Posts tagged ‘The Vampire Diaries’

August 5, 2012

My Fall 2012 TV Line-Up (Complete with New Show Previews)

It has been way too many months since I have had a decent weekly line-up of shows, but I suppose that’s always how summer is.  Starting in September, my TV watching skills will come into play as I juggle 23 ongoing TV shows and try out 7 new series (all new shows are given a 3 episode test-this is the rule I’ve developed over time that ensures you will know after 3 episodes whether or not you want to commit to watching a show regularly).  Unfortunately, NINE of these shows air on Thursdays.  My DVR skills will definitely be put to the test on this insane night of competing television, but I’m confident I can handle it (thank god Project Runway will almost be done by the time the other shows start- and it airs reruns!).

Below you will find my finalized TV spreadsheet (sorry it’s a bit blurry in JPEG form).  Shows in the same color conflict with each other, and bold shows represent new series I plan on trying out.  For all the new shows, I’ve included a brief description and a trailer below in case you are interested in watching them, too.

Fall 2012 TV Spreadsheet

Partners– Mondays at 7:30 on CBS

Two guys, one gay and one straight, have been friends since they were kids.  As adults they try to balance their friendship with their romantic relationships, but sometimes run into trouble.  I’m really excited about this show because I love Michael Urie (Marc from Ugly Betty), and I also love that his boyfriend will be played by Brandon Routh (he played Superman!).  Plus, I appreciate that the show takes an unconventional approach by showing how guys can be best friends despite having opposite sexual orientations : )

Emily Owens, M.D.– Tuesdays at 8:00 pm on The CW

Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep, plays the lead in this Grey’s Anatomy-like show.  The only difference?  The main character is a recovering nerd who is trying to put the past (unsuccessfully) behind her to have a shot at being a calm, cool adult.  I find her much more relatable than a lot of the characters on Grey’s Anatomy, and as that show is being dragged out too long, this show is just starting and brings a fresh perspective.

Go On– Tuesdays at 8:00 pm on NBC

Since Friends, I will pretty much try most of those actors’ new shows.  This is why I watched Mr. Sunshine, Cougar Town, Dirt, and (only the pilot of) Episodes.  Go On is Matthew Perry’s new sitcom about a guy who finds friends and support in a dysfunctional grief group.  I love the bit in the trailer about “March Sadness,” and appreciate that the show seems to balance humor with some real drama about Perry’s character recovering from the death of his wife.  Be sure to catch the initial sneak peek preview on August 8th after the Olympics.

Arrow– Wednesdays at 7:00 pm on The CW

I think I’m only giving this a shot because I watched Smallville for so long. Smallville incorporated the Green Arrow as a regular character in the series, but Arrow is devoting a whole show to the superhero.  The Green Arrow story is about a rich guy who survives a plane crash his parents perish in.  He ends up on a deserted island for awhile and when he returns to his city life, he becomes a vigilante.  I was planning on passing after watching the trailer, but apparently the footage shown at Comic Con really impressed the crowd.  Now I’m curious about watching it…

Animal Practice-Wednesdays at 7:30 pm on NBC

My feelings for this show are kind of hot and cold.  I think it could be pretty funny, especially since the main character reminds me of Jeff on Community, but it might also be too over the top.  The premise is a smart-ass vet balances saving the lives of animals with goofing around with his co-workers and hitting on girls.  It has potential, but like Go On, it needs to balance the humor with drama to create long term appeal.

Beauty and the Beast– Thursdays at 8:00 pm on The CW

This show has A LOT of competition on Thursday night.  Kristin Kreuk plays a police officer who keeps getting saved by a mysterious “beast.”  This beast turns out to be a genetically enhanced soldier that was supposed to have been killed off because he was a failed government experiment.  He escaped, but has to stay hidden to ensure his survival.  Kreuk’s character feels the need to protect him because of the many times he saved her.  I feel that between the hot young actors and the classic storyline, this will probably do well.

Made in Jersey– Fridays at 8:00 pm on CBS

I really try to avoid court room dramas like the plague, but this one just may reel me in.  It has an Erin Brockovich feel to it because its about a Jersey girl trying to succeed as a lawyer in the competitive New York arena.  She uses her street smarts to close some tough cases (think Elle Woods and hair care knowledge), but will take some time to really prove herself.  If the show remains character driven over case driven, I’ll probably love it.  Otherwise it will get dropped (by me) after three episodes for sure.

There are three new shows that aren’t on my schedule because they won’t air until midseason (likely January).  I wanted to include them here in case you still can’t find a show that fits your particular niche.

The Carrie Diaries– The CW

This show follows the story of Carrie Bradshaw (the main character of the Sex and the City series) as she navigates the tough reality of being a teenager.  I absolutely love Sex and the City, and I hope this show maintains the character of Carrie well.  They will have the show set in the 80’s to keep up an accurate timeline, so that’s probably a good sign.

Mistresses– ABC

Despite big TV promos, I really wasn’t feeling any of the new ABC shows this Fall.  Last Resort seems to political, Nashville seems to country, and The Neighbors is actually about aliens…PASS.  Mistresses, however, is planning on taking a shot at that Desperate Housewives vibe.  GCB failed at this last year, but perhaps this one will make it.  I have a feeling it might be a little too sexy for my taste (when every single character is sleeping around with everyone else I get bored- let’s put some real stories and dialogue in there please), but we’ll see.

The Goodwin Games– Fox

How did I miss hearing about this show until now?  It has a great cast that includes Becki Newton (from Ugly Betty and How I Met Your Mother) and Scott Foley (from Felicity and recently, Grey’s Anatomy), a reconnecting family plot line, and a good mix of humor and drama.  These things all make for a Kelly show.  The premise is that three siblings are reunited by their father’s death, and end up competing for their inheritance in games their father really created to bring them closer.  The trailer for it looks really cute, and I can’t wait to check this one out next year.

What new shows are you looking forward to in the Fall?  And what favorites are you anxiously waiting to return?  For me, I’m definitely looking forward to the return of The Vampire Diaries-what a cliffhanger!

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June 5, 2012

5 Cheap Cures for the Summer Blues

Since I decided to become a teacher, I still get a summer break.  And since I still get a summer break, I still hit that same period about a couple weeks into summer break where I feel completely bored. Yeah, sure, I’m grateful for the extra rest, but eventually sitting around doing nothing becomes less exciting.  I know a lot you are not teachers and don’t have this summer break problem, but perhaps you still feel a little bored with the lack of television options (another brutal reality for me the next few months) or you still feel phantom summer break boredom pains from your younger ears.  Here are a few ideas to add some fun into your life until the end of August rolls back around.

1. Rediscover Magazines

Remember when getting mail was fun and not just full of bills?  You can have that again!  Magazines are extremely cheap now because the industry is dying out with so much media being consumed online.  While print magazines may be out in a decade, you still have some time now to embrace their twilight years (at excellent prices, too!).  Amazon has several magazines available for only $5 a year!  This is how I subscribed to Marie Claire.  I feel you can get $5 worth out of any yearly subscription, especially if you are interested in the overall subject matter.  My sister got me into Marie Claire because while it does have a lot of fashion pages, it also has articles about real girls doing real things you can either relate to or admire.  I particularly loved the article “Love and the Single Girl” in this month’s issue.  Knowing there are single ladies out there thwarting parents from buying online dating subscriptions for them or being asked to move to make room for a couple, yet still completely content with their lives, makes me realize that being single at 24 is not a life sentence.

I will constantly recommend Entertainment Weekly till I die, but I am also one to love me some pop culture news.  Entertainment Weekly offers an extra tablet edition of their magazine free with your subscription, which is great on the go and offers extra interactive features (ex. jumping to a trailer of a movie you are reading about).  This has been especially useful to me while I am in Orlando.  EW runs about $25 for the year, but for $9 more you can get it for two years (remember, it’s “weekly”).  You can check out EW’s offer here, or pay less for a shorter subscription over at Magazines.com here.

I know there is a lot of digital media for us to consume, but nothing quite beats sitting down for an hour to flip through a magazine by a pool, curled up on your couch, or killing time during travel.  You will always get a little more written content than if you read the articles online, and you will help make sure future generations get the opportunity to post pictures from magazines on their wall (I still have EW covers as decorations in my apartment…haha).  Click here to check out Amazon’s current $5 deals on magazine subscriptions (through June 17th).  Also make sure to stalk Groupon and Living Social for magazine deals, as I have gotten a couple $12 subscriptions there, too.

2. Try out Fitness Classes through Summer Deals

Gyms are not stupid.  They know we as a human race hit summer and go oh….swimsuit season…damn those extra pounds!  I think even skinny people feel awkward sometimes when they pull out that swimsuit that has been at the bottom of their drawer the past few months.  But this ends up working in our favor because the gym and exercise class deals that pop up are great!  A lot of boot camps run shorter session deals where you can do a few weeks of classes at a highly reduced rate.  Tulsa Fit Body Boot Camp, the place I went in March and April under a Groupon deal, is offering 2 weeks of classes and a meal plan for $25.  You can e-mail tulsafitbootcamp@yahoo.com for more information.  For my Orlando friends, Fitness-n-Fun boot camp is offering 6 classes and a consultation for $29 on Living Social (ends by June 6th…so check it out now).  I just bought the Jazzercise deal on Groupon today (ends in a few days).  It’s offering 10 classes for $39 or 20 classes for $59, which is really good compared to their regular monthly and start up fees.  I’ll probably end up using this half in Orlando and half in Tulsa since it’s valid at any location.

If you are really tight on cash or really fickle about your choice of exercise, most classes offer the first class free to try.  You can be really budget conscious and spend weeks just hopping around to different classes.  Gyms will offer similar free day or week passes, though they might bug you a lot afterwards to make a financial commitment.  Just think of the summer as a time to play the field, exercise-wise, to find that one place you could see yourself making a long term commitment to come Fall ; )

3. Make New Friends, But Keep the Old (TV-wise of course)

After May, my busy DVR takes a 4 month siesta- this is probably crucial to its ability to function, but can be quite a bummer when night after night I struggle to find anything worth watching.  This is where my DVD/Blu-Ray player gets its yearly workout.  When June comes up, I usually dust off my DVD collection to find those few shows I feel I’ve taken a long break from and need to re-watch.  In past years I’ve gone through Buffy, Friends, Lois and Clark (90’s love!), and Roswell.  This summer I chose some old Grey’s Anatomy episodes (select seasons…I don’t have the patience to watch some of it’s dark periods, a.k.a. The Dr. Hunt Years) and The Vampire Diaries (TVD).  I’m watching TVD with my friend Erin, which has been really fun.  TVD is probably one of my top favorites on TV right now, and I’ve never re-watched episodes since they aired (minus one in Russian while I was in Moscow, haha).  Watching shows with friends who haven’t seen them is much more exciting than watching them by yourself, because you get to see them go through all the shock and awe you did when you first saw all the drama play out.  There’s nothing quite like marathoning through an old favorite…

…except maybe marathoning through a show that’s new to you!  I tend to pick up at least one new show each summer that’s been on the air already by watching reruns, taking advantage of the Hulu Plus free week trial, mooching off a friend or relative’s Netflix capabilities, or visiting the magical place called the Orange County Library System (once you go OCLS, you don’t go back…sorry Tulsa).  I’ve picked up Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation, Covert Affairs, Downton Abbey, How I Met Your Mother, The Middle, and Chuck this way.  It’s even fun to do this with series that have finished because then you can relish in not having to wait after any cliffhangers (people who did this with LOST are so lucky!).  Here are a few of my recommendations for TV shows to catch up on based on your interests and time:

a) For people who don’t want to catch up on too much before the shows start next year, check out Revenge and Once Upon a Time.  Both of these were freshman hits for ABC this year, and have a pretty good following due to their unfolding mystery plots.  You’ll want to be up to date on these for break room conversations next year at work.

b) For those who take forever to go through episodes, try Downton Abbey.  It’s a hit with most and only airs for a short period each year.  It’s been on two seasons already, but only totals 16 episodes.  Note that season 2 is better than the first, so be patient if it seems a little dull in the beginning.  Like wine, it gets better with age.

c) Comedy fans should check out the underrated Community.  They just did an episode almost completely as an 8-bit video game!  If that isn’t awesome enough to entice you, there is also a fake flashback episode, a zombie attack episode, and 3 epic paintball battle episodes.

d) For fantasy/sci-fi fans, Supernatural is still one of my favorites.  It is one of the few TV shows to be banished to Friday and then sent back to a mid-week slot.  And it was just renewed for an 8th season….so I am not the only fan.  Two hot brothers solving supernatural crimes with rich, long-running plot lines to support the series? Win.

4. Create a Personal Style Book

Now this is something I haven’t tried before, but that I thought of while perusing the latest Marie Claire.  There are so many times where I have random thoughts while browsing online, walking through stores, or flipping through a magazine- “I love that print on that top!” or “I wonder what that nail polish looks like on…” or “I need to decorate my apartment like that.”  I feel like in my mid-20’s, I’m finally coming into my own style…or maybe I’m just beginning a new chapter of an ever-evolving life cycle of style (this is coming from someone who wore bike shorts in elementary school (they were comfy!!!) and every single Old Navy solid color top in middle school).  I kind of wish I had a book that had all those likes and interests together.  When I described this to Katie, she said..”Soooo, you want to make a Pinterest book.”  I went to defend it, but she’s right.  It’s a Pinterest book.

I like the idea of Pinterest, but never really got into using the platform.  I’m more drawn to creating a book by hand.  Not only will it take up some time (it can really be infinite if you fill it up a little at a time as time passes), but it’s more unique than a bunch of links on a website.  It creates a good way to get a second use from my magazines, forces me to be more aware of current styles (and the types of things I’m drawn to), and can be a great coffee table book for my apartment : ) I imagine my final product would have pages like this:

The above picture is from a blogger that already created books like the one I’m describing- one for fashion and one for home decorating.  I think this can be a fun project to help you get your ideas together whether you are freshening up your wardrobe, furnishing a new apartment, changing up a room in your house (ex. preparing it for a new baby!), or creating an idea book for special occasions.  I picture this done with a blank notebook with cardstock-like pages.  I think notebook paper might be too flimsy for a lot of gluing, but those notebooks with dividers built in are tempting to separate your idea collections.

5. Learn (some of) a New Language

Raise your hand if you’ve vowed to teach yourself a new language, bought a bunch of stuff to support your learning, and then given up this dream after a week?  ::Raises hand…3?…times::  I really want to learn some Russian so that when I go back to visit our family friends I can converse a little.  I was on a good roll by the end of my trip last year, mastering about 75 words and phrases, as well as learning how to read the language (just pronunciation, not comprehension).  But now most of those words I have to check on in my language book, and I only remember how to sound out a handful of letters.  Boo.  This summer I’m going to try to use my extra time to make a little more progress in my russian language acquisition.

For anyone else bold enough to take on a foreign language this summer, I highly recommend checking with your library concerning any free programs they offer.  OCLS offers an online program that is self-paced called Mango Langauges (oooo, Tulsa offers Mango Languages, too- see here). I worked with this a little last summer before all my TFA training started and loved it.  I made flash cards as I went (which I recently found!) to support long term learning.  All you need is your library card to access the online courses they offer (note that you can’t learn the whole language, but these free tutorials are great for building a good general knowledge to have short conversations with native speakers).  Here is a list of the languages offered:

If your language isn’t too obscure, you can also find CDs and workbook kits at the library to learn the language as well.  I wouldn’t recommend Rosetta Stone until you are fully committed to learning the language.  Even the cheaper kits online can put you out $30, which is only worth it if you’ll stick with it.  Try Mango first and checking out audio CDs for on the go…this could be you by the end of summer : )

I hope one of these (or all of these!) suggestions struck your fancy and will help you cure any impending summer blues in 2012.  I myself will be imploring all five, but then again, I’m an overachiever.  Even if you don’t get a break from work or school, find some time to pretend you have all the time in the world to just relax and enjoy the sun : D

August 15, 2011

My Epic TV Guide: Fall 2011

Amidst my big move to Tulsa and my upcoming preparations for teaching, I haven’t lost myself completely.  More specifically, I haven’t lost my love for good Prime Time TV.  Here’s what my initial TV schedule will look like for the Fall.  New shows are in bold and are described below the schedule.  I give new shows the three episode test (this is enough episodes to truly get a feel for if you like or can pass on a show), so those may not be keepers long term.  I don’t think I could adopt all 8 anyway just based on how busy I will be this year.  Shows in a color block conflict with each other, but my DVR and back up bedroom TV should be able to tackle that okay ; )

Notes: Cougar Town is not on here because it doesn’t return until mid-season (I think November?).  I also am not including The Sing-Off because I got very bored with the show last season ::Yawn::

Kelly’s Fall 2011 TV Schedule

Fall 2011 TV Premieres

All the following summaries are from TVGuide.com.  You can see all new TV show summaries at their website here.

Charlie’s Angels: Hello, Angels! This frothy, Miami-set reboot stars Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh as the latest incarnation of the crime-fighting trio — but it doesn’t start out that way. Eve (Kelly), a rogue street racer, joins the group after her childhood friend/original Angel Gloria is murdered. Something tells us she’ll fit in just fine. Fun fact: The series will premiere on the same day the original show debuted 35 years ago.

Grimm: Better brush up on your German. Grimm’s Fairy Tales gets a procedural twist with Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), a detective who discovers his destiny is to protect humans from the storybook baddies that have invaded our real world.

Hart of Dixie: Rachel Bilson reunites with The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz for this medical drama, playing big-city doc Zoe Hart, who heads to tiny Bluebell, Ala., when she inherits a practice. Expect culture clashes galore and Zoe to stay put after coming through in a medical emergency and discovering an old secret.

Once Upon a Time: Do you think fairy tales are real? They are in Storybrooke, Maine, a town frozen in time with fairy tale figures who have no recollection of their real identities. Leave it to 10-year-old Henry (Jared Gilmore) to try to set things right when he tracks down his birth mom, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a bail bonds collector who is the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Joshua Dallas). The fantastical drama, which will tell dual stories set in present-day Storybrooke and in fairy tale land, comes from Lost writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for lots of references to time travel and polar bears.

Pan Am: Come fly with them! Set in the ’60s, the drama centers on the loves and lives of stewardesses (led by Christina Ricci) of the iconic titular airline. Although lauded as symbols of sleek, Jet Age glamour, their personal lives are full of turbulence. Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie and Karine Vanasse round out the Barbie doll-like crew, who are as adept at coffee service as they are at… oh wait, we can’t ruin that twist.

Ringer: Sarah Michelle Gellar’s back! And this time, there’s two of her! Gellar plays twins Bridget and Siobhan — both decidedly un-Buffy-like — in this mystery thriller that was originally developed for CBS. Bridget, a recovering alcoholic, is on the run from some baddies and decides to hide out by taking the identity of her wealthy twin sis, who is thought to be dead. Turns out taking on Siobhan’s persona puts Bridget in a very different kind of danger. Lost alum Nestor Carbonell co-stars, but don’t expect any sci-fi stuff, à la Lost and Buffy, on Ringer. “No hatch! No island!” Gellar says.

The Secret Circle: Something wicked this way comes from Kevin Williamson once again. The man who gave us Vampire Diaries has now adapted L.J. Smith’s other supernatural book series. Britt Robertson is Cassie Blake, a California teen who moves to Chance Harbor, Wash., where she discovers she’s a witch and joins a secret coven that includes Thomas Dekker, Phoebe Tonkin and Shelley Hennig. But don’t think you will know what’s coming if you’ve read the novels. Why? (Spoiler alert!) The show kills off someone who survived the whole book series in the opening minutes of the pilot.

Terra Nova: At long last, the Steven Spielberg-produced dino drama — about the Shannon family (led by Jason O’Mara) who travels back to prehistoric Earth to save the human race — will hit our TV sets with dinosaurs of every friendly and not-so-friendly variety. “You’re going to see some pretty cool dino-on-man action,” co-executive producer Jose Molina says.