if you have enough time for ten seasons!

‘Til Next Time.

P.S. I do not own any of the photos (or videos) and I do not claim any credit for any of their edits. 🙂

TV: One Tree Hill

Music Recommendation(s): “Scream” by Chris Cornell  / “Ride” by Cary Brothers

Cue Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” and let’s head back over to the fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina.

I’m a huge fan of One Tree Hill. The show is inspirational. I mean, some of the things that it touched on would hit my core and I would either be in tears, start thinking about how short life can be (while feeling ever ending at times). Thinking about how PEOPLE walk into our lives, and back out again. How we’re stuck with memories or regrets based on their momentary impacts.

pal

FAMILY can shape us and sometimes break us if we let them. FRIENDS are a gift to us. Think about it: With family, we can’t pick and choose, but friends are these people that we connect with and they essentially become our family. I think the idea of friendship can be taken for granted, because these people voluntarily love us and choose to be around us. And I am not talking about normal acquaintances – I mean the people that know us better than we know ourselves and will do anything for us (and vise versa). The next time you see your friends, hug it out – just because. Then again, this too can be said for family.

Here’s a little background: One Tree Hill begins about the story of Lucas and Nathan Scott, half brothers fathered by Dan Scott (the funniest and most hated guy on the show). Lucas is the rejected son, but grew up with a supportive mother, Karen, and loving uncle, Keith Scott. Nathan is the spoiled rich brother who had a dad growing up, but was subject to the mental abuse of Dan. You see, Dan always wanted to win and be the best. When he didn’t go all the way in his basketball career, he pushed Nathan to be the best. And oh yeah, basketball is the common thread in the show – along with music, literature, and art. Both brothers have talent, but their different upbringings make them competitive and the game becomes more than a just a sport.

basketball

One Tree Hill is essentially about life, family, friendship, love, and loyalty. The show really allows the audience to grow with the characters and over time, you can look back at the spectrum of the characters’ growth and it is a beautiful thing.

growth

Here’s what I love about the show: 

Family 

I mentioned earlier that Lucas, the protagonist of the show, grew up without a father. However, I should rephrase that by saying that he grew up without his biological father, Dan. But, the thing is that he was better off without the SOB. Lucas had Karen and Keith, two people that raised him to have character and to be the best version of himself – no matter what life threw at him (and it threw some mean curve balls). When Lucas decided to go for his dreams (basketball and later writing), the lessons that Karen and Keith taught him shaped him to be a person that would inspire his friends and family.

karen lucas

lucas keith karen

Though Brooke Davis virtually grew up without any sort of parental support, she managed to allow her friends to teach her valuable lessons and to let her own mistakes shape her to be and do better. Her parents financially supported her, but love was the missing factor for a while. Until she became a successful fashion designer, her parents were no where to be found. Her mother, Victoria, became her MANAGER and their relationship was vile until Brooke had the strength to rise up and teach her own mother what it meant to love.

bj10

As a teen, Nathan was the most grown up in his household (and that’s saying a lot). His parents couldn’t seem to grow up and rise up. Dan was probably the worse person to be raised by and Deb (Nathan’s mom) was too strung out on prescription pills (because she was married to Dan) to be coherent enough to be a mom to Nathan. Nathan’s love came from Haley and their support of each other lead him to teach his parents a thing or two about being a family. Through all of the crap that Nathan had to put up with (including Dan’s “betrayal” of his own brother), Nathan had enough love from Haley and their own family to forgive the broken one that he was raised by.

nathanhaley jamie

dan dies

Off camera, Haley grew up with a large and supportive family, but Lucas and Karen were her surrogate family while hers travelled and led their own lives. It seemed that she was the most adept to “staying” (until she left) among her parents and many sisters. Her parents idea of parenting was teaching their children valuable lessons, and once they were adults – they were on their own to use those lessons to be whoever they wanted to become. A very loose way of parenting, I think. They were free spirits, though and Haley was mature for her age. Haley and Lucas’s close friendship kept her grounded until she fell in love with Nathan (and later music) and was starting to find her own way. One of the saddest moments in the show is when her mother, Lydia, returns to Tree Hill only to spend one last moment with her daughters.

hmomq

Adopted, Peyton also grew up with a limited amount of parenting. You know something, all of the (teen) characters basically had a fractured family. I don’t know if that can be said about ‘real life’, but jeez, this is kind of sad the more I think about it. Anyway, Peyton lost her adoptive mother when she was young and her adoptive father travelled a lot for work and was hardly ever present. But, Peyton was truly loved by the both of them and this made her kind of a downer (but very artistic). Eventually, a handful of Peyton’s ‘real’ family walked back into her life and she struggled with not having them growing up and allowing them to affect her present life. Again, another sad moment is when Peyton’s biological mother, Ellie, comes back – and (you guessed it) leaves again.

ellie peyton

Music, Art, and Literature 

The lives of the characters are very much affected and shaped by their natural talents. Peyton is the artist and music enthusiast, Lucas is the writer (he too is very skilled at b-ball, but it’s not his first gift if you ask me), Brooke is the fashion designer, Haley is the brain and musician, and Nathan is the athlete. These talents connect the characters to one another and ‘save’ them in their darkest moments – but as well as produce some of their happiest moments.

Lucas’s love of literature and his first published work, An Unkindness of Ravens, lends to some of the show’s most inspirational quotes and narration.

lucasandpeyton2

Haley’s gift of music nearly destroyed her relationship with Nathan, but it also made them closer than ever. She was her truest self when she was able to sing and be surrounded by music. This also taught Nathan to value his gift of playing basketball and to become even greater at it. Music played a huge part in the show (the show has one of my favorite soundtracks ever). Artists such as Gavin Degraw, Fall Out Boy, Explosions in the Sky, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Eat World, Sheryl Crow, Michelle Branch and The Wreckers, Tyler Hilton, and many were featured. New artists debuted on the show and Bethany Joy Lenz’s (Haley) real life musical ability was spotlighted. 

haley singing

p.sawyer
DJ. P. Sawyer

“The boy saw the comet, and suddenly his life had meaning”

Lucas and Peyton’s relationship was the stuff of legend. In the beginning, the two of them were connected by their mutual brooding, but their connection exceeded that throughout the show. Again, because they were both artists in their own rights, they found a connection that out-phased everything else.

comet lucas

When Peyton was too afraid to let someone love her, Lucas moved on to Brooke, which I think was genuine, but not true love. Brooke was merely a substitution and Lucas was someone that made Brooke feel insecure about herself. He never truly let her in as he was subconsciously (and consciously) waiting for Peyton to realize the truth. Of course with all love triangles – things got very messy, especially since Brooke and Peyton were best friends.

lucas brooke peyton
Torn between two lovers

number 3 heart

When the three of them were honest with themselves and each other, Lucas and Peyton finally got together. But with love, the road is filled with many obstacles and detours. For years, these two continued to fight for each other (even when others were in their places – cough Lindsay, cough Julian). Both of Lucas’s novels were about Peyton, even when he thought they weren’t. The Comet He subconsciously wrote to her to let her know – “It’s you, Peyton.”

peyton happy lucas

lucas peyton wedding

“Always and Forever”

Nathan and Haley had one of the most surprising, but beautiful relationships. They started on the opposite ends of the high school totem pole – the jock and the brainiac. Yeah I know, stereotypes, but they come from somewhere right? Anyway, while Nathan was getting tutored by Haley, he fell in love with her and she with him. Kind of a Cinderella story.

Haley Nathan s1

But again, love is not this smooth sailing thing. They got married in high school –  so they still had a lot of growing up to do on their own ends. They had yet to realize what they wanted for themselves and from each other. Indeed it was a bumpy ride, but this couple seemed to be the one that the others admired and aspired to be. For the most part, they were together through the length of the series. Always and…

nathanhaley100

“Brooke Davis is going to change the world someday, and I’m not sure she even knows it”

Brooke is my favorite character in the show. She began as the stereotypical cheerleader – boy crazy and kind of ditzy. She ‘slutted’ herself around during the first few years of high school, until she had her heart-broken by Lucas. Actually, she still kind of ‘worked her magic’ after both big splits with Lucas. Brooke fell so hard for him that somewhere in the process, she lost herself, but eventually found someone that she didn’t even know that she could be. For a while, she put all of her energy into partying and dating, because the alternative – the big picture- was something that she didn’t want to think about.

brooke2

After being the third wheel in Lucas and Peyton’s love story for far too long, Brooke made a name for herself by creating her own fashion line and grew up to be a responsible and tough as nails chick.

Clothes Over Bros, yo!

Eventually though, she wanted more than just work and money, and sought after forming her own family – because hers sucked. After fighting with her mother and dating the wrong guys, she wanted a family that was truly her own.

Brooke1

Eventually though, she got everything that she could ever want – literally taking a few cuts and bruises to get there.

brooke babies

“Every good story needs a villain, I’m sorry but I’m yours”

Dan Scott. The most hated guy in Tree Hill. Like the quote says above, every good story needs a good villain, and this guy takes the cake. I’ll try to list some of the crap Dan did in the series and you try to figure out how he continued to worm his way into his family’s lives. First and foremost, he truly was a self-righteous guy.

Dan and Nathan

The next thing (and creating the premise of the show) he left Karen while she was pregnant with Lucas. He then knocked up Deb and stayed with her all in a matter of months. Then, he pit Nathan against Lucas, making Nathan feel more superior. He chastised Keith for sticking around and supporting Lucas, when he was too proud to do so himself. Few years later, after all of the pushing to be the best, he alienated Nathan and Deb – making them two more people to hate him. There’s also a bunch of crap that he pulled with Whitey – the basketball coach and voice of reason in the show’s the show’s early seasons. Their feud made up for some great moments.

dan and whitey

I can skip all of the bullying that he continued to do, including paying someone to fall in love with and break Keith’s heart. I mean, the guy was truly an ass, but there’s one thing that he did that sent the characters and the show on a painful path – shooting and killing Keith – his own brother. Yep, he took away the person that everyone loved, because he envied him. Pretty Shakespearian, huh?

dan and keith

As you can imagine, the characters would never be the same again and Dan could never truly be a part of his family. Though honestly, Nathan was someone that he truly loved and in some way, he tried to make him a better man than he ever was or could be. When Nathan became a NBA player and had a family of his own, the thing Dan regretted the most was not being a part of it. Hey, he even regretted not being a part of Lucas’s family. Their hatred didn’t stop him from trying though, because –

dan scott kill

An Unkindness of Ravens 

As mentioned before, basketball is a huge part of One Tree Hill. In the beginning, it was used to pit Lucas and Nathan against each other, but before long, it was the game that brought ALL of the characters together. Though I enjoyed all of the competitiveness and how the feud made for comedic moments – it was when the game fostered moments of joy that made it special.

nathan lucas

bond brothers

For a while, Lucas and Nathan fought over the game and kept score of who was the best, but it was indeed Nathan that was the most gifted at it. From being someone raised to be competitive and have little character, the game was something that he truly loved. Before we knew it, Nathan was training to be the best – not just at the game – at being a husband, a brother, a father, and a son (to Deb). He rose above Dan, but became all that Dan wanted him to be and more.

nathan scott

Lucas also loved the game, but his role exceeded being just a player. Inspired by Keith and Whitey, Lucas became a coach to share with the next generation all that he learned from the game. He even helped Nathan get back on track after his accident.

lucas coach

I’ll end this, because my caffeine high is coming to a halt. There’s so much more to talk about, but the best way to appreciate the show is to watch it. So yeah, pop some popcorn and binge watch. Don’t forget to take in all of the inspiring moments. Dance to the music. Cry when the ones you start to love – leave. And laugh at all of Dan’s belittling and Nathan and Whitey’s incredible comebacks.

dan whitey 2

‘Til next time.

TV: Felicity

Music Recommendation: “Blue Parade” by Sarah Slean

Dear Sally –

In order for me to do this show any justice in terms of ‘reviewing’ it, I need to focus on the reasons why I love this show. I mean, for a show that only had four seasons, it had such an impact on my entire college experience. I probably would have had more of a social life in college if I watched less of the series amongst the many other shows I spent my free time watching. Most of the time, I would knock out those papers and chapters just so I had more time to watch TV. Truthfully, I’m not even ashamed to admit this. Felicity was one of the first shows that I re-watched in college and I even got my first roommate into it. We would shut ourselves in our little cave (re: dorm room) and watch the hell out of this show, even when we had a crap load of work to do. We’d be like, “let’s just finish this disc” (I have the series on DVD). Or, “let’s just watch it while we eat.” I don’t know anyone else who took five hours to eat their lunch.

Anyway, let’s start off with a little preamble: Felicity is about a girl from Palo Alto, California named (you guessed it) Felicity, who decides to go to college in New York City after her high school crush, Ben, writes in her yearbook. Once in New York, she meets a number of interesting characters and has to decide what path she wants to take for her life and love life. She begins college communicating with her friend, Sally, via cassette tape – recording her thoughts about how things are going in college. The recordings sort of stop once she’s thrust into the college life and made new friends. It’s a little more extensive than that, but that’s why you need to watch the show!

felicity-ep-1-photo
What did I get myself into?

Here are some of the reasons why this show is so amazing and addicting.

The Opening Credits

The first two seasons of Felicity open with flashes of black & white photos of Felicity and the other characters in the show – pondering and hanging out in the wonderful city of New York. Felicity drinks coffee in a cafe, pets a dog, waits for the subway, laughs with her friends – daily life sort of things. The music is mellow and doesn’t have actual words, adding a calm and chill nature to the credits. The photos aren’t perfect either, which is a nice wink to the ‘realism’ approach the show tries to emulate (at least most of the time). Some of the shots are blurry, or the characters are out of focus, or they are not completely in frame. Great stuff.

felicity opening 2

I also like the opening credits in the third and fourth seasons too, but they are your basic in-color episode clips with actual lyrics in the new theme song: “New Version of You.” Yeah, we get it. I still wonder why they changed the credit style? Anyway, the black & white credits are stills from moments that we don’t see in the actual episodes – a look behind the scenes of the lives of the characters.

felicity opening

Team Ben vs. Team Noel 

Before there was Team Jacob vs. Team Edward or Team Stefan vs. Damon or even Peeta vs. Gale (or any other fictional love triangle after the 90s) – there was Team Ben vs. Noel. Yes, Felicity was caught between two lovers, but not in a weird kinky sort of way. She came to NY to follow her high school crush, Ben, but found herself unexpectedly falling for someone else in the midst of dealing with the struggle of college, Noel. She had the best RA, who eventually became someone she loved and who loved her from the moment he first saw her. Sounds great, right? Going to college and finding your soulmate and living happily ever after. The end. But no, Felicity’s little world is all but a fairytale. You see, this chick isn’t someone who can make up her mind or make the right choices – until after she’s made the wrong ones. I mean, obviously from the premise of the show. Following a guy to college doesn’t sound like the smartest thing to do, especially if you’ve only had one conversation with him. Felicity says “obviously” a lot, by the way.

Even though Noel is into her right away, Felicity is at the University of New York (it’s a fictional college based on NYU) for BEN. She’s so determined to get Ben to fall in love with her that she’s blind to see how Noel feels for her. It takes having Ben call her “crazy” and rejecting her to get her to see what’s been right in front of her. Noel is there to hear all about her crazy antics in wooing Ben, and he even bails her out of some of the situations she gets herself into. More on that later. But, eventually she falls for him too – and presto! The end.

noel and felicity3

Yeah, I think you all see where this is going. Allow me to continue. So after Noel and Felicity get together, guess who comes around and see’s how amazing Felicity is – despite her impulsiveness? You guessed it, Big Ben. That’s when all hell breaks loose, because now Felicity can have what she wanted in the first place. And then Noel’s “past” comes to get him as well. Let’s just say, Ben and Felicity get together. The end.

felicty and ben

Sure….. Yeah right. You guys, need to keep up.

noel and felicty and ben

Noel was the best RA, even when he wasn’t the RA anymore

Freshmen year was a hot mess for Felicity and she always seemed to get her nose stuck where it shouldn’t have been. From retyping Ben’s paper and nearly getting them both expelled for plagiarism, to stealing his admission file and again almost getting him expelled. There was one person that Felicity could always count on to help her out with her impulsiveness. Noel was the RA of the century – even when he didn’t want to be. He was in love with a girl, that was in love with someone else. He didn’t let that bother him (for a while) and came to Felicity’s rescue on many occasions. His best advice, “Stay in New York or perish.”

noel felicity office

But Felicity wasn’t the only one living in the dorms so Noel had his hands full with the rest of the freshmen crew. Even Elena, with her toughness and desire to be the best in class, needed Noel’s help from time to time. From sleeping with the ‘tin-man’ (Halloween episode) or trying to figure out how to actually date someone you just met (and slept with). Somehow, Noel had the answers. He also realized that she could help him out with his Felicity troubles. An eye for an eye. Their budding friendship and partnership made up for some very hilarious scenes. They eventually became roommates in season 2. I secretly always wanted them to hook up.

noel RA

noel and elena 2

Then there’s Richard, the sort of guy that will annoy the hell out of you, because he’s so self-righteous and oblivious to his asshole-ness. He tried Noel on many occasions, including hosting a BBQ in his dorm room – violating so many rules. Noel threatened to get him kicked out, but then Richard caught Noel making out with another resident – Felicity. So, um yeah, their friendship and endless dueling became the stuff of legend. He even became likable as you felt for the guy who just wanted friends and to fit in. Who can’t relate to that?

richard and noel2

Richard and noel

noel and richard

Another problem that Felicity continuously had was with her roommate, Megan. More on that later. But Megan and Noel had their own relationship. Megan’s bluntness and know-it-all ticked Noel off, but made him keep coming back for info – because who didn’t know more about what Felicity was up to than the person sleeping across from her? Even after Megan gave Noel beet powder (he’s allergic and becomes neurotic after consumption) calling it ‘smart powder’ during finals, he continued to put up with her crap. A necessary evil.

Noel and megan

Megan blunt

After an entire school year of assisting the residents, Noel was no longer their RA, but the gang continued to depend on his guidance and friendship. The job was never-ending.

noel laughs

Elena was the best, best friend 

Elena began as the girl living across from Felicity who just happened to be around when crap was going down in Felicity’s life. She was also the smartest and most determined premed student that Felicity knew and Felicity leaned on her for guidance – both academically and personally. When Felicity was dealing with Ben rejecting her or Noel’s confession of love, Elena rolled her eyes but gladly became the best friend a girl could ask for. Even giving Felicity sex tips. You see, Elena was the most confident person ever (next to Megan and Sean), but she was kind of clueless when it came to dating. Especially freshman year. So of course, her advice doesn’t help and lends to one the most hilarious episodes ever in the series.

elena
“Keep your eyes on the ball”

Their friendship lasted all four years and beyond (if you don’t include Elena’s fate and reversed fate at the end of the series). Her kickass attitude even attracted the other characters. Though Julie was Felicity’s first best friend in college, Elena became the glue to keep them all together, because Julie and Felicity had issues when it came to Ben.

julie and elena
What are you up to now, Felicity?

One of my favorite episodes is when Elena and Noel decided to dress up as Subway (yes, the restaurant) employees for the Halloween party at Ben and Sean’s. The deal was that they BOTH had to attend as a duo. However, Noel’s RA duties got in the way of him attending and Elena had to walk around the party taking people’s sub orders. Oh, hell no! Check out that uniform.

elena halloween

Elena was the best friend that anyone could ask for in college. She was smart, tough, funny, and the men loved her! Felicity’s impulsive tendencies and never-ending boy troubles always led her in some crazy situations, like the time Ben saved a woman’s life after she was shot at a party. Turns out the woman was filthy rich and became obsessed with Ben – while he was dating Felicity. She tried to let Felicity know that she would fight for him, but Elena had Felicity’s back and helped her learn some martial arts. What more could you ask for in a bestie?

elena could kick butt

Elena felicity

Dean & Deluca w/ Javier

Boy troubles isn’t the only thing that Felicity had to worry about. I mean the girl is going to college in NY – against her parents wishes by the way. So without their support, she’s got to work. Dean & Deluca is one of the jobs that she gets freshman year, and continues to be her main job throughout the series – because she’s had an awesome manager named Javier.

Javier becomes one of Felicity’s best friends and offers her some great advice about her love life, like Elena. Felicity and Javier even try to get married at one point, but it’s not how you think. He’s even a fan of “Ben-ja-min”, and eventually hires him – despite all of the drama with Felicity. He’s kind of like the Cupid in the group. Plus, his thick Spanish accent makes everything that he says feisty! You could grab a cup of coffee and a scone with a side of saucy Javier.

javier and ben

Sean and his Smoothaise

You know, the most refreshing part about Felicity was that the show didn’t limit the friendships to be composed of only kids in college, like including Javier. Sean was the guy with all of the ideas. Literally. He was a self-proclaimed inventor and entrepreneur. He always tried to make a buck. He was the perfect example to teach the kids about that hustle life, because sometimes life doesn’t work out exactly like you plan it to (during) and after college. His presence assured the gang to keep working for what they believed in. I do find it hilarious that he befriended a bunch of college kids, but hey – got to keep those ideas fresh and where else can you get characters for the most bad ass documentary series, “Docuventary” (because he’s an inventor making a documentary). Get it?

I think teaming up with Richard was the best part about Sean’s documentary. Showcasing some of the most private moments of his friends while keeping the price of the moments on his mind and having Richard be his PA is just GOLD. Who wouldn’t buy this?

Sean the director

sean reality show

Sean always had a get rich master plan. Even having all the peeps over at his great apartment wasn’t just about socializing and demonstrating his hospitality, because he was charging most of them rent. And while having them there, he had an audience to test out his new inventions and hear out his new ideas.

sean inventions

sean inventions 2

He also sold things to benefit the college students, like essential study kits or that time he sold fruit during finals. I mean, that’s pretty genius.

sean selling fruit

I’ll never forget the time Sean inserted himself in the catering biz with Ben at Dean & Deluca just to have people try out his new food condiment – Smoothaise. Sounds delicious, right? Ben was having some relationship issues and Sean, instead of being supportive of his friend, was asking people to try out his Smoothaise.

sean catering
Ben, try out my Smoothaise?

Megan was the best roomie, even when she wasn’t

The scary part about college is when you have to move into your dorm with a stranger for a roommate. Some people get really lucky with someone amazing, but other’s aren’t so lucky. Case in point: Felicity’s college roommate, Megan. Their living arrangement was the most pivotal during their freshman year – when they first met. But, somehow due to television circumstances, they ended up living together at one point or another during all four seasons.

Megan and Felicity were two totally different people. Felicity was the straight-lace neurotic college student, while Megan was the Gothic club-nympho, with something pretty epic in a box. I honestly still don’t know what she had in there, even after the ‘artsy’ (being nice) episode that showed us what’s in the box. All I know is that she was paranoid with Felicity looking in the box.

As you might have guessed, they did not get along in the beginning, but Megan was always there to be totally blunt about Felicity’s struggles. The first few episodes, she would just pop in the room with some outrageous outfit ensemble on and say something rude during the perfect time. But Megan became someone to steer Felicity back into reality. Her ‘rudeness’ was something that Felicity needed (that all of the characters needed, actually), because most of the time (not all of the time) she was being honest. Down the line, she couldn’t help but be in Felicity’s little circle of friends (even when she didn’t want to).

felicity-1-07-whats-in-the-box
“Did you open my box?”

Living with Sean and Megan

The best of the roomies collide. Someone’s got to tell Sean how ridiculous his ideas are and someone’s got to tell Megan how much of a bitch she’s being. Both of them mature tremendously during the last few seasons, and I’ll just leave it at that.

sean and megan

“New Version of You” (Felicity’s infamous haircut) 

Well, if you’ve ever heard of Felicity, you are probably familiar with the whole Felicity haircut fiasco. Yes, she starts college with a head of glorious big curls and chops them off in season 2. Why? She went crazy, of course!

felicty hair

No, but in all seriousness – Felicity cut her hair because she needed a change. Sounds like a cliche, but that’s what happened in the story. Now, the reason behind KERI RUSSELL cutting her hair, I don’t know. Maybe she went crazy – or needed a change as well. I think it was all about growing up and shedding away all of her past mistakes. She became anew!

I similarly cut off all of my hair during my junior year in college for similar reasons. One of my friends even asked me if I was pulling a Felicity. No, I wasn’t exactly inspired by little miss busy body, but I was in need of a huge change in my life. So adios to the hair that has been with me my whole life, and hello naked head. Ready for the world!

felicty hair cut

Throughout the first few episodes of ‘the new Felicity’, her friends and (a heart-broken and angry) Noel questioned her big decision (well he just laughed). Even Felicity questioned herself at one point. Her love life was in shambles and she also decided to change her major from premed to art. She was starting all over and it was kind of scary.

oops

Eventually, everyone got over the haircut and Felicity was growing up. She started dating (outside of Ben and Noel) and was enjoying her new artsy and independent lifestyle. She was rockin’ that haircut! And even in the midst of the big changes in her life, two things returned to normalcy – or should I say two guys!

hair felicity

Maybe the haircut was just Felicity being impulsive as usual, and yeah people hated it – within and outside of the show. Despite this, Felicity continued to be a great show even without the big curls. Hair grows back guys!

felicty hair 2

Finals Week

Every season of Felicity has finals week, or hell week. I mean, it’s a show about life in college and we can’t forget the week that sends college kids into a definite frenzy. Felicity and the gang aren’t safe from the week of utter terror. So finals week is basically a week of cramming everything that you (were suppose to) learn during the semester – in hopes of passing the final exam or write a great paper. Wow, just thinking about my finals week makes the hair on the back of my neck stand. It’s like you have to pull a miracle and relearn everything and remember it when you’re actually tested!

finals

So basically, all of the students in your university are on edge – which makes for a number of hilarious situations. During the first season of Felicity, Noel and Felicity are newly dating, but haven’t actually made it official that they are dating. So the whole time they just want to make-out and talk, and make-out some more – but they have to study for their finals. This is where Richard catches them and it’s such a funny moment.

finals2

Eventually, they have to separate and Noel has to try to convince Richard not to get him fired from being an RA. Felicity then runs into Ben, who asks for help on studying. He and Julie (Felicity’s supposed BFF – I can’t stand her) are sort of dating by this time as well.

julie and ben finals

Felicity of course helps Ben out, because she owes him after almost getting him expelled in an earlier episode. Plus, I don’t think she knows how to say no to him. Meanwhile, Noel is running around looking for her and runs into Megan, who gives him “smart powder.” Noel finds Felicity studying with Ben and his insecurities added with the beets in his smart powder make him totally overact. All the while, both of them still need to study for their finals. Sean is walking around selling fruit by this time as well.

Finals week creates some of the best moments in the series and the characters each approach the week in their own way –  surviving the best way that they know how.

noel finals

noel and Elena

noel and felicity finals

ben finals odes

The Squad

As Felicity is trying to find herself and survive the college life, she meets all of these amazing people. The group is there for one another – when they are not killing each other. Without a doubt, Felicity’s friends are the BEST reason this show is amazing. Without the love triangles, the fights, and Sean’s terrible inventions – the show wouldn’t have been what it was, because each character literally had an important part to play. Felicity wouldn’t have survived without her squad.

squad

I watch this show when I need a reality check or when I need to remind myself that friendship is important and finding myself is essential. College wouldn’t have been the same without this show and I’m betting the more I revisit Felicity and the crew, I’ll understand and accept becoming an adult even more.

This is one of my favorite scenes of the show. After all the characters have been through, they still managed to put aside their worries, dance it out and stick together.

Thanks for reading. ‘Til next time.

noel
P.S. I’m still Team Noel.
ben
Wait…
Noel and felicty
No, definitely, Team Noel…
ben face
Damnit, Ben!
Noel inside his mind
Why don’t they ever pick me?

Update: Just look at these guys now!

Shawn-Patrick-Anderson-Entertainment-Weekly-Felicity-02