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Showing posts by: Tara Gelsomino click to see Tara Gelsomino's profile
Thu
Sep 5 2013 9:30am

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell
Fangirl
St. Martin's Press / September 10, 2013 / $18.99 print, $9.99 digital

Cath doesn’t think she’s good at life—but she’s really good at being a fan. She’s been writing fanfiction since she was twelve, and she’s gotten kind of famous in that world. But college is another “story.” She’s got a mean roommate (with a too-friendly boyfriend), her twin sister’s ignoring her, her dad’s a mess, her writing professor is pushing her too hard… She keeps having to rise to the occasion, but all she really wants to do is stay in her room and write. Is Cath ready to live her own life, write her own stories, and open her heart to someone? Or will she just go on living inside her fictional world?

As you’ve probably noticed, around these here parts, we really like our fangirl pursuits. Rainbow Rowell, who got some great buzz for her very touching YA Eleanor & Park, does a lovely job portraying the weird phenomenon of being “internet famous” in this coming-of-age story.

For the most part, she gets the fandom details pretty right. Cath is a BNF (big name fan) for writing a long-running story “Carry On, Simon!” about a (fictional) couple/book series that was obviously inspired by Harry and Draco from Rowling’s Potter novels. Cath’s stories are so beloved she gets hundreds of emails from readers clamoring for more, and even has fan art t-shirts based on her stories selling on Etsy.

[Fandom ftw!...]

Fri
May 24 2013 9:30am

Kiera in ContinuumWith season two of this Syfy drama rapidly approaching (it returns Friday, June 7, 10 pm), it’s a great time to catch up on the promising mystery/sci-fi hybrid series Continuum.

Rachel Nichols stars as über-capable cop Kiera Cameron, who was accidentally propelled back to 2012 from her spacecraft-flying, supersuit-wearing existence in 2077 when a shady criminal enterprise used a time-travel device to escape execution. The group, Liber8, was a terrorist cell fighting against the total control of society by corporations, the largest of which was run by Alec Sadler (Eric Knudsen). When Keira lands in 2013, she quickly becomes part of the modern police force, partnering with Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster). Our fish-out-of-water heroine gets a little help from that high-tech supersuit and her futuristic “upgrades” which also put her in contact with Alec (his company made the suit), who is now a nerdy teen with a crazy computer grid in his family’s barn.

Got all that? Good. Because now we can get down to what’s really important—the 'ships! So technically, Kiera is married with a kid in 2077 and desperately wants to get back to that family. (Even if there are hints that her husband is shady and possibly in cahoots with Old Alec to do bad things.) Ahem. So the shipping is on the down-low and mostly implied at this point, but shipping is all about having faith when canon tells you not to! Or, uh, something like that. Anyway, here’s the down-low on the potential romances brewing for our kickass lady cop.

[To the ships!...]

Sat
May 18 2013 7:42pm

Orphan Black's Paul and Sarah












Note: This post contains SPOILERS for Season 1 of Orphan Black.

If you’re not watching BBC America’s Orphan Black (and you should be!), you’re not only missing out on a great mystery/sci-fi drama series, but also one very twisted love story. When our grifter heroine Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) happens to witness the suicide of a woman, Beth Childs, who looks identical to her, she slips into her doppleganger’s life as a police detective hoping to score some cash. She gets more than she bargained for in all kinds of ways, but the most intriguing is Paul Dierden (Dylan Bruce), Beth’s live-in lover.

Streetwise punk-rock Sarah (who was previously dating a drug dealer) isn’t too impressed as she scopes out pics of the chiseled clean-cut guy, declaring to her buddy Felix that “If that was my boyfriend, I’d jump in front of a train too.” But hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. When Paul comes home unexpectedly, Sarah tries some distraction, in the form of stripping him for some sexytimes on the kitchen countertop.  (And this is cable, so there is skin. And thrusting. And moaning. Mmhmm.)

[From twisted beginnings come ?...]

Thu
May 16 2013 1:26pm

The CW's ReignIt’s that time of year again, when the major TV networks unveil their fall schedules and we get a little glimpse of what we might be obsessing about at the water cooler from September to May. Here’s a look at the schedule and, more importantly, new shows that The CW announced at its Upfronts presentations in New York City today:

The CW's Fall 2013 Schedule (all times ET)

MONDAY
8-9 p.m. — Hart of Dixie
9-10 p.m. — Beauty & the Beast

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Originals (DRAMA) The Vampire Diaries’ first family head on down to New Orleans to stir up trouble. All your favorites, Klaus, Elijah, etc., will be there, and facing off with the sexy King of the city (and Klaus’ former protégé) Marcel (The Game’s Charles Michael Davis). Oh, and did we mention that undead Klaus is gonna be a daddy?
Ship Watch: Klaus/Hayley?

9-10 p.m. —  Supernatural

[What else is new to the schedule?...]

Wed
May 15 2013 5:20pm

Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar in The Crazy OnesIt’s that time of year again, when the major TV networks unveil their fall schedules and we get a little glimpse of what we might be obsessing about at the water cooler from September to May. Here’s a look at the schedule and, more importantly, new shows that CBS announced at its Upfronts presentations in New York City today (the CW will present tomorrow):

CBS's Fall 2013 Schedule (all times ET)

SUNDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Amazing Race 
9-10 p.m. — The Good Wife
10-11 p.m.— The Mentalist

MONDAY
8-8:30 p.m. — How I Met Your Mother
8:30-9 p.m. — We Are Men (COMEDY) –Left at the altar, a betrayed bridegroom (Paranormal Activity 3’s Chris Smith) moves into an apartment complex and gets advice from three older but-not-so-much wiser dudes  played by Jerry O'Connell (The Defenders), Kal Penn (House), and Tony Shalhoub (Monk).
9-9:30 p.m. — 2 Broke Girls
9:30-10 p.m. —  Mom (COMEDY) –The return of West Wing alums to TV continues! A newly sober single mom (Anna Faris) moves in with her own mother (Allison Janney) to get her life back together. With these two funny ladies on board, this might be the best of the surprisingly large bunch of sitcoms this season where adult kids move in with their parents (or vice versa).

[Clearly comedy is king on Mondays!...]

Tue
May 14 2013 4:00pm

It’s that time of year again, when the major TV networks unveil their fall schedules and we get a little glimpse of what we might be obsessing about at the water cooler from September to May. Here’s a look at the schedule and, more importantly, new shows that ABC announced at its Upfronts presentations in New York City today (CBS and the CW will present over the next few days):

ABC's Fall 2013 Schedule (all times ET)

SUNDAY
8-9 p.m. — Once Upon a Time 
9-10 p.m. — Revenge
10-11 p.m. —  BETRAYAL (DRAMA) Twisty and infidelicious, this soap/legal drama hybrid follows a female photographer who has a torrid affair with a defense lawyer. But when he gets a big murder case, he has to go up against her husband, the prosecuting attorney, in court. James Cromwell (American Horror Story: Asylum), Henry Thomas (E.T.), Hannah Ware (Boss), Stuart Townsend (Night Stalker), and Wendy Moniz (Damages) star.
Ship watch: Sara/Jack

MONDAY
8-9 p.m. — Dancing With the Stars
10-11 p.m. — Castle

[What about the rest of the week?...]

Mon
May 13 2013 3:30pm

DraculaIt’s that time of year again, when the major TV networks unveil their fall schedules and we get a little glimpse of what we might be obsessing about at the water cooler from September to May. Here’s a look at the schedules and, more importantly, new shows that NBC and FOX announced at their Upfronts presentations in New York City today (ABC, CBS, and the CW will present over the next few days):

NBC's Fall 2013 Schedule (all times ET)

SUNDAY
7:00-8:15 p.m. – Football Night in America
8:15-11:30 p.m. – Sunday Night Football

MONDAY
8-10 p.m. — The Voice
10-11 p.m. — The Blacklist (DRAMA) — With shades of FOX’s The Following, James Spader (The Office) stars as a most wanted criminal who will surrender and talk on one condition—he works only with one specific rookie FBI agent to whom he seemingly has no connection. It’s nice to see co-stars Homeland’s Diego Klattenhoff and Dollhouse’s Harry Lennix back on our TV!
Ship watch: Too soon to tell.

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. – The Biggest Loser
9-10 p.m. – The Voice
10-11 p.m. – Chicago Fire

[Is it fall yet?...]

Thu
Mar 14 2013 2:30pm

Tara in Sons of AnarchyReading is a quiet, mostly solitary act, so it’s rare to see beloved TV characters kicking back and cracking open a paperback. But….you can learn a lot from a book! Whether they’re cautionary tales, how-to manuals, or just plain fun, here’s some romances that those small-screen heroes and heroines might want to check out in their downtime:

Sons of Anarchy

Is Charming the sort of place to have a cute indie bookstore? If not, Tara might want to get herself to the library and check out Kristen Ashley’s Motorcycle Man, natch. The sexy story of normal girl Tyra who chucks her old life for her sexy, tattooed biker dude Kane might hit home for our doc, and even make her think about getting the hell out of Charming some more. If she were feeling especially charitable, perhaps she could even pick up a little something for her monster-in-law...

[What WOULD Gemma read? And Nashville's Juliette?...]

Tue
Mar 5 2013 1:00pm

Katee Sackhoff as Kara Thrace/StarbuckConfession: When it comes to heroines, I have a definite type. I don’t particularly care what the hero is like (although alpha-holes need not apply), but I like my fictional women a little bit on the wild and unpredictable side. Prone to cursing, ready and able to throw a punch or deliver a cunning verbal smackdown, complicated and difficult. Independent and determined to take care of herself. Confident, ballsy, selfish. Ruthless in pursuing a goal. Not above illegal activity if the ends justify the means. Possesing a questionable moral code. Flawed…beyond the standard romance faults of, say, being clumsy or having unsightly freckles.

Yup, most of my favorite heroines are actually anti-heroines. Give me Faith over Buffy anyday. Watts over Amanda Jones, no question! Starbuck over….well, frak, Starbuck over anyone at all. I love a morally compromised, swaggering scrapper of a heroine. And I really like to see what these kinds of women do when they’re placed in the most vulnerable, most emotional scenarios—namely, when they’re in love.

But while you can’t swing a cat in the romance genre without hitting some kind of bad boy hero—be it a rake, rogue or domineering billionaire with a kinky side—it’s near impossible to find romances that feature anti-heroines. The romance genre seems to have an unwritten rule that heroines be nice, average, everyday kind of gals—relatable, recognizable, and most of all, likable. And maybe with good reason. I’ve seen a fair amount of bad reactions from readers to the sorts of heroines I favor, often stating the character was too bitchy, too difficult to the hero, too stubborn… too much.

But in the immortal words of  the '80s songstress Samantha Fox: “Naughty Girls Need Love Too.” So for those of us who do prefer a bit more spice than sugar in our fictional ladies, luckily there are some badass babes out there.

[Nice is so five minutes ago...]

Thu
Jan 17 2013 11:08am

Juliette Barnes in Nashville Season 1 episode 10

Everybody wants what they haven’t got on this week’s Nashville.

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recaps of the Nashville pilotepisode 1.02episode 1.03episode 1.04episode 1.05episode 1.06episode 1.07episode 1.08, and episode 1.09.)

The tour (brilliantly titled Red Lips, White Lies—though it irked me that Rayna wasn’t wearing red lipstick!) finally kicks off with an awkward press conference where Rayna and Juliette are barely veiling their snipes at each other, much to the reporters’ glee. But both ladies are preoccupied by the men in their lives. Sean won’t sign the divorce papers Juliette served him with, and in fact counters by serving her with a summons for an annulment hearing. Rayna’s trying to make the new guitar player into a partner on stage, quite obviously missing Deacon. She’s not really missing her husband on the other hand, as she decides not to fly home for the results of his suddenly impending election night.

[Finally, an election that sped right on by!...]

Thu
Jan 10 2013 11:44am

Rayna and Juliette in Nashville*******SPOILERS*******

We’re back! And hold on to your rhinestones, because more happens in the teaser before the credits in tonight’s episode than in all eight of the previous episodes combined, I think. This is Nashville on speed, y’all! Yeehaw!

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recaps of the Nashville pilotepisode 1.02episode 1.03episode 1.04episode 1.05episode 1.06, episode 1.07, and winter finale episode 1.08)

You know how we waited and waited for the damn tour to get off the ground? Well now it’s happening in THREE DAYS! Who knows how everyone is going to be prepared in that short of time since they seem to just be deciding it now, but hey, that’s television for you!

Rayna, who was only ever lukewarm on the tour, is suddenly just raring to go, but there’s a hold-up….that wacky Juliette is late to record the actual vocals for that kickass live duet they did. But she has a pretty good reason—she’s off in Vegas consummating her quickie marriage to QB1! Oh, those crazy kids. I bet you thought they’d drag that sucker out for the entire rest of the season, eh? Wrong! But our not-so-blushing bride assures Glenn that she’s not an idiot and there was a prenup. That’s my girl.

[You did have us worried for a second, though, Juliette...]

Thu
Dec 6 2012 3:42pm

Juliette and Sean in Nashville season 1 episode 8*******SPOILERS*******

One step forward, two steps back. After last week’s quite good episode, this week’s midseason finale feels somewhat anticlimactic with not a lot of real forward moment and a pretty lame cliffhanger.

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recaps of the Nashville pilotepisode 1.02episode 1.03episode 1.04episode 1.05, episode 1.06, and last week's episode 1.07.)

Rayna’s riding high on the success of her duet with Juliette, even wrangling a promise from Marshall that he’ll release her next album. It’s all champagne dreams and caviar wishes until buzzkill Teddy comes in looking grim and the party’s over. He tells her they better go home and talk, where (in front of some seriously creepy portraits of their girls) he divulges that Coleman has some photos that look like he had an affair with Peggy, but he assures her he didn’t. She believes him, but is none too pleased.

[Don't blame her at all...]

Thu
Nov 29 2012 12:14pm

Rayna and Juliette duet in Nashville 1.07 Lovesick Blues**********SPOILERS**********

Nashville finally seems to be—forgive the pun—settling into a groove. The pacing is much quicker now, and even though some scenes do get a bit repetitive and bogged down, episodes six and seven have had a lot more forward momentum.

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recaps of the Nashville pilotepisode 1.02episode 1.03episode 1.04episode 1.05, and last week's episode 1.06.)

Rayna’s in the studio with Liam, jazzed about her new sound. So much so that she decides she’ll close the upcoming anniversary concert for her label at the legendary Ryman Auditorium with one of her new songs. She’s all sassy rebel and attitude. Well, yee haw!

Juliette, meanwhile, is jazzed about her new man. She and QB1 Sean are making out when Glenn pulls her aside to let her know Sean’s fans are holding her responsible for his poor passing. (Hey there, Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo circa 2007!). Marshall wants to see her personally. Poor Juliette. Everybody’s just pissing on her parade.

[And it only makes us like her more...]

Thu
Nov 15 2012 11:06am

Scarlett in NashvilleI love a good title. And this week's Nashville had a good one: “You're Gonna Change (or I'm Gonna Leave).” Since that kind of summed up my general disappointment with the show for the past few weeks, I'm so glad it took its own advice. For the first time since the pilot, last night's Nashville showed signs of growth and forward momentum, as well as both of its leading ladies being pretty awesome. Good job, show. More of this please.

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recaps of the Nashville pilotepisode 1.02, episode 1.03, episode 1.04, and last week's episode 1.05.)

We open with a refreshingly humorous scene at a fundraiser for the Nashville zoo. Juliette isn't pleased about three weeks of publicity penance, gritting through a smile to her publicist Makena, “If any of these adorable baby animals take a crap on me, I'm gonna be veeery upset.” Rookie NFL quarterback Sean Butler, basically the Finn Hudson of Nashville, is the host of this shindig and he introduces himself to Juliette, who's not feeling the goody-two-shoes image he projects. (She's even less endeared to him when he thrusts a small animal at her and it promptly tries to start eating her hair extensions.) Nevertheless Makenna notices Juliette's Facebook likes soar after her animal encounter and thinks Sean's a good prospect for a publicity date/fauxmance, sending them out for dinner together. Since our jaded Juliette can't get over the teetotaling, homebody Sean, she decides she needs to corrupt him, whisking him off to South Beach because...well, like she says, “We're young, we're hot, and I have a jet.” Hard to argue with that.

[So we won't!...]

Thu
Nov 8 2012 1:14pm

Deacon and Juliette in Nashville 1.05 Move It On Over*****SPOILERS*****

Y’all, can we talk? Because Nashville has a big problem, and its name is Rayna James. I’m not sure how they managed it, but in just five episodes, this show did the impossible: They made Connie frakkin’ Britton unlikable!

OK, well, not Connie herself, but Rayna has just become so much less compelling than I hoped and expected her to be. She’s ostensibly the lead of the show, but Rayna never seems to do much of anything. Except be angsty and indecisive and more than a bit entitled. I think the last time she did anything really likable and worth rooting for was in the pilot episode when she told her label bosses to kiss her backside (and in retrospect, even that comes off as a bit more spoiled than triumphant).

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recaps of the Nashville pilotepisode 1.02, and episode 1.03)

[What's up with you, Rayna?...]

Thu
Nov 1 2012 11:16am

Juliette in Nashville episode 4 We Live in Two Different WorldsLast night’s Nashville had plenty of drama, but not a lot of good old fashioned sense or logic. There was some serious head-scratching action as we picked up with the fallout of Juliette’s little klepto incident and Rayna’s endless inner turmoil.

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recaps of the Nashville pilotepisode 1.02, and episode 1.03)

It’s starts all well and good, with Rayna and Deacon between the sheets, making out and marveling at how much they’ve “missed this.” Of course they’re just getting to the good part when reality intrudes and Rayna wakes up to her husband calling her name. She sighs the heavy sigh of confliction and then we flit on over to Juliette’s mansion where reality is likewise trying to intrude in the form of two cops at her door. She thinks they’re joking when they tell her about the now-infamous video, and even when she views it herself, her only comment is “Four million views, not bad.” Seems Juliette is taking the old “any publicity is good publicity” approach, though her manager Glenn is less than impressed as he’s dealing with all the bad press. He calls in her big-wig publicist (“Isn’t she busy with Kristen Stewart?” Juliette snits.) who promptly sets up an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts (Hi, Robin!) so that a curiously resistant Juliette can make a statement.

[Uhhhh, are we sure that's a great idea?...]

Thu
Oct 25 2012 1:41pm

The Nashville love triangle: Juliette, Deacon, and Rayna**********SPOILERS**********

So..is it me or did not a lot happen this week? We learned a bunch more about Rayna and Juliette’s respective daddy and mommy issues, but I’m about ready for SOMEONE’s tour to get under way and I don’t care much whose it is.

(Missed an episode? Catch up with Tara's recap of the Nashville pilot and of episode 1.02.)

Really, I’m just not sure how many more scenes we need to watch of Deacon being torn and Rayna being torn. At least, Juliette is not torn. She very decisively wants Deacon on her tour and when her manager Glenn fails to make that happen, she throws around a few ultimatums. To start, if Deacon wants their duet from last week's “Undermine” to be on the album, he needs to get his butt into the studio.

It just so happens he’s getting a bit tired of being strung along as Rayna first ignores him and then hems and haws about what kind of songs they should sing on their small-scale tour. (I’m sure the tour manager didn’t help, running down their stops and stressing “a lot of overnights” and the new tour bus’s “nice master suite.” Mmm hmm.) Scared of what the Bluebird performance stirred up, Rayna tries to backpedal suggesting they do their bigger hits rather than their earlier intimate stripped-down stuff. Deacon calls her on it, asking if she’s freaked.

[I'm gonna take a wild guess and say: YES...]

Thu
Oct 18 2012 10:58am

Connie Britton as Rayna James in NashvilleWatching Connie Britton on Nashville puts me in mind of a twist on that old nursery rhyme: When she was good, she was very very good, and when she was bad, she was...even better. Whether she's annoyed at disloyal record execs (or bandleaders!), all the gushing adulation for Juliette Barnes, or her father's political shenanigans, Connie's disgusted, annoyed and pissed off faces are just the best. Her short temper and slightly diva-ish 'tude are a nice switch up from the saintly Mrs. Coach and even the martyr-ish wife she played on American Horror Story. This show could be an hour of watching Connie just punch things in the face and I'd be loving it. Her line deliveries are just so fantastic when she's pissed off. (Favorite sass? “Miss Sparklypants!,” “What. The. Hell. Is. That?,” and “She's got about 500 miles of nerve saying that to me.”)

(New to Nashville? Don't miss Tara Gelsomino's recap of last week's pilot episode, 1.01.)

But there's lots of other things to love about Nashville too. The music continues to be flawless, especially any of the songs written or cowritten by Deacon, like the two excellent ballads in this week's episode. And Hayden Panettiere continues to be pretty fantastic at bringing some depth and nuance to what could so easily be a puddle-deep villainous vixen role. We learn this week that Juliette is maybe just as sick of her own pop princess packaging as Rayna is and her hunger to make deeper music is part of the motivation to get Deacon on her tour. It's really nice to see these two leading ladies get some complex shading, since some of the other roles continue to be engimatic, most unfortunately Deacon.

[What's your deal, dude?...]

Thu
Oct 11 2012 11:30am

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere in Nashville

 ABC’s newest nighttime soap has a lot to recommend it. From the mind of Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise) with the music supervision of T-Bone Burnett (Khouri’s husband and acclaimed record producer), Nashville is a soulful sudser with more sophistication than most would expect when they think country music.

But the music industry and Nashville’s gleaming skyline is just the backdrop to a juicy emotional drama that will live or die on the enviously well-coiffed head of one woman: Connie Britton. That’s right, y’all, Mrs. Coach is back and bigger than ever. 

[Clear eyes, full hearts...oh, wait, this ISN'T actually FNL, huh?...]

Sun
Sep 30 2012 4:00pm

Homeland Season 2 posterIf you tune into the now Emmy Award-winning terrorism drama Homeland for its second season premiere tonight and find yourself humming a little Lady Gaga, don’t panic. It’s perfectly natural. Because the show’s leads, brilliant and bipolar CIA Agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and Sergeant Nick Brody (Damien Lewis), the former POW-turned-possible-terrorist she’s investigating, are pretty much the dictionary definition of a BAD ROMANCE, baby. And we love them for it.

No one would’ve imagined that one of the hottest couples on TV would come from a socio-political terrorism drama on Showtime. But if you watched Homeland’s phenomenal first season, then you know Carrie and Brody are positively scorching together…and fairly toxic.  We watched along with Carrie as she surveilled the homecoming hero for weeks, getting to know his daily routine better than his own wife, scouring the screen for signs of terrorist behavior. When the cameras got cut off, the manic, obsessive Carrie orchestrated a meeting, at a support group for soldiers with PTSD. The minute they met, sparks flew. There was an instant connection and chemistry that no one expected—not even the show’s creators.

[“Want your bad romance”...]