Does anybody do cliffhangers better than THE VAMPIRE DIARIES? Last night’s final-moment revelation that Bonnie hadn’t actually used her powers to neutralize the vampire-destroying weapon so desperately sought by Isobel and company was a jaw-dropper. And how great is the casting department of this show (as well as fellow-CWer SUPERNATURAL, but more on that in a minute)? I was sad to lose Kelly Hu’s hypnotic Pearl, but then in stepped Mia Kirshner’s Isobel. This is perhaps Kirshner’s best role since she first caught my eye as 24’s Mandy back in 2001. And not for nothing, but I’m beginning to suspect that Paul Wesley (Stefan) is an honest-to-God vampire. I mean, the guy was playing a teenager back in 1999 when he was GUIDING LIGHT’s Max. Heck, in true vampire style, he was even using a different name — Paul Wasilewski — at the time!
With only one episode left before the season finale, SUPERNATURAL is definitely pulling out all the stops. I was, however, surprised how quickly they dispensed with Matt Frewer’s fantasticly freaky Pestilence. And wouldn’t Death’s big entrance — to the strains of Jen Titus’ mournful tune O Death — have had a bigger impact if it hadn’t been shown (song and all) smack-dab in the middle of last week’s episode? In any case, “Two Minutes To Midnight” was everything a SUPERNATURAL fan could possibly want, including this hysterical reference to just how far its mythology has come: “Remember when we used to just hunt wendigos? How simple things were?” Looking back at season one — which I’m currently watching on DVD, having not been a from-the-beginning viewer, it’s hard to believe that it’s the same show. What began as little more than an urban-legend-of-the-week series has morphed into a complex morality play touching on everything from dysfunctional family dynamics to creationism and answering the eternal question of “which came first… the chicken (God) or the egg (Death)?” This is a show that deserves the kind of big numbers that GREY’S ANATOMY or DANCING WITH THE STARS get but, sadly, won’t because so many think of it as “that little creepfest for teenage girls.”
When the Heroes vs. Villains season of SURVIVOR started, I wasn’t all that interested. But now, I’m thanking the TV Gods that I decided to tune in. Week after week, there have been stunning twists and blindsides. Those fake catfights on THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF TOPEKA don’t hold a candle to the bursts of real emotion that occasional break out amongst the SURVIVOR players. When Danielle broke down — obviously pushed to the emotional and physical edge — it was the kind of scene that can’t be faked. Even Rupert’s attempt to expose Russell as a schemer had the ring of truth: “I’ll tell you what man, you’ve already proven yourself to be a disgusting, terrible human being to swear on your kids’ life,” said the gentle giant who managed to fake everyone out with a faux immunity idol and avoid being booted twice, despite his being the head that seemed most likely to be chopped. But geez, why must every “hidden” immunity idol be under a rock? Is this a rule? Like, is it carved in… well, stone?