Stuck in the Past

It was fun watching Merlin's character grow last year, but the writers toyed a lot with character relationships for the sake of the plot. This year, the show is entirely too plot-centered. The characters are still dealing with the same issues and reacting the same way they always have. The knights are still playfully insulting one another, Merlin's still taking flack from Arthur, magicians are still the villains, and Merlin's still hiding his secret. Same old, same old. Except now Gwen is stiff and boring and she and Arthur barely look at each other. The entire last episode was dedicated to one idea: Arthur realizing he doesn't want to emulate his father anymore. I just wish they hadn't wasted an entire episode to do it.

For the first time, the guest characters are the most interesting part. I want to see Mordred and Sefa again. I wish Queen Annis had stuck around longer, and I'm really excited to see Princess Mithian return. I'm crossing my fingers that the next episode will bring back the old excitement, because the only thing I can remember laughing at in the last three episodes was completely unintentional: a whole mine filled with sweaty, shirtless, muscular knights. I didn't count, but I'm pretty sure that's a new record.
Spoilery Goodness

Tried Or True Television

ONCE UPON A TIME. I know I said "no amount of temptation will pull me back again." I guess I don't know my own strength. I saw a promo shot of Emma holding a sword, surrounded by purple clouds, and of all things, the promo poster drew me back in. Those guys should get a raise. I wouldn't have bothered to waste hours catching up, and I hate coming in half-way through, but ABC has come up with this awesome marketing scheme where they air a catch-up episode just before the season begins. 22 episodes in 60 minutes? I could handle that. So, now I'm caught up. I'm not attached, but I may sneak a peek every few weeks.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. I couldn't resist finding out how Elena was going to cope with being a vampire and what she would do about her retrieved Damon memories. If the first episode was any indication, I will try valiantly not to watch the show anymore. I'd like Elena to find a little dark side in her, not turn into a female version of Stefan. I've never been a Stefan/Elena fan. They are BO-RING. I want Elena to go all vampy and have Damon there to woo her back to the good side. But I won't hold my breath.

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Merlin│Crazy Uther


I'm one of those weird people who likes to talk to themselves. I make up stories in my bedroom and spout one-sided arguments in my car. Thankfully, we live in an age of cell phones and stereos, which makes it less obvious I’m a crazy person. What’s more, I love trying out accents. I would be mortified if any Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman, Australian, New Yorker, or Southerner ever actually heard my ill-attempts, but to my Midwestern American ears, I'm not half bad. I was completely hopeless at the Aussie accent until Netflix and Hulu came along and gave me Dance Academy and H2O: Just Add Water. I guess marathoning Australian television got me in the zone.

H2O is corny and extremely predictable, but rather addicting. I suppose with a premise like “human by land, mermaid by sea” it’s hard not to be overly corny, but by the time I was halfway through season 2, I had totally suspended my disbelief and kept pressing the auto-play button, eagerly waiting for the “twists” that I already knew were coming. I was originally interested in it because I recognized two of the main actresses: Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries), and Phoebe Tonkin (The Secret Circle). Then I discovered that Zane a.k.a. Burgess Abernethy was also in an episode of Dance Academy, and season two introduces none other than Craig Horner (Legend of the Seeker). It’s so fun to see their younger selves with their original accents, especially since I didn’t realize Claire and Phoebe were Aussies.

In other news, the fifth season of Castle is off to a promising start. This was still a prep episode, but I’m hoping for some really entertaining episodes in the next few weeks. Beckett’s revenge plot has been reeled back in. There was humor and romance, and crime solving flurries. Everything seems pretty normal…for Castle. I’ve always had confidence that these writers could handle bringing Castle and Beckett together as a couple; the so-called “Moonlighting curse” be hanged. My favorite couple-y moment was when Castle wanted to whisk Kate away to some remote island so she’d be safe, and she just sighed and laid her head on his chest and cuddled. It was oddly natural. Odd because it’s new, natural because they know each other so well already.

I’m liking Captain Gates more and more with each episode. I liked her to begin with, but now I’m not being pestered by the fantastic four’s crotchety complaints about her. As far as I can tell, she’s got the best moral compass on the show, which is comforting because Esposito’s spiraling. One of my favorite lines in the episode was the way she told Beckett, “I don’t believe you.” It’s nice that she sees right through Beckett and Castle’s BS, which is actually kind of the way that Montgomery was, too. Montgomery just handled it a little differently. Okay, a lot differently.
beware of dog

For the Love of Grace

I discovered this (what I assume is a) made-for-TV movie on Hulu and I was pleasantly surprised. For the Love of Grace screams "stereotypical boy-meets-girl story" from the get-go. The opening credits have shots of the two leads smiling brightly at one another, for crying out loud, which led me to expect emotional anvils to drop around every corner. Which is why I was drawn in by curiosity every time I held my breath for the next one to drop and it didn't. I'm convinced the acting and directing were key in this. Pretty much every line could have been played up to be overly sappy or dramatic, but they weren't. The horrendous mood music kept it from being truly wonderful - it actually made me laugh at times when it was particularly unsubtle - and it stopped me from being able to completely step into the movie world, but whenever I analyzed how each of the characters reacted, I could see the same thing happening in real life with the same level of subdued emotion.

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DISCLAIMER: It sounds like I can't shut up about this film, but don't go into it expecting quality. It took me by surprise and made me laugh and smile, which is what I find so exciting. It reminds me a lot of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year which aired around Christmas a few years ago. Sweet and innocent with some fun, light, uncomplicated romance and something that suggests better quality than most made-for-TV fodder.
Spoilery Goodness

The Bat

Eeeee! I went and saw The Dark Knight Rises yesterday! I went in with modest hopes, even though it's gotten good reviews from official critics and my friends alike. At first, I enjoyed the unfolding. Then I was locked on to the intensity. And by the end, I was beaming so brightly I could barely keep my seat. I literally sat in my car afterwards and was all "OMG! OMG! Eeeee!" It was THAT awesome.

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beware of dog

Snow, Hot Guys, and Magic

I saw Snow White and the Huntsman late last month. I had read a review ahead of time that bemoaned Kristen Stewart's performance, which was less than shocking to me, but for the majority of the movie I was surprised that she wasn't that bad. I think the reviewer was exaggerating a bit, but unfortunately nothing could save Ms. Stewart from that horrendous pre-battle speech.

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beware of dog

Fangirlie Wildfire

I managed to find a way to watch the final two episodes of season 2 Game of Thrones without downloading it. Woot! Like the books, the last episode finished and I thought, "Is that it?" There is so much more story to tell and I'm stuck waiting for it. *sigh* Thankfully, there were some great moments that were fun to see come to life.

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beware of dog

Checkout Aisle Movie Review

I've been doing a library movie marathon over the past couple of weeks. I mentioned it to one of my friends and he was like, "Library? Oh, yeah, you can do that." Unfortunately, the library copies can be disappointing. I tried to re-watch the Pixar film Up and the disk was damaged to the point of no return. The same thing happened with Wall-E a year ago, and an Errol Flynn movie I checked out once. *sigh*

Moving on, this is what I thought of what I was able to watch. Collapse )