Category Archives: Reviews

Holy Hormones Batman

Testosterone, Estrogen, Pheromones…

It’s what causes grown and perfectly rational women to behave like 13 year old boy-possessed lunatics.

Since I very much enjoy acting like a lunatic, a friend and I decided to take a trip to 1996 and go to the Backstreet Boys/New Kids on the Block concert last night.

Imagine my surprise when all nine of the fellas came out looking like sexy versions of Glenn Hughes.  I was riveted.

There was a lot of this

And this

And this

And entirely not enough of this.

In fact I was completely disappointed in the distinct lack of abdominal musculature the Backstreet Boys were displaying.

Thank God for Donnie.

The force is strong in that one.

Laureen Harper got dragged up onstage by Howie D (my other husband).

photo c/o @stuntmanstu

The poor lady looked nervous enough as it was and then she got booed.  I don’t care if your husband is the Spawn of Satan or Stephen Harper – that’s just not nice, people.

Can I tell you?  I’ve been to a lot of concerts (including a couple BSB concerts in my early teen years, not to mention Metallica and many other heavy hitters) and this is the first time I’ve ever been seriously concerned about being knocked out cold by the shock-wave resulting from the decibel level of screams at a concert.

I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone in that arena has permanent hearing loss.

I’m not going to talk much about the musicality of the main acts, since they both delivered very nearly what I anticipated.

I was slightly baffled by the Backstreet Boys’ obvious attempt to make their music seem more worldly by having their backup band occasionally play international and jazz style music instead of the traditional drum machine/pop as the background for their vocals.  It wasn’t necessary and they didn’t really pull it off very well anyway.

NKOTB, however, stayed mostly true to their original music and any alterations did actually enhance the experience rather than hinder it. Well, apart from one point where Joey McIntyre, I think, was meaning to act melancholy, though his jaw was hanging open like he was really stoned.  For several (in hindsight, probably really embarrassing) minutes.  I do not see acting in that boy’s future.

Speaking of being stoned, I’m a little worried about Nick Carter‘s supposed sobriety.  He was acting like a total dork the whole concert.  I’m hoping he was high on… life.  That he was flopping on the ground and running randomly and talking sort of funny because he was, uh… really excited the tour was ending.

Before I forget, I must give props to Matthew Morrison of Mr. Schuester (Glee) fame.  He was a very pleasant surprise, seemed very sweet, and totally nailed his performance.

The first band on the bill, Neverest (dorkiest name ever), was also good if you like that sort of thing.  Personally, if I’m going to see a boy band play pop music, they had better be mindlessly attractive and unattached to instruments so they can parade around, gyrate, and occasionally take their clothes off.  But yes, Neverest are talented boys.  I think they could put that talent to use better by playing good old fashioned rock and roll, though.

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True Blood Season 4 Premiere *spoilers*

So many questions!  An interesting start, to say the least.

So, the last season ended with Sookie travelling to Faery (land of the Fairies) with her Fairy godmother Claudine.   There, she meets her granddaddy – which is where we realize Sookie is going to experience a time warp since her grandaddy Earl thinks he’s been there for a couple hours and it’s been 20 years in actuality.  Everything is a bit too obviously perfect, and somehow (they don’t explain how, but we have to assume it’s because Sookie is awesomeness embodied) she can tell it’s a trap.

Queen Mab get pissed that she’s figured out their scheme; to protect their land from vampires, they are “harvesting” humans with fairy blood – whatever that means – and Mab is going to seal off their dimension from Earth forever.

Sookie psi-blasts the bad guys.  Insert running and chasing scene with fireballs.  With help from her cousin Claude, a rebel against Mab, Sookie finds a portal and jumps (rather, gets tackled by granddaddy Earl) into it right before Mab uses her powers to close it.  After a heartfelt scene between the two, granddaddy Earl evaporates into dust.

Sookie finds out she’s been gone over an year when she goes home and finds that it’s been totally renovated.  Oh- and SOLD.  Jason has sold her house (and is looking mighty fine in his policeman uniform despite his dirt goatee).  Bud is pissed about all the money they spent searching for her (and now has a vampire blood addiction, to boot).  Things have changed.

Everyone is shocked to see her.  Except Eric.  He knew she’d come back.  And it’s a bit less sexy, and bit more creepy than you’d imagine if you’ve read the books.  Not only did he mysteriously know she’d come back, but he bought her house.  And in Eric’s viking brain that means he’s bought Sookie.  And uh, it’s not romantic in the slightest.

Bill fabricates a story for the police and the general public about Sookie’s whereabouts.  He alleges she was working for him secretly and he is going to compensate Bon Temps for the costs of searching for her.

Tara has hit the road and is into girl on girl cage fighting – and has turned lesbo.  I get it.  After what she went through, oh, her whole life, I’d be swearing off men too.  She seems happy and stronger emotionally, even though she’s totally fabricated a new past for herself. Lafayette, her only lifeline back to Bon Temps, texts her that Sookie is alive.  She cares, but not enough to do anything about it (for example, tell the truth).

Hoyt and Jessica are struggling with their differences and with themselves – with who they are and who they want to be.  Hopefully love triumphs in the end, but it’s obvious they have a rocky road ahead of them.

Tommy, oh Tommy!  My sweet, whiny, little rebel boy, has somehow come to live with the devil in disguise (Hoyt’s mom – Maxine
Fortenberry).  He’s nursing the leg that Sam shot in the previous season and for which he is now paying for physical therapy… and Tommy is acting crazy-like – like a born-again-Christian.  We’ll see if this transformation is actually real (less likely) or a ploy for affection/money/etc. (more likely).

Sam is still very troubled.  He’s hanging out and drinking with a bunch of other shape shifters – his “anger management classes”.  He’s bitter with Sookie, as she hasn’t yet had a chance to fill him in on what actually happened to her.

It looks like Jason has finally grown up and is taking care of all the misbegottens back in Hotshot, his ex-girlfriend (if we can call her that) Crystal’s family.  Unfortunately for Jason, he gets pushed and locked into a thawed freezer with some rotten meat (gross).  Anyone taking bets that it’s Crystal and her cousin-slash-fiancée returned from wherever they ended up going?

Lafayette and Jesus are getting fully into the occult.  Well, Jesus is dragging Lafayette into it kicking and screaming.  But he seems to have a natural talent for it, and helps new and creepy character Marnie (played by Fiona Shaw of Harry Potter fame) reanimate a parakeet, if only for a few moments.

Which brings us to the shocker that is not a shocker… WHAT is this???  I knew something was up when Bill ordered Eric to leave and *gasp* Eric DID, but Bill is the King of Louisiana now?!?  That something seriously messed up.  Interested to see how that plays out.  I wasn’t a big Bill fan right from the start, so I think the sleazy politician thing really suits him, even though it makes me want to puke in my mouth a bit.

I’m a bit disappointed there were no shirtless werewolves in the premiere *cough* Alcide *cough*.  So here’s a gratuitous picture.

Is it hotter in here, or is it just me?  Something to look forward to.

Altogether a pretty interesting start.  So many possibilities.  How do you think it’s all going to come together?

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Review: Dead Reckoning (Southern Vampire Mysteries) *Spoiler Free*

Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels (Southern Vampire Mysteries) has been a favorite of mine for a few years now.  Her novels are a quirky mix of mystery, romance and urban fantasy and are simply written.  Pure undiluted sustenance for the escapist mind.

What originally drew me into these books, apart from my obsessive interest in vampires, was Harris’s characters.  The characters have their strengths and their faults, like most heroes and villains do, but the way Harris is able to get right into their heads and projects their innermost emotions and desires out for the reader is fascinating.  You know, those undercurrents of desire that are so deeply buried that they surface only for moments before being buried again?  The way she achieves this is by using the protagonist, Sookie Stackhouse, a mid 20-something reclusive barmaid who has not entirely controllable telepathic abilities.  Attempting to keep her abilities hidden from the general public, she has instead been branded “weird” or a witch.

It’s fun to see Sookie become a stronger woman, as she begins to use her ability to help solve crimes and struggles with her conscience as she is introduced to a differently functioning society – a society where killing is an every day occurrence and vampires, weres and other “supes” are just beginning to reveal themselves to the general human population.

The books also deal with some more serious themes, including religion and extremist fanaticism, bigotry, and politics, all wrapped up in a neat, sexy, little package.

Dead Reckoning is the latest book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series, released May 3rd.  One that I was a bit apprehensive about reading, since I was so disappointed in the previous book, Dead in the Family.  I had high expectations that Dead Reckoning would wrap up some important plot lines that had been totally disregarded in the previous book and dig deeper into “supe” society.  The character of Sookie Stackhouse has been arrested in development for several books now, and I was expecting her to grow and mature further.  Lots of expectations that were unfortunately crushed by the time I was done reading this particular book.

The first 100 pages of the book were exciting, action-packed, and I was certain my wishes for the book were going to be realized.  Harris introduced a couple more potentially interesting characters and the book seemed to be steering toward some interesting direction.  And then… something odd happened and Harris either lost interest or grew tired and she recycled some older plot lines (ones that I felt should have been insignificant and certainly didn’t deserve being the focus of the novel) and the action sequences became repetitive and lacked the hook or climax that I would have expected from a seasoned author such as Charlaine Harris.  It was as if she started to delve into a particular topic, then got frightened of where said topic might lead and decided to stick with the same old shtick.

And of course, the all important relationship between Sookie and Eric took a turn that was surprising (for the worse, in my opinion).  It’s even more awful because Harris leaves everything completely open – and not in the suspenseful sort of way – she just leaves the readers hanging in limbo.  The ending, while it does tie up one of the major plot lines in the book, was anticlimactic and dull.

Despite all my criticisms , it was okay.  Not great, not awful, but okay.  I’m still in love with Harris’ world and the characters in her world.  Things were just too easy.  No one gets hurt (much), no new major developments, just minor hints at some interesting things to come.  Just like the last book.  I would have been much happier had something happened beyond what everyone already knew was going to happen.

I’m left wondering, what’s going on with Charlaine Harris?

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