Category Archives: Television

LOST (2006-2012) tv series review

2000px-Lost_main_title.svg Lost-15J.J. Abrams created this epic survivor series that hooked generations. No series has ever evoked such seismic emotional turmoil internationally. People cared about Kate, Jack, Charlie, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jin, Sun, Walt, John, Claire, Desmond and even Michael for so much longer than they wanted to admit.lost_kubricks1There are essentially three camps of audience members: the Front Section that watched faithfully week-to-week, the Tail Section that petered off somewhere around mid-season two, and the Darmahites who binge watched on Netflix or dvd deeming it a “cool show” some years later, making LOST a true cult classic.1x02_BeginningOfAFriendshipDespite the stats, the inevitable questions were posed by all three groups:
What is going on?
What’s with that island?
Is it purgatory?
Are they dead?
Have they been dead all along?
If so, why have I been wasting my life on this inane show?set_lost_10year_smokeThe answers are rarely given and are usually simpler than we care to believe. The show was genius. It played on just the right emotions. It drew us in from moment one with great characters and writing. We believed that there was hope, so we kept watching. Hope is a seed planted which sprouts action and blossoms in destiny.

It seemed that each character had a story worth telling, a potentially fatal flaw to overcome, a past to run from, a new beginning to make, a skill to contribute, a joy to be found, a lesson to learn, a fate to resolve. The island was this setting, a placemat, a map. At the end of the 4th season, fans had basically earned an undergrad degree in Lost lore. The grad program started with the total switch up to flash-forward and the division of main characters. As the 5th season began, Jack yelled his famous line, “Kate, we have to go back!”Lost_pilot_plane_carnage


The show was a touchdown, a major success despite the obvious Finale episode debacle, (which is another rant for a different time). For now, I  thought that it was time I came clean, in full disclosure, before another human asks me if I trust J.J. with the next Star Wars. I am a fan of LOST, and somehow that trust build over time gives me hope for our galactic destiny. Yes.32fa4bf9cb2e4f3d7a097d8f95ac82d3

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Filed under Action, Drama, MUST SEE!, Sci Fi, Television, Thriller


MerryMixup_0262UEverything I ever needed to know I learned from Hallmark movies…

1. If business men are deeply in love with their jobs, they will never love Christmas. Or you.

2. Small towns become “Christmas towns” every December and always have a tree lighting, a perfect coffee shop for meeting up, and a man who looks uncannily like St. Nick. Children know this. They are wise beyond their years.

3. It’s truly amazing how very small items like an ornament, a cookie, a mitten, or a book can miraculously transform a heart and make it grow three sizes at least.

4. 37-year-old businesswomen have been so busy doing good for the world that they’ve missed out and now deserve all of the love and attention from everyone in their lives so they can find love at Christmastime.

5. Everyone should support small businesses and personal dreams.

6. Names matter. Noel. Kris. Nick. Joy. Kringle. Prancer.

7. Being brave may include visiting a new world, trying a new look, a new job, even impressing royalty, but mostly it means standing up for what you believe in.

8. Ice skating should be a real Christmas tradition because it’s both a sport and a way to bring people together. People really fall, but when they do, they laugh.

9. Love is hard to spot it first. But heads up – it always turns out to be the most amiable, best looking guy in town who also loves Christmas the most.

10. Miracles do happen…especially Christmas. “It’s a Christmas miracle.”

90A few favorites include :
Northpole – Tiffani Thiessen, a mom first, journalist second must help her small son revive the Christmas joy in a small town and find love before the lack of Christmas spirit extinguishes the Northpole’s magic.

The Nine Lives of Christmas – Pet lover needs to let love in before her firefighter hunk (and actual Superman) flies away. They share so much. Especially quirk, good looks, and a love for cats.

A Bride for Christmas –  Thrice engaged interior designer must get over her commitment issues before she loses her new client and real man of her dreams. It’s Runaway Bride meets How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days…at Christmas.

A Boyfriend for Christmas – It’s self explanatory, really.

Christmas at Cartwrights – Single mom must secretly take a job as Santa Clause and hide her real identity or risk eviction and losing the love the hunky manager of the men’s department.

A Royal Christmas – Philly girl must fit in with royalty if she wants to become Princess Bride.  Starring Dr. Quinn and the girl from Party of Five, it’s the Prince & Me…at Christmas.



Filed under Comedy, Comfort Film, Family friendly, Television

BLUE BLOODS (TV Series 2010 – ) review

Family dinners reflect the family business: all for one and one for all. All voices are of equal value and importance, but values will never be compromised. Tom Selleck leads the Reagan family as the Chief of Police of the NYPD. His son played by Donnie Wahlberg is the hot headed detective shooting instinctually from the hip like a proper cowboy cop.donnie-wahlberg-blue-bloods2

Bridget Moynahan plays daughter Erin, who challenges the family perspectives as Assistant District Attorney. Her daughter speaks her mind while Danny’s boys ironically have learned to play well with others. The youngest Reagan, Jamie, gave up Harvard Law for the daily beat of a city cop after the eldest Reagan brother was killed in the line of duty. No spoilers here, the Pilot kickstarts post 911, post family funerals and back to work with each member of the Reagan household. Each grieving still, but working with vigor and passion to rid the streets of chaos and crime.MV5BNTMzNjA3NTk5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDE5OTUzNw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_

It’s a great show. It’s well written. And somehow, when I’m watching it, I feel validated in my work. I do bring my work home. Too often I’m left holding onto the pain of one student or another for the various reasons that come with life. One runs away, this one cuts herself, this one chooses to numb the pain of his dad’s death with drugs. Despite my prodding, praying, attempts to save the world one student at a time, I’m still often left crying into my pillow for the lost and lonely people in my path. I love my job, but it is so hard sometimes. That is why I somehow feel understood as Danny Reagan thrusts a bad guy to the ground but goes home to his wife fighting tears, grateful for his life.  Erin wins a case but questions the system. Jamie goes to his grandpa for advice and love after a long day of making arrests.

Then, they all sit down again for Sunday dinner. No excuses. No one misses family dinner.blue_bloods_2010_a_l



Filed under Drama, Television


DOWNTON-ABBEY_320x240Beware of spoilers.

I believe that writers can develop what I like to call a god-complex. They become so intimately involved in the practice of creation, of breathing life into characters, that they can become calloused and begin to enjoy the act too much when the pen doubles as the Reaper’s sickle, wielding the duel power to take life as well as give it.horrible-things-on-downton-abbey-season-3-epi-L-V6yWah

Julian Fellowes is the brilliant writer / creator of the globally renowned television show called Downton Abbey. What Fellowes has done in this third season is make us care. Well done. We are like sled dogs, he holding the mushing reins. When he gives we rejoice, and when he removes we mourn. That is good writing.
When this season ended in the UKAmericans had barely had time to dream over Lady Mary’s would-be wedding clothes. And I had to wait until March to see what Britain calls its “Christmas episode.”PreviewFile.jpg

Screenwriters are taught to add “gap” or elements of surprise into scenes. No amount of gap could compare to the final moments of this third season. Matthew who has seen so much death on and off the battlefield, who finally marries his dearest love, who accepts his title and position and saves the estate he is to inherit, and who meets his very own son is suddenly wiped from the storyboards. Matthew gone. Matthew immortalized as Mary’s perfect love.

Ah ha! The writer, a British Lord himself, playing dice with his universe?

130205_TVC_MENTENNISDA.jpg.CROP.multipart2-mediumI heard once that “fame is secular man’s grasp on immortality.” In Greek mythology, the true hero tests the fates and moves to make a mark on history in order to become legend, for only in legend can he become immortal. Matthew was in this sense immortalized before he could be deemed less lovely.

n the special features of Downton III, the writer claims that he allows Mary to have her perfect love. Is it divine punishment to offer true love and then take it away in its prime? I suppose it fits, mythologically speaking, but the true test here is how much an audience can take.

My theory is simple. Despite the ensemble drama, Mary is the main character, the hero of this story. She is central. She is fixed. All others play foil to her tale. Certainly she could die and the role of hero would be replaced, but for now she is left to carry on through tragedy. Great heroes have great dreams unfulfilled, great flaws to overcome, and and great hurdles to cross completely alone.

We shall see how it plays out for this hero despite the looming thunder of Downton’s Zeus.da3-s3-index_scale_1024x2000

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Filed under Drama, Historical Drama, Television

DOWNTON ABBEY – – TV Series (2010-2012)

Pronounced “Dow’tn,” it’s a place and a people. This castle is the Crawley family home. The proper lines are drawn between the titled and the subordinate, and rarely in film or TV do the twain meet. Here at Downton, however, the lives of the separate sets intersect in all ways proper and improper.

Just give in already. Everyone, from your sister and your co-worker Jim to your friend’s great Aunt Ruby, has been telling you to watch it. This once small show about a large English estate and the hierarchy of its inhabitants has become a delightful pastime, another family to feel for, a set of characters that you don’t have to feel guilty for judging.

Cast perfectly, they all seem normal and somehow more tangible than most period characters. They are real people from a surreal time in history. Each lasting character has proven him or herself flawed in some way or another so we become kindred, drawn in.

We relate, celebrating  triumphs and weeping loss along with each one. Certainly some characters feel less so, almost cartoon, existing as entities completely evil or entirely good. And a few storylines wane exhaustive while others hold us, keep us paying for Netflix, keep us wondering if Matthew and Mary will ever figure it out.

Go ahead. Get sucked into Downton for a little while. You’ll see a different take on historical events like the sinking of the Titanic and WWI. You’ll gain perspective for a culture that we anglofiles already glean from and emulate. We know who we are. We woke up at 4am to watch the wedding. We care about the pomp and propriety. We long for a bit of that in our lives. But, when it comes down to it, we haven’t really decided which side of the estate we can see ourselves on. Would we bear the boredom, the censure, the responsibility of those who stand still to be dressed for dinner? Or, would we wear the worker greys, sweep the soot, and serve the food with snark and sass in each step up those creaky Downton steps.


Filed under Classic, Drama, Historical Drama, Television