On TV: Everything Wrong with NBC’s Heroes, Ten Years After its Series Finale

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I love Heroes. I really do. All of it, for better and for worse. I have great affection for that world with its many stories and the characters that populated it, even if its quality decreased (or, if we want to be generous, fluctuated) as time went by and most of the potential it had went to waste.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of Heroes going off the air. So, of course, instead of writing a celebratory piece that highlights all the good (or even great) things about it, like its finest moments, the impact it had on television at the time, its phenomenal, lighting-in-a-bottle kind of success, or the careers it launched, I’m gonna highlight all the ways it went wrong.

I know, I know. We’ve been down this road too many times before. Thing is, there are reasons our beloved Heroes went off the air ten years ago (well, the main reason was low viewership even if there was still an audience for it, as it was the most pirated TV series of that year, but still…), and there is absolutely nothing wrong with good-faith, constructive criticism of something that you love. I don’t see a more fitting occasion than this one for me to revisit everything wrong with Heroes. So, let’s go:

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Stars of the Past: Nastassja Kinski

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The daughter of one of the most infamous actors of his generation, Nastassja Kinski found her own place in the spotlight from the late 70s throughout the 80s thanks to roles in well-received films, that Richard Avedon poster and public attention for her personal life. Then, she just went away. In honor of her birthday, let’s talk about her fascinating career’s highs and lows.

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Happy Birthday, Megan Fox, Starlet Queen of Memorable Quotes!

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Actress Megan Fox is, without a doubt, best known for one thing: her undeniable beauty and sex appeal. While I always recognised that part of her image, that wasn’t the main reason I was first drawn to her as a kid, and remain drawn to her to this day. While I’ve never been the type to get too interested in celebrities outside of their work, I’ve always loved reading Fox’s interviews. Even if at the height of my Fox-interviews-consuming adolescence I had never actually seen much of her acting work. The insistence on portraying her as nothing but stupid and vapid always seemed so odd for me, because all I’ve ever seen is a wickedly funny, quirky, self-aware and insightful woman who has many interesting things to say. I don’t always agree with what she says, and yes, she’s stuck her foot in her mouth a few times, but don’t we all? Not to mention that even her most controversial quotes are rather inoffensive once you take into consideration all the harmful shit other stars have said and done to little to no backlash.

Public perception towards Fox seems to have softened in the past few years, with several outlets writing articles that reevaluate her image and admit how unfair the backlash she experienced was. It was a long time coming.

Fox turns 33 years old today. How about we celebrate by revisiting some of her most iconic quotes?

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Travel: The Charms of Half a Day in London

It’s London, bitch. The Old Smoke. LDN. With a fella looking dapper and he’s sittin’ with a slapper. Then I see it’s a pimp and his crack whore… Well, not really. Anyway, London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, which is also confirmed by its status as a world cultural capital. That means that a visit to the city that’s only half a day long won’t ever be enough to witness its full glory. But that doesn’t mean that said half day and its charms – be them the traditional museum everyone visits or that park that’s never mentioned in tourist guides – must go wasted. Given that, here are a few, mostly free, charming things to see in the city that fill that time span: Continue reading

Travel: Brighton and the (Not-So) Accidental Tourist Experience

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Well, there I was. In Brighton. To be 100% honest, I never thought Brighton was ever going to be one of the towns of the beautiful island that is England that I would’ve liked to visit. Actually, I knew it wasn’t. The sea just really isn’t for me, and Brighton really never felt like it was really for me. But hey, it happened to be the destination, so… Why not? So, there I was. In Brighton, the Queen of Watering Places.

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(Awards season) At the Movies: Revisiting recent Oscar snubs

Let’s gear up, it’s awards season! Though I’ve never been that fervently interested in the race – but always checked the nominees and winners out of curiosity – and its perks and valleys, I like awards season a lot. It’s that one period of the year where I know for sure many quality pictures will be released because most of the film industry is oh-so preoccupied with winning prestigious awards. That means there will be a good number of interesting movies for me to see. Sure, sometimes Oscar bait backfires (2004’s All the King’s Men, anyone?), but this remains a cool period to go to the movies nonetheless. And it’s also nice that it happens during one of the best periods of the year itself (Christmas/New Year’s celebrations, anyone?).

May the odds be ever in your Oscar campaign favor!

Obviously, the crown jewel of film awards is the Academy Award. It’s that one thing that everyone wants. While I’d never really bet my money on which film is going to win Best Picture, there have actually been times I felt fairly struck by the absence of certain films/performances among the nominees. Especially if certain films/performances had been snubbed in favor of less charming ones. This year, the Academy Awards have also been subjected to scrutiny and controversy due to the lack of nominations for the director and the star – Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo, two of the most appealing up-and-comers around these days – of one of the most critically acclaimed films of the past year, Selma, as well as the omission of the similarly acclaimed Wild from the Best Picture category.

So, given it’s awards season, let’s revisit twelve egregious recent Oscar snubs:

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On TV: Revisting Reign’s first season and the horrors of “historical fanfiction”, ahem

Dear CW,

CANCEL REIGN NOW!

Okay, seriously. I know it is highly improbable that someone with the power of canceling Reign would come across this blog or take advice from me, but hey, it’d be just better if it got canceled. Its budget would go to a more deserving series and everyone involved would get the chance to work on something less… Reign… Even though I wouldn’t wrap my head around it too much since it seems like the type that gets canceled early (but we’ll see about that). Anyways, for the uninitiated, Reign is an American television series that focuses on Mary, Queen of Scots’ (Adelaide Kane) early life. And not only it is underwhelming in its very own self-designed guilty pleasure way, it is also plainly historically inaccurate.

This fits with the CW’s problem with adaptations, since it is adapted from HISTORY itself. Historical fiction is by no means always bad, but it’s definitely better if it retains at least a certain amount of factual history. The key for this type of story to succeed would be finding a healthy balance between the depiction of real events and the more fictitious, fantastical elements, so not to betray and disrespect the realities and spirit of the real-life tale that is being told. But in true CW tradition, Reign throws factual history out the window and lets loose with all kinds of implausibilities worthy of the teen-geared CW brand.

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On TV: Everything wrong with the CW’s teen-oriented programming

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Sometimes, when I’m working on my laptop, or cleaning my bedroom, or other stuff, my eye falls on the TV. And sometimes, ahem, it falls on the CW’s teen-oriented programming. The CW is characterized by its hot-color-looking, ultra-smooth moving series that try to look cinematic, very much like soap operas. And that says something already. It also has a penchant for objectifying and sexualising all of its characters, regardless of their gender, to the bone, often depriving them of any function other than “eye candy”. Even though now it is trying to work out a more varied schedule, for many years it was dominated by television series aimed at adolescents which suffer(ed) from varying degrees of quality. While there are storytelling issues also with some of the network’s recent series targeted at adults (I’m looking at you, Hart of Dixie, starring that girl formerly known as James! You get better each season, but you better drop the juvenile stuff! That ain’t pretty when you got a cast of characters made up of actual thirtysomethings!), the past and present teen-centric programming comes off as often sigh-inducing for a number of reasons, and here they are:

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