Christmas

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time – Christmas Special

Doctor Who Twice Upon a Time Christmas Special

Network:

BBC

Director:

Rachel Talalay

Starring:

Peter Capaldi

David Bradley

Pearl Mackie

Plot:

The Twelfth Doctor, still refusing to change, goes on a last adventure with the First Doctor.

Review:

The Doctor meets up with his original self in this Christmas special in a story that honestly didn’t need to be. The first Doctor, David Bradley, apparently didn’t want to change either, which goes against what we’ve always known, but whatever. The twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, is thinking about refusing to regenerate because he’s old and tired and people aren’t watching him as much as when David Tennant was the Doctor. Instead they stumble across each other and fuck up some time shit and they decide they should move on with their lives and regenerate.

It was awkward seeing the first Doctor because he was very much a product of the times he was created in, which goes against what you think the Doctor should be. The Twelfth Doctor was embarrassed by him and his old school sensibilities, which could have been amusing, but since they were all gender stereotypes which the Doctor really never should have had, it was just awkward.

Bill, Pearl Mackie, and Clara, Jenna Coleman, showed up as well because the companions are always there at the end, but since I greatly dislike Clara and Bill never grew on me it didn’t really mean much.

I feel like Peter Capaldi never got to shine as the Doctor. He is a good actor, but the storylines were just never there. I am so happy that Moffat is no longer going to be the lead and I hope we can return to the stories that made the Tennant years so wonderful. Even the first Matt Smith year was good, but these last few years have almost turned me off Who completely.

3/5

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Montana Secret Santa

Montana Secret Santa (Love at the Chocolate Shop #3) By: Debra Salonen

Plot:

Ad exec Krista Martin, while feeling more Grinch than elf, still jumps at the chance to co-chair Marietta’s Secret Santa Society. Why not? Especially since brilliant, attractive, and innovative tech wunderkind Jonah Andrews has agreed to help. He’s well connected and Krista’s hoping for some advice on rebooting her career.

Jonah knows Krista has a not-so-hidden agenda, but sparring with her over cocoa at their Secret Santa meetings is the most fun he’s had since returning to his old hometown. Krista may come across as all business, but Jonah’s positive he’s glimpsed a little girl inside her who wants to believe in Santa… and in love.

Review:

Krista is a confusing protagonist. She starts off prepared to tell her partner that she needs to step up because she’s not carrying her weight and their business is going to fail if she doesn’t pick up the slack. She ends up doing a complete one eighty when she finds out her partner is pregnant. All of a sudden none of that matters and an intern will solve everything. An intern that doesn’t start until the next year.

Jonah is a tech genius and says he’s socially inept but doesn’t seem to be at all. He takes over Secret Santa with no issues. He does have some issues with Krista, but that’s mainly because they don’t communicate.

One of my least favorite tropes, lack of communication leading to misunderstandings and in this case a flight from Montana to LA. It’s lazy writing and there were lots of bits like that, characters were inconsistent in things that weren’t romance related. One minute Krista was concerned about her business, the next it wasn’t a big deal and they were going to be alright. Jonah is supposed to be humble, but he talks about his staff and drops around the fact that he’s a millionaire and gives people hundred dollar bills for Christmas. It’s weird.

It was an alright Christmas book and I’m giving it an extra Christmas star, but I’m not a huge fan.

3/5

 

Merry Christmas, Baby (2016)

Merry Christmas, Baby (2016)

Director:

Rhonda Baraka

Starring:

Malinda Williams

Victoria Rowell

Karon Riley

Plot:

Marci throws herself into preparing for Christmas and building her new event-planning business. But when the business gets off to a rocky start and members of her family face their own hardships, Marci steps up to help everyone have a good holiday.

Review:

So in the first movie Marci, Malinda Williams, comes home because her favorite cousin is going to be a missionary in Haiti and she’ll be gone for five years. I mention this because, they have continued this plotline. They mention her in every movie and in this one they even do a video chat. I like that she didn’t just disappear.

Blair, Karon Riley, is still struggling with his law firm. Marcie is now trying to run an event business with her aunt Elizabeth, Chrystale Wilson, and Myra, Deetta West, wants to adopt the young girl from the last movie. Again all the same actors which is nice, but they’ve stopped growing. They’re more giving but apart from that they’re still the same people.

I was really hoping that Marcie would be back on top and that Blair would be a stay at home dad, but I guess that’s not the direction they want to go in which is a bummer. It also kind of ended abruptly it felt.

Once again, poorly sung Christmas carols, check.

Picking out the perfect Christmas tree, check.

Learning to give to those in need, check.

It’s interesting to see an entire arc with this type of movie. I thought it was very real to life, which is probably the major negative for me. I wanted something more fanciful, I wanted perfect, and super happy endings. It’s Christmas, I want everything to work our beautifully in the end, not be stuck working with someone you can’t stand. Still, I will be very interested to see if there are more of these movies.

4/5

A Baby For Christmas (2015)

A Baby For Christmas (2015)

Director:

Rhonda Baraka

Starring:

Malinda Williams

Karon Riley

Deetta West

Chrystale Wilson

Plot:

It’s Christmas with the Chandlers but no one seems to have the Christmas spirit – except for Stephanie, that is. Marci and Blair are obsessing over being the perfect parents, Myra and Donald have retired and suddenly feel useless and Elizabeth is bending over backwards to get a promotion at work. Add to that Stephanie’s blooming romance with Lawrence – who is torn between being with her and continuing his mission work – and Christmas seems to be taking a back seat. That is, until a group of kids at an orphanage helps the family to realize that there’s more to Christmas than wrapping gifts and baking cookies.

Review:

Alright, movie number three and we’ve still got the same actors. I wasn’t as big a fan of this one, mainly because Marcie, Malinda Williams, who loves her job decides that she’s going to give it up so that she can be a stay at home mom. Even though she’s about to land a huge contract and her husband, Karon Riley, is still struggling with his law firm. It doesn’t make sense to me why he doesn’t just become a stay at home dad.

Outside of the main couple we got more focus on the other Chandler sisters this movie. Elizabeth, Chrystale Wilson, is trying to get a big promotion and Myra, Deetta West, is coping with her husband’s new retirement. It was nice to learn more about them. Elizabeth didn’t really make much progress, though, she did realize she didn’t want to be cut throat and is now thinking about starting her own business.

Poorly sung Christmas songs, check.

False labor and a rush to the hospital, check.

Christmas baby, of course check.

Oh well, one more movie to go in this franchise and I’m curious to see what happens.

4/5 (Still giving a star for being a Christmas movie)

Dashing Through the Snow By: Debbie Macomber

Dashing Through the Snow By: Debbie Macomber

Plot:

Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland, a former army intelligence officer, has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there’s only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.

At first they drive in silence, but forced into close quarters Ashley and Dash can’t help but open up. Not only do they find they have a lot in common, but there’s even a spark of romance in the air. Their feelings catch them off guard—never before has either been so excited about a first meeting. But the two are in for more twists and turns along the way as they rescue a lost puppy, run into petty thieves, and even get caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Though Ashley and Dash may never reach Seattle in time for Christmas, the season is still full of surprises—and their greatest wishes may yet come true.

Review:

I thought the premise for this was interesting, what happens if you’re on the no fly list and can’t fly home for the holidays. I really liked the subplot going on, it provided a nice contrast to the sweet romance that was developing, though the bumbling FBI agent is an older overused trope.

Ashley was fine, kind of boring, and I don’t think it was ever explained what she was in grad school for. Dash was boring too, though, very close lipped and vague about stuff. It was really just slightly more than a short story and wouldn’t have been that without the side plot. It also kind of annoyed me that their names were so similar, they had a lot of things in common actually, back story wise. Honestly apart from the initial premise the story was unimaginative.

If all you’re looking for is a sweet Christmas story than this is perfect.

3/5