2014 Unofficial Guide to Your New TV Addictions

May is a big month for television. In addition to all the season finales and unfortunate cancellations (TROPHY WIFE UGHHH), networks also reveal the pilots that have been picked up to series for the upcoming season. Every year, there are trailers that make you think ‘Why da faq did they pick this show up’ but then there’s always the ‘I need this show to come on now because watching the 3 minute preview isn’t enough’. To help you weed through the bramble, I’ve compiled a list of shows I think actually have a shot of making it at least one season. Are any of these your early favorites too?

The Comedies

A to Z

Thursdays, 9:30pm • NBC

If you’re a Mad Men fan, you might recognize the lead male as cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Michael Ginsberg. If you’re a Mindy Project fan, you might remember him as the pretentious guy Mindy dated who adorably played the ukelele and sang a Katy Perry song. And if you’re a How I Met Your Mother fan, you might recognize the lead female as Tracy ‘I’m Not a Plot Device’ McConnell.

I’m going to be honest with you guys and tell you that I have probably watched this trailer at least 8 times already, which is probably 7 times too many. While Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti aren’t necessarily big actor names like some of the other shows that got picked up for next season, I hope people still decide to watch it, because it looks super cute… and maybe a little HIMYM-esque? Whatevs, I’m into it.

Bad Judge

Thursdays, 9:00pm • NBC

The great Kate Walsh returns to network TV! Addison Montgomery has switched occupations and is now a judge. A ‘Bad Judge’ if you will. I didn’t really expect much before watching this, but I was delightfully surprised when I literally LOLed a couple times. It’s reminiscent of Bad Teacher, both the Cameron Diaz movie and the TV show which was recently cancelled after just a few episodes (side rant: I only saw the pilot, but it was hilarious. Come ON CBS).

Black-ish

Wednesdays, 9:30pm • ABC

Like Bad Judge, I wasn’t really expecting much, but again I was delightfully surprised. I’m just gonna go ahead and say this about Anthony Anderson: he doesn’t have the greatest track record with his own starring shows. But this show is different from his previous ones, and I think Laurence Fishburne has a lot to do with it. His presence makes you take the show seriously. And ABC did a great job at pairing it after Modern Family, because it has that same sort of tone to it. A sitcom with heart. What’s it about, you ask? Family.

The McCarthys

Thursdays, 9:30pm • CBS

I might be a little biased because I used to live in Boston, but I’m always partial to shows that are set in that great city. Admittedly, not all of those shows are good, but this one has potential. The show is centers on a typical Boston family and the gay son who never really fit in. It’s important to note that Joey McIntyre, Boston’s pride and joy, is also in this show, so that gives you a reason to watch, if you’re into like, NKOTB or the 80s. Also worth noting that this show is super CBS. It’s multicam, shot in front of a live audience, includes corny jokes that your mom laughs at because she also watches Two and a Half Men still, type show.

Tribeca

This is a cop show starring Rashida Jones and created and executive produced by Steve Carell, his wife Nancy, and Conan O’Brien. That is all.

Honorable Mentions

Marry Me: Starring Casey Wilson & Ken Marino, created by a producer of Happy Endings (also Casey’s fiance IRL)

I really want this show to do well, because, RIP Happy Endings, but mehhh I hope the pilot is better than the trailer.

Mulaney : Starring John Mulaney, Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad

This show has taken a really long time to get off the ground, but SNL writer alum John Mulaney is really funny and I’m glad his show is finally getting air time. Except I also really don’t want it to be Seinfeld-esque.

Selfie: Starring John Cho & Karen Gillan

Horrible name and theme for an actually funny trailer. It’s a modern day My Fair Lady, except all the social media references make it outdated already. It’ll be interesting to see if viewers take to it or not.

Midseason Shows

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt {Ellie Kemper, produced by Tina Fey}, Mission Control {Krysten Ritter, produced by Will Ferrell}, Mr. Robinson {The Office’s Craig Robinson},  The Last Man on Earth{Will Forte}, Fresh Off the Boat {Asians}

The Dramas

How to Get Away with Murder

Thursdays, 10:00pm • ABC

Hey, Shondaland loyalists – this show is for you. To everyone else waiting outside the park, get in line, because Shonda Rhimes is LIT’RALLY taking over Thursday nights, and you need to be there or else be left out of watercooler (?) discussions on Friday. Viola Davis stars in this new drama that is on top of my list for new series this fall. And if you’re wondering how you know the tall, black kid – it’s because he played Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter movies. DEAN FRIGGIN THOMAS.

Gracepoint

Thursdays, 9:00pm • Fox

I’m not a Doctor Who fan, but I imagine that you Whovians are probably excited that David Tennant is going to be on American TV. Gracepoint is a crime drama based on U.K.’s Broadchurch, which David also starred in. In fact Broadchurch just won 3 TV BAFTAs including Best Drama on Sunday, which is basically the Emmys of the U.K. Another reason to get excited for this is that Anna Gunn, everyone’s favorite drug lord accomplice is back and on the other side of the coin as a detective, as they try to solve the murder of a young boy. Hopefully this turns out better than The Killing.

Gotham

Mondays, 8:00pm • Fox

The superhero world expands yet again, this time with the focus on Batman’s Gotham City, and more importantly on Comissioner Gordon played by Ryan Atwood Ben McKenzie.

Constantine

Fridays, 10:00pm • NBC

I’m not a big comic book person, but I just think this show’s going to do really well because everyone else seems to be into comic book stuff these days. Also I couldn’t get through the whole trailer because I got grossed out.

State of Affairs

Mondays, 10:00pm • NBC

The ever-polarizing Katherine Heigl is back on TV as a CIA analyst trying to find out who killed her fiance. Her fiance whose mom is the President of the United States of America. And also Alfre Woodard.

Honorable Mentions

Stalker: Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott

This thriller is created by Kevin Williamson, so obviously it’s going to be creepy. Maybe creepy enough to become a hit.

Midseason Shows

Backstrom {Rainn Wilson}, Agent Carter {Another Marvel Universe hit}, Wayward Pines {Twin Peaks like with a lot of Oscar-nominated actors}, Battle Creek {Vince Gilligan proves that he’s a genius and it wasn’t just luck with Breaking BAd} Empire {Terrance Howard and Taraji P. Henson, produced by Lee Daniels, written by Gilmore Girls’ Doyle McMaster/Danny Strong about a hip hop empire}, Galavant (A medevil musical. No really. Just watch the trailer}

 

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How Not to Suck as the Bachelor : A Juan-Sheet Guide to Finding Love on TV

The 18th season of America’s guilty pleasure show, The Bachelor, came to a confusing, anti-climatic, aggravating end on Monday, and you can thank this guy for that. A 32 year old born to Venezuelan parents in Ithaca, New York, he went to college in our hometown of Rochester, New York, where he played soccer. He consequently went pro, playing for teams I don’t know the name of and don’t care enough to look up. He has an accent, a young daughter, six-pack abs, and is the very first ‘minority’ Bachelor. So on paper he sounds like a great catch.

Even if you don’t watch this show (which, believe me, I applaud you if you haven’t given in yet), you may have seen on the internetz that this guy made a lot of people angry and has even been called ‘the worst Bachelor in the history of the series’. He had a lot of strikes against him and it only built up throughout the season. But now that he’s finally relieved of his title, here’s a handy guide on how to not be the next ‘worst Bachelor’ for whoever ends up as the lucky guy next.

Rule # Juan (see what I did there) : Be open to the whole ‘Bachelor’ process

Finding your potential wife/husband on national TV is weird. It’s really fucking weird. And let’s face it, the success rate is not that high. Out of the 18 seasons of The Bachelor, only one (Sean Lowe, best Bach ever) married the ‘winner’. And as for Bachelorettes, out of nine seasons, two are married (Trista and Ashley) and one (Desiree) is still engaged. However, with all of these couples, it has worked because the Bachelor/Bachelorette has gone in with an open mind and completely gave in to the process of possibly falling in love. You really can’t go into the show being scared and unwilling to let your guard down, otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time. Not only are you not letting yourself be open to romance, but it doesn’t really provide for a good television show, production wise. People watch this show to see a love story, even if it doesn’t end in a proposal.  The good Bachelor/ettes are totally down for meeting 25+ single people in one night, handing out roses in corny ceremonies, going on group dates, going on two-on-one dates and going on absolutely lame and embarrassing dates.


^In which the men of season 8 try to impress Emily wearing kilts & participating in traditional Irish games. In Croatia. Also, RIP Emily & Jef. ^

Not to mention, you have to be willing to talk about what you’re going through. This is a TELEVISION SHOW. Do NOT expect people to just guess or assume what you’re thinking. You can’t just sit there and stare at the camera, or give a close-ended answer (i.e. use the improv rule of ‘Yes, and’ so there’s always something more to talk about). Throughout the entire season, we never really got a real feeling of how Juan Pablo felt about the girls. Except when he complimented the ladies on their looks or that he ‘really liked’ them. Never once did he say that he was falling in love with any of the girls. I get that if he’s not ready to say he’s in love, then he shouldn’t say it for the sake of it, but JP just flat out refused to talk about his feelings, particularly in the finale.

Example: When host Chris Harrison asked JP straight up whether he was in love with Nikki, he said, “I’m not going to answer that question.”

EXCUSE ME? “I’m not going to answer that question”?! Get the stick up out of your butt and tell everyone how you feel.

Even Nikki, who was interviewed by herself, told Chris that while she said she’s totally in love with him, JP has never said it to her, but that doesn’t matter, because, “It’s not that he doesn’t tell me – it’s like in his actions. I know that he does (love me). I know that he cares about me a lot.” Ay yi yi, Nikki,

Rule # 2: Be careful of what you say/don’t be an idiot

Earlier this season (maybe sometime in ‘Juan-uary’. Really, that’s what ABC called it), a reporter asked JP what he thought about the show having a gay or bisexual bachelor. His response was long winded, but basically he said the phrases, “I don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV,” and, “There’s this thing about gay people… They’re more pervert in a sense.”

Well… to reiterate, English is not Juan Pablo’s first language. However, he has lived in America most of his life. But of course, JP defended himself by saying, “It was a misuse of a word… It’s been hard because, to me, when I speak English, it happened to me through two months of filming, sometimes the words that I used were not interpreted the way that they should be interpreted, or I used a wrong word. So I will go on my phone, Google and find the right word, and do it that way.”

I’m not fluent or anything, but I’m pretty sure ‘pervert’ in English is ‘pervert’ in Spanish.

Rule #3: Don’t be rude to Chris Harrison

That man is Bachelor Nation royalty. He is the crown jewel of this franchise and you DO NOT mess with him. You are not rude to Chris Harrison, you do not snap at Chris Harrison (clearly a two-namer). But at the live After the Final Rose special on Monday, JP was weirdly condescending to our beloved Chris Harrison and even accused him of cutting him off when he was asking him a question. Being combative and slightly offensive to the heart of The Bachelor is a sure fire way for the entirety of Bachelor Nation to go against you. It’s like ganging up on Oprah or Jennifer Lawrence. You don’t do it.

Rule #4: Don’t sign up for the show if you just want fame

Listen, I realize this is still reality TV. HOWEVER, people can see through that shit. And in turn, it might backfire on your believability, especially as the Bachelor. This show isn’t American Idol, The Voice, Project Runway, any of those type of shows. The main goal isn’t to win a recording contract or a grand prize at the end. It’s not based on material things. It’s based on the ‘winner’ finding a partner and hopefully someone they love and could spend the rest of their life with. It’s based on emotion, so when you’re out there in the world, doing press and seeming utterly ingenuine about the entire experience, it can lead to viewers not tuning in. All I’m saying is all these pix of him with celebs are a little sketchy, no?

Ugh.

Allison Williams LOVES The Bachelor, but is soooo over JP. Preach.

Giving Queen Kerry Washington a rose. In the words of Eli/Rowan Pope: “Run away” Run far away.”

While we’re at it, don’t sign up for endorsement deals while you’re still the Bachelor/Bachelorette. (Side note: SMH at the fact this company in my hometown agreed to do this.)

Rule #5: Be honest, but don’t be a dick

Ah, this is probably the rule that JP broke an ultimately made him one of the most disliked Bachelors ever. Let’s start with Andi. I’m pretty sure JP made Bach history when two girls voluntarily quit the show – and they are both my favorites. In particular, we have Andi, who made it to the final three, and got the infamous ‘Fantasy Suite’. For those who don’t watch the show (kudos for still reading this), the Fantasy Suite allows the Bach and each of his 3 remaining women to spend their first night together without the cameras around. When it came to Andi’s date, apparently it didn’t go so well.  She legit called it a “nightmare” and a “disaster”, saying she couldn’t wait to get out of the Fantasy Suite the next morning.

Apparently every time she tried to talk about her feelings or tell stories about herself, JP just turned it back to him, not once asking anything about her or her life. AND he talked about his overnight date with Clare, who I’ll get to in a second. Andi said,”There’s a difference between being honest and being an asshole… I hope he did not think that went well. I really hope he did not think that that was a good date.” Cut to: Juan Pablo telling Chris Harrison the date went amazing. The editing on this show, I tell ya. So good. 

So after that, Andi obvs decided to leave, and her confrontation with JP is so odd. Talking to him is like talking to a brick wall. JP keeps talking about being honest, but his honesty comes off as rude and as Andi said, he has no filter.  Oh another rule: know that it’s never just “okay”.

Andi aside (PS, she’s the next Bachelorette, and she’s going to be great. I can feel it), we have Clare. Clare turned out to be the runner-up, which isn’t surprising since she and JP had such a ‘connection’ since the first episode. Cast in point, the time they were in Vietnam and Clare snuck out of her hotel to be with JP, and the two did something in the ocean that may or may not have been sex? No one knows because it wasn’t on camera. What we do know is that JP decided to bring it up ON camera, and basically proceeded to slut-shame Clare, saying he regretted it and it was a mistake and he was ashamed for his daughter to see him on his late-night hookup.

AND THEN, on their final date, they had a moment to themselves without the cameras or mics on yet AGAIN, and JP said something to Clare, which she refused to say on the record, but described it as “something that no woman wants to hear. It was insulting, it was offensive and it just made me feel awful.” Yikes. Remember kids, just because it’s off-camera doesn’t mean it won’t go on-camera. And Clare even asked him straight up about their relationship and he was all ‘You’re special to me’ and ‘I can see us having babies’ etc. Then like 2 days later he dumped her.

She stuck to her guns in the end, and told him she would never want her kids to have a father like him, and after she walked away, he said, “Oooh, I’m glad I didn’t pick her. Oof.

Rule #6: ‘Don’t slap the hand that feeds you’

Catherine, Sean’s new wife and one of my faves, was at the finale with some other Bach alums, and just like the rest of the country, trying to make sense of everything that was happening. One thing was clear was that JP was seemingly throwing the show, ABC, everyone involved except for Nikki under the bus. Catherine said, ‘Don’t slap the hand that feeds you’, a phrase we all know, but Chris Harrison literally had to explain what it meant to JP, because, you know, English isn’t is first language.

Before Catherine’s on point insight, Chris Harrison, who had been teasing a big surprise all night, said to JP, “One of our network executives said that you had a big surprise for tonight,” to which he replied, “Do I have a big surprise? I don’t. This is my secret. I’m here, happy, with Nikki. We’re very happy, both of us. And we’re going to start a relationship from today on.”

… Um, that was definitely not what the surprise was. Chris Harrison later told Entertainment Tonight that after the final rose ceremony in St. Lucia where he picked Nikki, JP told an ABC exec that he would have a ‘big surprise’ on the ATFR, which they expected to be a proposal. I mean resident jeweller Neil Lane was even there, but ABC peeps are reportedly holding on to the ring until JP wants to propose to Nikki. Except by the looks of it, he wants nothing to do with ABC (or Chris Harrison) ever again. There are rumors that JP cancelled their post-show press tour and was butt hurt he wasn’t chosen to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars (like his predecessor Sean), and he was mad about that? But I don’t think that’s true. I think he’s just an ungrateful douchebag. On Tuesday, he posted this video/song dedicated to Nikki with the caption:

Thanks for these
INTERESTING 4 months of HIDING,
now that the CHARACTER of ‘The Bachelor’
is OVER, it is time for US to live our life for REAL.
Te ADORO
Juan Pablo

Did I mention he has a weird thing with capitalizing random words? Also, Te ADORO means ‘I love you’ right? He can say it on a YouTube video, but not on national television?

Chris Harrison said that after the final interview with JP and Nikki at the ATFR special, JP asked Chris, “Are we done?” Chris Harrison said yes, and JP grabbed Nikki’s hand and walked out the door with total silence from the live studio audience. And that is how we want to say our final adios to you too. 

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Trophy Wife

Well folks, we’re about a month into the new fall season and unfortunately, a few shows have already gotten the axe (See ya Lucky 7. You were DOA).

But there’s one show that luckily hasn’t received the same fate and that is Trophy Wife. While it has been picked up for additional scripts (yay!) I’m writing this in hopes that more people will watch to keep it alive for at least a whole season (and obviously more!).

Trophy-Wife-ABC

Trophy Wife was one of the comedies I put on the shortlist of promising shows this season and it has (yet) to disappoint. So let’s keep it that way, shall we?

Storyline:

“A reformed party girl finds herself an insta-family after falling in love with a man with 3 manipulative children and two judgmental ex-wives”

Clearly since the show is only a few episodes in, this plot description holds true, but I feel like as time goes on, it will feel more like a Modern Family-esque show that is a sitcom at its core, but still has a lot of heart – that may or may not make you shed a tear by the end of the episode.

The above chart is really what you need to know in terms of relationships, it’s pretty simple.

5 Reasons to Watch

5) The Ex-Wives

Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden plays ex-wife number one, Diane. She’s a doctor, which means she’s totally type A personality and can be the bitch of the group when need be. She’s protective of her two teen kids, so much so that she did a little ‘light catfishing’ in order to keep track of them.


Ex-SNL performer Michaela Watkins plays Jackie, ex-wife #2. Completely different than Diane, Jackie is a total granola, hippie, Whole Foods going lady. Put the two of them together and you’ll see why Pete decided to marry Kate after being with these two.

4) The Writing & Brains behind the show

The show was created by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins. Emily comes from Shondaland – Private Practice to be more accurate – and Sarah is a comedian who loosely based the lead character of Kate around her own life. She married someone who is almost 20 years her senior (and the stepson of Julie Andrews!?), and also had to learn how to co-parent his nine and 19 year old kids. You can tell that there’s an honesty on the show that’s not pretentious or stereotypical, especially when it comes to Kate.

Not to mention, a few of my favorite former The Office writers are producers/scribes on the show, including Danny Chun, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg. Okay, writer nerd ends here.

3) The Kids (read: BERT)

The teens from wife #1, Warren and Hillary are played by accomplished actors, who have been in This is 40 (Melissa McCarthy’s kid) and Disney Channel hit Wizards of Waverly Place (she played ‘Maxine’ aka Max in girl form). Luckily Bailee comes into the show with fans already – she was on WoWP after all – and they do a great job of being kids without looking like they’re acting.

But listen, one of the greatest parts of this show is Bert. Played by Albert Tsai (his name is like an 85 year old Chinese man who does Tai Chi in the park), Bert is the adopted son of Pete and Jackie. And good LORD is he hilarious. Not only are his lines to die, but his delivery is spot on.

2) Bradley Whitford

I may have been a few years late, but I am still a West Wing fan. Well, If we’re talking Brad, I was a fan of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip prior to his excellent work on TWW, so basically, I’m just a Bradley Whitford fan in general.

As Josh Lyman, he played a suited-up Deputy Chief of Staff (who made us swoon with his will they/won’t they with Donna), in Studio 60 he played a suited-up co-executive producer of a SNL like show (who made us swoon with his unconditional love for Jordan), and in Trophy Wife he plays a suited-up lawyer (who makes us swoon. period).

BDubs handles the role effortlessly, and doesn’t play Pete as someone we dislike for marrying a former party girl way younger than him. He plays the perfect role – a dad.

^Taken from that same ‘Catfishing’ ep!^

Not to mention he JUST started a Twitter account and has posted stuff that is exactly what I would assume Bradley Whitford to post.

1) Family Dynamic

Here’s the thing. ABC is really banking on its ‘family shows’ theme. With Modern Family, The Goldbergs, The Middle, Suburgatory, etc., they’ve created a niche that totally works for them. And with Trophy Wife, it fits right in. Just like Modern Family, Trophy Wife shows what a lot of families in America look like these days. Not everyone comes from a nuclear family anymore – this is The New Normal, if you will (RIP The New Normal).

RYAN LEE, BAILEE MADISON, MARCIA GAY HARDEN, BRADLEY WHITFORD, MALIN AKERMAN, NATALIE MORALES, MICHAELA WATKINS, ALBERT TSAI

No matter what your family may look like, no matter how many ex-wives may be involved, at the end of the day, they’re still a family. I appreciate that at the end of every episode, whatever ridic conflict occurs is eventually resolved at the end and the one thing that matters is that they still have each other.

And hopefully we’ll be there for them too.

Trophy Wife is on ABC, Tuesdays @ 9:30pm

Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: #Scandal

For me, summer isn’t just about basking in the sun, vacations and 90 degree days. It’s the perfect time to get caught up on the TV series that I have been meaning to watch but don’t have time to during the regular TV season. So this is the list I made for myself this summer:

Photo Oct 01, 11 34 23 PM

I’d like to point out that American Dreams was a rewatch and I actually decided to watch all four seasons of The League over It’s Always Sunny, purely because there were far less episodes. I mean, get a life.

Scandal was one of those, ‘I’ll watch it if I get around to it’, not one of those ‘I need to see this immediately because it’s literally been called the best series in the history of TV’. So color me surprised when I actually found myself not only liking Scandal, but becoming obsessed with it.

Now I’m not a newcomer to Shondaland, I’ve been with the kids at Seattle Grace since they were interns, and I just realized that I called it Seattle Grace, when it’s actually called Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (RIP), an I’ve seen the folks over at Oceanside Wellness with my boo Taye Diggs. So I’m well aware of the addictive TV crack Shonda Rhimes stirs into her beloved shows. But I didn’t expect it to be this good.

Scandal begins its highly-anticipated third season TONIGHT, and I’m here to tell you that if you haven’t spent the summer (read: one week) catching up on the past 29 episodes, you’ve wasted your time. But – it’s never too late. Here are 5 reasons why you should start DVR-ing the third season now, and after reading this post, go directly to Netflix and watch the first two seasons. I’m telling you – it’s that good.

Before we start, here’s the basic plot:

Meet Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington. Former White House Director of Communications, overall HBIC.

She also exists on a diet of wine and popcorn.

She runs Olivia Pope & Associates, a crisis management firm that handles major scandals in Washington, D.C. and fixes them. Her team is comprised of her ‘Gladiators’ (which is also the nickname for Scandal fans): Harrison, Huck, Abby and Quinn.

Meet President Fitzgerald Grant. Leader of the free world, sexy grown ass man, former Ghost villain.

He is married to another HBIC in her own right, First lady Mellie Grant. Fitz’s right-hand man and Chief of Staff is Cyrus Beene, a guy who is willing to do anything to keep the President the President, and probs the best actor on the show.

Other people of note: US Attorney for D.C., David Rosen (played by The West Wing’s Josh Malina), White House Reporter/Cyrus’ husband, James Novack (Emmy winner Dan Bucatinsky), and Officer Jake Ballard (Felicity’s other Ben, Scott Foley), who I won’t reveal his exact role in the show.

Oh BTW, Olivia and Fitz have been carrying on an affair ever since they met on his campaign trail, and have been off and on while he’s been in the White House. So you know, probably the biggest SCANDAL there is.

So wrong, it’s right.

If the basic plot wasn’t enough to convince you, here are 5 reasons to indulge in your next guilty pleasure:

5) Social Media

There’s a reason why I hashtagged ‘Scandal’ in the Post title. Scandal started as a midseason replacement last year. With only seven episodes, it still found a fan base, and was renewed for a second season. It seemed that with every passing week, it became bigger and bigger, and ABC execs finally decided to give it a full 22 episode season.

And a lot of its popularity is thanks to social media and word of mouth. I remember seeing it pop up more and more among the people I was following both on Twitter and Facebook, and it was the reason why I put it on my list in the first place. Since the show itself is highly addictive, people wanted to share their addiction with everyone else, and of course, in 2013, what better way to do that than with the internet?

Apparently Kerry went to Shonda and suggested that the cast join Twitter (because she didn’t want to seem controlling over them!) and soon they began livetweeting along with their fans. Thursday nights became an event. If you couldn’t watch it in real time, don’t bother going on Twitter. It became a worldwide trend every week thanks to the #Gladiators, giving it even more free publicity than ever before. Between January and June of this year, almost 3.5 million tweets were sent about the show alone!

Now it’s come to the point where the cast gets together before the next episode airs and watches it together in order to prep for the live tweeting on Thursday. And let’s be honest, watching your favorite show along with the cast and other fans is pretty cool. So I’m warning you now, if you see #Scandal, #Gladiators, #TheStormIsComing or #Olitz trending on Twitter tonight, you’ll know why.

4) Fashion

Olivia Pope is a classy broad. A classy D.C. broad who makes thousands of dollars, and she lets her strong fashion sense be a reflection of her own strong character as a woman. Costume Desginer Lyn Paolo is the creative genius behind Olivia’s wardrobe, who picks the best of the best for Olivia. From Burberry capes to Dior evening coats to my personal fave, a Jean Fares gown that would even make me want to have an affair with Olivia (slash Kerry).

Fans have been dying over her style so much that Paolo and Scandal bosses partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue, and just yesterday, Kerry helped kickoff the collaboration at its flagship store in New York City. The famous window is curated by Paolo herself, which includes fashions are worn by Olivia, including Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera.

fyi, that is supposed to be kerry washington and tony goldwyn

3)  Cast Camaraderie

Nothing makes my TV obsessed heart happier knowing that people on TV who play friends are actually friends IRL. And although there’s a lot of drama on screen, it doesn’t seem like there’s any drama off screen.

Like I mentioned before, the cast gets together at someone’s home the Sunday before the show airs, so they can watch the ep together for the first time in order to prepare for the live tweeting. And they post pix on Twitter of their gatherings (as seen above)! If you delve into the black hole of Scandal interviews on YouTube, you can clearly tell that they all really enjoy each others’ company, and even hang out when not on set.

They remind me of the Parks and Rec cast, which I think is probably the set I’d most like to hang out at, for many reasons, but mainly because it seems like they’re just friends tooling around, who happen to be filming a TV show together. That’s what Scandal is like.

2) Characters first, adjectives second

Shonda Rhimes is known for her “colorblind” casting. You can see it with Grey’s and you can see it on Scandal. Despite the fact that Olivia Pope is the first African-American lead actress on TV in a very long time, that’s not what she’s all about. She’s a powerful, confident woman first, and black woman second. In fact, her interracial relationship with Fitz isn’t even mentioned until halfway through season two, as seen in the clip above. Earlier in the episode, an angry Liv scolded Fitz for treating her like a Sally Hemmings to his Thomas Jefferson. In fact, race has only been mentioned a couple times throughout the series, and that’s really what it should be.

Also take Cyrus, a high-powered Republican who just happens to be gay. Just like Olivia, he isn’t defined by his sexuality. He’s defined by his ability, his fortitude, his passion and allegiance for his country, for the President.

Scandal proves that a TV show can have a diverse palate of characters, without them being the stereotypical “gay best friend,” or “sassy black girl.”  They are just Cyrus and Olivia.

1) OLITZ

While my second reason on the list should be enough, let’s keep it real. The making of a really good drama/soap/Shonda Rhimes show is a hot relationship. And save for maybe Sam and Naomi from Private Practice, this is absolutely the hottest relationship to come out of Shondaland. Not only are Kerry and Tony extremely hot on their own, but they have an inexplicable chemistry that makes you feel like you’re being a voyeur into their sex lives. Seriously, just YouTube some of their scenes together if you want a sampling, but I’m telling you it’s hot hot hot! The clip above is from the pilot, where we first discover they’re having an affair. It gets sooo much hotter!)

Although I suppose the other thing that makes their love even hotter is that they’re divulging in forbidden territory. I think it’s easy for viewing to forget the onnneee little detail about “Olitz”: these two are committing adultery. We are rooting for CHEATERS. Well, a lot of us.

But I think that  that’s amazing that a series can make us support people who we would otherwise judge in the outside world. Obviously no one is perfect, but the very thing that has most people tuning in is considered taboo in real life. What is right? What is wrong? Is it wrong because he’s married, or is it wrong because he’s forcing himself to stay in a relationship where his wife isn’t at the top of his list anymore? Would it be right to leave the First Lady and become the ‘Divorced President’, or just keep up the facade for the American public, knowing full well you’re living a lie?

As we’re about to delve into season there, we still haven’t figured out right from wrong, whether the Olitz relationship can still be strong or not, but one thing for sure is that if they’re gettin down dirty in the White House – we’ll be the pervs watching…

Scandal is on ABC, Thursdays at 10pm (No, I do not work for ABC or Scandal, I’m just insane)

A Fall TV Guide To Non-Crappy Shows

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, I’m not talking about Christmas, it’s the glorious return of television after the fall hiatus! While our favorite shows are returning, lest we forget there is a whole new crop of shows just dying to be kept alive by network execs.

In television history, this time of year determines who will have a job at the end of the season and who will not. Some are bad, some are great, some are bad but go on for multiple seasons (Two and a Half Men), some are great but only live on for half a season (RIP Ben and Kate).

But have no fear. We are here to help guide you to the land of good television. Who knows if these shows will be the last ones standing, but at least you’ll waste your time on good shows instead of the bad ones. Do you have any favorites that are missing from this list?

The Dramas

The Blacklist

Premieres: Monday, September 23rd – NBC – 10pm

Starring: James Spader (Boston Legal, The Office, all around 80s icon), Diego Klattenhoff (Uncle Mike from Homeland, Shane Omen from Mean Girls)

Plot: James Spader plays Red Reddington, one of the FBI’s most wanted. He surprisingly turns himself in and offers to help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, but he’ll only work with new FBI profiler Liz Keen, played by Megan Boone. This terrorist guy isn’t the only criminal Red can help put behind bars, he has a massive list – a ‘blacklist’ if you will – of other wanted politicians, mobsters, spies and terrorists, but will only help the FBI if Liz continues as his partner.

Why You Should Give It a Shot: Out of all the network shows debuting this fall, The Blacklist tested better than all other 125 NBC drama pilots in the past decade. Better than ER? So this has to be good. Or the pilot, at least.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Premieres: Tuesday, September 24th – ABC – 8pm

Starring: Clark Gregg (duh, Agent Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (ER, the greatest Disney classic Mulan)

Plot: You may remember Agent Coulson from the Marvel superhero movie franchise, and now he’s getting his on show. Coulson puts together a task force to investigate the growing number of people with superpowers, and that’s pretty much it.

Why You Should Give It a Shot: Because it’s supposed to be the biggest new show this season, and you don’t want to be the guy who has nothing to say around the watercooler the following day. Do people still go to watercoolers?

Masters of Sex

Premieres: Sunday, September 29th – Showtime – 10pm

Starring: Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, Wesley Snipes on 30 Rock, ex-boyfriend of Rachel McAdams), Lizzy Caplan (Party Down, Cloverfield, ex-costar of Rachel McAdams)

Plot: Set in the 1950s, this drama centers around William Masters (Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Caplan) as they take on the risque study of researching the medical side of sex.

Why You Should Give It a Shot: This is the only non-network show on the list, but it seems too good to leave it off. Shows that push the button are always poised to be good TV, but with a cast like this and the perfect mix of drama and comedy, this is definitely one to look out for come awards season.

The Comedies

Trophy Wife

Premieres: Tuesday, September 24th – ABC – 9:30pm

Starring: Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, often the center of my dreams), Malin Ackerman (Couples Retreat, Rock of Ages), Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River, season two resident lawyer on The Newsroom), Michaela Watkins (former SNL cast member)

Plot: Bradley Whitford is on his third wife – the young, reformed party girl Kate (Ackerman). She is thrown into an unconventional family, which includes his first ex-wife Diane (Harden), the hardass doctor with whom he has two teenage kids, and second ex-wife Jackie, a granola/hippie mom with whom he adopted a spunky Asian kid.

Why You Should Give It a Shot: Because Bradley Whitford needs to be on a TV series that is successful again. Also it’s funny. Don’t trust me? (rude) You can watch the pilot on Hulu before it comes on the small screen!

Brooklyn Nine Nine
Premieres: Tuesday, September 17th – FOX- 8:30pm

Starring: Andy Samberg (SNL, Celeste and Jesse Forever, often has Dick in a Box), Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street), Chelsea Peretti (former Parks & Rec writer, stand up comic, Twitter life ruiner)

Plot: A police workplace comedy featuring carefree cop Jake Peralta (Samberg) who has to work under a new no nonsense boss in Captain Ray Holt (Braugher).

Why You Should Give It a Shot: A show created by Parks and Rec mastermind and The Office’s Mose, Michael Schur and another Parks writer Dan Goor, it’s sure to have a few LOL moments. Basically Schur’s TV forte is getting former SNL cast members and making them stars of their own comedies. It helps that he used to write for SNL too.

Super Fun Night
Premieres: Wednesday, October 2nd – ABC – 9:30pm

Starring: Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect, all-around hilarious lady), Liz Lapira (Crazy Stupid Love, Don’t Trust The B-, Traffic Light aka shows only I watched)

Plot: Kimmie Boubier (Wilson) is a junior attorney who has had a standing date every Friday with her best friends for the past 13 years. Their motto is “Always together! Always inside!”, which makes me feel like we’re soulmates. But now because of a cute British co-worker and networking opportunities, Kimmie feels the need to actually go out and meet people for once.

Why You Should Give It a Shot: Rebel Wilson. Executive produced by Conan O’Brien. Theoretically this show should be a hit.