Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Walking Dead

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

Today I’m jumping in with one of the television shows I have been looking forward to returning in the 2014 winter TV season—AMC’s The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead 2AMC no longer means American Movie Classics.

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 (Andrew Lincoln) 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.

A man and his son save the deliriously weak Rick from his first encounter with a walker, or zombie as we know it, and nurse him back to health and educate him on the events that have transpired while he was in a coma.  The outlook appears bleak, but Rick insists his family is alive and sets out for Atlanta to find his wife (Lori, played by Sarah Wayne Callies) and son (Carl, played by Chandler Riggs).

On his journey, Rick finds his family and his best friend (Shane, played by Jon Bernthal) along with a small group that will become a part of his new family: Glenn (Steven Yeun). Andrea (Laurie Holden), T-Dog (IronE Singleton), Carol (Melissa McBride), Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn), and probably my favorite character… along with most of the show’s other viewers… Daryl (Norman Reedus).

Rick immediately establishes himself as the team leader; but after the camp is infiltrated by a group of walkers and a few lives are lost, the survivors retreat, pack up and head out.  And so the journey begins….or continues in this case.

The first season of The Walking Dead is only six episodes, making it perfect for a marathon style viewing party (that’s what we did).  In season two, the survivors cohabitate on a farm with Hershel (Scott Wilson) and his daughters (Maggie, played by Lauren Cohen, and Beth, played by Beth Kinney).  Of course, as expected, they have to abruptly leave the farm and take up residence in an abandoned prison, which begins season three.  And along the way, they cross paths with The Governor (David Morrissey) and a few other recurring characters (like Michonne, played by Danai Gurira, and Tyreese, played by Chad L. Coleman).

Now in season four, the group’s once safe fortress is no more…

Just how successful is The Walking Dead?  The series has already been picked up for a fifth year and averages anywhere between 10-16 million viewers per episode.   Yeah, it’s one of the most popular TV shows on today…

The Walking Dead is shot without the vibrant colors of shows like Hawaii Five-0; 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.

The series is a bit graphic at times.  Honestly, I almost stopped watching at one particular point in the pilot episode (I did not like seeing the walkers devour a horse).  But I stuck with it and I really am glad that I did.

Oh, and most importantly, not one single character is safe from death.  Not one.  Of all the survivors listed above, six have already perished.  I just won’t say who…

It’s difficult to decide which rating I should award The Walking Dead.  For bringing zombies to television, I’m leaning towards a GTV rating; the fact that I actually need the week in-between episodes to recover from what has happened, I’m leaning towards the GTV rating; for keeping me on the edge of my seat, not being predictable, and for the music, I’m leaning towards the GTV rating.  So, I guess it’s a top-tiered TV show for me—GTV all the way.

What do you think?  Do you watch The Walking Dead?  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.

Tele-Tuesday: The King and Queen of TV Characters Worthy of a Slap, Figuratively of Course

It’s been well established these past few weeks that many of us watch television programs and think to ourselves, Someone really needs to slap that character!  Wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t still love them, but that they need a reality check.  Also, wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we should slap them — this is all figurative of course, not literal.

But many characters on TV today find themselves worthy of a slap, at least in our opinion here at The Ooo Factor.  Some of these characters portray leading roles on some of our very favorite television programs today, but we still find ourselves wishing we could jolt them back to reality at times.

Maybe they’re a bit overzealous; maybe they’re a bit narcissistic; maybe they’re a bit dense; or maybe they’re just a bit clueless — regardless, playing a game of Slap This TV Character might just be what they need… or better yet, what we need as a viewer to continue on.

Over the past two weeks, we named our top ten television characters worthy of a figurative slap.  Readers also chimed in and now we have the top two TV characters worthy of a figurative slap — a King and Queen of sorts.

For the men, we have…

Dr. Gregory HouseHouse

King House

Dr. House is about as narcissistic as they come… He’s always right; always.  Even when he’s wrong, does he admit it?  Never.  He’ll stop at nothing to prove his point and humiliate those around him, those who for whatever reason devote themselves to him.  He’s outright mean, callous, vindictive, and ultimately misanthropic; but he’s the best at what he does — head diagnostician at a fictional and prestigious hospital. He has already chased one Dean of Medicine away, and she literally loved him, and now he’s working on number two.  His best friend and his team of rotating doctors understand him like no one else does and they constantly try to break through the barriers known as House, but due to the impossibility, it’s more like a game now — House versus everyone else.

Our readers added:

“Gregory House needs a good bitch slap.” – Tom Wisk

“House totally needs a slap! Every time I watch it (surreptitiously, it’s really my husband who watches the show), I get so frustrated!” – Tameri Etherton

“House – he’s SO obnoxious.” – Kathy Owen

“Yes, please, someone knock some sense into House, especially if he doesn’t wise up and try to keep his wife. I was so disappointed when he ruined things with Cuddy.” – Marcy Kennedy

“House. It got to the point where there was just nothing redeemable about him. Running a car through Cutty’s dining room. REALLY? I can suspend disbelief with the best of them but it got to where I was just so done with the dysfunction. Not only was House annoying, but anyone who put up with his antics seriously needed therapy.” – Kristen Lamb

“On the House note – yup, deserves a slap. But, given my enormous crush on him, I would have to assume that a slap from me would whip him into shape. And then he could be my boyfriend. Haha.” – Amber West

“I’m with Kristen Lamb on House. This season he’s gone from being obnoxious and dysfunctional to downright cruel. If it wasn’t the last season, it would still be =my= last season watching. But it has sparked some interesting discussions with my friends about just how much people will tolerate in exchange for genius, a subject that has fascinated me for years.” – Justine Dare Davis

*****

Now as far as the Queen, our readers have spoken – not one of our six ladies topped the list; instead our readers’ comments elevated this very deserving girl to number one.  Honestly, we can’t believe we didn’t think of her in the first place.  At the first mention of her character, we slapped our foreheads!  Talk about a “Duh!” moment.

“You missed Lori Grimes from The Walking Dead. I’ve seen so many internet gags revolving around her lack of parenting skills and the desire to push her out of the safe house into the crowd of Walkers…” – Damian Trasler

“As soon as I saw the title of this blog, I knew exactly who’d be my number one, and you hit it on the head. If Season 3 of Walking Dead consisted of a constant loop of Lori getting slapped, I’d start watching it again.” – Alan Edwards

“I’d also have to go with Lori from The Walking Dead.” – Emma Meade

“Lori Grimes is another one I’d like to slap.” – Jess Witkins

And so for the women, we have…

Lori Grimes The Walking Dead

Queen Lori

At first glance, Lori wasn’t so bad, was she?  She survived, unlike many, and narrowly escaped the walker epidemic with her son and her husband’s best friend.  For all intents and purposes, she was looking to start a new life — her husband was dead, or at least she had been told he died.  So why not fall in love with his best friend?  He was already the closest male figure in her son’s life and he risked his life to get her and her son out of the city.  But then she and the rest of us learn that her husband is indeed not dead, and he of course makes his way back to her.  The second he arrives at camp, Lori turns into a heartless, conniving, and lying Queen Bee (that’s not what we wanted to say here, so use your imagination).  She assumes her role as the camp’s Queen, since her husband is naturally the leader, and she immediately begins to act like her indiscretions never happened.  To make matters worse, we learn she’s pregnant — but whose baby is it — her husband’s or his best friend’s?  Needless to say, she handled this situation like she’d never heard the term “kid’s gloves” and we believe her to be the entire reason why her husband’s best friend lost his marbles.

*****

So there we have it – King House and Queen Lori.  But which one is even more deserving of the top slap slot?  Vote now!

So what do you think?  Is there another character on television even more worthy of the King and/or Queen spot?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Before we go,why not add a Prince and Princess to the Royal Tele-Tuesday Slap Party?  After all, Dickie Bennett (Justified) and Sharon Peacham (GCB) ran a close second behind our King and Queen…

“Watch GCB religiously. Sharon deserves a bit more than a head slap, perhaps jaws wired shut to keep stuff from coming out and going in.” – Tom Wisk

Princess Sharon Peacham, GCB

“I agree that the gimp-legged Dickie needs Raylan to even out the limp!” – Tim L. O’Brien

“The only one I watch from the bunch is GCB and I agree, but I don’t want to slap Sharon, I want to shake her!!” – Claudia LeFeve

Prince Dickie Bennett, Justified

“You know I’d like to snatch that scraggly Wyatt Earp wanna be mustache right off Dickie Bennett’s face. He’s such a little tick turd. And it’s too bad because he was actually sort of cool in Lost.” – Catie Rhodes

Thanks, everyone!  The comments the past few weeks have been fabOoolous!

 

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: Reader’s Pick Per Night – The Polls

This month marks the one year anniversary (or blogiversary as we’ve gotten to know it around the blogosphere) of The Ooo Factor.  One year seems like a long time, but in all honesty the blog posts have flown by and I’ve had a great time sharing my television addiction with everyone on a weekly basis.  Blogging has actually given my obsessive TV watching purpose, and has made me feel better about the amount of television I watch each and every night.  And whether or not my readers can believe it, I have much more to share!

If we’ve learned anything as we’ve moved through the years, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.

Whew; that sounded borderline serious for a second.   But it’s true…

But other things change too, like the revolving door of television programs.  The networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of a year, sometimes in just a matter of months.  In celebration of the past twelve months here at Tele-Tuesday, we’ve decided to update a few of our older posts that don’t necessarily stand true any longer (whether it be because the networks moved our shows around or because some new hit has taken its place).

Last year, we blogged about our 2011 Pick Per Night television series.  While some of our choices still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on that particular night of the week and we feel an obligation to update our readers with the 2012 choices.  But before we do, we’d like to know what everyone else watches.

If you could choose only one show per night, what would it be?

Did your favorite show make the list?  If not, what is it?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Next week, we will announce what our viewers prefer to watch and what we here at Tele-Tuesday mark as our #1 must watch programs in a Pick Per Night 2012.

 

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.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Preparing for the New Year

Today, Amber West and I take another look back at one of our previous Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts.  We figured that everyone is recovering from their holiday hangover right about now, so we too decided to take a tiny break and repost a previous WatchWed review.    

Reposting this particular post couldn’t have come at a better time.  With the new year on the horizon, we thought it would be worth everyone’s time to share how we determine our DVR Priorities… just in case we can help anyone struggling with the decisions of which television program to record and why. 

How do we determine our DVR Priorities?

Setting the DVR is a serious business at Casa Blanca.  A certain someone might just go into cardiac arrest if her favorite TV shows don’t record properly.  Okay… it’s a figurative heart attack, not a literal medical emergency – but try telling her it’s not a big deal. 

So, what qualifies as a DVR priority in Casa Blanca?  The episodic series that don’t feature special encore presentations or reruns later in the week are the number one priority in our house.  Ironically, these shows aren’t necessarily all GTV rated programs.

One might ask, if the television program doesn’t earn a top Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday rating, why should it be considered a DVR priority?  Because if we record an hour-long show on the DVR, we can fast forward through the commercials saving twenty minutes of our day! 

When someone (not naming any names) records anywhere from five to seven programs a night, saving those twenty minutes is crucial to making our TV viewing as efficient as possible

So, let’s begin…

Take Survivor for instance – this reality sensation, hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, does not air again if missed at its original time slot.  Does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favorite.  The same can be said for Big Brother because we don’t have another chance if we miss a show.    

Survivor returns February 2012

Sometimes we can rely on the basic five (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) to air the occasional rerun, but it’s never guaranteed; therefore, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, and Chuck sit high upon the DVR priority list (all receive a GTV rating, by the way). 

The cable channels (USA, TNT, and FX specifically) replay their original programming, so even if the DVR experiences a glitch while recording, we can schedule a future recording to ensure we stay on top of our series.  THANK YOU, cable networks; especially since so many of these channels produce top-notch GTV rated television: Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Justified and American Horror Story just to name a few.

Justified returns January 2012

Last week, one of our favorite and most loyal readers disagreed with the fact that The Walking Dead did not receive an undisputed GTV rating.  First of all, we can’t express enough how much it means to have a faithful following, and we specifically ask for our readers to respond and spark up healthy debates.  For that, we thank you, Andrew!  When Mr. Mocete speaks, we listen here at WatchWed – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the need to back up our rating system. 

The Walking Dead returns February 2012

The Walking Dead did receive half a GTV rating with the newly awarded TBP rating – a twice baked potato is the best of both worlds: gourmet and junk food.  But regardless of the rating, AMC’s hit show receives top priority on our DVR for the mere fact it brings zombies (eh-hem, walkers) to the TV.  We can’t miss the walkers – the supernatural is a must in this house. 

We’re kind of going against our earlier rule about reruns with this next DVR priority, but at the same time, we’re sticking with the newly established supernatural rule.  While Death Valley only receives a JFTV rating, what other television program brings us thirty minutes of zombie, werewolf, and vampire comedy?   Trust us, it’s not the best television available today – but it is one of a kind and we look forward to the silliness and gore every Monday night before bed.    

Pretty Little Liars returns January 2012

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV also receives a DVR priority in this YA mystery writer’s house.   ABC Family provides mystery lovers with two fantastic on-going whodunits with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game.  Again, neither receives a top GTV rating (although the mystery factor of each one deserves a top review), but both series definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure and earn a MacTV rating.  

Who in the world is A?  What additional secrets will Sutton and Emma uncover?  This thirtysomething loves the constant intrigue of these two young adult television shows – if an episode answers a question, it guarantees to develop two or three more before the hour expires. 

So, to recap:  When considering DVR priorities in Casa Blanca, we go with episodic TV without encore presentations or the possibility of reruns.  We ignore the rating scale for once, and go with what we may miss if we don’t schedule ahead of time.  And finally, while we didn’t set out for this to actually qualify as a rule, it appears that any programming with supernatural elements or a good YA mystery finds a home high atop our recording list.

What determines DVR priority in your house?  Which show is your #1 Priority on the DVR?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out which one of her Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts she wants to share with everyone once again before the end of the year. 

Come back next year, I mean next week, when Amber and I re-review the fairy tales, Grimm and Once Upon a Time.  We left them simmering last time, have they worked their way up the rating’s chart?

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

Friday FabOoolousness – Liz Schulte, her Secrets, and Dark Corners

I first met Liz Schulte on Twitter and now we enjoy discussing our favorite television moments, movies, and hot guys with other writer friends on Facebook.  Liz’s work first caught my eye when she shared the cover to her novel, Dark Corners, with a few of us before the release date.  Some of us call her “superwoman” on Facebook because there seems to be nothing she can’t accomplish, but the term came to full fruition when she recently released Secrets, her second book this year.

Liz Schulte, Author

Liz is one of the very first people I look to when seeking advice or direction for my writing.  She’s friendly, helpful, and one of the best writing friends a new writer could have, which is why she is the first author featured in this new blog series.

Before we get started, here’s a little tease of Liz’s books for everyone to savor while reading the interview…

Dark Corners:

Ella Reynolds knew from the first moment she walked into the old house that someone or something was watching her. Waiting. Her husband’s violent murder sent her spiraling into a world of grief and isolation. But Ella isn’t alone. Who or what is responsible for her husband’s death is still with her. Darkness has engulfed the past year of Ella’s life. Everyday reality slips a little more between her fingers as she struggles to break free from her memories. She must look deeper into her past as well as the present to discover the truth of her husband’s homicide. A string of uncanny events takes place and practical explanations run thin as Ella follows the terrifying road to closure. As the past and present come to a head, Ella must decipher who or what the murderer is before it takes her as well.

Secrets:

While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own, as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn’t know and sometimes what you don’t know can kill you.

*****

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

I would love to say I did, that I always knew, but I didn’t. I was pretty set on being a veterinarian until the 4th grade. Then I had a couple years of vacillating before I settled on a Supreme Court Judge.  I held that ambition right up to the point when I decided not to go to law school (I even took a philosophy of law and constitution law class while working on my undergraduate). I wasn’t entirely certain what I was going to do when suddenly I had no clear path. I considered forensic psychology and went back to school to work on a forensic degree to accompany my bachelor’s in psychology and minor in philosophy. Around that time my mom suggested I try to write a book. I am a huge pop culture fan; I love books, movies, television, and theater. I was always talking about how I would do it differently, so I decided maybe she was right. I gave it a go now I am completely addicted. I constantly have stories running through my head.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

I find inspiration in everything. From talking to people, observing people, hearing stories, dreams, and sometimes all it takes is a really good first line.

At the beginning of this year I decided I wanted to write a story about witches. I started researching, combing through some notes I had from a class I took on the history of witchcraft, and a first line popped into my head.  94,000 words later I had a book (to be released in 2012). All it took was that first line and the story just poured out of me.

With Dark Corners I drew a lot from imagination and some ghostly experiences of my mother’s.

In Secrets I used a lot of dreams I had written about in my dream journal. You never know what will end up being the spark that turns into a fire. To write about life, you have to participate in it.

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

That is such a hard question. I love so many authors. As far as traditional authors I love Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Bronte, Oscar Wilde, Hunter S. Thompson, Brett Easton Ellis, Thomas Harris, Elizabeth Aston, Diane Setterfield, and Joseph Heller.

As a kid I loved R.L. Stine (Fear Street), Christopher Pike, and L.J. Smith.

Being a part of the indie publishing scene, I have found many independent authors I have enjoyed very much: HP Mallory, Elizabeth Sharp, Stephanie Nelson, Wenona Hulsey, C. G. Powell, Jeff Ambrose, Olivia Hardin, Lisa Rayns, J.A. Titus, and I could keep going.

The cover art for your books is amazing.  Did you design them yourself?

Dark Corners was designed by my sister. She went to school for graphic design and took time from her busy schedule to design the cover for me.

Secrets was designed by Donna Dull with 4 Corners Press. She suffered my pickiness quite well.

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

I did not. I normally don’t have anyone in mind until I finish the book, because by then I know the character so well it is easier to find an image that suits them.

Ella is, in my mind, an Emily Blunt type character.

Olivia is now a very particular picture of Anne Hathaway I came across.

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

Ummm, way to put me on the spot. Hahaha

I am going with Timothy Olyphant because I cannot wait for Justified to restart. I love that show; Boyd’s hair more than anything.

 

Besides writing, I’ve noticed you’re quite the crafter and baker.  What other hobbies do you enjoy?

I do like cooking. And occasionally the crafting vibe hits me. I love to travel. I have been to several countries and all around the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) and I absolutely love it. I no sooner finish one trip then start thinking about the next. I also love to play trivia. I get super competitive, though. I spend time with my two dogs and two cats and eight nieces and nephews. I have a very close-knit family. We all hang out a lot.

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

Today as in Wednesday or as in this half of the season, which is winding down?

My favorite Wednesday program is Revenge. I didn’t know if I would like it or not when it first started, but now I am totally hooked.

I just realized this will be published on Friday so my favorite Friday show is easily Supernatural! How could I not love the brothers Winchester. I believe it is even the mid-season finale. Yikes!

As far as this first half of the year, my favorite series playing is The Walking Dead. Amazing show. Every episode feels about five minutes long to me and I am completely enthralled with the storyline and the characters. I am so bummed I have to wait until February for new episodes.

As a movie connoisseur, what is your favorite movie of all-time?

It is Christmas time so I feel like I should choose It’s a Wonderful Life, but I cannot. While that remains in the top five favorite movies, the Godfather is hands-down my very favorite film. It is magical. The story, the characters, the cinematography and framing—beautiful. I love it so much and can talk your ear off about it if given the opportunity.

The Corleone family….just look at Pacino and Duvall here. Classic

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

I like to get a bottle of water and Twizzlers. Twizzlers can be eaten slowly so I feel they last for more of the movie. Plus they are tasty and delicious.

Do you physically investigate the paranormal, or do you research via books, television, and the internet?

I don’t do much investigating. I am a bit more of a skeptic. I do like to look for haunted hotels and bed and breakfasts while I am travelling because I like to think of myself as an open-minded skeptic. I am willing to allow for an experience of a ghostly nature, but I have yet to experience anything for myself. Most of the strange things I have encountered, I can find a way to explain given enough thought and investigation.

Lastly, I know you are a zombie enthusiast.  Name your favorite book, movie, and television series featuring the supernatural undead. 

My absolute favorite zombie book is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It seriously cracked me up. I think the author was brilliant with maintaining the charm of Austen in a world overrun by the undead.  Bennett sister ninjas, priceless.

Movie is a much harder choice. I think I have to have two because I cannot choose between them. I love Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. Shaun of the Dead is the most hilarious spoof of a zombie movie I have ever seen. It works because it is done seriously while not being serious at all. Zombieland is almost a postmodern zombie movie. The rules are hysterical, the zombies are awesome and gross, and the story has charm.

 

Television show is of course The Walking Dead.

*****

Isn’t Liz just delightfully fun?  I absolutely adore her, and I hope you enjoyed getting to know her today!

Need more Liz?  Be sure to check out her blog, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook author page.

Better yet, buy a copy of Dark Corners (available in kindle, nook, and paperback formats) and Secrets (also available in kindle and nook formats)!

Do you have a question for Liz?  Have you read Dark Corners or Secrets, and if so share your thoughts here!  

And, to not only put Liz on the spot….which celebrity are you thinking of at this very moment?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The DVR Priorities de Casa Blanca

This week, Amber West and I aren’t reviewing a particular television program; instead, we’re discussing our individual DVR priorities as they stand in each of our households.

Setting the DVR is a serious business at Casa Blanca.  A certain someone might just go into cardiac arrest if her favorite TV shows don’t record properly.  Okay… it’s a figurative heart attack, not a literal medical emergency – but try telling her it’s not a big deal. 

So, what qualifies as a DVR priority in Casa Blanca?  The episodic series that don’t feature special encore presentations or reruns later in the week are the number one priority in our house.  Ironically, these shows aren’t necessarily all GTV rated programs.

One might ask, if the television program doesn’t earn a top Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday rating, why should it be considered a DVR priority?  Because if we record an hour-long show on the DVR, we can fast forward through the commercials saving twenty minutes of our day! 

When someone (not naming any names) records anywhere from five to seven programs a night, saving those twenty minutes is crucial to making our TV viewing as efficient as possible

So, let’s begin…

Take Survivor for instance – this reality sensation, hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, does not air again if missed at its original time slot.  Does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favorite.  The same can be said for Big Brother because we don’t have another chance if we miss a show.    

Sometimes we can rely on the basic five (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) to air the occasional rerun, but it’s never guaranteed; therefore, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, and Chuck sit high upon the DVR priority list (all receive a GTV rating, by the way). 

The cable channels (USA, TNT, and FX specifically) replay their original programming, so even if the DVR experiences a glitch while recording, we can schedule a future recording to ensure we stay on top of our series.  THANK YOU, cable networks; especially since so many of these channels produce top-notch GTV rated television: Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Justified and American Horror Story just to name a few.

Last week, one of our favorite and most loyal readers disagreed with the fact that The Walking Dead did not receive an undisputed GTV rating.  First of all, we can’t express enough how much it means to have a faithful following, and we specifically ask for our readers to respond and spark up healthy debates.  For that, we thank you, Andrew!  When Mr. Mocete speaks, we listen here at WatchWed – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the need to back up our rating system. 

The Walking Dead did receive half a GTV rating with the newly awarded TBP rating – a twice baked potato is the best of both worlds: gourmet and junk food.  But regardless of the rating, AMC’s hit show receives top priority on our DVR for the mere fact it brings zombies (eh-hem, walkers) to the TV.  We can’t miss the walkers – the supernatural is a must in this house. 

We’re kind of going against our earlier rule about reruns with this next DVR priority, but at the same time, we’re sticking with the newly established supernatural rule.  While Death Valley only receives a JFTV rating, what other television program brings us thirty minutes of zombie, werewolf, and vampire comedy?   Trust us, it’s not the best television available today – but it is one of a kind and we look forward to the silliness and gore every Monday night before bed.    

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV also receives a DVR priority in this YA mystery writer’s house.   ABC Family provides mystery lovers with two fantastic on-going whodunits with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game.  Again, neither receives a top GTV rating (although the mystery factor of each one deserves a top review), but both series definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure and earn a MacTV rating.  

Who in the world is A?  What additional secrets will Sutton and Emma uncover?  This thirtysomething loves the constant intrigue of these two young adult television shows – if an episode answers a question, it guarantees to develop two or three more before the hour expires. 

So, to recap:  When considering DVR priorities in Casa Blanca, we go with episodic TV without encore presentations or the possibility of reruns.  We ignore the rating scale for once, and go with what we may miss if we don’t schedule ahead of time.  And finally, while we didn’t set out for this to actually qualify as a rule, it appears that any programming with supernatural elements or a good YA mystery finds a home high atop our recording list.

What determines DVR priority in your house?  Which show is your #1 Priority on the DVR?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out which shows prompt her to scream at her DVR if for any reason they don’t record. 

Come back next week when Amber and I review something; we haven’t decided yet.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

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
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Walkers Versus Humanity

AMC no longer means American Movie Classics. 

This week, Amber West and I flip channels over to the revamped AMC and discuss a few of the channel’s new original programs in this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday as we review the very popular Mad Men and 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 (Andrew Lincoln) 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. 

A man and his son save the deliriously weak Rick from his first encounter with a walker, or zombie as we know it, and nurse him back to health while educating him on the events that transpired while he was recovering from a gunshot wound suffered weeks earlier while on the job.  The outlook appears bleak, but Rick insists his family is alive and sets out for Atlanta to find his wife and son.    

Meanwhile, Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), son Carl, and his partner and best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal) flee the city hoping to reach the Center for Disease Control to seek refuge.   While trapped in traffic, Lori and Shane witness the US military’s bombing of downtown Atlanta and all hope fades.  They join others and set up camp outside Atlanta to assess just how bad the damage really is before proceeding into the city.

Beginning his track to Atlanta, Rick borrows a horse from a nearby farm and rides unknowingly into the city where he finds himself trapped in a tank surrounded by walkers, hundreds of walkers.  Miraculously, he hears a voice over the radio and follows the man’s instructions (Glenn played by Steven Yeun) to safety, but the horse isn’t so lucky. 

Warning: The Walking Dead is a bit graphic at times.  Honestly, I almost stopped watching at this point; I did not like seeing the walkers devour the horse.

Now, back to the story…

Glenn is not the only human in the city; fellow survivors Andrea (Laurie Holden), Merle (Michael Rooker), and T-Dog (IronE Singleton) are hiding out inside a department store attempting to make their way back with supplies to the camp site, ironically the same camp site where Rick’s family is holed up.  Rick immediately establishes himself as the team leader, and after a small mishap, everyone escapes but Merle. 

Rick reunites with his family, unaware of the intimate relations shared between Lori and Shane (in their defense, they assumed Rick was dead). After only a few short days at camp, the men make a final attempt to go back into the city to rescue Merle.  Working with Merle’s brother Daryl (Norman Reedus), the survivors find the remains of a sawed-off hand where Merle was last seen handcuffed.  Despite the fact that Merle’s demise is almost certain, Daryl buries the hatchet and decides to work with the rest of the men, utilizing his vast knowledge of hunting and experienced survival skills against the zombies.

After the camp is infiltrated by a group of walkers and a few lives are lost, the survivors retreat, pack up and head out.  And so the journey begins….or continues in this case.

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.

The first season of The Walking Dead is only six episodes, making it perfect for a marathon style viewing party (that’s what we did).  And don’t worry; season two is now airing on AMC. 

How popular is The Walking Dead?  Two episodes into this season, AMC announced it picked up a third. 

It’s difficult to decide which rating I should award The Walking Dead.  For bringing zombies to television, I’m leaning towards a GTV rating; but for the mere fact that each episode doesn’t leave me wishing the story would continue immediately without waiting another week, I’m leaning towards a JFTV rating

Therefore, I’m taking a page out of Amber’s book and I’m combining the two – The Walking Dead earns a TBP rating (Twice Baked Potato).  It’s not predictable like most television programs, making it absolutely delish with all of the combined flavors of butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon, but it’s still not good for our cholesterol at all (just like our favorite bag of greasy potato chips).      

So, what do you think?  Do you watch The Walking Dead?  Do you find it bizarre that knowing what we know today, the characters never once refer to the Walkers as Zombies?  Will humanity win out, or will the walker epidemic claim the rest of the survivors?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of the incredibly sexy Jon Hamm, I mean the TV series, Mad Men.    

Come back next week when Amber and I review our DVR Priorities in a special Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday edition.

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
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

Why It’s Worth A Watch Wednesday – Battle of the Network Funnies

This week, Amber West and I review a few of the more established comedies on NBC and CBS in a Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Battle of the Network Funnies.

Who will win:  Monday nights on CBS with How I Met Your Mother and Two and Half Men or Thursday nights on NBC with Parks and Recreation and Community?

We begin with the popular sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.  Commonly abbreviated to HIMYM, the series follows the main character Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) as he narrates to his children in the year 2030 the story of how he met their mother.  Well, Josh doesn’t narrate, Bob Saget does. 

Although we’re seven seasons in, we still haven’t met the mother of Ted’s children; but we have grown to love his best friends:  Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), Marshall Erikson (Jason Segel), and Lily Aldrin Erickson (Alyson Hannigan). 

HIMYM has a true ensemble cast as each character plays just as important a role as Ted.  But why do we really love this show? 

There are the character quirks including: Barney’s womanizing ways with his “hot/crazy” scale, or his “Bro Code” justifications, or even his insisting everyone “suit up” before they go out on the town; Robin’s extensive misuse of the word ‘literally’; and Ted’s constant romantic gestures as he looks for love, including stealing a blue French horn for Robin during their courtship.

There are the enduring moments like when Ted finds out his parents are divorced; or when Marshall struggles with the decision to take a position as a corporate lawyer instead of working for an environmental cause; or when Barney sets out on a mission to learn the true identity of his father (once he discovers Bob Barker is indeed not his biological dad).

There is the comedy: Robin’s teenage Canadian pop-band flashbacks; Marshall and Barney’s on-going Slap game (Marshall earned five free slaps, and he saves them for when Barney least expects it); and the group’s hilarious interventions for one another.

But, most importantly, we love the realistic friendships between all of the characters.  We’re watching as these friends experience life together; as they celebrate Lily and Marshall’s pregnancy; as they mourn the loss of Marshall’s father; and as they bounce back from multiple broken romantic relationships.

It’s reasons like these that I award How I Met Your Mother with a MacTV rating.  As far as sitcoms go, it ranks among the best available on TV today.  Can the show survive many more seasons?  Probably not.  But will we tune in until Ted meets the mother of his children.  Absolutely. 

Oh, and before we move on, HIMYM hosts guest stars galore: Regis Philbin, Katie Holmes, Wayne Brady, Enrique Iglesias, Sarah Chalke, Britney Spears, Rachel Bilson, Jennifer Morrison, Kyle MacLachlan, John Lithgow, Kal Penn, and Martin Short just to name a few.

How I Met Your Mother is “Legen…wait for it…dary.”

A half hour later on CBS, another sitcom veteran airs on millions of television sets across the globe with Two and a Half Men.  Definitely not as enduring as HIMYM, Two and a Half Men promises comedy a bit more raunchy than anything else on TV (Archer wins most raunchy).

For the first eight seasons, Men starred Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper, the wealthy and drunken songwriter who opens his Malibu beach house to his recently divorced brother (Alan Harper played by Jon Cryer) and nephew (Jake Harper played by Angus T. Jones). 

The series follows Charlie’s sexual escapades, Alan’s incessant need to mooch off of his brother, and Jake’s hilarious adventures through childhood and the teenage years.   But, despite the title, Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without the women: Alan’s ex-wife Judith (Marin Hinkle); Charlie’s foul-mouthed housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrell); the Charlie obsessed next door neighbor Rose (Melanie Lynskey); and the Harper matriarch, Evelyn (Holland Taylor). 

Speaking of women, the Harper brothers have dated a few familiar females over the years including Courtney Thorne-Smith, Judy Greer, and Jenny McCarthy.  Ironically, the most fruitful male/female relationship on the show is between Charlie and his therapist (played by Jane Lynch). 

We didn’t watch Men religiously until we caught the show in syndication.  For many Saturdays in a row, we sat and caught up with the Harpers, laughter guaranteed in each episode.  But, sadly, a few real life mishaps forced the show’s creator to kill off the character of Charlie and replace him with a fresh face: Ashton Kutcher. 

Season nine begins at Charlie’s funeral – and BRAVO Chuck Lorre and other Men writers.  The funeral scene was absolutely brilliant.  Many past guest stars return and ex-girlfriends applaud Charlie’s death (in a respectful, yet Charlie Harper deserved way).  The best of the half hour was undoubtedly the return of Rose and her eulogy, or was it a confession? 

After the funeral, Alan reluctantly prepares to move out of the house he can no longer afford without his brother’s money.  Suddenly, there is a wet, sad man standing on his patio.  Alan opens the door, literally and figuratively, when he meets Walden Schmidt (Kutcher) after an attempted suicide in the ocean. 

It just so happens that Walden is rich like Charlie, and agrees to buy the beach house.  Before we know it, he hires Berta to stay on as his housekeeper and he also invites Alan to move in for as long as necessary. 

Same story, new characters.

Some like the change, some don’t.  But, the new direction was enough to bring Men back to our DVR and we haven’t removed the future recording setting just yet.  For that, I award Two and a Half Men the JFTV rating.  The series isn’t great for us, but we keep digging our hand right back down into that greasy bag of chips.  Heck, before we know it, we’ll probably suffer chest pains much like Charlie’s character on multiple occasions. 

So, what do you think?  Do you watch HIMYM or Two and a Half Men?  Which network airs the best comedies: CBS or NBC? How much longer can the series last before Ted meets his future wife?  Do you like the addition of Ashton Kutcher on Men?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of NBC’s Thursday night laughs, Parks and Recreation and Community

Come back next week when Amber and I review AMC’s Mad Men and The Walking Dead.

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
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

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