Monthly Archives: November 2011

Ringer – Mid-Season Wrap-Up

 

I just finished the fall finale of this amazingly twisty show. I’m loving how interwoven the storylines are – it’s definitely not a show you want to watch out of order! (The thought of someone doing that has me imagining Sarah Michelle Gellar’s “Wait . . . what?!?” face – wish I had a gif of it to inset here.)

Spoilers below – you probably won’t want to read this until you watch the November 29th episode.

Fall 2011 Comedy Verdicts

 

I just made a list of all the shows I’m behind on (it’s getting to be quite a few), but I quickly realized there is one type of show I haven’t put off watching – comedies! Of course, their usual 20-minute length makes them a bit more compatible with a busy schedule than a 45-minute show, but I believe it’s also because I’ve been in the mood to laugh.

People’s Choice Awards 2012

I like voting for things. Especially when they have to do with my favorite shows. So I thought I’d provide a quick rundown of this year’s People’s Choice Award Nominees. Just the TV section, mind you, and only the scripted shows. I usually haven’t seen most of the movies (I did vote for Thor over the very close choice of Captain America), and I’ve don’t listen to nearly all of the music artists.

FAVORITE NETWORK TV DRAMA

Pretty much a no-brainer that I was voting for House. Supernatural hasn’t captured my attention, and while The Good Wife looks like a solid show, I’ve never seen it (blame my lawyer aversion). And Grey’s Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries look FAR too soapy for me.

FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTOR

How can I choose between David Boreanaz and Nathan Fillion? Fortunately, with this award, I can vote as often as I like, so I’ve been alternating between the two. Not so when the two face each other in Round 3 of TV Line’s “Ultimate Law-Enforcement Crushes Bracket Tournament.” I don’t know how I’ll pick. Nathan has Castle and Firefly and Dr. Horrible and now Much Ado About Nothing. David has Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I’m ignoring Nathan as Caleb since I hated him in that role) and Angel and Bones.

Hugh Laurie only gets a distant third in this category, and Ian Somerhalder and Patrick Dempsey are soundly ignored by me.

FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTRESS

A very easy vote for Emily Deschanel. I haven’t even heard of some of the others on the list: Blake Lively, Ellen Pompeo, Eva Longoria, and Nina Dobrev.

FAVORITE CABLE TV DRAMA

Another super easy choice, as I only watch White Collar. Game of Thrones does sound good, though, and people have recommended Dexter to me. Don’t know about True Blood and Pretty Little Liars.

FAVORITE NETWORK TV COMEDY

The Big Bang Theory gets my vote most of the time for this one, but I’ll occasionally vote for How I Met Your Mother as well. Interesting that Dr. Horrible is competing against his sidekick, Moist. I only enjoy Glee for the music, Two and a Half Men is crude instead of funny, and I’ve never seen Modern Family.

FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTOR

Hmm, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) or Barney (Neil Patrick Harris)? Same as above, I’ll usually tilt toward the Thursday night show but occasionally choose the Monday night one. Alec Baldwin, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith don’t make me laugh.

FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTRESS

Kaley Cuoco wins hands down over Courteney Cox, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and Tina Fey.

FAVORITE CABLE TV COMEDY

I don’t currently watch any of these, though I used to watch Royal Pains (seriously, why is this a nominee instead of Psych?). I may come back to the show later, I’m just not a huge fan of medical shows (House is the only one I watch now) and not too fond of the main character (loved Evan and Divya, though). It does get my vote over the shows I haven’t seen: Hot in Cleveland, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Nurse Jackie, and Weeds.

FAVORITE TV CRIME DRAMA

When I first saw the nominees for this category, I thought, Are you kidding? I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that Bones, Castle, and NCIS are my top three crime dramas, and all three were nominated this year! I voted for each of them. I’ve only seen bits of CSI and Criminal Minds episodes.

FAVORITE SCI-FI/FANTASY SHOW

I’ve only seen Supernatural on this list, so I voted for it, but Fringe has been on my to-watch list for a long while. From what I’ve heard, I think I’d prefer True Blood to The Vampire Diaries (too bad my favorite currently-airing vampire show, Being Human, didn’t make the list), and since zombies bore me, The Walking Dead has only appeared on my radar since its ratings are good.

FAVORITE TV GUEST STAR

I loved Jim Carrey’s appearance on The Office, and would have much preferred his character to Robert California. Katy Perry’s appearance on How I Met Your Mother was funny, but I felt like most actresses could have played the role well. I didn’t see the appearances of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristin Chenoweth, or Michael J. Fox.

FAVORITE NEW TV DRAMA

Twelve options is a lot to choose from, but Once Upon a Time has wowed me in all three episodes. Ringer is a close second and gets my vote every once in a while. Person of Interest has built slowly but is improving, and Grimm’s two episodes have been good enough for me to keep watching.

Out of the remaining shows, I’ve only seen Unforgettable, which I hated. Pilots sometimes don’t match the rest of a show, but I couldn’t even get halfway through episode two. I’ve heard good things about Pan Am, Terra Nova, and Revenge, but my “new shows to try out” list already had 11 shows on it (plus more than a dozen returning shows). Medically-minded Hart of Dixie and A Gifted Man didn’t sound like quite my thing, and neither did The Secret Circle or Prime Suspect.

FAVORITE NEW TV COMEDY

2 Broke Girls was super-easy choice for this category, though Suburgatory has been good and New Girl has been okay. Guessed to be not my cup of tea by the previews: Whitney, Up All Night, Last Man Standing, and Man Up. I don’t watch animated TV (the only way I think I ever would was if Joss Whedon created an animated show), so no Allen Gregory.

 

What did you vote for? Are there any shows mentioned that you think I should be watching?

What TV Shows Are Like NCIS?

Of course it’s easy to say, there are no shows quite like NCIS – that’s why it’s so popular! (NCIS is currently the most-watched drama on TV in the US.) But that’s not helpful to you at all. What you really want to know is: If I like NCIS, what other shows will I like?

At its core, NCIS is a procedural drama with a strongly characterized team who solve interesting crimes. The same could be said for most of the shows listed under “Crime Drama” in the top navigation. Shows that come close to matching NCIS’s particular blend of humor, teamwork, and under-the-surface romance would be Castle and Bones. I consider these three shows to be my favorite crime dramas.

Looking for a little more than just TV’s best crime shows? Then answer me this: Who is your favorite character on NCIS?

If it’s Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), try Warehouse 13. Secret Service Agent Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) could be Tony’s long-lost brother. Instead of solving murders, you’ll be recovering artifacts with supernatural capabilities, but don’t worry, there’ll be a few corpses and plenty of humor along the way.

If it’s Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), try Nikita. Maggie Q as Nikita may be even more deadly an assassin than Ziva. She’s trying to make up for her past wrongs, even if she has to take out some bad guys and cut some past ties to do it.

If it’s Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), try Chuck. McGee might not have government secrets and skills locked in his brain like Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) does, but both are amazing with computers, not always super-smooth with the ladies, and share a love of geekdom.

If it’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), try Blue Bloods. Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) hates the political games as much as Gibbs, and always knows just the right thing to say to his daughter. His son, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is stubborn to a fault and follows his gut.

If it’s Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), try Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s the only show I can think of that has as many facets as she does, plus her love of everything goth fits in perfectly. It’s hilarious with a dark edge, and full of unique characters. Abby has Buffy’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) father-daughter relationship, Willow’s (Alyson Hannigan) mad skills, and Anya’s (Emma Caulfield) cheerful and quirky mindset.

If it’s Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum), try Merlin. Not only does this British show match Ducky’s heritage, but Gaius (Richard Wilson) shares many characteristics with him: medical background, longwindedness, and a fierce loyalty. They both also become a mentor to the young men they teach.

If it’s Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen), try The Big Bang Theory. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) has the same awkward, self-depreciating manner as Palmer, yet still manages to win over (at least eventually) the ladies. Though the science tends to be more theoretical than you’d find in autopsy, this week’s episode did include brain dissection.

If it’s Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll), try Covert Affairs. The agents doing field work hint at Vance’s past, while the political maneuverings touch on his present office. Like Arthur (Peter Gallagher) and Joan (Kari Matchett) Campbell, he’s an expert at negotiating and dealing with foreign agencies.

Who’s your favorite character? Do you agree with my choices of shows? Which shows would you match up with the cast of NCIS?

Some Other Beginning’s End

Thanks to this week’s episode of The Office, I’ve had “Closing Time” (Semisonic) running through my head all evening. Especially haunting is the line: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

For some reason, I transferred that idea to TV shows. How many great shows exist because actors’ previous shows were canceled (either prematurely or not)?

To start off, let’s take a look at the poster child for all canceled shows: Firefly. Many of the actors have gone on to have guest spots and reoccurring roles in other shows, and some have even become regular cast members of other shows that were canceled in turn (Morena Baccarin in V, Summer Glau in The Cape, etc.). But out of the ashes of the Serenity rose two other great shows, now in their 4th and 5th seasons.

Nathan Fillion is Castle. It is impossible to imagine another actor playing his role on the show, and since Fillion influenced Stana Katic becoming his co-star, Beckett would be different as well.

While I suppose Chuck could have survived without Adam Baldwin playing John Casey, would we have wanted it to? His grunts and relationship with Morgan make the show.

Another show that came to mind immediately was Angel. It was canceled, and a year later, David Boreanaz ended up on Bones as Agent Seeley Booth. As much as I would have wanted Angel to continue, I think the actor is much more suited to the role of Booth.

The gap between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother was a bit longer (2 years), but I love Alyson Hannigan in both. It seems a bit of a stretch to include Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ringer, since 15 seasons seems highly improbable for any show, and I don’t see Gellar “owning” Siobhan/Bridget yet. Anthony Stewart Head’s transition from Giles to King Uther on Merlin is more apt.

Dollhouse also pulls actors from the three ended shows above, but in a less lead-actor-to-lead-actor way. The show that really had to end so we could have Dollhouse was Battlestar Galactica. Tahmoh Penikett was vital to both shows.

I never watched Lost, so I don’t know how vital Michael Emerson’s role was to the show, but I can’t imagine Person of Interest without him.

And then there’s the whole issue of characters dying on one show only to wind up on another. Sometimes they “die” because of the new show. I could go on for hours listing examples of this, but this post would end up so full of spoilers that no one could read it without coming across something they didn’t know. So I’ll stay mum for now.

Less spoilery is characters moving away or otherwise disappearing from the scope of a show before the end to star in a different show. Jared Padalecki bowed out of Gilmore Girls two years before it ended to begin Supernatural. Jennifer Morrison joined How I Met Your Mother for a year between House and Once Upon a Time.

What shows that you loved had to die so you could get a different show to love?

Bones – Giveaway!

This giveaway is over – check out my latest giveaway here!

This month, I’m giving away a season of Bones! Winner will receive his or her choice of either a season DVD set of the show (any season from 1 to 6) or a $15 Amazon gift card! See rules below for how to enter by leaving comments, sharing on Facebook, linking on Twitter, and more!

I discovered Bones less than 7 months ago, but it quickly grew to be one of my favorite shows. I caught up on the first 6 seasons perhaps a little too quickly (watching every episode between April 19 and July 19, 2011), so I joined the other fans in waiting months for the season 7 premiere. But now the long wait is over, since Bones returns tomorrow!

Bones is what happens when an FBI agent (David Boreanaz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) who relies on his gut teams up with a forensic anthropologist (Emily Deschanel) who prefers science and rational thinking. Agent Seeley Booth dubs Dr. Temperance Brennan “Bones,” partly because of her ability to glean clues from a victim’s skeleton. Assisting Brennan are Dr. Jack Hodgins (T. J. Thyne), Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor), Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley), and a variety of interns.

Bones season 7 premieres November 3rd, 2011 at 9PM EST/10 Central on Fox.

 

The winner of last month’s Psych giveaway was Esther Kim! She chose the Psych Season 2 DVD set as her prize.

 

To enter this month’s giveaway:

Leave a comment on any blog post on this website. Your comment should add to the discussion (at least several sentences is good), and be relevant to the post’s subject. For example, you can comment on this post about what you love about Bones, what sort of giveaways you’d enjoy in the future, or what you think will happen in the season premiere. Any posts flagged as spam will not qualify (though I plan to scan through them to make sure all real comments get through). Every post you leave a comment on will count as one entry. If you leave relevant comments on 50 posts, you will get 50 entries.

Tweeting about the contest with a link back to this page will give you 5 extra entries the first time you tweet, and 1 extra entry per day for any tweets after that.

Linking to this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Google+ will give you 10 extra entries the first time, and 1 extra entry per day after that.

If you have other ideas for promoting this giveaway, feel free to use them, and I’ll award entries accordingly. The more creative/effecting the promotion, the more entries, you’ll receive!

To receive your additional entries for promoting this contest, email me at katie at tvbreakroom dot com to let me know what promotion you did.

 

The Rules:

Contest begins November 1, 2011 at 12:01AM EDT and ends November 30, 2011, at 11:59PM EDT. All entries received outside that time period are invalid.

Winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all eligible entries received.

Open to everyone 16 or older with a valid email and mailing address. A winner residing outside the US may have to pay an additional fee for shipping. (Feel free to select an e-gift card instead!)

Winner must provide a way to contact (email or website with some means of contact) and respond to winning notification within 3 days or prize may be awarded to someone else.

What counts as a relevant comment will be at my sole discretion. Comments should be made in English. You may leave as many comments per day as you wish, but only one comment per blog post will be counted as an entry for the contest.

These rules may change at my discretion.

Once Upon a Time – A Perfect Fairy Tale

I watched the trailer for this show about a dozen times before the premiere. The premise – fairytale characters trapped in our world with no memory of who they once were – intrigued me, and the visual effects were stunning. I only hoped the show itself would be half as good.

It far, far exceeded my expectations.

Both worlds captured my attention from the start – the fairytale land full of woods and castles and elaborate clothes, and the trapped-in-time town of Storybrooke, Maine, with its quaint touches and secrets. And transitioning between the two wasn’t difficult at all, since both stories progressed in chronological order.

The fairytale story: After Prince Charming awakens Snow White with a kiss, the evil Queen threatens to ruin their happiness. The newly-married and expecting couple visit Rumpelstiltskin in the dungeon to find out more about this threat. In exchange for the baby’s name, he tells them that their daughter will return to save them from the Queen’s curse on her 28th birthday. When the Queen arrives, the Prince has just enough time to hide his baby daughter in the magic tree/wardrobe/portal they’d been preparing so she won’t be frozen in time and trapped like the rest of them.

The contemporary story: Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison from House) celebrates her 28th birthday with a fake date with a bail jumper (guest appearance from Alphas’ Warren Christie) and a lonely cupcake. But as soon as she makes a wish and blows out the candle, the son she gave up for adoption 10 years ago appears at her door. As she drives Henry back home that evening, he tells her that all the stories in his book of fairy tales are true, and that she’s in the book, too. He says his adoptive mother, the town mayor, is the evil Queen from the story, his teacher is Snow White, and his therapist is Jiminy Cricket. But now that Emma has come to town, she can battle the Queen and free everyone.

The first episode set the bar high as it established both story worlds and the main characters. I absolutely loved the Prince’s swordfight while holding his newborn daughter. And it was fun seeing all the creative touches the real world character had of their fairy tale counterparts: the Queen’s obsession with apples, Jiminy Cricket’s green scarf, Red Riding Hood’s crimson hair streaks.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the second episode, “The Thing You Love the Most,” but it was nearly as good as the first. Emma begins to learn just how strong the Mayor’s hold is on the town, and to actively work against her after Regina has her framed. Sheriff Graham popped up once again to arrest Emma, and he’s the one character in the show so far whose fairy tale counterpart is a mystery. My friend, Ruth, suggested he may be the Queen’s Huntsman, which I think fits perfectly with the story. I’m looking forward to how his relationship with Emma progresses.

I thought there was a good chance that the pilot was the last we’d see for a while of the fairytale world, but I couldn’t have been happier to be proven wrong. This time it focused on the Queen’s story: what she was up to during the year or so between her threats and her attack, who her allies were, how she got the spell, and what she had to sacrifice to cast it. And it’s not to build sympathy for her character – if anything, she seemed even more evil. Such a twisted and selfish view of happiness.

And Rumpelstiltskin seems a little less of a bad guy in league with the Queen and more of a manipulative man with his own agenda. As Mr. Gold, he doesn’t seem to have forgotten anything about his fairytale life – or at least he remembered enough to have Regina adopt Snow White’s grandson to eventually bring Emma to Storybrooke, and to not trust Regina.

Speaking of Henry, he is a perfect mixture of faith and cunning. It’s amazing that he could have grown up as sweet as he did with Regina. It was interesting to find out the story behind his name in the latest episode.

And I loved that all three characters – Snow White/Mary Margaret, Emma, and Henry – prefer hot chocolate with cinnamon. It looked so good that I made some up for myself! 🙂

(By the way, the winner of the Psych contest has been notified, and I’ll mention the winner when I announce the November contest later this week. Can you guess the theme? 🙂 All November comments will count toward it, so feel free to start!)

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