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Young & Hungry (& Good TV)

Emily Osment stars in Young & Hungry on ABC Family

Emily Osment stars in Young & Hungry on ABC Family

A few months ago on Netflix, I stumbled upon a show called Young & Hungry. I may have skipped over it completely, until I saw that it starred Emily Osment. I always enjoyed her as the sidekick on Hannah Montana (yes, I am an adult who watched Hannah Montana. Deal with it.). I actually always liked her character of Lilly better than Hannah.

I gave Young & Hungry a try, and I am so glad I did. If you are looking for a realistic, deep, intellectual drama… ya, keep walking. But if you just want a little bit of marshmallow fluff to make you smile at the end of a rough day, this show is for you. It is a multi-camera sitcom in the tradition of humor based on misunderstandings, the type that no longer exist on the big 5 television networks. I love that by reading one word in the episode title, I can guess the plot of the whole ensuing episode pretty spot-on. That brings me great joy.

It is the only show that has made me literally laugh out loud in a really long time. And yes, much of the humor is based off of stereotypes, but I think it is done in a way that doesn’t come off as offensive as many other shows.

The basis of the show is that Gabi (Osment) is a young and poor girl who is good at cooking and desperately needs a job. She interviews to be a personal chef for a wealthy, successful tech developer named Josh (Jonathan Sadowski). They discover that they have a bit of chemistry. They sleep together, then realize it is a mistake for several reasons. And then he hires her anyway.

And, that my little friends, is THE PILOT.

Yes, they go THERE in the pilot. The ensuing episodes all have a standalone plot, while the overarching theme of the series is always “When will Gabi and Josh get together as a couple?” Which, unfortunately, is something I totally fall for.

Elliot (Rex Lee) & Yoland (Kim Whitley)

Elliot (Rex Lee) & Yolanda (Kim Whitley)

The supporting cast is great, and one that makes you believe that old sitcom falsehood of “they are all one big, happy family,” even though they bicker with each other. It is a very diverse cast. And the actors mesh together so that I actually believe they might all talk to each other if they were in the real world. There is Kym Whitley playing the strong, outspoken black woman. There is Rex Lee playing the gay Asian who bosses everyone around, but is actually quite insecure when not involved in his job. I LOVE Aimee Carrero as Gabi’s roommate Sophia. She gets some of the best lines.

I loved it when Gabi was going to set up an online dating profile against her wishes and stated that her name, “Sofia Maria Consuela Rafaella Rodriguez,” would be an auto-correct nightmare.

Aimee Carrero as Gabi's roommate Sophia.

Aimee Carrero as Gabi’s roommate Sophia.

I love it when Gabi’s car breaks down, so Josh figures he will remedy the situation by buying her a new used car. And his other employees Yolanda and Elliot are like “What about us? Where are our new cars?

“Or when Gabi thinks she may be pregnant. And she has only slept with Josh. And apparently the only place she can take her preg test is at work at Josh’s apartment?!? Hi-jinks and confusion ensue.

Josh often wears this expression. As if he is frustrated with Gabi, but about to bust out laughing any second. Photo: ABC Family

Josh often wears this facial expression. As if he is frustrated with Gabi, but about to bust out laughing any second. Photo: ABC Family

This show is currently in the middle of its second season on ABC Family. You can check out past episodes on Netflix. And it is a show that, with my brilliant synopsis above, you could join in the fun at anytime. Just know that as the season comes closer to an end, the writers will give you the illusion that Josh and Gabi are getting closer to a real romantic relationship. Then they will find a way to RIP it away from you! (That is what happened at the end of season one, and before the mid-season two hiatus.) But, the show is so cute and funny, you will find that you will come back for more anyway.

Don’t forget I have a NEW CONTEST running where you can win a pair of passes to the GREAT LAKES BOOK BASH October 10th in Kalamazoo, MI. Winner provides own transportation and/or lodging. See contest for complete rules. Hurry! Contest ends September 15, 2015.

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My Latest Obsession: OUTLANDER

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Diana Gabaldon book or Starz television series?

YES.

It is all the fault of the Starz advertising department.

Outlander advertisement featuring Claire and Jamie

Outlander advertisement featuring Claire and Jamie

They plaster my Entertainment Weekly magazine with advertisements for the television series. Last fall, they only let me watch the first episode on their website–that was all.

Wet my appetite, but don’t let me actually binge myself. Aye, tis shameful, it tis.

Don’t they realize I like romance. And time travel. (See my affinity for The Terminator here.) Although not particularly the time periods of 1945 or 1743. Well, 1945 is alright if Kyle Chandler is involved. (See my affinity for ABC’s Homefront here.)

Like an idiot, I liked the Outlander Facebook page. Now I willingly torture myself with advertisements for a show that I do not have the channel to actually watch it on.

I swore I would buy the DVD of Season 1: Volume 1 when it came out. Then I got cheap.

I had had it. I had to consume more of the story of Claire and Jamie.

I asked my asbestos friend who has a large book collection and reads everything if she had a copy of the Outlander book. She did not. At this point, I remembered that my son had forced me to get a library card at Thomas DVD-point a few days prior.

Maybe it would come in handy for me as well!

I asked the librarian if they had the book. I knew they would have it in their collection. I didn’t count on it being checked out. They asked me if I wanted to put a hold on it. Turns out, they had the DVD too! Which is what I really, really actually wanted. Hold them both!

Why the F is Jamie wearing pants?

Why the F is Jamie wearing pants?  He NEVER wears pants.

A secret that isn’t a secret: I prefer television to books. Are you going to come to my house and take away my writers card now? Fine, but purchase one of my books on your way out. If I had been born 20 years later, I would be making my own home TV shows and editing it on a Mac right about now. But, alas, I was not.

A day or two later, I was at the library for their Used Book Sale. I tried to manifest a copy of Outlander. Although I was early to the sale, no such luck.

The next day, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I bought the Outlander book from Target. (Why couldn’t I wait for the library copy? Hello! An active obsession MUST be fed.) Dang thing is huge! I have never read a book that long. I am used to YA books that are around 300 pages that I can read in one night.

Yes, I typically read a single book in a 24hr period. Even if a book isn’t wonderful, I still must press on and find out how it ends. I think I only got 2 hours of sleep when Breaking Dawn came out before finishing it. (Especially when I hit the vampire baby part. Damn.)

I started the book, but couldn’t stop reading it. Historical romance isn’t really my thing, I will be honest. Descriptions of how to make medicines from herbs and put your corset on where keeping me from the parts with Claire and Jamie together that really made the book buzz. So I kept skipping ahead to the parts where together and “together”.

After spending all day Monday reading and not getting a lick of anything done in my house, I had to take drastic measures. On Tuesday, I put the book in the freezer. Not because it was scary, just so that I would quit reading it and get some damn work done!

Friends Trivia: Joey puts scary books in the freezer.

Friends Trivia: Joey puts scary books in the freezer.

But, well, then the library emailed me and said that the DVD WAS IN!

I stayed up until 2:45AM that night watching the first six episodes. Finished the next two episodes (including WEDDING) on Wednesday. And it was GOOD. I especially love that when they were getting married, she realized she didn’t even know his real name. It was a little slow for the first few episodes. I will admit, adding robots with red eyes to the story to liven it up did occur to me. But in the end, they proved unnecessary. And the dialogue was easier to follow than Pride and Prejudice was. Most likely this was because while the Outlander series takes place a long time ago, it was written by a chick in Arizona in the 20th & 21st centuries.

Wedding night jitters?

Wedding night jitters?

Now, to see if I can rewatch all the episodes one more time before the DVD is due back. And I hope I finish reading the book before my obsession subsides. (Unfortunately, I never made it through the eBook of Pride & Prejudice before that happened. But that could just be an eBook thing.) I wonder when I will stop talking like a wee Scotsman, aye?

It is going to be a long time before I get to watch Season 1: Volume 2. *Sigh* Do people start crowdfunding campaigns for such things???

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

What I Learned This Week – 1/19/14

This week I learned that it is easy to become just a statistic.

My asbestos friend used to babysit a little girl after-school everyday.  She was particularly memorable, because she had the same first name as my asbestos friend.

One day she announced, as kids do, “Two people cannot have the same name.  I will call you Frank.”

And the name has stuck.  Many of my asbestos friend’s family members still call her Frank.  And I do too, on occasion.  That was probably another thing in high school that my classmates thought I was weird for, calling her “Frank.”  But it made perfect sense to us.

My mom also happened to work at the same factory where both the parents worked.

The family ended up having a little boy that my friend babysat for as well.

Years later, at my asbestos friend’s wedding, I sat at the same table with the family.  I didn’t know them well, but we all chatted.

So, I casually knew of them.  They were acquaintances.

But it was still very sad to hear that this week the father died at 57 years old from the H1N1 flu.

The little girl that my asbestos friend had babysat for?  According to pictures I see on Facebook, she is expecting her own baby soon.  So sad that her father won’t be around to meet his grandchild.

And now?  His whole life has been reduced to a statistic by the local news.  He lived in Lenawee County.

He is the statistic right at the beginning of the news report.  The rest of the report is about Lucas County, Ohio.

Photo: 13abc.com Click picture for story.

Photo: 13abc.com
Click picture for story.

Clickable link to the same news story: http://www.13abc.com/story/24462839/60-year-old-curtice-man-dies-from-flu

CAKE BOSS Cake!

I just found out they are selling Cake Boss cakes around the country and a store near me carries them! I got a Cake Boss cake for my birthday! (Note: It is Cake Boss brand, and not Carlo’s Bakery:( Website claims it is the same recipe…and hey, it has Buddy on the box!)

Can you say "obsessed"?

Can you say “obsessed”?

A Royal Wedding Teaches Us About Time Zones

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All the media can talk about this week is the upcoming royal wedding. I am not obsessed with it, but I will get up early & watch, just to see the pomp & circumstance of a royal wedding. (or would that be a royal graduation?) I just wish my son was older so that he could be as impressed by William & Kate’s wedding as I was by Charles & Diana’s.

I was 5 when Charles & Diana got married. My mom woke me up in the middle of the night-it seemed like it at 5 years of age-to watch TV, which I did a fair amount of anyway. There were so many things I learned that morning.

I knew that Kings & Queens & Princes & Princesses were in my story books. But I also knew that in the United States of America we did not have a King because they were Old School & mean. I knew that in the USA we had a President as the Head of State. But here on my televison were actual Queens & Princes & a soon to be Princess. They did still exist. It was enough to blow a preschoolers mind.

That was the first time I had any concept of Time Zones. Here it was dark outside my house, yet it was light at the LIVE event happening on TV. On the other side of the world. Like, the sun rotates & when it is dark at my house, it is light in England & the kids are at school & the parents are at work. Trippy.

At that age I knew I lived in a tiny town called Riga in a state called Michigan. I knew that Michigan was one of the fifty states in the United States. But I don’t think I really knew that the world was bigger than the United States & had other countries & continents until that morning. Ya, she had a mega long dress. But I took other things away that day too. I hope some kids watching on Friday realize that the world is bigger than their own neighborhood, as I did.

Years later, I would find out that England, as in “the sun never sets on the British Empire”, is just a small little island.

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