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And so for (insert my name) of (insert my hometown), opportunity knocks!

So in fun news for today: I can officially announce that I’m going to be contributor for Entertainment Weekly‘s new blog The Community.

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How did this happen? Well, I happened to be on Twitter (ok ok, I’m always on Twitter) and saw that the EW was looking for bloggers about television shows. So I applied. I then got back an email asking for writing samples about shows I’ve written. I sent in my blog posts about How I Met Your Mother, The Walking Dead, and Doctor Who. Apparently there was something in there that was good enough because then I got a reply back saying I had been chosen and could I be available to speak on the phone with an editor?! I’ve been chosen along with 20 other bloggers to write about TV shows and I’m geeked. It’s been an awesome whirlwind experience over the past few months and I’m really excited about doing this. I mean basically I get to do what I’m already doing, just with a potentially bigger audience.

If you like TV shows, you should definitely check out the blog. It’s written by other superfans so you’ll get a nice variety of shows and different styles of writing. While the blog is already up and running, I won’t start posting until the week of April 20.

The first show that I’ll be covering is Metal Hurlant Chronicles on the SyFy channel. (It’s ok. I hadn’t heard about it either when I was originally assigned to it.)

 

But after watching the trailer, I’m excited to see it. It’s a sci fiction book based on a comic book series. Meaning, yes it’s a geeky show.

Synopsis from Wikipedia: Métal Hurlant Chronicles is an English-language Franco-Belgian television science fiction anthology series based on the popular comics anthology magazine Métal Hurlant, known in the United States as Heavy Metal and in Germany as Schwermetall. All the episodes are a self-contained story taking place on a different planet with a different cast, linked together only by the idea that an asteroid, the “Métal Hurlant”, passes the planet in question during the events of the story. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tal_Hurlant_Chronicles)

It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s ok. The next few weeks I’m going to spend time doing some research on the show and comics so I can familiarize myself as best I can. Either way, this should be a fun time! If you follow me on Twitter or on my Facebook page, you’ll find out when I’ve posted!

Addendum: This is a really interesting opportunity for me. Unlike the other folks that are also going to be writing, I am not a journalist. I didn’t plan on writing about entertainment for a living (though it’d be pretty cool) and except for a few years as a high school correspondent for my local paper, I haven’t really tried my hand at journalism. I have a career outside of this. Yes, I like writing. Yes, I like to blog. Yes, I love entertainment. But it’s not what I was originally planning on doing. So it feels a bit weird to get chosen to do this and sometimes I really question why I got picked. Also it doesn’t help when I go online and see articles saying that I shouldn’t be doing this and that “exposure” doesn’t count as compensation and how I’m just screwing things up for “real writers”. It’s really easy to have all the insecurity slip in right now, and tell myself “you’re not that good!” or “you shouldn’t be doing this!”. But you know, I’m not going to focus on that. Right now, I’m ok with just getting experience and exposure. And no, nothing is wrong with me for wanting that. I’m also looking forward to learning things that I wouldn’t have I not been granted this opportunity. This isn’t a full time job for me and I’ll always have this blog to fall back on. So if next year I’m right back where I started, it’ll be ok. I’m excited to do this and we’ll see what comes out of it. I’m also going to have to grow a thicker skin it seems.

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It was a good year to be a geek

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This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Monday’s post was about all my firsts for 2013 while Wednesday’s post was a deep thinking look back at 2013.

2013, despite everything else that was going on in my life, was a very geeky year for me. While I didn’t get to go to any cons this year (mainly due to not having a job), I still got to experience a ton of geeky things that I thoroughly enjoyed.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read 200 books in 2013. Now to most of you, that sounds like A LOT of books. But if you used to read my old blog, then you’d think 200 is a small number for me. I mean, I used to crank out 400-500 books a year, and one year I read 624 books. Then life got in the way, and my reading decreased dramatically. I think in 2012 I read maybe 50 books? So I knew for 2013, that I wanted to get back to reading and I set a goal. There were A LOT of times throughout the year that I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But I also realized that without the pressure of book blogging and review deadlines, reading became pleasurable again. And it was just nice to read stories and information for fun. My final numbers for 2013 were 217 books. I will admit that I reread the entire Harry Potter series and the Alice McKinley series but you know a book is a book. My goal for 2014 is 225 books .We’ll see what happens. Oh and don’t ask me what my favorite book was. Unless you have more than a few minutes.

I found new favorite TV shows this year. And I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing me talk about them. But I’m going to. AGAIN. That’s right. 2013 was the year of Deborah discovers Doctor Who and Breaking Bad. I binged watch BB like WHOA. So good. When I finally caught up with the live episodes, it was torture seeing them and not knowing what was going to happen. There were many times I screamed at the TV.

And now everyone knows that I’m a Whovian. Yes, I started watching Doctor Who because it seemed like the thing to do only to find myself slightly obsessed. So. Many. Feels. I really love this show. It’s so British and geeky and meta. And so many other things. I binged watched throughout the year so that I could catch up in time to watch the 50th Anniversary special with everyone else. That’s A LOT of episodes mind you. And along the way, I also learned a lot of about the history of the show and the impact it’s had on pop and geek culture. It got to the point that I became a bigger fan than all my other friends who had tried to get me into the show previously. I will say though, I wasn’t a big fan of the Christmas episode. The 50th anniversary special was SO awesome. The Christmas one bored me. But that’s ok. We’ll just see what next year brings when we get to see what Peter Capaldi will bring to the table. Also my friends and family have realized that I love the show so much that I received quite a number of Doctor Who Items for Christmas including TARDIS knee socks, TARDIS fleece blanket, and a TARDIS journal. When I find a new geek fandom, I tend to become quite easy to shop for during holidays and birthdays.

If you know me very well then you know I love movies and seeing them in the theater is quite awesome. In 2012, one of my best friends and I were always going to see movies. It became our thing Plus I did this thing where I saw The Avengers six times in the theater *cough*. In 2013, we still did that, but not as much. However I did get to see some awesome movies this year. Everything from sequels such as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Catching Fire, Loki 2 (I mean Thor 2) and Star Trek 2 to extremely funny comedies like The World’s End and This is the End to just awesomesauce like Gravity and Frozen. 2013 wasn’t the best year for movies IMHO but it was still a pretty good year. I have a feeling my movie going will cut back a little but I’m still looking forward to seeing my upcoming favorites on the big screen.

Tabletop gaming became a THING as game nights became popular among my group of friends. I will just say that expansion packs are like the gifts that just keep giving.

And finally, the geekiest thing I probably did all year was become all Nick Fury like and assemble an Avengers worthy team to participate in a geek trivia contest sponsored by ThinkGeek. I rounded up seven of my best geekiest friends and we became “The Darkest Timeline” and our evil selves took over (kudos if you know the reference). We trained in advance and realized that between the eight of us, our skills and knowledge were vast in all forms of geekness.

When we got there, we donned our beards and soon became immersed in a very intense and fast paced contest testing our geeky limits. We actually did quite well answering the most obscure of questions of geek trivia. There was even a bacon eating contest where contestants from each team had to eat what was a pound of bacon when uncooked the fastest. And this guy, became our hero, when he won. It was our team’s shining moment as we got a huge amount of bonus points for that round. When the final round came up, we were in second place. It was a Final Jeopardy question. The topic was literature. I got sent up because I read the most, though I argued this fact that as this was a geek trivia night, sci fi/fantasy would be more prevalent and we should send up Bacon Master instead. No one listened to me and so I was sent up on stage and risked away all our points. The question ended up being “What two authors wrote Good Omens?” Heck if I know??? And I see Bacon Master slump his head as he DID know the answer. I randomly picked two authors in the genre, Terry Brooks and RA Salvatore while every other person on stage knew it was Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I still get teased about it to this day.

But it was ok. Because we still had a blast. And it was the geekiest thing any of us had ever done and everyone loved us and our beards. And we even returned months later for our revenge though sadly the same thing happened again when we lost it in the final round again. But still, it’s one of my most favorite times of 2013 as several of my closest friends and I were able to be our true selves for a few hours and have a blast doing it. We were loved so much that ThinkGeek made us their cover image for the next event.

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The Darkest Timeline posting with Steve and Timmy the ThinkGeek Monkey of Think Geek. We made Timmy a tiny beard during the next trivia night as well as one for OUR mascot, Tommy (Timmy’s Evil Twin)

And yes, in this group, I’m the only girl who is a geek.

So that’s just some highlights of my geeky year of 2013. Oh! I didn’t even mention I got to see and meet Chris Hardwick aka Nerdist or host of Talking Dead, in person! I would say it was a pretty nerdy year. I hope that this year continues to be so. At the very least I’ll make it as geeky as I want it to be. Maybe I’ll finally get to learn how to REALLY be Katniss this year! (Subtlety should be on my New Years Resolution list…but it’s not. Not this year.)

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“Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise….”

ff732157-2927-4c5e-84e2-365925b74d84 I never really got into the vampire craze. I just found it silly. I didn’t really intend on getting into the zombie fad either. And to be quite honest, I didn’t really think I wanted to watch this show. But just like the only reason why I started watching Lost was because of Dominic Monaghan, we can thank the at the time odd casting of Andrew Lincoln as Sheriff Rick Grimes as the initial reason as to how I became a huge fan of The Walking Dead.

See, Andrew Lincoln will forever be Mark, the guy from Love Actually who is secretly in love with Keira Knightley’s character.

And I’ve never seen him in anything else before I started watching The Walking Dead. So it was absolutely fabulous to hear him speak with a Southern accent (because we all know that British actors do American accent way better than Americans doing British ones). And then he started doing things like this….

Warning: the following clip contains spoilers, graphic violence and a little cursing. You were WARNED.

Lest you think this show is merely just people killing zombies, then you’re dead wrong. (har har) The writing in this show is awesome. The story is pretty much the reason why I still am watching it. Yes there are ups and downs in the way the show goes, but overall I find myself hooked because I get so sucked into the characters and their plots. So many of the characters have gone through a 180 since the show started. Weak characters have become strong, strong characters become crazy, minor characters have become game changers. I mean take a look at what they’ve done with Daryl. He wasn’t in the comics, he wasn’t a main character during the first show, and now he’s become the most popular character on the show to the point that whenever he appears onscreen, women’s ovaries explode (other people’s words, not mine).

There is also the whole idea of how lives change in a tragic situation like this. Most of us don’t want to think about what we would do in order to survive. We yell at the characters on the screen for making stupid decisions but really, if you were faced in that situation you may find yourself doing the exact same thing out of desperation. I would like to think I’d be extremely handy with a bow and arrow (oh wait, I need to learn how to do that first…) or be able to protect myself and be strong right off the bat, but I don’t know. I don’t know how long I’d last to be honest. But the social ramifications of decisions made make excellent case studies in this show.

This is one of the most suspenseful shows that I have ever seen. What I love the most about this show is how sucked up into the show I get. It is literally one of the very few shows that I will not pick up my phone, get on the computer, or basically distract myself in any shape or form while watching. You can be sitting right next to me on the couch and I will pretty much forget you exist until commercial breaks. While I’m watching, I’m clutching onto a pillow for dear life and am basically on the edge of my seat except for the times when I take even more pillows and use them as a barricade. I have been known to yelp loudly several times while watching. It’s incredibly intense, but it’s so fantastic.

Sure, you can argue there’s a lot of violence on the show.  And that there’s a lot of killing going on. Yes some humans do end up dying because of other humans. But it’s mostly zombie blood and guts. I don’t consider it to be real violence. Plus, it’s a zombie apocalypse. It’s about survival. Speaking of that, there are also some spiritual questions that are asked on the show that I find quite interesting and it makes you think.

I also had the awesome opportunity to meet Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, while I was at DragonCon last year. He reminded me so much of a friend I have and was incredibly easygoing to talk to. I wasn’t expecting to actually talk to him myself but he drew me into the conversation. We asked him what was his favorite aspect of the show and his response was that he was glad that he wasn’t being casted as a stereotypical Asian. I will say that he was one of the most down to earth celebrities I have ever met. Please don’t let Glenn kick it on the show!  I also got to meet Chris Hardwick who does the Talking Dead show that comes on right after The Walking Dead. While he’s incredibly funny, he apparently wears a lot of makeup on the show because he looks way older in person.

Any other Dead fans out there? How are you enjoying the current season?

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Legen….wait for it…….

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I’ve mentioned that I’ve been binge watching shows lately in hopes to catch up with current episodes on air now.  The first show that I ever did this to was How I Met Your Mother.  I have several friends who are heavily into the show and they kept telling me I needed to watch it.  “It’s exactly what we as late 20-somethings are going through!” is what they kept telling me.  I had been hesitant because the ads for the show never really got to me and plus I wasn’t really a big comedy watcher.

Then last fall, I was going through a rough time emotionally and I wanted to distract myself from all that emotional angst and I gave in and started watching. HOLY FUDGE. I loved the show.  I loved the show so much (and apparently I needed a LOT of distracting) that I watched all six seasons that were available on Netflix in a month.  And then through a lot of pleading, begging, and bartering with friends, I was finally able to catch up on season 7 and 8 through their downloads in time to watch this season live with the rest of the world.

Warning: I am going to bank on the fact that you have already seen this show.  Therefore there will be a lot of spoilers. You’ve been warned.

I could SO relate to the show. I feel like I have friends who are just like Marshall and Lily (even down to having a baby and the guy being super tall! If you know who are you are….).  A lot of the things the group goes through (new jobs! finishing grad school! losing job! dating! breaking up! turning 30! getting engaged! people having babies!) is exactly what my friends and I are going through right now.

The girls, I can give or take on the show.  I do love the boots that they wear and I LOVE Lily’s hair in season 2.  But they drive me insane sometimes. I want to throttle Robin. I hope I don’t act like that in real life.  But I really enjoy how the show has portrayed the men.  I adore Marshall. Seriously, he is a favorite.  THAT is the type of guy I want.  Also it’s really interesting for me to see Jason Segel in this light, because I had only previously seen him in all those R-rated comedy films.  Had no idea he was such a sweetheart.  And Barney.  Oh Barney.  You are hilarious and bring the best comic relief to the show but stay away from me in real life.

And Teddy Boy.  Yes he has his moments (really, those red boots are super ugly) and there are times when I want to strangle him. He’s definitely not the perfect guy and it takes him a few seasons to realize that he wants to make his intentions serious. But you know what?  In a world where so many 20-something year old guys DON’T want to even pursue a girl let alone settle down, I want a Ted.  (Actually I would rather have a Rory, but that’s another show)  I would love to meet a guy who is attractive as Ted, has a steady job, and knows he wants to find a woman to be serious about with the intention to at least consider settling down and getting married.

I just wish he could get over Robin.  And I know that it’s going to happen.  It’s just…he’s in a bad situation where he’s not going to get over her very easily, as we’ve seen over the past 8 seasons.  You can’t fall in love with your best friend, break up, stay friends, try to keep those feelings reigned in only to have them date/marry your other best friend, and not be emotionally affected unless you are a Dalek. Ted compared every girl he dated to Robin and therefore was unable to move on.  It also didn’t help that she was RIGHT THERE all the time.  Actually this kind of frustrated me.  Why did Robin choose Barney over Ted?  Ted LOVES her and from their interactions they would make a great couple.  Barney loves her too, but I feel like Barney loves Robin best when she acts like a bro.  When she acts like a girl, he’s not there.  Unfortunately Ted is.  And yet Robin doesn’t see this.   And so Ted is stuck.  Because her friends are his friends.  And he can’t really escape it if he stays.  And so he has to face his hurt every time they all hang out, which seems to be all the time. And so even though I feel it’s been dragged out for a loooooong time and I throw my head in my hands every time it happens, I think it’s actually quite realistic to see Ted’s struggle with this. Because it does take a long time for the feelings to go away and it’s hard and it sucks. The joy and pain of falling in love with someone you are very close to and then realizing they don’t feel the same way. I get you, Ted. (But that’s another post for another day).

There are way too many funny instances in the show for me to highlight any (though I do love when Future Ted, played by Bob Saget, says that he was a fan of Dave Coulier). So as we are into the final season of the show, I’m looking forward to seeing how everything turns out. I’m hoping for a good send off and that they properly end all story lines (more slaps! and I just saw Bryan Cranston is coming back for an episode!). I think I tuned into the show at just the right time in my life.  Any earlier or later, and it wouldn’t have the same impact that it does now on me. It would be totally awesome if one day I can tell a similar story to my kids on how I met their father (granted, it won’t be this long and I wouldn’t tell them as much as Ted has).

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Fantastic! Allons-y! Geronimo!

1175475_10151676307443505_1584274408_nIn my never ending quest to make myself more knowledgeable of geek pop culture, I knew I was feeling left out when it seemed everyone around me was talking about Doctor Who and I didn’t know what they were talking about.  And let me be the first to say, I hate feeling left out. I mean to me, David Tennant was a very bad Barty Crouch Jr. (not his fault, the character was destroyed in the movie), Tom Baker had always been Puddlegum from the BBC version of The Silver Chair, and Christopher Eccleston was just the serious guy in all the British movies.  I actually had no idea they were part of the Doctor Who universe.

And then one night, while hanging out with a friends during a movie tonight, a certain @theharmonyguy decided that showing the episode “Blink” would be good, clean fun and nice short way to introduce a bunch of us to the series.  Little did he realize that (or didn’t think actually) that even though it’s a great episode to show non-Whovians, IT IS THE #@&*!! SCARIEST THING EVER. Seriously, after watching that episode (which I highly recommend even if you don’t watch the show) I was freaked out by statues for weeks.  Even over a year after watching that episode AND being sucked into the show, it still scares me! (Note to future self: do not watch it late at night)

But it accomplished his purpose, now I was intrigued.  I started watching the revived series since it was on Netflix (bless you Netflix) and my first doctor was the Ninth Doctor.  And you never forget your first Doctor.  Oh Christopher Eccleston, I had no idea you could smile and laugh without looking sadistic or crazy.  I’m currently in the beginning the sixth series (Matt Smith-era) and the goal is to be all caught up before the 50th anniversary special.  This will hopefully be accomplished if 1) Netflix adds series 7 to streaming, 2) Amazon Prime adds series 7 part 2 to their streaming, 3) the library gets the DVDs of series 7 in before that date.  Let me also say that watching an episode of this between episode of Breaking Bad is the best way to watch both series. The perfect balance of heaviness with something more lighter.

I’ll go into more detail in future on certain aspects of Doctor Who that I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy but for some quick takes on what I think so far:

  • Martha is my favorite companion, followed by Donna.  Rose just annoyed me after a while.  Still not quite sure how I feel about Amy yet.
  • Totally could understand how Martha felt. What she says when she leaves the Doctor, I was like “OMG THAT IS ME.”
  • I really like it when they bring back stuff from the classic Doctor Who era.
  • I cheered when Peter Capaldi showed up in “The Fires of Pompeii” episode (THE TENTH DOCTOR JUST SAVED THE TWELFTH DOCTOR!!”
  • How many times is Rory going to die and come back to life?
  • Also, I totally swooned when Rory waited 2000 years for Amy. I WANT A RORY.
  • River Song’s story is interesting and I haven’t even really scratched the surface with it yet.
  • Time travel is confusing.  Then again it’s all a bunch of “wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff”.
  • I’m still not sure how I feel about Matt Smith.
  • David Tennant’s departure made me sob like a baby. And yes I know how certain people feel about it.
  • Jack Harkness totally looks like a younger Tom Cruise.  Oh and fun fact: when I went to DragonCon last year, while I was standing in line to meet Billy Boyd, John Barrowman was signing behind us and we turned around and next thing we know, he’s standing on top of the table, pulling his pants down and showing off his briefs.  He turns around and looks at us, and we’re both like WTF.  Though now, it totally makes complete sense.
  • The show is just fun.  It’s honestly one of the more fun shows I’ve watched in a while.

So, if you are a fellow Whovian, who’s your favorite Doctor? Who was your first Doctor? Favorite Companion? Favorite Monster?  Or do you just want to talk about the show? Because I am totally willing to do so with you.

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Addictive Watching – My Quick Thoughts on Breaking Bad

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Blue meth candy (aka homemade pop rock candy) I received for my birthday!

On Tuesday, I finally caught up with the current episode of Breaking Bad. I started watching the show on Netflix on August 8.  I finished on September 10.  Yep, that’s right. It took me 32 days to watch the entire series.  I don’t really make a habit of binge watching TV shows especially not TV dramas.  I did it once with How I Met Your Mother, again over the course of a month, but that seems easier because it’s a comedy.  With dramas, it tends to be harder since they are longer and the subject matter is so serious.  I had to sandwich episodes of Doctor Who in between episodes of Breaking Bad to lighten up the mood.  I mean there’s only so much heaviness one can take in a day.

I started watching the show mainly because the majority of my guy friends watch it and rave about it and all seemed pretty shocked that I wasn’t already watching it.  To be honest, I never really knew much about the show until probably last year. When it first came on, I wasn’t really watching many shows on cable and at the time I was only really hooked on Lost. Plus Bryan Cranston was just Malcom’s dad to me so him in anything else just seemed weird.  But as the show grew in popularity and, like I said my guy friends were all into it, I figured what the hey, it’s on Netflix, I’ll give it a shot.

I plan on breaking down certain aspects of the show later on but from what I’ve seen here were my brief overall thoughts on it. If you follow me on Twitter (@beatccr) , you had the privilege of reading my thoughts as I live tweeted episodes so some of these might seem a bit familiar.

  • I don’t like Walt.
  • I hope Walt dies by the end of series.
  • I don’t hate Skyler.
  • I don’t agree with everything she has done, I don’t like how her character seems like a roadblock for the writers, but I don’t hate her.
  • I like Walter Jr. and I feel sorry for him.
  • Marie has grown on me.
  • I don’t understand why Gomez is still only a supporting character even though he has been on the show every season in a ton of episodes
  • I would watch a whole show just with Jesse, Badger and Skinny Pete
  • I want to hug Jesse
  • I got really annoyed at Walt cutting off the crusts of his sandwich because not only did he waste a lot of bread, but he also wasted the spread inside (and yes I know the reasoning behind him cutting it).
  • Walt’s briefs annoy me
  • I had such a craving for fried chicken watching this show
  • I would approve a spinoff for Saul’s character
  • I cringed when the Dodge Challenger got destroyed
  • NA Meetings don’t really happen like how they are portrayed on the show
  • Geeked out that the NA leader killed his daughter in Portsmouth (yay for hometown shoutouts!)
  • So many people on the show had no emotion whatsoever.  It doesn’t hurt to smile sometimes.
  • Drugs are bad, yo.  Don’t forget that, BITCH.

Jimmy Fallon does the BEST parodies of shows I love and he just released this one for Breaking Bad. I nearly busted a gut laughing because of all the in jokes.  Plus I was excited because I got everything!

Are you addicted to the show as well? Who’s your favorite character? What do you think will happen at the end of the show?

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What’s been on my small screen lately…

When it comes to TV shows, I am quite picky about what I watch.  Gone are the days when I used to just turn on the TV and start watching anything.  I don’t even really like channel surfing anymore.  To be quite honest, unless I have a specific show on that I really want to watch, I don’t watch that much TV anymore.

I can get nostalgic when I think of the days of turning in every Tuesday night for Full House or Home Improvement or Friday nights for whatever came on TGIF.  Also gone are the days of religiously watching Lost, the best show ever to come on TV IMHO (and yes, I DID enjoy season six AND the series finale).  I find myself gravitating more towards books and movies than I do TV.

That being said, there are several shows that I still consider a must watch.  Sunday nights have now become my go to must watch night.  Unfortunately for current me,  Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Downton Abbey are all not currently on at the moment.  But when they are, HELLO 9 pm Sunday night viewings!  I also have found a love for discovering new to me shows on Netflix which allows me to have hours of binge watching in my attempts to catch up before the new season or series finales come up.  These have included How I Met Your Mother, SherlockBreaking Bad, and Doctor Who.  I may or may not have been known to catch up on the entire series in a month’s viewing (cough, cough).

There will be posts in the future where I’ll spend time talking about certain shows, characters, my thoughts on plots, etc.  I’ve found that I’m gravitating towards a lot of geek culture shows and it’s really been awesome finding those fans who are loving it as much as I do.  It’s also been awesome (at least for me) to discover that as I’ve gotten older and figuring out myself more, exactly what type of shows I’m gravitating towards vs. what I used to watch in the past.

What TV shows have you been hooked on watching lately?  What other shows should I try binge watching?