MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Ten

While this season is quickly coming to a close it’s sure going out with a bang. In this episode we have a fistfight, a cure for impotence, and an epic case of sexual harassment. We start with Frank’s wife, Pauline, having fertility treatments with Dr. Masters. She’s talking to Masters about his relationship with Frank. She wants him to know they want a family and she’s not just talking about a baby. During their conversation the lights go out in the building. Masters barrels out of the room to find Betty, he wants to know what is going on. Betty had to send the electric bill in late because they were behind on other bills. Betty tells Bill that if they don’t rent out the office space on the same floor as his practice they … Continued

WITCHES OF EAST END, Episode Nine

** SPOILER ALERT ** I drank all of my wine and had to resort to copious amounts of ice cream to get through this episode. So much happens and not just in the last two minutes (not that the last two minutes aren’t an action-packed sucker punch to the throat!) Ok, we will start at the top. We start off with Dash in a mood. Ingrid refuses to talk to him and I’m beginning to think he might really have feelings for her, not just of the sexual variety. Dash is trashing the attic yet again in all of his rage and discovers a box of old journals and spell books. Within the pages of these books, he finds an old-timey picture of Ingrid and knows he must get to her immediately. Freddie is still … Continued

SONS OF ANARCHY, Season Seven Premiere

Welcome to the seventh and the final season of Sons Of Anarchy.  If you are still feeling raw from last season’s finale then hold on to your hats, because this episode was a doozy. The extended premiere was filled with everything we have grown to love from creator Kurt Sutter. He is an expert at keeping things under wraps from season to season.  Anything is possible and no one is safe.  This super-sized episode made that very clear! The opening scene shows us Jax in jail beating someone, with Gemma and the club caring for his boys. Unser is leaving flowers at Tara’s grave while Wendy is packing up to leave rehab. The scenes final moment is Jax carving a swastika in the man’s chest he was beating and removing a few of his teeth. … Continued

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Eight

This episode kicks off in the forest. Note to all mortals: stay out of those woods people! Freddie and Tarkoff are busy cutting people up trying to find a proper host for the King. Sadly, since all of the victims are terrified and fighting the process, the transfer isn’t working. Tarkoff explains to Freddie, he needs to find a willing host, someone who trusts him. Oh poor Caroline, poor, poor, you’ll-be-dead-soon Caroline. That’s just the start of this week’s episode; stick with me, a lot of stuff is about to go down. It’s Freya’s thirtieth birthday and there will be a party and cake. I do have to say, it’s funny listening to Freya lament the fact that her life is in the dumps – turning thirty, still living at home with your mom, working … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Nine

Episode nine, titled Story of My Life (anyone else immediately get the New Direction song stuck in their head?) was all about euphemisms and misdirection. We start with Virginia once again in Dr. Madden’s office. She has decided to continue seeing the psychiatrist in lieu of Barbra. For someone who is good at so many things in life Virginia is an awful actor. She recounts Barbra’s story like she’s reading off a grocery list. Dr. Madden calls her on the emotionless account of her sexual abuse. It’s hard to tell, but I think the good doctor may be on to her. Masters and Libby are having Frank, his wife, and their mother over for dinner. Masters leaves right after supper saying he has to go to the office; of course he’s actually meeting Virginia at … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Eight

Denial was the name of the game in this week’s episode. Whether it was denying family, guilt, or their past, everyone worked hard to forget. We open with Masters meeting with an old college friend, Francis. Frank and his wife are having fertility problems and would like to consult with Masters. The entire conversation makes Masters uneasy. In fact, Bill tries to pass Frank off on another specialist but Frank refuses. Masters reaction to his friend’s appearance in his life is odd. Later, when Frank and his wife come in for testing, Masters once again seems uncomfortable with his friend’s presence. When the results come back Frank is found to have an extremely low sperm count. Bill makes an appointment for Frank and his wife to see a different specialist that can help them conceive. … Continued

TRUE BLOOD, Series Finale

True Blood met its final death with the odd mix of zany plot twists, lingering grief, exploding vampires, dropped narratives, and awkward allegories about discrimination that defined all seven seasons of the series. Much of the episode was dedicated to Bill and Sookie arguing about Bill’s impending death.  He desperately wants Sookie to kill him with her faerie powers. Not only will this release Bill from the burdens of being a vampire, but will mean that Sookie is no longer fae. After seeking counsel on the issue from a range of somewhat unlikely individuals, including Jason and Reverend Daniels, Sookie agrees to sever the ties between herself and the world of vampires by killing Bill. Eric and Pam, meanwhile, serve as something resembling the comic relief as they kill off Team Yakanomo and take Sarah … Continued

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Seven

This episodes kicks off with two of the worst things that could happen while having sex. Freddie and his new chick, Caroline are enjoying each other all naked and such when Freddie’s Mom, Joanna walks in and sees aplenty. Across the way, Killian and Eva are going at it (as they are wont to do all the freaking time) when suddenly Killian sees an altered version of Eva — or did he see the real Eva? Either way, what he saw was a total boner killer since Eva looked like a craggy old witch, warts on the face and all. Speaking of things that you know are going to turn sexual, Dash surprises Ingrid at the library and invites her to the East End Arts Coalition’s black tie gala, as friends of course (riiiiight, just … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Seven

I’m not sure how what to think about the latest episode. It was a lot of fast forwarding to set up future storylines. We begin by jumping ahead five months. Lester has come back from Hollywood after being jilted by his lover as well as the movie business. He will once again be documenting Masters and Johnson’s study. Lester’s new obsession with documentary filmmaking has him recording the interactions between the staff in the study as well as the participants. It’s a twist that shows how deeply Masters’ study, as well as his relationship with Virginia, has touched everyone in his life. After Masters was fired from his last job he opened his own clinic. His fertility patients were reluctant to follow him to his new location. With little to do as an OBGYN, Masters … Continued

Movie Review: MAY IN THE SUMMER

Cherien Dabis’s May in the Summer (Dabis is the writer, director, and star of the film, as well as a co-producer) follows May and her sisters – who all grew up in the U.S. — on a visit to Amman, Jordan to prepare for May’s wedding. The wedding is the central plot device of the film, and in some ways is also its central flaw. May’s devoutly Christian mother (Hiam Abbass) disapproves of her Palestinian Muslim fiancé Ziad (Alexander Siddig in almost no screen time whatsoever), who is a high-profile scholar in the U.S.  Additionally, May and Ziad are trying to hide their cold feet from Ziad’s mother who is deliriously into wedding planning, while May juggles the dramas of her divorced parents and the twenty-something growing pains of her sisters. Aspects of the film … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Six

This was one of my favorite episodes yet! Lillian is undergoing radiation. Her radiologist is more concerned with Lillian’s head placement than the words coming out of her mouth. She notices that he’s ignoring her and declares she was raised by vampires and had sex with a corpse just to see if she can get a reaction from him. I love it when we get to see Lillian’s sense of humor. At her following radiation appointment, Lillian asks the same radiologist to give her the truth about her health. She trusts him because he sees her as a thing more than a person and won’t spare her feelings. The radiologist tells her that the radiation will slow her cancer’s progression but only by a little bit. He then proceeds to tell her she will lose … Continued

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Six

This episode kicks off with Hudson, Ingrid’s library co-worker, popping in to grab something he left behind only to find an obviously be-spelled Ingrid in a pile of disarray sprawled out on the floor. In an odd sing-songy voice, Ingrid tells him she’s so glad he was chosen and seconds later, the Madragora and his creepy tentacles attack poor Hudson. When the group looking for Ingrid finally finds him, a freshly bad guy carved up and branded Hudson tells them “he wanted to wear my skin but it wasn’t a good fit” and then rounds the final corner on the death train. The take away should be, don’t befriend a witch in this town, if we did a roll call, I think we’d find only one or two mortals remain in the immortal friend circle. … Continued

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Nine

With just two more episodes to go and shocked by Bill’s refusal to drink Sarah Newlin’s blood, Team Everyone Else tries to reason with him.  Sookie even slaps him. Twice.  She goes for a third time, but Eric stops her. Jessica is just as upset, but her slap is more metaphorical.  She demands Bill release her and he gives an awesome speech about how proud he is of the vampire she’s grown up to be.  This is the first parenthood-related moment of this episode, but not the last, and we’re all pretty sure that Sookie is still having sad vampire Bill’s sad vampire baby. Meanwhile, Sam’s plotline gets wrapped up with him almost entirely off camera.  He’s left Sookie a note at his place about leaving town with Nicole, because he can’t stand the thought … Continued

Movie Review: THE GIVER

Based on Lois Lowry’s novel, as a film The Giver manages to be unsatisfying as entertainment while also, somehow, being emotionally effective. If you’re not already familiar with Lowry’s novel, the plot takes place in a centrally planned society that has eliminated difference, conflict, and emotion. The Giver is the story of Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), who is training to be the one person allowed cultural memory and emotion in his society, referred to as The Community. While Jonas is supposed to keep his learning secret, he is ebullient at discoveries like music, dance, and colors.  He stops taking his government mandated medication that suppresses emotion, and shares these items with his family and with his two wary best friends, drone pilot Asher (Cameron Monaghan), and nursery worker Fiona (Odeya Rush). Eventually, given the knowledge of … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Five

Even though there were big changes for Masters, for me this episode was all about Libby and her dramatic change from the first season to the present. We begin with Masters giving Virginia a key to her office at Buell Green Hospital. Instead of being excited Virginia is upset Masters would just assume she would leave Memorial. Virginia wants a contract detailing her job description as well as assurance that if Bill were to leave the hospital she would still have a job. While I understand Virginia’s apprehension over leaving her secure job at Memorial for this new endeavor with Bill, I was surprised with how upset Virginia became. Hasn’t she been complaining this whole time that Masters has been stringing her along? Now that she has the chance to work with Bill she isn’t … Continued

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Five

After taking a week off, Witches of East End kicks off with Joanna doing a solitary ritual in the woods, to put Victor’s soul at rest. Her mourning period is interrupted by a black form flyby and immediately Joanna knows a Mandragora is loose in the woods. Finally, blue sex leech Avatar guy has a species type! Mandragoras are some of the worst creatures in all of Asgard and almost no one has survived a brush with these nasty dudes. Mandragoras develop parasitic sexual relationships with their mate and even pull energy from the mate when they are not feeding. If you kill or injure a Mandragora, the mate suffers the same fate – not good news for Ingrid. Joanna knows the only person who has ever gone to battle with a Mandragora and lived … Continued

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Eight

We’re three episodes from the end of True Blood forever, and this week the show actually manages to wrap up two plots (Tara’s and Violet’s), while continuing to reopen Hoyt’s, and completely ignoring that Sam even exists. The episode opens with Sarah Newlin begging Eric to kill her so that she can be the new messiah (and Eric having been the king of bad choices regarding Sarah’s sister), Eric drinks from her, gets cured, and leaves her alive. Back in Bon Temps, Sookie and Bill follow-up last episode’s sad sex with a sad post-coital chat about a plot from seasons three and four you might not even remember. This involved Sophie-Ann wanting Bill to bring Sookie to her, and Sookie wants to know why. Bill reveals that Sophia-Anne wanted to breed Sookie, continuing to foreshadow … Continued

SHELTER ME by Catherine Mann

Once I read that Shelter Me was about an animal rescue, that was it: I had to read it.  I love animals, especially dogs, and I’ve rescued three of them myself.  Like Lacey, I would save them all if only I had the time and the money.  The subject matter is near and dear to my heart, so this book got bumped up to the top of Mt.TBR. Shelter Me destroyed me. DESTROYED me. Not because it was sad, but because each of the damaged, grieving characters found their HEA.  I grew to like them all so much, so it was gratifying that they were able, with a rescued canine’s assistance, to put their grief behind them and embrace a brighter future.  Yup, I am a complete sap for stories like this. Sierra and Mike are … Continued

UNBROKEN by Maisey Yates

In Unbroken, Cade Mitchell, former Rodeo star, finally finds a purpose in life after an accident forces him to retire. And while he leans on his best friend, Amber Johnson, to help him realize his dream, he discovers that the love of a good woman can heal all sorts of wounds. Amber and Cade are best friends and have been for a long time.  I was a bit skeptical on how the friends to lovers storyline was going to work.  But I was pleased with how Maisey Yates developed their story. There has always been a deep love between the two, but it took a rouse to ward off a potential threat to Amber’s family ranch to discover the love they share was so much more than they imagined. Amber was a tough character to … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Four

Secrets and lies abound in this episode. Virginia wakes from a dream in a panic. She dreamt Masters told her he couldn’t hire her for the study. She was under qualified and had listed her current job as “mistress” on her job application. Unnerved, she argues with Masters that he shouldn’t have let her fall asleep. They are there to work and nothing more. Masters and Virginia go to her car to get the supplies and paperwork needed to once again start the study. Virginia asks when she will be able to start working with him. Masters assures her he’s doing what he can to get her hired. Virginia tries to get Masters to take all the paperwork for the study with him but he rejects the idea. He tells Virginia he wants her to … Continued

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Seven

Now that the audience knows there’s a cure for Hep V, it’s time for everyone on True Blood to be incompetent in order to make the plot last through the end of the season. Erin, Pam, and the American head of the Yakanomo Corporation interrogate Sarah’s sister, since she’s now the key to everything. Despite – or because of – this, Eric lets his vampire temper get the better of him and stakes her before finding out where Sarah is. Also making reasonable but bad decisions are Andy and Holly, who discover that Adilyn and Wade are not at the tree house (although their cell phones are) and assume that they are at Holly’s ex-husband’s cabin and take a long drive out of their way to get there. Of course, Jessica and Sookie, don’t even … Continued

WITCHES OF EAST END, Episode Four

This week kicks off with sexy EMT Tommy and Wendy having a lovely picnic of beer and brats. Sadly, the universe seems to be conspiring against these two love birds. Just as their picnic gets going, a creepy rat scurries on the scene and climbs onto Tommy’s shoulder. Wendy grabs it and throws it aside but not before realizing the rat is more than just a rat. Creepy rat scurries back to the basement torture chamber holding Victor and into the arms of her co-conspirator. If the way creepy captor guy’s tongue works over rat girl, Isis, they are more than just friends…so much more. I’ll get to that in a second. Ingrid and Dash are yet again discussing how guilty Ingrid feels for not helping him with his powers sooner while Dash subtly suggests, … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Three

While this episode did not have a lot of action, we get a deeper understanding of Masters and Virginia through veiled comments and allegories. We start with Masters delivering a baby with adrenogenital hyperplasia, which means the baby was born with ambiguous genitalia. Blood work determines that the baby has XY chromosomes and is therefore a boy. The father, who Masters later refers to as a bully, wants to know if the baby will ever be able to perform like a man. Masters admits that the boy will likely need testosterone shots. The father then refuses to take the baby home unless “it” has surgery to have his penis removed, as the baby wouldn’t be a man if he couldn’t get it up. Masters stands up to the father saying he won’t do the surgery … Continued

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Six

Last night’s episode was a major game changer and a blow against the unrelenting pit of despair that this season has been so far. Despite Eric’s awesome jaw ripping-off skills on display at the end of episode five, he and Pam are captured by the Yakuza working for the Yakanomo Corporation. They want Sarah Newlin, too, and are willing to kill Eric and Pam to get to her. But Eric doesn’t want to give up the information, because he doesn’t want to be deprived of the opportunity to kill her himself. Luckily, Pam talks sense into him and they and Yakanomo agree to do it together. Meanwhile, Bill is a responsible vampire adult who decides to make a will in light of his Hep V status.That process goes entirely wrong at multiple turns; however, with … Continued

THE DOG PARK by Laura Caldwell

Stylist Jessica Champlin knows it takes more than a darling goldendoodle to save a marriage. She and her ex-husband, investigative journalist Sebastian Hess, had too many irreconcilable differences for even their beloved dog, Baxter, to heal. So they’ve agreed to joint custody, and life has settled into a prickly normalcy.  But when Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral, Jess and Sebastian are thrown together again, and her life takes some very unexpected twists. The line of dogwear she creates becomes wildly successful, and suddenly she’s in the spotlight with everyone watching—the press, the new guy she’s seeing, Sebastian and the past she never imagined she would face again. Soon there’s only one person by her side—and it’s the person she least expected. She’s willing to open up to a new … Continued

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Two

This week we get a rare glimpse of Masters using both his heart and mind when he deals with a patient at his new hospital. But first, he has to deal with Virginia. While Virginia just expected she would be moving with Masters to Memorial Hospital to work on the study with him, Masters informs her it won’t be that easy. Greathouse feels he already took a chance allowing Masters to continue working on the sex study at Memorial; hiring Virginia would be too much. Virginia can’t even work as Masters secretary again since he’s already been assigned one. Masters first day at Memorial is anything but dull. First, he’s met at the entrance of the hospital by Betty and her husband the Pretzel King. It seems Betty will be receiving “fertility treatments” (a.k.a hanging … Continued

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Three

This episode contains several flashbacks that help us understand the delicate relationship between Joanna and Frederick. After catching a glimpse of The Kings Symbol branded on Frederick’s chest, Joanna finally comes to her senses and remembers why she should be at least somewhat hesitant when it comes to trusting her son. Yes, the evil mark that has been engraved in the torso of the two victims in East End is in fact, the same symbol that’s on Frederick’s chest. The King’s Symbol is the ultimate oath of loyalty to Joanna’s father, Frederick’s grandfather, the King of Asgard. During these flashbacks, we learn that Frederick betrayed his family at the portal. He admits that he loved, followed, and pretty much worshiped his grandfather until The King of Asgard became corrupt with power. After The King steps … Continued

True Blood, Episode Five

** Spoiler Alert ** We’re just five episodes away from True Blood’s true death as Eric and Pam continue their quest to kill Sarah Newlin while Sookie grieves Alcide and everyone else plays musical beds. With Bon Temps victorious at Fangtasia, the episode opens with Eric back on his throne on the club’s stage as he orders Wylla to accompany him and Pam on his hunt for Sarah.  Wylla, however, wants nothing to do with it, and tells Eric she’ll help him find Sarah only if he releases her.  Eric, between a rock and a hard place and running out of time even faster than this season, takes the deal, and Wylla winds up sending him and Pam to Texas where Sarah has a vampire sister. Sookie, meanwhile, goes home and finally has time to … Continued

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Two

It’s the Fourth of July in East End. Like any good small town, East End is hosting a Fourth of July picnic, complete with kiddie rides and fireworks. The whole town will be in attendance. This episode kicks off with Joanna and Freya looking for Ingrid. Seems she didn’t sleep in her bed last night. If you recall, when we last saw Ingrid she was sleepwalking through the woods and having sex with the Avatar-looking creature. Ingrid is found sleeping it off (and by “it” I mean Avatar sex, but Joanna and Freya think she’s sleeping off too much celebratory alcohol) under a tree in the back yard. When she wakes, Ingrid is feeling fine. In fact, she’s feeling better than she has in years and has the appetite of a giant. Of course when … Continued

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Four

An episode long on administrativia opens with Jason and Sookie making calls to notify the relatives of the recently dead.  Sookie manages to hold it together while talking to Alcide’s father, but Jason chokes up talking to Hoyt. Because every episode apparently has to contain some random content about whether Jason has it in him to be an alpha, Sookie gives him a speech about “manning up” because no one has time to fall apart. Meanwhile, Pam and Eric (and really, why is True Blood about anyone other than Pam and Eric?) are on a private jet headed to Shreveport.  Eric wants to see Willa one more time before he dies, but the actual point of the scene is to give us another amazing flashback sequence that turns into the Fangtasia origin story. As punishment … Continued