Kathleen
22 May 2016 @ 11:08 am
All my fanfics.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. And then, one not so very special day, I went to my typewriter, I sat down, and I wrote our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. )
 
 
calliope tune: "The Gallant Shearers"-Tannahill Weavers
feeling: working
 
 
 
Kathleen
Supernatural, the one show that never fails me, is back with season eleven, and its wonderful so far with a welcome return to its roots. The Darkness, a truly creepy villain in the vein of Lilith or Eve, is intriguing, even if I'm half disturbed and half interested in the strange relationship between her and Dean. I especially enjoyed the spooky zombie humans in the first episode, and loved seeing Dean with a baby, even if she was evil. It's also hilarious to see Crowley dealing with a kid or teenager. Sam, bless him, is finally back to the Sam I loved, the sweetheart who wanted to save people and still prays and has faith after all they've been through. I also love that, despite a few secrets, Sam and Dean are being a bit more honest to each other, and their relationship feels like what it used to again. Their relationship with Castiel is also a delight, with both of them making helping him a priority, risking a lot to help him, Dean and he accepting how they've hurt each other and learning to live with it, and finally letting him stay at the Bunker with them. I also squealed a bit over Castiel with his blanket, and him watching tv and learning about Netflix. "Baby", one of my favorites of the season, highlights the best of the show - the beloved car, the brothers's relationship, and the old music, jokes, and name calling that's been missing too long. "Just My Imagination" is also a delight and very much a season one styled storyline. I adored the entire concept of imaginary friends being a real, mythical race who aids children, and Sully was precious, making me wish he could be a regular. I loved how he related to the Winchesters, and was so proud of them. "The Devil In the Details" is somewhat overstuffed but filled with excellent moments, including Team Free Will and brotherly bonding - I loved Sam's salute to Castiel and seeing the flashbacks of season five's finale - but was broken by Castiel saying yes to Lucifer, even if it was unnerving yet fun to see his expressions on Castiel's face. It was also Rowena's final episode, and even as much as she's annoyed me her final scene with Crowley put a lump in my throat. I only wish we'd gotten more scenes like that, as their feelings toward each other were the most fascinating part of her story arc. "Into the Mystic" is a superb episode, with the tone of the earlier seasons, Sam and Dean talking about their regrets and moving past them, and a touching scene showing Sam's box of treasures. It also strikes a perfect balance between emotion and humor, and featured absolutely fabulous guest characters. I adored Mildred and Eileen, and was delighted at seeing an elderly character and a deaf hunter, neither of whom were fringed or killed off, and both of whom ended up defeating the monster and saving Dean. I only wish other shows would have more characters like them. "The Vessel" is quite good, revealing Castiel's possession to the brothers - I'm absolutely delighted by Dean's determination to save him - and featuring time travel to the unique and fascinating world of a WWII submarine. "Red Meat" is a superb monster of the week ep, with Dean and Sam's relationship forefront. Dean's desperation to bring back Sam was heartbreaking, and I loved Sam managing, even bleeding out and nearly dead, to save Dean. "Hell's Angel" resurrects Rowena, something I wasn't expecting at all, as well as having the twist of Lucifer and the Hand of God being unable to stop Amara. I loved seeing Dean trying to reach Castiel, as well as getting to see some of the other angels and Heaven again. Everything I think the show has run out of new monsters, they surprise me, as evidenced by the delightfully creepy and offbeat human cicadas of "The Chitters", which also gave what I've always wanted, hunters who finally get out of the life alive. "Don't Call Me Shurley" was a surprise delight, and despite how I disbelieved and disliked the "Chuck is God" theory, I actually enjoyed it. I was also surprised by how much I adored Metatron in it, a character I've always despised. The scene where he was crying and trying to convince Chuck humanity was worth saving put a lump in my throat, as did Dean refusing to leave Sam, and trying futilely to breathe in the fog so he could be infected, too. On the brighter side, Sam was so precious with the little baby girl, and the ending, with everyone saved, was gorgeous. "All in the Family" gives closure for Kevin, finally, and introduces a new prophet, Donatello. I loved his confusion, and its wonderful to his a much older character in such a role. "We Happy Few" gives me what I've always wanted: a team up between the angels, demons, and the Winchesters, with the witches and Chuck in the mix. And while their plans backfire horribly, I adored seeing them all working together for once. "Alpha and Omega" was a delight, with the villain redeemed instead of killed for a change. I loved Castiel being back, and cried when Dean finally told him they thought of him like a brother and as the best friend they'd ever had. I also adored Sam understanding and letting Dean go, showing how much character growth both brothers have undergone this season. Season eleven was my very favorite so far for so many reasons and I'm so incredibly excited for twelve.

Once Upon A Time has finished part one of season five and it was a mixed bag, disappointing in some ways while delightfully creative in others. Despite my original thoughts, I ended up loving the Dark Swan story arc. Of all the characters, Emma has taken the longest to win me over, originally my least favorites and now one of my top five, and this arc gave her a chance to shine as well as showcase more depth than she's had in all seasons combined. I loved seeing a more vulnerable side to her strength, as her love for Killian helps her overcome challenges - like not destroying Merlin - and a happy, optimistic Emma who can finally see a future and happy ending for herself. She also had so much more emotion, showing how far she's come and how much her walls have come down, and her tenderness with Killian was the most gentle I've ever seen her. I've wanted Dark One!Killian or at least magic!Killian since the beginning so it was a gift to get to see it on screen, even if he did occasionally make me sad or angry. But I've missed that edge since he went completely good and it was fun to see it again for a few episodes. I loved seeing baby!Killian - so adorable! - and finally his father and that story. My heart broke at his death - honestly I was expecting Emma to be the one they would bring back from the Underworld - and I hated that Emma was the one to kill him, but I'm thrilled that it will now be Emma's turn to go the "ends of the earth or time" for him. I actually enjoyed Robin and Regina's romance this arc, and I loved seeing Regina get to be the savior. I'm relieved the Zelena baby plot is finally over, and seeing Robin with the baby was adorable, even if I'm bitter that they separated Zelena from her child instead of a redemption arc or some sort of joint custody like they'd originally planned. Rumplestiltskin and Belle's storyline this season was both frustrating and delightful by turns. I loved seeing him fully human and finally a hero, but was annoyed when he regained his magic. I also loved Belle and he come back together, but hated the pointless drama of their breakup and makeup. Merida was a surprise delight, fiesty and fun, and her backstory episode was one of the best of the season. The Arthurian aspects of the story were less of a focus than I'd hoped but I enjoyed what there was. Merlin was fabulous, with a tragic but intriguing past love and story of how he got his magic, and I'm still sad they killed him off. Guinevere was lovely, and her romance with Lancelot was beautiful and far too brief. I'm still undecided about Arthur - while I liked the twist of him being the bad guy, he didn't have a good enough motive and came across as a little bland. I loved Camelot, though, especially the idea that it was all a magic illusion on top of a crumbling kingdom, as well as Excalibur and the dagger being the same blade that had been broken.

IZombie is back for it's second season and it's as delightful as ever, with highlights of Liv's personalities including a magician and a fraternity boy. Blaine gets a bit of depth and some great lines, Peyton and Liv's friendship is finally back, and Ravi continues to be a complete sweetheart. I love that Clive seems to be edging towards learning the truth, as well as finally getting a life outside the office. The biggest change this season is Major's story arc. Originally not a favorite of mine, he won me over last season with his good heart and kindness toward the kids he was trying to help. Now, newly returned to human, and adrift without his old job, he's a much sadder, more tragic character, especially in the ironic and poignant scene where he, now addicted, ends up buying drugs from a teen he once tried to keep off them. Worse yet, with Liv's life in danger, he's turned into a zombie bounty hunter for Max Wager, whose secret experiments have my interest. While I'm not sure the show will ever do a full-blown zombie outbreak, I can definitely see this as a potential start for it. But, I do love that Major and Liv are finally back together, and Major's dog - adorably named Minor - is super cute.

Reign is on season three, and after the dreadful mess that was season two I had guarded hopes that it might improve. In some ways it has, while in others not so much, and it still fails to recapture the fun and escapism of season one. Finally back to her senses and free of the dreadful story arc of last year, Mary is more toned down and likeable, and while they only have a few happy moments together, it's a joy to see her and Francis back together. I've been expecting and dreading Francis's death all season, and while I'm very sad to lose him from the show I appreciate that the writers let him be happy at the end and have a good and honorable death. He was the character who surprised me the most, starting out uninteresting and annoying to me and ultimately becoming one of my favorites and the show isn't the same without him, since he brought a lot of light to it. Charles now has a larger role and a new actor, and I'm not sure what to make of either, even if some flashes of a good heart pop up beneath the spoiled, childish exterior and he seems to care deeply about his siblings. The show's weaknesses have always been burning up both plot and romances far too fast for its own good, and unfortunately it's worse than ever this season, even with Kenna thankfully gone. Lola and Narcisse, two characters I despise, are married, and it's even more of a mess than her last one and far more annoying. Thankfully it isn't for long, and Lola makes the one sensible decision of the show and leaves for England. Narcisse, unfortunately, remains, undermining everyone and setting my teeth on edge. My favorite pairing, Leith/Greer, is long gone, but they still remain interesting characters, and their new romances, while not my favorites, still provide interesting or even cute moments such as Leith dancing with Claude. Bash's story arcs have always been my favorite, and while I'm still puzzled as to why he's excluded from court scenes and the main plot and characters for the most part, I'm still intrigued by Delphine's powers and bond to him, even if it could be better. With part of the show set in England now there's new characters, including Dudley, handsome but weak and useless, and Elizabeth, even more insufferable and infuriating than most portrayals of my least favorite queen in history and saddled with an absurd pregnancy storyline. Between her over the top pouting and her scheming to steal Dudley from his wife I end up gritting my teeth through most of her scenes. But with the superb "In A Clearing", the season moves closer to what it used to be, equal parts mystery, supernatural, romance, and tragedy, all with beautiful moments including flashbacks. But best of all it allows Bash and Catherine, Catherine and Mary, and Bash and Mary, some of the most fascinating relationships in the past, to finally share scenes together after so long. "The Hound and the Hare" is another delight, and further hope that the show is returning to its roots with more screentime for Catherine and Bash, and Bash even getting to share a scene with Greer, something I've wanted since the beginning. Leith and Greer's scene together was touching, and the surprise twist of Greer's pregnancy has me hooked. I also loved finally getting to meet one of her sisters in a later episode. As iffy as I am about Delphine I do find her powers intriguing, and the Jack the Ripperish murders are the storyline I'm most interested in right now, if for nothing else than it invokes the pagan and supernatural storylines I loved and miss desperately. The final scenes with Carlos, Mary, and Catherine were an absolute gift that left me in stitches - the show is always at its best when its not taking itself seriously and is just over the top, outrageous fun and antics - and I love that Mary and Catherine are working together again. "No Way Out" introduces the Red Knights storyline which brings back some of the pagan/mysterious elements I've missed so long. I don't mind Mary and Gideon too much, and I do enjoy Mary's scenes with his daughter. "To the Death" is a surprisingly excellent ep. As sad as I'll always be over Leith/Greer, I always loved Castleroy and having Greer end up happy with him and getting to keep her baby was a delightfully happy ending for her. I adored seeing Lola reunited with little John, and some true character growth in Elizabeth, particularly that she showed mercy and resolved not to be like her father. Bash and Mary's scenes (even a hug!) were a treat after so long, rekindling my love for the ship long after I'd thought they'd never share another scene together. Even Narcisse was more likeable than usual, and the storylines fit together perfectly. "Spiders in a Jar" was a dizzying packed episode, filled with wonderful and heartbreaking moments alike. Moving to Scotland has done wonders for Mary's character, and her epic speeches and posing against gorgeous scenery, with the added benefit of tartan cloaks and Highland dances, is a delight to behold. I also enjoy seeing Mary's brother and a bit of her relationship with him. Lola's death was a tragic shock - despite my initial dislike for her, she had grown on me so much since her arrival in England, and it's doubly poignant to think little John is now an orphan. While I'm sad Bash is leaving the show I loved that he made it out alive, and is revealed to be a seer. I've been hoping for magical!Bash since the beginning, and I love that the writers took that route, as well as letting him spend a few lovely shippy moments with Mary in the last few episodes. I'm devastated about Leith, though, even if I'm trying to hold onto hope for his survival.

Galavant is back with season two and even better than the first. I love Richard being a good guy, and his friendship with Galavant is a delight. I also love Roberta and ship Richard and she. Madalena gets some depth in a surprisingly emotional flashback to her childhood, followed by a love interest in Gareth, a pairing that shouldn't work but is surprisingly adorable. I'm a bit sad that Galavant and Isabella spend nearly the whole season apart, but they do get some cute dream duets. Galavant and the zombies coming back to life for love was perfect, and I never knew how much I wanted zombies on this show before. I love Isabella's friendship with the Jester, too, and her parents are hilarious. The guest characters remain a constant treat, including the hilarious healer Neo of Sporin, and the music is always catchy and flawless, especially Sid's fabulous spoof of "Can You Hear the People Sing". The season finale was beyond perfection, with Galavant and Isabella's wedding, Richard and Roberta reunited, and the adorable Tad Cooper a real dragon.

When Calls the Heart aired its New Years special and it was a delight, giving me hope for season three after the disappointment of last season. Judging from the special it seems the show has returned to its roots, returning to focus on Hope Valley instead of the random bouncing back and forth as before, and Elizabeth's diary narration is back, one thing I very much missed. Also back, happily, is the focus on the school and children, my favorite thing in season one and very missed last season. Unfortunately the costuming still leaves much to be desired, but its a small quibble compared to all they've fixed. The characters are also greatly improved, with Jack and Elizabeth back together and Elizabeth making attempts to improve their relationship - I loved the scene where Jack opens up about his past and Elizabeth supports him, and Charles and the rest thankfully gone. Rip, always a scene-stealer, got a whole storyline in the episode and it was adorable. Abigail is wonderful as always, and I loved her with the new children and hope she keeps them.The pastor is growing on me somewhat, and Bill is surprisingly far more tolerable and interesting when he's sharing a scene with Jack. Lee and Rosemary remain hilarious and adorable together.

In new shows I've fallen in love with The Frankenstein Chronicles, a flawless and fascinating re-imagining of the classic. The historical setting, against the Anatomy Act, is intriguing, and I adore all the period details and authentic feel of the times. Marlott is a sad, but decent character, and the complex mysteries and turns of the plot continue to catch me off guard. I also love the sad but touching relationships Flora has with both Marlott and Nightingale, and how the show portrays Mary Shelley. The final twist as Marlott took the role of the Monster was shocking but fascinating.

Also new is Chicago Med, and it's a delight to have two medical shows at once. I'm enjoying learning the new characters, and love Connor so far, and the stories are always interesting.

I've also been working my way through Miami Medical. I have a weakness for doctor shows and its an enjoyable one with layered characters whose pasts slowly are revealed throughout the episodes, shippy and friendship goodness, and emotional as well as light-hearted moments.

I've been working my way through Spartacus and loving it. The writing might not be flawless but the characters more than make up for it. I love Spartacus, such a kind and decent leader, Gannicus, the delightfully rock star gladiator with the fabulous hair, the haunting and lovely Naevia, and my very favorites, Agron and Nasir whose relationship is a complete delight. The show makes me emotional more often that not, yet remains inspiring despite all the tragedy.

I'm working through the short-lived Eleventh Hour and its enjoyable, a nice, solid science series with just the right touch of poignancy and emotion. I love Hood, a sweet yet quirky character, and with my weakness for bodyguard stories his relationship with Rachel - a gentle friendship with hints of more - is a delight and the highlight of the show.

I discovered the short-lived 2000s remake of my beloved Kolchak the Night Stalker, Night Stalker, and started watching. It's surprisingly good, and this version of Carl, while much younger, has the good heart of the later character, with more sweetness and less fear. I enjoy his relationship with Perri, too, and the storyline and intriguing backstory for Carl has my interest.

I discovered the series Empress Ki with subtitles and have been binge-watching it this week. I've never seen a Korean show before and know nothing about its history, but its excellent and ridiculously addictive. I like the characters a lot, too, and the music is gorgeous.

I discovered Return To Mayberry, the Andy Griffith Show reunion movie I never knew existed, and it was a treat. Despite being so long after the show, it managed to bring back a large part of the cast, even some of my recurring favorites like the Darlings. I adored the lives of the characters now, especially Otis sober and working as an ice cream man and Opie with a family, but my delight was seeing Barney and Thelma Lou finally reunite and marry. I teared up during the wedding, since I'd always been so sad that they never married on the show, and Thelma Lou's final episode on the series had always broken my heart.

I enjoyed The Mortal Instruments movie very much, so I've been looking forward to the Shadowhunters tv show. Unfortunately, while I liked the expansion of the world and seeing all the other creatures, especially the Seelie, it was extremely disappointing, containing virtually everything I hate in YA fiction magnified by a hundred. Unlike the slightly more realistic and definitely more likable characters of the film, the characters here are largely flat and wooden, with especially the male characters seemingly incapable of any emotion except glowering or sulking. Isabelle, whose occasional flashes of cleverness and an endearing relationship with her brother are hints of how much better she could be written, is reduced to little more than a distraction to gain information with no personality beyond flirting. Alec, too, has potential, especially with his bond with Jace and his cute moments with Isabelle, that is frustratingly lost behind jealousy and scowling. Most disappointing is Jace. Lacking Jamie Campbell Bower's acting ability and stripped of the tragic, nearly self-loathing personality behind the snarky mask, this Jace comes across as boring and self-centered, falling for Clary seconds after meeting her for no reason whatsoever. Clary, the very worst character, is a Mary Sue, perfect at everything, wanted by all the guys, and accepting of the supernatural and her powers instantly, and flirting with Jace while Simon is in danger in a cringe-worthy scene. Making it even worse is the actress' complete inability to act, and incredibly forced chemistry with Jace. Valentine is an over the top classic villain, lacking the scary edge of the movie version. The one bright spot in the cast is Alberto Rosende, who manages to make Simon endearing and believable, even carrying his scenes with Clary enough to make me feel emotion for him. The dialogue is appallingly bad, even by teen show standards, the weapons and props are cheesy - the swords have a weird nightlight glow and the characters move a stone crypt lid effortlessly - and adults are few and far between, let alone someone elderly. Also, with the plot dragged out across episodes, the weak spots and plot holes have nowhere to hide, making the experience even more painful.

I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 in theatres and it was superb, a flawless adaptation. In many ways it was my favorite book of the series and the film is definitely my favorite of the four. Despite the heavy action, the plot struck an excellent balance between more fast-paced and slower, emotional moments. Peeta completely broke my heart, with Josh Hutcherson's performance managing to pull off both the dangerous and vulnerable sides of the character perfectly. While I often find Katniss's character prickly and somewhat unlikeable, I finally understood her in this film, and I cried during the scene with Buttercup and her even more than I did during the book. I would have liked more scenes with Prim, but the few included were poignant, and I liked seeing her interact with Peeta, even if the scene was heartwrenching. I was glad that Katniss's mother leaving was skimmed over, though. Finnick and Annie's wedding was lovely, and I loved him looking after Peeta. I was grateful his death was less traumatic than in the book, but sad that Katniss seeing through his eyes wasn't included, even if that would have made the scene even more painful. I loved that Annie and his son was mentioned, and Annie was wonderful in her few scenes, making me wish she'd had a larger role. Haymitch and Effie, both surprise delights of the series, finally got a kiss which had me grinning ear to ear. I loved hearing all of my favorite lines (even the final "always"!) exactly like the book, the music was lovely, and the scenes after Coin's death were gorgeous, exactly as I'd hoped, since that was my favorite part of the series. The ending, with Peeta and Katniss and their children, was beautiful, and the kids were absolutely adorable.

In new animated films I finally saw The Peanuts Movie and while the odd animation style took a bit to grow on me, I adored the delightful whimsy of the plot and how it felt like the comics with a series of daily adventures bound together by the background story of Charlie's pining for the Little Red Haired Girl. I loved that the movie didn't update the story, keeping the vintage feel as well as the comic style such as hearts above the characters. Snoopy in particular was a delight, and I loved his Red Baron adventures. The voices were all great and some sweet moments, like Snoopy and Charlie's hug, Sally and Charlie, and the ending, made me emotional.

In new fairytale films I saw Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot, a lovely adaptation of the story. I loved the relationships, especially the sisters, and also their romances with their loves, even the brief but hilarious bit at the end where Rosenrot finds true love and adventure all at once. The magical roses and dance scenes were adorable, too. Next was Der Teufel Mit Den Drei Goldenen Haaren, a strange but very enjoyable story. I loved the characters and the ending was delightful. Next was Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, a beautiful and poignant adaptation. I loved how it managed to strike a balance between the tragedy of the original story and the more gentle, upbeat feel of the movie series, while still remaining faithful. The characters were lovely - I especially adored the Stranger - and the ending perfectly bittersweet.

In other new films I watched My Name is Nobody, a quirky and delightful spoof with characters I grew to love and some hilarious moments. I loved Jack and Nobody's friendship, and the resolution was adorable and perfect. Next was The Nine Lives of Christmas. I watched it solely for Brandon Routh and ended up adoring it with its delightfully sweet and quirky story and adorable cats. The romance was super cute, too. Next was Avenging Angelo, which was nothing like what I'd expected, but was a complete delight, a perfect blend of high-paced action and adorable romance with some zany and comedic moments thrown in. I have a weakness for bodyguard stories and Frankie and Jennifer's romance was too cute for words. It was also a joy to have Frankie go against typical stereotypes by being so gentle and a good cook, and I laughed through the entire scene of him teaching her how to walk right. The ending was perfect, too. Next was City of Angels, a gorgeously filmed and heartbreaking story. I loved the mythology the film created regarding angels, and the soundtrack was lovely. Next was Catch Me If You Can, a surprisingly fun and fast-paced true story. Frank's cons were entertaining, and I loved the poignancy of Frank's estrangement from his family and his friendship with Carl. Next was Just Like Heaven, a flawless mix of hilarious comedy and poignant drama, all wrapped up in a delightful fantasy romance. I adored the characters, including the minor ones, and David and Elizabeth's love story was sweet and believable. The ending made me super happy and teary, too.

I discovered the miniseries remake of Spartacus and completely fell in love with it. As much as I love the original, I loved this version better, for its expansion and deeper emotions. The cast was excellent, and all the characters richly drawn and fascinating, especially David. I loved the hope of the ending, too.
 
 
calliope tune: "Hurt So Bad"-Lettermen
feeling: grumpy
 
 
Kathleen
Continuing with my superhero obsession I watched Daredevil, a visually gorgeous and superb adaptation of one my favorite and first beloved superheroes, rich in colors with a recurring theme of red. Rex Smith's sensitive and ninja take on the role will always be my favorite but Ben Affleck did a brilliant job as Matt, capturing the subtle nuances and inner struggles of the character. The story was more tragic and thought-provoking than most of the genre, and I loved the beauty of it, like how Matt can "see" with the rain, how he watches people's hearts, and the contrasting imagery of the church vs. his devil costume and darker side of his personality. I was surprised but a little glad that the film didn't take an easy way out and bring Electra back to life, even as sad as it made the ending. After that I saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine and it was stunning, an awesome and quite in character exploration of Logan's tragic past. I loved his early backstory with the idea of him going from one war to the next along with the ill-fated relationship with his half brother, even if I'm not quite sure how his brother fits with the same character in the first film. The idea of Wolverine having claws before the experiment was fascinating and unexpected to me, but I loved the idea as well as how he used his steel claws to free all the mutants on the island. I teared up at the brief inclusion of Xavier, as well as little!Scott and his first set of sunglasses. After that was X-Men First Class, and I loved seeing the beginning of everything. James McAvoy made a perfect Xavier, capturing the deep caring of the later version while including a uniquely youthful spirit, and for the first time I felt for Mystique - or Raven here - as well as the tragedy of what will become of her, even as shocked as I was that she choose Magneto over Charles in the end. Her early friendship with Charles was sweet, though, and surprising since I wasn't expecting it. Charles becoming paralyzed was incredibly haunting, as was his friendship with Erik and how he tries so hard to prevent Erik from turning evil. I loved the other characters, too, especially Sean/Banshee and his fascinating and fun gift.

I finally got to see The Man From the 25th Century, an Irwin Allen pilot that sadly never got picked up for a series but had a fascinating premise and awesome cast. James Darren stars as a man taken as an infant and raised in a technically advanced but emotionally bankrupt alien world with the sole purpose of turning him into a destroyer of earth. His target is a top secret base - The Time Tunnel! which made me desperately want a crossover - but he gets a change of heart - evidenced at the beginning when he protests the killing of an alien - and winds up helping protect the base which sends the aliens toward earth to kill him before his information can be revealed to earth. Unfortunately his most intriguing skill - telekenesis - was only briefly explored, and we never get to see what sort of character he'd become in his further adventures of helping earth and fighting aliens. Still it was a fun show and rich ground for crossovers and ideas.

I finally watched I Dream Of Jeannie: Fifteen Years Later and it was a mix of the surprisingly good and very disappointing. Roger and Dr. Bellows, both played by the original actors, were flawless, effortlessly slipping back into character and providing the vast majority of the few laughs in an otherwise strangely serious reunion. Barbara Eden took a while to fall back into the role, and never quite captured the bubbly personality or even some parts of Jeannie II's scheming personality, but it was wonderful to see her in the role again, and her being older gave me ideas of whether Jeannie would have traded her immortality for a normal, more human existence with Tony. Despite ignoring the twin children implied in one of the episodes, T.J. was quite good and believable as a mixture of Tony and Jeannie. I loved him slowly discovering his genie powers across the show while still retaining the realistic behavior of an '80s teen. The weakest part of the show was Tony, a different actor who lacks both the talent to pull off the part as well as the chemistry Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden had. Still the plot had some fun moments - my favorite was the hilarious scene in which Jeannie accidentally blinks everyone's clothes off in a restaurant and Dr. Bellows, upon arriving, assumes it's the thing to do and starts taking off his suit, and the final plot was surprisingly poignant, despite my confusion over why she simply didn't blink Tony home or in a different direction. Still her trading Tony's memories of their life together in return for his life was haunting, and I loved the hopeful, adorable finale when she bumps into him again, magically fixes his tie, and walks away with him following her.

I'm watching season five of Merlin now, and wondering what happened to my beloved, silly little show. Merlin has, in his own words, "grown up", and it's heartbreaking to see how jaded and even callous he's become. Merlin was once my favorite, until Lancelot took his place, Arthur grew on me, and I adored Gaius, but up until this season I still had a fondness for him, even in fourth place. Now I find myself annoyed and angry at him most of the time, and saddened at what the writers did to him, turning him into a twisted, dangerous person who won't even give Mordred a chance and has no one to blame but himself when everything falls apart. Almost everything he does is only for Arthur, with no thought to anyone else, and he's more than willing to kill for him, all of which gives the series a desperate yet hopeless feeling as Merlin struggles against the prophecy of Arthur's encroaching death, Gwen worries, and Arthur runs headlong into one danger after another. There's a new and older Mordred this season, and despite my reservations Alexander Vlahos completely won me over. He still seems too old to convincingly play opposite Arthur and Merlin, but he's a superb match for little Asa Butterfield, complete with the same vividly blue eyes and a disconcerting smile that flashes on and off so quickly I almost miss it. Yet he's softer and more endearing than little!Mordred who always send chills up my spine, and despite the fact that I thought I'd never love any Mordred except Hans Matheson in The Mists Of Avalon, I love his take on the character. The writers did a somewhat better job shifting him from good to evil, but his complete acceptance - with only one brief scene of hesitation - of the girl's evil seemed out of character. Despite that the scene where he yelled and his magic threw down the door sent chills up my spine. Alexander Vlahos was incredible in the episode. Merlin's betrayal of Mordred shocked me, and showed how very much he's changed from the days when he saved Freya, an almost parallel to "The Drawing Of The Dark". Bradley James is still excellent as Arthur, proving himself a just and honorable king who cares deeply for all his people, and even goes as far as to spare the life of a woman sentenced to die for sorcery. As the creepy "Death Song Of Uther Pendragon" shows, Arthur is about as far as his father as it's possible to be, and all for the best. Strangely enough I found myself disliking Gwen this season, both for the completely evil and murderous enchanted Gwen in the mid-season story arc, as well as the almost harsh way she rules. Also the writers, despite some promising hints in past seasons, have completely failed to convince me of Arthur and Gwen's romance which seems more tepid by the episode. Arthur says he loves her, but they behave more like two people sharing a kingdom instead of friends or family, and hardly husband and wife. The knights are a little underused, but still the best part of the season, and even Gwaine who I dismissed as a replacement Lancelot has finally won me over. However Elyan's senseless death gives me one more reason to hate how the writers use, or rather misuse, the knights. Elyan never got much of a role or chance to shine, but I liked him, and it seems pointless and cruel to kill him off just so the writers can try to infuse some life into their Arthur/Gwen ship. The Round Table is gorgeous, though, exactly as I imagine it should be. My favorite episode of the season is the superb opener "Arthur's Bane" which manages to craft a perfect blend of gently funny moments with tragedy and strong character building, reintroducing Mordred and even giving a dash of humanity to Morgana's twisted and usually over the top personality. There's a gloomy feel cast across the whole season, marked with disturbing, almost gruesome concepts such as the tragic crippling of the little dragon Aithusa, and the relentless torture and cruelty inflicted on the characters, making five an anti-climatic and sad end to what began as a fun and clever twist on the legends, and I can't help thinking the writers lost their way or rushed to the end without giving enough time for the important part. It's supposed to be the Golden Age of Camelot but it only crumbles more and grows darker by the episode, and I can only shake my head at all the wasted potential if the writers had given more time to plotting and pacing the series instead of falling back on the tiring and nearly sickening trope of Morgana vs. Camelot with some enchanted object and much throwing of people up against walls and trees. The problem, I think, was rushing everything instead of giving the series time to grow and fill the shoes of the legends. The first two years were perfect, three still had promise, and even four had some excellent moments and even whole episodes. Five sadly doesn't measure up, and only the season's opener and finale held my interest. "The Diamond Of The Day" was very good...not perfect, but close, breathing a little life and nostalgia into the series. Merlin seemed more his old self, the inclusion of him trapped in the cave was cleverly done, and Arthur's last "for Camelot" put tears in my eyes. I've grown to love Arthur over five seasons, warming to him as he grew from a hated bully to a prince with a good heart and finally the once and future king, but I was prepared for the heartbreak. The battle was epic, far more than the usual scene which focuses entirely on Arthur and Mordred, exactly as Camlann should be. Mordred stabbing Arthur and killing him was quietly underplayed, and I couldn't help tearing up for both of them, especially when Mordred gives that last smile before he falls. Gwen putting the pieces together and realizing Merlin has magic was beautifully done, subtle yet perfectly acted, and Gwen finally seems to be the sweet and kind character she used to be. Surprisingly I found myself shipping Leon/Gwen, mostly because of the talk about their childhood and the way he looks at her. It's adorable and I like to think after Gwen had mourned for Arthur that she eventually grew to love Leon, too. Avalon was beautiful, and I got a thrill when it first appeared, one thing I'd been looking forward to in the finale. I loved the magic reveal, somewhat anti-climatic - I'd hoped for a full season of Arthur coming to terms with it and magic returning to Camelot - but it was moving, and superbly acted by both Colin Morgan and Bradley James. I loved how Arthur gradually gains respect for Merlin and all he's done, eventually accepting him and not wanting him to change. Percival had a slightly larger part than usual, which I enjoyed, but I hated that Gwaine had to die. If he had to die I wish it had at least been a noble death like Lancelot, instead of the senseless and horribly cruel death he got. I must say I've never been more grateful to the writers for killing a character as I was when Morgana died. Five seasons late, but still good. Arthur's death was heartbreaking, perfectly filmed and acted, and if I wasn't crying before that I would have broken down and sobbed when Freya's hand came out of the lake for Excalibur, not to mention Merlin - the real Merlin and not the cruel one that's been here most of the season - crying; I can never have dry eyes when Colin Morgan cries. I liked the open ending somewhat - leaving room for imagination and fanfiction - but was saddened by all that wasn't shown - Merlin returning to Gaius, Gwen's acceptance, Gwen's reign, Leon/Gwen, and so on. But immortal!Merlin was tragically beautiful...if only the series had shown Arthur's return in the future. To cheer myself up I watched a different Arthurian film, The Last Legion, a unique and fascinating spin on the legends. Thomas Brodie Sangster was superb as young Caesar Romulus Augustulus, a child caught between killers and a small but loyal band willing to die for him. I found Aurelius the most fascinating of all..at first glimpse he seems a cruel, hardened warrior, but his friendship and loyalty to the child quickly won me over, as did the tinge of sadness around him. Mira was quite interesting, too, both warrior and woman with a caring for Aurelius. And Ambrosinus(Merlin) being Uther's teacher as well as Arthur's was unusual and an intriguing thought. The film was beautifully done, too.

I've discovered another silent film actor to love: the wonderful, handsome, and talented Charles Farrell. I gave a try to the film Lucky Star and fell in love with it - and him - at the same time. He played such a sweet character that I couldn't help loving him, and Janet Gaynor was adorable as the girl he falls in love with, both making it a lovely film with a perfect ending. My favorite so far is the gorgeous 7th Heaven, a beautiful and poignant romance that made me smile and sob and love them both dearly. Chico and Diane's relationship was realistic and so lovely, and their "wedding" brought tears to my eyes, as did the incredible and moving ending. I'm also learning to love his films with other actresses, starting with City Girl, a movie with some beautiful scenery, lovely photography, and an adorable scene where he and his co-star run through the wheat field, pausing for him to pick her up and kiss her. He played a very sweet character, too, who was impossible not to love. After that I saw The River, a sadly fragmented film with part of it only able to be told through still photos and inter-titles, but still highly unusual and lovely. It's quote "The river, like love, cleanses all things" sums up the film in which the river stands as a character, much in the same way of Our Mutual Friend, washing away the past of one of the character and redeeming them through another, as well as a character nearly dying and surviving through love. While I wasn't as impressed by the actress, Charles Farrell did an excellent job with the role, a mix of awkward country boy and determined man who wins her over and breaks her out of her hard shell when he nearly freezes to death and she's nearly unable to save him. It had a happy ending, too, that part, like the beginning and two other scenes, lost and told only in a photograph. I wish they'd find a complete copy, but still the part that exists was well worth seeing, since I love his films. Last was Liliom, a delightfully non-musical version of the lovely musical Carousel, with Charles Farrell in the title role. It turned out to be a talkie, so for the first time I got to hear his voice. He didn't sound like I expected, but his voice grew on me and I loved his accent. He was great in the role, too, and I grinned ear to ear at the carnival scenes. Charles Farrell has a lovely, nearly frail vulnerability, and cute shyness about his acting, combined with a tendency to get whumped that is exactly what I love in acting and characters. And on a completely shallow note, he's very easy on the eyes, too. Catching up on my love of Shakespeare, I saw the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet and it was utterly gorgeous. Beautiful sets, lovely actors - Romeo especially - pretty dancing, and of course the glorious theme. I loved that it retained the original lines and setting, just a flawless film overall. After that I saw Flyboys, a gorgeous and sweepingly old-fashioned film about the men who fought in the skies of World War One. James Franco was wonderfully sweet as Blaine, and I adored his interactions with Lucienne and the children. Among other new films this week I saw the adorable Penelope and fell completely in love with it. James McAvoy was wonderful as Johnny, and stunning with those beautiful blue eyes. He had a perfect mix of sad sweetness and gentle humor, and my favorite scenes were the lovely ending in the park and the hilarious scene where he sings "You Are My Sunshine" out of key while attempting to play an assortment of instruments. Penelope was easy to like, too, and I loved that Penelope and Johnny got their happy ending. Then I saw the gorgeous and bittersweet fantasy The Odd Life Of Timothy Green which completely broke my heart and put it back together again. Timothy was adorable, and I loved how he touched each person and made them better. Next I watched Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to Clash Of The Titans, and surprisingly liked it even more than the first. Perseus, now a widower, has a young son, and finally Perseus/Andromeda became canon, much to my delight, even if I prefer the first actress who played her over this one. Hades finally got redemption in the end, and Zeus came across as a kinder and more loving god toward his son and grandson. Pegasus was back, too, just as beautiful as ever, and I found the plot easier to follow than the first. Next was The Crucible, a stunning, heartbreaking, and disturbing look at the motives of the Salem Witch Trials. Despite being somewhat fictionalized it was still a fascinating image of the events, both extremely well acted and directed, and incredibly powerful. By the end of it I loathed Abigail even more than I always have, since the film painted her as a scheming girl drunk on power and revenge, but the actress did a good job with a very difficult role. Little Betty, much more able to be pitied and sympathized with, was also quite good, and Daniel Day-Lewis did a superb job as John Proctor, one of the victims I've always had the most interest in. His scene of being accused as well as his moving final speech were stunning, tear-jerking, and should have won him an oscar. Joan Allen was also excellent as his caring wife, Elizabeth, and I sobbed at her final line. I happened to run across Daniel Day-Lewis again in my search for a good version of The Last Of The Mohicans, the 1992 version, and he had big shoes to fill as Hawkeye, since I love both the book and the tv series Hawkeye which remains my favorite version of the story. But he was excellent at the role, and as much as I adore Lee Horsley's more lighthearted and friendly approach to the role, Daniel Day-Lewis actually fit my image a little better - lighter and swifter on his feet, more woodman-ish, and a stronger, slightly rougher character while style having a kind and gentle tenderness beneath it all. Cora was also a great character, a strong match for Hawkeye, and I loved their relationship. The film seemed a little too short, but maybe that's just because I enjoyed it too much so it felt like it sped by, and Uncas wasn't shown as much as I would have liked but it was a beautifully filmed and acted adaptation, with the gorgeous backdrop of North Carolina against impressively accurate sets and costumes. Duncan's redemption was haunting, turning a character I disliked into one I admired in the ending. Alice was frail and lovely and I wish her hinted at romance with Uncas had been shown more, but still their tragic and earlier foreshadowed deaths broke my heart, as did the words of Chingachgook in the last scene. The theme was pretty, too, and familiar to me for some reason. On a shallow note, I also loved Hawkeye's hair...the tv version's got nothing on him there! I finally watched the film version of Highlander, and as I'd suspected from the pilot of the tv show, I quite enjoyed Christopher Lambert as Connor, a different, more world-weary, but still fascinating and easy to sympathize with hero. He's a unique, more unusual sort of handsome, too, with a little bit of Robert Lansing's eyes and forehead with an awful lot of Misha Collin's lower face and build thrown in. In fact, between his looks, expressions, and trenchcoat, I kept having flashes of some sort of awesome Supernatural crossover. But his looks make him appear more old-fashioned and non-1980s which helps make it more believeable. The flashback scene of him finding little Rachel and later, with her much older, were precious and made me wish for more scenes or fanfiction of him raising her. Likewise, the love story of Connor and Heather was heartbreakingly beautiful, against the song "Who Wants To Live Forever" that I've always had a weakness for, even though it makes me tear up. But the resolved, happy ending was perfect, exactly what I'd hoped for. In other new films this week I watched An Old-Fashioned Christmas, and despite the fact that it didn't measure up to the original, the very sweet An old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, it was still enjoyable, even if I kept wanting to shake some sense into both Tilly and her grandmother. Gad was still the same loveable character of the first film, and despite everything I felt a little sorry for Cameron. I wish he'd had some redemption in the end beyond his new-found ability to stand up to his mother, even as much as I appreciated that. His accent, despite attempting to be Irish, sounded a lot more English to me, no matter how hard he tried, which made me giggle everytime he spoke. I loved Tilly's grandfather, though, such a feisty and colorful character, and her relationship with him. I saw the cute fairytale Ever After, a perfect and beautiful version of Cinderella, and fell in love with it. The Prince had far more personality than he ever has, and I loved how headstrong and bold Danielle was, even saving him from the gypsies in a clever and hilarious way. Then I saw the underrated and fun The Last Airbender. The concept of bending the elements and fighting with them was original and fascinating, and I loved the characters, especially the believing and good-hearted Katara. Aang's tragedy of being alone in accepting his role as the avatar, and Yue's death were especially moving, and I felt for all the characters. Following that was The Indian In The Cupboard, a gentle and lovely adaptation of the book I loved as a kid. Little Bear and Boone were perfect, exactly as I imagined, and I loved the ending. Next was the fabulous Night At The Museum, a fest for a history and that sort of fantasy geek that I am and I loved every second of it and all the characters; followed by the even zanier and more hilarious Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian. I giggled through all the oldies songs, and loved the cupids, the octopus, and, of course, Jedediah and Octavius, even better than in the last film. After that was the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still and was happily surprised to discover as much as I enjoy the original, I actually loved this version more. Keanu Reeves was more believable as Klaatu, alien yet learning to be human, and I loved how he changed slowly and with the most subtle moments over the course of the film. Helen also had more personality, even if the sparks of a romance were stripped away, and little Jacob was adorable and an incredibly good actor. Also the plot was more coherent than in the original, with a better conclusion, and I loved the idea of the "arks". Next was the wrenching and poignant The Flowers Of War, a deeply moving character study of a diverse group of people in China during the midst of the Second-Sino Japanese War. The historical setting drew me to the film but I fell in love with the violent beauty of it, and the incredible acting from everyone, especially the always amazing Christian Bale. The ending, along with many other moments, made me cry, and I loved how vividly realistic everything seemed, from the small moments such as John hugging Shu to the Chinese soldier's sacrifice. After that was The Confession, the sequel to The Shunning, and in some ways, although I really enjoyed the first film, I liked this one even better. Surprisingly the cast changes all seemed to be equal or for the better, and the story was intriguing and touching. I loved seeing more of Daniel than simply flashbacks, and the last scene gave me hope for his and Katie's relationship. I don't mind Justin, though. I loved that Katie finally got to meet her mother in the end, if only for a little while, and the ending left me waiting patiently for the final film, hopefully coming soon. Next was the haunting and offbeat Desire Me with the surprisingly delightful pairing of two of my favorites, Greer Garson, who I've adored since seeing Mrs. Miniver as a small child, and Robert Mitchum. Next was the excellent Bend of the River with an excellent cast and final twist. Next was two childhood favorites Miracle On 34th Street and Meet Me In St. Louis, both of which I loved. Then was the poignant Goodbye Mr. Chips Which I loved as a child and hadn't seen in years. Next was the fabulous and hilarious Christmas in Connecticut which I adored. Last was the beautifully sad Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, the theme of which I've loved for years.

I watched the fascinating Peter Pan prequel Neverland which offers an intriguing and poignant backstory for Peter, Hook, Tinkerbell, and the Lost Boys. The boy who played Peter was quite good, impressing me despite not looking exactly how I imagined, the orb was an unusual and interesting addition, and I liked the explanation for the Indians and pirates being in Neverland. Tiger Lily was wonderful, given much more personality than in most versions, and I ended up surprisingly shipping Peter and her. The origins of Hook and Peter's hatred for each other was also a fascinating twist, and I liked the ending with the tied-in elements to Peter Pan including the watch being swallowed and Peter leaving his shadow behind in England.

I've been on a roll of animated films lately, starting with the flawless The Emperor's New Groove this week, definitely the most zany and hilarious animated film I've seen yet. I couldn't stop laughing, and I loved the colorful characters, especially the endearing Kronk. The animation was perfectly done, especially the llama, and I loved the slightly steampunk design of Yzma's lab and the lever that drops into an alligator pit. Following that was the sequel, Kronk's New Groove, nearly as hilarious and just as adorable as the first. I loved all the clever nods to older Disneys, as well as the "Gollum moment", and the cute Disco sequence. The ending was wonderful, and I loved how Kuzco inserted himself into the story, I only wish he'd been in the film more. Next I saw Atlantis: Milo's Return, the fun sequel to the wonderful and underrated Atlantis: The Lost Empire. While I missed the original Milo's voice, everyone else was the same, and the story, a series of three adventures, was a lot of fun. I loved the fairytale-like ending, too. Following that was the precious The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina, a completely adorable version of the stories with a different twist here and there. I loved Tom and Thumbelina's relationship, as well as the side characters like Albertine and the mice, and the lovely ending. Then I watched the beautifully animated The Rescuers, a gorgeous and adorable film with loveable characters, especially the darling little mouse heroes of the title. Last was the delightfully French and utterly precious Ratatouille which made me giggle and restored my faith in modern animated films with it's big heart and loveable characters, especially the too cute for words Remy. After that was The Hunchback Of Notre Dame II, and despite the fact that it didn't rival the original, I still enjoyed it. It was sweet, and lovely, and Quasimodo finally found someone to love and be loved by. I also liked that Phoebus and Esmeralda had a son, cute little Zephyr, and his friendship with Quasi was precious. Then I saw Atlantis The Lost Empire, a fun, steampunk-filled adventure that has to be one of the most underrated Disney films ever. It was beautifully done, though, a perfect blend of humor and action with a loveable and geeky hero in Milo.

I've been binge-watching Gomer Pyle USMC, a childhood favorite, and loving it. The Sgt. and Bunny are always a treat, and the guest stars are delightful.
 
 
feeling: sore
calliope tune: "Dream Weaver"-Gary Wright
 
 
Kathleen
Recovering from the claustrophobia of being jammed into a theatre with too many people, I just got back from The Hunger Games! I had very high expectations for the film and it filled them all and still blew me away, especially the bread scene even if it missed the dandelion moment. Peeta was incredible. I expected as much from the other films I've seen with the actor but he pulled every emotion possible out of every scene and was even better than I'd imagined, and so vulnerable I kept wanting to hug him. Prim was sweet, Gale was surprisingly sympathetic, I actually felt for him, and Haymitch made me love him even though I didn't like the book character. The other Tributes were very much as I'd pictured, especially little Rue. The scene where she died hurt, and then when the district saluted Katniss I don't think there was a dry eye in the theatre. My favorite scenes were the chariots, Katniss finding Peeta by the river, and that final hug when they think the Games are over. I was slightly disappointed that Peeta healed up so quickly after the medicine arrived, since I wanted the scene where Katniss is pounding on the glass screaming, but the whole film was beyond perfection, especially this line: "I think about it all the time. How I tossed you that bread, I should have gone to you, I should have gone out in the rain. I remember when I first saw you. Your hair was in two braids instead of one, and in music assembly when they asked who knew the valley song and your hand shot straight up. After that I watched you walk home everyday...every day."

So apparently most Les Miserables fans hate Marius. I'm beginning to suspect somethings wrong with me when my favorite character is always the least popular with other fans, still this surprised me because I always assumed Marius would be a popular character. He's certainly a romantic and tragic revolutionary and, even though I adored him years before I ever saw the fantastic 1998 movie or any other version, he's pretty. I have a weakness for high cheekbones and he has the highest ever.

I'm working my way through the complete 1978 series Battlestar Galactica and I adore Starbuck with his hilarious womanizing, gambling, cigar-smoking, and gorgeous hair, even CORA, his computer, wants to flirt with him. On the flipside I feel sorry for poor Athena; she starts out as one of the leads and after a few episodes the writers seem to have no idea what to do with her, and she spends the rest of the series staring at a computer screen or eating dinner. I love how detailed the world is from the viper fights to the "space Las Vegas", and Apollo, Boomer, and Starbuck's friendship, as well as Apollo and Boxey's relationship, is heartwarming. Rick Springfield turned up in the pilot, which was a treat, even if he had a tiny and tragic role. Starbuck gets to show his caring side in the dream-like "War Of The Gods" when he offers his life to save dead Apollo, even in payment after Apollo has been brought back to life, and his crying shows how much he really does care about his friends. "Fire In Space" showcases Boomer as a hero, as well as showing the loyal heart of Starbuck when he jumps off the ship into outer space to grab onto Apollo who's lost his grip, and continues holding onto him, floating without ropes, until help arrives. Starbuck gets some nice whump in "Greetings From Earth" as well as "The Young Lords", both of which have cute scenes with him and kids. The beautiful and moving "Lost Warrior" features an incredible and fun western showdown between Apollo and a cylon, as well as a lovely backstory and star-gazing finale. While there's no real finale the last episode was superb, and I love the broadcast being the moon landing as well as the adorable "waggling the wings" part.

I'm up to "The Seige" in A Man Called Shenandoah and by now I see the writers enjoy tormenting him. Here he comes closer than ever with the hope of a family, a name, and a hometown only to have it all snatched away. On the bright side Charles Aidman was in it! I adore him, no matter what role he has he's excellent, and he got to have a cute little daughter in this one which is always a sweet bonus. I'm still not convinced on the ending, though. Since the doctor said in the pilot that some people with amnesia forget to read I think it's possible that his handwriting was forgotten and relearned (or at least I'd like to think so), not to mention the fact that little Nora sort of looked like him, enough to put a doubt in my mind. It would have made an excellent finale, too.

I'm infamous for ignoring special features on DVDs so it's taken me all this time to notice my The Time Tunnel set came with a bonus movie, Time Travelers, and watch it. Clint, a doctor desperate to find a cure for the outbreak of an extinct disease, and Jeff, a former astronaut, join forces to travel back to the 1800s and speak to the doctor who found a cure for the deadly virus but lost the records to the Chicago Fire. At the last moment something goes wrong and the men arrive a mere 29 hours before the fire, with Clint contracting the virus, leaving it up to Jeffrey to get them back in time to save both their lives. With Rod Serling's story of a doomed love and poignant endings and Irwin Allen's colorful touch to lend a bit of fun to it all, the two leads have a good and believeable friendship with strong similarities to Tony and Doug's friendship in The Time Tunnel. I would have loved to see Tony and Doug in the Great Chicago Fire but there's enough of both of them in Jeff's character to not feel too wistful. It's a shame they didn't make this into a series as it would have been interesting to see what other adventures Clint and Jeff could have had, and I really liked Jeff as well as the focus being on the travelers.

I saw "The Bounty Hunter", the Trackdown episode that spun-off into Wanted Dead Or Alive and it was interesting to see how much rougher Josh was compared to the series, quick to fight and shoot while later it shakes him up everytime he has to kill someone. He and Hoby worked well together and it would have been nice to see Hoby in Wanted Dead Or Alive. Along the same lines, I also saw a hilarious Boy Meets World episode with the Monkees, being different characters but with many in-jokes and an adorable ending, and the Make Room For Daddy that spun-off into Andy Griffith Show. Andy's character was more goofy, and Aunt Bee was an entirely different character, but it was cute and I can see the makings for the series, especially with Andy and Opie's relationship. While I was working on "Dust Off The Moon" I kept noticing the overlap between the real John Ringo and the tv version, especially the holes in John Ringo's life that could have been filled by someone like Cully. That eventually led to my considering the opposite: if Johnny would become like the real person if Cully was taken away. But I never thought about what would happen to Cully without Johnny. I saw The Rifleman episode "Mark's Rifle" where Mark Goddard played a character very much like Cully, a trick shot artist with a carny background and a likeable smile. But underneath all that is a world-weary, bitter thief, a dark mirror of Cully, or who Cully could have been if he'd shot Johnny or if Johnny had never met him. It would have been fascinating if Johnny Ringo had done an It's A Wonderful Life styled episode for each of them.

I saw an amazing Marcus Welby M.D. episode "A Matter Of Humanities" with Pete Duel as a man with aphasia. He only said one word over and over throughout the episode but it was an incredible acting job, one of the most impressive I've seen. I also discovered the excellent sci-fi series Journey To The Unknown and am working my way through it. I'm also binge-watching the fun sci-fi Gemini Man - I really want a watch like that - and it's clone, the '70s version of The Invisible Man, the catchy Fame, the jazzy detective series T.H.E. Cat, the quirky Jack of All Trades, and the excellent western Branded. I'm also enjoying the '90s sci-fi Roswell.

Heidi, the little Swiss dreamer, and Peter, the young goat-herder with issues have held my heart since I first saw the 1993 movie Heidi as a young child, and even then I knew they had to get married someday. They were so adorable together; Heidi needed someone to look after her, and Peter seemed to come out of his shell only with her help. The moment he saved her on the cliff I was in love with them forever. I recently heard of the not official but good enough for me sequels to the book: Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children, which find Heidi and Peter marrying and having twins.

I managed for almost the entire first season of The X-Files to not ship Mulder/Scully. It was "Beyond The Sea" that did me in, right at the scene where Mulder is on the ER table, dying, and Scully is standing there. She's not even crying but that look on her face, like her world is falling apart. And then when she lies for him in "Tooms", and the whole "only trusting him" and the way he panics when she's kidnapped and oh.

I'm watching S.W.A.T. season one. There's enough closeness among the team to make me happy and I love Luca; he's hilarious, adorable, and such a flirt. "Blind Man's Bluff" is my favorite episode so far, with a wound leaving Harrelson deskbound and a new, harsh officer in charge of the team, leading to sweet moments as Harrelson undergoes surgery to get back to his job, Hilda brings him a giant sandwich in the hospital, and Luca goes to his office to visit him.

I've been working through The Big Valley season two and I'd nearly forgotten my childhood love for this gloriously overdone western. It's a colorful soap opera packed with enough brothers h/c to make me squee like a teenager. And it has Richard Long. I don't know what it is about him but I adore him completely. All he has to do is make that amused, crooked smile of his and I'm instantly in love with whatever character he is. It must have started with Jarrod Barkley of the quirkily spelled name, noble character, and gorgeous blue eyes. Not that Jarrod's the only looker, as it has possibly the best looking cast a western ever flaunted. There's Heath, occasionally troubled by his past and constantly troubled by hair that can't decide what color it wants to be. It was bottle blond last season and now it's inching into the brown zone more by the episode. I'm assuming it will be black next season at the rate it's going. He has a crooked, meltable smile and that western accent that always endears me to a character as soon as he opens his mouth. Even Nick who unnerved me seems better now, even if he could use his big brother's ease at controlling his temper. He's such an incredibly different character from Black Saddle it's amazing, mark of a good actor, I guess. Poor Audra doesn't get to do much but be pampered by her brothers and lose the latest object of her affections but she cries nicely and has lots of bright clothing so I suppose she can't complain. In all seriousness, though, it's a fantastic show, surprisingly deep for such a pretty series, with lovely amnesia episodes. I've also been watching Green Acres and fallen in love with it's adorable way of breaking the fourth wall as well as it's homespun humor. I love how ditzy Lisa is, the fancy furniture and clothes against the rundown farm, and the telephone on top of their house. All of the townspeople are hilarious, too, such characters. I've also been rewatching a childhood favorite in Leave It To Beaver. I've been on a cop show spree too this week, watching all the series I used to and loving them all: the fantastic Baretta with Fred and Baretta's disguises, Patrick Swayze in The Renegades, Dan's ability to be anything in David Cassidy Man Undercover, Doyle's curls in The Professionals, David Janssen in Richard Diamond, Mark Goddard in The Detectives, and my favorite Kojak. I'm loving the spy/detective series Hawaiian Eye, and best of all, the jazz-flavored Johnny Staccato, too.

I'm working through Cheyenne and watched the excellent "The Long Winter". Cheyenne's comment about the "tame flowers" was adorable! It makes sense, too, if people call wildflowers "wild" why not call flowers tended in a flower bed "tame"? I saw Paul Brinegar playing a trail hand in another episode, "Lone Gun", about a cattle drive, and one of the other characters was named Rowdy, so he got to keep calling him by that name while I kept expecting to see Clint Eastwood answer. He didn't have his usual whiskers, though, so I recognized him by his voice alone. Then Sheb Wooley turns up two episodes later. This series is like Rawhide before it started. Speaking of which, I finished the new season of Rawhide including Pete's final episode "The Deserter's Patrol". I'm always a little worried when I know a character I like is leaving a series for fear they'll kill him or he'll disappear without a word, which is almost worse. Thankfully if he had to leave they gave him a good send-off; he takes a job as an Army scout and takes the son of his dead friend as his. I miss Pete terribly, though. Clay lacks the warmth and clarity of character, too many shades of grey. This season did give me an unexpected gift by having Pete in the episode "Reunion". It's wonderful to have him back, if only briefly. In the last episode "Devil and the Deep Blue". Teddy turned back up! I'd been wondering where he was this season. Poor Teddy, I rather like him and he never seems to get a main role in any episode. Also, be still, my childhood heart, I watched the adorable "Grandma's Money", and "The Pitchwagon", a feast of hilarious moments where the drivers stage an impromptu talent show, both of which made me remember yet again why I adore Rowdy from his drawstring hat to that sugar sweet and oh so gullible heart. Let's just say when he sings and the girls in the crowd shriek, I'm silently doing it, too. There must be something magical about tv cowboys...they can steal your heart again and again, no matter how old you think you've become.

I adore Barney Sloane, the down-trodden character in Young At Heart, so I was thrilled to discover the film was a remake of another movie, 1938's Four Daughters, and that Frank Sinatra's role (called Mickey) was originally John Garfield's. With four sisters instead of three, the plots are still very similiar, of the women marrying men who they don't completely love yet. Into this walks a piano-player with neither self-confidence or hope compounded by a firm belief that his fates are out to destroy him. Almost the same until you reach Mickey's first scene and everything changes. Expecting the instant pull Barney had on me, I found myself recoiling from John Garfield's portrayal. Barney is such a tragic and emotionally-fragile character you bleed for him; Mickey comes across as sarcastic and bitter, enjoying feeling sorry for himself. It's the most subtle things that seem to change everything: the way they look, the tone of voice, and Frank Sinatra's unique, soulful eyes and world-weary delivery of the lines give a depth to Barney that Mickey doesn't have, and I never truly bonded with the character. It's a shame because it would have been fascinating to see John Garfield tackle the role the same way, including the final scene. Four Daughters has Mickey die shortly after in hospital, and the next scene finds Anne smiling, seemingly having forgotten all about him, and returning to the original man she loved. Young At Heart takes a far more hopeful and beautiful turn as Laurie's desperate attempts to convince Barney that she loves him and needs him finally gives him the strength to pull through surgery. The last scene finds the couple, now with a baby, Barney having finished the song that haunted him through the film. Despite a last cute moment Four Daughters left me saddened and confused, Mickey seeming like an out of place part that was worked in at the last moment and removed without anyone noticing. Young At Heart is so romantic and hopeful that I grin ear to ear at the ending. John Garfield, in his first role, has that brooding sarcasm that he'd use so well in later roles, but his approach is so opposite from Frank Sinatra's that I felt I was watching a different character completely, and the ending only confirmed that idea. The change of the character surviving, I understand, was Frank Sinatra's request that Barney be given a second chance, and I not only agree with his choice but adore him for it. More than Mickey, Barney is the backbone of the film, and the original ending would have defeated the point of the story.

I love sword-and-sandals films and among my favorites is The Robe. Victor Mature was an excellent actor when given a chance at a good role, like Demetrius, requiring an emotional depth pouring out of his eyes. It's always saddened me how there's no real ending for him, so it was with great excitement that I discovered the sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators. Picking up a while later, Demetrius is living with a potter and his daughter Lucia, a young woman he loves from afar, never guessing she also loves him. His world comes shattering around him when Caligula launches an empire-wide search for the robe, believing it will grant him immortality. When they arrive his attempts to protect Lucia from the soldiers sentence him to the gladiator fights, and near death, the conniving Messalina saves him and sets her eye on him at any cost. Demetrius forced to watch as the gladiators attack and appear to kill Lucia. Demetrius lashes out, turning his back on his religion, friends, and even pacifism. Freed and given a position as Tribune, he sets out to recapture the Robe when he discovers Lucia is still living and in possession of it. It's is a well done what if?, interesting in that it isn't a single event that sets him off but more the last straw, implied that it began when Marcellus died for him. I wondered how Demetrius would feel when it sunk in. He's been through torture to the brink of death, rescued moments before dying, and healed, even as his friends knew that bringing Peter there would cast suspicion on themselves, and then Marcellus turns back and gives himself up to allow the others to have a chance to escape with Demetrius. Surely all this would haunt Demetrius, and I would have liked the sequel to touch on this more. His loss of faith, violent anger, and later change of heart, are sudden but believable but I found it somewhat out of character for him to instantly rush into a relationship with Messalina the moment he thinks Lucia is dead. Victor Mature gets center stage in the sequel and he's wonderful, equally convincing as his usual kind-hearted character and the embittered transformation mid-way through the movie. The film ends on a hopeful note but another sequel would have been perfect although the loose ends are tied up. In other new films I watched the 2010 Clash of The Titans which was surprisingly better than the original, even if I was broken-hearted that Ixas and Eusebius were killed. Hans Matheson was wonderful as Ixas - saving Perseus's life and going around with fantastic bows and arrows - and the actor who played Eusebius looked so much like Krycek I couldn't believe my eyes. Perseus was an easy to sympathize with hero, and I liked his relationship with Io even if I was hoping he'd end up with Andromeda in the end. But the special effects were all amazing, and it was quite fun. Next was The Andersonville Trial, a fascinating and moving film of Henry Wirz's trial. The cast was amazing and I was intrigued by the fact that the entire film takes place in the courtroom. William Shatner was superb as Chipman, the prosecuter whose moral convictions and deep sense of caring for those who died drives him to prove Wirz's guilt, and Michael Burns had a achingly tragic role as a nineteen year old survivor of Andersonville who remains lost in the war in his mind. The film dug deeply into the implications of following or disobeying orders and ended with a sobering, thought-provoking comment. I finally saw Because They're Young, and it was superb. I love old "teen rebel" films and couldn't resist the fantastic cast. Dick Clark is an idealistic teacher at a rough school who believes any student can be reached if he tries hard enough, at odds with the hardened principal who wants to go by the rules, teach the good students, and throw away the bad ones. Both are put to the test when he gets Michael Callan in his class, a rough kid with a chip on his shoulder who gets involved in a robbery and finds himself caught against a switchblade. Even as a bad boy he still has that impish grin that makes me smile back. Roberta Shore and cute, towheaded Doug McClure were adorable high school sweethearts in the movie and made me remember how I used to ship Trampas/Betsy before Randy showed up. Throw in some radio music by Bobby Rydell, Duane Eddy at the dance, and James Darren with his million-dollar-smile and very glittery hair and eyes and I was in love. Next I saw the lovely film The Winning Team, a biography of a star baseball pitcher and his devoted wife whose strength helps him overcome a brain injury and gives him the courage to make not only a comeback but win the world series for his team. Then I discovered the film Stolen Women Captured Hearts. Anna is a new bride, married to a man she barely knows when the Lakota capture her, her life spared by the mysterious warrior Tokalah. Forced to adjust in order to survive, Anna finds her heart strangely warmed by Tokalah's kindness as well as confused by the way he seems to have met her before, as she finds herself falling in love for the first time. But her newfound happiness is threatened when Custer takes an interest in returning her, a simple task that quickly turns tragic. It's one of those lovely romantic films that are just pretty to look at, along with the benefits of a clever backstory of Tokalah having seen Anna in a vision, the Indians actually played by Indians, and a unique final choice. Next was Splendor In The Grass, a haunting film that's been on my "must watch list" for ages. Set in the '20s and quite accurate to the time period, the story centers on Bud and Deanie, two star-crossed teenagers deeply in love who only want to get married in their small Kansas town. But Deanie's out-of-touch parents and Bud's ambitious, harsh father threaten their relationship, and finally drive them apart: Bud to alcohol and other women and Deanie to the brink of insanity. With poignant photography, incredible acting (especially Bud's tormented, wild sister) and an aching study in social standards and heartbreak, it's a superb film. Second was Magnificent Obsession, about Bob Merrick, a playboy millionaire with no direction in life who recklessly crashes his motorboat and almost drowns, saved thanks to a resuscitator borrowed from the local doctor, who at the same time suffers a heart attack and dies. Guilt-ridden, Bob attempts to make amends to the widow, Helen, but his efforts result in a tragic accident that leaves her blinded. He begins joining her on the beach where she sits, befriending and falling in love with her. Not knowing who he is, she returns his feelings but fate intervenes when she disappears, leaving behind only a note breaking off the relationship. Flash forward to years later and he's now a talented neurosurgeon when word comes that she's been found, dying in a hospital. In a strange twist of fate he becomes the only person who can save her life and give them another chance at happiness together. It was a rich and lovely soap opera in the grand style only that era could do. The casting is unusual but grew on me, the theme is stunning, and it's a glorious movie to look at. Bob grows over the film and the transformation is fascinating as his conceited, devil-may-care ways turn into a man who gives everything of himself and asks for nothing. Next was All That Heaven Allows, a gorgeous and moving film that's one of the best happy-ending romances I've seen in a very long time. Cary is a lonely widow caught in an endless routine of country clubs, artificial friends, social standards, and the cold glitz of a wealthy, privileged life. Ron is her garderner who's starting his own tree farm, a genuine, loving man who refuses to let little things matter and lives life to the fullest. When a shared breakfast draws the two together they find themselves falling in love, a romance which tests Cary's relationships with her friends and her nearly-grown children as well as shaking the core of her orderly lifestyle. Unable to deal with social convention, she breaks their relationship off, and it takes a season of loneliness and a tragic accident before Cary discovers that what she's wanted all along isn't money or people to think well of her, only the kind of love Ron can give. It was a beautiful movie, both heartwarming and poignant, rich and gripping. Last was the quirky but fun musical The Pirate with Gene Kelly in all his swashbuckling glory as an actor who pretends to be a pirate in order to win the woman who has a crush on the pirate. More Victor Mature's films, too, and the past two were the best so far. The Egyptian tells the tragic story of a man who rises and falls through the ranks from an abandoned infant on the Nile to a wealthy doctor to Pharoh. Victor Mature played a soldier and childhood friend to the doctor who rises with him and changes as he does. The film had gorgeous scenery and sets, a haunting theme, and an incredible, heartbreaking scene where the soldiers kill the worshippers on the outskirts of Egypt. The best scene, I think, is the Doctor's inspiring speech toward the end. Million Dollar Mermaid was a sweet, wonderful film with Victor Mature being fabulous as the carny drifter with his head in the clouds, such a colorful character. I've never seen him play that sort of role and he pulled it off beautifully. The swimming scenes and the technicolor were glorious, and the setting was richly detailed with the silent movie sets, flying machines, and carnival. I've also been on a nostalgic kick and watched all the Ma & Pa Kettle films. I had a couple as a kid and saw them over and over but I hadn't thought of them again until recently. They're every bit as hilarious and fun as I remember.
 
 
feeling: stressed
calliope tune: "Together Forever"-Rick Astley
 
 
Kathleen
11 May 2012 @ 04:32 pm
Title: Regrettable
Fandom: Andy Griffith Show
Summary: Every question demands an honest answer.
Genre: angst, romance
Characters: Thelma Lou
Pairings: Barney/Thelma Lou
Warnings: post series

Thelma Lou and I have always had a standing date on Tuesday nights. Every Tuesday night for as long as I can remember we're setting on that couch, a pan of cashew fudge between us, watching that doctor show on TV. )
 
 
feeling: distressed
calliope tune: "Love Is Like Oxygen"-Sweet