Villainess Review: Grace Hutchinson (The Baby Swindler)
I spent months looking forward to this film after learning about this from Reel One's website, and I beamed when it finally hit Lifetime! My reasons will be stated later, but let's set the stage. The main focus of this film, The Baby Swindler (originally titled, A Deadly Surrogacy) was widowed Susie Ashcroft, whose husband, Mike Ashcroft, passed on prior to the films events. The only thing she had left from Mike was a frozen embryo, and she was planning to finally have a baby of her own, but she was told that there was a chance that she couldn't maintain a full-term pregnancy.
XFL Week 6 Review: Trouble in Paradise
It seems like yesterday that I was anxiously awaiting the return of the XFL, yet here we are, in the second half of the season. Week 6 of this season began with the red hot Seattle Sea Dragons facing the Orlando Guardians, an easy win on paper, but the Guardians looked to shock the world. They were up 10-9 at halftime, and while the second half was back and fourth, it would go the way of the Dragons, as they ended up winning 26-19, keeping the Guardians winless this season.
Vegas Returns to Playoffs, but Is Their Window Still Open?
We all laughed and had fun when the Vegas Golden Knights missed the playoffs last season, didn't we? For all of their bluster, for all of their pomp and circumstance in spite of not winning the Stanley Cup, for all of their arrogance and excuse-making, the Golden Knights completely missed the playoffs in the 2021-22 season--the first time that they missed the playoffs in their brief franchise history. Not a single tear was shed for them. I know I wasn't crying for them; I was too busy laughing. However, I also realized something right then and there: Vegas is going to strike back somehow.
Villainess Review: Morgan le Fay (Jughead's Time Police)
I've written about a number of villainesses on Vocal, usually from TV, film, or some true crime stories. For this story, it's a first--delving from the world of comic books. In this case, it's from Archie Comics. Why? It's simple. Riverdale will kick off its seventh and final season. I beamed when I learned about this show seven years ago. I've been an Archie Comics fan for 30 years, and when I learned about a show centered on the Archie characters, I was in! These were not the characters I grew up reading, but I was all in because of that!
Can the Rangers Go the Extra Mile in 2023?
The Toronto Maple Leafs weren't the only team who clinched a playoff spot without even playing. The Florida Panthers' regulation loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday, March 27, 2022, brought the New York Rangers one step closer. They still needed the Buffalo Sabres to lose, and that could come in any fashion. Buffalo's game against the Montréal Canadiens needed extra time, and eventually needed a shootout despite a Habs power play in overtime. It was scoreless entering the Habs' half of the shootout. If Montréal scored, the Rangers are in. Montréal scored. New York celebrates (maybe for the first of two times this season)!
Maple Leafs, You Have One Job!
On Sunday, March 26, 2022, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Nashville Predators, 3-2, behind two goals from their captain, John Tavares. On the following day, the Leafs were off, but they could clinch a playoff spot during their idle day with a loss from the Florida Panthers. Even better, because the Leafs picked up two points, Florida's loss didn't have to be in regulation. In a crazy scenario, the Panthers were in Ontario, but against the province's other franchise, the Ottawa Senators. This meant that the Leafs and their fans had to (for that night) pull for their provincial enemies to pull out the victory. The Sens did just that, winning 5-2 over the struggling Panthers, and that gave the Leafs another playoff appearance.
The Devils are in the Details...and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs
I still vividly remember when the New Jersey Devils were...well...the DEVILS! They won their first Stanley Cup back in 1995 and from that point on, they became this juggernaut who was always in the playoffs, reaching the Final three more times after that 1995 Cup, and adding two more Cups in 2000 and 2003. Those days are long gone; names like Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, Bobby Holik, and of course, Martin Brodeur are enjoying retirement. Ken Daneyko has since gone from winning Cups with the Devils to calling their games as a color analyst (one of my current faves), and we have seen new stars shine for the Devils.
Villainess Review: Jenna Scott (Law & Order: SVU)
For as long as I can remember, Law & Order: SVU has featured some of the most wild, deep, and gripping cases--some of which have been borrowed from the actual news stories. The show's been on NBC since 1999, one of the longest running episodic shows on TV, and in the near quarter-century that the show's been on, it has not only featured some gripping stories, we have seen some sinister and very dark villainesses as well. The latest episode, "The Presence of Absence," ended up continuing that long trend.
Hurricanes Return to Playoffs; Look to Avenge Elite Eight Loss
The best part of what I call "NHL March Madness" is seeing teams lock in their spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Boston Bruins became the first team to do so, but that was almost two weeks ago, because they were so far ahead of the second best team in the league, the Carolina Hurricanes. Twelve days after Boston locked in their spot, the Hurricanes had the chance to do the same. A win vs the New York Rangers would have done it, or just one point and outside help. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes were defeated, 2-1, on their home ice, but they could still get in with a Florida Panthers regulation loss. That's exactly what happened; the Panthers were soundly defeated, 6-2, by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and following the agony of defeat, the Hurricanes celebrated the thrill of joining the playoff party.
XFL Week 5 Recap: Nobody's Perfect
It happened. It actually happened. The fifth week of the 2023 XFL season actually began with the Houston Roughnecks actually losing a game. The Roughnecks were in Seattle facing a Sea Dragons team who was coming off back-to-back wins, and the game got off to a very surprising start: Houston was shut out for the entire first half. The Sea Dragons led 15-0 at halftime, but I thought, "Well, Houston will get out of this." A scoreless third quarter made it look unlikely, but the Roughnecks offense finally showed up with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, which sandwiched a Seattle score.
A Look at the 2017-18 Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals entered the 2017-18 season as one of the most hard luck teams in the NHL, and it all started with their historically hideous inaugural season. Eight wins. 21 points. That's how the 1974-75 season went for the debuting Capitals. It would take them nine seasons to finally reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time, and they needed Year 10 to finally win a series. The Caps' first trip to the Final Four didn't come until the 1989-90 season, and it was in the 1997-98 season that the Capitals finally reached the Stanley Cup Final, but they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.