Kathleen
Summer tv has started and I've been finding some new series to fill the gap left by all the cancelled ones. The first is The Whispers, which I figured I'd like since I love Ray Bradbury and Zero Hour was one of the first stories I read by him. It's not quite what I expected - less creepy for one - but I enjoy the '90s sci-fi feel, the premise, and the characters, especially Sean. I'm hoping the writers are borrowing a bit from Ray Bradbury's other stories, too, like Sean's tattoos. The children, especially Henry, are adorable, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the plot will go.

Also new is Humans and it's amazing although complicated so far. I love how many storylines it has going - Niska's and Leo's are my favorites, I adore the relationships - especially Leo and Max, and fascinating characters, as well as the incredible world building and realism.

Dominion has begun season two, which was an incredible surprise since it just barely got renewed. Because of that I'm viewing every episode as a bonus gift, just because I love this show so very much. It's amazing so far, even more impressive than last season. The shift in characters has streamlined the show nicely, and having Alex spending most of his screentime with Noma instead of Claire - I'm starting to ship them since I never did like Alex/Claire - is a welcome and refreshing change. There's also the interesting addition of Pete, an 8ball Alex turns back into a human. He gets some hilarious lines, and he seems like a sweetheart so far. Michael, much to my relief, hasn't changed completely, even if he seems lost and anchorless without Alex and Vega. I am a little worried about the weird cult he's been sucked into, though, and I don't trust Laurel at all. But once it moves past that, there's some amazing new characters, including the evil and demented Julian who makes Gabriel look safe by comparison, and Gates, who is so fabulous he makes the tedious second storyline in Vega interesting. I adore the flashbacks this season, including little Alex with Michael, and the twins, all of which make me emotional. Gabriel and Michael finally get some screentime together and it's beautiful. Best of all, Gabriel gets some layers and explanation for his hatred of humanity with a compelling and heart-breaking series of flashbacks showing him with little David - an absolutely adorable child with those wild curls!. Carl Beukes's acting has improved so much this season, and he's pulling off the mix of emotional, caring past Gabriel and hopeless, lost current day Gabriel beautifully. The writers continue to amaze me by making me learn to love characters I hated last season, mainly Gabriel who seems so broken I just want to protect him, as well as fleshing out characters I was lukewarm on before - Noma, William, and the General, and introducing new, instantly fascinating characters including Gates. Claire's trajectory toward evil might surprisingly turn out for the best as her character has been the weakest and most dismally dull since the beginning, and a dark side could give her the interesting edge she lacks. "House of Sacrifice" was a poignant episode all around with Noma still struggling over the loss of her wings - I'm grateful her relationship with Alex seems in tact at least - Michael playing cards for his life, Vega on the edge of collapse, Clementine killed again, and even David, spiraled into madness, rejected by his son, and awaiting execution, tugged on my emotions. Most heart-breaking was Gates's death. I loved him, and hoped he'd become one of the main characters, but I'm glad he got a hero's death and a final goodbye with Claire at least. Gabriel, taken over by the darkness, has me worried.

The fifth and final season of Hell On Wheels has first half and starts by breaking my heart with Cullen's daydream of his still missing wife and son. But after that it kicks up the pace by moving onto my favorite part of railroad history: the Chinese workers. The new characters are fascinating so far, especially Mei whose odd friendship with Cullen is already my favorite, and I love the change of scenery and focus on the Central Pacific. I was so happy to see Naomi and the baby again, even if only for a few seconds, at the end, and hope, if nothing else, that Cullen finally gets a happy ending with them.

Teen Wolf season five has started and despite how much I miss Derek, I'm loving the plot and how suspenseful and spooky it is, especially with the steampunk doctors and everything being told in flashbacks, even if it makes me very worried for most of the characters. Malia remains adorable; she and Stiles are quite cute together, Kira is awesome with her added powers this season, and Liam, not one of my favorites last season, has grown on me a lot. It also is giving me a new ship in Liam/Hayden, who are adorable and precious. I was a bit disappointed that I guessed wrong on what Parrish was, but excited by hellhound over phoenix which I'd doubted from the beginning.

I've started watching the new series Zoo and I'm enjoying it so far. It's quite different from the usual "end of the world as we know it" storylines most shows are doing, and the characters, especially Jackson, are likeable.

I've finished the fourth and final season of Nikita and it was a delight to see the show return to the feel of the first two seasons. I loved seeing all the sides of Nikita, from fugitive to dark assassin to happily married and freed. Michael and her scenes were beautiful as always, and I was so happy to see them grow close again. As much as I wanted to see their wedding, eloping seemed more their style, and I'm just glad they finally ended up alive and together at last. Birkhoff was as precious as usual, and it was nice to learn his backstory, as well as see a couple lovely moments with Nikita and he. Owen's story arc was beautiful, and I was so happy how he tried to become better again, even if I'll forever miss who he used to be. I was surprisingly okay with him being paired up with Alex in the end, because even if I don't ship it I just wanted him alive and happy which I got. Ryan wasn't one of my favorites but I teared up when Nikita called him family - I do so love their makeshift, thrown-together family - and the final scene of him, as a vision in Nikita's mind, was poignant.

Since I miss the show so much now that it's over I gave a try to the original show, La Femme Nikita, and while it took me a bit to transition to the differences in cast and characterizations, I was suprised how quickly I fell in love with it. Michael is delightfully French, Nikita has an Aussie accent, and Birkhoff is nothing like Birkhoff, and it's wonderful, mostly due to Michael and Nikita's relationship. I adored them from the start in Nikita but they're even better here, since I get to see them from their first meeting.

I discovered the short lived but fabulous show Moonlight and completely fell in love with it. I have a soft spot for "good" vampires and Mick is a sweetheart. My favorite part of the show is his relationship with Beth, though, and their backstory - with Mick saving Beth when she was a small child and then watching over her like a guardian angel as she grows up - instantly made me ship them. The mythology of the vampires is fairly unique, especially regarding how they can be harmed, which keeps it intriguing, and it has almost a retro, late'80s/early'90s feel which I love.

Since I loved Alex O'Loughlin in that show, I gave a try to his medical drama Three Rivers and quite enjoyed it, definitely enough to add it to my list for future watching. His doctor is sweet and appealing, I loved the guest characters, and it's an enjoyable show with a nice blend of touching and poignant.

I finally managed to find Odysseus with English subtitles and I've completely fallen in love with it. It's delightfully French in the best ways, and simply gorgeous and haunting. I love it's unique, poignant take on the characters, and especially how quickly and deeply it makes me grow to care about it's characters: Helen reduced to me to tears in only three short scenes, and Orion fascinates me. The character growth is excellent, too, especially Télémaque who comes so far in just a few episodes. On a shallow note, the scenery, especially the seascapes and beautiful palace, is stunning.

I've fallen in love with Ghost Whisperer. It's poignant hauntings and easy to love characters are right up my alley and all the different ghosts keep the plot fresh. The best thing about it is Jim and Melinda's relationship. I adore them both, and how they support each other, and I love that the show starts right out with them married, avoiding the tangled love triangles that usually doom a show.

I also started Twisted, an offbeat but intriguing mystery series, and while it has it's flaws - Danny is a bit too nice and well-adjusted for a boy who lost his childhood in prison - I can overlook it because it's so unique, and enjoyable. I'm both fond and slightly unnerved by Danny - I still think he's innocent despite the way it's being set up - and I like Jo and her relationship with Danny.

I gave a try to Baby Daddy and despite not being a big fan of comedy I loved it and laughed through most of it. Ben is precious with baby Emma, and I love the quirky other characters.

Also new to me is Haven. I'd been meaning to try it for ages and I loved it instantly. The theme and old style intro, as well as the intriguing "Troubles" grabbed me, and I adore how sweet Nathan is even if he makes my heart hurt and I want to give him a hug. I also ship Nathan/Audrey hard, and love how she's the only one he can feel.

Extant is back with season two, and a bittersweet mix of good and bad ideas. As much as I love seeing Ethan again, much of the character growth and slow-building suspense from season one has been replaced with action and convenient plot twists, as well as a disturbingly alerted cast, leaving the show not even feeling like the same series. First of all I may be one of the few people who actually shipped John/Molly. I liked the glimmer of hope at the season finale that the two were growing closer and working out their problems. And John was such a sweetheart, trying to keep his family together against all odds. For reasons unknown the writers decided to throw a not even hinted at affair into the works - with Julie, the one character the show would have greatly benefited from to kill off - and then turned Julie evil; as if she wasn't grating enough already. Then, in the show's greatest tragedy, after a fight, the loss of Ethan, and Molly refusing to answer his call to hear his final apology, John gets violently and horribly killed off, and not even the show runner's vague comments about whether or not he's truly dead can make me feel better. In other character changes, Sean, who I liked, is inexplicably dead for seemingly no reason, and half of the other characters are not even mentioned. And I'm probably against him from the start since I dislike the actor, but I don't like the new guy at all, even if he becomes more tolerable after episode one. However, there are a few good points left. Ethan remains as precious as always, and the details, such as the self-driving cars and police tape, are as delightful as last season, while the ethical dilemmas regarding the humanoids become more troubling. I'm most intrigued by Molly's strange new powers, though, and how she'll use them. The finale was stunning, bringing out the best in all the characters and folding everything up enough that whether or not it continues, I'm content. I grew to love JD across the season, and even enjoy him with Molly, quite a surprise considering how much I hated him at the start, and I was relieved that he survived his wound, and loved Molly saving him. Charlie who I enjoyed last season and came to adore this one, turned out to be quite the hero, and I loved that he and Julie survived and seem to have found each other. Ethan was precious as usual, and I was so happy John's firewall saved him. Lucy's change of heart was a poignant surprise, as was the kindness of JD's ex-wife. Most intriguing was the "TAALOR" figure at the end who, from the back at least, strongly resembles John.

I started watching and love The Wonder Years, a show I've meant to check out for a while. The nostalgic '60s setting and realistic characters sucked me in instantly, and I adore Kevin's often hilarious and relatable narration.

I also started Rookie Blue and it's fantastic so far, very much like the '70s police dramas I grew up with and love. The characters are very likeable, especially Dov, and I can relate quite a bit to Andy. I've also found an otp in Sam/Andy. I adore Sam, and the way they met, with her tackling him and arresting him while he's undercover, was right up my shipping alley. I teared up when he's shot and she's trying to keep him alive in the ambulance, especially with the forehead kiss - my ultimate shipping weakness. And I love Boo. It's definitely a show I want to watch from start to finish at some point.

I gave a try to Da Vinci's Demons and was quite impressed. It's a gorgeously filmed series with just enough fantasy to enhance the already interesting history, and the actors seem well cast, with intriguing characters and fantastic world building and details.

The new season of Dragons: Race To The Edge is on and happily it seems to be set before the second movie, so Stoick is still alive. As usual the kids antics are my favorites and I adore the twins (with their pet chicken now!), and Fishlegs's episodes best, while Toothless remains adorable. The new dragons are a lot of fun, and I like the new islands, especially the one the kids have claimed as their own.

I found a few more Sechs auf einen Streich with subtitles and I've been working my way though them. They're all lovely, even the slower ones, and one of my favorites so far is Sechse Kommen Durch Die Ganze Welt, a fairytale I'm not familiar with. It was adorable and very entertaining, though, and I've loved the characters, their relationships with each other, and how they managed to constantly fool the king and win in the end. My absolute favorite, though, is Die Kleine Meerjungfrau, which manages to make an unusually happy ending for everyone without changing much of the original story. I loved the Prince, and even Anneline was an uniquely sympathetic character for a change. I also loved Jorinde und Joringel, a sweet love story with likeable characters, and adored the final twist when Joringel gave up his youth for Jorinde, and then she, giving up her's, made them both young again. Next was the lovely Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse. I adored the clever take on the fairytale, and the characters, especially the Prince, were adorable. Next was Die Zertanzten Schuhe, a flawless adaptation of my very favorite fairytale. I adored the main character and his quiet attempts to make the Princess love him, and the magic world was depicted exactly as I'd imagined. I also loved that the other sisters got their princes and happiness in the end, too. Next was Vom Fischer Und Seiner Frau, based on one of my favorite fairytales, and I adored it, so much so it might be my new favorite of the series. I loved how kind Hein remained, and how through it all he only wanted his wife and old life back. The happier than the original tale ending was delightful, too. Next was Dornröschen. I loved Fynn - possibly the most adorable prince of any version - and was intrigued by the story making him the third in a line that had tried and failed to rescue the princess.

I've also gotten to see a couple more of the Märchenperlen series, including their version of Aschenputtel, and it was both lovely and very unique. As taken aback as I originally was by the fact that Marie's father not only doesn't die but participates in the way she's treated, it ultimately made the story more poignant, and added a new explanation as to why she fell for the prince so quickly, as he would have been the first person who'd showed her kindness since her mother died. I loved how much the film had them interacting before the ball, Leonhard's friendship with Peter and his cousins, and how he wasn't a wealthy, powerful prince like most versions. I also adored the scene where he saves Marie from the fire and carries her off on his horse, and having her family become servants was the most fitting ending I've seen yet. My favorite so far, though, is the gorgeous Die Schöne Und Das Biest, a beautiful and unusual version of the story. I love watching the Beast change - his song with Elsa is lovely - and Elsa is a likeable Beauty, escaping the more annoying aspects of the way the character is portrayed. The dialogue is stunning, including a poignant scene where the Beast and Elsa talk about her mother, and the scene where the Beast turns into the Prince. I loved the servants, too, and stripping away the more magical elements while changing the rose into a whole bush of roses enhanced the story greatly.

In other fairytale films, I saw the stunning miniseries La Bella e la Bestia, the oddest and most beautiful version of the story I've seen. Leon, despite being fully human, was the most Beast-like of any character I've seen, a tormented and deeply troubled man with a flicker of goodness still inside. The backstory of his wife, and the new character of his scheming cousin were fascinating additions, and I loved the side characters, especially the kindly Armand, and the servants. Next was Descendants and despite my early reservations about the somewhat silly premise, it was completely delightful and creative. I loved the main four - their personalities and costumes were spot on - as well as the "good" characters, and their parents were hilariously over the top and fabulous. I didn't even mind the singing and loved a couple of the songs, and the conclusion was adorable. I also saw the Asylum's Sleeping Beauty - as corny as their films are their unusual, strange takes on stories give me so many plotbunnies - and I loved so many of the ideas of it, from the zombies guarding the castle to the Phillip being a brave whipping boy instead of the prince, a cowardly prince siding with Maleficent, his kiss waking her after others fail because they weren't pure of heart, and Aurora kissing him back to life after Maleficent kills him.

I've been working my way through Charlie Chaplin's filmography so far, finding some treasures along the way such as the hilarious and creative One A. M.. I couldn't stop laughing through the bed scene, but there were so many funny moments packed into such a short show. It's also been interesting to watch his character of the Little Tramp slowly evolve from the start when he was a more violent, mean-spirited character to growing into a kinder, gentler, and usually heart-broken hobo. My favorite so far is the adorable The Vagabond, a unique story in which he plays violin, falls in love with a girl, and unusually actually gets her and a happy ending. I loved every minute, especially it's blend of comedy and sadness.

In other new films I watched The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power and loved it. I adore this goofy set of movies so much, and this was my favorite so far, a perfect blend of humor and zany adventure like they used to make and I've missed so much. I enjoyed the new cast a lot, even the bad guys, and the steampunk and science instead of so much supernatural was delightful. I'm slowly trying to watch more '80s movies and tonight was The Terminator which I surprisingly loved. The premise was both fun and poignant, and the bittersweetness of Kyle and Sarah's relationship broke my heart, as much as loved the twist of Kyle being John's father. The special effects were quite impressive, and I loved Kyle, such a sad yet sweet character, and wished he'd gotten to live. Next was the beautiful Charlie St. Cloud which I cried through most of, but adored completely. Charlie was a loveable character, and his ability to see ghosts as well as his striving to find the reason for his survival was poignant. I loved the bittersweet conclusion. Next was Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse, my favorite film of the series so far. I loved Gareth and Drago, especially his snark, and their scenes together were adorable, especially when Drago teaches him to jump in and out of shadows. I liked the happier ending of this film, with the dragon living, better, too. Next was the surprisingly excellent Outlander. I adored the reimagining of Beowolf using my ultimate weakness: a mingling of historical fiction and sci-fi with a sympathetic alien protagonist. I loved the characters, the Viking world, and the fascinating glimpses of the other worlds in space. The ending was beautiful and perfect. Next was The Jacket, a haunting, sometimes difficult to watch, and yet strangely beautiful movie. Jack and his relationship with Jackie broke my heart, and I loved the strange twists and turns of their meetings, as well as the somewhat cryptic ending (I like to think Jack survived in that time and stayed with her). That he was able to truly strange time was a fascinating, rare twist for a time travel film, and I loved the fitting theme at the end.

In new animated films I saw Minions and I loved every minute of it. The Minions are some of my favorite characters to emerge from recent animation, and the trio, especially dear little Bob and his teddy bear, were precious. Scarlet Overkill and her boyfriend were over the top and hilarious, and the opening sequence was flawless. I loved how the ending tied everything together with little Gru meeting the Minions.

I stumbled across the lovely miniseries The 10th Kingdom and fell in love with it's combination of zany twists on fairytales and cheesy, adorable romance. I miss that silliness and light-hearted touch shows had up until the past decade or so, and it's always a treat to revisit that era through something I've never seen. Wolf was flawless - the actor outdid himself - and I could relate a great deal to Virginia, even if I wanted to shake her a few times. But I loved their romance and how they ended up finding their own happily ever after. I also loved the non-traditional but beautiful portrayal of Snow White, and the fantastic world-building.

I also saw the miniseries Tut and while it didn't quite measure up to my expectations, I still loved it and I'm just so thrilled to finally have a drama about one of my favorite historical loves. Avan Jogia was perfect as Tut, slowly growing into the role and getting better by each part. His growth from sheltered boy to flawed king was fascinating to watch, and I grew very attached to him, so much so that even though I knew it was coming, I still teared up at the ending. The General and Ay were complex villains, Ka was deeply tragic - it was nice to see Peter Gadiot's pretty face again - and I was saddened by how the film destroyed the relationship between Tut and Ankhe in favor of more drama, but I loved their reconciliation at the ending. I seem to be in the minority on Suhad, though, who found her character overwhelmingly naive to the point of annoying, and couldn't see what Tut saw in her. But the filming was gorgeous, and several scenes deeply poignant, especially the haunting ending.
 
 
calliope tune: "Even The Nights Are Better"-Air Supply
feeling: devious
 
 
Kathleen
14 November 2014 @ 03:02 pm
I watched The Hobbit: Batlle Of the Five Armies and on the last film of the series, the director finally gets it right, finding the perfect balance between nostalgia and a compelling new story. While there are still a few flaws - Tauriel remains unnecessary, Fili gets far too little screentime, Kili is obviously pushed to the viewers as the favorite, and we still never get to "know" many of the characters like in LOTRs, the good points far outweigh the bad. Most notably, unlike the others, this film never feels padded or stretched, the pace remains steady, and the removal of comedy elements give it a good solid feel the other films lacked. Bilbo, more likeable now that his acting is toned down, shows the noble heart that's always endeared me to the hobbits, and the highly likeable Bard gets to be the hero in taking down the dragon and leading the army of men. His moments with his children are beautiful, and I was grateful they all got their happy ending. Thorin's tragic spiral into madness is brilliantly acted and compelling, and his, Fili, and Kili's deaths reduced me to tears, even though I was saddened that Kili and Fili didn't get to die side by side as in the book. Legolas, the one addition to the trilogy I've loved since the beginning, was at his very best, showing off his fighting skills as well as hinting at his past - his strained relationship with his father, unrequited love for Tauriel, and, most intriguingly, the loss of his mother. The scene where his father finally tells him that his mother loved him made me sob, and I teared up at the mention of Aragorn as Legolas sets off to find him in the end. The links to LOTRs were skillfully done and never forced as before, and I loved how the ending drifted seamlessly into the first LOTRs. The closing theme was gorgeous - I'm so happy they used Billy Boyd's lovely voice again - and the credits were beautiful.

I went to see Night At The Museum 3: Secret Of the Tomb in theatres, and it was wonderful, a poignant, touching, and funny finale to a wonderful trilogy. Larry was perfect as always, and his friendship with the museum characters never fails to warm my heart. Teddy remains my favorite of the characters, and it made me tear up a little to see his last scenes. Jed and Octavius were hilarious as usual, and I couldn't stop laughing at them watching videos, taking selfies, and using a computer. The new characters, especially Lancelot, were treats, and I loved how many of the old characters they packed in, as well as Ahkmenrah having so much more screentime than in the other films, and even getting a backstory and happy ending after all the nights he spent locked in the coffin. Hugh Jackman's cameo was an unexpected delight, and I couldn't stop laughing all through his scene.

I also saw Mockingjay in theatres and it was painfully excellent, a more grim film than the others but so faithful to the books I couldn't help be delighted. My heart broke for Finnick, a character I never bonded with in the books but have learned to love in the movies, and my favorite part was his speech, including the creepy but fascinating aspect of Snow's poison and roses. His scene with Annie was beautiful and I only wish they shared more, especially flashbacks. While I was disappointed by the Hanging Tree's melody, and didn't care for her voice at all, I loved the other music as well as the beautiful direction style. Peeta was excellent, shattering my heart, especially when enough breaks through the brain-washing that he's able to warn Katniss, and the ending left me broken. Prim was a sweetheart as always, and I loved actually seeing more of Buttercup.

In other new movies I watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and despite my dislike of Johnny Depp, I surprisingly loved it. The story was beautiful, moving, and very realistic, and the small town setting gave it a vintage feel decades older than the movie. The acting was amazing, especially Leonardo DiCaprio who did a stunningly convincing job portraying Arnie. Next was the new miniseries Houdini, a uniquely filmed and incredibly entertaining account of Houdini's life and career. Adrien Brody was wonderful as Harry, and I adored Bess and his relationship, as well as his friendship with Jim. The tricks were fabulous to watch, and I liked the voice-overs looking into his thoughts as well as the bits of old footage toward the end. I saw the miniseries The Pillars Of the Earth and completely fell in love with it. The history, a time period I knew little about, was intriguing, the plot twists were fascinating, and I loved the characters, especially Jack and his relationship with Aliena. Many of the other characters, like Prior Phillip, Ellen, and Martha, were all interesting to see their stories, and I loved the happy endings for most of the good characters, and just desserts for the evil. The scenery and cinematography was lovely. I also watched the sequel miniseries World Without End, and it was fascinating, both for the history as well as the personal stories. I liked both of the romances, and was happy to see them both end up together and safe. The plot twists, especially with the Sir Thomas being the king were jaw-dropping, and the entire series was beautifully filmed and made. Then was If I Stay, a lovely and unusual film. I loved Adam and his relationship with Mia, and the ending was gorgeous. Next was L'Homme Qui Rit, a stunningly beautiful version of Victor's Hugo's heartbreaking book, and it was amazing, both for sets and filming as for the talented cast and intriguing characters. Next was Dracula Untold, a beautiful and heartwrenching version of the vampire's origins. I loved how he was shown as a good man who made a terrible choice to save his son, and his relationship with his little family was wonderful. After that was The Maze Runner. I adored the unique freshness of the plot, the oppressive setting, and mood, as well as how character driven it was. Dylan O'Brien was surprisingly good as Thomas - I never thought much of his acting before - and I felt for all the characters, which left me very intrigued for the next film. Next was the fascinating The Rite which I watched solely for Colin O'Donoghue - who was amazing - but ended up loving. The plot was straightforward but affective, and I liked how the story acknowledged true evil and true goodness. The scene where Michael remembers his mother giving him the card and finds the strength to defeat the demon was beautiful, and I felt the ending was largely satisfying. Next was the precious Christmas With Holly which was, like most Hallmarks, beautifully heartwarming and fun. I adored Mark and Holly's relationship, and all the characters were loveable in their own way. I teared up and laughed throughout and loved every moment. Next was the gorgeous miniseries The Red Tent. Dinah has long been one of the most fascinating Biblical characters to me, and I loved seeing her story come to life. Shalem and Benia were both wonderfully kind men, and I was glad Dinah found happiness a second time. I loved how her son came to love her and see her as his mother, and Joseph and Dinah's relationship was beautifully portrayed. Next was the intriguing and oddly beautiful Solomon Kane. I loved the title character - James Purefoy was fabulous and I completely adore his accent - both for his redemption arc as well as his friendship with Meredith. The scene where he pulls himself off the cross to save her was stunning, and I loved their beautiful reunion toward the end. I'm slowly growing to love zombie films and the latest was 28 Days Later. I loved seeing the genre from the British point of view, and the characters, especially the well-intentioned Jim, despite how little is revealed about their pasts, were all intriguing. I enjoyed Jim's relationship with Selena, and was extremely grateful that they went with the ending where Jim survived and the three were rescued. Next was the hilarious short film Incest!: The Musical which was adorable and needed to be so much longer. I couldn't stop laughing, and I loved Alex and Katie's determination to be together. Next was the hauntingly poignant I Am Dina. The story was intriguing, but it was the unusual characters, amazing acting, especially from the child who played little Dina, and stunning scenery that captivated me, along with the beautiful theme. The original version's ending was somehow more fitting, and I teared up at Dina trying to comfort her childish self. Hans Matheson was lovely as Tomas, and I wish he'd had a larger role, but I'm happy he at least got a happy ending, and - I assume - got to still be part of little Benjamin's life. Next was the adorable Sky High which made me laugh and love superheroes a little more than I already do. Will was loveably able to be related to, Layla was sweet, and I adored Warren and his fabulous hair. There were so many flawless in-jokes, too, and the gentle spoofing of the genre was perfect. Next was Mama, an effectively creepy story. The children, both the young actresses and the little girls who played the older versions, were incredible, and I loved Lucas and Annabelle and how they grew to love them. I was saddened by the ending, but it seemed fitting and was bittersweet. Next was the adorable Change Of Heart, the first talkie I'd seen Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor in together, and the first time I'd gotten to hear her voice. Despite the somewhat rushed end (and Madge getting a happy ending which I didn't want) I loved the story, especially the characters and warmly vintage feel I get from old movies. After that was After, an unusual and interesting story. I loved seeing Freddy and Ana's intertwined stories from childhood to present day, and how their escape required both of them. The ending was perfect. Next was the surprisingly beautiful Elizabethtown which had some wonderful messages along with some whimsical and loveable characters. Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst were both wonderful, and I adored their characters and relationship. The plot was a perfect blend of tears and laughter and I loved every minute. Then I saw the gorgeous Italian miniseries Romeo E Giulietta which has quickly become my favorite version. I fell in love with the characters and broke for them, especially Romeo and Mercutio, and I loved the small enhancements to the plot while remaining faithful, such as giving the nurse something of a backstory and more depth. The scenery and score was stunning, too, and I loved the wintery feel of the film. Then was Pearl Harbor, a gorgeous and beautifully moving movie. I loved the vintage feel, and surprisingly didn't mind the love triangle, probably because I loved all three characters. I was sad that Danny died, but I loved that he did so saving Rafe's life, and the ending, with Rafe and Evelyn together and raising Danny and Evelyn's little boy, made me tear up.

In new fairytale films I saw La Belle Et La Bete, and it was a beautiful and unique version of the fairytale. I would have liked more scenes between Belle and the Beast, as her sudden love for him didn't make much sense other than pity once learning his backstory, and Belle often came across as somewhat spoiled and childish, but the film was gorgeous, especially the details such as the weeping statue, the photography, and the costumes - Belle's green dress was stunning. I loved the unusual origin story of the curse, as well as the adorable dogs, and having the film be a story Belle told her children was an adorable touch. After that was another of the gorgeous Sechs auf einen Streich series, Aschenputtel, and it was beautiful. I loved that the version spent more time showing Viktor, the Prince, as well as the fact that he got to meet Cinderella twice before the ball, making his love for her more logical. Both Viktor and Cinderella were sweet characters and it was easy to root for their happiness, as it was to despise the stepmother and sister, who instead of the cartoonish characters they usually are, were despicable and cruel. I loved the birds helping Cinderella, and the magical tree, and Viktor's relationship with his father was adorable. I also discovered the Märchenperlen series and saw my first, the stunning Die sechs Schwäne. It's long been one of my favorite fairytales and it was adapted beautifully and faithfully, with just a few twists to the plot to make it unique and exciting. I loved the characters and the happy ending.

I gave a try to the BBC miniseries of Ben-Hur, and as I expected, there were quite a few changes from my beloved '50s version, but definitely not all of them bad. Being so much longer, this version had the ability to include things I've always wanted to see, like Judah and Messala's childhood friendship and the beginning of Esther and Judah's love story. Joseph Morgan, despite being a little young for the role, made a good Judah, especially the angry, almost unhinged version that returns for revenge. Messala, intriguingly, was more layered than the '50s pure evil version, and the tragedy of his father's disinterest in him was contrasted against the Ben-Hur's family's original love for him that he betrayed. I loved that the film had him survive the race long enough for Judah and he to make their peace. Esther was somewhat disappointing, coming across as immature and too quick to think badly of Judah, and I didn't warm to her, even by the ending. I loved the new character of Athene, though, and her last scene was fascinating.

In new animated films I saw the adorable Bolt. I loved the title character, Mittens, and Rhino, and the adventure and happy ending for all the characters was wonderful.

I also saw Exodus: Gods and Kings, and as I expected I couldn't help doing a compare and contrast to The Ten Commandments which has been one of my favorite movies since I was in preschool. On the good side I liked how the film portrayed Moses as more warrior and hot-tempered, and the sword's inclusion throughout was a nice touch, especially at the Red Sea scene. In both movies I love the elder Pharaoh's relationship with Moses and he was lovely here. Ramses had more of an edge than Yul Brynner's version, and yet a tenderness with his little son that brought tears to my eyes during the funeral scene. I appreciated the over-whelming feel of the plagues, and the larger scale of the swarms of insects and frogs. Zipporah was beautiful portrayed, with her and Moses's love a highlight of the film, and I adored Moses's scenes with his son. Joshua, despite much less screentime, was just as wonderful, and the actor's beautiful eyes were so expressive and fitting for the character. On the downside the film felt rushed, with not enough needed time spent on Moses's days at the palace, and the focus on war and violence sadly limited the character study which would have smoothed out the plot. It was a fine action movie, but not a powerful and inspiration epic like The Ten Commandments, and in the end I think a combination of the two would result in perfection.

I saw the trailer/spoof "Dr. Quinn Morphine Woman" and it was hilarious, spot on to the original show while poking fun at what it would be like today. I loved seeing nearly everyone again, however briefly, and Sully's horrible wig and hair flipping had me howling with laughter. His and Michaela's kiss, complete with over-dramatic Indian music and heartbeating and breathing, was an absolute treasure. The concept of Michaela as a druglord and the town as addicts was brilliant, and everyone was so perfectly in character I only wish it had been far longer. I also got to see a bit of the pilot California, which sadly never became a series. It was wonderful to see Hank get a chance to shine, and I adored his interactions with Zack. It was quite a sweet and touching episode, and I only wish it had been given a real chance.

I discovered the show The Legend Of William Tell by accident and watched the episode "The Tomb Of the Unknown Warrior". The series is unusual, with great world-building, and I love the clever twist on the original legend. The episode used one of my favorite tropes of body-swapping with a fascinating twist, of enemies exchanging bodies by accident, only to have one die, and the injured survivor on trial for killing himself. Dean O'Gorman was excellent at the role and I loved that it turned out so well.

I finally broke down and watched Dean O'Gorman's episodes of Xena Warrior Princess, and despite not being very fond of the show I really enjoyed "Athen's Academy Of the Performing Bards". He played Homer, and I loved the way the historical people were portrayed, as well as the old movie clips.

I've started watching Copper, a heart-breaking yet incredible series. I appreciate the often painfully accurate history, from the filth of Five Points to the past of little Annie, one of the most tragic characters I've seen on a tv show. I love how the show doesn't flinch from portraying difficult elements, and isn't afraid to make its characters morally complex. Corky is a fascinating, haunting character, and I love his friendship with Annie and how he treats her like his own daughter.

Season two of Resurrection is on now and it's even more jaw-dropping than season one, with twist upon twist against an intriguing story arc. The plot took a very different path than I'd expected but for the most part I'm glad. The concept of this being the second time the Returned came back and the storyline of the 1930s flashbacks and discovered bones are both chilling and fascinating, especially the "demon" story of episode four. Margaret is a disturbing character but I'm intrigued to see where her motives lie. I like seeing some character growth of Janine's part, as well as Fred, and it's lovely to see a bit more of Barbara, especially when she gets to share a scene with Maggie. On the reverse side I'm saddened by Marty betraying Maggie by reporting the bones as well as Lucille's troubling down-spiral and Jacob's oddly defiant behavior which seems so out of character for the sweet boy of last season. The mysterious virus is intriguing, sadly taking Marty's parents and my hope of their having a reunion, but thankfully sparing little Jenny, and Marty finally gets a scene with her. Janine's obsession with Rachael's baby, and apparent kidnapping of Rachael has me terrified, and I'm stunned by Tom's death. The finale was nicely done, even if so many questions were left unanswered - I'll forever be saddened the Government Lady's backstory wasn't explored and Tom never came back - it felt overall largely satisfying. Strangely enough I'm content with not knowing how and why the Returned came back, as across the series I've seen that the point was more focused on how they lived life to the fullest with their second chance. I was happy Rachael chose to stay, and her baby was precious - I'm presuming he's okay and Preacher James was just crazy - and I'm incredibly happy Marty got to keep Jenny. Best of all was Fred's character growth when he stops Henry from wanting to give up Rachael. Another happy treat was Marty and Maggie's relationship; I've shipped them from the start and I'm thrilled they ended up together.

Season two of The 100 is on now and it's not quite as amazing as last season, with so many changes. To my gratitude, Finn is alive, and still the light of the show. The twist of Mt. Weather and it's eerily welcoming people who may or may not be what they seem already has my attention, and as much as I'm saddened by how feral Clarke has been forced to become, I love that she seems to be the only one with any sense. Jasper, such a fun character at the start, only annoys me now, and I miss who he used to be. Monty, as usual is flawless and given far too little screentime since the show pushed Raven into his shoes. I still can't make myself care much about Raven, especially after her cruelty to Murphy. As much as he's a bad guy I've loved him since the start and I'm incredibly excited for the hope of a redemption arc for him. I love Lincoln and Octavia as characters but definitely not as a pairing, and I'm not fond of how their relationship keeps being pushed to the point that they're now going to his village rather than Octavia trying to find her brother and even care if he's alive. Kane's storyline is troubling so far, and he seems to have lost much of the growth of character he showed throughout season one. Bellamy's decency and changed personality have finally made me grow to like him, and I enjoy his friendship with Finn. Finn is breaking my heart, especially when he killed the Grounder, and I'm worried as to what will become of him. I finally made it to "Spacewalker" and in many ways the show is over for me. The Grounders were never innocent with all the kids they killed from the start - their first act is to spear Jasper - and I've wanted them wiped out since the beginning so I felt no pity for their village, only anger that they demand retaliation when they've done more and worse. But to actually kill Finn, the one bright spot of the show, by Clarke's hands was too cruel for words.

Season two of Atlantis has begun, and it's somewhat darker while still, thankfully, retaining some more light-hearted moments. Minos has sadly died; I grew to enjoy his character so I'll miss him, and Ariadne is now queen. Ariadne has never been one of my favorites, and more screentime for her does nothing to make me happier, and she seems worryingly willing to tip into darkness if necessary, even if her intentions toward Atlantis seem good. Jason and the Oracle's relationship remains my favorite on the show, and I'm already concerned by her warning that Jason will turn evil if he learns the truth about his mother. As sad as the vision makes me, I was thrilled to see confirmation, through the glimpse of the Argo, that Jason is THE Jason of mythology. "Telemon" returns to my favorite setting, the arena, with a fascinating story that raises more questions than answers regarding Ariadne's new suitor. "The Marriage of True Minds", the season's best so far, is beautiful and touching, featuring a gorgeous score and some much missed banter between the main trio. "The Day of the Dead", an odd, and somewhat plotless zombie fest, nevertheless features the first intriguing meeting between Jason and Medea, who seems to care in the scene where she heals Jason's leg, and yet ends by stabbing Ariadne.

Onto season ten of Supernatural and the demon!Dean storyline I've dreaded since last season. While I'm so grateful to see the writers have finally put Sam back in the character he used to be, and it's wonderful to see his determination to find and save Dean, I'm saddened by the disconnect between the characters. Dean isn't the scary demon I assumed he'd become but rather a strange, jerk version of himself, chasing women, getting into fights, and singing, and apart from his coldness toward Sam he seems more bitter than non human. Castiel and his steadily declining health has me terrified, even as I'm saddened at yet another season's storyline that distances him from the brothers. I miss Team Free Will together, and I've grown tired of the constant angels storyline, as Castiel is the only one of the angels I've ever enjoyed watching. "Reichenbach"'s revelation that some of Castiel's grace still exists makes me happy, yet I'm proud of Cas for refusing; he's come such a long way and learned so much. Demon!Dean is progressively spookier, and the final scene made me shudder. "Soul Survivor" was superb, and I'm so grateful to have caring!Sam, human!Dean, and healthy!Castiel back again, the way it should be. The twist that Sam forced a man to sell his soul to find Crowley and Dean was fascinating, and I'm intrigued to see if there will be further fallout. I'm also shocked by Crowley saving Castiel. "Ask Jeeves" is a delight, much like an early seasons' ghost hunting episode while still with a glimmer of worry regarding Dean and the Mark. "The Executioner's Song" was stunning, driving Dean closer to a dark ending, while showcasing Team Free Will, a recipe that always forms the best episodes. I teared up when Cain tells Dean he'll kill Cas and Sam, and cheered when Dean was strong enough to give up the blade to Castiel.

I gave a try to the new series Galavant, and despite a shaky pilot, fell in love with it in the second episode. It's hilarious, outrageous, and the characters, even the bad guys, are all loveable. I already ship Isabella and Galavant, and I can't wait to see what happens.

In other new shows I started watching the intriguing Eye Candy and I'm already hooked. The premise is interesting, the acting and emotions are excellent, and I can feel for the main character. I was incredibly sad they killed off Ben, though, since he was so sweet and I loved Lindy and he together. But I'm starting to love Tommy and even ship Lindy and he.

I also discovered the new series 12 Monkeys and I'm in love with it: a sci-fi show with an actual science basis, bound by laws that make sense for a refreshing change. Cole is a likeable and tragic protagonist, with shades of grey - I teared up during the scene where he says how much he wants forgiveness - and I already ship him with Cassandra. My favorite character, however, is Ramse, whose goodness shines through the dark future and friendship with Cole keeps me interested in learning about their pasts. I love the concept, too, and the jumping between time periods.
 
 
calliope tune: "You Belong To Me"-Duprees
feeling: discontent