Author: collseliz

Claire’s Hair

We need to talk about Claire’s hair.

Which Claire? Claire Beauchump. Claire Randall. Claire Fraser. However you want to call her.

Her beautiful hair has been on my mind since I watched the Outlander season 2 finale.

Because it was fabulous.

What reminded me was this delightful post by Buzzfeed about the filming of season 3 beginning. Check out that third pic and how darn fabulous Claire looks in it. Caitriona Balfe looks FANTASTIC with that touch of eyeliner and that classy little Jackie O. headscarf.

Which begs the question: Does Caitriona Balfe look wonderful in every decade? And can her hair travel perfectly through time with her?

Let’s think about this. The show opens with Claire in the 1940s. A clever, brave nurse with a tamed head of pretty waves. She looks perfect as a woman living in a time when actresses like Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall were the trendsetters of the day.

claireshair1940s

Fantastically coiffed. It’s like a halo of pure beauty.

Then Claire gets transported back to 18th century Scotland. You’d think losing her hot curlers and hair dryer would really ruin her look…but no! Claire’s wild mane looks fantastic as it tousles behind her on horseback rides. It’s just not fair. My hair would not bounce into such fantastic curls in any situation.

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No help needed here. My hair’s fantastic.

And then when we see Claire in the 1960s, this woman looks freakin amazing again. Hair soft, little streak of silver–I mean, even that headscarf looks amazing.

claireshair1960s

Sad. But not about my hair.

There’s really no intelligent purpose here except to say congrats to you, Caitriona, on having the best hair in the business. You are a lovely lady.

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Stranger Things

StrangerThings

I’m not usually one for bandwagon jumping, but in this case, I am all for it.

You and your mother (yes, even your mother–mine loved it) need to start checking out Netflix’s latest original series, Stranger Things. Because guess what? Everyone telling you to watch it is right.

It’s part Stand by Me, part Alien (actually I’ve never seen Alien so don’t quote me on that), and part ET. Just your every day group of young best friends who stumble upon a government-run experiment and face a fantastical monster in the meantime. Sure, it sounds “out there,” and while it is, it’s also a wonderful homage to the 80s and the nerds who made it through the decade barely unscathed, and it also tells the story of some good ole, true at heart characters we don’t tend to see on regular television anymore.

Stranger Things focuses on four young best friends in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana in 1983. Their science-obsessed, fantasy-playing after school hobbies suddenly take on real life importance when one of their own goes missing. While the adults around them, including a well meaning sheriff, focus on your standard CSI means of operating, these kids sense there’s something more to the story–you know, like telekinesis, alternate dimensions, and government conspiracies. I mean, stranger things have happened. (See what I did there? …If you never read this blog again, I’ll understand.)

However, one adult in town does think like the kids: the missing friend’s mother, played by my fave lady of the 90s, Miss Winona Ryder. (WELCOME BACK, WINONA. WE’VE MISSED YOU.) As the police go knocking on doors and walking through the woods in search of the missing boy, his mom senses her son is much closer than anyone else thinks is possible. He might be right in front of them; they just can’t see him. And here’s where the show gets not good but great: this adult starts thinking like a kid, willing herself to believe in the fantastical to find her son.

In addition to my 90s queen Winona, Stranger Things is made even better by a slew of great supporting characters who are each rightfully given an opportunity to steal the show. David Harbour plays Jim Hopper, a cop who doesn’t inspire much hope at first but may surprisingly have more heart in the case than anyone else. Then there are those who seem as if they’ve been handpicked from a John Hughes film: from Barb, the 80s girl personified, to Steve Harrington, the Jake Ryan of Netflix, these characters help capture that nostalgia for a time of over-fluffed hair and ill-fitting jeans.

I mean, my head is practically exploding with how much genuine awesomeness they’ve managed to cram into this show.

And the best part? Episodes are only 50 minutes long. And there are only 8 of them. Which means you can watch the whole series in, like, three days and not feel bad about it. (Come on, it’s like two two-hour movies, with a shorter one thrown in. It’s binge-watching, but guilt free!)

So grab your favorite bean bag chair and hit pause on that Toto song. Stranger Things is waiting for you to join the bandwagon.

Peaky Blinders

TEVEVISION - BBC DRAMA PEAKY BLINDERS

Come at me, bro.

Well, hello, blog. It’s been exactly a year and one day-ONE DAY-since I last posted on you. At this rate, I’ll be posting about once year. That’s a pretty good track record, amirite?

Okay, so it’s actually a bit of a terrible track record. You know what else is terrible? How behind I seem to be on dark, British dramas…Penny Dreadful (luckily, cancelled, so I can take that off my must-watch list), Outlander (jk I watch this one religiously and then again), and Peaky Blinders.

Now I had two people-TWO PEOPLE (loving these all caps asides, aren’t you?)-tell me how much I would looooooove this show. So I was STOKED to check it out. Early 20th century England? Check. Gangsters? Check. Awesome soundtrack? Check. I quite believed I would love it as well. But sadly, well, I just can’t get into it!

And by “get into it,” I mean I slept through, hm, let’s guess 20 minutes of one episode?, refreshed Twitter a good ten times during another, and have spent most of my time overall cringing at Sam Neil’s Irish brogue.

Actually, perhaps my main issue with this show is Sam Neil and that brogue. Neil plays a copper looking to bring down the Shelby family gang AKA the Peaky Blinders (THE PAKEY BLYNDAS–I prefer to yell it, just like that). And Neil is just.so.darn. annoyinggggg. (Yes, I’m whining.)

And then there’s this barmaid, who’s, ah how do I say this…she’s zzzzzzzzzzzzz. (Although maybe I just have a thing against blondes, who knows? I never said I was above shallowness.)

However, Cillian Murphy plays the leader of the gang, Thomas Shelby, and he is excellent. A very interesting character who is a savvy businessman but behind closed doors is suffering from post traumatic stress from his time in WWI–which is something we don’t normally see play out on screen. WWII? Vietnam? Iraq? Afghanistan? I feel like Hollywood loves to focus on these guys, but the poor men of WWI don’t get as much attention. So it’s neat that a show is actually taking the time to shed some light on that.

And then there’s Thomas’ aunt, good old Polly. Now HER I LOVE. Slightly masculine (she sports some fine ties) with more than a touch (actually, it’s more like a slap) of that tough mothering love, she’s my favorite. She’s the tie that binds this out-of-hand group of brothers together. And then there’s Thomas’ sassy sis Ada, who’s also mighty entertaining and reminds me of Lady Mary of Downton Abbey if she’d been born, well, not in an abbey.

So for the sake of these characters, I am WILLING MYSELF to ignore Sam Neil and the barmaid and carry on. (This post is so formal, isn’t it great?)

I’m about to start season two and I’m really hoping it grabs me because I’ve heard it is the bomb.com. (Yes, I’m still living in 1997.)

Hopefully my time put-in will be worth it! *insert praising hands emoji here*

CHEERS.

 

Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur Actually Gets Me to Read an Issue of Entertainment Weekly

To start the new year off right, I got myself a subscription to Entertainment Weekly magazine. Despite the evidence in its title, I didn’t realize how often “weekly” meant. Well, I did, but I didn’t realize the commitment it would require. Every.single.Friday. one of their issues finds its way into my mailbox, and I simply never read them. Who can read a 70 page magazine every week? And the print! That print is tiny. So it’s more like 140 pages. Also there are graphs and charts and a slew of facts per article, and honestly, you just have to be in the mood to dive into its detailedness.

But this week’s issue? Let’s just say I got in the mood VERY quickly.

See exhibit A:

KingArthurcover

Why, what is this? WHO is this? This blonde haired beauty with just enough ruggedness to make me swoon appropriately and just enough piercing blue in his eyes to see right through to my soul? Who are you, I ask??

I read the name “Charlie Hunnam.” Wait…the Sons of Anarchy star originally cast as Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey? THAT Charlie Hunnam? I recall when he was announced as Christian. I saw a photo and thought, “No he’s not right! He’s far too rough. Christian should make you stop in your tracks.” Well, ladies and gents, I stand corrected. THIS GUY shoulda been Christian Grey and I am only now realizing what a tragedy it is he wasn’t. Because I definitely stopped in my tracks upon seeing him on this week’s cover as the star of an upcoming King Arthur film. And while I typically just throw my EW off to the side until I’m mentally prepared to absorb its statistics-enhanced pop culture news, I dove RIGHT IN, people, RIGHT IN.

Exhibit B:

KingArthur2I had never flipped open an EW issue so quickly. But my need for more Charlie Hunnam hunkiness had to be satiated! Look at him with that sword, so casual, so “Oh I play with swords every day. It’s so fun. You should join me some time. Do you like swords?” Yes, Charlie, I do…

Exhibit C:

KingArthur3

Here he is being all method and actor-ish, getting a debriefing from King Arthur director Guy Ritchie on the proper way to remove Excalibur from the stone. But let’s be real, Ritchie, I think Charlie has this one covered. Even through that quilted white medieval gear, I can see his biceps at the ready. But while Charlie may possess the physical strength needed to pull Excalibur from the stone, does he have the emotional caliber?

Exhibit D:

KingArthur4

Uh, yah, yah I think he does. In this easy pose, one can see the weight of serious thinking and dramatic wisdom seemlessly melding within and exuding from him. Can’t you see it? He almost looks lonely in that pile of furs, like he needs a companion to help keep things warm…but do you have a lighter side, Charlie? I appreciate your brooding face, but a sense of humor is so very important.

Exhibit E: KingArthur5

Oh my, I’m getting more than I bargained for with every turn of the page. Just LOOK at that smile!! He really loves that sword. (Do they have, like, band aids at the ready on set? Because he is just throwing that thing around.) You seem to have it all, Charlie: enchanting looks, rugged manliness, deep emotional sensitivity, and a lighter side that brings out a smile that warms even a black and white photograph. Okay, I’m getting carried away.

Back on track.

You really deliver, EW. There I was, wondering if I could handle yet another issue of yours (they’re becoming like a pile of unfinished homework assignments, if I’m to be honest) and then THIS comes to my door. I certainly won’t be ridding myself of a subscription to you any time soon. Perhaps you should do a follow up issue when King Arthur is ready to be released in theaters? Hm? I think that would be a lovely idea.

Until then, though, I leave you with more Charlie Hunnam photos, if you think you can handle it:

KingArthur6

KingArthur7

KingArthur8

Ioan Gruffudd’s Classy Farewell to Forever

It is just not a good week for my TV shows. Wednesday brought news of The Mindy Project’s cancellation, and now another blow has been dealt: ABC has cancelled Forever.

Forever was certainly not the best show on television, but it was original. It also happened to star an underrated favorite actor of mine, Ioan Gruffudd (Yo-an Griffith—it’s Welsh. For more on the man himself, see my gushing post here.)

Ioan is an actor you might recognize but not know why. If you’ve ever seen Titanic (which, considering how many times TBS/TNT/USA/AMC play it throughout the year, it’s impossible not to), he’s the young ship mate with the moral conscious who returns to the sea of bodies to help find any alive ones. His main line, “Is anyone alive out there? Can anyone hear me?” (If you haven’t already, I suggest you take a cruise and bellow this from the deck’s railing. It’s not as morbid as it sounds. I don’t think.) If not for Ioan, Rose would have been lost! There would have been no “Come back! Jack! Come back, Jack!” moment, and that would have been a real loss in greatest cinematic tearjerker moments.

IoanTitanic

                                                      “I saved Kate Winslet, don’t you get that?”

Ioan’s also been in a slew of other TV shows and films, and even had the starring role in Fantastic Four back in 2005 and 2007. And yet his career has just never seemed to take off. Perhaps it’s because he comes across as a little too earnest and eager-to-please—he does practically seem angelic. Maybe he needs a little bit more edge, like Castle or hec even Alicia Florick of The Good Wife. Instead his characters always seem just too perfect and kind-hearted. And I think we prefer a bit more conflict within our characters to add to the relatability factor.

On Forever, Ioan played Dr. Henry Morgan, a man who cannot die and has experienced death and resurrection so many times that he knows more about it than any normal, takes-just-one-death-to-kill-me man. His extensive knowledge of death leads him to team up with the NYC homicide department to solve murders. The show focused on Henry’s life in the modern world and his parallel experiences in past lives, which allowed for a flashback in almost every episode, whether it was to 1954 or 1872. It’s probably these flashbacks that killed the show. While they had the promise of being interesting, instead they played out in an almost farcical-manner. A milky film would cover the screen, as if the show was trying to achieve the glow of a 1940s MGM film. And Henry’s past somehow interrupted his present a little too conveniently. That old wealthy patron of the museum who just died? Henry knew her in the 1950s. That saxophone player whose son died? He just happened to teach Henry’s son to play jazz on the piano in the 1960s. It became formulaic quickly.

A flashback with Henry's wife highlights that milky glow.

                        A flashback with Henry’s wife highlights that milky glow.

Yet for once it was as if Ioan and a character aligned perfectly. Earnest Ioan worked as Henry because Henry was often too earnest as well, too quick to excitement and then concern for others. He was also just a tad bit cheesy, and it all worked, actor-to-character wise. The chemistry between Ioan and his co-star Alana de la Garza was there, too. Was she perfectly cast as a skeptic cop? No, not quite, but her having a soft spot for the eccentric Henry fit. And Judd Hirsch as Henry’s adopted son (who aged normally into an 85-year-old man unlike his pops) was a loveable antiques-collector with a lady’s man streak. The storylines may not have been the best, but the cast itself kept me watching.

Look at these two! They just work!

                                        Look at these two! They just work!

The show’s best quality was the underused Burn Gorman as a Henry-stalking creeptastic psychiatrist. With the same inability to die as Henry, Gorman brought some much-needed level of discomfort to the show. When everything gets tied up into a bow at the end of each episode, it’s not much to compel people to tune in next week. Episodes with Gorman made your spine tingle, but his sporatic appearances were frustrating and too far apart to make much of an impact.

ForeverGorman

                          You creeped me the f*ck out, but I needed more of you.

I suppose I should stop spouting on about the show now and come to the real reason I wanted to write about its cancellation. It turns out Ioan is just as poetic in real life as he was as Dr. Henry Morgan on the show (which just seems fitting). Rather than release a quick statement expressing disappointment and a tidbit of appreciation, Ioan posted the below message to the show’s fans on his Instagram page, and it merits sharing:

“My dear friends, fans, supporters.

Tonight, as you all now know, I received a phone call that I was hoping not to receive, and to be honest I really wasn’t expecting it. I knew the numbers hadn’t been great, but I also knew the studio and the network both loved the show, and of course that it had an incredible fan base…so I thought we were in with a pretty good chance.

But sadly no, this time the cards weren’t dealt in our favor. Show business is like that. Hell, life is like that. You ride to the top of the wave and then you come crashing down again. I asked Alice to send out the sad news because I was a little bit shaken up and needed time to gather my thoughts.

So I sat down and started reading the thousands of Tweets in response to the announcement. And the more I read, the more I couldn’t believe it. The love, the sense of solidarity, the hope, the kindness, the support. Not just for the show, but for each other. And slowly I began to focus on what we had gained in the past year, rather than what we had lost in the last five minutes. I was overcome by a sense of gratitude. To have met you all and to have you all rooting for me and the show. At having a chance to play the role of my dreams, even if it was only for a year. To have been given the chance to bring Henry to life.

Watching the interaction of the FOREVER fans come together and share their love for the show has been breath-taking. It was you guys who held me up when I thought I could no longer go on. (Those days were LONG!) You made me smile when you pointed out the little things I did on screen that I thought had gone unnoticed. You gave me confidence when I accidentally found myself reading less than shining reviews. You were always with me, every step of the way, waving your flags, shouting your support for the show. It’s been an incredible, wonderful year, one that I will never, ever forget.

And guess what? The memories belong to us. We get to keep them ‘forever!’ Thanks again a million times for your unwavering support. Stay strong, be brave, and show kindness as often as you can!
Ioan xxx”

There’s a lot to like about this letter, but my favorite part is, “Slowly I began to focus on what we had gained in the past year, rather than what we had lost in the last five minutes.” It’s a great message from Ioan, and a great message for life. So quickly the bad things become all-encompassing, completely cancelling out anything good that may have led up to them. It’s a reminder to not get consumed by the bad, but to focus on all the overwhelming amount of good you’ve had that in the grand scheme of things, trumps the negative. It just works that Ioan would post something so Henry-sounding at the show’s end. He’s a rarity in an industry fueled by egos and self-serving behavior. He’s a classy man, more 1940s than 2015 (again, perfect casting).

I think Ioan may have been a sought-after star, sort of the moral compass Gregory Peck type, if he had been around in a different era. But in 2015, he’s an unusual sort, too good to be a layered leading man and too handsome to be cast as a secondary character, leaving casting directors at a loss for what to do with him. Forever may not have worked out for him, but if his letter is any indication, he’s certainly worthy of another chance. Here’s hoping some household-name success comes to him soon. If only so I can stop telling everyone how to pronounce his name properly. Now that would be some good.

Forever

           Good bye to this odd couple that somehow worked perfectly. I’ll miss you guys.

Hulu: Please Resurrect The Mindy Project

Dear Hulu,

I was just about to go to bed, dreaming of things like Danny Castellano doing his Diamond Dan dance, as one does, when a tweet caught my eye. This tweet, this dreadful tweet, told me some devastating, completely unexpected news: FOX has cancelled The Mindy Project.

Please give me a moment.

Moment.

Thank you. After a quick bout of “WTF” and “I think I’m going to be sick,” I immediately saw a second tweet. An angel of redemption that went like this: Variety

Hulu, my new best friend, is this true? Or is this a cruel rumor of the interwebs? Hulu, I must advise you to not take this decision lightly. The Mindy Project is not a show with which to be trifled. Too much has been invested in it. Danny and Mindy are expecting a baby. Danny has flown all the way to India to meet Mindy’s parents. ARE WE SUPPOSED TO MOVE ON WITH OUR LIVES WITHOUT KNOWING HOW THE STORY ENDS?!

No, Hulu, no we are not. You have the chance here to mend broken hearts and restore ruined dreams across the globe. Do not hesitate to do what is right during this pivotal time in television history. Do not hesitate to take on The Mindy Project. We will reward you for it. I do not have a Hulu account, but I will buy one just for this. If you won’t do it for the tenderhearted of the world, at least do it for the money.

I leave you to make you decision. One that I hope will be the right decision.

All the best,

PopCultured