Monday, June 29, 2009

Addicted to Blood

I'm a little miffed at HBO. When you create shows that are the viewing equivalent of crack cocaine, it is my opinion that you must then deal responsibly with this commodity. I understand that next weekend is the prime party/holiday of summer, but the fireworks are going to have slightly less sparkle this year because I'll know it's because of the festivities that my dealer has blocked my access to my addiction. Which is to say, only three incredibly engrossing episodes into the season, HBO is going to make us sanguephiles wait for two weeks for another new episode. Fuckers. Fuckers!

Last night, they debuted the new comedy they're going to pair with Entourage, Hung. And, yes, it's about exactly what it sounds like. The titular character is played by Thomas Jane, who's always been about an 11 out of 10 on the cuteness meter, and I think he'll be able to hold this series down and keep me interested.

That expectation comes with a big caveat, though. From the overly-long pilot, I already got the feeling that this new "comedy" was going to jump into the new "dramedy" genre, much like the once-great Weeds. But the proliferation of this genre has lately started to strike me much like a lot of "literary fiction" that I read. After a short while, it starts to ramble along without much forward thrust, or the ability to keep each episode contained, and it ends up becoming a bit of a mess -- a drama that's not very dramatic, or comedy that just isn't all that funny. I'm sick of shit like that. I'm so sick to death of Weeds and Nancy fucking Botwin, and already the potential of Nurse Jackie seems to be flaming out after just a few episodes, mostly because they're walking that line and without the comedy, it just doesn't work for me. (In neither case, by the way, do I blame the lead actresses -- Edie Falco and Mary Louise Parker -- because they both have shown fine comic chops, but the writers just seem to not be up to the task of bringing the goods.

So, I hope that Hung mines its man-whore premise for all it's worth and that it can, uh, measure up to the comic bent of Entourage. Easily one of the best shows on TV for the first couple seasons, Entourage gets both praised and dissed -- and justly so on both counts -- because they've got both Piven and the startling funny and awesome Kevin Dillon keeping it rolling.

But it does, admittedly, suffer from a rather high douchey quotient at times. Last season, Entourage was ahead of the curve with the economic downturn as Vince struggled to stay saleable in Hollywood, failed, went broke, and then went home. And, for the second time, he revealed himself to be a real asshole when things don't roll his way, and E paid the price and absorbed his wrath. It pissed me off, because it finally made me root for E. But, all in all, maybe it was a good thing. E finally has me on his side, and I can forgive Vinny, and from all previews, it appears as though the boys are once again riding high in Hollywood when they return in just two weeks. Now, if only this would be an indicator of a global turnaround, things would be perfect.

But it is, even more than the return of the boys of summer, the return of True Blood after the holiday that I'll be most interested in. Salivating for, actually. Much like how E finally made the transformation last season, True Blood's writers did a quick arc with one of their newer characters to make her riveting. The young Deborah Ann Woll made her first appearance as Jessica near the end of last season when Bill was forced to "make" her. She was nearly heartbreaking in her terror, and then unexpectedly hilarious once she realized her new power. But that quickly devolved into annoying brattiness that was just too much to take, for both super-Vampire Eric, and for me, as the audience. But they've very quickly given her a powerful arc and Deborah's pulled it off beautifully, culminating last night in one of the sweetest and awkwardly sexy scenes Blood has given us yet. Another part of the thanks for those scenes and this new story playing so well goes to the affable likability factor of Jim Parrack's Hoyt Fortenberry, which is off the charts.

By the very nature of the show, where seemingly main characters get murdered, dismembered, or simply exsanguinated regularly, they're going to have to fall into the bad routine of bringing in "red shirts," or, like any team going for a championship, they're going to have depend quite a bit on their bench. And, luckily for them, they casted strongly and must've had a multiple season arc in mind, because Hoyt is a great example of a seemingly background guy coming off the bench and scoring right away. All last year, he was a sweet-natured pal of Jason's who simply lamented his loneliness. He had a few cute throwaway scenes that all fell into place when young Jessica strolled into Merlotte's with a striking combination of innocence and predatory beauty. Hoyt was, naturally, enchanted. Watching these two awkwardly flirt was both charming and charged -- the perfect mix of dreamy and danger that this show thrives on. Not to mention that Hoyt, along with Eric, does tons to raise the "good looking" quotient on the show.

And Eric continues to delight with his terrible beauty, and his loyal Pam is just simply a scream every week. But another "bench" player, Ginger at Fangtasia, has been the quintessential scream queen for a couple weeks running now. She shoots Lafayette, and SHE erupts into hysterical screeches.

This week it was Sookie who got her to unleash her shriek, but it was just as funny. I can't wait to see what makes her scream next. That's the shit that just makes this show rock.

I do have to say that I'm not fully engaged with Jason or Tara so far this season. I've had about enough of Tara being happy and nice with Eggs. He, too, has been thrown into the "shirtless" brigade, and with good reason, because old Eggs has a bod so hot you could fry bacon it. But he needs to do something about now other than just walk around shirtless. Given that he's living with crazy-ass Bachanalian Maryann, I suspect he'll be doing something soon. And poor clueless Jason falling into that cult -- I swear I can see where this is leading, and I don't like that much, because all this show ever does is surprise me, so hopefully I'm wrong.

Much like these half-hour shows that have an identity crisis regarding their genre, I still don't know how to pigeonhole True Blood. It's horror -- and often gorily so; it's comedy and it's a bit of melodrama; sometimes it's romance, and a whole bunch of sexy, too. Much like the beverage it's named after, it's a weird, synthetic mix that's probably not everyone's taste, but for those who do crave it, it's nearly essential. And now it's two weeks until we get more of it. There. Right there. That's something to make Ginger scream bloody murder.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Waxing Eloquent

If you're too faint of heart to follow True Blood, then this new essay by Donna George Storey may not be for you. She tells us all about her first experience getting a Brazilian wax. She says it was for research. I say that's definitely suffering for your art!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

X in Audio!

This is pretty cool news. I was lucky enough to have a short story included in Susie Bright's awesome, lovingly and sensually created erotica collection, X: The Erotic Treasury. It's a really gorgeous, cloth covered book with a slipcover and all, and it's stuffed full of excellent stories. Because of its glam looks, it makes a great gift or bedside keepsake.

BUT! I just found out that if you want to check out the stories in a little more economical manner, it's also now in in Kindle edition for $15.39.

BUT! Even cooler, it's just been made into an audiobook! I've never heard anyone read my work, so this is just terribly exciting. I'm downloading it right now. (also, it's actual PROOF to me that someone other than a friend HAS read one of my stories now!) I'm going to listen to mine before the replay of True Blood tonight! (And crikey, could SOMEONE who watches True Blood PLEASE freaking visit this blog to appreciate the work I put into that damn game and giggle at some of the jokes! Work with me here, fangbangers!)

Oh, back to X, though. The audio-book is now available! Right here! X audiobook!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

True Blood Drinking Game

Now, as you may know, when I find a show that really trips my triggers, I don't just watch it. I enjoy watching it. Volume up, phone off, and plenty of cocktails flowing. And if you have a few pals around who also enjoy the show, and cocktails, it can eventually lead the formation of a drinking game. Now, of course, you can take a crack at this with your choice of beverage, either beer of your choice, a vodka martini (three parts vodka and no parts vermouth) or Tru Blood (two parts B positive with one part O negative sounds about right). But whatever your choice of beverage, I'd suggest that unless you're wired like Maryann seems to be, you may want to pick one character and just drink according to his/her prompts instead of trying to tackle every rule, all the time. (The way I do.) Also, if any other fangbangers out there have any ideas to add to this list, let me know and I'll update it so we can all get snockered on Sundays (and repeat Tuesdays) together.

Jason is shirtless -- drink
Jason is obviously gratuitously shirtless -- drink two
Jason is screwing someone -- drink
Jason thinks he killed someone -- drink
Jason gets insulted by Andy -- drink
Jason lacks a comeback for Andy -- drink
Jason manages a comeback to Andy -- Celebrate! Keep on drinking!
Jason does something outrageously stupid and macho -- drink
Jason gets manipulated by someone -- drink

Tara cussed someone out -- drink
Tara bitches about her mom -- drink
Tara bitches at her mom -- drink twice
Tara is nice to her mom -- Keep on drinking and cuss Tara out.

Bill does something dorky -- drink
Bill does something old-fashioned -- drink and offer any guests a Fresca.
Bill says "Sook-ay" and sounds like Elvis as he does -- drink twice
Bill glamours someone -- drink
Bill shows skin -- drink
Bill shows fang -- drink twice and remember to recycle the bottle.
Bill sinks fang into Sookie -- keep on drinking

Sam pines for Sookie -- drink
Sam pines for Tara -- drink
Sam gets Tara -- drink twice
Sam gets Sookie -- keep on drinking!
Sam gets yelled at by Sookie -- sulk and drink
Sam gets yelled at by Tara -- drink
Sam gets yelled at by any female -- drink
Sam changes to the dog -- drink
Dog changes back to Sam and we get a skin shot of Sam -- drink twice and say "He's no Jason, but he's alright."

Lafayette wears lipstick/nail polish or some sort of makeup -- drink
Lafayette flirts with a girl -- drink
Lafayette flirts with a guy -- drink twice
Lafayette flirts with a VAMPIRE -- drink
Lafayette trusts Jason -- drink
Lafayette gets screwed by Jason -- drink twice
Lafayette shows skin -- drink
Lafayette puts someone in their place -- drink and call your friend a hooker.

Sookie yells at Sam -- drink
Sookie yells at Bill -- drink
Sookie gives some love to Sam -- drink twice
Sookie gives it up to Bill -- drink twice
Sookie gives Bill neck -- keep on drinking and take your B12 vitamin
Sookie avoids being glamoured -- drink
Sookie hears someone's thoughts -- drink and resist the urge to adjust your surrond sound
Sookie wears short-shorts -- drink
Sookie shows ample flesh -- keep on drinking and say "I guess it's been a long time since "The Piano" but it's still a little weird."

TERRY BELLEFLEUR does something endearingly kooky -- drink
ANDY BELLEFLEUR gets pissed at not being taken seriously -- drink
JESSICA compares BILL unfavorably to ERIC -- drink and say "Amen."
Anyone compares BILL unfavorably to ERIC -- drink twice
ERIC does something to trump BILL -- drink
ANY VAMPIRE does something to trump BILL -- drink
BILL gets the upper hand with ANY VAMPIRE -- drink twice
PAM wears dominatrix garb -- drink
PAM wears a sweater-outfit -- drink twice
Any VAMPIRE gets staked -- drink
Any VAMPIRE gets staked and explodes on a human -- drink and put on some silver jewelry
Anyone does V -- toast and drink
ARLENE whines to Sam about work -- drink
Any random gratuitous sex scene -- drink and praise HBO
Any random gratuitous blood scene -- take a big chug of the Tru Blood and praise HBO
MARYANN's pig shows up -- drink and have some bacon as a snack
MARYANN does that shiver thing -- drink
ANYONE says "FANGBANGER" -- toast and drink
ANY sort of NEW FUCKED UP THING appears -- Keep on drinking and praise Charlaine Harris
ANY character suffers some sort of humiliation that's funny -- Keep on drinking and praise Alan Ball

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Reading

Do you like to while away lazy summer days reading a good, page-turning book? If you're like me, you could let the day slip into sunset if you're engrossed, and so here's a book that can get you hooked. Now in Kindle format, it's a great time to check out Donald Capone's Into the Sunset.

This book is perfect for a lazy beach day. It's funny, got a snappy plot, and a main character you root for -- not to mention some randy love scenes. And now, on sale for just $2.39, it's a perfect bargain, too!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


And in the battle of premium networks, it only took one episode of True Blood for HBO to, uh, take a big bite out of Showtime. From Vampire Bill's explaining that his household recycles to Detective Bellefluer investigating drunk, to Eric's foil highlights, Alan Ball takes the addictive-as-crack books by Charlaine Harris and makes this the most entertaining show of the summer. Pure, bloody fun. You know you're in for some good shit when the pre-show warnings are a full page long and start off with "strong sexual content, graphic violence, nudity" and just keep going from there. But Ball makes the most of all that skin and blood and mines it for first rate chills and laughs.

In case you can't get enough from the show, Harris just released book nine in the series:
Dead and Gone

And one of my main complaints from last year was that I just wish the guys were more attractive. I've got no problem with the chicks, as Anna Paquin is both dollbaby darling and undoubtedly fierce as Sookie. In stark contrast to the grotesquely weak female in the "Twilight" series, Sookie is both sexy and strong. If it weren't so graphic, she would be an ideal role model for teenage girls. And now we've got Michelle Forbes added to the cast, looking luminous and acting like a crazy fucking freak. It's awesome!

As for the guys, although Ryan Kwanten's abs don't do anything for me, and Vampire Bill just doesn't trip my triggers, I have high hopes for Eric this year. His gangly hair turned me off last year, but after watching Alexander Skarsgard in the most truly excellent Generation Kill (and that's serious good, people, not the camp entertainment I'm talking about here), I have to admit that I got more than warmed up to the towering Swede. Given the looks of the new promo posters, and after seeing the mayhem that befell Skarsgard's Eric while getting his highlights retouched, I think we're in for an upgraded look for him this year.

Much more...tasteful look for him.

Summer on HBO is gonna suck -- in the best way!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Edie Gets Her Man

Summer is the time of year that premium networks HBO and Showtime really take the opportunity to kick the everloving shit out of network television programming, and it looks like this year will be no exception. This week, that loony Nancy Botwin returned for another season of Weeds on Showtime, but it looks like they've found a winner to back it up, too. Edie Falco returns to series tv in Nurse Jackie, and based on the pilot ep, there's going to be plenty to love here.

Oxycontin lovin' Nurse Jackie already had a tarantinoish escapade with a dismembered ear which endeared her to me, but her supporting cast gives me fits of giggles, too. There's Peter Facinelli, and really, with him, what's not like? But they've also given him a bizarre quirk that's just delightful. But the best piece of casting? Midway through the episode, we see Nurse Jackie getting it on with a doctor, and that doctor is played by Paul Schulze. Not an HBO geek like me? Well, first, Edie and Paul had nearly adjoining lockers way back in 1997 on HBO's debut (and dearly departed) prison drama Oz, where they both played guards. Alas, back then, she was too busy evading Scott Ross and screwing McManus to be hooking up with Schulze. But then, the BIG lustfest set in between the two of them just two years later when she took up residence at HBO as Carmella Soprano and skirted sacrilege when she nearly got it on with Father Intintola -- again played by Schulze. Their romance ended up consisting of only one night of steamy sacraments when Intintola gave Carm communion by feeding her the eucharist. And no, that's not some tacky euphemism -- she literally ate the bread and nothing else. But now, finally, it just took a move to Showtime and the banging begins! Go get him, Edie!

Round one goes to Showtime.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Rebel Stories on Kindle

Kindle and Kindle Ap users, have I got a deal for you. Two short story collections from Rebel Press are now available, at great prices, on Kindle.

Donald Capone's Stories from Sunset Hill is now available for just $.80.

And my collection of short stories, American Cool, is now available for just $.99.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Murder with Boston Jonson by Biff Mitchell

One of my favorite things about being a writer is getting to know, and getting to know the work of, other writers. One of my favorite writers -- as a person, and for his work -- is Biff Mitchell. He's written two of my favorite books, Team Player and The War Bug, and now I see that he's got a recurring character going. Picture Sam Spade crossed with Magnum PI, toss in a dash of Robert Pirsig. (Let's see how many google that last refernce.) Or, maybe better put, imagine if Tom Robbins was co-writing with Raymond Chandler. The result would be Mitchell's Boston Jonson -- a sort of pre-CSI guy set in the future, cracking cases in his debut novella, Murder by Art and then in his full-length novel, Murder by Burger.

I just gobbled down Burger and give it my full stamp of approval. It was fast, fun, clever, and quirky. It takes the well-loved, and well-worn, PI formula and puts some great new spice into the sandwich.


ShatterColors has a new interview up with me, where I talk about some of my juvenile delinquency.