Tuesday, August 13, 2013

THE BANISTER BUZZ 8/13/13 - ROYALS BEHAVING BADLY, HOBO CHIC, NEW WHO & MASTERPIECE FINALLY GETS IT RIGHT

In a wacky case of life imitating art, I have decided to start writing a weekly (okay, probably more like bi-monthly) column about all things entertainment, just like Tierney Bishop, the heroine of my first completed novel (current location - buried in a filing cabinet drawer beneath old issues of People and VHS tapes with eps of Buffy and Farscape on them.) Tierney was a gossip columnist, so her work had a salacious bent, which mine won't (okay, maybe it will if there's some scandalously juicy celebrity tidbit I want to comment on.) Otherwise, what you can expect here are my thoughts and opinions on TV shows and movies I've watched, books I've read, the latest entertainment news, and I might even venture into fashion, theater, and music should the mood strike. There will be snark and possibly spoilers, so consider yourself warned. 


I've been eagerly anticipating the BBC One/Starz series, The White Queen, since first reading about it last year. I am mad about historical dramas featuring royals, from movies like La Reine Margot and Elizabeth to TV shows like The Tudors. These stories invariably include lots of pretty people in gorgeous costumes, steamy sex scenes, and so much familial backstabbing that you have no idea who's on whose side at any given moment. Oddly enough, I'd never read a book by Philippa Gregory, the Queen of Historical Fiction, so I decided to dive into The White Queen back in June. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and gave it 5 very enthusiastic stars in my review. I was actually a little worried that the show might not live up to the source material, but I'm happy to report that I loved the first ep of TWQ, which debuted on Starz this past weekend. It's an excellent adaptation of the novel, and I think all of the lead roles were well-cast. Max Irons and Rebecca Ferguson have sizzling chemistry, and they are totally selling the Elizabeth/Edward romance. The story of a young king falling in love with a commoner from a rival house is a compelling one that no romance junkie, myself included, can resist. I look forward to watching the rest of the series and I highly recommend it!


America's Next Top Model is back, and yes, I'm admitting to watching this contrived, cheesetastic show. Where else can I see models do ridiculous things like walk a runway down the side of an insanely tall building, IN THE RAIN (It was like a giant Slip 'N Slide!), or pose for photos depicting "alternative weddings" (i.e. nudists or polygamists getting married.) I was down on this show last season because I was so bummed about judge Nigel Barker and the two Jays (creative director Jay Manuel and runway coach J. Alexander) getting the boot. And I HATE the new social media aspect of the show. It just makes judging confusing, and unless I'm the one getting to vote on who stays and goes, why should I care? But I will give kudos to Tyra for reviving my interest in ANTM this season by making it a Boys vs. Girls competition. This is the first time male models have been included on the show, and I am digging it.

Overall, I think the male models are much stronger than the females (Jourdan and Renee are the only girls who might have a shot), so I'm calling it right now - a male model will win Cycle 20 and my money is on Chris H. because he seems to be the most photogenic. Having said that, my eye candy this season is going to be Phil. He's got a grungy look with longish hair and a bushy beard, which should be a complete turn-off, but the guy is hot! I can't decide if I want Tyra to clean him up in the makeover ep this week or let him keep his au naturel look because it's quite arresting (so many male models are hairless, baby-faced pretty boys.) 
 
I did some research and found out that this "hobo chic" look is actually a thing for male models right now. Super sexy Australian model, Tom Bull (see pix below), is known for his signature full beard and messy hair, and designers like Gaultier and Yohji Yamamoto have featured shaggy-bearded male models in their runway shows. So, what do you think, ladies? Can the homeless look be hot or do you prefer your eye candy to be well-groomed?




On to some big news in the sci-fi world . . . As my fellow Whovians are already aware, Matt Smith is retiring as the Doctor and there will be a new man piloting the TARDIS next year. I'm sad to be losing Matt because I loved his quirky take on the Doctor, but I was also kind of excited by the prospect of seeing a different actor interpret the role and bring a new energy to the show. I had visions of Tom Ellis, Idris Elba, and Andrew Scott dancing in my head. When it was announced that Peter Capaldi would be the 12th Doctor, I will confess that I threw a bit of a temper tantrum. I couldn't understand why the show's creators were casting a 55 year-old man who would look like Clara's (the Doctor's current companion) father! But I watched this Who-related interview with Peter and he charmed me. Not only is he a Who geek going back to his childhood, he's quite witty and seems really chuffed about getting this opportunity. So, I've decided to have an open mind about #12 and we'll see what happens. I am going to miss the flirty dynamic between Matt and Jenna-Louise Coleman, though . . .     


Last, but not least, I want to commend Masterpiece for announcing some exciting new additions to its roster for the upcoming season. I've been moaning and groaning for well-nigh a year about Masterpiece ignoring The Paradise in order to air the also-set-in-a-department-store drama Mr. Selfridge. For the record, I watched the two-hour premiere of Mr. Selfridge and absolutely loathed it, so I didn't bother continuing with the show. I feared that The Paradise would never make it to American TV, so I resorted to "alternative viewing methods" and fell in love with the series. I enjoyed it so much that it now surpasses Downton Abbey in my affections and I can't wait for everyone to see it. Masterpiece is planning to air the show in October (The same time S2 will be debuting in the UK, which means I will still have to rely on those alternative viewing methods unless I want to wait until fall of 2014 to see these new eps and I don't.) So, expect a big Paradise-themed celebration on my blog around that time. Also, in news that will delight all Austen fans, Masterpiece will be airing the adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley that's currently shooting in the UK. It will debut across the pond around Christmas and we'll get it here in early 2014, which isn't too bad as far as lag times go. I cannot wait to see the delicious Matthew Rhys as Darcy!


And that's a wrap on this inaugural column of "The Banister Buzz." I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to share your thoughts on The White Queen, hirsute men, Doctor Who, and the upcoming Masterpiece season in the comments section below. In closing, I'd like to give a shout-out to two people who were instrumental in the creation of this column - Elizabeth Marx, for suggesting the idea in the first place (She knows how much I like to gab about movies, TV, etc.) and Laura Chapman, for coming up with my wonderful column name and for designing the super cute TBB artwork, which you can see at the top of the post. Thanks, ladies! 

See you next time on The Banister Buzz . . .   
 

58 comments:

  1. Great post, Tracie! As for eye candy? I prefer the well-groomed look, preferably one sporting a British accent! (please do not tell my husband about this... LOL).

    ~ Kathleen

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    1. You know I'm with you on the British accent, Kathleen. You'll be hearing plenty of those in The Wicked Queen and The Paradise. SIGH

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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  2. I took Tracie's advice and started watching "The Paradise" last week and I love it. I'm enjoying it much more than "Selfridges" (which I gave three weeks of my life before chucking).

    I am excited to check out "The White Queen," though I'm bummed I might not be able to watch the whole show until it appears on Netflix. I'll definitely have to check out that book.

    Great post, Tracie. I look forward to seeing more of The Banister Buzz!

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    1. You just need to get Starz already, Laura! Missing out on your weekly dose of Max Irons just isn't acceptable.

      Thanks again for all of your help with the column. I couldn't have done it without you. :)

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  3. I love this column!!! What a fantastic idea, and you can be sure I'll be an avid follower. I don't watch a lot of the same shows you do, but I have a feeling my TV schedule just got a whole lot busier! Way to go, Tracie!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sam. I know you're not into period dramas like I am, but I'm going to convince you to give one of them a shot some day! Do you watch reality TV at all? You'll probably be seeing plenty of talk about that in the column.

      I appreciate you stopping by! :)

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  4. I'm so obsessed with ANTM and will not apologize. I know it's not 'quality' televison but the heart wants what the heart wants!

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    1. Yes, another ANTM fan! I heart you, Jen Daiker. I think this show definitely falls in the "guilty pleasures" category. You never know what crazy stuff Tyra is going to do, which is what make it so much fun to watch.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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  5. So much to say! 1) I wish I had Starz. I might be resorting to "alternative viewing methods" to watch The White Queen after Starz decides to stop posting the episodes online for free. 2) I normally prefer the clean-cut look, but that homeless-looking Australian model is gorgeous. I wish the homeless guys that loiter around my workplace looked like that. I wouldn't mind them wolf-whistling at me, if they did. 3) I LOVED Mr. Selfridge, and I'm sure I'll love The Paradise, too. I accidentally watched the last episode of the season (using "alternative viewing methods"), but I have a brain made of Teflon, so I'm sure by the time it airs on Masterpiece, I'll have forgotten most things and will be ready to dive in. and 5) Death comes to Pemberley looks fab. I can never get enough of Mr. Darcy. Great inaugural post, Tracie! You've set the bar nice and high!

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    1. Oh, and I can't count. I told you I had problems with my brain.

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    2. Yes, Tom Bull is HOT! Can't believe I'm just now discovering him. How did he manage to slip under my hottie radar? The bad news is he's really young, like 24 y/o. EEK We're cougars, Brea!

      I know you loved Mr. Selfridge, but we are going to have to part company on that one. I had a very violent reaction to the one and only ep I watched. I want you to watch The Paradise from the beginning so that you can appreciate how wonderful it is. The Denise/Moray love story is the best!

      ITA with you about Darcy. I never get tired of seeing the character reinterpreted. Seems like every new actor brings something unique to the character. Am tempted to read Death Comes to Pemberley in advance of the show, but I haven't heard great things about it. This might be the rare case of the adaptation being better than the book it's based on.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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  6. Great post, Tracie! Looking forward to the next installment!

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    1. Thank you so much, Anita. I really appreciate you reading the column. Hope you'll continue to enjoy it. I've already got some ideas for the next one! :)

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  7. Great column, Tracie! I love historical dramas, too! (In your spare time, you need to read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory!) Thanks for the updates!

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    1. Hooray, another historical drama lover! No wonder I like you, Dee! ;) I really did enjoy The White Queen, so I will definitely be checking out some more of Philippa Gregory's books. Thanks for the rec and for stopping by! :)

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  8. Fun post! Love the art by Laura. I admit I don't understand some of this, cuz I'm so out of it. (Whovians? Huh?) Bravo briefly had a boys v. girls modeling show which I very much enjoying. Might have to find ANTM. Or just wait and watch a marathon session one day, as is my usual MO with that show. As for hotties, I like a little chest hair, but am not a big fan of big beards. Goatees I like, but big beards are just a little too Grizzly Adams for me.

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    1. Whovians are fans of the British TV show "Doctor Who," Jackie. And yes, you should totally check out the new season of ANTM so that we have another reality show to gab about (in addition to Project Runway.) Only two eps of ANTM have aired so far, so you wouldn't have much to catch up on. The show is airing on Friday nights now.

      Grizzly Adams - hee!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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  9. Men on ANTM???WHoohoo! And I can't wait til White Queen hits Netflix or Prime! Thanks for sharing Tracie!
    <3 Tobi

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    1. Girl, you totally need to check out the new season of ANTM. It's been a blast so far! Lots of cray cray all around. :)

      You can watch the first ep of TWQ online at Starz right now for free. Don't know how long that will be the case, so I suggest jumping on it! Naked Max Irons awaits you.

      http://www.starz.com/originals/thewhitequeen/videos#/watch-the-premiere-episode-of-the-white-queen-for-free

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Tobi!!

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  10. LOVE IT! Tracie I'm so happy you decided to do this column because your knowledge really shines through! I'll keep my eyes peeled here in Chicago, I usually come across somebody rushing through their fifteen, fabulous minutes of fame and I'll be sure to give you the scoop!
    Happy reading!

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    1. I'm so glad you suggested the column, Elizabeth. I'm having so much fun with it!

      I will consider you my "source" in Chi-Town, so let me know if there are any celebrity shenanigans going on there. You probably see the Rancics and Oprah all the time around town, right?

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

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  11. This. Is. Awesome!! :) Love the artwork!
    I used to watch ANTM but stopped years ago. The boys vs girls angle is super interesting, though... Might have to check it out using the 'alternative viewing methods.'
    You know how much I loved The Paradise! I'm so glad that a) you convinced me to watch it and b) I'll get to watch it all over again on PBS! Can't wait for the second series. It has surpassed Downton for me as well. (And I currently have a mad crush on Emun Elliott. He's so dreamy!)
    I'm enjoying The White Queen very much... I think I want to read the novel.
    Looking forward to more Banister Buzz!! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Cat. Laura really outdid herself on my logo/artwork, didn't she? She has such a great eye for this stuff.

      You really should watch this season of ANTM, so I have someone else to dish about it with. I think you'd find several of the male models very appealing. ;)

      I am right there with you in the Emun Elliott fan club. He is divine. And I can't wait to see more of his Moray in S2 of The Paradise.

      We will have much to discuss in the coming weeks re: The White Queen! And I do recommend reading the book as I thought it was fantastic!

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  12. Congratulations on your new column! I'm not sure how many shows we have in common but I might find some good recommendations here!

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    1. Thanks, Meredith! I'm sure we have some crossover in our TV shows since I watch just about everything! :) I'll be covering a lot of different genres here, so stay tuned for more . . .

      I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

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  13. Oh and I am NOT fan of the full beard but find "scruff" incredibly sexy in that "spent all day rolling around in bed (with me...) with no time to shave" way. Completely clean shaven seems a bit uptight to me these days.

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    1. Well, that was a nice mental image . . .YUM! :) I'm with you on scruff, very sexy.

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  14. I know I'm going to learn lots from you, Tracie, as I have in the past. As not much of a TV watcher (come one, there are so many books to read!), I feel inferior not knowing about a bunch of these shows.

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    1. That's what I'm here for, Martha, to educate people. ;) We do share a love of period drama, so I think you'll like a lot of the shows I mention here.

      And there will be plenty of book talk in this column, too, so hopefully, I'll make some recs that you'll want to add to your ever-growing TBR pile. :)

      I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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  15. This is so much fun! Great idea. I'll have to keep an eye out for The Paradise but I might just wait until it airs. However, I have no idea what the channel situation would be like in Canada. I suppose I'll wait and see and perhaps resort to those alternative viewing methods. As for the scruffy/clean shaven debate...the boyfriend has had a beard for years and while it took me a bit to get used to, I really don't mind it at all. He looks good with it! I suppose I'd say I'd be good with either. It's all about what suits the guy, I think!

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    1. Do you get Masterpiece shows in your part of Canada, Kaley? If so, you should be okay to watch The Paradise in the fall. I thought your country got Downton Abbey the same time as us. I hope you do so that you can join in the online Paradise party I'm planning. :)

      A proponent of beards - huzzah! I really do think that facial hair suits some men very well. Sounds like your boyfriend is one of them.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

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  16. Congratulations, Tracie! You certainly never seem to stop moving and coming up with new ideas! Can't wait to read these new posts.
    xoxo cindy

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. I do love to entertain people and share my opinions and recs with others, so this column will be the perfect forum for that.

      I appreciate your support, as always. :)

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  17. Love it! I've been known to watch ANTM ... and I loved Nigel.
    sigh.

    :)

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    1. I adore Nigel and think the judging panel on ANTM is sorely lacking without him. Do not even get me started on Kelly Cutrone and Bryan Boy.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, L! :)

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  18. Tracie, you are duly nominated for services to grown women! Brilliant! Love Sarah x

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    1. I do what I can, Sarah! ;)

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. You're the best!

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  19. Great post!

    I'm loving The White Queen, especially the relationship between King Edward (Max Irons) and Queen Elizabeth and enjoying watching Aneurin Barnard as King Richard III. I also loved Mr Selfridge, especially Oliver Jackson Cohen and The Paradise and can't wait to watch Death Comes to Pemberley at Christmas!

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    1. Sounds like we have similar taste in TV shows, Georgina. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Aneurin as Richard on TWQ. Of course, I only have eyes for Max Irons at the moment. ;)

      You'll be getting Pemberley a few months before us, so I'll rely on your for some teasers! I can't wait!

      I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment, Georgina.

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  20. The new column is all sorts of fabulous, just like you!

    I didn't know that Nigel & the two Jays were gone from ANTM. I don't want to watch now. *sighs* Love those three. (Crush on Jay M & Nigel, of course.)

    I'm giving our new Doctor a shot, but geez, I'm in mourning over Matt leaving the show!

    Haven't watched The White Queen or The Paradise yet, but do look forward to catching up with them!

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    1. Aw, Mich, you are too sweet. Thanks and back at ya! :)

      I still don't understand why Tyra & Co. felt the need to revamp things on ANTM, but the changes were not for the better. I miss Nigel and the Jays.

      Hopefully, the new Doctor will be a pleasant surprise.

      You get Starz, don't you? Then get on watching The White Queen already! :) And I expect you to participate in my online celebration of The Paradise in October.

      Thanks so much for the support, Mich!

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    2. Nope, don't get Starz. My parents do so I will have to watch it when I am over there. :)

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  21. LOVE this. So much stuff packed into an awesome coloumn! I'm a bit behind on my dramas so I'm afraid to report that The White Queen has passed me by so far (I'll promise to catch up!). Not sure about beards, I have to confess. They may be boho chic and all the rage but... um, no, not for me. Well, obviously not for ME, I meant, not for my man, thanks. Looking forward to your next instalment! XX

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    1. You live in England and aren't watching The White Queen? For shame, Nicky Wells! ;) It's okay. I know you have a family to take care of and books to write. But really, I think you'd find quite a lot of inspiration in naked Max Irons. ;)

      So, you like your man smooth-faced? Interesting how we all have different opinions about this.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Nicky!

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  22. I'm so glad someone else admits they are watching America's next Top Model. I'm digging the male models too!

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    1. There's no shame in my game, Jen. I take pride in my eclectic viewing habits - everything from Masterpiece to Top Chef Masters. I leave no television stone unturned! :)

      So, who are you rooting for on ANTM this season?

      I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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  23. Ooh, can't wait to check out some of these new shows (especially The White Queen : ) Love your fun blog, Tracie!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, Diane. I think you'll really like what I have planned for my next column. ;)

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  24. Thanks Tracie! Your column helped me get excited for Fall, which is nice post-vacation!

    -- Ellyn Oaksmith

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the column, Ellyn. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'll be talking new fall TV shows in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that. :)

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  25. Great column, Tracie! I enjoy our chats about TV, so I know i'm going to enjoy this new addition to your site!

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    1. Thanks, Tracey! You know I have lots of opinions about different forms of entertainment, so I thought it would be fun to share those in a more formal setting here on my blog.

      I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

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  26. Wow I love your new Column Tracie. It has everything.

    On the subject of beards I dont really like them and much prefer clean shaven or stubble. If its a small beard then maybe. It depends who it is as some men it suits more than others. I have found myself liking someone more with a beard at times because it has enhanced their features or made them look a bit older and more intelligent. Im not sure about that full beard look. I dont think I can take to that. It looks like a small furry animal stuck on their face and all I can think of is food getting stuck in it. Ive seen it happen and its a real turn off I can tell you.

    As you know I love The Paradise. Having been lucky to see the first series when it was shown on the BBC. Though I only decided to watch it in the first place because a certain Mr Emun Elliot was in it. He first caught my attention on a very short lived series called Paradox. I was so upset when that ended as I couldnt get my Emun fix. Though I love everything about this show now. All the characters and the storylines and the romance. I was so happy to hear that there would be a second season. Cant wait for that. I found Mr Selfridge lacking in something but I cannot quite put my finger on it. Im not sure I will be watching the second series of that.

    I am loving the White Queen. Though sadly its the final episode tonight over here in the UK.:( I may have to see if I can re-watch it by other means especially if the UK version was not as racey as the Starz version. I know they couldnt show alot of the sex scenes on the BBC. :( so Ive missed out there sadly.

    I will give the new Doctor chance in Dr Who. I mean I have seen older actor play the part and each has brought something to the character of the Doctor. I never thought Matt Smith would become the Doctor quite so well as he has but he has made it his own. It will be sad to see him go.

    Looking forward to your next column.

    Ally

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    1. Ally, thanks for chiming in on the hairy vs. cleanshaven issue. You bring up a good, and very gross, point about food getting stuck in beards. I shudder to think of that. Definitely NOT sexy!

      And you were the one who turned me on to The Paradise last year, so thank you! I am officially in the Emun Elliott Fan Club now and can't wait for S2 of the show.

      Shame about you Brits getting the less saucy version of The White Queen. Only two eps in so far, but I think this show is really gripping. I just read that the BBC declined to do a second series for the show, which I don't have a problem with because I think that the stories for most of these characters will be wrapped up by the end of S1.

      I will be very sorry to see Matt Smith leave Who, but Peter seems like a nice guy. So, I am going to hope for the best with him. I do wish they'd get some male eye candy on that show, though!

      New column coming up tomorrow, so check back then! :)

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