Farewell Downton

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Last night we said goodbye to Downton Abbey after 6 seasons of shocks and awww’s. It has been a wild ride. And I can’t help feeling that we (the fans of Downton) will be hard pressed to find a replacement for this show! There is really nothing else like it out there. And while PBS promises new and exciting programming in our future, unless it’s a Downton Abbey spinoff, I just have my doubts since the bar has been set so high.

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Photo from PBS.org

With that being said, I have some ideas for Downton Abbey spinoff concepts that I think PBS should really be considering. Here they are…

Finale spoilers ahead… 

Charlie and Elsie

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Photo from PBS.org

The madcap story of Carson and Mrs. Hughes after life at Downton Abbey. I’m thinking they finally open that bed and breakfast they were talking about and adventure ensues. Think of all the wayward stragglers that Carson would have to contend with. It has Emmy written all over it!

Lady Rose Takes America

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Photo from RadioTimes.com

Lily James is primed to take over the world right now after the successes of Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. So why not throw her a spinoff? She and Atticus go back to America where they are raising their daughter, Victoria Rachel Cora Aldridge. Rose being Rose, she would absolutely be in the thick of it over there, probably in New York City. And while there she would obviously hook up with Shirley Maclaine’s Martha Levison. Sure, they aren’t actually related by blood or even marriage, but everyone is family when it comes to Downton Abbey and I’d love to see the sparks fly when Rose and Martha interact.

Isobel and Violet

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Photo from LivingAnalog.com

No one deserves a spinoff more than Lady Grantham and her (begrudging at first) bestie, Violet Crawley. Sure, Isobel is primed to marry Lord Merton, but this duo would undoubtedly remain close. They have been through so much together and have come so far in this hilarious and tumultuous friendship. They deserve second life! Perhaps they start solving murders in England. Not sure what they would be doing, but I know that they should be doing it together and that it would be amazing!

The Manny

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The finale of Downton Abbey finally saw a happy Thomas Barrow…FINALLY!! Sure, he’s taken over as head butler for Carson, but I think he’s better suited as Master George’s manny. Imagine the absolute adorbs that would come from that pairing! Outings in the park, visits to the city and hopefully one day, Thomas would find romance with someone special pushing the limits of the time period.

Talbot and Branson

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Photo from thecultureconcept.com

Branson has long been my favorite character on Downton Abbey. And while Henry Talbot is no Matthew Crawley, I have come to like him and appreciate his friendship with Tom. The fact that they are now in business together makes this concept the easiest of all to accomplish. Mary would obviously make an occasional appearance to check on her husband and her, I’d venture to say, best friend. The automobile industry in the late 1920’s going into the 30’s would make for incredibly interesting story lines.

Downton Ghost Stories

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Photo from stereogum.com

Of course there’s the guilty pleasure spinoff that sees the return of the favored dead. Matthew Crawley and Lady Sybil return to haunt the halls of Downton Abbey. It would have to be funny because anything else would just be wrong. Sure, it’s the least plausible of the spinoff concepts, but you can’t fault me for trying!

What did you think of the Downton Abbey finale?

Platonic Friendlationships

Downton Abbey Season 6 Spoilers Ahead…

 

 

 

I confess. As I’ve watched Downton Abbey the last 2 seasons, I’ve come to wish that Branson and Mary would try and make a go of it. After all, they get along famously and make each other genuinely better people (especially in Mary’s case.) Plus little Sybbie and Master George are growing up together anyways. Why not just go ahead already?

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Photo from dailymail.co.uk

But, after Sunday’s episode, I have finally accepted that it isn’t meant to be. Mainly because Mary married another dude. So all my dreams of the perfect ship have drowned.

In the aftermath of disappointment, a new feeling and deeper understanding of Mary and Branson has taken shape. Theirs is the perfect example of a platonic friendlationship done splendidly right. Possibly the only one on TV that I have ever witnessed. (Arguments could be made for Jerry and Elaine from Seinfeld or Phoebe and Joey from Friends.) See, what happens most of the time (and especially on soap operas) is that man meets woman, man loves woman, man loses woman, man finds new woman, man loves new woman. And the same is true on the women’s side as well. Anyone with television watching history knows that the best couples start out either on opposite ends of the spectrum (hating each other) or as the very best of friends (and not realizing they love each other.) Enter Mary Crawley and Tom Branson. Not only did they start out at opposite ends of the spectrum (he a chauffeur, she a rich aristocrat and them hating each other) but after the deaths of not one, but both of their spouses, they became the most unlikely pair of best friends. Hence the thought that they might end up together.

Instead, they remain dear and devoted friends. (In fact, Tom was the best man at both of Mary’s weddings. Chew on that one!) They are friends who love one another deeply, but who didn’t so much as look sideways at one another in a romantical way (despite my fervent prayers for it to happen.) Perhaps it was because he was married to her sister. It could be that the class lines just couldn’t be crossed. But I think it’s because sometimes, every once in a while, men and women can truly just be friends and nothing more.

I have to say, this has not been my experience. If I haven’t had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for a guy, a guy has had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for me. In fact, the best friend I have, who is of the male species, is my brother.

Platonic Friendlationships are very hard to come by. And harder to keep. Which is why Mary and Branson not getting together (and fulfilling my hopes and dreams) is a really, really good thing. I often desperately need to be reminded that men and women can be friends without the mushy stuff getting in the way. That it isn’t all about roses and rainbows and kisses in the rain. Sometimes it’s about honesty and kindness and a person you can rely on to always be there, even when it’s hard.

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Photo from gpb.org

(Deep breath and shoulder shrug) I wish it was as easy as having a team of writers craft the perfect scenario and just being directed to follow a script. If that were the case, then maybe I could have written it so that the men who’ve come into my life could have just been my friends. There would be no suspicion of ulterior motives. There would be no longing for something more. Just friendship at it’s finest. Honestly, I don’t even know what that would look like. Girl friends, I get. But boys? I’m 33 and I still can’t figure them out!

I will take a lesson from Tom Branson and Mary Crawley (I suppose I need to get used to calling her Mary Talbot now?) I will keep hope alive that men aren’t always trying to get into my pants. That maybe there’s a Branson out there who just wants to be in my life and see me happy, even if it isn’t with him. Perhaps especially if it isn’t with him. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

5 Fandom Friday

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Fandoms I’m Thankful For

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. A time to take stock. A time to examine life. A time to count your blessings. A time to be thankful…for FANDOMS!! These are the ones I’m thankful for:

#1: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. I grew up with Star Wars. It’s the first fandom I remember being crazy about. It makes me think of family. It makes me think of powerful female figures. It makes me think Hubba Hubba Han Solo. It’s the ultimate fandom for this nerdy girl!

#2: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. Ever since the announcement that Disney purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas, I have been counting down the days till the big day. Sure, every Star Wars fan knows that May is the pivotal month for the galaxy far, far away, but I kinda love that we are getting Star Wars for Christmas this year. What can I say, I’m thankful!

#3: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. The Star Wars Universe is a vast and beautiful place. I have been reading books from the expanded universe for many years. So yes, I was initially disappointed that the canon was disbanded. (RIP Mara Jade. You will always be in our hearts!) But I’ve had plenty of time to accept the new Star Wars future. Which now includes brand new expanded universe books. And the beauty is that the old canon books are still highly enjoyable works. Bring on the

#4: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. Star Wars brings people together. Don’t believe me? Attend Star Wars Celebration sometime. Read up on the 501st and the charity works that they are involved in. Read the story of Daniel and the petition to allow him an early viewing of The Force Awakens before his death on. When Star Wars fans gather, great things happen, internets are broken and so are records. If you still doubt the power of the Star Wars fan base, just keep an eye on the box office the weekend of December 18th. You’ll feel the Force then, I can promise you that!

#5: Marvel, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, LOST, Star Trek, Flash/ Arrow, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Supergirl, Once Upon A Time, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead…
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Ok…ok! I like a couple other fandoms besides Star Wars and I’m just as grateful for them. When the prospect of Star Wars looms…everything else just pales in comparison. But each of these fandoms (and many more) all have their places in my heart!!

Come countdown to The Force Awakens with me on Instagram. Tag me: @nerdinthesand and use the hashtag: #StarWarsChallenge

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5 Fandom Friday

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My 13 Fictional BFF’s

As all of my real life, non-fictional friends will know, I’m a very social person. And I love friends. I love to surround myself with people who are smarter and prettier and just all around better than me. It makes me a better person. It gives me something to aspire to. 5 fictional BFF’s seems mean cause so many fictional friends will get left out. So in honor of Friday the 13th, I will choose 13 BFF’s instead. Seems a more realistic number. Thanks to The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick for the topic!!

I’ve decided not to explain each choice, cause they all really make perfect sense!!

#1– Jim Halpert from The Office

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#2– Judy Greer (basically from anything she’s ever been in!!)

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#3- Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project

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#4- John Watson from Sherlock

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#5- Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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#6- Chewbacca from Star Wars

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#7- Tom Branson from Downton Abbey

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#8– Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones

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#9– Joey Tribbiani from Friends

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#10– Annabeth Nass from Hart of Dixie

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#11- Jimmy Olsen from Superman

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#12- Rubeus Hagrid from Harry Potter

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#13- The Flash aka Barry Allen from The Flash

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Ok, I admit some of these (1, 4, 5, 7, 9 & 13) were chosen to be fictional BFF’s that eventually turn into boyfriends forever, cause they are wonderful!! But can you blame me!!!

It’s That Time Again…

Today is Ash Wednesday. Which mean the beginning of the Lenten season. For the past 2 years, I have given up the hardest thing for me to give up… Television. And I see no reason to stop this year. When I’ve given up TV in the past, I have found myself more focused, more motivated, more productive. Not only in my regular daily life, but in my spiritual life as well (which.. of course.. is the whole point!) Giving up something you love for someone you love is a bit of a no brainer. And that’s what Lent is for me. Giving up TV for the one who gave his life for mine? Ask me for something hard, why don’t ya.

It may not be particularly hard, but it won’t be a cake walk by any means. Especially when TV is so good these days. Here are 10 reasons that I will miss TV for the next 40 days…

#1 – Downton Abbey

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Oh Lady Grantham, I will miss you and your snappy one liners!

#2 – Arrow

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Umm…I forgot what I was talking about!

#3 – Flash

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Check out last Friday’s post (click here) about couples that I am shipping these days. #SnowBarry is definitely in there!

#4 – The Walking Dead

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This one is pretty self explanatory! Daryl must live! There is no other option for him!

#5 – Agent Carter

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This lady is kicking ass and taking names. She also got picked up for a second season, which is excellent news!!

#6 – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Shield has actually been on hiatus since the winter finale (which was a doozy.) But it is returning on March 3rd, which means I will miss out on the mid-season premier and will have to catch up on it first thing after Easter!!

#7 – Revenge

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If I believed in guilty pleasures, then I would definitely consider this one of them.

#8 – The Mindy Project

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Week to week this show has been getting more and more adorable. And with the big Mindy/ Danny baby news, it promises to be even more interested in the days to come.

#9 – Hart of Dixie

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Oh no… I forgot what I was talking about again!! Wonder why…

#10 – Netflix

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Aside from the regularly scheduled program of day to day TV watching, there are the many treasure troves available on Netflix. Re-watching Arrested Development. Starting a new show like House of Cards. Watching movies whenever I want to. All that is going to have to wait till after the celebration of the resurrection of Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior… otherwise knows as Easter, of course!

Until Easter hits, I’m going to be very careful where I look. Spoilers are everywhere.

5 Fandom Friday

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Fictional Couples I Ship

Yeah… I couldn’t just pick 5 couples. Because I don’t just watch 5 shows. And even if I did just watch 5 shows, there’s more that one couple per show sometimes. So I’m just gonna go ahead and pick as many as I want, breaking the 5 Fandom Friday rule, but it’s Valentine’s Eve/ Friday the 13th/ I-don’t-care-I’ll-do-what-I-want-day. But I think that The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick would approve!! Not only did I do a list of current couples that I’m shipping. I also went ahead and made a list of couples that I ship from shows that are no longer on the air. Click Here for that list (also couldn’t choose just 5 couples for that one either!) PS, spoilers ahead so tread lightly! You’ve been warned!

#1 – Brary from Downton Abbey

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As of right now on the show, this has not even been hinted at, but I know I’m not the only one who dreams of the day when Lady Mary and Tom Branson just join forces to become a serious Downton Abbey power couple. And I think the late Lady Sybil and the late Matthew Crawley would approve of this union. Plus Tom and Mary are equally better than the people they have individually been courting or been courted by!

#2 – Captain Swan from Once Upon a Time

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If anything happens to break Emma and Hook up, I will be boycotting Once Upon a Time. I have loved their story and they are such a great couple. She makes him a better man, he makes her a better woman. It’s everything a fictional relationship should be!!

#3 – Zade from Hart of Dixie

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In the same vein as the Emma/ Hook union, if anything happens to break apart Zoe Hart and Wade Kinsella I will be boycotting! I love them together. Incidentally, they also make each other better people and with a baby on the way, they are truly becoming a wonderful and inspiring couple to watch!

#4 – Raylicity from Arrowimage

All you Olicity shippers out there are going to hate my life, but I don’t dig Ollie and Felicity together. I liked him with Laurel, before she lost her edge! And I loved him with Sara, before she lost her life. But Felicity… I’m just not feeling it. But there’s something so delightful about the growing tension of Raylicity!! And I ship them so hard!! So, sorry my lovely Olicity shippers, but Raylicity all the way!!

#5 – SkyeWard from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Sure, he’s gone rogue and is working for the bad guys, but do we really believe that he’s gone bad? And do we really believe that his love for Skye can’t totally redeem him? We do not believe that! Not for one second. There is good in him… I can feel it!

 

#6 – Jemily from Revenge

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Ok.. Revenge is killing me on the Jack and Emily front. Why, why, why would she even consider a relationship with Ben when good old Jack has been biding his time. When he walked up that hill to Ben’s house and saw them kissing… NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! After all this time. Here’s hoping they get things together before the end of the series.

#7 – JessNick from New Girl

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Jess and Nick have certainly had their ups and downs. And I’m gonna go ahead and admit that I refused to watch their break up. REFUSED. Especially after THAT kiss and the fact that they belong together. They just do!! Sure, Ryan is adorable and a wonderful distraction till Nick gets his shiz together, but there is a serious expiration date on that relationship. And it’s because Nick and Jess belong together. They are like Ross and Rachel, like Toast and Butter, like Netflix and Mac and Cheese!! Meant…To…Be!

 

#8 – OutlawQueen from Once Upon a Time

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HEARTBREAK! That’s how I felt at the end of the winter finale of Once Upon a Time. Rumpbelle and OutlawQueen both took a hit this season. But I can’t believe that Regina and Robin have seen their last steamy kiss. Magical town barrier or not! Keep hope alive for this couple, because the powers that be over at ABC know what we want!!

 

#9 – FitzSimmons from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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They are literally called FitzSimmons on the show. They belong together. Their names make up the perfect shipper name. Did I flirt with the idea of Trip and Simmons? Sure. But all along I knew that Fitz belonged with Simmons and Simmons with Fitz, plus Trip is dead now (RIP) so there’s no chance f0r Trimmons.

 

#10 – Caryl from the Walking Dead

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This one is one that we have been waiting for for a long time! It’s been building and building and so far we only have cursory glances and that reunion that brought all Caryl shippers to tears! Why didn’t he kiss her then? WHY? I tell ya, AMC may just be the Kingpin of the will they won’t they at this point in the list.

 

#11 – Jacknye from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

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I take it back. Detective Inspector Jack Robinson and Miss Phryne Fisher hold the title for biggest onscreen teases!! Chances are you haven’t seen this one as it’s a show that airs in Australia, but thanks to the magic that is Netflix, you can catch up on the two current seasons available. Season three is currently in production. Do yourself a favor and get on team Jacknye right now!!! It’s completely worth it.

 

#12 – Snowborn from Game of Thrones

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This one may be a surprise for you. Seeing as they have had zero onscreen moments together. She’s off in Westeros raising dragons and conquering kingdoms. He’s over in Castle Black battling the impending doom of that winter that keeps on coming along with all the creepy threat of the White Walkers. But their paths are drawing closer together and the entire series is called A Song of Fire and Ice. Hello?? Fire-breathing dragons… huge wall of ice?? You do the math on that one.

 

#13 – SnowBarry from The Flash

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And last but not least we have SnowBarry. Now the relationships on The Flash are tricky. If we’re talking comic book canon, everyone knows that Barry marries Iris. But is that the direction that The CW is going to take? Will WestAllen ever get it together? Personally I don’t ship Iris and Barry (sorry WestAllen shippers!) I also don’t ship Caitlin and Firestorm, though I know that according to comic book canon Caitlin is destined for the dark side. But I still loved the episode, Crazy For You where they grew closer and flirted with the idea of SnowBarry.

Shipping a couple doesn’t always mean that they will end up together. Much like real love and emotions, it’s not always rational. But the heart wants what it wants!! And I apologize for nothing! Every ship has it’s place.

 

To talk more about the couples we ship on this Valentine’s Eve, come on over to Twitter @nerdinthecity tonight for my #NerdySlumberParty where we will be talking all about that four-letter word, Love. The party starts at 9pm EST and there will be giveaways and nerd talk. You do not wanna miss it!!

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Watch This Show!

I know. I know. You don’t need a new show. You already have 7 that you just can’t miss. (Or is that just me?) But allow me to present to you Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. If Downton Abbey and Sherlock had a sassy love child, it would be Miss Fisher.

Meet Miss Phryne Fisher. Sassy, lady detective with a penchant for doing what she wants, when she wants and damn the consequences or danger! She is a modern women living in the 1920’s in upper class Australia. And she is truly fabulous from her clothes to her sleek bob to her devil may care attitude regarding convention.

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Then there’s the very handsome and gentlemanly, Detective Inspector Jack Robinson. Love interest of Phryne who is constantly getting in the way of all Jack’s investigations causing the sparks to fly between them! Jack is a righteous man who always upholds justice, except when Phryne comes around and ruins all his efforts!

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Next we have the adorable, budding romance between Phryne’s lady’s maid, Dot and Jack’s constable, Hugh. They are too precious for words. He’s a Protestant and she’s a devout Catholic. He’s a traditional man and she’s learning more and more about what it means to be a modern, independent woman. Which makes for adorable story!

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The rest of the cast includes Cec and Bert, who are Phryne’s rough around the edges cabby’s who get the info from the rougher parts of town. Mr Butler who is Phryne’s butler, oddly enough. Aunt P is Phryne’s traditional high society Aunt who’s always shocked by Phryne’s shennanigans. Mac is Phryne’s lady doctor friend who throws convention to the dogs and helps Phryne when called upon. She also dresses in the most adorable pant suits. And finally Phryne’s ward, Jane. Taken in under Phryne’s roof along with Dot and any other young woman who may need some help.

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In conclusion, this show is awesome and with only 2 series available on Netflix right now, it’s an easy binge watch. Give it a try and I dare you not to fall in love with it!

Thanks to my like-minded coworker, Emma for the recommendation!

5 Fandom Friday

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5 Characters I’d Invite to My Thanksgiving Feast

Today’s blog topic from The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick is about characters I’d invite to Thanksgiving. Before I begin, you should know a little about my family. We are a very tight knit group of people. We uphold many unique holiday traditions and we are also what you might call… a little quirky. With that being said, adding any more personalities into the mix could be tricky. But we’ve always been a family that welcomes new comers and vagabonds alike with open arms and plates of turkey. So here is my list of characters I’d like to invite to Thanksgiving. From TV to Books to Muppets to Movies, my choices come from all over the place.

#1 – Swedish Chef from The Muppets

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“Gersh gurndy morn-dee burn-dee!”

My family is talented at a great many things. One of them is cooking. So it’s not like we need any help in the kitchen. But I’ve always loved the Swedish Chef from The Muppets. His Mock Swedish dialect and his can-do attitude would make for an upbeat positive guest at our Thanksgiving Feast. Plus we love to add multi-cultural elements to our holiday traditions. So why not add one of his famous dishes to the menu? Like his Flapjacks, Fishie Chowder, Japanese Cake, Frog Legs or his Squirrel Stew. It’s not so much the end result as it is his process that would be the most entertaining.

#2 – Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice

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“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me, and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.”

Sure, he’s haughty and proud. And sure… those are qualities a modern woman would rare to never tolerate in a man. But he’s Mr. Darcy!! And aside from providing some delicious eye candy (Colin Firth is the Darcy I’d choose), he can also provide sparkling conversation when prodded and pushed. Maybe it’s an odd choice, but I’d love a traditional Regency Era Thanksgiving Feast complete with reel and musical concert. Perhaps a little impromptu singing might be in order. And if Mr. Darcy was in attendance you could almost guarantee that something exciting would happen.

#3 – Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey

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“I knew this family was approaching disillusion, I wasn’t aware that illusion was already upon us.”

My Grandmother, Flora, is the matriarch of my family. We have Thanksgiving at her house every year. She is strong willed and stubborn and I think I get a lot of my gumption straight from her. She reminds me a lot of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Lady Violet Crawley. You might wonder, with one Lady of the house already in attendance, why invite another. I imagine that if Lady Violet and Lady Grandmother Flora were ever to meet, they would either become best friends and while away the hours playing bridge, or they would become sworn enemies and take turns delivering crushing set downs. Either way, I think it would make for a most entertaining Thanksgiving Feast!

#4 – Genie from Aladdin

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“You ain’t never had a friend like me!”

A genie is always handy to have around. You never know when disaster could strike and if you had a magical genie of the lamp then crisis would immediately be averted. A genie is useful, but Genie is a delight. Genie has long been my very favorite Disney character. Voiced to perfection by the late Robin Williams, he is caring and funny and the life of the party. He will always be welcome at my Thanksgiving table!

#5 – Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy

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“I may not be able to understand what you say when you say it, but before you say it, I can understand what you’re going to say perfectly!”

This one is for my sister-in-law. She is an avid Lucy fan. Who isn’t! (But she really is!) I think Lucy would round out this quintuplet of Thanksgiving guests. Accident prone and ridiculously goofy, Lucy is always trying to do right, yet always managing to mess things up. I’m not saying she’d drop the turkey, burn the mashed potatoes and end up with pumpkin pie on her face… but it would be worth the invite to see just what might happen!

Happy (less than a week till) Thanksgiving to you all. Who would you invite?

30 Days of Nerdy Hair-Nerdvember

Day 14: Lady Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey

I know what you’re thinking… another Downton hairstyle? But just as the characters are so different and varied, so are the hairstyles.
Today I chose Lady Mary Crawley.
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This is a case of ‘inspired by’ rather than ‘replica of.’
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