Kathleen
I've been working my way through Tom Cruise's filmography, starting with Edge Of Tomorrow. I've always had a soft spot for time loops and the film was quite creative in making the repeated day different. Cage and Rita's relationship was poignant but touching, and I teared up during the scene where they share tea and he remembers exactly how much sugar she likes when she can't ever remember being there. I was definitely thankful for the happy ending. Next was Knight and Day, an adorable and hilarious spy romance. I adored Roy, and his growing relationship with June as they go from one adventure to the next was beautiful. The conclusion was flawless and heartwarming. Next was Minority Report which was amazing, both for a twisted, intricate plot, as well as fantastic world-building. The characters made me emotionally invested, though, especially Agatha and John, and I loved the concept of the story as well as the conclusion. In other new films I saw The Fault In Our Stars and despite my low expectations due to the popularity of it, I ended up bawling my eyes out. There were so many thought-provoking moments. It was beautiful and completely haunting, and I loved Augustus and Hazel's star crossed love story. The side characters, especially Isaac, were all interesting, and the final scene was poignant. After that was the 2005 version of King Kong. I remember watching the original years ago but not really being interested in it. This version, however, was fabulous, the perfect mix of tragedy, adventure, and romance. I loved that it retained the original 1930s setting and feel while enhancing the special effects. The island was breath-taking, both beautiful and dangerous with it's varied creatures and people and mysterious ruins. New York was also perfect, and I loved seeing both the old cars and the glimpses of early Hollywood. Jack was a lovely character, and I adored his and Ann's romance, and Jimmy was very sweet. I liked Hayes and was saddened when he was killed. Kong himself was excellent, both deadly and strangely sad and innocent, and I teared up at several scenes. After that was Lost In Austen which, despite starting out like a bad fanfic and being focused on my least favorite Austen tale, ended up being adorable and often hilarious. I adored Tom Mison as the very sweet Bingley, and Jane and his romance was perfect. Darcy was slightly more bearable than usual, and I loved the twist of Wickham being a good guy. The clever spins on the story were refreshing, and the ending was adorable. Next was Hocus Pocus, an adorable and often hilarious perfect Halloween movie. I loved Dani and Max's relationship, the dear Thackery, and the entertaining concept. The ending was beautifully poignant, too. Then was Dawn Of the Planet Of the Apes, the emotional sequel to the first film which I loved. While it took a bit to grow on me instead of the first which I loved instantly, it turned out to be amazing. Malcolm was every bit as much a hero and compelling character as Will, and Caesar, with his family, was wonderful and heartbreaking as before. I finally worked up my courage to finish the Batman trilogy, and, as expected, The Dark Knight was definitely not my favorite. The plot felt weak until the final moments, the hopelessness felt oppressive, and the Joker was a soulless, gruesome villain. However The Dark Knight Rises was a wonderful surprise. While I've always hated Catwoman and was less impressed than usual with this version, I adored the version of Robin - the twist of who he was made me gasp out loud - especially his taking over for Batman. Alfred, the best part of the trilogy, continually broke my heart, and Christian Bale was, as usual, superb as Bruce. The final twists, while bittersweet, were lovely and deeply satisfying, and I'm glad I gave it a chance. I stumbled across the short but powerful little film Cargo and completely fell in love with it. It's completely wordless, you know next to nothing about the characters, and yet it's incredibly powerful. The scene where he sees the balloon again completely broke my heart, and the ending left me wiping tears. Next was the imaginative and fun The Brothers Grimm followed by the adorable Tammy and the Bachelor.

In new fairytale adaptations I saw the lovely 2009 German version of Rapunzel, a gently old-fashioned sort of film with a largely endearing cast and simple but creative special effects. I loved the twist of Rapunzel's hair growing only when she brushes it, as well as her encountering the Prince as a child, and the metaphors of birds in cages was perfect. The side characters, especially the three princesses, were hilarious. After that was the 1992 version of Snow White, a sweet and highly unique adaptation. Snow was sweet, and finally young enough for the role, and I adored that the Prince had grown up beside her as the court jester, loved her from childhood, and searched faithfully for her. Their happy ending was wonderful, and the only time I've ever shipped the two characters. The dwarves were delightful, portrayed as clever and creators of all sorts of steampunk gadgets, and the evil Queen wasn't nearly as hammy as most versions. The story was beautifully, simply done, and I loved it. After that was the incredibly fun Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. I have a soft spot for dark fantasy if done right, and the concept of showing what they became after the story ended was creative and flawless. I loved their relationship so much.

I saw the miniseries The Dove Keepers and while flawed and overly romantic, it was ultimately a moving and poignant imagining of the lives of those on Masada, a rare topic for a a film. It was also visually beautiful and I enjoyed it.

I've been watching the new show Intruders and it's strange to say the least. I find the premise, of people from older times seeking immortality by taking over bodies in the future, fascinating, and the acting, especially the frighteningly good Madison, is incredible, but the plot can be unsettling and frustratingly without answers to every question. I do, oddly enough, enjoy the slower pace, more reminiscent of old British tv, with the lingering, often beautiful cinematography. While I distrust most of the characters, I'm interested in Jack's fate - and incredibly impressed with John Simm's American accent - and I find Richard Shepherd an intriguing character, even if I've yet to figure out his motives. The series becomes increasingly more amazing as the pieces start to fall into place, though, and I'm growing to love it completely.

I've never been much of a zombie fan, but I gave a try to the new show Z Nation and ended up loving it. It's pure cheesy, low-budget fun to be sure, but the characters are easy to relate to and the writing never takes itself seriously. There's also the occasional, surprisingly poignant moment, such as the discovery of a baby that later turns. Mack and Addy are adorable together and I'm rooting for them both to survive. I also love Doc and the fabulous 10K with his sharp-shooting skills and bottomless cache of weapons. Garnett's death broke my heart, though, since he was the first character I bonded with on the series before I learned any of the others' names.

Also new is Forever and to my happiness it's a perfect blend of detective work, poignant moments, and dry humor, all brought to life by the very charming and lovely Ioan Gruffudd. Abe is wonderful, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Henry and Jo's relationship goes, as well as finding out the mysterious caller's identity.

I also found a similar, although short-lived series, New Amsterdam and fell in love with it's haunting, often heartbreaking story and main character. It's a beautifully filmed series, with the ever-changing New York almost a character in itself, and I adore how honest John is about the events of his life, even though no one ever believes him.

In other new shows there's the promising Scorpion. The characters are quirky and loveable with just a bit of sadness to tug on my heartstrings, and the premise is fun.

Also brand new is The Flash and while it hasn't quite grabbed me yet it has quite a bit of promise. Barry is slightly unconvincing as a superhero, but endearingly awkward and good-hearted, and the final twist of the pilot was intriguing enough to make me keep watching. I do appreciate the old-fashioned, more imaginative superhero approach the series is taking so far, unlike Arrow's un-sci-fi and often too serious for it's own good approach, even though it makes the crossover cameo of Barry meeting Oliver seem oddly out of character for both series. I love Barry and Iris together, but I also enjoy Eddie, and I'm hoping for a good resolution to the triangle.

In returning series, Reign is back and as usual burning through storylines a bit too fast for it's own good; as much as I enjoy each one I wish they'd slow down a bit and let the arc have more than one or two episodes. The plague, for example, which I was very much looking forward to, only really lasted a single episode with follow up for the next. With the love triangle out of the way and Bash and he back to being brothers I'm enjoying Francis much more, and despite my dislike of the baby storyline (and my crushed hope that they might kill off Lola) I'm loving seeing him being a father. Bash, Kenna aside, is wonderful, and I'm shocked they killed off Pascal considering I was assuming there would be a potential storyline regarding his past and Bash having killed his father. Saddest of all is what's become of Leith and Greer, with Leith having lost his lands as well as Greer completely it seems, and Lord Castleroy, such a sweet character last season, seems changed and harder since the death of his daughter.

Arrow has begun season three and so far it's something of a let down. Roy is fabulous as finally sane, a member of the team, and in full costume, but I desperately miss his relationship with Thea. Diggle being a daddy is adorable, and I'm looking forward to his storylines this season. Moira's absence is widely felt, with a lot of the stability of the show lacking. Laurel, as usual, gets the short end of the stick by having Sara die right off the bat. Poor Laurel, the writers must truly hate her based on all they put her through and shove her to the background. Felicity, much to my chagrin, has another large storyline this season, and seemingly out of nowhere the writers are shoving Oliver/Felicity in our faces, before having Oliver do his customary two steps backwards, distancing angst. I had such hopes that Oliver, after the moving away from violence he had last season, despite Stephen Amell's dubious acting ability, might actually get a moment this season that didn't involve romancing a girl or feeling sorry for himself. I just can't make myself like Felicity, as the fandom worships her, and she annoys me to distraction. But I lov seeing Brandon Routh on a superhero show, and even if his character isn't exactly the good guy, I grin ear to ear thinking of Superman and Green Arrow together again.

Once Upon A Time is now on season four, and as much as I dreaded it, I'm quite enjoying it. Anna is somewhat more likeable, and Elsa slightly less annoying in live-action form, and Kristoff is sweet. Perhaps best, though, is, with more time spent on those characters, the regulars finally seem to get a more equal cut of the time left over. Snow is adorable with baby Neal, and I finally enjoy the Charming family again. I couldn't help laughing through her meltdown over trying to fix the electricity. Killian is as usual fabulous, and I love his friendship with Charming. I'm even not minding Emma nearly as much as usual this season, and even though I don't ship it, being with Killian seems to soften her in ways her other romances never have, which is a good thing. Much to my delight, the Knave is back as wonderfully sassy as ever. Robin's storyline is disappointing so far, because even though I don't ship him with Regina, I liked seeing Regina good for a change and it made sense with his wife dead, whereas now with here alive, and instantly frozen and cast aside, it just makes him seem less than honorable. Roland remains precious, though, and so much bigger than last season! Bo Peep was a wonderful twist, and even though I prefer they use only fairytale characters, I can't remember the last time I've enjoyed a one shot character on the show so much. "The Apprentice", despite being Emma-centric, was a surprise delight and excellent take on The Sorcerer's Apprentice, right down to the music, the mouse, the awesome hat, and, best of all, the walking broom. As sad as I am to see Rumplestiltskin lying to Belle, I understand why he wants to be free of the dagger after all he suffered, and I'm intrigued to see where his quest takes him as long as he remains with Belle. Killian with two hands was awesome, but definitely creepy, and I suppose I'm glad he's back to the hook, even being under Rumplestiltskin's thumb for now. Henry is the only disappointment of the episode; no matter how much I long for him to have a relationship with Rumplestiltskin, it saddens me how he finally works in the shop only to spy on him. Henry has grown up a lot and he's becoming every bit as conniving as Regina. Belle finally gets center stage in "Family Business", and it's a treat to see the events that led up to her agreeing to go with Rumplestiltskin, as well as a bit of her life before that episode. Her scenes with Rumplestiltskin were heartbreaking when she reveals her secret believing he had known of his own, and before when she tries to control him with the dagger. The following episode was a surprise delight, by having Gerda as the Queen's sister, as well as Anna and Elsa's mother. The twist that the Snow Queen accidentally killed her other sister was incredibly sad, as was Gerda's choices, but the story was one of the most impressive all season. I'm saddened by Snow White's out of character response to Emma's magic, though, and her doting on baby Neal to the exclusion of her daughter, but Killian remains faithful and wonderful as always, the only one who doesn't seem afraid of Emma's powers. I liked seeing Cinderella and her son again, however briefly, even if it seems the baby should be much older than he is, leading me to wonder if time moves slower in Storybrooke. "Smash the Mirror" puts the final pieces on the mysterious fate of Anna and Kristoff, as well as how Elsa came to be trapped. I'm worried for Killian, with his heart now in Rumplestiltskin's control, and Rumplestiltskin continues to sadden me as he grows more and more into the Dark One he used to be. "Fall" is superb, with the spell of Shattered Sight one of the most intriguing so far, and I love each character's reaction, even as my heart breaks for Killian. "Shattered Sight" was flawless, a perfect episode in every way. I loved the mix of humor and sadness, the woven backstory, and the revelation of what was in the bottle. Ingrid was one of the most tragic bad characters the show has had and her ending was fittingly beautiful, giving her a sort of redemption. "Heroes and Villains" was superb, neatly resolving the storylines. I loved Killian getting his heart back by Belle's help, and Rumplestiltskin and Belle's flashbacks scenes were beautiful. The part where she drives him over the top line shattered my heart, but I loved seeing him in New York and I'm looking forward to where the event will take him.

Sleepy Hollow is back with season two much to my delight, and every bit as good as ever. The alternative history, with Ben Franklin's kite-flying key transformed into the way to unlock purgatory, and the Hellfire Club being highlights,continues to be a treasure, as does Ichabod's always hilarious attempts at understanding the 21st century. Ichabod and Abbie continue to be fabulous together. Caroline was a lovely one-shot character, and I was saddened that her character was killed off so quickly. The Headless Horseman is proving to be oddly sympathetic this season, and I'm intrigued to see the direction his character takes. Jeremy, still retaining the Sin Eating aspects of Henry, continues to be a disturbing, dangerous character, now fully a servant of Moloch. Irving, very much an ally last season, seems different this one, and the twist of him accidentally selling his soul doesn't bode well for which side he'll end up on in the end. Katrina, in episode four, finally gets some much needed depth. I'm not sure if the writers can't decide what to do with her or just can't seem to bring it across in the writing, but the "powerful witch" aspect is little more than a few charms and letters passed by birds, and her love for Ichabod seems strangely swayed by her caring for the Horseman, despite her claims to stay only to be a spy. Added to that is the fact that the writers keep making her a damsel in distress, weakening her, and then giving her the dubious trope of having to give birth to a demon. Still the glimpses of her character darkening show some promise, as much as I keep hoping she'll turn evil and interesting. But sadly she continues to be largely useless, unable to even destroy the demon child. New this season is Nick Hawley, and while I haven't yet sorted out his motivations he seems good enough so far, as well as fulfilling an intriguing role as a collector of odd supernatural items. I enjoy his quips toward Ichabod, and the nicknames he gives him, and his personality is a fun contrast to the other characters. The first two episodes scramble a bit to find their footing but the plot picks up directly after that, with the characters of the Piper and the Weeping Lady among the most intriguing monsters of the week. "Mama" is a beautifully sad episode, showcasing Abbie and Jenny's childhood. With minimal Katrina, "Magnum Opus" is a delight, featuring a mythical sword and Ichabod and Abbie up against a Gorgon, along with a few glimpses of Ichabod and Abraham's early days.

Brand new this season is Constantine and it's fabulous, with enough supernatural snark to make me happy and enough of an underlying angst to break my heart. John is a mix of the two and I already adore him, as well as the concept of the series. Chas is wonderful and deserves far more screentime, and Corrigan is fascinating, leaving me hoping to see more of him. Zed is also excellent so far, and I enjoy her relationship with Constantine; the writers definitely made the correct choice in replacing the first character with her.

I've been working my way through the one season of Emily Owens M.D. and it's a treat, both hilarious and quite poignant. I relate so much to Emily's awkwardness and inner thoughts, and Justin Hartley is adorable as Will. I can't help shipping them. Cassandra is fabulously evil with some surprisingly human moments, but I loathe Micah and his crush on Emily makes me cringe. The patients are always fascinating, though, and I usually become emotionally invested in each one, even knowing they're only going to be in the one episode.

Somehow having missed the short-lived Intelligence earlier this year, I'm watching the complete series now and loving it, mostly for the amazing relationship between the two main characters. They were instantly shipable with wonderful banter, and I love seeing their friendship growing into the start of something more as the episodes progress. I also really love the concept of the series, and the constant reminders that despite having a chip is his brain, Gabriel is still very human, made even more beautiful by the fact that Riley believes that from the start.

I watched a bit of Hercules: the Legendary Journeys and while it lacks some of Young Hercules's charm, it was still fun to see older versions of the characters. My favorite parts, though, were the flashbacks to the younger versions with Iolaus and Jason as wonderful as always. Ian Bohen is awesome at the role, even as much as I adore Ryan Gosling's version, and I loved seeing more of him. I also saw the excellent episode "Prodigal Sister" and loved it. Ruun was a fascinating character, and I adored how his disability wasn't shown as much of a handicap, what with his fighting skills and other heightened senses. I loved the clever twist of making everyone think his sister was actually the girl who died instead of the main Amazon warrior, and the concept of the matching marks on their hands was lovely. The ending was logical and hopefully beautiful, too. Throughout the series, though, Iolaus is a complete treasure, both heartbreakingly sweet and sad at once, and I adore his friendship with Hercules.

I've been returning top my childhood and loving the old variety/music shows I watched growing up, including my forever favorite Lawrence Welk Show, and also Hollywood Palace, American Bandstand, Your Hit Parade, and What's My Line which is always entertaining.

I've been working way through the sweet western The Travels Of Jaimie McPheeters and enjoying it, especially Charles Bronson's character. I've also having great fun watching The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis, Bachelor Father, Mork and Mindy, Gilligan's Island, and Father Knows Best. And I've picked up All Creatures Great and Small and it's lovely, the creative Sliders, the exciting Baa Baa Black Sheep, the superb The Prisoner, Adam Adamant Lives! and its fabulous theme, the quirky Due South, and the fun MacGyver and CHiPs. I've also returned to a childhood obsession, the short-lived but fantastic The Highwayman. Then I've actually found a soap opera I enjoy in Dallas. I've also had a burst of nostalgia for my baby obsessions Mister Roger's Neighborhood and Reading Rainbow.

I've started watching Game of Thrones and while its not entirely to my taste I do enjoy the world-building and the Stark family, especially the wonderful Jon Snow.

Partway into the new series of Doctor Who and I've finally gotten a good enough grasp of its feel to write about it. Despite my distrust of Moffat and the fact that I'm not a huge fan of Peter Capaldi, I had high hopes going into the new series, with the positives being an older Doctor portrayed by an actor who was a fan of the original series. Unfortunately, a few episodes in and I'm ready to give up. The writing, largely dominated by Moffat, remains shaky at best, riddled with plot holes, retconning, and copious amounts of technobabble. The human element and warmth that gave the original episodes so much appeal is almost sucked dry, replaced by an ever-present and entirely non amusing stream of tactless jokes. The characterization is even worse, as Clara is constantly insulted, treated like a child, mocked for her appearance, ordered about, and even outright kidnapped by the Doctor who she incomprehensibly still wants to save, and her messing with the Doctor's timeline continues to be increasingly annoying. Clara herself makes thoughtless comments regarding Danny's PTSD, and Danny radiates a unsettling hostility. Two episodes in and Danny still has zero personality outside of having been a soldier, and Clara has virtually no life outside of the Doctor despite a few random glimpses of her being a teacher. Danny and Clara's relationship feels forced and unrealistic, but still dashing my hopes for a romance-free season. The only time she has any real character development is in "Kill the Moon" when she finally stands up to the Doctor and his bumbling, but the flare of hope is quickly put out when Danny's horrible advice sends her running back to the Doctor's arms like a victim with Stockholm Syndrome. Worst of all is Twelve: inexplicably dark yet created as a Doctor who had saved his home planet, the source of Nine's darkness and Ten's angst, not to mention impossibly rude, childish, and worst of all frightening. I've seen all the Doctors, and even at their darkest, not a single Doctor has ever made me unnerved or uncomfortable until now. There's nothing to trust or want to help in Twelve, and he seems more mad serial killer than beneficial savior of humanity. As if slapping past Doctors in the face, he comments that earth isn't "his world" and humans aren't "his people", making me yearn for the Doctors like Ten who loved humanity a little too much. He no longer seems to care about anyone, and simply stands by while people are hurt or killed. Moffat seems to have forgotten that at the Doctor's core there's supposed to be a goodness, something to bond with beyond the non human body, and that his two hearts are supposed to indicate he cares more not less. In other words, the Doctor has never seemed more alien. Perhaps worst of all, as Moffat said in an interview, Clara has inexplicably become the main character of the show, with chunks of plot wasted on her romance and daily life, while the Doctor is reduced to a childish, senile old man whose bumbling attempts to comprehend "boring" people and save the world seem laughable and pointless as Clara and Danny direct his every move. The flawed "Robot Of Sherwood"'s plot and sword fighting feels like a flashback to Classic Who, complete with a cheesy but loveable Robin, and an adorable reunion between Robin and Marion. Still the bickering and rivalry between the Doctor and Robin spoils the mood, and the Doctor's strange disbelief at Robin being real as well as the line about "history being a burden" only proves how out of character and worn the character and show is becoming. However the season has a silver lining in the frustratingly almost perfect "Flatline" whose intriguing, fresh storyline, unique aliens, and endearingly cheesy special effects serve to remind me of when the show was consistently this good. Twelve is finally something like the Doctor should be, caring about people, defending the earth and declaring himself the protector of it, and being proud of Clara, even if he somewhat ruins it by a cryptic, annoying comment at the end and refusing to admit what he said to her face. Clara, despite being a bit overbearing at times, seems more clever than usual, and her act of restoring the TARDIS through a fake picture was nothing short of brilliant. I liked the guest character with her as well. The season's two part finale is perhaps the most problematic yet, with Clara willing to hold the TARDIS hostage and destroy the keys, essentially stranding the Doctor, in order to save Danny who, much like his story arc, has been pointlessly killed off. Everything is wrong with this, as, even the most callous Doctors have risked everything to help their companions, and Clara, besides betraying whatever friendship she held with Eleven, is being a selfish, thoughtless child, knowing that past and hopefully future Doctors have saved so many lives and worlds that she'd now let that all stop just to save one person. Nothing about Danny and Clara's lie-filled, manipulative love story has seemed genuine, and even the revelation of the source of Danny's anger and guilt issues can make me feel anything for him. Twelve, as usual, is out of character for the Doctor, unable to recognize tears or grief, and seemingly unaware of male/female relationships, but it's the humor where the episode fails the most. Missy forcing a kiss on Twelve is neither amusing or comfortable to watch, bordering on assault. Missy herself is a complete affront to the series, as if a female Master wasn't bad enough, her deranged, obsessive love for Twelve is disturbing, Worst of all is the callous, insensitivity, even dark humor, toward cremation, forms of burial, death, beliefs in the afterlife, and more, crossing a line that nothing should.

On a happier note I've discovered Torchwood and it's everything I've missed from Doctor Who and every bit as good as it used to be. I'm enjoying the new characters as well as loving Jack as usual, and the feel of the show gives me so much nostalgia.
 
 
feeling: impressed
calliope tune: "Lightnin' Strikes"-Lou Christie
 
 
Kathleen
The episode "Millennium" of The X-Files has always been one of my favorites so I was thrilled to discover it was a crossover with another show of the same title and by the creator of The X-Files. Millennium is a fascinating, much forgotten series in a different vein but with many of the same characteristics that make The X-Files so good. Frank Black, a former police detective who has the uncanny ability to see through the eyes of killers, is a sympathetic and incredibly human protagonist, and his relationship with his little daughter Jordan is adorably precious. The themesong and intro are beautiful, and the episodes, including the stunning "Kingdom Come", are poignant and haunting character studies exploring the motives behind crime. Other excellent episodes include "The Well-Worn Lock", a deeply moving look at a difficult issue, and the haunting "The Wild and The Innocent". I worked my way through season one and am completely captivated by the series. I'm on season two now and lamenting the format changes. The Millennium Group has transformed from good to edging into evil, growing more and more shady with each episode, Peter and Frank are beginning to drift apart, Frank snapped and actually killed a man, and Katherine has separated from Frank, taking Jordan with her, which means the cute father-daughter moments are few and far between and making even the Christmas episode leave a bittersweet taste. Also the lingering end times mythos of season one is more oppressive and far reaching, accounting for better than half of the episodes. Much of the spellbinding plots have been toned down, settling for often confusing and open-ended stories. Not to say there aren't some gems among the rest, though, like the poignant, thought-provoking "Luminary", one of the scant episodes to have a hopeful conclusion as well as an intriguing guest character, and the chilling "Monster" in which a troubled child accuses a daycare worker and Frank of abuse against the town's children and herself. The season's best is the stunning two-part "Owls"/"Roosters", a fascinating mix of religious treasure hunt and Nazi war history which brings some hope in Frank, Katherine, and Peter's separations. The finale was one of the most shocking and bold episodes I've seen on any show, leaving Peter's fate hanging in the balance, Katherine dead, and Frank left alone in a cabin, holding Jordan as everything falls apart. It was good in an intense and chilling way, and I'm more worried about Peter's fate than the loss of Katherine, even as surprised as I am that the writers chose to kill her off. I'm grateful Jordan was spared, though, as I don't think I could have handled that.

I'm on the ninth and last season of The X-Files, now, and the whole show just aches without Mulder. I love Doggett dearly, and he's wonderful, but everything makes me miss Mulder, especially the gloomy tone of the series as it winds down. Monica Reyes is now a regular, and while not one of my favorites by any means, I'm getting used to her. Sadly, the relationship, friendship or otherwise, between Scully and Doggett isn't explored further until halfway through the season, and most episodes team up Doggett and Reyes with Scully a third wheel. Still there's some unique ideas left, such as "4D" in which a murderer is able to shift between parallel worlds, shooting and paralyzing the parallel Doggett in this world and trapping the real Doggett in the parallel world. While Reyes's decision to let the parallel Doggett die to bring back the real one saddened me, I loved the concept of the episode, as well as the twists in the plot. Also there's the poignant "Trust No1" which expands on the supersoldiers story arc by showing they have a weakness, as well as building another chapter in the mystery of little William. The episode made me miss Mulder more than ever, and I wish he'd been in it, if only for a little bit. Doggett gets to shine as an amnesiac stranded in a Mexican town in "John Doe", and Robert Patrick does some incredible, heartbreaking acting throughout, especially during the scene where he relives his son's death. The disturbing "Hellbound" is also one of the season's most unusual and fascinating episodes about a murdered man reincarnated over and over to avenge his death. Doggett is brilliant again in the poignant and original "Audrey Pauley" which features a beautifully sad performance from the title character as well. "Jump The Shark" brings back some much needed humor to the show, and even returns The Lone Gunmen's Jimmy and Yves, but ends on a heartbreaking note when Byers, Langly, and Frohike are killed. I could have dealt with one of them dying, but all three was too much, and even though the writers spared Jimmy I sobbed over losing the others. I like to believe the comic book retcon and think the trio's deaths were faked and they survived. To make matters even worse, Scully gives little William up for adoption to protect him right after the child is cured of his powers. While the couple adopting him was sweet, I teared up through the episode, especially at the end, and it was just one blow too many. Still the episode brought Jeffrey Spender back, a character I grew to really like before his "death" a couple seasons ago, and even as badly hurt as he was, I was glad he survived. "Release" provides closure for Doggett over the loss of his son and Hayes is one of the most fascinating non-recurring characters in a long time. I'm conflicted on the finale "The Truth", though. On one hand there was a lot I loved: Monica's finest moment in all two seasons of her when she stands up to the court, Mulder and Scully together at the end in a bittersweet parallel of the pilot, Kerst helping Mulder finally, Spender and Mulder are confirmed to be half brothers, and all the cameos from past characters - the Lone Gunmen, X, Gibson Praise, Spender, Marita, and even Krycek which left me incredibly emotional and nostalgic. But there was so much more that was never tied up. Doggett and Reyes are left on the run, Mulder and Scully can't visit William, Gibson never can be safe, and the date of the invasion still looms over everyone.

I discovered the wonderful miniseries Alice, a brilliant updating of Alice In Wonderland. Andrew-Lee Potts was fabulous as the colorful Hatter, a completely different character except for an occasional flash where I saw Connor in him, and I loved his take on the role: a mix of quirkiness and sadness, but all completely adorable. I loved his relationship with Alice as she grows to trust and love him. Wonderland was incredibly reimagined and very clever, from the Looking Glass to the bottled and sold emotions, and I loved all the characters, especially the quite hilarious Charlie. After that I watched Tin Man, a clever reimagining of Oz. I loved Glitch dearly, and the brilliant way the tale was retold, with all the elements just dfferently put together. The ending was a little too sugary but I was glad DG and her friends and parents all survived, as well as Cain finding his son back. I also squeed a little over the fact that the parallels for Glinda and the Wizard - DG's mother and father - were married.

I finally got to see Man Of Steel and was left with mixed emotions. There were a lot of changes - I'd expected as much - and it was a very different look at Superman, so while I hated some things I was pleasantly surprised to find some of the changes were actually for the better. Most of the time on earth was reduced to smashing action scenes with little pause for emotion or human moments, with the scenes on Krypton feeling the most personal. While the flying creatures were a bit much, I liked the strange silver robots who projected images. Jimmy was absent without a mention which saddened me, but Perry White was awesome, actually getting to do more than barking at Lois and Clark from behind his desk. I loved how determined he was to save Jenny, and he gave the character depth I've not usually seen. Zod was all right. While he lacked the subtle creepiness and emotional depths of Callum Blue's take on the role, he was evil enough to make Zod seem formidable. Lana was reduced to little more than a cameo, which I didn't mind, and Pete strangely enough started out as a bully, but the biggest surprise was Jor-El who I usually hate, yet in this film I not only grew to care about him but actually rooted for him and was heartbroken when his consciousness died without knowing if Superman was able to stop Zod. My main problem was, strangely enough, with Lois. With all the hype about her character saving his emotionally, I was expecting a strong, 3-d character and a carefully crafted relationship between Clark and Lois. And while the concept of her knowing Clark was Superman right from the start improved things greatly - and I like the film taking Smallville's route of the two knowing each other well before Clark started at the Daily Planet, everything else was very disappointing. Unlike Erica Durance's strong woman with hidden depths, or Kate Bosworth's quiet yet delightfully realistic heroine, Amy Adams's character was flat, reduced to little more than a damsel in distress who gets saved multiple times and does nothing of worth in the film beside force Superman to rescue her. Their relationship felt forced and awkward, and the only scene in which they felt like the Lois and Clark I've always shipped was when Lois comes over and holds him after Zod's death. Henry Cavill was so-so as Clark/Superman. He definitely looked the part and was unquestionably handsome, but his performance felt largely wooden. Only twice, when Jonathan died and during Zod's death did he exhibit any realistic emotion, and the first scene was so out of character, Clark would never stand by and watch Jonathan die no matter what he wanted, that I felt uncomfortable more than sad. Unlike most people I didn't truly have a problem with the writers having Superman commit murder, though, because it felt like a complete expression of how much he cares about the people of earth, and he killed Zod with such sadness that it was one of the few moments he truly felt like Superman. I did love the scenes of Clark as a child playing with a cape, though, and the beginning parts of him drifting from place to place was an interesting and fresh perspective on the character. I watched Spiderman, a refreshingly old-fashioned and incredibly fun take on the superhero. Tobey Maquire did a lovely job as Peter, but my heart went out to James Franco's tragic and flawed Harry Osborn who reminds me so much of Lex in Smallville. I ached for him, and absolutely despised his father in the film; I've rarely been more happy to see a character meet their end. The CGI felt nicely restrained, the theme and photography was soaring, and I grew to love the characters as I never have before. I followed that with Spiderman 2 which was every bit as good as the first one, even if Mary Jane grated on my nerves. My favorite scene was when Peter stopped the train using his webs, and then passes out from exhaustion. It was beautiful and moving to watch the people catch and carry him inside, and promise not to reveal his secret. Then Spiderman 3 which broke my heart to see Harry turn into the goblin. Harry is so very sweet when he's not consumed with hatred for Spiderman, and completely adorable like in the scene where he dances the twist with Mary Jane. It bugs me that Peter never fully explains Harry's father's death which might have mended things before it was too late. Still his grief and determination to save Harry when his heart stops is beautifully done. Harry and Peter were incredible together in the last battle, and I couldn't help sobbing oat Harry's death..so poignant and haunting. Both the actors are superb - and goodness, can James Franco ever cry - and the scene was heartbreaking. Despite that, I loved the ending, very fitting and lovely for the trilogy. After that I gave a try to The Amazing Spiderman, and while Andrew Garfield's Peter is a rougher version than Tobey Maguire's sweet and endearing take on the role and he has no concept of humility, he still managed to grow on me enough to want to see the next film. My favorite scene was when he saved the little boy, and I loved his relationship with Gwen, too, far better than Peter and Mary Jane. On my superhero list I watched Thor, a fantastic film that was equal parts superhero movie and a refresher course in Norse mythology. I loved Thor's journey from headstrong and spoiled egotist to warmth, kindness, and greatness, contrasted with the tragedy of Loki who I pitied and still loathed by turns, as well as being fascinated by his origins. I adored Thor's relationship with Jane most of all, and can't wait for the sequel. In the meantime I watched The Avengers with it's delightfully new to me set of superheroes, and Thor, who I've grown to love, to introduce me to them all. I adored Clint who has a little bit of Oliver Queen about him, and his hinted-at romance with Natasha, and not knowing the character, I was grateful he didn't get killed off after Loki took him over. Steven/Captain America was wonderful, and Iron Man/Tony was hilarious and easy to love. I also really liked the film's Bruce Banner, a kind and soft-spoken person, even if I couldn't warm to the CGI Hulk..I'm too used to the The Incredible Hulk's gentler, more human Hulk, but I did giggle at his scene where he whacks Loki around. I loved how old-fashioned pieces of the film were, just like old superhero films, and the amazing closing credits. I loved when Tony saved the island by flying the bomb, and how Hulk saved him. The team was fantastic together, much like the Justice League, and I hope there's at least one sequel in the works eventually. Then I had to watch Captain America: The First Avenger, and I loved Steve and how courageous he was, both before and after his transformation, like the scene where he falls on the grenade, thinking it's live, to save everyone, and later when he takes off after his friend and saves all the prisoners in the factory. His costume is one of favorite superhero get-ups, and I love how he uses absolutely everything as a shield. Chris Evans is also classically handsome and very old-fashioned looking which, aided by fabulous makeup, clothing, and period detail, helps make things realistic to the time period, despite the sci-fi elements. Then I watched Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and I love Tony..he makes the entire show as I don't find the superhero side of him nearly as fascinating and fun as the human part. I ship Pepper and he so much..they're wonderful together and so sweet, and I adore his holograms and talking computer. Next was X-Men and the excellent sequel X2, my favorites out of the bunch so far, with an intriguing, multi-layered world and characters, especially the mysterious but good-hearted Wolverine. I loved his friendship with Rogue and how he was willing to sacrifice himself for her. The scene where he heals her was powerful and very poignant, and I can't help shipping them just a little. It also made me strangely happy that Hugh Jackman looks like a young Clint Eastwood, and even sounds like him a little! I also loved Scott and his unusual ability, even if he's forced to live behind odd sunglasses most of the film, and Xavier, one of the kindest and genuinely good characters I've seen in a long time. Nightcrawler is also a wonderful caring character, very much unexpectedly so. I love how the films are more about the interpersonal struggles and emotions than just special effects, a unique spin on the genre, with some heavy, powerful moments like the raid on the school and everyone trying to save the children, as well as the people's attitude toward the "mutants". Last was X-Men: The Last Stand, and while I hated and cried over how Scott and Xavier, both characters I loved, were written out, I loved the way it tied everything up. Bobby, someone I'd thought wouldn't make it through the first film alive, thankfully survived and got his happy ending with Rogue. I loved that I got to see more of Kitty, and her friendship with Bobby was adorable. I sobbed for Wolverine, having to kill Jean to save everyone, but I loved how the school carried on and continued, and people seemed more accepting of the mutants. Next was Fantastic Four and the sequel Rise Of The Silver Surfer. I wasn't familiar with the comics but I grew to love the characters, especially the good-hearted Reed and the hilariously endearing Johnny. I loved the unique development of their powers, as well as how they all worked together to defeat Doom. Ben's story arc was especially poignant and I was glad he found some happiness by the end of the first film. I loved how Johnny proved himself a hero in the second film, and I was fascinated by the mysterious Silver Surfer. After that was the fantastic and incredibly underrated Green Lantern. The special effects were dazzling, and I loved the concept of it all, along with the richly imagined aliens. Hal was a loveable, cocky protagonist, and I adored how his humanity made him the best of the lanterns as well as how he destroyed Parallax, and how the others finally came to his rescue. Next was Batman Begins which I surprisingly enjoyed a lot considering I've never cared for Batman. As I expected, Christian Bale was fantastic in the role, and it was a treat to see him playing a superhero. Bruce's relationship with Alfred was beautiful, and I loved the contrasts and comparisons between Bruce and Batman. After that was The Wolverine which, while the weakest X-Men film so far, was still a lot of fun, with Hugh Jackman effortlessly assuming the role of the tortured loner. While I disliked the focus on Jean, I loved seeing Wolverine coming back to life emotionally, paralleled by his death and coming back to life after removing the robot parasite from his heart. His relationship with Yukio was sweet, reminding me of Rogue and he, and I adored seeing Charles Xavier at the end. Next was the original Superman '70s film, and I loved Christopher Reeve nearly as much as Brandon Routh as the character. The concept of turning back time was fascinating, too.

I found another animated film, Rise Of The Guardians, a beautiful and touching fairytale with many whimsical touches. Jack, Bunnymund, North, Tooth, and Sandy were loveable protagonists, as was little Jamie, and the walking eggs and little elves were hilarious. It was equally heartwarming and poignant and I kept smiling and tearing up through the whole film. After that was the fun Megamind. I loved Megamind, such a perfect mix of over-the-top bad guy and superhero, and Metro Man, despite his short role, was hilarious. I also loved Minion and the delightfully happy ending with Megamind and Roxie. Next was the amusing The Incredibles, which, while far from a perfect film, was fun and featured a very cute family of superheroes. I loved each of their powers and how they all fought together. Then I saw Wreck-It Ralph which was quite clever and cute. I loved the candy world of Sugar Rush and the adorable characters, as well as the retro feel of the games. Next was Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas, a gorgeously animated, swashbuckling adventure. I loved Sinbad, his colorful crew including a cute dog, and their mythology-tinged quest. After that was Epic, an imaginative and cute fantasy. I loved the world and concepts of the story, and Nod was adorable. I do wish MK had stayed small, though, as she and Nod were sweet together, but I was happy Ronin survived and he and Nod patched things up. Then I saw the Toy Story trilogy. While not my favorite animated films by any means, and surprisingly dark for kid's films, there were still quite a few cute moments. I loved the clever way the toys were each portrayed, like the etch-a-sketch, Barbie and Ken, or Woody's floppy legs, Woody's devotion to the other toys, and Woody and Buzz's friendship. Buzz's Spanish setting was absolutely hilarious, definitely the best part of the films, and I teared up at the bittersweet ending. After that was the adorable Gnomeo and Juliet. I enjoyed the clever, light-hearted, and even poignant take on the story, and the characters, especially Gnomeo, Shroom, and Featherstone were precious and loveable. Next was Home whose adorable cat and alien won me over, as did the sweet storyline.

I watched the latest version of Les Miserables. Although I was correct in my assumption that the story would feel strange as a musical, and I found the constant singing of lines better spoken to be annoying after a while, there were some very good things about it, too. Some of the music, especially "I Dreamed A Dream" and the barricade boys's songs, were beautiful, and the filming was stunning, showing the poverty yet beauty of old France. Hugh Jackman was brilliant as Jean ValJean, definitely the most layered and realistic portrayal I've seen in all the versions I've watched, and the ending, with him joining those lost, had me in tears. He also, surprisingly, had quite a lovely, expressive voice. While no Marius can ever steal my heart the way Hans Matheson did in the 1998 version, Eddie Redmayne, despite not looking anything like I picture Marius, did a good job with the role, especially with the heartbreaking "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables". His getting injured at the barricade and the sewer rescue were uniquely done, and I was impressed by how realistic and filthy everything looked, as well as the foreshadowed imagery of the coffins as part of the barricade. I loved the kinder, more fatherly image of Jean and Marius, especially the gorgeous "Bring Him Home", but I missed Marius's closeness to Gavroche as the two had little to no interaction unlike most versions. Little Cosette was precious and perfect with Jean, but sadly grown up Cosette's role was reduced to little more than a sweet voice and a few longing looks at Marius. As much as I loved actually seeing their wedding in a version, I was disappointed by how the film treated her character, as well as her seemingly whirlwind romance with Marius, pushing Eponine as the more sympathetic ship of the two with Marius, unpleasantly for me since I've always disliked her. Gavroche was perfect, a cocky mix of adorable imp and little spitfire rebel, and his death, as usual, was one of the toughest scenes to watch, as was the poignant death of the last two barricade boys. Javert, for the first time, had a sympathetic side, and I even felt for him when he pinned the medal on Gavroche's body.

In other new films I saw the hilarious Disney George Of The Jungle, a delightfully tongue-in-cheek comedy that kept me laughing through the whole thing. George was sweet, innocent, and incredibly funny, and I loved his relationship with Ursula. Ape was also amusing, and Shep was precious. It was one of the happiest, most feel good films I've seen in a long time, and the happy ending with little curly-haired baby George made me grin ear to ear. Next was Newsies, a fun and wonderful musical. The period details were impressive and I adored the characters, especially Jack and little Les and the friendship between the boys. After that was Inkheart, a beautiful, highly imaginative fantasy where book characters come to life. I loved Farid - and ship him with Meggie - and the family relationships between Mo, Meggie, and Resa. My favorite character, though, was the fabulous Dustfinger. My heart bled for him at the same time I rooted for him to get home and adored his fire skills. He was quite a complex, fascinating character, too, and I was so glad he got his happy ending. Then I saw Empire Of The Sun, an unusual and deeply poignant war film through the eyes of an English child in Japan during WWII. Christian Bale was amazing as little Jim, going through every emotion and growing so much throughout the film, and his performance had me alternating between smiles and tears. The last parts were especially haunting and the entire film was beautifully done. After that was Pacific Rim, a fascinating concept including my favorite sci-fi trope of mind-melding that didn't quite measure up but with some flashes of brilliance here and there, especially when the focus was less on smashing things and more on the human interest side. I loved Raleigh - I've missed Charlie Hunnam's pretty face - and the film was at it's best when focused on him, showing him from an idealistic young pilot whose brother is killed to a seemingly decades older man called back into action in a last ditch effort to save the world. I liked his relationship with Mako and would love the sequel to explore more of them. I loved Herc, too, and his relationship with Chuck and Chuck's ultimate sacrifice had me in tears, especially when he said goodbye to his dog. Newton and Hermann were amusing in their few scenes, and I was sad about the Russian duo and the triplets who had far too little screentime. I never could warm up to Stacker, though, and disliked him for how he treated Raleigh so I wasn't as affected by his death. The recurring theme of the clock up until the last part where it's finally stopped was poignant. Next was The Mortal Instruments which, despite my watching it entirely for Jamie Campbell Bower, I ended up enjoying. The premise was fun, especially the fascinating idea of runes, and I loved most of the side characters, especially the werewolves. Jace was my favorite, though, showing a lot of character growth and depth across the film. After that was the sweet Sooner Or Later, a film I've wanted to see for ages. Rex Smith was lovely as usual, playing a sensitive singer, and on a shallow note his hair was gorgeous. The story was touching and quite funny in parts, the music was perfect, and I loved the hopeful ending. Next was The Trial, an intriguing legal thriller and excellent adaptation of the book which I enjoyed. Next was A Child Is Waiting, a poignant and deeply moving study of a little filmed subject. It made me cry but I loved it, and thought it was Judy Garland's best film. Next was the heartwrenching '40s version of i>Waterloo Bridge, a beautiful and haunting tragedy. Next was a childhood obsession and my favorite Shirley Temple movie Bright Eyes which I still love just as much.

I'm finished with season five of Wagon Train, now, and the feel was slightly different, with more of the stories taking place in towns instead of on the journey. The cast is still the same, but it's Flint's last season and I'm already missing him, even though I love Coop. Excellent episodes include the fascinating "Kitty Allbright Story", the utterly heartbreaking "Charlie Shutup Story", and the adorable makeshift family saga of "The Clementine Jones Story". The season's best, though, is the wonderful "Dick Pederson Story" which casts James MacArthur as a sweet loner who befriends a fatherless family of little girls and nurses them through an epidemic. Best of all the episode features an adorable ending. Onto season six now and mourning Flint's unexplained absence - a word or two saying where he was would have been nice - but otherwise enjoying it. There's a touch of comedy in the fun "Charlie Wooster Outlaw" to balance out the tragedy of the poignant "Lily Legend Story" which explores Duke's past. Other excellent episodes include "Davy Baxter Story" in which Chris is forced to make an agonizing decision to amputate a young man's arm to save his life, a story in which Tommy Sands gets to shine as the title character, and "Caroline Casteel Story" about a woman rescued from the Indians who returns home to find no one accepts her.

I watched the fascinating and haunting documentary Our Spirits Don't Speak English about the Indian boarding schools and was both deeply moved and horrified at all I learned about a very bleak time in America's history. The personal testimonies were especially poignant.
 
 
calliope tune: "An Old-Fashioned Love Song"-Three Dog Night
feeling: silly