Leslie Made Me a Believer in ‘Parks and Recreation’

parks-and-recreation-tv-movie-poster-2009-1020482255After seeing Jurassic World I really wanted to check out Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer) in Parks and Recreation. I watched him in Everwood years ago and he was great in the new Jurassic installment.

Parks and Recreation may be over now, but with Netflix it’s never too late to get hooked on a show.

I also enjoyed Amy Poehler (Leslie Knope) co-hosting the Golden Globes, so it was really about time I check out her show.

In the first episode I wasn’t sure what to think. It was such a bizarre show. Leslie was so dedicated to her job and she’s got some pretty good ideas, but she’s also kind of clueless. She gets little respect in the office and from her mom.

Chris’ characters was basically like his Everwood character all grown up. I was a little disappointed after his Jurassic Park character.

I wasn’t hooked at all from the first episode, but I kept going. And I’m very glad I did.

The humor and the show didn’t really change as the first season progressed, but it really grew on me.

It’s kind of like a strange reality TV show. I’m not use to characters looking straight at the camera, but it added to the quirkiness of the show.

I get that no one cares about local government. I’ve never really thought about any redevelopment like turning the pit into a park. It’s a really good idea, but I can’t imagine actually going to the town hall meeting or doing anything to make it happened. I want this park to happen though. Leslie has somehow got me invested in this project.

She’s also got other people invested in the project too.

I really like Rashida Jones’ character Ann Perkins. She started out as a very angry civilian because her boyfriend fell in the pit, but now Leslie has changed her mind about government. Ann believes in government again or at least in Leslie.

Ann is also the only sane person on the show. Though considering she’s dating Andy, maybe she’s not that sane. Andy is a slob that sings in a band and well Ann is too old and too smart to be going through the rock star phase.

Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) is the worst boss ever. He does as little as possible and would rather do even less. But Leslie has even sparked something in him too. He stood up for her in a disciplinary hearing.

Leslie is not the kind of government employee to get in trouble. She’s a very straight arrow. But she has a big crush on Mark (Paul Schneider) and when it comes to him she doesn’t think clearly.

A hard rule is that they can’t accept expensive gifts. The office got a big gift basket and Leslie was keeping it in her office so no one opened it. But then Leslie and Ann were drinking with the boys and the beer ran out, but Leslie didn’t want the night to end, so she opened the basket and drank the wine.

She felt so ashamed for her actions and was punishing herself more than anyone else was. That would have been the end of it, except the 19-year-old intern, April (Aubrey Plaza), drank some of the wine, videoed it and put it on the website to create the park because she was bored. That’s when Leslie was really in trouble. 

The journey to turn the pit into a park is still going and I will definitely watch season two to find out if Leslie can pull it off.

You can watch the entire series on Netflix and Hulu.

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Obsessed with ‘Pretty Little Liars’

Pretty_Little_Liars_new_poster_season_5_July_2014I put off watching ‘Pretty Little Liars’ for a long time. I thought I was too old to watch a high school show. And you know you’re old when the mother of the stars was the star in one of your teen shows (Holly Marie Combs played Piper Halliwell on ‘Charmed’ and plays one of the Liars’ mothers, Ella Montgomery). What I didn’t realize was how beyond high school the storyline went and when you stop to think that they are just teenagers, it makes the plot even more suspenseful.

In the first season I got stuck on some of the truly high school moments, but I kept watching and by the second season I was addicted. I only started watching the series a few weeks ago and I’ve already caught all the way up to season six. I’m actually a bit sad that I’m up-to-date with the show, that means I can no longer just press play. How can I possibly wait weekly for another clue about who ‘A’ is?! I finally know what everyone is talking about.

I love the four little liars, but I think I like Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) and Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) the best. I love how competitive Spencer is. She’ll do just about anything to win. The mystery of ‘A’ has got her so twisted up that everything that was important to her has been forgotten. She fixates on one thing until she gets all the answers. This sometimes gets on my nerves, but it definitely propels the storyline. This trait has been seen more and more with the other liars too throughout the series.

I like Aria because she’s really smart about literary things, which I think is what brought her and Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) together. I’ve enjoyed watching their romance and all the obstacles they’ve had to break through. And this girl knows how to dress. All the liars have great taste in fashion. They all have their distinct style. Aria and Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) are my favorite liars for fashion. I don’t think I’ve seen an outfit on these girls I didn’t like. 

The only little liar I really don’t like is Hanna. She has no filter and I get mad at how incentive she can be. She does some really stupid things, but she has a really big heart. Sometimes she needs to take a moment to think about what she’s going to say and do. While Hanna may be my least favorite liar, I really like her relationship with Caleb Rivers (Tyler Blackburn). Just like all of the boyfriends on the show, Caleb would do anything for Hanna. She’s grown a lot with him and it’s nice that she has someone looking out for her, with all of the mistakes she makes. But at least those mistakes are made with the best intentions. 

Most TV shows have couples together for a season or two, especially teen shows. ‘PLL’ has prolonged all of the relationships. Most of the relationships have spanned most of the series. They’ve been off and on, but always find their way back to each other. Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) is the only one that’s had the most relationships on the show. I’ve enjoyed watching Emily find her way. It’s hard for me to pick favorites. I say I like Aria and Spencer the best, but I also really like Emily. I think in any given episode my favorite character can change. It depends on what they are going through and the character development happening. There is a lot of character development that goes on and the actors really do a great job when the characters are at their breaking points. 

The writing on this show is great. I can love a character and then the writers can make me hate the character and go back to liking them again. The writers really know how to pull at my emotions.

There’s been so many possibilities for ‘A’, but at this point when the writers give us a clue about a particular person, I assume they’re not ‘A’. It’s clear that the real ‘A’ won’t be revealed until the end at this point.

I wonder if the writers have known who ‘A’ is from the beginning. There’s been so many clues at this point, I just want them all to add up. I hope they’ve known who ‘A’ is all along. The story and suspense has just been building since the beginning.

It started out with ‘A’ bullying them with their secrets and it’s turned into murder and kidnapping. Whoever ‘A’ is, they have some major pull to frame the girls for murder and kidnap them right out of police custody.

From the beginning ‘A’ has been using their lies against them and turning the town against them. When Ali returned she seemed to help ‘A’ with his/her agenda. It was just more likes on top of more lies. Haven’t they learned by now that ‘A’ will throw their lies back in their face? Now the liars are truly victims and they are still left out in the cold. What is ‘A”s endgame? Will he/she stop when they are all destroyed or dead?

I was sucked into this ‘Gossip Girl’ meets ‘Veronica Mars’ show and now I can’t stop watching the mystery of ‘A’.

Here’s the promo for season six of ‘PLL’:

‘Bloodline’: The Story of Betrayal

Poster-Bloodline-640x847Family is a complicated thing. They can tear themselves apart and put the pieces back together.

‘Bloodline’ tells the story of family and tragedy. The secrets of the Rayburn family come back to haunt them when the oldest son, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), comes home. 

He’s the bad sheep of the family and has never been able to get his life together. Not that any of the Rayburn children are perfect, well John (Kyle Chandler), comes pretty close.

John has always taken care of the family from when he was a kid. Now he’s a detective, happily married with two kids. His life is pretty perfect, until his brother Danny comes back to town.

Meg (Linda Cardellini) may look perfect from the outside, but she’s not. Career wise she’s very successful, she’s a lawyer. Love wise, she’s never been able to settle down. She has a great boyfriend, Marco (Enrique Murciano), who is partner’s with her brother John. They’ve been dating five years and haven’t tied the knot yet. It probably has something to with her commitment issues. In one of the opening scenes she’s seen having sex with a man that isn’t her boyfriend.

Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) is having problems of his own when his brother comes home. He’s separated from his wife, but he hasn’t told anyone yet. He also has a bad temper that gets him in trouble.

The family all comes to together to celebrate the anniversary of their parent’s hotel.

Sally (Sissy Spacek) and Robert (Sam Shepard) run a successful hotel in the Florida Keys and are celebrating 45 years of business and Robert is being honored with a pier being named after him. 

The Rayburns are upstanding citizens in the community. The name commands respect, but they have a secret from their past that is about to come back and haunt them.

This secret will tear them apart and threaten to ruin the entire family.

In the first episode you get to see glimpses of where this dark secret leads them. It leads to John putting Danny’s body in a boat and setting it one fire. It won’t be till the 12th episode that you find out why and how this happens.

The 13 episode first season has a lot of twists and turns while you get to know the Rayburn family and especially Danny.

I didn’t like Danny almost from the moment he arrived in the Keys, as the show went on, he kept rubbing me the wrong way. He seems like he can be charming. He seems like he’s damaged from what happened when they were kids. He seems like he’s lost his way, but maybe there is no saving him at this point.

It becomes harder and harder to sympathize with Danny as the story goes on. I really enjoyed Ben’s portrayal of Danny. He really made you want to hate this guy. He also made you a little scared of Danny too. The oldest Rayburn keeps you on your toes. You never know what he might do next.

Sally never gives up on Danny, she even sides with Danny at times. She’s convinced he’s doing better. The rest of the children try their best to shield their mother from the truth, but it’s just more lies that will haunt the family.

‘Bloodline’ is very addictive, each episode ends leaving you hanging and wanting to know more. The way the story is laid out, it gives you pieces from what happens and walks you through the whole story until it all comes together.

The show is filled with a lot of family drama, suspense and mystery. I was drawn in from episode one and enjoyed every episode after.

The only complaint I have about the show is the language. For some characters it made sense for them to be swearing all the time, but not everyone had to swear that much. Just because you can write it into the script, doesn’t mean you have to.

I don’t know if there will be a second season. The story leaves it open for the possibility, but it could easily end on the note that it did. ‘Bloodline’ ends with just another aspect of the Rayburn family legacy. The legacy is secrets and lies.

Matthew Perry is Back on TV and Acting a Little Like Chandler

Check out this truly 'Odd Couple'.

Check out this truly ‘Odd Couple’.

I’ve read some bad reviews of ‘The Odd Couple’, but I still wanted to check it out for myself.

Matthew Perry is playing a guy that is a mixture of Chandler and Joey in one. Maybe it’s my desperation to have Chandler back in my life, but I really liked Oscar Madison (Matthew).

Oscar is a divorced slob, who has his own radio sports talk show and ghostwrites biographies for sports players. He claims he’s very happy with his single life. At least he is until his old friend, Felix Unger (Thomas Lennon), walked through his door. 

Felix is newly separated from his wife and is not taking it well at all. He is also the complete opposite of Oscar, but maybe the two of them will rub off on each other. Oscar could stand to be a little more emotional and Felix could stand to be a little more care free.

Oscar lets Felix stay with him and in one day Felix cleans the apartment and reveals a very nice home. Oscar can’t believe his eyes. I don’t know if he’s ever seen his apartment clean.

Oscar has been a renewed bachelor since his divorce, but Felix seems to be bringing him back down to reality.

Oscar really wants to have sex with Casey (Leslie Bibb), but Felix keeps getting in the way. Casey’s sister Emily (Lindsay Sloane) is a basket case and has a little crush on Felix. Emily and Felix could be the perfect couple, if either of them could get it together. 

As we learn more about Casey, it’s clear that she’s a lot like Oscar and they’re pretty perfect for each other too.

Oscar has two close friends Teddy (Wendell Pierce) and Roy (Dave Foley). Neither of them are very happy with their lives, misery really likes company in this show. 

Oscar also has an assistant, Dani (Yvette Nicole Brown), who doesn’t really know what to do with either of them. 

Oscar says a lot of things in this show that remind me of Chandler. He doesn’t like sharing his emotions, but he’s a lot luckier with the ladies, which is where the comparison to Joey comes in. If you are missing Chandler and Joey, this could possibly fill the void.

So sit back, and let Matthew Perry make you laugh, once again.

Check out ‘The Odd Couple’ on CBS, Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c.

‘Parenthood’ Reels You In as it Tells the Story of Everyday

parenthood_phood_ad2_www-pizquita-com_0021When I first watched ‘Parenthood’ it didn’t immediately jump off the screen at me. I actually didn’t get through the first episode, but on the second time around I was hooked.

It reminded me a lot of ‘Brothers and Sisters’. These siblings were really close and going through everyday problems. The big difference between these two shows was that ‘Parenthood’ is more grounded in its drama. The writers tell a story of everyday family problems and the characters suck you in.

Lauren Graham (Sarah Braverman) was my biggest draw to this series. I absolutely loved her in ‘Gilmore Girls’. Once again she was playing a single parent, but this time around she was a lot more flawed. Sarah goes through a lot in just one season and there’s so much potential for growth.

Another great thing about this show is the various stages of ‘Parenthood’ these siblings are in. While Sarah is dealing with starting over with her two kids, Adam Braverman (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter) are dealing with their son. Max (Max Burkholder), being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. They are also dealing with their teenage daughter (Sarah Ramos) having her first boyfriend.

The two oldest, Adam and Sarah, certainly have a lot to deal with, but the youngest of the Braverman clan also have issues.

Julia Braverman-Graham (Erika Christensen) is a working mother. She’s a lawyer and loves her job, but she also cherishes the time with her daughter. She finds herself competing against a stay at home mother in her daughter’s play group. She wants to be a successful woman and also super mom. This woman also flirts with Julia’s husband, Joel (Sam Jaeger). This makes things complicated, especially since she’s the mother of their daughter’s best friend.

The youngest, Crosby (Dax Shepard), is still doing his laundry at his parent’s house, but his world gets turned upside down when he finds out he has a five year old son.

‘Parenthood’ is finishing up its six season run on Thursday night. If you haven’t checked this great show out yet, you can watch the first five seasons on Netflix.

I’ve only seen the first season and I’m really excited to dive into the rest of the series.

‘Parenthood’ also stars Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia as the parents, Zeek and Camille. 

The Hunt is on in Season 2 of ‘The Fall’

JDLifeSeason two of ‘The Fall’ started just ten days after the finish of season one. Spector(Jamie Dornan) was in the wind and Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) was having difficulty finding the evidence after his latest attack.

Spector’s latest victim Annie Brawley (Karen Hassan) survived, but she’s too traumatized to remember what happened and who attacked her. So she give’s little help to Stella’s investigation.

Season two takes a very different tone to season one. Through all of season one the audience knows that Spector is the criminal, but the detectives have no idea. In season two the detectives are working on hunting him down and the audience gets to know Spector even more intimately.

At the end of season one Spector told his wife that he was having an affair with the babysitter, Katie Benedetto (Aisling Franciosi). The audience knows this is a lie, but in season two he pursues a very unusual relationship with the young girl, which is fueled by her obsession with him.

It all seems hopeless for Stella, but she follows down every clue and things get really heated when another woman gets abducted and Stella is determined to find her.

What’s so great about this crime drama is that you get to know the criminal really well. You see him be a great father and a great bereavement council and wonder how he could do such brutal and horrible crimes. Spector is smart, charming and good looking. He draws you in and makes you feel at ease.

Not only will Stella be interested in getting to know Spector’s psyche, so she can get her man, he’s very interested in Stella too. Stella is very different than his usual subjects.

‘The Fall’ is such a fresh take on crime shows. The story draws you in as the investigation brings together the clues to show what the audience already knows. The gap of what the detectives know and the audience knows gets smaller and smaller as Stella dives in.

Stella is very calculated in putting the clues together and getting her man. But not everything will go smoothly and there will be set backs in the investigation. Everything is done by the book though. There isn’t so much over dramatization as there is in other crime shows, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be on the edge of your seat, because you will. Season two is a very intense ride with a surprising conclusion. The question is, is that the conclusion for the series or just the case?

‘The Fall’ season two is now on Netflix. Take a look at the preview:

Dive into the World of Pirates in ‘Black Sails’

black-sails-posterIf you loved the ‘Pirate of the Caribbean’ films, then you will probably love ‘Black Sail’. You could kind of call it the R rated version.

The Starz show gives you a good look into the pirate’s world. And it’s a very dirty and dangerous world. It’s every man for themselves and John Silver (Luke Arnold) proves that again and again. You’ll never know who you should trust, so it’s best to protect yourself.

Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) has a big prize he wants to steal, but as the show goes on you learn there’s more to this captain than meets the eye. And does he have everyone’s best interests at heart?

There are some remarkable women in this pirate world too.

Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New) is in charge of pirate trading, well her father is, but she’s in charge when he’s gone. She loves the power. She lives in a world of pirates and she likes to test her boundaries. How far can she push before the pirates push back? Her right hand man, Mr. Scott (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), tries to keep her in check to protect her.

One of the many things that Eleanor has control over is the prostitutes and she keeps Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy) to herself, well at least at the beginning. Eleanor’s love of power will send Max down a very devastating path. And what happens to Max will have a big affect on the entire island.

Anne Bonny (Clara Paget) is one of the other great women on the show. She’s part of Captain Charles Vane’s (Zach McGowan) crew. She just like one the guys and she’s tough.

Vane is linked to a lot of storylines going on. He used to be involved with Eleanor and he has a rivalry with Flint and is tied with Max and what happens to the island. He also provides some eye candy for the ladies. Well, those who like the long haired pirate look and nice abs.

One of my favorite characters was Jack (Toby Schmitz). He’s Vane’s right hand man, but more importantly he’s very, very funny and smart. He tries to advise Vane, but it doesn’t work out so well.

Flint’s right hand man was Gates (Mark Ryan) and he has a little more luck with advising Flint.

There’s a lot of great characters, but there’s also a lot of action and mystery too. You’ll question the characters from episode to episode and you may not like the same characters by the end of season one.

Make sure to check out season one soon, because season two premieres on Starz on January 24 at 9pm.

The First Season of ‘American Horror Story’ May be Predictable, but it’s Very Creepy

American-Horror-Story-Season-1‘Nashville’ won’t be back till February, but if you are missing Connie Britton, you can check her out on ‘American Horror Story’. She starred in the first season.

She’s no country star in ‘American Horror Story’, she’s a normal mother just trying to put the pieces of her family back together. And the way her husband, Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott), believes they can patch things up, is moving across country. Why does it seem like families are trying to pick up the pieces when they move in to haunted houses in the movies?

Connie plays Vivian and doesn’t exactly paint a good picture for herself right from the start. She catches her husband cheating, but the next scene you see her in, they are all in a car together. She doesn’t exactly win you over. But I guess for the sake of Violet (Taissa Farmiga), their daughter, you can see why she’s trying to make it work.

I wouldn’t really call the show scary, but it is creepy. There’s a lot of twists, sadly I saw a lot of them coming, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the ride.

You will meet a lot of ghosts in the first season and that’s because a lot of people have died in this house and when you die in the house, you are trapped in the house.

The house has a pretty fascinating history. It’s has a very, very dark past. Over the course of the season you will learn about all the ghosts in the house and what happened to them. Some of the ghosts are nicer since they past away and others have become very bitter.

Jessica Lang is great in the first season. She plays Constance, the next door neighbor, but she once lived in the house too. She’s very creepy from the beginning and there’s a lot to her character’s story. She’s just as fascinating as the house, maybe that’s because she has so many ties to the house.

There are some cliche horror story plot lines, but it’s still a really good watch.

You can currently watch seasons one through three on Netflix.

Here’s the preview for the first season:

‘Scandal’: Addicting from Episode One

Scandal-Season-1-2012-posterI’m a huge fan of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, but I’ve never checked out Shonda Rhimes’ other show, ‘Scandal’. I decided to see what all the hype was about. I can now see why it’s such and addicting show and it’s even better than ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

Kerry Washington is amazing as Olivia Pope. She wears all of her emotions on her face and she’s very tough. If you have a problem, Olivia will fix it for you and she has a lot of power in D.C. She hasn’t met a problem she can’t solve, but as the scandals keep getting bigger and deeper, she may not be able to fix everything.

Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes) gets brought into Olivia’s firm at the beginning. She’s learning what this group of people is all about as we are, but you won’t get to know who she is right away. You’ll have to wait till season two to find out what her secret is. Each of Olivia’s associates has a secret and each of them she saved.

Harrison Wright (Columbus Short) would walk into fire for Olivia. He blindly follows her every command. He’s a “gladiator” and proud of it. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) would also do anything Olivia needed and does, time and time again. Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield) doesn’t follow Olivia so blindly. She does ask questions occasionally and questions Olivia’s judgment.

Stephen Finch (Henry Ian Cusick) is the only one that knows Olivia’s secret and it’s a big one.

When I said that Olivia was powerful in D.C. I meant it, she’s friends with the President (Tony Goldwyn) and his chief of staff Cryus Beene (Jeff Perry).

The first season is just a teaser. The drama and suspense goes much deeper than that. The actors are outstanding, the storyline is an edge of your seat thrill ride and the setting is just perfect for this kind of show. If you haven’t checked out this series, you have to put in on your Netflix queue now. Season four will premiere September 25 on ABC, so there isn’t much time to catch up on this incredible show.

Once you watch season one, you will be addicted. Take a look at the promo:

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Make You Root for the Russians in ‘The Americans’

americansfxposI like spy TV shows, but ‘The Americans’ is different than any spy show I’ve seen before. For one thing, the writers have you rooting for the enemy.

‘The Americans’ is about the Cold War and two Soviet officers who are undercover in the U.S. posing as Americans.

Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) grew up in Russia and were trained for the biggest mission of their lives. They had an arranged marriage and were sent to the U.S. to have a family and fit in, while they were doing their jobs.

They’ve been in the field a long time, but now things are about to get more complicated. An FBI agent, Stan (Noah Emmerich), and his family move in next door. This can prove as a difficulty or as a great resource.

Stan recruits a woman in the Soviet Embassy, Nina (Annet Mahendru). He doesn’t really give her a choice. He catches her doing something she could be sent to a Siberian prison for. So Stan makes a deal, she spies for them or they turn her into her government.

While Elizabeth and Philip are fighting for their country, they still have two children to raise and a marriage that is sometimes for show and is sometimes real. It can be a confusing world when you’ve taken a completely different identity.

Stan can relate. He was deep under cover before he entered counter intelligence. He’s so far into his work, he neglects his wife, Sandra (Susan Misner), and their son. He doesn’t know how to turn it off and the deeper they get into the Cold War, the more distant he becomes.

Stan is very likable from the beginning, but chances are you will be rooting for Elizabeth and Philip. We all know how the Cold War played out, but that won’t stop you from rooting for the Russians. Stan also gives you reasons to turn against him as the first season plays out.

The first season really gets you deep into the Cold War. ‘The Americans’ keeps you at the edge of your seat and lets you go with a very dangerous season two in front of you. Elizabeth, Philip, Stan and Nina will constantly be in danger and will continue to move forward.

‘The Americans’ is on FX, season one is out on dvd and blu-ray and season two is on Amazon instant video. Catch up on this exciting show before season three.

Check out the trailer for season one: