[REVIEW] ‘McMillions’: Oh What an Entertaining Web we Weave

 

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So you might not have heard but recently I’ve found myself with a little bit of time on my hands. The movie theaters are closed, screenings are cancelled and most films are postponed, so what’s an aspiring film critic supposed to do with herself? Well, I have a lot of fun stuff planned but to begin with I watched the new documentary series on HBO called McMillions and boy is it entertaining!

McMillions follows the $24 million fraud perpetuated behind the McDonald’s Monopoly game sweepstakes between 1989 and 2001. The story has almost nothing to do with McDonalds but it is a many tangled web of all kinds of characters who become involved: ‘from Mobsters to Mormons’ as the ads promise.

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Even the agents investigating prove to be very entertaining. This is especially true for agent Doug Mathews who was born to be on television. He is funny, charismatic and probably a little bit nuts but it makes for great TV. In fact, the series suffers a bit when it goes to long without him. What makes him so appealing is his innocent enthusiasm for every part of the investigation. He doesn’t want those boring old cases. No way! He wants to be where things are happening and he can go undercover and do crazy things. It’s the best.

Aside from Matthews there are a ton of different personalities on both the investigator and criminal side and the scheme is very well executed. In fact, it may have never come to light if there wasn’t a mysterious informant who tipped off the FBI. It brings up the interesting question if someone came up to you and offered you a million and all you had to do was turn in a game piece that you didn’t organically find would you do it? I think a lot of us would.

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Also in the end who is really hurt in this whole scam? McDonald’s isn’t. They would have given the money out regardless of who won. The American public? I guess they had no chance to really win but the chance was so small to begin with that it is hardly a large wound. The marketing firm went under after it was revealed one of their employees did this but that’s about the worst it got. Is it a victimless crime?

I suppose that is for the courts to decide and not me but I do know this documentary series was very entertaining especially agent Matthews who should totally have his own show. He’s got that secret sauce for television you don’t see every day. So fun!

Have you seen McMillions? What did you think? I would love to hear in the comments section.

Even though this is on HBO it’s pretty clean minus some language.

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Tangled: Before Ever After TV Movie Review

Evidently this is the week for Disney expanding upon my favorite animated classics. On Thursday I will see the new take on Beauty and the Beast (for better of worse) and this weekend I saw the TV movie that goes with the new series based on Tangled called Tangled: Before Ever After.

If you’ve read this blog you know Tangled has a special place in my heart. I wasn’t really into animation except for Pixar for years and then I went and saw Tangled in 3D and it blew me away. I loved the characters, songs, writing and being surrounded with those floating lanterns. Tangled is Disney’s first romantic comedy and still boasts their best movie couple in Eugene/Flynn and Rapunzel. I just love it.

With such strong feelings about the original it is probably no surprise I approached this TV movie and new series hesitantly and honestly my response is mixed. I liked some things about it but other parts felt extremely generic and bland.

The best thing by far about it is the visual style and animation. I really think the 2D flash animation is cool and looks inventive and new. I like all the bright colors and the way it moved and flowed.

I also thought the music was decent. It’s poppy but so was the original so it works. The voice cast including Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi is back and they do a great job.

So good animation and music that’s pretty good start for a new series, right?  Well, unfortunately I have some big problems also.

My biggest problem by far is what they did with Rapunzel as a character. In the original she is positive but also real. She’s open with Flynn, a stranger, very quickly, making deals and sharing her dreams. We also see her struggling with her loyalties to her mother and her joys at being free. This makes her feel very real and human.

Also, she is able to entertain herself and be happy in her environment in a tower for years. Yes, she wants to see the lanterns but over all she is positive and upbeat despite being in the tower. The same is true when she meets the ruffians and thugs. Sure she’s scared at first but she quickly becomes positive and warm with them.

So that brings me to my problem with the series. They try to paint her as this disgruntled teenager dying to break free from the bonds of castle life and I don’t buy it. Again, she kept herself happy in a tower for years. I don’t think she would be complaining about a castle especially when she has so many people to talk to and can leave whenever she wants (she goes out into the town with no real problems or penalties).

To make matters more unbelievable she lies to Eugene and spurns his proposals and advances a little bit, which feels completely out of character. This also turns Eugene into a bit of a dope fawning over Rapunzel and her parents into boring strict parents. Max and Pascal are pretty much non-factors in the TV movie.

Surprisingly I’m okay with their somewhat convoluted explanation of how Rapunzel gets her hair back. I don’t know why they decided to go the hair route but I suppose it’s just about as good an explanation as anyone could come up with.

The other problem in Tangled: Before Ever After is not only do they hurt the original characters but the new additions are very forgettable. She has an attendant/best friend named Cassandra who she somehow listens more to than Eugene. I know exactly where her character is going. Bland…

And then there is Lady Cain who isn’t a a listed recurring character so she may not be the villain for long but she was very generic and boring. She’s certainly no Mother Gothel- who is coming back after falling off that tower. Don’t ask me how…

I guess it might sound like I completely hated this Tangled: Before Ever After, but I didn’t. It just annoys me when characters I love are changed like they do with Rapunzel here. It is visually inventive and I see some potential with the songs and voice cast. I hope it will be like Elena of Avalor and build as a series becoming entertaining. However, just on this TV movie I can’t give it a very high grade. I hope for better in the future but there were definitely big problems that I am not happy with.

Overall Grade- C

Rankin/Bass 4: Frosty the Snowman

frosty19Some movies from your childhood when visited as an adult hold up (Winnie the Pooh for example) and others not so much.  I hate to say it but I think Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman is the latter.  It’s another one of the specials that as an adult feels strange and is really designed for very small children- and even for them there might be stuff that is upsetting for them.  Don’t hate me but I didn’t really like it…

Frosty the Snowman was made in 1969 for CBS and it was the first time Rankin/Bass did a traditional cel animation.  To the team’s credit the animation looks fine.  It’s bright and colorful and doesn’t look terribly dated. It kind of reminds you of something you’d see on a Saturday morning television in the 80s.

frosty2That said I think Frosty looks more like a marshmallow than a snowman. For Frosty I wonder if stop motion would have looked better like the snowman in Elf.

elf leonBut anyway the story is about a group of kids that find the discarded hat of a magician named Professor Hinkle.  They decide to build a snowman and little Karen decides to call it Frosty.  Professor Hinkle has a rabbit named Hocus Pocus who tries to get the hat but it is placed on the snowman and the magic makes Frosty alive.

frosty6I didn’t really like Professor Hinkle or Hocus Pocus.  It was strange the way they kept bothering these little kids and it just wasn’t funny and was a little mean to me.  Like little Karen is freezing and a fire is lit and he blows it out for no real reason.  Frosty has the hat not Karen and Frosty obviously isn’t by the fire.

frosty8And then it gets really weird with the temperature suddenly warming up and so Frosty decides to take a refrigeration unit on a train to the North Pole, which is evidently far away because it costs $3000 to go there.  The strange part is Karen goes with them as kind of a lark, which I found odd.  This is evidently very far away to cost $3000, not just a day trip.

But I know I am over thinking it but Karen gets sick from the cold refrigeration car so they abandon the train and Professor Hinkle is fast on their tails.  He ends up trapping Karen and Frosty in (Spoiler alert!) a greenhouse and Frosty becomes a puddle on the ground.  It’s really quite a strange and upsetting story when you think of the very small children it is aimed at.  Karen almost dies, Frosty is gone but at least Hinkle gives Santa the hat back after he is threatened with no more presents for the rest of his life. It’s just odd story.

frosty9The voice cast is great with Jimmy Durante as the narrator, Jackie Vernon as Frosty, June Foray as Karen, and Billy De Wolfe as Professor Hinkle.

The Frosty song is featured of course and a few other songs but nothing stands out too much.

frosty4Frosty the Snowman is probably a fine diversion for small kids and at 24 minutes it’s fine for watching with the fam at Christmas but over all I didn’t really care for it.  It’s just so odd and I kind of wish it wasn’t so gloomy and morose in feel, but perhaps that’s just me.

What about you?  Is Frosty the Snowman a special part of your holiday viewings?  Do you love it?  Have you seen it in a while?  Let me know in the comments.

 

The Lion Guard Premiere Review

lion guard5I’m not sure who asked for a Lion King animated series for small children but we have gotten it with Disney Jr’s The Lion Guard.  I recently watched the 1 hour premiere and had mixed feelings about it.  I love Lion King and had it in my Top 50 Animated Films, but am not quite as high on it as many who have it as their favorite animated film ever.  I’m not sure what those fans will think of this addition, so if you are let me know!

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PROS

Let’s talk about the things I liked in the premiere.

The most important stand-out is the animation.  Disney has been doing an amazing job with their 2D and CG TV offerings.  Whether it is Star Wars Rebels, Wonder Over Yonder, Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Gravity Falls, the TV animation is on par with the film animation.  It really is and Lion Guard is no exception.  While perhaps not the masterpiece quality of the original it still looks great.

I haven’t seen the sequels for some time so I can’t compare the animation in those but Lion Guard I thought looked smooth, bright, colorful with beautiful backdrops.

lion guard4I also thought the mythos behind the Lion Guard and Scar losing his roar was pretty good.  The group of 5 in the guard should be fun for small kids to follow on adventures protecting the Pridelands from villains.

The voice casting was solid with Rob Lowe voicing Simba and Gabrielle Union Nala. I also liked Atticus Shaffer from underrated show The Middle as the voice of Ono the egret of the Lion Guard.

The score by Christopher Willis and Beau Black is excellent even if the songs were very lame.

Here is the trailer

CONS

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I am not a fan of the sarcastic, hip tone we got from lead Kion but there was admittedly some of that in the original with Simba wanting to be king and all.  For some reason, I found it more grating here.  Also the character of Bunga, a honey badger that reminded me of Terk from Tarzan, was very annoying.  He’s supposed to be Kion’s snarky friend but most of the time it came across as forced and obnoxious.

THE LION GUARD - "The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar" - The epic storytelling of Disney's "The Lion King" continues with "The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar," a primetime television movie event premiering SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22 (7:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. (Disney Junior) TIMON, TIIFU, KIARA

I also didn’t like the way the females were all either insecure  or arrogant divas.  In a way I kind of wish that Kiara would have been the lead of the story but she is relegated to being rescued in the premiere. I particularly didn’t like Zuri who complains about her nails and getting dirty.

I also did not like the constant winks to the original.  It felt very lazy to me and forced.  Like they sing instead of Hakuna Matata, Zuka Zamba.  Why not have a reprise or new arrangement of Hakuna Matata?  I mean would Timon and Pumba have gotten a new word/philosophy to life?  Plus, Timon and Pumba are still living by the no worries philosophy?  Wasn’t that kind of proven wrong in the whole ‘it allowed Scar to take over and ruin the pridelands?’

lion guard8Plus Hakuna Matata was not about not working.  It was about not worrying.  That’s not exactly the same thing. It’s about not having problems and Simba realized it was wrong and certainly wouldn’t have been teaching his son some new version of it called Zuka Zamba.

It just felt kind of like a bargain basement rip off of a highlight from the original film.  There are also lots of jokes and puns about the original, which got a little old.  Even Rafiki saying ‘it is time’ and then Kion singing ‘It is Time’ song made me roll my eyes! Couldn’t they have thought about something else for Rafiki to say?

lion guard19I also did not care for a scene where Mufasa visits Kion with the voice of James Earl Jones.  In the original film when Simba see’s his father in the vision of the clouds it is an emotionally powerful moment.  Here it’s like ‘oh hi Grandpa…’

lion guard6I was also disappointed to see the hyenas as the main villains.  They are so stupid that I don’t think they will be tough for the Lion Guard to defeat.  I understand it is a show for very small children but why not have a child of Scar be the main villain?  That would be really cool. You’ve got to imagine as King he fathered cubs? Scar is possibly my favorite Disney villain so this seems like a serious downgrade.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Overall, I think it is an all right animated series that small children will probably enjoy.  The animation is good quality and the voice work I liked.  It’s basically Lion King fan fiction so its appeal will partly depend on how open you are too new properties in that world.

However, I felt many of the attempts to tie back into the original felt lame and generic.  The attempts at potty humor, songs like Zuka Zama annoyed me.  They don’t show any growth on the part of Timon and Pumba from the original film.  The songs in general were mediocre.

I also didn’t care for the way the girl characters were portrayed and Bunga I found very annoying.

That said, not a bad watch and will be curious how the series works out.

If you have seen it put in the comments section and let me know what you thought- especially if you are a big Lion King fan.

Overall Grade- C+ (good animation make it just a hair above average Disney fare)

My Favorite Simpsons Episodes

simpsons favsSince its animation I thought I would share with you a video I just posted of my favorite Simpsons episodes. It’s a longer video but the list starts at 4:17 mark. Please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel if you haven’t.

My top 13 Simpsons episodes.
13. Brick Like Me
12. Bart the Mother
11. Bart on the Road
10. When Flanders Failed
9. Bart Gets an F
8. The Cartridge Family
7. Treehouse of Horror V
6. Secret War of Lisa Simpson
5. Homer the Great
4. Lisa Gets an A
3. Marge vs the Monorail
2. King Sized Homer
1. Homer’s Enemy.

What are your favorite episodes?

Character Profile 1: Lisa Simpson

Today I thought I would start a new series on the blog where I profile characters in television and movies that mean a lot to me.

There is nothing in television or movies that has consistently brought me more joy than The Simpsons.  Yes, I realize its glory days are behind it but I still enjoy the show.  It still makes me laugh and I’ve been watching it since it premiered in 1989.  Think about that! The show has been on the air and part of my life for 25 years! Wow! It’s brilliant, funny, satirical, smart, beautiful, creative and full of heart.

The Simpsons has many great characters but my favorite is Lisa.

lisaLisa is a great character for so many reasons.  I love her sincerity.  She so wants the world to be a better place and unfailingly believes in other people.  A great example is an episode called Lisa and the Old Man  where she even believes that Mr Burns can change and become a good person.

lisa and mr burnsAnother great Lisa episode is called Make Room for Lisa where she gets a chance to go inside her father’s head and realizes how much he tries to do to make her happy.  It’s sincere and funny and just everything I love about the character.

219. Make Room For Lisa

Lisa is really the moral compass of the show and there are many great moments of her standing up for what is right whether it be vegetarianism, environmentalism, feminism or just being honest.  I love Lisa gets an A where Lisa gets distracted from her studies with a video game and cheats on a test.  Her guilt at her unearned A eats at her and is a wonderful episode.

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She is also by no means a perfect character.  She is easily influenced by the desire to have friends and be accepted (who can’t relate to that?).  Some of her best episodes are when she finally feels accepted like in The Summer of 4 ft 2.  This is where the Simpsons go to the Flanders beach house and Lisa decides to put a new image to be accepted by the new kids.  To her surprise they love her and Bart gets very jealous eventually exposing the real Lisa to the kids.  It’s a great Lisa/Bart episode and one where she is in the end actually accepted.

summer_of_4_ft-_2_46In an episode from just last season Brick Like Me, she gleefully spends time with her Dad putting together Legos (she’s still a little girl on the show) until some friends come along and she drops him to go see the Hunger Games.

simpsons2Other episodes I love for Lisa are Moaning Lisa where she finally finds someone who understands her (and her music).  Who can’t relate to that desire to be understood by someone?

moaninglisaI love The Secret War of Lisa Simpson where Bart get’s sent to military school and Lisa sensing a better education decides to join him.  At first marginalized because she is a girl Lisa is forced to overcome sexisim, loneliness and bond with her brother in a new way.

screen-shot-2012-02-22-at-1-05-21-amLisa the Vegetarian is also a winner where Lisa realizes she doesn’t want to kill animals and eat them.  At first she wants to bully people into seeing things her way and then she realizes she needs to let others make their own choices.

Lisa_the_vegetarianMy Sister, the Sitter is another great one where Lisa tries so hard to be a good babysitter but Bart is insulted to have his younger sister babysitting him so he makes it difficult.  If there is anything great about Lisa it’s that she tries so hard at everything.

My_Sister,_My_Sitter_88Probably her most iconic episode is I Love Lisa in which Ralphie Wigham falls in love with her after she gives him a train valentine. Her temper (another great character attribute) gets her into trouble here.

i_love_lisa_77Lisa can also be jealous, which is terrifically demonstrated in an episode called Lisa’s Rival in which a girl comes into town who is smarter, prettier and even plays the saxophone better than  her.

lisas_rival_25Mostly I relate to Lisa because of her affection for people and the way she sincerely bonds with others, wanting the best for them.  It’s a tribute to the show and Yeardley Smith’s great vocals that such a depth of feeling can be developed in such short period of a 22 minute episode.  One example is Lisa’s Substitute where she gets a new teacher who inspires her and Homer almost ruins it.  The ending is perfect and makes me tear up every time.

screen-shot-2011-07-24-at-12-31-38-pmThere are so many episodes I could list where I love Lisa.  She is a wonderful creation and is perhaps taken for granted a little bit by even Simpsons fans who tend to focus on Homer and Bart.  Without her the show would have lasted a couple seasons.  She is the heart and soul of the show, and I just love her.  Tip of the hat to Yeardley Smith for brilliant vocal work creating a character I love so much.

What are your favorite Lisa moments?

And for some reason people are always surprised to hear I love The Simpsons.  Yep, this Mormon girl loves The Simpsons!

2014 TV Highlights

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I thought it might be fun to take a little break from movies and Scrooge for a second to talk about my favorite moments in the world of television this year.

I’m a huge TV fan, which is really strange because my family is not.  My parents do not watch a single program on a regular basis, so it is not something I grew up with.  For long periods we didn’t even have TV and then the Olympics would come around and I would beg the parents.  Please let us get TV!  (I love the Olympics!).

As an adult I have embraced it even more and especially with DVR I find it immensely entertaining to get into a show and spend some time with the characters.  Unlike a movie where you get 2 hours into a story, a television show you can really get to know people.

I also must add that I try to keep my viewing on a PG-13 level so that cuts out some of the very popular HBO shows such as Game of Thrones (same with Orange is the New Black).  I know all of you love it and I respect that but too much violence and nudity for me.

How I Met Your Mother-

The biggest disappointment for the year was without a doubt the finale of my favorite show How I Met Your Mother.  I hated it. It undermined the narrative they had been building for 9 years of the great love story between Ted and Tracy and I will never forgive the show for that.  Shame on them!

I know it sounds dramatic but it was one of the biggest disappointments in media of my life.  I still want to throw something at Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for their lack of respect for all they had created.  Urgh….

Mixology-

Mixology was another major low point.  What was ABC thinking?  It was one of the most disgraceful pieces of media I’ve ever seen.  Read my rant on the misogynist junk. (Rape was a punchline in a joke if that tells you anything).

http://smilingldsgirl.com/2014/02/27/tv-modern-women/

Ok. Calming down.

Let’s focus on what I did like.

24: Live Another Day-

24 was back and they managed to craft a very entertaining season with all of the things we love about 24- layers of villains, Jack Bauer outrunning a helicopter, a mole in Jack’s team (maybe 2?), great performances, stunts, action, twists, turns and just a ton of fun.

To me it wasn’t as good as season 5 but I’d put it up there with 2,3 and 4.

Girl Meets World-

I LOVE Boy Meets World.  It was a show on TGIF from 1993-2002.  The characters were the same age as me and yes it was incredibly corny but it always had its heart in the right place.  William Daniels took the acting up a notch from typical teen fair and the relationships between Shawn, Cory, Topanga, Eric and others had real heart to them.

So naturally I was hesitant when I heard a spinoff was in the works called Girl Meets World.  Fortunately they got Michael Jacobs producing and most of the same writers back and Danielle Fishel and Ben Savage are back as Cory and Topanga only this time they are the parents of 2 kids Riley (the Girl who meets the world) and adorable Augie.

This first season has been incredibly strong.  It has all the cornball elements with all the heart.  Now Cory is the Mr Feeny character and Riley’s best friend Maya is the new Shawn Hunter.

We also have Farkle the son of Boy Meets World Minkus and he is great and a more than just for good looks kid named Lucas.  It teaches good messages with an engaging cast and humor that works.  I love it!

Much like Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie it is a show about an entire family, not just a snarky little girl.  They all get plotlines and have character development.  It’s so refreshing to have something everyone can watch together and enjoy.

Survivor-

Yes, I love me some reality competition.  Survivor is about to go into season 30 and while season 29 has been a bit of a let down season 28 was fantastic.  One of the best they’ve ever had.

Almost every person was in it to win it and winner Tony was spastic and crazy, building spy shacks, running around the island entertaining us all and being completely brilliant.  Never has a more bold player won the game and it was fascinating to watch.

Say what you want about the show the interactions of the contestants and the choices they make are fascinating to me.  Why they vote a certain person off?  Why they keep another?  It’s a very interesting social experiment and game. In the current season the game play is some of the most random I’ve seen which has it’s own level of fascination.  It’s amazing with nearly 30 seasons the game never plays out in exactly the same way because you are dealing with people not scriptwriters.  It makes it unpredictable and exciting.  I’ve always said you could do an interesting class on game theory and use Survivor as your test case.  I’d take that class.

What makes Survivor especially fun is I am a patron for RHAP- Rob Has a Podcast which is a community of fellow fans and we talk about the moves and for a girl who works from home it has become my watercooler conversation that I look forward to each day.

Former contestant Rob Cesternino is the R of RHAP and he is engaging and funny, my favorite podcaster (although Rotoscopers Animation Addicts is a close second!).  It’s fascinating to me to see the different takes people have on moves and who people bond with and for what reasons, especially in a great season like Cagayan.

Big Brother/Amazing Race-

Survivor is my first love but I also love Amazing Race and watch some Big Brother.

After a lame All Star season, this current season of the Race has  been fabulous.  The move to Friday has been a good thing and Bethany and Adam are my favorites.  What she can do with one arm is truly remarkable to watch and they are just so down to earth.  I love them and want them to win so bad!

Really great challenges and likable contestants have made it fun.  The Race is fun to watch but not as much of a strategic game as Survivor so not quite as interesting.

Big Brother was an interesting season because it was so dominated by one player.  Like Tony, Derrick was bold and incredibly smart at the game.  He was never put on the block ever and Big Brother lasts 90 days!  That’s pretty amazing.  There was one moment where a lie he had told a character had come out and within a 45 minute conversation he had her apologizing to him.  That was unbelievable to watch.  What a game player! I would get eaten alive by players like that!  (Since I was laid up with my knee I watched too much of the live feeds this season. The darn things are addicting and why does everything happen after 2 am in that house!).

Both Tony and Derrick were able to convince their partners to take them to the end when there were clear goats they could have taken.  Basically they both convinced 2 people to give them the prize.  Fascinating.

What makes me happy is both Tony and Derrick seemed like really good guys and always nice when the good guys win the game.

(Again with the Race and Big Brother my RHAP community make both shows extremely fun).

Downton Abbey-

The only drama I’m really into right now.  I know a lot of people have gotten of the Downton train but I’m still on.  It was an intense season with Anna’s rape and the effect that has on all the characters.

The acting is so good, sets, costumes top notch and the melodramatic stories work for the kind of stories being told.  It was a bummer so many quit the show but they handled as best they could and I am sooo excited for the new season coming in January!

I hope they get back to the lighter feel the show originally had.  Yes there was always drama but oddly enough Season 2 with WW1 was not the saddest season. They need a bit more of a balance.  I’d also like for them to dive into Thomas’ character more and not just have him be the gay bad guy.

I’ve always found Mary to be a fascinating character because we should hate her but then she does something very likable and so we don’t.  It’s great and Mosely, Carson, Daisy and of course the Dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith are all great characters.

So on to season 5!

Sherlock Season 3-

This shows how much I loved the long awaited Sherlock return.  It aired February 2014 and I still have it on my DVR 10 months later.

Especially episode 1 and 3 of the season I thought were just about perfect in every way.  The ending may be one fake death to many we will see and it is a bit frustrating they never told us what happened to Sherlock but it was brilliant as well.  The way we kept getting possibilities of how he might have survived.

The acting is amazing, cinematography perfect and a new villain Charles Magnussen who was chilling and even creepier than Moriarty.

I also loved the plotline with Mary and trying to figure out what kind of mole she was.  They give you a huge hint there is something afoot when Holmes first meets her and it was a puzzle the whole series.  Brilliant.

As I watched the series I was literally yelling at the scream at times I was so engrossed.  I’d put the writing, acting, cinematography up against any Hollywood film.  It’s just great.

A to Z-

Well I suppose there is going to be one show I loved which barring a miracle appears to be cancelled.  Darn it all American viewers this show is so good!

Featuring Cristin Millioti from HIMYM and Ben Feldman from Drop Dead Diva it’s like a combination of 500 Days of Summer and How I Met Your Mother.

Some of the side characters were a little much but I’m convinced if NBC could just stick with it a little longer it would be a big hit for them.

As a girl who is starving for good romantic comedies, this was one.  The leads have terrific chemistry.  The story was charming.  I hope it can be saved but for now not looking great.  🙁

Goldbergs-

My favorite comedy by a long shot.  Especially as a movie lover and a kid from the 80s the humor hits all the nostalgic points but it’s more than that.  It’s extremely well written with an appealing cast and great kid actors.

When I first saw it I thought it was a That’s 70’s Show retread in the 80s but it’s not.  Wendi McLendon Covey is hilarious as the mother.  Jeff Garlin and George Segal steals every scene he is in as the Grandpa who thinks he is Burt Reynolds.

It’s kind of like The Simpsons brought to life with older kids.  It’s that smart and fun and warm.  Plus, the fact that Adam Goldberg shot all these hours of tapes of his family and a the end of every episode you see clips pertaining to that episode is so cool.

It makes the show feel lived in and real despite it’s craziness.  The videos say ‘this is over-the-top but my family was pretty darn close to it’ and that is funny.  Plus, you can tell the whole show is a labor of love from writing, directing, acting and everything else.  I love it and think it is hilarious.

My favorite episode is Karate from season 1 but season 2 has been great too.

Mindy Project-

A lot of people are down on this show too but I still really like it.  It has an engaging cast with pretty good writing and I love the chemistry between Danny and Mindy.  The kiss on the plane…holy cow that was a great kiss

and then the ending to last season I am not kidding I might have watched it 45 times.  It was perfect.  I almost wished the show was over so it could just end there but you know they have actually done a good job with Mindy and Danny as a couple this season.  It wasn’t until I saw that finale that I realized how much I miss romantic comedies.  I need my sugary romances you guys or I get very gloomy!  I need my romantic movies so at least I get it from TV from time to time.

I wish we could hang on to A to Z like they’ve hung on to Mindy Project.  Morgan cracks me up every scene he is in.  Definitely my favorite character.

Other Shows I Still Love- The Middle, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory (yes I still like it), Duck Dynasty, Wahlburgers,  and Shark Tank.  Oh and Dancing with the Stars has had 2 excellent seasons in 2014.

What shows did you like this year? Any I mentioned you a fan of?  Any way that’s what I like.  Thanks for reading!