Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Tamberny Awards Talk Comedy

It’s that time of year again… the time of year where the American television industry celebrates the best of the best.  The 2012 Emmy nominations are in, so Amber West and I decided to bring back the Tamberny Awards in today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, we asked our readers to vote on their favorites… and this week, we’re chiming in.  Will Amber and I agree?

To recap, click here for our Drama, Miniseries, and Movie selections

And for the continuation of the Tamberny Awards, click over to Amber’s blog for our discussion of the nominated comedies and reality series.

We hope you enjoy the show!

*****

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.

And, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Second Annual Tambernies are Coming!

It’s that time of year again… the time of year where the American television industry celebrates the best of the best.  The 2012 Emmy nominations are in, so Amber West and I decided to bring back the Tamberny Awards special in today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.

But before we tell everyone what we think about the nominations, tell us who you think should… or will win!

What do you think about these nominations?  Do you feel any particular drama or miniseries/movie/special was overlooked?  Are there any shoo-ins with these nominations?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now that everyone has voted on the dramas, miniseries, and movies/specials, remember to click over to Amber’s blog and vote on the comedies, variety and reality shows, and best in animation!

Come back next week when Amber and I officially kick-off the 2012 Tamberny Awards…

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.

And, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Tele-Tuesday: The Continuation of The Tamberny Awards

The Tamberny Awards are back!  Amber West and I didn’t like the idea of having the music play over our best banter or having some leggy model lead us off stage, so we stepped away for a bit to cut to the necessary commercial break.  Now, here we are, with the rest of our choices.

Isn’t it thrilling?  Can you feel the tension in the air?  

*****

First up, a category we can really get into… 

Lead Actor in a Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

A: As far as I can remember, good ol Hugh has been nominated but not won the Emmy for House.  I think he does a great job in the role; so after all this time, I’d like to see him recognized for it. 

However, tough table to keep here.  These are all great actors. 

T: Hugh Laurie – brilliant.  Timothy Olyphant – brilliant.  Who will win?  Ugh, it pains me to say, but the cable channels.  I’m taking Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire.

A: Too much brilliant (and did we mention pretty?) in one category.  Steve Buscemi may get it for being brilliant AND not looking like a cover of GQ.  However, I’m still rooting for Hugh.  I got a weakness for a British funny man.  

T: As far as acting, I’m going to jump on the Hugh Laurie bandwagon real fast.  Did you see the episode this season where he performed surgery on himself in the bathtub to remove the tumors he gave himself by taking the unapproved meds from the rat lab?

 

A: YES.  Also, I should have preempted your comment with spoiler alert for those watching, but this is LIVE, baby.  Note: this is not live

Lead Actress in a Drama
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law

A: For my same underdog reasons as earlier, Julianna all the way.  If not her, Elisabeth Moss. 

T: I don’t really care for these nominations – where is Kyra Sedgwick?  I pick Kyra.

A: Maybe that means I should watch the show Kyra is in. *ducks*   

I’m still pushing for Julianna.  This category is lacking.  I blame that on poorly written roles for leading ladies.  Come on, women’s lib, catch up! 

T: Lucky for you, I’m tall and you ducked just in time!  I have season 1 of The Closer on DVD; do I need to send it to you?

A: Not yet. I still have about 100 episodes of Bones to watch because of you.  Then I’ll watch another one of your recommendations.  See you all when I’m 80. 

 

T: Back to the nominations at hand, I do Agree 1000% – this category is lacking.  Women’s roles are lacking.  Where the heck is Kyra?  Rose Byrne? Glenn Close?

A: I’ll send you some math videos when I get your episodes of The Closer.  Glenn Close for the win.  I’m writing the Emmy peeps now. 

Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family

A: I love the entire cast of Modern Family.  This show always makes me laugh, so I’d be happy with any of them.  Having said that, my views rarely reflect the majority, so it will probably go to Jon Cryer. 

Please don’t give it to Chris Colfer.  No offense, kid.  I just don’t think Glee is funny enough to be fighting in this category. 

T: Because the entire cast of Modern Family was nominated, and because of what he had to deal with this season, I’m picking Jon Cryer – 100%.  Not to mention, his comedic timing is perfect.

Oh, Ducky….

 

A: Ahem.  Remember my earlier mention of Chuck Lorre? So you can see why I’m not going with Jon Cryer.  Although, I like HIM and I’m sure he is great in that show that I have never and will never watch.  

T: Not even with the addition of Mr. Kutcher? Not even a peek?

A: Sweet Jeebus, no.  A thousand times no. 

I have to now quote something I heard in an interview involving Mr. Kutcher: 

“Ashton Kutcher should know every thought that goes through his head.  If he doesn’t, he’s liable to drop something, he can cut his feet, he won’t realize he’s been talking to a tree for an hour.   He needs to be aware of what he’s thinking.” 

T: Boooo, Amber!  Where did you hear that?  You realize that Ashton Kutcher is actually really smart, don’t you?  He studied biochemical engineering for crying out loud.

A:  I’m not listening.  Lalalalalala. 

Supporting Actor in a Drama
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Walton Goggins, Justified
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

A: I’m remaining loyal to The Good Wife.  Mostly to ensure that the network doesn’t get any bright ideas and try to cancel the show.  Although, using that logic, give the award to Andre Braugher so another network will grow a brain and pick up Men of a Certain Age

T: Walton Goggins!  He plays the best antagonist on TV. Without Boyd Crowder, Justified just wouldn’t the same.  And, I do love Timothy Olyphant.

A: Haven’t watched Justified!  Guess I need to try.  But I still stick with The Good Wife boys.  Josh Charles and Alan Cumming are perfect in their roles.   

T: You haven’t watched Justified?  You know that FX has some of the best programming on TV, right?

A: Meh.  Also, I now have the urge to yell “Walton Goggins” randomly when engaged in boring conversation.  

T: WALTON GOGGONS.  I yelled it, but not because we’re engaged in a boring conversation.  I may have a crush on Boyd….

Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

A: I’m kinda burnt out on Betty White.  Yes, I said that.  Sofia Vergara gets it since she has made me laugh more than the others in this category. 

T: Who will win? Probably Jane Lynch….that darn Glee.

Regardless, I am voting for Kristen Wiig here – talk about an underdog!  She is involved in almost every skit on SNL, and she makes me CRY sometimes.  Cry, good; not bad.

A: Jane Lynch IS funny.  BUT, I still don’t find Glee funny enough to be in this category.  It would be nice for an SNL person to get it, but I think it is unlikely as well.  I probably just voted for Sofia ’cause she is curvy and Latin.  Gotta represent for da’ peoples. 

T: I may let you win this one….If Modern Family wins anything, I bet it’s the hot Latin lady.

A: *dances to salsa and drinks inexcusably sweet black coffee to celebrate* 

T: Amber, stop dancing your little salsa.  We have a show to finish here!

Supporting Actress in a Drama
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified

A: What? I didn’t pick The Good Wife?  I know.  But, I think Christina Hendricks is perfect in her Mad Men role.  Go, curvy lady. 

T: Did I see a cable channel nomination?  Yep –  Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly McDonald takes it.

But, since you keep talking about underdogs, Amber, how about Michelle Forbes?  The Killing made a killing this season, but I’m not sure it will get any award love.  I’m sure they’ll say, “It was just an honor to be nominated….”

A: Again, I gotta stick with the shows I’ve actually seen. 🙂  

T: I’m just really not a fan of these nominations….

A: Not thrilled with this category either.  Again, I think that goes back to the lack of well composed female characters.  *Sigh* 

Mini-series or Made-for-Television Movie
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce
The Pillars Of The Earth
Too Big To Fail

A: The only one I’ve seen is the one I am picking.  But, I DO love it –  Downton Abbey.  It makes me swoon.  I adore some of the characters, and others are so deliciously evil I can’t stand it. 

T: This one is up in the air – Downton Abbey has received great reviews, The Kennedys was controversial and axed from its original channel, and HBO (yep, again) rocked out with Too Big To Fail.  I have to go with it.

A: ..Downton…Downton…have you watched it YET?  How ’bout now?  

T: Not yet….it’s a period piece.  I’m not even sure our TV plays period pieces in our house.

A: Deliciously evil.  Come on.  You have to be curious? 

T: Curious, yes.  Curious enough to watch it now because I think it has a chance to beat Too Big To Fail?  No.

Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
Conan
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

A: Please, please, please, PLEASE, for the love of funny, give it to Stephen this year.  Thanks.  But I won’t cry if Conan gets it. 

T: Colbert deserves this.

A: *nods in agreement*  Stephen we love you!  

T: Should we start an “Emmy for Stephen” website?

Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or movie
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

A: Haven’t seen ANY of these, so I’m going with Idris Elba.  That’s a pretty sweet name, and he is pretty. 

T: I’d like to see Barry Pepper win, but mainly because I like to look at him.  But, I bet you anything, William Hurt takes it for HBO’s Too Big to Fail.  He was great in Damages too.

A: *silence*  

T: Silence?  Really, Amber?

A: I am bored.  Moving on. 

Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or movie
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

A: Downton all the way! 

T: I’m going with the underdog of all underdogs here – Taraji P. Henson.  Why?  Because almost everyone else has a BIG Hollywood name, and this movie is based on a true story.

A: I think I’ve been clear on how I feel about Downton.  🙂  

T: Really?  I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Deadliest Catch
Hoarders
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List
MythBusters
Undercover Boss
 

A: I don’t really like any of these.  But I do occasionally watch Hoarders in absolute horror.  And then I scrub my tub and cry. 

T: YUCK.  Do I have to pick one?  Undercover Boss.

A: Maybe we should just go with “let’s replace these shows with ones that have real writers”?  I mean, Men of a Certain Age was CANCELLED and this crap is getting nominated!?  Bah.  

T: I’m speechless.  I know my mom is writing this date down right now…I’m not speechless often.

Reality Competition
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

A: Top Chef, but only because I’m a foodie.  I am not a huge fan of reality competitions. 

T: SurvivorBig Brother.  Oh, they’re not nominated?  The Amazing Race.  Although, I have seen some of  So You Think You Can Dance in the gym, and they’ve got talent.  But, I’m still voting for The Amazing Race. Traveling the world, experiencing new cultures and traditions, all while competing against others – great show.

A: I have heard great things about The Amazing Race.  So, I change my vote.  The Amazing Race, with a side of Top Chef.  

T: Not jumping off The Amazing Race trip here, but where’s Hell’s Kitchen?  DONKEY!

 

A: Hee.  I reluctantly admit that I watch that.  I reluctantly admit to watching any reality TV.  I kind of wish the category weren’t even here.  Having said that, at least I don’t see any “Housewives of Some Rich Place I Don’t Care About” shows nominated.  Small favors. 

T: Oh, and thank Heavens for no Jersey Shore!

A: *raises a glass* 

T: Cheers!

Host of a Reality Program or Competition
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Jeff Probst, Survivor

A: I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about Jeff that I like. 

T: Probst.  The Probster.

A: He’s so pretty. 

T: Our tribe has spoken.

*****

Well, there you have it.  Tune in to FOX September 18th for the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards to see who takes home the little statue.

 

How did your favorite show, actors, and actresses do? If not listed, write it in!  Tell us who you think should win! We’d love to hear from you.

Tele-Tuesday: Welcome to the Tamberny Award Show!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first annual Tamberny Awards – where we promise to not agree!

When the Emmy nominations were announced last month, writer friend Kathy Owen approached us to review the shows and announce who we thought would take home the awards.

Sounds easy enough, right?  HA!  Amber and I don’t watch the same things.  What she loves, I haven’t even heard of; and, what I watch (which is almost everything on television), she has to Netflix in order to carry on a conversation with me.

Okay, maybe it’s not so bad; after all, this may just be why our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday partnership works so well!

  Enjoy the show!

Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory
Glee
Modern Family
The Office
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock

A:  I’ll kick things off with the comedy category.  I think Parks and Recreation should take it.  Why?  Two words:  Ron Swanson. 

Ok, maybe not just for him.  I love every character on that show.  They are all flawed, in ridiculous ways, yet they are all completely lovable, too.  They do all of that AND they make me laugh.  Sometimes until I cry.  And, they gave us “awesomesauce”.  I also think they’ve had good forward momentum, unlike some comedies that are quick out of the gate then rest on their funny laurels.  (Hee, “Funny laurels”)

T:  Did you just laugh at your own joke?  *laughing, eye rolls*

While Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock are fabOoolously written, the Emmy will come down to Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory.  Do I agree with this?  No, but what can you do?

A:  You can be disagreeable.  Like me.  And yell things.  Or, at least type them in all CAPS.

T:  FINE!  Since you want to light a fire under me, 30 Rock or Parks and Recreation DESERVE to win.  But, they won’t.

The #TeleTuesday voters clearly want Modern Family to win.  Me?  Put the guns away, but I’ve never watched it.  Same with Glee.  I refuse to drink the punch…plus I watch so much on television already.  Maybe one day on Netflix?

 

A:  I forgive you on Glee.  I’m a Broadway girl, so I was on board in the beginning, but I started to burn out pretty quickly.  But Modern Family? Please.  Go watch it.  So funny.  Our readers know what they are talking about.  I’m still waving the Parks and Recreation banner, but if Modern Family wins…well, I ain’t mad at ’em. 

T:  Ya ain’t? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  You left the door wide open for that one.

Maybe I will Netflix Modern Family for you; you did watch Bones for me.

Back on topic, The Big Bang Theory on the other hand, is brilliant.  Sheldon and Leonard have brought sexy back for the geeks; well, maybe sexy isn’t the right word…

A:  I’m about to make myself unpopular.  That’s smart, right?  Don’t hate me.  I do think that The Big Bang Theory has some good one liners.  And, I get a kick out of the geek references, being a geek and all.  BUT, I think Chuck Lorre tends to write shows that pander to the masses.  Granted, there is nothing wrong with that.  But it’s just not my cup o’ tea. 

T:  Isn’t that what Lorre is supposed to do?

A:  Probably.  Also explains why I am not writing a successful TV show right now.  Before this turns into an argument, I bring you…DRAMA! 

Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men 

A: I have a thing for underdogs.  They’re all cute and scruffy.  The Good Wife feels like an underdog here.  It’s one of the few “network” shows on the list; it’s been well written from episode one and the cast is incredible.

It doesn’t hurt that I’ve had a bit of a crush on Josh Charles since his Sports Night days. This is a solid category, though, so anyone who takes it is deserving.

T: I have to disagree with you, Amber – while I might end up eating my words, I think that the cable channels will win this one: Showtime’s Dexter is a must see, but HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones will be hard to beat.  I’m going with Game of Thrones here.

A: Dexter is amazingly well written, and I don’t have the pay channels, so I have not seen Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones.  But, I do believe I called my choice the underdog.  The likelihood of it winning is slim.  And yet, here I sit, cheering them on.  Someone has to.

T: Funny, how after two rounds of bickering, neither of us has yet to mention Mad Men as a contender here…

A: I can never remember who votes for what in the actual Emmy’s (no affiliation), but I didn’t go with Mad Med because they’ve already taken awards.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s another show that has great writing, great actors and Jon Hamm.  Mmmmm…Hammmmmm….

T: And with that, we’ve lost Amber.  Maybe we should move on.

Outstanding Animated Series

The Cleveland Show
Futurama
Robot Chicken
The Simpsons
South Park
Family Guy

A: Ahem.  I’m good.  I was just channeling Homer in preparation for this category.

I don’t watch Robot Chicken with any regularity.  Having said that, the little I have seen was funny.  And different.  And, it’s probably the least popular one on this list, in my world anyway.  The rest of them are feeling a little “old hat” for me.  

Isn’t there anything new?  Also, judging by this category, is it now a requirement to offend to be funny?  Don’t get me wrong, some of these guys do it well and are smart, but its feeling a little like no one knows how to be funny without it. 

T: South Park – while controversial, is funny!  Not many shows, especially animations with the exception of The Simpsons, can say they’ve been on the air for over 15 years.  Plus, aren’t they really just saying what so many of us wish we could, just don’t have the guts to?

A: I agree that South Park is funny.  Those dudes can write.  I mean, Book of Mormon is a roaring success for a reason.  But, I stand by the idea that you don’t HAVE to be offensive to be funny.  Having said that, you are probably correct on your choice. 

T: Wait a minute?!?! Stop the presses.  Where the heck is Archer?  Why in the world isn’t Archer nominated here?

 

A: I’ve never seen it.  That could be why.  To quote one of your picks, “Bazinga!”

T: Archer belongs on the Netflix queue, Amber….enough said.

Lead Actress in a Comedy

Laura Linney, The Big C
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, 30 Rock

A: I really want to see Amy Poehler take this.   Her show is funny.  She is funny.  Her husband is funny.  She is like an entire universe of funny.  I love her.

T: I agree with you, but I think Edie Falco takes it.  The cable channels are hard to beat when nominated…I’d even love to see a newbie take it, like Martha Plimpton or Melissa McCarthy, but I don’t see that happening.

A: I’ve heard good things about Edie in Nurse Jackie.  But I’m sticking with Amy Poehler. But, I won’t cry if Martha gets it.  She, too, is awesome. 

T: I’m just glad to see Martha resurface from her ’80s hit movies.  “Hey, you guys…”  Quick – what’s that from?

A: I am awful at that game.  Prize for the first commenter who gets it.

T: Seriously?  You don’t know what movie that quote is from? Do you need a hint?

 

Lead Actor in a Comedy

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Steve Carell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

A: Although I feel that 30 Rock is a bit lacking lately, Alec Baldwin is genius in his role.  Love him.  

T: We agree again, but I think Alec will lose.  This one goes to Sheldon.

A: Boo.  Didn’t he take this award already?  Alec…Alec…  

T: Do you know who’s not going to win from the cable channels?  Matt LeBlanc.  Was that mean?

A: Yes, yes it was.  Also, my nominee could totally take your nominee in a cage match.  Just sayin’.  Note to self: propose new reality show where awards ceremony winners are determined by having nominees step into the octagon. 

T: Brilliant! 

Wait, what is that?  Are we running out of time?  Someone turn off that music!

The producers closed the curtain on us…

We’re on a roll, and we promise, we won’t let a little thing like time get in the way of that.  Tune in next Tuesday for the conclusion of the Tamberny Awards.

Do you agree with our picks?  How about our write-in shows like Archer?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Remember to tell us what you think, and send pictures of your own Tamberny moments for a chance to win something special!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Converting Bad Cons to Good

Welcome back to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday!  Today, Amber West and I continue reviewing the hit programs on TNT and USA.  Each network has a con and a medical story to tell, and we break them down in today’s special quadruple edition.   

Can a con-man change to good? 

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

 Leverage – Sunday nights on TNT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White Collar – Tuesday nights on USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or does it? Neal is a con, remember. 

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

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

That’s two in one post!

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

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

Did someone call a doctor?

Now click over to Amber’s review of this summer’s medical programs: TNT’s HawthoRNe and USA’s Royal Pains.  What will she rate two of the networks biggest hits?

Come back next week for a special recap edition as Amber and I revisit our earlier Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews. What are we still watching?  Have our opinions changed? 

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

Last, but certainly not least, did your favorite TV shows make the Emmy nomination categories?  Vote here for the 1st annual Tamberny awards.  Leave a comment by July 29th and you could win blog linkage on my special Tele-Tuesday Siskel and Ebert style Emmy breakdown where Amber and I promise to not agree!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

 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 – New to Summer: Better Late Than Never

Summer is coming to an end, and we have some new programs to sink our teeth into before the fall television series return.  These new shows bring drama galore – police drama, dating drama, and teen drama.  What will you watch?

The new police drama:

Against the Wall – Lifetime

Wanting to advance her career in the Chicago Police Department, Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani most recognizable for her recurring roles on Cane and The Glades) is faced with a tough decision.  Does she wait for the necessary promotions as a female detective, or speed things up and join the Internal Affairs division?  Abby chooses IA, and her decision causes a divide within her family; a family with a long line of Chicago police officers.

Everyone knows that cops and IA officers do not get along – but what happens when a decision affects your entire family dynamic?

Against the Wall also stars Treat Williams (Everwood), as Abby’s father, and Kathy Baker (Picket Fences, Medium), as her mother.

Following the Internal Affairs division instead of detectives adds a nice twist to the ever popular television police drama.   Find out this Sunday if it’s worth a watch– Against the Wall premieres July 31st.

The new comedy – dating drama:

Friends with Benefits – NBC

Hot on the tails of the major motion picture success of No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits, NBC brings us this new thirty-minute comedy following a group of twentysomethings as they battle the dating world.

In Friends with Benefits, everyone is single and looking – Ben Lewis (Ryan Hansen, Veronica Mars) wants the perfect woman.  Sarah Maxwell (Danneel Harris Ackles, One Tree Hill; yes ladies – she’s married to Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles), just wants someone to settle down with and perhaps start a family.  There’s also the figurative “lady-killer” (Fitz played by Andre Holland), the “free-spirit” (Riley played by Jessica Lucas, who also played Riley on the new Melrose Place), and the “techie-genius” (Aaron played by Zach Cregger).

Oh, and Ben and Sarah are apparently the “friends with benefits.”  Who wants to bet they eventually decide they are soul-mates?

Produced by the great Brian Grazer (Parenthood and Arrested Development), Friends with Benefits might just make the grade.  Find out when the show premieres August 5th.

The new YA inspired drama:

 

The Lying Game – ABC Family

From the creators of Pretty Little Liars, and based on the novel by Sara Shepard, ABC Family brings the young adult audience another teen mystery this August.

Emma Becker learns that she was separated at birth from her identical twin sister, Sutton Mercer (both roles played by Alexandra Chando, As the World Turns).  Emma, a foster-child, agrees to switch places with her twin and live Sutton’s life with her wealthy adopted family while Sutton searches for their birth mother.

Not long into the switch, Emma learns that Sutton has disappeared and she’s faced with the dilemma of telling the Mercer family and all of Sutton’s friends the truth.  Is Sutton in trouble? Why were they separated in the first place?

Like most other ABC Family dramas, The Lying Game has cast a well-known group of actors: Andy Buckley as Ted Mercer (The Office), Helen Slater as Kristin Mercer (Supergirl, The Legend of Billy Jean), Tyler Christopher (General Hospital), Blair Redford (the new 90210), Alice Greczyn (Privileged), and Adrian Pasdar (Heroes).

If the mystery is anywhere near as decent as its predecessor, Pretty Little Liars, TLG is definitely worth a watch.  The Lying Game premieres August 15th.

What do you think? Do any of these shows interest you enough to watch?  Do you think starting in August will help or hurt these shows? Do you know of any other late summer starts?  I’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to go vote for the Tamberny Awards show by clicking here before July 29th!  And, just to show how fun Amber and I can be….

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Friday FabOoolousness – July’s MarvelOoous Mashups and Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Stacy Green awarded me my third blogging award – The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.

THANK YOU, Stacy!  Winning this award for my Tele-Tuesday, Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, and Friday FabOoolousness posts means so very much to me.  I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, and sweet isn’t one of them.  Just kidding!

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award icon on my site, they will experience Stacy’s fabOoolous blog!

I’d also like to thank my great friend, Kathy Owen, for awarding me the Stylish Blogger and Versatile Blogger awards this month.  PLUS, Kathy is the brains behind Amber West’s and my new blog series, The Tamberny AwardsHave you voted?

Kathy writes the best blog series.  Her Monday Masters of Mystery and Fashion Fridays are two of my must see posts each week.  Check them out!

Before I answer the questions associated with The Irresistible Sweet Blog Award, click on these fabOoolous sites in the July edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: A Trip Down Memory Lane – the ‘80s and ‘90s

Did anyone keep an old mixed tape? Check out The Lost Art of the Mix Tape by my dear friend, Jenn Alexinas.  What do you think?  Does every mixed tape say something about its maker?

“The Two Coreys” – Corey Feldman and Corey Haim.  What girl didn’t Dream a Little Dream of these two in the ‘80s?  Stacy Green (yep, the one and only from up above) takes us back to the classic film, License to Drive.

It may have all began in the late ‘70s with Halloween, but the ‘80s are often times associated with the birth of many horror films like Friday the 13thSonia Medeiros discusses Who was That Masked Slasher in this Fear Friday Feature.

Not to leave the ‘90s out, Catie Rhodes delves deep into the friendship, character conflict, and theme of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion in this great post.

PART II: FabOoolous writerly posts

Interested in writing fantasy? Check out these demon names and meanings by Graylin Fox.

Need help with the scenes? Check out Structure of a Scene by my fellow Warrior Writer buddy, Suzan Isik.

How many of us put a book down if the first page doesn’t hook us?  The Bookshelf Muse, aka Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, offer some First Page Tips.

Guilty of information dumps? Paying too much or not enough attention to setting? Check out 12 Pitfalls to Avoid by Roni Loren.

Want to use artifacts, archaeology, and human history in your writing?  Check out this great example by Gene LemppDystopia Island.

 PART III: Just because they’re fabOoolous

Heard about the new Google+?  Not sure what to think about another social media site?  Check out Amber West’s post.  She says to not be scared….

Deep in the woods, and inside a bloodied bunker, what exactly will we find at Site 27?  I mean, besides dismembered feet.  Vote Your Own Adventure here and support the great Jen Kirchner.

Like choosing the story’s direction?  Then remember Mark Lidstone’s Zombies Vote Your Own Adventure story.  There are zombies everywhere, and our protagonist is cut. How long before the infection sets in?

Love vampires, warlocks, and tons of action? Check out Steven Montano’s flasfiction series, Tales of Blood Earth.  The twelve chapters published on his website make for some fabOoolous reading.  Remember, start from the beginning….

And, now my answers to Stacy’s fun questions associated with the Irresistible Sweet Blog Award.  Enjoy!

If you were a vampire, which celebrity would you first sink your teeth into?  Wow, this is a tough one.

The word vampire immediately makes me think of Damon Salvatore, so I guess that would be Ian Somerhalder. 

What’s you’re middle name? Not your REAL middle name. Your middle name.  I try to keep this blog rated-PG, so let’s go with Brat.  Yep, it’s definitely Brat.

You’re stranded on an island. There’s a monkey with you there, but he’s not too chatty. You also have a ball at your disposal. A ship passes by, but it’s daylight. How will you attract their attention?  My mind immediately goes to streaking….

What are you secretly afraid of? And what are you REALLY afraid of?  I don’t keep many secrets; if I’m afraid of something, everyone around me knows it.  I’m deathly afraid of severe storms (I hide the second I hear the tornado sirens nearby, even if it’s a false alarm; okay, well maybe not on a false alarm, but you catch my drift), sharks (and pretty much anything that swims around in the ocean), scorpions, and things that fly and sting (well, moths too – they fly, but supposedly they don’t sting).

Describe your best friend in five words.  Incredibly intelligent, patient, strong, hero, and love (I’m not counting “incredibly” or “and” as words).

What’s the last movie you watched? Was it good?  Because I’m difficult, I’m breaking this down into two categories:

At the theaterTransformers 3. Great summer entertainment – full of fabOoolous stunts and special effects.  Plus, I actually teared up twice.  What can I say?  I love the bond between Sam and BumbleBee.

From RedboxHall Pass.  We heard really bad things about Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis’ film, but we laughed our rears off.  One scene especially caught us so off guard, that I was glad we weren’t eating dinner.  Someone would have spit his food everywhere; I’m just saying.

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? What are some of your favorite things from the ‘80s and ‘90s? What are you afraid of?  What’s the last movie you’ve seen?  Please share!  I’d love to hear from you!  Happy Friday FabOolousness everyone! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – SyFy TV

This week, Amber West and I switch things up yet again and review two of TV’s hot new science fiction dramas on TNT and SyFy.

Over the past few years, the SyFy network has rivaled the basic television channels with their original series such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Andromeda which all aired for at least five years each.

Today, SyFy has found new must-see television with series Being Human, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Haven, and Sanctuary, which is why when Alphas premiered July 11th, our household couldn’t resist checking it out.

Alphas follows five people who have super human abilities.  Together, they track and study other Alphas while also working with local law enforcement to ensure that other Alphas misusing their powers are sent to “The Compound” and kept off the streets. 

Dr. Lee Rosen – a non-Alpha played by Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Temple Grandin), leads the extraordinary team of Alphas, and uses his scientific research to better understand and control the Alpha population.

Each Alpha has a neurological difference providing them with an exceptional advantage over humans.

Would you like the strength to physically move a car blocking your path?

Meet Bill – a hyperadrenal-Alpha with super strength and training as a former FBI Agent, played by Malik Yoba (New York Undercover).  Bill reminds me of the Hulk, only he sweats profusely when his power is activated. 

Have you ever dreamed of pitching a perfect game?  What if you could master the art every time you stepped on the baseball mound? Or, what about the ability to toss a quarter into the vending machine change slot from ten feet away? 

Meet Cameron – a hyperkinesis-Alpha with perfect aim and motor skills, as well a history as an army sniper, played by Warren Christie (October Road).  Cameron appears vulnerable despite his physical stature.  He’s haunted by his failed marriage, and he misses his son desperately.

Would you like the ability to manipulate your way out of a speeding ticket by simply making eye contact with the traffic officer?

Meet Nina – an influencing-Alpha who manipulates others with her power of persuasion, played by Laura Mennell (Blood Ties and the motion picture, Watchmen).  Nina is absolutely beautiful, and she drives a new “borrowed” sports car in each episode. Now that’s what I call a super power! 

Have you ever wished that you could intercept the audio waves of a cell phone call so that you could hear the entire conversation taking place in front of you?  Or wish that you had the ability to read someone else’s text messages from a distance? 

Meet Gary – a transducing-Alpha or human antennae that can intercept any sound or radio wave, played by Ryan Cartwright (Bones).  Gary is always maneuvering his fingers through the air as he enjoys the different internet feeds, audio waves, etc.  He lacks a sense of humor, and the ability to lie.  I almost wonder if he has a form of autism.

Would you like the ability to eavesdrop on conversations taking place about you when you’re not around? How about the super power of microscopic vision?

Meet Rachel – a synesthete-Alpha, the most vulnerable of the Alphas with the ability to strengthen one of the five senses while leaving the other four useless, played by Azita Ghanizada (General Hospital: Night Shift).  Rachel’s powers are simply amazing, and she plays a large role in the investigations, yet she takes a back seat to her family.  Her current family drama surrounds their disagreement on arranged marriages. 

In the pilot, the Alphas help local law-enforcement officer Don Wilson (Callum Keith Rennie) solve the shooting of a federal prisoner locked inside a sealed interrogation room with no windows.  The investigation leads the team to the “The Ghost”, an Alpha with the power of persuasion via direct contact.  The extremist group known as “Red Flag” was also introduced as the main threat to the Alphas, and should return throughout the season as the Big Boss Trouble Maker.

The upcoming season promises to reveal more threats to the Alphas, and will test the Alphas loyalties to one another.

After only two episodes, I give Alphas the rating of SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out.  I was pleasantly surprised with the series start, and will definitely give a few more episodes a try before removing from my DVR.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? What do you think about Alphas? Has SyFy found another hit series?  Does it remind you of Heroes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, click over to Amber’s review of TNT’s Falling Skies where Noah Wyle battles aliens and machines trying to protect our world’s children.  What are those spike things the aliens attach to the children’s spines?  YUCK! 

Come back next week for another quadruple special – Amber reviews the summer’s medical programs: TNT’s Hawthorne and USA’s Royal Pains, and I take on the summer cons: TNT’s Leverage and USA’s White Collar.   

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.  Amber and I would love to chat with you!

Last, but certainly not least, did your favorite TV shows make the Emmy nomination categories?  Vote here for the 1st annual Tamberny awards.  Leave a comment by July 29th and you could win blog linkage on my special Tele-Tuesday Siskel and Ebert style Emmy breakdown where Amber and I promise to not agree!

 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 – The Tamberny Awards: Who should win?

Welcome to the first annual Tamberny Awards – where we can’t promise to agree!

Before we do, we want to hear from you!

From the nomination list below, who will win?

****

Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Glee
Modern Family
The Office
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock

 ****

Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

 ****

Lead Actress in a Comedy
Laura Linney, The Big C
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, 30 Rock

 ****

Lead Actor in a Comedy
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Steve Carell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

****

Lead Actor in a Drama

 Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

****

Lead Actress in a Drama
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law

****

Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family

****

Supporting Actor in a Drama
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Walton Goggins, Justified
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

 ****

Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

****

Supporting Actress in a Drama
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified

 ****

Mini-series or Made-for-Television Movie
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce
The Pillars Of The Earth
Too Big To Fail

 ****

Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
Conan
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

****

Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or movie
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

****

Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or movie
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

****

Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Deadliest Catch
Hoarders
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List
MythBusters
Undercover Boss

 ****

Reality Competition 
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

 ****

Host of a Reality Program or Competition
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Jeff Probst, Survivor

 ****

Leave a comment before July 29th, and your vote will be included in our special!  Better yet, leave a witty contribution and win blog linkage! 

Be sure to include who you think will win, or who should win versus who will win?  Who was snubbed? Which network will walk away with the most wins? Is Modern Family worthy of all the supporting cast nominations? Why didn’t the USA Network get any Emmy love? We’d love to hear from you!

Watch for the announcement of the 1st Annual Tamberny Awards this August.  The 63rd Annual Emmy Awards airs September 18th!