Friday, October 12, 2012

Motel Management Recommends...


And, it's not easy to have favorite, current TV shows when you don't have TV. You have to find ways to watch them online or elsewhere. Luckily, I've managed to do that with my 4 currently favorite shows, and I thought I'd take a break from recommending Halloween movies and specials right now to tell you which shows they are, in case you want to try them too, because, let's be honest, most TV right now is garbage, but then, a few shows here and there are really amazing. Of course, considering my tastes, most of these are good for Halloween viewing too. In fact, all of them are, now that I think about it!

I think I'll start off with  ABC's "Once Upon a Time", because, honestly, it's my favorite. It's probably because I'm a Disney fanatic, and this show has a heavy Disney influence. I also am a Dark Shadows fanatic (pre-Burton/Depp version, which was nothing like the original, in case you didn't know), and this show is very much Disney meets Dark Shadows, so, honestly, I could watch this show 24/7. For me it's Heaven.

The plot? Well, season one was about a young woman named Emma who was lured to a small town in Maine by a child who turned out to be a son she'd given up as a baby. This little boy, Henry, was adopted by the mayor of the town, a very devious woman named Regina. Emma soon discovers that Henry believes the whole town is under a curse, and that they are really fairytale character transported from their magical world to this one. He also believes his adoptive mother is the Evil Queen from the story of Snow White. Beyond that, Henry believes his psychiatrist is Jiminy Cricket, and his grandparents are Snow White and Prince Charming. As it turns out, all of this is true, and the show flashes back and forth between what happened in the past in the Enchanted Forest, and what is happening today in our world, in which the curse has robbed everyone of their fairytale memories and given them new identities, in some cases separating them from their true loved ones and placing them with new ones. Henry's mission is now to convince his birth mother, Emma, that all this is the truth, because only she can break the spell. That was season one, in which we got to see such characters as Belle, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, respective princes, the Evil Queen, the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Gepetto, Jiminy Cricket, the Blue Fairy, Maleficent, Hansel and Gretel, the Genie, the Magic Mirror, the Mad Hatter, the Huntsman, probably more I'm forgetting, and the series' other main villain, the Barnabas Collins-esque Rumpelstiltskin.

Spoiler Alert with the following paragraph:

This show has been a truly fun ride, and it continues to be in the second season. When the first season ended, the curse was broken, and now, everyone has gotten their fairytale memories back. Plus, Emma and Snow have been transported back to the fairytale land of the Enchanted Forest and have been captured by Princess Aurora and Mulan, who believe them to be villains. If this sounds crazy, it is, but it is sooo well done. This show is just amazing.

It's not without flaws though. The main one, maybe the only one that comes to mind, is that season one had way too much drama between Snow and her Prince Charming when they were in the real world as David and Mary Margaret. It was, to be honest, getting a bit annoying and dragging things down. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't stick with it for everything else about this show that is awesome though, especially the villains Rumpelstiltskin and Regina, and the pure joy of all the Disney influence and the frequent introduction of new, famous characters. I am totally giddy at the thought that we'll be seeing Ariel this season, and she MAY be played by the gorgeous Joanna Garcia of the TV show "Reba". The first season of Once Upon a Time certainly did not disappoint, and this second season started off with a bang. If you love fairytales or Disney, you'll love this dramatic take on our favorite characters, which use the Disney names here and share other Disney influences as well, but this isn't the sort of show you'd expect Disney characters to be in. It's definitely made for grown ups (though not a show that kids can't watch too, by anything I can remember, anyway). The writing has been 90% excellent, no easy task for a show with this concept, and the casting and acting has been mostly fantastic too. There are a few things you can quibble about here and there. Belle has a cockney accent? What's up with that, ha. However, far too much of this show is simply amazing for anyone who is a fan of the subjects I mentioned before. Check it out if you get the chance. Season 1 is on DVD and Blu already, and season 2 is only 2 episodes in. You can probably watch those two at right now, or whatever their website is.

Now, if there's a show I enjoy almost or maybe even just as much as Once Upon a Time, it's...

After AMC blew the world away with a little show called Mad Men, they soon brought us "The Walking Dead", something I could appreciate for more than just the general style of it all, because this show was about trying to survive, and stay human, in a world ravaged by the zombie apocalypse!

About to enter it's 3rd season in just a couple days (yeah, I'm excited!), "The Walking Dead" is based on the comic series of the same name and focuses its story on Rick Grimes, a Deputy with a wife and son, who has become the leader of a small group of survivors living a nomadic lifestyle as they try to find a safe haven from the horror that surrounds them every minute of every day. In season one, they assembled, traveled, and learned. In season two, they found a farmhouse and learned all new lessons. Friends and enemies died all along the way. Lots of disturbing stuff happened. It was an amazing, exciting ride though. Season three promises more amazing acting and writing, some of the best on TV, and some of the creepiest zombies. This time, the group holds up in a prison, and I really don't know what else we can expect, but it should be fantastic. You definitely need to check this one out, no matter what your tastes are.


Next up,...

Does that picture bug you as much as it bugs me? FX Network really stepped up to the plate last year with a series worthy of being mentioned along with the two I just talked about, "American Horror Story".  This is a dark, scary show, and the best part, it's an anthology show! Not a Tales from the Crypt, different story in every episode kind of show, but the very interesting concept of a different story each season! some actors have returned, but the characters and story are completely new and fresh. So, each season is one story, meaning that October 17th, we can show up for season two without ever having seen season one, and no worries at all! Season one was a terrifying story of a family that moves into a haunted house, and naturally, it's horrible for them. If I said much more, it would give everything away to those who haven't seen it, yet that really does some it up quite well. Very entertaining for us, very bad for that poor family. Season two is set in an asylum, and who knows what we're in for beyond excellent acting, visuals, and writing, if it's anything like season 1, anyway.

Finally, SyFy actually makes a show I look forward, to for the first time in a long time, now going on its third season, though it won't be till next year so I recently heard.

It's the story of a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who share a house together and try their best to lead normal lives, despite being "monsters". Throughout the first 2 seasons, vampire Aidan, werewolf Josh, and ghost Sally struggled with their darker sides as well as the strict, mob-like vampire society and the complications of trying to love humans and cure their monthly cycles, not to mention crossing over to the other side. It's a lot of drama, but not the usual, boring, Lifetime Network or MTV kind. This is monster drama! Like all the shows on this list, the acting is top notch, the show is high on style, and the writing is consistently amazing. Check out season one on blu, and watch for season 2's release and next year's new episodes of season 3. You can also get the original BBC version of the show on Blu-Ray already, but I have no idea if that one is any good.

And, that's my current line up of TV obsessions. I'd be watching more shows if I didn't have to try and do it without actual cable access, but this is what I'm loyal to right now. I do, however, hope to catch up with "Supernatural" someday, as well as "True Blood". And whenever I'm visiting my mom or at the gym, I'm inclined to watch Adult Swim, Tosh.O, docu-shows on Travel, Animal Planet, Food Network, and the like, and a variety of random selections on Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. Possibly forgetting some other stuff too. I should probably check out Teen Wolf as well, I was such a fan of the movies and cartoons, but clearly the show is nothing like it. I have season one of Star Wars Clone Wars on Blu, but I've got some real catching up to do with that show too. And where's the live-action Star Wars TV series we were promised? Trekkies get everything, man! Anyway, I also want to see "Game of Thrones", though I've been told it's great but pretty pornographic, which makes me wary, because these days I am way too sexually frustrated to watch people have sex. I also miss Flight of the Conchords, but I luckily have the whole, all too short thing on DVD. Wish I could say I have all of Frasier. I do love to watch the reruns whenever I am near a TV with the Hallmark Channel. And, my collection of classic television is growing slowly. Definitely a lot of cartoons (Disney, would you get on the stick and release the rest of your awesome animated shows already?), including a tiny bit of Anime, plus stuff like The Addams Family, Wonder Woman, and so on. Sorry I can't recommend any current comedies, but I stopped watching sitcoms a long time ago when the humor turned into 90 percent sex jokes and it got waaay too boring. It seems to have mostly cleared up and that there are some really good comedies around now, but I just haven't had the chance to see any of them. Would love to check out the Office and maybe some other stuff eventually. One other show I can recommend, from the few episodes I've seen of it, is a SyFy channel show called Paranormal Witness. It's sort of like "A Haunting", another show I really loved, but this one might even be a bit better. I've only gotten to see it a couple times though, but you may want to check it out if, like me, you really enjoy documentary type shows on the supernatural and unexplained, especially when they are more about reenactments and interviews than shaky, nightvision camera work with no actual meat to it. Anyway, I gotta hit the sack. Got work tomorrow. So, hope this article helps you find a few interesting things to watch this October! Stay tuned for more Halloween themed recommendations, Moonlight Motel comic strips, movie reviews, and my Crush of the Week! Laters!

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