Sunday, March 18, 2018

HTGAWM - 4.15 - Nobody Else is Dying - Best Scene Poll

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she reviews and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, loves live tweeting, and co-hosted The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Previously she wrote a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Monday, March 12, 2018

Quote of the Week - Week of March 4

A weekly feature highlighting the best quotes on TV as picked by the Spoiler TV team. We'd love to hear your picks too so please sound off in the comments below.

The Alienist:
1. Chief Byrnes: “Let me tell you something, you dumb mick. We serve the rich and in return they raise us above the primordial filth and God help us if we don’t keep our end of the bargain. To them, we are nothing more than dumb animals...”. (Claire)

Ash vs. Evil Dead:
1. Ash: “We gotta do that thing. What’s it called like when you’re driving in a car, putting on deodorant, and trying to drink a beer at the same time?” Kelly: “Reckless endangerment?” Ash: “No. Kelly, keep up. Multitasking! That’s it! We can do this. We’ll wail on evil and provide Elk Grove with hardware at a reasonable price.” Pablo: “But…” Ash: “But not that reasonable.” Kelly: “I missed him.” (Prpleight)

The Big Bang Theory:
1. Leonard: “Why do I have to be Robin?” Sheldon: “If you have to ask, you’re Robin.”
2. Leonard: “I made a deal with him to get you the Athenaeum for your wedding.” Sheldon: “Why would you do that?” Leonard: “Because I was a jerk for lying to you before and besides you’re my best friend. I want you to have the wedding of your dreams.” Sheldon: “On Mars?” Leonard: “Okay, I want Amy to have the wedding of her dreams.”
3. Sheldon: “Oh, I suppose we can pick another date.” Amy: “Well, it took you 9 months to pick that one. I’ll pick a different husband first.”

Black Lightning:
1. Anissa: “I'm willing to sacrifice my happiness so other people can have theirs.” (Naomi)
2. Jefferson: “Jennifer is already too much to handle without powers.” (Naomi)
3. Lady Eve: “I'll throw him off that bridge when I get to it.” (Naomi)

Channel Zero:
1. Louise Lispector: “A person can only give so much and then they’ve got nothing left to go around...” ~~~Her brother was a troubled drug addict and she has spent years looking for him and years before that trying to save him. She is a savior. (Claire)

1. Blake: “...and the whole LZBT community…” Stephen: “Close enough.” (Marko)

The Flash:
1. Barry: “You're my lightning rod, Iris.” (Naomi)

Grey’s Anatomy:
1. Jo: “She's not your MerMer anymore. She is Harper Avery Award Winning Surgeon Meredith Grey.” (Marko)

Hawaii 5-0:
1. Danny: “What if we are the only people left on earth, then what? What are we supposed to do? Repopulate?” Tani: “That’s a hard no.”
2. Steve: “What’s the opposite of a motivational speaker? Cause whatever that’re that.” Grover: “Yeah, I don’t know. No, I...I think my man’s got a point.”
3. Odell: “Next time you feel the urge to pick up a pair of clippers, don’t. I mean this is...this is a travesty.” Steve: “What are you talking about?” Odell: “You call me instead, please.”

1. Frank: “It killed me to keep this from you, but you were going to the Supreme Court. You didn’t need more problems.” Annalise: “Stop. I know you’re trying to protect me. I can’t be mad at you for that.” Frank: “Of course you can.” Annalise: “I don’t have the energy to be mad at you anymore Frank or anyone else. Let’s just forgive ourselves for once, even if we don’t deserve it.”
2. Michaela: “Are we the most horrible people you’ve ever met?”
3. Frank: “You’re going to get him back.” Laurel: “You don’t know that.” Frank: “I do. You hear me, no matter what I have to do, I’m bringing that kid home to you.” Laurel: “No more dead people.”

Lethal Weapon:
1. Roger: “Riggs, this is coming very close to being categorized as a shenanigan.”
2. Riggs: “I do not want the advice of a man who is sleeping on my floor because he was evicted by the most patient woman on the planet.”
3. Roger: “You know what, one day when I’m gone…” Riggs: “Oh God, please make that be today.”

Living Biblically:
1. Meadows: “They thought you were dead, but it looks like you were playing hooky. Huge mistake not being dead.”
2. Meadows: “Okay, no more coffee for you two. You cracked out morons are all jacked out on beans.”
3. Meadows: “A bloody shirt. Okay, that is not ideal.”

1. Riley: “You know things are bad when Jack Dalton’s the voice of reason.”
2. Jack: “Look around you. Okay, I don’t speak Ukrainian but this sign in any language is bad news.”
3. Jack: “I’m just saying you gave that child of the radioactive corn my favorite stuff, man.” Riley: “Yeah well maybe the real question you should be asking is why you like to wear things teenagers find cool.”

1. Walter: “This is my worst work day ever and I was once accidentally blasted into space.”
2. Laverne: “We’re gonna die here today.”
3. Toby: “That’s an immaculate reception.”

The Walking Dead:
1. Rick: “Carl's dead, he wrote letters. He wrote one to you, he asked you to stop, he asked me to stop. He asked us for peace. But it's too late for that. Even if we wanted a deal now it doesn't matter. I'm gonna kill you.” (DarkUFO)
2. Enid: “Why would you kill us? To punish us? Don't you get it? Killing is the punishment.” (DarkUFO)
3. Negan: “You set this course Rick. Who's next?” Rick: “You are!” (DarkUFO)

Will & Grace:
1. Grace: “What I’m trying to say is I’m happy, which means that I made the right choices and if you’re happy, that means you did too and we should be applauding each other. I have an actual...actual wish for this baby. I hope that whatever she chooses to do with her life that she never has one second of worry about what other people think.”
2. Jack: “Tap it twice.” Will: “There’s a little heart. What...why is there a little heart?” Jack: “You just liked it.” Will: “I don’t want to like it. I don’t want him to know I was here. Undo it.” Jack: “Relax. Just tap it again Insta-Grandma.”
3. Will: “Look at this place. It’s like prom, where the pregnacy’s out in the open.”

Young Sheldon:
1. Sheldon: “My teeth are small but my prefrontal cortex is enormous.”
2. Libby: “You have a bathroom schedule?” Sheldon: “You don’t.”
3. George: “He may start college in a couple of years. What happens then?” Mary: “Off the top of my head, he and I share a dorm room.” George: “You know I’d laugh at that if I didn’t kind of believe you.”

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she reviews and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, loves live tweeting, and co-hosted The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Previously she wrote a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

HTGAWM - 4.14 - The Day Before He Died - Best Scene Poll

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she reviews and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, loves live tweeting, and co-hosted The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Previously she wrote a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

HTGAWM / Scandal - Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania / Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself - Best Scene Poll

Since the new episode of How to Get Away with Murder was a crossover, I decided to add a Best Scene poll for the Scandal episode as well. I apologize in advance to any Scandal viewers if I missed key scenes. I don't watch the show so I wasn't sure about the scenes without Olivia Pope in them. I also apologize for posting this a day late. I forgot to tape the Scandal episode and then had a hard time streaming it.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she reviews and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, loves live tweeting, and co-hosted The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Previously she wrote a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Pitch Your Show - Olympics Edition - Part F

It's the final part of the Olympics version of Pitch Your Show, featuring shows from S-Y. This version also includes the second most pitched show, Timeless, which begins its second season on March 11. Once again, I thank everyone who pitched their shows. I wish we could have featured every pitch, but the official spreadsheet is included in a link below so that you can see them all. Like before, to keep the articles short and readable, all pitches were edited for length (less than 300 words), clarity, and grammar. I have also limited nominations to 3 per show with a few very popular shows having 4. I hope that everyone has found at least one new show to sample and that the rest of your TV season is filled with great characters, intriguing story lines, and twists that keep you guessing.


Part A
Part B
Part C
Part D
Part E

The Shannara Chronicles: Netflix

Ezio Auditore - If you have a taste for fantasy and magic genres, then the Shannara Chronicles is a show you should add to your must watch list. Thousands of years in the future, civilization as you know it is gone, desolated by centuries of conflict. The world, now known as the Four Lands, is ruled by elves, trolls, and other mythical creatures. The story features three youngsters: Amberle, the elf princess, Eretria, a human thief, and a gifted half-elf named Wil under guidance of Allanon the druid (Manu Bennett). Together, they have to protect the Ellcrys, a mystical tree that serves as a barrier keeping an army of demons sealed away. When the Ellcrys begins dying, the three unlikely heroes set on a quest to restore it before the demons return and lay waste to the Four Lands.

Silicon Valley: HBO Go

Folielex – You know how in shows you usually have the misfit nerd character, who's too smart for the people who surround him? Well Silicon Valley is a show where essentially every character is that guy. Richard Hendricks, a bonafide computer genius has set out to make his mark in the cutthroat and ever evolving world of computer startups. Surrounded by his merry band of coders and engineers (not so much misfits in this world), we see him stumble, fall, and get back up again, constantly relying on the one thing he rarely has any doubts over: the quality of his tech. It's fascinating to watch the backstage going-ons of this world most of us can never really understand, but whose products we all use. The characters are all fascinating and the dynamics between them are inherently interesting. The humor is sharp and funny, even when it might, at times, get a little crude. However, the true winning quality of the show is its persistence in showcasing perseverance. These guys get knocked down all the time, yet they are determined to make a mark in this world. It's the age of the geek, baby, and damn it, they are the best the species has to offer, so succeed they will. Season 5 will start in March so it’s a great time to check it out.

Milo – A brilliant look inside the tech industry in Silicon Valley, this show just as easily could have been a hyper competitive drama series but instead, the comedy that the writers go for here really elevates its material. I'll laugh at least once per episode as it deals with a terrific ensemble drawn from comedic talents that include the likes of Thomas Middleditch and more. It's really worth catching up on because it's just damn good.

Star Wars Rebels:

Ellys Cartin – Though it starts as something of a kid show, Star Wars Rebels grows into one of the most compelling entries in the franchise. The two main characters are Kanan, a survivor of the Jedi massacre, and Ezra, a Force-sensitive orphan who crossed paths with Kanan and his team of rebels. The series is the perfect bridge between Sith and New Hope (sorry, Rogue One), as it explores the breakdown of the Empire and traces the rise of the Rebellion. It has visuals so cool you won't believe it and fan favorites from The Clone Wars make appearances often, but the show doesn't neglect its core cast, taking each one through harrowing physical and personal journeys. It's thoroughly entertaining and well-worth watching even if you're not a Star Wars fan.

Milo – If you're a fan of the original Star Wars Trilogy or looking for the next best thing to a second season of Firefly, then you need to be watching Star Wars Rebels. It's Disney XD's best show that takes place in the years up to A New Hope, following a small band of rebels including two Jedi as they fight against the ever-growing might of the Empire. While it does start off a little weak it gets better as it goes on, featuring several crossovers from its predecessor, The Clone Wars, which you do not have to watch to understand what's going on. There are some very awesome episodes in this show including those that feature Darth Vader. With the show expected to come to an end this year, now's the perfect time to catch up.

Suits: Amazon Prime

Laura Markus – Suits is a legal drama based on the would-be partnership between the best closer in New York, Harvey Specter, and college dropout, Mike Ross. The pilot offers everything to determine if you'll enjoy the show or not. The firm Harvey works for only offers jobs to those who went to Harvard, and as someone who got kicked out of Harvard, hiring Mike leads to some crazy shenanigans and stories down the line. All of the best stories and episodes involve his secret (minus some in Season 4), but the relationship between Harvey and Mike is what the show is based on and Suits is at its strongest when it remembers this. In addition, we also have a bada** boss lady, played by the impeccable Gina Torres. Think Annalise Keating without the murders, although I wouldn't put it past her to kill someone one day. There's also the insufferable Louis Litt, and although Rick Hoffman has some truly Emmy-worthy scenes, Louis is often tough to watch. However, it is his love of law and for the Pearson Specter Litt firm that gets him through, and that's sweet. There are a slew of romances, some involving Rachel Zane, which aren't the best, but Donna Paulsen shines in earlier seasons. The legal cases, courtroom drama, hijinks and humor between all the characters are when the show really hits a high. Each season has great variety and after the setback of Season 4, Season 5 made a surprising comeback. It's definitely worth a try, with the pilot being one of the best episodes of the series. Suits has really quality writing when it tries, and the acting across the board is phenomenal with DulĂ© Hill joining in the seventh season.

Lindsey – You may see the show referenced in the tabloids, now that Meghan Markle is marrying Prince Harry. Do you, however, know what the show is really about? Suits is legal show that doesn’t spend much time focusing on the law. After being instructed to hire a graduate of Harvard Law, Harvey Specter does the opposite and knowingly hires a fraud who never attended any law school. While keeping secrets isn’t easy in an environment as dramatic as a law firm, the writers create a balance by adding in scenes of lightheartedness and fun. The show also has a few “shippable” pairings if you’re into that.

Supergirl: Netflix

Maria Fernanda – There are many reasons why people should see Supergirl. It is a fantastic show and the way they approach different topics is spectacular, specifically the Alex and Maggie relationship. It has helped thousands of people; they are more than characters. They have a healthy relationship and the response to it has been very good. Watching everyone around Alex react to her coming out as a lesbian has been totally positive and I think this is one more example of how all people are the same. There is discrimination but above all love and understanding is never lacking.

Samantha Ross – This is a female empowerment show with the added element of superheroes. However, there is something for guys; the action sequences are to die for. One of last season’s top storylines belongs to Alex Danvers, played by Chyler Leigh. She is the adopted sister of Supergirl and would do anything to protect her sister. Last season her storyline involved finding yourself, and we can all learn something from what she went through a part of us all can relate. Alex is a hero in own right and that also makes this show wonderful. The humans are heroes in their own way with a stellar performance by Chyler.

Superstore: Hulu (season 3)

Tuna – Superstore stars America Ferrara and Ben Feldman as retail employees at a big box superstore. The supporting cast includes Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom, Mark McKinney, and Nico Santos. The show follows the everyday life of all the workers at the Walmart-like retail outlet. Superstore is a very well-done workplace comedy, the comedy genre NBC does best, and no comedy on TV speaks more to the America we live in than this show. This show has some of the most likable characters on TV and many heartwarming moments while maintaining many laughs as well. Season 1 is very good but the show is trying to find its groove, which it does in season 2. Season 2 touches on some topical issues like gun laws and transgender rights but it also very much improves its comedic delivery and I found myself laughing out loud many times. So, if you just watched the pilot or season 1 and thought it was just alright, I would highly suggest giving it another chance. Superstore is one of the most underrated comedies on TV and one of my favorites, so do yourself a favor and watch it.

Milo – Do you like shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine? NBC's excellent Superstore is something that you'll find yourself falling in love with. It's quirky, funny and entertaining - and basically follows a similar format only taking place in a store named Cloud 9, focusing on a bunch of mismatched retail employees. It's full of excellent humor and incredibly charming. Now on its third season, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't check it out as soon as possible.


Carmkarn – This show may have been canceled after one season, but it is totally worth your time! Two girls team up and become vigilantes on their college campus to take down sexual predators, which I found to be an exciting and original concept! It's rare on TV to see women get to do the whole vigilante thing and also rare to see women fighting back against rapists, so it feels very refreshing to watch! While both girls have their own relationship problems they're dealing with, the main focus of the show is on their friendship, which develops incredibly as the season goes on. The show handles rape with a lot of sensitivity and while I'm generally not a fan of storylines involving that subject, I didn't mind it here, mainly because it gave power back to the victims. Obviously dealing with heavy themes makes the show a bit intense at times, but I never found it overwhelmingly so. The first (and only) season does wrap up most of its plotlines by the end, giving you a tease as to what a second season might entail, so no need to worry about ending on a cliffhanger.

Dahne – I tend to hate “important” shows, ones that clearly have a message to deliver. I am also not a fan of shows that focus on sexual assault because that gets too heavy too quickly. However, I also learned from Teen Wolf, Eye Candy, and most of The CW lineup, not to judge a show by what I think it will be like so I watched the pilot of Sweet/Vicious and was immediately hooked. It is the single best portrayal of the aftereffects of rape that I have ever seen, and yet it adds in moments of levity and action so that it doesn’t get overwhelmingly dark. The main characters feel real and are very diverse at first, not friends at all. Still, their shared secret brings them together and in the end, Jules realizes that Ophelia is her strongest supporter. This show does female friendship like none other. While it can be a whole lot of fun, and I promise you will laugh throughout, it takes its serious moments very seriously and never makes light of rape. In fact, the scene where Jules finally confronts her rapist is the most raw TV moment I have ever seen. Eliza Bennett deserved an Oscar for that scene alone.


Ellys Cartin - This show is so much fun. Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, was kidnapped as an infant, but thanks to her own courage/spunk and a little help from her future husband Eugene, the former outlaw extraordinaire Flynn Rider voiced by Zachary Levi, she's finally back home with her parents in their castle. Rapunzel struggles a bit. Royal obligations, getting everyone to like her (something the show amusingly points out isn't possible), her magical hair growing back, and getting to know her parents offer some very real challenges. Perhaps the most entertaining part of the show, though, is the ongoing feud between boyfriend Eugene and new best friend/lady-in-waiting/dynamo Cassandra! The latter is an especially engaging new character, well-rounded with her own baggage and ambitions. Eugene, meanwhile, tries to find an occupation. It's a hilarious, smart cartoon that can be enjoyed solo or with the whole family.

Timeless: Hulu

Kimberly Montague – The cast, crew, writing, costumes, and props are all first class. The storylines are fascinating with sometimes forgotten but always real heroes. It sucks you in with twists that you would never even consider. Just watch a couple of episodes, and you'll be hooked.

Mark Usher – If you passed on Timeless the first time around, I urge you to sample season 2 when the show returns in March. Why? Well first of all, Timeless is not just another time travel show trying to get plot mileage out of paradoxes and butterfly effects. The focus of Timeless is on characters and fast, conflict-driven action. The time travel element forms the backdrop, but for me it’s how the characters play off each other, how the relationships between them develop and intensify, and how they change in unpredictable ways that keep me magnetized to the show. These changes are often unexpected and regularly run opposite to how ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters are expected to behave in more traditionally laid out shows. The central characters of Lucy the historian, Wyatt the soldier, and Rufus the scientist remain the clear ‘good guys’ throughout but each has their own unique journey. Lucy and Rufus are both timid and apprehensive time travelers in the pilot but both have killed by the end of episode 12. Wyatt’s initial mindset is of a soldier’s tunnel-vision to carry out the mission but later he goes rogue to try to save his wife. And what of Flynn, such an apparently one-dimensional villain at the outset of the story? Before the season’s half-way point, we’re wondering if he’s the villain at all. Timeless doesn’t take the easy route because real life rarely does. In the end, that’s perhaps the biggest reason you have to try season 2. Excitement is guaranteed and it won’t be from wormholes. It will be from seeing where these wonderful, unpredictable, and very, very human characters go.

Rob Holland – This is similar to the old 60’s show Time Tunnel, featuring characters going back to important events in history and finding themselves in danger as well as risking unwittingly altering past events. As with that show, Timeless revels in the massive options it has in terms of what periods of history to visit. No spoilers here but part of the fun of watching this show is finding out which historical figures and what past events are going to be in the next episode. The team is usually in some kind of danger though and only Wyatt's military training, Lucy's extensive knowledge of history, and Rufus' technical expertise can save them. These three characters have great chemistry and their diversity provides the show with an opportunity to make social commentary about past attitudes. Rufus, for example, is African-American, so what happens when they go back to a time before slavery was abolished? And how does Lucy handle her treatment at the hands of chauvinistic men in the 60’s and 70’s? As the team tries to apprehend a rogue time traveler, their allies back at Headquarters deal with a dangerous organization in the present so there's usually lots going on. Finally, the bad guy isn't necessarily a bad guy. As with all good TV, the characters aren't all black and white, even when they go back to a time when television was black and white. In short, it’s a very busy and exciting TV show well worth your time.

Lauren Esteph – A history teacher, a soldier and a tech guy/pilot take missions back in time to stop what they feel is a man threatening history, only to find out that the biggest threat might be the people closest to them. They travel to different eras in time each week, meeting with well known (Abraham Lincoln) and some not so well known (Bass Reeves) people in history. This show has the perfect balance of action, suspense, comedy, romance, and history. They stay extremely accurate to the history of the time period they're visiting, including how things were different for people of color (the pilot is a person of color) and women (the teacher). They don't sugar coat any of the problems that history has. To top it off, the FX's, the costumes, and the sets are amazing and on point. The actors do a great job each week and in the 16-episode season, you know each character so well you feel as if you've been watching them for years. Timeless is WELL WORTH the watch.

Top of the Lake: Hulu

Milo - I just started watching this brilliant crime drama starring Elisabeth Moss, but it is one of the best crime shows I've seen in years. Set in a remote mountain town in New Zealand, it revolves around Moss' inexperienced detective Robin Griffin hunting for a 12-year-old girl who is not only pregnant but has also gone missing. Each of its two seasons is only six episodes long, and it really pulls you in with a compelling mystery drama. The cinematography in this show is just amazing, creating a fantastic atmosphere, and it's easy to see why Moss won the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a TV Mini-Series. Compelling and downright essential viewing for crime fans, this show cannot be missed.

Travelers: Netflix

Nao - When I started watching, I felt the need to apologize every time I said that I liked it. It was a bit clichĂ© and the concept wasn’t revolutionary at all, but the more I watched, the more I loved it. Trying to prevent a series of catastrophes which brought the world to the brink of chaos, travelers from the future are sent into the bodies of people about to die. A mysterious Director sends the travelers on various missions without giving them a lot of information. The whole is intelligent; it’s both creative and surprising. There are many travelers, organized in teams, who follow a series of protocols. The creator is Brad Wright (Stargate) and the series is really Canadian with lots of cameos. While not revolutionary, it is efficient and works well in the long run. There aren’t many special effects, but it doesn’t look like they are lacking funds (as in Helix, for example). The actors are mostly unknown, but all the characters are very likeable. There is a good balance between their good qualities and their flaws. It’s fascinating without being frustrating – they aren’t super heroes, but they are focused and competent. Seeing them discovering a world that is not yet destroyed was absolutely wonderful. The future is never shown, only told through stories and memories and there are no filler episodes. We are immersed in the travelers’ mind, with a rationalization of their actions that look like indoctrination. Some things are presented as totally normal, but when you think about it afterwards, it becomes dizzying.

Ellys Cartin – A body snatcher procedural - that's the way I think of Travelers, which offers a fresh take on the time traveling genre. Eric McCormack plays Traveler 3468/Grant, the leader of a group whose consciousness' are transferred back in time to the 21st Century. They take over the lives and identities of the people whose bodies they now inhabit. Directed by a powerful artificial intelligence, the team works to change time. We don't really see the future, but we're shown what it's like through the character's actions. In one poignant scene, two characters marvel at the taste of a burger and soda. Other characters gape at the sun and sky because everyone lives underground in the future in bunkers. No "save the world" plan would be complete without some bumps in the road. The team is burdened with future knowledge, but their mission forbids them from changing anything/saving anyone except whom they are told to. My personal favorite character was Trevor, an older man who winds up in the body of a teenager. Jared Abrahamson plays Trevor with all the mannerisms and vernacular of someone much older. Challenges await the other Travelers as well. One finds her new role is a mother, another an addict. The series has a few stumbles out of the gate but things pick up nicely over the season. Each episode the team has to complete a mission, ranging from a heist to saving a life to altering the future. Of course, there's the slight catch in that as they change the future, their own knowledge of it is no longer accurate. It's terribly intriguing and entertaining.

Trial & Error: Hulu

Bradley – This is the funniest show I watched last year. I’m really glad it'll be back on later this year.

Carmkarn – Trial & Error is a mockumentary of true crime documentaries and it does it so well. It has a lot of humor in the vein of Parks & Recreation, with characters dealing with the bureaucracy of living in a small rural town. Seeing John Lithgow in a comedy again, playing accused murderer Larry, is a delight if you were a fan of 3rd Rock from the Sun like me. He does a great job of keeping you wondering the whole season if he's guilty or innocent. The investigation team on the case becomes a bit of a found family for not only Larry but the audience as well, and you easily find yourself rooting for them. At the same time, you’ll love prosecutor Carol Anne Keane, mostly thanks to a fantastic performance by Jayma Mays. The show is highly binge-able and easy to catch up on!

Tuna - I did not start watching Trial and Error until it got renewed but this show easily became my favorite comedy of the year because it had so many great elements of classic NBC sitcoms that I adore such as Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock. If you adore those shows like I do, I definitely think that you would enjoy this show. Trial and Error is a mockumentary that parodies the true crime documentary genre and it does so brilliantly. You have people talking to and looking at the camera like The Office, hilarious one-liners like 30 Rock, and a rural setting in a fictional town in South Carolina that reminds me of Pawnee in Parks and Recreation. I found myself laughing out loud many times throughout all 13 episodes (not a big commitment at all) and the cast is incredible. For me the standouts of the season have to be John Lithgow and Sherri Shepherd, whose characters are very animated and they consistently bring many laughs. The rest of the amazing cast includes Nicholas D'Agosto, Jayma Mays, Steven Boyer, and Krysta Rodriguez. The show follows Nicholas D'Agosto as the defense lawyer of the accused murderer, John Lithgow. With help from his associates, Sherri Shepherd and Steven Boyer, and the accused murderer’s daughter, Krysta Rodriguez, they hilariously try to prove that Lithgow is innocent. Meanwhile the prosecutor, Jayma Mays, comes at them from every angle. Many of the episodes end in great little cliffhangers and not only is the show hysterical, but it also has a very good storyline and a great mystery element. Trust me; you will not regret watching this show. I just hope you like it as much as I did.

Veep: Amazon Prime

Milo – There's a reason why nobody stands a chance at beating Julia-Louis Dreyfus at the Emmy’s each year in the comedy department and that is Veep, HBO's best comedy masterpiece that really excels in the genre. It’s politically relevant at the same time, politically neutral (not once do they reveal which party the characters belong to), and is a show about terrible people generally just insulting each other using arguably the best insults ever featured in a television show. Initially focused on Dreyfus' character, Selina as Vice President, the show has since outgrown that role but it still remains excellent, with a brilliant ensemble that never disappoints.

Victoria: Amazon Prime

Ellys Cartin – Jenna Coleman enchants in this charming series about young Queen Victoria. It's a coming-of-age story that follows Victoria in the early days of her reign. She happily looks forward to being her own mistress, only to realize she's terribly underprepared. Like every other young person, Victoria stumbles along the way of growing up. It's also a love story. We see her have a first crush, flirt with eligible princes, and then find her soulmate in the endearing Albert. Tom Hughes makes mustaches sexy again. But it's also a realistic love story so they have things to work through. I found their relationship issues much more watchable than The Crown's Philip and Elizabeth. It's also a historical drama, so there are gorgeous sets, costumes, and props! Also, don't miss the supporting performances of Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne, David Oakes as Albert's brother Ernst, Nell Hudson as Victoria's lady in waiting Miss Skerrett, and Ferdinand Kingsley as the palace's creative and dashing chef Francatelli. I also enjoyed how the show takes time to portray current events of that historical period and how they affect the characters.

Noor – Victoria is a charming, gorgeous show. However, I'm told it’s not very historically accurate so if this bothers you, then maybe this is not the show for you. Otherwise the characters, acting, cinematography, and music are all top notch!

You Me Her:

Abi Baker - It's the only polyromantic show currently on TV and it doesn't fall into the usual tropes that standard shows which have 'throuple' storyline seem to. It's a comedy that has a lot of heart and follows the trials and tribulations of a suburban married couple who fall in love with a female grad student following problems in their marriage. Even though it's broadcast weekly on TV, it's a great show to marathon as every episode follows on from each other. You can't help but root for the main trio to make it work, and there really isn't anything else like it on TV. It's funny, yet also sensitive and relatable. It also scored a two season renewal in its first season, so the network definitely has a lot of faith in it.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she reviews and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, loves live tweeting, and co-hosted The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Previously she wrote a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pitch Your Show - Olympics Edition - Part E

Welcome back to round 5 of Pitch Your Show, the penultimate part. Today we celebrate TV shows from M-R. Again there is a lot of variety showcased so hopefully you can find something new to try or maybe an old favorite that deserves a rewatch. Like before, to keep the articles short and readable, all pitches were edited for length (less than 300 words), clarity, and grammar. I have also limited nominations to 3 per show with a few very popular shows having 4. I am truly sorry if your nomination is not in here. Know that I appreciate your time and pitches. Making the choice of what went in was difficult. After all sections are posted, I will include a link to the original spreadsheet so you can read them all in their entirety. Also, don’t forget to add your comments below. What shows do you recommend?

Part A
Part B
Part C
Part D

MacGyver: CBS All Access

Joy Haldar – This is NOT the original MacGyver and it isn't trying to be. It’s pleasant, sexy, stylish, light-hearted and enjoyable, as well as very clean. It’s not Academy-Award winning stuff, but very fun and light, which is a relief in my opinion from all the cold, hard, bitter chic of TV today. I'd rather watch Mac than easily half (or more) of what's on these days. Lucas Till is relatable, enjoyable and funny as the lead, his banter with George Eads (CSI’s Nick Stokes) is smarta**, endearing and funny, and the rest of the supporting cast (Tristin Mays and Meredith Eaton) adds to the story without turning trite or flat. Like Peter Lenkov's other show Hawaii Five-0, it also relies heavily on bromance and family style character dynamics while containing breezy action sequences. It's always fun seeing Mac improve on spot using that big brain of his. It might seem like a reach at times but it's always innovative - that's a guarantee. It's a perfect Friday night fit with CBS' shows like "Hawaii Five-0" and "Blue Bloods." So sit back, get a tub of popcorn, and have a lot of fun enjoying this one.

Dahne – I grew up watching the original MacGyver with my family, so when the reboot was announced, I was intrigued. What I found was a whole lot of fun. Just like in the original, this reboot stresses Mac’s brain power but by adding Jack along as his friend and protector, it also added snark. Tons of snark. Plus, it created one of the best bromances currently on TV. I love the banter between Mac and Jack but I equally love their heartfelt moments. They know each other so well and depend on each other to get through not just the cases but also the tough moments that life throws at them both. MacGyver is not a perfect show. It can get a little too formulaic, I still hate what they did to Thornton, it took a long time for Matty to grow on me, and I still have no idea why Cage (season 2) is even on the show. However, the good points far outweigh any negatives. Riley is a fantastic character, who has easily had the most growth. Her father-daughteresque relationship with Jack is another big highlight. It adds dimension to both characters and has become my second favorite bond on the show. Basically, MacGyver is a fun Friday night show with awesome characters and a lot of snarky banter. You can’t go wrong with that combination.

The Magicians: Netflix

Ezio Auditore - Described by a cast member as “Harry Potter on crack,” The Magicians follows the story of Quentin Coldwater and his childhood best friend Julia who grew up reading the popular fantasy novels Fillory and Further. One day Quentin and Julia are recruited and tested for admittance into Brakebills University, where they discover the magical world they grew up reading about is real. While Quentin is accepted into Brakebills to be trained as a magician, Julia is not and seeks magic elsewhere. Things seems to be going well until a mysterious entity known as 'The Beast' begins terrorizing Brakebills. With the help of his new classmates, the booksmart Alice Quinn, resident senior students Eliot and Margo, and the guarded and foulmouthed Penny, Quentin must master his latent magical abilities to stop The Beast. While a fantasy series at heart the show also touches upon mature subject matter such as substance abuse and even sexual assault.

NCIS: Netflix

Ezio Auditore – If you're a fan of character driven crime shows with undertones of humor, NCIS is up your alley. NCIS is a police drama that revolves around the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, a federal law enforcement agency that investigates any crimes that involve the US Navy and Marine Corps, from assaults and drug dealing to major crimes such as murder and terrorism. The team consists of the gruff and no-nonsense former Marine, Agent Gibbs, who is as hard and stubborn as he is nurturing and compassionate, Tony DiNozzo, a charismatic and street smart former detective who serves as Gibbs' senior agent, the sassy ex-Secret Service Agent Caitlin Todd, and the timid tech specialist Tim McGee. Rounding out the team is the elderly but chipper ME expert Donald 'Ducky' Mallard and Abby Scuito, a goth loving forensic genius with a heart of gold. Later additions to the team include the Mossad operative Ziva David, Director Jenny Shepperd who shares a complicated past with Gibbs, the enigmatic Leon Vance, eager rookie Agent Ellie Bishop, veteran agent Alex Quinn, and deep cover agent Nick Torres. NCIS has had many changes over the years but the main reason it has lasted this long is due to the many memorable characters that have come and gone over the years.

Ellys Cartin – NCIS has been around for some years. Why? Sure, interesting cases ranging from whodunits to robberies to sabotage to cons pepper each season, but I believe the longevity of the show is in its characters. You should certainly start with seasons 1-2, as these introduce most of the core cast. Gibbs, the wonderfully wry and golden hearted no-nonsense team leader with the dark and tragic past that chases him; Tony, the goofball, lady appreciating man of action; Abby, the goth stereotype shattering scientist with caffeine veins and faithful plush farting hippo Bert; Ducky, the wise medical examiner with an anecdote for every occasion and a touching reverence for the dead; McGee, the nerd geek computer whiz comic relief steady friend, and, of course, Ziva. Seasons 1-10 are mostly superb, with great character development over the years as the team faces every imaginable danger together. A regular stream of excellent guest stars recurs. We meet the families of the team members, learn their backstories, explore the skeletons in their closet, etc. The core cast has such amazing chemistry. They feel like a family themselves; you’ll get invested faster than you expect, and tears and cheers will follow.

H – It's a crime drama, but it's nothing like CSI. The characters' stories are what drive the writers. It also has great humor and it's not just about the case.

New Girl: Netflix

Mariah Laura Marquez – Super funny!

The Night Of: HBO Go

Fred - One evening, a young student Nasir 'Naz' Khan (played by Riz Ahmed) takes his father's cab to go to a party, but on his way he meets a girl. He spends the evening with her; they both take drugs and drink until Naz passes out. When he wakes up later that night, he finds the girl dead. He is charged with her murder and taken to prison and that's the point where everything goes downhill. Other characters worth mentioning are Naz's lawyer John Stone played by John Turturro and Naz's guardian at the prison played by amazing Michael Kenneth Williams. The performances in this show are top notch. The Night Of is a fascinating story that shows how a single bad decision can screw up your entire life. The character development of Naz is mesmerizing to watch. It's amazing how environment and circumstances can change a person. After a couple of episodes, I started to have doubts. Is Naz really innocent? What's the truth? What really happened that night? Watch the show and you will find out :) It's only 8 episodes and it does have a proper ending that is really dark, tragic and sad, but I loved it. I recommend this show to everyone who likes dark cable dramas, brilliant writing and interesting characters.

One Day at a Time: Netflix

Jamie Coudeville – It's without a doubt one of the best sitcoms I've seen in a long time. Aside from being really funny, it also tackles difficult subjects like PTSD, sexuality, immigration, and religion. There are only 26 episodes so far, so it's super easy to catch up on. Don't let Netflix cancel another gem.

Orphan Black: Amazon Prime

Katie – Tatiana Maslany is a powerhouse of an actress. That is a good enough reason to watch it.

Milo – One reason should be enough to try this show, Tatiana Maslany. Her performances as multiple different characters are nothing short of incredible in this science fiction drama from BBC America. The mystery is complex and entertaining and it has one of the strongest pilots I've seen. Maslany's Sarah Manning, a streetwise hustler, witnesses a girl who looks exactly like her commit suicide on a train platform. She finds herself drawn into the conspiracy in a fascinating way from there with great, thrilling results. There's multiple female characters with plenty of depth and Maslany herself is terrific with her performance as most of them here. Its well-paced, well-written drama is a must watch for anyone who wants some good television.


Betty Hamilton – This is simply an amazing book adaptation of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. There is something for everyone: action, adventure, romance, a bit of mystery, history, fantastic period costumes, gorgeous Scotland scenery, and even some sci-fi. The episodes are fast paced with lots of action and end far too soon. It’s truly a delightful show.

Ellys Cartin – This show is not for the faint of heart. Outlander's strongest asset is actress Caitriona Balfe, who plays the main character Claire Fraser, a World War 2 nurse who finds herself transported back to a simpler time. Just kidding. There's nothing simplistic about 1700’s Scotland. It’s on the brink of war, while barbaric practices and splendid outfits abound. Then there's Jamie, a Scot with a golden soul, whose physical and emotional wounds are soothed by his growing bond with Claire. He's fairly hunky too. (Bonus!) One tiny little problem: Claire is married back in the 1940’s. Another issue: guess which clan will be one of many wiped out in the upcoming war with England? Jamie's. Claire would prefer to not get involved in any unpleasantries, but, well, just as cows give milk and Scots wear kilts, danger and heartbreak abound. Not always the easiest show to watch, Outlander gives you lush love scenes one episode and then completely traumatizes you the next. There's a fair share of action, plenty of "adults only" content, and each episode leaves you both afraid and eager for the next. With the show being anchored by a lead with such poignant power in all her scenes, Outlander has much to recommend it. If you're looking for something intense to watch in the breaks between Game of Thrones and Westworld, it's the way to go.

Kirki Nia – It has just about everything: history, natural beauty, wonderful music, beautiful sets and costumes, the best love story ever written, wars and battles, time travel, humor, and the most talented cast ever.

Peaky Blinders: Netflix

Milo – If you're a fan of gangster dramas like Goodfellas, Boardwalk Empire, or The Sopranos, then this 1920’s UK show following the adventures of the ambitious Shelby family as they grow their criminal enterprise in Birmingham is essential viewing. Moody and atmospheric, this brilliant drama boasts an all-star cast with the likes of Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Helen McCrory, Sam Neill and Annabelle Wallis, as well as a brilliantly-suited anachronistic soundtrack with the likes of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as well as The White Stripes thrown in there for good measure. The plot is compelling and the characters are brilliantly well done, and with season 5 expected to air later this year, there's no better time to catch up.

Person of Interest: Netflix

Lex- Person of Interest premiered in 2011, starring Michael Emerson as reclusive billionaire genius Harold Finch, Jim Caviezel as burned CIA operative John Reese, and an ensemble cast of supporting characters who work together to prevent crimes before they happen. They’re able to do so with the guidance of Finch’s invention, "The Machine," an artificial intelligence with unfettered access to all means of surveillance in the country but mostly wherever the L train can take them. There are so many interesting aspects, including a lot of butt kicking from Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi) and John Reese (Jim Caviezel). We also get a cop perspective from detectives Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and her partner Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), who starts as a corrupt cop. Carter gets involved with Finch and John, helping them save people using police resources. Meanwhile Fusco is blackmailed by Reese into helping them. What Carter and Fusco don't know is that they are both working for the same people, as they both realize their partner is hiding something. Later on, Samantha Groves and Root (Amy Acker) are introduced. Root at first works against the team because she wants to find the location of the Machine and set it free, while John, Shaw and Finch trying to keep the machine away from hands of the government because Finch fears what the government will do with it. Much, much later Root ends becoming a part of the team and they all help people who are in need of it.

Playing House: USA Network

Carmkarn – This comedy is about the friendship between Emma and Maggie, written and played by real life best friends Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham. This helps not only the chemistry between the leads, but also makes the way they relate to each other feel very real to life. Seeing friendships between women, especially as the focus of a show, is unfortunately pretty rare, so it's really refreshing to watch a show that makes you laugh out loud and for me is pretty relatable. Rounding out the cast is Keegan-Michael Key, playing a romantic lead in a way I never expected from him, along with Zach Woods and Lindsay Sloane. The show is very heartwarming and keeps its light and comedic tone even while dealing with heavy issues. There's only 26 episodes so it's very easy to catch up on and is perfect for a binge!

Tuna – Playing House centers on two best friends in real life, Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair. Parham's character Maggie divorces her husband while expecting a child so she turns to her best friend Emma (St. Clair) to help raise the baby with her. Playing House is one of the funniest little shows on television right now and it is a very small commitment with only 26 episodes. I watched the first season's 10 episodes back-to-back within a couple of hours because of how quickly I connected with the characters. Their friendship is so real, which the viewer can easily tell just based on their chemistry and how comfortable they are around each other. Playing House is such a cute show that honestly means so much to me because of how real it is and how genuine their friendship is. The rest of the amazing cast includes Zachary Woods, Brad Morris, and Keegan-Michael Key. This show has so much heart and a lot of laughs; you will not regret watching this show.

Please Like Me: Hulu

LauraLoo - Please Like Me is a fantastic Australian show dipping into a nice mixture of fun, lighthearted comedy, and very emotional and hardcore drama. It deals with a variety of serious issues, such as mental health, abortion, homophobia, suicide, the workplace, and much, much more. It is always respectful and appropriate when talking about these topics as well, which is one of the best things about the show. Every episode was directed by the same person, and most of them were written by Josh Thomas and his real life best friend, Tom Ward. Josh is a comedian in real life and the show is based on his experiences with finding out he was gay a lot later in life, his best friend's reactions, his parents, his several flings, etc. He has a very creative and explosive way of getting his image onto the screen. This show doesn't just have impeccable writing; the directing is beautiful as well. The most noteworthy example is 2x07, where Josh and his mum take a camping trip together to talk about their experiences. The scenery is breathtaking and the writing was unbelievably amazing. It's also funny to note that none of the characters have last names, but this doesn't take away from the great character development that they all receive regardless. The acting is flawless in every episode too. Everyone delivers quality performances, especially Caitlin Stasey and Keegan Joyce. Keegan's Arnold is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. This show is charming, very smart, and deserving of everyone's time. It's a great binge-watcher too.

Preacher: Hulu

Milo - With a new season on the way, it's the perfect time to catch up on the first 2 seasons of Preacher, a weird, brilliantly twisted and incredibly engaging drama that follows Dominic Cooper's Jesse Custer, a preacher in West Texas, who finds out that he has the power to make people do whatever he tells them to do. However, this has unexpected consequences and things go south pretty quickly. The comedy element in this series is excellent and the performances from Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga and Joe Gilgun, as an Irish vampire, are brilliant. It gets weirder by the episode. Perfectly bingeable, this series was one 2016's best and you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you missed it.

Sam Challands – It is completely different, or very similar except it has as much stuff in it as possible. I'm talking about the wackiness of it, the supernatural stuff, the comedy, and the drama. It is just really bonkers and impressive.

Queen of the South: Netflix

Ezio Auditore - If you love action crime dramas with a strong female character trying to make it against impossible odds, Queen of the South is for you. The show centers around Teresa Mendoza, a young Mexican woman on the run after her drug dealing boyfriend is killed trying to rip off the cartel he works for. Fleeing to America, Teresa ends up as a drug mule for Camilla Vargas, the wife of the drug lord who ordered the death of Teresa's boyfriend and who Camilla secretly plots to overthrow. Now neck deep in the drug trade, Teresa must navigate through the life and make questionable choices both to insure her survival and to become the drug lord she will one day eventually be.

Reign: Netflix

Ellys Cartin – Reign is not for everybody. However, if gorgeous costumes, epic romance, killer performances, royal treachery and intrigue with a smidgen of impending doom are your jam, you will like Reign. The series is basically a sexy retelling of the life and times of Mary, Queen of Scots as well as two other formidable women rulers: Catherine Medici and Elizabeth I. Megan Follows, as Catherine, steals every scene even when she just walks by in the background. The first season establishes itself as a true guilty pleasure. Mary and her friends Greer, Kenna, and Lola find themselves entangled in attempted assassinations, socially improper romances, gorgeous costumes, etc. Did I mention how beautiful the show is? The countryside, the balls, the weddings, the executions even...everyone is impeccably dressed. However, Reign doesn't just make itself look pretty. It follows these characters as they form bonds, grow up, and face life's trials, and it doesn't hurt that, along with all the strong women, there are some seriously hunky guys too. Ranging from dreamy to dangerous, they complement the amazing ladies perfectly.

Rick and Morty: Hulu

Laura Markus - Rick and Morty is a sci-fi/action lover’s dream, disguised within a quirky, immensely creative animated cartoon. Filled with Dan Harmon’s distinctive quippy and witty dialogue and Justin Roiland’s signature voice acting, this show takes television to places it has never seen before. It’s Futurama for a new generation. Follow along with Rick Sanchez, our pansexual, mentally-ill lead character, who has all the genius of Doc Brown, but all the misanthropy of Gregory House. He’ll take his grandson Morty Smith on crazy adventures through space, time, other planets, other minds, and other dimensions! The entire Smith family grounds the show towards believability, but it also uses them as a crux to show how maniacal Rick can get at times. It’s entertaining as all hell. You watch as these characters grow and develop right before your eyes as they make their way through life and a variety of complex situations. Each episode is refreshingly different. Some are so insane in their premises that they physically made my head hurt trying to keep up, but that’s what it takes to have outstanding television in this day and age. Every outing of this show offers something new every time you watch it. Season 3 ended in October and it will be awhile before season 4 begins so there’s plenty of time for you to binge! There’s something in this show for everyone whether it’s the family dynamic you crave or the sci-fi nerd within you, or maybe you just like a good animated cartoon once in a while. This show features all of this and more in spades and it begs to be watched just from its pilot alone.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she reviews and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, loves live tweeting, and co-hosted The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Previously she wrote a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."