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2009 Television I Watched!

So as the year draws to a close, I thought I might talk about the television I have watched during it, and hear about other people's television. I have noticed that my year's viewing has a common theme - one of my favourite themes. Sensible Girls, and the Romantic Boys Who Love Them.

One thing I watched was the second season of Merlin. I have written up my thoughts on season one Merlin here.


ARTHUR: My new contract states I must be shirtless at least once an episode.
GWEN: Now I am going to be a love interest, I am looking extremely foxy in several new gowns. I am never shirtless, because this is the BBC.
MERLIN: Nobody fed me over the summer, and I am feeling weak.
MORGANA: Nobody gave me any lines for the upcoming season, and I am feeling evil.

ARTHUR'S FACEBOOK STATUS: I am in love, love, LOVE! But it is a tragically doomed secret.
GWEN'S FACEBOOK STATUS: It's complicated...

MERLIN: I would like to talk about feelings.
ARTHUR: Please Merlin, we are trying to establish the Once and Future England here! Can't we just hit each other?
MERLIN: But do you like-like Gwen?
ARTHUR: I can't talk about it. I'm very manly. But - so long as that is understood-
ARTHUR: Omigod she is so pretty and her hair is so shiny and I love her and I want to get married!
MERLIN: Omigod the wedding ceremony would be so beautiful.
ARTHUR: Love is so beautiful!
MERLIN: I am sure she will wait FOREVER! With no assurance that you, a prince, was dallying with a simple servant girl. That never happens.

LANCELOT: So are you seeing anyone?
GWEN: No, nobody who did not specifically tell me there was no possibility of a future.
LANCELOT: Well, since I am the only dude you know who has indicated possible long-term interest and you are all alone in the world longing for love with your daddy dead and your best friend going evil-
GWEN: Yes?
LANCELOT: I think I'm gonna leave you for your own good! Without asking what you want!
GWEN: All knights are bastards.

UTHER, aka KING GILES: My witch-burning ways cause literally all the trouble in Camelot. I am a genocidal lunatic, though I do love my baby boy. Why does nobody kill me?
MORGANA: Dude, I'm trying, it's hard on only point five minutes of screen time per episode.
KING GILES: Perhaps if I tongue kiss a dung-eating troll I will be spared for the comedy value?

ARTHUR: We are pretty much BFFs, Y/N?
MERLIN: Y! Can I get a hug?
ARTHUR: No. Fist-bump.
MERLIN: One-armed hug?
ARTHUR: You drive a hard bargain. Shoulder thump!
MERLIN: Okay. Um, excuse me, I have to do some very secret magic out in the open in front of witnesses.
ARTHUR: I can't hear you, I'm deaf in one ear, permanently and conveniently unconscious, asleep and coincidentally looking in another direction. All at once!

ARTHUR: I am the beauty enchanted in his sleep.
GWEN: I must valiantly lay on some true love's kiss!
ARTHUR: I dip you! Romantically!
GWEN: It is only sensible to find being dipped by a golden-haired fairytale prince SUPER AWESOME.

MORGANA: I have no lines! I have no storylines! I'm going evil RIGHT THIS SECOND.
MERLIN: Actually, two years of lying through my back teeth and secretly murdering all of Arthur's enemies has made me kind of morally dodgy myself. Delicious cup of hemlock?

FINALE: Despite some really interesting set-up, is all about Merlin and his father figures. Again.
DRAGON: In the tradition of all mentors, one day you will realise you do not need me. Because I am burning down your city and killing all your friends.
MERLIN: Yoda never breathed FIRE.

Since I am devoted to L.J. Smith, who at sixteen was my Twilight, I was certain to watch The Vampire Diaries. I saw the pilot at Comic Con, and was hugely delighted to see that the hero and heroine wrote their sad, sad diaries sadly in sync.

Then I saw more, and I have been most excellently pleased by it!

STEFAN: I am an angsty vampire in high school and I LOVE YOU.
ELENA: You're a what did you say? Oh my God, leave immediately.
STEFAN: No, no, no, wait! I have a sad backstory to tell you.
ELENA: That was a truly touching backstory. Now please leave.
STEFAN: ... Wut?
ELENA: Dating vampires is likely to be dangerous and problematic and you aren't the number one priority in my life.
STEFAN: This decision makes me sad! But I respect it.

DAMON: Whoo hoo I am a crazy vampire crazy crazy stalking people killing people teasing my baby brother whoo hoo crazy! Maybe I'll betray your secret to everyone Stefan!
STEFAN: Well, okay.
DAMON: I'm going to date Elena's friends and show up at gatherings for now, but any minute, baby - evil time!
STEFAN: Do whatever you want, just don't hurt innocent people. Oh no, Damon, you just killed someone. This is so mortifying. Do you have no idea how to behave in company?
DAMON: I didn't mean it. Don't be mad for keeps!
STEFAN: Were you brought up in a barn? A KILLING BARN?

STEFAN: Damon I have something terrible to tell you about our mutual ex-girlfriend Katherine.
DAMON: Okay, dude.
STEFAN: You remember how she dated both of us and drank our blood and made us undead and tried to persuade us to have an awful immortal incestuous threesome forever and it was the worst break-up ever?
DAMON: Oh Stefan, you're so innocent. Why I remember a relationship I had with a nun, a coil of liquorice and a feisty goat-
DAMON: *coughs* Please go on.
STEFAN: None of it was real! She was mind-controlling us the whole time!
DAMON: No, she was just brainwashing you. I was cool with everything.
DAMON: Hello, crazy and evil. Evil and crazy!

CAROLINE: I am a vain blonde cheerleader who recognises that not being the protagonist really sucks.
BONNIE: I am Elena's best friend who can set things on fire with her mind.
DAMON: Ladies, ladies...
BONNIE: What a lovely vampire. I do like them flammable.

My flatmates and I bought the box set of Bones and watched it together, drinking cups of hot chocolate with ice-cream in them.

SARAH: I dunno. I love Partners Who Fight Crime an awful lot, but I'm just not sure I can take FBI Agent Angel.
DR BRENNAN: I am a lady who would rather poke around in human soup with bones floating in it than think about her feelings! Also I enjoy casual relationships and am bad at being charming.
FBI AGENT ANGEL: I am pretty good at being charming, and I am in touch with my feelings. I am not as smart as you but I am totally comfortable with not being a crazy genius!
DR BRENNAN AND FBI AGENT ANGEL: Together we goofily fight crime.
SARAH: The truest loves are found through goofily fighting crime. NEXT BOX SET PLEASE.

In summary, I love Sensible Girls and the Romantic Boys Who Love Them. I also love things that are kind of ridiculous. What kind of thing do you love?


( 136 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 21st, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Vampire Diaries has gotten surprisingly awesome. I'd kill for a Night World or Forbidden Game mini-series/show though. Kill. *dreamy*
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Night World might really work in a Heroesy way. Forbidden Game, I would just be weeping the entire time. Oh Julian, you are secretly a rune, and you kidnap people and keep them in dollhouses! And yet, I love you.

... L.J. Smith may really be responsible for a whole lot of my favourite things in later life. Definitely Mary-Lynnette is a Sensible Girl for the ages.
(no subject) - svmadelyn - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - poetressforgod - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skellywag - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
Bones! I too love Bones. Especially because it turns around the normal trope of eccentric-yet-brilliant-dude who requires an organized-and-people-smart woman to pave the way for his revelations/art/etc. I love that she gets to be the weird one, I love it so much.

I think the thing I love can be summarized as: Stories that Surprise Me (because some TV tropes are so tired I can call them out as they happen, like so: "And here's another shrill girlfriend joke!")
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Being the weird one is exactly what I like so much about it, excellently put! And stories that surprise me are great. I love inverted tropes.

Unless it surprises me in the 'I cannot believe how offensive!' way, of course...
(no subject) - harborshore - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
I got roped into watching Bones by my best friend. I love it lots, although I will admit to feeling the central relationship is X-Files-lite (oh Chris Carter, I will never get over that television betrayal! *sob*).

P.S. My boss is the man responsible for L.J. Smith's VAMPIRE DIARIES.
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Although I will absolutely admit to a weakness for emotionally aware male leads and emotionally obtuse female leads. It's a romantic stereotype that gets me EVERY. TIME.
(no subject) - thegreatmissjj - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - azurelunatic - Dec. 22nd, 2009 12:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
You seem to have posted this while I was writing up a comment in your last post that now seems as though it should have been here. D:

I have recently realized I have a thing for Sensible, Kickass But Flawed And No Not Just Because They Wear "Ugly" Glasses, Hollywood girls and the Jokey, Occasionally Oblivious, Movie-Trivia-Spouting boys who flirt madly with them. c.f. Remington Steele/Laura Holt (Remington Steele), Frank Parker/Olga Vukavitch (7 Days), Kyle Barker/Maxine Shaw (Living Single <.<), Tony DiNozzo/Ziva David (NCIS). I also second the !!! for Brennan/FBI Angel, even though I have only seen a few episodes of Bones. ^^;
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)

sweets BONES IS THE JOY OF MY HEART. / useful comment
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
I loved your Merlin recap. You're right, there seems to be an excess (okay, maybe not excess) od shirtless arthur going around. And Merlin is looking particularly wan and white, like a lily!

Ahh, if only Merlin was a girl.
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
Eh, I think we have enough skinny ladies on television already, not that I don't think someone should feed Merlin a sandwich!
(no subject) - dy0ulee - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
My favorite show right now is Glee. Second on the list is the sure-to-be-cancelled-v.v.v.v.soon Ugly Betty. I'm imagining you summarizing Glee and it's kind of like a hysterical jukebox playing in my head. Fun times, fun times.

Also, FBI Agent Angel was difficult to look past. I still can't watch the show without thinking "WHERE'S BUFFY?"
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
Glee, I can't say how much I love the football team dancing to Beyonce, but I kind of hate how all the lady characters are shown to be crazy and manipulating dudes. I am conflicted about that show!
(no subject) - shmuel - Dec. 21st, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
Best summary of Merlin ever! :D Really, those writers need to get a girl on board, stat. Or learn from Joss in the noble art of believable love interests.
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
See, I love Arthur/Gwen way more than any relationship Joss has ever created. Gwen is on board!

Not that I wouldn't like to see Morgana have more to do. Both of them please!
(no subject) - fyrie - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - fyrie - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - fyrie - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenfaeriedust - Dec. 21st, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hanelissar - Dec. 21st, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
I, too, love Sensible Women and the Romantic (yet Incredibly Intelligent) Men Who Love Them.

Reading this made me realize that the main relationship in the novel I am writing follows this pattern.


I am not into Vampire shows, being very picky about my vampires (I will, however, guiltily admit to reading Real Vampires Have Curves and am looking forward to reading Real Vampires Live Large), but the way you describe these shows makes me actually want to watch them. :D
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
True Blood! And Dexter *sob* which just ended its season.
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
I also love True Blood, but had never summarised season one perfectly and was daunted by the prospect of both!
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
Hmm. The second season of Merlin has both amused and disappointed me. Mostly I am disappointed, though, due to the whiplash Arthur/Gwen love story and the fact that I seem to have missed a season in-between 1 and 2.

I haven't watched The Vampire Diaries because I loved the books as a teen (tween?) and don't want the characters I loved to be, well, Twilighted. However, I've heard good things about the show from almost everyone and am going to watch it on the plane ride back to England in a few weeks. :)

And to end off, I have a limitless love for Bones. In particular for Dr Brennan, because she's so *strong* and *capable*; she doesn't wait to be rescued, but instead does everything in her power to rescue herself. ♥♥♥
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
See, Arthur/Gwen happening fast doesn't bother me at all, since it took one episode for Merlin to devote his life to Arthur's service, and I never saw anyone take issue with that. I love love love Arthur/Gwen. That is kind of the point of my post!

But I would like to see more Morgana. A lot.

I love Brennan and Hodgins making explosion signals when trapped in a car - useful application of intellect to solve problems at hand so dramatic and interesting! Way better than gunfights.
(no subject) - issuegirls - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - issuegirls - Dec. 22nd, 2009 10:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Dec. 22nd, 2009 11:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
The Vampire Diaries is beckoning to me. Mostly because I am desperate for a new TV series with likeable characters and epic plotlines, and Merlin has broken my heart. B-but it's the CW! I can't trust them! *weeps*
Dec. 21st, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
Oh my god your icon! How awesome!
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
I love love LOVE your summary of season 2 of "Merlin," which unfortunately I haven't seen yet (Danish TV, why must you be so SLOW?). I adore "Merlin", but cannot for the life of me watch season 1 without going "wait, when did Giles turn evil - and kinda medieval?" (I say "kinda" because, even though I'm all for playing with legend, as a historian the potatoes bother me)
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
I too was slightly bothered on a historical level, until I realized that the kingdom of Albion does not exist on Earth or anywhere in Earth's history, but is an alternate fantasy world all its own. Then I was all, "WELL OKAY THEN."
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Dec. 21st, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - h_hufflepuff - Dec. 21st, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - meeh_pfft - Jan. 27th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Oh much giggling resulted whilst reading these. Muh love for you, for eternity.

I watched the season finale of Merlin today, and it make me cry... Lots. I was Happy/Sad/Happy/Sad so much that I got dizzy. Also, I can only conclude that they killed my favourite Knight 'Sir Cute Hair'. I am very cranky at this. I loved him muchly.

As for The Vampire Diaries I may REALLY have to look into that. : )
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
I am hoping that Sir Cute Hair survived the carnage and will limp home to Camelot a few hours later, all "GUYS, THANKS FOR LEAVING ME OUT THERE WITH ALL THE DEAD TOASTED BODIES. NO LOVE, PRINCE ARTHUR, NO LOVE."
(no subject) - anywherebeyond - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rj_anderson - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenfaeriedust - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rj_anderson - Dec. 21st, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, Vampire Diaries! My eyes are little dorky hearts. Originally I had no intention of watching it because it is A WB Show about Teenagers and Vampires Having Emotions, but some friends watched it first! and liked it! and they are very intelligent and I trust them! So I gave the pilot a go, and was sold. Oh, sensible Elena, I love you so much, with your loving your family and trying to keep things stable and your Converses and your brushing off Damon when he is trying to be manipulative: I LOVE YOU. Plus there is Elena and Bonnie's friendship, which rocks my stripey socks off -- I adore the scene where Bonnie shows Elena her magic, and they revel in the wonder of it and the comfort of their friendship. So awesome.

Even when the show is cheesy, it is so adorable and earnest and weirdly innocent about it that I just want to CUDDLE IT and keep it in a shoebox and feed it breadcrumbs. (I have much the same reaction to Stefan, or possibly just his eyebrows. I WOULD TAKE THEM FOR WALKS AND EVERYTHING.)
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
I haven't made it all the way through Merlin S2, yet. I keep meaning to, then getting distracted. Often by Supernatural, which is the kind of show that I love.

Also, I didn't know LJ Smith had a TV series! I feel the need to watch. Though I agree with the person way up at the top (because yes, I'm the kind of creeper that reads through comments) that a Forbidden Game show / mini-series would be completely worth killing for.
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I am the kind of person (not a creeper! I just like...discussions!) who reads comments too, and the show would have THREE viewers already. It needs to be made, clearly.
(no subject) - uninformed - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - harborshore - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - uninformed - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
You watch Bones! And Vampire Diaries!

Though Baby-face Zack did kinda make go ô_O at the end.

And Vampire Diaries is my crack! All those clichés they manage to fit in=)
Dec. 21st, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Merlin season 2! I love it except for the lack of Morgana and the fact that there is not enough scenes of Gwen and Merlin being BFFs (I know there was The Witchfinder but I am greedy and want MORE. Also I think she would be the perfect person for Merlin to talk to about his dead daddy angst. She has dead daddy angst too!)

Also The Vampire Diaries is EXCELLENT. I haven't read the books but I wiki'd them and I don't think I really want to since apparently there have been many changes made in the TV show and I feel they are changes for the better. Kind of like how Gossip Girl the TV show is 10 times more excellent than Gossip Girl the books.
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
Omg! Someone else who ships Arthur/Gwen exists! :O

I have no idea how my only het ship since Spike/Buffy ended up being the LEGENDARILY TRAGIC Arthur/Gwen. And from the show MERLIN no less, also known as the slashiest tv series ever created in the history of the universe.

But I love how 90% of their relationship has been told through silent, significant looks. Tugs my heart every time.
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
He is such a dork in love! She tries so hard to be sensible and she is the only one! Also shallowly, they make such a BEAUTIFUL couple! His longing for her is palpable! She really doesn't know the depth of his feelings because they are crazy. Seeing people dismiss their lovely, lovely love distresses me so much!
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
Have you seen the Aeneid told via Facebook updates? http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2009/03/aeneidonfacebookfinal_02.png The best part is when Dido changes her relationship status to "Married" and Aeneas his to "It's Complicated." Without a doubt, the best summary of book 4 ever.
Dec. 21st, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Love this!
(no subject) - ladytinyhelm - Dec. 21st, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - quintus_severus - Dec. 22nd, 2009 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - everstone - Jan. 1st, 2010 07:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, I wanna see Merlin too, very badly. I think I will have to stalk the internets for it because nobody seems to think it necessary to air it here in Germany.

But I did see Vampire Diaries! I loved it to no end. Especially since Damon is The Most Awesome Lunatic Ever. (Gosh, how I loved it when he and Stefan switched roles. :D) But the mean cliff-, no, sorry: The Mean Cliffhanger was Mean. With a capital M.
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
This television season, I went for Goofy Yet Oddly and Amazingly Charismatic Male Lead and No-Nonsense, Sensible Girl Who Has A Gun and Knows How to Use It. In other words? Castle. It's got great dialogue, great character chemistry, and I laugh all the time when I watch it. I miss the show already.

Castle is kind of like Bones, only if Brennan were a normal but repressed detective possessed of a tragic history and if Booth were an irrepressibly flirty best-selling author constantly attempting (and failing) to get under her skin...okay, so maybe not so similar, but they fight crime and are snarky, which is always good. :D

First time commenter, and I have to say, I love your writing style. Also, sign me up for viewership on the Night World mini-series (provided they get a decent actor for Ash, because no way will I stand idly by if they Cullen-ize him, no sir!)
Dec. 21st, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
I also love Castle! I even got the tie-in novel they released a few months ago.
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
I started watching The Vampire Diaries because in my mind, I went "HELLO NEW VAMPIRE THING I WILL TRY YOU OUT". I...didn't have high hopes, because the ads they were running were so ridiculously emo, and if it was all angst-ridden teenage stuff, I wouldn't still be watching it. However, Damon is just about the best thing evar, and you made me giggle so hard with your cliff's notes version of him X3
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)

It is silly to hate Arthur/Gwen really, because we already know that Arthur and Gwen are Destined To Be and also that Gwen does not in any way come between the awesome tag-team of Arthur and Merlin. She is not even going to stop the awesome tag-team of Arthur and Lancelot once it comes together because they too are Destined to Be, despite them both being in love with her and she with both of them in that horribly inconvenient fashion that usually makes me hate at least one or two of the people involved in this triangle, but in this case only makes me want to get out my kerchief and sniffle for all of them.

In short: there is plenty of love and friendship and deep bonding and tragedy of all kinds to go around, and I see no problems here. S2 was great*, roll on S3!

* And I say that as someone whose OTP (Uther/Morgana) was completely trampled flat by a troll this season and will never rise again, not that I ever seriously expected it to happen in the first place.
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