Blogo dormiens nunquam titillandus (White Collar 2.16, Under The Radar)

It’s been a while since I’ve been here, hasn’t it? Sorry. I could make excuses – none of my shallow shows were airing in March, work has been busy, I’ve been planning my escape from work in a few months’ time, and for the last 3 weeks I’ve had a very nice lodger staying with me in my house and making me feel that it would be rude to a) watch television all evening or b) write about television all evening.

But I’m getting awfully behind on this blog and need to pick up the pace again if I’m going to stick with my intention to re, so here goes. First on the menu: some long overdue thoughts on the season 2 finale of White Collar.

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I am he as you are he as you are me (White Collar 2.15, Power Play)

I don’t have time to write a lot about this episode, but wanted to get a few quick thoughts out that have been milling around my head since I watched it, before the season finale comes along and makes them either real, moot or otherwise uninteresting for the next 6 months or so (boo). So, after the jump, a few thoughts on the implications of converging characters, and whether a tv show can ever have them.

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Round and round and up and down we go again (The Vampire Diaries 2.16, The House Guest)

I am becoming more and more convinced that the main strength of The Vampire Diaries is knowing how to take an old thing and make it new again. It is a problem the show has faced and overcome with panache ever since its premiere, when Twilight fans saw it as a rip-off, Buffy fans saw it as a sad indictment of the decline of girl power in tv, and everyone else saw it as oh no, not another damn vampire show. But anyone who stuck with it through its shaky first few episodes, even if they were a member of one of those sceptical camps to begin with, know that it has surpassed those assumptions – and that it has done it by embracing them. Stefan and Elena are every bit as True Love and teenage escapism as Bella and Edward*, but they come with less perfection and more infectious youth and enthusiasm. Elena will never be Buffy, but Alaric does just fine as a badass human Slayer and Elena’s self-determination and willingness to fight back in tight corners carry on the spirit of an empowered teenage girl in a supernatural world without the actual superpowers to help her. And the age-old vampire myths are there in recognisable form, but twisted just enough to give rise to new situations we haven’t seen done a million times before.

*disclaimer: no, I have not read/watched/otherwise engaged with Twilight, nor do I plan to. So please correct me if I’m wrong here but from what I understand of the storyline – and Twilight fans I know online who still love the extra energy and kickassness of TVD in comparison – I don’t think I’m too far off.

This ethos also seems to extend to its plot points, and is perhaps a partial explanation for how the plot on the show continues to move crazily fast without ever apparently running out of steam. In theory, many plots have already been re-used even within the one and a half seasons to date, but in actuality it doesn’t feel like that because the show keeps moving forward such that when we see an old plot point it feels new again, because the context has changed. There are multiple examples of this, but the obvious one coming to mind right now is Vicki vs. Caroline – technically the exact same plot, so much so that they had to have Damon point it out within the show, but boy oh boy did it feel different due to their different characters and the different slant within the show by this point on the different ways to be a vampire. And so old is made new again, and several episodes of heart-wrenching pain and joy are wrung out of a storyline that we thought we already knew.

Rather than adopt my usual approach of looking at each main character and seeing how their actions fit into the theme of the episode generally, then, I’m going to look at each of the main plot developments instead this week (so brace yourself, this could be a long discussion) and see whether they fit this mould of having your cake and eating it too.

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Great Expectations (White Collar, Episodes 2.10 – 2.14)

A few thoughts on the second half of White Collar’s second season to date, together with some musings on the perils of over-thinking, below the jump.

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Won’t it be strange when we’re all fully grown? (The Vampire Diaries 2.15, The Dinner Party)

This week in Mystic Falls, maturity reigns. Just as well and wisely as you’d expect…

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There’s no possible way to describe how you feel when you’re talking to your meal (The Vampire Diaries 2.13/2.14, Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf)

A lot happens in the space of two days and nights in Mystic Falls, doesn’t it? A special science-fiction (kinda) double feature here since I was too lazy to write up last week’s episode in a reasonable timespan. Continue reading

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This bulkhead’s built of fallen brethren bones (The Vampire Diaries 2.12, The Descent)

This week in Mystic Falls (except it’s never a week, is it? Today in Mystic Falls…) lives are ruined, blood is shed, and there’s even an attempt to span years and continents in flashback form. You may judge for yourself how epic it is…

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