1. Television…The Fisher Mysteries…Melbourne’s Secrecies!
An Unstoppable Flapper Solves Murders And Life’s Mysteries?
If you are searching for your next unsolvable mystery, The Fisher Mysteries from Australia will give you thirty-six (36) cases to analyze, recreate, ponder, muse, and contemplate. Essie Davis (The Matrix) stars in this PBS program as a 1920’s flapper-like free spirit. She realizes early on in the show that she has the vision and knack to solve assorted murders, disappearances, robberies, and related crimes. This work, that just seems to fall into her hands, makes Ms. Fisher Melbourne’s first female detective and a much sought after businesswoman and problem expert.
Phryne (Fry-Knee) Fisher sleuths throughout the Melbourne area with the help of her house companion (Dottie), her ward (Jane), her Aunt (Prudence), her butler (Mr. Butler), two henchmen (Bert/Cec), and the head of the local police station (Jack).
Reviewers call the show opulent. Just because Phryne Fisher has a different ensemble and hat for every case hardly puts the show in the opulent category. Maybe these reviewers think “twice a day” tea qualifies as opulent. The parties, French cuisine, cars, outfits, literature, and settings frame the 1920’s in Australia and in Europe. Australia, in this period, seems like the perfect visit spot for all of Europe’s adventurers, best cooks, restaurateurs, travelers, and thriving entrepreneurs. Each visitor’s problem adds to the variety of the show’s cases and Australia’s place in the post World War I era of new adventures and discoveries.
Phryne was a nurse in the ambulance corps in World War I. She knows the horrors of war and death and how it still resonates in the 1920’s. Her past constantly sends her old friends and lovers. She is against marriage despite taking in a young ward. Phryne has more paramours and suitors in her cases than a left-handed poker player. The humor in the show is left handed, also.
PBS is featuring a Fisher Mysteries’ Christmas Show on December 23rd. This will end the Fisher Mysteries’ third season. You can catch up with the first two years of shows on Netflix, Hulu Plus, and your local On Demand stations. If you like mysteries, vivacious problem solvers, and that time period, the show is addicting. Be careful! The twenty-six shows from the first two seasons will shorten your nightly sleep!
2. Books…Penny Dreadful…Now And Then!
Like The Scarlet Pimpernel, They Are Everywhere!
Hundred Year-Old Books And The New Television Show!
A number of shows from Elementary to Sherlock Holmes to The Fisher Mysteries have briefly mentioned or had characters reading Penny Dreadful books as part of their plot. These blood curdling, eight page books were the rage in Victorian England and then throughout the world. Dreadfuls or Bloods can be picked up at your used bookstore or on sites like Amazon.com. The book’s themes are just as riveting today as they were a hundred years or more ago. Dreadful books were the forerunner to early movie serials because they, like the serials, kept you hanging at the book’s end. You were, then, encouraged to save your penny for the next addition.
Penny Dreadful is, also, a new ShowTime series that has three big name movie stars Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, and Eva Green fighting the supernatural in Victorian London. Their fast paced work doesn’t leave them any time to read a Blood or any other book. Very few people see the scorpions on the necklace in Eva Green’s photo at the start of this column. Notice this, please, because this indicates she may not be one to trifle with in the story.
Wait! There is another Penny Dreadful series! Joanna Nadin is the author. This time it is a children’s series of books where nothing goes right for poor little Penelope Jones. Her dad named her Penny Dreadful. Her troubles throughout the eight book series make Alexander’s Horrible Day troubles look like a picnic. Every creative idea that flies from her mind turns into a major, major disaster. The series lets young readers know that their problems can be solved just like wayward Penelope’s problems.
3. Interstellar Versus Hunger Games 3!
The Fight For Big Buck Supremacy!
And The Winner Is?
The office brilliant predicted Interstellar with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway would outdraw Hunger Games Mockingjay. They said Interstellar would reach a half a billion dollars before Jennifer Lawrence breaks up with Gwyneth Paltrow’s ex Chris Martin.
Office predictions the last two years never dazzled anyone in the areas of sports, business, music, art, television, or the movies. This time the office wasn’t right or wrong. Interstellar and Hunger Games 3 reached 500 million dollars in box office revenues almost on the same day.
If you haven’t seen these movies yet and are saving them for the holidays, here is a look-see.
Interstellar is a rare phenomenon. Fifty percent of its audiences loved the movie. Fifty percent of these same audiences hated it. The movie covers everything in time travel/warps, deep space, black holes, and planet exploration that a science freak would enjoy. The world is dying from global warming and strange dust storms. A clandestine NASA under Michael Cane’s direction has the answer. McConaughey is sent into space with Anne Hathaway to find twelve, now silent, space explorers that were sent out to discover new worlds for us to habitat. The movie’s key question is would you abandon your family and your promise to return home to save the world.
Hunger Games Mockingjay is the third book in the Suzanne Collins’ series. Mockingjay is brought to life in movie form like the first two books. The final book is split into two movies. The fourth movie will debut next year. Thirteen communities have been kept at bay by sending their children to battle each other in an event called The Hunger Games. In the third installment of the book series, these regions are now being encouraged by Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman (his last movie before his death) to battle this suppressive regime. It is headed by Donald Sutherland.
Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) after her victories in the Games is needed to be a symbol for revolution. Her battles in the Games for and with family and friends have left her drained. She does not want to be ‘the showpiece for rebellion’ that is necessary for the insurrection’s success.
Both movies are filled with old and new award winning stars from Jessica Chastain to Woody Harrelson to Matt Damon. A movie aficionado will enjoy following their favorite’s work in both movies. Go for a billion! Which movie will be first?
4. Music I…Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles (1993)!
That Musical Must Have! You Don’t Have Everything, Do You!
This Will Be An Unexpected Gift Someone Will Love!
If you are looking for that great gift for the music person in the family who has everything Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles is a great addition to the in home, office, and car recording studio. Hotel California by The Eagles is one of the top selling albums of all time. The album’s thirteen songs have been covered by hundreds of artists for decades.
In 1993 thirteen country stars recreated the album under the title Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles. Don Henley, the Eagles’ drummer, introduces the album at the 1993 Billboard Awards (see it on You Tube) as a multi-million dollar fundraiser and tribute to Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau’s environmental ideas (Walden Pond) still fascinate generations. Thoreau’s ideas for social protest have been embraced and practiced by millions including Martin Luther King and Gandhi.
It is a dinner table challenge to try to guess each singer as the songs from the album are being played. You really have to know music and how much voices can change over the years. Don’t look at the list that follows if you are up to a musical test and challenge. No one comes close to guessing each singer’s contribution.
- Take It Easy (Travis Tritt)
- Peaceful Easy Feeling (Little Texas)
- Desperado (Clint Black)
- Heartache Tonight (John Anderson)
- Tequila Sunrise (Alan Jackson)
- Take It To The Limit (Suzy Bogguss)
- I Can’t Tell You Why (Vince Gill)
- Lying Eyes (Diamond Rio)
- New Kid In Town (Trisha Yearwood)
- Saturday Night (Billy Dean)
- Already Gone (Tanya Tucker)
- Best Of My Love (Brooks and Dunn)
- The Sad Café (Lorrie Morgan)
5. Music II…KeKe Wyatt…The New Queen Of Rhythm And Blues!
Ms. Wyatt Is Easy Listening Plus At The Local Blues Club!
KeKe Is Even Better In Your Late Night Listening Room!
The jump from country to rhythm and blues is not a big one. The jump into KeKe Wyatt’s songbook is not a big one, either. You will be looking for more wherever you start with her albums or singles. KeKe started as background singer for Avant. He quickly recognized talent as she immediately came to the front to duet with him on a large number of tracks.
Wyatt and Avant’s collaboration on the album My Thoughts sent the album to platinum. Avant calls KeKe ‘Soul Sista Extraordinary’. In 2001 KeKe’s first album Soul Sista went to Certified Gold status. She has three albums (Who Knew) out with two more to be released in the coming months. Her studio performance of Fall In Love (her big single this year) tells the story of a person ready to fall in love. It is a good entry into her musical themes.
These four songs added to Fall In Love will make a good listening quintet for your car radio. After exploring these five songs, Lorna Wyatt, KeKe’s mother, has some great gospel tracks on You Tube. The mother-daughter duo has sung together, but our research has yet to find a track of this partnership.
I Don’t Wanna
6. Music II…Alicia Keys…Why Haven’t You Discovered Her, Yet?!
Start With Her Song Brand New Kind Of Me! It Is A Great Connector!
Alicia Keys is more than a piano player and great singer. She is an American institution! Alicia Keys has five Billboard #1 albums and recently has ventured out from behind her piano to dazzle audiences with her ‘in front of the stand-up microphone’ work.
Her single Girl On Fire certainly describes her musical career.
Her song It’s On Again chronicles her recent successes.
Brand New Me has her behind glasses and reinventing herself. The lyrics emphasize that it is a brand new time for her personally and for her music. Brand New Me is the best video of the three hundred she has presented. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart is a great break up and learn from the break up song, too.
You Tube has a forty-minute track you can record for iPhone playing or your car stereo connection to Alicia. It is called Alicia Keys’ Best Songs. The recording leaves out an apple tree full of our favorites. Forty-six minutes of songs from her album Girl On Fire offer the same download options.
8. Music III…Rihanna And Joan Jett…This Means War!
This suggestion is one of our craziest. Please put on Joan Jett’s recording of This Means War. At the same time, rent the movie Battleship. Our perennial musical favorite Rihanna can now be introduced in the proper light.
Rihanna stars in the war movie Battleship. In this, they attacked Hawaii, epic, she destroys aliens the same way she destroys audiences with her song and dance prowess. The aliens should have known not to mess with anyone that has sold fifty million albums and can handle the most sophisticated rockets the American Navy can rain upon foes.
Rihanna’s song SOS might have been a good lead-in to the movie. Man Down would be our second choice as a number of navy ships are sent to the ocean’s bottom before Rihanna does her work and massive damage to alien vessels.
The Only Girl In The World, Diamonds, What Now, and Stay singer has now appeared in seven television shows and movies…not as a singer but as a convincing actress/actor. A Rihanna search on the IMDB will take you to a number of her new acting successes.
Joan Jett’s theme for Monday Night Football is I Hate Myself For Loving You. You can almost see Joan Jett laughing with Rihanna while dancing together before the upcoming football game.
8. Music IV…Word Crimes…Will It Make You Laugh Or Cry?
In our musical and column closing, please take a look at Al Yankovic’s Word Crimes. Yankovic parodies Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines without the very half naked Russian dancers. He uses the song Blurred Lines to review fifteen common mistakes everyone makes in writing while skewering LOL people.
The song Word Crimes is a creative writing lesson put to music and should be shown in video form in every classroom and home that is populated with children writers. Adults can pick up a thing or two from the video as well.
9. This Week’s Suggested Themes That Did Not Make The Cut!
Topics that weren’t developed this week are, often, just as interesting as the topics that were covered. In many cases, we just didn’t have all the information or our research results were spotty. Case in point is the amazing amount of water (six inches and more to come) dumped on California this week and how it would take five years of the same to relieve their drought.
We list these “not covered” topics each week to encourage readers to do their own research and get back to us with their points of view they, now, can contribute for this column.
- Peter Pan Flies Across The Stage, Once More!
- Six Inches Of California Rain Does Nothing For Their Drought!
- Mars Lander On Its Way!
- Violent Protest Across America In Response To Multiple Deaths!
- The Stock Market Keeps On Peaking!
- Holiday Poetry!
- Leona Lewis Shines Throughout The United Kingdom!
- The Starving Of Your Favorite Victoria Secret Model!
- Gas Prices Say What?!
10. Your Creative Ideas Will Certainly Enhance This Column!
Do you have a topic that can be featured on this column or can you contribute two creative paragraphs on your favorite movies, books, comics, art, music, gaming, education, travel, or more for our column? Don’t be afraid to let your creative self fly into any area except politics and religion.
Our reading audience is insatiable for any new idea…even yours!
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