A Movie Marathon and a Sad Trend

If the weather didn’t get me down this weekend, the three movies in my unexpected movie marathon sure did. You may already know that when it comes to my viewing pleasures, I’m much more a TV show kind a gal over a movie buff. However, three movies had piqued my interest for some time so, to escape the rain and cold, I hunkered in for the weekend and watched my heart out.

Bingeworthy Sidenote

I also managed to catch an episode or two of the new Netflix series starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini called Dead to Me. Folks, this is a good one – really good. Applegate is doing some of her best work. Dead to Me has the same level of drama and intrigue as Big Little Lies. Let’s just hope that it gets a season two as well. It’s being called a dark comedy. I’m not sure I find it all that funny, but it’s well done! Definitely worth a watch.

Ok, back to my movie marathon…

So, I took in three films that had been on my radar for a while. I liked each one of them, but found the sad, underlying theme of addiction in each storyline to be a shocking reminder of how tragic this epidemic truly is. The first movie I watched was Beautiful Boy starring Steve Carrell.

Beautiful Boy

Based on two best-selling books by father and son, David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy tells the story of Nic Sheff’s nearly lifelong battle with hardcore drug addiction and his father David’s desperate fight to pull him out of it. The story was heart wrenching, but well told. After having watched, I learned that the movie actually softened the severity of Nic’s darkest days. Hard to imagine, because it appeared pretty rough.

The next show in my movie marathon line-up was the Netflix movie The Dirt, which threw back to the good old days of Motley Crue.

The Dirt

I loved it and learned more than I ever wanted to know about the debauchery of 1980s hair bands. I knew these guys were bad, but oh boy! They were worse than I could’ve imagined. I did enjoy learning the pivotal role Nikki Sixx played in forming the band and almost causing its demise as a result of, yet again, a nearly fatal drug habit.

Finally, I watched A Star is Born. Ridiculous that it took me this long, but as they say – better late than never.

A Star is Born

As you might imagine, I thought the movie was great. Gaga and Bradley Cooper were everything everyone had said they would be and, in the end, I was heartbroken that addiction and mental illness took center stage over the amazing talents of the two beautifully portrayed characters. The Grammy’s scene was really hard to watch and I wanted a different ending, plain and simple.

In the End

Three good movies with three eye-opening stories of devastating addiction. Had I not watched them all at once, I don’t think the overwhelming weight of the addiction crisis would have hit me quite as hard as it did. To make matters worse, I topped off the melancholy by watching Adam Sandler’s emotional SNL tribute to Chris Farley – another loss at the hands of drugs and alcohol.

The issues addressed in each of these films are big and scary and, most of all, sad. I’m not sure what else to say other than, I hope it gets better.

Book News


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The Voice – Behind the Scenes


Copies of this People Magazine were handed out to a small section of the audience, shown on air, and then collected on the way out. Carson announced that everyone in the audience was given a copy. Hmmmm – the magic of television!


Oh, how I wish I could go back in time to last week, when I was in sunny CA hiking the Hollywood Hills in beautifully comfortable 70-degree weather.

In the heart of LA, West Hollywood to be exact, there were no signs of the devastating wildfires that blazed north and south of the city. It was strange to be so close and have no real sense of what was going on, so close by. Well, that’s La La Land for you – a place where everything seems perfect, at least on the surface.

So, why go to LA with wildfires raging all around? A seat in the audience of The Voice called my name! You may recall that my friend Karyn and I went to LA to take in the MTV Music Awards back in 2015. Back before this blog existed, I wrote about that experience in my column Matters of Life & Beth.

Celebrity Sightings

I just love LA and, yet again, it met and exceeded expectations. I ran into some of my favorite reality TV stars, we crashed a party for Larry King and dined nearby the music group The Chainsmokers.

Lisa Vanderpump and Jiggy, Tom Sandoval of Vanderpump Rules in front of Tom Tom, lovely little lemons growing on the side of the road, Karyn and I in the spectacular entryway of The Catch LA, the best truffle fries ever at The Catch LA

Inside The Voice

The entire trip was great, but our purpose in being there stole the show. We had great seats at The Voice and were completely blown away by the talent.

They sound better live than on TV. It was hard to believe how much set movement took place during the commercial breaks. There had to have been 50 people on stage at a time ensuring each artist’s setup was perfectly in place.

The hype guy was pretty impressive too. He made sure that everyone in the audience knew exactly what they should be doing from one moment to the next. Stand during performances, sit during judging, stand back up when Carson Daly sends the singer off stage. Keep applauding until Carson exits the stage. I felt like I was in church with all of the up and down.

The Judges

What stood out the most, however, was the judges. Kelly Clarkson is a total class-act. She was fully engaged at all times and so passionate when speaking to the contestant. Shockingly, the other judges were on their phones whenever they had the chance. Never once did Kelly’s phone ever make an appearance. It was a little disappointing to be honest, but I was not all that surprised.

Another thing that made me laugh, was how each judge’s glam squad came bursting out to the chairs at every commercial break. For goodness sake, these people had barely moved. I seriously doubt their hair or makeup needed any touch ups. But inacitvity be damned – these makeup artists have a job to do and by God, they are going to do it! At one point, one of Adam’s team came onto the scene to slightly nudge the ginormous chain that Adam was wearing. This came only after, three other glam squaders had already tweaked the chain into what I’m guessing was the perfect position. Truth – Adam is a bit small to be wearing such a big necklace!

Can’t Wait to Watch!

The entire experience was hilarious and awesome and as I write this, I’m gearing up for Monday night’s showing of The Voice and I can’t wait!

Thank you KB for a great get-away!

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Fall TV – Whatcha Watchin’?

fall tv graphic

Before getting into my favorite subject, I’d like to thank the folks at the 2018 Andover Greek Festival. What a fabulous event! I so enjoyed sharing Musing Mediterranean with the attendees. And to the little girl (maybe 11 or 12) who asked so many great questions about my book and came back with her own money to buy it, you absolutely made my day! Keep reading and writing – you are MY inspiration.

Summer to Fall TV

Ok, now on to TV. Talk about a dry spell. Summer was rough as far as shows to watch. There just wasn’t much that held my interest. Thank God for Netflix.

Breaking Bad

I did manage to break away from my silly sitcoms when I became fully engrossed in Breaking Bad. I know – a little late to the party. Normally, I don’t watch dark shows like this, but I became hooked after first watching a few seasons with Tony, then wrapping up on my own while working out at home. I found watching in the morning or with company helped offset the terror I would normally feel when viewing solo at night. I seriously almost fell off the treadmill several times during some of the crazy, violent scenes – Good Lord! Maybe now I can finally watch Ozark.


Once through Breaking Bad, I needed a new show to keep me distracted on the treadmill. I turned to the new season of Orange is the New Black. I’m still not done. I found this latest season so boring.

With little else to draw my attention, I began trolling Netflix to find something, anything, to latch on to.

Kath & Kim

Somehow I landed on a 2002 Australian sitcom about a mother and daughter living in suburbia called Kath & Kim. Has anyone seen this? I’ve always enjoyed British comedy – I was addicted to Absolutely Fabulous, but Australian humor may be even more outrageous. Once I was able to understand their accents, I found this show to be off-the-wall and purely entertaining. Warning: this show is honestly totally ridiculous – it was just too funny not to watch.

Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope

Off to another part of the world. I landed in Ireland watching a show called Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope. Two super short seasons follow a couple of 20-something women in Dublin whose partying ways get in the way of their friendship and success. This was an interesting show and I quickly became invested in the ladies’ stories.


Netflix must have noticed my trend toward foreign programs because I recently noticed its suggestion for Sisters, another Australian based show. This one, a drama bringing three women together who discover they are sisters. It’s revealed that their biological father parented over 100 children in a fertility clinic debacle. This show is a bit odd, but yet again I’m sucked in. The first season is only seven episodes, so it’ll be over before I know it.

Fall TV

With all of these obscure distractions, I nearly forgot that Fall TV is finally here. I’m not particularly excited about any one show, but a couple I may check out are:

A Million Little Things (ABC) – a This is Us inspired tear-jerker seems depressing on its premise alone, but may have an interesting plotline assuming they don’t try to outdo This is Us. I kind of think they are going to try to do that, in which case I probably won’t like it.

The Neighborhood (CBS) – Not sure about this one but it has Max Greenfield, Schmidt from New Girl, and I’d love to see more of him.

I’m not really sure what else too look forward to. Any suggestions?

What are you watching this fall?




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Vacation Week Blues

I wish I were here!


The kids were on vacation last week. Vacation week is supposed to be fun, right? Well, this past week was just blah. To begin with we were stuck at home while my oldest played basketball all week.

I felt a bit trapped. This would have been a really nice time to get away. It hasn’t been a particularly bad winter, just long. My desire for a vacation week getaway was reinforced whenever I scrolled through Facebook. Seriously, why do I torture myself? About every third post featured a friend’s warm weather respite or some terrific tourist destination or a cool college tour. God, they all looked great!

Of course, the posts in between the vacation pics were even more troubling. Continued reactions of the horrific Florida school shooting filled my feed and it was gut-wrenching. Yet another tragic event that left me numb.

I had to step away. With nothing more exciting to do, I should have used the time to do some writing, get some pitches out the door or even get started on book two, but I was simply not motivated.

Not even the Olympics could hold my interest. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I have never followed the Olympic games. Maybe some figure skating here and there, but not even that this year.


So, this vacation week was a bust. I did manage to find a new show on Netflix worth binge-watching. Flaked with Will Arnett was really good. It brought me to Venice Beach, CA and while it wasn’t all sunshine and smiles, I thought it was a well-developed show with good characters and an irreverent comedic slant that was enjoyable to watch.

Onward and upward

It’s a new week and almost a new month. Spring, I’m ready for you.

How was your vacation week?

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New Year, New Shows, Netflix… Lovesick

lovesick on Netflix

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping 2018 brings all good things. Or at least less bad things than 2017.

This winter break was good. Despite losing my voice on Christmas eve and finishing out vacation week with a nagging cough, I ended up doing a lot of what I love…watching TV. Oh, and of course spending time with my wonderful family.

With most shows on mid-season hiatus, I was left with few options. At first, I found myself watching the early seasons of Will & Grace. I was pretty content until I completely overdosed and couldn’t bear to watch one more quippy, banter-filled episode. I’ll look forward to some fresh material from the reboot returning this week.

So, what’s an old-school girl to do when there’s nothing on TV? Duh, Netflix. Weirdly, Netflix is still an afterthought for me, but once I’m there it’s such a fabulous fiesta of options. Most of which I have no interest in, but when I do find something I like, I’m totally sucked in.


In my last post about shows worth watching I found myself captivated by Episodes with Matt LeBlanc. He and his talented British co-stars were a treat. Well, I must have a thing for the Brits, because this time I discovered Lovesick on Netflix. I fell in love with this British sitcom that somehow turned the main character’s quest to inform all of his past lovers of his recently diagnosed STD into a romantic exploration of his past and the one constant throughout…his true love.

With a first season of only six episodes and a second season of eight, I had binge watched Lovesick in two days. The good news for me is that the third season was just released yesterday. I can’t wait.

Other Netflix Originals I’ve Enjoyed

Master of None (starring Aziz Ansari – surprisingly sweet)

Glow (1980s throwback – kooky/funny)

Atypical (starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, wow she looks different – interesting)

Friends from College (riveting)

Bloodline (chilling, but man I love Kyle Chandler)

What shows are you watching in 2018?

Coming up this month on the blog, I’m excited to post about Oxygen Mind + Body Pilates and the fashion stylings of my good friend, Lysa Pelletier Gibbs. Stay tuned.

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