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5/10
There were some funny moments.
14 September 2019
Some. LOL moments and lines. But there were also a lot of lines that were supposed to be funny and for me they fell worse than totally flat.

For most of the movie, Megan was a lazy loser and a witch. As a result, who would care if she actually connects with someone. In fact, for any guy's sake, you would hope she doesn't. Alec sure deserved more given the explanation for what he did.

The toilet humor early on was a complete turn off and that stuff leaves a smell which wouldn't go away easily, so how romantic!

One stupid situation led to another and they were not funny, but again there were some more or less funny ones in between.
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Criminal Minds: Pleasure Is My Business (2009)
Season 4, Episode 16
9/10
Another strong performance by Gibson
12 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I watch(ed) this show because of three characters. Spencer, Gideon, and Hotchner. Unfortunately in 2019 two are gone and I think Spencer is not full time.

This episode shows again what a strong character Hotch is. It also raises some interesting fantasy what ifs regarding what might have been in another version of his story.

I liked the bittersweet flavor of the ending despite the sadness.
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Criminal Minds: Seven Seconds (2007)
Season 3, Episode 5
10/10
Lots of profiling stuff
10 September 2019
Lots of things going on especially in terms of questioning and profiling. This kind of episode is why I love the show. And Hotch is at his best here. Prentiss too. The gore factor is lower in this one also. Great suspense. The whole thing is very well done. Maybe one of the most outstanding episodes of the series.
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Criminal Minds: Nelson's Sparrow (2015)
Season 10, Episode 13
10/10
Nostalga
9 September 2019
For me there are three characters hat hooked me on this show. Gideon, Reid, and Hotch. Gideon left a while back, but we get to reminisce in this one. That's this episode's hook. Other than that, it didn't have to be great, but that doesn't matter.
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Profiler: The House That Jack Built (1997)
Season 1, Episode 13
1/10
Suffer through it
4 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This kind of episode is what I have to endure to enjoy the rest. It's a personal taste but the omnipotent villain is a pet peeve of mine. One guy does all this. No mistakes. No clues.. enormously elaborate schemes requiring unlimited access and resources. And he foils pursuit by an army of law enforcement people. In my own personal preferences I reject it all.

Why do I watch anyway. There are enough episodes that focus on other criminals and a brilliant profiler.
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Criminal Minds: Aftermath (2006)
Season 2, Episode 5
1/10
This is the reason
3 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I love this show, most of the time. This episode is the first step in the first instance that this series turns over too many main characters. Such a lame way to do it too.

Another fault in the show is the apparent disrespect for strong women characters. That didn't start here. It started almost from the beginning. Elle could have had huge potential, but they never gave her a chance. For instance the train episode could easily have showcased Elle, but instead she was more a victim and Reid was featured. Elle became a victim again in the season 1 finale and as season 2 progressed her status as victim was cemented. It didn't help that In almost every episode of this season Elle was dressed in noticeably tight shirts. In short, the show runners marginalized and disrespected Elle as they orchestrated her departure.

I never considered Elle one of my favorites, but I dislike this first of too many character departures.
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Criminal Minds (2005– )
The show doesn't need this
3 September 2019
It's s a great show normally wth compelling and exciting episodes. It doesn't need the super villain.

In fact this a class of villain which i call the omnipotent villain. In scifi there presence is arguable depending on whether they obey the rules or premises established by the story, but in reality based fiction they are by default unacceptable,

The writers justify some of his ability with the smoke and mirrors of Garcia's game but it still leaves too much beyond anyone's abilities.

Some shows need to raise the stakes, but this show doesn't, yet they will do it again many times.
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My One & Only (2019 TV Movie)
4/10
Very disappointing
1 September 2019
The leads in this are experienced Hallmark veterans with a history of good performances so I expected more. In fairness it wasn't the actors except maybe the one playing Oliver.

The premise is a bit unusual. The script did not really follow the typical format for the type of reality show it was supposed to be copying and so that contributed to the awkwardness that resulted. The story uses a couple of overused minor tropes like a formula and that only makes it worse. And much of the climax is predictable despite some clumsy red herrings.

The mystery date is just one more stupidity which I can't explain without giving away too much.
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Sister of the Bride (2019 TV Movie)
7/10
Slightly fresh but not exceptional
1 September 2019
A quiet but charming story. I saw two of the problem solutions coming but not the main one.

The relationship of the two main characters was a good one and occupied much of the screen time, which for me is important in this type movie. These two valued communication and respected one another completely. Becca Tobin presents her character as a very likable, intelligent and competent woman.

Dad was a pain and fortunately stopped just short of me hating him completely. I was initially put off by how long he thought was required before an engagement but I think that was intentionally exaggerated.
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Criminal Minds: Derailed (2005)
Season 1, Episode 9
7/10
This episode epioimizes the early series
29 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
While there were poor moments in this episode, there are two things that stand out to me that epitomize the early seasons of this series.

First, it contains one of the things that hooked me on this series - Reid at his best. I love Reid, maybe because I was always a little geeky myself and love geeky things. Reid proves that geeks have their moments. (I hate what has happened in later seasons with Reid becoming less of a presence.)

The other thing is the way Criminal Minds treat prominent women. Elle could have been a force in this episode. Other episodes prior to this one have featured most of the men and this one easily could have featured Elle, but it didn't. (Elle is the first character to leave in what becomes a revolving door of main characters. A few years later, they try to cut Prentiss and JJ, but the fans rebelled and they had to bring them back.)

I grow to love many main characters in my favorite shows. This series keeps bouncing them out. By season 14 they have exited (or reduced) every one of my favorite characters.
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Criminal Minds: Last Gasp (2018)
Season 13, Episode 16
1/10
Complete garbage
29 August 2019
Was this written by a grade school kid? At first I thought this was a comedy episode. The writers' concept of politics, either bureau or DC is childish. It is Hollywood fantasy to think these (former) agents would violate so many procedures and laws. Likely any arrest would be thrown out for those violations and for the involvement of so many discharged agents. The Barnes story arc was not only ridiculous to begin with, but we did this already a few years ago with Straus. This season has had some of the worst television episodes I have ever watched in a procedural series. Garbage
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Criminal Minds: Miasma (2018)
Season 13, Episode 14
1/10
Too many echoes of McCabe, Storzk and Page
27 August 2019
This episode begins a multi episode arc (again) of what at least appears to be political corruption within upper FBI leadership. Yuck. Stop it already. In general, I hate witch-hunts and even more so as a trope in a crime procedural. When you juxtapose that with recent reports that appear accurate of real life corruption it becomes too disturbing. Writers, go back to the wheel house of this show which is criminal behavioral analysis solving crimes.
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Love and Sunshine (2019 TV Movie)
8/10
Enjoyable
24 August 2019
This movie has a dog and a veteran in a romance. Not key elements but they add points in my book.

The story was a little more unpredictable than most of the Hallmark movies lately.

The leads connected.

There were some flaws and clumsy moments. McKellar is still acting more like a young twenty-something than her age. Still I enjoyed it.
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Criminal Minds: Wheels Up (2017)
Season 13, Episode 1
1/10
Hate it
21 August 2019
Still have an unbelievably omnipotent criminal. I don't mind badass villains, but this is too far and it just continues
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Criminal Minds: Red Light (2017)
Season 12, Episode 22
1/10
Total crap
21 August 2019
Omnipotent criminals. Judges, FBI officials and judges ho ignore facts and an agents basic human rights. This whole story arc is total BS. It's a wonder the whole unit wouldn't quit when this is over. I stopped watching this show for two years because of this utter stupidity.
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A Summer Romance (2019 TV Movie)
6/10
Rehash of old used-up tropes but good leads
18 August 2019
This story in this movie is an uninspiring mish-mash of tropes we've already seen too many times which also means it is utterly predictable. How many times have we seen the wall-street baron waltz in and clash with the pretty heroine whose family ranch (or any other fill-in-the-blank family business) is in jeopardy because of debt? One, or in this case both, characters appear a little arrogant at first and proceed to try to show-up one another. In this case, the cruel Richard really isn't that mean as we see by an a brief early scene his generosity. Sam brands him with the nickname JR intending to belittle him, but he takes it in stride. We all know what happens next and for that matter all the way through to the end.

One new concept in the story that I liked was the cowboy code which may or may not have been made up, but it was the one thing in the story that stood out.

For most people, this movie will come down to how they appreciate the performances of Erin Krakow and Ryan Paevey. With these two Hallmark veterans, there is a good chance to save the movie just based on watching their relationship. Paevey and Krakow sync and it is enjoyable as far as that goes. As a man, I love Krakow and I wish I thought her acting was stellar, but I see too many of her patented expressions over and over in everything she does. Krakow achieves her goal, at least for me, but it is more of a passive effort rather than exciting. Paevey was his usual. I felt sorry for Lucie Guest, whom I have always loved as a supporting actress. Her role, as well as the other corporate assistant, was totally undemanding and was even a bit sad in its futility.

This is not the first time that I, along with many other reviewers, wonder if Hallmark has sacrificed quality for quantity by presenting a new production every week. They have lost any freshness especially in the stories and dialog. I'm sure most of these movies are more appealing to those who don't watch them all but merely sample them from time to time.
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From Friend to Fiancé (2019 TV Movie)
6/10
Light rom/com
16 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is kind of a cute rom/com with a light air to it.

Unfortunately the dialogue sometimes sounds like it was written by 7th graders. (Sorry for the insult 7th graders.) Seriously? "Like like" is repeated more than once. And "have feelings for ..." There are also repeated statements like "We're only best friends" with the apparent inference that it prohibits romantic feelings.

There is some dancing around "love" vs "in love" in addition to the discussion about best friends. I find it sad that anyone would think that being best friends is not the best foundation for marriage. I hope that the writers intended that as one of the points of the movie.

I expected this movie to be predictable down to the smallest detail, but there were actually some surprises. The biggest is that Kimberly is actually nice. She is far more honest and reasonable than Jess. Jess actually has several issues that make it hard to like her, not the least of which is that at times she doesn't act much better than a 7th grader. (Really, I don't dislike 7th graders.)

Pavey and Hudon have chemistry which really isn't there with Kruger, but it isn't supposed to be.
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Profiler: Coronation (1998)
Season 3, Episode 1
5/10
Series in a nutshell
10 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is the epitome of what I hate and what I love about this show.

What I hate: Jack's omnipotence. He gets in and out of a high security federal prison even with it on high alert and a trap set for him (mostly the previous episode, summarized and completed at the beginning of this one). He gets into Sam's house which is also highly secure. He orchestrates everything to his plan despite a number of random variables.

What I also hate: the constant repeated torment of Sam. Now Sam has killed her first human being, also at Jack's orchestration. Her safest refuge is violated. In earlier episodes Jack has killed her husband and then a later lover. Yet the torment will continue. At the end of this episode, Sam has to flee to her daughter's bed for comfort while Lucas' taunt rings in her memory.

There are some problems with the revelations of this episode. ***Major series spoiler*** Lucas' voice is NOT the voice we have been hearing from Jack for most of the previous two seasons. When was the switch made. How did the real Jack orchestrate something that happened when she was a child? How did he know? How did Sam miss the switch? More of his omnipotence. I'm sure there are explanations, but they will be contrived.

What I love: Sam's courage and Walker's ability to play this extremely complex character in the midst of a complex situation bringing difficult and conflicting emotions. I said in my review of the entire series that Sam often acts afraid just before she springs her own traps. Yet there is real fear there also conflicting with her courage. She does it again here.
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Profiler: Quid Pro Quo (2000)
Season 4, Episode 9
3/10
Idealistic nonsense
8 August 2019
Writers of TV shows are constantly throwing their idealism at us in the form of the lead characters of their shows, especially crime procedurals. The Baily Malone we see could never survive in his position in the real world for two reasons. One is his rebellious idealism that flaunts the FBI system. The other that we haven't seen as much since Jack is gone is that he is flawed and makes too many poor choices and mistakes.

Likewise for Rachel. Keeping your word, even to a mob boss, is a nice thought, but it doesn't make for a long career. And her arrogant defiance of that same boss doesn't make for long life. But it looks good on TV.
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Profiler (1996–2000)
6/10
Very good mixed with some almost equally bad
3 August 2019
This show is the story of Samantha Waters. Her story is dominated by the omnipotent criminal Jack who is obsessed with Sam, but it is not exclusively so. This show ended at the end of the second episode of the fourth season. After that it lost all cohesion, but it attempted to refocus on a new profiler who replaced Sam. It's not that the new profiler's story was bad, but it was a completely new story that was different. It featured a completely new star character with a completely different personality.

Here's what I loved about the show: Sam Chloe Angel The science of profiling.

Here's what I hated: Jack The obsession with Jack The torture of Sam in many various ways, especially killing key people in her life. Malone including his arrogance and irresponsibility The twofold persecution of Malone story lines. The rebellious Frances story line The series finale cliffhanger

Many people denigrate the performances of Ally Walker. It is true that there are far too many of the same closeup shots of her with the same look on her face. They are basically prolonged stills and they require no acting ability. But Walker does far more than that. Personally, I love her laugh when it's completely spontaneous, but that's not all. Walker had to be a woman who is vulnerable and frequently frightened, but with only a few exceptions, she doesn't show her fear. At the same time she had to be confident in her own abilities. Mix in that frequently Sam pretended to be either insecure or fearful. She thinks on her feet and comes up solutions on her feet also. Walker is probably not Emmy worthy, but she is not just a pretty blonde.

Sam's close friends and Chloe are obvious feel-goods for the series.

I loved Criminal Minds until they messed around with too many cast changes. This show was a forerunner to that and there is a lot of the brilliant deduction appeal in profiling.

Many people love Jack. Certainly, his story was closely tied to Sam's. I just didn't like that story especially the obsession.

Part of the obsession was the torment of Sam that just went on and on. But not only does Jack torment her, but at least one time the writers do also (the Chloe custody episode).

Probably the biggest thing I hated about Jack was his omnipotence. Think about who he turns out to be at the end of season 3 (although we knew before that). He held down that identity and still moved all of the country ahead of the VCTF. Admittedly, he had some help for which we are totally clear always on who did what, but still he was too omnipotent. As a rule, I hate the omnipotent criminal (such as Pelant in Bones).

Malone is an idiot. He's arrogant and irresponsible. He fails his daughter many times over. He operates outside the lines too often for the FBI, despite what current events in 2018 tell us. The gods of television are idealistic and would like us to believe in people who are independent and equally idealistic. The most obvious flaw in Malone is chasing after the wife of his FBI rival. Career FBI guys can't afford to do that. You don't mess around in the office and you don't hit on colleagues wives. Maybe it happens, but it is idiotic.

In short, I think two things held me for 3 plus seasons of this show. One was it's sharing a two hour time period with Pretender. The other was Ally Walker as Sam. Watching it again in reruns leaves me frustrated more often than not.

Note about reruns. Right now it runs twice a day on a cable channel. But the AM and PM episodes are from completely different points in the series. That adds to frustration and makes things confusing.
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Profiler: Ties That Bind (1998)
Season 2, Episode 11
1/10
Ridiculous
3 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This entire series up until episode 2 of season 4 is about the mental torture and abuse of Samantha Waters. (Note the cry scene in the middle of the episode.) The omnipotent criminal Jack is the primary person responsible for almost all of it, but now her in-laws and the courts have joined into it. That is the only possible explanation for the absolutely ridiculous judgment to remove Chloe from Sam's custody.

To try to hid how ridiculous the decision is, there was never any mention by anyone in defense of Sam keeping Chloe that there is no way Chloe could be safe from abduction or worse outside of Sam and Angel's custody. We see how false that safety is.

Meanwhile, Malone at first believes that John Grant would sleep with his daughter Frances. He believes the liar Frances over John who has already proven in past episodes that he won't cross that line.

And another really believable plot line is that after putting the persecution of Malone's FBI boss, now he has to deal with the growing persecution of the Handleman. Neither of these scenarios is at all believable.

Who writes this stuff?
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Sailing Into Love (2019 TV Movie)
6/10
Sweet story fits for Hallmark
27 July 2019
I would have liked to see less environmental protest and more time between the leads. Still, they managed to spend some quality time dancing away from one another and then closer again.

I didn't care for so many reviews rudely criticizing Leah Renee especially for her voice. It is unfortunate that Renee would be perfectly type-cast for a much less flattering role. Her natural tendencies make it hard to give her the respect she deserves. She made a good effort to carry off her role as an intelligent, sensible young lady, but admittedly it was with mixed results. She does portray a very sweet, sensitive and caring woman. And I think she connects with Chris McNally. McNally was solid throughout.

It's also unfortunate that the plot was a bit simplistic and predictable. Still, if you aren't turned off by an actress's voice, it was a nice romance story.

I liked the final sequence.
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Paris, Wine and Romance (2019 TV Movie)
7/10
A bit surprising
27 July 2019
Sure, you always have a pretty good idea in general how a Hallmark movie is going to end and some of the tropes you will see along the way, but this movie threw in a few little twists, especially toward the end. I liked that.

Also, I think this kind of movie is always better if the romantic leads spend a lot of time together. The movies that get too caught up in other aspects of the story are not what I enjoy about this genre. This movie kept the two together even though I wouldn't say their chemistry was the greatest, but it was workable. Jen Lilly is just a little too reserved for great.

I watched the whole movie and didn't notice the baby bump, until I read reviews about it and went back. So what? Are we going to body shame her for that? I sure hope not.

Any time you have characters that are French, unless all those actors are truly French, accents will be an issue. For the most part, it didn't bother me. I did think that a lot of the characters said what sounded more like Jack than Jacques. Also, most times Paris was mentioned it sounded American rather than French. Again, so what?

One other plus for me is remembering scenes from Paris. I was thrilled to be able to visit there once and I love to pick out places I saw even beyond the obvious. There was also a gorgeous shot of what was supposed to be Burgundy. (I have know idea if it really was.)

For me, it has a decent story with some not so obvious developments and a decent romance.
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Wedding at Graceland (2019 TV Movie)
5/10
Exxtreme pluses and minuses
27 July 2019
Pickler is not great but she doesn't ruin it as much as the parents of the couple did. Basically this is the story of a wedding planning trainwreck, so much so I thought it was intentionally horrible. Instead of bridezilla it was momzillas. And Laurel's dad is just as bad. David Keith didn't have to act. He just had to stand and look miserable and condemning. And don't forget the ridiculous wedding planner. Talk about no clue.

Except for the singing, this movie had none of the fun of the Christmas episode. I was starting to wonder if there would be any performances by the stars and the first came just before the half-way point. I'm not the biggest country fan (or Elvis) but the leads nailed it in the one performance. I wasn't as thrilled with the guest performer later, but I'm sure many will be.

Fortunately the last part of the movie dumped the parody motif and became sweet and sappy like a typical Hallmark rom/com.

I can't personally recommend this movie and probably won't watch it again. The good things weren't enough to balance out the bad.
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A Very Country Wedding (2019 TV Movie)
2/10
Impossible
26 July 2019
The premise killed me on this movie before it got out of the gate. (There's no way this could happen. It takes longer than a day to set up a concert.) But I tried.

The acting is bad. The story is terrible even beyond the premise. Characters doing things that make no sense. I made it one scene after the first commercial.
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