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. 

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!

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?

Supernatural’s 200th Episode: Fan Fiction Promo

After the show’s hiatus last week, I’m back recapping Supernatural over on Fangirlish!

Tonight’s episode won’t be of the usual paranormal-meets-demon-hunters variety. No. It’s a tribute to the fans of Supernatural. Supposedly all the characters in the last ten seasons will be referenced in some way. It looks like Chuck’s books have become a theater production put together by a fan. It will have other people dressing up as our beloved characters: Bobby, Sam, Dean, Gabe, Cas, etc.

Although I’m still hoping that the actual actors will be involved in some way — COME ON! I NEED MY GABE FIX!!

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*cough* Right… anyways…

Oh. And bonus: it’s a musical episode.

Here’s a preview of tonight’s 200th EPISODE!! Congrats SPN!

Aw man, I’m going to have SUCH a hard time writing my recap! Cause I’ll want to watch it AND NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE!
*waits IMpatiently for 9PM*
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Masters of Sex: Fight

For a very long time now, I have been a fan of Michael Sheen.

Yes, this goofy guy right here:

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For those new to the world of Michael Sheen, you might recognize him as Aro in the Twilight Saga. You know, this guy:

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Other people know him as Lucian from Underworld. But, personally, he first caught my eye as an actor when he played Tony Blair. Actually, he’s played him several times. But I remember seeing him as Mr. Blair in The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010).
I couldn’t really say as to why I started honing in on him. Not back then. And I still can’t really say now. It’s just one of those things: where an actor is so memorable that he is imprinted on your mind.
And it’s a requirement to watch everything he’s in.
I always talk about Johnny Depp or Tom Hiddleston in this way. But rarely do I talk about Michael Sheen. Even though he’s included in that mental category.
I’ve been watching Masters of Sex since it premiered last year. Even if I miss episodes, I make an effort to watch everything I’ve missed. I will admit my draw to the television show was because I knew Michael Sheen was playing the lead. I knew nothing about Lizzy Caplan, Dr. William Masters, or Virginia Johnson. I only knew that I wanted to watch this series on Showtime because Michael Sheen was in it.
So I sat down to watch it, one evening, on September 29, 2013. I anxiously awaited to see Michael Sheen… and also what this show was about. (Bonus: it takes place in the 1950s, which equals more interest with me.)
Turns out Masters of Sex is about these two people who are interested in how the human body responds… while having sex. Dr. Masters has always been interested, and Virginia Johnson needed a job as a secretary. The series goes on to delve deeper into their characters: Virginia being a single mom, and Dr. Masters being a reluctant husband and soon to be father. It also deals with the social stigma of the time: specifically that sex is not studied, because it’s not talked about in society. It’s completely ignored. And doctors don’t know what to do when someone has issues with sexual reproduction. They just cut and snip and send them out the door.
But not Dr. Masters (and, by extension Virginia Johnson). They understand human bodies. They understand sex. They have an interest in it. And they want the world to not be afraid of the subject.
Anyways, long introduction.
I was watching the most recent episode, entitled “Fight”… and I finished it literally fifteen minutes ago. (Yes, you read that time stamp right: it’s 3:15 in the morning). And… wow. My mind was blown. The amount of depth that the writers put into Bill and Virginia, the cinematography, and, most importantly, the acting between Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
I am a little fuzzy, but around half of the episode (if not more) takes place in the hotel room that Bill and Virginia are sharing. The elements that happened before (and after) this scene affected the couple as they met again, for another “study”. Bill was uncharacteristically aggressive, and Virginia, being the ever nurturing soul, was trying to help him… but not put up with his bullshit, at the same time. You could tell these two cared for one another. But from the circumstances of life outside of the hotel room, they couldn’t admit it out right. (For one, Bill is married. Yeah.)
But Virginia got the closest. She described a lover she had in the past. A boyfriend. Who had been a captain in an army. The “man” had claimed he was engaged, but supposedly the fiance ran off. Of course that’s not the case and he abandons Virginia to go back to said fiance.
“What does that mean for us?” Bill asks.
(It has been previously established that Bill and Virginia are posing as a married couple.)
Virginia: (And this is a paraphrase) “Oh… I’d only marry a man who I love and desire.”
And Bill in this episode is dealing about the memory of his father. Who abused him. This was established waaaay back in the show. But we have more depth into Bill’s back story now. Bill confides in Virginia that his father broke his nose once, and left him at a boarding school when he was only 14. And Bill never returned home.
This is also a powerful step in their relationship because Bill doesn’t even confide in his own wife. He keeps everything bottled up inside. And yet, he feels so connected to Virginia that he opens up to her. And she listens. Unlike anyone else in his life. (Also Virginia stated in this episode that Bill basically respects her and listens to her. Take notes boys!)
But the way these scenes come across is simply amazing. The tension between Bill and Virginia is absolutely palpable. The tension between their private life and the world around them… you can feel it. It’s just… wow.
I really suggest you guys watch this TV show. It is nothing short of amazing. And, yes, it has A LOT of sexual content. So not for kids. But it’s worth your time.

 

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