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Property Brothers (2011– )
The brothers are great. Those homeowners though...
9 January 2017
The enjoyment of this show relies much on the natural charm and charisma of the Scott brothers. If you like them, you'll probably like the show. The identical twins are good looking, energetic, humorous, and good with often difficult homeowners. I love them! Those homeowners though... I don't know where they find some of these people or why they select them for the show. The Property Brothers have been on TV for a while, so it should be obvious to everyone what they do and how they do it. However, just about every episode includes homeowners who:

* Want to buy a move-in ready house with no renovations needed (rendering Jonathan useless, I guess).

* Want a house way out of their price range (a quick look at real estate listings could have told them that).

* Are super picky and controlling about every little detail (then why call a TV show that involves someone designing and renovating your home?).

It gets to the point where I think the show's producers just want to generate drama for the show by selecting homeowners that will butt heads with the brothers.

If it weren't for the lovable brothers, I would not bother watching this show. I would be happy to call them, and they can design my house however they want! I won't even fight them over backsplash tiles.
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The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996–2002)
From the Queen of Nice to the Queen of Mean
23 August 2012
Like many, I absolutely loved this show when it debuted. Rosie's sweet, energetic, and friendly personality won over viewers and lit up the screen. The set was bright, colorful, and cheerful. And her passion for things such as Broadway musicals, Barbara Streisand, and old TV shows made you love them too. I was in college at the time, and would watch this during summer breaks and before I went to class. It was the first show I watched every day. It was a refreshing antithesis to the Jerry Springer-type shows that were popular at the time.

And then Rosie stopped being nice and started getting political. While I respect other people's beliefs, even if they differ from my own, Rosie had a decidedly lack of civility when she expressed them on her show. Following the Columbine incident, she could have used her bubbly personality to cheer people up and give them hope for a better world. Instead, she decided to use her show as her own anti-gun platform, even going so far as accosting Tom Selleck about the NRA in that infamous segment. I remember watching that interview as it aired, and had to change the channel mid-way because I couldn't watch it anymore. People didn't watch Rosie to hear political debates. They watched her to escape from the world. When Rosie lost sight of that, her show went downhill and lost viewers.

Coincidentally or not, it was when she decided to come out as a lesbian that her opinionated side really began to surface and change the show for the worse. (The gun incident was just a taste of what was to come.) It kind of made me wonder whether her sweet personality at the show's start was all just for show. She kind of came off as superficial. Who was the "real" Rosie?
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Too many missed opportunities
7 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
*SPOILERS* I had read the book back in the 90's, and just recently got around to watching the film. While the book is riveting and suspenseful, the movie missed a lot of opportunities to be a truly great film adaptation.

The movie starts out right by employing two great actors - Sally Field and Alfred Molina - as its two leads. But they aren't fully utilized as they should be. Their talents are limited by a sub-par script and direction. Moody is portrayed in the beginning as a kind, sympathetic character. Then all of a sudden he does a complete 180 and becomes a controlling, abusive husband. Alfred Molina is equally good at portraying both good and bad guys, but the film doesn't give him the chance to portray why Moody went from one extreme to another. I found it unbelievable that a man who spent 20 years in the U.S., living a Western lifestyle and being a kind and gracious husband and father, all of a sudden gets "brainwashed" by an ultra-fundamentalist Muslim culture. The movie could have explored his motives a bit more, or at least made him a bit shady in the beginning instead of so nice and well-adjusted.

Betty's character is also not fully explored as it should be. Other than being controlled by her husband and being forced to wear a chador, we don't see any other hardships she had to endure. In the book, there is a harrowing scene in which Betty had to remove an IUD birth control device herself in the bathroom, since she didn't want to risk death by being caught using contraceptives, which are illegal in Iran. This important part of Betty's experience represented the extremes she went through to protect herself. Unfortunately, it is left out of the film. Also, the film jumps from Betty doing everything she can to go against Moody's wishes to being a dutiful Muslim wife after some time had lapsed. I would have loved to see the film portray the actual process of Betty integrating into Iranian life as a way to gain her husband's trust so she can escape.

Another aspect of the book that I wished was emphasized more was Betty's struggle to leave Iran with her daughter. She was able to find many people who would smuggle her out of the country, but had a difficult time finding those who will smuggle her daughter as well. This is where the title comes from. In the movie, she just happens to stumble across a man who can get both her and her daughter out of Iran. The movie missed the opportunity to show Betty's struggle and proactiveness in finding a way to leave with her daughter.

To top it all off, the final escape sequence isn't as suspenseful as it should be. I didn't get the overwhelming sense that Betty and Mahtob were in danger, or that they may not make it. Once again, another missed opportunity.
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Mulan (1998)
Not one of Disney's best
3 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I was a huge fan of the "Disney Renaissance" films in the 90's, of which "Mulan" is one of them. However, I don't think it holds up very well among the others. Which is a shame, because the story and setting are unique, and the heroine is strong and admirable. She deserved a better movie, in my opinion.

First of all, the songs and score are just not that memorable (with the exception of "Reflection", and even that is pretty conventional). The animation was not as impressive. Compare the animation to that of "The Lion King". Every shot in that film was an "awe" moment. In comparison, Mulan looked like it was made for home video. The villain, while scary, was more of a caricature than a fully developed character. Disney always did a great job with villains, so this was a missed opportunity. Also, I really missed a romance. Now, some may love that Mulan never got together with Shang (at least in the first film), but romance is what gives Disney films their spice! Overall, the story just didn't excite me. I saw it once in college when it first came out, and didn't see it again until recently. That just shows how much I really missed watching it (lol). It's admirable that Disney would do a film about a Chinese girl who dresses as a man to fight in a war, but they could have done a better job of it.
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Life Goes On (1989–1993)
Despite its flaws, one of the best family shows ever
26 April 2010
This show debuted when I was in the 6th grade, and it quickly became one of my favorite TV shows. I remember feeling bowled-over when seeing the opening credits and theme song for the first time - it was one of the funniest, most realistic portrayals of a regular family I had ever seen. The same can be said for the rest of the show. Being only a few years younger than Becca, and nerdy like her, I completely related to her trials and tribulations. At the time I didn't think the inclusion of a Down Syndrome character was that big of a deal, but looking back I realize how groundbreaking it was for a family show to portray a main character with a mental disability. I enjoyed Corky just as much as Becca.

The first three seasons were great, and it stayed on track as a unique family show that focused on Corky and his challenges going to a regular school and trying to live a regular life. However, the fourth season took a sharp turn as it focused 90% of its time on Becca's boyfriend Jesse, who had AIDS. At the time, AIDS was just starting to become a mainstream cause, though there were still many misconceptions about the disease. I'm glad the show, never afraid of being edgy, portrayed a character with AIDS, but I wish he wasn't the focus. I actually grew tired of Becca and Jesse's constant dramas every week, and wasn't surprised when the show ended. It was kind of depressing for me to see Becca's life constantly consumed by Jesse and his AIDS status, and I wish the writers let her have a bit more fun during the last days of her high school years. The final episode, which wrapped up the Becca/Jesse storyline, was particularly strange and I wish they had went full circle and focused on Corky instead.
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Sliders (1995–2000)
Great in the beginning, but then...
19 May 2009
This was one of my favorite shows when I was in high school and college. I was really into sci-fi at the time (especially "The X-Files"), and I had a huge crush on Jerry O'Connell, so this series was right up my alley. The original premise was intriguing: a professor and his student discover a way to create wormholes into parallel universes, to which they would briefly visit before returning to their own earth. Unfortunately the device that allows them to do this gets damaged and they are stuck in a parallel world with no idea how to get home. So they keep "sliding" from one random world to the next, hoping to eventually return to "Earth Prime". Do they return? I have no idea, because after the first few seasons the show took a sharp turn for the worse and became almost unrecognizable. While most shows jump the shark at some point, this show jumped about 10 sharks early on. It's a shame because it was one of the few intelligent shows going at the time. If you are new to the series, I would rent the first two seasons, and maybe the third. Once John Rhys-Davies leaves (whose character was one of the backbones of the show), it's not worth watching anymore. My rating is for the first few seasons, not the anomaly it became after that. I guess one could say the show itself slid into a horrifying "parallel universe", never to return again.
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Cute, but needs more music!
2 December 2008
This is a cute holiday TV special from Amy Grant that features songs from her first Christmas album, the "Animals' Christmas" album she performed with Art Garfunkel, and her album "Unguarded". The songs are woven within a plot line: Amy and her (then) husband, Gary, are in Montana for a concert when their truck breaks down in front of a horse farm. They meet up with a few of the towns people and decide to join them for their Christmas concert. The show features some famous faces including Art Garfunkel and Ed Begley, Jr. as a shop owner. Though some of the non-song scenes are entertaining (like the amusing shop scene), I wish these parts were filled with more songs instead. I felt as if only half of the show was devoted to actual songs. And two of those songs weren't even Christmas-related. But overall, a nice program. Definitely a must-see for Amy fans. You can find it on video as "Amy Grant's Old Fashioned Christmas".
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Cheesy Good Fun
27 July 2005
I think the other user has mistaken this "Black Stallion" for the timeless film classic of the same name. This is the TV SHOW based on that film and the books by Walter Farley. This was a short-lived series that ran on the Family Channel in the early 1990's. I was in middle school and high school then, and had a big crush on the guy who played Alec. Though the show was pretty cheesy and the plot lines corny, it was still enjoyable. I was a big fan of the Black Stallion and horses in general, so this show was a "cult favorite" of mine. The only similarity between the show and the movie is that Mickey Rooney reprises his role as Henry the trainer. Alec has grown up a bit (he's in his late teens/early '20s here), and they introduce a new character: a French Canadian girl named Nicole who works as a stable hand while trying to find her long-lost father. I haven't seen this show in over ten years, and I'm excited to see that it's on DVD. Maybe I'll rent it for old time's sake. Just don't watch it expecting to see the movie version or a show that is of the same quality. It's pretty low budget, but enjoyable for what it is.
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