So Much Television….

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while. When I started thinking about it, there was a lot more television going on. Now, I suppose,  it is more of a reflection on the highlights of the past six months of television. Now that we have straightened that out, here we go…

Orphan Black – my best new find of 2014 (which is really from 2013.) I missed season one but am now all caught up to season 2.  The most amazing thing about this show is the lead actress who plays at least five cloned versions of herself so well that you forget they are all the same person. Then of course you have mystery and drama and mostly likable characters (including that guy Max Headroom who is not so likable but a cult classic, Sarah’s half brother  who is hilarious and you totally want to be friends with, and the hottie from Nashville and Game of Thrones who I would love to be more than friends with.) Definitely worth watching. Go back and catch up.

The second show I added to my list was Penny Dreadful. I can’t say you should definitely watch this, but the premise is interesting and if you love creepy, monster stuff like I do, you might like it. It is a mish mosh of characters from Irish and British fiction all together in one story…werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray… There was a bit more devil possession going on that I would have liked but there was enough drama to keep me sucked in.

The Walking Dead and Louie were especially awesome this season. It has been so long since The Walking Dead that I can’t remember the details, but I remember being back in to it after not loving it so much last season. That Pamela is a piece of work, but I like her for Louie. The flashback to Louie’s teenage spiral in to the drugs and how he didn’t have the perfect answer to keep his daughter from going down the same path, except a hug. Hugs are awesome. The world could use more hugs.

The Americans had a stellar second season. Being a spy is very complicated. Being a spy in a time of typewriters and land lines is quite a challenge. Being a Russian spy with American children..phew! What will happen to Paige next season? Will she be forced to give up her newly found Christian community to join her parents as a next generation Russian spy?

The Bachelorette – I have given up on pretending I am not going to watch this show.  As ridiculous as it is, I always get sucked in. Every season I wonder..what if I were the Bachelorette? Could I actually pretend to be super excited about all of those dates? Wouldn’t it be cool to have wardrobe and makeup 24×7 for three months? Could I really make out with so many different guys in the same week? How did she not know on Day 1 who she would end up with? What the heck would I do for my hometown date? How does she remember what she is going to say at every rose ceremony? Right now I am wondering….Josh or Nick?

Big Brother – just like the Bachelorette I am once again hooked on this insanity. I am equally fascinated by observing these people’s behaviors as I am about the editing decisions made to tell the story. I think my dream job would be to work on this show. I just want to see how it all works! I could do with fewer competitions though. As creative as they can be, they are ridiculously stupid. Clearly I am not the key demographic for this show. Middle America must love these competitions, because they added a third weekly competition this year. Right now, I am rooting for Frankie, the smartest and most entertaining house guest this year (brother of Ariana Grande but this man stands on his own.)

Mad Med was its usual awesome self.  Parenthood tugged at my heartstrings most weeks. This is one of my absolutely favorite shows that I don’t list on OK Cupid as a fav because its just not as cool as saying, say, Game of Thrones.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, wouldn’t it be fun to see Jamie, Cersie, Tyrion, Arya Stark, Daenerys,Margery, Sansa, Lord Varys, Brienne of Tarth, John Snow, Lord Baelish all in the Big Brother House? Who would be able to build the longest word out of wooden letters shaped like lice (in the Miami Lice competition) that they have to fish through a pool to find? I can say that none of them would have trouble being a “have not” which requires eating an oatmealish food called slop for a week, sleeping in uncomfortable beds, and taking cold showers.

I did not love American Horror Story this season. Jessica Lange was awesome as always but the witch thing just didn’t do it for me. That show tends to go just a little bit too far sometimes, even for me. I got sucked in to 24 Live Another Day (because I loved 24), and initially, I was totally in to it is dragging on and I am ready for it to be over, for good.  Scandal was fun as always with lots of twists and turns.  Definitely a must watch.

Finally watching True Detective. I clearly should have watched this instead of 24: Live Another Day, but sometimes, I make stupid entertainment decisions. I am back on track now, and loving it.

I also finally watched The Normal Heart this weekend on HBO (the story of the start of the AIDS epidemic in NYC and the founding of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis). Amazing. Watch it if you get the chance.

I had a lot to catch up on. Hopefully you stuck with me. Before I go, I will mention that I just started watching The Leftovers (right up my alley, mysterious, troubled, sad characters, sci fi element to it. If that’s your thing set your DVR.). Masters of Sex, Ray Donovan, and The Bridge will be back soon….but I will try to get out of the house this summer. Really, I will.

Big Brother 15: These People Are Crazy

This is the 15th season I have been watching Big Brother. I remember watching season 1 from a hotel room when I was a consultant. I didn’t even have a TiVo back then. At the time I had one of those VCRs that fast forwarded through the commercials. That thing was amazing.

Back to BB15.

The contestants this year, are more annoying than ever. First of all, super annoying Rachel’s sister is a house guest. (That would be Rachel of Rachel and Brandon fame, otherwise known as Brachel.) We already had to watch this unbelievably annoying woman on TWO seasons of Big Brother and now we have to watch her sister who has the same annoying voice? Ugh!

Where is the older and wiser person to keep everyone sane (especially those of us watching)? This is just a bunch of crazy, stupid young people! There were three showmances going in week 1! These crazy, stupid young people are mean and they lie. One horrible chick could not wait 45 minutes for a drink so she drank all of the wine that the poor “have nots” had been waiting until midnight to have and then lied about it straight out.  (FYI “have nots” have to eat slop – which is like oatmeal, can not consume alcohol,  take cold showers, and sleep in a very uncomfortable room for a week.) After that she apparently said racist things about the Asian woman she stole the wine from. (This all happened on the live feeds where you can pay to watch every minute of what these people are doing. I do not pay for this. I am not completely crazy. I read about it on Twitter.)

The first alliance is called “The Moving Company”. The fact that the alliances need a name, is just silly, and there have been some ridiculous alliance names, but this one is pretty bad. I loved the Quack Pack last year, mostly because they realized this was a stupid name…I think! Obviously, “Chill Town” was the best alliance, ever.

Of course, this all makes great TV that is a complete waste of my time. My favorite quote from the first show came from a pizza delivery boy who is turning out to be my favorite player so far. “I don’t aspire to anything except being the best damn delivery boy there as ever been.”

Clearly, you don’t want to miss BB15.

Dan Rocks the Big Brother House

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This week, BB14 fans witnessed the most unbelievable move in the history of Big Brother. It was shocking, masterfully played, and hugely successful.

Dan, the winner of Big Brother 10 is back in the house for season 14. A few weeks ago, five players formed an alliance called the “Quack Pack” (alliance’s in Big Brother are way cooler when they have a name — e.g. Chilltown and The Brigade.) Ian, part of the Quack Pack, betrayed former teammates Frank and Boogie but Dan (also in the Quack Pack) was assumed to be the perpetrator and took the blame. Dan did not sell out his ally Ian and this made him a huge target. This week, he found himself on the block at the hand of Frank. (FYI – Players on the block may get voted out, if they do not get removed from the block by the power of veto.)

In this week’s veto competition, players had to accept punishments to win points. Dan took a punishment of a 24 hour solitary dance party (which of course, means he was locked in a room alone for 24 hours with dance music playing.)  There was no dancing, he used that time to think. And boy did he think. When he emerged, he made the biggest big brother play EVER.

1. He gathered all of the house guests for “Dan’s funeral” and said heartfelt goodbyes to everyone as if he believed he was going to be voted off.  The entire house was in tears, including hot Shane (aka Captain America.)

2. Especially tearful was Dan’s closest ally Danielle whom he called out saying she had betrayed him. “You know what you did and you are dead to me,” pretty harsh. She had not betrayed him in any way and could not figure out why he said that. She was a blubbering mess and received lots of consolation from hot Shane. (Shane really is hot.)

3. Dan then called his worst enemy, and head of household (who has all of the power for the week), Frank in to a private meeting  saying he wanted to read something to him from the Bible (the only book allowed in the Big Brother house). He instead used the Bible to swear on as he revealed the Quack Pack and Ian’s role in the betrayal.  He then convinced Frank (his WORST enemy!) to take him OFF the block and replace him with Brittany, one of Dan’s Quack Pack allies (who, also, by the way, is hilarious and will be missed.)  Note: Although Frank was rip roaring mad at Ian, Ian could not be put on the block because he held one of two power of vetos this week.  This game is complicated, I know, stay with me.

4. Jenn, Frank’s newest ally (and my current favorite player,) held an unusual second power of veto this week so Frank convinced Jenn to use her veto to take Dan off the block and Frank replace him with Brittany.

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5. Finally, Dan pulls Danielle (the blubbering mess) aside and explains to her that she has NOT betrayed his trust and this was all a ploy to keep her safe because SHE is also on the block and if everyone feels super sorry for her, they will vote Brittany off instead of Danielle. Brilliant.

Did I mention that all of this played out while Frank was wearing a carrot suit, one of his punishments for the week?

This was the most amazing thing that has ever happened on Big Brother. Master manipulation at its best. People, can you NOT see how dangerous Dan is? Vote him out!!!!! But now, Brittany is gone, Dan remains, and this week has gone down in Big Brother history (see Entertainment Weekly).

You either saw the episode and have relived it through my not so masterful story telling, you have been moderately entertained by my rendition, or you don’t care. But as a Big Brother fan, and an amateur TV blogger, this event could not go unmentioned on the Tales of a Recovering TVaholic blog.

Perhaps we should all try a 24 hour solitary dance party to solve our biggest problems! Who’s in?

Big Brother is Baaack!

As you may or may not recall, I love Big Brother. Every year, I expect to be over it, but so far, not over it. ABC is attempting to copy Big Brother with this show called The Glass House.  I checked it out.  It was HORRIBLE.  As I was watching the first episode of Big Brother 14 today, I tried to pay close attention to what is is that I love about it. Wow, I have been watching this show for 14 years!

I love the voice of the guy that opens and closes the show explaining the game and talking about what has happened and what is going to happen. He never gets any love.  It’s always about Julie the Chen-bot. Sure the Chen-bot is the one that gets to reveal the twists, talk to the house guests over the video cam, and conduct the hard hitting exit interviews. But Big Brother would not be Big Brother without the “Big Brother voice”. His announcements are always perfectly timed with the theme music that crescendo’s right at the end.  I guess the music engineers make that happen.  So they rock, too!

Watching Big Brother is like coming home every summer.  The house always has pretty much the same layout, but it get’s redecorated every summer. Just enough to be familiar but also new and fresh. This year, the house has a Tokyo theme. Cool. (Of course it’s a television set with 53 cameras and 98 microphones, not a house).

Big Brother has really good casting. The cast on The Glass House was not appealing.  How much is casting vs editing, I can’t be sure. They do peak your interest in the 1 minute spots that show the cast in their home environments as they get the word they are coming to the house.  I wonder how many times they have to shoot those “Woo Hoo! I’m going to Big Brother” scenes? They have one hour to pack the one bag they can bring which is ridiculous. Of course, anyone who applies for Big Brother must start planning out what they are going to bring the minute they submit their application, right?

This year’s twist…wait for it….they are bringing back former players (again) but this year, they are coaching the new house guests, who are competing, as always, for $500,000.  The coaches each get 3 players to coach and if one of their players wins, they get $100,000.  They teased me for a minute hinting that Dr. Will, the most awesome Big Brother player of all time who won season 2, might be coming back, but no. His BFF Mike Boogie is back though. Chill town is represented. I would watch that season again, and I don’t like to watch anything twice (except Dirty Dancing, Grease, When Harry Met Sally, and Love Actually, of course.) I just learned, by the way, that Dr. Will had a baby with and probably married Erin Brodie, the winner from the one-season reality show, “For Love or Money.” Fascinating. Not really, I guess.

I digress.  This is a cool twist. I am very curious to see how this pans out.  How do they think of this stuff?  I used to want to be ON Big Brother, but I don’t think they let introverts on the show. Now, I think I want to hang out with the people who MAKE the show.  That would be cool!

Another season of drama, fun, and betrayal….three nights a week!  Happy summer!

I Love Big Brother

I have not been excited enough about anything recently to blog about it…until now.  Big Brother is back.  I love Big Brother.

I don’t know what it is about this reality show that I love, but we have about two months to thoroughly analyze it.  Let’s begin.

I have watched every season of Big Brother which makes this my 13th season.  By the end of the summer, I feel like these people are my friends.  We hang out together three times a week.  It is crazy to watch them cooped up together, try to entertain themselves, and talk about each other behind their backs (that might be my favorite part.)

I could live without the cheesy competitions, but what the heck else would they do without the crazy back yard antics?  (Right now, they are hanging on large fake Bananas to see who will hang on the longest while getting squirted with chocolate. Good times.)

Every year, I get so excited I think I should definitely apply to be in this show because I am its biggest fan.  Then I remember the many reason why that would be a disaster (starting with the fact that I would probably have a panic attack the minute I walked in the door .)  Although the life inside my head is fascinating, I don’t think I could convince anyone that I am interesting enough to be on a reality show (except maybe my sister.)

I love the twists.  I was there in the beginning when the show itself was a twist, but every year, they bring in something new.  This year, the 8 new house guests (who all seem super cool, perhaps because their intros were less cheesy than in years past) were forced to team up and play as a pair, with a stranger, in their first hour in the house.

THEN they brought back three dynamic duos from past seasons.  Awesome!  Jeff and Jordan who fell in love in the house two years ago.  Super sweet and fun to watch.  Brachel…yuck.  Annoying Brendan and his now fiance Rachel  who also fell in love in the house and are two of the most annoying people on the planet.  (She says things like “No one comes between me and my Banana.” ugh!) And finally, Evil Dick and his daughter Danielle.   Evil Dick is very cool and also a a*&.  He and his daughter are pretending to not be speaking (I think.)   The only thing that would be better is bringing back Dr. Will.   Sadly, no Dr. Will.

Very excited for this season.  Expect to hear a lot about it!!!

What is up with this blog again?

You might be thinking…”I thought this blog was supposed to be about your quest to watch LESS television.  All you post about is TV!”  Great observation.  I realized, as I started blogging, that I can’t write truly honest posts about people I know and things we do together!  It is exactly the same reason I can’t go on Big Brother.  I would be afraid to say anything mean in the Diary Room and then I would be just boring boring and CBS would probably try to convince the other house guests to vote me out.   I don’t want to get voted off WordPress and I love having fans.   I can say anything I want about imaginary characters and I don’t know anyone who produces, writes for, or acts in TV shows so for now, I am safe.  If this becomes a HUGE super popular blog, I might start getting in trouble (ie Perez Hilton), but that seems highly unlikely with my current traffic.  I don’t write long super insightful commentary or TV recaps.  I just write the random thoughts I have about my friends on the small screen.    Maybe after I warm up with the universally loved topic of television, and get people hooked on my unique form of commentary, I will branch out more.    It also just depends on what inspires me and formulates itself as a blog post in my mind.   Right now, it is TV, but it seems possible that I could  run out of witty things to say about the imaginary people.  Only time will tell.  I do have a unique ability to tie pretty much every life experience to television so that might be a good way to ease in to it.   I am really trying to cut back on the TV and I can tell you that blogging takes up quite a bit of time that could have otherwise been spent watching TV so this has been a fruitful pursuit already!