What to watch: Fall TV (the pilots)

E-CardAs I’ve discussed here and here, I love television. A lot. Probably more than I should at my age. Or really, at any age. But also like I’ve mentioned before, there are worse things to which one can be addicted. Cocaine, for example. I’ve never tried it and don’t really intend to. But a glass (bottle) of wine and a fantastic new episode of Empire or Scandal is the equivalent of a good high in my world. Easily excited, this one.

Fall is undoubtedly one of my favorite times of year. First you have the typical white girl reasons why: pumpkin spice everything, boots, scarves, and clothes that actually cover up all your wobbly bits and transgressions. Second you have football, hockey, and playoff baseball. And last, but certainly not least, you have fall television. One must now specify FALL television, as TV programming (much like film releases) is now year-round. Summer TV has brought us plenty of goodies: Entourage, Ray Donovan, Mistresses, and so much more. But the golden eggs still lie in Fall.

This season also gives me anxiety. Because amongst all of my returning shows, I must make major decisions about what new ones to watch. By the time September and October actually get here, it’s usually easy to cross many off the list simply because I am exhausted by how much a network is trying to push a show (or four) down our collective throats. I almost dumped Blindspot for this very reason, but so glad I didn’t. This year there were many debuts that caught my eye. But  between an enormous amount of returning shows and the fact I can’t stop myself from starting new binges (Damages on Netflix and The Leftovers on HBO, currently), I didn’t try out very many this year. I don’t do many comedies, never have, so although Grandfathered and The Grinder made me go hmm originally, I haven’t watched them. Please, by all means, tell me if I should. So one-hour dramas are up to bat.

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What to watch: Chef

chef_xlgIf you know me personally or have read more than just my last post bemoaning the lazy dating habits of a fair number of modern men (I have yet to wrap my head around the number of visits this silly little blog has had because of that post…) you know that I’ve spent over half my life in the movie theater business in some form or fashion. I started shoveling popcorn as a means to get a car at 16 and somehow made this fabulous career out of it. I thought I was going to have to leave it last year, which was rather traumatizing. But as I told a direct response vendor today, no one who enters this industry ever successfully leaves this industry. At least not for good. You think I’m joking. I’m not. It’s one big collective, never ending game of incestuous musical chairs. But damn we freaking love each other. And booze. We really love booze.

Because going to the movies has always been part of my “job” I’ve not always enjoyed it. It’s hard to turn it off when you walk into a popcorn-ridden, 60 people in line with only two kids behind the concession stand lobby. But during my days playing the batshit crazy singleton of the Real Housewives of the M Streets (read: when I was unemployed) going to the movies is the one thing I allowed myself to spend money on consistently, other than electricity, dog and cat food, and naturally, wine.

Whether you go alone, with one of your best friends or find a guy who will “man up” as the last post suggests and ask you out on that second date, you should probably choose Chef. I am a little late in posting this so the film is not as wide as it was, but if you’re fortunate to still have it in your market — Dallas, you’re good — don’t walk. Run. Oh wait, be sure to stop and eat something extraordinarily delicious beforehand. If not, you WILL return home and gather ingredients that will only suffice for a somewhat passable grilled cheese, then be sorely disappointed because it didn’t turn out anywhere near as good as the one Jon Favreau makes in the movie. And either way, regret will soon follow because you’ll quickly realize you’ll never have Sofia Vergara’s body by eating grilled cheese, gourmet or otherwise. However, you will still absolutely adore this movie.

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What to watch: television killed the boyfriend (Part 2)

E-CardEarlier this year I posted Television killed the boyfriend (Part 1) in which I word vomited my overall love for television and featured my top ten shows of yesteryear. I absolutely loved hearing your thoughts and own favorite oldies both on here and Facebook. I am always down for a lengthy discussion of all things boob tube. Wait, does anyone say that anymore? Regardless, many of us shared shows in common. This is why we are friends, Readers.

I figured it was time to discuss my favorite shows of today. Kids, this was NOT an easy thing to do. If you only knew how many shows I watch you would actually wonder how I have any social or dating life at ALL, or even time to shower. I much prefer to spend my time on the couch in jammies watching most anything on my DVR or Netflix, but apparently one doesn’t find a husband or stay in shape that way? That’s what I’m told. So alas, here is my beloved list of top ten current favorite shows (narrowing it down was torture, you’ll see I totally cheated…twice). Again, they’re listed in alphabetical order because I can’t stomach the thought of trying to rank them.

Anything by Shonda Rhimes

ShondalandSee? I’m a cheat. This woman reigns supreme when it comes to primetime drama. I’ve watched and loved all of her shows: Grey’s, Scandal and Private Practice. I think I’m the only person I know who actually watched every episode of PP. I still want to stab all most of the characters. However, my favorite, Amelia, has made her way to Seattle full-time so I am thrilled. It soothed some of the pain (not all, but some) of having to say goodbye to Yang. Though I will say, as much as I love Grey’s and believe those of us who suffered through the middle years have been rewarded with the excellence of the last few seasons, it’s really time for this show to bow out. Scandal on the other hand? One of the most brilliant shows on television today. OLIVIA + FITZ 4EVER.

The Big Bang Theory

big-bang-top-the-big-bang-theory-who-s-set-to-have-the-first-babyI attempted to watch Big Bang several times before it and I finally clicked. God bless syndication and marathons. The most recent season is the first I watched as it originally aired. I love all the geekdom of course, I have been to Comic-Con after all. But I am such a gooey, hopeless romantic that I seriously teared up when Leonard and Penny at long last got engaged  (um, spoiler alert!) I know it’s fiction people, I really do, but it gives me hope. If it’s meant to be it will always find a way! It was one of the many themes of Sex and the City: Carrie and Big! Charlotte and Harry! Miranda and Steve! And along those same lines…

Bones

BonesGood gosh how long did we wait for Bones and Booth to finally end up together?! I don’t know many others who consistently watch this show. I, myself, started watching it after binging on Netflix (shocking). I’ve also read all 16 books by Kathy Reichs on which the show is based. So clearly I am a fan. The books are set in Charlotte and Montreal, so I had a a bit of a nerd alert moment when I went to Charlotte for the first time earlier this year. Lovely city, by the way.

Criminal Minds

MATTHEW GRAY GUBLER, PAGET BREWSTER, SHEMAR MOORE, THOMAS GIBSON, JOE MANTEGNA, AJ COOK, KIRSTEN VANGSNESSCriminal Minds is another show I picked up thanks to syndication and marathons. I lost a lot of hours (days, really) to this show a few years ago thanks to ION and A&E. I’m not complaining though; it’s utterly fascinating. Who doesn’t want to be a member of the BAU?! I have learned, however, not to let this be what is on TV as I am trying to fall asleep. It will freak a girl out and ain’t nobody want THOSE kinds of dreams. Well, unless they’re involving Derek Morgan, then the more the better!

This is one of those shows which has had iconic moments longtime viewers will never forget: Gideon leaving, Haley’s death and the whole terrifying Foyet storyline, JJ leaving…and coming back, Prentiss dying…and coming back! And aww, JJ and Will’s wedding! So sweet! I will admit though, I never was a fan of Elle! But I’m always a fan of Rossi cooking! And of Morgan or Reid doing, well, anything.

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What to watch: television killed the boyfriend (Part 1)

53fb3cc15edff5592b9b2dd650b66d8dThere are three types of people in this world I do not trust. Those who claim to not drink. Those who claim they only read non-fiction. And those who claim not to watch television.

We are in the second golden age of television, if you don’t watch TV, what in the world is wrong with you? Please don’t actually answer that, because your response will inevitably be obnoxious and I can’t deal with you. TV has literally (please read that as if Chris Traeger is saying it) kept me off a ledge numerous times over the past six years. Specifically in the past six months. My DVR and Netflix combine for one of the best relationships (and only threesome…) I’ve ever been in and I am by no means ashamed to admit it. My TV boyfriends have certainly treated me much better than some of the real ones, THEY at least aren’t afraid to commit.

I can snuggle up with Jax Teller, Derek Morgan or Jackson Avery any time I want. And it’s amazing. As I typed that I just realized I can’t actually take any of those home to Daddy. Maybe Jax if I cleaned him up a little. But cleaning him up completely defeats his purpose.

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What to watch: Her

Her-Movie-Poster-400x600I’m sure the majority of who are reading this right now are aware I’ve spent my entire career (since I was 16 actually) in the  movie/movie theater business. Shoveling popcorn and cleaning up those leftover Goobers and Diet Coke of yours was my very first job. That turned into theater management, which turned into corporate marketing, which turned into three years in Los Angeles. Then a return to corporate marketing, which turned into unemployment when we were sold. But that’s not the point. I still LOVE going to the movies and the business itself, in fact I kind of enjoy it even more now that it’s not my job. I hope it forever remains one of my favorite escapes.

Of the award contenders I’ve seen, I loved Captain Phillips, Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club. Wolf of Wall Street is the most bizarre, offensive, vulgar, yet amazing, cocaine and hooker-fueled trip through 80s wall street you can imagine. It’s shockingly fabulous. I’ve also seen American Hustle. I’m going to get pushback from my fellow industry folks on this, but I was sorely disappointed. I’ve looked forward to this movie for eons (Bradley Cooper, anyone?) so apparently my expectations were just too high. In my personal opinion, it was disjointed and slow. Don’t tell me I don’t appreciate David O. Russell, because Silver Linings Playbook is one of my top 20 movies of all time. Amy Adams’ wardrobe and Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in AH however? Both awesome.

Yesterday, one of my girlfriends and I spent an afternoon at NorthPark. Window shopping and a trip to AMC (the worst run theater EVER) to see Her, which just opened in Dallas yesterday.

I. LOVED. THIS. MOVIE.

Technically it is a 2013 movie since it began it’s release last year, therefore I will say it’s my favorite movie of 2013. It’s absolutely fascinating. It will make you think about everything. Your relationships, your life, how you handle your past and of course how much you use technology. As soon as you finish reading this, get off your computer/phone and go speak to a HUMAN BEING. The relationship between Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (his operating system) becomes very real and very painful. And this could really happen, people…and happen soon! What I will say, however, is that as far advanced technology is and what a significant role it plays in life in this film, it made me smile to see how it’s juxtaposed by both the fashion (very 70s) and  Theo’s job. He writes “handwritten” letters for people. His organization stores your handwriting and they compose original letters on your behalf. So although, yes, someone else is creating original words for you, at least they’re some form of “handwritten” letters right? We don’t even do that NOW. That goes to show you, no matter how much changes in society, some things we just can’t let go of. And it’s my belief this lovely film – both in content and visually – serves as a warning to not let humanity be one of them.

My most favorite quote comes from Amy (Amy Adams), which I must share:

We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.

Xo, Nikki