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 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.

In other new movies I watched Gods Of Egypt with low expectations, and ended up adoring it. It's very much a '90s style adventure story, with delightful fun, a lighter-hearted, more straight forward feel than most films today, and some wonderful friendship feels between Bek and Horus, whose relationship was my favorite thing in the movie. I enjoyed the somewhat fanciful but partially faithful depiction of mythological events, and how they wove into the story, like Horus's eyes. Horus was a lovely character, growing emotionally throughout the story until becoming a kind and good kind, and Bek was endearing. Next was the stunning and deeply moving Mr. Nobody. In addition to being one of the most beautifully filmed movies I've ever seen, it was incredibly thought-provoking, and a flawless mix of tragic poignancy and quiet inspiration. The cast was all superb - I'm absolutely in love with Jared Leto's eyes on a shallow note - and the plot was full of imagination. Next was the gorgeous On Drakon, a beautifully filmed and acted fairytale story with elements of Beauty and the Beast, but better. I've longed for human shape-shifted dragons in a fantasy for years and finally got one in Arman, a sweet and heartbreakingly sad character fighting his dragon side and the evil his race has committed. The mythology behind the dragons, especially their birth, was fascinating and dark, and I adored when the conclusion was him not becoming human but rather learning to control the dragon. The romance was sweet, and the ending so precious I couldn't stop smiling. Next was The Legend of Tarzan, the Tarzan movie I've been longing for for years. The tone was perfect, the cinematography and music gorgeous, and the relationship between Tarzan and Jane was the heart of it all, a beautiful, realistic, and powerful love story. I was a little saddened that there weren't more flashbacks, but I have an absolute weakness for married couples deeply in love, and the story hit so many of my beloved tropes. The ending was adorable, too. Next was the inspiring and lovely Hallmark movie Front of the Class. I loved that it was a true story, and James Wolk was so good at the role.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In new animated films I finally saw Wall-E which was very cute and actually somewhat inspiring. Wall-E and Eve's relationship was adorable, especially their dancing in space scene, and I also loved the two humans who found each other in the ship. Next was The Road To El Dorado, a greatly entertaining and random adventure with lovable characters. Next was Finding Nemo and I adored both the title character and the richly detailed world, as well as Nemo and his father's relationship. Next was Rio, a cute and colorful story with an adorably quirky romance between the human characters. Then was The Nightmare Before Christmas which was imaginative and far cuter than I'd imagined, with both towns a lot of fun. ext was the darling Oliver and Company with the cutest animated cat ever and some lovely moments and catchy tunes. Next was Kung Fu Panda which was random but enjoyable. Next was Big Hero 6 which was a little strange and sad but featured the most precious and unique robot ever. Next was the Ice Age series which I laughed my way through and completely fell in love with. Next was Quest For Camelot which was sweet but also featured the first disabled hero I've seen in an animated film which delighted me. Last was a childhood favorite, the beautiful and heartwarming The Snowman.
 
 
feeling: depressed
calliope tune: "I Started A Joke"-Bee Gees