All Creatures Great and Small Character Review: Mrs. Pumphrey

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

I apologize for not posting last weekend. The family came first.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television show All Creatures Great and Small. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Every town or neighborhood has an older person who might be seen as oddball or weird but is accepted for who they are.

In the PBS/Masterpiece television series, All Creatures Great and Small (based on the book series of the same name) Mrs. Pumphrey (first played by the late Diana Rigg and then by Patricia Hodge) is a wealthy widow without children. In place of human descendants is her beloved Pekingese, Tricki Woo. Trickie is one spoiled dog.

This is to the chagrin of James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph), who is referred to as “Uncle James”. He is the veterinarian of choice when it comes to taking care of her furbaby. While James tries to convince Mrs. Pumphrey to feed Trickie healthier food, it takes a while for the suggestion to sink in.

To sum it up: Mrs. Pumphrey may be a little too indulgent of her dog, but it is out of love. She is a generous person who gives to those who she cares for and believes in sharing her emotional wealth with others.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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The Woman King Movie Review

The myth of the Amazons is a powerful one. The idea of a race of warrior women who depend only on themselves and not on men has captured our collective imagination for centuries.

The new film, The Woman King, is based on true events. The main character is Nanisca (Viola Davis). In the 19th century, she is the General of the Dahomey Amazons. The Kingdom of Dahomey was one of many that traded goods and humans (i.e. slaves) with European settlers and traders.

Nanisca’s job is to lead and train the kingdom’s female warriors. One of the new recruits is Nawi (Thuso Mbedu). She is young and driven, but also stubborn. Taken under the wing of one of Nanisca’s lieutenants, Izogie (Lashana Lynch), Nawi knows that she can be one of the Agojie.

When Nawi, Izogie, and a few other women are captured in battle, Nanisca defies King Ghezo (John Boyega) to free them. Adding to the tension is a potential love interest for Nawi. Malik (Jordan Bolger) is a Portuguese trader who is much more than he appears to be.

Wow. Davis at the very least deserves an Oscar nomination. It is a powerful film that reminds all of us that we have the power to fight against our oppressors. We can live as we want to. But, in order to do that, we must take a stand against those who would hold us down because we are different.

This is one of those films that every woman should see. It disproves the idea that we are weaker and unable to handle life’s complications in a way that a man can. We are just as strong, intelligent, and capable as our male peers.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Woman King is presently in theaters.

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Letitia James and Fani Willis may be the Ones Who Save Us From You Know Who

It has been said that where there is smoke, there is fire. If that is true, there has been smoke coming out of a famous NYC building owned by you know who for a very long time.

Earlier this week, New York state Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James announced that she has filed a lawsuit against he who shall not be named, and his three eldest children. In short, it claims that their namesake organization and its leadership have been committing financial fraud as a standard business model for years.

Of course, his response was a racist slur. Which we have learned over the years is par for the course.

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has pulled together a grand jury investigation. The purpose is to determine if he and his supporters violated state laws in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

Starts at 1:15

As pointed out in yesterday’s episode of the podcast The New Abnormal (which starts at 5:19), both James and Willis are African American women. I think it speaks to where this country is going politically. These women understand that if they don’t stand up for what is right and the rule of law, there is a chance that no one will.

The only way to shut down a bully is to beat them at their own game. The former President is a bully. Until it is made crystal clear that he and his cronies are not above the law, they will continue to act with impunity.

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