5 Fandom Friday: Favourite Fandom Phrases

5fandomfridayI’ve been neglecting the blog. After a well-rested vacation, I came home to a lot of work and have just been so busy. When I saw the prompts for August, I knew I had to at least do this one. But of course, I forgot and didn’t get to it. So this is me, sharing some of my favourite fandom phrases/quotes a week later.

FRIENDS – “If you know it through a wall, you know it too well!”

I love Friends. What else is there to say? As far as phrases go, I feel like I always say “Could you BE…?” and half the times I say “Oh my god”, I hear Janice’s voice. And I will find an excuse to yell “PIVOT!” But this is one of my favourite lines because, well, doesn’t it just explain us as fans? I mean you watch or hear something often enough, and you can just figure it out from just about anywhere/anything? We’ve all been there.

ONE TREE HILL – “Always and forever”

I loved OTH, but more than anything on that show, I loved Naley. This line was them, and I’m tearing up just looking at that gif.

FRINGE – “You belong with me”

Speaking of lines that make me cry…I mean, like come on, Olivia and Peter! The way she said it just kills me every time I watch it.

NIKITA – “Live the lie until the lie becomes your life”

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I could’ve continued the sappiness, and pick a Nikita/Michael quote, but this one is just so meaningful. Being spies/undercover agents, they have to forget who they are and take on these roles. Sometimes they have to immerse themselves into their cover, that it does become their life. It’s a quote that gets said a lot on the show, and as the characters grew, so did the meaning of the quote.

HAPPY ENDINGS – “Suh cyuht”

So many quotables! But I have found myself incorporating “Suh cyuht” (“So cute”, Penny and Alex-style) and also “A-Mah-Zing” into my life a lot. It’s kind of just engrained in me at this point.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – “On your left!”

Every time I hear the words “on your left”, no matter the context, I instantly picture this scene and just laugh.

5 Fandom Friday: Fictional Couples I Ship

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I must say, I’m having a lot of fun doing these 5 Fandom Friday posts! This week, in honour of Valentine’s Day (even if I think it’s a totally overrated “holiday” but mainly due to the fact that I’m perpetually single and a pessimist), it’s all about the fictional couples we ship. The pessimist that I am, is still kind of a hopeless romantic, at least when it comes to my favourite fictional couples of past and present. (Although by the looks of it, I don’t really ship any current couples. At least not more than these couples of shows past.)

1.) Nikita and Michael, Nikita

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OBVIOUSLY. Favourite show, favourite couple. They would do anything for each other, which includes taking the blame for assassinating POTUS and going on the run – normal couple stuff.

2.) Haley and Nathan, One Tree Hill

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Naley had just about everything happen to them in the course of 9 seasons, with so many ups and downs, and somehow managed to make it through okay, while raising two decent human beings.

3.) Pam and Jim, The Office

Do I need to even say anything? It’s Jam! We all pretty much want what they had.

4.) Olivia and Peter, Fringe

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Alternate universes be damned! These two were just meant to be together! And then they had a kid that grew up to be a Disney princess šŸ˜‰

5.) Tami and Eric, Friday Night Lights

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I didn’t watch Friday Night Lights until well after it had aired, but once I finally got around to it, I understood what everyone was talking about. In particular, the relationship and utter awesomeness that is Mr. and Mrs. Coach. They were a real couple, who were not perfect but worked out their issues like the adults they were.

6.) Jane and Brad, Happy Endings

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So I seemingly have trouble with keeping my lists to 5, but I HAD to include Jane and Brad! Those two crazies just got each other and funny as hell.

Not everything has to be about romantic relationships though, so in that spirit, a bonus 5 non-romantic/totally platonic pairings I love. Because sometimes the best relationships are awesome friendships.

1.) Leslie and Ron, Parks and Recreation

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For 6.5 seasons, we’ve seen these workplace acquaintances grow into a wonderful friendship based on mutual respect. Ron and Leslie are complete opposites, particularly when it comes to government things, but they always seem to find common ground somewhere (i.e. their love of breakfast food).

2.) Abbie and Ichabod, Sleepy Hollow

I know there are many hardcore Ichabbie shippers, who want more out of that relationship, but frankly, I truly enjoy the fact that they are friends. The rapport that they have is like no other.

3.) Zoe and Lavon, Hart of Dixie

For all the crazy antics that happen on Hart of Dixie, it’s nice to see such a great friendship grow right from the get-go. Lavon was the first person in Bluebell to accept Zoe into the fold, but more than that, they get each other’s quirks and will begrudgingly go along with the other’s crazy plans.

4.) Harvey and Mike, Suits

The show is built on this bromance! Their natural camaraderie/chemistry is what really shines through, with Harvey sticking out his neck time and time again to save Mike’s secret from getting out. Plus, all the teasing and talking in movie quotes! They’re the best.

5.) Nikita and Alex, Nikita

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From the very beginning, these two had each other’s back. Even when they were seemingly on the outs, they were still there for each other. And when Nikita needed help at the end to take down all the members of The Group, she didn’t turn to Michael, she went to Alex. Supportive while kicking ass along the way – what more do you want?

 

The End of “Fringe”

It is with complete sadness that I write this post talking about the end of this wonderful show, Fringe. After 5 very well-earned and incredible seasons, Fringe has come to an end. I won’t go into details of the series finale itself, but rather I’d like to take this opportunity to just write about the show.

From its start, Fringe was a show that defied the odds and sort of epitomized the saying “expect the unexpected.” Being a show from J.J. Abrams and the Bad Robot brand, and premiering after the mainstream cult success of Lost, high hopes and expectations were thrust upon the show. Many were trying to tout it as “the next Lost” (a label that gets put on any sci-fi/high concept series nowadays); some called it “the new X-Files“. What intrigued me was, of course, that it was a J.J. Abrams show (I never watched Lost, but I was a huge fan of Alias) and the sci-fi aspect of it. I saw Anna Torv, as Agent Olivia Dunham, as the new Sydney Bristow – a strong, kick-ass female lead. Then they cast Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop, and seeing as how I watched Dawson’s Creek in my tween years (and also The Mighty Ducks movies as a kid), that got me really excited.

The first season, while trying to find its footing, wasn’t perfect. They started off as a show that seemed very procedural, with a case-of-the-week style of storytelling that gave room for new viewers to jump in. With the nature of the show being part science, they had dropped hints along the way of some sort of a mythological background in the overarching story. By the end of season 1, going into season 2, we were introduced to the idea of alternate universes, and that’s where things really got going for the show. Once we got to season 3, it felt like the sky was the limit for the writers; a creative kick bumped the show from a really good show to a really great one, exploring these alternate universes and different character dynamics. At this point of course, the show was much more serialized than its first season, but it still contained case/monster-of-the-week storylines, that which had an impact on the characters. While most shows that straddle the line between procedural and character drama, it can become very cheesy and cliche; with Fringe, everything came about in a rather organic and grounded way, which is a little funny considering all the weird stuff it has going on each week.

Aside from all the sci-fi, what really set Fringe apart from all the other genre shows was that it had such a strong focus on the characters and their development. As someone who majored in Sociology in university, it somewhat surprises me how sociological they got with the characters and the relationships in the show. These characters – Olivia, Peter, Walter, Astrid, and extending to Broyles, Nina, and Lincoln – became a family to each other. They have suffered in their lives and through insurmountable odds and circumstances, they found a way to connect to each other and form this incredible bond. Particularly in season 4, with the timeline reset, it begged the question: how do the people around us affect who we are?

For a show like this to reach 5 seasons, 100 episodes, and get a proper ending is rare. Yet like our characters, the show itself has beat the odds (moving timeslots from Tuesdays to Thursdays to Fridays, low ratings) to get to this point. Many shows don’t often get the opportunity to wrap up storylines before going off the air, and the fact that Fringe got this final season was a complete act of faith/kindness by Fox, who really could have cancelled the show a few times in its run. It is the group of passionate fans that the show has that played an integral part in the show’s survival. In the end, the loyalty and passion put on display by the fans paid off, as the show ended with what can only be said as a perfect finale. The ending was a wonderful recall of everything we know and love about the show – the action, the scientific elements, the love and relationships, Walter’s humour, the alternate universe, and even a sequence that featured a callback to past “monsters of the week.” It ended in a way that gave us a sense of finality with regards to the overarching series and storyline, but leaves us in a state of wonderment as to what these characters are up to now, in hopes that we can get a movie made to catch-up and go on a different journey with the gang. Now, can these fine actors and writers get the credit and respect they deserve?! They are overdue for some Emmys.

Thank you J.J. Abrams, Robert Orci, and Alex Kurtzman for developing this wonderful series. Thank you to Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner for spearheading the creativity and uniqueness of the show, along with the rest of the writers. Thanks to the Fox network for keeping the show on the air for five seasons. Without a doubt, thank you to the cast – Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Seth Gabel, and all the actors who have come through the show – who brought such heart and emotion to these characters we have all come to love dearly. For this fan, I don’t think it’s possible for there to be another show like Fringe.

Thank you again for 5 incredibly heartfelt and awesomely weird seasons.

Thankful for Pop Culture

I’m Canadian, so we already celebrated Thanksgiving a month ago (ya know, the REAL Thanksgiving, as per Robin Scherbatsky). However, in honour of Americans celebrating their Thanksgiving this weekend, I thought I would give thanks to the pop culture things I am thankful for this year.

1.) NIKITA

Always thankful for this show, from the moment that it was picked up to the fact that it is still on the air, despite the odds. I know I gush about this show A LOT, but they have never failed to amaze me with what they do. Maggie Q is the the first Asian-American to be the lead of a TV show, which to me is such a huge deal. The rest of the cast and crew work tirelessly (especially the countlessĀ  “Fraturdays”) to give us a mini-movie each episode. The show has done so much in 2.5 seasons (thus far) than most shows do in their entire run. Thank you for being awesome and I honestly look forward to the day that I can actually tell you all that in person!

2.) The last season of FRINGE

So incredibly thankful that we’re getting a final season of Fringe. Again, it’s a show that has faced incredible odds and as a fan, you can’t help but be incredibly grateful that a final season of the show even exists. FOX could have easily cancelled it because of the low ratings, but they totally did us (and all involved with the show) a solid by allowing the writers to finish the story they set out.

3.) MAROON 5 & KELLY CLARKSON

Two of my favourites in music had a great year. Though Kelly released her album “Stronger” last year, I’m simply thankful for her putting on such great concerts this year. A great singer performing incredibly well LIVE, there’s not much more you can ask for than that. I’m still not IN LOVE with Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” but I am happy that they have a huge hit with “One More Night”; they completely deserve it. Also, the fact that “One More Night” kept “Gangnam Style” from ever hitting #1 on the Billboard chart was a great bonus (seriously, I would’ve called that the end of the world if Gangnam became a #1 hit).

4.) TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival is such a great event for movie fans. It offers a little something for everyone: indies, documentaries, foreign films, and just damn good movies. This year I got to attend one of Jason Reitman’s famous live readings, got to see an incredible performance by Marion Cotillard in the film Rust and Bone; the harrowing Twice Born starring Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch; and a lighter different side to Alexander Skarsgard in What Maisie Knew. Not to mention the official release of movies that played at TIFF last year – 10 Years, Friends With Kids, The Oranges.

5.) Wonderfully written TV Shows

A great number of both new and returning shows have been doing ridiculously well creatively. On the drama side: Parenthood, Homeland, the resurgence of Dexter, Once Upon A Time, Revenge (season 1), Covert Affairs, Suits, Nashville, and Arrow. On the comedy side: Parks and Recreation, Community, Happy Endings, How I Met Your Mother, Go On, and Ben and Kate.

6.) AMAZING DANCING

I am beyond thankful for all the truly amazing dancing we witness on both the big and small screen. Step Up Revolution continued the series with some more new and exciting choreography. But So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars are the dancing gifts that keep giving. The most recent example? Derek Hough and Allison Holker choreographing an INCREDIBLE contemporary number this past week on DWTS, that also featured Melanie Moore, Kathryn McCormick and Jessica Lee Keller.

 

That’s what I’m thankful for, this American Thanksgiving. Share what pop culture things you’re thankful for!

The Issues of TV Scheduling

I know as of late, a lot of my posts have been about television, but I just can’t help it. I have always watched a lot of television and with that comes a lot of observations/thoughts/questions/concerns/pure enjoyment. The thought that’s been on my mind lately is the issue of program scheduling.

We currently live in a world where all our favourite TV shows (old and new) don’t necessarily have to be watched live and can be watched later on our DVRs and on the internet. We now essentially have the ability to create our own perfect TV schedule. At the same time though, the methods of measuring viewership of any given TV show is severely outdated and doesn’t give a precise count of how many people are actually watching a show. Nielsen ratings rely on the select households who have the Nielsen boxes, and watch shows live as they air. Progress has been made in that DVR viewings are being included up to 7 days after an airing, but again, internet viewing has yet to be accounted for. So where does that leave our TV shows that struggle in the traditional ratings? Social media is now playing a part in helping decide the fate of some shows – the more active the fan base, the better. But where a TV show fits on the network’s schedule sometimes plays a major part in viewership.

It’s probably just me, but I sometimes wonder exactly how network executives decide on how to schedule their lineup of shows. When Upfronts happen in May and networks unveil their schedules for the following season, a part of me wonders how much of the schedule is planned out ahead of the announcement and how much is a reaction of the other networks’ schedules. You look at something like The Voice and DWTS results show both being moved an hour earlier than it was previously; that can’t possibly be a coincidence right? That being said, all of the broadcast networks have yet to create a so-called “perfect schedule.”

There are days on the schedule where the networks have gotten a very solid line-up of shows that are complimentary, or at the least somewhat make sense with one another (particularly in the 8:00-10:00 P.M. block). For example, the comedy blocks of CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC on Mondays through Thursdays, respectively. The CW pairing Gossip Girl and 90210 together, as well as Hart of Dixie and Emily Owens, M.D. makes sense. ABC Sunday has 3 different shows in Once Upon A Time, Revenge, and 666 Park Avenue that, to me at least, works pretty well together. Let’s be real, most of the CBS lineup works because at least 80% of the shows are procedural dramas.

On other nights, the networks can completely falter in their scheduling, making it seem like those scheduling decisions were afterthoughts. Friday nights in particular, on FOX, NBC, and The CW, are a complete mishmash of programming. FOX currently has one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows, leading into the final season of Fringe. On NBC, they were going to have 2 comedies anchor the night, and lead into the second season of Grimm. And worst of all, the CW seemed to think that just because they are both female-fronted, America’s Next Top Model and Nikita would make a great pairing (they don’t). How do any of these scheduling choices make sense?

Below, I offer up options/thoughts as to what scheduling changes should be made on the part of the networks:

  • For midseason, The CW should deeply consider pairing their new hit Arrow with Nikita (which is in desperate need of viewership despite the fact that it is easily the best/most well-written show the network has). An action-packed night of television? Who doesn’t want that?
  • Now, I know fans of Supernatural have been thankful for the move to Wednesdays, following Arrow, but the show already has a solid fan base and it’s in its 8th season – how many more viewers do you think there’ll be? Way I see it, once Fringe ends its run over on FOX, Nikita can swap with Supernatural, which will compete better against Grimm on Friday nights, and get paired up with the new series Cult when it premieres.
  • I still don’t understand NBC’s decision to air Rock Center at 10 P.M., after 2 hours of comedy on Thursdays. It just seems like a waste of a time slot on a night that people (particularly the all-important 18-34 demo) would actually watch scripted television. I know the 10 P.M. slot doesn’t necessarily have to flow with the other 2 hours, but NBC could have easily made a 3 hour comedy block – although now that we see a few of its new comedies aren’t doing so well, that won’t happen. To me, the easiest solution would be swap Rock Center with Grimm. Grimm could probably get away with adding some more scary stuff, if they have a slightly later time slot.
  • I’ve mentioned before that ABC’s Last Resort deserves a better time slot than Thursdays @ 8, even though I don’t watch the show. The problem is, there isn’t much room to play with in ABC’s current schedule. Private Practice is wrapping up, so Last Resort (assuming it gets a full season pickup) could take that Tuesday @ 10 slot. That would then leave the 8 P.M. Thursday slot for Body of Proof, which is slated for a midseason return. ABC also has 2 other new dramas (Red Widow, Zero Hour) waiting to be aired, though those don’t quite fit in that time slot either.
  • Speaking of shows that are on tap for mid-season – where is Smash gonna go? Last season, it scored the slot after The Voice, which is now being occupied by Revolution, and that’s been picked up for a full season. After this cycle, The Voice is coming back for another round, but it has yet to be known when exactly the 4th season will start. So there’s a small window where Smash could appear in between Voice seasons.
  • Though come to think of it now, Parenthood‘s current 4th season is only 15 episodes long, so it will be done by February. Also, Grimm is nearly halfway through its season (thanks to its really early start following the Summer Olympics) – so is it possible that Grimm will end early in the season? Or will NBC do an extended hiatus mid-season (which is almost always a bad idea) and give a new show a chance during that hiatus, then wrap up Grimm‘s season in May?
  • You know what I still like to complain about? The one hour results show of American Idol…and by extension, The X-Factor, and even DWTS + The Voice. It can so easily be done in 30 minutes, so why do they feel they need to stretch it a full hour? It’s so tedious!
  • It has also come to my attention that a lot of scheduling issues could be solved if there was LESS competition reality shows. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching The Voice and DWTS, but it takes up 3 hours of programming! They should move one or two of these shows to the summer, when there’s NOTHING to watch except SYTYCD. Not to mention, why hasn’t anyone thought about putting these shows on Fridays? The general consensus it seems is that a lot of people don’t watch TV on Friday nights, so why not make people watch by putting one of these (apparently) highly rated/well-watched shows on Friday? And no one really cares about the results show, so Saturday is a perfectly fine day to air it. If I’m not mistaken the UK does this already, so why can’t it work here?

Whether or not any of the above actually happens, is beyond me. I am not a television network executive, I do not make these decisions. The business and politics of television baffles me and frustrates me just as much as the music industry. It pains me to see lack of viewership for some of my favourite shows, due to a weak or a non-complimentary lead-in. There just has to be a way for the networks to properly measure how many people actually watch a television show, that’s not based purely on Nielsen ratings. Not to mention, I live in Canada, so my viewership isn’t exactly accounted for in the grand scheme of things. I would love nothing more than to at least see my internet viewing count for something, but I can’t access Hulu or watch any videos on any of the official network websites, so that’s kind of a problem.

So fellow TV viewers, if you were a network executive, how would you schedule the shows on your network? Furthermore, despite this not being brought up in the post, do you think it’s time for the broadcast networks to adopt a model of less episodes a season, similar to the cable networks? Don’t you think that would solve a lot of scheduling issues, with too many shows and not enough airtime? And seriously, why hasn’t anyone tried putting a reality competition show on Friday nights? Share your thoughts below!