Though we publish books for a living, we’re an office that loves good TV, and on any day of the week you’re likely to overhear staffers or authors dissecting last night’s TV offerings or trying to pressure someone new into watching Friday Night Lights. (DO IT.) We’d like to let you in on the conversation. This month’s feature chat is between yours truly (Associate Editor Jen Knoch) and Crissy Calhoun, author of Love You to Death: The Unofficial Guide to The Vampire Diaries (Season 1 & Season 2) and Spotted: Your One and Only Unofficial Guide to Gossip Girl. We talk TVD, fall TV highlights and sing the praises of the singular Price Peterson.
JK: The Vampire Diaries is just about halfway into its third season right now, and (IMHO) it’s better than ever. How do you think it’s stepped up its game?
CC: I agree — this season is killing it. What the show does really well (IMHO), and has since the first season, is expand its universe to include richer mythology, new characters, and new twists and turns to burn through at the signature super-speed of TVD. So, for season 3, that means exploring the Original family of vampires, how that ties into Mystic Falls, and the core characters we’ve known since the beginning. Plus: flashback hair.
JK: One thing you’ve turned me on to this season is the total brilliance of Price Peterson’s TV.com photo recaps. I’ve actually used them as a selling point for the show: Watch this show so you can read these and laugh until you cry. But he doesn’t hesitate to criticize (albeit hilariously). As a hardcore TVD fan, what’s it like to read them?
CC: Price Peterson is the best. One thing the TVD fandom loves is a good joke, even at the expense of their beloved characters, so Price is a total hero for his non-stop comedy routine. He has a running gag that Elena is illiterate, and even Nina Dobrev (who plays Elena) got in on the comedy when he interviewed her. That said, there are some fans who get upset when he skewers their fave — there was an uprising of Bonnie defenders a few episodes ago, and hilariously Price started referring to Bonnie as “an unidentified friend” in his recaps.
JK: Do you have a fave Price Peterson joke from this season? It’s so hard to choose, but I might give the blue ribbon to “Bedroom/Candle Storage” in the S3 premiere recap.
CC: Impossible to choose just one! I fall for the running gags and expressions: Rebekah’s Britishness, shirtless hugs, “poot poot,” . . . Probably his recap to this year’s season premiere was the best; so good to have him back. And whatever you do don’t skip the text between the photos! Hilarity lurks there. I’m also addicted to his recaps for The Secret Circle, a show that hasn’t been as awesome as I’d hoped after watching the pilot . . .
JK: That’s too bad — my PP recap craving would have led me to that one eventually.
CC: To be fair, as it reached its midseason finale, it seemed to have found its way; it’s got this light horror thing going on, which when it works, works really well.
JK: It’s true. Not many shows hit it out of the park on the first few episodes (even your beloved TVD, which I would have mistakenly abandoned after 3 eps if you hadn’t convinced me to stay the course). So what shows are living up to your expectations (or surpassing them, even)?
CC: Top of the list: Revenge. That’s a show I hadn’t really planned on watching — an evening soap about getting back at some baddies in the Hamptons didn’t sound particularly appealing for me. But it is so well done — Emily VanCamp and Madeline Stowe are amazing, the plotting is superb, and even though there’s quite a bit of darkness in it and sophistication to its characters, it’s a boatload of fun each episode. I’m still in love with Parenthood, which fills the Friday Night Lights void a little, and Parks & Rec and Community continue to entertain.
JK: For me winter’s the time for TV-on-DVD benders, to discover series I missed the first time around. This winter I think I’ll catch up on Parenthood (really, to ease my FNL withdrawal). Are you planning on taking on any new series or revisiting old ones?
CC: I’m about two seasons behind on Dexter, so I might marathon that; The Good Wife is a show that so many people whose TV opinions I respect are really into, so that’s at the top of my list; I never seem to get around to watching Supernatural but one of these days . . . I really got into the ABC Family series The Lying Game and have a handful of episodes waiting for me. The Lying Game is what I hoped Ringer would be, but with teens. Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, a Game of Thrones rewatch . . . there aren’t enough hours in the day!
Agreed! So enough of this and let’s go watch some TV! For more of Crissy’s keen insights into the supernatural hijinks of Mystic Falls, check out her weekly recaps at Vampire-Diaries.net.