Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Top 5: Cops I Would Want to Save Me

Like always, Jennie and I were talking (we are always talking, just ask her poor husband), and yesterday's topic was FBI agents on TV you would want to hook-up with.  So this got me thinking about how there are a plethora of cop (in the broadest sense of the term) shows, but if (a fictional) I were in (fictional) danger, who would I want to (fictionally) investigate my case and eventually save me?  (Obviously, fictional me has been either wrongly accused of some dastardly deed because of a vast and nefarious conspiracy, or has been  unwittingly targeted by a madman.)  This is of course a list based on (fictional) me being involved in a (fictional) local incident, not international (that would require spies), and (fictional) me wanting my (fictional) situation resolved within the bounds of the law, and therefore badges required.

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, The X-Files
With these two I feel that no matter the circumstances I could be returned to my family and friends intact:  Mulder has the openness to follow the case no matter how strange it may become, while Dr. Scully could treat any injuries I might sustain, so I wouldn't bleed out on the way to the hospital.

Kate Beckett, Castle
Not only do I trust that Beckett would get the job done, since she is one smart chic and does not accept failure, but also, after she saves me we could go shopping and she could show me where she buys those super-comfy sky-high heels that she manages to run in while after bad guys.

Seeley Booth, Bones
Should necessity arise, I will gladly accept the assistance of a former Army snipper with an excellent ability to read people and the unending patience to put up with all the crazy around him in order to get to the truth.  In fact, I would be quite grateful for that assistance.

Keith Mars, Veronica Mars
Ethical, determined, awesome sense of humor: Keith Mars has the knowledge of the underworld (from his PI days between stints as the sheriff of crime-ridden Neptune CA.) to navigate avenues beyond traditional police work, but the upstanding nature to see that justice would be done, for (fictional) me.

Olivia Dunham, Fringe
With her combination of tenacity, cool discernment, receptivity to the impossible, and psychic ability, Olivia is practically a superhero, and would be my best chance of getting home alive in the event that something truly bizarre happens to me, but I demand that it be this-universe-Olivia assigned my case, because I don't trust alternate-universe-Olivia one bit.

And just for good measure:
Gibbs, NCIS
He's the most alert cop around, and no pesky thing like sleep would be distracting him from assuring my safety.  Who doesn't want that?

The TV Girl

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Top 5: Phrases/Words That Eventually Drive Me Nuts

I think I'm in kind of a combative mood.  You know that if you watch a show for a long period of time you get accustomed to the patterns, especially the language patterns.  Well, I pay a lot of attention to words (even though not always the attention I should to my own), and sometimes, when I hear the same word/phrase over and over it crosses the line from familiarity to frustration.

Supernatural: "The Pit"
I get that they didn't want to be saying "hell, hell, hell" all the time, but somewhere in S3 I developed a tick everyt time Sam, Dean, anyone said "the Pit."  It just makes me think of BBQ, at the same time making me think everyone on the show is a hillbilly.

Undercovers: "Sexspionage"
This show hasn't even started yet, but the advertising alone (I work in an office and listen to the radio ALL DAY LONG) is making me want to smack whomever is responsible for this one.  How did the actors possibly get a usable take saying this stupid quasi-word?  I feel genuine sympathy for the cast, I find this word so repugnant.

Dexter: "My Dark Passenger"
This is just me being cranky, because in describing Dexter's need to kill there isn't really a vocabulary to draw from, and since it is kind of the premise of the show, this indescribable phenomena is going to get talked about a lot.  But somewhere around mid-S4 I thought I would develop a dark passenger of my own if I heard that phrase one more time.  I could save myself the crazy by not watching 7 episodes in a row, but why should I have to change?

30 Rock: "Blerg"
Jennie convinced me that this should be on this list, and while it is not the most overused word/phrase on 30 Rock, Jennie contends, and I agree, that is the most offensive because it's obvious that the writers hoped that it would make it's way in common diction, which very sadly, it has.  This meaningless and deadening string of letters might be one of the reasons I've pretty much abandoned this show.

Lost: "Dad"
I really am a cranky-pants today.  I have one more season of this show to get through, and it pains me to think of how many times I'm going to have to hear "Dad," "Father," or "Pops" through this last push to the finish line.  I will try and be generous and say that this is a situation where one of the central themes of the show can overwhelm the viewer (and in my case make said viewer somewhat homicidal) , and it isn't that there is anything wrong with the words derived from pater.

That is my rant for the day.

The TV Girl

How I Met Your Mother: Why Hello Old Friend, How Have You Been?

( Season 6, Episode 1, "Big Days")

I try to be an honest person, so in that spirit, HIMYM and I parted ways last season.  The last episode I watched was "Girls Vs Suits" and I loved it.  From all I've read and heard, S5 wasn't the best, but I didn't break-up with this show out of disappointment or boredom.  It's more like HIMYM and I took separate vacations; some time apart to remember the love.

This is a long way of explaining that I have no idea who Don was and why Robin could possibly be so upset that they broke-up, and no idea that Marshall and Lily had decided to try and have a baby.  But isn't that the joy of love, that despite some distance you can always go back?

Okay, I will stop doing my Ted impression.

I did enjoy the S5 premier, and am glad to re-enter HIMYM to my weekly rotation.  I'm happy to know that even if we don't know who The Mother is, we at least are getting a clearer picture of when and where we are going to meet her.  I adore that Cindy was redeemed by finding the person she is happy with, and (as a character) was not left in the heap of Ted's-exes-that-are-bitter-and-crazy.  I applaud Barney for giving Robin the insensitive criticism she needed to at least wash the hair she insisted on eating food from.

And if anyone could ever for a second debate that Marshall and Lily are an amazing couple, please re-watch their conversation at the end of the episode.  People who should have babies are the people who would be happy with each other even if they couldn't be (natural) parents.  Again, amazing.

HIMYM, thanks for taking me back.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: Seriously, Bonnie, Shut Up!

(Season 2, Episode 2, “Brave New World”)

In short, Damon knows something is up with the Lockwood men and he wants Stefan’s help to figure it out.  Caroline is a vampire, and Matt loves her, so she is going to try and control it.  Elena and Jeremy aren’t terribly committed to their anti-Damon plan, since both cave and have conversations with him about the future.  Stefan and Elena enjoy a sweet kiss on a Ferris wheel, living their lives in preparation of the trouble headed their way courtesy of the currently MIA Katherine.  Oh, and Bonnie is a bitch.

I can’t stand Bonnie.  While it is cool that she can set people/vampires on fire with the power of her mind, she is such a preachy brat.  SHE IS THE REASON CAROLINE IS A VAMPIRE!  It was her idea, her insistence to give Caroline Damon’s blood, so, by the chain of causality, it is her fault that the carnival worker that she shared two words with (and seemed extremely upset over his demise) got all drained and un-alive.  Maybe Bonnie can go on another vacation, go bore someone else with her self-righteous prattle.

Caroline on the hand, is pretty sweet as a vampire.  She took on Damon without insecurity or self-pity, a great display of a former victim asserting her power to her former victimizer.  Plus, if anyone is anal retentive enough to control blood lust, I think it’s Caroline, and now she knows that Matt is in love with her, so she has a good reason to not be all murder-y and therefore she may live a bit longer than supposed.  Do I detect a hint of future kissing between faithful Stefan and remade Caroline?

I mean, if TV has taught me anything, nothing spells doom for a couple like a Ferris wheel. 

The TV Girl 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sons of Anarchy: I Don't Know What to Say

(Season 3, Episode 1, "SO")

I'm not joking.  I really have no idea what to say.

I have been thinking all weekend about last week’s premier, about what happened, what didn't happen, and what this season will be like, and I have no more of an idea than I did days ago.  But let me give it a try.

In short, Gemma is stuck in a motel in Oregon until her legal situation clears up, and in trying to get away she stabs a guy in the crotch, so to avoid her doing any more damage Tig takes her where she wants to go: to her senile father for a visit.  Drunk and grieving Jax is pretty much in a waking coma, tries to break-up with Tara, but she convinces him that is a mistake, and then after a wake-up conversation with first Piney and then Clay, he pretty much beats to death a guy who fell out of the van of shooters that drove up to Half-Sac's wake and opened fire, hitting some bystanders and then running over Hale.  Able is in Ireland.

That might be the worst plot summary ever, and part of the reason is that this episode wasn't really so much about individual events, (up until the end) and much more about the untenable silence that follows great tragedy and the seething asphyxiation when we are trapped by our own choices.  I felt lightheaded by the end of this episode, because I was holding my breath along with all the characters.

One thing that made the overwhelming tension easier to endure before it exploded in a tidal wave of bullets is the reunion of Opie and Jax!  I know they worked their shit out last season, but the small ways that they care for each other are really amazing moments.  Opie literally picked Jax up when he couldn’t walk on his own power, and Jax untangled Opie from the barbed wire that would damage him and that separated him from his brothers.  These two actions were so flawlessly executed (the former in the background of the scene when it takes place) as natural expressions, not obnoxious metaphor, making the loyalty that they represent much more vivid.  

On a less depressing note, Kurt Sutter promised on Twitter that since female viewership increased with this season’s premier that we will get more naked Charlie Hunnam, so that is a win!

I’m trying to look on the bright side, because this is going to get dark. er.

The TV Girl

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: That Shite Was Out of Control!

Where do I begin? 

Maybe I should begin with explaining that yes, I watch this show, and yes, I love it.  A couple of months ago, when my friend Becca found out that I watch it she replied, “well, you were unemployed and sick last year, so I guess things can happen that you wouldn’t expect.”  I suppose that is the most logical explanation to someone who has never seen this show, and I think most people I know will be perfectly willing to leave it there, pity me behind my back, and just ignore this post entirely.

Their.  Loss.

This show is awesome.  But, if you have read this far, you already know that. 

In short, uncle/daddy John Gilbert survived being stabbed, but Stefan threatened to turn him into a vampire if he didn’t leave town.  Jeremy survived his suicide attempt, because he didn’t take enough pills to kill himself and Anna’s blood actually healed him, but now Elena decides he needs babysitters to keep him from trying to off himself again.  Tyler’s uncle shows up for mean-Mr.-Mayor’s funeral and to help Tyler understand the family “curse.”  Caroline isn’t recovering from her massive car accident fast enough, so hypocritical Bonnie has Damon give Caroline his blood and it’s really cute how happy Caroline and Matt are when she is all awake and alive.  Stefan figures out that Katherine is impersonating Elena, they fight, they flirt, they talk, and she reveals that she is back for him.  Damon and Katherine hook-up but he stops it to ask her a question and before he asks it, she tells him that she never loved him and she always loved Stefan.  Damon drunkenly confronts Elena about “their thing between them” and she rejects him too, so he breaks Jeremy’s neck, but luckily Jeremy was wearing the super-special Gilbert anti-mystical-death ring, so he isn’t all dead.  Poor Caroline though, is going to be a vampire, since Katherine smothered her to death with a pillow while she was still full of Damon blood.

Since way-to-good-for-him vampire Anna is no longer with us, Jeremy is better off to still be human, but now he needs a new storyline.  Revenge upon Damon for killing him?  Hunting down his uncle for murdering his girlfriend?  Whatever Jeremy does, I hope he gets to hit/stab/kill something, just like the rest of the male cast.

Bonnie needs to get on down from her high horse.  Sorry that her Grandmother died, it was very sad, but you cannot decide one minute that you need Damon to save someone’s life and then give him a magic migraine because you know just how evil he is.  As far as a moral compass, Bonnie kind of sucks: she is just too wishy-washy.  Now she has no credibility whatsoever, because it is her fault that the only of the two semi-normal characters is now way not normal!  Poor Caroline, and poor Matt, everything just goes wrong for them, and their darling relationship is the only thing that isn’t depressing for them, and now she can’t go out in the sun.  Low blow show, low blow.

Can Caroline join the “Let’s Stop Katherine” group?  Damon will need some help whenever his drunken despondence after having his heart ripped out by Katherine and then stomped on by Elena turns into hell-bent revenge.   Seriously, boy took quite a beating this episode, it was brutal.  My question is, ultimately whom is he going to blame, Katherine or Stefan?  I hope both!  Wait, that makes it sounds like I don’t like Stefan, and I do.  I just like Stefan and Damon’s combative/competitive relationship, so Stefan’s need to be untied with his brother in the face of danger to Elena is noble but not totally to my taste.  But Elena hates Damon now, so that sets us up for lots of tangled loyalties and shifting alliances.


The TV Girl

Monday, September 6, 2010

Top 5: Movie Mistakes I’ve Made for Men (of TV)

Okay friends, time to air some dirty laundry.

I promise, the only name I’m naming is my own, but I doubt I’m the only one who has done this.  In fact I would bet that everyone has done this at one time or another.  Is there anyone out there who has not watched a terrible movie because of a TV crush?  If you saw Made of Honor (which I DID NOT) you have no room to judge me.  I fully admit that for the love of a TV boyfriend I have willingly endured hours of insults to cinema.  And the winners are:

For Taylor Kitsch of Friday Night Lights I’ve watched The Covenant and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  The Covenant was terrible, but I didn’t expect much, so whatever, I wasted part of my afternoon.  For me, the real offense here is that Wolverine didn’t have to be bad, but man was it ever.  Kitsch as Gambit was brilliant casting and then he is barely in the movie, so there I am, sitting through some boring fight scenes and totally unbearable “story.”  And while I probably would have seen this movie anyway, my expectations would have stayed in check if he hadn’t been in it, hence why the disappointment stings so much more.

For Jensen Ackles of Supernatural I’ve watched Devour, My Bloody Valentine, and 10 Inch Hero.  I liked My Bloody Valentine; I thought it was an entertaining horror movie that actually gave me the creeps.  Other than that, Jensen has made some poor poor life choices, and I have been right there along with him supporting them, so obviously I’m an enabler.  It has kind of turned into a game, watching movies he’s in just to see how bad they are.  Devour is incomprehensible: somehow it involves some incest, a mind-control video game that causes kids to kill, and the devil.  I’m fairly sure I was sober when I watched this, but trying now to remember how all these pieces fit together, maybe I wasn’t.  I think we are all better off it I don’t try to explain 10 Inch Hero, but I assure you, it isn’t porn.  It might be less embarrassing for all involved if it were porn.  Oh well, I think that movie is where he met his wife, so at least that is a win for someone.  For me, I have some memories to repress.

For Joshua Jackson of Dawson’s Creek and Fringe I’ve watched Urban Legend, Cruel Intentions, The Skulls, and Gossip.  I think this list kind of dates me a bit, but age isn’t my problem when I look at this list.  What I realize is that other than Gossip, I don’t regret my choice to watch these movies.  I don’t even regret that I watched Urban Legend last Halloween, or that I will most likely watch it this Halloween.  Seriously, it’s one of the most amazingly bad horror movies!  But as much as I enjoy Mr. Jackson’s body of work, I don’t think a one of these stands out as timeless art, and if my mother had any idea what I was doing with my time when I was supposed to be in high school, I think she would have a, well, problem.  In the what-else-could-I’ve-done-with-my-time ledger of life, I think my mom might have a point.

For Adam Brody of The O.C. I’ve watched In the Land of Women.  I put this on my list because this movie is so bad!  This cancer-ridden family-drama/running-shoe-ad quarterlife-crisis is a really wretched movie.  I shudder every time I see it on the shelf at Target, occasionally, when a crossword clue escapes me, I wonder if I actually lost brain cells in that hour and a half, and it makes it so I have to admit to one extra Kristen Stewart movie I’ve seen that could have been avoided.  Adam Brody, you owe me.

For Scott Speedman of Felicity I’ve watched Underworld, and Underworld Evolution.  I kind of enjoy Underworld more than any person should.  It is one of my top go-to rainy-day movies.  The whole thing is so over the top and ridiculous, even more so than I could have imagine when I rented it for the first time because I needed a Scott Speedman broody-face fix.  And the second movie is just as awesomely bad as the first.  But, because I watched the first two I felt compelled to finish the series, and Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans isn’t fun-bad: it’s just atrocious: horrible story, wretched pacing, lame fight scenes, all over just a turkey of a movie.  So, while I should thank Scotty-boy for being in two awful-but-amazing movies (especially because at the time I watched the first one, I had no idea I saw future TV boyfriend Wentworth Miller!), I have some discomfort with the chain of causality that led to Underworld 3: Lame of the Lamest.

Honorable Mentions: Movies I watched for a TV boyfriend that turned out to be good despite what I thought going into it.

For Bradley Cooper of Alias and Kitchen Confidential I watched The Hangover, and laughed until I couldn’t breath.
For Benjamin Mackenzie of The O.C. and Southland I watched Junebug, and experienced a well-made journey with a dysfunctional family, as well as my introduction to the brilliant Amy Adams.
For John Krazinski of The Office I watched Away We Go, and was pleasantly surprised by how sweet and entertaining this potential hipster-black-hole was.

I wish I could say that looking at this has made me learn my lesson, but I have to admit: I will probably always watch bad movies for my TV boyfriends.  Nathan Fillion's opus White Noise 2 is looking very tempting right about now.

The TV Girl

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stuff I'm Not Remotely Qualified to Talk About: Sandman Adaptation

I'm being totally honest and upfront: I've never read Neil Gaiman's Sandman.

It has been recommended to me by people I trust very much, and today I was thinking that I need a new reading project (you know, so my brain doesn't rot from watching too much TV), so maybe after work I'll metro down to the comicbook store in Union Station and pick up a copy.  People seem to love this thing, so I'm game.

Here is what I'm interested in/hesitant about at the moment.  A few sources are saying that Eric Kripke is the top choice as show runner, should these talks to develop a show from this source ever come to fruition, and it is here that  I'm torn.  Kripke gave me Supernatural, one of my favorite shows, but because of that, I know what Kripke is capable of, and I don't know if I'm prepared to sign up for a few more years of being dragged through the emotional wringer week after week.  Supernatural gives me more than enough faith in Kripke's ability to put together an amazing show, but the prospect of once again being sucked into a world that often feels like a desolate wasteland is a bit too daunting for me right now.

But, of course, once I actually read this thing and have any clue what I'm talking about aside from my own speculation and insecurity, then I may very well change my tune.

If you are interested in an actual informed opinion, I would suggest:

The TV Girl

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fall Forward: What Will I Be Watching?

Maybe I'm stuck in the past, maybe I just feel so overwhelmed by all I missed last season, maybe I'm just super persnickety right now about what I want to watch, but for whatever reason, nothing starting this fall is really grabbing my attention as a must-watch.  I already have a semi-commitment to 10 hours of  new TV a week, which doesn't include Saturday DVD-fests or any old loves rekindled (hey it could happen), so while I know that I have juggled so many more shows in the past, as an older and wiser girl (right!) I shy away from overextending myself for anything that doesn't really call to me.  But, I will attempt (for at least as long as it takes me to write this) not to be an intensely skeptical lady.  Here are 4 shows that if I try a smattering of the new-fall-shows-buffet will be on my plate.

Terriers, F/X, September 8, 2010
Now I admit, the buddy-fake-cop premise is a bit overdone at the moment, and while I was funemployed for what felt like forever it never occurred to me to solve crimes in my spare time, but F/X has earned a lot of credibility with me, so if there is a chance that I could get another SoA-caliber show I have to at least take a look.  Plus TWoP compares it to Veronica Mars, so I have to evaluate the verity of that statement.

The Event, NBC, September 20, 2010
High-concept disparate-storyline conspiracy shows exhaust me (seriously if I don't finish Lost soon I will be found in some sort of very angry coma), and even the ones that I've loved eventually burn me out.  Jason Ritter tends to be a snooze, and Laura Innes has already had WAY too much of my time during the brief period when I watched ER (uuugggg, high school and trying to fit in), so why even try with a show where nothing about it really appeals to me?  Two words: ZELJKO IVANEK!!!  Seriously, this dude is walking awesome.  He is hands-down the best part of Damages S1, wields power with aplomb on True Blood, and was Juliet's bastard ex-husband on Lost for one episode until he got hit by a bus (a moment of that show I genuinely enjoyed!), so even if this show is a total train-wreck, he will be amazing.

Undercovers, NBC, September 22, 2010
Thanks to Fringe JJ Abrams has earned back much of the respect that I used to have for him, so I feel like I would just be being contrary if I don't at least see what the pilot of his new show is all about.  That he is back to the spy-genera doesn't fill me with a ton of hope, but when Alias was good, it was quite good, so history is kind of on his side.  Also, the lovely Gugu Mbatha-Raw (the female lead) was Tish Jones on Doctor Who S3.  You know, Martha's sister.  I feel like I should support her American endeavor.

No Ordinary Family, ABC, September 28, 2010
I admit it, I'm a sucker for super powers and Julie Benz.  Now, that doesn't mean I was willing to watch Desperate Housewives (man, some of my dearest loves have demeaned themselves on that rot), but when the world hands me the opportunity to see my dearly-dead-Darla/Rita, the Commish himself Michael Chiklis, the truly hilarious Romany Malco (Weeds hasn't been the same without you), and The O.C.'s Autumn Resser (Taylor!) all in one place, and with super-powers, it would just be rude to reject such a gift.  I don't believe cast is everything, but when it is a cast like this, it is a start.

Anything looking particularly intriguing to you in the coming season?

The TV Girl