Fantastic Fantasies

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Well here we are with part three of my fangirl posts. As shown above, I am obsessed with quite a few things and fangirl over them hard core. To make this easier on me and you, I have decided to break this up into a series of posts, with each fandom listed alphabetically. For post one, go to Fanning All Over the Place. For post two, go to Simply Fantastic.

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Alfred Hitchcock

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Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite absolute favorite director. I just love how the man thinks and what he creates. He is a true genius. Now I know he has some serious issues, like the way he treated the women he worked with, (especially Vera Miles and poor, poor Tipi Hedren); but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a true revolutionary. He not only created the psychological thriller genre, blending horror and mystery; but the first slasher horror genre, and influenced millions of writers and directors. Oh his works are just glorious. I’ve seen nearly every film he’s ever made and I just love him and all his work.

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This past year I reviewed three of his films for Horrorfest III and that is just the beginning. I hope to one day completely review every film he has ever done. For those of you who don’t know him, here is a short list of my favorites (that I recommend watching): Blackmail (1929), The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1942), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rope (1948), Under Capricorn (1949), Strangers on a Train (1950), Dial “M” for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Trouble With Harry (1955), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Torn Curtain (1966), and Frenzy (1972)

Besides films you also have his TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents in which he picked some of the greatest writers of the day, for example Ray Bradbury. And as mentioned before many great actors were on his show: such as Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, etc. In fact, one of Steve McQueen’s early gigs was on that TV show. The show was similar The Twilight Zone, but unlike that show, you never knew if things would turn out good or bad for the main characters.

He is an amazing artist, using film as his medium, and I strongly recommend checking out anything that has his name on it.

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

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Criminal Minds

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Ah this show. How I love thee. Every Wednesday I would watch the new episode. It was set on stone. At least until my sophomore year at college, when classes I needed to take got in the way. 😦 Teachers just don’t understand.

So when I saw previews for this show, I was like I so gotta watch this. And for three reasons.

1) I was deeply interested in behavioral analysis. I mean you have just read how obsessed I was with Alfred Hitchcock. This show is logically the next step. In fact when I first went to college I studied psychology, hoping to work for the FBI one day. However, I hated the psychology classes as we kept having to talk about ourselves. I ended up switching to history as I wanted to talk about other people. I still love this show and what they do very much.

2) Thomas Gibson

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So Handsome!!!

Yep, if you have read my This Isn’t Love, This is Ectasy, post you know that I just find this man incredibly attractive. A fan from Dharma and Greg to Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas to Criminal Minds– I’ve got to watch them all. 🙂

Thomas Gibson plays the leader of the unit, Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner.

3) Inigo Montoya

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Just kidding. It’s not Inigo Montoya, but the actor who played him, Mandy Patinkin. He plays the amazingly smart agent Jason Gideon.Patinkin left the show, as he felt the content was too dark, and was replaced by FBI Agent David Rossi. Rossi is okay, but Gideon was much better.

So the FBI unit is comprised of the leader Agent Hotchner and Gideon who I have already talked about. There is also Elle Greenaway, Cuban and the sexual predator profiler. She only lasts for the first season as she gets shot during a case, and after that can’t really deal with the stresses of the FBI. We have Derek Morgan (played by the very handsome Shermar Moore) and appears to be the standard tough guy, ex-athlethe, charming, ladies’ man-but you find out there is far more to him than what appears at first glance. Spencer Reid is a super genius and the youngest member of the unit. He is only 22 in the first episode but already has three PhDs, two BAs, and has a photographic memory. Reid is utterly adorable.

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And you just can’t help but love him. Now Agent Hotch is the leader but Agent Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau is the liasion between the FBI and the town they move into to help out. She’s sweet, kind, adorable; and when the show dropped her the fans revolted, bringing her back. Rounding the team out is Penelope Garcia, the computer whiz and as quirky adorable as NCIS‘ Abby.

Now we head out to the character I hate. Emily Prentiss.

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She’s brought in to replace Greenaway after she leaves the BAU. She’s the daughter of a special agent and is too good. They make the character just too much that she is unreal and annoying. She knows like forty different languages and can speak them flawlessly, she used to work for Interpol, she is so “beautiful” that no guy can keep from asking her out, etc. It’s just too much. But one of the worse things about her, was when she first joined the show she would make fun of Reid.

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Reid is an adorable puppy. Anyone who is cruel to him has no soul.

But besides her, the show is amazing, the characters and storylines are truly great and I highly recommend it to anyone.

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CSI

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CSI was a revolutionary show. It brought back the cop drama, but instead focusing on the forensic side of the investigations. Of course the show isn’t completely realistic as they immediately get lab results and always manage to find their killer in a day or two. But the show was really good as the characters and storylines worked really well.

So if Wednesday was reserved for Criminal Minds I would typically spend my Fridays with AMC watching reruns of CSI.

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Yep, they’re pretty exciting.

So the orginal show was just CSI and took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now besides some great storylines, the real reason this show was so awesome was Dr. Gilbert “Gil” Grissom played by William Peterson. He’s a forensic entomologist and was just great. He was always cool and collected, no matter how tense the situation got. He was also always a wiseguy (in wit and sarcasm). When he left, the show ended for me. It was just not the same. The show has gone through a lot of upheaval this past year;  losing their original characters, bringing in more and causing it to just not be for me anymore.

With the extreme popularity of CSI the producers decided to do a spin-off and create the same show in a different location. What was born was CSI:Miami. Now many people don’t like this, but I admit it. It was my favorite of the CSI franchise. It had some silly moments and silly characters, but I loved it most. My favorite character was Ryan Wolfe played by Jonathan Togo. He came in after one of the team members was killed. His beginnings are hard as the crew are still hurt over the death of their colleague and aren’t exactly warm to to him. He’s smart, detailed, funny, and hot. What more could you want?

 You also have the lead detective Horatio Caine, who is a very smart man, but more loved for his hilarious puns.

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And the third character I enjoyed, Eric Delko. He is the Derek Morgan of this show; strong, athletic, hot. He’s just a fun guy and I was one of the many fans upset with his death and happy when he overcame it and came back into the show.

Like CSI this show went through a  lot of dropping and adding characters and I stopped watching.

With the popularity of CSI and CSI: Miami, the producers decided to try again and created CSI: NY, but I never got into this version. It just didn’t appeal to me.

Now before I stop talking about this show, there is one more awesome thing that I have to mention. One of the most awesome things about this show is that they chose to use The Who songs for each show’s theme. CSI used Who Are YouCSI: Miami used Won’t Get Fooled Again, and CSI: NY used Baba O’Riley.

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Danosaurs

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This Youtube star is Dan from Danisnotonfire. It is a hilarious show as Dan just highlights funny moments and the awkwardness of his life.

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Not to mention being entertaining, he is also  really cute and has an English accent! Definitely a win. His videos are all amazing, so I’m just going to post one of my favs, but I definitely suggest checking all his stuff out.

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Deathbats

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So if you have read some of my previous posts, you might already be aware of my Avenged Sevenfold obsession. It all started when my loser ex and I first started dating. He was obsessed with the band. He gave me one CD to listen to, but not the others; having promised to make “the perfect” playlist, burn CDs, and mail me care packages. Of course he never did. In fact he never sent me anything but I sent him stuff. Rude, huh.

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Anyways, when we broke up I was sad and decided that I was going to check out a bunch of Avenged Sevenfold CDs and listen to their music. I did and I became OBSESSED with them.

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Now some of you may be asking, is the band really that good? Well I think so. I love the musical choices they make. One of my favorite things is that they are always trying something new and different, but it still remains uniquely them.

One thing I absolutely love is M. Shadows’ voice. It isn’t what mainstream would say is great, but totally works with the music created by the band. He’s also pretty hot.

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You also have Synyster Gates who is the attractive guitarist and an amazing musician.

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And Zachy Vengence. Killer name, killer looks, and killer talent. The trifecta!

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So here are a few of my favorite songs. I’ll only name a few so I don’t overwhelm you all. So some of my top, top favorites are: Unbound, Almost Easy, A Little Piece of Heaven, Seize the Day, Dear God, Flash of the Blade, Walk, Afterlife, Hail to the King, Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, Buried Alive, and So Far Away. There are plenty more to talk about, but that’s all for now.

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For more on Avenged Sevenfold, go to Unbound

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Disney

Disney

So I am a HUGE Disney fan. I grew up on the films, TV shows, characters, etc. I am SUPER obsessed with it.

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I could go on and on about my favorite Disney things, but you know what? I’ve already done that. This summer I devoted all of June to 30 posts on Disney. I covered some of my favorite animated features, Disney Original Movies (DCOMs), Disney live action films, Disney songs, etc. To read more on it, check out 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition. I’m thinking of doing it again as there is just so much Disney wonder and fantastica that needs to be covered.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll never be to old for it.

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For more on Disney, go to The Little Moreland

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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

 

So Downton Abbey? How do I describe this phenomenon? Hmm….

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Just kidding, it is nowhere near as confusing as that.

So this show came out a few years ago and my mother wanted to watch the TV show, not me. She had been a fan of the series Upstairs, Downstairs, what Downton Abbey is a remake of. Both series chronicle the lives of the wealthy upstairs along with the servants downstairs. It didn’t sound that interesting to me, but my mom really wanted me to watch it. I did and fell in love with. Every Sunday night became tea and Downton Abbey.

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When the winter break ended and I returned to college, I got all my friends into it as well.

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At first they were like, “will I like this?” and I was like:

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They quickly became fans as well.

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So the first season begins with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and ends with the start of WWI in 1914. The second season picks up in WWI and ends 1919. The third season picks up in the same year and moves on into the 1920s.

So the manorhouse is Downton Abbey in England where the Crawley family live. Robert Crawley, Earl Grantham, and lord of the manor; Cora Crawley, his American wife; and their three daughters Mary, Edith, and Sybil. Robert’s mother, Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, doesn’t live there but visits most days.

The Dowager is amazingly funny and witty. She is a snob, but her snobbery is sometimes due to her naiveté of what lower classes do and go through. She is hilarious as her one-liners are amazing. She is practically everybody’s favorite character.

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Lord Grantham (Robert) is pretty traditional and takes the jobs of running the estate very seriously. Lady Cora clashes with the Dowager Countess and at many times finds herself at odds as she is not English, so she “doesn’t understand” things.

Then we have the three daughters. First is Mary who is the eldest and a whiney, spoiled brat. However, as the series progresses she does change as her circumstances cause her to realize how awful she is being and what she wants to be. As the series progresses you start to love her.

Next in line is Edith. Edith is a whiny brat as well. She is always jealous of her older sister’s beauty and attention. This causes her to constantly fight and find ways to ruin things for Mary, of which all end up troublesome for her.

And last is Sybil, who in my opinion is the best character of all. She is kind, considerate, sweet, funny, beautiful, and a real revolutionary. She wears a Middle Eastern outfit with pantaloons for her coming-out-party, gets involved with protests, meetings, radical theories, becomes an army nurse, and doesn’t care about someone’s station or name. She’s awesome.

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The series starts out with the Titanic sinking. On the Titanic was Mary’s first cousin and fiancé. Everyone in the Crawley family is upset because the estate is entailed, and with the cousin and his brother killed, no one knows to whom the estate goes next.

Let me back up a minute. Entailment was something that was done a lot in England. All the money, property, i.e. the whole estate was entailed to the next male heir.  Yep, and as we see the Crawleys have three girls. They had never worried about entailment as they always planned to have Mary married off to the cousin and none of the family would have to worry.

Now they have to discover the next male heir and hope to God that they can marry him off to their eldest daughter.

Enter Matthew Crawley

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Matthew Crawley is a lawyer and discovers that he is next to inherit and will become Lord Grantham, have a seat in Parliament, and own a large estate. He is flabbergasted at this, as he is just your average person. In fact he wants to refuse it, but gets talked into accepting it. The Dowager Countess and Lady Cora try to get Mary and Matthew together. Mary finds Matthew “too low class” and tries to get a rich man interested in her. Unfortunately, very few men are interested in a girl who’s fortune is entailed. Lady Cora and Lord Grantham are also trying to get Cora’s fortune/dowry out of the entailment. Edith is trying to foil all of Mary’s plans while at the same time trying her best to catch a rich man or hook Matthew. Sybil is Sybil. Matthew falls for Mary and tries to win her heart, but Mary has some issues to overcome before considering marriage to Matthew. At one point Cora becomes pregnant and we wonder if she may have a son and solve the whole problem. Murder, mystery, scheming, drama, and comedy galore! Of course before things can truly be resolved, WWI breaks out, changing everyone’s life as they know it.

Season 2 starts right out in WWI and portrays it as accurately as possible. Matthew finds himself in the trenches with some of the servants from Downton. Downton gets set up as a hospital for soldiers. Sybil is a nurse. Lord Grantham wants to fight but isn’t allowed to. And the series continues in keeping the drama, comedy, romance, and action. I won’t reveal any more or season three and four for those of you who haven’t checked it out and are interested.

Let me just say that if PBS really wanted money, this is all they would have to do.

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Now that is the upstairs, let’s take a look downstairs.

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We have Mr. Carson the Butler who runs the whole downstairs. He is stuck in his ways, but a truly lovable stick-in-the-mud.

Then there is Mrs. Hughes the head housekeeper. She runs the kitchen staff. She is no-nonsense and buisnesslike, but always has a soft spot and helps others.

Then we have Mr. Bates head valet (pronounced the English val-let not French va-lay). He is introduced to the household in episode one to the ire of the footman Thomas Barrow. Thomas thought that he would be the one to elevate in status and is upset at being passed over. Thomas tries to make life hard for Mr. Bates and turn everyone against him. Mr. Bates falls for Anna and the two have one of the best romances. They actually weren’t supposed to stay together, but the fans called for them. Power to the fans. Mr. Bates also has a lot of mystery and drama surrounding him.

Mrs. O’Brien is the lady’s maid and a cruel and calculating woman. She is a major snoop and always rooting out gossip.

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She only cares about her best interest and causes some serious problems for the family. She leaves after a secret she has comes out.

Anna is the sweetest, kindest, woman ever. She is one of the best characters, and I absolutely love her and Mr. Bates together. She is the head housemaid and Lady Mary’s confidant, often helping her out of some pretty bad scrapes. When Lady Mary marries, Anna  is elevated to Lady’s maid.

Thomas Barrow is the under-butler and he is a mean, horrible, cruel, bully. He picks on other footman and staff members, plays with girl’s hearts, spreads rumors, steals, etc. He leaves the household and goes off to war, which softens him a bit. After the war ends, he finds himself falling back into his old ways. He has a huge secret that is only known to a few.

William Mason is one of the kindest and most adorable footman ever, but leaves in the second season. He has a crush on the assistant cook, Daisy who doesn’t deserve him.

Alfred Nugent joins the household after William leaves. He is brought in to be a love triangle between Daisy and Ivy, but he’s very boring and bland.

Jimmy Kent is brought in and increases that love triangle to rhombus as his good looks, charm, and easygoing manner wins all the ladies’ hearts.

Moseley was Matthew’s butler and was supposed to go with him to war, but failed his exam. He moves into the Crawley manor when he can’t find himself another job as a butler. You see during and after the War, many families find themselves not having the money they once had. When he comes into the Crawley household, it is a little awkward as his function is a bit fuzzy.

Mrs. Patmore is the no-nonsense cook and an awesome character. She hilarious, sarcastic, and always hitting the nail on the head.

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She has this one great storyline in which she starts going blind and is afraid to tell anyone. She thinks that if they find out then she will be fired and what will she do next? Cooking is all she knows and cares about. When the Crawleys discover this, they actually pay for an operation to fix her eyes.

Daisy is my least favorite character. Ugh, she annoys me. She is in love with Thomas because she thinks his bullying is a sign of manliness. She never gets the hint that he is not interested in her, unless he can torment sweet William who has a crush on her. She uses William to try to make Thomas jealous, which instead only hurts William more. She falls for Alfred, who doesn’t care a fig for her. Her biggest role in the series is really just complaining. She complains ALL THE TIME. And like the teenage girl “this unfair” “I never get what I want” kind of complaining. I always just want her to shut up!

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Ivy is new and her only thing that defines her character is that she is a “modern” girl not afraid to let someone know that she likes them. Translation: She’s pretty fast.

Now the last character I’m going to talk about is Tom Branson who is in the middle of the upstairs and downstairs.

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Branson is the Irish chauffer. He is very interested in politics and Sybil. Yes, we have an mixed class romance. Now at first I didn’t like him as he was hotheaded, believed his opinions were the only right ones, wants to violently achieve Irish independence, etc. However, once he and Sybil ran off and eloped, he began to grow on me. After some traumatizing events, his personality changes as this personal destruction makes him realize that violence to achieve one’s goals is not the way. What else is really great is his friendship with Matthew, as the two really understand each other and trying to figure out your place. In fact his storyline if trying to see which “floor” he belongs in is really powerful.

 So after all that I bet you are wondering what else can be said about Downton Abbey? Well I found that Petula Clark did a really great job of sharing it, (that is of you make a few small changes):

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always watch  Downtown Abbey. When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry seems to help I know, watch Downtown Abbey. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares so watchDowntown Abbey. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. No finer place for sure. Downtown Abbey; everything’s waiting for you. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. Don’t wait a minute more watch Downtown Abbey.

For more on Downton Abbey, go to That’s What You Get

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For Part 1, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For Part 2, go to Simply Fantastic

And keep an eye out for Part 3!

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For more of my favorite artists and songs, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to When in Doubt

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Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

Hey everyone! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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So like I mentioned before, I wanted to do something to honor Saint Patrick’s Day but I didn’t really feel it was possible to do 17 posts about Irish-themed films as I wasn’t sure I could think of 17 films. Instead I decided to do something similar to the Chinese New Year Post and I am going to honor 17 awesome Irishmen and women from books and movies.

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17) Joseph Donnelly 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 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 West. As the two continue to work in America they find out that their road West will not be an easy one.

Why Joseph is awesome:

Now I love Tom Cruise in everything he is in; as I find him to be a superb actor and very good-looking. So of course I loved him in this. Besides the fact that he is played by Tom Cruise,  Joseph is a great character. Joseph is an amazing guy because of his patience and compassion. He cares for the spoiled Shannon, which is no easy feat. If I was Joseph I would have left that mean and spiteful thing to fend for herself. However, he eagerly tries to make her happy and when they reach their lowest point and Joseph cannot provide for her, he returns her to her family; sacrificing his love and happiness to save her life.

Besides that, he is hilarious. His “I do not wish to fight you” lines always leave me rolling with laughter. Plus you gotta love a tough scrapper.

For more on Far and Away go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

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16) Fiona O’Shea from The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell

After the death of her husband, newly-widowed Julia Hollis finds herself being evicted from her home and losing everything. Her only option is to move herself and her three children, Philip, Adele, and Grace to the country side and turn the old Larkspur Inn into a lodging house. Aided by her butler and joined by her trusty maid and friend Fiona O’Shea, she sets out to try and secure a good life for herself and her family.

Why Fiona is awesome:

While Fiona isn’t the main character, she is one of the best ones in there. Fiona is a girl that has had many trials and tribulations, yet still has a caring, sweet demeanor and a heart of gold. At a young age her father traded her to another man for a goat. Even though Fiona was legally married, her role in the household consisted of her being more of a slave than a wife. Forced to cook, clean, and care for his children; Fiona only hangs on through her faith in Christ. After she loses her child, Fiona bravely takes off for England in hopes of a better life. There she serves under Julia, becoming more than a servant; a best friend. Giving up the security of a job, she follows Julia to Larkspur Inn, knowing that without her help there Julia would never survive.

At the hotel, she becomes head housekeeper and cares for everyone who comes through the doors; helping all to feel loved and welcomed. She even goes to see the Keegans, an Irish family that is shunned by almost the entire village for being Irish and Catholic.

Through her kindness and compassion she is able to help heal one of the lodgers, Mr. Ambrose Clay, an actor who suffers from depression. While the two love each other, Fiona remains true to her vows, and instead of risking any destruction to the progress made in Mr. Clay’s case; she leaves Larkspur Inn. Throughout the whole book Fiona’s compassion and selfishness makes you want to be just like her. In the end her husband dies and she and Mr. Clay are able to be reunited with each other and their old friends.

For more on The Widow of Larkspur Inn, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: The Widow of Larkspur Inn

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15) Kyle Johnson from Luck of the Irish

Disney used to play this film every March 17th, and I am so glad as it is hilarious. Kyle is the golden child; captain of the basketball team, straight-A student, and Lady Luck always seems to be smiling down at him. However, that all changes when Kyle’s lucky coin is stolen from him. He then discovers that his mother’s family are leprechauns and that the coin held their family luck, also allowing them to walk about the Earth looking like normal humans. With his mom shrinking, and him becoming shorter and more leprechauny every minute, he sets out to track down the thief and restore his family luck.

Why Kyle is awesome:

I must confess that when I first watched this movie back in 2001, I had the hugest crush on Ryan Merriman. Besides that, I always thought Kyle was cool because of how he grows as a person when things are no longer easy for him; we see a real strength of character and a heart of gold. When he finds the stolen coins, instead of taking them all, like his grandpa suggests, he just takes his, even though he could have been very lucky and wealthy. Then there are his mad dancing skills he exhibits in the competition against the evil Seamus McTiernen. But most of all, it is when he passes the basketball to his friend in the last game, instead of making the shot-he gives his friend the glory, something the old Kyle never would have thought of doing. Plus you have to admire his wittiness to sending Seamus  to Lake Erie, Ohio instead of Lake Eire, Ireland.

For more Luck of the Irish, go to Friday Night Fun

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14) Sean Thornton 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 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 Sean Thornton is awesome:

Just going to get it out of the way, but the fact that he is played by John Wayne earned him a spot on this list. But seriously, Thornton is awesome because while he feels all the rules of courtship and hoops he has to jump through are silly, he still does them because he loves Mary Kate and knows that it is what she wants-he lays down his pride to make her happy. Later, when her brother is being spiteful and withholds her dowry, he goes out to purchase everything she wanted with his own money. What an amazing guy! Of course Maureen O’Hara plays a spitfire who cannot see the goodness of Thornton’s actions as clearly as us movie audience members.

For more on The Quiet Man, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

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13) Gerry from P.S. I Love You

After Holly’s husband Gerry dies of a brain tumor, she becomes so depressed that she doesn’t want to live anymore. To her surprise she begins receiving letters from Gerry, these letters encouraging her and eventually helping her heal and move on in her life.

Why Gerry is awesome:

Gerry is the ultimate husband. How amazing is it that he spent so much of his last moments constructing all these messages to send his wife to help her after he was gone. Such a selfless man to be considering her needs above his.

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12) Tom Branson from Downtown Abbey

Irish chauffer that wins the heart of the Earl’s youngest daughter Sybil. Hotheaded and very into politics and speaking his mind on the subject.

Why Tom Branson is awesome:

At first I disliked Branson. Sybil was my favorite character and I felt that he wasn’t good enough for her as he was an anarchist and trying to free Ireland from the English’s rule through violence. But after the two marry and Sybil dies in childbirth I began to like him better. He became more subdued and realized that his destructive thoughts might not really be the best thing. He helped Matthew with the reforms on estate, utilizing his farming skills and helping the home flourish. One of the best things he does though, is stay with the family so they have full access to baby Sybil. I mean it would have been so easy to be selfish and take the baby far away, but he knows that the rest of the family is hurting for their missing member and while Baby Sybil will never replace the hole her mother left, she can help repair it.

For more on Tom Branson and Downton Abbey, go to Fantastic Fantasies

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11) Micky Ward from The Fighter

The Fighter is based on the story of Micky Ward. It chronicles his desire to become a big-time boxer, the struggle with his brother’s drug addiction, the trials of having his mother manage him, attempts at staying connected to his daughter, his developing relationship with Charlene Fleming, and his journey to reach the top.

Why Micky Ward is awesome:

Ignoring the fact that he is played by Mark Wahlberg, Micky’s story is something that everyone can connect to. We all have the dream to make something of ourselves and here we have a man who kept trying and eventually did it. He had some hard times, he almost gave up, but in the end he kept on swingin’. The only travesty is that this film failed to win the oscar (I mean it was much better than The King’s Speech) along with the evil academy completely snubbing Wahlberg by nominating everyone but him. He totally should have received a nom, at least in my opinion. I highly recommend it as it is a great movie with one amazing soundtrack.

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10) Blarney Kilakilarney from A Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold

Blarney Kilakilarney is the leprechaun narrator of A Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold. In the film young cabin boy, Dinky Doyl, is shipwrecked on an uncharted, Irish, Leprechaun-filled, island. As it is Christmas, he searches the place for the perfect tree to cut down for his celebration. Unwittingly, when he chops that tree down he releases Old Mag the Hag, the evil banshee after the Kilakilarney clans’ gold. The wee folk with the help of Dinky must find a way to stop her.

Why Blarney Kilakilarney is awesome:

First of all, Blarney is adorable. Look at his wee little spectacles and adorable little face. Besides that, he is kind and caring. Even though Dinky manages to make plenty of screw-ups, Blarney is merciful and doesn’t parade his mistakes or criticize him.  He’s the type of person one is always eager to have as a friend.

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9) Reilly O’Reilly from The Luck of the Irish

Disney used to play this film every March 17th, and I am so glad as it is hilarious. Kyle is the golden child; captain of the basketball team, straight-A student, and Lady Luck always seems to be smiling down at him. However, that all changes when Kyle’s lucky coin is stolen from him. He then discovers that his mother’s family are leprechauns and that the coin held their family luck, also allowing them to walk about the Earth looking like normal humans. With his mom shrinking, and him becoming shorter and more leprechauny every minute, he sets out to track down the thief and restore his family luck.

Why Reilly O’Reilly is awesome:

Well besides being a 200 year old leprechaun, he traveled to America a poor immigrant and worked hard to establish a successful potato chip factory. Not to mention he can play the flute, has a trunkful of shoes to repair, and glorious white beard that Gandalf and Dumbledore would be jealous of, and loves to follow rainbows. True he had a disagreement with his daughter over her marriage, but that all gets resolved in the end. Besides, he helps Bonny be able to play basketball by securing her an internship at his factory and getting her father off her back.

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8) Father Charles “Chuck” O’Malley from Going My Way

Going My Way tells the story of the young Priest, Father O’Malley, clashing with the older priest, Father Fitzgibbon, in trying to help the church, Saint Dominic’s. At first Father Fitzgibbon hates the way Father O’Malley is running things, but in time sees that what Father O’Malley is doing, is actually helping the church be stronger.

Why Father O’Malley is awesome:

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, having this particular actor play the part just made the film. Bing Crosby is amazing as Father O’Malley, not just because of his singing voice but how he is able to put such excitement and energy into the character.  Father O’Malley not only cares for the children in his choir and the parishioners; but also for the older Father Fitzgibbon. He is there for everyone and always lends a helping hand.

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7) Banshee AKA Sean Cassidy from X-Men

Banshee is an Irish mutant that has a sonic scream that enables him to harm other’s auditory systems and create vibrations. These vibrations enable him to fly as they help propel him upward. He first joins the X-Men in 1975 when Xavier is recreating the team. Replacing Angel, the Beast, Iceman, and Marvel Girl  with Banshee, Sunfire, Wolverine,  Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Thunderbird. He later meets up with Dr. Moira MacTaggert and falls in love with her.

Why Banshee is awesome:

Being an X-men automatically makes you one of the cool crew. I mean if you haven’t read the comics then you can’t really understand how Banshee’s character is so likable. He’s just one of those characters you fall in love with. But stick to the original comics, the newer ones and alternate dimensions always screw up the things you love.

They managed to do a pretty good job of representing him in the new X-Men movie, X-Men: First Class. My only problem was that they made him too young.

For more on X-Men go to Push All the Buttons!

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6) Priest Vallon from Gangs of New York

While only in the first few minutes of the film, Priest Vallon sets up the rest of the plot. It is the year 1846 and the “Natives” (American born) are about to have a West Side Storyian type rumble with Dead Rabbits (Irish Catholic immigrants). The leader of the Natives is Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day-Lewis who I absolutely adore) and the leader of the Dead Rabbits being Vallon (Liam Neeson who is also amazing). Battle ensues and Vallon is killed by The Butcher. Vallon’s son Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio) vows to avenge his father’s death.

Why Priest Vallon is awesome:

Hello, its LIAM NEESON! Dare I really say more? No, but really even though we only have a few minuets of him in the film, throughout it he is revealed to be an honorable man, kind, compassionate, and super tough. Even if Amsterdam and Bill didn’t sing his praises throughout the film, you would still get the same sense of what a great man he is from those few scenes of him.

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5) Mr. Connors from Behind the Waterfall

Behind the Waterfall is a Feature Family Film, a company that creates film fit for the whole family. The movie is about two siblings, Tommy and his older sister Becky, who are sent to stay with their aunt for the summer after the death of their father. While they are there they met Irishmen Mr. Conners, who Tommy is convinced is a leprechaun and can bring their father back. With Mr. Conners’ help, the two kids come to terms with their father’s death and are able to move on.

Why Mr. Conners is awesome:

For an older man who really enjoys his privacy, he puts up with a lot of Tommy’s silly notions. He becomes a father figure to him and helps him see that while he can’t bring his father back, he can always carry him in his heart. Plus when Tommy is convinced that he is a leprechaun, Mr. Conners kind of plays along. By the end of it, he has you wondering if he really is a leprechaun or just an elderly man.

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4) Matthew Murdock AKA Daredevil from Daredevil 

Matthew Murdock is a young Irishman growing up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. After an encounter with radioactive substances (they fell off a moving truck) he loses his sight. From there on he is mentored on how to see the world through his other senses, gaining super sensitivity. After the death of his father he becomes a lawyer by day and superhero extraordinaire by night.

Why Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil is awesome:

Well it’s DAREDEVIL! How is he not cool? Grew up in Hell’s Kitchen and despite that neighborhood and blindness, he is able to become a lawyer and superhero. While he can’t see, his other senses have heightened making him  truly terrible foe. I mean how much cooler can you get?

He totally does the whole Clark Kent thing too, but in a much less annoying way. (Pretends to be helpless so no one suspects his other identity.) Only Marvel could come up with a character this amazing. (I love DC, but in comparison Marvel has some much better superheroes.)

I must admit that though I absolutely love Ben Affleck, the Daredevil film was not as good as it could have been. Ben was amazing as Matt, but some of the other characters were poorly portrayed. And I hate how they kill off his amazing villain. I hate it when they kill off these super-awesome villains in the first movie! I mean, hello, don’t you think it would be better to keep them alive so they can be in the sequels?

For more on Daredevil, go to Old Fandoms and New Fancies

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3) Stephen the Irishman from Braveheart

Braveheart tells the story of William Wallace‘s fight for freedom. After an English lord tries to rape his wife, and kills her; Wallace starts a rebellion against King Edward I of England (AKA Edward Longshanks). 

Why Stephen is awesome:

Stephen is an Irishman that Wallace comes across in the woods. While at first he seems a little addled he proves his mettle by killing an assassin trying to murder Wallace. He ends up one of Wallace’s right hand men and is one the best and hilarious characters in the movie. One of the best scenes is when he convinces the conscripted Irishmen to fight on behalf of Scotland instead of England. King Edward I sends out the Irishman, and is extremely surprised to find that instead of fighting they are cordially greeting the Scottish.

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2) Marty McFly from Back to the Future 

I love Marty! Marty is sooooooooo awesome! The only reason he isn’t number one is because how could I put anyone over Saint Patrick in a Saint Patrick’s Day honoring post? That makes no sense.

Anyways, so Back to the Future is about a guy, Marty McFly, who 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 to not meet. Now he has to get them back together or else he will cease to exist.

Why Marty is Awesome:

Well first of all, Marty is played by Michael J. Fox, I mean already his level of awesomeness is through the roof. Michael J. Fox is just gorgeous and has an amazing voice. But I digress…well Marty is the essence of cool. He plays guitar, has his own band, wears great clothes, etc. He also is loyal friend and great guy. Others may see Doc as crazy, but Marty looks past all the rumors and befriends the eccentric guy. He is also brave, willing to take down those stronger than him and do some crazy stunts in order to protect the people he loves.

Now he isn’t without his faults, but that just makes you love him more as he just seems so real. He hates being disrespected which does cause him to do some stupid stuff. He also can give up easily on things, or try to take the easy way out; but these are all things he is working on. By the end of the trilogy we see a lot of growth in him as he has learned how to be a better person.

As you may have guessed by now, I love this film. It is my absolute fav so Marty is high in my best fictional guys list.

For more on Back to the Future go to The Clock is Ticking!

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1) Sucat AKA Patrick from Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

So of course Patrick has to be number one on the list, after all the day is named after him. I mean how could I not put him first?

So the story of Time Cat is that Gareth, the cat, takes his master Jason on nine adventures through time. They travel from the ancient Egypt all the way to Colonial America. Along the way they stop in Ireland 411 BC

Why Patrick is Awesome:

In the story Patrick was a slave brought to Ireland and is one of the few to stand up to the evil magician Lugad who is trying to control the king and retain a high position by utilizing the superstitions of the area to his best advantage. He’s smart, educated, brave, but also loyal. He saves Jason and Gareth from being killed and goes off to help everyone in Ireland.

“It’s a curious thing,’ he said, ‘but I have come to love this country even as a slave…I understand now what I must do…I shall go into the world…I shall learn and bring back what I learn. There shall be no more need for magicians then.”–Time Cat, pg 70.

The real Saint Patrick actually did those things, going throughout Ireland teaching the gospel and helping educate people. In many of his sermons he used the three-leaf clover as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, that’s why it became such a symbol on his day. March 17th was when he died, and that is why we honor him, although lately, it has become more of an excuse to get as drunk as you want.

For more Lloyd Alexander, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper: The Black Cauldron (1985)

I hope you all have a great holiday, and don’t forget to wear green! I always do as there are many out there who like to pinch the non-wearers.

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