Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Rueben’s Ramblings is celebrating its 10th Anniversary!!

In honor of that I decided to highlight some of the big events that took place during each year of the past 10 years.

Today’s salute is focused on 2015:

Some memorable shows that debuted during that year included:

* Marvel’s Agent Carter – This Marvel’s series may have only been on ABC for two seasons, but it sure was great seeing Hayley Atwell bring Peggy Carter to life (even more so than in the Captain America movies) and it was a thrill to see Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Souza;

* 12 Monkeys – Based on the box office movie, this Syfy series captivated viewers with its albeit complex storylines, time travel escapades and lots of intense action. Starring Center Stage alum Amanda Schull and Nikita alum Aaron Stanford, they took on the mantels of Dr. Cassie Rally and James Cole aplomb, making this a must-watch show for those who love sci-fi programming;

Thom Allison as Pree

* Killjoys – Speaking of sci-fi programming, this unique series about a group of bounty hunters in a world that is on the brink of an interplanetary war, thrilled with its action, kick-ass fight scenes, a talking spaceship and the one and only Pree (Canadian actor Thom Allison);

* Good Witch – The Hallmark Channel had aired 7 movies from The Good Witch franchise, leading up to the debut of the weekly TV series that was made possible as star Catherine Bell was finally available; her long-running series Army Wives came to an end. This feel-good show reflects life in the charming town of Middleton and the lives of the Merriwick women;

* Daredevil – This small screen adaptation of the Marvel character took the story in an even darker direction with Charlie Cox taking over the lead role of Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin;

* Dark Matter – Yet another Syfy series that was set in the future – this time a dystopian 27th Century – where six people wake up on a deserted spaceship with no memory of who they are or why they’re on that ship. They each take a number as their name (based on the order in which they awoke), and set out to learn the truth;

* Poldark – While many were going through Droughtlander (the over-extended time between new seasons of Outlander), this PBS series (originally aired on BBC One) helped fill the gap. It also helped that Brit hunk Aidan Turner took on the lead role of Ross Poldark, a soldier returning home after the American Revolutionary War only to find his love engaged to his cousin and his father gone;

* Supergirl – The third DC series to air on the small screen actually debuted on CBS (Arrow and The Flash were on The CW), and performed fairly well in the ratings for its first season, introducing Glee alum Melissa Benoist in the lead role of Kara Danvers (aka Supergirl), but it was pulled from CBS and moved over to The CW for its second season; and,

* Blindspot – The debut season of this unique NBC series focused on a mysterious woman, quickly monikered Jane Doe, who was found inside a large bag dumped in the heart of Times Square; her entire body was covered in tattoos and she had no memory. Every tattoo led to a major crisis within the city and around the globe.

The one ‘new’ show that SHOULD have been a hit, but crashed and burned was Heroes: Reborn – As TV viewers will recall the first season of Heroes – which debuted in 2006 – was a ratings juggernaut quickly becoming a massive hit; and 11 years later the hope was this reboot (so to speak) would repeat the success. Unfortunately, that was not the case despite all efforts made.

Among the shows that came to an end in 2015 included:

Falling Skies – After 5 seasons, the TNT thriller about the survivors of an alien attack on Earth came to a close with the remnants of civilization finally defeating the Espheni Queen (and with her death so too the death of all her minions).

Here is the final scene from Falling Skies:

There were also a couple big events that took place on the small screen including:

* Fitz and Simmons finally shared a kiss (or two) on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – In the Marvel world, Fitz and Simmons were synonymously known as FitzSimmons; best friends and dedicated work partners, who after a lot of crazy experiences and even Simmons being trapped in a alternate reality to FINALLY share a kiss.

You can watch that scene here:

* Jon Snow died on Game of Thrones – It was rather unexpected (even for a show was volatile as this one), but to see the one and only Jon Snow stabbed to death by Alliser Thorne and several men of the Night’s Watch – after being labeled a traitor – was (at least for me) VERY hard to watch.

The site’s official photographer Dom attended that year’s ATX Festival in Austin, Texas where the much anticipated reunion of the cast of Gilmore Girls took place.

Check out his some of his pictures here.

It was also in 2015 that Rueben’s Ramblings celebrated its first big milestone: its 5th Anniversary!

And the Broadway stage, and quickly the world, was overtaken by a little production from Lin-Manuel Miranda called Hamilton.

The top movie of that year was Jurassic World while some of the worst movies included Hot Pursuit, Get Hard and Mortdecai.

As I had been doing for years at this point, I would select performers of all walks of life (within the industry) to be part of my faces of the year and faces of the new year.

Some of the people I picked for 2015 included: Taron Egerton, Constance Wu, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Melissa Benoist, Scott Eastwood, Priyanka Chopra, Alex Roe, John Boyega and the cast of the then upcoming TV series Shadowhunters.

The Faces of 2015

The New Faces of 2016

COMING SOON: Salute to 2016

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Rueben’s Ramblings is celebrating its 10th Anniversary!!

In honor of that I decided to highlight some of the big events that took place during each year of the past 10 years.

Today’s salute is focused on 2014:

Some memorable shows that debuted during that year included:

* Chasing Life – This drama only aired for 2 seasons on ABC Family (now Freeform), starring Italia Ricci [who later starred in Designated Survivor and is married to Robbie Amell, current star of the Amazon Prime series Upload and star of last year’s movie Code 8, alongside his cousin Stephen Amell]. Ricci played April Carver, a talented young newspaper writer with big dreams whose life is turned upside down when she is diagnosed with leukemia. In what could easily have been a downer of a show was actually a touching series filled with love, family and friendship, and made all the better by Ricci’s moving performance;

* The Last Ship – On the opposite side of the scale was the TNT apocalyptic military drama that found McSteamy – Eric Dane from Grey’s Anatomy – at the helm of the U.S.S. Nathan James, a Navy missile destroyer, fighting to save the world after a catastrophic virus wiped out 80% of the world’s population (something that would be very scary to watch in 2020 given what is currently happening in the world);

* The Flash – It wasn’t easy to follow the success (at that time) of Arrow after two seasons, but The CW made the right decision by selecting Barry Allen and The Flash as the first spin-off from what would become a juggernaut franchise on the network. And, casting likable Grant Gustin in the lead role was even better;

* Jane the Virgin – Speaking of The CW, this U.S. version of the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, was a breath of fresh air for the network that was known for its harder-hitting action-packed and/or thriller-laced dramas. It also helped that the charming and delightful Gina Rodriguez was cast in the lead role. She made the life of Jane Gloriana Villanueva very poignant and touching, and how many people just loved listening to the narrator during every episode!;

* The Librarians – Much like the made-for-TV movies from which it was based, Noah Wyle returned as Flynn Carsen, who oversaw a group of librarians (there were more than one now) tasked with saving mysterious and ancient artifacts.  It also helped that the show featured Christian Kane (from Angel and Leverage fame), veteran actor John Laroquette and bombshell model-turned actress Rebecca Romijn as well as Canadian actress Lindy Booth and Aussie John Harlan Kim

* Outlander – Based on the popular novel by Diana Gabaldon, this series was basically 23 years in the making. Other versions were attempted, but nothing ever happened until Ronald D. Moore (the man behind the remake of Battlestar Galactica) brought the much-beloved novels – about a time-traveling World War II nurse who ends up in the 18th Century living alongside, and eventually falling in love, with hero Highlander Jamie Fraser – to the small screen, turning Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe into household names nearly overnight; and,

* The 100 – Much of the first season of this post-apocalyptic drama from The CW was very much like all the network’s other shows – a story of teenage angst – but, thankfully, it improved greatly as the debut season took hold, finding the show become a mixture of Lord of the Flies and the remake of Battlestar Galactica. The series was loosely based on the Kass Morgan novel of the same name that eventually became a gripping story of survival of the fittest.

A favorite show of mine – Warehouse 13 – came to an end in 2014. After 5 seasons on Syfy, the show about a massive, top-secret storage warehouse that held every strange artifact, mysterious relic, out-of-this-world object or supernatural souvenir ever found by the U.S. government – what was snagged, bagged and tagged by the warehouse “staff,” ended with a flashback-filled finale, showing the most important moments in each of the agents’ professional lives (scenes, in fact, we had never seen before) as well as an elaborate dance-spectacular for Claudia.

Among some of the big events that took place on TV in that year included the following:

Oliver finally kissed Felicity on Arrow – It took three seasons for Oliver to finally take the step, and while it wasn’t a happy ending – Felicity says, “I told you as soon as we talked it would be over,” and for awhile it was, but we finally got that kiss!:

Here is the video:

It was revealed that Grant Ward was actually working for HYDRA on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – At the end of the first season it was revealed that Agent Ward, who was seen as the embodiment of the loyal American SHIELD agent was actually working for the organization enemy HYDRA. It was a big turning point for the show and the characters.

Richard Castle and Kate Beckett finally got married in 6th episode of season 7 of Castle – It took a long time for Caskett to become a legitimate couple, and an even more complicated way for them to get hitched – especially given the failed big wedding that was to take place – but they made it down the aisle in a very private ceremony, but they finally become husband and wife.

Supernatural aired its 200th episode titled “Fan Fiction” in 2014, which found the brothers investigating a haunting at a theatre where a musical about their lives was staged by an all-girl production. This episode was a love letter and thank you to the long-time fans, for sure.

Check out the video of the girls singing what became the unofficial theme song of the show “Carry On Wayward Son”:

It was in this year that the long-running PaleyFest, the annual two-week event honoring TV hosted by the Paley Center for Media, was moved to its largest location yet: the Dolby Theatre right in the heart of Hollywood.

For me, 2014 was an important year as I added to my staff: my good friend Dominick Dusseault joined as my official staff photographer; and that summer I attended the world premiere of the debut episode of Outlander at the San Diego Comic Con, getting to see the cast and creative minds in person as well as being enraptured by the pilot episode, and my getting a rare picture taken with a bunch of kilt-wearing hunks.

See the picture below, which is very atypical for me given my haphephobia (phobia over being touched):

The #1 movie in the world for 2014 was Guardians of the Galaxy while Veronica Mars – the box office movie – came out on March 14 (if only we knew what was set to happen next, right, fellow Marshmellows?!) while some of the worst movies that year included Transcendence, Tammy and A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Even a Firefly fan film was released that year; you can check out the video (fair warning it’s a little over 14 minutes long), below for “The Verse”:

It became a tradition for every year, when putting together my year-end round-ups, that I would select interesting people who were the faces of that year and those faces that people should be on the look-out for in the coming year.

Some of the people I picked for 2014 included: Caitriona Balfe, Margot Robbie, Ansel Elgort, Manish Dayal, Gina Rodriguez, Robin Lord Taylor, Ryan Guzman, Grant Gustin, Matt Ryan and Gal Gadot.

The Faces of 2014

The New Faces of 2015

COMING SOON: Salute to 2015

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The UPtv movie Mechanics of Love will debut on June 21 at 7 PM.

Shocked to learn her father’s auto-repair shop is in the red, Mattie finds herself caught between the interests of childhood friend, Jake and Devin, the charming-would be buyer of her dad’s business. Mattie starts to realize that fancy clothes don’t make a prince.

The cast includes Tyler Hynes, Shenae Grimes, Emily Tennant, and Lochlyn Munroe.

Here is a trailer for Mechanics of Love.

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The Hallmark Channel movie Love Under the Olive Tree will debut on June 20 at 9 PM.

Nicole (Tori Anderson) has plans to expand her family’s Northern California olive oil business until childhood crush Jake (Benjamin Hollingsworth), heir apparent to the neighboring ranch and her biggest competitor, discovers the land where Nicole wants to build on may belong to his family, stemming from a decades-long feud since their grandfathers ended their partnership.

When a local judge decides to resolve the dispute by awarding it to the winner of the upcoming olive oil competition, the flames are further fanned between the families, but Nicole and Jake begin to find common ground and a romance develops as the big competition looms.

Here is a trailer and sneak peek for Love Under the Olive Tree:

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Rueben’s Ramblings is celebrating its 10th Anniversary!!

In honor of that I decided to highlight some of the big events that took place during each year of the past 10 years.

Today’s salute is focused on 2012:

Some memorable shows that debuted during that year included:

* Smash – The NBC musical drama focused on all the people involved in bringing a Broadway play, based on the life of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe, to life, including the rivalry for the lead role between a beautiful novice and a stage veteran, the tenacious producer, the songwriting duo, the director and all the other players. Among the cast was Debra Messing, theatre veteran Christian Borle, Broadway star Megan Hilty, American Idol alum Katharine McPhee, box office veteran Anjelica Huston, Pirates of the Caribbean actor Jack Davenport and future Hamilton star Leslie Odom, Jr. [among countless others];

* Scandal – The Shonda Rhimes drama that made Kerry Washington a household name started out focusing on Olivia Pope, a former White House Communications Director who starts her own crisis management firm only to realize her clients are not the only ones with secrets. The show became a juggernaut, and its storylines were crazier each year than the previous;

* Longmire – Based on the popular book series by Craig Johnson, the A&E series centered on Walt Longmire (Australian actor Robert Taylor), a sheriff in fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming. The show became the highest rated original drama series on the network, later moving to Netflix for its final three seasons. The show featured Battlestar Galactica alum Katee Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips [among others];

* Arrow – The show that started it all for The CW. The founding father (if you will) of the Arrowverse that led to the following shows all airing on the network: The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, Batwoman and, most recently, Stargirl. Canadian actor Stephen Amell landed the coveted lead role of Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) that would make him a household name all over the world in a show that would also introduce viewers to Emily Bett Rickards, who quickly became a fan favorite;

* Nashville – The ABC drama – or more to the point night-time soap opera – followed the lives and tragedies of rising and fading country music stars that featured Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, first as rivals and later as friends, that had viewers flocking to iTunes (and other online music outlets) to download the new shows that were featured nearly every week; and,

* The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – The online streaming series was a modern-day retelling of the characters in the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice told in “vlog-style” by Lizzie Bennet (Ashley Clements), who narrated the trials and tribulations of her family life with the help of her best friend (and aspiring filmmaker) Charlotte. The regular cast of characters were there including Mr. Darcy and his best friend Bing Lee and Lizzie’s sisters Jane and Lydia.

I should also make note that one of my favorite shows that year that seemed to be lacking in viewers was The CW remake of Nikita that starred Maggie Q in the title role and Shane West as Michael. The show consistently created unique and interesting stories for our lead character and plenty of kiss-ass moments. It definitely filled the Alias-sized hole in my heart.

On the opposite side of things the following shows came to an end during 2012:

* Eureka – The endearing Syfy series came to an end in July of that year, and here is the article that I wrote about the series five year run.

* Chuck – The fan favorite NBC series about an unlikely nerd turned spy that became a cult classic and was saved by fans (with a big assist from Subway), came to an end in January of 2012; and just like Eureka, I had to pay tribute to the show here.

* Leverage – The show came to an end on Christmas Day of that year, mainly due to low ratings, but not because fans didn’t love the show. In fact a couple weeks later, Leverage won the Favorite Cable TV Drama at the 39th Annual People’s Choice Awards.

Among some of the big TV moments that took place during 2012 included:

* The introduction of Kevin Tran (the adorable Osric Chau) as a prophet in Supernatural, who became a fan favorite character in the long-running thriller;

* The Vampire Diaries was in its 3rd season and was still a big hit during 2012; and the heat between human Elena and vampire Damon was pretty intense, culminating in Elena finally kissing Damon. Let the following video show you:

* Amy and Rory dying in the October episode of Doctor Who entitled “The Angels Take Manhattan,” where the couple sacrificed themselves to the Weeping Angels only to wake up in a graveyard in New York. Just as they thought they had won, a surviving weeping angel displaced Rory and a crying Amy said goodbye to her and Rory’s grown daughter Melody (aka River Song) and her raggedy man – the Doctor. You can see that final scene below:

Speaking of Doctor Who, the long-running series won the 3rd Fan Favorite cover of TV Guide Magazine in 2012. Check out the cover below:

In the summer of 2012, the first ever ATX Television Festival was held in Austin, Texas, celebrating and showcasing the past, present and future of the TV industry with screenings, Q&As, cast reunions and industry panel discussions that was described by its organizers as having “the functionality of a traditional film festival, and a blending of industry and fan events.”

On a more personal note, it was on Leap Day of 2012 that the world learned that singer-actor Davy Jones, a member of the 1960’s band The Monkees, had passed away. I had been (and continue to be) a fan of The Monkees – and especially Davy – since I was 8 years old when their TV show was reaired on Saturday mornings, along with my favorite cartoons, and I was hooked because of how fun and silly the show was; and I really enjoyed the music.

Later that year, the remaining members of the group – the late Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith – went on tour for the first time in over 15 years as a tribute to Davy. I went to one of those shows with two dear friends of mine, who were big fans of the group just like me.

[Left to right: Peter, Davy and MIcky]

As for the top box office movie, that honor went to Marvel’s The Avengers while the sleeper hit of 2012 was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Whereas, two of the worst movies of the year were John Carter and That’s My Boy.

I began making it a tradition in my year-end round-ups to highlight the faces of the year as well as faces to be on the look-out for in the year to come.

The following are just some of the faces that I picked for 2012 and 2013: Chadwick Boseman, Tatiana Maslany, Theo James, Alden Ehrenreich, Stephen Amell, Jenna-Louse Coleman and Sutton Foster.

The pictures didn’t come through on that year’s posts, like the previous two years (sorry!), so I apologize for that, but I’m pretty pleased with some of my selections:

The Faces of 2012

Faces to Watch in 2013

COMING SOON: Salute to 2013

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A couple days ago, Rueben’s Ramblings celebrated its 10th Anniversary, and it’s my plan to highlight just some of the big events that took place during each year of the past 10 years.

Today’s salute is focused on 2011:

Some memorable shows that debuted in 2011 included:

* Revenge – The complex ABC drama debuted in the fall, starring Emily Van Camp (formerly of Everwood) as Emily Thorne (nee Amanda Clarke), a troubled young woman who descended upon the Hamptons to exact revenge against the people who wronged her father. Die-hard Roswell (the original show) fans were SO excited to see Nick Wechsler back on their small screens and Gabriel Mann as the one and only Nolan Ross;

* Teen Wolf – Unlike the comedy box office film of the same name that starred Back to the Future and Family Ties favorite Michael J. Fox, this MTV small screen thriller was not what viewers were expecting, but it certainly packed a bunch. Starring relative unknowns in every role (except the adults), this series made stars out of its lead cast Tyler Posey, Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent in Supergirl) and especially Dylan O’Brien;

* Once Upon a Time – In a time when people did not expect to be taken with fairytales, this ABC series took everyone by surprise, making the lives of Snow White, Prince Charming, Rumplestiltskin, The Evil Queen and so many other classic fairytales come to live; and the costumes were quite something to behold as well. Fans of the first season will also remember Jamie Dornan (who went on to become Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades franchise) as the Sheriff (aka The Huntsman);

* Grimm – NBC wasn’t going to let ABC have all the “fun” with fairytales, as they also introduced the world to the world of make-believe by introducing the world to Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoil, who has gone on to star in ABC’s A Million Little Things), a homicide detective who could see the true faces of fairytale creatures, who were hiding in plain sight;

* Downton Abbey – The international hit was just getting its start on the small screen in January of 2011 with an incredible ensemble of characters (and actors), portraying the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th century;

* Game of Thrones – Also not to be undone was the HBO adaptation of the George R.R. Martin book series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ that brought the world Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, Sophia Turner, Richard Madden, Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie, Nathalie Emmanuel and countless others; and,

* Suits – In the summer of 2011, the USA Network debuted this legal drama about brilliant college dropout Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) who found himself working alongside one of the best New York City lawyers, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht). What viewers didn’t know at the time was that one of the cast members – a certain actress named Meghan Markle – would later go on to become the Duchess of Sussex by marrying Prince Harry himself.

(Photo Credit: Rueben)

The fuzzy picture was taken by me at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills in 2013 when the cast of Suits appeared for a moderated panel. I remember Meghan joking during the panel that it was surreal for her, as she used to work at Paper Source, a high-end paper and greeting card store right in the heart of Beverly Hills, which was located only a couple blocks from the Paley Center.

(Photo Credit: Dominick Dusseault)

The other picture was taken by our very own Dominick Dusseault in Austin, Texas in 2015 at that year’s ATX Festival.

Before the world was introduced to Gal Gadot as Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman, David E. Kelley, the prolific writer/creator behind TV shows such as The Practice, Boston Public and Boston Law [just to name a few], decided to take on the impossible: a new small screen version of Wonder Woman.

Taking on the insurmountable task (at the time) of playing the title character was Adrianne Palicki, who at the time was best known for her role of Tyra Collette in Friday Night Lights and also as Sam’s doomed girlfriend Jessica in Supernatural.

Here is a trailer for that much-maligned failed pilot (and check out who was to be in the cast too!):

That same year, another big production was just getting underway: the casting of Clark Kent aka Superman for the 2013 movie Man of Steel. The actor cast in the lead role was Henry Cavill, who at the time was best known for his recurring role in the TV series The Tudors and was the lead in that year’s movie Immortals. Eagle eye viewers would also recognize him as Albert Mondego, the teen son of Edmond Dantes and his lover Mercedès Iguanada in the 2002 remake of The Count of Monte Cristo. It was only a few months later that the casting of Lois Lane was made with Amy Adams landing that plum role.

In casting news for the small screen on The Vampire Diaries, the role of Klaus – the legendary vampire within that world who put fear into the dead hearts of all vampires – was also announced. British actor Joseph Morgan landed that crucial role, and while he was relatively unknown to American viewers – except those who might have watched the supernatural series Hex or had seen him in the British TV film Mansfield Park.

Actor Nathan Fillion had been a Geek God to sci-fi fans since he landed the lead role of Malcolm Reynolds aka Captain Tightpants in the short-lived but much-beloved series Firefly that aired during the 2002-2003 TV season. In 2011, he had been the lead in the ABC TV drama Castle for two seasons; and it was in March of that year that [finally] Nathan graced the cover of Entertainment Weekly as the Geek God we all knew and loved.

For convention goers – or more specifically those who attended San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) – the inaugural event of Nerd HQ – the organization masterminded by Chuck star Zachary Levi – took place alongside SDCC that year. That year’s event was small in comparison to its proceeding events, which eventually came to an end (unfortunately) in 2017.

(Photo Credit: Rueben)

On a more personal level, I had some of my first convention interview experiences in 2011, starting with an almost one-on-one interview (it was only me and one other reporter at our press table) with actress Anna Silk who played Bo in the Canadian series Lost Girl at San Diego Comic Con.

(Photo Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

And a few months earlier, I had the incredible experience of sitting at the same press table at Wonder Con with actor Henry Cavill (who had just recently been announced as the new Superman) and his Immortals co-stars Luke Evans (who has since been Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and the TV series The Alienist, among others) and Isabel Lucas (the Home and Away star who recurred for one season in the MacGyver reboot).

Here is my article from that interview: Venture Into the World of Immortals

In movie news for 2011, the #1 box office movie was Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, which marked the end of that long-running and popular movie franchise. In fact, I wrote an article about The End of Harry Potter.

On the other spectrum, two of the worst movies for that year were Jack & Jill and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.

Just like in 2010, I chose actors who stood out in 2011 as well as actors to be on the look out for in 2012. Among those choices were Michael Fassbender, Sam Claflin, Hayley Atwell, Henry Cavill, Dylan O’Brien, Elizabeth Olson, Felicity Jones, Wilson Bethel, Lily Collins, Nicholas Hoult and Brit Marling.

Once again, I apologize for their pictures not appearing in the following links, but just like the previous year, I feel I was “spot on” in my choices:

The Faces of 2011

Faces to Watch in 2012

COMING SOON: Salute to 2012

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Back on June 10, 2010, I posted my very first article at Rueben’s Ramblings, welcoming readers from NiceGirlsTV where – at the time – I had been writing a weekly column for the previous year.

My goal with Rueben’s Ramblings was (and continues to be) my way of providing entertainment news, covering television, movies, music and books to those readers who love these mediums as much as I do.

Given that my site will celebrate 10 years TODAY, I wanted to salute just some of the top things that took place, or to be more specific, the TV and film events and people that I spotlighted throughout each year.

I’ll start with 2010 today, and then roll out the salutes for the remaining years as often as possible over the course of the next couple weeks.

I hope you will check out each year’s salute, and share what were the stand-out moments and/or events for you for each year.

2010 Highlights:

Some memorable shows that debuted in 2010 included:

* The Walking Dead, that starred relatively unknown British actor Andrew Lincoln, who most US viewers only knew from the 2003 movie Love Actually (that is if you actually saw that movie), in the zombie-laced apocalyptic AMC series;

* Haven, the Syfy fantasy-thriller loosely based on the Stephen King novel ‘The Colorado Kid’;

* Lost Girl, the Canadian supernatural series [which didn’t technically premiere in the U.S. until 2012], broke ground on Showcase (the Canadian specialty channel);

NOTE: I found a way to watch Lost Girl online each week shortly after it aired in Canada; but it wasn’t always easy to track it down.

* Sherlock – The very first 3-part mini-series debuted on PBS that summer, introducing a then unknown Benedict Cumberbatch as the master detective himself and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit franchise, Black Panther and Love Actually) as Dr. John Watson; and,

* Life Unexpected, the drama about a reunited family (in short: a very independent teen brings her birth parents together) debuted on The CW, in January; and while it only lasted for two seasons, the show garnered a very loyal following (that still exists today), and made life-long friendships for the cast and creative mind behind the series, which included Shiri Appleby (Roswell and UnReal), Kristoffer Polaha (Ringer, Condor and the Mystery 101 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie franchise), Britt Robertson (the box office film The Longest Ride and the TV shows Under the Dome and GirlBoss), Austin Basis (Ghostfacers and the reboot of Beauty and the Beast), Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl, TURN: Washington’s Spies, Orphan Black and Project Blue Book) and Kerr Smith (Dawson’s Creek, The Fosters and Riverdale) as well as Executive Producer/Creator Liz Tigelaar (Nashville and Little Fires Everywhere).

Here is the opening credits for Life Unexpected:

Additionally, there were two shows that were in their second seasons in 2010 that meant a lot to me personally, including:

* Being Erica – This Canadian import aired on the defunct SOAPnet, focusing on Erica Strange (the delightful Erin Karpluk), who thanks to her “magical” therapist helped her go back in time to repair regrets from her past [eagle eye viewers will recognize Orphan Black lead Tatiana Maslany in a few episodes of this show as well); and,

* Drop Dead Diva – This Lifetime dramedy delved into the world of plus-sized lawyer Jane Bingum (the charming and musically-adept Brooke Elliott) whose body was inhabited by the soul of vapid aspiring fashion model Deb Dobkins (a then unknown Brooke D’Orsay) that was really taught a lesson about not judging a book by its cover (and if you’re a fan of Superstore, you’ll recognize Ben Feldman as Jane’s guardian angel).

Another big moment on TV was the episode of Doctor Who entitled “Vincent and the Doctor,” which featured talented actor Tony Curran [who folks should remember from his work in movies like Outlaw King and Underworld: Evolution and TV shows like Defiance, SEAL Team and Ray Donovan among countless others] as the one and only Vincent Van Gogh. Watching Tony’s face in the guise of tormented artist Vincent as he listened to modern day art historian Dr. Black (the unforgettable veteran actor Bill Nighy from Love Actually) expound on what a gift Van Gogh’s work was on the world was beyond moving.

Judge that moment for yourselves:

Also in 2010, for the first time in 57 years, TV Guide let the fans decide what show would grace the cover of the long-running magazine. After 5 1/2 million votes, who was the winner? None other than the little horror show that could: Supernatural.

It should be noted that the competitors were Bones, Castle, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, Smallville and Supernatural. The voting lasted for two weeks with the final votes coming down to the wire with only about 20,000 votes separating #1 and #2. It should also be noted that, at the time, Supernatural was in its 6th season in 2010.

Here is a video of then Editor in Chief Debra Birnbaum making the big reveal on CBS’s The Early Show:

In the movie world, the #1 box office film for 2010 (in terms of most money earned) was Toy Story 3. It was the year that movie goers got to see the first real rom-com in ages in the form of Letters to Juliet and actress Emma Stone had her first big lead role in a film in Easy A. On the other end of the spectrum, two of the worst movies for 2010 were The Last Airbender and Grown Ups.

It was then at the end of the year that I pointed out some of the new faces of 2010 and faces to look for in 2011, as I believed they were going places.

Those actors included Maggie Q, Isaiah Mustafa, Jennifer Lawrence, the aforementioned Benedict Cumberbatch, Ruth Wilson, Jessica Chastain, Rami Malek, Jason Momoa and Sarah Shahi. I’d like to think that I was right about these choices, which I made in December of 2010!

You can see the posts below, and I apologize that the pictures I used in the original posts no longer work, but the predictions (for those mentioned above as well as a few others) were still “spot on”:

New Faces of 2010

Faces to Watch in 2011

COMING SOON: Salute to 2011

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On June 14, the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie Timeless Love will debut at 9 PM.

Megan (Rachel Skarsten from Batwoman) seems to have the perfect life with a wonderful husband named Thomas (Brant Daugherty from Pretty Little Liars and Dancing With the Stars) and two adorable children. She then finds herself awakening from a coma – and discovers she is not and has never been married. But when she meets Thomas for real, she seizes the chance to help him fall in love with her, again – for the first time.

Here is a trailer for Timeless Love:

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The UPtv movie Sisters of the Groom will debut on June 14 at 7 PM.

Jason ropes his neighbor Sarah into pretending to be his girlfriend for his brother’s wedding, but soon they begin to question if they are really pretending after all.

The film stars Malese Jow, Jeremy Sumpter and Greg Evigan.

Here is a behind the scenes look at Sisters of the Groom:

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The Hallmark Channel movie Love in the Forecast will debut on June 13 at 9 PM.

On-air weather reporter Leah Waddell (Cindy Busby) is getting weary of her bleak dating life and inability to be taken seriously as a budding meteorologist. At her wits end, she makes the decision to stay single and focus on her career for a full year. As soon as she makes this commitment, it literally starts pouring rain and men. As Leah deflects multiple romantic offers, she befriends her new neighbor Mark (Christopher Russell), a handsome farmer who teaches her methods to forecast the weather by observing signs in nature. With romance off the table, Leah and Mark grow comfortable and allow their friendship to blossom into something neither of them predicted.

Here is a trailer for and a sneak peek at Love in the Forecast.

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