Longtime The Vampire Diaries fans might have their suspicions that the CW hit only decided to stage a Christmas episode as an excuse to couple scary mass murder with delightful holiday cheer, but showrunner Julie Plec tells Hollywood.com that the series' first holiday outing in four seasons was more of a happy scheduling coincidence.
"We don't do seasons in Mystic Falls," Plec says. "We try not to be specific about a seasonal timeline, but it felt like we're four seasons in, this is the first time we've had an episode air this close to Christmas -- usually we're on hiatus. Won't it be fun to give a little bit of a holiday flavor to this episode so that we can do our great juxtaposition opera of blood and mayhem against the beauty and nostalgia of holiday music?"
Klaus' rage over Tyler's betrayal certainly played out beautifully, capping off his evil tirade by drowning a drunk Mayor Lockwood in the town square. But in addition to the loss of a beloved character (RIP), "O Come, All Ye Faithful" piled on a lot of mythology and plenty of plot details to think about until the show comes back from its holiday hiatus on Jan. 17. Here's what Plec had to say about our own burning questions, which of course multiplied as soon as we hung up the phone with the TVD boss lady.
What's Tyler's mindset once he finds out about his mother?
Tyler's first order of business actually is to mourn. This is the last thing he ever expected that would happen, and the loss of his mom is a pretty powerful thing for him. When we come back we're going to see he's not actually doing so well. He's got some stuff to deal with before he's going to pull himself together.
Is it safe to say the cure is the last thing on his mind?
Oh yeah, for sure. He's if anything reeling and looking over his shoulder wondering if Klaus is there to chop his head off. Also, I'm sure [he's] trying to figure out if there's any move he can make or anything he can do to regain the upper hand against Klaus, although it looks pretty bleak. It's not without its solutions, but it ain't pretty.
How is the state of his relationship with Caroline?
It's currently a little bit tested because of the events of this episode, but thankfully they were able to make things right with each other before tragedy struck. Caroline's going to be more concerned about him when we come back and really want to reconnect with him and make him open up to her so that she can help him heal from this experience. Ultimately, both of them as we get deeper into the next chapter, will have to finally sort of face the Klaus problem head on and figure out what to do.
Caroline had warmed up to Klaus recently; how has that changed?
Well, I definitely think it's a setback. [Laughs]
Caroline mentioned that "trust is everything," what did she mean by that?
I think that for Caroline, she perceives that Elena is being victimized, and she has every right to believe that -- of course, Elena herself doesn't believe that. But Caroline's point of view is what it is, borne out of her own experience and her own point of view and opinion about Damon. So for her, what's going on between Elena and Damon is just not acceptable, and the idea that Stefan is standing there talking about trust and family and honesty, it's heartbreaking to see Stefan, her friend, being lied to and being betrayed and involved in a situation that Caroline really, genuinely believes is not okay. I think that will serve to bring Caroline and Stefan's friendship closer, but also put a little bit of a block between Caroline and Elena's friendship. It will not be so extreme right away, but it's definitely a chip in the armor of their girl bond.
Now that Damon has sort of let Elena go, will she be able to choose what to do of her own free will?
What Damon could have said is 'Go away, never see me again, stop thinking about me, stop caring about me, go on with your life, go live a happy life.' That's what he had to say to Charlotte when all was said and done. What he instead said was 'Go home, leave this house, I'll do this without you,' so unfortunately even in being noble -- which, it was noble in the moment because he was feeling the guilt of his own betrayal of Stefan -- he didn't quite go full monty as far as what he should have instructed her to do. So now you have two people who really, really, really feel that strong draw and pull to be together, but ultimately she's going to stay put right where he told her to go and he's going to be at that lake house missing her.
How does Stefan feel now that he knows that Damon and Elena slept together?
Stefan is going through a million emotions. First and foremost is he feels his brother lied to him. Second, of course, is jealousy, as would be the honest reaction of anybody who found out the former love of their life had slept with their brother. Third, I think, is just a colossal disappointment in both of them for doing this and not being honest about it. With Stefan there's always this inherent volatility that lurks underneath his calm demeanor that risks him spiraling. And I think there's a slight danger to him that his spiral might go too far and he's going to have to figure out how to keep himself together.
What will the next chapter of this season focus on?
This next chapter is all about that hunter's mark and trying to complete it and trying to get our team to the location of the cure, which the more we learn about it and the more we'll learn about Silas the more we'll recognize there's extreme jeopardy attached to even seeking it out in the first place. Very quickly our teams will be divided and realize that they all have different agendas, different wants, and different motives. It's going to be a little bit of a race to who gets there first. As Rebekah says in the next episode, whoever gets to it first decides what to do with it, how to use it, who to use it on, who not to, how to control it. It's a power play, and she wants to come out on top.
How will April factor in?
April's move in opening that coffin is the catalyst for the story of the next episode, which is hell hath no fury like a Rebekah daggered and scorned. She is going to set out trying to get her petty little revenge in any way she can, and April is kind of her foot soldier in that plan.
What's Klaus' next move?
Honestly, his actions in the next episode are a little bit surprising in that he decides to focus on the task at hand which is making sure he gets to that cure before anybody else does, because now he's sort of mark on his back that he needs to protect himself from. The last thing a great immortal hybrid wants to be is a werewolf again. So he's singularly focused on that.
Does he have any allies left?
He makes strange bedfellows next week in his pursuit of helping Jeremy complete the hunter's mark.
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: Bob Mahoney/The CW]
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We live in a simulacra culture. Everything is fake, a fraud, a sham. There is absolutely nothing to believe in anymore. That was just reinforced last night when Lance Armstrong, a national hero who fought through cancer to repeatedly win the Tour de France, decided to stop fighting the doping charges against him. In the eyes of many (including the USADA), that is an admission of guilt. Stopping the fight against the allegations he took steroids is saying that his seemingly superhuman accomplishments were just that — that a real human could not possibly overachieve.
And that's the problem with any sort of accomplishment today. When anyone achieves anything of note, we can't believe it actually happened. We're a culture of skeptics, raised on cynicism and disappointment — even the man who inspired us to live strong is peered at with millions of side-eyes.
But our skepticism is understandable. This is the age of Photoshop, during which the bodies and faces of celebrities are morphed into something different, something unattainable. This is the age of AutoTune, where every single is so massaged with computers, we don't know if we're hearing Britney Spears or some robot interpreting her. This is the age of digital effects, when the images we see in movies are sculpted into magic. Nothing is real anymore. When we see an amazing photograph or scene in a movie, we aren't filled with wonder, but with curiosity as to which program digital engineers used to make it out of thin air. The very fabric of our reality is torn. When we see something that is supposedly documented in real life on a reality show, most times people don't believe that it happened. When everyone watches The Hills knowing it's a sham, how are we supposed to believe that even the crabs at the bottom of the Bering Sea are real on The Deadliest Catch? Just how does that show fake nature? (I like to think it doesn't, but you never know.) Even a show as beloved and mundane as House Huntershas been proven to be completely concocted for the cameras.
But our skepticism has bled beyond on-screen action. Not only do we believe celebrity relationships are a stunt for ratings or a pre-planned PR effort — hey, Taylor Swift does need more material for her songs — but we're becoming skeptical of nearly every star athlete in sports, an arena in which we esteemed people for their actual accomplishments, for their dedication, discipline, training, and God-given talent. The days in which we compared athletes like Michael Jordan to mythical gods are over — Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco made sure of that. (As did eventual tabloid reports that Jordan participated in illicit affairs.) And Lance Armstrong's scandal, which involves one of the most inspiring and beloved sports figure of the early 2000s, could prove to be the nail in that coffin. If the rampant steroid use doesn't destroy all the heroes in professional sports, than the increasted media attention certainly will. It's hard to stomach the prowess of Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, or Ben Roethlisbergerwhen you know that there is serial cheating, animal cruelty, or alleged rape off the field.
We simply can't believe anything we see anymore. Even when we find a hero (or think we do), we can't hold on to him (or her) for long. The only thing that's real anymore is our longing for something that is authentic – and that's because no one is giving it to us.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo credit: Wenn.com]
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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has released its list of nominees for the annual BAFTA Awards, also known as the British Oscars or the only big awards show with a category just for British only. Surprise, surprise, the Brits have come out on top; the historical drama, The King’s Speech swept the noms with 14 in total. Close behind is Darren Aronofsky’s surprising thriller, Black Swan with 12 total nominations. The British Film category that comes in addition to the BAFTA’s “Best Film” category gives a second chance to 127 Hours, which doesn’t make the top five in the overall category but has the chance to take the top Brits-only honor. Also of note, 14 year old Hailee Steinfeld, who’s blowing audiences away in December’s True Grit, merits the grownup honor of a nomination for best lead actress for her role in the film (mini fist pump!).
While the awards will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One, sorry America, it’s still worth knowing which films made the cut.
And the nominees are:
• Black Swan - Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin
• Inception - Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
• The King’s Speech - Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
• The Social Network - Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Céan Chaffin
• True Grit - Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Outstanding British Film
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Christian Colson, John Smithson
• Another Year - Mike Leigh, Georgina Lowe
• Four Lions - Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Mark Herbert, Derrin Schlesinger
• The King’s Speech - Tom Hooper, David Seidler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
• Made in Dagenham - Nigel Cole, William Ivory, Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
• The Arbor - Director, Producer - Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan
• Exit Through The Gift Shop - Director, Producer – Banksy, Jaimie D’Cruz
• Four Lions - Director/Writer - Chris Morris
• Monsters - Director/Writer – Gareth Edwards
• Skeletons - Director/Writer – Nick Whitfield
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle
• Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky
• Inception - Christopher Nolan
• The King’s Speech - Tom Hooper
• The Social Network - David Fincher
• Black Swan - Mark Heyman, Andrés Heinz, John McLaughlin
• The Fighter - Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
• Inception - Christopher Nolan
• The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
• The King’s Speech - David Seidler
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel
• The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin
• Toy Story 3 - Michael Arndt
• True Grit - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Film Not In the English Language
• Biutiful - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik, Fernando Bovaira
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Søren Stærmose, Niels Arden Oplev
• I Am Love - Luca Guadagnino, Francesco Melzi D’Eril, Marco Morabito, Massimiliano Violante
• Of Gods And Men - Xavier Beauvois
• The Secrets In Their Eyes - Mariela Besuievsky, Juan José Campanella
• Despicable Me - Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
• How To Train Your Dragon - Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
• Toy Story 3 - Lee Unkrich
• Javier Bardem – Biutiful
• Jeff Bridges - True Grit
• Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
• Colin Firth - The King’s Speech
• James Franco - 127 Hours
• Annette Benning - The Kids Are All Right
• Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right
• Natalie Portman - Black Swan
• Noomi Rapace - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
• Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
• Christian Bale - The Fighter
• Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
• Pete Postlethwaite - The Town
• Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
• Geoffrey Rush - The King’s Speech
• Amy Adams - The Fighter
• Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech
• Barbara Hershey - Black Swan
• Lesley Manville - Another Year
• Miranda Richardson - Made in Dagenham
• 127 Hours - AR Rahman
• Alice In Wonderland - Danny Elfman
• How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
• Inception - Hans Zimmer
• The King’s Speech - Alexandre Desplat
• 127 Hours - Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak
• Black Swan - Matthew Libatique
• Inception - Wally Pfister
• The King’s Speech - Danny Cohen
• True Grit - Roger Deakins
For the full list of nominees, visit the BAFTA site, here.