TV Break: Dance Shows

As a dancer and a television fan, I love that people these days want to watch dance. If shows like So You Think You Can Dance had been around when I was in high school, it would have been much easier for me to sacrifice other things (sports, school activities) for my ballet classes. I did it, but I had my regrets. I think people would have understood a little better if they knew more about dance. I think these shows are great for the world of dance, getting kids into dance, and keeping kids in dance.

This summer, there are two new shows I am adding to my line up: Breaking Pointe on the CW and Bunheads on ABC Family. Breaking Pointe, as far as I can tell, follows real dancers. Bunheads is a new show by Amy Sherman-Paladino (of Gilmore Girls fame). Here are a couple teasers for you.

Breaking Pointe


Do you like when your hobby/profession is featured in a television show or does it drive you crazy because they get things wrong (I have a hard time with legal dramas)?

What summer shows are you looking forward to?

The Best Buffy Episodes

Buffy the Vampire SlayerThis one is for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. I promised this a month ago, wrote most of the post, then promptly forgot about it. But I thought it might be fun to unleash on a freebie day like Labor Day.

As I was rewatching Buffy this summer, I realized that there are some fantastic episodes. Unlike most shows, there are specific episodes you can pick out distinct from the overarching storylines. I expect this list has been made by many people and I expect you all will debate me on my choices. But these are my favorites (VERY Season 5 and 6 heavy because I like those best and I just watched those). Many, many spoilers follow.

Becoming (Part 2) – Season 2

I chose this episode purely for the final moments between Angel and Buffy. As I repeatedly tell Ben when he fails to grasp the amazingness that is this show: Angel gets his soul back and she has to kill him anyway. How tragic is that?

The Body – Season 5

Possibly the one of the greatest single episodes of television ever. This is the episode after Joyce’s death. Buffy and the others, who fight vampires and demons every day, have to deal with a natural death for the first time. A very real and gritty look at grief. Completely heart-shattering. Just try to watch it without sobbing.

The Gift – Season 5

Again, try not to sob at the end of this episode as Buffy realizes what she has to do and sacrifices herself for Dawn. We may all hate Dawn but this is true sisterly love.

Once More With Feeling – Season 6

Not only is there singing and dancing, but this episode really advances the storyline. The moment that they all realize she was in heaven and they took her away from it (the look on Willow’s face) – SO good. I own the soundtrack and listen to it often.

Tabula Rasa – Season 6

I always get excited for Once More With Feeling and then I watch the next episode and remember how much I love it as well. All of the characters forget who they are which makes for some amusing assumptions (Spike thinks Giles is his father; Giles thinks Anya is his fiance; Xander and Willow think they are a couple).

Smashed – Season 6

Just like I added Becoming purely for the Angel/Buffy scene, this one makes the list for the Buffy/Spike action. I love Spike more than a normal person should love a fictional character (until I remember the scene in Buffy’s bathroom – why must he be ruined for me like that?).  I love this culmination of the Buffy-Spike relationship (even if she’s is horrible to him and he is pathetic for returning every time).

[And yes, these last three episodes all air in that order in Season 6. Have I mentioned that I love Season 6.]

Normal Again – Season 6

This is the episode where Buffy hallucinates that she is a patient in a mental hospital and everything since she arrived in Sunnydale is a fantasy. Or is it the other way around? Therein lies the beauty of this one.

Chosen – Season 7

Just a really good finale.

Honorable Mention: I Will Remember You – Angel Season 1

This is actually an episode of Angel but any Buffy fan should watch it. Buffy and Angel get their happy ending for a brief moment before Angel must give it all up to save the world. And Angel is the only one who knows that happiness ever existed.

Please note, I intentionally left Hush off of this list. I know most people would include it but it creeps the hell out of me and I can’t watch it alone.

So how did I do? What gems did I miss? How similar would your list look?

I Love Fall: The New Shows I Want to Watch

Because sometimes I let television invade the book blog.

Fall is my favorite season (or was until I moved to the autumn-less Sunshine State). Football, cider, crisp air, baseball playoffs, and…TELEVISION! I am looking forward to the return of my regular shows, and I am currently trying to figure out which new shows should make the cut. This is what’s on my radar:

  • Ringer – (Tuesdays at 9 on The CW): The return of Sarah Michelle Gellar to The CW. I am there.
  • The New Girl (Tuesdays at 9 on Fox): I have a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel
  • The Secret Circle (Thursdays at 9 on The CW): Hoping it matches the awesomeness of The Vampire Diaries.
  • Pan-Am (Sundays at 10 on NBC): Looks Mad Men-esque.
  • Up All Night (Wednesday at 8 on NBC): There are some funny people here.
  • Alcatraz (Monday at 9 on Fox): Because it’s Hurley and JJ Abrams.
  • Apartment 23 (Midseason on ABC): I hear James van der Beek plays an exaggerate version of himself. Clearly I am watching this.

Any of these on your must-see list? Anything I missed?


My TBW List: In Which Television Invades this Book Blog

In July, I brought you my TBW list: my back log of television shows that I wanted to want to watch. Since that time I have watched:

I followed a list I found here to watch the fourth season of Buffy and the first season of Angel pretty much in the order they aired. I’ve never watched all of Angel and I can never get enough of Buffy. While the shows often run independent story lines, it was fun to see the crossovers in the correct order. I fell in love with the episode I Will Remember You of Angel (click this link to read about it if you don’t mind spoilers) and it might be one of my favorite episodes of television ever now.

Continuing with the Joss Whedon theme, I watched the first season of Dollhouse. It actually began when my old Buffy friend, Susan, was in town and not feeling that well. We sat on the couch and watched at least six episodes. When she left, I kept going. It’s a really creepy show but also kind of amazing. I’m looking forward to finishing the series with the second season.

The first season took us ages to watch. The second season took us a week. I do not actually recommend watching 13 episodes of Mad Men in one week. It’s really depressing. But I loved the second season so much and I actually have the third season on hold at the library right now.

Ben and I have watched the entirety of this show in the last two months. We’re kind of in love with it. It took about half a season to grow on us but now we’re really sad to be caught up. Can anyone recommend a replacement comedy for us to watch before bed (this, actually, was our How I Met Your Mother replacement)?

I was going to tell you about the shows that I still want to watch but this post is getting a bit long. Next week?

Top Fives: Television

Today’s Top Fives are not shows that are new this year but just shows that are currently on the air. And they may not be the BEST television but they are my favorites. I actually think I did a pretty good job of not looking like a teenage girl here.

1. Glee

I can’t help it. I love Glee. The stories aren’t wonderful, the characters are inconsistent, but the music is just fantastic (same goes for Sue’s insults and Britney’s random comments). I started watching from the beginning and I must admit that I’m a little embarrassed when I think of how much money I’ve spent on the music (I still think Glee is an iTunes conspiracy). And this year we’ve started a nice tradition of watching it with another couple. We take turns cooking and make an evening of it. I hope Glee continues to be this entertaining for a long time.

2. The Vampire Diaries

Ok, so maybe this is where I do look a little like a teenage girl. But have you seen Vampire Diaries? It’s actually a very good show. It’s fast-paced, the stories are constantly moving forward and staying fresh, and the Salvatore brothers are just so dreamy (I would leave my husband for Damon). I read some of the books and I was not a big fan, but the television version is simply addictive.

3. Parenthood

I started watching Parenthood because of a few of the cast members (Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls, Peter Krause from Sports Night) but I stayed because the entire show is enjoyable. It’s a drama about an extended family and it just seems real (for the most part). They don’t have car accidents and drug overdoses and all of those other things television uses to make a show dramatic. It’s much more subtle but it’s also that much better for it.

4. How I Met Your Mother

Ben and I started watching How I Met Your Mother this summer. After years of hearing how funny it was, we finally watched the pilot. And we were hooked from the beginning. We probably watched the first 5 seasons in less than two months. And now we’re all caught up and watching the current one. I love Barney. He makes the show. But what really drew me in was the same thing that drew me to Friends – it’s just fun to follow a group of friends like that. It always makes me wish I had a bar or coffee shop that I met people at every day (does this happen in real life?).

5. Bones

Bones is another show that I only started watching this year. The first 4 seasons are on Netflix Watch Instantly and I flew through them when Ben was away at school. I am all caught up on this one now and I’m watching the current season. It’s so quirky that it makes a genre that I don’t usually watch interesting. And again, I’ve had a crush on David Boreanez since Season 1 of Buffy so that doesn’t hurt. Sidenote: Did anyone else sob at the last end of the most recent episode? I completely lost it.

What is your favorite television show? Any shows that you wish you want to start watching in 2011?

The TBW List

We talk a lot about our TBR lists – the lists of book we want to read – but I also have a constant To Be Watched list: the television series I plan on watching soon. This summer I went gangbusters through Bones. I watched Seasons 1-4 in a matter of weeks (yes, I understand that is a lot of television) but I’m still never caught up on tv. After a conversation on – you guessed it – twitter, I decided I wanted to share this TBW list with you (basically, my Netflix Watch Instantly queue):

(yes, I love Joss Whedon and must watch all of his shows)

What’s next on your TBW list?