Go For Two: Thoughts On Patriots Versus Falcons

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nonchalant about this game. It’s because I don’t have a dog in this fight, and I’m not actively rooting for one of the teams to lose (although, there are a LOT of NFL fans who are doing just that against the Pats).

Let’s start with the fact that my team, the Green Bay Packers, aren’t in the Super Bowl. First off, what a fucking crazy season. I went into the season saying anything less than winning the Super Bowl would be considered a failure. Then, in an unfortunate turn of events, I began praying that my team would even have a winning record for the year. Testing my true team loyalty, I sat in front of the television and rooted for my team despite some appalling games. I prevailed, successfully passing the loyalty test, to be rewarded with a profoundly sensational turnaround by the Packers. We went to the NFC championship game with one of the worst teams we’ve had in recent memory. It speaks to all the reasons why I love my team. Players and coaches remained committed to each other. Players worked hard and showed up. They didn’t turn on some obvious weak links in our secondary and stood by Rodgers when he played some horrendous games (let’s be real, people. He played poorly in some games, but he’s due. We’ve been spoiled for too long.) So, overall, I was pleased we had a winning record and managed to get to the NFC Championship game. I still, weirdly, don’t feel enthused about our season. It was less than ideal.

The second reason I’m a bit nonchalant about this game is that I’m not rooting against anyone. Hatred can be a true motivator.

Take for example when GB played against the Cowboys. Man, I did NOT want to fucking lose to Dallas. If I had to hear one more time about two rookies, how this was going to be a dynasty, about blah blah blah ….

I was gonna kill myself.

So not only did I want my team to win, but I really, really wanted the Cowboys to lose.

Also, on behalf of GB, you’re welcome, America.

Now take the Falcons. While I absolutely wanted my team to get the W in the Championship game, I didn’t hate losing to the Falcons. They are a good organization with good players and good coaches. I’m happy for them.

That goodwill continues to the Super Bowl. I wouldn’t hate it if they won. There are no glaring issues with players, the coach seems fine, and the organization did not take back Michael Vick after his prison term. These things make me happy.

Now, I know this is where I will differ from many, many people out there. I also don’t hate the Patriots. First of all, they aren’t in my division. I fully comprehend why I would hate them if I was a fan of the Dolphins, Jets, or Bills. Second of all, there is no arguing they are going to go down as one of the greatest organizations to ever play the game – from owner, to coach, to QB. They have consistently been an excellent football team.

One thing the Patriots do have going for me is that I really want Brady to stick it to Goodell. I was not a fan of the way deflategate was handled. Shame on the entire NFL for that fiasco.

So, there it is. My team isn’t in it and I don’t particularly hate the teams that are. I’m kind of leaning toward the Pats because I would like to see Brady stick it to Goodell.

Who do you think should win? Who do you like?

If you want to know what time does the Super Bowl start, just click the link.

Until next time!

** If you would like to read my other blogs, please find them at:

**** Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at http://www.madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Go For Two: Jacksonville versus Green Bay recap plus a look at the Packers next week

Now, a look to week 2 Packers versus Vikings

The Vikings are finally going to start their starter, Sam Bradford. I think this gif speaks for what the fans think of the Vikes management …


As always, GO Pack GO!

For future reference, if you are wondering what time does the Super Bowl start and other information, click the link.

Until next time!

** If you would like to read my other blogs, please find them at:

**** Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at http://www.madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Go For Two: NFC North 2016 Preview

The 2016 NFL football season is here!!

minions yay

Since I’m a Packers fan, let’s do a NFC North Preview. This year, the NFC North pulled the NFC East and the AFC South. Here are their respective standings from 2015.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 12.33.21 PM


Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 1.31.50 PM

What does this all mean for the Packers and the NFC North this year? Just looking at the graphics above can make the Packers, Bears, Vikings, and Lions see Super Bowl rings in their future …


Six of the eight teams didn’t even have a winning record!

The NFC East division champ, the Washington Football Team, had 9 wins, but those wins were in a division in which the competition didn’t break 500. That’s not saying a lot about those 9 wins …

for shame

As for the Cowboys, 2016 isn’t looking great. Tony Romo went down in the preseason and won’t be expected back until the middle of the schedule or until he meets the requirements for a do not resuscitate order. The Giants have a new coach, so maybe that’s something to look forward to … but getting rid of Tom Coughlin? A wise person once said, when thinking about getting rid of a coach, you always have to ask yourself, who are you going to get that’s better? Apparently, the organization thinks Ben McAdoo is the answer. Hmmm.

Eagles have a new coach in Doug Pederson. He is a disciple of Andy Reid, so maybe it is a return to better times for the Eagles??? According to SB Nation, don’t get your hopes up. They did an article about the poor clock management Mr. Pederson coached during his Kansas City Chiefs playoff game against the Patriots (see link). So maybe not such a good thing?

As for the AFC South, what is there to say? I never watch them, there is no need to watch them, and I don’t care. I mean, really … what’s the incentive? Let’s take a gander at the recent past of the amazing Jacksonville Jaguars.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 3.26.34 PM

Seriously, that’s just impressive.

The only thing to be lukewarm to moderately excited about in the AFC South is the Houston Texans. A new quarterback, Lamar Miller from the inept Dolphins (perhaps he will actually get utilized this year), and DeAndre Hopkins round out the inner circle. It must be thrilling to be a Texans fan and realize you are perhaps the only competent team in the AFC South. Well, unless the Colts get their shit together. However, I give zero fucks about investigating why they were so bad last year.

bored not interested shrlock


Now, for the real meat and potatoes of this post … the NFC North.

Here is how the NFC North wound up last year.

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 1.29.48 PM

Chicago Bears:

Oh, the Bears. What to say …

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 5.42.06 PM

Really, there isn’t much to say. Langford might be the only ray of light (Go Green!). Miller has never really met expectations and Jeffrey isn’t the same threat after Marshall left. After these mediocre facts, I just really want to add this gif …

don't care jay cutler

Detroit Lions:

I feel so bad for the Lions. In a division where Cutler is the best hope for the Bears, and the Vikes just lost Teddy Bridgewater, this year should be easy breezy for the Lions. Yet, the Lions have the worst luck ever. Without Megatron, I just don’t see how they compete. Number 81 drew double and triple coverage — Matt Stafford is in for a lot of unopen receivers in 2016.

eminem shrug

I do have to say though, mad props to Stafford who might be the toughest QB in the league. Each year he takes beating after beating and still gets up. He does nothing but impress me in this regard, but only in that regard.

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 10.39.08 AM

Green Bay Packers:

This is our year. Honestly, if we don’t win the Super Bowl this year it’s a catastrophic failure.

Reasons why:

  1. Strength of schedule
  2. Jordy Nelson’s return
  3. No Megatron
  4. No Teddy Bridgewater
  5. No Beastmode
  6. No nemesis team, i.e., Niners
  7. Jay Cutler
  8. Hopefully a more motivated Eddie Lacy (who should be helped by the presence of Jordy)
  9. Play calling experiment over — McCarthy has taken back the reigns
  10. Jake Schum — okay, this is a weak one, but only because of the individual, not the concept. We needed a better punter, badly.

Here is our depth chart thanks to Ourlads.com:

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 12.32.24 PM

Our window isn’t closing, but it’s not wide open either. We have so many things going for us this year. This is the year we need to get it done.

So yay! Let’s do it Packers!

yay chris hemsworth

Minnesota Vikings:

Poor Vikings. They were the NFC North division champs last year with a bright, shiny 2016 ahead of them. How fast things can change. Teddy Bridgewater dislocated his knee along with an ACL tear in the preseason. That is devastating.

Fortunate for the Vikings (as of Sept 1st), the general manager was quoted as saying this in an NFL.com article:

“The one thing that I will not do, and I promise you this, is put our organization in a situation where it’s going to inhibit us or hurt us going into the future,” Spielman told reporters before the Vikings played the Rams in their preseason finale .

That sounds good, right?

Hmmm. Just wait for it …

Sam Bradford traded from the Eagles!

chris pratt mind blown

Here is what the Vikes gave up:

  • 2017 1st round draft
  • 2018 4th round draft pick (could be a 3rd round if win NFC championship or a 2nd round if win the SB)
  • $7 million

Yeah, you know, just what Spielman said, no impact on the future …

Here is what Bradford brings:

  • A somewhat shiny QB for the Vikes grand opening of their new stadium
  • 2016: 3, 725 yards, 19 touchdowns, 14 interceptions
  • 2015: Missed two game due to concussion, missed two other games for sprained shoulder
  • 2014 Left ACL reinjury (preseason) – out for season
  • 2013 Left ACL tear (week 7 of season)
  • 2009 A/C joint surgery

Oh, man. Good luck Vikes. I mean, wow. Just … wow …

Veep wow

I hope this blog was informative, maybe got you up to date, or at least got you pumped for the season.

As always, GO Pack GO!

Until next time!

** If you would like to read my other blogs, please find them at:

**** Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at http://www.madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

My Thoughts On Game Of Thrones Season 6 Episode 6 Blood Of My Blood: Stop It! I Don’t Care About Bran!

GOTS6E6 DrogonI’m posting a duplicate of My Thoughts Blog this week for GoT so you can get an idea of what is over on my other website — My Thoughts On. The website is dedicated to my thoughts on my favorite television, books, and movies. Enjoy!

Here are my thoughts on GoT Episode Blood Of My Blood:

Danny Do-Over

My distaste for the Danny plot rages on. I won’t spend too much time on hate spewing, but, seriously? Didn’t we JUST have that speech last week? Why did we even NEED that speech? Girl, they are ALREADY FOLLOWING YOU!

The only way this truly would have worked was if there was some grumbling about getting on the ships — that don’t even exist yet. If that was the case, then pull your Khal Drogo speech out of your pocket.

Another annoying thing in regards to the Danny plot was the tie in with the after show when the writer or producer or whatever said that Danny could sense her dragon because they are like her children. Um, did you watch your own show? Danny saw Drogon kicking up some dirt. That’s not a feeling, that’s seeing. I think Drogon was scoffing at this plot and that’s what caused the dirt to move.

Drogon is cool though. Like, real, real cool.

GOTS6E6 Arya.jpegArya

Arya needs to kill that bitch.

Give the face to the dude. Trade accomplished. Drop mic, peace out.

GOTS6E6 Jaime viewLannisters Versus High Sparrow

Here the show looked a little bit more like the show we adored.

First, cool stuff.

How cool was Jaime Lannister when he rode up those stairs? Pretty cool.

Cool shot, of how small the army was versus all of the King’s Landing folk. It gave perspective of how the High Sparrow has amassed an army of his own.

The look on Margaery’s face. I really think she was pleasantly surprised her family showed up for her.

Now onto plot stuff.

GOTS6E6 MargaeryWhat made this cool was Margaery always plotting. She didn’t think her family was going to show for her, so she makes an alliance with the High Sparrow. To solidify this alliance, she manipulates Tommen yet again. She made an alliance with the High Sparrow to save herself and played right into his hands. Jaime and Grandma Tyrell were in total shock. They had been outplayed in the game of thrones. While they had been dinking around with each other, the High Sparrow was playing a chess game ten moves ahead of them. When Cersei did her walk of shame, everyone thought that was so horrible and the worst. That was the High Sparrows play. He wanted everyone to know that. The threat of the walk of shame caused Margaery to make the alliance and caused her family to show up there to stop it. Therefore, in front of everyone, the High Sparrow got to show the people of King’s Landing the defeat of the two houses. He didn’t have to do a damn thing.

Also, in the game of thrones, this is all very, very interesting. The scene later between the twins is fascinating. They still have the hubris of a great house. However, the Lannister House is in shambles. Tommen is so weak that he can be bent to anyone’s will. He has turned his back on his own family. The Lannisters have lost visible power among its people. While they are preoccupied with the High Sparrow, the rest of Westeros is making significant gains in their efforts to take the Iron Throne. The Lannisters are like a girl who is broken up with and tells her friends she is shocked it happened — despite everyone else clearly knowing it was about to happen.

Of note is that Jaime is now on his way to Riverrun. You know who else is on their way to Riverrun … Brienne! Yay! I can’t wait for Brienne and Jaime to meet up again. I wonder what this will do for Sansa Strong? She wants to take back Winterfell from Ramsey Bolton. Will she be willing to make an alliance with the Lannisters to do that? How will Riverrun play into it? Jaime is ordered to take it back for the Lannisters, but that’s Sansa’s Uncle who holds it now. I see some kind of alliance. I think this is perhaps where the show might be able to get back on track.

As for Cersei, I don’t think her trial will be a trial by combat. That would be too easy. She might be in for it.Well, unless there is some magical opponent, which, let’s not kid ourselves, GoT has turned way more mystical lately.

GOTS6E6 OFMBoring Bran

What the fuck. I’m so over this plot. So Hodor loses his life to buy 15 minutes? Ned Stark’s brother is alive? He swoops in at the last second to save his nephew who may or may not be fully his nephew anymore? As for the Three Eyed Raven — what has he even done? Why would Bran even want to be the Three Eyed Raven at this point? Ned Stark’s brother is some kind of half White Walker? That’s a lot of magic that the Children of the Forest has. Why can’t the Children of the Forest make some magic to defeat the White Walkers then?

Make this plot stop.

Serendipitous Sam

Gee. I wonder if that sword will be important.

Until next time!

** If you would like to read my other blogs, please find them at:

**** Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at http://www.madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

My Thoughts On Fear The Walking Dead Season 2 Midseason Finale Shiva: Screw You FTWD You Blew It

FTWD Ofelia

I want to tear my own flesh off after watching this piece of shit show


I’m serious. Did they try to write the most insulting, idiotic, implausible episode ever? How stupid do they think their viewers are to keep watching this show?

How do you possibly screw up, this badly, a spinoff from TWD? I mean, the only worse spinoff was Joey after Friends.

Nick, the second best character on the show, what? Just walks off? Away from his mom and his sister? I mean, this kind of makes sense in the abstract, that he walked away from his family when he was on drugs, but it doesn’t fit this situation. At all. His survival instinct is too strong to simply kill himself. He had every motivation to seek drugs, he would seek survival now.

He was thriving as a member of the family. He seemed to generally care for his mom. He boldly tells TRavis to get back, she needs him. He loves his sister. He just disappears into the wasteland. I honestly have the worst taste in my mouth right now.

Also, WTF about Daniel??? Yes, he is going crazy, but why? Why is he going crazy? It just sort of happens in the show! NO CATALYST! And don’t tell me that it was because all the death got to be too much. He was the first person just a week ago to steal Strand’s gun to try and save his pseudo relationship with Madison and her family, but more importantly, his daughter.

There is no way that he leaves his daughter to fend for herself. He would not set himself on fire and leave her in the walker world all on her own. SO STUPID!

This is the same man who tortured the soldier. Who knew to trade a zombified kid in an exchange for Travis and Alicia. It’s soooo implausible!

There is no hate watching this show. I won’t watch under any circumstances. I’m so disgusted by it right now I can’t even write a good thoughts blog. I just want to scream at somebody. I feel so disrespected as a viewer that the writers and show runners think it’s okay to write something so bad, trading on sincere loyalty from the fans for this genre and TWD for an unearned paycheck. There are so many writers in the world who would be thrilled with a chance to have a hit show on television. Yet these writers throw their good fortune away. It’s a slap in the face how lazy these writers and show runners are.

I hope viewers stand up and boycott this show. Just don’t watch. I know there is such a lack of good television shows on these days that you might be tempted just to tune in, in case they turn it around. But look at how little they value our loyalty by writing this dribble.

I for one, will not be back.

Screw you, FTWD. You managed to ruin a home run.

My Thoughts On Game Of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2 Home: Tyrion Is The Real Breaker Of Chains

I’m posting a duplicate of My Thoughts Blog this week for Game of Thrones so you can get an idea of what is over on my other website — My Thoughts On. The website is dedicated to my thoughts on my favorite television, books, and movies. Enjoy!

These are my thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2 Home.

A lot more happened this week on GoT than last week. We had a bunch of fences mended and people breaking out of their real and/or proverbial prisons.

GOTS6E2 Tyrion

Tyrion was the star of this episode for me. He is quick to remind us viewers that his strengths lie in his knowledge of the history of the kingdoms. Ever a student of people, their behaviors, and the outcomes of their actions, he uses that to his and Meereen’s advantage. He knows that the dragons once ruled the world because they were free. They only started to die out when House Targaryen started to put them in pens. His grand plan is to free them, hoping, of course, that they are smart creatures and will sense that he is a friend, and not burn him alive while he tries to release them. I couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t bring the woman with him. I think that would have been a smart bet, but none the less, it worked. I especially got giddy when the one dragon offered his neck to Tyrion, asking him to take his shackle off as well. I, like a young Tyrion, would certainly want a dragon as a friend.

Tyrion is the actual breaker of chains (not Danny) in this episode by breaking the dragon’s chains. By breaking their chains, he might be able to break the chains of the people of Meereen as well.

As for another of my favorite characters (pets) in this show, let’s move onto Ghost, more specifically, his Stark daddy, Jon Snow.


Even dead, Jon Snow looks real, real good, ya know? I liked the Red Woman in this episode. She is struggling with her faith. When she says please to Jon Snow, she is saying it as much for her desire to resurrect Jon, as well as begging for her God of Light to be real, to favor her.

I’m a bit disappointed by the turn of events regarding Theon. I was in love with the idea of Sad Sansa, Brienne, Theon, and Podrick making their way together to the wall. Last week, I rated it as my favorite plot thread. Way to blow that out of the water, GoT. The show is, in a way, adding two new characters in this turn of events. Our attention is now turned back to the Greyjoys/Ironborn culture as one of the “characters” and a new brother to Baylon Greyjoy. I’d rather it not be.



Prisons that our beloved characters have broken free from:

  • Arya has broken free from her self-inflicted no-face prison. Her champion has released her from her purgatory. I really don’t care.
  • Cersei has broken free from her prison that kept her from her Tommen. That was a good apology.
  • The Dragons were freed.
  • Theon is finally free from Ramsey. Thank goodness. Poor soul.
  • Sad Sansa seems to be finally free from her prison of constant matrimonial entanglements and nightly rapes. She seems to finally have people who are looking out for her and not trying to marry her off/gain advantage in the game of thrones.
  • Jon Snow has broken free of his prison of death.
  • The Red Woman has broken free from her prison of religious self-doubt and being forsaken by her God of Light.

And finally, I think we can all agree that Ramsey is the evilest motherfucker on the planet. There’s really nothing else to say about that.



My highlights of the episode: Tyrion as the true breaker of chains and Ramsey as pure evil.

Hopes for the future – let’s seriously unleash an earnest Team Jaime and Cersei on the world. The last few seasons they have been at odds. Imagine what they can do with a renewed alliance between them.

GOTS6E2 Jaime


Where is Littlefinger?

Until next time!


My Thoughts On The Americans Season 4 Episode 7 Travel Agents: Everyone Is Grieving

Hello There Good People!

I’m posting a duplicate of My Thoughts Blog this week for The Americans so you can get an idea of what is over on my other website — My Thoughts On. The website is dedicated to my thoughts on my favorite television, books, and movies. Enjoy!

These are my thoughts on The Americans season 4 episode 7 Travel Agents.

TAS4 Ep 7 Martha


This episode was so remarkably good. My two favorite parts I want to highlight is the unbelievably good tension coupled with an overwhelming amount of grief.

We spent most of the episode wondering who was going to find Martha first, the FBI or Phillip. The tension of wondering would it be Stan, or Gadd was overwhelming. For Martha to have to look either of those men in the eyes would be devastating. We know she would go to jail if caught by the United States, but at least she would be alive. That was in serious question if the Russians captured her first. Yes, she would be sparred the face-to-face humiliation, but she could very well windup dead. The best part of the tension was when Elizabeth got involved. Who did not have a sick feeling in their stomach that she would kill Martha on sight? She already has proven to be beyond loyal to the KGB, but also, she was the one who was so willing to kill Pastor Tim.

It was a little over the top for Elizabeth to gut-punch Martha — a physical representation of the already mental situation Martha found herself in. We get it, you don’t need to hit us over the head with the symbolism.

I was on the edge of my seat hoping that Phillip would get to her first.

The other overarching theme of this episode was grief. All of the characters were sad and grieving in one shape or another over Martha. Frank Gadd did not want it to be true for Martha. I think it went well beyond his inability to see that she had been turned. He was generally grief stricken that he had lost Martha as an individual – someone he considered more than just a coworker, a friend. He of course, was also grieving the fact that he thought more of himself as an agent than what he was. Gadd believed he should have seen it, known that she was a traitor, but he didn’t. It calls into question his judgement as an operative. That’s a hard thing to get over. He also grieves for his country. Knowledge of the United States was leaked under his watch. Frank Gadd had to grieve for his country as well.


TAS4 ep 7 Elizabeth and philip

Elizabeth grieves. Despite her asking Phillip if given the opportunity to go with Martha to Russia, and his answer of no, Elizabeth knows that it’s not that cut and dry. I do think that Phillip loves Elizabeth, more than Martha, but he has given something of himself to Martha, something that Phillip doesn’t give to Elizabeth. Elizabeth realizes that while Phillip is telling the truth — that he loves Elizabeth, not Martha, he is still partially lying to himself. He’s lying about how much Phillip cares for, even loves Martha. He genuinely cares for Martha, yes, it’s due to a sense of responsibility, but there is also a real love there. The show does a great job of showing Elizabeth’s vulnerability in the mirror shot. Elizabeth really looks at herself in the mirror. Looks at who she is, what she wants, what Phillip wants. You get the general sense that Elizabeth, once sure of her place by Phillips side and that she was enough for him, questions her standing. She sees herself as someone who really does care for this man, and, like all women, wants their man to love them. When she looks in the mirror, she sees her own vulnerability.


TAS4 Ep 7 martha and Phillip

Poor Phillip grieves for Martha. As I said above, he doesn’t just feel responsible for her. The amount of information that he divulges to her is unprecedented. I also find it infinitely fascinating that he tells Martha the truth. Elizabeth, ever the agent, wants him to lie. To tell Martha what she wants to hear to make sure that she gets on the plane. But that isn’t what Phillip does. He tells her the truth, because he owes her that. He tells her because he loves her and and one of the only ways he can show it is by respecting her enough to tell her the truth. I may be mistaken, but I also don’t think that even Elizabeth knew Phillip’s real name, and if she does, it wasn’t per protocol and for a long time. That’s what a huge deal it was for him to not only reveal his face to her, but some very personal information.

Right now, this show reigns supreme. With the lack-luster GoT episode last week, this show really is the cream of the crop.

Until next time!

My Thoughts On Game Of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1 The Red Woman: An Extended Version Of Previously On Game Of Thrones

Hello There Good People!

I’m posting a duplicate of My Thoughts Blog this week for GoT so you can get an idea of what is over on my other website — My Thoughts On. The website is dedicated to my thoughts on my favorite television, books, and movies. Enjoy!


GOTS6 Ep 1 Sansa and Theon

This episode seemed to be an extended version of the opening sequence of previously, on Game of Thrones

Therefore, this episode was just okay. I know sometimes shows have to create a little setup for future episodes, but we are 6 seasons in. We don’t need a grace period before the action takes place.

In fact, you know what? Since all the show did was one big recap, and nothing new actually happened, then all I’m gonna do is rate my interest in the story threads.

So here goes …

1. Theon/Sansa/Brienne
2. Jaime/Cersei
3. Davos + Dire Wolf (that’s right, that wolf gets me every time)
4. Tyrion/Lord Varys
5. Red Woman/Jon Snow

Then it really is a toss up on how little I care

6. Jorah (I am going to count this as separate from Danny because I like his plot thread way more even though it is tied to hers)
7. Danny (Daenerys – I’ll never be able to spell her name, so from here on out, this is who Danny is)
8. Dorne Women
9. Arya
10. Bran

GOTS6 Ep 1 Brienne


Overall, the thing that excites me the most about this season shown in the episode is Theon and Sansa. Sansa got a lot more interesting now that she is paired up with Theon. Prior to that, I really could have cared less. Then they double-down and add Brienne in the mix? I am thrilled for this development.

Plus, I love the actor that plays Theon, and poor, poor Theon. He has been tortured for the last two seasons, it will be interesting to see his story arc. Plus, it bodes well that he was willing to sacrifice himself to save Sad Sansa. How pathetic, hiding out behind that tree.

GOTS6 Ep1 Cersei and Jaime

Jaime and Cersei interest me because they are always, always doing something intriguing. I can not wait to see what new hell Cersei unleashes on the Sparrows, in particular, that one nun-type woman. Oh, she is IN FOR IT!

I always love Tyrion. I’d like that man to have some success.

As for the White Walkers, they would be high, high, high on this list. However, the show didn’t include it in the episode. Clearly, it will coincide with Sad Sansa and obviously Davos, the Red Woman, and Jon Snow. Basically anything involving the plot in The North is my favorite once it all comes together. Everything else is lower on my list.

What storyline interests you the most? Let me know!

Until next time!

** If you would like to read my other blogs, please find them at:

**** Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at http://www.madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

My Thoughts On The Americans Season 4 Episode 6 the Rat: This Is The Best Show On Television

I honestly think that The Americans is the best show on television right now! The writing, acting, and cinematography are all at such a high level. Now, when GoT comes back, there might be a battle for the top spot …

This week’s writing was superb when it came to Elizabeth and Philip. The scene in the kitchen, where Elizabeth encounters Philip without his disguise was brilliant. Keri Russell portrays the scene beautifully. She is caught off guard, her steely armor weakened. When she says the line about (paraphrasing) “did you want her? To see you?” — that vulnerability was real. Her husband, that she may or may not be in love with, chose to show his real self to Martha. As icy as Elizabeth can be, with her first priority being to the KGB before Philip, this truly effected her. You can see Elizabeth collect herself. She even offers to take over a shift of watching Martha, but, again, Philip picks Martha – he wants to stay with her. The awareness on Elizabeth’s part that Philip truly cares for Martha, and in a way he does not care for Elizabeth shocks her. Philip wants that with Elizabeth, but she does not allow it — Martha does. It’s a different story though, even for this cold-hearted KGB operative to be confronted, face to face with that reality. Really, really great writing.

The scene showing Gabriel downstairs while Philip and Martha are upstairs having sex was visually stunning. Without words it conveyed so much. The ability of this show to tell a story both verbally and nonverbally is why we as viewers love this show. Gabriel is supposed to be the handler and things are getting out of control. He is not in control of his body (it is weak from the virus) and he is not in control of his operative. It creates a tension between the main characters — how will Gabriel regain control of the situation? He looks weak, but he certainly is not. He can be deadly — Philip and Martha are in serious danger. Wonderfully built tension.

Then there is our beloved Martha. It’s delightful how much we have grown to care about this lonely woman. There is no good outcome for her. All we can hope for is the least amount of damage. Philip is frantically grasping for a way to somehow save Martha. He tries to force Gabriel’s hand by bringing her to the safe house. It’s always fascinating watching a character struggle with an outcome that they deep down know is going to happen. To observe Philip’s desperate clutch to the delusion that everything will be okay is excellent. It’s so not going to be okay. Philip’s delusion du jour is that he feels like if he can just get her to Moscow, it will be okay, but it won’t. Martha will be spiritually, mentally, and irrevocably crushed.

TA S4 Rat MarhtaThis is because the viewer has to ask themselves, as Philip does – what is worse for Martha? The basis of her character, why she was able to be recruited, is her desperate desire for love. Moscow is not going to provide that. She is trying to hold on to her “American Dream” with Clark despite the overwhelming evidence that the dream is gone. In fact, she is beginning to realize not even that was true — almost. She won’t quite let herself absorb the true reality that not even Clark was really there in the first place. It’s why she wants to have sex with Philip, to confirm their love for each other. To confirm to herself that he would somehow be coming with her.

In a lot regards, it would almost be better for Martha to be shot — a clean, fast death before she realizes the depth of the betrayal of those around her. It will break Martha to realize that Philip/Clark is not coming with her. She gave up her job, her identity, her country for this man who will betray her. Her whole life is a lie. To live the rest of her life, in Moscow, alone yet again,  even more so because she also has no friends, no country — these are things worse than death for Martha.

Until next time!

For a ton more of My Thoughts On please visit www.my-thoughts-blog.weebly.com. There I discuss a slew of television shows, books, and movies. These are not recaps, but my thoughts. I assume that you’ve already absorbed the media, so it’s more of a place to hear other people’s thoughts and to have discussions. So, yes! Spoilers!



My Thoughts On Big Little Lies

BIG LITTLE LIES jacketThis is my review and thoughts on Big Little Lies.

Overall, I liked this book. It was an enjoyable listen, despite starting off a little bit slow plot wise. The book may have done too good of a job making the mothers at the school exceptionally annoying — there were times when I just wanted to turn the book off because I couldn’t listen to them anymore. It’s fitting, because it really drives home the point that these women are behaving poorly. They gossip. They cause actual problems with their immaturity. Shoot, they are behaving badly and they are supposed to be mothers! I love the concept that this happens at their kid’s school, that these are the types of people who are influencing kids. That the example they are setting for their kids is a terrible one.

The overall plot about men in this book was an interesting one, whether or not you agreed with the heavy-handed nature of the writing toward men. Each character clearly has issues with a man, it’s not just Celeste and the physical abuse. Jane had a violent and verbally abusive encounter with a man. Madeline has an ex-husband who abandoned her and their daughter. Renata’s husband cheats on her.

In all of these instances with men, they are given a free pass/no responsibility, no repercussions. There is a sense of entitlement to these male characters:

1. Nathan walks away from his family, but then he is entitled to completely start over? Madeline was there, the whole time, through the worst of it. It is easy to see where her animosity comes from.

2. Renata’s husband cheats on her. Why? Because he can. Because he is a man. Renata leaves him, but still the assumption from his point of view is why not?

3. Harper’s husband cheats on her and there are no repercussions at all. She stays with him.

4. Perry feels like he is entitled to tell Jane that she is ugly and fat. Why? Because men can do what they want. They have the power. Women are there to please men. He does not please her, so he can speak to her and do to her what he wants.

5. Perry (and Celeste, for awhile) feels like he is entitled to beat on his wife because she made mistakes. He is affluent. That makes it all okay.

Again, this is all because of an underlying, societal unspoken assumption that men will be men.

The book is interesting, I will say that.

As for production of the novel as an audiobook, the structure of the story is not well-suited for audio. In the beginning, when all the various characters are speaking to the reporter, it was very, very hard to understand what was going on with only audio to go off of. If you can just be patient with the book, it does get easier. This is a common issue with audiobooks, but this book was more problematic than most.

Rating system:

God, I wish I had that time back in my life = 0
Eh, it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read = 1
Shrug, I mean, it was okay = 2
I enjoyed it = 3

Have your read this book? It’s pretty good = 4
Wow, you need to read this book now = 5

Big Little Lies = 3.0

Here are my answers to book club questions provided by the Penguin. Thanks Penguin for facilitating a closer look at the book!

1. At the beginning of the novel, Madeline is enraged over Ziggy not being invited to Amabella’s birthday party. Why do you think Madeline becomes so angry about such a seemingly small injustice?

Because it is not a small injustice. It is calculated. It is done by an adult. Adults know how painful it can be to for a child to be the one not invited to a party. Madeline is not only trying to save Ziggy from a lifetime of bullying, but from the wrath of parents who are acting like children. The interesting thing is, in the book, it is the children who behave the best, well, for the most part.

2. Gwen, the babysitter, seems to be the only one to suspect what is going on with Celeste and Perry.  Celeste then realizes she’s never heard Gwen talk about a husband or a partner. Do you think the author intended to intimate that perhaps Gwen had had an abusive husband or partner and that she left him?  And in light of what happens at the end with Bonnie, do you think it’s only people who have personally experienced abuse who pick up on the signs?

Of course she would notice, she is in the trenches. She is allowed a certain amount of access. I think it is interesting that Perry and Celeste would think that she doesn’t notice. It is hubris, that they can hide it, from her or from the kids.

I think it is giving the author too much leeway to assume that Gwen had a husband that abused her. It is interesting, even posing this question, that a woman being aware of the abuse could only be determined by the fact that a man did something to her. Men are not the end all be all reactive/proactive devices that the world and society makes them out to be. Perhaps this woman noticed it all on her own, without the influence of a man.

Therefore, as for Bonnie, no. I don’t think that only people who have been abused pick up on the signs.

3. At one point Jane thinks she and Ziggy will have to leave Pirriwee because “rich, beautiful people weren’t asked to leave anywhere.” [p. 362] Do you think different rules apply to rich people? Do you think being rich allowed Perry to get away with things longer than would have been likely if he hadn’t had money?

Of course. Rich people are always getting away with more. Also, there is an overwhelming mystique that the rich are above it all. The sad truth is anyone can be abused. Anyone can be the abuser. In a lot of ways, it goes along with the entitlement. It’s about power. Abuse is about power. Men are always given the power — through societal paradigms and physical strength. It needs to change.

4. Bonnie says, “We see. We fucking see!” [p. 421] Were you surprised to learn about Bonnie’s history?  Were you surprised to discover that all along Max had been seeing what Perry was doing to Celeste?

When Bonnie says that I think she is reiterating the theme of this book. That men think they can hide what they do. That it is allowed. That people will turn a blind eye. But Bonnie declares they see. She saw as a kid. Madeline and Renata see now. Max sees. People see. However, people have to choose to do something about it. That is not always easy. Who are the cops? Men. Who are the judges? Men. Look at the spotlight done by Samantha Bee on an Idaho sheriff who thought that rape was over-reported and overexaggerated by women. Of course women would think that they have no recourse.

Of course Max saw. That is also what Bonnie is referring to. Kids see way more than they let on. People also underestimate kids.

5. What did you make of the interview snippets to the reporter? Do you think the author used them almost like a Greek chorus to make a point?

Not a Greek chorus.

I think it was a great technique to show just how ready people, women in particular, are ready to talk about someone. How insidious it can get.

6. Madeline muses, “Maybe it was actually an unspoken instant agreement between four women on the balcony: No woman should pay for the accidental death of that particular man.  Maybe it was an involuntary, atavistic response to thousands of years of violence against women.  Maybe it was for every rape, every brutal backhanded slap, every other Perry that had come before this one.” [p. 430] And then Madeline thinks, “ Sometimes doing the wrong thing was also right.” Do you agree with this statement?  Do you agree with what the women decided to do?  Do you think there’s a stronger bond between women than there is between men?  Were you surprised that women who ostensibly didn’t like one another—Madeline and Bonnie, Madeline and Renata—ended up coming together to help one another out?

Everyone has or knows a Perry. I do agree with the women to keep the circumstances leading to the death a secret. It truly wasn’t anyone’s fault. Can anyone really blame the women for thinking that Bonnie wouldn’t be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?

I do not agree that women have closer bonds than men.

It did not surprise me that the women came together over this incident.

7. At one point in the book, Susi says that, in Australia, one woman dies every week because of domestic violence.  In the United States, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.  Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten.  Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than that caused by car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.  Are you surprised by these statistics? Why or why not?  Clearly, the author chose Celeste—the picture-perfect mom and/ wife as well as an educated lawyer—to be the victim of domestic violence in order to make a point.  Do you think it’s plausible that someone like her would fall victim to abuse such as this?

Of course. Abuse is about power. Anyone can be a victim.

8. Madeline comments that “there were so many levels of evil in the world.” [p. 433] Discuss the implications of this statement in light of the novel and the novel’s different storylines.

The overall cattiness is certainly an evil. Look at how damaging it was to Jane. To Ziggy. The way women treat other women is often deplorable. Ziggy/Max hitting another kid, absolutely could be evil, but probably not. They were 5-years old. Perry, absolutely evil. Bonnie inadvertently killing Perry could be considered evil, but it is not what she set out to do. It was an accident. It was not murder, despite the fact that killing someone could be considered evil. The slow destruction of women by certain men could be considered evil. Deserting your wife and child is evil. Yes, there are many forms of evil in the world.