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

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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

Ranking the top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time: “Stop trying to make Fetch happen!”

“On Wednesdays we wear Pink!” (Mean Girls) Well it is Wednesday, but I am sorry to say I am not wearing anything pink.  Due to the lack of new shows airing because of the holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to start diving deeper into the roles of some of my favorite characters on television.  While the good girl typically saves the day or solves the mystery in the nick of time, it got me thinking about the mean girls who sometimes end up in the background, no matter how much they try to hog the spotlight.  While the Mean Girls film is one of my absolute favorites, I started to think about some characters from television shows who could have easily been invited to sit at their table.  While these female characters put their best effort forward to look amazing and act fierce, they each have a likable quality as well, which goes to show that there is a lot more to them than initially meets the eye.  My top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time are:

5

Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars.

“Friends share secrets.  That’s what keeps us close.” (Alison from Pretty Little Liars)

If you haven’t gotten a chance to binge-watch Pretty Little Liars yet, I absolutely recommend it.  Just when you think you have it figured out, there is a new twist or turn.  Please note spoilers are ahead as a warning.  In the beginning of the series, four friends are trying to figure out the mystery behind Alison’s disappearance and presumed death.  There are flashbacks from the past along the way which showcase how mean Alison was to those around her.  Alison had the gift of manipulation and spoke to others in such a condescending manner, that even adults feared her.  At this point in the show, it didn’t seem like Alison had any redeeming qualities.  She made Hanna feel bad about her weight and led Emily on, realizing that she was a lesbian without a care in the world.  She also strategically used the secrets of her friends against them and played them to her advantage.  However, later we learn that Alison is actually alive and the mysterious A is out to punish her along with her friends.  While Alison never really leaves her mean girl card behind, she does start to show signs of truly caring for others, especially Emily, as she does have romantic feelings for her.  When the series goes five years into the future, Alison is actually a school teacher and tries to pay it forward, but still refuses to allow anyone to step on her or get in her way.

4

Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

“Ladies you can give your tiny brains a rest.  Once again the world has proven that anything you can do, I can do better.” (Blair from Gossip Girl)

Blair is the image of perfection in Gossip Girl.  Her ensembles and make-up are always flawless and she even has minions who follow her around and follow her every demand, as if they were truly serving a queen.  Blair even refers to herself as the “Queen Bee” and her loyal subjects at her prep high-school in New York City don’t really challenge her on this.  Blair is infamous for her schemes and frequently feuds with her best friend, Serena.  While Blair is not afraid to fight dirty, she refuses to shatter her image of perfection in the process.  She is typically the master-mind behind the scheme and has others do her bidding, refusing to apologize for her actions.  While it seems that this mean girl is cold and heartless, Blair does have a loving side.  Her on and off again romance with Chuck Bass reveals her vulnerability, as she finds herself thinking with her heart before her head here, exposing that she does have goodness within.  Nevertheless, you certainly do not want to ever cross Blair because she will do whatever it takes to win.

3

Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.

“You catatonic bimbos didn’t vote for me!” (Cheryl from Riverdale)

Cheryl has the mean girl act down pat for sure.  She doesn’t enter a room unless she has her perfect shade of dark crimson lip-stick flawless in order to match her hair.  Much like her hair, Cheryl is fiery and passionate.  She is not afraid to speak her mind and often says insensitive things without realizing it.  Cheryl is the head of the cheer-leading squad and treats the other girls like her subjects, completely appalled when she is voted out and Veronica becomes captain.  Cheryl is not just talk however; as her actions have proven to be very dangerous.  She even sets her house on fire with her mother still inside without thinking twice about it.  Cheryl does reveal glimmers of goodness along the way.  She was truly impacted by the loss of her twin brother, Jason and she does try to help Betty and the gang here and there to prove that she can be useful.  However, Cheryl is damaged by the deceit and betrayal of her family and it’s not so easy to turn off the mean girl vibe.  While I have hope for Cheryl, she is still a girl to watch out for.

2

Valerie Malone from Beverly Hills, 90210.

“I’m not Brenda.  I’m never going to be Brenda.  Don’t talk to me about Brenda!” (Val to Dylan in Beverly Hills, 90210)

Valerie Malone still deserves a spot toward the top of this list even after all this time.  Known for being a scheming femme fatale, she fools everyone when she arrives to town, appearing to be a sweet and innocent girl from the mid-west.  However, the characters from our favorite zip code are in for a rude awakening, as Val unleashes her street smarts and uses her powers of persuasion and manipulation to break apart this happy group of friends.  Val has romantic relationships with pretty much all of the main characters including Dylan, Brandon, David, and Steve.  As a result, she burns bridges fairly quickly with Kelly who becomes her main rival.  Val’s snappy one-liners and sneaky maneuvers prove that she is one to watch.  She has grown past the high school drama, however; and moves on to blackmailing and dangerous negotiations to help her become a successful business woman.  Talk about making a deal with the devil, Val doesn’t allow anyone to double-cross her.  Val is not all bad, however; as she has a very troubled past and does truly care for Brandon as if he were her own family.  Val tries to be a good person, but when the task becomes too difficult, she finds it easier to hide behind her bad girl image.

1

Cordelia Chase from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“God! What is your childhood trauma? Excuse me, I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.” (Cordelia to Buffy when she attacks her by accident)

So my number one pick for best TV mean girl has to go to the beautiful and hilarious, Cordelia Chase.  While Buffy and Willow tend to have most of the fan-base and get a lot of air time, one should not discount Cordelia.  She started out in a supporting role, playing the mean girl role to a tee, as if it was her calling in life to be unpleasant to those around her.  However, later in the series, Cordelia becomes a member of the Scoobies and does try to lend a helping hand…when it’s convenient for her.  One of my favorite episodes is when her and Buffy compete for Homecoming queen.  Cordelia is not about to just hand over the crown to Buffy and goes through great lengths to defeat her.  The two end up caught in a trap cleverly called “Slayerfest 98” where the vampires mistake Cordelia for Faith.  Nonetheless, the two have to make amends and put differences aside to stay alive, even if it means using a spatula as a weapon.  Cordelia does eventually grow into a caring person especially when she joins Angel in LA, but one cannot forget her witty come-backs and her unforgiving attitude.  She even tells a ghost off in Angel, proving that she is not going to let anyone step on her, supernatural or not.  Cordelia would probably end up leading the “Plastics” if she were in the Mean Girls film, proving to be a timeless mean girl that we still root for.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “SMILF” season 1 episode 7: Bridgette and Larry go to the movies

Greetings TV viewers!  After watching Showtime’s SMILF season 1 episode 7 last night, I am left with some thoughts on motherhood from actress Sophia Loren who once said that “when you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”  Bridgette can absolutely use some of this advice, but part of what makes her so likable is that she is truly trying…one mistake at a time.  But it doesn’t necessarily make her a bad mother.  It just makes her human.  She does tend to think for herself first out of habit, but Larry is still her number one priority.  Part of Bridgette’s forgetfulness is not out of lack of love or devotion to her child, it’s just how she is as a person and she’s learning from it with each new day.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, Bridgette attempts to toilet train Larry and feels an overwhelming sense of boredom creep in, inspiring her to go to the movies.  Meanwhile, Tutu faces an emotional breakdown of her own and tries to recover from her encounter with Edmund.  My top 5 moments from SMILF season 1 episode 7 are:

5

“Fun….fun….fun.”

Bridgette goes to the playground with Larry and feels the repeated routine of pushing him on a swing take control.  She absentmindedly says “fun, fun, fun” over and over with a look of extreme exhaustion and boredom on her face.  She later complains that “I’m so bored I think I’m dying.”  Bridgette is feeling pressure and is looking to escape even if just for an afternoon.

4

Tutu has an interesting bench conversation with strangers.

After Tutu’s encounter with Edmund, she is left with a mixed bag of emotions, unsure how to deal with the baggage.  She leaves her husband in the bathtub and mechanically walks out of the house, not really sure where she is going.  When she ends up at the park, she finds herself waist-deep in the water, staring up at the sky contemplating life.  Like Bridgette, Tutu feels a desperate need to escape her circumstances and looks for distractions along the way.  She sits down next to a father and daughter on a bench and comments that “they burned witches at the stake not far from there” and then starts wondering out loud about what it feels like to be burned alive to their horror.  Tutu then aimlessly wanders around the stores, trying on clothes and make-up and having harmless conversations with the employees, but once she leaves the store she is right back where she started with an aching sense of loneliness.  When she buys a bunch of scratch offs, her husband climbs up the stairs in exhaustion to let her know they won a boat cruise.  This snaps her back into reality and she is so thankful that he felt the need to do that for her, realizing that she does have someone in her life who truly cares for her.

3

Bridgette attempts to toilet train Larry.

In the beginning of the episode, Bridgette is desperately trying to toilet train Larry and keeps commenting to herself that she has no idea what she is doing.  She even tries to guilt him into doing it but his adorable “no” to everything she asks, brings a familiar sense of defeat Bridgette’s way.  Later, Eliza assumes that the task cannot be that difficult and takes a shot at it, only to face the same results.  When it seems like this might never happen, the girls are arguing near the tow-truck lot and Larry successfully sits on a toilet there to Bridgette and Eliza’s surprise.  Perhaps Larry had been feeling the pressure before much like his mother, but is ready now for sure.

2

Bridgette brings Larry to the movies during nap time.

Bridgette was super bummed that she could not go to the movies with Eliza when Tutu is unable to watch Larry.  However, the boredom at the park was too much to bear.  Bridgette realizes that since it is Larry’s nap time, there is no harm in bringing him along.  The girls are watching a horror movie and keep commenting on the violent death scenes.  A couple behind them begins to pass judgment explaining that it is no place for a child, but Bridgette dismisses them, assuring them that he is asleep.  When Larry wakes up, she is disappointed she cannot see the next victim die.  Later on the bus, Bridgette asks Larry if he saw the movie and of course he says “yes” innocently.  She proceeds to ask him then if he has anxiety or depression because of the movie and he says “yes” to every question, reassuring Bridgette that he was not scarred for life by the movie.  However, then she realizes that she hasn’t fed him breakfast or dinner yet.  Luckily, a kind stranger on the bus provides her with a diaper and some cheerios.

1

Bridgette asks for help.

Earlier in the episode when Bridgette is at the playground, a woman tells her in Spanish that it is OK to ask for help.  These words truly resonated with Bridgette, when she agrees to a ride from a stranger with Eliza and Larry to retrieve her car.  Bridgette tries to explain to Eliza the odds of parking in tow-away zones to no avail and then realizes she didn’t check the hours of the lot either.  When Larry runs inside, Bridgette goes after him.  They find the car and drive up to the gate, not knowing what to do next.  A Spanish woman and her daughter approach her and Bridgette tells her that she has a beautiful daughter and then asks her for help.  The woman is fearful that her boss might find out she brought her daughter, so she is more than willing to help Bridgette out.  She pulls open the gate, as Eliza and Bridgette look at each other in disbelief, realizing they could have done the very same thing.  Either way, this moment is important for Bridgette as she now understands that she can’t always be a perfect mother.  She is going to make mistakes but her love for Larry and the support from the people around her will keep her in check.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments on SMILF below. Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Shameless” season 8 episode 7: “You get a 20!”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching Showtime’s Shameless season 8 episode 7 last night, I am left with a new found appreciation for the art of Debbie’s welding skills along with Fiona’s natural ability to bribe teenagers with pizza…and then money.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, Ian refuses to back down and attempts to make Fiona’s business and personal life a living hell.  Frank attempts to find a new profession while Debbie realizes that her own is short-lived.  Meanwhile, Lip continues to fight the good fight and Carl embarks on a new business scheme.  My top 5 moments from Shameless season 8 episode 7 are:

5

Carl records a ransom video.

Carl is on his way to securing all of the tuition he needs for military school, but is short by $3527.  One of his junky rehab customers tempts him with a new proposition, which is hard for him to ignore.  The girl, Cassidy, suggests that he shoot a harmless ransom video and that her dad will put up the cash without a problem.  As soon as Carl hits play, it’s clear that Cassidy is no amateur.  She begins screaming with a hood over her head to Carl’s surprise.  When he goes to retrieve the money, Cassidy’s dad approaches Carl and requests that she just come home and go to Tiffany’s party.  When Carl relays the message, Cassidy explains that she has no interest in going back and reveals her romantic interest in Carl.  While it seems like Cassidy is calling the shots, Carl did get the money he needed without dealing with the stress of being an uber driver or a detox specialist.  Either way, we will have to see what trouble these two crazy kids get into together.

4

Lip goes on the stand.

Lip is continuing to do whatever it takes to get Brad and his professor ready for the court hearing.  He understands the importance of showcasing a man who is truly sorry and ready to be a productive and sober member of society.  It seems like everything is going in the right direction after Brad successfully gives his testimony without too much trouble.  Lip proceeds to go on the stand as a character witness and explains that his professor saw the value in his life when he didn’t.  He begs the judge to give him a chance, but unfortunately his professor is already drunk when it is his turn.  To Lip’s dismay, his professor is now in jail, but he doesn’t want to lose hope on him completely.  Lip knows how much he has done to help him and he wants to do the same, but it is finding it truly difficult to help someone who doesn’t want to be saved.  Will Lip give up or continue to stand by his friend?

3

Debbie welds a dumpster to Dr. Dick’s car.

Just when Debbie convinces her boss to give her another chance at the parking garage, using Baby Franny’s cuteness to her advantage, she learns that she needs to be nicer to customers.  Debbie gives it her best effort, utilizing words like “please” and “thank you.”  However, there is one customer who insists on pushing her buttons and speaks to her in a condescending way.  She upsets him so much that he even proceeds to get out of his car and destroy property.  Debbie has the last laugh, however; when she puts her new welding skills to good use.  She literally welds his car to a dumpster and admits to her boss that she knows she is fired now but it was totally worth it.

2

The safe word is “French fry.”

After V discovers that she has a need to be dominated, Kev is more than willing to try and please the love of his life.  V catches Kev “researching” online and asks if he should really be doing that in front of their daughters.  Kev explains that “the volume is on mute,” in a matter of fact way and continues on with his research.  V is surprised several times throughout the episode with a new safe word each time.  “French Fry” and “Alley Cat” are supposed to be used by V, but Kev starts saying them repeatedly every time he has a question or a concern.  When it seems like this is not going to work out, Kev gets extremely frustrated that V used fabric softener on their kids’ pajamas, unleashing the angry and dominating man V was looking for.

1

Fiona says it’s “game on!”

Throughout the episode, Ian demonstrates that he is not backing down and is still mad at his sister for preventing him from obtaining the shelter for the homeless kids he works with.  He pours ice-cold buckets of water on her, throws eggs at her apartment building, and sets up tents in the lot next door to bother Fiona.   “Occupy Fiona!” the kids scream repeatedly, while Ian uses a megaphone to get the full volume and effect he is looking for.  Fiona tries to be the bigger person and refuses to let Ian see that she is angry, but when he calls the fire marshal on her and messes with her business, it’s game on.  Fiona bribes the homeless teens with pizza and when that doesn’t work, she whips out her wallet.  “You get a 20 and you get a 20!” she shouts proudly, happy to have won.  Her pride is intact, but most of her money has been sacrificed for the cause.  Ian is furious that she has done this, but she tries to make amends by finding them another space to open the shelter.  She tells Ian how much she cares about him and loves him, genuinely worried about his well-being, remembering that family comes first.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments on Shameless below.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 heart-warming moments from “Lost”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans! I hope you are enjoying your weekend and wish you all the best for the upcoming holiday season.  Since it is that time of year, I started thinking about heart-warming moments from some of my favorite television shows.  For today, I am going to be counting down the top 5 heart-warming moments from Lost.  When you think of something heart-warming, what comes to mind?  According to the dictionary, it means something that is “emotionally rewarding or uplifting.”  Synonyms include:  “touching, moving, heartening, stirring, uplifting, pleasing, cheering, gladdening, encouraging, gratifying.”  So now that we know what it means, how does that translate for you into a single moment? I feel like different moments portrayed by our beloved characters on television impact us all in some way or another.  While some moments seem more heart-breaking than heart-warming, the line between these two often blurs if it has a glimmer of hope or happiness.  For me, it has to be a moment that truly resonates with me and stands the test of time.  Whether it is a particular dialogue that had meaning for me or a demonstration of unconditional love, the moment has to bring tears and a smile at the same time.  Sounds difficult to achieve, right?  What I love about heart-warming moments is that they bring out an array of emotions in us, but ultimately remind us of the importance of true connections with one another.  Sometimes a small act of kindness can have more of an impact than a grand gesture.  I think it’s important to remember that when we come across anyone who may be in need of some uplifting themselves.  What we do matters and our actions and words can truly make a difference.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 heart-warming moments from Lost are:

5

Sawyer tells Jack about his conversation with Christian.

“And this guy, Christian, tells me he wishes he had the stones to pick up the phone, call his kid, tell him he’s sorry, that he’s a better doctor than he’ll ever be—he’s proud, and he loves him.” (Sawyer from episode Exodus part I)

What makes this moment truly heart-warming for me is that Sawyer has been trying so hard to make others hate him.  This takes place in season 1 and Sawyer is carrying quite a bit of emotional baggage around.  He goes out of his way to challenge Jack with every chance he gets and the two have somewhat of a rivalry throughout the whole show.  They are both initially in love with the same woman, Kate, and are both looked to as leaders by the group.  Initially, Sawyer proves that he is a man out for himself.  He keeps a stash of supplies hidden and refuses to help out just to do the right thing.  Jack, on the other hand, is selfless in his actions.  He attempts to motivate the Flight 815 survivors and embarks on several adventures because he knows they are counting on him.  However, Jack is not perfect either.  Before he got on Flight 815, he had traveled to Sydney, Australia to recover his father’s body.  Jack’s relationship with his father, Christian, was very complicated.  Christian frequently told Jack that he didn’t have what it takes and that he had trouble letting go.  When Jack arrives on the island, he begins even seeing his dead father roaming around the island, forcing his fears and insecurities to the surface.  Jack has always been under the impression that he wasn’t good enough, but when Sawyer shares this conversation with him, he is truly impacted and even sheds a tear.  Jack did have what it takes and his father was very proud of him.  They were both just too stubborn to admit this and unfortunately Christian died before ever sharing this with his son.  Throughout the series, we learn that many of the Losties have crossed paths before they stepped onto the plane and their lives and decisions are intertwined.  Sawyer’s decision to let Jack know about this proves that he truly is a good person deep down and recognizes the importance of family and friendship.

4

Jack passes the torch to Hurley.

“It was only supposed to be me so I can do this. But if someone has to take care of the island, if someone has to protect it…then it should be you Hurley.  I believe in you.” (Jack from episode The End)

Fans were not surprised when Jack stepped up to volunteer to become the candidate who would take Jacob’s place to protect the island.  Jack has always reacted quickly and made tough decisions for the greater good.  However, when he ultimately passes the torch to fan-favorite, Hurley, this was a truly touching and heart-warming moment.  Throughout the series, Hurley demonstrates that he wears his heart on his sleeve.  He always tries to make others laugh and help out, even when he is told he’ll just get in the way.  Jack and everyone else recognize that Hurley’s gift is taking care of others which is why this moment is so beautiful.  Hurley always had trouble believing in himself and now he has to face his fear and embrace this important responsibility.  He tells Jack that he will only do it temporarily until he gets back, but will ultimately become the permanent protector of the island.  Hurley was capable of being a leader all along; he just needed to believe it.  Jack’s belief in him gives him the courage to unleash his potential.

3

Charlie and Claire have imaginary peanut butter together.

“I remember peanut butter.  Why do I remember peanut butter?” (Claire from episode Homecoming)

For me, this is one of the most iconic and romantic moments on the show.  When Charlie and Claire are first starting to get to know one another, she is revealed to be very pregnant, but Charlie isn’t scared off by her in the slightest.  Their friendship and budding romance has an innocent quality and allows viewers to feel young again.  When Charlie asks Claire if there is anything she craves or misses, she admits that she is “the only Australian who loves peanut butter.”  Charlie is disappointed when he cannot initially find any, but he doesn’t give up here.  He shows up with an empty jar and pretends that it is filled with peanut butter.  The two sit on the beach and enjoy the imaginary peanut butter together, laughing and gazing at each other with joy.  What I love about this moment is that everyone around them is worrying, while Charlie and Claire take a small moment to have some fun and forget about the chaos for just a little while.

2

Penny answers Desmond’s call after 8 years.

“I won’t call for eight years.  December 24, 2004.  Christmas Eve.  I promise.  Please, Pen.” (Desmond from episode The Constant)

Seems like a lot to ask of someone, right?  Desmond and Penny have broken up, but he shows up on her doorstep and tells her that she can’t change her number and that she must answer his call 8 years later.  Even I would think that person is absolutely crazy.  It’s not like Desmond can exactly explain that his mind is traveling between times and that Penny is the key to saving his life.  Desmond and Penny’s love has always been something epic and timeless.  They are frequently separated but refuse to give up on one another.  They teach us that true love does exist but that it doesn’t always work out so perfectly.  Penny and Desmond both make mistakes along the way, but ultimately end up together because they never stop believing in their love for one another.  It’s a powerful and undeniable bond that cannot be broken.  When Desmond snaps back into the current time, he dials Penny’s number on the freighter.  It rings several times as fans were on the edge of their seats, wondering if she would answer after all this time.  When Penny does answer the phone, Desmond’s memory and mind are healed and she reminds him that she won’t give up on him.  Very similar to true love’s kiss from fairy-tales, this moment reminds us that having someone you love stick by you can help you overcome any challenge or impossible task.  You just need to believe in it.

1

Vincent stays with Jack so he is not alone.

But if we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone.” (Jack from episode White Rabbit)

While I admit that I probably have shed more tears than smiles in this moment, there is something truly uplifting and heart-warming about this last scene on the show.  Jack is dying after he has sacrificed himself to re-light the island and is wandering through the same bamboo forest he did when he first woke up here after his flight crashed.  To bring everything full circle, Jack lies down and looks at the sky, waiting for the end to come.  A familiar bark is heard and Walt’s dog, Vincent appears by his side and lies down next to him.  As an animal lover myself, this moment really resonated with me.  The unconditional love a dog has for a companion is something that is truly special.  When Jack’s eye closes, similar to when his eye opened in the beginning of the series, he knows that his words held true.  He is not alone.  He never was.  He helped his friends and he made a difference that will stand the test of time.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your own favorite heart-warming moments from Lost below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl