I don't usually watch commercials if I don't have to, but this one, I watch several times every Christmas season. It's just so heartwarming and sweet. It makes me smile every time.
I'll admit I've even watched it a few times when it wasn't the Christmas season simply because it's uplifting. See if you like it as much as I do!
If you were or are a fan of Dukes of Hazzard, then you already know who Cooter is. He was the mechanic who always helped keep the General Lee running. And Ben Jones, the actor who played Cooter, has three museums dedicated to the series, and I was fortunate enough to visit one in Luray last month. Gosh, did this bring back memories from my childhood!
I love, love, love the sci-fi series, The Orville. Last year, when the third season was released, it was renamed as The Orville-New Horizons, and you can find it and the first two seasons on Hulu and Disney+.
Recently, hip-hop artist Sean Mic wrote a song "Living on the Orville" as a tribute to this wonderful series, and I wanted to share it with you so you will hopefully share it with your friends as we continue to try to get this show renewed for season four.
When The Offer, the limited series based on the making of The Godfather, first premiered, I wasn't sure it was something I wanted to watch. I made it through thirty minutes of the first episode then stopped. Maybe I was too distracted or I just wasn't feeling it that night. Three weeks later, I came back and had several episodes to binge. And once I started, I didn't want to stop.
I'm used to watching action movies or fantasy and paranormal. Rarely do I watch movies because I've been hooked by the actors. But that is exactly what happened with The Offer.
Matthew Goode (A Discovery of Witches and Downton Abbey) and Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar) were two of the stand out actors in this series for me. Goode is a British actor who had to step outside his comfort zone to portray the Senior Vice President of Paramount Pictures, Robert Evans. And he did it. His voice, his look, and even his walk were vastly different than anything I'd ever seen him in, and his acting kept me riveted to the screen.
Giovanni Ribisi portrayed Joe Columbo, the gangster who was the head of a crime family. Ribisi had to gain forty-five pounds for the part and shave his head so he could wear a thinning hair piece. He had to change his voice as well, and had I not looked up who all the actors were, I wouldn't have known which part Ribisi was playing. I could not tell who he was, and that's a good thing.
This isn't a series that you have playing in the background while you're doing something else. It's the type that grabs you and won't let go. A lot like The West Wing did so many years ago. The Offer is engrossing, and I'm going to be sad when I've finished watching it for the second time because I'll know there's no more goodness to return to.
The Emmy nominations will be announced next month, and I can only hope that this series and its many characters make the list. It would be a shame not to see all of this creation go unrewarded.
If you haven't watched it yet, do yourself a favor and add this series to your must-be-seen list. You won't regret it!
Just a note: The Offer does contain explicit language and violence.
I stepped away from writing fantasy and paranormal for a while because my muse had shifted gears. Now it has pivoted yet again, and I'm back in familiar territory. The book I recently finished was a paranormal romance, and the one I'm currently writing is a fantasy romance.
While I'm writing in these genres, I tend to watch a lot of television series and movies that fit as well. Unsurprisingly, I've usually get addicted to one, two, or more. Like I did with A Discovery of Witches.
Folks, this series is based upon the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, and can I just say it's fabulous? Seriously, if you love witches and vampires, you should check this series out. It's short, with only three seasons (or series as it's called in the UK) that total 25 episodes. So it's a quick binge, which is good because it's difficult to stop at just one or two episodes.
Matthew Goode plays the vampire, Dr. Matthew Clairmont (or de Claremont), and Teresa Palmer plays Dr. Diana Bishop, a witch. Their love is forbidden by a covenant that was established 900 years ago, but that doesn't stop them from falling in love. And their chemistry just leaps off the screen.
This show is rich in history and magic, introduces a different take on vampires, highlights the importance of equality, and is about love, friendship, grief, guilt, restoration, and so much more.
I knew the end was coming to the series this year, but I've still been secretly hoping for a fourth season or a movie, mini-series, something to continue Matthew and Diana's journey. If you haven't watched it already, watch it. Seriously. It's that good. You can stream it on AMC and Sundance or buy the individual seasons on Amazon. Believe me when I tell you it's worth every cent.
This one's an easy one for me. I love period dramas. Anything set in the past decades, and I'm in! Some of my favorites are Downton Abbey, When Calls the Heart, The Waltons, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, North and South, Pride and Prejudice, and the list goes on.
I don't have a particular favorite time period, but I do really love British period dramas. I have seen every movie based upon books written by Jane Austen more than once. Right now, I'm looking forward to the release of the Downton Abbey movie in September, and I just finished the 6th season of When Calls the Heart.
I'm always on the lookout for new period dramas. They don't necessarily have to be new, though, as I know there are many that I have missed. So if you know of any good ones that I absolutely must see, please let me know!
Once upon a time my favorite soap opera was Days of Our Lives. That show could make me call in sick to work, miss lunch with friends, and take the phone off the hook. I watched it for ten years straight until life got too busy. There was so much drama I couldn't peel my eyes off the screen. And the couples were spectacular. Two of my favorites were Shane and Kimberly and Patch and Kayla.
I'll freely confess I skipped class and hung out a friend's house the day Shane and Kimberly got married. When Patch and Kayla got married, I told my boss I had a wedding to attend.
The other day, I was scrolling through YouTube and discovered Shane and Kimberly's wedding from May 4, 1986. Charles Shaugnessy and Patsy Pease nailed these roles.
I watched their entire wedding, first dance, and honeymoon episodes, and before I realized it, over an hour had gone by. It made me wonder why soap operas aren't on DVDs like old television shows and movies.
Have you ever been addicted to soap operas? What was your favorite?
Have you seen this show? If you're a fan of DC Comics, and you aren't watching Arrow, you are missing out! Of course I just watch it for the fight scenes and the action. Right. Have you seen Stephen Amell? Or David Ramsey?
I got addicted to this show when I started binge-watching it over the summer on Netflix. By the time the new season rolled around, I was all caught up. Few TV shows can make me sit in front of the TV when an original episode airs. Arrow is one of those shows for me.
There is so much to love about this show, but here are my top ten things:
After finishing the two hour series finale of Haven, I was trying to understand why the writers left gaping plot holes, mistreated characters, and ended the show with happily ever after for only some people.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead. If you have not seen the series finale of Haven, stop now!
We all knew that Haven was coming to an end, and no amount of grumbling was going to give it a sixth season (although some viewers say it actually got a sixth season since season five was double the usual size). I dreaded the ending only because I loved this show. From the first episode, I was riveted.
These characters and this town drew me in and made me want to return each week. Of course some of the plots made me grit my teeth, but that's the way it is with all television shows. The writers are never going to make every viewer happy each week. However, this was the series finale, and loose ends should not be left dangling nor should viewers have questions about why things happened. I have questions. Such as:
If Duke's death didn't really stop Croatoan after all, what was the purpose of his death? It didn't seem like losing out on those troubles even slowed the big bad down. The point of killing him was to prevent Croatoan from getting the additional troubles as that would make him unstoppable. He seemed pretty unstoppable to me regardless.
And speaking of the big bad, the entire season was built around Croatoan, and in previous episodes, he'd been portrayed as this evil monster without remorse. So, in the end, we're supposed to believe he grew a heart and voluntarily went into the barn? He wanted power and revenge, but his daughter's tearful smack on the hand changed his mind?
Before Croatoan arrived, no one could leave the fog surrounding Haven except for Duke, and people on the outside didn't know about Haven. But Nathan was able to get back in with the fake Audrey without any problem. That didn't make sense.
Audrey said she couldn't come back once she went into the barn this time. Yet, she did. So what was the purpose of the entire scene with Nathan and the voiceover, telling Audrey how much he was going to miss her?
Croatoan killed Nathan with an aether sword (or something like that) but brought him back because of Audrey. He also brought Dwight's daughter back after she had been dead for years. So why could Charlotte not have been brought back? Or Dave?
The entire barn premise was flawed. At first, they could concoct the barn with Vince as the core and Croatoan as the aether. Then they couldn't because Croatoan didn't want to stay. Then he did, but the barn couldn't be constructed without love. There was no mention of love when it was first constructed.
And when Croatoan got the crystal core, why didn't he destroy it since he knew it could be used against him? Instead, he kept it in his pocket. That made no sense at all.
In the end, I think writers were struggling to bring Haven to a satisfactory ending. Audrey and Nathan got their happily ever after, but it was at everyone else's expense. Dwight was the only other main character who got a semblance of a happy ending.
Oh, and the final scene with Croatoan and Vince left my mouth hanging open. These guys were talking like they were good buddies instead of mortal enemies. Overall, it just didn't work for me, and I was left disappointed that there wasn't more continuity in the ending and the overall wrap-up of the show.
On a side note, there were some good one-liners in the final episode that made me chuckle and even a couple of scenes that brought tears. The actors did phenomenal job with the material, especially Lucas Bryant when he was killing Duke.
I'll miss Haven and its quirky characters. Vince always made me smile, and the bromace between Nathan and Duke was priceless. In the end, love triumphed over evil, and I guess that's all we can really ask for.
When I find a television show I love, I become a rabid, dedicated fan. Recently, I discovered Chuck on Netflix, and after the first episode, I was hooked.
As a writer, I'm always on the lookout for shows that make me think "gosh, I wish I'd written that" or "I wish I could write like that". That's what Chuck does. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the two lead characters are straight off the magazine cover gorgeous, and their chemistry is off-the-charts.
In short, Chuck is a tale of a nerd who becomes a spy after he downloads a file that is basically a computer with classified details of assassins, spies, and missions. Sarah is his CIA handler while John Casey is his NSA protector. These three characters make the show.
With humor, romance, action, and suspense, Chuck is the show I wished I could have seen while it was still on television. There's talk of a movie, and I'm as excited as a cat chasing the red dot.
If you have Netflix, give this show a shot. If you like spy shows like Alias, you'll love this one even more. It has the humor Alias lacked. I've posted some dialogue snippets below so you can see for yourself.
Chuck: Morning handsome, nice work last night.
Casey: Hey Loverboy! Hasn't that mirror suffered enough already?
Chuck: I am in the bathroom! Okay? Is there nothing sacred to you people?
Casey: Just the right to bear arms.
Casey: [Bryce is using Chuck at a shield] I've got a shot.
Chuck: No, you don't!
Casey: You'll be fine.
Chuck: No shooting, no shooting! I'm susceptible to bullets!
Chuck: So ah, as you can see, just the one bed. A little presumptuous I guess. Should I have asked for separate rooms?
Sarah: No, It's fine. As long as we're on the lam, I can't let you out of my sight. I'm gonna take a shower.
Chuck: I'm gonna assume that whole out-of-sight thing doesn't really apply right now.
Chuck: Right my vows. My turn for vows. They just don't cut it. I'm sorry , Sarah. How do I express the depth of my love for you. Or my dreams for our future, or the fact that I will fight for you every day. Or that our kids will be like little superheroes with little capes and stuff like that. Words can't express that. Don't do it justice. they just don't cut it. So no vows. I'll just prove it to you every day for the rest of our lives. You can count on me.
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!