Saturday, January 25, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

Before I start, I would like to tell you I'm visiting with Jon Keys today, so go check that out.

Things have changed from when I was a kid. Back then, there were two basic seasons for television programs - the regular seasons and the summer reruns. Of course, back then, we basically had what? Five channels? Six after UHF came out? (Yes, I'm old enough to remember a time before UHF, and also a time when color TV's were brand new and not the norm, like they are now).

With the coming of cable, that all changed. There is no one season fits all. Which is actually good. You can balance your programming and not try to watch everything at once, which is impossible due to the demands of time (and yes, DVR is a real godsend too). As one show you enjoy ends its season, another is sure to begin. And so it is with me.

Once Upon a Time, Masters of Sex both finished. Grimm just had a finale, at least until February 28th, at which time both it and Hannibal will return. And yay for Hannibal! I saw a promo for it last night, during Grimm, using a song very familiar to me, Can't Get it Out of My Head:   It's an old ELO song, and how well it works with this.

I think this season we will see Hannibal really coming out as the serial killer we all know and love, even more
than in the first season, as he frames Will Graham for the murders he has committed. If they continue in this vein, and I hope that they do, I think season three should be the season of Red Dragon. And eventually we will come to Silence of the Lambs and Clarice. There can be no spoilers, if you've read the books and watched the movies. But the fun is in the anticipation, in watching it played out using these very talented actors. I wasn't sure I could accept anyone other than Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, but Mads Mikkelsen is superb, and Hugh Dancy shines as Will Graham. When NBC is good, they are very very good, especially with their dramas. They put all the others to shame, as far as the networks go. But sometimes they also screw me over, cancelling shows I love. I don't think this will be the case with Hannibal, though, or Grimm.

Dracula had its season finale, but the fate of the show is up in the air. NBC hasn't decided. That's what I mean. Sometimes you have to trust your instincts and go with it. Dracula is a strong contender, and they should renew it for another year, see where it goes. I hope they do, because the creators have taken a familiar story and given it some interesting twists, and I'm not ready for it to be over.

Justified has just returned for its fifth season, and it's going strong. Guess who's back? Remember Dewey

Crowe of the four kidneys? Dumber than a bag of hair Dewey? Well, he's not any smarter. And now he's got kinfolk from down South to reckon with, a cousin who's pretty sure he can control Dewey and get over on him and everyone else. Raylan's a new daddy, with a little girl down in Florida. Still not sure why Winona left him - she must be crazy. Raylan's staying in some fancy digs that the feds appropriated from a criminal and he's sortof seeing Loretta's caseworker, who has a crazy boyfriend. Ava's still in jail for murder, and Boyd's doing what he can, but he's got problems of his own. I wonder if their relationship will survive this?

Top Chef New Orleans has two more episodes, as they wind out the finale into two, which means probably a lot of filler, which is annoying. It's down to Nina, Shirley and Nicholas. Carlos was eliminated last week, thank goodness. I couldn't stand him, and felt that his personality aside, he was too one-note to win. I'm looking for Nicholas to be eliminated before the final showdown. He should have been gone already, and only having immunity saved his ass and cost a worthier chef the chance to win. See, in the end, it isn't necessarily the best chef that wins. This is just a longer form of cutthroat kitchens, with its own form of sabotages. Take immunity off the table from the beginning, and you get a whole other ballgame. I'm rooting for Shirley. Not that I don't like Nina, I do. But I think Shirley is the more skillful of the two and deserves to win.

Speaking of Cutthroat Kitchen, I have to say it's a lot better show than I thought it was going to be. In fact, I
downright enjoy it. Alton Brown delivers just the right amount of coldness for the part of the emcee, and the contestants are obviously encouraged to play as unfairly as possible, including a lot of trash talk. But it's all in fun, and don't worry - Alton's as sweet as ever, it's just a persona, folks! But it makes for some fun times as people are given handicaps to their cooking, whether it's how they cook, or what they cook. For example, sometimes only one chef is allowed to taste their dish. And one time a chef was forced to do all his cooking with utensils made of aluminum foil. Losing time, having fresh ingredients swapped for process ones - it's all part of the game of Cutthroat Kitchen!

American Horror Story Coven ends this week, and I must say it's been a wild and crazy ride - and I've loved every minute of it. How's it going to end? I have no clue! ****SPOILER ALERT**** In the last episode, they killed the Axeman. Nan is dead. Delphine trapped in a Hell of her own making. Fiona is dead, without having named a successor. Misty was rescued from her premature burial. But I would not underestimate Fiona. And it's not over until it's over, as the coven prepares to perform the seven wonders which will determine who is the next Supreme. All bets are off, and I would not hazard a guess as to who it might be. With a triumvirate such as Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates, can you possibly go wrong? I think not.

Speaking of shows that have come back, my darling Sherlock as returned! Reports of his death were greatly
exaggerated! Of course, if you know Sherlock Holmes at all, you knew that already, as the infamous Reichenbach Falls was the scene of the fictional detective's demise those many years ago. And like his literary counterpart, this Sherlock isn't dead either. Of course not, that would mean an end to the series. I'm sad that each season consists of only three episodes, but what wonderful episodes! I loved the first one. I laughed and I cried. ****SPOILERS**** Next one should be great, as Dr. Watson gets married. We met his fiance in the first one, and surprisingly I liked her. Can't wait for the next.

And The Following is back! Didn't we all know Joe couldn't be dead? Seriously? Well, the first episode aired after one of the football game playoffs last weekend. And that was a huge mistake, I could have told them it would be. Basically because of the unpredictable timing element of football games. They don't tie up neatly in an allotted time, they're unreliable. And how do you set your DVR when you can't be sure what time the show will start? You can't, not with any real assurance that you'll catch the whole thing. And that's just what happened. Apparently, the idiots at Fox began airing it 12 minutes early! Well, duh, that means for everyone who recorded it that twelve minutes were lost. At least they realized their stupidity and are re-airing the episode prior to the next one. But that means blocking out more time to watch both. Jeez, people, get your act together!

Back to cooking for a moment. Food Network is now airing Chopped Canada, the Great North version of our beloved series. It's very similar, of course, and follows the same format. Different host, different judges, and of course different contestants. It's interesting. If you like Chopped, I think you'll like it. The host is no Ted Allen, but he does fine. The best part for me is getting to see Roger Mooking as a judge. Last seen, he did a show with Aaron Sanchez called Heat Seekers.

And on Saturday mornings, something different - The Kitchen. This is a weekly talk show featuring five Food
Network personalities. I'll admit the biggest reason I tuned in was because of my crush on Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, and also because Jeff Mauro, the Sandwich King is there too. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it's a fun, informative and interesting hour of television, and I look forward to it every week now. Well worth your while if you enjoy learning about food, listening to light, fun banter, and seeing talented chefs cook. Geoffrey has his own portion of the show - It's 5 o'clock somewhere - and he mixes a different cocktail in every episode.

Lest you think I've forgotten, let me mention that The Blacklist is back and better than ever, and James Spader is hot, hot, hot and I cannot wait to find out what is going to happen. Will we learn the truth about Red's relationship with Lizzie? Will we discove the truth about Tom? We already know who the mole is. What a fabulous first season this has been. This goes on my gotta have list for sure, along with Hannibal and Grimm (I got the first season, thanks to my Sarah!)

I think that's about it for now. More about the Following, once I actually watch it. Same with Hannibal. I'm working on my first BDSM novel, and hope to finish it by the end of February, although that might be ambitious. I'm excited that When Will I See You Again comes out tomorrow. I hope, of course, that it does well, but mostly I hope that people enjoy it. I poured my heart into it.

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

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