With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

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Yes it is time for our annual countdown of great Irish heroes from film and books. Let me tell you, this year was hard. I had two, then that grew to seven in August. After a lot of thinking, it finally rounded out to seventeen.

I’m great

But then I realized one of those on my list wasn’t actually Irish!

I was sunk.

It was down to the wire…but with a little luck I finally found someone.

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17) Lady Bess Sedgwick from At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie

At Bertram’s Hotel is a Miss Marple mystery, in which Miss Marple goes on vacation for a fortnight to the place she though was the most delightful place of her youth, Bertram’s Hotel. Miss Marple enjoys the hotel, it looking as if it hadn’t changed a bit since she was young, but at the same time feels uneasy. It almost seems as if there is evil lurking about the place. Besides old friends she sees Lady Bess Sedgwick, best described as an adventurer, and also becomes interested in the interactions of a young girl, Elvira Blake. Soon a train is robbed, a Canon goes missing, jewelry is stolen, young girls are running off to Ireland, a race car driver is causing discord with mother and daughter, the doorman is murdered: and Bertram’s is right in the middle of it.

Why Lady Bess Sedgwick is Awesome: *Contains Spoilers*

Bess Sedgwick is an amazing person who has done everything daring you can think of. She was a member of the French Resistance, she fought German troops, she flew solo across the Atlantic, driven racing cars, saved two children from a burning building, and is the second best dressed woman in England. But she isn’t all great- she has a string of marriages, gave her daughter up to her ex- husband (and guardians after his death never having contact with her), is a crime syndicate boss and thief. However, what earned her a spot on this list was that even though she spent her whole life being selfish and just doing what she wants and likes, is that when her daughter was in trouble she was there for her and tried to take the blame for her to let her daughter live. It might not have been the morally right thing to do, but it showed how much she loved her daughter in that she was willing to sacrifice everything for her daughter.

For more Agatha Christie, go to There Wouldn’t Be Any Difficulty in Finding a King: The Secret of Chimneys

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16) Shannon Christie from Far and Away

Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) is a poor Irishman, who after his father’s death could no longer pay the high rent. After his family farm is burned down, he goes off to take his revenge on the landlord Daniel Christie. That attempt fails, and by some strange coincidence he finds himself being a valet to Christie’s daughter, Shannon (Nicole Kidman), on her voyage to America. What was thought as being a temporary arrangement becomes more permanent, as all of Shannon’s things are stolen and she finds herself becoming dependent on Joseph for survival. With the two masquerading as brother and sister they start working in the factories to earn enough money to buy land in the West. As the two continue to work in America they find out that their road West will not be an easy one.

Why Shannon Christie is Awesome:

At first she appears to be nothing but a spoiled brat, but as we continue to watch the film Shannon has some real hutzpah. She will not live off Joseph, but sets off to help provide for their travel West, working in horrible conditions of a chicken factory. When she and her family finally go West, she is instrumental in showing them the skills she learned and teaching them what they must do to survive now that they are no longer gentry, but just like everyone else.

For more on Far and Away, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

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15) Professor Laurence MacKay from Please Don’t Eat the Daises

Professor Laurence MacKay (David Niven) is leaving the academic world to become a drama critic. His wife, Kate (Doris Day), is at first thrilled for him, but as he becomes more sought after and being invited to parties nearly every night; she starts to wonder if the fame will go to his head and that he will change for the worse. When the lease comes up on their apartment, and they find themselves going to homeless, they decide to live their dream of being in the country. However, Laurence finds it hard adjusting to country life and the constant repairs of the house. Kate sends him back to New York to finish his book, while she completes the house. Throw in the mix a Broadway writer angry at his bad review plotting revenge on the MacKays and a starlet setting out to seduce Laurence; and you have one highjink-filled film.

Why Professor Laurence MacKay is Awesome:

Laurence does spend a majority of the film a jerk as fame and flattery have turned him from the person he was into this stranger; but when such things are pointed out to him, he realizes his mistakes and the old Laurence resurfaces. Above all he loves his wife and his children, turning down the siren and staying true to them.

For more on David Niven, go to On the 7th Day ‘Til Christmas: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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14) Regan Reilly from The Regan Reilly Mysteries by Carol Higgins Clark

Regan is the daughter of mystery writer Nora Reilly, and funeral director Logan Reilly. Instead of joining either parent’s professions, she decides to become a private investigator.

Why Regan Reilly is Awesome:

She is a great private detective who is always looking in every direction for the answer to any problem that may come her way. She is a likable character,intelligent, along with being caring and compassionate. I am looking forward to reading more of her novels.

For more on Regan Reilly check out my sister blog Mysterious Eats with Decked

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13) Bridget Hennessy from 8 Simple Rules

Paul Hennessy is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate, a nurse, and they have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, middle child, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is the youngest, an adorable sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues.

Why Bridget Hennessy is Awesome:

While at first Bridget only cares about her looks and popularity, we see that as the show progresses and she grows up that her character develops and she begins to extend in her interests and hobbies. She cares about her family and tries to be there for them; especially after the death of her father. The fact that her ex-boyfriend is dating her sister bothers her at first, but ultimately she cares more about her sister and wants her to be happy. She may not be the most intelligent person in schoolwork, but her kindness and compassion grows with her.

I love the episodes when she dates her tutor Jeremy, Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I wish they had had more of him.

For more on 8 Simple Rules, go to It’s Fantastico!

12) Finn O’Finnegan from Too Many Leprechauns Or How That Pot o’ Gold Got to the End of the Rainbow by Stephen Krensky

Finn O’Finnegan returns home and finds that leprechauns have invaded his town of Dingle, making shoes and keeping anyone from the town from sleeping, working, or cooking, etc. O’Finnegan comes up with a plan to out trick them, and be able to enjoy his mother’s soda bread.

Why Finn O’Finnegan is Awesome:

This is a cute children’s book with a great main character in O’Finnegan. He looks like a rogue or a rascal, so a lot of people don’t trust him; but it doesn’t matter what he looks like, he has brains in his head and uses them to not only outsmart the Leprechauns, but save his whole village. A hilarious story and perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day.

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11) Sharon McKendrick from The Parent Trap

Susan is traveling to camp from California. She meets Sharon from Boston. This wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that they look exactly alike. That’s right, Sharon and Susan are twins, separated after their parents divorced, as each took one sister home with them. The two become friends and decide to switch places in order to get to know the other parent and reunite their parents. Unfortunately, a lot has changed while Susan was away. Her father met someone and is engaged! Now the girls are trying to reformulate their plan to break up her dad and his fiancé, and get their mom and dad back together.

Why Sharon is Awesome:

So both girls are Irish on their mom’s side, but as Susan wasn’t really raised by her mother, I decided to include only Sharon.

Sharon is very talented in music, conversation, art, elocution, etc. She is also very intelligent, putting together the fact that they are siblings long before Susan.

We also see that out of the two, Sharon is quieter and kinder; trying to be friends, or at least civil, with Susan in the beginning, only going to war after the first shots were fired. Sharon is also very brave as she lets her untrained sister cut her hair and pierce her ears, (there are some things I would never let my sister do even though I love her). A fun and sweet character you can’t help but love (and so much better than the remake.)

For more on The Parent Trap, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more Hayley Mills, go to That Darn Cat

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10) Paul Hennessy from 8 Simple Rules

Paul Hennessy (John Ritter) is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate, a nurse, and they have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is adorable and a sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues.

Why Paul Hennessy is Awesome:

Paul Hennessy is a great dad. At times he can be a little overprotective of his girls, but he only wants the best for them. He knows how guys are and he wants to help their teen years be good ones, (he also is having a hard time letting go). As always John Ritter is hilarious, I just like to think of Paul Hennessy being Jack Tripper with a family.

For more on John Ritter, go to She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

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9) Sarah Nolan from Must Love Dogs

Sarah (Diane Lane) is a 40-year old, divorced, kindergarten teacher. Her brother and sisters are all happily married, and her father is dating (on the internet); so they all think it is time she put herself out there and started again. After an embarrassing snafu in which she ends up accepting an email invite from her father, she tries to navigate the dating world, both electronically and physically. As she begins dating, she finds herself drawn between two very different men: the strong, silent, divorced, father of one of her students (Dermot Mulroney); and the talkative, less orthodox, unexpected, recently divorced boat craftsman (John Cusack). Whom will she choose? Or will this voyage into dating confirm that she is better off with a dog?

Why Sarah is Awesome:

I like that Sarah is a very real character, expressive of people today who are lost in the new way of dating; along with being comfortable in herself and what she likes/wants. She enjoys a quiet life of being with friends, family, animals to love, old movies to watch, etc. You connect to her because she could easily be you, a friend, a family member; she just feels so real.

Also Sarah is brave to begin dating after her jerk of a husband. She also is sweet and funny (only negative, it takes her a while to spot the real winner of the two men.)

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8) Lady Henrietta Flusky from Under Capricorn

This film takes place in early 19th Century Australia. Australia has formerly been a place where England sent their criminals: serving out their sentence and living there, or returning home to England. Now however, more and more “good” citizens have found themselves emigrating to Australia and civilizing the towns. The new Governor, Sir Richard, arrives bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare. Charles meets, Samson “Sam” Flusky, an ex-convict, former murderer, and prospering land owner. He intrigues him in a business deal and brings Charles to his house, in which he meets Sam’s wife, Lady Henrietta, who turns out to be an old family friend. Charles soon spends all his time at the house and finds something strange about Henrietta’s actions, as she is no longer the same woman he knew. As with all Alfred Hitchcock films, there is suspense, mystery, and an old secret’s truth is revealed.

Why Lady Henrietta Flusky is Awesome:

Now if my little synopsis has encouraged you to watch the film, then stop reading. If you aren’t interested in watching the film, proceed.

Lady Henrietta spends most of the film going insane from her guilt at killing her brother, the guilt of Sam taking the blame for it, not understanding Sam’s drive (he feels unworthy of her), unable to figure out how to talk to him, and being harassed by a maid who is hoping to replace her as Mrs. Flusky.

However, we discover later how much Henrietta cares for her husband. She loves only him and would do anything to help him. When an accidental shooting looks like he will spend the rest of his days in prison, she is willing to speak up and admit who really killed her brother, (something she would have done in the beginning to save him but was stopped by Sam), and go to prison if it means securing Sam’s freedom. She loves him and would do all she can to help him in any way.

For more on Under Capricorn, go to I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

For more Ingrid Bergman go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

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7) George McFly from Back to the Future

In Back to the Future Marty McFly, Michael J. Fox, accidentally goes back in time in a time machine built by his friend Dr. Emmet “Doc” Brown. When he gets there he accidentally changes the future by causing his parents not to meet. So not only does he have to discover a way to get back to the future, he also has to get them back together before he ceases to exist.

Why George McFly is Awesome:

George is an incredibly sweet, intelligent, and talented guy. He’s the type that you always want for a friend. A geek, he has never dreamed of stepping out and taking a risk; even though he is in love with Lorraine. However, with a little encouragement from Marty, (and Darth Vader from Planet Vulcan), he will do anything to stand up and protect the person he cares most about.

For more on George McFly and Back to the Future, go to I Will Face My Fears for You: Back to the Future (1985)

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6) Macaulay “Mike” Connor from The Philadelphia Story

Tracy Lorde (Katherine Hepburn), high society girl, is planning on getting married again and wants everything to go perfect, but unfortunately that is not in the cards. First, her ex-husband C. K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) returns to her life trying to reunite. Spy Magazine wants to do a feature on her and have sent in a reporter, Macaulay “Mike” Connor (Jimmy Stewart), and a photographer to do the story. She has to contend with them snooping around and try to hide that her father has run off with a dancer. She enlists her uncle to pretend to be her father, which as you can tell brings on gaffes and guffaws. As Tracy spends time with Dexter Haven, Connor, and her fiancé George Kittredge; she starts to wonder who it is she is really in love with and wishes to marry.

Why Mike Connor is Awesome:

Mike is a top reporter: sarcastic, snoopy, cynical, sharp edged, cold, and full of wit. However, while he seems like your typical newshound, there is much more to him than meets the eye. Connor has a romantic soul; a compassionate and tenderness about him that is revealed in the short stories he has written and when he romances Tracy. At first he is a little prejudiced at the upper class, seeing them as snobs looking down at him; but when such judgement is proved false he realizes his mistake and finds himself enjoying the company of the upper crust. A great character and played wonderfully by the fantastic Jimmy Stewart.

For more on Jimmy Stewart, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

5) Detective Phoebe O’Hara from Kindergarten Cop

Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been on the case of putting away drug dealer Cullen Crisp for a long time. Every time they get a witness, Crisp somehow finds out and takes them out. The only one left is his ex-wife, but she took off with their child, and changed their names. They have managed to locate the area she was in, but have no idea their names or what they look like. All they know is that the child is six years old. He is partnered with Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Pamela Reed), ex-kindergarten teacher turned detective. They are going to pretend to be husband and wife while she teaches at the school in order to hunt out which kid is Cullen Crisp Jr. Unfortunately, O’Hara gets food poisoning and Kimble has to be the teacher. He thinks it will be a cinch, but those of us who have worked with kids know nothing is ever that easy.

Why Detective Phoebe O’Hara is Awesome:

I just love this character. Here is a petite woman who is is incredibly strong and able to hold her own against the toughest criminals. She is intelligent and quick witted, assessing situations and navigating them on the fly. For instance, when she realizes that Kimble is attracted to one of the teachers, she rewrites their cover story in seconds, becoming his “sister” and flawlessly speaking in an Austrian accent. I also love that she is always eating, and not just healthy food, but good food, calories don’t matter. Besides that she is hilarious, every time she is on the screen I am cracking up. A fantastic and fun character.

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4) Doris Walker from Miracle on 34th Street

Doris is in charge of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade but is experiencing a major problem when the person she hired to be Santa is drunk! Luckily she finds a man who is the exact image of Santa and can have him fill in, a man who goes by Kris Kringle. He is then hired on at the store and becomes even more invested in her life as he moves in with her  neighbor (and guy she is interested in); along with befriending her daughter and helping teach her how to be a child. But when Kris insists that he is the “real” Santa Claus, it lands him in a mental facility, the only way out?A huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is “real”.

Why Doris Walker is Awesome:

So some of you might be wondering, how do I know that Doris Walker is Irish, after all, Walker is an English name? Well, first of all Walker is her married name so it has no bearing on her ethnicity, and secondly: every character that O’Hara plays is Irish because she is Irish.

Doris Walker is a great character because here is a woman who was so totally destroyed by her husband’s misdeeds (we are never told what they are but they must have been bad), but works hard to not only provide for herself and her daughter; but be sure to spend as much quality time with her. She is kind and caring, not wanting Kris at first in her life, but once she gets to know him finds herself falling for his charm and wanting to help him in any way. She stands up to others trying to trick him and get rid of him, vowing to be no part of their evil plan. She spends a lot of time going against imagination, blind trust, and faith for realism; but in the end realizes she is wrong and tries to raise her daughter to believe in those intangible things and to believe in Kris. “I was wrong when I told you that, Susie. You must believe in Mr. Kringle and keep right on doing it. You must have faith in him.” She even “writes a letter to Santa”, encouraging and supporting him.

For more on Miracle on 34th Street, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Maureen O’Hara, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

3) Andrew O’Brien from Copper

Copper is about the NYPD in the mid 19th century. New York is a crazy place with the Civil War  going on bringing tension between Southerners and Northerners; the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. Corky is one of the “coppers” trying to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

Why Andrew O’Brien is Awesome:

Andre O’Brien is a good man. He is good to his woman, making her his one and only, along with not staying out too late but being home at night (as if he didn’t she would probably belt him). He’s a good friend, always  there for Corky when he is needed, no matter the job. Honorable and loyal to the end. He is also a good cop; protecting, patrolling, and caring for the people in his community. That’s why I put him up so high, he’s all around a great man and as everyone knows a good man is hard to find.

For more Copper, go to Simply Fantastic

2) Father Lonergan from The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man tells the story of Irish-American born Boxer Sean “Trooper Thorn” Thornton (John Wayne), returning to Ireland to regain his family land. What no one but Father Lonergan knows is that Thornton killed a man in the ring, and decided to give up boxing and fighting for good. While in Ireland Thornton tries to adapt to the culture and at the same time falls for the feisty, traditional Mary Kate Danagher (Maureen O’Hara). Thornton wants to date her, but has to go through all the traditional methods of courtship, something extremely foreign to him.

Why Father Lonergan is Awesome:

Father Lonergan is a kindly priest who cares about the people in the community and tries to help them in any way he can. He is the first to accept Sean Thornton into the community, as others are not quite so welcoming of an “American” (they don’t recognizing him as Irish). Father Lonergan is helpful in not only explaining the culture and the way life is to Thornton, but there to counsel him and Mary-Kate through their matrimony.

Even though Father Lonergan is Catholic, and is most of the people, when the Protestant church is about to be shut down by its overseers for lack of members, Father Langoren gets his congregation to pretend they are part of the church so that Rev. Playfair can remain in the area. Even though he might not agree on everything, Father Lonergan is there for any one who needs help in the community, no matter what.

But while Father Lonergan is a kind priest, there is a lot more to him than one would imagine. He is an avid boxing fan (which is how he knows Thornton’s secret) and the leader of the local IRA. For him he doesn’t want to have bloodshed or bombings (which is what most of us think of when we hear IRA), but he wants to unite the Irish people so that they achieving independence and freedom.

For more on The Quiet Man, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

1) Jessica B. Fletcher AKA J.B. Fletcher from Murder She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher is a retired, widowed schoolteacher from Cabot Cove, Maine. When she writes a book for fun she never dreamed it would take off as it did or that she would become one of the best-selling mystery writers in the United States. Besides writing her stories, Jessica always manages to come upon a mystery and murder. Using her Miss Marple-ian way of observing; she manages to solve every case she comes upon (and still have time to write).

Why Jessica B. Fletcher is Awesome:

No matter how wealthy, famous, or powerful she becomes: Jessica always stays the same. She never uses any of this to abuse others, manipulate those she comes across, or have it mold her into a different person. She still visits her extensive relatives, always having time to aid them in anything they need. She is never too busy to make new friends (from all walks of life), help a struggling writer, give advice when needed, tutor those who need help, fundraise for charities, etc. Even when she solves case after case, she never lords over the police or tries to take over investigations; she is respectful and offers her observations. She is kind, caring, understanding, compassionate, adorable, sweet, intelligent, and never says I told you so.

For more on Murder She Wrote, go to Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

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So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some soda bread made by my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. And my yearly tradition, watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish.

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For the 2013 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes 

For the 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

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Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

LifeofaFangirl

Yep another Fangirl post, chock full of all the things I love. Be sure to check out a few of these as they are awesome and you are sure to enjoy them almost as much as me.

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Eureka

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Eureka is a show that is The Twilight Zone merged with Twin Peaks. Now I know most of you are probably scratching your heads at those references, but I will be talking about them later in a future post.

I remember when SciFi, or SyFy as it is now called, first brought this show on TV. I thought it was an interesting idea and happy that they set it in Northern California as people always forget that there is a lot more in California than just San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I wasn’t into it, but my sister would watch it. It wasn’t until Amazon put it up on Prime that I started watching it and getting into the series.

So U.S. Marshal, Jack Carter, is bringing his daughter home to Los Angeles from who knows where she had run away to. It is late and raining and the two get lost, crashing the car. They walk into the nearby town of Eureka, Oregon (I don’t know why they didn’t just use Eureka, California). With their car messed up, they have to stay in the town a few days and discover that it isn’t any regular area. It is a town full of scientists, giving them a place where they can work and create in privacy. Nearby is the company Global Dynamics that employees most of the scientists, contracting to the military. While they are there, one of the townspeople are creating a time machine that causes a huge rift in time and almost destroys the town. Jack Carter is able to come up with a plan to help over come it, and due to his efforts is promoted from U.S. Marshal to Sheriff of Eureka.

What I like about Eureka is that the Sheriff is very smart but also very much a regular guy. This makes him extremely relatable and also allows him to solve the hard cases, with help, in that he has a different way of viewing things than anyone else. Each episode revolves around a crisis involving an invention, along with giving us clues to a mystery that runs the whole season. It is a very fun and good show and I highly recommend it to anyone into science and mysteries.

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Make It or Break It

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I started watching this show because I loved the film Stick It and had wished, too late, to be a gymnast. If I could go back in time I think I would try it, whether or not I would compete and try for the Olympics. Anyways, this show is about four girls trying to achieve the dream of Olympic gold, while at the same time dealing with family, friends, and regular teenage girl stuff.

First we have Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren), who is rich as both her parents used to be famous and are rich. She is secretly dating fellow gymnast Carter, which has to be a secret as dating is not allowed in the gym or by her parents. Carter ends up sleeping with Kaylie’s best friend Lauren, as Kaylie wouldn’t sleep with him. Most of the first season is Carter trying to keep it a secret, Lauren trying to win him, and Kaylie being oblivious. When she finds out she is pissed, but eventually forgives Lauren. Kaylie goes on to win the National Chap and has a better chance at getting the gold. Afterwards, Kaylie feels a lot of pressure as everyone had expected Payson to win, and feel as if Kaylie didn’t deserve her title as Payson was out with a back injury. She constantly feels as if she has to defend herself and her talents. The gym brings on Austin Tucker (Zane Holtz), who I really liked, but Kaylie dislikes. Kaylie also becomes anorexic as the pressures from the gym, her father and mother, her parent’s divorce, and a need to be in control. Now a lot of people made fun of this as abcfamily was trying too hard or something, but I thought this was done very realistically and well in regarding what it is like to be anorexic and how other issues can compound into it. Austin sees what is going on and helps her come to terms with it and seek help. While Kaylie is recuperating, she starts singing and hanging out with Damon. She eventually is ready for worlds, bringing in the gold. The third season sees Kaylie on the team in London, getting ready for the gold and Austin’s girlfriend.

Payson Keeler (Ayla Kell) is from a middle class family that is always struggling to get the money to support their daughter’s dream. Payson is extremely focused on her goals, being the best of all the girls on the team. In the first season Lauren‘s father blackmails their coach, getting rid of him. Sasha Belov is brought in, and Payson is ecstatic as he is one of her idols. When they hear of a party in the area, Payson does not want to go, but ends up coming too as she wants to make sure the other girls stay out of trouble. She has some back problems, but conceals it from everyone. She ends up damaging herself and loses her chance at worlds and messes up her back completely. In the second season she starts a relationship with Nicky Russo, played by Cody Longo. This didn’t go far as he ended up leaving the series. I was sad about this as I LOVED him. I was also sad as every guy Payson started to get with, ended up disappearing shortly after they proclaimed their feelings. Payson was the best as she worked through her trauma and disappointment to try other things, and was brave enough to try an experimental project, restoring her. When she comes back, her body isn’t exactly the same and she finds herself not being able to do the same things, changing to be one on grace. She gets involved with Max, Austin’s friend, and they start dating, but then he left to be the lead guy on Revenge. She goes on making it to London, and meeting a guy there.

Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo) is the rich, spoiled, princess as she is the apple of her dad’s eye and used to getting anything she wants. She wants Carter, and his constant denying her for Kaylie makes her incredibly angry and want him more. Kaylie finds out and is angry, but the two work through their issues and become friends again. A new guy, Max, comes into the gym and is into Payson, but Lauren wants him and bad. She constantly tries to seduce him, not always getting the responses she desires. On one of their dates she gets in a car accident, she’s okay but Max is out of the competition. She eventually focuses on her gymnastics and sees herself setting off for London.

Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbes) is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She has a single mother who does nails, and later works as a waitress at a strip club to make ends meet. She also has a younger brother in a wheelchair. She has been trying for years to get into a gym, and eventually scores a scholarship. She faces the most issues out of the girls as she has money she is trying to earn to stay afloat, trying to take care of her brother, and trying to befriend girls who have been friends for years and hate her. Eventually, they all become friends, but it takes quite a while. She meets this guy, Razor at work and kind of likes him; but when he goes out of town, his best friend Damon fills in for him. Damon was the best character, and when the series got weird and too silly, he was the anchor I loved, the reason I watched.

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Yep, he was awesome. He was always there for her, he helped her practice, he got her family to Nationals, he brought Radiohead, when she wanted to wait to have sex he was all for it, when she decided she wanted to be with him and ended up pregnant (the actress was pregnant in real life) he went after to her to help raise the baby. He was awesome and hot…and I love him. 🙂

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Michael Crichton

History

For me the love of this author began with one book Jurassic Park. You see I have always loved the series, it is one of my all-time favorites, (and you can read a review here). After one of my constant viewings, my mother mentioned it was based on the novel. I decided to start reading his book, buying every one I would find in a book sale. I still have one to go, The Andromeda Strain, but besides that I have read everything he has ever written. I love all his writings as the characters are great, the plot always suspenseful, and I love the melding of science-fiction and technology with horror, history, etc. Almost every book has been turned into a film, but sadly I have yet to view how they all were done. Each one is amazing and I recommend them all.

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Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park- In this book, a genetic company has decided to try to bring back dinosaurs. By using frog DNA to fill in the gaps, they have created new versions of the creatures. John Hammond, the head of the company, has asked a group of people to visit and review his island. Ready to review is paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant; paleobotanist, Dr. Ellie Slatter; Ian Malcolm; and Hammond’s two grandchildren. Of course, “life can find a way”, and these creatures do what they want to; causing havoc on the island. This has quite a few differences then the film, with the dinosaurs escaping the island; a pterodactyl fight, more deaths of the group, and no relationship between Dr. Grant and Dr. Slatter. However, I think both are done very well and could watch the movie or read the book again and again.

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The Lost World- Now when I first watched the movie, I thought it was okay and denoted it as my least fav in the series. However, after I read the book,  I had to agree that the movie was better. This book was okay, it moves much slower than the original and doesn’t have as many lovable characters. In this book, Hammond reveals that there is a second island of creatures that survived from the previous book. He sends in Malcolm with a crew of people, and two stowaway kids. This isn’t a horrible book, but just pales in comparison to the original.

Timeline- This is one of my mother’s absolute favorite books, and she would constantly talk about how great it was. I decided that this would be the next book that I would read of Crichton, and it was AMAZING! I love this book so much. We have group of graduate students and archeologists, all working in Medieval history. One is focused on architecture, one on technology, one on fighting, etc. They find an amazing discovery, and are immediately swept off to a secret organization that has produced a technology allowing traveling through time, right back to medieval times. The group goes to find a friend sent before, and find that living history is fun, but also incredibly dangerous. The film was also really good, starring Paul Walker and Gerard Butler, the only thing I disliked about it was that in the book each person encountered what they were studying, helping them further their research. In the movie they cut that out, sadly.

Airframe- Just an ordinary day and an ordinary flight from Hong Kong to Denver. That all changes when it crashes with a hundred injured and three killed. What happened to the flight? It’s up to investigators to discover who was at fault; the plane, the airport, or the pilot?

A Case of Need- This was Crichton’s first novel and utilizes his medical training. The book is set in a Boston Medical Center, where a patient receiving surgery is killed. Is it just an accident or murder?

Congo- Deep in the Congo, near the ancient city of Zinj, eight American geologists are brutally and mysteriously murdered. Karen Ross, the project supervisor back in America, watches video feed of the massacre. In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot has been able to teach a gorilla named Amy over 600 signs, finger painting, etc. Lately, Amy has been acting strangely and painting horrible things, that Peter thinks maybe it is time to take her home. A map from the 17th century supposedly leading to Zinj matches up with Amy’s finger paintings exactly. When all three parties intersect, a strange expedition sets out to discover what holds Zinj. This was made into a less than stellar film, of which I will review in Horrorfest IV.

Disclosure- This is an interesting book, although it doesn’t seem like it in the beginning. Thomas Sander has had a bad day. He is passed over for a promotion by an old flame, and his new tech is having some glitches. When his boss asks him over for drinks, she immediately comes on to him. He refuses, and leaves. The next day she is charging him with sexual harassment and Sanders is fired. Luckily for Sanders, he accidentally recorded what happened and tries to turn the case around and sue his boss. But Sanders start wondering, why would his boss do that? Was she so upset that he turned her down? Or is there more to this case then meets the eye?

Eaters of the Dead- This is a retelling of Beowulf told from the point of an Arab courtier, who finds himself unwilling dragged along a quest to destroy the monster, Grendal. This too was turned into a film I have yet to watch, but starring Antonio Banderas.

Five Patients- This is a non-fiction volume that tells of Crichton’s experiences as an intern at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Great Train Robbery- This is another novel that I love. Based on the historical event, Crichton once again is able to meld the account with amazing characters. In this, the charming and persuasive Edward Pierce easily moves through society in Victorian London, all the while plotting the crime of the century…The Great Train Robbery.

Prey- This one of my all-time favorite books. The way Crichton writes it, it is so haunting and amazing. I don’t want to give too much away as you REALLY should read it.

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Jack Forman lost his job and took on being the one taking care of his daughter and the home. His wife works at Xymos Corporation and has been acting weird. Other things start to seem strange, but Jack thinks it is nothing but his imagination. When his wife hires him on, he discovers that the mirco-bots that Xymos produces are not as benign as he was told. In fact, there is much more horrifying things happening than Forman could ever imagine.

Rising Sun-During the grand opening celebration of the new American headquarters of a Japanese company, the dead body of a beautiful woman is found. The investigation begins, and immediately becomes a headlong chase through a twisting maze of industrial intrigue and a violent business battle that takes no prisoners. This two was turned into a film I have yet to view.

Sphere- This book always makes me think of the film Forbidden Planet. In this a spaceship on the floor of the ocean is discovered. Scientists prepare an expedition and head down to the ship, discovering a ship over 300 years old and holding a power much stronger than any could imagine. This power gives them increased abilities and paranoia. One scientists starts using his power to attack the ship and people, but which one? I really, really loved the book and couldn’t stop reading it the first time I had it. They turned this also into a film, of which I have had problems getting my hands on it. When I do see it, you can bet it will be a part of a future Horrorfest.

State of Fear- In this book Crichton spins a tale of political conspiracy. As eco-terrorists and global warming are the biggest issues ands causing all kinds of destruction, one investigator starts wondering if whether this is just a smokescreen for something far more sinister.

The Terminal Man- Harry Benson suffers from horrible seizures that cause violent outbursts. He is experimented on and has electrodes placed deep in his brain’s pleasure centers, effectively short-circuiting Harry’s seizures with pulses of bliss. The surgery is successful, but while Benson is in recovery, he escapes and his violent impulses have grown; leaving a horror in his wake.

Travels- An account of Michael Crichton’s travels abroad and all over the world.

Next- This is his last complete novel and is an amazing story. In a world where we focus on our genes, what diseases we might carry, taking apart our genome; Crichton speaks on how such technology can get out of hand. A man going in for tests ends up having his blood and genes patented and in a sense sells his children into slavery of a company. A man who wins custody from his wife on the basis of her high possibility of becoming afflicted with deadly diseases; and an ape human born of gene splicing.

Pirate Latitudes- This was Crichton’s last book, but was unfinished. It was a “complete” manuscript, but was missing the special Crichton charm that each story has. Jamaica in 1665 is the home of people willing to go after gold and riches of the Spanish and Portuguese. If caught they are pirates, if they make it out with the wealth then England gets a cut and everyone is happy. Captain Edward Hunter is one such type and decides to go after the dangerous island of El Trinidad. A crazy scheme that will have enormous bounty if it succeeds, or incredible death if it fails; leads Captain Hunter and his team on a a swashbuckling adventure.

For more on Michael Crichton, go to Just Follow the Screams: The Lost World (1997)

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The Mentalist

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So I started watching this show on accident. The episode “Red Handed” came on after something else I was watching. In the episode “Red Handed” the CBI (California Bureau of Investigations) team discovers a right hand straddling the California and Nevada state lines. After measuring it, they discover that it is inside the California boundary, and therefore the CBI’s responsibility. After that I was hooked. I caught up on the previous episodes and became a big fan.

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So the series is about Patrick Jane, played by the incredibly handsome Simon Baker, who is a “psychic” consultant to the CBI.

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Patrick Jane has such style. He only drinks tea, he has an Aston Martin, and always dresses amazingly sharp. Anyways, Patrick Jane isn’t really a psychic. He is extremely intelligent and observant, a sort of kind, sweet, and charming Sherlock Holmes. He never went to school, but was raised by his swindler father who touted him a psychic in his carnival show. He married a woman from a similar background and the tweo had a daughter, Charlotte. He went on to make millions off his “psychic ability”. It gained the attention of Red John, a serial killer, who murders his wife and child. This brings Jane to consulting with CBI as he does it from his guilt and in order to get a view of the official files. Red John becomes Jane’s Moriarity as in each season Jane continuously searches for him.

The team is lead by Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), who is a no-nonsense cop. She is the perfect foil for Jane as Lisbon is tough and serious; while Jane is comedic and more fanciful. They have a platonic relationship, but like Bones and other cop shows there is something simmering under the surface.

Then we have Kimball Cho, who second to Jane is my favorite character. Cho is always reserved and speaks in a monotone.

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But he is very intense as well. He is honest, straightfoward, observant, and altogeether awesome. We later find out that there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. He used to be a baseball player, gang member, and Special Forces.

Then we have Wayne Rigsby who is absolutely adorable, sweet, and charming. He was raised by a dad in motorcycle gangs and coming in and out of prison. He’s more relaxed than Cho, but more serious than Jane. He is also in love with fellow team member Grace Van Pelt. Grace Van Pelt is tough, but sweeter than Lisbon. She has a famous father, and tries to live up to his name. She is always focused on the job, but Rigsby constant infatuation starts her thinking of maybe more with him.

I used to watch this every Thursday without fail, but school got in the way and I am way behind in desperate need of catching up. The show just ended this last February, which saddens me as it was an awesome piece of TV.

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Midsomer Murders

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So I love the library.

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When I was in college I would spend hours in the library; working, reading, watching movies or TV shows. The library had a great selection of movies and TV shows that I really utilized. But that library wasn’t enough for me. I also went to the city library for books and films. Every time I went there I would see the DVDs for the show Midsomer Murders and wanted to check them out, but never felt I had the time. This summer as I would write my blog posts on my computer, I would also watch movies and TV shows on my phone. Or at least try to as I had a little screen. One day Midsomer Murders popped up in related videos and I was estatic watching them. Now youtube doesn’t have every episode and I watched them out of order, but I really, really enjoyed the show. When I got another free month on Netflix I started rewatching the episodes and loved it all over again!

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This series is based off a book series and set in England. How their Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) teams works is that they have a county in which they travel all over investigating, sort of like the Sheriff’s department. Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is head of the Midsomer unit and is extremely intelligent and excellent at his job. Unfortunately for his wife, a murder tends to occur whenever she wants to do something, causing Barnaby to miss it. He also has a daughter,  Gillie, who is in college and studying to be an actress. He starts out with his assistant being Sgt. Gavin Troy, who I didn’t like as he wasn’t that bright, and same for his second assistant Sgt. Dan Scott. I really liked his third assistant Ben Jones, because he was very smart and actually helped solve the mysteries. The series is ongoing, but I don’t really like the newer episodes as Tom Barnaby retired and his nephew, John Barnaby, took over. He was good, but Tom was way better. Tom had a way of gathering information that made you not realize how intelligent he was until the end when he is the only one who has put the whole picture together. The mysteries were amazing, and often times really puzzling. The only thing that I kept questioning was, how do these small country towns survive with so many deaths? I highly recommend this for any mystery fan.

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Murder She WroteMurderSheWrote

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show. I grew up watching it and wish they had still played it on TV as I got older as I truly love this show.

Angela Lansbury plays J.B. Fletcher, former high school teacher and now famous mystery author. Every episode Jessica (the J in J.B.) will be minding her own business working on something or visiting a friend and get caught up in a mystery. Usually she can either get someone to share info with her, or is able to have some kind of insight that solves the case. If you love mysteries, then this is a show for you!

For more Murder She Wrote, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heros

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w:outFandoms

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For the previous fangirl post, go to A FANtastic Voyage

Stay tuned for part 11

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