Netflix Criticized For Appropriating Hallmark Christmas Movie Culture

It’s true!  I was cheesed into The Knight Before Christmas!

U.S.—Netflix has taken heavy criticism for committing the sin of cultural appropriation of cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.The accusations of cultural appropriation came as Netflix users noticed an increase in the number of corny, formulaic holiday films on the service. It was obvious, some say, that Netflix had appropriated the idea for the che …

Source: Netflix Criticized For Appropriating Hallmark Christmas Movie Culture

Outlander Based on Books – Coming to Netflix

Interesting article. Netflix has picked up the first two seasons.  Diana is working on another book. This article was published in Oprah Magazine on May 15. Follow link to read.

Gabaldon is currently working on the series’ ninth book titled Go Tell the Bees I’m Gone.

Source: Outlander Based on Books by Diana Gabaldon – Outlander Books in Order

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (Netflix 2018)


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I have been overdue for a good period drama and waiting patiently for the release of this film. In anticipation, I ordered the book but found it to be a compilation of letters and not written like a regular novel so I put it aside.

After seeing the trailer for the movie version, I’m so thankful it’s finally out.  There’s no disappointment whatsoever in this touching story staring Lily James.  As usual, I find her adorable, and her performance goes well in this sometimes heartbreaking story that eventually has a happy ever after.

The story is about Juliet Ashton, an author from London, who receives a letter after the war in 1946 from a peculiar group of people who calls themselves The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.  They are a book club that was formed on the Isle of Guernsey (a British island in the Channel), during the German occupation.  Curious about the group, Juliet travels to the location to meet those who make up the book club. In doing so, she learns of the years of occupation in which they endured and a very sad story about one of their members.

The story jumps back and forth from the present to the war, giving insight as to what actually happened to the characters now speaking to her in 1946.  Juliet wants to write about their experiences, but the club would prefer that she does not because of the pain it represents in their lives.

The others who star in the movie are some of your favorites, such as Tom Courtenay, Katherine Parkinson, and Penelope Wilton who does a wonderful job in her role. Add to the cast is Matthew Goode, and you have a well-rounded, experienced group of seasoned actors.

Though you may find the movie a bit slow in parts, it’s worth the scenes to take the slow walk on the beach or run around the pig pen to get the feel of the location and its people.  If you’re a period drama junkie or enjoy WW2 stories, check it out on Netflix.

Escape to the Country (BBC)

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Have you ever had a dream that you knew in your heart would never come true?  Are you brave enough to watch a show about that dream and torture yourself by seeing others live it instead?  Well, click your heels three times and say with me, “escape to the country in England.”

Currently streaming on Netflix is this wonderful BBC insight into country living.  It’s a reality show where individuals or couples are seeking to leave the bustling cities and find a property in a quaint village in the English countryside.  The host shows them three properties that fit into their desires (i.e. budget, number of bedrooms, size of lot/land, location), with the last one termed as the “mystery home.”  After viewing each of the properties, the home seekers guess the price before being told the actual listing.

The show covers a variety of counties in England.  What is nice about each location visited, is that the host introduces interesting tidbits about the small country village’s history and what they may be famous for in the way of special goods, i.e. leather, lace, candy, etc., and then shows examples of how these are made. (The lace one blew me away! I never knew the intricacy and hours of work for one piece of handmade lace.)  It gives the guests and the audience the flavor of the locality, along with stunning views of national parks, rolling hills, dramatic coastlines, etc.

Frankly, I’ve only been through three episodes shot in York, Wiltshire, and Devon.  Future episodes are Dorset, Shropshire, Scottish Highlands, West Wales, East Midlands, North Dorset,  Gloucestershire, Northumberland, Cornwall, Somerset, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire.

Usually, my mouth doesn’t drop open while watching television, but I’ve had a hard time keeping it shut while entering some of these properties.  From the typical country thatch roof to converted barns to small estates to Georgian-style houses, I’m green with jealousy wishing I could live in one of these fabulous places, in a country village setting.  Alas, life will probably never grant me that dream.  (Perhaps, I should be glad based on the murder rates on so many fictional British crime shows.)

On the downside of this series, you are left with the knowledge of which house the guests like but not given the knowledge of what house they actually purchase!

If house hunting bores you, this is not the show for you.  However, if you’re curious about English properties in the country, their cost, etc., you’ll love the show even though it’s not a five-star British period drama with a handsome duke to sweep you off your feet.  Instead the properties will enthrall and cause your heart race to increase.

Oh, you lucky Brits!  I’m green with envy.

Kurt Seyit & Sura (Turkey Television Series 2014)

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If anyone would have said to me that I would enjoy a television series with subtitles from Turkey, I would tell them they were crazy. However, proven wrong, like many other swooning women I’ve encountered in the Period Drama Group on Facebook, is this interesting series entitled, Kurt Seyit and Sura. Unlike other fictional tales, this series is based on a true story of romance during the turbulent times of World War I and the changing political climate in Russia, Crimea, and Turkey. It’s romantic and heartbreaking.

Surprisingly well done, except for a few oddities you might find difficult, it consists of forty plus episodes now streaming on Netflix. Be ready to listen to the Turkish language, however, I understand it is also available and dubbed in other languages such as Spanish. If you don’t have Netflix, you can also find clips on YouTube.  Unfortunately, there is not an English version. The subtitles are in yellow and sometimes difficult to read or flash by way too fast to get through the entire sentence. Nevertheless, you can glue yourself during those really good portions and read everything to catch the drift of what is going on. The only problem is that your eyes may drift from the words to the male star, who is gorgeously handsome with mesmerizing eyes. His name is Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and his love interest, Sura, is played by Farah Zeynep Abdullah.

This true story is about star-crossed lovers from different cultures who fall madly in love with one another. Seyit’s father expects him to marry a Turkish Muslim woman, while Sura’s family expects her to marry a Russian noble. The story begins during World War I. Seyit is a Lieutenant in the Tsar’s army. He’s a well-respected soldier but has the reputation of being a womanizer. Sura walks into a room at a ball he’s attending and immediately he falls in love at first sight. She’s is young, innocent, and beautiful. As soon as she sees him, the feeling is mutual.

However, as the story continues and they get to know one another, obstacles arise. He goes off to war, and while he’s away, the rebels who plot the overthrow of the Tsar are busy beginning a revolution on the home front. Seyit, however, is Turkish by birth and his family’s home is in Crimea. If anything, this show has sent me searching the history books and trying to understand these turbulent times and culture that I know very little about.


When the war ends, Seyit and his friends are considered enemies of the new regime, since there were the Tsar’s soldiers. On the other side of the coin, Sura comes from a noble family, and she, like many other families she knows, flee Russia from those who would kill them. The heartbreaking outcome of their lives being torn apart by war, revolution, and rebels continues the series. Eventually, many of them flee to occupied Istanbul for refuge, which is not without danger. All I can say, is be prepared to watch a love story unfold that you wish for a happy ending, but in real life ends up much differently.

The story’s first half set in Russia and Crimea is far different than the second half set in Istanbul.  When that part of the story begins, it’s not as engaging as their relationship begins to deteriorate due to various factors. Nevertheless, it’s worth the watch.

After doing research about the real Seyit and Sura, I discovered the sad tale that in 1945 Seyit committed suicide, having never been able to marry Sura. However, her name was on his dying lips. A book about their love affair was written in Turkish, which the series is based off. An English version of the book is now available on Amazon.

Is this production as professional as a British or U.S. production? No, but it has its qualities. The music changes often according to the characters from a love-swept melody to a dark Russian tune for the traitor in the story. Eventually, the musical soundtrack gets a bit annoying, but if you like period dramas and a good love story, you will overlook the obvious lower quality tones of the series.  Below is a YouTube rendition of the music that represents their love affair, which is the most haunting song of the entire series.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a man on a white horse to sweep you off your feet, this series is for you.