Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A (Film) Look at Lincoln

It was about two years ago when I first learned that Steven Spielberg was going to make a film about Abraham Lincoln, my first thought was "Hell yeah I'm going to see that!" I mean my favorite Director and my favorite President, what's not to like about that combo?!
Before I go any farther I should point out that for me an important note about watching a movie is if you are still thinking about a film minutes, hours or even days later it must be good.

Lincoln with a screenplay by Tony Kushner based partly on Team of Rivals...by Doris Kearns Goodwin and as I said directed by Mr. Spielberg is perfectly shot and amazing to watch. The story takes place in January of 1865 and President Lincoln, knowing that he has a small window of time before the newly elected congress comes to session is desperate to end Slavery (and maybe the war) by passing the 13th Amendment. In order to do this he needs to convince his cabinet, lead by his Secretary of State William Seward, played by the brilliant David Strathairn, who argues and at times disagrees with The President but always stands by his side as they go up against the entire House of Representatives. Mr. Spielberg (without the help of The TARDIS) brings you into this little known part of Lincoln's Presidency and made me feel as if I was there and in the center of all the action. The scenes on the floor of Congress are intriguing and thrilling. Watching the debates between those who oppose the amendment, like New York Rep. Fernando Wood surprisingly played by Lee Pace and those For its passage, like Pennsylvania Rep. Thaddeus Stevens played by the wonderful Tommy Lee Jones is great fun. The bickering back and forth and the yelling between the parties made me wish congress would get a little rowdy now and days, (maybe more people would watch C-Span :). The FOR/YAY side gets a little help and a push to come to their individual decisions by three men who today we may call lobbyist played with humor by James Spader, John Hawkes and Jackie Earle Haley 

Mr.Spielberg may not have been able to pull off this major and incredible task if it weren't for his cast. I have already named a few of them but because he is after all the title character let me go deeper into the mind and soul of our nations 16th president.

Played by the always superb (at least that is what people say, until now I have to admit I hadn't watch one of his movies all the way through) Daniel Day-Lewis revives Abraham Lincoln in a way that had yet to be done. When studying The Civil War and Lincoln in school the President can become more of a legend then a once living man but this film shows a side of him that one rarely sees while reading his speeches. Each of the actors, with a "little" help from the Make-Up/Hair and Costume departments, seem to disappear and the characters come alive throughout the movie. This is none so more true then Daniel Day-Lewis. He is able to leave the myth behind and with even the smallest of details portrays the president's humanity through love, loyalty, compassion and a good knack for storytelling for his family, colleagues, and country.
The scenes between this man and his wife, Mary Todd, played perfectly by the magnificent Sally Field were personal and beautiful. Whether it was an argument about family or the war or a peaceful carriage ride you could really see that these two needed each other. One more character to mention their oldest son Robert is played by the awesome Joseph Gordon-Levitt

On a personal note I have had a crush on U.S.Grant before I even knew who he was and the scene between President Lincoln and General Grant sitting and leaning back in their chairs discussing how General Lee should be treated when he surrenders is priceless.

I was smiling and had my eyes glued to the big screen the entire 149 mins. By the time the ending credits were rolling I was proud to be a 19th century American and wanted to stand up and applaud for what I had just watched.

Abraham Lincoln-President, Husband, Father, Man. I didn't think it was possible for me to fall more in love with him.

I wanted to stay in the theater and watch it again.

I feel like I need and want to say so much more.

In the end for a true film watching experience go see...LINCOLN.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How I watch TV...

As someone who watches 40 -50 hours of prime time TV each week (Sometimes I wish it were possible for my brain to process and watch more then one series at a time) Unfortunately I can't and I have to make my TV work overtime. So everyday and every show I watch I have listed in three categories 1. WATCH "LIVE" 2. RECORD and 3. WATCH ONLINE OR ON DEMAND.

6 days a week (for some reason the only show on Saturday is SNL) from 8-11pm there is a new challenge. Let me take one of the more complicated nights of the season so far---THURSDAY

8pm-The Big Bang Theory and Up All Night--I watch
         The Vampire Dairies--I record
         Last Resort and 30 Rock--I on demand

9pm-Grey's Anatomy--I watch
         Person of Interest--I record
         Glee, The Office, Parks and Recreation and Beauty and the Beast--I on demand/online

10pm-Elementary--I watch
          Scandall--I record

That adds up to 10.5 hours! And it is a lot harder to watch everything then one may think, it may not be heart surgery but it takes talent to keep it all straight and remember this plethora of shows everyday. (Trust me I have forgotten and then ended up falling a week or more behind a few times). I spend most of my weekend just catching up and watching what I missed.

40 hours a week isn't that when most working people are at their jobs? Maybe I should start getting paid for all this work? ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A movie review-Argo

The year was 1979, Jimmy Carter was President and much like today the Middle East was in a period of unrest and a nation of people were angry at the U.S for allowing their deposed Shah, to have a safe haven in this country. They were protesting in the streets and the revolution continued as the world watch on TV. Then it happened a group of citizens, some carrying guns broke through the gates and then the doors of the U.S. Embassay in Iran. They took all who worked there hostage, not knowing that 6 escaped. This is when this true story of the Iranian Hostage Crisis became a story fit for a Hollywood tale. Argo, Written by Chris Terrio based on a article by Joshuah Bearman and Directed by Ben Affleck is what happened to those six people.

 4 men, Bob Anders, Joe Stafford, Lee Schatz and Mark Lijek (Tate Donovan, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane and Christopher Denham) and 2 women, Cora Lijek and Kathy Stafford (Clea DuVall and Kerry Bishe) made it safely to the House of the Canadian Ambassador in Tehran and stay hidden inside as their country, the CIA, works on ideas to get them out before the Iranians realize they are missing. Ben Affleck plays Tony Mendez, an CIA ex filtration expert and the man who came up with the plan. They decide to get the Americans out by going in and giving them new identities, as a Canadian film crew. The first part of this plan, Tony has to get someone inside Hollywood to make a fake movie. Hollywood being Hollywood, a biz all about making money, may be a impossible task luckily Tony knows a man, the best make-up artist in town to be exact, his name John Chambers played buy the enchanting John Goodman, next they need a Producer, enter Lester Siegel played by the great Alan Arkin who is on his way to accept an lifetime achievement award. Side note watching Goodman and Arkin together on screen is a lot of fun and the are a perfect Hollywood match:). The three man must find a buy a script that will work with the plan. The screenplay that they choose is important because they must have a reason to use locations within the film that match what can be found within the geography of Iran. Argo is that sci-fi film within this film and as crazy as as this idea may sound it just might work. They have an open casting call and a table read through to make everything look ligent as the CIA lead by Tony's Supervisor Jack O'Donnell (Bryan Craston) with help from Hamilton Jordan (Kyle Chandler) construct new identities for the 6. Once Tony makes it to Iran he meets with with the Canadian Ambassador played by the wonderful Victor Garber he takes him to the 6 runaways. Now is the time for these average American citizens to learn and memorize their new identities, The Canadian film crew includes a Producer, a Director, a Cameraman, the Writer, of course and a Set Designer.

Now here is where I would like to think that if I ever find myself in a similar situation and this man played by Affleck wanted me to do what they had to do in only two days and to TRUST that he WILL get me out safely, and I had to decide whether I should die as a sitting duck or get killed as a tried to escape he would hear now argument from me! I with you man!

Argo is more proof that as long as you have a GOOD story to tell it doesn't need to be in 3D or have a lot of special effects. This true little known tale is a surprising delight. Even though you already know how it is all going to end Director Affleck is able to build up the suspense and add to an already tense situation, as well as drama and even some comedy to keep the viewer on his/her toes. As I said one of the film crew members is the Set Designer and while watching this movie you see just how important his/her job is. Although the film takes place 5 months before I was born, from what I know about the 1970s everything on screen from the cars and the color palette to the phone with cords (before cell ones) was a perfect match of the times. Congrats to the make up and costumes artists as well, from the bushy mustaches worn by every man to the gold chain around Affleck's "movie producer" neck it is all a sight to be seen,

This is Ben Affleck's 2ed film as a director and it shows that he is as good at this job as he is at acting.

In other words-Go ahead, back to 1979 and check out Argo!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy 25th Anniversary to The Princess Bride!!!

There are a few movies that were released the decade I was born and grew up in that made me who I am, why I love films and are for as long as I can remember the reason why I want to be a filmmaker. One of those films is The Princess Bride.it was released 25 years ago on September 25, 1987.

Spoilers for the few who have yet to watch whoever they are...

"Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." Are just some of the reasons to love this movie. Recently TV worth watching (the father of this blog) coined the term 'Spider-web movies" these are those movies that you watch whenever you happen to come across them airing on TV, they are movies that you have memorized and can pick up no matter where it is in the story. The Princess Bride for me is one of those movies;)

From beginning to end The Princess Bride is a special film. it is fun, sweet, funny, scary and all around a good and well made movie. Directed by the awesome Rob Reiner, Written by William Goldman (based on his book) and Starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin (who autograph sits next to my bed), Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Peter Falk, of course Fred Savage as the grandson (Ha yes I listed the names of the top of my head I must watch a lot) and others, with all these wonderful people how could you lose? Then you add a great story about a
girl named Buttercup who hires a farm boy named Wesley to help around the house, "As you wish". Wesley leaves the farm for fortune so the to can live happily but is quickly presumed dead so Buttercup feels that she has no choice but to marry the evil Prince Humperdink. She is kidnapped by Vizzini, Fezzik and Inigo Montoya "Are there rocks ahead? "If there are we all be dead." Buttercup is rescued by the man in black wearing a mask "it's just that they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future. " The man is Wesley alive and well and the two run away from Prince Humperdink and discover that R.O.U.S do exist.

To "sum up" Buttercup returns to Hmperdink, Wesley is torture and brought by Inigo and Fezzik
to Miracle Max's "Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe
they're so perky, I love that
. (My mom's favorite line) The threesome find Buttercup, Inigo finds the six fingered man "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
(My favorite line) Ending with a final kiss and love song "Storybook Story'

I love everything about The Princess Bride! it makes me happy whenever I watch.
Thank you to the cast and crew for 25 great years, it is still and will always be one of the best!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why I love TV EP 001

It has been about a year since I started writing this blog so I thought it was time you learned how and why I became a fan of television. I think it all started as a kid in 1986 but...

Way way way back when NBC sitcoms were worth watching from 4/19/1990- 5/21/1997 there was a little TV series called Wings. Created and produced by David Angell,(April 10, 1946 – September 11, 2001) Peter Casey and David Lee Wings took place on the island of Nantucket. The main setting takes place in a small airport, where there were two competitive airlines, SandPiper and AroMass, a waiting/sitting area for the passangers, a small kitchen with a counter to eat lunch, the office of the owner of SandPiper, and of course a airplane hanger to keep the one plane when not in use. Wings just may be my favorite series of the 90s (including FRIENDS).

I have discovered that the series re-runs on the Reelz network and have been re watching everyday. As I watch I find myself laughing, a lot. it has been 15 years since it went off the air but for me the jokes and characters are just as fresh as watching it back when it was new. But if you do find the jokes to be old and outdated there is still the colorful cast of characters to enjoy. Let me start with Joe and Brian Hackett (aka The Hackett Brothers) who grew up in Nantucket. Joe played by the wonderful Tim Daly (Private Practice) is the older, had to take care of Brian and their father when their mother left them when they were just still kids, by the book, pilot and owner of SandPiper Air. His brother Brian played by the terrific Steven Weber is the complete opposite, fun loving, Hawaiian shirt wearing, left home with Joe's fiancee, got to live his life on his own terms until losing it all and had to come home and work/pilot with his brother one. Next there is Helen Chappel played by Crystal Bernard, who is the childhood friend of Joe and Brian, she owns and operates the airport lunch counter by herself, she was "fat" in her high school days but is no unrecognizable be most former classmates and like with every character she is single and always looking for love, but Joe is her one and only true love. Also working at the airport is Fay Evelyn Cochran played by Rebecca Schull, she and Joe have been working together at SandPiper since the beginning. A woman in her older years who has been married to three men named George (all dead) she will always be there to tell the passangers when their plane has arrived or is ready to take off. There is also Lowell Mather played by Thomas Haden Church, he is the airport at Tom Nevers Field manchanic. He was married to a woman named Bunny and may not be the smartest bulb in the bunch but is sweet and always good for an unexpected one-liner. Across the way from Fay's post there is Roy Biggins played by David Schramm. Roy owns AroMass and well let me just say hates the other characters, mean and sarcastic he enjoys making everyone around him just as misreable as he. Then there is Antonio Scarpacci played by the magnificent Tony Shalhoub, he is a cab driver who is always hanging out at the airport looking for a fair. Unlucky in love but always there to tell a story of his life and family back in Italy he is one of my favorite supporting characters of all time. Sweet and award, funny and cute Antonio will always have a place in my heart. In the last fews season of the series we were introduced to Casey Chappel played by Amy Yasbeck, Helens younger and prettier sister, she come back to Nantucket when she finds her rich husband cheating on her. There were many other recuuring characters incuding Alex Lambert (Farrah Forke) and Budd who took over for Lowell when he left.

 The Brothers Hackett, The Sisters Chappel and the rest of the charaters and the acrors who play them make Wings worth watching even a 2ed, 3erd 4th and 100th time around!

You know when you love and support the actors in their other roles by watching all that comes after it was a good series so to sum up I love you Wings! Thank you for helping me become a TV fan!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Doctor Who-season 7

It is the beginning of the end for The Ponds this coming season of Doctor Who starting Sat @ 9 on BBC America. When the wonderful Matt Smith took over the role of The Doctor I like so many was sad to see the extremely talented David Tennant (don't believe me check out his Hamlet) leave but happy that the show went on and have been truly enjoying Mr. Smith these past few seasons. The 11th Doctor brought with him Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) who brought with her Rory Williams (Arthur Duvall) and with new man in charge Steven Moffat (co-creator of Sherlock, another show you should check out if you haven't yet). The three have been on many adventures! I will admit when I first heard Mr Moffat was taking over I was worried for the man had written some of the previous scarier episodes of Doctor Who it its first two seasons, I thought the show would become darker, instead it has stayed consistent with some episodes being fun, touching and sweet like when The Doctor and Amy met Vincent Van Gogh (My favorite artist) while others have been down right creepy like the episodes called Night Terrors about a frightened child and The God Complex about a hotel in which all the rooms were filled with its residents worst fears.

From the day we met Amy Pond as a young girl to the day the Ponds learned the truth about River Song The 11th Doctor and his companions have been through a lot. I am sure the new season will be no different as we watch and like with those before them we say goodbye to Amy and Rory but with continue to travel through time and space with The Doctor. So if you haven't check out one of my favorite series jump on board The TARDIS and tune into Doctor Who.


Monday, August 27, 2012

The Guard (2011)- A film review

This past weekend I had family visiting and when one has company you have to enterain them right? While doing so on Friday night we came across a small, independent, foreign film called The Guard. The film takes place in a little, off beat town in Ireland. it is here where the local police come across a gruesome murder. They discover that the murder is connected to other deaths which are part of a drug smuggling ring so the FBI is called in to help out on the case. The two main characters are a unconventional Irish policeman named Sergeant Gerry Boyle played by Brendan Gleeson and a by the book, uptight FBI agent named Wendell Everett played by the awesome Don Cheadle.

The strange story goes even deeper as we learn about these two characters and what makes them tick. They dislike each other when the first meet. On his day off Boyle spends some time with prostitutes and his dying mother while Everett goes around the town asking anyone including a horse if they know the drug smugglers, language becomes a problem since most speak Gallic. Do the two learn to get along? Do the y get the bad guys? Who is that teen on the bike with training wheels? Who is that young boy with the dog? To find out rent or on demand The Guard.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Farewell to The Closer

Tonight on TNT at 9 pm is the final episode of The Closer.

I just want to tell the cast and crew that I look forward to Major Crimes which is premiering right after but as for The Closer herself Branda Leigh Johnson played by the magnificent Kyra Sedgwick. The Deputy Chief of the major crimes division in Los Angeles always knew how to get a suspect to open up and get at the truth. She was tough, brilliant and obsess with candy ( I too am fond of a peanut butter cup once in a while and wouldn't mind a draw full of them) and once in a while we got to she her softer side, like whenever she was with he husband, Fritzy, her cat (first Miss Kitty then Joel) and her very southern parents. Branda lived life on her own terms.

Cheers to The Closer 2005-2012! And to Emmy Award winner Kyra Sedgwick this fan will miss your southern accent and that cute pink coat. Good luck to whatever you (and any other cast member who won't be on Major Crimes) do in the future (fingers crossed for a return to good films).


Once again Director/Writer Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, She's the One) has brought us another sweet and fine small film with the simple title of Newlyweds. Mr. Burns does his best work when shooting on the streets of NYC and this film is no exception. The story is about a newly wedded couple, Buzzy (Edward Burns) and Katy(Caitlin Fitzgerald) and how they cope with what happens once their (2ed each) marriage begins. They have only known each other for a short time when their lives get turned upside down when friends and family get involved. Let me start with Katy's sister Marsha (Marsha Dietlein) and her husband Max (Max Baker). The two have been married for 19 years and when they have lunch with Buzzy and Katy their relationship begins to feel old and past its prime. Max flirts with a younger woman while Marsha feels ignored. That is only the beginning to the tsunami of troubles in front of Buzzy and Katy. Next there is Katy's out of work actor ex-husband Dara (Dara Coleman) who is always stopping by and asking for money and suddenly Linda (Kerry Bishe) Buzzy's younger half sister drops by out of the blue. Buzzy and Linda have not seen each other since she left her home at 16 when their father died. She comes to NYC from l.A (without a coat) with the propose of getting her now married ex back and crash lands into their already crazy new lives. All of the characters lives become connected and as shown through conversations between Sister and Sister, Husband and Husband, and Ex Husband and Half Sister the film asks the questions about marriage, why does when get married? How to deal with being married and the questions that come once you are married-How to deal with those outside the marriage who are part of each spouses world? From giving up on yours as an individual dreams to settling down and having a family?
First thoughts right after the "I dos" and what really happens next.

Edward Burns asked for real life newlywed stories through twitter and with his lowest budget yet and NYC as the background gave use another good film. So go and download or rent and watch Newlyweds.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Berkeley Square

Some people call them "classics" to me they are films that were made before I was born and just haven't seen yet. At night when I can't sleep I put the TV on TCM (I find that the black and white images keep it dark but the voices are comforting), that being said I have found some good films this way.

Last week for the first time TCM aired a film from 1933. The story takes place in 18th century London 8 years after after the American Revolution, at am estate in Berkeley Square, the name of the film. The opening scene takes place in the English house where we first meet Kate Pettigrew (Valerie Taylor) she and her family are awaiting the arrival of their American cousin, Peter Standish there is a flash of lighting and we are transported to the present day where a man (Leslie Howard) shares his name with the now long dead Peter and turns out to be his distant relative. He has just inherited the old house and finds it intriguing with a beautiful history. The house has not changed , same grandfather clock, same books and a painting of a man who looks just like him.  Just as in the recent film Midnight in Paris, Peter begins to long for the past as his fiance Marjorie (Betty Lawford) walks in. She sees that he is obsess and becomes worried about his mental state. Peter doesn't want to leave the house and comes up with a theory that if he walks in the same path of his late relative then some how all of time will happen at once and he will be allowed to travel through time. Peter learns about the arrival of the cousin while reading his journal and at the precise time 5;30 he enters the house and on the other side of the door finds himself dressed in 18th century clothing. In the past he also meets Kate's sister Helen and immediately falls in love with her although he is engaged to Kate. Also at their first meeting Peter makes his first time travel mistake by knowing what Helen's birthday gift is before she opens it. This reminds him that must follow the path that has already happened but it is more difficult then he thought it would be and he makes mistake after mistake. Using words that have not been used yet and knowing about things that have not happened. Kate becomes fearful of him but Helen loves him. Can Peter make things right again? To find out what happens next check out Berkeley Square.

Dolphin Tale-A film review

Animal stories on film are hard to watch and tare at the heart strings and yet I can't help but take a chance on them. From Charlotte's Web, National Velvet and Old Yeller to Seabiscuit, Secaterit and Warhorse to the comedy Cats and Dogs you know you are about to watch a good story. Movies about animals follow the same formula, you meet the animal, you fall in love with him or her throughout the telling of the story and whether it ends in sorrow or triampth by the time the credits roll you have gone on an emotional journey, which reminds me of Homeward Bound with the two dogs and the cat, aww, which brings me to the latest film that premiered last month on HBO called Dolphin Tale.

Everything that you need to know is right there in the title, this movie is inspired by a true story. A story in which the central character is a dolphin named Winter. The film begins when a young boy named Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) finds a dolphin stranded on a beach. After she is rescued by a father/Marine Biologist, Dr. Clay Haskett played by the wonderful singer/actor Harry Connick Jr. and his daughter, Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff). They take her back to their animal hospital/aquarium to try and save her. The call her Winter and realize that her tail fin is injured and eventually have to amputate it. Then things get serious, the boy and girl grow to care for and love Winter. They help her swim ever day even though it means Sawyer skips summer school. They all soon learn that if Winter continues to move her fin up and down instead of right to left she will die, at the same time the hospital is losing their benefactors and may have to sell the building leaving all the animals homeless.That is where Dr. Cameron played by the great Morgan Freeman comes into the picture. Can he find a way to help and save Winter? Can the hospital be saved? If for no other reason you should watch this movie to see a pelican named Rufus who steels every scene he is in. Ashley Judd also stars as Sawyer's mother. Keep an eye out for or rent Dolphin Tale.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Eureka--July 18 2006-July 16 2012

EUREKA! Once upon a time just something Archimedes said upon discovering water being displaced but for the past 6 years has been a cute and fun series on the Sci-Fi (syfy) network. A California police officer is driving his fugitive teenage daughter home when they accidentally enter a small town in the middle of nowhere. The cop, Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) and daughter Zoe (Jordan Hinson) quickly learn that this is no ordinary town. You see Eureka is "unique". It is a secret town set up by the U.S. Government as a place to make new discoveries. The citizens of Eureka are all geniuses, they are all scientists, each one a master in his/hers field of study. For all 5 seasons there was Dr. Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield). Allison started out as a D.O.D agent who would become the director of Global Dynamics (GD is at the center of the town and the building where all the scientist work) she will also marry Jack in the final season. Then there was Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayston) a junior scientist who gets no respect from his peers until he became the new director of G.D. during a futureistic storyline to be explain later. Next is Josephina "Jo" Lupo (Erica Cerra) who began as a tough Eureka cop who enjoyed her firearms and would become head of security at G.D. and would later fall in love with a government criminal turned new G.D. good guy and head of Sector Five Zane Donovan (Niall Matter). Then there was Henry Deacon (Joe Morton) who is as smart as the rest, if not the smartest man in town and can do anything he wishes but when we first met him he was just a guy who owned the town's garage and the mechanic who fixed Jacks car upon his unexpected arrival. Later Henry will be married to Grace (Tembi Locke). Rounding out the original cast is S.A.R.A.H. the smart house where Jack and Zoe will live once he becomes the towns new sheriff.

When Carter becomes Sheriff the real story of Eureka Begins. As smart as these people are every day something goes wrong in their town and although all the characters are involved  the sheriff, the one man with an average IQ, seems to be the one man who can truly save the town. Whether it was buildings floating, new objects made at G.D. not working the way they were intended, going to space or as I have already mentioned going back in time (where we learned the origins of the town and met Dr. Trevor Grant a recurring character played by James Callis), sheriff Jack Carter was there to help figure out the problem, fix it and make Eureka safe for its citizens once again. Yes it is odd to think that the only one who really knew what was going on was the only non-genus in the town but that was what the series was all about.
Let's not forget the other characters that made up Eureka. There was Dr. Nathan Stark (Ed Quinn) who was one of GDs top scientist, never got along with Carter and had an on again off again relationship with Allison who had his daughter Jenna after his death R.I.P. Speaking of Allison's kids she also had Kevin Blake who was played by two different actors (Meshach Peters season 1-3 and Trevor Jackson Season 4-5) was a autistic savant until the timeline got switch and he became the teen who liked to skateboard and took care of his sister that we see in the final seasons. There was Vincent (Chris Gauthier) who was the owner and chef of Cafe Diem a popular Eureka hang out and Deputy Andy ( Ty Olsson) who took over for Jo when she got her new job and was actually an Android who knows everything about the town. And Dr, Holly Marten (Felicia Day) who was sent to Eureka to help out on the space mission known as Titan and would fall in love with Fargo. The wonderful Wil Wheaton as Dr. Isaac Parrish and Matt Frewer as Dr. Jim Taggart also appear along with many others.

 Eureka you were a cute, fun,strange, little show. Every time I tuned in I had a delightful visit to your unusual town and I wish I was smart enough to live there. It sucks that you were canceled with no reason or advance notice but you were one of a kind and I will never forget you!

May Eureka forever have a place in our hearts and wherever TV shows go when they die.\\

You can watch the final episode tonight at 9 and 11 on SyFy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Newsroom

I have to start by stating that I have been a fan (more then a fan he is someone I inspire to be) of Aaron Sorkin since the first episode of SportsNight 14 years ago and have watched every series created by him since (including the short lived but wonderful Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). Mr. Sorkin also wrote one of my favorite films The American President, first came to Hollywood with A Few Good Men and won the Oscar for adopting The Social Network and nominated again for co-writing Moneyball. That being said The Newsroom is Aaron Sorkin at his best! As in The West Wing the characters speak at a rate in which a normal person may be incapable and do so while walking and preforming other tasks at the same time. Mr. Sorkin writes about what he knows and cares about and is not afraid to have his characters speak for him (which can get one into trouble sometimes).

The Newsroom takes place in our recent past (the series opens in April of 2010). The first scene has the central character Will McAvoy played by the magnificent Jeff Daniels in the middle of a talk show having what can only be described as a breakdown live on TV. A week later he returns to his news show only to find that most of his staff has left him for another time slot including his producer. He is now in a office with just a handful of people that he does not know by name including his assistant (who quickly gets promoted) Maggie (Allison Pill) and his blogger Neal (Dev Patel). That is when Will's boss Charlie (Sam Waterston) hires him a new executive producer Mackenzie MacHale played by Emily Mortimer and she brings along her own co-producer Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.). Early on the viewer learns that Will and Mackenzie has had a past romantic relationship information that spills out to the rest of the office. Olivia Munn also stars.
Speaking of spills as I said this series begins about two years ago. Just as this new news team are re-vamping their show the news about the BP oil spill breaks and they move into action. Mr. Sorkin's genus also appears here when actual footage and people are used to tell the story. Although we know what will happen next and how the events (including the Arizona papers please act) all turn out it is still amazing to watch. After all this is the news show we as a public want and deserve!

If you want to watch a smart, witty, fast pace, well written, well acted and just all around GOOD series then tune into HBO on Sunday nights at 10 for The Newsroom.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

10 years ago today...first drafted 2012,updated 2015

I was in NYC attending a live taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart...

Jon Stewart or J-Stew as his friends call him  well what is there to say? I became a fan of Jon's during his 90s short lived MTV talk show called...The Jon Stewart Show.

In 1999 he became host of The Daily Show. I had just started college and was a long way from home and needed some cheering up. A year later the nation knew who to turn to at our time of crisis, thus Indicision 2000 was born. Since then the show helped us get through a lot, including the most stressful times of our modern history known as The Bush Years. We laughed, we cried, there were many bad inpressions. I personally don't think I would have made it through without him.

Throughout his career Jon also made a couple of movies. Now he is the first to tell you he is not an "actor" BUT I do have to admit every time he stands up in Big Daddy and says "As that boys father I refuse to press charges!" I cry a little.

Jon Stewart from all of your fans--Thank you life would suck without you! 

Tonight as we learn he is leaving The Daily Show all I have to add is late night TV is changing and he will be missed I am sure I will still watch the show but it will not be the same.
Good Luck Jon Stewart and I look forward to your next adventure.

Monday, June 25, 2012

AL:VH Book report/Film review

The life of President Abraham Lincoln and the “myth” of Vampires, these are a few of my favorite things. So when I saw the movie trailer for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter a feeling of pure happiness came over me.
As soon as I could I got my hands on a copy of the book (thanks for the b-day present sis) and for the next two weeks threw myself into the story (A short amount of time for me considering I’m more the I’ll wait for the movie then reading a 300 page book type, but this was a special case).
Special because historical fiction is my favorite genre in the section of any bookstore and while you will find this particular one in the fantasy/horror section as an amateur historian and if given the chance I would use this as a teaching tool for the short attention span of the vampire loving teens of today.
The book and screenplay written by Seth Graham-Smith tells a tale or should I say The Untold Story of Abe Lincoln and his lifelong mission to “kill every vampire”. I didn’t think I could love our 16th President more then I already did until I read this book. Half Abraham Lincoln biography, Half scary campfire story it all begins with Abe as a young boy who is devastated by the death of his beloved mother. Eventually he learns the truth of how she died and thinks of nothing but revenge! At the start of his mission a teenage Abe comes across Henry Sturgess, a vampire who is on his own mission to stop his kind from killing all humans who want to make America their own country. Henry goes on to teach Lincoln how to hunt and kill the undead without getting killed himself “Some people are just too interesting to die” ( I have to add he looks good doing so dress with hat and long coat). The author takes on many events in Lincolns life from childhood to store clerk (love life) to lawyer then politics (Springfield legislative to Lincoln/Douglas debates) to his Presidency and the Civil War (Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg) and finally his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. All the facts intertwine with vampire lore(old and new) and fiction. At first it might seem like an odd concept, Lincoln hunting Vamps (though I never did) but once it sinks in and you read the book cover to cover as it is told from the prospective of the author and Lincoln,through his “journals” the story is pure genus! Hay, who’s to say it never happened?!
Even though the film directed by Timur Bekmambetoy, takes out some of the history it is still smart and a lot of fun! There are a couple of different characters and new scenes not in the book but I believe it’s just Seth Graham-Smith turning his story into an action packed graphic novel! After all you have to give the viewer something thrilling to look at (in 3D) and it certainly does that! From the look of the 19th century to the clothes and even jewelry worn by Mary Todd, to a battle between man and vampire amongst a stampede of horses and the Civil War itself to a major train ride! Benjamin Walker as Lincoln, Dominic Cooper as Henry, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd , Jimmie Simpson as Joshua Speed, Anthony Mackie as Will and Rufus Sewell as Adam make this a popcorn must see thrill ride(more then once if possible)

In the end if you can see ONLY ONE superhero movie this summer MAKE IT    

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer TV-TNT

Another network that uses the summertime to air new episodes is TNT here are my picks...

Last season was the highly anticipated series produced by Steven Spielberg called Falling Skies. This series follows a ex-history professor and his three sons as the fight in the aftermath of a world wide alien attack. I have to say this show had me when I learned that Noah Wyle was going to play this lead. As a said Tom Mason was just a ordinary teacher, married and raising three sons when the aliens came. Afterwards his wife is dead, his middle son is missing and he finds himself as one of the leaders of the newly formed 2ed Mass. A small band of military and civilians working together to survive! In season one we met each of the characters and learned who they were before the attack and why they have joined the fight. When last we saw the gang Tom was boarding the alien ship to try and talk to them this past Sunday Falling Shies has returned right where it left off. It was my new favorite last season and a look forward to what happens this time around. They weren't kidding when they said there would be a lot more aliens this time around. We see them every week!

On Tuesday night you can watch two good TNT series-The cop procedural/female buddy show called Rizzoli & Isles. Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) is a police detective her friend Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) is a state medical examiner. Together with Rizzolis's partners the two solve crimes in Boston. Rizzoli also has her younger brother on the police force and her newly divorce mother working in the cafeteria.

Following them at 10 is a show starring Breckin Meyer and Mark Paul Gosselaar as the title characters called Franklin and Bash. Cute, well done fun series about a couple a lawyers who don't play by the rules when it comes to courtroom conduct but now that they are partners in a major law firm they have to keep their sennaagins to themselves. Malcolm McDowell stars as their boss.

OK I didn't want to but as a TV fan and kid of the 1980s I had to check out the new "season" of Dallas. I really didn't want to watch or even like it because it wasn't good 30 years ago, popular maybe but I've seen some reruns and it wasn't worth watching but I took a look at it because I believe it is as much a part of me as my brown eyes and is in my DNA so  I tuned in. I guess the story picks up where it left off but this time instead of J.R. (Larry Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) fighting it out they got their now 20 something kids involved, John Ross (Josh Henderson) against Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe). Fighting for gets South Fork Ranch and who gets the oil rights  I have to admit as much as I don't want to like Dallas iI have to tune in each week (Wednesday at 9) if for no other reason then see if the fighting ever ends.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A TV Letter...

Dear The Killing,

Now that you have finished your second season and finally given viewers the answer to "Who killed Rosie Lawsen?" I have to tell you something--The only reason I even watched you was more out of obligation then want. From the first commercial you had us wondering who shot this teen girl but by the end of the first season you gave us nothing, no ideas or closure to the case.
That was just the beginning for me, the story of The Killing wasn't as bad as the character development. Out of the entire cast there was only one character I liked and routed for The Mayoral Canidate, Darren Richmond played by Billy Campbell and the main suspect until he too got shot! The rest from the police to Rosie's family were just unlikeable. Yes a good mystery has a lot of suspects and twists and turns but all the finger pointing at the wrong people, like Rosie's teacher in season one then having Stan beat him up made me ill. The end of season two was even unsatisfying because while we got to learn the truth and the killer/s I didn't care or even know who a couple of them were because of my lack of interest. To sum up if there is a season three unless Mayor Richmond gets a better role I will not be watching.


Friday, June 15, 2012

The summer season part 2-USA Network

Another show that comes around every time this short season is the "endless summer" series called Royal Pains. The series centers around two brothers, Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) a big time doctor who got fired from his hospital in the first episode. To cheer him up his younger brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo) talks him into a trip to The Hampton's and they never left. Instead the two set up a concierge doctor business in which they make house calls to the sick and rich. They do have some help in this with their P.A. Divya (Reshma Shetty) and another doctor, Jill (Jill Flint) who until this season worked at the clinic. At the end of last season and continuing now the brothers are fighting and have decided to go their own ways when it comes to the business. Tune in Wednesdays at 9:00.

The other USA TV series that has been on for a few seasons and sometimes returns in the fall or winter is Burn Notice. A series about a CIA agent named Michael Weston played by Jeffery Donovan, who got "burned" which means he no longer could work for the CIA or any one really so he got together with an ex-girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), recently back together, a spy herself and bomb/explosion expert, another friend an ex-Navy Seal Sam Axe (The magnificent Bruce Campbell who I have loved since he was Brisco County Jr.) aka Chuck Finley, his mother Maddie (Sharon Gless) and another burned agent, Jesse (Coby Bell). All together they make up a  team that, well let's just say help those in need all over Miami. Michael's voice overs on how to make a bomb,break into a highly protective secret building or how to control a car chase just may be the best reason to watch. Burn Notice, created by Matt Nix, is an fun, funny and action packed series and should be something to jump into on those hot summer Thursday nights at 9:00.

New last season and returning this season also on Wednesday at 10:00 is a series called Necessary RoughnessDani Santino (Callie Thorne) is a stay at home mother until her husband leaves her and now she has two kids to raise and no job.  She decides to become a therapist and is able to get a job with a professional football team. Her first patient is the teams' star player Terrance T.K. King (Mehcad Brooks) when he is forced to see her for his anger issues. From there she is able to get a few more patients and works with a new one each week while raising her son and daughter and working with the teams athletic trainer Matthew Donnally (Mark Blucas) and the teams head of security Nico Careles (Scott Cohen). new this season the owner who has fired his manager and has taken over as GM.

Another series that was new last year and back on Thursday night at 10:00 is a new favorite of mine, Suits. Starring Gabriel Macht as Harvey Spector and Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross. Harvey is a Lawyer at a big time law firm and in the first episode was in charge of hiring a new Harvard Grad. instead he got Mike who never went to college let alone law school. What he does have is a crazy memory in which all he has to do is read something, like a law book and once he understands it has it memorized (kind of like my knowledge of Film and TV, if either is a Jeopardy category there is no beating me, more on that some other time) Harvey likes Mike right away and hires him without the legal documents, irony anyone? The show also stars Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt a Junior partner who is really annoying and is not friends with Harvey. Then there is Jessica Pearson played by Gina Torres, she is Harveys' boss and a senior partner who in this seasons opening episode has found out mike isn't a real lawyer. Suits is only in its second season so if this sounds like something that you want to check out please do you won't regret it.

Covert Affairs has return this summer with a BANG! Right of the bat we have killed a character that has been part of the show since the beginning, although he never had much of a role. Anywaythe series about a female spy and the CIA. It is fast paced and full of action. The characters get to go around the world to catch the guy or girl and try to return un-hurt. The best part of the show is computer tech Auggie Anderson played by Christopher Gorham who became blind while serving in Afghanistan and is the lead agents Annie Walker's (Piper Perabo) go to guy when she finds herself in trouble. Check it out Tues at 10.

Finally on USA we have a great and one of my favorites series each time it airs called White Collar. When this show premiered I originally missed it because well I thought it sounded like a been there done that plot, but while the network was airing the first four episodes back to back one weekend I had nothing better to do so I gave it a try and had to eat my words. (proving that I don't ALWAYS get it right) but I am happy this time I did. If you haven't watched then where have you been?!  Th series stars Tim DeKay as Peter Blake the only FBI agent who has ever caught Neal Caffrey, the best con-artist in the world played by Matt Bomer.  Peter got Neal out of prison early to team up with him to help the FBI catch other con artist such as art thief and bank heist. They have become a true bromance and are a lot of fun to watch. The writers did surprise  me and still do with every new season as the two along with help from fellow agents Clinton Jones and Diana Berrigan (Sharif Atkins and Marsha Tomason), Peter's wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) and Neal's friend Mozzie (Willie Garson). An all around good show to watch every Tues at 9.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Summer TV Season

You' already know  about the 4 seasons of the year (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall) but did you know that there are also three TV seasons within a year? There is the fall/original season (September-May) the Mid-Season (January-May) and the Summer Season (June-Labor day). That is the one we are in NOW.
  I cannot discuss this particular season unless I start with the quincintencial series of the summer with a little series called True Blood which started its 5th season this past Sunday on HBO. Vampires, Werewolves, Shape shifters, Fairies and Witches ,hell you name it they have it! If you haven't seen it where have you been?! The premise and characters are too complex at this point to go into details so I will just give you the main points-The center character is Sookie Stackhouse who can hear others, that are living, thoughts and shoot what can only be described as electricity through her body when she gets upset, later in the series she discovered she is a type of fairy. Through the seasons Sookie has had this on again off again relationship with a vampire named Bill Compton who has made it his person mission to protect her from his world and other vamps like Eric Northman and his protiage Pam. Sookie also has a brother named Jason who is now a cop but has had he share of supernatural run-ins. Then there is her best friend Tara, those who she works with Lafayette, Terry, Arlene and her boss owner of the best bar and grill in Bon Temps Sam Merlotte who is my favorite and as a shape shifter can change himself into any animal he wants his dog look is the most frequent. I can't forget the werewolf Alcide and Bill's young own protiage who is finally coming into her own, Jessica. As I said this is the 5th season premiere and a lot has happen in the past 4, far too much to explain here but if you haven't yet it is really worth catching up on and watch.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A movie review-The Ides of March

You have two handsome actors and two great character actors, how could you lose?
The Ides of March starts with the line 
"I'm not a Christian. I'm not an Atheist. I'm not Jewish. I'm not Muslim. My religion, what I believe in is called the Constitution of United States of America."
and is a suspenseful and intriguing drama about the inside workings of a primary campaign. The film was nominated for best adapted screenplay which included co-writer George Clooney who also directs and stars as a Governor running to be the democrats choice for president. He plays Mike Morris and in order to win he has surrounded himself with Junior Campaign
 manager Stephen Meyers played by Ryan Gosling and heading up his campaign is Paul Zara played by the cool talent of Philip Seymour Hoffman who unlike Stephen has been working on campaigns most of his adult life. They both work on and live with one goal in mind-To Get Morris Elected.
The job becomes a lot more complex and dangerous then Stephen thought. First there is the competition, whose campaign is being run by another tough as nails manager Tom Duffy played by the genus that is Paul Giamatti. At one point in the film he meets with Stephen who goes on to ask him to drop Morris, who he says is going to loose and to join his team. Stephen leaves the meeting unsure about what to do. Later he is comfronted about what was said during his talk with Duffy by a reporter (Marisa Tormei) who has been following the Morris campaign. If that wasn’t enough to deal with Stephen then meets and starts up a sexual relationship with a young female intern (Evan Rachel Wood)  who has secrets of her own. Finally there is another secret meeting between Stephen and a Democratic Senator named Franklin Thompson (Jeffrey Wright) in order to get him on Morris’s side.
Stephen’s world begins to fall apart and how he copes with everything is the real story of the film. If any of this makes you want to know what happens next then I have done my job and you should rent or tune into the Starz cable network and watch The Ides of March.

Spoiler line from the film-
Stephen-You can lie, you can cheat, you can start a war, you can bankrupt the country, but you can't fuck the interns. They get you for that.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A movie review- Beginners

It has been 4 months since the Academy Awards but I am still watching those that won or were nominated. Airing now on Cinemax is the independent film called Beginners. Christopher Plummer won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as a dying man who at the age of 75 tells his adult son that he is gay.The film is based on its writer/directors Mike Mills real life.
   Beginners is told through the point of view of the son Oliver a graphic designer played by the magnificent Ewan McGregor. The film it edited in a way that lets his story be seen through flashbacks The flashbacks time range go back to when Oliver was a boy to when his father first came out to him and then his father's death. The film really has two stories, one about a father and son the other about his new relationship with an french woman (Melanie Lautent).
   The story between father and son is one of not really ever knowing who each other are. As a boy Oliver's father wasn't around as much as he should of been and his parents barely spoke to each other. When his father admits his true sexuality years later Oliver narrates that having to hide who he was may have contributed to his absence. It isn't until after his mother's death that Hal, the father finally allows himself to be who he is and does so to great joy. He buys new clothes, goes out to night clubs and does indeed meet and falls for a younger man named Andy (Goran Visnjic). When Hal gets the news that he is dying he never tells Andy and Oliver gets him home and takes care of him until the end.
    Afterwards being Hal's only son Oliver inherits what is left of his father including a cute dog named Arthur who does not want to leave his side as Oliver shows him around his house "This is the kitchen". He friends end up talking him into going to a party and he takes Arthur. There he meets a voiceless actress named Anna. She is in the city shooting a movie and lives in a hotel. Oliver goes to her room after the party and now he has to figure out what this new relationship means to him and how does it work into his life and future.
   If you have Cinemax or don't know what to rent for a movie night and want something small and sweet check out Beginners.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vermont Vaudeville

Vaudeville (Wikipedia)-a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers.

        About two weeks ago I got to see a real vaudeville act, well as close to real as one can get in the 21st century. the night was full of jokes, music, magic and even an acrobat. It has been a long time since I had laugh so much in one night and it felt good. Let me tell you about this particular group of entertainers/performers in hopes that you will get to see them one day.
           It was a two hour show that opened with a MC telling jokes, and yes some of the jokes you've heard before but that doesn't make them any less funnier does it? He was followed by a man who allowed me to see my first in person prat falls and then he stood on-top of a ladder ,being held by no one, and juggled at the same time. In the second half he did some cool and fancy plate spinning which I had only seen on late night TV before that night. Then there was a very flexible woman. She was able to move her whole body around and through a folding chair with ease that there were times I couldn't tell her feet from her fingers. She came back in the second half and did amazing movements with a hula-hoop. There was a man who could do tricks with numbers. There was audience participation moments throughout the show including using two male members and involving them in a contest in which they had to throw tennis balls into a basket on-top of their heads. There were gorillas preforming to opera and speaking of music there was a lot of it. There was the house band which was just a piano and drums but they were really good. There was a prefromance by a local all female singing group, a member of the vaudeville group who played the ukulele and then there were the funny song parodies. From now on whenever I vacuum I will sing "I will always...vacuum".
               I think my favorite part of the night was the bubble guy. This man did things with a simple child's toy that I could not believe and made me feel like a kid again. The smoke bubbles, the caterpillar, the merry-go-round and the pile of bubbles that stacked taller then the kid holding them. Then there was the way the bubbles caught the light making each simmer and sparkle like magic. It really was a magical night for those watching, the kids and adults.

 They only do a few different shows a year but if you are in Vermont try and catch Vermont Vaudeville.
                     YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The End of a series

Everybody Lies. What a fitting catchphrase for a character as wonderful and complex as Dr. Gregory House. When House first premiered  I knew I had to watch. I’m not a fan of medical series because well I’m just not a fan of hospitals and avoid blood and guts in real life so why watch but from its first ad I could tell House was going to be different. (Note: I can usually tell from the 1st ad if I will like a show) From that first episode to the end the series was more then a medical drama it was about the title character and his co-workers. Although each week the show opened with a new person collapsing allowing the format of a new illness to diagnose. Dr. House and his team were there to help and made the show a must watch each week. In order for me to diagnose this particular patient I have to start with the individual characters. The first group of young docs on his team included Robert Chase, Eric Foreman and Allison Cameron.

Chase (Jesse Spencer)-Good looking playboy surgeon. Wasn’t afraid of House and would even act like him at times. Married Cameron. From Wikipedia- Arguably the most creative member of House’s staff, often proposing unconventional treatments that had not previously been considered, but whose perceived effectiveness is generally agreed upon
Cameron (Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison)- The heart of the team. Once married a dying man because she felt bad for him. Called out House on his most insane antics.
Foremen (Omar Epps)- Most uptight and House’s match in every way, which made him the perfect choice for the head of  the hospital when Cuddy left.. Wikipedia- he frequently voiced his disapproval of House's maverick methods and daring decisions.

When Cameron left House needed new team members and instead of the usual hiring interview he gathered many prospects gave each a number and had a contest the results were…

Lawrence Kutner (the great Kal Penn)-The most enthusiastic contender of them all, wanted the job so badly that when House rejected him as #6 he came back as #9. With a surprise twist died from an apparent suicide.

Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson)- Ex plastic surgeon who wanted to do “better work” with his skills. Chosen by Cuddy to keep House focused. Married, cheated, divorced and had a doughter with ex wife and nurse at hospital both named Sophia.

Remy “13”  Hadley (Olivia Wilde)- Got her nickname 13 by her contest placement. In my opinion was House’s equal which is why when she discovered she carried the gen for Huntington's he was only to happy to kill her if she wanted instead he fired her for her own good.

For a couple of episodes there was Martha Masters (Amber Tamblyn)-A young naive doctor.

There was also

 Amber Volakis (Anne Dudek) Another contestant who House nicknamed “Cutthroat Bitch," Wikipidia- Her persistence and unorthodox approaches initially win her praise, but she is ultimately eliminated because House feels she cannot accept being wrong, something he says she would need to be able to accept on a regular basis if she were to work for him. Dated Wilson, Killed in a  bus accident in a two part well made episodes entitled  House’s Head and Wilson’s Heart

By the last two seasons House had two new team members…

Chi Park (Charlyne Yi)- A young smart woman who lives with her mother and grandmother. After punching a older male doctor for sexual harassment House was the only one who would hire her.

Jessica Adams (Odette Annable)- Comes from a good family, believes in redemption and second chances

Then there is

Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstien) Dean of Medicine at Princeton Plainsboro, Hired House because she knew he was a good doctor if not a good man. Even when he got out of hand would not fire him and picked up after every mess he made. Trust House even if his decisions and treatments were seen as unorthodox. Adopted a teen patients baby named her Rachel. Cared about House and dated him until she realized she could never fix him. Left the hospital after House ran his car into her dining room.

James Wilson (The amazing and magnificent Robert Sean Leonard) If you couldn’t tell from my previous post my favorite character. If I ever got cancer and need a Oncologist he would be the one I want. House’s conscience and best friend, they met at a conference where Wilson was arrested for a bar fight and House paid his bail because Wilson “amused” him. This first introduction turns into in my opinion the best Bromance on TV. Respected by all others. Would defend House til the end. Underestimated. I will miss and always love you my sweet and wonderful Wilson.

Which brings me to the man himself 

Dr. Gregory House (the very cool and talented Mr. Hugh Laurie)- The vicondin addicted, cynical, mean, hates pattients and working in the free clinic but loves a good puzzle, has been arrested, in jail, in rehab, loves prostitutes, drives a motorcycle, fellow GH fan and likable even if he doesn’t want to be tall man with a limp and a cane. Is there anything I’ve missed?

Let me raise a glass one last time to the creative and well made series simply called House m.d. Thank you David Shore, the entire crew and the rest of the cast (regulars and guest stars) for all the amazing  years. You made me laugh, cry and thought I had a new illness every week. There will be no more white board of symtoms, no more patients coughing up blood and no more guesses that it is Lupus. I will miss the antics of House but am so happy to have been a fan from day one (even before I knew Hugh Laurie was British). You will forever be in my heart and a big part of my TV family. Goodbye

House M.D
November 16, 2004-May 21, 2012
8 seasons 177 episodes

House Final episode recap-Everybody Dies

 Spoilers--We open on a close of House and then as the camera moves out we see that he is sitting on a floor next to a dead body. Then we quickly learn that the building he is in is on fire that is when the late Dr. Kutner appears and House begins to tell the story of his final patient and how he got to this place in life.
As he lies on the floor there are more visitors from his past to talk to some alive others not. His final patient came into the clinic looking for drugs but House decided there was something more which was very unlike him. The sick found him he never went looking.
His team went into action as they, like in every episode, went to his place of residence and search his dorm room. There they found a picture in his drewer of a young boy. The boy happened  to be his dead brother who he admits talks to him. Through talking it out with these visions of his pass we the viewer found out that the patient had a inner ear problem. At the same time House’s team was working on healing him House was trying to get his best friend Wilson to fight for his life.
In the end Foremen and Wilson are able to figure out, through clues he left behind, where House is and just as they see the fire and reach for House there is a explosion.
There is a funeral for House.
Chase gets his job and the team.
Taub learns how to be a better father.
As a ver much alive House and Wilson drive off together

Monday, May 14, 2012

We'll never know...

I hate this time or year. It is a time in the TV season when networks decide what stays and what goes. What TV series to pick up (old and new) and what ones to throw away. Which brings me to those series that I liked but will now not get the chance to know. R.I.P. September 2011-May 2012
   The Finder- You were a cute spin-off of Bones and i think if you were given the right chance to live you would have only gotten better. Cheers to Walter, Leo, Willa, Isabel and Timo. We although we won't get the chance to know you you all will be missed and I am happy for the time we did get to spend with each other.
  Alcatraz- We will never know where the 63s disappeared to, why they came back and how Rebbecca's grandfather was involved.
  The River-it is nice to know that the Cole family was reunited but now they will stuck on the river forever.
   Tera Nova-Will going back to the prehistoric past really make our future better?
   Awake-I like to believe that both worlds were dreams and when Michael Britten really wakes up his family and work will all still be in tack.
   Ringer- I like to think Sebhian ended up with Henry ans Bridget with Andrew
                                               Farewell to the series that might have been

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A TV Poam

May- The saddest month of the year for a TV viewer. May is not just the final sweeps month it is also the time for finales and the end of the fall TV season. It is a time full of suspense, laughter and tears. It is a time to say goodbye to new episodes of each series for 4 months or 4 ever. There are weddings to attend, deaths of favorite characters to morn and the almighty cliffhanger to endure. When it is all over all the characters we love disappear (sometimes unsure if they will ever return) Every fall season it all comes down to one episode and a lot can happen in that episode. It is when the viewer realizes this is it , this is what the entire season has been leading up to. When the screen fades to black it will feel like a long time before we get to all our TV friends again. So for now goodbye to the doctors, lawyers, cops and the rest. I look forward to when we meat again in September. That, is what May means to me.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Art of Watching TV

Recently a family member came to me with a TV dilemma-What do you do when more then one show that you watch happens to air at the same time? My name is Sarah and I am a TV addict. I watch 30+ hours of TV a week during the regular fall/spring season and there are times when I think doing so should be an Olympic event. There are 7 days in a week and each day multiply series air from 8-11 pm on all the networks, this gets really difficult if you have cable (basic/premian). So since her question was about Sunday night I will stay there. Let me start simple, if you have basic cable but no DVR then the key is in the re broadcasts. Cable networks like AMC, TNT, and USA only got into the original TV series game in the past decade and this gives them time to re-air each series. In other words if you can’t watch Mad Men at 10 pm you can catch it again 2 hours later or the next day at 11 pm. Sometimes when the season is coming to its end these networks may have a marathon in case you missed any episode. Next step is if you have cable and a computer connected to the Internet. There is a good chance you can catch the episode on the networks website or some other source. I find watching a series on-line difficult, uncomfortable and a little distracting (I find myself wanting to check e-mail, facebook and other websites) but eventually I will get through it. The best way to deal with the dilemma of Too Much Good TV takes a DVR. Cable and money to afford it all. My personal TV schedule-I record about 20 hrs, use the cable on-demand channels for another 10 hrs leaving room for me to watch about 3 hrs a night “live”  (not counting the daily daytime and late night shows)  
I never wanted to admit this but if you want to know anything about me this is at the top of the list. Although if this were a dating site I would also say my other interest include-playing with my dogs, swimming, going to the gym, if I have a good recipe cooking, sitting in the middle of a lake with my dad in his row boat and if I had the money I would travel.
For now I will just sit at my computer and write.
In conclusion if you have a question about TV just write to Dear Sarah or follow me on twitter Sarah Joan @By_SJD

Monday, April 23, 2012

FOX 25 years later

HAPPY 25th Anniversary Fox TV! Cheers to one of the only basic TV networks younger then me. Dear Fox you came into my life around the time I was becoming a fan of TV. I think the first series I watched was In Living Color with The Wayans Brothers, a newcomer named James Carrey and those "Fly Girls" not really apporpiate viewing for a young girl but then again I have never been your typical girl. Since then you have canceled many shows including some of my favorites like Firefly, Wonderfalls and and I'm still mad at you for this one The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. But for all the shows that I lost a lot more stuck around. In 10 seasons I got to fall in love with Brandon Walsh while watching Beverly Hills 90210, I was there to see Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis for the first time on That 70s Show, danced with Ally McBeal, looked for the truth with Mulder and Scully on The X-Files, Stayed up late with Arsenio Hall, Tracked down terrorists with Jack Bauer for 24 hours and helped diagnosed mystery illnesses with House. I laughed with the families on Fox-Married ...With Children, The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle and Raising Hope. I sing along with Glee and Parker Lewis Can't Lose will always win and live on in my heart. You may act like the kid no one wants to hang out with but as long as you are around and can make fun of yourself then you are okay with me. Here's to many more years of entertainment!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Titanic-100 years later

100 years later and so much to say, I have to start with the fact that in college I majored in history minored in film and had enough time to sneak in a couple of TV production classes and this week Titanic was all three.

Documentaries help make history come alive when we can it is good to hear from those who have studied a particular event or from those who were there (Today most of us can remember where we were on 9/11). There were many docs that aired this week and two of them “starred” the man who found the ship Robert Ballard. I’ll begin with Titanic: Ballard’s Secret mission-This was the story of how Mr. Ballard was able to locate the magnificent ship. For years he search with many other “treasure hunters”  as they searched the greatest depths of the ocean floor to find her, they knew Titanic's basic whereabouts but never quite got close enough. In the early 1980s Ballard knew he could find her but he needed some help. Here we come to a story that I had never heard until this week. Robert Ballard was a retired commander of the U.S. Navy and he went to them to ask for funding, surprisingly they said yes but he had to do something for them first. In the 1960s The Navy had two submarine missions that went terribleablly wrong and ended with the lost of life along with the subs. They had sonar but they knew Ballard had a new type of robot that could actually go down deeper then any before and see what was down there. In exchange for what he needed Ballard first had to find these subs and find out what happened to them, afterwards if there was anytime life he could go on his search. The submarines were called The Theser and The Scorpion. To make a long story short Ballard and his team did find them and with 12 days left in his deal early in the morning ( amish) on September 1 1985 her found her. And 75 years after The Titanic had fallen Mr. Ballard and the rest of the world got to see her again. 100 years later and Robert Ballard is still working to keep The Titanic “alive” in Save The Titanic Ballard wants to help preserve the ship as she continues to lay in her ocean grave. His goals are to stop illegal scavenging of Titanic artifacts and her farther unnatural decay (if you have a million dollars you too can take a trip deep down to see The Titanic) according to Ballard's research she doesn’t look the same from the first time he visited, the crowsnest that stood tall seems to have been broken off, it could have been nature but most likely a pasting sub knocked it down. I am all for this especially if it mean having guard robots. It is a grave let it be.
Next I was able to watch Titanic with Len Goodman (yes the mean, old judge on Dancing with the stars). You’ve heard of some of the more famous passengers like Marget “Molly” Brown, J.J. Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim but there were 2200 people aboard Titanic when she hit that iceberg and Goodman wanted to learn about some of them. He started where the ship was built Belfast Ireland and her master ship builder Thomas Andrews(more on him later), there he learned that 8 men died even before she touched the water. He was able to read the report on each of them and how they died.. Titanic first stop when she left her hometown was Southampton England. It was there where she picked up most of her crew and passengers and where the lost of life was most felt by those left behind.Along the way he was able to talk to same of the descendants of those who took the doomed voyage to find out who these men and women were and how they lived.
There was Luigi Gotti, who was a a chief and in charge of one of the main dining cafes. Titanic was a ship of many people with different backgrounds from all over the world, Mr. Getty was Italian. He got to choose his own staff so of course he brought the waiters that were already working with him. He and his crew were were cleaning the kitchen the ship struck the iceberg, non e of them survived. When he was serving the upper class passengers there were more below deck, the immigrants who could afford a ticket but didn’t get the private suite with multiple rooms attached. Among this group of so called steerage there were two brothers, John and Phillip Kiernon. They tried everything to get to the upper decks to try and live but according to some accounts got trapped by closed gates and finally when they found a way through it were too late. A crew member names John “Jack” Phillips who was one of the wireless operaters. Although there were warnings of icebergs with all the telegraphs going out it was hard to pay attention. After she struck the iceberg Mr. Phillips desperately singled,with the new Marconi machine , for help “12:25  come we have stuck a berg” and when the Carpathia finally got the message he answered ‘yes come quickly’and continued with ‘C.Q.D” which was SOS at the time until the power was lost  and it was too late for him to save himself. Out of the 2200 aboard 700 survived. Len Goodman learned that many of them for years and even the rest of their lives experience what sounded like to me some kind of PTSD. Two of these survivors were crew members, who worked as female stewardesses, those women who attended to the upper class passengers. They were Violet Jessup who as soon as the ship stuck the iceberg got on her life jacket and woke people up to get them out. Even after the disaster she continued working and went on over 200 voyages and retired in 1950. another was May Sloan who went on to have a life and family into the 1970s.
Some of the survivors didn’t turn out so lucky  and some of them were questioned as to how the lived especially many of the men. If you have seen the movie you you know one of these men was J. Bruce Ismay the newspapers villianfied him with others but no so more the Hearst the big newspaper magnet himself and he died in disgrace. Did these men deserve to be hated? Who knows? No one who wasn’t there can honestly say what they would have done or how they would acted?  But Len Goodman summed it up the best “The story of Titanic is about the people” . Those who lived and those who died each had a story worth knowing.

Speaking of those stories what of the one about Rose Dewitt Bukaterter and Jack Dawson, yes it is a fiction as an epic love story can get but when Titanic the film written and directed by James Cameron originally opened in theaters I was a female 17 year old high school Senior who loved the movies, romance and a touch of history, in other words the studios key demographic.
The film really begins when a elderly Rose tells her story about “the ship of dreams”. A young Rose (the beautiful and talented Academy award winner Kate Winslet) steps out of her chofer driven automobile and gets her first glance at The Titanic. As Rose, her fiancee Cal (Billy Zane) and her mother Ruth (Francis Fisher) board the ship a penniless artist named Jack (the amazing Leonardo DiCaprio) wins a  pair of 3erd class tickets for he and his friend, Fabrizio ( Danny Nucci ) they run to the ship just as her doors are about to close . the best way to discribe a film that has been around for 15 years is to pick a scene and write. The second time Jack sees Rose she runs by him and steps over the railing of the stern and looks down at the water as if she is about to jump. Jack walks up behind her and just starts to talk. I think just talking about himself helped calm Rose enough to make her see that killing herself wasn’t what she really wanted to do. This is also the first time we hear “You jump I’ll jump right in after.” Which is an important line to remember in the end. After that to reward him for saving Rose , Jack is invited to have dinner in the 1st class dining area. The dinner scene and the 3erd class scene right after shows just how different the two worlds on the ship were. At the dinner everyone was dressed in their finest. Jack had to barrow dress clothes from new money passinger Molly Brown ( Kathy Bates) and they get to eat dinner with the man you may have known more about the ship then anyone Thomas Andrews (The 1st movie I saw the wonderful Victor Garber  in). the main topic of conversation was the differences between Jack and Cal. Jack doesn’t like caviar and believes in luck while Cal would soon learn that it is better to make your own luck. Afterwards the men retire to another room for cigars and to talk about “being masters of the universe”. Instead of joining them Jack decides “it is time to go row with the other slaves” and as he says goodbye to Rose he secretly hands her a note and when she meets up with him he asks her if she “wants to go to a real party?”at this party in 3erd class Rose is able to have some fun and drinks beer, dances with Jack even though she “doesn’t know the steps” and shows off a hidden talent. I believe it is also when she begins to fall in love with Jack. It was Kate Winslet’s  favorite scene to shoot a when watching it you can see why, all the characters/actors seem to really be having fun. We fast forward to the moment The Titanic stuck the iceberg, the reason why we all saw the movie in the first place right? I have to say as hard as it is to watch my favorite scene is when Mr. Andrews is explaining to the Captain Smith (Bernard Hill ) and Mr. Ismay (Jonathan Hyde) that ‘From this moment on no matter what we do Titanic will flounder” Ismay “But this ship can’t sink” Andrews “She’s made of iron sir I assure you she can and she will it is a mathematical certainly” Smith ‘How much time?” Andrews “A hour, two at most.”  This brings me to the actual sinking of the ship the chaos director James Cameron gave the viewer is amazing and sad. Passengers fighting for a spot on the lifeboats, The Band playing on, the ship splitting in two, people some we know and some we don’t but all trying to stay on her for as long as they could but failing to do so as the fall to their deaths. Then there was James Horner's music, the 1st time I realized just how important the music is to a film was when I was watching Titanic on Dec. 20 1997. The music you hear directly influences the emotion you feel at the time. Back to Jack and Rose who were holding on tight in the same place they first met as Titanic finishes her descend into the cold ocean.
All this is why Titanic the movie is worth seeing even now in 3D. Cameron did a great job keeping it similar yet different. In 3D I was able to see more of the action in the backgrounds. During the dining scenes I actually noticed and could see what the other passengers were doing, the real depth of the ship herself and there was a moment where I swear the sunset blinded me. If you haven’t scene this 11 out of 14 Academy Award winner including best song “My Heart will go On”,  Best Director and of course best film then check it out now before Titanic disappears for another 100 years.


Titanic: Blood and Steel

This week on the Starz cable network is a 12 part 6 day mini-series that I have been watching and enjoying. With the backdrop of the building of the greatest passenger ship ever Titanic: Blood and Steel is a another side of her sad story. You most likely have not heard of this miniseries and it will be over before you read this but I had to add it.
The story starts when I a man named Mark Muir (Kevin Zegers) is hired as a Metallurgist to test the steel being used to build the ship. He is young, smart and naive when he enters this world of powerful men including Derek Jacobi as Lord Pirrie the head of the ship building company and American steel tycoon J.P. Morgan played by Chris Noth. He quickly comes to blows about the qulity of the steel being used to build Titanic with head ship builder Thomas Andrews :) played by Billy Carter and finds himself in a love triangle with with an upper class woman and a Italian immigrant named Sophia Silvestri (Alessandra Mastronardi) who works with him as a drawer/copier.
The story is less about the ship and more about those who built her. It was the turn of the century in Belfast, Ireland. There is religious uprising, Catholics against Protestants. But the real issue just may be workers rights as the men placing the rivets into the ship are fighting for Equal Pay for an equal work day.
With his father now in town it turns out Mark may now be who he says he is as a man dies after a fight between the protesters and militery. I am looking forward to what happens next and if I made you even a lettle interested check out Titanic:Blood and Steel.

Thomas Andrews-A mini bio

 After I saw the film for the first time I became a fan of Victor Garber and fell in love with Thomas Andrews.