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Category Archives: Let’s Talk TV

TV Catchup

Hey so remember when I said I was going to regularly update this blog? Yeah, good times. Anyway, no promises on anything, but hey, I’ve been watching TV this summer while working on writing jobs and I though why not throw out a few thoughts on what I’ve been watching and what I haven’t.

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I’ve been slowly going through The West Wing since the spring. I really like the Newsroom and I enjoyed Studio 60 whenever I could catch it but I’m realizing that I’m not a big Sorkin fan. I don’t dislike TWW (or Sports Night) for that matter but other than liking some of the dialogue, I don’t feel very attached to the characters or invested in the stories. Still, I find West Wing to be a good palate cleanser as it were, so I won’t be giving up on it.

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Orphan Black. OBSESSED. Like beyond obsessed. This show is so good, Felix is the best, and Tatiana Maslany is a goddess. Also Increasingly Hot Paul. Reasons.

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I really like Switched at Birth, a show I’ve been told to watch for a while and just didn’t get to it. I find I like Bay quite a bit more than Daphne, though I like Daphne. Just not a fan of a few of her choices lately. The only frustrating thing for me is that I’m always a half season behind on ABC Family shows so I don’t know what anyone’s talking about regarding the current episodes.

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I tried Merlin. It was alright. Honestly I blame tumblr. Like ya know how tumblr will ship people and it gets you to watch the show and you fall in love with the show and ship the same couple? And by that I mean Teen Wolf and Sterek. Yeah, everyone seems to ship Merlin/Arthur and I never really got invested in it while watching and there wasn’t enough left over to get me to care about the show.

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Hawaii Five-O. Just started this one and only up on the 1st season, but I love it. Kono is the best and I totally ship Steve & Danno. (I’m told it’s not possible to do otherwise). This has been nice too because the last few shows I’ve been trying to catch up on feel pretty blah. Definitely gotta get the next season asap.

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Alright then the big goal of the summer has been the SuperWhoLock trifecta. Sherlock was great. Love the show, totally see why everyone loves it, madly in love with Andrew Scott’s Moriarty. I like Martin Freeman as Watson (though as far as current Watsons go, I prefer Lucy Liu’s portrayal on Elementary). But I don’t get the Benedict Cumberbatch obsession. He’s great as Sherlock and I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but the crazy fan thing just passes me by.

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Doctor Who. Ugh. So, I can’t decide how I feel about this show. I’m up to the last three episodes of S3 (which I’ll definitely be watching for Captain Jack) but I’m not that invested. I liked Nine, though nothing ever made me feel addicted to the show. In fairness, I’m not an alien show kind of person, I prefer sci-fi that floats on the edge of fantasy or is in the whole cylon/terminator realm, so hooking me is more difficult. Plus the Daleks bore the shit out of me. I’m in love with Rose Tyler and I found myself way too emotionally invested in Ten & Rose. Speaking of Ten, David Tennant is awesome. Love him. But S3 has Martha and I kind of want to throw Martha out a window into outer space. Her crush is annoying. That on top of not being able to get into the plots has made S3 feel like a chore. I liked Donna in the Christmas special a lot though, so I’m hoping S4 improves.

Supernatural will be started on in August.

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In the meantime, my current summer show obsessions are Teen Wolf (duh), Suits, SYTYCD, and Graceland. Graceland has all the pretty. And then below are the current loves of my life and banes of my existence.

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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Let's Talk TV

 

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TV Apathy

TV is kind of boring me right now y’all. Like other than a few shows, I can’t find anything I really want to watch. Even my go-to reruns aren’t inspiring me. I’m happy to have Vampire Diaries back and I’m excited for Happy Endings and I’ve liked Nashville & Arrow but otherwise nada. The weird thing is that it feels like I’m not the only one who’s been feeling blah towards fall TV, a stark comparison to how much we were all flailing over this summer’s offerings.

I know one of my problems is that I’m kind of stuck in a Teen Wolf rut. Which isn’t the worst rut in the world to be in, OBVIOUSLY, but it does make it frustrating that other than Vampire Diaries, I can’t seem to find much excitement about other shows. Even the prospect of shirtless Wade has done nothing to get me to watch Hart of Dixie so clearly, there are problems.

Anyone have suggestions on how to fix this? Or any shows that might knock my humdrum attitude away?

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Let's Talk TV

 

Kicking off Fall TV: Recommended Recaps

Alright kids, so at some point I’ll post my opinions about actual shows but one of my equally favorite things is getting to read recaps. I love the opportunity to engage with other fans about a show and talk about things we love. One thing I’ll suggest to anyone looking for recappers is to stay away (most of the time, there are always exceptions) from paid recaps. I find that there’s just not much opinion given in a lot of these recaps but worse you’re practically guaranteed to be surrounded by trolls in the comments. If you do want to engage in a dialogue with a recapper who gets paid to recap, try doing it on twitter. You’ll keep your sanity.

That aside, here are some of my suggestions for recaps and discussion opportunities. Also note that these are my favorites. There are other great recappers out there, these are just the ones I focus on.

Vampire Diaries: Obviously one of my favorite shows so I read more recaps.

Both Erin (http://www.winestainedlife.com) and Iphignia (http://www.iphignia939.dreamwidth.org) are excellent choices for reaction recaps. Both tend to give a minute by minute reaction which I love because I can then see if other people thought the same things I did. Twitter moves so fast during the show that I miss that sometimes.  I’ve always loved Sarah’s (http://www.offcolortv.com) recaps but she’s taking a break this year and brought in @TikisGrandad to do recaps. The first one was utterly hysterical so I encourage you to add it to your must reads. As for introspective recaps (or ones that love to theorize and make me reconsider my own theories), Crissy (http://www.vampire-diaries.net), Lucia (http://www.heroinetv.com) and Cindy (http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com) are excellent choices.

Arrow: I’ll have a lot to say about this show down the road and may do the occasional recap-lite myself on this blog but for now, it’s a must that you read Erin (http://www.offcolortv.com)’s recaps. For starters, she’s got the opportunity to share with us some fun and unknown facts from the set but her first recap was pretty sweet as well.

Supernatural: I don’t watch Supernatural (yet) but my good friend Erin has just started recapping the show at The Televixen (http://www.thetelevixen.com) so be sure to check hers out.

As to specific recappers or recap sites, I’ve got three that I think do a solid job overall. Alan Sepinwall over at hitfix.com recaps-ish a lot of my favorite comedies and he’s got a great community of commenters that help catch pop culture references or soundtrack info.

The AV Club is interestingly enough a site where I half the time disagree with the recappers but I think they are by and large an intelligent bunch who make me think from different perspectives. Plus the comments are smart and insightful, always a plus.

My number one favorite recap site however is OffColorTV. (http://www.offcolortv.com). You’ve got a great group of recappers, all people who genuinely love their shows or love a lot about them (hey some shows suck but still gotta be recapped) and who aren’t shy about sharing an opinion. But the best thing about OffColorTV is the community. Even if you don’t like a recap style, you can usually get a good discussion going in the comments and there are rarely trolls hanging around. (If they do show up, they get shut down pretty fast too). In this day of people spouting off crap under cover of online anonymity, it’s nice to find a group of people who just love to talk about TV.

And of course if you ever want to know my opinions, feel free to talk to me on twitter (@onlymystory) or tumblr (Onlymystories.tumblr.com). I’ve never been shy about sharing and I don’t plan to start now.

Update: I knew I’d be dumb enough to miss one. You absolutely have to read Thomas Galvin’s Vampire Diaries recaps (http://www.thomas-galvin.com).

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Let's Talk TV

 

My Top Five TV Shows

Top Five or Top Ten or really top anything lists can be difficult to write. I honestly don’t know how critics do it with their year end lists. For me however, my top five is just personal. I couldn’t even begin to do justice to a top five if I had to judge based on which is the best. So what I’ve got here, and what will be any of my future top five lists, is my favorites.

In the case of TV, this means the shows that I go back to time and again. The ones that I can rewatch any day because there’s always something about it that fits any mood. You’ll notice that some are more obvious comfort food style shows. Others are ones that can spark endless debate or reflection. I love a show where the characters are thoroughly well rounded and real and yet there’s still so much more to them that doesn’t ever make it on screen. Or, I guess it does make it on screen since I can see it, it’s just not exposited. Those are also my go to shows.

Finally, the one constant in all of my favorite shows is the idea of found families. You’re born into a family. Stuck with ‘em. Sometimes we get good ones, sometimes we get bad ones, most of the time we get a mix of good and bad. Some of us spend loads of time around our blood families. Some don’t. But the people who seem more like family to me are the friends I’ve gathered around me over the years. Found family. Give me a show with that and it’ll become an instant favorite.

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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Let's Talk TV

 

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Why Teen Wolf is the Best Show You’re Not Watching

See? Magical.

Yes as a matter of fact, I’m still obsessed with Teen Wolf. Really obsessed. Vampire Diaries level obsessed. Which should tell you something. Also at this point if you told me I could have Teen Wolf back in October but Vampire Diaries would have to wait until next summer, I’d say bring on the furry beasts. But this doesn’t fully explain why you should be watching. If you know my interests, it should tell you that this isn’t another passing fancy. But here’s why you need to marathon the first two seasons immediately.

1) Plot Twists

Season 1 of Teen Wolf starts a little slow but once it gets going, it never stops. And plots aren’t lingered on too long. We get enough to hook us or to cause a new twist and then we weave into a new storyline. Perhaps my favorite part of the plot twists is that they’re all set up early on. There’s not really any retconning to make it work. Just a clearly defined story woven with about a dozen other clearly defined stories.

2) Sterek

I ship them. Everyone ships them. The actors ship their characters. And now that Jeff Davis (exec producer/writer) has said that Stiles is probably bisexual, we are so much closer to getting them. It’ll probably be like season 5 BUT I CAN WAIT.

3) Involved & Caring Authority Figures

Parents who pay attention to their kids. Parents who exist. Authority figures who aren’t all out to hate on their students. Parents who figure out there’s some creepy shit going on in their town. Hell for that matter, these parents are often taking down the creepy shit. Find me another teen show where that happens. I DARE YOU.

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Let's Talk TV

 

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Ultimate DILF

There is no point to this post. Obviously. But Chris Argent is really freaking hot on Teen Wolf. So I wanted to make this little post. I assume you know that I don’t watch ALL of the TV (yet) so if I missed one, feel free to mention in the comments and I’ll add them in. Oh and remember this is a DILF poll. As in damn sexy. So a perfectly good dad might not make the list. Unless I get enough arguments over it. Anyway, be sure to comment with who you’d pick.

“Chris Argent” – JR Bourne: Teen Wolf

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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Let's Talk TV

 

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Sneakily Amazing TV

If you’re paying attention, I’ve spent the summer moving to Texas and working 80 hour weeks. But in the midst of that, I’ve made significant strides in my TV catch up. I haven’t found a show yet that I haven’t liked and some I’ve fallen head over heels for. The best thing however has been discovering sneakily amazing TV. In my opinion, you can narrow TV shows down to a few categories. Good shows that are supposed to be good, bad shows that are supposed to be bad, bad shows that are supposed to be good, and how the hell did this get on air. But every once in a while you get a show that is supposed to be awful and ends up pretty amazing.

In my experience, most of these shows are geared towards a younger demographic. Sometimes there’s less pressure there. A lot are fantasy shows. I think these shows become fantastic because no one has any expectations. Take Teen Wolf, which I’ve been watching this last week. The show is of course a teen drama on MTV based off a cheesy 80s movie. To say the expectations were low is an understatement. And in the first season, the show only rarely rose above expectations. A few cast members showed they could handle more but the show was pretty much as cheesy as you’d think. We’re talking generic Velveeta here people. But something’s happened in season 2. Teen Wolf went from a cheesy are-they-trying-too-hard show to a balls out awesome ride of insanity.

Honestly, I think the reason it has succeeded are some of the same reasons that shows like The Vampire Diaries, Dance Academy, and Pretty Little Liars are also sneakily amazing. First, the focus went back on an ensemble cast and less on one (or a few) main characters. Most shows do still need a central character but having them shoulder the entire show (except in the hands of an extremely talented actor and even then I’m questioning) is asking the audience to care about every detail. You know that feeling when you need a break from a best friend? That’s the way I feel about leads. So when a show plays to the strengths of an ensemble, especially what I call hidden weapon actors (Holland Roden, Dylan O’Brien, Candice Accola, Tom Green), it takes the pressure and focus off the lead.

Another factor is embracing the cheese. This doesn’t mean to an extreme. You have to know your show. Pretty Little Liars and Teen Wolf have a lot more Velveeta to deal with. But being a little bit meta about what you are can help remind the audience that this is still supposed to be fun. So let Damon dance around shirtless or give us a little Stiles action.

But the biggest way I think a show becomes sneakily amazing is when they decide to say ‘fuck the critics and the expectations, we’re gonna make a damn good show’. That’s the fun of low expectations. No one expects Teen Wolf to go from a fairly redundant story about a kid who isn’t sure he wants to be a werewolf to a show about psychological trauma, family, friendships, monsters, and murder. It went dark in season 2. It went intense. And somewhere along the way it became amazing.

Finally, I’m pretty sure the sneakily amazing TV shows are the ones who aren’t afraid to make some pretty strong statements. Whether it’s a feeling of abandonment and powerlessness (major ones on TVD), eating disorders, friends, family or more, these shows that surprise you tackle issues in ways that don’t feel like a lecture and you never see coming. Take Dance Academy. A death at the end of S2 comes out of the blue and is utterly heart wrenching. But the beauty of it is that it feels real. So many shows tell us multiple episodes in advance that a death is coming. We get used to the idea and while it may hurt in the moment, those feelings don’t stick. Dance Academy’s death was real though. It was random, just as many deaths are in this world, and no one really got to say goodbye.

Or take Teen Wolf, a show that is using jokes and red herrings to break some pretty major stereotypes about gay teens. I’ve got a whole other post on the awesomeness of this. These kinds of shows usually end up being my favorites. I love shows that don’t pretend they have to measure up to specific standards or stay in the box that’s created for them. Sneakily amazing shows don’t just step out of the box, they smash it to bits and never look back. So what are shows you consider sneakily amazing?

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Let's Talk TV

 

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