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Books, Movies, and TV: March 2015 Update

Well, so much for blogging about this weekly!  HA!

Be FOREWARNED:  The following blog will contain spoilers about the Outlander series (books and TV), Friends, Angel, Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, Vikings, Cougar Town, A Discovery of Witches, Mockingjay, Gilmore Girls, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Orphan Black.

BOOKS:

I have not done a ton of reading in the past couple of weeks.  My daughter has been going through a very fussy phase, and I've been TIRED.  Very.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:  I'm behind on my RAL reading for this; I think I'm at the end of the Yule Ball?  Yes, I think so.  I love the Yule Ball scene and all of the stuff leading up to it. I give mega props to Krum; I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for being so astute.  He has this meathead persona, and yet he is smart and discerning enough to seek out the smartest, most capable girl in the school to be his date to the ball.  He could have any girl in the school, and he was smart enough to pick Hermione!  I just love that.  Goodonya, Vik!  ;)

Pride and Prejudice:  OMG, I am nearing one of my FAVORITE parts of the book!  Eliza is visiting the newly married Collinses with Charlotte's sister and father.  Lizzie is having to endure the snobbery and foppishness of Lady Catherine De Bourgh; but she is doing so with her usual detachment and entertaining herself with amusing perspectives.  Mr. Darcy is there, and she can't figure out why he comes to call on her at the Collins' residence when no one else is around.  Hm, why indeed?  GAH!!!!  We are SO close to his initial proposal, which I just love.  Hopefully I will have more time to read this week!

A Discovery of Witches:  Not only am I reading the physical book of this (I'm towards the end), but I also recently started listening to the audiobook version.  Again.  For what might very well be the hundredth time!  I'm also participating in a Goodreads-hosted RAL for the All Souls Trilogy.  I can't get enough of Matthew and Diana, what can I say?  So in the ACTUAL book version, I'm just at the part where the House (a character in and of itself) delivers a very important letter to Diana, and also a page from Ashmole 782.  The letter is from Diana's mother, and provides her with some much-needed answers to the mystery she is currently embroiled in.  I love the little knitting cameo here, too; when the house spits out a green sweater-in-progress that Em had been working on.  Shout-out!!!  Haha.  The chapter ends with Diana demanding that Marcus and Miriam (who are coming for a visit) stay with them and NOT in a hotel. 

As for the audiobook, I'm at the point where Matthew is back from Scotland after his "hunting" trip, and he and Diana are growing closer.  They are currently at Diana's having dinner, and she is about to mistakenly ask him what he thinks she will taste like; BAD idea.  I love these early scenes in Oxford; the atmosphere is so spooky and perfect!

The Fiery Cross:  This book is pretty different from the other books.  Outlander and Voyager, especially, are like NONSTOP action.  Those two books, when I read them, I can't put them down.  DIA and DOA are a bit slower, but still pretty action-packed.   This book definitely has way less action and plot, and more day-to-day stuff.  However, I really don't mind that.  At this point I really enjoy reading about Jamie and Claire's relationship and how they are living their lives and adjusting to being together again after such a lengthy separation.  I'm enjoying it, but its definitely slower than the other novels.  And forgive me again for saying this, but Brianna still bugs the holy bejesus out of me.  I thought she would shift and evolve, or that at the very least motherhood would turn her into a more mature, likeable human being, but so far that still hasn't happened.  She still strikes me as a whiny, immature brat.  I'm still holding out hopes of that changing, but at this point, I still think "poor Roger" an awful lot!  ;)

MOVIES:

Breakfast At Tiffany's:  This is another old movie that I have never seen, and finally watched.  I love old movies; I know I've said it before, but I so enjoy the pacing, the costumes, the settings, and the language.  Having said that, while this wasn't a favorite film that I see myself watching again and again, I'm glad I watched it.  I had to quiz my mom a bit about the subtleties, since I wasn't alive during the 1960s and felt like I was missing some of the contextual idiosyncrasies.  Plus, its Truman Capote, and sometimes artistic genius needs a little..... explanation.  ;)  There were some surprisingly brave and funny moments in this film that definitely stood out, and I found it overall entertaining and interesting. 

ONE major flaw:  MOON RIVER!!!!!  You will all have to forgive me for this.  Believe me, I am well aware how beloved this song is.  I, however, despise it with a passionate fury.  I used to teach ballroom dance, and because the song is a very classical Waltz rhythm and super popular in general, it is grossly overused in the ballroom dance arena.  When I was teaching, I often had to hear this song over and over again throughout the course of a day during lesson times, dances, and even more if a student was working on a choreographed showcase piece to the song.  It wasn't a favorite BEFORE I had to hear it played over and over again in a seemingly endless, torturous, neverending stream.  So when I first started watching this film and the opening bars of Moon River began to play, I very nearly shut it off.  I'm proud of myself for sticking with it, though (and yes, I plugged my ears during the scene where Audrey, or her voice-over, sings the song). 

Mockingjay, Part 1:  I LOVED this film!  It should be noted that I'm a huge fan of the book series, and now the film series as well.  I think they have done an amazing job translating the books to film and keeping the spirit of the message intact.  I was surprised at how many negative reviews this film got, because I thought it was extremely well-done.  Some of the criticisms I heard about this movie included it being too slow and not action-packed enough.  I thought there was a TON of action; maybe not the constant, nonstop action of the previous film, but I don't personally see that as a negative!  Anyway, I thought it was great and I am equal-parts looking forward to AND dreading the final film in the franchise.  Dreading because (spoiler alert) pretty much everyone dies, and I know its going to be awful and sad and so hard to watch.  And looking forward to it because I know it will be a really good film.

TV:

Friends:  I'm still working my way through this series, though my interest is kinda waning.  I'm in season 3, and I'm just not finding it as funny as I did when the series aired.  There are still funny moments, but I'm mostly watching this for the 1990s nostalgia.  It brings back a lot of memories for me, and that is why its holding my interest.

Outlander:  We've stalled a bit on this, just because of lack of time.  The shows that hubby and I watch together are the shows it takes us the very LONGEST to watch, because we are so rarely in the same place, at the same time, and without the children!  Ha.  The last episode we watched of Outlander was the Wedding, so Claire and Jamie are married now!  We have to hurry up and watch the last few episodes since the second half of season 1 starts up again in, like, a week!  I remember back in October when we found out that it wouldn't start airing again until April, and I thought, "WHAT?  That's forever away!"  And here it is!  :)

Vikings:  We are 2 episodes behind, so the last one we saw was where the Mystery Man left town, and I think Cyggi died?!?!?!  WTH?????  I was so shocked at the end of this ep, and I don't know what to think yet.  I've come to really like Cyggi's character, so if she truly is dead, I will be so sad to see her go!  My confusion stems in large part from the whole tenor of the season so far.  Everything has been rather dreamlike, and sometimes its hard to discern what is REALLY happening and what may be dreams or visions of the characters.  Anyway, I'm forgetting the name of Bjorn's lover at the moment, but she is still recovering from her severe battlefield injuries that have left her disfigured, and of course she is still pregnant.  Hubby predicted that she would die, but I don't think she will.  I'm eager to see how Bjorn is as a father, though.... and Lagertha as a grandmother!!!

Orphan Black:  This is a show hubby has liked for while now, and I'm finally catching up.  I'm about 7 episodes into season 1, and its pretty addictive.  Its one of those shows where something is ALWAYS going on, and the mysteries just keep getting deeper and crazier.  Allison just tied up her husband and tortured him with her glue gun.  This is awful, but I found this scene HILARIOUS.  Not because torture and violence are funny; they aren't.  But just in a twisted way, you have to imagine that the director or one of the writers or somebody was thinking of frustrated housewives in this scene, and imagining how it would play out if a frustrated housewife were to just SNAP one day!  Haha!  Hubby and I had a good laugh (although he looks at me suspiciously from time to time now.... JOKING!!!!).  So anyway, Sarah talks Allison into letting her husband go and convinces her that there is no way he is a spy.  Of course I'm pretty sure he IS a spy, or at the very least Allison's watcher, as previous episodes have indicated.  So I thought it was kind of dumb of them to just let him go, and wasn't it total confirmation of him being a spy when he just moved on like nothing happened?!?!?  Had he NOT been a spy, surely he would have called the police or gotten his wife some psychiatric help or something?!?!  So you would think it was a dead giveaway to Allison that something's up.  But no; she missed that!  I guess I have to cut her some slack though, since it can't be easy being a clone.

Cougar Town:  I used to watch this show when it first came out, and love it; its hilariously funny.  Its interesting watching this show and Friends at the same time.  Courteney Cox is so funny and talented in this show, but I didn't find her to be that funny in Friends.  Of course she was more the straight character in that show, but still.... she really came into her own as a comedic actress in this show.  So!  Grayson, the big stupid idiot, just slept with Laurie and I'm still mad at him.  Its so obvious Jules likes him, and vice versa, and they are both being stupid about it!

Angel:  I'm so behind with my Angel WAL, too.  I just finished the episode "Hero" where Doyle sacrifices himself to save a shipload of half-demon, half-humans.  It was the perfect send-off for him, being a half-demon, half-human himself.  It was so sad, though; I love his character and hate so much to see him go.  Plus, I thought he and Cordelia had adorable chemistry.  And its even more sad when you consider that the actor who played Doyle died in real life, so .... boo!

Gilmore Girls:  I'm about midway through season 4 now, and Lorelai is dating Jason.  This is probably my least-favorite relationship of hers.  Jason has some funny moments, but their whole relationship is punctuated by awkward moments and the blatant mismatchedness (like that?) of what they are together.  Hubby and I watched their first date together and we just kept going, "OMG, this is so awkward; why don't they just go home?"  It sets the tone for their whole relationship though, and the whole relationship is pretty much like that!  I still don't get why Lorelai even went out with him, except that Jason was so persistent.  Once they break up, she lets him go easily enough, so its just strange.  I guess they needed a filler until they could finalize Luke and Nicole's divorce????  I don't know.  In the meantime, Paris is hooking up with her old instructor, and Rory is adjusting to the fast-paced, academically-demanding life at Yale. 

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If you are interested in helping the podcast, you can donate through the donation button on this page (on the right hand side) or if you would like to become a patron of the podcast, feel free to check out my Patreon account which can be found at:  http://www.patreon.com/veganjilly

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Also check out the Ravelry group for all the latest KCALs, Fandom Alongs, Giveaways, and delightful conversation!

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