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.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – What is Going on at 666 Park Avenue?

Fall Television is officially here!  To celebrate, Amber West and I tuned in and watched two brand new ABC shows this week for our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews—Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue.

“What would you do to have everything you desire?”

Residents at The Drake apartment building in New York City have it all—wealth, success, and good fortune.  But in this building, all good things come at a price.  At 999 Park Avenue (the actual building’s address in the television series), a supernatural force demands possession of its residents’ souls in return.  So, be careful what you wish for tenants!

Based on the books by Gabriella Pierce, 666 Park Avenue stars Terry O’Quinn (Lost) as Gavin Doran, The Drake’s owner.  Gavin is clearly the direct source to the evil inside the building; without saying he’s the devil, he’s definitely the medium between the tenants and their “deals.”  If someone hopes for or wishes for something to Gavin, he can make it happen—kind of like making a deal with the devil.  Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) plays Olivia, Gavin’s beautiful wife.  While we don’t know much about her yet, Olivia also seems to know the building’s and Gavin’s secrets.

Gavin and Olivia Doran…

New to The Drake are Jane (Rachael Taylor, the beautiful Australian actress from movies such as Transformers and Shutter) and her live-in boyfriend Henry (Dave Annable from Brothers & Sisters) The young couple takes the position as the apartment building’s new managers, but since Henry has a “real” job with the mayor’s office, Jane does most of the work around The Drake.  Now, Gavin has already stated his intentions for Jane to his wife—he will use Jane to get to Henry, whatever that means.  From the early stages, it looks like this “using” will consist of allowing Jane to “see” things around The Drake… by way of hauntings and visions.

Jane and Henry immediately meet Brian Leonard (Robert Buckley from One Tree Hill) and his wife Louise (Mercedes Masohn from The Finder), a few of The Drake’s tenants.  Brian is a struggling playwright and his wife is a recently successful photographer… and while we’re not quite sure if the Leonards have made a deal with Gavin or not, we do see the building take action against Louise in episode two AND it’s clear from the beginning that Brian is falling victim to the evil ways of seduction… but I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t seen it yet.

They also meet Nona (Samantha Logan), the youngest tenant at The Drake (that we know of).   Nona has a special gift—not only does she know everything that’s going on at the apartment building, she can also see into the future by possessing others’ precious keepsakes.  Nona warned Jane about the thief inside the building; but, little does Jane know that the thief herself is the one who told her all about the robberies.

Anyway, The Drake is a large building and there have been other tenants introduced as well; however, I’m quite certain some will never be heard from or seen again…

Jane and Henry…

Now, I watch a lot of television; therefore, in order for a new series to really grab me, I pay attention to more than just the actors and story.  I’ll admit, the words used to describe 666 Park Avenue interested me before I even watched the pilot episode—words like sexy, mysterious, and chilling.  But, I was still looking for more…

The first thing that grabbed me was the dialogue.  I personally love rich dialogue, but I particularly enjoy dialogue when used as an element of foreshadowing…

“The essential truth to who we are—we all want something.”  Gavin
“This place will keep you on your toes.”  Nona
“With ambition, there is risk.” Gavin
“You shouldn’t have come here.  They’re never going to let you go.”  Mrs. Barlow

Another aspect that hooked me is the—wait for it—elements of horror.  For the loyal readers of The Ooo Factor, you know that I love the horror genre, whether it is slashers or thrillers.  666 Park Avenue has just the right combination of both.  It has a supernatural component with the occasional appearance of ghosts, or the mysterious opening and closing of curtains, but it also has a spooky and psychological thrill feel to it.  Vanessa Williams mentioned in a TV interview that I saw that horror lovers would appreciate the collection of horror themes used in the new series.  So far, we’ve already witnessed the writers pay homage to one of the greatest horror writers of our time—Alfred Hitchcock—with the use of the “birds” and the Tippi Hedren reference in the dialogue.  Here’s to hoping there will be more…

Usually when I review a new television program, I can’t help but award it with the SSTV rating; but I’m breaking away from the norm today.  That’s right—I’m awarding 666 Park Avenue with the MacTV rating!  Turn off the lights, light a candle, and curl up on the sofa with a steaming bowl of Shells-N-Cheese and a glass of red wine as you watch the mystery at 999 Park Avenue unfold…

I really hope I’m not jumping the gun with this one… 666 Park Avenue is my cup of tea—heck, it might just be my new American Horror Story.

Oh, and Terry O’Quinn’s creepiness is brilliant!

666 Park Avenue… where the simple clink of a champagne glass is just as solid as signing a binding contract in blood.

Did you watch 666 Park Avenue?  How would you rate it?  If not, are you interested?   I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC’s Last Resort.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a HUGE Andre Braugher fan!

Come back next week when Amber and I review something… probably something new!

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

Tele-Tuesday: Topnotch Teen TV, the Supernatural

With the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel, Football Sweetheart, I thought it would be fun to use this week’s and next week’s Tele-Tuesday posts to showcase a few of my favorite YA and teen television series on TV today.  I may be past my teen years, but these programs have what it takes to keep this thirty-something tuning in week after week.

First up, the supernatural.  While Football Sweetheart doesn’t have any vampires, werewolves, witches, or anything of the sort, I still love the supernatural element. Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever tire of vampires and werewolves and we’ll always have a place for them on the television screen.  But what do these shows have besides the supernatural that keeps us coming back for more?  The pretty people…

Teen Wolf, MTV

Scott, the wolf
Derek, the alpha
Jackson, the jock
Allison, the girlfriend
Lydia, the mean girl

The Vampire Diaries, CW

Damon, the bad brother
Elena, the heroine
Stefan, the good brother
Tyler, the hybrid
Caroline, vampire “barbie”
Matt, the human
Alaric, the hunter
Jeremy, the little brother
Bonnie, the witch

Do you watch Teen Wolf or The Vampire Diaries?  What do you watch on television, if anything, that is geared toward the teen audience?  What keeps you coming back for more?  The story?  The pretty people?  I’d love to hear from you! 

And speaking of the pretty people, who keeps you coming back for more?

Come back next week when we visit two of our favorite YA mysteries on TV today…

Tele-Tuesday: The Return of MTV’s Teen Wolf

On a Tele-Tuesday post last year, I introduced MTV’s new summer TV series: Teen Wolf.  We all remember the 1985 comedy starring Michael J. Fox, right?  MTV promised to use the generalized idea behind the ’80s Teen Wolf, but compared their story to a transformed version with a darker side, similar to the CW’s The Vampire Diaries.

First, a few similarities:

In 1985, Michael J. Fox played Scott Howard; today, Tyler Posey plays Scott McCall.

MTV’s Teen Wolf – Scott McCall

In 1985, Scott Howard’s best friend was an oddball named Stiles; today, Scott McCall’s best friend is an awkward oddball named Stiles (played by Dillon O’Brien).

MTV’s Teen Wolf – Stiles

In 1985, Scott Howard wasn’t the best basketball player on the team, not until he transformed into his wolf-self; today, Scott McCall isn’t anywhere close to the best lacrosse player on the squad, until he endures the cursed bite, that is.

Now, to a few differences:

In 1985, Scott Howard suffered from a family curse, a long line of male werewolves that sometimes skipped a generation; today, Scott McCall is bitten by a werewolf while out in the woods searching for the remains of a dead girl with his best friend.

MTV’s Teen Wolf – Scott “wolfed” out

In 1985, Scott Howard show-boats around as his wolf-self; today, Scott McCall works desperately to keep his curse secret from everyone, excluding his BFF, Stiles.

In 1985, audiences laughed along with Scott Howard in Teen Wolf; today, viewers and Scott McCall cringe as another person in the community is brutally attacked by a supposed animal.

More Wolf

MTV’s Teen Wolf pleasantly surprised me.  First of all, like most other things MTV, the show is geared toward the younger audience or YA as we’ve become accustomed to in the literary world.  I may be in my thirties, but I like most Young Adult television series, and more importantly I really enjoy Teen Wolf.  And it’s not just me – my guy doesn’t miss an episode either.

Moreover, the show’s claim to focus on the mythology of the werewolf and the darkness of the curse has played a major role in the television series.  If The Vampire Diaries has taught the TV rating’s world anything, it’s that teens (as well as whoever is watching) prefer the dark twists and storylines – if we want comedy, there are sitcoms for that.

During the first season, Teen Wolf introduced the idea of the alpha and beta wolf.  An alpha is the strongest, most powerful, and the most deadly kind of werewolf.  Scott McCall and Derek Hale (played by Tyler Hoechlin from 7th Heaven) are beta wolves.   The Alpha bit Scott, and wants Scott to join his pack – insists actually.

MTV’s Teen Wolf – Derek Hale

The Alpha is obviously a nasty and horrible werewolf, and Scott wants nothing to do with this violent lifestyle.  Will Derek help him?  Or is Derek setting Scott up?  Let’s say a little bit of both – nothing like a taste of both worlds to make Derek even more lickable – I mean, likable.

As with any supernatural drama, Teen Wolf also offers a bit of werewolf on werewolf in the form of fight scenes.  While it wasn’t as exciting as a Salvatore brother fight (Yes, I’m talking about Stefan and Damon, ladies!), it held our attention and stayed true to MTV’s promise of a darker rendition of the cinematic classic.

Like most Young Adult features, or really any television show for that matter, Teen Wolf also has the love story: the typical nerdy high school boy (Scott) who wants to lead a normal life and date the beautiful new girl (Alison Argent played by Crystal Reed).  Not interesting enough?

MTV’s Teen Wolf – Alison Argent

How about a forbidden love…  Did I mention that Scott’s dream girl’s father is the lead hunter out to kill the werewolves in the area?  And that she too is to train and fulfill her family legacy of hunters?  Only Alison doesn’t realize at first that she hails from generations of hunters or that her boyfriend is a wolf.  But when she does, will she choose her family or Scott?

And let’s not forget that Scott’s humiliation of “top-jock” Jackson Whittemore (played by Colton Haynes from The Gates) on the lacrosse field now drives Jackson to discover exactly what Scott is hiding.  Jackson knows that Scott didn’t pick up his super strength overnight by hitting the weight room.  Once Jackson learns Scott’s secret, he decides he wants a “piece” of the wolf himself.

MTV’s Teen Wolf – Jackson

What exactly was Jackson’s deal with Derek?  We all know after the final battle Derek assumes the role of Alpha; will Jackson join Derek’s pack?

Speaking of Derek’s pack, he wasn’t the one to bite Scott.  Is it now safe to assume it will definitely be Scott versus Derek in season two?

And what about Lydia (played by Holland Roden), the annoying girl admired by Stiles but who barely gives anyone besides Jackson the time of day?  The original Alpha did attack her before his demise, but Scott apparently gave her a clean bill of health when he noticed her marks weren’t healing as quickly as his wolf bite did.  Is she in the clear or is she too now a member of a pack?

MTV’s Teen Wolf – Lydia

I smell some major wolf action in season two…

Season two premieres Sunday, June 3rd on MTV, following the MTV Movie Awards.

What do you think?  Did you watch the first season of Teen Wolf?  Do you plan to continue with season two?  Do you prefer the 1985 comedy or the newer, darker version?  I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FabOoolousness – The Boo Factor: Dark Shadows

We don’t go to the movie theater often.  When we do actually go to the cinema, we rarely pick a flick on its opening weekend.  But at least once a year there is a movie release that I absolutely can’t miss — a film that I have been anxiously awaiting for months.

Readers of my blog know that I love scary movies – horror, slashers, psychological thrillers, classics, B-rated films, etc.  These are “my movies” according to my guy, and he usually insists that I see these with my girlfriends.

Two years ago, the film was the Nightmare on Elm Street remake starring Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, and Thomas Dekker.  My girls and I rushed out early on a Saturday morning to witness the “new” Freddy Krueger terrorize the teens of Springwood, Ohio.

In 2011, we again met at the theater for a Saturday morning viewing of Colin Farrell as the sexy vampire Jerry Dandridge in the remake of Fright Night – in 3-D no less.  As with Nightmare, this vampy flick put a new twist on the popular original which is exactly the kind of remake I appreciate (in most instances, not in The Clash of the Titans’ case).

But I digress…

Around December of last year, I knew exactly which film my girlfriends and I would see on its premiere weekend this year – Dark Shadows.

Dark Shadows is not new; it has been around for decades, literally.  In the ’60s and ’70s, Dark Shadows aired on the ABC network as a soap opera.  Dan Curtis’ melodramatic soap put the supernatural on the map – vampires, ghosts, werewolves, zombies, witches, etc.  It also featured time travel and aspects of parallel universes, something that is extremely popular on TV today.

The soap opera launched into a phenom craze of its own, and MGM released two feature films based on the popular hit in the ’70s: House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows.  Since then, the Dark Shadows franchise has grown to also include magazines, comics, and books.

In 1991, Dark Shadows aired on NBC as a primetime drama as a reimagining of the original series (also created by Dan Curtis).  The “new” Dark Shadows didn’t last past its freshman year, but the story grabbed a certain teenage girl in Midland, Texas who never missed an episode.  Yes, I’m talking about me…  Even today, I have my DVR set to record the ’91 series anytime it airs in syndication on SyFy or Chiller.

The Dark Shadows television series was almost brought back to life in 2004 by the WB, but the network passed on the pilot starring Alec Newman and other familiar faces: Marley Shelton (Valentine), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Alexander Gould and Martin Donovan (Weeds), Kelly Hu (Nash Bridges), Ivana Milicevic (Head over Heels), and Blair Brown (Fringe).  I am seriously bummed that this series didn’t make it.

So what makes Dark Shadows special?  Vampire Barnabas Collins

As if it wasn’t enough that Tim Burton is bringing Dark Shadows to the big screen, he cast one of the best actors of our time in the role of Barnabas Collins — the fabOoolous Johnny Depp.

Barnabas Collins, 2012

I’m a fan of vampires in general (the dark kind, not the lovey-dovey kind – yes, I’m referring to Twilight here).  The trailer has me worried that the film will be a bit “campy” for me, but I’m putting all preconceived notions aside and am looking forward to my movie date this weekend.  After all, Mr. Depp isn’t the only star cast in this cult classic: we also have Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz (Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass), Helena Bonham Carter, and Jackie Earle Haley (the “new” Freddy Krueger) to just name a few.

It’s also rumored that a few of the soap opera stars from the ’60s and ’70s will play a cameo in the film, something I truly appreciate.  Did everyone notice Chris Sarandon’s cameo in Fright Night (2011)?  Loved it – the “old” vampire Jerry killed by the “new” vampire Jerry.  Brilliant!

I don’t know what to expect from this movie, but I know I’m looking forward to it.  With the exception of The Rum Diary (in my opinion), everything Johnny Depp touches turns to gold.  Surely Dark Shadows will be another of his masterful character pieces and will leave all of us applauding him once again.  The man is simply fantastic.  Partnered again with Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, how can it fail?

Are you a Dark Shadows fan?  Did you prefer the soap or the ’91 retelling?  Do you plan to see the movie?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Suc-u-what?

This week Amber West and I flip channels over to SyFy to review two of their science fiction dramas on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday — a revisit to the soon to end series, Eureka, and a look at the Canadian hit picked up by U.S. television, Lost Girl. 

What if we made a habit of waking up next to dead lovers?

That’s the story of Bo’s life (Anna Silk) — her life as a succubus.  Of course she doesn’t know what she’s doing or what her powers are called; she only knows that she has the tendency to kill those she is intimate with.  Over the years, Bo has learned to keep a stash of fake identification documents handy and to flee her whereabouts at a moment’s notice to keep her secret safe.

Bo "sucking" the life out of someone deserving, I'm sure...

But Bo’s life is about to change forever.

After saving a human girl’s life (Kenzi, played by Ksenia Solo) from an overly aggressive man looking to take advantage of her, the human actually sticks by Bo and the two become fast friends and roommates.  Throughout the investigation into the dead man, Bo also meets Dyson (played by Kristen Holden-Reid) and Hale (played by K.C. Collins), two detectives who understand her more than anyone has ever understood her in her entire life.

Dyson and Hale

Courtesy of Dyson and Hale, Bo finally learns all about her supernatural powers and about the Fae organization.  Dyson and Hale also belong in this world – Dyson is a wolf shape-shifter and Hale is a siren.

The Fae is broken into two groups — the Light and the Dark — the good and the evil.  The leaders of the Fae world insist that Bo choose a side, but she fights for her freedom and remains neutral — a rare oddity in the Fae organization.

Succubus or no succubus, Bo can take care of herself...

Regardless, Bo has finally found a home.

Lost Girl follows Bo as she attempts to control her power and balance her supernatural and human lives.  She works alongside a combination of supernatural beings and human friends as a private investigator, hired by those who can’t seem to find help anywhere else — human or supernatural.

Kenzi works as Bo’s partner, and uses her history as a scam artist and her “street” talents to their advantage.  The two constantly rely on Dyson and Hale, not only for their access to the police department but also because of their knowledge of the Fae worlds.  Also helping the team from time to time is: Lauren (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor with valuable knowledge of the supernatural Fae organization; and Trick (Rick Howland), the owner of a town pub where Light and Dark Fae comingle.

Bo and Kenzi

In addition to previously not knowing about her powers and the Fae existence, Bo also doesn’t know anything about her birth parents.  She now understands that either one or both belong to the Fae world — her mother could be another succubus; her father could be an incubus; or her mother and father could both be “sex chi eaters” — regardless, Bo wants to know more; and for whatever reason, Dyson and Trick are keeping her past from her.

Lost Girl has aired in Canada for the past few television seasons, and has been renewed for a third.  The SyFy network recently acquired the rights to air the first two seasons, and the series premiered this winter.

A little Bo-candy for the guys...

The succubus storyline is a nice twist on the usual vampire, werewolf, and witch filled supernatural TV programs, plus the special effects are great.  Perhaps it’s because the series originated outside the U.S., but the language and sexual situations are far more risqué than what we’re accustomed to here in the States.

One might wonder just how much the sexual element plays into the story, and that would be a lot.  See, Bo uses sex with Dyson to curb her succubus cravings and to heal.  In bed, where she’d normally kill a human, Dyson can take it.  It may drain him, but he keeps her satisfied.  And, to test her ability on controlling her powers, Bo played a little sexual game with Lauren.  It seems Bo can’t make up her mind — Dyson or Lauren; Lauren or Dyson?

Bo needs just a little of Dyson to heal or cure her cravings...

So how does Lost Girl rank?  For now, we’re giving the SyFy series a solid JFTV rating; like Bo, every once in a while we need to satisfy our succubus cravings (only ours come in the form of chocolate miniatures).  The show might rank higher, but considering we’re not current on the episodes and tend to let them stockpile on the DVR queue tells us that it’s not quite a MacTV favorite.

However, give us some more shirtless Dyson, and Lost Girl could move up the WatchWed food chain overnight…

Some eye-candy for the girls...

What do you think? Have you watched Lost Girl?  Who’s your favorite character and why?  If you could have any one supernatural power, what would it be and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Before we go, give Lost Girl a chance — don’t give up after watching the pilot.  The episodes get much better…

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see her continued thoughts about the soon to be gone Eureka.

Come back next week when Amber and I review something fun and interesting… 

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

Tele-Tuesday: A Pick Per Night 2012, The Results

The results of our first Reader’s Choice Tele-Tuesday polls are in.  Last week, we asked our readers one simple question: if you could watch only one show per night, what would it be?

If we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that as time changes, people change.  Last March, we blogged about our 2011 Pick Per Night television series.  But because the networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of twelve months, our tastes as viewers change as well.  While some of these programs still air today, most of our nightly favorites have changed because of the revolving door of television series.

Did our picks from 2011 win in 2012?  Did the Tele-Tuesday readers agree with our picks?  Find out today in A Pick Per Night 2012.

Monday: Pretty Little Liars

The series begins when a teenager’s remains (Alison) are found one year after her mysterious disappearance.  This event brings together her four former best friends (Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna), who had drifted apart following that fateful night.  Alison was the glue that held the girls together, the leader of the high school clique.  As the episodes progress, viewers see flashbacks of Alison’s viciousness and many of the secrets that she holds over everyone’s heads – not a nice girl.

After attending Alison’s funeral, the four friends reunite outside the chapel when each of their cell phones ring – they’ve received their first threatening text message from “A” – and the mystery begins: Who killed Alison? And, who is “A”?

Each of the girls have oodles of conflict surrounding them individually, even without “A” threatening their every move.  Throw in the suspicions the police and their parents have regarding their involvement in Alison’s murder, and the lies they continuously try to hide despite “A’s” best efforts, and Pretty Little Liars doesn’t bore its viewers – it has twists and turns week in and week out.

Reader’s Choice: Castle.  We’re really not surprised that Castle won Monday night with 32% of the vote; really, we’re not.  But we like to go against the grain sometimes, and that’s why Tele-Tuesday picked a show that we feel more people should check out with Pretty Little Liars (which earned only 3% of the vote).  We thought Hawaii Five-0 would come in second, but that honor went to Other with 24% of the vote.

Tuesday: Justified

Everyone has heard of a justified shooting, right?  Well, justified shootings are Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens’ forte.  Despite being a loose cannon himself, Raylan appears quite normal when compared to his Kentucky kin.  Entangled with really BAD criminals, Harlan County relies on Raylan as does the Marshal Service, his ex-wife, his ex-girlfriend, and his con-ex-best friend, Boyd Crowder.

Need a reason to tune in?  Boyd Crowder is definitely one of the best antagonists on television.

Need another reason to watch?  Timothy Olyphant.

Enough said.

Reader’s Choice: NCIS.  Last year, NCIS’s sister program (NCIS: LA) made our Pick Per Night blog post, but this year 29% of our readers chose NCIS as the favorite.  Our Tele-Tuesday pick, Justified, came in second with 19% of the vote.

Wednesday: Revenge

Revenge follows Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne, a young and beautiful addition to the rich and prestigious Hamptons.   However, Emily’s arrival isn’t her first trip to the neighborhood… when she was a little girl, Emily (then known as Amanda) and her father lived in the quaint beach house next door to her father’s boss and his mansion.  Late one night, Amanda’s father was ripped away from her for crimes that later sent him to prison for the rest of his life.

Not necessarily believing in his innocence, Amanda rebelled and spent time incarcerated herself.  The day Amanda was released from prison, she was greeted by a stranger with life changing news: her father was dead, he had been framed, and she was now filthy rich.

Amanda assumes a new identity as Emily Thorne and sets her plan in motion vowing revenge against those responsible – primarily the Grayson family. Each week, Emily destroys someone involved with her father’s demise.

Does it get much sweeter than Revenge?

Reader’s Choice: Criminal Minds.  Last year we would have agreed with the 25% of readers who feel that Criminal Minds is the best show on Wednesday nights.  But that was before the second place winner (Revenge at 22%) hit the airwaves…

Thursday: The Vampire Diaries

What makes The Vampire Diaries so successful?  For one, the allure of the vampire will always seduce a television audience.  Secondly, production cast perhaps the most beautiful ensemble on TV.  And, most importantly, the writing is absolutely stellar.

Maybe some of us tune in to The Vampire Diaries weekly to drool over the beautiful people (particularly vampires Damon and Klaus), but most of us watch because of the writing.  Without giving too much away, the writing on The Vampire Diaries is enough to attract all ages.  Really. It is.

The first season focuses on the history of vampires and witches in Mystic Falls.  Season two continues with the Katherine/doppelganger storyline and also introduces the werewolf curse.  The suspense, sexual tension, and the twists and turns involving every character are perhaps some of the best on television.  We’re smack dab in the middle of season three now, watching as a resurrected witch decides the fate of her family of vampires and we can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for us!

Reader’s Choice: BonesBones is a Tele-Tuesday favorite around here, and came in first place on Thursday night’s with 18% of the vote.  The Vampire Diaries and Person of Interest tied for second place with 16% each.

Friday: Supernatural

Brothers Sam & Dean Winchester hunt – not the usual game like ducks and deer – but to save the world from demons, vampires, shape-shifters, the Apocalypse, the leviathan, the devil, the mother of all evil, etc…

Sam and Dean are bad boys: Sam has been possessed by the devil and has enjoyed demon’s blood as a power source; Dean drinks (alcohol) heavily and he is promiscuous.  Both brothers are on the FBI’s most wanted list (it has nothing to do with their impersonating an officer repeatedly, and the trunk of their car resembles an arsenal of men at war.  Why?  Because they are at war – a war of hunting and killing the supernatural evils plaguing the world today.

Did I mention the music?  The music definitely deserves a best supporting character nod at some point…  “Carry on my wayward son.”

Reader’s Choice: Other.  Friday night is a big night on television, yet Other still won with 22% of the readers’ votes.  Grimm tied with Supernatural for second place with 19% each.

Saturday: The Firm

The Firm television series picks up ten years after Mitch McDeere turns in his law firm’s documents to the FBI, proving they were overbilling clients (the plot from the novel and the movie).  The story continues as these said documents lead the FBI to take over the law firm and uncover piles of other files incriminating the mob, who has in turn set their sights on Mitch and his family as retribution.

It seems each chapter (episode) will feature bits and pieces of three different plots: a minor storyline, an ongoing storyline, and one major storyline.

The minor:  Mitch will represent a new individual case each week, like when he takes on a dirty judge.

The ongoing:  The mafia will follow and chase after Mitch and his family for his actions in Memphis (fallout from the movie plot).

The major:  Mitch will continue to research the Sarah Holt case – a client on trial for murdering an older woman while in her care.  This story qualifies as the major plot line because unbeknownst to Mitch, his new firm is interested in THIS case.  The firm isn’t interested in Miss Holt, the woman Mitch represents; they are interested in protecting their client – Noble Insurance.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away for those who haven’t been enjoying chapter after chapter with me, but we do see a glimpse of truth behind the mystery in each episode.  The Firm doesn’t keep us guessing, not completely anyway, week after week like some frustrating shows.

Reader’s Choice: Other.  There’s not much to choose from on Saturday nights, and Other won outright with 75%.  The Firm came in second with 25%.

Sunday: The Walking Dead

The supernatural element is taking over the television world today, and AMC joins this phenomenon by telling the story of a small group of people working feverishly to survive a widespread zombie epidemic in the great state of Georgia in The Walking Dead.  The series begins with small town sheriff Rick Grimes waking from a coma to discover he is alone in every sense of the word: the hospital is desolate, the town looks like a post-apocalyptic war zone, and his family has vanished.

The Walking Dead is shot without the vibrant colors of Hawaii Five-0 and CSI: Miami, but while not black and white, still appears dark and gloomy in relation to the current state of events.  The episodes are not for those with weak stomachs and are filled with suspense, leaving us hanging on by the seat of our pants.  Not every character is likable, yet we find ourselves hoping that the walkers don’t bite anyone else.

And most importantly, not every character is safe from the walkers…

Reader’s Choice: Other.  Yes, with all of our options on Sunday nights, 25% of our readers voted on Other.  The Walking Dead came in second at 22%.

Did your favorite win?  If not, what is it and tell us why it should have?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Many noticed that our poll last week only consisted of dramas.  In a few weeks (next week we’re going to introduce a few new shows coming in April), we will poll which comedies reign supreme today.  Which major network will have the most watched sitcoms?  Which sitcom will come out on top?  We hope to see you then…

 

Tele-Tuesday: Supernaturally Yours – Warlocks

We had so much fun with our last blog collaboration (Right to Remain Dreamy – our favorite men with and without badges), that we decided to take another stab at sharing our favorites – this time, we’re dealing in the supernatural.

Supernaturals and paranormals are taking over the world, aren’t they?  Who isn’t familiar with at least one of these book series, movies, and television adaptations: Twilight, Harry Potter, The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, Being Human, Alphas, I am Number Four, Teen Wolf, Merlin, Supernatural and Charmed?

The popularity of the supernatural is what led me to choose warlocks, well that and Stephanie Nelson had already selected witches.

By definition, a warlock is a traitor or oath-breaker; however, many commonly relate a warlock to the male version of the witch, since witches are stereotypically women.   Warlocks and wizards are oftentimes confused because they share many of the same traits and characteristics.  This similarity has led to debates regarding whether or not the character of Harry Potter is a wizard or a warlock.  Some argue wizard, because he’s not evil – but who’s to judge?

A warlock has the ability to cast a spell, or magical action, by reciting an incantation or by performing a ritual using herbs, potions, and amulets.  A warlock can also conjure the dead (necromancy), which might be one reason why many view warlocks as evil.

Because many view witchcraft as evil, mankind has attempted to eliminate witches and warlocks for centuries (think the Salem Witch Trials and witch hunters).  But I don’t view a warlock as evil.  I actually think a warlock is sexy, literally and figuratively, which is why I jumped at the chance to feature a few of my television and film favorites in this edition of Supernaturally Yours.

Enjoy!

*****

Harry Dresden (Paul Blackthorne) – The Dresden Files

Harry Dresden resides in Chicago where he consults with the police department and performs individual consulting gigs involving suspicious (paranormal/supernatural) circumstances.   Harry was raised by his uncle after the deaths of his parents (his mother was a witch and his father a magician), where he learns to utilize his finely crafted warlock skills and wizardry.

*****

Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) – The Witches of Eastwick

Daryl Van Horne is the mysterious, wealthy, and sexy man who moves to the town of Eastwick and mesmerizes three of its local women – Alex, Jane, and Sukie.  But Daryl’s arrival brings more than companionship for these ladies – he opens them up to using their witchcraft.  Daryl is the ultimate ladies man, sharing the love and attraction of three beautiful women.  But he’s also not afraid to wreak havoc on anyone who protests his actions or stands in his way (love the famous cherry scene).  Daryl puts his powers to use one final time just before the women decide to never see him again, when he impregnates each and every one of them, leaving his warlock legacy intact for years to come.

*****

Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross) – Eastwick

This Darryl Van Horne is television’s counterpart to Jack Nicholson’s character for the short-lived Eastwick series.  Same concept, similar stories – Darryl, a mysterious, wealthy, and sexy man moves to the town of Eastwick and woos three of the local women who are unaware they possess a secret witchcraft – Joanna, Kat, and Roxie.  Unfortunately, the series ends before we know Darryl’s fate, but Paul Gross definitely does Jack Nicholson justice.

*****

Pogue Perry (Taylor Kitsch) – The Covenant

Tyler Simms (Chace Crawford) – The Covenant

The Covenant didn’t get much as far as positive critical acclaim, but I personally enjoyed the story of the five beautiful teenage warlocks (Caleb, Pogue, Reid, Tyler, and Sebastian) fighting to protect their families and keep their secrets and powers.  All of the boys qualify as eye-candy, but I believe Pogue and Tyler rank at the top of the list.

*****

Jake Armstrong (Chris Zylka) – The Secret Circle

The Secret Circle follows a group of teenage witches and warlocks who are bound for protection.  But when one member dies, his brother returns to town and automatically becomes the sixth member of the circle – Jake.  While I wasn’t expecting a supposed main character to die so suddenly (and early in the series), I am most grateful for the addition of Jake.  Jake is a bad boy warlock, who for the longest time uses his knowledge of witches to hunt and kill them alongside other dangerous witch hunters.  But once Jake meets Cassie, his intentions change and audiences can now fall in love with his smirks.

*****

Brendan (Michael Weatherly) – Charmed

Along with Supernatural, Charmed may be my favorite supernatural series of all time.  One of the first warlocks we meet, Brendan, just happens to also be one of the most popular characters on TV today (on NCIS, where he’s of course not a warlock).  Brendan asks the Halliwell sisters for help so that he doesn’t fall into his family’s curse and become an evil warlock like his brothers.  Why?  Because if Brendan joins his brothers – they will become the “evil power of three” to offset the Halliwell sisters “good”. 

The earlier seasons (this is from season one) were always my favorites…

Wyatt Halliwell (Wes Ramsey) – Charmed

As Charmed moves forward, Piper and Leo have two sons – Wyatt and Chris.  Once baby Wyatt grows into manhood, his sexy good looks overcome the fact that he’s destined at one point to be the ruler of the underworld.  Because Wyatt is a baby or toddler most of the series, there’s not a lot of story to tell here – other than I loved the flash-forward scenes where we could see adult Wyatt in the future and enjoy his long locks and scruffy face.

*****

John Van Owen (Sean Faris) – The Brotherhood 2: Young Warlocks

In the middle...

John is a transfer student at a private academy who makes friends with a beautiful girl. Sounds like a typical teenage movie, doesn’t it?  To fend off a group of angry jocks jealous of his new female companion, John joins forces with a group of warlocks.  But like many innocent teens, John doesn’t quite understand his newfound powers or what the others have planned for him and his black magic.

*****

Warlock (Julian Sands) – Warlock

A warlock from the 1600’s, Warlock, is cast forward in time to 1980’s Los Angeles, and a witch hunter follows him through the portal.  Warlock is taken in by a nice young girl, who later partners with the witch hunter after Warlock places an aging spell on her.  This warlock is actually evil…but enticing enough for sequels.  He may not be my perfect idea for eye-candy, but Sands did bring the warlock to the big screen and was probably the first warlock that I thought of…

*****

One might ask why I didn’t list Adam Conant (Thomas Dekker, The Secret Circle), Chris Halliwell (Drew Fuller, Charmed), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Merlin (Colin Morgan), but our list was supposed to be somewhat relatable to eye-candy or the hot factor, and while these four are very powerful warlocks, they just don’t quite do it for me.

What do you think?  Who’s your favorite warlock – books, film, or television?  Who did I forget?  If you could, would you practice witchcraft?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the next Supernaturally Yours post, Fae by MG Ainsworth.

And just in case you want to see more of….

Liz Schulte – Demons
Cait Lavender – Werewolves
Elizabeth Sharpe – Vampires
Sarah Ross – Angels
M.D. Christie – Ghosts
Christine Powell – Elves
Stephanie Nelson – Witches

Friday FabOoolousness – Kait Nolan, Seeing Red

I first met Kait Nolan online in early 2011.  She was actually one of the first writers to help me understand the Twitterverse and practically held my hand as I started my new journey into social media.

Author Kait Nolan

Not only is Kait friendly, she is multi-talented and strives to assist other writers on a daily basis.  First and foremost, she writes paranormal romance (YA and adult) – the reason we’re featuring her today here at Friday FabOoolousness.  Kait also blogs, sharing tasty meals and gluten-free treats with the rest of us.  But perhaps even more impressive than her writing and culinary skills, is the fact that Kait manages a self-created online writing community and challenge, A Round of Words in Eighty Days, or Row80 to the “rowers”.

I’m a proud Row80 participant, and I recommend it to any and all writers – published and non-published.  Heck, I would shout it from the rooftops if I didn’t think my neighbors would call the cops.  Row80 is one of the best communities of writers on the Internet today.  Rowers encourage others, support one another, and help each other to the finish line.  All because of Kait…

Did I mention that Kait has one of the best personalities and senses of humor out there?  Don’t believe me?

Just read her bio:

Kait Nolan is stuck in an office all day, sometimes juggling all three of her jobs at once with the skill of a trained bear—sometimes with a similar temperament. After hours, she uses her powers for good, creating escapist fiction. The work of this Mississippi native is packed with action, romance, and the kinds of imaginative paranormal creatures you’d want to sweep you off your feet…or eat your boss.  When she’s not working or writing, she’s in her kitchen, heading up a revolution to Retake Homemade from her cooking blog, Pots and Plots.

Red:

Every fairy tale has a dark side…

Elodie Rose has a secret. Any day, she’ll become a wolf and succumb to the violence that’s cursed her family for centuries. For seventeen years she’s hidden who and what she is. But now someone knows the truth and is determined to exterminate her family line. Living on borrowed time in the midst of this dangerous game of hide and seek, the last thing Elodie needs to do is fall in love. But Sawyer is determined to protect her, and the brooding, angry boy is more than what he seems. Can they outsmart a madman? And if they survive, will they find a way to beat the curse for good?

*****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

Oh heck yeah.  I’ve been telling stories to entertain myself since I was knee-high, as I was the only girl in a neighborhood of boys who thought I had cooties (silly boys).  I couldn’t imagine a better job than telling stories for a living, so I set my cap on that when I was twelve years old, and other than a handful of detours for stuff like, you know, college and master’s degrees, I haven’t wavered.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

There’s no one place.  A snatch of conversation.  Random articles from the net.  A scrap of a fairy tale or myth.  Dreams.  Sometimes just a random “what if…?” thought.

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Nalini Singh, J.R. Ward, Cassandra Clare, Lilith Saintcrow, Maggie Stiefvater, Nora Roberts, Marjorie M. Liu, and Madeleine L’Engle.   This list could get REALLY long…

The cover art for Red is amazing.  Did you design it yourself?

Oh good God no.  I hired a professional cover designer, Robin Ludwig of Robin Ludwig Designs.  She’s amazingly talented and has done all but one of my covers.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing your protagonist Elodie Rose and why?

I often do, but in this particular case, I had the cover art done early on, so I really had the girl from the cover in my head.

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn.  We’re watching Return of the King on Bluray.

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn; I really liked him in The Perfect Murder.

In addition to writing, you publish a weekly food blog titled “Pots and Plots” and you founded the Round of Words in Eighty Days Challenge, more commonly known as Row80 to the Twitterverse.  How do you find the time? 

I am freakishly organized and possibly need an intervention for my addiction to lists.  But mostly it’s that you find time for what you love.  I’m going to cook anyway and calculate all the nutrition information for my meals, which I am gonna write down anyway in order to remember and make it again. It doesn’t take much more time to take pics and put everything up at Pots and Plots—which I actually started so I could access all my favorite recipes from anywhere without needing to take my recipe box.  As for ROW80, well each round I’m joined by ten fabulous sponsors who help me crack the whip, I mean inspire everybody to keep going.

What other hobbies do you enjoy that we don’t know about?

I’m into photography, horseback riding (which I haven’t had an opportunity to do in ages), and hiking.

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television… What are your favorite television programs airing today? 

NCIS, Bones, Once Upon a Time, Grimm, and Rizzoli & Isles

What is your favorite movie all-time?

It is so not possible to answer that question.  Pride and Prejudice (BBC mini-series), Star Wars the original trilogy only, and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

Sour Patch Kids and popcorn—butter please!

You write paranormal romance.  Name your favorite book, movie, and television series featuring the paranormal. 

Book: Again, not a fair question to try to narrow it down, but I suppose by dint of how many times I’ve read it, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

Movie: Ok, I really had to think about this one because everything that comes to mind is not actually paranormal, it’s fantasy.  I think I’d have to say Stardust because it’s a combination of both.  Or maybe Xmen.  Love Wolverine.

TV series: Um, Buffy, hello?  Followed closely by the first four seasons of Supernatural.  Love me some Dean.

Dean Winchester...enough said.

Before we go, do you believe in fairy tales?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…In all fairy tales there is a grain of truth.  Who are we to say which grain is true?

*****

Need more Kait?  Catch up with her at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads accounts.

Do you have a question for Kait?  Have you read Red – if so, share your thoughts.  What’s your favorite fairy tale – actual tale, TV adaptation, or movie and why?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Before we go, remember to grab your copy of Red if you haven’t already!  Available in ebook from Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DESony, the iBookstore, Diesel Ebooks, XinXii, and All Romance EBooks.

Also available in paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository (free international shipping!) and Createspace.

*****

And last but not least, here is a taste of a few of Kait’s other stories…enjoy!

Paranormal beings exist, among us, around us. Their strictest rule: keep the secret.

Forsaken by Shadow

When Embry’s father is kidnapped by human scientists and the Council of Races makes a firm decision of non-intervention, enforcer Embry Hollister must turn her back on her job and her government to go rogue and seek the help of the one great love from her past. Banished from her world years ago, his memory wiped, Cade Shepherd has a new name, a new life, and no knowledge her kind exist. Can he relearn the Shadow Walker skills he learned from her father? And, if they survive, will Embry be able to walk away again?

Devil’s Eye

Trouble. That’s what wolf-shifter Mick thinks when a beautiful woman appears in his New Orleans bar with a hurricane at her back. His first impression is confirmed when Sophie starts asking questions about his missing waitress, Liza. Mick will do anything to rescue a member of the pack he’s made for himself, including forming an unlikely alliance with a woman with a badge.

Blindsight

Isla’s ability as a Seer has made her a life-long captive of a paranormal crime lord. Fae assassin, Ransom, offers her a chance at escape, but when she touches his hand she sees only blood, horror, and apocalypse. What reason can Ransom have for wanting to rescue her, and can she possibly trust a man who deals in death?

Genesis…it’s only the beginning

Genesis is the compilation of Kait’s two novellas and short story, previously published and available individually.  Buy them together and save!

Available in e-book from Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Barnes and Noble, Sony, the iBookstoreDiesel Ebooks, XinXii, and Smashwords.

Also available in paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository (for international readers) and Createspace.

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.

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