True Blood has never been afraid to unleash a wide array of mystical entities on the show, aside from those ever-so-popular vampires. Whether it be werewolves, faeries, maenads, or witches, this series never fails to explore the supernatural realm. So it should come as no surprise that the HBO show is preparing, yet again, to add one more magical being to its belt notch later this season: a doppelgänger. (Sorry, How I Met Your Mother fans, it's not Stripper Lily.)
According to E! Online, the not-so-one-and-only Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin) will be getting her very own doppelgänger, which will undoubtedly mean trouble for the residents of Bon Temps. Double the Sookies has to mean double the death, right? And something tells me this bizarro Sookie isn't going to be as sweet and innocent as the one we've grown to love. On the bright side, this means she'd no longer have to choose between Bill and Eric — she can have both!
But as excited as I am to watch yet another mystical event unfold, I can't help but have a few fangs bones to pick concerning this future plot shift. And before you start chasing me around with torches and pitchforks for daring to utter such words, just here me out for a second...
1. Why Not Double The Hunks?
I mean seriously, if you're going to double a character and have the likes of Alexander Skarsgard and Joe Manganiello at your disposal, then why-oh-why wouldn't you choose one of them? Think of how many more abs that would be, guys! You can never have too many shirtless males running around on this show.
2. Character Overload
While this could definitely make for an interesting plot twist, this show already has an excessive amount of characters. If we start doubling them then that's going to leave less room for our old favorites to shine. I don't want to miss out on naked-Eric time just because there's no longer any room for it in the scenes. Now that would really suck.
Unless the writers decide to give Sookie's double a different hair color, chances are it's going to be pretty tough to tell these two apart — especially if this alter-Sookie starts pretending to be the real Sookie. In fact, just thinking about the whole idea is quite draining, and not in the good, vampire way. It could wind up feeling like The Parent Trap 2: This Time with Vampires.
4. It's Okay To Stick With What Works
As I mentioned earlier, this show has introduced a bevy of mystical creatures to us over the past few seasons. Sure, it can be interesting to see what other possible ways Sookie could get killed, but the series is at its best when its dealing with vampires. That's what the origin of the story was originally about anyway, so why not go with what works? I'm Team Vampire all the way!
5. Too Similar To The Vampire Diaries
You know I had to bring this up, right? I mean, the main plot surrounding TVD is the fact that Elena is a doppelgänger to the evil vampire Katherine. Though we've made comparisons about the two shows before, it doesn't mean they should strive to be exactly identical. They're both too good for that. Plus, I like my vampire shows like I like male suitors: different and completely unaware of the other's existence.
Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyBean0415
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It may have taken them eight seasons, but the Desperate Housewives managed to sew everything up in a matter of hours, and in a tidy manner to boot.
Hour one is all Law and Order. Bree is still on trial for murdering Gabby's stepfather, a crime Carlos committed in self defense against a man who used to abuse Gabby. Karen McCluskey is on her way out thanks to terminal lung cancer. Susan is secretly moving out of the neighborhood with her pregnant, unwed daughter. Lynette and Tom are split with almost no hope of reconciliation. Through a series of small miracles, the terminally ill McCluskey does her final, most important round of snooping and confesses to the murder of Gabby's stepfather to save Carlos or Gabby from having to confess the truth. Everyone we care about is off the hook, including McCluskey because the prosecutor sees no point in filing charges against a woman who's got mere days to live. McCluskey's affliction also pushes Tom back towards Lynette when Roy instills in Tom the notion of expressing one's feelings before time runs out. While celebrating Bree's freedom, Lynette and Tom reconcile and all is well on Wisteria Lane.
Hour two is the epilogue to the tidy cleanup of the first. Now that Gabby and Carlos are free, she's got a promotion at work and he's driving her crazy as the bored househusband. Role reversal! Susan is still trying to hide the fact that she's moving while also trying to teach her daughter how to not be a single mother forever. She's carrying on the Susan Mayer curse...er, way of life. Bree's lawyer is in the doghouse after making Gabby testify against Bree's wishes, but he earns his way back in with a sweet gesture for Mrs. McCluskey. Renee is being her usual high maintenance self in preparation for her wedding. And Lynette is weighing the age old question of career versus family when Katherine returns with an offer for Lynette to run the U.S. branch of her food company.
It all comes together when Julie's water breaks in the limo on the way to the wedding. She and Susan split off to come to terms with losing Mike and raising Julie's baby together. Bree dances wistfully with Trip the lawyer; Gabby and Carlos find happiness in their new lifestyle and vow to steer clear of any more John the gardener situations; Renee weds happily; and Tom and Lynette decide that their love is more important than everything else. Of course, all of this is set to Mrs. McCluskey's favorite song, "Wonderful, Wonderful" by Johnny Mathis, signalling her peaceful passage into the afterlife and the ladies and Julie's baby embark on their new lives. It's "The Circle of Life" for suburban housewives.
Of course, eight seasons is too much seal up with just one epilogue, so Desperate Housewives gives itself two. In the second "And then they all lived happily ever after" we witness the ladies' last poker game before they all end up rich and married, except of course Susan who we can assume will be single forevermore. Lynette took that job in New York and moved her family into a penthouse overlooking Central Park. Gabby turned her online personal shopper into a Home Shopping Network goldmine. Bree moved to Kentucky with Trip and became a successful conservative politician. And Susan got to drive away from Wisteria Lane while every minor and major character who ever died on the series come back as ghosts to watch her drive away, including our series long narrator, Mary Alice.
Finally, we're left with the promise that Wisteria Lane will continue to unleash sinister stories for generations to come as the woman who takes over Susan's house hides a suspicious box in her garage. The finale delivers closure for longtime fans and promise all at once. And it certainly taught us one very important lesson: Never trust smiling faces in the suburbs. You never know when they're covering some deep, dastardly secret. I'd start paying more attention to the Joneses next door if I were you.
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As devourers of pop culture we're quick to categorize our entertainment for our own safety. Comedy drama thriller sci-fi horror—everything we have the chance to consume has a label to ensure that we know exactly what we're getting.
Occasionally a movie defies classification. While not a revolutionary piece of cinema 50/50 is especially gratifying simply because of its abandonment of genre and the baggage that comes with owning one. The movie starts with a simple inciting incident: one day 27-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) learns that he has a life-threatening tumor growing on his spine. Of course the news doesn't sit well with the public radio producer who's in the middle of work on an exciting piece for his station just adjusting to living with his girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) and sees his life as a lengthy exciting prospect. Adam never smokes he waits to cross the street he always tucks his shirts in and keeps his sweater vests tidy—what did he do to deserve this?
But Adam doesn't go on a quest to find his true self or spend days writing a bucket list. He lives his life—and its friends and family who feel the tremors of his disease. Rachael quickly finds herself off balance and unable to cope with Adam's situation while his mother Diane (Anjelica Huston) tries to coddle him finding a new opportunity she never found with her Alzheimer's-stricken husband. His co-workers throw him a guilt-induced party.
At a total loss Adam finds comfort in his pal Kyle (Seth Rogen essentially playing himself) who uplifts his spirits through dedication marijuana and loose women. Nothing seems to out-weigh the punch-in-the-gut feeling of losing his hair to chemotherapy or barely being able to walk around his house without feeling winded but Adam stays afloat thanks to Kyle's incessant goofiness and a newfound friendship in his therapist Katherine (Anna Kendrick). Equally out of water in her new job the two bond over their discovery of humanism in the scientific process of beating cancer and while the growth of their relationship is one of the few things in the film that feels remotely contrived it gives Adam hope in the face of his possibly-fatal surgery.
50/50 isn't sugar sweet nor is it stone cold serious. Director Jonathan Levine allows the events to unfold in a unique and reserved realism allowing the movie to bounce from laugh-out-loud funny (thanks in a large part to Rogen's star talent in a supporting role) to tearjerker drama without any broad segues. Gordon-Levitt has established himself as one of modern cinema's best watchers the type of actor who can float through a picture without making too much a ruckus but who's identifiable and helps us understand his surroundings. But he fits right in to the Apatow-style comedy Rogen and Levine conjure up throughout the movie. In one scene Adam chows down on some pot brownies courtesy of his elderly chemo-mates (Philip Baker Hall and Matt Frewer) leading him to groove around the hospital hall spaced out and loving it. It's an uproarious moment but poignant too—finally Adam can let go of a bit of his grief.
Providing a foundation for 50/50's minimalist tactics are the supporting cast. Howard once again proves her versatility turning an unsympathetic character into a dimensionalized presence. What Rachael does in the film isn't admirable but thanks to Howard's performance not entirely unreasonable. Huston and Kendrick are strong and grounded enough that when Adam begins to check out of life as surgery looms they don't disappear from the film. But it's Rogen who really steals the show perhaps because his friend and 50/50 writer Will Reiser based the movie on their real life experiences but the comedy-first actor steps up later in the film when the weight of reality starts to bring everyone down.
50/50 isn't a comedy or a drama but a portrait of real people surviving real hardships. Shedding a few tears over the course of the film is perfectly acceptable—the jokes are that funny and the emotion that powerful.