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 4, 2016

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

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.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

OUAT: How I Met Your Mother Before I Met Your Mother

Last time on “Once:” The Evil Queen decided to turn Henry against Hook, playing on her son’s teenage annoyance with the pirate’s attempts at bonding with him. She revealed that he didn’t get rid of the shearers like Emma asked and he confronted Hook at the harbor. At that point, a submarine appeared and sailors took the two hostage. Onboard, Hook revealed it was the Nautilus and he had a connection to its captain.

Of course, it wasn’t good.

Captain Nemo once abducted Hook and offered him a chance to change his life, to join his crew and finally have a family. Hook resisted but was dragged by Nemo onto a mission to retrieve a treasure chest. Inside was a key to what Nemo called “the Mysterious Island,” a place where they could make a home and no one would ever die again. Hook was tempted until he recognized a knife that belonged to Nemo’s first mate. It turned out he was Hook’s long lost brother, Liam II, who Hook had left an orphan when he killed their father. And Liam II wanted revenge. Nemo tried to stop him and Liam II accidentally stabbed him, vowing more revenge on Hook when he bailed.

So now Liam II wanted to kill Hook but Henry was able to save him. Together, they got rid of the golden shearers and then took Liam II to the hospital. Turned out Captain Nemo wasn’t dead and the hospital staff was able to save him. He was reunited with Liam II and things looked up for the Jones brothers. Things were better between Henry and Hook and Emma forgave Hook for not destroying the shearers.

Meanwhile, Emma spent time with Aladdin and convinced him to stop running. So he went to Jasmine and asked her to tell him about Agrabah. She told him that it just disappeared while she was on a diplomatic mission.

Belle also had her first ultrasound and a heart-to-heart with Snow about how she was going to handle Rumple’s role in their child’s life going forward. She decided to drop off a picture of the ultrasound, thankfully not going inside. She was spared watching Rumple and the Evil Queen making out after she got him the shearers so he could potentially use them on his son.

Father of the year, right there.

It is night in Storybrooke and all is quiet in the loft. Snow and Charming are sound asleep and Snow rolls closer to her husband as a shadow passes over her. She then opens her eyes to find she is a forest. Sitting up, she looks around until she spots the Queen. Queenie approaches, saying a sleeping Snow was always her favorite Snow.

(Some quality face time)

A Boyfriend for Christmas

Our Christmas celebration continues with another Hallmark gem. Santa makes a promise and, though it takes some time, he keeps it. But will romance really blossom or is it doomed?

All I want for Christmas is SPOILERS!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Timeless: The Alamo, 1836

Last time on “Timeless:” Concerned that Flynn and Anthony stole the core of a nuclear bomb, the team tracked them down to a warehouse. However, they jumped before Wyatt and his fellow soldiers could capture them. Everyone is concerned to learn Flynn went to Nazi Germany, afraid he would sell them the nuclear bomb before the Americans developed theirs.

After killing a Nazi soldier who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, our heroes spotted a rocket and feared it would be nuclear powered. They hoped to find help at a place that may have been a place for Allied spies to meet. It appeared to be a dead end until Sean Maguire ordered them outside. He revealed himself to be Ian Fleming and Wyatt totally fanboyed out as they accepted his help. Ian helped them figure out where the bomb might be and agreed to help them look over the bomb, all the while flirting with Lucy. Despite being a Bond fan, Wyatt seemed to draw the line at his idol flirting with her.

The bomb did not have nuclear capabilities but they found Flynn working with the Nazis. Wyatt tried to shoot him but Lucy and Rufus stopped him because Werner von Braun, the father of the American rocket program, could get caught in the crossfire. They explained his importance to Wyatt and Lucy told Ian that there are orders to bring Werner to the Allies. He was not thrilled due to the Blitz but agreed to sneak them into a party where they could snatch Werner.

Wyatt talked Lucy through a panic attack, where they got more personal with each other. He assured her that she was just facing the hump and he knew she would get over it. At the party, she also got to know Ian a bit better and he continued to flirt with her—much to Wyatt’s annoyance.

While trying to get to Werner, Lucy and Ian were intercepted by Flynn and the Nazis. They took the two in as spies while Flynn tried to Werner to the Soviets. Wyatt and Rufus set off the bomb as a distraction before going to save Lucy. Together with Ian and Werner, they escaped the Nazis.

After seeing Werner delivered to the Allies and saying goodbye to Ian, the heroes returned to the present to learn they were now characters in a Bond book and movie that didn’t exist before. Lucy gave Agent Christopher demands in exchange for her to continue working and Rufus refused to keep recording the missions. But Rittenhouse scared him right good.

We open on March 5, 1836. A man writes a stirring letter, full of patriotic ideals and yet begging for support. He signs it William Barret Travis and says he is at the Alamo. The cold open ends with him standing on the fort’s wall, looking out at Santa Anna’s forces.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Once Upon a Holiday

This one is a bit of a twist on the “A Princess for Christmas” formula. The woman is already a princess and the man is a regular American. So it’s already a step up then some of the others, but is that all it has going for it? Let’s find out.

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in SPOILERS!

OUAT: Many Fathoms Below

Last time on “Once:” We entered a whole new world…except not really because Agrabah and Aladdin were touched on in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. But the producers like to pretend that didn’t happen, apparently, so it’s a whole new world!

Anyway, Aladdin was recruited by Jasmine in order to find the Diamond in the Rough. She said it would allow her to defeat Jafar and save the kingdom. They journeyed to the Cave of Wonders and when they were caught in a cave in, Aladdin discovered he had magical powers. Jasmine then revealed he was the real Diamond in the Rough, the Savior predicted to save Agrabah. He was upset she tricked him and she gave him some time to think about it.

Jafar showed up and showed him that only death awaited Saviors. He offered Aladdin a chance to avoid it—golden shearers that would sever him from his magic. Leaving them with Aladdin, Jafar assumed he would use them.

Except he didn’t. Aladdin flew in on a magic carpet, saved Jasmine and destroyed Jafar’s staff. It freed the Sultan and stopped Jafar…for now. He wasn’t completely defeated and so Aladdin made it his mission to stop him. He asked Jasmine to come with him but despite the fact they cared greatly for each other, she knew her place was in the palace so she could help their people. They parted and as he walked away, a satchel appeared on Aladdin’s shoulder. In it were the golden shearers and a note for Jafar that basically said: “Just in case.”

In Storybrooke, Emma and Archie found the Oracle dead and Shirin nearby. At the station, she revealed she was Jasmine and she found the Oracle, who was helping her find Aladdin. When Jasmine revealed he was a Savior too, they got very intrigued. Emma made it her mission to find Aladdin, just to prove not all Saviors died.

Meanwhile, the Evil Queen kidnapped Archie and impersonated him to find out about Emma’s vision since the Oracle wouldn’t tell her. She then tricked Emma into telling her family and then took Zelena out for a spa day to celebrate.

Her family rallied around Emma and they found a way to track Aladdin. When it appeared he was dead, she and Henry had an emotional scene. Aladdin then revealed himself as well as the fact he used the shearers. He gave them to Emma and then reunited with Jasmine.

Emma chose to not use the shearers and asked Hook to toss them to the bottom of the sea. Except he didn’t.

And that’s what you missed on Glee.

Hook storms around the deck of the Jolly Roger as it sails through a foggy night and a timestamp that tells us this is during the First Curse. He yells that Mr. Smee wouldn’t have stood for how they were working and yells that for being the fastest ship, the Jolly Roger has the slowest crew. One man yells back that they are tired and Hook demands he step forward. A man of Middle Eastern descent does so and Hook realizes he is a stowaway. He demands to know who the man is and he just replies that he is no one.

(He's a rather bold No One)
Someone yells that there’s a narwhale and of course everyone rushes to see it because narwhale. However, Hook realizes it’s bigger than a narwhale and glowing. He yells that it’s a sea monster and starts shouting orders. The stowaway says that it’s not a narwhale or a monster but a ship…his ship. He says he’s trying to save Hook’s life and then knocks him out.