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Review: Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album

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Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album Book Review
Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album by Julie Poll

I adored this book, even though it was a compilation of so many things I’d already read or seen on the TV show. It brought back great memories, revealed a few new facts and helped understand a lot of history I’d only known a little bit about. If you are a fan of the show, you must give it a read thru. It’ll make you smile over and over again. If you’re not a fan of the show, no point in reading it. That said, the author does a great job with the family tree history, keep character history and highlights of the best of the best and the worst of the worst. I was very sad when the show ended, but I also knew it was time to go… it had gotten so far off track. My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

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Review: As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook

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As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook
As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook by Julie Poll

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review
Next to Guiding Light, As The World Turns (ATWT) was my favorite soap opera in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I stopped watching ATWT around 2007, as I couldn’t keep up with 4 of them… and focused only on GL.

But ATWT was a great show, and when Julie Poll published this scrapbook, I had to have it! It chronicled so much of the past in the 1950s thru the 1980s when I wasn’t really alive to watch it. I read a lot in magazines and on the internet, but having a whole book dedicated to it was amazing.

If you’re a fan of the show, it’s a great way to stay connected, and even learn new things. If you’re not, but you love family drama and genealogy, it’s also a cool way to study as much as possible. And then maybe you can watch old episodes on Youtube.

It can easily be read all in one setting — lots of great pictures. But you can also read section by section over a few weeks or months, stretching out the fun.

And I would love to try a telenovela after all this!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

TV Show Review: Mom

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4+ of 5 stars to Mom, a 30-minute TV comedy that began airing in 2013 and is currently in season 4. I couldn’t say enough good things about this show, something everyone should be watching if you like to laugh and enjoy a true slice of life. I want to give it a 5, but I rarely do that unless the show has been out and over for years, and holds up well to continue to watch years after it went off the air. But this one is still on the air, so it’s as close as I can get to giving a 5 for a fun viewing!

Why This Show?

  • I watched Allison Janney back when she was on Guiding Light almost twenty years ago as one half of a comedy maid team for the Spauldings. I thought she was hilarious back then and watched her in any movies or shows she starred in. Anna Faris has been my go-to female comedy girl for a long time… LOVE the spoof movies she does.
  • When they teamed up and were going to play recovering alcoholics, and separated mother and daughter, I thought it would be golden. And it is!
  • I watch about ten shows regularly, and this will always be one of them.

Show Overview

  • Christy (Faris) is a newly sober 35-40 year old woman living in Napa Valley, California. She’s been estranged from her alcoholic and pill-popping mother for years, but unfortunately inherited the same tendencies. She’s got an 18-year old daughter (not sure who the father is) who seems like she’ll follow in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps, and she’s got a 12-year old son (different father we see from time to time) who spends time with his dad more often than not. Christy’s a waitress and went back to law school to earn a law degree, struggling to survive as a parent, caretaker and recovering sober woman.
  • Bonnie (Janney) is Christy’s mother who raised Christy, but was often in jail or on a bender. She’s witty, sarcastic and hilarious. She’s had tons of jobs, was a lesbian for a few years so she had someone to pay for her habits and take care of Christy. Bonnie finds herself currently a building super, tho she has know skills in managing a building. She re-kindled her love with Christy’s father, but he eventually died of a heart attack in an earlier season.  She never knew her mother, and recently had a one-day introduction, but the woman later died where Bonnie learned she had a half-African-American brother. She’s currently dating a paraplegic man and trying to be more sensitive to everyone’s feelings around her.
  • Bonnie and Christy have spent the last few years re-building their relationship, living together, raising Christy’s kids together and figuring how how to be sober together. They even helped Christy’s then 16-year old daughter give up her new baby for adoption when Violet didn’t want to be a mother.
  • They have a group of friends through their AA meetings who have become an incredible support system and a sense of amazing comic relief.

Notable Stars

  • MY FAVORITE (in this show)
    • Allison Janney is the bomb! She’s been nominated for many awards, and even won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in the show. Her sarcasm and critical style are always on point and the biggest laughs on the show. But she also has a tender side and you will always root for her even when you want to smack her.

  • OTHERS
    • Anna Faris is a close #2 favorite. She plays a similar character as she has in many of her movies, but she’s got more substance in this show. She’s a good mom, but both her kids can be terrible. She tries to be nice to her mother, but she just can’t be — in a funny way. She has a good sense of comedy, a few dramatic scenes, but it’s her frequent snafus that keep us all entertained.
    • Mimi Kennedy plays Marjorie, the older and wiser sober friend who helps them all figure out how to keep moving forward each day. She’s best known for her role in Dharma and Greg.
    • Jaime Pressly plays Jill, the super-wealthy divorcee who wants a baby, but ends up adopting a teenager. She’s best known for her role in “My Name is Earl.”
    • Beth Hall plays nurse Wendy, a whiny friend who is always just one step away from the group. She’s best known for her role on Mad Men.
    • Many stars have joined from time to time, notably French Stewart and Octavia Spencer (who was fantastic).
    • Supporting players include Bonnie’s boyfriend Adam, Christy’s kids Violet and Roscoe, and her ex-husband Baxter.

The Good and The Bad

  • It is a true comedy. It covers so many different life experiences, and you have an amazing time watching them grow season by season.

  • It has a good amount of drama. There is excellent balance. We’ve watched death, break-ups, benders, marriages, births and a lot of heart-ache. Sometimes it’s shocking as you think it’s all comedy and boom, something bad happens.

  • Every episode is its own story. And sometimes, you don’t even realize you’ve been taught a lesson.
  • There’s been a few holes where characters should have stuck around longer. We want to know more about Bonnie’s half-brother. Baxter and the kids have been gone most of this season. Octavia Spencer’s role should be more frequent. Christy needs a good boyfriend for a few episodes.

Final Thoughts

  • You will always laugh, so give it a chance.
  • It’s got so much heart without being cheesy.
  • You root for everyone, even when they are doing stupid things.
  • I hope it lasts another 2 seasons and ends on a somewhat happy note.
  • If you’re going to watch it, you can pickup any episode and not worry about missing history. It’s good to watch in order, but not 100% necessary.  Find the one with Octavia Spencer’s debut… it’s probably the best one out there!

 

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I watch TV A LOT. I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. This site, https://thisismytruthnow.com, is where you’ll find TV & Film reviews, book reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

TV Show Review: Madam Secretary

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4 stars to “Madam Secretary’s” Season 3, Episode 6 “The Statement.” This season started off a little shaky but has been growing much stronger. I look forward to each new episode unlike the prior season where it sat waiting in the DVR station.

Story

Henry’s former asset, Dmitri, has gone rogue. Henry flies to his new undercover location to try to save him, subsequently learning that Dmitri doesn’t want to live if he can’t be near his family or in a career protecting the country.  Henry acts fast to find a solution to try to meet one of the two requests.  And he succeeds…

The presidential election is heating up and it looks more and more like Dalton will lose. All their decisions about current politics and US relations with the world are based on this election.  Realistic much?

Poor Matt is tied to a radical Islamic terrorist bombing, or so it seems… perhaps it’s the Afghan government’s connections who are behind it all.  Matt made a donation to a mosque which is under scrutiny, but he refuses to speak to the press.  He’s branded a traitor by some American new groups and in the end, he’s proven innocent (of course). But it was a very clear picture of what it’s like in America these days…

Strengths

  1. Reality. It mirrors so much of what’s going on right now, it ain’t funny!
  2. Matt’s story was moving. You saw what it was like for someone being accused of a crime they didn’t commit purely because of religion. Awful.
  3. Tea Leoni’s angst and determination are unparalleled.  She was born to play this part. Maybe she should have a real role in government. 🙂

Suggestions

  1. Less about the Middle East in the future please.  Sometimes we need a different topic. I look forward to next week’s about Venezuela! Maybe we can find with Trudeau’s counterpart in Madam Secretary Canada?
  2. The family comes in and out too much. It feels disconnected.  As does the plight of the rest of the Secretary of State team. I understand giving each actor a chance to shine, but sometimes we lose traces of what’s going on in all of the character’s personal lives, e.g. what is up with Blake?  Can we please find out who the heck he is after 3 seasons?

Final Thoughts

It’s the best of the political dramas.  Scandal is good… and I can’t wait for that to come back in 2017, but it’s a little too drama-oriented.  Madam Secretary is all drama too, but it’s based in reality where people do things that make sense and that I can understand. I hope it’s renewed for season 4. Check out more at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6102296/?ref_=ttep_ep6.