Sunday, June 27, 2010

True Blood Season 3 - "Beautifully Broken"

I'm a little late getting this up, but it's time we talk about last week's episode of TRUE BLOOD, "Beautifully Broken". While not as fast-paced as the season premiere, I still enjoyed this episode, which further developed the season's various plots.

First and foremost, we were finally introduced to Russell Edgington, the vampire King of Mississippi, who we learn was behind Bill's abduction, having hired a group of werewolves to apprehend him proposition him into helping overthrow Queen Sophie-Anne. I loved the developments in this plot line, from the awesome opening sequence with Bill ripping apart the werewolves with his teeth (though I wish we could have seen a bit more of the fight), to the multi-course dinner with Edginton's husband, Theo ("Chilled, carbonated blood. It's cruelty-free. All willingly donated. Note the citrusy finish. This one only ate tangerines for a week"). Also, that final shot, with Bill launching a lantern at Lorena, causing her to burst into flames? Amazing.

The second major plot line involved Eric reluctantly providing Sookie with more information about the werewolves and included a pretty sweet flashback to Eric and Godric posing as SS officers and hunting werewolves. Any excuse to bring back Godric is a good thing in my book.

I'm not exactly loving that we're getting even more of Tara wallowing in misery, which has kind of become her default activity since season one. The one redeeming aspect was Lafayette's decision to take charge following her suicide attempt and drag her miserable ass to the mental hospital for a "Scared Straight" introduction to his crazy mother, and, more happily, allowed him to meet her crazy hot nurse, Jesus. I do like that by the end of the episode, Tara's storyline had taken a more positive turn with her introduction to Franklin, some sort of vampire detective who's apparently trying to dig up information on Bill's past. The pair's tag-team ass-whupping of some racist rednecks toward episode's end hint that their relationship could take a dangerous turn.

I'm intrigued to see where Jason's story goes, as his feelings of guilt morphed into jealousy of Andy's new role as town hero after he shouldered the blame for Egg's death. When he rode along with Andy on a routine call and ended up tacking a meth dealer, I got the impression that we may see a career change in Jason's immediate future.

Jessica continued to be a source a humor and pathos as she scrambles to figure out how to dispose of the body she's been squirreling away beneath the floor of her home. I LOOOOVED her scenes in Fangtasia this week as she grilled Pam for advice on the vampire "birds and the bees". Her scene with Hoyt, though, was a heart-breaker. Why can't those two crazy kids just find a way to make it work?!

Can't wait for tonight's episode, where Sookie's werewolf protector, Alcide is finally due to make an appearance. Why am I so excited? Um, because Alcide looks like this:
How's everyone else liking season three so far?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer is Here!

Happy first day of summer!

Like everyone involved with ImageOut, I love movies. However, summer in Rochester is not the best time to be inside a movie theater. I always have a hard time keeping up with new movies in the summer just because I'd rather be outside.

It only took a little bit of looking to find out that Rochesterians don't have to choose between enjoying the warm weather and catching some great stage and screen entertainment. Here are some ideas for this summer, and most of them are free!

The Rochester Community Players present Much Ado About Nothing as this year's Shakespeare at the Highland Bowl production. The show runs July 2 through 17 every evening except Mondays, Thursdays, and the Fourth of July. FREE!

Why no Thursday Shows? Well, that's because RCP switches gears to co-sponsor Movies at the Bowl. Family-friendly movies under the stars play throughout the summer on Thursday nights. FREE!

Highland Park isn't the only place to catch a movie outdoors. You can also catch a free flick at other area parks (Jaws at Ontario Beach Park is a past favorite) through August. The full schedule hasn't been released yet, but you can keep checking the Parks website for updates. FREE!

And if you are dying to keep up with the summer blockbusters, There's always the drive-in! Vintage Drive-in in Avon is only about a 30 minute drive from the city, and you can catch a double-feature of new movies for just $8.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

True Blood Season 3 - "Bad Blood"

How this blog went so long without ever talking about HBO's TRUE BLOOD, I have no idea. Creator Alan Ball's follow-up to his hugely popular show Six Feet Under, True Blood is based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris, about what would happen if vampires were real and decided to announce their existence to the world. The novels are a mix of romance and fantasy, focusing on the love life of a small-town cocktail waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who possesses the ability to read minds. Ball has chosen to only loosely follow the plot of the novels, and has expanded the show's world to become something unlike anything else on television. The mix of campy plotlines, over-the-top violence, gore, sex, and a healthy dose of gayness make it by far the most entertaining show on television right now. The second season, which aired last summer, is when the show truly found it's audience and grew to become HBO's most successful show since The Sopranos.

The third season of True Blood premiered on Sunday, and I had high expectations. I can't remember the last time I've been so excited for a new season of television. Thankfully, the premiere completely delivered. The episode, "Bad Blood", set into motion the various plotlines that will develop throughout the season, and it did it in a fast-paced, funny, and sexy hour of television.

In addition to being a lot of fun, this episode was possibly the gayest yet, featuring the most homoerotic scene of the series thus far (and that's saying a lot). Early in season one, we learned that vampire blood contains healing properties when drunk by a human. However, there is a side effect when this occurs; a strong bond is formed between the human and the vampire, often manifested in the human having intense sexual dreams about the vampire from whom they drank. Those who have been watched True Blood previously will recall that during last season's finale, a mortally wounded Sam drank a great deal of Bill's blood. Happily, the show isn't afraid to shy away from depicting said side effect, even when the act occurred between two men. Sam's dream about Bill was fantastic and pretty damn hot, if I do say so myself. I've included a clip below, for those who'd like to see for themselves.

Even with that plot twist, which I hope will be further developed throughout the season, True Blood promises to get even gayer this year, with an increased role for the hilariously droll lesbian vampire, Pam, a boyfriend for Lafayette, and a gay vampire king all coming up in later episodes.

New episodes will be on HBO Sunday nights at 9pm, and hopefully I'll be posting about each episode after it airs. So tune in, check back on this blog, and we'll do bad things all summer long.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Really, Mormon Church?

From (June 9, 2010): Mormon Church will pay fine for donations to campaign against gay marriage

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has agreed to pay a $5,538 fine to settle a complaint over its campaign contributions supporting California's ban on same-sex marriages, the executive director of the state agency that regulates campaign finances said Tuesday.

Roman Porter, who directs the California Fair Political Practices Commission, said an investigation revealed the Mormon Church was tardy in revealing about $37,000 worth of work its staff performed on behalf of Proposition 8 in the final weeks before the November 2008 election.

Read more here.

You can learn more about details of the Mormon Church's deep involvement with the campaign for Proposition 8 from ImageOut's Pride Screening of the documentary "8: THE MORMON PROPOSITION" at the Cinema Theatre on July 15 at 7pm. This screening will be followed by a panel discussion on the many issues raised in the film.

Save the date!