Ranking my top 5 Guilty Pleasures on Television

When you think about a guilty pleasure, what comes to mind?  Is it a type of candy you can’t live without or a fantastic collection of designer shoes?  For me, it all comes down to television.  While it’s no secret that I am beyond obsessed with movies and TV, there is something about the over-the-top shows filled with sexy melodrama and unbelievable plot twists that I can’t deny.  Whether the female leads are getting into scandalous dilemmas or weaving a dangerous web of deception, there is something about these particular shows that make me want to grab the popcorn and binge-watch all through the weekend in my pajamas.  My top 5 guilty pleasures on television are:

5

The Client List

Although this show only lasted for two seasons on the Lifetime network, this show screams guilty pleasure.  Jennifer Love Hewitt was cast perfectly, playing Riley Parks, a mother of two living in Texas who is just left by her husband.  Riley is left with a mortgage to pay and bills that seem never-ending, which causes her to find employment at “The Rub of Sugarland.”  While Riley starts out seeking a legitimate masseuse job, she realizes that this is not going to cut it if she wants to make ends meet for her family.  Riley quickly discovers that there is a client list which involves special customers who comes in looking more than a traditional massage.  Riley fully understands that this is illegal, but the opportunity is just too tempting for her to turn down.  Riley begins to compromise her moral compass and lies to her family, but she is ultimately trying to be the best mother she can under the circumstances.  The clients are intriguing enough with their “special” requests and fans wonder if Riley’s world will be shattered with each new plot twist, leaving viewers with an action-packed series finale that still have us asking lots of questions.

4

Secret Diary of a Call Girl

This popular series aired for 4 seasons on Showtime and is a British comedy starring the fantastic and beautiful Billie Piper as Hannah Baxter aka Belle (her escort alias).  While the show initially seemed like it may be a little bit too gratuitous, it’s easy to quickly fall in love with with Hannah or Belle and root for her with each episode.  The episodes are short (about 24 minutes each) so it makes this series extremely easy to binge-watch.  Belle allows the viewers the opportunity to get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to be a call girl.  While it may seem glamorous and have its perks on the outside,  Belle reveals a lot of the complicated aspects as well, including how extremely difficult it is to actually maintain a normal relationship when you are a prostitute.

3

Mistresses

This series aired for 4 seasons and used to be part of the summer lineup on ABC.  When one was in desperate need of some serious binge-watching when all of our other favorite shows were on break, Mistresses did an excellent job of capturing viewers with its fun and fancy-free attitude.  The ladies on this show were not shy of diving head first into drama, including extravagant affairs, secret relationships, and husbands faking their own deaths.  While many of the plot twists were clearly over-the-top, the fantastic women on this show did a great job of being believable and their close-knit friendships brought us back to the days of Sex and the City.  This series also ended on a huge cliff-hanger, but was the perfect summer fling to have during the off-season of television.

2

Devious Maids

Lasting for 4 seasons, this show was jam-packed with the perfect blend of spiciness, comedy, and mystery.  It’s no wonder that it came from the creators who brought us Desperate Housewives.  However, this show took the sexiness a step further than Desperate Housewives, which made the mysteries going on that much more exciting to solve and be a part of.  Like Mistresses, the women on this show have an undeniable bond and support each other through all of the chaos and drama surrounding them, but they don’t forget to have some fun along the way.  Like some of my favorite guilty pleasures, this show also ended on a huge cliff-hanger.  While I didn’t want to turn the page on this show just yet, it still provided me with just the right amount of laughs and gasps to go with a lazy weekend.

1

The Affair

So my number one pick has to go to Showtime’s The Affair.  While you may think you know what the show is about just from the title, you are seriously missing out if you don’t get caught up.  As I am anxiously waiting for season 4 to premiere, I am getting ready to re-watch the entire series.  It’s that good.  While the first season still remains my favorite and the most entertaining, each season allows us into the private thoughts of each character.  The show focuses primarily on Noah and Allison, giving us a glimpse into their souls as their worlds start to unravel right before their eyes, drowning them further and further into a darkness that has a more powerful calling than the ocean right outside their doors.  There is something hypnotic about this show.  It pulls you in right from the start and the decision to present the story from the different perspectives of each character makes you question everything, pulling the viewer in even deeper.  Just when you think you know what’s about to happen or unravel, there is another unexpected twist that will haunt you and resonate with you even long after watching the series.  The acting and writing is fantastic on this series, providing us with the perfect escape from the mundane.

 

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite guilty pleasures on television.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

 

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Ranking my top 5 One True Pairings on Television: Ships that will make you Swoon

Happy Valentine’s Day TV fans!  When it comes to defining what makes a OTP (one true pairing) on television, what comes to mind?  Is it the passionate and fiery moments between these two characters or is it more about an everlasting love that stands the test of time?  Whether it involves sacrifice and heartbreak or compromise and understanding, there are some couples on television who truly encompass the essence of love.  It’s rare to find that happy ending that we read about in fairy-tales, but these OTPs are not for lack of trying.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch any of these series yet.  Please also note that sitcoms were not included for today’s list.  My top 5 One True Pairings on television are:

5

Veronica & Logan from Veronica Mars.

Veronica and Logan 2 14

Logan: “I thought our story was epic, you know you and me?”

Veronica:  “Epic how?”

Logan:  “Spanning years and continents.  Lives ruined, bloodshed.  EPIC…”

Although Veronica Mars only lasted for three seasons, it still gave fans plenty of time to ship Veronica and Logan.  While the beginning of the series focuses on her feelings for her former love, Duncan, Veronica also seems to initially despise Logan.  On the surface, Logan is selfish and cruel, refusing to apologize for his actions.  When Veronica and Logan team up later on in season one, you cannot deny the sparks flying between these two.  Logan lets his guard down for Veronica and they fall in love with each other.  These two do not ride off into the sunset, however; as they are in for their fair share of ups and downs.  At the end of the season one cliffhanger, fans are not sure who is on the other side of the door for Veronica when she says, “I was hoping it would be you.”  Once season 2 premieres, we learn that it was Logan waiting for her on the other end, but she is now dating Duncan to make things even more complicated.  Even when Veronica and Logan are not together, Logan clearly cares about Veronica more than anyone else.  He constantly proves his love for her and defends her honor, not caring about the consequences.  While Logan may initially lack the stability that Veronica ultimately needs, his love for her is unchanging.  At the end of the series, Logan and Veronica are not back together, leaving fans disappointed.  However, when the Veronica Mars film was released years later, Veronica and Logan finally got the happy ending they deserved.  It was worth the wait!

4

Piper & Leo from Charmed.

Piper and Leo 2 14

“Leo, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I was afraid that you were too good to be true, that maybe I didn’t deserve someone so pure and beautiful and loving as you are…Leo I was born to love you and I always will.”

At the beginning of the Charmed series, the blossoming relationship between Piper and Leo is delightful and real.  Piper’s sister, Phoebe even initially competes with her to win Leo’s affection, but it’s always been clear where Leo’s heart lies.  As Piper’s white lighter, it is forbidden for them to be together, but they cannot deny their connection.  Piper and Leo have been through so much together and Leo is even ripped away from her by the elders during their first attempt at a wedding.  Ultimately, Piper and Leo are meant for each other.  However, they go through quite a lot on the way and are tested constantly.  Piper and Leo have two beautiful sons, Wyatt and Chris, and form a beautiful family together, constantly trying to keep this priority above all others.  While Piper is known for her quick temper, Leo balances her out and always keeps her calm.  When they are apart, it’s truly heartbreaking, as fans recognize the selfless love these two have for one another.  Piper and Leo do get their happy ending and keep their friendship and love strong in the process.  There is something so believable and undeniable between Piper and Leo, still holding the test of time and reminding us what true love is all about.

3

Emma & Hook from Once Upon a Time.

Hook and Emma 2 14

When I win your heart, Emma, and I will win it. It will not be because of any trickery. It will be because you want me. 

When the devilishly handsome Captain Hook sailed into our hearts on OUAT, he initially was out for revenge.  While Hook innocently flirted with Emma from the start, his love for her allowed him to grow as a character and to learn from his wicked past.  Hook was always used to taking the easy way out and making decisions based on how well it suited him.  Emma changed this perspective, however; proving that he could be a selfless man.  When Hook realized his strong feelings for Emma, he even backed down and explained that she should be with Neal so that Henry could have his family all together.  Hook truly loved Emma at this point, but was willing to sacrifice this so that she could find happiness.  Later, when they did end up together, Emma’s power became too great and evil corrupted her heart.  The only thing that could bring her back to goodness was Hook’s love for her.  Emma and Hook had one of the most beautiful relationships on television and their wedding at the end of season 6 was touching and heart-warming.  Hook’s love for Emma transformed him from a villain into a hero one can be proud of, who will never stop fighting for the one he loves.  Now that’s a fairy-tale ending!

2

Buffy & Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy and Angel 2 14

Angel:  “This isn’t some fairy-tale.  When I kiss you…you don’t wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after.”

Buffy:  “No, when you kiss me, I wanna die.”

This list would not be complete without including Buffy and Angel.  Known as the vampire cursed with a soul, Angel is initially used to being on his own, lurking in the shadows and staying clear of human connections.  When he crosses paths with Buffy, he realizes that he has a chance to turn his destiny around and do some good.  However, he falls in love with her along the way.  Buffy and Angel’s love is touching and romantic initially, making fans everywhere swoon this ship.  When Buffy and Angel consummate their love, he experiences a moment of true happiness and the curse is broken, freeing his soul in the process.  As a result of this, Angelus is released, the pure vampire killer with no remorse or guilt and he begins torturing Buffy and her friends.  Buffy is completely heart-broken but she proves her strength when she goes up against Angel, knowing that she must defeat him to protect the world.  She recognizes that the good man she came to know and love is gone, leaving only a shell of a monster behind.  After Buffy sacrifices Angel, he returns from Hell with his soul intact but their relationship is so complicated and shattered at this point.  They love each other but they know that they can’t get too close because of the consequences.  They try out being friends and the villainous vampire, Spike even points out that they can never be friends because their love for one another is messy and passionate.  At the end of season 3, Buffy and Angel part ways as Angel leaves the show for his spin-off, but not before he shows up at her prom to dance with her one last time, reminding her that he will always be there for her.  Although Buffy and Angel do not end up together and have other relationships along the way, they both recognize how much they truly care for one another.  They have a love that transcends romance, understanding that even though they are apart; they are always together on some level.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my favorite OTP are:

  • Blair & Chuck from Gossip Girl
  • Brenda & Dylan from Beverly Hills, 90210
  • Michael & Sara from Prison Break
  • Maggie & Glenn from The Walking Dead
  • Octavia & Lincoln from the 100
  • Piper & Alex from Orange is the New Black
  • Kev & V from Shameless
  • Ian & Mickey from Shameless
  • Seth & Summer from The OC
  • Damon & Elena from The Vampire Diaries
  • Phoebe & Cole from Charmed
  • Buffy & Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Desmond & Penny from Lost
  • Sawyer & Juliet from Lost
  • Mike & Susan from Desperate Housewives
  • Tara & Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Clarke and Lexa from The 100
  • Sookie & Eric from True Blood
  • Nathan & Haley from One Tree Hill
  • Alice & Robin from Once Upon a Time
  • Cheryl & Toni from Riverdale

1

Sun & Jin from Lost.

Sun and Jin 2 14

“I was going to leave you.  I was going to get away…but you made me change my mind.”

My all-time favorite OTP has to go to Sun & Jin from Lost.  For me, Sun and Jin have a love that is very different from other characters on television.  This is mostly because their love is the most real.  Their love isn’t perfect and there are times where they do temporarily give up on one another and forget about why they fell in love in the first place.  But this is what makes their love so important.  Real love isn’t out of a fairy-tale; although I’m sure we would like it to be.  Real love is about compromise and accepting that we will make mistakes along the way.  Sun has an affair with another man and even contemplates leaving Jin and running away at the airport.  However, Jin shows her that he is holding a small white flower, just like when they first met and she changes her mind.  It breaks Jin’s heart when he finds out that Sun speaks English, representing another lie she kept from him for so long.   Both Sun and Jin are looking to prove themselves to the other, only to later realize that their love is enough.  The fact that they are able to forgive each other for mistakes they made before, shows the viewer what true love is all about.  Sun and Jin truly find themselves together as a couple and learn to love each other more than they thought possible.  After they are separated numerous times, they are finally reunited, not realizing that it will be short-lived.  Right after they are reunited, Sun gets pinned under metal in the sinking submarine and Jin is unable to free her.  Sun demands that he go and save himself, but Jin won’t leave her.  He will never leave her again.  Their death is one of the saddest for me to watch on television and the image of them holding hands under water as they take their last breaths, proves that they will never be apart again.

I hope you enjoyed my list and feel free to post your own comments and thoughts about some of your favorite OTPs on television.  Thanks for reading!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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The 2018 Mid-Season TV Premieres I am most looking forward to: Bring on the new episodes!

Since I covered my favorite shows from 2017 for all networks in previous posts, I wanted to also explore the television premieres that have not yet aired yet.  The holidays are over and the New Year is quickly approaching, which will bring an end to re-runs and the return of new episodes from some of our favorite shows.  However, I am most looking forward to television shows that have not had an official premiere yet.  While some of these shows already have 2018 premiere dates announced, others are still giving out an “early 2018” vague response, as I desperately keep refreshing the internet to see when they will be returning.  Please note some spoilers are ahead if you have not caught up yet on previous seasons.  Without further delay, the 2018 Mid-season TV premieres I am most looking forward to in no particular order are:

The 100

The Affair

Homeland

Ash vs Evil Dead

Jessica Jones

The 100 ended on a major cliff-hanger last season and I am counting the days until I can see Clark and my other favorite characters from Sky Crew return.  Did “Praimfaya” destroy everything?  Who else has survived?  Will Clark and Bellamy finally get together or will we be forced to endure their unspoken tension between each other for another season?  The questions are endless and I need some serious answers as we move into the new season and this new future world.  Either way, I know that The 100 is up to the challenge and will provide fans with non-stop action and drama.

The Affair had me slightly confused on where it would go after the end of season 3.  While seasons 1 and 2 continued to unravel mysteries and kept audiences guessing who would end up with who, season 3 ended on a different note.  At the end of last season, Noah is left outside staring into his family’s house on Christmas.  They are all clearly happy and at peace and he gets back in the cab not knowing where to go next.  Does he go after Alison or somewhere completely new?  It is very open-ended, but I am looking forward to The Affair getting back to its roots.  Perhaps this means introducing some more new characters into the mix and saying goodbye to others, but the show still has a story left to tell and I’m ready for more.

Homeland is another show that left fans with a jam-packed finale, finally saying goodbye to a main character we have come to trust and rely on in previous seasons.  At the end of the season, Carrie had been shut out of the White House, which has us wondering what threats will she have to deal with next?  Will she be able to trust anyone?  What will happen to Saul?  The unanswered questions will soon be revealed, as the show is set to premiere in mid-February.

Ash vs Evil Dead is coming back in February as well.  After a long hiatus from season 2, I am looking forward to the return of “ashy slashy” and friends.  Our favorite characters were left celebrating in season 2 and it seems like life may return to normal, but we know that evil is lurking somewhere close.  Ash cannot put his chain-saw arm into retirement just yet.  What kind of demons will he face?  Will the gang be reunited?  While we are unsure of the threats and set-up, we know we can count on Ash for hilarious over-the-top humor and campy horror.

Jessica Jones is scheduled to return to Netflix in early March 2018 along with Jessica’s quick wit and jaded past.  After defeating her enemy, Kilgrave in season 1, will she be able to put her life back together again?  Is he truly gone and if so, who will she be facing in the upcoming season?  Will we find out more about her past and explore her super-powers further?  While I am not sure where we will be going in season 2, I am along for the ride.  Jessica Jones may not be a hero we typically think of in the spotlight, but her character is deep and complicated and she has a way of showing the bad guy who’s boss while remaining true to herself.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post the shows you are looking forward to premiering in 2018 in the comments below.  Happy viewing and the countdown to 2018 is here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

My top television shows of 2017 on Netflix: Binge-watching throughout the year!

Since I covered my top favorite television shows that aired in 2017 on local and cable networks, I thought it would only be right to discuss my favorite shows that aired on Netflix as well.  While Netflix has been slowly taking away some of my old favorites series to make room for the new ones, I have been pleased with a lot of their new shows.  Don’t get me wrong, I desperately want them to bring back shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and One Tree Hill and to consider not taking Lost off.  Either way I will still dust off my old DVD sets and settle for some quality shows on Netflix as a compromise.  Netflix has done a good job of successfully providing me with the binge-watching we all crave once in a while with its lineup.  Who am I kidding…all the time!  Please note some spoilers are ahead.

The Best of the Best of television shows streaming on Netflix for 2017 are:

  1. 13 Reasons Why
  2. Stranger Things (season 2)
  3. The Punisher
  4. Ozark
  5. Orange is the New Black (season 5)

Orange is the New Black is a favorite guilty pleasure of mine and I admit that I look forward to every June for the premiere.  I tend to watch these episodes in just under a week because I am always sad when it is over to soon.  Season 4 ended with a cliff-hanger of Daya pointing a gun at a guard, leaving fans wondering what would happen next.  A lot of the season focused on the inmates refusing to be treated poorly anymore, leading to a riot that allowed the tables to be turned and the inmates to take control of the prison.  Each episode was jam-packed with drama and action, which had me contemplating when to start up the next episode.  I have to admit that it took a lot of self-control to watch everything over the course of the week, as it would have been very easy to finish this within a day or two.

When my friends told me about Ozark, they said it was sort of like Breaking Bad but not really.  Not really that specific of a review, but it did get my attention and I checked out the show featuring the wonderful and brilliant Jason Bateman.  Bateman plays Marty who gets caught up in a money-laundering scheme and is forced to leave his home with his family and set up shop in the small town of Ozark so that the head of the Mexican cartel doesn’t kill him and everyone he cares about.  Marty has a set of skills that are unlike many others and thinks on his feet quickly to come up with a business scheme that can work, all while trying to deal with the fact that his marriage is coming to an end and to keep his children happy.  Sounds like a tall order and it is.  While the series is no Breaking Bad, at least not yet anyway, it was entertaining and absolutely worth a watch.

I am a big fan of Marvel in general and The Punisher is one of my favorite heroes or maybe anti-heroes of all time.  Usually when I say this, fans question this and say why not Wolverine or Captain America?  The Punisher is so powerful to me because he has no super powers and his quest for revenge is sympathetic and tragic.  When Netflix’s Daredevil season 2 came out, the best part of it was the introduction of The Punisher.  I was ecstatic when I heard that the character would be getting his own series.  I am happy to say that I successfully binge-watched this show over the weekend and it is everything I could have hoped for.  Jon Bernthal is so believable as Frank Castle that you would think the comic series was based off of him.  He is someone to root for and although the violence may be extreme, the enemies get what is coming to them.  I also found myself investing time and energy into the supporting cast as well which is rare for me.  The villains are also so intense and heart-breaking, as Frank Castle finds himself being betrayed left and right while he is trying to make amends and bring those who deserve it to justice.

Stranger Things season 2 is absolutely worth a binge-watch and perhaps a second or third time through.  That’s how good it is.  The music alone sparked new life into this season, the characters and friendships were bonded further, and the quest to find out where one comes from and what “home” truly means is touching and beautiful.  Once again, this season blended the perfect amount of comedy with sci-fi mystery.  New friends and characters are introduced and the adventures don’t stop.  I don’t want to give away too much in case you haven’t gotten a chance to watch yet, but remember “friends don’t lie.”  So please watch and enjoy!

When 13 Reasons Why streamed on Netflix earlier in the year, it was considered to be very controversial because of the subject matter and targeted audience.  As a result, it got mixed reviews.  After watching the first episode for myself, I found myself binge-watching the season all in one day.  While I am sure many of you have done the same, the show did an excellent job of drawing the viewer in wanting to unlock the real reasons why Hannah Baker decided to end her life and how her friend, Clay Jensen is involved.  Rather than leave a suicide note, Hannah records everything on 13 audio cassette tapes and has them delivered to the different people responsible so that they can hear the whole story.  While the show makes you want to dive deeper into truth, there is something very raw and painful about the emotions that are revealed along the way from each character who wronged Hannah and how they are dealing with the aftermath of her death along with issues in their own lives that they are facing.  You connect with the characters so much which makes the ultimate fate of Hannah that more tragic and heart-breaking.  While the show is emotionally difficult to handle sometimes, it is worth a watch and reminds us about what is truly important in life.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post some of your favorite television shows from 2017 that streamed on Netflix below.  Happy viewing and the countdown to 2018 is here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

My top television shows of 2017 on Local Networks: Cheers to the CW!

Greetings TV Fans!  For today, I am going to be listing my top favorite television shows that aired in 2017 on local networks.  While some shows near the top of my list were no surprise for me, there were others that were a pleasant revelation, providing just the right amount of entertainment.  There were also some shows that I used to enjoy a lot which fell short this past year and are in need of something earth-shattering to happen in 2018 to get them back to the top of the pack.  While I haven’t gotten a chance to view all shows that aired new episodes in 2017, I did get to more than I initially anticipated.  Please feel free to include some of your favorites below as well.  Once again, I will be breaking the shows into 3 categories:  the best of the best, honorable mentions, and shows that have lost some steam.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.

The Best of the Best of television shows airing on local networks for 2017 in no particular order are:

Riverdale

Supernatural

The 100

The Mick

Prison Break Revival

The CW network had some real contenders for 2017 and proved that they are not just a network holding on to a few fan favorites to survive.  It is no secret that Supernatural has been the longest running show on their network, but I was pleased to see so much content in the episodes airing in 2017.  Sam and Dean continued to keep fans hooked with their charm and humor while dealing with the British Men of Letters and understanding why their mother is back from the dead.  The boys encountered new enemies and dealt with their own inner demons along the way, reminding us that they can be just as vulnerable as we are deep down.  The 100 proved to have another addicting season, which has been the perfect mid-season show in my opinion.  Clark and the others left us with a cliff-hanger, where they end up going back into space because the world is no longer habitable.  Will they survive?  Seems likely since we should have another season premiering soon, but all bets are off.  The most pleasant introduction for me on the CW was Riverdale, based on the Archie comic series.  While the series has just the right amount of bubble gum pop providing fans with a nostalgic feel from the comic series, it takes on a life of its own.  Riverdale gives fans the perfect blend of romance and mystery, providing more depth for some of our beloved characters.  Fox also had some great shows airing in 2017, including The Mick and Prison Break Revival.  Kaitlin Olson proved that she can be a starring lady for sure, stepping out from the shadow of her stars on It’s Always Sunny to provide fans with a raw and edgy new comedy balanced with some family values in-between.  Since I am a big fan of Prison Break, I was excited to see the revival air this year, providing fans with a solution to the ending that left so many of us wondering what went wrong.  Michael and Lincoln were back with a new prison to escape from, bringing some new and old friends along for the ride.  The series still had that same amount of edge-of-your-seat action that hooked us initially, allowing us to root for the brothers once again.

Honorable mentions for television shows airing on local networks for 2017 in no particular order:

Grimm

Hawaii Five-0

Once Upon a Time

Modern Family

Grimm aired its last season in 2017 which was actually entertaining and brought everything full circle for fans.  While the series had lost some of its edge from earlier seasons, this last one proved that it would not go out without a fight.  While one fairy-tale show came to an end, Once Upon a Time started fresh introducing some new characters and story-lines along the way.  While some of our favorite characters are no longer around, it made sense to give the show a fresh chance.  Some of the newcomers have actually been quite entertaining, working nicely with fan-favorites, Regina and Hook.  Will they be able to keep the momentum going?  Time will tell.  Hawaii Five-0 and Modern Family are shows that I consistently watch that gave us just the right amount of consistent entertainment to satisfy fans.  While both shows have been on the air for a while now, they are still giving viewers what they are looking for, but may need to refresh every once in a while.

Television shows airing on local networks for 2017 that are running out of steam in no particular order are:

Arrow

Elementary

Lethal Weapon

I have watched all of the episodes from the three shows above and was somewhat disappointed overall in the seasons from 2017.  While Lethal Weapon started out promising, it has not had the same punch it initially gave us when it premiered.  Perhaps the show has run its course, but I am confident it still has a spark left to give us the action and laughs we enjoyed originally.  Elementary had very low ratings in 2017 and fans are still waiting for a new season.  While it looks like this may happen, it will have to be something so over-the-top and different to bring fans back.  Arrow has been slipping with each new year which is very disappointing for me.  While the CW has had some great success with its super-hero shows, Arrow keeps slipping and forcing story-lines.  I am still rooting for Oliver Queen, but perhaps we need to shake things up and keep a character that has been killed off actually dead.   I will keep watching, but Arrow is losing steam for sure.  Let’s make it a great 2018 for shows everywhere and hope these shows ignite a spark that will keep viewers coming back for more and more.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post some of your favorite television shows from 2017 that aired on local networks below.  Happy viewing and the countdown to 2018 is here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

My top television shows of 2017 on Cable Networks: The best of the best!

Greetings TV Fans!  For today, I am going to be listing my top favorite television shows that aired in 2017 on cable networks.  While some shows near the top of my list were no surprise for me, there were others that crept into the top 5 that I would not have predicted last year.  There were also some shows that I used to enjoy a lot which fell short this past year and are in need of something earth-shattering to happen in 2018 to get them back to the top of the pack.  While I haven’t gotten a chance to view all shows that aired new episodes in 2017, I did get to more than I initially anticipated.  Please feel free to include some of your favorites below as well.  I will be breaking the shows into 3 categories:  the best of the best, honorable mentions, and shows that have lost some steam.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.

The Best of the Best for television shows airing on cable networks for 2017 in no particular order are:

Game of Thrones

Fear the Walking Dead

American Horror Story:  Cult

SMILF

Shameless

While Game of Thrones and Shameless are two of my all-time favorites, I was pleased with the seasons airing in 2017.  Game of Thrones sped things up to the delight of fans, which I guess makes sense since they are running out of time.  Either way, it was great to see Daenerys and Jon Snow finally meet face to face and discuss terms of an alliance on a war against the undead.  Everything is falling into place and I am eager to see the remaining episodes in 2018.  Shameless is another favorite of mine that has had me laughing out loud this season.  Even though the show is on its eight season, it is proving to still have fresh material.  American Horror Story:  Cult bounced back from American Horror Story:  Roanoke from 2016.  Cult was terrifying and real at the same time, providing viewers with a dangerous view of society.  Evan Peters played his best character yet in my opinion, diving into his terrifying role of Kai Anderson.  Newcomer SMILF is the perfect mix of raw humor and sentimental moments, as Frankie Shaw has had a stand-out performance.  The most surprising one of the bunch for me is Fear the Walking Dead.  I will be honest and admit that I had been previously watching the show out of obligation.  It’s the prequel to The Walking Dead and in some way I felt like I owed the show a chance, even though I wasn’t too hooked.  However, this all changed for me this past season in 2017.  Alicia played by the lovely and talented Alycia Debnam Carey stepped out from her shadow as Madison’s daughter and has grown into an independent and powerful survivor.  Main characters with interesting story-lines were killed off to the shock of fans everywhere; including myself, proving that the show is ready to take on a life of its own.  Rick and the gang should take some notes from the characters in Fear the Walking Dead who are making difficult decisions and moving on to each new obstacle without too much fluff in between.

Honorable mentions for television shows airing on cable networks for 2017 in no particular order:

Homeland

Bates Motel

Better Call Saul

Pretty Little Liars

The Strain

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

South Park

Some of these shows are favorites of mine and did enough in 2017 to earn a spot in my honorable mentions.  South Park and It’s Always Sunny kept the laughs coming and Homeland and Better Call Saul did the same with the edge of your seat drama and big moments.  While the shows had solid episodes, there wasn’t enough of a hook to move them into my top 5.  That being said, I thoroughly enjoy watching these shows and I am looking forward to new seasons.  Bates Motel, Pretty Little Liars, and The Strain ended in 2017 on a strong note.  While none of the series finales were that epic in my opinion, they did a good job of bringing everything full circle and satisfying the questions fans had.

Television shows airing on cable networks for 2017 that are running out of steam in no particular order are:

The Walking Dead

Archer

I have watched all of the episodes from both shows and was somewhat disappointed overall in the seasons from 2017.  While neither show was terrible enough for me to take them off my DVR line-up permanently, there was something missing.  Whether it was too much fluff in between major moments or a missing connection to characters, both shows have the potential to win their fans back and provide some good content.  Are they going to deliver on this, however?  I am optimistic and will continue to watch both series, but am looking for something fresh and over-the-top to remind me why I loved watching in the first place.  I know it’s a lot to ask for, but consistency in television entertainment is important.  Let’s make it a great 2018 for shows everywhere and hope these two shows ignite a spark that will keep viewers coming back for more and more.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post some of your favorite television shows from 2017 that aired on cable networks below.  Happy viewing and the countdown to 2018 is here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 siblings from television: Family is where the heart is.

As we are in the midst of the holiday season, it’s a time to re-connect with family and remember what’s truly important in life.  Many of us have an unspoken bond with our siblings, whether it is inside jokes or a similar laugh, which is natural when you have all grown up together and faced many of the same challenges and shared similar memories.  This really got me thinking about siblings on television and how difficult it must be to create that connection instantly.  The actors on these shows already have the complicated task of portraying their roles and diving deep into what makes that particular character tick.  However, when you also need to add on a believable and real connection as siblings, this becomes even more difficult to capture.  For today’s topic, I am going to be ranking my top 5 siblings from television.  The siblings I chose are not just cast well.  Rather, they become so believable as siblings that I have to bring up Wikipedia on my phone just to double check that the actors are not relatedPlease note spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 siblings from television are:

5

Brandon and Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210.

The Minnesota Twins!

Who could forget when twins, Brandon and Brenda Walsh move from Minnesota all the way to glamorous Beverly Hills, California.  While the twins quickly realize that West Beverly High is not like any other high school they have ever seen, they fast-track into a superficial bubble where they are faced with difficult decisions.  Luckily, the twins have each other to support one another.  Some of my favorite moments on the show are when Brandon or Brenda would make a huge mistake and they would end up meeting in their Jack and Jill bathroom, relieved to see their other half so they could confide in them.  Brandon and Brenda share quite a bit of fights along the way and introduce new friends like Kelly and Dylan into the mix, but there is something about their bond as siblings that is wholesome and unbreakable.  Fans were disappointed when Brenda left the show, wondering where that would leave Brandon now that his beloved sister was gone.  While Brandon still kept viewers hooked with his charm and good sense of right and wrong, the earlier episodes with the Walsh twins had something truly special that could not be so easily replaced even with new cast members.

4

Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam Gallagher from Shameless.

“Hey, sometimes life throws a couple swings at you. But we’re Gallaghers, okay? And there’s two things that we’re really good at:  knowing how to get back up, and knowing how to party.” (Shameless)

This list would not be complete without the Gallagher siblings we have watched grow up over the years.  Fiona has the difficult task of taking care of her five younger siblings since their parents are rarely present…and when they are it’s like they are children too.  While this forced Fiona to grow up very quickly, she has always made it clear that family comes first.  The Gallagher siblings may appear to be a group of untamed misfits, but at the end of the day they are truly there for one another.  The family faces many problems over the seasons ranging from losing their house to Fiona winding up in jail.  When Fiona was not around, Lip and the others recognized that they now needed to step up.  Whether that meant collecting money in a jar for the electric bill or making sure that Liam was actually fed breakfast, the siblings are forced to grow up fast in a world that seems to be against them, but they are resilient and strong.

3

Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows from Prison Break.

“I’m breaking out, and you’re going to make sure my brother goes with me.” (Michael from Prison Break)

How many of us would tattoo our entire bodies with the blueprints of a prison and commit a crime so that you could help break your brother out of prison?  Seems extreme, right?  But Michael Scofield is a genius and will not stop until he frees his brother, recognizing that his brother was framed for a crime that he didn’t commit.  While this show keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with each new challenge that gets in the way of the escape, what keeps you coming back for more is the undeniable connection between Michael and Lincoln.  Lincoln is the older brother and used to take care of Michael when he was younger.  Michael feels like he owes him and has guilt about turning his back on him previously when he asked for help.  He sacrifices everything to help him escape, redefining what unconditional love means in the process.  Michael and Lincoln always have each other’s backs and their physical resemblance is uncanny.  Even though they are not related, I found myself repeatedly searching online to see if perhaps they were distant cousins to no avail.

2

The Halliwell Sisters from Charmed.

“The power of 3 will set us free!” (Charmed)

Charmed has always been a guilty pleasure of mine.  I always enjoy watching shows that feature a supernatural premise, but this series goes beyond that.  The sisterly bond between Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell is so heart-warming that you truly believe they are sisters.  In moments where one of the sisters faces an unstoppable evil or comes close to death, their heart-breaking tears even get me crying.  Through all of the evil monsters and demons they face as witches, they take the time to bond and fight over things normal sisters would, such as trying to stealing the other one’s boyfriend or remembering to ask before borrowing a favorite outfit.  This light comedy combined with some intense drama and action along the way makes this show truly unique.  Much like 90210, Shannen Doherty left the show, which had fans wondering how Prue could ever be replaced.  You couldn’t just recast her because the sisterly bond is what captured so many viewers.  Fans would have been put off if they just tried to pretend like another actress was the oldest sister. The producers and writers were smart enough to add in a new story-line where Piper and Phoebe discover that they have a half-sister they never knew about previously who could help re-establish the power of 3.  Whether you were on board with this or not, Paige stepped in seamlessly to fill the void Prue left and the sisterly bond continued to stay strong.

1

Dean and Sam Winchester from Supernatural.

“You saved my life over and over.  I mean, you sacrifice everything for me, don’t you think I’d do the same thing for you?  You’re my big brother.  There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.”  (Sam from Supernatural)

So my number one pick for best siblings on television has to go to my favorite brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester.  The series has lasted for 13 seasons and is still going strong.  Like Charmed, this show features a supernatural premise…hence the title.  Sam and Dean are forced to grow up quickly when their mother dies when they are young and they follow in the shadow of their father’s footsteps to become hunters.  The brothers travel from place to place to take on cases and help save innocent lives, but deal with some powerful obstacles along the way.  Whether it is getting trapped in hell or purgatory or working with angels or demons, the brothers refuse to let death get in the way.  They support each other no matter what.  When one brother is going through a difficult time, the other recognizes that he needs to step up and help pick up the pieces.  Out of every show I have ever watched, the bond between Sam and Dean is the most real and uplifting.  You don’t doubt for a second they are brothers and you never give up on them.  What’s so great about the brothers is that they also have quite a few hilarious moments together as well, ranging from running away from an adorable Yorkie to reluctantly facing a child-hood fear of clowns.  This reminds viewers that the brothers are human and while their calling is to fight the good fight, they are not afraid to share some laughs too.  Fans love when the brothers show up posing as FBI agents, wondering what new dynamic duo they will pretend to be.  Like our own families, Sam and Dean portray the good, the bad, and everything in between, truly representing what it means to stick by one another through thick and thin.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite siblings from television.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl