About Me

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Hi, I'm Jenna and I'm addicted to great television. I'm on a mission to share with you what I think are the best of the best when it comes to shows and mini-series. Long format visual storytelling is my entertainment of choice. I've got a lot to say, so stay tuned..... P.S. I am under some sort of invisible legal obligation to state that I do not own any of the photos posted herein unless otherwise specified and if you see any of your images and would like me to credit you or take it down (‘cus you’re just a meanie), please contact me

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ten Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite TV Fanatic

It's that magical time of year again when we buy stuff for each other to prove how much we care. Here are some fun gifts for TV lovers that have the exact same taste that I do!

"Archer" - ISIS Business Card Case - $17.95
Want people to know you're a super awesome, super secret agent without giving away national secrets? Then you need the ISIS Business Card Case. Be sure to keep it stocked for all your networking events. You never know when you'll need to slip your number to the hottie at the bar/fellow clandestine operative.

"Dexter" - Glass Coasters (set of 6) - $23.99
If you're anything like Dexter Morgan, you hate messes. Keep the water rings off your tables with these super cool blood spatter glass coasters complete with trophy case. Great for Dexter viewing parties and conversation starters for when Grandma visits.
 "Falling Skies" - 2nd Mass Water Bottle - $19.95
You sure can get thirsty when you're hiking down the East Coast after the alien invasion or even around Runyon Canyon. Show your support for the resistance by drinking all your beverages from the official 2nd Mass Water Bottle.

"Game of Thrones" - Sword Letter Opener - $19.99
Open your mail in style, whether you're the King of the North or a banished Targaryen Princess. Also comes in handy if you're attacked by a Lannister in your study. Always be prepared.

"The IT Crowd" - T-Shirt - $21.99
The only item on this list from a show not currently on the air, but hey, I just discovered it this year. So many great quote t-shirts. Others favorites on Cafe Press include "Memory IS RAM", "Have you tried turning it off and on again?", "I came here to drink milk and kick ass, and I just finished my milk". Nothing clever here, just a plug for this hilarious British show that is streaming on Netflix and other places I'm sure. My best discovery of the year.

"Nashville" - Original Soundtrack - $12.98 
*Released on Dec. 11th
Enjoying this show was the biggest shocker of the year for me. You couldn't pay me a million dollars to listen to twangy country music, but there is something brilliant in the music of T-Bone Burnett that attracts even the biggest of country haters. Beautiful songs by all contributors.

"Parks & Rec" - Lil' Sebastian Plush - $19.00
If you're still grieving the loss of Pawnee's favorite pony, remember him with this plush toy. Almost life size!
"Sherlock" - I AM SHERLOCKED iPhone Case - $15.00
Not only am I Sherlocked, much like Irene Adler, but I'm Cumberbatched. We, in the States may have to wait til 2014 for the next installment, but don't you want a daily reminder? To show your devotion to the surly sleuth from the other side of the pond, you'd encase your device with no other, obviously. 
"Sons of Anarchy" - Reaper Crew Hoodie - $59.95
Ok, so maybe you can't pull off walking around town wearing a cut, but you can still look like a Son with one of these awesome Reaper Crew Hoodies....just like Jax wears ; ) Start bleaching your sneakers and dig out that old bandana, you're SAMCRO now!
"The Walking Dead" - T-Shirt - $27.99
Who wouldn't take advice from Daryl Dixon during the zombie apocalypse? All the men want to be him. All the ladies want to clean his crossbow. If you want to survive a herd of walkers, Keep Calm and Carry a Crossbow. Check out all the great T-Shirts like, "Walker Bait", "What Would Daryl Dixon Do?", and "Where's Merle?". 

***BONUS*** A free gift for you just for playing along.
Downton Abbey Paper Dolls! 
You may have seen these already, but I just found them the other day. Print out for hours of fun with the Dowager Countess, Ladies Sybil & Mary, Matthew Crawley, O'Brien and that bastard Thomas. Reenact scenes from seasons one and two while we anxiously await the January premiere of season three!
Wait....was that Mr. Pamuk?

Feel free to add your suggestions.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Initial Impressions - New Fall Dramas

I'm no expert, I just know what I like. Take it or leave it. 

"666 Park Avenue" - ABC is now full on in the supernatural genre. It's a little soapy. It's a little thriller. It's a little devil at the crossroads. The biggest draw for me was Terry O'Quinn. His guest spots on "Hawaii Five-0" haven't satisfied my withdrawal from "Lost" and John Locke. Glad to see him in a killer role he can sink his teeth into. In my opinion, O'Quinn always raises the bar. Hope everyone else can meet him there. That being said, still not sure about this one yet. Obviously I've got a crush on Terry and Dave Annable's not too shabby, but I haven't decided on the female lead yet. Not loving her. There's a fine line with shows like this. They can be either really engaging or over the top. Please refer to "Supernatural" as an example of the former. ABC - Sundays at 10/9c

"Elementary" - I almost didn't give it a try. Masterpiece's "Sherlock" is an all-time favorite. How could I possibly love anyone else as much as Benedict Cumberbatch in this legendary role (even though I heart Jonny Lee Miller)? And Watson as a woman? I consider myself a bit of a feminist, but when they cast Lucy Liu, I was a bit put off. Never been a huge fan. Guess what. It works. I actually enjoyed the first episode. Sherlock is a tattoo covered addict living off of Daddy's money and Watson is his sober companion. Decent way to update the story. I guess it's the character that's hooked me. It's definitely got potential and I think it'll fit in on The Eye. Are you Sherlocked?
CBS - Thursdays at 10/9c

"Last Resort" - Shawn Ryan has won my heart back. Haven't been a fan of his shows since "The Shield" but I have very high hopes for this one. Even though it's no where near the same genre, I had that Lost feeling. Maybe it was the tropical setting or maybe.... just maybe, ABC's got something golden here.  I love shows that really make you think about morality and ethics. Shows like this ask the questions that hopefully we'd never have to answer in our own lives, but it's eye opening to discuss (in a safe place, like crowded around the water cooler). In the opening ep, a submarine crew must decide whether or not to follow orders to fire a nuclear missile. Andre Braugher is perfectly cast as leader, giving a very powerful performance. Slightly reminiscent of President Palmer. Two thumbs way up.  ABC - Thursdays at 8/7c

"Revolution" - Survival stories make great drama. Whether there is a worldwide black out, a plague, or zombies, it's fascinating to watch what people will do to stay alive. I'm crossing my fingers on this one. I love nearly everything J.J. Abrams touches and Eric Kripke is the creator of "Supernatural" which if you couldn't tell, I'm a giant fan of. Unfortunately, recent Emmy winner Giancarlo Esposito is the only cast member I like....and he's the bad guy! I'll keep trying, but this one might have to up the ante to win me over.
NBC - Mondays at 10/9c

 "Vegas" - Michael Chiklis! Michael Chiklis! Michael Chiklis! Ok, I got that out of my system. Soooo Michael Chiklis is in this show. So is Dennis Quaid. Baby Vegas is the backdrop for this true story of lawman vs. mobster. I'm not sure yet. Obviously I want to like this show, but it's very CBS at least as of the first episode. Seems like my mom would like it, which means it's got a G rating compared to the television I usually watch. There's definitely potential. The early days of Sin City could provide some very seedy storylines if CBS is willing to go there. My general feeling is that they tend to hold back. To not offend their core demographic. I can imagine what HBO or even FX would do with this story. It's oooozing drama. I may not be your core demographic, CBS, but please offend me. CBS - Tuesdays at 10/9c

I'm a gritty drama fan. More "Sons of Anarchy" than "Law & Order". The majority of the television I watch is on cable and premium channels, but these could be some good network additions. What do you think? Early favorites?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Initial Impressions - New Fall Comedies

 I'm no expert, I just know what I like. Take it or leave it.

"Animal Practice" - Wackiness ensues in a ridiculously huge animal hospital in New York City. Justin Kirk and Joanna Garcia Swisher lead the cast as exes who now have to work together. Their quirky co-workers (including a monkey) and rowdy patients keep things lively. I wasn't going to give this one a chance, but I got bored one day and said what the hell. The first two episodes weren't terrible. I can't say this will be a staple in my TV schedule, but I've always loved Joanna Garcia and let's face it, monkeys are funny. I'll give it a few more eps. If it falls into all the cliches as it easily could, I'll have to put it to sleep.  NBC - Wednesdays at 8/7c

"Ben and Kate" - Fox has been on a roll with comedies in the last couple of years. The latest addition to their Tuesday night line up follows Ben as he moves in with sister Kate to raise her five year old daughter Maddie, who incidentally steals the show. The pilot was funny and endearing, yet so-so. It has potential. That kid is spectacular and I really liked the supporting cast. This could be a great pairing for "Raising Hope".
FOX - Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c

"Go On" - Yet another sitcom attempt by Matthew Perry. I watched the double ep premiere and wasn't impressed. I planned on giving it one more try, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don't care for Matthew Perry being the same character for the eighteenth time since "Friends". I wish he would try something else like "Studio 60 on the Sunset Stip". Something that isn't a straight up sitcom. He was really great in that. This just makes me sad.
NBC - Tuesdays at 9/8c

"Guys with Kids" - Three straight men and their babies. I know, by the posters, you thought this was another Hangover sequel, but it's half of NBC's attempt at representing the post-modern American family. I love all three of these guys and Vanessa Huxtable is back! Well, Tempestt Bledsoe is anyway as Anthony Anderson's working wife. I'm not sure about this one. I want to like it, but the laugh track/live studio audience makes it reeeeaaaallly hard. Why won't the networks let go of that format? Move on, we're passed it.
NBC - Wednesdays 8:30/7:30c

"The Mindy Project" - Totally stood up to my expectations! I've loved Mindy Kaling's work on "The Office" for years, not to mention her tweets. She's got a fresh voice reminiscent of "New Girl" creator Liz Meriwether but with her own spin on being a young professional trying to find her way. "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" are two peas in an awesome pod that make me count down the days until Tuesday night. Check. It. Out. NOW.
FOX - Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c

"The Neighbors" - This sitcom about a family that moves into a gated community of aliens is too stupid to even try. If you watched even five minutes of it, I just lost respect for you.

If you haven't, I'm not going to tell you what time it's on. You've got better things to do.

"The New Normal" - The other half of NBC's post-modern American family experiment is the one that you probably heard about on the news before the pilot aired. David and Bryan are a successful (and attractive) gay couple living in Los Angeles that decide to they want a baby. Enter Goldie. A young woman who's trying to make a better life for her nine year old daughter after getting knocked up as a teenager. Ellen Barkin is Goldie's loud mouth, republican GRANDmother who whole-heartedly disapproves of what Goldie's chosen to do with her womb. Maybe middle America will ruin it, but I think this could be a hit. So far, I'm really enjoying it. Give it try.
NBC - Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c

"Partners" - This is CBS' so-called gamble comedy. Gay characters on CBS! Oh no! Doesn't seem all that risky to me, but props to The Eye for finally going there. It's based on the friendship and professional partnership of the "Will & Grace" creators. I like the premise. I love Michael Urie and David Krumholtz. I even like the opening titles. I can't stand Sophia Bush, the cardboard Brandon Routh or the laugh track. This one could be a struggle. I want to like it, but there is so much working against it for my taste. I'll give it a few weeks and see how it goes, but I can't promise I'll be all that tolerable. Die, laugh track, die!

I don't usually like to predict because I hate being wrong, but I'm going to go ahead and call it. "The Neighbors" will be cancelled before the fifth episode airs. I think I'm being quite generous without having seen it.

What do you guys think?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Random Musings of a TV Addict

The older I get, the more I procrastinate. I guess to get myself back in the swing of writing, I'm just going to put down some random thoughts about television in the new year.

"House" is coming to an end after eight seasons. It's the only show that I can remember hitting it's prime in season 6. I'm a little behind due to Monday night traffic on my DVR, but I hear last week's ep was one of the series' best. As of right now, my opinion is that the season 6 premiere where House is in the mental hospital is the best episode of the entire series. How often can you say that? With the departure of key cast members, it feels right that it ends. Just hope they make it satisfying. 

Idris Elba wins the Golden Globe! These two seasons of "Luther" have been some of the best hours television ever. No, I'm not exaggerating. If you haven't seen Elba's performance, find a ruler or stick like object and smack your hand. You deserved that.

I wasn't sure about "New Girl"after watching the pilot, last fall. It was funny, but there was too much quirk. The writers have since toned it down and focused on the interaction of these four Los Angeles roommates. Result - once a week (when there aren't reruns) I nearly pee my pants and/or hyperventilate from laughing so hard. If you are 17ish - 35 I highly recommend it. It's a bit too hip and young for the old folks.

"Justified" is back. Once again, I hope this will be the year that Walton Goggins is recognized for his amazing talent. Figured it would be hard to top last year's banner season with Margo Martindale but season 3 is well on it's way. One thing I can count on besides great guest stars like Neil McDonough, Jere Burns, Todd Stashwick, and James Le Gros is that I will always be surprised.

"NCIS" just celebrated 200 episodes. Quite a feat. I've been asked by non watchers how the hell a run of the mill procedural has stayed on the air so long. My answer - the wonderfully dysfunctional family dynamic unlike any other on television. No one watches "NCIS" for the weekly case, it's the characters and their interaction. Oh, and Mark Harmon's hair.

"The Fades" airing on BBC America's Supernatural Saturdays is my new favorite other worldly series. They've got a new take on ghosts - body regeneration. With a complex mythology unlike any I've come across before "The Fades" has me hooked. Only problem is that there are only six eps in the first season and it's uncertain whether there will be a second. Think "Skins" meets "Supernatural".

MTV is back on my radar (for the first time since I was 14). I raved about "Awkward" last summer and now another dirty scripted comedy has caught my eye. Based on the novel of the same name "I Just Want My Pants Back" follows a group of twentysomethings in NYC being very naughty and looking for something more. I'm not sure raunchy is the best descriptor, but MTV sure doesn't pull any punches on this one. Only seen the first 2 eps, but I'll be back for more.

The other reason I haven't been blogging lately is because I joined Twitter a few months back. It's so much easier to tweet random thoughts than to wait until I've got enough to say to fill a blog post. If you're already on there, follow me @TVMaven and if you aren't but love television as much as I do, join. It's so great to follow my favorite show runners, actors and other bloggers. I find articles, interviews and a ton of other random links that I wouldn't have on my own. This is a great age for fans. Take advantage.