The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Posts Tagged ‘Vampire Diaries

Happy Graduation Cupcake!

leave a comment »

Dear Kathryn,

While I’m excited for The Originals, this episode actually gave me a craving for a different spinoff – something like, The Other Side, maybe? I mean, Lexi, Alaric, Kole, the witches – these guys made the show fun again! I was, in fact, much more bummed than their best friends seemed to be when each one slipped away. At least Bonnie got some sort of a farewell – but of course, our biggest concerns with her (i.e., that her power would kill her rather than empower her) came true in an pretty amplified way. Not only did she die as punishment for her strength, but she got a kind of double, definitive death, giving up her life to save the guy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have Jeremy back. He’s actually become a surprisingly mature voice of reason on the show! But in an episode heavy-handedly exploring the theme of selfishness and self-sacrifice, it’s exhausting to me that the ultimate sacrifice is paid by the only strong black woman on the show in order to save the life of a white man. Read the rest of this entry »

So This is Either Really Good, or Really Bad…

with one comment

Dear Kathryn,

With only one episode left to go, Vampire Diaries definitely recaptured my interest! I’ll say more in a moment about why Bonnie’s death sucks…but first, why it’s awesome. Bringing down the veil in such a limited way (really, only supernaturals who have an interest in being inside a small section of Mystic Falls are bothering to cross over…and, well, Mystic Falls isn’t the most exciting place!) doesn’t seem all that bad. By not completing the spell, it seems like we have the best of both worlds (pardon the pun). Every supernatural who would have made my tv viewing overly chaotic is held at bay, and those who make the show better have reappeared. Yeeyy Alaric! And woot, woot army of scary vampire hunters! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

May 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

Good is a hard word to live up to

leave a comment »

Matt and Rebekah

Well vervain is out of the Mystic Falls water supply and the best the vampires can think to do is compel a shopkeeper to steal a prom dress. Then again, we are talking about the highlight of senior year, so maybe I need to keep my priorities straight. My favorite part of last night’s episode was the hope of the gang that high school nostalgia – “friendship and memories” as Caroline says to a trying-her-best-to-be-giddy Bonnie – would be the thing to switch Elena’s humanity back on. I was a bit confused that this was a new tactic (haven’t Damon and Stefan constantly been trying to get Elena to turn back on her humanity? Why was this suddenly presented as a new plan?), but loved that it let the show play with the “what makes us human” question all over again. Read the rest of this entry »

Vampire Prozac

with one comment

Hey Kathryn,

So, I think my favourite moment in this episode was when Klaus shared that he paints BECAUSE painting is a metaphor for control! Who does something because the thing they do can be a metaphor for something true about their way of being in the world? In other words, in what universe does someone do something purely in the interpretive mode of that same act?? Painting can be a metaphor for something within the story – but you don’t do it because it’s a metaphor. Vampire Diaries got just a little too controlling there with how it wanted us to read the narrative…but it was a brilliant moment that summed up this episode for me – here we let the dust settle in a tightly controlled way to recap everything that matters for moving forwards to the end of this season. Overly expositional, painfully repetitive (Elena’s turned off her emotions and now let’s let each person now say how they feel about that three times), with a shuffle around of who is going to be hooking up with whom. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

March 15, 2013 at 8:41 am

Turn It Off

leave a comment »

Dear Kathryn,

How many times do we have to hear Stefan and Damon declare that Elena can’t survive something before it becomes true? Thank goodness we finally saw her snap last night, because I was becoming tired of wondering when she was going to. Back and forth and back and forth we’ve gone trying to figure out if she’s more alive with Stefan or with Damon (although you and I tend to come down with the latter) – but never, I thought as I watched her with the kerosene last night, have I seen her more alive than when dousing her childhood home for arson. Putting aside how ridiculous a cover up this plan is when the three walk slowly and sexily away from the burning house, Stefan looking back a few times to make sure it’s actually going down – I’m hopeful that Elena is about to go Ripper and get interesting. Perhaps Damon will find that he doesn’t like her as much as he thought he would when she does to the dark side? I guess we should have known something dramatic was about to happen when the CW ticker tape at the bottom of the screen started letting us know we’re on three week hiatus!  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

February 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

growing into humanity

leave a comment »

Dear Kathryn,

I don’t know about you, but I got pretty excited for a moment at just how many of my friends could have helped with that cryptex…a quick jaunt down to the local seminary certainly would have produced at least one or two folks who could read the map to the cure! Aside from my dork factor, though – I found this episode fascinating for how its characters talked about the relationship between being vampire and being human. The appearance of ‘the cure’ has led to these kids referring to what they are as a disease, ‘vampirism’ – a word that wasn’t really used before. The existence of the cure has turned a designator for a species (vampire) into a temporary state that can befall a human (vampirism). It’s an interesting move given how much our contemporary, North American culture pathologizes and medicalizes every last personality trait at this point (I read the other day an article about a “cure” for “shyness” – which apparently now is a disease too). Queer and trans advocates in particular have been challenging the pathologizing of various sexual practices and gender identities in the DSM now for decades. And so this talk of ‘cure’ has been bothering me a little this whole season. With the cure revealed to be somewhat of an illusion in this episode, the characters were forced to accept who they are and stop dreaming of being something else. In a sense, the path to ‘humanity’ – whatever that idea might evoke – lay in accepting that they aren’t human. A strange sort of growing up but, it seemed to me, a good one nonetheless. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

February 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

There is No Peace

leave a comment »

Dear Kathryn,

Oh, I feel guilty for watching this show sometimes! It’s so much fun, and I love the antics – but sometimes I wonder just how much of the implicit sexism and racism I can handle! We’ve already talked about Shane’s patriarchal control over Bonnie – now add to that the fact that his wife DIED because he was UNABLE TO CONTROL HER! Yeah, there’s nothing more dangerous than a woman whose husband can’t keep her in check [insert pained eye-roll here]. I can kind of roll with that stuff because it seems so silly most of the time (although I do worry what implicit messages get communicated to the young girls who watch the show!)…but what on earth was with those stereotypical “Islander” First Nations peoples running around the island in hip outfits with facepaint?!? Were they even supposed to be Indigenous people, or just white guys covered in the accouterments of exoticized Native culture? Pair this with the images of boats carrying Shane (who all of a sudden looked pretty Chris Columbus) and his crew up onto the beach prepared to steal some deep and ancient magic from the island, and it all felt painfully neo-colonial to me!  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

February 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Here We Go

leave a comment »

Dear Kathryn,

Sooo, am I the only one who is a bit concerned about how easily these kids moved to a nuclear option?? There was no good reason to kill rather than just dagger Kol that didn’t land squarely on the immediate needs and desires of our crew. Sure, Jeremy’s mark gets completed with a “single” kill (and btw, I laughed uproariously at the Hulk style ripping of the shirt at the end – pure cheese! I loved it!). But it’s not a single kill! It’s something more like dropping a nuclear bomb on thousands of people from the safety of an undisclosed location. How long can they pretend to themselves that they haven’t directly killed anyone? I hope we get to see the devastation at some point – the effects of their actions. There has to be some payoff for their utter lack of moral  deliberation. Given the constant turning to violent video games throughout the episode, I can’t help but wonder if there was a real level of self-awareness on the writers’ part – a constant subliminal reminder of how distanced we all are from the violence that holds our lives together. Pair that with the weird cancelled 80′s dance, which evoked a nostalgia for the era in which the Cold War played out (do the kids watching this show, all born around 1995, I would think, even get those references??)…and I can’t help but wonder what political subtext is going on here? For me, I’m reminded of the drone warfare that tricks us into thinking we’re targeting specific ‘bad-guys’ – even as its collateral damage is terrifying and moral implications remain largely outside the realm of genuine public consideration. But I’m abundantly aware that kids watching this show just want to see their favourite characters hook up and have what they want – and so they, like our characters, are probably willing to go nuclear too. Read the rest of this entry »

You are in complete control

with one comment

Shane the father figure

Dear Natalie,

Yes, it is good to be back! I am sorry I missed the conversation last week, which was a truly fun episode, but glad to jump back in now, where themes of self-control and compulsion were front and center. You wondered last week about whether or not compulsion was something a vampire could throw off. Damon reminded us that Stefan did that with Klaus when he’d been compelled to turn off his humanity. There is something fascinating going on with the idea that Stefan was able to shake compulsion because of his love for Elena, but Damon is not. I’m not sure it proves that Stefan loves Elena more than Damon does, but it does fit with Stefan’s more controlling personality! Stefan is the kind of person for whom the idea of love – and the idea of Elena – is necessary to hold on to his humanity. Without he always spirals into some uncaring psychopath. Read the rest of this entry »

Fall on your knees

leave a comment »

Jeremy and Elena showdown

Dear Natalie,

Well, Merry Christmas to you too! Was it just me, or was the choice to play the highly incongruous chorus from  “Oh Holy Night” – fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices – during Klaus’ slaughter of the 11 hybrids a sly reference to the very scene you discussed last week when Tyler makes those same hybrids kneel before him? Or maybe a really overt reference! Either way, I couldn’t help giggling as that epic Christmas carol hit its high pitch and Klaus’ stood bloodied and weary surveying the corpses in his wake. It is nice to be reminded of the fine line between snark and histrionics on this show! Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 44 other followers