In The Delta

In The Delta
In The Delta

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Road to Hell

If the old saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is true then I am surely headed there

It is always my intention to post if not weekly, then certainly monthly and yet I see that a significant time has elapsed with nothing new from me.

If you are still checking my blog, my most sincere thanks for your patience and persistence.

And now - my latest rant on the topic of television.

This post was inspired by the finale of 24 Legacy.  Let me begin by saying that we were fans of the original 24 - it was amazingly prescient - although it premiered shortly after 9-11 - it had been developed and written before that date.

The subject was terrorism long before the glut of terrorist plotted shows that followed.

The show aired for 10 seasons and although as the years went by, we said "okay enough - we'll just watch the first couple of episodes" but once we did we were off and running by Jack Bauer's side right up to the bitter, and I do mean, bitter end - which saw Jack captured and taken away to Russia to an unknown fate.

We skipped the first season of 24 Legacy.  I just couldn't imagine 24 without Kiefer Sutherland.  But based on good advance blurbs, we decided to watch season 2.  As usual, the plot dealt with Arab terrorists and a lot of it seemed recycled.  Oh, there were some tense moments and we made it through all 12 episodes - I guess the show should have been called 12 Legacy but I am grateful it did not drag out beyond 12 hours.

I have nothing against Corey Hawkins as Eric Carter - he handles his role well.  It is not his fault that he is written in such a one dimensional fashion - pure stalwart hero - lacking in complexity - almost a cardboard cutout.  Unfortunately he failed to hold our interest which brings me to a point which has probably been covered by numerous writers/reviewers.

Never has it been so apparent that a show is built solely around one character, in this case Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer - multi-faceted, morally compromised, a character with more layers than Connie Corleone's wedding cake.

Without him, there is no 24.

Now if they want to guarantee that we will watch another season, send Chloe and Tony to Russia to rescue Jack Bauer.  I'm in.

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Certainly the hottest new show in years has to be This Is Us.  It hooked us from the start.  I believe I cried at some point during every episode.  It is well written, the characters are well developed and acted and it deals with every single issue in the world - race, obesity, the death of dreams and actual death, adoption and the reappearance of a birth parent, family crises - this list could hit a couple of pages but you get the idea.

It is a welcome change from serial killers, hospital dramas and spinoffs of CSI.

The only small criticism I have is that I am beginning to feel just a teeny bit manipulated.  The writers and developers layer things on a bit thick at times.  We will wait and see if they run out of new ideas in the next season.  It has already been renewed for at least two more seasons.

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Black Sails ended a three season run on Starz this year.  I cried.  When I first heard about this show, I said "Seriously, Pirates?"  But I decided to give it a try.  I think the last time I got so emotionally wrapped up in a show might have been Sons of Anarchy (And more about that later).

I waited for my weekly fix.  I hummed along with the opening sea chanty.  I was on the edge of my chair through most episodes waiting to see if my favorite characters would survive.  I was online researching real life pirates versus fictional ones.

I recommended it to everyone.

It could have gone on another season but Starz is notorious about not keeping a series alive much beyond two seasons.  And then, of course, there are the shows that start strong and do go on tooooo long so better to end it on a high note.  I would probably be more upset had they not SPOILER ALERT hung Charles Vane (Zach McGowan) at the end of Season two.  Where are you, beautiful? When will we see you again?

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Homeland hit it out of the ballpark this season.  Just when you think maybe it's time for a series finale, someone throws a curve that really works.  I am not going to discuss any plot points in case someone out there has not seen it - just let me say,  it might have been the best season since the first and I cannot wait for next season to begin.  Oh, there was just one thing wrong with the season finale although it was not unexpected. If you watched you can probably guess.

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Shows we gave up on -

Well, there was Masters of Sex.  It never really grabbed us.  I think we kept watching because my husband was smitten with Lizzy Caplan.  Unfortunately Michael Sheen does nothing for me so I lost interest sooner than he did.

It had a certain smutty quality and believe me I am no prude which you know if you read my books.

I found it contrived and a little research showed that it strayed so far from the truth of Masters and  Johnson that I wondered how they got away with making so much shit up.

Next came Billions - We made it through Season One but by the beginning of Season Two, I wondered why we were wasting our life on such dislikable characters.  Paul Giamatti's repulsive Chuck Rhodes was so - well - repulsive that I felt I  had to root for Damian Lewis' Bobby Axelrod.  Unfortunately I didn't like him either.  It wasn't that he was one of the Wall Street bad guys.  Goodness knows, I've loved every bad guy in every series from the entire cast of The Shield, the entire cast of Sons of Anarchy to Walter White in Breaking Bad (well, at least until he killed Mike and stole the baby).  Then there was Maggie Siff who I loved from Sons.  But how could I like her character? She's married to Chuck Rhodes and worked for Bobby.  I could forgive her working for Bobby but the creepy dominatrix theme with her husband was icky.

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It's probably a relief to know that I'm running out of time for today so have to give a big round of applause to one of the best and most undeservedly underrated shows on TV - The Americans.  If you've watched it, you know.  If you haven't, catch up anyway you can.

I saved the best for last.  Animal Kingdom starring Ellen Barkin and a cast of the hottest men in the world as the mom/grandmom head of a crime family and her sons and grandson.  Talk about rooting for the bad guys.  My daughter and I have watched it twice just for the eye candy.  Season two coming up so if you haven't seen it, get caught up in time so you're ready.

Friday, February 3, 2017

I Am So Bad

It took me so long to write - rewrite - edit - and rewrite some more the latest book Mandolin Wind that I just realized my last post to my Blog was in August at the time of my trip to Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

The highlight of the trip was my Class Reunion which provided an opportunity to visit with some very dear friends.

Then, of course, there was my near purchase of property in Upper Michigan.  Gasp - you say - what were you thinking?  You - who freeze when the temperature in L.A. drops below 65 degrees.

Well, the property was really a dream come true (except for those winters) - 9 acres just across M35 from the bay - with an unobstructed view of the water since across the road was just a narrow strip of sandy beach on which no one could ever build.  A darling little house with a fenced yard for the dogs, a deck and patio with bay views, a fabulous large barn and lots of room for horse pasture.

I had my checkbook out until my husband asked me where the riding trails were.  The answer - about 9 miles away in Cedar River.  That meant a trailering the horses every time we wanted to ride.  I almost convinced myself I could live with that but then thoughts of long cold winters started to creep in and I had to let my dream die.

I still think about that place and how wonderful it would be to live there - in the summer.

Our southern California winter has been long, cold and rainy and I am longing for summer.

Re the book - Mandolin Wind was a departure from my usual writing style and genre and I am sorry to say that I am no Nicholas Sparks.  Hereafter I will leave the romance writing to the master.

I am happy to say that I am back at work on a new Nick and Jessie Delta Mystery titled The Midnight Special.  The photo you see here is the cover - thanks to my dear friend Lori Lopes.  The story involves the search for the truth behind the brutal murder of a young woman which occurred years earlier - a crime for which her husband was convicted and sent to Death Row.  But was his conviction a crime itself?  Is he truly innocent?  And if so, who killed the self proclaimed Wild Child Carmen?
Jessie and Bodie interrupt their vacations to search for answers.