Friday, October 3, 2008

Gluten-Free in Pittsburgh

I am in Pittsburgh for the weekend visiting my old roommate and was shocked upon heading to the grocery store and finding a whole gluten-free section! I bought the Cherrybrook Kitchen mini chocolate chip cookies, which I hadn't tried before, and turns out they are quite yummy. I'm glad to see the gluten-free products spreading throughout the country. In fact, October is Celiac Awareness month. More to come!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Fall TV Report Card

I realized the other day that I watch a lot of TV. Whether it's on my way to and from work on my little iPhone screen, or on a Saturday morning catching up on the DVR, I basically watch the majority of scripted shows on television today. (I have tried to eliminate the majority of my reality TV, but cannot give up on Project Runway, Top Chef (when it returns in NEW YORK!!!), Intervention, or, ahem, The Hills (I know). So now that most shows are back in our living rooms (save 30 Rock til October, sigh) it's about time I give you my opinions on them. Because, let's face it -- there's a good chance I watch more TV than you and your friends....combined.


  • Gossip Girl (A-): Is it just me, or does this show get better and better with each episode. Ever since Blair screamed "Oh my effing god," I knew this season has perfectly combined their clever media savviness with their guilty-pleasure drama. With Serena and Dan finally broken up, we can see Serena for who she truly is (well, anything but a whiner please) and the will-they-won't-they Chuck and Blair storyline is enough to keep me tuning back week after week.
  • How I Met Your Mother (A): I'm so glad this show has finally gotten the publicity it deserves (even if we had to watch Britney Spear's stoic performance to get it). Barney's realization he's in love with Robin could have been forced, but NPH plays it off with such style that we can do nothing but cheer him on. This week's hamburger episode was a cute ode to New York, and even incorporated another silly guest star (Regis) in a great way. Please watch this show so it doesn't get canceled!
  • Heroes (C+): Anything after last season was going to be a great improvement, and the two hour premiere's pace was definitely back Season 1's standard. With some silly story lines in the way (Suresh, ugh, Hiro, please) we're still getting some jampacked drama and comedy thanks to Sylar and Noah Bennett (even if this week's buddy cop drama was cheesy). I think the writers need to throw out the "Save the world" aspect of the show (it's been done...twice) and focus on the characters that we all know and love. Hey, even Nikki became interesting!
  • Weeds (B+): I had my doubts at the start of the season. The move from Agrestic could only mean jump the shark terriority, right? Wrong. Instead we delved deep (and deeper) into border smuggling with Nancy taking a harsh and real look at her role as a mother, and a drug dealer, and how she can possibly still teach right and wrong. The last episode may have been a shocker, but I suspect Mrs. Botwin may just be saving her ass one more time. That girl is sneaky, and I love it.
  • Intervention (A): This show has the power to ultimately make me cry and feel better about my life. What more could you ask for? This isn't your cookie cutter reality TV, this is heartbreaking and almost too real at times for me to digest. I've noticed that this season almost all of the subjects have come out on top in the end, even for the lowest of all lows (did you see the one with the girl sucking on the dust-off? Jeez.) I guess they know we're suckers for a happy ending.
  • The Hills (C): I wish I could stop watching this show. I wish Heidi would break up with Spencer. I wish Heidi's mom would be on the show more. And I wish LC would stop thinking everyone in her life (because of this show) is out to get her. And that is why this show is so popular, because we care, even when absolutely nothing happens in the 30 minutes we watch it every week. I wish I could stop! Maybe I need an Intervention, heh, heh...get it.
  • House (B+): It's not easy keeping this show fresh. The writers knew this last season when they though throwing in a bunch of new characters would create a new game for our favorite TV Doctor. It did, and I found it quite successful (although fans are complaining about the lack of Cameron and the Australian guy). Last season's finale was one of the most interesting house on TV (other than on Lost) and so far this season we've seen House try and deal with the aftershock. The rumored Cuddy/House romance hopefully wont ruin this consistently interesting show (even if all patients do have seizures!)
  • Fringe (B): I love me some J.J. Abrams. I've loved and obsessed about every show he's done and was not going to stop here. Sure, the story lines are ridiculous. But this is TV people. It's supposed to be ridiculous and entertaining. Combine that with the undeniable attraction of Pacey Witter (or whatever his name on this show is) and you have a pretty solid doubleheader from FOX. Keep up the pace, J.J.
  • Greek (B): I started watching this show on reruns during the summer and it was easy to get caught up in the lives of this sorority and fraternity peeps. I never got to experience the Greek life at NYU, and probably wouldn't had I gone to some other school, but the dramedy and freshness of these story lines make for a fun show. This season we've seen Frannie move in on Evan Chambers (ugh), Cappie break up with Rebecca (yay!) and Casey get a new man. I quite like the new guy, even if he does cry, but I'm still holding out for a Cappie/Casey moment by season's end. Please? Pretty please?
  • The Secret Life Of The American Teenager (D): I can't believe I watched this show.
  • 90210 (F): Ditto on above. I gave up after one episode. I'd rather have my fond memories of the Peach Pit, thank you very much.
  • Project Runway (B+): I hate to admit that I liked Kenley at the beginning (I'm a sucker for that 50's retro look) and now she's the spawn of the devil. Only on reality TV can be begin to love and hate someone within the span of one season, with their combattive claws coming out for the love of fashion. While some of the challenges have been boring (Olympics, yawn) the drama and clothes have more than made up for it. My money is on Korto, although I'd be happy with Leanne or Jerell as well. Just get Kenley out of there, stat!
  • Lipstick Jungle (B-): I just watched this entire first season last week (there were only 8 episode, ok?) in time to catch the season premiere. Frankly, this show is definitely not as bad as I originaly thought. There's clever writing and above decent acting, it's almost like a hour long version of Sex And The City without showing any of the sex (but they get pretty close). I give props to this season's premiere, showing a more realistic side of death, with Neko coming to grasp how to mourn a husband who was planning to leave. Now I hope she can have some fun with Kirby. And please don't let Andrew McCarthy go!
  • The Office (A): Man, I just love this show. From the smallest one-liners ("That wasn't a tape worm) to the big moments (holy crap Jim and Pam!) this show encompasses everything I love of TV. Characters I want to tune into week after week and that warm fuzzy feeling when Standley fist-pumps in the air. Even Andy got me teary-eyed. Here's to many more laughs, and many more episodes to come.
  • Grey's Anatomy (C): I told myself that I was going to give up on this show. I'd had enough. The story lines kept recycling, Meredith kept whining, and the Office and 30 Rock should be the only show allowed during the 9 o'clock hour. And yet this morning I found myself downloading the two-hour premiere onto my iPhone and crying on the ferry to work. What is it with this show? Bernadette Peters in a fairy-costume and an icicle falling into Yang? Pul-eeze. But I must admit that I'm sorta glad that Mer and Der are finally together, and think that Lexie and George are cute. Sigh. We'll see about this one.
  • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (A-): This show has definitely filled the void felt by the departure of Arrested Development. It's out-there comedy definitely brings on the laughs and the more ridiculous this show gets, the more daring and creative the writers seem to get. There just are no boundaries here, as we've already discussed canabolism in the first episode. It seems like the popularity of this show is growing, so hopefully FX will keep it on for a few more seasons. I'm a little bit scared, however, at how far they'll go!
  • Mad Men (A+): I was a bit late to the Mad Men train, having watched the entire first season this summer after hearing all the accolades. Well, they didn't lie. What is undoubetly one of the best new shows of the last few years, Mad Men sucks us into another world and time where we can't help but love to hate and hate to love the incredibly complex Don Draper. While the pace is slow, it does give us time to oogle over the costumes and sets and it's fantastic ability to intertwine real-life events with this fictional show. I'm so glad that Betty finally got a backbone this season, but I fear the result once Don decides he's either coming home or not. Such drama, and so classy.
  • Dexter (B-): I declared this show my favorite show of 2007, and I'm glad to see that more of my friends have picked up on this amazing piece of work. However, I'm a bit skeptical on this season, thanks to the curve-ball ending that way too many TV shows are victim of. I found it interesting that the writers have now officially moved away from the books the series is based on, and the territory is now unknown. Here's hoping they don't screw this up.
  • Entourage (B-): Last season was a snoozefest, but I've found myself remembering why I liked this show so much in the past. Sure, it's no surprise that Vinnie will have to work his way back up to the top (as does the show) but Drama's story line, and even E growing a pair of balls (kinda) has marked for a good time. And hey, Piven never disappoints so at least we have that!
  • Brothers & Sisters (C): I watched the premiere of this season last night and was bored. This is one show that is victim of the series cancellation on my DVR, and frankly last night did nothing to convince me otherwise. We get it -- the family is disfunctional. Now let's move on and get some real story lines, okay? The prospect of yet another illegitamate Walker is not what I wanted.
(FYI: Shows that haven't yet premiered that I plan to watch: 30 Rock, Lost, 24, Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money)

So there we have it! What are you watching? Do you agree/disagree with my grades? Should I cancel Grey's, The Hills, or B&S? What should I be watching instead?

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