Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Castle Withdrawals, Dancing With the Stars, & 24

I was feeling the Castle withdrawals last night.  *sigh* It's going to be a long summer.

Although I did tune in for Dancing With the Stars.  I've been rooting for Derek Hough and his partner, Amy Purdy, who is a Paralympian bronze medalist. Both of her legs were amputated below the knee when she contracted bacterial meningitis at the age of nineteen. I couldn't believe that a woman without legs would be competing on a dance show and this season's competitors were especially good (two other Olympians, for example), not to mention that everyone else had two feet (some of them had both left feet, though! Ha!) Yeah, Amy struggled at times working with her prosthetic feet, trying to find solutions for any obstacles as to what her body could and could not do, and going out of her comfort zone in learning dances that anyone would have trouble learning, never mind someone with a disability like hers. I've been inspired every week by a woman who is gutting it out, giving her all,and showing the world that just because you have a disability that doesn't mean you can't achieve your dreams, no matter how out of reach they seem or what doctors may say. Amy has been a poster girl to just "take that first step" and bring your dream in reach and she became a great dancer in the process. I'll be cheering for them at the finals tonight!

And then I watched Jack Bauer tearing it up on 24.  One thing that show has really shown to me is how to ratchet up tension in a scene.  The writers of that show are so good at showing what the stakes are and then coiling up the scene (and the consequences) with every second that passes.  It is mesmerizing.

This ep has the president addressing British Parliament and trying to explain how a U.S. drone attacked and killed British and American soldiers.  The Chief of Staff, Mark Something or Other (are last names important? I can only think of him as Tate anyway) is deciding what to tell the president and when.  He's so shifty!

Meanwhile, Jack Bauer is trying to get the flight data recorder from the pilot who is holed up in the American Embassy in London.  He uses protesters to gain entrance, then once he gets the recording, he can't escape the dozens of Marines looking for him, so he barricades himself in the communication room with hostages. (And he flips tables! I knew that was coming, haha!)  But it was So. Tense.  I love that stuff.  Kiefer also uses the full power of his velvet voice, which is how we explain why everyone just does what Jack wants when faced with The Velvet. No one can resist the Velvet! (There used to be recaps on a website years ago that actually called Jack, the Velvet.  I should see if it's still around.)

Anyway, we shift to the the terrorists who are evil and terrible and violent.  I had to turn away during one scene, but that's classic 24 actually.  I should probably take some lessons from that, since my critique group says my villain in my current book needs to be meaner.

So, there you have it.  What about you?  Are you watching any good shows or are they all on hiatus now?


Debra Erfert said...

I miss your Castle updates. Can't wait for summer to be over. Of course, down here in southern Arizona, the temps get up into the 100+teens, so anything but summer is preferred anyway. LOL!

24 is too violent for my taste, especially after I read about the who Russian Roulette episode, it might've been last week's? Anyway, I'm glad you found a substitute for Castle.

And why does a villain need to be meaner? Evil doesn't have to be mean, just evil, and an evil-doer doesn't necessarily makes sense.

Good luck on the cover contest. I voted for yours, just so you know.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I couldn't live in Arizona. I would melt. LOL

24 is violent. The Russian roulette thing was several seasons ago, though, and that wasn't a season I would rewatch. Sigh. But I do love seeing Jack Bauer save the world, usually at the expense of everyone he loves because it's a story that sucks me in and the tension/writing is so great. We'll see how this season/special event goes.

My villain was apparently too "Canadian" and mannerly. They weren't afraid of him or feeling the tension that needed to be there. So that is something that definitely needs to be fixed. Sigh.

Thank you for the vote! I really did love that cover. :)

Debra Erfert said...

What I don't understand is why can't a villain be quiet and mannerly. I can just see a man sitting back and smiling as he offs someone. That's sickly evil in my book. Who says that type of bad guy is wrong?

Jon Spell said...

Our one complaint about 24 (so far) is that Jack doesn't tell enough people about his plan.

Granted: we haven't watched the 2nd half of this week's show. Does he finally convince Kate? They would make a great team - maybe as good as Renee, but maybe not. Love seeing her back in CIA action after Chuck.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Maybe it's just a tension problem. I'm going to tweak it a little, keep working on it, you know? That perfectionist in me is hard to silence in situations like this. :)

Jon, it's interesting how few people Jack is trusting this season. And I am really interested to see if Kate/Jack have any chem. They might make a great team, but only the chem test will tell. :)

(Side note, I just finished the second season of Chuck. So. Funny.)