Parenthood: 5×15 – Just Like At Home

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One of the reasons why I didn’t keep up with Parenthood whilst it aired was that I really did not want to watch the downward spiral of Joel/Julia.  They are my favourite couple in the show and one of my all time favourite married couples so it’s sad to see them like this.  However, their separation did make for some awesome scenes in this episode: Joel being a single Dad, an awesome Braverman sibling scene which I’ve waited all season for and the wonderful Victor/Julia phone call scene.  Victor/Julia breaks my heart every time.

In terms of everything else …. I am rooting for Carl/Sarah and I think it’s time for Hank to make his retreat, and I don’t really care for the Drew/Amy storyline.

Taylor Swift @ The O2, London (11 February 2014)

IMG_5484Last night was Taylor Swift’s final show in her sold out “Red” tour and I was lucky enough to be in the audience whilst she played to a packed O2 crowd.

Whilst many fans will claim to be a fan of an artist before they “became famous” in an effort to get some sort of street cred, I can honestly say that I was a fan of Taylor Swift before the majority of people in the UK had even heard of her.  Back when she was just a young country singer who played guitar and wrote her own songs.

Now she has become more mainstream and poppier and an idol to many tweens, her concerts have become some sort of bizarre fancy dress competitions (there was even a girl dressed up as a pumpkin – glad I didn’t have the seat next to her!) for young girls (and even their parents).

Anyway, The Vamps, a wannabe OneDirection boyband were the support act.  The lead singer looked about 14 years old and due to their cover songs, I am pretty sure there are a whole generation of young people out there who think that they, and not The Killers and Simon & Garfunkel, wrote ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘Cecilia’.

Thankfully they weren’t on stage for that long and then it was time for the main act.

Setlist:

State of Grace

Holy Ground

Red

You Belong with Me

The Lucky One

Mean

22

Long Live

Sparks Fly

Burn (with Ellie Goulding)

I Knew You Were Trouble

All Too Well

Love Story

Treacherous

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Interspersed IMG_5471with the multiple costume changes and neverending monologues (luckily Taylor is genuinely very engaging and could probably recite the telephone directory and still keep her crowd engaged) was some really good music.  ‘Red’, ‘Mean’ and ’22’ were highlights for me from the first half.

Then Taylor took to the “B” stage allowing those of us at the back of the arena to get a better view.  I was so glad she played ‘Sparks Fly’ which was my favourite song from her third album, and one of my favourite songs of hers overall.  You’ve got to hand it to the set designers – it was really cool to see the small stage lift up in the air and rotate.  Then a little basket came down from the ceiling, lifted her up and transported her back to the main stage.

IMG_5516There she was joined by Ellie Goulding and they sang ‘Burn’.  I like Ellie Goulding but am not a particular fan of that song so personally I wish they had chosen another song, like ‘Lights’.  Still, it was a great performance.

‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ rounded out the concert with no encore which I think surprised some.  Personally I think ‘Starlight’ would have made a great encore “… I said, “Oh my, what a marvelous tune”, It was the best night, never would forget how we moved.  The whole place was dressed to the nines, And we were dancing, dancing, Like we’re made of starlight …”

Overall, I preferred her ‘Speak Now’ tour mainly because I prefer that album.  Whilst there are fantastic songs on all four albums, I am still waiting for the day where she plays some of the gems from her debut album (Tim McGraw, Teardrops On My Guitar, Should’ve Said No).

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Playing for Keeps by Kate Donovan

Playing for Keeps (Play Makers #2)Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I usually make it to the end of even the most disappointing romance novel but reading this one was so torturous I had to resort to some fast scanning of the last third of the book.

I really don’t want to go through and slate the whole book from start to finish so here are just some of the things I disliked:

– No sexual tension between Johnny and Erica and no build-up.  One minute they are meeting for the first time and the next they are holding hands.

– Johnny agreeing to go on a blind date with his sister-in-law’s friend and talks about proposing to her despite the fact he’s never met her and knows nothing about her.

– Johnny’s father pressuring him to have kids so he can name one of them after him, despite the fact Johnny’s brother has a family and is more than willing to do so.

– The constant sexual harassments.  I understand the set-up with Frank’s comments and thus giving the chance for Erica to pitch her idea but she then gets hit on by every inappropriate male.  WTF?  Trust me, I know how this happens to a woman in a man’s world but she must be extremely unlucky to have every sleazy male she’s ever met try something with her.

– Johnny ‘whoring’ out her services to two of her team mates.  I don’t know what is more laughable about this situation but the fact she ended up counseling them and sorting out their love life entanglements with twins is definitely part of it.

Finally, the one saving grace about bad romances is that they are usually short but this went on and on and on.

Book: 1*

Cover: 3*

Criminal Minds: 9×14 – 200

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This was everything you would want in a 200th episode.  JJ was excellent and whilst having Prentiss back was a hit, I absolutely loved how they tied JJ’s undercover backstory in with the timeline of the Prentiss/Doyle thing.  The scene between the two of them on the plane when JJ was taking Emily to Paris <3, JJ hallucinating and imaging Prentiss with her and Prentiss being the one to rescue her TWICE.  Also, bringing back Strauss <3.

The twist about Cruz was something I didn’t see coming and I liked the implication of some one-sided Cruz/JJ.  Will/Henry – yay!  Whole team love at the end!

Flag on the Play by Lois Kasznia

Flag on the PlayReceived an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Oh.  Dear.

I really wish I could find something positive to say about this book, especially since the summary made it sound like it was going to be a decent sports romance.

Unfortunately the reality was it wasn’t even a sports romance teetering on the edge of bearable.

The first half was bad due to the following:

1. the writing was fanfic-y
2. there was far too much squeaking, squawking, screeching by the characters
3. the main characters had no depth to them
4. the way Steve kept referring to himself as “Brother Steve” was really irritating
5. Kyle acted like a teenage girl over the John thing wondering why Payton had not called

And then we got to the halfway point and things took a turn for the worse:

6. WTF with the random stalkers?!
7. Kyle’s ex-girlfriend lies about being pregnant with his child and the next minute, even though she is revealed as a lying ho-bag, Kyle is thinking about getting back together with her and dumps Payton.  Seriously, WTF?!?!?!?!

And at that point my perseverance failed.

Book: 1*

Cover: 3*