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Time Jesus: 12 Monkeys – Season 2

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I do realize that tonight season 3 of 12 Monkeys will premiere on Syfy. But, sad to say, I won’t be able to watch it because I don’t have cable.

This post is about season 2, which I was recently able to catch up on with Hulu. I pray that Season 3 will join its brother and sister, season 1 and season 2, over there very, very soon.

Here is my review of season 1, if you are behind further than I am: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2016/02/28/what-i-learned-this-week-22816/

Oh Baby. You can point your gun at me anytime.

I fully admit I was lost in the first season, even after watching all episodes twice. Season 2 seemed much easier for me to understand within the existing framework, while still being complex.

My overwhelming crush on Aaron Stanford, who plays James Cole, only grows with each episode. The first time we see him, he is walking out from behind a car among flames, his trusty gun raised. If there was ever a “proper” remake of The Terminator, Aaron is my number one pick for Kyle Reese, both he can be both vulnerable AND bad ass.

The first season I mostly watched for Cole & Cassie’s (Amanda Schull) chemistry. Season 2 I enjoyed although there was less of them on screen together. While living for an extended time in 2044, Cassie learned to kill to survive. While living in 1944, Cole had time to find out what alcohol he preferred and that maybe killing everyone who got in their way was not the answer to defeating the 12 Monkeys. (It helped that I had peaked at episode summaries beforehand and knew that Cole & Cassie would eventually be “together”, so that helped me to be more patient, knowing that my pay off I wanted so desperately was indeed coming.)

Cole & Cassie together

It was interesting how the interpersonal dynamics changed throughout the season. Cassie made several unlikely alliances. I was surprised how often Deacon, Jennifer, and someone important to Dr. Jones showed up in almost every episode.

I am glad that I read the spoiler ahead of time to find out the identity of the witness which is revealed in the season finale. It made the threats the team made to kill him all season seem more ironic.

Jennifer (Emily Hampshire) became an easy go-to for solving pretty much any problems that arose this season. In our future/their present of 2044, she is nearby and always a friend. She even becomes a time traveler as well. There was more comedy this season than I remembered previously, mostly due to her. Jennifer’s random quotes from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure are priceless. Although Deacon mocking Cole by calling him Time Jesus was also pretty humorous. (I am eagerly awaiting the photo I saw from Season 3 featuring Cole dressed as Marty McFly!!!)

Is that Marty McFly I see in the background?

At the end of every season I wonder how the writers will write themselves out of the corner they seemingly put themselves (and the characters) into. I would love to look at the white board in that writers’ room, with all the different timelines. Actually, I bet they have huge binders for each different “cycle.” That would be a crazy amount of information to be responsible for. But also, totally awesome.

I watched all of season 2 within 24 hours. Now I have a large TV hangover. My brain hurts from trying to follow the conspiracies and my heart hurts from all the feels (I hate that expression).

So what is one to do to cure it?

Go back and watch season 2 over again.

Unless someone wants to befriend me who has Syfy. Anyone? Hello…

Get  your peak at Season 3 here: http://www.syfy.com/12monkeys/videos/12-monkeys-season-3-trailer

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

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What I Learned This Week – 3/6/16

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This week I learned that you can go home again.

Especially if that home is the “painted lady” where the Tanner family resides in San Francisco.

I binge-watched Netflix’s Fuller House this week. I was a fan of the original: on my list of Top 10 shows, it probably comes in at 10.5. If you have hung around me or my blog for any amount of time, you know by now that I am a big fan of cheesy 80’s sitcoms, so I am the target audience for this resurrection. Was it lightning in a bottle? Well, no. There are rough edges and things that can be improved. But the many critics who spent their time panning it WASTED their time. I guess they got a paycheck out of it (which I won’t get for my review). They bashed it as “nostalgia culture”. Um, hello… I freakin’ LOVE nostalgia culture. It is so prevalent that Entertainment Weekly caters to it with at least one article every week. But before there was ever an announcement that Full House was coming back, the audience was already decided. It would be loyal fans of the old show who didn’t mind seeing that the characters had, in fact, aged, and a new younger audience brought up on cheesy Disney sitcoms, which were crafted from the mold of the original TGIF anyway.

Recently, I was at my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday party. I found myself in the same room with three other women from my same high school graduating class. It was familiar, but in a new weird way. I used to spend eight hours a day in school with these people. And while years and years had passed, essentially they were the same people I had passed everyday in the halls or sat next to in French (or Art) class.

The women of Fuller House.

The women of Fuller House. I think there is lots of TV magic happening here, with spanx and extensions, but they look fabulous.

That is exactly how it felt to watch D.J., Kimmy Gibbler, and Stephanie as adults and mothers on Fuller House. Sure, they were different. But it was like a weird high school reunion. Except now Stephanie, played by Jodi Sweetin, is set up to be the “cool, hip aunt”, filling in for the former cool, hip Uncle Jesse. And she is great in the part. Although I can’t help but remember that in real life she is a recovering meth addict. It makes me happy to be able to see that she is winning that battle.

If you loved the old show but aren’t interested in watching a reboot, then just watch the pilot. It is like a Tanner family reunion, and the one episode that contains the highest concentration of stars from the original run of the show. No, there is no Michelle. But even though she was a highlight of the original run, I really didn’t miss her here.

Future episodes rely heavily on guest stars and the aforementioned nostalgia. There is dancing and music from both New Kids on the Block and Dirty Dancing, unarguably two of the best things to come out of the late 1980s. Now that I mention it, there is A LOT of dancing on this new incarnation of the show. Here is what else I learned this week from Fuller House: As a woman, mother, and member of Gen X, I am apparently not dancing OR DRINKING enough. I will have to remedy that soon.

The men of Fuller House

The men of Fuller House

While the children were a big draw in the original run, the new batch of children are only agreeable. The romantic leads for the women actually make the show. D.J.’s coworker Matt Harmon (John Brotherton) and Kimmy’s soon-to-be ex Fernando (Juan Pablo Di Pace) steal all the scenes they are in. By the end of the season, you see where D.J.’s competing suitors, good ol’ Steve and Matt could have the beginnings of a beautiful bromance.

You will see some things in this full house that only time has allowed to appear in this reboot, such as men dancing with (and kissing) men and women dancing with (and kissing) women. I fully believe D.J.’s middle child is already being written to be set up as the gay child.

I have heard that a season 2 of Fuller House has already been greenlit. Probably because it got a large audience, because Netflix subscribers have already watched the stale movies and first-run TV series that are already a full season behind what the networks are airing.

Welcome back Tanners, Fullers, and Gibblers.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

What I Learned This Week – 2/28/16

On this, the 28th day of February, but not the last, I wanted to talk about the Syfy series 12 Monkeys.

(12 is not primary.)

I have wanted to see all of season 1 for a long time. Really since I became hooked on Nikita. It was while I was watching Nikita that I realized my favorite character on the show was Birkhoff. He was supposed to be the sarcastic comic relief, I supposed. But as I got further into the series, I realized I was then ONLY watching to see Seymour Birkhoff.

Aaron Stanford as Birkhoff on The CW's Nikita

Aaron Stanford as Birkhoff on Nikita

Birkhoff was played by Aaron Stanford, who I then looked up and realized was also Pyro in the X-Men movies. He must be a good actor, because Pyro was such an asshole that I couldn’t stand him.

Shortly after I finished Nikita (I was late to the party), 12 Monkeys premiered. (Maybe his Stanford’s goal is to only be on TV shows based off of movies?) Not having Syfy, I watched the first few episodes free on their website before they cut off the freeloaders like me. I had to wait another year for it to be released on DVD. I didn’t know from the first four episodes if I would want to buy the whole season on DVD or not. By the time Syfy released it, I don’t have the money now to buy it if I wanted to. I went to the video store to rent it. The season was split across three discs, all of course were checked out at the moment. The video store employee was lovely enough to tell me that they only received in one of each disc. They could have not told me that; I was left feeling very hopeless.

This week I was lucky enough to get my hands on them. (I rented each disc on a different day. I didn’t want to be a pig and have them all out at once, as I am sure others would do.)

Sooo good. By the end, there are a lot of plot points being juggled–possibly too many, time will tell. (Time, get it???)

The show grows from being about the big plague that trashes mankind and the time travel experiment to stop it to a mix of the 12 monkeys conspiracy (unfortunately, at the end of season 1 this still isn’t clear), the West 7 trying to gain control of the facility in 2043, the Daughters, creepy, blue-faced guys from the future, and a Cole vs. Ramse rivalry. There is at least one entire episode where Cole is missing. I believe this is a mistake, because while the cast is good, the show drags anytime Cole is not on the screen. I am never quite so pulled into this new world that I forget I am watching actors from Nikita and Fringe. FYI–Not finding a way to use Melinda Clarke is a BIG mistake.

Cole in a scene from "Paradox"

Cole in a scene from “Paradox”

I really believe Aaron Stanford got both the job on Nikita and 12 Monkeys because he can fake being in pain very well. Cole spends a lot of time getting his ass kicked. The next to the last episode “Paradox” feels like the best of the season. Cole is dying from time travel poisoning, and Dr. Railly teams up with an unlikely ally to save him with an unorthodox and dangerous solution. In the process, we get to see a young James Cole in 2015. I let out a big “Awww” on my couch as did Cassie in the show when we set eyes on him. He is just some generic child actor, but still moving. Ensuing events lead to Cole being naked (!!!) and trapped in 2015: two things I was always rooting for.

(Poor otter eyes.)

My biggest complaint is you can tell that Cassie and Cole like each other, that the writers WRITE it that way on purpose. And by the end of season 1, most of the earlier obstacles to this have been removed. And they STILL don’t get jiggy with it. They don’t even kiss. Cole desperately needs some 20th century loving. If he doesn’t get it from Cassie soon, then he just needs to go looking elsewhere. Crazy Jennifer would willingly give it up to him. I bet she would be cray-cray between the sheets as well.

Cole & Cassie on Syfy's 12 Monkeys

Cole & Cassie on Syfy’s 12 Monkeys

While I feel today’s dramas rely too heavily on the cliffhanger crutch at the end of each episode (remember when they only did that at the end of the season?), it is highly effective on this program. Cole is the lead in the show. I was only halfway through the season, but they CONVINCED me that he was dead. How can I not be eager for the next episode, believing there is no way that they can write themselves out of this.

It is going to be a very long wait until season 2 for me, as it doesn’t even premiere until April 18, 2016 on Syfy. I hope the show doesn’t experience a sophomore slump, finding they have too many story lines to juggle. Just in case, everyone should go out and buy 12 Monkeys season 1 and watch it right now. But DO NOT go out and rent it. It needs to be available to me for any future rentals…

And just to warn you, I have gone straight from one binge to another: straight from 12 Monkeys to Fuller House.

(Whatever happened to predictability…)

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

My Latest Obsession: OUTLANDER

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Diana Gabaldon book or Starz television series?

YES.

It is all the fault of the Starz advertising department.

Outlander advertisement featuring Claire and Jamie

Outlander advertisement featuring Claire and Jamie

They plaster my Entertainment Weekly magazine with advertisements for the television series. Last fall, they only let me watch the first episode on their website–that was all.

Wet my appetite, but don’t let me actually binge myself. Aye, tis shameful, it tis.

Don’t they realize I like romance. And time travel. (See my affinity for The Terminator here.) Although not particularly the time periods of 1945 or 1743. Well, 1945 is alright if Kyle Chandler is involved. (See my affinity for ABC’s Homefront here.)

Like an idiot, I liked the Outlander Facebook page. Now I willingly torture myself with advertisements for a show that I do not have the channel to actually watch it on.

I swore I would buy the DVD of Season 1: Volume 1 when it came out. Then I got cheap.

I had had it. I had to consume more of the story of Claire and Jamie.

I asked my asbestos friend who has a large book collection and reads everything if she had a copy of the Outlander book. She did not. At this point, I remembered that my son had forced me to get a library card at Thomas DVD-point a few days prior.

Maybe it would come in handy for me as well!

I asked the librarian if they had the book. I knew they would have it in their collection. I didn’t count on it being checked out. They asked me if I wanted to put a hold on it. Turns out, they had the DVD too! Which is what I really, really actually wanted. Hold them both!

Why the F is Jamie wearing pants?

Why the F is Jamie wearing pants?  He NEVER wears pants.

A secret that isn’t a secret: I prefer television to books. Are you going to come to my house and take away my writers card now? Fine, but purchase one of my books on your way out. If I had been born 20 years later, I would be making my own home TV shows and editing it on a Mac right about now. But, alas, I was not.

A day or two later, I was at the library for their Used Book Sale. I tried to manifest a copy of Outlander. Although I was early to the sale, no such luck.

The next day, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I bought the Outlander book from Target. (Why couldn’t I wait for the library copy? Hello! An active obsession MUST be fed.) Dang thing is huge! I have never read a book that long. I am used to YA books that are around 300 pages that I can read in one night.

Yes, I typically read a single book in a 24hr period. Even if a book isn’t wonderful, I still must press on and find out how it ends. I think I only got 2 hours of sleep when Breaking Dawn came out before finishing it. (Especially when I hit the vampire baby part. Damn.)

I started the book, but couldn’t stop reading it. Historical romance isn’t really my thing, I will be honest. Descriptions of how to make medicines from herbs and put your corset on where keeping me from the parts with Claire and Jamie together that really made the book buzz. So I kept skipping ahead to the parts where together and “together”.

After spending all day Monday reading and not getting a lick of anything done in my house, I had to take drastic measures. On Tuesday, I put the book in the freezer. Not because it was scary, just so that I would quit reading it and get some damn work done!

Friends Trivia: Joey puts scary books in the freezer.

Friends Trivia: Joey puts scary books in the freezer.

But, well, then the library emailed me and said that the DVD WAS IN!

I stayed up until 2:45AM that night watching the first six episodes. Finished the next two episodes (including WEDDING) on Wednesday. And it was GOOD. I especially love that when they were getting married, she realized she didn’t even know his real name. It was a little slow for the first few episodes. I will admit, adding robots with red eyes to the story to liven it up did occur to me. But in the end, they proved unnecessary. And the dialogue was easier to follow than Pride and Prejudice was. Most likely this was because while the Outlander series takes place a long time ago, it was written by a chick in Arizona in the 20th & 21st centuries.

Wedding night jitters?

Wedding night jitters?

Now, to see if I can rewatch all the episodes one more time before the DVD is due back. And I hope I finish reading the book before my obsession subsides. (Unfortunately, I never made it through the eBook of Pride & Prejudice before that happened. But that could just be an eBook thing.) I wonder when I will stop talking like a wee Scotsman, aye?

It is going to be a long time before I get to watch Season 1: Volume 2. *Sigh* Do people start crowdfunding campaigns for such things???

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What I Learned This Week – 1/11/15

This week my husband and I decided the best part of the ABC show The Goldbergs is the end, when they show the creator’s home movies.

The Goldbergs

The Goldbergs

At first, I wasn’t very fond of The Goldbergs. The series premiere featured lots of yelling. I didn’t grow up in a house like that, and it turned me off. But it aired in such a convenient slot, right after The Middle (Which I enjoy, because, afterall, I was Sue Heck in school. Except I had glasses instead of braces.), and right before I would turn off Modern Family. Every week their seemed to be a nice little lesson, mixed in with a healthy dose of 80’s notalgia. Who can resist that? I mean, really…

It turns out that The Goldbergs was created by a guy named Adam F. Goldberg, and it is loosely based on his own family. Goldberg grew up in the 1980’s, and videotaped everything. The actor who portrays Adam in the series does the same. But the best part of the show is at the end, when they show you the actual family VHS home videos that the real Adam filmed, which usually closely mirrors what appeared in that week’s episode.

Last week’s episode was all about New Kids on the Block, who of course I adored. In the show, brothers Adam and Barry created their own video version of the New Kids’ “Hangin’ Tough”. Then, as the end of the show, you see the actual footage of real life Adam and Barry’s original “Hangin’ Tough” video. They were even placed side by side! So you had the 1980’s VHS version of real Adam and Barry copying the New Kids, then you had actor Adam and Barry copying real life Adam and Barry. It is enough to make my head spin.

If you don’t believe how awesome it could be, watch it on YouTube here:

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