Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Seriously, Queue This Up!

Amber West and I are back with Netflix on this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Courtesy of all the programs that television has to offer, we’ve got a few more series that are definitely worthy of queuing up! 

I’m taking a trip down memory lane and recommending one of, if not the greatest television Whodunit mysteries of our time: Twin Peaks.

Remember Dallas’ ever-so famous mystery back in 1980: Who shot J.R.?

How about 1984’s Wendy’s slogan: Where’s the beef?

The 1990’s wasn’t far behind with its very own unique conversation starter: Who killed Laura Palmer?

Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks first aired April 8, 1990.  The series opened with the beautiful scenery of fictional town, Twin Peaks, Washington with the peaceful song “Falling” performed by Julee Cruise playing in the background. 

And then the hook – a teenage girl’s dead body is found wrapped tightly in clear plastic on the bank of the town’s river.  The sheriff and town doctor arrive only to identify the body as Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), the local homecoming queen.

News of Laura’s death quickly spreads across Twin Peaks.  We see the devastation the news brings to her mother (Sarah Palmer played by Grace Zabriskie) and father (Leland Palmer played by the great Ray Wise).  Both of Laura’s parents suffer some sort of breakdown – Leland sporadically breaks into song and dance and his hair turns white overnight, while Sarah begins seeing psychic visions of a white horse and a long-haired man. 

We also watch Laura’s high school classmates cry when the announcement pours through the loud-speaker.  Sadness sweeps through the school, and the crazy begins.  For example, Laura’s boyfriend, Bobby, begins howling like a dog – and this is just episode one. 

Everyone loved Laura. 

Or did they?

Making matters worse, this small town encounters another young girl walking aimlessly along the rail road tracks.  She’s badly injured and in shock.  Are the two incidents related?

Enter FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). Agent Cooper is a very special, or shall I say odd, individual.  His peculiarities fit right in with the bizarre townsfolk of Twin Peaks, but more on those individuals later.  When satisfied, he enjoys giving a thumbs up, he loves a good piece of pie and cup of coffee, and he constantly records case notes into his microphone addressing someone named Diane.  Quirkiness aside, Agent Cooper is one heck of an investigator. 

Together, Agent Cooper and Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) begin investigating the two cases.  What happened to Ronette Pulaski, the girl found wandering the same morning Laura’s body was discovered, and who killed Laura Palmer?

Almost immediately, they learn that Laura is not quite who she appeared to be.  Everyone knew she was dating the football star, Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), but only her best friend, Donna Hayward (originally played by Lara Flynn Boyle, and later by Moira Kelly), knew that Laura was also seeing supposed bad-boy, James Hurley (James Marshall).

Next, Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman discover that not only was Laura in the middle of a love triangle with the teenage boys, she was also working as a prostitute for Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re) and Jacque Renault (Walter Olkewicz).

The twists and turns don’t stop there.  It seems every single person in the small town of Twin Peaks has some secret of their very own.  Well, if not a secret, they are so weird that they can’t be excluded from the investigation (like the lady who carries around a log as if it’s a child).  The cast of characters in Twin Peaks is one of the best ensembles I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing on television, that’s for sure.  And the acting skills? Simply superb.

Characters and appearances include: Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Miquel Ferrer, Kiefer Sutherland, Billy Zane, Chris Isaak, Piper Laurie, Everett McGill, Peggy Lipton, Heather Graham, Ian Buchanan, and David Duchovny

Twin Peaks also introduced a young and talented cast.  In addition to Laura, Donna, Bobby, and James, alumni also include the beautiful Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne) and Madchen Amick (Shelly Johnson).   The female cast was so hot that even Rolling Stone Magazine featured them on the 1990 College Special.

The success of the television series spawned numerous Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.  It also prompted a prequel motion picture, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and book stores sold The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (I have that somewhere…). 

Twin Peaks can only be described now as a cult classic

Lynch and Frost’s masterful whodunit mystery kept me on the edge of my seat week in and week out in the early ‘90s; therefore, I’d be remiss to not give Twin Peaks a GTV rating.  When viewers learn who the murderer actually is, it’s shocking.  One can also get lost watching the colorful characters like Ed’s crazy patch-wearing wife who thinks she’s still in high school. 

The plot, characters, and conflict of Twin Peaks are unlike anything on television today.

If asked what my favorite television program of all time, I’d say Twin Peaks.  I may be dating myself a bit, but I proudly own the entire series on VHS.  Of course, I no longer have a working VHS player in the house….but I sometimes am lucky enough to find Twin Peaks marathons on Chiller. 

And, as much as I love Twin Peaks, I have to tell you that the series lost its flare once the murder of Laura Palmer was solved.  But, regardless, it’s only 30 episodes – so I highly recommend you Queue It Up!

This is Psych, not Twin Peaks. See the similarities?

The USA Network’s hit television series, Psych, honored Twin Peaks last year in probably my favorite episode: “Dual Spires”.  James Roday outdid himself writing the episode: he perfected the oddities of the characters from Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery; he mimicked the eerie music and peculiar dancing to a “T”; and, he incorporated a few of the Twin Peaks iconic elements such as the dead girl’s body wrapped in plastic found by the water, the diner, the log lady, the caged bird, and the pie.  

Even better yet, Psych cast a few of the Twin Peaks alumni for the episode: Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), and Sherilyn Finn (Audrey Horne). 

Walter channeling Dr. Jacoby

Fox’s Fringe has also paid homage to Twin Peaks.  Walter Bishop has worn Dr. Jacoby’s famous glasses with one red lens and one blue lens, and he also dated the actress who played Josie Packard (Joan Chen) in one episode. 

Flipping back to the USA Network, White Collar also hosted a few Twin Peaks veterans this year: Dana Ashbrook and Madchen Amick. 

If so many current day television programs honor Twin Peaks, shouldn’t you at least check it out?  Seriously, queue it up!

So, how about you – did you watch Twin Peaks?  Did you figure out the mystery or were you surprised?  What is your favorite aspect of the series – the mystery, the unique characters, or the constant intermingling of character conflicts?  Are you a David Lynch fan?  I’d love to hear from you! *Please try not to give away any spoilers here for those who haven’t watched it yet *

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see why she recommends everyone queue up BBC’s Sherlock!   

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few of our favorite FOX programs returning this fall – House & Bones.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

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Tele-Tuesday: New to Fall 2011 – The CW & 1963

It’s that time of year again!  The fall television schedule is right around the corner and, as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop – but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

First up, the CW:

Ringer – Supernatural Thriller

Ringer stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as twin sisters Bridget and Siobhan Martin.  The sisters share a troubled relationship but decide to move past previously made mistakes.  The series begins as Bridget runs to her wealthy sister, Siobhan, after she witnesses a mob hit.  Matters get worse when Siobhan disappears and Bridget assumes her sister’s identity and learns her sister’s life is nothing like it seems.

Ringer premieres Tuesday, September 13th on the CW.

*****

The Secret Circle – Supernatural Drama

From the creators of The Vampire Diaries and based on the YA series by L.J. Smith, The Secret Circle follows teenager Cassie Blake (Brittany Robertson, Life Unexpected) after her mother’s death (well, murder).  Cassie moves to her mother’s hometown to live with her grandmother, where she meets a group of friends that help her uncover her destiny – she’s a witch.

She learns that their families have a deep history of witchcraft dating back hundreds of years, and in order for them to complete their circle, one member from each of the original families is needed.  The power of six magnifies the circle’s power one hundred percent, and Cassie makes six.

The Secret Circle premieres Thursday, September 15th on the CW.

*****

Hart of Dixie – Medical Drama

Hart of Dixie stars Rachel Bilson (The O.C.) as Dr. Zoe Hart.  She accepts a job in Blueberry, Alabama working for a man she’s never met.  When she arrives, she learns that the Doctor that hired her has recently passed away and left her a portion of his practice.   Zoe must learn to work with her new partner, his daughter (Lemon Breeland, played by Jamie King of Pearl Harbor and Sin City), and adjust to life in a small southern town that is nothing at all like New York.

Hart of Dixie premieres Monday, September 26th on the CW.

*****

Next up, ABC and NBC take us back to the ‘60s:

The Playboy Club Drama

The Playboy Club focuses on the “Bunnies” of the first Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963.  The series stars Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, The Stepfather) as the newest Bunny, Eddie Cibrian (Third Watch, Sunset Beach) as an attorney with ties to the Chicago mafia and an elite club member, also known as a “Keyholder”, and David Krumholtz (Numbers), as the club manager.  The program focuses on the Bunnies’ aspirations, secrets, and seductions during a time that these clubs forever changed American society.

The Playboy Club premieres Monday, September 19th on NBC.

*****

Pan Am – Drama

Another period piece from 1963, Pan Am focuses on the pilots and stewardesses of Pan American World Airways, starring Hollywood star Christina Ricci (The Addams Family, Mermaids, and Monster).  Pan Am takes us back to a time when flying was fun for everyone, when smoking was legal in the cabin, and when the pilots kept the cockpit door open for requests from the passengers.  How times have changed….

Pan Am premieres Sunday, September 25th on ABC.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of the new shows on the CW this year?  Are you excited to relive the early days of The Playboy Club and Pan American?  Which of these shows will make it and which ones won’t? I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FabOoolousness – Beating the Heat with Movie Madness

Due to the horrendous Texas heat this summer, we’ve been staying indoors as much as possible.  What’s the best pastime when stuck inside?  Watching movies!

We’ve made it to the theater a few times, but mostly we’ve picked up the $1/night rentals at Redbox or caught an almost-new release on the cable channels and On Demand.  Mostly, we’ve focused on comedy and suspense, but occasionally we throw in some action and the supernatural. 

Grab the popcorn, and turn out the lights! Here are just a few picks of what we think is worth a watch.

Laughs, Laughs, and More Laughs

First Place goes to…..

Horrible Bosses – hands down, laugh out loud funny, from start to finish.  Everyone knows that Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis are funny, but what about Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx? 

Personally, we thought that Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey stole the show.  Jennifer Aniston’s sexy role is a far cry from the “Rachel” we all know and love; Colin Farrell nails the coked-out tool roll; and, Kevin Spacey’s character is the perfect combination of paranoid and crazy. 

While Jaime Foxx didn’t play that large of a role throughout the film, we did laugh out loud every single time his character was called by name….   

Honorable Mentions go to….

Just Go With It– starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.  Watch out for scene stealers Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck, Dave Matthews, and Nicole Kidman.  Sandler and Aniston’s chemistry is fabOoolous throughout, but the entire supporting cast makes the movie. 

Grown Ups – starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider.  Everyone saw the advertising for this film, but there are many more laugh-out-loud moments than what we saw in the trailer.

Hall Pass – starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis.  We had actually heard that this film was a disappointment, but we have to agree to disagree.  Granted, we watched it late at night, but we laughed a lot – in particularly during one scene that caught us completely off-guard. 

Edge of our Seats Suspense

First Place goes to….

The Lincoln Lawyer – without naming names, someone in my household must see every single movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe.  Because of this, someone else in my household does not want to see every single Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe movie, which is why we had to wait for this film to be available at Redbox. 

After we watched The Lincoln Lawyer, that same certain someone loved it just as much as the Matthew and Ryan fan did.   In other words, men and women alike will enjoy this flick.

From the trailer, everyone knows that Matthew’s character is defending Ryan’s character for a murder that he actually committed.  But what we don’t know pulls the audience smack-dab in the middle of masterful suspense.  To what lengths will one go in covering up a crime?  Do we ever know all who are involved? 

A very close second goes to….

Limitless – starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.  What would you do if you were handed a mysterious pill that promised to activate 100% of your brain, as opposed to the usual twenty percent?  Would you take it?

Attention writers: Cooper’s character is an author, and after he takes the pill, he finishes his novel in just around four days.  Does this tempt you, even the slightest bit? 

It’s Not Real, but it’s Still FabOoolous

The award for the most awaited release of the summer goes to….

Fright Night – this much awaited remake did not disappoint.  Colin Farrell finally brings the bad-boy vampire back to the big screen.  Viewers experience a vampire that actually feeds on humans and still has the ability to seduce every female in the audience.      

The story remains very close to the original 1985 horror film, but also introduces a few new twists to make it its very own.   A few of the 3-D special effects were great, and we even saw a tiny cameo by one of the original Fright Night actors. 

While Roddy McDowall was and always will be the great Peter Vincent, vampire hunter, David Tennant makes the role uniquely his.  Every scene of Tennant’s is brilliant and very entertaining.   I’d say more, but I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it yet.      

The award for heroes of the summer goes to….

Transformers 3: The Dark of the Moon – once again, Bumble Bee and Sam’s (Shia LaBeouf) relationship, as well as Optimus Prime and Sam’s relationship, made me cry.  Yes – for the second Transformers movie in a row, I actually teared up.  Never in a million years did I think I’d enjoy these movies about robots transforming into cars and saving the world, yet alone grow to love these Autobots the way that I do. 

Josh Duhamel’s role grows immensely in this third film and hallelujah for that!  Everyone needs a little more Josh in their life…  Oh, and don’t worry – many cringed, especially the men, when it was announced that Megan Fox would not reprise her role as Sam’s girlfriend; but, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s character fills the void perfectly.    

The award for the biggest surprise of the summer goes to….

I am Number Four – based on the bestselling YA novel of the same name, this science fiction hit targeted for the younger generation pleasantly surprised the thirtysomethings in this house.  We immediately called family members, young and not-so-young alike, and recommended a quick trip to Redbox.

Every single one of them loved alien John Smith (Number Four) and his handler/warrior/guardian, Henri.  The special effects in the fight scene at the end are absolutely fabOoolous, and the anticipation for a sequel is astounding.  The Power of Six is on book shelves now; does anyone know when the movie starts production? 

Not every movie can earn a top spot, but a few other films that kept us entertained and out of the hot-summer heat include: Priest. Life As We Know It, You Again, Date Night, The Hangover Part 2, The Mechanic, The Rite, The Dilemma, and Little Fockers.

Next up on our must-see list:  Sucker Punch, Season of the Witch, Arthur, Red Riding Hood, and Your Highness. Which one should we watch first?

What’s the last movie that you watched? What’s next on your list of must-sees?  Do you prefer going to the movies or staying in?  Have you tried a Redbox near you?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Magical Artifacts

This week, Amber West and I return to the science fiction world and review two of our viewers’ favorite SyFy programs.

Warehouse 13

Throughout history, government agencies have built secret warehouses around the world to house and protect magical artifacts.  These warehouses are overseen by the Secret Service and a group known as the Council of Regents. 

Warehouse 13, the current warehouse designed by a team including Thomas Edison, is hidden deep in the mountains outside of the fictional town of Univille, South Dakota, also known as the middle of nowhere.  As a part of their cover, the Secret Service agents claim to work for the IRS, and therefore the townsfolk snub them.  After all, who likes the IRS? 

Dr. Arthur “Artie” Nielsen (played by Saul Rubinek from the TV series Frasier and Nero Wolf) is the agent-in-charge of the warehouse.  Artie has a hard time trusting others with the artifacts, and he is oftentimes frustrated with his two lead agents, Myka and Pete.  Artie isn’t very personal, although he does have an ongoing crush on a visiting doctor played by Lindsay Wagner, who comes once a year to remove his regenerating appendix (it’s a magical show, remember?). 

Viewers learn that Artie’s mysterious past includes his unknowingly trading magical artifacts to the Soviet Union in exchange for the release of his imprisoned family members, an act that was considered treason by the United States.  Once he turned himself in, the US government assigned him to the warehouse where he has been ever since. 

Myka Bering (played by Joanne Kelly from the TV series Vanished and The Dresden Files) is the traditional, play by the rules, Secret Service agent working at the warehouse.  Like most women, Myka pays great attention to detail, and her professional style clashes with her goofy partner, Pete.  On a personal note, Myka has a pet ferret (that she named Pete) and she loves Twizzlers.

What “special power” does Myka bring to the table? She has a photographic memory.

Pete Lattimer (played by Eddie McClintock from the TV series Stark Raving Mad and Crumbs) is the other side of the partnership.  He’s a former Marine and a recovering alcoholic, yet he still has a goofy and fun side.  Pete loves sports, collects comic books, and craves junk food. 

What “special power” does Pete bring to the table? He’s a master at reading lips and he can sense when something bad is about to happen. 

The two partners share a cute relationship – it’s clear that they love each other, but more in a brotherly/sisterly kind of way.  Pete dated the town veterinarian for a little while (until an artifact possessed her and she tried to kill him), while Myka managed to kiss the boy she crushed on in high school at her reunion.  Other than that, the Warehouse 13 agents rarely have time for any romantic interludes. 

The Warehouse also employs Claudia (played by Allison Scagliotti), a young techie-genius who went to work for the team after breaking into the warehouse, and Leena (played by Genelle Williams), the proprietor of the local bed and breakfast where the agents reside. 

Other recurring characters include: Mrs. Frederic (C.C.H. Pounder), the director of the warehouse and liaison between the agents and regents; Helena “H.G.” Wells (Jaime Murray), an agent from the late 1800’s who bounces back and forth between good and evil; and, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), an agent brought in after Myka temporarily resigns. 

A huge bonus to working at the warehouse is the access to very cool gadgets.  The agents use a “Farnsworth” to communicate with one another visually and telephonically in lieu of cell phones.  Instead of using real guns, the agents use a “Tesla Gun” – a weapon that shoots lightning bolts that stuns the bad guys instead of killing them.  The agents also use caution when in public by capturing the magic of the artifacts by sealing it inside metallic “flash” bags.   

Warehouse 13 has featured many historical artifacts throughout the seasons including Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, Lizzie Borden’s compact, Marilyn Monroe’s hair brush, Harry Houdini’s wallet, Marie Antoinette’s guillotine blade (well, the one that killed her), Ben Franklin’s lightning rod, and Edgar Allan Poe’s quill pen. 

Click here for a complete list of artifacts to date.

Not personally big on most shows featured on SyFy, I find Warehouse 13 very enjoyable.  I read somewhere that W13 has over 50% female viewers, maybe for the very same reasons that I watch – it’s fun, magical, and an escape from reality.    That’s why Warehouse 13 earns a JFTV rating – it’s like the bag of potato chips that we just can’t put down.

Are you a Warehouse 13 fan? Is there an artifact throughout history that you’d like to get your hands on, and if so, what magical power do you think it might possess?   Do you like that the writers keep the relationship between Myka and Pete strictly professional and friendly, or would you prefer see a romantic spark ignite? I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she has to say about SyFy’s Eureka.

Come back next week when Amber and I recommended a few more queue worthy shows for your viewing pleasure as we close out the month of August with another Netflix edition.     

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday: MTV’s Joining the Party

On August 1, 1981, Music Television (also known as MTV) launched with the music video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, and was immediately a breakthrough success.  MTV changed pop culture forever, and even created what we know as VJs (vee-jay or video jockey) today.

By the 1990s, the network began to drift away from the music videos, and started airing original broadcasts such as Road Rules and The Real World, animations including Beavis and Butthead and Celebrity Deathmatch, and even a few popular game shows like Remote Control and Singled Out – the show that putJenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra on the map.

By 2000, rarely could we flip channels to MTV and actually watch a music video.  Instead, we’d find The Osbournes, and watch Ozzy and Sharon wrangle their children and many small dogs around their house in Los Angeles; or we’d watch Ashton Kutcher play pranks on celebrities on Punk’d; and, sometimes we’d even watch Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica so that we could laugh at just how silly that girl can be.

Since then, MTV has continued to launch more and more reality shows: Laguna Beach, NEXT, My Super Sweet 16, and the craziest of them all, Jersey Shore.  And, who could forget one of the biggest hits of all MTV programming – Jackass?

Where would society be today without Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Ryan (R.I.P.), and Wee-Man?

This summer, MTV gained positive attention with the premier of its supernatural hit Teen Wolf.  Some of us even refer to Teen Wolf as the summer’s The Vampire Diaries – and that’s a huge compliment.

Will MTV be able to do it again with Death Valley, the new half hour horror-comedy premiering later this month?

Death Valley follows the Undead Task Force (UTF) as they protect the San Fernando Valley from the recent outbreak of zombies, vampires, and werewolves.   The UTF, a special division within the LAPD, is tasked with the responsibility of containing or destroying as many of the walking dead as possible, while a film crew follows them documenting each encounter.

Viewers will recognize a few familiar faces on the UTF squad including: Captain Frank Dashell (Bryan Callen from The Hangover); the traditional cop, Joe Stubeck (Charlie Sanders from Funny or Die Presents); the wanna-be-actor Billy Pierce (Bryce Johnson from Pretty Little Liars); the rookie Kirsten Landry (Caity Lotz from Mad Men); the sharp-shooter, Carla Rinaldi (Tania Raymonde from Lost); and, the one who loves to fight, John-John Johnson (Texas Battle from The Bold and the Beautiful).

The trailer looks hilarious and leads us to believe the show will have plenty of gore.  What more could we ask for when watching zombies, vampires, and werewolves?

Zombies, Vampires, and Werewolves – Oh, My!

Death Valley premieres on MTV Monday, August 29th at 10:30/9:30pm CDT.

Will you watch Death Valley?  Or do you prefer that MTV stop trying to compete with the regular network broadcasting channels and go back to playing more music videos?  What’s the first music video you remember watching on MTV? What’s your favorite program of all time on MTV? Do you even watch MTV anymore? I’d love to hear from you! 

Friday FabOoolousness – August’s MarvelOoous Mashups and Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Angela R. Wallace awarded me with a very fun blogging award – the Blog on Fire Award.

THANK YOU, Angela!  Winning this award for my posts means so very much to me.  I love the color red, and I love to light candles, so why not set the blog ablaze?  Well, I don’t want to burn it, but I’m definitely adding the fun badge to my homepage!

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Blog on Fire Award icon on my site, they will experience Angela’s fabOoolous blog!  While you’re there, be sure and check out her post, My First Vampire.

The fun thing about this award is that I’m supposed to rattle off seven random things about myself.  But before I do, I want to award this honor to my fellow writing friend and She-Writes member, Jillian Dodd.

Jill is new to the blogging world, and her blog is on fire!  Just a few weeks in, she’s blogging three times a week – check out a few of my favorites.

The Bad Boys of Monday’s MANday Who would you choose?

Freaky Friday’s film Review of The Change Up starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman.  Jill’s review chart is quite fun!

In addition to the fabOoolous blogs by Angela and Jill, be sure to click on these sites featured in the August edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: FabOoolous writerly posts

Every writer wants to know how to take their written words to the next level.  Check out Market Your Novel, a guest post by Donna Galanti via Stacy Green’s fabOoolous blog.

In addition to the manuscript and query, writers need a synopsis.  Roni Loren offers five helpful tips to get us through the Not So Dreaded Synopsis.

Every writer wants and needs to hook the reader.  Catie Rhodes helps us Get the Ball Rolling with our inciting incident by offering a few movie references as examples.

Amy Romine shares her realization that the word “writing” and the word “exercise” are interchangeable.  After all, Writing is Exercise for the Brain.

 PART II: Just because they’re fabOoolous

Julie Glover helps decipher a few British terms with American translations in The Queen’s LanguageUse your favorite in a sentence below in the comments section.  Bloody Brilliant.

Who doesn’t like to laugh?  Jess Witkins reminds us of a few television sitcoms that Make us Snicker.  That reminds me – I must queue up Freaks and Geeks on Netflix….

 

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you see the world ‘Rebel’?  That’s what I thought – James Dean.  Catie Rhodes remembers the young talent gone too soon, and explores The Curse of Little Bastard.

 

Hobbits – are they primitive, futuristic, or Tolkein’s creation?  Gene Lempp researches the mythology of Hobbits and Pygmy Elephants.

Once Upon a Time….  Sonia G. Medeiros revisits the fairy tales that captured our imaginations as children.  Watch for her new blog series!  What’s your favorite fairy tale?

What were the best and worst movies of 2009?  Lyn Midnight reveals in the Secrets of ZeldaWhat didn’t make the list?

Manon Eileen feels that drug criminality is the most interesting field of criminology, and she recommends these 10 Drug Movies for our entertainment pleasure.   What film would you add?

And, now seven random things about me.  Enjoy!

1 – I name my cars.  My first car was a 1993 Red Thunderbird named Scarlett from my mother’s favorite movie, Gone With the Wind.  Today, I drive the car that most females in Texas drive – my Black Beauty, a 2003 Yukon.  She’s really a dark shade of grey that sparkles like the Texas Tech football helmets when the sun shines on her.  What, you don’t name your car?

 

2 – I’m naturally blonde, technically strawberry blonde.  Most of the online universe is fooled by my recently darkened hair courtesy of my profile pictures.

3 – I’m overly competitive.  In school, I had to be the first one done with the tests AND I’d be upset if I didn’t score a perfect 100% on each one.  Because of this, I actually gave myself a stomach ulcer from self-imposed stress at eight years old.   Okay, maybe I didn’t give myself an ulcer, but I coincidentally was diagnosed by the pediatrician as having an ulcer around the very same time I realized that I wanted to be perfect.  It took me a while to realize that perfect isn’t possible – we all just have to be our very best.

 

4 – I love monkeys.  My favorites are the See No, Hear No, Speak No Evil Monkeys.  Ironically, one of my favorite episodes of Charmed is when a spirit steals a sense from each of the sisters using evil monkey magic – Phoebe loses her hearing; Paige loses her voice; and, Piper loses her vision.

 

5 – If I’m ever brave enough to get a tattoo, it will be of the triqueta – also known to fellow Charmed fans as the symbol on the Book of Shadows.  Where?  The inside of my left wrist so that my watch can cover it up when necessary.

Or, maybe I’ll get an Ankh Cross?  I can’t decide, and it doesn’t help that I’m absolutely terrified of the pain from the constant sticking of the tattoo needle.  Maybe I’ll just stick to my Henna tattoos?  They are painless, and they wash off after two weeks, another bonus.

6 – I quit the game of basketball after one hellacious week at Lady Raider Basketball camp.  The camp came as my first trip back to the court after dislocating my knee cap (I had to wear an awful pink knee brace for what felt like forever), but the final straw was when another girl elbowed me in the mouth and my upper lip got stuck underneath my braces.  The head trainer at Texas Tech University had to pull my lip out.  Isn’t basketball a non-contact sport?

Isn’t the knee brace awesome?

7 – I hate to get dirty, especially my hands and fingernails.  Even as a child, I’d cry and run to the nearest adult and beg them to help me wash my hands.  I’m quite certain that I bawled my eyes out when my parents pushed my hand into my first birthday cake.  I don’t remember, but that’s what they tell me.

Knowing that I didn’t like to get dirty, my cousin used to throw dirt on me just to watch me squirm.  Don’t worry; I got her back….plus some!  Love you, Ali!  Perhaps my parents should have seen this as one of the early stages of OCD.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m Monkish, right?  Man, I really miss Monk.

 

Who are a few of your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? What’s a random fact about you that you’d like to share?  Do you have any tattoos, if so what and where? What’s your favorite fairy tale, and do you like any of the recent cinematic releases? Do you agree with Lyn’s best and worst movie list of 2009?  What drug film should Manon watch that she didn’t list on her blog?  I’d love to hear from you!  Happy Friday FabOolousness everyone! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Queue This Up Too!

Amber West and I are staying with Netflix on this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Courtesy of all the programs that television has to offer, we’ve got a few more series that are definitely worthy of queuing up!

Moonlight

The series begins when private investigator Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin, Hawaii 5-0) meets reporter Beth Turner (Sophia Myles, Tristan & Isolde) at the scene of a crime.  Mick immediately feels a connection with Beth – one that he doesn’t place immediately.

But, it doesn’t take him long to remember exactly where he met Beth for the first time.

Mick is a vampire, turned fifty years ago on his wedding night by his wife Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon, A Knight’s Tale).   Needless to say, the couple never lived happily ever after.

 

Mick is a good vampire; he doesn’t hunt or hurt people, unlike his best friend Josef (Jason Dohring, Veronica Mars) who relishes his life as a vampire.  Instead, Mick satisfies his hunger by harvesting blood from the local morgue.

But, back to Mick and Beth.

Twenty-two years ago, Mick saved a kidnapped girl from a house fire – a fire that he started in order to kill Coraline.   As luck would have it, Beth was that little girl.

After meeting at the crime scene, Mick and Beth become instant friends, and it doesn’t take much time before Beth learns his secret.  She handles it quite well, considering, and even allows him to feed on her once to save his life.  Mick and Beth fall in love, but in addition to the fact that Mick is technically dead, Beth is dating the local assistant district attorney (Jordan Belfi, Entourage), and neither she nor Mick succumb to their urges.

The love triangle becomes a square when Beth asks Mick to help her friend; a friend that looks exactly like Coraline.

Moonlight may have only lasted one season on CBS (it’s very possible the 2007-2008 writer’s strike is to blame), but it remains a favorite and is worthy of a queue up.  I don’t want to give too much away about the individual episodes, especially since there are only sixteen to watch, but it sounds like a perfect weekend marathon, doesn’t it?

Moonlight earns a GTV rating; it has everything we want and more.  I can’t remember the last time I was so upset about a program’s cancellation.  It is highly recommended that you watch Moonlight at night – lights off, candle burning, and a glass of red wine in hand.  Keep a hand fan nearby – Mick St. John is one sexy vampire.

Oh, and don’t worry.  The show didn’t necessarily end on a cliffhanger.  Even with the premature cancellation, and a great storyline for a second season, it wraps nicely considering.

What are you waiting for?  Queue it Up!

If by chance you do not subscribe to Netflix, watch for the Moonlight daytime marathons on SyFy.

Episodes with Bite:

“Fever”
“The Ringer”
“12:04 AM”
“Fleur de Lis”
“What’s Left Behind”

Did you watch Moonlight?  Like me, are you waiting for Steve McGarrett to vamp out on Hawaii 5-0?  What show’s cancellation absolutely infuriated you?  Is it available on Netflix?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see why she recommends you queue up Downton Abbey.

Come back next week for another SyFy edition as Amber and I review a few more of the network’s most popular programs – Eureka and Warehouse 13.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our August and September schedules and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds

SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out

NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer

LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech