5 Fandom Friday – Most Binge Worthy Shows

Seeing as I was working Friday and got into a car accident, I haven’t really gotten around to this post until now.  Luckily I am starting to feel a bit better due to meds and my extremely loving and supportive boyfriend (who also threw me a surprise party for my bday on Saturday). That being said, here are my picks for most binge worthy shows.

Criminal Minds cast for Season 10

1. Criminal Minds

Ever since I discovered Criminal Minds about five years ago, this has been my go to binge show. When I lived in Miami by myself I had a tiny TV with no cable and like 12 local channels. This one channel was constantly playing Criminal Minds reruns so I started watching it because it was sometimes the only show on. I immediately got into it because of the interesting dynamic between the BAU team and their characters’ ever evolving arcs. My favorite character is Penelope Garcia for sure, but Dr. Reid and Morgan top the list too.

Ok ok, I’ll admit it. Matthew Gray Gubler’s nerdy charm is what REALLY attracted me to the show at first. One of my favorite episodes is a Dr. Reid centric one from Season 2. It’s actually a two-parter with James Van Der Beek playing a serial killer with multiple personality disorder. I was so riveted to the very end and loved how they gave Reid something to struggle with into the next season.

I’ve only watched about half of the new season, but I binge through whenever I have a little extra time. It’s one of the only shows where I feel like I really know the characters and feel like a part of the family. I can also boast being an extra on the show for two separate episodes in seasons 7 and 8, which was an awesome experience.

Family Guy

2. Family Guy

Whenever I don’t know what else to watch, Family Guy goes on. It’s my go-to feel good show. Peter’s stupidity really makes me feel better about life in general. Sometimes the jokes go way over my head, especially in the later seasons, but that’s probably because they’re referencing something very specifically Rhode Island. I love it when Lois gets excited about something or when Brian gets drunk. I love it when Stewie hits on other babies or when they make jokes about him being sexually ambiguous. They always throw in some real gross out moments that make me squeal but then laugh uncontrollably. It’s a truly fun, easy to digest show.

Game of Thrones Opening Logo

3. Game of Thrones

I jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon after Season 1 and 2 had already aired. I had seen the billboards around Hollywood and heard about the books from friends, but wasn’t really that interested at first. At some point, however, I decided to give it a try and binged the first two seasons in like a week. Holy crap it was good. So much drama and passion and conflict for just one show. I really enjoyed the world George R. R. Martin had created. Having read The Lord of the Rings, I could definitely relate to Game of Thrones’ elaborate universe. Tyrion was instantly my favorite character and still remains so. I am definitely a fan of the strong female characters on the show too, namely Brienne of Tarth and Daenerys Targaryen. I’ve kept up with the show into the current season and get really excited every time Sunday rolls around now.

Glee Promo Shot

4. Glee

Ok I am slightly embarrassed to admit I watch Glee, but it really is a great show. I love music and musicals and Glee executes the musical genre in a highly effective way. I was a drama and chorus kid in high school so I found it fun to watch this show and feel good no one ever slusheed me in school. I love all the characters even though they sometimes annoy me for various reasons, but hey, that’s just like real people! I binge the crap out of this show for long stretches and then get so emotional I have to stop. I actually put off watching the episode where Finn dies until recently because I knew I would have to devote an entire day to crying about it. I was right. It was so incredibly sad that Cory Monteith died and that he had a real thing going with Lea Michele. Other great sad-cry moments were when Blaine sings “Teenage Dream” before him and Kurt break-up or when Kurt’s dad has a heart attack. Blaine is definitely my favorite character. I ❤ Darren Criss’ voice.

Gravity Falls

5. Gravity Falls

So my little cousin Ella actually got me into this show. She is a rabid Disney Channel fan and discovered it one day. I was skeptical at first, but the humor on this show is so kooky it hooked me right away. Like most cartoons, there is actually a lot of adult humor sprinkled in that goes way over a kid’s head. Grunkle Stan is especially great at saying mean and sometimes inappropriate things. I also love all the creatures and the Mystery Shack and all the weird shit that goes down in Gravity Falls. The Halloween episode was one of my favorites especially because the Summerween Trickster ended up being made of all the crappy candy that no one wants. Where does Alex Hirsh get his ideas from??

Mabel is definitely my favorite character mainly because she’s voiced by Kristen Schaal. She’s also just super adorable and has a pig for a pet so what else could I ask for? I watched a few episodes here and there initially, but recently binged through the rest so I could finish the season. They just started Season 2 and I will definitely be catching up with that in the next week or so.

There are tons more shows I’ve binge-watched, but most of them aren’t on TV anymore. What are some of your favorite binge-worthy shows?

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AMC Releases New BETTER CALL SAUL Clip

On November 30th, I got a happy little surprise in my inbox: a new clip from AMC’s “Better Call Saul”! The clip shows Jimmy’s first interaction with Mike the hit-man at a parking garage. Take a looksie! The series will premiere in February and more content will continue to be released until then.

American Horror Story: Freakshow Extended Trailer

American Horror Story was first introduced to me about two years ago when I first moved to Los Angeles. It was when the second season had just started and I watched with a few friends, old and new. The premise of the second season was mildly interesting to me, taking place in an insane asylum run by the Catholic church. However, it failed to really grab my attention and I stopped watching after a couple of episodes. A year or so later when the show returned with American Horror Story: Coven, I became intrigued again, but decided to go back to the very first season instead. I really enjoyed American Horror Story: Murder House although I was annoyed by almost all of the characters at one point or another. Everyone was so goddamn stubborn and weak. Nevertheless, the writing got progressively better, the story kept getting weirder, and I kept coming back for more.

When I heard that the new season was going to take place in a circus freak show (or side show as it’s sometimes referred to), I was pretty excited. Freak shows always seemed so strange and forbidden, happening behind closed doors (or tent flaps). I almost flipped my shit when I saw this trailer today, which really sold it for me. Kathy Bates as a bearded lady?! Whatttttt?! And Jessica Lange in that huge striped dress with the train? I guess that means she’s the ring-mistress? Already, it seems like this could be the best season yet. Wes Bentley (American Beauty, The Hunger Games) is also appearing as a “tormentor of Bates’ character (The Bearded Lady), according to the Wikipedia for the show.

The synopsis says it’s going to take place in Jupiter, FL (why am I not surprised) and centers around the struggle of the freak show trying to stay in business while dark forces are acting upon them and the rest of the town. I wonder if they’re going to pay homage to the old black and white film Freaks with that famous “One of us!” scene? October cannot come fast enough.

Penny Dreadful Update!

Episode 101

Ok, I am majorly missing Penny Dreadful once again, which is pretty bad since its only been two months. However, as I was looking to see if LA Weekly had done any posts on the series, I did come across the official Penny Dreadful production blog! So here’s another delightful resource to check-in on, especially when Season 2 starts up.

http://blog.penny-dreadful.com/

The blog has a lot of the videos from the YouTube channel, but also includes news articles about the series and production stills too.

Upon checking Christopher King’s Twitter @ChrisWKing, I also saw a few tweets from Aisha Tyler (Archer) @AishaTyler, who recently visited the set in Ireland. 

Aisha Tyler on Penny Dreadful?

While she has been an avid fan of the show, which led to her moderating the Comic-Con panel, I’d like to speculate that there might be more going on than just a tour of the set. This photo in particular made me wonder if she will have a guest appearance, perhaps as a dead body?! 

Only time will tell and there is still so much time left until Season 2, said to be premiering in August 2015. Until then I’ll be lounging in my pajamas with Dorian Gray, Vanessa Ives, and the whole gang while I re-watch Season 1. #dreadful

The Emmy’s!

Before I lived in LA, reward shows seemed so glamorous. I was all about the gowns and the glory and the fake laughter. But now, being so close to all of that, it just seems rather tedious and boring. Why are these things still broadcast, especially the Emmy’s?! No one actually watches TV anymore do they? Why would we when everything’s streamed online or torrented or recapped on Twitter and Facebook? The only thing I find interesting is who won in each category, which I don’t need three hours of television to tell me. So in case you were also wondering who won, I’ve compiled a visual list to save you some time and brain cells.

And the Emmy goes to Ty Burrell

 

And the Emmy goes to Louis C.K.

And the Emmy goes to Allison Janney

 And the Emmy goes to Jimmy Fallon and Uzo Aduba

And the Emmy goes to Jim Parsons

And the Emmy goes to Julia Louis-Dreyfus

And the Emmy goes to The Amazing Race

And the Emmy goes to Kathy Bates

And the Emmy goes to Martin Freeman

And the Emmy goes to Fargo

And the Emmy goes to Benedict Cumberbatch

And the Emmy goes to Jessica Lange

And the Emmy goes to The Normal Heart

And the Emmy goes to Aaron Paul

And the Emmy goes to Anna Gunn

And the Emmy goes to Julianna Margulies

 And the Emmy goes to Bryan Cranston

And the Emmy goes to Modern Family

And the Emmy goes to Breaking Bad

 

 

5 Ways to Feed Your “Penny Dreadful” Addiction Until Season 2

UPDATE: This post has been republished and featured on The Mary Sue!
View it here:
http://www.themarysue.com/feed-your-penny-dreadful-addiction/

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives

Living in Los Angeles, there are advertisements for new movies, TV shows, and music everywhere. Most of the time they’re an eyesore as studios wrap entire city buses with them or cover large billboards in Hollywood with them. However, the ads for Penny Dreadful had me intrigued. I loved the name even though I had no idea what it meant. The letters were blood red and everything else was black. The mood was dark and gothic and mysterious. Some ads only featured Eva Green and Josh Hartnett, while others included more of the cast like Timothy Dalton and Danny Sapani. The actors stared, brooding and serious, and I thought “This is my kind of show!”

The gothic nature of Penny Dreadful also attracted a few friends of mine and inspired a “Goth Night In” viewing party of the pilot episode. We were riveted and discussed where the series might go as we began to recognize familiar characters: Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Van Helsing. Although I was unable to keep up with weekly viewings of the show, I watched an episode when I could and quickly became obsessed.

With only an 8-episode season, Penny Dreadful was over in a flash and I was left wanting more. Luckily, I was able to attend Comic-Con and attended the Penny Dreadful panel. Showrunner John Logan promised an expansion of the universe in season 2, which will include more about Ethan Chandler’s past and the importance of Madame Kali. While that did quench my thirst temporarily, I find myself now in Penny Dreadful withdrawal, looking for anything to tie me over until Season 2. Here are five great ways fellow Dreadfuls can feed their addiction.

5. – Pre-Order the Soundtrack on Amazon

If you’re a soundtrack fiend like me, you probably noticed the beauty of the music in Penny Dreadful. The opening theme is incredibly moving and a perfect intro to the show. It also makes me think of someone running from their demons, (whether literal, sexual, or whatever) and then being overcome by them which creates this emotional roller coaster played out with the various string instruments. Every time I hear it, I get really excited and sad at the same time. Oh, the power of music! You can pre-order the soundtrack for Season 1 on Amazon here. The release date is August 19th, which is only five days from now!!! What are you waiting for?!

4. – Subscribe to the Penny Dreadful Channel on YouTube

For anyone who wasn’t there, or for those who just want to relive the magic of Comic-Con, videos from the panel are up on YouTube. There are also a multitude of clips from the show, production blogs with behind the scenes video, and interviews with the cast. With a count of 65 videos on their channel, there’s enough content to last a few hours, and that’s only the first go round of viewings. Here’s a taste of what you can expect to find:

3. – Swoon Over Reeve Carney and his brother Zane Carney’s music

While this isn’t directly related to the show, it is related to Mr. Dorian Gray himself, Reeve Carney! Reeve and his brother Zane have a band appropriately named Carney and have released two albums of material. Their music is blues influenced rock with sexy undertones that channels classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. There’s even a hint of Jeff Buckley in Reeve’s vocal delivery, which excites me greatly as he will be playing Buckley in the biopic Mystery White Boy. Both brothers also have solo projects with Zane playing a residency at the LA club Hotel Cafe for the month of August, and Reeve releasing an album in 2015. Check out their circus themed video for “Love Me Chase Me” below.

2. – Follow the Cast and Crew on Twitter

If you’re social media savvy, check in on some of the cast and crew on Twitter along with the official Penny Dreadful account.

@SHO_Penny – Offical Twitter page. Posts updates on the show, videos, news articles, RTs from cast and crew, merchandise, etc.

@ReeveCarney (Dorian Gray) – Reeve posts about his music, his brother, and the show a lot. He was quite active leading up to Comic-Con as well.

@ReeveCarney: Just Read the first episode of Season 2 of @SHO_Penny...My goodness...Boy, ami I excited...!!!! :) #johnloganrules

@BilliePiper (Brona) – Posts on Penny Dreadful, Doctor Who, stage plays, award show appearances, and more.

@DannySapani (Sembene) – Apparently he’s a big stage actor in Britain, currently appearing in Medea. Lots of posts about Penny Dreadful and some about his activism for various causes.

@ChrisWKing (Supervising Producer) – He only joined Twitter a few weeks ago, but is posting a lot of behind the scenes photos.

@SaritaAllison (Key Prosthetic Makeup Artist) – She is responsible for The Creature’s makeup as well as the master vampire on the series. She also worked on the Harry Potter films creating prosthetics for the goblins and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique makeup in X-Men: First Class.

@JamesEHawes (Director) – The show switches off between directors, but he is apparently directing the first episode of the new season. He posts about the show as well as political issues.

1. – Interact With the Show on the Official Website

If you haven’t been to the website yet, become a part of the demimonde and explore! There is so much to do on there you can get lost for hours just clicking on things. You can have a tarot reading done, explore a map of the Penny Dreadful universe, and even hear classic Victorian poems read by the cast. The website is a very unique way of interacting with the show on a very intimate level.

Penny Dreadful Tarot Reading

I’ll be keeping up with updates on Season 2 as they’re released so keep it locked to Sonic Iris! ❤

Better Call Saul Teaser Released

AMC aired a short 10-second teaser last night introducing the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. The series is going to be a prequel of sorts, following Jimmy McGill on his journey to becoming the man we know and love as Saul Goodman. The teaser doesn’t say much about the show, but I’d imagine that more teasers and clips will be released in the next couple months. The premiere is set for February 2015 and will have 10 episodes. Check out the clip below!

Wu-Tang Clan on The Daily Show!!

First of all, can I just give props to Jon Stewart for being the one to get all nine members of Wu-Tang Clan to have their reunion on his show? That has got to be the first time they’ve performed or been seen all together in almost seven years. It really was a historic event in music and that was some lucky audience.

It was no happy accident that they appeared on The Daily Show, however. They’re promoting a new record called A Better Tomorrow, which has been almost three years in the making due to feuding and their solo careers. Set to be released in November of this year, they debuted their first single, “Ron O’Neal” on air. Ron O’Neal was an african-american actor in blaxploitation films like Super Fly. Apparently, he had a stage career as well, appearing in many Shakespeare plays. I’m curious to read the lyrics and see what they have to say about him.

Wu-Tang Clan performing Ron O'Neal on The Daily Show for Reunion

When they performed “Ron O’Neal,” it seemed like they didn’t quite have a handle on the song and where it fit into the rest of their library. Method Man starts things off with his signature smoothness setting the groove. While he’s doing his thing though, the rest of the guys are just sort of standing around bobbing their heads. There’s none of that classic Wu-Tang energy going on that they’re known for. It really isn’t until the middle of the song when RZA takes over and really digs in that the song gets good. Hopefully, the rest of the album is a little more promising.

Luckily for their fans, they ended the show with “Triumph,” which is from one of their first commercial albums. That was back when they were a much more collaborative unit and didn’t all have solo careers inflating their egos. As soon as they started the song, the past fifteen years seemed to melt away and they were The Wu again. It was much more obvious that they were enjoying themselves and loving the comfort of an old song that put them on the map. I want to see more of that when they go on tour again to support this album. Maybe they’ll inspire a whole new generation who will be drawing the W logo on all their school notebooks and folders like me and my friends did. Wu-Tang Forever baby.

The Wu-Tang Clan performs "Triumph" on the Daily Show

Watch the full episode on Comedy Central.