The “Partner” in Crime

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So you wanna make a cop/ crime thriller show?

There’s a standard format right? There’s the law enforcement agency /cops who are the good guys (unless you have dirty cops), and the criminals who are the bad guys. The cops and the criminals play a cat and mouse game throughout the show with the episode/ season/ show ending with the bad guys getting caught. So how do you make your cop show different from all the other cop shows out there?

With the secret ingredient off-course- the “partner” in crime.

The “partner” in crime here is most of the time, not the cop’s beat partner/ colleague or even part of the law enforcement agency, but is either hired by the agency to help out or takes it upon himself to help the cops out. That’s the other thing that’s special about the “partner” in crime. Since they are outsiders, they can be….wait for it…..just about ANYONE. You can let your imagination run free. The sky’s the limit, or even Heaven/ Hell as the makers of Lucifer would know. Take a look at some of the shows whose secret ingredients make them a recipe for success.

The Doctor

TV Series: Sherlock
Law Enforcer: Consulting Detective, Sherlock Holmes
Partner: Dr. Watson

That Sherlock Holmes is the best detective ever is stating it too plainly. With his deduction skills and exceptional intelligence, there never was a need for Watson. Except there was. Sherlock knows and acknowledges his own brilliance but at the same time felt that something was lacking. He is unable to put his finger on it but finds it in John Watson. John is Sherlock’s opposite and the one who keeps him grounded. He is his best friend, mother, flatmate, shopper, sounding board, doctor, and personal case blogger. He strives to bring out the human aspect to Sherlock and even though he isn’t acknowledged for it most of the time, is dear to Sherlock and his presence, invaluable.

The Beast

TV Series: Beauty and the Beast
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Cat Chandler
Partner: Muirfield Beast, Vincent Keller

Borrowing certain elements from the Beauty and the Beast fairytale but giving it a more realistic feel, Vincent Keller’s DNA is altered turning him into a beastly creature as part of a super-soldier programme created by Muirfield.  When the beasts cannot be controlled, Operation Muirfield is shut down and Muirfield resorts to killing the beasts. Vincent fakes his death, escapes and saves the life of Catherine (Cat) Chandler whose mother is killed as she was instrumental in creating the Muirfield beasts. Together, Cat & Vincent work together to shut down Muirfield and any related threats. While Cat is not imprisoned by Vincent and doesn’t have to clean his house or don ball gowns like in the fairytale, she is the only one who can keep Vincent’s beast at bay.

The Con Artist

TV Series: White Collar
Law Enforcer: FBI Agent, Peter Burke
Partner: Art thief, Neal Caffrey

It takes a thief to catch a thief. As a skilled thief and art forger, Neal’s talents are recognized by Peter Burke who enlists his help to catch white collar criminals. While Burke is the one who put Neal in prison, Burke is a big believer in second chances. He sees Neal’s potential and often takes on the role of a father figure to Neal encouraging him to put his talents to the right use- his moral compass, so to speak. Neal on the other hand is Burke’s guide to bending a few rules and living life to the fullest. Neal is often shown in a state of two minds- stick to a life of crime and the thrill that comes with it or leave his past behind and start on the right track. Peter is also shown in a state of two minds- trust Neal or distrust Neal. Whatever their state of mind however, the two share mutual feelings of love, respect and a certain degree of admiration for the other. Neal’s skills take a bow when he fakes his own death at the end of the show and leaves Peter clues to catch/ find him again.

The Wesen

TV Series: Grimm
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Nick Burkhardht
Partner: Wesen Blutbad, Monroe

When he reaches a certain age, Nick’s powers of a Grimm (Wesen Hunters) manifest allowing him to see Wesen or creatures of the Grimm World, not otherwise visible to the human eye. Wesen, while appearing human, can unfold their bestial appearance to the human eye, if they please. However when they are going through extreme emotions, their Wesen forms are visible to a Grimm. While Nick’s ancestors chose to hunt & exterminate all Wesen, Nick’s background as a detective and his own inbuilt morality allows him to hunt down only the wicked Wesen. Monroe, a Blutbad (Wolf to us, Muggles) is the first Wesen whom Nick encounters and his knowledge of the Wesen community makes him the perfect library source for Nick when his ancestor’s Grimm-oires turn out to be not so helpful. He also reaches out for help from certain members of the Grimm community who would not be too comfortable with a Grimm asking them for aid and helps Nick on Grimm cases which fall outside the lines of law enforcement. Nick & Monroe are both disruptors of the status quos of their own communities. Nick refuses to follow the path of his Grimm ancestors to kill all Wesen, choosing instead to seek out the good in them, before taking hasty action against them. Monroe refuses be an enemy to all Grimms because not all of them are ruthless killers and it is this trait that makes them the best of friends and allies.

The Immortal

TV Series: Forever
Law Enforcer: Detective, Jo Martinez
Partner: Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan comes as close to Sherlock Holmes as any other character could and while helping Jo solve cases using his Sherlockian persona and background of a medical examiner, the greater part of his time is spent in seeking the answers to his own immortality.  After his first death in 1814, he realises that death is really not an option for him. Every time he dies after his first death, his body appears in a nearby body of water and finding clothes to mask his nakedness becomes his main priority. While belonging to two different time periods, Jo and Henry are drawn to each other in the present, and their relationship is a portrayal of love being a timeless concept.

The Criminal Profiler

TV Series: Hannibal
Law Enforcer: FBI Agent, Jack Crawford
Partner: Will Graham

Will Graham? Who is that? Will Graham is one of the most overlooked characters in the Hannibal series. Sure there was a book called Red Dragon dedicated to him and Hannibal but the book remained factual, never exploring any sort of relationship between the two, as majority of the spotlight was on Hannibal and Clarice Starling. The feels were certainly lacking. But no more. When TV show Hannibal kicked Will Graham onto the big screen, Will had his Harry Potter moment and suddenly everyone knew who he was. Will’s unusual ability to visualize himself in the shoes of a killer is a trait that Jack recruits him for and Hannibal can’t resist. Jack’s role as a protector and pressurizer keep shifting, he is always in two frames of mind: keep Will from going in too deep or let Will go all the way. Jack is the initial link between Hannibal & Will. While Hannibal doesn’t want to be caught, he really wants Will to catch him and hopes to twist Will’s psyche of understanding killers into the psyche of becoming a killer. Basically he was lonely and wanted freaking company because nobody wants to be your bff when you’re a serial killer. While Clarice Starling managed to reform Hannibal in the book series, poor Will has no such luck on the TV show because the TV show contract came to an end, so goodbye world and hello death by cliff jump.

The Vampire

TV Series: Blood Ties
Law Enforcer: Private Investigator, Vicki Nelson
Partner: Vampire, Henry Fitzroy

When she opens a private investigation office after being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, Vicki becomes the go-to girl for cases which the police have no time to handle; ironically all these cases have supernatural bearings. She meets Henry who is following up on her first case which screams “vampire in your face” which he most afraid will reveal his true nature. His character is based on the real historical character Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset – the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England. While blood ties would make one think of a relation, someone tied to you by blood, Henry is tied to Vicky by “blood” because of his need for a certain “poison”. And since Vicki’s only human, it’s always useful to have a vampire around especially when you’ve got really poor eyesight and a demon is trying to enter your town. And when the vampire’s hot, well that just sweetens the deal right there.

The Soldier

TV Series: Sleepy Hollow
Law Enforcer: Police Lieutenant, Abbie Mills
Partner: Ichabod Crane

Borrowed from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washinton Irving, the TV show revolves around the Headless Horsemen and Ichabod Crane, placed in a biblical-like context of the Apocalyse coming soon to Sleepy Hollow. Abbie & Ichabod are “Witnesses” of the Apocalyse and the only ones who can thwart it. Ichabod, who died in 1781 while beheading the Horseman, is brought back to life when the Horseman is resurrected as their bloods had the misfortune of being mixed when they died on the battlefield. Ichabod’s background as a history professor at Oxford, soldier and supernatural expert makes him an asset to Abbie in a show that highlights Christian beliefs (Revelations) and Buddhists beliefs (Reincarnation) simultaneously.

The Precog

TV Series: Minority Report
Law Enforcer: Detective, Lara Vega
Partner: Dash Parker

As a sequel to the Minority Report movie, we learn what happens to the precogs after the Precrime Unit was dismantled in 2054. The records of the precogs are erased and they are shipped off to spend their days in peace on a remote island. However the precogs gifts are still in active force. Dash’s precog abilities allow him to witness murders, Arthur’s allows him to draw facts from murders while his sister Agatha experiences the death of the victims. Now if majority of your life was used up in witnessing future crimes before they happen and you played a major role in preventing those crimes, how do you kick the habit? Dash certainly can’t. While his brother Arthur uses his abilities to slowly build himself an empire and his sister Agatha prefers to shy away from the limelight, Dash is drawn to his past role and is caught between wanting to save the victims and avoiding being used by those who wish to exploit his abilities, prompting him to explore a partnership on the down-low with Vega. The only thing this show was lacking was adequate viewers and funding. Oh, and Tom Cruise.

The Devil

TV Series: Lucifer
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Chloe Decker
Partner: Lucifer Morningstar

Hell yeah! The devil’s in the details. Ever wondered what the Devil would look like on earth? Where he would live? What he would for a living? What he would dress like? What he would do in his free time?  Unhappy as King of Hell, Lucifer snips off his wings and makes his home in Los Angeles, the City of Angels (intentionally chosen, maybe?), is the proud owner of a nightclub Lux, dresses like sin in pristine suits (in one case, he actually quotes The Devil does indeed wear Prada) and solves crime with Chloe in his free-time. He solves crime not out of the goodness of his heart but because he misses dealing out punishments to the baddies. He retains his prime power of persuasion as a celestial being and can get anyone to tell him their deepest darkest desires. Everyone, except Chloe. In Chloe’s presence, he is rendered mortal, while in the presence of others he is immune to mortal destruction. There’s an interesting theory to this. Ever heard of the phrase love makes you bleed? The growing attraction between him & Chloe makes you wonder if love is his affliction. Oh and it also helps to know that even the Devil has daddy issues and needs a therapist, not just us, mere mortals.

The Best-Selling Mystery Writer

TV Series: Castle
Law Enforcer: Detective/ Captain Kate Beckett
Partner: Richard Castle

Booyah! Castle is here to write all wrongs! As a mystery writer, Castle’s first case saw him assisting Beckett to catch a copycat killer who was imitating the way he killed off characters in his novels. Inspired by Beckett, Castle decides to use her as the muse for his next novel series and stays on the force in consulting capacity. Although Beckett is initially wary of his ways, she realises that his imagination though a bit extreme at times, is useful when exploring the ways of criminals and most often aids her in forming her own conclusions on cases. Castle & Beckett are more than often, always on the same wavelength and spend most of the show completing each other’s sentences. In short, they acted like a married couple way before they actually tied the knot. This one’s for the book lovers. Meeting your favourite author? Check! Working with your favorite author? The dream! Marrying your favourite author? Better than any book plot you will ever read!

The Ape Man

TV Series: Tarzan
Law Enforcer: Detective, Jane Porter
Partner: John Clayton Jr. / Tarzan

Meet Tarzan. Straight outta The Jungle. The show explores what it means to be human and what it means to be a beast. While John Clayton Jr. / Tarzan’s instincts and mannerism may be animalistic due to his past upbringing in the jungle, his heart is pure and human. The same cannot be said for his uncle, Richard Clayton, a shark in his own right, who holds his nephew under house- arrest, claiming grounds of insanity so he can overwrite Tarzan’s claim to Greystoke Industries and keep his position as CEO. With all tales of Tarzan, no matter how many narratives are explored, the common theme that runs through every storyline is that there’s no Tarzan without Jane and vice versa. For once, Jane does not play a damsel in distress and hangs up the traditional yellow dress for a smoking gun. Jane got a gun? We can definitely swing with that.

The Vigilante

Fighting crime and trying to save the world, here they come just in time the powerpuff girls vigilantes! Admit it, you sang to this line. When your job as a vigilante is to operate outside the law to catch criminals, it doesn’t hurt to have the good cops on your side. Sometimes the cop may be your family (like the Joe West to your Flash & the Alex to your Supergirl) or your mentor (like the James Gordon to your Batman) or a family acquaintance whose daughters you may have dated (like the Quentin Lance to your Green Arrow) or a friend of a friend (like the Brett Mahoney to your Daredevil). In any case, vigilante with a side of backup is always a good thing.

TV Series: Daredevil
Law Enforcer: Detective, Brett Mahoney
Partner: Matt Murdock aka Daredevil

TV Series: The Flash
Law Enforcer: Detective, Joe West
Partner: Barry Allen aka The Flash

TV Series: Arrow
Law Enforcer: Detective, Quentin Lance
Partner: Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow

TV Series: Gotham
Law Enforcer: Detective, James Gordon
Partner: Bruce Wayne aka (The Future) Batman

TV Series: Supergirl
Law Enforcers: DEO Agent, Alex Danvers & Detective, Maggie Sawyer
Partner: Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl

The Prison Profiler/ Comic Book Enthusiast

TV Series: Alcatraz
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Rebecca Madsen
Partner: Dr. Diego Soto

When you have a secret obsession with something, it helps to write books on it. Even if that secret obsession is the history of a prison. Because sometimes, the thing you obsess about may turn out to be way more interesting than you could have ever imagined. Dr. Diego Soto’s (Doc) obsession with the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary would soon be justified a 100 times over. Though he didn’t know it at the time, 256 inmates & 46 guards disappeared in 1963 from Alcatraz without a trace only to reappear in their cells in the present day. With no recollection of their lost time, but seemingly set with a secret agenda that only they have knowledge of. Intriguing? I mean, official reports that the inmates had been transferred to another prison holding aside (we all know the Government lies to us), Diego’s historic obsession leads him to becoming part of the task force that may just be involved with time travel. And yes, while we all love Batman and know he is a fictional character, he can still come to the rescue, especially when you use “Gotham City” as an example in your crime evaluation report to thwart the PhD dreams your parents had for you and open your own comic book store! Plus, you gain a detective as your new partner & bestie!

The Serial Killer

TV Series: Dexter
Law Enforcer: Detective, Debra Morgan
Partner: Blood Splatter Analyst/ Serial Killer, Dexter Morgan

This is by far the weirdest, funniest and creepiest scenario that any cop would ever have to face. Not only does Debra have to deal with the fact that her brother is a serial killer, but that he has been hiding in plain sight, using the police department’s resources to choose his victims and his cover as the department’s blood splatter analyst to throw off any connections to his involvement in the murders he has committed as the Bay Harbour Butcher. Oh yeah, and Debra also falls in love with Dexter, so now she has incest to add to her list of worries. Although Dexter’s “Code” compels him to kill only the baddest of the bad, making him a vigilante serial killer, he is still a killer and slave to his “Dark Passenger”. So while we may be darkly dreaming about Dexter, we would definitely not want to be on his hit list.

The Illusionist & the Agnostic

TV Series: Houdini & Doyle
Law Enforcer: Constable Stratton
Partners: Houdini & Doyle

Houdini and Doyle explores two themes in one storyline. The first is women empowerment. Constable Adelaide Stratton’s character is based on the real first female constable of the London Metropolitan Police Force. Basically she kicks ass as a cop, and that too wearing a floor length dress! The second is the universal battle between seen & unseen forces i.e. Science vs. the Paranormal. Not many people know that Harry Houdini & Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were friends in reality, so it was interesting to explore their supposed friendship from a fictional point of view. Not forgetting, you’ve got a magical stunt artist on one side and the author of Sherlock Holmes on the other, so it’s really a win-win situation for everybody!

The Past- Version Dad

TV Series: Frequency
Law Enforcer: Detective, Raimy Sullivan
Partner: Frank Sullivan

You have Gilmore Girls for mothers & daughters and Frequency for fathers & daughters. How many of us have wanted the chance to talk to a person we love once they have passed on? How many of us would be tempted to save them from dying? With every story that revolves around altering timelines, the message is the same. There will always be a price to pay. Using a radio transmitter exhibiting a strange frequency, Raimy Sullivan discovers she can communicate in her present time with her father Frank Sullivan who is existing in the past version of her timeline. She saves him from a tragic death which he met while working on an undercover narcotics case but in doing so, she places her mother in death’s way by the hand of a serial killer called the Nightingale. So now she and daddy dearest have to work across time to catch the killer before it takes out her mum. They haven’t really learned the “do not mess with time” lesson, so a few more seasons should do the trick. Somebody, please make these two watch Flash! Pronto!

The Historian Professor, U.S. Army Delta Force Operative & Time Machine Programmer

TV Series: Timeless
Law Enforcer: Homeland Security Agent, Denise Christopher
Partners: Lucy Preston, Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan & Rufus Carlin

So yeah! The bottom-line is everybody needs to watch Flash! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a cute history lover, hot operative, or scary villain with your own agenda. Good intentions and bad intentions aside, everyone’s messing with time. Lucy wants to bring her sister back, Wyatt wants to bring his wife back (if he has his way), the villain Garcia Flynn wants to destroy the Rittenhouse organization through American History because they murdered his family. I mean, why build a time machine (which can be stolen if your villain is a smarty pants) in the first place if you don’t have the intention of messing with time! Connor Mason of Mason Industries, I am giving you the squinty eyes!! On the plus side, it gives you a good enough reason to visit the milestones in American History, because history in its own way is a timeless thing.

Now pick your “partner”, place yourself under house “arrest” and do the time!

Picture Credits

Neal Caffrey (https://yt3.ggpht.com/-k0vPz8HZRvc/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/aqtrHdiQ7nc/s900-c-k-no-mo-rj-c0xffffff/photo.jpg)

Sherlock & Watson (http://cdn.playbuzz.com/cdn/698664be-df7e-40fc-804a-8e755810e601/f2f6be69-0971-48b8-96a5-040268f90e2b.png)

Cat & Vincent (http://images.vcpost.com/data/thumbs/full/20138/590/0/0/0/batb.jpeg)

Peter & Neal (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/47/8f/c6/478fc6e7c4028aca851b6b3b4bda0481.jpg)

Nick & Monroe (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/5d/4a/4b/5d4a4bdf81f4c7ad20864f822d7c47bb.jpg)

Jo & Henry (http://images.tvfanatic.com/iu/v1420497966/henry-returns-to-work-forever.jpg)

Jack & Will (http://65.media.tumblr.com/7fd379b3e3d5a70b88c6e9a80c324ac6/tumblr_mm08dso6wo1sprhh9o1_500.png)

Vicki & Henry (http://static.tvtome.com/images/processed/default/c7/25/104274.JPG)

Abbie & Ichabod (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/0b/68/0e/0b680e42d883cf990fec67f5b5f58665.jpg)

Lara & Dash (http://projectfandom.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Minority-Report-S1E1-Featured-Image.jpeg)

Chloe & Lucifer (http://static2.hypable.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Lucifer-105-Sweet-Kicks-Chloe.jpg)

Kate & Castle (http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/castletv/images/1/17/Castle1CB110110.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120417190723)

Jane & Tarzan (http://67.media.tumblr.com/1c845b16ff6d376b47b7e6ecbddb7df3/tumblr_nnxylnBXCw1uope3yo1_1280.png)

Brett, Matt & Foggy (http://www.theothermurdockpapers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/IMG_1004.jpg)

Joe & Barry (http://blacknerdproblems.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Flash-vs-Arrow-Barry-Allen-Joe-West-e1417323042473.jpg)

Quentin & Oliver (http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/greenarrow/images/1/19/Oliver_Queen_Stephen_Amell_and_Quentin_Lance_Paul_Blackthorne.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130411002803)

James & Bruce (http://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/BruceWayneJamesGordon.jpg)

Alex & Kara (http://media.comicbook.com/2016/11/alex-danvers-supergirl-209923.JPEG)

Rebecca & Doc (http://dl9fvu4r30qs1.cloudfront.net/8d/d589f078f811e1bcc4123138165f92/file/112Alcatraz-ep112_sc17_005.jpg)

Dexter & Debra (https://zombiesruineverything.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/deb6.jpg)

Stratton, Houdini & Doyle (http://media.philly.com/images/houdini-and-doyle.jpg)

Raimy & Frank Sullivan (http://omfgtv.com/images/featured-frequency-page.jpg)

Denise & Lucy (http://fangirlish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/NUP_175602_2719.jpg)

“Winters” is coming

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Our story opens with two best friends sitting by a farmhouse poolside, one of them caught up in explaining a newly found series to the other one who listens at first with mild interest and then later on with obsessive need. The series (The Indebted Series) would become the first in a long line of novels that the obsessed friend would pursue.

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In the end, she would surpass the best friend who introduced her to the series in the first place and would soon have read all novels penned by the author Pepper Winters. Our tale ends with the pupil becoming the master (if such a title could ever be bestowed upon book readers) or Maître as Pepper would no doubt like to call it (Wink Wink).

Currently my head’s buried in Dollars and while Elder Prest is fast becoming my No. 2 favourite, (a spot previously held by Kill, Jethro still holds the No. 1 spot) I thought I’d take some time out to share a list of similarities between Pepper’s Boys in her three main series namely the Indebted Series, The Pure Corruption MC Series and the Monsters in the Dark Series. These heroes stole not just their respective heroines’ hearts but mine as well. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jethro (Jet) Hawk  from the Indebted Series, Arthur Killian (Kill) from The Pure Corruption Series , Quincy (Q) Mercer from the  Monsters in the Dark Series and the ties that bind them together (no, BDSM pun intended in any way).

“Forces” of Nature

All the male protagonists have taken the female protagonists by force. Because the Debt Inheritance was forced upon him by his family, Jet had to kidnap Nila Weaver and make her pay off the debts of her family in blood.

Cleo Price was purposefully picked up as a prostitute (when Kill rounded up the former sex slaves of his father & other club owners) by a member of Kill’s Motorcycle Club- Pure Corruption MC as he recognized her identity.

Tess Snow was picked up by the drug overlord, Red Wolverine & sold as a sex slave to Q, who was pretending to be a ruthless sex-slave owner to overthrow Red Wolverine.

Come home to the Stockholm Syndrome

All 3 series are classic cases of the Stockholm syndrome where the captors and victims fall in love with each other. What basically starts as a relationship built on mutual hate between Jet & Nila, Cleo & Kill and Tess & Q, ends on a note of everlasting love and readers in happy tears.

Marked Men. And Women.

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What do authors and our leading male & female protagonists have in common? Their shared love for “ink”. All the male & female protagonists have tattoos.

As part of the Debt Inheritance procedure after Nila has paid off a debt, Jet has to tattoo Nila’s initials on his body & his initials on her body as part of the debt payment. These tattoos initially served as a symbol of ownership and forced oppression but later become a testimony of enduring love & courage.

Kill’s tattoos run alongside his body and include equation symbols, a mermaid and a Rose Dagger Tattoo (former MC Club) later converted into the Pure Corruption MC (current MC Club) logo. These stand for all the things he holds dear, his love for mathematics, Cleo and his motorcycle club. Since Cleo suffers from amnesia, her tattoos are fragments of the things she can remember, one of which contain the symbol I < 3 U (which leads Kill to realize her identity as Cleo over Sarah) and the forget-me-not flowers.

Q’s sparrows inked on his chest area stand for the women he has set free from prostitution. When Tess was a prostitute, her captors ink a barcode tattoo on her arm and when Q frees her, she inks a sparrow over the barcode symbolizing her freedom. Later on, Tess and Q ink their initials on each other to symbolize their love for each other.

Fly away with me

Bird references are used across all three series to convey caged victims that need to be saved.

In the Debt Inheritance series, Jet and his 2 brothers have the family surname Hawk and are given nick names of birds of prey. Jethro is called Kite, his middle brother Angus is called Kestrel while his younger brother Daniel is called Buzzard. Although birds of prey are symbols of power, in reality the brothers needed to be saved from the burden of imposing the Debt Inheritance on the Weavers.

Cleo Price saves a baby bird at age 12 and compares saving the bird to saving Arthur Killian who she says had been trying to leave the nest for years- Arthur was forced into working under his father and brother who were committing acts that were pushing the motorcycle club Dagger Rose into illegal business. The only reason Arthur complied was because Cleo and her family were under threat by his father, although they had no idea of the same.

Q’s sparrow tattoos, the logo of his company Moineau Holdings, and Tess’s sparrow tattoo represent female victims of rape that need to be saved.

Bad Blood.

All male protagonists have horrible father figures.

 Jet’s Dad, Cut forces him to go through with the Debt Inheritance even though he knew his son wanted no part of it, while being aware of the fact that his son was a VEP (Very Empathic Person).

Kill’s Dad, Rubix Killian frames him for murdering Cleo’s parents and Kill is sent to prison to pay for a crime he never committed.

Q’s dad was a sadistic person who enjoyed hurting women and debasing them sexually, of whom one of the victims was eventually Q’s sister, Marquisa.

Pappa don’t preach. Or even breathe.

All male protagonists have killed their horrible fathers while readers rejoiced, everywhere. While Q killed off his dad before he met Tess in the first novel itself, Jet & Kill murder their fathers towards the end of the series.

It’s been a long day without you, my friend. And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

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All male protagonists have lost one sibling.

 Cut kills Kestrel in the Indebted series because of the goodness of his heart, his steadfast loyalty to Jet and his key role in aiding Jet & Nila in surviving the debt payments.

Killian kills his brother Dax in the PC series to avenge the death of Cleo’s parents and gain vindication for having had to pay for a crime he didn’t commit.

Q’s father makes his sister Marquisa a prostitute and it is mentioned that she dies when she is but 15, an event that leaves Q, emotionally scarred.

The Dance with Death

All male protagonists have had one near-death experience.

Jet and Kes get shot by Cut when Cut discovers the two have been plotting to overthrow the Debt Inheritance. While Jet recovers from his injuries, Kes does not survive.

Kill’s father Rubix sends his men to kidnap Cleo and Kill is clubbed on the head and left for dead, he almost does not survive his injuries but is saved in time.

Q is taken by Lynx’s men at gunpoint and is shot & beaten. Lynx or Dante Emestro was one of the sex traffickers whose operations Q was trying to overthrow.

Brothers & Sisters

All female protagonists have siblings who are alive and well.

Nila has a twin called Vaughn & an elder sister whom she has never known and whom she discovers at the end of the series.

When Cleo loses her memory she is adopted by a doting family and she gains an adoptive sister, Corrine.

It is mentioned that Tess has an older brother Samuel who is 20 years her senior.

Bad for Business

All male protagonists’ fathers have dealt in illegal businesses which have been reformed by their sons.

Jet reforms the Diamond Brothers & makes the family diamond trading business operations legit.

 Kill closes down his father’s motorcycle club Dagger Rose & forms his own club Pure Corruption MC.

Q does away with his father’s prostitution trade business and uses his resources to reform prostitution victims.

The stuff of staff

All male protagonists depend on outside help in the form of staff.

Besides his siblings Kestrel & Jasmine, Jet relies on some of the Diamond brothers & Kill when it comes to rescuing Nila from Cut & Bonnie’s clutches.

Kill has his Pure Corruption Motorcycle Club backing him in both love & war.

Q values the opinion of his house maid Suzette- a former slave, Franco- his head of security & Frederick- his friend & partner at Moineau Holdings.

“Once” in every lifetime

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All the female protagonists have lost their virginity just once.

Nila & Cleo’s former boyfriends are not mentioned by name. Nila said her first time before Jet was just a one-time thing and not worth remembering while Cleo could remember the face of her first, but not his name, due to her amnesia.

Tess’s former boyfriend is Brax whom she loved but considered more a brother than friend.

Everybody wants to steal my girl

All the female protagonists have been stolen from the male protagonists at one point. And all the male leads have gone back to rescue them.

Cut steals Nila and takes her to Africa to pay the final debt.

Kill’s father Rubix steals Cleo & takes her to the Dagger Rose Headquarters to antagonize Kill.

Red Wolverine steals Tess back from Q to extract revenge on Q for rescuing prostitutes.

Say my name

Both male and female protagonists have real names & nicknames. For every protagonist couple, their nicknames are linked to each other.

Nila and Jet’s nicknames are Threads & Kite respectively, when put together they form a full bodied flying kite.

Kill & Cleo’s nicknames are Sagittarius and Libra respectively, both part of the sun signs.

Q & Tess’s nicknames are Maître & Esclave respectively, both titles of dominance & submission.

And they lived Happily Ever After

All male protagonists marry their better halves after the tale is told.

Which is a good thing because we are all well and truly slaves of happy endings for all of Pepper Winter’s serial couples.

As for Pepper’s latest Dollar Series, we will have to wait & see if the current male protagonist, Elder’s tale can be linked to Jet, Kill & Q (though we know that Q & Jet are making special appearances, Yaay me!). For all things Elder, for now all I can say is:

Picture credits

Pepper Winters Q’s sparrow (https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/568261009127645185/Iudj1pdJ.jpeg)

Monsters in the Dark Book cover (https://bittenbythefantasybug.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/6eca5-monsters2bin2bthe2bdark2be-book2bcover.png)

Kill & Cleo FB (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=926296904159065&set=g.1511645192400372&type=1&theater)

Tattoos (http://www.tatuajes123.com/i/Esto-es-amor.JPG)

Tess’s sparrow barcode tattoo (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/07/6b/23/076b23bdccae6ab2db85cb58933abc9a.jpg)

Q’s darkness & light (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/ca/5e/70/ca5e70fe6ea4c22d9a4343fbb3dab612.jpg)

I will make them pay (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206087004029151&set=g.1511645192400372&type=1&theater)

Jet & Kes (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205431620244966&set=g.1511645192400372&type=1&theater)

Arthur Killian (http://versificados.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Ruin-Rule.png)

V & Threads (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/02/63/66/026366b368a23f5b52ed56043764ae96.jpg)

Falling Diamonds (https://images.gr-assets.com/hostedimages/1449216713ra/17252930.gif)

Pure corruption MC (http://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/hostedimages/1452731954i/17734374.jpg)

Indebted 4 Book cover (https://smutbookjunkie.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/ebook-3.jpg)

Fourth Debt (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/92/f1/b8/92f1b822a6bce5d6dcc1f9436c2fea7a.jpg)

Ruin & Rule Sagittarius (https://smutbookjunkie.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/10608230_790591757667937_2727658157248670298_o-1.jpg)

Je suis a toi (http://www.iscreambooks.com/uploads/3/0/7/7/30775457/1225358.jpg)

Je suis prest (https://img0.etsystatic.com/058/0/10320111/il_fullxfull.749985354_qd8c.jpg)

How “Epic” is FernGully

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FernGully made up my childhood while Epic made up my early twenties, my inner child delighted in frolicking with the Fairies as much as it enjoyed mounting a hummingbird ride with the Leafmen. So walk with me into the woods and let’s see how far the rabbit hole goes, as we tunnel through the similarities between two seemingly different plot lines:

Do not commit tree-son

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The underlying theme throughout both stories is linked with preservation of the environment and the survival of both species. In FernGully, environmental themes highlighted are deforestation caused due to commercial logging and environmental pollution caused as a result of commercial logging, in this case. It was because of logging, that Hexxus escapes from the tree in which he was imprisoned indirectly conveying that commercial logging has drastic consequences. In Epic, excessive forest decomposition & decay comes under the spotlight though in this case, humans are not the cause of it.

Forest Gump

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Although both are imaginary realms, it is safe to imagine that FernGully & Moonhaven are based on forests and both the realms’ species are in fact, the children of the forest.

It’s all about the little people

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Fairies are tiny magical creatures complete with wings and magic in FernGully, while Leafmen are tiny humanoid soldiers in Epic. It is unclear whether Leafmen are magical but Queen Tara, ruler of the forest possesses magical powers. Although Leafmen & Fairies are two separate species, the common thread between them is that both species protect the forest and the survival of the forest is directly linked to survival of the species.

Honey, I shrunk the humans

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In both stories, the humans get shrunken. In FernGully, the fairy Crysta accidentally shrinks the human Zak while trying to save him. In Epic, Queen Tara purposefully shrinks M.K. when tasking her with the job of saving the pod.

Long live the Queen. Not.

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Species from both stories are led by rulers of their realm. In FernGully, Magi Lune while not a queen, is an elderly fairy who possesses the strongest magic and was responsible for trapping the villain Hexxus in a tree; making her the most capable leader of her people. In Epic, Queen Tara rules her people, having been probably chosen by the former queen through a leaf pod, the same method she had to use to choose her own heir. The choosing of the Queen in this case is a combined effort of the Queen & the forest. Magi Lune & Queen Tara both lose their lives and their power gets passed on. While Magi Lune sacrifices herself to save the forest, Queen Tara is killed by an arrow shot from the villain Mandrake.

Clash of the Clans

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Both villains / antagonists, be it Hexxus from FernGully or Boggan Leader, Mandrake from Epic are united in their quest of destroying the forest and ruling over the destruction they wreck. You also have kind of a clan war going on. Its human-versus fairies (since humans are being manipulated by Hexxus to some degree) in FernGully, and Leafmen Vs. Boggan in Epic.

The Bodyguard

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Secondary protagonists who have a close relationship to the main protagonists take on the role of a protector. In FernGully, the Beetle Boys led by Pips, Crysta’s best friend, are never too far from Crysta. Often Pips follows Crysta wherever she goes, not only because he’s curious, but to make sure she’s safe. In Epic, Leafmen leader, Ronin looks out for Nod, even though he isn’t obvious about his feelings, which are fatherly. He look towards Nod as if he were his own son. Also, both Pips & Ronin protect rulers of their respective realms. Pips protects Crysta who becomes the leader of FernGully, while Ronin protected Queen Tara and will continue to protect the new flower-child Queen of Moonhaven.

Just like animals, animals, like animals

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Protagonists from both stories also have faithful animal side-kicks- who assist them in saving the forest- in Batty the Megabat from Fern Gully and Mub the Slug & Grub the Snail (pretty much a package-deal) from Epic.

With great power comes great responsibility

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Both our forest creature protagonists are urged to take on responsibility. In FernGully,  as the apprentice of Magi Lune, Crysta is constantly urged to concentrate on increasing & better focusing her powers. In Epic, Leafmen leader Ronin is constantly asking Nod to step up and take his post as a Leafman seriously. Both our protagonists step up to the challenge in both stories in the end.

And they called it puppy love

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Both the human protagonists are dog lovers. In FernGully, Crysta finds a picture of Zak with his pet dogs in his wallet while trying to revive him after she shrinks him while in Epic, M.K.’s dad owns a dog called Ozzy.

Young “Green” Love

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Love blooms between the human & forest creature protagonists. In FernGully, Crysta & Zak fall in love with each other, while in Epic M.K. & Nod develop feelings for each other. While the love is cutsie- cutsie, sadly……

Size does matter

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Both humans return to their world. In FernGully, Zak leaves after Crysta turns him back into his human-size but never forgets the lessons that the fairies taught him. No contact however exists between Zak & Crista again as it bordered on the romantic feelings of a teenage crush.  In Epic, after M.K. is returned to her human-size by the new flower-child Queen, she & Nod still keep in touch through Bomba’s video cameras, so the possibility of their relation becoming something more one day, is left open to the viewer (yaay!).

So I’m just gonna go and leaf you hanging there.

Just green & bear it. Okay?

Image credits: 

Epic cast (https://alienationmentale.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/epic-image-snail.jpg)

FernGully cast (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/8a/a3/06/8aa306b24eb043824e54c7a6481e1200.jpg)

The Leveler (http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/ferngully/images/0/07/The_Leveler.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130627025712)

Wrathwood (http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/epic-fanon/images/c/c1/Wrathwood1.png/revision/latest?cb=20131116071526)

FernGully (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3e/b6/98/3eb698de1a498326aa5b4f71c74cc28f.jpg)

Moonhaven (http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/34500000/Moonhaven-the-epic-movie-34596563-604-610.jpg)

Fairies (http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/ferngully/images/0/00/Crysta_her_father_and_fairiers.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130915045617)

Leafmen (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c5/1b/94/c51b949b6717957a2f1a66a065351f68.jpg)

Shrunken Zak (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_L5Htkata2os/SXNYFsVasuI/AAAAAAAAAVQ/VRIuA-152mg/s320/FernGullyzak2.jpg)

MK & the Pod (https://ladygeekgirl.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/epic-mk-pod.jpg)

Magi Lune (http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/villainstournament/images/9/9f/Magi_Lune.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160218175709)

Queen Tara (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oI-h-pTgXig/Uad6sW_iwkI/AAAAAAAAANA/EkgaZNANMRc/s1600/epic-queen-tara.jpg)

Ralph & Tony (http://img.movieboom.biz/movie/screen/195095/5.jpg)

Ronin & Mandrake (http://killi.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/epicRoninNodMandrake_014-950×425.jpg)

Pips & Crysta (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/60/d9/c2/60d9c2f68cdc2b2cb7bd6fa2415e009f.jpg)

Ronin & Nod (http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/epic01.jpg)

Batty (http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/ferngully/images/2/20/Bat.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130922035125)

Mub & Grub (http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/epic-the-movie/images/f/fa/Mub-and-Grub.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150212152033)

Magi Lune & Crysta (http://www.totalmediabridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/FernGully.jpg)

Nog upside down (https://www.google.com/search?q=Ronin+and+nOd+fighting&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjFrZTIvPfMAhVDXBQKHWO3ArkQ_AUIBygB&biw=1024&bih=634#imgrc=Ypdj1w6_phyo4M%3A)

Ozzy (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/S4qKWzVo3OA/hqdefault.jpg)

Zak & Crysta (https://nicolaalter.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/ferngully.jpg)

MK & Nod Kiss (http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/epic-fanon/images/6/63/M.K._and_Nod.png/revision/latest?cb=20130915182903)

Zak plants a seed (http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/ferngully/images/6/60/Zak_planting_a_seed.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130920054153)

The 10 Commandments of Advertising

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When it comes to Advertising by Advertising Agencies,there are certain things that simply must be set in stone. Presenting the 10 commandments of Advertising from the book of Zuleika:

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The Advertising Team here means the Creative Team- the ones directly responsible for coming up with the advertising creatives (Copywriters & Graphic Designers). When I say You shall have no other team before it, I mean every Agency must recognize the worth of their Creative Team, for they are the ones who are highly talented, highly overworked & highly under-appreciated.  So yes, the other departments of the Agency can pressurize them to get creative, but must give them the space to do so. And don’t forget to say thank you. Your Creative Team will then proceed to love you more than they love coffee.

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Love them or hate them, your Client is your Client. So do not besmirch their brand name in private, while increasing your efforts to make them adored via advertising in public. Even the most difficult Clients have lessons to teach. The occasional ranting with your colleague is fine, since you need to get it off your chest. But what happens in the Agency stays in the Agency. Don’t take your work home with you.

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Miss the bus and you may have to take a walk. Do not be tardy with your Clients as delaying your Clientele requirements will not only create a bad image of your Agency in the minds of your Clients but result in the Client wanting to erase your Agency from their minds entirely. Do not miss the bus.

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Socrates believed it was very important to Know Thyself. The same is true of an Advertising Agency. However while advertising, the Agency mustn’t be so caught up in knowing itself & putting so much of itself in the work that it forgets knowing the Client. Cater to the Audience the brand is serving, else your advertisement will leave behind much food for thought. And not in positive manner, no matter how tasty it is.

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Easier said than done. In order for this to work:  1. The Agency has to believe in itself. 2. The Client has to believe in the Agency. Advertising that is truly creative has a fearless look about itself. The fearless look says this brand has balls while indirectly saying the one who made it has bigger balls. All in all, when it comes to creativity, every Agency should grow a pair. Be brave.

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“Adulterate” in this context stands for two things. The first being creative adultery- do not cheat on your design & copy. Both elements are equally important to the creative and are subject to the discretion of the Copywriter/ Graphic Designer. Use your words/ graphics wisely. The second is adulteration- never compromise on the quality of your creative. Even the simplest of ads can be made to look like a million dollars if the concept is invaluable.

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Every Agency must stay true to itself. The only way it can do this is by being itself. Just as every person is an original masterpiece, every Agency is an artist in itself. Stealing the idea of another Agency implies that you acknowledge they have done something great and that you feel threatened enough to change/ improvise on it. While these lead to some of the most creative battles of the Agencies we have ever seen before, in a truly Game of Thrones manner, I must state “Lawsuits are coming”.

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Shakira’s hip don’t lie. We have all seen it in action so we know it to be true. We are happy with Shakira because we know her song rings true. It should be the song of every Ad Agency. While Ad Agencies may stretch the truth a little, taking creative freedom into play, do not misrepresent the brand. Do not promise the Audience something you know the brand won’t give them or something that is a blatant lie. Research on the brand & testimonials from the people who have used the brand will help the Agency put their finger on which truthful aspect of the brand they can explore creatively. The Agency must do their homework, before class is out.

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It’s only words and words are all I have to take your heart away.

Pictures say a thousand words.

Whether graphic or text-based don’t give the Audience more than they can chew. Let your copy or graphic sell 1 USP. Audiences have the attention span of puppies and throwing them too many bones may either make them sick or cause them to lose interest in the game of fetch altogether.

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Time is money. Sometimes it’s tempting to go with a great advertising idea or method. However great ideas/methods are costly. Not to mention time consuming. So hold in your great idea for the next Client who decides your Agency services are worth their weight in gold & are willing to pay for it than the Client who wants you to stick with simple because he can’t afford it. Whether the worth of an Agency is measured in going with simple or great, the worth of the Client should never be questioned.

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Image credit

Parting of the Red Sea Advertising (http://jewishcurrents.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/splitting_the_red_sea2.jpg)

So let it be written so let it be done (http://16004-presscdn-0-50.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Yul-Brynner-So-Let-It-Be-Written.jpg)

 

Event Planners: The modern day superheroes

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With great events, come great event planners. Like every superhero, all event planners have to-lists:

1.Establish the event planning headquarters

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Their very own batcaves if you please.

2. Acquire an identity

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Substitute  “Courtesy your friendly neighbour-hood Spiderman notes” with logo development, brand promotion & customer word-of-mouth marketing.

3. Discover their sidekicks

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The Foggy Nelson’s to their Daredevil, the Speedy to their Green Arrow, event planners need to develop their suppliers & event contacts.

4. Destroy the Villains

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The Loki to their Thor, the Lex Luthor to their Superman, in this case other event agencies would be the event planners’ competition/ villains.

5. Save the Day

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When they save the Event, event planners save the Day.

Let us not forget the most important aspect of the superhero: the super power. Event planners come equipped with their own powers which make them nothing less than superheroes. Here’s how:

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To conclude:

Whosoever holds the event, if he be worthy shall possess the power of the event planner.

And the event planner in all his power shall bring the thunder.

Image credits: 

Superheroes display picture (http://www.arra-pm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/superhero.jpg)

Batcave (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3a/e3/f3/3ae3f3aa5f563b91e4121aeaeb82f31b.jpg)

Courtesy your freindly neighborhood Spiderman (http://i.imgur.com/IMkmTZe.jpg)

Foggy & Daredevil (http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/38400000/Matt-and-Foggy-daredevil-netflix-38464438-1280-757.jpg)

Thor & Loki (http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11121/111217887/4684344-8468704562-tumbl.jpg)

Superman & Lois (http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/images/c_scale,h_532,w_800/t_mp_quality/qqryhvcjzwzeo776cb1d/lois-lane-s-surprisingly-heroic-role-in-batman-v-superman-is-the-best-thing-about-the-film-915946.jpg)

 

I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse: The Beatitudes of Advertising Appeals

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Jesus gave human beings 8 beatitudes encouraging them to become the best possible versions of themselves which would in turn give them blessings from the Father. Advertising Agencies use Advertising Appeals to encourage target audiences to become a version of themselves which may or may not be in their best interests, but that is a debate for another day. This article is a mash-up between beatitudes & advertising appeals. It is not intended to put down advertising brands (rather tries to portray the reality of the situation) or tarnish Christian sentiments (I love Jesus as much as the next Christian), but rather to explore creative thought which I believe is a God given gift. 

b1.jpgOriginal Beatitude: Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Advertising Appeal: Less than Perfect Appeal

While Christ used humility as a virtue, Less than Perfect Appeal advertisements encourage anything but. You aren’t supposed to take comfort in being humble or adequate; you are meant to feel the horror of your inadequacies. After all, who will purchase cosmetics & pharmaceutical products if not a less than perfect you?

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Original Beatitude: Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted
Advertising Appeal: Humour Appeal

The comparison we can draw from here is spiritual comfort versus material comfort. The spiritual kind of comfort asks us to draw hope and happiness from the smallest things in life, most of which are free. Humour appeals in advertising for the most part make you happy, while asking you to seek happiness from materialistic things aka product/ brand being advertised.

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Original Beatitude: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
Advertising Appeal: Fear Appeal

The quality of meekness or a submissive state is seen as a strength rather than weakness by Christ. It is a quality of gentleness that allows you to possess self-esteem without ego, to let go of wrongs-doings or hurt caused by others, to convert pain into service, to be mindful of the feelings of others (empathy) and to control the strength of your feelings when everything around you goes wrong. Fear Appeals on the other hand indicate that to stay submissive means your fears getting the best of you. If you don’t get insurance for your family, they will suffer in the event of your death, being one example. It’s not wrong to plan ahead and while a fear appeal ad may get you to sign up for that insurance brand, it’s a scare tactic that makes you give in to fear while asking believers of divine providence to go to hell.

B4.jpgOriginal Beatitude: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
Advertising Appeal: Sensitivity Appeal

People who hunger and thirst for righteousness definitely have highly-attuned sensitive streaks that move them to help others or seek out truth or justice. Advertisements with Sensitivity Appeals unquestionably tug at your heartstrings but it remains to be seen whether the brand has your best interests at heart. A food brand with children does the best ad work by playing on the “cute” factor but how certain are you that the food you’re buying isn’t processed/ unnatural or unhealthy for your child? Are you being put on a path of righteousness or being fed lies? Literally.

B5.jpgOriginal Beatitude: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy
Advertising Appeal: Endorsement Appeal

To give mercy is to get mercy. That is what Christians believe. But with Endorsement Appeals, when a celebrity steps in to pump up a brand it’s basically a “Show them no mercy” or more like “Have the audiences at your mercy” tactic. No matter that the celebrity who is your idol is someone you’ve never met before, since they use the brand, you should too. I guess people may say the same thing about God- we have never met him, so why should we do what he did? Because God wants us to believe in ideals while ads want you believe in idols.

B6.jpgOriginal Beatitude: Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God
Advertising Appeal: Sex Appeal

A pure heart is an innocent one. One that hasn’t been tainted by the immoralities of the world, akin to childlike behaviour. Someone ruled by God, not man. Enter Sex Appeal Ads and a heartfelt goodbye to innocence. We have entered an age where any object, even seemingly innocent ones can be made dirty! So there you have it. Sex sells while all of us are going to Hell.

B7.jpgOriginal Beatitude: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God
Advertising Appeal: Play by Word Appeal

Peacemakers try to invoke a sense of peace, not war, by both their words and action. Play by Word Appeals use words as a choice of weapon. Slogans like Got Milk, I’m Lovin It, Have a Break, It gives you wiiiings, are wordy and witty and have people who love puns and catch-phrases (like me) as their biggest fans. But whose line is it anyway? We are living in an age where what we eat is infact our biggest problem, food brands in particular entertain us with their war-chosen words, while what we consume wages war on our bodies.

B8.jpgOriginal Beatitude: Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Advertising Appeal: Bandwagon Appeal

A righteous person walks a lonely road because he believes in doing the right thing, for which he is persecuted most of the time. He shares the outcast trait with a person not hooked on to Bandwagon Appeal products. Just because everyone is using the latest Samsung GalaxyS7 doesn’t mean you have to own one too! Oh what’s that? You’re calling me from your newly purchased Samsung GalaxyS7? Sigh. Never Mind.

Blessed are the ones who read this article without having any appeals made to them from me,

For now, I can rest my case.

 

Manners maketh a Cannibal

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Hannibal Lecter. What’s in a name that inspires both awe and fear at the same time? If you had the power to give such a character an ending, what sort of ending would you give him? Would you wish him happiness? Death? Freedom? In the books, psychologists could not classify Hannibal-they said he was something else altogether.

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The Cannibal who eats the rude for a living is a character that is as complex as they come. So complex in fact that his story has 3 different endings. No kidding. The books have one ending. The movies, another. And the TV show has yet one more. To sum it up, Hannibal’s “end” is only the beginning.

Ending #1 : A Cliff Fall is better than a Cliffhanger

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TV Series Ending: Will Graham kills himself & Hannibal Lecter

MGM sold the rights to a Clarice Starling story to Lifetime which meant that Executive Producer, Bryan Fuller could not incorporate Clarice’s character into NBC’s Hannibal show. Since Clarice’s story takes place after Will’s and she goes on to become Hannibal’s love interest in the books, suddenly those subtle homosexual hints between Hannibal (played by Mads Mikkelsen)& Will (played by Hugh Dancy) occupying the overall tone of the TV show make sense since the TV character Will Graham had to assume the identities of both Will & Clarice.

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Will Graham is only present in the first book Red Dragon while Silence of the Lambs & Hannibal introduces Clarice. In the book, Will is a pretty straightforward character with not much detail drawn into his personality and Red Dragon begins with a few years having passed since Will captured Hannibal.

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What NBC’s Hannibal does is explore the series of events that took place before Red Dragon, essentially answering certain questions you tend to ask if you have read the books. Who was Garrett Jacob Hobbs? Why did Will kill him? Why did Will go to therapy? How did Will meet Hannibal? What sort of relationship did Will have with Lecter prior to knowing that he was a killer? How did Will catch Hannibal? Why did Hannibal mutilate Mason Verger? What went down in that therapy session with Margot and Hannibal? What is the background story of Dr. Alan Bloom?

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All these questions are answered by the end of Season 3 which combines the stories of Hannibal Rising, Hannibal & Red Dragon, but with no Clarice to take the story forward, there’s only one thing that they could do. Kill them all. Yes even Hannibal. Especially Hannibal. Season 3 ends with Will Graham pulling Hannibal over a cliff with the sole intent of killing them both, since he comes to the realization that neither can live while the other survives (yes I quoted Harry Potter). Also probably tired of playing the “He loves me, He loves me not” game with Hannibal. It’s not easy being wanted by a Cannibal.

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If NBC does not get Clarice, then its viewers don’t get Hannibal. Everyone’s pretty confused about the ending scene which shows Bedelia having cut off her own leg and serving it for dinner at a table set for 3.

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Some people posit this means Hannibal and Will survive, while others hold that it is an ironic ending where Hannibal and Will die and Bedelia is expecting Hannibal to come back for her, so she makes a peace offering meal of her leg, which we now realize she did for nothing. I’m with the latter group. Somehow that ending has more meat.

Ending #2: What’s for dinner? You are.

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Movie Ending: Hannibal is still at large and continues killing to this day.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Anthony Hopkins as an actor. But for me, he didn’t really cut it as Hannibal.  His portrayal of Hannibal is animalistic, cold and borderline creepy, which don’t get me wrong,that is what Hannibal is. However when I watch the movies, I feel Hannibal is more like a rabid dog that will bite your head off.

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Hannibal is nothing if not controlled. You never see him coming. For a psychopathic killer who can’t even be classified by psychology there is a certain degree of charm and charisma under his cleverness and killer attitude that allows Hannibal to fool the human mind into thinking he is as harmless as a mouse.

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When I look at Anthony Hopkins portrayal of the character, I’m like sure that guy belongs in jail. He’s got evil embedded in his voice and his manner seems a tad aggressive. Oh and don’t forget the popping eyeballs and snivelly sneer .

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But when I look at Mads Mikkelsen’s character portrayal, I’m more like wait that guy’s a killer, no way! Let’s take an example. When Anthony’s Hannibal is speaking to Clarice in prison he sounds like a cat playing with a mouse. An evil, cold, aloof mentor.

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Which again, don’t get me wrong he is. But when Mad’s Hannibal is talking to Will in prison you get the sense that Hannibal is wooing him while at the same time playing him. A calm mentor, lover, killer, friend.

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You sense how dangerous he is more because the evil voice and physical aggression is lacking, it’s in his collected air and hushed tone.  Typically since Clarice & Hannibal are fated lovers, the wooing should have come out through Anthony’s Hannibal. But it didn’t. Neither with the young Clarice played by Jodie Foster (Jodie Foster is and always will be Clarice FTW) or the older Clarice played by Julianne Moore.

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Why? Because the movie’s director Ridley Scott was unable to come to terms with the fact that someone with Clarice’s morality would fall for someone like Hannibal, since they have conflicting personalities and all. Clarice knew right from wrong. Hannibal was wrong. Hence Clarice could not land up with Hannibal.

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The briefest hint of romance between Clarice & Hannibal comes off with that sloppish kiss which Anthony gives Julianne Moore in the movie, much against her will. Then since she handcuffs him and he doesn’t want to be caught by the police, he cuts off his hand. Wait what? Hannibal is one such character who is high on survival instincts, thank you very much. One thing he would definitely NOT do is let himself get caught or handcuffed much less cut off his own hand.

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The TV series got it right when they showed Hannibal getting himself arrested rather than the FBI actually catching him. Will could track him and catch him but could never hold him till the FBI appeared. Not without hurting or killing himself. The last episode of Season 3 confirmed that.

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The movie ending is slightly better than the TV series or worse depending on how you take it. Hannibal is shown feeding a small boy on an aeroplane the leftovers of Paul Krendler’s brain.

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This means his escape is successful, he is very much alive and if you aren’t eating a part of someone else’s human anatomy at his next dinner party, hosted under his new secret identity, you may well be his next meal.

Ending #3: And the Lion fell in love with the Lamb

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Book Ending- Hannibal and Clarice heal each other and become lovers. They hide from the world together. Hannibal is alive and still at large, but does not kill anymore.

It was brave of the author, Thomas Harris to come up with an ending like this.The one question Hannibal keeps asking Clarice like a broken record player in Silence of the Lambs & Hannibal is if she can still hear the lambs screaming.

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After rescuing Clarice from Mason Verger and his monstrous pigs, Hannibal keeps Clarice drugged and begins practising hypnotic therapy on her. Many readers cite that this is inhuman, since it’s against Clarice’s will but what does Hannibal really do? He practically helps her overcome every anger/ daddy issue she has- he makes her come to peace with whatever brutal deal life has met out to her. Probably because he knows better than anyone what it’s like to have your past haunt you and to let yourself be controlled by it. What’s more, he opens up to her about Mischa which I don’t think he has ever done before with anyone.

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Yes, his game plan was to replace her personality with his sister’s Mischa, so that Mischa could exist in the world once more in Clarice’s body, but when Clarice asks him why he couldn’t house Mischa in his own body in place of his own personality, since his would be the more ideal host, Hannibal realises that at some point the drugs weren’t working on her anymore and that her personality was too strong to ever imbibe Mischa’s. And while Clarice couldn’t give him Mischa she gave him herself. Her love.

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The bottom-line is however evil his intentions were he DID NOT go through with it. Could not go through with it. Because the part of him that loved his baby sister, found that he had it in himself to love Clarice. From the time he met her in Silence of the Lambs, he was already protective of her. He got Miggs to kill himself and murdered Paul Krendler because he saw them as threats to her. Indirectly he was also responsible for killing Mason and didn’t leave Clarice to die at the hands of Verger’s pigs. The fraternal love he felt for Mischa was already translating into a different type of attachment to Clarice.

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Even in the TV series, Hannibal forms an attachment to Will, because he senses that like him, Will is different. Will’s condition allows him to walk in the shoes of killers and understand them. Throughout the series, Hannibal is trying to get Will to become like him and join him, he is looking for companionship. In his own way, he is looking for love & understanding and the only one who can understand him is Will. Hannibal’s motives in the TV series is darker because he is trying to make Will a killer, whereas in the books, Hannibal is looking for a Mischa replacement not a protege.

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Coming back to the books, both Hannibal and Clarice are central characters who seek justice. While Clarice exercises this justice through the law, Hannibal exercises his brand of justice outside the law. Hannibal kills the way he does in honour of his sister.

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As a child during WW2, a group of Nazi deserters force him to unknowingly eat his sister whom they kill to avoid starvation. When he matures he takes revenge for his sister, murders her killers and eats them in the same way they ate his sister. It’s his way of getting due vengeance. He keeps to this tradition even later on in his life because he has not truly let go of his sister. His main victims are oppressors who prey on the weak- these he places in the rude category. The other times he has killed or maimed others is when he is trying to avoid capture or preventing people from revealing his identity. Rapists, serials killers, thieves, sadists, sex offenders, pedophiles etc. are the main items on his menu. This is why his fandom loves him. Because the area of your brain that plays judge & jury agrees that most of the people Hannibal makes a meal of actually deserve it. Oh! Hannibal decided to “pick” your brain? You must have really been a bad bad boy!

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Ultimately Hannibal accepts Clarice’s offer of love. Three years later when Barney spots Clarice and Hannibal at the Opera, the reader learns that they are still together. Everyone assumes that the only reason Clarice was still with Hannibal was because he was still drugging her but this isn’t true, because it is clearly mentioned that Hannibal had stopped drugging her and that when she came to herself there were some parts she chose to remember and parts she chose to forget regarding what Hannibal had done to her under the influence of drugs & hypnotism.

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We take this to mean that she forgave him and more importantly she chose to stay, which meant she acknowledged the fact that on some level she had always been attracted to him. The filial love she sought from her father who had been taken away from her too soon translated into the protective love she got from Hannibal as her lover. Although their middle ground is sex, we are given to understand that both of them share similar interests and passions. Clarice’s lambs are finally silenced and Hannibal does not see Mischa in his dreams anymore.

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The book series ending strikes a greater chord with me than the movies or the TV series. With the movie or TV series ending, Hannibal either lives or dies a killer. But with the book ending, he finds healing and redemption in Clarice. It’s heartening because it goes to show that even a man like Hannibal who has committed atrocities in his past is capable of change and that with a little love, even lambs can tame lions.

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To end in a manner that I think Hannibal would approve of, I hope this article had you eating your heart out!

Picture credits

Cover picture-Eat the rude

No name

Will & Hannibal

http://cinema.theiapolis.com/movie-2RML/the-silence-of-the-lambs/gallery/anthony-hopkins-as-dr-hannibal-lecter-in-1115481.html

Hannibal Stag

Will kills Hannibal

Bloody Hannibal

http://cinema.theiapolis.com/movie-2RML/the-silence-of-the-lambs/gallery/anthony-hopkins-as-dr-hannibal-lecter-in-1115481.html

Evil Hannibal

http://cinema.theiapolis.com/movie-2RML/the-silence-of-the-lambs/gallery/anthony-hopkins-as-dr-hannibal-lecter-in-1115481.html

Smiling Mads

Anthony versus Mads

Anthony and Jodie

As long as you’re mine

Clarice young & old

Hannibal stop scene

Hannibal handcuff scene

Hannibal surrendering

Hannibal movie ending scene

Hannibal and Clarice in love

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Screaming of the lambs

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Teacup

Happy Birthday Clarice

http://quotidia.deviantart.com/art/Happy-Birthday-Clarice-207508142

Hannibal & Mischa

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This is my design

Hannibal the Rising

Shut up Dr. Lecter

Hannibal, Clarice & the lamb

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I heart Hannibal