The End of The Magicians

I have so many emotions that next week is the finale Magicians episode… ever. When I read the news I actually started crying, one: because I was not expecting it… at all and two: because this show has been such a highlight for me. I love the story, I love the characters, the actors, the entire concept of it. To be losing something that quickly became so special to me… quite honestly sucks. I never read the books, but from what I’ve read, the story John McNamara and Sera Gambles put together have been only loosely based on the books, and they’ve done an incredible job. From the very beginning, I was hooked, I’m so glad that while aimlessly browsing Netflix probably a year ago, I stopped on this one because it’s been such a treat of TV viewing and an excellent chance to get lost in magic.

As much as the story as a whole captivated me from the beginning, the characters, together and on their own, truly make everything come together in the most spectacular way. While it would seem, at least at the start, to me that Quentin is meant to be the main character, everyone else has their own stories too. And they get their equal time to shine, and it’s clear that their journeys are equally important. They’re all are incredibly meaningful and complex and extraordinary.

Let us chat about those extraordinary characters.

Quentin: As a nerd who constantly is allowing herself to get lost in books, and fictional TV shows and movies, to see the character of Q hold on to the story of Fillory so much made my heart beam. Even though his illusions of that world were quite honestly shattered when reality hits, it was still important for me to see the “main” character on a show feel that passionately about a fictional world. Q had such a big heart, and because of that heart, and the characters affect on me, I was more than heartbroken when he died. While I understood why, story-wise, it could make sense, I bawled my freaking eyes out. I’ll miss Q’s quirkiness, his heart, and of course, the life with Eliot, in THIS timeline that never was.

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Elliot and Margo: The team that is strong on their own but 10x stronger together. Margo and Eliott might not be the high king or queen of fillory anymore, but they’ll forever be my king and queen.

Eliot: From the moment we met him, he became one of my favorite characters and the more and more complex that he became the more I fell in love with him. It doesn’t hurt that Hale Appleman is an absolutely stunning actor either; with one hell of a singing voice. He’s one of those characters where you feel like when he’s sad, you’re sad, when he’s happy, you’re happy, you know what I mean? I’m truly going to miss Eliot and I hope to see more of Hale Appleman’s talent sooner rather than later!

Margo: Following Margo through season four, without Eliot, was an incredible journey. We got a little bit of an inside look into what is behind that tall and strong emotional wall that margo has built so beautifully around herself. Being the king of Fillory is important to her but not as important as saving Eliot. This is one thing that really highlights the importance of this friendship. She is loud, she is sassy, she knows what she wants, and I just absolutely adore everything about her. oh and the eye patch? one liners? come on. I’ll be the first to admit that I watch a lot of TV and Margo Hanson is hands down one of the best characters ever. Summer Bishil is an absolute dream.  I’ll deeply miss those sassy one-liners and watching Margo open up and grow in the beautiful way we’ve seen throughout the seasons. #OvaryUp

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Julia: Starting out as Q’s best friend, a Brakebills reject and an outsider at first and became one incredibly strong lady. My favorite thing about her is her determination. She was always determined to be more than she was, her stubborn determination is motivating. Her ability to overcome tragedy is inspiring. Julias decision to walk away from being a goddess in order to save the quest is a testament to Julia’s character.

Alice: I love how in the beginning she was afraid to be the smart one but then eventually she was like whatever, I have an idea, move over and she let her brain be her greatest strength. She no longer saw it as a weakness and I think she found her voice in that. She made some mistakes along the seasons, and there were a few times where I could be founding screaming “Alice what are you doing?!”, but I also admire how she still says she did everything she did because she thought it was the right thing to do.

Kady:  Kady is most definitely a complicated, complex character. She is without question strong as hell, she is a fighter, one of the best, in my opinion. She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and get shit done. Oh and Jades voice? uhfreakinmazing.

Penny: Penny’s ability to travel makes him quite important and of course, different than all the rest. While Penny was an ass, I was heartbroken when he died because I loved that part of him. I loved his sass and his attitude and while Penny 23 is quite wonderful, I do miss the parts that make the 2  different earth Pennys so different. I do enjoy that we’ve gotten a little more backstory on Penny in the last few episodes and while it was a little sad, I’m glad we at least got a glimpse.

Fen: I deeply love how innocent Fen is, and how much knowledge of fillory he has because she is a Fillorian. She has a much different perspective of things and I absolutely love that. One thing I really wish we had more time to explore is Fen coming into her own. We sometimes saw glimpses and in the last episode we saw her stand up to everyone, I just wish we had a little more time to get a little bit more.

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Josh: The Chef. I love when Josh tries to make everyone feel better with something he baked because it’s such a mundane human non-magic having thing to do (Even though he is very much so a magician). I feel like the character of Josh also has the ability to lighten things up too, which is always welcome. I also must say that Margo and Josh together is something I never would have expected but something that I absolutely adore.

On top of the “main” characters, there were so many wonderful others! Whenever Todd showed up I was always guaranteed to laugh. Marina was so bad but I still kind of loved it. Zelda was the character I never expected to love as much as I do. She was so stiffy in the beginning, and while she remained true to herself through the seasons, she also opened up just a LITTLE and that was nice. Dean Fogg was just fun. Not only is Rick Worthy absolutely wonderful in anything he does, but the character of Dean Fogg was also just written in the best way. Alices parents; they were quite interesting which is why I’m mentioning them. While they weren’t exactly what Alice always hoped, they certainly added something different to the ,show. The character of the dark king has been wonderful, and Sean Maguire is PERFECT in this role, just absolutely perfect. Mayakovsky, Martin and Jane Chatwin, the despisable Christopher Plover, all that I’ve mentioned and many more (that I have inevitably forgotten), all in their own right, brought magic to any story or any scene they were in. The show has a cast of immeasurable talent and I will 100% be tuning in to any of there next adventures!

Let’s talk about episodes!

Whenever I do a post like this, and quite honestly, so many of my shows are ending, and I’m sick of it… just sick. BUT whenever I do these I’m also super anxious I’ll miss out on an episode that was so wonderful, I’ll be kicking myself in the ass for not highlighting it, so with the Magicians, honestly every episode is wonderful in its own way so I’m highlighting the ones that immediately came to my terrible memory when I thought about putting this post together!

First off, THE MUSICALS. Every single god damn one of them. My favorite one though? Season four, Episode 10. Not only is this episode one of my favorites because it’s a highlight in Margo’s journey to save Eliot, but it also has one of my absolutely favorite revelations and speeches from Margo and then to top it off it has the most badass musical compilations ever. It is truly an episode I could watch a hundred times.

A life in the day: Season Three, Episode Five. Q and Eliot share their lives together in another timeline. There are clips of this episode that just instantly play in my head whenever I think about it because it is just that memorable and magical.

Escape from the happy place: Season Four, Episode Five: When Eliot has to face his worst memory/regret, and he recalls Q and himself talking about their life in the other timeline, and Q brings up it becoming a reality. It’s clear that Eliot is freaking out, so he just deters the entire idea. I could not stop yelling the TV that Eliot was being an absolute idiot, and he knew he was, but at the same time, I get why he was probably so afraid of the idea. It was a heartbreakingly, beautiful moment.

Remedial Battle Magic: Season One, Episode Eleven. I think does a really good job of highlighting how complex sexuality and well… love can be. Quentin ends up having an intense attraction to Margo and Eliot while still loving Alice. Eliot tries to cover up heartbreak with it, but it doesn’t work, and Margo is 100% unapologetic about it, which I love.  I also appreciated that it didn’t just happen, and then it was never spoken of or had no effect after. It had a lot of effect on Q and Alices’ relationship, it opened the door for Eliot and Qs feelings and more.

Six different stories about magic: Season Three, Episode Eight. The fact that so much of this episode was completely silent was stunning. I was in complete awe. Marlee Beth Matlin is an incredible actress, and her work in this episode was nothing but gorgeous. I also loved seeing more about Zelda through the addition of her character.

The Fillorian Candidate: Season three, Episode Twelve: What sticks out to me most, being the animal lover that I am, is that Margo won the crown because she listened to the animals who take up most of the Fillorian Population. It was such a unique way to make this happen.

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No better to be safe than sorry: Season Four, Episode Thirteen. Quentins Death hurts to even think about, but the episode and the write off was wonderfully done. I also love the stories that came after this moment. I love how the writers had all the characters deal with his death differently, in their own ways. While Julia and Alice pretty much isolated themselves, they still did so differently. I think it was an important message as to how people can grieve the same person so differently.

The mountain of ghosts: Season Five, Episode Three. I had wanted a conversation between Alice and Eliot about Q for a while, but I loved the decision to wait it out, and make it so hard because it is a hard conversation! They both loved him deeply, and I believe that Q loved them both, deeply and to find common ground on that concept was important for both of them to begin healing from the loss. I think it was beautifully done.

Garden Variety Homicide: Season Five, Episode Eight: Eliot and Margo switching bodies was an entirely new level to their friendship and connection that I didn’t know I needed, but I’m so happy that we got to explore. Summer Bishil and Hale Appleman did such an incredible job of interpreting each other’s characters, it was so much fun to watch.

A huge thank you to Lev Grossman, who wrote the books ( that I fully intend on reading) to John McNamara and Sera Gambles for making The Magicians what it is. To everyone behind the camera who gave us the perfect shots, the music, all of it. The INCREDIBLE cast who brought these characters to life in such a mindblowing way. I’m grateful for this story, the inspiration it gave me, the hours of getting lost in it on Netflix, and I can’t wait to follow the writers and creators and cast on their next adventures!

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Glennon Doyle’s: Untamed.

Since the moment that Glennon Doyle announced she would soon be releasing another book, I was ecstatic. I always intend for these kinds of posts to be a review of the book, but they end up being love letters to them, in a way. I truly love this book, and love can be messy. As you’ll continue to read, this is not a poised article of any kind. It is a post of my feelings towards this incredible book with no real intention of perfection. But I do hope, after reading, you’ll realize we could all use Glennon’s words in our lives.

I’ve said it time and time again, but her book “Love Warrior” truly changed me. It helped me to open my eyes to think that I had firmly had my eyes closed to… the thought of something different. The thought that somehow I could come out of my mess, whole. In Untamed, I found myself believing that while I was still a mess, that mess was just a part of me, that mess was not me. I took control of that mess, owned up to it and let it free. A line in this book that she comes back to a couple of times is about being a god damn cheetah. When I first read it, it was like a lightbulb went off inside of me. Much like the cheetah she mentions, I’m also not crazy, I’m just not meant to be caged or wait for it… Tamed. But like many, I’ve been conditioned to be tamed. To stay in line, to be quiet, not take up space, keep my thoughts to myself so any thought of going out of line, speaking up, was beyond terrifying. But the moment you realize that it is okay… not just okay but a god damn right to release yourself in order to find yourself… it’s quite a feeling.

I am a god damn cheetah.

Glennon has this uncanny ability to take the words right out of my brain and put them on paper and help me to better understand exactly what I’ve been trying to articulate to myself. The journey of finding yourself, loving yourself, releasing yourself, being yourself is not easy. In a world where everyone seems to be telling you to sit down and shut up, it is incredibly hard to stand up and say no thank you, I will no longer be silent. It is incredibly hard to find love in what you see are imperfections, to realize they do not define you, they’re just a part of you, and every part of you is wonderful. It’s all okay because we can do hard things.

We can do hard things.

Since reading this line in untamed, I find myself thinking of that phrase a lot. When I’m not sure I can do something, I tell myself, “we can do hard things” I take a deep breath, and I do my very best at whatever that thing is that I thought I couldn’t do.

Glennon and I seem to be very different. We don’t have much in common, and yet we do, We’ve had different life paths, and yet, I still manage to relate to her struggle and her journey to find herself, be herself, love herself. I hope one day to relate to the success of being exactly who you were always meant to be. I struggle with food, just in the opposite way Glennon had, I struggle with self-image, I struggle with depression, and I struggle SO HARD with anxiety. I’m emotional, and I’m empathic, and when I feel things, I feel them so hard. And for the longest time, I saw all of that as negatives, and it took until probably only two years before I started to believe that they were positive things, unique things, good things… and Glennon’s words about her daughter strengthened that knowing. In her book, she writes,” Tish is sensitive, and that is her superpower” I had never thought about it that way, but I’ll be damned if I never see my sensitive self as a superpower again… because it’s the truth.

Untamed also makes me feel better to know that while I’m 27, and I’m not quite there yet, that the journey to becoming untamed is not a quick one or an easy one. Sometimes you do need to fall down so hard, to understand and find the strength to get back up, to believe that you will get back up, and you will uncage yourself… maybe not today… but someday… as long as you keep getting up.

During these uncertain times, my anxiety has been really high, as I’m sure I’m not alone in that. I’ve found that journaling and using my planner are helpful tools and relatively new tools. Lately, I’ve found myself taking phrases from “untamed” and writing them in my planner. It gives me a calmness to write them, and calmness to look back at them. It’s something I’m grateful for, Glennon I am grateful that you’ve shared your word, there are not enough words I can ramble on with that can express that.

On top of all of that, Glennon’s sobriety, her found love with Abby, her blended family, her fight with Together Rising, and so much more are all so incredibly inspiring to me. I’m only 27, and while sometimes that number freaks me out, I’m learning that it’s okay to STILL be figuring myself out. We’re all still figuring ourselves out, and in the words of Sophia Bush that I just adore, “We’re allowed to be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time”.

I believe I’ll be finding myself referring back to Glennon’s words in Untamed, much like I’ve found myself rereading her words in Love Warrior quite a few times as I’m navigating this world. It’s clear that inspiration and motivation that comes from others is helpful, but it’s also clear that everyone’s journey is their own, no one is the same, and you need to find the strength within to get yourself out.  But in knowing that, It’s also clear that knowing others have made it to the seemingly “other side” is beneficial to know, especially on days when it feels like there is no “other side”.

On both the good days and the bad days, I’ll continue to remember two things from “Untamed”:

I am a god damn cheetah, who can do hard things.

I highly recommend following Glennon on Instagram @/glennondoyle, on twitter @/glennondoyle, following the incredible work of together rising, and, of course, grabbing a copy of Untamed (and honestly, Love Warrior too).

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No matter what the mood, music always helps.

A major way that I help keep my anxiety in check is music. As my anxiety has been a little nutty lately, I have been turning to music a lot. If I’m doing homework and I’m having a hard time concentrating because my mind is wandering, music helps. If I’m journaling or using my planner, but it’s still too loud, music helps. If, like right now, I’m putting a blog post together, music helps (shout out to Kelsea Ballerini for the new album that I have blasting right now). If I can’t sleep, and my usual ocean sounds are not doing the trick, music helps. If I decide I need to go for a drive, music helps…

Music always helps

So since it is Friday, and music is usually released on Fridays, I figured it was a hell of a time to brag about some incredible music that’s been released in the last couple of months. I tried to keep it to one artist to one song, but you’ll see I broke my own rule for a couple of them because it was absolutely necessary.

 

Songs that I’m vibing with right now. 

1. Kelsea Ballerini dropped a new album one week ago, self-titled: Kelsea. Over the last year or so she has become one of my absolute favorite artists, country or otherwise, so I was very excited for this album drop. In all honesty, I’d tell you to listen to the entire album because the album is stellar. There is not a single song on there that I do not absolutely love, but I did narrow it down to four that I have on repeat the MOST. (Also highly recommend listening to LA and Club as well, she dropped those as singles way before the album dropped and they’re so relatable!)

  • Hole in the bottle
  • The other girl- Duet with Halsey
  • The way I used to
  • Half of my hometown- Duet with Kenny Chesney

2. Niall Horan also dropped an album a little bit ago. I was never much for one direction, a song here and there, and then with his other solo projects there was a song here and there that I’d love but with this album? I truly adore every single song on the entire record. The entire album has the most wonderful vibe surrounding it and I felt wonderful after playing through it! I managed to narrow it down to the four that I’m loving the most, but honestly run through the ENTIRE album and you’ll probably thank me for it later.

  • Small talk
  • Dear Patience
  • Cross your mind
  • Still

3. Halsey dropped her highly anticipated (at least most certainly by me) new album, Manic, in January and truly what a wonderful way to kick off the new year. I pretty much love anything Halsey does and this album was absolutely no exception. I also managed to narrow the album down to four of my absolute favorites.

  • 3am
  • I hate everybody
  • you should be sad
  • without me

Okay, I’ll stop breaking my own rule now.

4. Demi Lovato: I love me.

5. Gabby Barrett: I hope.

6. Jonas Brothers: What a man gotta do

7. Dixie Chicks: Gaslighter

8. All-time low- Sleeping in (Their new album drops April 3rd and I could not be more excited about it).

9. Alisha Pace- Like I like me

10. Four years strong: Get out of my head

11. Sam Hunt: Sinning with you

12. Bush: Flowers on a grave

13. Luke Bryan: One Margarita

14. Taylor Swift: Only the young

15. 5 seconds of summer: Wildflower

16. Harry Styles: Adore you

17. Selena Gomez- Lose you to love me

There are so many more songs that I have floating around on my millions of playlists but to not lose my mind I’m trying to pick which ones to include I kept it to ones that have been recently released,  and maybe someday I’ll conquer the terrifying thought of ranking my favorite songs, but we’re so not ready to tackle that project. My musical vibe is all over the place. For me, it’s less about the genre and more about the content of the song. There are times where I’m all about country music, and times where I’m all about that pop-punk music, but for the most part, my playlists are full of every kind of genre imaginable (except usually rap because I usually just cannot).

Does music help you?  Are your playlists as out there as mine can be? Do you have a song or artist that should be listening to that I didn’t mention? Tell me! Drop me a comment or tweet me @/amandaraee_x3 I wanna hear your suggestions!

Planners, Journals, and Anxiety

I am always looking for tips and tricks to handle my anxiety. I’ve talked about it before that music, TV, my favorite movies, a hot shower, a good book, cooking, writing it out, are all things that I do when my anxiety gets to be too much. Recently, with the coronavirus, my anxiety has been all over the place. I initially thought I was handling it all just fine, but then I went back to work (I work in retail, we’re not closing, probably ever, and I have to be there), and it turns out, jokes on me, I am so not handling it well. It’s only gotten worse since then, as I am more and more paranoid about not so much getting it myself but bringing home and giving it to my mom. BUT I found a new strategy that is being incredibly helpful in getting the job done.

Let us chat about it

A while back I started making it a point to follow some Supernatural, SPNFamily members on twitter, one of those people ended up being Shelley or @/Quest_Journals on twitter! I’m not a very organized person, at all, but I have always entertained the idea of getting a planner and getting my shit together, both in life and with this blog, but every planner I’d get was honestly… lame. It didn’t intrigue me to keep opening it and writing it in so I’d just stop, and I’d still be unbelievably unorganized with a bunch of half touched planners. That changed when I first saw Shelley’s journals! Not only does she have Supernatural merchandise, which that alone would have been enough for me, but she also has Harry Potter merchandise (all officially licensed!) and I instantly fell in love with the products from just the pictures. I had the extra money so I ordered a Supernatural planner for my blog organization, keeping track of the abundance of TV shows I’m currently watching, and more. Then I ordered a Ravenclaw Harry Potter one for my day to day things, such as work, school assignments, plans, appointments, things of that nature. I also got some super cute stickers because you must have stickers. What I thought was just buying some cute tools to get myself more organized, and have a little more control over things, turned out to also be a tool to help me with my anxiety, especially during this pandemic.

Since buying the planners I have really committed to the entire process. I have stickers, pens, washi tape, markers, oh so many markers. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to just journaling and planners (THERE ARE SO MANY IDEAS), and after a couple of weeks, I think I finally have it all figured out, even if I do keep changing things up! I have all the planners, my markers, stickers, etc. in a tote bag and when I have the time I take everything out, either laid out on my bed or on my desk, depending on where I’m feeling like sitting, and I just get lost in them. Writing things out, finding quotes to add, decorating it, I’ve noticed hours go by without realizing it because I’m just focused on that and nothing else. It also keeps my hands very busy, which most of my other coping options do not, and so I’m not picking up my phone constantly reading updates and such that are not always helpful or calming for me.

While looking for cute ideas on Pinterest the other night, I got lost, as I often do while browsing, in the world of bullet journals, and lettering, and such. Everything looks so cute, I wanted to be able to add things like that to my journals and planners, as I said I’m ALL IN here. The only problem is that I do not have a creative bone in my body, artistically I mean. I can write, I love to write, but art? Like drawing? I absolutely cannot, and I envy everyone who can because it’s a totally foreign thing to me. BUT what I realized is that if I wanted to incorporate these kinds of things into my journaling or planning they didn’t have to be super fancy or perfect because we’ll that’s not me anyway. So I did something super simple in the bullet journal part of Shelley’s planners, and it took my mind off of things for a while. It was simple and uncreative, yet it was exactly what I needed to do.

The point of this post is to one: Tell you of a new way I’ve managed to help my anxiety, especially in a time like this. My anxiety is really taking me for a ride, and even though I’m aware of it, it doesn’t mean I have a handle on it. I think that having something to control, like what I put in my planner, what color marker I chose to use, which stickers, what I end up putting into my bullet journaling helps because it is all something I CAN control, and for me, it’s important to find that.

The other point is to tell you that if you’re looking to start journaling or planning, Shelley’s planners are not only fantastic if you’re in the Supernatural or Harry Potter fandoms but the quality of them is AMAZING and I highly recommend them. There are so many little details in them that make them so special such as the Harry Potter characters birthdays in the Harry Potter planners, the pig in a poke logo on every Tuesday in the Supernatural planner, the stickers that come with the planner and the ones you can buy on her website to go with them. After the planners, I also bought the Sam Winchester Journal and the Supernatural smash journal. I’m using the Sam Winchester Journal to process my feelings about the shows ending and I plan on using the Supernatural smash journal as a way to celebrate it. All of which I have been SO happy with, and would recommend them to anyone and everyone.

Here is a little insight into what I’ve been doing with my planners! 

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The top picture is pretty much what I started with and then the second picture is almost all of what I have now, including the millions of different markers that are in that cute little blue bag I got at Target on clearance! I have rarely ever had a reason to go into Michaels before but I went in one day, real quick, just to grab some stickers and I ended up just walking around for half an hour because there was so much to chose from. Now I notice that no matter what store I go in (Before this quarantine business of course) I am always looking for more crafty things!

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Above, is first, my new journal. The one I mentioned that I’m writing out all the feelings I’m having over SPN ending. It’s been a great tool when I feel something erupting. The second and last picture are of the Supernatural smash journal that Shelley just recently released, it has the CUTEST designs inside, including the one I show here, and I think it’s a really great way to celebrate SPN.

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Remember above where I said I got lost in the bullet journal that I wish was fancy but I cannot art in any way? This is what I did. I just wrote out the 12 songs that I am REALLY loving right now. Some are new, some are older, but I currently have them all on repeat and they make me feel good. Honestly, the only reason all the squares on the left there are all the same size is because of the dots in the journal because otherwise, you’d be seeing many variations of squares and rectangles, I kid you not. I even had to practice drawing the doodles on the side beforehand because I knew I wouldn’t get it right the first time. It’s uncreative and not fancy but like I said I got the idea off of Pinterest and it took my mind off the world, and kept my phone out of my hands, for at least a little while.

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This planner is my Ravenclaw Harry Potter planner which I use for work hours, school assignments, appointments, events and so on. I’ve also recently been playing around with a mood tracker, that’s what those hearts are, I don’t know if I’ll keep this one or try something new but I think it’s a good thing to track for me. I’m also working on a plan to add some self-care tracking in here as well. At first, I thought that sticker placement needed to be properly placed but then I realized it’s my planner who really cares where I put them? I do love adding words on the left-hand side whether its song lyrics, quotes from the internet, a movie or a book and it usually coincides with how I’m feeling.

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This is my Supernatural planner! I use this one to plan out my blog posts because I’m really trying to focus on organizing those. I’m tracking book releases, TV shows, movie release days, and so on. I add quotes that are meaningful like the one I have on the last row of Tuesday which is from Glennon Doyle’s new book “Untamed”, The top square says “Family Don’t End in Blood” because SPN returned on Monday and then on the bottom of the left side I have a quote from season one of Roswell New Mexico because season two premiered on Monday night as well. On the right bottom side, I’m tracking how I’m feeling that week as well and I recently added a what I achieved this week section because even if it’s something small or “silly” it’s important to track the good along with the bad.  I’ve noticed that some weeks are full of things, and some weeks just are not and that it doesn’t matter how full the planner is! I do not know why I worry about these things, but I do. It’s not like I have a full calendar of outings to add because I’m an introvert and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have not been sleeping well, I’m not as focused as I should be, I’m a little bit of a mess, BUT I’m really glad that I found something new to help. It wouldn’t have been possible to plan, but having this new escape came at the exact right time that I needed it with this pandemic. If you’re interested in what my Pinterest board looks like involving planning and journaling, click the icon on the home page and it will take it right to my page. And even more important if you like Harry Potter, if you like Supernatural if you’re thinking about planners and journals if you’re looking for a way to cope or celebrate the end of Supernatural if you want to support a member of the SPN Family, if you want to support small business; especially during a very difficult time as is right now, then go to https://conquestjournal.com/ and order some gorgeous items. They were also available on amazon but right now with the pandemic, amazon is only shipping out essential items, but keep it in mind when the world gets better. The Harry Potter planners are available from target online, I got mine here —> https://www.target.com/p/2020-harry-potter-conquest-planner-7-34-x-9-34-ravenclaw/-/A-76627237. I would also highly recommend following Shelley on Instagram @/conquestjournals, on twitter @/Quest_Journals for wonderful content including but not limited to when she’s having sales, or her products are available somewhere new, and she always gives the heads up when there is a Harry Potter movie marathon on TV, which I ALWAYS appreciate.

So there is my rant on planners, journaling, anxiety and my love of Con*Quest Journals! Do you have journaling or planner ideas? Do you have new ways of dealing with your anxiety that you want to share? Leave a comment, or send me a tweet @/amandaraee_x3 because I’m all ears!

Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV shows on Netflix to binge on!

I am a Sci-fi/ fantasy TV LOVER

and I know I’m not alone.

I know that so many are quarantined, whether self-induced or not, (stay inside, wash your hands, be smart, be safe <3). Also, it’s Sunday, and maybe someone is just looking for a few shows to dive into to end their days on a positive note. Either way, I thought it was a good time to browse through Netflix and find my favorite Sci-Fi TV shows that they have, that I would highly recommend for anyone who loves the genre and is looking for something! At the end, I also added six Netflix TV shows that are not sci-fi related and just as binge-worthy as the rest!

Let us jump in!

1. The Vampire Diaries—Created by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. Based on the books of L.J. Smith. Dive into the world of vampires, werewolves, witches, and humans combined with love, high school, secrets, and so much more. The first of what has turned into three installments of this wild, crazy world. Starring Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Candice Accola-King, and many more. The show is wrapped, and there are eight seasons on Netflix.

2. The Originals—Created by incredible Julie Plec. Follow the first vampire family, through trials of life, love, revenge, family, and everything in between. The second installment of the vampire phenomenon that kicked off from TVD. Starring Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis, Claire Holt, and more. The show is wrapped, and there are five seasons on Netflix.

3. Legacies—Created again by the incredible by Julie Plec. The third and current installment of this world follows a new generation in the same town of mystic falls. Studying at the Salvator School for the young and gifted brings together the daughter of Klaus, and the twin daughters of Caroline/Jo and Alaric along with other gifted kids who happen to be witches, vampires, werewolves, a phoenix, and there’s even a fairy. Fighting monsters, and navigating normal and supernatural life. Season one is on Netflix, season two is currently airing on TV. Starring Danielle Rose Russell, Kaylee Bryant, Jenny Boyd, Matthew Davis Aria Shahghasemi, Quincy Fouse, and many more.

(I would recommend watching TVD, then the Originals, and then Legacices if you really want to get truly engulfed in this stunning world).

4. Supernatural—Created by Eric Kripke. Saving people hunting things, the family business. Two brothers, angels, demons, the king of hell, a town drunk, a couple of wayward ladies, and many more intriguing characters bring us through an incredible fifteen season story. Starring Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and many, many more. There are fourteen seasons currently on Netflix, with the fifteenth and final season wrapping up on the CW soon.

5. The Magicians—Created by the incredible Sera Gamble and John McNamara. Based on the novels of Lev Grossman. A world of secret academies, magical students, love, existence, new worlds, and danger around what ends up seeming to be around every corner. Starring Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Dudley, Hale Appleman, Summer Bishil, and more. There are four seasons on Netflix, with the fifth and final season finishing up on SYFY now.

6. V-Wars—Created by William Laurin and Glenn Davis. A Netflix original series with an ancient disease, vampire-like symptoms, a world is shaken up, and a doctor who is desperately trying to save it  Starring, Ian Somerhalder, Adrian Holms, Laura Vandervoort, and more. It currently has one season on Netflix, with the hopes of a season two still being awaited announcement.

7. The Order—Created by Dennis Heaton. This Netflix original brings us special universities with big secret societies, magic, monsters, family secrets, and more. Starring, Jake Manley, Sarah Grey, Adam Dimarco, and more. Season two is coming soon! One of my favorite accidental finds!

8. Roswell, New Mexico—Created by the ultra-talented Carina Adly MacKenzie. Get lost in a world with Cowboys, aliens, love, mystery, and so, so much more. Starring. Jeanine Mason, Nathan Parsons, Michael Vlamis, Tyler Blackburn, and many more. Season one is on Netflix, and season two will premiere on the CW on Monday! If you need any more reason to watch this one, check out my post here —> https://missraee.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/7-reasons-to-watch-roswell-new-mexico/

9. Colony—Created by Carlton Cuse. One of the most heartbreaking of cancellations I’ve encountered, I believe there was way more story to tell. Luckily though, it was able to be wrapped up decently. The takeover by outside forces, occupation vs. the rebellion, family, tragedy, and so much more. Starring Josh Holloway, Srah Wayne Callies, Peter Jacobson, Tory Kittle, and more. There are three seasons!

10. Bitten—Created by Daegan Fryklind. While it seems many sci-fi/fantasy TV shows focus on magic or vampires, this one is very werewolf centric. The battle between the animal and the human side of only living female werewolf, torn between her pack and her desire for more. Starring Laura Vandervoort, Greyston holt, Greg Bryk, and more. This was another accidental find that I wish had more time to tell more of a story, but again, it was able to wrap up quick beautifully. There are three seasons.

11. Legends of Tomorrow—Created by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, and Phil Klemmer. It was a must to add some superhero life into this list, and while I could have easily added Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and/or Black Lightening to this list, I felt the need to highlight this one instead. Bringing together heroes and villains, time-traveling to protect the timeline, crazy costumes, and incredible adventures. Starring Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Maisie Richardson, Nick Zano, Tala Ashe, and more. There are four seasons on Netflix, and season five is currently airing on the CW.

12. Once Upon A Time—Created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Fairytales clash with the modern world in the most incredible way, with a little magic, a little love, a bunch of stories all wrapped up into one. Staring Lana Parrilla, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Robert Carlyle, and more. All seven seasons are available on Netflix.

13. The 100—Created by Jason Rothenberg, A post-apocalyptic gem of a story that is very different than most shows. Based on a novel by Kass Morgan,  it stars Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Lindsey Morgan, Marie Avgeropoulos, and more. There are six seasons of Netflix with season seven coming to The CW later this year.

14. Stranger Things—Created by the Duffer Brothers, Matt, and Ross. Young kids, small town, incredible mystery, terrifying creatures that I thought might be a little too much for me, but thankfully me and my scaredy-cat self have powered through. Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Winona Ryder, David harbour and more. All three installments of the show are on Netflix, and a fourth installment has been confirmed.

 

Bonus TV gems that are not non-sci-fi related, but so dang good:

1. YOU—Created by the incredible Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, a psychological thriller starring Penn Badgley that is so good and so insane you cannot look away. There are two seasons currently on Netflix.

2. Greys Anatomy—Created by Shonda Rhimes, an incredible Medical Drama starring Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens JR., and more. There are fifteen seasons on Netflix with season sixteen airing right now on ABC.

3. Scandal— Also Created by Shonda Rhimes, Scandal is a political thriller that stars Kerry Washington that will blow you away. All seven incredible seasons are available on Netflix.

4. Virgin River—Based on the Virgin River novels by Robyn Carr, this romance drama was produced for TV by Reel World Management. Follow a nurse practitioner as she goes from big-time LA to a small town in northern California, searching for a change and gets so much more. Starring, Alexandra Breckenridge, Marin Henderson, Tim Matheson, Annette O’Toole, and more. What I thought was a regular romance movie, was a 10 episode TV show that gave me more than I bargained for.

5. Dead to me—Created by Liz Feldman. TV comedy with a whole lot of drama stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in an incredible 10 episode Netflix original with love, betrayal, friendship, grief, and so much more.

6. Shameless—Created by John Wells. Originally airing on Showtime, this comedy-drama follows the magnificently screwed up Gallagher family through their trials and tribulations of life. It’s so good, yet so messed up, and yet, you cannot stop watching. Starring Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Jeremy Allen White, Cameron Monaghan, Emma Kenney, and more. There are nine seasons on Netflix right now, with season ten wrapped on showtime a little while ago, and season eleven being the final season this is a great show to get lost in.

7 Reasons to watch Roswell, New Mexico!

I am always watching The CW. I watch just about every single show that they produce because they produce some damn good TV. For weeks I saw promos and commercials for Roswell, New Mexico, and it looked good. But I wasn’t quite sure I was sold. While the whole sci-fi vibe is my vibe, the alien vibe was still very new to me, BUT I took a chance on it anyway when the first season hit Netflix, and I promise you, I would have sorely regretted it if I had never turned this show on! What I had understood as being a show with cowboys and aliens was SO much more than that. (I never watched the original, so I truly had no idea what I was getting into). While I could make this post an entire love note to every single part of this outstanding hour of TV, I narrowed it down to seven. I also tried to avoid giving out spoilers at all costs, so while it might seem a little vague, it’s just enough to get you interested so you feel fired up to go find out for yourselves how great of a show this is. So here are 7 reasons you should watch season one of Roswell New Mexico right now, on Netflix, before it returns for season two on Monday, March 16th, on The CW at 9pm.

7 Reasons to Watch Roswell, New Mexico!

1. I took a chance on this show, first of all, because Carina MacKenzie developed it, she writes on it and so on. Ever since I watched her work on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, I have determined I will follow her work ANYWHERE because she is extremely talented. She absolutely did not let me down here. Just made me admire her talent even more.

2. While it is most definitely a TV show about cowboys and aliens, it is also a show about love, family, friendship, complex emotions, death, prejudice, heartbreak, sexuality, fear, strength, consent, and so much more. The first season follows not one but pretty much three mysteries (IMO) that are mapped out and told in such a brilliant way.

3. The representation and perspective that plays a role into every scene is incredible. It is an incredibly diverse television show that takes you on a journey through many different perspectives of the same world, the same story, the same town. It’s a truly special experience.

4. The character of Michael Geurin played by Michael Vlamis, try not to fall in love with him, I absolutely dare you. Between the writing, and Vlamis’s ability to bring this character to life, he quickly became a favorite.

5. The character of Liz Ortecho. To me, she is a strong, powerful, smart, yet vulnerable woman who quite clearly has built a cage around herself in order to protect herself. Still, at the same time, she cannot help but be there for everyone, whether it’s her father, it was her sister, her friends (I truly relate to this). And the way that Jeanine Mason portrays her… she knocks everything out of the park. Liz Ortecho makes things happen, remember that.

6. The one-liners and heartfelt speeches. I’m a sucker for a good one-liner and a heart-pounding speech and this show delivers on all cylinders for both. I’m trying to give anything away but a couple of my favorites are :

  • “Welcome to the party. It’s a real bisexual alien blast around here.” The deliverance of this line is gold.
  • Person one: …And then you look away, and I remember all over again, and it almost kills me. Every time.”
    Person Two: “I never look away, not really.” – You’ll get it when you watch the scene.
  • You’re not my person, ****. That’s why I didn’t want to tell you my secret. I don’t love you. I never did.” – This quote is so much more powerful than it looks without context. Trust me.

7. There is no drawn-out beginning. Sometimes it’s necessary for the first few episodes of a new show to set the vibe, right? But sometimes it does more harm than good. In Roswell, New Mexico, the show starts off with a bang. You jump right in, within minutes, and it’s incredible. And the best part is that in doing that, it’s also not rushed. Which I feel is something that isn’t always mastered (and that’s my opinion as someone who really loves TV and movies), but Roswell does an excellent job with it.

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Jeanine Mason, Nathan Parsons, Michael Vlamis, Tyler Blackburn, Michael Trevino, Lily Cowles, Heather Hemmens, Trevor St. John and anyone who makes guest appearances such as the wonderful Riley Voelkel, come together to make an outstanding cast (and a very good looking one if I might add that in). I’ve always been one to appreciate the acting, and I’m always in love with the writing, but the way the scenes are shot, the cinematography of them is incredible too. I was hook before the first episode ended, and when episode thirteen was over, I was left demanding more, right away, which, of course, was not possible. However, I still wanted it, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the trailers and official air dates ever since.

We are now less than one week away from the season two premiere, which, as I said airs Monday, March 16th at 9pm, right after my other favorite TV show, Supernatural. There are only thirteen episodes in season one, I might be a real good binge watcher, but I’d have to say there is PLENTY of time between now and 9pm on Monday to jump on Netflix and watch a seriously incredible hourish of television. I’m truly considering preparing myself by doing a re-watch over the weekend if my school workload permits, and I truly hope it does because I’d love to watch the first season of magic before season two drops!

If you do decide to watch, and you REALLY should watch, hit me up over on @/amandaraee_x3 and live tweet along with me!

Miss Raee.

Miss Raee was launched in 2016 by a lady with anxiety who loves to write, watch TV and Movies, recently found her activist voice, is in love with reading, animals and the environment (and so much more!), and decided to put it all together into this platform. You can also follow me on twitter at @/amandaraee_x3 or Instagram at @/amandaraeex3 ! See you there.

Xoxo.

Miss Raee.

27 fun facts about me.

Back in 2017, a little bit after I first started this blogging thing, I made 52 things about me list. Reading it back I realized that some things were still very true, but it deserved an update anyhow. I also don’t think 52 things were all that necessary, so this time I narrowed it down to 27. I tried to stay away from simple questions like favorite foods and holidays; things like that, but a couple easy ones slipped in. Also, I’m a vegetarian, and live a cruelty-free life as much as possible, these are things my blog explains pretty clearly so I skipped these things as well.

Let us jump in.

 I have recently become obsessed with buying make-up, yet I still have no idea what I’m doing. I’ll figure it out one day.

I have a plethora of books on my To Be Read pile, yet I cannot stop buying them.

I can watch re-runs of a lot of shows, but none more than NCIS LA, Golden Girls, Everybody Loves Raymond.

Star Wars, Supernatural, Harry Potter and Marvel are my ultimate fandoms, although I have many more.

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I sleep best when it’s chilly, and I have a cozy blanket.

I prefer vanilla ice cream over chocolate, non-dairy, of course, and Oreo is my favorite.

I have chapstick on me at all times.

Sunflowers are my favorite, followed by daisies.

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I’m obsessed with combat boots and flannels

I have an odd fascination with birds, which I think stems from always watching them as a kid with my Nana.

I truly believe in the vibes people give off. I know what my first impression of someone is by how I feel around them. I’ve never been wrong.

Chips and Queso are my absolute weakness.

Meredith Grey, from Greys Anatomy, is my spirit animal

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I am truly a better person when the weather is warmer, spring/fall kind of warmth. If it’s humid, forget it.

My taste in music stretches far across genres. From Dolly Parton to Lizzo to George Strait, to Eminem, to Taylor Swift, to A day to remember, to state champs, to Demi Lovato to Maren Morris. If there is a good message and a good sound, I’m here of it.

I will always take salty over sweet, but Swedish fish, Andes, and Recess are my favorite candies.

I’m a junior in college, and while I have a major, I’m still unsure of exactly what I want to do, and it’s terrifying me.

Sara Lance is my favorite DCTV character with Felicity Smoak as a close second.

The ocean is still my happy place, with camping right up there as well.

Vodka used to be my ultimate drink of choice, but now Tequilla is my drink of choice.

I hate cleaning. But when I have to, and I get into a zone, I clean everything at once.

I love movies, but I cannot do scary movies. No matter how good it might look, or how stacked the cast.

I am terrified of clowns, heights, and snakes. And I’m pretty sure I always will be.

My Grandpa was my favorite person, and his death still gets to me even five years later.

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I am a cheap person. $25 for a t-shirt? I think not. Yet I also love fashion.

I credit Jared Padalecki with saving my life in terms of confronting, learning, and understanding my mental health. I have anxiety, and I don’t know if I ever would have figured myself out if he hadn’t been honest and open about his struggle.

I’ve always been in love with the process of movies and TV. Directing, writing, acting, cinematography, wardrobe, stunts, all of it.

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I have had this blog for over three years now, and I’m still trying to figure it out. I feel like that’s how I’m handling lots of things. I’m just figuring it out. Things change a lot, what I’m into, what I’m feeling, how I deal with things, what I think I want vs. what I need. If nothing else, I am an ever-growing person. If you want to see what I mean, you can read my 52 things about me list from 2017—-> https://missraee.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/oh-you-didnt-know/   and see what stuck out about me then, vs. what stuck out about me today, because in both lists I wrote what came to mind.

Until the next time that I feel like sharing some more nonsense,

xoxo.

 

Oliver Queen; you have saved this city.

Thank you, Green Arrow.

I only became engulfed in the Arrowverse a few years ago, but it seems like I’ve been here forever. Thank you, Netflix, because, without it, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten into this world the way I’m SO in it now. Falling into this Arrowverse has been a gift that keeps on giving. Thanks to Arrow, I’ve not only found all the incredible shows of Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and most recently, Batwoman but also an incredible group of actors and actresses that I’ve come to adore.  (On top of that I’ve paid more attention to whos directing the show, who’s writing the show and so on, and I’ve come to notice some incredible talent on that side of the camera).

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From Caity Lotz and her portrayal of Sara Lance, Emily Bett’s Felicity Smoak, Katie Cassidys’ Laurel Lance, Willa Hollands’ Thea Queen, David Ramsey’s John Diggle, Paul Blackthrone’ Quinten Lance, John Barrowman’s’ Malcolm Merlyn, Josh Segarra’s’ Adrian Chase, Katrina Laws’ Nyssa Raatko, Katherine McNamaras’ Mia Smoak, and obviously, Stephen Amell’s’ Oliver Queen to only name a FEW; this show has given us quite an amount of complex characters, storylines, villains and heroes and somehow, made it all work.

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In the first few seasons, the angst that just poured off of Oliver as he struggled with his mission, his past and his trust issues, and so on was so much fun to watch. The flashbacks were brilliantly placed, and I, personally, loved learning about Oliver’s journey in that way. Many of the big-time villains that Oliver and Team Arrow went to battle with were some of the best written and portrayed villains I’ve ever watched. Thinking about the line Sara Lance said when she saw Ollie during the crossover, we saw playboy Oliver, vigilante Oliver, Husband and father Oliver, and of course, Hero Oliver. When you watch who Oliver Queen was before he got on that boat, and you watch who everyone expected to be when he got back, and then you fast forward to who he is at the end of season seven and into season eight, it’s hard to believe that in that amount of time someone can continue to evolve past what already changed him while he was away.

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Like many shows that I end up falling into this way, I found Arrow at a time that I was looking for something to dive into because I needed an escape. Life sucks sometimes, and sometimes it sucks a lot, and if you’re lucky one day you’re looking to get lost, you’re scrolling on Netflix, and you come across this show that you’re co-workers have talked about, and it’s has a superhero vibe, but darker, and the superhero vibe has definitely been your vibe as of late, so you give it a chance and now here you are years later trying to find the words to say goodbye to a TV and explain why you’re genuinely sad about a TV ending because sometimes people just don’t get it, and that is okay.

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I could go on and on, but if you’re reading this you probably know exactly why its sad to say goodbye to this show, (most) of its characters, and finally see the end of Oliver Queen’s journey. It’s bittersweet because you know a show with this kind of vibe can only last so long, explore so many things, and keep the same tempo and go out strong and they’re able to do that. Us, as fans, are lucky because we get an ending, and some fandoms are not that lucky. It certainly helps that Arrow, and Oliver Queen birthed and helped to grow more shows that I have also become quite invested in and are more than strong enough to keep the Arrowverse spinning, even without THIS green arrow.

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As the final episode airs I plan to do a lot of crying because god damn it, I get too emotionally invested in TV shows, and I know it, and I’m tired of being sorry about it. I’ve seen promo pictures on twitter, heard some rumors, and are desperately avoiding anymore. I don’t want to know the end, I don’t even want a hint of it, I want to feel it all as it unfolds.

To all involved, thanks for giving a gal like me moments to get lost in, characters to fall in love with, and some to deeply hate. Thanks for opening the door for all the amazing DC TV shows that have followed since. Thank you for taking us along on this journey with you. It’s been a hell of a fight, a hell of a ride, and a hell of a good time.

I hope to have a giant glass of tequila to toast the end of this iconic show, it’s iconic cast, and its iconic story.

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5 Life Lessons from Oliver Queen.

Life lessons from Oliver Queen.

In the last eight seasons, we’ve watched Oliver Queen transform from a playboy to a vigilante, to the mayor, to a husband, to a father, to a hero, and so much more in between. In those eight years, from the time before the island, on the island, going from the hood to the green arrow, and doing what he can to better the community in the daylight and the moonlight, Mr. Queen has taught us some very valuable lessons in that time. While I was getting these Arrow tribute posts together, I couldn’t decide how I wanted to honor Mr. Green Arrow himself without your typical stale kind of hero post, and then I thought of this. Now, I’m sure everyone looks at the green arrow and his story and the story of all the characters and finds different lessons in all of them, and that’s exactly the point. The lessons I found important, might not be the same ones that anyone of you finds important but I hope that if that is the case, you’ll share with me which ones were important to you, either on social media or in the comments below because I’d love to hear them all!

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Here is my idea of five important lessons from Oliver Queen.

 

1. Everything happens for a reason.

In Crisis on Infinite Earths, Sara was named the Paragon of Destiny and rightfully so. The only other person I can think of that might have been able to handle the duty would have been Oliver. Oliver and Sara had a very similar journey in terms of who they were, how the ill-fated trip on the boat changed them, and who they ended up becoming. Both of them turned out to be people they never expected to become, and honestly, they’re both better off for it. If Oliver didn’t get on the Queens Bandit, and if that boat didn’t go down, and he didn’t get stranded on that life raft, and his father didn’t admit all his terrible, terrible secrets, and if Oliver didn’t end up stuck on lian yu, we wouldn’t have a story. It’s very simple. We would not have a story. If Oliver didn’t get on the ship, there is no way to know if he’d change. Honestly, he probably would have remained the spoiled, entitled, rich playboy and probably had a wonderful life. It’s safe to say he’d never meet Diggle or meet Felicity, let alone marry her, and well, you get it… everything would be different. Oliver is not necessarily proud of what he needed to do while on the island, he was scarred from learning more about his father than he was ready too, and he’ll never fully recover from his life on that island, but it all needed to happen in order for someone to save starling city and that person needed to be Oliver Queen. Basically, the purpose of it is that even if you’re not sure the point of your journey, you’re on it for a reason, and you should trust the process, no matter how crazy it all might seem at the time.

2. You are stronger than you think.

Do you think if we could go back in time to the Oliver before he got on that boat and asked him if he could handle the multiple situations he was in as The Green Arrow he’d say yes? I highly doubt it, and if he did, he’d be lying. If we asked him HOW he’d handle the situations, do you think he’d say something other than using his privilege and money? I don’t think so. I would have to assume that throughout his journey on the island, there were numerous times when Oliver questioned whether he could handle it, but he didn’t have a choice, so he did. It’s a really good example of survival instincts. You do not know how you will handle a tough situation until you’re in it. No matter how much setbacks trained for it, or how much you are NOT trained for it, being in it is a whole different ball game. Oliver Queen is most definitely not the only character who discovered their strengths on the show. I have to say that Thea, Roy, Felicity and Laurel, just to name a couple of other characters, also found their strength through the journey of Team Arrow.

3. The importance of letting others in.

I truly believe that if Oliver hadn’t let Diggle and Felicity in, that things would have gone a different way for him. He might have died much sooner, much much sooner. OR he would have gone down a very dark path that there would be no coming back from. Oliver always believed he was better off on his own when in reality, he was better when he had a team alongside him and watching his back. The moment he let others in, his mission became much bigger, it had more meaning, and I really think he helped more people than he ever would have on his own. His mission started out as righting his fathers wrongs, and he became a vigilante in order to do that, but then his mission changed from saving the city from a few, to saving the city from many and through that he went from being a vigilante to being a hero. Oliver Queen is the perfect example of how important it can be to drop the lone wolf act and ask for help, let others help you, trust other people, and in doing so, you’ll realize you’re better together.

4. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, all that matters is that you get back up.

Oliver was never one to handle setbacks or failures very well. And I think it’s the fact that he had a team around him, that he even got remotely better at handling it. No one wants to fail, no one wants to take one step forward and then two steps back, but sometimes that’s just how the chips fall because no one is perfect, no mission is perfect, no plan is perfect. You can fail as much as you want as long as you LEARN from it. Personally, that’s important to me. Failure is a part of life, but you have to take that failure and do something about it. You cannot fail and then fall apart, you have to keep fighting, you have to keep moving forward. Oliver attributes this to failed missions, failure to stop a bad guy or save someone; for me, I attribute it to my mental health. No matter how you apply it, it’s a very important life lesson that anyone can benefit from.

5. Your past does not define you.

Who you were doesn’t mean it’s who you’ll always be. If you want to change, if you do the work to change, you can change. I really believe that. Oliver Queen didn’t think he could be anyone except for the guy on the island. After doing the things, he needed to do, whether on the island or in Russia or anywhere else, he didn’t think he could be good. It’s an important lesson to remember that who you were doesn’t mean it’s who you’ll always be.

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Being happy doesn’t mean you don’t have issues.

It just means that you’re working on them.

– Oliver Queen.

More Favorite Arrow people & moments.

More Favorite Arrow people & moments.

The more I think about Arrow ending, the more time I wish I spent putting some posts together. I did plan some out, but I didn’t realize that in doing that, I’d come up with more that I wish I could do before the final episode, but there just isn’t enough time. That being said, I chose to do multiple posts in one post, and condensing them, so it’s not overwhelming and ridiculous for you to read or understand, and yet I get to highlight what I want to highlight. We all kind of win, right? Let’s roll with that. Let’s do it.

 

Favorite Fight Scene:

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With my terrible memory, it’s hard to think back to my favorite fight scene, and it might change if I was too actually rewatch the series, but right now, this is the one that sticks with me.

Ra’s al Ghul vs Oliver Queen. One thing that always sticks out to me when thinking about Arrow is his battle with Ras Al Ghul in the snow on the mountain. This battle sticks out on my head for some reason, probably because of how epic it was because honestly, IT. WAS. EPIC. The entire League of Assassins storyline was one of my absolute favorite stories they told, from start to finish. Even when I wasn’t sure how Oliver being the leader or marrying Nyssa was going to work out, I still ended up loving it.

 

The Villians.

Arrow has had some of my favorite Villians in all of TV. My favorites? It’s hard, but I’d say Deathstroke/Slade Wilson, Malcolm Merlyn, Ra’s al Ghul, Prometheus/Adrian Chase, Ricardo Diaz, and Cayden James are the ones that forever stick out on my head right away.

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The way that John Barrowman played Malcolm Merlyn, I absolutely cannot say enough. He was so good, I adore him as an actor, and I’ll probably watch anything he does because of this role. Whether he was cunning, or totally evil, or pretending to be good, or when he took up the Ra’s al Ghul mantel, he never missed a beat.

Prometheus was a wild ride. Josh Segarra blew me away with his performance. I feel as though he kind of wore Oliver down. Between making him admit he liked the kill and then threatening his son right after he learns he even exists.. it’s a lot. The scene with William and Oliver on the boat, and how he’s going to blow up the whole island with everyone Oliver loves on the island, I mean… absolutely insane. And the way he could go from Adrian Chase the District Attorney working to rid the city of crime right alongside Oliver, the mayor, to planning The Green Arrows demise as Prometheus… it’s just so good.

Deathstroke: The back and forth from friends to enemies to frenemies that we witnessed between Slade and Oliver were different than the rest of the villains. It had different reasons, different backstory and effected Oliver differently as well. Manu Bennett was outstanding to watch regardless of if he was good or evil. One moment that really sticks out is when Slade Wilson went to the Queen Mansion and Oliver had to go on a tour with him, his mother and sister and keep himself together at the same time. Good shit.

Ra’s al Ghul. Even before Ra’s al Ghul had a face, I was intrigued. I already touched upon how much I loved this story but Ra’s al Ghul was a persona before we ever saw him actually interact with anyone, and I think that added so much to him when he was finally shown. I love what the story and the persona of Ra’s al Ghul brought out in Oliver, no doubt.

Cayden James. The moment I saw that Cayden James was being played by Michael Emerson, I knew good or bad, I’m going to be drawn to this guy because Michael Emerson is an incredible actor. His work on Lost is the first I saw of his, and his role as Cayden reminded me of it in the way that he was very cunning and smart. I love that it brought a bit of a swerve to Felicity as well, she was trying to be apart of something different and important to her, and it backfired. We also see Black Siren at her absolute worst, and Katie Cassidy plays that beautifully as well.

Ricardo Diaz. This is a villain that really BOTHERED ME. He made me angry. I don’t know if it was the way Felicity was so scared, or the fact that Oliver was in prison, if it was the rift that Olicity had because of the stress, it was SO much and it was all kind of crazy, there were moments where I hated it (but still kind of loved it) and moments where I loved it. Either way, I think it showcased a different side of felicity as well. It might have been survival mode Felicity but nonetheless.

 

Hardest Death: Quintin.

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I will not lie, Quintin got on my NERVES, when he was a cop going after the green arrow. He was doing his job, what he thought was right, but man did it bug me. Of course, I learned to love him as he came around to the Team Arrow side, and he has ended up being one of my favorite characters. While Sara and Laurels’ deaths hurt… like A LOT, nothing broke me the way Quintin’s death did. Even thinking about it makes me sad. I grew to adore this character, and Paul Blackthorne did such a stellar job dealing with the complexity of Quintin Lance, and I didn’t want it to end. The scene with Oliver and Quintin that I posted above this, ugh I’m too emotionally attached. Anyways, I adored Quintin Lance, and I wish he didn’t die.

 

Favorite Team-Up: Original Team Arrow.

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I had originally thought I’d be doing OG Team Arrow as it’s down incredible tribute post, but alas, my poor planning got the best of me, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve something. While I loved the addition of Thea and Roy, and Laurel, and eventually Rene and Curtis and Dinah, nothing beats OG Team Arrow. Felicity, John, and Oliver had the kind of trust, respect, and chemistry that was undeniable and unrepeatable. They were truly a well-oiled machine. Even when they had their disagreements, or questioned a way to go about something, or had their worries, their teamwork is unmatched. We do not know how the final episode is going to go, we don’t know how or if Felicity and Oliver will really end up reuniting in real-time or if it’ll be another world, a dream or what have you, but something I’d really like is a OG Team Arrow moment. Just the three of them, even if it’s just for a second. I truly want that.

 

Unexpected Favorites: Curtis, Momma Smoak, Anatoly and Derek Sampson

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Curtis: I LOVED the partnership between Felicity and Curtis. I think they worked beautifully together and they literally spoke each other’s language. I hated when OG Team Arrow and New Team Arrow were at odds with each other, and Curtis and felicity were split apart. I love Curtis’s personality and when he showed up a few episodes at the beginning of season eight, I was reminded how much he brightens up the screen!

Donna Smoak. Felicities’ mom is an absolute treat. The dynamic between Felicity and herself was so much fun to watch. It was the sweetest when Felicity assures her that she got her strength from her. I loved the mini romance between Donna and Quintin, and I do wish it could have been explored more.

Anatoly. I did not expect to say that Anatoly is one of my all-time favorite characters on Arrow, but here I am. When he went all evil for a bit, ugh it KILLED me. I love the way he talks, his personality, his unsolicited but also sometimes solicited advice he gives to Oliver. I adore this character so much. Anatoly is my favorite Russian.

Derek Sampson: Maybe I’m a little biased because Cody Runnels (Rhodes) plays Derek Sampson, and he’s a wrestler who got a role on the show after him, and Stephen Amell threw down in a wrestling ring for Summerslam, but nonetheless, Derek Sampson was pretty cool. From being just another drug dealer to becoming a meta-human, his stints in and out of prison, his alliance with Adrian Chase, being in prison with Oliver, and then eventually dying at the hands of Diaz’s prison riot. I think that Cody and Stephen have a special kind of chemistry. They had it in the ring, and they 100% had it on screen. I do hope that they get to work together again sometime soon.

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I feel like I said this in every post, but it needs to be said again, Arrow as a whole was an incredible collection of actors, writers, directors, characters, (and everything and everyone else) that managed to tell so many incredible stories with character development and more. Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Sara, Laurel, Quintin, Moira, Mia, Zoe, William, Connor, JJ, Curtis, Rene, Dinah, Thea, Roy, Ray Palmer, Malcolm, Tommy, Nyssa, Shado, The Calculator, Damien Darhk, and OH SO MANY MORE. I hope we see a few again as long as Green Arrow and The Canaries get picked up (OH please get picked up) and I hope that as we approach the final episode, the right characters, get the right endings.

 

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7 favorite women on Arrow.

We’ve been blessed with so many actresses and characters in the last eight years of Arrow. Some of them were good guys, some of them were bad guys, but truthfully, from what my terrible memory can remember, they were all entertaining. I narrowed it down to seven of my absolute favorites to highlight in this post, so let’s just get to it.

 

My Seven Favorite Women on Arrow.

 

Felicity.

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Oh, Miss Smoak. I am so not a technical gal, but watching her navigate her side of vigilantism made me want to be one. Sometimes her technical savy was more important than the heroes who were out on foot, and sometimes they wouldn’t have been able to do what they do without her knowledge and guidance. The character of Felicity Smoak and the outstanding way that Emily Bett portrays her invested me in her journey from the very beginning and had me rooting for her every step of the way. While I thought that season eight was a very good season, it did always feel like something was missing, and that something was Emily Bett and Felicity Smoak, and on a show full of heroes and action and incredible characters, I think that’s quite the testament to what she brings to the show. For me, when a show ends, there’s always a couple of characters that I’m truly going to miss, that it really sucks to not see anymore, and Felicity Smoak is absolutely one of those characters.

 

Sara Lance.

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At the beginning of Arrow, I had no idea just how much I’d love this character. Her journey has been inspiring, and the way the writers and Caity Lotz have brought her alive has been an absolute joy to watch. Anytime she comes back on the show, she elevates it, and her evolved relationship with Oliver is one of my favorite things.  I truly consider the White Canary to be one of the most badass characters on TV, and I’m grateful to continue to watch her be Captain on Legends of Tomorrow, even as Arrow comes to an end.

 

Laurel Lance.

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No matter if its the OG Laurel Lance, or Earth 2 Laurel Lance, watching Katie Cassidy navigate the very complex character of Ms. Lance has been incredible. Laurel Lance has gone through so much. From her sister sleeping with her boyfriend to being an alcoholic, being a lawyer, losing her dad and her sister (at one point), putting on the canary mask, becoming a hero, dying. Only to have a whole new laurel come into play from Earth two, who was evil, to begin with, eventually learned to be better, but not without temptation and challenges and is now fighting to be the hero that Quintin always thought she could be. Katie Cassidy did a stellar job of navigating ALL of these feelings and emotions, and it has been so amazing to watch, and I hope that Green Arrow and The Canaries get picked up so we’ll get to see more.

 

Thea Queen. 

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I have always loved Thea’s spunkiness. She was so lost at the beginning of the show, and honestly, who could blame her? With everything going on with Oliver presumed dead, the privilege instilled from her parents and life in general? Of course, she was a little messy. What I loved, though, is who she turned into. Even once she finds out Malcolm of all people, is actually her father, she still manages to come out on the other side. The bloodlust, she’s working on it, but she’s looking to come out the other side of that too. Watching her suit up as speedy and handle her own business was so much fun, and I really wish she was around more.

 

Moira Queen.

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Moira could have been better. Moira was manipulative. Moira had a serious privilege complex. Moira was not perfect. Even though she was kind of messy, she also was fiercely protective of her children, when push came to shove, she protected them no matter what. And I think she needs to get more credit for that. I always appreciated Susanna Thompson and the way she elevates the scene every time.

 

Nyssa al Ghul. 

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I am a huge fan of Katrina Law since the show, and I love watching her on Hawaii 5-0 right now. Nyssa has always been one of my favorite characters. That entire storyline is one of my absolute favorites of the entire series. Her and Oliver’s relationship, her and Sara, the little moments with her and Laurel, and the fact that Felicity brought her in to make sure that Mia knew how to protect herself. Her presence and ability to command respect. I just love everything about this character, and I wish we saw her again the final season.

 

Mia Smoak.

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The daughter of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak could not be better put together, and Kat McNamara could not be doing a more stellar job. I’ve been a big fan of Kat for a few years now from her previous work and seeing her as Mia just makes sense, I couldn’t imagine anyone else in this role. The writers and creators get so much credit for doing such a good job of making the daughter of Oliver and Felicity most definitely the daughter of Oliver and Felicity. She is the perfect example of a strong female character, and she’s doing the best she can to handle being the daughter of Oliver and Felicity. I hope that Green Arrow and The Canaries get picked up because I truly believe the show will not only do well, but that Kat and Mia will knock it out of the park.

 

Of course, there have been many more women who have graced our screens on Arrow, specifically Dinah and Lyla, who got left off my list, not because they aren’t important, but just because they are not on my top seven list. I think Arrow always did a good job at writing and portraying strong, complex, sometimes complicated female characters, and we’ve had a lot of talented ones on this show.

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