Saturday, April 18, 2009

What's On TV: True Blood

I had previously mentioned that I would talk about the stuff I've been watching on television in recent weeks. Today I'll start with the show I've just picked up last week. The subject: vampires.

Vampires have been talked about so frequently and featured in entertainment many times, yet the idea never gets stale. We've learned so much about them, but the air of mystery still surrounds their existence, and I think that's why making a story out of them always seem to work.

We've seen vampire stories revolve around teen angst and the collision of good and evil (Buffy, Angel), pure action and violence (Blade), tales of love and immortality (Interview With The Vampire) and modern day sleuthing (Moonlight). Vampires have also been portrayed as sleek killing machines (Underworld), campy bloodsuckers (From Dusk Till Dawn) and vegetarian types (Twilight). Though the last one isn't really about vegetarian vampires, it's a teen love story between a vampire and a mortal.

Which brings us to True Blood. What if vampires were allowed to live among us? That's the background of this series, where the Vampire Rights Act has been passed, which puts vampires on equal terms with humans. This is possible because the Japanese have successfully created a synthetic version of human blood, called Tru Blood. So vampires need not feed on people anymore, they can just buy this stuff at the store.

But of course, like real world racism, just because an act has been passed, doesn't mean the world readily accepts it. There is still debate on the whole idea. True Blood focuses on the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, in the deep south, where Sookie Stackhouse lives. Sookie is a waitress blessed, and maybe cursed by the ability to hear other people's thoughts. Every day she hears the ugly and sometimes demented things that goes through the heads of the people around her. Which is why, when vampire Bill Compton walks into the bar where she works one night, her life changes forever.

See, Sookie can't hear Bill's thoughts, which makes him unique to her. She considers him a godsend, if you will. The two are attracted to each other, and begin an uneasy relationship after Sookie saves Bill from a nasty couple harvesting his blood for medicinal purposes, and he in turn saves her from the same couple a night later. Sookie likes him, but soon fears him when she learns about his darker side, and the things he is capable of doing. At the same time, she has to contend with a serial murderer running around town, since her dumb ass brother Jason becomes the prime suspect.

Oscar winner and X-Men star Anna Paquin puts on a very convincing performance as Sookie, which earned her a Golden Globe. British actor Stephen Moyer is perfect as the brooding Bill Compton. Other key characters besides the above two and Sookie's brother Jason are Sookie's best friend Tara (who is as annoying as hell), Sam Merlotte, Sookie's boss and Adele, her grandmother.

What I like about it is the premise of the show. It presents a different view of vampires, and yet seems familiar. The love story might remind you of Twilight, but the whole idea of two different races living together under uneasy circumstances reminds me more of Alien Nation, an old TV series about a race of aliens arriving on Earth and living among humans, creating prejudice towards themselves for their differences.

Trying to get used to watching the Southern way of life on TV might be tough though. Southerners are portrayed to be loud, brash, unrefined and nosy in this series. But I think that setting is just the right one for the vampire-human premise. Sookie herself isn't that likeable to begin with, but she grows on you after a while.

Watching this hasn't been easy, since it comes on at the same time with some of my other favourite shows. Catching the reruns haven't been easy either, but so far I've been keeping up as best I can. If you have this show in your country, give it a try, especially if you like dark stories.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


That was the sound I heard as I reversed my sister's car into a pillar when we arrived at the mall yesterday.

Yeah, I know. Very, very stupid.

I'd love to say that I was distracted by my mum, who was arguing with me at the time. But she didn't dent the car, I did. Thankfully my sister got over her anger pretty quick. And the damage was minimal, so I guess it's not as bad as I initially felt it would be.

Other than that, my Saturday was just fine. Watched a movie called Knowing, my review is up on you know where. Got a couple of things I was looking for, stuff to kill time with at home.

Speaking of killing time at home, there is a sudden abundance of TV shows for me to watch now. Even though Lost had just finished its fourth season last week (major bummer), I still got much more to look forward to. If time permits, I will talk about them in here. One at a time.

Later, guys.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good/Bad Radio Stations & Random Stuff

The Bad:

First of all, how was your April Fool's Day? It doesn't really matter, does it? But I am asking, for a reason.

See, yesterday while I was driving home, a local radio station decided to play an April Fool's prank on air. How, you ask? They played Kelly Clarkson's 'My Life Would Suck Without You' repeatedly for an hour.

Other than one obscure single, I've never liked any of Kelly Clarkson's songs. Especially this one, since it has such a ridiculous title. And this radio station played it for an hour, over an over. After channel flipping for a while, I realised that it's a joke, because of what day it was yesterday. The question that I have to ask is this: Do they seriously think this is funny?

Repeating a song for an hour is their idea of a prank? They even went to the extent of denying anything being wrong when listeners called up enquiring on why the same song was being played for an hour. Great. What a way to turn off your listeners who don't like that song.

You know, I'm pretty sure they chose that song because the annoying female DJ on air at that time likes it so much. But seriously, it's not really about that particular song being chosen so much as the act itself. Think of the number of listeners who would switch to another station just because they got sick of the prank, and even more who don't like that song. Isn't that a loss to them?

And please don't tell me I don't have a sense of humour. I'll laugh if I think something's hilarious. This was just plain stupid, not to mention childish. I mean, do you know anyone above 20 who still play April Fool's pranks?

The Good:

If you lived in my country, you'd realise that the chances of hearing Marit Larsen's music are pretty much from slim to none. That is, until this morning.

On the way to the office, a radio station that loves playing old and sentimental music played Marit's 'If a Song Could Get Me You'. I don't really listen to this channel, it's my sister that loves the stuff they play on air. And it's her car, so she decides. Anyway, hearing Marit's song on air was a pleasant surprise, because there is seriously no possibility of her solo work getting any attention here, considering how she has focused her career in Europe. If anyone here needs to know what Marit is up to, they'd have to Google her.

Lite FM, I still am not a fan of your music, but I salute you for playing that song today. And to be honest, that song was one of my least favourite Marit numbers, but hearing it on air today actually made me smile. Maybe I'll like it more as time goes by.


- Last week, a stray cat walked around my office in the afternoon. It didn't run away when I approached it, so I sensed that it was hungry. My colleague took a biscuit and put it on the ground for the cat, but it didn't take it. So I picked up the biscuit and held it for the cat so it could bite it piece by piece. It only finished half, though. This was probably the first time I did something like this, since I'm not really good with animals. People around the condo who saw the cat told us that the spirit of the guy who jumped off the building the other day (read previous entry) is in the cat. I don't know if they were serious or not.

- On Sunday I was walking out to dispose of some garbage when I tripped over the floor near the staircase. I went down hard. I lay there for a few minutes, trying to pick myself up. I wasn't hurt badly, just a big bruise on my knee. It's the same knee I bruised on vacation last month when I walked into the bed corner. Funny how these things happen nowadays when I'm usually not clumsy.

- I purchased a nice compilation CD over the weekend. 33 rock songs from the late 90s to 2002. For RM15! It used to cost RM47.50. The store must have been trying to clear old stock. But hey, a bargain's a bargain;)

- David Archuleta is coming to town. Ugh. Before you David A fans think I hate the guy, let me clarify that I do not. Yes, I do find him dull and his music suits young teenage girls who love boybands and Jesse McCartney. But I don't hate him. I hate the people who think the world of this guy. His fans have the nerve to call themselves Arch Angels. You gotta be kidding. Trust me when I say this: none of you are even close enough to deserve calling yourselves that. It's an insult to the real word. And I do believe with every fiber of my being, that if David wasn't that adorable, he wouldn't have this many fans drooling over him. I know you'll say he's a great singer, I don't doubt that. I simply doubt you'd love him this much if he looked like that kid from Superbad.

You guys have a great April, it's springtime.