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Category Archives: Choice

Sayonara • Adieu • Farvel!

Sayonara • Adieu • Farvel!

It’s been fun, but as in everything else, this too must pass. I will no longer be writing regular posts on this blog. Chris Barfoot may still continue writing occasionally, however other commitments have caused me to focus my attention elsewhere.

I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Thanks for everyone who has taken the time to read them.

 

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Posted by on 11/10/2017 in Choice, Writing

 

The Oscars Are Coming!

Oscar_statue_smlLet’s hope that’s all there is…

We know tonight is the night for Hollywood to go all in on celebrating…

Themselves.

The most anxious moments?

Will they get it right?

You decide as we have hours of congratulatory speeches, humor, music, dance, awards, and pontification.

  . . .  And the nominees are . . .

 
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Posted by on 26/02/2017 in Academy Awards, Awards, Choice, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies

 

The Last Hurrah – Castle End

Castle lined up with 12th Precinct detectives

Castle with the 12th Precinct detectives.

Lets start out with a warning to anyone that watches and enjoys the TV show Castle, but hasn’t seen the last episode. Spoiler Alert! Warning! Don’t read past this point if you’re still planning on seeing the last episode and don’t want to know anything about it – including the end.

Now that’s out-of-the-way, I have to assume you want to continue to read my observations & comments. If you’re already a member of WordPress, you can add your comments below. WordPress wants to know who you are, even if you’re hiding behind an alias. No, spies don’t come here to gain access to the latest government secrets, but some Castle fans do…

Castle & Beckett disarming a bomb in NY together

Castle & Beckett disarmed a bomb in NY

Overall, last nights episode did bring some closure to the series. I must say, as a fan I was more than a little disappointed by the abbreviated ending. Clearly the last few seconds of episode 22, season 8, were rushed. It was a way of creating an ending which should have developed in several more episodes of Castle. It appeared to me they had a cliffhanger final in mind, then had to tack on the final seconds showing Beckett, Castle and children, all smiling perhaps even laughing at a dinner table together.

Castle a chill goes through her veins

Beckett & Castle working together

The season 8 writers were up against three intractable challenges. The first problem was the entire eighth season story arc revolved around a powerful shadow organization, secretly behind a prior longer story arc about the death of Kate Beckett’s mother which ran for 6 seasons. By creating this all-encompassing theme from the beginning, it obligated them to continue with it, and form a conclusion for that plot line. What they couldn’t plan on was the second big problem. Problem number two was the announcement by ABC studios, that Stana Katic and Tamala Jones wouldn’t be returning to Castle if there was a ninth season. This meant they had to write an episode explaining to the audience the reason(s) why Kate Beckett and everyone’s favorite Medical Examiner were no longer around. What could they do?

  1. Have Kate Beckett resign and leave Castle?
  2. Have a need for Kate to take time off and temporarily be away from Castle? (They sorta did that already)
  3. Have Kate Beckett appear to die in the last episode, leaving an opening for Castle to continue without her?

Beckett_sticking_her_tongue_outThere just didn’t seem to be a satisfactory way to remove Kate Beckett from the series without severe repercussions and this brings us to the final challenge. The network under a lot of pressure from the fans, announced last Thursday, May 12th, there wouldn’t be a ninth season. Do I believe the fans influenced this decision? Does the Pope reside in the Vatican? The Twitter feeds were tweeting faster and louder than Angry Birds on steroids. They were tweeting, “No Stana – No Castle!“, A petition was created to cancel the show at the end of season 8, and instructions were published throughout social media as to who should be contacted along with their business address.

Shock & Awe - faceFor a few weeks Castle fans were doing the American public a favor. They created a fire storm and were calling attention to a media phenomenon other than the U.S. Presidential bake-off. No need to thank us America, just doing our part to create a distraction from election news.

ABC had a PR nightmare on their hands which might have rolled over to other properties. The only thing at this point which they could have done to make it worse, end season 8 with Kate Beckett killed and have her on the M.E.’s table in season 9. Oh wait… they couldn’t have done that because they were getting rid of  Dr. Lanie Parish too.

If ever script writers were on the horns of a dilemma, this was that time. The writers were given 1 more hour to create an ending for the show wrapping up, LokSat and what happens to Caskett. C’mon, 1 hour?!  Well, that’s what they did. For that hour we had at least 3 episodes compressed into 1.

Beckett: I need a miracle, guys.
Ryan: Okay, you got it.
Esposito: One miracle coming up.

The episodes I’m referring to were; In the Belly of the Beast, Veritas and The Time of Our Lives. Each of them had dramatic stories with pivotal outcome.

  • In the Belly of the Beast – Beckett is recruited for a dangerous undercover operation with the aim of stopping a near-mythical drug baron.
  • Veritas – Beckett carries out an off-the-books investigation attempting to connect drug baron Vulcan Simmons to presidential candidate William Bracken
  • Time of Our Lives – Beckett and Castle marry in the Hamptons.

 

Castle_Beckett_together_dream_ABC_TV

But it was a Hollywood promise; not worth a damn. ~ Rick Castle

These were the problems in a nutshell, which the writers of this last episode of Castle needed to package together in a satisfactory bundle.

Were they successful? In my opinion, they did about as good of a job as you can ask for in approximately 43 minutes of normal run time. I have to say, I’m happy overall with what they did, but the last-minute of the show was so hurried, I’m not sure if I was looking at a dream sequence, a thought compression for the next set of books, or did they really get the happy ending we thought we saw?

What do you think?

Castle_Beckett_wedding_ABC-TV

Some moments we loved during Castle – all rights by owner (not me)

 

Once More Into the Breech…

Not since the time when the MDA fired Jerry Lewis and killed the Labor Day Telethon, have we seen the golden goose so badly drawn & quartered. This is what ABC Television has done to Castle, a much beloved by fans series, now in its eighth season.castle_finale_2

The episodic romance between Richard & Kate, kept people watching Castle. The perpetual watching, waiting, hoping, they will finally understand the chemistry between each other, kept viewers coming back to a clever, well acted dramedy. It took a crisis before Kate realized what was valuable in her life. The relationship needed to progress or they needed to end it. This is exactly where we are today in Season 8.

castle_beckett_better_days

By now the relationship, according to the way things were written in Season 7, should be moving toward the expansion of her public reputation, leading to possible political overtures, and maybe their first pregnancy. There was a direction and a place to increase the fan base with this story base-line already in motion. Instead, the wheels came off the chariot, and we’re left with the repetitive story of a secret criminal element, even more powerful than what drove her to find her mother’s killer(s). LokSat, seems almost a code for the writers; we’ve LOCKED our key characters into a GOING NOWHERE PLOT, and sat this one out, leaving the fan base in confusion. This announcement will require some type of drama, which many fans are concerned that it means they will kill off Kate, if there is to be a season 9.

Now, comes the backhand slap announcement before this season ends, to all of the fans of this masterfully created television program. The ABC executives declared, ‘THE SHOW MUST NOT GO ON!’ Too many people were enjoying it for at least the first 7 seasons. We haven’t quite killed it yet, so we’ll eliminate the leading co-star and important support character actors, (Stana & Tamala). The official story is, we’re letting them go, because we can’t afford to keep the most popular people in our show. Please stay tuned however, until we get our collective heads out of our lower alimentary tract and decide if we end ‘Castle’ at season 8, or limp on into season 9, with a modified version of Castle. We may keep some of the actors, but why tell them at this juncture whether they’re going to be included?

You couldn’t write a worse way to destroy a popular TV series. It was hemorrhaging fans during season 8, but now it’s almost as though it’s committing TV suicide. If this is what constitutes thoughtful executive deliberation, than they truly deserve being left with mindless comedies and reality TV entertainment with the resultant loss of a huge segment of viewers.

castle-season-rick-kate-gone

Castle on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright) Nathan Fillion

Choosing to call the series Castle was in name only. This isn’t Batman & Robin. If anything, Kate is Batman and Rick is Robin. Detective Kate Beckett (now Captain) was not just a co-star, she was integral to the entire premise of the series as was originally described by ABC.

After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard “Rick” Castle receives permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett, and her investigation team, for research purposes.

This description has been rewritten so as to appear as if her role wasn’t as important as his. This is another huge miscalculation by ABC.

The really clever writing will now be, how to properly write Kate Beckett (Stana Katic & Tamala Jones), out of the end of Season 8, and transition / position for a Season 9.

REFERENCE LINKS

 
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Posted by on 24/04/2016 in Actors, Choice, Comedy, Crime Drama, Entertainment, Humor, Plot, Rom-com, Romance, Stories, Television, Writing

 

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Biting the Hand That Feeds You

STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION

The announcement from ABC TV yesterday sent fans of the TV show, Castle, into hyperventilation. The TV crime, drama, romance, comedy series is in it’s 8th season and has enjoyed strong viewership until this season’s challenging plot miscues.

Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series ‘Castle’ for the past eight years. We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship,” read a statement from the network. “Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of ‘Castle.

The start of season 8 created a big stir among loyal fans who strongly objected to the separate on screen presence of either Nathan Fillion (Richard Castle) or Stana Katic (Capt. Kate Beckett). The official explanation is the story developers wanted to shake things up a bit, rather than pursue repetitious patterns. Behind the scenes rumors suggested it was due to the off camera rift between Fillion & Katic, whose only chemistry was on screen.

castle_lead_terminated

** RELEASED STATEMENTS **

In a statement, Stana Katic said: “Rather then distract from what was an amazing experience, I would just like to say that I’m very grateful to ABC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a much beloved show.”

E Online states –
“Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past 8 years. We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship. Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of Castle,” ABC said in a statement.

Deadline TV –
Nathan Fillion is expected to return as Richard Castle for a shortened ninth season, Deadline reports. Fillion and Katic previously signed one-year contracts for the eighth season. According to Deadline, it was ABC’s decision not to have Katic and Jones return for season nine.

Castle has yet to be renewed, but sagging ratings and contract negotiations made it a long shot for renewal. ABC declined to comment on the prospect of a shorter season since the show has yet to officially be renewed.

—–
SpoilerTV –
While the studio started making overtures to Fillion for a new deal months ago and has been in on- and off- talks with him since the beginning of the year, I hear Katic was never approached to re-up her contract and was not offered an opportunity to continue on the show. Instead, I hear she, as well as Jones, were informed late last week that for budgetary reasons, they won’t be asked to come back for Season 9.

—–
Molly Quinn –

Early Tuesday, the actress took to Twitter to lament the departure of Stana Katic as well as fellow co-star Tamala Jones. “Yesterday was a horrible day,” she conceded. “I work[ed] with [Stana and Tamala] for 8 yrs. I love them. I’m heartbroken.”

—–
Nathan Fillion –

“Stana has been my partner all this time, and I thank her for creating the character of Beckett,” the actor shared in a message posted to Twitter. “I wish her well, and have no doubt she will succeed in everything she pursues. She will be missed.”

—–
Tamala Jones –

“I’ve had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered ‘Lanie’ over the past eight seasons. I will greatly miss the cast and crew — it’s been a privilege getting to work with this incredibly hard working group of people. Thank you to ABC for this opportunity and to the fans for their unwavering support. It’s been an incredible journey and I can’t wait for what lies ahead!”


Castle_Becket_promo_pix_abc_network_b

Stana_Katic_not_being_asked_back_ABC

Castle_Becket_promo_pix_abc_network

“Castle” stars Nathan Fillion as a mystery novelist who teams up with NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett, played by Katic, to solve crimes. It premiered in 2009. The show has not yet been renewed for a ninth season.

 


Castle loses its better half

Heloise Appourchaux, TV Blogger

Monday doesn’t taste the same today for the Castle fandom. While the fans were going to enjoy a new episode tonight of the (former) hit-show, the show was a trending topic for a very sad reason….

 
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Posted by on 19/04/2016 in Actors, Choice, Crime Drama, Entertainment, Plot, Rom-com, Television, Writing

 

More of the Same – Hollywood Do

Hollywood splashed out to bring us another (yawn) thrilling (yawn) Academy Awards presentation last night. In case you missed it, here’s the rundown.spotlights right

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity”
Best Writing, Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, “Her”
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley “12 Years a Slave”
Music, Best Original Song: Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, “Let it Go,” from “Frozen”
Music, Best Original Score: Steven Price, “Gravity”
Best Production Design: “The Great Gatsby”
Best Film Editing: Mark Sanger & Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Gravity”
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Best Sound Editing: “Gravity”
Best Sound Mixing: “Gravity”
Best Foreign Language Film: “The Great Beauty”
Best Documentary Feature: “20 Feet From Stardom”
Best Documentary – Short Subject: “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
Best Short Film – Live Action: “Helium”
Best Visual Effects: “Gravity”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Frozen”
Best Short Film – Animated: “Mr. Hublot”
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Dallas Buyers Club”
Best Costume Design: “The Great Gatsby”
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Were there any surprises for you?

Latest The Amazing Spiderman 2 trailer

red carpet

 

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What Was That . . ?

comedy - dramaHave you ever watched a movie and asked yourself, why did I watch that or what was that all about? I know I have and yet other people find it appealing, such is the nature of personal taste. As for me, when it crosses the threshold of eye-stain, brain-pain, won’t watch again, here’s a few criteria.

  • Gratuitous violence
  • Gratuitous sex
  • Rambling plot
  • Inane language
  • Comedy that tries to be funny (and isn’t)
  • Characters which I would want dead myself..

I’ve seen a few films where I just want to get up and leave. Two of them I did, and three I wish I had.

Here’s an example of a film that I chose to walk out on and one that I wish I had. I went with my wife while we were out-of-town and attended a movie called “Grizzly”. I think we made it through the first 30 minutes, maybe less, but it was a lot longer than we cared to watch. Now here’s another movie, which may come as a surprise to some. Let’s see if you can guess the movie title.

A cab driver works the nightshift driving through a decaying major metropolis. He fantasizes about a hard rain to wash the lowlife’s off the streets. A loner who attempts without success to connect with anyone, even other cabby’s. He becomes infatuated with a pretty woman running a local political campaign and after several attempts to date her, succeeds in one night out but she soon loses interest when he takes her to a porn film.

Now dejected and after an encounter with a malevolent fare this pitiable loner turns his attention to physical fitness and arming himself for an imaginary encounter in an iconic moment of all the bad people he sees and wants to liberate the city from. This culminates in a massive display of violence after his new-found attention on a minor working the streets of the city. He acts out in his Don Quixote fixation by “saving” this teen hooker from her pimp when he breaks in and shoots people who block his quest inside a brothel. I only walked just before the credits rolled because I kept hoping this movie could redeem itself. It didn’t in my humble opinion.

pictures slideThe irony I see in a film such as this is in the end, the protagonist is lauded as a hero in rescuing an underage girl from a life of indignity. Audience reviews and critics honor it as well as one of the greatest films of all time. Wow! That’s not going to happen for me.

How about you? Do you have a film which you might cite as a golden turkey?

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Posted by on 05/02/2014 in Awards, Box Office, Choice, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Plot, Self Awareness, Writing

 

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