Tag Archives: My So Called Life

My Interview: Price Peterson

The first thing you all should know about Price Peterson from TV.Com is that he has made me laugh harder than probably any writer I’ve ever read in my life time. He has an uncanny ability to break things down into pure comedy, whether they are supposed to be funny or not. Price does weekly photo recaps of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle as well as recaps for TV movies, award shows and other fabulous things. (These are just a couple of my favorites screen caps):

Please follow him on Twitter (@pricepeterson) for links to all of his recaps and for randomly hilarious tweets about just about everything.

Watching TV is the new, cool thing to do. Of everything you’re watching right now, what is your favorite?

Would you make fun of me and push me into a mud puddle if I said I really like the 2 shows on CW Thursdays?  I honestly look forward to those shows more than anything else, partly because I suddenly feel involved in the fandom and everyone has been really, really nice to me.  So first I get to watch the shows and see what happens, but then I also get to see what everyone else thinks, and I get to read the cool comments on my own pieces.  It’s this big weekly event that I love.  But as for other shows that are on the air right this minute, I truly love Game of Thrones (doesn’t everybody?) and New Girl and Girls.  I also really like Breaking Bad and Teen Wolf (different reasons) and True Blood (I know) and Homeland and Property Virgins.  And I’m really looking forward to QVC’s Christmas in July sale.  I will probably DVR as much of it as I can so I can watch it throughout the whole summer.

You compose amazing photo recaps for two “genre” television shows. Is there a show based in reality that you’d love to recap?

I honestly don’t think I would like to do that, because making fun of real people would make me feel weird and sad.  Like even when I’m poking fun at a bad movie or ludicrous moment from a TV show, there’s still a level of removal where it’s really nobody’s fault that it’s bad.  Except maybe the writer or director, but they can just sit in their infinity pools counting money so who cares?  I’ve learned that personally insulting an actor isn’t really my favorite thing to do (I love actors so much because acting looks really hard to me).  Making fun of a character is cool, but making fun of the actor is less cool (though I’ve done it and regretted it).  So if it were a reality show, as much as that stuff is staged, it’s still supposed to be a real person.  Usually I try to remember how sensitive to criticism I AM and behave accordingly.

Anything you watch that you wish you could just give up?

I’m not trying to brag, but I think I have a really good sense for when I won’t like something.  Either I’ll avoid it right off the bat or I’ll quit a show very quickly after I start getting a bad feeling about it.  Life is way too short (and there are so many GOOD shows) for us to have to endure anything we don’t like.  That being said, I’m not sure how much longer my Up All Night season pass will last.  Gotta clear up some room for the QVC Christmas in July sale, you know?  I’m hearing a lot of buzz about multicolored LED wreaths this year.

There have been a lot of great new shows this season. Do you have a favorite?

I don’t even care what people think of my taste levels, but I genuinely love New Girl and Girls.  I haven’t started watching Revenge yet, mostly because my bestie Lily Sparks (who recaps it for TV.com) has urged me to wait until the summer when I can marathon it while drinking a wheelbarrow of sangria.

Is there one that you were expecting to love but just don’t?

I really wish Ringer had been funnier. And that everyone on Falling Skies got killed off except maybe the son.

You bag on The Vampire Diaries a lot but we all know that you love it. Who is your stand out character for season three so far and why?

Yeah I really didn’t like it when I first saw it, and even when I first started recapping it I was very dubious about its charms.  Whether it’s a chicken-or-the-egg scenario or Stockholm Syndrome or the simple reason that TVD just keeps getting better, my love for this show is now  manifold.  Look, I have eyes and ears and a brain and a heart, so obviously Caroline is the best character overall.  But Season 3 belongs to Klaus in a big way.  I am legit scared that he’ll die or Joseph Morgan will get snapped up by another show because at this point Klaus’ absence would be devastating.  Like, turn him good, make him one of the gang, TURN HIM HUMAN, I don’t even care.  Keep him on my TV please!  Are you listening powers that be?  Please don’t stick us with this boring love triangle week in and week out.  Caroline and Klaus and Rebekah (and Katherine) are the ones I’m really coming back for.

I hate using the term “guilty pleasure” because I never feel guilty about TV but, is there something you’re embarrassed to admit you watch regularly?

No, nothing.  I do tend to watch A LOT of things based on how attractive the actors are, but that’s not against the law, right?  I am a tax-paying citizen and I like it when people look good!

What TV character (ever, in the history of TV) has made you laugh the most?

Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy.  That show is basically my comedy Rosetta Stone.  Pretty much everything I find funny in the universe can all be traced back to that show’s 30 incredible episodes.  I still can’t believe that show existed and they got away with what they did.  I quote it all the time, to an almost annoying extent.  Strangers With Candy was so effed up that it seems silly getting emotional over it, but it’s definitely something I feel truly lucky to have been able to watch in my lifetime.  “Cancer?  That’s hilaaarious.  I should be a stand-up.  I’m sad.” – Jerri Blank

Favorite television character of all time:

Aside from Jerri Blank, probably Rayanne from My So-Called Life.  It should go without saying that both of these shows were on during really formative times in my life, so as an awkward and confused 8th grader, My So-Called Life occupied A LOT of my mental real estate.  But Rayanne was special in that (1) she was genuinely hilarious, (2) had a cool funky style, and (3) made tons of mistakes and was as realistically vulnerable as any supposed tough-girl I’d ever seen.  I wanted to be her friend so bad and I still think about what she’d be up to today.

Favorite Television moment of all time:

This is insanely difficult, how dare you?  But here’s the moment that got the biggest reaction out of me when I watched it:  The New Caprica “exodus” scene from Season 3, Episode 4 of Battlestar Galactica.  If you haven’t watched this show yet, first of all I’m very mad at you because you still get to see it for the first time.  But I’m talking about a 10 minute rescue sequence in which tons of disparate forces came together into this amazing, terrifying show of teamwork and bravery and I remember gasp-crying when it happened.  I mean I am generally VERY susceptible to crying during movies and TV shows, but I was so excited by this scene that I couldn’t breathe.  It was like the last five minutes of United 93 where I was so wrapped up in a piece of entertainment it took DAYS to recover.  So yeah, I’m a nerd AND I cry during TV/movies (but not in real life, weirdly) so this scene from Battlestar Galactica rocked me to my core basically.  Also I really enjoyed East Dillon’s victory at the end of Friday Night Lights Season 4.  And Locke getting up to walk in Lost Season 1.  And when QVC sold out of Mrs. Snowman glowing hood ornaments during last year’s Christmas in July Sale.

The show you wished would have never ended:

I like it when shows end, even good ones.  I like the closure.  I really wish more of our shows in America were like British ones, where each season kind of plays like a movie and the following seasons are like sequels.  So my answer would be like things that ended before they finished:  My So-Called Life, Veronica Mars, Freaks & Geeks.  Stuff like that.  But if Homicide: Life on the Street was still on, I’d watch it.  That’s pretty much the only procedural I’d never get tired of.

If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?

If you ever get in an argument with someone over whether something is good or bad… Whoever argues that it’s good is always the winner.  Celebrating something is so much better than shutting it down.  I mean, sure, I still hate Hart of Dixie, but if you like it then you win that argument automatically.  Liking = winning.

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My Interview: Melissa Leaman

This week’s favorite writer is Melissa Leaman. Melissa is the Film & TV editor for Portrait Magazine, a contributing writer at Off Color TV.com and a dear friend of mine. I had the extreme pleasure of getting to meet and hang with Melissa at last summer’s San Diego Comic Con and feel pretty secure in saying that she is a long lost sister if only by Television relations. Not only do we share love for The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we also share detest for shipper wars, political atrocities and chips with calories. Be sure to follow Melissa on Twitter and on her personal blog for more of the awesome I have come to depend on DAILY.

You watch just a bit of TV now and again. Of everything you’re watching right now, what is your favorite?

A bit! Oh how happy my mother would be if I only watched a bit. Hmm, now obviously, I can’t pick just one favorite show but perhaps I can squeak in with a top 2. Happy Endings is another absolute favorite. I’m a diehard Friends fan but there really hasn’t been a show to fill that void but still be unique in a long time. Enter Happy Endings. (There has to be a dirty joke in there somewhere). Brax is epicness incarnate and Jane is perfection. I’m always laughing when I watch & it’s become a can’t miss. Finally would be Vampire Diaries. I could go on and on but I will simply say that it is refreshing to watch a show that constantly outdoes itself by pushing plot lines, without sacrificing character development (with minimal exception). Even when I don’t like a character, I can understand exactly why the writers went in that direction. That’s rare in a show and highly commendable.

Is there a show you wish you could give up?

Gossip Girl. And Glee if I’m being honest. I despise both shows but there’s just enough there that sucks me back in. Specifically, Dan/Blair on Gossip Girl & the song performances, Naya Rivera & Dianna Agron on Glee.

Like me, you are a big fan of One Tree Hill. How do you feel about the final season so far? What are you expecting from the series finale?

I’m a little bored if I’m being completely honest. Granted, we both share a love for all things Naley, so the reduced scenes due to James Lafferty’s partial contract and Bethany Joy Galeotti having a baby, doesn’t help. But the previews and buildup made it seem like the show was going to be very intense this season, not so la-di-da, look at their happy lives. I would’ve preferred to jump into the chaos , rather than start so slow.

As for the finale, I definitely want everyone to be happy but I’d prefer a little drama beforehand. Season 8 has a perfect series finale so I’m not really feeling a complete repeat of that. Or perhaps something like the S4 finale, when it was the core group, back on the river court. I’d love to see all the kids playing basketball while their parents are sitting on the picnic table, cheering them on.

There have been a lot of great new shows this season. Do you have a favorite?

Revenge is easily my favorite of the new shows. I love the soapy nature and the fact that so many shows wouldn’t cross the lines this show is. It’s like the writers sit around going ‘wouldn’t this be a hoot?’ and then put it in the show. Plus Batman!Nolan is the greatest thing ever. Hart of Dixie is an extremely close second.

Is there one that you were expecting to love but just don’t?

Once Upon a Time. Not that I don’t enjoy the show, I do, but it hasn’t lived up to the expectations. I feel like if a show is going to set up a big mystery, there need to be developments on it. And nothing happens. I’ve told myself I’m spoiled by The Vampire Diaries but I really don’t think it’s measuring up.

To say that we love The Vampire Diaries would be a mild understatement. Who is your stand out character for Season Three so far and why?

Oh I hate you! How am I supposed to choose? I think each actor has stepped up their game but I’ll give the win to Joseph Morgan’s portrayal of Klaus. (Stefan & Caroline come very close but I feel like Caroline got her debut in S2, and Candice simply continues to knock it out of the park. And Paul Wesley has been brilliant this season but anyone who was paying attention could see that in little moments throughout the early seasons. ) Wow, tangent. So yes, Klaus wins for me. I wasn’t immediately frightened, creeped out or impressed by Klaus (something @abbygraham is happy to give me grief for) but this season has really changed that. He’s fast becoming one of my favorite characters and I’ll be very sad to see him leave. I’m desperately hoping for an Originals spinoff.

Favorite television character of all time:

Oz. With Caroline fast approaching him for a tie. She’s already beaten Buffy as my favorite female character (I can’t believe that happened) but she  hasn’t quite surpassed Oz. Oz, for anyone who’s crazy, is Seth Green’s character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love Oz. I have clips saved of nothing but Oz so I can watch his scenes over and over again. Oz is the guy who knows exactly who he is, who he wants to be, and doesn’t care a whit if others disagree. I find that incredibly inspiring.

Favorite Television moment of all time:

Easily from Buffy 3×1. No contest. Buffy’s a complete wreck at this point and has run away, going by the name Anne. Long story short, she ends up trapped with many other people in an alternate demon world. Everyone there has no life left in them basically. It’s like life just kept knocking them around and they finally gave up. So there’s this moment where the demon is asking each person who they are, forcing them to answer “nobody” & admit that they don’t matter. That’s when it clicks for Buffy. She is somebody. She can fight it or ignore it for a while but in the end, she knows exactly who she is, and that is someone who isn’t about to let anyone tell who she can be or how she can feel. So the demon asks her and she looks up at him & says “I’m Buffy. The vampire slayer. And you are?” in this fantastically snarky voice. The demon raises his club & then Buffy proceeds to kick his ass. I love that moment because it was such a defining moment for the character but it also taught me a lot. I was 16 during this episode & trying to figure out who I was compared to who the world told me I should be. Buffy gave me confidence to be myself. Anytime I start to second guess that, I watch the scene again.

The show you wished would have never ended:

Dallas. (Kidding!) Actually none.  I don’t always agree with how a show ends or maybe I’d hope for another season but I don’t think I’d want any show to have continued. I think of shows like My So Called Life or Freaks & Geeks and I doubt they could’ve been as great after 5 or 10 seasons. But if you forced me to choose? Friends. I think Friends could’ve pulled off a few more seasons without screwing up the show.

Is there a show you’ve never watched but always wanted to?

I feel like this question probably shouldn’t apply to shows currently on TV that I just haven’t figured out how to fit in yet. I think I’ll go with Everwood. I’m just worried about it. I’d never watched Felicity and I just started a few weeks ago and I’m kind of bored. There’s a sort of magic to old WB shows and rewatching them is wonderful but they don’t all hold up to today. So I’m kind of nervous that Everwood won’t be as epic as I want it to be.

If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?

Take a beat. It is so easy to get caught up in the drama of the actors, the fans, the show and more that it can be really easy to forget how to enjoy the show on its own merits. So I would say take a moment and remember why you fell in love. But more importantly, I would tell TV watchers to ask them a question about why they’re frustrated with a show or character. Is it because things aren’t going their way or because the integrity of the characters has been sacrificed? And integrity doesn’t have to mean being a good person in this case. Take Stefan on this season of TVD. I know it’s been frustrating for many to see him be the bad guy. But the way he’s being a bad guy isn’t actually different from how he did things as good Stefan. Damon plans. Stefan looks for the fastest solution to getting what he wants and does exactly that. The actions are scarier now but the motivations haven’t changed. That’s a case where fans may not be super happy, but the writers haven’t lost sight of the character. On the other end we have Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl. The shippers can fight all they want but most of the fans I know are just frustrated that the writers have lost sight of who Blair, and indeed most of the characters are.

So I would say TV viewers should ask themselves why they’re upset. And if it’s just because you aren’t happy, take a beat, remember that you don’t own the show, and get over it. Or maybe take a break and come back to the show when you can marathon several episodes at once. Sometimes it helps to see a fuller story to fall back in love.  It’s just television people. It should be fun.

*And to non-genre TV watchers…don’t judge. A good story is a good story, regardless of what mythical or magical things might be going on.

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My Interview: Melissa Miller

Some of you may not know this but one of my favorite things to do is to interview fellow TV writers/reviewers. I read so much about TV every day and through Twitter, I have become friendly with a great group of very gifted writers. Asking for exclusive interviews is one way I can confirm and show off the fact that I have the best taste in friends.

My favorite writer this week is Melissa Miller from Small Screen Scoop.com. Melissa is a fellow fan of The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill and The O.C.  It must be said: she writes the best Sons of Anarchy recaps ever! She is also married to a man who wishes she watched fewer CW dramas. We have plans for a husband play date.

You are what I consider a true connoisseur of Television. Of everything  you are watching right now, what is your favorite?

Oh, dear. I knew a question like this would be on here. And right off the bat! I apologize in advance to all the shows I love and I’m not naming. I still love you. Okay, I’m going to have to cheat a little. I’d say, as far as all-around quality goes, Sons of Anarchy and Justified are essentially tied. Each episode is somehow better than the last. Every actor is at their best no matter how little material they have in any given episode. They are both just solid shows. I am giddy with anticipation every single time I watch. Kurt Sutter and Graham Yost are brilliant masterminds behind two shows that screw with your head on a weekly basis and I love them for it. That being said, my favorite thing to watch is The Vampire Diaries. It’s a thrilling hour on a weekly basis and the addition of watching it “with” my Twitter buddies every week adds to the experience in a way that makes TV more fun than ever before.

What are you wishing you could give up?

First of all, I love how you phrased the question. It shows you are a true TV fanatic, because “giving up” a show isn’t as easy as just giving it up. Once you are invested, no matter how bad it gets, it seems impossible to delete that season pass, am I right? Anyway, one would be Desperate Housewives. I’ve watched from the start and it’s been getting on my nerves, but it’s ending, so… I can’t give it up now! Also, I haven’t been happy with House in awhile, and yet I’m drawn to it and can’t stop watching. I blame Jesse Spencer’s accent.

We are getting pretty close to February sweeps! Is there one show you are expecting the most from?

My initial response: The Vampire Diaries. However, they play every episode like a sweeps episode, so that seems too easy of an answer. I think the one I’m really looking for something HUGE to happen is Revenge. We already know the big reveal that catches us up to where the season started is slated to air in February so I want that episode, and frankly the ones that follow, to be massive. For a show that has only had 12 hours of programming so far, I’m almost shocked at how high my expectations are. But they are way up there. I want fireworks – literal fireworks, actually. It’s a party in the Hamptons thrown by Victoria Grayson on one of the soapiest night time soaps ever. If the figurative fireworks aren’t punctuated by literal fireworks, I’ll be disappointed.

Bonus answers: Chuck. The series finale airs during February sweeps. I expect it to be a perfect final hour. I need something to make me feel better about the show ending. I would also like a guarantee that I will see Zachary Levi will be on my TV again soon. Also, Supernatural because I always expect great things from that show. And not just because those Winchester Brothers are pretty pretty boys.

Is there a show you feel will disappoint?

Honestly, and I don’t want to sound like a really negative person, but I’m sure plenty of them will disappoint me. I find comedies have taken to just relying on stunt casting that feels forced for most of their sweeps episodes, so I’m sure that will be happening. Not included in that statement: Paul Rudd on Parks and Rec. That will be amazing. Beyond that, I fear that Gossip Girl will disappoint me most. I don’t have any specific reason beyond that I’ve been so frustrated with Blair this season and since sweeps will likely revolve around her, I fear disappointment. I hope I’m wrong though.

We are both rabid Vampire Diaries fans. Who is your stand out for Season Three so far and why?

While I think Nina is the stand out over all – I am convinced she has a twin sister that play Katherine – I think for season 3 specifically, I’ve got to give it to Paul Wesley. How flipping amazing is he as Ripper Stefan? I am in awe. I’m starting to think maybe someone else is playing this version of the character. He volleys back and forth between heartless killer to those subtle glimpses of the old sappy Stefan so quickly and seamlessly I almost get whiplash. In the best way possible, of course. He has transformed the character. My only complaint – Ripper Stefan doesn’t get quality time with his Vampire BFF Caroline. I want to see what Paul would do with that. Because so far this season it is clear he can do no wrong.

Favorite television character of all time:

Uh oh – another one where I’m starting to hyperventilate! There are some I want to name because they were deliciously evil or incredibly funny, or well, just hot. But I think I’m going to have to go with Lorelai Gilmore. I love Lorelai, first and foremost, because of the perfection of Lauren Graham. The fact that she was never acknowledged by any major award show for her performance of that character is, for me, one of the greatest TV tragedies. Lorelai is my favorite because she is perfect in her imperfections. She is a walking contradiction who made every person she came in contact with simultaneously infuriated with her and in love with her.  I wanted her to be my mom and my best friend. Mostly, I just wanted to be her. Even while being frustrating beyond words I was always in love with that character.

Favorite Television moment of all time:

Well, here is the moment where my ooey gooey romantic center is revealed. My favorite television moment of all time is…. (insert drumroll sound effects)…. When Jordan Catalano held Angela Chase’s hand in the hallway on My So-Called Life. Yep. As a 14 year old girl, I could not possibly have thought of anything more romantic or moving then a guy like Jordan holding any girl’s hand in the hallway at school. Although, honestly, at 31, I’m still finding it difficult to think of anything more romantic or moving. But the simple sweetness of that moment is only half of why it’s my favorite television moment of all time. It also marked a turning point in my television watching. Before that show TV was something fun, interesting, whatever. I liked it. But I was never changed by it. My So-Called Life changed me. I felt more about those 19 episodes than I had about every other television show I’d watched in my life until that point. That moment in the hallway on that episode was like this explosion in my head. Suddenly I realized television can be so much more than just some silly thing to kill time. It can be art. It can speak to people. I was forever changed by that moment and that show.

The show you wished would have never ended:

After that last answer you’d think it would be My So-Called Life. But let’s face it, if that show had lasted they would have screwed it up. My show that I wish would have never ended: Friday Night Lights. I wanted to follow Coach and Tami Taylor until they both died together holding hands in an old age home. I wanted to see Julie and Matt get married and have a bunch of adorable kids because I think the Taylors would be amazing grandparents. I wanted Gracie Bell to grow up and be a beautiful smart girl who didn’t have people yell “Gracie Bell Taylor is a slut” at her. I wanted to see Tim’s house when it was finished. I wanted to see Becky and Luke live on a farm and have cute little kids/farmhands. I wanted to see Smash win a Super Bowl, get the disco ball trophy on Dancing With the Stars and then be a commentator on ESPN. I wanted to meet all the other kids whose lives Coach and Tami would change over the years. Basically, I just want to know what happens with every single character that was ever on the show for the rest of their lives. That show was perfection even at its worst. And I think if it had lasted 40 years that wouldn’t have changed. I still ache for it. And if you are reading this and haven’t seen an episode, go. Right now. Watch it. And so help me, if you say, “I don’t like football” I will find you. Y’all will love it. Clear Eyes. Full Hearts….

Is there a show you NEVER watch with your husband?:

Well, as you know, most CW shows would have to make that list. Although he does enjoy Supernatural and Nikita – the two that are a little more male friendly, I suppose. Especially Nikita. Maggie Q kicking butt in tight fitting clothing? Yeah, guys will like that. But the shows I tend to pause if he enters the room: Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. I love them. I’m not ashamed. But of all the shows I watch that are easy to mock openly when seen out of context (or frankly even in context), those are probably it. By the way my husband would like to interject and say, “The O.C.” which I’m currently in the midst of a rewatch. To him I say, “Stay out of it, Nick Lachey.”

Is there a show you never watch WITHOUT your husband?:

There are actually quite a few. We make a point that if we both enjoy a show we will always watch it together. Awwww. Aren’t we adorable? But I’d say the ones he loves best, and therefore are the most important to watch together are: Justified, Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead. He doesn’t get as invested in shows as I do, but those three shows are a big deal for him. He loves them, and the more frustrating they get, the happier he is. It’s fun to watch him watch them.

If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?

If you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong. I love TV. A lot. I am extremely over-invested in the characters and their lives on all of my favorite shows. I appreciate shows that get lauded with accolades and shows that are the guiltiest of pleasures. I dissect them, and study them, and talk about them ad naseum. But here’s the kicker: I’m always having fun. If two characters get together that I don’t want to get together I get sad/annoyed/frustrated, but I don’t claim to hate the show and threaten the writers to fix it. I just hope for the best, and go with it. Fandom is an amazingly powerful– Nina Dobrev getting that People’s Choice Award is proof of that – and I have nothing but respect for people who love a show that much. But when the Fandom stops having fun watching their show, things have gone awry. Whether you watch just a couple shows on occasion, or obsess over dozens of them that you just possibly can’t miss – remember to enjoy yourself! It’s TV for goodness sake!

Be sure to follow Melissa on Twitter and read her stuff over at Small Screen Scoop.com.

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