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April 2019 Recommendations


Show Title: All-American

Episodes: 13

Where to Watch: Netflix

If you miss old-school WB teen soaps, All-American is the show for you. Despite the football-heavy promos, it’s not Friday Night Lights. The football team is a part of it but more for what it represents to Spencer. It’s a character-focused soap and it’s best when it isn’t trying to be anything else. It does a decent job of weaving in more socially conscious stories and highlighting the differences in the characters from Crenshaw and Beverly Hills based on their economic privilege but it mostly wants to make you fall in love with these characters and root for their success and you can’t help but do so. Even when they are being messy and making bad choices out of pain or sometimes just because they’re human, you want the best for them. You want them to make good choices and grow into better people and find their place in the world. It’s may not be groundbreaking or revolutionary like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or Jane the Virgin, but it’s a solid non-genre addition to CW’s lineup and I couldn’t be happier that it’ll be back for a second season.


Book Title: Heroine Worship

Author: Sarah Kuhn

Genre: Urban Fantasy

I’ve already talked about my love for Heroine Complex, the first entry in this series, but I finally got around to this book and it only amplified my love for this series. Unlike other UF series, the protagonist of each book shifts, much like it would in a romance trilogy. It allows for a new exploration of the world but more interestingly, it allows for a strong character arc in each book. After the events of Heroine Complex, Aveda Jupiter is struggling. She’s no longer the star superhero in San Francisco and if she isn’t a superhero, who is she? She is forced to examine and reconcile competing portions of her identity, to recognize that she can be a protector and vulnerable at the same time. So much of this book is about Aveda and Evie learning how to be best friends again as adults and their relationship dynamic is unlike anything else I’ve seen. They have to learn to choose each other again, not in the archetypal roles that had defined their relationship as children but as grown women full of complexities. They got stuck and had to find a way to get unstuck because at the end of the day, there isn’t anyone they would rather have by their side. It’s about learning to embrace yourself and all the multitudes you contain and trust that there will be people to love and accept you once they’re allowed to truly see you. This series holds such a special place in my heart after only two books and I can’t wait for this journey to continue.

Midseason Pilot Review: Star-Crossed

Airs: Mondays on the CW at 8:00 PM EST

Timeslot Competition: The Bachelor/Dancing with the Stars (ABC), How I Met Your Mother/Two Broke Girls/Friends with Better Lives (CBS), Almost Human/Bones (FOX), The Voice (NBC)

Premise: After landing on Earth 10 years prior, a group of 7 Atrian students are integrated into a human high school and a human and an Atrian fall in love and remember a past connection.

Pre-show Thoughts: I didn’t expect much from this show. I don’t love the way that the CW puts out previews for the episode instead of a trailer because the scenes they pick never manage to intrigue me. It didn’t catch my interest, especially the way the “first glance” scene in the hallway is played. Love at first sight isn’t my favorite trope and it didn’t make me excited for the show at all.

Post-show Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by this show! I found it intriguing from the beginning with the younger Emery helping Roman. I’m not 100% sold on the romantic aspect yet and I’m actually happy about that. I’m more interested in Atrian culture and even more interested in Emery and Julia’s friendship.

I am really looking forward to seeing more of this show and I especially hope to see more of the friendship between Emery and Julia now that she seems to be healed. I am always looking for positive portrayals of female friendships on TV and this one seems like it will fit that description.

Midseason Pilot Reviews: Cult

Premise: After his brother disappears, Jeff begins to look into the world of the television show Cult and its obsessive followers with the help of one of Cult’s crew members.

Initial Thoughts: This was another one of the 3 shows I have been excited about since upfronts last May. Cults plus a television show and the promise of lots of meta is definitely the sort of thing I am interested in

Series Premiere: 2/19/13

Timeslot Competition: NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), New Girl/The Mindy Project (FOX), Go On/The New Normal (NBC), The Taste/Dancing with the Stars results (ABC)

Continue reading Midseason Pilot Reviews: Cult

Midseason Pilot Review: The Carrie Diaries

Premise: An adaptation of Candace Bushnell’s book by the same name, The Carrie Diaries shows you Carrie Bradshaw’s life before Sex and the City.

Initial Thoughts: I liked Sex and the City, although it’s not one of my favorites. However, I was never particularly interested in Carrie on her own, I liked everyone best when they were together as a group, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch a show just about Carrie.

Series Premiere: 1/14/13

Timeslot Competition: How I Met Your Mother/Rules of Engagement (CBS), The Bachelor/Dancing with the Stars (ABC), Bones (FOX), The Biggest Loser (NBC)

Post-show Thoughts: I was completely (and somewhat unexpectedly) charmed by the pilot. I have a ridiculous love for voiceover narration, so I loved that part. I also really love stories about people finding out who they are and that seems like it will be the most important part of the show.

I didn’t love everything. I’m not quite sold on the relationship between Carrie and her sister, but I’m hoping that’s something that improves in future episodes.

What I love most of all is how well they captured Carrie’s love for New York. I know Carrie’s story on this show is going to differ some from her backstory on the show, which I’m fine with, but that’s one element that I think was essential for the writers to capture. We didn’t get to see a lot of it, but I like what I see of her friendships so far. They aren’t Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, nor did the writers simply choose to mimic their dynamic (which I liked), but they seem like solid friendships and I’m all for more awesome female friendships on TV.

Predictions: I’m not particularly optimistic about its long-term success. The premiere numbers weren’t as good as I would have expected them to be. I thought more people would check the show out at least but I was wrong there. It didn’t immediately flop, but if ratings stay approximately where they are, it puts them about even with the other shows with uncertain futures. If they drop, it’ll probably be an easy choice for cancellation.

Premise: Emily Owens has always been somewhat awkward and struggled to find confidence. As she starts her first-year as an intern at Denver Memorial Hospital, can she find the confidence she’s always craved, impress her mentor and get her crush to fall for her?

Initial Thoughts: I did not have high hopes from the promos. The production value didn’t look very good and it just didn’t sound interesting. Also, while I was in Las Vegas, I think I saw the clip of her in the OR about a thousand times so that didn’t thrill me either.

Series Premiere: 10/16/12

Continue reading Fall 2012 Pilot Reviews: Emily Owens, M.D.

Fall 2012 Pilot Reviews: Beauty and the Beast

Premise: After her mother’s murder, Catherine Chandler is saved by a mysterious Beast. Years later, she meets this mystery man during a case she is working on and they connect.

Initial Thoughts: The promos for this show really didn’t look enjoyable at all to me. I expected very little from the show.

Series Premiere: 10/11/12

Continue reading Fall 2012 Pilot Reviews: Beauty and the Beast