Showing posts with label TV Series or Mini-Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Series or Mini-Series. Show all posts

Friday, January 1, 2021

It's 2021! Are You in The Twilight Zone?

Twilight Zone
For many years now, every New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is celebrated with the Twilight Zone marathon.  Even though we cut the cable a very long time ago, we didn't cut the Twilight Zone tradition in our home.

In reviewing how you can see the marathon, I'll tell you that CBS usually airs the Twilight Zone marathon starting on New Year's Eve and lasting until the early morning hours of Jan 2.  But, you can now set your own schedule thanks to Netflix & Hulu.

Hulu has all 5 seasons available and Netflix is currently offering seasons 1-3 & 5. 

What better way to start 2021 than with the voice of Rod Sterling!

 


January 1, 1960

 The Twilight Zone - Season 1
(The Definitive Edition)
Check Price
Do you know what happened on January 1, 1960? 

To be honest, I wasn't there, but I know what history tells us. On January 1, 1960, the 13th episode of the 1st season of the Twilight Zone aired.  That episode is entitled "The Four of Us Are Dying".

It is about a con man who can change his face to look like whomever he chooses by simply concentrating.  36 year old Arch Hammer doesn't always pick the best people to impersonate, but he always has an angle or reason for his selections.  Some schemes require a lot of money though and getting that can be very "expensive" as well as dangerous when you don't know the life story of the person you choose to impersonate.

You can watch that episode this New Year's by visiting Netflix or Hulu.  If you don't mind waiting and you would rather own the entire first season, you can do the same thing we have done in my household.  You can buy the full season, all 36 episodes, on DVD.


Favorite Twilight Zone Episode

The January 1, 1960 episode is a thought provoking episode for anyone who thinks they would rather be someone else.  However, that is not my personal favorite episode, or the one that reflects my greatest desire or fear. 

I admit, it is hard to choose a favorite episode out of all of the Twilight Zone shows.  There is one that haunts me though, so I think it must demonstrate some fear or concern in my own "twilight zone".  It is "Time Enough At Last".  If you know the title, it must haunt you too.  If not, you will find it in season 1, episode 8.

Now tell me.  What is your favorite or most memorable Twilight Zone episode? 

 





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It's 2021! Are You in The Twilight Zone? Written by:

House of Sylvestermouse




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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Columbo TV Series Reviewed

 

Columbo TV Series Reviewed

Who remembers Columbo? If you grew up in the '70s or even the '90s then you may know who Lt. Columbo is. The series began on NBC in 1971 and ran until 1978. I was so disappointed when NBC canceled the series.

 Then, Columbo was picked up by ABC in 1989 and ran until 2003. I don't think we ever missed an episode. In 1989 we moved to Western New York, not far from home in Pennsylvania. Moving is certainly a stressful undertaking, a new town, new schools for the kids, making new friends. This may sound crazy, but the series coming back was like having an old friend in the living room whenever it aired.

Columbo The Complete Series:

Lieutenant Columbo was played by (Peter Falk) a Los Angeles Police Dept. homicide detective. Columbo was not your typical whodunit mystery. Each episode opened with the crime being committed. So, we all knew from the beginning of the show who did it. This popularized what is called the inverted detective format.

During the rest of the show, we watch Columbo solve the crime with his relentless approach of questioning, picking apart the killers alibi, and bringing them to justice. 

To me, the show was more like a comedy, as he would arrive at the crime scene in his old beat-up car, wrinkled suit, trench coat, and smoking his cigar. The suspects become irritated with his persistence and line of questioning. His famous phrase was "Just one more thing". He came off as an incompetent, bumbling detective. It would always be at the end of the episode when they finally figured out how smart Lieutenant Columbo really was.

Some Fun Facts About Columbo:

  • The clothes he wore in the show were Peter Falk's own wrinkled suit and trench coat.
  • He frequently mentions his wife but she never appears in any of the episodes.
  • Columbo's first name is never mentioned. He is known simply as "Lieutenant Columbo".
  • Bing Crosby was originally offered the role of Columbo.
  • In season two they introduced a Basset Hound as Columbo's dog. The dog's name is never mentioned. 
  • The beat-up car Columbo drove was a 1959 Peugeot convertible, Model 403. I read somewhere that only 504 of these cars were manufactured in 1959.
This TV series is surely a classic we still watch it whenever we can find it on television. I still marvel in the endings when Columbo outwits the killer and finds that one clue the killer didn't count on.

Enjoy watching your favorite episodes with this Columbo Complete Series Edition

Columbo: The Complete SeriesColumbo: The Complete Series

 




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Monday, August 24, 2020

Worst Cooks In America: TV Series Reviewed


Have you ever wondered how a meal which seems so easy to make can sometimes go oh so wrong? As in what was I thinking? Did I use sugar instead of salt? Was that a cup or cup and a half of flour?


Been there. But thankfully, only occasionally.

If you need a little laughter in the kitchen then the television show the Worst Cooks In America is for you. (Laughing with the contestants at their culinary journey.)

Worst Cooks Competition


The Worst Cooks In America is an elimination competition cooking show in which contestants are separated into two teams. The teams are captained by well known chefs Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli this season.

Each show has a culinary  theme where the captains guide their team by teaching the contestants how to make a specific meal. The captains coach their team members along the way while the team members learn the ins and outs of cooking ... hopefully.

The first episode of the season features the contestants making their go-to meal from real life. A little scary, very interesting and very creative are some of these dishes. Some dishes combine ingredients that are just. so. not. edible!

A Sense Of Humor

Laughter and humor are also a theme throughout the show as contestants are good humored and the audience is rooting for them to succeed! Contestants are eliminated at the end of each show and they try so hard! As we home cooks know, some days are better than others and cooking can be an inexact endeavor some days for us novices.

Celebrity Worst Cooks

Every so often the show runs a celebrity season and there is always plenty of mirth and mayhem. It is quite amusing to watch celebrities out of their entertainment element and enter the show as the main character.

As the celebrity contestants are already camera friendly their cooking or lack of cooking skills shine through along with their entertaining personalities.

Where To Find Worst Cooks In America?

New episodes of the Worst Cooks In America air at 9 p.m. Sundays on the Food Network.

If you have an Amazon Fire Stick the series is available on the Food Network Kitchen app. The app is also available on Google Play and iPhone. The apps offer some free Food Network shows; however a cable subscription will unlock all the offerings.

If you love to cook or watch cooking shows I think you will enjoy Worst Cooks In America and may even learn a few new skills for your own kitchen along the way.





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Friday, August 14, 2020

Sherlock Holmes Complete Series DVD Reviewed - Starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock

In my opinion, Jeremy Brett makes the best Sherlock Holmes in any Sherlock movie or series.  This complete DVD series collection is totally awesome!  Now, we can watch, or re-watch, any individual Sherlock Holmes episode whenever we wish. 

Our son gave his father Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series set of DVD's for Father's Day.  He knew this would be the perfect gift for his dad, who originally had the shows on VHS.  The tapes are getting old, plus the DVD collection is much easier to store and watch on a variety of devices including his laptop. What we have discovered though, is that some of the TV series episodes were missing from the tapes, but are included in this DVD collection.  How wonderful it has been to rediscover the missing episodes.

In addition to giving his dad the DVD collection, our son has spent hours watching the shows with us. We all love Sherlock Holmes, therefore it makes the perfect TV series for us to watch together.


Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series

In addition to well known episodes like "The Hound of the Baskervilles" or "The Red Headed League", this 12 disc DVD set includes:
 Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television SeriesCheck Price
  • A Scandal In Bohemia
  • The Dancing Men
  • The Naval Treaty
  • The Solitary Cyclist 
  • The Crooked Man
  • The Speckled Band
  • The Blue Carbuncle
  • The Copper Beeches 
  • The Greek Interpreter
  • The Norwood Builder
  • The Resident Patient
  • The Final Problem
  • The Empty House
  • The Abbey Grange
  • The Musgrave Ritual
  • The Second Stain
  • The Priory School
  • The Devil's Foot
  • Wisteria Lodge
  • The Disappearance Of Lady Frances Carfax
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery 
  • Shoscombe Old Place
  • The Last Vampyre
  • The Three Gables
  • The Dying Detective
  • The Red Circle
  • The Cardboard Box
  • The Man With The Twisted Lip
  • The Six Napoleons 
  • Silver Blaze
  • The Bruce-Partington Plans 
  • The Sign Of Four 
  • The Problem Of Thor Bridge
  • The Illustrious Client
  • The Master Blackmailer
  • The Eligible Bachelor 
  • The Creeping Man
  • The Golden Pince-Nez 
  • The Mazarin Stone


That is 43 hours of excellent television shows that are quite intriguing and entertaining.


Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes


As I said in the introduction, Jeremy Brett is my favorite actor that ever played Sherlock Holmes.  His overall looks, facial expressions, his voice inflections, as well as his athleticism are perfect for the Sherlock character.  

In one episode, he easily jumps over and clears a couch.  In other episodes, he is seen stealthily walking up on someone.  He is also masterful in fisticuffs.  It is difficult to believe the same man who can vault over a couch, could also walk so silently, or engage in a physical fight, but Jeremy Brett pulls off each of those feats effortlessly.  He makes the fictional Sherlock Holmes character believable. 

Whilst Sherlock Holmes is also a mental genius, Jeremy Brett is an acting genius!     



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Sherlock Holmes Complete Series DVD Reviewed - Starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Friday, July 31, 2020

When Calls the Heart - Hallmark TV Series Reviewed

When Calls the Heart
Many years ago, I read the "Canadian West" book series by Janette Oke.  A few years ago, I started watching the Hallmark channel series "When Calls the Heart" which is based on that book series and is titled after the first book in the series.  

A few weeks ago, I decided to start watching the TV series again from the beginning.  I do love the show!  With the promised release of season eight in 2021, I wanted to go back to the beginning before the new series actually airs.  Yes, I realize I have plenty of time before 2021, but I rarely spend a lot of time watching TV during the holidays and I expect it to take me a few months to watch all of the episodes again.

I would also like to read the book series again.  Janette Oke is one of my favorite authors.  Decades ago, her books were responsible for my discovery of romantic books with a religious theme, which is my preferred book genre.  Any time I see her name on a book, I know I am safe to read that book.  That is extremely important to me.  I don't like grotesque or explicit content in a book or in movies.  Having authors I know will protect my eyes and mind from uncomfortable subject matter makes my book and movie selections a whole lot easier.

This sweet series, that deals with real life issues, is an inspiration.  I really like all of the characters and actors past and present.  

There are extremely sad times in the show, but overall I am left with a feeling of happiness after watching an episode.  And, I am always eager to watch the next one. It is so nice to be able to watch them back to back, without delays or months between the seasons. I have been surprised to realize there were a few things I had forgotten and have enjoyed rediscovering them.


The Synopsis of the Hallmark Series, When Calls the Heart


 When Calls the Heart - Seasons 1-5
Ultimate Collector's Edition
Check Price
In search of a purposeful life, Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) accepts a teaching position in Coal Valley in western Canada.  She immediately discovers that her wealthy family background has not prepared her for the frontier.  That is pretty obvious to everyone, but she is determined to survive, thrive, and succeed.  Fortunately for Elizabeth, she is befriended by a very respected and loved resident, Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) who supports and encourages her in her new life.

Coal Valley has recently endured a horrific coal mine explosion that has made dozens of the women in town (including Abigail Stanton), widows and many of the school children fatherless.  Their church, which housed their school, was burned down.  The classroom has been moved into the saloon, the only local business with a large enough room.  The saloon also doubles as a hotel, which means the students are occasionally interrupted by guests coming in or out, even though the bar is closed during school hours.

Shortly after Elizabeth arrives in Coal Valley, a newly assigned Mountie arrives.  Constable Jack Thornton is not happy with his new assignment.  He was headed to the desired and prestigious assignment of Cape Fullerton when he was redirected and sent to Coal Valley instead.  As soon as Jack hears Elizabeth's last name, he realizes she is the reason he was reassigned and is immediately resentful.  She is clueless about why the new Mountie seems to be mad at her until he explains that clearly her father had him reassigned so he could watch over his "princess" daughter.  Elizabeth isn't happy about it either.  She wants to prove herself capable and independent. She doesn't want or need a Mountie "taking care" of her and she is quick to point that out to Constable Jack.  This is just the first of many conflicts and misunderstandings between Elizabeth and Jack.

Each episode is filled with frontier adventure, drama, life, love, & loss.  Elizabeth is the main character, but there are several other individuals whose stories and lives become very important to the viewer.  Be prepared, you may find yourself talking to the TV, laughing, crying, hissing or even booing some of the people and scenes in this fabulous Hallmark series which will leave you wanting more.  
 

One Extra Note: Be sure you have access to Season 6 before you watch Season 5. You won't wish the finale of Season 5 to be the last thing you see.






Currently, the "When Calls the Heart" seasons can be purchased on DVD linked above, but are also available on Amazon to pay per episode though Season 7.  


More Great News for "When Call the Heart" - Hallmark has announced there will be a Season 8!


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When Calls the Heart - Hallmark TV Series Reviewed Written by:
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Monday, June 22, 2020

Amazon Original Series Review: Making The Cut

Tim and Heidi are reunited! If you are a fan of Project Runway then you have noticed their absence from the show and have missed the presence of Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum the Project Runway OG's. The duo have reunited in the Amazon Originals Series Making The Cut.


Making The Cut

The similarities between Project Runway and Making The Cut are hard to miss. The premise is the same with fashion designers competing in elimination challenges to a season finale with a fashion show. The major difference is the focus of designing as a global brand with the prize of a mentorship with Amazon Fashion.and winning one million dollars.

This is where Making The Cut definitely differs from Project Runway. The show focuses on not only the design, but how the personality of each designer is enveloped into the design looking towards becoming a global brand. The next emphasis is their focus on the marketing and merchandising behind creating, building, growing and operating a profitable global brand.


Making The Cut Amazon Store


In conjunction with the show Amazon Fashion now has a Making The Cut Store which allows customers direct access to winning designs from the show. As easy as a click of the mouse fans can order newly created and exclusive designs from the competitors. This is a fun add on for the fashion forward customer.

Recommendation

The series is light fashion fun as the designers compete for the very serious and life changing prize of one million dollars. Tim, Heidi and the celebrity judges guide the contestants with their often blunt, but sincere critiques as insiders in the world of fashion. The series is an Amazon Original and included with an Amazon Prime membership.

Amazon Original Series


An Amazon Prime membership includes Amazon Originals which are series or specials exclusive to Amazon Prime members. 

Some current favorites:

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Upload
Alpha House
The Aeronauts
Late Night
Ballerina
Homecoming

Amazon Prime requires an annual membership; however, a 30 day free trial is offered to give the Prime membership a spin.



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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Is Dead To Me Your Cup of Tea?

An American Dark Comedy Series - Dead To Me

Dead To Me is a popular Netflix series. Have you watched it yet?

My niece mentioned it to my mom and several online friends mentioned they enjoyed it.

So, yep, I took the plunge and watched the series.

I Didn't Take My Own Advice About Binge-Watching AGAIN!

Several months ago, feeling all high-and-mighty, I thought it prudent to give out 'how to binge-watch tv' advice. Don't listen to me, because I clearly cannot practice what I preach.

I did all the don'ts again: I started the series near midnight and stayed up till 4am to finish an entire season. On the plus side, it's good!

What is Dead To Me About?

Christina Applegate plays Jen Harding, a realtor whose husband was killed by a hit and run driver. Linda Cardellini plays Judy Hale, a woman Jen meets at a grief support group. They become friends, however, the relationship is plagued with a shocking secret. I won't go any further so as not to reveal the plot. Here's the trailer for Season 1:



Enjoy Two Seasons of Dead to Me

In May 2019, the first season of Dead to Me was released. The second season was just released on May 8th, 2020.  If you've never watched this show, lucky you; you get to binge-watch two seasons!

The actors and quality acting make the series.

My eldest son and I recently discussed how an excellently written show with bad actors just doesn't cut it. However, a bad show with good actors is tolerable.

This show hits both marks: it's well written and features quality actors and quality acting. It's more like watching a well-acted movie.

Here's the trailer for the second season:



Lots of 'Language' in This Series

If you can't handle the 'F-bomb', this show is not for you. Although I usually don't enjoy movies with constant swearing, Christina Applegate's character made me laugh every time she swore - which is almost constantly! Her character has anger issues, so the writer's use of swearing works with this plot-line.

I'm not usually into crime-related shows, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's far-fetched enough to feel like entertainment and not something that could actually happen. Although these days who knows? I prefer getting lost in a true fiction, and Dead To Me offered enough fiction to make it unbelievable - in a good way.

If you're looking for another series, I recently reviewed 'Upload' - You'll escape the world's problems, yep, it's out of this world, total fiction.

Happy Sunday,
P.S. It's National Chocolate Ice Cream Day - Enjoy a bowl of ice-cream while you binge-watch TV


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Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Haunting of Hill House Reviewed

I have just finished the Netflix television series The Haunting of Hill House that Esquire coined as a spookier version of This is Us.   Not exactly how I would describe it!

The Haunting of Hill House, Television Series, Reviewed


I should also note that it is available to watch on Amazon Prime in the US (not sure about other markets), so if you don't have Netflix you can still watch it.

The series is based on the 1959 Gothic horror novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson.   I had actually watched the 1999 movie The Haunting that was also based on this book and although the critics panned it, I enjoyed it as I love psychological horror movies.   By the way, the series is very different to the film so it doesn't matter whether you've seen it or not.

It has been very hard to get my husband to watch any suspenseful or psychological horror films with me over the past couple of decades so when I saw this series I knew I would have to watch it by myself.   I stayed up late at night watching it and I loved it.

The series runs through two timelines (which is where the connection to This is Us comes from), the first is of the Craine family's childhood as they live in Hill House as children before their mother commits suicide in the house.

The second timeline is of them as adults and they are brought together when their youngest sister goes back to Hill House to commit suicide.

Each episode reveals to us how the different family members were impacted by their childhood in the haunted mansion.   I found I was eager to keep watching the next episode.   The youngest twin Nell was haunted during her childhood by the bent neck lady and in the episode aptly named the Bent-Neck Lady there is a surprising twist that I wasn't expecting as to the identity of this lady.

I was a little disappointed by how the season ended, but if I'm honest I'm not sure that I would've been happy with any ending.

I think the actors were perfectly picked for their characters and acted their roles really well, I found myself completely drawn into the series.  I recommended it to my daughter and my husband told her that he didn't need to watch it as he'd listened to my commentary, ' don't go, oh you had to go there didn't you?', I do not recall having that conversation with the television, but it is very plausable!

If you can sleep after watching supernatural dramas that are full of suspense then I thoroughly recommend this one.   Apparently they are bringing out a second season based on another family and another house.   I'll be honest I probably won't watch that one as I feel like this was a one season show. 

Definitely worth a quiet night in and a big bag of popcorn.

More Television Series | Mini Series to Enjoy


If you don't fancy this television series I can also recommend the following shows (although please note I've only watched one season of Shetland):

Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)
This mini-series starts with a young 26 year old woman running out of a house for a payphone and claiming to be a girl called Ivy who was last seen 13 years ago. Is it really her and what has happened over the last 13 years?


Good Omens 2019 TV MiniseriesGood Omens 2019 TV Miniseries
David Tennant and Martin Sheen are absolutely outstanding in this adaptation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman's book Good Omens. Even if you've never read the book you will love the writing and the chemistry between these two characters representing good and evil.


Upload, an Amazon Prime TV SeriesReviewing the Amazon Prime TV Series Upload
This dark comedy is based in the year 2033 where death doesn't always mean it's all over. If you have the money you can choose to upload your consciousness and memories into a virtual 'afterlife' where you can stay forever


Shetland Series ReviewedShetland Series Reviewed
Shetland is a crime drama set in the picturesque Scottish Shetland Islands, the main character is DI Jimmy Perez who's also a single father. The scenery is beautiful and the plots are full of twists which make them very watchable.


Reviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC MurdersReviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC Murders
The ABC Murders is definitely one of Agatha Christie's best novels, this adaptation does take some liberties that a purist may not like, but it is still an enjoyable mini series to watch.


The Widow Series ReviewedThe Widow Series Reviewed
This series starts with English widow seeing a news article where she believes she spots her late husband alive and well in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of course this leads to her flying out to DRC in search of him, the series has twists and turns, suspense and action and is thoroughly recommended.


Reviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV SeriesReviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV Series
Jack Ryan is a character who was born in a novel by Tom Clancy, the son of a Baltimore cop and a nurse who serves as a marine before becoming a history teacher and finally joining the CIA. A few of the books were made into blockbuster movies and now we have a television series.


And Then There Were None - The Mini SeriesAnd Then There Were None - The Mini-Series
Based on an Agatha Christie novel this is one of her darker novels and is based in the 1930s around a nursery rhyme called 10 Little Indians/10 Little Soldiers. It will keep you guessing right up to the end.





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Sunday, May 17, 2020

A TV Series about a Digital Afterlife - Reviewed and I Was Glued

A personal review of the Prime Series "Upload" - About a Digital Afterlife

Upload is available on Amazon Prime.

Before I tell you about the series, let me start by saying that I broke every one of my own rules about binge-watching! I started watching late at night, didn't get up for snacks (lol), watched every episode .... and the worst part, I chose a series with only 1 season!

Ok. That's off my chest.

Are You a Fan of Shows About the Afterlife - If So, You'll Enjoy Upload

My favorite types of movies are time travel, the afterlife, catastrophes, new planets, life exploration, spiritual revelations, and mankind lessons. Weird right? Lol. I know.

After reading what Upload was about I knew I'd be giving this one a try. It's a fun and interesting look at preserving a person's consciousness after death. Personally, no thanks - let me go. But hey, the creative aspect of this is futuristic, and who knows what the future holds.

The Story Line of Upload

In the year 2033 when a human passes away, they have the choice of uploading their consciousness into a virtual afterlife.

The premise of this show is that the main character, Nathan, is uploaded prematurely. The plot is about this mystery, and why.

It offers love, manipulation, humor, and some dark comedy.

Making Money on Selling an Afterlife, WHAT!

Omg. I was actually mad about this (in a disgustingly funny way), but it's critical to the story - it's part of the story!

There are expensive afterlife locations and cheap ones for those with less money. Capitalism in death, sheesh. Get this, in this story, your living loved one pays for your stay in the virtual afterlife location of your choosing, and also pays for the things you use there. LOL - like a hotel! Go easy on the afterlife minibar?

So unless you have a lot of greenbacks, your afterlife is destined to be low quality and low budget! If your bills aren't paid, your consciousness is frozen until more gigabytes are purchased or the bills are paid.

There are a Few Shocking Bloodless Scenes

I almost want to tell you what it is so you don't jump out of your body like I did! But I won't. Or should I? No. I won't. I'll give you a hint; when Nathan is being 'Uploaded', get ready for what happens, because that's one of the parts where you'll jump out of your seat.

Do I Recommend This Series?

Yes. If you're curious where a writer goes with a topic like this, you'll enjoy it's dark, fun creative aspects.

Apparently, Upload has been renewed for a second season. Yippee, I'll be watching.

The Trailer is excellent - Watch it on Prime.





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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Easter Sunday is Over, But There are 50 More Days of Easter to Come! A Holiday Review!

Easter, the chosen, olivia morris, faith

Easter 2020, will probably be remembered by many as the Easter that wasn't.  Let me explain, Easter still happened, but not in the way that many of us Born Christians would recognize.  So we have had to find some creative ways to celebrate the Greatest Holy Day of the Christian Calendar.

To that end, my husband and I have been searching for ways in order to make Easter come alive again!  We don't have any problem with following services on You Tube, or Facebook, but Easter calls us (personally) to dig a little deeper into our faith.

I am a Christian and not at all ashamed or embarrassed to admit it!  I'm sure I'm not alone.  The thing that always surprises me is that after Easter is over, many Christians think Easter is a done deal.  One day, Easter Sunday and then everything goes back to "normal".  (Well 2020's normal will be different than most.)

Many people don't understand that Easter Sunday is just the beginning of the Easter season.  It does NOT END until 50 days later at the Feast of the Pentacost!

That gives Christians a whole 50 days to deepen their faith and strengthen their belief system.

bible, jesus, easter, celebrations, Olivia Morris
The trouble is that you can only read the scriptures for so long and then hopefully have a good discussion on what was read.  Our God speaks to each of us through these scriptures and each of us will take away lessons that are meant just for us.  Each will take away a lesson that speaks to them personally, and it may not be the same message that you get!  The Bible is alive and speaks to each of us in a way that we will understand in our hearts.

Being in house arrest has given us some time to look for other ways to celebrate our faith and grow at the same time.

We are so lucky that we can search out lots of different ways to celebrate our Christian Holidays.  You Tube, Facebook and the Internet offer us unlimited ways to enhance our faith journey.  Alan and I were blessed to spend 3 months in the Holy Land in 2018.  We were there from the middle of January to the Middle of April, which just happened to be Easter of that year.  What an experience that was and it still resounds with us today.  If you would like to see where we lived and worked during that time here's a You Tube video about the region and why it was so important to Christians all over the world.  https://youtu.be/Jcfkn9zivis

After having spent that time in Magdala, we came back home really driven to look into our faith, deeper, so that we are well informed Christians.

Now, during this time in our lives, that has us more upside down, than right side up, we are looking again for ways in which to make our faith "come alive".  To that end, both of us have been trying to figure out who the person of Jesus was and who His followers were too.  We have had many lively discussions on this aspect of our faith and really haven't come to any conclusions.  What we see in the Scriptures can look pretty cold and too Godly or shall we say Jesus sometimes come off as unreachable.  But that is not the Jesus we want to believe in, we want a Jesus that is just like us, happy, sad, funny, serious and a whole lot more....He is the Jesus we could relate to!

Thank goodness that I found a series that really delves into the "humanity" of Christ!  This series has 8 episodes and each one of them is really so well done.  The series holds true to the Biblical Christ, but also opens up the Humanity of him who is known as the Messiah.

I would like to share with you a link to get to this series and I'm sure that you will be moved just as I was.  This series is not available on DVD or any other media other than at the APP store.  I have a link for you right here.  It is called The Chosen.  This is an 8 part series each one is about an hour long and focuses on the beginning of Jesus' life and ministry.  While following Biblical texts, there is a lot of interpretation allowed in this series.

Not only are we treated to a "human" Jesus, we are also treated to the characters who become his Apostles and Disciples.  His mother and other relatives also play a role in this series.  I found it to be very interesting and profoundly moving.

My hope is that you started your Easter celebrations with Cynthia Sylvestermouses' Review of Jesus of Nazareth!  And I hope you continue your Easter reflections with The Chosen.

Please come back and tell me what you thought!  I know for myself personally, this series was a valuable tool in more ways than one.  It brought so many characters to life that I had not connected with through just reading the Scriptures.  My faith is alive and new ways of understanding that faith are always welcomed.  You can watch the official trailer for The Chosen right here!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, meme, possible text that says 'I was one way, and now I'm completely different. And the thing that happened in between... was Him. TheChosen.t'

**Please note: at the end of every episode there is a bit of "advertising", but you can skip that and move to the next episode easily.  If you are touched by this series you can PAY IF FORWARD.  But please don't feel that you must do this.  I want you to enjoy this series as much as I have and that is my sole purpose in sharing this with you.  I make no commissions or any other reward for sharing this with you.  Happy Easter for the next 50 days at least.....







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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Reviewing Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders Mini-Series

Agatha Christie Mini Series - The ABC Murders
Yes, that's a grown up Ron Weasley
playing a Scotland Yard dectectiv
e
I have to put my hand up and say I'm an Agatha Christie fan from decades back and one of the books that I liked was the ABC Murders, I loved the twist in this novel.

Adapting a book to a mini-series always presents challenges in keeping true to the author for their fans while also ensuring it works well for today's audiences.   I feel that when they adapted And Then There Were None they really captured that well.   In this case I feel conflicted.

As I said I enjoyed this book immensely, but having finished the three part mini-series I'm not sure if I liked it or not!   I was intrigued with the casting of John Malkovich in the role of Hercule Poirot and I think he makes a surprisingly refreshing change to David Suchet or Peter Ustinov.

The problem for me was that key elements of the story was changed, one of the key players wasn't in the mini-series and two of the other players had totally different roles, in fact I was very surprised by a certain death that occurred.

While watching it the thing that I really didn't find added anything to the mini-series was flashbacks that Poirot was having to his time before arriving in the UK and at the end you see what role he supposedly had before leaving Belgium which is completely at odds with the character Dame Christie created.

If I wasn't as familiar with Hercule Poirot I might not have minded the liberties taken and it may have added something, but I'm not sure.   It has left me feeling very conflicted about whether or not to recommend this series.

When it comes to one of the main characters lodgings in London, the series certainly makes them a lot seedier than my imagination created in my mind as I read the book.

I was grateful that they didn't change who the killer was because at one point I thought they were going to make it a different person which would've been insane (in my opinion).   I did like the reveal after the murderer was revealed.   Instead of the almost iconic Poirot gathering of the characters for his big reveal they went with the power of television to give flashbacks of key scenes.

Do I recommend this series?   I really am conflicted so I will just say if you are an Agatha Christie purist absolutely not.   If you haven't read the book then I think you might enjoy this.   I would be intrigued to know your thoughts if you do decide to check this miniseries out.

If you've not heard of the ABC Murders before then it basically starts with Hercule Poirot getting letters from someone who signs himself ABC ..... and then the murders begin. 

The first is Alice Asher in Andover, the second is Betty Barnard in Bexhill, you get the idea.   Next to each murder victim a copy of London's ABC (the famous railway guide) is left opened at the appropriate letter.   Each destination is one that has a connection with Poirot and the letters are addressed to him almost taunting him to participate in the murderer's 'game'.

The story is set in 1930s London and the backdrop shows the rising fascist movement and anti-immigrants movement which adds to the bleakness that accompanies Poirot's traumatic flashbacks.


The ABC Murders on Amazon Prime
Click here to get the ABC Murders on Prime Video

 
Now I watched this on the ABC channel in Australia (which I thought was kind of ironic!), but I could've watched it on Amazon Prime.   I do love Amazon Prime and have enjoyed watching shows such as Jack Ryan and Good Omens on there.




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Friday, January 31, 2020

Baby Yoda (The Child) & The Mandalorian Star Wars Series Reviewed

Baby Yoda (The Child) & The Mandalorian Star Wars Series Reviewed
With the release of "The Mandalorian" on the Disney channel, Star Wars fans have gone crazy over the adorable "Baby Yoda"!

In the The Mandalorian episodes, "Baby Yoda" is simply called "The Child".  After all, he is not Yoda.  He looks like Yoda to fans, therefore he is widely known off-screen as Baby Yoda. 

One look at "The Child", humans & creatures on and off-screen are smitten with his enchanting personality, as well as his looks.  A slight tip of the head is all it takes for "The Child" to have you under his spell.  You, too, will wish to hold and protect him! 
  



 

Star Wars:  The Mandalorian Series


 Star Wars The Mandalorian Poster BookCheck PriceMandalorians are an elite group of trained warriors who never reveal their own identity.  In the series, "The Mandalorian" is a bounty hunter for hire.  When a bounty hunter is commissioned to track, find, and capture a target, opinions of the target are not his concern.  However, when the Mandalorian sees the child, he doesn't have a clue about his species and wonders about his clients intent for this youngster.  As the story progresses, what becomes obvious to him is that "The Child" needs protection from his client.

To break the Guild code of conduct and steal the child in order to protect him, the Mandalorian must choose a lone existence, which makes him the hunted as well.

At times, he finds aid from friends, as well as a few who don't mind alliances as long as they are paid.  But every step alone this protective path has dangers.  The Child is fortunate to have a true warrior by his side and the Mandalorian finds out just how fortunate he is to have The Child by his side.

This is a fabulous Star Wars series that I highly recommend!  As a matter of fact, just reviewing it makes me wish to stop and watch it again.  I can hardly wait for season 2.  Beware though, "The Child" will steal your heart!





Season 1 is available to watch now on Disney Plus.  Season 2 is already in production and will release in the fall of 2020.







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Baby Yoda (The Child) & The Mandalorian Star Wars Series Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Crown Reviewed

Series for the Anglophile

My husband and I have just watched Season 3 of The Crown on Netflix. Have you been watching this series? If not, I think you should. Not only is it entertaining but there is a whole lot of history packed into this original series made for Netflix.

the crown
A Crown
image courtesy of pixabay.com
I'll admit that I'm a bit of an Anglophile (person who admires the United Kingdom). My fascination with the country goes pretty far back. Being a bit of a history nerd, their history is one aspect of my curiosity and the Royal family is another. I think it might be why this series has grabbed my attention. This series documents in a artistic way a history that I have lived for the most part. Queen Elizabeth was named queen the year that I was born, her coronation was a year later. So, obviously I don't have a memory of that but there has been a lot of historical ground covered that I do remember.


Viewing history from the palace 

One of the take-a-ways for me while watching this series is a better understanding of how the Queen and Parliament work. I realize a lot of this is written for entertainment and there are probably some liberties being taken for a story but seeing the interaction of the Queen and the different Prime Ministers she has worked with has been quite interesting. Realizing that she and the royal family as a whole might have an opinion on different aspects of governing but are not often at liberty to voice what they really think or feel has given me a different perspective on a lot of history and even the leaders of today. 

The Crown, even though it is historical fiction, has made me appreciate different members of the royal family in ways that I hadn't even considered before. It is easier to see them as people instead of figure-heads. I hadn't really considered that they sometimes have insecurities, feel unappreciated, get their feelings hurt, and all of those emotions that us 'regular' people do. They don't live what we consider a normal life but they are human and experience many of the same things we do in our lives. 

If you haven't watched this series, I recommend that you do. It can be purchased on DVDs, if you don't happen to have a subscription to Netflix. I don't think that you will be disappointed, not even kind of. I'm looking forward to a season four already.




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Friday, September 27, 2019

Darrow & Darrow Hallmark Movie Series Reviewed

Darrow & Darrow Hallmark Movie Series Reviewed
I recently discovered the awesome Hallmark movie series, Darrow & Darrow!  

It is a fabulous Hallmark series based on the legal cases handled by the law firm of Darrow & Darrow.  The investigations and clues in each of the cases are fun to watch while trying to guess the outcomes.  Add to that, the personal lives of each character, and you have a wonderfully captivating series. 

Adorable actors, a bit of romance, a touch of mystery surrounding the cases, a spattering of family conflicts, all combine to make a thoroughly enjoyable series of movies.

My tolerance for television is normally limited to a few hours a week. I don't like constant noise, although I do know a lot of people who enjoy the "company".  I'm not bashing watching TV.  Just explaining that it has to be something really good for me to leave it on long enough to see an entire movie.

When I find a series that is binge worthy, then it is definitely something to talk about, and review.


Darrow & Darrow Hallmark Movie Series Synopsis


When you see the couple on the first DVD cover, you assume the title "Darrow & Darrow", is referring to a husband and wife team.  Or, perhaps, a brother and sister.  However, only one member of the couple shown on the first DVD cover, is a Darrow.  The man is Miles Strasberg, and the woman is Claire Darrow.  They are actually opposing attorneys.

 Darrow & DarrowCheck PriceDarrow  & Darrow is a law firm that was originally started by Claire's parents.  After her father died, Claire's mother, Joanna, took off to New York to make a name for herself with an influential and powerful law firm. Even though her mother was successful, Claire resents that decision. When her mother returns, requesting she be taken back into the family law firm, Claire is more than reluctant to embrace her again as a partner. They don't see eye to eye on most things, including the types of cases the law firm should be representing.

During the pilot movie, we get to know the main characters fairly well. Miles Strasberg is a mild-mannered widower and district attorney, who happens to be opposing council in the first case of the series.  Claire is an adorable widow that is raising her daughter alone.  As an attorney, she spends her days defending falsely accused individuals in court.  Well, at least people she believes are falsely accused. Claire's clear calling is to be a defense attorney for those who are less fortunate and can not afford a good lawyer, but deserve one.

In the first movie, Claire defends a doughnut maker who has been accused of robbing a jewelry store.  The masked intruder uses David Kellerin's bakery truck to smash the front window. Then jumps out to grab the jewelry in the display case.  When David is arrested, one of the stolen watches is found in his possession.  It seems like an open and shut case.  In spite of the evidence, David pleads innocent and Claire believes him. It requires a great deal of trust and detective work to defend Mr. Kellerin.

Her opposing counsel, Miles Strasberg, is attracted to Claire.  He respects her idealism and her ethics, as well as her desire to find the truth, not just represent someone wealthy who may be guilty.  Every month he asks her out to dinner.  Every month, he gets the same answer, until one day, to his great surprise, she says yes.  They do make a really cute couple!

Darrow & Darrow Hallmark Movie

My Conclusion


It is always exciting to find a new, enjoyable series to watch. When it is Hallmark movies, I know I am in for hours of excellent TV time. 

I really like Claire Darrow.  I enjoy watching her interactions with Miles, her co-workers, her daughter, and even her mother. The court cases, plots, and investigations are quite interesting too. It is fun to try to figure them out before they are revealed in the movies.  Therefore, I highly recommend this movie series to anyone who loves good, clean entertainment with a touch of mystery and romance!

 


Currently, "Darrow & Darrow" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  

Subscribe to the Hallmark Channel on Amazon.com
  


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Darrow & Darrow Hallmark Movie Series Reviewed by:
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Monday, August 26, 2019

The Handmaid's Tale TV Series Review

Gripping and disturbing are two descriptions which immediately surface when asked to describe the original television series The Handmaid's Tale. The television series is based on Margaret Atwood's 1998 book of the same name of which many are familiar.


The Story

The story of The Handmaid's Tale is categorized as speculative fiction or futurism. The disturbing reality of The Handmaid's Tale is the reality of history when any group, government, country or sector persecute any group of citizens who do not meet a defined criteria.

Gilead is the fictional world where woman and men are categorized into well defined roles. Offred is the main character kidnapped from the United States and transported into a dystopian society of which women who can bare children (handmaidens) are the only priority so the society can repopulate.

The handmaidens' are assigned to high ranked Commanders with wives unable to conceive. The handmaidens' role is to conceive a child by the Commander and then give the child to the couple after birth.

The complexity of the story further evolves with the emotions and interactions between the Commanders, the wives, the family, the handmaidens and all those involved in each Commander's goal to have a child. All are intertwined and though the characters are neatly categorized into roles, the emotions of each differ markedly as well as the varying interactions between the classes of Gilead and its' rules.


The Drama And It's Characters


The emotional and physical brutality of the television series I found difficult to watch. The powerful acting vests you into the plot and the characters. If you like strong character driven books, movies or television series you will vest in these characters as presented and for the future.

  • The dystopian society of Gilead is scary, thought provoking, disturbing and yet compelling.
  • Thought provoking to events of history and could it happen again?
  • Disturbing because of the violence and intolerance of anyone 'not like them.'
  • Scary to think of the power and misuse of power to propel unwilling members of society to an unwanted goal.
  • Compelling because of the acting which brings you into their world so effectively it compels you to think of the above questions and thoughts.



I highly recommend this original television series; however, viewing is not for the timid. Is it entertainment? Is it entertaining? I liken this to watching a disaster unfold, difficult to watch, but difficult not to watch.  

It is a pleasure to watch such powerful acting, but one must be in the mood to watch a serious television series as this is a series which provokes afterthoughts of past society and the future should power go awry.


Where To View A Handmaid's Tale?

This is an original series by Hulu, so a membership is required to view the current season or past episodes of season one or two. Season three began in June 2019.

However, Amazon members can stream seasons one and two and the third season will be released after its' first run on Netflix. The series is available here to purchase per episode or per season.


The Testaments


To date A Handmaid's Tale has over 14,000 reviews on Amazon, is a number one New York Times best seller and a sequel The Testaments is anticipated for September 2019.


The end of season one of the television series correlated to the end of the book. The Testaments is Ms. Atwoord's voice as to the future of the main character Offred and the society of Gilead.


Books Similar In Theme To A Handmaid's Tale


1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury




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The Review This Contributors

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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

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