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My seasonal guilty pleasure; or, surprised by a former RA co-star! Who’da thunk it.

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For most of the year, my TV is likely to be tuned into Investigation Discovery for a good whodunit, PBS for the classy Masterpiece Theatre or a thought-provoking documentary, or BBC America for fantastical fun via “Doctor Who.”
But somehow, come late November, this gal’s thoughts turn in the direction of sweet, snow-capped sentiments, predictable plotlines, sprightly holiday tunes and Norman Rockwell-esque small town Americana at its finest, where the denizens never meet a stranger and often speak with distinctly Canadian accents.

Yes, I fall down the rabbit hole of Hallmark holiday films, and willingly so.  They may frequently be sappy, corny and require the viewer to suspend their disbelief, but there’s just something about them that makes me come back for more.

What can I say? I have always loved Christmas and I’ve always had a sweet tooth.

(All images courtesy of Crown Media)

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When Riley Vance is hired after a case of mistaken identity, she keeps the truth a secret so she can help her boss William Young save a town at risk of losing their main livelihood just before Christmas even as she gets closer to William. Photo: Steve Lund, Shenae Grimes-Beech Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

One of my favorite Hallmark holiday films is this one, and not just because it features some adorable felines.

One of my favorite Hallmark holiday films is this one, and not just because it features some adorable felines.

The holiday movies are pretty much non-stop on both the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries this time of year, with a dozen or more new ones churned out every annum for Thanksgiving and Christmas, almost all of them filmed in Canada (hence those distinctly North of the Border vowels).

I find I can go about my business online, doing photo and video edits, creating and flogging my Crick Bank Kitty merchandise, working on humane society projects and have one of these films playing in the background without it being a distraction from RL work. I don’t have to hang on to every word or every visual to know how it’s all going to end. Into every life there comes a need for some feel-good fluff.

The films usually star actors who had hit TV shows in the US back in the ’80s or ’90s, or beloved character actors in supporting roles (these folks often steal the show). One of the leads might come from a stable of Canadian actors who have become familiar faces to me and my fellow sugar addicts. Make no mistake, there are some genuinely talented folks who appear in these films (and often make them watchable in spite of lackluster/ludicrous scripts). Let’s be honest, though–you don’t find a lot of current A- or even B-listers roaming around the set of a Hallmark film.  Certainly not one of the oft classically-trained Brit actors I so admire.

 

Lucas and Adam meet on RA's first (and RPJ's last) episode of Spooks. They had nice on-screen chemistry in their scenes together.

Lucas and Adam meet on RA’s first (and RPJ’s last) episode of Spooks. They had nice on-screen chemistry in their scenes together.

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So I have to admit I was surprised to see RA’s former “Spooks” co-star Rupert Penry-Jones in one of the Hallmark Channel’s new holiday offerings for 2015, “Crown for Christmas.” The film pairs Rupert with Danica McKellar, formerly of the dramedy “The Wonder Years” and reality show “Dancing with the Stars.”  Danica plays an aspiring artist who scrapes by as a maid at a ritzy big city hotel–a job from which she is fired when she tries to help out her sister and fellow maid. But never fear, Danica’s honesty (she turns in the pricey Rolex left by a certain distinguished guest) leads to her being whisked off to Europe to serve as a governess to a princess.

Naturally, with his delicious English accent and tall, regal good looks, Rupert plays Prince Charming, er, King Maximilian, the widowed ruler of a mythical European kingdom. He has troubled connecting with his little princess, Theodosia, who, in turn, acts out and drives one governess after the other out of the castle. Do we all know where the plot is going from here? Of course, we do. The adorable fish-out-of-water American lass wins the hearts of the child, the staff and ultimately, the king himself. And they live happily ever after . . .

Danica McKellar as the spirited American whisked away to a royal castle to serve as a governess to a little princess.

Danica McKellar as the spirited American whisked away to a royal castle to serve as a governess to a little princess.

Yes, I know, it’s been done before, over and over, variations of the same theme. And Danica, while lovely, is, at 40, probably a little long in the tooth for this particular role (something else common to these films–actresses and actors are frequently cast in roles more suitable to performers a decade or two younger).

But I found I did enjoy this offering more than some of the Hallmark holiday fare (there are a few so wretchedly scripted and acted I just can’t force myself to watch. Avoid the Santa films with Steve Guttenberg at all costs).

Rupert definitely brought some class and nicely understated acting to the role. Only a handful of reviews so far, but it’s got a solid 7.2 on IMDB, considerably better than most Hallmark films (admittedly, most of the reviewers seemed to watch primarily for RPJ). Rupert also had truly nice chemistry with the talented young actress playing his daughter, who actually looked as if she might be his offspring.

Rupert Penry-Jones and Ellie Botteril as father and daughter in "Crown for Christmas."

Rupert Penry-Jones and Ellie Botteril as father and daughter in “Crown for Christmas.”

So– how did the lovely Rupert, who has, like RA, performed in legitimate theater in London, end up doing a fluffy Hallmark film? It seems he has joined the cast of the acclaimed FX thriller  “The Strain” (created and co-produced by no less than Guillermo De Toro).  And the show just happens to film in–yep, Canada (a number of US series do shoot in Canada–like “Hannibal.”).  (I haven’t watched this vampire drama yet, but we have all the eps on our DVR.)

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So, I have to ask myself–would I mind it if Mr. A showed up in a Hallmark film? Would his fans mind?  Would there be thudding and squeezing or weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth–or some of both?
No doubt he’s done some controversial roles before (thinking of the polarization caused by “Hannibal”) and likely will in the future, because we know he’s not content to play the same type of character over and over again.  And I think he rather enjoys surprising his fandom with some of his choices. He does maintain a sense of humor about it all.

And he hasn’t actually played a human king . . .    😉   Or maybe they could bring back RPJ for a second “Crown” film with RA as his royal cousin looking for love . . . hmmmmm.

(Tongue firmly tucked into to cheek tonight, dear ladies. Have a wonderful week!)

 

"A Royal Holiday," starring Richard Armitage

“A Royal Holiday,” starring Richard Armitage

 

I like RA just a little shaggy and grungy around the edges . . .

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Every time Richard Armitage’s hair begins to grow out a tad I have a little celebration. It’s not that he isn’t still very attractive with the cropped head, because he is. He could shave his head and tattoo it and no doubt I’d still fancy him. It’s just that for me, Richard is even more attractive when those tempting nape curls begin to sprout in back and that endearing cowlick starts to kick up a fuss on top. When there’s enough of that soft-looking hair to imagine running one’s fingers through the waves and playfully messing it up. When there’s a stray lock of hair that begs to be pushed back . . . 654c9c1752e6bab9c8df1d082a4ab725

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I certainly didn’t find Francis Dolarhyde’s scar from cleft palate surgery off-putting in terms of his physical appearance, and the musculature RA honed for the character was, erm, inspiring, to say the least. But I think of how Reba said Dolarhyde’s co-workers described him as “clean.” And he was certainly that: clean-shaven, very short hair, clothing crisp and perfectly laundered, ironed and buttoned up to the last button. Not a hair nor thread out-of-place. That quality I DID find off-putting.  A little disarray can be appealing, you know?

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Only later, as Francis succumbed more and more to his own special brand of “Dragon sickness,” did we see him trade his buttoned-down look for sexy black leather (reminiscent, apparently, of a look Hannibal had sported, but for long-time RA fans, it was Lucas North he was channeling) and–ooh, look!–heavy stubble.  This version of Francis scared the ever-loving sh*t out of me, but I can’t deny I thought he also looked very good doing it.  If he’d had nape curls, too—*wibble*

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source: Candida Brady

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Of course, it was Sir Guy of Gisborne who first introduced me to RA as an actor, and Sir Guy’s raven locks were part and parcel of his persona.  Richard had to wear “baby” hair extensions in the back until he could grow his own “medieval mullet” for the first two seasons.  And then, for RH’s final season–we were rewarded with Guy’s Glorious Mane (and one excellent set of long hair extensions. My compliments to the set hairdresser).

In the beginning, that mane was a wild, dirty tangle worn by a drunken, vengeful man half-mad with grief and self-loathing AND OHMYGOD WAS I SMITTEN.  And introduced to the great art of hair acting via Richard Armitage.

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We had two Guyless episodes (during which RA was shooting some additional scenes for Spooks) but oh, how it was worth it when Glamour Guy (fresh from Prince John’s Red Door Spa, it seemed) reappeared before our eyes.  Still, Guy being Guy, he wasn’t completely tamed (even if his lustrous locks were). And we wouldn’t want him any other way.  He was like a gorgeous black stallion . . .  proud and defiant.  And the way he could toss that mane with arrogance, anger and frustration!

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I loved how Richard incorporated his long S3 locks into Guy’s character arc. And how he equally “rocked the locks” when it came to Thorin’s beautiful long tresses in The Hobbit trilogy. Hard to imagine that character without the long, wavy dark mane shot through with silver and those fetching braids . . .

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Of course, like Guy, Thorin was also magnificent when he wasn’t in the midst of a fray. Behold, Glamour Dwarf!

Richard kept his real hair quite short during the period of shooting TH (not surprising with that dome he had to wear atop his head plus that voluminous wig) and it was short for “Into the Storm” and close-cropped for his role in “The Crucible” on stage in London last year.  It will also be short in “Sleepwalker” and “Pilgrimage.”

For the role of Chop in “Urban and the Shed Crew,” we get Richard with long hair as he dons extensions once more.  Chop is definitely not a character that looks as if he just stepped out of a band box and I doubt “clean” is the first adjective that would pop into people’s minds when describing him. He’s shaggy-haired, doesn’t appear to shave too often, and mostly likes to dress down in fatigue jackets, plaid shirts with rolled up sleeves and faded jeans.  And I think Chop’s rather beautiful even when he’s a bit bloodied up and in need of some first aid. 213b91d0fc677a0e3e58cf34ccb07aaf (1)

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And OK, it looks like it would be fun to get up close and personal with Chop . . . as Anna Friel’s character does here. 😉

 

Richard and his ChaRActers clean up nicely, no doubt about it.  But there’s something about the man of many faces when he’s more casual, shall we say–the “blue jeans and t-shirt or plaid shirt” RA–that is really appealing to me. Perhaps because I can more easily relate to that image rather than the gobsmackingly stunning man in a designer tuxedo . . . perhaps he seems more approachable, more like someone I might know in real life?  Someone I might sit down and share a snack with and shoot the breeze?

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Maybe it’s the plaid shirts with the rolled-up sleeves . . . the hairy forearms . . . and the floppy hair.  And stubble.  *sigh*

Whatever, he’s got it.

(Yeah, baby, he’s got it!!)

And I like *it*with a little extra hair on top. 😉

 

Fedoralady on ‘Manhunter,’ ‘Hannibal’ and Armitage’s flawed heroes (who haven’t actually eaten anyone)

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Richard and I have “been together” for just under eight years now. I discovered him as that absolutely delicious baddie (who turned into a goodie but still had to die for his past sins) Sir Guy on BBC America.

Initially I found Sir Guy to be a smarmy bastard, albeit a good-looking one. I did not fall for him right away as many viewers did when watching RA as John Thornton three years earlier in “North and South.” It was more of a slow burn . . .

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I noticed something curious happening—the villainous master-of-arms actually had a heart, damaged and flawed though it might be, with glimmers of humanity in all its vulnerability peeking through that arrogant, brutish facade.

By the end of the first series, I was solidly Team Leather, and angry with Marian for leaving him at the altar. I grew increasingly tired of her machinations in the second series. Marian was a tease, and it was a dangerous game she played with this passionate man who went out of his way more than once to protect her from Vasey.

When she taunted him so cruelly in the desert, I decided she had lost her mind. Poor, devastated Sir Guy acted in desperation and disbelief to her words, and went on to clearly mourn her far more than her husband of five minutes ever seemed to do.

By the end of the third and final series, I cried like a baby. I mourned the death of Sir Guy more than I did  some of the actual flesh-and-blood relatives in my extended family. I was, and am, and shall ever remain a Sir Guy of Gisborne apologist.

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Richard Armitage doesn’t have to play “good” characters for me to relate to them, care about them, root for and mourn for them. I love his flawed heroes like John Porter, Lucas North (I don’t believe in Bateman) and Thorin. These characters are all complicated and damaged creatures with their own particular emotional baggage: professional disgrace and estrangement from family, prison, loss of home and fortune, each of them struggling in his own way to reclaim his former life and redeem himself (John Proctor I will discuss in a future post. He deserves one all his own).

Richard has himself said in the past his fans won’t like all the roles he chooses, and at the time I thought primarily of Thorin. Let’s face it, more than a few people, fans and non-fans alike, raised eyebrows over the idea of our tall, handsome heartthrob of a fellow as a 250-odd-year-old hirsute dwarf who could have played Disney’s “Grumpy” as far as his personality was sketched out in Tolkien’s original novel. This character certainly wasn’t the romantic period hero or the charming rom-com leading man some fans were hoping to see him play.

Today, Thorin is the favorite RA character of many newer fans, their gateway to discover other Armitage projects, and they can’t imagine anyone else performing in that role (neither can I). It turns out vertically-challenged hairy dudes can become major heartthrobs, too–at least when played by Richard Armitage.

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Richard managed to not only look majestic and handsome beneath the dwarf suit, wig and prosthetics, he also fleshed out that role and brought those subtle layers to Thorin. We felt our hearts constrict when the paranoia and gold lust overcame the warrior king, we cried when he saw him fall “one last time.” Another death, another redeemed character.

But how do I deal with Francis Dolarhyde, a cannibalistic serial killer? Here is a character who does not kill people as part of his employment as a medieval henchman in a difficult time when life was “nasty, short and brutish.” Nor is this character a member of the military or the secret service who sometimes must take a life to save many others.

He’s not a warrior prince fighting to take back the kingdom lost to a fierce dragon years before in order to reclaim a throne and restore his people to their rightful place.

Dolarhyde is a monster who kills innocent people and eats portions of them . . . and let me be perfectly honest. It makes me more than a little uneasy to think I might possibly fall for a monster, even one that’s a fictional character. I guess I wonder if I do get infatuated with Dolarhyde, just what might that say about me? Yes, I know the character had an awful childhood. So do a lot of other people who don’t turn out like this.

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I have read the book “Red Dragon” and while I didn’t see the film of the same name, I have viewed the 1986 Michael Mann film “Manhunter” starring William Petersen of CSI fame as the Will Graham character. It’s actually a very well-made film with solid performances, including that of Tom Noonan in the Dolarhyde role. I felt a certain pity for Dolarhyde in this film, but he also scared the daylights out of me.

thHB7J4B83It’s been a number of years since I last saw it, and I would like to see it again.  ( Images found on Bing. Noonan as Dolarhyde and Petersen as Graham).

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I am currently watching the new season of “Hannibal” and find I have no desire to re-watch the two eps I have seen so far. I have read raves about this series from critics and some of its fans, but somehow, I am not “getting it,” not yet. I suppose it would help if I had seen the first two seasons, but I have no desire to do that, either.

Does it have great production values? Yes. Does it have a talented cast? Yes. Do I thus far find it excessively bloody, at times pretentious and on the boring side? Yes, yes and yes. Apparently the ratings are down, making me suspect many of RA’s legion of fans are opting out of watching it until RA appears in the last six eps, and some, not even then. Cannibalistic serial killer seems to be that deal-breaker role for some of us.

I certainly haven’t shied away from scary, spooky, even gory films and TV series in the past. I am not averse to dark, morbid humor. I loved “Dexter,” and its protagonist was a Miami crime scene blood specialist who, oh yeah, was also a serial killer, BUT he only killed other serial killers and similarly rotten individuals. He had a code taught to him by his adoptive father, a cop who recognized the tendencies within his son and taught him how to channel his “dark passenger.” Michael C. Hall did a marvelous job of making Dexter somehow likeable and relatable even as we glimpsed the monster within.

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(Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan. Bing IMages)

So I am truly curious to see what Mr. Armitage will bring to the table (other than body parts) in this role. We know from the stills already released that he is in fine physical form for the role and if nothing else, we can enjoy that, I suppose. But I have always found more to appreciate in his performances than merely those bodacious biceps and broad shoulders. Those attributes are the yummy icing on the cake of the chaRActers for me.

Thus far, “Hannibal” just isn’t doing it for me. I want to tell Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) to get away from that crazy nutcase, the same for Gillian Anderson (who plays Hannibal’s wife).

Mads Mikkelsen is a very prominent and respected actor in his native Denmark, and considered quite sexy by many, but honestly, he was creeping me out before I saw him in this role. Granted, I’ve only seen him as a Bond baddie, a BBC Sherlock Holmes baddie and as Igor Stravinski in a film about his affair with Coco Chanel that I found beautiful to look at but ultimately empty—style over substance. The sex scenes seemed clinical and cold. He doesn’t capture my imagination the same way RA does. Maybe if he did, I wouldn’t find “Hannibal” such a disappointment  . . .

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This role is not helping the gut “ick” reaction I have to Mr. Mikkelsen to subside. Then again, he is also playing a cannibalistic serial killer, so should I not be icked out? I just have very, very, very mixed feelings about all of this.  I don’t like what I call “torture porn” such as one sees in films like the “Saw” franchise and this show is feeling like that for me, albeit with an elegant and refined façade tacked over it.

Oh, Richard. I understand and applaud your desire to take on a variety of roles rather than falling into the rut of playing the same character again and again. To challenge yourself, to stretch yourself as an actor. To take us on new journeys of discovery with your characters.

And I am sure you will do a brilliant job of bringing Francis Dolarhyde to the small screen, just as you have in so many other roles.  I have complete faith in your acting abilities and good sense.

I just wish that you had stretched in a different direction this time around.

Then again, what do I know? This controversial character may become a new fan favorite–and bring you a whole new crop of fans. We shall see . . .

RA in black & white (with a smidgen of color) & more. Collages & Photo Edits.

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Just seeing that scan of the RA-as-Byronic-young-actor photo from LAMDA the school tweeted today reminded me (1) how much I love looking at images of Richard from throughout his career and (2) how much I love RA in classic black and white. So I did some editing and some plundering of my stash of old edits.

Of course, being me, I also had to play with that lovely black and white image of our handsome floppy-haired Richard and tweak it a bit. I simply could not resist. Call it theRApy of sorts.

And speaking of therapy, tomorrow I see the local orthopedic surgeon and have him take a look at me, my MRI and my EMG results to see what he recommends re the wrist.  In the afternoon I am traveling with the newspaper publisher to a neighboring county to tour one of their historic old homes and surrounding property. She’s shooting the photos and I will take notes to write the copy for the upcoming edition of the Camellia Magazine. I LOVE old homes, so although I know I will be tired afterwards, I am very much looking forward to it (and getting paid to write it).

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So much on my plate, my darlings. But a little (literally) bit of Chop for you.

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Found on pinterest and posted by L.

And I actually enlarged this just a tad. Assuming it was shot with a camera phone in a very small file size. Still, it’s fun to get another glimpse of the character.

Wydville tell me she is reading the book the film is based on and it’s a tough go–not bad writing, you understand, but the hardness and grittiness of life as experienced by these individuals is an eye-opener. She also says she has a hard time envisioning our tall, slim, handsome, refined Richard as “Chop,” and on the surface, he really doesn’t seem like a perfect physical match for Bernard, does he?

Then again, as I responded to her, if we had only seen RA as Guy, Thornton, Lucas or Porter–could we have ever imagined him as the awkward, painfully shy, virginal farmhand John Strandring? That was quite a transformation, too. And he’s managed to convince us all a lithe, elegant dancer of a six-foot, two-inch beau ideal can also be a stocky hirsute warrior dwarf.
He really does love submerging himself in his characters (versus submerging himself in water, which he can heartily live without).  And I am pretty much a believer in the Amazing Acting Powah that is Richard Armitage.

 

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Anyone else gotten their book and started reading it yet? What are your impressions? Do you think RA will make a convincing Chop? I am still waiting for my copy to wing its way overseas.

As for Real Life, I’ve been working on the most recent video project and editing photos and collages for the video production company, along with doing a little copyediting for Benny’s boss for pay. I stayed up all night Saturday to work on a new version of one vid because I just wasn’t happy with the first one. The DVDs are done, hooray, other than needing to duplicate any more for additional sales (fingers crossed!).

Next weekend we have a family reunion on my dad’s side at a local eatery (at least one of my sisters is going to attend :D), an informal memorial service to videotape for a sweet friend who lost her husband recently, and “Bark in the Park” which we will be shooting video and stills for. The busyness of spring is kicking in.

I also continue the never-ending quest for some quality sleep. Maybe the doctor will be able to help me with that next month (appt. three weeks from today). Pets and hubby all doing well. Scarlett is growing like a weed and gets prettier every day (to me, anyway).

Love, love . . .

 

MoRe CollAges and Catching Up . . .

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I felt somewhat out of the loop with the RA fandom for a few days. That thing called Real Life crept in, which is a good thing really, because it meant work for the video production company last Saturday, and me being busy with related activities.

Those included being asked to write a feature story and provide photos for a picture page for the newspaper at treble my normal column rate of pay. Which doesn’t leave me rolling in dough, but it does mean I am earning some of my daily bread.  That and the sale of a small bisque pitcher vase to a friend yesterday cheered me up. 😀

 

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It also meant time with extended family–my brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bobby and Pam were visiting from San Antonio and staying with another BIL and SIL, Paul and Donna, in Montgomery. So there was a trip to Montgomery to visit with a gathering of family members from the area on Sunday, and the four of them also came to Greenville on Tuesday to share lunch with us and a little shopping at a local flea market. Yesterday, my Real Life activity of helping animals came into play with a meeting of the humane society. I feel as if I am somehow coming out of hibernation . . . even though today is feeling a bit more wintery again than spring-like!  Physically, I don’t feel great; mentally, I am in a good place. This is a blessing.

In terms of Richarding, I *finally* got to see the 2nd and 3rd parts of the Anglophile interview this week. YT was not cooperating when Part 2 came out and I was not available when the final part came out. So I enjoyed delayed gratification . . . and you know, there can be something very satisfying about not gorging oneself but taking your time and savoring all the goodness. Because there is *so* much to appreciate, isn’t there?

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Well, time to mix up the tea, check on the dishwasher and feed the dogs. In other words, RL calls once more. Hope you are all doing well!

A spy for Sunday Brunch & a few thoughts . . . on the BBC’s insanity

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Lucas won in a three-way battle between himself, Thorin and Thornton to be spotlighted at my Facebook page today.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-Armitage-Effect/204658943015664?ref=hl  I am posting Lucas pics there which differ from the ones I am posting here, so visit both and get a different and double dose of our favorite MI-5 agent. 😀

Last week Portah won over there by a handy margin–seems we are missing some of our old favorites, in particular our “action men” (sorry, JT, you’ve been coming up a bit short in the votes so far. Don’t give up–you’ll be in contention again with Thorin and a new contender next week!).  And after the pics–my fake letter to the BBC, expressing my not-fake feelings.

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Dear BBC,
You had a great series with “Spooks.” I remember watching earlier eps of it as MI5 on US TV and really enjoying it. When Richard joined the cast for Series 7, I was thrilled. I recall watching it via YT as soon the eps were posted and being absolutely riveted. Nail-biting stuff. And I fell in love with Lucas North as soon as he stumbled out of that trunk, dark hair disheveled, dressed in that tatty jumper and track pants, determined to walk on his own two legs to freedom.

And then you gave us the ill-conceived character of Sarah Caulfield in Series 8. And saddled us with an actress whose bizarre accent (so different from her own pleasing natural voice) for the character was akin to nails scratching on chalkboard. An actress who seemed to have absolutely no chemistry with the delectable Mr. A, no matter how hard HE worked to manufacture it. You made Lucas look like a besotted numpty for ever falling for and/or trusting the Freezer Queen. Thanks a lot.

But that was minor compared to the horrendous character assassination you performed on Lucas North in series 9. Boy, did you jump the shark with that one. Our hero, flawed and damaged though he might be, turning out to actually be an amoral, mass-murdering creature named Bateman? Who murdered the “real” Lucas North (who looked more like Richard Hammond from “Top Gear” than he did Richard Armitage . . .)? Does MI-5 not have photos and get fingerprints of the people they hire?

The whole show turned into a turgid soap opera with me laughing at scenes that were supposed to be serious. Sometimes I had to laugh to keep from crying.

Was Richard’s performance great? Sure. I’d expect nothing less than for RA to rise to the challenge. But did I also feel at times even he was questioning whether anyone was buying what he was trying to sell? A certain strain I detected in those lovely eyes?

Sorry, Auntie Beeb, but you really dropped the ball when you let your new writers get away with that pile of steaming crap they served us. Maybe you were just sticking it to that uppity Armitage for going off to make big movie blockbusters. Anyway you look at it, I won’t be forgiving you soon for that.

Oh, and I hear you have a new Robin Hood production coming soon. With the Sheriff and Robin as one and the same, evil pawn of King John by day and daring crime fighter by night. *sigh* For the love of Pete . . .
Run out of ideas, have we?

May this version of Ye Olde Legende die a quick and likely well-deserved death.

Sincerely yours,
Ladywriter

Wonderful Wednesday: A Gallery of RA’s Memorable ChaRActers

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It hasn’t been a wonderful winter for me (nor for many more of you–curse you, groundhog, why must we have six more weeks of this!?) But I am beginning to see glimpses of light at the end of this long, cold, wet and dreary tunnel.  I got my first column of this new year for the paper written; nothing fancy but a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been playing with ideas for that story I promised dear Guylty.  In spite of brain fog and a fibro flare (not helped by slamming into the wall on the way to the bathroom early this morning), I am feeling–hopeful. 😀

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Here’s what it looked like a week ago outside my house. It’s mostly ice with a little snow mixed in. The ice paralyzed the Deep South for a couple of days.
I’ve been doing a lot of posting of words and images–some silly and some serious and some simply beautiful–on FB in recent days on my regular page, and lots of images and some of my vids of Mr. A and his characters at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-Armitage-Effect/

Yes, I whipped up some new photo edits I premiered at FB and I thought I would share them with you all, in case you aren’t on FB. And even if you are–do we need an excuse to peruse Mr. A’s lovely, expressive features and admirable physique? I think not . . . have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends and fellow RA well-wishers!

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Porter & North: Soldier & Spy Saturday (NEW edits/old vids)

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Two men, intelligent, resourceful and quite ruthless when necessary. Both willing to put their lives on the line to save others. Both knowing the last bullet may be the one they have to use on themselves, their mission fully deniable by the government they serve. Men who have endured deprivation, torture and humiliation, haunted by their pasts, determined to reclaim their honor, to do their duty. Two men, tough and yet capable of great tenderness, too. Although flawed and damaged, they are still good, decent men. True heroes we can respect and admire. Thank you, Lucas North and John Porter, and thank you, Richard Armitage, for so beautifully and memorably bringing these two complex characters to life for us.

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Richard’s ChaRActers to the Rescue! Warm us up way down south . . .

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A swath of the southern U.S. from Houston, Texas across the Gulf Coast right up the Atlantic Coast is expecting to experience sleet, freezing rain, snow and ice over the next couple of days. And that is big news, folks. We aren’t used to it and we aren’t equipped for it (goodness knows, local citizens who’ve never lived in other parts of the country as we have don’t know how to drive in it). And if we lose power in an ice storm, it’s gonna be kind of miserable around here for at least a little while.

See the Pepto-Bismol pink county with “Greenville” on the map below? Well, we live on the eastern edge of it. As one of my FB friends who posted this said, “Not a forecast you expect to see down at the beach.”

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Now, having fallen and banged myself up in the shower earlier, I am in a lot of physical distress that even a large spoonful of Nutella and a muscle relaxer haven’t been able to calm down.  Nasty weather is on the way and I’m in pain and I need heeeeeeellllllppppppp.

Hmmmm . . . this might help. Think warm thoughts. An inviting dip into the pool on a summer’s day . . .

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Feeling better already!!

Now things are really getting hot . . .

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In fact, they are sizzlin’!! Too hot to resist . . .

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*sigh* Yes, yes I do . . .
Mr. A and a jar of Nutella. Now THAT’s a thought.  *drool*

Now if you aren’t thawed out enough yet, dance along to the grooves of LMFAO ’cause those ChaRActers are sexy and they know it (and so do WE)!

Oh, Guylty, Oh, Guytly, Your *Ooofy* Posts Delight Me. May I say thank you? ;)

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Technical expertise and the history of photography combine beautifully with pure appreciation of our lovely Richard in your posts, dear Guylty,making them pressies we can anticipate each week throughout the year. Because you, my friend, also love my creative endeavors in fan fic, especially that wild slashy NC-17 ride known as “Guy and Rebecca: The Adventures Continue” (which *ahem* can be found at Dreamer Fiction and Live Journal under fedoralady) I made these little photo edits with you in mind. Ho, ho, ho!!! 😉 I hope you will all enjoy these images . . .

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Who needs Batman? Give me an Armitagehero every time.

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So Richard is not going to be the next Batman. No problem. As far as I am concerned, he’s already brought some amazing superheroes to the screen–and he didn’t need superhuman powers or fancy gadgets or a silly costume with a mask and tights to do it.  Real men with challenges and weaknesses, flaws and fears, who nonetheless stand their ground, believe in loyalty and family, know how to be both tough and tender when it’s needed, and who ultimately win our respect, admiration and our hearts.  Hooray for Armitageheroes!

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Like I said–who needs Batman??

Easy like (RA on a) Sunday Morning . . .

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A smugly sexy Guy smile on a Sunday morning.

 

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The sweetness of a Harry smile on a Sunday morning.

 

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A swimming pool. Jeans. Wet Lucas. Sunday morning swooooon.

 

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A steaming hot cup of joe with Ricky Deeming  . . . on a Sunday morning.

 

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The pure sweetness of an RA smile . . . on a Sunday morning.

 

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Sgt Portah  . . . even his scars are sexy. Sunday and every day. *thud*

Whoa, what a man Wednesday: Part Deux!

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Got soaked today and almost froze during my meeting this afternoon. Yes, it is STILL raining, and absolute buckets of it at times. However, the meeting went well and exciting things are being planned for our humane society–and yes, we are on for setting up PayPal with our Humane Society website–more details later. 😀 Plus I got some more good news this afternoon. I am going to be a newspaper columnist again! Hurray! And get paid! Plus I will likely get some stringer jobs along the way and be paid per story. 😀

On the not-so-good side, Benny’s got some sort of bug. He was running a fever of 101 last night, felt better this morning, started going downhill later in afternoon and was running an even higher temp tonight. Aches, pains, congestion, coughing, Improves during day, gets worse as night approaches. May be a form of flu or respiratory virus. Don’t know if I can prod him to go to the doctor’s office or not–it may take a cattle prod!!

Sunday SmoRgAsbord: Part 2

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Bon appetit! A soupcon of Monsieur Monet, oui?

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A dash of the delicious Lucas North–just ring up delivery.

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A bound Sergeant Portah is on the menu. Oh, my, the ideas . . .

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Sir Guy–one of the star attractions of our Sunday smorgasbord. Yummmmmm . . . .

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Grab a fork and dig in.

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Dr. Track is just the sort of comfort food a girl needs when she is feeling down . . .

 

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And for dessert, the sweet goodness that is John Standring.