Science, Space, Elementary, my dear Lizzie #WhatsupWednesday

These last few months, I’ve been doing lots of watching, particularly, but not exclusively, on Netflix. Seen just a few flicks, followed/following a few series–old, new, and new-to-me. The thing is, they don’t have a lot of other stuff I want to see, so I actually checked out iFlix last night and saw several of those other stuff. Maybe I’ll keep both accounts, considering that the latter is so much cheaper, actually. I’ll be trying out their month-long free trial.

Anyway, I am sharing my quick reviews again. Read on, friends, but check out the guide below. 

RATINGS GUIDE:

  • Excellent – No doubt that I super love this and would love to continue watching!
  • Good – Very interesting that I wouldn’t want to miss an episode
  • Promising – Interesting that it can keep me glued to my seat and ask for more, but there’s still a chance my interest in it may wane
  • Fair – Entertaining enough to watch to pass the time
  • Undecided – Not consistently interesting that my feelings for it seesaws from almost-LIKE to meh.
  • Bad – NOT recommended WHATSOEVER, for valid reasons

PREVIOUS REVIEWS

Okay, first we discuss some shows mentioned in the last review post. Oh, and another fair warning…

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

IF you have not seen a show mentioned here, feel free to ignore this post if it suits you. Better if you’ll just skip parts instead to avoid the “spoilage”, so to speak…Here goes…

Game of Thrones (GoT)

I finally got to continue with Game of Thrones. So far, I’m done with Season 3. GoT is one big and compelling web of interwoven stories. It is very interesting, if not sometimes gruesome and scandalously unapologetic about the sex, the nudity, and the annoying habit of killing off beloved characters just when the audience are warming up to them.

Nothing prepared me for the betrayal and murder of Robb Stark! I mean, I knew he would die sometime, but it was all so sudden, quick and a really undeserved and meaningless death of a strong character. I also did not expect Lady Catelyn Stark‘s death–I had thought she’d outlive Robb and, at least, get to see her littler kids first–so cruel!

Characters I love and would love to see till the end:

  1. Arya Stark- smart, brave and loyal (so far? we’ll see), and she kicks butts…It would be terrible if the character gets killed off.
  2. Tyrion Lannister I give him the Best Lannister award! His past before the war aside, he’s proven to be intelligent and rather kind-hearted.
  3. Daenerys Stormborn easily almost everyone’s favorite. While the Lannisters, Starks and Baratheons were battling it out and busy tricking one another, she successful gathered thousands of armies to her side. My fearless forecast is she stays until the end.

More comments:

  • I know when sex/nudity is a work of art, and I know when it’s just meant to lure the audience. So save me the for-the-sake-of-art BS. And with the whole Weinstein controversy going on, it’s hard not to be concerned about the actors in such shows, whether they are big stars, bit players or extras.
  • Finally, the fantasy factor! The dragons are bigger, there were white walker sightings, and Melisandre is one intriguing magical character.
  • I’m not spared from spoilers even if I try to avoid them, so I do know about Jon Snow and Daenerys being related (don’t know how yet) and I have this to say: When has incest become accepted as cool??? GoT crossed the line. Nevermind if they end up not related after all. The point is, they think they are, yet they do it, anyway. Protagonists need not be saints, but they don’t have to be that morally questionable either.

RATING: GOOD (It would’ve been EXCELLENT, but I can never truly love a show that troubles me a lot. Still, I’m watching it. Hopefully, it doesn’t completely turn me off.)

Once Upon a Time (OUAT)

It’s been a slow progress that I have only finished the first season of Once Upon a Time. I haven’t even started with any episode from season 2 mainly because I’m busy with GoT and another series. Also, I want to watch most of it with the kids during weekends when I’m not busy.

Thankfully, the storylines were building up, keeping me interested, so I expect to be more entertained by the next season, at least. I do wish that Emma Swan did not finally learn the truth. I feel like the show could have delayed the revelation longer, maybe kept it till the first few season 2 episodes, at least. Maybe the producers were not sure whether they should continue it so they made a sort of open-ended ending, but it would still be an ending of sorts.

I am somehow glad that the antagonists aren’t really such bad people. I do want a better background story for Maleficent in the next seasons. Meanwhile, I have a pretty good idea who the Queen of Hearts actually is.

RATING: GOOD (It’s something the kids and I bond over. Now the youngest wants a Pinocchio costume for Reading Week.)

Dexter

Dexter has ended and, to be honest, it kind of left a hole in my heart. I DIDN’T like the series finale at all! Practically everything was wrong! Practically the whole final season was wrong! As it has ended and I have a lot to say about it, this deserves a whole writeup, so whatever I need to say, I’ll save it.

RATING: Went up to EXCELLENT (I am tempted to change it to GOOD because the ending was AWFUL.)

iZombie

The last time, I said I was willing to try iZombie until its third season. That was before I found out it has only two seasons so far. I also said it needed more oomph. Fortunately, the zombie show did step up the game especially in the season finale. I can’t wait till I get to see the next episodes! It’s light, entertaining, I’m not scared to show it to kids (with my supervision, of course). Needless to say, the rating went up as well. No complaints for now. Long live the zombie!

RATING: Brain-licking GOOD (Also another bonding-worthy series to watch with kids–of course, I make sure to spare them from the very few a-bit-too-steamy-for-kids scenes.)

YouTube channels

As I have mentioned in my previous post, my enthusiasm for watching YouTube channels has started to wane. So what I’m doing is I just take my time.

NEW REVIEWS

Elementary

I am always into mysteries, so I decided I’d try this series out, after all, it’s about the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century. It didn’t disappoint, coming on strong in the first seasons, though I have to say it’s getting a bit less interesting as time goes by. I hope it picks up again.

My comments:

  • Sherlock is incredibly good at what he does. He has great deductive reasoning skills and a big wealth of information in his head. I like hearing bits of trivia when he talks. It does seem too impossible already at times the way he knows almost everything.
  • First woman Watson! And it’s Lucy Liu playing Joan Watson at that. I had to choose which to view first between Elementary and the other series, Sherlock–Lucy won my vote for the show, hands down. She’s natural as Watson, there isn’t time to wonder why Watson is Asian and not a man. It is not really relevant, anyway.
  • First woman Moriarty! That was brilliant as well. I also didn’t realize Moriarty was/is a woman and that she’s both Sherlock’s biggest nemesis and the love of his life. I suspected she was involved somewhat with Moriarty’s group, but not like that.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a possibility for a Holmes-Watson romantic angle. That’s refreshing. Also understandable as that would be too much veering away from the original fictional characters they’re based on.
  • It’s good that they tackled the addiction issue, which is a great flaw on Sherlock’s character. However, I’m in season 4 now and it still plays a big part in his storyline. It’s kind of getting old, to be honest. The writers should lay off it for a while. Sherlock using again at last season’s finale was just very disappointing, rather unnecessary and, really, just a betrayal of the audience that have come to accept him.

RATING: EXCELLENT

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

Apparently, this series was based on the TV movie Lizzie Borden Took an Axwhich was based on actual cases of murder supposedly committed by the real Lizzie Andrew Borden. I haven’t seen the movie, but the series took from where the movie left off. Christina Ricci did so well as Lizzie that the network/producers decided to create The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (let’s call this LBC).

I must say that Christina sure showed how much she’s mastered the art of portraying dark and sinister characters (well, she’s had years of practice). She slayed it, pun intended. Character-wise, I never liked Lizzie. She’s evil and the only person she cared about, in a way, was her sister, mainly because she had a need for the sister. I told myself I would just watch the first season because Lizzie was not a main character anyone could root for. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to as the show was only meant to be for one season…Whew!

More comments:

  • The actual Lizzie was said to have only killed two. Supposedly, as she was acquitted of the crime. LBC took a lot of liberties with their story and took a lot of the lives (some names were actual people back then) than necessary. Now, while things are often open to artistic interpretation, I believe that making Lizzie seem like some kind of sociopath/psychopath was going overboard. Maybe the real Lizzie was a killer, but it didn’t mean she killed many others. If you ask me, it’s a case of character assassination. If they wanted to drastically change things, they could’ve just created a whole new story that would not have Lizzie in it.
  • It is not clear if the Lizzie here was a sociopath or psychopath. Yes, there’s a difference, look it up. She’s cold-hearted and calculating, but she didn’t have a psychopath’s M.O. She just killed those who either stood in her way or those she could use to her advantage. Everybody knew she was some kind of bad; she never really pretended to be normal and likeable, which is characteristic of a psychopath.
  • I am not sure whether to love or hate the modern approach the show took in terms of background music. It really seemed out of place. We’re not watching steam punk, after all.

RATING: FAIR

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (a.k.a. CSI: Las Vegas)

I was so glad to have the chance to finish the whole CSI show. It’s one of my fave shows ever. My only problem was Netflix’s offer started with season 13 when I have never seen season 12! So while I expected Dr. Ray Langston leaving (after all, I already knew somebody was going to be the next lead), I wanted to experience that “closure”. Plus, I suddenly found some old faces missing and found new faces whose backgrounds I didn’t have an iota of an idea of.

Anyway, I am both sad and happy about the show. I am sad it’s ended, but I’m happy it ended well. After Warrick Brown‘s death in…whatever season that was, no main character died anymore, as far as I know, so yay! They brought the main characters back in the last episodes and gave everyone a happy finale.

I love that they brought Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows back for it, especially for Grissom and Sara Sidle to mend things and sail off to sea together. Nick Stokes finally got the promotion he’d been hankering for. I was confused whether the show was considering a David Hodges-Morgan Brody-Greg Sanders love triangle thing or not, although in the end, it seemed to be Greg for the win.

No complaints here, except I won’t be able to see the show anymore. However, I am currently trying to see where I might be able to view CSI: Cyber. It’s been canceled, I’ve read, but I’m very much interested to see if I would like it or not.

RATING: EXCELLENT (My interest never wavered!!! I don’t know why I even delayed watching it before.)

Star Trek: Discovery

Yes! About time that I watch me some Star Trek again! It’s very new so I have decided to try and follow on a weekly basis. Certainly, it hasn’t disappointed me yet after four episodes. Great effects! And they definitely upped the ante on the creepy factors (twisted corpses in spaceships, anyone?) Plotlines aren’t bad at all either.

Love that after kicking zombie butts in Walking Dead as Sasha, Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham is now kicking Klingon butts (no offense to Worf as I loved him). She’s brought the tough persona with her, minus the too-much angst, yet still kind of brooding with the tendency to be anti-social. She’s perfect for the role! It’s nice that this show now gives more power to more women (I do want Deanna Troi here somehow, which is probably impossible, given the time setting). Now, for my fearless forecast: Michael will sooner or later replace Capt. Gabriel Lorca as captain, mark my words.

More comments:

  • Why did Michelle Yeoh have to die so soon? She could have given more to the show. And why the H did the show not give Capt. Philippa Georgiou a proper and dignified burial rather than have the Klingons eat her??!!!
  • The Klingons. Their look. No. I prefer the Worf-look. These Klingons do not look like Klingons. Just sayin’.
  • Some have taken issue with it, but I don’t mind the Michael name. Women are now named Joey, Jesse, Alex…so what’s wrong with Michael? My only qualm is, really, “Michael Burnham” doesn’t sound anything near special. And one funny thing: “Georgiou Michael”…Coincidence, for sure.

That’s what I can say about it for now. It’s cool that they have After Trek right after every episode. I watch that as well.

RATING: EXCELLENT

I actually watched the first episode of the series version of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Just one. Suffice it to say, I was not that impressed yet. I’m avoiding it for now, but I promise to go back to it sometime. Also began watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Everyone knows the show and the things that happened, so I will spare you and I by not doing a review of it anymore. My plan is to catch up on shows and/or their episodes that I missed.

Well, I’ve shared my thoughts. Yours?

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JAMIE PART 5: JAMIE AND THE GOSSIP BOYS

For previous posts, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

JAMIE AND THE GOSSIP BOYS

As soon as Jamie absent-mindedly took a sip of her coffee, she let out a stifled ‘ouch!’ and regretted forgetting where she was. It was so hot, she practically spilled the beverage on her clothes!

I miss F.R.I.E.N.D.S., so here they are in a scene at the famous Central Perk. Of course, copyright goes to the show’s producers…

Darn it. Her stars seemed to be misaligned lately and didn’t know where exactly to stay. She simply kept missing her targets…Well, maybe not so much. After all, she did land a job the other day, just not exactly what she had in mind. Which brought her back to her reverie, what made her all dazed and confused, what caused her to oh-so-stupidly burn her lips and tongue in the first place.

What happened back there in Madeleine Elliot’s office? It was so strange, she’d be willing to bet she was in an episode of the Twilight Zone. That morning just didn’t seem real. Or was it? So she pinched and hurt herself in the process (‘Ow!’).

That actually made it more Twilight Zone-y, to pinch herself and find out she was awake the whole time. She couldn’t even bring herself to rate from one to ten how her job interview went. Did she do well, or did she just sign up for a starring role in some twisted reality show?

So dazed and confused, that was how Jamie found herself on the sofa, on an otherwise beautiful Wednesday morning, in a nice little cafeteria there in Upper Manhattan, taking her early breakfast. Obviously F.R.I.E.N.D.S.-inspired, the place made her feel like one of those yuppie characters in one of their usual quandaries. Sure, it was not quite a cerebral show—her favorite was actually Phoebe with Joey coming in close second—but it was one of her guilty pleasures. Sometimes, she even preferred watching the show’s reruns over National GeographicAnimal Planet or Discovery Channel. She ought to be shot.

“He-he-heeey! It’s our favorite girl!” the now-familiar voice of Donnie announced as he and Zach entered the place and found her on the sofa. “Aren’t you happy to see your favorite boys?”

“I would be. If they were here,” she said without looking up, pretending to wipe away lint off her slacks.

Aw, you kidder you!” Donnie flopped unceremoniously at her right while smiling Zach took the one-seater on her left. A waiter attended to their orders and soon, they had their mugs of coffee to get busy with while Donnie gobbled up a bagel.

Jamie concentrated again on her coffee now that it was not super-hot anymore, smelling the fresh brew. It was called Machiato Mystery, named so for some reason. Could be because of the supposed secret syrup added, or somebody was just up for some name game. Jamie took a sip and, “Mmmmm…,” she cooed, her eyes widening in utter satisfaction and delight. At least, one good thing was happening to her that morning.

Zach paused midway to sipping with a grin. “Is that supposed to be a new word in the dictionary?”

“Yes, look it up,” she kidded back. On the other hand, Donnie had finished his bagel and was eyeing hers on the center table. “Hey. Bagel. Mine. Back off.”

She was rewarded with a disgusted look. “I don’t understand why you’re eating that,” he said.

“Why not when it looks back at me screaming ‘eat me! eat me!’? ‘Sides, didn’t you just have one? Is there any rule anywhere that forbids me to do this mortal sin?”

“Yes! Look, you’re not exactly thin! I mean you’re cute, I give you that, but you don’t need the extra pounds.”

“Says the big guy eyeing my bagel.”

“But I’m buffed!” Donnie raised an arm and showed his biceps to make a point. “And I’m a guy.

Jamie turned to Zach. “What are you doing socializing with Neanderthal Man?”

He laughed. “Uh, he makes me seem more interesting?”

She laughed back, took a bite at her bagel and made sure Donnie was looking. “Mmmm…I can feel the extra pounds already. Bring it on!” Donnie immaturely stuck out a tongue at her, defeated and mumbling something unintelligible.

“Anyhoo, what are you doing here? I take it you’ve joined the employment wagon?”

Jamie gave a hardly audible “Uh-huh,” wishing she could simply drop dead just to escape the conversation. She considered saying a hasty goodbye and make a run for it, but stomped on the stupid idea the minute it got to her head.

Zach studied her. She knew it even if she wasn’t looking, avoiding his eyes. “You don’t exactly sound enthusiastic,” he said. “What happened? Go on, spill the details.”

“What happened? I happened.”

“And…? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

Jamie grimaced a bit. “It…depends on how you see it. I’m not even sure how I should see it.” Sigh. “I met Madeleine Elliot  and — ”

“Madeleine…Oooohh…You don’t wanna meet her,” Donnie interrupted with a warning.

“Well, too late for that.” Jamie rolled her eyes. “She’s the Editor-in-Chief. There’s no going around it. What I want to know is if you know something I oughta know.”

“Sure! Madeleine Elliot? That woman is, like, the Mistress of Winter. Get my drift?” Donnie asked in a rather conspiratorial manner.

Huh?

Zach butted in, thankfully. “That’s just a nick people came up with to refer to her when her back is turned. But, that’s just what we hear from up there, you know. Quite a reputation she’s got. Or they could just all be rumors. We know how those spread. I have not met her personally, anyway. Seen her, but not exactly met her.”

“Well, I did!” Donnie interjected again. “Believe me, Jamie, that one? Ice Queen. Proven by your man, Donnie.”

Zach stood up to reach for his friend. “Yeah. And you had the mark of her hand right on your face for several hours to prove it. Yep. Riiiiight about heeeerrreee…” He playfully tapped on Donnie’s right cheek and the latter irritably pushed his hand away. “Ha, ha! I wish I had your camera then! You should have seen the look on your face!” he said, taking his seat again.

Jamie made a little laugh. “My God. Really?” Donnie, more irritated, said she sounded happy. She was not at all repentant. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was supposed to sympathize with the likes of you. It seems like you deserved it after all.”

“He did. Tried to flirt with her once when they first met—he was new then—and you know Mr. Unsubtle. So, he found out that ice stings the hard way—on his face. Of course, she’s Ice Queen. Anyone who rejects Valentino Donnie’s advances is Ice Queen to him.”

“Hmnn. Guess that makes me Ice Princess then, eh?”

“Oh yeah, you betcha you’re more than half-way there,” Donnie muttered. He made sure she heard him, though. She was rather amused that his ego was bothered and bruised. “Could we please just go back to the original topic? Ice Queen Madeleine meets Ice Princess here?”

“I just wish you warned me about her, Zach, you know, clued me in a little bit,” Jamie complained with a little pout that she wasn’t aware of.

“And what, made you more nervous by telling you something based solely on hearsay?” Zach explained. (‘Hah!’ from Donnie.) “Besides, that would have been quite unfair to her, don’t you think?”

“Well…yeah, I guess…but I would have spared myself from humiliation, at least.”

“Uh-oh. That didn’t sound good. What did you do?”

“For starters, I s-s-sort of got on her bad side the minute I walked into their office.”

“How?”

Donnie’s eyes widened. “Yes, how? Why? What happened? C’mon, gimme the juicy details!”

Jamie stared at him a bit, then announced, “I cannot comprehend the fact that I am now sitting here, taking my coffee, beside the exact living proof that should give evidentiary support to the theory that gossiping isn’t really entirely a social activity reserved for women alone.” She was rewarded with a blank look. “Nevermind.”

She then proceeded to give them a full account of her Madeleine encounter. She was way past caring about keeping it a secret, and she did feel like telling someone. She was not rumor-mongering anyway. She would bet that at least the whole office knew what Madeleine felt for her brother.

When she finished, Zach had a slightly open-mouthed, amused look on his face while Donnie’s eyes were as wide as ever as he whistled in a kind of awed way. “I don’t get it. Why did she take you?” the latter said. Jamie realized she could not fault him that one. She didn’t get it either.

But as usual, Zach was a voice of logic. “Well, whatever that was, that most probably meant she liked you.” Jamie’s face lit up a bit. Come to think of it, he could be right. Why was she worried about something that was in her favor?

Or,” Donnie interjected yet once again, “you really pissed her off, she’s out to make your life a living hell.”

“Gee, thanks,” she said not-so-thankfully. Zach was quick to add that Madeleine would not have the time to hire someone and pay that someone just to get even. Jamie again agreed that he was right.

The curiosity was still there, but Jamie decided that she was not going to waste her time worrying about something she did not know what or if it even existed. That interview was weird, true, but it got her the job. What more could she wish for?

Dear Jamie, though? Really?” This snide remark from the malicious big guy, of course.

Jamie threw him an evil look. “You really ought to work on your people skills, you know that?”

“Well, duh. It wasn’t me who thought she could just mouth off anything to Madeleine Elliot, especially about her brother!” Donnie’s eyes then darted to the door. “Speaking of who—”

“—whom,” she corrected.

“Whatever. But look who’s here! If it ain’t Madeleine’s beloved little bro!”

Curious enough, Jamie took a look and her jaw dropped. Oh no. No. Friggin’ N-O.

Her expression did not escape Zach who asked, “You know him?”

Know him? The eyes, the hair…No wonder Madeleine looked familiar! There at the door, looking as handsome and smug as he always did, was the last person she ever wanted to see. The last person she would ever want to be Madeleine’s brother.

Luke. Anthony. Carlton. The Third.

Shoot. Things could not get any worse, could they?

 

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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For more of Jamie’s ongoing story, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.