Valentine’s Marathon & TV Binge: What is Love (2012)

Happy Valentine’s Day! We made it here sadly with very little posts so you will see tomorrow that I will most probably be extending the marathon throughout the month. The stars really didn’t align for us this month with the PC issues and such. However, we will deal with the blog stuff later.

Today, I have lined up such a fitting TV Binge to add into the Valentine’s Marathon and that 2012 Taiwanese drama, What is Love. I just wrapped it up over the weekend and maybe I will even start doing a ranking of Taiwanese series soon. There is an incredibly small amount of photos for this show online since I am working with a computer that can’t read Chinese so I went back to the series to screenshot some pictures. Hopefully you will like it. I apologize if the quality isn’t that great in advance.

Lets check it out!

What is Love (2012)

What is Love poster

Cast: Chris Wu, Jade Chou, Duncan Lai, King Chin, Kimi Hsia, Gina Lim

Thirty-two-year-old Li Yi Hua (Jade Chou) is longing for a romantic relationship and wants to marry a good man. Along comes Bai Zong You (Chris Wu), who breaks women’s hearts with one-night stands. Bai Zong You sets his sights on wooing Li Yi Hua next. What she doesn’t know is that she might have true feels for him. – Wikipedia

I’d like to think that I am fairly picky when I watch Taiwanese series mostly because I have been watching them a long time and with it, comes the expectations that there are so many better ones and hoping to find ones that truly find a nice balance of romance and comedy depending on the story they deliver. Of course, I have also fallen out of the loop for a while since I stopped watching them for a few years until they started appearing on Netflix last year. These series fall into their own tropes but they also have some nice silly bits that usually help with the story. I went into What Is Love having no knowledge of what the story is about and a little bit skeptical on how this would turn out. Let me tell you, it was definitely a very pleasant surprise. There are many plot points here that break the normal perception of what these characters would act and somewhat flips the typical story on its head a little. Plus, it creates a lovely balance of romance drama and romance comedy as well as comedic breaks with both its dialogue and its characters. At the same time, the story never forgets that when the journey of love includes a lot of factors, be it your best friends, your family and all kinds of elements and these characters play a decent role in how these two main characters approach their decisions.

On top of that, this is a completely new cast to myself. The only person here that I wanted to watch was Chris Wu (aka Kangren Wu) who is the main male role Bai Zong-You who was in Autumn’s Concerto which I loved quite a bit as well. You can check out the TV Binge here. In that one, he played the supporting male character which was the total opposite of this role. I have to say, while I liked that role, this role was really fun and matched his handsome and charming appearance.

What I Loved:

  • The Songs and Opening Theme Clip: I usually don’t talk a ton about music around here except for the music obsessions segment but I thought this opening clip was adorable, especially that surf board balancing part. Not just the opening theme clip was really nice but the songs were all very fitting to whatever scene they were playing in.
  • Chris Wu & Jade Chou: Chris Wu (aka Wu Kangren) plays Bai Zong-You, the playboy who becomes mesmerized by the challenge of proving his love to Jade Chou’s character, Li Yi-Hua. A lot of the “romance” is in the beginning because the course of the film is about them both realizing what is love. They are at the opposite spectrums in many sense. However, consider the chase and the enlightening moments for Bai Zong-You being the really great parts, whether he does it through revenge or plotting or slowly finding the way to approach his love interest and acknowledge love with her. At the other end, Li Yi-Hua is one of those rare characters in Asian TV series that really shows a strong sense of a woman that acknowledges her loneliness but will not compromise her love for someone who is undeserving no matter how much pain she feels in having to go through the heartbreak. what is love
  • The Guys: One of the best points of the series is its ability to create a balance of characters. Even if you look at these guys here who are best friends. They have varying personalities as well and their own lessons to learn. Each of them fit somewhere else in how they see love and a lot of the humor is in their silliness. This links heavily to the next point that I liked. 

What is Love

  • The Ladies: Just like the guys, the ladies here are quite fun to watch. Our main character of course has already been talked about before, but her best friends are equally diverse in personality from Xiao Lu on the left who plays a young divorcee with a kid who is really silly to the opposite, Lan Jun who plays the mature friend who reasons and sees through a lot of the bullshit.

What is Love

  • Love Interest: I’ve always been the type that finds it funny how the supporting character that you know the main character won’t end up with is always very perfect and deserving to be loved. Taiwanese series loves to do that and this one honestly gives Yi Hua a worthy man in Shao Qian (played by Duncan Lai). He’s quite the gentleman. what is love

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Too Many Flashbacks: One of the biggest pet peeves I have with TV series, especially of the Korean and sometimes Taiwanese nature is their love for flashbacks. I get flashbacks especially when it helps elevate an emotion but when you get the same flashback every episode just to emphasize on a character’s hooked onto this moment, its okay to drop a few of those.
  • Lengthy Episodes: While this didn’t really turn me off so much as its inconvenient to find a place to stop watching, the 1.5 hour long episodes are quite abnormal to me. I wasn’t sure if it was just a Netflix choice but as I was researching the show, it seems it was aired with that episode length, a little baffling in my mind but what do I know. Since this was quite binge-worthy, I didn’t quite mind the lengthy episode since the power of the pause button and Netflix saves my spot whenever I take a break.

what is love

Overall, What is Love was quite the pleasant surprise. It delivered a really fun story. Not only did it give a rather strong female character with a lot of personality, it also gave an array of cast that were unique in their own way but impacted the story as well to create a nice balance. Taiwanese TV series like these are romantic comedy affairs but somethings it forgets to find that balance and while there were some odd ends here and there that went a little overboard, this one achieved that balance really well. It always remembered to toss in some funny moments to never let the drama last way too long. Plus, just like Yi-Hua needed to learn to accept a playboy and Bai Zong-You had to gain her trust, we saw both sides of the story and was able to at least feel like he could be trusted also. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of “What is Love” because it differs in so many ways and isn’t always just romantic and this one does tackle all of it. There is no formula but at least, its a really fun journey thats us on a nice ride as the characters all figure out their version of love and thats pretty awesome in my book.


TV Binge: Gilmore Girls (Season 5, 2005)

Today, we’re continuing the very overdue Gilmore Girl binges. We’re at Season 5 now! The show’s kept a fairly good pace up till now. Before I get ahead of myself, remember that if you haven’t seen Gilmore Girls, that this season 5 binge recap will have tiny spoilers just because of the continuity of the story. I try to keep to the things I liked and disliked so that its brief but there’s things I really can’t avoid.

Gilmore Girls (Season 5, 2015)

gilmore girls s5


Cast: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson, Sean Gunn, Kelly Bishop, Matt Czuchry,

Season 4 ended with quite the cliffhanger. It took us into Season 5 with a nice change in pace. For one, the Gilmore Girls are more or less in a disagreement resulting in Rory’s eventual departure for the summer with her grandmother. Of course, there was separation all around as the reason Emily Gilmore left was because of her decision to have a divorce over a decision in Season 4 that she disagreed with because it would possibly push Lorelai and Rory away. With the family relationships in a tangle, it only signaled in more conflict as the boyfriends for Lorelai and Rory marched in and out of their respective lives. Season 5 had a lot of coming to terms with their situations and being okay with it.

In many ways, Season 5 was a very strong season. It had both conflicts between our favorite mother and daughter but also life situations that proved how amazing their relationship and support system was. There were a lot of hilarious moments and balanced equally with more serious outcomes.

What follows now will most likely head into spoiler territory if you have not caught up so consider yourself warned…

Let us start with some arcs that I loved/ liked:

Emily and Richard

Season 5 spent a good deal of time with the previous generation of Gilmores. An almost forty year marriage that was put into separation. What started out as putting up a front turned into a downright hilarious spiral to their separation from the start and then came back to having the couple separated and then their reunion. It does spark a lot of silly moments, once of the first including Emily Gilmore climbing out of the basement window and shedding her skirt in the process. Just a quick example but it was nice to see how their relationship fell apart but came back together. It was a long-awaited focus on Emily and Richard Gilmore that was quite needed.


Marty’s character arc started last semester as “The Naked Guy” and its nice to see him coming back as his character meshes really well with Rory and for a good part of the first two years at Yale, he is somewhat of a support system as they sit down to study together and hang out and he brings over food from his random jobs here and there. He is someone that seems to be on the same wavelength as Rory because they both don’t come from privileged families (in a way) and they speak the same language. In this season, he doesn’t get a ton of arc but its enough to really see their friendship be solidified in a certain way. I have read some stuff here and there that ships Marty and Rory. While I think Marty is a stellar arc, I never thought he was meant for her but more as a comparison of the change she’s incurring through college.

Lorelai and Luke

Let’s be honest. This pairing was eventually going to happen since day one of Gilmore Girls. Luke and Lorelai just needed to fall into the right timing in their lives to embrace it. This season gave them still a lot of hardships however, there were still a lot of fun moments as they learned to adapt to each other’s lives. Its never easy to date a Gilmore Girl especially with the family ties baggage that comes along with it.

Logan & the Life and Death Brigade

gilmore girls

Season 5 took a lot of time building up the entrance of Logan as a love interest for Rory. Matt Czuchry does a great job and taking on this character. While I’m totally part of the Jess team, I do believe that Logan had to come into Rory’s life and teach her to not be afraid to live her life and actually experience it even if it meant taking risks and chances. Some of those ties to Logan did bring on some bad repercussions and Rory did try to change who she was for him but in the end, they do change each other for the better in many ways as well. However, Logan does draw many parallels to her own father and its probably why its takes a while for Lorelai to enjoy it. However, lots of great fun moments with them both good and bad.

Sookie and Jackson

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about it before but Sookie and Jackson are absolutely hilarious. Especially in Season 5, they also have a stronger arc as they embrace the arrival of their second child while Jackson fights for justice and then ends up running for Town Selectman (I think that’s the title) and his duties drive him crazy after he wins. Its all kinds of crazy as they both are truly hilarious characters that play off each other as a couple so well in the quirkiness and most awkward of ways.

Paris: Rory, Doyle, Yale Daily News

As the series goes on, its hard to not love Paris for her straight forward, blunt and no filter dialogue. She’s hilarious in both her expressions and just how she is. Both in her journalistic efforts which bring on some funny moments and in her eventual pursuit for her relationship with Doyle, the editor of Yale Daily News and is a slightly silly character as well. She and her ways is starting to be a solid part of Rory’s life that Rory herself seems to have accepted and learned to be okay with in general. Its a lot of fun times as they have clashy conversations which tend just get forgotten and their friendship grows stronger despite of it all.

Lane & Zach/Hep Alien

Hep Alien has spent a few seasons growing. Its characters involved also becoming more familiar. Particularly since Lane chose to rebel against her mom’s wishes to follow her own dreams which turns out that being an adult and living seems to be getting in the way in this season. Its great to see sucha motivated character in Lane especially as she starts to learn that he likes Zack of all people. Zack however does turn out to be one of slow but harmless characters and leads to their own good moments as they embrace the idea of being together and as their relationship develops and finds a balance within their band.

One of the arcs that I got why it happened but wasn’t a particular fan of:

The Second Try with Rory and Dean

Dean is an okay boyfriend. In perspective of him once being a great boyfriend, it felt inevitable that the arc would lead back there. The way it happened however was not something I particularly thought was good. However, Gilmore Girls succeeds in showing off the messiness of life and the bad decisions the Gilmore Girls all make before realizing what is right for them. Plus, first loves are known to linger on our minds so its hard to really fault anyone in this situation however, their second try might have the right feelings there but it seemed to still lack the timing and growth that they both needed.

Gilmore Girls’ season 5 succeeds as a whole as probably having some of the funniest moments of the show and leading the characters each into their own development. Time to get on with Season 6 shortly!

Somewhat of a detailed TV binge format here. I am still trying to figure out what works best.

What’s Up 2018?

Hello everyone!

I’ve sat around most of today just resting up and getting back energy from the NYE festivities at our place and doing little cleaning up and such. Its been really fun. Of course, I did promise a 2018 look ahead. Call it resolutions or plans or whatever you’d like. There’s not going to be a ton of change this year however, I’m trying to set some solid goals and keep them going. Let’s call it just updates for all the sections of this blog.

Twitter update

I’ve wanted to change my crappy Twitter handle for years instead of the horrible tranquildr3ams. Emphasis on the 3 instead of the e. It reflects how old I am and what generation I grew up in, I think. With that said, it also looks super bad now especially I’m trying to at least seem slightly legit and get press passes and such. So here we are…after seeing that TranquilDreams and Tranquil_Dreams was taken, I ended up just doing TranquilDreams_

New Twitter Handle: @TranquilDreams_

Everything should be updated so there shouldn’t be a ton of confusion.

Blog Plans

Lets start with the blog plans for 2018. We’re looking at Movies, Books, TV Binge, Baking for the main categories and then the Weekly Adventures category will be its own little thing.


As of starting this year, I’m missing reviews for Wonder Woman, Kong: Skull Island, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and 47 Meters Down. Those will be going up shortly over the next week as I rid the backlog of reviews that need to be posted.

Movie reviews do the absolute worst on the blog as a first impact post however some reviews do have views in the long term. I keep them here because I truly do enjoy watching films and sharing my thoughts on them. Plus, Fantasia Festival reviews do well and I love covering indie films a whole lot. Creative new ideas from these great artists and creators are something I truly appreciate. With that said, I have refrained from reviewing Hong Kong films which most of my cinema roots stem from in the last few years because no one actually reads them. They just are for my own enjoyment. Seeing as this category has so many other talented writers reviewing the American cinema, I’m probably going to dial it down a notch and do more foreign cinema with a heavier focus on catching up with Hong Kong cinema. I miss it so much and maybe it’ll help introduce something new to those of you who are interesting in international cinema. If not, at least I’ll enjoy it thoroughly myself.

With that said, I’ll still review everything I watch and if you’d like, join me on Letterboxd to see how I rate movies since I don’t share ratings here. My username is TranquilDreams.


I fell short of the Goodreads challenge in 2017 on a technicality. However, I can’t remember if I did change my original goal. I might have done it halfway through the year. Regardless, this year’s Goodreads Reading Challenge is at 25 books. I decided to set it a tad lower because I want to jump back into The Classics Adventures. With that said, I’m picking up right where I left off at the end of 2015.

This year, I’m going to work on:

  • Northanger Abbey (to finish the Jane Austen novels)
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
  • Jules Verne novels
  • Anne of Green Gables (hopefully) and/or Emily of New Moon
  • Finish reading IT (the break was way too long)

Of course, I’ve grown a profound love for graphic novels and comics along with trying to get some more ebooks off my Kindle. It’ll be a nice mix of stuff but it should be fun. Currently, I have Josie and the Pussycats and a novella to share the review for which will be coming up next before I start the new endeavors.


TV Binge finally got its own section. I change the structure on how I review these ones with every single series and hopefully this year I’ll settle on a way that I’m happy with. We have more than enough sitting in backlog to get written up: Gilmore Girls Seasons 5 to 7 + A Year in Life, Ultimate Beastmaster Season 2, Stranger Things Season 2 are the priority to wrap up. Aside from that, this year, I’ll try to actually dive more in foreign as well to cover Taiwanese series as well as Hong Kong TV series that I’ve bought for years and never actually got around to watching until this past week off from work.

Of course, for your viewing pleasure, I also have some TV series I want to catch up with:

  • Hemlock Grove Season 3 (Final)
  • The 100 (catch-up)
  • Grey’s Anatomy (catch-up)
  • The Vampire Diaries (up to finale)

Some series that I’ve never actually watched and always get told to watch:

  • Hannibal
  • Supernatural
  • Black Mirror

A Series of Unfortuante Events will get its Season 2 on March 30th so I’m pretty excited about that. 3% also has Season 2 coming up this year as well. Lots of stuff to look forward to.


Suffice to say that cooking and baking has truly taken a backseat and it was replaced by Goodfood recap which I have a lot of fun sharing with you all. If you ever see a recipe that you like, don’t hesitate to ask me for it. I’d love to share the link with you. If you are a fellow Canadian and have access to the service and want to try it out, I have free meal vouchers that I can send you so you can give it a go. Just drop me a comment or an email with your email and I’ll get that sent over to you.

I’ve been thinking a lot of cooking more and getting back into the baking groove. People say third times the charm, right? So lets do this again. I’m set on getting this project done even if it takes 10 years. We’re doing the Baking Through Disney goal again. If you are new here, you can check out the page HERE. The progress has been nothing short of sad and pathetic. Don’t you worry! I figured out the Fantasia and the Dumbo baking now and I’m  not going to change my mind. I’ll free up time and get the motivation and we’re going to get it done. I’m going to start watching more of the movies so that at least we have the movie reviews going up to see how Disney progressed while I ponder away on making delicious desserts.


  • Music Obsessions: no change, remains on the first weekend of the month
  • Sunday Lists: every other Sunday will have a faves or best to worst list
  • Game Warp Podcast: Updates for only featured reviews. I urge you to subscribe to the channel for other reviews or like our Facebook page
  • Unboxing: Meowbox is the only one still active on a quarterly basis.

Big Change in Setup: My Weekly Adventures has the biggest change. I’ve pondered for a while about this. I used to post gaming related stuff on the Tranquil Dreams Youtube channel. With my increased love of video editing, I’m planning to revive the channel. I’m still trying to get that movie-related project going however I’m not really happy with the angle I chose so I’ve been thinking about it more. Unboxing only still Meowbox so thats going to be very minimal. With that said, I might start doing some vlogs for the Weekly Adventures. Who knows, the blogs always been about adventure so we’ll see where thats going to go.

Personal Life

This is getting super lengthy! This year’s personal goal:

  • Be more organized
  • Less procrastination
  • Eat Healthier & Get back into a workout regime

That’s what’s up for 2018!
Some vague goals but I’m keeping things attainable!
What do you think? What are your goals/resolutions (if its your thing)?

TV Binge: Once Upon a Time (Season 5, 2015)

Moving right along in the incredible attempt to catch up with Once Upon a Time, I wrapped up Season 5. Once Upon a Time continues to twists up some of the tales and puts together some interesting pairings which is one thing that I love the most about the show. Plus, after so many years, its hard to not love a lot of the characters. It also helps that last year I did end up going to visit the little town that its shot in in Vancouver and totally fangirled which makes seeing Storybrooke so much more personal (in my mind).

Once Upon a Time (Season 5, 2015)

once upon a time s5 poster

Creator: Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis

Cast: Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, Jared Gilmore, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Colin O’Donoghue, Emilie de Ravin, Rebecca Mader, Sean Maguire, Liam Garrigan, Greg Germann

 Maybe its the fact that hopping back to this that I forgot how packed Once Upon a Time but Season 5 feels like there is a vast amount of characters that traverse the path in the few villains they do cross. As a little season 5 recap, the season picks up where the 4th ends with Emma taking the responsibility to be the Dark One and gets sent back to The Enchanted Forest. The rest of her family finds a way back and they eventually end up in Camelot where they meet King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. They have a secret to complete that involves the search for the Dark One. Somehow they get sent back to Storybrooke and Emma has lost the fight and has embraced has her dark side while wiping away everyone’s memory. A course of events sends Hook to the Underworld where they also follow and get trapped by Hades and confront some of their own people they have lost. When they do find a way back to Storybrooke, they get tricked and sent to The Land of Untold Stories where they meet the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I think that about covers the general outline.

once upon a time s5

Season 5 is crazy packed as everyone embarks on a journey about their value and whether they are good and evil and being okay with who they are. Some extremities are taken which of course take a turn for a bad the lingers into the next season. Fairy tales are about happy endings and if Once Upon a Time has taught us anything, its that they are quite the rare occurrence in the show especially when it involves Regina and Emma. Being the Savior or a Villain both doesn’t give you the merit to have the happy ending. However, Season 5 may feel packed but its great to see the twists on these characters. In fact it expands on these characters as they also meet Merida and help her with her quest to become queen of Dunbroch.  We flash back to see Mulan and Red Riding Hood and Dorothy and their connection to everything. Of course, it wouldn’t be this show without Rumplestiltskin and his secrets along with trying to get back Belle which also sees a twist on her story and Gaston. Snow also once knew Hercules as well. We see some characters exit the show as well as the Underworld allows some characters to eventually either move on in a good or bad way. Thinking back to the season feels really busy but at times, that is what works to keep us on our toes and always learning that this world still has a lot to offer as they can breakaway from the fairy tales as well as take characters from classics. That is the magic of why I love Once Upon a Time.

once upon a time

The villain this season did have quite a spark. I have to say that in the few times that I’ve seen Greg Germann, he’s always been so fun to watch. This time, he plays Hades and not only does he resemble how Hades looked in Disney’s Hercules but he does take on that villainous role really well. Talking about villains, while I did enjoy the whole Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde bit, the way Mr. Hyde talked was so grating and annoying. If anything, that was the only thing I didn’t like about this season. Once Upon a Time also has these villains that are truly horrible and ruthless. However, they also have this story that gives them a moment of hope for redemption and its always that unknown of whether it will happen or not. Another point of why I do like Once Upon a Time a lot is dealing with the character development and this season may be busy but a lot of the characters had their moment to truly see their thoughts and things they haven’t been able to let go of and in many ways, they did embrace themselves.

once upon a time

Overall, Season 5 was a lot of fun. While you could argue that the huge amount of characters made the story very scattered, somehow it still works very well to keep it fun and adventurous to watch as our characters grew and truly embraced issues that bothered them and confronted their monsters both mentally and physically. A really nice collection of villains and heroes in Season 5 and I’m looking forward to watching Season 6.

TV Binge: The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 1, 2017)

I love watching cooking shows. However, I don’t have actual TV so the only chance is when I visit someone else’s house and it happens to be playing. It does make it a very incomplete experience. Of course, there is the free streaming from one of the national TV channels which holds the episode for a week which is hard to remember sometimes to catch it every once in a while. When The Big Family Cooking Showdown appeared on Netflix, I went right ahead and started watching it. The premise behind it is pretty fun.

Let’s check it out!

The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 1, 2017)

the big family cooking showdownHosts: Zoe Ball & Nadiya Hussain

Judges: Rosemary Shrager & Giorgio Locatelli

Competitive food show celebrating the families who make ordinary food extraordinary, presented by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain. – IMDB

The Big Family Cooking Showdown has a decent setup. It shows off families going head to head against each other for the title of the best family chefs. They pick their own teams of three to work together and create these dishes. In the first few episodes, it is two teams and whoever wins will head into the semi-finals. They have three rounds for this cooking event which isn’t live and loses the cooking on the spot as the rounds to get them into the semi-final has been given to them in advance so that they can prepare carefully. It leaves a touch of spontaneity there even if we don’t know what they are doing. Suffice to say, it does show the viewers which team has better time management than others and how they deal in stress as things usually don’t work out the way they would in your own kitchen. The first part when two teams go against each other is in three parts with three challenges: the 10 pound challenge, Home Visits Challenge and Impress Your Neighbors Challenge. The semi-finals have the remaining teams groups in 3 teams against each other for three rounds also:  What’s in the Fridge, Perfect Puddings and Nation’s Favorite With a Twist. And then the final features a continuous making of a three course meal.

the big family cooking showdown

The setup of the competition is pretty nice. The families are slightly diverse with their cultures and heritage adding a nice touch to each of these plates. The teams work out really well against each other. The first part has a nice bit of giving them time to prepare in advance and it really is up to them to have structured a plan with the time constraints and factoring in any stress or changes. At the same time, it also poses that question of losing that spontaneity that teams put on the spot would have. However, the challenges in the first rounds are pretty neat as they focus on family issues starting off with how much food can you make with a constrained budget. The Home Visit gives us a nice snippet of seeing the family in their own environment which helps minimize the accidents that could happen while the final round is impress your neighbors so its making the foods that go above and beyond but dishes that they are proud of in a three course meal. The structure here works because of these themes being more family-oriented. The spontaneity factor is fixed in the semi-final when their first and second challenge are unknown. The first tests their ability to be flexible with what is available to them and the second being how good they can work together and follow instructions while delegating the tasks that each member is better at. While the show does have a lot of pre-preparation, the segments do feel very well-done to make sure that it highlights the team and gives them time to improve on their menus and skills.

the big family cooking showdown

The hosts of the show are Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain. They are quite enthusiastic and often joke about their love for eating but their lack of knowledge on actual cooking which brings out their friendliness to be there. Where they lack the knowledge, they can build with their balance to the show’s charisma as they communicate with the families and introduce the rules of each part. The judges for this show are Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Schrager, who I’ve never heard of before. However, they obviously do have their knowledge of food and cooking which is undeniable. One thing that does fall apart is their criticism is slightly lacking in some parts where it becomes a little repetitive in the way they compliment or dislike certain foods. It is here that the show nearing the end seems to fall a little flat.

Overall, The Big Family Cooking Showdown is pretty enjoyable because the families’ diversity in their cooking and dishes mixed into their creativity. The hosts are very enjoyable to watch although the judges are qualified but lack the charisma in their criticism to make it seem more engaging.

TV Binge: Gilmore Girls (Season 4, 2004)

After starting this post back in March 2017 and leaving it hanging, I’m finally giving a second shot at writing it out. It has nothing to do with it being uninspiring to write but more that I tend to binge the series so then I mix up the episodes. I am currently on limbo in season 4 and watching it over and over when I want a Gilmore girls dose until I wrap up this post. I’d like to move onto Season 5 now, so here we are!

Gilmore Girls (Season 4, 2004)

Creator: Amy Sherman-Palladino

Cast: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson, Keiko Agena, Melissa McCarthy, Yanic Truesdale, Kelly Bishop, Edward Herrmann, Sean Gunn, Liza Weil, Jared Padalecki

This season takes us into new journey for all of the Gilmore girls including their closest friends. In a way, they all enter a new phase. Rory goes to Yale and while she can’t get rid of one tie in particular, Paris who takes them to share a dorm with two other girls in their first year in university and working together as reporters on the Yale Daily News. Lorelai sets off throughout this entire season setting up the Dragonfly Inn while finding a way to work through her struggles and coping with missing Rory in her life to share everything conveniently. As for Emily, she is learning to cope with her husband and his business and then acquiring a new partner who likes newer ways to do things that makes her feel less important. On the other hand, Sookie is welcoming a baby to the family while Lane has to regroup her band while finally falling out with Mrs. Kim in exchange for following her dreams. While Luke gets himself married, separated and divorced while dealing with his sister starting to enter into his life again.

Now that’s we’ve had a quick recap of the season, let’s see what I liked:

Lorelai & Rory

gilmore girls

The moment Lorelai and Rory’s relationship becomes not my favorite thing on this show is when the show will not be worth watching. This season was a different vibe and one I loved because it showed a more independent growth to the characters. Being separate from each other gave places to grow for them. While their relationship still remained the same, you could see the dependence they have on each other while still being able to develop in their own ways as they have to handle their everyday lives more by themselves.

Lane and Following your Dreams 

gilmore girls

Lane and her fear for her mother has always been a funny highlight in the episodes. Plus, she’s a great friend with Rory and they are always fun to see together. However, this one also sees growth in character as she fights for her dream career and her band and fesses up to all the secrets she’s kept growing up to her mother. Although with a little hiccup, eventually, they try to find a way to work it out. Its a nice representation of an Asian family and the extreme generation gap and views which personally I could relate to partially.

Paris and Rory & the College Experience

gilmore girls

Paris and Rory have always been am abnormal friendship. As much as they are competition, they are also stronger because of their intelligence and quirky moments. One of the best moments to show how wildly similar they are despite their different personality is when they go to experience the spring break in Florida and lets just say, things get weird. Except for them, things are always weird and spark the most awkward conversations and somehow they grow together.

Jess’s Sporadic Returns to Stars Hollow

I love Jess, honestly this character is incredible to watch grow and even though he only is in 4 episodes (or something), it was still a level of character development that shows how much he does love Rory even if timing is always not their strong suit and the fact that he hasn’t quite grown out of wandering phase and sometimes forgets that while he has no ties, Rory still has things she can’t just give up especially when it comes to her future.

Lorelai & Luke

No one beats bad timing like Lorelai and Luke. While we see chemistry between them all the time, this year they both show a lot of growth as Luke gets married and divorced while finally trying to find a way to get the courage to show his feelings to Lorelai. She however shows how much she cares while still having an unexpected relationship with her father’s young partner. However, they are each other’s support in the most desperate situations and we see that a lot in this season.

Overall, Gilmore Girls is a fun little trip into this wonderful TV world and Stars Hollow sounds like an amazing town to live in. I could go on about Emily relationship here as well because she was also a highlight. Season 4 holds a different vibe for everyone and it works so very well. The only thing I didn’t like was Dean but that’s because as much as he loves her to death, he’s really just not the guy for her and in many scenes here, it just felt so wrong even if they felt like it was right. Its a tangent of the series that I haven’t been totally behind and the more I watch it the least I’m behind it.

Finally, the TV binge for Season 4 is done and we’ll be moving along with Season 5 post very soon! 🙂

TV Binge: Once Upon A Time (Season 4, 2014)

It has been WAY too long since the last time I watched Once Upon A Time. I watched Season 3 at least 2 years ago. Look at them now, its Season 7 and apparently the whole cast has changed. Anyways, I finally decided it was time so here we are. Hopping into Season 4 knowing only that Frozen princesses are included in the mix.

Once Upon a Time (Season 4)

Creator: Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis

Cast: Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parilla, Jared Gilmore, Josh Dallas, Colin O’ Donoghue, Emilie de Ravin, Robert Carlyle, Rebecca Mader, Sean Maguire, Victoria Smurfit, Georgina Haig, Kristin Bauer van Straten Elizabeth Lail, Merrin Dungey

I’ve always like how people use the fairy tale characters and twist their stories or their nature. That is exactly what Once Upon a Time has always excelled at. Jumping back in, it feels like I never left with the exception of a few details that I needed to read up to remind myself or most that came naturally through the characters’ conversations. Season 4 is an all around fun time. Its pretty much split into a few plots. The first is how Elsa is stuck in Storybrooke and then Anna and Kristoff also get there and they realize that its the Snow Queen that has been behind this the whole time. The second being of Rumpelstiltskin who wants to get his bond broken from the dagger so he can have his happy ending and this leads us to the hunt for the writer of Henry’s Storybook and also bringing in three villainesses: Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella de Vil.

once upon a time

These three plot lines were all great. For one, Elsa and Anna when this series aired was probably riding the wave from Disney’s Frozen. Its costume and characters are also inspired by it. All factors that work well. They do brings in how the Snow Queen factors into all of this. We will discuss villains later. Elsa and Anna’s tale factors into the whole Prince Charming link and its really nice to see how everyone works together. Putting that one aside, the hunt for the author started out for Regina and a little secret project she had with Henry. Its incredible to see that Regina having a lot of growth here even in one dangerous moments somewhat mocking her old self. Emma and Hook also have the center stage which I love to death. If only they could have just one moment of peace and be together, that would be so great.

once upon a time

The villains here are quite inspired. The Snow Queen’s final showdown was pretty great as it brought a lot of quarrel which in some part was more comedic than anything. Another plan going awry send Rumpelstiltskin to his depths as he searches for his happy ending and its pretty fun to watch them get pulled back into another story and get back out then proving that no matter what villains come into the picture, and how competent they could be like Cruella de Vil, Ursula and Maleficent, Rumpelstiltskin is still the most powerful enemy they could have. Is that more a compliment on how great of a character they’ve created or that the writers are out of ideas on how to create better villains? I choose the former because I’m a fan of the show and this season still was pretty good.

once upon a time

Season 4 was a jam-packed affair though. There were tons of plots and tangents. It had so many characters enter the scene and they tried to give them all a backstory while also dealing with the going ons of Storybrooke. It might have been a slight overkill but at least it never gets boring and thats all good for me.

Thats it this TV binge! Its time for Season 5!