Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Ravenswood

Welcome back to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday!

Today I’m jumping in with one of my most anticipated shows of the season—Ravenswood.

ABC Family Summary: Tormented by a deadly curse lingering for generations in a small Pennsylvania town, five strangers search for its origins to put it to an end. 

I’ve made no secret of the fact about how much I love Pretty Little Liars… and now, I *kinda* have a second hour of PLL to watch every week.  How’s that?  Because Ravenswood is a Pretty Little Liars spinoff!

For those of us who watch PLL, we saw a sneak peek into the town of Ravenswood last season.  And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I couldn’t wait to see why the entire town gathered at the statue when the bells rang.  Creepy!

Which is why I find it odd, how after four episodes, the series has yet to explore this one single time.  Are we supposed to forget how odd it was when Spencer and Toby visited Ravenswood for the first time when the entire town gathered in the cemetery like zombies when the bells tolled?  I guess so.

Anyway…

With the spinoff comes the sad realization that Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) is leaving Rosewood for Ravenswood.  Does this mean he and Hanna are breaking up?  So far, no.

Joining Caleb in Ravenswood are four strangers (to him, not to each other necessarily): Miranda, played by Nicole Anderson from Beauty and the Beast, a transient like Caleb who is searching for her biological uncle and any sense of family that she can find; Remy, played by Britne Oldford from American Horror Story: Asylum, the daughter of the local paper owner who isn’t as quick to dismiss the curse when she discovers a history of it; Luke, played by Brett Dier from The L.A. Complex, a local boy grieving his father’s recent passing and the most reluctant to believe what is going on around him; and Olivia, played by Merritt Patterson from Kyle XY, Luke’s sister (and homecoming queen) who is searching for answers to her father’s death and is the first, besides Caleb, to see actual ghosts.

Together these teens must dig into the town’s past to uncover its secrets. And hopefully break the Ravenswood curse.

The curse… every time a soldier returns from war, usually when he or she survived some miracle that his or her fellow soldiers did not, five teens must die.

And guess what?!  Remy’s mother (played by Sophina Brown from Shark and Numb3rs) just returned from war, having been found underneath rubble, the lone survivor of an attack.

The series also stars: Steven Cabral as Miranda’s uncle, Raymond, and the owner of the Ravenswood funeral home—I don’t know who this Australian actor is, but he is CUTE!!; Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue and Shark) as Remy’s dad, Terry—LOVE him and the fact that he and his real life wife play husband and wife on Ravenswood!; Meg Foster as Carla Grunwald, the creepy funeral home “keeper” who also served as a sorority mother on Pretty Little Liars; and Laura Allen (The 4400) as Luke and Olivia’s mother, Rochelle, who also happens to be the prime suspect in her husband’s murder.

If someone can’t tell, I have a crush on the adult men in Ravenswood… even if Uncle Ray looks like a grown up version of Eddie Munster.

But back to my assessment…

Is Ravenswood as good as Pretty Little Liars?  No.  Not yet anyway.

Actually, the two really aren’t anything alike (other than the character of Caleb moving over to Ravenswood and the PLL girls having visited the town of Ravenswood on occasion).  Our favorite Rosewood girls deal with real life problems, like the murder of their best friend, stalkers, and crazy “live” people…  the Ravenswood five are fighting the supernatural and a curse.

But I will applaud Ravenswood on one thing.  The curse is no joke.  And by that, I mean they’ve actually already killed one of the stars of the show.  Even if he/she (I don’t want to give anything away) is still technically on the show because he/she appears as a ghost (remember, supernatural TV…).  Regardless, that doesn’t happen all that often on TV—the stars of a television series are usually safe.

I’m going to stick with Ravenswood, mainly because I’m a Pretty Little Liars fan and I want to see where it goes.  But like I said earlier, it is nowhere near as good as PLL.  We already know the curse, so there’s not a lot of mystery (except for who killed Luke and Olivia’s dad… and why?).  However, there is suspense (like is anyone else going to die and how?).  For that, I’m awarding the new ABC Family teen drama with the JFTV ratingRavenswood isn’t great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds.

What do you think—have you watched Ravenswood?  I’d love to hear from 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
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

New to TV – Fall 2013 (The Seventh and Final Part… For Now)

It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

In today’s seventh and final part (for now), we’re mixing it up with comedy, mystery, fantasy, and a few supernatural dramas…

*****

Reign

The CW Summary: A young Mary Stuart, whose life was spent in the concealment of a monastery, finds herself thrown into a world of seduction and deception following her consignment to live with the dashing Prince Francis of France, who she has been promised to marry.

Mary Stuart (Adelaide Kane, Cora from Teen Wolf), the woman the world would later know as Mary, Queen of Scots, is sent to France with her four friends to formalize her arranged marriage to the French prince, Francis (Toby Regbo).  As with most arranged engagements of the time, it has nothing to do with love, but instead politics and secret agendas.  As one would expect, the prince doesn’t want to get married, especially when he has another lady with whom he is in love… but that’s not to say there’s not an attraction between he and Mary.

And let’s not forget about Francis’ half-brother, Bash (Torrance Coombs, Heartland), who also develops feelings for Mary…. something the queen is well aware of and not very happy about.

But despite it all, Mary readies herself to rule the land.

The new series also stars: Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables) as Queen Catherine; Alan Van Sprang (The Tudors and the Living Dead films) as King Henry II; Rossif Sutherland (Kiefer’s younger brother) as Nostradamus; and Anna Popplewell, Caitlin Stasey, Celina Sinden, and Jenessa Grant as Mary’s ladies-in-waiting.

Reign premieres Thursday, October 17th on the CW.

*****

Ravenswood

ABC Family Summary: Tormented by a deadly curse lingering for generations in a small Pennsylvania town, five strangers search for its origins to put it to an end. 

I’ve made no secret of the fact about how much I love Pretty Little Liars… and now, I *kinda* have a second hour of PLL to watch every week.  How’s that?  Because Ravenswood is a Pretty Little Liars spinoff!

For those of us who watch PLL, we’ve seen a sneak peek into the town of Ravenswood.  And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t wait to see why the entire town gathers at the statue when the bells ring.  Creepy!

But with the spinoff comes the sad realization that Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) is leaving Rosewood for Ravenswood.  Does this mean he and Hanna are breaking up?  Who knows…?

Joining Caleb are four strangers: Miranda, played by Nicole Anderson from Beauty and the Beast; Remy, played by Britne Oldford from American Horror Story: Asylum; Luke, played by Brett Dier from The L.A. Complex; and Olivia, played by Merritt Patterson from Kyle XY.  Together they must dig into the town’s past to uncover its secrets.

Ravenswood premieres Tuesday, October 22nd on ABC Family.

*****

Dracula

NBC Summary: In late 19th century London, a man named Dracula arrives, bringing promises of illuminating the night with the new technology of electricity, a useful tool in his plan to take revenge upon those who had cursed him with immortality centuries earlier. 

Dracula… where our love for vampires truly begins.  Or at least it did for me.

The premise for the new series reminds me of ABC’s Revenge… with bite.  Dracula, also known as Alexander Grayson (see, Grayson… another Revenge similarity), moves to London under the false pretense of bringing modern science applications to the city, but instead plans to seek revenge against all those who wronged him before… centuries before.

And it wouldn’t be Dracula without love, right?  Much like the love story in the ‘90s version of Dark Shadows, Dracula will encounter a woman who inexplicably looks like his dead wife and he falls in love with her all over again.

Oh, and did I mention Alexander/Dracula is played by the sexy Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors)?

The series also stars a few other familiar British and Irish actors: Katie McGrath (Merlin), Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones), and Victoria Smurfit (Trial & Retribution).

Dracula premieres Friday, October 25th on NBC.

*****

Almost Human

FOX Summary: In a world where police officers are partnered with androids, Detective John Kennex, a scarred cop battling PTSD, partners with Dorian, a discontinued droid with unexplained emotions. 

Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the new Star Trek films) spent two years in a coma and he’s now trying to get back on the police force…with his new, futuristic prosthetic leg.

Every officer is assigned an android, or synthetic.  Detective Kennex’s “partner” is Dorian (Michael Ealy from FlashForward and Common Law), a synthetic who wants to be as human as possible.

The new Fox crime drama promises to be different from all the other police procedurals out there.  Each episode deals with a theme or question it is tacking… in a glimpse of what our future might hold.

The series also stars: Lili Taylor (Mystic Pizza, Say Anything, Ransom, The Haunting, etc) as Captain Maldonado; Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Game of Thrones) as Rudy Lom, a technician for the synthetics; Michael Irby (The Unit) as Richard Paul, a detective who’s not thrilled to see Kennex back on the force; and Minka Kelly (Charlie’s Angels and The Roommate) as Valerie Stahl, a human intelligence analyst for the police.

Almost Human premieres Monday, November 4th on FOX.

*****

Enlisted

FOX Summary: An army-set single-camera comedy about three brothers reconnecting with one another.

Pete Hill (Geoff Stults from Seventh Heaven, Happy Town, and The Finder) is the oldest of three brothers.  He also happens to be a super soldier.  But when he messes up, he is assigned a group of misfit soldiers as his punishment—a group that includes his brothers, Randy (Parker Young from Suburgatory) and Derrick (Veronica Mars and Private Practice).

Randy is in love with the Army, while Derrick is jaded with the military and his family.  But these three brothers love each other… they just may not get along all the time.

The comedy also stars Keith David (There’s Something About Mary, the Riddick films, Barbershop, and many other feature films) and Angelique Cabral.

Enlisted premieres Tuesday, November 8th on FOX.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Ravenswood at number one.  That was a no brainer.  I mean, c’mon.  You knew I would rank it first… right?  Considering how much I love Pretty Little Liars and YA mysteries…  Dracula follows at number two.  I have been waiting for this series for what feels like forever!  Finally, NBC has decided to give it to us.  Almost Human falls in at number three.  I’m usually not HUGE on sci-fi type shows, but I do love police procedurals, plus I could stare at Michael Ealy’s eyes for hours.  Fourth goes to Reign.  If the recent years have proven anything, it’s that I LOVE the CW’s programs, even though they target a teen audience.  This means Enlisted comes in last.  But don’t let the placement fool anyone; I’m looking forward to this comedy.  I’m glad FOX is giving Geoff Stults another series!

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

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