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turning into a girl
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amw
I never really watched urban fantasy before. I've always been a sci-fi guy. I've watched pretty much every filmed-in-Canada sci-fi show since Stargate, and i have a soft-spot for even the most mediocre fare. I absolutely adore magical realist shows (Being Erica, Dead Like Me), though they're rare as hen's teeth. Superhero shows i generally also dig, although the ones i like are closer to spy-fi (Alphas, Arrow). But post-Xena swords and sorcery has always been a bit of a bore, even if it is set in the present day. Sure, J and i watched Charmed as one of those "couples shows", and it was fun, but i was never really interested in anything beyond that. Ghosts n monsters just don't tickle my fancy the way aliens n robots do. But when i started traveling, on the insistence of R, i started watching Supernatural. And after a few blah episodes of ghosts n monsters, i got totally hooked. Of course, Supernatural is less an urban fantasy show than an awesome celebration of Americana. An endless road-trip. Diners. Burgers. Pie. Dive bars. Beer. Bourbon. Detroit muscle. Gay subtext. Those dudes are my fucking heroes. It's one of the best shows i've ever watched. So i started to wonder what else what out there that i'd missed.

My first real dip in the pool was Lost Girl. I figured it wasn't too large a commitment because it has the modern Canadian sci-fi trademark of half-seasons instead of full seasons. And, surprisingly, i liked it. Perhaps i had been primed from watching Orphan Black and Being Erica - it was just so fun to see a show that was unashamedly set in Toronto, even if it was a Toronto with fairies and werewolves. And they all head down to a pub a lot like my local to get hammered at the end of their day's monster-bashing. Nifty. Yeah, there was the odd flashback to the dark ages of no internet and no cars, and some hokey "grand evil" plot-lines (seriously, i've seen Supernatural, put it away), but it was manageable because most of the time they were just kicking ass in my old home town. And it was kind of sweet to watch a chick-centric show after the relentlessly macho sausage-fest that is Supernatural. It opened a whole new world of television.

Next up were the shows pretty much every nerd i know has told me to watch - Buffy and Angel. I pretty much hated every episode i'd ever seen in the past, and pretty much everything else Joss Whedon does, but i figured i was ready for it after the contrived witty banter and girly melodrama of Lost Girl. The first few seasons of Buffy did very little for me, but i sat through them, acutely aware i was watching some "must-see" television that had up until now formed a notable hole in my nerd resume. The introduction of Angel (the show, not the insipidly boring and oddly creepy character of the first few seasons) made it more watchable. Last week i finished them up, still not really understanding why they are cult classics. Most of the characters annoyed the hell out of me, and some of the episodes were so insanely pretentious i wanted to punch someone in the head, although i must admit once i got used to the pacing i did enjoy the comedic episodes and some of the monsters of the week. It was also awesome to see Pete Campbell from Mad Men cameo on a whole season, even though his back-story was one of the most irritating stretches of television i've ever sat through.

So what now? The Vampire Diaries, that's what. Those other shows i could sort of pretend they weren't really urban fantasy, because they were Canadian, or they were nerd classics, or a road-trip show, but Vampire Diaries is straight-up, no-nonsense, i-paint-my-fingernails-black-and-write-poetry-on-LiveJournal-and-want-to-be-whisked-away-by-some-guy-in-a-frilly-shirt urban fantasy. And it's fucking awesome. Yeah, it has the apparently obligatory period drama flashbacks and creepy-old-guy-falls-in-love-with-teenager thing, but it also has all the sexy, soapy fabulosity of a telenovela, with none of the Whedonesque three-episode yawn-fests whenever a character dies. And lots of characters die. And bitches better not spoil my ass because i am "only" near the end of season one. After three days. Netflix makes me binge.

And i need the binge, because i am working my ass off, being agile coach, lead developer on one project and senior developer on all the other stuff going on in my team. Plus still getting up-to-speed with the way things work. Tuesday night i only slept 2 hours after being at work for 10, falling asleep, then waking up in the middle of the night thinking about work. So of course i wrote notes all night instead of going back to bed. Yeah, i take my job seriously, bitch. And now i am getting sick, so i might not go out this weekend. After WhatsApping a friend back in Canada last week i got him to pay me the second half of what he owed me for some of my studio gear, so i ended up going to a party Sunday afternoon last week, which was fucking awesome, though it left me hungover and very tired Monday. So it's been an exhausting week. Tomorrow morning meeting with a third-party provider of a tool we want to integrate with our product, then i need to try complete two issues before the weekend, then arrrgh. Good times. Back to vampire melodrama.

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Lost Girl was great, and i agree with you about Whedon-verse. Im going to look into Vampire Diaries this weekend, thank you!

Vampire Diaries is a bit different to Lost Girl. It takes itself a lot more seriously, and the characters are mostly "popular kids", but it's pretty compelling. It starts off kinda like Dawson's Creek or some other highschool drama but suddenly veers off into epic fantasy melodrama. I'm halfway through season 3 now, and it rocks.

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