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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – TV

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back tomorrow for our top 2014 movie picks!

True Detective

Airs January 12, 2014 on HBO

True Detective is a new HBO drama about Louisiana State Police Detectives Martin Hart and and Rust Cohle.  In 2012, they are brought in for separate interrogations about a murder case they solved in 1995.  As they narrate their story, each detective is pulled back into the case as questions begin to arise about the outcome of the peculiar murder.

Reasons to Watch: Reason #1 = The cast.  The detectives are portrayed by Matthew McConaughey (Cohle) and Woody Harrelson (Hart). Enough said.  Michelle Monaghan also stars as Maggie, Detective Hart’s wife.  By the looks of the trailer, they all put on riveting and gut-wrenching performances.  Reason #2 = The writing.  True Detective was written and created entirely by Nic Pizzolatto.  Pizzolatto is best known for writing two episodes of AMC’s cop-drama The Killing, including Season 1’s shock-filled finale.  The Killing is one of my favorite television shows (and one of the most underrated IMO) so I was thrilled to learn of this connection.  After conducting a little research, I discovered that Pizzolatto actually quit working for the series because he didn’t like “serving someone else’s vision.”  With True Detective being his first major solo project, I’m thrilled to see what this young and innovative writer has to offer.

Klondike

Airs January 20, 2014 on Discovery Channel

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Klondike is an upcoming historical mini-series by the Discovery Channel.  The six episode long series is the network’s first-ever scripted drama.  It follows two childhood best friends, Bill (Game of Throne‘s Richard Madden) and Epstein (Augustus Prew), in the late 1890s as they flee west in pursuit of gold.  Their journey leads to a land full of undiscovered wealth, but surrounded by unpredictable weather and dangerous characters, including greedy businessmen and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their land.

Reasons to Watch:  Richard Madden, hello!  Also, the production details of the series hint at great action scenes.  For example, over the course of 55 days, the actors faced severe conditions.  From freezing temperatures, to high altitudes; Madden and Prew literally hung off the side of a mountain for 16 hours straight for one scene.  That’s dedication.

Orphan Black  – Season 2

Airs April 19, 2014 on BBC America

Season 1 was a whirlwind.  At the season’s end, all of our favorite clones were forced to choose sides after meeting Rachel, their fellow clone and child of Neolution. Cosima discovered that the clones are property, owned by Neolution leading to Sarah’s decision to ignore Rachel’s threats in the greatest diss of all time, “Up your’s ProClone!” Cosima followed suit, but her illness will be front and center in Season 2. Allison, on the other hand, agreed to cooperate with Neolution.  What does this mean for her relationship with the other clones? Viewers can look forward to getting to know Rachel and the world of Neolution, as she takes the place of Season’s 2 “Big Bad.”  Suit’s Patrick J. Adams will be joining the cast in a very secretive guest spot, as well as Nashville’s bad boy (and the new Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones) Michiel Huisman.

Reasons to Watch: More clones!  We’ve already seen Tatiana Maslany play seven (YES, SEVEN) clones and the creators promise there will be more.  Also, I’m going through Felix withdrawals.

Penny Dreadful

Airs Spring 2014 on Showtime

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Penny Dreadful is an upcoming pyschosexual horror series that will weave together the origin of literary horror characters, including Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster, Dorian Gray, and Count Dracula, in Victorian London.

Reasons to Watch: Y’all, I have a confession to make. I used to be IN LOVE with Josh Hartnett. I remember seeing Pearl Harbor and The Faculty and thinking he was going to be my first kiss. Like seriously. So naturally with Hartnett cast as the lead in Penny Dreadful and perfectly positioned for a career comeback, I’m all in!

Masters of Sex – Season 2

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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We know that Masters of Sex Season 1 just finished wrapping up, but we can’t help but be excited for the shows sophomore season. In the season finale, Dr. Master’s entire professional and personal life begins to unravel and the only person he wants to turn to is Virginia (Lizzy Caplan). After a few drinks, Master’s show up at Virginia’s door soaked from the rain and finally lays his feelings on the line.

“I have nothing to offer you except maybe the truth: I finally realized that there is one thing that I can’t live without — it’s you. You.”

Reasons to Watch: In its freshman season, Masters of Sex racked up 2 Golden Globe nominations. One for best drama, and the second going to Michael Sheen for Best Actor in a Drama Series category. I’m still rolling my eyes at the fact that Lizzy Caplan got shafted (ha-ha) for her portrayal of Virginia Johnson in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category. Between the story, the acting, the costumes and that ending…that ending is enough to leave us yearning for more.

Homeland – Season 4

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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I have a confession, my confession is I jumped onto the Homeland wagon a little late. In fact, I didn’t binge watch Season 1&2 until right before the Season 3 premiere. The worst part is, it’s literally filmed out behind my apartment. I mean, I could probably start my own “Homeland” set tour company at this point.

After binge watching of Season 1&2, my feelings towards all the characters were pretty cemented. I wanted Carrie and Brody to be together, to have that happy ending, but as Season 3 started up I realized thats not what needed to happen, this show is not about happy endings. The show is at its best when the storyline sticks to Carrie and her obsessive need for the chase with the CIA, which is what I hope Season 4 is going to set up for us. If you haven’t watched the season finale of Season 3, shame on you, I’m going to ruin it for you.

  • BRODY DIES
  • CARRIE IS MEGA PREGGO & MEGA DEPRESSED
  • SAUL IS MIA IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (NOT WITH THE CIA) EATING BAGUETTES
  • CARRIE IS MOVING TO ISTANBUL (MAYBE) WITH BRODY’S SOON TO BE GINGER BABY
  • QUINN IS STILL HOT
  • CARRIE HAS WICKED STAR DRAWING SKILLZ

Reasons to Watch: For obvious reasons, what Homeland needs in Season 4 is a Renaissance. With Carrie moving to Istanbul as a station leader, Quinn, Max and Virgil are sure to be in tow. Of course a big piece of the puzzle that will be missing in said gang will be Saul. Mandy Patinkin is a phenomenal actor and outside of Quinn (hot), my favorite part of the show. I do hope the writers find a way to incorporate him into show in a way that makes sense next year….or possibly just bring him back into the fold of the CIA. So why should we watch? No more Brody, no more complications. During the season finale, it became pretty clear that they are going back to the basics. Carrie and the gang, doing what they are good at, catching the bad guys.

Turn

Airs 2014 on AMC

“Turn” tells the story of Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a New York farmer who bands together with a circle of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring,  George Washington’s ring of American spies who ultimately help America defeat the British in the Revolutionary War.  The show is based on the true story told in “Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose.

Reasons to Watch: Since my focus in college was Colonial America, I’m thrilled about the storyline and historical content.  But I’m also intrigued to see how non-history loving audiences will receive the show.  As much as I want it to be great, Turn has potential to be a train wreck.  It doesn’t help that the story is based on a war of which the outcome is already known.  So why should you watch?  It’s on AMC.  It’s potential to be bad is just as great as it’s potential to be phenomenal, considering the channel’s recent track record (i.e. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Hell on Wheels).  And who knows, you might even enjoy getting a fun history lesson because, let’s admit it, you don’t remember learning about The Culper Ring in elementary school.

Honorable Mentions

House of Cards Season 2, Netflix available February 14th

Orange is the New Black Season 2, Netflix available TBD

Looking Season 1, HBO airing January 19 at 10:30pm

Boardwalk Empire Season 5, HBO airing Fall 2014

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Season 1, BBC America premieres January 19 at 10:00pm


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‘House of Cards’ Season 2 Trailer Analysis – Frank vs. the world

Let the binge watching commence! Starting February 14th, ‘House of Cards’ sophomore season will be available for streaming on Netflix. Forget the chocolates, what more could you want for Valentine’s Day? The season two trailer premiered today, so let’s dive in!

House of Cards Season 2

House of Cards Season 2

The season starts with Frank Underwood taking his oath as Vice President with Claire and Doug proudly at his side. Mirroring the President’s inauguration in season 1, Frank breaks the third wall saying, “One heartbeat away from the Presidency and not a single vote cast in my name. Democracy is so overrated.”

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“Let’s start this new chapter with a clean slate,” Frank says to Claire.  Do they really think that’s going to happen?

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Our first glimpse at a new ‘House of Cards’ character!  She shows up a few times in the trailer leading me to believe she’s going to a big deal, any guesses?

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“The Vice President just took office, I can’t have this conspiracy stuff going mainstream,” says Doug.  Conspiracy? Uh oh, does someone know how Frank really won the Vice Presidency.

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Can’t have it going mainstream? Too late. “The connections are troubling, especially Underwood,” says a television correspondent. It looks like Frank’s first fight will be with the media and their conspiracy theories.

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“So this goes all the way to the White House,” replies the anchor. “It might,” confirms the correspondent. It seems like it’s time for Frank to cover his tracks, enter Zoe.

House of Cards Season 2“I need for you to delete all of our phone history,” says Frank. “You want me to just walk away? Act as if I don’t know anything.” Clearly, Zoe is against him too.

House of Cards

With Tusk (Major Dad) orchestrating the President’s moves from behind the scenes, confrontation with Frank is inevitable. “He’s convincing the President to change his mind,” says Frank. “You would be making a disastrous mistake,” declares Tusk.

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“I feel like I’m losing control of my own goddamn administration,” says the President, obviously caught in the crossfire between Tusk and Frank.  It’s important to note that Michael Gill, who plays President Garrett Walker was promoted to series regular for season 2.

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In probably the most chilling scene of the trailer, Frank and Claire stand casually in their kitchen discussing (most likely) Tusk. “He’s a dangerous man,” says Claire. “I want him obliterated,” replies Frank. “More than that, let’s make him suffer,” Claire says calmly.  At this, Frank speaks to the audience, “I don’t know whether to be proud or terrified.” They really are the best couple on TV, like the new Coach and Mrs. Taylor.

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Now Claire sits in an interview, “Some people think that your marriage may be a bit more calculated than you let on.” Ya think?

In these quickly moving scenes, we see a few more cast members that have been promoted to recurring:

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Remy Danton, lobbyist for SanCorp and Frank’s former protege, played by Mahershala Ali.

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Adam Galloway, Claire’s once lover and a consistent supporter of her nonprofit, played by Ben Daniels.

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Freddy, barbecue genius, played by Reg E. Cathey also seems to be playing a much bigger role this season. “They done stepped on the wrong motherf***ing rattle snake,” he growls in the trailer as Frank declares “We have to strike back hard and fast.”

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“I told you to stop back channeling,” says the President. “I can turn this around sir,” replies Frank. Here’s where things get interesting as the cover-up conspiracy thickens.

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“I think he’s setting her up,” says Lucas. My theory here is that Lucas believes Frank is setting up Zoe to take the fall for something. Perhaps, for what happened to ill-fated Peter Russo. “I know how to handle him,” insists Zoe.  But do you really?

We then see Frank teaming up with Remy.”You trying to send a message?,” asks Remy. “Stubbornness is far more costly than obedience,” replies Frank. This could be directed towards Zoe, Janine, and Lucas.

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We’ve got another new character for season 2 played by Jimmi Simpson.

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What are our journalists after? “I’m looking for Rachel Posner,” says Zoe, as in the hooker used to set up Russo last year. Yes, it does seem that the journalists are close to unraveling Frank’s web of lies. Also, is that Janine and Rachel hooking up? Innnntersesting.  I guess Zoe isn’t the only one that can sleep with her source.

House of Cards Season 2

“You let me know if anyone contacts you,” Doug tells Rachel.  Then we see the FBI showing up at Janine’s front door, obviously there to shut her investigation down at Frank’s bidding.

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“You cannot run away from this,” says Lucas. “He’s got power. He’s got a lot to lose. And he’s winning,” says Janine emotionally, as Frank extinguishes a birthday candle with his fingers.

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Zoe and Frank meet in the middle of the night, and Frank is in costume! “I need to know that I wasn’t a part of someone’s…” “Finish your thought,” says Frank. “…a part of someone’s murder,” says Zoe. Again, does Zoe know how to handle Frank? I don’t think anyone really does, except for Claire of course.

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Janine must have gotten to Rachel, here she is holding a knife to Doug’s throat. It seems that everyone is cracking under the pressure of what happened to Russo.

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Then we begin a series of powerful one-liners from Frank, Claire, and Zoe about exposure, enemies, and trust with their title cards before the trailer quickly wraps up in these scenes:

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Who is this guy?! And why does he have a bag over his head and appear to be tied up? Is ‘House of Cards’ about to get real kinky?

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Anthrax, never a good time.

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And probably my favorite part, Frank is eating dinner at Tusk’s home.  He angrily picks up his steak and throws it into the pool for the dog. Have you ever seen a dog with that much glee?

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The trailer ends with one last reminder from Frank, “There is but one rule, hunt or be hunted. Welcome back.”

And it is good to be back indeed! In the trailer we see Frank going after the media, Tusk, Zoe, Janine, Lucas, Rachel, and the President.  I can’t wait to watch this all go down.  Sign into Netflix February 14th and don’t make plans to leave your couch, it’s going to be a good weekend. See below for he full trailer.


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The Weekly Netflix Recommendation

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Okay, Okay, Okay. I know, we’ve totally been slacking on the Weekly Netflix Post lately, but good news is, we’re back.

This week’s pick:

Orange is the New Black

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“Orange is the New Black is the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to 15 months in prison after she is convicted of a decade old crime of transporting money for her drug dealing girlfriend (Laura Prepon).” -IMDB.com

Jenji Kohan is back and boy are we glad. If you, like us, have felt like there is a part of your soul missing without our weekly rendezvous with Nancy Botwin, you’re in luck. Kohan hit the nail on the dose of the crazy head yet again. Rather than sit here and discuss all the minute details of the show, I’m just going to go ahead and make your weekend plans for you. You, Netflix and 13 episodes of Comedic bliss….Saturday or Sunday your call. (I highly recommend a 12 pack of your favorite brew and a koozie to cozy up to as a welcomed guest.)

Here’s a quick breakdown of what makes us sad we have to wait a whole year for season 2.

The Supporting Cast.

Also, has anyone else noticed the resemblance between Crazy Eye’s and Roger from Sister, Sister?

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Prison is just like high school….but so much weirder.

All the Emotional Baggage

Will They? Won’t they? Are They? Aren’t They?

(This clip is a little long, but…enjoy the crazy!)

Not Up for Orange is the New Black? Here’s some other recommendations to get you through the week. (And a few to stay away from.)

  • House of Cards
  • New Girl
  • Everything Must Go

What to Avoid

  • The Paperboy
  • What to Expect When your Expecting
  • Jeff Who Lives at Home

Happy Watching!


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The Newsroom, The Bridge, and Other Summer Shows We’re Excited to Watch

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The Newsroom, Second Season starts Sunday, July 14th at 10pm on HBO

This weekend I decided to binge watch the first season of The Newsroom with some friends and I think it was the best 10-hours of my life.  The Newsroom, created by the genius Aaron Sorkin, is a political drama that follows news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and his executive producer MacKenzie “Mac” McHale (Emily Mortimer) on their mission to save the nightly news from ratings-driven stories.  Instead of telling cheap, entertaining, and gossip-driven news they strive to educate viewers on what is really going on in American politics and economics.   Naturally, their corporate owner is not too happy about it, especially when they target the Tea Party and funders of the Atlantis World Media, the station’s parent company.

Sorkin has surrounded Daniels and Mortimer with an outstanding ensemble cast including Jane Fonda, Sam Waterson, Dev Patel, Allison Pill, Olivia Munn, John Gallagher, Jr., Chris Messina, and Thomas Sadoski.  In season two, they’re adding to the cast Marcia Gay Harden, Constance Zimmer, Grace Gummer, Hamish Linklater, and Patton Oswalt (who has repeatedly blasted the show on Twitter, interesting).

The new season kicks off next Sunday, plenty of time to catch up on season one.  To join us in the excitement, watch the season two promo below.

Graceland, Premiered Thursday, June 6th at 10pm on USA

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To read our full review of the pilot, click here.  This show had us hooked during the pilot and it has yet to disappoint.  It follows FBI newbie Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) after he moves into Graceland, a beach house in Southern California that is the home to various undercover agents from the DEA, FBI, and ICE.  He is there to investigate the stability and trustworthiness of head agent Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata).  The show doesn’t require a lot of attention but is a fun summer watch.  There have only been four episodes so far, plenty of time to catch up during a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The Bridge, Premieres Wednesday, July 10th at 10pm on FX

The Bridge is based on the Danish/Swedist TV series of the same name and follows two police detectives – one Mexican (Weeds heartthrob Demián Bichir), and one from the US (Diane Kruger).  The detectives collide when the body of an American judge turns up on the border — a judge known for her anti-immigration views.  It is soon brought to light that a serial killer is working on either side of the border and the detectives must work together to solve the case.  The show title referes to the Bridge of the Americas that serves as a border crossing between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico, the setting of the series.

The White Queen, Premieres Saturday, August 10th at 9pm on Starz

The White Queen is a British import based on Philippa Gregory’s bestselling novel series The Cousins’ War.  The historical drama is set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses and follows the story of the women caught up in the long-standing conflict for the throne of England.  It starts in 1464 and the nation has been at war for nine years over who is the rightful king of England.  It starts the yummy Max Irons, son of Jeremy Irons.  As much as we love The Tudors, Downton Abbey,  and Game of Thrones you know we will be watching.

Orange is the New Black, Begins Streaming on July 11th on Netflix

From the creator of Weeds, Orange is the New Black follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a New York woman, who is sent to prison for possessing a suitcase full of drug money on behalf of her ex-girlfriend ten years ago, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon).  Vause is a famous international drug smuggler. Because of her crime Piper is sentenced to serve a fifteen-month prison sentence.  The show follows her prison hardships and personal discovery.

Other oldies but goodies you can’t miss this summer:

True Blood, premiered Sunday, June 16th at 9pm on HBO

Dexter, premiered Sunday, June 30th at 9pm on Showtime

Suits, starts Tuesday, July 16th at 10pm on USA

Breaking Bad, begins its last season on Sunday, August 11th at 9pm on AMC


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The Weekly Netflix Recommendation

WeeklyNetflix

As three post college grads, we are constantly trying to find ways of entertaining ourselves on a budget…which led us to three pretty serious Netflix addictions. Netflix never fails to feed our addiction for finding movies we’ve never heard of, or filling our need to binge watch shows we missed or just want to relive.  Each week, RPW will be posting about their Netflix finds. We hope you enjoy!

This weeks recommendation = Freaks and Geeks

Freaks-Geeks

This is definitely one of those shows that we missed. ‘Freaks and Geeks’ is a dramedy that was born way ahead of it’s time. Premiering in 1999, ‘Freaks & Geeks tells the story of siblings, Lindsey and Sam Weir, who are living in the suburbs of Detroit in 1980, desperately trying to survive high school. The show focuses on the Weirs’ adventures with their friends as Lindsey starts hanging with the influential “freaks” and Sam tries to learn how to make it through gym class alive with his best friends, the “geeks.”

The show is sometimes referred to as the anti-Dawson’s Creek. That’s because it’s completely different from any other American high-school story that we’re used to. Instead of glorifying the jocks or reliving the wonders of Homecoming, this show deliberately reminds you of the horrors of high school. It reminds you of all the gritty, horrible aspects like detention, judgmental parents, struggling to fit in, peer pressure, etc. This show is about rebellion. However, it’s less about hateful teens rebelling against their parents, and more about teens who really love their parents and don’t want to disappoint them. But, growing up can’t be avoided, so rebellion is sometimes inevitable.

The core of the show is the characters. You can’t help but deeply connect to each of them in different ways, especially as you start to see a little bit of yourself in Bill or Kim, or even Millie. And the acting is superb. This show was the first of its kind in many ways. It relied heavily on character improvisation and focused on ensuring that the characters looked and felt real. The actors were told to allow their personalities to shine through, so when you see Sam cracking up at his father, it’s because John Francis Daley thinks that Joe Flaherty is one of the funniest people alive. And, let’s be honest, ‘Freaks and Geeks’ could also be called Judd Apatow High School. This show starred Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segal, Martin Starr, John Francis Daley, Busy Philipps, and Samm Levine. This is the first time Apatow worked with any of them, and we all know the history that follows. We have seen so many hilarious pairings with these actors since then, including ‘Knocked Up,’ ‘Pineapple Express,’ and ‘Superbad’ just to name a few.  In this awesome interview with the cast of ‘Freaks and Geeks’ at the twelve-year reunion, Judd was quoted saying to Vanity Fair –

“Whenever I see an opportunity to use any of the people from ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ I do it. It’s a way of refusing to accept that the show was canceled. In my head, I can look at Knocked Up as just an episode of Seth’s character getting a girl pregnant. All of the movies relate in my mind in that way, as the continuous adventures of those characters.”

The series was cancelled in 2000 after a 18-episode run, but the show lives on thanks to Netflix, the Internet, and DVD sales. Since it’s cancellation, the show has continued to gain followers.  And, because of Netflix, which picked up the entire season for Instant Streaming in September 2012, the cult classic is still growing. If you haven’t tuned in, make sure you do. Each episode is 44-minutes commercial free, and you’ll savor every second.

Here’s a little taste of ‘Freaks & Geeks’ ~ Dining with Bill Haverchuck


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Monday Man Candy – ‘House of Cards’ Stand Out

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A few weeks ago I was looking for a new show to get lost in on Netflix.  Since I just moved to DC, The West Wing or House of Cards seemed like natural choices.  I opted for House of Cards (don’t worry, I love Rob Lowe and The West Wing will be next).  Kevin Spacey is unbelievable.  The writing is fantastic.  Robin Wright is gorgeous, etcetera.  But it’s Representative Peter Russo that holds my attention.  Every time he’s on screen I find myself going, “who IS that guy?”  He is played by Corey Stroll, known previously only for his brief appearance as Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.  Without much experience, his on-screen presence demands attention even when surrounded by some of acting’s elite.

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In House of Cards, Peter Russo plays a rough and tough congressman from South Philly that gets himself into a lot of trouble.  There’s a few hookers, coke binges, and broken hearts.  Don’t all girls love a bad boy?

corey-stollI’ve got a little bit of a crush on the bare-headed actor, so sue me.  Or you could just watch House of Cards and join the fun.

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Stoll has been recognized for being the breakout actor of this television season.  He recently accepted the lead in the upcoming FX series The Strain.  The series follows CDC doctor, Ephraim ‘Eph’ Goodweather (Stoll), who is investigating the outbreak of a vampire virus infecting New York City.  I’m not sure how great the plot will be but I’ll likely watch to check out Stoll.  I’m sure his career will be interesting to follow from here.


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The Weekly Netflix Recommendation

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As three post college grads, we are constantly trying to find ways of entertaining ourselves on a budget…which led us to three pretty serious Netflix addictions. Netflix never fails to feed our addiction for finding movies we’ve never heard of, or filling our need to binge watch shows we missed or just want to relive.  Each week, RPW will be posting about their Netflix finds. We hope you enjoy!

This week’s recommendation: NY-LON

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NY-LON is a 2004 British drama series that aired for one season in the United Kingdom.  The series follows a transatlantic romance between New York native, Edie Miller and London resident, Michael Antonioni (New York, London, NY-LON, get it?).  Edie is played by now comedy/indie queen Rashida Jones.  Michael is played by the skinny, non-vampire version of Stephen Moyer.  The acting is pretty horrible, but the story is sweet.  There are also appearances by Rachel Minor and David Rogers (recently on Nashville).  You’ll fly through the first season in no time!

What’s great about the show is that the London scenes are filmed in London, the New York scenes are filmed in New York.  It’s very genuine.

In 2008, CBS announced plans to remake the series for American audiences with Elisha Cuthbert as the star.  It was cancelled before airing but let’s tip our hats at what might have been.

To catch a glimpse at NY-LON, check out the clip below.