Monday, October 15, 2012

Nineties Blogfest: TV and Music

When I first read about the Nineties Blogfest, I wanted to sign up but just wasn't sure I'd have the time. I also couldn't make up my mind about how I wanted to approach each year in the challenge. I finally signed up last night and then decided on a theme.

For the Nineties Blogfest, participants were challenged to write about their favorite things from each year in the 1990s. I narrowed my choices down to music and television.

1990 - I was hooked on Twin Peaks from its first episode, and not just because I wanted to know who killed Laura Palmer. From Kyle MacLachlan's quirky portrayal of Special Agent Dale Cooper to Julee Cruise's musical perfomances at the roadhouse, Twin Peaks was the show to watch.

1991 - Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity" hit number 1 on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks after its release the previous year.

1992 - Metallica released "Nothing Else Matters." A live version was released a few years later in 1999.

1993 - Warren Zevon's Learning to Flinch was released. This is a live solo acoustic album that was recorded at various locations.

1994 - Friends premiered in 1994, and it had a lot of memorable moments and catchphrases. "You are a strong, confident woman," "We were on a break," boyfriend bonfires, and Joey as Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives are just a few of my favorites.

1995 - Nowhere Man had a short run that left fans wanting so much more. With only one season lasting 25 episodes, the show took us through Thomas Veil's quest to learn who he really was and why his identity had been erased.

1996 - Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1997 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer became one of my all-time favorite shows. I never missed an episode and have actually seen them all numerous times over the years. My favorite episode? It's hard to say, but "Hush" is definitely in the running.

1998 - Journey released their Greatest Hits Live album, which was a compilation of songs from Infinity through Frontiers, when Steve Perry was still the frontman.

1999 - I can't mention Buffy the Vampire Slayer without also including Angel, another show I've seen many, many times over the years. One of my favorite things about Angel was the character development of Wesley. I also enjoyed Andy Hallett as Lorne.

Thanks to Dave for hosting this challenge. Be sure to check out what the other participants said about the 1990s!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Second Chance to See Arrow and Beauty and the Beast Pilots

If you missed the premieres of Arrow and Beauty and the Beast, two new shows for the CW's fall lineup, you'll get a second chance. Both pilots are airing again tonight. Arrow is first at 8:00 Eastern, followed by Beauty and the Beast at 9:00 Eastern.

Arrow is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow and features Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, the millionaire playboy who became a superhero when he returned home after being shipwrecked and presumed dead for five years. Arrow's premiere was the CW's most-watched premiere in three years.

Beauty and the Beast is an updated version of the original series from 1987 that starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. In this new version, Kristen Kreuk and Jay Ryan star.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has its television debut tonight at 9pm Eastern on the CW.

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a three-act musical web series starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day. It was written by Joss Whedon, Zach Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tanchareon.

The series has won several awards, and it placed #15 on Time magazine's Top 50 Inventions of 2008.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft

With more than a few YA novels on my "to read" list, I chose to begin with Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, by Jody Gehrman. It was a good decision.

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, the first in the Audrey's Guides series, is a terrific book about a 17-year-old girl who discovers that she's a witch right after her mother disappears. She struggles to adjust to this knowledge, follow the rules, and keep her experiences secret from almost everyone--all while trying to help bring her mother home safe and sound.

Along with a fun story, the author has created lifelike characters and relationships that would translate well to the big or small screen (presuming good casting decisions). She's also included some recipes; although I haven't tried it yet, Bridget's flourless chocolate cake recipe looks fantastic.

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is an enjoyable novel suitable for fans of YA and/or paranormal stories. I will definitely be on the lookout for future books about Audrey's adventures in witchcraft--and Bridget's recipes.

Crossposted from Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author, which did not influence my review.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Will Your Favorite Shows Be Back?

If you haven't been keeping up with the news from the television networks, you may still be wondering whether your favorite shows will be back for a new season.

Some shows ended their run and got a proper finale, while others ended on a cliffhanger that left fans in suspense, never knowing what would have happened if the network had decided differently. Still others were yanked from the air early on.

If you still don't know the status of your favorites, check out this list of canceled and renewed scripted shows from TV by the Numbers. TV Guide's scorecard includes the status of both scripted and reality shows.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bunheads: First Impressions

When I first saw the previews for ABC Family's Bunheads, I thought it could be interesting but wasn't sure about the dance aspect. I considered checking it out anyway since it was a new show from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.

Then I found out that Kelly Bishop would be playing the mother-in-law. That was the deciding factor for me; I had to see this show. After all, she had portrayed one of my all-time favorite characters, Emily Gilmore, and I knew she would also be great in the role of Fanny Flowers.

Bunheads premiered last night at 9:00 pm EDT. Since the episode will be repeated several times, I don't want to give away anything terribly crucial, so any spoilers here will be minor.

Bunheads stars Sutton Foster as Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who's been putting off an ardent admirer named Hubbell (Alan Ruck) for quite some time. After a bad experience at an audition, she gives in and goes out to dinner with him. She gets pretty drunk while he goes on about how he just wants to take care of her. Michelle eventually wakes up to find herself in the passenger seat of Hubbell's car--wearing a wedding ring.

Hubbell takes Michelle to their new home in Paradise, on the coast. However, he has neglected to mention one crucial detail: although he owns the house, his mother lives there, and he's allowed her to decorate every room but his bedroom.

After Hubbell breaks the news of his marriage to his outraged mother, Michelle finds out that her new mother-in-law operates a ballet studio on the property. Could this mean they have something in common other than Hubbell?

Like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, Paradise is a very small town with very quirky characters. The writing for Bunheads is good, as is the casting and pacing. I definitely plan to watch this show again, and I hope it does well in the ratings.

Bunheads airs Monday nights at 9:00 pm Eastern. Full episodes are also available on the official website and will probably be available On Demand.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2CELLOS Perform Guns N' Roses Classic

I saw this video yesterday and knew I had to share it here. As a fan of both Guns N' Roses and Finnish cello rockers Apocalyptica, I was intrigued with the history and idea behind this new cello version of the classic "Welcome to the Jungle."

In a nutshell, classically trained cellists and former rivals Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser decided to team up as 2CELLOS.

Their debut album was released last year and includes a few more songs I'll have to check out, such as "The Resistance" (Muse), "Where the Streets Have No Name" (U2), and "Hurt" (Nine Inch Nails).

More of their videos are available on Youtube, but since I've only seen "Welcome to the Jungle" so far, that's the one I'll include here. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think.

Friday, May 18, 2012

2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

I found another reading challenge to tell you about. It lasts all year, and you can sign up anytime.

The Book Vixen is hosting the 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge. Lasting from January 1 through December 31, the idea is to read more books than you read last year.

Of course, it's good to have some idea of how many books you read last year. When you figure out how many more you'd like to read this year, you can choose from the five challenge levels. It's very flexible, though; you can change levels whenever you want, depending on how you're doing with the challenge.

To sign up and get all the details you need, check out the official sign-up post.