Season 2 Episode 1: Broken

Sarah Bolger as Princess Aurora, Julian Morris as Prince Phillip & Jamie Chung as Mulan Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 1 Broken picture image

Sarah Bolger as Princess Aurora, Julian Morris as Prince Phillip & Jamie Chung as Mulan

Technically speaking the scene of Phillip waking Aurora up was the first thing I ever watch from Once Upon a Time thanks to the casting post for Sarah Bolger. I was confused then but as it turns out it’s meant to be a little confusing.  

This episode picks up right where Season 1 left off, everyone is pissed at Regina and wants to murder her. Emma jails her and Mr.Gold marks Regina as a wraith prey because of what she did Belle. So the show now has wraith in it, okay, sure. The wraith  also attacks Aurora, Phillip and Mulan who is Phillip’s warrior pal.

Regina uses Jefferson’s hat to send the wraith to the fairy-tale world which is just an oblivion as this point however while this plan does work Emma and Mary-Margaret are pulled in too.

And in the Fairy Tale Enchanted Forest Aurora, Phillip and Mulan try to get away from the warith but Phillip is marked and gets his soul sucked out. Mulan also them revealed to Aurora that while she was sleeping everyone else was also in a 28 year old slumber and they too just wake up. At the end the two find passed-out Emma and Mary-Margaret.

Overall I liked this episode. I like that plot has a current Fairy-Tale story running alongside the Storybrooke plot. THough actually season 2 has three plot per episode so hopefully it won’t be too hard to discuss them. I will say I’m not sure how to feel about the wraith. They are technically not out of place within the context of the story but they feel out of place somehow.  I also like how Mary-Margaret really wants to be Emma’s mom and Emma is really reluctant. Emma has to be older than Mary-Margaret at this point right? And who is Dr Whale? The mention that at some point and I was wondering that all throughout last season. More secrets…yay.

 

Fred Armisen as Candace, Portlandia Season 6 Episode 5 Breaking up picture image

Fred Armisen as Candace, Portlandia Season 6 Episode 5 Breaking up

Season 7 of Portlandia starts tomorrow! I was binge watching it a few weeks ago and found a delightful Hunchback reference.  In season 6 episode 5 entitled “Breaking up,” Candace says to Claire  “You’re a gypsy and I could be your female Quasimodo, just a Hunchback but who stands up straight for you.”

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus

Say what you want about the Enchanted Tales or Dingo versions, at least you can say they are not boring. They are contemptible versions of Hunchback but they have their own unique brand of bad. The other Burbank version of Hunchback can’t even boast that kind of ineptitude. It’s so painful boring. There is nothing to this version, no interest, no emotion, no heart, no humor, no pretty colors, or lines. It’s not even bad in that fun stupid way. I hate this version. It is the worst and yes I am saying the Dingo version is marginally better. I would rather watch the Dingo version over this version, not happily but under extreme duress.       

 

I’m so sick of these Disney knock-off quick cash-ins versions of Hunchback. Next time we’re going with a high art form version  like an Opera or a Ballet or something A fancy adaptation of Hunchback!  But I need a break from review posts for a little bit.

 

PS – I might be posting a little more sporadically for Wednesday and Thursday posts. I haven’t really decided the frequency of posting  since I know people enjoy the casting posts* and I don’t want to give up on Once Upon a time posts either but burn-out, other personal issues, and life in general have been plaguing me  for lack of a better word @@.

*Casting Suggestions are always welcome, just leave a comment.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I hope 2017 won’t be total shit.

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Lana Parrilla as Queen Regina ABC's Once Upon a Time, An Apple as Red as Blood picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Lana Parrilla as Queen Regina

 

Episode 21: An Apple as Red as Blood

Ok Let’s wrap with season up!

In that crazy wonderful magic world known as the Fairy Tale world or The Enchanted Forest, Regina saves James/Charming, I guess he should be called Charming as James was his brother. Charming is saved by Regina as bait for Snow White. Snow White and her band of scrappy pals launch a rescue mission. Snow White’s Prince however is in another castle. Queen Regina then arranges Snow to meet with her in a parley back at the stables where  Snow first saw the kiss between Regina and Daniel. Snow White willingly eats the apple to save Charming’s life putting her into a deathlike sleep.

In Storybrooke, Emma tries to leave but Henry begs her to not go as she has to break the curse. Emma returns but is chastised by Mary Margaret for leaving and not saying good-bye and not doing what is best for Henry. Emma also talks to Dr.Hopper who tells her not to fight against Regina for Henry’s sake. Emma’s solution is to talk to Regina about a deal where she leaves town and while Henry lives with Regina she can still be in Henry’s life.

Meanwhile Regina used Jefferson’s hat to get the poison apple back using that last bit of magic that was left. Wait, Jefferson is back? Where did he go after vanishing at the end of episode 17? Oh well.  Since part of the curse is that Emma can’t die or it will be broken,  Regina bakes the poison apple into a turnover and gives it to Emma during their parlay.  Before Emma can eat the turnover Henry visits her and finds out she is leaving. He notices the turnover and eats it causing him to be put into the sleeping curse.  

I have to ask why doesn’t Rumpelstiktskin’s dagger work but the apple does? They are both objects that came from the fairy world so why does one work and the other doesn’t? I guess the reason they give is magic is unpredictable but Regina’s ring she got from Daniel had magic but it didn’t in the Fairy Tale world. These rules are so arbitrary and yet they are so important. There is no logic.  I give up on Emma’s whole lie detecting thing too, again no logic, it just comes and goes when the plot needs it to work.

So what about the episode? It was okay. It moved this along to the finale while connecting the dots to the beginning of the season with Charming and Snow White. I  didn’t really love the whole rescue thing but that is a personal preference thing

 

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & ared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills, ABC's Once Upon a Time, Land without Magic picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills

Episode 22: A Land without Magic

I was pretty disappointed in this season finale. It felt pretty rushed  and yet some elements came out of left field that padded out the episode. It was underwhelming.  

First, in our Fairy Tale universe, Charming is escaping the castle and is he helped by the Huntsman, remember him?  Charming then gets lost in the forest and Rumpelstiktskin appears and offers him a deal. Rumpelstiktskin will give Charming back his mother’s ring that now has an enchantment on it to find Snow if Charming puts the True Love potion in the belly of the beast, which is Maleficent. He does this tasks, finds Snow, smooches her, she wakes up and proposes to her. This ends with them vowing to take back their kingdoms together. We know they do this but how they do it is the question for the next season. I also really loved Snow’s white flowerly cloak, it’s very pretty, I want it.

Meanwhile, Emma takes Henry to the ER and she realizes that the curse and the fairy tale people are real. Apparently that is all that it took, belief. So Emma believes and her Regina go to Mr Gold to help Henry. Dudes, just kiss him! But instead of that, which Regina and Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiktskin freaking know,  Rumpelstiktskin gives them the quest to get the true love potion from the dragon’s belly, ok sure, whatever.   Emma fights a Dragon a la Sleeping Beauty because we need a climax and this dragon has totally been setup for this moment, no, not really, no, the love potion was but a scary Dragon, nope. Heck, the building was set-up more than the dragon as you see a broaded-up building on the main road all the time.  I do give them credit Emma’s special savior status was explain. You see, Rumpelstiktskin dropped the love potion on the paper that curse was written on and since she was the product of the true love that is the reason for her having special saving powers. However it was all a ruse by Rumpelstiktskin to get the love potion. And while that is going on Jefferson frees Belle and sends her to Mr.Gold in some attempt to thwart Regina for going back on her promise to him to get his daughter back, BUT wait there is more. Emma and Regina return to the hospital to find Henry is dead. Emma kissed him and voila-ed Henry is cured and the curse is broken. Everyone now remembers who they are and everyone’s roles. But for some reason they don’t get transported back to the fairy tale world. Rumpelstiktskin then pours the true love potion into that magic well and releases a new magic on the story.

While this episode was weird paced and the reason why the curse was broken isn’t explain I’m still pumped for Season 2. Bring it ON!  

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Josh Dallas as Prince Charming ABC's Once Upon a Time, Land without Magic picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Josh Dallas as Prince Charming

While a good portion of 2016 has sucked, Hunchback of Notre Dame related news has been ok throughout the year especially in the musical area

Quasimodo as the King of Fools Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo as the King of Fools Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

First thing that is fairy big in 2016 is that the Disney movie turned 20 years old.

Hunchback of Notre Dame Cast Recording Album picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame Cast Recording Album

Then there were a lot with the American version of the  Disney movie. The cast album for the Papermill’s version came out and while the show didn’t go to Broadway it did go to regional theaters. So far it has been performed at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, which I can say was great. Also Utah’s Tuacahn Amphitheater,  California Music Circle of Sacramento had a deaf actor playing Quasimodo.

The show was also  performed on the international level at Frederica Theatre in Denmark. There should be more international performance in 2017 like at Budapest Operaetta. Next year there should be casts.

There was all an amateur cast version done in Nevada over Thanksgiving. Read more Here.

But it’s wasn’t all about the Disney musical, The Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York put on a production that reference the 2016 political climate like character named Governor LeTrump. Read about it here.

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda & Jay as Clopin 2016/2017 Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda & Jay as Clopin

Then of course there is the other big Hunchback musical adaptation, Notre Dame de Paris. It started the year with the a French cast in Korea and a return of some of teh original Italian cast for another run of the Italian version. The biggest news for Notre Dame de Paris was the show’s return to Paris with a new cast though with some veteran of the show like Daniel Lavoie reprising his role as Frollo. The show announced it was going to have a production tour around Quebec.   

Sadly there have been no movie related news which is weird since that Max Ryan movie was supposed to start filming this past year and nothing. The only thing is that the role of “The Giant” is no longer listed on the IMDB page but there is still Advisor, thief, cripple, vagrant and Spike. I have no idea what any that mean but oh well we’ll just have to see with that one.

There of course there are the Hunchback news story that are referential. The big one was Rebecca Dann who suffers from Kyphosocollosis, which causes a huge curve in the spine,  won a photography contest and met Stephen Hawkings. Her self-portrait was called “I’m Fine” and it showcased her.  Read More Here

Hopefully 2017 will have more Hunchback news, hopefully movie related news but musical news is just as good.

Before we end the year let’s have a fun poll

 

Which of the Hypothetical casting ideas from 2016 was your favorite? Or which one of these casting would you most what to see actually happen? Just leave a comment.

Rupert Grint for Quasimodo 

Anna Kendrick for Esmeralda

Michael McElHatton for Frollo 

Francia Raisa for Esmeralda 

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for Phoebus

Freddie Highmore for Gringoire

Sarah Bolger for Fleur de Lys

Gemma Arterton for Esmeralda

Terrance Zdunich for Gringoire

Gigi Radics for Esmeralda

Hmm, only one Frollo this year, we’ll have to at least double that in 2017.

Esmeralda meets Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda meets Phoebus

Unlike some of the other knock-off versions, this version actually has a voice casts listed. Meaning I can actually look up the people who voiced the characters though I can’t say who voiced which character saved for Gennie Nevinson as Esmeralda.  Now you might think that these people are just nameless no one but no,  they all have fairly decent resumes. They are not big stars but Lee Perry has been in Happy Feet and Mad Max Fury Road and Gennie Nevinson was in Muriel’s Wedding. That being said I don’t think the shitty voice’s in this movie is all the fault of the voice actors. Some director told them to speak a certain way, they compiled and got paid but I’m not letting this version get any with it. They need to be held accountable for the bad voices.

Esmeralda Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda

Except for Quasimodo and Frollo, everyone speaks with the most fakey French accent ever.  It just so bad to listen to. There is nothing subtle about it and it’s type of affectation that should be used in comedy sketches not in a sentimental children story based on a tragic book/movie.

Quasimodo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo with his doves

As mention before, Quasimodo is allergic to pronouns. He doesn’t speak with any accent persay but speaks as though he has extreme mental deficiencies. Okay, knock-off children movie versions Hunchback listen up because you need to this straight because whenever you  make Quasimodo deaf you always get this wrong accept wrong; Quasimodo should speak fairly normally, he went deaf at 14, he knew how to speak.  Plus deaf people don’t speak that way! Deaf people understand pronouns and can form complex sentences. What the fuck were you doing movie??? This is a travesty. You should be ashame screenwriter and voice directors.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

Sadly Frollo is the best voice in this movie, actually is that really that sad? Anyway, since he is a villain he has a British-ish accent. I have to admit I do like his delivery on a few lines especially the one describing Esmeralda’s eyes. It’s a low bar though everyone else is bad which makes this performance seem better.

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda's face Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda’s face

Honestly most of the voice acting in Hunchback Knock-offs are not even worth discussing but this one is just so wretched and downright offensive that it needs to be called out for it vile voice acting.

 

Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiktskin & Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire ABC's Once Upon a Time, The Return picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiktskin & Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire

Episode 19: The Return

The title of this episode made me think of a Japanese movie called “The Returner.” Which I recall not liking.

So far this might be my favorite episode. The Fairy Tale world plotline follows everyone’s favorite “evil” manipulator, Rumpelstiktskin and his son Baelfire. Though who thinks it’s a little funny to hear Rumpelstiktskin calling his son “Bae”? Baelfire doesn’t like that his Papa has become the Dark One and can see him losing his humanity. Baelfire strikes a deal with Rumpelstiktskin that if can find a way to make him normal again without killing him,  Rumpelstiktskin will return to his old self. Baelfire learns from the Blue Fairy that the only way for Rumpelstiktskin to be normal is to go to a world without magic using the last magic bean ever. Rumpelstiktskin agrees to go but as a green vortex opens he chickens out and Baelfire falls in and the Vortex closes. Rumpelstiktskin instantly regrets not following his son. The Blue Fairy shows up and berates him. Rumpelstiktskin then learns the only way to go to the Land without magic is through a powerful curse. Thus revealing Mr.Gold/Rumpelstiktskin motivations for the whole thing.

In Storybrooke, Mr.Gold is growing suspicious of August. He suspects that August is after the knife that can kill/control Rumpelstiktskin making him think that August is Baelfire. Mr.Gold confronts August  and August says he is his son but after Mr.Gold shows him the knife which can’t control him without magic he knows August isn’t his son. Turns out August is dying and he needs to speed things up to get Emma to be the savior.

While that is going on Mary Margaret exonerated as Kathryn isn’t dead and the lab report of the heart MUST have been falsified. Regina fears everything is going to tie back to her so she uses Sidney love for her to get him to confess which Emma doesn’t believes and Emma vows to take back her son from Regina. Also Mary Margaret and David are still off even though David tries to get Mary Margaret to forgive him for doubting her.

This may be the first episode where I don’t prefer one plot over the other.  I will say I was hoping that August was Baelfire as it would make perfect sense why he could come into town as he would have been in the world without magic pre-curse but he is still of the story world. However he is not so give me another reason show. I really enjoy Carlyle duel performance, still think he is the best actor on this show, not that the other principal actor aren’t good because they are at least competent.

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Eion Bailey as August Booth ABC's Once Upon a Time, The Stranger picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Eion Bailey as August Booth

    

Episode 20: The Stranger

Well, Well, Well the question from the last episode is answered.

I hate Pinocchio. I saw this casting on wiki so I wasn’t surprised by August being Pinocchio but I was confused by August claiming he was Baelfire. Well Pinocchio is a liar so it does fit.

In this episode we learn that Geppetto makes a deal with the Blue Fairy that  Pinocchio is to go  through the wardrobe with pregnant Snow as the wardrobe can fit two people which is why the Blue Fairy told everyone that only one can pass through. However Snow goes into labour early and the Blue Fairy wants Snow and the Baby to go through together. Geppetto being a desperate parent maintains the lie that only one can go through and makes Pinocchio promise to protect the Baby. But he is a seven year old child and can’t.

In Storybrooke, Regina is up to her shenanigans by trying to seduce David, which fails. August tries to convince Emma of the fairy tale reality which also fails. This means because August couldn’t keep his promise to help Emma he turning back into wood. He tries to show Emma his wooden leg but she can’t see it.  At the end Emma tries to leave Storybrooke with Henry as she has had with it.

It seems that Emma’s super lie detector power is thwarted by her own denial. She doesn’t want to believe any of it nor does she want to help. All and all I did like this episode. I do think it was overly simplistic to have August know about the fairy tale world because went through the wardrobe, also now I have to wonder about Baelfire and who is Dr.Whale? Also if the Blue Fairy knew about the tree then why didn’t she tell Rumpelstiktskin? Because then the curse wouldn’t have happen and there wouldn’t have no show. It’s all very tidy except for the whole lying thing Geppetto made the Blue fairy tell so her would make the wardrobe. Sorry for nitpicking, I did like the episode and I do like the show.    

Gigi Radics picture image

Gigi Radics

Gigi Radics for Esmeralda was a suggestion made by Christine (see suggestion here) and it’s a great choice. Gigi Radics is a Hungarian pop singer who is also Romani in decent. In a time where Hollywood keeps whitewashing it’s roles,  it would be a great to cast an actual Romani for one of the most well known Romani characters even if in the book she was just raised by the Romani and is really French. Esmeralda’s backstory is more a mute point anyway given movie versions make her a full Romani. Hey, if a movie version wants to go with her original backstory that’s great but if they are going to stick to film tradition for the character and thus simplify the the plot than why not cast someone who would be authentic for a change. It would also be a great PR move but the real question is would Gigi Radics REALLY be a good choice for Esmeralda? 

A note – I have seen her credited as Radics Gigi but I’m going with Gigi Radics.

Gigi Radics picture

Gigi Radics

First off, let’s just define the role of Esmeralda where Gigi Radics would be an appropriate casting choice. Since she is a singer it would  most likely be a musical and one where Esmeralda is a full Romani in origins. This mean either a Disney Live-Action version where she would sing (maybe none of the Live action versions have been musicals yet) or the Disney Musical Stage Show version or a Notre Dame de Paris version or even a whole new musical version.

 

Gigi Radics picture image

Gigi Radics

Radics is a very skill singer and sings both in Hungarian and English. She has a very strong yet tender voice which would be suitable for Esmeralda.  She came in third in A Dal 2013.  A Dal is The Hungarian Contest to see who performs at Eurovision. She also competed in A Dal 2014 but she didn’t places as high. She is also on the short list A Dal 2017.  

 

Gigi Radics as Hajasbabák, A Játékkészítő picture image

Gigi Radics as Hajasbabák, A Játékkészítő

The real question is can she act?  She hasn’t done that much acting. The only thing I have found is she was in a Hungarian musical called A Játékkészítő which I think means “The Game Creator” or “The Toy Marker,” I do not have any command of Hungarian. All I can say is seeing clips of the musical broke my mind a bit, it was so strange. It was like weird combination of “The Nutcracker,” “Adventure Time,” “The Never=ending Story” and weird pop music. It’s all over the place and a type of weird I’m not used to.

Radics plays Hajasbabák which means “Hairy Baby.” Her costume looks like a cross between Katy Perry and Princess Bubblegum.  Hajasbabák’s character is pretty, confident, enthusiastic and a bit silly and yeah, Radics communicated those characteristics in Hajasbabák’s song Babaház Soul (Dollhouse Soul). Just so we’re are all super clear, I might be addicted to Babaház Soul, it’s just so weird yet a lot of fun. I don’t know what she is singing or why she singing it but I like it.

 

While we’re on this subject let’s discuss Radics’ dancing. With regards to Notre Dame de Paris for whatever reason most of the Esmeralda have very mechanical movements during Bohemienne  so  much so that it is annoying and really distracting. Radics during Babaház Soul has some fairly basic moves and struts around a lot but she owns it and looks natural. It could be that up-tempo dance moves are easier than whatever they make Notre Dame de Paris’ Esmeraldas but do but I think Radics could perform a dance if needed.          

   

Gigi Radics picture image

Gigi Radics

Then there is her looks, does Gigi Radics look the part? Her look is like text-book Esmeralda. She has the big dark almond-shaped eyes and long dark hair Esmeralda has in the book. She is very pretty with a lovely smile that is captivating. She also still quite young which is a perk, it would be weird to have an Esmeralda in her 40’s but heck if they can cast Quasimodo with 40 year olds why not Esmeralda? Though it is nice that Radics is in a very good age range for Esmeralda. 

 

Gigi Radics picture image

Gigi Radics

All round, I think this is a good casting pick. It would be awesome to see her play Esmeralda in some version. It would be great if was musical since Radics is a singer but it’s not necessary . But what do you think? Would be a good choice for Esmeralda. Also she just released a new song.