How to Cope with TV Haituses: 2014 Edition

Do you guys remember when the last episode for the year of a TV series didn’t have a term? Like, when did networks decide that the phrase “Winter Finale” was a thing? Definitely in the past couple of years, right? So dramatic.

But as the Winter Finale of your fave shows roll out over this month, you’ll obviously need something to bide your time and avoid your fam during the stressful parts of the holiday season. Like last year, I’ve created a hopefully helpful guide to lead you in the right direction when it comes to preoccupying yourself over the next few weeks! Happy watching!

If you like:

How I Met Your Mother

You might like:

A to Z

Just like we fell in love with Cristin Milioti on How I Met Your Mother and she was promptly taken away, as is the fate of Cristin on the sitcom A to Z. The Lord giveth and NBC taketh away. Cristin Milioti deserves better than this. She’s a great actress who is perfect in the romcom role. In fact, everyone on this show is great. Ben Feldman – oh how I swoon for Ben Feldman (The Mindy Project Ben, not Mad Men Ben,obvs) – is perfect as the A (Andrew) to Cristin’s Z (Zelda). Like HIMYM, the show takes a different kind of approach in telling their love story, since we’re told from the pilot that they stay together for 8 months, 3 weeks and 29 days – those aren’t the exact numbers, but you get the picture. They’re so cute together that you wonder how and why it ends. I guess we’ll never be able to find out since NBC hasn’t ordered more than the 13 episode order. Nonetheless, you should catch up with A, Z, and their best friends, who provide that balance needed for an ensemble comedy.

If you like:

Friday Night Lights

You might like:

Kingdom

I’m not really a sports person, so I was initially turned off to Friday Night Lights because it looked like a football show. And that’s what its ‘downfall’ was. NBC didn’t really know how to market the show because there really hadn’t been anything like it before. Ultimately, it’s a drama about the tight-knit community in small town Texas, and football just happens to play another character in the show. That’s what Kingdom is. TBH, I only started watching it because of Matt Lauria and Nick Jonas are in it, but this gritty new series set in the MMA world is about the relationships between family, friends, and lovers. While there’s a fair share of fighting and blood and sweat, you’ll come to find yourself hooked on wanting to see what’s next for each of the characters. In addition, Kingdom has three actors from the Jason Katims world – Jonathan Tucker (Parenthood), Matt Lauria (Parenthood/FNL) and Kiele Sanchez (Matt Saracen’s wife IRL).

If you like:

Happy Endings

You might like:

Marry Me

HAPPY ENDINGS RIP. If there’s one show in the past few years that really didn’t deserve to get cancelled, that show is Happy Endings. The chemistry of the cast was incomparable, the hilarious dialogue was like nothing I had ever heard before, and the situations they found themselves in were not too far off from my own life and the lives of people I know. So if you’re still in Happy Endings withdrawal, try Marry Me, an NBC comedy that actually scored a whole first season, starring Casey Wilson (Penny Hartz) and Ken Marino who play a newly engaged couple. It’s created/executive produced/written by David Caspe, the creator/executive producer/writer of Happy Endings and also Casey’s new husband. While it doesn’t have the same ensemble ‘Friends’y feel as HE, it does take on a similar (hilarious) tone. Plus it’s also set in Chicago, so there might be some crossover characters…

If you like:

The Mindy Project

You might like:

Selfie

Like you and the rest of America, I was turned off by the title of John Cho and Karen Gillan’s new sitcom, Selfie. It initially came off as this social media/internet/daft show that should’ve been titled #SELFIE, but turns out, it’s not. While social media does play a role in the show, as the season progresses, you’ll find that those two up there are at the heart of it. It’s actually a take on My Fair Lady/Pygmalion, in which John Cho plays “Henry”, who tries to class up Karen’s “Eliza”. Their dynamic reminds me a little of Danny and Mindy, where Danny’s kind of curmudgeonly and a no nonsense kind of guy, whereas Mindy is still smart yet flitty, into pop culture and clothes and the latest Cosmo. Mindy and Danny’s relationship works in an opposites attract kind of way, and so does Henry and Eliza’s. We’re at the point where there’s an inkling of a romance going on between them, but with ABC deciding to cancel it (BOOOOO) and Hulu picking it up (YAYY) who knows what we’ll get to seen and when we get to see it. All I’m saying is ignore the title and just watch the damn show.

If you like:
Dawson’s Creek

You might like:

The Affair

Sometimes I decide to watch a show based purely who’s on it, but then am delightfully surprised when the show turns out to be really good. Enter Joshua Jackson. Loyal readers may recall my journey through watching Dawson’s Creek for the first time earlier this year, and I was Team Pacey all the way (if you’re Team Dawson WHO EVEN ARE YOU). Like a fine wine or Leonardo DiCaprio, Joshua Jackson only gets better with age. In The Affair, he is hot as ever, and as Vulture pointed out earlier this week, he’s basically Pacey as a cowboy. But the storytelling is one of a kind in The Affair, and it’s what lured me in from the pilot. As stated in the title, there is an Affair – with a capital A – going on between Noah (The Wire’s Dominic West) and Alison (Luther’s Ruth Wilson). Noah’s married to WASPy Maura Tierney, while Alison is married to Pacey Witter. Set in the summer in Montauk, Long Island, Noah and Alison meet and start to have this affair. We also find out there’s a murder early in the season, and both Noah and Alison are being interrogated months after their summer affair. But the twist: the show is split into two parts, one from Noah’s point of view and one from Alison’s. Needless to say they have different versions of the truth. But also, Pacey on a horse.

If you like:

How to Get Away With Murder

You might like:

Serial Podcast

I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS ON SERIAL, AND I’M GOING TO SAVE IT FOR THE DAY SEASON ONE ENDS. But for now, if you don’t listen to Serial, get on it. I lit’rally gave in to peer pressure and started listening to it over Thanksgiving because everyone kept talking about it and I had total FOMO. I’ll tell you that I’m not usually a fan of crime related entertainment – I’ve never been into the Law & Orders or CSIs or Criminal Minds of the world. But this is a horse of a different color. Serial is one podcaster/reporter’s journey into delving deep deep deep into a real murder case of a teen and her attempts to solve it. Is it really the guy sentenced to life behind bars or is it someone else? WE DON’T KNOW. This isn’t really a spoiler, but there’s a part, I think in episode 5 of Serial, where Sarah, the ‘host’ of the podcast, consults a lawyer who deals with a lot of Innocence cases – where they believe person in jail didn’t commit the crime and she tries to prove they didn’t do it. This lawyer is super interested in the murder case featured in Serial, and even has a team of her law students help her investigate. Sound familiar? Because that’s basically the plot of How to Get Away with Murder. Viola Davis is a high-power attorney who can quite literally get anyone off the hook for any crime, and she has a crack team of students helping her. While HTGAWM is much more dramatic than Serial, both have the same amount of suspense and theorizing that will make you go insane. In a good way.

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Cristin Milioti

We’re smack dab in the middle of fall TV premiere week and while we count down the hours to the #Scandal premiere with wine in hand, we’re also ready to try out some of the new shows. We covered some during our TV Week, and among the ones we’re super excited about is A to Z, starring everyone’s favorite Mother, Cristin Milioti.

Cristin is relatively new, considering she’s been specific roles to different groups of fans, and it’s about time she be recognized for the excellent talent she is. So in honor of A to Z starting next week, we’re dedicating #WomanCrushWednesday to one of our favorite “new” actresses, Cristin Milioti.

The Mother/Tracy ‘Not a Plot Device’ McConnell/TM

Let’s get this out of the way right now. If you’re not caught up with the series finale of How I Met Your Mother and don’t want to be spoiled, STOP READING NOW. Also props for managing to not find out the outcome for so long.

The series finale was a polarizing one, to say the least, and we lean towards the unfavorable side of the coin. Not to see we hated it completely, but we would’ve liked to see a happier ending. You know, with less death. To pull a Ted, let’s start from the beginning. The moment she walked up to the train ticket booth and said ‘One ticket to Farhampton, please’ I SCREAMED at my TV because I knew her as Broadway’s Cristin Milioti (more on that later).

cristin

I was so excited because knowing her style, she seemed like the perfect fit for the love of Ted Evelyn Mosby’s life. In the final season when they had scenes together, it felt worth it. That the wait to meet Her over the past nine years had culminated in Ted meeting and falling in love with his perfect match – even the Victorias and Stellas and Jeanettes were all worth it because Tracy was ‘better’ than them and it was clear just by the chemistry between her and Ted.

And then the conspiracy theorists turned out to be right. Everything we (me) hoped wouldn’t happen did, and Tracy, this perfect human, died from a mystery illness and Ted really completed his full circle love affair with Robin at the end. Whatever your position on the ending may be, I think we can all agree that Tracy was a good match for Ted, and it wouldn’t have been perfect without the brilliant talent from Cristin.

 A Girl and Her Ukelele

One of Cristin’s shining moments on the show is this short, sweet, heart wrenching clip of Tracy singing La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf, which Ted hears for the first time while sitting outside his hotel at Robin and Barney’s wedding. The emotion she brings to the song is just as impressive as Edith’s original version, but in a slightly different way. Ted’s enchantment with her singing is one of the first glimpses of his initial connection with his future wife and gave me the gossebumps watching it. Fun fact: Cristin learned the song on ukelele just for the scene.

 “Tony Award nominee Cristin Milioti”

Like previously mentioned, I first found out about Cirstin when she got cast as the lead role of Girl in the Original Broadway Cast of Once. Even though I never got the chance to see her in all her glory live, I’ve made my way through the soundtrack more times than I care to share. When paired with Steve Kazee, the two make a super couple with one magical musical baby, as evidence by their duet of the hit song Falling Slowly, as seen above. It’s nearly impossible not to cry (okay, it’s possible, but I’m just a baby who can’t keep her emotions in).

 She’s a Sexy Baby

And now for something completely different, the same year Cristin made her debut in Once, she appeared in a standout episode of 30 Rock, which deals with sexism in the workplace. The show Liz Lemon runs is accused of being misogynistic, so she hires a female writer played by Cristin named Abby, who turns out to be provocative and really stereotypical. It was one of the most memorable episodes of 30 Rock and it’s hard to believe Cristin in the same girl as Girl or The Mother based on this alone.

She Has Leonardo DiCaprio’s e-mail, Probably

Cristin is originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey and calls herself “Olive Garden Italian”, but in Wolf of Wall Street she plays Jordan Belfort’s (Leo) first wife Teresa, who looks like this:

So I feel like maybe this role was one of the most relatable for her…?

She has a Drunk Personality

If it makes you feel any better, Cristin, I don’t think ANYONE can recite the alphabet backwards while pointing to their nose. It’s nearly impossible to do sober, so your argument is valid.

We Would’ve Been A Part Of The Same High School Clique

I went through a really good-looking phase from birth to 9. And then things went crazy. I don’t know what happened, but between 9 and 14 it was really, really rough. I didn’t have a lot of friends. The only ones who were nice to me were the theater kids. And they were like, ‘You can come and join us. No one likes us.” {x}

In high school, Molly and I fell under the category of theater kids, but the kind that wasn’t completely hung ho about it, closer to that of the lower sports clique. Think Cool Asians, as opposed to Asian nerds. Cristin is one of our people, and not afraid to embrace her love for the stage like us, and I appreciate that.

She Rules The Rom Com

There are only a number of shows I’m super excited about watching in the coming weeks, and A to Z, starring Cristin and Mad Men’s Ben Feldman is one of them. If you like HIMYM, you’ll probably like this show. It tells the story of a couple’s complete dating history – and they only date for 8 months. Cristin puts on the charm and so does Ben, and together, you start to question your ship for Tracy and Ted Mosby. (A to Z’s pilot is on NBC.com, but premieres on October 2nd on NBC!)