review

How to Get Away with Murder Recap: He Has A Wife

Hey, I wrote this—again!

The Stake

how-to-get-away-with-murder-he-has-a-wife

by Miles Behn

Last night’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder was three parts disaster, two parts forced drama, and five parts snooze fest. Literally, the case of the week was a woman who murdered her kids’ nanny while sleepwalking.

Welcome to unfettered Shonda Rhimes, where the science only sort of matters. What’s next? An extra chromosome means you’re a vampire? Is that you, Stephanie Meyer?

Last week we left our heroes in the heat of sweeps drama. Wes and Rebecca fleshed out their young adult novel romance (heightened stakes, long stares, sex that just seems to mean bonded-for-eternity), Frank and Laurel also made poor decisions on the porch (I mean, really guys, splinters?), and we found out that Mr. Darcy is pretty against birth control. Also on the docket: Michaela’s served a pre-nup from her fiancée’s family, and Rebecca is in cahoots with Annalise’s scorned ex-lover.

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How to Get Away with Murder Recap: He Deserved to Die

Do you watch How to Get Away with Murder? Because I do, and I wrote this article, and you should read it. Just saying.

The Stake

KATIE FINDLAY

by Miles Behn

There are few things I love more than the first season of a Shonda Rhimes TV show. I jumped right on board with Grey’s Anatomy in high school, crowding around the TV with my sisters, shouting and crying at the cliffhangers, medical drama, and sordid love affairs. A few years ago I fell into the black hole of Scandal, surprised and moved by Rhimes’ remarkable cast of strong women, and well-rounded statements about gender politics (I may or may not have cried during Olivia’s “earn me” speech).

Suffice it to say, I have my tent stakes firmly planted in Camp Rhimes. When I heard Rhimes was creating another show for ABC, this one starring the incredible Viola Davis, and appropriately named How to Get Away with Murder, I knew I had to watch it. It’s wonderful to watch Rhimes’ characters in their first…

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2014 Fall TV Round-Up: Pt 1

If you haven’t caught on yet, I watch a lot of TV. I’ll give just about any show a chance if enough people are talking about it, or if the fandom is crazy/adorable. But it’s more than just critical acclaim and good fans—I want shows that are smart, witty and well-scripted, shot and acted. I want shows that are original and culturally aware. They don’t all have everything, but if I’m ditching one thing (like acting), it better be worth it for something else (cultural commentary)—ie, Teen Wolf*. I like shows that push the envelope and encourage its viewers to do more than just zone. If a show is making me think, I’m on board.

Here’s my scale:

1 – Miserable, don’t even think about it/talk about it. Don’t feed the ratings in any way. (Two and a Half Men)

2 – Meh, I won’t watch it again, but I can see its appeal. (Once Upon a Time)

3 – Maybe? I’ll give it a few more episodes. (Agents of SHIELD, pre-giant plot twist)

4 – Memorable, I might not tell everyone to watch it, but I’ll keep watching. (Teen Wolf)

5 – Magnificent! Everyone should watch this show. I won’t stop talking about it until you do! (Hannibal)

Here’s my Fall TV Round-Up so far:

Meh.

1. Gotham

Fox, Mondays 8/7c

I really wanted to like this show. It has so much going for it. In the wake of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Gotham attempts to dive into the seedy side of the Batman universe. But ultimately, the script isn’t strong enough to carry the weight of the plot and world. Lines like “if you let this hair go frizzy, you’ll be sorry,” and “one of my staff has been stealing money from me so we’re beating his punk ass” build a villain (Fish Mooney) who is forced and unbelievable. The sets are quite stunning, but characters walking on them are flat and one-dimensional. So far, I’m not rooting for anybody, certainly not Gordon, who I am supposed to like on morals alone.

Episodes I’ll Give It: 2-3

Rating: 2.5

Culture: There is one moment where you wonder if a female character has had a girlfriend in the past, and it could play out to be a successful bisexual character on TV. Or it could just be ridiculous fodder for romantic drama later. It also deals with the issue of a corrupt police force, but I highly doubt it will do anything important with that platform.

Should You Watch It: People are going to be talking about this show, so it will come up around the water cooler. It’s worth watching the first episode, to see if you can stomach it.

Prediction: The show will be quite popular, and hopefully grow into itself. Definitely picked up for another season, but unless a new batch of writers are hired, will peter out in its second arc.

Glee in a hospital.

2. Red Band Society

Fox, Wednesdays 9/8c

I’m on the fence about this show. It’s sort of like if The Fault in Our Stars had a baby with Glee. Teen drama in a hospital. Cancer kids. Eating disorders. Sexual tension abounds! The problem with heartstring shows like this is they often overdose you with emotional baiting. At any moment, the writers can decide to wake up the boy in the coma, or send someone in for emergency surgery to bump ratings. I don’t know if I trust this show to create memorable characters that I care about, and not just drama and tears. So far, everyone is either way too likable or way too unlikable. I expect the show to flesh out a bit more, but with the suspense of “cancer” always waiting in the wings, I worry no one will feel real for long.

Episodes I’ll Give It: 5-6

Rating: 3

Culture: Recreational drug use and underaged drinking, but these kids have cancer, so it’s excusable? Possible lesbian character development. May explore issues of race, but not a high POC line-up.

Should You Watch It: Again, this is a water cooler show. While I’m wary of the plot devices, I think most people will enjoy the drama.

Prediction: This is the new Grey’s Anatomy. It will run for too many seasons, and by the end, have an entirely new cast who can’t support the original intent of the show.

Shonda Rhimes is a powerhouse.

3. How to Get Away with Murder

ABC, Thursdays 10/9c

I have to admit, I’m already predisposed to love Shonda Rhimes. I think she creates brilliant characters and solid tension. Her female heroines are unapologetic, complex women, who are real people with real faults. I guessed going into the episode, that I would likely enjoy How to Get Away with Murder. I’m definitely intrigued by the set up. As of the first episode, the plot seems to be pushing a bit harder than it ought to (like an extra character), but I think it will settle out soon. I’m slightly worried that the high tension of the pilot might force the show to juggle too many dramatic devices (law school, murder, adultery), but again I’m trusting this was just to pull viewers in. Already, I love the characters (with Viola Davis and Aja Naomi King bringing brilliant performances), and I’m enjoying the moral conflict.

Episodes I’ll Give It: full season

Rating: 4.5

Culture: I expect we’ll discuss race in the show a few times, so I’m intrigued by that platform. There is also a gay character, and it comes out of nowhere. It’s well played. Hell yes, screw your heteronormativity!

Should You Watch It: Yes! It’s got believable characters, strong women, and witty law school banter! Plus, I expect copious amounts of sexual tension will arrive soon.

Prediction: The show will get picked up for a second season, but might struggle to find a third. I’ll stop watching around the end of season two, middle of three if it stays on air. I love Shonda Rhimes, but even I have to admit that her shows can sometimes cave in on themselves quickly (I’m looking at you Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal).

Close, but no.

4. Scorpion

CBS, Mondays 9/8c

This is clearly CBS’s star player this season. The pilot is packed—driving a Ferrari at 200 mph, hacking the LA traffic grid to get to an airport, LAX software meltdown, threatening the lives of 54 planeloads of people. Unfortunately, it’s too much. The premise of the show is cool enough. Four highly intelligent people (marketed as “nerds save the world” EYE ROLL) are drafted by the United States government to solve highly complex problems. The characters are great, and the show is almost nothing but tension (I bit my fingernails through the entire pilot). But I expect it won’t be able to hold up to a full season. The one normal person on the show (Paige, a waitress) is a bit too damsel in distress-y, and is given the job of “translator” for these gifted people. Meh.

Episodes I’ll Give It: Maybe a second, but probably not.

Rating: 2

Culture: Prevalence of POC as main characters, which is pretty awesome. Female mechanic is witty and rugged, but that could backfire quickly. Might deal with social stigmas associated with high intelligence, but I doubt in a meaningful way.

Should You Watch It: I expect the show will end up feeling like a procedural, so if you’re into that, it might be for you. Don’t get too attached though, I don’t think it will get a second season.

Prediction: Will develop a small but mighty fanbase, but will unfortunately not get picked up for a second season.

What are you watching? Tell me your favorite new shows in the comments!

*I have to admit, for all the raving I’ve done about Teen Wolf’s cultural commentary, it has fallen off the wagon a bit recently. I suppose nothing gold can stay.

Diversity in Young Adult Lit: Why You Should Go See “The Maze Runner”

Let me say this before we get started: I quite openly disliked The Maze Runner book. I found the characters boring, the excessive infodumping cumbersome, and the style somewhat lacking. The book didn’t keep me engaged, I wasn’t rooting for anyone. But the plot (which, I’d argue, works better as a screenplay) originally pulled me in.

We start with a boy riding in a freight elevator, with no memory of anything that has come before. When he reaches his destination, a large group of 12-18 year old boys stare down at him. Our hero, confused and overwhelmed, runs from the group, only to discover he won’t be running far. He’s in his new home, “The Glade:” a giant field surrounded by high cement walls. Outside the Glade is a massive maze, about five stories tall and ever-changing. Each morning the boys send out Runners to map the maze, and search for a way out. No one has any memory of what happened before the freight elevator (save their names), and they’ve been trying to find the exit to the maze for three years.

The movie takes this plot and soars with it. The story builds itself on action-packed scenes and big surprises—which translate to tight camera angles, tons of night filters, and a healthy dose of dramatic music. But none of these individual parts feel overwhelming (it doesn’t get campy or silly), they just play with already well-created, tense scenes. And the plot is pulled out neatly, if somewhat quickly, as the tension of the changing maze begins to effect the group.

Where in the book the characters often became interchangeable and forgettable, the actors bring life to these boys. Dylan O’Brien creates a brave and thoughtful Thomas, and Aml Ameen shows us a wise, but fraught Alby. And our resident villain, Gally (played by Will Poulter, sniveling Eustace in The Chronicles of Narnia movies) is fleshed out and deliberate—he is more than just the bad guy, but rather a confused, if somewhat bull-headed, young man. What’s more is that the interactions with these boys is familial, but strained—think Lord of the Flies without devolving into chaos. Each of the actors (including the smaller roles) flesh out a group of boys desperately trying to be men in this new world they’ve been tossed into.

Finally, my favorite thing about this movie: the diverse cast. In the book, James Dashner makes a point of telling the reader the race of each of the boys. It doesn’t effect their personalities much (seeing as how they have no memories), but it does say something purposeful about the society they’ve built for themselves in the Glade—they are all equal. What’s more, it gives us diverse faces in the often very white world of young adult literature.

I don’t know whether to credit Denise Chaiman (the casting director) or Wes Ball (the director), but after the disaster with The Hunger Games, it’s refreshing to see a movie adaption that hasn’t been whitewashed. Aml Ameen does an incredible job as the group’s leader (Alby), and Ki Hong Lee is charming as Minho. On top of that, a diverse cast of extras fill out the Glade—again, something not even The Hobbit can apparently pull off well. In these minority roles are mostly unknown actors, giving them a jumpstart for their careers.

Going to see this movies means speaking to Hollywood the only way they will listen: with your money. By supporting this film, we can say “Hey, I like this movie with its diverse cast and new actors. And look! There isn’t even any sexualization of anyone in this film! I want to see more movies like this!” The Maze Runner could be the start of some big changes we can effect in the movie industry, if we show them what we want. It’s not only a smart, fun action movie, but it is a platform for diversity. Now, let’s support it.

The Maze Runner opened everywhere Friday, September 19th. Check fandago.com for local movie times.

A Weekend in Cincy

One of the great things about being alive in 2014 is that almost every city has a nice little hipster community. To be young and informed in this age means that local breweries, restaurants built on juxtapositions and high-end cafes are your stomping grounds. And smart venture capitalists help these niche shops, because good beer and good food are essential to 20-somethings.

This weekend I visited my sister in Cincinnati, a city in the stream of upcoming hipsterdom. At the heart of culture is Over-The-Rhine, right in downtown, Cincy’s response to New York’s Greenwich Village, Minneapolis’ Uptown. It has everything a young 20-something likes a mid-size city: good culture and better beer. Here are a few of my favorites parts.

Findlay Market:

Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine (OTR) district, Findlay Market is charming and memorable. Inside the market, butchers display prime cuts of meat alongside local gelato and cheeses. Outside booths sell produce and plants, even candles and ceramics. Just past the booths, established shops help the culture thrive—a tea shop (Churchill’s Fine Teas) and a wine bar (Market Wines) to name a few. The market is open most days from 9AM to 6PM. Check online for more details.

Rhinegeist Brewery:

A few blocks away from Findlay Market sits a fairly new brewery: Rhinegeist. A giant, open-air environment makes Rhinegeist part frat house, part high-end brewery. On a Saturday afternoon young kids ran screaming past (families welcome) and 20-somethings played cornhole by giant murals by local artists. Long community tables somehow made the brewery friendly and intimate.

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On top of that, Rhinegeist has some great beer. Their seasonal IPA (Saber Tooth Tiger) is hoppy, but not overpowering. The Oktoberfest (Franz) is also a strong contender, sweet and smooth. They do well in the midwest, a land known for its high-quality local beers. For a fairly new brewery, Rhinegiest certainly knows its market.

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Senate:

Finally, on the trip around OTR, we landed at Senate, a new eatery specializing in foodie hotdogs. As a five-year vegetarian, I sort of feared this place. While they have a handful of vegetarian options, most places are skittish about substituting. Thankfully, Senate is not one of those places. Vegetarians need not fear this hotdog king—a good selection of signature hotdogs can be made with veggie dogs. I wound up with Una Nocha Con Nick Lachey (the Lachey brothers are local Cincy celebrities), and I couldn’t be happier. Gourmet hotdogs are just as good as you think they’re going to be.

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Obviously, Cincinnati has so much more to offer. The great thing about downtown is that it appears to reinvent itself often, opening new shops, restaurants and breweries often. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a trip. If you love good food, good culture and great beer, it’s the city for you.

Do you have any good local eats/drinks? Let me know in the comments!

Your Next Binge Watch: Teen Wolf

It has a beautifully campy premise: not-so-popular lacrosse player (Tyler Posey) and bumbling best friend (Dylan O’Brien) wander into the forest at night. Not-so-popular boy gets bitten by some strange animal (THERE HAVEN’T BEEN WOLVES IN CALIFORNIA IN 30 YEARS, SCOTT), and slowly discovers he’s turning into a werewolf—terrible sideburns and all.

As a loose remake of the 1980s movie of the same name, Teen Wolf greatly surpasses the original (which, I’ll admit, I haven’t seen), except, perhaps in the make-up department.

Is there a word to describe something well past mutton chops?

The first season is corny and hard to watch at times (some of the acting is far lower than subpar), but an appreciation of Dylan O’Brien (the bumbling best friend, Stiles), the on-point plot pacing, and the copious amounts of teen drama make it worth the watch.

In the vein of Gossip Girl, Teen Wolf is fleshed out with a painfully beautiful cast–many of them insistent on taking off their shirts more than once an episode. (Just to give you a hint as to how often, when you google image search Derek Hale—one of the characters—the first google autocomplete is “Derek Hale shirtless.”)

See what I mean?

Thankfully the beautiful cast can hold their own(ish–I really can’t handle Tyler Posey’s acting), and the smart writing keeps them pretty well afloat. Unlike a lot of other shows on TV right now, Teen Wolf is insistent on challenging many pre-conceived notions and stereotypes, attempting to build real people. The most popular girl in school and rich bitch (a main character) is also the smartest. The captain of the lacrosse team (also a main character) is both a jackass and best friends with the resident gay character, who is never once made less for his sexuality. An entire family of werewolf hunters have been built on a matriarchal system, and gender is never considered a detriment to one’s abilities. On top of that, sexual orientation is rarely dismissed as comical, every character is confident in his or her own and how it relates to others. Teen Wolf is wickedly smart—it recognizes that on an MTV platform it has the power to direct the conversation of teens, and it uses it (for the most part) well.

As for plot, the show can hold tension, knowing when to give out information, and when to leave the audience guessing. Plot arcs feel real and well-paced, and the teen drama makes way for infinite subplots that are somehow both indulgent and interesting. Like many shows about the supernatural emotions are heightened to an insane degree, but thankfully Teen Wolf knows how to balance chaos and loss with humor and truth. Perhaps too often they skate quickly by loss (people don’t die AS often as a Whedon show, but they die pretty often), but many shows suffer a similar fate.

The world Davis has created feels real enough, and like a Whedon show, it’s hard to tell where actual mythology and show mythology separate. The lore is well-researched and well-used. On more than one occasion it’s used as dues ex machina, but for the most part it’s smart and plays well into the plot.

Finally, since we are talking about an MTV show, Teen Wolf has a stellar track list. Each episode is set to a spectacular soundtrack filled with new songs from up-and-coming artists in a vast range of genres. The placement is great, usually laid to invoke emotion, but not cheaply. It is a powerhouse of upbeat, pump-up music and thoughtful, sad, teen drama sap. It’s one of the show’s greatest strengths, and I’ve found more than one of my new favorite artists from them (BANKS. I LOVE YOU BANKS).

Teen Wolf certainly isn’t perfect. The characters are often too clever and too lucky, and some plots can quickly resolve without much tension. But at it’s fourth season, Teen Wolf has been able to hold some great tension all the way from the first episode. It’s well-written and quite funny. It teaches you to love the characters, to root for them when the going gets tough, to rejoice with them when they defeat the big bad. Should it win an Emmy? Probably not. But is it fun to watch several episodes in a row? AwwoOOOOOooooOOOOOoooo!

Teen Wolf seasons 1-3 are streaming for free with Amazon Prime. Current episodes (airing now on MTV, Monday nights at 10/9 c) can be watched on Hulu+ or MTV.com (released on a delayed weekly basis).

Do(n’t) Buy: Pirelli Tires

I’m a dork when it comes to cars–or perhaps, more accurately, I like pretending I’m a dork when it comes to cars. Raised by a father whose prized possession was his leased BMW with custom plates, I grew up in a household that believed cars to be a form of social status. If you owned a nice car, it meant you lived well, if you took care of it, it meant you valued your possessions, and if you knew how to drive you were close to being James Bond. My siblings used to play the game “guess the car make and model” on road trips. When I was 11 my dream car was (and still is) a 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang (also known as “Eleanor” in that ridiculous, Nicolas Cage film Gone in Sixty Seconds).

Unfortunately I didn’t learn much about the inner workings of cars. I know how to take care of one for the first 100,000 miles, but after that, I don’t have a clue how to maintain it. That beautiful vintage Mustang would be wasted on me.

The after effects of my childhood are still present though–since I know a decent amount about cars, I give off the vibe that I know more than I do. So, with that confession on the table, let’s chat about tires. I am by no means an expert, but I drive aggressively enough that I have used these tires to a high potential.

When I first realized I had to change my tires on my car I was 19. I was poor and lazy, so I bought the step-above-cheapest pair on TireRack.com. I’m fairly certain they were Yokohama tires, and while I didn’t much care about road noise, they weren’t exactly great in winter. My tiny 2007 Toyota Yaris Hatchback became a roller skate on the icy roads. I had little traction, and was terrified to drive when the weather was bad.

Two summers ago I decided to change brands, opting instead for Pirelli tires. Again I bought them from TireRack.com. The great thing about buying tires online is that it cuts out the middle man. You pay a cheaper rate, ship them to a certified TireRack installer (I usually pick Goodyear stores), and pay a flat rate to have your tires put on. It’s usually MUCH cheaper than buying them from an auto service provider.

My Pirelli P4 Four Season tires are thebomb.com. Like the Yokohamas, they’re not great in terms of road noise, but for the performance, I’ll take the rumble on the highway. For one of the worst winters on record in Minneapolis (where our DoT had to take blow torches to the road to get rid of icy spots), these babies didn’t get me stuck once. I live in an apartment downtown with only street parking, and occasionally the plows would plow in my car. After a bit of digging (the Yaris isn’t exactly a four-wheel-drive winter road beast), the Pirellis pulled out, no questions asked. Like any other all-season tires, they took a combination of quality performance and good driving to be reliable. I’m not saying I didn’t slide on the roads in winter, or that I could slam on the brakes and they’d stop dead on an ice patch. But with the Yokohamas I got stuck in snow drifts quite often. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Pirellis. If I get another set for the Yaris, I’ll stick with them.

If you’ve noticed that you’re not getting traction you’d like in your vehicle, keep in mind that you should be changing your tires every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Cars with smaller wheel wells, like the Yaris, should be changed on the lower end of that spectrum (since they’re rotating at a higher rate than larger wheels–they hit the surface of the road more often). In places like New York, where I grew up, we had state mandated annual inspections to check on things like tire wear. Other states, like Minnesota, don’t always have these inspections, so it may have never occurred to your to change your tires. While the service isn’t exactly cheap, $400 is a low cost to feel safer on the road.

TireRack’s system asks for the year, make and model of your vehicle, and occasionally asks for wheel well size, so be sure to have your manual handy. They’re great about showing you the closest location to drop off your car, and most of their tires come with a warranty (something I have yet to explore). Usually the whole process take a little over a week (from ordering them online to getting them installed).

As always, I’m not a licensed professional, these are just my opinions and experiences with Pirelli tires. If you have any suggestions about your own tire experiences, I’d love to hear.

Now go watch Gone in Sixty Seconds. It’s actually a really good movie, guys. 

Your Next Binge Watch: Supernatural

I watch a lot of TV. I mean, a lot. I used to find shame in finishing a season of an American television drama in under a week, but now… it’s just part of who I am. Stop ending episodes on cliffhangers if you want me to have a normal life (I’m looking at you True Blood). If only it were the 90s again and television wasn’t as great as it is now.

There are a lot of good TV shows out there. Let me help you sort out the madness. Let me tell you about the wonders of Supernatural.

Supernatural follows the lives of two “hunter” brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, as they eradicate the world of ghosts, poltergeists, demons, witches–anything supernatural is game in this show (and let me reinforce–ANYTHING). After the mysterious disappearance of their father (also a hunter–FAMILY BUSINESS), the boys team up after years of estrangement to find him.

Like any good character-driven show (ahem, Buffy), the first season of Supernatural is campy and can quickly turn you off. If you’ve ever tried to get a friend to watch the reboot of Doctor Who, you’ve most certainly uttered the phrase “just get through the first season, I PROMISE it gets better.” (No hate to Christopher Eccleston–I love the first series, but I could only appreciate it after having watched the whole show.) I will now say those words to you: just get through the first season of Supernatural. It really does get better.

Initially, I think the show expected to be something else. The premise sets up a like a TV version of a horror movie–dark, filtered, tight shots, creepy sound effects, tense music. It goes for scare tactics, attempting to push the plot forward with action, rather than character growth.

Thankfully, in casting Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, the writers opened themselves up to follow Sam and Dean rather than some Big Bad.

In season two they get smart–they let the boys run the show, or at least, they let their characters run the show. By season four, they’ve completely taken the plot into their own hands–decisions feel real, plot follows character movements, directly related to the growth of Sam and Dean. Their relationship is the one thing that keeps this show running. Even nine seasons later, they still feel like real people.

Supernatural also finds its groove in the tension. Unlike some long-running shows (Gossip Girl, HIMYM, even Lost), Supernatural maintains character and plot tension enough that I don’t feel like I’m being led into false emotional traps. They’ll let sexual tension, familial tension, even overall plot tensions cool for three or four episode arcs before they pick them up again. The writers know how to drive the plot forward, without dragging the characters along behind. They know how to hold your attention so acutely that you’re screaming at the television, and then the next episode they’ll pick up something else entirely to let you cool off.

Finally, perhaps the best part of Supernatural is the fandom. (A quick google image search for “Supernatural Fandom” will give you a good idea.) Good fandoms grow from good shows, and Supernatural fans owe a lot to the cast. Padalecki and Ackles (and now Misha Collins) have signed on through season 10–and Padalecki talks all the way to season 19. They love their characters as much as we do. The writers have broken the fourth wall enough that nobody takes themselves seriously anymore (season 6, episode 15 had me in stitches), and, at this point, Supernatural is smart enough to know when to be ridiculous and when to be serious. It shines when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Like any TV show, there are pitfalls to Supernatural. But that’s why it’s a great binge watch. Season 6 and 7 are considered some of the worst in the show, but a lot of shining episodes keep you going. If you were watching it live (on a weekly basis), you may have bailed in the middle. If you hit one or two bad episodes in a binge, just keep plowing through–you’ll start laughing again soon.

Supernatural is smart and charming. Strong characters lead the show, and secondary characters flourish in frequent return cameos. By the end of your binge you may not exactly ship Destiel, but I promise, if you’re anything like me, you’ll refer to the Winchesters as “my babies” any time they’re in danger. The show makes you love it.

Just give it a chance.

Supernatural seasons 1-8 are available on Netflix instant streaming.

Lessons Learned from The Kardashian App

Last week, I had an out-of-body experience. It had to be an out-of-body experience, because in-body, I would have never done it. On Friday, I downloaded the Kim Kardashian Hollywood game.

I suppose it was bound to happen. I’ve only been unemployed for a week, but I’ve hit the crazy threshold early. Talking to myself and my cats? Check. Not showering for days on end? Check. Laying on the floor and staring at the ceiling for great lengths of time? Check. Excitedly yelling “GET OUT OF MY FACE, WILLOW, YOU CONNIVING COW–YOU’RE NOT EVEN FAMOUS” in my living room at 2 AM? Check.

I’m not proud of the fact that I downloaded it. I’m even less proud of the fact that I still haven’t deleted it. That I will ignore it for an hour, waiting for my energy to charge, think about hitting the little X next to the app bubble, and then open the app and check my feed. It has pulled me in. I am at the mercy of Kim Kardashian.

This whole process has taught me a few things about myself. Maybe they aren’t great revelations, but I am trying to find meaning in the chaos of being a D-List celebrity, so GIVE ME SOME CREDIT.

1) I will go out of my way to get free things.

One of the worst parts of the game are these stupid silver stars with K’s on them. If I wanted to cheat I could fork over $100 (in real money) to get 1,250 of them. You use anywhere from 5 to 15 (60 if you want to buy the beach house in Miami) of these bad boys at a time, so if I were rich it would still be a terrible investment. Fortunately for the money conscious there are a few ways to earn stars without handing over your paycheck. You watch ads. Since downloading the app I have watched close to 50 ads to get free stars. (I HAVE to charm Dirk Diamonds so they he’ll want to go on another date with me!) I know more about men’s health than I’ve ever known in the past, but I’ve got STARS–I’VE GOT STARS AND I’M ON MY WAY TO A-LIST!

2) When provoked, I will turn catty.

It’s the Kardashian app, so I didn’t expect to get far by being squeaky clean. When a blonde socialite insulted my outfit and called me a “nobody” (EXCUSE ME, I’M FRIENDS WITH KIM KARDASHIAN), I had two options–charm or combat. I chose combat. I have since gotten my publicist in on the deal, and we’ve released rumors that this socialite is addicted to plastic surgery. (Cue maniacal laugh.)  Take that, Willow!

3) I treat fake money the same way I treat real money.

You want me to pay $200 for a hoodie? For a pink hoodie that I could get a Target for $20? Please. Fashion’s not THAT important. But I WILL spend $200 on a nice new dress. Divide by wear. How many photo shoots can I go to in this before some photographer notices?

New shoes for $500? Ha. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

4) If I’m not playing, it’s only because I can’t.

What do mean I’m tired? I don’t feel tired. I could do another three hour photo shoot. Come on! I want more energy! I want to play!! I want to go on dates and get to C-list and apologize to Michelle Murphy because I was a terrible girlfriend. But I’ve watched thirty ads for a Viking raid game, and I can charm the pants off you! I want to do things! Can I watch another ad? Will that give me more energy???

5) If I’m not careful, in-game achievements can feel like real life achievements.

What do mean I don’t have a job? I just did three photo shoots and a meet and greet at Kardash! I have been working my butt off all day–where is my paycheck?

I’m single? Please, I’ve been dating Dirk for like three days now (which is like three years in Hollywood time), I am SO NOT single.

I bought an apartment last week! I am SO TOTALLY SUCCESSFUL.

Unemployment and Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood do not go hand-in-hand. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to delete it.