Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Film Review- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

I went and saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, not because I really wanted to but because I had to. I have been watching the Mission Impossible movies on the big screen since the first one in 1996; I even have that one on VHS and the original soundtrack on cassette. In other words I felt obligated to see this new one in a theater with an audience and I truly enjoyed it.
The first time we see Ethan Hunt (the Fascinating Tom Cruise) team leader and best agent the IMF seems to have it’s just as a profile in a jail cell. Then Dean Martin music begins to play throughout the prison giving him the chance to go into action. I know that in action flicks the plot may not be as important as the explosions or car chases but let me sum it up anyway. Someone has blown up the Kremlin in Russia and Hunt and his team have been blamed, now without the help of the U.S. government aka ghost protocol this team including Benji (the Great Simon Pegg) Brandt (the Talented Jeremy Renner) and Jane (the Beautiful Paula Patton) have to track down the Russian bad guy Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) aka Cobalt and stop him from starting a nuclear war. It’s a new team for Ethan but he quickly learns to trust them in order for them to do what they have to, to save many innocent lives.
There was a lot of action and some great sequences that stick with you after watching. The most talked about one has Tom Cruise hanging from and doing some amazing stunts on the side of the tallest building in the word (In Dubai). I have a couple of favorites but have to mention one sequence which portrays a deadly car crash. All I can say is that the way it is shot actually makes you feel like you’re in the vehicle with the characters without using any 3D. Not bad from a director (Brad Bird) who is mostly known for his animated features including The Incridibles and Ratatouille.
After I saw the film a heard a fellow critic say that he liked the action but didn’t care for the comedy and sentimental scenes that seemed misplaced in between all the movement. To that I say- the scenes may have seemed displaced but I think you need some breathing time in order to relax from sitting on the edge of your seat. Comic relief on the other hand is always nice and welcomed in any film, especially when you have a comic genus like Simon Pegg doing most of it.
If you want to see an action-packed, tense, fun and cool to look at popcorn flick which has a familiar but intriguing with plot twist story then go see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas favorite-movie

First thing first no matter what movie it is although I only watch it once a year I always have the same reaction. I tell myself I’m not going to cry this time, I know how it ends and I am not going to cry. Of course this never works and the second George Bailey’s lip starts bleeding again the tears begin to flow.
As much as I love It’s a Wonderful Life. Any of the telling of A Christmas Carol or Miracle on 34th Street and let’s say Love Actually my favorite Christmas film is White Christmas. If you haven’t seen it it’s about two soldiers who after the war create their own variety stage show. Once they are famous they meet up with sisters who have their own singing act and would like to try out for them. After some sananagans the foursome ends up at a hotel in Vermont. It is here where they run into the boys’ old army colonel, who hasn’t had an easy retirement. It hasn’t snowed in Vermont since Thanksgiving and his business depends on the snow, and it looks like the colonel will have to go out of business. That is when the two come up with a plan. Can the hotel be saved? Will it snow?
I’m not sure if it is because of the songs like “Snow”, “Sisters” or “Count your Blessings” or just the fact that I LOVE Danny Kaye. Whatever the reason in the end a good x-mas movie has to have characters that you care about and a story that you wish could happen. So when Bob and Phil get off the train and there is now snow in the winter playground you hope, you know something magical is about to happen.
Friendship, Romance and Music isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
It isn’t x-mas till I see White Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Favorites-TV Show

I know I should pick Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer or the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas (I remember how badly my grandmother felt for Max) or the old standby A Charlie Brown Christmas (Linus telling us all what Christmas is all about) but my favorite doesn’t even air on TV anymore so I want to show it some love right here.
A Garfield Christmas. It is a story about Jon, Garfield and Odie traveling to Jon’s home for the holiday. Once they are there we meet Jon’s parents- his father, a farmer and mother, a housewife. There is also his brother, Doc Boy and spunky grandmother. It may not have classic lines like “Bumbles bounce” or any singing and it certainly doesn’t have a fimilier item like how everyone knows what you mean when you say I have a Charlie Brown tree.  A Garfield Christmas has its own special moments.
Some examples are when grandma adds extra spice to Jon's mother's Chili because she won a contest. When Jon and Doc Boy wake up and ask “can we open presents yet” and “I know it’s Christmas morning and you know it’s…” and then there is Odie giving Garfield a x-mas gift a Purrrrfect back scratcher. I have to say my favorite part is when Grandma is sitting in her rocking chair and Garfield jumps up onto her lap and she says “How did you know I needed a kitty….grandpa and I would pet our cats” Garfield “I envy those cats” and she goes on to tell him that Christmas is the time of year when she misses her dead husband the most. ONCE again I always tear up. If you haven’t seen it, find it and give it a try it also came in comic book form. Tomorrow my favorite movie,any guesses?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas favorites : Commercial

Yes I have a favorite x-mas ad. It hasn’t aired in a long time and the company has had a new one out for a couple of seasons now and it is good but the one I am going to write about is way better. The product if for Folgers Coffee and even though I am not a coffee drinker because of this ad Folgers would be the one I would choose. Please tell me if you know the one I’m describing.
The first shot is of a man exiting a car with his arms full of presents, he closes the door as he says ”Merry Christmas” to the driver. Next he walks into the house and places the presents under a beautiful tree as he does this a young blond girl comes down the steps behind him. She sees him and yells “Peter” she runs to him and he hugs her. She tells him “Everyone’s asleep and Peter responds “Shhhh, I know how to wake them up”. The two go into the kitchen and he starts to make a fresh pot of coffee, they smell the grounded beans as Peter brews it up. We cut to the rest of the family smelling the aroma of the coffee as they wake up from their beds. They come down the same set of stairs just as Peter and the girl re-enter the room with a tray of mugs. They see him and smiles appear on all there faces as a woman proclaim “Peter. You’re home” and he responds “I miss you mom”. In the end all are happy as Folgers announces happ holidays from our family to yours.
Now I don’t knew how they all know each other but I like to think its Peter’s first Christmas home since starting college, but your guess is a good as mine. Not that it really matters anyway because I’m tearing up just thinking about the ad as I type.
Tomorrow my favorite X-Mas show.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Art of the Made for TV Movie

Ah Hallmark the greeting card company that has been making made for TV movies for years. Every Saturday on their very own network they seem to air a whole new movie and the sappy sucker that I am I have to watch. As in every story each movie has a beginning, where you meet the characters, a middle, where there is a conflict for the main characters to work out and an ending a nice wrap up of the two hours. By the end the characters have learned a lesson and are better people for it.
From Thanksgiving to New Years the Hallmark Channel has been showing new holiday movies every weekend and airing ones from Christmas seasons past all week long. These movies seem to have the same stars from year to year including Dean Cain, Tom Cavanigh and Jennie Garth. Even though all of the movies have a happy ending, usually with the girl getting the guy, I still; as much as I tell myself not to, cry at each one.
This year the network even aired a four-hour long Christmas mini series which continued their movies series that is based on a series of book called The Love Saga. These stories are westerns and the first four that I saw were about the generations of a family. Yes it is embarrassing to admit that I have watched all of them but it is a good way to kill some time.
 If for one reason or another you don’t think you would like the sappy, sweet with a predictable ending movies of the week on Hallmark, Lifetime or ABC Family then I suggest you check out ANY made for TV movie or mini series on HBO.
They may not always have a happy ending but you can bet they WILL win an EMMY.

Update: I just finished watching Christmas Magic-Spoiler--I knew she was in a coma!!! and I still cried,alot.

Some of the ones I have seen this year…
The case for Christmas
Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas
Lucky Christmas
A Princess for Christmas
The Christmas Pagent

Side note: TNT has recently added made for TV mister movies on Tues night that are also scary but fun to watch.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NCIS: L.A.- Higher Power

This week on an episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen was calling Newt Ginrich a Bond Villain because he believes in EMPs and worries that one could be used against the U.S. Turns out he may be right.
This week’s episode of NCIS: LA revolves around an EMP that has been invented by a college professer to prove Ginrich's theory to the rest of the Government but no one believes him and it is stolen from his car. Callen, Sam and the team have to go into action to find this thing before all of California is electrically thrown into darkness. They track down the four grad students working with the professor and learn who, why and where the device is. Kensi gets to slide down in between two escalaters, so cool.
 Do they stop it in time?
Does Sam find a Parker Pony for his daughter for Christmas?
Will there be a Christmas?
Find out when you watch.
In the mean time see you next year NCIS LA!

NCIS-Newborn King

This years NCIS Christmas episode was very sweet and very cool.
Opening scene a marine franticly gets a room at an expensive hotel and is immediately shot to death, that is where out team comes in and on Christmas Eve of all days. Before we get into this weeks mission the offices of NCIS is visited by Jimmy Palme'rs, Duckie's assistant, future father in Law and Jimmy has to take him on a tour. As you can tell Jimmy and the man do not get along.
Back to our Christmas story. It turns out the Marine was protecting his fellow Marine who is pregnant with a dead Iraqi child. She is on the run and Gibbs must find her and keep her safe. There is one scene after they find her and she learns to trust them that is too fantastic not to write about. Gibbs, Ziva and the woman they are protecting car has broken down but they are able to get it to a close gas station with garage. You know their peace can’t last long and just as she goes into labor the men who want her baby appear. Gibbs stays with her to deliver the baby as Ziva, who may be the coolest female character on TV right now, has a shoot out with at least three killers. With guns in both hands kick ass Ziva fires through the asles of the store at the bad guys!
I will leave it there to let you see how it ALL turns out.
Merry Christmas to all who serve at home and abroad. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Film Review-The Muppets

Before I go to a movie I do a little research. What is the movie about? Who is in it? Is it the type a movie I want to see and would I like it? I do this by reading about it on line, in my entertainment magazines and by watching interviews. Then by the time the film comes out I have made a decision. Although most of the time the decision comes down to if there is an actor or two I like in the movie. With all of the movies I have seen lately it has actually been at least three years since I’ve done all this but then The Muppets came to town. About a year ago I was watching a late night interview with Jason Segel, at the time he was promoting Gulliver’s Travels but what the interviewer really wanted to talk about were the rumors he heard about Segel shooting a new Muppet movie. Jason Segel then had to admit that he indeed was in the middle of shooting one. We fast forward to 2 ½ weeks ago and there is Mr. Segel on ALL the talk shows day and night to promote his new feature The Muppets. I watched every interview which means that I had to sit through the same stories more then once, which always happens to a celebrity in the middle of a press junket. Like I’ve said it’s been a long time since I’ve done this but for Jason Segel it was worth it. As a kid of the 80s I have been a long time Muppet fan and the more I heard about this movie the more I wanted to see it. The day after Thanksgiving I got my chance and was NOT disappointed.
The Muppets centers on Walter, a new Muppet, his brother Gary, a human (Segel) and his longtime girlfriend Mary (the adorable Amy Adams). While on a trip to L.A. the three discover that a rich oil tycoon (Chris Cooper) has bought the old Muppet studio and wants to tear it down. This prompts Walter to search for Kermit and when he finds him they all decide to bring the old Muppet gang back together and hold a telethon to raise money and buy the studio back before it can be destroyed.
I loved how Jason Segel as co-writer and producer was able to bring back the original Muppet show series from the late 70s and was allowed to include the opening theme. They even had a Guest host for the telethon; in fact there were a lot of human cameos which is also a staple in any Muppet movie. The best part is that the movie does this without the help of 3D or any major special effects. I sat there in a theater full of people from every age group and smiled and laughed through the entire film. I really enjoyed how the cast knew they were in a movie. The most important thing to a Muppet movie is the music. This one was no different as I moved my body along with the new and old songs. Two weeks later and I still find myself singing “Man or Muppet”.
As I left the theater that night I overheard those who were part of the audience with me still quoting the lines. When that happens, you know you have just enjoyed a good film. Thank you Jason Segel for bringing The Muppets back to us and allowing a whole new generation to discover them.
                          I want to see it again and if you get the chance go see The Muppets

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Film Review-The Way

This small film by Emilio Estevez and starring his father Martin Sheen is the perfect getaway from all of the Hollywood 3D, romance and vampires. The core of this movie is about a father who loses his son unexpectly and now has to figure out what happened with their relationship.
Daniel, the son played by Estevez in flashbacks and as a figment of his father’s thoughts was killed in a storm while traveling abroad. Turns out the journey he was on included a prillmigage along the El camino de Santiago through France and Spain taken by many people from many countries. The father, Tom travels to identify his son’s body and decides to have him cremated. Soon after learning why Daniel was there he takes his ashes, picks up his passport and Daniel’s back pack, which is stuffed with every item a lone traveler needs and sets out onto the trail to finish what his son started. Along the way he does as the police officer says and at each stop he gets a different stamp on his passport to prove he was there.
As Tom walks he passes other travelers along the way and some even talk to him. At the beginning of the trail me meets A Dutchman, Joost who says his walking to lose weight. At one of the rest stops a Canadian, Sarah starts up a conversation with him and promises she will quite smoking at the end.  Together the threesome run into an Irishman, Jack a writer with writer’s block. As they walk they drink wine, have conversations, even if one doesn’t want to talk and at one point gets into trouble with the law. All four have their own demons and are just trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.
The characters are simple yet complex and if I were traveling alone and ran into them I would have to follow and see where their journey ends.
The screenplay written by Estevez from the book Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route  is sweet, quaint and well done. The actors are superb playing the subtle characters that the viewer comes to care about. The entire look and action within the film is beautiful. Emilio Estevez brings the countryside of France and Spain to life with views of fields, some with sheep, bridges over rivers and the small villages along the way. Each stop has new people to meet and new experiences to enjoy.
If you want to take a wonderful hike along a new and winding road without leaving the comforts of home go see The Way.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Spoiler Alert--Last we ended on a cliffhanger where we met CIA agent Michael Saleh. He and Sam have been working together in Jordan by joining an ex-governor named Khaled with ties to Al-Queeda.
     This week we open with the news that two CIA agents were killed and one, who description fits Sam's, has yet to be identified. Proving once again how elite they are our team breaks up and have to solve the case on two continents. First Callen has to travel to Jordan to identify the burned body. Luckily it isn't Sam, sadly it is Michael. Now Callen has to find his partner, as Kensi and Deeks search for a mole in the CIA. While tracking Sam, Callen discovers a man, Elmslie, working for crimes against humanity. He has been working to get evidence against the same target for mass murder and once Callen helps get Sam and Jada, the sister of Khaled out of harms way, he ask for their help. In the meantime Deeks and Kensi are talking with the CIA handler to see what he knows about the mission and who leaked the names. Back in Jordan Sam is still undercover and pretending to be falling in love with Jada as he gets closer to her brother. Sam and Elmslie are able to talk Callen into staying in Jordan to get what they ALL need to take down Khaled. Do they get rid of this evil man or fail? What about Jada, how does she fit into everything? Who is the mole? And what about Sam's private HOME life?

Friday, November 18, 2011

NCIS-Engaged Part 2

Spoiler alert- Cont.---Oh yeah did I mentioned as this is all going on Gibbs is having flashbacks to when he was just starting out in the marines and is flirting with a fellow marine. Anyway back to the story. This time we open with Gibbs on another cargo plane with another coffin and go back 48 hours earlier. Once they see footage of a person running with to little ones Gibbs and Ziva get on a plane. They get to a base and meet Captain Quincy who tells them that the girls have been found and are on their way. Once the girls are on the base we see that they have been tortured. One with acid the other multiply cigarette burns. Ziva and Gibbs are able to gently talk to them and they tell them that who they are looking for was still alive when they were with her. Quincy, Gibbs and Ziva come up with a plan to save her. In the end it wasn't the man's daughter but someone else in the coffin. Gibbs flashback is also concluded.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NCIS Engaged-Part 1

Spoiler alert- The past two episodes of NCIS were so full of surprise twists that I had to write about it. Last week, part 1, we opened on a military cargo plane carrying the bodies of dead marines going down in a field. There were no survivors but among the dead that were coming home was a young female at least that's what he father thought. Enter military Chaplin Lieutenant Commander Melanie Burke (Jaime Ray Newman) to help the father with his grief. When the man meets Gibbs he tells him to give him his daughter so he could take her home. Unfortualy under the amazing guidance of Ducky and Abby none of the bodies that were recovered from the crash match the daughters DNA. That was twist number one. Now we have to determine what happened to her body or if there ever was one. Turns out she was working in the middle east on trying to get a girl school started and since teaching girls is against their religion some bad people destroyed the building and in the horrible aftermath just her dog tags were found. The father needs to know what happened so Gibbs team goes into action and by the end they discover that she was able with two girls run away from the blasts. 

Everything I’ve learned about writing I’ve learned from David E Kelley

Since Harry’s Law premiered last season I have come to the conclusion that you have to know and understand David E Kelley in order to like his style of writing. As much as a critic may like him, he or she still thinks that his shows, especially the ones about lawyers are too similar.  My relationship as a viewer of the series created by Mr. Kelley started with the second or third season of Chicago Hope but I didn’t become a true fan until the first episode of The Practice.
The Practice was a show about a small law firm run by Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott). The firm would defend just about every type of “criminal” and some of the ways they did this were let’s say not as legal as they should have been, like using what they called "Plan B". The way the series was written was so new and bold to me.  Not only did the amazing ensemble of actors play characters that believed in what they did for a living but every time they spoke I found myself wanting to talk back. What I liked most were the issues and arguments they had outside and inside the courtroom. Whether they were defending a murderer or an assault victim I felt like I was right there with them and usually, on their side. There were even times where I would find myself yelling at the TV and arguing with them. By the time the series ended I could, most of the time predict the jury judgment. The fact is all of Mr. Kelley’s series have me wanting to be more invovled in the characters lives then I should. This brings me to why I love and have learned a lot from him.
When The Practice ended it was fallowed by Boston Legal or as some called it The Practice 2.0. YES some of the cases and characters felt familiar but that’s the thing about David E. Kelley his compassion as a writer and being able to take on the issues full throttle. He is not afraid to look at the news of the day, especially those 24 hour channels, and then comment on what’s going on. From politics to entertainment. From the craziness of balloon boy to the seriousness of bullying. Mr. Kelley has put it all out there for us to see and make up our own opinions. So yes the court cases from series to series may sound the same but there are always new topics to discuss and that is, to this writer, David E. Kelley’s style. From the absurd and creepy murderer to the sweet old man with alzheiner's. Mr. Kelley writes for them ALL. His preference may be law but from Picket Fences to Boston Public he has tried everything and I have watched (Including The Wedding Belles and Snoops which each only aired a few episodes) I tune in because if it has David E. Kelley’s name and logo it will be worth my time. There are just a couple of other TV creator/writers that I can say that about. In the end if an actor like Fyvush Finkel or Camryn Manheim are willing to come back and guest star on Harry’s Law after spending past TV years playing one of his characters then he can’t be all bad and the least I could do is watch. 
Lesson learned, write what you know, be yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Those of us who have very little to say in person, have a lot to say on paper and enjoy watching our characters say our words.
Cheers and thank you David E. Kelley!
I say keep them coming and watch Harry's Law Wednesdays at 9 on NBC.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


SPOILERS- A box, a wooden box that kills. Not only will the holder of the box die but they never get the chance to find out what is really in the box.  Is it gold? Is it heroin? No the content of the box is way more dangerous then the traffickers could ever imagine. Which brings me to another reason to like this series, ever once in a while they have some impressive twists and turns that keep the viewer wondering. As we begin to follow the box we are taken back into the desert heat which we learned last season is a place Deeks does NOT like to be. Good thing he has Kensi to watch his back as a ferrell pig appears from behind the desert brush. The trail then leads Callen and Sam to some local LA drug cartels and after a shootout leaves only one alive. Jamie is able to lead our team to the apartment of a hitman and it is here that we discover Sams' secret. Turns out the reason that Agent Hanna has been late for work or missing in action lately is because he has been on assignment with The CIA. Sam, the CIA agent and the rest of our team find out that the deadly substance from the box will be used in a large location where it can be given to thousands of people. On a happier note Nell sent herself a beautiful bouquet of flowers and, as someone who doesn't get flowers sent to her, I'm with her 100% sometimes it's nice get a vase full of flowers no matter who sent them. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Character study--WILSON-The most underrated character on TV

Original posted  Oct 21, 2008 on TV Guide 

      Ok like I've said I have to record (DVR) a lot of my shows-A LOT!-and one of them is the magnificent HOUSE. Now for someone who doesn't like medical series HOUSE is my favorite, not so much for the medical stuff but for the characters of Dr. Gregory House and those around him especially Dr. James Wilson. I have watched and recommended HOUSE since it began and Wilson has always been just sort of there in the background helping and taking care of House when he can. Then a couple of seasons ago I realized that I have developed a crush on him.
Now I am sure others have noticed how awesome Wilson is-in fact I just read a letter to the editor in one of my entertainment magazines saying almost the same thing-but now I finally get the chance. At the end of last season and so far this season
Wilson finally gets to prove himself as to why he is needed. Of course even now if you ask WHY I like Wilson I couldn't really tell you. Maybe it's his sad puppy dog eyes or the hair? Perhaps I just believe he is the best Doc on TV, I know he is the only one I trust. But I think I really like him because even though he is in the background he is ALWAYS THERE. Never having much to say but helps whenever needed. I admit I cried when Wilson lost Amber not so much because I liked Amber but because without saying many words Robert Sean Leonard was able to pull it off and Wilson's saddest and anger was so amazing! Robert Sean Leonard once mentioned in an interview that he didn't mind not having all the lines that Hugh Laurie has (it's not easy memorizing all of those medical terms) I say Wilson needs more-maybe enough for an Emmy nom.?-But I don't talk much either so I shouldn't complain.
THEN there was last week’s episode! The scenes between Wilson and House as they went to Houses fathers' funeral were the best they have been!!
Wilson breaking the window of the church Wow! I LOVE that we FINALLY know how the two met and what a brilliant story (but then my wilsonmeetsiantofanfict is also fun-So Wilson amuses House and its "not boring" Beautiful!
Like I began with it is nice to at last get to say DR. JAMES WILSON ROCKS!!! He really does make seeing all the blood, gore and weird illnesses of HOUSE worth watching.
House will always need
Wilson and Wilson will continue to need House.

Tonight Wilson worked with House to get perternity from Taub-very cute

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NCIS: LA- Honor

 SPOILERS---We open on the death of a Japanese tourist and our team goes into action. It turns out the marine who we think killed this tourist was dishonorably discharged after sexual harassment charges were brought up against him while stationed in Japan. Of course with this series there is always a catch/twist and to figure it out the team must first figure out the truth. The Marine says he fell in love with a girl but her rich businessman father forbids it because he wanted her with another man who would make him richer. All of the clues point to the marine lying, including an empty trailer where he thought she was staying and would be safe. Callen and Sam pay a visit to the girls’ father and here through the father talking on the phone we learn that SURPISE Sam speaks his language. Sam speaks to the girl on the phone and everything seems to be going against the marines’ statement about the two star-crossed lovers. With the man using his buness resources The State Department stops our team from continuing the investigation. Really do you really think a cease and discourse action is going to stop them. Sam being the wonderful Seal that he is says "Seals don't leave a man behind' I'll take the side of the marine any day" and they do. First thing first find the truth! With  Kensi as a maid and Deeks bringing free hotel room service we found out the father is keeping his daughter under guard in a nice hotel room.  YES it's been a long time since the whole team, Eric and Nell included, get to take real undercover action.  Location-Airport objective-stall the private plane to get the girl and stop the bad guy. Eric is a security guy on high alert, Nell his boss,Deeks and Sam luggage transport, Kensi the decoy and Callen is Callen. That all look so cute in the airport outfits! In the end all is safe. Our Romeo and Juliet are happily reunited and the NCIS:LA team get to go home with another mission completed. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Special: 2 scary series for the price of basic cable

Holidays seem to bring out the best in TV and Halloween is no exception. Each season a handful of series get dressed up and show off their spooky sprits, the most popular being The Simpsons -Treehouse of Horror (xxii) episode. For those of you who would like to be scared more then once a year the following series are perfect for you.

The Walking Dead-Sun. 9 AMC
Zombies, zombies and more zombies! I wasn’t a fan of these walking decaying corpses but then curiosity and good reviews, got the better of me so I had to watch the premiere last year and was immediately sucked in. Just four episodes into its second season and they have aped up the anti. A herd of walkers, a missing kid and a zombie autopsy (The grosses TV autopsy I have ever seen). With all that has happened so far it’s not just dramatic and scary but very tense and with a high gross out factor. The autopsy was bad but in its first season The Walking Dead had a scene in which Rick, the “leader” of the central story’s group of characters, had to walk amongst the “walkers”. To do this he had to smell like them so he can travel undetected. The way they did this was by chopping up a truly dead “walker” then covers themselves with the rioting, smelly insides. It was bloody and gross but worked. It aired a year ago but the image is still burned in my mind. What I like most about the series is how I have come to care about these people, including this one man who helped Rick in the first few episodes and hasn’t been seen since. Each member of the small group have there own reasons for being there and have lost someone they loved to the zombies but for the most part those that are left are still fighting, looking out for each other and just tying to stay alive.

Warning before you dress as a Zombie be aware of the consequences. Recently in Hollywood another movie was being filmed when there was a major accident and multiply actors playing fake zombies were injured and while at the hospital it was difficult for the doctors to determine real wounds for the make-up ones. There was also a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy were this happened, I’m just saying be careful out there.

Another amazing series to start watching now if you haven’t already is

American Horror Story-Wed. 10 FX
This new series brought to us by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (yes the men who brought us Glee and Nip/Tick) have done it again with another fascinating story. If you haven’t heard of it then you don’t look at entertainment magazines and wouldn’t be reading this anyway. Months before the series premiered it was the talk of TV junkies and now that I have seen the first few episodes I can finally add my two cents. Finding the right words to describe this crazy and weird new series isn’t easy but it is worth giving it a try.
I should start at the beginning. The House. The house is a character all its own, I would even call it the most important and main character. Each episode (so far) starts with a scene from the past. Each scene has a character from a different period of time in the houses history, including the 1920s, 1960s and 2010. I’m not giving anything away if I say these characters usually have an untimely horrific ending. This brings me to the present and the human characters. We start with a family. To make a long and confusing story short and simple after the husband, Ben (the wonderful Dylan McDermott) cheats on his wife, Vivien (Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton) they move with their teenage daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga) across the country for a fresh start. Then I’m afraid to say things get weird….we are quickly introduced to other intriguing and complicated characters. There is Constance the eccentric southern neighbor (the always fabulous Jessica Lange), Larry a ex-resident of the house and burn victim/ex-convict, the maid who came with the house played creepily by two women Frances Conroy and Alexandra Breckenridge and a handful of actors that add to a already questionable mixture of well written characters. If I go into anymore detail I will be giving things away. All in all in the end I have to say this is the creepiest and strangest yet exceedingly satisfying series on TV right now.       

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What was once old is new again

Hollywood remakes:
I wrote in an earlier blog that I have been a fan of Chris O’Donnell’s for many years (NCIS: Los Angeles 301&302). What I didn’t say is that the first time I ever saw him was in the 1993 Disney film version of The Three Musketeers.  So this past weekend, as much as I thought I didn’t want to, I saw the latest telling of this great story that the film industry has brought us. In ’93 it was this nice and small yet fun adventure story with a wonderful cast. In 2011 the filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson has added more than any of the pervious incarnations that I have seen, including 1935, 1948 and 1973. There are a handful of new elements in this new take some I liked and some not so much. Unlike the '93 take on the story this new one brought back The Duke of Buckingham which was ok with me, but some of the 21st century special effects I could have lived without. For example the addition of these crazy DeVinciesque flying ships. They may have added a new element to the plot and were nice to look at but unnecessary. Then like with every other movie these days there was the addition of 3D! Full disclosure this was the fist time I’ve had to watch a 3D film and I enjoyed it but 24 hours later I realized I prefer 2D. I feel like it is easier to pay attention to the story being told and feel compassion for the characters on screen if I am not distracted by all the 3D hoopla. By the time the credits were rolling I have to say it was a fun ride. The story was good, the action/adventure enjoyable and the cast was worth watching but in the end I still prefer the one where I discovered one of my favorite actors a little bit moreJ.
Another remake I got to go see this year was Fright Night, original made in 1985. First I have to say that I had a lot of fun the night I got to see this vampire flick. I went with a couple of woman, one a friend I hadn’t seen in years and the other I just met. We got to the theater for the showing and the only other people besides us inside were a small group of teenagers. It turns out being the only ones in the audience made the whole scary movie experience so much better. The three of us actually got to scream and squeal at the screen. This was always something I wanted to do but never had the courage or chance until that night. David Tennent may have been the reason we went but screaming “DON’T GO UP THERE!” was very cool and a lot of fun. There were one or two scenes that I got to jump out of my seat for and other that were just plain silly. Although I haven’t seen the original in years this new version was just as good if not better and I strongly suggest taking a look when it comes to DVD on December 13.
There are two other remakes that I must mention before I’m done. Gulliver’s Travels with Jack Black and Jason Segel was really cute and worth a look at if you catch it on TV as I did. And Footloose which is the one remake I have no interest in seeing. I just don’t think ANYONE can improve on the 1984 classic starring Kevin Bacon.
In the end Hollywood take my advice. Let’s cut down on the remakes, sequels and newly cast superheroes and get more original.

Monday, October 17, 2011

NCIS: L.A.305-Deadline

The main thing I got out of Hetty's and Callens conversation about who he is is that his father could still be alive and that Hetty knew Clara, Callens mother, which is nice to know but I thought there might be more. Ever since Law and Order first aired 20 years ago I have come to like storylines that can be riped from the headlines and this week was a good one. A unkown Lybian using the internet to help the uprising against Ghadaffi(have you noticed there are like a dozen ways to spell this guys name). he is a supporter of the rebels and belives in the cause so he tries to give advice. This all starts with the opening death of a local reporter who has been researching the man behind the mask and leads to the team, now completly back to normal including another screen appearance of Monty, the cutest police dog you have ever seen. I'm also pretty sure Monty is a Liberal, he only listen to NPR so that makes him more cute. We also get the return of Sam's and Callens wounderful partner banter, this time it was on pet ownership and I love how they think alike, "if it doesn't work with the fish,SUSHIE ":) This writing about a show every week is harder then it looks but I will try and keep it up even if it's just for my own sake and allows me to practice writing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The new fall season, so far: Dramas

Each TV season I try and watch as many new series I can, even if I don’t think I’ll like it. Although some I know I won’t like and avoid those all together. They usually end up being the first to get canceled so there is no point getting hooked (ex. The Playboy Club). Below are the Dramas that fit into my schedule.

Ringer- Tues. 9 The CW--- Ok so I started watching this because I have been a fan of Sarah Michelle Geller for years, how could you not love Buffy. By the end of the first episode I was intrigued by the entire show. Geller plays twin sisters but that is just the tip of the iceberg in this twisty tale of romance, backstabbing and murder. It’s not too late to check it out!

Person of Interest-Thurs 9 CBS---Ben from Lost (Michael Emerson) and the actor who has played Jesus and The Count of Monte Cristo (Jim Caviezel) how could you go wrong! This series has the same idea behind it as the 2002 movie Minority Report but takes place today and sometimes it’s the victim the two leads have to save, not catching the killer. My favorite part is that the two characters Reese and Finch are doing all this outside the government and police, so none of the people they help even know who they are. Taraji P. Henson plays a cop trying to find them. My favorite of the season, check it out so it doesn’t get cancelled.

A Gifted Man-Fri. 8 CBS--- The jury is still out on this one. I like the lead character, a successful surgeon too busy to help his dead ex-wife’s free clinic. The ghost of his wife is a good character, not sure about the rest of the cast.

Pan Am-Sun 10 ABC---Because they all wear uniforms, male pilots included, it is hard to tell the difference between the characters, not that there is much difference to see. Not a fan of the series or the 60s I suggest sticking with Mad Men to get that made in the 60s style fix, I will.

Unforgettable-Tues 10 CBS--Good ratings sometimes indicate a good time slot like this new series right after NCIS: LA. If you give it a try I suggest recording it. Like most reviews I have to agree that this, to put it simple is Forgettable.

Terra Nova-Mon. 8 FOX---Ah Mr. Spielberg after a lot of money and Fox pushing it back from TV season to season I have to say not  bad.  I like your summer season endeavor Falling Skies a lot more but I will continue to watch this and hope it starts making money. After all it does have all the items one needs in a post old earth that we have destroyed so now in order to save the human race we have to start over. There is teen angst, a nice family, bad guys who started the own community outside the new one of course, secrets lots of secrets  and a leader, in this case I think there might be two but they don’t know that yet. So I will watch and those that don’t should check it out.

Homeland Sun 10 Showtime---Mandy Patakins return to TV, I’ve met him a couple of times and as great a guy as you would think. Anyway this series has only had one episode so far but it looks like it’s going to be fun to watch. A series in which you have two leads that are supposed to be working for the good old U.S of A but we don’t know who, if either is the good guy/bad guy. Looks like from the coming attractions it is going to have money twists and turns so I will have to pay close attention. If you can afford premium cable check it out.

Revenge-Wed. 10 ABC—Once again another show that I didn’t want to watch but because of all the press I though I should and well I really like it, it is truly a primetime soap opera guilty pleasure. While watching the ads this past summer some wondered how the lead, a woman bent on revenge for what a group of so called friends did to her father when she was just a kid, would kill all these people without anyone noticing. Turns out she just wants to make their lives miserable At the beginning of each episode she picks her target and the viewer knows who is going down this week, kind of like a murder mystery where we already know the murderer but still fun to watch. Check it out and get sucked into this story of revenge.

Bedlem-Sat. 9 BBC America---One of my many British series that has yet to be Americanized. It is about a man who can see ghost and how they die and takes place in an old mental asylum that is now a high end apartment complex. Do I really have to say more? Check it out!

Speaking of Saturday night TV what has happen to it? My TWO magazines about Showbiz (Where I start to study each new season) didn’t even add it to the schedules this year! I know that the TV industry hell all of Hollywood only cares about 18- 45 year olds but that is NO EXCUSE to leave out everyone else! You know the people who have spent their whole adult life working and have the money to spend on the stuff in the commercials and don’t know how to fast forward through them. What about the Grandparents who have to baby-sit their grandkids because their parents are out? Don’t they deserve something to watch? And no they can’t stay up to watch Saturday Night Live even through they made it what is! Instead of bringing back Charlie’s Angels (which I haven’t had a chance to watch) let’s bring back Murder She Wrote. You know a nice non-tense series that you don’t really have to pay attention but tells a good story and is over in an hour. I’m just saying with the internet, viewers these days don’t fit into your nice little demographics box.  Give it another try networks you never know who is really watching you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The new fall season, so far: Comedies

I don’t work or get paid by any network, although I should.

For some reason since Friends went of the air it has been hard form me to watch comedies. It's not that I don’t like them and don’t have a sense of humor it just seems like while I have a handful of comedies that I watch and really enjoy, How I Met Your Mother is my favorite at the moment, I seem to watch a lot more dramas. That being said there are three this new season that has surprised me and a couple of others that I also find myself laughing with.
I have I certain criteria when it comes to watching a funny TV series. I don’t know exactly what it is but I CAN tell you that they better not have a laugh track and trust me you can tell the difference between recorded laughter and a real audience. Here are my new favorite sitcoms. If I like it must be good so if you have time give them I try and maybe we can keep them on the air for a long time.

2 Broke Girls-Mon. CBS—This one was a real surprise! I thought that a series about a poor waitress and an ex rich girl wouldn't make for great TV but I was wrong. The two leads have great chemistry and are fun to watch. All the co-stars that are part of this diner work well together. Oh and there’s a horse living in their Brooklyn backyard. Check it out!

Up All Night-Wed. 8 NBC—Now I am not a fan of TV shows about what goes into being a new parent but Christina Applegate and Will Arnett get to keep their wicked sense a humor in this charming new series. Maya Rudolph is hysterical as the single boss and friend of Applegate and her talk show within the show is hilarious. Check it out!

New Girl-Tues. 9 FOX—I like this quirky little series a lot and all I have to say about it so far is that Zooey Deschanel is cute and sweet as the New Girl. I just hope the guys she lives with each get their own personalities as the show progresses. Check it out!

Suburgatory-Wed ABC—Again another series that I wasn’t going to watch because the premise didn’t appeal to me and it’s still growing on me. I will say that if you like weird shows that have something you like about them but you don’t know why DVR this and give it a chance.

How to be a Gentleman-Already got cancelled and rightfully so.

And now we come to

Two and a Half Men 2.0-Mon. 9 CBS—Very funny, No Trolls. If you are a fan of Ashton Kutcher but haven’t watched this series in the past now is the time to jump on board.

That is it for the comedies. If you watch a new one and I don’t have it on the list tell me about it and I will give it a try. Coming up next The Dramas.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dear Entertainment Weekly,

As a child of the 80s thank you for reuniting two of my favorite casts. Growing Pains and The Princess Bride. I like to think they are two of the reasons for my life long love of Film and Television, so much so that I have The Princess Bride memorized and watch it whenever it is on TV. Both cast still look wounderful and I'm happy to see them together again.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

NCIS: L.A.-303

How dare Hunter mix up the teams, you know Callen doesn’t like change.
Deeks and Sam, Kensi and Callen, Eric I also miss the whistle. I love how each team member has there thing and once again in this episode Sam Hanna gets to use his excellent bomb making and defusing skills. And KABOOM! This show really likes blowing stuff up. Luckily the entire team made it out okay and they check on each other to make sure, so cute.  
And poof in the end Hunter is gone, it’s as if she was never there, which could mean she can always return. I think I actually might miss Hunters and Callens “banter”.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Introduction to Opera

Today’s lesson: Go out and do something new. If in your life something comes across your path that you’ve never tried and thought you wouldn’t enjoy, give it a chance, you might surprise yourself.
This weekend I saw nine operas in 90 minutes. Okay so it wasn’t nine full operas but what I saw was a nice introduction to what opera is and a sneak peak at how I would react to the genre. There were just four performers on the stage: A Soprano, A Tenor, A Baritone and A lone Pianist. There were no elaborate costumes and only a couple of set pieces.
It was Opera for Dummies. Instead of having to sit through a full length opera while having no clue to what they are singing or what the story is all about we heard one song from a handful of operas. With each song came a synopsis of the scene. Then the performers would return to the stage to sing and even play the role. Although the song and scene only lasted a couple of minutes the three actors made each character different from the pervious. There was love, sadness, fear, and even some humor. The voices mixed smoothly together as the piano played.
As someone who has never seen a full opera the main thing I learned from this experience was that it is all about the entire performance that each performer gives. Some of the songs heard that night were in English so a newbie was able to fallow the scene but because of the way The Soprano, the Tenor and the Baritone sung and moved I was able to follow the Italian just as easily.
Before this weekend the only thing I knew about The Opera was that they seem to be hunted by a Phantom.
Now I’m not saying going to An Opera is skydiving or climbing Mount Everest but it was something new to me and after I gave it I try I would like to do it again.   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blog within a blog-NCIS: Los Angeles 301&302

Spoilers--Ok truth time I didn't just start to watch NCIS:LA because it was a spin-off of NCIS (more on that series later) but the main reason was that I have been a fan of Chris O'Donnell since I was 13 and for the past 18 years have watched every movie and TV show he has been a part of. That being said I want to see if I can have a mini blog and write a little something about NCIS: LA each week.  Let me start with last week which was the season premiere and we got to see the conclusion of out wonderful team in Romania. Callen remembered another small piece of his missing life, Deeks and Kensi got to play honeymoon couple or was it brother and sister? Hetty had a nice conversation with the head of the family who is trying to kill Callen and new ops manager Hunter got to prove her loyalty. This week it was three months later and the team was back (almost intact) in L.A. to solve a case of a DOD hacker. Yes it is a “cop procedural” and yet I enjoy it as much, more then the three CSIs and The Mentalist. As I was saying this week a hacker was kidnapped and the team had to get right back to work. They broke up in their teams of two. Deeks and Kensi went undercover at the family of the victims house (Deeks looking good in the tennis teacher outfit). Poor Eric, who is this new tech Hunter, hired and I would not insult Nell if I were her. Another reason I watch is all of the L.A. locations but as far as the actually sets go as much as I love the Ops center my favorite is the secret safe house known as and is The Boathouse. Also I know when the series started all the talk was about the chemistry between LL Cool J and Chris but I have to say the scenes and little chats between Hetty and Callen are so much better, there is just something sweet yet more, something I can’t put my finger on between them. In the end the hacker tuned out to be someone they and the viewer was not expecting. And yes Callen I am with Hetty -you will figure out who you are, I just hope it’s not for many years to come.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Eulogy for All My Children

It’s weird to think that the cancellation of a long running Soap Opera can feel as bad as the death of a loved one, but to someone who has watched All My Children for the last 19 years it does.
AMC, no matter what mood I was in Mad. Glad or Sad you were always there for me and made my life a little better. You were a TV series that was there for me everyday. I fell in love with you one summer and when school started up I couldn’t wait to get off the bus to see what happened, which could be why my grades weren’t that great, but once you got me hooked I never wanted to let go. A few of those days my VCR for one reason or another let’s say “forgot “to record an episode and when I found out I missed it I was not happy and I honestly felt confused and lost.
I watched for the stories you told and the people who lived in or were just passing through Pine Valley. I’ve attended more weddings (Those that happened, interrupted or left at the alter) and funerals (those deaths that were fake and those who came back from death) then I wish to in real life and witnessed more births then I ever wanted to. With each I was right there crying with you. All the couples (on and off screen) were fun to watch. Whether they were fighting or making up, mostly it was Erica Kane with one man or another- I mean the woman had 10 weddings, seriously 10! I tuned in every single day.
So as I sat watching every character-Good, my funny and sweet Tad Martin or Evil, the man every fan loves to hate Dr. David Hayward, I knew it was time well spent.
I felt like Pine Valley PA was my home and every resident in the past 19 years one of my friends, family members, enemy and neighbor. I will miss watching every weekday at . Truth be told there were times when I disliked a storyline but I still didn’t want to miss an episode so I watched knowing that it had to get better.
 Through all the tornados, hurricanes, twins(good, evil and unknown), kidnappings, paternity tests and baby switches, the unkown to there dad or mom kids who showed up in town and made themselves known, SORAS, EXPLOSIONS, car crashes, gunshots- especially those that were heard and not seen and on a Friday so the cliffhanger made the viewer wait and wonder all weekend. Every murder that resulted in multiple suspects and a lengthy police investigation followed by crazy courtroom hijacks I was there. Heck I have to say it was a lot more interesting then what was happening in my town
I could go on and on but I guess all good things must come to an end.
I will miss everything about All My Children.
Thank you Agnes Nixon and the great casts and crews throughout the years who have been involved with this great daytime show. .

To General Hospital- I have watched you for a few years now and I may never love you as much as AMC but I do promise to be there and support you everyday you are still on the air.

Monday, September 19, 2011

And Theater, Local Theater…

I have discovered Bronte. At the MuCCC, an old small church in the city of Rochester NY, I did something I've always wanted to do, I sat in an audience and watched a one woman play with writer Charlotte Bronte as the lone storyteller. I have seen at least one other one person show on TV but this this was better. I sat in the front roll and became entranced in a story about a woman who I had only known as the author of Jane Eyre (which I have yet to but now will read) but now I am more intrigued by who she was and the life she lived.
I didn’t really know what to expect, I certainly didn’t expect to laugh, but by the end I was truly impressed by everything I witnessed. The stories of her life flowed nicely together as Charlotte told each one. From being a child and creating stories and characters with her sisters, brother and father to her love life and those she lost throughout life. Each story was as beautiful and as captivating as the next. Of those that were still alive and those that were long dead I believed that each character/person was in the house/on stage with Charlotte.
I knew I was watching a wonderful performance because the actor was actually able to make me believe that there were other “invisible” people all around her. Meredith Powell Carroll is one of those actors. As Charlotte Bronte she told us these stories through the voice of each person who was there. It wasn’t just because her accent changed from English to Irish to a little French but so did her voice as the tone of each was as unique as the last. Every character whether she was a younger vision of Charlotte, her own father or a lover- Meredith Powell Carroll made each as individual as I am sure they were in life. It must not be easy doing all that and move from stage left to stage right, dance around the table and back again all at the same time, I know I couldn’t, but it was a joy  to watch and allowed the story to feel as if all that she said was happening right there in front of us..
So there I sat, in a wooden Pugh inside an old church watching Charlotte Bronte and her life come alive.

Also The Emmys aka TVs biggest night aka Oscars little sister was on last night and of course I stayed up all night to watch. So congrats to all the winners, especially Jon Stewart, all the nominees and the great Jane Lynch ,a wonderful host.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day-A full series recap and review

First thing first if you told me when I was a kid in the mid 80s falling in love with TV that one of my favorite series would one day be a sci-fi, British series that first premiered 20 years before I was born I would have called you crazy.
Anyway as it happened Christopher Eccleston (#9) was my 1st Doctor  and then David Tennant (#10) came into the picture  and I’ve been a Whovian ever since. I have to start with mentioning this great series because if it wasn’t for Doctor Who (and The Doctor) there would be no Torchwood Institute or Torchwood series. Which brings me back to my title thought Torchwood: Miracle Day season/series 4 or 1 depending on who you talk to?
Since the series premiered in the U.S. on Sept 8th 2007 Torchwood has had everything I have always wanted in a TV series. Drama, Comedy, Romance, Friendship, Action, Adventure, Horror and Sci-Fi. Basically any genre you could find in a bookstore. Yes I was one of the millions around the world who cried at the events that ended Children of Earth but I mourned and got over it two years later when Miracle Day premiered.
When last we left our Torchwood team Gwen Cooper (the Brilliant Eve Myles) was pregnant and Captain Jack Harkness (the fantastic John Barrowman) disappeared -from Earth. When the new season began we were immediately introduced to three new characters--CIA Agent Rex Matheson (the great Mekhi Phifer from e.r) Computer analysis Esther Drummond (the wonderful Alexa Havins from All My Children) and death row inmate Oswald Danes (the amazing Bill Pullman). These characters were thrown into a magnificent and strange new story--A day in which no one dies. Not a new idea but Torchwood knows how to put their spin on it and even improve it. Every good series starts with a good story written by good writers like Miracle Days’ Russell T. Davies (Series Creator) and Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica) just to name two.
Now that we have an idea and writers time to put the pieces together.
One day-no one dies, the next day no one dies followed by the next and the next, days turn to weeks and weeks become months. So now what? What can the government do? What can the average person on the street do? This is a world wide event and no one knows what is happening or how long it will last. Enter Captain Jack Harkness (yea!) and new mum Gwen Cooper. Along with Oswald Danes whose death sentence wasn’t able to be carried out and Rex Matheson who was in a not so deadly as it should have been accident. Gwen is also personally affected by this so called miracle when her father gets seriously ill. Things are getting personal and when things get personal they get dangerous.
There are so many questions.  How did this happen? Who is in charge after Miracle Day? Who is behind the miracle? What do you do in a world without death? What are the laws of life and death? Who decides those laws? How do you determine who/what is means to be alive and dead? What do we do with the “dead”? Immortality is the new norm, what now? Do we really want to live forever (have you ever seen a happy vampire)? Can we stop The Miracle and what happens if we do? What do we do with the hurt and sick, let them be that way forever? Who is trying to kill Jack? What do we do about the population growth; the Earth can only subs stand a certain number of inhabitants? What, who is Torchwood? As each episode flies by we go deeper and deeper into this new, unexplainable, mystery upon mystery world.
Once we have the plot the story has to start answering these questions using the characters (new and old). In Miracle Day ALL of the characters become intertwined with each other and one is as intriguing as the next. As the story moves the relationships change and develop over time. Each actor is enjoyable to watch and because of this I found myself caring for all of the characters. To get a better idea of each lets go one by one, let me start with the
CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS (who may be my favorite character ever!)- Leader of Torchwood who was already immortal (and has lived a long life) at the start of the day. His job is to bring back Torchwood, against his better judgments, and work outside the system to fix the world and bring back death (sounds awful but what is life without death?)
GWEN COOPER- Jacks original team member, daughter of MARY and GERAINT, wife of RYS WILLIAMS (the talented Kai Owen) who has been by her side since before she joined Torchwood and mother of cute baby AWEN. Gwen has worked on these types of cases with Jack for years and Miracle Day is no different. When she sees Jack again for the first time she remembers how she misses the job and is ready to go!
REX MATHESON- An arrogant, dislikeable (at first but by the end I liked him) CIA agent who was suppose to die on Miracle Day, saved by DR. VERA JUAREZ- who also wants to help (Arlene Tur), tracks down Torchwood, brings them from the U.K. to the U.S. and reluctantly becomes part of the team much to his dislike of Jack and his tactics.
ESTHER DRUMMOND - CIS computer analysis who has never worked in the field, sister to Sarah and Aunt to her daughters. Sweet and naive, but smart and learns how to become an asset and all around my kind of girl.
OSWALD DANES- Un-killable death row, child rapist/murderer. Quickly becomes known as the face and voice of Miracle Day. A celebrity in his own rotten way. Thinks The Miracle is the best thing to happen to humanity.
JILLY  KITZINGER (the superb Lauren Ambrose) - An enigma? When we first meet her she is a PR person employed by the pharmacy company PhiCorp she is hired by them to help and watch Oswald as his celebrity rises. But there is something un-nerving about her and her goals. What does she really want out of Miracle Day? And why would she help and join THE FAMILIES?
And then there are the rest who may have only appeared in one episode but were just as good and important to the story as the above.
So cheers to Andy (“when Torchwood calls he shows up”)(played by Tom Price who rocks), Brian Friedkin (Seinfeld’s’ Newman, Wayne Knight), Lyn Peterfield (Dichen Lachman), Noah Vickers (Paul James),Charlotte Willis (Marina Benedict), Ellis Hartley Monroe (Mare Winningham), Stuart Owens (Ghostbusters Ernie Hudson), Angelo Colasanto (Daniele Favilli), Olivia, Angelos’ granddaughter (Nana Visitor), Allen Shapiro (John de Lancie),  with C. Thomas Howell and Frances Fisher. And the rest-you all were a pleasure to watch as guest stars. The actors had great chemistry together (especially when they were with JB) and again EVERY character was wonderful and believable.
Even though the story started slow, because it had to introduce new cast and characters, once it got going it didn’t stop! Once the first episode aired I knew I would love the season as much as the three before! From episode to episode, scene to scene (including 2 controversial sex scenes) I laughed, cried, cheered and sat on the edge of me seat yelling at the screen! You know you are watching a good series when just one small and subtle scene stays in your mind weeks after it airs, in this case it was Jane Espensons’ written description and John Barrowman’s acting style that makes me still want to see a Firebird in person. I could describe it here to anyone but I don’t think I could give it the justice they did. There were plenty of “cookies” for the core Torchwood fan (woodie) like the contact lenses but plenty of new stuff for those just starting the adventure.
In the end I felt as I did at the end of season two. Sad for some of what happened, but happy for the Torchwood Team and hopeful that they will move on. As I re-watch the season on my DVR I feel as excited as I did when the episode 1st aired, maybe more so now that I know what happens (then again I could watch any episode from any season over and over and never get tired of it)
That is why I love TORCHWOOD so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Russell T. Davies, WE WANT MORE!

Dedicated to David Bianculli whose TV Worth Watching I read everyday.
To every Woodie or Torchie out there for giving me the courage to chat, rant and rave and obsess over our little show.