Category Archives: TV

El Camino [review with spoilers]

Eating popcorn in movie seat

I was super stoked for El Camino, the Breaking Bad movie. In fact, I rewatched BB in its entirety during the last few weeks, all 62 episodes, to prepare for the movie. God, that was one fantastic show, perhaps the best series ever written.

This review contains spoilers. Get out now! 👻

I watched El Camino last night and was disappointed, maybe because of all the Twitter hype. That happens. The actors were all great, of course, nothing against them, but you know what? Breaking Bad was Walter White (Bryan Cranston), not Jesse. Now, I love Aaron Paul. He could totally star in his own show, and I would watch it, but BB was Walt’s show. Without Walt, I was like, meh, who cares?

This is a different criticism from the one I have about Better Call Saul, which is that the slick, wisecracking, one-dimensional character of Saul Goodman was perfect for BB, and reimagining him as street punk “Slippin’ Jimmy” and then as an idealistic young lawyer who gets shafted by his own brother, was just all too JTS. The Goodman character was not made for this much baggage. I don’t think I made it through S2.

But with all the crazy stuff that happened on BB, I never once went okay that’s it… the show has jumped the shark. Even with the Nazis. Nope. It was still solid. Start to finish. It left a few minor threads hanging, such as what was the deal that Gus had come out of Chile with a fake name? They mentioned that twice, but left the gun on the table.

Back to El Camino. There wasn’t much of a plot. There were some historical revisionist convos, a couple of which looked odd on screen because the actors appear their current age. Jesse is fine because he’s young anyway. Walt in the diner looked sick as he was supposed to, but I thought Jesse was talking to Mike’s ghost for a minute, lol. That was bizarre. And Todd looks older and heavier now than he did during the original filming, so when they shovel in this new scene, right after I just watched the old eps, um… Weird.

The writing was great. All the characters were in top form. Jesse natch, Badger, Skinny Pete, Jesse’s clueless parents, etc. But without Walt… I just didn’t care. I knew Jesse would end up escaping this time. You could just tell that the whole point of the movie was to give fans of Jesse a reason to cheer. Yay, he got to start a new life! He’ll meet a cute Alaskan girl in about 5 minutes after the credits roll as he does…

Anyway. This reinforces my idea not to watch either the prequel series to Game of Thrones or The Many Saints of Newark. The appeal of GOT to me hinged on the specific characters played by the specific actors and their relationships. I dgaf about Martin’s pretend world, except for the dragons. The dragons are cool. And The Sopranos was Tony Soprano. (RIP Jim G) That’s it. I’m not interested in his lookalike son playing a younger Tony. Why should I care what made Tony into Tony via not-Tony when I already had all that real Tony?

Okay, so yeah… I’m behind on all the blogadoo things. Regular prompts, picture fiction, my continuing chapters with Lexi and Liana and whoever else (are there more?)… and now a new week relentlessly begins with Laura’s music and Fandango’s flashing and omg I’ve missed like a million days of the October challenge already… AUUGGGHHHH!!!

Overwhelmed and falling

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Chill Factor

Pale girl in creepy dark room

I’m not talking about the wind chill factor, but what gives me the creeps in books and film. Mostly, I avoid horror because I don’t find it interesting, nor do I need an extra surge of adrenaline after driving in SoCal traffic. Horror show in and of itself. 😱

But over the decades there have been some works that grabbed me. So to speak. I love Stephen King’s writing. He knows how to tell a story, create compelling characters, set the scene, and build suspense. The Shining is a perfect example. For a while, I enjoyed some of Dean Koontz’s novels too, but his writing became repetitive.

I prefer horror stories that focus on the madness of human beings, which is all too believable unfortunately, rather than layering on supernatural elements like vampires and demons. That said, I loved Frank Langella as Dracula in the 1979 film. I also adored Johnny Depp in 2012’s Dark Shadows. But those are exceptions; most vampire things are silly.

Recently, I watched a few supernatural romances on Prime (with witches) and they were terrible. I wouldn’t even classify them as romances since they didn’t have happy endings, but they were definitely in the horror genre. Campy horror. The witches were incredibly beautiful, natch, in order to seduce unsuspecting men to the Dark Side. Isn’t that always how it is? 😈

I did enjoy Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock though. That was different. But it wasn’t scary. (I’ve never disliked a movie starring Sandra Bullock.)

As a kid, the Candyman movie terrified me, maybe because I was told I was allergic to bees. I’m not even sure if that’s true. I was also told I was allergic to penicillin, and that turned out to be false. 🐝

I think a lot of what makes a movie scary is visual shock value. If there’s too much early on, it can dissipate, so it needs to be doled out carefully. Books are different, a psychological buildup that stays with the reader, in the best case. Hard to forget even after you turn the last page.

Game of Thrones could be classified in the horror genre. It had zombies, witches, and all sorts of gory, shocking deaths. I mainly thought of it as an adventure romance type of show though, since (to me) the focus was more on characters than action. I wouldn’t argue this point however, if you’d rather plunk it in the horror box.

Movies used to have more subtlety. Take Psycho, forex. Don’t you still think about the shower scene sometimes when you’re in a strange bathroom… 🔪

~*~

Laura’s October Challenge (Day 9)

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©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Autumn Is Upon Us

Autumn leaves

I used to always say my favorite season was autumn. I love the fresh start to a school year, the Jewish holidays, cooler temps, Halloween, fall colors, cute boots, yummy pumpkin everything, early dusk accompanied by splashy sunsets, etc.

But then for a brief while I began liking summer better. Long warm days. More fun. Sundresses and sandals. Music outdoors.

Sunshine flowers butterflies

I’m fickle however and have gone back to fall. Throwing boring old summer under the bus. Tired of the relentless brightness. Ready for darkness; it’s good for writing. Wanna wear my corduroy jeans and big cozy sweaters. Wanna drink mugs of steaming tea and munch sugar cookies. Cuddle up in a blanket and read about sexy heroes…

In a comfortable chair reading a book

FFS, I meant to shovel the prompt words into this babble. It was really the only point of starting a post. 🙄 Oh, I have sun, yayyy. Stuck in bus. Hard to concentrate because I stayed up late watching Breaking Bad. And I will do it again tonight ~ this is my second viewing of the series, and I’ve forgotten a bunch in the past 10 years. What a kickass show it is.

I have gotten into the habit of bingeing when I love a show and why not? Makes it more fun imo. Anyway, I’m super stoked for the BB movie, which is what motivated me to begin the series again.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Song Lyric Sunday ~ Gun

Song Lyric Sunday

Jim gives us some cool Western-themed prompts this week, and I chose gun. My song is “Woke Up This Morning” from 1997 by the English band Alabama 3… and if you’re a Sopranos fan you’ll know it as the music that opened every episode. Rob Spragg and Jake Black wrote the lyrics.

Well, you woke up this morning
Got yourself a gun
Your mama always said you’d be the chosen one

She said, you’re one in a million, you’ve got to burn to shine
But you were born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes

And you woke up this morning
All that love had gone
Your papa never told you about right and wrong

But you’re looking good, baby
I believe you’re feeling fine (shame about it)
Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes

Because you woke up this morning
Got a blue moon in your eyes
Woke up this morning
You got a blue moon in your eyes […]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Couch Potato Club [socs 300]

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Ever since he was a baby spud 🥔, Russ wanted to become a member of the Couch Potato Club. All the best potatoes belonged to the CPC: Big Red, Goldie, Yam… Russ made it his life’s mission to emulate those tates.

First, he worked out. As soon as he got up in the morning, Russ headed straight for the couch. He never got distracted with invitations to the beach or anything like that. He pulled down the shades so he wouldn’t see sunshine, blue skies, and spuds playing on the grass.

Second, he made sure he had everything he needed right next to him on the couch, just like the CPC handbook said to do. Remotes for the TV, cell phone, snacks, and drinks. He left the couch only to use the bathroom.

Third, if anyone asked him for a favor, he’d say he was busy. It was harsh, but Russ knew he had to be tough and relentless to reach his goal.

Finally, he applied for membership, sure he’d get in. He submitted his best selfie, very proud of how he looked like a big fat lumpy tate on his couch. The reply came quickly. Rejection!

Russ was heartbroken. What happened? He called his friend Yam, hoping to get a direct answer.

“Sorry, bro,” Yam said. “But we have video footage of you in the grocery store.”

“But… but… I needed more snacks!”

“A true Couch Potato orders online and has snacks delivered to maximize couch time. It says so on page forty-seven, paragraph three of the CPC handbook.”

“I missed that,” Russ cried. “I’m sorry! May I try again?”

“Nope. You’re banned for life.”

Russ was so depressed he went outside to play in the sun, didn’t watch where he was going, and got mashed by a truck.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Laura’s Music Challenge 25

Music

This has been a tough weekend, from the horrors of the mass shootings to the pesky annoyance of the feed scraper to my owie toe that’s not better yet… well, we need a distraction around here. And what could be more fun than a Laura’s song challenge? Join in! 😻🎶✨

1. Post a video of an artist singing a song by another artist as tribute.

Emmylou Harris’s great cover of a Chuck B classic…

2. Post a video of a song about an animal or has the word animal in it.

Gotta go with my Little Lion Man Tyrion…

3. Post a video of a song that resonates with you.

How things might have been…

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Song Lyric Sunday ~ TV

Song Lyric Sunday

This week Jim asks us to post a song from a TV show. I’m sure current shows contain lots of great tunes… but I don’t have time to watch any of them. Luckily, old shows give me a wonderful buffet of songs to choose from, and I’m going with the theme from one of my funny faves ~ Green Acres. This song was written by Vic Mizzy in 1965 (I assume).

Green acres is the place for me
Farm livin’ is the life for me
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside

New York is where I’d rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue

…The chores
…The stores
…Fresh air
…Times Square

You are my wife
Good bye, city life
Green Acres we are there

20 Questions Book Tag

romance novels

The lovely Carol Anne tagged me for the 20 questions book tag. I can’t resist a book tag.

1. HOW MANY BOOKS ARE TOO MANY FOR A SERIES?

I’m not a huge fan of series in general. Though it can be enjoyable to see a character having various adventures that get wrapped up by the end of each book, such as the Archy McNally detective stories. And I love when a a character from another story pops in just to say hello. That’s always fun. I suppose if a series is written well, it could go on indefinitely. I usually get bored though, just like with TV series.

2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

I am a fan. Most are predictable because I’ve read so much, but the ones that can surprise me are great.

3. HARDCOVER OR PAPERBACK?

Ebooks please.

FAVOURITE BOOK?

The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I highly recommend it.

5. LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK?

Ulysses. My dad always wanted me to read this mess.

6. LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

Of course!

7. THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU COULDN’T FINISH?

Nobody’s Baby But Mine, a terrible romance with hateful protagonists.

8. A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

I’m about to begin Black Obsidian.

9. LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

TULOB (see above).

10. OLDEST BOOK YOUVE READ BY PUBLICATION DATE?

I’ve read parts of the Torah, so probably that.

11. NEWEST BOOK YOUVE READ BY PUBLICATION DATE?

Probably Unicorns Are Jerks by Doug X.

12. FAVOURITE AUTHOR?

Ray Carver, Haruki Murakami, Jennifer Crusie.

13. BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

I buy ebooks and a very few paperbacks. Lately, most of my books are borrowed under the KU program. It’s not exactly “unlimited” anymore though, now is it? 😂

14. A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO LOVE?

Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings.

15. BOOKMARKS OR DOG EARS?

It’s hard to dog-ear a Kindle.

16. A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS RE-READ?

Poetry.

17. CAN YOU READ WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC?

I can, but why?

18. ONE POV OR MULTIPLE?

Prefer either one first-person POV, or multi thirds. Am not a fan of the trendy multi firsts unless the stories are separate shorts.

19. DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

Depends on how long it is and what else I have going on. Usually it takes me a day or two to read a romance and maybe slightly longer for other genres.

20. WHO DO YOU TAG?

Whoever loves books!

Sunny Side Up

The lovely Mrs. Wayfarer nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Thank you! 🙂💖

I’ll answer her great questions, but I don’t do nominations myself. Everyone who likes and comments here brings me a bit of sunshine and I’m grateful for your support. Thanks for reading my posts! 🌻🌻🌻

• Where do you find the inspiration to write your blogs? 

Lately my inspiration comes mainly from the prompts around Blogville.

• When was the last thing you’ve done something for the first time? 

I downloaded the coloring app last week. It’s been very relaxing.

• If you were a superhero, who would you be? 

Catwoman.

• What is one simple thing (or person, place, event) that never fails to brighten up your day? 

Seeing a cat.

• What tradition in your family or country do you always look forward to? 

Halloween costumes.

• What blog (and whose blog is it) inspired you to take action? 

The Haunted Wordsmith inspired me to begin hosting prompts too.

• What is your favorite TV show?

Of all time? Probably The Sopranos.

• What movie can you watch over and over again and make you feel the same way every single time? 

When Harry Met Sally.

• What is your favorite holiday destination? 

Northern California.

• When was the last time you laughed so hard you had tears in your eyes? 

Probably when talking to my daughter.

• If you had the power to change anything in the world right now, what would it be? 

Terrible instant virus takes down McConnell, POTUS, and VPOTUS, and then mysteriously disappears. Nancy Pelosi becomes POTUS.

Mystery Solved!

I confess I have been nominated for a Mystery Blogger Award!

Yep, it was me. I got the nom (with some others). From Carol Anne. Thanks! 💖

I’ve already done a bunch of these, so I’ll dispense with the intro and links/tags, and just answer Carol Anne’s questions.

1. Do you like soda?

I like Coke and diet Coke.

2. Are you a procrastinator?

Not usually.

3. Do you have weird dreams?

Not lately.

4. What is your daily routine like?

Pretty boring. Working, writing, waiting on the cat.

5. Do you like binge watching shows?

If I enjoy a show, I will binge it usually. I’m very hot/cold. Normally I find shows boring quickly, so if I like something, I really REALLY like it!

The last show I loved was Game of Thrones. Like many fans, I had some criticism of the final season. But as a finished product, the show is up there with my other faves: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under. I had criticism of those shows too, off and on.

Recently, I binged the first season of Dead to Me, which I liked a lot. But one season is too little to pass judgment on.

That’s all, folks. 🙂