Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Season and Series Finale Depression 2014 Part 1 (Possible Spoilers)

This year season and series finales are happening pretty early. I'm not sure why, but I'm not particularly happy about it. Frankly I feel a little cheated. I could have easily been happy with a month or two more of episodes, but whatever. So far I've had to say goodbye to two shows, will have to say goodbye to at least one more by June and then deal with the plethora of cliffhangers there are bound to be with season finales. It's such a cruel time for TV. With this being said I would like to first and foremost give a little homage to the two shows I've had to part with already.


I've kind of known that this current season may be Psych's final, but that doesn't mean the announcement making it official didn't hurt. The show is downright silly, funny, and amazing all at the same time, and I'm so sad that there won't be anymore new episodes. The series finale had everything it needed. One last murder to solve, and then Shawn deciding it's time to move on and grow up. Sort of. I loved the cameo of Val Kilmer, and the guest appearance of Billy Zane the most. And dismantling Psych was hard to fathom, so when Gus followed Shawn to San Francisco, it made me happy to know that Psych could continue up there with Jules and Chief Vick! I'm so glad that Jules and Shawn stayed together, and that Lassiter still doesn't know the truth about Shawn! That was perfect. Overall it was one of the most satisfying series finales I've seen in a long time. Thank you.

How I Met Your Mother:

I wish I could say I was as satisfied with the way this show ended, but alas I cannot. Basically they ended the show by revealing the whole premise of the show was a ruse. The real name of the show should have been How I Met Your Aunt Robin, or How I Met Your Future Step Mother. It really angered me that they would take the route of killing off the Mother just as we grow to love her and then have Ted's kids encourage him to go woo Robin again, because that's why he was really telling the story, not because they should know how he met their mother. The worst part is that they filmed the ending with the kids in the first season! Because they didn't want it to appear the kids had aged. That's all fine and dandy, but what about all of the character development that happened way beyond that point? The stories that ultimately changed the outcome? Why spend an entire season on Barney and Robin's wedding and then have them divorce not five minutes later (3 years later for them)? I also think they missed out on a choice opportunity to play off the length of the show and Ted's story telling, by actually aging the kids to imply that was a very long story told. That could have been very funny. Instead this episode was so infuriating for so many reasons. Even still, I bawled my eyes out when Barney became a daddy, and when the Mother died. The best part is that I hear there will be an alternate ending included on the season 9 DVD release. It better be the ending we all wanted of Ted and Tracy riding off into the sunset. Because that's what needs to happen whether it's realistic or not. I didn't spend nine years watching a show to have it all ruined by some ending they made up in the first season that didn't apply any longer. The final season was lackluster with a few gems in there, and I'm glad they got a ninth season, I just wish the writers had given it more credit due than they did. This all being said, I really do love this show, and I'm sad to see it end. 

In part 2 of this post I will discuss the season finales that will be happening over the next couple months. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars (SPOILERS)

I've been on a reading kick recently. Four books in two weeks is pretty good for me. I will do this from time to time. Read a bunch of books and then go months without reading. I trade that time with binge watching tv shows. It's what I do.

Anyway after finishing the Divergent series, I needed to fill the void with something else. I'd heard  that The Fault in Our Stars was really good, but I honestly didn't know what it was about. I knew they're making a movie, which means it must be good right? ;) So what better way to fill a void than to read another book that will ultimately throw you into a deep depression by the end? Yeah I'm a masochist I've decided.

So on that note, here is my review of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:

Again there are spoilers, so if you haven't read it stop here and go read it. Seriously there are spoilers.

The Fault in Our Stars

So I found out really quick this book is about cancer. More specifically teens with cancer. And I knew right then, it was going to be a hard read. The bright side is that I absolutely love the way John Green writes. It's fun, youthful, and realistic. And it made me feel like I could read faster. I know that sounds weird, but the words just flowed through my brain so easily, and I read the book in three days. For me that's really fast considering I have a full time job and all.

So the main character Hazel, is ultimately dying a slow death from cancer. She's forced by her parents to go to a support group where she meets a boy, Augustus, who is from the first moment he sees Hazel, enamored with her, and she doesn't understand why. They end up becoming friends, and then more than friends. They share each other's favorite books, spend all of their time together, and even take a trip to Amsterdam together to meet Hazel's favorite author. Which doesn't turn out so well. Through most of the book, you're under the impression that Hazel will die by the end, but then it takes a twist and the ever so healthy, but in remission Augustus ends up relapsing and he dies. The hardest part of this book was definitely dealing with Gus' death. Having seen what cancer can do to a person when it's terminal first hand, made this book even more prevalent. I had to read the last 1/4 of the book through my tear soaked eyes, as the images portrayed through the words became more vivid in my imagination. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Hazel's parents. And I believe that is just how a mother would be when her only child is dying. The sarcasm brought out by all of the characters in the book was refreshing as well. Especially the banter between the teens. The only part that bothered me a bit, was the vocabulary of the teenagers. I felt it was a bit too adult and more like super educated adult. Maybe because I don't have the vocabulary myself? But in the end this book wrapped everything up just how I thought it might after the twist, and I was satisfied. Depressed, but satisfied. It's a very difficult read, but worth your time if you can muster up the strength to read it. Yeah that's a suggestion for those that still chose to read this review even though they haven't read the book. Now go read!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Review: Divergent Series (SPOILERS)

So a couple years ago I saw this book called Divergent by Veronica Roth, and thought it looked interesting. I put in my head a mental note to purchase it soon when I have some spare money. Well that never happened, and I ended up forgetting about it. Then the movie was being made and started getting all this buzz and I remembered I wanted to read the series. So I hunkered down and got me the entire series on my Kindle. But I didn't finish the first book in time to go see the movie on opening day like I had hoped. But I did end up finishing the entire series in a week, and rewarded myself by seeing the movie this past Sunday. Why am I telling you this? Because I like to share mundane excitements in my life, and also just because.

In this review I'm also giving you a bonus of comparing it to the movie. You should be excited. So here goes:

There are spoilers, so if you've not read the books, stop here. You've been warned.

Divergent (Book 1)

It took me a bit to get into the book, and this is why I didn't meet the deadline I had hoped for.  My main reason for it taking me so long to get into was I had expected something exciting to happen way sooner than it did. 3/4 of the book was spent building it up, familiarizing you with the characters and factions. I kept asking myself "is this really it? The big hype is this?" and then I hit the last 1/4 of the book and it finally kicked into gear for me. The action showed up and I was hooked. Unfortunately it went so fast for me that I was left needing to start the second book right away. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, and every author should want your reader to need the next story to satisfy their hunger for more. I just felt that there was a lot of build up and not enough action in the story for a series mainly based on action sequences.

Insurgent (Book 2)

So the story picks up right where the first book left off thankfully. I hate when stories shoot ahead, and then flashback themselves to tie in the gaps. If that makes sense. So this book was non-stop action, The characters never had a moment's rest, well ok maybe a little, but it sure seemed like it was one thing after another. But the nice thing was that it worked. It didn't feel like the author was grasping for events to keep the reader invested. Each thing that occurred, did so because it moved the story forward to the goal of finding out what is beyond the fence, and why Jeanine and others don't want anyone to know. One thing I will give the author Veronica Roth, is that she didn't hold back on killing characters. And it didn't matter if they were major or minor to the story. I liked that. A lot.

Allegiant (Book 3)

This book wasn't as exciting to me, and honestly disappointed me in some ways. I didn't much care for the character switching narratives about every other chapter. I found myself getting confused a few times as to who was speaking. It also reminded me of another book, a favorite of mine in the way the story was told this time around. That book would be The Time Traveler's Wife. Check it out, it's amazing, and oddly enough not confusing. Go figure. Anyway this book took us out of our normal scenery and changed things up. But it was slower, the action wasn't as much I thought, and I found myself plugging through because I needed to know how it ended. I'd had part of the book ruined for me, so I knew someone was going to die, just didn't know who. And that's what I wanted to know, as well as what became of Chicago. I do appreciate the author's bold writing, no fear approach to killing off characters, and wrapping things up nicely. Although I finished the book depressed, I was still satisfied how it ended. It felt right.

Divergent (The Movie)

The nice thing about seeing the movie, is that the book was still pretty fresh on my mind. I was able to compare the two and see just how closely the movie kept to the book. They didn't do too bad. There were a few scenes that they changed, and I don't really think for the better, but I know it was to keep the same pace throughout the movie and to get the audience to invest more into the characters. But it still bothered me. For example, I was disappointed that they cut out entire section of the book where Peter stabs Edward in the eye with a spoon. I think it will suck in the next movie when we see Edward with the Factionless all of a sudden wearing an eye patch, and they briefly explain how it all happened. Why not just show it? I think it was crucial to showing just the type of person Peter is. I didn't like how they had Tris' mother show up at the loading zones and warn her. I really wanted to see visitation day and how all the parents deal with their now different Factioned children. I found that part of the book interesting. And it really really bothered me how they changed up the whole scene of how Tris and Four stop the simulation. If you've read the book, you'll know what I mean. But overall I really enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed the book more of course, as you usually do, but they did well.

So there you have it, my reviews of the series and movie. I fairly warned you twice that there were spoilers, so if I've ruined anything for you, it's your fault. ;)