Out of the Blue: Ep. 95: Carina MacKenzie

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From Vampire Diaries fan to writer of Mikaelson lore. Carina MacKenzie was a freelance reviewer of television shows before getting swept up into the writer’s room of CW’s “The Originals” – with it’s deep mythologies and body-swapping free-for-alls. So, what’s it like to transition from hardcore fan to part of the team itself? Also… when can David be on the show??

Don’t forget: Out of the Blue has a Facebook page! Also, be sure to let David know what you thought of the show at @DavidBlue and @GeekNation. While you’re at it, spread the word about the podcast if you dig it!

  • ldypayne

    Great podcast! I think I am going to have to start watching ‘The Originals’ as I did find them quite interesting when they were on ‘The Vampire Diaries’ which I fell out of watching around 3 or 4 season. Not that I didn’t love the show it was more couldn’t get the station anymore so was waiting for the new season to show up on Netflix but forgot about it…life just got in the way. But after this wonderful podcast with Carina I am definitely going to catch up and get to watching ‘the Originals’ assuming i can find it on Netflix here…

    I don’t get Snapchat either… though the few times i tried to go to their webpage to read up on it all I get is a blindingly yellow screen with a cutout of a woman’s head…and my eyeballs scream for mercy so that’s about as far as I got on checking out Snapchat. Examples of what Snapchat can do I have seen and it just looks…horribly silly, aimed more for children than adults.

    I also can’t wait for that future ‘The Originals’ episode featuring David Blue so it definitely needs to be a thing.

    • Sara

      The Originals were really interesting and good characters on TVD, but TO destroyed them. The writing on both shows has really deteriorated and both are just full of plot-holes and obsessed with pushing ships that the GA does not like for some reason. The plot doesn’t make any sense.

      TO totally assassinated Elijah’s character and did huge damage to Klaus. Rebekah isn’t even on the show. Finn they brought back only to kill off again in a nonsensical way. Kol they only brought back at the end of Season 3.

      I don’t think anyone knows who’s been spoiling TO, but it’s not necessarily the Klaroline fandom. An anonymous person sent some spoilers to someone on Tumblr, and she just published the ask on her blog for anyone who was interested or wanted to discuss them. A lot of the spoilers were so ridiculous nobody believed they could even be true, but then they turned out to be true and made no sense at all.

      • Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don’t know about the controversy at all. But I appreciate you listening!

        • Sara

          The earlier seasons of TVD are a lot better. Both shows now are always retconning stuff and are full of plot holes.

          With fantasy shows, it’s really important to establish the mythology of the universe and stick to it. TVD established a mythology early on, but now they’re always ignoring it at every turn and disregarding it, which is beyond frustrating as a viewer. You can’t just change the rules half-way though the show. With TVD, one of the rules is that you could not be both a witch and a vampire. Klaus for example, was born a witch-werewolf hybrid (his mother was a witch and his father was a werewolf) but when he became a vampire he ceased to be a witch. The mother of one the main characters on TVD in Season 3, who was a witch, was turned into a vampire and lost her ability to do magic. Then suddenly at the end of Season 6 they decided to ignore it and gave us a bunch of witch-vampire hybrids (that they call heretics) as characters, even though it’s not possible to be both.

          I actually have watched all of Stargate (Universe I actually watched on SyFy when it aired), and they always stuck to the mythology for example. They didn’t suddenly change the way the Stargate operated or retcon things we’d been told in earlier seasons, they just expanded the universe to other galaxies and such. Eli was actually my favorite character on SGU.

          I think what’s off-putting to a lot of TO fandom is really the writers reactions to the fans. In Season 3 of TVD we were told multiple times that Klaus killed his mother by ripping out her heart. Then last season on TO they wrote that he had strangled her to death. A fan tweeted reminded the writers of the canon and I think Carina just tweeted back “oops”. TVD & TO have ignored their own mythology more than any other TV series I’ve ever seen. This results in there being a lot of constructive criticism and confusion and it seems like often the fans are blamed, when really it’s the writers who can’t do their job correctly. The showrunner, Michael Narducci, one time admitted he actually missed his flight because he was too busy engaging in a twitter war with a fan.

          I loved The Originals as characters on The Vampire Diaries, and a show about their family (all of them, not just the Klaus/Elijah show) could have been great. The ratings for the first few episodes were pretty good, and then people started to realize the show wasn’t that good and it would not be the show they wanted and they’ve been losing viewers ever since. The quality of TVD has gone down a lot, but in the hands of other writers I think TO could have been a really good show because it had a ton of potential and really interesting characters (who become very one-note on the spin-off in part because of their instance on pushing awful ships that the audience has not liked).

          • Thanks for the nice Eli comment!

            And I know what you’re saying. Though I always feel a little bad for shows that go many seasons, because I’m sure it gets harder and harder to spin deeper mythos. Some shows do it well, some don’t. I end up watching ALL of them. Haha.

          • hayleycubis

            Sorry but I hope you are not trying to speak on behalf of all TO viewers. As far as I can see, this show still has a very passionate and dedicated fan base. I’m not sure if you still watch TO, you seem to still be very actively following the writer’s social media activities, but I personally think the series has gotten better with time. I don’t think the ratings always reflect the popularity of a show; they don’t take into account next-day viewing (in which The Originals seems to double in numbers), or fans like me from different countries who can’t contribute to the ratings. I watch a lot of TV shows and this is one of my favorites in terms of being consistently good every week, yet somehow it seems to attract the most scrutiny. Possibly because, while it is marketed towards teenagers, the content is much more mature than most teen shows, and most young viewers become passionate about cheering on favorite romantic pairings rather than appreciating a good story. If an episode is judged purely based on the romantic interactions that occur within it, the writers are never going to be able to please everyone.

            As far as the mythology goes, you are talking about a series with over 1000 years of backstory, it is close to impossible to get every single detail correct. Although I haven’t picked up on any major plot holes so either I am very unobservant, or they haven’t been that significant to the show. In any case, this is a world where magic is possible, so nothing is really out of the realm of possibility.

            Is it a good idea for the writers to respond to criticism on Twitter? Probably not, but I totally get it. The fact that they are so protective of the show means that they care deeply about the stories they are telling, and this is reflected in the finished product. Also, I appreciate that they take the time to answer fan questions on Twitter, but to do this they have to wade through all the hate and BS they receive. The fact that people are so passionate about characters and their ships means the writers are doing their job, and yet they are repaid by receiving hate and insults from their “fans”. Of course they would reach a breaking point.

          • haylesTM

            Great podcast by the way!

          • Sara

            It’s really not that hard to know the backstory. As a viewer, when something happens I’ll often notice immediately that it doesn’t make sense. It really isn’t that hard to remember the mythology the show established. I have no problem doing it, and I don’t see why it’s so hard for the writers. I feel like they needed to hire someone who did know it and would tell them when they couldn’t do something because it would be a retcon.

            I did not ship any of TVD pairings in the early seasons, but they didn’t take away from the show. With TO the pairings are horrible and they do take away from the show and ruin the characters.

            I do think the ratings are reflective of the declining viewership. If you look at websites where TO or TVD are discussed the number of comments has really plummeted. There’s a reason that’s happened. Or even look at the notes that gifsets for the shows get on Tumblr, the numbers have really decreased in the past few years.

          • haylesTM

            I mean, Michael Narducci and Julie Plec created TVD, so I think they are more than capable of knowing if the mythology in The Originals makes sense. Sure, they hire other writers but they ultimately decide where the story is going. Like I said, apart from minor details I haven’t seen anything significant that has been ignored. Maybe you had some examples?

            I disagree that the ships affect the show, so that’s just your opinion. Regardless, they are only a small part of the story being told. I find a lot of people who complain about this are either passionate shippers who want certain characters together regardless of how it fits into the story, or people who are just watching the show for the action and gore and feel like the romance gets in the way. The characters have to grow and change, a show goes nowhere without character development. Not to mention the whole series is kind of based on the characters’ journey to redemption.

            Obviously we have a difference in opinion, which is fine. When I dislike a show I stop watching it, I don’t check up on its Tumblr posts and writers’ Twitter accounts and other sites where fans are discussing the show. Maybe you are more invested than you care to admit.

          • Sara

            You’re wrong about that. Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec co-created TVD and I think they were a good team and Kevin Williamson was able to maybe reign in some of her ideas. Sometimes it’s good to have two people who can balance each other out, and when Kevin left the show they lost that. I think the show started to lose it’s way once Kevin Williamson left the show. The last episode he wrote was 3×01, but he helped lay out at least the first half of Season 3.

            The Silas storyline/cure was poorly thought out and didn’t quite make sense. The sire-bond with Delena was terrible. Season 5 was a bit of a mess with the Augustine/Traveler stuff taking up most of the season (Katherine was the best part of that season), then Season 6 & 7 really have been a bit of a mess plot-wise. Season 6 did make me love Bonnie for the first time, and she’s now my favorite character and the main reason I’m probably still invested somewhat. But all the Steroline/Calaric stuff is horrible.

            It has to be logical development and move the characters. The ships should not ruin the character, they should help move them forward and the ships they are pushing do not do that and the characters have better matches. TO doesn’t have character development, the characters seem to flip-flop for no apparent reason and then their characterization is totally dependent on the plot needs and not what makes sense.

          • haylesTM

            Ok well you know a lot more than me then. From what I can see Narducci was an executive story editor of TVD since season 2, so my point still stands.

            You are talking about TVD, which I haven’t watched for the past couple of seasons so I can’t agree or disagree with you there. I was only referring to TO.

            I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree. I think the show is great and the characters and storyline work for me, so the writers are doing something right. But you by no means have to agree with me, so we have reached a moot point.

    • Thanks as always!

  • Pichugina Maria

    To think that the leak actually came from a person pissed that Klaroline isn’t together Carina would have to know exactly who it is and that that person ships Klaroline. And if she means the tumbler user who posted her ask with spoilers. Well, it’s her blog and she can do whatever she wants. She doesn’t owe it to the show and the writers not to spoil they “plot-twists”. The rating may not change from it, I would agree. Because, the show is just bad. So not many people actually want to watch it. It’s full of plot holes, it’s illogical, we can’t even recognize the ORIGINAL characters with whom we all fell in love. And yet again the writers blame the fandoms. First it’s Narducci with his anger toward the KH fandom and now Carina. As always blaming the Klaroline fandom. For no reason. Because the Klaroline fandom doesn’t even watch your shows anymore(the majority at least). People came back for the crossover. It adjusted up the ratings. And then they left again. Because, as Michael Narducci put it himself, “don’t watch it, if you don’t like it” He is writing this show for himself. Not the fans. And if it has low ratings, you have noone to blame but yourselves. And the leak is your responsibility. If someone is deliberately telling a Klaroline fan TO spoilers they WANT it to be leaked to the Klaroline fandom. Which, and here I repeat, for most part is out of TO fandom, not watching the series. It’s either a really mad employee or it’s a greater scheme to lure Klaroline fandom back into watching the show. I guess we’ll never know

    • Sorry, but I don’t know a lot of what you’re referring to. But, I appreciate you listening and commenting! 🙂

      Did you watch Vampire Diaries, too?

      • Pichugina Maria

        It is a lot of inside fandom stuff, I guess. Carina would know either way) yes, I did. Started off as a die hard fan, but the plot in my opinion was getting less interesting and then the spin off happened, so they separated Klaus and Caroline. But the stories in TVD and the Originals just, again – it’s my opinion, weren’t interesting and we’re full of plot holes.

  • Maria Jekova

    The leaked spoilers came from someone on their team – how did the shippers ruin it, exactly? Because they talked about them? This theory makes as much sense as Klaus’s baby, Hailey being able to kick Michael’s ass while pregnant or any number of other ridiculous story lines from S1 (which I watched in its entirety, live). But sure, the shippers are the problem.

    • I don’t know that she was blaming shippers per se. Did you think so?

  • Girlane Ribeiro

    scenes of cami and Hope are too, cami is the second mother Hope it protects wholeheartedly.

  • Girlane Ribeiro

    I love this connection mother and daughter that she has so cami is a woman for klaus.

    • And I hear she’s a wonderful person!

  • Ada Alves Cordeiro

    Well, I like the two shows. And I see that in spite of approaching the subject of vampires, but the plot differs quite a lot from each other. I think people could just enjoy the storyline and understand that in the originals, there was a Klaus character growth and as the same character being hated in the beginning by all, even by members of his family, if you see being someone that every family would fight for see him happy. It is so wonderful and big, and address the topic family and the importance of always and forever for the whole core. I understand that from the moment that there was an order to TVD Mikaelsons for TO mikaelsons, we know what this family search in its 1000 years of existence. I like the story, but believe that it is well drafted. really like the way Jane writes and develops, I find it very cool. I have my favorites Declan Diane and Carina series. When I see these names in the episodes I cry because “Woohoo” really are super episodes. I believe that taking the figurative part of storyline, a lot of this series is present in the family core of many who watch and so if indentificam. Well, talking about ships, I believe that people should mature and understand that no fandon decides audience or change storyline, These writers have all too well planned for what will happen throughout the series, a schedule. They are super professional. I like the story, like to see a klaus that did not need anyone and you see this klaus loving your family, Klaus respecting Hayley as family, Klaus as the father of hope and Klaus loving Cami and klaus able to take a single decision today in favor of all these people he loves.

    • Talk about being a fan! I watch the show and had trouble remembering everyone’s names for the podcast. Hahahahaha. 😛

      • Ada Alves Cordeiro

        you have no idea!! I love the Originals.

        I apologize in my text above. Where typed wrong *Jane would * Carina, was talking to my cousin at the time he was commenting on your post!

        But yes!!! I Love Carina and she writes with heart. That to me is a lot !! thank you for answering this woman is amazing, if I could direct traveled from Brazil to Atlanta just to get a picture with her !!

  • Slorelleh

    Wow most comments you’ve had for a while, passionate ‘fans’? I guess. I haven’t seen the show but it was a good podcast, the two of you together was very easy to listen to 🙂

  • Spaceman Dan

    Okay, I’m going to give Vampire Diaries and Originals a chance. So far, I’m a few episodes into the first season and it’s a little painful to watch. I definitely get the impression that this show is not aimed at me (older, non-white guy). So far I haven’t found the thing that has hooked me in. A show like Teen Wolf hooked me in because the relationship between the main character and his best friend is fantastic. If I can’t find something like that in VD, then the show will always be flat to me.