Thank you, Person of Interest

poi_100thEpiCelebration_01

It was a week of waiting for me, before I could watch the Final Episode ever of Person of Interest. My husband was out of town, and I just couldn’t watch it without him. While he was gone, I watched the last four episodes of season 5 with my children to get us all ready to watch the finale as soon as Dad got home.

I will write up my own thoughts and review of “return 0” in another post. This one is a post of thanks. Thank you to the amazing cast, writers, producers, and creators for giving me a series that touched my head, my heart and my soul. I will miss this show more than I can say, but it ended so perfectly, it feels not like I’ve lost it but just that I have reached an ending.

As The Machine learned in the finale, if we are remembered, if we are loved after we are gone, we never really die. Person of Interest, you will never really die.

Thank you,

RSM

This will hold my place – Farewell Person of Interest

PersonOfInterestThe final episode ever of Person of Interest (PoI) aired last night on CBS. My husband is out of town on travel for work and won’t be home until next week, so I haven’t watched it yet. Watching Person of Interest is something we’ve done together since the show aired its vary first episode. We haven’t missed watching an episode together yet. He told me I could watch it on my own, so I don’t have to stay away from the internet until next week but I don’t know that I can go through watching it alone.

I’ve never written about PoI on my blog. Mostly my blog has been Star Wars focused or Castle focused when I wrote about pop culture. The only reason for so few posts about a show I love so much is that I lacked the time to do the show justice. Person of Interest is a fantastic show, layered and poetic, so beautiful in its portrayal of broken people learning how to be better, to be heroes, with the help of a machine.

I plan on purchasing the last episode, as a backup in case our DVR died sometime between now and next Tuesday. I might be able to make it until my husband’s return to watch it, I might not. In either case, I wanted to put something up on my blog about Person of Interest, before it’s gone.

Open letter to the Show Runners of ABC’s Castle

If there is no Kate Beckett, there is no Castle.  Period.

Several years ago, I used to post pretty regular reviews/summaries of episodes of Castle on my blog. So regularly that I’ve made a tab at the top of my blog to link to them. I’m a Nathan Fillion fan, and fell in love with his ruggedly handsome Richard Castle character from the first episode of this mid-season replacement show. While Nathan may have gotten me to start watching, it was the Beckett-Castle relationship, embodied by Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion that got me to stay. From the very beginning, their chemistry was amazing, add to that the fact that the show took what is typically a male dominated profession and instead gave us the amazing Detective Kate Becket and I was hooked.

 

I stopped writing reviews and summaries because I grew unhappy with the direction the show was taking. It focused on a lot of dark stuff. Betrayal. Miscommunications. At it’s heart, it’s a hopeful, zany show with shenanigans wrapped around the serious murder-solving.  Along the way, the show runners forgot that, and made things too dark. Dark is fine. Dark has its place. Castle is not dark.

The season leading up the wedding of Castle and Becket seemed to remember what the fans of the show loved, and gave it to us in spades. Then the show runners traded hands, and the entire tone of the show changed. The ratings have reflected that. For me, I never returned to writing reviews, but I have never stopped watching the show. I used to have to watch it the day it aired (after our children fell asleep) but now I might go a couple of weeks before catching up. I find that telling. I still watch, it’s just not as fun, so I don’t rush to the DVR.

I’ve just read news that neither Stana Katic nor Tamalia Jones will be returning *IF* Castle is renewed this fall. ABC has not announced what will happen to the show going forward, and news is out that the show runners have filmed three different endings, depending on whether the season ender is also a series ender or not.  I do not know whether one of those endings results in Kate Beckett’s death, but if it does, I am done. Here and now. I am done watching this show.

There is no Castle without Beckett. No Beckett without Castle. Sure, I love Ryan and Esposito, and I love them with Castle, but the heart of this show was the two leads. The romance. The love. The teamwork. The episodes were always their strongest when Kate and Richard worked together to solve the crimes. That became painfully evident this season, as the characters underwent a “fake breakup” to throw off some bad guys.

At this point, if ABC has decided that it’s not worth keeping Stana, then I have decided it’s not worth continuing with this show. If the finale doesn’t let Castle and Beckett ride off into the sunset then I am not interested in watching anything further. I won’t watch even a shortened season without Beckett.

The fans deserve a happy ending. The fans deserve Castle and Beckett growing old and catching bad guys. Let them have babies, and save the world. Let us know they will be living the happily ever after that this couple was always meant to have.  Show us a healthy relationship where the wife can continue her career and she and her husband can work together as partners.

But I am not even sure I’ll continue watching to see.

I am beyond disappointed ABC. Whoever is making these decisions has no idea why the fans watch this show. Nor do they appear to care. I know it’s about the money. I just wish it were also about the storytelling and the fans.

I won’t even start my rant about how they are letting go of only the women on the show.

RSM

Searching for my people

This post was something I wrote about 4 months ago right after having seen The Force Awakens. For whatever reason, I never scheduled it to post. I “bleeped” out the swear words of the person I was quoting. Insert your own swear words as you read it in your head.  I thought I’d post it now to time it with the release of the movie on DVD, blu ray and digital download:

I’ve spent the time since seeing The Force Awakens searching for others out there who, like me, didn’t like the movie. I’ve found them, and by and large they dislike it for the same reasons.  Here’s a quote I found today that made me smile.

“My real problem? This movie makes many of our core, classic heroes look like *bleeping* quitters and/or *bleep*. They ran into trouble between movies, and almost all of them (save Leia and Threepio) decided to *bleep* quit in response and go cry in a corner.”

 

 

More thoughts on Han in The Force Awakens

Now that I’ve watched The Force Awakens on digital download on my iPad, I wanted to touch back on my thoughts about the characterization of Han. This post is inspired by a conversation I was having with my Mom on my Facebook page. It will be short and sweet because this was only a few sentences. For the record, she completely agreed with me. We were not arguing. She was very nicely listening to me vent for what seems like the 100th time.

To the character of Han, let us start with our beginning with him. We start with A New Hope. Han’s got a cargo hold full of money from rescuing Leia, and he turns back straight toward the death star to rescue Luke.

Continue on with Empire Strikes Back:  When Luke doesn’t check back through any of the entrances to the rebel base on Hoth, Han goes out into the night, against the recommendations of all of the other rebels around him, to rescue Luke. Later on, as the Empire finds them on Hoth and all heck is breaking loose, instead of leaving to settle his debt with Jabba, he rescues Leia and plans to get her to the rebellion, keeping himself in danger.

Then in Return of the Jedi, he volunteers to lead the Endor moon raid to take down the shield generator to keep his friends from harm.

He’s a hero plain and simple and those who think he’s just a smuggler/rogue who would return to “what he knew” when times get tough were simply not paying attention.  This, above every other misstep in the storytelling of The Force Awakens did more to disappoint me and throw me out of the movie. They got it wrong. I will never stop saying that, because it is true.

Worrying about an Ahsoka/Vader showdown

As I’ve made perfectly clear, Star Wars: Rebels is currently my favorite Star Wars property outside of the original trilogy largely because of my love for Ahsoka Tano.  I’ve enjoyed watching this season’s episodes because of her addition to the cast of characters, but that enjoyment has been one of hesitance.

Ahsoka was Anakin’s apprentice, assigned to him by Yoda during the Clone Wars. She started out young and reckless, like a couple of Skywalkers we know and love. Her relationship to Anakin is the one thing for me that made his descent toward the dark side real and painful (not his relationship with Padme). Their relationship was more than best friends and something deeper than romance. Yes, Anakin loved Padme, but he had an admiration and protection and deep respect for Ahsoka. When she left the Jedi order, it devastated him.  A new Anakin/Ahsoka preview has been released that beautifully captures their relationship in devastating brilliance.

When she survived the Clone Wars (I cheered!), I knew it was a matter of time before she’d have to face Vader. We know from A New Hope that the Jedi are all but extinct, so her fate has always been one of speculation of when, not if, she would die. We were meant to believe that Obi-wan was the last remaining member of the Jedi Knights. As the Empire Strike Back showed, “all but extinct” probably covered Obi-wan and Yoda. I contend that it can also mean Ahsoka (and Kanan and Ezra for good measure).

As you know, I’ve had enough of the death of major characters in the mythos I enjoy. If the audiences these days have an affinity for death, I wish they’d get their fill from things like Game of Thrones and Daredevil and leave my stories alone. In Star Wars, I want my hope. Yes, characters might die, but you all already got Han Solo. You should be satisfied. That’s more than enough to last for the rest of the Star Wars movies as far as I am concerned.

Count me firmly in the camp that believes Ahsoka does not have to die in order to maintain the established history of the state of the Jedi as told in A New Hope. Technically, she’s no longer a Jedi. She left the order. She’s just a rebel with Force sensitivities now.

Anakin/Vader senses her, and we’ve been shown in the Rebels season 2 mid season trailer that the two of them will meet. I firmly believe that it would be great storytelling to have Vader be unable to defeat her, not because she bests him, but because in his heart, he cannot kill her. Luke knew that there was still good in him. Having him spare Ahsoka’s life should give us a glimpse of it.

The one hour season finale is, rumored to be entitled Twilight of the Apprentice I and II. This could mean that David Filoni has filmed what will be Ahsoka’s last episodes, or twilight could mean something else entirely. I’m hoping that it is a bit of misdirection.

In my opinion, Ahsoka should live to provide continuity and proof of the light side of the force still within Anakin Skywalker that Luke knew all along. And because Star Wars is supposed to be about Hope.

 

MTFBWY

Star Wars Rebels: The Shroud of Darkness

Star-Wars-Rebels-Shroud-of-Darkness-Featured-03012016Star Wars Rebels, oh, I am loving it so much and so terrified at the same time. The Jedi are my most favorite thing in the Star Wars universe. Not the arrogant Jedi we saw in the Prequels or the Clone Wars, but Obi Wan, Luke and Ahsoka.  Especially Ahsoka. She’s been a favorite of mine since she sprung onto the mythos with her “sky guy” antics as the Padawan assigned to Anakin by Master Yoda. I love her character development from precocious preteen to the strong and wise woman she’s become.

This week’s episode, The  was very Jedi Heavy. In the Shroud of Darkness, we see Ahsoka, Kanan and Ezra return to Lothal and enter the Jedi Temple they visited in season one. Here, the three of them have their own visions through meditation with the Force, that offer glimpses to their future and their path.

My heart broke for her in this episode, when she finally learned what had become of her Jedi master Anakin; learned what she already knew with her head but didn’t want to accept with her heart. The guilt at having left him when she left the Jedi order and wondering whether she might have been able to prevent his fall are heavy burdens. Yet, I believe she can handle that weight, because ultimately we are all responsible for our own choices. She knows this, more than most. I am so proud of her. When she stood outside the Jedi temple on Lothal and wouldn’t open it with Kanan and Ezra because she’s no longer a Jedi I had ultimate respect for her. She lives what she says.  I always felt that for all his faults, Obi wan did the same. (I’ve a special place in my heard for old Ben).

So my terror comes from my worry over her fate, and the fate of Kanan and Ezra. We have always assumed that there no other Jedi when we meet Luke and Old Ben Kenobi in a New Hope. Lucas intended that aside from Obi Wan, there were none left. That is why Luke was so key to the building of hope to overcome the darkness. So, these three force users can’t survive past the next four years or so (assuming Ezra is Luke’s age at present ~ 15 or so, and we meet Luke at aged 19 in ANH). I can’t believe they’d kill them off on what is arguably a children’s show, so their fates might be decided in something off Rebels like, perhaps, Rogue One coming out this year. Or as a fellow in my office says, they all end up on Alderaan with Bail Organa when Governor Tarkin says “You may fire when ready“.

(As an aside, I am happy with the fact that this show is staying what I would call appropriate for children immensely. Much as I ended up liking the tv show The Clone Wars, it was decidedly not for kids and neither my son nor daughter watched it much past its first or early second season. I want Rebels to stay kid friendly.)

In this week’s episode, Shroud of Darkness, I found a lot of Jedi goodness. The whole temple scene could have played as either real (meaning Yoda reached out through the force and was actually talking to Ezra and waving goodbye to Ahsoka) or something mystical produced by the force. Sort of a spirit walk based in metaphors. Kanan’s encounter with the Temple Guard who turned out to be the grand inquisitor made me cry. I haven’t been his biggest fan, but watching him finally understand the power of not fighting and acceptance of the way things are (something I struggle with) and then being knighted a Jedi was really beautiful. Unlike some others on the internet who see “descnet into darkness” wherever they can, I interpreted him picking up the red lightsaber to add to his blue one when he was battling the Temple Guard as a symbol that to bring balance to the force, we have to accept both the light and dark within us all. We are all neither completely bad nor completely good. At least that’s what I think the new helm of Lucasfilm is trying to say with the mythos they are setting up.

I think I need to talk to, send an email/open letter/desperate plea, to David Filoni and tell him that I, too, adore Ahsoka and he’s can not kill her off! And yes, while a showdown between her and Darth is inevitable and will be really awesome, I do not want her to die at the hands of her former master. Instead I want him to be unable to kill her, allowing us a glimpse of the conflict, the good, that Luke knew was in him all along.

I want to be able to wear my Ahsoka Live t-shirt from Heruniverse for many many years to come.

May the Force be with You.

Something I love: Star Wars Rebels

star-wars-rebels-season-2-keyart-1536x864-531987300980I thought I’d add a post to my site that was Star Wars related, but wasn’t another one of my diatribes lamenting the mischaracterization of Han and Leia in The Force Awakens. If you can all accept that I’m right and JJ Abrams got those characters wrong, I can accept that TFA (changing the Han and Leia stuff) is welcome in the Star Wars canon. Really that’s all I am asking.

This post is about another post George Lucas Lucasfilm addition to the Star Wars saga, currently airing on Disney XD: Star Wars Rebels. I cannot tell you how much I love Rebels. I immediately fell in love with it on its very first episode of its first season. Now in season two, this show feels like A New Hope, in a way that The Force Awakens tried to but failed (in my mind). It had the courage to show us new characters, and earn our love for them before introducing us to previously established characters (something  The Force Awakens almost did – those first 30 minutes were almost there, and then they ruined it with dead bead Dad Han).  And when Rebels did an episode that followed the beats of rescuing the Princess from the Death Star from A New Hope and using a stolen Imperial shuttle complete with codes from Return of the Jedi, it did so on the small screen with winks and nods that never felt forced (no pun intended) unlike another recent Star Wars property on the big screen.

This season, my favorite former Jedi (Ahsoka Tano) has joined the cast, and I am completely in adoration of her character arc. She is hands down my favorite character to come out of anything outside of the Original Trilogy and I was overjoyed when her creator, David Filoni, spared her from the slaughter of the famous Order 66 at the end of Season 5 of the Clone Wars. I am firmly in the camp of folks who love her so much that we never want to see her killed off. Since she’s no longer a Jedi, I don’t see any conflict with existing canon in having her survive the events leading up to A New Hope.

This past week’s episode, The Shroud of Darkness, was a particularly Jedi heavy one and is perhaps my favorite of the series so far. Since this post is getting a little long, I’ll post my thoughts in my next blog post.  If you haven’t started watching Star Wars Rebels, I’d catch up on DVD, iTunes or via the Disney😄 app, and join the fun.

Until my next post,

May the Force be with You.

The Books I read in 2015

As I did in 2014, I challenged myself to read 12 books in 12 months during 2015. I am happy to say that I was successful. Without further adieu, here is the list of the 13 books I read over the course of 2015, as cataloged in my Goodreads account (one of my favorite social media resources).

They are a varied collection of books, reflective of my varied interests.  Some of them were books i picked and some were from the book club that my youngest sister tried to start amongst her friends.

  1. November 2015: Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, Cecil Castellucci
  2. November 2015: Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3), Robert Galbraith
  3. November 2015: Aftermath, Chuck Wendig
  4. September 2015: Bellweather Rhapsody, Kate Racily
  5. August 2015: New Dawn, John Jackson Miller
  6. June 2015: A Desperate Fortune, Susanna Kearsley
  7. June 2015: Yes Please, Amy Poehler
  8. April 2015: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes
  9. March 2015: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, Susannah Cahalan
  10. February 2015: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed
  11. February 2015: The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
  12. January 2015: The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty
  13. January 2015: Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple

When I have time,  will go back through this list and give you a quick summary of my thoughts on each one, and whether I bought them in hard cover, in ebook or read them via library ebook loan. I meant to do that with my 2014 reading list, and as you can see I have never gotten to that.  One of these days….

I’ve seen The Force Awakens, and no, I did not like it (spoilers ahead)

After finding this article from io9 I figured it was safe for me to share with you my very personal feelings after having seen the new Star Wars movie.

Beware dear reader, for if you continue reading the paragraphs below, you will get my honest assessment of the new Star Wars film. This means I will talk about plot points. If you haven’t seen the film yet, please do not read any further. I do not want to be responsible for spoiling anything for anyone.

 

You.

Have.

Been.

Warned.

 

I really wanted to like Star Wars: the Force Awakens. I had hung my hopes and dreams on it being something that would speak to me, something that would move me. I have been counting down the months, and then the weeks, and then the days. I wore my Star Wars clothes every day the week of the premier.

Not only did I not like it, half way through it did something I was dreading, and from that point on, I didn’t care how it ended. I didn’t care about the characters. I didn’t care about anything other than it being over so I could go home.

Yes, I’m not taking it very well.

Let me set the stage, so that you’re not thinking I am some fair-weather fan. I saw Star Wars, then only called Star Wars, in the theaters at the age of 8 in 1977. You can do the math. It stirred me like no entertainment had up to then and ever would after. Only The Empire Strikes Back would come close to recreating those feelings for me. I have since watched the original trilogy easily over 100 times each. I know all of the dialog. I can see a frame grab and begin reciting lines from that scene on. I hear the music and I know exactly what’s happening. I’ve been a fangirl since before fangirls became the rage all over twitter.

I didn’t mind the prequels, although I hated Revenge of the Sith. I know I’m alone with this opinion, but as you’ll see, I don’t care for “Dark” films. I liked The Clone Wars TV show but not enough to share it with my children. Again it’s just too dark. I am loving Star Wars Rebels and hope that at least they continue the storylines where the good guys always win and no one dies.

It is with this reverence that I approached The Force Awakens. I was fully ready to hand over the mantle to the new trio. To follow them on their adventures, but to feel as though it was not quite my Star Wars. That would have been ok. I knew this one wasn’t made for me. Sure it had a strong female protagonist, but it is being made for the new generation. Not for the old generation, and I was fully ready to be ok with that.

I expected to leave the theater thinking, “that was fun, I hope kids today appreciate the gift they’ve been given”. I would have been removed from loving it first hand, but would appreciate it for those that would follow me.

And then they stuck the Millennium Falcon in a junk pile.

And then they had Han and Chewie back to being smugglers and pirates.

And then they had Leia and Han having had a kid, had that kid go bad, and had them separate rather than work it through together.

And then they had Luke, the optimist, who saw the good in everything, off hiding on an island on some far away planet, having failed in restarting the Jedi order.

It’s like they spit upon my beloved characters and who I knew them to be. They spit upon all that I knew they’d have become to put together some Game of Thrones-lite family drama. They took my wide-eyed happy space adventure and threw it away in the trash heap, where it has sat for so long that it’s only a legend for the people in that universe.

And then they killed Han.

Not in some blaze of glory befitting the space pirate. Not saving the day with a Yee-haw and an explosion.

No, they killed him at the end of his son’s lightsaber then dropped him into a bottomless pit and blew up the planet he’s on for good measure. This son spends the whole movie being irritating because he’s an angry crybaby of a man who grew up with Han and Leia as parents, Luke as his uncle and Jedi teacher, and yet he decided to turn out bad. I have no patience for those who have it all and who make bad choices. No patience for it at all. I’d have preferred he have died in this movie and we’re done with no need for another two episodes. I have no interest in his redemption. None. at. all.

The Luke, Han and Leia that I knew in the original trilogy would still be together now. They’d still be fighting the good fight if that’s what was needed. They wouldn’t be apart, or in hiding. This isn’t the story I wanted to see. After working so hard and saving so many, I wanted to see them sitting back and enjoying some peace, and perhaps being called to action because of some new bad guys. This isn’t the way I wanted my Star Wars universe to turn out. We have enough terrible things happening in our actual world. For so long, my Star Wars universe was happily free from that sort of disappointment.

I wanted Luke to be a Jedi Knight, teaching a new group of students. I didn’t want a retread of Anakin and the death of the Jedi from Revenge of the Sith. We’ve already done that. We’ve already had the descent. We’ve had the redemption. We have balance restored to the Force. Having the same events play out again, skipping a generation makes me tired. Do we never learn anything? Are we always doomed to repeat history? Maybe humanity is, but Star Wars was always above that.

I wanted to see Leia and Han in a healthy happy relationship. She being the strong woman. He being her equal. Instead, they have been living apart apparently for years, and Han and Chewie are back to their origins. Han apparently learned nothing, and rather than changing to the better man we all watched him became, he just gave up and ran away. No, this is not the Han Solo we got to know. He was better than that.

It’s too bad, because I actually liked the new characters. Rey is sweet, caring and powerful. I was connected to her after the long time we spent with her on Jakku. I liked Finn, although he felt far too contemporary with his snappy dialog and comebacks, and I liked Poe, although we saw far too little of him. Best of the new characters was hands down, BB-8. He displayed so much emotion, and was definitely adorable. There is someone for everyone who felt they weren’t represented by the white males in the original trilogy.

Still it ticked me off that we got to have R2 under a tarp for most of the movie, in low mode as he waits for the return of his master (i.e. the missing Luke).

The fact that the entire plot is a retread of A New Hope, with Empire thrown in for good measure was actually the thing that bothered me the least.

In the end, this was not the story I was hoping for. This was not the way I wanted the universe to turn out. Perhaps I gave Lawrence Kasdan too much credit when I learned he was writing the story. He gave us The Empire Strikes back, which has been my favorite film to date. But now I think that had he run unchecked by Lucas, ESB would not have been nearly as wonderful as it was. Perhaps all this “dark” nonsense was just one George Lucas heartbeat away, and now that George has given away Star Wars, dark is what we get.

I think the largest mistake is that the film (and all the people who like it) forgets what made Star Wars so appealing. It was a kids’ film with a happy ending. The good guys won. They were in peril but we the audience knew they were always going to make it. Even when Obi-Wan sacrifices himself, he disappears and we immediately hear his voice and know he’s not really gone. He’s still here to help Luke. Yes, that’s not realistic, but Star Wars was never about realism. The original trilogy was about hope and light and happy endings. TFA was none of that.

I leave it to the masses to follow Star Wars from now on. I know why you like it. It’s a good film. It’s got good characters. It just did too many things to break my heart. I can’t feel anything but sad. Instead, I will sit back with my original trilogy and ignore what has happened in TFA. For me, Han will be still alive, and he and Leia will be together forever, with Luke and his new Jedi Padawan bringing light to the universe.

May the Force Be With You.

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