Friday, May 19, 2017

More Time for Timeless

Last week was a crazy one. Jennifer Morrison announced she was leaving Once Upon a Time, it got renewed but most of the cast was joining Morrison in exiting. And amongst all of that, NBC cancelled Timeless.

So come Saturday, I desperately need Eurovision--even if I'm American. Four hours of Europe getting drunk off its ass while performing some weird pop songs? Sign me up!

As I got ready to tweet about the craziness, I saw some good news on my Twitter--Timeless had been uncancelled by NBC! This is an unorthodox move we don't often see from networks and usually not so soon after cancellation. (I'm thinking Jericho here). But Timeless' fanbase was pretty vocal. We kept the show trending on Twitter for almost twenty-four hours after cancellation. So NBC realized they made a big mistake.

Here's to more adventures with Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus. Hopefully we'll be able to find Amy, figure out what happened to Jessica and see if Wyatt and Lucy ever get together.

And I promise to try and finish my recaps of the first season.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Once Upon a Cast Shake Up

Once Upon a Time has officially been renewed for Season 7. As I said in this blog post, Season 7 will feature a "reboot" of the series. What that looks like will only start to be known after tonight's finale. But we do know it will be moving forward without a significant number of current cast members.

Actress Jennifer Morrison, who has played Emma Swan since the pilot, announced Monday morning that she will not be returning for Season 7. She made this in advance of the show's official renewal notice on Thursday, but it seemed that someone was going to announce her departure anyway. She said she wanted to spend more time with her friends and family as well as pursue other projects, all of which are perfectly valid. Morrison did confirm she'll return for one episode of Season 7, though she doesn't know if it will be the premiere or some other episode.

After it was announced that Once would come back for a seventh season, Rebecca Mader (Zelena) posted a message to her Instagram announcing that she was leaving after season six. In it, Mader stated that her departure was not her choice but rather a "creative" decision. The same was the true later when Emile de Ravin (Belle) confirmed that she was leaving as well.

Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, the co-creators, also confirmed that Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), and Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills) will also not be regulars anymore either. Nothing has been said about whether they chose to leave or if it was a creative decision on the show's part. Based on everything I've heard from within the fandom, I believe Dallas and Goodwin opted not to renew their contracts. And if the speculation that Andrew J. West is playing an older Henry is correct, then Gilmore was mostly not asked back.

So is anyone coming back? Yes, the show has confirmed that Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills), Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook) and Robert Carlyle (Rumpelstiltskin) will be returning for Season 7. What that means and how the show will now appear is yet to be seen. I know many fans are not happy over this development and I'm not sure how much the General Audience knows yet. I do believe ABC is taking a gamble on the reboot but it could pay out for all we know, bringing new life to the show and new fans. Or it could alienate an already dwindling audience while displeasing a very passionate fanbase.

As I said, everything waits to be seen.

In the meantime, vote for which character you will miss the most.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Beauty and the Beast: Evermore

I was five years old when Disney released “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991. I remember being in the movie theater with my dad and one of my best friends from school, watching the movie. It became my favorite movie right then and there, with Belle being my favorite Disney princess. My dad always credited her for the fact I’m a bookworm, but I always credit my parents for that since they read to me every night and took me to the library often. But Belle always reminded me that there wasn’t anything wrong about being a bookworm or being considered odd. It also reminded me to value a person for who they are, not how they looked. And to never shun someone for being odd.

At first, I was skeptical about them redoing Beauty and the Beast as a live action movie. Naturally, I was worried they would screw everything up. But soon I heard Alan Menken was once again composing, Tim Rice signed on to write lyrics and finally, the cast was announced. It was so top-notch, I got excited.

I decided to go see the movie for my birthday, which was two weeks after it opened. I put on my Belle t-shirt and my Beauty and the Beast watch necklace. (Which needs a new battery). Then we headed down to the theater and watched the movie.

SPOILERS as old as time…

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. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

OUAT: There's Something Rotten in Denmark

Well, Storybrooke, but if the writers are citing Hamlet, then so am I!

Last time on “Once:” Belle and Rumple reeled from the revelation that the hooded figure fated to kill Emma was their son, now all grown up after being kidnapped by the Black Fairy. He explained he needed to kill the Savior in order to free the realms from the Black Fairy and Rumple tried to help him while Belle pleaded with the heroes to give her a chance to get through to her son. David and Hook agreed, though they were determined to keep Emma safe.

Speaking of Emma, she was still trapped in the wish realm. Regina was shocked to see Robin Hood alive and well, though he robbed them. Prince Henry was also determined to capture her and make her pay for killing his grandparents. Emma believed she knew a way for them to go home.

That way? Pinocchio, all grown up and one of Princess Emma’s good friends. She asked him if he still had the wardrobe but he said his father destroyed it. But he believed he could make another one to send Emma and Regina home. Well, Emma at least as Regina decided to go off to see if Robin’s life was better without her.

She found him in the tavern and he told her that he had a great life. She believed he was happy without her and went to leave. They were then captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham and Regina learned that Robin was not an honorable thief but a common one stealing for himself. Marian died before they could marry, so he was all alone and without love. After Rumple freed them but then locked them up again, Robin admitted that he wasn’t happy. He asked her about the other Robin and she told him about his other self—including the fact he died. Still, Robin believed his other self had a good life.

He then broke them out so Regina could find Emma.

Speaking of Emma, she and Pinocchio found another enchanted tree to turn into the wardrobe. Captain Hook, though, showed up to “rescue” Princess Emma. Emma was shocked to find he was older and heavier as well as drunk. He was easily taken care of with a wave of her hand but in the process, Pinocchio’s chisel was broken. He believed he couldn’t make the wardrobe and stormed off, apologizing to Emma for letting her down.

Emma tried herself but when she found a wooden swan, she realized what she had to do. She showed it to Pinocchio, who tells her an alternate interpretation of the Ugly Ducking that she once heard as a child. Emma gave Pinocchio a pep talk and he managed to make the wardrobe. Regina showed up with Robin, who gave her a feather off his lucky arrow. She confessed she believed part of her Robin ended up living on in him and Emma convinced her to bring Robin with them. He agreed and they all headed back to Storybrooke.

In Storybrooke, Emma came face-to-face with Gideon. They fought and it seemed he got the upperhand when he got the sword from her. But despite her tremors, Emma was able to use her magic on him and shattered the sword. Rumple pleaded with her not to hurt his son, allowing Gideon to get away. Emma and Regina were reunited with their family and they prepared to save Emma while Gideon threw a teenage temper tantrum in the clock tower as his parents fretted at the well.

And thus started the second half of Season Six. Let’s continue!

It’s a dark and stormy night. A man enters a cabin and we hear two babies crying. His frantic wife asks him if he was able to get the medicine and he says he couldn’t, that he failed James and David. Yes, the woman is a younger Ruth and the man is David’s father, Robert. They don’t know what they will do.

Enter Rumpelstiltskin, who throws down money to buy the medicine the boys need. However, there’s a catch. He tells them the story of King George, who has a lot of riches but no sons, and of Robert, who has no riches but two sons. Ruth pulls a knife and tells Rumple that he won’t take one of her sons, but Robert says it’s for the best. They can assure both their boys a good life that way, especially once Rumple tells them that neither would survive the winter otherwise. Rumple gives Robert a coin to flip—heads he takes David, tails he takes James. Robert tosses it and it ends up tails. Rumple takes James as his parents say their goodbyes, promising that they will always love him. Rumple warns them that they’ll never see him again and they can’t speak of this to anyone.

And then he’s gone with James, leaving David crying all alone in his crib.

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).

Sunday, March 12, 2017

OUAT: Let's Escape

Last time on “Once:” After an encounter with Queenie at Robin’s grave, Emma learned that the sword she found could hurt Queenie without hurting Regina. It sent Queenie spinning too and Rumple vowing to get revenge on her for what she did to Belle just added to her less-than-stellar night.

So Queenie got revenge. She stole Aladdin’s lamp and used him to send Emma to a world where she never became the Savior. Tensions rose amongst the family before Regina went to confront her other half. She realized that she and Queenie were the same, so she was Aladdin’s mistress as well. She wished herself to the dream world and he granted it.

With Regina gone as well, David decided to take matters into his own hands. He confronted Queenie and got the lamp, controlling Aladdin. He wished for Queenie to get exactly what she deserved but nothing happened. Queenie gloated that she got what she wanted—his family was falling apart. She tried to kill him but Hook and Jasmine intervened.

Later, the hooded figure emerged from Granny’s and turned her into a snake.

Meanwhile, Rumple and Belle had a talk and were horrified to learn that Blue had been attacked. She revealed that the Black Fairy had taken their son and they panicked, wondering what she was doing to him.

In the Wish Realm, Princess Emma celebrated her birthday with her loving parents and the entire court. The Enchanted Forest was prosperous and peaceful, thanks to Snow and Charming banishing the Evil Queen years ago. However, Princess Emma had been having strange dreams and found a sword under her bed. Snow waved it off and Henry figured it was for his knighting ceremony. It seemed even this wish realm, Neal was around…and died. Emma decided to put everything out of her mind and focus on Henry’s big day.

Regina arrived in the Wish Realm and freaked out the dwarves when they thought the Evil Queen returned. She then came across Emma in the woods, surprised at how docile she was as Snow and Charming threatened Regina. Regina poofed back to her castle where she found Rumpelstiltskin. He gave her some advice before making a deal with her for his freedom. As he went to find her a magic bean, she went to remind Emma that she was the Savior.

Henry was knighted and Regina burst in, much like she did at the Snowing wedding. She demanded that Emma find a hero who could fight her before kidnapping the Charmings. Emma then showed up at the Winter Palace, surrendering the kingdom to Regina. Frustrated, Regina crushed Snowing’s hearts in an attempt to get through to Emma. Nothing worked until Henry promised to avenge his grandparents, almost killing a docile Regina. Emma used her magic to stop him, jolted from her wish realm.

In Storybrooke, Rumple and Belle learned the figure under the hood—the one destined to kill Emma—was their son, all grown up.

In the Wish Realm, Rumple came through with a magic bean. Regina and Emma threw it down and a portal opened. But they are then waylaid by Robin Hood—very much alive and very much trying to rob them. Regina was shocked to see her soulmate again and as Emma tried to get her to leave, she refused to move. The portal closed, leaving them trapped.

We open in Minneapolis in 1990. Little Emma sits around a fire in an alley. She tears pages out of a book and throws them in, trying to stay warm in the harsh weather.

A male voice tells her not to tear out the story of “The Ugly Duckling.” She says she’s trying to stay warm and he asks her what she’s doing out there. Little Emma replies that she ran away from a lousy group home. She goes to rip the story again but he tells her again not to. We then see a dark-haired teenage boy who tells her that fairy tales are about transformations and belief. He says the duckling believed he was a swan so much, he became one. Emma points out that that’s not what the story is about—the duckling was always a swan. (She’s right). But he says he likes his interpretation between because it means we can become whoever we believe we are. He asks her if this what she believes is her destiny and says that she’ll find her home one day.

We next see little Emma sipping hot chocolate (with cinnamon!) at Child Services. A woman asks her how long she’s been on the streets and Emma replies a few nights. She’s then asked her name and she gives it as “Emma Swan.” Thus we now know where Emma got her last name.

(I thought it had been established that it was the name of the foster family who originally adopted her but gave her up when they had a child of their own. Or was that fanon I mistook for canon?)

(Look at baby Emma!)