Elizabeth: New TV Show Squee!

Okay, The Good Place is in season two so it’s not technically a new show, but I just started watching, so it’s new to me.  My TV viewing is generally limited to political news and sports these days (when I’m not writing, of course), but when The Good Place was recommended to me recently, I gave it a try.

An excellent decision.

The show starts out when Eleanor Shellstrop (played by Kristen Bell) finds herself in the afterlife.  Though not surprised to be dead, she is a little surprised to find out that she’s ended up in the Good Place since she’s pretty sure she wasn’t a very good person in life.   It’s not long before she realizes that there’s been some kind of bureaucratic mistake, but since she has no interest in spending the hereafter being eternally tortured in the Bad Place, she does her best to hide in plain sight from the Good Place’s architect Michael (played by Ted Danson) as well as the other obviously-in-the-right-place residents. Continue reading

Justine: Good Stories Aren’t Just for Adults

tmnt, ninja turtles, good story, plot

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (c) 2014 Viacom International, Inc.

I have two small boys who watch a healthy amount of kiddie television (KTV). So often in KTV, the story is straightforward and simple. It’s an entertainment bit to keep them occupied for 30 minutes at a time. There are exceptions, though, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is one, IMHO. My boys, ages 6 and almost 5, are seriously into TMNT, the four shellbacks who mutated into walking, talking, pizza-eating turtles and who became ninjas under the guidance of their sensei, Splinter, a former-human-now-rat.

Every now and then, I’ll sit down with the kids and watch it with them. In the past, I haven’t paid that much attention to the overall plot, so I would ask my kids lots of questions about what’s going on. In Nickelodeon’s revamp, one of the plot lines has the Turtles battling the Shredder, Splinter’s foe. Splinter and Shredder go way back. They used to be friends, but a bitter jealously on Shredder’s part caused pain and heartbreak for Splinter…while still human, he lost his wife and his daughter at Shredder’s hands. The Turtles and Splinter attempt to keep Shredder and his ninja-butt-kicking daughter, Karai, at bay; Shredder wants nothing more than to see Splinter and the Turtles dead. It seemed pretty straightforward to me — Good Guy vs. Bad Guy.

I don’t think that anymore. Continue reading