Goodbye, 2014

I can’t say I’m sad to see 2014 go.

Don’t get me wrong, some really great things happened this past year.

I read some really great books.

night filmready player oeyes pleaseclearly i didnt

I saw some really great movies.

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I watched some really great TV.

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My brother graduated from high school and started college. I got a new job. I fell in love. I fell out of love.  I moved out of an apartment with a roommate and moved into an apartment with a boyfriend. And then moved out of that apartment and into a place of my very own… And then had to get a new second job in order to afford said place of my very own. I joined a gym. I made new friends. I lost some along the way, too.

2014 has been a roller coaster of year. It has taught me a lot about life and a lot about myself.

In 2014 I learned…

Love really does make you do crazy things. Like stick around for longer than you should and put up with things that you shouldn’t have to. It’s easy to sit there and say what you would do if you were in someone’s shoes, but it’s a whole other thing to actually be that someone in the thick of things. You never know what someone is going through, so can we all just start being nice to each other?

There is always a way out if you want there to be. I was the first person to tell people how bad of an idea I thought moving in with a boyfriend/girlfriend was, and then I did the very thing I used to preach against! So when it wasn’t working out, I felt like such an idiot. I’m lucky to have supportive friends who would always let me vent and parents who offered to help me even before I asked.

Don’t ignore your intuition. That little voice inside your head that’s whispering to you? Accept the fact that it knows better than you do and listen to what it’s saying.

Nothing is as important as your own health and happiness.

Someone who sees the glass half empty all the time is not someone you want to be around.

Just because you post copious amounts of cat pictures on your instagram and no longer have a boyfriend does NOT mean you are a crazy cat lady. (Saying this for a friend.)

Not wearing makeup isn’t the end of the world. In fact, no one even said I looked tired/awful/insert unflattering adjective here. Instead, someone commented on my “healthy skin” and said they were jealous of my long eyelashes. I think I’m on to something here, ladies…

On the flip side… Makeup is fun! This past year, I discovered my interest in nice makeup and Sephora and I’m not looking back. Maybe in 2015 I will finally attempt to try some of Amber Rae’s makeup tutorials!

Sometimes you just have to stay in and watch 90s TV marathons on Netflix. And that’s totally ok.

I still don’t have it all figured out, but instead of letting that scare me, I’m meeting the new year with arms wide open and ready for change. Bring on 2015!

TV Update: Finale Edition

OK, I have a confession. I haven’t been watching a ton of TV lately! And by lately, I mean that I haven’t seen the finales for at least a few of the shows I used to watch. Similar to what happened during the mid-season break, I’ve done a lot of TV show cleansing in the past couple of months. Once again, I got pretty behind on my shows and realized that I felt “forced” to catch up on some of them… When it starts feeling like a job, you know you need to make some changes!

What I’m Watching

Game of Thrones – LOVE it.

Mad Men – I haven’t loved the final season, but the mid-season finale thing (last week’s episode) was pretty good. Plus, I’ve stuck around this long, so I’m not going to give up on it now.

The Walking Dead – I loved this last season and am eagerly awaiting the next! (The fact that Tall Guy and I watch it together is a pretty big bonus, as well.)

Nashville – My love for Connie Britton will keep me watching this show. It kind of lost itself a little in the middle of the season, but I thought the season finale was strong, and I’m glad they’re bringing it back for a third year.

True Blood – I’m so sad the coming season will be the last! Also, one of my favorite characters (you know who if you watch it) better NOT be dead!

Dropped

The Bachelor/Bachelorette – Juan Pablo ruined it for me. I won’t be watching any further seasons.
Chicago Fire
AHS: Coven – I got all the way until the finale and stopped caring. I’m sad that it lost me, the season started off so strong!
Grey’s AnatomyScandal
Girls

Do you remember way back in the Fall when I had a ton of shows to watch? I’m proud to say that I’ve cut my number of shows in HALF!

What shows are you still following?

10 Binge-Worthy TV Shows on Netflix

It’s FREEZING again today! Thankfully, Netflix is there to help us all survive the rest of this Winter! Here are my picks for TV show binge-watching…

Broke Girls Go Out

It’s March, but there’s still snow on the ground and temperatures only get above freezing for a few hours each day. I would kill for some nicer, light-jacket-only weather, but it seems like this Winter will be hanging around a bit longer.

What better way to ride out the tail end of the longest Winter than TV binging? Here are my top TV picks that can currently be found on Netflix…

1. House of Cards – Possibly the greatest thing that will ever come from Netflix. I’ve talked about it a little bit on my personal blog, but do yourself a favor and start watching this today. Like The West Wing, but cutthroat.

2. Alias – Jennifer Garner as a secret agent government spy, kicking ass and taking names. This show is funny, action-packed and emotional. A lot of episodes have cliff-hanger endings, which makes binge-watching this show…

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So Long, Sweet Season 2

I’m talking, of course, about Netflix’s House of Cards.

Ask any of my good friends and they’ll tell you that I can binge watch TV shows with the best of them. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I’ve already finished the second season of this insanely addictive show. If you’re like me, you understand the House of Cards-shaped void in my life right now.

To ease the pain, I offer you this video from Digg. Note that it contains ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS WHATSOEVER, so don’t be afraid to watch it if you haven’t seen all of the new episodes… Or any episodes at all.

And now, wise words from the {SPOILER}, Frank Underwood.

If you haven’t gotten into this show yet, shame on you and get on it ASAP. You can thank me later.

Olympics Obsessed

It’s finally here! The Olympics Opening Ceremony is TONIGHT!

Even though Sochi is kind of a hot mess,  I’ve been counting down the days to the Olympics and cannot wait to see all of the different events! Everyone is as excited about the Olympics as I am, right?

My Olympics obsession started way back in February 2002 when my dad and I took a trip to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was pretty young, but I will never forget all of the crazy things we did on that trip. Highlights include… Seeing the US Women’s bobsled team win Gold; taking an old-school train through the countryside to the cross country course; sitting in the very back row at the ski jumping stadium and making friends with the women next to us; getting ice cream from a shop called COWS; trading 3 pins for a green jello pin; seeing Bode Miller on the podium at a Medal Ceremony; my dad and I making the best steak sandwiches I’ve ever had in our tiny hotel room; sitting on the side of a mountain at a skiing event with no jacket on because it was super warm out; getting a t-shirt signed by the Jamaican bobsled team; going to a Dale Chihuly exhibit; seeing a medal women’s hockey game and watching the losing team cry on the ice; and realizing I had the best dad ever when he got tickets to the Medal Ceremony where ‘N Sync was performing. We saw every event except for curling and speed skating and it was, hands down, the best vacation I have ever had (and probably will ever have)! We took millions of pictures, but unfortunately they were all on disposable cameras (do you remember those?) and the prints are now sitting in an album at my parent’s house, so I can’t share them with you, but just take my word that the trip was amazing.

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My dad sent me this picture last week! We bought one of the (super fancy shmancy) 2002 Olympic commemorative ornaments.

So not only do I love watching the Winter Olympics every 4 years because of the fun events (snow cross, anyone?) and the amazing athleticism that these people display, but it brings back really fond memories of my own Olympics experience.

Tune in to the Opening Ceremony tonight on NBC at 7:30 pm! And be sure to check out the NBC Olympics TV schedule so you don’t miss your favorite events!

Midseason TV Update

Ok, it’s just past the midseason mark, but work with me here…

Life got busy, TV got boring and my TV scheduled was whittled down a bit…

What I’m Watching

The Bachelor – Juan Pablo is a homophobe. This season is boring. I’ll probably still watch it just so Jennifer Weiner’s tweets have some context.

Chicago Fire – I still really like this season! (It’s one of the few shows I can say that about..)

Nashville – I’m not loving most of the plot lines this season, but I’ll keep watching because of Connie Britton and country music.

AHS: Coven – The season started off strong, but I’ve slowly gotten less interested. The finale is tonight and I’m 2 episodes behind. I’ll definitely watch it to the end, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s so close to being over.

Grey’s Anatomy – I don’t even remember what happened in the midseason finale. And I haven’t watched any of the new ones after the break. Has it even started back up again? I’ll probably drop this soon.

Scandal – The midseason finale was really strong. I haven’t seen any of the new episodes, though, so I need to get over my “no new TV was on, so I forgot that I care about TV” attitude and watch them.

Girls – I can’t decide if I like this show or just like to hate-watch it. Maybe somewhere in between, but the episodes are short and easy to get through, so I’ll keep watching this season. I’m kind of getting used to its awkwardness and maybe have started to appreciate it a little bit.

The Walking Dead – I absolutely loved the midseason finale and am REALLY looking forward to where the second half of the season will go. The prison was getting a little old, so I’m glad they’re branching out again.

Dropped

Sleepy Hollow
The Originals
The Vampire Diaries
The Crazy Ones
Dracula

I realized I was forcing myself to catch up on some shows that I really didn’t enjoy all that much. Cleaning out the (TV schedule) closet feels good! I’m sure the fact that Tall Guy doesn’t watch or like any of my shows has something to do with my trimmed down schedule, too…

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What shows are you still watching?

Tonight’s Must-Watch TV

In an unbelievable slip, I forgot to include one of my absolute favorite shows in my original Fall TV post. The horror!

It’s a show I am eagerly anticipating watching on my TV again and its season premiere is TONIGHT!

You guessed it: The Walking Dead (AMC, Sundays at 9/8c; Season premiere 10/13)

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Image from geeksofdoom.com

There’s something you should know about me. I am the BIGGEST scaredy cat when it comes to scary movies and TV shows. Haunted houses? I’m the pillar of strength. The Ring? I couldn’t sleep for a week. I do believe I’ve touched on this before. Thanks for the sleepless nights, American Horror Story Season 1!

So when my best friend first told me I “HAD to watch” TWD, I wouldn’t even hear it. No WAY was I going to open up that can of worms again. But then she convinced me and we watched a couple episodes together and I was instantly hooked! The thing about TWD is that it’s more about the relationships between the characters and how they form this new life in the apocalyptic world than it is about being scared of the constant threat of zombies. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of awesome zombies on the show and yes, sometimes they sneak up on the characters and scare the shit out of me, but the plots and character interactions are what drive the show. If you haven’t seen it and are into zombies in any way, or even if you just think Andrew Lincoln looks hot in a dirty cop uniform, do yourself a favor and start watching this! It’s on Netflix and if you’re like me, you’ll catch up to the new season in about a week. You can thank me later.

FTF Update:

I love it!
Sleepy Hollow – This show is better than I expected, and already got a full season order from FOX!
Chicago Fire – Season 2 is a lot stronger than the first season.
The Vampire Diaries – I’ve cried watching both new episodes, so…
Grey’s Anatomy – How am I not bored of this show? Props to series creator Shonda Rhimes for keeping things interesting.
Scandal – This season is crazy good. Yes, I’m aware we’re only 2 episodes in.

Meh.
The Originals – It has major potential and I REALLY want to love it, but I just don’t. I’m definitely going to keep watching, but there’s just something about it that isn’t clicking for me. The lackluster writing leaves something to be desired, but the plot and most of the acting is solid.
Nashville – Still love this show, but it seems like this season is moving at hyperspeed. There’s a lot of stuff going on, but they’re not really delving into detail with anything, so it’s kind of just ending up as a jumbled mess. Hopefully it will get better soon.

Late Additions
The Crazy Ones – Based on the pilot episode alone, I will watch this series solely for the genius that is Robin Williams. He and James Polk are great together.

Axed
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The pilot was fine, but I just can’t seem to care about the characters, or really the show in general. I didn’t have time to watch it when it aired the second week and didn’t feel like dedicating time to catch up on demand.

I haven’t watched AHS: Coven yet, but I’m SO excited to see it because I heard it’s amazing and it does indeed look amazing. Dracula premieres on 10/25.

What shows are your favorites so far?

TV Overload

I know, I know, ANOTHER TV post… already?! That would be correct. Hello, TV addict over here!

With only 1 show on my watch list premiering last week, I considered it a bit of a “soft open” to FTF. This week, however, has LOTS of new shows! Some oldies but goodies, some that just can’t seem to die and some brand spankin’ new ones that will hopefully last longer than a few episodes.

Here’s what I’ll be watching this season…

Sleepy Hollow (FOX, Mondays at 9/8c; Series premiered 9/16)

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Image from fox.com

The premise is that the headless horseman and Ickabod Crane somehow end up in present day Sleepy Hollow and Crane teams up with a local cop to fight off the horseman and figure out the mystery that is his sudden awakening. I thought the series premiere was really strong! To be honest, I’m a big fan of period pieces in general, so if a show does that well, I’ll usually get on board with the rest of it. It did feel like the premiere gave a lot away, though, and I’m not sure if the show can keep up the momentum (or the ratings) to last, but I’m hopeful! Tonight’s second episode should help shed light on how much staying-power this show has.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Tuesdays at 8/7c; Series premiere 9/24)

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Image from abc.com

A TV version of an Avengers movie spinoff. The show brings back Agent Coulson, who died in the movie, and is centered around him and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that I’ve never heard of before. I’m not a comic book fan in any way, but I did enjoy the Avengers movie and most of the individual superhero movies, and on top of that, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) is executive producing, so I pretty much have to give this show a try.

The Originals (The CW, Tuesdays at 8/7c; Series premiere Thursday 10/3, it moves to its actual time slot the following Tuesday)

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The Vampire Diaries (TVD) spinoff follows fan favorite Klaus to New Orleans as he vies to once again become vampire king of the city. His (also vampire) brother and sister follow him there and (PLOT TWIST!) the werewolf Hayley is pregnant is Klaus’s baby!… OK, so it sounds pretty awful… But they put a soft premiere episode into last season of TVD and it was mostly on par with the original show. I don’t love the pregnant aspect, obviously (to say babies aren’t my thing is an understatement), but I’ll give this show a try anyway. It’s a little weird that they’re putting the series premiere on a different night than the regular time slot (on a Thursday, right after the TVD premiere, in hopes of audience retention, I’m sure), but despite any possible confusion, this show looks like it will be another CW hit.

Chicago Fire (NBC, Tuesdays at 10/9c; Season premiere 9/24)

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I’m not sure what it is about this show that piqued my interest, but I have to say it isn’t half bad as far as NBC dramas go. The writing is a little off here and there, but it’s pretty well acted and the story lines have a good bit of depth. Plus, attractive actors in firemen uniforms… Need I say more? I’m looking forward to good things out of the show’s sophomore season.

Nashville (ABC, Wednesdays at 10/9c; Season premiere 9/25)

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Image from rickey.org

I LOVED the first season of this show. Connie Britton is one of my absolute favorites to watch and it’s about country music, so obviously I was on board the moment I saw the first flashy teaser. Icing on the cake is that the music is actually an awesome part of the show and not something you wish they would bring in outside musicians for. So excited for this next season!

American Horror Story: Coven (FX, Wednesdays at 10; Season premiere 10/9)

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Image from kpopstarz.com

AHS is one of the best shows on TV. The first season freaked my roommate and I out so much that neither of us could sleep for weeks. Since I decided against watching the second season at 10 pm when it aired (aka right before I go to bed), I have yet to actually watch it in its entirety. Season 2 got off to a slow start and I just wasn’t able to keep up with it, although I’m told it got really good towards the middle, so I’ll definitely have to make an effort to watch it all. Season 3 looks really great, but I still refuse to watch it right before I go to bed!

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, Thursdays at 8/7c; Season premiere 10/3)

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Image from fanpop.com

It might just be a stupid tween vampire show on The CW, but this show has had some pretty awesome episodes over the years. One specific season finale comes to mind, but I won’t give away any spoilers to those of you who want to watch it (it’s on Netflix!). I’m not super into the current story line (I prefer the simpler days when the brother vampires were the craziest thing happening in their town, although that didn’t last for long), but I think Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson (Dawson’s Creek) do a great job with the series in general.

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, Thursdays at 9/8c; Season premiere 9/26)

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Image from tvseriesguide.net

This is the show that never ends, it will go on and on my friends… Don’t get me wrong, I love Grey’s, and the first few seasons hold a very special place in the TV section of my heart, but enough is enough already. How many more traumatic experiences can the doctors at Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan Memorial go through? Sandra Oh is reportedly done at the end of this season, and I hope the series is, too.

Scandal (ABC, Thursdays at 10/9c; Season premiere 10/3)

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Image from madamenoire.com

Kerry Washington is another favorite of mine. She highlights an already-awesome ensemble that has great chemistry, story lines and writing, to boot. Washington’s “fixer” character is super complex, as are are the characters on the show, which makes for very interesting episodes. And the forbidden fruit that is her relationship with President Fitz makes it impossible not to come back for more each week. If you’re going to pick one show to start watching, make it this one. (It’s also on Netflix!)

Dracula (NBC, Fridays at 10/9c; Series premiere 10/25)

Dracula

Image from fearnet.com

Friday nights are usually where shows go to die, but I think given the success of Grimm (NBC, Fridays at 9/8c), the fact that this show is in a Friday slot is not necessarily an indication that NBC has no hope for it. I can guarantee that I won’t be watching the episodes when they air, but I am interested enough to stream them. I haven’t seen many promos for it, so I’m not sure if it’s a twist on the traditional Dracula tale or not… On second thought, I’m not sure I even know what the traditional Dracula tale is…

Didn’t Make the Cut: Revenge (ABC) and Once Upon a Time (ABC)

I watched both of these shows during the first half of last season and ended up getting really behind on both of them. (Usually if I’m more than 3 weeks behind on a show, I’ll stop watching.) I had originally planned to catch up on these shows over the Summer, but that never happened. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to drop some shows though. I mean, it obviously wouldn’t hurt if I had less shows to watch…

What shows are you planning to watch this season? Are there any from last season that you’ve given up on?

What I’m Watching

I am a television addict. Seriously- I would watch it all if I could! I’ve never seen a 90s teen drama that I didn’t like and I watch “guilty pleasure” tv shows (looking at you, CW) like it’s my job. Now if they would only start paying me…

As you know, I look forward to the Fall for a lot of reasons, and new TV is one of them! But I do enjoy the TV break during the Summer because it gives me time to watch some of the (over 200) movies on my Netflix queue and re-watch my favorite TV series, or catch up on the series and shows I might have missed over the years.

Last night marked the very beginning of what I like to call “Fall TV Frenzy” (or “FTF,” for writing purposes), the month and a half long time period when series and shows have their Fall premieres. NERD ALERT! I start prepping for FTF as soon as the networks put out their premiere schedules. I’ll read up on the new shows to see which ones look like they’ll be worth watching and map out when my returning shows premiere. All of the premiere dates go on my calendar and, after each show airs, they get added to my TV show master schedule. Yes, I keep a schedule. For one reason or another, I usually can’t watch the shows when they air during the week, so I try to catch up on weekends and need to make sure I don’t miss anything!

Here’s what I’ve been watching this past month, pre-FTF…

Guilty Pleasure: One Tree Hill

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Image from thewb.com

What can I say? The 110-second ‘N Sync reunion really threw my nostalgia into overdrive. That, combined with one lazy Saturday spent watching Soapnet, and I just HAD to re-watch this series, which was, like, TOTALLY CRAZY DRAMA-FILLED AWESOME when I was in high school. Plus, most of these actors aren’t awful to look at…

Catch-Up: ALIAS

MICHAEL VARTAN, DAVID ANDERS, VICTOR GARBER, JENNIFER GARNER, GREG GRUNBERG, RON RIFKIN, MELISSA GEORGE, KEVIN WEISMAN, CARL LUMBLY

Image from seriable.com

I LOVE me some Michael Vartan! And I pretty much want to be Jennifer Garner, so this one was a no-brainer. I started watching this series with my mom when it first came out and was hooked, but then stopped watching a few seasons in after one of my favorite characters was killed off. I swore this Summer that I would finally watch the series in its entirety.

Cult Classic: The X-Files

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Image from pastemagazine.com

This theme song used to FREAK. ME. OUT. My mom watched this series when I was little and I could hear it from my bedroom. I had to sing to myself to try to block it out! Confession: It still kind of freaks me out. I’ve only been watching a few episodes here and there, and there are a ton of seasons, so I likely won’t finish the series anytime soon, but I’m pretty ok with that.

What shows have you been watching lately?

P.S. Don’t expect TV show discussions to stay off the blog for long, what with the premieres right around the corner!