Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Golden Globe winners

I didn’t catch the Golden Globes telecast this weekend, but I was excited to see that some movies and shows I’ve been excited about this year were also exciting to the Hollywood Foreign Press voters. A few of these titles are not yet available on DVD — like Birdman and Amazon.com’s Transparent.  But anything we can get here at the library for you, we will try to do so.


Here are the 2015 winners with links to the library catalog of those we own:

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Lead Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything 

Lead Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama
Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
grand budapest hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lead Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical
Michael Keaton – Birdman

Lead Actress – TV Drama
Ruth Wilson – The Affair

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Lead Actor – TV Drama
house of cards season 2

Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

Best TV Drama
The Affair

Actress – TV Miniseries or Movie
honorable woman

Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Honorable Woman

Foreign Film
Leviathan, Russia

Lead Actor – TV Comedy
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman

Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Animated Feature
how to train your dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Lead Actress in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams – Big Eyes

Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie
normal heart

Matt Bomer – The Normal Heart

Original Song – Motion Picture
Glory – Selma (John Legend, Common)

Original Score – Motion Picture
Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything

Best TV Comedy or Musical

Lead Actress – TV Comedy or Musical
Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin

Actor – TV Miniseries or Movie

Billy Bob Thornton – Fargo

TV Miniseries or Movie


Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie
downton abbey season 4

Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey

Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

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Lost in time

I’m not much of a science fiction reader (or watcher) but I do enjoy a bit of time travel. I loved the early ’90s TV show Quantum Leap and the heart-wrenching movie Somewhere in Time  (starring Christopher Reeve and set on Mackinac Island). Audrey Niffenger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of my all time favorite novels. Jack Finney (author of Invasion of the Body Snatchers) is author of my beloved Time Travel series: Time and Again and From Time to Time.

As a bit of a TV addict, I’m always a little giddy when the fall premieres are in full swing. I caught a pre-premiere of Forever, a new Monday night show on ABC featuring Henry Morgan, a medical examiner in NYC who is trying to solve the mystery of his re-starting life. He has been dying for 200 years, each time returning to water in the nude. Viewers are given glimpses of his past from his initial death on a slave ship 200 years ago to a hanging for heresy, the story behind his best friend Abe, and the romance he left behind 60-some years ago.

Note of interest: Forever‘s origin is disputed by author Pete Hamill, who finds the plot strikingly similar to his own novel by the same name.

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Missing Downton Abbey?

By Nancy

So Downton Abbey has been making the news as they released promotional images for the upcoming fifth season of the show. A water bottle left on a mantle somehow wasn’t noticed before the publicity photo of Lady Edith and Lord Grantham was put up on Instagram. Oops! For a television show whose fan base loves the costumes and historical setting and detail, it was a bit of faux pas. See a story about the gaffe at http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28794870. (Spoiler alert! The BBC article above also talks some about the storylines for the coming year.)

While I am looking forward to the return of Downton Abbey this winter, I so missed Dan Stevens in season 4 that I think my withdrawal is more specific to Stevens’s blue eyes. So really, I’ve been missing Downton (as it was when Stevens was there) for a while now. (Still, this is nothing compared to having to wait until 2016 or longer possibly for the return of Sherlock. Luckily, Benedict Cumberbatch will be starring in a film that looks like a cross between Sherlock and The Bletchley Circle called The Imitation Game coming out in November. Too bad he won’t have those dark Sherlock locks though.)

Anyway, back to my continued grieving for Dan Stevens’s departure from Downton Abbey. Will his son little George, with his blonde hair, make up for the loss? (See adorable images of George in this series from Harper’s Bazaar UK — oh, and don’t miss the Dowager in image 7!) The huge leaps forward in chronological time that Downton Abbey often takes from season to season (and even within the season) used to bug me. But now I’m imagining a leap ahead for season 6 so that Dan Stevens can come back to play the grown up George! How wonderful would that be? (@JulianFellowes, do you read the ACPL blog?) Don’t worry, in my fan fiction, the Dowager Countess would still be going strong and look exactly the same, though perhaps Mary will have passed on (to pursue other film opportunities).

To tide me over until January I plan to watch Dan Stevens’s film “Summer in February” (no matter how bad it is) and perhaps listen to a few of his audiobook narrations (no blue eyes there though). I’ll also try to snag a book or two from the “Keep Calm and Read On” book display in Reader’s Services at the Main Library while it is still up. In the meantime, keep calm and start crafting for your Downton Abbey parties now.

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Small Cover ImageRecently I’ve been watching The History Channel’s hit show Vikings.  Currently in its second season, the show is inspired by the legendary tales of the ninth century Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok.  Watch a recap of season 1 below:

I typically enjoy historical dramas, but I’m always left wondering just how historically accurate the show is and wanting to learn more about the time and people portrayed.  ACPL has some great resources to do just that.

The Vikings: Culture and ConquestSmall Cover Image by Martin Arnold explores the Vikings’ military prowess as well as their values, art, religion, and family life.  Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age by John Haywood is an excellent quick resource for researching the people, places, and practices of the Vikings.  For an exploration of Viking culture through literature, check out Arthur Cotterell’s Mythology of the Norse Gods: Myths and Legends of the Nordic World.  If documentaries are more your style, NOVA’s The Vikings looks beyond the Vikings’ reputation as ruthless warriors to discover their affinity for shipbuilding, art, and trade .  For a different take on a fictional depiction of Ragnar Lothbrok, try the 1958 film The Vikings, starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

If you’ve not seen The History Channel’s Vikings and would like to, ACPL now has season 1 on DVD.

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On Saturday, the Downtown Library hosted its final Downton Abbey Downtown Tea event.  Thirty library patrons gathered to share their love of Downton Abbey, a PBS television show exploring the lives of a family of landed gentry and their servants during the early 20th century in Great Britain.  Sweet Violet Tea & Antiques provided tea, scones, and cookies.  Library patron Mary Anderson shared information and pictures from her recent trip to Highclere Castle in England, where Downton Abbey is filmed.  Two lucky winners received door prizes, the book Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey and a season four promotional poster.  All participants took home a teabag of Lord Grantham’s Breakfast Blend.

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Let me first state that, for most of the book, I liked While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax.  The characters were real, their problems were believable and the writing is good . . . until you get to the last paragraph.  For some reason, at the very end of the book, the writer decides that she needs to tell her readers what message we should take away from the book.  As if we couldn’t have figured it out for ourselves.  As if we didn’t expect from the title (Spoiler Alert!) that friendships would develop from watching Downton Abbey together.  Then I turned the page to see what came after the end of the book and found discussion questions for book groups.  I think it takes a special kind of hubris to assume before a book has even been printed that book groups will want to discuss it.  I  find it a little offensive.  Added to the fact that I was put off by the last paragraph, I had a sour taste in my mouth when I closed the book.

The four main characters are: Samantha Davis, Claire Walker, Brooke MacKenzie and Edward Parker.

Samantha married a rich man when her parents died because he was willing to support both Samantha and her two younger siblings.  They live in the penthouse suite of the Alexander, a posh Atlanta condo building.  She has spent the last 27 years making sure that her husband is happy.  She has never told him she loves him because he might not return her feelings.  Her younger brother is a schemer and always needs money to back his schemes.

Claire is a single mother whose daughter is entering college.  She has sold her house and has enough savings to rent a studio apartment for a year.  She has published two historical romances set in the Scottish highlands and is planning to write full time during this year.  One small problem: writer’s block.

Brooke, a mother of two preschoolers is the former wife of a plastic surgeon.  After she worked to put him through med school, he walked away from her and their two young daughters because she refused plastic surgery and didn’t fit his image.  He and his “Barbie doll” new girlfriend move into another condo in the same building.

The concierge,  Edward Parker, is trying to make the residents of the building feel like a community.  He decides to show the first two seasons of Downton Abbey while they wait for the third season to air in the United States.

I felt like the wrapping up of everyone’s problems at the end of the book was much like watching an episode of  Touched by an Angel, in which miracles are accomplished in less than an hour each week.  While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is probably a good book for a book group to read, but I tend to steer away from best sellers and “book club reads.”  Next time I decide to judge a book by it’s title and/or cover, I’ll read the comments on the back.  “A great beach read” is not necessarily a recommendation.   I give this book about 3.5 stars out of 5.

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Game of Thrones

If, like me, you don’t have HBO at home, you’re probably looking forward to February 24 when Season 3 of Game of Thrones becomes available on dvd.  One more day!  Take this quiz to find out which GoT character you are most similar to.  As the quiz itself says, avoid Joffrey and you can call it a win.  I’m Arya — I’ll just tweak the description to say that “just because you’re a librarian doesn’t mean you can’t handle yourself.”  Who are you?

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