TV Characters We Need Back In Our Lives: 2016 Edition

A great songwriter once summarized the way we feel when our favorite TV shows come back on the air after a summer hiatus:

What ever happened to predictability
The milk man, the paper boy evening TV?
You miss your old familiar friends

But miss them no longer – they’re waiting just around the bend: the best returning TV characters of Fall 2016:

Rebecca Bunch from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

We considered including Greg Serrano and Paula Proctor in this list, but ultimately we had to give it up for this great show’s leading lady. It’s not just that Rachel Bloom is a writer/creator/actress/singer/comedian/all around fantastic human. It’s also that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend hinges on the audience suspending disbelief – it’s a musical comedy after all – AND identifying with a protagonist who sounds pretty questionable on paper, what with moving cross-country to chase her camp boyfriend from 2005. Rebecca, though flawed, has to be relatable, professionally competent, and get the audience in her corner. Against the odds, you believe that Rebecca has her head in the wrong place and her heart in the right one, that she’s out of touch with reality yet the smartest person in the room.

Jessica Huang from Fresh Off The Boat

Roughly half of Jessica’s lines from Fresh Off The Boat remind me of all of the 90s moms I knew during my childhood. The rest are cut straight from my internal monologue. Jessica is exacting and confident, at turns assimilating her family into American culture and criticizing it. Jessica is a rare TV parent: neither the tough mom nor the fun mom, she is a welcome break from the smiling-while-head-shaking moms from paper towel commercials and CBS sitcoms. Just watch her getting obsessed with Melrose Place and imagining intrigues in her neighborhood, or tackling her school-aged son with a giant stuffed bunny to teach him not to date rape, or spouting off about prosperity perms and tell me she isn’t the most endearing and “aggressive yet elegant” sitcom mom there is.

As an aside, we love actress Constance Wu every bit as much as we love Jessica, and if you don’t yet, you should too.

Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers

It’s impossible to pick just one favorite Belcher, but I’m doing just that and it’s Tina. I have a comedic soft spot for characters who have no reason to be confident but are anyway, and that’s Tina. Plus it’s just fun to watch her and thank your lucky stars that you’re not in that horrible junior high not really a kid/not really a teenager stage any more.

Liza Miller from Younger

To paraphrase Death Cab for Cutie (we were 19 in 2006, ok?), we would follow Sutton Foster into the dark – or to TV Land. Yes, the channel where your dad watches Newhart has original programming now, and Younger is really good – kind of like a TV version of goldfish crackers, where you can consume it for a half hour and the time kind of just disappears. Liza is a 40-year-old restarting her career and passing as a 26-year-old in order to do it, which is plausible because Sutton Foster has a portrait in her attic that ages in her stead. Plus Hilary Duff is in it too, and you know we loved us some Lizzie McGuire.

Rogelio De La Vega from Jane the Virgin

I binge watched both seasons of Jane the Virgin this summer and totally got hooked, largely in part to the great writing, the outstanding acting, and the character that is Rogelio De La Vega. I’ve never seen a fake actor so egotistical yet so lovable at the same time, and I think that’s credit to Jamie Camil, who plays the Telenovela star. He has a way of saying Rogelio’s lines that make you almost sympathetic to him, before you realize what he’s actually saying – and what he’s saying is usually the most ridiculous. #RogelioMyBrogelio

Porsha from Empire

I had a few complaints about the second season of Empire, and one of them is that there wasn’t enough Porsha on the show. As Cookie’s assistant she should probably be by her side more, yet not as much as I wanted. She’s hilarious, always has good comebacks, and is the perfect complement to Cookie’s sassiness. Also, she’s an amazing rapper IRL.

Coliver from How To Get Away With Murder

I KNOW I’m not the only person who ships this couple, mainly because there are many Tumblr blogs and gifsets dedicated to this hot, sweet duo. Connor and Oliver are maybe my fave romantic couple on HTGAWM because they just care for each other so much. Connor may be more broody about his feelings while Oliver is more outright, but there’s no doubt they’re meant to be. And I’m just the creep who reblogs their romantic moments on the Internet, it’s fine.

Betty DiMello from Masters of Sex

Annaleigh Ashford. Annaleigh Ashford!!!! I’ve always admired her talents from after since she’s a Broadway staple, but her acting skills are stellar in this show as a prostitute turned experiment volunteer turned receptionist turned closest confidant. It’s been quite the arc for Betty and Annaleigh as well, and I still think she should be nominated for more awards.

Captain Ray Holt from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Captain Holt has grown on me so much over the years, and in the best way he can, he’s opened up to the Nine-Nine slowly but surely too. Andrew Braugher does such a spectacular job showing emotion in an emotionless character, and I can’t wait to see what happens next for him and Jake come season four.

Taran Killam from Saturday Night Live

I’m in complete denial Taran isn’t coming back for the upcoming season, so we’re just going to pretend he’ll be back.

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Best ___ Of 2015: Some Really Specific Superlatives

2015 is over, and so is vacation. For a lot of us, this is the first day back at work for a week or two, and I, for one, am not ready. How not ready? I’m just going to bury my head in the sands of time and think about 2015 for a few more minutes. By now all of the year’s Best Of lists are out – best movie, best new television show, and so on. However, I think a few categories were left off the lists. From best Ham4Ham performance to best original song by a fictional artist, there’s a lot more of 2015 left to enjoy*.

*There isn’t, though. It’s over. Better get back to work after this. Yuck.

Best Ham4Ham performance of 2015: Love For The Techies Day

We aren’t going to talk about the best musical of 2015 – there’s no need, because I think we all agree here (#WeAreAHamiltonBlogNow). So how about the best performance from Ham 4 Ham, the Hamilton lottery? There are a lot of excellent contenders and you could make a solid argument for a handful of them, but I’m going with one of the more unorthodox performances: Love for the Techies Day. The whole company performed the Ten Duel Commandments, but it wasn’t just amazing because the entire cast was there. The stage manager called out all of the cues, and when you realize that he does that for the entire show, every day, you’ll be blown away.

Best dance craze of 2015: Whip & Nae Nae

… and NOT because it’s a good dance, but because it has followed the classic Dance Craze trajectory. It is easy enough that anybody can execute it, though maybe not well. It started as a reasonably “cool” thing to do, then trickled down to the elementary school set. From there, it has traveled way up the age bracket, and there’s a good chance that your mom or aunt has learned it at a wedding (possibly from a child). In a lot of ways, the nae nae is like the Macarena of 2015. Complete with annoying song that we’re all sick of.

Best viral video with a puppy in it: Drunk Girls Get Surprised With Puppies

This was not an easy choice, and I am fully open to more puppy video suggestions because I can’t get enough. I am particularly partial to puppies making friends with other species. But this one basically summed up my internal monologue when I see a puppy, so I’m going with it. Also my favorite puppy/horse video is from 2014, anyway.

Best viral video with a kitten in it: Meet Koko’s New Kittens

Koko always wanted a baby, but she got kittens instead. Apparently when a human does that it’s “sad” (whatever) but it sure is adorable when a gorilla did it. The gorilla is so gentle I want to cry.

Best new Netflix series – comedy: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The magic starts with the theme song and just keeps going. Master of None is a close second, but I’m not considering it a full-out *comedy* (we’ll explain).

Best new Netflix series – drama: Jessica Jones

I don’t know if this makes my opinion more or less valid (probably less?) but I’ve never seen a superhero show before. What I like is that it’s plot- and character- driven (and I realize that most superhero dramas are…) and there aren’t too many action sequences unless they actually move the story forward. Gratuitous action sequences are just something that tends to make me lose interest and avoid the genre. As a character study alone, I’m pleasantly surprised by how good this show is. [Full disclosure: real life got a little too real and I haven’t seen the last 3 episodes yet but I heard they’re excellent.]

Best new Netflix series – documentary: Making a Murderer

This isn’t the last you’ll hear from us about Making a Murderer, so I won’t say too much now. We both love how this filled the Serial-shaped hole in our lives (the new season of Serial is still good, but different).

Honorable mention for best documentary: Master of None, because I know it’s a comedy but it was also the REALEST thing I’ve seen in a while.

Best 90s television reunion: Saved By The Bell on Jimmy Fallon

This was 100% more Bayside-like than that weird school in the Lifetime movie about Saved By The Bell. I wonder at what point Mark Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez will stop looking exactly like 1993-era  Zach Morris and A.C. Slater given the right hair and wardrobe.

Best 2000s television reunion: Gilmore Girls 

And not just because we were there.  It’s not often that the entire cast of a show will reunite like that, and it’s even better now that we know that the series will be getting the sign-off it deserved.

Best original song by a fictional artist: Drip Drop – Hakeem Lyon on Empire

We love original songs by fictional artists so much that we did a whole playlist on the topic, but if we did that today there’s a chance it would just be Drip Drop ten times. Just think, a year ago at this time we had no idea what Empire was going to unleash on all of us.

Best children’s movie for adults: Inside Out

It’s great for kids, too, but something about this one really grabs most adults, plus a lot of the references to things like art and psychology are geared toward the grown-ups, anyway. Fair warning: this is also 2015’s Best Children’s Movie To Cry During, based on an informal survey of … us. We both cried.

Best uncanny resemblance between a  celebrity and a presidential candidate: Larry David/ Bernie Sanders

Many of the best impressions are performed by people who look nothing like the subject they’re impersonating. Still, there’s something so exciting when a politician has a ready-made celebrity doppelgänger (see: Tina Fey and Sarah Palin). It looks like we’ll all be feeling the Bern for at least a while longer, so let’s all hope that Larry David is willing to reprise his spot-on, no-effort impersonation.

Best surprisingly heartwarming pop culture moment: Shia LaBoeuf watches the Even Stevens movie

 

I don’t know how I feel about Shia LaBoeuf, but I DO know how I feel about Even Stevens: that it’s an essential part of my childhood television cannon, and when I say childhood I mean that it aired when I was in high school and was made for 8-year-olds. Shia’s latest performance art piece, #AllMyMovies, involved him… watching all of his movies. Yet when I watch all of Shia LaBoeuf’s movies, it’s not performance art, it’s just a weird Saturday. Anyway, his reactions to Even Stevens were actually precious.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Watch Netflix.

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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.

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 2

Welcome back, kids! Thanks for waiting it out, I know we left you with a cliffhanger from the first part of the ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up, so I appreciate your patience. We packed a lot in over the weekend, so here’s the breakdown of the second half of the fest, including that surreal Gilmore Girls reunion and a lot of Dawson’s Creek goodness!

Here’s a picture to prove we did some sightseeing in Austin, not just celeb-sightseeing!

After seeing writer Wendy Calhoun at the Empire panel, we were so enamored with her that we decided to follow her to the Diversity in Progress panel, featuring Wendy, Power creator Courtney Kemp Agboh, and Men in Trees creator/What a Girl Wants screenwriter Jenny Bicks. In an industry dominated by white males, these three women, two of whom are black, discussed their personal stories of going up the ladder in an environment which isn’t necessarily in their favor.

Across the board, their advice was to just be yourself – that obviously doesn’t just apply to writers. For example, if you’re a writer who wants to go on Empire, but you’re a young white woman who isn’t too familiar with hip-hop, don’t go into the interview pretending you’re basically Eminem and an expert. Because if you do get hired, and you’re in the room and they figure you out – you’re going to get fired anyways.

Courtney talked about how she needed to hire a white woman on her show, Power, but she couldn’t get a single person to accept the job. She offered a lucrative salary, but none of them wanted to take it, because they probs didn’t think they were qualified to write on a show about black people. But her point is that she can write about black people – she’s all set on that – it’s the young, white woman perspective she needs, and that’s why she set out for that type of writer, saying, “It’s important to have the diversity of the writers room to reflect the DNA of the show.”

Other little nuggets:

“Excellence is the equalizer. You go out and you kill it.” Courtney Kemp Agboh

“There’s no diversity in Hollywood, because the only color in Hollywood is green.” Wendy Calhoun

Dawson’s Creek Writers Room

Waiting in line to get in – Molly sent me this book like three years ago, and I thought it was appropriate to bring on the trip for some light reading.

Some of the writers from Dawson’s Creek, including creator Kevin Williamson, co-executive producer Paul Stupin, Jenny Bicks, Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars fame), Gina Fattore and Anna Fricke, came together to discuss the six-season run of the teen drama (which I finally watched for the first time last year).

The Vampire Diaries’ ep Julie Plec grilling her bud Kevin Williamson and the other DC writers

It was interesting to see this group, since all of them – sans Paul – were there for different seasons and covered such different ground. E.g., Kevin left at the end of season two, and only one person survived in the room (Arrow’s Greg Berlanti), Rob was there for a season, Gina (who apparently wrote two of my fave eps – both Pacey/Joey centered – True Love (season 3 finale) and Castaways (the K-Mart lock-in)) was there from season three til the end.

Highlights

– Kevin Williamson kind of just made up the pitch to the show about his life. He was Dawson, also an aspiring filmmaker and from a small town. He said each character had a piece of himself – except the gay side of him – enter Jack McPhee. But KW was the only person who knew Jack was gay when he wrote the part, he didn’t even tell Kerr Smith. In fact, Jack’s coming out story was based on KW’s own story, and the whole plot with the letter in class was direct from Greg Berlanti coming out as a teen. Also – it’s not a coincidence KW picked to male names – Dawson and Joey – to be the lead characters.

– DC was originally picked up by Fox, but they passed because they were “already struggling with Party of Five and didn’t need another one.” About two years later, a new network called WB (now the CW) picked up the pilot.

– As part of a type of hazing process, one consulting producer wanted to have all the writers pretend they were Scientologists to trick the newbies. #ClearEyesClearHeartsXenu

– “A Jim Belushi character – when that name meant something” – original one-line description for Pacey Witter. KW also said, “I always wanted Pacey to have that Officer and a Gentleman feel. … The whole second season was, as I call it, ‘Pacey’s Pond.'”

“Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) was in a band!” – Gina

“And Pacey was a stockbroker!” – Julie

“Yeah, how did that happen?” – Kevin, creator of the GD show

– Listen, people have regrets. The writers’ regrets include introducing Eve and Pacey becoming a stockbroker. “We were really into the movie Boiler Room,” Anna said, attempting to defend herself.

– Generally speaking, nobody knows what was up with season three. Nobody. They attribute some of the weird choices to groupthink in the writers’ room.

– Andie McPhee was supposed to have a shorter character arc, but they all loved working with Meredith Monroe so much that they kept finding ways to keep her around. They filmed a scene with her for the finale, but it was cut for time. The whole purpose of the Andie character was to make Pacey learn responsibility and grow up.

– The writers thought about bringing Jen’s gramps back to life from a coma – and on a ventilator – in season one, but Paul said, “As the episodes went on, we couldn’t find a way to revive granddad, but then in the finale he comes out of his coma for five minutes and dies!”

– The original theme song was supposed to be Alanis Morissette’s Hand in My Pocket. After the WB used Paula Cole’s I Don’t Want to Wait for promos before the pilot aired, the song became a hit and they used Paula’s song moving forward.

– They tried to rerecord I Don’t Want To Wait several seasons in, but the result was just a little too angsty.

– Kevin agreed to come back to write the final two episodes of the series, and for all y’all against Jen’s death *spoiler alert?*, he says he created the show as a “coming of age story”, and the group had never had to deal with the death of someone in their circle. Her death also forced Joey to make a choice between Pacey and Dawson…

– Paul said Dawson/Joey had always been end game from the beginning. Halfway through, KW called Paul and said he changed his mind. KW: “Guys, my mother hates me. She went to her grave hating me for that.” He added, “Dawson seemed like the obvious answer and once I got into writing the first hour (of the finale). … This isn’t what the show set up to be. Maybe that’s where it started but it evolved and it ended up as something else (DO YOU HEAR THAT HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER WRITERS). I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest and real and say something about soul mates and what soul mates can be. That’s why we did it that way. When you left the show in that last moment, they’re a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy.”

Gilmore Girls Reunion

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Ok, here it is. The reunion we had been waiting LIT’RALLY YEARS for. So in a nutshell – the panels/screenings at the fest have tickets that guarantee you admission. They put 1/3 of the capacity online a week before the fest, but because this was the main event, these tickets sold out in seconds. Neither of us got the tickets, which meant we’d have to be in the stand-by line. I wasn’t concerned, because never in my three years at the fest had I ever been turned away from a panel (except for earlier that day when we got shunned from Coffee with Amy and met Luke instead). No one was allowed to get in line until 5p (the reunion started at 7p), but it was complete and utter chaos – none of the volunteers/staff would tell anyone anything, it was a shitload of crazy fans who wanted to get in, and it was also like 10,000 degrees (give or take a few). Needless to say, everyone was on edge. And this is how far back we were in line:

Photo Jun 06, 5 11 28 PMThe theatre is a block up, and around the corner. There were probably like 400-500 people ahead of us in the STAND-BY LINE (I’m horrible at guesstimating, it was a lot). Like you do at these type of things, you talk to the folks around you, you witness a car accident or two (seriously), you get handed free Pop Tarts (LIKE LOR AND RORY’S FAVE)…

Photo Jun 06, 5 33 55 PM… and then slowly the line moves, and you have hope you’ll get in soon and then it gets to be 7pm and you’re practically still a mile away and you start to get nervous for the first time. And then you hear people screaming at the front of the line, and then you realize a group of people walking to the right of the line as the screams follow and you realize LUKE DANES HAS FOLLOWED YOU TO THE LINE AND HE’S LIT’RALLY COMING BY AND SAYING HI TO ALL THE FANS AND THANKED THEM/US FOR WAITING SO LONG OUTSIDE AND HE SAYS ‘I DON’T KNOW IF YOU GUYS ARE GONNA GET IN BUT THANK YOU FOR COMING’ AND HE SHAKES YOUR HAND AGAIN BECAUSE THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW.

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[Note: we theorized that they would possibly send Scott around first to break the news that you might not get in, then maybe in 15 minutes Lauren would come by and be all “I don’t know, doesn’t look great, guys” then finally Alexis will stroll by and be like “sorry, didn’t work out, thanks for trying.” You know, so that people didn’t lash out at the volunteers instead. In hindsight, they maybe should have done this.]

I’m not joking when I say that it got to be around 7:15-ish (15 mins past start time) when we both started to get so nervous – like I might vomit and cry if we don’t get in – nervous. Every step we took closer to the doors was like a step out of the desert oasis and towards a real non-mirage lake that had been the mecca you had been journeying towards for years. Then, it happened. They let us in – the volunteers were lined up giving us high fives as if we had just finished a marathon. We made it. We made it and we were legit probably the last 50-100 or so people let in, sitting in the back balcony. Far away, but we were there. We made it.

The panel started out with the opening credits of the show, Carole King etc., but the names included all the people at the panel. I got chills then and I get chills now thinking about how everyone in that 1,300 seat theater was singing/screaming along to the song – it was electric. I was tearing up already. As TV fans, we don’t often get the chance to watch a show with hundreds of superfans like you do in the movies or theater. This is the type of place I want to be. Arielle Kebbel, who played Dean’s wife Lindsay, is an ATX advisory board member and came out to help intro the panel. First up, the moderator, Jessica Shaw from Entertainment Weekly, sat down with Amy and the three generations of Gilmore women – Lauren, Alexis and Kelly.

Highlights:

– Lauren was up for the part of Lorelai with one other actress. Following one of the final auditions, the other unnamed woman didn’t have a car so she asked Lauren for a ride. While LG was driving her home, she got a call on her cell phone – from the producers. But she obviously couldn’t pick it up in the event they were telling her she got the job. Could’ve been awk sauce.

– There was another Dean – two Canadian Deans – in the pilot, since they shot it in Canada.

– Alexis was super green going into the pilot, and among other things, didn’t realize the mics were still hot when she wasn’t on camera and in the bathroom. LG made a Robert Durst joke, as if I couldn’t love her even more.

“It was leafing season.” – ASP

“… You mean ‘fall’??” LG

“… It was fall…” ASP

– When asked what gets quoted to them the most, the answer is ‘Oy with the poodles already!‘, to which LG said, “Why did I say it and why do you people like it so much?” A fan also yelled out “Copperboom!” (one of my personal faves) and Alexis said, “What’s Copperboom?”. Fans proceeded to explain it and it didn’t really work, she still probs has no idea what it means.

– They talked about the late Ed Hermann, and how they were all surprised to find out he had died of brain cancer. Amy said Ed was the first person who said he would be at the panel, and it was clear they were all still emotional about his death. LG was even crying a little. Amy put together a montage of her favorite Richard Gilmore moments, ending with this scene from S5, Wedding Bell Blues, where Richard dedicates the song to Emily and they have a sweet dance. As the song went on, a montage of other shots of him throughout the series flashed and that’s when I lost it. It was such a moving tribute, and so sad that he’s gone.

Since it was just the four ladies and moderator Jessica on stage, the curtain behind them was lifted, to reveal seats for everyone, including the actual signs from the set (I think). I was EMOSH.

Here’s a video of their intros, and apologies in advance for the screaming and non-focus in the beginning because I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CHILL.

Highlights:

– The Dean/Jess/Logan debate:

Jared Padalecki: “I was always a Team Jess guy. I love Milo. I think he’s cool and sexy and handsome.”

Milo Ventimiglia: “Logan was a dick. But I don’t know… I was kind of rooting for everyone. ”

Matt Czuchry: “I saw something Amy said recently about how the right boyfriend came along at the right time. That’s kind of what I feel, between Jess and Dean and Logan. They each brought something out in Rory that she needed at that time… But I was also kind of Team Jess.”

Scott Patterson: “None of you are good enough for Rory.”

LUKE IS STILL LOOKIN OUT FOR RORY, Y’ALL.

(*Ed. note: Guys, I am rewatching the panel whilst writing this, and I’ve had to stop the part where they talk about Luke and Lorelai thrice and have yelled out ‘I CANNOT’ to myself because I lit’rally cannot)

– Danny (Doyle), who created Empire, is asked what would happen if Cookie walked into Stars Hollow, and basically she would “mess shit up”.

– On where each of their characters would be today:

Rory: Still a journalist

Emily: She and Richard would be in the exact same place, since they’re comfortable with their country clubs, etc. But Kelly added, “But now, Emily’s a widow, so that’s a whole other world, so I don’t know where she is.” ALL THE FREAKING TEARS.

Luke: *Scott has a long backstory he’s clearly thought about which involves either still running the diner or moved to a lake and re-opened Luke’s as a bait-and-tackle shop, etc.* before Lauren interrupted him and said, ‘Does he have a girlfriend?’

hi tyler oakley

Jess: “Jess is just out being Jess… and then walking away when too many people show up.”

Lane: She’s trying to figure out what kind of mom she wants to be. She wants to be Lorelai but in her heart she’s a little Mrs. Kim. She hopes she’s still playing music with Hep Alien. *HOLY CRAP KEIKO AGENA IS 41 YEARS OLD WTF. SHE’S SEVEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN LAUREN, THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN MELISSA HOW

Michel: “It’s a tough one for Michel. Because I never understood how he ended up in that town. But, patronizing people for sure. Maybe in an inn that he now owns. Or he went back to Paris because he couldn’t deal with Americans anymore.”

Paris: “I’d like to think Paris and Doyle are still together. I think they’re really well matched. Supporting each other and just taking over the fucking world.”

Logan: He would not be working.

Miss Patty: *Liz Torres was a bit off her rocker, IDK, that’s what we thought* First of all, she always thought she would end up with Luke (!?). Anyways, some sort of TV show comes to town, and all Miss Patty’s students are in it and they’d put her in front of the camera. And she’d run for mayor of “Scott’s Hollow” and would call on Taylor for help. [This seemed to be partially informed by a GG fanfic from the internet, not sure.]

Dean: Worked at Doose’s and took over from Taylor to turn it into Dean’s Market and he’d still have the apron *just realizing Taylor has been pushed out of all his duties, what is HE up to now??*

Doyle: “Definitely married to Paris still… Ride or die all the way… Probably a reporter working at a website, NAACP maybe. Probably thinking everyone he was working for was an idiot.”

Jackson: “The vasectomy never took. There’s 42 children out there and I’m actually farming children now.”

Zach: “He got to have a nice homecoming and he got to come back to his hometown where he went to college with his hot wife and his best friend and rock the shit out of the place where he used to make lattes for people.” *IRL, Todd went to UT Austin, so maybe he was reflecting his own life there.

Brian: Had a tech start up, maybe a music app. He developed a really close bond with the twins and they’re kinda like his best friends. ! Kwan and Steve!!

Lorelai: “I think they’re (Luke and Lor) together. 100 percent… But I’m not fishing.”

“I love that Danny, between The Butler and (Empire) has become the voice of Black America. It’s the weirdest… finally they found somebody to speak for them!” -ASP

*Panel rewatch note: Scott just winked to someone. I’m not okay.*

– A big convo was had about when Rory was going to have sex. ASP: “At the time, every girl under 18 was having sex. All of them were a bunch of little whores. I’m all for a bunch of little whores running around, but not my girl!” ASP wanted it to be Dean and she wanted them to not be together. He was the one great first BF of hers, and ASP wanted to go to the place where you think maybe it could work out with that ex, and revert back to see if anything could come of it.

– As far as Daniel Palladino is concerned, though, that never happened.

– LG says her storyline with Luke didn’t end in a satisfying way… ASP adds that there was a plan to bring Luke and Lor together, and they were stingy with it for a reason. “It couldn’t happen until we knew what was gonna happen after. TV sometimes rushes into things without thinking about, ‘What are you losing?'”

– I got the general feeling that while season seven was fine, everyone in the cast wishes it was Amy that wrote the final season/episode.

– ASP is not going to give up those final four words. She also gives Michael Ausiello (TVLine founder, OG GG fan, one-time extra) a shout out which I personally find hilarious, saying he’ll be at her death bed trying to get it out of her. Only Dan Palladino knows, and LG doesn’t want to know unless it’s in the context of the episode/movie/etc. I’m with her.

– Liz Torres ‘couldn’t see’ something in the audience?  A fan? IDK but she started walking towards the edge of the stage, and ASP goes, “Sit down. Sit down, young lady. There you go alright.”

“We didn’t know it (the show) was ending! I would’ve stolen so much!!” Keiko being the cutest

– Scott Patterson basically doesn’t understand how the internet works, didn’t realize his interview on the Gilmore Guys podcast can be listened to by everyone in the world, and his comment that there might be a movie in the works got blown out of proportion. He was just giving a stock answer, in hopes of it coming true.

*BUT WILL THERE BE A MOVIE? ASP: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing in the works at the moment. But here’s the good thing – nobody here hates each other. That’s a very important step. It would have to be the right everything. The right format, the right timing, the right budget, it would have to be honored in a certain way and I think that if it ever came around I think we would all jump in and do it. But unfortunately it’s not happening right now… If it ever happened, I promise you it would be done correctly.”

**Ed. note: I’ve written on here before about the heartbreaking report that LG and Scott didn’t get along with each other IRL. There were rumors they hated each other while filming, but after Scott’s Gilmore Guys podcast and the course of events and discussion over the weekend, we decided that rumor simply wasn’t true. Like anyone you work with, you might not get along 100% of the time, but you still like them. It’s a working relationship, and ASP saying no one hates each other confirmed that for us.**

– There were some Q&A with the fans, 10% of which were actually intelligent. But we had a good, long debrief about the panel over breakfast food for dinner and our main takeaway was that a good chunk of the nearly two hour event was wasted. Don’t get me wrong – this was amazing, surreal, #blessed, something I didn’t ever dream of happening – which is why I perhaps expected more? We wanted more interactions with the rest of the cast, questions that could be answered by everyone, and not just ASP, LG, and Dan. If you watch the panel, it’s mostly ASP talking, which is informative, but when’s the next time you’ll ever see all these people in a room together? I want the behind-the-scenes info, things that we didn’t get to see because Twitter wasn’t a thing in the early 2000s, I want to see Keiko and Liza interact or Doyle and Luke or Logan and Jess – anything! I want to know stupid stuff like their fave scenes to shoot or who they wished they had more scenes with – I just wanted it all from the cast. We just didn’t feel like the moderator did a particularly good job with inciting conversation between the actors. But overall, we’re just glad we got in.

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Sunday

Orphan Black

We spent three days in a row getting up at the asscrack of dawn (or like, 6/7am, I wake up at 10am IRL) and we had two final panels on Sunday. Luckily, I was eager to get up early for the Orphan Black panel, featuring co-creator Graeme Manson and Kristian Bruun, who plays the great Donnie Hendrix, and they screened the episode that aired the night before.

Highlights: 

– Kristian and Tatiana improv before takes IN character. Can you just imagine what Donnie and Allison would say to each other UNSCRIPTED?!

– On the possibility of more clones: “Nobody wants to see clones of Donnie… that’s too much sexy on one screen.” Kristian Bruun is our new favorite.

– Kristian was not informed whether or not Donnie was a monitor at first, so that he’d successfully convey that he had no clue what was going on.

– (spoiler alert?) “RIP, BDP.” – Graeme using the best acronym for Paul (Big Dick Paul).

– On Cosima/Delphine getting back together: “Sorry, but some ships are made to be sunk.”

– In general, Graeme basically tells us to hold on to our panties for the last couple of episodes this season because we’re not going to be happy.

– Kristian willingly tried to recreate the iconic Donnie/Allison twerking scene… without music… by himself

Dawson’s Creek Live Script Reading

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Our final panel was also stressful – this time around I got a ticket in, but Molly did not, and she was literally one of the last four people to get in. Didn’t realize it was going to be that popular! So it was billed as a live script reading of the the DC pilot, with Kevin Williamson and special surprise guests. We get there and like GG, the DC credits rolled, but with the new cast, as follows:

Dawson Leery: Mae Whitman

Joey Potter: Patrick J. Adams

Pacey Witter: Abigail Spencer

Jen Lindley: KERR SMITH

Grams: Grandma Saracen Louanne Stephens

Mitch Leery: Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins)

Gail Leery: Stacey Oristano (Mindy Riggins)

Tamara Jacobs: Arielle Kebbel

Bessie: Kristian Bruun

Bodie: Nick Weschler

The best casting ever? Possibly. The surprise and screams when they were first revealed was akin to the GG electricity, but not quite the same scale.

– Mae, professional Friday Night Lights fangirl, was presented with an early birthday present from Stacey: a framed picture of Tim Riggins that was from the actual Riggins house. Mae brought it out and put it in front of her during the reading.

Photo Jun 07, 1 38 23 PM– Mae was perf (as usual), and her interaction with Patrick/Joey was fantastic. It was weird seeing Kerr, who didn’t come in as Jack until season two, play Jen:

– Louanne did the best “Jenniferrrrr” that had the crowd lit’rally go wild for a good 20 seconds.

– Patrick kept doing Katie Holmes’ side smirk and it was on. point.

– Louanne accidentally said, “I’m firm…” before realizing it wasn’t even her line.

– Julie Plec was in the audience and tweeted to Josh Jackson that Abigail Spencer was taking over for him, and he

And that’s all folks. We had such a great time thanks to ATX TV Festival and all the nice people we met, including the actor panelists. It was like a weird fever dream that I’m just starting to get over, but I kinda hope I never do.

 

See Y’all In Austin! C&S Take #ATX

In just days, tv enthusiasts, Texas enthusiasts, and just generally enthusiastic people will be descending on Austin, TX for the ATX Television Festival. And we’ll be there, too!

ATX features screenings and panels – like a film festival, but for television. When we looked at this year’s lineup, with a Gilmore Girls reunion, a discussion with the Dawson’s Creek writers, the creatives behind Empire and Orphan Black, and tons more, attending was a no-brainer. In fact, we’ve already written about a majority of this year’s participating shows on the blog! If you’re as excited about ATX as we are, prep yourself for the festival by reading our posts about the 2015 attendees. You can also track our travels throughout next weekend with the hashtag #CandSTakeATX or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

If you STILL need more TV talk, we’ll be doing a theme week about one of this year’s ATX shows all throughout the next week! Can you guess which one? Probably!

On to the posts:

Boy Meets World

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’
Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars Of Boy Meets World

 

Brooklyn 99

TV Characters I Need Back In My Life
Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Last-Minute Binge-Watching Edition

 

Empire

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Empire

 

Gilmore Girls

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars Of Gilmore Girls
You’ve Been Gilmored: Tips For Binge-Watching Gilmore Girls

 

Dawson’s Creek

The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 1
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 2
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 3
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 4
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 5
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 6
Doing Lines: Dawson’s Creek

 

Marta Kauffman (Producer, Friends, Grace and Frankie)

Live Blog: The Friends Finale, 10 Years Later

 

Orphan Black

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Orphan Black
Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

 

Younger

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Younger

 

 

Playlist of the Month: Beat the Winter Blahs

After months of snow and cold, are you struggling to shake a case of the winter blahs? Well, consider the blahs beaten – today is the first day of Spring! In honor of the change of seasons, we decided to create a playlist for sunny days and warmer temperatures.

Okay, that isn’t entirely true. During our blog planning meeting – months ago, might I add – we never really came up with a playlist theme for March. We came up with a date – the first day of Spring – and I guess must have slapped “beat the winter blahs” down as a title, but neither of us can remember why. Seriously. We have no clue what we meant by it. Like, why did we put “winter” in the title, when winter is officially over? But that’s our playlist title and we’re sticking to it, so, um… here are ten songs. Happy spring?

{Enjoy the whole playlist on Spotify!}

Molly’s Picks

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Theme Song

In case you’re late to the game, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is pure, tv sunshine. And by the time you’re three episodes in, you will not be able to get the theme song – a play on those autotune-remixed news reports – out of your head. Besides, after emerging from months of brutal winter, doesn’t it almost feel like the Greek Chorus should be proclaiming “they alive, dammit! It’s a miracle?”

All Star – the Kidz Bop Kidz

Remember in the late 90s and early 2000s, every time a commercial or movie trailer wanted to evoke “summertime fun” they’d use the song All Star by Smashmouth? It is like the musical version of a waterpark ad. So here, here it is. And to make it even worse, I’m giving you the Kidz Bop version, because why the hell not. [Feel free to substitute Sugar Ray’s I Just Wanna Fly. It’s the same thing.]

Springtime For Hitler – The Producers

It says Spring. What else do you people want?

Rockin’ Robin – Bobby Day

Spring. Robins. Yes? Yes. This is what happens when we choose nebulous playlist themes. Tweet tweet tweet, y’all.

Sunshine Day by The Brady Bunch Kids

Okay, in our modern age warm-weather songs are all like “it’s so warm, I need to take off all of my clothes. Let’s rhyme party with Bacardi, etc.” But in the early 70s, when the temps started heating up, people were all “groovy, let’s listen to some children sing about taking a walk.” On second thought, that’s probably less because it was a more innocent time and more because people used the scary kinds of drugs that will break your brain.

Traci’s Picks

Steal My Sunshine by Len

Fun fact: Len is Canadian. And I thought that was cool. 90% sure I loved this song so much in 1999 that I bought the CD single. What happened to Len, BTW? Just one peppy spring/summer single and they’re gone? Or did they become famous in Canada?

I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepsen

Whatever. I like this song. It makes me happy and also, Tom Hanks.

Drip Drop by Yazz and Serayah McNeill (from the Empire soundtrack)

GUYS EMPIRE THO. DRIP DROP LIKE SPRINGTIME SHOWERS, BUT ALSO, HAKEEM. (#TeamJamal. #TeamCookie. #TeamPORSHA)

Beautiful Day by U2

Let U2 tell you what kind of day it is. They already control your iTunes purchases.

Totally Fucked from Spring Awakening

Because, spring. Also baby Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff. Gosh, I love this musical. Not exactly a happy springtime show, but at least this song is upbeat!

Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Empire

If we made a “Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already Bingo” – and Holy Netflix, why haven’t we? – then Empire would have a full board. Empire is a musical drama about the family of music moguls and artists behind Empire Enterprises, a fictional hip-hop label. None of those key words appeal to you? Don’t worry.  Empire has so many of our favorite tv show qualities and characteristics that I can’t think of too many people who wouldn’t like it. It has a classic television series premise (we’ll explain!), family struggles, fancy people – who used to be underdogs, if you’re the sort who hates fancy people, music, few enough episodes that you can catch up in a weekend, and 90s flashbacks. Okay? Okay. Let’s discuss that bingo card.

Classic Pilot Premise
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBzu_jKLJek]

Maybe none of your favorite TV series are about hip-hop dynasties, but you don’t have to be into the genre, you just have to like a good television drama. One of the classic tv series premises is the “shake up”: the pilot introduces a shift in circumstances for the characters, and the series progresses as people try to deal with it. I’m going to do this without giving out much info beyond the first episode. Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is the CEO of Empire Entertainment. Two of his sons are artists on the label: singer-songwriter Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and rapper Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray). His third son, Andre, is the company CFO. Lucious is diagnosed with ALS, and he has to decide which of his sons will take over the label. Probably not Jamal, because he’s gay and Lucious can’t deal, but who knows? So that’s shake up, Part I. Shake up part II: The boys’ mother, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), is released from prison after 17 years and wants her piece of the Empire pie.

Biblical Family Struggles

Which child will be favored? Will the fight for their father’s blessing tear the brothers apart? And what happens when one parent chooses one child as a favorite, and the other parent favors a different child? It’s a family dynamic tug-of-war that’s as old as the Bible, and it makes for great television.

Fancy People

I like my television aspirational. Even when a series is about lower or middle-class folks, I want their clothes and house to be nicer than my own. Like, I wasn’t one of those people who was furious that Monica could never have afforded that apartment in Friends. What can I say, if I want to look at mall clothes and Ikea furniture, I can see them anytime I want. The Lyon family is totally loaded, and they’re in Hip Hop, so conspicuous consumption is the name of the game. Palatial estates, fur coats, a gold chain as thick as my hair braid … that’s what television is for. Lucious is partially inspired by Jay-Z, if that gives you an idea.

But maybe you disagree. Maybe you hate “rich people” (hi, Dad, didn’t know you read my blog). The Lyons rose from humble origins, and if the Jay-Z reference meant anything to you, you see where this is going – Lucious is a former drug dealer, which is what landed Cookie in prison.

Hip Hop
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtfFF_vYqrs]

I know, I said you didn’t have to like hip hop to like Empire. And you don’t. But if you do like hip hop, you should definitely be watching. Just about every episode has amazing musical performances. Jamal has a gorgeous voice, Hakeem is a solid rapper and most of his songs are collaborations with other great artists, and the original songs are actually good. Since it’s a show about the music industry, the transition to song is pretty seamless. It’s not like a musical where everyone is talking and then decides to rap-battle their family meeting (I would watch that though). It’s not hokey. Think more Nashville, less Smash.

90s Flashbacks

If there’s one thing a tv series needs to be truly zeitgeist-y, it’s 90s stuff. Counterintuitive, but you know it’s true. Cookie was arrested 17 years ago, and there are plenty of flashbacks that take us back into the world of Empire during that time. For those of us who grew up on 90s hip hop and R&B, it’s a dream come true. [We also think you should be watching Fresh Off The Boat, another 2015 series with a fondness for 90s hip hop. What a time to be alive.] All I can do is hope that as the episodes go on, we’ll get to delve into the East Coast/ West Coast feud.

Speaking of the 90s, you may recognize Jamal from the 1990s series On Our Own, where he played an orphan growing up with his J-named siblings (sis Jurnee Smollett is one of those actresses that you definitely know, even if you think you don’t). He was also in Mighty Ducks. 90s royalty, is all I’m saying.

And You Can Watch It All Over A Weekend

There are a lot of shows I know I should be watching if I’m not already, but it’s just too hard. If there’s more than a season or so, you aren’t just deciding to start a show, you’re making a massive time commitment. But Empire just started in January, and as of right now, you can watch all of the back episodes online or on demand. Once you’re all caught up – so, by tonight if you have a free and clear schedule today, and by next week for sure, unless you have a busy weekend – you need to be watching this show. It airs on Wednesdays on Fox. The more people who watch it, the more people we have to discuss it with, so thanks in advance.