TV

Sleepy Hollow: Weighing In OnThe Rebirth

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the writer and does not speak for every viewer of Sleepy Hollow.

At the end of each season, the writers on a television series face a difficult challenge in setting up the new season to be one that will keep viewers tuned in.  With that often comes introducing new story lines that will keep the interest of those loyal viewers watching and hopefully, entice new viewers.

FOX’s Sleepy Hollow had a huge obstacle to overcome. As the show focused on two biblical witnesses of the Apocalypse, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abigail “Abbie” Mills (Nichole Beharie), how could the show continue after the departure of Beharie’s Abbie? Additionally, backlash from fans angered by the death of Abbie made for a difficult challenge ahead. A large percentage of viewers dubbed themselves former fans and vowed to no longer support the show.  Once it was announced that the series would be retooled with an entirely new cast (except Mison and Lyndie Greenwood’s Jenny Mills, Abbie’s sister) and leave Sleepy Hollow and set up stakes in Washington, DC, the uproar was intense. There were numerous tweets on social media criticizing the show, its creators and writers for ruining something special.  And many people vocalized their hope for Sleepy Hollow’s cancellation.  As someone who loved Season One of Sleepy Hollow, I found some of the story lines in the later seasons leaving a lot to be desired. However, as my reason for starting Sleepy Hollow was based on seeing the modern retelling of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” whereas others viewers, especially many POC probably felt a strong bond to the character of Abbie Mills that they related to, with the loss of this character their interest in the show died along with her. But this article is not meant to get into whether to support or not support, but to talk about how I feel Season 4 has done with the new cast, setting and stories. And please remember, these are my opinions and those reading this article may to disagree.

New Cast.  In addition to Beharie, by the end of Season 3 Zach Appelman (Joe Corbin), Lance Gross (Daniel Reynolds), Jessica Camacho (Sophie Foster), Nikki Reed (Betsey Ross), Shannyn Sossamon (Pandora), Peter Mensah (The Hidden One) had all departed.  New actors Janina Gavankar (Diana Thomas), Jerry MacKinnon (Jake Wells), Rachel Melvin (Alex Norwood), Oona Yaffe (Molly Thomas), Jeremy Davies (Malcolm Dreyfuss) and Kamar de los Reyes (Jobe) were added to the canvas.  Diana is an FBI Agent and single mother to Molly, who was revealed to be the new Witness, Jake and Alex are employees at The Vault, a secret organization founded by George Washington, Malcolm Dreyfuss is an eccentric billionaire with an interest in the occult and supernatural and Jobe is a demon with a surprising loyalty to Dreyfuss. I’ve found that each of these characters have brought intrigue and a uniqueness to their roles. We were curious to see how straight laced Agent Thomas adjusted to learning about the supernatural and daughter’s Molly’s place in evil’s fight. Having the second Witness as a child left many wondering, how could Ichabod battle evil’s threats with a kid who had a bedtime? Thankfully, the writing set these doubts to rest (The recent episode “The Way of the Gun” where we met an adult Molly, now called Lara, from the future was a stroke of genius). Jake and Alex made The Vault a cool place to be: book guy Wells is a fun-loving geek and fan of Ichabod Crane while Alex is technical savvy and has saved the team numerous times as she’s come up with useful gadgets.  Malcolm Dreyfuss is scary and charming all at the same time and has become a worthy adversary to Team Witness. And why is demon Jobe so loyal to Malcolm? This cast and characters work on so many levels and have elevated the stories due to great acting.

Setting.  Changing the location of a show called Sleepy Hollow from Sleepy Hollow, NY to Washington, DC was a risky move. Would the gamble work? I admit I was a little skeptical when I read that was the plan for Season 4. I feared we’d lose the supernatural element and Sleepy Hollow would become more about government secrets, especially since Diana was Homeland Security.  Thankfully, Washington is just a backdrop to tie it all in with the Founding Fathers and George Washington’s dream for freedom by protecting the country from the supernatural.

Writing.  Kudos to the writers for achieving the impossible: creating great new characters to interact with old characters Ichabod Crane and Jenny Mills. Some of my favorite episodes of Season 4 were: “The People v. Ichabod Crane”, “Loco Parentis”, “Child’s Play” and “The Way of the Gun.” We got to see the return of a few characters from Sleepy Hollow’s rich history like The Headless Horseman and Henry Parrish, which was neat because these characters reappeared helped to move the current stories further.

Opening.  Thanks Sleepy Hollow for keeping the stirring opening theme.  I don’t know how others feel about this, but if the credits had changed, it wouldn’t have been Sleepy Hollow.

In conclusion, I’m happy that I did what felt right for me and continued watching Sleepy Hollow. I believe that the show achieved what it set out to do in Season 4 and rewarded viewers who stuck with it. Each episode of Season 4 left me excited for the next. I haven’t been this thrilled with Sleepy Hollow since Season 1. I look forward to the Season 4 finale and hope that we see Team Witness live to fight the good fight in Season 5.

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TV

The Vampire Diaries Review: Things We Lost In The Fire via @stacyamiller85

The Vampire Diaries episode “Hell Is Other People” focused on Damon’s Hell.  In last  Thursday’s episode, we got to see  Stefan’s.

This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode “Things We Lost in The Fire”, please do not continue reading.

After realizing that he’s back in the real world, Damon rushes to heal Stefan, Caroline and Bonnie from the injuries he inflicted. Then, he finds himself chained to a wall like the dangerous animal he can sometimes be.

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Stefan’s Hell consisted of both he and Damon drowning over and over, with the only way for Stefan to save himself was to let go of Damon.  He also saw Damon trying to kill Caroline every chance he got which made Stefan reason that Damon tries to be good because of his love for Elena but keeps returning to his darker vampire nature.  I think that as much as Stefan loves his brother, he also secretly fears Damon will turn into something he can’t bring him back from. Maybe the Hell world was trying to encourage Stefan to let go of his brother, with the drowning metaphor.

Meanwhile, Caroline is getting ready for the birth of Alaric twins with a unisex baby shower.  It was too funny during the ‘diaper the baby while blindfolded’ shower game the guys were playing with the doll limbs getting pulled off. Surprisingly, Alaric was a pro, babies are definitely in good hands with this daddy!

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However, my heart broke for Caroline later when Alaric announced that she wouldn’t be a part of the babies lives and he has no intention of raising them anywhere near Mystic Falls or Whitman College.  No supernatural or occult around his twins.  The growth of Caroline since the start of The Vampire Diaries has been remarkable.  She used to be a shallow cheerleader, party girl.  Now she is mature and responsible.  I think she would make a good mother as well as a possible partner to Alaric.

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Meanwhile, Damon is having hallucinations of Civil War buddy Henry everywhere which cause him to kill innocent bystanders by mistake.  But the shocking scene of he episode came when Damon believing he’s burning Henry’s body in a coffin,but it turns out to be Elena.  Here’s hoping that was another hallucination.  Though I have to believe it was as I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Elena.

As I’ve said before, the strength of The Vampire Diaries lies in the relationship between the Salvatore brothers. Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder are the heart of the show and is one of the reasons viewers remain invested.

What did you think of The Vampire Diaries? Sound off in the comments. Or tweet @thenerdygirlexp and @stacyamiller85 .

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Movies, TV

Exclusive Interview With Terri Garber via @stacyamiller85 @terrigarber1228 #NorthandSouth #Dynasty

 

Terri Garber is the talented actress who first became known to audiences for her amazing portrayal of Ashton Main in the television miniseries North and South.  She has appeared as Lesley Carrington in Dynasty. 

She was also on several soaps.  Terri made her acting debut as Allison in Texas, played Suzanne Collier in Santa Barbara, Victoria Parker in General Hospital and Iris Dumbroski in As the World Turns.  Her nighttime roles include in Midnight Caller, Quantum Leap, Murder She Wrote and 7th Heaven.

I recently spoke with Terri about her experience on North and South, Dynasty and her feelings regarding acting in general. I found her to be open and honest with clear ideas on what it means to be an actress.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an actress?

“There were a couple of times that were really significant in my life and one of them I remember was I went to see FIDDLER ON THE ROOF .  When I was watching FIDDLER ON THE ROOF,  I wanted to become an Orthodox Jew, like they were.  My family was not Orthodox.  A few years later I realized that I didn’t want to be orthodox, I wanted to be one of the daughters in the movie.  That’s when I realized I wanted to become an actress.   So that was really the first time I think was really significant for me.”

You were incredible as Ashton Main in North and South. You breathed such life into Ashton and made her such a memorable character.  What was your audition process like?

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“(Laughs) That’s so funny because what happen was I lived in New York at the time so I was flown to California to test for a Joe Pesci pilot.  We didn’t test until the night time where you did it with all the network executives and everything.  And right then you find out if you got it.  I didn’t get it and I was really bummed.  My manager calls me on the phone and he says ‘Go to Warner Brothers there’s a script waiting for you, you have an audition tomorrow.’  And I was like ‘How am I going to possibly get it together for tomorrow?’  You know, you do a lot for an audition, a lot of process.  So, I get this script the weighs about twenty pounds.  I had no idea it was a miniseries.  All I could do at that hour which was about 10:00pm was just look at my scenes and learn my scenes.  And I had the freedom to do what I wanted to do, to be in the minute.  And what I wanted to do was stick my hands on my breast and say ‘Look Billy, they’re ripe’ which was one of my audition scenes.  And I did it.  I was really free with the audition.  I didn’t think never in a million years that I would get it.  I thought it would definitely go to a movie star, so I did whatever I really wanted to do so I think that helped me get it.  

So the audition process for me from that time, normally I would read the script straight through without putting anything on it.  Just read it to learn information on what it’s about.  Then I’d go back and read it a second time.  But this time,  I would start looking at the character I’m auditioning for and start putting her together and finding the areas where I’m going to have to look back into my life and pull out experiences from my life to really relate to that particular scene.  But this time all I could do was read it, learn it and be free.”

Had you read any of John Jakes’ work prior to the audition?

“No, I had not.  And I was really lucky because I met him.  After Part 1 aired, there must have been a party of some sort.  I was there and he wrote me a really lovely letter that I wish I could find.  And he said I did more for the character than he ever dreamed that the character could be and it was one of the kindest things anyone could ever do for you when you’re playing their words.  They have an image of what they wanted and you hoped that you fulfilled that.”

And you did, I read North and South. Usually when a book becomes a movie something is lost in the translation.  But you got the nuances of the character to a tee.  It was almost like you had your script in one hand and the book in the other because you were amazing.

“Thank  you.  It was one of those parts when I really didn’t have to work very hard.  It came to me so naturally, the words were so easy for me to say.  We had to learn an accent so I worked with someone on that.  But it was really the first and only time that I can remember it being so easy to do something.”

You really got the accent down so well that I was surprised when I heard your real voice in Dynasty after North and South. I know you did Texas, but I hadn’t seen your work in that soap opera.  Was Texas your first on screen role?

“Yes, Texas was my first really big, finally television thing.  I did little scenes here and there on other stuff.  But this was finally getting a really nice part.  And I was taking over from someone who had been playing it thirteen weeks prior than me then they asked her to leave and I started.

At that time, it was the early 80s and everybody was doing drugs so it was a pretty crazy set.”

Can you share any memorable moments from the North and South set?

“There were so many memorable moments and they were usually off-screen.   When Genie, Kirstie and I had our days off we played a game that Genie taught us.  I think we called it malaria.  We would pretend that we weren’t feeling well and had to get into our long white beautiful nightgown, lay in each other’s rooms and order room service, pretending that we were too ill to get dressed and go out. That was a lot of fun.  Or we would play bang the boobs.  Our bras were so padded that we could knock into a wall and not feel it.  So Kirstie would yell out to me ‘Are you ready, girl’ and we’d run at each other and bump chests and fall on the ground, laughing hysterically because again, we didn’t feel a thing.” 

Another one was when Jimmy Stewart came to work.  It was the first day of shooting for Part 2.  None of us had started work yet, only Patrick Swayze and Lesley-Anne because they had the scenes with him.  But everybody in the film showed up and we set on these tables and we watched him work.  And he was a complete professional, he knew all his lines, he had his wonderful Jimmy Stewart-isms.  He was a much older man, he did a great job and he was so nice.  He came by and he shook every one’s hand.”

Terri Garber with Peter O' Toole North and South Book 3

As Leslie Carrington on Dynasty, your character was in an unholy alliance with Sean Rowan.  While Leslie made mistakes, I wouldn’t consider her a villain.  How would you describe her?

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” She changed so much from the two seasons she was one the show.  When we first saw her, she was so sweet and kind.  But the best thing I can do was be a villain.  So the second season they decided to do that.  So Leslie was a bit of a confusion.  But ultimately I believe she was like Joan Collins’ character.  She wanted to have all that money.  The Sean Rowan thing she just got mixed up with him.  She wanted to take over Joan Collins’ empire, she wanted everything that was hers.  There was this one time I actually had a scene with her before she comes in and I’m imitating her on a tape recorder.  And she walks in and she listens to me as I continue on the recorder.  To have to do her accent and imitate her in front of her was like so horrible (laughs).  If I had continued on, if I had wanted to continue on, I think that was where they were heading.”

If the Terri Garber of today could give advice to her younger self just starting out in the entertainment business, what would you say?

I would say that it has to be in your blood, in your body.  It has to be something that nothing can deter you from doing.  You have to want it so badly that nothing else is as important.

My daughter is an actress and those were the things that I said to her. I told her that you’re very good but know it has to be your everything.  She’s really good and got her first Broadway show.”

That’s good advice. I know a lot of actors start out with dreams of accolades and awards in their heads and for people to recognize them. But it’s important to know why you’re doing it and to do it for the right reasons.

“I never really thought about it.  But one day back when I was in Dynasty, I went to the mall because I needed to get some lipstick and so I had the mirror in front of me and I was applying lipstick. And I saw like this crowd of people behind me.  So, I turned and I thought ‘Who’s here? I wonder who here?’  But it was me.  And that was really so incredible to have that happen.

I listened to you, Jane and Jennifer on Blog Talk Radio on August 9 and you guys were hilarious. Any plans to do more shows?

“Jane and I were talking about that the other day.  It’s a little hard coordinating with everyone, so just she and I are going to do it.  Our whole thing is that we’re woman over fifty years old and this is what life is like.”

I’ve noticed that in addition to acting you’ve done some writing, you’ve done some producing.  What could you tell me about that, how do you feel about breaking away from acting into other areas of the industry?

“Well, I’ve done a few things on the other side of the industry. I was a development executive. I was a producer at Universal for a year, I was an assistant to a director for two years so I have done other things.  I went to The French Culinary Institute for pastry.  I go away from acting and I think I’m done, I think I’m really finished and then it creeps back in and it takes over and I have to do it.”

Any current projects that you’re working on that you could share?

“Because I left New York and California for three years,  I have to start all over again.  So, I’m starting auditioning and I have new head shots.  And I’m hoping for something to hit.  I’m really into doing soaps.  That’s something that I really enjoyed very much.”

 

 

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TV

#The100 In Verse, Poetry By Tracy Diane Miller @JRothenbergTV @The100writers

Survivors of The Ark,

They have a Leader in Clarke,

A Grounder Army to Make,

And the Help of Bellamy Blake

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Bellamy Blake his sister Octavia he adores,

Hiding her from the Ark’s Council underneath the room’s floor.

 

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Survivors of the Ark towards Earth their space station did land,

To face the wrath of a strange new world A courage they found You understand.

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Theolonious Jaha as Councellor he was replaced,

A pilgrimage across the desert A destiny to embrace,

As feet became weary From a lengthy flight,

All in search of The City of Light.

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#The100 – A Fandom United via @stacyamiller85 @JRothenbergTV @the100writers @cwthe100 #The100 #The100Season3

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The 100 has done something that few shows in recent memory has done: it’s reached a large array of people from many walks of life and made them fans.

The face of a fan of The 100 transcends the standard teen audience market. If you read comments on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, you will see that the show has fans of different ages and stages of life.  Students, professionals and homemakers enjoy the show.  It’s not uncommon to find a college student and a mother with children discussing the adventures of the characters online.  And the funny thing is, this shared passion for The 100 has made friends of people who would have had nothing in common otherwise.

The 100 isn’t your standard sci-fi drama. Sure it started as a story about a civilization in space but it has developed into so much more.  It’s become a study of mankind’s ability and instinct for survival.  It takes a look at today’s youth in a different way.  The teens on The 100 aren’t talking about dates or fancy cars, they’re discussing food, shelter and communications systems. They possess a maturity far above their years.

Creator Jason Rothenberg should be extreme proud of his show.  The 100 has altered the landscape of television and united a viewing community and turned them into a fandom.

Watching  The 100 is like Unity Day for fans. No matter what walk of life you come from, you’re united by your love for this awesome show.

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TV

Happy Birthday, Robin Ellis!

downloadWhen people hear the name Ross Poldark today, they immediately think of the new Poldark  series with actor Aiden Turner as the swashbuckling 18th century hero.  But for me, there will always be one Ross Poldark, Robin Ellis.

I was 13 years old when mom, Tracy and I began a series on Masterpiece Theater called Poldark in 1978.  The series had recently aired in the UK and had just come to American television. I was immediately enthralled by the adventures of Captain Ross Poldark as played by Robin Ellis.  As an avid reader, I started reading the novels by Winston Graham.

For my 9th grade Freshman English class in 1979, I wrote a book report on the first novel in author Winston Graham’s Poldark Saga, Ross Poldark.  My English teacher Mr. Gordon (who was also a huge Poldark fan) and I would engage in lively discussions on the books and series.  I received an ‘A’ on my book report.

When I heard that Poldark would be returning to television, I knew I would be watching.  The new series is very good but in my opinion, the original series was great.  I have a four decade love for Poldark and applaud Robin Ellis for creating such a memorable character on television.  I was pleased to learn Robin Ellis would be making an appearance as Reverend Halse in the remake.

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Memories of Poldark will hold a special place in my heart and I will forever be grateful to Winston Graham for writing the books, Masterpiece Theater for airing the series and Robin Ellis for being Ross Poldark.

Below are my favorite Poldark photos with Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark:

 

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Happy Birthday, Robin Ellis!

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