I almost fell off my treadmill…

Michelle Fairley’s performance as the tragic Catelyn was unforgettable.
Michelle Fairley’s performance as the tragic Catelyn was unforgettable.

…a few times this year.

First a little background. Ever since I had my daughter 18 months ago, I don’t have as much time. I know – it’s the story of every parent’s life. I’m not complaining, but it means less time for TV, writing and running, three of my personal passions.

I bought a treadmill last fall and managed to combine two of my loves, TV and running into a one-hour time slot every morning at about 5 a.m. I haven’t figured out a way to run, watch and write, so the blog has suffered. My apologies.

Watching TV while running is an experience. Those of you who do it often know what I mean. An exciting show with a lot of action, like Arrow, means you are pumped up and running strong. Slow-burner dramas like The Americans or Justified mean you might be slogging along through a lot of good dialogue, constantly turning the TV up so you can hear the characters over your breathing and the sound of your feet hitting the deck.

And then there are those jaw-dropping moments when right in the middle of a run, a show comes out of left field, my mouth gapes open, and I scramble to avoid falling off the treadmill. There were a few of those this year. You know the ones – the real gut punchers. Like the episode of The Walking Dead where Laurie died. Or the episode of Sons of Anarchy where Opie got killed in prison.

Then on Sunday you had Game of Thrones and the now-infamous Red Wedding. I haven’t read the books, so I wasn’t expecting the massacre, and once again, I nearly fell off the treadmill when I watched it on Monday morning. I’m not going to recap – there are plenty of blogs out there that have already done so (here’s a good one. It should suffice to say that I was deeply moved and emotionally disturbed by the entire scene, especially Michelle Fairley’s performance as the tragic Catelyn.

The one drawback to watching TV at 5 a.m. on the treadmill is that it is a solitary venture. So I’m lucky on days like Monday that I have my co-blogger, Mark, to talk to. It’s like a water cooler therapy session. And I have you too, people of the Internet. Thanks for being there.

Two for January

While most of the shows I watch are on hiatus, I’ve been catching up on Arrow. And thinking about these two new shows that I will definitely tune in for:

  • AmericansThe Americans on FX: Home to two of my favorite dramas (Sons of Anarchy and Justified), FX has proven it can produce a quality show that keeps me coming back for more each week.  Set in the 1980s, this show is about a couple of Russian spies living in America. Starring Felicity’s Keri Russell, the show has a lot of promise, even if the promos have been light on details.So far, FX has outlined the following plot. Russell and co-star Matthew Rhys are two spies living in an arranged marriage. They have two kids, who don’t know anything about their spy lives. And they live next door to an FBI agent involved in counterintelligence. They have to balance their allegiance to their homeland with a growing affinity for the American way of life.
  • FollowingThe Following on FOX: Let me start out by saying I love Kevin Bacon. So I would probably watch just about anything he was in, small or big screen. He’s just one of those great actors who has proven over time to be adept at taking on a variety of roles, both light and heavy. And of course, it helps that Kevin Williamson (producer of The Vampire Diaries and the Scream movies) is at the helm.
    Bacon plays a broken cop on the hunt for a serial killer who uses his fans as his instruments of killing. The promo is gritty and compelling, and the production value looks excellent – you might even think you are watching a movie trailer.

Will you be checking out either of these shows? Is there anything else new on TV that I should be checking out?

What makes a show great?

In the last year, the way I watch TV has changed a lot. Having a baby tends to shift your schedule around. So, instead of watching NCIS re-runs while I do my run at the gym, I now get up at 5 a.m. every morning and watch a lot of great TV on my home treadmill while The Husband and The Babe are snoozing.

And obviously, there just isn’t as much time to watch TV. So I’m pickier than ever about what fills up the DVR.

This morning I got to thinking about what makes a TV show great while I was watching Sons of Anarchy (probably in my top 3 favorite shows right now).

I came up with a bottom line answer that works for me. A show has to be truly believable. No matter how fantastic the premise (take The Walking Dead, for instance), a show has to be so true to its universe that you never question it.

This might seem simple enough. But to be believable, a show has to have excellent writing, talented actors and superior production value. Take just one of these factors out of the equation and you can forget about it.

In a lesser show, I might raise an eyebrow over the fact that a bunch of rival criminal organizations could exist in one small area. But Sons of Anarchy sells it. And every week, I keep coming back, because I just can’t wait to see what these characters are going to endure next. How they will survive. What they will have to compromise to keep going. Who they will become. And that’s how you know its good TV.

99% full


If you have a DVR, you know what I mean.


Right now, there is simply too much good TV. My problem is this: I started watching The Mentalist re-runs on TNT this summer, and am recording two of those every Wednesday. But, I am also recording the new episodes of The Mentalist to watch when I get caught up.And then there’s Sons of Anarchy (SOA). I am caught up on SOA through the second season, which is available on Netflix instant watch. But the third season isn’t available yet, so I am recording the new episodes while waiting on that release.

And then, there’s Burn Notice, which I love, but didn’t have time to watch this summer. So I have six episodes of that on my DVR.

What this means is that I barely have enough room to tape the shows I watch weekly (Tosh.0, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, American Horror Story, Raising Hope, New Girl, Ringer, Vampire Diaries, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Fringe, and the aforementioned Mentalist reruns). Add to that the return of Beavis and Butthead, and next week’s return of Bones, and I’ve got a real problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m somewhat of an expert in solving recording conflicts, but the real issue here is space. Anyone else having these issues? How do you manage? I guess it’s a sign of good TV that there is so much to watch.

Blogging for two

Don’t forget to tune in for True Blood Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

It’s been a busy few months for me, so forgive my absence. Never fear, I’m still watching TV and talking TV, although blogging about TV has taken a backseat to another very important adventure: Baby Rogers.

My friends and family already know what I am just now announcing on Remotely Entertaining (and to the world). I am 16 weeks pregnant with my first little one. The husband and I are super-excited.

In between eating for two, running for two, and sleeping for two; I found time over the last four months to watch The Killing, Game of Thrones and Borgias, which were all pretty great. I also caught up with the first two seasons of Sons of Anarchy, an awesome, gritty, over-the-top show that I was instantly addicted to.

Now, I’m watching Teen Wolf, Covert Affairs and Burn Notice. Most importantly, this Sunday I’ll be watching episode one of True Blood season four. Stay tuned for Monday updates, as I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say.

Aren't they cute? Scott and Allison get up close and personal in MTV’s Teen Wolf.

The big surprise for me has been Teen Wolf. If you haven’t checked it out, and you are a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I’d highly recommend you give it a whirl. I think it comes the closest to striking the Buffy chord of any show I’ve seen in recent memory – humor, supernatural elements, teen angst, good special effects and best of all, strong acting and writing.

Is anyone else loving Teen Wolf? Who’s going to watch True Blood this Sunday?