Tag Archives: review

Sweet Magnolias: A Review

Sweet Magnolias created by Sheryl Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first impression of the first episode was that this story was quite saccharine-sweet.  And that first impression maintains its accuracy throughout the season.  It takes place in a Southern, fictional town of Serenity and follows the lives of three women who have been friends since high school. 

They want to start a spa together in a mansion that they apparently spent a lot of time in when they were kids.  And I thought the building of said spa was going to be the main focus of the first season.  But as the show continued, the spa became somewhat of an afterthought.

The main focus of the show really were the relationships, between the three women as well as their children, community, and love interests.  There were a couple of love triangles that didn’t feel fully developed.  And sometimes the chemistry also came across as awkward. Also, I don’t know where to fit this, but the accents are all over the place. They are southern accents, but from various regions which is strange since they are all supposed to be from this one town.

In a nutshell, this is an easy, “turn your brain off” kind of show. The conversations, even the more deeper ones are not very long or detailed, even feeling glossed over at times. Plot points are either resolved quickly or ignored for several episodes, only to be mentioned again in the laundry list of drama that they are having to deal with. But in their defense, there seems to be a lot of ground to cover before the cliffhanger at the end. We have to understand how we get to that point, and that means a lot of rushed drama and quick resolutions.

I felt at times like I didn’t know the characters well enough to understand why certain things bothered them or why their reactions were so strong. I know this is based on a book series, so I feel like I’m missing chunks of their motivations because I haven’t read the books. But they will mention something to a character, but then there is no follow up until several episodes later when they dissolve a relationship over that thing that they haven’t really mentioned more than a couple times.

There is profanity throughout the show, usually followed by an apology for the language, and meant to give the speaker either strength or sass.  Sexual content includes several kissing scenes as well as one sex scene that is not graphic at all.  Violence includes some fist fights, some almost assaults, but no one is severely hurt.  There is underage drinking and bullying among the kids which is sort of addressed, again like most of the drama.

But all of those issues aside, I still gave it four stars because it is a nice escape from reality.  Serenity is just one of those places that you can just go with the flow.  The drama is muted, most of the conflict is resolved with ease and cliché.  And the humor is just the right amount of eye-rolling corny that I like.  Big warning, the season ends with a huge cliffhanger, and I’m not sure there will be a second season any time soon (thanks, coronavirus).

Echo: A Review


Echo, Volume 1: Moon Lake by Terry Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels recently, but I enjoyed the Marvel universe when I was a kid, as well as an adult with all of the movies that they put out now. So, when I was looking to begin really getting into the graphic novel genre, I have a friend who is pretty well-versed in all things comics. He suggested this comic.
Terry Moore’s art is absolutely gorgeous. Each frame is detailed and visually beautiful. And the story is pretty interesting as well. It begins with a girl named Annie performing tests on a flying suit for a classified military contractor laboratory. And while doing the test, they shoot her out of the sky. Pieces of her suit fall from the sky over civilian territory, affecting a couple of people, though the one in particular that we follow through the book is Julie. The metal from the suit adheres to Julie’s skin and chest, and the adventure goes from there.
There is some language throughout the book, and some adult themes, but nothing really too extreme. The metal does adhere to her chest, so there are a minimal amount of boob jokes, but overall, the book merely sets the stage for the rest of the series.
I hope to get the next one soon so I can find out what happens to Julie. It’s definitely a great start to getting back into graphic novels!

I also wanted to let you know that I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  These are all things I have used personally.  I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried myself.  Thanks!

July Favorites

I know I sound like a broken record at the end of every month, but I just can’t believe it’s already time to do a favorites post.

JulyFavorites.jpg

Last month, I talked about my bi-annual purchase of skin care and makeup products, and this month I’ve been leaning more towards workout gear.

CLOTHING

I got these ASICS Women’s GEL-190 TR Cross-Training Shoe for my long walks as part of my goals this month. My older trainers weren’t giving me the support I needed in my arches, but these shoes made my feet feel so much better. So, I devoted these shoes to my walks only as to not wear them out too quickly, and my other shoes I use when I volunteer at the SPCA or work outside in the garden.

I wear yoga pants every day, practically. So, it would make sense that the yoga pants I’ve had for several years have finally worn out. It was time to replace them. These pants from Active are exact replacements for ones I already had. I also got them in black because I love how long they are.

These pants from ODODOS were a new buy, which I’m always hesitant to do once I’ve found something I love, but the reviews were great. These pants are so soft and they are extra long as well, which was a bonus.

OTHER PURCHASES
I got this fold-up blanket by Rusee to use when we went to the Red, White and Boom celebration at the beginning of this month. It’s not a soft blanket, more like a soft plastic, but it stayed clean and was easy to fold back up when we were done (even in the dark).

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And probably my favorite purchase this month was our new mattress. We tried one of the online foam mattresses called Tuft and Needle. It’s one of the more established companies. I might write a more detailed review of this later on since we have only had it for about a week, but I loved being able to order it on Amazon, a site I’m more familiar with. So far, we have loved it!  In the meantime, you can check out this really great review of this mattress as well as how it compared with similar mattresses on the market.

What are some things you have loved this month?

I also wanted to let you know that I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. These are all things I have used personally. I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried myself. Thanks!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: A Review

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a great start to the year!

This past weekend, Michael and I celebrated our anniversary.  One of the things we did was see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Taken from IMDB.com

Taken from IMDB.com

The movie follows a man named Walter Mitty (played by Ben Stiller).  He lives a pretty normal, almost dull, life working for Life Magazine in the negative assets department.  It’s so dull that Walter frequently zones out from the real world to his imagination, one where he goes on adventures, gets the girl or creates great art; however, this is no time to live in a fantasy world.  The magazine is transitioning to an online magazine, and everyone’s job is in jeopardy.  As the last print issue is being pulled together, the powers that be want the final cover to be a picture taken by a photographer named Sean O’Connell who promises that this picture is the best he has ever taken, a true transcendence.  Alas, the picture is missing, and it’s up to Walter Mitty to recover the picture.

The movie is absolutely gorgeous.  They shot it on location in Iceland, the most beautiful sceneries I have seen in a while.  There is this one scene where Walter is longboarding on this winding road surrounded by mountains.  It was simply beautiful.  I could just get lost in some of those sweeping shots.

You do have to suspend belief most of the time.  It’s pretty hard to believe a guy who has been working behind a desk can easily navigate the Himalayan mountains.  I don’t think they were going for accuracy, though.  I think the moral of the story is to live and experience the present instead of hoping for a different reality, or you will miss out on some pretty amazing things.  Stiller’s acting was great.  Wiig was kind of flat, although I think the love story aspect was merely a support for the larger journey for Walter.  This isn’t a romance story.  It’s meant, I think, to be a personal growth journey.  I hesitate to use the word epic because I don’t think it quite reaches that height, but it’s similar.

The soundtrack is also pretty awesome, very chill songs, some remixes from the late 60s to early 80s.  Good driving music.

I’m torn between whether I would recommend this for the theater or Netflix.  As far as cinematography, it’s a definite theater must see.  However, the plot could easily be a Netflix night at home.  So, what movies have you seen lately?  Would you recommend them?

The Dark Night Rises Review

[Picture taken from Wikipedia.com]

I have to be honest, the Aurora shooting definitely affected me.  I couldn’t help but think about how similar our crowd was to the crowd at that midnight showing.  There was even a policeman outside the theater, walking the halls, which made me feel a little safer, but still was a grave reminder of what happened just a week before.We went to see this movie for my husband’s birthday, though I am a bit of a comic geek myself, so I was completely looking forward to how they would end this fantastic trilogy. Continue reading

The Book Thief Review

My book for this month was “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.  It was recommended on Pinterest by people who liked the Hunger Games, so I thought I would try it.  I didn’t even really read the synopsis before picking it up at the library.  I just wanted to read a story without knowing anything about it.  And I really enjoyed this surprise. Continue reading