Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Finale: Best & Worst

I realize I haven’t talked about Game of Thrones all season here, but I have been watching!  It’s been a relatively short season with its ups and downs– we’ve had a few good moments, and a lot of what felt like stalling.  Ultimately, I found the finale satisfying, but with plenty of quieter moments.  Here’s my assessment of what worked and what maybe didn’t.

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What I Watch – à La Carte

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I’ve recently cut ties with my cable provider.  We switched to a cheaper, faster internet provider and are exploring the world of à la carte TV!  It’s forced me to really take inventory of what channels I watch.  Here’s my list:

BBC America

It’s at the forefront of my mind that Orphan Black’s final season is coming!  I know I can’t live without seeing this show.  Also, is Broadchurch’s new season going to come to America?  I need that too.  Thankfully, BBC America was offered by both Sling Orange ($20/month) and Playstation Vue ($30/month), our two top options.

Bravo

Watching Top Chef live is of utmost importance to me.  There’s not a show out there that I like recapping more than Top Chef!  I feel like it’s imperative that I have access to this show and this channel… for important reality TV reasons…  We’d have had to bump up to Sling Blue ($5 more per month) to get Bravo, but it’s included in Playstation Vue!

Cartoon Network

We are the Crystal Gems!  Steven Universe is my favorite thing currently on TV.  I bought seasons on Amazon just to stay current.  It’s no surprise that we started our Playstation Vue 7-day free trial the day the new episode premiered.  Cartoon Network is also available on Sling Orange.

HBO

Since Girls is over, we are currently living without HBO.  When Game of Thrones comes back, we will not be living without HBO.  Thankfully, HBO Now is a thing so we can probably just do that independently of any package we have.

MTV

This one I had to sacrifice.  I may have a Catfish addiction and I might enjoy a guilty pleasure or two on this channel (ahem Teen Mom OG), but MTV was not available on Playstation Vue.  We could add MTV for an additional $5 to any Sling package, but…

TLC

Ugh, I can’t help it.  I watch so much TLC it’s pathetic.  I love Say Yes to the Dress which is thankfully always on.  I guess this whole channel is my guilty pleasure.  At the end of the day, I couldn’t live without this channel and it was only available on Playstation Vue, not in any Sling package.

So we’re testing out Playstation Vue!  It’s more expensive than the Sling options, but I wasn’t willing to compromise on TLC.  The best part is, we can cancel at any time if we decide to test something else out!  I guess the actual best part is that there’s a Roku app– we can stream it on both the PS4 in the living room and the Roku in the bedroom, so for the first time ever, we have cable in both rooms!

Who else has made the switch to à la carte TV?

i m a g e s

What I Read: October 2016

Okay, it’s pretty late in November to put this post up.  I’ve been busy with Pokémon Sun and Moon, duh.

The good news is, after a slow summer with books, October saw me picking up the pace again.  My trip to Tennessee with its immense flight delays helped me get two books under my belt and feel up on my reading game again.  Here’s what I read last month!

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A Game of Thrones | I can’t even tell you how long ago I started this book.  I picked it up again and finished in in a combination mass market paperback/audiobook format.  I’ve been struggling with whether audiobooks count toward my goal of 50 this year, but if Goodreads says they do, I guess they do.  Anyway, the book is dense but it’s always better to read the original than watch a TV adaption, just saying.

Mistborn | I also started this before my summer slump and got like, 100 pages into it.  I picked it up again and started loving it.  Once I got into it, it was really a quick read.  This is my first foray in Sanderson and I must say, I’m excited to read more!  I picked up a copy of the next in the Mistborn series already.

Firewalker | I read this in the airport and on the tarmac.  I was iffy about the first one in this series, Trial By Fire, but I found myself thinking about the story and wanting to read this one… this is why I usually take breaks in between series!  I’m iffy about this one too.  We’re much more oriented in the world this time around, but being a middle novel in a series, this feels a bit transitional to me.

Soulless | A friend recommended the Parasol Protectorate to me last year.  I found all 5 in a used genre bookstore in San Francisco’s Mission district and picked ’em up for $4 a piece.  I read this on the plane ride home from Nashville, and it went pretty quickly.  It’s probably not something I would’ve chosen for myself, but the main character is engaging enough and I’ll definitely finish out the series.  I’m glad I got them used, though.

Never Fade | The second book in the Darkest Minds series was definitely not as good as the first.  I do like Alexandra Bracken, though– her worlds are so full and her writing is great.  I got a little emotional at times reading this one, believe it or not.  The ending was unsatisfying, but only in a way that means you need to keep reading.

Magonia | Confession: I read this title as Magnolia and thought it was that until the world came up in the book.  The first maybe 30 pages of this one are slow.  We dive right into the main character, Aza’s, pattern of thinking/speaking.  I grew to absolutely love the way Aza was written, but it’s not maybe the most engaging part of the story.  Once you do get to Magonia itself, you can’t put this book down.  I cried a bunch of times.  I freaking loved this book and read the sequel soon after… more on that in What I Read inNovember’s post!

So, 6 down in October and with November almost over, I can’t wait to share what I got through this month.

For a preview, follow along on Goodreads!

2016 To Watch

It’s officially 2016, we’ve sufficiently celebrated and then retreated to the comfort of our couches.  Let’s get to what’s important here: what we can watch in 2016!  Here’s the TV I cannot wait for in the immediate future:

January 10th, Shameless (Showtime) | Originally, this was set for January 17th (which I remember because it’s my birthday!) but I can’t complain that we’re getting season 6 a week early!

January 15th, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) | This is always a favorite of mine, as big of a Gordon Ramsay fan as I am.  I’ll likely be keeping up with this one on Hulu, though it’s made appearances on the blog before.

January 24th, The X-Files (Fox) | There are literally no words for how I feel about this show’s return.  I should honestly be setting my DVR now, but this show will have a Monday night time slot which means I should be home to watch each week.

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No words.  [Via]

February 2nd, American Crime Story (FX) | As obsessed as I am with AHS, I always figured I would watch this show.  I’ve seen a preview here and there for the The People v. OJ Simpson and I literally cannot wait.  I was super young when this happened, but I still remember it on the news.  Should be interesting!

February 14th, The Walking Dead (AMC) | Happy Valentine’s Day to me!  I love The Walking Dead and I’ve missed it so.  February seems like a while to wait for this mid-season return, but things could be worse.

February 21, Girls (HBO) | My Sunday night ritual!  Doesn’t Girls usually return in January?  The wait for this one has definitely been long, but I’ll be tuning in and definitely recapping for the blog!

What’s missing?  Oh, just a few shows I can’t live without!  Game of Thrones, obviously, which is set for April 2016.  Also, Orphan Black which is set to have season 4 pop up this year too.  Finally, probably my favorite show of 2015, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, should be coming back to Netflix for season two this year!

What shows are you looking forward to?!

All the Questions in the 7 Kingdoms

I wasn’t going to do this, but that season finale of Game of Thrones just haunted me. I’m just going to say it: that was the worst season finale this show has subjected us to. It’s got nothing to do with the cliffhangers, but with the sheer number of atrocities. It had me asking myself why I watch this show.

To me, nothing suits this episode better than the mood of this scene.  So, now what?

To me, nothing suits this episode better than the mood of this scene. So, now what?

Obviously, something right is happening because I’m still going to watch. It’s amazing how high we can fly with an episode like “A Dance with Dragons,” and how low we can sink with “Mother’s Mercy.” Game of Thrones fans are used to atrocities. Hey, I’m a Whedon fan; I’m used to characters I love dying! Something about this episode just made the Red Wedding feel easy to swallow. The question remains: were we left with any hope this season?

And actually I have a lot of questions.  Spoilers below!

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Game of Thrones: Hardhome

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How could I not talk about Hardhome? This was definitely the best episode we’ve seen this season! Though I’m not usually one for the epic battle scenes, (sensory overload! wait, who just died?!) this one did so much for the plot. Let’s talk about some of the quieter moments.

The Gift

How interesting is it to see Tyrion and Daenerys interact?! It’s easy to forget that the main characters of this show don’t know each other the way we know them all. Tyrion and Dany are two consistent favorites. We love how smart Tyrion is– killing those who are devoted to you is a terrible way to inspire devotion. We love seeing Dany achieve success as a rising queen. Their partnership should be mutually beneficial. We all can’t wait to see more of this.

Brothers & Sisters

It’s easy to believe, as the Westerosi say, that the Stark family is gone. Ned and Catelyn are indeed good, but the only Stark child to join in their fate is Robb. We’ve still got 4 Stark siblings! (Plus Jon Snow, but more on him later.)

Sansa is installed in the North, but things are not going well for her. She asks Theon why he betrayed her to Ramsay. Reek tells her he was helping; there is no way out. He tells her what became of Theon. Sansa is unsympathetic, saying she would still have a family if it weren’t for Theon. Then Reek lets it slip that he didn’t actually kill Bran and Rickon. Sansa now has hope that they are alive and out there.

Also alive and out there, and quickly shedding her name of Stark is budding-assassin, Arya. She becomes Lana with her oyster cart and gets her first target. This is slow moving at the moment, but oh so interesting.

Cold As Ice

And Jon! Wow, has Jon risen. It was actually so interesting last week for Sansa to have learned that her half-brother is the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Jon has more to worry about that the dwindling Starks, though.

He travels to Hardhome with Tormund to bring the wildlings south of the wall and join them when the dead attack. They speak with the elders, show them the dragonglass. The free folk are divided, though. We briefly meet Karsi, who is in favor of following Snow. The Thenn leader is not having any of it. As Karsi loads her children and some of the free folk into the boats, there is a rumbling in the snowy mountains and the army of the dead attack.

It’s brutal and crazy. Karsi gets killed by wight children. The lone giant squishes them under his feet, hilariously. Many more free folk jump to the boats to escape the White Walkers. Jon runs to get the dragonglass, but doesn’t get to grab it as he battles a very official looking White Walker. His sword, Valyrian Steel, doesn’t break. The White Walker is as surprised as Jon is. Jon them shatters the White Walker into a million crystalline shards. We see now it’s dragonglass and dragonsteel that defeats these suckers!

Even with the minor victory, the damage is devastating and Jon retreats to the last boat away from Hardhome. In the most spectacular, eerie scene, the king-like White Walker stares him down as he floats away, then raises his arms. The army of the dead rise on command. It’s safe to say this is a bigger threat than any war of kings.

Alright, this episode was amazing. Tell me you agree!

Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere

Did you guys watch Game of Thrones last night?!  Of course you did.  If you are one of those people who is planning on catching it later today via HBO Go, come back to this post then!  For the other 99% of you, here are some thoughts:

bossy baby Cersei was a great way to start the episode

bossy baby Cersei was a great way to start the episode

For real, hair inspiration from bb Cersei.  No one side parts their hair in Westeros… I might be rocking a center part tomorrow.

We see brunette Sansa, and to be honest, I much prefer her hair red.  Sophie Turner is stunning, though, and I’m so looking forward to her storyline this season!

Tyrion has a little existential crisis, but ultimately decides to check out the situation with Dany in Meereen.  Things aren’t going so well for Dany, though.  She used to be so much more of a force, so it’s kind of hard to see her like this.  I’m probably more worried about her missing dragon than she is, and when she tries to visit the other two that she’s chained up she gets scared too quickly.  Come on, Dany; you can do this!

Mance met a nasty fate, but the episode ended on a rather noble note with Jon showing him mercy.  Still, I’d have preferred he bent the knee because, like Jon, I was quite fond of him toward the end there.

So, Dany and her dragons and the adventures of Sansa Stark are numbers 2 and 3 on the most anticipated list… what’s number 1, you ask?!  ARYA.  I can’t wait to see what Arya’s up to, especially since she didn’t pop up in this episode at all.

What did you guys think of the season 5 premiere?

What are you most looking forward to this season?

Links For A New World [08]

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Well, it’s been a solid 2 months since I’ve gathered links for you.  February and March were tough here in Boston, alright?

But anyway, links!

  • Majora’s Mask | This is my favorite Legend of Zelda game and one of my favorite games ever.  I didn’t put up enough fanfare about the 3DS release on this blog and I’ve literally been saving this fantastic article since it came out.  Play this game, you guys.  Especially since you’ll be waiting a while for a new one…
  • The Office | It’s been 10 years since the American version of The Office premiered.  Angela Kinsey did an awesome instagram takeover in celebration and I had so many emotions.  I love this show and this history of the Diversity Day episode really highlights what made it special.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer | You must know by now that BtVS is my number one.  My cousin Nick sent me this article entitled Every Argument about Buffy on the Internet from 1998 until Now and I just loved it.  Had to share!
  • Narragansett | I have a lot to say about Rhode Island neighbor of mine– mostly, that I miss it horribly through all this Boston snow!  I voted for Narragansett in Coastal Living’s Happiest Seaside Town contest and you can too!
  • ‘Gansett | Narragansett beer is also on my mind lately.  Summer brews and the delicious Del’s Lemonade Shandy are hitting shelves soon to help us remember that spring is here and summer is around the corner!
  • Game of Thrones | I’m getting so pumped for April TV.  We’ve waited so long for Mad Men, Orphan Black, and Game of Thrones!  Watch the lovely Maisie Williams talk about watching the show with her family and Arya’s sword skills.
  • Grace Helbig | Ah, my spirit animal!  She’ll always be dailygrace to me, but as of next Friday night she’s on all of your TV screens on E!  Here’s Grace on Fallon being perfect.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!