Category Archives: Articles

Foyle’s War Returns for a Season 8

Michael Kitchen as Foyle

If you haven’t watched Foyle’s War, you should. It’s a British show set in World War II with a charming detective. One of my family’s favorites to watch. When the show was set to finish back in 2010 we were disappointed. Apparently in November of 2010 Acorn Media (which had the DVD rights since 2003) acquired all the other rights for the show as well (including: underlying intellectual property rights, Internet streaming, download-to-own, and broadcast television).

Since Season 7 was set a the end of the war, Season 8 will deal with post-WWII spying and espionage (and, of course, more murder). According to the press release, “Three two-hour films have been ordered from Eleventh Hour Films, the production company founded by producer Jill Green. Eleventh Hour Films takes pride in the research work undertaken for each story as all three episodes are firmly based on true stories from 1946 onwards.”

Michael Kitchen is back as Foyle and Honeysuckle Weeks will be returning as Samantha Stewart. Jill Green will produce Foyle’s War and further casting details will be announced later this year. A director is yet to be appointed

Production will start in London in September 2012 and will likely air in 2013.

You can catch up on Foyle’s War in the meantime on DVD.

Drive with Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch

Anyone with a GPS can tell you that the voice is one of the most important things about setting up your GPS. Customizing that perfect person to tell you where to go is about as important as choosing your ringtone for your cellphone. Now you can have a couple monsters tell you where that next right turn is before you get horribly lost.

Locutio has partnered with Sesame Workshop to bring Cookie Monster to Garmin GPS systems worldwide. You can see the voice in action in the video below:


Here’s just some of the phrases from Cookie Monster:

  • “There’s traffic ahead, recalculating. Oh boy, me wish me hadn’t eaten calculator.”
  • “Yeah, yeah, in one quarter of mile, turn left, dumb di dumb dumb dumb…”
  • “You have reached destination. And now…COOOOOOKIES!, nom nom nom. ::BURP:: Excuse me, that me.”

Cookie Monster is now available for $12.99 at Garmin.com and SpotItOut.com.

Not bad for having a muppet take a drive with you. We’re pretty sure it’ll keep your kids entertained at least.

If Cookie Monster isn’t your thing (who are you?) then you can wait a bit until the release of Oscar the Grouch who’ll charmingly say things like:

  • “Unless you WANT to get lost, in one mile, turn left. Not that I care what you do.”
  • “Traffic ahead, recalculating. Even though I love traffic, it makes everyone so grouchy.”
  • “You have reached your destination. No need to thank me, I can’t stand good manners.”

Or buy them both and switch them depending your mood!

QuadZ Has Seen the Return of Spartacus – And it Was Good

It’s been two years since Spartacus: Blood and Sand left it’s indelible mark on cable television. The smartly written, blood and gore soaked series titillated audiences in a way probably not seen since the Roman times the series is set in. This adults-only drama is part comic-book gore and part-backstabbing-thriller/drama. But it’s been two long years for fans to see what happens to Spartacus next. Sure, we had the very amazing and tantelizing prequel, Gods of the Arena, but after the Blood and Sand blood-bath finale, it’s time to find out what happens next.

Lisa and I were invited to the red carpet screening of the first episode of Spartacus: Vengeance and mixed and mingled with fans and Hollywood alumns who all craved a little of the arena blood.

Of course, most fans know why the long wait. Lead, Andy Whitfield, whose performance as Spartacus was as legendary as the man himself, sadly was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and later succumb to the disease.  Robert Tapert, one of the Executive Producers, explained before the screening that Andy made sure that the cast and crew knew how much he wanted the series to go on once he realized he could not perform. The touching part of the screening was the final part of the episode contains a tribute to Andy, which, I’ll admit, made me a bit teary eyed.

Liam McIntyre at Premire of Spartacus: Vengeance 1/18/12 Photo credit: / WENN

The event, held at the Archlight Theater on Sunset, was a lot of fun. Costumes from the series and props were on display and free popcorn/soda provided for guests. The red carpet was full of fans and photographers waiting to catch a glimpse of the stars (who film in New Zeland, so it was fun to see them in LA). Including our new Spartacus, Liam McIntyre.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite ready to let go of Andy as Spartacus. After all, he was the actor portraying the character that I held my breath for, that I cheered for, that I wanted to see get his vengeance. But, as we watched the first episode, my fears were quickly dispersed. Liam brings the quiet rage that we had come to love from Spartacus.

I won’t spoil the episode, you can watch it for yourself on Jan 27th on Starz, but I will say that Spartacus is back with all of it’s bloody glory. There were quite a few surprises and some very “ewwwww” turn your head moments. I have to give props to the writers making the story fit seamlessly with the first series. It’s like we never left.

If you need to catch up before the new series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is available on Netflix Instant currently. Just remember it is as violent as ancient Rome was, with strong language and nudity.

People’s Choice Awards: 2 Broke Girls

2 Broke Girls is up for best new comedy in the Peoples Choice Awards. One of my favorite parts of the show has been that the two main girls are broke, but following their dreams. Max and Caroline’s dream is opening their own cupcake business and they’re working to make it happen. It often inspires me in a way because I’ve been working hard in school and now, deep in the process of applying for PhD programs.  A lot of times it feels like too much work, but my dream is to teach at college level – so I need to work at it.

 

There’s a ton of great shows, movies, music to vote for so make sure you check it out. Click here to vote for your favorites in the People Choice Awards: http://bit.ly/arSy9z

 

 

I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote WBTV shows nominated in the People’s Choice Awards.

People’s Choice Awards!

The People’s Choice Awards are up for voting, the one award show where you have a part to play in who gets the win. This is a great chance for shows that never get the recognition we viewers feel they deserve. Head on over to: http://bit.ly/arSy9z and vote for your favorite stars, music and TV shows!

For my money, here’s some of my picks and why:

Favorite Movie

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Very rarely do I say this, but this movie was better than the originals. Very funny, lots of Johnny Depp, an interesting plot line and amazing visuals. “I had stirrings,” for this movie.
Favorite Book Adaptaion
  • Soul Surfer – Had to go with the underdog on this one. Soul Surfer was a great showing by a small film company.

Favorite Network TV Drama

  • Supernatural  – Despite a lot of fan wank over this season, I think it’s been fantastic. Did you see the Fall finale? Had me on the edge of my seat at the end and screaming at the TV. Supernatural pulls off with a small cast what most TV series can only dream of – it has warmth, heart, and monsters. What more could we want? Jared and Jensen deserve massive amounts of praise for delivering stellar performances every week. The amount of emotion and angst the two can portray in a couple simple looks is amazing. So my votes for SPN all the way.
Favorite Cable TV Drama
  • Pretty Little Liars – Over the past years the quality of Cable TV shows has gone up considerably, so this is a rough call for me, but while some of the other TV shows in this category have been dropping in quality and interest, Pretty Little Liars only gets better. Sure, it’s a bit teenagey drama, but that’s what people tune in to see. Great cast, creepy moments and great production makes this a win for this category.
Favorite Network TV Comedy
  • The Big Bang Theory – Need I explain this one? Not only is it the geeky contender, but every episode is so tightly written that I am constantly fascinated by how true the episodes stay to the story. The creators once said they only wanted to tell stories that could only be told on the Big Bang Theory, and they’ve stayed true to that wish. The expanded cast these past two seasons have made the show more balanced, more fun and a must watch every week. Slam dunk win for TBBT.
Favorite TV Crime Drama
  • Castle. Though I watch several of these shows, Castle is the only one that keeps getting better and better. The great story lines with the characters make it more than just your average procedural. And, they do all that without having to get the drama of whose sleeping with whom (*cough Bones cough*), whose in charge (*cough CSI cough*) or how can we outgross ourselves this week (cough Criminal Minds cough).
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show
  • Fringe – Fringe is one of the shows that I often berate people for not watching. It’s smart, it’s sassy, and has one of the best actors on TV on it (John Noble who plays Walter). Fringe is a bit mind bending, but isn’t that what SciFi is all about?
Favorite Guest Star
  • Michael J. Fox (The Good Wife) – I have to go with the nostalga vote here (and I don’t even watch the show), but seeing MJ back on TV was awesome. He was my first celebrity crush, so I have to give the vote to him.
Favorite New TV Drama
  • Person of Interest – I was skeptical, I admit. The premise seemed a bit hard to believe, but Person of Interest is extremely interesting. And major kudos for the recent guest apperance of Enrico Colantoni. Now if they could only get Kristen Bell. Close runner up is Ringer, despite some of the cheeseballness. There’s a lot of great choices in this category so vote Chicago style, early and often!
Favorite New TV Comedy
  • 2 Broke Girls – In today’s economy you need a laugh, and 2 Broke Girls is it. I was already a huge fan of Kat Dennings, and her role in Thor sold me entirely. If you haven’t yet caught this show, go watch, laugh and love.
Vote  in the People’s Choice Awards, it’s one small way you can give back to the shows, movies and music you love. And it’s a lot of fun!
I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote WBTV shows nominated in the People’s Choice Awards. I was able to pick the shows I discussed and the opinions are my own.

 

Happy Birthday Say it with Skype & Some Musical Guests

Ever wanted to do something a little extra special for a friend’s birthday other than writing on their wall? How about get some help from Bowling for Soup, CSS, Parlotones, Imogen Heap, Ash, Charlie Simpson, Body Language, Scarlet Grey, and Kill the Young? You can now with “Say it with Skype.”

From Skype’s blog:

Here’s how it works, you can send your friends a customized group video greeting by visiting Skype’s Facebook page and clicking on the Say it with Skype app located on the left side of your screen. Next, choose the friend you want to send the group video greeting to and select from one of the ten participating bands. You can even join in on the fun, by singing along with the band’s pre-recorded performance through your video webcam. Not ready for your close up? Personalize your message by adding a profile picture and writing a personal message for the band to hold up.

Since today’s my birthday I thought it was a really fun little addition to Skype, which I already love. Check it out!! You can also get 1 week free trail of Skype’s new group video call feature.

Forks over Knives Presents a Live Cooking Demonstration for a Plant-Based Thanksgiving Meal

Being Healthier for the Holidays just got a bit easier (and tastier). Check this out from the folks behind “Forks Over Knives,” the recent hit documentary.

From FOK:

Join us Thursday November 17th at 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST on our Facebook or Livestream page for a live cooking demonstration with Julieanna Hever, R.D. Julieanna will demonstrate a plant-based Thanksgiving meal that will be delicious and healthy. While making the meal, Julieanna will answer questions from the audience.  Questions can be sent in advance to Info@ForksOverKnives.com and also be asked live during the broadcast.

Julieanna is author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and producer/host of the video “To Your Health,” both available on the FOK websiteClick here to watch her recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show.

Guest Post: Thinking outside the (conventional) candy box this Halloween

Halloween is supposed to be nothing but fun for kids.

Yet there are some scary statistics out there right now about our children.

For one, this is the first generation of American children whose life expectancy is now shorter than their parents.

And for another, if the current trend continues, one in every three children will develop diabetes in her lifetime.

“But Halloween is only one holiday. Why can’t we let kids eat all the candy they want?” some might ask.

If candy were only doled out by the handful once a year, it might be all right. (Even then, some parents would prefer moderation and still, we would face the issues of the unhealthy chemicals in the candy.)

But the fact is that many of our holidays have turned into sweetfests-Valentine’s Day and Easter, for example, to say nothing of kids’ birthday parties and other celebrations throughout the year. Add to this the candy children receive if they accompany you to the bank (even the doctor!), the dry cleaners or pet store. Some teachers even hand out candy as a reward for good behavior.

So it’s not about once a year. It’s about recognizing the impact of our national sweet tooth (and our reliance on artificially derived and modified ingredients), and how we can help our children to enjoy healthy and safe alternatives, even when celebrating.

What to give instead?

If you don’t want to hand out conventional candy this year, what can you substitute? Lots of things.

You can choose from an assortment of organic candies, and/or those made without dyes and preservatives, and that use juice or fruit for sweetening.

Or consider honey sticks, a favorite among kids of all ages. (But do not give honey to children under the age of two.)

If you’d prefer to skip the candy altogether but still want to offer food-how about real fruit strips and rolls, dried organic fruit, whole food bars, raw or toasted nuts (check with parents of young children due to allergy concerns), natural gum, organic crispy rice bars, or pumpkin and other seeds. (For a longer list with specific brands, check out www.GreenHalloween.org)

Treasures instead of treats?

Another alternative is to substitute “treasures” for treats.

Think about it this way. When you empty your kids’ pockets before doing the laundry, what do you find? These are things your children think of as precious even if you do not-bits of shiny paper, rock crystals, acorns, for example.

So when it comes to treasures, don’t dismiss them just because you think kids will turn up their noses. Ask them! You might be surprised that they would be happy to receive stickers, friendship bracelets, coins (who doesn’t love money?), polished rocks, sea shells, cookie cutters, or other small items. (Lots more treasure ideas at Green Halloween.)

Enter the bowl

To ensure you offer something children will like, fill a bowl with a variety of treats and treasures, then invite children to take their pick. You will no doubt be surprised at their choices.

At a Halloween event a couple of years ago, we placed a bowl filled with feathers on a table in our booth. Adults passed by without a second glance. But as kids approached, their eyes grew wide and they asked, “Can I have one?” So many wanted a feather that we ran out in an hour. They blew them into the air, they tried to tickle themselves (or their siblings), or lightly brushed the feathers against their cheeks. Boys, girls, teens and tweens all had the same reaction.

Who would think that today’s children who seem to be entertained only when they are plugged in, could enjoy something as simple as a feather?

So this Halloween, offer lots of choices, allow children to pick their favorite instead of taking a handful (which, no matter what is chosen, is not only better for kids’ health, but also should cut down on your purchase costs) and feel great about providing the children who come to your door with a healthier Halloween.

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at www.CelebrateGreen.net