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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On a happier note I've discovered Torchwood and it's everything I've missed from Doctor Who and every bit as good as it used to be. I'm enjoying the new characters as well as loving Jack as usual, and the feel of the show gives me so much nostalgia.
feeling: impressed
calliope tune: "Lightnin' Strikes"-Lou Christie