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What’s On Your Fall Television Schedule?

fall tv schedule feature imageFall is just around the corner, and with it some really great television. I can tell you for certain that some of our staple shows are bound for greatness with their fall premieres: The Walking Dead (October 12, AMC) for instance is already claiming to have the most “intense first six minutes” and with what I have seen so far, I don’t doubt it.

American Horror Story

Even those last season’s American Horror Story: Coven, wasn’t my favorite chapter of the franchise, I have to say that I am completely on board with Freak Show (October 8, FX)! I think, once again, Ryan Murphy has been set up for greatness with this next season and as long as he isn’t trying to shove too much into it like last year, Freak Show has the potential to really scare the life out of us. I mean, this year’s villian is a killer clown that is supposed to make Pennywise look like Ronald McDonald.

The Blacklist

Returning for its sophmore season is one of the only two shows left on NBC that’s worth watching (IMO) and that is The Blacklist (September 22, NBC). Since cancelling Revolution (yeah, not ready to let that one go), NBC hasn’t exactly wowed me with their summer programming, Taxi Brooklyn and Rosemary’s Baby reboot.. REALLY!? Nor has any of their new shows for fall seem like standouts, so as long as The Blacklist is coming back, I will keep NBC on my favorites list.

James Spader is pure awesomeness as Raymond “Red” Reddington, and he breathes life into a network that is full of bad reality TV and poorly scripted dramas. He adds humor and sass in a show that is full of interesting and intriguing plot lines, and is surrounded by an equally talented supporting cast.

Sadly, CBS and ABC have pretty much lost me as a viewer, with Modern Family being about the only thing left on ABC that I make sure to tune in for. I am still in love with the Pritchetts and Dumpheys and cannot wait for them to come back to my Wednesday night line up. Even seven seasons in, they find ways to keep family life really ridiculous, funny, and easy going. 

Sons of Anarchy

In other places, FX is gearing up for their final season of Sons of Anarchy (September 9, FX). My only regret here is that I missed out on the first six seasons as they played out live, only having binged the show over this past winter. I have yet to catch up on season six, but that’s ok. My DVR is set and ready for the Son’s final season, and I will play catch up along the way thanks to the magical addiction that is my Netflix account.

Speaking of which, if you don’t have a Netflix subscription, I highly suggest getting one or making friends with someone who is willing to share. Some of the absolute best television programming right now is on Netflix and you would be doing yourself a diservice if you miss out on Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Both of which will air new seasons in 2015, so you have plenty of time to catch up!

Even though I am well out of the targeted demo for it, I am really excited for the return of Supernatural (October 7, CW).

Supernatural

Season 10 premieres this October, and I am giddy with excitment. The way that last season ended was a game changer, and a fantastic way to lend life to a show that, most would say should have ended four or five seasons ago. Keep huntin’ boys, I’ll ride along in the Impala until we are all old and gray.

So far, the only new show that looks worth tuning in to, for me anyway, is Fox’s ‘Gotham’. I am admittedly a big fan of the Dark Knight Series, and I think that this prequel tale of Gotham city looks pretty gritty. I like gritty. While I do love some funny stuff, some of the best television I have watched has been down right dirty (either in mud or scandal). Go with what you know, right?

My biggest WTF so far of the fall season is the mysterious return of HBO’s The Newsroom. I feel as though I may be among the ones of people waiting for the third and final season. This show was fresh, funny, smart, and captivating. I am simultaneously pissed and enamoured with Aaron Sorkin for getting me hooked, then taking this little gem away. 

Of course, these are just my picks for what’s worth watching this fall. I know some of my other fellow TV Junkies have their own DVR schedule and will be sharing it in the near future. But for now, I want to know…

…what’s on YOUR viewing schedule?

The TV Times Are A’Changin’ – Can You Keep Up?

televisionBack when I was a kid, with the arrival of summer meant that my television watching days were over until it was time to return to school. With the exception of Saturday morning’s Cartoon Express and the occasional baseball game, I barely even glanced at the TV. Today, that seems to hardly be the case anymore.

 

Television is emerging from its cocoon, and blossoming into this beautiful butterfly, offering an array of choices in not only programming, but in platform and time. People are realizing that not everyone works the kind of schedule that television programming was built around in the early days of the infatuation with the boob tube. So, like many other things in the world, it is time for a revision of how we watch and what we watch.

 

No longer must we suffer through twelve plus weeks of reruns. Thanks to the internet and streaming subscription services like Netflix, Amazon Plus and Hulu, we are able to fill our time with shows we may have missed the first time around, as well as new programming that the networks may have never brought us. Not to mention that networks are starting to offer more new shows that air during the summer season to fill the gap.

 

RELATED: Our Top 10 Binge-Worthy Shows

 

Most recently, Netflix has created smash hits Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, both of which have been lighting the TV industry on fire. For the first time in history, you don’t have to have a cable subscription to watch television. These shows, both of which boast some serious talent, have been winning awards, making people laugh, cry and cringe. Fresh and innovative story telling is keeping people continuing to tune in, and offering that programming at the touch of a finger, any time, any place – is making it King of all entertainment.

 

Since the internet came along and allowed people to connect in much easier, less stressful environment, fandoms have formed. Millions of dedicated people are creating communities, conventions, and in some cases, life long relationships. Their collective voices have caused networks to change their minds on the fate of a show. They’ve caused others networks to sit up and take notice, saving an axed program from oblivion (lookin’ your way Cougar Town).

 

It’s allowed people like myself, to find a new way to express my love for good storytelling. Being able to sit here and gush about some amazingly crafted hour of television, or rant about inconsistencies in the character arcs is what my dreams are made of. The best part is, I know that I am not alone.

 

So, the next time you think to yourself… “there is nothing on right now!” head to one of the other many platforms and explore what you may have missed. Look through your On Demand menu, fire up the computer and check out Netflix or Hulu. I guarantee you, something will catch your eye and you will be beyond glad you dove in.

 

Binge-Worthy TV: Top 10 Shows to Fill Up On

Homer Simpson - couch potatoOur Picks for the Top Ten Shows to Fill Up On

Oh, how the holidays are filling! Family dinners, luscious desserts… from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, our waistlines suffer, as does our need for good entertainment. Most shows go on hiatus near the end of the fall, and, while reruns are OK from time to time, I like to try and find something that’s brand new to me. And totally binge-worthy.

We here at EMTV have a tendency to dive in and get wrapped up when we find a new show that catches our interest. I remember over one Christmas break from work, I got through the first two (and sadly only two) seasons of Carnivale. Watched the first few episodes, and two days later had watched all twenty-four. Since then, there have been quite a few vacations, weekends, and holidays where we’ve given our Netflix subscriptions a severe workout, and we want to share our top ten favorite binges with you.

While arguments can be made for a lot of shows that have aired over the years, we tried to find a representative of various genres. Ya know, cause sometimes you just wanna bring on the funny, while others you want to dive deep into a mythical realm where dragons and imps reign supreme.

In really no particular order, I give to you – Shows to Waste Enormous Amounts of Time On!

Sons of Anarchy (2008-Present) – This past fall I had seen so many people freaking out about what was happening on Sons of Anarchy, I knew it would be one to check out. It had always been one of those those shows I noticed, but had such a busy viewing calendar, I put it off. Luckily I had a few hours to kill when my other shows went on hiatus. Now, here I am three weeks later and five seasons deep.

Like most violent dramas, SOA has no shortage of blood, bullets, and boobs. But, unlike other shows of its’ type, it actually surprises you. Every time I thought, oh, well, it’s gonna go this way… it shifts gears and goes in a completely different direction. I must shout WTF! at least two times per episode.

Much like a lot of characters on TV lately, this gang of hoodlums are definitely of the anti-hero ilk. Criminals at heart and by choice, this is a bunch of men (and women) that you would never normally root for. So why is it that you can’t help but want them to constantly get away with the bad things they do? Because deep down, you know these guys (and gals) love their family and are only trying to provide for them and protect their home town.

The cast is pretty stellar, and they inject a certain something into their characters that makes their bad sides kinda hard to hate. Well, except Clay. I think I will ALWAYS hate Clay. The show is a bit like crack, but if you can handle the addiction, I say this is a show you could easily binge on.

The “L” Word (2004-2009) – What makes a TV show one to binge watch? I think you need to ask yourself what you LIKE to watch. Now, I’ve tried watching shows that people suggest or even what smart search suggests, but I find it’s best to binge on what you know and love. Do you like non-stop drama and attractive women? Well, The L Word could be the show for you to binge on!

There’s 6 seasons of non-stop drama for your mama, an amazingly beautiful and talented cast of women, and an array of characters with various personalities. With this show you’re going to learn so much about the Gay Culture along with the pride and struggles behind same-sex partners. Meanwhile seeing these women deal with the problems relationships bring, on top of real life responsibilities – work, family, love, and survival.

This show will give you an introspective look at the minds and hearts of women. How they think and feel. What friendship and love is really about, and lots of hook ups too! These lesbians know where it’s at in L.A.! Gay rights is a hot topic on this show, so if you’re homophobic, don’t skip this one! You should tune in and learn something!

There’s LOTS of depth and substance throughout this show, despite it’s questionable and frustrating 6th season finale. But at least you had a HELL of a run! I HIGHLY recommend watching The L Word – it made me laugh and cry. It made me pick sides and then switch perspectives! It’s an interesting show with a good sense of humor and whole lot of heart.

Supernatural (2005-Present) Two hot guys, a cool car and lots of other-worldly adventures. How could you NOT want to pour yourself into this show? But even beyond its pretty packaging, the story itself is an epic tale of Cain and Abel proportion set in modern day. Supernatural is a story of a family torn apart by a life-long destiny that no one wanted, and everyone tried to run from.

Take every story you’ve heard about monsters going bump in the night, and you have your MOTW (Monster of the Week) stories, being held up by a strong and deep mythology that will leave your mouths agape as it unfolds. The show is able to make fun of itself one week and leave you in a messy pile of feels on the floor, the next.

What makes this show binge-able (and sustainable) after nine seasons, is the amazing acting chops of said pretty packaging: Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. These guys are goofballs and best friends off set, but when the cameras roll, they can set your emotions off in a tail spin. From laughing to tears all in one episode, THEY are what makes this show just that much more amazing than the others of its’ kind. Go ahead, jump in the Impala and take the ride with the Winchesters… you won’t regret it.

The Walking Dead (2010-Present) This show… well, unless you have been living under a rock these past few years, you have to have at least heard of The Walking Dead. If you are generally a fan of horror, blood, guts and zombies, then this is the show for you to spend countless hours diving into.

From the first minute, it is compelling, character driven television. Sure there are lulls in the story, but when you are battling slow moving, brainless flesh eaters, sometimes there just happens to be a little down time. What The Walking Dead offers in the study of human nature is nothing short of spectacular. That, and the unique way the writers find to kill the zombies, is what makes TWD a fairly binge-able show.

Besides the awesome make-up and special effects, the characters themselves are pretty bad ass (for the most part). As the story unfolds, and people come and go, you will find yourselves more wrapped up in the warped thinking of some characters, than the zombie threat they live with. Questionable decisions, and unlikely heroes will keep you watching episode after episode until you feel like one of the zombies yourself.

The Office (2005-2013) I could go on and on as to WHY The Office is the best comedy in the world to binge on, but in the words of Dunder Mifflin’s boss Michael Scott, I’m going to K.I.S.S. the topic instead (K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid)

It’s funny. Period. No, wait… its REALLY funny. Like, side splitting funny. And dumb, really, really dumb. What separates this from the average funny show you ask… The people who work in the office. Michael Scott is a normal guy, who just wants to know what it feels like to have friends, family, and be the best boss in the world. Oh, and be the best improv comedian, magician, screenwriter, actor, etc. in the universe. Wrap all that up in one average paper salesman turned manager, and let the hi-jinks ensue. Then, back him up with a sidekick like Dwight Schrute, and all bets are off. Michael and Dwight are just TWO of the laundry list of reasons why this show should be THE comedy to watch – again and again and again.

What really makes this the comedy to binge on isn’t just the laughs, but all the little things that support the funny. There are also these moments in the documentary-style off-beat comedy that are sweet and poignant. It’s smart and ridiculous all at the same time. And with each episode only twenty (or so) minutes long, you could easily breeze through nine season’s worth of episodes. Trust me, once you get a load of Michael Scott’s screenplay, you won’t want to stop watching!

Fringe (2008-2013) You either like Sci-Fi or you don’t. But I suspect that even if you fall into the latter category, you could easily get wrapped up in Fringe. I happen to be a big fan of sci-fi shows, books and movies. So when I saw this show and that it was combined with a name like J.J. Abrams, I really couldn’t pass up a little gem like this.

I watched this show as it unfolded in real time on FOX. Somewhere between seasons 3 and 4 I got behind, and ended up binging on DVDs of seasons 1-4 in order to get ready for the shortened fifth and final season. While the story is mythology heavy and the “fringe” part of the science discussed is way over my IQ level, I couldn’t stop watching this show.

I’ll give you the four main reasons to give Fringe a chance: Walter, Peter, Olivia and Astrid. Remember that last name, because Walter always forgets; but the alternatives he comes up with are just the icing on the cake. Walter is one of the most amazing characters I have ever watched on TV. Of course, you have to completely suspend belief in realism to fully immerse yourself in it, but I think if you can shut off your brain for a while, you would easily get sucked in to the alternative Fringe-verse that awaits. Besides, Walter makes some really amazing drugs in his lab. Do you really want to miss out on that? And did I forget to mention there’s a cow?

Breaking Bad (2008-2013) There is a very popular trend on television over the past ten years of showcasing the anti-hero main character-type. I mentioned it earlier that the SOA crew was made up of personalities like that, but no show did that character type better than Breaking Bad’s Walter White. I know, it’s hard to imagine a man in his 50’s, wearing khakis, a cheap button down dress shirt and sneakers as a scary villian. But. somehow Bryan Cranston did that with cancer-stricken chemistry teacher, Walter White.

Along with his meth-cook sidekick Jessie Pinkman, Walter White made his mark on everyone’s Sunday night for five years. Having a break in my TV schedule last year, I found it on Netflix and caught up with the rest of the world, watching Walt struggle with a poor health diagnosis and a growing methamphetamine business. On more than one occasion I found myself watching, completely captivated, mouth agape, at what I was watching unfold.

I don’t think there is another show on television that had such a strong run as Breaking Bad. From start to finish it told a complete story, with a very satisfying ending. Because of the way the show is formatted, binging on it is just as easy as binging on Walt’s special blue meth, or so I presume. Most endings are left in a cliffhanger, and most of the beginnings foreshadow a oncoming disaster, so it is nearly impossible to tell yourself, “Just one more episode.” 

How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014) It all started in January 2013. I had no work… for the whole month! So, what did I do? I sat on my comfy-@$$ couch and binged on Netflix! And what did I watch you ask? Eight and a half seasons of How I Met Your Mother until I caught up to present day airing. That’s gotta be some sort of a record!!! HIMYM is an easy show to binge on. Each episode is only 22 minutes, which means, I could view about 3 episodes per hour, and if on average I watched 6-8 hours of TV, that’s 18-24 episodes a day. We’re looking at 1 season, or just shy of 1 season, a day. So, the viewer just flies through the show, getting a lot of TV for a “lesser” time commitment.

HIMYM is just down right cute and fun, and extremely relatable! With nothing to do for the month of January, I decided to make some new friends: Lily, Marshall, Robin, Barney, and Ted! They are a group of true friends who can be extremely silly and completely honest with each other. They will call each other out when necessary, even hold an intervention for one another, and will always have each others’ backs! The show’s use of call-backs, past references, and countless inside jokes allows the audience to feel as though they’ve been seamlessly admitted into the crew, without any questioning or hazing. The writing is inviting and open-minded, very appropriate for today’s young adult generation. Nothing is off-limits on HIMYM. They address topics like dating, parenthood, mommy & daddy issues, employment and relationship issues, sex, drugs, alcohol, friendships, friends with benefits, bromances, bachelor-life… you name it, it’s in there! Any viewer can easily relate to any one or more of the characters.

Barney Stinson is reason enough to watch the show! Though Robin is my personal favorite, Barney steals the show. He may be cocky, chauvinistic and outrageously ridiculous, but that’s what gets you hooked. His shenanigans are worth seeing and keep you wanting more. Neil Patrick Harris is an exceptional actor, period. If anything, at least watch the episode where Barney sings “Suits.” Who doesn’t love a musical episode? And if you enjoyed that, be sure to catch episodes featuring Robin Sparkles to hear “Let’s Go to the Mall,” and “Sandcastles in the Sand.” #Hilarious

The final reason to stay tuned is to find out who the eff Ted’s wife will be! So be sure to catch up, it’s quick and easy, and most importantly, it’s fun! Watch it on Mondays at 8pm on CBS because it’s going to be LEGEN wait for it…. DARY! LEGENDARY!

Game of Thrones (2011-Present) Watching Game of Thrones (GoT) at first was a little bit like one of those crazy dreams where it was high school history class combined with a strange acid trip, and flavored with ancient fairy tales… and not the kind granny used to tell. You know, those crazy, old, scary ones that were meant to frighten little children to keep them out of the woods. Yeah, that was my initial taste of GoT when I gave it a shot last February. But, you know what? After the end of episode two, I was diggin’ it. So, two seasons in about a week, really wasn’t hard.

Game of Thrones really is epic. Sometimes I think that word is thrown around a little to liberally with TV Shows these days, but in this case, its fitting. Even though there are a lot of characters, (even now I still get names confused) you will end up coming to love or loathe all of them. Its a great fit for a trip to fantasy island, where you just want to immerse yourself in a new realm, full of kings and queens, horrible and wonderful, swords and dragons, dire wolves and whitewalkers…

While there are only three seasons available, and only ten episodes per seasons, GoT is a great binge show. Yes, its heavy in dialogue, accents and, well, boobs, but there are dragons! Seriously, people, dragons!! How could you NOT want to see that! It’s clever, surprising, fascinating and captivating television. Winter is coming, don’t be the last one in from the cold.

Mad Men (2007-Present) Ok, to be honest, I struggled a little in choosing one last show for this list. Ultimately, what made me choose Mad Men is still a bit of a mystery to me. I started the show through DVDs from Netflix, and had a hard time getting past the first disc. When it became available for streaming, I decided to try again and picked up where I left off. Not exactly sure what it was, but from that second chance, I devoured four seasons in no time.

Here’s the funny part – one of my fellow TV Junkies asked me what I found so compelling about Mad Men. The more I thought about it, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. I just went blank. Yet, I couldn’t wait to get to the next episode. When season 5 became available, I watched it in a handful of days. What I think I enjoyed about it most, is the era and the business of advertising on Madison Avenue in the 1960’s. A period in time that sparks an interest and an industry that is close to my heart, I guess there was just an attraction for me to this show. BUT, as I got further and further into the seasons, the more I dug it.

Aside from the main character, Don Draper, the surrounding cast is phenomenal. Peggy, secretary turned Copy Editor, is a force to be reckoned with and Roger Sterling is just pure entertainment to watch. Don eventually gets interesting and his character slowly becomes a perfect study of childhood trauma affecting adult behavior. If you have any interest in psychology or study of social behavior, than this show is REALLY for you! Action-free but full of booze, sex and lies, Mad Men is a great way to fill your need for some serious drama-centric entertainment.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: These are some one or two seasons shows that are definitely worth considering for a quick binge-fix:

Orange Is The New Black (2013-Present, Netflix Original) – Excuse my language, but this show is the sh*t. Funny, sad, ridiculous… oh, and a character named Crazy Eyes. Need I say more?

The Newsroom (2012-Present, HBO) – Easily the best drama of its kind on television. Jeff Daniels won that Emmy for a reason folks, Watch it. Delight in it. Then watch it again, because you will hear things you missed the first time around. Brilliant and exciting television. HBO better give MORE than nine episodes for its third season, due to air sometime in 2014.

Revolution (2012-Present, NBC) – This show is intense. It gets a little mucky in the middle of season one, but the season that is currently airing on NBC has been nothing short of fantastic. Revolution is scientific, apocalyptic and has hot dudes fighting with swords. You really can’t go wrong.

American Horror Story (2011-Present, FX) – The ONLY reason AHS wasn’t included on the initial list was because it is currently airing its third season on FX. But, you can easily watch the first two stories in this horror series on Netflix now. Season 1: Murder House and Season 2: Asylum, are completely separate stories, and both fun and horrid in their own ways. But the real reason to dive into this show – two words… Jessica Lange. That is all.

Thanks for following along, and I hope this little review helps you pick some binge-able shows to add to your roster to fill in the gaps of what’s new on TV. As I wrap up the last few episodes of Sons of Anarchy, I am ready to line up my next one – any suggestions?

Here’s hoping 2014 brings us some great new television that doesn’t include any laugh tracks or procedural cop shows. Happy New Year to all, and don’t forget to set those DVRs!

The Blacklists’s Liz & Red – What’s The Connection Between?

THE-BLACKLIST

“Good Lord, I just hope he isn’t her father,” is what I suspect MOST of The Blacklist fans are thinking and saying. I know I am. After all, what other reason could there be for Red to take a liking to her, only work with her, and go out of his way to expose her husband as a fraud? Despite last week’s episode, can I at least suspect we are all in agreement that Tom is a shady MOFO. I don’t care what he says, I don’t buy it. How or why would he have just been looking under the dining room rug and found the secret hatch unless he put it there? HMMM TOM??? Explain that one buddy! Oh, and Miss “I’m an FBI Agent but not really” Lizzie, what didn’t you ask him that?

Sorry, I digress from the topic… Red and Lizzie. Red’s concern for her seems like it extends pretty far. It’s a very odd tennis match that they play with each other and I think goes on like it does because Lizzie has feelings for him. Not saying its a romantic one, but she certainly runs to him a lot for just about everything. Yet, the second he does something that reiterates his criminal status, she chastises him and runs away. Sounds like a parent/child relationship, doesn’t it?

Red is supposed to be this bad ass criminal master mind, yet they were sitting on the steps together (or was it bench, I forget) and Li9z holds his hand for comfort… She clearly doesn’t know why, but (and god help me for the metaphor) she goes to him like a moth to a flame. Of course you’ll get burnt dummy, its fire, and Lizzie is knee deep in the pit with a match.

Of course, the mystery of Red isn’t the only thing I am curious about. It’s fairly clear the other agents have secrets. Those, however, I can wait to watch unfold as the season progresses. But the mystery bugging me the most, the one I want to know now… why does Red have such an affection for Liz. Anyone know? Anyone? Bueller… Bueller…

 

AMC Renews The Walking Dead for Fifth Season!

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I mean, really, how can you not? With a spin-off in the works, and a record-setting premiere, AMC has made the incredibly wise choice to bring back The Walking Dead for a fifth season. Even as AMC reported the news, which they referred to as “the most anti-climactic renewal announcement ever”, they were thrilled to make it, especially considering that its become the biggest non-sports telecast in cable history.

Season five will still have Scott Gimple at the helm, along with executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, Tom Luse and Greg Nicotero. One can only imagine what new horrors the group will face, those who are left after this intense season 4 that is.

With the 20 plus million people that tuned in for the season 4 premiere, I’d be surprised if the Season five premiere doesn’t crack that record. And, don’t forget about that spin-off series that’s coming our way. A new story based on characters from Robert Kirkman. If that series can bring the depth, anxiety, and complex characters like its predecessor, AMC will surely have another hit on their hands.

What is it that Makes TWD So Successful?

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With a show like this, there could be a laundry list of reasons for its success. Cast, story, special effects, characters, couples, and in the case of The Walking Dead, some really kick ass zombies. There has been an explosion of love for the idea of zombie apocalypse as entertainment, and paired with the characters placed in this world of death and sickness, you have something really special. These people are polarizing, complicated, primal and flawed. They are simultaneously fun and scary to watch.

The Walking Dead 4×04 Sneak Peek #2

With the renewal of The Walking Dead, one can only hope that The Talking Dead will be renewed as well. I’ve quickly become a fan of Chris Hardwick and the show. I find the different takes and opinions on the characters and situations intriguing. For the most part think that the guests that sit on the panel are fun, engaging and bring a unique point of view to the discussion.

The Walking Dead 4×04 Sneak Peek #1

What do you think about the renewal? If you have any early predictions for the next season, let me know in the comments below! The next new episode of The Walking Dead 4×04 Indifference airs on Sunday, November 3rd at 9/8C.

Review – NBC’s Revolution – “There Will Be Blood”

Revolution Season 2You Say You Want a Revolution? Well, There Will Be Blood!

Jumping right into this week’s brand new Revolution, Aaron is alive (?!), Miles went through the Red Door, Charlie caught up with her man, and the ever-scheming Tom Neville hatched a new plan. That is the second installment, There Will be Blood, in a nutshell. Was there more, of course! In fact, there was so much more I felt the need to rewatch the episode several times just to make sure I caught every thing. To be honest, I really don’t know where to start, so let’s have a quick recap first.

Miles: After being captured by Titus Andover’s men, Miles and Sheriff Mason find themselves locked in cages in a poorly lit room where they aren’t the only prisoners. At the end of this “holding cell” is a Red Door that no one ever leaves. Miles and Mason are both given a blood test of sorts and when it is determined that the Sherriff isn’t a match, it’s a bullet to the head for him. Eventually, Miles gets himself free of his restraints and would have gotten away if he hadn’t stopped to let out another prisoner. They get caught, scuffle ensues, and Miles “Fancy Pants” Matheson is brought to see Titus (who is really super creepy). Right after Titus tells Miles about his life before the blackout (Yikes), he decides not to kill him. Instead, Titus dishes out a hammer to Miles’ hand. Miles gets his escort through the red door.

Aaron, Rachel & Woodbury*(oops, I mean Willoughby): Aaron catches his breath even though he was dead; for about two and a half hours apparently. Rachel and Aaron discuss the nanites and how they were most likely the cause of his resurrection. Meanwhile, the sheriff is sent home, dead, on a horse, and in a fairly normal reaction they freak out and batten down the hatches while they wait for the Rangers to arrive. Aaron and Cynthia keep the kids busy with grand tales of a heroic band of men who saved New York long ago, The Ghostbusters. Rachel begs her father to get a group together to go rescue Miles from his captivity. Eventually, Rachel gets her rescue group together and as they ride off after Miles (or Stu), they notice a large (huge, ginormous?) group of dead rats. Yuck.

Aaron begins to notice more odd goings on after having a hallcination of a dying, bleeding Ben on the floor saying, “it’s you, it’s you Aaron.” Aaron, understandably, freaks out. As Cynthia tries to push the idea of it all being a miracle, Aaron bursts her bubble by revealing what he knows about the nanotechnology and the blackout. A nice series of flashbacks to that night in the Tower, giving us a glimpse at what happened immediately after the ICMBs hit their targets.

Charlie & Monroe: After following the guys that kidnapped Monroe, Charlie gets herself caught and wakes up chained at the bottom of a drained pool, across from the man himself. Adam patches her up and questions her motives for chasing after Monroe. He tells Charlie that they were hired by the Patriots to go after Monroe for the crime of dropping the bombs. After a snarky exchange between Charlie and Monroe (one of my favorite scenes, by the way), the bounty hunters release Charlie and take Monroe to transport him back to the Patriots. Once they are moving, Monroe breaks out of his restraints and frees himself out of the horse drawn wagon and runs off into the woods. Charlie catches up and jumps in on the action, taking her shot at Monroe. Monroe wins this one and takes off in the wagon.

The Nevilles: The first time we see Tom this episode, he is playing drunk to buddy up to one of the Patriot Guards. Going by the name Edgar Crane, he seems to have made his first “in” with them. Tom, Jason and an ex-rebel fighter conspire to take out Secretary Allenford, whom they all have reasons for wanting dead. Putting their plan into motion, Tom does what he does best, and shifts gears last minute; initiating his true intentions into motion. Instead of helping to assassinate Secretary Allenford, he played her hero and killed the ex-rebel who was going to shoot her. Tom is brought in to see Ms. Allenford and continues his manipulation of the Patriots, which seems to pay off for him.

The Patriots: There was a sequence towards the end of the episode where the guy holding Miles for Titus scribbles on a paper and wax seals it with the pyramid-eye symbol that you see on the back of money. Cut to Secretary Allenford opening a similar piece of paper and reading something scribbled in Arabic. Sketchy, right?

Review of Episode 2×02 “There Will be Blood”

I thought the writing of this episode was some of the best this show has had yet. Who ever is writing the dialogue for Aaron, is a comic genius because he had some of the funniest lines of the night. His entire situation is very interesting and it’s the mystery I am most excited to see play out. As usual, I was entertained from beginning to end and I already see a big difference between this season and last. Characters are stronger, yet, weaker. Besides the great writing, the entire cast seems to have brought their “A” game. Another great episode that is definitely worth watching a few times over!

Best Lines & Noteworthy Moments of Revolution 2×02:

The exchange between Miles and Mason when they are locked up about the legendary man that made him want to become a Sheriff, “Walker, Texas Ranger”… haha!!

Rachel: “Hey, how ya feeling?” Aaron: “For a dead guy, ok. Little dehydrated, hungry for brains.”

Aaron: “The microscopic robots in the air magically resurrected me, that’s totally logical.”

Charlie to Monroe: “Did it ever occur to you that you sucked at your job?”

Miles to Titus: “Listen, I got a pretty full afternoon, so, whatever you’re gonna do, just do it.”

*Is it just me or does the set of Willoughby bare a really strong resemblance from Woodbury on The Walking Dead? Just throw a few buses and zombies in there and it would be nearly identical! That, or I am just crossing fandoms again.

Revolution episode 2.03 “Love Story” airs Wednesday, October 9th at 8/7C on NBC.

Summer TV at Its Finest

SummerTV

Under the Dome, Breaking Bad, The Newsroom

So, it’s the middle of Labor Day weekend, and I cannot believe that the summer of 2013 is nearly over. True, it doesn’t end until September 22, but when you live on the Jersey Shore, the (non) official end of summer is this weekend. Unfortunately, with the end of lazy, hazy days, is the end of some of the best stuff on television.

Sunday nights have been my biggest television night, well, for a long long time. Going back to the days of In Living Color, The Simpsons and The X-Files (yeah, I’m THAT old), we would hold Sunday night TV in high regard, planning an entire evening around it. Not much has changed in the last twenty years. Now, leaving the cartoons and comedies behind, my main viewing tends to be on HBO and AMC. There is a reason that HBO and AMC have topped the list with Emmy Nominations (save for American Horror Story: Asylum). What they are putting into their programming has been amazing, entertaining, heartbreaking and exciting in ways that I haven’t seen in a long time.

Summer TV at it’s Finest: Under the Dome, Breaking Bad, The Newsroom

Starting with HBO’s The Newsroom that is a show about, well, a newsroom, should not be as edgy and exciting as it is. When you throw in an actor like Jeff Daniels and give him a character like Will McAvoy, I don’t know how you could miss. Not a traditional hero or anti-hero, Will McAvoy is an outspoken, numbers-loving, Republican ex-attorney who has decided that he just wants to do the news, and do it honestly. He wants to have the public’s trust (and viewership) and, he wants to make it all happen with this cast of characters surrounding him. Lots has been posted about Jane Fonda’s guest roles, or the work of his co-stars Sam Waterson and Emily Mortimer, all very talented and equally amazing on this show. But to overlook the supporting cast would be a mistake. Olivia Munn, who plays financial guru Sloan Sabbith gets some of THE BEST LINES of each episode. The chemistry that is building between her and Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski) has actually made me like the character of Don. That in itself is remarkable. Unfortunately, only given nine episodes for it’s sophomore season, I can only hope that come next summer, HBO will generate more for this underrated gem.

AMC’s Breaking Bad is also in the home stretch towards its’ SERIES finale. Just let that sink in for a moment… No more Walt. No more Jessie. These two men, who (if you’ve watched from the beginning) have been breaking your heart, causing you to scream or cry or unable to breath for years, will be gone. I’ve never had such a love/hate relationship like I have had with Walter White. And, even after the latest episode 5×11 Confessions, I still don’t want to see him get caught. For all that he’s put his family through, for all that he’s put Jessie through, and himself… just doesn’t seem right for this cancer-stricken chemistry teacher to pay for just trying to provide for his family. Just want to give a big shout out of thanks to Vince Gilligan for making me realize how blurry my moral lines really were. What else can you say that hasn’t already been said about Breaking Bad? If this wasn’t a show that you watched, I suggest to purchase a Netflix subscription and binge.

Last, but certainly not least, Under The Dome will also be ending its first season soon. Originally slated as a 13 episode mini-series, CBS has decided that it has enough viewers to extend to a second season. When it first started, I had said out right that even though I read the book, I wouldn’t compare the two. After the first few episodes I realized just how impossible that would be. The story took a completely different turn nearly immediately, and it worked perfectly. While the characters are familiar, the story is fresh and works better for television that the story originally told in the novel. With only two episodes left, it’s hard to imagine getting to the mystery of the dome, so I am extremely happy that season 2 will be back next summer.

With all this great programming ending, I am very thankful for the fall season starting! What is on your TV viewing schedule?

Under the Dome It’s Gonna Be a Long Hot Summer

under the dome

Seriously. How can people breathe under that thing? If you didn’t watch last night’s much anticipated premiere of Stephen King’s Under the Dome, there is one thing you need to do today. Find it and watch it. The pilot of this 13 episode series was enough to make me change the DVR settings to a series record and give me something to watch in my Monday 10 pm time slot. Before getting to the story itself, a few disclaimers if you will.

I have read the book. I loved the book. I am not going to say any more than that except for there are already major differences. Normally, that’s not ok for me. When you have a beautifully written piece of fiction like Under the Dome, it’s hard to get it just right for TV. When they tried it with The Stand back in the early 90’s it didn’t work. Forget that the CGI technology was no where near what it is now, but the casting was off and the chunks of story changed ruined my favorite novel of all time. Dome, however, will benefit from the changes made because they were approved and done by the master himself.

Knowing that Stephen King was along the ride every step of the way allowed me to remove that “I’ve read the book” veil, and just concentrate on watching a good and intriguing television show. The casting (so far) is spot on. Dean Norris couldn’t have been more perfect for Big Jim. His way of being charismatic and good with the people but the second someone tells him what he doesn’t want to hear, any trace of the previous persona is gone and he is manipulating you every which way possible to get the results HE wants.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer under that dome, and if they go down the dark, twisted roads ahead that I think they will, viewers of this series are definitely in for a treat.

A Game of Thrones Discussion, But it’s NOT What You Think!

Game-of-Thrones season 3

Before I even type another word, let me assure you there are NO SPOILERS from this past week’s Game of Thrones. In fact, I don’t really even want to talk about the episode specifically, because really it is one to be watched and experienced; especially with no previous knowledge of storyline. Just go, sit and watch. Then come back and we can talk about it until you are blue in the face. But for now, what I want to talk about, is expectations.

I am a book reader. I love to read, especially Stephen King. I like Dean Koontz well enough, but there is something very haunting, yet truthful, about the majority of King’s work that moves me. Now, having said that, whenever something he writes gets put into motion to be experienced on the big or small screen, I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach. This anxious kind of excitement that only my love and desire of good storytelling can generate. I chew off my husbands ears with the preliminary proclamations that there is NO WAY it will be as good as the book, or HOW could they ever fit all of this into a 2 hour movie?? (Well, if its a King story, try a 3-4 hour movie easy). It’s something, as a constant reader, that I cannot help but do. So, I can only imagine how avid readers of the Game of Thrones series of novels had been feeling this entire series so far; up to, and including, this week’s festivities.

I truly have to give these comparison readers credit. By comparison readers, I mean those that read and watch, compare and contrast the two mediums with a hawk-like eye on the details. Usually, of course there are exceptions, but generally, these are the types that will then head to the closest message board and blast or praise what they saw, spoilers be damned. Unless I just didn’t look in the right place, I didn’t see one post from these “comparsioners” that gave away the events that happened this past week. Not once did I see a post that said anything like “…yeah, well, JUST WAIT. Because in about two episodes THIS is gonna happen…” Game of Thrones readers kept this secret hidden and hidden well, doing their best to not give it away for those of us that don’t read the books. Those of us naive people who believe certain characters always have and always will be “safe”. Not that this show really had a great track record for that. The loss of King Robert and Ned Stark in season one still leaves my head scratching, but the enormity of the events of this week, and what is to come was MIND BLOWING for me. As a storyteller, as a story-watcher and as a TV Junkie – my world was rocked. Even now, and regardless of my opening statement, I want nothing more than to dive into details and endlessly discuss the possibilities of what is to come. And the thing is, if I REALLY wanted to know, I could just go and pick up the books right? No. Not me. I started this show with no knowledge of the story. And for someone who reads like I do, it is a bit of a struggle not to go grab A Storm of Swords and dive in. But, after what I experienced Sunday night; after the raw emotion and nervous energy I felt while watching ALL the events unfold, I know I have to remain an unknowing part and just watch. Because regardless of the inconsistencies between book plot and TV plot, I am still reeling. Two days later, and I am still thinking about it, projecting possible outcomes, and, yes, even still feeling a pull at my heart for certain characters. God do I want to dive in deeper, but I will refrain. At least until after the finale. After that, I make no promises.

I guess in the end you have to ask yourself, does it really matter if they are similar or not? What they are putting on my TV every Sunday is amazing, heartbreaking, enticing, entrancing and exciting. So who gives a shit if it follows the book exactly? Extracting those kind of emotions from your audience is what its all about, right? Regardless of the medium it is delivered in stories like this are why I open a book, turn on the TV or hand over hard earned cash to sit a crowded theater and eat stale popcorn. To be transfixed and transported to a whole new world where I can wrap myself up in the story, feel what the characters feel and experience what they do.

I would like to thank any readers of the books for keeping that “exchange” to yourselves. You have great will power to not spoil it for the rest of us. That is a quality I greatly appreciate.

So, how about you? Are you a reader/watcher? Or do you just enjoy the ride regardless of the medium? Comment below, but please, by the Old Gods and the New… NO SPOILERS.

Renewed! Cancelled! HALLEJUAH! TV Gods Hear Our Prayers!

community

First… Let’s give a big “WOOT WOOT!” to NBC for finally getting their heads out of their asses and doing the right thing (well, except canceling The Office… no worries, there will be a full on temper tantrum about that in an upcoming article). I don’t know if it was the war cry of “#sixseasonsandamovie” or the fact that the Peacock Network has slashed two of their four Thursday night comedies, but NBC seemed to finally concede, and recognize the fact that COMMUNITY is a force to be reckoned with. Well, either that, or they are just as in love with Joel McHale and his abs as we all are. Yes, even YOU. So returning this fall to your screens will still be two of the funniest shows on television – along with the Greendale Gang will be the amazing ensemble from Pawnee, Indiana – Parks and Recreation. Seriously, how can you NOT bring that gang back? On the close of their AMAZING Parks and Recreationfourth finale we left knowing that Ron Swanson’s girlfriend, played by the dazzling Lucy Lawless, was going to be his baby mama. Umm, hello! Ron Swanson… AS A FATHER?! Yes Please! While they aren’t the hottest couple on television, Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt definitely have my vote for one of my favorite TV couples. Leslie Knope, certainly not a woman to be outdone, and her nerdy counterpart, Ben, have found a way to make Job OCD and Geek, sheek, sexy and sweet. And, yes Leslie, we concur; Ben does have a very nice butt and we are glad to see it back for season 5!

NBCSticking with NBC for the moment, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that they have decided to finally let Whitney go. The fact that they kept it on the schedule for as long as they did, and that it warranted enough attention to even have a consideration for a second season makes me extremely sad. I, personally, tend to think that NBC had some of the smartest, funniest shows on television. But allowing Whitney to stick around would be akin to letting Mose run the farm completely (if you don’t get that reference, no offense, but this blog may not be for you). Moving on to some of the Peacock’s other programming woes; they have decided to cancel The New Normal. Gotta say, for a show that I new normalnever watched, I was most surprised about seeing that cancellation. The buzz had been strong at its’ initial premiere, and, I thought, all season long. My reasons for not watching it were twofold – I already watch Modern Family, and while I get that they are two very different shows, I felt that they were too similar to find time for both in my already packed viewing schedule. My other reason for not watching was that it was a Ryan Murphy creation. Now, don’t start hatin’ because I really have NOTHING against the man himself. Personally, I would kiss his feet for American Horror Story alone. BUT, after watching Glee for four seasons now, I’ve had my fill of Mr. Murphy’s version of campy comedy. Another head scratcher for me is that they are also keeping around Grimm. Now, before you go get all, ‘well, you just don’t like fantasy-type shows,’ let me just tell you that I recently spent time at a Supernatural convention and would give up my life and family to go out on the road with the Winchesters… I am a child of the X-Files and I cried like a bitch when I found out that Fox was opting NOT to renew Fringe. (I also watched Charmedgod help me, and did tune in for other cultish sci-fi stuff like Dark AngelCarnivale, and Dead Like Me). So, by letting my Nerd-Flag fly, I feel confident in grimmsaying I just don’t get Grimm. I get that all these networks want to cash in on a sci-fi genre show, especially in today’s television landscape, but I just feel that with the brilliant writing out there and beautiful CGI that seems much more readily available for the small screen, you could just do better. I won’t sit here and pull the show apart, since I wasn’t an avid watcher. Just more of a passing, WTF, NBC? But, I do have to give NBC a big thank you for recognizing what an amazing show Revolution is, and giving it another season. So I guess we can just call it even.

ABCLet’s just be thankful to ABC for Modern Family. Somehow, they hit comedy gold with that thirty minutes of snarky goodness… but really, that’s all they got in the way of bringing the funny. With only a handful of episodes under it’s’ belt, ABC has already retired freshman comedies Family Tools and How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest Of Your Life). I didn’t watch either of them personally, but some of my other fellow TV Junkies here had given the latter a shot and found it worth a second watch. So, what’s the reason that ABC can’t seem to hold its own in the laughlight? Sure, Suburgatory is returning, and the little I’ve seen of it, I can say it’s got charm. But when I watch for more than fifteen minutes of a thirty minute show, and all I get is a slight chuckle that really doesn’t make sound… I tend to lose interest. happy endingsHappy Endings will NOT have a happy ending on ABC, even though I believe it is being considered by USA or TBS (if they were smart, they’d grab it the same way Cougar Town was pulled from obscurity). Know what ABC does well? Drama. Not life or death drama… (save for Grey’s Anatomy, which, yes, renewed for another season) but, ‘hey bitch, that’s my (man, wife, mother, father, sister, brother) and you (wronged, slept with, embezzled from, etc) and I will get you for that.’ Really, it’s soaps on a bigger budget. Not knockin’ it… just spittin’ the truth (as my strange little mind sees it anyway). Look at the success they had with Desperate Housewives and now with Scandal, Revenge, Nashville and even Once Upon A Time (granted, not a traditional drama compared to the rest, but still, a drama). All renewed, by the way. Otherwise, ABC will be perpetually known, in my house anyway, as ABC: Always with the Bachelor Crap. While I do have a handful of guilty pleasure shows hiding in the reality TV wave, I am not a fan of the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Both renewed, probably every year… until I die.

CBSCBS is a foreign network to me. I easily watch more programming on the BBC, than on CBS. But just basing off their canceled/renewed list, I don’t see a huge shift in their programming come this fall. Axing mostly comedies, Rules of Engagement and Partners, and one of its many CSI-type shows, CBS is giving its’ core viewers what they want: consistency. I’m not saying every CBS viewer is eligible for Rules of EngagementMedicare, but no one I know under the age of 40 watches anything but Big Bang Theory on CBS. Hell, I don’t know anyone who watches that, but damn if it isn’t popular as hell. I suppose because I don’t find ‘set-up, joke, set-up, joke, insert laugh track’ type comedy funny anymore (sorry, Arrested Development and The Office completely, and thankfully, ruined that forever) I have a VERY hard time finding the comedies that CBS has to offer, funny. Stick to the murders and charming detectives CBS, it’s what ya know, it’s what you’re good at. Having said that, however, there are a few other TV Junkies here that are partial to How I Met Your Mother, so for them, I am happy to hear of its’ renewal.

under the dome

QUICK CBS SIDE NOTE: This summer CBS is breaking tradition and airing a 13-week mini-series Under The Dome, based off Stephen King’s best-selling novel of the same name. I read that beast. If the cast and crew can come close to recreating that magic on screen, I will be one happy mama jama this summer. A-MAZING. A Must Read, and a Must Watch! So, fellow readers, I implore you to tune on June 24 when the Dome Comes Down.

Finally, in the spirit of finishing this column before my kids explode from boredom; let’s talk about FOX and the CW, shall we? Face it, FOX caters to the stoner college roommates that like to play drinking games to anything Seth McFarland touches. Frankly, I’m good with that. Just like FOX in that regard, CW knows its niche audience and they know how to make them fairly happy. So, for that, I applaud them. They may not have the strongest programming, or the most diverse shows. But they know how to shock and awe, whether it’s in humor, drama, or blood. FOX and the CW are like the bastard cousins that you are afraid to invite to Thanksgiving. You know it will be a blast to have them there, but you also don’t want the elder family members to give you the eye scolding because you are participating in their tom-foolery.

FOXCan we have an honest moment… I like Glee, and while this won’t get me much love among Gleeks out there, I am a bit ashamed that I do. This seasonthe following kinda sucked, but it was still better than a lot of other crap on TV. There is just something about Jane Lynch I can’t stay away from, and while Mr. Schushter is loved by all, I tend to agree with Sue that there is just something wrong with a man of his age wearing vests… in 2013. Outside of Glee, FOX brings most of the crazy-type drama with the breakout hit monster, The Following. I watched the first few episodes, and stopped, well for no good reason really. That is one of those shows I had to put on the summer viewing list, because it was pretty damn awesome. While I love me some comedy, I love some dark sinister, psychologically damning storytelling too. I’m well balanced like that. Checking out FOX’s fall roster they, too, have seemed to cut the dead weight, axing Ben and KateThe Cleveland Show and Touch. I have to say though, good job new girlmindy projecton knowing you have something shiny, fun and new with New Girl and The Mindy Project. With the current void of smart and funny women on TV, I am beyond thrilled that Zoey Daschnel and Mindy Kaling are getting a shot to put their brand of humor out there.

CWBefore I have to head off for an hour of poopy diapers and hair pulling, let me just say that I am grateful to the CW for knowing, and understanding, that Supernatural MUST continue. I don’t know how I feel yet about them supernaturalconstantly moving the Winchesters from Thursday, to Friday, to Wednesday and NOW to Tuesday… but as long as the boys show up every week in that hot ass car, I can look the other way on their scheduling A.D.D. For me personally, that is all I tune in for on the CW. I can attest to the fact that The Vampire Diaries has fans just as rabid as Supernatural does, so I wasn’t surprised to see their renewal, and subsequent spin off show, The Originals. I have just had my fill of vampires, so I will opt out of that. But, again, kudos to that network for understanding their average viewer. With the majority of their programming getting renewed, the CW is gaining strength in those who watch and tweet at the same time. Those that bombard social media like Twitter and Tumblr with their OTP mems (one true pair, for those of you who aren’t hip to fandoms and ‘shipping’). Saying goodbye to only four of its essential twelve shows, I would say the CW knows what it’s doing and will continue to make their way to the top of the off-beat television food chain.

IMHO summaryCBS, caters to the crime drama and demo of those in their golden years, ABC targets the bored house wives who secretly want to live the life of a Kardashian but don’t have the balls to admit it, FOX & the CW tunes in on the younger, more stoned generation of our country’s youth (just stop and think about THAT for a second… your kids may NEVER know who Michael Landon and Pa Ingels were, but they will for sure know who Seth McFarland and Stewie Griffin are). Then, you have NBC… NBC is the weird hybrid of them all, but I feel like they are most in tune and in touch with those of us who want to grow up and be Tina Fey, instead of Lindsay Lohan. So, which network will end up regretting their cuts and which ones will bask in the glory of their new and improved Fall schedule? Only time will tell I guess, but until then I will just dive into some summer series, and stalk other networks like AMC, A&E, FX, HBO, SCI-FI and TBS for what they have to offer for hiatus viewing pleasure.

Keep a lookout for our first ever EntertainMeTV Podcast on The Office finale… yeah, we cried. If you say you didn’t, you’re full of it… (c’mon, now, all together in your best Michael Scott voice)… That’s What She Said!