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Tag Archives: book break: TV show

Veronica Mars
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Watch It: The WB | Amazon Instant Video

After her best friend is murdered and her father is removed as county sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.


So…anybody heard any news about this show lately? Yesterday at 9:30 am CDT, creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter for a Veronica Mars movie. The goal was $2 million, and it seemed like a lofty one. The show had been off the air for six years; would there still be a following? They reached the halfway point in under five hours, and topped $2 million in under eleven. Those who donated, Ashley and I included, helped guarantee a movie (and closure for us fans) in less than half a day. So that following? Still there! I quite literally cried when we reached the halfway point, because this is six years in the making, and I have never loved a show the way I loved this one, not before, not since. I’m tearing up as I type.

The summary is only the beginning of this show. It features Veronica, who has a million reasons to trust no one, making her way through the torture that is high school after her best friend, Lilly, is murdered. Her family has been torn apart, and she literally has no friends. Horrible things have happened to her. She is hardened because of her experiences, and while she makes mistakes (a lot of them, actually), she is a strong woman, a role model, and pretty much exactly what I, Tina, look for in YA protagonists. After losing his job, Veronica’s father, Keith, becomes a private investigator and Veronica learns the trade from him. She runs the front desk, but she also takes cases from kids at school. She is so jaded, and nothing she sees in the cases she works, from her peers or her father’s, makes her want to change her mind: “If there’s something I’ve learned in this business, the people who love you let you down.”

Veronica begins to make friends in season one, starting with the lovely Wallace. He is so great throughout all three seasons, and he provides a really good counterpoint to Veronica’s headstrong impulsivity. We also meet Mac, played by the great Tina Majorino, as a computer whiz with a really heartbreaking story. And we can’t forget Weevil, the leader of a Latino biker gang with a heart of gold. And then there are the 09ers, and let me warn you, you will hate some of them at first. At the forefront is Duncan, Lilly’s brother and Veronica’s ex-boyfriend. Mystery swirls around him all season. And then there’s Logan, Duncan’s best friend and Lilly’s boyfriend. He is Veronica’s biggest menace and has the ability to hurt her the most with his words. He is cruel and he is unrelenting. But, in Neptune, nothing and no one is as they first appear.

These characters are in no way flat or one-dimensional. Everyone has shades of gray, everyone has a backstory, and everyone has a sympathetic angle. No one is straight-up evil, and no one is completely pure. This show has nuance, handles gay and lesbian characters with tact and maturity, makes jokes and pop culture references so sharp, you’ll be quoting them years after you’ve watched all the episodes. The characters are intelligent and witty, and completely worth your time getting to know. In the first two seasons, there are season-long and multiple-episode mystery arcs, in addition to Mysteries of the Week, smaller cases Veronica solves (or doesn’t) within the scope of an episode. In the first two seasons, the continuity between seasons is fantastic, and you’ll hear lines and see people from season one in season two.

Now. Season three. The dreaded season three. Prepare yourself, because I am very emotionally attached to this show, and this section will seem dramatic. I am honestly conveying my opinion, but by no means let that negatively influence how you see this show. But season three is why I couldn’t give this show five stars. In season three, the characters go to college. The transition is… not smooth. The show had barely been approved for a final season, the show moved from UPN to the new WB, and a lot of the original writers were let go. The format was changed so that the season-long arcs no longer existed. They did this to make the show more appealing to new viewers, but all it really did was make original fans quit the show. In my opinion, everyone began acting out of character. They changed into people I didn’t recognize. To this day, I have not seen the entirety of season three, only bits and pieces. I can’t watch it, because it hurts to see my beloved characters mangled this way. I, along with lots of others, quit watching entirely. We killed the show, basically. Season three only had twenty episodes instead of twenty-two, and ended on a cliffhanger so horrible and heart-wrenching that people were screaming for a movie before it was even over.

And now? We’ve got it, baby. It’s a done deal.

Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Watch It: ABCFamily | Hulu

Bunheads is the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.–Amazon


I loved Gilmore Girls. Well, okay, I loved the first three seasons of Gilmore Girls and then tolerated the later seasons because they weren’t the same. So when I found out that the creator of Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, was creating a new show I was all over it. I was ready for it. This show did not disappoint. Yes, it was slow to start, and the first episode ends with this amazing yet scary cliffhanger and although the series has its ups and downs it is a slice of perfection all on its own.

Bunheads is the story of Michelle Simms, a former ‘bunhead’ or ballerina who ends up being a Las Vegas showgirl. She has a persistent admirer named Hubbell who offers her marriage after seeing her show for the umpteenth time. After noticing her life is at a dead end and her career is nothing she dreamed of she takes him up on the offer and ends up moving to his small, sleepy coastal down of Paradise, California. If you watched Gilmore Girls, Paradise will look familiar to you. Even some of the locals will look familiar to you.

In Paradise, California, Michelle ends up helping her mother-in-law, Fanny Flowers, who is enraged that her only son would not only elope, but elope in Vegas with a showgirl. Fanny however teaches at the local ballet school, the Paradise Dance Academy. This is a perfect thing for them to bond over, right? Not really. Fanny is stuck in her ‘old’ ways, and Michelle likes to mix it up.

Although there is a giant group of students that Fanny teaches, which is quite shocking for such a small town, the show focuses on a core group of four. You have Bettina, or Boo, who is an amazing dancer and gives it her all; however, because she is big boned, the dance world doesn’t really take her seriously, but it is clear that her family and friends love her no matter what. Then there is Sasha, the head of the group you could say, and often seen as the asshole. This is of course seen because she is considered to be the best dancer in the class, and is held to much higher standards than the rest of the class. Even with all of this going for her, her family life sucks and she is often jealous of her friends for what they have going for her. The third girl in the group is Ginny. Ginny’s mom is a wee bit crazy and this often effects Ginny to the point she is high strung and while her life isn’t remotely how she often wishes it would be it is clear that she loves dancing and her friends. Lastly, there is Melanie. Melanie is bitter, sarcastic and snarky. She calls out anyone when they are being annoying and deserve to be called out.

Although the four of them should probably never work as friends, they do, plus they look to Michelle and Fanny for leadership even though Michelle and Fanny, at the beginning, differ a lot. Over the beginning of the first half of the first season (ABC Family’s schedule is a bit weird) Fanny and Michelle begin to work together and realize they have more in common than they thought and continue to work together to not only change the school for the better but their lives.

To me, it is exciting to see how this show is different from Gilmore Girls, and it is, but also how same it is with the “la la las” and the guest stars.

suburgatory300_3255Suburgatory on ABC
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon
Watch It: hulu

The series follows George Altman, a single father who decides to get away from New York City to the suburbs so he can give his teenage daughter, Tessa, a better life. However, their move to the suburbs has the daughter wondering if they just entered the world of The Stepford Wives after they see how “perfect” their new locale is, right down to the neighbors who welcome them into the cul-de-sac.

This show is the story of George and Tessa Altman, a father/daughter duo who move to the suburbs from New York City. George found condoms in teenage Tessa’s room and quickly moved her to the burbs where everything is perfect and she’ll be safe. And while the town they live in is freakishly perfect in many ways, it also has its share of problems which Tessa and George work through together and the help of their various friends.

This isn’t the perfect show by any means, but it’s cute and it works. Jane Levy plays the New York City teenager who was forced to move to the burbs, quite well. She quickly becomes friends with Malik, the high schools so-called token black kid who happens to be dating Tessa’s best friend Lisa, who lives across the street from Tessa. I relate to Tessa a lot. She’s awkward, she’s a teenager who’s convinced her parents don’t understand her (although hers don’t for various reasons. Mostly because they’re weird).

Tessa of course has a rival, this is high school, and TV. Her rival is Dalia, a materialistic popular girl, who has her smart moments, but often has things go over her head to the annoyance of everyone around her. Dalia’s mother, Dallas, is really good friends with George and often throws signals at George that she would like more. He is currently ignoring most of them.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with this show. I assumed I’d get it from the library (thanks local library for having massive amounts of TV shows), put it in and have it as background noise while I complete everything on my to-do list. Yet that didn’t happen at all. I got sucked in. Hard. I want more of it and I want more of it now. I like the friendship between Lisa and Tessa. I like the father/daughter relationship between George and Tessa because even if it isn’t a ‘normal’ relationship, it’s theirs and it works. I like that they portray relationships well between Tessa and guys, too. There was a brief love interest in the first season and one that you don’t know is there, but it’s perfect.

I put this show in the area I put Raising Hope. I wish it got more attention because it’s a good TV show.

leverageLeverage on TNT
Airs Sunday, 8PM EST
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon

TNT’s Leverage takes a Robin Hood approach to criminal justice. After losing his son, ex-insurance investigator Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton) reinvents himself as an avenging angel who rights wrongs for victims of organized greed with the skilled support of thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf), hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), grifter Sophie Devereaux (Coupling‘s Gina Bellman), and retrieval specialist or “hitter” Elliot Spencer (Angel‘s Christian Kane).In the spirit of Mission: Impossible, each episode revolves around a different job, and though producer/director Dean Devlin (Independence Day) shot the pilot in Chicago, Leverage Consulting sets up shop in L.A., where the rest of the series takes place. Hardly original–even the jazz-funk score sounds familiar–it’s still a breezy lark that moves easily between drama and comedy, and the flashbacks to the team’s past are a fun touch. During their inaugural year, they represent clients ranging from a wounded reservist to Nate’s pastor (D.B. Sweeney). Other notable guests include Buffy‘s Danny Strong as a conscience-free contractor and Popular‘s Sara Rue as an endangered whistleblower. All the while, the hard-drinking Nate’s attraction to the increasingly alarmed Sophie grows at the same rate as his alcohol consumption (Alec also develops a crush on the oblivious Parker). –Kathleen C. Fennessy (from Amazon)

This TV show is a re-telling of a modern day Robin Hood. There is Nate Ford, the head “mastermind” of the team with his own shitty past. His son died (in part due to him) and he took his grief and turned it into something interesting. Then there is Sophie, a grifter. Sophie is a horrible actress. HORRIBLE. Everyone knows it, but Sophie. Sophie thinks she is the greatest actress to walk the Earth. Here’s the thing about Sophie, when Sophie embraces a character in a grift, she is almost a perfect actress. It is a beautiful thing to see come to life. Then comes the highlight of the show. The comical three. First there is Hardison, a computer geek who does his best behind a computer. Plus, his nemesis is played by Wil Wheaton! Then is his bff (but they will both deny it), Eliot. Eliot is the hitter. He can beat up five men in the time it takes you to blink. There is also a back story to him, that even seasons into the show is still being show. Lastly, there is Parker. Oh Parker. She’s quirky. But a good quirky. She has what many consider to be the fun job. She’s the thief. She can steal anything. Quickly.

The five person team were good by themselves, but they are amazing together.

Now, I know, you’re going but they steal! And they do, but they steal from the rich to help the poor/the bad to help the good. I can’t think of a time I am not pulling for them to come off as the winner. This team has their enemies. It’s currently the fifth season of the show and they are also fighting a bad guy through the season, even if that bad guy may be a person on their team who is fighting their own demons. (I’m looking at you Nate. I’m almost always looking at you.)

I look forward to this show every single week. I look forward mostly to watching Hardison, Eliot, and Parker with a dash of Nate and Sophie. The show just went on summer hiatus (thanks TNT!) but this means you now have time to catch up on it!

bennetThe Lizzie Bennet Diaries on youtube.
Airs: Monday/Thursday
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Watch It: youtube

Just introducing myself as part of a class project. We’re in grad school together. Charlotte’s the mastermind behind the camera, she wanted me to talk about my life, which, yeah, sounds tremendously exciting right? But we’ll do our best to be at least moderately entertaining. Also, in the future, I will try to get Charlotte out from behind her pipe.

So in this first video, you meet me, my friend Charlotte Lu, and my sister Lydia (accidentally). And I introduce you to a parody of my mom as well, who, hopefully, you will never meet.


I’m not really big into youtube. I understand I’m probably the only person in the world who can say that. But it’s me. However, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries? They’re hilarious. They make me want to get into youtube. I mean, I don’t have time. But if I did have time! They are full of Austen references. The executive producer is Hank Green. Yes THAT Hank Green. Plus, her best friend, Charlotte is awesome and cracks me up. I guess I weirdly relate to her, whatever.

But really, I just love the modern take on it. I emailed/tweeted people who I knew would love it and wanted them to watch it ASAP because I wanted to talk about it RIGHT THEN AND NOW. The way she interacts with her sisters and acts out her parents is just a great modern take on Pride and Prejudice and kind of makes me shocked that no one has done it before.

They even got called out on slutshaming and respond.

I like where this is going and highly recommend it.

AndyBarkerPIAndy Barker, PI
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Purchase It Amazon
Watch It Amazon | hulu

From the hilarious minds of Conan OBrien (The Tonight Show) and Jonathan Groff comes Andy Barker P.I., an off-the-wall comedy about earnest, hard-working CPA-turned-detective, Andy Barker (played by Andy Richter, Late Night with Conan OBrien), and featuring the extraordinary writing talents of Conan OBrien (The Simpsons), Jonathan Groff (How I Met Your Mother), Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Josh Bycel (Psych). The show premiered on the NBC network and was immediately greeted with critical praise. – Amazon

I caught this show on hulu when it I got a commerical that said “people who watch this show are 3x more likely to like Andy Barker PI.” Since I am in a Netflix slump, I figured “why not!” The show originally aired on NBC for six episodes and was produced by Conan O’Brien.

It was a short, quirky, mystery show. I love it and wish that there was more of the episodes. Often shows go on too long: this one went on too short. It starts off when Andy Barker, played by Andy Richter, is a CPA, opens up a new office. It just happens that this office used to be rented by a PI and everyone still thinks it is rented by the PI. Andy of course tries to tell them that he is not a PI, but money is being thrown at him so it is almost impossible for him to really say no. Being a PI works for him though. Not cause he hates being a CPA, he doesn’t, he loves it; but he really has a knack for being a PI.

The cool thing is he gets help from everyone around him. His wife, who completely disapproves at first but ends up helping him in the end. There is also Simon, who is the manager of the video store below Andy’s office. The mans movie knowledge is amazing, which often comes in handy in the PI business (who knew?!) And then there is Wally who owns an Afghan restaurant but after 9/11 his restaurant became very American themed. Wally is also very into surveillance, in part because a family member of his can’t work for shit, which comes in handy when Andy needs to watch people in the parking lot (which is often.) And lastly one of the main characters is Lew Staziak. Lew happens to be the PI that had the office before Andy. Lew loves Andy and is more than willing to help Andy. Of course he would never admit that to Andy, because that’s not Lew. Lew is a 70-year-old hard ass and proud of it.

I’m sure I’m not doing an amazing job of explaining it, but seriously go watch it. Six, half hour episodes? Easy peasy!

hopeRaising Hope on FOX
Airs: Tuesdays, 8pm EST
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon
Watch It: hulu

A 20 something single man must raise his infant daughter, conceived from a one-night stand, with the help of his flawed family after the baby’s mother (who has killed multiple boyfriends) is given a death sentence and executed when the baby is only six months old. – Amazon

I didn’t want to love this show. I really didn’t. Tumblr and my friend actually swayed me towards watching it. Here is a pretty unknown fact about me (haha. Joking, it’s known) I don’t like babies. I am not a baby person one bit. But the baby who plays Hope? ADORABLE. Plus this cast gets along beautifully and you can tell they have fun.

Raising Hope is the story of Jimmy, played by Lucas Neff, who is a sort of failure at life, who has a one-night stand with a serial killer, who of course ends up pregnant. Having a baby changes Jimmy’s life. And his parents, who had him quite early in life. His parents, played by Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt, are fabulous. They play their roles fabulously well. No, really they do. This show could go many ways and Plimpton and Dillahunt, fairly major people on the show makes sure that the show stays funny and has heart. Which is awesome. Plus, Jimmy’s Maw Maw (Grandmother) is played by Cloris Leechman who is hilarious as always. Maw Maw rarely has a “good” day and is known to take her top off. Which causes many laughs.

Jimmy even has a love interest in Sabrina, played by Shannon Woodward. They both work in the neighborhood grocery store, and their backgrounds could not be more different, but Jimmy is drawn to Sabrina, and Sabrina, understands Jimmy’s family is a little crazy but she loves them anyway.

Neff was once interviewed in the LA Times and said “it has really good values at its core. It’s a very sweet-hearted, kind show, and it places family first and doing the right thing first. You don’t see a lot of that in TV or movies. We celebrate a lot of fancy heroes and fancy criminals and infidelity and, generally, just a lot of bad behavior. It’s nice to be part of a show that celebrates decency and being good to one another.” And I think that’s what I like about this show. At its heart it’s about being good to people.