Sally Watches…Touched by an Angel!

I know what you’re probably thinking; what does Touched by an Angel have to do with the Marines? Well, that’s where my explanation comes in. When J-Dub invited me to join their Send in the Marines Blogathon, they explained that there are a lot of actors who served in the Marines. One of them is Brian Keith. Because I was not familiar with this actor, I looked at his filmography on IMDB to see what projects he appeared in. In the ‘90s, Brian guest-starred on an episode of Touched by an Angel. I said in my post about the book, California Angel, that I like the aforementioned show. Since I own the entire series on DVD and since I haven’t talked about Touched by an Angel on my blog yet, I knew J-Dub’s blogathon would be a good excuse to do so. Also, with today being Veterans Day, talking about an episode co-starring a former U.S. Marine seems fitting.

Send in the Marines Blogathon banner
The Send in the Marines Blogathon banner created by J-Dub from Dubsism. Image found at https://dubsism.com/2019/09/09/its-time-to-report-for-duty-for-the-send-in-the-marines-blog-a-thon/.

Episode Name: The Sky Is Falling

Season 3, Episode 8

Premiere Date: November 3rd, 1996

 

What I liked about this episode:

There were several character interactions that were interesting to watch. But the two that were my favorite were between young Leonard and Penny and older Leonard and Monica. The interactions between young Leonard and Penny were adorable, acting as a light during a literally and figuratively dark time. The actors who portrayed these characters, Sam Gifaldi and Scarlett Pomers, were very believable and reacted in a realistic way for children in that particular situation. The interactions between older Leonard and Monica were interesting because of how different their personalities were. Their overall perspectives also differed from one another. Despite this, they both had the same goal and were able to reach that by helping each other.

 

What I didn’t like about this episode:

This episode takes place on Halloween. Based on the topics that were discussed in the story and because “The Sky Is Falling” was released after the spooky holiday, it felt more like an All Souls Day episode. While children can be seen dressed in costumes and going trick-or-treating , it isn’t the primary focus of the story. Also, several characters mention that the “War of the Worlds” broadcast took place on October 30th, the day before Halloween. So, having this episode take place on the aforementioned holiday doesn’t seem to make sense.

 

The story itself:

At the beginning of “The Sky Is Falling”, there were three components that seemed confusing at first. That’s because they were presented as three separate subplots. As the story goes on, these components came together very nicely to create a well-written story. Sometimes on Touched by an Angel, the writers will take a historical situation, like the “War of the Worlds” broadcast, and draw an intriguing story from it. This allows the audience to be both entertained and educated. This concept was executed very well in this episode, allowing lessons and messages to organically grow within the narrative. I also liked seeing how Tess and Monica first met. This part of the story provided an addition to their backstories and gave the audience the opportunity to see how far these characters have come as individuals and friends.

 

The other factors from this episode:

  • In “The Sky Is Falling”, part of the story was told through flashbacks, reflecting on October 30th of 1938. All of these scenes looked and felt historically accurate, like the creative team behind this show went the extra mile to capture this specific moment in time. Even the jewelry appeared as if it came from the late ‘30s.

 

  • This episode was filled with good lessons and morals. One example is how one should think before they speak. This was explored in a direct and indirect way, showing how people can positively or negatively react to words. “The Sky Is Falling” also had some good quotes. My favorite is when Tess tells Monica that “The story isn’t over ‘till it says The End”. Since Brian Keith’s character is a writer, this quote makes a lot of sense.

 

  • “The Sky Is Falling” had some really atmospheric scenes. If you haven’t seen this episode, I won’t give anything away. All I’ll say is that these atmospheric scenes took place in a forest. The way this location was staged and filmed was excellent! It effectively conveyed the tone that the show’s creative team was trying to achieve.

 

My overall thoughts:

I enjoyed this episode of Touched by an Angel more than I expected! This is definitely one the stronger stories from the show, featuring a good cast who worked well together. The way this story was told was memorable, as it taught the audience lessons that went beyond the historical aspect. It’s better if you watch “The Sky Is Falling” as an All Souls Day episode, as Halloween doesn’t play as big of a role as in the show’s other stories. “The Sky Is Falling” kind of reminded me of another episode called “Monica’s Bad Day”, where the overarching message is how one’s actions can affect the people around them. In Brian Keith’s episode, this message was converted to focus on the power of words. Speaking of Brian, his portrayal of Leonard was such a highlight in this episode! This emotionally effective performance worked in his favor, as I found myself staying invested in his character throughout this story. “The Sky Is Falling” would not be the same without Brian.

 

Rating: A solid 4 out of 5

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This is just one of the Touched by an Angel DVDs that I own. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Have you seen any projects from Brian Keith’s filmography? Are there any episodes of Touched by an Angel you’d like to see me review? Please let me know in the comment section.

 

Have fun on television!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: James Dean will be Brought Back in Upcoming Film

Despite what the title suggests, this is not a joke. I actually came across this story when I saw Amber, from Hallmarkies Podcast, comment about it on Twitter. After the negative reaction this piece of movie news caused on the aforementioned social media platform, I knew I had to talk about it. There are several movie bloggers that I know who specialize in writing about the Classic Film Era, so I assume they’ll have thoughts on this topic as well. Two days ago, on November 6th, Alex Ritman, from the The Hollywood Reporter, reported that the creative team behind a film called Finding Jack will incorporate James Dean through the use of CGI. In this article, Alex wrote that the film’s directors, Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, “obtained the rights to use Dean’s image from his family”. In relation to this, Anton Ernst said “We feel very honored this his family supports us and will take every precaution to ensure that his legacy as one of the most epic film stars to date is kept firmly intact. The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down”. As for the specifics on how Finding Jack’s creative team will bring James back, Alex states “that Dean’s performance will be constructed via “full body” CGI using actual footage and photos. Another actor will voice him”. According to the article, Finding Jack will begin preproduction on November 17th, with the intent to release the film next Veterans Day.

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Popcorn and movie ticket image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/cinema-tickets-in-bucket-with-popcorn_2303439.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/layout”>Layout image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of this decision for a number of reasons. Even though James Dean’s family approved of this idea, James Dean himself did not. Because he’s been gone for several decades, he has been unable to stand up for himself and give his consent. Bringing him back by using his image without his permission is not only exploitive, but also manipulative. This opportunity gives Finding Jack’s creative team the ability to use James’ image to their liking, not how James himself would have wanted. This situation kinds of reminds me of how I felt about the film, Edward, My Son. I mentioned in that review how, because of the creative team’s choice not to feature Edward on screen, it denied any actor the opportunity to receive a “standing ovation” they had probably worked hard to achieve. In the case of Finding Jack, any actor is denied a chance to add another project to their filmography because this creative team wants to capitalize on a deceased star’s popularity. The decision to bring back James is this manner is also quite cruel. Fans of James Dean are understandably upset that he passed away at such a young age. With Finding Jack’s creative team incorporating James into their film, they are giving his fans and their audience false hope, whether or not it was intentional. I’m guessing that this is a one-time decision, but fans would probably rather see him in more than one project. If fans of other decreased stars find out about this decision from Finding Jack’s creative team, they might want to see them come back in a similar fashion. Personally, I think this creative team’s intention could lead to bad results. It could also open up a can of worms that may never close again.

 

What are your thoughts on this story? How do you feel about the idea of bringing back deceased stars through technology? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

Here is the link to the article I referenced in this post:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/afm-james-dean-reborn-cgi-vietnam-war-action-drama-1252703

You can visit Amber’s official Twitter account by typing @amberbrainwaves into Twitter’s search bar.