Sons of Anarchy

8 Series Finales…

In honor of last weekend’s season finales of Turn: Washington’s Spies and Orphan Black (which were both fantastic), I have made a list of other favorite series finales. Most of these finales are attached to personal memories, and some are just really good episodes of television. All these shows affected me in different ways at different times in my life, but I felt a real sense of loss when they ended. There were a couple great finales this year, but I did not include them because it is likely they will make my list of Best Episodes of 2017. As long as you do not watch the videos, there should not be any big spoilers.

1. Sex and the City: I was in high school when this show started, and I used to watch it at night when my parents were in bed, because my mother would have never approved. When I got to college, it was the show that everyone watched. It ended my junior year in college and I remember watching it with my roommates at our apartment in Elon, North Carolina. I would actually have preferred for Carrie to end up with Aiden, but I was happy with the way the other three women’s stories were wrapped up.



2. Parenthood: Jason Katims knows how to do a series finales, as evidenced by Friday Night Lights also being on this list. I do not like too much ambiguity in my series finales, and this let me know that the Bravermans would all be okay. I watched this finale at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas surrounded by other Parenthood fans for an ATX Television Festival event. There was something cathartic being in a theater full of people, all of whom were sobbing.



3. Sons of Anarchy: I got into SOA in the middle of season three. I had put off watching it because of the subject matter, but could not ignore the critics raving about it. It also came to me at a time in my life when I needed to just completely lose myself in a world so unlike my own. When I moved to Austin, I bonded with one of my new friends over our love of Charlie Hunnam and the show, and we started watching the episodes together each week at my apartment. Obviously, I wish every character could have had a happy ending, but that is not what this show was about. It was about dealing with the consequences of the life each of them had chosen, and the actions they had taken along the way.



4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I do not really have a fun story for where I was when I watched the finale of this show. I actually think I was alone in my parent’s basement, which sounds kind of creepy. I got into this show late, and I don’t think I had even caught up on all the seasons yet, but wanted to watch the finale live. I did not really know what was happening at the time, but have obviously gone back and watched the entire series several times since then. This speech still brings me to tears every time I watch it:

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8 Creepy Sibling Relationships…

This Sunday, April 10th, is National Siblings Day, and as someone who has an older brother, I get VERY, VERY creeped out by TV siblings that have sexual relations. Just typing those words nauseates me. I realize that the actors themselves are not actually related, but I still do not like watching it at all. This is my list of characters who have inappropriate family relationships.

1. Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia – The Borgias, played by Francois Arnaud and Holliday Grainger.
From the beginning of the series, Cesare and Lucrezia were always way too close, and often jealous of each other’s love interests, but it was not until the third season that they took their relationship too far. These characters are based on real people and their incest was merely a rumor at the time, people thought that Lucrezia’s first child was in fact her brother’s.



2. Claire and Bryan Robbins – Flesh and Bone, played by Sarah Hay and Josh Helman.
At first, it seems like Bryan had previously raped Claire, and she has come to New York because she is trying to get away from him. But when he tracks her down, she seems to need him near her and also wants him to leave at the same time. Eventually she sleeps with him voluntarily, so it is hard to say exactly what is going on with them. Either way, it is weird and gross.

3. Cersei and Jaime Lannister – Game of Thrones, played by Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Not only are Cersei and Jaime twins, but all of Cersei’s children are Jaime’s and do not belong to Cersei’s husband, King Robert Baratheon. In the very first episode, Jaime pushes Bran Stark out a window and, at the end of the first season, they have Eddard Stark beheaded in order to keep their secret. Before his death, Ned discovered that they had his predecessor as Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, and King Robert killed as well. Cersei also has several affairs with various Lannister cousins.



4. Helene and Anatole Kuragin – War & Peace, played by Tuppence Middleton and Callum Turner.
In Tolstoy’s novel, this relationship is merely a rumor. However, in the first episode of the mini-series you actually see Anatole climb into bed with his sister, while simultaneously talking to her about their father wanting to find them appropriate marriages. It may be a relatively short scene, but still creepy, none-the-less.

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8 Emmy Snubs…

There were a few happy surprises this morning (Tatiana Maslany!) but also a lot of disappointment. I know that there is just too much good television on right now, and it is not possible for every single person to be recognized, but here are just a few of the shows and actors that I wish had received nominations. It was difficult to find good videos for some of these performances, so there are a few links to TVLine’s Dream Emmy Nominations where they have embedded videos.

Fair warning: there are a few spoilers.

1. Shameless
This is one of the most underrated shows on television and last season was no exception. While William H. Macy was recognized for his performance as Frank Gallagher, Cameron Monaghan’s Ian was phenomenal this year as he slowly began to accept his bipolar diagnosis.



2. Outlander
The performances given by Sam Heughan, Caitroina Balfe and Tobias Menzes in the last two episodes of the first season were intense and profound. I am actually baffled that not a single one of them was nominated. If I could have included my favorite clip, it would have been the scene where Jamie says goodbye to Claire before she leaves him in Wentworth Prison with Black Jack. Instead, this clip is from the middle of the season when Jamie breaks down after having saved Claire.

3. Jane The Virgin
This was by far my favorite new show last year. It is moving and hilarious and filled with surprises. Gina Rodriguez and Jaime Camil in particular were revelations. Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for her role as Jane, so I was hoping she might get recognized again, but alas, I was wrong. Camil was more of a long-shot, but I was still disappointed. I was happily surprised to see Anthony Mendez get nominated for Best Narrator. I did not even know that was a category until this year. This is the clip where Jane calls Rogelio ‘Dad’ for the first time.

4. Justified
When this show started, I did not think that the characters of Ava and Boyd would be people that I cared so much about. Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter brought them to life in such a fantastic way that, no matter how horribly they behaved, you always rooted for them until the very end, even when they were at odds with each other. In this clip Ava tells Boyd that she has been informing to Raylan.

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8 Sensates…

The newest Netflix show Sense8 is about eight uniquely different people from all around the world that start seeing and hearing things that they have not experienced themselves. They each have specific talents and often help each other out of their individual predicaments by being able to share senses within their group. It sounds super complicated, but is actually a really great show that you should be watching.

Inspired by this show, I decided to make a list of TV characters that would make a good group of Sensates. I admit that I am totally stealing this idea from Todd VanDerWerff and it was not as easy as I thought it would be. Trying to come up with a list of people that all have different skills which compliment each other was incredibly difficult. I also decided to leave out anyone who came by their gifts supernaturally, because that just opened an entirely different can of worms.

1. Cosima Niehaus – Orphan Black
She has Ph.D. in Experimental Evolutionary Developmental Biology, which basically means she likes to make crazy science, but she will also keep everyone mellow.

2. Mike Ross – Suits
He may not be a real lawyer, but he can pull it off because he has a photographic memory.

3. Melinda May a.k.a. “The Cavalry” – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
She is smart, resourceful, knows how to fly a plane and will kick your ass if you mess with her.

4. Rickie Vasquez – My So-Called Life
He is brave, compassionate and protective of his friends, but also has a flare for the dramatic.

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8 of My Favorite 2014 Episodes…

Here are my favorite episodes of television from the past year in no particular order. There is so much good television happening right now, that it took me a while to whittle down this list and I am sure I still forgot a few. I do not think that they are necessarily the BEST episodes from the year, just my favorites. Be forewarned, there are plenty of spoilers ahead.

1. The Good Wife “The Last Call” The death of Will Gardner was this year’s best kept secret and I have only recently started to get over the loss of this character. The episode dealt with the aftermath of that death and the performances were just brilliant. Not only did they kill off this beloved character, but they killed off the notion that a show can not survive without a love story.

2. Playing House “Bosephus and the Catfish” What’s not to love about a woman dressing up like a male trucker to make sure that her brother is not getting catfished by his new internet girlfriend?! I am beyond excited that the USA Network came to their senses and finally renewed this hilarious show! My goal for 2015 is to become best friends with Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair.

3. Orphan Black “Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things” Holy Tilda Swinton, do I love this show! It took me forever to decide which was my favorite episode of season two but I finally settled on this one, mostly because I love watching Vic get beat up. This episode also had lots of Felix and Alison together, as well as Sarah pretending to be Alison pretending to be Donnie, which just makes me so happy.

4. Game of Thrones “The Watchers on the Wall” I loved that this episode focused solely on Jon Snow and the battle between the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings. Even though they are outnumbered, the black brothers must defend Castle Black from Mance Rayder’s massive army, who attack the fortress from the north, while another band of wildlings launches a surprise attack from the south of the Wall. It was epic and made me finally appreciate the amazingness of Kit Harington.

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The Downfall of SAMCRO

About two months ago, a friend sent me a text message that simply said:

“I’ve been thinking, is it possible to trace the downfall of SAMCRO to Juice worrying about himself being part black? At least one of the major plot points that started a snowball of events. Thoughts?”

And I did have some thoughts…

I actually think that the downfall of SAMCRO was jump started by the death of Donna Winston, but was mostly caused by the rape of Gemma Teller and her actions following that event. Gemma’s lies have caused a lot of bad things to happen this season alone, but I believe that if she had not been raped, or had reacted differently to her rape, the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club would not be where they are presently.

It goes without saying that you should not read this if you are not caught up on the most recent episode.

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8 Things For Which I Am Thankful…

Thanksgiving is next week and instead of bringing you a standard list of favorite themed episodes, I thought I would give you my list of television related things for which I am most thankful this year.

1. Generous Friends
This is definitely number one. As a girl on a budget, I cannot always afford to pay for the premium channels or live in a place where I can choose my cable provider, so I have to rely on the generosity of great friends to help get me access to a few of my favorite shows, without which I would not be able to watch things like Outlander or Kingdom.

2. A Darker, Twistier Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I enjoyed the first season, but it did take a little while for them to find their way. They picked up steam at the end of last year and are powering through this season at full speed. The tone is a little darker, which I love, and the character development has been amazing.



3. Kurt Sutter
Sutter and his Sons of Anarchy writer’s continue to blow my mind each week and I cannot believe there are only two episodes left! Although, sometimes I worry about which lines and situations on the show make me laugh. I find Tig’s sense of humor to be totally crazy and sometimes creepy but always hilarious…and that scares me just a little.


4. Jane the Virgin
This is absolutely my favorite new show this fall. It is well-written and funny and I love it more with each episode. Also, for the record, I am on Team Rafael.

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8 Servicemen…

Tuesday was Veteran’s Day, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I, and a day where we remember and thank those who have served in the military. This is my list of my favorite TV servicemen.

1. Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce – M*A*S*H, played by Alan Alda. Hawkeye is a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War and served at the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.



2. The Hill Brothers – Enlisted, played by Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell and Parker Young. Pete is a Staff Sergeant at Fort McGee in Florida where his brothers, Corporal Derrick Hill and Private First Class Randy Hill, are stationed. If you could not tell already, I am *still* not over the cancellation of this show.

3. The A-Team, played by George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Mr. T and Dwight Schultz. This team included Lieutenant Colonel John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, Lieutenant Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck, Sergeant First Class Bosco Albert ‘B.A.’ Baracus and Captain H.M. ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock. After being court-martialed for a crime they did not commit, they became mercenaries and helped people in need.



4. Tim Gutterson – Justified, played by Jacob Pitts. Before becoming a Deputy U.S. Marshall in Lexington, Kentucky, Tim was a U.S. Army Ranger trained sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The sound quality on this video is not great, but I love Tim’s line.


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8 Beards and Mustaches…

I am a big fan of Movember and No-Shave November, especially when guys who do not normally have facial hair grow crazy mustaches to promote men’s health. So in honor of hairy men everywhere, this is my list of male TV characters with the best facial hair. For a couple of the shows, I have more than one character listed because I could not decide whose was the best.

1. Thomas Magnum – Magnum P.I., played by Tom Selleck.
You cannot have a list about facial hair without Tom Selleck. He shaved it at one point and life was not the same, but he is back rockin’ the ‘stache on Blue Bloods.

2. Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen – Deadwood, played by Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane.
Most of the men on this show had pretty great facial hair, but these two were my favorite. Someone needs to bring back the mustache with a soul patch.

3. Jay Kulina – Kingdom, played by Jonathan Tucker.
Jay is a bit of a wild card and I think his facial hair reflects that. The mustache and chin strap combo is a little crazy looking but it totally works for him.

4. Jax Teller, Opie Winston, Bobby Munson, Tig Trager and Chibs Telford – Sons of Anarchy, played by Charlie Hunnam, Ryan Hurst, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates and Tommy Flanagan.
All of these guys have some awesome beards going. Although, it is fun to go back and look at season one when they were a little more clean cut, I definitely prefer their current looks.

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8 Traumatizing Deaths…

There is something you should know about me: I am a crier. I thought about posting clips instead of images to go along with these choices, but I could not even bring myself to re-watch every scene. The current season of Sons of Anarchy is poised to kill off *at least* one major character and I have heard that something major may happen on Parenthood. Every week I mentally prepare myself just in case and I always have tissues ready. They came in handy last week for the unexpected Bones death. With all of that in mind, I decided to create this list of character deaths that have traumatized me.

1. Jenna Sommers – The Vampire Diaries, played by Sara Canning. This show set an early precedent that no one was safe when they killed off Vicki in the seventh episode, but I was still not prepared for Elena to lose both of her parental figures in one episode. John had not really been around that much, but Jenna was the one that took care of Elena and Jeremy day-to-day and she had only just learned of the existence of vampires.



2. Opie Winston – Sons of Anarchy, played by Ryan Hurst. Not only was Opie just a great character but, as my friend Rolee reminded me, he volunteered his death. He knew someone had to die, so he offered his own life to save his friends and help his club.



3. Joyce Summers – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Kristine Sutherland. For this one, it was not so much the death itself that was traumatizing, it was the way Buffy responded to her loss. As the slayer, she was always the one person who could save everyone and this was really the first time that she could not do anything to change what had happened.



4. Catelyn, Robb and Talisa Stark – Game of Thrones, played by Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, and Oona Chaplin. I only read the first book of this series, so I was not at all prepared for the Red Wedding. I knew Robb was supposed to die at the end of the season, but was not expecting the brutality of their deaths. The image of Talisa getting stabbed in the stomach is forever seared in my brain.

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