What Happens Next or How Holiday Movies Need Sequels Too! 

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(Let that image above be your nightmare fuel.)

It is that time of year again. You know what I am talking about! Halloween has officially ended, and we have just jumped head first into the most sacred time of year. The two-month Christmas Spectacular. That is right.

Even Tom Turkey is dressed up as an Elf on a Shelf.

Regardless of where you stand on this topic (I have a few ideas, but I am too busy enjoying my Starbucks Red Cup Drink in 78 degree weather. Damn you Jersey weather!) it is the Christmas season and television will make sure you know that. That includes the main Hallmark and Mysteries Channels that have now been taken over by holiday movies.

I know I am coming across as someone who hates these movies. Not even close. I enjoy watching surgery sweet romantic stories especially in a time where all news tends to be bad news. I am enjoying the sweet world that Hallmark is presenting right now in the two-month Christmas Spectacular.

As I sit and watch some beloved movies, there are a few that make me want more. So, here is my list of holiday movies that I wish had sequels. Since I’m feeling like a rebel, these days I included one Lifetime Holiday movie in there that deserves some love.

So, lets see if you agree with my list!

The Snow Bride

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The Snow Bride is a Hallmark Holiday Movie that aired in 2013. Here is a brief summary before I delve into why it deserves a sequel. Tabloid reporter, Greta Kaine, races to be the first to cover a possible story concerning the famous Tannenhill family. A few misunderstandings and mishaps later she is playing the girlfriend of Ben Tennenhill. Hilarity ensues.

Why a sequel?

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I’m attached to these characters. I found the chemistry between the whole cast (even Claire Sinclair) to be great. I bought that these people would be one big happy family with a lot of funny adventures. I’m convinced the sequel could be centered around Maggie and Peters’s friendship changing while Greta and Ben plan their wedding (oh please we all knew where that was going). It could be a fun movie. It can bring together a cast that obviously had a lot of fun making the first film.
Hallmark? Get on that. Stat.

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade aired in 2012 on the Hallmark Channel. Technically, it is a Thanksgiving Day Movie but Hallmark fudges that a bit. Here is a summary.
Emily Jones, the Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade coordinator, has to deal with a development consultant that she is convinced was hired to ruin her beloved parade. She decides to stop him from ruining the parade she will teach him the importance this parade has in the community. As they get to know each other, they start to fall for each other.

Why Does this Deserve a Sequel?

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I mostly want a sequel because I loved the chemistry between the leads (this is going to be a theme for this whole blog post). I bought that they would fall hard for each other. I know the actors (Autumn Reeser and Antonio Cupo) were in another Hallmark movie but they aren’t the main couple! I wanted another movie where they end up together. I can’t even think of a plot for this movie. I guess while they are planning their wedding they find out they may have known each other for longer than expected? I don’t know, but I want these two actors back on my screen quick!

Borrowed Hearts

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Ok. I may be cheating but I just came across this movie on YouTube, and it brought back so many memories. It doesn’t normally play on TV anymore, but I read in my research that it aired on CBS in 1997! (Seriously…I thought this movie came out in 1994.) However, the movie plays like a Hallmark film…so…I declare this movie a Hallmark Holiday Movie (congrats movie!)
A confirmed bachelor, Sam Field, needs a quick family to close an important business deal over Christmas with Mr. Del Campo. Enter his employee Kathleen Russell and her daughter Zoey. They decide to play the role because she needs the money for a down payment on a house. Hilarity ensues.

Why a Sequel?

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I think a lot was left in the air. Not only do the main characters have to deal with their newfound relationship but her crappy ex is still out there. There is a lot left. I thought the sequel could be focused on Kathleen’s and Sam’s daughter Zoey. Whether it’s her leaving for college or getting married (I’ve been binge watching Say Yes to the Dress, so weddings are on my mind). They start to fall apart and need Javier Del Campo (angel) to show back up.
I’m afraid Roma Downey would make the film too religious, and Eric McCormack wouldn’t come near a television movie but then I remember I have no say in anything when it comes to television so…yeah. Make it happen CBS/Hallmark. Hey…Lifetime…you can try too! Speaking of Lifetime…

*The Christmas Consultant*

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This movie was designed for multiple sequels but for some reason it never happened. I assume it is because people were narrow-minded and judged it based on the cast (shame on you). Also, the ratings were nonexistent. Apparently, I was the only one who liked this movie (the cast even calling it corny) but I stand by my love for this movie. I see the good-hearted sweetness and run with it. I like my cheesy movie dammit! Anyway….
A stressed out family hires a Christmas consultant to run their holidays. Family bonding and hilarity ensues.

Why a Sequel?

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Seriously. I can see another Christmas movie where David Hasselhoff helps out another stressed out family while bringing in the first family that brought him back from the brink. They could have had the character help out with different holidays and even have a sweet storyline for himself. This movie has so many possibilities and for some reason Lifetime never ran with it. Then again…Lifetime isn’t the same network anymore (That is a whole other blog post. I have lots of feelings about the direction of Lifetime).

So, that is my list. There are a lot of other movies I wish had sequels, but Hallmark seems focused on their NorthPole series at least when it comes to sequels. I find, in my extensive internet research (take that with a grain of salt), that people would rather see their favorite romantic holiday movies have sequels. We see these characters every year for two months. It would be fun to see further into their lives and see how much has changed for them.
Do you have any television movies you would like to see sequels to? Write me a comment telling me all about it!

Until then, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!

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In Defense of Death Comes to Pemberley aka A True Sequel?

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Welcome back! I am always on the lookout for new stories that feature my favorite characters. Whether it be fanfiction or professional work, I am always open to following my favorite characters down new roads. As I talked about on yesterday’s blog, not everyone is as open as I am. Some people just see their favorite characters one-way and refuse to see them going down any other roads.

That statement could not be truer when it comes to the sequel Death Comes to Pemberley. I recently watched the series that aired over Christmas on BBC1. In America, it aired on PBS Masterpiece (as all good British television shows are). Either way, many people had many opinions about this sequel. It started as a novel written by P.D. James in the same vein as Jane Austen. I have not read the book yet, but it is on the ever-growing list.

I did get to watch the adaptation on Netflix, and I quite enjoyed the experience. I was only planning to watch one episode before bed. However, as always, I ended up watching all three episodes of this miniseries.

In case you have no idea, what Death Comes to Pemberley is here is a little overview of the plot (without spoilers). The Darcy’s are throwing a ball. The night before the ball Lydia shows up in a horse-drawn carriage visibly upset and confident that Wickham’s been hurt. Darcy and crew go looking for him, and it changes everything for the Darcy’s and Bennets. It is a murder mystery, and Elizabeth/Darcy are Nancy and Ned! (get that reference you get a cookie). There are a lot of little subplots, but they work within the central mystery.

After watching the mini-series, I went to the internet to see what the general feelings were about this sequel. Well…I think I may have been the only one who enjoyed this series. So, I’m going to defend this sequel using the top three complaints. I know these are the main three complaints because anywhere I go that is what people are talking about consistently. I hope you read this and want to watch his fun miniseries too!

Complaint #1: The Actors Do not Fit Their Characters

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The big complaint I have seen on the internet is the cast is not right. Elizabeth and Darcy are played by Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell Martin and are, in my opinion, perfect for the movie. Everyone has a favorite Darcy out there, and I have to say that Matthew Rhys managed to bring his Darcy up to my top three. He has the right type of ‘growl’ to the character. That is how I describe Mr. Darcy. He needs this intense quietness or ‘growl’ to him for me to be happy. Anna Maxwell Martin was great as Elizabeth because she has settled into being a lady of the house but kept her independent flare that caught Darcy’s attention, to begin with. She matches who I always pictured Elizabeth to look like. Elizabeth is not supposed to be an obvious movie star beauty. She is expected to have her own type of beauty. Something that isn’t like anyone else. This actress has that and more.

I think the chemistry between them was great. They knew each other now and knew when to push each other’s buttons. I loved the scene where Elizabeth’s mom wouldn’t stop talking about Wickham. All the Darcys had to do was look at each other to know what they should do next. They are a team, and the two actors truly show that teamwork on the screen (even when their team is torn apart…you know they are finding their way back).

Complaint #2: The Characters Wouldn’t Have Done the Things they have Done

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I think a lot of people are still stuck in the Pride and Prejudice world. This film is sometime after that. The characters have settled in and formed new worlds. What we remember the characters to be, have changed. They have to change. It would be weird if Elizabeth and Darcy, as a married couple, are still having the same tension. There would be new tensions.

I also believe that people expected the Darcys to have that same bright spark. It was there but not so pronounced which makes perfect sense to me. They have been married for a while, that initial honeymoon period doesn’t last forever. They love each other, make jokes and even argue about what is best for Georgiana. They are settled, and the movie showed us that perfectly.

We also get to see how Darcy would handle scandal that comes from Elizabeth’s family (his as well. Technically Wickham is his ‘brother’). He could talk about it all he wants (he kind of does in the original) but having to handle it shows how far Darcy has come as a character. He almost falls into the trap of acting like his father but snaps out of it and looks at the situation from a different viewpoint.

Hey,…at least Lydia hasn’t changed much.

Complaint #3: Who the heck is that? Where is Mr. Bingley?

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(Were you in the original?!?  I don’t remember you. – Darcy’s Thoughts) 

Yeah. There are a few new characters in this story, but they need to pad out the small stories happening in the background. Also, my favorite new character would have to be Georgiana’s love interest, Henry. He is a bit of a rebel. Disagreeing with the last war that was fought. Like brother like sister, I see.

You need new blood to force the story forward. The original characters can only do so much. Since we are in their new worlds, there would be new characters to supplement the originals.

Sometimes Mr. Bingley can’t always be there. Can I offer anyone a Mr. Ben Lee?

General Thoughts

In general, I love this sequel because I feel this was a natural progression for the characters. The murder mystery is needed as a plot device to challenge these characters since they may have become complacent in their roles (at least since we saw them).  I loved seeing Darcy and Elizabeth go through their challenges only to come out stronger, see characters like Whickim get more of a personality than just ‘greedy and evil’ (doesn’t the 2005 version imply he is abusive as well?). I love that the Bennet’s (that we see) never change. It is a fun watch, and I highly recommend it.

I think what we all can take away from this little exercise is people will always see what they want to see. Everyone has a picture in their heads of how a character or situation would look. When it does, match well…people will make sure we all know about it on every social media site. I should know; I do that all the time. I’m not proud of it, but sometimes we all go a little crazy with our favorite characters sometimes.

Until next week, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed.

What Would Jane Austen Do?

Welcome back to the randomness! What is on my mind this week?

Sequels. Just sequels.

Well. Jane Austen sequels.  I have a small obsession with Jane Austen. I am not the only one either. If we look around, you can find so many different adaptations, sequels, films, miniseries, and fanfiction out there for all of Jane Austen’s works. Pride and Prejudice obviously being the most prominent.

Why do we need sequels? Is it a bad idea to continue the story without any of the authors input? Shouldn’t we call these types of stories other interruptions? Are we sure, this is what Jane Austen wanted?

Could I ask any more questions?

Yes. Yes, I can. I will not here, though.

I have not read a few Jane Austen sequels in a while, but I remember a few I’ve read. Mostly Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll, is what comes to mind for me. I do not necessary remember the plot, but I remember the feeling I got when reading that sequel. It was fanfiction at best. It was a fun but very polarizing book. If you look it up on Good Reads, the reviews are split. Some found it a fun sequel while others found it insulting and are very protective of the characters.

Protective of the characters. Interesting idea. As someone who likes to write, ok, loves to write, I wonder how I would feel about people taking my characters into new directions. I am very protective of the characters I have written in the past, and these characters have never been experienced by anyone but myself.  Would I be ok with people taking my characters into new situations without my evolvement? I guess that question is the question. A question that can’t be answered easily.

Jane Austen and Sequels: My Opinion

Focusing on Darcy and Elizabeth, (they are Jane Austen’s most famous couple) people get very protective and if they do not like where an author has taken them they invoke Jane Austen and claim she is rolling in her grave.

I’ve been obsessed with Jane Austen since I was a kid reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time as a freshman in high school. I’ve read into her life and read many different takes on how she would feel about modern culture. I’m convinced that Jane Austen would have been fascinated by all hysteria about her and her work. Just like, she would have been a Tumblr user and maybe participated in Nanowrimo and done an ‘ok’ job. (Let me have this people…its my personal head cannon about Jane Austen).  She never came across pompous (except in the matters of love)  but always challenging the status quo. Writing those sequels and questioning where the characters stand would have made her very happy.

That is why Jane Austen type sequels do not bother me that much. It has been a long time, and I doubt these sequels that are coming out are the first. I bet you many novice writers have used Jane Austen’s characters as a starting out point. People are just being paid now for using those characters (more thoughts on that in my last blog).

I have come across many sequels, but one have grabbed my attention in a good way. In another Jane Austen blog, I write that I haven’t seen Death Comes to Pemberley yet. Well, that has changed, and I have a lot of thoughts on this movie sequel. Stick around for tomorrow’s blog as I talk about Death Comes to Pemberley (now available on Netflix).

For now, the randomness has ended. I hope you have enjoyed!