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Emmys Shout-Out To Fall TV And “Girls”

Some of the shows I’m glad are back this season include “Community,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Revenge,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “The New Girl.” For a great new show, watch “Go On.”

The Emmy Awards are tomorrow night and the fall TV season has begun! I may be one of the rare viewers who’s glad the networks have spread out their premiere dates. I can dip my toes back into the waters slowly and figure out which new shows are worth watching.

Here’s how I realized I watch way too much television: As I wrote my viewing schedule by hand on a hotel notepad, I had to flip to the backside of the page before I got through writing Thursday’s shows. And those were just shows on the broadcast stations. The list didn’t even include my cable-to-online guilty pleasures (“Switched At Birth,” “Project Runway,” “Degrassi” and so on). Granted, I already crossed off “The X Factor” (sorry, Brit!) because I can’t watch it live or online, and a few new shows may get the boot a couple episodes in.

While in Colorado, Dad convinced me it would be perfectly all right for me to log-in to his HBO account. OK, it didn’t take that much convincing after we marathoned “Flight of the Conchords” on my last day in town. But there was one show I was eager to see: “Girls.”

Lena Dunham as Hannah in the HBO series "Girls"

Lena Dunham as Hannah in the HBO series “Girls.”

I dove into this multiple-Emmy-nominated, Lena Dunham-centric production without any expectations. All I really knew was Entertainment Weekly loves the show, Dunham is a spring chicken in the creating-producing-directing-writing world, and Brian Williams’ daughter is one of the stars. I also knew there would be loads of sex, but I didn’t give it two thoughts. You’re looking at the proud owner of this. Oh, and that’s not a click if you dare link. It a DVD set, sheesh!

On a Saturday morning, just after midnight, I fell head over heels for the pilot. Two days and 10 episodes later I finished the first season, but for days following I couldn’t stop thinking about the show.

Something about the intense relationships depicted at the forefront on “Girls” has stuck with me. I never thought about it so much before, but relationships — familial, friendly, romantic — are incredibly complicated. Think of how hard it is to begin a friendship. Now that you’re friends, try maintaining that when the two of you have opposite schedules, different tastes, a lower/higher income, clashing values and morals. Now move to a different state or country and keep that relationship going. Multiply that times the number of friends to whom you consider to be close. What about all the things that have to go right to transition from friendship to romance? How ridiculous is it to then wade that new territory and dance that dance?

As I said while dining with friends a few weeks ago, anyone who has even one friend is brave. I was told that was a good quote, so that’s why I’m repeating it here. I truly admire anyone who has strong, healthy relationships with other humans, because there may not be anything more terrifying to me than disappointing those I love.

Now while these friendships/familyships/loveships are bizarre, time-consuming, and a never-ending load of work, they are fantastic, beautiful, enriching, and completely necessary keys to living a full life. After all the heartaches, arguments, and bad days, I am thankful for family, for friends, for all the opportunities I’m given to show God’s love. I don’t always succeed in this, as I don’t always find success in my relations with others. But I’ll tell you what. I sure enjoy the time we have together, and while people may not be around forever, the imprint of the people I’ve known are on my heart. Like the subjects of Hannah’s essays weave together the pieces of her life, you, dear friends, are my thread.

Filed under: Colorado, Entertainment, Fall TV, Internet, News, Television, TV on DVD

Fall TV: Yes and No, Part 3


Gossip Girl (The CW): The crazy characters of Gossip Girl are back and I couldn’t me more happy. Things are just are drama-filled as ususual, and it mostly centers around Serena van der Woodsen, of course. Everyone is looking great, especially bad boy Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), though his heart seems to have softened a lot since the season 2 finale.

The only bad thing about the season 3 premiere? Dan Humphrey’s (Penn Badgley) hair-do. Seriously, man, just cut the hair. Maybe he will before everyone goes off to college in the next episode.

What’s the say? YES
to all the drama you’ll ever need. And, oh yes, Chuck Bass. Watch it Mondays at 9/8c, or, if you’re already watching Greek, online at later in the week.

The Jay Leno Show (NBC): It’s Jay in prime time! Am I the only one happy that there is a comedian on before I want to be asleep? I hope so, because I would love for Leno to succeed in this venture.

What was working tonight, in order of appearance:

  • Cheaters sketch with the Leno look-alike.
  • The car wash entertainment segment.
  • Jerry Seinfeld in a gorgeous suit and bow tie and Orpah via telecast.
  • Jay’s “interview” with President Obama. It was the best segment of the night.
  • An interview with Kanye West the day after he dissed Taylor Swift. Way to ask the tough questions, Jay. Way to make Kanye almost cry. I think Kanye needs to take some time off from his celebrity (and whatever he was drinking on the red carpet last night). Agree? Kanye does. Followed by …
  • … Jay-Z on Jay Leno, and Rihanna (post Chris Brown sentencing) performing with Kanye. Did I miss when this song was released? Rihanna had a little Lady Gaga face mask thing going on.
  • Headlines! I’m glad he kept this segment. I’ve always loved it.

What didn’t work:

  • Jay’s not behind a desk. He looks like Oprah, or Ellen, or Tyra. No, he doesn’t look like a woman, he just looks like he’s on an afternoon talk show.
  • The bright colors of the set. Too bright. Too pink, purple and blue.
  • Jay’s blue suit and blue tie. He’s blending into the blue chair. Good thing he’s not wearing blue shoes.

What’s the say? YES to earlier nights and good laughs. Watch it at 10/9c every weeknight, or tune in when the guests are particularly interesting.

Filed under: Entertainment, Fall TV

Fall TV: Yes and No, Part 2


The Vampire Diaries (The CW): I thought this show was going to be lame, just because it seemed like the creators were trying to cash in on the obsession America has with vampires. Well, they were, but they did it successfully.

This show has fresh, young talent, a (fairly) unique storyline and lots of mystery. I actually jumped in fear at several parts. It’s like watching a scary movie!

What’s the say? YES
to the fabulous fresh faces and some seriously scary moments. What girl wouldn’t fall in love with Stefan (Paul Wesley) the good vampire, and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) the troubled teen? And guys will be falling in love with Elena (Nina Dobrev), who is a pleasure to see again after her departure from “Degrassi.”

Watch it Thursdays at 8/7c, or online starting on Sundays at

Filed under: Entertainment, Fall TV

Fall TV: Yes and No, and where to watch

Surprisingly enough, I’ve devoted some time to a few of the new series and seasons on this fall’s TV menu which offers an overwhelming number of choices. Here are the Yes’s, the No’s, and the answers to where to watch (and when), if at all:

Glee (FOX): I first heard about Glee months ago when the pilot aired. I didn’t pay much attention, though, because I was baffled by the idea of showing a pilot episode months before the real start to the series. I also didn’t pay attention because it seemed like it would High School Musical: The TV Series.

My suspicion was mildly correct. Yes, there is a high school. Yes, there is singing (which sounds much too studio produced), as well as dancing (which isn’t too bad). There is a young, talented, good-looking cast. But what Glee has that HSM doesn’t is just enough sexual humor to make me laugh but not entirely disgust me to the point where I would consider it vulgar. The show couples this humor with character reactions that are absolutely hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud.

Plus, the characters sing songs that were hits decades ago, a few years ago, and mere weeks ago. There’s something for everyone when it comes to the music.

What’s the say? YES
to music, dancing and refreshing characters (including a cute football player/glee club member with a fauxhawk). Watch Wednesday nights on FOX, 9/8c.

Melrose Place (The CW): This new series is a remake of the ’90s show by the same name. The pilot has the normal drama expected from a remake/extension series — sex, lies, murder, mystery, but nothing to really sink your teeth into.

The worst part of the show is Ashlee Simpson-Wentz. She couldn’t act on 7th Heaven and her 2005 film Undiscovered was just that. I’m surprised she got another chance. The casting director must have been hoping third time’s a charm. Nope. Michael Rady, who plays Jonah on the show, is the charm.

The best plot line will probably grow out of Jonah and Riley’s (Jessica Lucas) relationship. Rady has the same charm he has portrayed in past characters from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies and TV’s Greek. But that’s what is loved about him, so be glad he hasn’t lost the charm.

What’s the say? YES to Rady, and yes to everyone else who shines 1o times brighter in scenes opposite Mrs. Wentz. Watch online at, a few days after it airs.

America’s Next Top Model
(The CW): Oh, yes, Tyra is back for Cycle 13 of the show were girls cat fight and Tyra talks in random foreign accent because … well, no one understands why. What’s interesting about this season is all the girls are 5’7″ or shorter.

According to Tyra, this makes them petite (which officially labels this 5’6″, 145 lb critic as a petite, plus-size model! What?). After the long, long 2-hour premiere Wednesday night, I need a break before next week’s episode.

There were two girls in the business of castrating cows/sheep, a girl who lives in a trailer with no toilet, an orphan, a crazy “Christian,” and a girl from my hometown of Louisville, Colo. Not only did we get introduced to 20+ girls, it was makeover week! I wish Tyra would move the makeover episode further into the season, like the good ole days.

Do you see why I need a break from ANTM? That’s not a good thing, Tyra. I normally love your show.

What’s the say? YES to cheering on the Louisville girl who used to work in the coffee shop my family frequented (before it closed a few months ago). Watch online at You can also see the girls’ portfolio pictures online.

Project Runway
(Lifetime): Sorry, Heidi (the other Victoria’s secret model with a competition show that includes fashion and a catwalk … and cat fights, occasionally). The move to Lifetime is not working. Nina Garcia works for Marie Claire now, not Elle, Michael Kors is missed, and the guest judge choice for the premiere? Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay Lohan? Yikes.

Those aren’t the only changes. The designers are now in LA, not NYC. At least they still shop at Mood. Is that the only thing that hasn’t changed? Hedi is still there, thank goodness. Without her there is no point in auf-ing anyone.

The contestants this time around seem to be without personality, without passion and without any punch. Where’s the magic the show had when it was on Bravo? It was left in NYC, no doubt.

What’s the say? NO to too many changes. I think the hardest thing about watching this show is flipping the channel to Lifetime. So just don’t. Maybe Bravo can get the show back … somehow … maybe? Please?

Models of the Runway
(Lifetime): This half-hour spin-off from Project Runway follows the models on the show. They have no say in their chances of winning the show; it is all up to the designer with whom they are working.

Therefore, there is no point to the show.

What’s the say? NO to a complete waste of time.

Greek (ABC Family): If you have never seen this show, Netflix the first two seasons, watch them quick and hop on the bandwagon. I never thought I would enjoy watching a show about the Greek system on college campuses, but I love this show.

This season’s first two episodes has proved the show still has the fire to naturally rattle off pop culture references while building characters who, at this point in the series, feel like peers. Casey and Cappie are, yet again, dealing with their feelings for each other (just get together, guys!), Rusty is happier than ever with Jordan, Calvin is hooking up with his hottie Kappa Tau brother/roommate (double trouble), and Rebecca is making the same old unwise decisions regarding other people’s boyfriends, including Ashleigh’s. Add on all the other subplots, and this will surely be a season full of shockers.

What’s the say? YES, yes and yes, to laughs, unpredictability and the undergraduate experience I (thankfully) didn’t have. Watch it Mondays at 9/8c (the same time Gossip Girl is on … which, by the way, is tearing me in two).

Coming soon

Vampire Diaries (The CW): The vampire craze continues with this new series, which premiered Thursday. The show stars Nina Dobrev (from Degrassi: The New Generation) as the object of a vampire’s affection, set in a high school. Watch an encore presentation Sunday night 8/7c.

Gossip Girl (The CW): You know you love her. The show that saved The CW returns for its third season, Monday at 9/8c. xoxo.

The Amazing Race (CBS): It’s a ways off, but you never know what you’re going to get when you watch people race around the world in 21 days. The 15th race around the world begins Sept. 27 at 8/7c. I can’t wait to hear that theme music again; there’s just something about it that gets me pumped!

Filed under: Entertainment, Fall TV

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