Friday FabOoolousness – The Boo Factor: Dark Shadows

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

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

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

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

But I digress…

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

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

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

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

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

So what makes Dark Shadows special?  Vampire Barnabas Collins

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

Barnabas Collins, 2012

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

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

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

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

Tele-Tuesday: May Flowers, aka TV in Bloom

Just as most television programs wrap up the 2011-2012 season, a few networks plan to launch new series this month.  It’s like a never-ending game of “What’s on TV?”

May is no different.  Our revolving door of television is back.

We haven’t introduced any new programs since March because many have accused us of adding too much to their already full TV schedules.  For that, we apologize.  But that’s not going to stop us from talking about even more!  Sorry – but we feel it’s our duty here at Tele-Tuesday.

So sit back and try to relax…

What will you watch?

*****

The L.A. Complex

We’re actually late to this party — The L.A. Complex premiered April 24th on the CW.  The show follows a group of twenty-somethings living in the same apartment complex who are trying to make it in Hollywood.  Sound familiar?  Melrose Place comes to mind…

The series stars Cassie Steele (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Abby Vargas, a Canadian who dreams of becoming an actress.  Abby meets other struggling artists at The Lux Motel, one of the few places they can all afford to live: Nick (Joe Dinicol), a comedian; Tariq (Benjamin Charles Watson), a musician; Connor (Jonathan Patrick Moore), an Aussie actor; Alicia (Chelan Simmons), a dancer; and Raquel (Jewel Staite from Firefly), a television actress.  Will they survive Los Angeles?

Most of the cast are relatively unknown, but viewers will see many familiar faces throughout the season in recurring and guest roles, like Krista Allen (Days of our Lives), Alan Thicke (Growing Pains), and Mary Lynn Rajskub (24).

The L.A. Complex airs Tuesdays on the CW.

*****

White Heat

Normally we wouldn’t look to BBC America when searching for new television series, but because of the success of many British television programs here in the United States (Doctor Who, Being Human, and Sherlock to just name a few), we thought we’d change it up a bit.

White Heat follows seven friends (Lilly, Jack, Victor, Orla, Charlotte, Alan, and Jay) who first meet in London in 1965.  The six episodes will flash-forward and feature these same seven friends in the years 1967, 1973, 1979, 1982, and 1990 as they maneuver through personal and political times.

Because we don’t frequent British television, most of the actors and actresses are not recognizable by name, however many have a favorable resume: young Lilly, played by MyAnna Buring (The Descent); current-day Lilly, played by Lindsay Duncan (Rome); young Jack, played by Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides); young Edward, played by Jeremy Northam (The Tudors); young Jay, played by Reece Ritchie (The Lovely Bones); and many others.

One aspect of White Heat that really captured our attention was the music associated with each episode, featuring artists Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Queen, The Clash, and Culture Club.  The tunes alone make the series worthy, right?

White Heat premieres Wednesday, May 9th on BBC America.

*****

Common Law

Common Law follows two Los Angeles detectives with an immense love for the job – and they’re good at it; they just don’t like each other very much.  When a new police captain (Captain Phil Sutton, played by Jack McGee from Rescue Me) moves in, he sends the seven-year partners to relationship counseling or couples therapy as we’re familiar with today.

Common Law stars Michael Ealy (Flashforward) as Travis Marks and Warren Kole (The Chicago Code) as Wes Mitchell – two partners stuck in a “marriage with bullets.”

Viewers can expect to see a few other familiar faces: Sonya Walger (Lost) plays Dr. Elyse Ryan, the detectives’ therapist; Alicia Coppola (Jericho) plays a forensic pathologist; and Nora Zehetner (Grey’s Anatomy) is a new detective on the force, specializing in the digital world.

The USA Network is known for their fantastic original programs: the older and never forgotten Monk and The Dead Zone; the current and favorites Psych and Burn Notice; and the sophomore hits Suits, Necessary Roughness, and Fairly Legal.  Because of the network’s track record, Common Law is probably the series we’re most looking forward to here at Tele-Tuesday,

Common Law premieres Friday, May 11th on USA.

*****

Men at Work

Another channel we don’t usually watch for, TBS is launching a new sitcom this month created by the great Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash).  Men at Work follows four friends who all work together at the same magazine as they help a buddy get back on the dating horse after a disastrous breakup.

The series stars: Danny Masterson (That ‘70s Show) as Milo, the recently dumped friend; James Lesure (Las Vegas – we are big fans of Mike Cannon here at Tele-Tuesday) as Gibbs; Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Neal; and Michael Cassidy (The O.C.) as Tyler.

Rarely do we see a comedy centering around all men, and funny character actors we’ve missed for years at that.  Add the funny-man creator to this, and we can’t help but feel Men at Work could potentially be summer dynamite.

Men at Work premieres Thursday, May 24th on TBS.

*****

What do you think?  Do you plan to watch The L.A. Complex, White Heat, Common Law, or Men at Work?  Which show has the most promise and why?  The least?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Television Characters Worthy of a Slap, Figuratively of Course – Part 2

Does anyone ever watch a television program and think to themselves, “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.

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, 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 fun game of Slap This TV Character might just be what they need… or better yet, what we need as a viewer to continue on.

Last week we named our first five television characters worthy of a figurative slap.  So who else does Tele-Tuesday believe is worthy of a figurative slap?

*****

6.  Dr. Gregory House – 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 other and 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.

7.  Serena van der Woodson – Gossip Girl

Talk about Little Miss Entitled.  Many may not like the scheming and evil games played by Serena’s best friend, but we personally don’t mind Blair’s tricks here at Tele-Tuesday.  We do, however, mind the constant whining of Serena.  We actually find ourselves rooting against her when it comes to love.  We love that her supposed one true love is now with Blair; Serena deserves that.  After all, she slept with Blair’s boyfriend before she skipped town to go to boarding school.  While at boarding school, she fell in love with a teacher (which ultimately sent him away to jail for statutory rape or something like that).  Since she’s returned to the Upper East Side, Serena is constantly sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and blowing up carefully laid plans by those who actually know how to play the New York socialite game.  And now she’s literally the infamous “Gossip Girl” — what will she blow up next?

8.  Dickie Bennett – Justified

And if we’re talking about Little Miss Entitled, we should probably talk about her counterpart — Little Mr. Entitled.  But where Serena rules New York’s Upper East Side, Dickie believes he rules Harlan County, Kentucky.  Seriously, we all know Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder run Harlan County — Raylan on the right side of the law, Boyd on the not-so-right-side of the law.  And we love them both, right?  But Dickie?  Dickie’s got nothing, yet thinks because his Mamma knew how to run an evil drug empire that he’s entitled and completely trained and worthy of the same power.  He’s not.  He’s just a weasel that needs the living daylights beat out of him, not just a slap.  Maybe Raylan can take a bat to his other knee to even out his limp?  Or maybe Boyd can shoot him in the chest with a shotgun to even the playing field for Dickie’s shot on Ava?  Either way, someone take this Bennett down…

9.  Shawn Spencer – Psych

Shawn may be the most overzealous character on our list, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still love him (unlike Serena and Dickie).  However, it does mean we’d like to slap him around from time to time.  In his role of playing a psychic detective for the Santa Barbara police, Shawn must put on somewhat of a show, a dramatization, when working a case — like putting his fingers to his head, pretending he’s encountering a psychic vision; or his pretending to see psychic visions instead of admitting he is only using his keen sense of observation to point out something the “real” detectives haven’t yet noticed; or his acting out over-the-top actions, pretending his psychic visions have taken a hold of his physical being.  But there are also times when Shawn’s antics take it a bit too far.  Shawn has toned it down a bit over the past few years; but when we catch episodes of the earlier seasons, we find ourselves wishing Gus would reach out and slap the silly right out of Shawn.

10.  Nancy Botwin – Weeds

Nancy does what she needs to do in order to provide for her sons since her husband’s sudden death – she sells weed.  Despite her shenanigans, Nancy truly tries to be the best mother possible to her boys.  However, Nancy has the tendency to screw things up and fall for the wrong men:  Conrad, her weed-growing partner; Peter, her second husband/FBI agent; and Esteban Reyes, her third husband/Mexican drug cartel crime lord.  Because of Nancy’s choices, her family is constantly running, constantly trying to escape her bad decisions.  But somewhere along the line, Nancy believes that she is the only one in her family capable of making decisions; she always reminds everyone that she’s the “boss” — boss of the family; boss of the weed-selling business; boss of everything.  It’s time to see someone in her family slap some sense into her; the sooner one of the boys stands up to her, the sooner the Botwin family may be able to stop running.

*****

That’s our top ten, again in no particular order other than alphabetized by television show.  Adding to our list, we had some great slap-worthy character suggestions by our Ooo Factor readers last week:

Lori Grimes from The Walking Dead
Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami
Cassie Blake from The Secret Circle
Stefen Salvatore from The Vampire Dairies
Sookie Stackhouse from True  Blood

Who should we add to this list? 

And remember, we’re not condemning these characters — obviously we watch each and every one of these shows, and these characters hold a special place in our hearts for one reason or another.  But don’t we all want to slap even those that we love the most every once in a while, figuratively of course?

That’s what we thought…

Do you agree with our choices?  Which character/s on television do you wish you could slap, figuratively of course?  Does an annoying character stop you from watching a TV series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Keeping a Bent Life from Breaking

This week Amber West and I review two new 2012 midseason comedy replacements on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – ABC’s Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and NBC’s Bent.

Comedy seems to be at the top of this year’s midseason replacements with many of the networks picking up new sitcoms.  While it is annoying to watch our favorite series end a bit early this year, we can also see the upside to introducing these new programs in April so that the decision makers don’t necessarily cancel a popular show just to test the waters with a pilot (we’ve seen that happen one too  many times).  With this in mind, we’re tuning in to these newbies and trying to not hold any grudges.

Bent follows recently divorced attorney, Alex (Amanda Peet), as she tries to pick up the ”bent” pieces of her life post-divorce.  With sole-custody of her daughter, Alex buys a small home that is in need of renovations.  She hires Pete (David Walton), a contractor who is a recovering gambling addict trying to pick up the pieces of his “bent” life as well.

Alex and Pete...

Alex and Pete are nothing alike — Alex is a responsible person with a no-nonsense personality, while Pete flies by the seat of his pants.  From the first episode, we could already smell the romance brewing between these two and we wonder how long it’s going to take before they get together.  But wouldn’t that be the kiss of death for the new sitcom?  TV audiences have proven over the years that they like the chase and romantic tension between leads, and ratings plummet once the couple gives in to their sexual urges (we’re specifically thinking of Moonlighting here and hoping we don’t see the same fate with Bones).  Not to mention, Alex has a serious boyfriend (Ben, played by Matt Letscher) who can also sense the attraction between Alex and Pete and who conveniently intervenes anytime the two get too close.

Alex and Ben...

That’s right — Bent has a love triangle…

The two leads aren’t the only ones living “bent” lives.  The new comedy also stars Jeffrey Tambor as Pete’s “bent” father, Walt.  Walt is a struggling actor working feverishly to land a new agent since his has recently died.  We’re led to believe he’s never really had a successful career, but he’s positive and has never given up hope.  Walt’s life is also “bent” considering he is still madly in love with his ex-wife (played by Marcia Gay Harden), who is a successful stage actress over in Europe.

Jeffrey Tambor knows comedy...

Pete knows the flame still burns  between his parents, and he knows that his mother will tug at his father’s heart strings before returning to her life overseas; therefore, he tries to keep the two apart.  Pete’s reaction to his parents is almost a realistic, rather than an optimistic approach which is a nice deviation from most fictional characters on television today.

The series also stars Margo Harshman (Sorority Row) as Alex’s sister, Screwsie.   Screwsie is a hoot; while her life is anything but perfect, she does seem a bit less “bent” than the rest.  She owns her own catering business, which seems very lucrative, and she almost always has a drink in her hand (tequila, wine, or coffee).  She’s young and enjoys not being tied down, especially when that means she can manipulate one of Pete’s workers (Gary, played by Jesse Plemons from Friday Night Lights).

Wrapping up the Bent cast is Alex’s daughter, Charlie (played by Joey King from Ramona and Beezus) and the rest of Pete’s contracting crew: Clem (comedian J.B. Smoove) and Vlad (Pasha D. Lychnikoff).

Charlie really likes Pete...

Each episode focuses on the home renovations and at least one other story line.  Honestly, I wonder what will happen if or when the construction job is complete — will the show fizzle out and die, or will Alex find something else to keep Pete and his crew busy?  The general plot idea definitely works at first, but there is also an obvious end to the storyline which leads us to wonder if the creators have thought that far out or if they’re just hoping to get picked up and they’ll take it from there.

While Bent has only aired for three weeks, viewers have been lucky enough for a double dose each of the past three weeks giving us six episodes to date.  I personally love the banter between Alex and Pete; Pete and Ben; Alex, Pete, and Ben; as well as Pete and his crew, and Screwsie (isn’t her name awesome?!?!) and anyone else.  The dialogue is sharp, witty, and a lot of fun.  That said, I award Bent with the JFTV rating.   I’d like to give it more, but I simply can’t; it’s not the best comedy I’ve seen, but it is one of the most enjoyable airing now on Wednesday nights (now that Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea? have aired their season finales).  For the time being, Bent will have to settle as one of my favorite TV snacks…

Before wrapping, I just want to add that David Walton (Pete) is adorable!!  I didn’t really know him before and wondered why they didn’t get someone familiar to play opposite Amanda Peet, but now I am more than happy with the selection.

And by the way, I really love the message of the show — our life can always bend, but it’s up to us whether or not it breaks.  Cheers!

What do you think? Have you watched Bent?  Which character do you like or relate to the most?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23.  Thanks to Hulu, she got a sneak peek!  And I don’t know about everyone else, but I am really looking forward to James Van Der Beek, playing James Van Der Beek, and poking a little fun at himself…

Come back next week when Amber and I review two of TV’s newest dramas dealing in scandalous affairs and shady clientele – Scandal and The Client List

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday: Television Characters Worthy of a Slap, Figuratively of Course

Does anyone ever watch a television program and think to themselves, “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.

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, 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 fun game of Slap This TV Character might just be what they need… or better yet, what we need as a viewer to continue on.

So who does Tele-Tuesday believe is worthy of a figurative slap?

*****

1. Charlie Runkle – Californication

Charlie is a bit clueless and he’s definitely a bit jealous, considering himself to be lacking in more areas than one. Over the years he’s been caught doing the unthinkable “alone-time” while at his desk at work; he’s been suckered into a sex-slave type relationship with his boss; his wife has left him and is raising his son with her new husband, who she met courtesy of Charlie; and, he’s afraid that everything good in his life will disappear and he continuously makes bad decisions in attempt to hold on to the good.  Watching Charlie is kind of like watching a train wreck — we know we shouldn’t look, but we also can’t look away.

2. Annie Walker – Covert Affairs

Annie may just be the worst CIA operative on television.  Don’t get us wrong, we love Covert Affairs; but Annie wears us out.  We’re supposed to believe that she’s been through all of this top of the line secret agent training, yet she constantly makes so many bad decisions while in the field.  And in her love life.  Hello?!?!  Why is she still pining away for the one who keeps showing up and disappearing again when she has the stable and sexy Auggie by her side?  Wake up, Annie!

3. Susan Mayer – Desperate Housewives

Susan, Susan, Susan.  Susan is a mess.  Yes she’s quirky and fun, but she’s also annoying and clueless so much of the time.  We should probably give her the benefit of the doubt since her husband was just murdered in front of her, but we’re not.  So many things have gone bad on Wisteria Lane because of Susan and her not really thinking before acting.  After Susan’s first husband left, her daughter Julie played more of a motherly role than Susan did.  Even now adult Julie still shows signs of having done a better job raising herself than Susan has, and usually offers more support to Susan than Susan does to her own daughter.  Let’s just hope Julie is around for MJ now that his father is gone too.

4. Sharon Peacham – GCB

GCB is new, but not new enough for us to have not already formed an opinion of Sharon.  Sharon is a former beauty queen who has put on a few pounds since high school, yet she’s not big in any way; she’s married to a former football star who’s stuck living a bit in his past glory days; and she’s the mother to two heavily entitled children who always put themselves first.  Through all of this, Sharon has lost her identity (if she ever had one) and she’s jealous of everyone and everything.  Even when attempting to better herself, she proves to be nothing but an annoyance to one of the most patient men in her life (her pastor).  Yes GCB is supposed to be an “over-the-top” comedy, poking fun at Texans and extremely devout Christians in a nice way (not spiteful at all), but Sharon is a bit much.

5. Maxie Jones – General Hospital

Maxie has always been a bit annoying, especially since she has lived in her younger sister’s shadow for as long as we can remember.  What makes matters worse?  Her character has not grown in the least over the years.  Currently Maxie blames herself for her cousin’s death, but not in a quiet, self-destructive way — in a public, loud, and obnoxious way. Robin’s death is her fault?  Fine!  She wants to be incarcerated for Robin’s death?  Lock her up!  Throw away the key!  Just please do something so we don’t have to listen to her whining anymore.  Please.

*****

Come back next week when we divulge our numbers six through ten…

Do you agree with our choices?  Which character/s on television do you wish you could slap, figuratively of course?  Does an annoying character stop you from watching a TV series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Please note that our selections are in no particular order, other than they are alphabetized by program name.  And remember, we’re not condemning these characters — obviously we watch each and every one of these shows, and these characters hold a special place in our hearts for one reason or another.  But don’t we all want to slap even those that we love the most every once in a while, figuratively of course?

That’s what we thought…

Tele-Tuesday: Reader’s Pick Per Night, The Comedy Polls

A few weeks ago, the Tele-Tuesday readers had the chance to vote on which television dramas they can’t live without in a Pick Per Night 2012.  Today, we want to know which comedies reign supreme.

If we’ve learned anything year after year, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.   We’ve also learned to adapt to other changes as well, 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.  We have fall premieres, winter premieres, summer premieres, and this new thing called midseason replacements.  Comedy seems to be at the top of this year’s midseason replacements with sitcoms such as Bent and the upcoming Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and Best Friends Forever.

And while the constant change to our network favorites continues to waffle, we must remember one thing — to laugh.

We’re watching more comedies than ever here at The Ooo Factor.  While some of our favorite veteran sitcoms still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on a particular night of the week and we feel an obligation to update our readers with our 2012 choices.  But before we do, we’d like to know what everyone else watches.

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

We’re omitting Friday and Saturday from the polls because there doesn’t appear to be any sitcoms on during the prime time hours.  Whatever happened to TGIF?  Remember those days?

Did your favorite comedy 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 funny program in a Pick Per Night 2012: the Comedies.

 

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.

 

Tele-Tuesday: Tour de Psych

One of Tele-Tuesday’s favorite programs returns this week – the USA Network’s Psych.  What is Psych?  This one hour television series masterfully combines the classic police procedural and detective drama with quirky laughs and top-notch pop culture references.

To celebrate the mid-season premiere, Tele-Tuesday has decided to list our top 10 Psych episodes to help everyone get ready for the much-anticipated return of “psychic” Shawn Spencer (James Roday), his right-hand-man, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill), Detectives Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson), and Shawn’s retired detective father, Henry Spencer (Corbin Bernsen).

This selection process was difficult, considering how many times the Psych writers and actors have knocked the ball way out of the park.  But we selected our top 10, nonetheless.

Sit back, relax, and grab a cup of coffee or another favorite blog reading snack – this is a long post, but couldn’t be avoided.  Enjoy!

*****

10. “Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part” (Season 5)

Because we love our readers, we have to rewind to season four for just a minute.  In “Extradition: British Columbia”, Shawn and Gus begin tracking an art thief (Pierre Despereaux played by Cary Elews) in Canada; an art thief that Lassie has tracked for years but never successfully captured.

Fast-forwarding to season five, Despereaux needs Shawn and Gus’ help and pays for them to travel back to Canada, just before his extradition to the United States.  In the meantime, the suave criminal escapes prison and is wrongfully accused of murder, leaving Shawn no choice but to investigate.

Shawn, Gus, and Despereaux

The Despereaux storyline is a fun one to return to, but “Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part” is perhaps included in the top ten because Shawn finally professes his love to Jules at the end of the episode.   And when we say finally, we mean finally.  It took us five seasons for him to admit his feelings for her.

9. “Last Night Gus” (Season 6)

“Last Night Gus” (Psych’s version of The Hangover) may have been one of the most enjoyable hours of the first half of season six.  After a night of apparently partying too hard, Shawn, Gus, Lassiter, and Woody (the coroner) wake up not remembering the night before.  Why is Lassie’s gun missing bullets?  Why did Henry wake up across town in a hotel room, sans pants?  What is the white powdery substance on Woody’s face?  Why is Shawn wearing a dead man’s sandals?  Why is “The Blueberry” (Gus’ car) dented?

Using Shawn’s “psychic” ability and Henry and Lassie’s detective skills, the group of men follow one clue after another, leading them to discover what really happened… and that “last night Gus” was a bit out of his element.

8. “The Devil’s in the Details… and the Upstairs Bedroom” (Season 4)

Shawn and Gus take the case of a college girl’s apparent suicide after one of her professors (Father Westley, played by the great Ray Wise) pleads with them to investigate, believing the girl to have been possessed by demons.  Why not?  It’s a Catholic University…

Shawn never believes the girl’s death to be more than suicide, but “plays along” until he actually discovers there was indeed foul play involved.  And when the Father is suspected of killing the girl, Shawn dedicates himself to prove the Holy Man’s innocence.

This was a bit of Heaven for former Twin Peaks fans…  Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), playing a priest, accused of murdering a young girl?  Too fun…

7.  “This Episode Sucks” (Season 6)

What more needs said about “This Episode Sucks” besides: vampires, Corey Feldman, and Kristy Swanson?  Exactly… but we will, just because.

When a body is discovered drained of blood in a parking lot, Shawn immediately believes vampires were involved.  He and Gus dress the part and visit a cult-like bar where all of the patrons dress and perhaps believe that they are indeed vampires.

Shawn and Gus "undercover"

Remember the pop culture references mentioned above?  Again, fantastic writing and attention to detail comes into play as Shawn and Gus approach the bartender to question him regarding the murder.  As the bartender turns to face the “Psych” detectives, “Cry Little Sister” (the theme song from The Lost Boys) plays louder and louder until – Duh Duh Duh DUNNNNNN — Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) turns to face them.

Also in this episode, Lassie meets a woman (Kristy Swanson) who the rest of the gang believes is involved in the murder.  Is she a vampire?  Probably not… but has Lassie finally found love?  Maybe…

 6.  “Yang 3 in 2D” (Season 5)

The Yin and Yang storyline is hands down one of the top highlights of the Psych era.  Since our first introduction in season three, we’ve watched multiple episodes featuring Shawn’s biggest nemeses.  Sorry to throw a Yang storyline in here at number six (essentially out-of-order if one is not familiar with the series), but we’ll provide more detail below in the top five.

After a woman (Mena Suvari) claims to have escaped the elusive Yin (Peter Weller), Shawn cannot help but investigate, knowing that Yin is responsible for Yang’s (Ally Sheedy) psychopathic nature and her years of tormenting him.  Shawn uses Yang, against everyone else’s better judgment, to face the evil behind the deranged.

Yes, this summary is cryptic but we didn’t want to give too much away…

5. “Murder? … Anyone? … Anyone? … Bueller?” (Season 3)

What could go wrong when Shawn and Gus attend their high school reunion?  Well murder, of course.  But there’s only one problem – there’s no body.  Without the body, no one believes Shawn.  So Shawn does what he does best – he pushes forward until he uncovers all of the necessary clues to solve the case.

Oh, and he reconnects with a girl he dissed in high school (Abigail, played by Rachael Leigh Cook) which begins an ongoing relationship for Shawn.

4.  “Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast” (Season 1)

We love when Jules gets more involved in the cases, and our favorite episode of the entire first season follows Jules as she goes undercover in a sorority house.  She invites Shawn and Gus to help as she investigates a series of bizarre events seemingly related to an earlier suicide at an insane asylum.

Sorority house, undercover assignment, insane asylum, alleged ghosts – who could want more in an episode?

See, even Shawn and Gus are spooked...

3. “An Evening with Mr. Yang” (Season 3)

We could almost say this episode is where it all begins, but that would be a lie considering we’re in season three.  This is, however, the introduction of Yang (Ally Sheedy).  Yang is a serial killer who has set her sights on Shawn and those dearest to him.  Shawn mistakenly suspects a psychologist (Mary, played by Jimmi Simpson) as Yang, but soon discovers that he is dealing with another deranged madman (or woman in this case) all together.

Things intensify on Shawn and Abigail’s date at the drive-in when Yang kidnaps Shawn’s mother (Madeleine Spencer, played by Cybill Shepherd).  Will Shawn’s astute attention to detail save his mother’s life and allow him to capture Yang before it is too late?

2. “Mr. Yin Presents…” (Season 4)

As reminded by the Ion Television Psych Saturday evening marathons, “Mr. Yin Presents” is by far one of the best episodes to date.  The episode begins when Shawn and Gus are reminded of a former foe – Yang.  After she releases her new book, a book she has written from her new home inside an insane asylum, another familiar face returns (Mary, Jimmi Simpson).  Mary insists that Yang was working with a partner, so Shawn and Gus agree to interview her hoping for answers.

Yang gives them what they ask for – confirmation that she has a partner:  Yin.  Everyone is drawn into Yin’s game – a game consisting of scenes from classic Alfred Hitchcock movies.  Shawn, Gus, Henry, Lassie and Jules are separated into different Hitchcock scenes, when both of Shawn’s loves (Jules and Abigail) are kidnapped.  Who will Shawn choose to rescue and who will die?

Who will Shawn choose - Jules or Abigail?

And Number 1… Drum roll please…. “Dual Spires” (Season 5)

Shawn and Gus travel to Dual Spires looking forward to a cinnamon festival they learned about via a mysterious email, but instead find a murdered teenage girl wrapped in plastic down by the water.  Together they join forces with the town’s sheriff to solve the murder.

We could go on and on about this episode.  James Roday outdid himself writing this piece: he perfected the oddities of the characters from Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery from the ‘90s, Twin Peaks; he mimicked the eerie music and peculiar dancing to a “T”; and he incorporated a few of the Twin Peaks iconic elements such as the diner, the log lady, the caged bird, and the pie.  Even better yet, Psych cast a few of the Twin Peaks alumni for the episode: Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), and Sherilyn Finn (Audrey Horne).

Every once in a while, Psych adjusts the opening theme song to appropriately fit the night’s episode.  Needless to say, “Dual Spires” was one of those episodes – and the show’s creators invited Julee Cruise to sing the opening (that’s right!  She also sang the Twin Peaks’ opening).

“Dual Spires” inspired those of us at Tele-Tuesday (me) to write a “thank you” note to the producers of Psych at the USA Network.  While we didn’t hear back from James Roday himself, we did receive an email from one of the producers thanking us for the kind words and assuring us that our note would please Roday, considering this episode was one of his creations.  Maybe she never shared our note, but it doesn’t matter.  We felt better expressing our gratitude for an episode VERY well done.

*****

The mid-season premiere “Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger” airs this Wednesday, February 29th on USA.  Will you watch?  Let’s just say one of our favorite bad guys is expected to return in this special extended episode of Psych, and a familiar face for those of us Twin Peaks fans guest stars.

We’ve already seen so many of our favorite faces from the ‘80s and ‘90s during the first half of season six:  Molly Ringwald (Psych loves the “Brat Pack”, Joey McIntyre, Jason Priestley, Danny Glover, and William Shatner.  Who’s next?

Just two besties playing 'thumb-war'

Do you watch Psych?  What’s your favorite episode?  Who is your favorite guest star to date?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Tele-Tuesday: March Madness, TV Style

Television programs air sporadically today, and we’re not safe assuming (we all know what that really means) all new series and returning shows begin in September and January.  It’s simply not true anymore.

Since introducing so many new programs to 2012 in January, we decided to take the first few weeks of February to provide a breather of sorts.  But now we’re back, introducing yet another pilot series to ABC and two returning sophomores to Fox and USA that perhaps not everyone will be familiar with.

What will you watch?

*****

GCB

Originally Good Christian Bitches and later Good Christian Belles, GCB follows a former high school Queen “B” (Amanda, played by Leslie Bibb from Crossing Jordan) after she returns to her home town (Dallas) following a divorce and moves in with her mother (Annie Potts, Designing Women).

Despite the fact that Amanda left her “mean girl” days behind her, the girls she terrorized in high school haven’t quite forgotten the way she treated them.  Everyone, including Amanda’s mother, seems to be stuck in the past and the tables have turned on her.

GCB also stars: Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) as Carlene, Marisol Nichols (24) as Heather, Jennifer Aspen (Party of Five) as Sharon, and Miriam Shor (Damages) as Cricket Caruth-Reilly, the girls Amanda terrorized in high school.  The series wouldn’t be complete without the husbands: David James Elliott (JAG) as Carlene’s husband, Ripp; Brad Beyer (Jericho) as Sharon’s husband, Zack; and Mark Deklin (Lone Star) as Cricket’s husband, Blake, who happens to have a Dallas-sized secret of his own.

GCB premieres Sunday, March 4thon ABC.

*****

Breaking In

How many shows can actually say they have officially survived a literal network cancellation?  Not many; Fox first resurrected Family Guy in 2004 after watching continued success of the previous seasons in DVD sales and reruns airing on Adult Swim.  And now Breaking In can, a Fox program originally cancelled in May 2011.

Breaking In follows a team of “legitimate thieves” working at Contra Security, a high-tech security firm.  Clients hire Contra to break in and highlight flaws in security systems already in place.  For example, in season one the Contra team is hired to break into a house with a supposed impenetrable security system in an attempt to retrieve a valuable belonging to the homeowner.  Later, they discover that the house belongs to their team leader, who unbeknownst to them happens to be on the verge of a nasty divorce.

Perhaps our favorite episode of the first season was when the Contra team was hired to protect an invaluable DVD sequel until its national release party at Comic-ConGoonies 2.  The pop culture references and comedic events were absolutely spot-on and hilarious, at least for those of us who will forever be a Goonie.

The Contra team is led by Oz (Christian Slater, Heathers), a man who loves to play mind games on his staff… a staff composed of: Cameron (Bret Harrison, Reaper), a genius with top-rated hacking abilities; Cash (Alphonso McAuley), a gadget guy and hacker; Melanie (Odette Annable, House), the hot girl with safe cracking abilities; and Josh (Trevor Moore), the master manipulator and master of disguise.   Season two will see a new, yet familiar face at Contra Security when Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) joins the cast as Veronica, Contra’s new boss.

Breaking In returns to Fox Tuesday, March 6th.

*****

Fairly Legal

We love the USA Network’s programs here at Tele-Tuesday, which is why when Fairly Legal premiered last year we immediately checked it out.

Fairly Legal follows Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi, Life – a great short-lived series, by the way), a former attorney turned mediator working at her father’s law firm in San Francisco, as she deals with life both professionally and personally following a failed marriage and her father’s untimely death.

Kate, while extremely beautiful and successful, lives life by the seat of her pants.  She resides on her father’s boat, arrives late to almost everything, and relies heavily on her assistant (Leonardo, played by Baron Vaughn) to keep her day straight.  Once Kate arrives at the office, she not only has to deal with arguing clients assigned to her by the courts (especially those difficult cases assigned by Judge Nicastro, played by Gerald McRaney), but also with her new boss and step-mother, Lauren (Virginia Williams, Monarch Cove).

Unfortunately for Kate, her professional life isn’t the only thing leaving her rushing around with her head cut off.  Factor in her soon-to-be-ex husband Justin (Michael Trucco, Battlestar Galactica), who she continues to have an on-again/off-again relationship with, and the secrets surrounding a man (Richard Dean Anderson) involved with her father prior to his death, and Kate’s life is hectic.

Fairly Legal returns to the USA network Friday, March 16th.

*****

Will you watch GCB?  Do you agree with ABC’s decision to change the title?  How about Breaking In and Fairly Legal?  Did you catch the first seasons and if so, what did you think?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Supernaturally Yours – Warlocks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

*****

Harry Dresden (Paul Blackthorne) – The Dresden Files

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

*****

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

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

*****

Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross) – Eastwick

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

*****

Pogue Perry (Taylor Kitsch) – The Covenant

Tyler Simms (Chace Crawford) – The Covenant

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

*****

Jake Armstrong (Chris Zylka) – The Secret Circle

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

*****

Brendan (Michael Weatherly) – Charmed

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

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

Wyatt Halliwell (Wes Ramsey) – Charmed

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

*****

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

In the middle...

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

*****

Warlock (Julian Sands) – Warlock

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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