Week to Week

Alyson Blog Posts, Small Screen Spotlight Leave a Comment

There are three seasons when it comes to new series content: fall, spring, and summer.  The longest, most grueling time for me is in between seasons.  What are you supposed to watch?  How can you go on living from week to week without new content and interesting programming?

Okay, maybe I’m being a little over-dramatic, but if you’re anything like me, the in-between stage can be a bit blah and tough to navigate. The key is figuring out what to watch so you don’t feel like you’re “waiting for next season”.

Summer shows are almost over, and there will be a small lag in programming until September 4, when NFL regular season starts (or Sept 7 if you have no interest in the old pigskin.)

Here’s what you should be watching until then:

Shark Week: August 10 – August 16

I shouldn’t have to explain how epic Shark Week is, but this week has always held a special place in my heart.  You see, when I was a kid, Shark Week was the final escape of the summer before I had to go back to school.  My sister and I would spend hours watching the thing that feared us the most, partly because sharks are so interesting and mysterious; but also because, as much as we feared sharks, it wasn’t as scary as having to wake up at 7 am every day and go to class!  This year, Shark Week is ramping up their online presence, with Non-Stop Shark Cams, Instagram and Twitter runners on their main page, as well as contests, games, and more.  Somehow they found a way to make me even more excited to see the #KingofSummer.

Netflix and Netflix Roulette

Derek, Hemlock Grove, Arrested Development, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black.  That’s just the most popular Netflix Original programming you can find on this site.  I also love exploring other series that they have to watch hours upon hours without commercials or breaks: Dexter, Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, The Office, Parks and Rec, New Girl, The League, Sons of Anarchy, Lost, American Horror Story – allow me to go on and on about the number of television shows that Netflix has to offer.  Now get a comfy chair, a couple refreshments, and your jam-jams on, because you’re going to be here for a while.  And if you’re still not happy with what Netflix has to offer, or find yourself saying, “I don’t know what to watch on there! I’m so tired of scrolling through choices!” look no further than Netflix Roulette, which allows you to select a few filters, click Spin, and randomly happen upon a choice that it thinks you should watch on Netflix, eliminating the need to shuffle through the Netflix jukebox and titles.  You can thank me later.

Hulu Plus

What? Hulu has created original content too? Why yes, yes they have.  They even have their own “originals” tab, so you can jump straight to it.  The Hotwives of Orlando is one of my faves, mostly because I hate all of the “Real Housewives of…” series on Bravo, and also because I love this cast: Angela Kinsey (from the Office), Kristen Schaal (from Bob’s Burgers and 30 Rock), Paul Scheer (the League), Joey McIntyre (yes, the NKOTB himself), the great Stephen Tobolowsky (Californication, Heroes, and Deadwood), and more.  The Hotwives of Orlando is one of the best parodies of modern reality television and even if you love the Bravo shows, you will want to watch this series on Hulu.

Amazon Prime

If you are already through with House of Cards and are looking for some more political roughhousing, then look no further than Alpha House on Amazon.  John Goodman steals the show of this original series on Amazon Prime that the viewers themselves picked.  Yes, Amazon Prime is unique in that every year it hosts a “Pilot Voting” period where they have twenty or so pilots in which viewers can vote and, upon popularity, see turned into a full series.  Talk about giving the power to the viewer!  Alpha House and Betas are just a few of the shows that won that opportunity in 2013, and Amazon has recently released more for 2014.  Amazon doesn’t make it as easy to find their original content as Hulu, but they have a link here that shows their current content.

If after all these suggestions, you still feel like you can’t possibly get through the next month with your sanity intact, I suggest you take a long nap and wake up when the calendar says September.

AlysonWeek to Week

My Parents Have No Idea What’s on TV Anymore

Alyson Blog Posts, Small Screen Spotlight 1 Comment

I was born in the 80s.  I grew up watching cartoons, rewinding countless VHS tapes, and going to movie theaters back when movies cost $4.  My parents, Robb and Mindy, were always the “young, hip parents” amongst my peers (they being only 20 years my junior). I was thrilled when they purchased dial-up internet so I could peruse the Nickelodeon website, even more excited when they came home with a Nintendo 64, and through the roof when I got my own TV in my room.  They have appeared to keep up with the latest trends and technological advances fairly well.  So it came as a bit of a shock to me when, upon going home for a weekend trip to my parents’ house recently, I found out they don’t know much about the current media.

“What do you mean you haven’t heard of ‘Epic Rap Battles of History?’ It’s only one of the most popular channels on YouTube, with over 10 million subscribers and millions of hits on every video they post! Hence the name ‘Epic.’“

“Sorry Aly, I just don’t keep up with that stuff like you and your brother,” my mother commented.

“Yea, well, he’s watching Annoying Orange and Assassin’s Creed walkthroughs, and I’m watching stuff a little more entertaining.”

I proceeded to show them ERB’s most popular videos (which my dad absolutely loved) and the conversation progressed into other content worth watching.  At that moment, I realized that my parents have no idea what’s on TV anymore.

The truth is, I watch a lot of television.  But not just the Boob Tube: if it’s entertaining and accessible, I find time for it.  Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Vimeo, Cable and Network television (as well as their .com counterparts), Apple TV – the whole 9 yards.

The problem is, in 2014, there are a lot of choices to choose from. How can anyone possibly know where to direct their attention when they have a million other things to do?  And thus, this blog was born!  I can finally put my useless obsession with all things small screen to good use!  I will not only post reviews of series shows, shorts, and webisodes, but also give advice as to what you may want to watch based on overall plot, genre, etc.  Stay tuned to see my next post, titled “Week to Week.”

AlysonMy Parents Have No Idea What’s on TV Anymore