Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne in Black Death – Critical Review

Black Death

Perusing the movie selections on the shelves at Walmart, I was startled to see Boromir from Lord of the Rings staring out at me. Only, on this movie cover, located on a high shelf near the back, a zombie-like creature stood behind him. The movie was titled Black Death, starring English stars Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne.

Black Death‘s Plot and Purpose

Germany financed and English Director Christopher Smith directed this film about witch hunters during the three year Black Death pandemic in England. Originally, English production companies intended to help finance the film. They later refused, for reasons I assume lie within the movie’s plot. Allow me to explain what occurred in the film:

Black Death
Averill and Osmund making plans to flee.

In the year 1348, the Black Death pandemic had entered the England monastery, where our main character was located as a novice. After a few short scenes with those suffering from the black plague, we saw the young novice stealing food from his monastery brothers and, after some deception about feeding the afflicted, giving the food to his secret girlfriend. He told her to flee, for the black plague was spreading. She did, but only after telling him to follow, or else she’d leave him forever.



Novice Osmund prayed for the right decision, and thought he received it when witch hunter Ulric walked in and asked for a guide. Journeying with the witch hunter and his men revealed their twisted sense of kindness and mercy. Where Osmund saw unjust persecution, Ulric saw sin and damnation. Osmund merely persevered to reach his girlfriend, Averill.

What happened when Osmund reached his destination was twisted: He came across Averill’s clothing, torn and blood-splattered. He despaired and grieved. Ulric convinced him to go farther with him and his crew to avoid imminent death. Osmund went and they all reached the witch’s village. The witch played with them, drugging them and causing them to see visions. Then came the climax.

Freezing water trapped Ulric, Osmund, and the other witch hunters. The witch, reveling in her power, gave them the option to forsake God and live, or to remain in the faith and die. Well, as Ulric warned his men, she killed both the questionably faithful and the absolute deserter in the group all alike. However, when Osmund and the witch hunters first arrived at the village, the witch showed Osmund his “dead” girlfriend. And how she had raised her from the dead.



Black Death
Osmund goes to see his “resurrected” Averill.

Believing this story about his girlfriend which the witch had crafted, Osmund questioned whether to forsake God, living in the witch’s village, or to keep his faith and die. He chose the latter. He also chose the latter for his seemingly possessed girlfriend, whom he drove a knife into and killed. Realizing what he had done, the witch acted horrified and exclaimed this as typical for how Christians act.

After quartering Ulric – who, it turned out, had black plague symptoms – everyone fled the scene. This left Osmund and one somewhat kindly witch hunter. Osmund followed the fleeing witch, intending to kill her, but learned the horrible truth instead: His girlfriend had never been dead, merely drugged and used to fool Osmund. Needless to say, the witch got away, leaving Osmund stunned, horrified, grieving, and hopeless.

The narrator, who turned out to be the somewhat kindly witch hunter, ended the film. He talked about the rumors he heard about Osmund turning into a witch hunter and killing many innocent women from his grief-driven madness. Overall, the film showed God as powerless, and evil as superior.



What British News Sources Taught Me About Black Death

Silly and historically inaccurate, said the writer for The Guardian. This particular article used references to describe how some witch hunting did occur in England, but predominantly in different centuries. Also, villages did learn to target mostly women, but this occurred only after a couple centuries after the mid-1300’s. And the degree of violence against innocent women in general never reached the extreme that this movie portrayed, at least in England.

Based on this information, I concluded English film producers refused to finance this film because the film writer had over-exaggerated this dark historical period. Moreover, this film was produced in the year 2010, while her majesty Queen Elizabeth II had (and still has) power. Because this film portrayed England and God in a negative light, the loyal citizens would have none of it. Thank God for Britain’s good sense.



Surprising Actors Found in Black Death

Black Death
Sean Bean as Ulric

Of course, I already mentioned my surprise to see Sean Bean dressed very similarly to his character “Boromir, son of Denethor II” in The Lord of the Rings on this film’s cover. In The Lord of the Rings, Bean’s character encouraged both dislike and understanding in the viewers. He was a gray character. Therefore, to see him as witch hunter Ulric, another brutal and daring role, brought about mixed feelings.

Alex and I failed to recognize Eddie Redmayne’s name. However, early on in the film, Alex piped up and said, “Hey, it’s Newt!” The nagging feeling I had about this character was solved. For Eddie Redmayne had played the beloved Newt in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He played Osmund, the main character, in Black Death. Recognizing him as Newt made his ending in Black Death much harder to accept.



One Christian’s Opinion on Whether or Not to Watch Black Death

If my readers are strong believers in the Christian faith, like my husband and I, then they will severely dislike this film. At the beginning, the possibility of a strong Christian message appeared so likely as to give my husband and I hope for a happy ending. These hopes disappeared as the film progressed. In the end, we felt nothing but shame at how the film writer portrayed the Christian believers, if they could even be called believers.

How Osmund turned out also doesn’t sit well with me. He started off devout and loving. He questioned the monastery life, like the Protestant Christians did, and wished for a wife. His faith seemed genuine. However, when the witch tricked him, and he ended up killing his love, his faith didn’t save him. He become corrupted, in mind and spirit. True faith would heal all wounds, even those from a powerful witch and necromancer. Osmund’s faith should have kept him in the light.

Overall, I think the film did well in regards to acting and scene setting, but the plotline was terrible. History as it played out in the real world is frightening enough. Mixing history for a fictional horror film seems unnecessary. I recommend watching this film when my readers feel the need for something eerie. But, please, try to ignore the social agenda in the film, for only those enslaved to sin do such horrific deeds. And, as to witches, we all have different beliefs regarding witches and necromancers.



 

Monsters in Literature, and Monsters in Reality – All Things Frightening in the UK

Robert Couse-Baker, all things frightening in the UK

Halloween has erupted in the United States, disrupting my plans for exploring more UK meals and British royal histories. For my curiosity about all things frightening in the UK has reared its head, demanding my attention. And it’s my full intention to explore it, to submerge myself in everything related to UK mystery and horror.



Bring Friends and Family to All Things Frightening in the UK

It’s also my intention to drag my husband along this dark road. For I’m a big scaredy-cat, and I’m usually frightened at things as small as theatrical horror stories. Real-life horror, such as Jack the Ripper, frightens me even more.

Therefore, since my husband finds entertainment in dark stories and horror movies, I hope he will protect me from my own imagination as we dive into all things frightening in the UK. I advise for all my readers to do the same. For the UK horror, especially the real-life horror, will make every dark corner ominous and every unknown noise mysteriously connected to serial killers who roam the streets.



Exploring the Age-Old Frights in All Things Frightening in the UK

It’s my suspicion many people who read this post will laugh at the age-old horror stories, fictional and reality-based, which we will explore and study. Nevertheless, I turn to these classics because of their great imprint on society around the world. If given enough time, we will explore the following books, movies, and histories:

Exploring these old tales and fables may lead me to learn more about America’s history and culture regarding Halloween and the supernatural. After all, a mere few months into studying about the UK has revealed much about how Americans have adopted and adapted UK customs and practices into their own culture. Why not Halloween?



“Share the Wealth!” Pertaining All Things Frightening in the UK

Based on Google’s Analytics, I realize that people who visit this blog know much more about the United Kingdom and its culture than I may ever know. And I ask, as someone who loves British books, films, foods, histories, and modern culture, for people to share their knowledge with me. Or, at least, to give me tips on where to find true, solid information about the UK.

Right now, I ask for information regarding all things frightening in the UK. If my readers know scary British authors or movie directors, then please, share the wealth! I will research and share with all my American friends who also enjoy all the frightening things imported to us from the UK.



Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game – Critical Review

Imitation Game

Produced in 2014, The Imitation Game used several popular British actors and actresses to promote an ever-increasing, popular movement: LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) pride and accomplishment.

Provided below is a short summarization of the film and the message I gathered from the film’s making. Whether my readers agree with my analysis or not will hopefully provide for interesting and polite discussion in the comments below.



The Story Behind The Imitation Game

Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in The Imitation Game as Alan Turning.

Set in the year 1939, Britain’s secret agency was looking to hire several men to help them break Nazi Germany’s Enigma. For those who don’t know, Enigma had to do with Nazi Germany’s coded communication method. The story revolved around one of the hired mathematicians, Alan Turing.

As the movie progressed, the viewers learned about Turing’s logical mind and antisocial behaviors. The producers made his homosexuality evident early in the movie. And downright blatant halfway through the movie in a scene between Turing and his fiance, whom Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley played.



Imitation Game
Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game as Joan Clarke.

Through political means, Turing managed to fire two of his co-workers to provide the funding for the machine he insisted would win the war. It was the first computer ever made. Eventually, after some toil and turmoil, the hired team and the machine decoded Nazi Germany’s Enigma.

As mentioned above, the producers emphasized on Turing’s homosexuality. They detailed a boyhood’s lost love, how the lost love affected his adult life, and the trials Turing underwent when convicted of indecent behavior. Ultimately, the movie portrayed Turing as a war hero and a victim before he committed suicide at 41 years of age.



The Politics Behind The Imitation Game

Imitation Game
The scene where Alan Turing and his team solve the Enigma.

The film’s aesthetics, such as the sound score, were beyond lovely. However, the social and political messaging behind The Imitation Game were nauseating. Though I have heard of it done, never before had I seen a story so flagrantly flounce the simple contributions of a homosexual man.

Throughout the movie, I had been caught up in the story. I rooted for Turing in his job, related to him in his social awkwardness, and sympathised with him for his lost love. However, when the movie ended, I saw the politics. I saw how exaggerated everything was to make Turing look like a victimized hero, all due to his homosexuality.

Thankfully, I had watched this movie on Netflix instead of buying it. For while Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley may rank high on my favorites list, I dislike promoting political agendas. Everyone should have the option to believe in what they will.



My Recommendation on Watching The Imitation Game

If someone reading this blog post belongs to the LGBT community, then he or she will love this movie and should watch it. And anyone who accepts the LGBT community with open arms will also enjoy this movie. However, those who believe the Holy Bible as I do, should find something else to watch. This movie is all about gay pride.

Please, before someone slams me as being a homophobe, recognize that I accept any LGBT member as a friend. However, my beliefs prevent me from accepting their lifestyle. Therefore, I avoid, and advice others with similar beliefs, to avoid political agenda movies, such as The Imitation Game.

Thank you for reading. Please comment below on how stupid I am, or how I may have a point, or the excellent scenery and score in the movie, or more.



From the Reading Room – Booming Bookazines, New Novels, and Hot-Wired Histories

Reading Room

Greetings, fellow bookworms! I have a little secret to share. It’s about “The Reading Room.” At nine-years-old, I was introduced to the first novel in a series from one of the world’s greatest thinkers and authors. The book was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the author was C.S. Lewis.

From that day until now, I have collected over 1,000 novels, histories, devotionals, biographies, and children’s books. All ultimately resulting in the creation of the Reading Room. And British authors, past and current, have written nearly half of the books included in my library. To share and review them with my friends is my intent.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce the latest category to Mary Loves the UK: The Reading Room!



What to Read for the Upcoming Quarter

To provide my readers with some topic range within my upcoming blog posts, I have chosen three different reading materials to review within the next three months. These materials include the following:

  • Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia, a historical novel
  • Roy and Lesley Adkins’s Jane Austen’s England – Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods, a history book
  • BBC’s The Essential Doctor Who – Adventures in Space, a bookazine, printed in the UK

 

My Californian readers can find British reading material like these at local bookshops, such as the Avid Reader in Davis, or at club stores, such as Sam’s Club in Vacaville. If anyone has the will to join me in reading one (or all three!) of the above, please do! I would love to review these books and magazines as a group.



How to Join in the Discussions

To join in what I hope will become future book discussions, I recommend that my readers who have any interest follow these steps:

  1. Follow me! Located on the bottom right-hand corner should be buttons where my readers can follow my blog, or me, on social media.
  2. Choose the books of interest. No one needs to read every book with me. But, if any of my readers have a preference in the books listed to read, then please let me know!
  3. Read every blog post on the books. I will attempt to write a thorough review on each chapter or section in the reading materials. Hopefully they will assist my readers in the discussion.
  4. Answer the questions at the end of the blog posts. No one can have a discussion without questions! Therefore, though I cannot promise the best or most essential discussion questions, I will try to include some for every chapter to encourage discussion.

 

Have I managed to pique anyone’s interest? I hope so. Reading these British books is a treat I cannot deny myself, and one which I wish to share. But, please, if anyone has a preference as to which book or bookazine I should start reviewing in the Reading Room, let me know in the comment section below!



Sherlock: A Study in Pink – Critical Review

BBC’s Sherlock – series one, episode one, “A Study in Pink” – portrayed many aspects about the characters upon the second and third viewing. Continuing to watch the remaining episodes after the first viewing, though, required boredom, lack of funds, time off, and a family Netflix account. Since all four aspects applied to me, I viewed all four series, and my better knowledge about the characters made “A Study in Pink” much more interesting and insightful.

Doctor John Watson – The Man with Nerves of Steel

Introducing Doctor John Watson

Writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss immediately won the viewers over to Doctor John Watson when they showed the character suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Actor Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Dr. Watson’s pain and silent suffering instantly drew me in, having me beg for more about this distressed character.

Dr. Watson proved his courage and love for trouble with every passing character he met. His first meeting with Sherlock Holmes revealed his psychosomatic limp. Well, more accurately, Sherlock inferred to it, only to later reveal it to Dr. Watson. Throughout the episode, meeting each of Sherlock’s enemies and acquaintances, Dr. Watson proved steady during stress and unhinged during downtime. Sherlock was dead-on on analyzing his friend as a man with nerves of steel.

Inspector Lestrade – The Desperate Man

Introducing Inspector Lestrade

When viewers first saw Inspector Lestrade, he appeared stressed, worried, and unhappy. His oblivion about the murderer made him appear weak and incompetent before the reporters, and Sherlock only made him look worse. Later scenes would reveal Inspector Lestrade’s dependence on Sherlock to help him do his job.

On the other hand, Inspector Lestrade was an honest man. When Dr. Watson asked why he included Sherlock on his cases, he replied, “Because I’m desperate, that’s why!” After this admittance, he turned back to Dr. Watson from the flat’s doorway and said something that every viewer wants to believe: Sherlock is a great man, and someday he might be a good one. In so saying, Inspector Lestrade portrayed himself as optimistic and hopeful, a great side character to Sherlock and Dr. Watson.

Sergeant Donovan – Miss Negativity in Action

Introducing Sergeant Donovan

Sergeant Donovan could hardly make my skin crawl any more with her disgusting and unpardonable hatred and slanderous comments about the great, crime-solving genius, Sherlock Holmes.

The female law enforcement lead is the exact opposite of Inspector Lestrade. Whereas Lestrade portrays hope and admiration for Sherlock, Sergeant Donovan calls Sherlock names, warns off people from becoming his friend, and portrays a nasty attitude in general. I think at least some viewers would agree with me on the show’s ability to easily do without Sergeant Donovan.

Sherlock Holmes – The Psychopath with Crime-Solving Antics

Introducing Sherlock Holmes

“A Study in Pink” along with later episodes in later series revealed several references to Sherlock being a psychopath, something of little consequence to me. His delight in serial killers is little more than excitement in solving a difficult puzzle. Only, since Sherlock qualifies as a genius, finding a difficult puzzle for him requires more than the average jigsaw puzzle.

What can I say about the character on whom Dr. Watson centers on? Actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock well in his fast speech and enthusiasm about solving difficult criminal cases. The writers also did well in giving Cumberbatch well-scripted insults, running scenes, and socially awkward scenes. Sherlock viewers either love or hate him. I love him, along with Dr. Watson.

Mycroft Holmes – The Most Dangerous Enemy

Introducing Mycroft Holmes

Dr. Watson showed great restraint in refraining from telling Sherlock to grow up when he learned Mycroft was Sherlock’s older brother instead of the most dangerous man Dr. Watson had ever met. However, Mycroft had brought Dr. Watson in for questioning. And though he failed to frighten Dr. Watson, he did show a flare for the dramatic, an obvious clue to his being related to Sherlock.

Mycroft will show up again and again in later episodes and series. The two brothers love each other, and their enemy status is nothing more than remaining childhood rivalry. Anyone who has watched all four series along with me will know his vital role in future episodes, saving Sherlock in more ways than one.

Molly and Moriarty – More Details to Come

Introducing Molly

Molly first appeared in her white lab coat. Mourning the loss of a kind colleague, she had an odd mix of horror and admiration for Sherlock when he took a riding crop and started whipping the dead man’s body. (This scene came from the actual story by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock was experimenting on how bodies bruised.) She thus proceeded to apply some lipstick and ask Sherlock if he would like some coffee, of which he completely missed her meaning and continued on with his experiments.

Moriarty is merely mentioned at the very ending of “A Study in Pink.” A name means nothing. However, the name will eventually strike fear and anger in Sherlock’s heart whenever it arises. And it will arise frequently.

Who is your favorite character in the series? Do you take Sherlock’s side, or Sergeant Donovan’s side? Please comment below!

Doctor Who – We Will Miss You, Bill Potts

Spoilers! Discontinue this blog post if you have yet to view Doctor Who’s latest episode! Aired on June 24, 2017.

The skies loom dark…and smoggy…in the latest Doctor Who episode. In this 11th episode of season 10, viewers will mourn for Bill Potts, the fun and quirky companion. For in this episode, she meets an unexpected villain…and an unhappy end.

Why We Loved Doctor Who’s Bill Potts

As a member of the primitive human species, I had my doubts about a lesbian companion. However, my doubts disappeared after season’s 10 first episode. Bill Potts’s energy and enthusiasm found a secure place in my heart, and I looked forward to her adventures with the Doctor.

Pearl Mackie, who played Bill Potts, seemed to have a certain chemistry with Peter Capaldi. Representing two strong and independent personalities, they could sit and discuss differing opinions, yet relate in their social relationships. They were the quintessential friends.



What Bill Potts’s Ending Means to Me

Despair and horror may adequately describe how I feel about this episode’s conclusion. In his usual talented writing style, producer and writer Steven Moffat first charmed the viewers in the life Bill Potts’s lived in the spaceship’s bottom, then he brought in the villains.

With the Master converting Bill into a Cyberman and recruiting Missy to join his evil plans, the pain is real upon seeing and hearing Bill Potts reach out to the Doctor from her side among the villains. The fun and carefree adventures have come to an end. Now comes pain and misery for the Doctor…and the viewers.

The Hope to Which We Cling

Two Doctor Who characters have transformed into Cybermen, Bill Potts and Danny Pink. Both exhibited despair at their mortal flesh’s end, creating an interesting twist to the traditional Cybermen with their ability to feel. Nevertheless, this unexpected twist brings hope to the viewers for their beloved fictional friends.

If the Master has truly brought back the Cybermen, then the Doctor may have the ability to turn the Cybermen into good guys. Or, at least, bring back the characters whom we loved. If Bill and Danny came back, then maybe there is hope for some of the Doctor’s companions.

Will We See Bill Potts Ever Again?

Please answer us, BBC America! We feel like we have lost a good friend in Bill Potts, and we want her back. Please make it so our beloved characters can come back from the dark side and join ranks with the Doctor once more. Show that good can triumph over evil.

Thank you for reading. Please share your favorite memories with Bill Potts below. Take your time, though. I myself may need to watch the season again before I can adequately answer that question.

Top Three Reasons to Try Harry Potter Jelly Slugs at Jelly Belly Co.

Harry Potter Jelly Slugs came out after Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Beans. Jelly Belly Company produced them around the same time as Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs. As Jelly Belly describes Harry Potter Jelly Slugs online, there are five different fruit-flavored gummis that delight every Harry Potter fan.

Unfortunately for me, many months expired before I found out about these delightful treats. And some time expired between learning about them and having the money to purchase any for myself. However, just a short-while ago, the knowledge and the money combined. Here are the top three reasons to try Harry Potter Jelly Slugs.

Reason One: Because Jelly Slugs are in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Harry Potter Jelly Slugs popping out of the book!

I’d rather not dwell on the issue that caused the curse, or how the curse backfired. But here is an excerpt on where Jelly Slugs originated from in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:

Flint had to dive in front of Malfoy to stop Fred and George jumping on him, Alicia shrieked, “How dare you!”, and Ron plunged his hand into his robes, pulled out his wand, yelling, “You’ll pay for that one, Malfoy!” and pointed it furiously under Flint’s arm at Malfoy’s face.

A loud bang echoed around the stadium and a jet of green light shot out of the wrong end of Ron’s wand, hitting him in the stomach and sending him reeling backward onto the grass.

“Ron! Ron! Are you all right?” squealed Hermione.

Ron opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Instead he gave an almighty belch and several slugs dribbled out of his mouth onto his lap.

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Poor, poor Ron had intended to defend Hermione’s honor, only to shame himself. However! Thanks to his backfired curse, Harry Potter fans can now enjoy Harry Potter Jelly Slugs!

Reason Two: Because Harry Potter Jelly Slugs Come in Five Delicious Flavors!

Jelly Slugs have five different fruit flavors.

Jelly Belly Company does its best to hide the flavors from buyers. But since I’ve bought a package, I’ll share them with my readers. There are five flavors:

  • Pear – a light green slug
  • Sour Cherry – a red slug
  • Tangerine – an orange slug
  • Watermelon – a dark green slug
  • Banana – a yellow slug

When offered to my father, he picked a sour cherry. To my amusement, he said it tasted like a cough drop from the olden days. Alex agreed, but he said it was a good taste. And I agreed with Alex, for the slug tasted delectable, as did all the variously flavored slugs.

Reason Three: To Spread Joy to All Harry Potter Fans!

I was wrong! Jelly Belly Company has locations all throughout the United States! And the company will ship anywhere! Therefore, if any reader wishes to indulge in the Harry Potter world, or immerse his or her friends in it, then visit the local Jelly Belly store.

The Harry Potter product line serves well to engage the Millennial generation and their children’s imagination. Bertie Bott’s Beans, Chocolate Frogs, and Jelly Slugs also serve well as gifts. So, go ahead! Indulge in a little British-inspired candy!

Where to Find and Collect Harry Potter’s Chocolate Frogs in Northern California

“Why would I ever bother to collect some fiction’s chocolate?” someone who’s never read Harry Potter might ask. These unfortunate souls miss out on the real reason to find Harry Potter’s Chocolate Frogs: To collect every single magical card of all the famous Harry Potter witches and wizards in the real world!

How I First Found Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Chocolate Frogs are found in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

It was Memorial Day weekend in the year 2016. Alex and I both had the day off, but we struggled to find something to do. We put our heads together and searched through our memories to recall things on our fun to-do list. And we remembered the Jelly Belly Factory, a place neither of us had ever visited. So, off we went!

Tour employees were present at the factory. The actual factory workers had the day off. So, as tours go, we had more fun in each other’s company than viewing the videos and stilled machines. After quickly walking through, we arrived at the Jelly Belly tasting counter and the visitor’s store.

Alex tried variously flavored Jelly Bellies, going through the line two times for a total of six beans. I separated from the crowd and headed straight toward a sign with the Harry Potter logo. And there, in the lower half of the shelf tower, were Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs!

Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs and What I Found Out

As the months wore on, more Chocolate Frogs found their way into our home.

Seeing the Chocolate Frogs at the Jelly Belly Factory made me leap for joy. Soon, Alex found me in my excited state and offered to buy me one Harry Potter Chocolate Frog. I kissed him for his sweetness, and I soon was in the car, tearing open the Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frog package. My collection started with Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts’s gamekeeper.

A week passed. My excitement over the Harry Potter card was still high and flying. To increase my new collection, I asked Alex to drive us to the nearest Jelly Belly store to see if it carried Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs. He smiled and obliged me.

A sweet treat and a new card.

To our surprise, the store not only carried the item, but it sold them for a dollar cheaper than the Jelly Belly Factory. All the same, at 2.99 dollars per Chocolate Frog, I wanted to be smart. So, I only bought one. That day, my excitement died when I opened the package and found another Rubeus Hagrid card.

Eight months later would alert me to the coincidence in the cards being the same.

What’s So Great About Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Along with the delicious Chocolate Frog – which, unfortunately, stays in place instead of jumping out the window – comes collectible cards about famous witches and wizards in Harry Potter. Many names are included in the collection:

My Chocolate Frog collection…so far…
  • Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Madam Pince
  • The Potter Family
  • Rubeus Hagrid
  • Voldemort
  • Severus Snape
  • Myron Wagtail & Heathcote Barbary
  • Filius Flitwick
  • Pomona Sprout
  • Madam Rolanda Hooch
  • Donaghan Tremlett & Myron Wagtail
  • Quirinus Quirrell
  • Mr. Ollivander
  • Albus Dumbledore
  • Minerva McGonagall
  • Orsino Thruston & Myron Wagtail

On the backside of the magical 3D picture is a description about the witch or wizard. Like the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter fans in the real world can buy, trade, and collect their favorite witches and wizards!

What I Later Learned About Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Harry Potter‘s Wizarding World at Universal Studios carries Chocolate Frogs. Based on what I hear, the Chocolate Frogs come in a pentagon-shaped box with a pentagon-shaped card. To collect these cards, fans must either go to Universal Studios or order the Chocolate Frogs online. As of yet, I personally can only dream about buying and trading this surely wonderful collection.

As for now, I encourage every Harry Potter fan and their children to go to the nearest Jelly Belly store and pick up some Chocolate Frogs. If fans wish to buy a box, they can go to JellyBelly.com and purchase 6, 24, or more Chocolate Frogs at once! They are loads of fun for every Harry Potter fan and make wonderful gifts, too.

Pearl Mackie Shines in Doctor Who’s “The Pilot”

“A homosexual companion!” cried the Christian-conservative woman. “Doctor Who is ruined!”

Many conservative Americans felt this way about their beloved BBC America show Doctor Who. They whined and complained and said they would never watch the newest companion. However, the tenth series first episode finally arrived. And every Doctor Who fan sat down to watch.

Actress Pearl Mackie proved the American conservatives undeniably and irrefutably wrong.

Introducing Pearl Mackie as Doctor Who‘s New Companion

Knowing the new companion to be homosexual, I expected a very extroverted, flamboyant and lovable character. Someone like Ezra Miller’s character in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Pearl Mackie’s character, named Bill, is someone wholly different.

Pearl Mackie as Bill and love interest Heather.

Bill smiled at the mysterious and the unknown. She pursued people who interested her, predominantly blonde young women. Courage and curiosity convinced her to chase down the mysterious Doctor and the odd Nardole. She worked in the cafeteria, and she portrayed confidence in her own person.

Ezra Miller played a lovable character, but Pearl Mackie captured the screen. Bill was down-to-earth and easy to relate to. The Doctor asked her to his office almost in a way to offer friendship, for she had few friends. To state simply, Pearl Mackie played Bill as a typical and likable person.

Why Pearl Mackie Fits Perfectly as the Doctor’s Companion

Jenna Coleman played Clara as the Doctor’s potential love interest. When River Song said goodbye to Matt Smith’s Doctor, Clara turned into the confused companion who didn’t know whether to act like a love interest or a standoffish friend. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor solidified Clara’s role as nothing more than a friend.

New companion Bill and the Doctor

Pearl Mackie played Bill as a young woman only interested in other young women as love interests. Therefore, her role immediately solidified as the Doctor’s friend and nothing more. Different than Jenna Coleman, Pearl Mackie adds an edge to her new companion role with her character’s quirks and boldness. She played – and she will continue to play – someone whom the Doctor can have fun with.

What American Viewers Hope to See in Upcoming Doctor Who Episodes

Series nine definitely had a serious and somewhat morbid tone. The 2016 Doctor Who Christmas episode changed the tone completely with its American superhero. I, along with my friends and family, hope this lighthearted change will continue. After all, we thought the British viewed this wildly popular show as something for children. So shouldn’t it be lighthearted?

New companion Bill in the TARDIS

Pearl Mackie has brought a lighter tone to the series. Though she acts well in dark circumstances, her courage and talkative nature stand out starkly to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. A change that the show badly needed to keep their viewers interested. If only they can look beyond her love interests.

One thing is for certain: I will gleefully watch Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Pearl Mackie as the new companion as the new series unfolds. New writers with new characters will grace the screen with new adventures. And as long as American fans can keep open-minded, then they too will love the newest season of the best BBC America series.

Harry Potter’s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans at Real-Life Jelly Belly

What feels like many, many years ago, I stepped out with my mother on a rare window shopping trip meant purely for entertainment. We wandered the nearby factory outlets and eventually found ourselves in a Jelly Belly shop. On this particular shopping trip, I squealed in delight as I discovered for the first time Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

Experiencing Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans found at Jelly Belly.

This discovery occurred early on when the Jelly Belly Factory had only created Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans in their Harry Potter product line. Needless to say, my excitement softened my mother’s heart, so she bought me one small package of the beans.

Tasting the beans for the first time, I slowly consumed the beans while reading the latest Harry Potter book. The flavors ranged widely. Some had a delightful, fruity flavor, much like a regular Jelly Belly bean. Others had come straight from the Wizarding World, such booger, bacon, and vomit.

Every bean brought me straight to the Wizarding World’s heart, straight to my love for the series as a tween and on. The Harry Potter product line gave me a reason to frequent Jelly Belly, whereas no reason had existed before.

Why Parents Should Buy Harry Potter’s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans for Their Children

Harry Potter product line at Jelly Belly, packaged and sealed.

Harry Potter came to America during my elementary school years. My sixth grade teacher, an amazing 26-years-old, single, and feisty woman, read The Sorcerer’s Stone to us, her students. She pre-ordered The Chamber of Secrets so she could read it to us before anyone else as well.

This teacher inspired imagination, encouraged love for the weird and extraordinary in the first millennials. And considering how well University Studio’s Wizarding World is doing, these same millennials are also likely teaching their own children to love Harry Potter.

Consequently, to delight and encourage imagination in their children, parents should buy them Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. The flavors quell harsh reality, surpass mere fun, and enter into awe and wonder.

Concluding Remarks on Initial Product in Jelly Belly’s Harry Potter Line

In The Sorcerer’s Stone, where Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans first appeared.

Why would a 30-year-old millennial talk about her enjoyment in Harry Potter – inspired products? Because they’re British!

Granted, the Jelly Belly Factory is located in Fairfield, California, but the beloved series originated from a British author, J.K. Rowling. Therefore, these delightful beans qualify in this poor American’s mind as a delectable treat from the United Kingdom. And she encourages every other Harry Potter fan to try them as well.