Friday FabOoolousness – Must Read New Releases

It’s an exciting time of year—school is starting, football is right around the corner, and fall is near.

Fall is my favorite time of year, especially when the weather actually cools when the sun goes down.  For me, there’s nothing much better than curling up in my comfy chair, throwing a blanket over my legs, lighting a candle, and reading a great book on those cool, fall nights.  So today, I’ve decided to share five new and upcoming releases that are must reads on my bookshelf.  If you’re looking for the next bestseller in the young adult, YA mystery, dark fantasy, and thriller genres, check these out and help support five fabOoolous authors!

*****

Gossip Girl meets Hollywood in this steamy new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.

Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed of. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most coveted lunch table.

She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.

Because really, things aren’t all that perfect.

Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam.

Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to.

It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.

And deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends.

To add to the drama, her movie star mom has a creepy stalker.

A hot, mysterious man keeps flirting with her and telling her they should make a movie together.

And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating him would mean committing social suicide.

So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony.

But little does she know, there’s someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

*****

Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the Blood Skies saga!

Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet.

Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities.

To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords.

The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning…

*****

A recent high-school graduate wrongly accused of trying to murder her step-sister flees her vengeful stepfather with an otherworldly stranger through a mystical Door.

Nothing can explain to Aydan Fulbert how she survived the savage attack in the woods.  Why her left eye, instead of being blinded by the injuries she’d sustained, had simply turned a shocking shade of silver.  And nothing can explain the fact that she can hear the Stranger speaking in her mind – or that she can answer him back without using her mouth.

Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.

Nothing can explain the things the Stranger knows about her – things that she, until just a few hours ago, hadn’t known herself: that she’d healed faster from her injuries than was humanly possible.  That the cruel family she’d been raised by isn’t biologically hers.  That her stepfather is now hell-bent on bringing her to his own form of justice for a crime she didn’t commit.

Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.

Nothing can explain why she so easily agreed to go with the Stranger.  Why she didn’t find the notion of another world ludicrous and impossible.  Why she didn’t cut and run the minute he explained where he wanted to take her.

Nothing can explain it – unless she believes he’s telling the truth.

Aydan knows she’s being intentionally naive.  She knows her decision to follow the Stranger is at best, reckless.  At worst, deadly.

…unless he’s telling the truth.

*****

And coming September 10th…

Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.

Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.

Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.

Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity’s immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.

Going on a date has never been harder.

*****

And September 20th…

An autism cure will kill millions unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing child… in 24 hours.

AN AUNT searches for her lost nephew—and dooms her sister.

A MOM gambles a miracle will cure—and not kill—her child.

A DOG finds his true purpose—when he disobeys.

Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything—husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot—and flees to Texas to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. When her sister trusts a maverick researcher’s promise to help Steven, September has 24 hours to rescue them from a devastating medical experiment impacting millions of children, a deadly secret others will kill to protect. As September races the clock, the body count swells. Shadow does his good-dog duty but can’t protect his boy. Finally September and Shadow forge a stormy partnership to rescue the missing and stop the nightmare cure. But can they also find the lost parts of themselves?

*****

Don’t these books sound fantastic!!  I’ve met all of these authors, either in person or online in writing communities, and I can’t wait to read their latest releases.  I hope you do too!

Have you read any of these books?  If so, please share your thoughts…  Do you have any other new releases that you think the rest of us should read or that you can’t wait to crack open?  I’d love to hear from you!

And, football season is here!! Remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

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Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – It’s a Grimm World, After All

With summer coming to an end, and the new fall television schedule right around the corner, Amber West and I decided that we should take a break-of-sorts here on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  I say “of sorts” because instead of reviewing a fresh series, we want to feature a few shows that we are looking forward to returning in the 2012/2013 TV season.

This week, we revisit the world of fairy tales, where we re-post our Grimm and Once Upon a Time reviews from January.

I’m at a bit of an advantage today, because for the first time in a long time (or for at least as long as I can remember), NBC broke from the norm this year and is already airing new episodes of Grimm.  Why not air new episodes in August?  I love it!  I am so happy to have one of my favorites back weeks ahead of the regular fall schedule.  We’re already a few tales in, and I must say that I love the direction of season two.

But before I get too deep, take a look back at why I fell in love in the first place…

*****

The basics:  The series follows Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) as he balances his life solving murders and learning that he comes from a long line of criminal profilers (Grimms) responsible for protecting the people of the world against the supernatural.

I watched Mr. Giuntoli back on the Road Rules/Real World challenge years ago… but he’s really growing on me as an actor. Detective Nick Burkhardt is pretty adorable. And he’s getting stronger… physically and as a character.

To Recap: The Hook and Fairy Tale Number One – Little Red Riding Hood.

The pilot episode might still be my favorite.  The attention to detail and fantastic one-liners hooked me immediately, but not enough to earn anything above the SSTV rating.  I mean, seriously—the program had just barely aired one episode, but the interest was there…

The series began as a sorority girl departs from her house wearing a bright red hoodie and listening to the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” as she sets out for her morning jog through the woods.  While on her run, the girl spots an odd figurine positioned on a rock.  She stops to investigate when she is suddenly tackled by something with lightning fast speed, and the viewers can only assume she’s going to die.

Nick and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), drive out to the scene of the crime where they discover a jogger has been ripped apart in the woods.  The detectives assume an animal is responsible for the attack, although they can’t seem to locate any animal tracks—only boot tracks.

Nick and Hank solvin’ crimes… because that’s what they do.

Later that night, Nick returns home to discover his Aunt Marie (Kate Burton) has stopped by on a surprise visit.  After a cryptic, “we need to talk,” Nick and his aunt go for a walk and she begins to tell him that his family has a secret.  His parents didn’t die in an accident; they were murdered.  Why is she telling him this now?  She is dying, and the Grimm powers will pass to him in just a matter of days if they haven’t already.

Before she can tell him the complete story, Nick and his aunt are attacked by a Reaper of the Grimms.  Nick can’t believe his eyes and he opens fire on the monster and shoots him dead, but not before the attack renders his aunt unconscious.

Reeling from the day’s events, Nick walks into his aunt’s travel-trailer where he finds an arsenal of bizarre weapons and an ancient family book revealing his destiny.   All of this helps explain the event earlier in the day when he noticed a beautiful blonde walking down the street suddenly transform into nasty looking creature.

Pretty nasty, right?

As most of us would with life-altering information such as this, Nick decides to keep his secret from his girlfriend (Juliette, played by Bitsie Tulloch) and his partner.  For now, anyway.

The fairy tale continues the next day when Nick and his partner are called to another crime scene.  This time, a younger girl has been kidnapped with the initials R.H.  Coincidence?

This is where Nick tracks down Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Big Bad Wolf.   Monroe can see Nick as a Grimm immediately, but he reluctantly agrees to help Nick understand the mythology.   Monroe also agrees to help track down the other Big Bad responsible for the little girl’s disappearance.  He drives Nick out to the woods, sticking his head out the window along the way, sniffing out the other Big Bad’s scent.  Afraid of what might happen if he gets too close, Monroe retreats as soon as they locate the cabin where his sense of smell has indicated the other Big Bad and little R.H. are located.  Nick then calls Hank out to the woods, but explains he didn’t call for any additional backup because he “already cried wolf once.”

Monroe is my favorite. The character probably has the best lines, definitely the funniest, and Mr. Mitchell delivers them perfectly.

Of course, Hank doesn’t understand how Nick tracked this man down, but he believes his partner when he overhears the suspect humming the exact same song that had been playing in the jogger’s ear buds from the first crime scene, “Sweet Dreams.”  The take down ensues, little R.H. is rescued, and Grimm ends with the Marilyn Manson version of “Sweet Dreams” — I’ve got to know what’s inside you.

Let’s be honest—the song is what actually hooked me.  Not only is it a favorite (either rendition), but the chosen lyrics forshadowed what the episode had in store for us.  Like we mentioned earlier, great attention to detail.

Now further into the season, Grimm has aired more episodes and tackled fairy tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Pied Piper, Rapunzel, The Queen Bee, and the Three Little Pigs.  The special effects and storylines are enticing; the use of Monroe in each episode to help Nick solve the case at hand is fun, and it is a bit heartwarming to see the two work together and develop a friendship between creature and Grimm; and the actual police procedural aspect of the story ranks up there with the other crime dramas on television today.

The first creature that Nick saw transform on the street has a bit of a recurring role, and has since been identified as a hexinbeast (the blonde monster from the pilot episode, played by Claire Coffee).  Nick and Hank were assigned to protect her in “The Queen Bee” episode, despite the fact that she attempted to kill his aunt while in the hospital.

Always the bad guy, never the bride. Wait. That’s not how the saying goes…

As viewers, we know this hexinbeast is working for Nick’s police captain (Captain Renard played by Sasha Roiz), but Nick has no idea his boss is a bad guy.

Which poses the question, why not?  Nick can see the creatures transform in front of him, so why can’t he see that his boss is one of them?  Also, we know that the creatures know immediately just by looking at him that Nick is a Grimm, so what is it that they see exactly?  Does his face transform as well?

Obviously, I’d like for the series to answer some of these questions; but in the meantime, since sitting on the hot plate after the pilot, the simmering water is now boiling and Grimm earns a MacTV rating.  The water is clearly hot enough for us to drop in the pasta in order to enjoy some MacNCheese, and we’re anxiously awaiting its return.

*****

Like I said earlier, I love the direction of season two.  I don’t want to give too much away, but the Hank storyline is fantastic—for those of you who haven’t watched, he accidentally sees Monroe in is Blutbad form (wolf) at the end of season one.  Things only get worse for Hank when he continues to see things (other creatures/transformations) he can’t explain.  Season two explores Hank’s frustrations and you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy, knowing as a viewer that he isn’t going crazy like he thinks he is.

I’m still not sold on the Juliette/Nick storyline evolving here in season two, but I’ll be patient and see where the writers and creators take us with this one.  Until then, I can’t wait for more of Grimm‘s take on the classic fairy tale… bring on the creatures!

What do you think? Do you watch Grimm?  Which of the tales has been your favorite and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her recap of ABC’s fairy tale hit, Once Upon a Time.

Come back next week when Amber and I re-post two more of our favorite returning shows.  Can you guess which ones?  Mine moves to Sunday nights and hers has a British accent…

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.

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
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
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: Major Crimes’ New Look

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I would return to my thoughts about TNT’s The Closer spinoff.  Today is that day…

Following the conclusion of Brenda Leigh’s story, Captain Raydor took the lead in Major Crimes.  For the past few seasons, we’ve tolerated Captain Raydor while she terrorized Brenda Leigh, leading all of the officer-involved investigations (kind of like Internal Affairs).  But we also witnessed a softer Captain Raydor who stood by Brenda Leigh and did everything in her power to protect the Deputy Chief.  How will Captain Raydor do leading Brenda Leigh’s team?

That’s right—almost the entire cast of The Closer returned for the new series.  I said almost… this is the first major difference between the two shows.  Besides losing Brenda Leigh, obviously, the team also lost David Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) and we haven’t seen the recently promoted Chief of Police (Chief Pope, played by J.K. Simmons).

Once a TV series loses a character, it usually makes sense to replace that role.  Enter Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes, the newest member of the Major Crimes unit.  As expected, Detective Sykes ruffled the feathers of a few of the veterans on her way to her new position… especially Louie Provenza (G.W. Bailey).  But that could be because Detective Provenza was already bothered by Raydor’s promotion, since he had been leading the team in the interim.  It could also be Detective Sykes’ eagerness and her constant over-reaching and jumping in where she doesn’t belong.  Either way, her abrupt nature isn’t fitting in with the others just yet, but she’s growing on them and it’s just a matter of time before they accept her.

Captain Sharon Raydor

As of last night, I’ve watched three episodes and I stand behind my earlier statement that my Monday nights will never be the same again without The Closer; but for what it’s worth, TNT is softening the blow.  Raydor (Mary McDonnell) may not close like Brenda Leigh, no one ever will for that matter; but what Brenda mastered in closing a case and prying a confession out of her suspect, Raydor will match in her ability to settle the case—saving Los Angeles a ton of money (the second major difference between the two TV shows).

How will our favorite group of detectives handle their new leader’s style?  Once again, Provenza doesn’t like it in the least.  None of them really do, but he’s the most likely to speak out against Raydor.  But there is nothing he can do; the Major Crimes unit is to work with the District Attorney’s office every step of the way in trying to skip the courtroom and walk the criminals directly to their prison cells—Chief’s orders.

In an earlier post, I also mentioned that in addition to the drama, The Closer episodes promised humor, and I found myself smiling at each episode’s end regardless of how gruesome their case.  Most of the fun centered around the interactions of the team: Gabriel, Provenza, Andy Flynn (Tony Denison), Michael Tao (Michael Paul Chan), Julio Sanchez (Raymond Cruz), Buzz (Phillip P. Keene), and Commander Taylor (now Assistant Chief, played by Robert Gossett).  So far, this is the third major difference between The Closer and Major Crimes as far as I’m concerned.  While there may be a comment or an interaction that brings a smile to my face, it happens a lot less often in Major Crimes.

Oh, the sarcastic Raydor smile…

For now, I believe this is because the show is focusing on developing the Raydor character—they have no choice; she has some really tough shoes to fill.  Initially, The Closer fans didn’t like her; but the writers and creators slowly began to appeal to the viewers with a softer Raydor—a Raydor that even Brenda Leigh started to like.  I mean, let’s be real; if Brenda Leigh likes her, so will Brenda Leigh’s fans… right?  But Raydor is still no Brenda Leigh, and her character needs to be developed just a little bit more for us to fully fall head-over-heels for her like we did our favorite southern Deputy Chief.

Which leads me to the fourth major difference between the two shows… the addition of Rusty (played by Graham Patrick Martin), a homeless teen who was left with no other choice than turning to prostitution in order to survive.  Brenda Leigh initially discovered Rusty working her final case for the LAPD; but in her departure, Raydor has now stepped in and promised to continue Brenda Leigh’s work searching for Rusty’s mother.  In the meantime, Rusty lives with Raydor and the viewers slowly see the maternal side of Raydor kicking in.  She’s not just a ball-buster, she’s a mother.

It’s no Closer, but Major Crimes still has the characters I’ve grown to love over the years.  Raydor may not be Brenda Leigh, and she has a long way to go to establish herself on the same level in my opinion, but I’m not giving up.  Major Crimes is definitely worthy of a watch… even if this isn’t one of my Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts.

What do you think?  Have you checked out Major Crimes?  How do you feel it fares compared to The Closer?  Do you think the spinoff is headed in the right direction?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FabOoolousness –The Hunger Games… Leaving Us Hungry for More

Last week, I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling all that well and listed a few of the movies that I would like to see while curled up in my chair.  Well, would anyone be surprised if I said I didn’t get around to watching any of them?  I did watch something though…

I wanted to see The Hunger Games in the theater, but for whatever reason we never made it.  And last Friday when I was listing all of the movies that I wanted to see while recuperating in the comfort of my home, I completely overlooked the upcoming release of The Hunger Games.

How is that possible?  I don’t know… but I corrected that mistake as soon as I realized it was available via OnDemand Saturday night.

For those that still haven’t read Suzanne Collins’ trilogy or seen the film adaptation, I’ll try not to give anything away.  But, honestly, I feel like my house was in this minority grouping up until this past weekend and I wouldn’t be ruining anything for a lot of people.  But regardless, I’ll stay away from any spoilers.

However, what I do want to mention is the fact that I couldn’t help but compare The Hunger Games to another Young Adult franchise that has practically taken over the world these past few years—The Twilight Saga.

And let me begin with… The Hunger Games wins.

I’m not a Twilight hater; really, I’m not.  I own all four books and I have seen all four movies to date.  I do enjoy the love triangle, the werewolf pack, and the Cullen clan; but, I prefer my vampires to have more bite.  I want to see vamps do what they’re supposed to do—feed on humans.  It may be bloody, but there is something about it that is as hot as all get out.  Vampires are probably the most seductive and sexy of all the supernatural, and that’s what I like to see.  Even Vampire Jerry from Fright Night (2012) was one bad vamp, but what girl sitting in the theater still didn’t wish he was her neighbor?

Now, with The Hunger Games, I expected violence, and violence is exactly what I got—PG style, anyway.   I never expected the tributes to survive the Games without bloodshed.  But thankfully, the scenes were not gory or over-the-top; they portrayed just enough to leave the worst parts to the viewer’s imaginations and leave us clinging to the edge of our seats.

Now let’s switch to another comparison—the female protagonists.

First, there’s Bella… perhaps if anyone besides Kristen Stewart had played the beloved Bella in the movies, I’d have a different opinion.  But she did, and I don’t.  It’s hard to sit through a series and love it when you can’t stand the protagonist—and I’m speaking of the character here, not the actress; but because the actress lacks a certain emotional range and rarely smiles when in character, it’s hard to empathize with her.  Maybe Miss Stewart played the role just as Stephenie Meyer intended, and she’s certainly earned millions because of the franchise, but for me personally, let me just say she’s not the reason I see the films.

But Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) on the other hand, now that’s a strong, female lead.  Wow!  I fell in love with Katniss from the very beginning.  She has purpose; she’s caring; she provides; and most importantly, she volunteers herself to save another—she is amazing.   Never once did I think the character of Katniss felt sorry for herself (and if anyone was allowed to feel sorry for themselves, it would be Katniss).  I was ready to watch Miss Lawrence kick some serious booty when the tributes from each district joined at the Cornucopia.  Heck, I was even ready to watch her take down Peeta.  I was one-hundred percent enamored with Katniss Everdeen, and Jennifer Lawrence nailed the role.

I could keep going; heck, I haven’t even listed the guys/eye candy in the films or the other supporting actors yet.  But I’m done.  These two aspects alone launch The Hunger Games way ahead of Twilight where I’m concerned.  A part of me is a bit shocked to say this… I do love the supernatural; however, this time, fantasy wins as far as I’m concerned.

What do you think?  Have you watched The Hunger Games?  Do you prefer it over the Twilight Saga or Katniss over Bella?  I’d love to hear from you!

And while it may not be supernatural or fantasy, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Early Look at Animal Practice

After two weeks of partying with our readers at the Tamberny Awards,  Amber West and I return to our regularly scheduled program this week and review two of NBC’s upcoming comedies on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday—Go On and Animal Practice. 

We each caught a sneak peek at the pilot episodes, which were strategically positioned at the end of NBC’s Olympic broadcasts.  I somehow missed Go On, but I remembered to set my DVR to pick up Animal Practice after the Closing Ceremonies.

We watch Weeds in our house and love the Botwin family, including Andy (played by Justin Kirk).  Mr. Kirk’s comedic timing is fantastic on the Showtime hit; so when we learned that this was the final season of Weeds, and that the actor who has been entertaining us for the past eight years as the quirky brother-in-law/Botwin-father-figure was starring in a new sitcom, we knew that we’d want to check it out.

Obviously, from the title, the series focuses on an animal hospital and the doctors providing the care.  We have the “head” doctor, if that’s the appropriate term, Dr. George Coleman (Kirk), and his supporting staff.  The supporting staff comes with a very funny resume.  First we have a Chelsea Lately Round-Table veteran, Bobby Lee, playing Dr. Kim Yamamoto.  I’ve never seen Mr. Lee act before, but so far I’m not looking away.  We also have Tyler Labine, a very funny side-kick from two short-lived TV programs (the CW’s Reaper and CBS’s Mad Love), playing Dr. Doug Jackson.

As a side note, my favorite part played by Mr. Labine has to be the role of Dale in the comedy/horror film Tucker & Dale Versus Evil.  Now that’s entertainment!

But anyway, back to Animal Practice

Everything seems to be running smoothly at the hospital until George’s ex-girlfriend (Dorothy Crane, played by Reba star, Joanna Garcia-Swisher) returns.  As if her return isn’t bad enough, she brings with her the news that her aunt (the owner of the animal hospital) has named her the proprietor of the establishment.

So we have funny men (Kirk, Lee, and Labine), a funny lady (Garcia-Swisher), the elements of a romantic comedy, and animals… specifically a capuchin monkey (Dr. Rizzo, played by Crystal the Monkey).

Anyone who knows me knows that I love monkeys.  I loved Marcel, the monkey in Friends.  I also loved the monkey in The Hangover Part II—oh, wait… it’s the same monkey!  That’s right; Crystal the Monkey also starred alongside Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms in the popular sequel.  What a lucky monkey…

But will this be enough for Animal Practice?

To be honest, it’s too early to award Animal Practice with anything other than the SSTV rating.  I mean, we’ve only seen twenty-some-odd minutes worth.   Now, the pilot did show some promise… we’ll just have to see if the episodes can lift it up enough to keep it going once it returns in late September.

What did you think? Did you catch the sneak peek of the Animal Practice pilot?  How would you rate it?  Do you plan to catch the sitcom this fall?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about Matthew Perry’s return to comedy in Go On.   I can’t believe I missed this one.

Come back next week when Amber and I review something..

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.

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
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
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: Why Common Law Deserves a Renewal

Everyone is familiar with the term opposites attract.  Heck, many of us even remember Paula Abdul’s hit song from the late ‘80s, early ‘90s.  Usually, people think of romantic couples when hearing the phrase… but television has taken it to an entirely different level, especially when creating cohesive and lovable partnerships—detective pairings to be specific.

These duos usually have different backgrounds: familiar, economic, social, racial, educational, etcetera.  But more often than not, these partners make for some of the best in the field.  One of the first pairs that comes to mind is Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs (Miami Vice).  Another is Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey (Cagney & Lacey).  And a more recent example would have to be Peter Burns and Neal Caffrey (White Collar).

There is nothing ground-breaking about these types of pairings on television, which is why when a new police procedural airs, the characters need another sort of twist to make it stand out among all the others.

Common Law does just that.  The USA series follows two Los Angeles robbery/homicide detectives with an immense love for the job—a job they’re good at—great at, actually—they just don’t like each other very much.  And when one partner draws his gun on the other, the police captain insists the two attend relationship counseling, or couples therapy to use a term we’re familiar with today.

Let’s start with Travis (Michael Ealy).  Travis was raised in the foster care system and has many mothers and brothers around the L.A. area.  He is a bit of a womanizer—he loves women and they love him—but he shies away from dating any one woman for more than, well, a night.  Perhaps this has something to do with his unstable childhood, but for whatever reason, it works for him… for now.

Next, we have Wes (Warren Kole).  The series hasn’t shared much about his childhood, but one can assume he hails from a wealthy enough family.  Before joining the LAPD, Wes worked as a lawyer and was married to another lawyer.  But when he quit to become a policeman, he lost more than his job—his wife left him too.  He hasn’t really dipped his toes back into the dating waters, but he’s taking baby steps toward the pool.

Travis and Wes bring these differences to their partnership, but only one thing matters—they are the best at what they do.  They bicker; they fight; and then they bicker and fight some more.  But when on a case, they rock it.

This scenario isn’t very fresh, is it?  No—but this is where the couples therapy comes in.  Travis and Wes do NOT want to attend therapy, but they don’t have a choice.  They’re joined by three heterosexual married couples and led by Dr. Ryan (Sonya Walger).  The therapy sessions really are great, and each episode’s opening quote always ties into the detectives’ lessons for the week.

For example, “Responsibility is the price of greatness.” ~Winston Churchill

Of course, Travis and Wes feel the group’s conversations don’t apply to them because they aren’t in a romantic relationship with one another; yet every single session relates directly to what the duo is experiencing, including: discussions about respecting each other’s personal property, or more specifically, Wes’ stapler and Travis’ inability to return it; co-parenting, or more specifically, working out a shared-custody arrangement of another policeman’s dog; and dealing with the in-laws, or more specifically, managing time between former, divisional bosses joining the current investigation.

“This session just took a detour to crazy town.” ~ Wes

The freshman series was very enjoyable for the most part, but the series finale sealed the deal for me.  After watching the last episode of the first season, I immediately hopped online to see if it had been picked up.  I was saddened to see it had not… not yet anyway.

In the finale, viewers watched Travis and Wes share with Dr. Ryan the story as to how they met and how their partnership began.  But more importantly, we learned why the two were assigned to couples therapy in the first place—why Wes drew his gun on Travis.  And let me just say, FANTASTIC.  I loved the finale so very much.  Not just because it gave the entire season purpose, but because we saw honest-to-goodness character growth from both Travis and Wes.

And I applaud the writers.  I noticed the tiny attention to detail inside the evidence warehouse; I saw the baby masks that the thieves wore in an earlier episode.  Everything came full-circle, including what I now consider to be Travis’ and Wes’ signature take-down.

“I can see a storm front coming through… a cloudy, cloudy storm front.” ~Travis

Watch the video attached to this article for a better understanding of Storm Front.

This partnership has a future, but does Common law?  I sure hope so…

C’mon USA!  Just renew it already.  Friday night is a tough spot, and even I’m guilty of not watching it live.  But I do watch it.  And I love it.  Please bring it back.

Oh, and did I mention the eye candy?

Travis and his baby blues…

Not a great shot, but just imagine baby blue eyes… because they are!

Wes and his killer dimples…

Again, not a great shot, but it gives you an idea of how cute his dimples are…

And one more thing that makes me swoon…  Warren Kole’s voice—it’s very sexy, ladies!

What do you think?  Did you watch Common Law?  Have you ever been so-so on a series until one particular episode drew you in for-keeps?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FabOoolousness – I Need a Movie to Watch…

I had a different post planned for today, but I’m feeling a bit under the weather and decided to save it for another time.  Since all I can think about is curling up in my chair, drinking warm liquids, and watching movies, I thought I’d share some of the films that are on my radar and that I’d like to see.

Deciding which movies to watch may not be a factor, especially if I don’t start feeling a bit better and I stay in my chair all weekend.  But I thought that by sharing, perhaps everyone could help me prioritize which ones I need to move to the top of the list.

First up, the comedies… because we all know that I love to laugh.

Next, we have a few dramas… with a touch of action.

And, we have the action/adventure films with the added bonus of some eye candy…

with Ryan Reynolds…

With Justin Timberlake, Alex Pettyfer, and Matt Bomer…

With Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, and Michael Fassbender…

With Jesse Metcalfe…

And last but not least, we have one of my favorites… the psychological thrillers.

Have you seen any of these films?  Which one/s should I  move to the top of my viewing list?  Any I should stay away from completely?  Do you recommend any other movies?  I’d love to hear from you!