Friday FaBOOolousness –MarvelOoous Mashups in the New Year

Welcome to the first edition of 2012’s MarvelOoous Mashups.  We spent the last few months of the year keeping to holiday themes, but now we’re back to sharing the writing and entertainment links that stood out and provided us with great information.

A few of these posts were published months ago, but we held onto them here at the Ooo Factor because the content of these bloggers is definitely worth the wait.  Be sure to click on these fabOoolous links featured today in the January edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: FabOoolous Writerly Posts

E-Book pricing is a heated debate right now.  We’ve seen multiple blogs discussing whether or not free is a good thing, but these publications didn’t really help the rest of us looking to self-publish who want to know exactly how to price our work.  Not until we read E-Book Pricing by Ruth Harris and another E-Book Pricing post by Dean Wesley Smith.  Finally, some food for thought.

Before writing, many of us would question whether or not writer’s block is an actual disease.  Well, maybe it’s not a disease, but it does happen.  Heidi Cohen helps writers Fight the Writing Demons with challenges we can overcome.

One demon I wouldn’t mind battling while writing…okay, so he’s not a “writing” demon.

Show, Don’t Tell.  Speak to the Reader.  These are all things important to our manuscripts that we’ve heard as writers.  But how does a writer add psychological power to his or her writing, or speak to the reader’s subconscious?  Margie Lawson tells us how and provides fabOoolous examples in her guest post over at Jenny Hansen’s Cowbell.

Feel like getting to know a New York Times Best Selling Author?  Piper Bayard takes us one-on-one with Sandra Brown in this fantastic interview.  Sixty of her books have made it onto the NYT Best Selling List!?!  Oh, to dream…

With Sandra Brown at DFWcon 2011

What makes a story a mystery? A thriller? A romance?  Genre is a very important aspect of all writing; it’s actually the first question anyone asks when we announce that we are writing a story – What are you writing?  Learn what makes up a few of the different genres here in Genre Matters by Kristen Lamb.

Another hot topic in the world of writing involves the different publishing methods available to writers today.  Will self-publishing phase out the traditional publishing houses?  What does the future have in store for us?  Lynn Kelley takes a look at her Publishing Choices and includes a couple of great blurbs and links from other writers and agents for the rest of us worried about taking that next big step.

As if the perils of writing, e-book pricing, and publishing aren’t stressful enough, where would writers be without the important step of editing – and editing correctly?  Girls with Pens (the great Marcy Kennedy and Lisa Hall-Wilson) share 6 Steps for the Final Edit and the ever important 5 Ways to Show and Not Tell.  Seriously.  Read these.

PART II: FabOoolous Recipes and Crafts

Who doesn’t like to order Bread Pudding when dining out at a nice restaurant?  Well, now we don’t have to wait for that special date night!  Instead, Amber West cooks up this homemade dessert for our very own private recipe list!

Looks good to me!

Ever enjoyed a Cupcake MartiniJillian Dodd shares this delicious recipe, including a rim of icing.  Seriously.  Yum.

Looking to fill the day with something other than work?  Why not get crafty and creative with Custom Coasters like these man-cave favorites designed by Amber West.

Amazing!

Part III: FabOoolous True Crime Stories

Comics about Jeffrey Dahmer?  Songs about Charles Manson?  Yes, they do exist.  Catie Rhodes shares a few shocking true stories about Murder and Pop Culture adaptations, including the actual crime that inspired the movie Scream.

 

We always hear about all the open cold cases that have never been solved.  We even watch television shows including A&E’s Cold Case Files and the former CBS series Cold Case to see authorities working diligently years later to find closure for these victims.  So why not celebrate a few Solved Cold Cases, courtesy of Stacy Green.

Part IV: Just Because They’re fabOoolous

There has been a lot of Buffy talk on Twitter lately, and for good reason – Buffy rocks.  Luckily for those who haven’t watched the fabOoolous vampire slayer kick some serious butt and fall in love with multiple bad boys with bite (awe, Angel and Spike – how we miss thee!), Lyn Midnight takes the time to Break Down Buffy for us.

It seems we’re always watching movies about teen rebellion.  But when Catie Rhodes mentions that Over the Edge is the 1970’s version of Rebel Without a Cause, how can we resist watching?  Better yet, Catie explains that the story is inspired by actual events AND that the Nirvana hit “Smells like Teen Spirit” was based on the tale.  Interesting, right?

 

Time for the Sci-Fi Battle Royale: Who would win – Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Jen L. Kirchner places the two Star Trek captains side by side and offers her opinion on the matter.  Who do you think would win?

Who read the Choose Your Own Adventure stories growing up?  We did, which is only one reason why we love Zombies over at Mark Lidstone’s blog.  Each week, Mark posts another chapter in Victoria’s attempt to escape the post zombie apocalyptic world, and our votes help guide him through to the next week’s story.  Vote now!

 

What blogs have you read lately that have really stood out?  Have any good blog posts for writers regarding self-publishing or e-books that you’d like to share? How about a favorite true crime story that inspired Hollywood to make a movie?  We’d love to hear from you!

Why it’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – A Few Comedic Oldies, versus a Few Comedic Newbies

This week Amber West and I get back to business and begin the 2012 Television-in-Review schedule on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, as she updates us on a few of TV’s comedic veterans and I introduce two comedic freshmen.

I’ve always loved to laugh; even as a child, I’d giggle every time I would recite the classic “Knock, Knock” jokes.  Heck, what am I saying?  We’re all friends here; these innocent rhymes still bring a smile to my face today.

As an adult, I look to laughter as my choice in television and movie viewing as much as possible; after all, laughing keeps us young, right?  The type of comedy doesn’t matter to me – I can take a joke whether it is clean, dirty, politically incorrect, and even those that I never feel the need to repeat ever again.

Because of this joy of laughter, I love to watch comedians and one of my favorite late night talk shows is E!’s Chelsea Lately hosted by Chelsea Handler.  I don’t necessarily watch for the guest interviews, but more for the round table of funny that makes up the first twenty minutes of her program.  This is where I met Whitney Cummings for the first time, and later enjoyed her jokes on Comedy Central’s Roasts of many celebrities.

So when I discovered that both Chelsea and Whitney announced new sitcoms on NBC this year, our house tuned in.

Developed, written, and starring comedian Whitney Cummings, Whitney follows the fictionalized story of her life experiences, challenges in relationships we can all relate to – like cohabitation, friendships, secrets, and boundaries.  Whitney lives with her long-term boyfriend, Alex (Chris D’Elia, Glory Daze), and the non-traditional couple sees no reason to get married, but remains happily ever after nonetheless.

The duo is surrounded by their friends: Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, Breaking Upwards), who believes in happily ever after, Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, Franklin & Bash), a relationship cynic, Neal (Maulik Pancholy, 30 Rock) who appears to be in a perfect relationship with Lily, and Mark (Dan O’Brien, multiple television appearances including How I Met Your Mother), the self-proclaimed ultimate bachelor.

Each week, my guy and I both laugh throughout the thirty minute series.  Whitney is perfect viewing for couples to watch together.  One of our favorite episodes aired recently when Whitney walks in on Alex’s “alone” time (trying to keep the blog clean here…).

Needless to say, Alex was and is completely mortified, and Whitney begins knocking on her own apartment door to announce when she arrives home each time after the incident.  The episode continues as Whitney confesses the day’s events to her friends, further embarrassing Alex.

Which brings us to the relatable part: what’s safe to share with outsiders, even those we love the most, when working through moments that take place between lovers and partners?

Another great episode aired just a few weeks prior when Whitney attempts to prove that Alex speaks to her in a condescending tone, a tone that he denies refutably.  When his brother shows up unannounced, and the two siblings bicker back and forth – in that same condescending tone – Whitney decides to plant one of Mark’s surveillance cameras (he’s a police officer) in the apartment.

As if Whitney’s attempt to capture “the tone” isn’t funny enough, the fact that all four of the couple’s friends gather upstairs in Mark’s apartment to spy on the couple while eating popcorn and snacks, only adds to the greatness.

This sitcom might perhaps evoke more giggles in our house than our previous favorite (How I Met Your Mother), courtesy of the relatability and laugh factor.  Therefore, Whitney earns the MacTV rating – this series is a complete guilty pleasure and leaves us wanting more, men and women alike.

Okay, so if my adoration began for Whitney on Chelsea Lately, Chelsea’s new sitcom should definitely be worth a watch – right?

Based on her best seller, Are You there, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, Are You There, Chelsea? does not star Chelsea Handler as Chelsea.  Confused?  Instead, it stars Laura Prepon (That ‘70s Show) as Chelsea, while Chelsea herself plays her sister Sloane.

The series takes place in New Jersey, where Chelsea (Prepon) was recently arrested for being under the influence (more than likely a Belvedere influence).  She moves into an apartment within walking distance of her job (a bar, perfect for a girl who loves to drink vodka) with her best friend (Olivia, played by Ali Wong) and new roommate (DeeDee, played by Lauren Lapkus).

Chelsea and her sister share a typical relationship – they love each other but are nothing alike: Sloane bails Chelsea out of jail in the pilot; Chelsea stands by Sloane’s side as she delivers her first-born; Chelsea sleeps with Sloane’s ex-boyfriend, despite her sister’s plea to not go on a date with him; etc. etc. etc.

Laura as Chelsea, Chelsea as Sloane, and Baby

Which brings us to the sex factor – Chelsea Handler has always been very open about her past relationships, thus the three best sellers, and the sitcom is inspired by a lot of these stories: like when Chelsea and her boss’ sexual encounter fails because neither can succumb to being on bottom (Rick, played by Jake McDorman from Greek); or when Chelsea meets a redhead and she can’t help but wonder if the “carpet matches the drapes”; or when she is embarrassed by the fact that her sister’s ex-boyfriend actually prefers Sloane in bed over her, and she’s determined to rock his world.

Lots and lots of sex.  Oh, and there is a little person too (Todd, played by Mark Povinelli).  Anyone who is familiar with Chelsea Handler knows she loves her “nuggets” – and I personally can’t wait for Chuy Bravo (from Chelsea Lately)  to make an appearance on the show.  Everyone loves Chuy.

Laura as Chelsea, praying to "Vodka" - Belvedere no doubt...

Despite my addiction to all things Chelsea (a special shout-out to my guy for taking me to see her stand up this summer), it’s still too early to award Are You There, Chelsea? with anything other than an SSTV rating.  The water is warming up, but it’s just not there yet.

For the fans of the Chelsea Lately Round Table, the guest stars on both Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea? are a plenty, including Loni Love, Jo Koy, Natasha Leggero, and Lisa Lampanelli.  I personally can’t wait for my favorites (Josh Wolf and Sarah Colonna); I just know they’ll have to see a guest spot soon!

What do you think? Do you watch Whitney or Are You There, Chelsea?  What do you like to see in your comedy – clean jokes, dirty jokes, politically incorrect jokes, etc?  Which of the sitcoms currently on TV do you think are GTV worthy?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her thoughts regarding the hit comedies Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, two popular programs requested by our fantastic WatchWed viewers!

Come back next week when Amber and I review a couple of YA (Young Adult) inspired television series: Glee and The Lying Game.

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Where We Are Today…

It’s that time of year when the networks are adding even more new programming to our already full TV plates.  But before we get started on the New Year in Review, Amber West and I decided to recap our 2011 Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday ratings, from best to worst.

While I’m not quite sure where everyone else stands, this crazy television and food obsessed girl has gained her share of comfort weight over the past thirty weeks – figuratively, of course.  Thirty weeks — it seems a bit unreal that WatchWed has been around that long.  Add up the time and count the amount of MacNCheese and Junk Food TV that we’ve reviewed, the added pounds become a bit easier to understand.

First, let’s take a quick look at the 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

Some of the ratings have been around since Watch Wednesday opened its doors for business, but our palates became a bit more refined over time and it took watching a few series to understand we didn’t quite have the proper scale in place.  After considerable thought, we added Gourmet MacNCheese TV, Twice Baked Potato TV, and NyQuil Induced Viewing TV to the menu.   After all, a good chef always tweaks his or her recipes depending on the comment cards left behind by the diners, right?

It makes the most sense to begin with our favorites, the best of the best – the GTV (Gourmet TV) rated programs.  Leading the way for this television viewer will always be Criminal Minds, Bones, and Burn Notice.  Not one of these shows can sit on the DVR for more than an hour without burning a hole in the table cloth – they are that hot.

That’s not to say other plates didn’t also deserve a top-nod, including Blue Bloods, and our favorite cons on Leverage and White Collar.  And, believe it or not, there are many other programs that fit into this category that we’ve yet to review (and our explanations are Justified).

But who can afford a bone-in filet, horseradish mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and a glass of $100 wine with every meal?  It appears not Fox, since our GTV alternate reality favorite, Fringe, is on the rocks.  Or rumor has it anyway…

Back to the more affordable dishes…

Most of us enjoy a homemade meatloaf with the rich and creamy guilty pleasure Velveeta Shells & Cheese (also known as MacTV, MacNCheese TV) on the average night.

And what goes better with this more affordable meal than the fantastic new supernatural series, Grimm; the action packed scenes, beautiful scenery, and the leading man eye-candy of Hawaii Five-o (that’s Alex O’Loughlin for anyone who may not already know); as well as the two new rookie programs that have both been renewed for a second season: Suits and Franklin & Bash?

Seriously – try it.  Curl up on the sofa with a warm bowl of the cheesy favorite, and check out one of these programs.  They’ll promise to fill you and leave you satisfied, wanting more.

Before we eat the last bite, we must pay our respects to the MacTV great that has given us eight seasons of laughter, tears, mystery, intrigue, and drama – the REAL housewives of Wisteria Lane, the Desperate Housewives.  It won’t be long before the housewives leave us forever, well until syndication anyway.

Moving on…

Because this girl likes to enjoy a few meals while reminiscing about the good ol’ days of high school, Pretty Little Liars and MTV’s surprising hit, Teen Wolf, also satisfy the carb-craving that everyone needs filled every once in a while (the mystery and intrigue of these YA series doesn’t hurt either).

And for the nights when cooking just doesn’t quite seem like an option, there’s always that trusty bag of greasy potato chips we keep hidden in the pantry.

Television’s equivalent to the JFTV (Junk Food TV) bag of tasty goodness is the same – it’s not the best thing in the world for us, but we must have more than one episode: Unforgettable, Being Human, Law & Order: SVU, Warehouse 13, and the late TNT drama, Memphis Beat.

Yes, Jason Lee’s blues singing detective show has been cancelled, but don’t worry – he’s joined the cast of another JFTV show and returned to his comedic roots in Up All Night.

Next are the days when we really just need something to fill our bellies and ruin our cholesterol, much like a Twice Baked Potato (TBPTV). 

For days like these, we have the AMC original hit, The Walking Dead.  This post-zombie-apocalyptic television series fills the supernatural undead void we’ve had for years (although a particular someone in this house is still waiting for the Frankenstein monster television program before he’s perfectly satisfied).  The survivors working together to make the most of a bad situation makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  And then the bloating feeling hits us like a ton of bricks, proving the show isn’t the best thing out there for us – but it sure is fun to savor while it lasts.

Perhaps tasty, warm, fuzzy, and savor aren’t the best words to use when describing a zombie television show, but we think it gets the point across.

And sadly, we left one program Still Simmering (SSTV) on the back burner and completely forgot to pay more attention to it, but we will…especially since Alphas was picked up for a second season.  For this, our readers have our deepest apologies.  The re-review will come in time before the premiere of season two on SyFy, promise.

All this serious talk may lead one to believe we’re all business around Watch Wednesday, but we’re not.  We love to laugh too, and a few of the network funnies received the same critical reviews as the dramas.

Hindsight is always 20/20, therefore we need to re-file the one MacTV rated sitcom (How I Met Your Mother) into the JFTV rating list along with Two and a Half Men and 2 Broke Girls.  For some reason, HIMYM has its viewers crying at the end of episodes instead of laughing here recently, which kind of defeats the purpose of the sitcom and explains the need for the downgrade – something just isn’t the same.

And just like my dinner plate, there will be no Liver and Onions TV (LOTV) for the audience today, and hopefully not anytime soon.  Yuck!

Okay, that is a ton of television.  I didn’t even include the reviews of a few of my Netflix and marathon-style TV favorites (MacTV Charmed and Tru Calling, as well as the Gourmet TV Twin Peaks and Moonlight).  Does anyone notice the Alex O’Loughlin trend?

It’s a lot to take in, but tell us:

What do you think?  Which shows already in progress need to be in our list? Are there any new shows that you are looking forward to?  We’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and catch up on where her reviews sit to date.

Come back next week when Amber and I begin the new season of Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday!

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.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Striving Toward Normalcy

This week Amber West and I dive back into the world of science fiction on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, as she updates us on her latest thoughts on Fox’s first season of Terra Nova and I introduce one of SyFy’s new popular series, Being Human.

Okay, perhaps it’s not so much of a surprise that Being Human is a big hit; let’s be honest, the supernatural is the new big thing – vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, demons, etc.  Men and women alike dream of having some sort of fantastical power or paranormal romantic interest in his or her life.  This isn’t so much a new fad, but the Twilight books and movies (love ‘em or hate ‘em) birthed a new generation of supernatural lovers.

So if we want the supernatural in our life, why be shocked that they want to be like us – be human?  That’s the premise of SyFy’s adaptation of a British hit, Being Human.   The BBC program starts its fourth season (or series for the British folk) this year.

BBC's Being Human

The series follows three supernatural friends living in Boston, wishing they could go back to being human: a vampire, Aiden (Sam Witwer, one may recognize his face/likeness as the lead character in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars); a werewolf, Josh (Sam Huntington, Superman Returns); and a ghost, Sally (Meaghan Roth).

SyFy's Being Human

Aiden and Josh work at the hospital, Aiden as a nurse and Josh as an orderly.  One might wonder why a vampire would work in a hospital surrounded by blood all the time, especially when he fights day and night to not feed like a “normal” vampire.  But despite the obvious torture of his career path, he remains faithful to helping those who need him.

Aiden was turned in the late 1700s during the Revolutionary War, leaving behind a wife and son.  Throughout the years, Aiden remains close to his maker (Bishop, played by the great Mark Pellegrino, also known as the Devil from Supernatural, or Brenda Leigh’s attorney from The Closer), but recently has started to distance himself from him.  This undoubtedly has caused quite a heave-ho type relationship between the two, and makes for some of the best scenes.

But then again, doesn’t Mark Pellegrino steal the scenes of most everything he does? 

Josh doesn’t quite have the same daily struggles as Aiden, but then again a werewolf only turns once a month during a full moon.   However when it is “that time of the month,” Josh panics and does everything in his power to not hurt anyone.  Sometimes he locks himself up in the catacomb-like basement of the hospital, or sometimes he drives out to the woods and roams free (but the latter has proven a bit more dangerous for him on more than one occasion, so one can usually count on his locking himself up).

Perhaps a blessing, or perhaps not, Josh meets Nora (Kristen Hager, Aliens Vs Predator) at the hospital and the two begin dating.  Josh shelves his sexual attraction to her for as long as he can, afraid he will hurt Nora.  But he finally gives in to the urge on the eve of a full moon.  This encounter leads to a pregnancy and later a miscarriage, but not before Nora starts to show signs of turning herself.  This makes for a very interesting storyline in season two…

Then there’s Sally, poor little ol’ Sally.  Aiden and Josh meet Sally when they move into the brownstone that she recently died in, or better yet – was murdered in, courtesy of a light shove (or angry, it depends on the point of view) from her fiancé Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta).  After Sally’s death, and for obvious reasons, Danny can no longer live in the couple’s starter home, so he rents it out to Aiden and Josh.

As a ghost, Sally is tied to the house and it takes a bit of time for her to learn the necessary abilities to move through time and space, thus having the freedom to leave the house.  She really battles with the realization that Danny not only killed her, but later begins dating her best friend.  To make matters even worse, Danny hires a medium to perform ghost-ridding-rituals on the house, angering Sally to no end.  Despite being weakened from the mediums chants, Sally still manages to wreak havoc on her ex and empower herself.

But will she ever cross over?

Watching the three supernatural beings strive for everyday normalcy hooked me, maybe not in the first few episodes, but eventually the show definitely drew me in.  So much so, that after our season one DVR marathon, I was tearing up at the thought of anything happening to the characters: like when Josh is forced to fight another werewolf for the vampire council’s amusement; or when Aiden decides to settle the score with his maker and fight until the death.

It is because of this love for the characters that I award Being Human the JFTV rating; it’s like an addiction to Kettle Baked Salt and Vinegar Chips that we just can’t get enough of, and before we know it, we’ve chomped down on every last chip inside the bag.

Definitely a Thumbs Up!

As soon as the first season ended, I was immediately online to see if Being Human had  been picked up another year.  It was!  Season two premieres Monday, January 16th on SyFy.

What do you think? Do you watch Being Human?  BBC or SyFy?  Which of the characters is your favorite and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see if Fox’s Terra Nova has moved up or down the rating scale since her last simmering review.

Come back next week when Amber and I review…. we don’t know yet.  Tricked ya!  We’ll figure something out in time. Don’t worry!

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: A Re-Tell of the Fairy Tale Grimm

Happy 2012, everyone!  This week, Amber West and I return to the world of fairy tales, where we re-review Grimm and Once Upon a Time on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.    

We first reviewed NBC’s new drama based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales shortly after it premiered.  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.   

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 lightening 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.

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. 

As most of us would with life-altering information such as this, Nick decides to keep his secret from his girlfriend (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 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 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 Big Bad and little R.H. are located.  Nick calls Hank out to the woods, but explains he didn’t call for any additional backup because he “already cried wolf once.” 

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, “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 series had in story of 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 (of course Hank has no idea about Nick’s past encounters with her). 

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, a Reaper.   

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 in a few weeks. 

What do you think? Do you watch Grimm?  Which of the episodes has been your favorite and why?  What do you think about Monroe?  How long before Nick’s captain is exposed?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her second review of ABC’s new hit, Once Upon a Time

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few sci-fi hits – SyFy’s Being Human and an update to Fox’s Terra Nova (it too was left simmering on the stove…).

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Preparing for the New Year

Today, Amber West and I take another look back at one of our previous Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts.  We figured that everyone is recovering from their holiday hangover right about now, so we too decided to take a tiny break and repost a previous WatchWed review.    

Reposting this particular post couldn’t have come at a better time.  With the new year on the horizon, we thought it would be worth everyone’s time to share how we determine our DVR Priorities… just in case we can help anyone struggling with the decisions of which television program to record and why. 

How do we determine our DVR Priorities?

Setting the DVR is a serious business at Casa Blanca.  A certain someone might just go into cardiac arrest if her favorite TV shows don’t record properly.  Okay… it’s a figurative heart attack, not a literal medical emergency – but try telling her it’s not a big deal. 

So, what qualifies as a DVR priority in Casa Blanca?  The episodic series that don’t feature special encore presentations or reruns later in the week are the number one priority in our house.  Ironically, these shows aren’t necessarily all GTV rated programs.

One might ask, if the television program doesn’t earn a top Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday rating, why should it be considered a DVR priority?  Because if we record an hour-long show on the DVR, we can fast forward through the commercials saving twenty minutes of our day! 

When someone (not naming any names) records anywhere from five to seven programs a night, saving those twenty minutes is crucial to making our TV viewing as efficient as possible

So, let’s begin…

Take Survivor for instance – this reality sensation, hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, does not air again if missed at its original time slot.  Does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favorite.  The same can be said for Big Brother because we don’t have another chance if we miss a show.    

Survivor returns February 2012

Sometimes we can rely on the basic five (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) to air the occasional rerun, but it’s never guaranteed; therefore, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, and Chuck sit high upon the DVR priority list (all receive a GTV rating, by the way). 

The cable channels (USA, TNT, and FX specifically) replay their original programming, so even if the DVR experiences a glitch while recording, we can schedule a future recording to ensure we stay on top of our series.  THANK YOU, cable networks; especially since so many of these channels produce top-notch GTV rated television: Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Justified and American Horror Story just to name a few.

Justified returns January 2012

Last week, one of our favorite and most loyal readers disagreed with the fact that The Walking Dead did not receive an undisputed GTV rating.  First of all, we can’t express enough how much it means to have a faithful following, and we specifically ask for our readers to respond and spark up healthy debates.  For that, we thank you, Andrew!  When Mr. Mocete speaks, we listen here at WatchWed – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the need to back up our rating system. 

The Walking Dead returns February 2012

The Walking Dead did receive half a GTV rating with the newly awarded TBP rating – a twice baked potato is the best of both worlds: gourmet and junk food.  But regardless of the rating, AMC’s hit show receives top priority on our DVR for the mere fact it brings zombies (eh-hem, walkers) to the TV.  We can’t miss the walkers – the supernatural is a must in this house. 

We’re kind of going against our earlier rule about reruns with this next DVR priority, but at the same time, we’re sticking with the newly established supernatural rule.  While Death Valley only receives a JFTV rating, what other television program brings us thirty minutes of zombie, werewolf, and vampire comedy?   Trust us, it’s not the best television available today – but it is one of a kind and we look forward to the silliness and gore every Monday night before bed.    

Pretty Little Liars returns January 2012

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV also receives a DVR priority in this YA mystery writer’s house.   ABC Family provides mystery lovers with two fantastic on-going whodunits with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game.  Again, neither receives a top GTV rating (although the mystery factor of each one deserves a top review), but both series definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure and earn a MacTV rating.  

Who in the world is A?  What additional secrets will Sutton and Emma uncover?  This thirtysomething loves the constant intrigue of these two young adult television shows – if an episode answers a question, it guarantees to develop two or three more before the hour expires. 

So, to recap:  When considering DVR priorities in Casa Blanca, we go with episodic TV without encore presentations or the possibility of reruns.  We ignore the rating scale for once, and go with what we may miss if we don’t schedule ahead of time.  And finally, while we didn’t set out for this to actually qualify as a rule, it appears that any programming with supernatural elements or a good YA mystery finds a home high atop our recording list.

What determines DVR priority in your house?  Which show is your #1 Priority on the DVR?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out which one of her Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts she wants to share with everyone once again before the end of the year. 

Come back next year, I mean next week, when Amber and I re-review the fairy tales, Grimm and Once Upon a Time.  We left them simmering last time, have they worked their way up the rating’s chart?

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Bringing Back a Favorite

Today, Amber West and I take a look back at our most popular Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts.  We figured that everyone has a busy schedule with the holidays right around the corner, so we decided to take a tiny break.  

Reposting this particular post couldn’t have come at a better time.  Leverage is currently airing on Sunday night’s on TNT, and White Collar is set to premier in less than a month on USA!  We hope everyone enjoys today’s favorite, again! 

Can a con-man change to good? 

TNT and USA think so!  Both networks have hit summer programs featuring some of the most likable con-men on television.  While each con might have to resort to their old ways in order to bring down an even worse foe, they all fight the good cause and do what’s best for mankind and to uphold the law. 

 Leverage – Sunday nights on TNT

The Leverage team consists of a group of criminals turned do-gooders that utilize their specialized skills to avenge those harmed by the wealthy and/or powerful.  Each character has his or her own flaw which helps the viewers understand their passion behind the individual cases they accept. 

Nate Ford (Academy Award winner, Timothy Hutton), “The Mastermind” – Nate leads this team of otherwise misfits.  He battles alcoholism trying to recover from the death of his son, which in turn cost him his marriage and his job as an insurance investigator.  Nate selects the team’s clients, and he uses his skills to anticipate the movement of the con’s marks while the rest of his team is in play.

Sophie (Gina Bellman, Coupling), “The Grifter” – Sophie is Nate’s right hand.  She has secrets that even the audience is still trying to figure out: is she royalty? Is she married? Or is she just a great actress? Well, maybe she’s not as great on stage as she is at playing the marks of the con.  And, what is her real name for crying out loud?

Now to the “side-kicks”, without whom, the show would not be the same.

Eliot (Christian Kane, Angel), “The Hitter” – Eliot has a bit of an anger-management problem: he loves to punch and kick, but he refrains from using guns as much as possible.  Eliot’s number one job is to protect the team; but, sometimes he takes on a character role that showcases his intelligence, and not just his muscle, in order to complete the con.

Hardison (Aldis Hodge, Friday Night Lights), “The Hacker” – Like one might assume, Hardison loves his computers, technology, and “Lucille,” his thoroughly pimped out techie van.  He has designed the team’s headquarters twice now (they had to blow the first office up to hide their identities), and the specialized equipment the team uses on each case. 

Parker (Beth Reisgraf, multiple TV appearances in shows like How I Met Your Mother and My Name is Earl), “The Thief” – Moving from foster home to foster home, Parker lacks many social skills, but might just have the biggest heart of all the cons.  One might think that Parker lacks empathy, but when she’s emotionally involved in a case, she’ll stop at nothing to take down the bad guys.  Parker is one of the best thieves around, and her supreme safe cracking skills and her extreme acrobatics make her crucial to every case.

The Leverage team gets it done, and I grant my second GTV (Gourmet TV) rating of the season: Leverage gives us everything we want and more.

White Collar – Tuesday nights on USA

Meet Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer, from Chuck and Tru Calling), a suave and sexy professional con-artist captured by FBI agent, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). 

Season one opens with Peter releasing Neal from prison under the strict supervision of an ankle monitor, AND one condition: Neal must use his criminal expertise to assist the White Collar division of the FBI in capturing bad guys. 

Neal enlists the help of his fellow con-man, Mozzie (Willie Garson, aka Stanford Blatch from Sex and the City), who despite his distrust of the government, stands by his friend’s side and builds his own relationship with Peter and Peter’s wife, Elizabeth (played by Tiffani Theissen, Saved by the Bell and the real 90210). 

In addition to solving a new FBI case each week, Neal focuses on discovering the truth behind his girlfriend Kate’s disappearance.  Neal continues his search while everyone, including Peter and his FBI right-hand Diana (Marsha Thomason from Vegas), investigates Kate’s story on their own, each hoping to bring closure to Neal’s heartache.

White Collar builds fun and heartfelt character relationships: Peter/Neal, Peter/Elizabeth, Elizabeth/Neal, Elizabeth/Mozzie, Neal/Alex (another of Neal’s con-buddies played by Gloria Votsis), and Neal/Sara (insurance investigator/Neal’s former love interest played by Hilarie Burton). 

Season 2 ends with Neal’s previous mentor turned nemesis, Vincent Adler (Andrew McCarthy best known from his 80’s hits Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo’s Fire) escaping once again after the U-Boat treasure that Neal and Peter helped reveal, goes up in flames. 

Or does it? Neal is a con, remember. 

Did Neal flee with Mozzie and claim their fortune? Or did he stay and continue his new life helping the FBI catch other cons?  He is a great asset for the Feds…and our television screens!

This has never been done before, but I grant White Collar another GTV (Gourmet TV) rating of the season: it has everything we want and more. 

That’s two in one post!

Did I mention that Neal is sexy?  Neal’s piercing baby blues and charming smile illuminate in combination with his dapper tailored suits and his Fedora hat. 

Do you agree with my double GTV ratings this week?  Are you a Leverage or White Collar fan?  Would Leverage be worthy of a GTV rating without Eliot, Hardison, and Parker?  Will Neal stay or will Peter have to arrest him yet again?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out which one of her Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts ranked number one. 

Amber and I fully anticipate that almost everyone will  be suffering from a post-holiday hangover next week, so we’re taking it easy once again.  Come back next Wednesday when we revisit another former post that will hopefully help everyone prepare for TV watching in the new year.  

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Power of Three

The holidays are near, and it is this time of year that usually limits the amount of new television programs airing on the major networks.  So, what do we do when our DVR isn’t as full as it usually is?  We watch the oldies, but goodies.

This week, Amber West and I discuss our favorite daytime reruns that we enjoy watching while we clean house, fold laundry, and bake treats for our sweets – Charmed and a Law & Order.   

Aaron Spelling produced many hit television series during his lifetime – Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, and the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place to just name a few.  That’s why when Charmed premiered, this TV addict was immediately on board.  And when I learned the show was about witches?  Major bonus. 

Charmed begins as the Halliwell sisters reunite in San Francisco for their grandmother’s funeral and soon discover that they come from a long line of female witches.  After the youngest sister reads the family’s Book of Shadows (a book containing the spells and magic from their ancestors), she believes that she and her sisters are supposed to be the most powerful witches of all time. 

One by one, the sisters learn they each possess a unique magical power, and they are quickly thrust into the line of fire when their first demon attacks.  Unsure of how to defeat the demon, the sisters join hands and repeat a passage from the Book of Shadows, “The Power of Three will set us free.” 

And that it did, for eight seasons.  Of course, The Power of Three chant wasn’t always the spell needed to defeat the bad guy, but ultimately, Charmed was all about The Power of Three.  Over the years, we watched the sisters learn the ins and outs of their magical heritage, hone their individual powers, and most importantly, protect the world from The Source (the “source” of all evil) and other demons and warlocks.

The oldest of the sisters, Prue Halliwell (Shannon Doherty), works as an art appraiser and photographer.  She has always felt responsible for her sisters, due to their mother’s death when they were young.  At the beginning of the series, Prue shares a rocky relationship with her youngest sister, one they must work through quickly in order to survive. 

Prue’s power?  Telekinesis – she can move things with her mind, meaning she can throw the bad guy against the wall, through the wall, whatever – perhaps the best power of all the sisters.  Prior to her death (sorry for the spoiler), Prue also inherits the ability to teleport, a skill that proves life saving on multiple occasions. 

Middle sister Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs) works as an aspiring chef and buffer to her sisters arguing.  Piper is a romantic always looking for love.  Actually, her boyfriend in the pilot is the warlock attempting to kill the sisters.  After Piper recovers from that failed relationship, and a few others, she meets the man of her dreams and future husband – Leo Wyatt (Brian Krause).   

Leo is also the sister’s Whitelighter, their guardian angel who can “orb” (move magically through space) them out of trouble.

Piper’s power?  She can freeze time and people.  Eventually her power evolves and she has the ability to blow things up, which comes in very handy when facing a demon.

The youngest of the three original sisters (explanation to come), Phoebe Halliwell (Alyssa Milano) is nothing like her sisters.  Where Prue and Piper are both professionally driven, Phoebe has no idea what she wants to do with her life; however, after putting herself through college, Phoebe decides to go to work as a reporter for the local paper. 

Also a romantic, Phoebe eventually marries a demon (Balthazar/Cole Turner played by Julian McMahon) and later Coop (a Cupid played by Victor Webster). 

Phoebe’s power?  Premonition – she can see things in the past, as well as in the future.  Her powers intensify and she develops the ability to levitate, which she uses to learn and master martial arts in order to kick demon butt.  She also later develops the power of empathy, which she can use to mimic another’s powers or sense exactly what they feel.

After Prue’s death, Piper and Phoebe meet a sister they never knew about – Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan).  When the girls were younger, their mother had an affair with her Whitelighter and later gave the baby to a nun for protection.  Paige was adopted by “normal” parents and led a semi-normal life.  That is until she was drawn to a stranger’s funeral – Prue’s funeral. 

Paige’s Power?  Tele-Orbing – Paige inherited the Whitelighter abilities (including orbing) and combined with her telekinesis (like big sis, Prue), she has the ability to call out for items and they will be drawn to her. 

Charmed’s eight seasons weren’t enough for this television addict and supernatural lover.  I cried my eyes out during the series finale.  I still miss the sisters, their powers, the witchcraft, Leo, Cole, and even babies Wyatt and Chris (Piper and Leo’s sons) to this day. 

When I noticed TNT airs episodes during the day, I immediately set the DVR so I could watch the greatness of Charmed again, in order – from start to finish.  It will always be one of my favorite programs of all time, and therefore I must award the MacTV rating.  Charmed is like that good ole bowl of mac-n-cheese; it’s not the best food in the pantry, but man is it delicious! 

By the way, if I ever get a tattoo, it will be of the triquetra – the symbol on the Book of Shadows

Did you watch Charmed?  Which sister’s power do you wish you possessed?  Do you prefer demon Cole or whitelighter Leo?   Generally speaking, do you believe it witchcraft?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out which Law & Order she prefers while folding laundry and baking treats for her sweets all day long…and why. 

Come back next week when Amber and I something just in time for the holidays.  

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Searching Syndication for the Seavers

A few weeks ago, someone may have whined a bit about the lack of family programming on television today.  This same someone took us back, as she remembered a few of the family sitcoms and dramas of the ‘80s and ‘90s that most of us relished as children. 

Reminiscing about past television greatness prompted Amber West and I to search syndication for a few of our favorite families and feature Growing Pains and The Cosby Show in this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.   But did we find what we were looking for?

We didn’t find Growing Pains.  How is that possible? 

The Seaver family had it all; while the characters weren’t perfect, they worked through their issues and maintained a supportive family dynamic each and every episode.  They laughed; they learned; they cried; they struggled; they loved….is that not good enough for TV today?  Or is it that families aren’t accustomed to watching these types of comedies anymore?

One of Mike's creative cheating strategies

The series centered around the Seaver children and their experiences growing older.  We watched Mike Seaver (Kirk Cameron) goof around, not apply himself, and get into constant trouble both at school and at home; we watched Carol Seaver (Tracey Gold) excel in academics, while constantly battling her inner demons and fight for her parent’s attention; and we watched Ben Seaver (Jeremy Miller) as he followed in Mike’s footsteps a bit showing a typical adolescent rambunctious side, but also as he took after Carol with his intelligence. 

Regardless of which child the Growing Pains episode featured, the Seaver parents had their hands full.   Trying to keep a firm grasp on the home front, Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke) moved his psychiatry practice into the house when Maggie Seaver (Joanna Kerns) went back to work.   It didn’t necessarily fix the problem though – Mike and his friends were still always into something; Carol still felt neglected and abnormal for one reason or another; and Ben just really wanted to be left alone, exiting the room screaming on more than one occasion. 

One of the most treasured features of Growing Pains was the valuable lessons taught via hardships, like when Mike realized the importance of family and took in a homeless boy (Luke played by Leonardo DiCaprio), or when Carol’s boyfriend (Matthew Perry) died after a drunk driving accident, or even when Ben learned that idols don’t always reflect who we think they are when he witnessed his favorite rock-n-roll star (Brad Pitt) act inappropriately.   

As the series progressed, so did the Seavers – the kids went away to college, although not too far from home; Jason and Maggie had a fourth child, Chrissy Seaver (Ashley Johnson), and relocated to Washington DC; and Mike found the love of his life and proposed marriage to Kate (Chelsea Noble).

These lessons and the character progressions are just two of the main reasons why Growing Pains earns the GMacTV rating – it’s delicious and addicting like a Gourmet Mac-N-Cheese; a combined greatness of a fine wine served with a warm and tasty comfort food.

It’s not just us here at Watch Wednesday that thinks this – Growing Pains’ success spawned a spinoff sitcom (Just the Ten of Us) and two made-for-TV movies in 2000 and 2004.  So why can’t we find it on TV today?

Did you watch Growing Pains?  Who was your favorite character and/or storyline and why? Have you found the Seaver family on syndication lately?  If so, please share the channel and time…  Any other former TV families you’d like to share with your kids today?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out what she has to say about another classic family program of the ’80s, The Cosby Show

Come back next week when Amber and I discuss a few of our favorite TNT syndications…the shows we like to run all day long while we fold laundry or bake treats for our sweets. 

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – A Blessing or a Curse?

This week, Amber West and I return to CBS, perhaps the most watched network on television (that’s what they claim, isn’t it?) and review two new hit crime dramas picked up for the entire year – Unforgettable and Person of Interest.   

 

Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) as former Syracuse detective Carrie Wells.  Carrie remembers everything:  every moment and every aspect of every day, except for the murder of her sister when she was a child.   When asked to help the New York City police solve a crime that took place outside her apartment that she sort-of witnessed, Carrie is reunited with her ex beau and partner, Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck). 

Carrie decides to join Al and the NYC force with one major goal – solve her sister’s murder.

The other detectives on the squad (Detective Mike Costello played by Michael Gaston of The Mentalist, and Detective Nina Inara played by Daya Vaidya from Robbery Homicide Division) aren’t quite sure what to think of Carrie; both react as if they think she is weird and don’t appear to want to get to know her on a more personal level. 

But Detective Roe Sanders (Kevin Rankin from Trauma) actually takes an interest in Carrie; he’s amazed with her recall and often times tests her memory trying to catch her in a slip.  This friendly banter prompts Carrie and Al to open up and share her history and the mystery surrounding her sister’s death with Sanders. 

Unforgettable recently added a TV superstar to the cast – Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie was one of my childhood favorites) joins as Dr. Jane Webster, who will supposedly be crucial to Carrie’s ability to solve her sister’s cold case. 

Additionally, Marilu Henner (Taxi) consults production because similar to the character of Carrie, Henner possesses the rare ability to recall all autobiographical events, a condition known as hyperthymesiaHenner also guest stars in a recurring role as Carrie’s aunt. 

Technically speaking, I should like Unforgettable a bit more than I do.  Carrie Wells is the ideal detective; she’s the perfect study subject for a mystery writer.  Additionally, I absolutely adore Dylan Walsh; while I like Poppy Montgomery (big fan of Without a Trace and love the red hair), I initially watched Unforgettable because of Dr. Sean McNamara

I will watch anything Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) is in too....

I also really enjoy the ongoing mystery in addition to the fresh case each and every week; but the story lines seem a bit too predictable to me.  I personally don’t like to watch a one hour crime drama and have the “bad guy” figured out in the first twenty minutes (my guy likes to call me a TV ninja; I’ve had to learn to keep my opinions to myself while watching police procedurals).    

Don’t get me wrong; I record every new episode and usually watch within the week.  I consider most crime dramas great writing research, and therefore haven’t tossed it aside yet.  For this, I award the JFTV rating to Unforgettable – no matter the predictability, I’m hooked like a fiend, craving another greasy potato chip.  But, if I’m busy, this is one that can rack up the hours on the DVR. 

Oh, and guys – this one’s for you: Unforgettable really likes to show off Poppy’s amazing arms.  Carrie wears a tank top in almost every episode.  Yea, I’m jealous…

Do you watch Unforgettable?  What do you think?  Do you think Carrie’s memory is a blessing or a curse?  What other crime dramas do you enjoy? I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out why she thinks John Reese is the new Jack Bauer in her review of Person of Interest.  I can only imagine this one gets a high rating…. 

Come back next week when Amber and I review something worth a watch.  Any requests?

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
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

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