Thursday, June 28, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 26

Watching... Catching up on Cougar Town. And Olympic trials! Gymnastics this weekend!
Listening... The Very Best - We OK. Definitely not my usual thing, but a happy summertime song.
Reading... A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Witches and vampires, but for grownups.

Watching... So You Think You Can Dance top 20! Also, caught up on the first half of season 1 of Necessary Roughness.
Listening... Liked a random song at the end of the first Bunheads episode and ended up buying the entire album: The Shakespeares.
Reading... Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Has the same issue as Catching Fire in The Hunger Games series -- as book 2 of probably a trilogy, it kinda just serves as a story bridge than a really good self-contained story.  Easy read, though, and almost done.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 25

Watching... ABC Family -- Jane By Design, Pretty Little Liars, Bunheads.
Listening... So I've become a little obsessed with the ease of buying music on and having it go straight to the Cloud Player.  This week I bought the Grouplove album, Never Trust a Happy Song, because I really like the song "Tongue Tied."  I also bought the Walk the Moon album, Walk the Moon, because I really like "Anna Sun."
Reading... Finished The Glassblower of Murano and enjoyed it enough that I really want to blog about it. We'll see if I ever actually get around to doing so. Then read the summer trilogy by Jenny Han (young adult fiction, of course) and really enjoyed it: The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, and We'll Always Have Summer.  Easy reads and I really enjoyed them. (So much so that I read all 3 in one evening on Monday!)

Watching... Caught with the rest of the first season of Girls, which was interesting, to say the least. Maybe one of these days I'll write a more complete post about it.
Listening... Just started a new audiobook, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. Third in this super cute children's book series.
Reading... Finished both The Help, which was a quick, fun read (I can finally watch the movie now!) and Born to Run, which was actually really fascinating. Next up is A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which seems crazy, and Habibi by Craig Thompson (a graphic novel).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bunheads: First Impressions

A show on ABC Family by Amy Sherman-Palladino (of Gilmore Girls) about dancing?? Yeah, of course I need to watch Bunheads! Kelly Bishop (from Gilmore Girls) is in it and fantastic, per usual. Additionally, I'm amused by the fact that Kelly Bishop's character is named Fanny and think it's fitting she's playing this character as she was a trained American Ballet Theatre dancer. (Fanny owns and runs a ballet studio.)

There's a lot going for the show to make it a perfect Mira-formula show: the dialogue is quick (typical Amy S-P), the characters are quirky (typical Amy S-P), and the show is set in a quaint town (à la Gilmore Girls)... Bunheads is a show about a former trained ballet dancer, Michelle (played by Sutton Foster, of Broadway fame). Michelle is a Vegas showgirl who feels her life has hit a dead end and impulsively decides to accept a marriage proposal by an ardent admirer, played by Alan Ruck, and moves to Paradise, Oregon. Landing in a sleepy town with no movie theater, she learns that her new husband still lives with his mother, Fanny, who is conveniently the owner and teacher of the town's ballet studio. She quickly establishes a rapport with the girls in the advanced level ballet class, starts to build a relationship with a mother-in-law who had no warning of her arrival, and well, becomes a widow.

For the three reasons highlighted earlier (dialogue, quirky characters, quaint town), I will probably continue to watch the show. Two things that disappoint me about the show right off the bat, though: 1) I really was prepared to like Alan Ruck's character, Hubbell, and am really sad that he was killed off like that! 2) I'm not fully sold on Sutton Foster. There's something about her that's very stilted to me and not natural, maybe it's the Broadway thing. And when she dances (and so far it's been non-ballet), she's just so skinny and gangly that it really doesn't look like good dancing... The moves she had the girls doing looked so awkward and dorky, and actually looked way better when the high school girls were dancing it!

Regardless, I'll watch Bunheads, cuz, well, I'll watch almost anything on ABC Family. I just hope that Sutton Foster grows on me because she is the main character and all.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 24

Watching... Bunheads on ABCFamily. Also Thorne on Encore, of all places. I'm not into American crime dramas at all but set them in the UK and suddenly I'm all about them...
Listening... Japandroids - The House That Heaven Built from their new album. Peppy, upbeat stuff.
Reading... Same as last week. Born to Run and The Help.

Watching... ABC Family is back -- Pretty Little Liars and Jane by Design! Oh and I watched The Choice and now have a major crush on Jeremy Bloom.
Listening... The Foster the People concert was good. I especially liked a song by one of the openers, The Kooks: "She Moves in her Own Way." The other opener was weird but interesting, Kimbra; apparently a Kiwi who is the female voice part in Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know."
Reading... Read three of Mary Higgins Clarks' latest novels last weekend; I hadn't realized she was still writing! Am currently reading The Glassblower of Murano, which so far is a really interesting and fun read. It's especially cool because it is set in Venice, where I visited a few years ago, so some places sound familiar and I find myself racking my brain to see if I can visualize the geographic landmarks mentioned. We wanted to go to Murano during that visit but unfortunately did not get the opportunity.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 23

Watching... New season of Love in the Wild! I'm not thrilled that Jenny McCarthy is the new host, but this was such a fun surprise last summer and the top two couples from the first season were so cute and are still together!
Listening... So You Think You Can Dance continues to be a surprisingly good place to discover new music. This remix of The Naked and Famous - Young Blood was used in one of the auditions. SO GOOD.
Reading... Still pretty engrossed with both Born to Run and The Help.

Watching... Love in the Wild as well. And I HATE Jenny McCarthy.  Plus there is no couple or person as likable as Samantha and Mike (last year's winners).  I seriously hate Jenny McCarthy. She overenunciates everything and everything she says sounds cheesy/goofy. UGH!
Listening... Foster the People CD, since I'm going to the concert this coming weekend.
Reading... Just finished book one of "The Immortals" series, Evermore, and would have to say that it's somehow a really bad Twilight. And Twilight doesn't even rank as being particularly good, so yeah, it's just really bad. Bad enough that I'm not going to bother reading more.  Currently reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, another young adult book set in a dystopian society.  Many might compare it to Hunger Games, but I'd say it's much more reminiscent of The Giver and so good that it might merit its own post. If I get around to it... :) Gotta finish it first!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Upfronts - What's coming this Fall 2012

I know, I know, upfronts were a few weeks ago and this post is late. But it's still super early if we're talking about planning for fall TV! Here's what I found notable coming out of this year's upfronts. Overall, nothing I'm super excited about, but there are always surprises. One of my favorite new sitcoms of this past season was Suburgatory which I didn't even mention in last year's upfronts roundup and the dramas I was most looking forward to? Ringer (awful, and cancelled), Awake (cancelled), and The Secret Circle (cancelled). Go figure.


  • Elementary - Modern-day Sherlock Holmes set in NYC. Suspicious timing so soon after the British Sherlock (which I love)....but Jonny Lee Miller is in it so I might have to check it out. I don't know about Lucy Liu as Watson though. There's inevitably going to be sexual tension and I feel like that just doesn'
  • Ummm nothing else. Interestingly CBS has decided to partner up The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men on Thursday nights and is not using them to launch any new sitcoms. I guess they have that luxury...
  • 666 Park Avenue - Something about supernatural occurrences in a NYC apartment building. Interesting cast, including Terry O'Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Dave Annable, Robert Buckley...but sounds kinda dumb. 
  • Nashville - Normally would not be interested in a show about country music, but Connie Britton is in it. Mrs. Coach!
  • The Neighbors - Suburban family discovers that their neighbors are really aliens. Oh geez...
  • Last Resort - I don't know get what this is about exactly...something about the military and an island or something. But it's from Shawn Ryan, who has a good track record (though I've never watched any of his shows) and has a great cast including Andre Braugher, Autumn Reeser, Robert Patrick, and Scott Speedman (Ben from Felicity!).
  • Don't Trust the B* in Apartment 23 was renewed. I do want to catch up with that...
  • The Mob Doctor - Pretty much exactly what the title says it is. Sounds kind of terrible but I do like Jordana Spiro and Zach Gilford is in it too (Matt Saracen!!).
  • The Mindy Project - I stopped watching The Office awhile ago but I always knew that Mindy Kaling (Kelly) was going places. First look seems funny, hopefully will live up to expectations.
  • The Goodwin Games (midseason) - Kind of reminds me of one of my favorite children's books, The Westing Game. Scott Foley and Becki Newton are two of three siblings put through an elaborate game to win their late father's inheritance. 
  • Community renewed but banished to Fridays. And creator/executive producer Dan Harmon basically fired. Not sure what this all means...
  • Parenthood renewed!
  • Revolution - I'm not quite so turned off by J.J. Abrams anymore, but I'm wary of this one. Takes place 15 years after all electronics basically stop working and focuses on a family that might have the answer to what happened. 
  • Four new sitcoms, all look kind of dreadful.
  • Infamous (midseason) - A detective returns to the home where she grew up as the maid's daughter to investigate the death of her childhood best friend. Sounds soapy and fun, and Victor Garber is in it! 
  • Gossip Girl renewed for a final season. Amazingly I have stuck with this...
  • Emily Owens, MD. Lame title, but I like Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep's daughter). Nice match with Hart of Dixie.
  • Beauty and the Beast - Didn't really dig into the details but I gather it's basically a procedural with the star-crossed romance somehow being an element.
  • The Carrie Diaries (midseason) - Sex and the City prequel. I thought this had a lot of buzz but for some reason the CW is holding it for midseason. I like AnnaSophia Robb and there should be a lot of crazy 80s fashions so seems like it could be fun.

Check in Thursday: Week 22

Watching... Summer shows are starting, and apparently this is going to be my summer of dance TV? Along with So You Think You Can Dance, there are two new dance shows I'm planning to check out: Breaking Pointe, a new CW reality series that follows dancers in Ballet West, a ballet company out of Salt Lake City, and Bunheads, a scripted ABC Family show from the creator of Gilmore Girls.
Listening... Radiohead show this Sunday! They are #1 on my live show bucket list so I'm super excited!
Reading... Pretty engrossed in The Help right now. Also starting Born to Run because I guess I'm a runner now and I'm interested in books about running...

Mira: Apparently Thursday was yesterday... I'll pretend Memorial Day threw me off and not my own inability to ever remember to post on Thursdays...
Watching... So You Think You Can Dance season. YAY!
Listening... Nothing new. But I have found myself with "Cough Syrup" stuck in my head quite regularly. (From week 11.)
Reading... Uh, I'm in a 4 book Nora Roberts series. Also not worth naming.  But I am reading like crazy cuz I'm getting books from the library. Not high literature at all, but fun, mindless summertime reading. :)