Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Special Anniversary Edition

I know Amber West and I promised to review something new this week on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, but we told a little white lie.  I know, there we go again with fibbing to our audience, but we have a good reason.  Amber brought something to my attention this week—something very important—it’s our anniversary!!

One year ago tomorrow, a friendly face on Twitter reached out to me and proposed we join forces and two of our favorite things—television and food—to help others know which TV shows were worthy of a watch.  Because let’s face it, not many people have as much time on their hands to fit in as much television as we do (okay, as I do; I don’t want to make Amber out as a crazy-television-obsessed-viewer like I am), so why not help the channel surfers in the world find that one perfect fit to fill their one or two free hours a night?

With that, Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday was born, and a great friendship blossomed with my girl, Amber.  I never really set out to blog three times a week, especially not about TV twice a week, but looking back I wouldn’t change a thing.

So in celebration of our blogiversary, we thought it best to offer up the Top Ten most popular reviews, five here and five over at Amber’s place.

Which TV shows brought the most people over to my WatchWed posts?

#5 –Bones

#4 –Burn Notice & Suits, a hot two in one special

#3 –Criminal Minds

#2 –Leverage & White Collar, another two in one special.  Obviously our viewers love a good con man, or team, whichever…

And, the number one WatchWed post of all time?

Grimm

I mean really, who doesn’t like the darker look at the classic fairy tale… my guy and I sure do!

Before we go, we want to send out a BIG THANK YOU to all of our viewers who have supported us over the past year!  None of this would be possible without you!  Amber and I love what we do, but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without the great reader interaction we receive week in and week out.

And in staying in-tune with our viewers, what would you like to see as Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday embarks on its second year?  Leave a comment or stop by the Twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and let us know!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see which of her WatchWed reviews cracked her top five.  Like me, her shows come with some very sexy arm candy…

Come back next week when Amber and I review something and return to our regularly scheduled reviews, even if we don’t know which shows just yet.  Hey, it’s summer… we’ve got fun in the sun on the brain.

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 – Bones & Squints

Fall television is right around the corner, and many of our favorite programs are returning.  Amber West and I decided to change things up this week, and we’re sharing Why It’s Worth a Watch to check out a few of the FOX hit TV shows coming back in a few weeks – House and Bones.

First up, Bones!

Based on the book series of the same name by Kathy Reichs, Bones follows forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan and FBI Special Agent Seely Booth as they solve some of the toughest cases surrounding the Washington D.C. area.  Each week’s episode begins with the discovery of human remains and showcases the unique personalities of partners Booth and Brennan as they work alongside each other and the team of expert scientists (also known as “squints”) at the Jeffersonian Institute to solve crimes.

Note – I don’t recommend watching Bones during the dinner hour.  The human remains are sometimes a bit graphic and very realistic. 

Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel, Rose Red)

In addition to being quite possibly one of the most intelligent, and one of the best forensic anthropologists in the world, Temperance “Bones” Brennan is also a bestselling author.  Saying she’s socially awkward is an understatement, she completely lacks what most of us consider common sense and she’s void of any pop culture knowledge making her jokes fail miserably with the rest of the team.  Her education clashes with her friend’s cultures and beliefs (particularly religious affiliations), but she makes an honest attempt to better understand those that she loves.  The Jeffersonian team and Booth are her family.    

FBI Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz, from Buffy and Angel)

A former Ranger Sniper, Booth’s sharp shooting skills have come in handy during his tenure with the FBI.  Of course, those same skills and his record number of kills have also haunted him over the years, especially considering his moral code, Catholic beliefs, and interpersonal relationships.  Booth struggles constantly with his past: his father was an abusive alcoholic and his brother is following the same path, minus the abusive side.  Booth focuses his life on being the best man and father he can be, and he’ll do anything to protect Brennan and her team.  Talk about a man of honor….         

Forensic Artist Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin, The Lincoln Lawyer)

Angela is Brennan’s best friend, daughter of ZZ Top band member Billy Gibbons, wife to Jack Hodgins, and proud mother to new-born Michael Staccato Vincent (after Nigel-Murray) Hodgins.  Her role with the team is to help with facial reconstruction, and she uses some really cool 3-D graphics programs that help generate holograms from even the smallest portion of a skeleton.  Angela is responsible for most of the social improvements seen through Brennan’s character growth season to season.    

Entomologist Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J.Thyne, How High)

Hodgins is the teams’ expert on all things spores, soil, and bugs, and he often times refers to himself as “King of the Lab“.  Hodgins is a bit of a conspiracy theorist, a fact not at all helped by his massive education.  His family has considerable wealth and is actually one of the main endowment donors supporting the Jeffersonian.  He loves Angela, while comically fearing her father (he has a huge tattoo of Angela’s face on his shoulder courtesy of a night out drinking with her dad).

Pathologist Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor, Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman)

The head of the Jeffersonian team, Cam, is Booth’s ex-girlfriend and is responsible for Booth asking Brennan to assist him on FBI cases.  She is the newly adopted mother of her deceased ex-boyfriend’s daughter, Michelle, and she struggles daily with trying to not control Michelle’s teenage years and collegiate future. 

Psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley, Freaks and Geeks and Waiting)

Introduced in Season 3 to help Booth and Brennan with their partnership, well, really the sexual tension affecting their partnership, Sweets has grown to be a favorite character on Bones.  He’s very young to have earned his Ph.D, and oftentimes encounters negative and rude comments from others about his age.  Sweets is brilliant, but not as secure with romantic relationships (he has an on again/off again love affair with one of the squints, Daisy).  Sweets is essential to the team and helps them solve many cases using his criminal profiling expertise in interrogations.     

Booth and Brennan have solved many crimes, the most dangerous and popular being the serial killers Gormogon (a cannibal) and The Grave Digger, who actually buried Brennan and Hodgins alive during season two.   Their partnership and relationship has survived brain tumors, gun-shot wounds, girlfriends and boyfriends, Booth’s return to the Army to train soldiers, and Brennan’s archeological digs around the world.

Each week, the Jeffersonian squints change.  This is explained in the storyline by Brennan’s inability to decide on an official intern replacement after Dr. Zach Addy (Eric Millegan) is taken away (I don’t want to give away any SPOILER alerts – you’ll have to watch the series).  The cast of other squints include: Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry), Colin Fisher (Joel Moore), Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright), Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat), Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd) and Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo). 

Ryan O’Neal reprises his role of Max Keenan, Brennan’s criminal father, throughout the series.  Other recurring characters include: Brennan’s brother, Russ Brennan (Loren Dean); Booth’s girlfriend, Hannah Burley (Katheryn Winnick); U.S. Prosecutor, Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher); Booth’s ex-girlfriend and mother to his son, Rebecca Stinson (Jessica Capshaw); and, Booth’s brother, Jared (Brendan Fehr). 

Bones happens to be one of the rare television programs that has me sitting in anticipation the first twenty minutes of the hour so that I can press play on the DVR and watch without commercial interruption.  I know, you’re thinking that I’m a TV addict and I feel this way about a lot of programs, but that’s not true.  Bones is an absolute favorite and therefore I must award the GTV rating.

The sexual tension between Booth and Bones; the love affair between Angela and Hodgins; the quirky relationship shared between Sweets and Daisy; the comedic oddities of each and every character; all of this is TV at its finest: yummy Gourmet Television.  Compare it to the best cut of meat, red wine, and flaming dessert available. 

Are you a Bones fan?  Without spoiling it for anyone who isn’t current with the series, do you feel the surprise announcement at the end of season six will ruin the show or take it in a new, fun direction?  Did you feel the Zach storyline jumped the shark?  Who’s your favorite Bones squint and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of the hit Fox medical drama, House!  

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few more of our favorite programs returning this fall – the opposing 10pm EST/9pm CST Monday night hit series Castle & Hawaii 5-0.

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

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

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

Tele-Tuesday: TV with Bite

Vampires are especially hot right now, but technically the story of the television vampire has been popular for decades.

The history and mythology of the vampire has us believing the following to be true for the supernatural creatures: vampires have super strength, lightening fast speed, immortality, eternal youth, and no souls (therefore no conscience).  Vampires have pale skin and are cool to the touch.  They fear holy water, crucifixes, and garlic, and sunlight will burn their flesh.  Vampires sleep in coffins during the daylight hours, and walk the night in search of food, or play toys; whichever you prefer to call it.  A vampire doesn’t have a reflection and can’t enter one’s residence without a proper invitation from the homeowner.  And, most importantly, a vampire experiences the most excruciating hunger that only blood will satisfy.

Intriguing, right? But there’s more!

More often than not, the television vampire is sexy.  Whether the blood-sucker is male or female, the character is both mesmerizing and seducing, and has the power of extreme mind control.  The older TV series show their vampires transforming into bats, giving them the ability to fly away; today, the vampire possesses lightening fast speed and doesn’t have to shape shift anymore.

Over the years, the television vampire has adapted and has discovered a few ways around previous restrictions.  For one, the vampire has emulated today’s watchful eaters, such as vegetarians.  Instead of feeding on human blood, vampires may drink only the blood of animals.  Spells and elixirs have assisted today’s vampire in walking among the living in broad daylight.  And garlic?  It’s been left behind as an old superstition.

Are you hooked yet?

Future TV with Bite posts will discuss vampire television in further details, but the list below provides just a taste of my television favorites:

Dark Shadows, 1966-1971 – ABC; 1991 – NBC; 2004 – The WB, and syndicated on Chiller today

Vampire Barnabas Collins (Ben Cross) hides his curse from the young and beautiful Victoria Winters (Joanna Going) who just happens to resemble Barnabas’ previous love hundreds of years ago.

Forever Knight 1989, 1993-1996 -CBS, and syndicated on Chiller today

Detective/Vampire Nick Knight (Geraint Wyn Davies) fights crime in an attempt to make up for his cold-blooded killings centuries before.  He manages to keep his secret from everyone, including his partner, except for the medical examiner/confidant, Dr. Natalie Lambert (Catherine Disher), who provides him at times with human blood.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997-2003 – The WB, and syndicated on multiple channels today

A young teenage slayer, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), works alongside her watcher, her witchy best friend, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) , her vampire boyfriends, Angel (David Boreanaz) and Spike (James Marsters), her human friends Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), an occasional werewolf (Seth Green) and demon (Emma Caulfield), and fellow slayer (Eliza Dushku) to protect Sunnydale from the Big Bad.

Angel, 1999-2004- The WB, and syndicated on multiple channels today

A popular spinoff from Buffy, Angel (Boreanaz) and Cordelia (Carpenter) continue to battle evil in the search for Angel’s internalized redemption alongside with new minions: Wesley (Alexis Denisof), Charles (Jaime Augusto Richards III), Winifred (Amy Acker), and Connor (Vincent Kartheiser).

Moonlight2007-2008– CBS, syndicated on Chiller and SyFy today

Private Investigator/Vampire Mick St. John (Alex O’Laughlin) and reporter, Beth (Sophia Myles), fall in love while keeping Los Angeles and Mick’s secret safe.  Mick, however, keeps an even larger secret from Beth – his vampire wife, Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon), had kidnapped Beth as a little girl, and he was the one who saved her decades ago.  Moonlight may have only lasted the one year, however it remains one of my absolute favorites.

Two of the most popular television shows on today revolve around the vampire world, True Blood on HBO, and The Vampire Diaries on The CW.  These shows are so hot, they require a future Tele-Tuesday post all their own.

While not airing new episodes, these vamp series live-on in the ever-popular syndication world: Kolchak: The Night Stalker, 1974-1975 (Chiller and SyFy); Kindred: The Embraced, 1996 (Chiller); and Blood Ties, 2007, (syndicated outside the United States).  Chiller and SyFy run a different marathon every day making it easy to catch up on these older series; check them out!

What are your thoughts on the mythological versus the television vampires?  Which is your favorite vampire television series of all time?  Who is your favorite television vampire?  Do you think these television shows will live forever like their eternal characters, or will someone jab a stake through their heart?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday #1

Do you not have enough time in the day to watch everything you want on TV?

Is there so much on each night that you don’t know what to select and therefore forego it all together?

My favorite:  Do you find something on the networks that you really do like and then all of a sudden it’s removed without so much as an explanation?

It goes without saying that I’m addicted to television.  Many of you don’t have the time to watch more than a couple of hours of TV a night, if that much, and I want to use my addiction to help you.  My friends laugh at the amount of television I watch.  I love TV!  I personally feel the DVR is the best invention since the Internet, and I put it the test.  My AT&T U-Verse DVR records up to four shows at a time!  You think I’m crazy?  Join the club.

Every Tuesday I’ll introduce more shows and sometimes I will even provoke thought.  Since this is my first edition of Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday, I’m going to keep it simple and start with my favorite shows on each network, in no particular order.  Due to the inordinate amount of television that I follow, I will break this into two parts.

Part 1

ABC – Detroit 187.  I used to love NYPD Blue and ABC launched a new show this year starring Christopher Moltisanti, I mean, Michael Imperioli, as a top Detective in Detroit with secrets and quirks.  Detroit 187 reminds me a lot of NYPD Blue, and as the season progressed I enjoyed it more and more.  Warning – ABC has already aired the season finale.

CBS – This is tough.  I believe CBS might be the best network out there.  I don’t miss an episode of Criminal Minds or any of the three CSI shows.  CBS even wins for the network with the best new shows in 2010-2011 as far as I’m concerned:  Hawaii 5-0, The Defenders, and Blue Bloods.  If you’re one of those that don’t know what to watch, tune your set to CBS and just let it run while you cook, clean, read, whatever it is you do from 7pm-10pm CST.

In the meantime, I promised a favorite so I choose….Survivor.  I can’t resist watching who can Outwit, Outlast, and Outplay each other.  Every season promises pure entertainment and crazy people.  This season, the show introduced Redemption Island.  I absolutely love the new twist in the game.  Go ahead, watch.  Is this season’s Philip really a former federal agent?  Oh, and I’m Team Boston Rob.

 

CW –Supernatural.  Brothers, Sam & Dean Winchester save the world from demons, vampires, shape-shifters, the Apocalypse, etc.  Did I mention that Dean loves classic rock?  Best Supporting Character?  The music!

 

FOX – Bones.  Do you like mysteries?  Forensics?  Did you watch Buffy or Angel and develop a crush on David Boreanaz?  Bones follows one of the best forensic pathologists lacking most social skills, and her partner, a former military sniper and current FBI agent, as they solve murders.  Is there sexual tension?  TONS!  You can’t help but fall in love with Booth and Bones.  Warning – Don’t watch the show when you’re eating dinner!

 

NBC – Chuck.  Pure Monday night fun.  Chuck is half 007 and half geek.  I can’t remember the last time an episode ended and I didn’t have a smile on my face.  For whatever reason though, Chuck is always rumored for cancellation.

To be continued…

What’s your favorite TV show?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tonight, Body of Proof debuts on ABC at 9pm CST starring Dana Delaney.  I have mine set on the DVR!