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TV Thoughts: 2/1-2/7

It must be sweeps because so many of my shows had big episodes this week. We learned the identity of Sin Rostro, Katrina took her first steps toward being evil, Mindy found out that she is pregnant, Donna got married, Fresh Off the Boat premiered and Nashville returned just as crazy as the last 10 minutes of the midseason finale suggested it would. I really enjoyed many of the episodes this week and I hope you all did too.


  • Jane the Virgin: This week was great for me and Jane the Virgin for two reasons. First, how great was that episode? I love the Sin Rostro reveal and once again, the post-production work on this show has been stellar with the drop of blood falling out of Sin Rostro’s name in the narration. It also featured Jaime Camil’s best work of the season. That death scene was perfect and it led to Jane calling him “Dad” for the first time, which completely warmed my heart. These two have come so incredibly far in a short amount of time and I have really enjoyed watching their relationship grow and continue to deepen. Finally, this episode also was the perfect example of why Jane means so much to me. Her conversation with Rafael about choosing to see the best in people was everything I want more of in television. I want more genuinely good people who want to see the good in others. I want to see people believe in others and support them even if others think they are foolish. I want more people who will sit down and listen to a woman who has caused nothing but problems for them and offer support. I am so grateful that that is the philosophy this show chooses to promote.
  • This show also meant a lot to be this week because I was able to visit the set of the show, thanks to a very generous friend. We got a tour of the various sets, meet a few of the cast members, and watch a scene film from an upcoming episode. My lips are sealed about future occurrences on the show but what I do want to say about this incredible experience is that the people involved with this show on every level are so kind and enthusiastic about what this show sets out to do. They genuinely love it and the people they work with. It was an honor to meet the cast, who is in fact as lovely as they appear to be, and a true pleasure to have this opportunity. If you like watching good things happen to good characters on TV, then please tune in and support this show. Not only is it a great show on it’s own merits but I want these incredible people to get to work on this show for a long time to come.
  • Sleepy Hollow: I am all for an evil Katrina. It adds something to her character that has been lacking and even if it’s a disaster, at least it’s something for her to do. It’s also a way to reintroduce Henry to the group as a whole as an antagonist. Henry’s clearly there but Team Witness is crippled so long as Katrina continues to fight for him. Now if she’s fighting with him, not only would it make that mother-son relationship more interesting but it will also provide the catalyst needed for Katina and Ichabod to officially realize that their marriage isn’t going to work in the modern world. No matter what they were like it in the past, they haven’t been on the same page since they brought Katrina from Purgatory and they need to recognize that and put them and the audience out of their misery.
  • The Fosters: Now that Parenthood has ended, I appreciate The Fosters even more. I need my weekly dose of family drama full of characters I love. It’s the little moments with this family that make episodes worth it to me. It’s scenes like Stef enthusiastically embracing twerking once Lena demonstrated what it was. It’s scenes like the ending and everyone having fun as a family together in the lake. The plots of the episode are not the interesting parts to me (though I’m not sorry to see Haylee go), it’s these characters and the love they have for each other.

Continue reading TV Thoughts: 2/1-2/7

TV Thoughts: 1/25-1/31

This week saw the ending of one show and the return of many more. The craziness that comes with spring TV watching has officially begun and I am already behind on things. As we head in a month that historically brings with it lots of good television (thank you, sweeps), here are my thoughts on the TV that I did manage to watch this week.


  • Galavant: What a fun and enjoyable month this was with Galavant. I loved the songs, I loved the characters, and I just had a blast watching it each week. I am a bit disappointed that it ended on a cliffhanger since I’m not hugely hopeful for a season 2 and now I’ll be disappointed to not get one and miss out on Galavant and King Richard adventures. Also, if we do get a season two, I need more flashbacks to Galavant’s dad for no other reason than my desire to listen to Anthony Head sing all the time.


  • Jane the Virgin: I like how willing Jane is to stand up for what she wants from her romantic life. Even if other people don’t understand it, Rafael is the person she has chosen to be with and she’s made it very clear that everyone is going to have to respect that. I understand Xo’s concerns and of course you can’t completely ignore the opinions of those around you, but Jane is the only one who can truly answer what is right for her at this time in her life and it was a nice change from the love triangle that could have happened.
  • Sleepy Hollow: I’m still not really sure how this show managed to so completely lose what I loved about it, but this episode gave me a little bit of hope that things may be back on the right track, or at least an adjacent track. I’m disappointed that the show wants to decrease the serialization but if the writers can’t handle that well, then I’m ok with stand-alone episodes. What I do care most about is losing the characters and dynamics I grew to love in season one. I want more Abbie and Jenny and unstoppable partners Abbie and Ichabod. I would even take Abbie and Katrina teaming up and working together instead of them ending up seemingly on opposing teams because Ichabod doesn’t know how to deal with them together. Hopefully the conversation about Abbie and Ichabod in this week’s episode leads to the return of their teamwork and the dynamic we all fell in love with. I will however remain sceptical until I see it, it’s not the first time this conversation has happened this season only for Abbie to be sidelined again.

Continue reading TV Thoughts: 1/25-1/31

Best of 2014: Characters

When I look back at this year in television, what I most want to remember is how it affected me. I want to know what I loved or what impressed me and why and that’s exactly what this list and the ones that will be coming out over the next couple weeks set out to document. There is no formula for choosing what went on the list. Nothing here is objective, nor would I want it to be even it were somehow possible to objectively quantify an opinion. It will not look like anyone else’s list, though there will undoubtedly be similarities, and that’s a good thing. So enjoy my picks for my favorite/the best in television of 2014 according to me and please share yours in the comments below.

In any given year, there are a lot of characters I love. I admittedly have a tendency to love the emotionally guarded woman who is learning how to open herself up to love and happiness and this is the year many of those women did that in amazing ways. It was great year for so many of my favorites and the actors who brought them to life. There may have been better, more interesting, or more original characters on TV (if one can quantify characters in that way) but these are the 10 who touched my heart the most.

Kelly Severide (Chicago Fire) Kelly has always been one of my favorite characters but this year (this fall, in particular) has made me love him even more. Thanks to my years of TV watching, I had a horrible suspicion that both Severide and Shay wouldn’t make it out of the events of the s2 finale alive. Their friendship has been one of my favorite things about the show since it started and I was devastated to learn that my suspicions were correct. I watched him grieve for his best friend and turn into kind of a disaster for a few weeks only to wind up marrying a girl in Vegas who he barely knew and managing to turn it into something positive. He’s hurt and grown and has come out stronger. He and Casey have finally gotten their friendship back to where it should be and I have a feeling he’ll continue to be Casey’s support system through his problems with Dawson. If I can’t have his friendship was Shay on the show, I’ll take his friendship with Casey as a backup.

Abbie Mills (Sleepy Hollow) Sleepy Hollow may have fallen apart a bit in season 2 but Abbie Mills is still the best part of the show. She remains fiercely dedicated to her role as Witness, whatever that may entail. Need someone to stay behind in Purgatory so Katrina can do the magic needed to stop an Apocalypse? Abbie volunteers. Katrina needs a second person to help her do magic? Abbie steps up. Sheriff Corbin’s son needs saving? Abbie never gives up on him. She is loyal and true and a fighter and that’s why I love her. The episode where she and Jenny were briefly reunited with their mother and able to learn more about their family’s history was easily the best of the season because the focus was where it should be – on this incredible character and her role in fighting this war.

Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time) What a year it has been for her as a character and all of us as fans. We got more backstory about her heartbreaking past, we saw her be afraid and fall back on her instinct to run away and survive on her own, we saw her open herself up and find not only a home with her son and parents, but a dashing pirate who loves her, and a new friend who understands her. She’s growing and trying to be her best self and letting people help her along the way. It has been so incredibly rewarding to watch her allow herself to be vulnerable, especially as someone who struggles with that herself, and I can’t wait to see her continued growth and relationships with everyone in her life in 2015.

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Sleepy Hollow and Me: My Katrina Problem

Typically, when I’m watching TV, I’m not overly concerned with the story the creators are trying to tell and instead choose focus on the story I’m getting out of it. In many cases, I don’t need to think about it because my interpretations match the creator’s vision. In others, I recognize that my interpretation differs wildly and only occasionally get disgruntled when something reads drastically wrong to me.

Last night, however, that’s not what happened with Sleepy Hollow. I think I spent most of the episode contemplating what story they are telling with Katrina. After 17 episodes, I still don’t care about her as a character at all and it’s starting to become a problem with the way I’m watching the show. I want to understand more about her so I can feel something about her relationship with Ichabod and its potential dissolution but every time I think we’ll learn more, I’m left unsatisfied. I want to feel that undying love between her and Ichabod because quite honestly, I don’t see it. I hear about it a lot. There’s a lot of referring to Ichabod as “my love” and references to them as husband and wife and some concern about her well-being on Ichabod’s part. But I don’t feel it and that’s rare for me.

It is possible that I’m not remembering a key detail from the first season that would answer my questions for me. What made Katrina choose Ichabod over Abraham (other than the fact that she didn’t seem to like Abraham very much)? What drew Ichabod to her, even knowing she was promised to his best friend? I know Ichabod is a nice guy and he and Katrina seemed to be friendly with each other but I need more than that. I also want to know when in the timeline of their relationship Katrina learned of Ichabod’s role as a Witness. That starts veering a little far into questioning the plot, which is probably best not done with this show, but I’m still curious.

Without understanding their relationship when it was good, I struggle to care about the problems they are having. I understand Ichabod’s frustration over Katrina’s continued secrets but because I don’t feel that connection between them, I don’t get a proper sense of the emotional toil this will have on Ichabod. Even his declaration to Abbie that their duty to each other needed to come first fell flat to me, because based on his actions, it already was.

I understand that he and Abbie are both Witnesses and as such, share a special bond. I’ve written about how much I enjoy their relationship in the past and as someone who wants them to be together in a romantic sense sometime in the future, I have loved what we have gotten between them so far this season. But I am having trouble rectifying their relationship with the epic love that Ichabod and Katrina are supposed to share, especially since I don’t see it. I don’t think Ichabod or Abbie would physically cheat on his marriage with Katrina, it would be out of character for them. But I see far more love, trust, respect and understanding in their relationship than I do with Ichabod and Katrina’s.

So I just want to know what the writers intend for her. Are they just going to continue telling us about their love without filling us in on their history? Will we ever get more of Katrina’s internal motivations? Are we supposed to root for Ichabod and Katrina to make up and live happily ever after fighting the impending apocalypse alongside Abbie or should we be just waiting for their inevitable downfall?

I wouldn’t normally be bothered by the creators’ intentions but for some reason I am. I feel like as a viewer, I being told to care and be emotionally invested in a character and relationship that they’ve given me no basis for. This show has never been subtle, but in most other ways, they get the relationship aspects just right so in this case, I’d like to be on the same page as them.

Make Katrina good, make her evil, make her morally grey. Just make her something. Stop telling me who she is and show me. Let me into her internal world, no matter what lies there.

Episode of the Week: 9/21-9/27

Now that TV season is fully underway, it’s time for the return of my Episode of the Week posts! I’ve taken the slightly easier option of choosing the episode that most deserves to be spotlighted this week, whether I thought it was the best or it did a good job being creative and unique.

This week, my TV world was a busy one for the first time since May. I was introduced to Elizabeth McCord on Madam Secretary, worried about Cary being in prison on The Good Wife, rejoiced over the return of Sleepy Hollow, met the young Bruce Wayne on Gotham, was disillusioned with the start of s8 of The Big Bang Theory, fell in love with Schmidt again on New Girl, loved the way Mindy takes care of Danny on The Mindy Project, sobbed over the loss of Shay and the beautiful friendships between her, Severide, and Gabby on Chicago Fire, had my heart broken by Juliette on Nashville, met the Johnson family on the very funny Black-ish, cheered for Olivia’s return while grieving with Mellie on Scandal, learned How to Get Away with Murder, cried over the loss of Sweets on Bones, and began the final season of Parenthood.

There was a lot of TV I really enjoyed this week. The Good Wife is off to what looks to be a very exciting season and Eli Gold and his daughter are a wonderful treat. The Mindy Project continues to be fantastic at navigating Danny and Mindy’s relationship and premieres were strong this week. But nothing on TV thrilled me as much this week as the return of Sleepy Hollow.

It’s been a long wait for Sleepyheads (which is an adorable fan group name, btw). The s1 finale aired in January with basically all the main characters in some sort of trouble or danger. Irving was in jail, Jenny was in a car accident and we were uncertain of her fate, Katrina was taken prisoner by the Headless Horseman, Ichabod had been buried alive by his son (the 2nd Horseman of the Apocalypse), and Abbie was trapped in Purgatory. Many of these problems were resolved in the second season opener and while it was appreciated, it wasn’t what made the episode great.

I have said it many times and I will continue to say it as long as the show runs. This crazy show, with it’s blend of historical figures and Biblical end-of-times mythology, probably shouldn’t work. The plotting isn’t always tightly controlled and things can sometimes be a little too convenient, but none of that matters. The characters are what make this show a joy to watch. It’s the surprise party that scares Ichabod, and the way Ichabod and Abby hugged when they were partially reunited in Moloch’s lair, and Jenny and Ichabod trading places in the ambulance because he didn’t know how to put it in reverse that make this show work.

The chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie is as usual, nothing short of spectacular. They sell Ichabod and Abbie’s happiness at being reunited (more than once) and really make you feel how important these characters are to each other. There is an easiness and comfort that pours out of every scene they share and even if that connection was a little rushed plot-wise last season, it works because of everything Mison and Beharie put into it.

I am also really looking forward to seeing Jenny join the team next season and be a bigger part of things. Lyndie Greenwood works so well with both Mison and Beharie and it makes her character seem like such a natural fit with the team. I want more moments between the sisters as they heal and build a new relationship moving forward and I need more of Ichabod calling her “Miss Jenny” and seeing a friendship develop there.

What was your favorite episode during this first full week of TV?

A Celebration of Friendships

So far this month, I have celebrated individual characters and touched a little bit on other types of relationships but I haven’t had much to say about friendships on TV yet. I love seeing all the different ways that friendships are portrayed on TV. I love them in all their forms and amount of emphasis on any given show. Some of the ones I’ve chosen to highlight today can also easily be construed as romantic but as they are non-canon and I am of the strong opinion that the best romances grow out of friendships, I’m including them in the friendship category. In (mostly) no particular order, here are 10 of my favorite friendships on TV, past and present.

Leslie and Ann (Parks and Recreation) It will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever spoken to me that this is my favorite friendship on TV. The bond and love that these two share is so special and genuine. Ann grounds Leslie. She acts as an anchor in times of crisis and shares in her joy in times of happiness. She gives her balance and an outlet for all of her passion and excitement for everything. Leslie believes in Ann. While Leslie is very good at knowing who she is and what she wants, it’s something Ann has been working on since the show began. By the sixth season, she had figured out something to make her happy and then pursued that idea to completion despite negative opinions and setbacks, just like Leslie would have. Like any true friendship, they are there for each other in the big moments (like having a baby or buying a house) and the small (sharing opinions about Jennifer Aniston). They may not be alike but they complement each other and help each other be their best self. Above all, they love each other and know the other one is always just a phone call or text away.

Esposito and Ryan (Castle) There are a lot of really great friendships on Castle but the one between Esposito and Ryan may be my favorite. Once again, these two are very different but there is a loyalty and love between them that can’t be beat. Their friendship got a brilliant showcase in season 6’s “Under Fire” as they tried to encourage each other not to lose hope as they were trapped. The small moments of friendship we get between them are often funny but have an underpinning of trust and respect that you can tell goes back a long way. These two are partners and always will be.

Severide and Shay (Chicago Fire) Like Castle, Chicago Fire has a lot of great friendships. The friendship between Severide and Shay has been one of the most constant throughout the first two seasons and one of the most endearing. Like most of my favorite friendships, this one is built on trust and loyalty. These two would do anything for each other and they both know it. They may disagree on the other’s choices at times but the rift never stays for long. It’s clear that they have each other’s best interest at heart and want them to be happy and safe. I would have loved for them to be able to start that family together, but maybe it’ll happen sometime in the future. Assuming that they both survive the events of the s2 finale, that is.

Continue reading A Celebration of Friendships

Why You Should Watch Sleepy Hollow

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans out there! I hope you are all enjoying your day off work and will be enjoying some good food and fireworks at some point today. In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d give a little love to a show that features a character in the modern world who experienced a fictionalized version of the American Revolution – Sleepy Hollow.

This show probably shouldn’t work as well as it does. It’s rooted in a religiously-based, supernatural retelling of the American Revolution but it takes place in modern times. The mythology can be convoluted and characters are often more connected than they probably should be (unless you’re an OUaT fan, in which case connections between all the characters come as no surprise). But it does and a large part of that is because of the wonderful chemistry between Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison.

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Season Finale Review: Sleepy Hollow

Renewal Status: Renewed

Season Thoughts: I love this show. I love the blend of prophecy and history and the world they have created. I love Orlando Jones and his enthusiasm over the show and being a fan. I love the adorable press pictures that Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie have taken. More than anything else, I love the characters and their relationships. Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship has been at the forefront of the season and it has been a joy to see how quickly their bond cemented and to watch it grow even deeper. I’ve loved seeing Abbie and Jenny reconnecting after all these years and all the secrets and hurt between them. I never grew quite as fond of the relationship between Ichabod and Katrina but learning about their past helped a little with that.

Over the course of the season, this show has made me both laugh and cry while keeping me entertained. I can’t ask for much more than that.

Finale Thoughts: This show. That was one of the more ridiculously gripping endings to a season that I’ve seen in a while. I did not see either of the twists with the Second Horseman coming at all.

This episode reaffirmed why Abbie Mills is one of my favorite characters on TV right now. Moloch has taken so much from her – he took her sister, he took her mentor, and now he’s taken her away from her sister and partner again. Yet she keeps fighting. Nicole Beharie did such a fantastic job in this episode. You could see her trying to fight off the worry that she’d be left alone again by Ichabod saving Katrina and it made my heart ache. But when she thought that they needed Katrina to prevent the Second Horseman from rising, she didn’t hesitate to sacrifice herself. She realized that she’s not alone any more and because of that, she was ready to take on Moloch. She trusted in Jenny and in Ichabod’s connection with her and even in Katrina’s promise.

Continue reading Season Finale Review: Sleepy Hollow

Best of 2013: New Shows

This has been a great year for TV. I love that there were so many great new shows that they warranted their own list even if I didn’t get to as many as I wanted. I love the shift away from the antihero that happened this year and what it means for this new era of TV and I love the complexity and diversity of characters that we got to see this year. So in no particular order, here were my picks for the best new shows of the year.

Masters of Sex I have not shut up about this show since September but I will happily talk about it some more. I love this show. I love learning about the research of Masters and Johnson, the acting is fantastic, and I have completely fallen in love with the women on the show. It is a show that manages to combine my academic love for sex research with my love for great characters so it’s pretty much perfect for me.

Orphan Black It’s impossible to talk about this show without highlighting the incredible work that Tatiana Maslany is doing on it. It is really a testament to her that I’m able to forget that she’s playing several different characters. However, it also says a lot about the show that her talent isn’t the only thing that makes the show great. All of the clones are genuinely interesting characters, Felix is just the greatest in general, and I was completely drawn into the story.

Orange is the New Black If you like shows that feature complex female characters, stop what you are doing and watch Orange is the New Black if you haven’t already. I loved the use of flashbacks to show how some of the characters got to where they are today and I cannot wait to see more of them in season 2. These characters aren’t just criminals – they are allowed to be people with hopes and fears and insecurities and strengths. We understand them and fall in love with them as Piper’s perspective widens and she starts to care for them as well. On a lesser show, Suzanne would have remained Crazy Eyes and Tiffany Doggett would have remained Pennsatucky the religious nut. It is this show’s commitment to its characters and telling the stories of women that are rarely shown on television that make this show such a success.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Parks and Rec is my favorite show so it wasn’t a huge surprise that I would enjoy another show by the same people. Just like Parks and Rec, it is funny and warm at the same time. Captain Holt cracks me up with his complete lack of expression at anything and Andre Braugher plays him perfectly. It feels like it’s been around for longer than half a season because the characters all feel fully formed and that’s something to be impressed by.

Trophy Wife This show was an unexpected treat. The name is a bit off-putting at at first glance, the characters seem like they could be one-dimensional but that hasn’t been the case at all as the season develops. They are an unconventional family but that is exactly what they are – all 4 adults and 3 children. It’s warm, funny, and gave me one of my new favorite Christmas episodes of TV.

Continue reading Best of 2013: New Shows

Episode of the Week: November 3rd-9th

Once again, it was another great week of TV.  Taye Diggs made a memorable appearance on New Girl and the show welcomed back Coach, Diane Lockhart had her heart broken by Peter passing her over for the Supreme Court and broke all of our hearts in the process, Caitlin Fitzgerald and Allison Janney shone on Masters of Sex, and Adam Lambert reminded me just how much I love his voice on Glee.

While there were probably “better” episodes of TV this week from a critical standpoint, none made me as happy as this week’s episode of Sleepy Hollow. I even watched it twice, which is something I very rarely do.

The baseball scene was utter perfection. Abbie explaining to Ichabod what she loved about baseball told us so much about her character. She values the comfort of consistancy, recognizes the importance of partnership (a key theme in the episode), and believes that opportunities should be available for anyone without discrimination. On top of that, it was just a hilarious scene. My smile was just as big as Abbie’s was when Ichabod started yelling at the umpire. It was a nice way to start the episode and shows how close Ichabod and Abbie have become.

The partnership between Ichabod and Abbie is my favorite part of the show. I love that Abbie explained to Jenny why he’s so important to her and I love that her connection with him was strong enough that the Sin Eater could use her to find him. They are meant to be in each other’s lives, in whatever capacity that happens to be in the future. They are soul mates, though only time will tell whether it ends up as a platonic or romantic relationship. Either way, they are two people who need each other and are better because of the other and that is a type of relationship that I love to see.

It was an episode that made me happy and extremely emotional to watch and some weeks, that means more to me than anything else. I think the plot of the show is interesting but it’s the connection between characters that keeps me coming back. I’d like to see Katrina and Abbie interact more in future episodes because even with the backstory, I’m still not as interested in her as I think I should be. I also need more of Irving in the future, partly because I like him as a character and partly because Orlando Jones is a particularly awesome individual.