Kathleen
The Musketeers is on now and it's absolutely wonderful, capturing not only the time period but the characters's personalities perfectly. D'Artagnan is wonderfully sassy, Aramis is stunning, and my heart bleeds for Athos already. I love the characters' friendship, and Milady is already an intriguing villain. I love how the series retains the flavor of the books, not shying away from ships between married characters. Constance is wonderful, the first version of the character I've liked, and she and D'Artagnan are perfect together. Thankfully, I absolutely detest her husband which makes the shipping easy. "Sleight of Hand" was even better than the pilot with an intriguing spy plot and plenty of explosions. Aramis and Anne were surprisingly adorable, and even if I know it's doomed I can't help shipping it. I loved that she gave him the necklace, and that he kissed it after the bomb failed to explode. Still it saddened me to think Aramis believes Adele abandoned him when her last thoughts were of how much she loved him. I assumed the Cardinal would be plotting against Aramis by now but it hasn't come up yet. D'Artagnan was fabulous as a spy, getting whumped and yet still saving the day. "Commodities" was excellent, deftly handling the Athos/Milady backstory and allowing Athos to discover she survived. I love how dangerous Milady is compared to some versions, and Athos continues to be more and more tragic. Aramis was hilarious, especially with how proud he was of his stitching, and he even got to speak some Spanish. The scene of him reverting to the role of priest was touching. Porthos got a chance to shine, lending a haunting touch to the scene where he derides a slave trader. I love the way the show uses social issues. "The Good Soldier" gave a glimpse of Aramis's past, focusing on a tragic massacre that only he and his friend, now an assassin and wanted man, survived. While the episode was somewhat weaker than the others it was wonderful to see Aramis featured as well as the attention to past details such as him wearing the cross Anne gave him. "The Homecoming" gave Porthos a chance to shine, as well as give a glimpse of his past. I found the Court Of Miracles fascinating, as well as the insight into his character. "The Exiles" was the best episode so far, perhaps because I went into it only expecting baby!fluff and was pleasantly surprised to find so much more. The plot was perfect, featuring political intrigue with the royals - a hidden twin, a plot to usurp the king, a scheming Queen, and a baby being used as a pawn - alongside the Musketeers and Constance trying to protect the infant and his mother. Constance was back to being fabulous again, helping rescue the child and even sword-fighting to protect Aramis and he. Aramis was wonderful - I think I fell in love with him even more than before - with a poignant lost love revealed, as well as his protection of Agnes and her son. He was adorable with the baby and even got to sing to him, something I never knew how badly I wanted. "A Rebellious Woman" played into my fascination with the 1600s' witch trials while presenting more reasons for me to adore Aramis. I loved all his lines, and the comment about him "cherishing women". Athos's explosion at seeing his wife was stunning, with Tom Burke pulling every emotion possible out of that scene and even scaring me a little in the process. Also the scene of Aramis fighting with books was epic. "The Confession" was a weak plot but made up for a lot of it by enough shiny sword fighting to make even me content. I loved seeing the tournament, especially Athos training D'Artagnan, who showed so much growth in this episode, by finally rejecting MiLady and seemingly growing up. The moment where he finally becomes a musketeer was beautiful, and I loved his hugs with Aramis and Porthos. D'Artagnan and Constance's romance was adorable followed by heartbreaking and while I can see her husband's point of view, I can't help but loathe him for hurting her and threatening to kill D'Artagnan. Aramis was strangely out of character, and the writing seemed shaky, but I enjoyed the continuation of the characters's story arcs and the new twists. "Knight Takes Queen" finally explores the tale of Aramis's lost love and brings him closure, even if I was quite disappointed with who she turned out to be. Aramis/Anne are finally canon, but I feel worried to be shipping it, since it can't go smoothly. Still they're lovely and sweet together, and I liked the parallel of Aramis's lost child to Anne's. King Louis got to show the two different sides of his often childish personality, and the Cardinal continues to grow more evil. The nuns were fabulous, especially Mother Superior, and I loved them defending the convent. "Musketeers Don't Die Easily" was a wonderful finale, neatly tying things up while leaving me looking forward to next season. The romantic relationships were the best: Athos finally got closure over Milady, Constance and D'Artagnan have found each other again but in a bittersweet move, Constance chooses to remain with her husband, and most poignantly, it's heavily implied that Anne's expected child is Aramis's. I loved their final scene together when Aramis pledges to protect the child for the rest of his life, a beautifully acted and touching moment as his eyes show barely constrained happiness mixed with sadness. D'Artagnan was wonderful, pulling off the scheme brilliantly, and I adored the group hug and the "one for all and all for one" finally being spoken.

In brand new shows there's Star Crossed which is lovely so far, a sci-fi reimagining of Romeo and Juliet which will hopefully have a less tragic future. Roman is a wonderful character with a perfect blend of sweetness and snark, and I really like Julia so far. I love the first meeting between Roman and Emery and how most of the aliens seem more human than the humans. The ending of the pilot with Roman saving Julia and his father dying was deeply poignant.

I'm on season two of Once Upon A Time now. The way the characters are all related and the constant recasting of the same character in many roles - crocodile!Rumplestiltskin being the worst - continues to make my head spin, and sadly there's even more focus on the female characters to the expense of the much better written male characters, but there are bright spots in the mess. New this season is Killian, and I love him even better after getting to see his introduction, while Emma's betrayal of him only serves to make me hate her more. Her constant whining and complaining about being an orphan when she's found her family and her son gets old quickly and her personality flips between annoyingly aggressive and so bland she sets my teeth on edge. New also is Phillip, and he's lovely, a perfect mix of sweetness and bravery that makes me only wish the writers would use him more often, and preferably without Aurora, definitely the most useless princess in the series so far, and Mulan who keeps looking like she'll betray everyone and never does - a pity since it might actually make her interesting. I adore the backstory of Phillip being cursed and Belle saving him, and I hope the writers explore that curse more in the future. I was looking forward to Lancelot and was sadly disappointed as this version lacks much of the nobility and depth of the character and seems like more than a means to an end for the writers to correct a short-lived twist for Snow White that might have been more interesting if they'd only explored it further. Regina's lost love Daniel returns in one of the saddest episodes of the series as her relationship with him is the few times I feel pity for Regina. I teared up when she was forced to kill him. Jefferson is back for a few episodes and I couldn't stop smiling when he finally is reunited with his daughter; their relationship is my favorite on the series and it made me so happy that he finally found her again. Dr. Whale finally gets backstory, and despite my original skepticism at how the show would handle a non-fairytale and difficult, iconic character, I was thrilled to see they did a beautiful job. The idea of the Land Without Color, and Rumplestiltskin appearing in color in it is brilliant, and Frankenstein's monster being his brother adds a poignant layer, making me tear up when his brother seemingly begs for death after finally speaking Viktor's name. I loved the parallel of Dr. Whale saving the stranger and finding some atonement for his actions. I was far less pleased with the writers's handling of Jack and the Beanstalk, though, reducing Jack to a girl - who annoyed me every bit as much as I'd suspected she would - and making Charming's brother evil. I did like the giants being good and the humans evil but the story lacked heart. I loved seeing Rumplestiltskin leaving Storybrooke to find his son, along with his endearing confusion at the outside world. His injury and phone call to Belle were heartwrenching, and Belle losing her memory and breaking the little cup broke my heart completely. The origin of Rumplestiltskin's injury was revealed in a way I hadn't expected, as well as how he attained the ability to see the future. The seer was an interesting character that I'd love more background on, and I adored seeing Rumplestiltskin with baby Bae. Neal annoys me, and I find it nearly impossible to consider he and little Bae the same person. Cora is dreadful, unquestionably the most horrible character on the show yet, and the flashback romance with her and Rumplestiltskin makes me both cringe and gag. I've never been so grateful to see a character killed off, and for the first time Snow White gets some depth with the twist of her heart being blackened by killing Cora, even it makes little sense seeing as how evil Cora was and how killing her saved more than just Rumplestiltskin's life. "Welcome To Storybrooke" was fascinating, showing the endless timeloop of the 28 years along with bringing Graham back for the episode. I was so thrilled to see him again, if only in the flashbacks. August's story finally gets an ending after being dreadfully underused and all but forgotten by the writers. Eoin Bailey is one of the most talented actors in the series and I adore August, for his deeply human flaws and attempts to do right. He made my heart hurt in the scene where he lays in the alley, and the poignancy of him turning to wood and finally giving his life to try to save the others had me in tears. I was thankful the fairy brought him back to life but heartbroken that he became a child again, seemingly having forgotten being August and thereby erasing all those beautiful flaws that made his character so wonderfully complex. "Lacey" broke my heart as Rumplestiltskin falls back into evil and Belle ends up with cursed memories, but I adored Robin Hood and his magical bow, even if his role was all too brief. I enjoyed the storyline of the curse failsafe and the beans even if it felt rushed, and I loved seeing Belle finally get her memories back, and Killian showing his good side by returning to help the others and finally giving up his revenge. As evil as Greg is his grief over finally finding his father's fate was poignant. "Second Star to the Right" was lovely, and surprisingly, as much as I usually dislike Neal, I actually liked Bae in his interactions with Wendy, an adorable and wonderful version of the character. I loved the whole Darling family, them taking Bae in, and the twist on the shadow coming to the nursery, as well as Bae ending up with Killian. It saddened me to see them turn against each other in the end, though.

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland is also back from hiatus with 90% more Cyrus and "Nothing To Fear', a tale that finds the Knave rescued from his bottle by Lizard. As much as I ship Will/Anastasia, they're cute together, and Lizard's unrequited crush on him is all the more poignant when he transforms her into a beautiful woman whose dress is suspiciously like the last one he saw Anastasia in before she became the Red Queen. In any event, Lizard didn't deserve her fate, and my heart broke for the Knave, trapped, and unable to do anything but feel the pain of her last wish. Cyrus and Alice are as adorable as always, and the marriage proposal scene, complete was fireworks, had me grinning ear to ear. Alice seemed somewhat out of character, and a tad selfish, but understandable, and I loved that she came around in the end and realized Wonderland needed them. The Red Queen's story arc and Emma Rigby's acting continues to impress me, and I teared up when she realized no one would pay her ransom, then cheered when Cyrus and Alice came to her rescue. The Jabberwocky is creepy but nothing like what I'd imagined and I'm still not sure what to make of her, as much as I enjoy Jafar being intimidated for once by someone more powerful than himself. "Dirty Little Secrets" finally reveals Cyrus's origins, and I was both pleased and disappointed with the backstory. By the summary, I was braced for an evil version of Cyrus and was happily surprised to find him just as charming and good at heart, just more reckless and a bit of a card shark. I liked seeing his brothers, who oddly enough had no names but were every bit as handsome as Cyrus, and Peter Gadiot got a chance to shine - on a shallow note he cries very beautifully. However, I was a little disappointed that his crime was so minor. I suppose I was expecting something larger than simply stealing water to save his mother, even though the guardian of the well was delightfully mythological and creepy. I'm not quite sure what to think of Amara being Cyrus's mother. I'd guessed she was going to be someone we'd already seen in the series but I was sort of hoping for Jafar's mother, since I thought it would have been a poignant and fascinating twist to have Jafar and Cyrus be half brothers. Also considering Amara was involved with Jafar - a little squicky in itself considering she raised him - it's even a little icky. On the bright side I loved Cyrus and Alice finally having a heart to heart talk about their pasts and separation from each other, and I loved Cyrus's doubts - he's still so doubtful that anyone could accept and love him, poor baby - as well as Alice's beautiful reassurances and promises to "be his bottle" and keep him good. The torture scenes of Anastasia broke my heart, and I was glad that at least the Tweedle came to comfort her and help her, I never fully appreciated him before, and now I love him. "Heart Of The Matter" was flawless, finally exploring why the Knave has no heart in a poignant backstory. Cyrus was adorable and hilarious at the beginning, and I adored him in Storybrooke, fascinated by the light switches while Alice was hilariously intrigued by the ice maker. She finally said her "curiouser and curiouser" line, too! I loved the return of the Lost and Found, and Cyrus finally figuring out the fate of his mother, as well as Amara fighting back when Jafar tried to use the staff to kill Cyrus. Anastasia was wonderful, surprising me once again how talented Emma Rigby is - the contrast between the three versions from innocent sweet girl to Red Queen to broken and defeated woman was stunning - and my heart broke when she was so grateful to Cyrus and Alice for returning. The Tweedle was as fabulous as last week, and the White Rabbit was more endearing than usual. Michael Socha had the hardest role, from heartbroken young thief to his usual sarcastic self and everywhere in between, and he nailed it beautifully, making me ache for the Knave when he finally got his heart again. The scene where he finally sees Anastasia and says her name before kissing her brought tears to my eyes followed by complete heartbreak as she's murdered in front of him. "To Catch A Thief" finally reveals Alice and the Knave's first meeting, and it was wonderful and perfect. I adored the funny bits with Alice controlling his heart and him trying to politely murder her, and their friendship was lovely. The fact that she reminds him of his lost sister was touching, and I adored their last flashback scene, taking her right up to the moment she finds Cyrus's bottle. I loved how, even desperate to bring back Anastasia, he couldn't hurt Alice, even jumping into the water to save her. His short scene with Cyrus where he offers to let him get a free punch was amusing, making me wish again the two had more scenes together. I loved the Sultan standing up for the Knave and knowing instinctively who Alice was - I'm so happy they finally met - and since I have no sympathy whatsoever for Jafar I adore his character. The ending tore me up, though, with Cyrus killed and Alice feeling his pain as he died. "And They Lived" was a packed but gorgeous finale, giving me everything I'd hoped and more, all tied up into a beautiful, fitting package. The Knave and Anastasia's love story finally finds their happy ending, and I loved that they became the White King and Queen and ruled Wonderland. Anastasia never seemed to stop smiling once she found him again, and the Knave's love speech and true love's kiss as well as the "sleeping beauty" comment were adorable. He's even more loveable with a heart, and the smile he gives Alice after their last, bittersweet hug was the first genuine, non-pained one in the series, making me grin back in response. The White Rabbit, always a delight, was more fabulous than ever, making me laugh with his comments about Cyrus and Alice and what they'd done to his house, as well as making me tear up a bit at his parting with Alice and his spying on her years later in England. I never could warm to Amara, despite a nice scene where she properly meets and accepts Alice, and a nice cameo by the Flying Carpet, so I wasn't saddened by seeing her make the sacrifice for her sons. I loved that Cyrus's brothers were freed, and I wish there would have been a little more of them, or at least what became of them in the ending. Surprisingly, I was a little sad about the Jabberwocky's uncertain fate, since, despite my first thoughts, she'd become an intriguing character, and I was very sad about the Sultan. Maybe it's my hatred for Jafar, but I've loved the Sultan since the beginning and he was always so kind to Cyrus, so it broke my heart to see his ultimate and somewhat unexpected fate. Jafar showed a rare flash of humanity here and there, but not enough to make me stop cheering when, true to my theory, he became a genie himself, a perfect finish on his story. The dear Tweedle happily got a cameo, and I loved seeing his adorable interactions with little Millie, as well as his happiness at the wedding. Cyrus, thankfully, was brought back, and happily through healing magic rather than the spell, and his scenes with Alice, especially when he lifts her up at the well, were as adorable as usual. Alice and he finally get their much deserved and long-awaited happy ending, and their wedding was gorgeous. I adored everything about it, especially the Rabbit's words, and Alice's stunning dress. I loved that her father finally believed in her, and that she and Cyrus stayed in Victorian England. The ending with them having a tea party with their own daughter - an absolutely adorable little child - made me tear up from happiness, and the inclusion of the book was the perfect cherry on top of the wonderful treat that was this series.

I finally got to see more episodes of The Ponderosa and even more than before it saddens me how quickly the show fell apart. In many ways, as much as I love Bonanza, it had the potential to become better, especially with it's brilliant versions of Hop Sing and Adam who were given far more depth than in the original series. But the townspeople, who I grew to love, were quickly shoved aside, killed off, or sent out of the series, most horribly Carlos, but even dear Frenchy. The brothers's relationships remain the one truly beautiful thing about the series.

I'm up to the episode "Saturday" in Coronet Blue and it's a gorgeous and haunting story of a little boy forced to grow up too quickly. I loved the way he changed Michael's views, and how Michael helped him. More than ever I think it's such a shame how there was no proper conclusion for the series.

In other new/old shows I've been rewatching Emily of New Moon, a childhood favorite. I always shipped Perry/Emily, but I'm warming to Teddy.

I gave a try to the 2000s version of Battlestar Galactica and by considering it a different show instead of a remake I'm managing to enjoy it quite a lot. I love their names being call signals instead of just names, which lets me think the names are passed and these are different people instead of just a different version of the same character. Apollo, never my favorite in the original, is strangely more appealing here, helped along by Jamie Bamber's portrayal of him. As much as I hate Starbuck being a girl she has awesome chemistry with Lee; I adore how she saves him in the miniseries. Boomer, despite being a girl, is a likeable character so far, and Boxey is cute.

In other new shows I've started Teen Wolf, a surprisingly entertaining series. Scott is an appealing protagonist, and strangely enough I love Derek. I also really like Jackson, even if I already know he's the Whitney Fordman of this series, aka the character everyone hates who leaves the show early and I develop an attachment too and mourn him for the rest of the series. I also love the visuals of the werewolves, both their look and their powers, and I'm curious to see where the series goes.

In new movies I saw the 2005 version of War Of The Worlds. I'm usually not fond of remakes and was less than impressed with the original so I was shocked to discover how much I adored it. The filming, acting, and photography were stunning, moving me to tears countless times, and the character growth was amazing. It not only improved on the original film but also the book, making something fresh, believable, and heart-wrenching. I grew to love the characters despite my first impressions and the ending was beautiful and perfect. Next was Saving Mr. Banks, which, while it failed to live up to my hopes and I had many issues with the portrayal of Walt Disney - not the least of which that he looked and sounded nothing like him - I enjoyed. The story behind the making of Mary Poppins was both fascinating and poignant as was the recreation of Disneyland back in the day as well as the premiere of the film. My favorite part was when they finally get her dancing. Colin Farrell was excellent as the writer's loving but troubled father, and I cried at the scene where she drops the pears and goes in after his death. Next was the flawless The Sorcerer's Apprentice which managed to be both hilarious and deeply poignant with equal parts romance, magic, and friendship. I loved every moment, helped along by the fabulous cast, and adored the ending. Then was the intriguing and both fun and poignant Season Of The Witch, a fantasy-drenched look at the days of the Black Plague. Behmen was a tragic hero, and I loved Kay and how by saving him Behmen found his redemption, as sad as the ending was. After that was the haunting and heart-wrenching A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The acting was stunning, and I sobbed at the poignant ending. Jude Law was fabulous as Gigolo Joe, I loved his character and his friendship with David. The parallel between the fairytale and David's quest to be real was heartbreaking, too. Next was the 2009 live-action Mulan which I tried out of curiosity due to my love for the Disney film and was blown away by. It was hauntingly beautiful and achingly sad, and I cried over Wentai and Mulan's tragic romance. Next was the lovely and unusual Winter's Tale, a surprisingly poignant and beautiful story with more than a few unexpected twists. The settings were gorgeous, the acting flawless, and the plot was deeply moving in a bittersweet fairytale-like way. After that was the hauntingly sad true story Changeling which was often brutal but deeply moving, reducing me to tears multiple times. Next was Civil Love, a lovely Civil War era romance between a widow and the wounded soldier she finds in her barn. Daniel was wonderful, sweet and gentle, and I fell in love with him instantly. I liked that Rachel and his love came slowly instead of love at first sight, and how she ended up saving him. My running a little low on new films has led me to giving a try to remakes which I don't usually do, and which has been a combination of the surprising good and unfortunately annoying. I started with the 1999 version of Great Expectations, one of the few films I watch every version of, even though the 1940s one remains my favorite. Miss Havisham was sadly the weakest spot, lacking the madness or invoking the pity of other versions but giving a strangely flat performance. Estella, by contrast, was flawless, both as a haughty child and as a twisted woman incapable of love. The casting, too, was perfect; I had no difficulty whatsoever believing the child and adult were different versions of the same person. Little Pip was a more jaded, world-weary version of the character than I'm used to; fitting, perhaps, but surprising. The child was an excellent actor, though, and I loved how he starts to skip when Miss Havisham tells him to play instead of automatically wanting to play with Estella. Ioan Gruffudd was a very different Pip than I'm used to, but his performance was fascinating and layered, not always likeable but always intriguing. His final scene with Miss Havisham gave me chills as it was the closest I'd imagined to the book. The tune running through the film was poignantly lovely, and I liked the beautiful location shots as well as the bittersweet, more realistic ending. Next was 3:10 To Yuma, which, while failing to live up to the beauty and depth of the original benefited greatly from it's actors. Christian Bale was, in many ways, far more appealing than Van Heflin as Dan, with a tragic backstory and determination to be a hero for his son. The twist at the end by having him die shocked and saddened me. Russell Crowe did a fine job as Ben, but lacked the gentleness that made me fall in love with Glenn Ford, and although I loved the music it wasn't the hauntingly lovely tune from the original. Still the man alone theme found in so many westerns such as High Noon and Sitting Bull and always portrayed best here managed to shine through despite the years, and the characters were still as fascinating as in the original. Next was the intriguing The Invasion which surprisingly manages to be as good as the original with appealing characters, a new twist of certain people being immune, and more than a few creepy moments. Carol attempting to blend in with fascinating, and I loved her relationships with both Ben and Oliver and was grateful that they all got their happy ending. Then was The Lone Ranger, a peculiar mix of the surprisingly good and the terrible. The film seemed to be unable to decide if it was a comedy-parody, a western drama, or a steampunk action flick, and veered so quickly between the genres I got mental whiplash. Red was a quirky and appealing character who was poorly underused, Tonto was given a tragic and fascinating backstory ruined by the clownish and sometimes mean-spirited actions (the worst being hitting John in the head when he realizes he's not dead yet, only badly wounded) and always dreadful "acting" of Johnny Depp. Despite my dislike of Armie Hammer, he managed to do fairly well with what he was given, especially toward the end when he gets to actually be a hero. The story within a story format was well done, and I found a few of the nods amusing. Still the gruesomeness of Cavendish and the squirmingly obvious racism made it far less pleasant than the original series, despite the few flashes of brilliance. Next was Return to Treasure Island which was cute and a nicely done sequel. Dean O'Gorman made a perfect older Jim.

In new animated films I finally saw Wall-E which was very cute and actually somewhat inspiring. Wall-E and Eve's relationship was adorable, especially their dancing in space scene, and I also loved the two humans who found each other in the ship. Next was The Road To El Dorado, a greatly entertaining and random adventure with lovable characters. Next was Finding Nemo and I adored both the title character and the richly detailed world, as well as Nemo and his father's relationship. Next was Rio, a cute and colorful story with an adorably quirky romance between the human characters. Then was The Nightmare Before Christmas which was imaginative and far cuter than I'd imagined, with both towns a lot of fun. ext was the darling Oliver and Company with the cutest animated cat ever and some lovely moments and catchy tunes. Next was Kung Fu Panda which was random but enjoyable. Next was Big Hero 6 which was a little strange and sad but featured the most precious and unique robot ever. Next was the Ice Age series which I laughed my way through and completely fell in love with. Next was Quest For Camelot which was sweet but also featured the first disabled hero I've seen in an animated film which delighted me. Last was a childhood favorite, the beautiful and heartwarming The Snowman.
 
 
calliope tune: "I Started A Joke"-Bee Gees
feeling: depressed
 
 
Kathleen
I finished season four of The X-Files, including the stunning "The Field Where I Died", a story structured around the storming of a cult's compound as Mulder finds himself inexplicably drawn to the field across from the compound. When one of the wives slips into the speech of a Civil War nurse, she reveals the events of the battle that took place in the field and her memories of Mulder, then a young Confederate soldier and her sweetheart, dying there. Mulder undergoes hypnosis, finding his own memories and discovering that he and Melissa are linked through time, star-crossed lovers in every life from the field to the Holocaust. The series had already explored reincarnation but "The Field Where I Died" has such a quiet, haunting sensitivity that it's impossible not to be drawn into the tragic story, already guessing what the outcome will be in their current lives. Combined with the poignancy of Mulder's voiceover and the torn 1860s photographs it's a breathtaking episode, and I can't help wishing they'd had a flashback tie-in episode to it. The season and series' best is the quietly powerful "Paper Hearts" in which Mulder begins to suspect that Samantha's abduction may have been at the hands of a serial killer whose final victim remains unidentified. The story and Mulder's grief is gently handled and the open ending and fabric heart is enough to make anyone cry like a baby. On other notes how brilliant is the casting of Roy Thinnes as Jeremiah Smith? Considering he was obsessed with hunting down every last alien in The Invaders, there's something ironic about him playing a good alien here. I want a crossover or an inside joke in an episode where they say all the alien-hunting, brainwashing, and being brought back to life by the outer space CPR machine has turned David into an alien, one with amnesia which excuses why he has a different name. Krycek is back and as usual Mulder jumps out of character and turns him into a punching bag. I wish the writers had realized how well Krycek worked with the others when they weren't beating him up, putting me in the position of having to choose between Mulder and Krycek, and how much happier I'd have been if he'd been in it more often. I'd have a hard time enjoying the conspiracy episodes if not for Krycek. I love him and I have no regrets about it; I want to bandage him up and protect him from Skinner. Pendrell is tragically shot and killed; he was so sweet and adorable that it hurts to watch him die like that. I also finished season five, with the breathtaking "Redux". Mulder and Scully's relationship isn't forced, it just happened, slowly growing from a partnership to a friendship to a "I'd die for you but can't live without you" romance. The scene where Mulder goes into the hospital, kneels beside Scully's bed, and cries against her hand broke my heart. "Usual Suspects" is a delightful flashback episode explaining the origin of the Lone Gunmen and Mulder's friendship. I've always felt they were underused so it's wonderful to see them shine. "The Red and the Black" plunges ahead, bringing in new ideas, such as the vaccine, the alien war, and Krycek revealing their agenda. The way he says "Good luck to you, my friend" in Russian right before he leaves broke my heart. I'm on season six now. With the bad guys in charge and the x files burned and dismissed, Mulder and Scully, secretly working on the files against orders, have their work cut out for them. Mulder gets another "I want to believe" poster, and the dark, shadowy style of the series hasn't changed even if they appear to have gotten slightly wider-beaming flashlights. About time, guys. Mind-reading wonder child Gibson slips in and out of the hands of the bad guys as it's revealed that humanity's DNA is part extraterrestrial mutated virus. "Arcadia" is a treat with it's perfect balance of humor and creepiness and Mulder and Scully's undercover names "Rob and Laurie Petrie". "Monday" is a fascinating and heartbreaking time loop story as a woman, the only person who realizes the day is repeating, attempts to prevent Mulder from entering the bank her boyfriend is robbing which will set of a chain of events ending with all the people being killed. The poignant and old-fashioned "The Unnatural" is a sweet love letter to baseball with two of my favorite guest characters this season and an adorable scene where Mulder teaches Scully to hit a ball. "Field Trip" has a beautiful scene where Mulder reaches over in the ambulance and Scully catches his hand without even opening her eyes as if they can sense each other. "Two Fathers/One Son" fully explains the Syndicate while building toward it's shocking ending, with the Cigarette Smoking Man killing Spender just as he'd become an ally of Mulder and Scully, and the Syndicate being massacred by the alien rebels. Krycek fortunately escapes and he's still working against the aliens which puts him on the good side this season. I'd never seen it and skipped over it while working through the early seasons so I went back and watched the whump-filled "Fight The Future". It was fantastic, everything the show does best on a larger scale, and so perfectly shippy I couldn't stop grinning. The almost kiss was just mean, though, but the film made up for it by having Mulder's beautiful speech about how Scully saves him complete with a forehead kiss, Mulder rescuing Scully including carrying her and doing CPR on her, and their hand holding at the end. My favorite scene was the gorgeous one where, after escaping and watching the spaceship above him, Mulder looks over at Scully, smiles faintly, and passes out in the snow from cold and exhaustion. Scully, even weak as she is, slowly reaches over, lifts him into her lap and holds him, laying her face against his hair. It's a beautiful moment and shows how much they mean to each other after all they've been through together. I was saddened to see the Well-Manicured Man get killed, since I thought he was an interesting character with a lot of potential, but he died well, saving Mulder's life from the syndicate and Scully from the virus, and I was glad Mulder trusted him enough in the end to use the coordinates and medicine.  

MeTV is showing Remington Steele so I'm getting to see it; it took about half of the first episode but it grew on me, and it's quite a cute and funny series so far, especially the growing relationship between Laura and Remington. I found him a little off-putting at first but his dry humor and fast thinking eventually won me over. The clever thing about the premise is you're never quite sure who and what "Remington" is, other than the fact that he's a fan of Humphrey Bogart detective films and he has a collection of passports, all with different names. George and Bent from North and South were both in the pilot, with James Read a regular as Murphy, an interesting, somewhat underappreciated, and often whumped guy, and Philip Casnoff in an ill-fated, small role, making me wish for some sort of quirky crossover where Bent's descendant is still managing to make trouble for George's descendant in the 1980s.  

I've been watching the complete series Logan's Run, tv version of the fantastic book and fun film, and it's a treat, even if book purists will be screaming five minutes into it. Instead of computers, the City is run by a group of budget-saving Elders, and palmflowers are nowhere to be seen, a shame since the film did them beautifully, while new additions include a shiny silver vehicle and having the Runners joined by android REM. Pure good instead of the book's antihero, Logan finds himself a Runner when he knocks out Francis to save Jessica who was helping another Runner escape, and the two quickly find their way out into the sunlight, wandering across the land in search of Sanctuary with a trio of Sandmen hot on their trail. Jessica and Logan eventually grow into a romantic relationship by the last episodes. Francis still doesn't get to be the secret rebel of the book and yet again is reduced to a stalking Sandman who attempts to look menacing but, happily, it's impossible to look truly evil with '70s feathered hair. Logan and Jessica adapt far too quickly to Outside, but it's forgiven because of the countless civilizations which they find themselves the teachers of, including the pacifist and enslaved remnants of humanity including an adorable little girl who they rescue, and a spooky group of robots whose desire to serve may not be as innocent as it sounds. The thought-provoking "Half Life" has the trio discovering a city where the people have split themselves into two parts: one "positive" living in the city, and the other cast out into the woods. However their "perfect" world is threatened when the leader of the castouts begins to care, and the positive's wife who lost her other half aids Logan in attempting to put the pairs together. "Carousel", a superb episode, finds an amnesiac Logan returning to the City, only to remember hours before his trial and intending to sacrifice himself to reveal the truth. "Man Out Of Time" is the best episode, with a hauntingly tragic story of a scientist in the past who travels to Logan's time to learn what caused the war in order to prevent it, despite knowing that by correcting the past he'll be erasing everyone in the present. As time passes he begins to care about the people he meets, and teaches them all he can before returning to his time. The poignant conclusion is one of the best I've seen in any old series and the entire episode is stunning. With the hair, clothes, and alien adventures there's never a dull moment and I haven't had so much fun watching a series in quite some time.

I'm finally getting to see the 12 O'Clock High episodes where Gallagher is in charge. Although I like Savage, I love Gallagher more, and I'm thrilled to see the hot-shot kid pilot transform into a responsible colonel who handles the crew with compassion. Gallagher has come a long way, not only in promotions, and even if I saw the potential in him from the start it's still fascinating to see just how much he's matured. New is Sandy Komansky, a well-meaning young soldier. Unlike Savage and Gallagher's abrasive uneasiness around each other, Komansky and Gallagher have a comfortable friendship, probably because of the contrast between the two leaders. Savage comes across as an unsympathetic and demanding general, mostly a hard shell with a caring interior that he hides, while all of Gallagher's feelings are on the surface, easily understood at face value, like Komansky. Gallagher leads with his heart above his head, risking his life multiple times to save his men or civilians, and he has an endearing warmth Savage lacks. The series has gone to color now, and as much as I like war series in black and white, the brilliant and colorful flight scenes are breathtaking. In "Gauntlet Of Fire" even with a wounded leg Komansky comes along in the plane when Gallagher sets out to fly the final mission alone, with a cute comment about being court-martialed. I love the way he always tacks on "sir" as an afterthought. In "Fortress Wiesbaden" Gallagher finally defies the commandos's orders and goes back for Komansky when he's wounded, getting him to safety. I love how he sticks with his men no matter what, and his lines about teamwork. "A Long Time Dead" scared me stiff when badly wounded Komansky is pushed out of the airplane by a demented officer, and most of the episode has Gallagher attempting to see justice done for his murder. I choked up when he sits and stares at Komansky's name plate. Thankfully Komansky is discovered alive at a field hospital at the very end and there's a cute final scene with him. He's far too sweet to die, especially like that, and it would have broken my heart if they hadn't fixed the ending. Happily both Komansky and Gallagher, despite serious injuries that sent him home, survive the final episode, and although it didn't wrap the war up it felt like a finale. I also discovered Naked City, an intriguing cop series starring Paul Burke as Adam, a compassionate, deep-thinking officer much like Gallagher. The episode, "On The Battlefront Every Minute Is Important", had David Janssen in it and it's always a treat to see him apart from Richard and as an entirely different person like the one he was here, the owner of a wealthy advertising business with only months to live. Seeing Adam, he offers to give him his business which prompts Adam reflecting on why he does his job in a beautifully worded moment. 

I finished season three of Wagon Train and they had fun with classics, including the cute "Christine Elliot Story" which borrows slightly from Little Men, especially violin-playing Nat, and "Tom Tuckett Story", a lovely adaptation of Great Expectations which has Ben Cooper looking similar to John Mills in my favorite film version. Charles Aidman was the title character of "Amos Gibbon Story", and I've never seen him in such a heartbreaking and moving role before, as a prisoner whose mind has snapped from the guards' abuse. My heart kept bleeding for him, and his acting was incredible. Onto season four which shakes everything up with fresh ideas. Season opener "Wagons Ho!" brings back the wonderfully trouble-prone greenhorn Sam Evans, his wife Melanie, and his Aunt Em in a hilarious and sweet sequel, and the lighthearted style continues into the delightful "Horace Best Story" with Ken Curtis as semi-Indian Pappy Lightfoot. On another familiar note, little, pre-Barnaby Michael Burns is in three episodes including "Allison Justis Story", a sad tale with Flint shooting a thief only to learn he may have killed an innocent man who's left behind a bitter young son who's determined to avenge his father. "Princess Of A Lost Tribe", the season's strangest idea and one of the most unusual episodes I've ever come across, plays like a hauntingly tragic fairytale as Flint stumbles upon his own Shangri-La, an isolated, mythical Aztec city, and falls in love with a girl about to die. "Saul Bevins Story" is a beautiful drama of a blind man determined to prove his worth who fails at first to notice the woman who loves him. Ron Harper was in "River Crossing" as a young soldier on his first mission who finds himself caught between an Indian massacre and the uprising that follows. He's taken by the chief and his officer will be killed but they promise to return him alive. I wish it had gone a little further to show how it affected him, and how he managed under a new officer, but on the bright side I like to imagine Garrison coming from a military family so the young soldier could be his grandfather. The best episode is the stunning and deeply moving "Will Santee Story" about a man and his family's attempts to escape the shadow of his brother who was hanged, a situation that only becomes more difficult when he falls in love. This season includes a treat for me: the introduction of my favorite, Chris Hale, the new wagonmaster whose tragic backstory, warm heart, and kindness won me over to the series. With his arrival, everything snaps into place, as the harsh spats are replaced by a "thrown together" family feel. This is Wagon Train as I love it.

There was an amazing The Guns Of Will Sonnett episode "Meeting In A Small Town" in which Jeff's dream led them to a border town where a bounty hunter has set a trap for Jim. Jeff creates a sting that ends up killing the bounty hunter and Will, who doesn't believe the dream had any merit, and Jeff leave the town. Right after that, Jim comes riding in. At the ending he meets a little boy with a toy gun who says when he grows up he plans to kill Jim Sonnett. Jim's last words to him and the music is done in an eerie way that made me wonder whether someday the child is going to be the one to kill him. The series' finale "Three Stand Together" was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes when Jim and Jeff finally meet face to face and the three become a real family.

The Lazarus Man had an episode that mentioned the Sultana! I was thrilled as I've never seen it on any series and it's always been one of my main interests related to the Civil War. The series is fascinating and unique, and I love how the focus is on the people Lazarus meets more than Lazarus himself.

I managed to get my hands on the unusual and offbeat western Dead Man's Gun, a series about a cursed revolver changing hands and causing tragedy to whoever comes into contact with it. Happily, the episode was about Jack the Ripper, a long interest of mine, but with the unique twist of imagining who Jack was and what became of him after the Whitechapel murders. The story had him continuing his crimes in an American tent city where a woman accidentally discovers his secret. She ended up shooting and killing him in the end, and she and another townsperson buried him and resolved to never admit the secret.


I'm working my way through Overland Trail, a usually light-hearted western with super young Doug McClure as Flip, a kid raised by the Cheyenne, and Kelly, the man who runs the Overland Stage and cares about Flip as if he was his son. The two have a wonderful, warm relationship even if they tease and play pranks on each other constantly, and I'm loving the series.

I've never been much of a fan of Jean-Luc in Step By Step, just never noticed him. But I watched "Just Say Maybe" and sort of fell in love. He's hilarious and very sweet, cute as can be with Lilly, and his offbeat humor is a perfect match for the series. I felt almost the same way about Cody: at first I didn't care for him, then I was used to him, and finally one episode I realized I missed him when he wasn't there. There's something about seeing things through nostalgic eyes that makes me appreciate things I never paid attention to the first time around.

I was watching The Big Valley "Rimfire", Jarrod's episode, and Van Williams turned up in it! It's just like old times, Rex and Ken working together again, and Van Williams still has that lovely accent and those stunning blue eyes. He played a kind sheriff with a young son so there were some cute moments between him and the little boy as well as some excellent scenes with Jarrod, including one where Jarrod saves him from a mine shaft. I was a little worried about him because it seemed like the episode was setting the scene for him to get killed but happily he was only wounded and survived. Now I want to find one of those reincarnation fanfics that has The Big Valley and Bourbon Street Beat somehow tied together.

I'm watching Donna Reed Show season one and I'm up to "April Fool" which had James Darren as a super sweet rock star who gets sick and has to stay with the Stones while he recovers. Mary has stars in her eyes (who wouldn't?) and in the end he takes her to her school dance, sings to her, and kisses her on the cheek. *squee!* So adorable and charming. I rediscovered my love for the adorable, quirky That Girl. I always loved Donald and Ann's relationship and it's lost none of it's charm; they're magic together.

I saw Aquaman, the pilot that wasn't picked up for a series, and it's a shame since it had promise. As much as I'm used to Smallville's AC, I loved Justin Hartley's take on the role, even if I kept expecting him to put on green and pick up a bow and arrow. Still the film was unusual and fun from the beginning, and it's a nice version of an oft-forgotten superhero.

I finished season three of Merlin and there's a beautiful library now for Merlin to visit in place of the dragon cave. Arthur and Merlin have settled into a blend of teasing, insults, and true caring, and Arthur said something nice to Merlin, even though he quickly covered it up, "wisdom and an idiot", so Arthur. Uther drowned children born with magic during the purge, and the scene with the mother pleading and the wet, ghostly children sent chills up my spine. How did unborn Merlin escape? If Uther could track down almost all the magical people and kill them he would have known Balinor and Hunith were going to have a baby, and that he'd be a dragon lord, too, not to mention magical. I need a flashback episode to answer this question, baby!Merlin would be adorable; I can just see the little ears! "Goblin's Gold" was hilarious, lightening the darker mood of the season and keeping me laughing. I loved Merlin teasing Arthur by making him stay donkey-ish for an extra day, and Gaius fixing Uther's bald head. I adore Arthur testing Gaius, with enough faith in Merlin to doubt Gaius' word, and knowing Gaius well enough to know the truth. Another favorite was "Love In The Time Of Dragons". I love Gaius and his relationship with Merlin so it was fascinating to see it put to the test, even if my heart hurt for Merlin. I always enjoy the glimpses of the past, especially the Purge, and it's nice to see Gaius featured. I loved "Queen Of Hearts", how Arthur would give up the throne to go with Gwen, and old!Merlin who messes with my mind. I had to get used to Merlin being too young and now with him changing like that I get the idea that old!Merlin was just him under a spell. Then "The Eye Of The Phoenix"; I've missed the quest episodes: magical jewelry and creatures, a tower, quicksand, and a bridge with a keeper. Finally, "The Coming Of Arthur", with the round table, knights, hand coming out of the lake with the sword, sword in the stone, Gaius using magic to save Merlin, Arthur and Gwen's tender moments, Lancelot returning, and Freya!

I saw Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman and it was a different take on Superman. I love this version of Clark; he's sweet, a little awkward, and yet not afraid to show his skills at writing or rescue someone when it's not too superhuman. Lois is a bit annoying but Jimmy more than makes up for her with his adorable enthusiasm, one of the best versions of Jimmy I've seen. I like when Clark rescues him from the exploding building; there needs to be far more Clark and Jimmy friendship stories out there since I've always loved their interactions. There was a hilarious scene where Martha Kent is sewing costumes for Clark before she decides on the Superman suit, and all of them are completely outrageous, especially the one with the Robin Hood hat.

I love Irwin Allen. No matter what, you can count on him for glowing buttons, flashing sets, imminent danger, friendship, whump, fights, squee, and a great deal of silver paint. And it's all wonderful, even if his best last only a season or a pilot film like City Beneath The Sea. Beneath the oceans of 2053 lies Pacifica, a glittering city filled with people that also houses all the world's gold and military weapons...and in a matter of days is going to be destroyed by a meteor. When the former commander, Mike Matthews, is called back to take charge of the situation, he finds himself faced with the people who still blame him for the tragic death of a crew member: Woody, the current commander, and the man's widow, Lia who spends her days searching for proof to charge Mike with murder. The problems don't end there, as unbeknownst to Mike, his brother Brett is planning to steal the weapons from the vault and control just about everything. On Mike's side is Aguila, a hybrid human who breathes water and believes in his innocence. But hours after Mike arrives another accident occurs, seriously injuring Woody and adding more guilt to Mike, even as he starts to wonder if two accidents aren't too much of a coincidence, and someone is behind it all. CBTS didn't get picked up as a series and it's a shame because it's completely, absurdly fun. Bits and pieces of Irwin Allen's prior series are everywhere, and there's enough flashing lights to outfit a discotheque. The bond between the five leads grows throughout the film and the final scenes are lovely; they would have made a great team to watch each week. Robert Colbert is Woody and James Darren is a scientist but unfortunately don't share a scene together; still the idea of Doug and Tony at the bottom of the sea is too good to resist. Most fascinating is Aguila, the physically altered human with no backstory who swims like a fish, breathes through gill-like lungs, and dresses so much like the Man From Atlantis that I couldn't stop grinning. In other new films this week I started with The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. Eight year old Bruno lives in world of innocence and dreams of knights in armor, a comfort since his father received a promotion and moved the family to a guarded house in the country. Lonely and looking for someone to play with, Bruno spies the "farm" in the distance and becomes curious, even when his questions are quickly brushed aside. But when he finally goes up to the fence around the farm he sees a boy his age on the other side, wearing "pajamas". The film is heartbreakingly beautiful, offering a fresh, sensory, and simplistic view of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child, even down to the low filming. Bruno is startlingly naive, contrasting with his Hitler-enamored sister and the hostile world changing around him, and Shmuel and his friendship and their clasped hands make a powerful statement. The imagery is poignant, using childhood toys: a ball, a swing, and a pile of dolls mimicking photographs of the camps to allude to the truth Bruno can't understand, and I was spellbound by how gently the Holocaust is handled up until the final minutes when it all comes crashing in. Second was Send Me No Flowers and I couldn't stop laughing. Hypochondriac George overhears his doctor's phone call and mistakenly believes he has only weeks left to live. With the help of his friend Arnold, George attempts to put his "final" days to good use: choosing a cemetery plot, having Arnold write his eulogy, and, most importantly, finding a new husband for his wife, Judy. Definitely one of the most hilarious films I've ever seen. Next I saw Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves, an unusual but fun and fascinating twist on the legends, and loved it. Robin has a good heart and is believeable as a leader, risking his life from the beginning to try to save others, and I loved the diverse and fully imagined Merry Men, especially Little John and his family, and all the treehouses and swinging ropes.

How awesome is the extended musicvid for Backstreet Boys' "Larger Than Life" with the spaceships, spacesuits, cryogenic chambers, explosions and Brian in the matrix on a futuristic surfboard? It's like watching them all in a mini sci-fi film! I found the sweetest news clip from 2005 of Nick and Brian visiting a toddler who was born with half a heart. Her parents played Backstreet Boys music before and after she was born and the beat had strengthened her heart, they believe, saving her life. Brian was so adorable singing, holding, and dancing with the little girl; I love when he compliments her shoes and him hugging her is precious. And Backstreet Boys are getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year!
 
 
calliope tune: "Toast and Marmalade For Tea"-TinTin
feeling: indifferent