Kathleen
Supernatural, the one show that never fails me, is back with season eleven, and its wonderful so far with a welcome return to its roots. The Darkness, a truly creepy villain in the vein of Lilith or Eve, is intriguing, even if I'm half disturbed and half interested in the strange relationship between her and Dean. I especially enjoyed the spooky zombie humans in the first episode, and loved seeing Dean with a baby, even if she was evil. It's also hilarious to see Crowley dealing with a kid or teenager. Sam, bless him, is finally back to the Sam I loved, the sweetheart who wanted to save people and still prays and has faith after all they've been through. I also love that, despite a few secrets, Sam and Dean are being a bit more honest to each other, and their relationship feels like what it used to again. Their relationship with Castiel is also a delight, with both of them making helping him a priority, risking a lot to help him, Dean and he accepting how they've hurt each other and learning to live with it, and finally letting him stay at the Bunker with them. I also squealed a bit over Castiel with his blanket, and him watching tv and learning about Netflix. "Baby", one of my favorites of the season, highlights the best of the show - the beloved car, the brothers's relationship, and the old music, jokes, and name calling that's been missing too long. "Just My Imagination" is also a delight and very much a season one styled storyline. I adored the entire concept of imaginary friends being a real, mythical race who aids children, and Sully was precious, making me wish he could be a regular. I loved how he related to the Winchesters, and was so proud of them. "The Devil In the Details" is somewhat overstuffed but filled with excellent moments, including Team Free Will and brotherly bonding - I loved Sam's salute to Castiel and seeing the flashbacks of season five's finale - but was broken by Castiel saying yes to Lucifer, even if it was unnerving yet fun to see his expressions on Castiel's face. It was also Rowena's final episode, and even as much as she's annoyed me her final scene with Crowley put a lump in my throat. I only wish we'd gotten more scenes like that, as their feelings toward each other were the most fascinating part of her story arc. "Into the Mystic" is a superb episode, with the tone of the earlier seasons, Sam and Dean talking about their regrets and moving past them, and a touching scene showing Sam's box of treasures. It also strikes a perfect balance between emotion and humor, and featured absolutely fabulous guest characters. I adored Mildred and Eileen, and was delighted at seeing an elderly character and a deaf hunter, neither of whom were fringed or killed off, and both of whom ended up defeating the monster and saving Dean. I only wish other shows would have more characters like them. "The Vessel" is quite good, revealing Castiel's possession to the brothers - I'm absolutely delighted by Dean's determination to save him - and featuring time travel to the unique and fascinating world of a WWII submarine. "Red Meat" is a superb monster of the week ep, with Dean and Sam's relationship forefront. Dean's desperation to bring back Sam was heartbreaking, and I loved Sam managing, even bleeding out and nearly dead, to save Dean. "Hell's Angel" resurrects Rowena, something I wasn't expecting at all, as well as having the twist of Lucifer and the Hand of God being unable to stop Amara. I loved seeing Dean trying to reach Castiel, as well as getting to see some of the other angels and Heaven again. Everything I think the show has run out of new monsters, they surprise me, as evidenced by the delightfully creepy and offbeat human cicadas of "The Chitters", which also gave what I've always wanted, hunters who finally get out of the life alive. "Don't Call Me Shurley" was a surprise delight, and despite how I disbelieved and disliked the "Chuck is God" theory, I actually enjoyed it. I was also surprised by how much I adored Metatron in it, a character I've always despised. The scene where he was crying and trying to convince Chuck humanity was worth saving put a lump in my throat, as did Dean refusing to leave Sam, and trying futilely to breathe in the fog so he could be infected, too. On the brighter side, Sam was so precious with the little baby girl, and the ending, with everyone saved, was gorgeous. "All in the Family" gives closure for Kevin, finally, and introduces a new prophet, Donatello. I loved his confusion, and its wonderful to his a much older character in such a role. "We Happy Few" gives me what I've always wanted: a team up between the angels, demons, and the Winchesters, with the witches and Chuck in the mix. And while their plans backfire horribly, I adored seeing them all working together for once. "Alpha and Omega" was a delight, with the villain redeemed instead of killed for a change. I loved Castiel being back, and cried when Dean finally told him they thought of him like a brother and as the best friend they'd ever had. I also adored Sam understanding and letting Dean go, showing how much character growth both brothers have undergone this season. Season eleven was my very favorite so far for so many reasons and I'm so incredibly excited for twelve.

Once Upon A Time has finished part one of season five and it was a mixed bag, disappointing in some ways while delightfully creative in others. Despite my original thoughts, I ended up loving the Dark Swan story arc. Of all the characters, Emma has taken the longest to win me over, originally my least favorites and now one of my top five, and this arc gave her a chance to shine as well as showcase more depth than she's had in all seasons combined. I loved seeing a more vulnerable side to her strength, as her love for Killian helps her overcome challenges - like not destroying Merlin - and a happy, optimistic Emma who can finally see a future and happy ending for herself. She also had so much more emotion, showing how far she's come and how much her walls have come down, and her tenderness with Killian was the most gentle I've ever seen her. I've wanted Dark One!Killian or at least magic!Killian since the beginning so it was a gift to get to see it on screen, even if he did occasionally make me sad or angry. But I've missed that edge since he went completely good and it was fun to see it again for a few episodes. I loved seeing baby!Killian - so adorable! - and finally his father and that story. My heart broke at his death - honestly I was expecting Emma to be the one they would bring back from the Underworld - and I hated that Emma was the one to kill him, but I'm thrilled that it will now be Emma's turn to go the "ends of the earth or time" for him. I actually enjoyed Robin and Regina's romance this arc, and I loved seeing Regina get to be the savior. I'm relieved the Zelena baby plot is finally over, and seeing Robin with the baby was adorable, even if I'm bitter that they separated Zelena from her child instead of a redemption arc or some sort of joint custody like they'd originally planned. Rumplestiltskin and Belle's storyline this season was both frustrating and delightful by turns. I loved seeing him fully human and finally a hero, but was annoyed when he regained his magic. I also loved Belle and he come back together, but hated the pointless drama of their breakup and makeup. Merida was a surprise delight, fiesty and fun, and her backstory episode was one of the best of the season. The Arthurian aspects of the story were less of a focus than I'd hoped but I enjoyed what there was. Merlin was fabulous, with a tragic but intriguing past love and story of how he got his magic, and I'm still sad they killed him off. Guinevere was lovely, and her romance with Lancelot was beautiful and far too brief. I'm still undecided about Arthur - while I liked the twist of him being the bad guy, he didn't have a good enough motive and came across as a little bland. I loved Camelot, though, especially the idea that it was all a magic illusion on top of a crumbling kingdom, as well as Excalibur and the dagger being the same blade that had been broken.

IZombie is back for it's second season and it's as delightful as ever, with highlights of Liv's personalities including a magician and a fraternity boy. Blaine gets a bit of depth and some great lines, Peyton and Liv's friendship is finally back, and Ravi continues to be a complete sweetheart. I love that Clive seems to be edging towards learning the truth, as well as finally getting a life outside the office. The biggest change this season is Major's story arc. Originally not a favorite of mine, he won me over last season with his good heart and kindness toward the kids he was trying to help. Now, newly returned to human, and adrift without his old job, he's a much sadder, more tragic character, especially in the ironic and poignant scene where he, now addicted, ends up buying drugs from a teen he once tried to keep off them. Worse yet, with Liv's life in danger, he's turned into a zombie bounty hunter for Max Wager, whose secret experiments have my interest. While I'm not sure the show will ever do a full-blown zombie outbreak, I can definitely see this as a potential start for it. But, I do love that Major and Liv are finally back together, and Major's dog - adorably named Minor - is super cute.

Reign is on season three, and after the dreadful mess that was season two I had guarded hopes that it might improve. In some ways it has, while in others not so much, and it still fails to recapture the fun and escapism of season one. Finally back to her senses and free of the dreadful story arc of last year, Mary is more toned down and likeable, and while they only have a few happy moments together, it's a joy to see her and Francis back together. I've been expecting and dreading Francis's death all season, and while I'm very sad to lose him from the show I appreciate that the writers let him be happy at the end and have a good and honorable death. He was the character who surprised me the most, starting out uninteresting and annoying to me and ultimately becoming one of my favorites and the show isn't the same without him, since he brought a lot of light to it. Charles now has a larger role and a new actor, and I'm not sure what to make of either, even if some flashes of a good heart pop up beneath the spoiled, childish exterior and he seems to care deeply about his siblings. The show's weaknesses have always been burning up both plot and romances far too fast for its own good, and unfortunately it's worse than ever this season, even with Kenna thankfully gone. Lola and Narcisse, two characters I despise, are married, and it's even more of a mess than her last one and far more annoying. Thankfully it isn't for long, and Lola makes the one sensible decision of the show and leaves for England. Narcisse, unfortunately, remains, undermining everyone and setting my teeth on edge. My favorite pairing, Leith/Greer, is long gone, but they still remain interesting characters, and their new romances, while not my favorites, still provide interesting or even cute moments such as Leith dancing with Claude. Bash's story arcs have always been my favorite, and while I'm still puzzled as to why he's excluded from court scenes and the main plot and characters for the most part, I'm still intrigued by Delphine's powers and bond to him, even if it could be better. With part of the show set in England now there's new characters, including Dudley, handsome but weak and useless, and Elizabeth, even more insufferable and infuriating than most portrayals of my least favorite queen in history and saddled with an absurd pregnancy storyline. Between her over the top pouting and her scheming to steal Dudley from his wife I end up gritting my teeth through most of her scenes. But with the superb "In A Clearing", the season moves closer to what it used to be, equal parts mystery, supernatural, romance, and tragedy, all with beautiful moments including flashbacks. But best of all it allows Bash and Catherine, Catherine and Mary, and Bash and Mary, some of the most fascinating relationships in the past, to finally share scenes together after so long. "The Hound and the Hare" is another delight, and further hope that the show is returning to its roots with more screentime for Catherine and Bash, and Bash even getting to share a scene with Greer, something I've wanted since the beginning. Leith and Greer's scene together was touching, and the surprise twist of Greer's pregnancy has me hooked. I also loved finally getting to meet one of her sisters in a later episode. As iffy as I am about Delphine I do find her powers intriguing, and the Jack the Ripperish murders are the storyline I'm most interested in right now, if for nothing else than it invokes the pagan and supernatural storylines I loved and miss desperately. The final scenes with Carlos, Mary, and Catherine were an absolute gift that left me in stitches - the show is always at its best when its not taking itself seriously and is just over the top, outrageous fun and antics - and I love that Mary and Catherine are working together again. "No Way Out" introduces the Red Knights storyline which brings back some of the pagan/mysterious elements I've missed so long. I don't mind Mary and Gideon too much, and I do enjoy Mary's scenes with his daughter. "To the Death" is a surprisingly excellent ep. As sad as I'll always be over Leith/Greer, I always loved Castleroy and having Greer end up happy with him and getting to keep her baby was a delightfully happy ending for her. I adored seeing Lola reunited with little John, and some true character growth in Elizabeth, particularly that she showed mercy and resolved not to be like her father. Bash and Mary's scenes (even a hug!) were a treat after so long, rekindling my love for the ship long after I'd thought they'd never share another scene together. Even Narcisse was more likeable than usual, and the storylines fit together perfectly. "Spiders in a Jar" was a dizzying packed episode, filled with wonderful and heartbreaking moments alike. Moving to Scotland has done wonders for Mary's character, and her epic speeches and posing against gorgeous scenery, with the added benefit of tartan cloaks and Highland dances, is a delight to behold. I also enjoy seeing Mary's brother and a bit of her relationship with him. Lola's death was a tragic shock - despite my initial dislike for her, she had grown on me so much since her arrival in England, and it's doubly poignant to think little John is now an orphan. While I'm sad Bash is leaving the show I loved that he made it out alive, and is revealed to be a seer. I've been hoping for magical!Bash since the beginning, and I love that the writers took that route, as well as letting him spend a few lovely shippy moments with Mary in the last few episodes. I'm devastated about Leith, though, even if I'm trying to hold onto hope for his survival.

Galavant is back with season two and even better than the first. I love Richard being a good guy, and his friendship with Galavant is a delight. I also love Roberta and ship Richard and she. Madalena gets some depth in a surprisingly emotional flashback to her childhood, followed by a love interest in Gareth, a pairing that shouldn't work but is surprisingly adorable. I'm a bit sad that Galavant and Isabella spend nearly the whole season apart, but they do get some cute dream duets. Galavant and the zombies coming back to life for love was perfect, and I never knew how much I wanted zombies on this show before. I love Isabella's friendship with the Jester, too, and her parents are hilarious. The guest characters remain a constant treat, including the hilarious healer Neo of Sporin, and the music is always catchy and flawless, especially Sid's fabulous spoof of "Can You Hear the People Sing". The season finale was beyond perfection, with Galavant and Isabella's wedding, Richard and Roberta reunited, and the adorable Tad Cooper a real dragon.

When Calls the Heart aired its New Years special and it was a delight, giving me hope for season three after the disappointment of last season. Judging from the special it seems the show has returned to its roots, returning to focus on Hope Valley instead of the random bouncing back and forth as before, and Elizabeth's diary narration is back, one thing I very much missed. Also back, happily, is the focus on the school and children, my favorite thing in season one and very missed last season. Unfortunately the costuming still leaves much to be desired, but its a small quibble compared to all they've fixed. The characters are also greatly improved, with Jack and Elizabeth back together and Elizabeth making attempts to improve their relationship - I loved the scene where Jack opens up about his past and Elizabeth supports him, and Charles and the rest thankfully gone. Rip, always a scene-stealer, got a whole storyline in the episode and it was adorable. Abigail is wonderful as always, and I loved her with the new children and hope she keeps them.The pastor is growing on me somewhat, and Bill is surprisingly far more tolerable and interesting when he's sharing a scene with Jack. Lee and Rosemary remain hilarious and adorable together.

In new shows I've fallen in love with The Frankenstein Chronicles, a flawless and fascinating re-imagining of the classic. The historical setting, against the Anatomy Act, is intriguing, and I adore all the period details and authentic feel of the times. Marlott is a sad, but decent character, and the complex mysteries and turns of the plot continue to catch me off guard. I also love the sad but touching relationships Flora has with both Marlott and Nightingale, and how the show portrays Mary Shelley. The final twist as Marlott took the role of the Monster was shocking but fascinating.

Also new is Chicago Med, and it's a delight to have two medical shows at once. I'm enjoying learning the new characters, and love Connor so far, and the stories are always interesting.

I've also been working my way through Miami Medical. I have a weakness for doctor shows and its an enjoyable one with layered characters whose pasts slowly are revealed throughout the episodes, shippy and friendship goodness, and emotional as well as light-hearted moments.

I've been working my way through Spartacus and loving it. The writing might not be flawless but the characters more than make up for it. I love Spartacus, such a kind and decent leader, Gannicus, the delightfully rock star gladiator with the fabulous hair, the haunting and lovely Naevia, and my very favorites, Agron and Nasir whose relationship is a complete delight. The show makes me emotional more often that not, yet remains inspiring despite all the tragedy.

I'm working through the short-lived Eleventh Hour and its enjoyable, a nice, solid science series with just the right touch of poignancy and emotion. I love Hood, a sweet yet quirky character, and with my weakness for bodyguard stories his relationship with Rachel - a gentle friendship with hints of more - is a delight and the highlight of the show.

I discovered the short-lived 2000s remake of my beloved Kolchak the Night Stalker, Night Stalker, and started watching. It's surprisingly good, and this version of Carl, while much younger, has the good heart of the later character, with more sweetness and less fear. I enjoy his relationship with Perri, too, and the storyline and intriguing backstory for Carl has my interest.

I discovered the series Empress Ki with subtitles and have been binge-watching it this week. I've never seen a Korean show before and know nothing about its history, but its excellent and ridiculously addictive. I like the characters a lot, too, and the music is gorgeous.

I discovered Return To Mayberry, the Andy Griffith Show reunion movie I never knew existed, and it was a treat. Despite being so long after the show, it managed to bring back a large part of the cast, even some of my recurring favorites like the Darlings. I adored the lives of the characters now, especially Otis sober and working as an ice cream man and Opie with a family, but my delight was seeing Barney and Thelma Lou finally reunite and marry. I teared up during the wedding, since I'd always been so sad that they never married on the show, and Thelma Lou's final episode on the series had always broken my heart.

I enjoyed The Mortal Instruments movie very much, so I've been looking forward to the Shadowhunters tv show. Unfortunately, while I liked the expansion of the world and seeing all the other creatures, especially the Seelie, it was extremely disappointing, containing virtually everything I hate in YA fiction magnified by a hundred. Unlike the slightly more realistic and definitely more likable characters of the film, the characters here are largely flat and wooden, with especially the male characters seemingly incapable of any emotion except glowering or sulking. Isabelle, whose occasional flashes of cleverness and an endearing relationship with her brother are hints of how much better she could be written, is reduced to little more than a distraction to gain information with no personality beyond flirting. Alec, too, has potential, especially with his bond with Jace and his cute moments with Isabelle, that is frustratingly lost behind jealousy and scowling. Most disappointing is Jace. Lacking Jamie Campbell Bower's acting ability and stripped of the tragic, nearly self-loathing personality behind the snarky mask, this Jace comes across as boring and self-centered, falling for Clary seconds after meeting her for no reason whatsoever. Clary, the very worst character, is a Mary Sue, perfect at everything, wanted by all the guys, and accepting of the supernatural and her powers instantly, and flirting with Jace while Simon is in danger in a cringe-worthy scene. Making it even worse is the actress' complete inability to act, and incredibly forced chemistry with Jace. Valentine is an over the top classic villain, lacking the scary edge of the movie version. The one bright spot in the cast is Alberto Rosende, who manages to make Simon endearing and believable, even carrying his scenes with Clary enough to make me feel emotion for him. The dialogue is appallingly bad, even by teen show standards, the weapons and props are cheesy - the swords have a weird nightlight glow and the characters move a stone crypt lid effortlessly - and adults are few and far between, let alone someone elderly. Also, with the plot dragged out across episodes, the weak spots and plot holes have nowhere to hide, making the experience even more painful.

I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 in theatres and it was superb, a flawless adaptation. In many ways it was my favorite book of the series and the film is definitely my favorite of the four. Despite the heavy action, the plot struck an excellent balance between more fast-paced and slower, emotional moments. Peeta completely broke my heart, with Josh Hutcherson's performance managing to pull off both the dangerous and vulnerable sides of the character perfectly. While I often find Katniss's character prickly and somewhat unlikeable, I finally understood her in this film, and I cried during the scene with Buttercup and her even more than I did during the book. I would have liked more scenes with Prim, but the few included were poignant, and I liked seeing her interact with Peeta, even if the scene was heartwrenching. I was glad that Katniss's mother leaving was skimmed over, though. Finnick and Annie's wedding was lovely, and I loved him looking after Peeta. I was grateful his death was less traumatic than in the book, but sad that Katniss seeing through his eyes wasn't included, even if that would have made the scene even more painful. I loved that Annie and his son was mentioned, and Annie was wonderful in her few scenes, making me wish she'd had a larger role. Haymitch and Effie, both surprise delights of the series, finally got a kiss which had me grinning ear to ear. I loved hearing all of my favorite lines (even the final "always"!) exactly like the book, the music was lovely, and the scenes after Coin's death were gorgeous, exactly as I'd hoped, since that was my favorite part of the series. The ending, with Peeta and Katniss and their children, was beautiful, and the kids were absolutely adorable.

In new animated films I finally saw The Peanuts Movie and while the odd animation style took a bit to grow on me, I adored the delightful whimsy of the plot and how it felt like the comics with a series of daily adventures bound together by the background story of Charlie's pining for the Little Red Haired Girl. I loved that the movie didn't update the story, keeping the vintage feel as well as the comic style such as hearts above the characters. Snoopy in particular was a delight, and I loved his Red Baron adventures. The voices were all great and some sweet moments, like Snoopy and Charlie's hug, Sally and Charlie, and the ending, made me emotional.

In new fairytale films I saw Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot, a lovely adaptation of the story. I loved the relationships, especially the sisters, and also their romances with their loves, even the brief but hilarious bit at the end where Rosenrot finds true love and adventure all at once. The magical roses and dance scenes were adorable, too. Next was Der Teufel Mit Den Drei Goldenen Haaren, a strange but very enjoyable story. I loved the characters and the ending was delightful. Next was Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, a beautiful and poignant adaptation. I loved how it managed to strike a balance between the tragedy of the original story and the more gentle, upbeat feel of the movie series, while still remaining faithful. The characters were lovely - I especially adored the Stranger - and the ending perfectly bittersweet.

In other new films I watched My Name is Nobody, a quirky and delightful spoof with characters I grew to love and some hilarious moments. I loved Jack and Nobody's friendship, and the resolution was adorable and perfect. Next was The Nine Lives of Christmas. I watched it solely for Brandon Routh and ended up adoring it with its delightfully sweet and quirky story and adorable cats. The romance was super cute, too. Next was Avenging Angelo, which was nothing like what I'd expected, but was a complete delight, a perfect blend of high-paced action and adorable romance with some zany and comedic moments thrown in. I have a weakness for bodyguard stories and Frankie and Jennifer's romance was too cute for words. It was also a joy to have Frankie go against typical stereotypes by being so gentle and a good cook, and I laughed through the entire scene of him teaching her how to walk right. The ending was perfect, too. Next was City of Angels, a gorgeously filmed and heartbreaking story. I loved the mythology the film created regarding angels, and the soundtrack was lovely. Next was Catch Me If You Can, a surprisingly fun and fast-paced true story. Frank's cons were entertaining, and I loved the poignancy of Frank's estrangement from his family and his friendship with Carl. Next was Just Like Heaven, a flawless mix of hilarious comedy and poignant drama, all wrapped up in a delightful fantasy romance. I adored the characters, including the minor ones, and David and Elizabeth's love story was sweet and believable. The ending made me super happy and teary, too.

I discovered the miniseries remake of Spartacus and completely fell in love with it. As much as I love the original, I loved this version better, for its expansion and deeper emotions. The cast was excellent, and all the characters richly drawn and fascinating, especially David. I loved the hope of the ending, too.
 
 
feeling: grumpy
calliope tune: "Hurt So Bad"-Lettermen
 
 
Kathleen
18 December 2015 @ 04:49 pm
Apparently there is a website where you can turn yourself into a Peanuts character. Or just create one. And it's adorable. Check it out.

Here's my results:
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calliope tune: "Four Strong Winds"-Chad Mitchell Trio
feeling: chipper