Thursday, June 29, 2017

Orlando Trip of 2016 Part 2: Disney World

For part 1 - Universal Studios, click here.

As much as I loved our two days at Universal, I was so excited for my first trip to Disney World. After having had so many great trips to Disneyland, I was looking forward to discovering what Disney had to offer in Florida. I loved all that the parks had to offer. I loved the parts of the parks that felt familiar, and enjoyed discovering the differences from Disneyland.

Being able to ride the PeopleMover and go to the Country Bear Jamboree, I was reminded of my first trip to Disneyland when I was ten. I know that Disney likes to continually make changes, but it's nice when some things remain the same.

During this trip I didn't know if I was going to be able to make it back to Disneyland/California Adventure before they closed The Tower of Terror in California before rebranding it to Guardians of the Galaxy, so I made sure to ride The Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios a few times in honor of the one in California Adventure. (Note: I did make it to Disneyland/California Adventure last December and was able to ride it before they closed it).

One of the nights we attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. I attended the after-park-hours party at Disneyland four years ago, and it was a lot of fun. You get to trick-or-treat through the park after the other patrons have left. It was fun at Disney World, but I enjoyed it at Disneyland better. I felt they had more going on in the California park. I missed seeing all of the villains roaming the park. 

There were a couple of rides that I loved that aren't in Disneyland. Expedition Everest was great. I loved it better than the Matterhorn. I also loved the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. 

Magic Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Hollywood Studios


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Looking Back at the 2016-2017 TV Season Part 2

I already posted about the new shows from the 2016-17 TV season that I liked, and gave praise for the one series that I'll keep watching. So, now let's take a look at the past season of returning shows I watch.

As always, possible ***Spoilers*** below.

Once Upon a Time
I feel like this has been the best season of Once Upon a Time since its first season. And toward the end of the season I was beginning to like the show again. I think this would have been a really nice place to end the series, but it was renewed, and because many of the main actors decided not to renew their contracts, and other actors were not asked to come back, it looks like the show will have a reboot in season 7. It will be interesting to see how they incorporate characters such as Hook and Rumpelstiltskin into the new reboot, since it looks like the reboot jumps 10 years in the future. I'll be watching to where the story goes, and hope that it holds my attention.

I think that Supergirl had a good second season for the most part. I'm glad that CW picked it up after CBS canceled it last year. The romance plot this season seemed a bit forced at first, especially since they just abandoned the Kara/James romance completely, without even exploring the effects of ending the romance. I didn't like Mon-El at first, but by the end of the season, I was on board enough to feel for both Kara and Mon-El when their story ended up the way it did.

It was nice to see Winn have more to do. I really like Jeremy Jordan, and I like his character. I think Katie McGrath was a great addition to the cast as Lena Luthor, and I like the direction they've taken her character. I just hope they don't have her character go the way of McGrath's character in Merlin after a few seasons. It was also great that we got to meet Superman. I just wish that he had been in more episodes. We'll see if we'll get more of him in season 3.

When Cat Grant showed up at the end of this season after being gone through most of the season, it was almost as good as when a certain person (I won't say who, because **spoilers**) shows up on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer at the end of season 6. Sometimes you don't know how much you miss a character who has left a series until they show up again, and suddenly, you cheer when you see them again.

Jane the Virgin
Jane the Virgin has done such a good job at exploring how people deal with loss of a loved one. This show is so good at balancing comedy and drama. It's a very hard thing to do well, and Jane the Virgin excels at it. This season has been just as good as preceding seasons. It's just consistently good. My favorite character is (and has pretty much always been) Rogelio. He's so richly written, and so well played by Jaime Camil. The narrator continues to get many of the best lines, and is used so well in each episode.

The Flash
One of the things about the first season of The Flash that I liked better than Arrow was that The Flash wasn't as dark as Arrow. Well, this season it gave Arrow a run for its money on darkness. Not that it was a completely bad thing, but I'm ready to see a little more lightness again in The Flash. The show did forego its brooding for at least one episode when they joined the list of series that have done musical episodes. I enjoyed the musical episode for the most part, and was excited that it was also a crossover episode with Supergirl. But I really wanted more songs (and better songs), since they have so much musical talent in the casts of both Supergirl and The Flash.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Can I just say that I loved, loved, loved the direction that show went at the end of the season. There were so many shows I watch that went with an "alternate reality" plotline (Legends of Tomorrow, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, Grimm) this season, but for me, none of them did it better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Watching the last bunch of episode of this season it hit me what a great actor Iain De Caestecker is. I was thinking about what a great opportunity he was given as an actor to explore what his character would be like if his father had remained in his life. It's too bad that he would have been a completely different man, who could do deplorable things. However, even though his character was deplorable, his acting was amazing.

This remains one of my favorite shows, and I'm so glad that it was renewed even though the ratings aren't that great. I wish people who stopped watching during its rocky first season would come back and see what a great show it's become.

This season of Arrow has been okay. My favorite thing about the season was the season finale. It was great to see so many favorite characters come back. I really hope that many of them will be back next season, but after watching the season finale, I have no idea who will be coming back at all. I have some really good guesses, but we'll have to wait a few months for the suspense to end. I'll be watching to see what happens.

The Big Bang Theory
It's hard to know what to say about The Big Bang Theory. It just ended its 10th season. It's still on. I still keep watching. I'm not quite sure why.

Legends of Tomorrow
The second season of Legends of Tomorrow was so much better than season 1. Usually a series goes a bit downhill in its second season, but I'm so glad that it was the opposite for Legends. They made a good choice when they decided to let Hawk Girl and Hawk Man leave at the end of season 1, and I think that Nick and Maya were good additions to the group. It was also a good idea to have Rip MIA for a lot of the season, and I liked the twist that when the legends found him he didn't know them or know that he had ever been a Time Master. It gave the writers the chance to make his character more interesting.

Nashville was canceled, and then CMT decided to pick the series up, so the soap opry continues. It had a major character die this season because the actor wanted to move on to other projects. I really haven't missed the character too much, mostly because I stopped really caring about any of the characters when they went full "soap opera" mode. It seems that no one is ever happy in this show. And if they are happy, it's only for a moment, and then something tragic happens to ruin that happiness. I guess it's just one big, long country song. The show's biggest asset is the songs. They have some really good songwriters writing for this show. And they're lucky to have good actors who can actually sing the songs well.  I feel like many of the songs could be big hits if more people (other than just the people who watch Nashville) could hear them.

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow ended this season, and I have to admit that I kept watching this show just for Tom Mison (see above picture). The series wasn't the same without Nicole Beharie, and fans really felt her absence. Even though the show wasn't great after the first season, the chemistry between Mison and Beharie was so good that it kept some people watching, including myself. With Abbie Mills gone, they had to find another "witness," and I thought that making the new witness a young girl was an interesting choice, but I feel they could have done so much more with that than they did. Regardless of the things they did wrong with this series, Ichabod Crane was just so darn likeable, that it was hard to dislike the show completely. Now, I hope that Tom Mison is cast in another American series playing another great character, just because I don't want him to fade away into British television where I might not see him again. I looked on, and I didn't see that he has anything in works (in film or television). *sob*


Grimm is over. *sob* This has been one of my favorite shows, and even though the series has had its ups and downs, I really enjoyed the characters. I felt like the finale had a lot of plot holes. I just kept getting angrier and angrier as more characters died, and I thought that the ending was a bit of a cop-out, but I guess they really wanted to go out with a bang. I do have to say that I wouldn't really like to see a series that follows Kelly and Diana and the triplets.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Orlando Trip of 2016 Part 1: Universal Studios

My big trip of 2016 was to Orlando Florida. It was my first time at Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World. I went to Universal Studios in California in 2012, but it doesn't compare to Universal Studios Orlando in size and number of rides, which makes Universal Orlando the winner for me.

I'm not a big Harry Potter fan (don't throw the tomatoes, please), but I really enjoyed Harry Potter World. The rides (though there weren't many) were fun and entertaining, and the actual buildings were very impressive.

I hope to go back soon to Orlando soon - just not in the rainy season next time. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a non-rainy season in Orlando.