Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Fate of Once Upon a Time

There’s a lot of talk about whether or not Once Upon a Time will get a seventh season and if it does, it would most certainly be different and probably not have the full cast.

Most of this started a month or so ago. Channing Dungey, the current head of ABC programming, spoke about ideas Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis were talking about for the upcoming season, including rebooting the show. She said they were still thinking about it but confirmed that the storyline that began on October 23, 2011 will be coming to a close this May. There was also talk that not everyone in the current cast would be returning, which was further fueled when Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) went on a podcast and confirmed that her contract was up at the end of the season. She was in the middle of negotiations, though, she noted. A few weeks later, Robert Carlyle (Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold) noted he was still not sure what his status for Season 7 was and that he too was in contract negotiations while he was doing press for T2 (the Trainspotting sequel).

As we are now in the back 11 episodes of season 6, speculation is now running rampant. It grows more likely that if we get a season 7, it will be revamped and not everyone currently in the cast will be returning. Most rumors seem to agree that there are negotiations with Colin O’Donohue (Captain Hook) and Lana Parrilla (Regina/the Evil Queen). Morrison and Carlyle are also rumored to be in consideration for season 7. Rumors also say that Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Josh Dallas (David Nolan/Prince Charming) aren’t going to return. There are also rumors that Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills) also won’t be asked back. Nothing has been said of Emilie de Ravin (Belle) or Rebecca Mader (Zelena/The Wicked Witch of the West).

There are two potential new cast members for season 7. First is Andrew J. West, who has been cast as a character who the casting call said is a cynical recluse who still has a spark of hope waiting for the right to person to rekindle it. Second is Alison Rodriguez, who has been cast as a young ten-year-old who is precocious and mischievous, who has had a tough life so far. Right now, they are confirmed for the season finale but if the show is picked up for another season, they are slotted to join the main cast. Naturally, there has been lots of speculation about them just like there was when Hank Harris (Dr. Jekyll) and Sam Witwer (Mr. Hyde) were cast for the season 5 finale. But this does seem to be setting up something similar to the pilot, when ten-years-old Henry found a cynical and jaded Emma.

What do I think? I think Season 7 is pretty certain and I’m growing more and more convinced the reboot is inevitable. However, I’m not thrilled with the prospect. I can understand why the writers are doing it—they probably want a fresh canvas to tell new stories, go in new directions, jumpstart their creative juices. The executives at ABC are probably hoping a new start will stop the hemorrhaging ratings and hopefully bring in new audiences (as well as bring some back).  However, I fear it might backfire on them. When I talk to people who love Once Upon a Time, most of them focus on the characters, not the storyline. So losing a good portion of the cast and rebooting the characters of the remaining ones can alienate the remaining audience.

My personal opinion is that Once Upon a Time should get a Season 7 but it should be a proper final season. There are quite a few stories that need a proper ending. More importantly, though, is that Emma was brought to Storybrooke to return the happy endings. So give us those happy endings. Give us closure. (Which is a bitter word for me right now, given that they spoke of “closure” for Outlaw Queen with the current Robin Hood arc and it’s anything but). (I still hope Regina’s happy ending features Robin Hood. I feel like I’m just asking for disappointment). Don’t introduce new people. Bring back old, familiar faces. Ruby. Archie. Granny. The Dwarves. Marco. Really wrap them up. Give them their happy endings.

So what do you think? I’m resurrecting my poll after like three years, so please vote. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

When Calls the Heart

Or—why haven’t I discovered this sooner?

I mean, I remember seeing the commercials on Hallmark Channel and I remember there was a movie special that preceded it. And I knew it had something to do with history. Which usually meant I would be all over it (see: Timeless). Yet for some reason, I wasn’t. Maybe because it’s on Hallmark, so it’s easy to forget when it’s on. Just like with the Good Witch series. I’ve enjoyed all the movies and wanted to catch the TV show…I just never remembered it was on.

So what changed?


Yes, I’ve had Netflix for a while now. But it recommended “When Calls the Heart” for me, so I decided to give it a chance. (It also recommended “The Good Witch” series, so I’m sure I’ll finally be able to catch up on that as well).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Last Five Years: A Movie Musical

Let’s rewind to 2004. I was a high school senior who was already very obsessed with Broadway musicals. And the biggest one that year was, of course, Wicked. One of the male stars of the musical was Norbert Leo Butz (Fiyero). A classmate of mine had a huge crush on him and she told me about his other work, including “The Last Five Years.” When I went to college, I discovered a great music store in the nearby mall who had a great Broadway selection. I found “The Last Five Years” and I bought it.

And I loved it.

So I was excited to hear there was a movie version coming out. Okay, I’ll be honest—I’m always excited to hear about a new movie musical.

However, I never found someone to go see it with nor the time to go on my own. So I had to wait for it to come on Netflix, which it has.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Hello, 2017!

It's a New Year! So I want to wish all my readers a happy and healthy one! May all your favorite characters survive the season, may your couples be relatively angst-free and may all your favorite shows make it to the next season.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

OUAT: Come Back

Last time on “Once:” Gold sent a message to Belle by aging a fairy. She realized he was going to use the dust on her to accelerate her pregnancy and force her to give birth so he could cut their son from his fate. Because, you know, the accelerated pregnancy plot worked so well last season with Zelena.

Emma and Hook promised to help Belle. After talking with her son in the dream world, she showed them a book that had squid ink. Hook and Emma used it to freeze Gold and they tried to get the shearers. But Emma was knocked back by her vision. While Hook was helping her, Gold got free and went to find Belle.

Belle pleaded with Gold not to use the dust on her and then stood her ground, telling him that if he used it, he would lose her forever. She asked him if he was willing to chance that. He left without dosing her with the dust.

Later, though, Belle has some tea and soon finds her pregnancy accelerated until she is in labor. Emma and Hook take her to the fairies, who put up a forcefield that manages to keep Gold away from her until she gives birth. In the dream world, her son told Belle that she knew what she had to do to keep him safe and Belle gave the boy, named Gideon, to Blue for safekeeping. She made Blue his fairy godmother and Blue took Gideon far away. Belle told Gold she would never forgive him and he vowed to find their son.

In flashbacks, Rumpelstiltskin stole a baby and had Belle take care of him. He revealed he was going to use the baby for something and that it was no doubt dangerous. Belle worked to figure out what it was, falling into Rumple’s trap when she deciphered an incantation to summon the Black Fairy for him. He took the incantation, took the baby and locked her up so she couldn’t stop him. Blue rescued her and revealed that the Black Fairy used to protect children but now she kidnaps and tortures them. She sent Belle to stop Rumple.

Rumple summoned the Black Fairy and stunned her with squid ink. He revealed that she was his mother but she abandoned him. She said she had to make choices for power and then flew off when the ink wore off. Belle rescued the baby and returned him to his parents.

In other news, Jasmine decided to use the Genie lamp but there was no genie. Aladdin put on the shackles and became the new genie of the lamp in order to help her. Queenie was sent to kill Zelena but Regina intervened. She and Rumple then fought, leading Queenie to be the one to dose Belle. So now she’s on Rumple’s hit list.

Uh oh.

It’s late at night but Hook, Emma and Regina walk toward the vault. Hooks asks if she has something that can destroy the sword and Regina replies they don’t want to destroy the sword. They want to analyze it. He doesn’t understand since it’s supposed to kill Emma. Emma reminds him that the person wielding it is supposed to kill her. So if they can figure out anything from the sword, they want to do that first. Then they can worry about destroying things, Regina tells him.

(Excuse me while my Outlaw Queen heart explodes)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

OUAT: Bye, Bye Baby

Last time on “Once:” Snow and David adjusted to life under the new sleeping curse. They took turns under it and it seemed Baby Neal didn’t get any sleep with his parents doing split shifts. It eventually took its toll on them and they grew weary of living apart while still sharing the same space.

Belle teamed up with Zelena in order to protect her unborn son, asking her to send her to another realm to get away from her husband. Zelena was willing but needed the Apprentice’s wand to do so. So they asked Aladdin to get it for them. He agreed.

Emma and Regina tried to trap Queenie in the land behind the mirror but she flipped the script and captured them instead. Hook caught onto it early but Queenie knocked him out and continued masquerading as Regina around Henry.

Henry was already nervous because Snow was throwing a dance at school and Violet had been distant lately. It didn’t help that he realized Queenie was masquerading as his mom and he had to go help her at the same time. Violet helped him escape as he went to the vault. Queenie met him there, revealing Emma and Regina were trapped with the Dragon. She turned him into a real dragon and told Henry he had to crush the Dragon’s heart to save him. He broke the mirror instead and a shot of flames helped free Regina and Emma. Hook showed up to help and Queenie left, defeated for now.

Aladdin got the wand for Zelena and stole the genie’s lamp to see if he and Jasmine could get help from it to save Agrabah.

Zelena almost sent Belle away but Gold interfered, putting a tracking device on his wife and insisting it was out of love. Zelena scoffed at that and when he tried to choke her, Gold suffered a heart attack. It seemed that thanks to what she did for him in New York back in Season 4, if he tried to kill her, he’ll die. He left, angrier than before.

So when Queenie showed up to commiserate with him, he asked her to kill Zelena.

One of the sisters runs through a basement of some sort before she is stopped by Gold. She tells him that the Mother Superior will stop him but he insists none of them can stop him now. With a flick of his hand, he ties her to a pole.

Queenie shows up, asking him what his deal is with the fairies. He doesn’t really answer, instead asking her what she’s doing there. She says she thought they were a team and he reminds her if that was so, she would’ve killed Zelena already. Queenie doesn’t think he really expects her to kill her flesh and blood but he does. He says it’s the only thing standing between them and a fresh start together. Queenie still looks torn and asks about Belle. He says he realizes she’ll never accept him for who he really is and that it’s over between them.

He then turns back to the fairy and says he’s going to use her to send a message. Gold tosses some dust on her and she ages before our eyes. Queenie pretends to be shocked while Gold just stands there and smugs.

(Sr. Granny)

Christmas Cookies

Successful business woman has lost the Christmas spirit when she is sent to make a deal with the owner of a wildly popular cookie factory known for their Christmas goodies. And of course, the owner is cute and single. Whatever will happen?

I told you. These things are formulaic. But with the right characters and actors, it can still seem fresh.

Does this one? Let’s find out!

Upstate…somewhere…is a little town called Cookie Jar. It is home to Aunt Sally’s Christmas Cookies, a little factory that makes delicious cookies and treats only at Christmas. People flock to the town, which lives for Christmas, and enjoy the cookies.

Meanwhile, Hannah (Jill Wagner) had lost that Christmas feeling. She’s not a complete Scrooge but she’s just not into the holiday. Especially when her boyfriend Gavin (Jim Thorburn) keeps pushing for her to attend his law firm’s Christmas Eve party. She says it was stuffy the year before and just not something she’s interested in. He asks her to consider going for his sake and she promises to think about it.

The next day, Hannah meets up with her sister Kelly (Chelsey Reist) for lunch…I guess. They don’t really do much eating. Kelly pushes her sister about whether or not Gavin proposed but Hannah doesn’t seem keen to the idea. They then notice a story on the news that involves Hannah’s company, Whole Foods. Rumor is that the company is going to buy Aunt Sally’s and Kelly remembers their trips to Cookie Jar as children. She says Hannah should run that account but Hannah says she can’t just go and demand it from her boss. She then heads back to work after promising Kelly to help make Christmas cookies.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

OUAT: Through the Looking Glass

Last time on “Once:” The Evil Queen threatened to destroy Storybrooke with water from the River of Lost Souls if Snow and David didn’t give her their shared heart so she could finally crush it. Blue discovered a magical sapling that could stop the Queen, so Regina and the Charmings went to locate it.

Meanwhile, Regina sent Zelena to discover the Queenie and Gold making out. She then told Belle about it and the golden shearers, so Belle rightly laid into her estranged husband. It put Zelena on Gold’s bad side.

In the Enchanted Forest, David had the cutest dog ever. He was a sheep dog who was an excellent tracker and name Wilby. Nothing happened to him except for the fact he was never seen again. Boo.
David was going to sell his farm when he met up with a guy called the Woodcutter. Woodcutter knocked David out to use Wilby to sniff out Snow, who was trying to flee. David tried to save her from the Woodcutter’s rolling shed and the two managed to take down the Woodcutter. She then gave David her money to save his farm and decided to become a bandit. When they touched, they created the magical sapling.

In Storybrooke, they found the sapling but Queenie destroyed it. Realizing the sapling was theirs, they surrendered to her with the belief that they always find their way back to each other. Queenie took their hearts but decided not to crush them. Instead, she returned them and Snow immediately fell under a sleeping curse. Queenie sent her away but David found her easily. He kissed her but once she awoke, he fell under the curse. Regina revealed that Queenie cursed their hearts, so that when one was awake, the other would be asleep.

Poor Snowing.

(Kind of a sweet gig right now for Josh Dallas)

A Wish for Christmas

This week we look at one of this year’s new offerings. Once again, it stars Lacey Chabert, who is easily turning into Hallmark’s darling. I’m not complaining though because Gretchen Weiners deserves all the work.

So grab a cup of hot chocolate, don your gay apparel and beware of SPOILERS!

Sara (Lacey Chabert) works at a marketing firm as a junior web designer. When we meet her, she is bringing coffee in for some coworkers and is ignored by everyone around her as she holds open the door and then is pushed away from the elevator. She is forced to wait for the next one but is able to meet up with her friend Molly (Andrea Brooks, who was Charlotte in Once Upon a Time’s second episode this season). Molly asks Sara if she can help her with a project and though Sara protests that she has a lot of work, Molly gets her to agree.

One of their coworkers, Brian (Eduard Witzke) joins them and thanks Sara for bringing in coffee. As the elevator opens again, their boss Peter (Paul Greene) enters. He is on his phone and talks about Christmas not happening. The other three pretend not to listen in but all three fail. Peter gets off the phone and asks Brian to work Christmas. Brian agrees and then Paul asks Sara about the present she’s holding. She says it’s for the Secret Santa at the office party later before blathering on about how much she loves Christmas. It gets awkward fast and everyone looks happy to get off when the doors open.