The 101: Diary of a ‘Twilight’ Virgin

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Bill Thomas, A&E Editor

Every issue, A&E Editor Bill Thomas and Assistant A&E Editor Jake Cochran indulge their vanity and give a thoroughly biased crash-course in whatever madness happens to be dwelling in their warped minds. Their views do not reflect those of The Beacon, its staff or Wilkes University. Blah blah blah. This week, Bill Thomas is chronicling his collapsing psyche in this…

Diary of a “Twilight” Virgin

The following are excerpts from the journal of Wilkes University student Bill Thomas, written prior to his interment in Willows County Mental Hospital. Perhaps they will provide some clue as to the origin of his descent into near-catatonic depression and dissociative schizophrenia:

(Fri., Nov. 9 – 9 p.m.) Everyone’s been telling me how bad an idea it is to do an all-night, non-stop movie marathon of all the “Twilight” films, especially considering I’ve never seen any of them before, but it’s too late now. The final movie in the franchise, “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” comes out this week. With that in mind, I figured I’d open my mind a little and give these flicks a shot. How bad could they be?

(9:02 p.m.) I spoke too soon. Just minutes in, I feel a weight in the pit of my stomach. I don’t think it’s the pizza and wings I’m eating, either.

(9:08 p.m.) I feel a brief surge of excitement when the adorable Anna Kendrick, who impressed so much in “50/50,” appeared. The thrill subsides when I realize her role is so insignificant as to barely warrant more than five minutes of screen-time. This movie is mocking me.

(10:16 p.m.) Edward just admitted to breaking into Bella’s bedroom on a regular basis to watch her sleep without her knowledge or permission. Is that supposed to be romantic?

(11:42 p.m.) Maybe these movies aren’t so bad after all. I’m watching the first sequel, “New Moon,” now and the directing is already better. Bella’s still ignorant, irritating and self-involved – I have no idea why everybody in these movies loves her so much – but Jacob is emerging as the first truly likeable, multidimensional character in the whole series. On top of that, Edward has run off to who-knows-where, so that’s a relief.  Bella took it pretty hard, but maybe with her supernatural stalker gone she’ll be able to grow up a little.

My spirits are lifting.

(11:56 p.m.) Oh yeah, I almost forgot this Jacob guy is a werewolf. What are the chances that Bella would just happen to move to the one small town in America that not only has both vampires and werewolves coming out of the woodwork, but vampires and werewolves that specifically are madly, inexplicably in love with her?

(Sat., Nov. 10 – 12:14 a.m.) “You’ve killed people,” Bella says to Jacob, explaining why she can’t be with him. Meanwhile, back in the first movie, Edward said “I’ve killed people,” to which Bella responded “It doesn’t matter.” What a fickle bitch!

I’ve officially traded in my Proof of Manhood certificate for a Team Jacob membership card.

(1:34 a.m.) Watching the third movie, “Eclipse,” now. Edward and Bella are not only back together, but talking about marriage. It’s a lot of melodramatic “My life is meaningless without you” and “I would do anything for you” nonsense. It’s the very definition of romance to the immature mind, but just a psychotic, obsessive, unhealthy relationship to everyone else.

(2:44 a.m.) The big, scary villainess the series has been building up for the past three movies just got defeated in about 12 seconds.

Her head fell off.

(4:05 a.m.) “Nice hat, Daggett.” Watching “Breaking Dawn Part 1,” that’s the best insult my delirious mind manages to conjure up. I’ve been cracking jokes and throwing insults at the screen all night, but there’s no character named “Daggett” whatsoever. I have no idea why I said that. I’m very tired and the lack of intellectual stimulation is causing my brain to devour itself.

(4:59 a.m.) Everyone loves Bella. Everyone wants to protect Bella. All the bad guys want to kill Bella. Bella is irresistible. Bella is special. No one’s superpowers work on Bella. Now, Bella is proving herself a true miracle as the unwaveringly resilient mother of a seemingly unprecedented human/vampire hybrid child.

I hate Bella.

(5:35 a.m.) Ding-dong, the witch is dead! If nothing else, I give the “Twilight” series credit for having the balls to kill off its main character, an uncharacteristically daring and admirable twist.

(5:44 a.m.) Bella’s alive?!? Just a second ago, she was dead as a third party politician’s presidential ambitions. I was so happy. I was more than happy, I was free. Free. What a cop-out.

This isn’t the way the world is supposed to work. This isn’t the kind of fiction that is supposed to garner legions of fans, especially impressionable preteen girls. I don’t know what to believe anymore. I don’t know who I am anymore. Nothing makes sense.

*********

If you’re new to the “Twilight” series as well, if might be a good idea to acquaint yourself to the cast of characters populating these tales. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more noteworthy Sparkly Vampires & Shirtless Wolf-Men…

Bella Swan

A moody teenage girl whose hobbies include sulking, obsessing over boys and believing the universe revolves solely around here.

Unfortunately, all evidence seems to indicate that it indeed does.

Edward Cullen

A 104-year-old geezer who still goes to high school and seems to have no qualms about romancing pre-legal teenage girls. Strangely, no one is creeped out by this, nor by the fact that he thinks “spider monkey” is a cute pet-name for the girls he’s wooing.

Edward rarely opens his eyes and seems on the verge of crying in every other scene.

Oh, he’s also a vampire.

Jacob Black

A perpetually shirtless and perpetually pissed-off Native American jeans model stuck in Bella’s “friend zone,” who occasionally turns into an ugly CGI wolf.

Unlike damn near every other character, he’s unpretentious, well-adjusted and has a sense of humor. In fact, he actually smiles once in a while and displays such virtues as selflessness, humility, patience and self-awareness.

Naturally, he’s doomed to be pushed aside in favor of brooding “bad boy” Edward. Because nice guys, even nice wolf-guys, do indeed finish last.

Charlie Swan

Bella’s dad. You can tell, not because they look alike, but because they both are unwaveringly vacuous blank slates. It’s not even until the fourth movie that Charlie (who everyone, including Bella, refers to by his first name) that he displays any identifiable human emotions.

His characterization seems limited to “has a mustache.”

Victoria

Now, this is a vampire!

Introduced in the first movie, but largely inconsequential until the third (and then only barely not), Victoria is one of the “bad” vampires who has a very special hatred of Bella in particular.

Picture a feisty, sexy redhead seductress with the speed of a cheetah and an insatiable bloodlust. On top of that, she looks she’d be kinky in the sack.

Why the whole damn “Twilight” doesn’t revolve around her baffles me.

The Volturi

A royal council of vampire lawmakers, The Volturi are the closest thing to truly compelling villains this franchise has to offer. And that’s not saying much.

Essentially rejects from an Anne Rice novel – because “Twilight” scribe Stephanie Meyer hasn’t stolen enough from Rice, right? – The Volturi are a bunch of fay, superpowered authoritarians who seem to have a distinct interest in the lives of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, for little other reason than the plot demands it.

The lead Volturi is played by Michael Sheen, further cementing his apparent desire to kill off all artistic credibility his leading role in “Frost/Nixon” and his decade-plus as an acclaimed theater actor earned him.

Jasper Hale

For the most part an ancillary character, Jasper quickly became a personal favorite of mine as a hilarious embodiment of the foppish, blasé superficiality this franchise is so mired in, courtesy of his ridiculously stiff, stick-up-the-ass posture and wide-eyed, pursed-lip, Zoolander-esque facial expressions.

Ironically, not even this modest measure of unintended comedic brilliance could last, due to, of all things, legitimate character development.