Kathleen
27 January 2016 @ 03:10 am
The X-Files, my childhood love, is back for a tenth season after all these years, and I'm happily wallowing in nostalgia. It's a complete delight so far, with all the old faces, easter eggs, and parallels to the past episodes, along with the original intro and theme. "My Struggle" is an interesting, although flawed start. The actors take a bit to get into their roles again - Scully by the end of the first episode, Mulder by the second - although Skinner is as if he never left. I also loved the glimpse of the Cigarette Smoking Man at the end. It made me sad to see Mulder so skeptical and jaded, even though it makes sense after all these years, and I actually winced when he tore the I want to believe poster. But the scene where his face light up when he sees the spaceship was so Mulder I teared up. "Founder's Mutation" is a superb blend of the myth arc and monster of the week, with a sympathetic monster, and a heartbreaking subplot featuring Mulder and Scully's daydreams about if they'd kept William, all of which, especially the forehead kisses, had me sobbing. "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" is pure comedy, and despite how much I hated the original 100% comedy episodes, it works, helped along by the offbeat and hilarious premise of a monster who is bitten by a human and becomes human when the moon comes out. The character was great fun - I also loved the puppy, I adored seeing Mulder slowly becoming a believer again, and the theme being his ringtone was flawless. "Home Again" is a gut-wrenching subplot against an intriguing concept. It's not carried off perfectly and the storylines don't fit perfectly together, but they both impact emotionally, especially in the flashbacks. "Babylon" seems to have been greatly disliked by most, but I rather enjoyed it. The guest characters, especially Miller, were enjoyable, the concept intriguing, and I never knew how much I needed Mulder dancing to country western music in a stetson. I was very sad how little screentime the Lone Gunmen got, though, and that they were only a hallucination. "My Struggle II", is excellent, making my wish the whole season could have been a miniseries of the plot, rather than just the first and final episodes. I've always preferred the mythology arc episodes to the stand alone, and it's fun to finally see the Syndicate's endgame after all these years. It was a delight to see Mulder and the Cigarette Smoking Man interact again. As much as I love to hate CSM, and as proud as I am of Mulder for not taking his deal, I've always found their dynamic fascinating, with that strange mix of father-son relationship against hatred and so much evil committed. It was wonderful to have Miller back - I adored his scenes with Mulder - and Einstein grew on me a lot compared to last episode, even if her skepticism is far more annoying than Scully's ever was. I've never been a big Reyes fan, but it was nice to see her again, even if she seemed desperately out of character. I just can't believe Reyes would ever ally herself with CSM, and especially not for the selfish reason of saving her own life, even if she did give Scully the information she needed to help everyone sick. I was incredibly sad that Doggett didn't even get a mention, though, as part of me had always hoped, even if I didn't ship it, that Reyes and he ended up together, since it might have made him happy. I loved the opening of alien!Scully, as well as Scully being the key to saving the world - Mulder's line about thanking the CSM for saving her and CSM commenting on her being Mulder's weakness made my shipper heart melt - but the cliffhanger ending left me screeching and desperate for more. Overall, weak spots aside, I enjoyed the season, and it was so wonderful and nostalgic to have my childhood babies back on my screen.

Once Upon A Time is back for the second half of season five with a mythology arc, and while nothing like what I'd expected I'm enjoying most of it so far. I love seeing this new version of Emma,still strong and brave, but no longer closed off and hurting, now determined to save Killian and fight for their future. I was never a big Neal fan, but I was glad she finally got closure with him. Killian, always being whumped, is already breaking my heart, even though I love seeing his faith in Emma and knowing she was coming for him. I liked seeing the origins of Liam and he entering the Navy and first seeing the Jolly Rodger. I was a little sad about Liam's deal with Hades, but did love him sticking by his brother and doing the right thing in the end, earning himself a happy afterlife and closure with Killian. Killian and Emma's goodbye broke me, but their reunion, and Killian finally coming back to life, was the most beautiful scene ever. The little kisses Emma gave him had me giggling and grinning. Emma has grown so much since she took her walls down, and I adored seeing them back together, as well as Emma finally admitting, without anything bad having to happen, that she loved him. I adored Charming hugging Killian, as well as trying to save him from Mr. Hyde. Snow White is delightful so far, finally getting to be the character I loved in season one again, and I love Charming and her moments together and with baby Neal. I adored her calling Killian by his first name and acting motherly toward him. Her friendship with Hercules was a surprise delight and I only wish we could see more of him. I liked Meg, too, who, while very different from the Disney version, was a sweet character. Hades, never one of my favorite Disney villains, is a mix of annoying and truly scary, even if the flaming hair makes me snicker. I also despised his romance with Zelena, and was delighted when she killed him. Surprisingly Zelena, once my least favorite character, has grown on me quite a bit, largely due to her love for her baby, and the fact that she's a lot nicer with her memories back. I also enjoy her new relationship with Regina. I teared up during Regina's goodbye to her father - and loved that Henry got to meet him - as well as her closure with Daniel. I liked her getting closure with her mother, but was annoyed Cora, after all the horrible things she did, got redeemed for doing so little to make amends. I'm broken over Robin Hood's death, as well as what it means to Regina, and leaving poor little Roland an orphan, but I loved that Regina didn't revert back to the Evil Queen, and even attempted to destroy her other half, showing how much she's grown. I adore that Rumplestiltskin and Belle are finally having a baby, and Rumple's instant willingness to do whatever he had to to protect the baby breaks my heart and gives me Rumple and Bae feels all over again - if seeing them in the flashback wasn't heart-tugging enough! I did like that he showed remorse at sending Milah into the river, too, even if I despise Milah and honestly didn't care that he did it. But I appreciate that Rumplestiltskin has seemingly come to terms with his darkness and found a balance between his love for Belle and his power, something I hope Belle will eventually come around to, as I want so much to see them and their baby as a family. I love Belle but she's frustrating me so far this season, pulling away from Rumplestiltskin when, in this case, he's actually doing the right thing, being honest with her and himself, and trying to save their baby. I'm also incredibly sad that True Love's Kiss didn't work to wake her, after Rumplestiltskin was willing to give up who he is to try it. The season finale introduces a new and intriguing world, the Land of Untold Stories, with a delightful cameo by the Three Musketeers, a tantalizing hint at Agrabah, and new characters in the introduction of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I love the steampunk feel of the world and characters, and the concept of characters being able to split off their evil sides is intriguing, leaving me excited for season six.

The Musketeers has completed its third and final season, and despite a few things that felt rushed or forced, I enjoyed every moment. The series finally hit its stride and settled into its characters even more than the previous seasons, all of whom have grown so much. I adored that everyone got a happy ending, especially Aramis, D'Artagnan and Constance (I was so afraid for all of them), and Aramis and Anne's little son was absolutely adorable. I also loved Porthos getting a love interest, and a little family all at once. I wasn't incredibly fond of Sylvie at first - I greatly enjoy Athos and Milady's relationship, felt Sylive and Athos's came out of left field, and aren't very fond of Athos in general, and less so this season - but she grew on me, and seemed to make Athos a better person. I was surprisingly pleased with the villains this season, compared to my hatred - and not in a love to hate way - of the last two season's, with each one unique, and some even strangely sympathetic, like the King's ill-fated brother. I was saddened to lose both the King and Treville, but did love seeing Milady again, even if only for a couple episodes. I also adored the baby Musketeer - I never did get his name - and was so happy he survived and ended up becoming a full-fledged Musketeer in the end.

I watched The Living and the Dead, and while it wasn't at all what I was expecting, I completely fell in love with it. The acting was superb, the music, scenery, and cinematography all breathtaking, and the plot had a gorgeous Gothic feel that delighted me, as well as shocking me with the twists. I liked the themes of growth and healing, as well as realizing one's own limitations, and Nathan and Charlotte's relationship was both adorable and heartbreaking yet realistic. I loved the poignancy of the episodes, and how the writers didn't shy away from tragedy and darkness, while still leaving a glimmer of hope. I also had no idea how much I needed to see Colin Morgan holding a baby until now.

Zoo is on season two, and it's a surprisingly emotional and jarring ride from season one's fluffy outrageous tone. I'm not happy with the changes in Jamie's character - I get that she suffered a lot but becoming a murderous psycho, and lashing out at Mitch who fought the hardest to save her, seems wildly out of character. Logan was an interesting, although completely under-used and largely pointless character. who didn't seem to quite deserve the horrible ending he got. I'm broken over Chloe's senseless death (and the destruction of my otp), and Dariela irks me endlessly - I despise her instant romance with Abe, as much as I want him to get a *nice* love interest. But, on the bright side there's snarky as usual Mitch and Abraham and Jackson's heart-warming friendship to fill the void. I also adore that we're finally getting backstory on Jackson, including flashbacks to his sad childhood, and, while I'm worried and so sad for him, I'm very interesting in his story arc this season as he slowly mutates. I love the new and creative animals this season, especially the adorable Moe the jellyfish, and the electric ants.

I've started watching Roswell again, a show I faintly remember from my childhood, and falling in love with it. Max and Liz's star-crossed, alien/human love story hits all my tropes, and it's easy to also root for Michael and Maria's romance. I love Max, who projects the perfect mixture of sad vulnerability and other-worldliness, and Michael continues to break my heart. I also surprisingly even love the female characters, with Liz and Maria perfectly tolerable, and Isabel very likeable. I adore the way the characters, particularly the alien trio, form a makeshift family. While Kyle is a somewhat useless character, I did love his interactions with Max in the episode where they were both drunk, and hope for more scenes with the two of them. The Sheriff is a fascinating character, from a sympathetic villain to on their team, and I love his relationship with the kids. I love the theme and setting, especially the Crashdown, too. I'm not especially fond of Tess, as much as I like Emilie de Ravin, who feels like a plot device solely to create angst for Max and Liz, but I do love the realization of who and what the aliens are.

I binge-watched the complete series of Roar, and it was such a treat to plunge back into a Kiwi show again. They have such a lovely feel and warmth, and are so nostalgic to me. I adored the Celtic soundtrack, and the characters, for the most part, were all likeable, especially Conor. Molly annoys me a bit, but I love everyone else. I'm only sad the show didn't continue, because it grew on me more and more, and seemed to be getting better by the episode. The setting was also quite unique and very enjoyable.

I'm finally getting to watch the seasons of Gunsmoke I hadn't seen, starting with eight. Chester is in the show much less this season, sadly, but there's a new character in the form of half-Comanche blacksmith Quint, and so far he's both a delight and quite easy on the eyes. There's also the episode "Us Haggens" which introduces Festus, long before he'd become a regular. His voice is quite different, and he doesn't have all his quirks yet, nor his beloved Ruth, but I can see the roots of the character I'd learn to love, even then. I also found it interesting how he's likeable, but not quite as sweet and slightly more intelligent than the later character. Among other excellent episodes is the delightful and heart-tugging "I Call Him Wonder", a flawless prequel to one of my favorite later season episodes. By season eleven, Doc and Festus, now a regular, have a wonderful banter and friendship going, and I adored episodes like "Wishbone" where Festus cares for Doc who's been bitten by a snake, and another episode where Festus has been badly beaten up and Doc worries over him. Quint is sadly gone, though, replaced by Thad, the only character in the show I've ever disliked. In truth, Thad is harmless, although far from charismatic and very dull compared to all other deputies Matt had, but I've always had such an irrational loathing of him.

I'm on season four of Maverick now and it's a delight. I've always been unusual in that I've never cared for Bret and found his episodes far less interesting for the most part. Filling his place is cousin Beau who is fine so far, and Bart has a bit more episodes than usual, all of which are excellent.

New this season is The Shannara Chronicles, an absolute treasure so far. It's pulling heavy inspiration from Tolkien, but I don't mind because its old fantasy, and therefore different from most current tv and films that draw from more recent novels. It's undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous shows I've ever seen, with the lush backdrop of New Zealand mingled with tactful cgi and well-done filming, costumes, and props, all a richly detailed and offbeat blend of Medieval high fantasy merged with post-dystopian futurism. I love the beautiful opening credits which quickly explain the background and mythos of the series. The whole show has a slightly modernized tinge over the feel of the Kiwi shows of the '90s I grew up on, making me both happy and somewhat nostalgic at the same time. I love the vast majority of the characters, and nearly all of the male ones, helped by a likable cast and the refreshing lack of common tropes in most of their personalities. Wil is a complete sweetheart, and its a joy to have a protagonist who is mostly inept at fighting, admits fear, sorrow, and horror, and would much rather be a healer than go on an epic quest. Allanon is fabulous, a perfect mix of dry wit and slightly spooky power; and I adore the writers for, once, not killing off the mentor character at first convenience. I love his relationship with Wil, and I'm always a sap for the magic comes at a cost trope. Ander is sweet, and I absolutely adore his relationship with Amberle, and have so many headcanons about how he poured all his love into her because of his father's rejection, brother's death, and his other brother's seeming indifference toward him. On a shallow note, his looks are absolutely stunning, too. Bandon is a precious baby, and I'm so worried for him, especially concerning his gift. I'm not fond of Eretria, but I appreciate the layers of her character, and the realism of a life of abuse having shaped her into what she is, while still showing flashes of a good, yet scarred heart beneath it all. Amberle seems sweet but I dislike her with Wil, and that seems to be half of her personality.

In other new shows there's Legends of Tomorrow, a delightfully zany and surprisingly emotional mash up of heroes that results in just about the most overtly comic book series I've ever seen. Snagged from other DC shows, I know most of the characters already, especially my baby, Ray, thankfully on a much better show and surrounded by a better cast, but still as precious and nerdy as ever. Heat Wave is growing on me a lot, and I already loved Captain Cold, Professor Stein, and Jax. The only brand new character is Rip Hunter and he's great so far, even if often exasperated and shady. AI Gideon is also fun.

Also new is Outsiders, an intriguing and highly unusual series. The characters are interesting and layered - I adore Asa, the setting - and contrast between the ways of life - is fascinating, and I enjoy the relationships, especially Hasil and Sally Ann.

Daredevil is back for season two, bringing with it all the unique things that set it apart from and make it more deeply thought-provoking than other superhero shows with its realism, haunting cinematography, long scenes of dialogue, and poignant character study as it fleshes out its characters and thankfully narrow setting. Added to the always fascinating supporting characters this season is Frank Castle, an intriguing and layered character. I loved his clashes and eventual alliance - including saving his life - with Matt, and despite his violent, morally grey actions, I enjoyed his more tender moments, such as his love for his family and dog. Also new is Elektra, a character I enjoyed in the movie, and is even better here, both in her own complex morality, and her poignant relationship with Matt. I loved seeing the priest, Claire, and Wilson Fisk again, and only wish they could have been in it more. While there were some things I found unnecessary or unwanted - Foggy and Matt's breakup rehash of season one, the less focused storyline, and especially the Matt/Karen forced and annoying romance angle - I loved so many moments, especially Matt getting his new sticks, and all the returning supporting characters. I was disappointed in Karen's character, which, while troubled and somewhat traumatized last season, was far more interesting and likable as opposed to how whiny and annoying she came across this season. Despite the forced chemistry at first, I grew to enjoy her scenes with Frank, and she seemed much more like her season one character with him.

I went to see X Men: Apocalypse in theatres, and it was fabulous, definitely my second or third favorite film of the series so far. Charles has finally stepped into the role of the kindly professor I loved, and his character growth is a delight to behold. I also enjoyed the unique explanation for how he ended up bald, even if I'm going to miss his fantastic hair. Erik breaks my heart, as usual, and the death of his family was devastatingly cruel - I so wanted to see more of his little daughter's animal mutation, and their scenes together were so touching and tender. I adored Charles and Erik's scenes together - their balance between friend and enemy is my favorite relationship in the series - and I inwardly shrieked when Erik swung to the X-Men's sides and dropped the huge metal X in front of Charles to protect him from Apocalypse. I also loved that the movie ended on a hopeful note for their relationship. Despite my reservations, I quickly grew to love the younger versions of the characters: Storm was fascinating, Scott was as precious as his adult version, and surprisingly, I liked Jean a lot more than the adult who I've never really cared for. I loved her saving Charles by unleashing her power, showing a flipped parallel to the darkness of her character in the original films. I'm horribly upset about Alex, though, and cling to the hope that he'll come back alive in some future film, since his body was never shown. Nightcrawler, a favorite of mine from the original films, was precious, and I adored every moment with him. Angel was a fascinating character, and I only wish there had been redemption for him, or at least more time, as his story seemed ripe for more exploration than it got. It was nice to see Mystique fully with the good guys by the end, and I love that she seems to be staying to train the new kids. Quicksilver was as much of a treasure as last movie, with a delightfully expanded role. I was a little disappointed he never told Erik he was his son, but his perfect mix of poignancy and quirky humor warmed my heart. His song sequence was endearing, and I was extremely worried when Apocalypse hurt him, but thankful when things ended happily for him. Apocalypse was an intriguing, although under-developed villain. I loved the concept of him - his gaining powers through body transference - and the few glimpses given of how he viewed the world, but he lacked full motivation for his actions. Wolverine's cameo was an unexpected and beautiful scene. I adored Jean giving him a memory, and the fact that he never spoke highlighted how good an actor Hugh Jackman is, with all the emotions he conveyed through his eyes.

I stumbled across Beyond the Prairie, and despite my reservations and few annoyances, mainly Laura being blonde - I'm far from a book purist on anything, but an absolute stickler than Laura must have brown hair - I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's pretty cute and a complete delight to see some of my favorite things from The Long Winter, my favorite book of the series, and the one thing I was always so sad the tv show didn't include. I've had a massive crush on Cap Garland since I was little, and despite him not being what I imagine I still shrieked like a schoolgirl at finally having him on my screen, even if only for a few short scenes. I also loved the inclusion of the blizzard, and Almanzo and Cap's journey for the wheat, especially Almanzo and Laura's adorable reunion scene. In other favorites, he voice over was lovely, Mary was sweet and I would have loved to see more of her, and baby Rose was so precious.

I re-watched the pilot for the failed remake of The Time Tunnel since I hadn't seen it since I bought my DVDs of the original show years ago. The last time I watched it I was too distracted by paperwork to do more than fume a bit over Tony being a woman and everything being modern, but this time I gave it an honest try and was pleasantly surprised. It's a little rough, as many pilots are, but despite all the changes I was impressed by how well they actually captured the characters. Despite making Tony a woman, a lot of her character traits were familiar: her quickly formed bond with Doug, determination to save and help everyone even if it means bending the rules like letting the boy stay with the woman who cared about him, and her loss of a family she loved, all things essentially a part of the original Tony's character. Likewise the controllers at the Time Tunnel are the original blend of would be savior with slight hints of mad scientist over-reaching where they shouldn't and maybe even willing to sacrifice the travelers if necessary. Happily Doug was the best part. Ironically, although Tony is my favorite, I adore Doug, usually taking his POV in my fanfic, and relate to him in many ways, so one of the lines struck me; when Doug is told by his dying friend who he no longer remembers that he was "the loneliest guy" he knew. That was so perfectly original Doug. Underneath the knowledge and determination there's just this incredibly deep loneliness that always made me think that if he didn't have or lost Tony he'd have no one at all, since odds are he'll never get back to Ann. I would have loved to see a glimpse of the other new Doug, the one who didn't have the family, to see if he was the way I imagine, but it definitely gave me so many plotbunnies of an AU version. But still I adored his little family - his wife and cute kids - and was thrilled when they remained at the end, even when time was set back, even though I was sad that that meant Tony didn't regain her lost family, too. I loved David Conrad as Doug, too, since he was very believable as a modern day version of the original character.

I watched The Huntsman: Winter's War and was left with mixed feelings. While I adored seeing the Huntsman again, and finally getting his backstory, I hated how much was retconned, particularly Ravenna's death and the Huntsman's wife. Female warriors are one of my least favorite type of characters, and I could see nothing in Sara's character that resembled Snow White as the first film implied. Freya was an unnecessary addition to the story, and greatly boring with the exception of the final few minutes that made me feel a bit of sympathy for her. Many of the other characters, like the other Huntsman, who I would have liked to see more of, were underused, and the dwarves were wasted in comic relief. The plor seemed overstuffed and muddled, and while pretty, failed to measure up to the beautifully dark and imaginative first movie. Saddest of all, to me, Snow White married the Prince, eliminating all the implications of the first movie that the Huntsman had taken that role, having been the one to kiss her awake.

I discovered and have been watching the adorable and imaginative Tinkerbell animated film series, which fills out the backstory of the Peter Pan character. I love the world of Pixie Hollow, with all it's imaginative concepts - fairies painting ladybugs and stripes on bumblebees and the flower bulbs with legs - and I love the other fairy characters, especially Terrence and the sweet little Fawn.
 
 
feeling: hungry
calliope tune: "Green Fields"-Brothers Four
 
 
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.
 
 
calliope tune: "26 Miles"-Four Preps
feeling: listless
 
 
Kathleen
I'm on the eighth and final season of Rawhide and as expected so much has changed. The intro is odd, and I miss the "head 'em up, move 'em out" endings, but the plots are as good as ever. Rowdy is finally trail boss with Gil gone, and despite my reservations and his somewhat less carefree, more "grown up" personality, I'm adoring both the change and the chance to see Rowdy finally step into the role properly. Unlike Gil's hostile, often cruel attitude, Rowdy makes for a warmer, kinder boss who, unlike Gil, values the men more than the herd, and the entire feel of the series as well as the trail boss to drovers relationship seems more relaxed without Gil's abrasiveness. His selflessness is obvious throughout the season, with countless contrasts to Gil, especially when he lets another drover, falsely accused of murder, escape, and gets himself arrested in his place to investigate the brutality of the lawman. Also, while he puts the herd before himself, he's instantly willing to risk the herd and time for the men, something Gil would never have considered. Of the original cast only Wishbone and Jim Quince, now serving as ramrod, remain, and despite my happiness in still having them I miss the others, especially Mushy, terribly. The always solid John Ireland steps in as drover Jed Colby, and the sweet, British-accented greenhorn Ian stole my heart from his intro. I love Rowdy's protectiveness of him unlike the more equal relationship he shares with the others. Simon Blake fills the position of trusted drover and he's fabulous, fitting perfectly with the cast and having a simple yet lovely friendship with Rowdy and the other men.

Outlander has just started and it's gorgeous so far with a flawless intro/theme and the very beautiful Jamie Fraser whose face keeps looking like a young Jamie Bamber so much i just want to cuddle and protect him from harm. I finally have all the kilts and Scottish accents my heart could desire. The show continues to get better with twists and turns, gorgeous scenery, including an ancient castle, a beautifully interwoven fairytales, and Jamie's sweetness. I can't say how many years I've longed to hear "Dinna fash" come out of a tv character's mouth. Dougal bothers me, though, between his treatment of Claire and his eyes on his brother's position, even at the cost of killing Jamie. Geillis annoys me dreadfully, and I'm completely convinced she's going to turn evil, if she isn't already. I do adore Mrs. Fitz, though, and the Laird, despite my first impressions, is proving to be intriguing character.

Way late but I've just discovered the fabulous Hell On Wheels and I'm rolling in the gorgeous intro, authenticity, classic western feel, and excellent writing. It's a real treat, and I already love Bohannon, Naomi, and their little baby. Doc and Eva's relationship is sad and touching, and I quite like Psalms.

I've been enjoying Extant, and despite a slow start it has my full interest now, thanks to a likeable protagonist, and a genuinely creepy, without being gruesome alien being. The idea of it being able to create the image of a lost loved one is superbly disturbing, even if I'd yet to completely figure out the plots. Harmon is an intriguing character, and I love little Ethan, the so very human robot child, and only hope he stays good.

I've finally started sticking with a season of Teen Wolf and genuinely enjoyed season four, despite some plot holes, due to an intriguing storyline. I loved the concept and mystery of the Deadpool list - and was completely shocked at who the Benefactor turned out to be, and loved seeing each character come into their own. Malia was a pleasant surprise, proving to be pretty cute and adorable, and I giggled through her scene of being so proud over her low grade at school. Braeden was another surprise, as I assumed the character would either die or turn evil, and instead found myself enjoying her story arc and romance with Derek which I'd never guessed I'd end up shipping. I loved how Argent came to terms with Allison's death as well as the Pack, and was okay with Peter's fitting fate. Kate's open ending was frustrating, though, and I can't help wishing they'd just killed her off. Derek was the best part, as usual. I loved seeing him come full circle and to terms with his heart and past, smiling more and forming relationships. While he had me terrified much of the season, I enjoyed seeing both child and human sides of him, but especially the beautiful transition into full and gorgeous wolf, my favorite twist of the season.

I finished season three of The Mod Squad and it was fabulous. I shriek a little inwardly every time Pete calls Julie "angel" and the two kissed in an episode - although sadly just as part of their cover. The trio's friendship is beautiful, as is their relationship with Captain Greer; I loved when he called Pete and Linc "his boys".

I discovered the amusing '80s sitcom Bosom Buddies and am loving it so far. The premise is outrageous but the guys's friendship and colorful side characters make it all works, and I love the theme and situations they manage to get themselves into.

I finished season two of Maverick and am still loving Bart best, as well as lamenting the fact that I seem to be the only one who prefers him to Bret. Bart, always the more serious and warmer in personality, gets all the best episodes, including the stunning "Prey Of The Cat" in which Bart gets put through the mental and physical wringer when a conniving woman falls for him, kills her own husband, and eventually winds up getting Bart nearly lynched for two murders. I found Raquel a fascinating, although tragic character in it, and Jack Kelly did an incredible job on the role, especially with Bart's tangible fear in the scene where he's locked in the cell as the mob comes into the jail. On a happier note, there's a new recurring character this season: the adorable scoundrel 'Gentleman' Jack Darby played by the always fabulous Richard Long, and he's both hilarious and completely perfect, gleefully playing off Bart with every quip.

I'm watching season two of The Courtship Of Eddie's Father now and it's every bit as adorable as last season. Tom and Eddie have the sweetest, most realistic father-son relationship ever, and I love all the other characters and the way they all relate.

I got a chance to watch the pilot of Young Hercules and loved it. As much as I love Ryan Gosling's Hercules Ian Bohen was even better, a perfect mixture of uncertainty and skill. Iolaus was flawless as usual, and I loved Jason's role. The plot was fun and unexpectedly poignant in places, especially due to a couple character deaths and Jason's fatal injury and healing with the golden fleece.

In new miniseries I watched Empire which for whatever historical embellishment more than makes up for it in beautiful scenes, intriguing people, and the stunning good looks of a super young and dark-eyed Santiago Cabrera. I was fascinated by Shakespeare's Julius Caesar so I got a little thrill during the Ides Of March prophesies near the beginning, then haunted by the tragedy of Caesar's death in the senate which plunged Rome into chaos. The only one to hear Caesar's dying wish, freed gladiator Tyrannus flees Rome with Octavius, Caesar's heir over the assumed successor Marc Antony. Hunted by assassins and betrayed by friends, Tyrannus attempts to teach Octavius all he knows in order to keep him alive and mold him into a great ruler, protecting him at the risk of his own life. I'm always drawn to the gladiators so it was no surprise that I loved Tyrannus, and the actor underplays the role wonderfully with most of his acting coming from his eyes and movements. Octavius is young and flawed but spirited and troubled enough that I cared about his journey, believable as the uncertain boy who suddenly finds himself growing up overnight. Brutus is a intriguing and conflicted traitor, and Julius Caesar, a deeply kind leader, has far too short a role.

I finally saw the 2013 miniseries of Anna Karenina and it was gorgeous, by far the best version over the other two I've tried. Everyone was perfectly cast, and the haunting feel of desperation over-shadowing Anna finally came out on the screen. Santiago Cabrera was gorgeous as usual, and I was very impressed by the actress who played Anna. I also loved that the film used the other characters more, and the setting and tone was beautiful. Also I gave a try to the '48 film and it was quite lovely, a well done version with beautiful, misty photography, and while I don't usually care for Vivien Leigh, her fragile looks and helpless style captured Anna well. I got chills when she describes her dream of how she'll die, and the recurring image of the old man by the train was incredibly powerful. The children were very believable, too, and little Sergei was adorable.

I finally saw Legion, which I'd been meaning to watch since I started Dominion, and while it initially took me a bit to warm up, I grew to love it. Paul Bettany was a wonderful Michael, very much like Tom Wisdom's portrayal, but with a bit less of a hardened edge, which is logical since he hasn't yet seen so much horror. The scene where he fights Gabriel and dies by his hand was haunting, and I loved his resurrection and beautiful, restored wings. Audrey was a sweet character, and I was saddened that she didn't survive the film, and I loved Jeep's quiet love for Charlie. Baby Alex was absolutely adorable, too.

I tried two Charles Dickens starting with the complex and lovely 1998 miniseries Our Mutual Friend. I've completely fallen in love with the wonderful Eugene Wrayburn who alternately made me smile, put stars in my eyes when he kissed Lizzie's hand, broke my heart, and put it back together again. He and Lizzie were beautiful together and while I loved the whole film their story was my favorite. The historical accuracy of BBC films never fails to impress me, and it felt like a time capsule of the 1860s, gorgeously filmed and acted. I also saw the lovely Martin Chuzzlewit which has some of my favorite Dickens characters including optimistic and cheerful Mark, sweet and caring Tom, kind-hearted and gentlemanly John, and impish waif Bailey. It was a perfect blend of hilarious comedy with Augustus's scenes and darker moments with Jonas, one of the few Dickens villains who makes my skin crawl. Everything had the wonderful, period feel; the only things I wish is that there was more of John and Ruth's and Mark and Mrs. Lupin's romances, as well as scenes instead of just a letter describing Martin's change of heart when he's ill in America and later has to care for Mark when he, too, becomes sick. But the actors were all perfect for their roles, and I adored seeing Peter Wingfield as John...such a different but just as heart-tugging role as the Sin Eater.

In theatres I saw The Giver and it far exceeded my expectations, making me both smile and cry several times. The world-building was fantastic, especially the unique choice of having the world and part of the film without color. The actors were all fabulous, and several scenes deeply moving, especially Giver's poignant speech toward the end, and Jonas's interactions with little Gabriel. I loved the gentle, slow-moving feel of the plot, even during action scenes, and the contrast of emotions Jonas learned to feel.

I discovered one more Charles Farrell film, the talkie After Tomorrow which impressed me a lot more than I'd been expecting. The story was realistic, brushed with a mix of adorable and tragic moments, and topped off with a very happy and unexpected ending. Charles Farrell was, as usual, wonderfully sweet, playing the innocent, faithful character he was so good and loveable as, and the whole cast was quite talented. Lacking more of his films I'm now watching the adorable series My Little Margie and loving it. Charles Farrell is wonderful as Margie's father, and Gale Storm is perfect as the ever mischievous Margie. In other new silent films I've discovered a love for Charlie Chaplin. I watched The Kid which was adorable, and fell in love with his character as well as his adorable father-son relationship with little John. Their scenes together were wonderful, and I loved the happy ending. After that was the flawless City Lights, a perfect mesh of hilarious comedy and bittersweet romance which made me completely adore Charlie Chaplin. The story was poignant and deeply touching and I wished it'd been a bit longer to ensure a completely happy ending.

In new films this week I watched the wonderful Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events which was a perfect blend of bittersweet and hilarious, all with a zany, quirky, turn of the century feel that instantly made me adore it. I loved how imaginative the story was, with dry humor, poignant and lovely moments, and loveable characters, such as little biting Sunny or the hilarious Aunt Josephine and her fears of everything. Violet and Klaus were easy to root for, and I loved the three children's relationship and how they looked after each other. Next I saw the gorgeous Bridge To Terabithia, a flawless, heartbreaking story with a very familiar cast: Josh Hutcherson as bullied little loner Jess, Annasophia Robb from Samantha as the imaginative Leslie, adorable little Bailee Madison from Saving Sarah Cain as Jess's darling sister May Belle, and Robert Patrick from The X-Files as Jess's strict yet not unloving father. The plot was beautifully sad, rich in imagination, and I loved the world Jess and Leslie created, even if I've never cried so hard during a film. The ending was poignant yet lovely, with May Belle entering Terabithia as their new princess, and I adored her relationship with Jess, as well as the twists and turns in the plot such as the bully finally standing up for Jess against the other bullies. Josh Hutcherson was wonderful as Jess, with just the right amount of childish awe and world-weary sadness to make me love him. Following that I watched the clever and imaginative Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, a modern twist on Greek mythology with a likeable bunch of heroes, especially the funny satyr Grover. I loved the way it tied the myths to what was happening in the teen's lives, and the unusual aspects such as Percy's dyslexia being the fact that he can read ancient Greek. Then I saw Becoming Jane, a gorgeous and poignant biography of Jane Austen's early years and her first and only love. Anne Hathaway was perfect as Jane, and James McAvoy was wonderful as Tom, a bit of a rogue but loveable. It was beautifully filmed and directed, and I teared up at the ending, so sad yet lovely. Next was The Spiderwick Chronicles, an enchantingly imaginative fantasy with fairies and an adorable little brownie that made me feel like a kid. The story was fun, I teared up at the bittersweet ending with Lucinda and her father, and I loved the talented cast, especially the children. Then I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and loved how much it was like Alias Smith and Jones with their banter, the safecracking, Etta reminding me so much of Clementine, and just the feel of the film in general. Butch and Sundance had a wonderful close, yet easy friendship, and the humor is gently underplayed beneath a feel of dread; you can actually feel the time running out, driving them to toward the ending which gives the film a bittersweet feel. I loved the attention to detail and use of sepiatone filming and pictures within the film, as well as the theme, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", which I've always loved. The ending completely broke me, though, not that I wasn't expecting it, but it was heartbreaking to actually see it, even though it was beautifully, poignantly filmed. Next was the gorgeous The Eagle, a flawless and beautiful film with loads of friendship, whump, and all other elements I love, as well as being set in the time period of Hadrian's Wall which made me giddy from the beginning. I loved Marcus saving Esca in the arena by yelling at the people to turn their thumbs down into thumbs up, a selfless act that turns into an enduring friendship of equals instead of simply master and slave. I loved how Esca saves him in the end, and him being set free yet still remaining with him in the end. It was a wonderful story, too, and I loved every moment of it. Following that was The Patriot, a guilty pleasure since I love the Revolutionary War, and it was both stunning and completely heartbreaking, with lovely photography and superb acting, making me cry and yet giving me moments that were heartwarming, such as little Susan speaking, or the soldier naming his son after Gabriel. The film reminded me a lot of Shenandoah though, which both made me happy and intrigued me. Then I saw the 2004 version of The Phantom Of The Opera, a utterly gorgeous and breathtakingly haunting film that made me cry. I loved both Raoul for his selflessness and determination to save Christine as well as the tragic Phantom for his deep love and sadness, and frankly would have been happy for Christine to end up with either. Still the ending made me burst into tears I'd been holding back the whole film. The music was glorious, especially "Music Of The Night", always my favorite, and the acting and direction were simply stunning. Next was the surprisingly excellent Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, a stunningly poignant and thought-provoking film that was also deeply moving. I wasn't expecting much and was completely blown away by it. James Franco continues to impress me with the sensitivity of his acting, and his relationship with Caesar was beautifully done. The scenes where Caesar spoke were powerful and I loved the message of the film as well as all the nods to the original. Then I saw Tron: Legacy, an incredibly imaginative and fabulous sci-fi with a richly detailed cyborg world all inside a computer. I loved Sam - a perfectly cast Garrett Hedlund - and the jaw-dropping special effects. I discovered Heidi's wonderful sequel Courage Mountain and completely fell in love with it. While this Heidi took a while to grow on me I instantly took to Peter, mostly because he's quite close to what I imagine the child Peter looking like and acting like grown up. I loved the parallels between the films, such as Heidi having to save Peter from falling off the cliff, and the lovely new additions like Peter giving Heidi his panpipes to remember him while she's away. The best part of all, though, was seeing a pairing I've loved since I was seven truly and really become canon. Peter and Heidi were perfect together, even kissing, hugging, and promising to wait until Peter returns from the war, and I was melting with happiness through every moment. Next was The Last King Of Scotland, a gritty but fascinating historical drama. Nicholas was a very human protagonist, and the events surrounding and involving him were both disturbing and very interesting, opening my eyes to a part of history I'd never heard of. After that was Atonement, and while it didn't impress me as much as I'd hoped it was still a gorgeously filmed movie, especially the breathtaking and heartwrenching war scenes such as Dunkirk or Robbie discovering the dead girls. I never felt like I got to know the characters very well, but I still cared enough about them, especially the tragic Bryony, to be interested in their fate. The final twist stunned me, leaving the film with a bittersweet and haunting conclusion. Next was the 1990 version of Treasure Island, a remarkably faithful adaptation with the always wonderful Christian Bale as Jim. I liked that Jim was more of a fighter and saved everyone unlike the more childish Jim from the Disney version, but I missed the warm relationship between the Doctor and he which was considerably toned down. While I felt it needed a little more fun in the plot, it was still a well-done film, and I loved the period details and sea-faring adventure. Next was September Dawn, a heartbreaking and beautifully old-fashioned film about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. It's a historical event I've been interested in for a long time and I liked the feel and style of the film, capturing the tragedy in a star-crossed romance and a mixture of people I grew to love or hate. Jonathan was especially fascinating and played by a very talented actor, and the nearly black-and-white contrast between the two groups was refreshing and unusual, more like an old film. Then was Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, a fantastic and ridiculously fun movie with shades of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights which I've loved all my life. I'm not familiar with the actor but he was amazing as Dastan, the street orphan turned prince, and both he and the boy who played him as a child would be perfect in a live-action version of Aladdin. I loved the concept of the time-turning-back dagger and sand, and there were more than enough acrobatics to keep me entertained. I was a little sad that Tamina didn't remember him in the end, but the fact that she was alive and that they were together made me too happy to worry about it. Next was Noah which was gorgeous, with a fascinating, fresh look at the story while sticking close enough for comfort. The scene of the animals coming to the ark was breath-taking, and the cinematography was stunning throughout. I loved the idea of the evil character being seen by Noah as the snake, and the flood's start was exactly as I imagine. I loved Shem and Ila's story, how they met, their love for each other and their children, and they being the ones to start the world over. Noah was quite different than I imagine, and there were times I didn't exactly like him, even if I understood his motives, but he was quite human and easy to relate to. Naamah was excellent, given the depth she always lacks, and little Japheth was precious. Only Ham felt miscast, despite Logan Lerman doing a good job at the role. After hearing about it for so many years I finally saw Kiss Of Death and surprisingly loved it. Film noir has never been my favorite genre but this film more than makes up for it by crafting an easy to follow plot with good characters that are easy to warm to. Victor Mature is excellent as always as the anti-hero, and I adored getting to see him play a husband and father with two adorable little girls, for a change. Richard Widmark was creepy and good as always, although I was expecting more from his role due to the hype I've always heard surrounding his performance. I loved the hopeful ending, and setting of the movie. After that was a rare Glenn Ford film I hadn't yet seen: A Stolen Life. Bette Davis was surprisingly excellent at the dual role, portraying both sisters as so unique she had me easily convinced she was two different people. Glenn Ford was lovely, even if his character was a bit naive, and it was a treat to see him so young. Next was Priest, a film of gorgeous cinematography and amazing world-building with a superb twist on vampires. I loved the gadget-filled, 1800s like world, the distinct cross markings on their faces, and the bikes. All the characters, from Priest himself, to Hicks, to Lucy were fabulous, and I was saddened to not find a sequel resolving Priest and Priestess's unrequited love, as well as seeing Priest getting to know his daughter. I'm starting to love Karl Urban's roles so I watched Pathfinder, a unique tale of a Viking child taken in by an Indian tribe who grows to be an adult to defend them against a second invasion. Karl Urban was wonderful as Ghost, and I loved his relationships with his adoptive mother and sister - their deaths broke me - as well as Starfire. The ending was lovely. After that was The Pianist, an utterly heartbreaking and gorgeous true story of a Holocaust survivor. Adrien Brody was absolutely stunning - he certainly deserved that oscar - and the story made me tear up so many times. Next was the delightful Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I loved the world and visuals, as well as the romance. Next was the offbeat but intriguing Suddenly Last Summer. Next was I Confess, an excellent and interesting Hitchcock. Next was the delightfully shippy Children of Dune and its awesome world-building and glowy eyes. Next was On the Waterfront, always excellent, and the iconic The Wild One. Next was the visually lovely City of Ember. Next was the surprisingly enjoyable Alexander. Next was The Legend of Hercules, a flawed but highly enjoyable version of the myth. Next was the fun and random fairytale adventure Ella Enchanted. Next was the Pirates of the Caribbean which despite a slow start quickly won me over. Next was the enjoyable and lovely The Story of Alexander Graham Bell. Last was the Kiwi adventure Doom Runners which I enjoyed greatly, despite it definitely being a kids' movie, probably because of Dean O'Gorman.

In new superhero films I watched The Amazing Spiderman 2 but despite some excellent moments and early humor it seemed disconnected and over-filled. This Peter isn't easy for me to relate to but he seemed better last film, more human and awkward instead of annoying and never serious. Gwen and his breakup seemed random and simply to add more heartbreak, and Harry, the character I was most looking forward to was completely ruined, turned into a whining, strange kid whose transformation into the green Goblin made little sense, even if his appearance was creepy and fascinating. Gwen's death was tragic and completely heart-wrenching, making the best scene, sadly, in the entire film. The ending seemed abrupt and out of place, with Peter reverting too quickly to his joking persona without giving another thought to Gwen and too much was left hanging.

I finally saw Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog and surprisingly loved it, both for the music as well as the plot. The sadness of the ending was a shock but I liked the origin of the bad guy feel to the story, even if the last moments left it hanging for a sequel.
 
 
feeling: mischievous
calliope tune: "Lover's Cross"-Jim Croce
 
 
Kathleen
I'm working my way through season three of Smallville, the only season I hadn't seen yet. Highlights include the fascinating "Extinction" in which an embittered teenager is executing meteor-infected people one by one and ends up shooting Clark with a kryptonite bullet which leads to Jonathan and Martha having to perform home surgery to save his life, and "Whisper" in which Clark is blinded by a piece of meteor rock and discovers his super hearing, with the cute foreshadowing of Clark having to wear glasses as his eyes heal. "Relic" was an unusual mystery in which Clark discovers his father traveled to Earth in 1961 and fell in love with a woman he's accused of having murdered. The story gives a human side to Jor-El who I usually despise and made me see him in a more sympathetic light, as well as giving a fantastic excuse to have Clark with retro clothing and hair. I loved the scene where Jor-El reveals where he's from and then picks up Louise and floats in the stars with her, and their romance was a lovely and tragic fairytale. I loved how everyone's lives were woven together in the past, especially Hiram Kent saving Jor-El from the police, and Lex's grandfather being a murderer, showing the roots of the Luthor family's evil. "Hereafter", a moving and unique episode, features a teenager who can see the way someone will die by touching them, a meteor power that leaves him deeply troubled and afraid of human contact, a situation that poses an intriguing and unsolved question when the boy touches Clark and sees only a cape and light, leading him to wonder whether Clark is immortal. He sees a flash of the school coach committing suicide, but Clark saves the man, changing the future and setting into motion a dangerous chain of events that threaten several lives, the teen's included. The ending with Clark finding Jonathan collapsed in the barn was a superbly filmed and acted finale to a deftly woven story. Running through the episode is another storyline involving Adam, the teen Lana met while recovering from her injury. He has a lot of potential, not the least of which is being the first person in the series to give Lana a swift emotional kick to try to force her to grow up and get over herself, despite being yet another guy to fall for her. His story arc takes a chilling and startling turn when toward the end of the episode the boy, having bumped into him by accident, seems to suggest that Adam had already died, giving a sinister edge to the unknown medicine he's been taking. My favorite episode of the season is the heartbreaking and gorgeous "Memoria" in which Lex, attempting to regain his lost memories, unearths pieces of his tragic childhood, including the death of his infant brother, Julian. The conclusion shocked me and made me cry, and it was one of the most moving episodes I've seen of anything. Lex has finally won me over, and it makes me sad to realize what he'll end up like in only a few seasons.

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

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

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

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

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

In new animated films I saw the quite adorable Turbo. I loved the title character and his friendships with both the people and other snails. The story was cute, and the race was perfect, as well as the wonderful ending. Next was The Swan Princess III: Mystery Of The Enchanted Treasure, a cute and lovely sequel to the fabulous The Swan Princess. I loved seeing life in the castle post their marriage - too bad they didn't add in a little child for them, though - and the story was both funny and touching, poignant in parts such as Derek's grief when he thinks he's lost Odette, and hilarious in the scenes like the tango dance. I followed that with The Swan Princess II: Escape From Castle Mountain, and I loved Derek's mother getting a larger role, as well as Jean-Bob finally getting to turn into a prince if only for one scene. I loved the song "The Magic Of Love", and Derek and Odette's romance, while a little shaky at first, quickly found it's footing as she saved him over and over and he rescued her. After that was Bartok the Magnificent, a spin-off to Anastasia which, while failing to live up to it's gorgeous original film, still managed to be quite entertaining, mostly due to it's darling hero. Next was the beautifully animated Joseph King Of Dreams, a touching story with lovely and clever moments - I especially loved the tree that grew in the dungeon, and his future wife bringing him food in prison - that I really enjoyed. Last was the touching fantasy The Nutcracker Prince. Pavlova was endearing, Hans and Clara's friendship was adorable, and I loved the happy ending.
 
 
feeling: calm
calliope tune: "Total Eclipse Of The Heart"-Bonnie Tyler
 
 
Kathleen
Since I first heard his voice on the old radio series to films and tv series glasses-wearing Clark Kent never fails to steal my heart away, lately in Smallville, a series I somehow missed and spent the past week catching up on, one that's very similar to another series I love The Powers Of Matthew Star, with a teenage alien survivor of a destroyed world coming into his powers while he's struggling with high school. I was skeptical at first because the cast is outrageously pretty, but if all aliens look this good I'd like to discover one in a cornfield, too. What I always love best is the early scenes with Martha and Jonathan (Daniel from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman!) since I've always felt that they must have been wonderful parents to have brought up a son like Clark, and here I finally get what I've wanted, to see all the family moments, the homespun life, the "were you ever afraid of me?" moment, Clark's powers being unable to save his father, Clark throwing a wild party while his parents are away (he's so human at times), and Jonathan's adorable comment about Clark's temper tantrums punching holes in the wall. Clark is remarkably similar in appearance and mannerisms to the films' versions, and he convincingly pulls off the struggling teenager already shouldering the weight of the world in addition to every kid's problems of growing up and falling in love for the first time, and I really like Whitney who gets pushed to the background but deserves better. Lex gets depth, a backstory, a first meeting with Clark who saves his life, and a redeeming side which makes it even more of a tragedy to know what he'll become. The cape on the school's mascot, a painted red S on Clark's chest during an end-of-year hazing, a kryptonite necklace, and a vision of Lex's future set the stage for years to come. At it's heart, despite the thrills and lightning speed, Smallville is an uncomplicated look at the events and people that would shape the boy with powers into the superhero. I skipped ahead a bit to see Oliver Queen, and still haven't gotten off the floor. Where do they find these unearthly gorgeous people?

I'm in the final season of Daniel Boone where the show turns into a musical. Daniel sings. Josh sings. Mason sings. Guest characters sing. And the theme's singers conclude that they're the Lovin' Spoonful and transform it into a western rock n roll song. To think Mingo was in four seasons and sang, what, three times at most, and the instant he's gone they decide to become musical? I miss Mingo, he's been my favorite since the first episode, such a compelling character and I wish they'd at least given a reason for his disappearance. Jimmy Dean is now renamed Josh, Gideon and his son Little Dan'l from last season and young sailor Mason, reintroduced the second time as if he hasn't been there before show up now and then. It's a good but darker season so far, especially the opening episode "Flag Of Truce" and the delightful east-meets-west tale "The Dandy".

I spent most of the week skimming through The Virginian season 5 and was left confused, due to the fact I think the writers forgot which season they last did over the summer. For one the sheriff is not only mysteriously alive again but Ryker is his deputy instead of being sheriff as he was last season after the sheriff died. Ryker is gone from the first half of the season which makes it even stranger. The writers also forgot both Morgan Starr and Jennifer, beginning the season as if Betsy and the Judge have just left (and they've left everything they owned too), and giving no reason for Randy being gone without a mention, almost as if season four never existed. On the bright side that's a happy thought, if four was only a dream season than perhaps Betsy married Randy instead and the two of then are living happily back east. Liz is sweet but overtly an attempt to replace Betsy with the same hairstyle, same clothes, a bond with Trampas that doesn't feel as natural as Betsy's, and Stacy, who seemed the most promising at first, was reduced to spending half his episodes in jail by the season's end. I don't like John Grainger, he's too harsh to warm to like the Judge and lacks the dark complexity that makes Morgan Starr intriguing. Several episodes are near copies of the first seasons and only a couple have the series' trademarks: emotion, light moments, and guest characters you care about. Trampas gets the couple good episodes, the gorgeous "Sue Ann" and the incredible "An Echo Of Thunder", both of which recapture the feel of the original seasons, but he's only in about a third of the season if that, and even the Virginian is gone more than he's around. It doesn't even feel like The Virginian anymore and I desperately miss Randy's accent and little songs to cheer me up. I'll hope for better things from season six, I suppose. The final season came out before six so I gave a try to nine, another year of changes, surprisingly all for the better. Now called The Men From Shiloh, appropriate since it works more on the rotating stars format, there's a whistling, spaghetti-western melody and title sequence filled with 1800s-looking photographs. I've never been a fan of the ride-in and haven't liked the intro since three but this one grabs me instantly. There may not have been a lot of westerns in the 1970s but what there were are stunning. Stewart Granger is Alan MacKenzie, Englishman and final owner of Shiloh, and at last there's a lead who measures up to the Judge, a firm but kind man, and easy to warm to. Trampas, complete with an unflattering mustache that's one of the very few regrets this season, and a somewhat tougher antihero version of The Virginian are the only familiar faces, but unlike five I never find myself longing for others. New is a ranch hand in the form of Lee Majors, bringing with him all the charisma of Heath and pulling off his own mustache with somewhat more finesse than Trampas, as Tate, a mysterious drifter with a troubled past who Alan saves from a lynch mob and gradually learns to trust. If his name wasn't enough to endear me to him, Tate is a mix of quiet sensitivity with a dark side, a strange man prone to answer every question with a question of his own. After a couple seasons of bland, carbon copy characters, Tate is a welcome jolt, unique and impossible not to love. Nine comes as a breath of fresh air, going back to it's long-forgotten roots and drawing all the things that made the series' early years so great: a jaw-dropping list of guest stars (including the wonderful and underrated Monte Markham as a good-hearted gun for hire), fascinating characters, intricate plots, movie quality filming, and an authentic western feel. I'm at a loss to understand why this was the final season but I'm grateful that the series went out on such a high note.

I finally got Maverick season one! I had a crossover moment with "Rope Of Cards" when Bret made "five pat hands" and since Maverick came before Alias Smith and Jones I'd like to think Heyes learned the trick from him. I saw a trivia note that every deck of cards in the US sold out the day after the episode aired, so other people must have wanted to try it out, too. My favorite episode was the incredible and complex murder mystery "The Naked Gallows" in which Bart gets to shine as well as show off his skill of observation, and I like the backstory of the debt with wounded Bart saved by Clete. Bart, serious and more unique, has always been my favorite and I love him even more now that I'm seeing his episodes instead of only the ones with both brothers. There's a tv version of King's Row with Jack Kelly as Paris and Robert Horton as Drake that I'd love to get my hands on, but it seems to have vanished into the 50s. Still the idea of the casting makes me very happy.

I'm watching the two pilots of The Six Million Dollar Man and there's quite a difference between them. Steve Austin is an astronaut test pilot who lost an arm, both legs, and an eye in a crash, along with his will to live. But his second chance at life comes from two very different people: a compassionate nurse who stops him from pulling out his oxygen and is determined to help him regain his hope, and the head of the OSI who sees Steve as an expendable project he can always replace. Between them, Steve becomes the first cyborg, part human, part machine, far stronger and faster than he was before, and owned body and soul by the OSI who've sunk six million dollars into rebuilding him, and demand he pay back that debt by doing assignments for the government, work in which no ordinary human could survive. The first pilot delves into Steve's reaction to being little more than a machine, showing how people fear him when they find out, and how he's unwilling to begin any relationships. There's also a chilling bit at the end where the man comments that it would be interesting if they could keep Steve asleep all the time and only wake him up for each assignment. He says it like a joke but it comes across very dark. The second pilot takes an entirely different route and has Steve quickly accepting, even delighting, in his newfound abilities as he jokes about them, flirts with several women, and tricks a guard by crushing his gun. Oscar, played by a different actor, is now less mercenary and even has a line he won't cross, and the story morphs into a superhuman spy saga instead of the character study it could have been. Of course, there's so little of Steve before he's injured that it's hard to know what his personality is but I felt there should have been more transition scenes where he gets used to everything as opposed to the sudden acceptance. It's fun, but I can't help wishing they'd stuck to the original idea.

I went on a marathon of all things Camelot, starting with the miniseries Merlin, an odd spin on the tale but one that deserves praise for it's poignant look at Merlin's memories and the events that shaped him. The opening and ending were especially sad and beautiful, and the sword in the stone scene was exactly as I'd pictured. Next was First Knight, a unique and lovely take on the legends. While Arthur isn't how I picture him looks wise he's the exact personality I've always imagined, a deeply kind and just king his men would follow anywhere, a good man who gives everything and doesn't mind lowering himself to the simple act of giving Lancelot his shirt after it dried. Lancelot, too, isn't exactly the noble knight of usual, but he has a good heart and a tragic past that drives him to care nothing about his life. There's a beautiful and haunting scene where Lancelot is forced to face his demons when he comes across a burning church like the one in which his family died, and he's able to save the people inside. The knights are mostly background but very believable, I loved the unusual armor, the sword fighting is stunning, there's a breathtaking jump off a waterfall, some pretty scenery, and the church is perfect to what I imagine. Following that was Merlin. I've always had quite a different picture of Merlin, a strong, older warrior teaching and guiding Arthur, yet this version greatly surprised me, with a fragile vulnerability in looks and mannerisms but somehow inner strength shining through, contrasting with a frail appearance and adding a lot of quiet depth to him, and he has high cheekbones and ears, oh, yes. Season one so far and officially took over my life, reading my mind and giving me everything I want and then some, all with a '90s vibe that leaves me in a nostalgic, grinning stupor. There's whump, thatched-roof cottages, quests, accents, neckerchiefs, magical glowy eyes, plenty of swordfights, and the hilarious Children In Need special featuring Merlin's microwave dinner, Arthur's teddy bear, and Uther on a cell phone. I'm not sure if Arthur is improving or if I'm just getting used to him but he's steadily growing on me; scrape the surface off and there's a golden heart underneath. I get the feeling that he never had friends so he simply doesn't know how to form relationships with anyone, but he's learning, slowly but surely. Somewhere between where he lets the thief leave with the food and when he drinks both goblets to save Merlin in "The Labyrinth of Gedref" I realized he was awesome. Who can resist that infectious laugh, even if somebody should put that boy in the sunshine, he's pale as a ghost. Merlin is getting sweeter with every episode, so self-sacrificing, dorky, and gentle that it's impossible not to love him instantly and melt at his smile. His little speech about being happy to be Arthur's servant until the day he dies tears me up. He needs to get more credit for what he does. Merlin and Hunith's relationship is one of the most beautiful relationships ever; she needs to be in more episodes. I finished season two now and I'm even more in love with it than before as I spend half the time laughing and the other half in tears. Arthur has become my third favorite, kind heart underneath the attitude more evident now, and he's got quite a flair for the comedy moments; even his expressions can put me in stitches. Merlin and he have a quirky sort of friendship, for all the way Arthur bosses him around, and I love how Merlin can sneak his magic around him from stealing food right off his plate to overheating his bath, and get away with teasing him. I ship Lancelot/Gwen, but I like the direction Arthur and her romance is taking. I was skeptical of Mordred because of the storyline changing from Arthur and Morgana's son to a Druid boy, but he's coming along, with enough eerie powers and disconcerting glances to make me shiver. Merlin and Gaius's friendship is beautiful, and I love how they're willing to do anything to save each other. My favorite episode of the season was the heartbreaking "Lady Of The Lake". The first romance episode of a series always remains my favorite, because I never expect it as much as the later ones, but this one was the best one I've ever seen. Freya was so perfect for Merlin and I imagined that when Merlin fell in love he'd use his magic to make beautiful things for the girl, and I was right, with the flames and adorable rose. "The Last Dragonlord" made me bawl my eyes out for Merlin. He never fails to break my heart everytime he tears up - man, can that actor cry - and I just want to hug him when he looks so sad and frail. Last was The Mists Of Avalon, the haunting and heartbreakingly beautiful look at the women behind Arthur's destiny. Lancelot was wonderful, and the music is exactly as it should be. From Arthur's crowning to the poignant final scene there's so much depth in this version that I'm still reeling, and finally a perfect Mordred, both villian and pawn, used and tormented by fate and the people around him. The scene where he reveals his identity is incredible and when he kills Arthur with his cheekbones of doom I couldn't help crying.

I finished season two of The X-Files and Mulder keeps breaking my heart. He comes across as the strong one at first with his dark, quick humor and answers for everything but he's so wounded that I keep wanting to hug him. Scully and he spent the first part of the season apart, followed by a handful of episodes where she was taken and returned dying. Even her family was giving up on her and Mulder still stuck it out, fighting to keep her alive. Their relationship keeps slowly growing, and it's to the point where they exchange all these gentle hugs or a pat on the head.

I saw "Muted Rifles, Muffled Drums " in A Man Called Shenandoah and now the writers are just being mean. If it wasn't bad enough he can't remember who he is, was almost lynched, shot twice, and left to die in the cold wilderness, now he's being court-martialed. In the end if he wasn't the officer than why wouldn't he have paid attention to his uniform in the photograph? At least he finally has a list of names to work from. I'm doubtful there's a conclusion but I keep hoping and sticking by my theory that Shenandoah is actually Flint McCullough and that's what became of him after he left Wagon Train. I'm on "Aces and Kings" now where another piece of Shenandoah snaps into place as it's revealed he was once a gambler or cardsharp from the way he handles a deck, more to his own surprise than anyone else's. At the end he's off to visit a man named Frank McCulloughm. I heard it fast as "McCullough" and I like to think the m was only a slip. He's got to be Flint, there's so many ways in which they overlap. Branded "Call To Glory" was amazing! It would have been an excellent final episode since it tied everything up and gave Jason some absolution, even if it didn't clear him. I loved how he managed to convince the commander of his mission.

I started the second season of Laredo which picks up the misadventures of Reese, Chad, and Joe, and tosses a new ranger into the mix, silky accented, devilishly charming Erik Hunter whose talents are only equaled by his atrocious sense of fashion. He's delightfully proud of his style of dress, though, and nothing outrages him more than a torn sleeve on his new shirt. In all fairness - hot pink smoking jacket, lavender shirt, and blue paisley vest and hat aside - his peculiar wardrobe is oddly endearing. Any other man would look downright ridiculous. Erik somehow manages, despite appearing like he borrows from a circus clown, to pull off the look, and fits like a piece I didn't know was missing into the group. As much as I love westerns their perpetuity for introducing fantastic characters in the final season and then cancelling the series before I really get to know them frustrates me to pieces, but they're a treat for the time they're there.

I've been rewatching Lawman and noticing all the parallels with Johnny Ringo: a young deputy taken under the wing of an older lawman, Cully's father being dead and Johnny burying the marshal being the introduction between lawman and deputy, the first episode starting with the two at odds before growing into a friendship, a little brother-big sister relationship between deputy and each lawman's girlfriend, and a close friend of the lawman being killed partway into each series. It makes me wish there'd been a crossover where Johnny and Dan were injured or unable to leave and Cully and Johnny had to join forces to bring someone in.

I finished seeing each era of Doctor Who with the last three. Four's was "Logopolis", picked out of wanting to see Tegan's introduction as well as Five's, who doesn't speak at all but smiles beautifully. Four doesn't appeal to me, as much as I like his fashion sense, and he's a bit too detached for what I like. I can't fathom Five ever snapping at his companions when they offer advice, he depends on their ideas and help far too much, and they seem to fit much better with Five which proves my theory that each companion is tailor-made for only one doctor (Rose for Nine). I can't wrap my mind around Four and Turlough being in the same TARDIS together, Four would never have given him the patient trust Five gave. Five is my Doctor and I love him to tiny bits. But the plot was quite interesting even if all old Masters annoy me. For some reason Ten-era Master is so brilliantly diabolical and tragic that I love him. Four has something of a let-down as far as regenerations go, since Five died for Peri, Nine died for Rose, Ten died for Wilfred, and Four dies because his scarf gets tangled up. Well, not quite, but still it's all a bit anticlimactic. But I did a little cheer when Five's face started to appear in those early, swirly-fade-in regenerations. Then came Seven, with the serial "Battlefield", and, whoa, trippy retro intro, I love it! Seven's clothes are awesome, especially the question mark sweater. Seven is an odd mix of goofiness and near-violent outbursts, but by the end of it I liked him. He's got a quirky style - the part where he walks through the middle of the swordfight and tips his hat cracked me up - and he's sweet as can be to Ace, not one of my favorite companions but he works well with her for the most part, and the Brigadier was in it which more than makes up for anything else. Ancelyn and Bambera were hilarious together; they should have been recurring characters. The premise of the Doctor dealing with Camelot and mysterious hints to his future raises as many questions as it does answers as it happily plays with time in the scenes where the Doctor finds instructions in a rune and a written note from a future regeneration of himself. I wish they'd film that as an episode to tie it all together. Then there's the moment where Ancelyn mistakes the Doctor for Merlin and as the episode goes on I start thinking that it's not a mistake after all. There's hints that in some future regeneration the Doctor becomes him since the voiceprints programmed to respond to Merlin's voice answer to the Doctor, Morgaine's mind commands to Merlin are heard and answered by him, and even the Doctor supposes at the possibility. "Are you Merlin?" "No. But I could be. In the future. That is, my personal future. Which could be the past." Three was my last "new" Doctor. I grew fond of him while watching "The Five Doctors" so I was looking forward to actually seeing a serial, "The Time Warrior", a Middle Ages invasion where the Doctor and Sarah Jane meet. While I have a pairing for each Doctor, Sarah Jane is the only companion who I ship with nearly every Doctor, and if ever there was a companion that was a soul mate for him it's her. I would happily have seen her travel with every regeneration. Three is a superb Doctor and fourth in my favorites, behind Five, Ten, and Nine. He's got a lovely warm and in-charge personality, and I adore how he isn't afraid to throw himself into a fight, knock guards out, and even shoot a crossbow. I liked the offbeat intro, too, goes with him, and his era has a steampunk feel, with his ideas, gadgets, and style of dress. Plus he's got one of the best companions ever so he has everything going for him. I'll have to watch more of his episodes. I adore oldWho. Anyone who didn't grow up on it is missing something special as nothing can compare to the warm fuzzies from the old painted props, slow-moving plots, old-fashioned special effects, and, of course, the colorful and cheerful way the TARDIS used to look, like a candyland labyrinth. It's like nostalgia with a cherry on top. I saw The Sarah Jane Adventures "The Death Of The Doctor" and was surprised by how good it was, a great plot and the right mix of drama and humor. I could like Eleven if the series was still under the same production as Nine's and Ten's excellent eras; I didn't like SM's view of Ten in the episodes he wrote, too much cold glitz and not enough emotional heart, which comes out even more in Eleven's era. And a change of companions would make a world of difference. Sarah Jane, Jo, and the kids smooth all the rough edges off the egotism and rudeness and there's far more emotion and tenderness in his speeches here than in any episodes of his I've seen, as well as vision of his character. I loved the beautiful moment when he says he went back and saw all of his old companions and was proud of them; that seemed like the doctors I love and not a stranger using the name. I haven't seen much of Jo before but she's hilarious here, and she and Sarah Jane make an awesome team, convinced the Doctor was alive even when everything seemed to prove he wasn't. The best part was when Sarah Jane talked about some of the early companions, especially Tegan because if only she had gotten to see Ten or any of the new Doctors again I would never want another thing from Doctor Who.

I saw the adorable film Her Highness And The Bellboy which plays like a 1940s fairytale. Jimmy is a sweet, rather naive bellboy at a hotel who spends his meager tips on making Leslie, the fragile and invalid young woman who lives a floor above his room, laugh, the only medicine that seems to help her. And when he's not doing that he has his hands full keeping his pal, Albert, out of trouble with the law, as well as holding down his job. Jimmy's life takes a sudden detour, however, when he mistakes the visiting Princess Veronica for a maid and takes her on an impromptu tour of the city, delighting her so much she hires him as her personal bellhop for the length of her stay. Jimmy instantly gets stars in his eyes, failing to see that she's secretly pining for a reporter, and mistaking her kindness for love he begins neglecting his friends, blind to the fact that Leslie is in love with him. When Veronica finds herself queen and Jimmy mistakes her invitation for him to be her servant as a marriage proposal, both of them must decide who they truly love and whether duty or the heart should lead their decisions. It's a delightful and sweet film, highlighted by the heartwarming talents of June Allyson and Robert Walker, always wonderful and playing off each other beautifully, and Jimmy's hilarious way of clearing a room, complete with that mysterious old lingo kids used to speak. I saw Tangled! I adored Eugene, such a hilarious and colorful hero. I was a bit surprised to discover they'd changed the prince into a thief but after about five seconds I couldn't imagine it any other way. Rapunzel was adorably overactive, and despite my misgivings about the animation style I warmed up to it quickly due to the beauty of the dancing and lantern scenes as well as the heartbreaking moment with Rapunzel's tear. The end was magic. I also saw Tangled Ever After, the adorable short film sequel, and it was even more wonderful and hilarious than the original, if that's possible. I loved how absurd everything was, how everything possible went wrong, and yet Eugene and Rapunzel were almost completely unaware of anything. Also the wedding was perfect, leaving me wanting a sequel where they have children.

My library turns up some incredible stuff from it's basement, including A Fall Of Moondust, with the feel of old paper, and that wonderfully musty smell. It's a disaster epic, with a romance and lovely imagery, on the moon about a ship buried beneath moondust and the people hoping for a rescue as those outside attempt to locate them before the oxygen runs out.
 
 
feeling: busy
calliope tune: "Gypsy Woman"-Brian Hyland