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TV Lately: 2017 Edition

Happy Friday, friends!  It has been a long time since I did an update on what I’m watching.  It had honestly been a long time since I had something to watch!  With a Top Chef season coming to a close and the Girls final season just starting, I’m back to enjoying TV.  I’m watching a few other things aside from the aforementioned that I’m dying to talk to you about!

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Steven Universe

This has already become one of my favorite shows ever.  If you watch my vlogs, you know I started watching one Sunday evening and was completely obsessed by the start of the next weekend vlog.  My love for this show far surpasses anything I’ve watched since Buffy.  It’s the characters, the humor, the music!  This show is really something special.  It reminds me so much of Sailor Moon.  You guys will be hearing me talk about this one a lot more!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

When visiting my friend in Philadelphia, I got hooked on this show at her insistence.  She didn’t realize that the music for this show was done by someone in my favorite band, but she did know I’d completely love this show.  It’s a musical comedy and the main character is cringe-worthy and, as the title indicates, crazy.  How often do you hear of shows that are musicals?  It’s uncommon, but it works so well.  I’m so glad I got introduced to this one!

MasterChef Junior

A new season has started and I haven’t actually started watching yet!  I plan to start tonight, actually, seeing as last week’s is up on Hulu* and this week’s on my DVR.  I always love this show and have loved having it on the blog in the past.  With upcoming travel, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the recaps so I’m sadly sitting this season out.  I don’t want to miss watching these cookin’ kids, though!

* Speaking of Hulu, do you want two weeks for free?  Sign up here to get just that!

What are you watching lately?

 

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27

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I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t realize Sailor Moon Crystal was starting up again.  Thankfully, Twitter came through for me yesterday morning, and starting season 3 was the first thing I did when I got home from work.

There was very little division between seasons 1 and 2, and the break has absolutely helped this show.  I sort of disparaged Sailor Moon Crystal in comparison to my beloved Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.  Season 3 seems to fix everything I hated about the previous seasons.  The what I refer to as “noodle-y” look to the characters, especially evident in the transformation sequences, has been mitigated.  The characters feel more like themselves– I love Usagi waking up late and panicking; this is a given for Sailor Moon.  This is my favorite arc now, so I think I’m going to like a lot of things!

What maybe didn’t work for me is that I don’t love the way my favorite character looks.  I’m a biiiig fan of Michiru, but her eyelashes were weird so I felt like she just wasn’t herself.  I’m going to have to ease into the Michiru and Haruka of this universe– the helicopters threw me off!  Also, I’m confused about the pronoun used for Haruka.  I watched on Hulu and Haruka was consistently referred to as “he.”  Is this a preference thing, a poor translation, or does everyone just assume she’s a guy?

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I guess we haven’t quite met Hotaru yet.  I’m so excited for this season– this anime is already  so much better AND we’re dealing with my favorite arc.

What did you guys think?!

No Soup For You

I had a bad cold a couple of weeks ago and Seinfeld was there for me.  Hulu sent me a message offering, soup for you?  Then they told me they’d be sending me something for being a Seinfeld fan!  I was just so excited about the whole thing.  I love Seinfeld & I love Hulu!  Want to know what I got?  Watch this little vlog:

11374705_1590884544505530_1010750361_n So I’ve got this awesome shirt inspired by the classic episode, “The Puffy Shirt.”  It’s GIANT but I’m totally going to love this to lounge about in come winter time and I absolutely love being able to represent my favorite TV shows.

Have you been watching Seinfeld on Hulu?  Though I watched back in the nineties when I was younger, it’s even more fun to watch and appreciate as an adult.  I completely have a new appreciation for Julia Louis-Dreyfus and I must say… I think George might be my favorite character!  I always think of “The Parking Lot” and “The Implant” as my favorite episodes.  What are some of yours?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23

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This weekend’s Sailor Moon Crystal was really one of those building episodes.  The whole space/time/warped dimensions thing is giving me a great Doctor Who feel, but I feel like it’s time to get on to wrapping up the arc.  Act 23 did have one big reveal, though, in the form of Black Lady.

I’m pleased to finally see her, because Sailor Moon fans from way back knew she was coming.  I thought we’d go the whole episode without having her introduced to us, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that wasn’t the case!  We know there is a fair amount of nonsense in the world of Sailor Moon– a lot of suspension of of disbelief on the fact that transformed or untransformed, these people look exactly the same.  I think most of us realized this older (evil) version of Small Lady was indeed a warped Chibiusa.  There was a little ooh she looks so familiar, but mostly they got to the point.  That’s progress!

One MAJOR problem I’m having is with the blatant Electra Complex Black Lady is displaying.  Too much!

For plot progression, Wise Man has clearly imparted his will on Black Lady and his old play things are even concerned.  Demande and Saphir are dubious of both Wise Man and Black Lady, especially since their brother Rubeus met his demise.  These two are also against the total destruction of earth, which is more than can be said for Wise Man and Black Lady.  You know things are really bad when the original bad guys think it’s too much.

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I’m still so happy to see the senshi back together and even Pluto joining in to support Usagi.  Usagi, of course, thinks it’s a great idea to go into the storm that swallowed Chibiusa and Tuxedo Mask but promptly passes out.  She has a few nice moments back home with her friends, but soon thoughts of Chibiusa and Mamoru disturb her happiness– she needs them back for the picture to be complete.  Is it just me, or is she hallucinating these lovely memories of Chibiusa?  We literally never saw them peaceful together.  Either a lot happened behind the scenes– which seems unlikely due to the pace of this show– or Usagi is imagining a future rather than remembering a past.

I hate to complain (more), but why did we watch 5 full transformation scenes back-to-back in this episode?  As my impatience grows, my nostalgia keeps me clinging to Crystal.  The end of the Arc stretches on, but promises a big finish with Neo Queen Serenity.  I can’t say I’m not intrigued there!

What are your thoughts, Sailor Moon fans?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10: Thoughts

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Act 10 – Moon, was a visually lovely episode that did a lot to advance the storyline!  With the inner senshi assembled and mysteries starting to unfurl, Sailor Moon Crystal is finally establishing itself as a distinct piece of the Sailor Moon collective.  I’m in.  I was in before, but I think I’m taking it a lot more seriously now.  Let’s talk about Act 10.

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Okay, remember what I was complaining about last episode?  I guess someone was listening to me, because we finally got to see the girls in logical street clothes.  This is a classic Usagi outfit too.  I appreciated this.

Venus is still acting like a know-it-all if you ask me, but that’ll fade now that the rest of the senshi have past life memories.

This was my favorite scene simply because it reminded me of the original Sailor Moon anime and the beginning notes of Moonlight Densetsu played in my head...

This was my favorite scene simply because it reminded me of the original Sailor Moon anime and the beginning notes of Moonlight Densetsu played in my head…

A trip to the moon poses many logistical questions that were not lost on resident brain, Ami-chan.  You’ve got to love how they at least addressed that this is semi-scientific, but whatever they went there by magic.  I was pleased with holographic Queen Serenity’s explanation of their past lives taking place before the Earth cycle started over.  What begs questioning is:

  • Why is Queen Serenity’s daughter’s name Princess Serenity?  Why would she name her that?  Who does she think she is, Lorelai Gilmore?
  • Why have no scientists discovered remains of civilization on the moon?  For the record, completely LOVED that they were directed to land in Mare Serenitatis, the Sea of Serenity.  This is an actual moon location.  Don’t you think this show is brilliant?!
  • What does it mean when Queen Serenity says that they were reborn as human females this time?  I guess that’s the big takeaway of the episode, the purpose of their rebirth.

The most interesting reveal to me in this episode was the Four Kings of Heaven.  The four generals that serve Queen Beryl and terrorize the Sailor Senshi are brainwashed versions of the four guardians of Prince Endymion.  Oh, and also, in past lives these four were in love with the four inner senshi.  (Does this make it canon, guys?!)

  • Jadeite, the knight of patience and harmony, was previously in love with Sailor Mars.
  • Nephrite, the knight of intelligence and comfort, was previously in love with Sailor Jupiter.
  • Zoisite, the knight of purification and healing, was previously in love with Sailor Mercury.
  • Kunzite, the knight of purity and affection, was previously in love with Sailor Venus.

I could talk about this all day.  I’m so interested in these pairings and if anymore is to come of them in Sailor Moon Crystal.

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As for attacks, Sailor Moon’s Moon Healing Escalation came from SPACE in this episode, which was pretty neat.  This is also the first time we’ve seen a Sailor Planet Attack and it was awesome.

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Actual important things that come from this episode include the Legendary Silver Crystal, now a handy dandy necklace thanks to Usagi’s dad, is just that at the moment.  It’s power resides in Mamoru.  Speaking of Mamoru, he’s returning to Earth a brainwashed Beryl supported.  This is going to be complicated.

I don’t think I can wait until December for a new episode!

What did you guys think of Act 10?

Whatever Wednesday

Siiigh, happy hump day, kids.

image via mariowiki.com

image via mariowiki.com

Today’s post is a bit of a grab bag (I know the term is “mixed bag,” but I really wanted to work in a Mario Party 2 reference) because I couldn’t force myself to sit through honestly didn’t even try to watch ANTM last week.  What sense does recapping a recap episode make anyway?  So, no America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21 today.  In place, assorted thoughts.

I’ve been really sick and slept 5 days knocked out in bed, which was awful.  What makes it more awful, is that I’m completely in a Netflix rut.  Gilmore Girls may be occupying everyone else’s time, but I had just rewatched the series when Netflix announced its imminence.  So guys, my plea: recommend me shows on Netflix or Hulu!  The only thing that I’ve been loving lately is Drunk History, which I can whole-heartedly recommend to you.  You feel like you’re learning history, and you also feel slightly inebriated.  You know when you’re around a drunk person, or like, a group of drunk people, so you kind of start to feel drunk by association?  That’s kind of what it’s like to watch Drunk History.  Also, there were times I laughed so hard I cried, like this clip from a story about Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer.

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no dust jacket because I couldn’t get the B&B “Members Save” sticker off of it and I broke my nail when I tried.

Anyway, what has been occupying my waking time is the new books I braved Boston’s first snow of the season to go out and pick up– “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler and “Grace’s Guide” by Grace Helbig.

I’m almost finished with Yes Please, and it’s finally gotten me out of the reading slump I’ve been in without beach time!  After all my summer reading I kind of gave up come fall, so it was nice to get back into a book.  Has anyone read “Grace’s Guide” yet?  I’ve read snippets, and I just know it’s going to be great.

 

My recommendations to you: Drunk History & Yes Please!

Your recommendations to me: leave ’em in the comments!

 

Life After Hell’s Kitchen

After a season ends, it’s always hard (for TV-aholics like me) to move on.  Luckily, the Hell’s Kitchen void isn’t so hard to fill thanks to gratuitous amounts of Gordon Ramsay on Hulu.  Here are some ideas for you!

MasterChef

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Another cooking competition hosted by Gordon Ramsay as well as Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Master Chef features home cooks competing for a cash prize, a cookbook deal, and of course, the MasterChef title.  The format of this show switches off between mystery box challenges and team challenges.  The top two mystery box winners become team captains for the following week’s team challenge.  Both types of episodes end with the least successful home cooks facing a pressure test and elimination.

MasterChef Junior

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A bit different in format to the original MasterChef, this show has children ages 8 – 13 creating dishes that I could barely dream up.  Two contestants get sent home in each episode and the winner gets the same cash prize & features the same judges, being significantly kinder than on the adult version.  There are only 7 episodes in the season and it’s on Hulu still.  It’s literally WONDERFUL and I think I cried at the end of every episode.  Watch this.

Kitchen Nightmares

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If you’re missing how mean Chef Ramsay is, this is the show for you.  This expert chef with super high standards heads into kitchens of failing restaurants to turn those businesses around.  Kitchen Nightmares is the US version, and is available on Netflix and Hulu.  The British version off which it’s based, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, is on Netflix as well.

Hotel Hell

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This show is basically Kitchen Nightmares in a hotel.  While a bit of a departure from cooking, Ramsay of course gets to revamp the hotel restaurants as well.  Like MasterChef, this show is currently on Fox, and though previous seasons’ episodes (in this case, just one season’s worth) have disappeared, the current season’s episodes are added the day after they air.  Ramsay wears a speedo in the first episode of season 2, so there’s that.

more Hell’s Kitchen!

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If none of these will do it for you, a new season of Hell’s Kitchen premieres on Fox on September 10th!  Even impatient folks like me can handle that.

Binge-worthy: Hotwives of Orlando

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I’m a big fan of Angela Kinsey from her days on The Office.  Though her character, Angela Martin, was never exactly the life of the party, I loved watching this little ray of sunshine play such a convincing unimpressed character.  I follow Angela on instagram, and that’s how I heard about The Hotwives of Orlando.

The Hotwives of Orlanda is a Hulu original series and a parody of Bravo’s The Real Housewives.  Its seven episodes (6 stories + 1 “reunion special) feel like a long-format SNL skit.  The show opens with: “Mario Lopez once said, Orlando is the most glamourous city in the world” which got an immediate laugh out of me.  This series was enjoyable to watch all the way through– funny, light-hearted, and on-point with attention to detail from the Bravo counterpart.

Oddly enough, this show kind of made me want to watch The Real Housewives… like I need another bad reality show to occupy my time!  To me, each character seemed to embody a different Housewives location.  Wikipedia breaks it down a little more:

Angela Kinsey plays Crystal Simmons, “the Religious Zealot.”  Crystal is a holy roller, who believes her husband is king.  She admits to never having read the bible, because her husband told her that women can’t interpret it as well as men.  She is based on The Real Housewives of Orange County’s Alexis Bellino and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’s Kyle Richards.  Though I’m unfamiliar with both of these Housewives, Crystal is my favorite.  I love this stereotype and find it very funny.  I also love Angela Kinsey just so much.

Kristen Schaal plays Amanda Simmons, “the drug-addicted former child star.”  Amanda is single, and a complete alcoholic mess.  She was in Florida Prune Juice commercials as a kid, and has not let this go.  She is based on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’s Kim Richards.  Again, I’m unfamiliar with her, but this is a familiar stereotype that works well in this format.  Think: Cinderella in the SNL spoof, Disney’s Real Housewives.  Kristen Schaal is another favorite of mine, as she gives voice to Louise, my favorite character in Bob’s Burgers.

Casey Wilson plays Tawny St. John, “the trophy wife.”  Tawny is a gold digger with a bad roots who has convinced herself her older husband is dying, and is blatantly screwing her fitness instructor, Heath (played by Joey McIntyre!).  She is based on RHOC’s Tamra Wilson and Gretchen Rossi, but really, every Housewife has a little Tawny in her.  From silly charity events to bad entrepreneurial ideas, Tawny seems to be what the Real Housewives as really like.

Danielle Schneider plays Shauna Maducci, “the bankrupt overspender.”  Danielle is a loud, overreacting, material girl.  She has 4 (or possibly 5) daughters with ridiculous names that we never see.  She is pure Real Housewives of New Jersey and is based on the infamous Theresa Giudice.  Her overspending has pushed the envelope so much that the family’s home is repossessed.  In the final episode, her husband Anthony is arrested for fraud.  This is the most familiar character to me, as I’ve actually watched some RHONJ.

Tymberlee Hill plays Phe Phe Reed, “the entrepreneur.”  Phe Phe (which is short of Phenomenon) is prone to speaking her mind and claiming– she’s just being Phe Phe!  She is a lawyer, a CPA, an ordained minister, an amateur taxidermist, and a music video producer to name a few!  She represents the Real Housewives of Atlanta, specifically Nene and Phaedra.  Even though I’ve never seen RHOA, I watch Bravo and recognized her name mash-up right away.

Andrea Savage plays Veronica Von Vandervon, “the cougar.”  Speaking with a pseudo-British accent, (which she explains in the reunion special, is how white people with money speak,) Veronica is an heiress to a mini-golf course in Orlando.  She makes overtly sexual jokes, then explains them to you in case you didn’t pick up on it. She was based on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’s Lisa Vanderpump and The Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan– I’m familiar with Sonja enough to see this and her name is a great play on the likes of Vanderpump.

Producer Paul Scheer makes a cameo at the end of every episode and hosts the “reunion special” as Matty Green, a perfect play on Bravo’s Andy Cohen.  This adds to the accuracy and authenticity of this parody, making it all the more hilarious.

If you’re looking for a fun, quick watch this summer, I highly recommend you check out The Hotwives of Orlando.  In a weird way, this show actually makes me want to watch the Bravo shows it parodies…

Has anyone heard if they’re doing another season?  I’m hooked!

WCW: Allison Harvard

I’d been complaining for a while about not being able to watch the early seasons– the ones I like– of America’s Next Top Model.  Apparently, the Hulu Plus gods heard my prayers and seasons 1 through 12 are now available to stream!

I started my ANTM binge with 12 for one reason: Allison Harvard.  She’s my Woman Crush this Wednesday.  Can I please look like this girl?

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Tyra keeps saying she chose Allison for her unique look and “model features.”  Let me tell you all, I went to high school with a girl who turned out to be a beautiful model and she was the most awkward-looking teen I have ever seen.  Models are not “pretty” in a straight-forward sort of way.

Allison, in my opinion, is absolutely beautiful.  Tyra insists she needs to overcome her “quirkiness” throughout season 12.  I think this very quirkiness is what makes Allison so beautiful.  All art is subjective, so while the judges say she gives the same face in many photos, I say they’re absolutely lovely and I like that face!

If you browse her Wikipedia page, you’ll see Allison has worked as a model despite not winning either ANTM season in which she appeared.  More impressively, Allison is an artist.  You see her creativity in the styling challenge, and you can check around the web for some of her beautiful paintings.

Allison is my favorite model to grace ANTM. She’s so much more than just a pretty face!

Not Getting Married Today

Life has been so crazy lately that I really haven’t had time to write anything personal.  My brother graduated last weekend, which caused me to miss a post, so the Amazing Race finale recap went up late.  I’m hoping this weekend’s festivities don’t cause any other delays!  (This is your warning in case they do.)

One of my best and oldest friends is getting married this weekend.  Because I keep saying that, I’ve had the below song stuck in my head for at least two weeks.  They have absolutely nothing to do with each other, just that it’s wedding-related.

 

 

I’m completely in love with the musical Company.  My relationship with this show started out super rocky.  I was first introduced to it in college.  My then-boyfriend was playing David in his college’s production.  I was not wild about this.  My then-boyfriend had to be married in this play!  I was jealous.  Because being 20 is super hard.  I went to the show in a kind of begrudging manner.  He assured me that the show displays marriage in a negative light, which I thought was even worse, as at the time, I thought we’d marry one day.  What I found in Company is a truly unique social commentary.  I do not think it necessarily casts a shadow on marriage, but I do think it deals with some deeper emotional aspects of the human experience.

Stephen Sondheim, who provided the music and lyrics for the show, said, “Broadway theater has been for many years supported by upper-middle-class people with upper-middle-class problems. These people really want to escape that world when they go to the theatre, and then here we are with Company talking about how we’re going to bring it right back in their faces.”

The 5 married couples in Company present the main character, Robert, with a shiny surface view of marriage, that he is occasionally envious of.  However, scratch that surface and see 10 individuals each struggling with their own issues and coexisting as a couple.  Oh, and spoiler alert: Amy and Paul do indeed get married after all this.  This hilarious exploration of Amy’s pre-wedding mind is just the kind of dichotomy Company loves to highlight.

Even in the relationship-happiness fog of my very early 20’s, I loved the subtle sadness of this show.  Company is profoundly beautiful, and the musical numbers are to die for!  The Broadway revival starring Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Colbert is available on Hulu.  It also features the beautiful Christina Hendricks as one of the three girlfriends Robert (Harris) has throughout the show.  The version of (Not) Getting Married Today above is from this revival, and I cannot recommend watching it highly enough!

Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with the wedding of the lovely couple I’m about to attend.  Tomorrow is for Stacie!

Have a lovely long weekend, everyone!