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Feed Your Game of Thrones Addiction By Sharing It With Friends

in television

WARNING: Vague Spoilers Ahead

A couple of weeks ago, my roommate finally hopped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon (about 6.5 years late). It’s been rough for me, being the only one in my house that watches. I have nobody to talk GoT theory with and as all of us know, that’s half the entertainment of the show. Then I realized an even greater joy. Watching someone else’s mind get blown and remembering how it felt when I binged the first 3 seasons back in high school (only about 2.5 years late).

GoT has been on for 6 years, but for those that have invested hours and hours of their time to watching, talking, and thinking about the show, it’s hard to remember a time before it. The vast amount of depth that has been placed into the show, which even pales in comparison to the giant books I haven’t read, submerges its viewers into a whole other world. You see these characters transform through the hardships they’ve faced, some for better, and for some, much worse. Our emotions ride with the ups and downs of the show, and watching someone else experience them, is like experiencing them for yourself all over again.

That’s what makes the whole show work. My roommate cheered for Rob Stark, God bless his soul, to rip Jamie’s head off, but in the back of my mind I know he evolves into a much more complex character, one that you’d root for, if he wasn’t stuck on the wrong side. He thinks Khal Drogo is a tyrannical asshole who deserves to be a vegetable the rest of his days, but now we know that he helped bring the ruthless side out of Dany (the future Mad Queen???). He thinks Joffrey is bad, well he is crazy annoying, but little does he know, there’s this dude named Ramsey that will haunt your nightmares.

Ramsay: Nightmare Man

So, find a friend and get them hooked. Pretend that you’re giving them your HBOGo login to be nice. Watch their life routine turn into sleep, eat, work, binge, repeat. Then just wait for the big payoff with soda and some popcorn, as they watch the Red Wedding in horror, losing all hope for humanity on Earth and in Westeros. Don’t worry, they’ll recover…right? Wait have you…have I? Man, maybe I don’t want to go through that again.

Red Wedding Memories

 

Image Credits: HBO

America Needs Infinity Challenge

in television

The US has fallen on some pretty dark times recently. A Twitter troll is our president (at least for the next few weeks), Hollywood is a few warm days from falling into the Pacific, and the Warriors will win every NBA Finals for the next 5 years. We need some optimism in the world, regardless of how ridiculous it seems. Where oh where can we turn to distract us?

Answer: South Korea. They have perfected the art of television. Sure we have Game of Thrones and Power, but they have Infinity Challenge. If you’re wondering what this is, the name is pretty self-explanatory. A group of crazy hosts have come up with a variety of even crazier challenges, filled with weird twists and hilarious results. Even Jack Black looked out of place. (Also had no clue Jack Black had such a big following in South Korea fan base).

My favorite part is just how uncomfortable Black looks. In my mind I’m picturing his agent calling him one day and saying, “Hey Jack, I got you booked on this huge South Korean game show. You just have to show up, do a couple of silly challenges that America assumes you do at home anyways, and get paid.” Then he shows up at the studio and they give him a painter’s suit with some Where’s Waldosocks and watch his face continuously morph like he’s touching the Orb Of Confusion.

This is Tosh.O, but without making audiences physically ill 4 or 5 times an episode and Daniel Tosh has been raking in dough for years. Infinite Challenge is good, wholesome, family fun. What brings people together more than questioning the sanity of people on a TV screen? Some major network needs to get on this. Infinity has been around since 2006. This has existed for 11 YEARS and we don’t have our full-fledged American version? That is unacceptable. Especially when cable TV needs so much help.

Let’s stop acting like we are some sophisticated society that needs shows to make sense to enjoy them. Come on, we religiously follow Kimye and live in a culture that adores Lil Uzi. The things we like are already pretty bizarre. Let’s at least be honest about it.

PS: They may have found a way to slow down Warriors.

Main Image Credit: skpopnews

The Real Housewives (aren’t actually Housewives)

in television

Most everyone is familiar with the Real Housewives series on Bravo, right? At the very least, you’ve heard of it, but refused to watch it because you know you’ll either A. get sucked in to the wonderful insanity or B. find it to be silly, mind-numbing, reality television.

As an avid watcher of the show, I can confidently tell you that both A. and B. are true. This show was originally created in 2006 when the hit T.V. series, Desperate Housewives was all the rage. So this reality series was born to mimic what “real life” rich, housewives were really like. The first Real Housewives series took place in Orange County. At the beginning, most of the ladies were somewhat traditional wives that stayed home and took care of the kids (well…they had great nannies). Some ladies had a lot of side projects and small entrepeneur opportunities, but relatively were actual “housewives.”

Now it is 2017. We now have Real Housewives in Beverly Hills, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, and most recently, Potomac. Here’s the thing though…barely any of these women are “housewives.” In fact, a lot of them aren’t even married! What does that mean? Is the term “housewife” officially dead? Or are these women just stepping up and showing the world that they can do it all? Raise kids, start a business, get married, or NOT get married, day drink, AND go on tons of vacations? Where can I sign up?

Whatever the reason that the women in this series are gradually steering further and further away from the model “housewife”, I’m loving every bit of it! ….even if the show numbs my brain a little. Life is all about doing what you love. If you love being single and traveling, thats admirable. If you love staying home and raising your kids, thats admirable too! So why slap such an antiquated label like “housewife” on women like that? I propose changing the title of the show to Real Women Doing What They Love (even if there’s a better ring to Real Housewives).

Here are my top 4 non-housewife housewives:

CAROLE RADZIWILL – Real Housewives of New York

A widow since 1994, Carole used to be a news reporter for ABC. She is a well-renowned, published author. She was best friends with John Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette. She has no children and is currently dating a very young and very attractive chef named Adam…who she refuses to move in with.

KANDI BURUSS – Real Housewives of Atlanta

Kandi is actually a wife and mother…but she is far from being a traditional “housewife.” First of all, this woman was in Xscape, one of the coolest R&B groups of the ’90s. Now, she is a very successful music producer. She has produced and written songs for Destiny’s Child, TLC, and Ed Sheeran.

LISA VANDERPUMP – Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Another wife and mother who runs the world, Lisa Vanderpump is a restaurant owner and designer. She has owned and designed over 26 restaurants in London and Los Angeles. She is also a accomplished philanthropist, and founded the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, which aims to end the torture of dogs. She is also simply a very successful reality star. She was such a hit on the Real Housewives series, she got her own spin-off show called Vanderpump Rules.

BETHENNY FRANKEL – Real Housewives of New York

Okay, so Bethenny might just be the most successful of all “the housewives.” Divorced with a daughter, Bethenny founded Skinnygirl Cocktails…a line of low calorie wines and liquors. Her company has been featured in Forbes Magazine and she recently sold it for over $100 million. She still maintains creative control and her brand continues to grow and grow.

Image Credits: Bravo TV

What To Do With That Old Cable Box

in news/television

DirecTV, Comcast, Dish, and whatever other cable company executives are out there, huddle together in fear. Once enemies, they look around and realize that they’re all about to meet the same fate. Web based content providers are taking over and there’s nothing they can do about it. Streaming services are simply the next step in the evolution of television and cable is the obsolete past. The cable death march is well under way.

Cable subscribers have been declining rapidly for the past 5 years and now more households have access to Netflix than they do to a DVR. So in a few years when cable boxes are simply dust collectors next to your VHS tapes, you’ll need some ways to get some use out of them.

Dinnerware

Cooking dinner and you realize that you’re out of clean dishes? Don’t worry. Just grab that old cable box, snap off the top panel, and voila. You’ve got a trendy new plate/bowl combo. The raised edges will keep food from getting out and you won’t be able to see the DirecTV logo, so you’ll forget all the turmoil you endured when you forgot to record the series finale of your favorite show.

Frisbee*

Now that you have some functional trendy dish ware, what are you going to do with the top panel you just ripped off? A brand new frisbee for the kids to enjoy. With its sleek design, this piece of plastic will cut through air. You’ll no longer have to worry about where an old, conventional frisbee will veer off to since this new one will be on a beeline straight to the receiver.

*This is a joke. Please don’t allow your children to fling jagged pieces of plastic at each other or the family dog.

Home Gym

Have you been on the cable TV kick from the very beginning? If so, then your house is filled with old, heavy, cable boxes. Why not put them and yourself to work? Grab a branch from the tree out back, tape a cable box to each side, and you’ve got your very own personal gym. Watch out 24-Hour Fitness, these athletes are subscribing to Dish!

Coffee Table Decor

Entertain the grandkids with a blast from the past when they ask you what that giant brick with buttons is. Regale them with tales of shoddy TV connections during Game 7 of the World Series. Blow their minds when you tell them that this 12lb. behemoth could only hold about 30 hours of recorded video. Tell them of all the relationships that ended simply by fighting over the right to pick the channel.

Stress-Reliever

As you tell your grandchildren about a simpler time in entertainment, I’m sure rage will begin bubbling up inside of you. Don’t worry, it’s completely natural to resent your old cable provider when you realize how much easier streaming is. Save that rage for your ex-coffee table decoration and current object of hatred, your cable box. It’s useless now. So take a bat and head out back for some good ol’ fashioned stress relief… Office Space style.

Image Credit: Comcast

Divorce Songs

in television

HBO’s new series, Divorce finished its 1st season this year, and recently announced that a second season will be picked up. In the realm of all the action-packed excitement of shows that HBO has to offer (Game of Thrones, Westworld, True Detective), it is easy to gloss over some of the simpler, more idiosyncratic shows like Girls or Insecure. Divorce falls into the latter type of HBO program.

Created by Sharon Horgan and starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church, the show takes place in New York, zoomed in on a married couple in their 40’s/50’s. It depicts a major fork in their marriage, and how they navigate through a divorce for the first time. The subject matter is bleak, but there are wonderful moments of humor peppered throughout every episode. Church definitely contributes most to the humor with his odd temper and sometimes inappropriate social awkwardness. Parker plays a very annoyed and very tired wife and mother to perfection. One element of the show that the audience may notice, is that most of the music is straight out of the 70’s. Every closing credit is accompanied by a classic 70’s song by musicians that range from Supertramp to Little River Band.

While Church’s character, Robert, learns that his marriage might be ending, he starts going through his old records. It’s a little cliché to have a man going through a mid-life crisis, re-discover his old records, but there’s a reason that always happens in movies and TV. People resort to music when they cannot express their feelings. When an old song from high school days comes on the radio, it automatically transports the listener back to that time. When Robert finds his old Yes! albums (which is a delightfully hilarious band for his character to love), he remembers what makes him passionate. He remembers what it’s like to feel alive again. The fact that so much of the music comes from the 70’s is a very poignant move by the music supervisor for Divorce, Michael Hill.

In a way, choosing music from this decade makes the audience remember that this is the music that the couple must have listened to all the time when they were younger, more carefree…more in love. It creates a lovely nostalgia in the show that impeccably contrasts with the struggles the couple faces in modern times. There are some rare moments in the show when modern music plays. However, when this happens, it’s usually during an awkward or uncomfortable situation. A great example of that: Parker’s character, Frances, is riding in the car with Robert and Coldplay’s Paradise is on the radio. It is at the part when Chris Martin is singing “para- para- paradise” over and over, and Robert is singing along with it…badly. He just keeps repeating that part over and over and the audience can see that Frances is boiling with irritation. Finally she can’t stand it anymore and abruptly turns off the radio without a word. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Coldplay, but any time modern music is playing, it’s almost like the couple just doesn’t fit in…much like how they don’t quite gel with the life that they have created for each other. The music in this series echoes the melancholy of this couple’s marriage as well as the grating harshness of their divorce.

Season 2 of Divorce is expected to air this fall.

Main Image Credit: HBO

Bojack Horseman: A Celebrity Hero

in television

We watch them on T.V., buy their brands, and read about them in magazines, but how much do we really know about our favorite celebrities? We constantly scrutinize them, truly believing that what they are in our minds, is the ideal version of what a human being is. However, we all know that this isn’t the case. Pick your favorite celebrity meltdown of this century. Whether it’s Kanye West or Britney Spears, the people we put on such high pedestals are just people at the end of the day. Like Old Yeezy told us “the people highest up got the lowest self esteem.”

Netflix’s original series Bojack Horseman, sheds a new light on the “has-been celebrity” T.V. show pitch. Set in Los Angeles, Bojack Horseman (Will Arnett) is (well… first of all he is a horse man, obviously) a washed-up 80’s star of the insanely popular show Horsin’ Around. The long-lasting popularity of the show still allows Bojack fame and fortune, but as time moves on, every reference to his past work is like a slap in the face. Although he is loved by the public, he longs for something more.  20+ years after the show went of the air, he finds himself alone, bitter and drinking himself through his days and partying through his nights. And the icing on the cake… his only friend is a homeless dude that lives on his couch, Todd (Aaron Paul). Keep Reading

Ka-Bob’s Burger Bash: How To Throw A Bob’s Burgers-Themed Cookout

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If you haven’t watched one episode of the seven-so-far-seasons of Bob’s Burgers, then we’re sad for you, but there’s still time! Season 7 is currently streaming on Hulu, and the final season is set to premiere late September 2017.

If you’re already a fan of the show, then you’re very familiar with the dysfunctional-yet-lovable Belcher family who owns and operates Bob’s Burgers. Between running a business and raising their three children -awkward Tina, precocious Louise, and light-hearted Gene — Bob and Linda have a bit more than burgers on their plates.

Most of the episodes display at least one “Burger Of The Day” whose ingredients always make for a great joke. When planning for a Bob’s Burger themed party, this is where the inspiration begins. I’ve aptly named this party “Ka-Bob’s Burgers Bash,” because the more food puns the better.

The Burger Bracket
Start with a burger bracket to determine which burger you will be serving. With over 150 Burgers of the Day to date, this may be a little tricky. I narrowed down the list to 16 burgers, and paired up the ones with similar names or ingredients. From there, I faced off each burger pair until I came down to my ultimate winner: A Leek Of Their Own (I have a weakness for Tom Hanks movies).

Decorations
Order/make burger themed decorations. A few things I ordered from Amazon for this party were cardboard food trays, a gingham tablecloth, and the best of all: inflatable burger drink holders. For DIY decorations, I taped tissue paper to yellow balloons to make them look like hamburgers, created my own “Burger of the Day” chalkboard, and wrote some of the best one-liners from the show on the burger wrappers. I think the one-liner idea would also lend well to burger bibs if you have messy friends.

Drinks
Come up with a Bob’s Burger-themed drink. In this case, I felt like Louise’s trouble making personality would lend well to a Bloody Mary. I whipped up some tomatillo-based bloody mary mix to match Louise’s green shirt, and then renamed this cocktail the Bloody Louise. The ingredients I used to top the drink also happened to be many of the same burger ingredients which allowed me to consolidate my grocery list and cut down on party costs. For other options, I thought a Mar-Tina, Marga-Tina, or a Gene and Tonic could be fun.

Side Dishes
Your guests will probably be asking if they can contribute. Let them. This can be a great way to get some side dishes in the mix. I always find it helpful to give your guests specific direction on what to bring because it cuts down on pre-party stress and errand running for you. In this case, I thought it would be fun to have each friend bring their own fries. This is such an easy item to bring because they can choose drive-thru or homemade, and it’s also a fun way to determine who makes the best fries in your city. For this party I chose In-and-Out, Arby’s, and Chick-fil-A (just remember that you can’t throw your party on a Sunday if you want fresh Chick-fil-A fries to be an option).

Dessert
This is where the “ka-bob” comes into play — a dessert kabob! I skewered my kabobs with strawberries, bananas, and homemade brownie bites as a fun way to end the night, but any fruit or cake square combo would work well here.

And that’s it! Now, start planning your Ka-Bob’s Burgers Bash, and when everyone fawns over what a fantastic hostess you are, just reply with Tina’s best quote: “I’m no hero. I put on my bra one boob at a time.”

photo credit: Kelly Boyles

3 Netflix Comedy Specials You Need To Watch This Weekend

in television

Netflix currently has a load of comedy specials streaming right now. Here are three gems that everyone should check out!

Image Credit: Freeform/Jonathan Weiner)

Iliza Shlesinger – Confirmed Kills
This is Iliza Shlesinger’s 3rd hour-long special. Shlesinger is loud, proud and not afraid to be silly. Her set is filled with funny voices and hysterical asides. Her material is fresh and she tackles issues that many women in their 30’s can relate to: partying too hard and paying for it too hard, self-esteem, and beauty routines. Iliza’s stage presence and high energy are truly compelling. Her confidence is contagious and it definitely makes her comedy shine.

Image Credit: Netflix

Theo Von – No Offense
This is Von’s very first Netflix special. It has received mixed reviews. Von’s stage persona is that of a good ol’ Louisiana Christian man. He comes off as an opinated, southern college “bro.” The material he discusses deal with race, women and religion…basically, all the things you should not discuss on a first date. When his set is looked at out of context, it can seem offensive (hence the name of his special). However, much like Sarah Silverman or Zach Galifinakis, Von is poking fun at the persona he plays. When the audience embraces that, his show is hilarious.

Image Credit: Guidepost

Jim Gaffigan – Cinco
In case it isn’t obvious from the title, this is Jim Gaffigan’s 5th special. Gaffigan is very straight-forward and honest in his comedy, so the title of his show suits him. One of Gaffigan’s comedic trademarks are his asides/commentary he makes to himself as an audience member. Although he does this much less in his special (maybe he is becoming tired of the bit), he still tells hilarious stories of his extremely insane life with his wife and 5 children.

Main Image Credit: Netflix

4 Actors Who Tricked All of U.S.

in film/television

Over the years, American culture has seen a migration of foreign actors into primetime American roles. Christian Bale, Daniel Day-Lewis, and a slew of others have stunned us with their acting, then sent us into shock when we found out they were doing so in a fake accent. Let’s take a look at a few more movie and television stars that only sound like they bleed red, white, and blue.

Daniel Kaluuya

Kaluuya has burst onto the scene with Jordan Peele’s box office horror hit, Get Out, but who knew that the actor behind Chris Washington was born across the pond. The talented 27 year old was born in London and has made previous appearances in Sicario and Skins, where he also was a writer. Daniel is looking to make an even bigger splash in 2018, where he’ll be starring in Marvel’s Black Panther and in Steve McQueen’s star studded heist film Widows.

Joel Kinnaman

Love him or hate him, Joel Kinnaman’s, Governor Will Conway, is definitely giving President Underwood a run for his money in the Netflix political drama, House of Cards. However, the fictional presidential candidate may have trouble if he were to run in real life. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Kinnaman has played a number of American roles, from Rick Flag in Suicide Squad to Alex Murphy in RoboCop. Make sure to look over some US policy, Governor Conway continues his campaign when House of Cards returns on May 30.

Damian Lewis

On this side of the world, we know Damian Lewis best as Homeland’s Nicholas Brody or NYC hedge fund king, Bobby Axelrod, in Billions. Despite a perfect American accent, Lewis hails from London, where he is considered one of the world’s greatest stage actors. Accolades from the playhouse to his TV accomplishments, highlight his outstanding range. Make sure to catch up on Showtime’s Billions before the next episode of season 2 on March 26.

Margot Robbie

At just 26, Margot Robbie is already one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. Her thick New York accent made her perfect to play Naomi Lapaglia in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Only problem is, she was born in Queensland, Australia, not the Big Apple. In her short US career, Robbie has played a number of big roles, from Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad to Jess in Focus. Robbie is currently working on a number of productions, including I, Tonya, about controversial US figure skater Tonya Harding and Harley Quinn’s Suicide Squad spinoff, Gotham City Sirens.

 

Image Credits and info from IMDb.com

Fact: Samurai Jack Is the Best Thing on TV

in television

After 10 years, my favorite fictional hero of all time has returned to save us all from the clutches of Aku, Samurai Jack. The action-packed children’s anime, Samurai Jack, from the extremely talented Genndy Tartakovsky, (remember Dexter’s Labaratory  and The PowerPuff Girls? Yeah — that guy), is in my humble opinion, the greatest show of all time.

When the show was released in 2001 on Cartoon Network, it featured Jack, a young samurai with a vendetta against Aku, a demonic shape-shifter, hell-bent on ruling the world. After his village is destroyed as a boy in a surprise attack from Aku, Jack trains throughout his childhood to one day return and vanquish him.

Upon Jack’s return home many years later, a battle of epic proportions ensues. With the help of the mystic sword bestowed upon him by his ancestors, it appears that the samurai has won, but Aku had one last trick up his sleeve. Aku cast a portal into the future, sending Jack through time, where Aku’s power could grow more powerful. Over 4 seasons, Jack combats aliens, demonic minions, and even himself, in hopes of finding a way back to the past and free the world from Aku’s grip.

From 2001-2004, all 7 members of the Norwood family crowded around the TV religiously to see what sort of mess Jack was in and how he slashed his way out of it. However, upon season 5’s release on Cartoon Network’s late night channel, Adult Swim, it is apparent that this is not the same Jack of a decade ago.

Switching to a more fitting adult program, Samurai Jack has transformed into the darker, more intense show that it always was destined to become. Robots and minions have been replaced with real flesh and blood. Although time travel has blessed — or more fittingly cursed — Jack, stealing away his body’s ability to age, he no longer is invincible. He’s depleted, facing almost certain death week after week. He has lost his sword, his hope, and his mind over the past 15 years trapped in the future and there’s no telling if he’ll get any of them back before his adversaries succeed in taking his life.

Obviously I am deeply, deeply biased. I grew up with Jack. I feel like I know him personally, and maybe I really do. That is the type of character Tartakovsky has created, an admirable man of great honor and I will be right by his side during the most trying times of his fictional life.

Hopefully you’ll bare with all my oohing and ahhing every time Jack disposes of an enemy (it will be slightly obnoxious) and watch Samurai Jack take on the world with me.

Catch Samurai Jack every Saturday night at 11 p.m. ET on Adult Swim and recap seasons 1-4 on Hulu.

 

Main Image Credit: Adult Swim

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