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Fairy Tale in the TV Age

Love fairy tales? Love television? Addicted to Once Upon a Time and Grimm? (I certainly am…)

I compiled a list of the top 10 fairy tale television series in the last 60 years for Clarkesworld Magazine and put it together (with YouTube clips!) in a lovely article for your perusing pleasure.

Click here to read The Fairy Tale in the TV Age now! (As always, your comments there are encouraged and welcome.)

How many of them have YOU seen?

xox

 

 

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TV Fail, Cookie Win

I’ve heard some good things about this Warehouse 13 show on Syfy (I still hate typing that spelling), so I downloaded the first episode to watch it. I don’t think I made it twenty minutes. Saul Rubinek is not John Noble, the secret agent guy is not David Boreanaz, and I have no idea who the secret agent chick was trying to be, but she was failing miserably, poor dear.

There was far too much exposition and far too many questions, instead of just throwing our main characters in a box and forcing them to learn what’s going on to get out….whatever. This is not a review of the TV show (since I didn’t watch enough to warrant an educated & objective opinion). This is about what the TV show brought into our lives.

As a throwaway line to convince the agents to come inside the warehouse, Saul Rubinek offers them cookies. (To which the male agent says, “Ooh, cookies!”) Thusly lured inside, Saul begins the exposition and starts answering an endless stream of silly questions, answered equally as sillily, and once by a ferret in a magic pot. Yeeeeah. I, the writer, is still wondering when said cookies would appear, since if *I* had been the agent on the scene, I would be expecting them.

Said cookies DID appear, finally, after the female agent stomps off. “Oatmeal Scotchie?” Saul offers.

“What the heck is an oatmeal scotchie?” I exclaimed, not worried that I was distracted enough from the show to care. It sounded like an oatmeal cookie made with scotch…and I was all for it. Turns out, it’s an oatmeal cookie made with BUTTERscotch. Even better.

I am one of those folks–stop reading here now if I’m going to offend you–who doesn’t care for raisins. I’ll eat them politely, but they’re not my first choice. Putting them in an oatmeal cookie just ruins them. Who thought of that?? And who thinks it’s still a good idea? Put chocolate or something in them for gods sake, if you have to put something. Raisins just throw off the consistency.

But butterscotch? Now there‘s a plan.

I then, of course, had to find a recipe. A GOOD recipe. (“Good” typically means ignoring calories. Just don’t go crazy.) I searched a couple of websites that told me following the recipe on the butterscotch package was just as good as anything (hmm), and a lot of the recipes I saw had the same basic ingredients. Ultimately, I based mine on a recipe from Paula Deen — I would paste the link here, but I tried to Google it later and could not find it. I’ve never met Paula, nor do I watch her show, but her sons were rather wonderful to me once, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the Deen family.

These are some of the best “cookies” (we just spread them out in a pan and made them like brownies) I’ve ever had. I highly recommend them. Be sure you’re making them for about 20 people, or there’s a real danger of eating yourself sick on them.

Ingredients:

1 c butter (melted)
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (vanilla flavoring is *not* the same…extract is stronger, and better)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 c Quaker oats (or store brand, whatever)
1/2 bag butterscotch chips
1 c pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your pan (I use butter & flour, or a little bit of olive oil.) Mix everything (start by beating the eggs really well) & dump it in the pan. Depending on your oven, this should take about 20 minutes.

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On the Plus Side

Prime time Monday night, I’m hanging out with one of my fairy goddaughters. We’re watching reruns of Bones, and she’s messing around on the laptop. Out of the blue, she says, “Can you change it to ABC Family?”

This news was surprising, as we’re normally one of those close-knit “What do you want to watch?” “I dunno.” “There’s nothing on TV”-type of folks. So I switch it over just in time to see the bumper for the season premiere of HUGE.

If you’ve signed onto Facebook in the last month, you recognize the TV show. It’s about a fat camp. All right, says my inner critic, let’s see what our kids these days are watching.(If you missed it, you can watch it online HERE.)

First off, I liked the dynamic of the show. Everyone can relate to the Fat Kid, regardless of whether or not they’ve been the fat kid, because all of us have something about ourselves that embarrasses us — something that doesn’t usually bother 99% of our friends. So instead of the braniac/clutz/homely/shy/insert neuroses here kid, this show has translated it to obesity, something we can all notice and see. Now that it’s out there, we can concentrate on all the other problems these kids have.

The second reason I liked the show was because Gina Torres showed up, and I appreciate any show willing to fork a check over to that woman. I think she’s a fine actress who can kick her share of ass. I’m interested to see how she fits into this dynamic.

As this was the first show, we were so busy being introduced to all the characters that not a whole lot went on. Willamena (Nikki Blonsky) is our renegade main character with blue-streaked hair that I covet. She was sent to the camp by her parents. She’s totally okay with her body. In fact, as she puts it, she “and her fat are BFF.”

The only other camper we get to know very well is Amber (Hayley Hasselhoff…that’s right, Hasselhoff). Amber is the beautiful and skinny girl that all the other girls are immediately jealous of.

Now, when I say “beautiful,” I mean that Hayley’s princess-blond hair and powder blue eyes eat up the damn screen every time she’s on it. The girl is eye-catching, no doubt — some of you may recognize her from all the years she’s been Torrid’s spokesmodel. She’s also a fine little actress.

And when I say “skinny”, I mean she’s the thinnest girl at the camp. I can’t find weights or sizes anywhere on the site (I’m debating whether or not that’s a shame), but eyeballing it, I’m going to put her at a solid size 14-16. She’s virtuous to a fault and, here at the beginning, seems very set on achieving whatever her personal weight goals are at the camp.

I feel like I’m allowed to be picky about the Amber character, because I *am* Amber. (ABC, if you’re looking for writers, give me a call.) I’ve been Amber my whole life. I don’t have any of those skinny high-school pictures, or jeans I wish I could fit into, because I’ve been a size 14/16 since the 7th grade. It’s an annoying place to be. Everyone thinks you’re gorgeous — including you — until you see yourself in certain pictures and wince. You’re right at the top of the Juniors section, and right at the bottom of the Misses, so good luck finding anything at all. (I get my bras at Lane Bryant, my panties at Target, and everything else at TJ Maxx.) Thanks to the sliding scale of womens clothing, I’ve fit into everything from a 12 to a 20, and I just don’t have the kind of time for that kind of shopping. Plus, in the last 20 years of my being exactly the same size, I’ve been “politely ushered” out of both Victoria Secret for being too large and Lerner Woman for being too small.

So, yes, I completely adore the Amber character. Apart from her being a bit too boy crazy (weren’t we all at one time), my issues with her (and by “her” I mean, the writers of her character) are:
1.) Makeup and a curling iron at camp. Really? Every time we see Amber, she’s perfectly coiffed, with not a smear of mascara out of place. It’s summer. She’s going to sweat. When is she going to have time to curl her hair and why on earth is she going to bother doing it before she works out for 3 hours a day?
2.) Her choice of workout gear. There is a story point in the pilot that revolves around Amber splitting her pants while working out the first week. Look, if this girl is as serious about the camp as she seems, she’s going to have a pair of spandex or Lycra running shorts, decent running shoes, and a good sports bra. (Please let me recommend The Last Resort Bra from Title Nine Sports.)

Here’s the part where I love Amber. I love that somewhere, a girl or two is going to want to be like her. Not Gabrielle Anwar or Calista Flockhart, but Hayley Hasselhoff. I love that somewhere, a guy or two might also appreciate her beauty. I hope to god the show becomes wildly popular because I would LOVE to see more cute clothes in my size. In fact, I think Hayley should open up a shop for young women sizes 10-18. I think I would cry if I actually had a place to shop for clothes in a mall.

I also hope that ABC Family stops with the ridiculously annoying commercials. Next time I watch this show (if I can actually remember to do it), I’m going to tape it first and watch it later so I can skip past the loud and annoying ads for all the other shows on ABC Family, none of which looked appealing to me at all. I don’t actually remember an ad for a single product — I only remember ads for the other shows on the network. I hope that doesn’t mean HUGE has no sponsorship…surely that’s not true. (You’d think Torrid at least would be first in line.) Is there something about this channel I don’t know? Does ABC just make enough money elsewhere to not worry about it? I’m curious.

But not so curious that I’m not going to click that link and see what Torrid has in that’s new. Life is short. And there is ice cream to be had.

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