Kathleen
I discovered the amazing 1994 miniseries The Stand and have slowly been working my way through it. I love the slow pace, the dystopian yet hopeful world, the themes of good vs. evil, and the wonderfully diverse characters, especially Nick - I'm still broken over his death and Tom. Stu is my favorite, and I love how he's just an ordinary man, nothing special or chosen like the worn out trope nowadays, and yet such a good, decent guy you can't help loving him. He had me worried quite a bit near the end but I'm so happy he pulled through and got his happy ending with Frannie and the baby.

I also saw the Polish miniseries version of Quo Vadis and while the start took me a bit to catch my interest I grew to love it. The characters were all intriguing and the film had a realistic edge to the historical details. I loved how Marcus changed over the story and grew into a kind, decent person, and I was happy to see Lygia and he get their happy ending.

I went to see the new Cinderella in theatres and it was absolutely beautiful. As much as I enjoy re-imagined fairytales, there's nothing as flawless as the true story told faithfully. The actors were all perfect, and I adored Cinderella, Kit, the Captain, and all the wonderful animals, especially the dear little mice. The Fairy Godmother was delightful, and the special effects were stunning, the perfect balance of real and CGI, and the costumes, especially the dress for the ball were breathtaking. I loved the gentle added touches like Kit and his father and the Stepmother discovering the glass slipper, and the ending was beyond wonderful.

I've heard about The Matrix since it was popular when I was a kid so I finally caved in and watched it. It took a few minutes to grab me but once I did I fell in love with it. As much as I get tired of the main character being "the One", I adored Neo, for his skills, confusion, and incredible fashion sense - I seriously want to steal those coats. I loved his relationship with Trinity, too, and Morpheus with his unwavering faith in him. The action scenes were amazing; I loved the slow motion photography of the bullets and the awesome fight scenes, and I couldn't stop laughing during the scene when Neo goes through the metal detector and shows how many guns he has. Next was The Matrix Reloaded which I enjoyed as much as the first one. I loved the parallels with Neo saving Trinity's life to when she saved his, and Neo's new skills, especially his ability to see all the coding and to fly, were awesome. Last was The Matrix Revolutions, a flawed but poignant finale to the trilogy. I was saddened by Trinity's senseless death, and Neo's ambiguous fate but I loved how the story was tied up in a bittersweet ending, and the last scene, with the Oracle and other characters, was beautiful.

The next Flowers In the Attic movie, If There Be Thorns, aired, and I loved it, far more than the last and a little bit more than the first. I liked seeing Cathy and Chris as adults, hiding their secrets while still deeply in love, even as the tragedy of their pasts continues to impact their children. I liked some resolution and even redemption for their mother in the end, and how Jory accepted and defended his parents after all. The little girl was precious, too. Next was the final movie, Seeds Of Yesterday which crushed me. I liked that the second generation was finally able to break free of the past and find their happy endings, especially Jory who more than deserved it, but I secretly wanted Bart to get what he deserved. Cathy and Chris made my heart ache, and it broke me that they weren't able to be happy in the end, with Chris's death, and Cathy never free of the shadow of the attic. The comments about yellow and the flowers were poignant, and the ending with Cathy finally seeing the paper flowers made me tear up.

Out of curiosity I gave a try to one of the older Anne Of Green Gables movies, starting with the sequel 1940's Anne Of Windy Poplars and was delighted by it. While it took me a bit to adjust to the new cast, I grew to love the sweet yet spunky version of Anne, the gentle, steady Gilbert, and dear little Betty. I adored that Gilbert and Anne took her in at the ending, and the setting, especially the picnic was beautifully idyllic. I also loved the side characters, like Jabez, and Matey, as well as Katherine and Tony's romance. The story was perfectly done, too, and I loved every minute. After that I went back and watched the 1934 Anne Of Green Gables and while it wasn't as good as the sequel it had some intriguing twists on the story that I enjoyed. I was a bit puzzled by how they switched the backstory and had Gilbert's mother jilt Matthew instead of his father jilting Marilla, but I liked the forbidden romance Anne and Gilbert had, especially the adorable scene where he gives her a locket. Likewise it was strange to have Diana be Rachel's daughter - I suppose the movie, being short, felt it easier to simply combine the characters of Mrs. Berry and Rachel. Gilbert was super adorable, though, even as different as he was, and Anne was even more overly imaginative than usual. I loved the ending, too, especially since they had Matthew live and Marilla accept Gilbert.

In other new films I saw The Lovely Bones which was beautiful and haunting. I adore odd, poignant films and it put a lump in my throat as well as dazzling me with some gorgeous scenery and nostalgia for the '70s. Every character was fascinating and I wanted to spend more time with all of them, but I loved the way the story tied up with a bittersweet, perfect ending. Next was The Kingdom Of Heaven, a gorgeous and often poignant epic. I loved the characters, especially King Baldwin and Balian, and was fascinated by the history I knew very little about. The filming was stunning, and so many scenes made me cry, especially Saladin letting everyone go and then even pausing to right the cross on the altar. Next was Dorian Gray and despite a slow start and straying from the book it ended up being an incredible adaptation. Ben Barnes was stunning as Dorian, capturing the grief, wildness, and insanity of the character while still making me feel sorry for him. I loved the style and effects of the painting, and the filming and scenery was gorgeous. Next was Lorenzo's Oil, a heartbreaking but inspiring story that brought tears to my eyes. I loved the slow pace, gentle, but amazing acting, especially from the little child who played Lorenzo, and the couple's devotion and dedication to trying to save their son. The end was deeply poignant but beautiful. Next was the heartbreaking and thought-provoking My Sister's Keeper which explored a difficult concept and featured stunning acting and realistic characters. I cried so much throughout but the ending was beautifully poignant and moving. Next was the strange and gorgeous La Jetée. I could clearly see the inspiration for my beloved 12 Monkeys, and the style, all in still photographs, was surprisingly non-off-putting, with the narration and images drawing me in instantly and keeping me fascinated to the end. I loved the stark feel of the story, the commentary on small details and sensations, and the poignant ending. After that I saw the beautiful and poignant I Am Sam. The actors, especially little Dakota Fanning, were amazing, and the characters stole my heart. It made me cry and laugh throughout and I loved the ending. Next was the beautiful and heartbreaking La Rafle. I sobbed at the ending and throughout, and was deeply moved by the story.

I'd always meant to see a Rudolph Valentino movie and I finally watched a few of his films this week, starting with The Sheik. While it was a bit over the top I loved the adventure of the plot, and the setting, as well as the characters. He isn't the best silent film actor but he's likeable and his films are very enjoyable.

In new animated films I saw The Lego Movie which was surprisingly good and hilarious, especially Batman's song and line about "only working in black". I loved how it didn't take itself seriously, and the concept was creative and a lot of fun.

I've spent the past week watching the new series Daredevil and it's been a treat, to finally have my superhero get such a good adaptation. I adore the characters, especially Matt, Foggy, and Claire, and Ben and Elena's deaths broke my heart. The writing was amazing, reminded me of all that's missing in most shows of the genre, and I loved that Matt never killed anyone. There were so many beautiful touches: the theme and intro, Matt's Catholic past and conversations with his priest, Karen's realistic reaction to killing someone, and Matt's fiery image of the world.

I've started watching the new Poldark show and it's lovely so far. Aidan Turner pulls off the broody, gothic antihero type nicely, and Demelza is adorable. I'm intrigued by the rivalry and fortunes within the family, as well as the social classes.

Along the same lines, I discovered the glorious Italian romance Elisa Di Rivombrosa and despite my pickiness of period drama I was instantly captivated. The actors and characters grabbed me right away, and the gorgeous setting and lyrical Italian just adds to the feel. Elisa is likeable, and Fabrizio, while not always likeable, is compelling - and on a shallow note has mesmerizing blue eyes - and it's easy to see why they would be drawn to each other and swept off their feet and out of their worlds. The parallels between them and the tragedy of the doctor and his wife make me worried, but I'm intrigued. I also like the other characters, like Fabrizio's mother and dear little neice.

I'm on season two of The Musketeers and despite a bit of a shaky start to the season compared to last, it seems to be finding it's feet. Aramis is taking center stage for the most part, which I don't mind, and I love how he tries to be there for his son, even if he can't be a real father to him. I'm relieved that the Cardinal is gone, but detest his replacement even more than I hated the Cardinal. "Through a Glass Darkly", the best so far, does a perfect job of giving scenes to all the characters, backed against a compelling, nail-biting plot. I'm thrilled D'Artagnan and Constance are back together, and intrigued by the twist in Athos and Milady's relationship. The two part finale, especially "Trial and Punishment" was stunning and the season's best, restoring much of what's been missing since season one. I loved the character growth in the episode, especially Milady saving Aramis and offering to have Athos leave with her, and I liked how their relationship changed even if they're now separated. D'Artagnan saving and marrying Constance made me incredibly happy, even if I'm sad Aramis didn't attend the wedding. I also wish LeMay had survived, since I liked him, and he was so kind to Constance. As sad as it was, I'm grateful the story arc of Aramis and Anne and their son is now resolved, and I'm looking forward to seeing them as the child grows up. Ryan Gage's acting was amazing, as the King is usually a difficult role, and in this episode more than usual. I also liked that they went with the route of Aramis becoming a monk, even though I know it won't last. I'm very intrigued by the war storyline for next season, too.

Onto part two of season four of Once Upon A Time and as much as I miss the last story arc I'm slowly starting to appreciate this one. I love Ursula, especially her backstory, and I loved that she was the first to get her happy ending. My favorite thing is August being back, though, and even if it isn't forever I'm just so happy to have him brightening my screen again, since he was one of the first characters I adored in the show and the one I missed the most. Killian's storyline continues to make me smile and cry, and I've fallen in love with shipping Emma and he - how can I resist when he views her as his happy ending? I'm bitter over what the writers have done to Belle, though, since she seems so OOC, and I hate how they've paired her up with the Knave and destroyed two of my OTPs at once. Rumplestiltskin, even evil, still never fails to break my heart, and I can't help hoping for Belle and he to reunite. "Best Laid Plans" finally reveals the Author, and despite my sadness at it not being August - or even a character we knew - I love the concept of it being a title that passes down (as well as the cute little nod to Walt Disney). August continues to be a treasure, even though his illness worried me, and I love his friendship with Emma. The revelation of Maleficent's daughter wasn't a surprise but it was heartbreaking to see her lose her due to a horrible choice made by Snow and Charming, who continue to corrupt themselves. Rumplestiltskin finally got a scene with Belle, even if she was asleep, and managed to reduce me to tears in only a few lines (I'm still bitter over what she did to him since, even if he was doing something wrong his intentions made sense after all he'd suffered being controlled and losing his son). Onto "Heart Of Gold", and I don't think I've been so disappointed by an ep since the Neverland arc. As much as I loved the glimpse of Oz, there was no need to bring Zelena back. I hated her, hated her storyline, and it was long resolved. She serves no point other than to bring Rumplestiltskin more pain, and provide the writers with the laziest way ever of bringing Robin and Regina back together. Marion deserved better, certainly in regards to the original story, and definitely in regards to Robin himself who the show continues to ruin for me, even if his giving Knave the bottle and deleting Regina from his phone shows that he's improving and slowly becoming a better person. Still Roland remains adorable, and Rumplestiltskin's storyline regarding the damage to his heart from all the evil he's done is intriguing. While "Sympathy for the De Vil" failed to make me feel anything for Cruella and I disliked most of the plot, I liked seeing a better side of the Author and a fascinating 1920s world. Rumplestiltskin and Belle's scene together was heartbreaking, even as wonderful as it was to see them together again, and I'm fascinated by the storyline of Rumplestiltskin's blackening heart. "Lily" was an odd but enjoyable ep, showing Emma's continuing journey to darkness, but it's best scene was Rumplestiltskin and the Knave working together to restore Belle's heart, and Rumplestiltskin giving up Belle to keep her safe and happy. I still hope they can find a way back to each other, but I love that he was willing to leave her alone, instead of harming the Knave. "Operation Mongoose", one of the very best episodes of the series so far, was stunning, giving me what I've longed for but had never hoped would happen: a glimpse into an upside down version of fairytale land. I adored the subtle twists on the characters: Charming's "I'll always find you" even as Snow controls his heart, Snow and Regina's storylines flipped and twisted, and especially Killian, even as a coward with no fighting skills or memory of Emma, dying to save her. I cried when they finally reunited with an adorable hug, and I was so happy Emma finally told him she loved him. I was sad there wasn't a true love's kiss between Belle and Rumplestiltskin, but it thrilled me to hear Belle say she still loves him, and to finally have Rumplestiltskin free of the darkness and the dagger.

I'm on season five of Hercules: the Legendary Journeys and Hercules being separated from Iolaus is killing me. I'm intrigued and heart-broken by the glimpses we get of who Hercules could become without Iolaus - bitter, violent, and dangerous, and even when he starts to care about and help people again, he still seems so different and sad. I enjoy Iolaus II, but he makes me miss Iolaus terribly. But he's very sweet, and I love that he got his happy ending and even found true love. Still the plots are superb this season, and it's great fun to see the show expand it's mythology into other countries, including Celtic and Norse. I especially loved seeing the myth of Baldr come to life. The final episode was beautiful, and I even cried a little when Iolaus learns he can stay alive with Hercules.

I gave a try to Nikita and am quite enjoying it so far. Aaron Stanford is wonderful as Birkhoff, and his friendship with Nikita is adorable. Michael is my favorite, and I ship Nikita and he. I love the gradual growth of his character across season one until he breaks away from Division and joins with Nikita. I'm up to the end of season three now and saddened by the direction the show took. Without the plot of taking down Division the story fails to find its footing and I think it would have been so much better if they'd kept the original storyline all the way to the end since Percy's death would have been the perfect finale. I much preferred Percy as the bad guy with his subtle and creepy manipulation instead of Amanda who comes across as showy, annoying, and over-acting instead of frightening. The worst changes are to the characters, though. Gone is the united, makeshift family of the first two seasons as even the relationships are affected: Nikita and Alex are at each others' throats, and Michael and Nikita have half the scenes together they used to. Michael seems cold and distant, unable to come to terms with the loss of his hand, Sonya, forever annoying, gets far too much screentime, Ryan has gone from a sweetheart to hardened boss, and Nikita is violent, harsh, and much like the people she once fought. Only Birkhoff, the sunshine of the show, seems himself. Sean was never one of my favorites but his death seemed cruel and only to cause Alex, who's already lost too much, more pain. And while the characters come back together by season's end, Owen's storyarc ends tragically when he becomes who he used to be, a hardened killer. I adored Owen, and while it helped that he retains the slightest glimmer of Owen, it's horrible to see him disappear into Sam. Still I'm glad he got so much screentime this season and his snark was the highlight of the episodes.

In other new shows I finally got a chance to see the '60s series It's A Man's World with it's fabulous cast (Randy! Michael Burns! Glenn Corbett! and more), and it was lovely, a gentle and often poignant story.

Also new is The Messengers, and while it's a bit cheesy at times and some of the characters (Vera and Rose) have yet to grow on me, I'm enjoying it. I love Joshua, so far, who seems like a decent, nice guy trying to do the right thing, and Erin and Amy are adorable. Raul is my absolute favorite, and I love his interactions with Erin and Amy. I'm curious as to why only Joshua and Raul's gifts hurt them when the other's, not even Erin's healing, seems to affect her, and looking forward to seeing who the seventh angel will be.

I've started watching IZombie and while it's not perfect I love it's quirky, offbeat humor and loveable characters. Ravi is adorable, Liv is so easy to relate to, and Lowell is a gift that keeps on giving - plus it's wonderful to see Bradley James on my screen again.

Season two of Turn has started and as much as I enjoyed the first season, I'm delighted to see they've fixed the problems that annoyed me before and made it 100% better. Ben is still his adorable, lovely self (and there was even a few scenes of him with his hair down!), Caleb remains flawless, and Abe, free of the dreadful Anna/Abe romance, has finally settled into a somewhat likeable character. I love the greater emphasis on spying, along with some 1700s gadgets, and the interaction between the spies, things that were all very lacking before. Andre's character growth is a treat, and I've learned to enjoy him, and feel deeply for him - his reaction after realizing he's lost Peggy made me tear up. The new character, Benedict Arnold and Peggy, especially, are interesting, and I love how the personal drama has taken a backseat to the war. I'm fascinated and heartbroken by Hewlett's journey from a dreamer to a broken fugitive, and surprised by how much I've grown to love and root for him.

When Calls the Heart has also begun season two, and as happy as I am to see Jack again, I'm a little disappointed by the many changes, especially the costume and hairstyle updates that give a strangely modern feel. I do like seeing more of Elizabeth and Jack's families, though, as well as the effect that the changes, including the new name, will have on the town. I loved DeWitt and Mary's wedding, but miss the other characters, and am sad by how much Elizabeth has changed and become less likeable. The new characters are a mixed bag as well: I despise Charles, and Elizabeth's other sister, am ambivalent toward Julie, enjoy Tom but only when he's with Jack - the brothers give me so many feels - and surprisingly adore Rosemary whose hilarious antics cheer me up. I'm also rooting for her love story, and I hope Abigail ends up with the pastor and ditches her current, dreadful love interest.

I've been keeping up with Olympus and it's promising so far, growing slowly into the type of mythological drama tv hasn't had in many years, a little cheesy, a little dark, and a lot of fun. I like the main character and the mystery regarding the curse on his name, as well as his relationship with the Oracle. I like it's different approach to the myths, as well as the riddle inside the mercenary.

While I'm far from a fan of Agents Of SHIELD, I've been keeping up with it in case there are tie-ins with the rest of MCU, and it's given me at least one treat in the form of Luke Mitchell. It's so lovely to see him again and his character, Lincoln, is great fun with his electric powers.

Officially the last person to do so, I've fallen in love with the short-lived series Firefly and it's brilliant, a perfect fusion of thrown together family, fantastic one-liners, and flawless blend of sci-fi spaceships and western music and gun-twirling. I adore the characters, especially Mal, Simon, and River, and all the relationships are heart-warming, especially Simon and River's.

I finally finished watching the complete series of Tour Of Duty and I'd forgotten how much I loved the show and how it handled complex issues, as well as how human it made it's characters. Anderson remains a sweetheart, Goldman never fails to make me cry - especially the episodes with his father, and Purcell breaks my heart time and again. But in watching the last two seasons for the first time I discovered an unexpected treat in Johnny McKay. He's the sort of character I seem to fall for instantly - cocky, brash, always smiling, and a heart of gold, and I knew I'd adore him the instant he blasted rock and roll out of the speakers of his chopper. He's a delight and has quickly become my favorite character.

The second season of Girl Meets World has started and it's brought with it even more old faces from Boy Meets World, the best of which is Eric. Eric was always my favorite and he's as hilarious and loveable as ever, and it make me so nostalgic and happy to see him again.

I'm working my way through season three of Teen Wolf and it's my favorite so far. The show has finally found it's feet with it's division of screentime between characters, and, as is the case with every supernatural show I enjoy, the more characters who know, the better the show is. Without having to waste time hiding the truth the characters get to work together and the plot flows so much better. I also love the bits of humor this season, and the writing has improved so much. Scott continues to be a sweetheart, Derek is still wonderful and makes me cry (I sobbed at his backstory episode), the adults are fabulous, and I'm learning to love Stiles. Also there's Kira, one of my favorite characters in the show, and after two and a half seasons of annoying Allison drama I love that Scott finally has a sweet, kind girlfriend. I'm also glad it's Allison's final season, but I'm sad it's also Isaac's, since I like him. Braeden is awesome, and I actually like Malia and find her backstory fascinating.

I've started watching the later seasons of ER and completely fallen in love with Luka. It's wonderful to see Goran Visnjic in something else, and I adore Luka's relationship with Abby, and watching as he slowly finds happiness. His backstory breaks my heart, and I sobbed my way through the stunning episode "The Lost", especially when he starts praying.

I've completely fallen in love with the soundtrack of La Légende du Roi Arthur, especially the gorgeous "Auprès d'un Autre" and it's music video.
 
 
calliope tune: "Do You Believe In Magic"-Lovin Spoonful
feeling: ditzy
 
 
Kathleen
26 March 2014 @ 12:10 pm
I just got back from seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and it was brilliant, a perfect meshing of spy games and history which catered to every one of my favorite things. The technology was more amazing than ever with the holograms, the face change, the "living" computer, and the spooky ways of Hydra. Steve, happily, was his usual noble, good self, and my heart broke for him as he struggles to come to terms with the current world, his disillusionment with SHIELD, the betrayals all around him,and the loss of Bucky. I loved the subtle touches to his character: the 40s music on record in his apartment, the fact that he carries Peggy's picture, and more, and his gymnastics and shield-flinging were even more awesome than in earlier films. I sobbed when he visits the now elderly Peggy and she finally recognizes him. Natasha was wonderful, a flawless contrast and comparison to Steve and I loved their friendship and her constant match-making. I grew to love Sam almost instantly, both for his kind heart as well as his fantastic suit and wings, and I love that Steve now has a friend and ally. The curly-haired Shield agent was also wonderful; I wish he'd had a larger part because I loved how heroic and ordinary he was. Bucky destroyed me. I loved him in the first film and seeing what became of him, and how mutely accepting he was of the cruelty from the people who brainwashed him hurt horribly. Steve and his fight was brutal but showed the best of them - Steve going down, even badly wounded to unpin Bucky from the beam, and the poignant moment when Bucky dragged Steve out of the lake. I adored the final sequence of him seeing his old photo, giving me some glimmer of hope for his future.

I went to see X Men: Days Of Future Past in theatres and it was flawless, exceeding all of my hopes and expectations. Quicksilver was wonderful, hilarious and perfect in every way, and I loved the new characters, especially Warpath. Charles completely broke my heart, as did his lost friendship with Magneto. I loved seeing Magneto waver between hero and bad guy, and seeing Mystique get a second chance. The time travel was done surprisingly well, with the past and present aligned in a poignant, non-intrusive way. The ending made me tear up, especially seeing Scott alive again, and I was so happy that everything was fixed and made hopeful from the darkness of the prior films.

I also saw Maleficent in theatres and it was gorgeous, a lovely reimagining of the fairytale. I was surprised to find how much I could sympathize with and like Maleficent, both as a hero and as a bad character, and I adored her slow-growing love and caring as she watches over little Aurora. Calling her "beastie" was precious, too. Aurora was a darling, and Elle Fanning did a perfect job portraying her sweetness and innocence. Phillip, too, was quite adorable despite his small role, and I loved the hopeful ending for both of them. The Moor creatures were fabulous, all very imaginative and beautiful. I loved Diaval who infused both humor and sympathy into the role, and I ended up shipping him with Maleficent by the ending which was flawless as both of them flew off together.

I finally got to see The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug and, while still nothing compared to Lord Of The Rings it seems to have found it's footing after the last film, thankfully dropping the annoying comedy and weak characterizations in favor of solid drama and a broader focus. Kili remains the brightest spot, a sweet and brave little dwarf I can't help adoring, and his crush on Tauriel was precious and bittersweet. Despite my reservations at adding a new character, Tauriel proved to be quite fascinating, both for her care for Kili, as well as her backstory with Legolas. Legolas was fabulous, using his super-human fighting skills to full advantage. I loved the subtle moment where he's injured in battle - probably for the first time in his long life - and stares at the blood on his fingers. Bard and his family were lovely, showing the heroism and life of the humans in Middle Earth, and I enjoyed the brief bit of the skinwalker. The threads to LOTRs were better connected this time, too, with the ring's evil grip already starting to show, and the Necromancer being Sauron amassing his army of orcs. Sadly, Thorin, the heroic and admirable king of the first film, has changed completely, with poor explanation for the sudden change, and the respect he had for Bilbo in the first film is completely lost, as is most of his caring for his company.

I'm working my way through the '90s show Young Hercules and it's flawless, with hilarious moments, a wonderful friendship trio, and old effects against a mythological background. Hercules, despite looking nothing like how I imagine - more muscles would be nice - is growing on me, and Iolaus is adorable; I'm completely in love with his hair and sass.

I've started watching the fascinating new series Dominion, and I love the plot and world so far. The wings are impressive, Michael is an intriguing character, and I adore Alex and Bixby's relationship.

I'm onto the second half of season three of Once Upon A Time with "New York City Serenade", an episode that focuses entirely too much on Emma but manages to redeem itself by the seemingly unintentionally hilarious plotpoint of having her dating a flying monkey. But Killian is fabulous as usual; I giggled like mad at the "bologna" comment, and Belle and Robin's reunion scene and hug was so beautiful. I was a little sad that Storybrooke came back so quickly, though, since, although I knew eventually the writers would bring it back, I was hoping for more time than just flashbacks in the Enchanted Forest, since it and the Land Without Color are my favorite locations in the series. "Witch Hunt", despite my continuing annoyance by the writers making Regina so utterly dependent upon Henry for happiness, was an excellent episode, recapturing much of the first season feel that's been lacking. Dr. Whale is back and I'm thrilled to see both him and Storybrooke's hospital again. Robin Hood and his men have made it to modern Storybrooke, and, at least in the past, he and Regina have bonded, a pairing I find surprisingly appealing despite my early reservations. Little Roland is as adorable as ever, and Regina is quite cute with him. Henry, unsurprisingly, is even more of a pain without his memories and optimism to give him some appeal, but Snow White reading about baby care was hilariously adorable. I'm not the least bit shocked by the revelation that the Wicked Witch is Regina's half sister, even if I rolled my eyes at the writers's fondness for making everyone related or married to everyone else. Happiest of all, Rumplestiltskin is alive, although held prisoner by the Witch and acting like the crazy past version of himself which worries me. But still I couldn't stop smiling the instant I heard his voice. "The Tower" was frustrating and largely disappointing, seeming like a feeble excuse to cast Charming as the Cowardly Lion. Rapunzel was pretty and sweet but horribly underused, serving little purpose but to encourage Charming to face his fear, and not even getting a proper story or prince of her own. Likewise the creepy ghost witch was much of a letdown. On the bright side Rumplestiltskin continues to make my heart hurt, with Robert Carlyle bringing the much needed acting talented to the series even in such a limited role. "Quiet Minds", the best episode so far, was a fascinating step forward in the series as much is revealed and explained. Belle finally got center stage and a chance to shine in the flashbacks as she attempts to bring back Rumplestiltskin. I loved that, realizing the price and what the Witch wanted, she was willing to let things stand as they were and not bring him back. Lumiere was a treat; I'd love to see more of him and the tale of his past, and I enjoyed seeing Belle's library again, as well as the moment that Rumplestiltskin comes back to life and sees Belle. Finally Rumplestiltskin's madness is explained as it's revealed that he took Bae into his own mind and body to save his life. As much as I've always disliked Bae due to his selfishness and unwillingness to forgive Rumplestiltskin - after all the only reason he even wants to bring him back is to get to Emma, and not because he loves him unlike Belle - he was much better than usual in the episode. I enjoyed the closure to Killian and his story, and their hug was poignant. His death hurt, more so for Rumplestiltskin who has finally and truly lost his son, than for Bae himself, since it makes sense to write him out by now. Robert Carlyle broke my heart as usual as he's forced back to his cage by the Witch, looking worn and helpless and broken. On the brighter side, Regina finally learned Robin Hood's identity as her perfect match, and I loved seeing little Roland again, even briefly, as Robin played with him. "It's Not Easy Being Green" finally shows Oz, and I adored the way the wizard was shown, as well as the slippers being silver, even if I was a little disappointed by the fake look of the Emerald City. Rumplestiltskin broke my heart again as we see the extent of Zelena's hold over him, and his fear of hurting Belle. I was thrilled he and Belle shared at least one scene together, and when he reaches for her hand I couldn't help tearing up. Also his face as he felt Bae's funeral was poignant. Despite my dislike for Henry, I loved seeing Killian teaching him and spending time with him, mostly for the wistfulness on Killian's face as he remembers Bae. I've always adored Killian-centric episodes and "The Jolly Roger" is a treat, even if slightly marred by the appearance of poorly cast Ariel and Eric, the most underused and pointless inclusion of fairytale characters in the series. I loved seeing the series take on Blackbeard, especially with Killian getting to battle him, and Killian's guilt over his choice shows even more how much he's changed, even if him being cursed seems overly cruel. "Bleeding Through" is the misery of a Cora episode, and even an intriguing ghostly encounter and the final mending of Regina and Snow's relationship did little to make it bearable. Roland was precious as ever, though - I love his little hat. But the ever-twisting family tree has reached disturbing heights now as it's revealed Cora was originally engaged to Snow's father/Regina's husband. Still I was grateful Zelena wasn't Rumplestiltskin's daughter as I'd feared. "A Curious Thing" was a weaker episode, with far too many loose threads tied up much too quickly. I can't say I'm happy with Henry getting his memories back, since he was more out of the way and bearable without them, but I'm glad Killian came clean about the curse, even if it caused everyone to turn on him. The Charmings, once enjoyable, have become insufferable, and Snow willingly crushing Charming's heart just to get to Emma only sealed my disgust. The heart shared between them was annoyingly trite, and I'm tired of the baby drama. The one bright spot was Rumplestiltskin and Belle's brief interaction and the fabulous scene that revealed Killian was telling the truth as Bae splits himself from his father just long enough to send him the memory potion. "Kansas" felt a bit rushed and packed but was overall quite good and their Dorothy was thankfully quite cute and non-annoying, even if, as usual, the actress was too old for the part. It was quite epic to see everyone united around protecting the baby - who turned out to be adorable and I was so happy that my guess of it being a boy was correct - even if I couldn't stop laughing at Dr. Whale's dramatic faint. It was wonderful to see him again, though. Charming was precious with the baby. As much as I dislike Emma I was thrilled that she gave up her magic to save Killian; and his heartbroken smile and eyes completely destroyed me. I teared up when Rumplestiltskin, finally free, asked Belle to marry him, even if I'm a little sad that he lied to her about the dagger. Still I'm grateful to see Zelena gone after all she'd done. The season's finale "Snow Drifts"/"There's No Place Like Home" was happily quite good for a Emma-centric episode. I loved the playing with history and the way the book became rewritten. Rumplestiltskin was hilarious and very much his old self, and I loved his interactions with Belle and Killian. Except for Rumplestiltskin's reaction I didn't like that the Charmings named their baby Neal since it seemed strange and a little awkward. Rumplestiltskin and Belle's long-awaited wedding was beautiful, with their vows deeply moving; I couldn't hold back the tears to see them together at all. Little Roland and his ice cream was precious. I loved seeing Marion return and be reunited with Robin and Roland, but was disappointed by Elsa being next season's villain.

Onto season seven of Rawhide now and much to my delight Pete is back in the second half. While there's little to no meaning to his random reappearance I'm so happy to see that familiar checked shirt again and hear that beautiful accent, even if only for a few episodes. Rowdy has grown up so much, even from last season, and I miss the awkward, gentle cowhand, even if he's still twice the trail boss Gil is in the episodes where he takes over. Still flashes of his old personality shine through when he's teasing Wishbone or romancing a girl, and it's as lovely as always.

I gave a try to Girl Meets World, the second generation spin-off from Boy Meets World and it was a mix of the cringe-worthy modern and the warmly nostalgic. It was wonderful seeing Cory and Topanga again, grown up and parents themselves, and even Mr. Feeny if only for a moment. The sets reminded me so much of the orginal series. Auggie is quite cute so far, and Farkle is amusing. The kids channel their parents to the extent that I'm torn between being impressed at how well they're pulling off the mannerisms of the original actors to being frustrated that the writers didn't just create all new characters since not every child is a copycat of their parents.

I'm working my way through season one of Sugarfoot now that it's finally on DVD, and it's a treat. Tom is an endearing character, one of the sweetest in westerns, and I love the contrasts of his character - the gentle boy who seems to know nothing about the west and yet has such keen insight, as well as the man who doesn't believe in guns and yet is a superb shot. He's also one of the characters who make my heart hurt when he's forced to kill someone, since it seems such a horrible contrast to his sunny personality. One of my favorite things is all the WB westerns take place in the same universe so there's always crossover potential - Bronco and Sugarfoot teamed up was always my favorite - and in this case there was a hilarious and adorable cameo by Bret Maverick at the end of an episode.

There's also some new episodes of 77 Sunset Strip and Surfside 6 up and I'm falling in love with both series all over again. I adore Van Williams's accent, and just seeing Rex again puts a smile on my face.

I finally managed to view an episode of the Civil War era series The Americans and it was quite good, presenting a refreshingly unbiased view of the war with corrupt Northern soldiers and an honorable Confederate. Robert Culp, always at his best when playing the emotionally tortured, wounded character, was superb as a soldier panged by conscience.

I also got to see some of the sadly short-lived but wonderful The Phoenix. Bennu was a lovely and sweet character, completely stealing my heart in his interactions with children and animals, and the actor was incredibly convincing as the gentle alien.

I've been casually watching the new version of The Tomorrow People and while I haven't exactly bonded with it I do completely adore John who makes my heart ache with every sad look and the way he tries to get himself hurt to atone for the past.

I've started watching the new series Believe and it's beautiful and touching and nothing like any other show currently on which makes me adore it. Despite the prickly edges I like Tate, and Bo is intriguing, as is the mystery of her gifts and why people want to kill her. I loved the twists and turns in the plot, especially the Senga bit, as well as Bo's bringing hope to everyone she meets. The plot was a perfect blend of humor and sadness, and there's been very few pilots I've loved so much.

Resurrection is new and incredibly fascinating so far taking a nearly disturbing premise and managing to craft an often deeply touching series. I have so many questions and theories but for now I'm just enjoying the beauty of the show, it's music, and the potential.

There's also The 100 which seems promising so far. I adore Finn and his acrobatics and '80s hair, and he and Clarke seem potentially cute together. "Earth Skills" continues to world build, revealing only a glimpse of the Grounders. Jasper is, happily, alive and rescued, and Finn continues to be sweet and wonderful, protecting Clarke from having her bracelet removed, and ensuring she has food. Octavia is fascinating so far, and I loved the scene of her with the glowing butterflies. I adored that Clarke's mother figured out what was happening with the kids on earth, and has bought a little more time for everyone.

I've started watching Turn and it's amazing so far. I'd never even dreamed of getting a Revolutionary War series and I'm beyond happy with how it's set up, with the spy intrigue and appealing characters, beautiful scenery and a talented cast.

I'm also watching Salem which veers between the disturbingly strange and utterly fascinating fast enough to give me whiplash. John Alden is an intriguing character, and despite my reservations about using the Salem Witch Trials as the setting for a show abut real witches its all handled in a creepy, quite interesting manner.

I discovered the hilarious '90s short-lived series You Wish and completely fell in love with it. I have a soft spot for genies, and this one is sweet and completely random. I love the premise and characters and the events never fail to make me laugh.

I'm working my way through the adorable The Second Hundred Years and Monte Markham is a completely underrated gift, both hilarious and heartwarming as Luke. He even, to my delight, got to sing in a few episodes.

In new films I saw the intriguing I Am Number Four, and adored the premise as well as how it was portrayed. John/Four was a likeable protagonist, and I liked his romance with Sarah and friendship with Sam who was endearing. His gifts, especially the light-up hands were fabulous. I was saddened that Henri died, since I loved John and his relationship, but glad Bernie survived, even if the ending left so much open for a sequel. Next was the 1998 version of The Man In The Iron Mask, always my favorite of the Three Musketeers series, and it was the best adaptation I've seen yet, despite a slow start. Leonardo DiCaprio was wonderful at the dual role, and I adored and ached for Philippe. The scene where they put him back in the mask hurt, but I loved that he didn't let it destroy him and clung to the hope that the others would rescue him. Also, on a shallow note c.1998 Leonardo DiCaprio was absurdly beautiful. I loved the ending especially. After that was the beautiful and poignant Copperhead. I adored the focus on the Civil War homefront and little known elements of history, as well as the amazing detail to authenticity, and gorgeous, old-fashioned filming, acting, scenery, and music. Next was The Redemption Of Henry Myers, a surprisingly good and heart-warming western with easy to love characters and an unexpected happy ending. Then was the stunning World War Z which I adored, despite it making me jump multiple times. Brad Pitt was superb as Gerry, and I loved his devotion to his family, and friendship with Segen. After that was the lovely April Love, a gorgeously 1950s period drama. Pat Boone was wonderful, the storyline was sweet, and I adored the scenery, especially the country fair, and the music. Next was Prom. I watched it mainly for the cast but it won me over in moments with it's sweetness. Thomas McDonell was absolutely lovely as Jesse - I have even more appreciation for his hair now - and I loved how my first impressions of him were wrong. His scenes with his little brother were very cute, and I loved that Nova learned to see through the bad boy shell to his gentle heart. Next was the poignant but beautifully filmed Pompeii. I loved the characters and wished there had been more before the disaster, and the ending was haunting and deeply moving. Next was the strangely good Interview With the Vampire. The plot was unusually poignant, and I couldn't help but feel sympathy for the characters: tormented Louis, monster child Claudia, and even Lestat to see what he became, shrinking from Louis beneath the graveyard. The ending was a little strange, but I loved the feel of the film, the music, and the passage of time with the characters. After loving the classic radio drama for years I finally got to see the film version of The Night Has A Thousand Eyes and it was lovely and moody, a perfect and haunting story. I finally watched the 1997 Titanic and while it could never compare to my beloved 1996 miniseries, I enjoyed quite a bit of the film. The more modern feel was a little off-putting, but I adored Jack's free spirit and devotion to Rose, giving everything, and ultimately his life to ensure her survival and happiness. Leonardo DiCaprio was, as usual, painfully beautiful and perfectly cast. There was the unexpected treat of a very excellent, although minor, performance by Ioan Gruffudd, too, and the ship itself was gorgeous. Next was Push, a surprisingly good superhero film with a twisting plot. I loved the characters, especially Nick and Cassie, and the fabulous world-building. After that was the heartbreaking and touching Flowers In The Attic, the more modern version. Chris and Cathy's relationship was beautiful, as was their caring for the little twins, and Cory's death as well as the children's loss of innocence was wrenchingly painful. I loved that the husband let them go at the end, and the sense of hope that they'd make it on their own. Next was the hauntingly poignant Rabbit Proof Fence. I find the Stolen Generations a fascinating and tragic part of history, and the film told a true story in a moving, almost documentary style with stunning acting, especially from the children.

I finally found more Mary Pickford films I hadn't yet seen, and I started with some versions of books/films I love. The first was A Little Princess, a unique version, and while not my favorite by any means - that will forever be the brilliant 1986 version - I enjoyed some moments very much such as Sara's stories coming to life, and the vision of her parents at the end. Next was the gorgeous Pollyanna which ended up tying my beloved 1960 Disney as my favorite version. Mary Pickford was adorable as Pollyanna, and while the story was short it rarely felt rushed. Jimmy was wonderful, and I was happily surprised to find him closer to Pollyanna's age, a romantic interest for her, and the cute glimpse of their future and many children together. Aunt Polly was quite good, as was Nancy, despite having a smaller part, and I loved how faithful to the book it was. it's now tied with Amarilly Of Clothes-Line Alley as my favorite Mary Pickford film, and ahead of my second favorite My Best Girl.

In new animated films I watched the adorable and clever Monsters Inc. and Monsters University. I loved the characters, especially Sulley with little Boo, and the hilarious moments. In theatres I saw How To Train Your Dragon 2 and while it felt somewhat crammed and overwhelming it was a lovely step forward in the world-building with some very funny and extremely touching moments. I loved seeing the kids growing up but still retaining what made them loveable. Hiccup and Astrid were sweet together, and Snotlout and Fishlegs fighting over Ruffnut kept me giggling. I adored Ruffnut's crush on Eret who was a fabulous new addition, growing on me throughout the movie, especially when Stormfly saved him and he freed her in return. Hiccup and Toothless's relationship was beautiful, and I loved how Hiccup won him back and forgave him. Despite the oddity of her backstory I liked Hiccup's mother and only wish there'd been more sweet family scenes before Stoic's death. I hadn't expected that and even though he wasn't one of my favorite characters I was saddened to have him die, even more so that Toothless was the one who caused it, even without meaning to, and I wish the writers hadn't gone that route. The scenery and animation was as detailed and gorgeous as always, the dragons were all unique and amazing, and I loved the recap of the games at the ending and Hiccup becoming the new chief.
 
 
feeling: listless
calliope tune: "26 Miles"-Four Preps