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

Amber West and I are taking this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in a different direction.  Courtesy of Netflix, many people don’t watch live television anymore, and we’re suggesting a few series that are definitely worthy of queuing up! 

Tru Calling

The series begins with recent college graduate, Tru Davies (Eliza Dushku from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), searching frantically for an internship hoping to get into medical school.  Most of the good placements have already been filled, so Tru takes the only job she can find – at the morgue.

As if working with the dead isn’t daunting enough, Tru must deal with the bodies temporarily awakening and asking for her help.  The very second she receives one of these requests, Tru’s day resets and she must race to figure out exactly what these souls are trying to tell her.

Mostly, when Tru’s day starts over, she tries desperately to stop the untimely deaths of those asking for her help, but messing with fate always has its consequences. 

Trying to manage her daily resets and keep her secret from friends and family, Tru also battles constant struggles with her irresponsible brother, Harrison (Shawn Reaves), her drug-addict sister, Meredith (Jessica Collins, The Young and the Restless), and her boyfriend Luc (Matt Bomer, White Collar), while trying to lead a normal life. 

Despite the chaos, Tru tries to stay grounded with the help of her best friend, Lindsey (A.J. Cook from Criminal Minds), and her boss at the morgue, Davis (Zach Galifinakis from The Hangover).  Davis may just be Tru’s biggest rock throughout the series, even if he’s a bit odd and awkward. 

Jason Priestly (the original 90210) joined the cast midway through season one as Jack Harper; his primary focus – stop Tru and restore fate.

Typical of shows on Fox, Tru Calling was cancelled before answering all of the ongoing storylines.  This show will always live on my “gone too soon” list, and I proudly own both seasons on DVD.  One of the writers, Doris Egan, shared the remaining story arc in a two-part series via her Livejournal blog.  Without giving away any spoilers, the viewers learn all about Tru’s parents and Tru and Jack’s mentors.   

Egan’s Tru Calling Part One

Egan’s Tru Calling Part Two

Tru Calling earns a MacTV rating – pop some popcorn, grab a blanket, turn off the lights, spark up a candle, and watch episode after episode like a guilty pleasure. 

I hope you especially enjoy a few of my favorite episodes, but before you get started, check out the theme song (Full Blown Rose’s “Somebody Help Me”) for just a tiny taste of what’s ahead.  

Season One
 “Morning After”
“Murder in the Morgue”
“Valentine”
“Two Weddings and a Funeral”

 Season Two
“Grace”
“In the Dark”
“Enough”

Season two also introduced a few familiar faces as recurring characters: Liz Vassey (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) played Dr. Carrie Allen (nothing is ever as it seems – remember!) and Eric Christian Olsen (NCIS: Los Angeles) played Jensen Ritchie, Tru’s love interest. 

If you don’t have a Netflix account, don’t worry!  Occasionally, SyFy airs a daily marathon of Tru Calling

Do you subscribe to Netflix? Did you watch Tru Calling? Are you an Eliza Dushku fan? What would you do if the dead asked for your help?  If your days could reset, would you race against the clock to change fate, or leave things as they were?  What are a few of your favorite TV series gone too soon?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see why she recommends you queue up the science fiction hit – Firefly

Come back next week for another Netflix edition as Amber and I review a few more series worth a queue.

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

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

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

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

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

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

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

Tele-Tuesday: “Real” Summer Fun

The networks produce tons of reality television for basic cable over the summer months.  Let’s be honest – the networks produce tons of reality television every month for all of the networks – period.  One can find reality shows on almost any network at any time, including A&E and The History Channel.

While there is more than enough out there for everyone to choose from, June and July bring back two of our favorite reality shows – Hell’s Kitchen and Big Brother.

 

First up, Hell’s Kitchen

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey hosts one of the best cooking shows on television, and definitely the most-fun.  Along with his British accent, his multiple Michelin stars (one of the top hotel and restaurant annual guides), his multiple renowned restaurants, and six television programs, Chef Ramsey might just as well be known for his stellar vocabulary.  He drops the “F” bomb a lot, and the television sensors bleep him quite a bit.  “You, Donkey,” happens to be one of our favorite Ramsay-isms.

Lewd language aside, Chef Ramsey shares his knowledge of cooking and invites twelve chefs (some aspiring chefs, some sous-chefs, and some executive chefs) to compete for an opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to win a high paying position at a top restaurant in popular cities such as Vegas, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, and Whistler, British Columbia.

Each season promises drama as the cast members’ personalities inevitably clash.  But most importantly, and ironically, each season the cast members appear to cook the same dishes incorrectly over and over again driving Chef Ramsey absolutely bonkers.  Such dishes include scallops, risotto, and beef wellington.

One by one, the competing chefs’ jackets are burned, leaving only two to battle it out for the prize.  The final two select previously eliminated teammates to work alongside them in the final competition of the season, and there’s nothing quite like watching the two struggle with this decision, knowing the strengths, weaknesses, and tempers of their cohorts.  These two finalists build their own menus and sometimes even design their half of the dining room giving Chef Ramsey a full view of their potential as Executive Chefs.

Chef Gordon Ramsey and season 3 winner Rock Harper

Former winners of Hell’s Kitchen include: Michael Wray (Season 1), Heather West (Season 2), Rahman “Rock” Harper (Season 3), Christina Machamer (Season 4), Danny Veltri (Season 5), Dave Levey (Season 6), Holli Ugalde (Season 7), and Nona Sivley (Season 8).

If you love food, love to cook, or love to laugh, I highly suggest giving Hell’s Kitchen a try.  I have added dining at a Ramsey restaurant to my bucket list.  Do you know what I’ll order?  Scallops, risotto, and beef wellington!

Hell’s Kitchen premiers Tuesday, July 19th on FOX.

 

Next, we have Big Brother

What do you think of when you hear the term ‘Big Brother’?  “Big Brother is watching you,” right?  Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell still lives strong today.  Only today, many people immediately think of CBS’s hit reality show, Big Brother, not the classic literary work.

Each season, approximately thirteen houseguests arrive for their summer of seclusion cut off from the outside world completely – no television, no telephone, no radios, no newspapers, no computers – no contact.  They compete against each other in food and luxury competitions, as well as the ever-powerful Head of Household (H.O.H.) and the Power of Veto competitions in the hopes of winning the $500,000 cash prize.

Alliances inevitably form, and usually only the strongest survive the game.  On the other hand, forming and publicly acknowledging an alliance will most often times ensure the members of said alliance have the largest targets on his/her backs.  Two of the most successful alliances in the history of Big Brother formed the previous two seasons – Season 11’s Jeff Schroeder and winner Jordan Lloyd, and season 12’s ‘The Brigade’ consisting of winner Hayden Moss, and his three buddies: Enzo Palumbo, Lane Elenburg, and Matt Hoffman.

Video cameras capture the houseguests’ every move.  In addition to CBS’s airing three episodes a week, live 24/7 feeds are available online, and Showtime airs Big Brother: After Dark every night from midnight to 3am (EST).

America watches and votes on special circumstances to make the houseguests’ lives even more difficult. For example, the losing members of the food competitions are forced to eat “Big Brother Slop” for seven days.  The slop has been compared to oatmeal in texture, but lacks all taste.  America votes each week and allows the losing houseguests the opportunity to eat other selected food items such as bok choy and baby food.

America has also voted some of the biggest twists into the game – The Power of Coup D’Etat (season 11 awarded to Jeff Schroeder), re-entry into the house (season 6 awarded to Kaysar Ridha), and the Saboteur (season 12 awarded to Ragan Fox).   But don’t worry; Big Brother doesn’t always need America’s help to thrust the houseguests into a deep paranoia.  In Season 11, Big Brother introduced Pandora’s Box.  Each time the houseguest of choice decides to open the box, the remaining houseguests endure a good consequence and a bad consequence.  They never know what might happen until it’s too late and the decision has been made.

Big Brother host – Julie Chen

CBS and Julie Chen host some of the most fun summer television programming has to offer.  If you love watching men & women battle it out physically, go insane and breakdown, and engage in some of the most strategic game-play on television today, check out Season 13!

Big Brother premiers Thursday, July 7th on CBS.

 

Are you a fan of Hell’s Kitchen or Big Brother?  Who’s your favorite winner from Hell’s Kitchen?  Who’s your favorite houseguest from Big Brother?  How about your least favorite and why? Which reality television shows do you enjoy?  If given the opportunity, would you audition for reality television?  I’d love to hear from you!

Special Announcement – Tomorrow, Amber West and I launch our new blog series, Why it’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Come back and check out our first editionsSwitched at Birth (ABC Family) and Teen Wolf (MTV).  Stop by the twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and visit with us about any of today’s television shows that you’d like to see discussed on our series.

Friday FabOoolousness – MarvelOoous Mashups & Awards

One of my twitter pals awarded me with my first blogging award this month – The Stylish Blogger.

Ashley, THANK YOU! Being new to the blogging world, this award means the world to me!  From now on, every time anyone clicks on the Stylish Blogger Award icon on my website, they will experience Ashley’s fabOoolous blog!

The award comes with just a few fabOoolous rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Before I share seven random facts about me, I first pass the baton.  The Stylish Blog Awards go to: 

  1. Jen L Kirchner
  2. Jen Greyson
  3. Julie Glover
  4. Grace Lewis
  5. Robyn Sadler

Congratulations!

In addition to these 5 stylish blogs, click on these fabOoolous sites in my May edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

Looking for something to make for dinner?  Check out Kait Nolan’s Pots and Plots. Kait also features a special segment – Gluten Free Friday. Gluten free flour tortillasGluten free beer batter fish?  Yum – Try one out!

At DFWcon, I kept hearing about this guy Chuck Wendig.  I couldn’t ignore my new-found writer friends, so Chuck was one of the first people I followed on Twitter.  I am so glad I did!  His post, 25 Things Every Writer Should Know, prompted me to take notes, laugh, take more notes, and then laugh some more.  Chuck is helpful and FUNNY!

Did you read the Choose Your Own Adventure books growing up? Similar to the Stylish Blogger award recipient Jen Kirchner’s Vote Your Next Adventure, Anne-Mhairi Simpson also posts a What Happens Next You Decide blog.  Vote – 1, 2, or 3…A, B, or C…

Roni Loren is brilliant!  Every week she posts her Boyfriend of the Week, which helps the rest of the female writing population’s creative juices flow.  Previous boyfriends have included Ian Somerhalder, Vampire Eric Northman aka Alexander Skarsgard, and Joshua Jackson.  Roni, please keep them coming!

Know the characters – that’s one of the most important things for any writer when traveling this journey.  Ashley Graham’s post, 7 things you might find interesting about my MC, gives a perspective that other’s might benefit from when shaping their main character.  This article really peaked my interest in Ashley’s MC Elena, and I want to read The Socialite.

Now to my 7 fun-facts — A few of my favorite things:

1) I am a bit “Monkish” – Tony Shaloub’s fabOoolous character from the hit tv-show, Monk.  I love to clean; therefore, one of my favorite fabOoolous household items is the Bissell Spot Lifter.  I can’t live without it.  This one invention has saved both of my cats on numerous occasions.

2) Keeping with the “Monkish” theme, I love, love, love for things to smell good.  For my furniture, I use the fabOoolous Febreze Clean Linen Spray.  I use it so much, that friends and family members retreat in fear that I will spray them upon entry of my house.  Ugh, I’ve never once sprayed anyone!  I don’t know why they’re so scared…

3) If I had known in 1993 when I read Ray Bradbury’s famous opening line from Fahrenheit 451, “It was a pleasure to burn,” what I know now, I would have invested in a candle company.  That’s right!  I am a full-fledged pyromaniac.  The fabOoolous Circle E candles are my favorite candle – they burn evenly (there’s my “Monkish” attribute again), and the scent of one burning candle fills every square inch of my house.  If you haven’t already, please sample Circle E’s Bird of Paradise and Slice of Life candles.

4) Everyone knows that the spring & summer weather in Texas can be brutal and that makes it important to stay hydrated.  Water gets so very boring glass after glass, so I throw in a glass of ice tea as often as possible.  Sun tea is tasty, but what’s even more fabOoolous?  My Mr. Coffee Ice Tea Maker might just be the best $15 I have ever spent!

5) The DVR is the best electronics invention – ever!  I am addicted to television (could you tell?), and my fabOoolous AT&T U-Verse DVR allows me to record four shows at the same time!  I’m in Heaven every single night when I curl up in my love-seat, grab my blanket, and turn on the boob-tube.  Will I ever get my recordings below 100?  Probably not…probably not.

6) I’m spoiled, and I believe in spoiling!  I’ve spoiled my cat rotten, so much so he’s actually drawn blood protecting me.  I named him Shady-cat after my best friend insisted he had Bipolar disorder, but really I just liked the fabOoolous Eminem song at the time.  Shady is big like a dog: he plays fetch like a dog, and he runs to the door when the bell rings like a dog.  I actually rely on Shady to protect me more than I do our 65-lb dog, Shadow!

7) I’ve saved the best for last — I’m the luckiest girl in the world.  I have the most fabOoolous man standing by my side, and supporting me every day to accomplish my dreams.   Without him, this blog would not be possible, and I’d still be dreaming about writing my first novel instead of writing my first novel.  He makes my dreams come true; He is my dream come true!  XOXO, honey!

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? Do you have a list of must-have items?  If so, please share!  Leave a comment, I’d love to check them out!