Judging Matters of Opinion


Bet you never thought you’d see these two books pictured together!

I like the Walking Dead, Longmire, and Man in the High Castle.  I couldn’t care less about Game of Thrones.

I liked Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray, but I liked The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury better.

I see judgmental articles online all the time about what it means if someone likes “trashy” books like Twilight and 50 Shades.  I also see tons of response articles with people saying they won’t apologize for their taste.

Why is this so common?  Why is it such a thing for people to pass judgement on other people’s choice of entertainment?  What in particular does it say about me as a person that I can enjoy the entire spectrum of novels, all the way from the widely criticized to the highly revered?

In my opinion, the answer is not much.

What it says about me is that I have broad tastes and that I enjoy many things.  I enjoy things, not because I’m supposed to or they’re popular (or unpopular), but simply because they entertain me.  I’m all about relishing what entertains me, unapologetically.  I don’t feel the need to hide fondness for romance, or to brag about it when I’m reading classics.  Because while one might expand my knowledge and thinking, the other is something I like.  I don’t need reasons to enjoy something, just like I don’t need to explain why, for me, mint chocolate chip will always win over vanilla.

If you see me sitting at the coffee shop, and I’m reading a book that you consider awful, think about this: yesterday, I may have been reading a classic or difficult book.  And if I am reading that “difficult book” while I’m standing in line at the grocery store, don’t assume that says anything about me.  I’m likely to also have something by Nora Roberts in my purse.

I read a lot, and I don’t judge other people for any reading habits, other than when they say, “I like to read, but I don’t have time for it.”  If you don’t like to read and don’t do it, that’s cool.  But if you claim you don’t have time, I call shenanigans.  There’s always time for what you like.

Anyway, the point is that judging people based on their taste in entertainment is silly.  And if you weren’t sneaking peeks at what I’m reading, maybe you’d have time to finish that book that’s been sitting on your bedside table for the last six months.

Not that I’m judging.  😉


Revenge Gets Its Mojo Back

by the TV Guy’s Stepmom
thIt was several months into season one when I started watching Revenge.  The TV Guy’s father was already a fan.  This night time soap is engaging, and I found myself caught up in the lives of the uber-rich inhabitants of the Hamptons.
The plot: new Hampton resident Emily Thorne quickly becomes a thorn in the side of Victoria Grayson, as she ingratiates herself into the life of Victoria’s son, Daniel. Emily, born Amanda Clarke, returns to the Hamptons to avenge the wrongs inflicted on her father by the Graysons, deeds that destroyed her father’s life, and changed hers, too..
The second half of season two muddled along and became confusing, and I was ready to throw in the towel. Kudos to the writers for finding their way in season three, creating a major plot shift. When the Graysons were about to get their due, at Emily/Amanda and Daniel’s wedding, things went awry.
Emily and her loyal sidekick, Nolan, were ready.  Emily has now been exposed as a young woman desperate to become a part of the Hampton social scene, rather than one out for blood.
The show is on hiatus until early March, so this is the perfect time to binge watch. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

America’s Secret Slang

by The TV Guy

UnknownSo I was flipping through the channels as I often do, aimlessly looking for something different to watch. One morning I came across a show that intrigued me right away. The many colloquial sayings and bits of language we use without a second thought of where they come from were being explained. The word “cop” for police officer was originally thought to come from the copper buttons on their coats. Well, they now think that the word cop comes from the Irish word “coep,” which stands for hero. They theorize that because much of the Irish language was passed on in an oral tradition, none of these words were well documented.

The California gold rush gave us so many slang words and phrases that we still use today. “Acid test” comes from testing the gold to verify it was real, if it passed the acid test than it was genuine. “Heard it through the grapevine” is a saying we all have heard and likely used in our lives. This comes from stringing telegraph line from posts to trees to whatever would hold the line. The miners thought they looked like grape vines and when they got information on the telegraph, they would say they heard it through the grapevine.

So if you are a lover of words and language this show is something you will want to catch. Check your local listings on H2.

Whisker Wars

by The TV Guy

Unknown-1Just when you thought that they had run out of show ideas they come up with another winner. Whisker Wars is all about the growing sport of bearding. This show follows different hairy competitors from around the world as they compete for fame and glory. The U.S. has put together a strong team for the international competitions in Europe. This is the oddest show I have seen in a while. The men all gather together in local chapters of beard growing clubs and fight for the best beards and mustaches. There are many different categories they compete in and they take it as serious as any other sportsmen would take their sport. If you never thought that facial hair was a sport than take a look. It is currently on Netflix streaming for your viewing pleasure.

Save Me

by The TV Guy

imagesAnne Heche is back as both actor and producer with a brand new sit-com on NBC.

Save Me is a genuinely funny show about a Midwestern woman who after a near death is able to communicate with God.

Now the first thing I think when someone is talking to God is, did they take their medications today?

This show has a positive message about change and redemption. When this once out of control mom and wife wakes up one day and finds that she is missing out on her marriage and her daughters’ life.

This summer replacement is a quality little show worth a look!!!

Arrested Development

by The TV Guy

imagesFor fans of Arrested Development, the wait is almost over. The Netflix original will return with the entire original cast. The show returns, only on Netflix, starting May 26th. This is an interesting move for a show that was a real fan favorite but suddenly came to an end when Fox cancelled it. Although the critics loved this one, it never got the ratings to keep it going. The return, much like that of All my Children to Hulu, is a second chance of sorts for fans of the show. Moving forward, cancellation no longer means the end for any show with a decent following. Shows may leave the big networks for smaller networks like Cougar Town going from ABC to TBS. Some end up being streamed over the Internet. The future is wide open and who knows what shows they will dust off and breathe life back into next.


by The TV Guy

imagesThis is an odd show. It has everything from young female FBI agents to LSD tripping senior citizen scientists. The plot centers on Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), an FBI agent who tracks down cases that are part of “larger pattern” and thought to have some connection to the corporate juggernaut known as Massive Dynamics. Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) is responsible for managing his mentally ill, but brilliant father, Dr. Walter Bishop, who was just released from a psychiatric hospital after 17 years. Together they attempt to explain what is otherwise unexplainable.


You cannot just watch this show from any point and have it make sense. If you are interested in this series, start at episode one in order to get the set-up, otherwise it looks ridiculous out of context.


Talking Dead

imagesI’m not sure if I loved or hated this week’s Walking Dead, though I think I feel that way almost every week.  The mid-season premiere certainly addressed all the cliffhangers in the finale, but now I have to wait week to week again to find out what’s next!

Here be spoilers!

Daryl left with Merle!  Though I thought this might happen… why, why, why?  Rick is obviously lost without him, and the way Daryl reacted (or didn’t) when Rick knocked Merle over the head tells me he knows his brother is a jerk who can’t be with civilized people.

Still nothing much happening at Woodbury.  I’m so bored with Woodbury.  The people there are cardboard, and I’m tired of Andrea.  She’s obviously smart, but just doesn’t seem to get it.  Even the Governor isn’t all that interesting anymore.  I’m just waiting for him to attack the jail, but that probably won’t happen until the last episode.

Rick is losing it, which makes for interesting TV, but is sort of melodramatic in my opinion.  He’s probably sleep deprived, definitely grieving, and now he’s seeing his dead wife?  C’mon now!  I mean, that’s not an abnormal grief reaction, especially in such a stressful situation, but waving his gun around and screaming is a little much for me.

I agree with Hershel… they have to start trusting people.  Rick seems to forget that he was accepted into groups, and if they had left him alone, he probably would have died.  First Glenn saved him in the city.  Then he got accepted into the larger group.  Then they traveled to the farm and convinced Hershel to let him stay on.  I understand that he’s got a child and a new baby, but most people are good people, even in stressful situations (I really believe that).  Of course, my opinion may be colored by the fact that Tyrese was such a great guy in the books that I can’t wait for him to be assimilated into the group.

Either way, I’m glad it’s back… and I’m not the only one.  Apparently, The Walking Dead was the most viewed show on Sunday night, even up against the Grammy’s.  Hey, when TV is creative and quality, people pay attention.

Snow Art

DSC_0077People and their ingenuity never cease to amaze me, which is why I love art in most forms.  (People who paint a canvas one color and ascribe it meaning just irritate me).  I love playing in the snow, but my artwork is limited to snow angels and snowmen.  Simon Beck makes snow art.  He makes these amazing images on foot, and they’re huge. He has a Facebook page, but here’s a link to an article with photos if you don’t want to look him up on Facebook.

My Top 10 Horror Movies

DSCN2618I recently wrote a blog about how awful the Chernobyl Diaries was, and I wanted to link to a previous blog about the best horror movies of all time.  I realized as I looked through my archives that I had never written one!  I don’t know how this oversight could have happened.  I am rectifying it immediately.

These are in no particular order.

  1.  A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984):  There’s nothing else quite like a villain who can find you in your dreams.  Sleep is a basic human need, and not having it can make you crazy.  I literally had nightmares about this movie for months after I saw it.  That didn’t stop me from seeing the others in the series, but none of them matched the terror of the first.
  2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010):  I was skeptical when I saw that they were re-imagining this iconic horror movie.  Someone other than Robert Englund as Freddie Krueger?  Blasphemy!  However, Jackie Earle Hayley did a spectacular job as Freddie, and it was close enough to the original to satisfy fans like me, yet edgy and different enough to keep my interest.
  3. Shredder (2003):  This is camp horror at its finest.  A group of young, attractive adults go to a remote cabin for some snowboarding.  Murder comes to visit, and they… can’t… escape… (insert maniacal laugh here)
  4. Dead Snow (2009):  I thought I’d seen everything when it comes to zombie movies, but apparently, I hadn’t.  This Norwegian movie is subtitled, but well worth the effort.  A group of med students go to a remote cabin and find some treasure under the floor.  Zombie Nazis kill the students to get their gold back.
  5. Rec (2007):  The one is a another subtitled zombie movie, this time in Spanish.  The fire department gets called out because an older woman is acting strangely.  They later get quarantined in the building, and the group struggles to escape.
  6. The Descent (2005):  Nothing is scarier (to me) than being trapped underground in a small space.  The women in this movie went underground on purpose, spelunking.  After that, it just gets creepier as they explore this uncharted cave and find thing that probably should have stayed buried.
  7. The Blair Witch Project (1999):  This movie redefined the genre.  Many of us think of the shaky camera and first person shooter point of view in horror movies as nothing special, but in 1999, this was all new.  When I went to see it, I actually believed it was from actual footage, and it scared the socks off me even after I realized it was fiction.  I lived in woods just like those!  And since you never saw the Blair Witch, you didn’t know exactly what was coming for you.  It’s a classic for a reason.
  8. Paranormal Activity (2007):  I had a friend who thought this movie was real.  It was so well done in a realistic manner with unknowns, that it fooled her, even in this era of movies trying to pass themselves off as documentaries.  There were good jumpy moments in it, and some things that stuck with me for weeks.  Even knowing it was just a movie… I wondered.
  9. The Shining (1980):  Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, this movie is scary because it’s one man turning against the family he loves.  Ghostly influences convince him that his family is against him, and they’re all trapped in this huge, isolated hotel.
  10. Psycho (1960):  If you’ve never seen this movie, I highly recommend renting it.  It’s classic for a reason.  I’m very interested to see the new movie coming out about the making of it.

Honorable mention: Dale and Tucker vs. Evil:  It’s not a “real” horror movie.  It’s a spoof of horror movies, a comedy of errors.  It’s one of my favorites for the way it nails the genre.