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Long weekend! Thank you, Memorial Day. Err…and the soldiers. You know, the reason we have Memorial Day. Thank you, soldiers!

Activities I’m doing:

  • Watching movies and TV – I’ve fully embraced this as my relaxation hobby, and now that fellow-movie-aficionado boyfriend has moved home, we’ve been watching movies and shows pretty frequently. It’s been quite enjoyable – not to mention, I’m finally starting to get through some of the shows on my must-watch list.
  • Biking – Now that my bike, Shelby, is home and I have a biking partner, we can finally get out. We haven’t done much yet, but hopefully we’ll start picking it up soon. We did bike eight miles (round trip) down to a park a couple of weeks ago. It was great, but there should be a law that parks have to be built on hills so that when you leave, you’re going downhill all the way.

This is me. Only with less hills and more panting.

  • Going to the gym – Along with biking, boyfriend and I have been going to the gym more frequently. I used to have a decent gym routine set up, but it completely fell apart once I got crazy busy over the winter and I haven’t been able to get back into it yet. Now that boyfriend is coming with, I have incentive to get my butt over there and lift some weights.
  • Decluttering – We’re preparing to host a garage sale at my house, and since boyfriend and I are preparing to move in together soon, we’re looking at our stuff and seeing what we can get rid of. It’s a bit of a process to dig through all of our stuff, but we should get through it over the weekend.

What I’m watching:

  • Arrested Development – Boyfriend and I saw Bridesmaids last weekend (which was decent and worth a theater viewing), where we saw previews for two upcoming movies starring Jason Bateman. That led us to a brief discussion about Jason Bateman’s humorous qualities, which led us to decide that we should watch AD next since I’ve never seen it and boyfriend liked it. Long story short, we’re about to start streaming AD on Netflix.
  • Criminal Minds – Yep. I’m still watching it. Last available season, though.
  • Tron: Legacy – I was kind of curious about this movie when it came out, and boyfriend wanted to see it, so he got Tron in last week so that I could see it. We got Tron: Legacy  in on Wednesday.

Onto this one.

  • Leverage – Turns out season 3 is on Netflix, so I can finally finish watching the later episodes that I missed (and thus, start watching season 4).

What I’m reading:

  • Influence: How women’s soaring economic power will transform our world for the better – This is an interesting topic to me, especially with the ever-prevalent wage gap between genders. Dychtwald talks a bit about how women have been able to prosper in developing countries with just a little sustenance, but she also talks about how women in first-world countries have learned to become highly successful from little as well. I haven’t been able to get into it yet because I suck at reading nonfiction, but it’s the one I’ve started.

On page 4.

  • Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere – This is the one book from the library that I may not get around to before they’re due, but it’s probably the one I should get around to. It’s written by bloggers, which is fantastic, and discusses dieting, body image, and acceptance. Definitely apropos for me.
  • New Day Revolution – I actually wanted to read another book of this author’s, but this was the one my library had on hand. It looks like a fairly interesting book – it discusses how to make small changes in your daily routine that make a big difference. I’m looking forward to seeing if it’s any good.
  • The Succulent Book of Succulence – I’m pseudo reading this. To be fair, I’ve been pseudo reading this book for years. It’s not that it’s a bad book, I just always find myself doing something else. Like most nonfiction, I’m having difficulty staying caught up in the book. Hopefully I’ll pick it up again soon.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • My new job! – I cannot express how excited I am about my upcoming new job! I really admire this organization and their mission. I’m a little nervous about my role as Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator because it’ll be quite a bit challenging, but I’m very excited to see what I can do. I need to be challenged. It’s how I thrive.
  • Garage sale – As I mentioned above, my house is participating in our city’s community-wide garage sale next weekend. We had to drop $20 to participate, but considering that a regular garage sale ad in the local paper is $45 and we get TONS of traffic, it’s definitely worth it. We just have to work our booties off to get it prepared.
  • Getting my new computer – I’ve been hoping to get a new laptop for a while – I’ve had mine for a few years, so it’s got a slow processor and the fan was dying. We’ve solved the fan issue, but it was time, so I finally dropped $700 on a new computer. It’s a Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 and it sounds fabulous. That’s definitely the most money that I’ve spent on any purchase lately, but I think it’ll be worth it.

Hello, new lovely!

  • Shopping with my friend – One of my dear friends is moving to Washington, D.C. in the next few months for a job, so I’m trying to steal as much time with her as I can. She hasn’t been fully introduced to the Mall of America (she’s a native Texan), so we’re going to browse around there and nom on Noodles and Co.’s Wisconsin Mac ‘n Cheese. Yum.

What are your current happenings?

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All right, lovely readers, we’ve covered the best romances on TV, couples that need to happen, and couples that never should have happened. Let’s move away from the romantic relationships and focus on friendships instead. As usual, I’m sure I’m missing a few winners, but here are some of my favorite buddies on TV:

10. Cliff and Norm – I don’t think I need to reiterate that I don’t watch Cheers, but I know enough to know that these two are worthy pals. I’ve heard from many a person that most of the humor that comes out of the show comes from these two fellows. Who am I to take that title away from them?

9. Garcia and Morgan – Back to the shows I do watch. The Criminal Minds team isn’t incredibly close. They occasionally all go out to the bar for drinks, but they don’t make an effort to hang out on a regular basis. That being said, they’re ALWAYS TOGETHER. It’s the job. They have to be available to fly anywhere in the States on a moment’s notice. So Garcia (the team’s technical analyst) and Morgan (FBI field agent) are pretty damn good friends. They’re both easygoing and they love to banter with each other in endearing ways. Nothing’s better than banter. Then again, I could just enjoy these two because I adore them both individually.

8. Matt and Junior – I know, I’m the only person out there in the blogging world who’s watched Wildfire, but you know what? I love that show. So they’re going to consistently be on my list. Tough. These two have been best friends since they were kids. They get torn apart, largely because of their vying feelings for the main character, Kris. But they also struggle with growing up in two very different households. Eventually, they work things out – it IS a family show – and life is grand.

7. Jack and Karen – Be honest. Did you watch Will & Grace to watch Will and Grace? They were cute and provided some entertainment, to be sure, but that’s not why we watched the show. We watched it to see Jack and Karen. Two inconsiderate, self-entitled people somehow made for great comedy. In real life, we hate that. On TV…well, apparently that’s golden.

6. Jeff and Lester – Oh, Jeffster. There are times that I don’t even know what to say about Jeff and Lester. Suffice it to say that Chuck would not be the same without them.

5. House and Wilson – House and Wilson are one of the best parts of House, if not the best. I’ll admit that I was freaking out a bit when it appeared that Wilson was giving up on House around the 5th season. I can’t say I would have blamed him – House is a complete ass. But they make such a perfect pair. Like in a more recent episode, where they leave chickens around the hospital in a contest to see who will get in trouble first. Who else would keep House entertained? Nobody.

4. Shawn and Gus – I’ve only watched most of the first season of Psych, but it’s obvious that these two have a serious bromance going on. They’re another pair that have been best friends since a young age and now drive each other crazy – but they’re always best friends. Shawn is crazy and spontaneous and stupidly courageous, Gus is careful and precise and a complete worrywart. They somehow make a great team.

3. Willow and Xander – Who doesn’t love Willow and Xander? Buffy the Vampire Slayer would have been nothing without these two sidekicks (who did a lot more than sidekicks traditionally do). Xander even brings Willow back from a verrrry dark place at the end of the sixth season in a very touching scene. They’re fantastic. Buffy, you could have been on this list with them, but you had to be all “I’m the Slayer, I’m always alone” in the final seasons. Sorry.

2. Carrie and Miranda and Samantha and Charlotte – Yes, I put all four on here, and deservedly so. Carrie may be the main character and there may be a lot of men in Sex and the City, but that show is truly about ALL relationships at its heart. The relationships that the ladies have is an absolutely crucial part of the show. I will even be so bold as to say it’s the biggest reason women watch that show. Sure, we like watching Carrie and Big struggle to get it together or Miranda learn to balance a relationship with her independent self, but the interaction and love between the women is what we yearn for and envy. That’s the reason we watch it.

1. Chandler and Joey – Like you had any doubt that these two would be top of my list? Chandler and Joey are the epitome of best buddies. Hello, they’re on a show called Friends. Doesn’t that speak for itself?

Apparently virtually every single video clip featuring Chandler and Joey has disabled embedding. LAME. So you’ll have to settle for a picture.


Who are your favorite TV buddies?

Happy Saturday! I’m heading down to Winona to help my boyfriend move back home. Here are the other currents:

What I’m watching:

  • Criminal Minds – Just assume this is going to be on here for eternity. Actually, I’m finishing up the fourth season, so probably not.
  • Bones – Just assume this is going to be on here for eternity. Really. I’m only on the second season.
  • Alice – I don’t know how I stumbled across this – probably a Netflix suggestion – but my boyfriend had it in his queue also. It’s a Syfy mini-mini-series based on the much overdone, not very good book Alice in Wonderland. It’s very long as one movie since it was designed as a short series, but it’s quite good. It’s definitely got a darker twist on the original story, which I always love. I’m anxiously waiting for the American McGee’s Alice, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Alice, to be made, though!

This looks pretty freaking awesome.

  • The King’s Speech – My parents started watching it when boyfriend and I were at my grandma’s on Easter, so we want to finish it. It does look pretty good.

Blogs I’m reading:

  • Embracing your inner cupcake – This lovely blogger, Heather, was my partner for this month’s Paper Doll Project. She’s got adorable style and I’ve really enjoyed reading her posts. She’s also given me some new ideas – always a good thing. Like this – I never thought someone curvy like me could pull off a maxi, but how glam does Heather look in this one? Incredibly glam.
  • Saturday Jane – Jessica seriously might be my more humorous other personality. She is hilarious. And her sense of humor is exactly like mine. And this post sounds exactly like a conversation with my boyfriend. It’s creepy. Get out of my head, woman! But she’s inspiring me to take note of my conversations with others, which will hopefully lead to some amusing posts.
  • A Reason to be Fabulous – This woman is downright adorable. Seriously. Go look and tell me she’s not adorable. She’s got a great sense of fashion and always has fun pictures. The best part? She looks more like me than other fashion bloggers, so I get a lot of great ideas for outfits from her. Like when she challenged herself to wear a white-button down shirt in five different ways one week. Love.
  • Coffee and a Cardigan – This is another awesome lady. Louise is such a doll and she’s got the greatest outfits! She wears a lot of dresses and skirts, which is realllly making me want to add to my collection. How adorable is this? I can definitely learn a thing or two from these ladies.

Check it out!

Thrift stores I’m loving:

  • Arc Value Village – I had never been to this thrift store up until last weekend and I really didn’t know what to expect. I don’t usually have luck with thrift stores, but I’d been wanting to take a day and go thrifting for a while, so I decided to be positive and see what came of it. I made out like a bandit. Arc was probably my favorite of all of the places we ended up during our thrift store adventure. They were organized fairly well (careless people always move things) and I found three cardigans there. Score!
  • Turnstyle Consignment – This consignment store is in my city, but I had never even heard of it until I looked up thrift stores in my area. It was a bit expensive (most consignment stores are) but I did find two shirts that I really liked. I was pretty disappointed with this store’s plus-size selection, though.
  • Chap Thrift Store – My mom told me about this thrift store a long time ago, but I had forgotten about it until I did my recent search. This is THE place to go for furniture, apparently. We got there late in the day and saw a ton of great looking furniture that had already been sold. Also, it’s run by a church and they give away day old bread (especially artisan breads) for free. We took home a ciabatta loaf and a honey sunflower loaf – both were delicious.
  • Unique – Unique reminds me of a great VeggieTales song called “StuffMart Rap.” Need a bookshelf? We got that! Need clothes? We got that too! Need mismatched silverware? They’re in stock! Their prices have gone up a bit recently, but they’re still a good go-to place if you have time to sift around.

Seriously, watch that clip. It's great.

Things I’m looking forward to: 

  • One last stay in Winona – As I mentioned, I’m down in Winona helping my boyfriend pack up and move his stuff back home. We decided to spend the night, mostly so we don’t rush ourselves. I’m grateful for this – because my boyfriend may hate it there, but Winona was my mini-vacation from life once a month. I really enjoyed spending time down there and I will miss having an excuse to get away.

Goodbye, Winona.

  • Getting my bike back – The good news about leaving Winona is that I’m finally bringing my bike home! I kept it in Winona because I didn’t use it much here, but I loved biking around town with boyfriend. Hopefully he and I will bike around here on at least a weekly basis. Shelby is coming home! Yes, I named my bike. Don’t act like it’s not awesome.
  • My Girls Night In Lia Sophia party – I’m having a jewelry, wine, and makeover party this Thursday and it should be a fun time! Not going to lie, I’m hoping the wine will invoke more jewelry purchases. I’m tricky like that.
  • Buying my WordPress domain – Yes, I’ve decided to do it. I’m going to buy my WordPress domain! Look for big changes to come in the next few months as a result.

What are you currently doing?

Remember, today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a nonfiction book of your choice from this blog post! And with that, here are my current happenings:

What I’m watching:

  • Criminal Minds – Yes, I am still watching Criminal Minds. It’s probably become my favorite crime show, although perhaps under Castle. I didn’t even realize I was already in season four until I saw the title on the last disc – only one and a half more seasons to go.
  • Firefly – A new awesome employee wellness activity at my work – catered lunch and an hour in front of Firefly monthly on Fridays! Talk about a perfect way to end the week. Granted, I was hoping we could watch a show that I hadn’t seen before, but I love this show, so I don’t mind.

"Space cowboy!" Wait, that's not the right show...

  • Bones – I finally have availability on my Netflix instant queue, and since I had started watching a few episodes of Bones a couple of months ago when my boyfriend was visiting, I decided I should keep going with it. I have yet to decide on whether or not I like it.
  • Angel – …is finished! The reason I can finally start watching other shows on my Netflix instant queue is that I finally finished the entire series of Angel. That means that I am done with both Buffy and Angel (the TV series, anyway – I’m working on getting the comic book for “season 8” of Buffy from the library) and can finally move on. Thanks for the good times, Joss.

Blogs I’m reading:

  • Already Pretty – I’ve mentioned Sally’s blog before, but her blog is my favorite of the fashion bloggers that I’ve seen. She doesn’t just write outfit posts, she answers readers’ questions, she discusses body image issues, and she seems like a genuine sweetheart. As for the fashion, the woman is an amazing dresser and not afraid to be bold. Plus she’s from my home state. You should definitely check out her blog!

With a heading like that, how could you not love her?

  • The Loft’s Writers Block – I stumbled across this blog thanks to a Twitter update and thought it was a really interesting concept. For those who don’t know, The Loft is a literary center in Minneapolis that’s dedicated to improving writers and nourishing creativity. Their blog features posts inspiration in order to help writers (or anybody) break through that haunting writers’ block. Even if you’re not a “writer” – but are maybe a blogger *hint hint* – their posts are definitely worth a look.
  • The New Professional – I don’t remember where I stumbled across Angeline’s blog, but it’s a fantastic mix of work and fashion blogging! Angeline has adorable outfit posts – that are all business casual, which is what I wear to work – and discusses other work-related ideas as well. She always has an inspiring outfit or great idea to share, so I’ve been enjoying checking out her blog regularly.
  • Miss Vinyl Ahoy – Not only does the darling Suze have some bold and awesome outfits, she also is in charge of the Paper Doll Project (which I really need to choose a piece and sign up for already!!). It’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and have fun. The idea is you pick an item in your closet and someone else (pre-chosen) designs an outfit around that piece for you. Should be fun!

Stressors:

Not a pleasant topic, I know, but there are definitely a few things that have unfortunately been top of mind lately.

  • I’ve been sick – I haven’t been sick in over a  year, due to regular working out and vitamins or something, but my good luck finally split. I caught a cold from my boyfriend (who I do not blame) and it’s been downright nasty. I haven’t had a cold take me out in a loooong time, but this one has kept me from sleeping (one hour of sleep one night) and working (took a half day on Monday). All I can say is UGH.
  • The foster cat – I adore Ballerina, I really do. What makes matters worse is that she “chose” me as her person. And that would be great except she and I do not cohabit well at night. I’ve tried everything – kicking her out, wearing earplugs – but she meows outside my door so I have to let her back in to avoid waking my roommates and she’s been waking me up through the earplugs because she wants attention. She’s adorable, but once she wakes me up (at 5 a.m.), I can’t fall back asleep. No longer acceptable. I’m going to see if my roommate wants to adopt her like he initially wanted. Sad panda. 😦

She's sweet and adorable until it's 5 a.m.

  • Upcoming living situation – Chances are very good that I’ll be moving out of my house at the end of July and moving in somewhere with my boyfriend. Where? Oh, good question. We don’t know. There are many unmentionable issues that are holding us back, so we’re waiting for answers on those. Always waiting.
  • Money – Money is always an issue, and it’s actually been better than normal, but it’s still a frustration. You may recall that I put myself on a grocery budget this month in order to curb my spending and use up what I had in the house. Well, I did use up some stuff, but I definitely broke my budget. I also broke my overall budget, so needless to say, last month’s budgeting did not go so well. Stressor.

Things I’m looking forward to:

The above happenings may be stressing me out, but it helps to think about these upcoming happenings.

  • My boyfriend is moving home in two weeks! – After two long years of long-distance romancing, my boyfriend and I are finally going to be living in the same community again! As I mentioned above, we’re planning on moving in together, but we’re not sure that will be immediately or at the end of July. He seems to be allergic to something at my house (hopefully not bedbugs since we JUST sprayed again) and there are a lot of people there already. Regardless, I get boy time whenever! Definite excitement.

Yay!

  • Getting healthy – If this could happen RIGHT NOW, that would be great. Kthx.
  • Library reopening – Okay, I know this makes me a nerd, but the library in my town has been closed for remodeling since last September and I really miss it. The other libraries in my county are not convenient and I really got used to running to my library for a quick drop-off or pick-up. I even put the reopening in my calendar. I’m like that.
  • Shopping – I still haven’t gotten to go shopping (remember the aforementioned budget crisis?). I have a few stores that I want to go splurge at, but I’m waiting for an influx of money. I also still want to go thrifting! Hopefully soon…

What are your current happenings?

Fun fact – Dr. Seuss may have created the word “nerd.” How fitting! This week, I’m highlighting the top 10 nerds on TV. Readysetgo!

I love this picture.

10. Dr. Walter Bishop – I’ve only seen a few episodes of Fringe, but it’s obviously that Walter is smart. He’s also a bit off his rocker, but that just makes him an intriguing character to watch. Also, I just read the character biography of him, and…wow. I’m not sure I can say much about his nerdiness. But he sure is an interesting character.

9. The Doctor – To be fair to The Doctor from Dr. Who and Dr. Bishop, science fiction geniuses are hard to classify – are they actually nerds or is that transference from a “nerdy” show? This Doctor has a very interesting background as well, however, that merits discussing. He’s a Time Lord, meaning that he can “regenerate” his body when near death – this allowed him to be played by 11 different actors. There’s also an intense following of this show. Now to delve into the truly nerdy characters…

8. Ross Geller – This is the exact quote from Wikipedia’s entry on Ross: “The character is noted for his geeky, lovable demeanor.” Although nerds and geeky are different, I think Ross could be classified as both a nerd and a geek, especially in terms of Friends. He’s a paleontologist, he co-created an “I Hate Rachel Green” club in high school, and he had a band with Chandler in the 80s called “Way, No Way.” He’s also the whiniest character in the group, which has nothing to do with nerdiness, but should be noted as it makes him the most annoying character in the group.

7. Brian Griffin – First of all, I love that Brian shares the family name. Second, he is the smartest character on the show – perhaps Family Guy‘s greatest rip on society. He is multilingual, he went to Brown University (although didn’t graduate), and he’s a member of Mensa. He’s cultural as well – he loves opera, jazz, art, and foreign literature. Oh, and he’s a dog.

Surrounded by books. As he should be.

6. Rupert Giles – I love that name. Giles’ name is so admittedly nerdy. In fact, Giles’ nerdiness is thrown in our faces in the early seasons of Buffy. He’s British, he wears tweed, he LOVES books. But his intelligence and care for Buffy and the other Scoobies is incredibly endearing and you can’t help but love him. He’s lower on this list only because he’s actually a total badass – for example, he comes and saves Willow from Dark Willow in the sixth season with magic. There are also many references to Giles’ dark past through the series. Gotta love Giles.

5. Wesley Wyndham-Price – Wesley is the Giles of Angel, and to be fair, the only reason Wesley is higher on the list than Giles is because he goes dark during the show. He steals a baby (he thought it would save it), breaks from the close-knit crew, reforms his own crew, and does what it takes to get answers – even if that means, oh, say, stabbing a junkie in the hand for information. That being said, the guy is definitely a nerd. He reads most archaic languages and definitely supports the team in terms of research. Fred describes him as the brains of the operation.

This is a gorgeous picture of Fred.

4. Winifred Burkle – Speaking of Fred and Angel, she deserves a spot on this list as well. In fact, I’m putting her over Wesley because she seems to be smarter than him purely in terms of science, which makes sense since Wesley was trained in all things supernatural as a former watcher). Fred was stuck in a different (evil) dimension for five years, where she nearly lost her mind. She came back (physically and mentally), however, and has been assisting Angel Investigations ever since. Due to her experience, she was able to publish breaking research on physics and portal energy, which won her high acclaim in the physics field. She’s a nerd and totally adorable.

3. Dr. Gil Grissom – I love Grissom. In fact, I love Grissom so much that I stopped watching CSI after he left the show (actually I only sort of watched after Sara left the show, but that’s irrelevant). Grissom is a fantastic character. He always has a cultural reference or remark, he’s an entomologist, and he’s very learned. Interestingly, I found out while reviewing his character that they hinted at him having Asperger’s – I wouldn’t have guessed that. Also, didn’t know this – he worked briefly in Minneapolis! Well then.

2. Charlie Eppes – I  haven’t seen Numb3rs yet, although it’s in my queue. From the sporatic pieces I’ve seen on TV, however, it’s clear that Eppes is most definitely a nerd. He is an associate professor at CalSci (which is fictional, but based on real-life genius schools such as CalTech and CalPoly) and consults for a cryptanalyst from the NSA. He could multiply four-digit numbers at age three. He’s smart. David Krumholtz always plays a wonderfully nerdy character (think 10 Things I Hate About You). As a sidenote: I was in a math classroom for a speech round at a competition and the teacher had Numb3rs DVDs. Awesome.

1. Dr. Spencer Reid – It should be said that I adore Spencer Reid. Matthew Gray Gubler’s portrayal of Reid on Criminal Minds has been his best role to date. I was pissed when they made him a drug addict. That being said – such a nerd! He has a eidetic (photographic) memory, he’s an “autodidact” (self-teacher), he holds 3 Ph.D.s, he graduated from high school at age 12, and oh, he’s like around my age. He’s absolutely brilliant. What makes him a nerd is not necessarily his intelligence level, but his social interactions – he’s socially awkward and has shades of autism or Asperger’s as well. He’s a terrific character – like I said, I adore Spencer.

Long live the nerds!

Who’s your favorite nerd on TV?

Last week I posted about pairs, so it’s only logical that this week’s TV Tuesday honors my favorite groups or teams. Not necessarily in order, here are the top teams on TV:

The style doesn't hurt.

10. The ladies from Sex and the City – I quite honestly almost forgot about these ladies somehow! I’m not sure how that happened, since these ladies make quite a group. My boyfriend (and most men) like to think the show is purely about sex and relationships with men, and there is quite a bit of that in it, but the show is really about female friendships at its heart. Have I wished to have three lady friends that I have breakfast with every Saturday morning and who knew my life story? Yes, I most certainly have.

9. The cast of Coupling – Again, if you haven’t seen this show, you may not understand why it’s on this list, but believe me, it deserves to be on here. It is similar to Friends in many ways – one kooky male friend, lots of relationship intermingling, etc. – but it stands out on its own because its content is centered about relationships and sex. It’s a very interesting and honest show, but the cast makes the show.

8. The Scooby Doo gang – I’m not talking about the Scooby Doo cartoon you see nowadays on TV, because that version sucks. I’m talking about the Scooby Doo: Where Are You? show that I grew up with. Scooby Doo, Shaggy, and the rest of the gang always solved their mysteries – always – but they always had a hell of a time doing it! I still love the show to this day.

This picture is purely awesome.

7. The Scoobies – Speaking of Scoobies, we certainly can’t leave out the gang from Buffy. Although each character could fight evil baddies on his or her own, they did their best work as a team. Like when the team did magic and all went into Buffy in order to go up against Adam in season 4. Or when they took on goddess Glory. Or when- I’ll stop. You get my point.

6. Angel Investigations – And of course, you can’t mention Scoobies without mentioning Angel Investigations . I have to admit – I wasn’t sure about this team when I first started watching Angel. Sure, Angel is always a champion fighter, but Cordelia? Really? Surprisingly, she’s become one of my favorite characters – she matures so incredibly much. It seems that each new character who comes into the show makes me unsure at first, but eventually works their way in until I embrace that they’re a part of the crew. Each person has a place on the team and there’s always room to expand.

These guys make an awesome band of thieves.

5. The Leverage team This team is the strangest combination of people, all made up of thieves. In fact, in the beginning, they talk about how working together is a one-time gig. They all realize, however, that they feel empty working on their own after having worked with such a great team, and it’s easy to see why. They understand each other incredibly well and play to their strengths. Plus, they’re all getting to steal great and grand things, whether that be a famous statue, a bank, or a movie set. Each heist is its own unique game and it always makes the show interesting to watch.

4. The B.A.U. team – Like all crime teams, the team from Criminal Minds is close-knit. They have to be – look at what they deal with on a daily basis. Unlike other shows, however, the writers don’t try to force happy team-bonding on the viewers. They’re honest about how each team member has a life of his or her own – and often doesn’t like the others interfering. That being said, there is a deep level of trust, respect, and care for each team member – and they do make a dynamic team.

3. New Directions – The club from Glee may not support or even like each other outside of the club, but we know that they care for each other. They support each other when they’re down and encourage each other to take risks. Does each person do it for his or her own personal gain? I think it depends on the person. It’s not a perfect club, but that’s the point – real teams have flaws. New Directions certainly has flaws, but they work through them in order to do what they love to do.

The Halloween picture is the best.

2. Beckett’s team – Who doesn’t love the team from Castle? Their group is my favorite crime team on TV. They know each other well enough to know when something is wrong and always save each other in the nick of time. They investigate the craziest cases and always manage to crack a few sarcastic jokes along the way. I absolutely love them.

1. The cast of Friends – Of course this group is on here. It’s dysfunctional and it’s endearing. They make you laugh and they make you cry. You want to be in a group just like that. It’s the reason that the show’s has lasted so long, and will continue to last. There’s something about a group like theirs that just makes you feel connected. It’s a great feeling.

Honorable mentions: The cast of How I Met Your Mother, the Golden Girls, the medical team from House, and the crime teams from CSI, NCIS, and Law & Order: SVU

Who is your favorite team on TV?

I don’t generally watch awards shows, but this year’s Emmys and Oscars made me think about what I would choose as the top show in each genre. For some categories, this is particularly difficult, so I’ve decided to have a runner-up for this week as well. The genres are Reality TV, Musical, Medical, Romance, Supernatural/Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Crime, Action, Drama, and Comedy. Any guesses?

10. Reality show: Hell’s Kitchen – I tend to enjoy cooking reality shows and Hell’s Kitchen brings the heat (I couldn’t resist). I love Chef Ramsey and I really love the competitions they have. I have to admit, though – it’s kind of gross (albeit accurate) how many of the contestants smoke.
Runner-up: Cupcake Wars

9. Musical: Glee – Of course it’s Glee. I’m not sure I can even think of a runner-up for this one, to be honest. I actually didn’t care to watch this show at first because I don’t really like musicals (despite being a theatre major), but I was hooked instantly once I gave it a shot. The second season isn’t as good, but it’s still quality.
Runner-up: nada

8. Medical: House – Again, did you really have any doubts here? At one point, House was one of my favorite TV shows and I still highly enjoy it when I see it. Beyond that, I adore Hugh Laurie. I need to catch up on that show, actually.
Runner-up: Grey’s Anatomy

7. Romance: Sex and the City – Once again, I don’t have a runner-up for this category because I don’t really think that any other show compares in this category. SATC showed that women can feel free to be who they are and do what they want. It showed the intricacies of female friendship and the wonders and pitfalls of romantic relationships. Yes, there were some unrealistic parts and a few places where I wish they were less stereotypical, but overall, I love my SATC.
Runner-up: nada.

6. Supernatural/Fantasy: Buffy the Vampire SlayerI’m still not finished with the series – I have to watch the final season – but no one can deny that this spot is reserved for Buffy. The show became a cult classic. Everyone knows it to this day. There’s (rightful) outrage about the making of another movie that doesn’t involve Joss Whedon or Sarah Michelle Gellar. It’s definitely tops.
Runner-up: Angel

5. Sci-Fi: Firefly – Bet you thought for a second, “Wait, Firefly isn’t top of the fantasy genre?” Well, no, because it’s top of sci-fi instead! I’m not traditionally a fan of sci-fi shows. I don’t watch Star Trek and I still haven’t seen Star Wars 4-6…err…1-3…the ones made more recently. I adore this show. Who doesn’t love this show? Between the characters and the underlying storyline, this show was perfect. FOX = fail.
Runner-up: Fringe

4. Crime: Castle – You all know I love Castle. I love Nathan Fillion, so it’s no surprise that I would love Castle, but I love this show for much more than him. I adore Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas’ bantering, I adore Stana Katic as Kate Beckett, and I love that the plot lines are always unique. This is a tough category as there are many great crime shows out there, but Castle always gets #1 for me.
Runner-up: Criminal Minds

3. Action: Leverage – Again, there are many great shows in this genre, so it’s tough to choose. When you combine the intricate plot twists with action, however, there’s no contest. Leverage always has the best tricks on TV. I’m unnaturally good at figuring out plot lines (sadly), but I often don’t see the twists coming in this one. A show that keeps me on my feet is always golden in my book.
Runner-up: Chuck

2. Drama: Dexter – Intense. Dark. Twisted. Drama winner! I’ve been intrigued by Dexter since I saw the first episode of season one. In the increasingly desperate world of Hollywood, where new ideas are rarer than fat on a model, Dexter is highly original to me. Beyond that, it’s actually good. Really good. I cannot wait to see the fifth season (damn you, Showtime, for making me wait!).
Runner-up: Six Feet Under

1. Comedy: Friends – I honestly tried to think of another show that could beat Friends. My colleague and I debated the merits of many solid comedies, including 3rd Rock from the Sun and Cheers (although I’m not as big a fan of Cheers). Nothing I came up with could hold a candle to Friends, though – it’s a legacy.
Runner-up: How I Met Your Mother

What would be your top shows in each genre?

Oh, trust me. I’ve got a TV Tuesday for every week this year. The fun is just starting! This week features the smartest characters in recent TV. Once again, this is extremely hard to put in order, but I’ll do my best.

10. Penelope Garcia/Abby Scuito – Let’s face it, these chicks are basically the same person. Garcia (Criminal Minds) works for the FBI, Abby (NCIS) works for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but they basically do the same thing – be brilliant. Garcia is a goddess on the computer, Abby rules the lab. Perhaps these characters are somewhat unrealistic, but they’re still some of my favorites.

9. Chuck Bartowski – My favorite thing about Chuck is Chuck’s goofy, charming nature, but I can’t deny that our main hero is incredibly intelligent. He went to Stanford and was almost recruited by national baddies and goodies. He’s the Intersect, for crying out loud. Clearly, he’s got brains.

8. Dexter Morgan – I love Dexter, but compared to the rest of the people on my list, he’s all the way down at number 8. He is quite wily and intelligent, though. He manages to evade police and FBI throughout many seasons of Dexter. I’m very curious to see how things have changed for him in season five.

7. Gil Grissom – No one can deny that Grissom is supremely intelligent. He’s one of the reasons I watched CSI in the first place, and I quit watching the show after William Petersen left. It didn’t seem worthwhile without Grissom’s quips about life. You could always count on him to learn something new.

6. Gregory House – Does House screw up a lot? Yes. Does he massively fail at relationships? Yes. Does he almost kill his patients on a routine basis? Yes. Is he brilliant? Yes. He almost always saves his patients at the last minute through some random happenstance that triggers buried knowledge in him. He’s antagonistic and seemingly uncaring, but he is most definitely one of the smartest characters on TV.

5. Willow Rosenberg – We all know Willow is smart. Buffy the Vampire Slayer wouldn’t have really gone anywhere without her. She went beyond Giles in research and in magic study, becoming one of the most powerful witches in the world. She was also one of the few who had to strength and willpower to let it go. Willow’s one of my favorite characters on TV, and that’s largely because she’s incredibly smart.

4. Constance Bones – I haven’t gotten much of an introduction to Bones, so I haven’t warmed up to this character yet, but I know she calms down a bit. Regardless, she’s incredibly intelligent. In fact, her whole team is. She has a kid on there working on multiple Ph.D.s – of course, it’s not clear if he can ever just finish one. She’s definitely the brightest bulb in the bunch, though – when it comes to forensic anthropology. Not quite so much on the social side.

3. Simon Campos – You may not have seen Flash Forward – it only aired for one season – but Doug and I decided to try it out one night and it was pretty decent. There are a lot of smart characters on there (it centers around the FBI investigation of a worldwide, man-made blackout, after all), but I think Simon is the smartest. He’s sly and you aren’t sure if you can trust him, but he’s undeniably extremely intelligent and probably has the best character development in the show.

2. River Tam – Anyone who has seen Firefly knows how smart River is. She picks up on new things immediately and far outstrips the teacher in seconds. She was recruited by the Alliance so they could basically get inside her brain and perform all sorts of tests. They also made her into a fighting machine, which is pretty badass to watch. She’s an amazing character – just another reason I’m shocked this show didn’t get renewed.

1. Nate Ford – I’ll be honest – Nate is probably not the smartest guy on here. But he’s the trickiest and he’s one of my favorite characters on TV, so he gets the number one slot today. He comes up with the most brilliant, perfectly timed, crazy scams that somehow work. Leverage never gets boring, thanks to his schemes. Enjoy the clip!

A few notes on the clip: The man with the gun is Nate’s former boss, who let Nate’s only son die. Maggie is Nate’s ex-wife. It’s not the best clip, but I didn’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t seen the show.

Who do you think is the smartest character on TV? Anyone I missed?

I figured I might as well round off my favorites by listing my top 10 favorite TV shows. These aren’t necessarily in order, but I did my best seeing as I love them all!

10. Coupling – As I mentioned in earlier TV Tuesday posts, Coupling is a great British comedy that combines friendship and sex. It has a similar set up to Friends in that there are three men, three women, and lots of intermingling. Some of the concepts that come up in that show make a lot of sense, too. If you haven’t seen it, you should – I’ll lend it to you.

9. Criminal Minds – This is probably my favorite typical crime show, mainly because I love the psychological aspects of it. I enjoy CSI and NCIS and all that, which have their niches but are all very similar at heart, but I really love the idea of criminal profiling. In fact, I’ve looked up that career. No, it’s not real. *tear*

8. Firefly – I don’t like sci-fi and I sure don’t like westerns. So you may be asking yourself – how is it possible that I like Firefly then? It’s not your standard sci-fi or western show. Somehow combining the two concepts just…works (probably much like mayonnaise and tuna fish when you add pickles). Besides, the characters in the show are just unique enough to be enjoyed, yet realistic enough to be…well, real.

7. Friends – What 90s kid doesn’t love Friends (If you don’t, don’t answer that)? The show epitomizes friendship and relationship struggles, the idea of finding your independence, and decent humor. Everyone finds qualities within one or more character that they associate themselves with. I own every season and still enjoy it to this day.

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I will admit, it took me a very long time to finally give this show a chance, and I knew that I needed that much time in order to like it. I was a huge fan of the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I refused to watch the show because I originally didn’t feel like Sarah Michelle Gellar fit the role. Man, was I wrong. This is just another classic of Joss Whedon and I am about to start collecting the series in the near future. Thankfully, my boyfriend and I have similar tastes in a lot of TV.

5. Dexter – I love the whole premise of this show. The idea of a serial killer who only kills bad guys – and the interpersonal struggles that come up as a result – is fascinating to me. On top of that, Michael C. Hall does an AMAZING job at Dexter Morgan. It’s going to be a very interesting transition for me to begin watching him in Six Feet Under, where he plays a gay mortician. Speaking of which, stay tuned for shows that I want to watch – Six Feet Under is on there!

4. Leverage – I haven’t yet convinced my lovely friend and fellow blogger, Kate, to watch this yet, but I know she’s going to enjoy it. The show revolves around a group of thieves – the Mastermind, Grifter, Hacker, Thief, and Hitter – who begin working together as a team to con people who have ruined the lives of innocents. A little Robin Hood-like, but very clever plots and highly enjoyable characters.

3. Glee – I go on and off with Glee. I loved the first season – it was the only show that I had to watch live – but I haven’t been as into the second season. I love the characters some of the time and they irritate me the next. Regardless, I love this show and I really enjoy a lot of the mainstream issues that they bring up in their plot (i.e., bullying and LGBTQ issues). Not to mention, Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester…need I say more? Overall, I find it to be a highly entertaining show.

And tied for first…

1. Sex and the City – This list was near impossible to rank and I honestly couldn’t rank these two as I love them both for very different reasons. Sex and the City also took me a while to watch, but I loved it immediately when I finally started watching it. I really connect with Carrie in a lot of ways and love the dynamics between the ladies. Yes, the show is about relationships, but I really feel like the root is the relationships you have with everyone – including your friends and yourself.

1. Castle – I love Castle for different reasons, many of which have to do with Nathan Fillion as Castle. I also adore Stana Katic as Beckett; Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas as Ryan and Esposito; and Molly Quinn as Castle’s daughter, Alexis. The show has a terrific cast that clearly works well together. Beyond that, the writers try to keep the cases unique and entertaining, so you can never be sure what the next episode is going to bring. Now when are Castle and Beckett going to get together already??

Note: It took me over an hour to find clips that really illustrated why I like the show – and I failed to find them! This was the best I could do.

Honorable mentions: Chuck, Angel, Wildfire

What are your favorite TV shows?

I’ll admit it – I’m stealing this theme from Kate. She posted a great blog yesterday about her top 10 female badass characters and immediately the ideas started flowing – so every Tuesday, I shall have a post about TV characters or shows! I’ll also try to find a clip of my #1 character/show. I might even insert a movie or two in there. 🙂 I should make the disclaimer that I don’t want a ton of TV so my characters may be a bit limited, but I’m always open to suggestions! I have many TV shows on my list and will likely want to revise these later, but for now…

To start, I think it’s only fair to mention my top 10 favorite ladies on TV. I have to say, thinking of 10 was actually quite difficult. There are a ton of female characters out there on TV that I enjoy, but they’re not necessarily my favorites (River from “Firefly”, Catherine from “CSI”). Nevertheless, here we go:

10. Penelope Garcia – For those who don’t recognize her name, she’s the computer tech wiz on Criminal Minds. There are many reasons I love her: she’s brilliant, she’s a bigger-and-still-beautiful woman, and she’s sassy as hell. She works for the FBI but likes to answer the phone with openers such as “You’ve reached Penelope Garcia in the FBI’s office of Supreme Genius,” or “How may I save your ass today?” Not to mention she flirts hardcore with one of the hottest men on TV. She’s pretty awesome.

9. Santana Lopezfirst season – I go back and forth with Santana. I felt like she really developed in the first season of Glee, but in the second season, the writers have brought her back to where she was in the beginning of the show. I understand wanting to keep a stereotypical bitch around, but that just doesn’t work. Regardless, I loved her at the end of season one. I really hope we see more of that soon!

8. Kaylee Frye – Most people who watch Firefly prefer Wash or Mal, but I think my favorite character is Kaylee. She is just plain adorable! She’s sunshine put in human form. She rarely lets problems get her down and she’s incredibly loyal. She’s also not afraid to talk about her sexuality in a way that’s not over-the-top sexual, which is always refreshing to see.

7. Parker – We don’t know Parker’s real name. We don’t even know if she has a real name. But she is one of my very favorite characters on Leverage. She has odd social interactions and loves getting into the thick of dangerous situations. Suffice it to say that someone on the team described her as “20 pounds of crazy in a 5-pound bag.”

6. Buffy Summers – The creators of Buffy evolved Buffy in some very interesting ways. That being said, I still love Buffy. I can’t say that I’m thrilled with the various transformations she’s gone through, but I love her consistent struggle with being human vs. being a superhero, especially in love. I love her back-and-forth with Angel, I completely understand her difficulties with Riley, and her character evolves so dramatically with Spike. Plus, she dies twice, which you have to admit is pretty cool. I think it’s her wit that really draws me in, though. She always has something offbeat to say, no matter how deep the situation is. That’s my kind of girl. I should mention that I had Willow on this list also, but she just lost out to Parker.

5. Sally Harper – I love Coupling. I should clarify that when I say Coupling, I’m always referring to the British version of the show. It’s basically Friends with sex. There are episodes about the sock gap and the giggle loop – and if you don’t understand those references, you need to watch this show! Anyway, the ladies are all great, but I particularly love Sally. She’s incredibly insecure and worried about getting old, but she becomes the most evolved character in the entire series. I’m definitely on her side by the end.

4. The ladies from Friends, especially Rachel GreeneFriends was the first TV show that I loved. I have the entire series on DVD and I still watch it. I gravitate towards Rachel, but I can’t omit the other ladies. I connect with Monica’s anal nature and Phoebe’s wackiness. Their group (guys included) had such an effect on me that I used to wish I had a close-knit group of friends like that.

3. Kris Furillo – Most of you have likely never seen Wildfire from ABC Family, but I love this show. Kris is the lead character and she’s amazing. She makes mistakes, to be sure – like stealing her favorite horse to compete in an illegal cross-country race – but she is one of the strongest female characters out there. She came from prison and is tough as nails, but as she begins to open up, you see that she’s also fiercely loyal and passionate.

2. Kate BeckettCastle is my favorite show on TV right now, partly because I love Nathan Fillion, but partly because I love Kate Beckett (played by Stana Katic). She’s another badass female character – absolutely gorgeous, doesn’t take crap from anybody (including some very tough looking male criminals), and deals out the sarcasm to Castle on a regular basis. It’s no wonder he’s into her. If I were a lesbian, I might be too! But my favorite is still…

1. Carrie Bradshaw – You either love or could care less about Sex and the City – in fact, I used to fall in the latter category. Once I started watching it, however, I really connected with Carrie’s character. She puts everything she has into her relationships, both friendships and romantic ones. There are some moments of desperation, which I don’t tie to, but she is run by her emotions – just like me. Sure, there are some unrealistic things about her – she’s a writer in that apartment in NYC? – but overall, she’s incredibly believable to me. She’s one of the most passionate people on TV (in the true sense of the word “passion”). And come on – she has over 100 pairs of designer shoes.

Here’s the clip! Carrie has just moved back from Paris suddenly, so that’s why her friends freak out. But it’s the final quotes that I really love.

*Note: There is sexual content and nudity in this clip.

Who are your favorite female TV show characters?

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