Tag Archives: Psych

Five Favorite Holiday Movies That Make Great Gifts

If you’re stumped for a gift for your grandparents, grand aunt or just some grand “older” friends, holiday movies might be the answer.  They are inexpensive, will bring back memories (or maybe create some new ones) and are perfect for people who already have just about everything.

There are about a dozen movies I like that fall into the holiday category but the 5 listed below are at the top of my all-time favorites list.

A Christmas Carol
George C. Scott is my favorite Scrooge. I love his portrayal and I think Charles Dickens would have, too.  A solid script, good acting by all of the other players and a superb performance from Scott make this a favorite.  The costumes and the cinematography are also exceptional.  And some of the visual effects combined with the sound effects make for a few scary scenes.  All in all, a good story, well done.

Holiday Inn
The dancing of Fred Astaire, the singing of Bing Crosby and the romantic rivalry between the two make this a fun film to watch over and over again.  One of the things I love best about Holiday Inn is the music which is tied to a lot of the major holidays of the year.  In fact, Irving Berlin created or reused a number of songs with holiday themes including Washington’s Birthday, Easter Parade and what would become one of the bestselling recordings of all time, White Christmas.  I love this film and watch it at least 4 times a year!

The Bishop’s Wife
When an angel (Cary Grant) comes down from heaven to help a Bishop (David Niven), some not so heavenly sparks fly in this romantic, holiday comedy as the angel falls for the…Bishop’s wife (Loretta Young).  Toss in Monty Woolley and the Mitchell Boys Choir and you get a heavenly film for the holidays.   This is the original version and only available as an MGM set (with 2 other holiday movies) or as a download at Amazon.  But you can buy it from Turner Classic Movies for $12.99.

Holiday Affair
This  romantic comedy has a well-known cast of actors including Robert Mitchum,  Wendell Corey and, in the female lead, none other than Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother, Janet Leigh (also of Psycho fame).  Leigh plays a war widow who can’t afford to buy her son a toy train for Christmas. Mitchum buys the train and that’s when things get complicated.  Watch for Harry Morgan of MASH fame who is hilarious as a night-court judge who tries to get a handle on who is really in love with whom and who stole the salt and pepper shakers.   The movie is out of stock at Barnes & Noble but you can download this one at Amazon or or buy it in a set of with 3 other holiday movies for under $10.00.

Christmas In Connecticut
Barbara Stanwyck did some fine comedies in her career and this movie was one of the best. Stanwyck writes a food column for a very upscale magazine (think Gourmet) but she can’t cook.  It wouldn’t have mattered except her publisher decides to send her a war hero for her and her husband (which she doesn’t have) to entertain over the holidays. Stanwyck has to line up a husband, a baby and a chef who “helps out” in the kitchen to cover all the fibs she told to get the job. The result is hilarious.

I also love (and own) Love Actually

and The Psych holiday episodes, (Gus’s Dad May Have Killed Some Guy and Christmas Joy).

I own every one of these movies and sometimes I watch them in July!  But since it is the holiday season, it looks like it’s time to pop some popcorn, light a fire in the fireplace and settle in to a night of watching these holiday favorites with my favorite guy.

Happy holidays everyone!

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Filed under Gifts, Love and Marriage, Saving Money

Psyched! Won Tickets to Psych Premiere in NYC

Okay, so why would a 63-year-old woman whose pursuits are mostly intellectual be so psyched about winning tickets to the premiere of a television series?

The short answer is I LOVE Psych.

I have watched every episode of the first five seasons at least twice and pre-ordered Season 6 before the season has aired.  What makes Psych so special?

As a writer, I have to confess to loving the….wait for iiiiit…writing.  That’s right.  The team that cooks up the episodes for Psych must have a ball putting the scripts together.  Dialogue is hard to do; comedy is hard to do.  A comedy wrapped around murder and mayhem — impossible.  But somehow the writers pull it off, week after week.

I also have to call out the cast.  James Roday and Dule Hill make it look easy to be funny, fast and friends.  I love Corbin Berenson as Sean’s dad – the man who made the hyper aware monster named Sean Spencer and has to live with him, his “psychic” abilities and his odd sense of humor.

Timothy Omundson’s Lassiter is the quintessential uptight, by the book,  cop who keeps getting his hard-held beliefs tested.  And Juliet O’Hara, played by Maggie Lawson, is a good girl, good cop who packs a punch you wouldn’t believe.  (Watch Season 5 – Viagra Falls to see what I mean.)  Last but not least, there is the Chief – Kristen Nelson – who brings just the right touch of boss/parent to her role in the squad room cum asylum she runs.

If you asked what my favorite episode is, I would be hard pressed to tell you.  Homicidio is hilarious – a take off on Spanish soap operas as only Psych could do it.  Guest star Tim Curry brings  just the right amount of disdain to American Duos and Lassie’s interaction with co-star Gina Gershon is classic love-hate.  The cast sends up fashion models in Black & Tan in a way that makes me laugh out loud.  And who could stop laughing at Dual Spires alias Twin Peaks!

But laughter isn’t all this amazing cast and crew bring to the show.  Three episodes reveal the complexity of both the plots Psych offers and the actors hired to bring the scripts to life.  An Evening with Mr. Yang, Mr. Yin Presents and Yin 3 in 2D   showcase the writing and the acting.  Even though these episodes spanned three seasons, each had me glued to my chair, watching, waiting for the next twist or turn.

Psych is a departure from most of my usual fare.  When I say I’m watching mysteries, it usually means Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost or  Rosemary and Thyme.    All of these shows are British productions; all are intelligent, very well-acted and, for the most part, very serious.

Serious is not a word I would apply to Psych but I think I love the series because of the way it deals with difficult topics but always, always brings it back to the relationships of the cast members, how they live, work, fight and “find the bad guys” together, despite their differences.  Oh, and the fact that they make me laugh, every time.

So this over the hill baby boomer is dusting off her sneaks, pulling on her Psych t-shirt and heading for the metropolis! Psyched!!


Filed under Home Ec on Acid, Life & Death, Love and Marriage, Mysteries