The Era Ends: 15 Years of TV

A.A. Milne wrote: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

Spencer Reid shared this quote at the end of “Awakenings”, episode two of the final season of Criminal Minds. First of all, I love Winnie-The-Pooh. (Who doesn’t?) Second, it accurately encapsulates my feelings this winter. Because Criminal Minds and Supernatural are ending! 

Yup. They’re currently in their final runs. The series finale for Criminal Minds will air in about a week (Wednesday, February 19) and Supernatural will come to an end Monday, May 18. Fifteen seasons. Fifteen years. I can’t even imagine what the cast and crews are all feeling–it’s hard enough from my couch! 

Honestly, I was a little worried when I saw the set-up for these seasons: it seemed Criminal Minds was shipping J.J. and Reid, while, in Supernatural, Chuck (God) was made out to be the villain. Both plot-lines were driving me nuts! How could they break up J.J. and her husband? What about her kids? Why can’t Supernatural–for ONCE–let a celestial being be a good guy? Why does God have to be the villain? 

So when both shows began airing, I sat down and held my breath. 

J.J. and Reid didn’t happen. (Spoiler alert: they worked it out like responsible adults. THANK YOU!) And, yeah, Chuck is still the villain. (Which makes my eye twitch, but not as much as I expected.) Really, I suspect something will happen to redeem him. Maybe.

All in all, I’m okay with the direction the shows are going. 

Supernatural and Criminal Minds have been with me for a long time. I remember seeing the first episode featuring the BAU family back when LOST and 24 were still running! I would sit down with my parents and, together, we’d eat up every adventure they had. We cheered when they caught the UNSUBs before someone else became his/her victim. We gasped when something terrible happened. The show even made me want to join the FBI for a time, until I realized–thanks to Castle–that I could research and write about crimes, serial killers, and the heroes that defy all odds from the comfort of my desk. 

I’ve realized over the years what I loved most about these shows. What was most important: family.

Supernatural focuses on the bond between Sam and Dean Winchester and the people they love. Criminal Minds centers around the lives and relationships of the members of the BAU. That is what has kept me a fan for so long.

Yes, I love seeing the latest supernatural creature the boys had to battle. Season five of Supernatural I still adore: where Lucifer, Gabriel, Chuck, the archangels, and all sorts of biblical themes come into play. But even those characters reflected on family themes. The battle between Lucifer and Michael was a fight between brothers who had emotional issues about their dad. The culmination of the season taught everyone what was most important: family matters. You can hate them, but more than anything, you love them. 

As the great Bobby Singer said in season four’s “Lucifer Rising”: 

“Are you under the impression that family’s supposed to make you feel good? Back you an apple pie, maybe? They’re supposed to make you miserable! That’s why they’re family!” 

I will miss these shows. A part of me dreads the day the series finales come, when I feel that inevitable loss of two great shows. But, all in all, I hope to feel satisfaction in the endings; I hope my favorite characters get the closure they deserve. And I pray the cast and crew are blessed in their next adventures. 

Thank you for sharing such incredible stories with the world, Criminal Minds and Supernatural. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for teaching me. Bravo. 

A New Approach to Resolution

A few nights ago I came across a blurb in Women’s Health (by Marta Topran). Basically she was talking about how she’s changed her tactics on new years resolutions: instead of saying “I’m going to lose 30 pounds this year” say something like “I’m going to aim to exercise three times a week.” In short, make progressive goals, not ultimatums. Ultimatums never work.

I found this concept alarmingly simple. Like, in the “why didn’t I think of that?” way.

So, I’ve decided that I’m shaping my life around it: no more long-term ultimatums, no overbearing deadlines. Just progress. Day after day, week after week.

Actually, come to think of it, I’ve already been doing it: I’ve lost a good fifteen pounds this year because I focused on smaller portion sizes and exercising more. And my novel? Well I’m so pleased to say I’m about two-thirds of the way through! All because I didn’t assign myself a date to have it done by. Instead of saying that I was going to have my novel done by Christmas (or some other notable holiday), I’ve been focusing on one simple goal: get two chapters written a week.

HA! I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this until now!

So here are my 2019 goals:

  1. Write two chapters of my novel a week.
  2. Exercise 30 minutes a day.

I feel good about this upcoming year. I feel like some of the things that happened in 2018–especially in the culmination of my father’s passing–have made me a stronger person. I feel more dedicated to my craft. And I feel that I’ve progressed in shaping myself into the person I want to be. I will always hold the lessons from the past, the challenges and joy of the present, and the hope of the future close to my heart. (And my muse!) Thanks for all you taught me, 2018.

For now, I’m buckling down and finishing this novel!

Get ready! It’s coming!

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Happy new year to all of you! I hope you are blessed in 2019.

Sincerely,

Katie L. Mortimer.


For a fun time, check out my list of favorite TV shows and movies I caught in 2018:

TV shows I’ve binge-watched (you know, outside of my usual binges):

  1. Blue Bloods
  2. Madam Secretary
  3. Gravity Falls
  4. Stranger Things
  5. The Kominsky Method

In fact, check out these blog posts I made earlier this year: Favorite TV: Blue Bloods and Favorite TV: Stranger Things!

Fun note: the husband started showing me Gravity Falls this week. (HOW HAVE I NOT WATCHED THIS SHOW?) I currently have its theme song on repeat.


Movies that I want to watch over and over again:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Bumblebee
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  4. Christopher Robin
  5. Black Panther
  6. Incredibles 2

(Note: I have yet to see Mary Poppins Returns, but I’m sure it’s fantastic!)

Going off of Bohemian Rhapsody, my whole family has been obsessed with the soundtrack that accompanies the album. Here’s the thing: it’s actual Queen singing actual songs! Including the amazing Live Aid 1985 recordings. If there was a moment I could go back in time for, it would be to hear Freddie Mercury sing live.

Favorite TV: Blue Bloods

Back when dad was in a facility–mom, dad, and I would sit down and watch Blue Bloods. We would leave the TV on for him as he slept, tuned to ION Television. (Dad loved watching crime dramas and that station always had something good on!)

Then, mom and I sat down with him. Gradually, we became immersed in the lives of the Reagan family, a distraction for our own chaos that was happening at that time.

We became engrossed in Jamie’s journey as he went undercover with a crime family. We held our breath when Erin was almost raped and tortured by that serial killer. And Danny? Well, I just love his spunk, more and more in every episode.

But my favorite character? Frank Reagan.

That speech, up there, is one of the many reasons why I love this character: he’s very straightforward, to-the-point, he is honorable, a rock to his family (and his family is a rock to him), and, of course, he is a man who you do not want to piss off. He exudes all of these qualities.

Also, my dad had a very similar disposition to Frank, so I’m very easily drawn to him.

There is one descriptor that I would associate with Blue Bloods: strength.

The show is strong: strong characters with firm family values and it has a steadily growing, consistent plotline. I have trouble finding any holes to poke in this show. And, because of it’s solid family values–something I’ve grown up with myself–I’m always anxious to watch another episode.

Blue Bloods is one of the best shows out there. Hands. Down.

I can’t wait to see what happens next episode!

Favorite TV: Stranger Things!

GOD I love Stranger Things. SO MUCH!!

I just went through another binge of the show, this time showing my husband the wonders of Hawkins and the Upside Down. Needless to say, he has been hooked! (MWAHAHAHA!)

Pretty much because we were so busy with post-wedding bliss and responsibilities, I missed the announcement that season 3 won’t be released until Summer 2019!

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*screaming* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

THE PAIN!

THE TORMENT!

HOW CAN WE SURVIVE????!

Seriously though, Stranger Things is one of the best shows out there! And the fact that we have an extended hiatus is really getting to me.

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Stranger Things… I can’t even describe why I love it so much. It’s not that there aren’t reasons, but that there are so many of them!

At the very least, I grew up in a crazy space-and-time between the 80’s and 90’s. While I didn’t have a lot of experience with 80’s pop culture, I learned of it through my family. Sure, I was a Nickelodeon kid, but growing up as the youngest in my family, I’ve picked up my own admiration of the 80’s. Whether it’s Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, and Poltergeist, or, Indiana Jones and Who Frame Roger Rabbit, they are all some of my most cherished films that are always on repeat.

So, to see the boys in Stranger Things 2 dress up as the Ghostbusters for Halloween, I was absolutely geeking out! (In fact, I even have a Funko of Dustin–my favorite character–as Ray sitting on my bookcase!)

And the constant Dungeons and Dragons references does my nerd heart proud! *SQUEE*

Another thing I love about Stranger Things is: it’s realistic.

Ok, sure. The Upside Down, Demogorgon, and a government torturing kids in order to get ahead of the Russians–I really hope those are all fictional, or at least stays in an alternate universe faaaaar away from us. But I’m talking about the people: take, for example, Joyce Byers. I LOVE how she’s not a “Oh you’re just making that up sweetie” type of mom. She kicks ass. She gets things done. She, with the help of all our beloved characters, sticks with her scruples. She follows her gut, no matter how crazy it might sound. And she gets her son back.

SHE IS SUCH AN AWESOME CHARACTER!

I had gotten used to the trope of parents who have nothing to do with their children’s adventures. (When I was in a writer’s workshop in England, that was one of the pieces of advice I was given with my own novel: “Figure out what you’re going to do with the parents.”) But not Joyce! Here she is, plowing into a literally unknown world to find her son.

Bless you, Winona Ryder. Bless you, cast. Bless you, crew. Bless you, Duffer Brothers.

A year is going to be such a long wait for Stranger Things 3. It will be gruesome; there will be much bingeing, and even more anguish in my soul.

But don’t give up fans! We will be back in Hawkins before we know it!

For those of you who haven’t caught the Season 3 trailer–or if you’re like me and want to watch it for the hundredth time–here it is:

Stay strong, Stranger Things fandom.

We. Can. Do. This!

Current Status: In Love with American Gods

Oh my good lord I am in love with American Gods!

Well, ok, let’s be frank here: it doesn’t take much to get me excited about Neil Gaiman. I know I’ve exclaimed my love for Josh Gates on this blog in the past; Gaiman is my author version. Meaning, he’s my most favorite author. Hands down.

Gaiman’s always surprising me in each new story that I read–and making me chuckle at some of the descriptions he weaves together. His characters are always colorful and unique, generally with some element of sass and innocence thrown in. (I adore sass!)

Furthermore, his plot catches me by surprise, especially the endings, which is a hard thing thing to do anymore. And his world-building is so phenomenally complex.

Basically me, after I finish a Gaiman story:

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But American Gods!

American Gods takes it to a whole new level!

I mean, I finished American Gods last week and I’m still obsessed with it! In fact, I am currently blasting my way through Anansi Boys because I want to soak in so much more of this world Neil Gaiman has created.

One of the biggest reasons I’m so intrigued by American Gods is because it takes world cultures and mythology and places them in a universe where gods and supernatural beings really exist. Those kinds of stories are always huge draws for me.

In fact, my own novel series operates on a similar kind of platform; one where angels, ghosts, and other beings walk freely among us. (Although the difference with my series is that these entities are free to be themselves, while in American Gods, the gods are incognito.)

Another thing I love about American Gods is how delightfully gritty it is. I adore gritty, no-holds kind of stories. James Patterson, Stephen King, the later Harry Potter books, The Hunger Games. The stories that chill you right down to the core. The ones that get right down to the primal nature of things, where there’s truly nothing to hold back.

Side note: I realized this the other day when the boyfriend and I were talking about whether American Gods or Anansi Boys were our favorites. He enjoys storylines that are goofier and less lurid, while I like reading and writing darker things. With exceptions, of course. (His “job” as my editor is going to be very challenging! *snerk snerk*)

All in all, I absolutely recommend American Gods. Whether you enjoy fantasy or more “realistic” narratives, the book fits all types of people’s interests. I’m not surprised it’s a bestseller.

Just, be warned, it’s an adult book. There’s a character called Bilquis who, well…

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You get the idea.

For a more visual feel, catch the Starz trailer for American Gods (premiering April 30th):

I cannot wait for more Mad Sweeney!!!

Another side note: I love how involved the cast and crew have been with Neil’s story. It’s always really cool to see those who are adapting the work make an effort to include the creator in some way.

Take care, fangirls and fanboys.

Remember: it doesn’t matter if people agree with your views or not, you just need to be yourself, express your passions, and be respectful and love one another. BE. YOU!

Castle: Good Remains in Chaos

Once upon a time, there was a twenty-three year old girl who had a cloud of technicolor dreams circling her head. She gazed at the blues, purples, reds, and golds, and as they swirled faster, her heart was encouraged. She laughed and raced down the campus steps, the doors opened to the freshly graduated girl, and she embraced the world, ready to share her dreams with it.

In case you haven’t guessed, that girl was me.

In 2011, I graduated from Otterbein University with a degree in Creative Writing, ready to share my stories with the world. And guess what? Within a year, I was professionally writing! It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but it was a good stepping stone.

My true dream, however, was to be a novelist. And one of my favorite TV shows expressed exactly how I wanted my life to look:

In fact, I do actually want to be a mystery writer. Psychological thrillers and paranormal fantasies are my genres!

Life itself is a tricky thing; it can, at times, be synonymous with change, and chaos can be their little bundle of joy. That’s how it’s been off and on since 2011. For personal reasons, it’s been difficult–especially these past few months–to find time to write, let alone do other things I love (watching TV, going to movies, traveling), hence why I haven’t blogged since Easter.

Honestly, it can be challenging at times. I never imagined being in this situation five years since I graduated. But that’s how change works: it hits you right between the eyes, when you least expect it, and can be a good thing.

Take Castle’s unexpected cancellation, for example. About a month ago, over on Deadline.com, it was announced that Stana Katic and Tamala Jones were not coming back to season 9. I was among the Castle fans who was adamantly against this decision (I mean, who wouldn’t be? There’s no Caskett without Beckett!) Thankfully ABC decided to cancel the show instead of watching it go down the proverbial Primetime toilet and Caskett fans got to see Beckett and Castle live on.

For me, change reminds me of the realistic value of balancing my dreams with the reality I’m placed in. Yes, it might be excruciatingly hard at times, but I still wouldn’t change the part I must play here at home. I’m as stubborn about supporting my family as much as I am about becoming a novelist. I do believe that both will play out for the better, even if this tumultuous period seems to be clearing at an agonizing pace.

In any case, I still excited for the future; to see what it brings me and my family. I’m anxious to finish my first novel, get it seen by an agent and published. I’m anticipating a peaceful future for my family and I (really it can’t get here soon enough!). I’m curious to see what Andrew Marlowe (creator of Castle) comes up with next.

But those are distant, general futures. What I need to remind myself is to enjoy the stepping stones that bring those futures along, one day at a time. I need to be happy that I am able to write and produce YouTube videos again. I need to see the blessing in the lesson of time management. And I need to see the good in every moment here at the house, even during the bad times; there is always good!

Change happens. Life moves on. Impermanence spins the world into focus. Thank you, God, for the ability to endure, to adapt. Thank you for the gifts and lessons that life brings. And thank you for the joy that Castle has brought to so many lives.

Blessings to writers everywhere, the Castle cast and crew, and all souls that are going through hard times. It will get better. You just have to keep moving; one step, one word, after another.

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SUPERNATURAL IS BACK BABY!

Guys! Guys! It’s here! Oh my Chuck, IT. IS. HERE!!

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Supernatural’s 11th season premiered last Wednesday — and, boy, is the show as rocking as ever!

I mean, I will admit since season 5 the show hasn’t held me like it did. Even if there were some pretty intense moments. However, season 11 looks like it may be going back to the old routes: a massively scary boss that seems impossible to beat, Sam and Dean reevaluating their tactics (and actually talking!), Team Free Will pushed to the edge, the world at risk.

Yes we’ve had those themes before. But, frankly, the Leviathan and Purgatory arcs didn’t hold my attention quite like Lucifer. (Me, the angel fangirl. Of course that would be my favorite season!)

I’m looking forward to what they’ll be doing. [Slight spoiler] but they’ve been referencing the archangels here and there, both in 10’s finale and 11’s premiere. Dare I say it? We might be seeing Gabe, Luci, and Michael again! Maybe they’ll be in multiple episodes? Maybe Adam will finally escape The Cage?

Ok. That’s a spoiler-free as I can make this post. It’s a quickie, too.

I’m excited to see what the show does this season. There’s a lot at stake for Team Free Will. Even in the first episode was it intense. Jeeez. *bites nails*

Reign "Acts of War" **RAPE TRIGGER WARNING + SPOILERS**

Okay. So. Wow. I just finished watching Reign’s “Act of War”. And let me tell you: this show keeps surprising me. In the beginning of the first season, I was passively intrigued in the story of Mary Queen of Scots. I felt like it was a “teeny-bopper” show, as I call it; that it was geared towards teens and would have a light plot. Nothing too complicated. Nothing too gruesome. Just Mary trying to figure out if she should marry Francis or not. Even though we know by historical records that she did.

But this show keeps pushing boundaries! It has mentioned murder, bdsm, blackmailing, miscarriage, death, mysticism, affairs, and now–

[TRIGGER WARNING: I’m going to be talking about rape in the next paragraph.]

— they’ve had Mary get raped. Long story short: Mary was jostled from sleep when Protestant assassins barged into her room dressed as the King’s Guards. They held her at knife-point until they realized that Francis was no longer in the castle. The father of the Protestant minister who had been killed steps up to kill Mary. And then he decides to do something worse: rape her. I won’t go into the details of what happened because I think everyone knows what that action entails. But they did show enough on Reign to let the viewers know what happened to her.

Mary strikes one of the Protestant assassins left to kill her when the others leave. And she races down the hallway in her nightgown, looking stunned and disheveled: the most notable mark is that her gown is ripped at the collar. Catherine finds her, dismisses the guards, and takes her to her room. Then you start to see the welling on her arms and neck. Mary stands strong, acting ever the Queen, until Catherine asks her if she was raped. (It had been established in the storyline that Catherine was raped before she became Queen herself — so Catherine knew Mary’s actions intimately)

Adelaide Kane and Megan Follows are FANTASTIC ACTRESSES. Jeez. Just. Jeez. I mean, I already knew Megan Follows was because of Anne of Green Gables. But. OMG. Wow.

Supernatural “Fan Fiction” Recap Draft: SPOILERS AHEAD!!

I had to share this. I was cracking up at my recap draft after seeing Fan Fiction.

What happens at the end of Supernatural’s 200th episode is that Chuck Shirley makes an appearance. Turns out he was the person that actually came from the publishers. And Marie (the director of the musical) did not expect that!

What did you guys think of Supernatural’s 200th episode?

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