Who will meet Lucille tonight?

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I have my theories. We all do. And in approximately 2 hours, we may have those theories confirmed.

My theory: Though a character or two may perish before the episode’s end, I think we’ll get an agonizing cliffhanger in that we won’t find out who meets Lucille’s business end until season 7 premieres. This leaves us the entire summer (and part of fall) to debate even more theories, a PSA I can’t wait to write. In the meantime, I want to hear your thoughts, so cast your vote and then discuss in the comments!

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Top Five TV Power Couples

“Power couple” is a phrase thrown around rather often these days, particularly in pop culture. You’ve probably heard it applied to Brad and Angelina (accurately). Barack and Michelle (obviously). Kim and Kanye (painfully). It assigns a higher status to two influential people who are romantically linked—while giving them an impossibly annoying nickname—and using their combined prestige to make a difference, or, in Kimye’s case, make headlines. I don’t think it can apply to just anyone though. When I think of power couples, I envision those with actual power. It’s a little easier to pinpoint them within entertainment and they run especially rampant in television. So I’ve compiled a short list of my favorite characters whom I believe perfectly encapsulate the notion of the power couple.

Rick & Michonne
The Walking Dead

Rick and Michonne

Romance is rare in the zombie apocalypse, so it’s pretty refreshing when a new coupling makes their first move. Richonne just seemed like something all of Tumblr was screaming for but might not ever happen (like Caryl, though I’m still gunning for that one), but now it’s actually real. At the end of episode 6.10 “The Next World,” Rick and Michonne are chatting about their day “honey, I’m home” style and some impulsive hand-holding quickly leads to other things. The next day, Rick tells Carl “this is different.” And it feels different. Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira have both said in interviews that living in Alexandria and being in a place where they finally feel confident in their safety and their ability to survive has led them to remember that there’s more to life than stabbing, shooting, and slicing walkers on the reg. They’ve recognized something in each other that makes sense and it’s an organic acknowledgement of feelings that perhaps they just didn’t have time to accept before. It was a great moment and now that they’re official, it puts them at the top of my list. Nobody screams “power couple” more than the ringleader and the samurai—the couple that slays together stays together. Continue reading

Australia’s Sweetheart Takes Home The Mirror Ball

Winners

For the first time ever in its 21-season run, I finally gave a flying pirouette about who won “Dancing With The Stars” this fall.

I’m usually somewhat aware of the line-up as each new one is announced, waiting for a name that actually aligns with my Hollywood interests. They’re few and far between; I’ve always argued that the “stars” they enlist can barely be considered as such. They’re always has-beens, reality rejects, former athletes, or ‘90s pop stars.

In my opinion, the most famous thing to come out of DWTS is the Hough siblings. Julianne is trying to establish herself as a B-list actress—you can see her step into reckless Ariel’s dancing shoes in the 2011 “Footloose” remake, dueting with Tom Cruise in the 2012 “Rock of Ages” screen adaptation, or taking on a drippy Nicholas Sparks romance opposite Josh Duhamel in 2013’s “Safe Haven.” Her older brother Derek is known more for his choreography, but he also had a brief guest role on ABC’s “Nashville” last year and the sibs recently went up against each other on Spike’s LL Cool J-hosted “Lip Sync Battle.”

But this season, I had to tune in. Granted, I was only interested in the performances of one particular dancer, but I tuned in just the same instead of rolling my eyes once again at the premise of this show.

In September of 2006, I was a baby-faced freshman at Lock Haven University. I was just beginning my journalism classes, adjusting to dorm life, and trying to make new friends out of a sea of over 6,000 students. And in my first weekend, I received the news that shocked most of America: Steve Irwin, wildlife warrior and famed Crocodile Hunter, had died in a tragic accident.

BindiI loved watching Steve. His joyful mission to save animals was full of so much passion and enthusiasm that it was instantaneously contagious. He inspired me. And I cried right along with his wife, family, and friends during the publicly aired memorial service a little over a week later.

So when DWTS revealed that their 2015 shining star would undeniably be 17-year-old Bindi, Steve’s bubbly and charming daughter, I knew I would want to watch. Continue reading

Saddest TV Deaths (IMO)

[SPOILERS for the following shows:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Parenthood]

Don’t ask me why I was in the mood to get morbid for this PSA. Maybe because it’s the day before Halloween. Or maybe because a lot of the shows I’m watching are showing a lot of death this season—The Walking Dead, American Horror Story: Hotel, How To Get Away With Murder, heck, even Nashville has been killing people off. Whatever the reason, I started thinking back on all the beloved characters I’ve had to say goodbye to in the past. There have been more than you’d ever hope to endure, but here are five that left me devastated. (Yes, I know TV is fiction, but sometimes it feels real!) And again, spoilers, spoilers, spoilers! If you’ve never watched the listed shows and maybe someday plan to (all five are currently streaming on Netflix), you’ve been warned.

Please excuse the oh-so-crappy video clips.
People are obsessed with making terrible music videos, but never actually just posting a scene, as is, to YouTube.

Continue reading

The Walking Dead Fan Premiere: Highlights

Me and Shari

Two years ago, I turned one of my good friends into a Walking Dead superfan. (Victory!) So when AMC started promoting a sweepstakes for their first ever Fan Premiere, there was only one person I wanted to go with. We entered every day for almost a month for a chance to win two tickets to Madison Square Garden where they were hosting red carpet arrivals, an advanced screening of the 90-minute season 6 opening episode, and a panel discussion with the entire cast on Friday, October 9 as part of New York Comic Con. Entry was free. Winners were announced daily. And when she texted me to tell me she won, I think I stopped breathing.

The event was dedicated to the fans out of pure gratitude for making “The Walking Dead” the highest rated and most-watched drama in cable history. (Seriously. Google it.) It was a massive undertaking: The sold-out crowd of over 15,000 audience members came to Manhattan from far and wide—49 states were represented as well as a handful of foreign countries, including South Africa and Russia.

President of AMC Charlie Collier, creator Robert Kirkman, executive producer Greg Nicotero (among other producers), and showrunner Scott M. Gimple were all present and ecstatic to see so many happy fans in attendance. The show’s entire crew even flew up from Georgia to participate. The panel was hosted by “Community” actress and frequent “Talking Dead” guest, Yvette Nicole Brown. (Chris Hardwick had a wedding that weekend, as explained in a broadcasted video message).

In addition to all 13 current core cast members, five new season six regulars joined the panel, along with a handful of surprise guests who had been killed off in seasons past. There was a Q&A, games, blooper reels, awards, and more.

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It was truly an unforgettable experience. Here are some highlights: Continue reading

Fall 2015 Pilot Tests

When I start hearing buzz about a new fall drama or comedy, I usually wait before diving right in. It needs to reel in some great reviews and ratings first, maybe an article here and there in Entertainment Weekly. After I read up on it and watch a trailer or two, I give it the ol’ pilot test. If the pilot episode hooks me, I stay with it for a while. If it doesn’t keep me interested, I try to rough it for a few episodes, given that some shows just take longer to really get underway, which I get. And even though I usually have a full fall roster every year ready to jam up my TiVo, I still try a couple new ones, just because. So this year, here’s what’s new to my ever-growing line-up and whether or not I think I’ll keep them …

Best Time Ever
Tuesdays at 10 on NBC

Best Time EverAs mentioned in my last PSA, I’m a huge Neil Patrick Harris fan so imagine my surprise when his hugely touted variety show, new to NBC this season, appeared to flop miserably. I found myself with a puzzled look on my face throughout much of the first episode, even fast-forwarding entire segments. The second episode did not fare much better. It’s as though he’s trying to cram much too much into every second and the pressure of performing it all live puts a strain on the easy-going, natural charmer that we know NPH to be. The audience participation in the first episode leaned more toward stalking and the second—an on-air proposal—seemed odd and out of place. His celebrity guest announcers falter awkwardly and “The End of the Show Show” runs the gamut from chaotic to sloppy. The only parts worth sitting through are the pranks and the physical obstacle course, which changes from show to show. But even so, after two episodes, I removed this from my TiVo to-do list. Sorry Neil, it just didn’t live up to its name. Continue reading

Summer Series Snapshot: Fear the Walking Dead

FearTWDOnly two episodes have aired thus far, so it may not be fair to say I’m already bored. But this “companion series” (don’t call it a spin-off!) to AMC’s zombie juggernaut looks to potentially be rather underwhelming. Even the name feels lazy.

It could be subtitled “While Rick Grimes Slept.” Fear looks to illustrate society’s rapid unraveling from the onset of the virus—? flu? bacteria? We still don’t know!—with the pilot episode showing our new main characters what we already know: No matter how many times you shoot the infected (or hit them with a car), they will continue to come at you until they take a bullet/arrow/blade to the brain.

Speaking of those characters, I don’t like a single one of them yet. “Oh, how nice to see some fresh faces!” False. We’re introduced to new people on Dead all the time and it’s safe to say they are far less bland than this band of “blended” family members.

While it’s interesting (for now) to see the contrast of Georgia countryside versus bustling Los Angeles, one could expect that in a few months’ time, it might feasibly resemble the eerily abandoned Atlanta we remember from season one of Dead.

Come to think of it, I now have a new appreciation for season one of Dead. We were thrust right into the apocalypse, seeing this terrifying new world through Rick’s freshly opened eyes: What happened? Where is everyone? What is that? Oh my god, what IS that? What happened to her face? That lady only has half a body! WHAT IS GOING ON? Continue reading