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

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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

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

Summer Series Snapshot: Girl Meets World, S2

GMWI’ve already written about my overall impression of the first season of this ‘90s nostalgia-fueled tween show and my opinion hasn’t changed much. The forever-a-BoyMeetsWorld-superfan in me has been enjoying season two just as much, if not more.

Cameos from the original show’s characters keep popping up, making it an intense nostalgia fix every single time. My favorite character (behind Shawn) has finally shown up and the return of Mr. Squirrels has been my absolute favorite moment so far. Continue reading

Summer Series Snapshot: The Strain | America’s Got Talent

It’s sometimes really hard to pick just one topic to write about, especially given how absorbed I can get into pop culture on a daily basis. The thing about entertainment is that it’s always evolving and changing and flowing; what was big news an hour ago is old news in even less time. So it’s time to do a little round-up of my current obsessions, specifically, summer television since options are limited but nonetheless entertaining. Here’s a couple items from my TiVo list that keep me occupied during the long dog days (and nights) of summer …

The Strain | Season 2 | Sundays at 10 on FX

The Strain

Basically a vampire version of The Walking Dead, I gave this a shot purely to have something to watch on Sunday nights. Here, we got to see the start of the apocalypse (though they’re not actually calling it that yet) and in some ways, it’s far more gruesome than Dead. These aren’t your teenage daughter’s vampires; no sparkling skin or brooding eyes. These guys dispel snake-length tongues that latch on and bleed you dry. If you manage to scrape by with just a scratch, you’ll likely find yourself with worms wriggling under your skin, spreading the infection. And when you turn, my, do you get ugly. Ugliest of all is The Master, king of the vamps, who has a mysterious tie to one of the main characters, played by David Bradley. He’s joined by a CDC scientist (Corey Stoll) and a small band of determined New Yorkers dead set on killing all the bloodsuckers and keeping the strain contained to the five boroughs. It’s incredibly slow-moving, but when the action does pop up, it’s disgusting. It’s sub-par television horror; I personally prefer zombies. Continue reading

Summer Series Snapshot: Orange is the New Black S3

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The same weekend that had me glued to my seat during Jurassic World is also when I binged (i.e. sat in my basement like a hermit for endless hours every day) the third season of Netflix’s breakout prison dramedy. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have claimed to give OITNB a try and “just couldn’t get into it.” I don’t understand those people. I will admit that the series probably wouldn’t survive if it was formatted as a typical weekly primetime show, because it definitely doesn’t move fast enough for that. If it’s your least favorite character’s turn to get their backstory exposition, you’d be likely to tune out. But that’s why Netflix is such an awesome platform for TV in this digital era. 12 episodes are so easily consumed over the span of a week or less and viewers are SO hungry for more when those episodes pass and they can’t view any more new ones until an entire year later. It can be torture. At least when “The Walking Dead” ends in February, I know I only have to wait another … 8 months (wow, that sounds long!) instead of 12.

This season had its high and low points. They’ve started to paint Piper as a sort of insufferable monster, but they also focused on some characters who until this point had just been background noise in the grand scheme of life at Litchfield. The internet is freaking out over the discovery of Ruby Rose, the androgynous and beautiful Aussie whose character of Stella became a romantic interest for Piper. And what stands out for me had nothing at all to do with character development, but the final scene in which (SPOILER ALERT), they all seemed to experience such absolute delight in their fleeting moments of freedom while swimming in that lake. How something so simple can become so joyous really illustrated how much we take our freedom for granted.