Yes the fangirl posts are back with another installment of some of my favorite things. Hope you all enjoy!
The Brady Bunch
Ah, The Brady Bunch. I grew up watching this show all the time. It was cute, silly, cheesy, and all around good family fun.
The story is of a Mike Brady, an architect and widower, who has three sons; Greg, Peter, and Bobby. He meets Carol, a widow, who has three daughters around the ages of his sons; Marcia, Jan, and Cindy. The two get married, uniting the family, and the show follows them as the kids grow up, getting involved in the usual teenager story lines.
My favorite characters were Greg and Peter. They were just adorable.
I know that today a lot of people make fun of the kitsch in the show, along with the fact that they all get along waaay too fast. But it was really cute and fun.
I was first introduced to Daredevil through the ’90s Spider-man TV show I used to watch. In one of the episodes Peter Parker is working for Wilson Fisk, who unbeknownst to him is the crime lord the Kingpin. He is framed for the crime of selling government secrets, and finds himself being helped out by Matt Murdock, lawyer by day, the vigilante Daredevil by night. Eventually Spider-man and Daredevil work together to take down the Kingpin. From this episode I became interested in Daredevil and I wanted to see the Daredevil film and read the comics.
Now what makes Daredevil so exciting and different? He’s blind. Matthew Murdock was a young Irishman growing up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. He chose to save a blind man crossing the street from being hit by a car, and in turn was hit by radioactive substances (they fell off a moving truck) losing his sight. The radioactive materials gifted him with super powers.
“My hearing is so acute, that I can tell if someone is in a room with me just by hearing the heartbeat! And I never forget an odor once I smell it…Even my fingers have become incredibly sensitive! I can tell how many bullets are in a gun just by the weight of the barrel. While my sense of taste has become so developed that I can tell exactly how many grains of salt are on a piece of of pretzel…But my most important new ability is in the form of a built-in radar that I seem to have developed! It enables me to walk anywhere safely, without bumping into anything!” [Daredevil #1, April 1964, pg. 11-12]
After he graduates from high school, he goes to college to study law. There he meets Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, who becomes his best friend. At this point his dad, a boxer, is murdered for choosing to not fix a fight. Matt deals with his grief, and he and Foggy start their own practice, Foggy’s father bankrolling them. They hire a young, beautiful, blonde, Karen Page, to be their secretary. Now I enjoyed Foggy as he was funny. But Karen
She was always pitying Matt, and that became super annoying. “Oh he’s so handsome if only he wasn’t blind.” “He’s so smart, but oh too bad he’s blind Matt. Ugh.
Anyways, when the law doesn’t do enough, especially in the case with his father, he dons a bright yellow suit and goes by the name Daredevil, The Man Without Fear. He also has some cool weaponry. He has a cane that can break down into two pieces, sort of like nunchucks or bobby sticks.
Now they later updated his story, changing him to losing his father when he was a boy, and being trained by a blind man with similar abilities called “Stick.” He also gets a better, dark red costume, and cooler tools. His main villain also become the crime lord, the Kingpin, a villain shared by Spider-man, after all they both are in New York. Daredevil also became a darker superhero. Matt Murdock is the white knight, helper, and the one that stands up for justice. Daredevil is a creature of the night, giving those their sentence. Unlike other superheroes he goes the closest to crossing over the moral line. In order to balance the two, Daredevil relies heavily on his faith, as the morals taught by it are the only things that keep him truly from going over to the dark side.
Now in the 2003 Daredevil the film came out and I must admit that though I absolutely love Ben Affleck, the Daredevil film was not as good as it could have been.
BUT, it was not as horrible as people make it out to be either. I thought Ben Affleck was amazing as Matt Murdock, his costume was perfect, and I thought his cane with the hidden pieces was just amazing. However, Colin Farrell’s Bullseye sucked, the Kingpin just was missing something, and come on; Electra starting a fight with a blind man? Seriously? Come, on. This was also in the early 2000s, and studios hadn’t quite figured out how to make an awesome superhero film.
Now I heard things about the Daredevil TV show, but I don’t have Netflix so I was kind of I guess I’ll see it when it gets downloaded onto Youtube or something. However, last month I went to visit my friend, and she was like “hey you should totally watch Daredevil.”
So we started watching, then we had to see the next episode, and the next and…
We watched Daredevil half of it that night, and the rest the next day; throwing all other plans we had made out the window. And let me say it is one of the best shows ever! Everything is absolutely perfect. Starting with the opening credits:
Then there was Charlie Cox (hot guy from Stardust) being the perfect blend of white knight for justice and the hanging judge. He captured every essence of Daredevil, from his pursuit of justice, vengeenance, self-doubt, constant questioning, etc. Just perfect!
Foggy Nelson’s character was changed from the original comics so that he too grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, the son of a butcher. He too was perfect as he was hilarious, sweet, adorable, and just all around a great friend. (BTW he is played by the best friend in She’s All That. Yeah I noticed you right away.) Out of all the characters he’s the one that doesn’t treat Matt as if he’s handicapped, but as a regular person; but at the same time does as much as he can to help him with anything.
And Karen was very much improved. Here she is sensible, sweet, not annoying, and stopped pitying Matt all the time. She still had her moments, but they were very few.
But most of all Wilson Fisk was perfect. At first I was like I don’t know…he doesn’t seem commanding enough, but in each episode you peel back another layer and the white suited, Wilson Fisk, Kingpin, Crime Lord is revealed. I can’t wait until he actually starts wearing one!!!! While in the original comics, Vanessa doesn’t know anything about Fisk’s crime lord status and when she and their son figure it out, it causes a LOT of issues. At one point, his son tries to destroy him and take over. But I actually like how Vanessa knows everything, it’s very romantic.
This show is just all around perfect. And if Netflix comes out with season 2, I might just have to buy a membership.
For more on Daredevil, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes
I love music and I love the ’80s. One of my favorite bands from this time period that I totally fangirled over for a long time.
It’s an American/English band (as half the members are English while the other half is American). They have the most amazing beats and amazing songs. The guitar solos in this are just dreamy!
I used to listen to these songs over and over again, 🙂
Some of my absolute favorite songs are Cold As Ice, Double Vision, Feels Like the First Time, Hot Blooded, I Want to Know What Love is, Juke Box Hero, and Waiting for a Girl Like You. Great hits!
For more ’80s music, go to Rock You Like a Hurricane
North & South
My friend came to visit me a few months back and she was all “you have to check out this show North & South. It is AMAZING!” I asked her if it was the one about the Civil War, but she told me no. It was about England, and starred the very hunky Richard Armitage.
I was like why not, and then we watched the show.
It was so awesome I couldn’t stop watching it.
At least this was a miniseries so the obsession wasn’t too much. And yes, obsession.
So the show takes place during the English Industrial revolution, the late 18th century. Reverend Richard Hale has decided to leave the church of England, as they were asking him to commit to things he didn’t want to follow. After he leaves the church, he is forced to leave his parish in the country South, and go somewhere else. With help of an old Oxford friend, Mr. Bell, gets him a place in Milton, located in the industrial North. He brings with him his wife, and daughter Margaret.
The Margaret and her mother don’t like the move, but put up with it as they have no other choice. Her father becomes a private tutor, with only one client, Mr. Thornton.
Mr. Thornton was born poor and worked his way up, now owning his own cotton mill and becoming one of the richest men in the area. He however, still has some insecurity around himself, and therefore not only wishes to support Mr. Hale, but increase his education. Mr. Thornton is undeniably sexy and broody. You know, just as I like them.
He and Margaret get off on the wrong foot, as the first time she sees him, she finds him pummeling a man for smoking.
You see Mr. Thornton cares very much for his factory and his workers. He has the newest inventions, including a wheel to ensure that the cotton fluff that floats about doesn’t get in the workers and give them “cotton lung”, an incredibly deadly disease. This particular worker has been warned multiple times to stop smoking, as the slightest spark could ignite the place in flames.
So you can see how he would be very angry.
Now Margaret doesn’t like the North and doesn’t understand it. This is a point of contention between her and Mr. Thornton, Mr. Thornton’s mother, and his sister Fanny. They think she thinks she’s better than everyone, but in reality she just was raised differently. In fact she is constantly going out among the workers and doing charity work. The type of things she would do in the South as a vicar’s daughter. She ends up befriending Bess, a worker in Mr. Thornton’s mill, and suffering from cotton lung that she got at a different mill.
Unfortunately, just as Margaret and her family have come to the area, there is a lot of unrest. The workers want more money and are threatening to unionize. The thing I love about this show is that it had the views of both sides. You have the workers who need more money to get by and support their large families, but at the same time; you see that Mr. Thornton doesn’t have more money to give them. He may be wealthy, but his money is wrapped up in cotton prices and completely dependent on how well it does, and lack of storms in shipping. Plus he bought new, pricey, technology to help the workers and doesn’t have enough profits to pay everyone what they wish. It’s a complicated issue.
So as all this is happening, Mr. Thornton finds himself drawn to Margaret. She is intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful, beautiful, and doesn’t care about class systems. Margaret also finds herself falling for him, but hasn’t realized it yet.
Things with the workers grow to a head, where they start striking in front of the mill. Margaret, unaware of what is happening, heads over to the Thorntons to ask for a water bed for her sick mother, and gets caught in the mill during the strike. As Mr. Thornton approaches the mob to talk to them, they grow ugly and Margaret runs out to protect him. She ends up getting hit in the head with a rock. Mr. Thornton carries her to safety and decides that her actions are proof that she loves him too.
After Margaret is well, Mr. Thornton asks her to marry him. She refuses as 1) she hasn’t realized she is in love with him, and 2) thinks he thinks he is better than her.
When she said no, ah it broke my heart.
Mr. Thornton is amazing!!! How could you refuse him?
Now I know there has been a big controversy over who is better, Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton. Well, I have to say Mr. Thornton.
Wait, hear me out. The reason why Mr. Thornton is more appealing than Mr. Darcy is that he has a fuller character. Pride & Prejudice is told by Elizabeth Bennet, so we only see what she sees. Mr. Darcy at first appears to be a jerk, as you can read more about in my post First Impressions, and then later as she gets to know him better, she falls for his strong moral character. But even though we see development of his character, we never see how he was as a child, we never see how he views that first meeting with Elizabeth, we never see his side of things as much as we do with Elizabeth. We do see it from time to time, but on a whole the story is told by Elizabeth. Now in North & South, the mini-series, as I have yet to read the book, he story is split equally between Margaret Hale and Mr. Thornton. We get a deeper understanding of who he is, his backstory, his impressions, etc. Therefore he feels more real. Besides that he has realistic flaws that make you love him more. He doesn’t always think things through which can cause him to get into trouble, he misunderstands things, he has his own opinions and thoughts and expresses them whether others like it or not, he has insecurities about himself, he has issues with his father and sister, etc. While Darcy seems so perfect, Mr Thornton is perfectly imperfect, and therefore extremely appealing.
So Elizabeth’s mother is getting sicker and sicker, so she writes to her brother in Spain to visit. Her brother was in the Navy and refused a horrible order on moral reasons. Their lawyer is trying to help him, but he had to leave the empire or else he would be imprisoned. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s friend Bess dies from her cotton lung, and Mr. Thornton stops seeing Mr. Hale for lessons. Elizabeth escapes the unhappiness by going to The Great Exhibition with her London relatives and friends. There she runs into Mr. Thornton, who is giving a talk on the new cotton mill technology. There they talk, and mend feelings a bit.
When Elizabeth returns home, her mother is doing extremely poorly. Her brother arrives in time to see her, but the whole house is under lockdown so no one finds out. Mr. Thornton comes to visit, but is refused entrance. He misunderstands what is going on and thinks that it is because of Elizabeth’s refusal of marriage.
Margaret’s brother has to leave soon, and she goes to the train station with him. Mr. Thornton sees them together and thinks that it is her lover.
Mr. Thornton starts concentrating more on his business as Margaret is a lost cause.
The strike deeply hurt him and he needs to do something to bring up improvements. Mr. Higgins, Bess’ father and the union movement leader, is given employment by Mr. Thornton. The two come up with an idea for a worker’s cafeteria where they can serve nutritious and cheap soup. But unfortunately, Mr. Thornton has to close up his shop.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hale dies and Elizabeth is going to go to London to stay with relatives. Mr. Thornton doesn’t want her to go, and in this scene we have the most poignant one ever. He would totally ask Margaret to marry him again but just needs a sign, any sign. He watches her walk away and keeps hoping that she will look back, showing that she doesn’t want to leave him, but loves him.
But she doesn’t look back until she is too far away.
After she has left, Mr. Higgins reveals that the man Margaret was with was actually her brother, giving Mr. Thornton the whole story. He decides to go after her, and first runs off to her place of birth to better understand who she is.
Meanwhile, Margaret is very unhappy having visited the South and knows she no longer belongs there, and finds herself unhappy in London as well. She misses the North, more than she cares to admit. Mr. Bell, her godfather, comes to visit and tells her is sick and dying. He decides to go to Argentina for the climate, and leaves her all his money.
Margaret returns to Milton, searching for Mr. Thornton as she plans to loan him all her money to start the mill up again. Mr. Thornton has just arrived from the South, and stares lovingly into Margaret. She tries to explain her ideas, but gets so flustered as Mr. Thornton once again tells her he loves her.
I love it.
The Nostalgia Critic
Nostalgia Critic has his own video series on Youtube. My friend Wade was the one to introduce me to him years ago, but I wasn’t interested. Last year however, I watched one episode and then burned through every single one.
So the Nostalgia Critic reviews movies and items from his childhood, ’80-’90s, although when he came back he started to review everything he likes from last week to childhood. He is perfectly creative and a ton of fun. I highly recommend checking him out.
For more on The Nostalgia Critic, go to Fanning All Over the Place
So that’s it for this installment. There will be plenty more next week.
For the previous post, go to Back to the Fandoms
Stay tuned for part 13
For more on F. Scott Fitzgerald, go to Any Way You Want It
For more favorite songs, go to All By Myself