Just so you all know, Thomas Galvin (@thomascgalvin on Twitter) was the very first Vampire Diaries recapper that I followed RELIGIOUSLY!! When I got my sister hooked on the show she was stationed overseas and did not have regular internet access. I was so in love with his recaps that I would print them out and mail them to her through the US Navy Snail Mail. Just so she could enjoy all of the same wonders I was enjoying here in the states. Thomas also blogs on a number of other topics with the same great humor and he collects goodies from around the web so that I don’t have to. His blog (Thomas-Galvin.com) is one of my favorites so be sure to check it out. Thomas is now also a respected novelist! Please buy his awesome book, Sire here. Between writing amazing recaps and writing his sequel, he took time to answer some of my favorite questions!
Aw, thanks Erin. That may be the first time anyone has used the words “respected’ and “novelist” that close to my name before. Usually it’s more like “Novelist? What’s that? Like, do you sell ‘novelty’ items in that shady store with no windows in the seedy part of town?” And then they call security.
You have written a novel set in a brand new vampire world. Who is your favorite vampire of all time?
There are a lot of vampires that make me happy in my pants. Obviously Damon Salvatore is my current go-to for snark with a side of fangs, and Spike (from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was always good for a laugh back in the day.
But the iconic vampire, for me, is Angel, also from Buffy. Anne Rice had already introduced the “vampire with a soul” motif, or at least “vampire with a conscience,” but Angel was really the first character that did something about it. He didn’t sit around getting emo all over the carpets – at least not all of the time – he actually went out and tried to make the world a better place.
The “monster who fights monsters” is one of my very favorite characters, and the modern incarnation really started with Angel. Without him, we probably wouldn’t have Stefan Salvatore, and I probably wouldn’t have Michael McKenna.
According to me, television is better than it has ever been. Of everything you’re watching right now, what is your favorite?
This is going to be shocking and controversial, and I’m sorry for the flame war that I’m going to unleash on your blog, but The Vampire Diaries is the best show on television right now. No other show blends humor, horror and hormones as well as TVD, and the show’s breakneck pace it unmatched.
You recap a lot of genre shows. Have you ever thought about throwing your unique style on a show that is set in the “real world”?
Not really. I’m a huge genre whore, and I have a really hard time getting interested in the mundane. Also, genre shows are kind of absurd on their face – no one really believes a two-hundred year old vampire is going to enroll in high school, no matter how cute the cheerleaders are – and that lends itself to my kind of absurd humor.
Also, recapping two shows at a time nearly kills me ever week. I don’t have room in my life for any more. Also also, if taking on another show didn’t kill me, my wife would.
Anything you watch that you wish you could just give up?
Summer is on its way, and an interesting thing happens to television … it starts to suck. More people are out playing in the Big Blue Room, which means fewer eyes on the shiny magic box, which means fewer advertiser dollars, which means a lot of reruns and also-rans get tossed at us.
All of my favorite shows – TVD, TSC, Grey’s, and House - are either done for the season or just about to wrap up. And in their place … I’m honestly kind of not looking forward to recapping Teen Wolf and True Blood this year.
But here’s the thing. I don’t watch any show because I have to. I’m not paid to do this. When I watch a show, it’s because it’s awesome, or because it has the potential to be awesome.
True Blood has really gone off the rails the last couple of seasons. I could not care less about Lafayette’s devil ghost baby problem or Sam’s werehorse fetish. But there are enough brilliant moments to keep me coming back, like when Russel Edgington ripped a guy’s spine out on national TV, or Eric drank from a guy’s heart like it was a vampire Capri Sun. I don’t want to give up True Blood, I just want it to live up to its potential.
Teen Wolf has a lot of elements that could work really well together. Stiles is easily the best character on that show, and I wish he was the werewolf instead of Scott. Derek has a lot of potential as a brooding badass (and he has a really sweet car), Chris Argent is stone cold, and his daughter has this unusual buttoned-up sex symbol thing going on.
I just get the feeling that the show runners aren’t exactly sure about what story they want to tell. Last season basically flipped a coin at the beginning of each episode to decide if Derek was treated like a good guy or a bad guy, and Scott spent more time worrying about making first line than about the mythical hell beast intent on destroying everything that he loves.
But, like I said, there’s potential there. I really hope the show lives up to it this season.
Most of the decisions have been made as far as network cancelations, renewals and pickups go. Anything you would give a limb to get back? Anything you wish would die in the fires of hell?
I’m really bummed that The Secret Circle didn’t get picked up for a second season. That show was really uneven, and like Teen Wolf, I don’t think the show runners knew what story they were trying to tell.
The thing is, in the last five or six episodes, they figured it out. There were a couple of weeks where TSC was actually better than TVD, and the season/series finale set up some fantastic plots. I would gladly trade an entire season of topless Anna Paquin to see what happened to the Balcoin children.
And no, there really isn’t anything I want condemned to the infernal depths. Like I said, this isn’t my job, so I’m allowed to change the channel. I don’t begrudge people their favorite shows.
Except Fox News. Seriously, fuck those guys.
Of all the new shows that came up in 2011/2012, was there one that you were expecting to love but just couldn’t?
The Lady and I were looking forward to Smash, but it just never grabbed us. Scandal is good – aside from the OMG THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT AND AWESOME musical two-by-four they keep whacking the audience with – but it isn’t great.
Vampire Diaries Season 3 is over and out. Do you have a stand out character? A stand out story line?
Evil Stefan, bar none.
I kind of hated Stefan after Season Two. The only reason he existed was to agree to Elena’s stupid / suicidal plans and cock-block his brother. I hate goody-two-shoes characters, and Stefan was just insufferable.
And then he went on a six-state bender, leaving a trail of exsanguinated sorority sisters behind him, and everything was awesome again.
I’ve never seen Paul Wesley in anything else, and I had no idea what he was capable of. His turn as the Ripper made me realize that PW is actually fantastic, and Stefan’s cardboard personality is a choice. I really can’t say enough for what that storyline did for my opinion of the actor and the character he plays.
I really hope they do something similar with Bonnie next season. She’s been a lot better lately, and I’m all aquiver at the idea of her going to the dark side.
I hate using the term “guilty pleasure” because I never feel guilty about TV but, is there something you’re embarrassed to admit you watch regularly?
Erin, I’m a thirty-something straight guy who writes about teenage vampires. “Embarrassed” left town a few years ago.
Favorite television character of all time:
Tough But Sensitive Snarky Ass Kicker Guy. That’s more of a Jungian archetype than a character, but he manifests in Greg House, Damon Salvatore, Dean Winchester …
Favorite Television moment of all time:
The entire arc where Angel lost his soul was fantastic, and there were so many great moments. Like in Innocence, where Angel told Buffy he “thought she was a pro,” and she falls into bed sobbing. Or in Passion, where Angel leaves Jenny Calendar’s corpse in Giles’ bed, with opera music playing. But the best moment was probably in Becoming – Part Two, when Angel gets his soul back but Buffy has to kill him anyway, and Buffy says “close your eyes,” and then she stabs him, and then Sarah McLachlan starts playing, and, and … yeah, that left me gutted.
The show you wished would have never ended:
All good things come to an end. Eventually, no matter how talented you or your writers are, you run out of stories to tell about a particular character in a particular universe.
I love House, but it feels done. Same with Buffy … the “season nine” comics were pretty solid evidence that everything that needs to be said about Buffy has been said already.
It would have been really nice to watch Firefly unfold, though. That show was mishandled from the start. It was something really special, but the network never gave people the chance to find that out.
If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?
Most TV watchers don’t need to hear anything from me, but there’s a very small, very vocal minority who need to be sat down, given a lollypop, and told that the world will not end if $ATTRACTIVE_MALE_CHARACTER doesn’t end up with $ATTRACTIVE_FEMALE_CHARACTER.