Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Crapathy

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/25/crapathy/Stressed. Stressed out. Every day we hear how people are stressed out, exhausted, scattered, distracted, besieged, anxious, under pressure, just generally overwhelmed. Times haven’t changed, just magnified, still going in circles; instead of Keeping Up With The Joneses, we’re trying to Keep Up With The Kardashians.

Our Amygdala’s primary job is the processing of memory, emotional reactions, and decision-making, that’s a lot to handle, so she can get a little overstimulated. Her nanny, the Prefrontal Cortex is all like, whoa, slow down, Amy, you need a time out. But what if chronic stress has hacked PreCor, making it too weak to calm Amy down, stop her from some unrestrained Brains Gone Wild moments? As my fav song by The Tragically Hip says, we Blow At High Dough, that’s us, going too fast, burning up, burning out.

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My growing, life-changing magic of apathy toward crap, a sort of crapathy, has me bored, yes, but also ashamed, ashamed of our frivolity, and at myself for being any part of it. I can’t change my hyper-awareness of all the crap, but I can change my perception, actions, and reactions.

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Many experts, including renowned time researcher and sociologist, Professor John P. Robinson, known as Father Time, agree that not having enough time is actually an illusion, self-imposed, many people have more leisure time than ever before. https://socy.umd.edu/facultyprofile/Robinson/John%20P. Then why do we feel so overwhelmed? Maybe it’s all the things we’ve been sold to improve and simplify our lives. Really, why, when complicated means more money.

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https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/25/crapathy/Growing up I wanted to be Nancy Drew…instead I was Donna Parker. Both outrageously ignored repeated and dire warnings while being fiercely loyal, generous, and independent. Both wore, gasp, dungarees.

My dungarees and detective cap on, I find my courage and follow the clues, to investigate what’s working in my life and what isn’t; I join the ranks of those who couldn’t resist the siren call of a mystery:
Nancy Drew, Miss Marple, Monk, The Scooby Gang https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/the-mysterious-world-of-scooby-doo/ The Hardy Boys https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/01/american-gothic/ Sherlock and Watson https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/13/sherlock/ Sookie Stackhouse, Donna Parker, McCloud, Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/01/10/having-the-last-laugh/

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Mulder and Scully https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/20/the-truth-is-still-out-there-2/ Sam Spade, Veronica Mars, Honey West, Hannah Swensen https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/05/ive-had-the-time-of-my-life/ The Bobbsey Twins, Father Brown, Phryne Fisher https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/09/06/miss-fishers-murder-mysteries/ Temperance Brennan (Bones), Alex Cross, Ellery Queen, Mannix, Elvis Cole, Murdoch, Quincy https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/08/quincy-m-e/ Patrick Jane, Mike Hammer, Cadfael, Cherry Ames, Cagney and Lacey, MacMillan and Wife (she had a name, Sally), Stephanie Plum, Kay Scarpetta, Columbo https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/09/just-one-more-thing-columbo/

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Jane Tennison, Lord Peter Wimsey, Audrey Parker https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/02/never-tear-us-apart/ Clarice Starling, Daisy Dalrymple, Phillip Marlowe, Peter Gunn, Nick & Nora Charles, Frost, Dexter https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/09/24/goodbye-dexter/ Magnum, The Harts, Nero Wolfe, Jessica Fletcher https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/30/glory-days/ Foyle, Poirot, Jim Rockford, Perry Mason, Jessica Jones, Houdini and Doyle?

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Inspector Clouseau, Castle https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/06/nothings-gonna-stop-us-now/ Trixie Beldon, Rizzoli & Isles, Dupin, Sally Lockhart, The Girl Who…well, you know what she did.

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My Cases So Far:

1. The Clue in the Diary (decoded, started a blog).
2. The Secret of the Old Biological Clock (unraveled, acceptance).
3. The Haunted What Ifs (the voices of my past fade into the void, including but not limited to: family, friends, Prince, Bowie, The Tragically Hip aka The Hip, Spirit of the West, The Ramones, etc. Yet I have to smile, because they happened).
4. The Sign of the Twisted Scandals (solved, don’t care).
5. The Mystery of the Dating Dilemma (more probing needed).

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6. The Secret in the Old Attic (aka my head, ongoing).
7. The Password Puzzle (deciphered, but it’s a secret).
8. The Aging Writer Mystery (further review).
9.  The Ghost of Broken Dreams (phantom case).
10. The Clue of the Missing Keys (found, Marie Kondo organized my life https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/02/14/who-loves-ya-baby/).

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Broke, obscure, and chronically ill, I have probable cause to get discouraged and depressed. 1nd9

It’s easy to believe the voices that bludgeon me, sticking a knife into my self-confidence, slamming an axe into my feelings of worth, poisoning my pride, shooting holes in my dignity. The suspects are many, with means, motive, and opportunity, so I have to solve the mystery, before it’s too late!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/25/crapathy/You probably didn’t think you had time to read this whole post, so like me, maybe you need to Go Nancy Drew Yourself!

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Posted in Books, Doctor Who, Televison, Uncategorized

GRACEPOINT

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“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”Stephen King

Is that why we watch murder mysteries? Not only to test our observational and deductive skills, but to explore, process, and cope with the unthinkable horror of murder?

Last year I watched ITV’s Broadchurch because it starred David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hamlet, Casanova, The Escape Artist, The Decoy Bride, etc. ), the murder mystery part was a lovely bonus.
No spoilers, but this British murder mystery had so many twists and turns I started to feel dizzy, and the amount of red herrings almost seemed a little fishy. By the end I thought maybe I knew who had committed the murder, but in the case of murder mysteries I’m always delighted to second-guess myself.
The murder, the unfathomable death of a child may have appeared to be the focal point of the series, but the interactions between the people of this small town where the real story.

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When I heard FOX had picked up Broadchurch and were adapting it under the name of Gracepoint I was intrigued. Even more so when I heard they were bringing along one of my favourite doctors, David Tennant to reprise his role of a burned out policeman, this time with an American accent.

While I was waiti1broad13ng for the October 2, 2014 première I borrowed the digital copy of Broadchurch from Netgalley.com (for the low price of an honest review), written by Erin Kelly (Minotaur Books), adapted from the TV series. Thankfully just as absorbing as the series. A gripping read, full of the same tension, suspense, and the essential elements of a delicious murder mystery.

1. A murder victim.
2. Emotionally damaged sleuths; we don’t just want them to investigate murders, we want to get into their dented psyches and try to figure out what makes them so good at getting the bad guys.
3. Great plot, subplots and more subplots, the more subplottery, the better.
4. A bunch of lying suspects. Of course, usually only one of them is lying about murder, but they’re all lying to cover up their dirty little secrets.
5. A setting to die for. I want to be submerged in the setting, to feel like I’m there; whether it’s a small town, big city, boat, train, plane, or space, I want to be where the characters are.

The very first sentence transports you to the small town, “One road in, one road out. Broadchurch isn’t on the way to anywhere and you don’t go there by accident”~Erin Kelly…and you need to stay until you’ve uncovered all its murky secrets.
So, all criteria met for brilliant crime drama on any continent.1broad1

I’m glad to know series creator and writer Chris Chibnall (Doctor Who, Torchwood, United, Broadchurch) and director James Strong came across the Pond to bring Broadchurch to the coastal California town of Gracepoint (though filmed in British Columbia, Canada).

The cast looks amazing, David Tennant, now Emmett Carver (Alec Hardy in Broadchurch), joined by Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Kevin Zegers, Josh Hamilton, Michael Peña, Kendrick Sampson, Nick Nolte, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Rankin, Virginia Kull and more as family, friends, and neighbours become suspects in a horrifying crime that threatens to tear the very heart out of the sleepy little tourist town.

Also excited to know Broadcurch will be returning for a second series, with David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill, Jodie Whittaker, etc. plus some exciting new add-ons.

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Critical clues await those who must solve a horrifying crime, and bring peace and justice to a town torn apart.

Posted in Books, Televison, Uncategorized

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

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I have a new addiction and how!
It’s Australian.
It’s sassy.
Capricious.
Stylish.
Witty.
Sexy.
Murderous.
The Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has a hit in the fearless and funny Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  This Whodunit from Down Under is a beaut.

I love a good murder mystery and if you think the private detective genre had seen it all, it’s never seen anything like Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis). Independent, open-minded, of a certain age, caring, compassionate, rollin’ in the dough, swanky, and a private detective to boot!

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I have to praise the costume designer, Marion Boyce. This won’t happen often, you may notice a lack of fashion in my writings, but I practically drool over the Roaring Twenties costumes in this series; they’re exquisite, almost like a character unto themselves. If I ever became rich, I would probably dress as if I was in the 1920s all the time.

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If you’re a fan of murder mysteries this show is the real McCoy. I don’t want to be spoon-fed killers or their motives; I want to get there myself. Thankfully Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger using Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher novels as a guide let their audience be clever and find out who did what to whom.

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1fisher8Miss Fisher collects people as she collects adventure and clothes.
Her long-suffering and invaluable companion Dorothy “Dot” Williams (Ashleigh Cummings).
The handsome, intrigued and exasperated Detective Inspector John “Jack” Robinson (Nathan Page).
The boyishly eager Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt).
The always handy and never ask too many questions Bert and Cec (Travis McMahon and Anthony Sharpe).
The prudish heart-of-gold Aunt Prudence (Miriam Margoyles).
The sharp as a tack and streetwise ward Jane (Ruby Rees-Wemyss).
The spirited and always drinking spirits doctor Dr. Elizabeth “Mac” Macmillan (Tammy MacIntosh).
The enigmatic and undaunted Mr. Butler (Richard Bligh) – he’s delightful.
Plus a host of amazing guest stars.
Together they roam the jazz clubs, mansions, and back alleys of Melbourne, finding adventure and trouble.

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Series 1 & 2 were the bee’s knees, now we just have to wait for Series 3.

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I went through a phase in my teens and early 20s when I was Australia crazy. I’m clearly still continuing my love affair with Australia; I hope they like me back at least a little so it’s not too stalkery. There were times I may have lapsed into an Australian accent, when I wasn’t belting out Men At Work songs, er, again, most likely in an Australian accent. Books, TV, movies, I just couldn’t get enough of Australia. Seriously, my The Man from Snowy River addiction almost required an intervention. Even typing the words Phar Lap makes me want to cry. Muriel’s Wedding https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/16/muriels-wedding/, don’t even get me started.

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I had this cerulean blue (insert X-Files Pusher reference here) Australia sweatshirt that I wore so much it eventually turned to rags. The only picture I could find of it is in black and white and for some reason I’m leaning against a big dirty hoe. I’m sure there’s a story to that if I could remember it; I’m guessing it was a fun weekend. When I wore that shirt I was inevitably asked, Have you ever been to Australia? I would answer, Someday. Someday has yet to arrive, but it’s on my rather rusty bucket list.

I got through the whole post without saying G’day…D’oh! 

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Heathers

As dark satire goes, Heathers is in a league all its own. Easily dismissed as a teen angst flick, its depths are much darker and deeper.

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Heathers is about how easily you can fall and still think you’re standing.

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“You were nothing before you met me. You were playing Barbies with Betty Finn. You were a Bluebird. You were a Brownie. You were a Girl Scout Cookie.”~Heather Chandler

This sinister comedy spotlights issues of bullying, teen suicide, and the dangers of peer pressure.

Underlying theme? How completely self-absorbed people can be. How spoiled and narcissistic. Where they see their own world and issues, but have no wider vision of how other people are feeling, or suffering, or what they need.

Slater and Ryder are beyond compare and repair.

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Severe, jagged, funny, pathetic, edgy.

Hard to believe it’s been 25 years.

Posted in Movies, Uncategorized

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

aaol2One of my fav Halloween flicks. Madcap and macabre, it gives laughs, groans, and an appreciation that some of the best movies were made long before you were born.

Released in 1944 (although filmed in 1941 due to Cary Grant’s availability) this film has withstood the test of time. Based on Joseph Kesselring‘s play; both the play and movie are ghastly joys, in their own ways.

Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster gives a stunningly awkward and charmingly frenetic performance.aaol1

Josephine Hull and Jean Adair portray Abby and Martha Brewster, Mortimer’s darling Aunts who also happen to be serial killers for a good cause, “It’s one of our charities”. They’re like the Dexter of their day. Their explanation of their murderous ways? They stop the suffering of lonely old bachelors by poisoning them with arsenic, strychnine and “just a pinch of cyanide” disguised in elderberry wine.

Uncle Teddy (John Alexander) who believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt unwittingly aids the Aunts by digging graves in the basement, thinking he is digging locks for the Panama Canal and burying yellow fever victims.  Hull, Adair, and Alexander reprise their 1941 stage production roles.

Mortimer, whose ultimate dysfunctional family causes no end of headaches explains to his hapless new bride – “Insanity runs in my family, practically gallops!”

Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey are so sublimely creepy they really are Halloween.aaol3

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

POLTERGEIST

polter1Over 30 years later and I wondered if I still would like Poltergeist.

I did.

I still got chills.

I know there have been creepier, more gruesome and violence horrors films since, but nothing will replace this spooky classic.

The reboot of this film series is set to come out in 2014 or 2015. I can’t see how or why they would redo this.

After all, Family Guy did such a fantastic parody in 2006 (Season 4, episode 26) with Petergeist, it was almost difficult to watch the real Poltergeist without giggling. I’ll never look at clowns the same way again.

polter4The plot is like any good fairy tale, a young girl is the unwitting cause her family’s trauma and they do anything to help her; showing that love conquers all.

Does anyone remember the Poltergeist curse? Fuelled by real skeletons being used in the climatic scene, as well as Dominique Dunne’s murder, Heather O’Rourke’s death, and several other incidents the legend of the curse grew, which equals great publicity.

polter6There were 2 more in this series.

2nd was bad, the 3rd horrible.

So the only real curse was trying to milk a series, gee, not like Spielberg’s ever done that …cough, Indiana Jones, cough, Jurassic Park, cough, cough.

Note, no one died in this movie, not one character, even the family dog, E-Buzz  survived (I don’t think we can count the canary at the beginning).

And they still scared us silly.polter2

They’rrrre heeeerrre!!!

Posted in Televison, Uncategorized

Goodbye Dexter

dexter4Dexter is sort of the Jiminy Cricket of this millennium.

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Dexter let his conscience (or Harry as his conscience) be his guide, but it was telling him to kill people. It’s an ambiguous thing, the conscience, depending on who owns it. Dexter Morgan is both hero and villain, the grey area of this show is everything. Dexter is doing all the wrong things, but for what he feels are the right reasons.

The world not only accepted a serial killer warmly into their homes, but also embraced him, worried about him, felt his pain. Why?  Maybe in some strange way his Dark Passenger made people feel a little safer in a world where bad guys often seem to win, where sometimes the police themselves are the bad guys, and where justice can seem elusive.

No spoilers. I liked the ending of the series. To me, it harkened back to the early days of Dexter. So much has happened, so much has changed and yet in the end, nothing changed.

Various macabre cast & gory guests include: dexter3

Michael C. Hall,
Jennifer Carpenter,
James Remar, Desmond Harrington,
Julie Benz, David Zayas, C.S. Lee, Aimee Garcia,Geoff Pierson, Mos Def,
Yvonne Strahovski, Erik King,
John Lithgow, Lauren Vélez,
Keith Carradine, Colin Hanks,
Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits,
Sean Patrick Flanery, JoBeth Williams,

Peter Weller, Julia Stiles.

I can’t wait to see what Michael C. Hall does next, his acting has changed a lot since his days on Six Feet Under and even the early days of Dexter.  As he said to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, he believes actually playing the part has changed him.

So the world moves on to the next show, the next news story, and we have only blood-splattered memories…

I hope people see the point of Dexter, he’s a representation of what can be done to children, to people if they are not treated with dignity and respect…if they are damaged.

Remember the Monsters?