Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – ABC’s Motive

After my second DVR crash since March, I found myself scurrying around, trying to recover the 200+ recordings I lost.  Amongst those so inconveniently deleted was ABC’s new police procedural, Motive

Unfortunately, I missed the pilot.  When I was finally ready to sit down and enjoy a Motive marathon, I couldn’t find the first episode—not online, not via OnDemand, not anywhere.  Thanks a lot U-verse.  I did have the pilot recorded… but anyway.  I have a better DVR now with a larger hard drive, so I can’t complain too much.

Notice I said too much.  I’m still having trouble finding episodes I lost (the King & Maxwell pilot, the Under the Dome pilot, etc) and I hate starting series without that first crucial hour of television to know whether or not they’ve hooked me.

So, for now, I’m stuck doing the best I can and starting with the second episodes…. which is exactly what I did with Motive.

Any time a crime occurs, whether in real life or on TV, everyone wants to know why the crime was committed in the first place—the motive.

Television is full of crime dramas and police procedurals today, but most of these shows focus on the investigation and capture of the suspects rather than the motive behind the act.  Some TV programs might answer the “why” in a brief one or two lines of dialogue after they’ve interrogated the suspect for a few minutes, but they don’t really spend a lot of time on the motive.

Motive, a new ABC crime drama, hopes to change all of that.

The new series follows Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman, Judging Amy and The Killing) and her partner (Louis Ferreira, SGU Stargate Universe) as they work homicide cases.

Detectives Flynn and Vega

Wait a minute… that sounds just like every other police procedural on TV today.  Right?

Wrong.  Motive will identify the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode.  Before we even see the crime scene!  Now that’s unique…

For the most part, Motive is like all the other police procedurals out there… the detectives inherit a case and work the scene from the ground up, looking primarily for the “who” and the “why.”  But with ABC’s new drama, viewers get to see the “who” and “why” before anything else.  The show flashes back throughout the entire hour, telling us the stories of both the killer and the victim, and very little about the detectives and their personal lives.

That’s right.  Motive is more about the crimes than it is the stars of the show.  Having missed the pilot, I wasn’t even aware that Flynn was a single mother until about the fourth episode.  And even then, the series barely touches on that relationship… but there’s enough to give the no-nonsense detective a heart (I’m not saying she’s callous, it’s just that she’s not on the job to make friends).

So far, Detective Flynn is a closer…

Anyway…

Motive kind of reminds me of a combination of Cold Case (because of the series of flashbacks) and the short-lived series The Whole Truth, where viewers experienced the crime through both the prosecutor’s and the defense attorney’s point of view and they had to decide which one was the truth… fun show, but it didn’t last long.  I believe we’ve already seen more episodes of Motive than The Whole Truth, so that can be promising for ABC’s new police procedural.

And by the way, the new crime drama also stars: Lauren Holly (NCIS) as Betty Rogers, the medical examiner; Roger Cross (24) as Supervisor Boyd Bloom; Brendan Penny (Stargate: Atlantis) as rookie detective Brian Lucas; and Cameron Bright (The Twilight Saga) as Manny Flynn, Angela’s son.

Bottom line?  Motive is different enough from the other police procedurals on TV.  I’ll give it at least that.  But do I like it more than all the others?  Not really.  I will say this though… it is nice that the series actually focuses more on the crime (and the killer and victim) than the cops themselves.  For that, ABC’s new drama scores the JFTV ratingRay Donovan gets the summer’s top nod with a GTV rating, and ABC’s Mistresses gets an upgrade since my last review to my MacTV/guilty pleasure of the summer…

Dr. Rogers is a small role for Lauren Holly, but it’s nice to see her back on TV.

But I like Motive.  And I’m all caught up… and I caught up through the seven episodes in only four days.  However, watching police procedurals is like standing on the chip aisle at the local grocery.  There are so many different brands and flavors to choose from, each bag with its own unique twist, that we only have time to grab a few here and there each time or our grocery basket would be nothing but chips.

Have you watched Motive?  Do you plan to?  What do you think of the show’s format, showing us the killer and the victim in the first few minutes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, 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
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

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TV Today – Change Can Be a Good Thing

One thing’s for sure in life—with time, everything changes.

Even television.

For instance, years ago, May sweeps meant that the television industry saved the best for last.  The networks broadcast non-stop, action packed, cliff-hanging storylines every night of the week, hoping to pull in the largest ratings of the year before announcing which shows would receive pink slips.

And while this still rings true for some series, times have changed (for the most part).  Today’s May sweeps ultimately means knowing which shows will return and which shows will be swept away before the season finales have all aired.

Last year’s May Sweeps swept Poppy Montgomery’s Unforgettable into the trash… prematurely. Now she and her insane memory are back on CBS this summer.

Another example would have to be the season/s in which new TV shows air.  Back in the day, and similar to May sweeps, most television series aired from September to May.  The summer months were left to reruns and made-for-TV specials, leaving parents and children tons of time to enjoy the warmer weather and outdoor activities.  But today, viewers have to pay close attention to when their favorite shows will play new episodes—it could be the traditional September through May, or it could be August through November, January through April, June through August, etc.

With these new and scattered TV schedules, one would have to assume that taping for these shows is also sporadic and all over the place.  Right?  I think so.  And I see this as a good thing.  Why?  Because it’s providing more opportunities for a few of the familiar faces we see in non-starring roles.

One of the most popular recurring characters on TV that I can remember… Seinfeld‘s Newman.

When I was a young girl, very rarely did I see an actor or an actress, regardless of how small or large their recurring role in a particular TV show, act in any other program on television.  Occasionally we’d see them in a Hollywood film or TV special they were able to tape during their “off-season,” but never did they land a second recurring role on another popular series.

The same is not true today.

Because of alternating filming schedules and series airing at multiple times throughout the year, actors and actresses have the opportunity to take on multiple roles.  Over the last year alone, I’ve seen four different actors/actresses land recurring parts in multiple TV shows… that I can think of off the top of my head. Granted, these stars are only members of larger ensemble casts in their primary programs and not the leading man or woman, but their characters are crucial to the story and their names appear in the main credits versus the “also starring” or “guest starring” tape that airs after the first commercial break.

Roger Cross… I loved Curtis on 24. I’m so glad to see him on three different shows this year!

The actor who prompted this post played one of my favorite characters on Fox’s 24 for multiple seasons—Roger Cross.  For years he played Curtis Manning next to Kiefer’s Jack Bauer, and that was the only role, at the time, that I recall seeing him play.  But today, as in the 2012-2103 TV season, he landed three recurring roles on three hit TV series (in their own right, anyway): Sergeant Bloom on ABC’s Motive; Detective Hilton on the CW’s Arrow; and Travis, a member of the Liber8 escapees, on SyFy’s Continuum.

But Mr. Cross is not alone.

David Ramsay – while I like both characters and shows, Diggle wins if I had to choose. Love Mr. Ramsay as Diggle.

David Ramsay, recognizable for his previous roles on Dexter, Outlaw, and Ghost Whisperer, currently plays two different characters on two completely different shows—Diggle on the CW’s Arrow and Mayor Pool on CBS’s Blue Bloods.

Corbin Bernsen – He’s perfect as Shawn’s dad… and I’m liking him so far as Jim’s dad too. Mr. Bernsen plays dad to two of TV’s most unconventional detectives.

Corbin Bernsen, most notably from L.A. Law and the Hollywood hit, Major League (but does he really need an introduction at this point in his career?), plays dad to two of my favorite TV detectives—to Shawn Spencer on USA’s Psych and to Jim Longworth on A&E’s The Glades.

Gina Torres – I missed out on the Firefly craze, but I do love Ms. Torres as Jessica. And it’s nice to see her play opposite her real-life hubby on Hannibal.

And last, but not least, we have Gina Torres (from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Alias, Firefly, the second and third Matrix movies, and a show I enjoyed that was given the axe way too soon, Fox’s Standoff).   Currently we all know Ms. Torres as Jessica, Harvey’s and Mike’s boss, on USA’s Suits, but she can also be found playing her real-life husband’s (Laurence Fishburne) wife on NBC’s Hannibal.

I find the mechanics behind how TV shows work today very interesting.  And personally, I think these changes are great for the industry.  I mean, if you’re not the lead, why not explore your options and add to the resume as much as possible?

What do you think?  Do you like seeing actors and actresses appear in multiple roles at the same time?  Can you add to my list of four?   I’d love to hear from you!

Summer’s Must Read New and Recent Releases

Summer is here!  And with the hot and humid weather comes one of my favorite pastimes… grabbing a book and heading out to the pool for a little R&R.

So today, I’ve decided to share seven new and recent releases that are must reads on my bookshelf.  If you’re looking for the next bestseller in the young adult, mystery, suspense, fantasy, or thriller genres, check these out and help support six fabOoolous authors!

*****

city_of_scars

It’s been three decades since the Blood Queen led her legions on a brutal campaign of conquest and destruction, and the Empires are still struggling to rebuild.  Now, in the distant aftermath of the war, the real battle is about to begin.

Haunted by the crimes of his past, fallen knight Azander Dane ekes out a mercenary existence as he drifts from one city to the next.  His latest job is to hunt down Ijanna Taivorkan, a powerful outlaw witch desperate to escape her destiny.

Dane and Ijanna find themselves in Ebonmark, the City of Scars, where deadly crime guilds and shadowy agents of the White Dragon Empire prepare for a brutal confrontation.  Pursued by apocalypse cults, mad alchemists, exiled giants and werewolf gangs, Dane and Ijanna soon learn a deadly lesson – in Ebonmark, only the cruelest and most cunning can survive.

City of Scars is the first volume of The Skullborn Trilogy, an all new epic fantasy adventure from the author of Blood Skies.

*****

Three years after a fanatical cult attempted to murder everyone important to him, Connor Maitland is still attempting to put his life back together. Accompanied by his business partner Alison and their new recruit, he is making a living as a jack-of-all-trades running a security company, sailing charters, and even photographing weddings; whatever it takes to get by.  Connor’s world was finally coming back together until the cult resurfaced in an effort to finish what they started.

After a violent attack, Connor finally has a lead on the founders of the cult and their motivations. The investigation is hindered when they are forced into taking a case to protect a family from a disturbing neighbor. As reports of residents disappearing begin to surface, Connor is caught between his desire to learn the truth about the cult and the need to save the family.

Connor is learning that sometimes high school memories do more than haunt you…

*****

FbM_Final cover

Prequel 1 to the Forged Series, Forged by Magic: Origins is a collection of short stories, featuring the characters from the Forged series. This is the first of two prequels to the series. Each story is told from a different character’s point-of-view.
Find out how the Amulet and the Dasht-e Kavir have been created, and how the powers of the Universe opened the gates to other dimensions, inadvertently releasing unworldly supernatural creatures into the Human World.

AND

cover design: Jeannie Ruesch

Forged by Legacy: Beginnings is the second of two prequels to the series. It is a collection of short stories, each told from a different character’s point-of-view.

These stories explain some of the behind-the-scenes facts from The Forged series. Do you want to know how the protagonists, Jatred and Jasmira fell in love? And what really happened during the deadly plane crash? How about the reason behind Savannah and Logan’s breakup? Or how do the teens shape shift for the first time?

Forged by Legacy: Beginnings answers all these questions—and more.

*****

The Silver SickleThe end of humanity will come through the Silver Sickle . . .

Farissa lives every moment with reckless abandon, for it may be her last. Any day now, the alien goddesses will harvest her and take her to the mysterious Silver Sickle, never to return. She’s accepted that. What she can’t accept is this new idea of freedom Zel has planted in her head. She’d give almost anything to be with Zel, but how can she run from her destiny if it means putting the whole kingdom in danger?

Everyone in the desert kingdom believes the goddesses are immortal, but Zel has invented a way to kill them. Now all he has to do is convince Farissa to run away with him and plant a seed of hope in her heart that she’s not destined to die. Little does he know that one seed of hope could change the course of the future.

*****

FIRELANDS CoverEighty years in the future, America has devolved into a totalitarian theocracy. The ruling Josephites clone the only seeds that grow in the post-apocalyptic climate, allowing their Prophet to control who eats, who starves, and who burns in the ritual fires that atone for society.

Subsisting on the fringes, Archer risks violation and death each day as she scours the forest for game to feed her people. When a Josephite refugee seeks sanctuary in her home, Archer is driven to chance a desperate gamble—a gamble that will bring down the Prophet and deliver seeds and freedom, or end in a fiery death for herself and for everyone she loves.

Seeds are life . . . Seeds are power . . . Seeds are the only hope of a despairing people. What will Archer do for the seeds of freedom, and what will she justify in their name?

*****

Serena knows her late uncle wasn’t crazy. So when she inherits his sprawling Carolina mansion and leaves the big city to restore both his home and his name, she uncovers a mystery that could cost much more than her sanity. As the house slowly reveals its dark secrets, and the extent of her peril becomes evident, she’ll settle for escaping with her life—if it isn’t already too late.

*****

Don’t these books sound fabOoolous!!  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, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!  Reviewers agree that FS is perfect for teens and adults alike and keeps everyone guessing until the very end!

FootballSweetheart_Digital

Here are some of the most recent reviews…

five stars“Football Sweetheart is a great mystery read for all ages! I was hooked right away, and had trouble putting it down. It definitely brought back many high school memories. The author does a wonderful job of capturing West Texas’ passion for high school football! Can’t wait for the next book in the series! Loved it!” ~ Carissa

five stars“Great adventure/mystery in the style of Nancy Drew. Written around the background of high school football, clues are all over and there’s several people you think might have done it. The ending is a great emotional wrap up to the story.” ~ Nigel

five stars“I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next books in the series. Being from the West Texas area I could really relate to the characters and felt like each were my friends back in high school. The mystery was very interesting and kept me reading. I brought the book along on a vacation and found myself reading all night to find out the conclusion. Tiffany is an astonishing author from whom I am looking forward to further reads.” ~ Jami

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Showtime’s Ray Donovan

Dexter has been a staple for Showtime for the past eight seasons.  And after years of success, the series is finally calling it quits.  So what will Showtime do now?

Enter Ray Donovan

I’ve been watching the trailers and advertisements for Ray Donovan for months.  And I was instantly interested.  Why?  Because the title character looks like a dark role and it’s played by a man who always make me swoon—Liev Schreiber.  Maybe it’s his sexy and deep voice?  Anyway, the teasers did their job and I had been eagerly awaiting Showtime’s latest original series’ premiere for what felt like forever.

Ray Donovan is my favorite new summer show at the moment, mainly because Liev Schreiber is hot.  And not just in the physical attraction kind of way…

Ray is a family man; he’s a successful business man (he’s a Hollywood “fixer”); he’s a man of few words; and most importantly, he’s not one to cross.  Seriously, hurt his family (either physically or verbally), and just see what happens.  This new Showtime series reminds me a lot of Scandal… meets The Sopranos (RIP, Mr. Gandolfini).

Ray Donovan (played by the adorable Liev Schreiber, from the Scream films, Salt, and other major motion pictures) “fixes” Hollywood’s problems.  He does the dirty work for the city’s celebrities and life seems great for Ray… until his father (Mickey Donovan, played by the great Jon Voight—no introduction necessary, right?) is released from prison.

Father and son don’t really care for each other very much…

Speaking of Ray’s father… Mickey spent twenty years in prison and blames Ray (and Ray’s colleagues) for putting him there.  Upon his release, he immediately kills a priest (the series will explain why… don’t worry) and heads out to California to see his sons.  Jon Voight’s performance is perfect.  And creepy.  I’m not quite sure anyone else could have portrayed Mickey any better in this role.

The new Showtime series also stars: Paula Malcomson (Deadwood) as Abby Donovan, Ray’s wife and L.A. social climber—I’m not so sure I like her. She’s very spiteful and spoiled… but Ray does love her; Steven Bauer (Scarface) as Avi, Ray’s right-hand man; Katherine Moenning (The L Word) as Lena, Ray’s assistant; Pooch Hall (Jumping the Broom) as Daryll, Ray’s half brother, who was kept a secret from Ray for over twenty years… because his mother was Mickey’s mistress before going away to prison; Dash Mihok (Romeo + Juliet) as Bunchy Donovan, Ray’s very troubled brother—very troubled brother.  Bunch is the victim of molestation by a priest and is the recent recipient of a $1 million settlement; Eddie Marsan (Mission: Impossible III) as Terry Donovan, Ray’s other brother, who suffers from Parkinson’s due to boxing… and I’m assuming because of this, he seems to think nothing good can go his way; Elliot Gould (Friends and the Ocean’s movies) as Ezra, a frequent client of Ray’s/Ray’s boss; and Peter Jacobson (House) as Lee Drexler, Ezra’s partner and Ray’s “other” boss… the bossy one.

So much happens in the pilot.  In the first fifty or so minutes, not only do we meet the entire Ray Donovan clan, but we also see just what Ray does and why he’s so good at it.

Oh that stare… that sexy, angry stare.

First, one client (a basketball star) wakes up next to a dead woman… she overdosed in bed.  So, he calls Ray.  Ray “fixes” it by sneaking in another client, who needs a quick PR fix (he’s supposed to be a hot Hollywood stud, but his homosexuality is holding him back… and the media is fixated on following him right now).  The basketball star is in the clear; the actor gets negative press that he turns into a positive for his career; and everybody wins.

As if that wasn’t enough work for one day, Ray is also hired to surveil another Hollywood big wig’s mistress.  Turns out, she is being stalked.  Ray tracks down the obsessed fan and offers him a choice—the bag or the bat.  Let’s just say it would have saved Ray time to just offer up the bat in the first place.

Bottom line, Ray is no joke.  Do not mess with Ray or his family.  Do not stand in Ray’s way of “fixing” his clients’ problems.  He may be the strong, silent type, but he means what he says and he says what he means—no sugarcoating.  Liev Schreiber’s performance is hot.  I’ll say it again.  Ray appears to keep his calm, even when is temper gets the best of him.  It’s pretty sexy.  Plus, Ray has a heart of gold and is extremely generous… when generosity is due.

Ray Donovan is an intense hour of television.  And it should come as no surprise to anyone after reading this review that I am awarding Showtime’s hot new series with the GTV rating. I highly recommend watching Ray with a steak grilled to order, baked potato, steamed veggies, and a glass of fine wine.  Or whiskey.  Straight up.  It’s that delicious.

Ray totally joins the rankings of Raylan Givens and Michael Westen in my book… hot and sexy with a whole lot of badassery.

Oh, and the show supposedly smashed all the previous records for Showtime premieres. 

Have you watched Ray Donovan?  Do you plan to?  What do you think of the new Showtime series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, 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
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

Spend a Summer at The Vineyard

I’ve not kept the fact that I love ABC Family’s teen mysteries a secret.  Heck, I’ve only blogged about Pretty Little Liars at least five times; I thoroughly enjoyed the recently cancelled The Lying Game; I can’t wait to catch up on the new hit, Twisted (I lost all of the episodes in my latest DVR crash a few weeks ago, but luckily the network aired a marathon and I have them all recorded again… now I need to watch them); and I’m eagerly awaiting the PLL’s spinoff coming this fall, Ravenswood.

It’s because of the allure and success of these teen programs that I plan to watch ABC Family’s latest series starting tonight—The Vineyard.

Now, The Vineyard is not a mystery; nor is it actually a scripted drama.  What?  I’ve seen the previews and it looks like a “normal” series… but Wikipedia calls it a reality program, while ABC Family refers to it as a docu-series.

At first I thought the new summer program was going to be more like the WB’s Summerland, which I felt wasn’t bad after catching a few episodes here and there.  But now I’m afraid it’s going to resemble more of MTV’s Laguna Beach or The Hills.  I somehow managed to stay away from these shows back in the day and I don’t regret my decision one bit.

So, how do I feel about The Vineyard?  The series promises “summer dreams, summer love, and summer drama.” And knowing me, I’ll at least give it a shot.  Heck, if anything, I can use this as writing research… right?

ABC’s new show will follow a group of young adults as they work together and live together in paradise (Martha’s Vineyard).  Okay, now it’s sounding a little bit like MTV’s Real World.

As expected, most of the girls have conflicting backgrounds: the girls who grew up in The Vineyard; the girls who want successful careers; the girls who want successful men to take care of them for the rest of their lives; and the girls who just want a fresh start.

And then there are the guys.  It seems as though the guys are all looking for love.  No, I’m sorry—lust.  But the same stands true for them as it does the girls… we have the bad boy, the player, the partier, and the serious one.

Heck, two of the “cast” members even shared a romantic past…

Regardless of who they are or where they come from, all eleven are beautiful.  Surprise!

Who wouldn’t want to spend the summer here?

The Vineyard premieres tonight (July 23rd) on ABC Family.

So what do you think?  Will you watch The Vineyard?  I’d love to hear from you!      

Pinteresting – July’s Recipes

Over the past few months, I have fallen into the Pinterest craze along with millions of other people.  At first, I didn’t know exactly what to do… but once I got the hang of it, I found myself spending hours on the weekends checking out neat Do-It-Yourself tricks for around the house, finding cute clothes that I needed to add to my wish list, learning interesting beauty and hair techniques, and probably my biggest downfall, discovering recipes that I absolutely must try.

Now it’s time for this month’s Pintersting post where I share a few Pinterest ideas I have grabbed from other users and share whether or not they work.

Today, we’re taking on a few of the recipes…

*****

Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad

I love refreshing foods during the hot summer months… salads, fruits, sandwiches, etc…  But up until recently, I only knew how to make a tuna salad that I liked.  I enjoy a good chicken salad; I just never had a recipe that sounded easy enough that I wanted to try.  So, instead of making it fresh, I’d trek to United Market Street and grab a container of already made chicken salad with grapes.  I love my chicken salad with grapes.

And then came Pinterest…

I wasn’t sure how my guy would react to my making chicken salad for a Monday night dinner, but he played along nonetheless.  He even helped me chop everything.

And let me just say… we both loved it!!  The grapes are my favorite part (surprise, surprise), and he likes the crunch of it all (celery, onion, and pecans).  It was so tasty; we’ve even made it a second time this month!  Twice in one month!

3 cups of cooked chicken
1 cup of chopped celery
½ cup of chopped pecans
1 cup of chopped grapes – we used purple grapes
¼ cup of finely chopped green onion
¾ cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip – we used regular mayo
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
½ teaspoon of onion powder

In a large bowl, mix chicken, celery, pecans, grapes, and green onion.

In a small bowl, mix the mayo, salt, pepper, and onion powder.

Cover the chicken mixture with the “dressing” and stir until well mixed.

Cover and chill until served.

We toasted some challah bread from Whole Foods Market, spread mustard on each piece, and covered it with large mounds of the chicken salad served open-faced.  Perfecto!

I do wonder though, what will Granny Smith green apples taste like if added?  Maybe next time…

*****

Italian Chicken Before
Crock Pot Italian Chicken

I’m a crock pot cooker.  Dump, cover, and cook.  How easy is that?  Give me any recipe to try in the crock pot and I’ll give it a chance… especially chicken.

Sadly, the last chicken dish we tried was extremely dry.  But not this one!  The Crock Pot Italian Chicken dinner is melt-in-your-mouth good.  Especially when served on Hawaiian sweet rolls.  And the peppers?  Oh, the peppers give it just the right amount of sweetness and spice.

2 pounds of chicken – we used frozen chicken breasts
1 jar of pepper rings (12 ounces) – we used mild
2 envelopes of Italian dressing seasoning and/or spice mix (.7 ounce)

Dump the chicken into the crock pot, cover with pepper rings, and sprinkle in both envelopes of Italian dressing.  Cover and cook for four hours on high (or eight on low).

Shred the chicken and turn the heat to low or simmer until ready to serve.  If low on the liquid, add broth or water.

Serve on buns with feta, peppers, and olives if desired.

My guy went with the feta…

I stayed away from all three…

Italian Chicken After

And I’m glad I did.  YUMMY!!  Seriously.  So good.

*****

Your turn—have you tried any Pinterest recipes that you would like to share?  Did it taste as good as its picture looked?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipes found on these sites:

http://www.skinnymom.com/2012/04/25/skinny-chicken-salad/?_szp=163117

http://beyerbeware.net/2012/09/hunk-of-meat-monday-crock-pot-italian-chicken.html

And, feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – ABC’s Mistresses

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  And while we still have at least one left to premiere, and despite my second DVR crash since March (I’ve lost over 200 recordings this calendar year due to faulty boxes), I did manage to catch up on the first half of the new ABC drama, Mistresses.

Based on the popular British television series of the same name, Mistresses is a sexy new drama following the lives of four girlfriends as they discover who they really are via their friendships, relationships, and sex.

Sound familiar?  I’m thinking of one of my favorites here… Sex and the City.

The series stars: Alyssa Milano (Charmed) as Savannah “Savi” Davis, a successful lawyer, married and trying to have a baby… that is until she and her husband learn they have fertility issues; Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Savi’s single and carefree younger sister, who is not looking to settle down anytime soon; Rochelle Aytes (Detroit 1-8-7 and The Forgotten) as April Malloy, a recent widow and single mother, who owns her own shop; and Junjin Kim (Lost) as Karen Kim, a successful therapist, who had an affair with one of her patients.

The pilot begins with hot and steamy sex… for network TV… as did the second episode as well.  Viewers watch Savi and her husband “role playing” during their attempts to make a baby.  We also meet Joss while she’s having a little “afternoon delight” with her then boss.  And let’s not forget about the flashback sex scenes between Karen and her patient.  April might just be the only one who’s not sweating between the sheets at the moment (or at least through episode four because that’s how far into the series I am).

They’re all beautiful; they’re all successful; and they’ve all got issues.  Serious issues.

Savi has every reason to be freaking out right now…

When Savi and her husband (Harry, played by Brett Davis from the popular Australian series McLeod’s Daughters and Neighbours) learn of their fertility issues, he pushes her away as he blames and punishes himself for having abnormal sperm.  This catapults Savi into the arms of her coworker (Dominick, played by Jason George from Sunset Beach and Grey’s Anatomy) and they have one night of hot, steamy sex.  And guess what?  She’s pregnant…

Karen and her lover/patient

Meanwhile, as if sleeping with her dying (now dead) patient wasn’t a big enough issue for Karen, the patient’s family just can’t seem to stop themselves from leaning on her.  His wife (Penelope Ann Miller from Kindergarten Cop) doesn’t appear to have a clue about the affair, but his son (Sam, played by Erik Stocklin) knows there was another woman and he wants answers… from Karen.

April’s shock at the news of her husband’s infidelity…

Then there’s April… poor April.  She’s having a hard time letting go of her dead husband, so much so that she believes that a few recent prank calls she has received are actually his ghost telling her to not move on.  But it turns out those calls aren’t from her husband, they are from her husband’s mistress and their illegitimate son.  As if that’s not enough to deal with, the woman wants money… after all, her son is entitled to some of the inheritance April’s daughter received from the insurance company.

Joss… ready to turn on the charm. But will it work?

And last but not least, we have Joss… we discover early on that she has climbed her way to the top of her realty company by sleeping with her boss.  But he’s gone now and her new boss isn’t falling for any of her tricks.  She has to actually work now and sell a few properties before he’ll let her have all of her listings back.  Work doesn’t seem to be what she’s best at, thus the fact she’s technically homeless and living in Savi’s guest house right now (I can’t remember the details, but she slept with her landlord too).

Now let’s talk about the title for a minute.

According to Webster, a mistress is a woman who is the head of a household, country, or state… or a woman with whom a man is having a prolonged affair with.

Let’s focus on the latter.

Not only do I watch a lot of television programs, but I also enjoy a good talk show here and there.  Especially when the guests are stars I like.  Alyssa Milano has stated in at least two TV interviews that I have seen that the girls, her character included, are not all mistresses.  Not by the definition we are most familiar with anyway.  She included the show is in no way glorifying mistresses or situations that tend to break up marriages and relationships… (even if it does seem to us, the TV audience, that each woman is connected to a traditional mistress in one way or another—it’s true; I know people who have already stopped watching the program for this very reason).

Ms. Milano also stated in an interview that while this program is based on the BBC series, the writers took an entire season of the British version and wrapped up the storyline in one episode… I’m assuming that was the pilot… and that this series is all its own.

I went into Mistresses not expecting to like it.  For one, I’m a big Sex and the City fan and initially felt this series was trying to cash in on Carrie’s and the girls’ success.  But because I’m an Alyssa Milano fan (I watched Who’s the Boss? as a little girl and LOVED Charmed more than words can say), I knew I’d give it a shot.

And it’s turning into a guilty pleasure…

Bottom line?  I give Mistresses the JFTV rating.  It’s definitely not good for us, but I couldn’t stop at just one episode.

Oh, and I’m glad I didn’t stop with the pilot because Gary Dourdan guest starred in the second episode.  Remember Warrick Brown from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation?  Uh, I’ve missed those blues eyes… I hope he comes back for more!

And then in episode three, I see a Twitter friend.  That’s right; a Twitter friend.  Matthew Del Negro may guest on some of the hottest shows on television (love his recurring character on Rizzoli & Isles), but he’s also a very nice guy and I enjoy chatting with him on occasion via the Twitterverse.  I hope to see more of him too!

So, it seems I will keep watching Mistresses

Have you watched Mistresses?  Do you plan to?  Will Mistresses be the next Sex and the City?  Or will it flop trying, just like Lipstick Jungle?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, 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
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…