I turned my TV off a week ago when I moved it during cleaning, and now that it's across the room and can't be seen from the computer, I haven't turned it on since. I feel ocasional pangs of missing Seinfield and Wheel of Fortune, but not enough to go through the effort of moving it over. Thanks, Olympics, for killing off primetime this month! That sounds sarcastic but it is not.
That said, I have been running around playing in old fandoms behind the scenes for the past month. I kept trying to figure out how to write about them but I could never get my words lined up to say just what I wanted to say, so here goes:
I DO still intend to write about the finale, but right now I'm apparently coping with The Brave going into
Then, as my heart remembered the 56,000 reasons I love Julia, I followed Rachelle back to my beloved Off the Map, and after another week of that I'm kinda back on a Martin Henderson kick. And by "kinda" I mean "ALL I WANT IN LIFE IS THIS DASHING KIWI WITH DREAMIER HAIR THAN MCDREAMY AND AN A+ BROODY MCSADFACE."
These three people were the impetus for the game behind this post, a post I considered and may still be bringing over or expanding upon here -- and OH MAN it just occurred to me I now have the perfect setup for the love triangle and/or cheating element that has gotten many a possible book auto-rejected from my consideration, because damned if I can choose my favorite ship between Barbie/Julia and Ben/Ryan.
But anyway, once I ran down Henderson and realized I actually quite enjoyed all nine characters I've seen him play -- which in approximate order would be:
1. Ben Keeton (Off the Map)
2. Kevin Beam (Miracles from Heaven)
3. Ian (Skagerrak, which was the HARDEST THING EVER to find but so woth it)
4. Nathan Riggs (Grey's Anatomy), based on literally nothing more than occasional recaps and promo stills because I am not prepared to actually look at video with how many years it's been since I saw a new episode; I AM STILL SO IMPRESSED that they found the only way possible to make up for getting rid of McDreamy
5. Jay (Battle in Seattle)
6. Darcy (Bride and Prejudice)
7. Jeff (House, "Painless")
8. Reed Cassidy (Flyboys)
9. Drew (Perfect Opposites)
-- I realized I needed to go pick up Miracles from Heaven from the library again, and that made it clear I was heading down into a rabbit hole I have yet to come out of.
My original flaily post is good, but still doesn't do it justice, because I Iost two entire nights rewatching it and trying to articulate why it is so good in general, but particularly amazing as a swoon-worthy showcase for Henderson. I just. He covers absolutely everything I could possibly want in a devoted husband and/or devoted father character, he has amazing co-stars to do so with, and on top of this he gets to be religious and an animal lover ("I don't care if we have fifty dogs," right after bringing home their fifth dog to cheer his daughter up, is the best quote anyone has ever said).
He spends this entire movie either joyfully cuddling up on that family or being teary and distressed about his daughter's illness and general pain/suffering. With a bonus sad scene of looking crushed after he massively disappoints his eldest daughter by forgetting to take her to all-star tryouts in the midst of being a temporarily single parent and desperately trying to keep up with mounting bills. Am I forgetting anything? Probably! I tried to write out a list of favorite scenes in chronological order, but it was like, every scene.
I also know it's good because I keep trying to slide Jennifer Garner out and/or give this scenario over to other ships I might like even more, and my brain keeps going, "No, dummy. This IS the best version. You literally cannot improve on this casting, or the character personalities. For once, your wildest dreams have become a reality." I think this movie might even be a better Handsome Actor showcase than Enchanted??? And that has been the unrivaled champion of such dreams for a solid decade.
TBH, Kevin Beam should probably be at the top of that character list, but Keeton gets more screen time, and it is like, really hard to argue the angst factor of a dude whose wife is in a coma (and had lost their unborn child) and whose subsequent girlfriend is dying of heart failure at 28. Really hard.
But I've already spent at least six nights locked in Chinhands mode about Ben/Ryan, and if I get sucked in tonight it will be 3 in the morning before I know it, so MOVING ON.
I spent about two hours trying to rustle up Ian/Marie clips online, but the best I could come up with was the official trailer. It's not on Netflix and it appears the cheapest rental or purchase option is $5, which is a bit steep, but THANK HEAVENS for my love of novelizing -- I was able to find a document on the computer where I'd written out all the shippy bits, so at least I could mentally relive them. It's not as good as video, but it certainly satiated the craving while also priming my brain for it to become even better when I do see it again.
I found it on YouTube! I don't know if my heart is prepared to suffer inevitable heartbreak again, but I watched a couple scenes. Good to know that I can still mentally cast him in books for characters in their 20s. Adult books that are not about infidelity seem to be intensely focused on people age 22-33, which is at odds with my general preference for actors in at least their late 30s, if not 40s and 50s.
Bride and Prejudice
I found a clip from this that was notable mostly because I DID NOT REMEMBER ALEXIS BLEDEL PLAYED HIS SISTER, and yeahhh, now I am really excited to get my hands on Echoes of Pemberley. One of the reasons I was stalling was because I hadn't decided who to cast yet, and "teenager whose legal guardian is an adult brother" is one of my favorite dynamics so I didn't want to waste it.
Battle in Seattle / Flyboys
I did not dally with these at all, but I remain secure in my original assessment of them as stelllar face-appreciating vehicles, so when I've wrung everything I can out of my Off the Map DVD, I am coming back.
Past Me insists he's not that interesting as a guest patient -- which I believe; I seem to recall this being a short hair period -- but shoot, I was going to snag this out of the library today since I finally got back there, and I forgot.
[edit: I'm gonna talk more about this later, but PAST YOU'S A MORON. Correcting the order on the list above until I have time to write it up.]
Like I said, I have roughly tracked his character's trajectory via episode recaps or whenever else his name comes up on TVLine, and now that I know what to expect relationship-wise I think I'm okay with all options (although damn am I mad they picked Blah Blah as Hunt's sister; she is a fine actress but not someone I would go to for meaty emotional stuff or shipper squee), but I cannot wait to feel ready to pop the cap on this one. Even if I keep forgetting he's got his tragic Short Hair for this role, which isn't bad but also definitely gives him more of an Everyman look and dilutes his blinding attractivness a bit.
A random note
I watched Miracles from Heaven with my parents, and my dad immediately recognized Henderson ("I've seen this guy in movies before!", to which my first question was WHAT MOVIES followed by WHERE DO I GET THESE MOVIES, because he tends to find all manner of obscure things, moreso than mainstream stuff), which he doesn't usually do outside of those British actors who are in everything British. He later remarked that he likes him as an actor because "he seems like a real guy. He looks like someone you'd actually meet in real life, not like a Hollywood star." Which, I mean, debateable, but I also thought that was a pretty neat compliment.
And now back to IMDBingo
I haven't really shown up to his page since 2013, and it turns out he's been busy.
* First ping: The Red Road, which I saw a clip featuring the first six minutes of on YouTube, Sighed Loudly that I would never get to properly see him be a Hot Sheriff, and then immediately flipped my lid when I saw both seasons were on Netflix. NETFLIX HAS A THING I ACTUALLY REALLY WANT?? But that's unpossible! ...yet I probably still won't watch it before Netflix randomly kicks it out, because I can't be calm and sit still that long.
* He's got a 2-episode guest spot on Rake. Damn! My parents got super into that show just last month, and they binge-watched the whole thing. Which, I guess, at least means it's at the library and I can get it myself. ...and that's another thing I forgot today. I need to write these whims down on paper!
* WOT is this "The Moment," because I want to see it yesterday after viewing this trailer. Was that the one I was yipping about in 2013, or was that Secret Lives of Husband and Wives, a project I still do not really know anything about?
And now, because I will always end DBingo hung up on projects that are yet to be released...
* Hellbent: A 16-year-old runaway enlists a fugitive drifter to take her on a cross-country journey to meet the father she's never known. GUESS WHO THE FUGITIVE DRIFTER IS. Damn! This sounds like an A+ dynamic, and then before I had even finished being hyped about that...
* The Strangers: Prey at Night: A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive
SHUT UP are you gonna let him be the patriarch in a horror movie?? A WONDERFUL MARRIAGE OF MY FAVE ACTOR AND MY FAVE GENRE? I don't know why I would want my faves to be in movies where their likelihood of dying violently is high, but somehow, every time I see a great one of those, I do in fact always think how much better it could have been with a dream actor, so. (See also: Elizabeth Mitchell in Purge 3. an especially apt comparison because this feels like it's gonna be a similar situation where the original movie concept is good, but it gets better)
p.s. OH MY GOD, AND HE'S LEAD OPPOSITE CHRISTINA HENDRICKS, THIS IS MY FAVORITE DAY. What is his preternatural gift for landing gorgeous leading ladies!! And can he teach it to every other man whose co-stars have disappointed me along the way?
p.p.s. I don't know why I know the name "Bailee Madison" for the daughter but I am getting a good vibe. Let's see...research in progress...ALSDJKFASKL;DJFAS A COWGIRL'S STORY!! You might know her from many more famous movies, or The Fosters. I know her from the adorable children's movie I watched on a whim last summer. Her face is GREAT! I'm feeling pretty good about the odds of my enjoying this movie despite my suspicion that Henderson is gonna bite it early due to his general lack of presence in the trailer.
Is it really coming out in March?? Like a few weeks from now?? ...and do I have the bravery needed to watch a slasher flick in the theater, alone? Because no one else will pay money to see one of those with me, even if my mom will watch them with me at home. Dad & boyfriend won't go near them. (this 2-generation gender role reversal always cracks me up)
* Also I just scrounged myself up a trailer for Hellbent, and haha, okay, bring on this dark action movie! Also explain to me why them seem kinda...compromisingly close in a couple spots there, for her being 16. What do you want me to do with that.
UPDATE: oh no, it has no release date and someone in the comments says they've been waiting for it since they first heard of it in 2015. DO NOT GIVE ME ANOTHER "GOOD AFTER BAD" SITUATION, I AM NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE THAT.
But strictly speaking, before I went back on IMDB today, my head was still in an Off the Map place. See, during my original fandom heyday, I was not yet embedded in the practice of finding books to cast TV characters/storylines in. And it became increasingly apparent to me, despite the extreme level and amount of hurt/comfort/shippiness the canon indulged me in, that I would need to get Ben/Ryan in a book. Shouldn't be that hard, right? Gotta be a million books about young women with heart problems.
Well, yes and no. Getting the right love interest while you're doing that is trickier, especially when the story relies very much on the autonomy and life experience of adults so YA cannot foot the bill. Nevertheless, let's look at my efforts anyway.
1. Google search for "she has a heart condition" + novel + summary
Heart & Soul (Lost and Found no.5) - Nicole Williams
So, uh, shirtless guy on the cover makes me think this is more of a "and then sexytimes were had, sexily" romance, especially with "new adult" listed as a genre, And the fact that it's part of a sizable series also fills me with dismay because I don't want to have to choose between reading or missing that much backstory, and all in all it does not look like a winner, BUT ALSO, it is hard to reject this much tailor-made-for-me angst:
Upon discovering Rowen is pregnant after taking every precaution to ensure otherwise due to a life-threatening heart condition, Jesse is forced to face too many harsh realities and they send him into a desperate, dark place. To consider the possibility that he might lose his wife and unborn child is too much for Jesse to bear.
The situation is out of his control, so he gloms on to the few things he can control. Like noting Rowen’s every move, or dialing the doctor whenever her face goes a shade pale, or even acknowledging the fact he’d be willing to make a deal with the devil in exchange for his wife’s and child’s lives. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do or give or sacrifice to keep them from harm.
But what happens when the devil takes that deal Jesse struck, and the tables turn? A life for a life. A soul for a soul. A heart for a heart. His life for theirs.
Quick quesh -- is this a metaphorical or the literal devil? Because if the literal devil is going to get involved, that is one strike too many, but if not...according to the summary of the first book, I'm gonna have to recast the characters because they appear to be in their early 20s at best, but also Jesse is described as a "golden boy cowboy" and that also fits a very specific appeal in my heart. Like a...like a "The Longest Ride" shaped pairing in my heart, actually, except Britt Robertson's character would be more like Lux. Who also had a heart condition at one point, right?? OK, I am clearly going for it, if I can find it.
2. "Heart condition" into the library search catalog, and then narrowing it down by various keywords and genres
i. Heart Like Mine - Mindy McGinnis
McGinnis has pinged on my radar before; I have not read her stuff yet but it looks relatively clean. I gotta say, this one is definitely pinging my Ben/Ryan radar, in the AU where there is no heart condition.
Delaney Blair loves her job at Echo Lake's Mercy Hospital, where she's developed a reputation for being smart, fair, and driven. When she's assigned to cut funding, she has to temporarily relocate her office, put on borrowed scrubs, and go toe-to-toe with Dr. Joshua Mackenzie, the interim head of the pediatrics department. His killer smile and rock-star body are distractions Delaney could do without, but she's determined to stay focused while she brings his budget into line. It's not working.
Beloved by his colleagues and patients alike, Josh is too busy caring for sick kids to talk numbers with the sexy, stiletto-clad Delaney. Every time they talk business, tensions run high…but so does a powerful attraction neither of them can ignore. When an emergency brings Mercy to its knees, Delaney and Josh must work together to save lives. But can they also find a way into each other's hearts?
Yes, I see your "the sexy vibe was very sexy" signals, but in this one case it's okay. Because that is entirely how my ship got started in canon, and it would be useful to have a book explain to me how that works. (I mean, I don't really need a book this time because I have eyes and that was my exact reaction to meeting him in promos for Off the Map, but usually I have trouble with that premise) Also I am choosing instead to focus on the highlighted parts.
ii. Brush of Wings - Karen Kingsbury
So, on the downside, not only is it third in a trilogy, there are actual angels. I love the concept of angels, but I tend to find them irritating when they butt into my fiction as actual characters (she says, while literally watching the movie "A Heavenly Christmas"). Also, "professional athlete" is an immediate turn-off -- baseball is the best of those options, but it's worth noting that none of my faves star in sports movies. Also, the summary mentions some other couple who are probably going to steal focus; I almost always hate when books try to focus on more than one pairing at atime.
On the other hand, my Ben/Ryan radar is positively SCREAMING with certainty that it found what I asked it for:
Despite needing a heart transplant and against the advice of her doctor, Mary Catherine moves to Uganda [a.k.a. third world place?] to work at a brand new orphanage. Whatever time she has left, Mary Catherine wants to spend it helping children—especially since there will be no children of her own. The only problem is Major League Baseball player Marcus Dillinger, the man she never meant to fall in love with. Neither Marcus nor Mary Catherine’s other friends—Tyler Ames and Sami Dawson—know just how serious her heart condition is.
Still, Marcus is sure in the depths of his soul that something isn’t right. Ultimately his correspondence with Mary Catherine leads him on a desperate life-or-death mission to rescue her and get her to a US hospital before time runs out.
Those bold bits are what I like to call "THINGS THAT MATCH MY VERY SPECIFIC CANON BASELINE, WOOHOO!" Also, Ryan is religious, so really...are angels that out of place? Who knows. And maybe if I can get this "Tyler and Sami" to look like people I care about -- maybe a crossover ship? I just read the summary for book 2, where the Mary/Marcus ship starts, and it appears Sami was Mary's roommate, and I'm thinking maybe Dianna Agron can turn up in the role? Giving me the dynamic I wanted from Hollow in the Land, which gives me a couple of options for Tyler -- I can salvage that half after all.
OKAY. IT HAS BEEN TWO HOURS AND I AM DONE. Thank you for coming to my Nonsense talk. (It was not coherent enough to be considered a TED talk).