Month: February 2016

Thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

harry potter 8

I was a major Harry Potter fan growing up. I credit those books for making me want to become a writer. I had a cape and a wand. I locked myself in my room for two whole days when the final book came out. Like every true Harry Potter fan, I’m excited about “The Cursed Child.” But I’m also conflicted.

I was pleased with the ending of The Deathly Hallows. I was a little disappointed with a few of the character deaths (R.I.P. Fred Weasley and Hedwig), but I enjoyed the finale. Harry had a family, he was safe and finally happy. It was a good ending to a good series. Apparently, that isn’t the ending, though, as the series will continue. It’s similar to how I felt about Star Wars: I’m glad to see a series I love continue, but sometimes you just need to leave it be and be satisfied with the conclusive ending we were given.

Furthermore, it will be sad to see the suffering of Harry continue. He went through so much in the first seven books, that it was nice to see him in a good place and able to live as a normal wizard at the end of The Deathly Hallows. We can presume that this suffering and hardship will continue, though, since the series continues. Plus, “The Cursed Child” sounds very grim.

Still, it will have been seven years since the release of the previous installment of the Harry Potter franchise. I am excited and will be reading it the day it comes out. I have a lot of faith in J.K. Rowling, and am sure it will be well-written and perfect, like the rest of her books. I’m not 100% on board for the series continuing, but I will still support it. I was very much against Star Wars Episode 7 happening, but really enjoyed it. So hopefully the same will happen with “The Cursed Child.”

 

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Why I Write For Fun

Realistically, I’m not sure if I will ever become a television series writer, but that hasn’t stopped me from writing for fun.  I’ve found a lot of benefits from writing on my own term, despite not getting any monetary compensation for it.

1. The Freedom:

When I write on my terms, I get to write what I want.  I have full creative freedom.  Sure, that script may only exist on paper, and doesn’t have a chance to be professionally made unless I send it to someone. But one of the reasons I have hesitated to pursue writing is because I know as a writer starting out, I will be writing someone else’s story, not my own.

2. The Brain Stimulation:

I just graduated school in May, and have been working part-time at Disneyland. It’s a nice job, but there isn’t a lot of mental, creative stimulation involved as a cashier. Writing has allowed me to continue higher-order thinking and use the knowledge I earned at Chapman, to a greater cause.

3. It’s Like Watching TV:

I finished re-watching Buffy and Smallville, which were very exciting to me. I watch current television, but I’m not super passionate about anything currently on TV. So, in order to cope with this boredom, I’ve decided to write in the meantime. When I write, I get to re-create the shows I enjoy watching by taking elements I enjoyed from them, such as the structure, tone or way of storytelling, and watch them, in a sense. I get to take the best of written television and re-create it.

4. Maybe One Day:

I’ve read in multiple books on the entertainment industry that it is important to write stories that you are passionate about and close to you.  Those stories will become your best writing. By writing stories for fun, I’ve wrote these stories that are my best work possible. If I ever get the opportunity to have my script read by a producer or an agent, there is a chance they may admire my writing ability or think my series has potential. This could be my key to landing a writing job, and reaching my career goals of becoming a writer.

Roswell: A Forgotten Gem of a TV Series

roswell

After finishing re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was looking for a new show to watch off Netflix. I was still sad that I had finished watching Buffy, and yearned to watch something similar to it. I had seen the series, Roswell, next to it on Netflix and Hulu, before, but thought it must be kind of lame. It only lasted three seasons, and I had never heard of it. But I was super bored one night and decided to give it a chance. I’m glad I did.

As of writing this post, I am still watching the series. I have eight episodes left. No matter how it ends, I’ve learned a lot about writing from watching the series.

In the first two seasons, every episode was like a mini-movie. The episodes were action-packed, with twists and turns. The plot moved along fast, and didn’t drag out. The pilot episode was one of the most exciting I have ever seen. Normally, I don’t enjoy pilots, but this pilot had me hooked.

I also very much enjoyed the characters. Half of them were aliens, but they were all relatable teenagers and I rooted for all of them. They’re some of the most unique and strongest teen characters I’ve ever seen on screen, particularly the lazy and punk-rock loving alien, Michael, and Liz, who feels much more down-to-earth than any other leading girls on teen series.

The relationships on the show were likewise well-established. Max and Liz had me rooting for them since the first episode, with their star-crossed lovers dilemma (him being an alien and she’s human). They’re that adorable, average couple, but with an alien twist. Michael and Maria were likewise fun to watch, but because of the hilarious contrast between their characters.

I wasn’t too surprised that Roswell was a great series, considering its showrunner was Jason Katims of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. It’s just a shame that it didn’t last longer on television, like its sister series on the WB, Buffy and Smallville. It was a great series, that pretty much no one has heard of.

Teen Wolf: A Pleasant Surprise

teen wolf

When the Teen Wolf TV series was first announced, I thought it sounded ridiculous. It would be another Twilight with low quality storytelling and overdramatic romances. When it first released, I remember hearing good reviews about it. My friends talked about how much they liked it one day during lunch. I still was skeptical.

I decided to give Teen Wolf a try over the summer, and ate my words. It was great. It was, in my opinion, one of the best teen shows I had ever seen. I would get through my long days at work, knowing that I could watch it when I came home.

I lost interest in Gossip Girl and Dawson’s Creek because the characters were unlikeable. Teen Wolf, however, has some of the most relate-able and fun characters. Stiles and Scott are a joy to watch every week. The show places importance on friendship, family and love. There is very rarely backstabbing or hooking up on the show.

Like another one of my favorite shows on television, Arrow, Teen Wolf uses drama, action and villains perfectly. Every episode is an adventure and feels like a movie. There is no guarantee that things will turn out alright in the end. Usually, there is some crazy cliffhanger that makes it impossible for me to not immediately watch the next episode.

I’ve recently thought that the quality teen tv series I grew up with, such as Buffy and Smallville, is dead. But Teen Wolf has given me hope that this genre can still be respectable and good television.

 

Binge-Watching: A Source Of Inspiration

As an aspiring writer, I watch a lot of television shows. I’m always afraid to start watching a new show because I get hooked easily. Hours will go by, and I’m still watching the same show. Forget cleaning the house or going grocery shopping. I’ve recently gotten hooked on Roswell, the 1999 WB teen drama. However, this binge-watching has been beneficial to me.

Watching Roswell, I’ve been inspired to once again write my own teen TV show. I want to write a show that is as riveting and rich with interesting characters as the series is. It’s a very powerful show that has reminded me why I want to write in the first place: because I can create my own touching moments and loveable characters. I want to create a show that others will binge-watch because they can’t wait to see what happened after that last cliffhanger or heartbreaking scene.

I think back on the previous shows I’ve binge-watched religiously: Teen Wolf, Smallville, That 70’s Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Arrow. Once I finished watching them, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. I scrolled through Netflix. No shows appealed to me. I realized that instead, I should write my own. I could create the same drama, heartbreak and heartwarming moments that I loved watching myself.

I’m getting to the halfway point of the Roswell series. I’m going to miss watching it when I’m done, but that will only give me more motivation to write again.

Top 10 Smallville Episodes

smallville

While looking to learn how to write ground-breaking episodes of my own future TV series, I’ve decided to make Top Ten lists of my own favorite TV shows. I’ll start with my favorite show of all-time: Smallville.

10. Justice (Season 6)- Probably the best live-action version of The Justice League that we will ever see. Seeing Clark team up with Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, and Cyborg was like reading a classic comic book.

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9. Descent (Season 7)- One of the most heartbreaking deaths on the show: Lionel Luthor. And at the hands of his own son. The final scene with Clark and Lex standing by his grave was one of my favorite in the series

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8. Arctic (Season 7)- The Lex vs. Clark confrontation 7 seasons in the making. The tension was never stronger as Lex discovered Clark’s secret, and died in the process.

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7. Pilot (Season 1)- The final scene where Clark imagines dancing with Lana made me instantly fall in love with the couple, and sympathize with Clark, who was an outsider who wanted desperately to fit in.

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6. Lexmas (Season 5)- I’m always a sucker for holiday episodes. This one had a nice tone to it, and was a great Lex-centric episode. The scene at the end where Lex realizes power is what is important to him revealed his descent to the dark side, and was bone-chilling.

5. Spell (Season 4)- A very silly episode. Pretty much Hocus Pocus conceptually. But seeing Lana as a 17th century witch, and Clark dancing in his underwear, was hilarious. The episode was fun overall, and a nice Halloween episode.

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4. Mortal (Season 5)- For pretty much the first time in his life, Clark is happy. He’s normal and he and Lana are in love. Seeing Clark’s death and Lana’s reaction to it was tear-jerking, but the scene where he comes back from the dead and embraces her in a hug was beautiful.

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3. Unsafe/Pariah (Season 4)- Clark and Alicia were a weird match, but her craziness was certainly fun to watch. And her death at the end of the episode, when she was just becoming good, was very sad.

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2. Promise (Season 6)- After six seasons, Lana finally discovers Clark’s secret. This episode was a roller-coaster ride: Lex killing a man (Lana’s doctor) to reveal the monster he’s become, Lana watching Clark use his powers, and Clark wondering why Lana married Lex, and Lionel threatening to kill Clark if Lana doesn’t marry Lex. The scene at the end, where Lana watches Clark from the car as she drives off as a married woman, was probably the most sincere moment between the two in the entire series.

smallville promise

1. Reckoning (Season 5)- This might be my favorite episode of any TV show. EVER. The episode was like a movie, and every minute was perfectly written. Clark finally reveals his secret to Lana, and she agrees to marry him! We knew this wouldn’t last, but we kept watching the episode with hope that they would end up happy. I cried Clark held Lana’s dead body in his arms. And the funeral scene where Clark buried his father was the most emotional in the entire series.

smallville reckoning