Monthly Archives: February 2015

Thoughts On Downton Abbey

*-This post contains spoilers about Downton Abbey. If you do not like spoilers and have not caught up to the most recent episode, you are reading at your own risk.

With the final episode of Downton Abbey airing in the United States tomorrow night, I’ve been thinking about a few things.

We need to drop the #PoorEdith hashtag. What I realized is that Edith is one of those characters who despite multiple setbacks, just keeps on moving forward. Whether it was crushing on Matthew (whom she lost to Mary), getting engaged to Sir Anthony (who dumped her at the alter) or getting involved and getting pregnant by Michael Gregson, who was older, married and is no longer of this world, her barometer in choosing men is not quite working. Edith has classic middle child syndrome. She is the Mary Bennet of Downton Abbey and the Jan Brady of BPD’s (British Period Drama). She is not the beauty of the family like her elder sister, nor was she rebellious enough to choose her own path like her late youngest sister. She was simply Edith.  If I could write Edith’s story line for the sixth series, I would have her go her own way and create  her own happiness. Frankly, after all she has been through, she deserves a little happiness.

There are some among the fan base who would like to see Mary and Tom get together. I disagree.

Mary and Tom do have a lot in common. They are around the same age, they are both single parents due to the fact that they both lost their spouses early in their children’s lives and their long term goal is to ensure that their children stay in Downton Abbey for many years to come. But they are ill matched as a romantic couple.

Looking at the series from a writing perspective, a Mary/Tom romance would cheapen the story. Julian Fellows has created these wonderfully complex and highly entertaining story lines. Yes, a Mary/Tom romance would be convenient and easy to write, but it would be too convenient and too easy. It is far more interesting as a viewer to see them with other characters in a romantic relationship while balancing their responsibilities as parents and caretakers of the legacy of the Crawleys.

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Is This What A College Experience Should Be?

C0llege, in it’s most idealized form, should be like a house on a hill. Free from preconceived notions of any kind, the college experience takes a teenager and replaces that teenager with a young adult who is hopefully ready to enter the working world of adults.

Sadly, that is not the case these days. Hate and extremism are becoming common on college campuses these days. Not just in the United States, but all over the world.

My college experience was the most trans-formative of my life. The person that I was when I moved in the first day of freshman year was not the same person who left that campus four years later with a bachelors in her hands.  While I had a vast array of experiences during my undergraduate days, I never felt like I was discriminated against or  attacked because of who I was and still am.

That is not the case for many college students today.

The thing that saddens and scares me is that today’s undergraduate college student is tomorrow’s leader in business or government.  The lessons we learn and the experiences we go through in college will forever have a hold over us later in life.

My concern is that the undercurrent of fear and hatred on our college campuses today will have a cataclysmic affect on our future and not in a good way.

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RIP Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy passed away yesterday. Known to generations of Star Trek fans and to the general public as Spock, his place in pop culture is immortal.

In the video below, he explains the origin of the Vulcan salute, which is actually part of a Jewish ritual. RIP.

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11 Inspiring People Who Lost It All and Came Back Stronger

To paraphrase a line from Downton Abbey, “I like it when good things come from bad”. We may not realize it at the time, but sometimes a failure can be a blessing in disguise.

Psych Circus

11 Inspiring People Who Lost It All and Came Back Stronger | Inc.com.

Failure happens, but it’s usually not permanent unless you give up. These folks didn’t, and it paid off.

Personally, in 1994 I dropped out of medical school in massive debt, depressed and certain that I was finished. I kept plugging, though, and things have worked out rather well!

Do you have any comeback stories? Do tell!

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Flashback Friday- Latino Singers Taken Too Soon- La Bamba (1987) and Selena (1997)

Youth, sometimes can be wasted on the young. Especially when the ones with the most to live for are taken from us.

La Bamba (1987) is the story of Ritchie Valens, one of the early pioneers of modern rock and roll who died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper in 1959. Starring Lou Diamond Phillips in the lead role, the movie starts with his life in his early years living in near poverty, and ends with the plane crash that took three of the greatest stars that the music industry has ever seen.

Ten years later, Jennifer Lopez exploded into the public consciousness in Selena, the movie about Selena Quintanilla-Pérez,a popular Tejano singer whose life was tragically cut short when she was killed by an associate.

Both movies are entertaining, but sad, because the audience knows the ending even before the opening credits are complete.

I recommend them both.

 

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies, Music

Flashback Friday-The Rise Of The Child Stars- Kids Incorporated (1984-1993) & All That (1994-2005)

To be in the movies or on television at a young age is either a blessing or curse.  For every Drew Barrymore who is able to succeed in the industry as an adult, there is a Dana Plato whose career and life we can only speak of in past tense.

Between them, Disney and Nickelodeon has produced multiple generations of child stars.

Kids Incorporated was part of the Disney lineup from 1984-1993. Combining musical performances and short skits, the show is a whose who of child stars whose careers have successfully stretched into adulthood. Fergie, Mario Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Eric Balfour are four of the actors who got their feet wet during their time on Kids Incorporated.

For a kid in the 1980’s and 1990’s, this show was magic. I have very fond memories of watching this program during my younger days.

All That (1994-2005) was Nickelodeon’s answer to Saturday Night Live. Ironically, Kenan Thompson was part of the original All That cast and is presently a cast member of Saturday Night Live.

This show was just plain fun. To the preteen and early teenage audience, this was entertainment at it’s best.

I recommend both.

 

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television

Leader of the Pack (Business Philosophy) – Only Way but UP

Amen!

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Filed under Life, Movies

Grow Like a Flower

While growing and changing can hurt, the result is worthwhile.

A Small Act Of Kindness Can Bring Smile On Million Faces

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Not Without You Book Review

Some might say that to have a solid career is Hollywood means that life is easy. The truth is that being successful in Tinseltown is not all that it is cracked up to be.

Harriet Evan’s 2o14 release, Not Without You, is the story of different actresses who go through very similar struggles.

Sophie Leigh (born Sophie Sykes) is the proper English princess of the moment in Hollywood.  While her career up to this point has been a successful one, the movies she has made have become the predictable and formulaic rom-coms.  Sophie’s idol is the 1950’s actress Eve Noel. Eve had a string of successful films before she mysterious disappeared from the limelight.

Struggling to move on from the wounds of the past, the facade the Sophie has put up slowly begins to crumble. At the same time, we learn about Eve’s story and the events that convinced her to leave Hollywood. Now Sophie must learn the reasons for Eve’s decisions before something horrible happens to them both.

I liked this book. But I am also a fan of Old Hollywood, which was the reason that I borrowed from the library in the first place. While some might think that Hollywood has changed with the times, the reality is that some things never change.  Sophie and Eve’s stories are no different than any woman in Hollywood.

I recommend it.

 

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Throwback Thursday-Romancing The Stone (1984)

It can be said that art can imitate life. The question is, what happens when factors change and life imitates art?

In 1984’s Romancing The Stone, Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) is a successful romance novelist whose personal life can seem rather dull compared to the lives of her characters. Then she receives news that her brother in law was murdered, her sister has been kidnapped and a mysterious treasure map lands on her doorstep.  The people responsible for the murder of her brother in law and the kidnapping of her sister are willing to return Joan’s sister to safety if Joan will bring them the map.  Traveling to Colombia with the map, Joan meets Jack Colton (Michael Douglas). Jack agrees to lead her out of the jungle, but not before they have an adventure that is bigger than any of Joan’s novels.

This movie is 30 years old. It is as good as it as during it’s initial release.  It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s an old fashioned fish out of water adventure story that still holds sway over it’s audience.

I recommend it.

 

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday