Tiffany Vogt

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STAR-CROSSED Finale: Saying Goodbye to the Atrians and Humans Who Stole Our Hearts

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Showcases, * TV Addict, Star-Crossed on May 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm

 

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

From the beginning, the Atrian Seven were the ones chosen to integrate into Marshall High. But with each subsequent episode, it became more about all the fascinating characters, both Atrian and human, that were introduced in the rich world of STAR-CROSSED.

On the Atrian side, there was Roman, Drake, Sophia, Teri, Castor, Vega and Saroya – though we should probably include Zoe and Beaumont.

Then on the human side, there was Emery, Julia, Lukas, Grayson, Eric, Taylor, Gloria – and spicing things up from time to time were Mr. and Mrs. Montrose, Mr. Burke and Ms. Benton.

All their lives came together at two pivotal points: Arrival Day and Integration Day.

Arrival Day was the day the Atrians’ spaceship crash landed on Earth, just outside of Edendale. It was the day that humans and Atrians took immediately to arms and forever cemented the violent distrust between them. Also spawned that day were the warring, vengeful factions: the Trags (Atrian dissidents) and the Red Hawks (human terrorists).

For 10 years, the Atrians were kept sequestered and isolated in a small area near their crashed ship, known as the Sector. Made up of old shipping containers, which the Atrians called “pods,” the Sector was more like a make-shift internment camp to hold the aliens until the humans could figure out what to do with them. Because the the Atrians had fled their dying planet, they had no home to return to and the Atrians needed the refuge and resources that Earth could survive so their species could survive.

But humans, even after 10 years, were not inclined to trust people that come from another planet and believing that while the Atrians may look human, with the exception of their tattoo-like markings, they could not actually be human. Unfortunately, ten years of separation had done little to ease mankind’s fears.

Then came Integration Day, the day that seven of the Atrian teens were selected to attend a nearby high school to see if Atrians and humans could successfully integrate and accept each other. That’s the great thing about teens – they do not always share the irrational fears of their parents and elders. Teens tend to assess people based on their own impressions. So Integration Day was a key pivot-point as the Atrian Seven arrived at Marshall High and began to show the humans just how similar they were.

It helped that one of the Atrian Seven was Roman (Matt Lanter), who as a little boy had met Emery (Aimee Teegarden) that fateful day on Arrival Day. As young children, Roman and Emery had bonded over spaghetti, a string star, and the simple fact that their hearts were open and willing to meet each other and not fear each other. Emery’s instincts had been to feed and keep Roman safe, and he too felt as protective of her when the military came looking for him. At 6 years old, he bravely stood in front of young Emery – willing to sacrifice his life for hers. Fortunately, a biological anomaly saved him: Roman was born with two hearts — if we all could be so lucky. Imagine the capacity for love with two hearts. Regardless, it was a brave and selfless act – one which was forever ingrained in Emery’s memory.

So on Integration Day, Emery was curious to meet the Atrians, remembering the young boy who defended her and seemingly gave his life to protect her all those years before. Perhaps her curiosity and openness was infectious as her friends Julia (Malese Jow) and Lukas (Titus Makin Jr.) were also just as eager to get to know the Atrians. Then, there was Roman. He recognized Emery instantly. But she had not recognized him, thinking he had died 10 years before. It did not matter. Once Roman realized that the girl who had befriended him all those years before was Emery, it was as if destiny were pulling them closer together.

Thus, the least Roman could do once he saw that Emery’s best friend Julia was dying was to help her. He risked everything to save Julia, revealing the special healing properties of Atrian herbs and their blood. It was another selfless act, but one that came at a price – one that ultimately put all the Atrians at risk simply because their blood could heal.

It also soon became apparent that Roman and Emery were closer than either the humans or the Atrians felt comfortable. It was a step towards integration that seemed to ignite ugly insecurities and fears on both sides. But the prejudices of their elders could not stop love from blooming. Roman and Emery had fallen in love when they first met 10 years ago and being thrown together again, that just sparked it anew.

And they were not the only ones. Taylor (Natalie Hall) was also immediately drawn to Drake (Greg Finley) and did not hesitate to say so when the first opportunity presented itself. Unfortunately, it was a comedy of errors as Drake was initially under the impression that Taylor was also Atrian; but once he found out she was human, the pull of attraction and love was too strong to ignore.

In addition, Roman’s sister Sophia (Brina Palencia) also fell under the spell of humans and would tell anyone who asked how she felt about Taylor — for Atrians have no qualms about who they love. Love is love and they listen to their hearts. Lukas was also a bit smitten with Sophia, a love that was repaid when Sophia saved his life as he was dying.

Right away it was clear human and Atrian integration was a huge success. Even the initially dubious Eric (Jesse Luken) and Grayson (Grey Damon) were ultimately won over. And as later found out, Gloria (Victoria Platt) was not only the national security advisor in charge of human/Atrian integration at the school, she had a half-Atrian child born out of a love-bond with Roman’s deceased father.

So the lines separating humans and Atrians were slipping away. Their interests were too aligned. Both wanted to survive and seemed to understand that the key was working together; and that each had something significant to offer the other. Plus, the pull of attraction between the two species was encouraging them to embrace integration and welcome each other into their lives.

The STAR-CROSSED story was not just about love breaking down barriers, it was about the joy of discovering what both species could offer each other. The Atrians’ blood could heal, but they also had advanced weaponry and technology – not to mention their unique herbs that could promote healing, hallucinations, or sudden death. Then the humans could offer a resource-rich planet and a love that ignited a fire in each of them. So maybe destiny did have a plan and bringing the Atrians to Earth was just a part of it.

Thirteen episodes seems like not enough to tell the tale of all the fascinating characters populating the STAR-CROSSED world. Atrian — human — it did not matter. Each had something unique and beautiful to offer. The rich tales of how they were going to conquer the fears and prejudices on both sides has only just begun.

It is painful to say goodbye to such a rich and rewarding television show. STAR-CROSSED introduced a fascinating world we all want to spend more time in and it created characters that we genuinely fell in love with:

Roman – the Atrian boy who loved a girl enough to risk everything to save her and her best friend.
Emery – the human girl who loved the same Atrian boy enough to also risk everything to save him and his people.

Julia – a human girl desperately trying to keep the Atrians’ healing secret while falling in love with a human boy.
Eric – a human boy learning to think for himself and discovering he was not the monster inside that he feared, who also fell in love with a human girl.

Taylor – a human girl determined to love the man she wanted, even if he was from another planet.
Drake – an Atrian boy, who was surprised to discover that his heart loved a human girl and it made him reevaluate everything he thought he knew about humans.

Lukas – a human boy falling in love with an Atrian girl, even if she did not feel the same, and who would do anything to protect his friends.
Sophia – an Atrian girl unabashedly in love with a human girl and willing to save a human boy who loved her.

Grayson – a human boy initially taught to hate by his parents who then learned to evaluate his beliefs on his own and falling for a girl that unfortunately had already given her heart to another.
Teri (Chelsea Gilligan) – an Atrian girl who loved an Atrian boy, despite the fact he did not love her back and who would kill to protect him.

Gloria – the champion of human/Atrian integration all because her son was half-Atrian and she wanted to create a world where both species could live in peace.
Saroya (Louise Lombard) – an Atrian mother determined to protect her son no matter what the cost, even if it meant her freedom.

We also loved the villains of the show: Vega, Zoe, Beaumont, Castor, Ms. Benton, Mr. Burke, Mr. and Mrs. Montrose. They made the STAR-CROSSED world a bit more interesting and unpredictable:

Vega (Merle Dandridge) – a fierce Atrian, leader of the Trags, who felt it was imperative to strike back at the humans whenever they could in order to protect their species.
Zoe (Dora Madison Burge) – a hardened Trag, who had her markings removed so she could live amongst the humans as the perfect sleeper-agent ready to strike.
Beaumont (Tahmoh Penikett) – a loyal Atrian protector serving Castor, who ultimately gave his life once his double-allegiance was exposed by Vega.
Castor (Johnathon Schaech)– Roman’s ambitious uncle who believed only he could effectively lead the Atrians, but whose methods in achieving power pushed him to try to kill everyone in his way.
Ms. Benton (Stephanie Jacobson) – a human scientist eager to solve the mystery of the Atrians’ healing abilities and sell it to the highest bidder.
Mr. Burke (Douglas M. Griffin) – a henchman for hire, working with Ms. Benton, which led to him making some rather dubious decisions.
Mr. and Mrs. Montrose (Tom Hillman and Deena Dill) – Grayson’s parents, leaders of the Red Hawks, ultimately exposed and berated for their blatant bigotry and prejudice.

In STAR-CROSSED’s final episode, the fate of both humans and Atrians remains in the crosshairs. Vega had Saroya build a weapon, known as the Suvek, which Zoe stole and intends to use on the humans; and it will be a race to see if anyone can stop her before it is too late.

Unfortunately, due to forces outside of the show, STAR-CROSSED may never get the chance to show us how their story ends. Written with the hope and intent of getting a second season, the show ends on cliffhanger, leaving so many questions and fates unanswered.

So is the life of a television series. It is never certain how long we have the opportunity to cherish a television show; and as viewers we just have to appreciate the journey as long as it goes. In the case of STAR-CROSSED, it was a loving and eventful journey. It took us into an incredible world where we wanted to live for a while, with characters we wanted to bring into our homes and call friends. As a result, it had a deep impact on all its fans — the outpouring of love for it has been warm and welcoming, and a bit sad as its story is ending too soon.

Yet we celebrate its journey (shortened as it is) in its final one-hour episode. Cliffhanger or not, it was a glorious tale. We fell in love and felt loved in return.

We celebrate that and hope that it leaves everyone with memories of the stories it did share and a teaser of the stories it could have told.

You are invited to share in that last episode with a live-tweet with the cast, writers and producers for both the West Coast and East Coast airings of STAR-CROSSED on Monday, May 12th at 8 pm ET/PT on the CW.

It may be STAR-CROSSED’s last hurrah, but we are going to enjoy and appreciate every second it gave us. STAR-CROSSED was thrilling, exciting and a gloriously delicious world to fall in love with. We remain thankful for that gift.

 

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

"Star-Crossed" cast (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

“Star-Crossed” cast (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

STAR-CROSSED: A Love Written In the Stars

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Showcases, * TV Addict, Star-Crossed on March 31, 2014 at 12:05 pm

 

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

With only six of its thirteen episodes of its first season having aired, fans of the new series STAR-CROSSED have fallen under its spell. From the very first episode, everyone fell in love with the star-crossed love story of Roman (Matt Lanter) and Emery (Aimee Teegarden), the alien boy and the human girl. Watching their meet-cute at the tender age of six as young Emery shared spaghetti with the young alien boy hiding in her garage, how could we not?

Flash-forward 10 years later and it is the first day at school at Marshall High. It is not only Emery’s first day as she has just been released from the hospital after a long, painful recovery, it is Roman’s first day as well — for it had taken ten years before humans would finally allow a few chosen Atrians teens to attend a local high school as a trial program to integrate the alien and humans.

Fate had not only brought Roman and Emery together on Arrival Day to bond over their innate trust and curiosity for each other; ten years later it made sure that Roman was selected to be one of the Atrian Seven and that he was there along with Emery to share their first day at school together. In fact, Roman recognized Emery immediately. Somewhere in his two hearts, he felt her presence and the love that had been growing steadfastly in his heart for so long, leapt in recognition. Emery may not have recognized Roman as quickly, but she was just as welcoming and curious as the first time she met him. Her heart too seemed to innately know that there was something familiar about the Atrian boy, who she had thought had been killed when he was captured years ago.

So began the slow blooming love story of Roman and Emery. We knew, just as their hearts knew, that they are destined for each other. But the show is called STAR-CROSSED. Destined love or not, it has a long journey ahead before their love can truly be welcomed out in the open.

Yet Roman knows Atrians only love once in their lives. They have one destined soulmate and even his six year old self recognized it the day he met the young human girl Emery. He would have done anything to protect her and did as he stepped out in front of her into the line of fire, seeming to have given his very own life for hers.

Fortunately, that second heart came in handy. It saved Roman’s life and gave him a chance to one day reunite with his destined love again. It did not matter that she was human; for love wants what the heart wants – and for Roman, that is Emery.

Likewise, Emery is under destiny’s spell as she is pulled into Roman’s life time and time again. No matter what threats were made against her, no matter that there was the horrible tragedy where Emery’s father mistakenly shot and killed Roman’s dad, no matter what the obstacles keeping them apart, Emery has been pulled over and over again into Roman’s life – even when he tried to push her way to protect her.

Destiny is not to be denied. Roman and Emery are destined soulmates and that kind of love is forever. Even Teri (Chelsea Gilligan) and Grayson (Grey Damon) can see it as they struggle to keep their chosen-loves from each other. But choosing to love someone does not make someone a soulmate. And after so many years forceably kept apart, destiny shall find away unite Roman and Emery, no matter what the obstacles or distractions.

But as viewers, it is painful and hard to watch as Roman watches from a safe distance until the day he can openly declare his feelings for Emery and not have it put a lethal bulls-eye on her back. For anyone who knows Roman can see his undeniable love for her. Similarly, those closest to Emery know where her heart yearns as well.

In last week’s episode, it was just another star-crossed moment when Roman came rushing over to Emery’s house and saw what his mistakenly took was a loving moment between Emery and Grayson. What Roman did not know was that minutes before, Emery had been on her way to see him and declare her own feelings; that was until Grayson showed up at her door, devastated over the recent arrest of his mother who had been revealed to be one of the ranking leaders of the terrorist organization known as the Red Hawks. So, unfortunately for Roman, that scene where Emery was consoling Grayson in his time of grief looked a lot like a tender scene of affection.

But no matter what, we are all hoping and rooting for the star-crossed Atrian and human girl. With seven more episodes to go this season, it is easy to see that the struggle between fate and destiny is hard at work and we are praying that love will win out no matter who the victor.

As fans, we are hopeful and faithful, as well as trust that STAR-CROSSED will deliver on its promise of a love written in the stars. It was surely destined that an alien boy and a human girl would find each other against all the odds and across the universe, and we shall wait for that reward along with them. For a love so written is worth waiting for.
STAR-CROSSED airs Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on the CW. (For those who may have missed any of the STAR-CROSSED episodes, they may be found on CWTV.com and will also be reairing in a seven episode marathon on Saturday, April 5th at 1 pm ET on the TV Guide Channel.)

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

BATES MOTEL Scoop: Season 2 Returns With Murder, Romance and Threats from All Sides (feat. video interviews with Vera Farmiga, Max Thieriot, Michael Vartan, Nestor Carbonell and More!)

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Events, * Interviews, * Showcases, * TV Addict, * Video interviews, Bates Motel on March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

bates-motel-season-2-poster

When we last visited BATES MOTEL at the end of Season 1, it ended with the brutal murder of Ms. Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy). Season 2 picks up right afterwards as Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) find out about her death, and their subsequent fears about who may ultimately be responsible. Norma has that uneasy feeling that her son may somehow be involved and yet wants to believe him incapable of that kind of violence – again. It was one thing for Norman to have killed his own father in a fugue state, but what could have compelled Norman to kill one of his favorite teachers? It seems unfathomable.

Fortunately, as the mystery surrounding Ms. Watson’s death unfolds, more than one suspect emerges when it is discovered that Ms. Watson had a private life that may have exposed her to greater danger than one would think for a mere high school teacher.

Then in Dylan’s (Max Thieriot) seemingly unconnected world of the underground marijuana industry in White Pine Bay, there is a power shift afoot that makes things a lot more uncertain and risky for him as well. Two new vying power brokers make a play for control of the weed industry and Dylan seems caught-up in the crosshairs.

As if murder, rampant crime and a rising drug industry were not enough to preoccupy the entire Bates family, a few other surprises arrive on their doorstep. There are new love interests for everyone. In fact, love is in the air.

Season 2 maybe about the heightened danger swirling all around, but it also about the need for human connection and the craving to be a part of a family. While people seem to sense that something is not entirely right with Norma and Norman, they cannot help but be drawn into their world; for there is an innate seductiveness about them that draws them in. For example, Emma and Sheriff Romero know all to well that it is wiser to keep the Bates at arms’ length, but the illusion of normalcy and love that Norma and Norman exude brings them closer. Like leaning in to feel the heat of a flame – it feels warm and inviting, until you get to close and get burned. Even Dylan seems in denial about the oddity of his own family.

So caught up in the Bates’ irresistible lure for Season 2 are newcomers: Caleb Calhoun (Norma’s estranged brother, portrayed by Kenny Johnson), George Heldens (Norma’s new love interest, portrayed by Michael Vartan), Cody Brennan (Norman’s new wild-child friend, portrayed by Paloma Kwiatowski), and Jodi Wilson (a business woman with an agenda, portrayed by Kathleen Robertson).

At last week’s premiere event, the cast took a few minutes to preview what Season 2 holds for their characters:

Unable to resist talking about the blossoming romances of Season 2, star Vera Farmiga responded to the question of whether she thought Norma was ready for love by saying that she thought Norma had never been loved the right way before and deserves it. She thinks that Norma’s craving for love is coming out in weird ways with Norman as he is everything to her — he is her confidante and her protector. So Norma is aching to fine love in another man. Then as to watch catches Norma’s eye with the new man who enters her life in Season 2, George Hendens, Vera said that George is everything Norma wants and everything she thinks will make her happy. Plus, Vera added: Michael Vartan is so good that she wants Norma to spend more time with him.

To which Michael Vartan laughingly said that Norma gives George a run for his money. His character George is introduced in episode 3, where he and Norma are introduced at a party. George then spends the rest of the season trying to seduce Norma. Interestingly, in response to the question of whether George senses something a little off with Norma and Norman, Michael admitted that George is clueless in the beginning, but as time goes on he senses that Norma and Norman have unique and peculiar relationship. As for what will fans love about George, Michael said that George may be the only genuinely nice guy in the entire BATES MOTEL universe.

Then looking at the potential new romance for Dylan, Max Thieriot admitted that Dylan’s love life is heating up and that there is a mysterious blonde woman with whom Dylan strikes up an interesting relationship, but which may be forbidden. So be on the look out for her a couple episodes into Season 2.

Co-star Kathleen Robertson is portraying newcomer Jodi Morgan in Season 2, and she is a drug lord who kind of runs the entire town. Kathleen described Jodi as complicated, beautiful and damaged woman. She also teased that Jodi’s relationship with Dylan is messy and inappropriate fun. Despite being an unconventional business woman, Kathleen loves the fact that Jodi is essentially trying to be a good person amidst the chaos and tries to do the right thing.

The theme of Season 2 was best described by co-star Nestor Carbonell who said it was the downward turn of Norman Bates and beginnings of his psychosis nestled amongst all these characters’ searching for family — every one of them is searching for some familial center for their lives. They are each a little bit lost and that pushes them to gravitate towards each other. Nestor also mentioned that in Episode 5 that there is a big twist where everyone’s lives begin to collide. As for what Sheriff Romero thinks of Norman, Nestor revealed that Romero is a naturally suspicious guy and he sees something in Norman that is not quite right. Yet Romero has affection for both Norman and Norma, and he sees the two trouble souls on this island in this town who are so ostracized that he feels a level of compassion for them.

Also joining BATES MOTEL in the second season is Kenny Johnson, who portrays Norma’s estranged brother Caleb. After the revelation of the horrible things that Caleb did to Norman in their childhood, it is curious that Kenny would want to portray such a dark character. Yet Kenny laughingly admitted that he thought the show’s characters were so awesome and layered that he was immediately drawn to them. He loves that there is no boundaries and are so complex. As to what will Caleb think of his nephew Norman, Kenny said that Caleb mostly sees Norman as a kid and has no judgments of him. Yet there is a point where Caleb may have an inkling that not is all okay with Norman.

So Season 2 is all about which of the characters will really begin to see the inner Norman Bates and the threat he poses, or if their willingness to overlook his eccentricities will blind them to his true nature.

To see how all these characters’ quests for love and family ensnares them all, be sure to tune in for the Season 2 premiere of BATES MOTEL on Monday, March 3rd at 9:00 p.m. on A&E.

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