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

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. And then, one not so very special day, I went to my typewriter, I sat down, and I wrote our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. )
 
 
feeling: working
calliope tune: "The Gallant Shearers"-Tannahill Weavers
 
 
 
Kathleen
Too fabulous to not share.

Your time lord name is: The Poet

Your original Gallifreyan name is Parsillontankolorupsabygo, or Parsillon for short. Back on Gallifrey, you led a dull and uninteresting life, working as a TARDIS interior designer – but now, you travel Time and Space in search of adventure!
Your Type 51 TARDIS is currently stuck in disguise as a large cardboard box, and your latest travelling companion is a tough, resourceful, 68-year old grandmother who isn't letting old age stop her seeing the universe.

Get your own time lord name from the time lord name generator!
 
 
feeling: blah
calliope tune: "The Carnival Is Over"-Seekers
 
 
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.
 
 
calliope tune: "Lightnin' Strikes"-Lou Christie
feeling: impressed
 
 
Kathleen
I managed to watch the first episode of Atlantis the same day it premiered and while it scrambled mythology, I completely adored it. The settings, costumes, and soundtrack were gorgeous, the cast is quite attractive (I'm loving Jason's dimples!), and the story is very fun so far. Pythagoras is completely adorable, and I love the friendship starting between Jason and he. The humor struck a good balance with the more serious moments, and even if the pace was a little fast, I thought it was a great start for a pilot and very promising. Onto episode two which wasn't quite as good as the pilot (and no Jason and Pythagoras friendship, sadly), and had me cringing at the dreadful imagining of satyrs, but still gets points for including the maenads. I love Medusa and am mourning her fate already, since against my better judgement I'm slightly shipping her with Jason - she did save his life after all!. I only wish they'd cut back on some of the fate and simply let Jason and Pythagoras get into all sorts of fun, mythological adventures before they start in on future tragedies. "A Boy Of No Consequence" was fun, and thankfully toned down much of the humor of the first two episodes. Ariadne was somewhat less bland when she stood up to the queen, and I could tolerate Hercules a little better, but the witchcraft bits were unnecessary. The hurt/comfort parts were lovely, and I adored how Jason got everyone to work as a team, and his gymnastics, as well as Medusa saving the day. I'm a little sad to see the writers trying to pair her up with Hercules though, since I'd hoped for her to be matched up with Jason. "Twist Of Fate" was superb, mixing adorable moments with more serious. I adored the trio being so cute with the baby, and even Hercules grew on me this week. Jason was fabulous as always, using his gymnastic skills to full advantage, and the baby's mother was a fascinating character and superb actress. I hope to see more of the king and she in the future. I love the show's rare continuity of having Jason's arm bear a scar from the arrow wound in the pilot. "White Lies" had too much Ariadne but I loved Minos finally getting screentime. He's quite a tragic character, and I love his relationship with Ariadne. Jason was awkwardly adorable through the whole episode, and I couldn't stop giggling over Hercules and his pet beetle. "The Song of The Sirens" threw a new spin on things as Jason, desperate to save Medusa and Hercules, makes a rash pact with Circe the witch to kill Pasiphae. I loved Pythagoras and Jason's friendship in the episode, along with the character growth of the Oracle, who, while still mysterious, obviously cares deeply about Jason. The final scene between them when she takes his hand was especially touching. "Rules Of Engagement" was little more than fun, flawless fan service for 99% of the show as Jason does gymnastics and is soundly whumped all while forgetting his shirt at home (why am I not surprised by now?), but it still offered a cute moment where Hercules and Medusa patch things up, and the first glimpse of future darkness as recurring character and palace servant Korrina is needlessly murdered. Poor Korrina, I'd hoped for a bit more from her in the future, but I can't say I'm surprised as I already guessed she wouldn't last forever on the show. Still it only makes me hate Pasiphae more. "The Furies" was an uneven episode consisting of an intriguing premise poorly executed against some stunning acting by Robert Emms and beautiful moments of friendship between not only Jason and Pythagoras but also Hercules and the two; I especially loved the part where Hercules starts to crawl away to deter Pythagoras from giving himself to the furies. "Pandora's Box" brings back the show from hiatus, and I love seeing everyone again, even if it's the most heartbreaking episode yet. Medusa's transformation wasn't unexpected, but I'd hoped it wouldn't be so soon, and the final scene with Jason cursing the gods was stunning and foreboding for the rest of the series. "The Price Of Hope" was mostly a filler full of running but it gave some lovely h/c moments as Pythagoras cared for an injured Jason, a beautiful friendship moment between Hercules and Pythagoras, and a strange twist as Jason is able to look at Medusa. "Hunger Pangs" was hilarious, a wonderful breath of fresh air after weeks of sad episodes, and Jason was adorable as a werewolf who frequently ends up devoid of clothes in strange places. I'd love to see hints of it pop up in later episodes, even if the silver did cure him. "Touched By The Gods" was a "royal episode" as I call it, which means less fun for me than the trio-focused ones which are my favorites, but still the plot offered some resolution to earlier stories as well as a new depth to Jason. I was secretly wishing he'd kill Pasiphae, and I found it odd that he couldn't bring himself to kill her yet killed Circe, who seemed less evil to me of the two, without much of a thought. Still he did selflessly offer himself to her to be killed, showing how much he cares about his friends, and the trio had some wonderful moments that were both funny and heartwarming as they try to help Jason fulfill his vow and then join him battling the living skeletons - a nice nod to Jason and the Argonauts. Jason and the gang's rescue of Ariadne was fun, complete with the always enjoyable bonus of flaming arrows, but I was saddened by the servant's death. On the bright side Heptarian is thankfully gone now, in a strangely quick way, unless the writers are planning to bring him back. The leper colony intrigued me, as well as Jason's long-lost father being among them, and I loved seeing the brief father-son interaction even if Jason isn't aware of who he is. The twist of Pasiphae being his mother made me happy, since, unlike the rest of the fandom it seems, I'd considered it at the beginning but doubted the writers would go that way no matter how much I hoped, and the revelation finally opened up some explanations as to Jason's mysterious gifts. My other favorite parts were Hercules finally admitting he cares about Jason and Hercules nearly crushing Pythagoras by attempting to hide him from the soldiers.

In other brand new shows I've started watching Sleepy Hollow against my better judgement, and quite surprisingly ended up obsessed with it. The premise is creative and incredibly fascinating, and I love Ichabod. I've always been interested in the Revolutionary War and the overlap with history to fantasy is amazing. I'm also liking Ichabod's friendship with Abbie. The writing is brilliant so far and the bad guys, especially the creepy Sandman, are well done against some stunning filming. "John Doe" was superb and my favorite episode so far, with an awesome tale of Roanoke, Ichabod's modern day confusion and old-world gallantry when he takes Abbie's hand to cross the water, and some delicious hurt/comfort and heartwarming moments. Plus Ichabod speaking Middle English and interacting with the boy made my heart melt. "The Sin Eater", drawing from a fascinating Welsh tradition, was brimming with wonderful moments from the hilarious baseball game scene, to Ichabod's swoon-worthy bow, to the poignant and gorgeous exchange as Ichabod prepares to give up his life to defeat the Horseman. Despite my best efforts I've fallen off the wagon and started shipping Ichabod/Abbie hard so I teared up when he finally called her by her first name and later when they hugged. I also liked understanding Katrina's backstory better with the intriguing parts where Ichabod first learned of his gifts and part in the war. "Sanctuary" was a fun haunted house story with a shocking twist as it's revealed Ichabod has a son, born after his death. While on one hand I love it - daddy!Ichabod could be adorable, and even if his son is long dead there still could be a great+ grandchild somewhere, I have a bad feeling about the tragic directions this storyline could take. A darker side of Ichabod has surfaced, too, especially in the scene where he kills the tree creature. "The Golem" was haunting, exploring the fate of Ichabod's son Jeremy - I can only hope the writers will bring him back to life or at least include more flashbacks in the future - as well as Katrina's coven - an extremely creepy set of four women. I loved seeing the Sin Eater again, and Ichabod's Christmas confusion made me giggle as usual, especially the adorable scene where Abbie gives him a stocking, but the ending has me barely able to wait for the show's return.

Despite not planning on it I took a peek at Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and completely fell in love with it's version of the tale. Cyrus and Alice's romance is beautiful and I hope so badly that it has a happy end. Also the Knave of Hearts is wonderful, I just adore him. "The Serpent" was the most heartwrenching episode so far as Jafar's evil origins are revealed, and Alice is finally forced to make a wish to save the Knave's life, tying her life to his in the process, but sadly all for nothing as the Knave is turned to stone. The ending left me in tears, despite the hope of Cyrus beginning to escape, and the lovely wishbone legend, and I can only hope next episode will have more light at the end of the tunnel. "The Cell" was another step forward as well as a step back as Alice uses her second wish which broke my heart, but she and her father managed to mend their relationship even if the ending implies that her father won't remember anything, indicating another sacrifice Alice has made that goes unrealized. It finally occurred to me that every character is motivated by love in some way, and each love is contrasted from Knave and Anastasia's lost love to Jafar's pining for his father's love, to the true, beautiful love between Cyrus and Alice that motivates everything she does. Sophie Lowe was stunning in the episode as usual, bringing out all of Alice's emotions and pain, especially in the scene where she talks about her childhood to her "father", and the Knave and her friendship was as lovely as always. Cyrus, sadly, had the smallest part ever, speaking only one line and in two scenes, out cold except for a few seconds. The final pieces of Jafar's childhood was revealed, and while I understand him a lot better now, and even feel a little sorry for him, I still side with the other prisoner. He saved Cyrus, after all. "Home" was stunning, with Cyrus and Alice finally reunited, Cyrus getting far more screentime than usual, and a shocking twist ending The opening flashback of Cyrus and Alice beneath the stars was gorgeous, and I loved the creation of their little home, with Cyrus giving up his only treasure to protect Alice. Also I guessed right about genies once being human, so I'm looking forward to flashbacks of Cyrus's history. Emma Rigby impressed me the most, going from an unlikeable, overly done character to a compelling, tragic one, and I loved how she slowly reverted to her Anastasia accent and mannerisms, even as my heart broke when the Knave rejected her. The end twist was incredible - I'd forgotten about Alice promising the Knave a wish - and I'm both thrilled that Cyrus is free and Alice is well and also saddened by the Knave's fate, even if I know he'll be a hilariously fun genie.

I've also become very fond of Reign which more than makes up for it's lack of historical authenticity with beauty and endearing characters, especially the gorgeous Bash whose blue eyes take my breath away. I love his relationship with his half brother Francis - I've always been a sap for brothers - and Mary: I ship them against my better judgement, and little Charles is adorable. The castle is stunning, too, and I'm intrigued by the mysterious Clarissa. Plus the series is slowly introducing some more complicated twists and delightful whump so, for now at least, it makes me happy.

I've started watching Almost Human and completely fell in love with it. Both Dorian and John are realistic, far from perfect characters who are easy to relate to, and I love their odd friendship and hilarious banter. Plus, it's been ages since I've seen a sci-fi that could pull off such a far-fetched, seemingly emotionless premise with so much heart and feeling.

I've finished season two of Stargate Atlantis and there's something of a different feel so far as Atlantis is now commanded by military - complete with an alien - and Sheppard gets more reckless than ever in his heroics. I'm iffy on Teyla's ability to now communicate with the wraith as the result of her genes and preferred when it was simply her sensing their presence. but she's still one of the few female tv characters I consider awesome and she finally gets to share more scenes with Sheppard to my shipping delight. I'm getting more used to McKay now, mostly because of his humor and bravery in going after Sheppard in "Aurora", and I laughed through the hilarious "Duet" which forces him to share a body with a woman. Much to my sadness Ford has vanished from the series in one of the worst and most tragic write-outs ever as the result of wraith enzymes from surviving a feeding which makes him violent and unstable. He winds up fleeing through the stargate and, despite another appearance which got my hopes up to his return, then escaping again when Sheppard finally tracks him down. He turns up once again but the series leaves his fate hopeful but hanging as he's last seen aboard a wraith ship. Yet the episode was a bittersweet memory of the first season toward the end with Ford risking his life to let Sheppard escape, and Sheppard finally calling him by his first name. Filling the gap left by Ford, but thankfully not replacing him, is Ronon, a runner hunted for sport by the wraith, who they discover when searching for Ford. While a little hostile at first, he's so far a complex and fascinating character with good chemistry with Sheppard, a strong devotion to the team, and a staggering array of fighting skills which promises some fun in the future. The season's best episodes include the intriguing "Instinct" which provides a new, almost human side to the wraith in a tragic story of a man who rescues and raises a wraith child as his daughter, and "The Long Goodbye", which despite focusing so much on Elizabeth who I still don't like, had some fascinating moments. I liked Ronon going after Sheppard himself, but he worried me when he was so badly shot, even if watching Carson operate with the power out was awesome. Also Teyla's scene where she agonizes over whether to kill Sheppard and save the people was stunning. Onto season three now and it's fascinating so far, picking up where the finale left off by continuing the somewhat tragic storyline of Michael, a wraith turned into a human by Carson's retrovirus. That's followed by the stunning episode "Sateda", a team story that finds Ronon again at the mercy of the wraith. It was filled with beautiful moments that had me tearing up, especially Sheppard admitting how he cares about his friends and Ronon willing to cut his own throat to force the people to let Teyla and Sheppard go. My heart bled for Ronon during the backstory moments, and I completely fell in love with him when he hugged Carson in the adorable ending. Other excellent episodes include the intriguing "Phantoms" where the team begins to hallucinate from a wraith device. I found Teyla being unaffected and Sheppard's vision being attempting to save a soldier he lost to be interesting insights into their characters. More is revealed about the ancients in the episode "Progeny" which features one of the most haunting closing scenes so far, as well as the wraith in the fantastic "Common Ground" in which Sheppard finds himself working with a wraith to escape from prison, an agreement which results in the wraith restoring the life he drained from him. McKay's best of the season is the funny and heartwarming "McKay and Mrs. Miller" featuring a parallel Rodney (I would have loved to see his team!) and McKay's sister. Ronan's wonderful friendship with Sheppard continues to delight me, with highlights including a hilarious scene where Sheppard teaches him to play golf. Happily the pop culture references are even more frequent now, and the team friendship is even better than last season. The last episodes of the season take a startling and incredibly tragic turn with Carson's death which turned me into an emotional wreck. I loved Carson dearly, and even though his death was heroic and poignant, I still hated that he was written out of the series that way. I'm on season four, now, and there's several changes so far. The somewhat annoying replicators storyline has finally found a good plot point in allowing for the removal of Elizabeth from the series; in her place is Sam, and I'm already loving her as the leader, which I'd hoped and supposed I would after enjoying her guest appearances. Ronan gets to shine, and finally has his place in the team cemented, in the excellent "Reunion" which forces him to choose between Atlantis and a trio of survivors from his old home, complete with a poignant twist ending. "Doppelganger" is a fascinating study in nightmares in which Sheppard confronts his deepest fear - himself. Everyone had some wonderful moments, especially Sheppard - the fight scene between his double and he was a delicious guilty pleasure - and McKay, plunging back into the dream machine after nearly dying just to save Sheppard. I loved the beautiful team moment at the end, as well as the awkward but adorably sweet hug between Sheppard and Teyla. "Tabula Rasa", in which a mysterious virus wipes the memories of everyone but Teyla and Ronon in Atlantis, is a fascinating, stunning episode. I loved how Ronon was able to talk Sheppard into trusting him, as well as McKay saving the day. Ive finally learned to adore McKay and my heart hurt and then was so happy for him at the beautiful ending. I love his sweet romance with Katie and hope they have a happy ending. "Miller's Crossing" was an unusual episode which highlighted how much McKay has changed when he offers to sacrifice himself to a wraith to save his dying sister, as well as showing a strangely dark side to Sheppard in which he convinces another man to volunteer in McKay's place. I loved McKay and Jeannie's relationship, though. The downsides to the season are the ever dull replicator storylines, Teyla's odd personality change in "Missing", going from a deeply caring character to a harsh and cold person who's willing to abandon a wounded stranger to die, and Dr. Keller, a tolerable but sadly lacking so-called replacement for Carson who I miss terribly. "The Kindred" both warmed and completely broke my heart by bringing Carson back - as a clone but so Carson I was tearing up within seconds of hearing his Scottish accent. I loved how the team grew to accept him, tried to save him, and were finally forced to keep him asleep until a cure can be found in one of the most tear-jerking goodbyes ever. On top of that was the season finale, the utterly stunning "The Last Man" in which Sheppard, returning through the gate, finds himself in a desolate Atlantis and is forced to return to the past and prevent his friends' deaths. Ronon and Todd, who I grew to love through the season, dying together broke me, as well as McKay spending twenty-five years trying to change the past, and then dying alone like that, leaving a hologram to wait for Sheppard. I sobbed when he wanted to help him when Sheppard was half-dead from the storm and he couldn't even touch him because he wasn't real. The cliff-hanging finale left me biting my nails, and I know I'm going to be a wreck next season.

The Doctor Who 50th was better than I'd been expecting. I was bracing myself for a letdown, and while a lot disappointed me, on the whole I really enjoyed it. Ten seemed mostly in character, I was so happy to see him again, and I was able to cope with my dislike for Eleven for the most part. I really liked the girl with the scarf, especially in the adorable scene where she makes friends with the alien. My favorite thing was the nods to classic!who: the B&W opening, Four's scarf, Kate being the Brigadier's daughter, Jack being mentioned, the pictures including Martha, Kamelion, Tegan, Nyssa, and others, and the "round things". I laughed so hard at the comment at Americans, history, and movies, as well as the "midlife crisis" comment. I shrieked when they had all 13 Doctors turn up twice; if they weren't going to include the old actors it was the next best thing, and it made me so happy to catch a glimpse of Five in the 50th. I also loved Tom Baker's cameo. The story was odd; I loved seeing the Time War, Gallifrey, and all the Time Lord children, but it felt like cheating since destroying Gallifrey shaped Nine and Ten's characters so much - they're so different from the old Doctors because of what they've done, and it cheapened the impact of all they'd done to change it all. I enjoyed The Five(ish) Doctors even better, though. Peter Davison and the others were delightful and parts made me giggle while other scenes had me tearing up from nostalgia, especially the comment about the Tardis no longer "wobbling", and Peter Davison saying his typical "must dash", just like Five again. "The Time Of The Doctor" had more human, personal elements than is typical of Eleven's era, and while I'm not at all sad to see him go I did get a little emotional at the Doctor growing old defending the little town of Christmas, as well as his friendship with the child. I disliked the dig at Ten's so-called "vanity", the messed-up plot jammed with too many aliens to make sense, and I hate the constant reset button that follows every bad event; at least in the original show and Nine's and Ten's eras there were severe, deeply tragic consequences whereas now the Doctor can do pretty much whatever he wants and just rewrite it all. I also don't really care for Clara, although I think I could learn to tolerate her with a good Doctor. I'm willing to accept the new regeneration cycle, though, as random as it is, if only in the hope that future Doctors, and, oh please, runners of the show will get things right again, as well as the fact that I don't think I could bear to watch the Doctor truly die, for the sake of all he was. Twelve, though, in his few moments, was wonderful, both hilarious and instantly appealing, and I'm happily looking forward to adventures with him.

In absence of new OUATIW I've started watching season one of Once Upon A Time which both frustrates and gives me intense bursts of wistfulness for OUATIW while managing to make me come back for more. I love the fairytale world and the unusual, often clever twists on common fairytales, as well as all the characters from different stories existing in the same world. I like Prince Charming and all the flashbacks to his story, although I don't care for David or Storybrooke, oddly enough. I also liked Graham, and was shocked and saddened by what happened to him, since he was just getting depth and emotion. The best episode so far is the stunning "Skin Deep" which made me fall in love with Rumplestiltskin/Belle, as well as seeing Rumplestiltskin in a different light. I loved all the Disney parallels, and for the first time the Storybrooke part tied in perfectly with the fairytale ones, in a beautiful, haunting way. The ending was shocking, but I loved the poignancy of Rumplestiltskin keeping the chipped cup, as well as the twist that he remembers his identity, and thus Belle, too. August is one of my favorites so far, and I adore both his character and storyline. Jefferson is also wonderful and deeply tragic, as is his attempts to reunite with his little daughter Grace. The season finale was unexpected but I loved that the curse is broken and the characters are reunited. I teared up when Rumplestiltskin saw Belle alive for the first time, and again when she remembered him.

In new superhero films I finally saw Thor: The Dark World and it was wonderful, quite different than what I'd expected but very good. I adored the concept of the gaps between the worlds with the characters falling in and out of them, as well as the intriguing backstory of the dark elves. Thor has grown up so much since the first film, and I love his character even more now. For the first time I felt sympathy for Loki, as well as liking him just a little, and it was wonderful to see Thor and he fighting side by side again instead of fighting each other, as well as getting to see so much of Loki's magic. I was saddened by Frigga's death, but I loved that she believed in Loki right until the end, and died heroically. Loki's reaction to her death, and the scene they shared before that were heartbreaking, adding depth to Loki's tragic nature. Thor and Loki's banter during the escape was hilarious, as was Loki's response to everyone threatening his life, and I laughed at Loki turning into Captain America. Thor and Jane's relationship was less appealing to me than last time for some reason, but I did love her risking her life to try to save him toward the end of the battle. Darcy and Ian kept me giggling and I ended up shipping them. The end twist was jaw-dropping, leaving me both happy Loki survived his "death" as well as concerned for the future with him up to his old tricks.

In other new films I saw the beautiful and touching Remember Sunday. I loved the characters and the actors who played them; they were perfect, and Gus and Molly's relationship was believable while still being sweet. I giggled at some parts - like Gus's constant shock over his friend's divorce - and teared up at others, and the comet bits were so lovely. I liked the hopeful, if somewhat bittersweet ending, too. Next was the surprisingly excellent Snow White and the Huntsman, the best version I've seen of the fairytale yet which brought emotion and true personality to the characters where previous versions have failed. Chris Hemsworth was superb as the troubled, yet good-hearted Huntsman, a character I've long adored, and I loved his accent, as well as the hints of romance between Snow White and he, as well as the fact that his kiss and not William's saved her. William was a somewhat fun character, even if his role felt limited in places, and I enjoyed the flashbacks to his childhood with Snow White. Kirsten Stewart was shockingly good at the role, making me change my mind about her acting, and the visuals were gorgeous. I liked the dwarves actually doing something instead of simply comic relief, and the Queen was even more evil than usual, meeting a more fitting end than most versions. Next was Love's Christmas Journey, a sweet, and thankfully more improved installment in the Love Comes Softly series. I liked the characters, as well as seeing little Aaron all grown up and being a wonderful father, and the end was lovely. After that was The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, an inspiring true story of a woman who risked her life to save Jewish children during the Holocaust. I loved actually seeing the real lady at the end, and that her story managed to have a happy ending after all she endured, and I loved that she and Stefan found each other in the end. The subplot of the man and his son was poignant and deeply sad, too, and the entire story and filming reminded me a lot of my beloved Hidden In Silence or Miracle At Midnight. After that was The Magic Of Ordinary Days, a lovely, old-fashioned film with a slow-moving plot and slow-growing love story that captivated my heart. The characters felt real and the ending was beautiful. Next was the fun western adventure American Outlaws which, while playing fast and loose with history, was action-packed and a treat to watch, especially with Jesse's shooting tricks, the heroic rescues, and multiple explosions. Then was the heartbreaking and beautiful romance The Lost Valentine. I cried more than I have during any film but I loved it, especially Neil and Caroline's love story. Next was the lovely Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, a moving and poignant mix of love story and war drama with a very human aspect.
 
 
feeling: drunk
calliope tune: "Some Memories Just Won't Die"-Marty Robbins
 
 
Kathleen
I'm working my way through season three of Smallville, the only season I hadn't seen yet. Highlights include the fascinating "Extinction" in which an embittered teenager is executing meteor-infected people one by one and ends up shooting Clark with a kryptonite bullet which leads to Jonathan and Martha having to perform home surgery to save his life, and "Whisper" in which Clark is blinded by a piece of meteor rock and discovers his super hearing, with the cute foreshadowing of Clark having to wear glasses as his eyes heal. "Relic" was an unusual mystery in which Clark discovers his father traveled to Earth in 1961 and fell in love with a woman he's accused of having murdered. The story gives a human side to Jor-El who I usually despise and made me see him in a more sympathetic light, as well as giving a fantastic excuse to have Clark with retro clothing and hair. I loved the scene where Jor-El reveals where he's from and then picks up Louise and floats in the stars with her, and their romance was a lovely and tragic fairytale. I loved how everyone's lives were woven together in the past, especially Hiram Kent saving Jor-El from the police, and Lex's grandfather being a murderer, showing the roots of the Luthor family's evil. "Hereafter", a moving and unique episode, features a teenager who can see the way someone will die by touching them, a meteor power that leaves him deeply troubled and afraid of human contact, a situation that poses an intriguing and unsolved question when the boy touches Clark and sees only a cape and light, leading him to wonder whether Clark is immortal. He sees a flash of the school coach committing suicide, but Clark saves the man, changing the future and setting into motion a dangerous chain of events that threaten several lives, the teen's included. The ending with Clark finding Jonathan collapsed in the barn was a superbly filmed and acted finale to a deftly woven story. Running through the episode is another storyline involving Adam, the teen Lana met while recovering from her injury. He has a lot of potential, not the least of which is being the first person in the series to give Lana a swift emotional kick to try to force her to grow up and get over herself, despite being yet another guy to fall for her. His story arc takes a chilling and startling turn when toward the end of the episode the boy, having bumped into him by accident, seems to suggest that Adam had already died, giving a sinister edge to the unknown medicine he's been taking. My favorite episode of the season is the heartbreaking and gorgeous "Memoria" in which Lex, attempting to regain his lost memories, unearths pieces of his tragic childhood, including the death of his infant brother, Julian. The conclusion shocked me and made me cry, and it was one of the most moving episodes I've seen of anything. Lex has finally won me over, and it makes me sad to realize what he'll end up like in only a few seasons.

Season 7 of The Virginian is out on DVD and little has changed this year with the exception of Stacey mysteriously vanishing and new ranchhand David Sutton, a kind and unassuming drifter who settles at Shiloh, stepping into his place. Trampas and he have an easy and wonderful friendship, bringing back something lost when Steve left the show. Clay and Holly Grainger are firmly established as the owners of Shiloh but their relationship with the hands remains strained or forced, and I couldn't help my jaw dropping when Clay threatens to fire Trampas after he gets into a fight. The season has a comfortable but mostly worn feel, as if the writers were short on new ideas and instead reused ones from earlier seasons. However there's still some gems among the rest, including the unusual and intriguing "The Wind Of Outrage" in which the Virginian and Trampas find themselves held prisoner by a group of Frenchmen on the Canadian border and Trampas is as wonderful as usual, the excellent and well crafted "The Stranger", "Nora", a intriguingly twisted tale of a woman attempting to promote her army husband through any means necessary including murder, the delightfully quirky "Big Tiny" and the hilarious "Crime Wave In Buffalo Springs" both of which brought some much needed humor back to the show, and the complex and fascinating "Stopover".

I finally got season four of Merlin and I'm already in love with the knights: Leon, of course, because he's wonderful, and Lancelot as always, but Percival, too, especially after the adorable scene where he finds and rescues the three children, and Elyan for coming to their defense and his speech to Arthur in the season's opener. Arthur has finally transformed into the kind and just king of legend, and for the first time in the series I find myself truly caring about him and warming up to him, especially when he's so gentle with the girl whose family was killed in "The Darkest Hour", and the heartbreaking conversation he has with Merlin at the end of the first part of that episode. I also love that he finally calls Merlin his friend, and seems to care about him, even if he's still awkward at saying it. Bradley James has turned into an incredible actor this season, really impressing me with subtle touches to the character, like the way his voice shakes when he calls for help after Uther is stabbed. There's something strangely off about Merlin, as if he's changed into Emrys and left most of the endearing awkwardness and goofy boyish charm behind, and even his banter with Arthur sometimes lacks the quirky fun it once had. This Merlin is somehow far older than last season's, and the boy who once sobbed over the father he barely knew doesn't shed a single tear for Lancelot, one of his oldest friends and one of the few people with whom he could be himself and not have to hide his magic. And Lancelot...I've forgiven the writers for many things when it came to Merlin's jaw-dropping disregard for the core concepts of Arthurian Legend because I loved and appreciated the clever reimagining and easy to become attached to characters of the series but that's where I draw the line. Santiago Cabrera's Lancelot is my very favorite version of my favorite character in Arthurian Legend, so obviously I wasn't looking forward to seeing his death, but I expected something more noble and heartwrenching. I expected to feel more than numb resignation when he walked through the veil, and for the focus to linger on his sacrifice and the grief left by it instead of instantly shifting off into Arthur and Gwen's romance and Merlin trying to hide his secret. Lancelot deserved far better than to be written off and forgotten when he'd worn out his usefulness to the writers who only have eyes for Arthur/Gwen, and to head straight into the next episode and have Arthur's birthday party and everyone laughing and happy felt horribly cruel. If that wasn't enough there's the dreadful "Lancelot Du Lac" which manages to make Lancelot's beautiful last name into something twisted while corrupting and almost destroying the strength of his character and decency. I was disappointed with the season's finale "The Sword In The Stone". Despite playing fast and loose with the legends Merlin usually has an impressive way of introducing my favorite things such as the Round Table, Arthur's coronation, and Lancelot, but Arthur pulling the sword, one of the most awe-inspiring moments in the legends, was sadly ruined by having it be caused by Merlin's magic instead of Arthur's destiny, casting all the glory on Merlin. Tristan and Isolde's love shone through, and both the actors were very well cast, but it took me a while to adjust to them being smugglers. Arthur was hilarious when Merlin took his will but I couldn't help feeling uncomfortable with the idea, even played for laughs. Between that and killing Agravaine, Merlin seems to have crossed a dark line this season that makes me sad to watch. Also, as much as I enjoy the idea of the people of Camelot as fugitives, the story felt like a rehash of last season's finale. But there's still bright spots in the season with the adorable baby dragon and the superb episode "His Father's Son" in which Arthur truly stepped into the king's shoes and proves himself a far better man than Uther. Things finally get back to normal in "A Servant Of Two Masters", a hilarious tale where enchanted Merlin comes up with way after way to kill Arthur that always fails in the end. The hug was wonderful, as well as Arthur's determination to find Merlin, even if the episode gives me even more reason to hate Morgana, the worst and most evil version of the character yet. "The Secret Sharer" is also incredible, a beautiful glimpse at Arthur and Merlin's future destiny, as well as tender Merlin and Gaius moments and a surprisingly sweet scene with Arthur and Gaius. Arthur and Merlin's banter at the beginning is finally the way it should be, and I couldn't stop giggling through the whole scene. My favorite episode of the season was the deeply moving "Herald Of A New Age", for it's focus on Elyan and the incredible acting from Bradley James during the scene in which Arthur confronts and makes his peace with the spirit. I sobbed when the "child" hugged and forgave him, and the episode was perfect in every way. Next on my list of Arthurian adaptations to watch was the '60s musical Camelot, and once I got past the strangeness of everyone randomly bursting into song I completely fell in love with it. It's a gorgeous, flawless film that manages to capture everything I adore about the love triangle of the legends while not focusing so much on the magic and sorcery. I teared up through most of it, and sobbed at the ending. Arthur came across as somewhat silly at first but he surprised me by turning in a moving performance starting with his heartbreaking monologue when he discovers Lancelot and Guinevere are in love, and by the end of the film I loved his portrayal, capturing Arthur's heart and also his caring for both his wife and knight in the scene where Lancelot saves Guinevere from execution. Guinevere wasn't how I picture her but she did a superb job at the role, and her slowly growing love for Lancelot was beautiful and convincing, as well as perfectly pulling off her tragic last scene. Lancelot was fantastic, one of the very best takes on the role I've seen, managing to carefully balance the flaws and virtues of the knight while making it easy to see why Guinevere would fall in love with him. He had gorgeous blue eyes and a French accent, too, and the scene where he brings the dead knight back to life was so powerful it sent chills up my spine. Following that was King Arthur, the most unusual and fascinating version so far. Despite setting and style being completely shifted, and Arthur as a Roman soldier who leads a ragtag but skilled group of knights, everyone was easily recognizable, with Arthur's strength of character and caring heart shining through. I loved the clever way the film took key moments such as the sword in the stone and made them believable in a historical and non-magical context, and the amount of research and training that went into making the film was impressive, especially how well the actors swordfought. Lancelot, as usual, gets the best scenes and lines, as well as two swords, and his fate, however foreshadowed, deeply saddened me, as did Tristan's tragic and horrific death. I did prefer the alternate ending to the one they used which felt too happy and weak for an otherwise powerful and grim film, but the beautiful scene of the horses running put tears in my eyes. I also loved the costumes and the stunning music, especially the haunting theme. Last, I saw Knights Of The Round Table, an extremely faithful version that finally included Elaine, my favorite female character from Arthurian Legend. She was wonderful, sweet, lovely, and perfectly cast, and my heart ached for her tragic love for Lancelot. The film also finally had Galahad as Elaine's and Lancelot's son, played by the most adorable baby ever, and there was a heart-tugging scene where Guinevere, tears running down her cheeks, picks him up and cuddles him. Percival was also as I imagine him, and I enjoyed his friendship with and trust in Lancelot. My favorite scene was Lancelot throwing Excalibur into the ocean, gorgeous and haunting. 

I finally watched Robin Of Sherwood's season two finale "The Greatest Enemy" which I'd been dreading. I already knew what was going to happen but, as I expected, it didn't make it any easier. It was gut-wrenching to watch, knowing that this time Robin wouldn't get out alive, but his actual death scene was unique and beautifully handled, not letting the viewers actually see Robin die, only the arrows released before cutting to a new scene. I'm still not sure why he didn't kill the sheriff with his last arrow but the way he smiles and shoots it off into the sky was incredibly poignant, as was his goodbye to Marion and the scene between Marion and Much when they realize he's dead. I liked the mirror of the beginning, where the men shoot the arrows and remember Robin each in their own way, showing how he touched each of them. Then I started season three, and despite the fact that I'd already made up my mind to dislike the new guy, I just couldn't. Two episodes and I was already head over heels for him, even if he'll never take Robin of Loxley's place in my heart. But Robert is adorable and so very sweet, and he won me over with how humble he was and determined to never replace Robin as well as how he managed to win each of the men over. I've accepted him as the leader, but he's still Robert and not Robin to me, because Robin of Loxley was Robin Hood, the only one who's ever fit how I imagined and won me over at the first moment. But I love Robert, too, and his episodes are amazing like "The Inheritance" which made me all fangirly over the fantastic combination of Robin Hood and Arthurian Legend when the band defends the castle of Camelot and Robert is asked to protect the round table. He's also adorable with children, and his dimples never fail to make me grin. By the last episode he'd won me over so much he's become my favorite character, and the finale "Time Of The Wolf" broke my heart as much as "The Greatest Enemy" did, only in a different way. It was an unusual but fitting end, somehow, closing Marion's story while still leaving the possibility of a happy ending, and even if I wanted to shake her it was an uncanny parallel to the pilot where she's planning to enter the convent. I heard that if the series had continued Marion would eventually have come to her senses, returned to Robert and married him, and I think to picture that as the ending. There was so much to love in the finale, just the same, with the final flashbacks, the last "nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten", and especially the adorable scene where Little John, so happy to see Robert alive and well, grabs him from behind in a huge hug that nearly crushes and knocks Robert over, even if he grins back. Robin Of Sherwood left me with a tiny crush on Jason Connery, though, so I've been watching some of his other roles, and it blew my mind to realize he was Dominic in Smallville. I even tolerated the Sixth Doctor to see his episode of Doctor Who "Vengeance On Varos". Six, while still being egotistical and occasionally unfeeling, was surprisingly good to Peri, and I especially liked his approach to rescuing her when he shoots out the controls and then imprints her own identity back on her. The story was refreshingly unique and good, too, about a grim planet where the people's "entertainment" consists of televised torture and executions. Jason Connery's character, Jondar, is a rebel who's been tortured and is moments away from execution when the Doctor and Peri rescue him and his wife who's being held prisoner. The four of them wind up in the midst of a series of deadly traps but manage to escape them all. I couldn't help giggling and shaking my head at the Doctor hauling Peri around like a sack of grain, just like Five carried her but at least he had the excuse of being sick, while Jondar ever so gently carries and sets down his wife. After that was the adorable Puss In Boots, a perfect adaptation of the fairytale and I couldn't stop smiling through the entire film. Jason Connery as Corin looked impossibly young in it, younger than Robert despite it being filmed later, and he was so precious all the way through, cuddling little Puss, singing, dancing, and winning the heart of the princess. Human!Puss was hilarious, too, and I loved how the princess wasn't a damsel in distress and accepted Corin instantly. Then was Casablanca Express, an action WWII adventure that put him as Cooper, a soldier defending a train from Nazis. He was beaten up and wounded and still managed to save the day and I loved his determination as well as felt his anger at how the military leaders used him and the others, including his friend who died, as pawns in a spy game. Best of all, he used a crossbow as his weapon, the first war film I've seen with bows and arrows, and I kept seeing flashes of Robert in him. His girlfriend was awesome, too, tough and able to distract Germans, send radio signals, and still run to him and support him out at the end. I also found the people on the train fascinating, from the talkative little girl to the tragic and touching study of the Arab and the priest.   

I'm working my way through season eight of The X-Files and it's so wrong without Mulder being there with Scully, and her heart breaking is painful to watch. I sobbed when she goes into Mulder's apartment, hugs his shirt, and curls up in his bed. The feel of the series has changed, too, giving it a dark, almost dangerous edge that Mulder and Scully's relationship always lightened, and even the Lone Gunmen and the return of Gibson Praise can't seem to make me feel better. But there's John Doggett, possibly the character with the worst introduction in the history of the show which makes me want to do exactly what Scully does and toss a cup of water in his face, and yet curiously grows on me with each episode. He can't compare to Mulder, of course, but there's a good heart beneath the tough exterior, and he cares about Scully. The more I see of him the more I grow to love him. Scully and he work well together, and even though I'm all the way behind Mulder/Scully, I get why others ship them. The episodes are as good as ever, including the stunning "Invocation" which provides insight into Doggett's past against a haunting storyline. The music alone was enough to make me tear up, and the last part was deeply poignant. Other superb episodes include the deeply moving and unusual "The Gift" which gives Doggett a chance to shine as well as making the "monster" far more human than the humans misusing him. I found the concept of the soul eater fascinating, and Doggett's death freeing the creature was incredibly poignant, as well as Mulder's refusal to add to it's suffering. The season's storyline of Supersoldiers and Mulder's abduction and return is fascinating and very well done, even if it saddens me to see good, caring Billy Myles turned into an alien. Krycek's death was horrible and painful to watch, and as much as I loved him I can't help hating Skinner a little for killing him, since regardless of anything else, Krycek was trying to fight the aliens and save earth.

I discovered films of the Eloise books that I loved as a kid and gave a try to Eloise At Christmastime. It was perfect, as hilarious and adorable as the stories, and the little actress who played Eloise was amazing. I don't think I've ever seen a more talented, believable child actor/actress in anything. I loved her cute relationship with Bill, who was very sweet, and her determination to see him get the girl he loved. Nanny was very funny, too, and so good with Eloise. The plaza was exactly as I'd imagined and everything, all shown from Eloise's point of view, had a wonderful sense of childhood magic. After that was Eloise At The Plaza which was hilarious and nearly as cute as the other. The ending with the water pouring through the mail drop onto Miss Stickler was perfectly done, and I loved the romance subplot against Eloise and Leon's adorable friendship which made me want a grown-up Eloise story where she marries him. I've always had a bit of a weakness for The Three Musketeers and finally got around to seeing a film version from 1993. While not faithful by any means it was fun and perfectly cast and I grinned through almost all of it. Aramis was always my favorite and I loved him here, a perfect mix of priest and warrior. D'Artagnan was a little young but cute and quite the fighter. I loved his backflips during the swordfight, and how he finally manages to get the guy who killed his father and win the girl at the same time. The ending was hilarious and perfect. I also watched the 2011 version, and while I vastly prefer the '93 one, especially it's more indepth picture of the musketeers, I loved the steampunk and pirate feel of the film, especially the amazing airships. In other new films I saw The Other Boleyn Girl which, while playing fast and loose with history, was a gorgeous, deeply poignant tale. I've always been interested in Mary so it was a treat to see a portrayal of her, and I loved and mourned for George. Anne was nothing like I'd imagined, but it was easy to see how she'd capture the king's eye, and I grew to both like and pity her by the end. Henry the Eighth was much as I'd pictured: enigmatic, handsome, and obsessed with the hope of a male heir. I adored William Stafford and loved that he and Mary found happiness in the end. The costumes and settings were gorgeous, and the ending poignant. After that was 2009's Star Trek, a surprisingly good reboot. I liked Jim a lot, and Chekov was precious, both wonderful characters. Everyone seemed more realistic and human as well, and the special effects were stunning, everything in space coming to life. Star Trek Into Darkness was even better, a dazzling, special effects-laden tale with a heart. I loved the parallels between Jim saving Spock at the beginning to Jim's sacrifice, and Spock, who I thought was all right in the first film completely won me over, as well as shattering my heart in the scene where he cries, and then puts his hand up in the salute against Jim's through the glass. Chekov was a darling, worrying me terribly when he wore a red shirt through much of the film, so I was happy to see him switch back in the end, but I loved him coming to the rescue. Scotty was hilarious, Bones was wonderful, figuring out how to save Jim - I loved that the tribble lived, too! - and Khan was a terrifying villain. Next was the adorable and touching Heart and Souls which had me laughing hysterically one minute and tearing up the next. The conclusion was beautiful, the singing fun, and Robert Downey Jr. was both hilarious and completely adorable, as well as showing an incredible range of talent. After that was the sweet and touching The Decoy Bride which made me tear up and laugh by turns as James and Katie's adorable relationship grew. Next was the gorgeous Warm Bodies which was nothing like I'd expected. It was a little scary, for sure, but I didn't expect such a beautiful love story, or a moving, hopeful ending. I adored R and how he slowly became alive, as well as his relationship with Julie, and the outcome was poignant and deeply touching as the humans all brought the zombies to life. Then was the unusual and haunting Memoirs Of A Geisha which was a tragic but hopeful story. The characters fascinated me and the voice-over and scenery was beautiful. Next was the surprisingly spooky The Happening, the last of M. Night Shyamalan's films I hadn't seen. Creepy moments aside, though, it had the hallmarks of his films: everyday people thrown in extraordinary circumstances who come together. I loved watching the characters grow and change, and despite the jolting, bittersweet ending, I enjoyed the plot. Next was Jack The Giant Slayer, a quite faithful and entertaining version of the fairytale. Nicholas Hoult was excellent at the role, making me love Jack for the first time ever, and I liked the added romance plot as well as the background of the giants's war and the magical crown, and I loved both Isabelle and Elmont, as well as the cute, intriguing ending. Next was the 2000s remake of The Time Machine which impressed and disappointed me on various levels, both as a fan of the book and of the 1960 version. Unlike Rod Taylor's instantly appealing time traveler, Guy Pearce took a while to grow on me, but his transition from somewhat geeky and awkward professor to hero of the story, and I liked that Mara, unlike the more innocent, child-like Weena, was able to hold her own, protect her brother, and even try to rescue Alexander. The world was more richly detailed, with the new elements of the fragmented moon, and the unique nest-like houses that the future people lived in I loved the happy ending, overlapping the two time periods and providing closure for Alexander's housekeeper, and the added background story of Alexander losing his first love was an interesting touch. I also adored the nods to the original film such as the design of the machine, the clocks, Alan Young's cameo, and the fact that the film was directed by HG Wells' own great-grandson which made for some fascinating ideas. After that was the moving and unusually haunting Jakob The Liar which found surprisingly beautiful. Robin Williams was startingly good as Jakob, a perfect mix of gentleness and quite resistance against the Nazis, all while keeping everyone's spirits up. I loved the simplicity of the story, Jakob's friendship with Lina, and the fairytale-like ending that left their fate up to your mind..I'd like to go with what I saw because it made me happy to think Mischa and his fiancee survived and would go on to care for and raise Lina.

In new animated films I saw the quite adorable Turbo. I loved the title character and his friendships with both the people and other snails. The story was cute, and the race was perfect, as well as the wonderful ending. Next was The Swan Princess III: Mystery Of The Enchanted Treasure, a cute and lovely sequel to the fabulous The Swan Princess. I loved seeing life in the castle post their marriage - too bad they didn't add in a little child for them, though - and the story was both funny and touching, poignant in parts such as Derek's grief when he thinks he's lost Odette, and hilarious in the scenes like the tango dance. I followed that with The Swan Princess II: Escape From Castle Mountain, and I loved Derek's mother getting a larger role, as well as Jean-Bob finally getting to turn into a prince if only for one scene. I loved the song "The Magic Of Love", and Derek and Odette's romance, while a little shaky at first, quickly found it's footing as she saved him over and over and he rescued her. After that was Bartok the Magnificent, a spin-off to Anastasia which, while failing to live up to it's gorgeous original film, still managed to be quite entertaining, mostly due to it's darling hero. Next was the beautifully animated Joseph King Of Dreams, a touching story with lovely and clever moments - I especially loved the tree that grew in the dungeon, and his future wife bringing him food in prison - that I really enjoyed. Last was the touching fantasy The Nutcracker Prince. Pavlova was endearing, Hans and Clara's friendship was adorable, and I loved the happy ending.
 
 
calliope tune: "Total Eclipse Of The Heart"-Bonnie Tyler
feeling: calm