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30 June 2011

MindyTV on WorkingMom Magazine July 2011 Issue

Yes, we got printed!!!! I mean, I wrote a piece for Working Mom Magazine (July 2011, ABS-CBN Publishing) and it has been published. The mag is now at the newsstands. (Php 120, Richard & Lucy cover)


And yes, that's my by-line. That's my given name (Alright, pet name. But that's what everybody calls me.) It's the first and so far, *only*, print publication that I've had the name I go with printed.

I do regularly contribute to another local print TV Magazine. But over there, I go by a different by-line. Just because...

I seldom mention this fact about contributing to TV Guide Philippines (Php 85 at National Bookstore) because I'm not a writer, *writer*.  Because I believe you'd have to be really good (no lapses in tenses, grammar, flow and thought) to call yourself *that*.  If you regularly follow this blog, then you know how flaky I write about stuff sometimes. :P And I bet you didn't know there's such a magazine, hehe.(Our readers are expats, mostly!)

So yes, I earn money from sidelines that have to do with writing.

But my full-time career is as a homemaker. Who is, admittedly, forever glued to the TV. And who endlessly talks about television. (Thus, I gave birth to this blog six years ago. TA-DAH!!)

So...actually being printed in  a major magazine and seeing my by-line there is a HUGE deal!

Thank you so much to Dedet Reyes-Panabi, the talented genius behind Working Mom Magazine (she's the Editor-In-Chief) and her husband, Mel Panabi, for this chance. I was a nervous wreck when Dedet told me about writing a piece for the mag. But she was encouraging, so nice to talk to and was clear about what was needed.

So, here it is...a teeny-weeny milestone for this clicker-hogging, TV-addicted Mom-blogger.

Very, very grateful! =)

Go buy, ha?? :P

24 June 2011

First Thoughts: "SUITS" Partly Franklin & Bash, Partly White Collar

I didn't find Suits interesting the first time I heard it. Nothing about the show's title stood out. I mean, how utterly uncreative would this series be if all the writers could think for a title was "SUITS"?

It also didn't help that none of the two male leads were that appealing. They're generic, I thought. Like any GQ model. In a suit.

So, I watched this show's premiere tonight, not expecting to like it.

And then I ended up enjoying it. I've been raving to friends about it for a full hour.

Suits fits the exact template of every show that airs on USA Network (e.g. Burn Notice, White Collar, Royal Pains), wherein the lead character, who is almost always male, must be:
  • suave and savvy  - check.
  • good looking and presentable - check.
  • an expert in their field - check.
  • witty or snarky - check.
Suits gives us not just one of this, but two.

One is lawyer, Harvey Specter, who is considered as the best Closer in the planet; and the other is a college dropout, Mike Ross, who is....actually full of surprises.

I think that it's Mike Ross' character who stands out and makes this show less generic than I initially thought. See, Mike's got a photographic memory and he uses this to his advantage very well. While he's no Harvard Law graduate, he can easily pass off as one. He's street smart and he's clever. Which is why Harvey was impressed and hired him as his apprentice in the law firm.

Their relationship feels like that of a father and son; of the Jedi and his Padawan; or of Peter Burke and Neil Caffrey (White Collar) and the two hour pilot builds this up really well, it was fun to watch. Their rapport and chemistry transcends on the screen and they balance the whole show evenly.

Less interesting are the cases these lawyers have to try or defend. This week it was about a sexual harassment lawsuit and it had a pretty simple resolution. This show is aired on USA Network after all, where the story is a lot less important and it's the characters that matter.

Suits comes right up there on my list of fun summer shows to watch.

I had been sick today and was supposed to be resting. But Suits was so interesting, I ended up skipping sleep and having fun on my sick bed watching this.

21 June 2011

First Thoughts: FALLING SKIES is definitely familiar

Falling Skies debuted yesterday with almost six million cable viewers. It's so far, the highest rated cable show debut, since last year's Rizzoli & Isles (btw, Season 2 is coming next month!).

The premiere was aired for two hours. Total action involving aliens as a whole took about 10-minutes worth of scenes only. The rest of the time though? There were lots of conversations between characters.

Watching this show just right after I took vitamins that put me to sleep was a mistake. I tried to keep my eyes open, but failed and dozed off. I think I missed a fourth of what this story is about.

That's not to say the show is boring. It probably isn't. I wouldn't really know because I was, uh.... under the influence of Vitamin B12. :P

But what I did get was all those conversations were important to the series premiere. Because Falling Skies takes right in the middle of what has already happened. The conversations were set up to ease us, the viewers, into the premise right away. The episode is told without flashbacks and narration. It's all right there, in the present.

It's been six months and the earth has been invaded by aliens. The human population is trying to survive. These aliens are like descendants of the Terminator. They partly robots. They're equipped with armors and guns. How can humans survive against that?

The central character is a father of two boys. Noah Wylie plays a history teacher, who has to learn how to handle guns and command a small army...because that's what he needs to do to keep his family alive. He's lost his youngest son to the aliens and his eldest saw that youngest brother is still alive.

And this is where the heart of the show is.

Falling Skies, more than anything, is a story about survival; of a father desperate to save and keep his children safe.

This series brings something very, very familiar. It's actually like watching The Walking Dead, War of The Worlds, Terminator, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica combined.

The first two hours feel longer than it should, and I blame that on my meds. I really have to watch the next episode with eyes open wide. But I did read somewhere that the series gets more exciting as the episodes unfold. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The other thing to note about this show is its special effects. It's definitely so much more than I've expected. I feel like it should be shown on IMAX. That's how amazing the visuals were (of course, it's Steven Spielberg's team!).

19 June 2011

Don Draper's Letter To His Wife, Betty

Dear Betty,

I'm sitting in the Roosevelt looking at the backs of Bobby and Sally's heads as they watch TV. I'm not letting them change the channel because watching the news makes me sick and they can see it.

I think about you and how I behaved and my regret. I know it's my fault that you are not here right now. I think about tomorrow where you'll be and the day after that as well.

I understand why you feel it's better to go on without me and I know that you won't be alone for very long, but without you I'll be alone forever.

I love you,
Don

And even after that, they still went on with a divorce in the 3rd season.

Yes, I'm catching up on Mad Men.

Yes, I'm a couple of years late.

And yes, the show is good.

09 June 2011

New Show Alert: Friends With Benefits

Dunno much about this series, except that I heard it was dead. Which means, it's probably not that good.

But it's not really dead. Because NBC will be burning off its episodes this June, in back-to-back airing (2 episodes per week).

Which still means it's bad.


It looks like any million other TV shows that revolve around friendship and dating. Here's the synopsis:

Ryan Hansen, Danneel Harris, Zach Cregger, Andre Holland and Jessica Lucas star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based series, about a group of twenty-something singles as they navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating. Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are the co-creators while Ira Ungerleider, David Dobkin, Jeff Kleeman and Brian Grazer are among the executive producers.

Oooops, familiar name: Ira Ungerleider. She was one of the writers on F*R*I*E*N*D*S!

I have no high hopes for this series. NBC is really just airing something that they've paid money for and the chances of it earning a Season 2 is 0.

Still, USA's SummerTV picks are few and I've got the time to watch this, so I'm gonna.

Check the teaser here.

07 June 2011

First Thoughts: SWITCHED AT BIRTH

We actually beat US television by a decade because the premise of babies being switched at birth --- where one is raised by the rich, and the other grew up poor --- has been the premise of local TV's most successful drama series. The show is called Mara | Clara. But the similarities to Switched At Birth ends there.

And although this is a drama series, it has its light, heartwarming moments. Watching Switched At Birth is like watching Seventh Heaven or Life Unexpected. (Sidebar: Gilmore Girls, says TVLine)

Bay, the privileged one, discovers that her blood type doesn't match any of her parents. In a matter of minutes, (Sidebar: yes, the pilot's pacing is really fast!) she comes face to face with this girl Daphne and her mom, who is actually Bay's biological mom.

We also find out that Daphne is deaf. (Sidebar: the actress playing her, Katie Leclerc, developed a disease that is slowly taking away her ability to hear).  Daphne developed meningitis when she was a toddler. One of her friends pointed out, if she weren't switched at birth and had lived with her real parents --- who have tons of money by the way --- she wouldn't have gone deaf.

We also learn that Bay, who has been secretly spray-painting beautiful graffiti on neighbors' walls and gates, inherited her real mom's artistic streak. She is partly Puerto-Rican...and all along her parents thought she looked different because of their French heritage.

Anyway, conflict erupts in the first episode, which is rather expected because...what good would watching a show be if there aren't any problems? The conflict --- however simple it should go, I mean if this were real life ---  is a necessary introduction. It's there to show us the strengths and weaknesses of the characters.

And from this, I could easily draw out that the girls are exactly who their mothers are:
  • Daphne (red-head) is level-headed just like her biological Mom, Kathryn (played by Lea Thompson). She is more mature than Bay, despite being of the same age. However, Daphne also has this rebellious streak in her. The deaf girl listens to hardcore music and dates a guy in bike. I think that's partly because of the way her (non-bio) mom has raised her. 
  • Bay (brunette) is a free-spirit, just like her biological Mom, Regina (played by Constance Marie). Growing up privileged and rich, she has the best of everything and may come off as a brat. But she loves her (non-bio) parents and has a good relationship with her (non-bio) mother, who keeps her grounded and centered. 

I'm liking Daphne better, and only because her character has been unwrapped faster than Bay's. The actress playing Daphne is effective, too. Bay, on the other hand, I suspect has many layers we should be discovering in the next episodes.

Between the mothers, I can't pick who I like better for now. I love Regina's sassy attitude, while I also like Kathryn's soccer-mom, take-charge vibe.

Switched At Birth is recommended summer viewing for families and mothers. I think I've found my new guilty pleasure this season. The show airs on ABC Family.