Category Archives: Television

Flashback Friday- Tiny House Hunters (2014-Present)

It has been said that bigger is not always better.

Tiny House Hunters has aired on HGTV since 2014.

The premise of the show is as follows: a home owner looking to downsize to a much smaller home, known as tiny homes. The subject(s) of the episode are shown three potential options. At the end of the episode, one home is chosen.

What I like about this show is that it proves that one does not need a huge home to be happy. Sometimes a smaller home is best.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-Meet the Barkers (2005-2006)

Part of being a celebrity is constantly being in the spotlight. There is no better way to stay in the spotlight than a reality show.

Meet the Barkers aired on MTV from 2005-2006. Starring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and his then-wife Shanna Moakler, the show took viewers into the private lives of the program’s subjects.

The problem with the sub-genre of the private lives of celebrities within the umbrella of “reality shows” is that they have been done to death. If a program wanted to last, it needed to stand out in some way. Meet the Barkers did not, which is why it only lasted two seasons.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Music, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Flashback Friday-Beachfront Bargain Hunt (2013)

For some of us, the dream is own a house on the beach. Waking up to the rising sun and walking into the sand just steps from your front door is the vision of the perfect day.

Beachfront Bargain Hunt has aired on HGTV since 2013. The structure of each episode is the same as any other house hunting program on the channel. The subjects are looking for a new home. The difference is that they are looking for houses on or near the beach and they are on a limited budget. After being shown three different homes, a decision is made as to which house to purchase.

I don’t watch this show very often. But when I do, I feel like I am watching it as wish fulfillment. For me, it’s almost a what if scenario. What if I was able to purchase one of these homes? Where would I purchase it and which house would I choose?

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.

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Grantchester Character Review: Sidney Chambers

My character review from Roseanne and The Conners has reached its end. Onto the next set of characters.

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series GrantchesterRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Grantchester to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

When it comes to clergy people of any religion, we expect them to act and think in a certain way. We expect them to be buttoned down, conservative and living as close to the tenets of their faith as they can. In Grantchester, Sydney Chambers (James Norton) breaks all of those rules and more.

A World War II veteran and a man of the cloth, Sydney Chambers’s life is more than the Church. Drawn into the world of crime fighting, his ability to read and understand the human condition puts a new spin on his extracurricular activities. Paired with veteran policeman Geordie Keating (Robson Green), Sidney is the ying to Geordie’s yang.

When he is not doing his clerical work or fighting crime, Sidney can be found with a drink in his hand and a jazz record playing in the background. He can also be found with his best friend, Amanda Kendall (Morven Christie). Sidney is in love with Amanda. But according to the rules of 1950’s England, a woman of Amanda’s stature does not marry a clergyman, especially one whose parish is in the country.

Throughout his journey, it is Sidney’s heart that both helps him and gets him in trouble. When a pregnant Amanda walks away from her marriage, she goes to Sidney. The “will they or won’t they” questions hovers above their relationship, but ultimately becomes a won’t they as Sidney chooses the Church over Amanda.

In the end, Sidney’s heart chooses his fate. Falling in love with an African-American woman, he leaves England, his chosen profession and his friends for a new life in the States.

To sum it up: Sidney Chambers is one complicated character. Though he is a man of the cloth, he is far from the stereotype of a clergy person. As an audience member, I personally find the contradictions to be interesting. As a writer, we look for ways to break molds in characters and allow them to stand out.

Sidney Chambers stands out, which is why he is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, History, Television

Throwback Thursday-A Very British Romance (2015)

The ideas we have about love and romance did not come out of thin air. As our culture changed, the perception of love and romance (and marriage by extension) changed.

In 2015, the miniseries A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley aired. Hosted by the aforementioned historian Lucy Worsley, the program explored in the history of romance in the UK and how it shifted over the generations.

I enjoyed this series. Ms. Worsley breaks down the history in such a way that it is digestible and entertaining. Whether one is knowledgeable in this subject or a newbie, this program is a history lesson that does not feel like a history lesson.

I recommend it.

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Filed under History, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Flashback Friday-Two and a Half Men (2003-2015)

Family, as we all know, is complicated.

Two and a Half Men was on the air from 2003-2015. Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) was happily living it was a bachelor (in every sense of the word). His life is turned upside down when his brother Alan (Jon Cryer) and ten-year-old nephew Jake (Angus T. Jones) move in with him. The odd couple-esque relationship between the brothers creates friction while Jake adds energy that only a child can bring.

I never got into this program. From my perspective, it was not as funny as it claimed to be. It was also a little too misogynistic for my taste.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Feminism, Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review

Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Harris Healy

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series  Roseanne and The ConnersRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

It is often said that women become our mothers, whether we like it or not. On Roseanne and The Conners, Harris Healy (Emma Kenney) is nearly a mini-me of her mother, Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert). Born premature, Harris survived her first few months in the hospital before coming home to a loving and chaotic family.

While most of her is a miniature of her mother, there is also a little of her aunt, Becky Conner (Alicia Goranson & Sarah Chalke). After spending most of her life in Chicago, Harris was not pleased when she had to move back to Lanford. To be a teenager is hard enough, but to be uprooted and move to a new town at that age is especially difficult.

Though Harris does make friends, they are not the sort that her mother approves of. They tend to lean toward not so legal activities, creating a rift between mother and daughter. Like any good parent, Darlene is just looking out for her daughter. But in Harris’s eyes, her mother does not understand how she feels.

Her one wish is to move back to Chicago. She hopes that her wish materializes in the form of her estranged father, David (Johnny Galecki). But like many hopes, it never became reality.

To sum it up: We all remember how hard it was to be a teenager. It’s one of the most tumultuous, life changing and sometimes heartbreaking experiences that anyone will ever go through. What I like about Harris is that she is an ordinary teenager. When your that age, it’s nice to see yourself reflected on screen.

Which is why Harris Healy is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television

Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Mark Healy II

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series  Roseanne and The ConnersRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

One could argue that art is about representation and giving voice to those who are voiceless. When it comes to the LGBTQ community, art has a way of opening minds, doors and hearts. On Roseanne and The Conners, Mark Healy (Ames McNamara) is that voice. The son of Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) and David Healy (Johnny Galecki), Mark is artistic, sensitive and polite. Named after his late uncle, Mark prefers feminine clothing and is out to his family.

Though his grandfather Dan Conner (John Goodman) initially expressed some concern about Mark’s identity, his love for his grandchild eclipsed his concerns.

To sum it up: It takes courage to be yourself, no matter how old you are. In being himself, Mark speaks to and speaks for those of us who are different. He encourages us to not be afraid of standing out from the crowd. Though he is young, the lesson he teaches is timeless and ageless.

That is why Mark Healy is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Television

Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Beverly Harris

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series  Roseanne and The ConnersRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

The image of the grandmother in the sitcom world, is usually one of two things. She is either the kindly, loving grandmother who gives advice, loves her family endlessly and cooks like nobody’s business. Or, she is the mother/mother-in-law whose has good intentions. But she comes off as pushy, opinionated, judgmental and thinks that she knows better than her children.

On Roseanne and The Conners, Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons) is not exactly the ideal mother/mother-in-law. But to be fair, her life has not been easy. Her marriage was far from easy or loving, used as a cover to legitimize the birth of her eldest daughter, Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr). In addition to being a former alcoholic, Beverly left her husband after discovering his twenty year long affair and watching her husband abuse their daughters.

Known for being pessimistic, negative and over-controlling (especially toward her younger daughter Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Beverly is not the easiest of mothers. Being that Jackie is in and out of relationships (and jobs), her mother tries to act with motherly concern. But it comes out as critical.

Presently, Beverly and Jackie live together. They are doing their best to tolerate each other, in spite of the the decades long sniping between mother and daughter.

To sum it up: Beverly may not be the perfect mother or grandmother, but she is the perfect comedic character. Though her comments come from a good place, the reaction does not always match the intent. But that is why she is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television

Throwback Thursday-Fear Factor (2001-2006)

If there is one thing that holds us back, it is what we fear.

Fear Factor originally aired on NBC from 2001-2006. Hosted by Joe Rogan, the premise of the show is that contestants attempt to complete physically or emotionally daunting extreme challenges. If they fail to complete the challenge or their fear gets in the way, they are eliminated. At the end of each episode, the winner walked away with $50,000.

We all have to face our fears at some point. However, doing so for the chance to be on TV and win $50,000 cheapens that challenge of facing our fears. I would rather face my fears because I need to, rather than doing so for a potential payday or 15 minutes of fame.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely Not.

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Filed under Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review