Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Phantom of the Opera 30-Day Challenge Day IV

Least favorite character?  Easy, Meg.

I disliked Meg's part in the original Phantom, and she got even worse in Love Never Dies.

Really worse.

Aaa *shudders*

I just don't like Meg's "he's here, the phantom of the opera!" at random points with no instrumental accompaniment.  It sounds kind of lame, and brings me out of the moment.

Also I don't like how she gets the final moment in the newer version, where she holds up the mask.  The mask dramatically sitting on the throne would have been cooler, IMO.

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The Hunt

Monday, January 30, 2017

All The Light We Cannot See

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Goodreads
I just finished reading All the Light We Cannot See, and in my opinion it is a stellar story.  I think Bishop Robert Barron has a great review of it, so I am going to go ahead and refer y'all to him.  Have you read it before?  Let's chat about it!

Hope you enjoy Bishop Barron's review!!


Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Book Thief

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Amazon.com
Spoilers are here,
They live here in these words,
If you have not read The Book Thief, then disappear,
If you have not read The Book Thief, fly away like a bird.

The Book Thief was written by Markus Zusak and published in 2005.  It tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl, and her life (and experiences stealing books) during WWII in Germany.

The title, The Book Thief refers to Liesel, and whenever a book references a character in it's title, it better deliver on the promise of an intriguing and dynamic character.

Liesel definitely is that, and more.  This story revolves so heavily on the characters, but it's a good thing that each character in the story has a definitive personality and I feel like I could describe what any given character would do in a random situation--that's how well I feel like I know them.

Each character has some defining marks, like Rosa, Liesel's foster mother who is crass and blunt, but behind her vulgar mouth and harsh exterior, has a soft spot for all things Liesel.  Liesel's foster father, Hans Hubermann in turn has some strong personality traits that lead him to do some brave things throughout the course of the story.

One of my favorite characters was Rudy.  The book got a bit tedious in the second quarter, and I was just about to tip into thinking that the ending wasn't really emotional enough for the boring second quarter, until Rudy died.
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bookthiefcharacteranalysis1013.blogspot.com
Sometimes I love when characters die.

Let me clear this up: I really loved Rudy, and was rooting for him.  I was super sad when he died, but I also love it because I expected some emotional punches to the stomach in this book, and I definitely received them in the end.

I love a sad book every once in awhile, and sometimes for a book to be sad, you need characters to die.

I also thought the foreshadowing of Rudy's death was ridiculously tense.  For a narrator to come right out and say that Rudy is going to die in a month is well--nothing I've ever read before and it really piqued my interest.  Also it distressed me.  In a good way.

To be fair, there is nothing orthodox about the narrator, who happens to be Death.

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eNotes.com

What an original and effective idea!  Death's observations about humans toward the end was a really great way to sum up everything that had happened in the story and really drive home the themes that had been presented throughout the book.

Alright, five good things about this book:
  1. The characters are all really deep and fleshed out
  2. The narration is super creative 
  3. It's always nice to read historical fiction, particularly set during such an interesting and tumultuous time
  4. The book had a nice mix of uplifting moments and emotionally distressing moments
  5. There was a lot of rich symbolism, like the accordion, Liesel's kiss for Rudy, the books, etc.
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Pinterest

And now five less than stellar things:
  1. This book spends a lot of time with exposition, getting to know the characters, which sometimes seems heavy handed and didn't necessarily keep my interest
  2. The writing style has a lot of short sentences, strange syntax, and other quirks, I suppose to make it different or intriguing, but I found it distracting and just a trifle pretentious--unnecessary basically
  3. I think the setting could have been described a bit better because I had a hard time getting a visual
  4. The chapter lengths were frustrating wild, fluctuating from short to long which some readers may love but I found distracting 
  5. It seemed like a lot of scenes didn't really advance the plot and maybe could have been eliminated--the book was rather long in fact
So do I recommend this book?  Yes, if you like historical fiction and character studies.

Have you read The Book Thief?  What did you think of it?

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IndieWire

Friday, January 27, 2017

Phantom of the Opera 30-Day Challenge Day III

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My favorite minor character is Andre.  I think that he is kind of a comic relief character which is nice (you can kind of breathe a sigh of relief when he comes on stage) but he's not too outrageous like Firmin.

My favorite Andre actor is Gareth Snook who has a really great voice, and actually great acting skills even when he doesn't have a main part.

Who is your favorite minor character?

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Playbuzz

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Episode VIII Title

Alrighty folks, as I'm sure many of you saw yesterday, the full title for Star Wars Episode VIII was announced!  Drum roll please....

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MovieWeb

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to premier December 15, 2017.

My first reactions to this name was a) thankful that the writers went with something simple that sounded like it fit in with the Star Wars world and then b) a bit of disappointment.

I really want all three trilogies (the fact that there are three trilogies already makes me really happy--I love the symmetry) to rhyme and sort of mimic one another.

While I recognize the need for different stories to be told, I still like George Lucas' idea of having all of the movies and trilogies rhyme, each one a different stanza of the poem, but still coherent.



I like when books in a series follow a similar scheme: 

The Fellowship of the Ring, Being the First Part of the Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Being the Second Part of the Lord of the Rings, the Return of the King, Being the Third Part of the Lord of the Rings 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (etc.)

 Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant

Matched, Crossed, Reached

I really want the Star Wars movies to also keep to a pattern of sorts.  

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Comicbook.com

I know that it's not necessarily a trend since we only have two complete trilogies, but you only need two points to draw a line, so I am coming to conclusions on the names based on the original two trilogies.

The first film refers to a person.  A New Hope refers to Luke, the protagonist.  The Phantom Menace refers to Darth Maul, the antagonist.  The names mirror each other in their topic, but diverge just enough (one with a protagonist and the other with an antagonist) that it is just the right balance, in my opinion.  It's also perfect for the first film in a set because it introduces you to characters you are going to need to know, and tells you that they are going to be one of the main focuses of the film.

The second film so far has referred to events.  The Empire Strikes Back, and the Attack of the Clones both refer to enemy advances and wars.  This heightens the suspense in the series, and I think it's a good way to get movie goers to come back.

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The third film indicates how the series is going to end ever so subtly.  The Return of the Jedi indicates slightly that good will win out (hence the Jedi) while the Revenge of the Sith points out that evil will win in this case (i.e. Sith).  Also the "R---- of the ---" format is quite pleasing to my uber organization sensibilities.

The Force Awakens sadly broke the trend a bit.  It didn't really focus on a character, as the other two have.  This new title for the second film doesn't really focus on an event either.

Personally, even though I don't know much about what Episode VIII holds in store, I can't help but wonder if it would be better for the titles to actually switch.

The Last Jedi would appropriately refer to a character, Luke, who is a constant presence throughout Episode VII and is the motivation of a lot of what happens in the film (i.e. everyone is looking for him).

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Comic Book Movie

The Force Awakens also refers to an event like the second movie in each trilogy has historically.  The other two trilogies have referred to negative actions (The Empire Striking Back and the Clones Attacking) but maybe it would be fitting for this final installment to switch things up in the end and note a positive event, The Force Awakening, you know, just to show that good does win in the end.

But okay, okay, The Force Awakens already exists and there is no going back.  It's too late to change.

Since no one really knows what's going to happen in Episode XIII it is too early to say for sure whether or not the name is a good one.  

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Wikipedia

But maybe the name still hints at the story line, nevertheless?

The Last Jedi must be referring to Luke, right?  I mean, he is the last Jedi around.  But my assumption was that he would train Rey and maybe even Finn too, since he seems Force sensitive, and they would be Jedi also.  So he's not the last last Jedi, he's just the last one at the beginning.

Does that make any sense?

The final thing I want to mention as regards this name is the fact that it is kind of similar to Star Wars: The Last of the Jedi, a book series written by Jude Watson with Anakin and Obi-wan as the main characters.  I don't think that it will bear much into the movie at all (especially since these books are no longer canon) but I just thought it kind of odd the filmmakers would choose a name so close to an already existing and already Star Wars affiliated brand.

What do you think of the name?  Yea, or nay?

Are you super excited for Episode VIII: The Last Jedi?

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Pinterest

Monday, January 23, 2017

Phantom of the Opera 30-Day Challenge Day II

So sorry I've missed a couple days!  Things have been getting pretty busy lately.  Ah, the question of the day. My first ALW show and/or my first Phantom, when and where.

Well my first Andrew Lloyd Webber show was indeed Phantom of the Opera, and I'm not much a fan of his other shows (although I do like Memory, when isolated from the strange musical that is Cats).

Technically my first Phantom was Michael Crawford because my parents recommended him first, so I listened to the soundtrack featuring him and Sarah Brightman.  I only heard that soundtrack once before I saw the 25th Anniversary Concert with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo though, and I was hooked on the latter performance.

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Pinterest

For all intents and purposes, Ramin Karimloo was really my first Phantom, and in my opinion, the best one that I've ever seen/heard.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Phantom of the Opera 30-Day Challenge Day I

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I've been familiar with the title the Phantom of the Opera mostly since my sister Molly used to play All I Ask of You on the piano sometimes, and I liked to look at the sheet music and read the lines.  

I first actually got around to watching Phantom in November, and I read the book later that month.  

For the next 30 days, I'll be going through the 30-day challenge, so check back if you're as big a fan of Phantom as I am!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Swing Dancing

Yesterday I went to a swing dance which benefited the band program at my school.  I had never been swing dancing before, and I guess I wasn't 100% sure what to expect.

3/4 time, I guess?

Anyway they had a couple of lessons at the beginning to teach a couple moves.  Here are some of the basic moves we learned.

1: The Basic Step


The lead puts their hands out flat, palm up.  Their partner places their hands lightly into theirs, letting their wrists drape off a bit.  Take one step to the lead's right, and one to the lead's left.  Step away from each other.  Yay, the basic step!

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Ballroom dance videos & dance DVD's
I couldn't help but notice that some of the songs the bands were playing were in 4/4 time, so we varied this step to fit the rhythm by stepping to the lead's right, the lead's left, away from each other, and then back into place.



2: Spinning the Lead's Partner


The lead will reach their right arm into the air and around to the opposite side of their partner.  The partner then spins in the direction away from the arm and back.  Pretty simple!

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Pinterest

3: Spinning the Lead


The lead pulls the partner's right arm straight up and spins beneath it, clockwise I think (I can't quite remember the direction now...)

4: The Titanic


The lead will reach out with their left hand as their partner pulls their elbow behind their own head.  The lead will pull their elbow behind their head also, so there is one part of their joined arms that is in front, and one that is behind their heads.  Then they will release hands and drag their hands along their partner's arm, and hold their hand when they reach it.

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www.pinterest.com

Then the partner will cross their left hand over the lead's joined hands, and will turn clockwise outward, so that their back is facing the lead but their hands are still joined.

The partner will lean outward, like the scene in the Titanic, and then pull back in.  As they pull back, the lead will catch them.  It's important that the partner puts their bent elbows outside of the lead's arms so they can catch them.

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Pinterest


5: The Pretzel


This one was really hard to master.  The lead places their right hand behind their back, and their partner takes their right arm with their own left arm.  Their other hands are joined in front of them.  Both pull their arms over their heads and pull them back so that the formation is reversed, and the partner has their right hand behind their back, but the two are still holding hands.

Swing dancing was really fun and I hope to go back next year for the fundraiser!!

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SwingOrama

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Quotes

"There will always be someone who can't see your worth.  Don't let it be you."  -Anonymous


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Coming soon: Sherlock, Series 4, Episode 2 Review!!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Pride and Prejudice

I have a lot of classics on my shelf, and I love classics!  Well, that might not actually be true.  I love reading classics to see what everyone knows about them and to be cultured.  I don't necessarily look forward to reading them all, but I push through and do it anyway to accomplish a goal.

It's just like how I don't like exercising per se, but I do like it because it is good for me.  So all in all I do like it.

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Pinterest

Because of my determination to read a ton of classics, I have kind of pushed off some of the books I really want to read, because I know deep down I also want to read the classics even if I don't feel like it all the time.  Like how an old married couple stays together for fifty years even if they don't feel in love all the time.

Okay what am I talking about???

The point is that this principal does not apply to Pride and Prejudice.  It is a book that a) makes me feel accomplished for reading a classic and b) is a book I really like and want to read even on a shallower level.

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Pinterest

I first encountered Pride and Prejudice through the 2005 movie (audible gasps are heard from fans who hate that movie) and to be honest, I really loved it.  It was probably from ignorance of the original source material or something, but I was able to look over the blatant historical inaccuracies and enjoy the story.

I am a sucker for a good romance, and also the film had music that was really simple but impactful.  I love piano and strings (uh, duh that's why I play piano and violin...) and this soundtrack featured them heavily.  By the way, A Postcard to Henry Purcell is one of my favorite songs to play on violin.  Take a listen!



But I'm not here to talk about the film!!!!

I decided to read the book because I liked the story a lot and it's usually true that the book is better than the film.  In this specific, case, I don't have a strong opinion either way since both the book and the film were enjoyable in their own way.

Lizzie's character was a bit more refined in the book it seemed, and her relationship with Mr. Darcy was slower to progress.

I wish that there was more about Jane and Bingley because to be honest they are just the best ever.  Bingley is an awkward ginger just like me!!

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YouFoundMarina - WordPress.com

Early on in the film, I really hated Darcy and came to like him by the end, but in the book he was even more detestable at the start (if less lovable at the end).  I do really love his conversation he had with Lizzie about how it is hard for him to introduce himself to people at balls.  Me too, Darcy!  Me too!!

Anywho, I adore Jane Austen's writing style and the intricacy of the vocabulary.   It's a pretty big inspiration for me.

So final opinions?  This book is totally worth a read whether you liked the films or not.  It's different from the films for those who disliked either one, but similar enough to please people who want a supplement to films they enjoyed.

I can clearly see myself going back to Pride and Prejudice and other Jane Austen novels for inspiration and enjoyment in the future.

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Discover Magazine Blogs

Friday, January 6, 2017

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

This is my piano cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Again, I apologize for the piano being out of tune.  For all of you out there lucky enough to have perfect pitch, I am sorry!!  I think it might actually be getting worse as time passes.  Also I think the sound board is damaged because it is permanently on sustain.  The sustain pedal just adds more sustain.  I dunno what that's all about...

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Tenor

While we're on the topic of pianos, Piano Around the World is a YouTube channel I would like to encourage you to go check out.  Dotan Negrin is fulfilling his dream of travelling around the world and playing the piano on the streets so everyone can enjoy the music.  His channel features lots of awesome solos and different musicians who improvise with him.  I would like to support the efforts of this channel, so if you like piano music, head over and check it out!

This song was inspired by one of my classmates who passed away two years ago, today.  We went through all of elementary school together plus the first four years of seventh grade.  While we weren't BFFs, I always remember how sweet she was and always happy.  I know people say lots of stuff like that when someone passes away, but I honestly cannot think of one time I saw her sad or angry.

This song makes me think of her because (even though it sounds cliche) I really do believe that she is in a better place, like the one this song describes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy listening to my cover!




Lyrics
Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh, why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow.
Why, oh, why can't I?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Le Livre Est

An Update!


Even though I haven't given an update on the progress of my novel in awhile, I have been working on it.  As for the state of mon livre, all I can say is that...le livre est.  It's there, but it's not going places.  It's like a rocket that's built, but not full of fuel.

First off, I've been lacking a bit in the motivation department, and have been getting a bit side tracked.  To keep myself focused on le livre even when I wasn't in a "typing" mood, I created little book covers and graphic designs for what my novel may some day look like if I keep working on it.  It's pretty inspirational and helps me keep me focused.

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Odyssey

I've made some major progress as it pertains to characters.  The first draft really features little to no characterization, so I've been looking into making believable characters.  I now have a pretty standard idea of how I want to craft the characters, and what I want them to be like.

I used the different Meyers-Briggs personality types to formulate what traits are plausible to be found together.  I want my protagonist and love interest to be close to opposites, but still have some similarities within their personalities.  For that purpose, I am choosing the INTP personality for the love interest (introversion, intuition, thinking, perception) and the INJF personality for the protagonist (introversion, intuition, judgement, feeling).  They are similar in some ways, but have balancing ways of making decisions.

I took the personality test to see what personality I have, and I'm not making this up: I got the same one I had chosen for my protagonist earlier!  I guess I was subconsciously writing about what I already knew without even knowing it!



I created character boards with pictures of what I want the characters to maybe look like, and quotes I think fit with their personalities.  If you're interested in doing this for a project you're working on, I would recommend the PicCollage app which is really simple to use and looks pretty great.

I also have been working on developing subplots.  Mon livre is more like a novella (or a novellette, which is even shorter) at this point, and I need to boost the word count.  The subplots I'm working on are killing two birds with one stone: adding length, and depth.  

My manuscript now is a flat plane, but these subplots are each a layer that's going to make it into a cube.  Or rectangular prism.  Or regular hexagon.  Or a decagon!  Can you tell I'm in geometry?

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Full-Time Faculty

Anywho...

The main problem I'm running into with my book is a) where to start editing the actual manuscript I already have and b) how to get a driving force into my story.

Right now there is lots of character development, but there isn't as much of a sense of urgency as I wanted.  The whole science fiction aspect has been kind of neglected in order to focus on the characters, and I really need to work back in an overarching source of conflict and desperation in order to make the story more fast paced.

One step at a time.

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Tenor

Every time I look at my manuscript, I get a bit overwhelmed.  I have an idea of what I want to add, but where do I start?  I've created new documents where I just start writing from scratch, I've pieced together little scenes to pop in the manuscript--but where exactly?

I've tried to outline the story using brightly colored flash cards (because they're fun!).  Green flashcards are main, plot driven events.  Orange flashcards are for one subplot involving the protagonist's brother.  Yellow flashcards are for the love subplot.  Pink flashcards are for crucial elements that drive the plot forward...aaaaand they remain untouched...whoops.

So, Nimrodel, you tell me, stop blogging and go work on ton livre!  And to that I say...fiiiiiiiiiiine.......

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Nathan Bransford

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sherlock Series 4 Ep. 1

Well after two years of anxiously waiting for the next series of Sherlock to be released, we got it on Sunday.

I've seen every episode of Sherlock, and while I am a fan of the intricacy and definitely the production quality of the series, as well as the acting and all the complex story lines, I wouldn't venture to say that I am a complete die-hard fan.  Certainly not the type that writes Benedict Cumberbatch fanfiction.

I was still super excited to see the next episode and gathered together with my friends to have a "Sherlock party" Sunday night.

Since this is the first time I'm reviewing anything Sherlock on my blog, let me first give you some idea of my experience with Sherlock by doing the 30 days of Sherlock in one shot.  Here goes!

DOING!:

  1. My favorite episode is Reichenbach Fall
  2. My favorite main character is Sherlock
  3. My favorite minor character is Molly
  4. My favorite quote is "You see but do not observe."
  5. I used to ship Sherlolly (Sherlock and Molly) but now I don't really have a ship going.
  6. I like the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books a lot.
      7. A Sherlock photo that makes me smile:
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      8. A Sherlock photo that makes me frown:
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     9. A Sherlock photo that makes me laugh:
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     10. My favorite character:
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     11. My least favorite character:
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    12. I appreciate how each of the titles kind of play off the original Sherlock Holmes stories, so even though this series is really different, it still pays homage to it's source material.
    13.  In this coming series, I would like to hear more about Sherlock and Mycroft's mysterious brother-- "the other one"
    14. I don't even know what a Livejournal is, so...
    15. Favorite Sherlock fanfiction?  Um, I don't venture into the Sherlock fanfiction arena.  Some fandoms have really quality fanfiction (I'm looking at you, Lord of the Rings) but other places are darker and stranger.  I'm not staying Sherlock is, but I've never gone to check.
    16. A fangirl moment: "The name is Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street.  Good day!"
    17. Parts that made me cry (or get as close to tears as I'm going to get): Sherlock's death!  John at his grave!  Sherlock at the therapist!
    18. I don't love the character of Irene, but I do love the scene in which Sherlock proves that she has sort of fallen for him.  The music, and Irene's expression as well as Sherlock's voice are just perfect.
    19. Molly is probably most like me.
    20. Favorite use of original canon: Reichenbach Falls, maybe.  I like how they kind of updated it.

    21.
   Image result for sherlock gif

   22. Favorite Sherlock site: John's blog.
   23. Sherlock on YouTube: Emergency Awesome does a good job recapping episodes and tying in canon references.
   24. My least favorite episode is the Hounds of Baskerville.
   25. Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite Sherlock actor--he's pretty funny.
   26. Hmm...Una Stubbs is my favorite Sherlock actress.
   27. Character I would want to be: This is a hard one.  No one in the show, really.  I guess Sherlock, but it'd be hard to lack emotion.
   28. Character I would not want to be: Mary.  When you're in too deep with that assassin life style, there ain't no digging yourself out.  (Did I just say "ain't"?  *Grammar panic sirens wail*)
   29. My favorite thing about Sherlock is the filmography.  Absolutely beautiful filming and editing.
   30. Shout to Adamson and Brynn for introducing me to Sherlock!


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BBC

Alright so now that you know a little about my Sherlock background and I've (hopefully) proved myself to be a fan worthy to criticize the latest episode, let's get into it. 

Fair warning: there will be spoilers aplenty for Sherlock Series 4, Episode 1, The Six Thatchers.

First off, going into this episode, I was excited but not crazy excited.  I feel that I am able to review this with a level head because since it's been awhile since I went through my Sherlock fangirl phase.  I still like it, but I'm not irrational about it.  Plus I decided to take a couple days after watching it to collect my thoughts.

This is going to sound really dumb, but sometimes when lots of people (particularly my age) like something, it kind of makes me not like it.  Not automatically, it just lessens my love for it a bit.  It's not really a controllable thing, it just happens.  It's a side effect of being an old lady at heart.

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I watched all the trailers before hand, but I couldn't bring myself to get super excited.  Every line and shot just looked like it was playing off the success of the first couple series.  I noticed throughout this entire episode there were lots of inside jokes and utterances of "the game is on" or something to that extent.  This almost seemed a bit cheesy, like the writers were trying really hard to get fangirls to squeal in excitement.

Sometimes I can be made of unimpressionable stone, and as I watched this, I was.  It just didn't impact me the way it did in the original series and I felt that it was kind of lack luster.

Just a few moments into the episode I was reminded of a few of my Sherlock qualms.  

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Tenor

Sherlock
is by no means a perfect series.  I dislike some of the story lines, and a lot of it is too gory, too profane, and too irreverent for my taste.  One moment that has sincerely bothered me was when John and Mary asked Sherlock to be the Godfather of their new baby.  Sherlock had some quick lines in typical "high-functioning" style in a rant against the existence of God, which I suppose may make some sense to his character, but still bothered me.  Are we really going to have one of the most stereotypically smart and knowledgeable character in literature be a complete atheist?  I am really tired of the stereotype that all smart people are atheists.  Basically, I understand that this Sherlock character believes that, and that's okay as far as it goes, I just hope that it doesn't influence viewers' minds into believing that all smart people think that's the case.  That's all.

The episode started off with the mysterious death of a man who was supposed to be far away hiking, but was found dead after weeks in his car.  I'm not going to waste too much time writing about what actually happened since I assume you've already seen the episode if you're reading this.

Personally, I really didn't like the solution to this mystery.  It had me completely baffled originally, but turned out to be really quite dumb.  Additionally, Sherlock had to jump to lots of conclusions to actually figure it out, and he had little to no evidence.  I mean really?  The boy just happened to have a little suit that he made so he could blend in perfectly with the car in order to surprise his father?  And he had a seizure at the exact moment he was meant to surprise him?  And how on earth did Sherlock guess it was a seizure?  It could be any number of things!

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The main episode progresses from there to covering the very confusingly told story of Mary's background.  I am not a huge fan of Mary's, so I wasn't particularly invested in this portion of the show.  

Mary and John experience a bit of discord as Mary withholds a lot of information from John, and John...has an affair?!?!?  What was with that?  I can't remember if that actually happened in the books, but either way it hit me kind right out of left field.  It was really out of step with John's character, but it was left ambiguous, so I don't know if he actually had an affair or not.  What are your thoughts on that?

Mary finally dies at the very ending after defending Sherlock from a bullet.  I knew Mary was going to die, because I did remember that from the books and assumed it would happen.  Again, I didn't really care that much about Mary's story line because I'm just not a huge fan of her character for some reason.  I honestly don't know why.  Maybe it's the whole assassin, shady backstory, and violent backstory.  I dunno.

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PBS
John goes pretty much balistic at Sherlock, blaming him for letting Mary die.  It was at this point in the episode that I was getting pretty disappointed.  I knew the episode was wrapping up, and it was not going well in my opinion.

John, what on earth???   YOU are the one that had an affair with Mary, breaking ACTUAL vows you made to her, while Sherlock just made a promise to do his best to protect them.  Plus, how on earth is Sherlock supposed to have prevented Mary from willingly jumping in front of him to protect him?  In no way was this Sherlock's fault, and towards the end it seemed like John was really overreacting.  I get that in the moment he would be distraught, but even days later Molly told Sherlock that John didn't want to see him.

This complete overreaction kind of makes me lose respect for John.  Additionally the whole ending felt very soap-operary.  And I had seen waaaaay too much soap opera just before I watched this episode (*cough cough* Downton Abbey marathon).

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This gif from a scene in Downton Abbey perfectly expresses how I feel when watching
Downton Abbey.

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There were some good things in the episode, however.

I had no idea that the secretary was going to be the culprit, and it completely took me by surprise for which I commend the writing.  I don't know if it's just because there was pretty much only one completely circumstantial and ambiguous clue with which to come to that conclusion, or if I was just genuinely fooled, but it was surprising.

I liked how Mary revealed that Rosamund Mary was her actual name and that's why her acronym was an R. on the A.C.R.A. memory stick.  Pretty creative twist, in my opinion.

As my friend Adamson pointed out, this episode is just trying to get fans back into the groove of Sherlock-dom (which could be the reason for all the fangirl-service moments) and prepare them for the real drama to unfold in the coming episodes.

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Flickering Myth

I for one am looking forward to discovering who this crazy laughing guy is and why Sherlock is so distraught towards the end of the series.

What is your experience with Sherlock?  What did you think of the most recent episode?  What are you looking forward to in Series 4?  Comment below, and y'all have an absolutely sensational day.