Playlist of the Month: TV Tunes Scene Stealers

It’s the final day of Back To TV Week, and we’re ending it by really going back to TV with some of the most iconic scenes on the small screen over the years. We know that music can make or break any soundtrack either in TV and movies or even in real life. But when it’s in entertainment, the choice of song can elevate a scene a million times more and evoke emotion that would have never been brought out otherwise. This month’s playlist features a lot – A LOT – of our favorite scenes from TV shows with the perfect background music, mainly because we’re TV nerds and there are just so many to choose from. Here are our top picks – did any of yours make the list?

Sia – Breathe Me

{Six Feet Under}

You’ve probably heard this countless times already, but Six Feet Under has the best series finale in the history of television, and this final montage is why. I swear I binged the whole show just to get to this scene, and it was worth it. If you don’t know, Six Feet Under centers on a family who runs a funeral home, and each episode focuses on at least one death. In this final scene from the series finale, each of the main characters’ lives are flashed before our eyes, showing us highlights from when the final episode ends in present day to years later when each of them are old and grey, leading up to their deaths. The beautiful montage of life and death is perfectly set to Sia’s emotional Breathe Me, and the scene may leave you in mourning, but equally satisfied with the reality of mortality.

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

{Grey’s Anatomy}

Remember 80 seasons ago when Katherine Heigl was still on Grey’s? And she fell in love with a patient? And then he died? And she had ghost sex with him? Ok, well the death scene was emotionally draining, even for stone cold Cristina Yang, and Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars pulled the tears out even further. It was also this episode that Chasing Cars became the unofficial theme song for Grey’s, and used in several more episodes after that including the infamous musical episode. And in a full circle sort of scene, a cover of Chasing Cars by The Wind and the Wave was played in the background as Meredith watches Derek being taken out of his coma and takes his final breath. WOOF.

Tony Lucca – Devil Town

{Friday Night Lights}

Tony Lucca, of Mickey Mouse Club and The Voice fame, is the voice behind this haunting song, which, like Chasing Cars for Grey’s, became the unofficial theme song for FNL. It was used both in the beginning of season one (as seen in this clip) as the Panthers prepared for their first game without Street, and at the end of season one after they win state. It was used yet again in the series finale when the school board decides to keep the Dillon Panthers and merge the East Dillon Lions into their team, just before the Lions have their own run at the state champs. Yet again, all full circle, and yet again all the goosebumps and tears.

Chris Brown – Forever

{The Office}

As a self-professed Jam shipper, the Niagara episode in which Jim and Pam finally tie the knot was v important to me. And this scene was everything I could’ve asked for and more. It perfectly encapsulates why I loved the show in the first place – comedy, camaraderie, romance and tears all in one. First of all, the idea to have a flash mob was conceived by Michael, who saw a (real) viral video on YouTube of a wedding party dancing to Chris Brown’s Forever. He rallied the entire Scranton crew to participate which was even more delightful, but the newlyweds let it go and didn’t let it ruin their big day. Why? Well Jim was his usual romantic self and devised a plan to marry Pam secretly on the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls. Cue the tears.

Jim: I bought those tickets the day I saw that YouTube video. I knew we’d need a backup plan. The boat was actually Plan C, the church was Plan B, and Plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her.

Aaliyah – Try Again

{The Mindy Project}

Do you remember where you were when you first saw Danny Castellano bust out impressive moves during a Secret Santa dance to Mindy Lahiri to Aaliyah’s classic tune Try Again? Because I do. Fact: Chris Messina truly knows how to dance, and the person who choreographed this scene actually worked with Aaliyah for the Try Again music video. The authenticity + one of the first memorable Danny x Mindy moments makes for an unforgettable scene. And let us not forget when he went all out Diamond Dan for a private strip tease to Lenny Kravitz’s American Woman. Oh also, during S3, episode 15, when Danny’s mom aka Carla Tortelli accidentally tells him Mindy is pregnant, and he looks for her all over New York to the tune of Beyonce’s XO. It was perfect in every way, especially with the heartbeat in the backbeat of the track, encapsulating the life *growing inside of her*.

Imogen Heap – Hallelujah

{The OC}

If you are an older millenial like us, you know this scene already. You know how iconic this is. Especially since Jeff Buckley’s version was used in the season one finale when it seemed like the gang was all parting ways. But in this scene, Marissa was the one who parted ways for good. RIP.

Nina Simone – I Shall Be Released

{Scandal}

Shondaland does music right, and on Scandal, they perfect the use of soul & R&B songs usually from the 1970s and 80s. In what is maybe Scandal’s best episode, titled The Lawn Chair, the Ferguson-inspired storyline features Courtney B. Vance refusing to remove himself from sitting over his son’s body, which was left on the street after a police officer shot him to death. As if the episode wasn’t emotional enough, Nina Simone’s I Shall Be Released pushes it over the edge, and if you’re not in tears by the final shot, you have no soul. {click here for the video}

U2 – With Or Without You

{Friends}

Nothing made us sadder during the run of Friends than when Ross and Rachel were on a break – and that still holds today, even though our feelings about some of the Friends characters are in flux (do I love Ross? or do I absolutely hate Ross? I’m basically Rachel). With Or Without You has passed into cliche sad song territory – think Everybody Hurts – and yet when you’re in the middle of heartbreak it’s like “Bono was right, I CAN’T live with or without you.”

Our Friends honorable mention goes to Groovy Kind Of Love at Monica and Chandler’s wedding. It felt like a left-field choice for them, which led to 12-year-old me developing a head canon that it was “their song” and they used to dance around to it in the kitchen or whatever.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

{E.R.}

Sometimes I still get sad when I remember that Mark Greene died on E.R., but at least the show gave him a beautiful sendoff. Not so much the brain cancer (although it was E.R., at least they didn’t have him get stabbed by a madman), but the gorgeous scene where he slips into the next world … which is also an E.R..

Fun (?) fact, this episode aired when we were in high school. My mom had cancer at the time and this scene had me weeping because of little Rachel and whoever the baby was. Watching it as an adult, I can safely say that it would have had that effect no matter what my life circumstances were because of the damn ukulele and because this rendition wasn’t yet ubiquitous in commercials and stuff.

I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke

{Mad Men}

 

Mad Men did a great job evoking the 1960s with music – props to their clearances/legal department, and a big shoutout to the genius who thought of Megan singing Zou Bisou. But viewers had to wait for the end of the series for the most iconic musical moment of all, where it’s implied that a blissed-out Don Draper created one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time, I Want To Buy The World A Cokie. It also signifies the shift, both culturally and in the ad world, from the 1960s to the 1970s.

We still miss this show a lot, just so you know.

Hard Times Come Again No More – Brett Dennen

{Parenthood}

Where my music history nerds at? You’ll remember that this one was written by the hot pop composer of the 1850s, Stephen Foster, but it was given new life in the 2010s when this cover played in the season 2 finale of Parenthood, an emotional roller coaster following Amber’s accident, Kristina’s pregnancy and Julia’s adoption disappointment.

My other Parenthood choices, if you’re cool with crying all over yourself, are that final scene with Forever Young and when Amber and Sarah sing the Circle Game, a song Joni Mitchell wrote so that people would cry more (and then Amber calls Sarah her hero, and then later we found out that it was really Mae Whitman calling Lauren Graham her hero, and we’re really fine, I swear).

Make Your Own Kind Of Music – Mama Cass

{Lost}

Optimistic and life-affirming and bleak and cheerful and disturbing and confusing: this scene was Lost in three minutes. I’ll never hear this song the same way again.

Motown Philly – Boyz II Men

{Full House}

Was the best musical moment of Full House when the Beach Boys would inexplicably show up, invite the Tanners on stage, and the crowd would react with glee for this random nerdy family as though it meant something to them? Or possibly when Jesse crooned Forever to Becky at their wedding? Or is it when the girls ruined their Ace of Base cover and we all learned a thing or two about how important it is to practice? Maybe that Lollypops and Gummybears song from the telethon episode?

Friends, it is none of these. The best musical moment is when Stephanie did a pretty good dance to Motown Philly. No arguments. It is.

Bonus Tracks:

La Vie En Rose by Cristin Milioti/Tracy McConnell-Mosby (Edith Piaf cover) on How I Met Your Mother – we continue to be upset over the unfair treatment of fictional character Tracy Mosby.

Make It Home by Juliana Hatfield on My So-Called Life – I don’t care if it never made sense that a ghost/angel was suddenly around for one episode, this was important and we all know it.

Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk – This is a Pacey/Joey blog 100%, let’s be clear. This was a Dawson/Joey song, but this melodramatic fan video recasts it as Pacey/Joey… just like the whole show should have been. It’s important to note that I ran the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack into the ground in junior high.

Ranking The New Crop of TV Shows: Fall 2016 Edition

It’s well known we’re currently living in the Golden Age of Television, inundated with just way too much great TV. It’s honestly such a burden, I don’t know how any of us make it through the day. So with our precious time at stake, we have to skim the fat and decide which shows are worth our time. This problem is even more prominent in the fall when a whole new crop of programs come into our lives vying for our love and affection. Luckily, with every new batch of freshman shows, there’s always ones that turn out to be the next Jane the Virgin and ones that will probably end up being more like Wicked City. Exactly. So we’re here to help you decide which shows to let into your life and which ones you can do without.

Definitely Watch This

This Is Us

What: A drama about a loosely connected group of people (think Crash, Love Actually) who were all born on the same day. Fills the character-driven, life-affirming drama spot vacated by the likes of Parenthood and Friday Night Lights.

Why: So I got to see the first episode a couple months ago and I think it’s maybe the best pilot I’ve ever seen? Including Friday Night Lights? I laughed. I cried. I gasped. I screamed. I cried again. It’s everything that you want in a Parenthood/FNL-type show and more. When the trailer was released during upfront week in May, it made history when it was viewed over 15 million times in a little over 48 hours on Facebook. And all those people better tune in come September 20th. On top of it being a well written and unique show, it features Milo Ventimiglia & Mandy Moore as new parents, the dude from Passions and Chrissy Metz as twins, and The People Vs OJ Simpson’s Sterling K. Brown making you wonder why he isn’t more popular yet again. Seriously, you’re going to be missing out at 11:01pm if you don’t watch live. I have a feeling it’s going to be trending on Twitter. And in a good way.

When: Tuesday, September 20th @ 10pm on NBC

The Good Place

What: Centers on a woman (Kristen Bell) who was killed and wakes up in the afterlife aka The Good Place. She’s stuck in a world where everyone is nice, and she’s caught between staying in The Good Place or trying to find a way to return to the mundane life she had back on Earth.

Why: Do you miss Parks and Rec? Love Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Like comedy? Mike Schur, the creator of both those shows, has created The Good Place, which is the right place for you. It’s one of the most promising new shows with the best people starring in it – Kristen Bell and our 80s/90s crush Ted Danson. Plus, we know the writing will be up to par based on Schur’s resume alone, so all these things make for a series that’s better than good.

When: Monday, September 19th @10pm on NBC

Maybe Watch This

Pitch

What: Centers on a young female pitcher (Kylie Bunbury) who defies the odds when she becomes the first woman to play in the major leagues.

Why: Can you believe a woman can be a baseball player? CRAZY, right? Well you better buckle up, skeptical men, because it’s gonna happen and it’s gonna be great. In this fictional world, we get to see the drama behind the woman, and I am here for it. Especially since Mark-Paul Gosselaar is in it. God bless you, preppy.

When: Thursday, September 22nd @9pm on FOX

Atlanta

What: Centers on an ambitious college drop-out and his estranged cousin, who suddenly becomes a star in the Atlanta rap scene. Donald Glover, who created, executive produces and stars in the show, jokingly described it as “Twin Peaks for black people”.

Why: If you’ve ever seen him do stand-up or listened to Childish Gambino, Donald Glover has always had a unique voice that’s not really anything similar to what others are putting out in the world. Enter Atlanta. If you’re looking for Community 2.0, I don’t think this will be your answer, but I imagine it will be as well-written as the first few seasons of Community, but with, you know, more substance. Also, Donald Glover needs us to do this for him. He’s given so much to us, it’s the least we can do.

When: Tuesday, September 6th @ 10pm on FX

Designated Survivor

What: A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.

Why: Although the concept sounds a LITTLE like ABC Drama Word Soup (Cabinet! President! Catastrophe! Lines of Succession!), the trailer is solid and, if Scandal and The West Wing has taught us anything, it’s that presidential dramas make for great television.

When: Wednesday, September 21st @ 10pm on ABC

Lethal Weapon

What: Based on the feature film of the same name, Lethal Weapon centers on a Texas cop/former Navy SEAL suffers the loss of his wife and baby and he moves to LA for a new life. He gets paired up with Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans Sr.), who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life. Comedy and action ensue.

Why: TBH, I’ve never even seen any of the Lethal Weapon movies. But this trailer actually appeals to me for some reason? Maybe it’s because I have nothing to compare it to, but on its own, the story looks compelling, so why not try it out?

When: Wednesday, September 21st @ 8pm on FOX

Frequency and Timeless

What: Two shows built around the concept of time travel.

Why: I’ve been obsessed with time travel since I read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine in fourth grade – but with such similar concepts and with two OTHER time travel shows set to premier mid-season, these shows will have to duke it out for a spot on our schedule. Here’s what we’re looking at:

  • Frequency – a police detective communicates with her father, who died in 1996, via radio
  • Timeless – a criminal steals a time machine to ruin America; other time travelers have to go stop him.

Check back in January when we introduce Making History and Time After Time, the midseason replacement time travel programs. Too much of a good thing, perhaps?

When: Frequency – Wednesday, October 5 on the CW; Timeless – Monday, October 3 @ 10pm on NBC

Pure Genius

What: A tech billionaire and a surgeon team up to build a hospital that uses innovative technology and doesn’t burden the patients with sky-high bills. Believe it or not, it is not billed as a fantasy (can we get an ‘amen’ from anyone who got a surprise ER bill recently?).

Why: The concept doesn’t grab me right away, but the show was created by Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and we will watch anything he creates or produces because he has earned it. This man gave us Tim Riggins, Tami Taylor and the Bravermans; we can give him an hour of our time.

When: Thursday, October 27 @ 10pm on CBS

Speechless

What: A middle-class family moves to an affluent area to provide better opportunities for son JJ, who has cerebral palsy and is nonverbal.

Why: Some of the ABC Wednesday Night Family Sitcom Lineup (modern TGIF, basically) is very good; some of it is mediocre. This show has potential to be one of the better ones; besides, there aren’t enough characters or actors with disabilities on television and when one comes around, we like to give it the benefit of our viewership numbers.

When: Wednesday, September 21 @ 8:30pm on ABC

The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey

What: A six-hour docuseries about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey and the theories about who killed her.

Why: Between Serial and Making A Murderer, true crime is having a moment. There are several JonBenet documentaries leading up to the 20th anniversary of her death (CBS and A&E series, a Lifetime movie, and ID and Dateline NBC specials), but with a full-scale replica of the Ramsey home and six hours to devote to all of the theories and loose ends, this one is our pick. Also, we need you to watch so we have somebody to discuss our 20-year-old suspicions with.

When: Sunday, September 18 @ 8:30PM.

Don’t Waste Your Time

Kevin Can Wait

What: It’s like CBS bingo: Kevin James. Cop. Family life. Skinny wife.

Why: See Above.

When: Monday, September 19 @ 8:30pm on CBS

The Great Indoors

What: Joel McHale works with millennials in some kind of internet office

Why: Look. This was on our “maybe” list until I watched the trailer. It’s all “millennials love the internet and texting and vocal fry” jokes, with a side of “gay joke where the whole punchline is just that a person is gay and another person said it.” Basically The Big Bang Theory with hipsters instead of nerds.

When: Thursday, October 27 @ 8:30pm on CBS

MacGyver

What: A reboot of MacGyver.

Why: I’m just not confident that anyone who wants this is still alive.

When: Friday, September 23 @ 8pm on CBS

Basically Anything On CBS

What: Most of the shows on CBS

Why: Remember when CBS had the reputation as the Grandma channel (Touched By An Angel, Dr. Quinn, Everybody Loves Raymond), and then they went after suburbanites with their Fat Guy/Skinny Wife lineup, and then they redeemed themselves with How I Met Your Mother, and then they completely betrayed our trust with that finale? They’re going to have to earn it back, and that hasn’t happened yet.

When: Monday-Friday @ 8pm – 11pm on CBS

Fall 2016 TV Rookies To Watch

It’s day two of Back To TV Week, and just like Back To School week, there are plenty of new and wonderful people to meet! After a few lean years, the 2016 fall tv schedule is jam-packed with new series that we can’t wait to watch – and although tv will always have a bit of gimmicky stunt casting, many of this year’s most anticipated shows star relative newcomers and unknowns. Our picks for the fall 2016 TV rookies to watch include some actors who are almost brand-new to the industry and others who have been around for decades. They all have one thing in common: none has household name recognition right now, but they’re all talented and poised for success – our predictions for the rookies of the year.

Chrissy Metz {This Is Us}

Stats

Previous Work: American Horror Story, Huge, My Name Is Earl, Entourage

Why You Should Watch Her: Chrissy’s character Kate is going into her 36th birthday not in the best of spirits, as she’s plagued by doubts of self-esteem, appearance and a general ‘what the fuck am I doing with my life’ feeling. AKA what everyone feels. Chrissy plays the part with honesty and a genuine spirit that makes your heart break for her, and root for her success as the show goes on.

When You Can Watch Her: Tuesday, September 20th @ 10pm on NBC

Kylie Bunbury {Pitch}

Stats

Previous Work: Under the Dome, Tut, Twisted, The Sitter

Why You Should Watch Her: There’s a lot of weight on your shoulders if you’re the first female pitcher in the MLB. But there’s also a lot of weight on your shoulders if you play the first female pitcher in the MLB on TV. Kylie not only had to zero in on her baseball skills, but give depth to her performance outside of the mound, and it looks like she’s doing just that.

When You Can Watch Her: Thursday, September 22nd @ 9pm on FOX

D’Arcy Carden {The Good Place}

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Previous Work: Broad City, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Inside Amy Schumer, CollegeHumor videos, The To-Do List, UCB, Twitter

Why You Should Watch Her: She is funny. She’s a UCB performer who I know of because of her hilarious tweets and random podcast appearances, like on the Gilmore Guys. For some reason, if someone like D’Arcy or Ben Schwartz or DC Pierson (all Internet folk who I’ve seen at UCB), get a great gig in a movie or major TV show, I root for them as if we’re friends. We’ve never met. She has no idea who I am. I just know I’ve laughed at her, and in the good way. And The Good Place is a very good place to start.

When You Can Watch Her: Monday, September 19th @10pm on NBC

Micah Fowler {Speechless}

Stats

Previous Work: Labor Day

Why You Should Watch Him: Hollywood doesn’t have a great track record for developing complex, layered characters who have disabilities – and it has an even worse track record for casting actors with disabilities to play those characters. Yet Speechless includes both a ‘Wednesday ABC sitcom’ premise (Minnie Driver plays the mom of a family moving from a middle-class area to a tonier town), and a character, JJ, who has cerebral palsy and is nonverbal. Based on the trailers and pilot reviews, Fowler, who has cerebral palsy himself, plays JJ with a lot of warmth and enthusiasm – no simple acting gig for an 18-year-old in his breakout role.

When You Can Watch Him: Wednesday, September 21 @ 8:30pm on ABC

Brian Tyree Henry {Atlanta}

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Previous Work: Vice Principals, The Knick, Boardwalk Empire

Why You Should Watch Him: If the three names didn’t tip you off, Brian Tyree Henry comes to the tv world by way of Broadway (The Book of Mormon) – and that’s after earning an MFA from Yale. In his off time, Henry likes to collect pins – so he’s adorable, too. You would expect someone playing a rapper to be well-versed in hip hop, it’s still a lot of fun to see him discuss the genre. We always have a soft spot for Broadway actors, but something tells us we won’t be the only ones talking about Brian Tyree Henry in a few weeks.

When You Can Watch Him: Tuesday, September 6 @ 10pm on FX

Pamela Adlon {Better Things}

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Previous Work: Louie, Californication,

Why You Should Watch Her: Pamela Adlon is very much NOT a TV Rookie – except, as we discussed above, we think this role may mark a turning point in her public career. 90s kids will know Pamela’s voice from Recess (Spinelli), King of the Hill (Bobby) and Pepper Ann (Moose), and comedy fans will recognize her from Louie, where she’s proven to be a natural at the understated, non-hammy genre of offbeat sitcoms. Like Louie – on which Adlon was a recurring character and consulting producer – Better Things is loose, observant and semi-autographical (Adlon is also a creator and executive producer on the project).

When You Can Watch Her: Thursday, September 8 @ 10pm on FX

Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Last-Minute Binge Edition 2016

Since it’s only the first week of September, old shows and new shows are slowly rolling out this month and next month. And you know what that means? You still have time to sneak in one last binge-watch before a new season premieres! But what is easy to catch up on and worth your time? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Traci’s Picks

For viewers who miss the camaraderie of The Office, the quirkiness of 30 Rock, and the community of Community: Superstore

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: September 22nd at 8pm on NBC

Why you should be watching: Remember how the first seasons of The Office and Parks and Rec were a little slow moving but you knew they had so much potential? That’s what I felt about the first season of Superstore. It could also be because the executive producer used to be a writer at The Office. But like both those shows, Superstore is a workplace comedy about a rag tag bunch of folks who work at a Wal-Mart/big box type store. It stars America’s sweetheart America Ferrera and Ben Feldman, who I’ve decided I will watch anything he is in. There’s also a Filipino character that was prominently featured in the Olympics episode they aired a couple weeks ago, and that satisfies me greatly.

For people who liked American Crime Story, but also literally every human alive: American Crime

Seasons to catch up on: 2

Next season begins: 2017 (I’m cheating since this doesn’t come back until next year)

Why you should be watching: On the real, because this show is an anthology, you don’t even need to watch the two previous seasons. But you should anyways. The first season centers on a home invasion in California which leaves a war veteran dead and his wife seriously injured. The investigation and trial deals with issues of race, class and gender politics, and stars Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Lili Taylor and Regina King. All four of them return for the second season playing completely different characters. This time, the season is set in the midwest at a private and public high school, when two of the private school kids are accused of drugging and assaulting a guy from the public school. Issues of sexual orientation, class and more (which I don’t want to spoil) come into play. Both seasons are spectacular in their own ways and it’s one of those well-written, well acted, and socially important programs that I feel like everyone needs to watch.

For all Americans and Hamilton fans who are OK with modern music being used to score a show about true events in the 1800s: Underground

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: 2017 (all the shows I want you to watch aren’t coming back until next year!)

Why you should be watching: I hate that Underground didn’t get the Emmy recognition it deserved, because it could easily have been nominated for writing, acting and directing. The story follows a group of escaped slaved called the Macon 7 as they attempt to make it to the North. With the feeling they’re going to be caught making you tense in every episode, along with the romance, unwanted romance, race relations and general drama throughout the first season, the 10-episode binge will not be hard to get through at all.

Molly’s Picks

For fans of musicals, comedy, musical comedy, and anybody who thought “that’s a sexist term” upon reading the show’s title: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: October 21

Why you should be watching: Did you watch Glee because you love people spontaneously bursting into song, but you wished it was actually funny even ONCE? Are your favorite SNL sketches the clever yet relatable songs like (Do It On My) Twin Bed or Back Home Ballers? Do movies like Ghostbusters or Sisters make you want to start a letter-writing campaign to all of the major studios asking for more of this, please? Do you like a good rom-com where the protagonist is torn between two appealing gentlemen? Are you into 90s junior high flashbacks? Hey. Come watch this show. You’re going to love it.

 Rebecca Bunch is a New York lawyer who moves to West Covina, California after a chance run-in with her camp sweetheart, Josh. There’s a lot of Rebecca trying to act chill and normal so Josh doesn’t think she’s, well, a crazy ex-girlfriend, often with the help of her buddy Paula, the coworker we all wish we had. Oh, and Josh is engaged to Valencia, a yoga-teaching Pinterest goal board come to life. But then there’s Greg, Josh’s friend who Rebecca should definitely end up with … or I mean, you should watch and form your own opinions.

For viewers who love psychological thrillers like Orphan Black, tech conspiracies, or handsome men who hate themselves: Mr. Robot

Seasons to catch up on: 2

Next season begins: 2017 (season 2 is in progress and ends later this month)

Why you should be watching: Like Orphan Black, I feel like you should watch the pilot and second episode then just TRY to stop watching. There are a few plot twists and it is best to watch unspoiled, which is why you should begin the show now instead of waiting until Season 3. Besides, then you won’t need to wonder how there are so many nominations for a USA show come Emmy night.

Largely spoiler free summary: Rami Malek plays Elliot, a lonely hacker with some degree of mental illness, an omnipresent black hoodie, a mild but appealing lateral lisp, and a vendetta against E Corp (a global conglomorate responsible for his father’s death from cancer when Elliot was a child). Elliot joins fsociety, a Coney Island-based hacker group that’s working to bring down E Corp. Standout characters : fsociety leader Mr. Robot, acerbic hacker Darlene, and Elliot’s childhood friend Angela (who, along with Rebecca Bunch, is one of the only lady lawyers on television who seems like a human).

For people who didn’t listen to us last year: Jane The Virgin

Seasons to catch up on: 2

Next Season Begins: October 2016

Why you should be watching: Last year, JTV was on our last-minute binge watching list with a caveat: we should have been watching it too, but we had to wait for season 1 to get to Netflix. Between then and now both of us have emerged from heavy JTV binges and are obsessed.

Jane The Virgin, like real telenovelas before it, rides the line between comedy and melodrama. The writing is sharp and the show is brilliantly styled, but the whole thing rests on the endearing and spirited performance of Gina Rodriguez. Her Jane is nothing like the character I imagined when I heard the “virginal pregnant 20-something” descriptor. If the concept sounded a little iffy to you, give it 2 episodes and prepare for your mind to change.

As an aside, I “watched” the first 15 episodes while I was painting the downstairs of my house, so I actually listened like it was a radio play. This show works perfectly for that viewing style if you have any big projects to tackle this fall (as long as you’re fluent in Spanish for the occasional captioned scene). Only downside: realizing half the characters look NOTHING like you imagined when you start watching for real.

Best of C+S 2015: Speculative Premiere Week: Meet The New Shows Of 2019!

So it’s 2016, huh? Sounds fake, but fine. In our final Best of 2015 post, we’re going to take it back to the future – here are all the Law and Order spinoffs, fat guy/skinny wife shows, and C-list celebrity comebacks that we’re pretty sure will be hitting our screens in 2019. Happy New Year, everyone! See you Monday with our all-new 2016 posts.

Maybe we’re getting a little carried away with our role as Fantasy Network Executives, but we’re pretty sure we can predict exactly what will be on tv in 4 years. Expect the new batch of series to contain a breakout SNL star, CBS’s latest Fat Guy/Skinny Wife offering, a movie franchise adaptation, a poorly planned reboot, and a patently offensive comeback or two. And Ryan Seacrest, always Ryan Seacrest. So what’s on the block for 2019? Set your DVR’s way ahead, it’s going to be quite a year!

Selfie Off with Ryan Seacrest

The top 10 selfie takers in America face-off (quite literally) in a variety of different challenges to see who can take the best photo. On a rollercoaster, next to a fire, in a haunted house, who will not let outside elements deter them from their photography skills and ultimately take the crown of America’s Favorite Selfie Taker? This show does not do well.

Sass and Grass

taraji franco

James Franco and Taraji P. Henson star in this buddy cop dramedy patrolling a rough Philadelphia high school, which has a bad weed problem. Except Franco may have a weed problem of his own.

Soul Mates

Teen ghost falls in love with a living teen (teen ghosts are the teen vampires of 2019).

Fantastic Four

Because if it fails on the big screen, let’s try TV instead.

The Franny

A reality show starring Fran Drescher, featuring her life as a TV producer and her close friendship with her gay ex-husband.

The George Lopez Project

In this George Lopez vehicle, he plays the George Lopez character from his 2002-2007 series “George Lopez.” He has moved to Tallahassee to care for his aunt with whom he has “comedic” (but not actually funny) spats.

Waffle King Juniors

The search for the best kid waffle maker is on. Hosted by Alton Brown, sponsored by IHOP. As the title suggests, Waffle King is already a show by this point.

Tiny Houseboat International

Features people looking to not only downsize their home but also sail the high seas (but not too high, these boats are TINY).

Roller Coaster Tycoon

In this Apprentice spinoff hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the search is on for the next great amusement park mogul.

Pretty In Provo

Aidy Bryant stars as a Cool Mormon trying to juggle her mommy blog and etsy shop, while wrangling her kids Wren, Polly, and Olive-Lou. Her house and outfits are bright and adorable, and we… kind of want this to exist for real? AIDY?

Jerry Maguire

In this TV adaptation of Jerry Maguire, Jerry is played by that British kid from Finding Neverland (Freddie Highmore).

By The Book

Keri Russell and Barry Watson are former classmates at NYU who were academic rivals (there was always a sexual tension between them, but nothing happened). Now they’ve both returned to their alma mater as professors in the same English department and still have that feeling of hatred towards each other but also even stronger sexual tension. One of the students is young Gene Draper from Mad Men. There are sweeps week guest spots by Scott Speedman and Amy Jo Johnson.

Blueprint For Love

Taran Killam stars as a Ted Mosby type, but less pretentious and more funny and charming. He’s an architect, trying to follow the rules from an archaic dating guide to the letter in the hope of meeting “the one.”

Gal Pals

Katie Holmes and Ellen Page star as sisters who have to pretend that they’re dating in order to rent an apartment in San Francisco, a la Three’s Company.

gal pals

The London Editor

A career-driven American 30-something (one of our 2019 TV Rookies To Watch) who has no time for love spars with her London-based editor (Thomas Sangster, the kid from Love Actually). She pictures him as a grumpy old sourpuss, but discovers that he’s actually a young, charming curmudgeon. But they live on different continents and, again, she doesn’t have TIME for love!

Kangaroo Court with Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin travels to wildlife preserves across Australia, solving training problems and inter-animal rivalries: think Dog Whisperer, but with more kangaroos.

Gossip Woman

In this CW reboot of Gossip Girl, all-grown-up Jenny Humphrey is a touring musician who is haunted by a gossip blogger (still Dan). Inexplicably, Jenny and Dan (along with a few of their classmates) are parents to teenagers, who start to find that their own secrets are being revealed.

Silver Sisters

This reboot of Golden Girls features a cast of 38-44 year old women (the oldest allowable in 2019).

Meerkat Detective

A animated/live-action comedy about a Meerkat detective who solves crimes in Chicago using the social media live video app Meerkat.

Suburban Legends

After years in the city, Jake Potter moves back to the suburb of his youth, where he is reunited with all of his old childhood gang and they pick up right where they left off … to much head-shaking by his prim wife, Julie. There are ’90s and early ’00s flashbacks. This is CBS’s requisite Fat Guy/Skinny Wife show for 2019, and it stars Shia LaBeouf (who is fat in 2019).

Ill-Conceived

In this attempted comeback, Amanda Bynes plays a sassy, wealthy young doctor who recently took up a post at an inner-city abortion clinic as terms of some kind of probation. The show is quickly canceled because everyone hates it, and in the final episode to air Amanda discovers that she’s pregnant. Maybe Diablo Cody writes it?

CSI: Des Moines

It stars Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney, who play Daniel Muldowney and Donny McDaniel.

Law And Order: Car Theft

When your car gets stolen, who you gonna call? Probably 911, who will tell you to call 311, who will refer you to this department run by Camryn Manheim.

So You Think You Lift, Bro?

Just two dudes facing off, lifting heavier and heavier weights as the competition goes on. It’s not a hit on primetime and gets cancelled after two episodes on Spike. Hulu’s fitness-oriented online platform MeatHead, picks it up and does great.

Floored

Brad Pitt realizes every A-lister is starring in a TV show so he does too. In a multi-cam comedy for CBS, Brad plays the super of an Upper East Side apartment building in New York City. He’s an overall upbeat guy and the quirky tenants (think Gilmore Girls or Parks & Rec townies) love him – but when his ex-fiancee moves into the building to live with her new fiance, his jealousy and cattiness comes out. The show airs after the Shia LaBeouf show.

Another Shonda Rhimes show

Doesn’t even matter what it’s about. It’ll be on and we’ll watch it.

Dubya

George W. Bush stars in this docu-series about the months leading up to his first big art show installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He shows a stressed side we’ve never seen before but manages to keep his positive attitude a crack a few (a lot) of dad jokes in the process.

 

Speculative Premiere Week: Meet The New Shows Of 2019!

Maybe we’re getting a little carried away with our role as Fantasy Network Executives, but we’re pretty sure we can predict exactly what will be on tv in 4 years. Expect the new batch of series to contain a breakout SNL star, CBS’s latest Fat Guy/Skinny Wife offering, a movie franchise adaptation, a poorly planned reboot, and a patently offensive comeback or two. And Ryan Seacrest, always Ryan Seacrest. So what’s on the block for 2019? Set your DVR’s way ahead, it’s going to be quite a year!

Selfie Off with Ryan Seacrest

The top 10 selfie takers in America face-off (quite literally) in a variety of different challenges to see who can take the best photo. On a rollercoaster, next to a fire, in a haunted house, who will not let outside elements deter them from their photography skills and ultimately take the crown of America’s Favorite Selfie Taker? This show does not do well.

Sass and Grass

taraji franco

James Franco and Taraji P. Henson star in this buddy cop dramedy patrolling a rough Philadelphia high school, which has a bad weed problem. Except Franco may have a weed problem of his own.

Soul Mates

Teen ghost falls in love with a living teen (teen ghosts are the teen vampires of 2019).

Fantastic Four

Because if it fails on the big screen, let’s try TV instead.

The Franny

A reality show starring Fran Drescher, featuring her life as a TV producer and her close friendship with her gay ex-husband.

The George Lopez Project

In this George Lopez vehicle, he plays the George Lopez character from his 2002-2007 series “George Lopez.” He has moved to Tallahassee to care for his aunt with whom he has “comedic” (but not actually funny) spats.

Waffle King Juniors

The search for the best kid waffle maker is on. Hosted by Alton Brown, sponsored by IHOP. As the title suggests, Waffle King is already a show by this point.

Tiny Houseboat International

Features people looking to not only downsize their home but also sail the high seas (but not too high, these boats are TINY).

Roller Coaster Tycoon

In this Apprentice spinoff hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the search is on for the next great amusement park mogul.

Pretty In Provo

Aidy Bryant stars as a Cool Mormon trying to juggle her mommy blog and etsy shop, while wrangling her kids Wren, Polly, and Olive-Lou. Her house and outfits are bright and adorable, and we… kind of want this to exist for real? AIDY?

Jerry Maguire

In this TV adaptation of Jerry Maguire, Jerry is played by that British kid from Finding Neverland (Freddie Highmore).

By The Book

Keri Russell and Barry Watson are former classmates at NYU who were academic rivals (there was always a sexual tension between them, but nothing happened). Now they’ve both returned to their alma mater as professors in the same English department and still have that feeling of hatred towards each other but also even stronger sexual tension. One of the students is young Gene Draper from Mad Men. There are sweeps week guest spots by Scott Speedman and Amy Jo Johnson.

Blueprint For Love

Taran Killam stars as a Ted Mosby type, but less pretentious and more funny and charming. He’s an architect, trying to follow the rules from an archaic dating guide to the letter in the hope of meeting “the one.”

Gal Pals

Katie Holmes and Ellen Page star as sisters who have to pretend that they’re dating in order to rent an apartment in San Francisco, a la Three’s Company.

gal pals

The London Editor

A career-driven American 30-something (one of our 2019 TV Rookies To Watch) who has no time for love spars with her London-based editor (Thomas Sangster, the kid from Love Actually). She pictures him as a grumpy old sourpuss, but discovers that he’s actually a young, charming curmudgeon. But they live on different continents and, again, she doesn’t have TIME for love!

Kangaroo Court with Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin travels to wildlife preserves across Australia, solving training problems and inter-animal rivalries: think Dog Whisperer, but with more kangaroos.

Gossip Woman

In this CW reboot of Gossip Girl, all-grown-up Jenny Humphrey is a touring musician who is haunted by a gossip blogger (still Dan). Inexplicably, Jenny and Dan (along with a few of their classmates) are parents to teenagers, who start to find that their own secrets are being revealed.

Silver Sisters

This reboot of Golden Girls features a cast of 38-44 year old women (the oldest allowable in 2019).

Meerkat Detective

A animated/live-action comedy about a Meerkat detective who solves crimes in Chicago using the social media live video app Meerkat.

Suburban Legends

After years in the city, Jake Potter moves back to the suburb of his youth, where he is reunited with all of his old childhood gang and they pick up right where they left off … to much head-shaking by his prim wife, Julie. There are ’90s and early ’00s flashbacks. This is CBS’s requisite Fat Guy/Skinny Wife show for 2019, and it stars Shia LaBeouf (who is fat in 2019).

Ill-Conceived

In this attempted comeback, Amanda Bynes plays a sassy, wealthy young doctor who recently took up a post at an inner-city abortion clinic as terms of some kind of probation. The show is quickly canceled because everyone hates it, and in the final episode to air Amanda discovers that she’s pregnant. Maybe Diablo Cody writes it?

CSI: Des Moines

It stars Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney, who play Daniel Muldowney and Donny McDaniel.

Law And Order: Car Theft

When your car gets stolen, who you gonna call? Probably 911, who will tell you to call 311, who will refer you to this department run by Camryn Manheim.

So You Think You Lift, Bro?

Just two dudes facing off, lifting heavier and heavier weights as the competition goes on. It’s not a hit on primetime and gets cancelled after two episodes on Spike. Hulu’s fitness-oriented online platform MeatHead, picks it up and does great.

Floored

Brad Pitt realizes every A-lister is starring in a TV show so he does too. In a multi-cam comedy for CBS, Brad plays the super of an Upper East Side apartment building in New York City. He’s an overall upbeat guy and the quirky tenants (think Gilmore Girls or Parks & Rec townies) love him – but when his ex-fiancee moves into the building to live with her new fiance, his jealousy and cattiness comes out. The show airs after the Shia LaBeouf show.

Another Shonda Rhimes show

Doesn’t even matter what it’s about. It’ll be on and we’ll watch it.

Dubya

George W. Bush stars in this docu-series about the months leading up to his first big art show installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He shows a stressed side we’ve never seen before but manages to keep his positive attitude a crack a few (a lot) of dad jokes in the process.

 

Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Last-Minute Binge Edition

If you’re anything like me, you make a list of all the things you want to do at the beginning of the summer, and then you procrastinate and blink and it’s September all of a sudden. TIME, MAN. Since there isn’t toooo much going on television wise in the summer months, it’s usually a good time to binge-watch the shows you’ve been meaning to forever. But like I said, it’s September already and those fall premiere dates are right around the corner. However, you still have a window of time to catch up on those buzzed-about shows in time for the new season, so we’ve made a handy list of programs we think you should binge instead of that home improvement project you’ve been putting off. You can do that later.

Traci’s Picks

For Modern Family fans who also like New Girl and miss Don’t Trust The B- : Fresh Off The Boat

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: Tuesday, September 22nd on ABC

Why you should be watching: I wrote an entire post for this show right after the pilot aired, and I still stand by everything I said. In summation, it’s funny, every single actor from the kids to the grandma are beyond fantastic, and Asians. Also, the show’s creator, Nahnatchka Khan, also created one of those Cancelled Too Soon shows, Don’t Trust the B- (In Apartment 23). Miss you “James Van Der Beek.”

For Shondaland fans who enjoy legal dramas and have plenty of patience: How To Get Away With Murder

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: Thursday, September 24th on ABC

Why you should be watching: Viola Davis is a HBIC in the courtroom and as a professor in the classroom, but in her personal life, she’s got some probs. But also, Viola Davis is a gift to television and to acting.

For Mad Men and True Detective fans who miss Pacey Witter and are okay with watching adultry: The Affair

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: Sunday, October 4th on Showtime

Why you should be watching: IDK if you’ve noticed, but all the shows I picked are 15 episodes or less. You can do this, ya’ll. One of the great things about TV in this era is that a lot of accomplished actors aren’t afraid of the “TV stigma” like before (as in TV sucked, movies rule). All four of these leads, Josh Jackson, Maura Tierney, Dominic West and Ruth Wilson are both stars of film and TV, but together, it’s like watching a theatre play with A-list movie stars in the comfort of your own home. The basic conceit of the show should be enough to lure you in – two people in fragile marriages have an affair, and the story is told both in the male and female perspectives. Add a twist of a murder, plus the acting chops and you get a great show. Also, apropos of nothing, Josh Jackson recreating an iconic season one scene from Dawson’s Creek .

Molly’s Picks

For hip-hop fans and pop culture junkies who love a good Biblical drama but think that the ACTUAL Biblical drama airing this year looks a bit much: Empire

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: Wednesday, September 23 on Fox

Why you should be watching: I know we’ve drummed this one up in a few other posts, but basically you should be watching because it’s very, very good.  The show centers around Lucious Lyon, a music mogul who must hand his “empire” over to one of his sons – straight-laced Andre, rejected gay son Jamal, or rising star Hakeem. Oh, and his wife Cookie was just released from prison after 17 years, which means – you guessed it – 90s flashbacks. Taraji P. Hensen as Cookie Lyon is one of the most compelling characters on television right now. Obviously there are some amazing musical performances too, but they fit into the story organically, it’s not like Glee or anything. Plus there are only 12 episodes for you to watch.

For Breaking Bad fans who also enjoy dark comedy like Six Feet Under and anthology series like American Horror Story or True Detective : Fargo

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: Monday, October 12 on FX

Why you should be watching: The Emmy voters were right: this gritty-yet-quirky crime drama is fresh, compelling, and weirdly sort of funny – and also, there are only 10 episodes to watch. Technically you don’t even need to catch up because it’s an anthology, with each series standing alone. All are set in the north country, but season 1 was set in 2006 and season 2 will take place in 1979, and there’s some sort of Ronald Reagan plotline. Season 2 will feature Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Nick Offerman and Lance Landry Jesse Plemons.

For CW types who enjoy fanciful plotlines, telenovelas, and sitcoms that aren’t too sitcom-y or dramas that aren’t too dramatic: Jane The Virgin

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins:

Why you should be watching: More like, why WE should be watching. I had to include Jane the Virgin because it’s at the top of both of our personal Last-Minute Binge Watch lists. Both of us caught onto how great the show (/Gina Rodriguez) were sometime in the middle of last season, but didn’t want to jump in halfway through season one, so we have been patiently waiting for Netflix to do something. But everyone says that it’s amazing, and we believe them.

 

Playlist of the Month: Best TV Theme Songs

It’s been a trend as of late for shows to skip theme songs in favor of the extra 30 seconds to 1:30 minutes of extra episode time. Remember when Grey’s Anatomy had an actual theme song? They gave up on that and now it’s just the white title screen. Elsewhere in Shondaland, Scandal just goes on a 3 second shutter speed sound so we can watch more of Fitz & Olivia argue why they can’t be together then immediately make up (and make out).

Back in the day, theme songs were more of a prominent fixture in TV culture, and as much a part of the show as the scenes in the program itself. TV theme songs were the equivalent of old movies putting all the credits in the beginning of the film so you saw all the cast & crew prior to the start, rather than the end. And while this practice of creating catchy, memorable and good tunes isn’t as much of a priority as it used to be, we still can’t forget the classics, and that’s why we’re throwing it back to our fave TV theme songs over the years.

Traci’s Picks

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights Theme by W.G. Snuffy Walden

In general, Friday Night Lights is an emotional show. It will make you laugh, cry, feel frustrated with Julie Taylor and elated when the Panthers win a game. Like with all Jason Katims-run shows, he incorporates music into the fabric of the storyline, and it never takes you out of the scene when one of composer W.G. Snuffy Walden’s instrumentals start swell during one of these forementioned emotional moments. As any FNL fan can tell you, hearing the first few notes of this theme song will make you feel all the feels, despite it not even having lyrics. But that’s how powerful it is – it doesn’t even need them. Also, it’s worth noting that this is my current ringtone, so it makes me feel the feels of not wanting to pick up phone calls.

Growing Pains

As Long as We’ve Got Each Other by B.J. Thomas & Jennifer Warnes

I watched Growing Pains off and on when I was a kid, and I can kind of tell you the basics of the show. However, one thing I can recite to you from memory is the theme song. It’s a classic 1980s jam that was sung by Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head singer B.J. Thomas and (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life star Jennifer Warnes. It has the sappy 90s family feel perfect for the show, and perfect for me to play on loop in 2015.

All That

All That by TLC

We talked about this during SNICK Week, but this song still holds up. As soon as you hear, “Fresh out the box…”, it brings you back to sitting on your couch and watching Nickelodeon, ready to laugh at some jokes from the best sketch comedy show for kids to grace the TV. Yeah, it was a great theme song, but in general, it was a track that could’ve been a radio hit, too.

The Nanny

The Nanny Named Fran by Ann Hampton Callaway

Besides the extreme catchiness of this song, the best part about it is the fact that it tells you the premise of the show before every episode. Like just in case you tuned in for the first time and were wondering what a brash lady from Queens was doing in a Manhattan mansion, no need to worry because Ann Hampton Callaway (and fans of The Nanny everywhere) can sing her origin story to you in a flash.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Love Is All Around by Sonny Curtis

This song sounds so dated and I just love it that much more. I was one of those kids who watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show at Nick at Nite, and this song is as embedded in my brain as All That and Pretty Little Liars. It’s a song of joy, positivity, and a sets up a strong female character – much like another Unbreakable female on this list.

Honorable Mentions:

Perfect StrangersNothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now by David Pomeranz. This song was written by the same guys who wrote the Full House, Step By Step and Family Matters theme song, so no wonder it was so good.

Girl Meets WorldTake on the World by Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter. Genius move to have the two main girls of the show sing the theme, and a super catchy one at that. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if you were a Boy Meets World fan and you’re not watching this show, you are wasting your life.

Molly’s Picks

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Theme Song by Tina Fey/ Robert Carlock / Jeff Richmond / The Gregory Brothers / Mike Britt

UNBREAKABLE. They alive, dammit! It’s a miracle. This is one of the most creative, innovative theme songs you’ll ever hear, spoofing those wacky neighbors who always give interviews when shocking news breaks — paired with an auto-tuned news segment a la Antoine Dodson. So how’d they do it? (1) Tina Fey and Robert Carlock wrote the neighbor’s monologue. (2) They picked out the lines they want repeated in the song, and Jeff Richmond created the melody. (3) Mike Britt recorded the role of the emphatic neighbor Walter Bankston. (4) They hand it off to the Gregory Brothers, the guys behind Songify The News. (5) Kimmy Schmidt begins streaming on Netflix. (6) It has been over 6 months and you still have the song in your head, don’t you?

Cheers

Where Everybody Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

Yes, this is mainly a song about people knowing what your name is. Yet it is so iconic that I had never seen an episode of Cheers, but I think I’ve known all of the lyrics since I can remember. It doesn’t sound as synth-ed up or jubilant as the classic 80s theme song. In fact I think something about it is sort of melancholy. It sets the tone for an unpretentious show about a Boston bar where there are no name tags.

Party Of Five

Closer To Free by The BoDeans

If the 60s and 70s were the era of the theme song that told the entire backstory and lasted 8 minutes, and the 80s were the era of the synthesized, schmaltzy pop song that’s just sort of vaguely about love or family, the 90s were the age of the crossover alternative music/ TV theme song radio hit. Think I’ll Be There For You (Friends) or I Don’t Want To Wait (Dawson’s Creek). I started watching Party Of Five when I was probably too young, and it was HUGE for me. The theme song still makes me feel like I’m about to kick back with the Salinger clan (and Jennifer Love Hewitt) (but not Claudia when she’s at boarding school) (and usually not Owen, when you think about it).

Parenthood

Forever Young by Bob Dylan

I’m not crying, you’re crying. Fine, we’re all crying. But if it were the Rod Stewart version, I would not be.

Friends

I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts

Is this song even good? I can’t be sure anymore. But it was such a hit that it launched the (largely defunct) TV soundtrack trend of the 90s and early 2000s. Plus just listening to that opening riff reminds me of one of my favorite Comfort TV shows – have a cruddy day? Turn on Friends and you’ll feel a bit better. You could almost say they’ll be there for you (but don’t).

Honorable Mentions

The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father – Best Friend by Harry Nilsson. Yes, that’s Harry Nilsson, of the Lime In The Coconut Nilssons. As Traci mentioned, our cultural touchpoint are colored by how much time both of us spent watching repeats of old shows as children.

Sesame StreetCan You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? by Joe Raposo. It’s good and you know it’s good. And as an adult, sort of brings you back to being 4 years old in a kind of bittersweet way, right?

Fresh Prince of Bel AirFresh Prince Of Bel Air by Will Smith and Quincy Jones III. One of the proudest moments of my life was realizing that we were on a train of 100% American college kids in Spain going to a Jack Johnson concert, and leading a singalong to this theme song. It is SO good. Okay, I’ll stop here before I get into The Muppet Show and All In The Family.

Fall 2015 TV Rookies to Watch

This is Back To School Week in the United States, and nobody wants to be the new kid. But this is Back To TV week on Cookies and Sangria, and we are all about celebrating the new faces. These are actors you may not have heard of before, or who haven’t been on network TV much, but we have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more of them. Think about it: all of the TV greats, from the cast of Friends to George Clooney to… I guess people who didn’t hit the big time in 1994? … were once “that new guy on that show.” Keep your eye on these newbies – one of them just may be the rookie of the year.

Priyanka Chopra in Quantico

tv trading card_priyanka

Previous Work: A lot A LOT of movies, making her one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses, singer, Former Miss World, Guess model, social media famous.

Why You Should Watch Her: Quantico, a show about a group of young FBI recruits, is Priyanka’s American television debut. She’s a star internationally, like an Angelina Jolie of India, so it’s about time she gets a big break in the U.S.

When You Can Watch Her: Sundays @ 10pm beginning on September 27th on ABC

Ryan Guzman in Heroes Reborn

tv trading card_ryan guzman

Previous Work: Pretty Little Liars, Step Up Revolution, Step Up: All In, The Boy Next Door

Why You Should Watch Him: He was JLo’s man candy in The Boy Next Door, Lucy Hale’s karate-kicking paramour in PLL, and now he’s in primetime as the resident hottie when the Heroes come back this month.

When You Can Watch Him: Thursday, September 24th @ 8:00p on NBC

Zoe Lister-Jones in Life in Pieces

tv trading card_zoelj

Previous Work: Fawn from New Girl; Lily from Whitney; literally all of the Law and Orders.

Why You Should Watch Her: Zoe has seriously made the canceled sitcom rounds, from Whitney to Friends With Better Lives to Bored to Death. That doesn’t mean that she’s unlucky, it just means that she must be immensely castable.  The new sitcom roster is pretty slim this year, but Life in Pieces looks potentially funny – a rare multicam CBS pilot that looks like it could be more reminiscent of NBC when it’s good.

When You Can Watch Her: Monday, September 21 @ 8:30 PM on CBS.

Stark Sands in Minority Report

tv trading card_stark

Previous Work: Lead in the original Broadway casts of American Idiot and Kinky Boots, Chasing Liberty, Inside Llewyn Davis,

Why You Should Watch Him: Stark has had a number of random roles on TV, but he’s most famous for being a two-time Tony nominee for his roles in Broadway smash hits. He plays the lead of Dash in Minority Report, which is a movie I’ve never seen, but apparently the TV show is about Stark as a Precog who has the ability to predict crimes. Not sure if I’ll understand the show, but I’ll get Stark’s enormous talent, for sure.

When You Can Watch Him: September 21st @ 9:00pm on FOX

Evan Ross in Wicked City

tv trading card_evan ross

Previous Work: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay (1 and 2); 90210; CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story

Why You Should Watch Him: If Evan looks a little familiar, he should. Maybe, like us, you enjoy dystopian teen novel adaptations and made-for-tv biopics. Perhaps you follow celebrity weddings and babies: his wife is Ashlee Simpson. Or maybe you just know a celebrity dynasty when you see one: his mother is Diana Ross, and his sister, Tracee Ellis Ross, is currently on Blackish. Anyway, talent and good looks run in the family and it looks like Evan has both. Besides, Wicked City looks pretty promising.

When You Can Watch Him: Tuesday, October 27 at 10:00 pm on ABC.

Donna Lynne Champlin  – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

tv trading card_donna

Previous Work: A whole lot of Broadway (Billy Elliot, Sweeney Todd, etc); a brief appearance in Birdman; several TV guest spots.

Why You Should Watch Her: Donna has some major theater credits, and if you’re wondering if that even translates to television, the answer is yes: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a musical comedy. She plays the lead’s coworker and I’m hoping for more than a lot of drama and more than a few solos: Champlin is an Obie and a Drama Desk winner. YouTube her, you’ll be impressed. [An aside: she also hails from our hometown of Rochester, New York.]

When You Can Watch Her: Monday, October 12 at 8:00 PM on the  CW.

Denise in The Muppets

tv trading card_denise

Previous Work: Head of marketing at Up Late With Miss Piggy

Why You Should Watch Her: After decades together, who could possibly wrestle Kermit’s affections from Miss Piggy? We NEED to know who this Denise is. Also: The Muppets will be a mockumentary-style comedy that looks like one of the only truly hilarious shows slated for a 2015 premiere.

When You Can Watch Her: Tuesday, September 22 at 8:00 PM on ABC

 

Fantasy Network TV Exec

A few years ago, I went insane with my Fall TV scheduling because there were too many shows I loved that were coming back, and the premiere dates were staggered, and I was getting old so I had to write them all down and not just rely on the old noggin. I’ve stopped doing that over the past year or so, since I found an app (FREE app) called Episoder, which is something I swear by and could not recommend more to fellow TV enthusiasts. Anyways, the point is that when it comes time to plan out the Fall TV schedule, whether it be as a viewer or as an important executive of a big network, you have to plan strategically. The shows in primetime have to be equally engaging, GOOD, and bring in non-sucky numbers from whoever the Nielsen people are.

Some of you are in the beginnings of your Fantasy Football Leagues, and because we’re not much of the Fantasy Football type, we decided to play our own version with Fantasy TV Network Exec. We broke down which shows we would bank on if we ran an imaginary network, and hand-picked the series we think will boost our C+S Network’s ratings and help it become a reputable channel with quality programming (this is clearly the humble beginnings of our plan to start our own corporation and take over the world). Plus this is just a general guide of what you should probably watch in a couple weeks. We obviously took this very seriously.

fne_monday

8:00 Supergirl (CBS)

As a whole, we as a society are still not over superhero shows/movies, so naturally this freshman series is gaining a lot of buzz. Melissa Benoist (the new girl from Glee) plays the titular Supergirl, aka Superman’s cousin. That’s pretty much all we know plot wise, but what’s more important is the list of series regulars & guest stars, which includes but is not limited to: Calista Flockhart, Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti, Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), Jenna Dewan Tatum, and former Superman Dean Cain.!

9:00 Jane The Virgin (CW)

Neither of us watch Jane the Virgin, but it’s not from lack of wanting to. We both love love LOVE Gina Rodriguez as a human, so let’s support her show, shall we?

10:00 Blindspot (NBC)

If you’ve seen ads of a naked woman with words all over her body, that is this show. And TBH, some of these choices were based on, “the shows on the other networks suck, so this is the least offensive”. This is the least offensive.

fne_tuesday

8:00 The Muppets (ABC)

Following the success of mockumentaries like The Office and Parks and Rec, the genre has since become a little too overused, therefore losing its magic. However, when it’s used for a beloved franchise that needs an extremely creative twist to keep dedicated fans and viewers happy and tuned in, the mockumentary style makes perfect sense. This is probably the show I’m most looking forward to this fall, and judging by its trailers, I don’t think we’ll be disappointed. Also, Kermit is Jim Halpert. Count me in.

8:30 Fresh Off The Boat (ABC)

I was so relieved when Fresh Off The Boat got picked up, and unfortunately somewhat surprised when it did, because I was expecting ABC execs to dismiss yet another primetime show that doesn’t feature all white people *gets off soapbox*. Besides the whole #RepresentationIsImportant aspect of the show, it’s actually a really good program. The writing is fantastic and the acting is A+ (Constance Wu, y’all). Despite the fact it’s about an immigrant family and the first generation of kids in America, it’s a comedy about family at its core, and that’s why it should be appealing for everyone.

9:00 Scream Queens (FOX)

This was a process of elimination pick, with a healthy pinch of “it’s Ryan Murphy, it can’t be all bad.” Think the camp of Glee meeting the horror aspects of American Horror Story. It’s not necessarily our “thing” but we will always be here for Lea Michele in headgear. Plus Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, and Keke Palmer rounding out the “When Did They Grow Up?” contingent, and Nasim Pedrad bringing the comedy.

Plus it’s also up against yet another superhero show (Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), a third-generation NCIS (New Orleans), and a doctor show (Heartbreaker).

10:00 Wicked City (ABC)

We’ll have to wait a minute for this one – October 27 – because shows are airing willy-nilly this year. You can start off watching Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris on NBC, but don’t get too attached because in November Chicago Fire will take over the slot. Most of the shows this year are so genre – it’s all procedurals, zombies, and superhero reboots – that it’s nice to see something a bit different. Wicked City is a crime show set in 1982 on the Sunset Strip. Erika Christiansen as a 1980s Los Angeles mother who falls into cahoots with a serial killer? We’ll try it.

fne_wednesday

8:00 Rosewood (FOX)

Not actually sure if this show about a pathologist named Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. is actually going to be any good, especially since the tagline is, “Life. Death. Miami.” However, Morris Chestnut is in it (references here, here, and here), and I’d watch him do literally anything over the 102nd season of Survivor.

9:00 Empire (FOX)

If you think Drip Drop and Boo Boo Kitty are songs from the Wiggles or something, you are seriously missing out. We wrote a more in depth post about why you need to be watching Empire, but even if you aren’t totally sold, there are only 12 episodes. You can watch all of season one and be caught up in a few lazy weekends. Empire is one of those rare runaway success midseason replacements that became a cultural touchstone.

10:00 Nashville (ABC)

I started watching this show for Connie Britton and now it’s starting its fourth season and I’m still here. It’s like, it’s good, but could be better, but I’m too invested so I’m not going to give up now type of show. So here we are.

fne_thursday

8:00 Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

How is this show in its 12th season what’s happening? I know the whole McDreamy storyline has been a point of contention with fans, and it’s understandable. However, as both a fan of the show and fan of the construct of TV as a whole, I’m interested in seeing where they’re going to take Meredith’s story after a devastating loss. It’s the first season we’ve seen her without Derek AND Cristina by her side, so how does that change her as a person? Or does it?

9:00 Scandal (ABC)

Scandal might be the best show on television right now. It is also one of the most popular, with an unusually engaged fan base.  It’s on season five, yet I still feel like I have no idea what will happen with Olivia and Fitz, who is truly trustworthy, and how Olivia has never spilled on one of those white coats. Scandal has found a way to bring TV to a must-watch-live EVENT and fans live tweet with the cast in an unprecedented way (props to our fav Kerry Washington for that one). Take that, Video On Demand!

10:00 How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

If you were frustrated with the twists and turns and multiple murders on HTGAWM, believe me when I say this show is a breath of fresh air compared to Pretty Little Liars. Surprisingly (or maybe not so much so), the finale of season one solved the mystery we’ve been trying to figure out since the pilot, but then minutes later, we were hit in the face with another murder to leave us on a cliffhanger to go into season two. HTGAWM is also a super strong ending to a night in Shondaland, and you’d be crazy to pick any other lineup than this on a Thursday night.

fne_friday

8:00 Masterchef Junior (FOX)

If you’re into any sort of cooking competition program, you need to watch Masterchef Junior. Especially if you’re not a fan of Gordon Ramsay. The tough, expletive-spouting Brit takes a cooler tone with these home chefs, who range in age from eight to 13. It’s nice to see a softer, more encouraging side to Gordon, who just wants to see these kids succeed. It’s also nice to see a reality show that doesn’t focus on the drama between the contestants – these kids are just there to have fun and cook amazing dishes with food I’ve never even heard of before.

9:00 Shark Tank (ABC)

Let’s call a spade a spade. Nothing good, or even “good,” is on TV at 9:00 on a Friday. We’ve fallen very far from the must-watch TGIF lineups of our youth. Shark Tank has a solid audience, big enough to warrant a spinoff this year, so I guess we pick that.

10:00 Blue Bloods (CBS)

It’s not so much that we are raging Tom Selleck fans – I mean the man can grow a good mustache, but let’s not go crazy. And Mark Wahlberg isn’t even my favorite Wahlberg. The Irish cop cliches will surely be super lame. However. We’re sure that Dateline and 20/20 will split the News Magazine contingent, so this seemed like the best choice. For the record, we’ve both always been 20/20 girls, and in third grade we were even traumatized by the same episode about kids getting sucked onto pool drains.

fne_saturday

Watch Netflix.

fne_sunday

8:00 The Simpsons (FOX)

The Simpsons is my first television memory, sneaking upstairs to watch it with my brothers. It was my first appointment with appointment television, and I didn’t miss an episode from the ages of three until about 18. That said, I’m not sure if I’ve seen a new episode for the past decade. But looking at the competition on Sunday nights, it’s not hard to see why the show continues to do well. A television institution, The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989 and it looks like it isn’t going anywhere.

[Psst – I’m actually into Once Upon a Time, but we wanted to include Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 8:30 so we really needed a half hour show here.]

8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)

This show is good. When it won that Golden Globe a lot of people were shocked, but it combines the best elements of workplace comedy, police procedural, and buddy comedy. Plus, I hate that this is still a pleasant surprise in 2015, but it’s about a police precinct where two of the main characters are black men (and one is gay), two are Latinas, and most importantly, everyone is hilarious. Gina was one of the characters we needed back on our TVs after the 2014 hiatus, (and it’s true again), and Andy Samberg is that goofy coworker who is somehow actually amazing at his job. For some reason I feel like a lot of already-good shows really hit their strides in the third season, so I think this year is going to be great.

9:00 The Good Wife (CBS)

We don’t watch The Good Wife, which has apparently been on for five seasons (FIVE.). However, we know that a lot of people do. Besides, we’re not going to watch Oil and we are VERY not going to watch Sunday Night Football. There are some shows that we know will technically win the time slot, but we don’t like them so we aren’t choosing them. That’s what we’re doing with football.

10:00 CSI Cyber (CBS)

It’s this, football,  the local news on FOX, or an ABC series about the Bible. I understand that for a lot of people Sunday is the Lord’s day, and for a lot of other people it’s Football Night, but for us, every day is TV day and that programming just doesn’t cut it.