The Dead Boyfriend: Fear Street’s Relaunch Comeback?

The Dead Boyfriend (Fear Street Reboot #5)

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 Fears

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Blade, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Blade may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn’t care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Blade.

When Caitlin sees Blade with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Blade is dead―and she has killed him. But if Blade is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party?

This book could have gone two ways: very good or very bad. And honestly while reading it, it kept flipping between the two. Caitlin is a bit of a character. The entire story is recounted through her writing in her diary. Don’t worry, we still get scenes in real-time, but everything is being told as it already happened so we also get the commentary and foreboding statements that Stine loves so much (and a lot of the time, I wish he didn’t).

Caitlin is funny and likeable. Clearly a flawed character, but it’s her flaws that make her interesting and relatable for the most part. One of her flaws is her flair for the dramatic (though she’s aware of this and tells us as much in the beginning). Being in a drama queen’s head can get tiring at times, but it mostly keeps things fun – with a comedic undertone in an otherwise dark story.

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They’re Back… Will & Grace Meets 2017

Will & Grace (2017)

Premiered on September 28. 2017                               Rating:

When I first heard that NBC was going to bring back their beloved sitcom Will & Grace, I was excited. I mean I loved the show during its original run, and I’m all for nostalgia. But would it translate well in 2017? I mean, there are awesome shows like Friends that wouldn’t translate well (as much as it pains me to say it). In its original run, Will & Grace was progressive pushed past boundaries by having LGBT characters in the spotlight on primetime network TV. But now that’s not such a big deal.

Then there was the issue of the original series finale. In fact, I wrote about how I was nervous that it would be handled badly. While the finale was not my favorite, it is important for shows to own their original canon. As promised, Will & Grace tackled the finale in the first two minutes of the reboot’s premiere. And as expected, it was cheap and hard to get past (apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so). It was all a dream! (Yeah, we all know shows that have done this as a way to walk back major production decisions on TV shows, mostly with casting/killing off characters.) It was handled in a tongue-in-cheek dream Karen Walker (played by the amazing Megan Mullally) had about Will and Grace both being married with kids. They correct her, they’re both childless, divorced, single and living together again. Karen’s response, “That tracks.” I admit I laughed at that, but it was still a tough pill to swallow.

I am grading this reboot as the premiere and then the following two episodes, because like a pilot for a new show, the premiere struggled to find its footing. Will & Grace was never overtly political – then being gay and on TV was political enough, but in the premiere it is all about Trump. I’d be fine with this if it wasn’t so contrived and in your face you can actually see the beads of sweat from writers and producers trying too hard. It fogged up my screen.

But despite these annoyances the premiere also proved that the chemistry between these four hilarious characters have not changed. The camp hasn’t changed. The timing and jokes and absurdity and neurotic tendencies have not changed. Thank goodness!

The next two episodes make up for the premiere’s pitfalls and even I was ready to let go of the way the finale was handled. No longer youngish, the cast deals with middle age but the laughs aren’t going to slow down. From Will dating a millennial who forsakes Madonna to Jack on Grindr to Karen who is friends with Melania (Trump’s wife, and naturally) to Grace being, well, Grace – I have loved every minute of it. This is a reboot that doesn’t rest solely on nostalgia (make no mistake though, it definitely leans on it!) but can hold its own, on its own – nostalgia-free.

If you are looking for an absurd, slapstick (there were definitely some I Love Lucy moments in the third episode), campy comedy about friendship and life then make sure to tune in to Will & Grace season nine! Even if you didn’t see the original run, you don’t need to. Just tune in and get ready to laugh because this reboot does not disappoint… as long as you skip the premiere! 😉

-DMW

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Anything But Flat – Flatliners Delivers (Yeah, I Know I’m The Minority Here)

Flatliners

Released on September 29, 2017                                   Rating:

Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. The bold adventure begins when they trigger near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time. As their trials become more perilous, each must confront the sins of their past while facing paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side.

You know when you see something that everyone thinks is awesome and you just don’t get it? Well my take on Flatliners is like that, except I think it was awesome and apparently I am the minority. (Full disclosure: I did not know this was a remake until after I saw this film. I have never seen the 1990-version.)

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Can You Keep A Secret? Fear Street Is Struggling To Scare

Another book into the relaunch and I’m becoming more and more antsy that it’s not going to come together. The fourth book is better than the third, The Lost Girl, but just barely. Does Fear Street have a place in modern YA horror… I want to say yes, but I just don’t know. Don’t tell anyone, though!

Can You Keep A Secret? (Fear Street Reboot #4)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Fears

Eddie and Emmy are high school sweethearts from the wrong side of the tracks. Looking for an escape from their dreary lives, they embark on an overnight camping trip in the Fear Street Woods with four friends. As Eddie is carving a heart into a tree, he and Emmy discover a bag hidden in the trunk. A bag filled with hundred-dollar bills. Thousands of them. Should they take it? Should they leave the money there? The six teens agree to leave the bag where it is until it’s safe to use it. It’s a discovery that will lead to the end of friendships – and to murder.

Meanwhile, Emmy is having strange, terrifying dreams about wolves. Are her dreams somehow connected to the real wolf attacks that plague the town of Shadyside? It seems that Emmy is about to make a horrifying discovery about herself…

This book opens with Emmy having a nightmare about a wolf. At first a wolf is attacking her, then she is a wolf, fighting with another wolf. A few pages later, her mother is telling her how she was bit by a dog when visiting her great aunt in Prague when she was younger. On the news, a dog was savagely murdered by a wolf at a park near their house. I’m sure everyone knows what is going on by this point. Because the thing about Stine is, he isn’t subtle. This is the B storyline. Even though it shows up first, it takes a backseat (mostly) to the other main storyline.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Silly Spy Camp Goes To New Lengths

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Released on September 22, 2017                 Rating:

With their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage, members of Kingsman find new allies when they discover a spy organization in the United States known as Statesman. In an adventure that tests their strength and wits, the elite secret agents from both sides of the pond band together to battle a ruthless enemy and save the day.

Everyone knows to go see sequels with lowered expectations. Yes, there is the rare instance where a sequel surpasses the original (Aliens, The Godfather: Part 2) but more often it is a film running on the fumes of the original film’s success. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is what you’d expect. A fun, second adventure staying true to the first film, but coming in short when compared to the first.

Kingsman is a film series that is a spoof on the James Bond franchise, but these films do it better than I’ve ever seen other films try to do the same thing. It is campy, like CAMPY, and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is key. Like its predecessor, The Golden Circle is full of dramatic and stylized fight sequences that are the epitome of cool, and a lot of fun to watch. In fact, it’s these fight sequences that are the only aspect of this movie that can hold its own against the original film. (Thankfully, it’s a big part of both films.)

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