TV Show Shout Out: The Good Wife

It’s that moment, it happens with every show sooner or later…. That moment of the series finale episode and the show now being over, being done, being completed.  It happens just like that. You watch a show for a certain amount of time until that fateful day when the show is now complete and your time as a viewer for a program you have looked forward to watching night after night, following the characters journey, admiring and becoming a complete and loyal fan of is now over. Metaphorical tears…… they be a flowing and flowing……

Let me take you on a journey. A journey of my time becoming a complete fan of the now ceased program that was…. The Good Wife. Curtain rises. And so I begin…….

Like any other TV Nerd out there, there are new shows that come around every TV season that spark your inner TV Nerd interest where you may yourself saying, “Yes! This I want to watch! Yup!”. Okay, so The Good Wife was a show on my list of shows I was so interested in being that TV viewer of. So you may be asking yourself did I in fact tune into this show its start to its end? Being that loyal viewer along the show’s seven season journey on that of the CBS network? Was I? Was I? Well, was I? I’ll add a little suspense with a…. Too Be Continued…..

Jodi - Pict 1 - Good WifeKidding. Well this is where I made a “TV Nerd Fail” as I like to say when I fail at being a Nerd that loves TV. I know these days VCR tapes are unheard of, but back when this show premiered in 2009, I was still recording my shows on that platform. I was basically Netflix with VCR tapes before Netflix on Roku was a thing. So back then I could only record a show and watch a show, so I couldn’t watch every show my little Pop Culture Nerd heart desired. So I missed out on The Good Wife when it started airing on TV and by the time I got any streaming services there were so many episodes to catch up on I figured I would just wait now until the series was over and start to watch it then. So I finally got Hulu two summers ago and when January of 2018 started so did my journey as well to finally starting this show that was The Good Wife, had finally began.

I have never been one for binge watching just one program. I like my variety of different shows every night to choose from. With a show that has ended like The Good Wife, I made it a TV priority to watch at least one episode every night when I were to have watched any TV programs. With shows currently now on the air, sometimes a show that has already ended its run on TV might fall to the side with a, “I’ll watch it eventually”. So I made that TV commitment to stick with the show and always watch one episode when watching my other shows. When I saw the amount of episodes that the series had (a total of 156, oh boy!), I figured only watching one episode for whenever I watched anything would take a minute to get through. Factor in that I don’t watch TV every night, it might take a minute and a half. I started in January and finished right before this September of 2018. And along the way…….  I became a fan.

Jodi - Pict 2 - Good WifeA brief overview of The Good Wife is basically that of yet another politician scandal and the wife standing beside her husband. The wife here is Alicia played wonderfully by Julianna Margulies. Alicia starts off the series as that loyal wife standing by her husband, Peter (played by Chris Noth). With her husband now in prison, she re-enters the work force again as a lawyer hired by an old college pal, who also happened to be her college boyfriend, Will. Will, who is now a partner at one of Chicago’s biggest law firms. Through the course of the series Alicia morphs from loyal wife to her own person who ends up leaving her husband at the very end. But waiting so very long to get to that point of doing that. Something you wished as a viewer that she would of officially of done earlier in the series run.  But not making that distance official between her and Peter earlier in the series, she could have avoided seriously messing up that love life of hers.  But I’ll get around to all of that later.

Jodi - Pict 3 - Good WifeOkay very important personal yet pointless backstory about me finally starting to watch this show and brief overview now on behind, I’ll get around to my thoughts on this incredible series. So I go to watch the series premiere and I really liked it. Fun fact- Gillian Jacobs, from Community and the recent LOVE on Netflix, was on the pilot episode. My inner nerd was very much, “WHATTTT!!!! Amazing!!!!!! And how could I not have known about this?!?!?!?!”.

Okay fun fact about pilot pointed out! In all honesty, based on the popularity from critics and the amount of awards this show gained in the beginning of the series, I was expecting to fully be a fan from the get go when starting to watch this show. In all honesty though, I like liked it, but I didn’t think it was like, “OMG! THIS SERIES IS SOOO FLIPPING GOOD! I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND WHY IT WAS SO TALKED ABOUT!”. In truth it truly took until about the 10th episode for me to turn into that complete fan that totally understood why it was just a hit.

The Good Wife was seriously just a really solid show at the end of it. The writing was there. The story was there. And the performances were like just so completely there. I truly think that when watching a series that is no longer on the air, that it is completely possible to overlook possible storylines that maybe didn’t work or were possibly not as great as others. I think that can be the case at times when watching a TV program that is not on the air anymore, and where that week to week anticipation isn’t there like it is for a show still currently on. I thought the complete series was perfection from episode 10 to series finale. I know that’s probably not the case, cause I definitely remember reading how the critics were critical of some of Season 4 with the storyline surrounding Kalinda’s ex-husband. I think it’s possible I might of felt that way if I watched the series when it was actually on, but I thoroughly enjoyed every season and didn’t find any issues with Season Four or any other seasons.

When I did watch the show I’d only watch one episode at a time for the most part. And once I really got sucked into being a super fan of this show, I loved seeing the characters and the show evolve season after season. There’s something about watching a series from start to finish, night after night, that is just simply a different viewing experience than watching it when it’s actually on week to week. You get to see the series transform at a faster speed than you would otherwise. Watching a series in this way is almost like reading a book. You get to take your time to read every page at a time at your speed and then finish the book completely with no interruptions or breaks in between. I actually recommend to watch a show in this manner, a show where it is completed and done. And I think in many ways it can be more of an enjoyable experience as a viewer cause you don’t have to wait for more episodes, they’re all there ready for your viewing pleasure.

Jodi - Pict 4 - Good WifeThe characters on this show were so strong and well written which lead to top notch performances in each and every single episode. In made unknowns into stars and stars into bigger stars. Julianna Margulies, who was mostly known for her work on ER prior, with her performance on this series it launched her into that of leading woman status with her portrayal of Alicia Florrick.

Here Margulies, gave an award winning performance of Alicia, showing a woman who finds herself in an embarrassing and unfortunate situation that she didn’t sign up for with her politician husband cheating on her and than going to prison for a completely unrelated issue to that of the scandal he made. Her character finds herself in a situation she could have never imagined and having to start over in a career she walked away from decades prior to focus on her family. Margulies acting on the show was the definition of just so completely strong. She showed that evolution of a timid woman who just spent her time taking care of her family and attending charity galas as the first wife of the governor. A woman her never really took any time for herself, as well as her hopes or dreams anymore. And evolved into that of a strong willed attorney turning her life around becoming independent and truly founding herself again along the way.

Jodi - Pict 5 - Good WifeMargulies portrayal of Alicia was clearly why award shows were invented. I must just once again reiterate how much I am a super fan of this show before saying what I’m about to say next. Okay…. I unfortunately just really never warmed up to liking her character. I know it’s probably bizarre to say how I love this show so flipping much, but not so much the main character of the show. Maybe it was her hair, it was always so flipping perfect, not a strand out of place. I got a very stern and somewhat of a cold vibe from her character a majority of the time. I don’t know, eh. Honestly, I think it was the hair. It was like never messy. That bothered me somehow and made her a little less relatable to someone whose hair frizzes at the first sign of water or humidity. Jealous? Yes! Anyways….

Jodi - Pict 6 - Good WifeOne of the biggest storylines for the series was the death of Will Gardner. Will was that person that gave Alicia a second chance by giving her a job when she really needed one. He was there for her and gave her that chance to start over again when others didn’t. He was a main character who just had such a major presence on the series. I didn’t watch the show obviously when it was on the air, but this storyline was such a big part of the series. It was that unavoidable spoiler that was everywhere the next day and nearly next to impossible to not have heard about. So yes, I was aware of this spoiler, but couldn’t remember exactly in what season it took place in when starting the show. So even though I knew this was going to happen at some point, I had no idea when, and when I watched that episode it truly hit hard. I have always been a fan of Josh Charles’s work, but him on this show made me a forever fan.

Jodi - Pict 7 - Good WifeWill was an interesting character. He was likable and felt like a person who went into the law for the right reasons. Although, his character who a lot of the time did stretch the law with his arguments to win cases, you still couldn’t help but liked this guy who gave his old college girlfriend another chance at starting her life over with a job and a change she truly needed in her life. Whether or not his character was always that good guy, Will just had a charm about him that made you just gloss over that, lets say…… the lawyer in him stretching the truth. When that episode arrived that showed his death on the show, I actually found myself saying out loud, “NO!” over and over again and crying as though I just watched an episode of This Is Us or The Good Doctor. I knew about this moment in the series and yet I found myself in shock and denial when the episode was over. I was in disbelief that Will was no longer a character on the show. His character was such a huge part of the series that when his death happened, you truly felt that absence on the show afterwards. Charles portrayal of Will, was a big part to what made this character have a real substance and made him feel just like that average any day guy that you might meet at a coffee shop randomly. Will just had a real likable quality to him, and when his character was killed you couldn’t help but feel some kind of emotion from it.

This show was about a lot. It was about the law. It was about how the occupation of law can sometimes be more about that of the business side and competing with fellow lawyers and winning than about that of the human condition. It was also about that of being independent and becoming your own person. And let’s be real, a major part of the series was also about that of Alicia’s love life.  And as far as that love life of hers, she had a real interesting one, indeed.

Jodi - Pict 8 - Good WifeWill, at the end of the day will always be Alicia’s one true love. She did at the end of the series get to that place of moving on and letting him go. When Josh Charles left the series taking away the character of Will, the show then entered a new potential love interest in that of Finn played by Matthew Goode. His character was the new DA. The relationship with Finn and Alicia never got to the point of boyfriend/girlfriend status. But man, oh man, boy did they flirt. As a viewer, you wanted to see these two in a relationship, but it never got that far.

20181010_173831Then enter the end of Season Six and BAM!, Finn’s character leaves the series. I was like, “WHATTTT!!!”. The show felt like they were setting up for these characters to fall for each other and than BAM!, his character just up and leaves the show. I did not know of this spoiler and was beyond bummed to see his character go. For almost two seasons, it looked like Alicia might of found love again and than there it goes on by. I have to say I’ve seen Matthew Goode in a few things such as The Crown and the recent Amazon’s The Ordeal By Innocence. Although, him on The Good Wife is where I became that lifelong forever fan forever and always. He just had a way about him on the show. The way he spoke, the way he glanced and then spoke. Yeah, loved! Okay, so I could probably go on and on and talk about my love of Matthew Goode’s Finn all day, so moving on…..

20181006_192152A major part of my love for this series was also for the fact that it regularly hired Broadway performers. Combining my two loves on that of Theater and Television. As I do call myself “That TV Nerd When In Jersey Who Becomes A Theater Dork When In NYC” after all. So many, like soooooooo many of my favorite Broadway actors and actresses were on this show. It made my Pop Culture Nerd heart so very full. I mean there was James Carpinello, Kristin Chenoweth, Christian Borle, Mary Beth Peil, Christine Baranski, James Monroe Iglehart, Sutton Foster, Michael Urie (of Ugly Betty!!!!!), Vanessa Williams (of Ugly Betty!!!!), Nathan Lane, Kelli Barrett, Jeff McCarthy, Alan Cummings, Taye Diggs, Karen Olivio, Cristin Milioti, Matthew Morrison, Megan Hilty, Rebecca Luker, Denis O’Hare, John Benjamin Hickey, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom, Jr. among the many others to grace both the Broadway stage and The Good Wife TV series. I sure I’m forgetting others cause my brain breaks sometimes when trying to remember fun facts about a favorite show that featured so many Broadway performers!!!!! This is one of the many reasons I fell in love with this show.20181012_010245

This summer, The Good Wife’s own Will Gardner, Josh Charles made his Broadway debut in a Second Stage production of Straight White Men on Broadway.  It had a cast of all stars featuring beside him Armie Hammer and Paul Schneider.  Josh Charles in that of a Broadway show right around the time I’m actually watching The Good Wife!  What!  Dreams do come true!  Broadway show plus a favorite actor from a favorite TV show together?  My favorite things of Theater and TV coming together!  So you’re probably thinking I must have seen this production, like for sure!  Well, I did the opposite of that, unfortunately.  Every theater season I always try my Theater Dork best to see every show that I  possible can see.  But that’s usually impossible.  You can’t see them all.  The Second Stage Broadway productions are only around two months long which isn’t that long of a run, so if you miss it, you miss it.  Ugh.  And I missed it.  Let’s be real, I probably would have been way too excited to really even watch the show cause I be like, “OMG! Josh Charles!  It’s Will!”.  So I did the next best thing and when I went to NYC one day to see another show, I said a metaphorical hello to a picture of Josh Charles on the side of the Helen Hayes theater where the show he was in was going to play.  And yes, even though it was totally just a picture I still got flipping excited to see it.  My Mom, who is my constant theater pal, was like, “Who is Josh Charles?”.  I was like,”It’s Josh Charles!  The Good Wife?  You still have no idea what I’m talking about?  If you watched The Good Wife, you’d get it.  This is a big deal…. It’s Josh Charles.  Josh Charles!”

Jodi - Pict 10 - Good WifeJodi - Pict 11 - The Good WifeAs far as Series Finales go, this one I didn’t love but didn’t dislike completely either. Mixed feelings after watching it. Before watching it, I remember when the finale happened a few years prior hearing that somebody slapped somebody and it was the slap heard around the TV world. I also remember hearing the finale was a let down. It kind of was in some ways, especially for a series that always seemed to know where it was going. The finale showed an ugly side to Alicia when she kind of threw Diane’s husband under the metaphorical bus by putting him on the stand to testify after Diane (Christine Baranski) didn’t want her husband involved anymore in Peter’s trial. So Diane’s husband, Kurt (Gary Cole) is called to come up to testify and Alicia didn’t tell Diane this was going to happen and Diane just gets up and walks out of the courtroom. I remember watching this moment and saying out loud, “NO! NO! NO!”.  Kurt is just a real stand up guy and it was like, “Just leave him out of this Alicia, Peter is not worth losing a friendship over!”.

Jodi - Pict 9 - Good WifeIt’s in this episode Alicia just completely lost herself and what she stood for, for Peter, who at the end of the day she just didn’t respect or love as a person any longer. She lost who she became further in this moment when not at least giving Diane the respect of letting her know beforehand what she was going to do. I do not condone violence of any kind, I think Diane could have just simply gave her just a really good stare while slowly walking away, like a “Really, you just did that! We are done! Done! Bye Girl Bye!”, instead of giving her a slap on the face. I think the purpose of that slap was to bring it back to the pilot episode when Alicia slapped her husband at the end of the episode in the exact same location after his press conference before going off to jail. She slapped him in disappointment at what he had done, and in the finale Alicia became that person of disappointment to someone else. Full circle, as though she learned nothing from that experience by picking career and ambition over sincerity and loyalty to those who were really there for her in times of need or help. That’s this gal’s theory, at least.

Jodi - Pict 14 - Good WifeAlso in the Series Finale, Alicia finally really let go of Peter. She is once again standing by Peter at a press conference after his trial and after some time of him speaking to the public, she turns her head and sees Jason (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), her current love. She leaves Peter up on the podium talking and just walks away to go to Jason. She didn’t care about the optics of anything anymore. She just simply wanted to be free of Peter and all he put her through.

Jodi - Pict 15 - The Good Wife

She was officially done and over all of it. She just wants to run off, away from it all and be with Jason. And she thinks she sees him and follows him, only to find out it wasn’t him she was chasing after and just some random guy. She finally felt at the end like there was a chance at love and happiness again for her after all that had happened with Will. She took so long to get to that point and place and it was as the saying goes, just a little too little, a little too late. She spent so much of her time trying to see what she could still get out of Peter if he stayed Governor for her career, all as while forgetting she was just going backward everytime she went to him for things like that. Backward not forward. Because of doing things like that she never really allowed herself to completely detach from him until that moment she left him on the podium at that press conference in the series finale. She waited so long to do that, to really let him go. With waiting so long to get to that place she lost a potential love and relationship, as well as a friendship, that may not have been a perfect one, but still a true friend in many ways, at the very end.

Jodi - Pict 16 - Good WifeSo happy that there is a spin-off of this series in The Good Fight with now Diane (Christine Baranski) in the lead role. I know what you must be thinking. I must of totally have started watching this cause I am like such a fan of The Good Wife! But no. I don’t have CBS All Access, so I haven’t started this show yet but I hope to soon. Trying not to spend extra dough lately, so I ordered the DVDs from my local library and they have yet to come in. Ugh! Also, why the heck did a show such as this get put on a platform like that instead of the actual channel in which it is a spin-off of was actually on?!!?! Ugh, TV Nerd frustration.  With so many streaming services out today, it’s impossible to have them all cause it’s expensive! I’m just surprised, but I get it. CBS wanted viewers to pay attention to their streaming service channel. So what better way to do that than to have the highly anticipated The Good Wife spin-off be on that of their streaming service channel. By doing that started CBS All Access got a lot more attention than it might of otherwise have gotten. But still, ugh to that cause I’m probably never going to get that streaming service!

So at this point it’s more obvious that The Good Wife is a show that will always hold a special place in my TV Nerd Loving Heart. I loved so many things about this series. I did not talk about everything I loved about it as this article has turned into being super long as it is now and it would be even longer if I continue to babble on and on about my love for this gem. So a quick thanks to those who stuck around to finish my rambling thoughts on it.

Jodi - Pict 18 - Good WifeJodi - Pict 17 - Good WifeBefore I leave just a quick note of a little something, something I loved during this series run. Not story related, but hair related. Alan Cummings’s hair was everything on this show. It changed so many times, in shape and color and I loved each and every time! In the beginning, he had this brownish hair tone with a high hair bump going on which was tamed by Season Two. During the course of this series, he returned to a revival of Cabaret (which I saw, also loved cause Theater Dork!), his hair color went from brown to dark black to grey, from long to short. I loved it! Okay, now I’m really done with my way too long thoughts for reals this time, promise.

All in all, The Good Wife: recommend, watch, enjoy!



Hi! Is there a chance I could get a Playbill?

Jodi - Pict 4 with PlaybillsRecently I’ve been writing more about TV, along side with my denial that the summer season is over.  As well as, how swimming in the pool outside is at a pause for the next several months. So I thought I switch it up a bit and write about something that I have been lacking on in my most recent of articles. Which is that of the theater! Oh, yes. Dramatic in tone, thy name is Jodi!
*Full Disclosure*  With the exception of the Footloose: The Musical Playbill, all Playbills shown in this article are for shows I never made it around to seeing.  You’re probably wondering now how it is I got these Playbills, with thoughts of, “But how? But huh? But how?”.  Well, here I write away explaining answering those very reasonable questions.  And here I go……

Jodi - Pict1 - with signed playbillAs someone who became super into TV not until after high school, theater on the other hand, has always been a love of my ever since well…..always!!!!!! I actually didn’t see my very first Broadway show, which was Footloose: The Musical, until 10th grade of high school. Ever since then though, I’ve been what some might call “That Regular Broadway Theatergoer”.

Every theater season I get SOOOOOO very excited and then SOOOOOO very overwhelmed because I simply WANT TO LITERALLY SEE EVERY SINGLE SHOW!!!! Well, that might be a bit over-dramatic. Let me rephrase……  I want to see ALMOST EVERY SINGLE SHOW, better? Do I get to see absolutely every show my little heart desires. The answer to that is a…..for the most part yes, although there’s always a few I miss out on seeing every season.

The one person I can count on in indulging in my love that is Broadway is my constant theater pal, my Mom. Me….. I’ll see anything. Plays, Musicals, I love it all. My Mom, on the other hand, is mostly a Musical person. So since she is the only one after all these years still willing to see shows with me and if there’s a show she’s not really interesting in seeing, I just let it go (a ha, Frozen!) and let that show slide on by. Plus, shows on Broadway are expensive and seemed to have gone up in price at least ten dollars every year, so I probably wouldn’t be seeing every single show either ways, regardless.

So for those shows I will more than likely not be making it around to seeing, I do the next best thing for this constant theater loving gal that is myself. I go to the theater that the show is playing at and ask the age old question of, “Is there any chance I could get a Playbill?”. To where then the box office attendant says either one of the two following things:

#1. “Sure, here you go”. Making this gal’s heart ever so happy with a Playbill of a show I won’t be making it to seeing.

#2. ”You’ll get one when you come to the performance”. To where I say, “Okay, thanks”. Thinking in my head, “Duh! I know that. Wahhhhhh!!!! I’m not going to get around to seeing this show, that’s why I asked for a Playbill now”. Slowly crying in my head, tears for a show and a Playbill that I will never get to see nor have.

Jodi - Pict 2 - playbills aloneYou might be thinking why? Why want a Playbill for a show that you didn’t even get to see? The answer is simple. I love everything Broadway, for now and all of time! I might not get to see a show here or there, but I still love me the chance to get a Playbill for that show. Usually, there’s not that much time to do anything before seeing a show, and going to get a Playbill for a show I know I won’t be seeing is sort of like a fun Broadway Scavenger Hunt to burn off some time before seeing a show.

I would say it’s a 50/50 chance for most theaters to give out a Playbill, if you were to ask. After all my very fortunate years as a goer of the art that is the Broadway theater scene, I have learned a few things in my time when it comes to trying to get that coveted Playbill for a show I won’t be seeing.

#1. Not every theater will give out that Playbill if you ask for one, but there are some that will happily give you one if there is one at the box office. Yay!

#2. If a celebrity is in a show for a show you’re hoping to get a Playbill from, 9 out of 10 times, that hope of getting a Playbill, will be than likely be “a no”. As most people in that scenario are probably just hoping to skip the show (to where I just say, “How dare they!”) and just make it seem like they saw the show to get an autograph and probably sell it on eBay. Tisk, tisk! Where I on the other hand, just like to collect Playbills for shows I know I won’t be getting around to seeing to add to my awesome collection of Playbills for shows I did get the fortune of being able to see. But do I tell the people at the theater this? Do I tell them I just want the Playbill cause I won’t be getting to see the show and I just simply love all things theater and I will cherish that Playbill forever and ever? Of course, not!

Jodi - Pict 3 -with billboardI just walk away, tears flowing in my Broadway theater loving mind…… At the end of the day that I call “Theater”, I always feel very and extremely fortunate to get to see all the Broadway shows I’ve seen and hope to see. I lost track of how many shows I saw years ago (my goal is to figure that out this year, cause I’m curious now at this point). That being said I am a complete “TV Nerd When In Jersey Who Turns Into A Theater Dork When In NYC”, who will always try to get that Playbill for a show I know I won’t be making it around to seeing. For I, will always love anything Broadway….even that Playbill for a show I didn’t get to see!

Fall TV Season 2018 is Here! TV Nerds Feeling That Overwhelming Feeling of Hooray Again!

Summer ending is never a fun time. Swimming during those delightful afternoon hours is now a thing of the past yet again for another year. To those who have been reading this gal’s thoughts….yes, I am obsessed with swimming. I try to bring it up in at least every single article I write. It happens…….

Jodi - Pict 13Anywho… Well, the only bright side to summer ending is the start once again of the regular television season when TV Nerds everywhere can rejoice that their favorite shows are once again making way back to their TV screens again. We, Nerds, who love the entertainment that is TV say goodbye every spring and weep until September when our fave shows come back around saying that metaphorical, “Hey Girl! We back! Your DVR will constantly be at a full capacity of 100% every single night no matter how much you watch. Hahahahahahaha!”. Well, in my case, my DVR is usually always at around a 98% anytime of the year. I watch….tooo much…..TV Nerd problems.

So yeah, if it’s not obvious to tell at this point that when it comes to TV I’ll watch just about anything. I have a limit though, and it turns out to be Dancing With The Stars. I know it’s this big ratings hit kind of show, but this gal just doesn’t get and never will. Sorry to those who watch, that’s just my thought on that. Anyways, I usually give about anything a chance, any genre, reality or scripted. The downside to that is my DVR doesn’t have a 1000% capacity, which at this point it totally should. Don’t the DVR companies at this point know that I like everything and 100% capacity for DVR taping just doesn’t cut it.

Jodi - A million little - Pict# 1Jodi - First Single Parent Pic #2I have to admit this year I’m not super up to date on a lot the new shows premiering for Fall 2018. I did watch Bachelor in Paradise over the summer though. Sounds random, but anyone who watched that this summer will tell you one thing: ABC promoted the heck out of two new shows. A Million Little Things and Single Parents. Based on like a ridiculous amount of advertising set aside like….we get it! Promotion overload once again set aside, these two new shows happen to look really good and behind the book to tv adaptation of Lifetime’s You, are my most anticipated new shows of this Fall TV Season. (Both premiering on September 26)
Jodi - Crazy Ex Pic # 3This year is also the end of three shows that happened to be classics in this gal’s humble opinion. I’m talking Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I’m talking Jane the Virgin. I’m talking iZombie (Okay, I know I’m talking Fall TV 2018, and have no idea when this show is returning, but whatevers it’s a favorite for life!). It’s bad enough when one of your favorite shows goes off to that land of TV Heaven up in the TV Heaven Skies….but THREE in the same year! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! It’s too much. I need a minute….. Is it summer yet? Can I go swimming? No. Ugh. Okay.

Jodi - Jane Virgin - Pict# 4If it’s not obvious at this point these shows have come to mean a lot to me. Not only are the main characters some of the most awesome chicks in all of TV land, the shows in general just rock! They are shows with interesting characters and stories that continue to keep you interested in the next episode ALREADY!, and shows that are unique with flair and charisma for days. I was a bit in what I’ll just call: TV Denial That Your Favorite Shows Are Ending… What Do You Mean They Are Ending?!?!?!?!?!? No, no, no, no… Very Funny. Oh, wait it’s for real? NOOOOOOOOOOO!”. Yeah, that’s basically how I reacted when hearing these three gems I have come to just adore and love are saying a bye-bye. Even though, I would love to see them go on for literally forever.

Jodi - izomebie - Pict #5At the end of the day that is “TV” for my life as a “TV Nerd”, I do recognize how shows should end when you still want to keep watching them. Meaning these shows never hit that level of “ugh, this show… I’m over it” (which I usually never reach as a TV Nerd myself, but still). If a favorite show of yours is ending and you’re sad about it, that show has basically done its job of being awesome. You should be sad your favorite show is ending cause by being sad it just proves how much it meant to you. Always sad to see awesome shows such as these three leave, but glad they were here at all. (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returning October 12, Jane the Virgin and iZombie: return date has yet to be announced)

Jodi - Sue Pic# 6As I’m sure you can tell by now I love TV!!!!!! I mean I just flipping love the art that is television. There now that was less dramatic, right? Oh, who am I kidding. When thinking about all the new and returning shows for this new TV season I basically feel like Sue from The Middle shrieking, “AHHHHHHHH!!!!”. There isn’t enough space for me to list every show I’m excited about, so I’ll just list a few gems that I am pumped about:

Jodi - Goldbergs - Pict# 7*The Goldberg’s on ABC* I basically fell in love with this show the moment I started watching it. Soon to be entering its sixth season (sixth?!?!?!…where does the time go I tell ya), this 80s nostalgic gem with an over-the-top amazing cast has become a classic staple of how a comedy should be. Bonus: tons of 80s references. And who doesn’t love an 80s reference! I do! I do! From Beverly’s rhinestone sweaters, to classic 80s pop songs, to nostalgia of a easier time The Goldberg’s continues to forever be that show I will always look forward to watching every Wednesday night. (Returns September 26)

Jodi - Good Place Pict# 8*The Good Place on NBC*This show is just so forking good! Not only is it full in loads of charming and quirky, there is then the premise of the show itself. It has, I feel, one of the most ambitious story lines I have ever seen for a twenty-two something minute comedy show. I mean, the Season One finale, will forever be one of the best twists of all of time! I mean…. just what the fork! So forking good, right! In only the two seasons the show has had every episode manages to top the previous one surprising you one episode to the next. It’s different, it’s unique, and it’s simply a perfect little gem that I adore every time I watch it. Plus, how adorable is Jason! Literally, the definition of a lovable goofball in every sense. (Returns September 27)

Jodi - Superstore - Pict# 9*Superstore on NBC* This workplace comedy on NBC definitely has a spot on my Thursday nights. For I must watch it right away and not a week later and watch on DVR. That’s how you know it’s good. It must be seen immediately, no delay. The quirky for days characters and a very Office like vibe makes Superstore that kind of comedy with heart that you can’t help but love. Lovable, wacky, memorable moments from lovable, wacky, memorable characters will continue to make me feel like I’m on Cloud 9 every moment while watching this gem that is a show! (Returns October 4)

Jodi - This is us - Pict #10 *This Is Us on NBC* I, like everyone in all of everywhere, fell in love with This Is Us when it started two years ago. Can you remember a time before This Is Us? I can’t, TV Nerd brain though over here. I usually am that person that rarely cries when watching a TV show. But then This Is Us happened and hello tears on my face every single Tuesday night. The episode with *SPOILER* Randall’s dad, William, passing *SPOILER OVER* literally made me cry as though I was watching the series finale of Six Feet Under. Don’t speak in TV? I’ll translate: I couldn’t stop crying. Despite the critics not caring for Season Two citing it as too sappy, I continued to appreciate this show because it feels real in every episode. It’s a show that continues to make you think and appreciate the everyday things in life you might sometimes overlook. And how at the end of everything, family and friends are life’s most precious gifts that you can have in one’s life. So bring on Season Three, and also passed the tissues please! (Returns September 25)

Jodi - 911 Pict# 11*911 on FOX* I will watch any show that Ryan Murphy is involved in making. He’s a visionary television genius as far as I’m concerned. All of his shows despite some having that occasional shock value here or there (I’m talking to you, American Horror Story!), have heart and insight into the human condition that life can be. Plus, Peter Krause is in it. Forever Six Feet Under Fan Over Here! 911 is a show that deals with that human condition extremely well. It deals with the stories and the lives of first responders and the toll that the job can sometimes be on oneself. Season One dealt with some crazy situations that these professional heroes went through to save lives of others they don’t even know. This show deals with bravery that one can have with when focusing on the job. Then it also shows how you can be brave for others, while struggling in your own life despite being fearless when it’s called for and while not being that fearless person for yourself. It’s very relatable in that aspect of making mistakes and how sometimes it can take just one person to help you get back on track again. (Returns with a two night premiere September 23 and 24)

Jodi - Good Doc Pict# 10*The Good Doctor on ABC* Like when Ryan Murphy is involved in a show, I will also watch anything Freddie Highmore is involved in. Being a super fan of his work from Bates Motel, I am once again a super fan of his work on The Good Doctor. In this show, Highmore plays Shawn Murphy. The Good Doctor is more than just your average la-de-da medical drama. In this show, Highmore plays, Shawn Murphy, a doctor who just also happens to be autistic. The board at the hospital doesn’t feel Shawn is a good choice for a position as a doctor at their hospital. With the encouragement of the hospital administrator, who puts his own job on the line to prove that Shawn is more than capable of being an excellent and qualified doctor at their hospital, Shawn gets the job. The Good Doctor is a show that has heart, a show that makes you feel, a show that makes you think. It’s more than just your average medical drama, it’s better. (Returns September 24)

Jodi - Pict 14Okay, I have tons of more shows that I’m looking forward to, whether it be new gems or returning favorite gems. I’m pretty sure this article would be thousands of pages long if I listed absolutely every single show I am looking forward to returning, as I am never able to turn away from a great TV show. So I’ll just leave it with those gems of shows in the meantime. TV can be great. It can take you away for a little bit of time when watching where it can allow you to forget about yesterday or today or tomorrow. Sure, when the show is over reality hits back. But that’s life, right. So when those moments arrive where you just need some distraction from the craziness annoyances that the average day can sometimes be, I say thank you TV. Just thank you.

Ahhh!!! The Emmys 2018 Are Tonight!

Jodi emmyHello all there! Tonight on NBC is a favorite night for TV Nerds everywhere. That’s right, it’s the Emmy Awards! Since I’m doing this pretty last second, TV Nerd Fail (it happens), this article will
be on the shorter side with just my picks on the major categories on what I think will take home that coveted statue that is the Emmy Award later tonight.

Here we go:

*Drama Series*
The Americans-FX
The Crown-Netflix
Game of Thrones-HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale-Hulu
Stranger Things-Netflix
This Is Us-NBC

Thoughts: Omg, is this a tough category! Every show is just so flipping good! The only show that I haven’t watched out of this batch is the Season Two for Westworld. More than likely the award will go to Game of Thrones, but I think because it’s been off the air for so long there’s a slight chance it might not for that reason. I mean I love Game of Thrones but it’s been off for awhile now, I have to admit I don’t really even remember what happened in their last season with the exception of the finale. And that finale was definitely WOAH, right! I literally love all of these shows but my final pick would be for…..

The Americans. It’s a show that has always just been there. A show that was intense with a silence to it as well. Considering the last season was its last, it would be nice that the show be recognized for its quality in excellent programming. Also, this show’s series finale is definitely in my list of all time favorites behind Six Feet Under. It was a finale that didn’t answer every question, but it didn’t matter because it was written so very well, as with every episode ever written for this series.

*Comedy Series*

Curb Your Enthusiasm-HBO
Silicon Valley-HBO
The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel-Amazon Prime
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt-Netflix

Thoughts: Another solid batch of just all around amazing shows! Once again there are a few shows I have not seen the season that they are nominated for. As the saying goes so little time, too many shows. TV Nerd Problems I tell ya. So I haven’t seen the latest seasons of Atlanta and black-ish, although I do love both programs! More than likely with being a gem that had audiences and critics alike praising the series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will take home the award. I loved the show as well and would be happy to see it go to this show. Although, my pick would be for……

Barry on HBO. I really liked this show a lot. It’s not your average “ha-ha” kind of comedy. It has very dark undertones to it and it at time feels very much like an existential comedy, in a way. It’s a different kind of show that you can’t really place into a certain category and it’s one that you don’t see around every TV season. It’s memorable and different, and it’s a show that kind of makes you thinks about the craziness and sadness that life can sometimes be.

*Lead Actor- Drama*

Jason Bateman-Ozark
Sterling K. Brown- This Is Us
Ed Harris-Westworld
Matthew Rhys-The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia-This Is Us
Jeffrey Wright-Westworld

Thoughts: So many great performances! Like I previously mentioned, haven’t watched this past season of Westworld. With the exception of those performances, this is still such a tough category. Jason Bateman in Ozark has a performance on that show that just stays with you. An actor known mostly for his comedic roles, here Bateman gives the performance of his career up to this point. His character is going through a lot on this show, to say the least. Bateman’s acting is simply amazing, portraying a character who looks like he’s literally about to break in every scene but doesn’t. He holds it together even when you can tell he is falling apart on the inside. Simply incredible. That being said my pick would be for……

Matthew Rhys for The Americans. Rhys is yet another actor whose performance just stays with you. His character went through so much throughout the six seasons the show was on the air for and the transitions Rhys portrayed was done seamlessly. Seeing how this is the last time The Americans can be nominated, it would be nice to see an actor like Rhys take home that Emmy Award for a performance that just kept getting stronger each and every season.

*Lead Actress- Drama*

Claire Foy-The Crown
Tatiana Maslany-Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss-The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh-Killing Eve
Keri Russell-The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood-Westworld

Thoughts: At this point you all know I haven’t watched the last season of Westworld, but oh man, am I kicking myself for that. I would have been able to really look at every performance. Ughhhh! Anyways, strong performances in every nomination. Claire Foy as her final performance as the Queen is definitely a strong one. Foy simply, shined in her part of portraying the Queen. The acting skills she showed were just so incredibly strong. From her mannerisms, to how she spoke every word, to the way she glanced with a look, it was above and upon what makes a memorable performance that will always stay with viewers of The Crown. Although, my final pick would be for…….

Keri Russell for The Americans. Can you sense a pattern? I am a fan of this show, if you couldn’t tell already. Russell (who I will always think of as Felicity) portrayed her character of Elizabeth as a woman that felt like she couldn’t break. She had a mission, she rarely ever let her emotions get in the way of what she was told was required of her. In the series finale, there was a moment as a viewer I will never forget. She was on a train with her daughter Paige and husband Philip, fleeing the US to return home to Russia. Paige decides to stay and that look that Russell gave as Elizabeth in shock of realizing what just happened is literally what you call acting. Plus being the final season, just give her the award already!

*Lead Actor- Comedy*

Anthony Anderson-black-ish
Ted Danson-The Good Place
Larry David-Curb Your Enthusiasm
Donald Glover-Atlanta
Bill Hader-Barry
William H. Macy-Shameless

Thoughts: As I previously mentioned not caught up on Atlanta or black-ish, also add Shameless to that list. Larry David is ridiculous in the best ways and Curb returning was literally everything. I missed his crazy antics and him back on TV is always something that should be. Although, my final pick would be for…..

Bill Hader on Barry. I loved Hader’s performance. Known mostly for his sketch comedy on SNL, Hader shined as a man wanting more for his life and feeling like he finally found it in acting. Hader’s performance on Barry is memorable because he was able to show that he can really portray a character with depth and insight of how life is that constant struggle sometimes of wanting more for yourself and being close but yet so far from it.

*Lead Actress- Comedy*

Pamela Anton-Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan-The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney-Mom
Tracee Ellis Ross-black-ish
Lily Tomlin-Grace and Frankie
Issa Rae-Insecure

Thoughts: Okay, TV Nerd Fail, I am not caught up on Mom, Grace and Frankie or black-ish. So I’ll just give my final pick…..

Rachel Brosnahan for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Brosnahan is simply perfection on the show. As a woman who felt her life was altogether, she finds herself everywhere when her husband up and decides to leave her. Brosnahan acting as the woman on the brink of breaking down and also finding herself, simply shines and gives a performance you remember.

Okay, those are my picks. And now to the 2018 Emmys!

Wearing Glasses in the Summer…. The Struggle Is Well…..There

Jodi - glasses first pictureThe summer slowly went away within this last week. The lovely days of swimming outside in the late afternoon slowly came to a sad halt. Along with the end of the highly entertaining, albeit completely and utterly ridiculousness that is ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise. In a completely unrelated note, there was a bird that the show would feature randomly here and there throughout the season. I am pretty convinced that this would be me as a bird. I just saw it and immediately thought, “That’s Bird Jodi!”. I am just obsessed with this bird, it’s just living its very best life by the beach in Mexico, watching up front all the madness that is Bachelor in Paradise. I want to be that bird. Maybe in the next life, if I could be so lucky.

Back to my “I am missing summer ramblings”…. I mean I knew summer was coming to an end. Until, of course, next summer when it returns once again rolling back around. Like I’m aware. But whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?????? I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I just miss it real bad.

Although, the part of the summer that I never really have ever been a fan of is the heat, the humidity. Especially, cause….well does anyone really like it when it’s like extremely hot out? Or better yet, when you don’t have central air and the parts of your home without air conditioners feel even hotter inside than it actually is outside! Yeah that part of summer, I can totally do without! Yup!

Jodi - Glasses Pic 2I wear glasses, you see (a pun!). Anyways, wearing glasses in extremely hot weather can loosen up the frames and well, get to a point at some point where the frames can basically fall off your head. This August, after two years of wearing frames I never really ever came to liking for myself, I picked out a new pair of frames. I finally in all my many years of having to wear glasses felt like I finally picked out a pair of frames that really suited me and this “Pop Culture Nerd’s” personality.

Not only did I need to adjust to a new prescription (which did, in fact, take a full week), I had to deal with the frames loosening almost every other day cause of the intense summer heat. In August for a brief period of time, there was about a full five days where it was on the cooler side and than….. Bam! Heat Wave! I remember going to the pool during those “cooler days” and remember thinking how it did feel a little cold in the water, but I will remember these days of being able to go swimming once summer was over and appreciate those moments of just swimming back and forth in the water during a weekday. Swimming…… I miss ya!

I got off topic. I tend to do that. Like I said previously, I really do so very much miss those swimming summer days. So yeah, then came probably some of the more hotter days this summer for the Jersey Shore. Heat Wave? Uh, yup! Basically, my glasses on one day got to the point where they literally almost fell off of my head. Being a new pair of frames and the neurotic one that I have been known to be, I was like, “Is it the frames? Did I pick a defective pair? Why does this keep happening??????”. Did I annoy my family with these questions on the daily? But of course! Not only have I been known to be a neurotic worrier at times, I have been known to also be annoying to those around me. Who knew? Well, the small amount of people who still put up with me are fully aware of this gal and her quirks and annoying tendencies at times. Anyways…..

Within the span of about a month I must of went to the store where I purchased the glasses for adjustments at least under ten times or so. I was going at least once or twice a week, I genuinely started to feel embarrassed simply because I was going so often. The employees at the store were very nice saying how it was happening to everyone, how the summer heat was just loosening up everyone’s frames, it just happens.

I just wasn’t really use to this situation of this happening cause with my previous frames that I wore for two years, I never really had that issue. In fact, the one time throughout the whole two years of wearing the frames the only adjustment I ever had I ended up reversing the adjustment cause it didn’t feel right afterwards.

Even though I never thought much of those frames, just a little too standard and plain for my taste, they never loosened up in the summer heat. So, of course, I finally found a pair this time around that I just really dug and they, of course, were having this adjustment issue in the heat like every day. The good with the bad, but of course!

As sad as I am seeing those summer days slowly drift now on to fall, and I am indeed sad cause swimming….. Sorry, just remember those days of swimming away, I’ll just be crying over here. I need a minute….. Okay. Nope, more tears coming…… I really need to move to somewhere where just cause it turns to September doesn’t mean those days swimming outside must just come to an end for the next eight months! Hey, lottery! I need to win you!

Off topic, again. It happens with me as I get distracted easily as one does when dreaming about swimming. Well, there is a benefit to summer ending. The heat goes away and the cold comes back. Meaning for this gal…… Hopefully, my pair of frames for my glasses won’t be seeing those weekly adjustments for the next several months. So yeah to that!

Jodi - Glasses Pic 3On the flip side of “yeah to that”, being “not yeah too that” is not swimming during the day, for I miss it already more than the summer could ever know. Till next summer, when swimming during the day is a thing again! And probably getting my glasses adjusted is a thing again on the weekly cause of the summer heat. Hey, as long as swimming is a thing again, I don’t really care.


Book Adaptations of 2018…

*DISCLAIMER – In this article, I will be discussing the books and TV series of Sweetbitter, Sharp Objects, and You. This article contains spoilers from these books/shows as I discuss my thoughts on them. Okay, cool? Now that that’s out of the way, enjoy fellow Pop Culture Nerds.*

These days book adaptations are constantly happening. Whether it be a TV series, a movie, a stage play, books are a constant source for great material. 2018 was once again a year where tons of books got that adaptation treatment of being formed into another source of entertainment for us all.
Book Adapt 1
Usually, I try to read a book before watching whatever form it gets adapted into. For me, I tend to be the regular “TV Nerd”, so TV series are my go-to’s. This year, Sweetbitter (by Stephanie Danler), Sharp Objects (by Gillian Flynn), and You (by Caroline Kepnes) are three books that were/are on my must watch for book adaptations list of TV shows to have/will watch. Sweetbitter and Sharp Objects have concluded their series run, You will be starting its run at the end of this week.

Book Adaptations can be tricky at times to pull off successfully. In 2017, we saw amazing adaptations of great books to be just as great as TV series. Such as the cases with the success of Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale from page to small screen. A lot of books have been adapted to TV series since these two. These two series were not only successful in ratings, but also got the two huge thumbs up from critics and audiences alike. Big Little Lies was so successful that with what started out initially as a limited series turned into another season slated to premiere in 2019. I, for one, am totally for that second season. I know it wasn’t intended to go beyond what was created, but honestly the characters, writing, and performances made it a series that you couldn’t help but want to see more of. So in this case, more is much welcomed!

Book Adapt 2In May, we saw the TV series premiere of Sweetbitter on Starz. This book by Stephanie Danler, was one I came away from reading pleasantly surprised by. Surprised that I really, really liked it a whole lot. Up to the point of reading this novel I had mostly been reading suspenseful mystery thrillers. Thrillers that had twists and turns behind every page you’d turn. So, I went into reading this book worried that I wasn’t going to find a book with a non-mystery thriller element exciting enough. I was wrong.

I loved it! I probably would never even of had this book on my radar if the TV show never would have come to be. I wish I could say I read to read, but I love book adaptations and I usually end up reading books that get adapted. I love to see the transition of the adaptation and see if it holds up on screen. At the end of everything, I’m still reading something and then watching something, but I read a book in the process and that’s awesome. To let your mind just wonder and imagine these characters of when reading about them in the written form and then to see them on a different platform is really wonderful as someone who is a fan of literally “Pop Culture Everything”.

Book Adapt 3Okay, back to Sweetbitter. I loved this book! It revolves around Tess, a girl in her twenties. The year is 2006. She decides she needs a restart on her life and goes to New York City. She literally just goes and leaves behind her former life to start anew. It’s literally such an amazing thing to do, really. To start over, not knowing anyone in the place you’re going and just simply start yourself over in a different direction and location. It truly takes a lot for one to do that and I so admire that. Let’s face it, at one point or another we all wish we could just pack up and move, and here Tess had to courage to just do it. The story then goes to her finding employment cause you know New York can be expensive and all. She gets a job at a restaurant. She doesn’t have extensive knowledge in this field, so she starts at the bottom and learns as she goes.

Book Adapt 4During this time, she and her fellow employees became each other’s family. Along the way, she meets Jake. A bartender who she seriously fall for, but he is someone who can never truly let all of himself go to her because of a somewhat twisted relationship with another employee, Simone. They have a long history, and to sum it up, Tess and Jake can never truly have a future cause of Simone. He just can’t let Simone get out of his head.

Sweetbitter is a book about life, about making mistakes and sometimes not learning from them. It’s a story for those who feel lost in life at times, but keep moving forward even when it’s hard to. It’s a story that I found relatable in those aspects of trying to just be sometimes, in a world where you can feel like you fell out of it along the way.

Book Adapt 5The book was incredibly good. I found the TV series to be a decent adaptation. The first season consisted of six episodes around thirty minutes each. Initially, I thought that wouldn’t be enough time for the episodes, but as the series went from one episode to the next, I found it to be just exactly the right amount of time to tell the story. The show didn’t feel overdone (cooking term, a-ha!) or stuffed with pointless plot points to fill an hour. With the story revolving around the food business of making meals, this first season felt like an appetizer. An appetizer of introducing us, the viewers, to the story and to these characters in small doses. There was a natural ease and flow of the show,  that never felt overly done. It felt just right.

Book Adapt 6Ella Purnell was simply perfect has wide-eyed Tess trying to navigate her new start over in a city where everything and everyone was new. Purnell had an energy where it felt like this was a character she was meant to play. Rounding out the rest of the cast was veterans of TV and stage including Caitlin Fitzgerald (Masters of Sex, Rectify, UnReal), Tom Sturridge (of Broadway’s Orphans and 1984), and Paul Sparks (The Girlfriend Experience, Waco).

I really liked this adaptation. At the season finale, it felt like we are still just getting to know this world and these characters. I’d left finishing the finale, feeling I wanted to see where the show goes, where the story goes and how these characters might evolve in another season. Luckily for me, a season two renewal was granted to this series! This was a book, where I might not relate to absolutely everything, but at times I found to be where one could relate to this or that. Whether it be not knowing where the future may take you, being hopeful yet afraid to go for what you want or what you really want to do with your life. Life is a constant question as one gets older and I found this story to really truly understand that difficulty that one can only really get as time goes on and on.

Favorite Quotes:

“I was never good at the future. I grew up with girls whose chief occupation was the future designing it, instigating it. They could talk about it with so much confidence that it sounded like the past. During those talks, I had contributed nothing” – SWEETBITTER

“My amicable interviewer would ask me about my origins. I would tell him that for so long I thought I would be nothing; that my loneliness had been so total that I was unable to project into the future. And that this changed when I got to the city and my present expanded, and my future skipped out in front of me”- SWEETBITTER

“The streets seemed to be breathing, then they seemed to be disappearing. I could see them being erased. I had that feeling of never having existed at all, which I could only call me sense of morality”- SWEETBITTER

Honestly, I rarely read and see lines that are worth marking down. But these few quotes just really stuck out to to me. As someone who is at a crossroads in my life, knowing what I would like to do which is write, I found myself at a constant question mark of will it actually happen one day as a career. To wonder can be difficult, so in the meantime… Here I write away.

Book Adapt 7Moving on to a book in the completely opposite genre, Sharp Objects. Sharp Objects is a novel by Gillian Flynn. It’s an extreme dark thriller with a shocking ending that you don’t see coming. This book had everything required in a suspense mystery thriller. It had twists, it had turns, it had moments that made you say out loud, “WHAT! I mean…. WHAT!”.

Book Adapt 8The story revolves around Camille, a journalist on assignment from her editor to return to her hometown where terrible murders of children have been occurring. Camille has a sordid past with her upbringing. There was the devastating family tragedy of losing her sister, so going back home is not something she would have choose to do unless it was assigned. She never had a desire to go back home, but here she is. Confronted by her past everywhere she goes. Her mother, who she can’t help but want to not deal with and a half-sister she doesn’t even know. Demons from her past that affected her mental and physical state more than anyone could ever know. This thriller truly is the definition of a book being able to shock, surprise, and disturb you in every turning page with an ending that will truly stun.

I finished this book right before this year of 2018 had started. As with most of the books I end up reading, I started this one also because a Limited Series Adaptation on HBO was announced to be happening with the likes of Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Elizabeth Perkins, Henry Czenry (Hello, ABC’s Revenge!), along with the introduction of Eliza Scanlen as Amma. The cast alone was reason enough to gather my interest in wanting to see this adaptation.

You know when you read a book and then watch an adaptation of it on a TV series? Although, you know when you read that book like half a year earlier and remember key moments and forget the little details? That was me and watching the HBO adaptation of Sharp Objects. I was such a fan of this insane, didn’t-see-that-coming-WHAT!, thriller of a book. Although, I felt like I was at a disadvantage by reading the book so much earlier to when the series came out.

Book Adapt HII thought the book to small screen transition was very well done. Actually, watching the show I got even more of a darker vibe than when reading the book. I guess it’s one of those things where seeing it vs. reading it makes the story more there in a way. To see the characters speak, to see how they interact with one another, to see the town, to see those visual elements of the story. All these elements just added to that darkness of the story, making it much more visual by seeing it rather than by reading it in on the page. The words on page were there, but there is an extra element when it’s visually able to be seen that adds that extra layer that sometimes only a series can provide.

Sharp Objects the book was what a great mystery thriller read is meant to be. Sharp Objects the series was an excellent, albeit extremely dark and terrifying adaption. Sharp Objects the series was at times, hard to watch because of that extremely dark, scary tone of the story. The story was not an easy one to read or watch at times because of that. But, at the same time it was hard to not continue reading or watching to see where the story was going to go.

Book Adapt 9Book Adapt 10When the show came out, you almost couldn’t talk about how exactly the story ends because it looks like you have the answers and the person responsible for the crimes that took place in this small town. Then you have that one-two punch where it looks like Camille’s mother is the one responsible for these horrible crimes and then it turns out to be her half-sister, Amma. I remember reading the ending and just being in complete shock. It was a truly shocking ending, one that I will never forget. That’s how you know what you just read is good. An ending that is so shocking and disturbing with a twist you simply just never saw coming. An ending that is imprinted in your mind, and even after you finish reading/watching it years from now it’s an ending to a story you will remember. The exact style in how the show ended, in my opinion left room for another season. It almost felt like a cliffhanger and I actually didn’t initially realize there where some extra moments after the credits. It just goes to show, you should never fast forward a show. I’ve read that there are no plans for a Season Two, but they did say that about Big Little Lies. So who knows? Come Golden Globe nominations time, I expect this show to get nominations left and right!

Book Adapt 11Lastly, there is the upcoming series of the adaptation of the book You. You by Caroline Kepnes. It just goes to show you how book adaptations can seriously introduce you to books that would never have been on your radar unless an adaptation was happening. Yet, another book that I would never even have known even existed unless it was being adapted into a TV series. I am a “TV Nerd” before being a bookworm after all. You was an incredible read. Kepnes is an amazing writer. Her writing felt smart, interesting, and new. You was a book, that despite being over 400-something pages long, never once felt dull, boring or uninteresting for even one moment. It was probably the most twisted, disturbing, creepy for days, insane book I have definitely ever read. That being said, it was by far the best thriller I’ve also ever read.

You starts off as your average story of boy meets girl. Boy becomes intrigued by girl. Then it takes a turn for the mega-weird. Boy becomes completely and utterly obsessed with said girl.

Book Adapt 12You is about a bookstore manager named Joe Goldberg (no relation to The Goldberg’s on ABC, just to be clear). One random day, a young woman by the name of Beck walks into the store. Joe is immediately intrigued by her and they chat about books and authors. He is smitten to say the least. But he keeps it cool. She pays for her purchases and is on her way. She pays in credit with a card. Joe wants to know more about her and searches for her online. He then finds out more about her by hacking her computer. He reads personal emails and everything about her. She’s one of the many out there on social media. In being in this craze that is social media, she is always letting any random anyone out there know what she’s up to at all times. She’s a writer and it turns out she’s going to be having a reading of a short story she wrote somewhere. Since, Joe has hacked her computer he knows about this upcoming reading she will be at. Joe, not letting this go, goes to hear her read. But stays at a distance, not letting her know he’s there. She meets friends at her reading, but ends up leaving alone. Alone and slightly intoxicated after, she goes to the subway to go home. She falls onto the tracks of subway. Joe sees this, but if he helps her, what would she think, why is he there? He puts those thoughts aside and goes to reach for her hand. She recognizes him and he chalks to being at the right place, at the right time. She thinks he’s her knight in shining armor. Little did she know, he knew where she was going to be the whole time.

From there, what goes from innocent wonder about Beck, Joe slowly falls down a rabbit-hole of obsession. You slowly find out this is not the first time something like this has happens with Joe and someone. What transpires during the rest of the story is completely shocking with moments that you just can’t believe are happening.

Joe goes on to do such destructive, horrible acts in the name of keeping Beck “safe”. In his mind, when he’s doing these horrendous crimes it’s to keep Beck away from others who don’t really care about her like he does. His logic on why he’s doing what he does is so incredibly twisted and insane, to say the least. If there is someone close to Beck, a somewhat boyfriend, a person she calls a best friend, Joe feels the need to protect her from these people who don’t appreciate her the way he feels she should be. Joe feels he has no choice but to do these things he does. And on and on he goes, committing unspeakable acts of crime in the name of Beck, someone who doesn’t even know what he has been doing along the way.

You shows how people can hide who they really are, wear that mask of transforming themselves for how they want others to see them. When Beck first meets Joe, he comes across as smart, interesting, different, intellectual, cute. He lets her see that version of him. He seems like any other cute guy with wit and humor, who can hold a conversation. It’s all innocent and flirty. Joe slowly transpires from all fun and casual and innocent, to deranged and insane with a side of stalker with obsession for this girl he just randomly meet one day.

Book Adapt - YouOn this upcoming Sunday, the series adaptation of You will be premiering on Lifetime. It’s a series adaptation produced by the great Greg Berlanti of Riverdale, Blindspot, The Flash, Brothers and Sisters, along with countless other amazing TV programs. I have known about this adaptation for a few years now, and after finally reading the book over the summer I am so ready for this show to start. The show doesn’t start until Sunday, but a few trailers for the series are out. Based on these few minute trailers, the show looks absolutely amazing! The trailer, even though only a few minutes, features key moments from the book. Key moments that have gone from that page to small screen transition that has all the feels of the words from the pages of this novel. It has all the feels that that the book provided and has just expanded those feels to screen form seamlessly.

Book Adapt 14A big part of making a book adaptation work is casting. Casting can be key for such memorably written characters. After reading the book, I can say the casting department picked such perfect actors to portray the characters Caroline Kepnes wrote of in her book. Penn Badgley (Xoxo, Gossip Girl!) has been cast as Joe. I knew of his casting when reading the book and reading how Kepens wrote the character of Joe, it’s almost like she had Badgley in mind. I could picture him saying Joe’s words, and giving Joe’s glances. Based on the trailers for the series, Badgley has become this character of Joe effortlessly. He has the voice, the look, and just that “it” quality to completely play this character perfectly. Rounding out the rest of the cast are Elizabeth Lail (Dead of Summer), Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars), Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker), and John Stamos (Full House, Fuller House, Scream Queens).

I’ve read a lot of great thrillers from The Girl on the Train to Gone Girl. You, though is by far the best thriller I have read in the last few years. It had a gripe on you as a reader where you wanted to see exactly where this story was possibly going to go and going to end. You think the craziness would stop at some point and Joe would realize the error of his ways, but that never once happened. With each page turn, the story continued to go further and further into madness. It was a book that you had to finish, had to see it through. For this story to be adapted into the form of a series has this TV Nerd so excited! I haven’t been this excited about a book adaptation since Big Little Lies. So I’m really excited to say the least, and based on everything I’ve seen and heard about You on Lifetime, I’d say we have a once again have a perfect page to small screen adaptation in the making. Apparently, Lifetime also has that confidence in the series, renewing it for a second season before season one has even premiered. Seeing how there is a sequel for the book You, titled Hidden Bodies, the material is already there for that second season!

The story of You, is also an interesting take also on social media being what it has now become. How oversharing is something that we can sometimes forget we might even be doing. It has became something that is such a normal staple in our society that as a society we forget sometimes that not everything has to be shared.

There’s the awesome side of social media such as where I can have this blog and write away my thoughts on anything I like and enjoy. It’s great being able to start a blog such as this and possibly an awesome magazine might see my work and that might possibly lead to an awesome new career as an entertainment writer (hey, one can dream, right?). Even something like Twitter can be fun, sharing appreciating with others over a favorite TV show. That isn’t the oversharing that I’m referring to, that’s such people bonding over a shared interest and that’s just plain awesome!

That possibility of oversharing that has become second nature to some forgetting that some parts of life don’t need to have that shared element to everything. A special moment of having a party or hanging out with some friends on a random Tuesday, doesn’t really need to be shared to everyone you know in a picture showing that great time you’re having. Why must that be shared with the world? Why, would some want a special moment like that in time, not to be just shared with the people in that moment? That’s the oversharing I’m referring to. In a way, You is that cautionary tale that just because we can share our lives on social media, doesn’t mean we should or need to.

If my articles have proven anything, it’s that I write too much. So thanks for sticking around and reading this gal’s thoughts. I guess that is bound to happen when a Pop Culture Nerd talks about Pop Culture. Anyways “Nerd Stuff” aside, 2018 had adaptations of many books, but these three were perhaps my favorite out of the bunch. From adapting to new life situations while making mistakes along the way (Sweetbitter), to the darkest of thrillers (Sharp Objects), to innocent flirtation gone off the rails to crazytown (You), reading books of any genre proves how powerful and insightful the written word can truly be. Book adaptations of 2018 and of future 2018, shows once again how sometimes the greatest pieces of work can start with just turning a page.

That Feeling of… “Huh? I’m Confused”… When Your Fave TV Comes Back.

jodi - confused

It’s that moment. That moment when your favorite TV show returns from a long hiatus. You are soooooo excited to watch your favorite characters once again on your favorite show that has finally returned. You go to watch it and….. You feel completely lost. Oh ugh.

Jodi - 31 Aug Better Call

That was basically me and the return of one of my all time favorites, Better Call Saul. I was a bit behind on watching this program when it first initially hit the TV airwaves. A little pointless and short backstory, but backstory nonetheless with me and this TV gem. I always wanted to watch this show, but I didn’t want to start it until I finished Breaking Bad. So I finished Breaking Bad. And then caught up on Better Call Saul to watch current episodes when they were actually airing by Season Three! So exciting, I know, I know! Hey, I said it was a pointless backstory!

Moving on….. Then, Season Four finally returned this August! Literally over a year and a few months had gone on by since the previous season finale had aired. So much time had gone by. Since the Season Three finale, I’ve tuned into many other programs the during the hiatus of Better Call Saul. Such as one does when being that “Lack of a Social Life TV Nerd” that I am. I remembered the finale, but little details about the characters I forgot. I have only watched the first two episodes of Season Four so far. Shortly after feeling lost, I took a breather from this current season cause I felt frustrated not remembering key details.

As much as I love this show, I found myself and my frustration with forgetting…. Well, frustrating. I was thinking, “Wait…. How do these characters know each other. Ugh…. How did they meet?”. I found myself not completely enjoying a show I had come to love. I almost questioned if I should actually re-watch the series from the beginning again. I don’t think I could really start it again from the beginning at the end of the day cause there’s just so many other shows I’m already behind on. I tend to not watch TV when I feel bummed. To say the least, this summer with the
exception of swimming (which makes me happy), I’ve been bummed a good chunk of it. So I didn’t get around to catching up on nearly as much as I would have liked to have had. “TV Nerd With A Lack of Social Life Problems”, what can I say, not the biggest thing in the world, I’m aware. Although, my shows can help me for a bit of time on days. When that feeling of being bummed does occur, it does keep me from not feeling that bummed out feeling when watching shows. Which bums me out. Does that make any sense? Hope so, if not, don’t worry about it.

Back to Better Call Saul…… I’m probably not going to end up watching the show again from the beginning. Hopefully at some point, the frustrations of not remembering small details I’ll get over. I completely understand hiatuses for TV series. In these times where if a show is not on basic cable, you’ll probably come across this issue of a possibly long hiatus. Most cable shows and streaming shows, are on this very schedule of returning like a year after their previous season. Just enough time for you to go, “I forget like everything. What is happening?!?!?!?! I forget like EVERYTHING! OH, ugh”. That feeling can be frustrating as a TV viewer, especially if it’s a favorite. Because you want to follow the story lines easily in your mind when watching a show. That natural flow where the previous episodes from the last season go to the new episodes from the current season seamlessly. And that’s really the problem with having such long hiatuses. You’re going to forget details. You’re going to forget story lines. You’re going to forget why stuff happened in the way it happened. Most people probably don’t have that problem. What can I say, I watch too much. I’m aware. Hey, instead of wasting my nights away at a bar, spending hundreds of bills on drinks, I waste away my nights away watching TV. Albeit, not when I’m in a bummed out state of mind. Oh, those mentally bummed out nights, what a waste.

Back to the issue, TV issues that is…. It’s like a Catch 22, in a way with these cable programs and their sometimes extremely long hiatuses. On one hand, these programs usually have a shorter season than a major network program. So the story isn’t usually dragged out, it’s the right amount of episodes to tell a solid story. The show will take longer to return with new episodes as cable doesn’t have that “regular time it usually returns…. It could be whenever” kind of schedule. Although, when it returns the story is usually there with precisely the right amount of episodes to tell the story the writers intended for that season to be. Which is nice.

Whereas with the programming on basic cable which has a completely opposite kind of schedule with their series, compared to that of cable or streaming services. These TV programs return like clockwork at the start of every fall and finish around the late spring time. These series which usually have twice as many episodes compared to that of cable or streaming service programs. These series which only have an amount time of about a three months hiatus. Less time off and away from our TV screens usually means you might remember more from the previous season. Although, the catch with these programs is that these series usually have at least around 20 or so episodes per season. I truly believe most seasons for a show don’t need to have any more than around 10 episodes or so. There is less potential for a story to go on and on and on and on. Especially, when the story line for that season could have ended around episode 10.

Jodi - 31 Aug Riverdale

As in the case with Season Two of Riverdale. I loved Season One, completely. It had twists and turns that I truly didn’t see coming. Every episode felt like it had a purpose and wasn’t just there because that was the amount of episodes ordered. Season One had 13 episodes. Then the show became a hit. Which I loved and was so happy others were tuning into this show that was so worth the watch. But what networks tend to do with shows that become “hits” is that they increase the episode order because of the popularity of the series. Sometimes on occasion more episodes for a season of a series can work. The story can continue to flow from episode to the next. Other times, not so much.

Riverdale’s Season Two had over 20 episodes, so twice as much to tell. The story line for the second season felt very unbalanced for most of the season. Leaving it feeling very uneven when it came to story lines and plot points. I was hoping the CW would notice this unbalance with the story and make Season Three a shorter season. To then give the following next season an episode order of 13 episodes vs. 20 episodes or so. Although, I never read anything about that happening and considering how the show has now become a massive hit it’s unlikely the series will ever go back to an order of a smaller season episode order anytime soon. I know that a popular series going to back to a small amount of episodes for a season might look like step back. It might look like the show is doing poorly. But it shouldn’t be considered that. A smaller season order usually means better and more precise storytelling. Story lines which don’t feel dragged on or played out. It’s actually a good thing. That being said, Riverdale is still one of my favorite shows, and I will be tuning in regardless of how I felt about Season Two. It’s still a great, drama-filled watchable show that I will most definitely still be tuning into every week!

At the end of the TV day, more than likely networks are aware of this idea of shorter seasons usually resulting in better quality for the stories of the series they are making. Some networks have come around to embracing this idea such as with NBC’s This is Us. This is Us, usually has had around 18 episodes per season, thus far. But TV making is a business at the end of it, and if a series is a ratings hit, more episodes will be ordered regardless of how it may affect the potential story for the next season. I get it, but it’s just disappointing when you know that last season of a show you just watched could have been so much better if it was a shorter season vs. longer one.

Hopefully, these bummed out nights that I have been having on and off in my mind this whole summer basically, will end and I can once again be that gal who doesn’t care that a social life isn’t in the cards for her anymore. Cause great TV is meant to be watched and enjoyed when you can truly appreciate it. “Hey, Me in a Good Mood, I’m talking about you!”. Yes, me talking to myself cause NERD!, saying, “Girl snap out of it! There are great shows meant to be seen!”. So yeah, I agree with myself, cause there are great shows that can help that bummed out state of mind on occasion.

Hopefully, I’ll get passed feeling this way I have been feeling this summer. I have that hope it’ll pass in time, as everything usually does. Where me not being able to focus my mind on excellent programs… one might feel when they are that “TV Nerd With A Lack of A Social Life When In Jersey”, who just can’t with TV when feeling in that particular state of mind of being…. “I’m Just Bummed Out Again, Ugh”. Hey, it happens, right! Always, grateful for when those sadder moments leave and I always have an awesome show to get me back to feeling okay.