Contest Winner Announced! (And TV snippets for the week.)

9 10 2010

(Did I not post this already? I could have sworn I did, but then it wasn’t there. Sorry, everyone…!)

I took this week off from blogging due to a death in the family, but the good news is that the time off gave me a chance to assemble judges and decide the winner for what I have affectionately come to call the Sookie Book Limerick Contest. The prize, as you know, is an autographed hardcover copy of Dead in the Family. There’s only one book, but the second place limerick will be published here as well.

The entries were judged on five criteria: originality, creativity, humor, adherence to limerick form, and poetic rhythm. The rhythm and adherence to form weighed heavily on the judges’ decision, since there were several original, creative limericks that made us laugh out loud.

The winner is Lauren from Texas:

There once was a vampire named Eric,
Who some would find most esoteric,
But it’s without his clothes
When he’s banging some hoes,
We see his assets are perfect genetics.

And our honorable mention is Ryan from Massachusetts:

The kings offer came with a wink
Fairy blood he wanted to drink
Sookie scoffed at his proposal
poured Talbot in the disposal
Now poor Russell has sex with the sink

Congratulations, Lauren and Ryan! And thank you to everyone who entered. Your limericks were great.

And now, since I skipped major blog posts this week, I’ll give you some little snippets on my impressions:

Dexter: I’m kind of happy that Astor and Cody decided to live with their grandparents—it frees Dexter up for more serial killer hijinks! I’m really loving this season so far.

Weeds: The butter-eating contest made me gag, for real. I feel bad that the Botwins couldn’t actually claim their prize, but that would have made life too easy. Still not happy with this boring season.

America’s Next Top Model: Catfights galore. Things should calm down some now that Lexie is out, but I’m sad about it because I liked her (and Rhianna, who was sent home last week) and I don’t really like Kacey. But Lexie’s ousting was a long time coming, really. I loved this week’s photoshoot, and my fave Ann won top photo for the fourth week in a row—a Top Model first!

I will write a full Survivor post once things settle down here. Check back a little later.





‘True Blood’ Season 3 Finale

13 09 2010

And here we are: The final True Blood post of the season. Sad? Of course. But I’m always looking ahead, and next season promises brilliance. I like that some threads were left dangling because it keeps us curious and anxious for season 4, but this did kind of seem like only half a finale. When it cut to the credits, I was legitimately surprised that it was the end. I feel like, maybe, there are too many subplots beyond Bill and Sookie for the writers to keep track of everything and pace it out correctly. But there’s no question I’ll be back next summer.

I’m a little upset that we’ll have to wait to learn which witch (Holly or Jesus… or both) is a bad witch, if Jason can take care of the HotShot kids, if Hoyt’s mom will shoot Jessica and how the new apartment will work out, if Tara’s really pressing the reboot button, if Tommy’s alive, if Bill will beat Sophie-Anne (and become the Vampire King? Now that’d be interesting), and what the heck happens with Sookie in Lesbian Fantasy Paradise (I know, I know, it’s Faerie Land, but I like my coined term better). Things I’m super-excited about: Pam survived, Alcide is back, Sam’s getting really interesting, Arlene’s not dead (yet), there will hopefully be more werewolves and werepanthers next season, Lafayette might get a major plot arch with all this witch business, and there’s more than enough lingering conflict to carry us into season 4.

I did like Russell’s barbecued state and the plan to encase him in cement, effectively saving him for future use. And really, he is too good a villain to let go, especially now that he’s heartbroken and truly alone since Sookie dumped Talbot’s remains (rest in peace, Jarbot) down the garbage disposal. And the “Bill’s-gone-bad” moment where he shoved Eric into the cement pit? Priceless. But Eric survived too, of course. I’m still trying to figure out his Godric hallucinations, and whether Godric is back in some form or if Eric was just having an attack of conscience. Either way, it was good to see Godric again—he was one character I felt was disposed of too soon.

Sookie’s sworn off vampires (since, you know, Eric exposed the reason behind Bill’s arrival at Merlotte’s) and broken up with Bill for the seventy-billionth time, but I can’t help but wonder how long that will last into next season. Alan Ball himself has said that they’re soul mates. But whatever happens in LFP/Faerie Land might change things a lot, too. We’re also annoyed with Tara, who just can’t seem to accept that her life will never be normal. But, maybe she’ll find some peace, wherever she winds up.

And for those complaining about the lack of children-eating and vampire/human-warring, just look to Nan Flanagan. Her constant insistence that Russell is an insane terrorist, hated by vampires and humans alike, diffused the tension and prevented the promised war. Of course, this wasn’t openly stated, and maybe we’ll still get a war when Russell finds his way out of the cement hole. But for now, that plot line is sufficiently explained for me. There’s no need to rush it.

And, under-appreciated Andy Bellefleur again had one of the best lines of the episode: “You just single-handedly rationalized away the need for law enforcement!” And Jason, characteristically, replied with cluelessness.

What do you hope to see happen next season?

Also, don’t forget to enter Jess Blogs TV’s first-ever contest/giveaway. Your best True Blood limerick earns you a chance to win an autographed Sookie novel! Don’t miss out; the winner and runners-up will have their poems featured in a future blog post. I’m also covering a lot of cool TV this fall, so check back if anything interests you!





Win the latest Sookie Stackhouse book, autographed by Charlaine Harris!

9 09 2010

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY FRIDAY, 10/8/10. CHECK BACK FOR ANOTHER GIVEAWAY SOON! Welcome to Jess Blogs TV’s very first contest/giveaway! I’ve had a bit of a fangover this past week (waiting sucks, guys), so I thought I’d help tide my fellow Truebies over until Sunday’s season three finale by mixing my favorite things—writing, books, and TV—in one awesome free book giveaway. Up for grabs is a hardcover copy of Dead in the Family, Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Book #10, autographed by author Charlaine Harris herself!

Want to win? You gotta play the game. Comment on this post with a True Blood-related limerick. It can be about a character, plot line, scene, or whatever else from any of the three seasons. Mixing TV with silly poetry makes me happy, and I hope you’ll have fun with it, too. (Learn how to write a limerick, if you don’t remember from fifth grade!)

Charlaine Harris's Autograph

This could be yours! | Crappy iPhone Photo © 2010 by Jess Huckins

Rules:
1. One entry per person. Make it count.
2. All entries due by 11:59 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2010.
3. Include an email address—if I can’t contact you, you can’t win.
4. Entries must be submitted as a comment here, not on my Facebook wall or via Twitter or email or whatever.
5. Don’t copy someone else’s poem. Be creative!

Get in touch with me on Twitter or by email if you have any questions, and be sure to tell your friends!

Disclaimer: I love books. Charlaine Harris and/or Ace Books and/or HBO in no way sponsored or are representative of this post. I’m doing this giveaway to show you all how much I appreciate you, and all costs incurred have been paid for out-of-pocket.





‘True Blood’: Eric Northman’s Revenge

30 08 2010

Wow, what a cliffhanger! I cannot believe that HBO is making us wait two whole weeks for the finale. I mean, Labor Day equals a much-needed three-day weekend, but seriously?

The good news is that a lot of this season’s scattered plot lines are coming together nicely. We all knew that Sookie would be rescued from the Fangtasia basement/dungeon at some point, somehow, by someone, but if you’re like me you thought it would be Bill. Yvetta’s return was exciting, and I loved seeing her turn on Pam and Eric like that! Fascinating and hilarious. Even more so was Pam snacking on Ginger (finally), paying homage to all the times we’ve had to hear that piercing scream.

Eric’s big plan was pretty obvious from the start. Even after he confessed to killing Talbot and explained why (“My, oh, my. To lose the one man I ever loved because you miss your Mommy and Daddy, well that is a kick in the pants,” said Russell), he was able to pander to the king’s inner narcissist by offering him the one thing every vampire wants. Russell’s critical weakness is his desire for ultimate power, and Sookie’s faerie blood gives vampires the ability to daywalk for short periods, as evidenced by Bill’s occasional consumption. But the trick was to convince Russell it was permanent—and Eric pulled that off, with Bill’s help. But now, we have three major characters with fates hanging in the balance: Eric and Russell, who are cuffed together in the sunlight, and Sookie, who’s been drained pretty damn dry. I’m fairly certain Russell will die and Sookie will live, but the fate of Sheriff Eric Northman is uncertain. Will he go down with his nemesis and meet the true death? Or, will Bill (after saving Sookie) be the hero? We have to wait two damn weeks to find out. Thanks, HBO. Thanks.

Eric and Russell

Eric and Russell, in the final scenes.

I was pleasantly surprised by Holly’s Wiccan ritual. She didn’t summon the elements or Father Sky (along with Mother Earth), but she used a ritual dagger, drew a circle of power, and said “blessed be” a whole lot. It still wasn’t perfect—to my knowledge, Wiccans don’t use blood in ritual (“and it harm none…”)—but she did a surprising amount of things right. Kudos, Alan Ball and co., for doing your homework and not totally screwing up the religious aspect, while still keeping with True Blood land’s supernaturalness. My boyfriends Holly is the next Big Bad (kind of a Maryann 2.0), and she’s setting Arlene up as a sacrifice, but if they make the Wiccan evil I’ll be pretty upset.

I’m pretty convinced Arlene’s going to die in the finale (it could happen next season, too), possibly by another induced miscarriage or by some action of the evil baby itself, but I’m still begging the gods of TV to not let it happen. Terry’s reaction to her almost losing the baby was heartbreaking (it’s not even his baby!), and I don’t want to see what would happen if he lost her, too.

(This is the end of the Arlene Death Theories. Carry on.)

Hoyt and Jessica are great, but learning that Summer was working with Mrs. Fortenberry (I couldn’t remember if Jessica killed her in season 2—guess not!) to split them up was a complete surprise. Summer was too happy and perky to be honest. I doubt we’ll get much more out of them this season, but it’ll be interesting next year.

Oh, Jason Jason Jason. I adore you, but being in love with a werepanther who can convince you to call off the ultra-important raid on HotShot is not wise. Jason’s a mess, between Crystal’s manipulation, Tara’s anger, and finding out that the brat high schooler trying to break his record is being supplied with V by the school.

That Tara/Sam reunion? Hot, but not unexpected. They’re both all kind of screwed up, Sam from his murder-memories and Tara from learning the truth, but hopefully this will be cathartic for them both. Tara’s conversation with Andy was really well done, and it showed another side—a non-drunken, non-wannabe action hero side—of him. There must be something else behind Sam’s freakout. The boyfriend thinks Holly did it. I still maintain that Holly’s cool. We’ll see who’s right. (It’s probably him. I’m biased.) Looks like Tommy’s certainly bringing the bad news, too.

I hate that Lafayette kicked Jesus out, but someone in this house nearly crapped himself when Jesus got that post-V demon head thing going on. And what the fuck was with the creepy dolls? That was like… almost clown levels of creepy. And I don’t say that lightly. I hope those two make up, in any case.

My biggest question is still whether or not Eric will survive September 12th’s finale. I’m also excited to learn more about Sookie’s fae heritage, as the Postmortem implied. What are you all still wondering about, as the end of season three approaches?

And stay tuned for a Super Awesome Blog Giveaway. Details are coming shortly!





‘True Blood’: Sookie’s a WHAT?

23 08 2010

First things first: Stephen Moyer (Bill) and Anna Paquin (Sookie) were married Saturday night in an intimate Malibu ceremony. Not that they’d see this, but congratulations to the on- and off-screen lovebirds!

I picked up a copy of Rolling Stone this week, and the True Blood article is very detailed. It’s violence- and sex-focused and reads like it’s trying to stir the pot (implying that there’s animosity between Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer, featuring photos that Moyer did not want taken, etc.). I wouldn’t support the notion that True Blood is just a trashy soap opera, either. But it covered a lot of ground, and it was a fun read.

Okay. Last night’s episode. It’s officially on in True Blood land, and we’ve been set up for an epic finale. There were so many revelations that it’s hard to keep track of them all. HBO threw us right into the deep end: After all that waiting (fans of the book series: thank you for not spoiling me!), the episode began with Sookie’s incredulous, “I’m a faerie? How lame!”, cluing the audience in too. So, our angel prediction wasn’t correct, but it was close enough. I was interested to learn that the faerie race, in True Blood land, had basically been eradicated by vampires because of their tasty tasty blood. No wonder Russell wants Sookie and wouldn’t let Debbie murder her! No wonder almost-dead Bill couldn’t help but almost drain her blood! No wonder she lacks a blood type! I hope to learn more soon about True Blood‘s take on faeries, because most of my fae knowledge relates to a) Tinkerbell, or b) King Arthur and Avalon myths.

Eric kisses Sookie

Eric kisses Sookie

But Sookie left the safety of Jason’s house to confront Eric, who we also see accuse Bill of “procuring” and keeping tabs on Sookie on the order of Queen Sophie-Anne. Bill denied it, but it seems like Eric might be the honest one here. Obviously convinced he’ll die in the battle against Russell, Eric passionately kissed Sookie (“If I meet the true death without at least kissing you, Sookie Stackhouse, that will be my biggest regret”), then followed Pam’s advice to use her to lure in Russell and chained her up in Fangtasia’s basement/dungeon/torture chamber. Now, I’m fairly positive Eric wants to protect her, but Pam’s right—he shouldn’t die for her. I’m certain he’ll find a way to keep both of them from dying, since this show wouldn’t work without Sookie and wouldn’t be nearly as fun without Eric.

Let me retract my earlier comment about Tara working toward forgiving Jason—I forgot that she didn’t know yet, and apparently learning that Jason killed Eggs was serious enough to make her forget that he’d also just saved her from Franklin. Jason, of course, picked the worst time ever to confess; at least it might help him overcome his guilt. But! I’m glad they finally kissed, even if it’s just because Tara is “really fucked up.”

Arlene finally told Terry about the baby’s origins, and the daddy-to-be took it shockingly well. We learn, too, that new waitress Holly is a Wiccan, and Arlene approaches her for help with her baby problem—although Terry says he’ll raise Rene’s kid, Arlene still doesn’t want it. Arlene’s one of those characters that people love but who is not too integral to the main story. In that way, she’d be a very effective kill—make fans feel it, but not lose too much plot. I, for instance, will be upset if they kill her. Very upset.

It was a rough episode for couples: On top of all that, King Russell grieved for his beloved Talbot by seeking solace in the bed of a human male prostitute. Unfortunately for the human (who looked somewhat like Talbot himself), Russell’s madness took over. Upset that he couldn’t be with Talbot as he met the true death, Russell apparently found the human to be a good enough substitute, and staked him through the heart. Russell cried on his chest as he died. How sweet. Chances are, more than one innocent prostitute has met his death at Russell’s hands.

We also learned that Crystal is a werepanther, adding a black panther to the show’s animal cast. Might make it tough for Jason to reconcile with her, which is okay by me—I find Crystal’s character insidious, silly, and annoying.

Most of my questions have been answered by now, considering there are only two episodes left. But I still have a couple: What, exactly, are Lafayette and Jesus (sorcerers of some kind, as that crazy V-trip implies)? How will Bill save Sookie? And, how will Eric exact his revenge? I’ll be sad to see King Russell (and Denis O’Hare) leave the show, but I can’t think of any other possible conclusion for this season. Finally: What do you think of Pam’s full name (Pamela Swynford De Beaufort)? Personally, I love it.

Image courtesy of Fanpop.com.





‘True Blood’: King Russell’s gone crazy

17 08 2010

Update: My True Blood posts will be back on their normal schedule next week. I apologize once again for the delay. Also, I’ll soon be blogging Weeds!

The tide is turning on the Vampire Rights Amendment; despite the efforts of The Authority and Nan Flanagan, King Russell tore out a news anchor’s spine on live national television after talking lovingly to Liquid Talbot in a crystal urn. This final scene (which was so awesome I had to talk about it first) really changed the show, and I’m excited to see how the plot progresses after this. Russell’s not-quite-newfound insanity also had one added benefit: Eric Northman’s safety. Although The Authority won’t help him get revenge on Russell for the murder of his family, they’ve given him permission (and, well, orders) to do so. We’ll likely get some sexy vampiric spy action over the next few episodes as Eric completes his plan—and maybe kisses Sookie in the process.

The news anchorman before King Russell comes in...

Now you see him...

King Russell with the guy's spine in his hand

...and now you don't. Well, sort of.

Speaking of Sookie, we still don’t know what she is. But Bill does; somehow he landed in her Lesbian Fantasy Paradise and chatted up Claudine. Hadley does too, and not only does she feel terrible for revealing Sookie’s secret, but she’s now terrified because her son Hunter shares Sookie’s telepathic gifts. Once again, I’m pretty pissed at Sookie for letting Hadley run off before explaining what precisely she told Queen Sophie-Anne and Eric. I know the writers can’t let us know yet, but Sookie’s much smarter than that and I’m having trouble believing that she wouldn’t just ask. While Russell is apparently this season’s Big Bad, Sookie is its mystery and I find her so much more appealing and interesting than the political side of the show. The politics make True Blood what it is, and I love them for that, but I’m so much more invested in Sookie’s powers.

I still think Jason’s a damned idiot for falling for Crystal and not seeing what she really is. I know he’s thick but she’s dropped enough hints. If her daddy’s a were-something, I didn’t think Sam would be able to beat him so bad—but then, Sam’s supernatural too (and apparently, he really hates being called a “pussy”). Either way, Crystal ran off on Jason again and I really hope he just lets it go this time, but something tells me that won’t happen. At least he saved Tara this week; his shotgun loaded with wooden bullets finally treated Franklin Mott to the true death. As predicted, beating his head in with a mace a few weeks ago just wasn’t enough. (But, I was glad to see James Frain again—he’s a great actor, and he looks awesome with fangs.) It’s a step in the right direction for Jason, whose murder of Eggs last season certainly doesn’t sit well with Tara, and for Tara herself, who stood up for herself despite her fear.

One of my favorite parts of this episode was the conversation between Hoyt and Jessica at Merlotte’s. Hoyt admitted that he hates Summer and is just with her because “it beats sitting around thinking about” Jessica, which I hope foretells a rekindling of their relationship. I’ve been rewatching season two with my boyfriend, and it reminded me of how much I love Hoyt and Jessica. Tommy’s reaction to Jessica’s tears indicates he cares for her, but his loud romps with a naked girl say otherwise. I’m curious to see how this plot develops.

It’s great to see Lafayette’s relationship with Jesus steadily growing. Nelson Ellis doesn’t want his character to settle down, but I think it might be good for Lafayette to take a break from his dangerous lifestyle. Although, Eric and Pam might still make him sell V….

There’s something going on with Merlotte’s new waitress, Holly. She’s managed to get herself involved in both Tara’s and Arlene’s personal lives in one episode, and she seems to have the same sort of charisma and energy as Maryann the Maenad. I hope that’s not what she turns out to be, but she has to be something.

We’re heading into the last few episodes of season three, so my questions are the same ones everyone has: What is Sookie? How will Eric get his revenge and defeat Russell? Will he and Sookie kiss, or will Bill and Sookie stick together this time? When will Alcide return? Is Debbie Pelt gone for good? Where did Hadley go with Hunter? Did Russell really start a war this time? How will all these relationships grow and change?

Grab your stake; it’s on!

Images courtesy of rawr-caps.net.

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‘True Blood’: The plot thickens (you know, like blood)

9 08 2010

Last night’s episode was some serious business. I was heartbroken but understanding when Sookie and Bill broke up in the hospital (and I still didn’t quite believe they’d stay that way; I just had no idea their reconciliation—read: thrash metal fuckparty—would come so quickly!).

The scene where Russell returned with Sophie-Anne was rife with awesome one-liners:
1. ”Franklin’s brains won’t wash off the guest linens, I had to bury werewolves under the gazebo, and that Sookie bitch staked Lorena. I’ve had enough excitement, thank you,” -Talbot, upset about having more houseguests.
2. ”She fucked my ex-boyfriend and made him shoot my fiancée. She’s a cunt.”
“But she’s a special cunt.” -Debbie and Russell, arguing over Sookie’s fate.
3. “I’m bored. Take your clothes off.” -Talbot to Eric, after sweeping the chess pieces to the floor like a kindergartner.

Talbot

We'll miss your one-liners, Talbot. | Image credit: HBO

One of my favorite scenes of the episode was the fight between Sookie and Debbie. We all know that Sookie should have just shot that “werebitch” when she had the chance, but her (ahem) care for Alcide prevented that. Instead, she gored Debbie’s face with a pair of scissors, making her look like a female version of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Another was the tender moment between Sookie and Alcide—when she and Bill eventually break up (again), I sense some sparks flying between those two. And finally, the sparring between Bill and Jessica was classic and beautiful, and it made for a marvelous scene.

I’m a little worried about a few of our favorites:
1. Eric. Although this homoerotic vampire moment turned into an amazing and unpredictable staking (I’m still shocked I didn’t see it coming—I must have been distracted), Russell’s reaction to Talbot’s death spells serious trouble for Mr. Northman. I hope he has another plan for when the king comes roaring back. And hey, he deserves serious props for inadvertently saving Sookie.
2. Jason. Crystal’s such a bitch for not making it perfectly clear to dunderhead Jason that she’s a were(wolf? or some other type?). He’s going to go in against her father and ex-fiancé wholly unprepared, even though it’s his own stupid head that can’t deduce the meaning behind her swimming to his house so that they couldn’t track her scent.
3. Tara. Was her Franklin-fantasy just a dream, or will we see him again soon? If crazy Franklin is back, Tara’s in serious trouble. The girl can never catch a break.
4. Tommy and/or Hoyt. These two have it in for each other, and I can’t help feeling like Tommy has the upper hand. I like Hoyt, but he can’t shift into a pitbull.

When it comes down to it, everything’s a little out of control right now. Even Russell is in trouble—Eric played him, he’s lost Talbot, and the Authority will be coming for him. Did he start a war by killing the Magister, and will the Magister’s threats about the Authority ring true?

And Holly, the new waitress at Merlotte’s? If this were Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she’d definitely be a vampire—and without the need for makeup! But here in True Blood Land, she could be anything. All we know is that she knows Arlene is pregnant. (With Rene’s kid? It hasn’t been too long since his death for that? My sense of time is a little messed up regarding this show.)

I’m so glad that Jesus is back, and he seems to agree that Lafayette is “powerful.” Are we talking physical strength, or does Jesus know something we don’t? Are there more telepaths out there, and could he be one of them? In any case, I’m happy he accepted Lafayette’s explanation, because I really want them to be together. You can’t have two really cute gay boys on a show like this and not have them be together.

My biggest question: Why couldn’t Hadley just tell Sookie what she is? I can’t believe Sookie let her get away with that, although the writers likely need to drag that reveal out for a bit longer. I know the answer is out there on the Internet, but I’ve been avoiding it. I don’t want to be spoiled, not quite yet. It’s a fun ride, and I want to disembark with everyone else.

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