Kathleen
I went backwards to season four of Smallville and the last of Clark's high school years. While the season's storyline about Clark's, Lana's, the Luthors's, and the Teagues's hunt for the mysterious stones of power is my least favorite so far, the unrelated episodes more than make up for it. Lex continues his slow journey toward evil, unfortunately just as I've finally come to appreciate the sadness of Clark and his friendship and it's eventual fate, while Lois, new this season, won me over at last with the glimpses of her past and a quirky introduction to Clark that finally has me shipping them. Jonathan and Martha end up somewhat in the background, but shine whenever given the chance, and Martha gets a hilarious scene in which she's possessed by a teenager and dances to her iPod. Chloe finally learns Clark's secret, unbeknownst to him, and I love her attempts to hint to Clark that she knows without actually telling him. New this season is Clark's adorable dog Shelby who sadly doesn't get to keep any of the superpowers he displays in his introduction episode, including saving Clark's life when he gets trapped in a kryptonite-filled truck that's on fire. Also there's Jason Teague, and I'm not sure if the fact that he was supposed to be in more than one season caused the writers to rush his storyline or if I just keep getting distracted by looking for Sam Winchester everytime he appears on the screen. Either way he starts out as a decent, even sweet person, despite unfortunately being yet another love interest for Lana, and then partway through the season snaps and turns into this mother-devoted psycho trying to get his hands on the stones of power who ends up getting shot, thrown off a cliff, and dragging himself back to the Kents to take them hostage during the second meteor shower. He does do the deranged thing very well, though, especially in the season's finale, and I wish the writers had done a better job with his transformation like they did with Davis. My favorite episode of the season was the moving "Ageless" in which Clark and Lana discover an abandoned newborn who quickly grows into a child and then a teenager. It's both sweetly funny as Clark cares for an infant and then a little child who leaps into his arms and calls him "dad" - if Clark and Lois had a son I think he'd be exactly like Evan - and completely heartbreaking as it's revealed that Evan's genetic quirks will cause his death in a matter of hours. As sad as it was I liked that they didn't do a last minute rescue and instead had Clark just stay with him in the end, since Clark can't save everybody and it was more powerful that way. I also loved "Blank", a fascinating episode with a unique and sympathetic antagonist featuring Clark losing his memory and Chloe attempting to teach him about his powers. Then I finished season five which starts the shift from Smallville to Metropolis as the town picks up the pieces following the second meteor shower while Clark adjusts to a human life without his powers. Chloe and Clark have a wonderfully deep friendship this season, with Clark finally learning Chloe knows his secret, even if it makes me slightly sad to think how Clark will end up treating her before long. In one episode someone refers to them as "Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy" which put all sorts of happy ideas into my mind of an updated, grown up version of the books with both of them and reminded me of how I used to ship Clark/Chloe in the first season. It's also Jonathan's last season, and even though I was prepared for how sad it would be his death hurt to watch. I suppose it was the most powerful choice to have Jonathan be the one to die for Clark, but I wish he'd been in at least a season or more beyond this because Clark was so much more of a hero when he was around. "Exposed" was offbeat and fun with Lois and Clark's awkwardly hilarious relationship and Tom Wopat guest starring as an old friend of Jonathan's. There were all these nods to The Dukes Of Hazzard and I kept giggling when Jack slid in through the window. I loved "Aqua" and wish AC had been in more of the series instead of just a few episodes. He's a perfect contrast to Clark and so much like Mark Harris that I kept grinning through the whole episode. "Mercy", a spooky episode in which Lionel and Martha become trapped in a bitter man's twisted games, gave me a new appreciation for Lionel and cast him in an entirely different light than I've thought of him in before. I also liked "Fragile", a perfect blend of sweet and scary as the Kents take in Maddie, a little girl who can manipulate and explode glass and is unable to control her power when she becomes upset. Clark's interactions with her were adorable and made me wish Clark had a younger sibling on the series. "Lexmas" was my favorite, a heartwrenching Christmas episode in which a badly wounded Lex gets a chance to see the path his life could take depending on his choices where he finds himself having left his fortune, married to Lana, raising two children, and close friends with Chloe and the Kents. The ending was heartbreaking, and I wish the writers had gone with that storyline, even if only in the parallel world, since as much as I usually dislike Lana she's strangely good when paired with Lex, and Lex makes a surprisingly sweet father. Now I'm on season two which includes the fantastic and unique "Nocturne" about a teenager locked in a basement because exposure to sunlight turns him into a vicious killer, and the heartbreaking "Ryan" which shows just how kind and good Lex could be before he was completely corrupted. His interactions and comic book discussions with Ryan are beautiful, and poignant, especially when they talk about the issue in which the hero and his friend turn against each other. Also I love how Lex can have anything at his command from the restraining order that keeps Ryan with the Kents to the best doctors in the world, basically the same role Oliver will later fill. I never saw them as a parallel before but it makes sense: both Lex and Oliver have wealth, power, family issues, a shaky friendship with Clark, and a dark side, but while Lex's eventually destroys him and everyone around him, Oliver is able to overcome his and become better for it. The offbeat "Skinwalker" has Clark foretold by American Indian cave paintings and legends while weaving in skinwalkers and another hint to Clark and Lex's future. My favorite story of the season is "Lineage", a gorgeous and touching episode in which everyone searches for the truth about their past: Lana to find a mysterious man in a photograph of her mother, Clark to elude a woman who believes he's the son she gave up for adoption in infancy, Lex to discover whether Clark is Lionel's son by his mother's nurse, and even Chloe, coming to terms with her mother abandoning her. Sadly, it has the first rift between Clark and Chloe as he hurts her by saying things about her mother and then stumbles over an apology while Chloe, of course, forgives him. I wish she'd just once told him off, because it might have helped Clark stay who he was at the beginning before he became an alien angsty antihero. On the bright side, though, the child who played little!Clark was precious! He looked like a little angel with that smile; the scene where he touches little!Lex's cheek broke my heart, and there's something incredibly heartwrenching about Jonathan being the one to find and save little!Lex, launching the entire story. I wish there was a full episode with toddler!Clark using his powers and growing up with the Kents. The storyline of Lucas continues strangely with "Prodigal" in which Lex discovers him alive and brings him back. Lucas is somewhat annoying and abrasive, so different from Lex's later "brother" Grant, who had so much potential and was sadly never fully explored by the writers who wrote him out much too quickly. The episode does provide some interesting insight into the sort of person Lex would be if he'd grown up with the Kents when he's forced to stay with them for a few days. Whitney finally gets a conclusion in "Visage", and despite the fact that he dies a hero, trying to save another soldier's life, it left me saddened, probably because he was my second favorite, after Chloe, in season one. Whitney was never fairly treated by anyone in Smallville, and didn't deserve either his ultimate fate or having someone impersonate him and destroy his character. It's not easy being Jimmy. Across season eight he gets elaborately lied to by Clark, forced to play a psychopath's game, has a heart attack, gets attacked by a shadow creature, is ripped to shreds by Doomsday in the middle of his wedding, witnesses a murder, breaks Chloe's heart and his own, becomes a drug addict, is beaten up, and ultimately is killed leaving Chloe's and Oliver's lives shattered. So while Smallville's Jimmy isn't my favorite version by any stretch I can't help but feel a little sorry for him. But I love Davis because he's the most tragic person in the series, an EMT who saves countless lives and is lost from the start no matter how hard he tries to fight his other half, and Chloe tries so hard to save him and can't. The most heartbreaking part of the season is after he tries to kill himself when she keeps him in her basement and stays near him because her presence keeps him from transforming. His backstory with the Luthers in "Eternal" is emotionally devastating, and thought-provoking. I'd love to see a parallel world where the Kents found and raised Davis as well. Lana unfortunately showed back up but does manage to redeem herself by having a final episode that even I found somewhat sad as she turns into walking kryptonite and is forced to leave Clark. Not that I'm not a little glad, though, because I'm getting used to Lois and she's completely wonderful compared to Lana. On the bright side watching the seasons out of order means seeing everything in the light of what will happen including Oliver trying to keep Chloe safe in "Beast" and "Hex"'s early hints of what will eventually spark Oliver and Chloe's relationship. They're beautiful together, perfectly matched and at ease with each other, and to be honest there's more chemistry between them in two platonic scenes than in a whole season of Jimmy/Chloe episodes. It's already obvious what a tragedy it would have been if Clark had let Chloe use the Legion Ring to go back and save Jimmy like this. Both of them are starting to lose control of their lives: Chloe questioning her career and relationships and Oliver beginning on his downward spiral with revenge against Lex and far too many drinks. But things aren't as dark as they'll become and there's treats like the fantastic "Toxic" which shows Oliver's past with the origins of Green Arrow and his first meeting with Tess or "Turbulence" where Clark reveals his identity leading to fan clubs, screaming teenagers, and being arrested before he undoes the day with the Legion Ring. Speaking of "Legion" I really liked Cosmic Boy, a superhero I have no familiarity with. One of my favorite things about the series is how many superheroes they manage to include, many of whom I've never heard of. As much as I like Clark with his parents, season eight for me is where Smallville became amazing, removing the people I disliked and bringing together everyone I love as well as the beloved backdrop of the Daily Planet. The season finale "Doomsday" was one of the most heartwrenching episodes I've seen of anything beginning with the poignant scene of Chloe and Davis stargazing and ending with Davis's tragic turn into madness, his and Jimmy's deaths, and Clark turning his back on everyone. I wanted so much for them to be able to save Davis and my heart broke when he said there was nothing left of him to save. I sobbed when Oliver stood apart from the others with a tear rolling down his face and when Chloe gave little Jimmy his brother's camera and told him to carry on in his footsteps. Season seven was good but there was far too much Lana and barely any Oliver. I'm finished with six now and it was perfect, even if it's sad to see the last glimpses of innocent and dorky farmboy!Clark until "Fortune". Apart from his absurd jealousy of every guy who looks at Chloe, I've finally gotten used to Jimmy, and Lois, too, even if I may still shake my head at her from time to time. I think if the writers hadn't tried to ship Jimmy/Chloe or made Clark into a mess every time he falls in love with a girl I could have accepted the two much earlier. Still, whether or not the writers planned it that way the canon ships are already obvious, with Clark/Lois and Oliver/Chloe feeling so right. Also Jimmy/Lois have strangely good chemistry which is a pairing I've never thought of before, and I'm slightly disturbed to find myself shipping Lex/Lana. Partway into the season Oliver, smart-alecky, frequently shirtless, and brilliantly golden-haired, shows up and the series is never the same again, jumping from fairly good to superb and stealing my heart in one scene of him dressed as Robin Hood, and his first meeting with Chloe where she refers to him as "wow" is adorable. Chloe shines this season in "Freak", an offbeat story of a blind teenager whose ability to identify the meteor-infected exposes Chloe's own infection, and the heartbreaking "Progeny" in which Chloe's mother, committed when Chloe was a child, escapes from 33.1 and reveals her ability to control those around her. "Labyrinth", a complex and twisting episode, has Clark awakening in a hospital to be told that his life is the product of his mental illness and Chloe as the only one who believes in him, and "Justice" featuring Oliver starting up the Justice League is fantastic. "Reunion", an unusual and excellent glimpse into the past, is about Oliver and Lex's school years where Lex was already a disturbed and lonely child and Oliver was a popular troublemaker who bullied him, the two of them bound by the tragedy surrounding a classmate. I guessed at the twist but it was still an incredible episode, and I loved the contrast between the two: Lex growing more evil and Oliver changing for the good and even apologizing to Lex in the end. I wasn't sold on the boy who played young Oliver at first but his amazing way at capturing adult Oliver's expressions and way of speaking blew me away, as did the look on his face during the accident. This series's casting never fails to impress me. My favorite episode of the season was "Noir", an outrageously fun adventure of Jimmy and Chloe investigating Lana's shooting that results in Jimmy getting hit over the head and dreaming he's in 1940. There Lionel and Lex run a speakeasy, Lois is a singer in love with Lex, Lana is a femme fatale who hires Jimmy and is plotting Lex's murder, Clark leads a double life as a geeky reporter and a cop complete with a superman logo-shaped badge, and Jimmy is a freelance detective. The old parts were beautiful in black and white with sliding frame changes, and I loved the whole feel of the episode. Both the dream sequence and the current mystery parts made me wish for a grownup Nancy Drew series with Allison Mack; she's reminded me of Nancy since the beginning and would be perfect in the role.

I'm finishing up season four of The Streets Of San Francisco, and Steve and Mike's friendship keeps getting more adorable. There's this moment in "Solitaire" that had me giggling when Steve is in the hospital joking around about Mike's temporary partner and Mike leans over and taps him on the nose before he leaves. Karl Malden and Michael Douglas's friendship comes through their characters so much and it's perfect. In the same vein of mystery/cop/detective series, I've been watching Peter Gunn on MeTV's Saturday Night Noir and it's a quirky show, almost a radio drama with images, with an amazing theme and unintentionally hilarious fight scenes. Peter has nothing of a past, and after a handful of episodes I still know nothing about him, but I enjoy his banter with the wonderful Lt. Jacoby and the way his mind works. MeTV has also picked up Mr. Lucky and I'm loving getting to see it again, both for the atmosphere of humor and breezy noir as well as Andamo, played with great relish by Ross Martin who's not only in his element as the South American-accented revolutionary who throws himself into trouble, but looks like he's having the time of his life. As much as I adore Artemus, Andamo is special and never fails to make me smile. I'm also working my way through Naked City each week, up to "Torment Him Much And Hold Him Long" and I'm beginning to think Robert Duvall should have been a regular in the show. He's incredible and a guest star so much that they could have just picked one and had him be there always. Personally, I would have chosen Johnny from "Five Cranks For Winter, Ten Cranks For Spring" because he's a sweet but fully imagined character, and I love him dearly, as well as that being my favorite episode. I love Adam, too; he's fascinating and the most human cop I've seen in any series. He's far from perfect, relies too much on his heart above his head, fails often, and isn't too proud to get his hands dirty when he has to. The last episode had him even practically begging for his life when someone is holding his own gun on him, and Paul Burke did a superb job with the scene, putting just the faintest quiver into his voice when he mentions the hair trigger on his gun, and looking vulnerable in every movement while still attempting to maintain control.

I watched the Doctor Who movie again and it was surprisingly good, even with snake!Master, making me wistful for the lack of more episodes of that era. Eight is a wonderful Doctor, my second favorite, delightfully quirky and childlike one moment while heartbreakingly alone and lost the next, half human and lovable, and I adore the steampunk style of his clothes and TARDIS. I like how intuitive he is to the future of everyone he meets, and how even after all the Master has done to him and the people he cares about he still tries to save the Master in the end. Grace was a fun companion, a good match for him, and a cute romantic pairing. There were so many moments that made me smile, from the Doctor reading The Time Machine to his "perfectly fitting" shoes to him pounding on the TARDIS, all complete with a '90s vibe and a perfect mix of British and American culture with touches from his past selves to tie it all together, and reminds me of the fun elements I miss so much in newer seasons.

I discovered Robin Of Sherwood this week and am loving it so far. I've loved the book Robin Hood as long as I can remember and became obsessed with the legends after reading King Raven, but have never found a film/tv version that felt right until now. Robin has this unearthly, changeling-like quality to him that's perfect for a man of myth, Much is sweetly adorable, Friar Tuck and Little John are suited for their roles, and Will Scarlet, despite not quite matching what I picture, simmers with the fury of his tragic past as he should. Marian is finally a good image of how I picture her, sweet, lovely, yet able to stand by Robin's side during the worst of times. Sherwood is gorgeous, beautifully green and lush, and the villages and castle are exactly as they should be, definitely the most realistic concept of the world of the book. I was looking forward to the archery contest and wasn't disappointed: Robin was disguised as an old man unlike most versions and, which delighted me to no end, he actually split the arrow instead of just hitting the target in the center. There's this quiet magical feel to the series, too, with the hunter in the forest, the mists across the water, the arrow stolen at Stonehenge, and the sorcerer who can wound Robin without touching him, and a poignant feel of destiny with Robin's common line "Nothing's forgotten".  

I saw the pilot of Lucan, an unusual '70s series about a feral child discovered in the woods running with a pack of wolves who's brought back and slowly educated, only to find himself drifting in the hope of discovering the truth about his past when his compassionate teacher suddenly dies. Lucan is a curious but sweet mix of naive human and wary animal, with his wolf characteristics appearing in startling bursts before vanishing under perfectly human mannerisms, and, while he seems a little too ordinary at times, he's an interesting and unique lead. I love the style of the series and pretty theme, too.

MeTV's showcase was The Lone Ranger which was a treat since I hadn't seen it in years. I love Reid and Tonto's friendship, and it's sweet to think it carried over to real life to some extent. I've always adored Clayton Moore and how he took the role to heart, and it was odd to see John Hart's version in one of the episodes: a somewhat colder and harder-edged loner compared to Clayton Moore's soft, almost gentle style that endeared me instantly. The last episode was a happy surprise in color, letting me see his lovely blue costume. The station has also picked up Bewitched which I haven't seen since I was a child and I'm loving it again. I want a crossover between Bewitched and Tucker's Witch that makes Samantha and Amanda related...cousins, maybe. Both series have so much in common and it would awesome to have the people from both team up. 

I've been watching the super addictive Andy Williams Show this week and it's wonderful. I've loved Andy Williams since longer than I can remember and collected every song of his I could so it's a real treat to finally see his tv series. As I expected I love his singing; there's something magical about watching "Moon River" that goes beyond the nostalgic yearnings I get when I hear it, and I look forward to each song to see which he'll sing. The comedy sketches are hilarious, especially when Andy gets thrown through a wall by a lovesick, loudly singing girl and the later sketch with her as an opera singer who causes everything in earshot to fall over; and the guests, with the Kingston Trio among many familiar faces, always make me give these loud shrieks of happiness when they're announced.

I seem to have found the bad apple in my quest to see all things Camelot: the 1981 film Excalibur which veers between the surprisingly superb and the shockingly dreadful enough to give me whiplash. On the good side it's the first version I've found that finally includes Sir Ector and Kay taking Arthur to the tournament and Arthur, failing to find Kay's stolen sword, impulsively pulls the sword from the stone. I've always found Arthur's adoptive father and brother and his relationship with them to be fascinating and sadly overlooked so it was a treat to see a little of it here. The epic quest to save the dying and barren Camelot and it's king was superbly done, with a horror-tinged feel as knight after knight is horribly sacrificed along the way and the people, dressed in rags against a dark background, reach out to the knight in bright silver armor as he rides by without stopping. Lancelot, always my focus in any Arthurian adaptation, had the looks to measure up but a somewhat disappointing take, portraying him as a slightly egotistical man who duels other knights for the fun of it and who, in an unusual and intriguing twist, ends up getting run through by Arthur's sword which, unable to be used for personal gain, breaks. Horrified, Arthur throws it into the water and the Lady of the Lake throws it back to him, whole, as well as bringing Lancelot back to life. On the downside I felt the casting was one of the major problems of the film, as well as the fact that it felt as if the writers were trying too hard to capture the magic of the story while forgetting it's heart. While Perceval is refreshingly well chosen and gives an excellent performance as an almost feral boy Lancelot discovers in the forest who proves to be among the most noble of the knights, and little Morgana does an amazing job with her tiny role, most of the rest either overact - the constantly yelling every line Uther is especially dreadful - or are miscast - Morgana and Guinevere would have been better suited to the other's role and the dark, brooding Arthur would have made a better Gwain than the golden-haired king of legend. On the other note even Lancelot's wistful glances at the queen during and after the wedding can't create any believability to Lancelot and Guinevere's love story, and Gwain's complex story from Lancelot's closest friend to bitterest enemy is reduced to a brief enchantment that leads to Lancelot killing him in a duel. Following that was Sword Of Lancelot, a fascinating take on the legends which is notable for being the only version I've seen to have Lancelot be French, lovely accent and all. Cornel Wilde makes an excellent Lancelot, my second favorite so far, capturing both his dangerous yet noble side as well as the charming and playful edge that makes it impossible to not fall for him as Guinevere does, and their interactions from a funny comment about "magical" soap to a Latin lesson in the sand with his sword are perfectly done, as well as Lancelot's dramatic rescue of her from the burning pyre. It's nice to finally have a fair, golden-haired Guinevere, Merlin as the adviser at the Round Table, Arthur being the right mix of just kindness and hard justice, sending Guinevere to her death and then weeping over his laws, and Lancelot and Gawain's friendship to Lancelot killing Gawain's brother in his escape, turning Gawain against him before they make amends, just as everything should be. The film has the unusual twist of having Arthur die while Mordred survives to take over Camelot, forcing Lancelot out of exile in France to return to battle Mordred and save it, and ends with the heartbreaking scene I've always hoped to see in a version: Lancelot's return to Guinevere in which she chooses to remain at the convent. Then I saw Guinevere, the most unique version of the legends I've come across, and I adored it's idea of Guinevere and Lancelot having grown up together, as well as Guinevere meeting Arthur and not knowing his name when he's a young man who comes to her father's aid during a battle. Lancelot was perfect and I loved that he left Guinevere a rose at the end, Guinevere unusually fully imagined and strong, even willing to trade her life for Arthur's and personally kill her enemies, but Arthur was strangely weak-willed and there was no true love between Arthur and Guinevere. Unfortunately the film has an abrupt ending that leaves countless threads hanging, never resolving what happened to Lancelot after his heartbreaking disappearance, or whether Guinevere ever told Arthur about their daughter or found the child back. Last was Merlin's Apprentice and I liked Jack, the hilarious and awkwardly magical thief and student of Merlin who's the key to finding the lost Grail that can save Camelot. It was a beautiful miniseries with the right blend of humor and tragedy with an unexpected twist, and I especially loved the moments of Merlin with little Arthur, the haunting scene at the end of part one as the people flee the crumbling bridge away from Camelot where the past flashes in front of Merlin's and Jack's eyes with slow motion photography followed by the screen going dark, and the adorable ending.

In other new movies I saw Spartacus which was stunning. Kirk Douglas was excellent in the title role and the direction was breathtaking. Next was a re-watch of the always amazing Spellbound followed by Journey To the Center of the Earth and its sequel which were incredibly fun and random. Next was the gorgeous southern gothic Night of the Hunter, one of the most stunning films I've seen with its beautiful and strange photography and plot. Along the same lines was the beautifully haunting The Innocents with its ghost story and poignant feel. Next was Key Largo, the loveliest role I've ever seen Humphrey Bogart in, and he and Lauren Bacall lit up the screen. Next was the fun and very Hitchcock but better than him adventure Charade which kept me entertained. Next was the creepy but fascinating original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Next was the odd but excellent Sunset Boulevard.
 
 
calliope tune: "Suspicion"-Terry Stafford
feeling: amused
 
 
Kathleen
I'm finished with season nine of Smallville and it was the best ever. I'm growing to like Lois, even if she isn't how I imagine her, and she's at least more observant and curious than Adventures Of Superman's Lois who couldn't figure out who Clark was even when the proof was right in front of her. On the flip side I adore Adventures Of Superman's Jimmy while Smallville's didn't catch my interest, even if he wasn't really the Jimmy. Clark isn't quite Superman but he's well on his way and I love the little hints the series keeps dropping, especially the boy with the cartoon of how he imagines the Blur's costume, not to mention in-jokes for other series including The X-Files when Lois calls an alien hunter "Mulder". Chloe as usual has a hard road but she has Oliver to fall back on and their relationship is gorgeous, two broken people who make each other whole. Oliver is as sweet and wonderful as always with more melancholy this season before Chloe snaps him out of his downward spiral. I love his musings on inward and outward scars in "Escape", a delightfully fun episode featuring a good old-fashioned ghost story involving a banshee, a bit of Oliver whump, and a hilarious scene where Clark and Oliver exchange small talk about saving the citizens of Metropolis. "Echo" was stunning, with some incredible acting from Justin Hartley, especially in the scene where Oliver is standing on the landmine, forced to read the words on the screen, and when he stepped off my heart broke for him. The scene where Oliver looks at his reflection and sees Lex was chilling and fascinating to think of what Oliver could become if he didn't have people who cared about him and his own good heart. Clark was blind to how much pain he was in, but I was glad he seemed to finally realize what he was going through in the end, even if he didn't seem to do much to help him. I love that it's Chloe who saves him "myth and man", she's perfect for him and he for her. Zod is fascinating, violence tempered by strangely caring moments that make him almost tragic, and an intricate backstory. Clark struggles with his promise to keep Zod alive while protecting the world from his plans, and eventually gives his own blood to bring Zod back to life after he's shot and killed, a selfless act that seems to change Zod for the better, only to be crushed when his blood gives Zod back his powers. The scene where he leaps off the roof and then up into flight partway to the ground took my breath away, and I can't help wishing that Clark could manage to redeem him; the two of them would make an incredible superhero team, and Clark doesn't seem to appreciate Oliver's backing him up nearly as much as he should. "Pandora" is a poignant episode where in another future everything changes: Zod and his people have all the power, Clark is mortal, Lois has vanished for a year, and Chloe and Oliver lead a ragtag rebellion that ends with both their deaths. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Oliver when he cries over Tess, I don't feel pity for her but Oliver keeps being hurt by her and all she does, and cold-blooded Chloe is creepy. I found human Clark intriguing, and would love to have seen several episodes in this world. "Absolute Justice" was breathtaking, and I got chills when I saw the painting of the Justice Society. I love when superheroes team up to defeat a villain, and I liked Hawkman, a sad and very different sort of hero. He and Oliver worked well together when they weren't fighting, and his living over and over and losing his wife each time is deeply haunting. I wish the Star-Spangled Kid hadn't died, since I liked what little I saw of him. Last was season ten and it was incredible. I sobbed through most of "Lazarus", such a haunting, breathtaking episode, picking up the day after last season's finale with Clark's death at the hands of Zod and Oliver in the clutches of an unknown madman. Lois discovers Clark's secret after she pulls the krytonite dagger out of him, bringing him back to life, but leaves to protect him, heading on assignment to Africa. Warned of a coming threat, Clark allows his pride to get in the way of his fate, is told he may become earth's most dangerous enemy, and still isn't worthy of changing his colors to red and blue, even as the costume lies folded up in a box in his barn. He does get an amazing scene where he flies for a few seconds, carrying the globe of the Daily Planet back into place after it falls, though. Jonathan Kent appeared in a dream/vision at the very end and made my eyes all misty; I love him so much and he's such a wonderful father to Clark, gently encouraging and supporting him instead of Jor-El who only seems to use him for his own purposes. Clark was a much better hero when Jonathan was alive, and I hope his getting to talk to him and hug him again will help him return to who he once was. I miss that sweet farmboy who cared deeply about his friends and saved the world on a small scale. While everything is going on, Chloe, desperate to not lose Oliver, puts on Fate's Helmet which reveals the future to her, as well as where Oliver, being tortured by the newly formed Suicide Squad, is. And then the ending: Chloe trades herself for Oliver, saving his life and leaving him a beautiful, heartwrenching note about him being her "knight in shining leather", which combined with "One More Day" broke my heart into tiny pieces. I don't think I've ever loved a pairing so much as Oliver/Chloe, there's something deeply gorgeous about their relationship, how they save each other in body and spirit. Oliver instantly starts falling apart in the next episode and I'm not sure I can stand watching it; last time made me want to jump through the tv screen, protect him from himself, and hug him until he was better. After going to church and speaking to the photograph of his parents, Oliver decides that his secret caused him to lose Chloe and reveals his identity to the press, but it doesn't help his pain, and his advice about love to Clark brought tears to my eyes. "Homecoming" was a heart-tugging episode as Clark's High School reunion turns into a trip into past, present, and future as he's forced to come to terms with his guilt over Jonathan's death, losing his childhood friends, and his fear of telling Lois his secret. Finding himself in the future Clark discovers Lois knows all about him and is helping him, with hilarious scenes where she punches out a guy who nearly sees him without his costume, and Clark wonders how he got so "nerdy" when he sees his glasses-wearing, mild-mannered disguise, echoed in a thought-provoking later scene where Clark talks about having to give up his true self to become Superman, the way I've always seen it; he's truly Clark not Superman instead of the other way around. In the present Clark sees Oliver, sitting alone and hoping for a call from him after he's revealed his identity. Clark is so blind to Oliver's suffering and it drives me crazy how he thinks of no one but Lois. He could care about all his friends, and now that Chloe isn't there Oliver needs someone. Still Oliver's interview and comments about being a hero is beautiful and inspiring, I adore him. Tess is given charge of Watchtower, which doesn't seem right, and Oliver is forced to deal with someone else in Chloe's role, patching him up and keeping an eye on him. Tess is becoming more tragic this season, and the root of her problems, the lack of love given her, comes to light as she finds a chance for redemption when she cares for little Alexander, the only surviving clone of Lex. But her hopes that she can save the child from becoming like Lex are dashed when he grows far too fast and soon takes on Lex's memories and hatred of Clark. Tess's decision to destroy the medicine that could save him is heartbreaking, followed by the shocking twist when the needle to kill him breaks against his skin. In "Icarus" the darkness and the VRA become more powerful causing the people to turn against the heroes and beat Oliver. Hawkman is killed saving Lois in a haunting scene where he covers her with his wings and falls burning from the top of the building. I like the idea that he'll be with the woman he loves again in his next life but I wish he hadn't had to die in the series because he was my second favorite of the heroes next to Oliver. "Collateral" was amazing as the heroes find themselves waking after Hawkman's funeral with memories of being tortured by Chloe. While most of them think she's a traitor, Oliver, believing it's in his mind, is locked in a straightjacket in a hospital where he sees Chloe walk through the wall and set him free. She tells him all the heroes are in a virtual world, bodies plugged into a mainframe, and the only way out is through a portal only reached by jumping off the top of the Daily Planet building. Oliver is the only one who trusts Chloe - his "with my life" comment brought back all the happiness I've missed this season - and jumps, finding himself back in the real world and awakening to a kiss from Chloe. I'm thrilled Chloe is back, and I got tears in my eyes at the ending when Oliver tells Chloe how much he's missed her, searching for her face, listening to her voice on his answering machine, and then quietly asks her if she's going to stay before she kisses him again. I've missed Green Team so badly! Finally things are looking brighter again as a small group of people begin to stand up for the heroes, everyone is working together again, and there's cute moments like Clark going to England and back to the Daily Planet in a split second. "Masquerade" was perfect with Clark stepping into his mild-mannered disguise and glasses which I've always loved, as well as a cute scene where Oliver calls Chloe and he "adorable blondes", and brushes her hair off her forehead, but it hurt when the Omega symbol appears on Oliver's forehead. "Fortune" was the most hilarious and fun episode I've seen, and I couldn't stop laughing through Lois chasing her engagement ring, Oliver dressed as a showgirl, Clark stealing an armored car, Oliver's green suit, and Chloe thinking she married Clark. I loved that Emil had a larger role than usual and even got to be an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas! But best of all Oliver and Chloe are married and living in Star City; I wanted to hug them both in their last scene, they're so wonderful together. "Booster" was a surprisingly excellent episode; I loved Booster Gold and wish he'd been in the series again. "Dominion" was fantastic; Justin Hartley did a gorgeous directing job on it. I loved Oliver jumping in after Clark into the Phantom Zone, and how creepy everything was in there. Zod wasn't nearly the multi-faceted villain of last season, but his conversation with Oliver was still enough to send chills up my spine. I liked how Lois waited three weeks for Clark and wouldn't let the Zone be destroyed, but I wish Chloe had been shown the same way waiting for Oliver. Oliver keeps breaking my heart this season, and I couldn't help aching for him when he looks up at the angel statue after discovering he has the Omega on his forehead. "Prophecy" has treasure-hunting!Oliver after the bow of Orion in an attempt to save himself from the darkness, and I only wish there was more of that than the other storyline, even as quirky as it is to see Lois with Clark's powers. The finale was amazing, I was left with so many emotions. Clark finally completes his journey into Superman as he flies, ending with him pulling his shirt open to reveal the costume beneath, and there's a cute scene showing the Superman comics. Lois and Clark never seem to manage to find the time to marry, but she's sticking with him. I teared up through all the moments with Jonathan and Martha, and Tess's tragic death as she finally found her redemption. Oliver and Chloe had the happiest ending of all, with the Omega removed from Oliver's forehead, Clark finally believing in him enough to give him the strength to overcome the darkness, and best of all, Oliver and Chloe's adorable son! Awesome casting for the child, he looks so much like both of them, and I loved when he looks at his little bow and arrows set. Then at the ending Jimmy was at the Daily Planet!

A MeTV Showcase was The Millionaire which I'd never seen before so I watched it all and promptly fell in love with it. It's a compelling 50s series about a wealthy man who gives a million dollars to complete strangers without them knowing who he is and with their promise that they never reveal how they got the money or how much they have, with each episode following one of the people who received his gift and how they use it. They were all excellent but I especially loved "Jerry Bell", a beautiful romance about a man who falls in love with a blind girl. When he is given the money he uses it for an operation to restore her sight but hides from her, afraid that if she sees him she'll no longer love him. Charles Bronson was wonderful at the role; I always love him and he was so very sweet here.

I finished The X-Files season seven and I liked how Scully has become more of a believer and also how close Mulder and Scully's relationship has become, starting with the season opener's romantic ending speech and all the kisses. "The Goldberg Variation" and "Hungry" were both unique and surprisingly good episodes; "Millenium" was nostalgic, and I teared up when I saw Dick Clark and the wonderful ball that year, combined with Mulder and Scully's kiss. "Sein Und Ziet"/"Closure" were deeply poignant, with Mulder finally discovering Samantha's fate and coming to terms with it. I loved the beautifully haunting scene where he sees all the children and she comes running to him and they stand hugging each other. "Requiem" left me with mixed feelings and a lot of sadness with Mulder taken by the aliens and Scully all alone just as they were finally truly together, even as relieved as I am to see Cigarette Smoking Man get his just deserts at Krycek's hand. But I loved Krycek's completely gratuitous shower scene, and the wonderful moment when the Lone Gunmen, Mulder, Scully, Krycek, and the others were all working together on the same side toward their goal.

I'm watching 12 O'Clock High season two now and I love how the guys are introduced and slowly grow over the episodes, Gallagher coming down a little too hard on the men as he struggles to fill Savage's shoes and Komansky being self-absorbed, back-talking and carrying a chip on his shoulder. The two bump heads through the first episode before Gallagher's bravery earns Komansky's grudging respect, and by the third episode Gallagher is comfortable calling him Sandy, even if the two don't have the close friendship they'll have in season three yet. Gallagher settles into the command enough to even defy General Britt's orders for the good of his men, while developing a leadership that's every bit as solid while being more compassionate and understanding than Savage's. Komansky comes along the farthest as Gallagher brings him out of himself and makes him start to care about others, beginning with a young, frightened gunner. There's a interesting bit of backstory on him, too, where he mentions lying about his age to join because he was running from school and the police, and Gallagher's talk of his family and old friend gives a glimpse of his past and what drives him. "Show Me A Hero, I'll Show You A Bum" was amazing, and I love how Gallagher is the only one who sees Komansky as he is and could be if he'd only allow himself to realize he cares. "Between The Lines" in which Komansky moves from respecting Gallagher to understanding him was a fascinating study as each person is confronted with their worst fear such as hunger or battle. Komansky's terror of rats because he grew up around them and Gallagher's fear of failing the mission, hinting that he's still striving to prove himself worthy of his father and brothers' honors, say a lot about what shapes both of them, and I liked how underplayed the scene where Gallagher thinks Komansky was killed is. Gallagher never really says anything, not even that he's happy to see him, but it's all on his face, from when he turns back to salute the plane to the ending when he pats Komansky, wounded and resting, on the shoulder. In "The Survivor" Komansky gets to be tougher than usual when trying to get to the truth of an accident; I love when he comments about his long name and threatens to put it one letter at a time on the crewmembers who are giving a pilot a hard time. "Day Of Reckoning" is a beautifully haunting study of faith as a chaplin - the ever wonderful Charles Aidman - struggles to maintain a belief in God after the woman he loves dies in bombings and he kills an unarmed German soldier. Three of the German prisoners escape and shoot Komansky, badly wounding him. The chaplain manages to cling to his faith and prays for days over Komansky. Despite his wound being the same as the one that killed the German, a poignant parallel, Komansky survives. The chaplain's final comments about the Nazis not believing in God was deeply thought-provoking and Gallagher's statement that Komansky is a "tough Yankee" was adorable.

I'm on season five of Rawhide and it's wonderful with such treats as the lovely "Incident Of The Black Ace" where Wishbone believes a gypsy fortune and believes he's doomed to die soon. He writes out a will which is read by the men and they all realize how much he cares about them, and later save him when he's taken hostage, making him realize how much they care about him, too. Finale "Abilene" is less wild than previous seasons but makes up for it by having fed-up Rowdy punch Gil. I've been waiting for that for years! "Incident Of The Clown" is a suprisingly poignant tale of a man finding his calling in life, and has a interesting conversation between Rowdy and he where Rowdy comments that he always wanted to be a path-finder blazing new trails through the wilderness, which makes me want a spin-off series or episode where he becomes that. The haunting "Incident Of The Hostages" gives Hey Soos a chance to shine and be a sweetheart when the drovers pick up three white Indian-raised siblings and attempt to take them to a town. Rowdy gets an adorable scene where he sings and plays guitar for the younger children, and Gil has an unusually kind streak when it comes to the smallest child, even if he's stubborn when it comes to making them white. I loved that the story didn't follow the usual path and instead had the three choose to return to their Indian family. "Incident Of Judgment Day", the season's best episode, is a stunning character study in hate and humanity as a group of former Confederate soldiers ride into camp and take Rowdy to stand a mock trial in a ghost town. The men and Rowdy were in the prison camp during the war where Rowdy became seriously ill while they were planning an escape. The captain believes Rowdy told the commander of the camp about their plans which resulted in their recapture, one man being paralyzed, and two others being killed. Rowdy's only hope lies with a former judge, now a defeated alcoholic who blames himself for an error in judgement that cost a person their life and at first is unwilling to defend him. "Incident Of The Pale Rider" is a chilling ghost story where Rowdy shoots a man in self-defense and then is stalked by a ranch hand who looks the same as the dead man. Hey Soos scared me by being badly injured but thankfully he recovered, and I loved Rowdy in the episode.

I'm watching The Virginian season six and it appears the series has found it's footing after the shaky fifth with the touching "Seth" in which Trampas discovers a sick and half-starved teenager, Michael Burns who's superb as usual, in the mountains. The boy refuses to give any answers to Trampas's questions and only gives his first name, but Trampas sees promise in him and has him signed on at Shiloh. However, his uncle turns up to claim him prompting Trampas's suspicions and the discovery of Seth's past. I loved Seth and he worked well with Trampas and would have been good as a regular. Since he stayed on at Shiloh in the end I like to think he's there just not seen in other episodes.

I finished the Adam-12 finale "Something Worth Dying For" and it was perfect! Reed went back to being Pete's partner and it ended with him receiving the medal of honor for saving Pete's life. It was wonderful to watch their journey end, from a cop who wanted to quit partnered with a rookie to both of them seven years later, good friends and honored. I've also fallen in love with another cop show The Streets Of San Francisco. Mike and Steve have a beautiful father-son like friendship, and I love the contrast between them and how well they work together. In "Flags Of Terror" Steve was taken hostage and it was moving to see the fear on Mike's face as he can't help him, as well as Steve's attempts to keep their spirits up.

I've been working my way through The Master, an offbeat little series. Max Keller is a trouble-prone kid who's constantly being thrown out of bar windows, when he isn't turning the tables on the bad guys, that is. He lives out of his truck, has one friend, his hamster Henry, and a pronounced, endearing Brooklyn accent. His life takes a sudden detour when he gets into another fight and meets John McAllister, a WWII vet who stayed in Japan, became the only white ninja master, and returned to the states in search of the daughter he's never met. Trailing McAllister is Okasa, his former pupil who views him as a traitor and plans to kill him. As McAllister and Max set out, McAllister finds in him an eager student, and takes him under his wing to teach him how to survive. I have a weakness for ninjas so this series is right up my alley. To make it even better, Max is both hilarious and adorable, hot-headed yet good-hearted, and I love him.

I've started rewatching Lost, one of my teenage shows. I love the tone and characters, especially Charlie, Claire, and Jack.

MeTV's showcase played Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea so I got to see a new Irwin Allen film. I liked it much better than the series which I only watch once in a while, especially the cast and more toned-down fantasy feel. Robert Sterling makes a great Lee Crane and I wish he'd been him in the series. Frankie Avalon is underused but he did get a moment of bravery while facing down a man with a bomb, and a cute music scene, as well as singing the pretty themesong. Admiral Nelson, a maverick but brilliant Navy scientist has launched the Seaview, a Jules Verne style submarine commanded by a crew under Captain Lee Crane, a young man for his command who's brought on board his fiancée, Cathy. Seaview's ocean trials come to an abrupt halt when the Van Allen radiation belt catches a meteor shower that floods the earth with extreme heat, leaving the world weeks away from destruction. Lee's father-son relationship with the Admiral becomes strained when Nelson's harsh orders and refusal to search for survivors clash with Lee's care for the men and the pressure they're under, even as Nelson attempts to maintain control over the crew, all while launching a risky scheme to save the world before time runs out. Somewhat less shiny and colorful than Irwin Allen's other work, it's still a fun film with underwater attacks by another sub and sealife, as well as personal interest stories, and a real treat. In other new films I saw Peter Pan and the lovely sequel Return To Neverland, which I loved even more than the original. Peter had a fiery-tempered but softer edge to him in the sequel, and there was an adorable scene where he flew with Jane on his back. Tinkerbell was precious, and the Lost Boys as well as the clapping octopus kept me laughing, despite the more serious tone and occasionally dark WWII setting. As much as I like Wendy I actually preferred Peter with Jane, since her more take charge personality suited Peter and Neverland better, and Hook seemed more comical instead of threatening. Next was the fun and imaginative Enchanted. Next was the whimsical and poignant fairytale Edward Scissorhands which I loved. After that was the moving and lovely Miss Potter which broke my heart but also warmed it by the ending. Next was the flawed but pretty One Night With the King with its beautiful sequence of Hadassah coming before the king. I'd loved the book so it was even more exciting to see it on the screen. Next was the hilarious, far fetched, and completely fantastic Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I have a huge weakness for historical fantasy and the concept was a delight. Next was a rewatch of Casablanca which I always enjoy, especially the French song scene which always reduces me to tears. Next was the surprisingly well done The Nativity Story which I loved, especially for its kind and decent portrayal of Joseph, one of my absolute favorite and somewhat overlooked Biblical figures. Next was the adorable Eragon. I loved the world building and character relationships. Next was the intriguing Dial M For Murder. Hitchcock is very much hit or miss with me but sometime I love the concept and filming style as I did with this one. Next was the beautiful but sad Finding Neverland, and after that the poignant yet adorable Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Next was The Golden Compass. I adored the world building, especially the creatures, and the characters were enjoyable. Next was the lovely and moving Blossoms In the Dust whose true story made it even more poignant. Next was the fun time travel adventure Timeline. Next was the enjoyable Beautiful Creatures whose southern gothic feel and historical flashbacks delighted me. Next was the Twilight movies and while they're far from high art I greatly enjoyed them for escapist fluff and random fun. Next was my first horror film House On Haunted Hill, an always delightful and ever so slightly scary caper. Last was Elvis movies, my favorites Flaming Star and King Creole.

I saw the heartbreaking and beautiful miniseries The Hanging Gale about the Irish Potato Famine as seen through the eyes of four brothers: Liam, a priest, Daniel, the schoolmaster, and farmers Sean, a married father of three, and Conor, headstrong and quietly in love with Sean's wife Maeve. I've always had an interest in the time period and Ireland as well so it was wonderful to finally find something set then, especially a film like this with such superb history accuracy, gentle yet painful photography, and excellent acting. The soft-spoken Liam shines the brightest, bringing tears to my eyes in the heartwrenching scene where he buries a young child while mumbling the Lord's Prayer over her in a numb, shocked tone. One of the best miniseries I've ever seen.

In Arthurian legend I watched Tristan + Isolde and it was the most beautiful film I've ever seen, with breathtaking, lush, and vivid scenery and lighting, especially in the scene where Isolde comes across the water. Middle Ages Cornwall is in constant battle with Ireland, and one massacre costs the would-be king Marke his wife and a hand when he saves the life of a young boy, Tristan. As the years pass Marke raises the boy as his son, and Tristan proves to be a nearly undefeatable warrior. However fate soon intervenes when Tristan is wounded by a poisoned sword, believed to be dead, and sent out on a funeral boat across the sea. The waters take him to Ireland's coast where the king's daughter, wistful dreamer Isolde, discovers Tristan barely alive on the strand. Hiding him from everyone, she nurses him back to health and the two fall in love only to be separated when the king discovers Tristan and Isolde smuggles him out of Ireland and back to England. Returning a hero, Tristan loses himself in a tournament, promising to win Marke a wife. But his life takes a cruel turn when he discovers that the promised bride is Isolde, and for the good of both their countries she must marry Marke, sending the star-crossed lovers onto their tragic path. The film has something of an old-fashioned feel, particularly in the acting, and I thought all the actors fit their roles, even if I imagine Tristan as lighter-haired. The tragedy of their circumstances is incredibly poignant, backed by lovely music, and the ending brought tears to my eyes, an amazing, gorgeous film. After that was the tv series Camelot, a fascinating and realistic spin on the stories whose gorgeous theme and thrilling version of Arthur pulling the sword from the stone on the top of a waterfall has captured my imagination. Finally this Arthur is a good and sympathetic representation who captures the future king's youth but also nobleness, a powerful speaker with kindness who I can believe as becoming the greatest king ever. Merlin is a quiet, nearly haunted version of the sorcerer, lacking most magic and yet surprisingly mystical and mysterious. Igraine has an unusually large role but best of all Arthur has a close brother/friend relationship with Kay, and his origins are exactly as they should be. I got chills during Arthur's incredible coronation, especially when he's pronounced "King Arthur" and when he speaks to the people.
 
 
feeling: bouncy
calliope tune: "Popsicles,Icicles"-Murmaids