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Archive for December, 2018

[Photo Credit: Shutterstock]

This has been a really difficult year with plenty of ups and just as many downs. Whether it was in the world of politics, scandals that have rocked Hollywood or the changes that women are trying to make in every facet of the world and so much more. We live in a very unsettling world, but I hope that some of the goods things included in this 2018 year-end round-up brought some cheer to you as we close out the year.

We have all had good and bad times throughout the year, but we can all rejoice in the great entertainment these medium – television, movies, music and books – have provided.

Have a wonderful New Year!

PS: Thank you all so very much for visiting my site. I hope you will continue to visit as often as you can.

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It’s the end of a year that, well, could have been better in many ways. But there were some highlights in television, movies and books that I wanted to share in case I can inspire someone for 2019.

MOVIES

I dug into movies as I usually do, but a few stood out by the end of the year as worthy of your time and money.

[Photo Credit: Reed Morano/Sundance Institute]

Eighth Grade

Bo Burnham did a stellar job in capturing an awkward girl in eighth grade trying to navigate her life.  Rueben’s already highlighted how Elsie Fisher is good in this role, and it’s true. The whole movie is raw and made me uncomfortable in a good way.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

If you don’t cry at a story about Mister Rogers, I don’t know what your life was like, but it needs Mr. Rogers. Once a staple of children’s television watching, this movie gives new details on the way in which Fred Rogers was a trailblazer and reminded me of how much we all need empathy for each other.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

This animation is amazing! The story is heartfelt and brings in so many good Spider-memes from years gone by. Miles Morales is the next Spider-Man we need on screen and this movie tells you why.

TELEVISION

Many of my favorite shows this year are repeats of years before (The Good Place is quality always) but I do want to take note of two new series and one episode that stood out as amazing.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Netflix’s series based on the Archie comic is dark, but in the best way. As a kid I loved the version on ABC, but this keeps the world with dark magic, darker villains and less of a laugh track. Kiernan Shipka is stoic when she needs to be but also confused and expressive of Sabrina’s awkward position in life.

The Bodyguard

Brought to America via Netflix, this ITV drama is a thriller based off the complicated life of a Personal Protection Officer who gets tangled in a plot against the Home Secretary. Starting Richard Madden, the show pulls off so many twists and turns but with an end that feels right given the looming threat of terrorism in the show’s conceit.

The Good Place’s Janet(s)

D’Arcy Carden is a gift to us all! She played at least seven characters (including characters pretending to be other characters) in twenty-two minutes of jam-packed television. If she doesn’t win an Emmy in 2019, we’ve all been robbed.

BOOKS

Normally I’m so bad about books in the end of the year. That’s not to say I’m not reading, but I tend to read quickly and find few stick with me weeks later. I’m so glad to find that more than a few books did stay with me this year.

Ship It

Britta Lundin currently writes for The CW series Riversdale, and that affects so much of Ship It‘s story.  When a fangirl raises the question about why two male leads on a show can’t be shipped in a convention panel, the fangirl’s life changes in numerous ways. First, she’s asked to be part of the rest of the promotional tour for the show, but that means being around the cast – not all of whom get shipping. But the book is more than just a book about fan’s interacting with the creative team, as the heroine has to figure out so many other things about herself in the process.

If you’re a fan of enough TV and ship an unconventional couple, this book is for you.

The Wedding Date and The Proposal

Jasmine Guillory turned out two books this year with something I rarely see: an African-American heroine. The two books are interconnected, but reading a book with a character who looks like me is something I rarely find. For that alone, these each stuck with me. Plus, they’re each funny but relatable stories of finding love in some very awkward situations.

Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

For YA books, there’s always a hook I need to be drawn into books. This time it was historical fiction with action and adventure with some dysfunctional family dynamics mixed in. There’s not a great way to talk about each book without spoiling so much, but if you’re sold on watching teens having to use their brains to get through Europe without money, then these Mackenzi Lee books are perfect!

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It was a night filled with repeats, news, sports, music and comedies with only one primetime drama airing a new episode; a special premiere of a Thursday night drama.

Here is how that lone Sunday night drama fared in the overall ratings:

8 PM Show:
The Orville (FOX) [NEW – Season Premiere] – 4.7 million viewers

What did you watch on TV last night. Please share.

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Here is the list of the programming options to expect on TV this holiday week:

On January 1, the final season of A Series of Unfortunate Events will air on Netflix and that same night the annual Christmas special of Doctor Who will actually air as a 90-minute New Year’s Day Special on BBC America at 7 PM. As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. Will the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz be able to overcome this threat to Planet Earth?

Also on January 1, the winter premieres of Lethal Weapon and The Gifted will air on FOX at 8 and 9 PM respectively.

SEAL Team and Criminal Minds will both air their winter premieres on CBS on January 2 at 9:01 and 10 PM respectively.

On January 3, the season finale of the CBS All Access series Tell Me A Story will air; and S.W.A.T. will air its winter premiere at 10 PM on CBS. That same night Gotham will air its 5th season premiere on FOX at 8 PM followed by the time slot premiere of The Orville at 9 PM and the 6th season premiere of The Blacklist will air on NBC at 10 PM [special night and time] also on January 3.

The winter premieres of MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods will all air their winter premieres on CBS on January 4 at 8, 9 and 10 PM respectively; and that same night the time slot premiere of The Blacklist will air on NBC at 9 PM.

On January 5, the Hallmark Channel movie Winter Castle is expected to debut at 9 PM, starring Emilie Ullerup and Kevin McGarry. Born and raised in sunny California, Jenny is thrilled when her sister Meg decides to have a destination wedding at an ice hotel. Jenny is immediately entranced by the magical décor of the hotel and also finds herself instantly smitten with Craig, the handsome best man. Will the romance of the gorgeous wintry hotel bring them together?

Lastly, God Friended Me, NCIS: Los Angeles and Madam Secretary will all air their winter premieres on CBS on January 6 at 8, 9 and 10 PM respectively; and that same night the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air at 8 PM on NBC.

Mark your calendars!

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Trying to figure out what to watch tonight? Be it new episodes of the TV season, reairs of cable series or a movie, here are some suggestions:

NOTE: There will be a marathon of Doctor Who episodes on BBC America today.

5:35 PM:
Kingsman: The Golden Circle movie on HBO

6 PM:
Marley & Me movie on Lifetime

6:16 PM:
Game of Thrones on HBO2 (Reair)

7 PM:
Outlander on Starz (Encore)
A Heavenly Christmas movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (Reair)
Walking Tall movie on Reelz

7:15 PM:
Game of Thrones on HBO2 (Reair)

8 PM:
A Shoe Addict’s Christmas movie on Hallmark Channel (Reair)
A Walk to Remember movie on Lifetime
Atomic Blonde movie on Cinemax
Rampage movie on HBO

8:15 PM:
Game of Thrones on HBO2 (Reair)

9 PM:
Reunited at Christmas movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (Reair)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie on Starz

9:50 PM:
Ready Player One movie on HBO

9:55 PM:
The Bourne Identity movie on Cinemax

10 PM:
A Midnight Kiss movie on Hallmark Channel (Encore)

Enjoy!

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Much like the Faces of 2018, there are always entertainers of note to be on the look-out for in the new year or those who made great waves throughout the current year who will, undoubtedly, be big stars in the new year. The new faces of 2019 appear below in no particular order:

1. Kiki Layne – Kiki’s first role was in a 2016 episode of Chicago Med, but it will be her role in thismonth’s If Beale Street Could Talk box office movie that will turn people’s heads. She will be seen in the 2019 movies Captive State with Vera Farmiga and John Goodman and Native Son with Nick Robinson, Sanaa Lathan and one of last year’s faces of 2018 Margaret Qualley.

2. Elsie Fisher -The breakout star of Bo Burnham’s indie hit Eighth Grade, Fisher has been earning raves since the movie’s Sundance debut earlier this year. She appeared in the 2015 movie McFarland, USA alongside Kevin Coster and has provided the voice for Agnes in the Despicable Me franchise. She will next be heard in the upcoming animated film The Addams Family.

3. Zazie Beetz – An Emmy nominee for Atlanta, Beetz stole scenes in Deadpool 2 and will reprise the role of Domino in the X-Force spin-off. She has a number of films in the works including Noah Hawley’s Pale Blue Dot alongside Natalie Portman, Dan Stevens and Jon Hamm; The Joker alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro; High Flying Bird with Zachary Quinto and Kyle MacLachlan and Against All Enemies with Kristen Stewart and Vince Vaughn.

4. Henry Golding – He made his film debut as the leading man of Crazy Rich Asians and starred alongside Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in A Simple Favor. He will next be seen opposite Emilia Clarke in Last Christmas and in Toff Guys alongside Kate Beckinsale, Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Grant.

5. Cameron Cuffe – Cameron had a small role in the box office film Florence Foster Jenkins followed by appearing in an episode of the short-lived series Time After Time and the British series The Halcyon. He is now the star of the Syfy drama Krypton, playing Superman’s grandfather.

6. Storm Reid – She got her first big break in the box office movie 12 Years a Slave, but it was her lead role in A Wrinkle in Time that turned heads. Storm will next appear in the Netflix mini-series Central Park Five that will include among its cast Vera Farmiga, Kylie Bunbury, Felicity Huffman, Blair Underwood and Joshua Jackson.

7. Letitia Wright – While Letitia has been acting since 2011, but it was turn as Shuri in both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. She also had a role in this year’s Ready Player One. Next year she will appear in Guava Island, appearing alongside Donald Glover, Rihanna and Nonso Anozie and she will reprise her role in the next Avengers movie.

8. Thomasin McKenzie – This Kiwi actress turned heads at Cannes as the daughter of a damaged US military vet in the indie hit Leave No Trace and she will appear in the following 2019 films: The King with Timothee Chalamet, Joel Edgerton and Robert Pattinson; The True History of the Kelly Gang with Charlie Hunnam, Russell Crowe and Nicholas Hoult and Jojo Rabbit with Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and Rebel Wilson.

9. Lana Condor – Lana had roles in the 2016 box office movies X-Men: Apocalypse and Patriots Day, but it was this year’s Netflix teen rom-com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before that has garnered her the most attention. She isn’t stopping there, though, as she appear in next year’s new Syfy series Deadly Class alongside Benedict Wong and the box office film Alita: Battle Angel – which includes the ensemble cast of Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Rodriguez, Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz, Jackie Earle Haley, Eiza Gonzalez and Rosa Salazar.

10. Indya Moore – The Bronx native has modeled for GQ, Gucci and Christian Dior, has appeared in Vogue and OUT and she turned heads in the role of Angel in Ryan Murphy’s FX TV series POSE.

11. Brooklynn Prince – This young actress broke hearts and won a Best Young Performer Critic’s Choice Movie Award in the Willem Dafoe-led 2017 box film The Florida Project. She will next provide her voice in the upcoming animated movies The Angry Birds Movie 2 alongside Awkwafina, Dove Cameron, Peter Dinklage, Sterling K. Brown, Rachel Bloom, Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Josh Gad and Danny McBride and The One and Only Ivan that will feature voices provided by Angelina Jolie, Sam Rockwell, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston and Danny DeVito.

Are there any actors or actresses who you think are the faces to watch in 2018? Please share.

TOMORROW: Closing Out 2018

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Trying to figure out what to watch tonight? Be it new episodes of the TV season, reairs of cable series or a movie, here are some suggestions:

NOTE: There will be a marathon of Doctor Who episodes on BBC America today.

6 PM:
A Midnight Kiss movie on Hallmark Channel (Encore)

6:30 PM:
Game of Thrones on HBO2 (Reair)
Toy Story 2 (animated) movie on Disney

6:55 PM:
Iron Man 2 movie on EPIX

7 PM:
Rocky Mountain Christmas movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (Encore)
Downton Abbey on PBS (Reair)
Casablanca (classic) movie on TCM
Good Morning, Vietnam movie on VICE

7:03 PM:
Outlander on Starz (Encore)

7:30 PM:
Game of Thrones on HBO2 (Reair)

8 PM:
Outlander on Starz (NEW)
Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa movie on Hallmark Channel (Encore)
Little Women on Masterpiece on PBS (Encore)
National Treasure movie on A&E
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl movie on FX
The Secret Life of Pets (animated) movie on FXX
The Bourne Ultimatum movie on TMC
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 movie on TNT

8:23 PM:
Game of Thrones on HBO2 (Reair)

9 PM:
Berlin Station on EPIX (NEW)
Counterpart on Starz (NEW)
Romance at Reindeer Lodge movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (Encore)
God Friended Me on CBS (Reair)
Victoria on Masterpiece on PBS (Reair)
Easy A movie on Encore

10 PM:
Dirty John on Bravo (NEW)
Berlin Station on EPIX (Encore)
Outlander on Starz (Encore)
Pride, Prejudice & Mistletoe movie on Hallmark Channel (Encore)
Victoria on Masterpiece on PBS (Reair)
The Secret Life of Pets (animated) movie on FXX
Quantum of Solace movie on Showtime 2

Enjoy!

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