What I’m Watching

If there can be a good thing about the weather getting cooler, it’s that it means that Fall television programming is back and all my favourite shows have returned! I’m a sucker for a good (or even bad) TV show, so here’s what’s set to record on our PVR this season:

This Is Us

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There is no better story than the one of Jack, Rebecca, Kevin, Kate & Randall. I’ve loved this show since Day 1 and so far every single episode has made me feel all the feels in some shape or form. A bonus for this season so far is that it has yet to make me cry, which is great because the last couple of episodes from last season were doozies. This Is Us is definitely great at leading us on too – I mean, what’s going on with “Old” Randall? Who’s he going to see? Beth? Kate? WHAT IS HAPPENING? The writers are friggin’ brilliant and this show just kills me with suspense.

Lethal Weapon

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Lethal Weapon is a show that Kyle and I watch together as loyal fans of the movie series starring Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. While there’s definitely some things we aren’t keen on in the TV series because of our loyalty to the movies, it’s still a fairly decent show. We are, however, a little skeptical of Sean William Scott taking over as Damon Wayans’ co-star after Martin Riggs was killed off. (How DARE they, IMHO, because there is no Murtaugh without Riggs.) This was because Clayne Crawford was essentially fired from the show. Anyway, we’ll see how things pan out this season, although I don’t think it will last very long without Riggs.

Grey’s Anatomy

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For the past couple of years, every new season that starts I think to myself, “This is going to be the last one,” but so far I’m been so wrong. While the show has become a little repetitive and some of my favourite characters are long gone (Christina Yang and Derek Shepherd), I still love the cast and the show as a whole. I think I’ve rewatched it twice on Netflix during the off season. So far this season has been pretty drama-free, so I’m curious to see where it goes, especially since April and Arizona are no longer there. Oh, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the Owen/Amelia/Teddy situation goes and if Meredith finds love again. (Because she was SO close with Nathan Riggs and I’d rather see this new ortho guy Linc or whatever just go back to the beach and no return.)

Station 19

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I was a fan of the last Grey’s spinoff, Private Practice, so I thought I’d give Station 19 a try. It’s dramatic enough to keep me watching, but without being over the top. Plus it gets bonus points to crossing over slightly with Grey’s because of Ben Warren. (Who, I think, is the most wishy-washy person ever when it comes to picking a career.) Last season ended with a massive tower fire and we were left hanging to see who survived, and I’ve yet to watch the premier that aired last night. I can’t see Station 19 having the longevity that Grey’s does, but it’s still a decent show to kill some time with.

The Big Bang Theory

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Complete honesty time: I was just about to cancel the series recording on my PVR for The Big Bang Theory but when I learned that this will be the last season I opted to persevere and see things out. Everyone appears to have grown up and matured on the show and episodes were starting to get a little dry/repetitive, so I really think it’s a perfect time to wrap things up. My prediction for the end of the series? Raj finds his true love, Penny and Leonard split, and everyone else keeps on keeping on. Maybe Sheldon and Amy will move somewhere. I’m curious to see what will actually happen!

Forged in Fire

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This is another show Kyle and I watch together, and while it’s not your typical reality/competition show (i.e., it’s not a cooking competition) it’s really interesting to watch. In a nutshell, Forged in Fire is a knife-making competition show and I find it quite amazing to watch the blade-smiths turn a chunk of random metal into a fully-functioning knife.

FBI

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Full disclosure: I’m a big Missy Peregrym fan and was crushed when Rookie Blue ended. Kyle was actually the one who told me that she’d be starring in this new series, so I obviously jumped on board. The pilot episode of the series was ridiculously good, and so far I’m really digging it and hope it lasts long. It doesn’t hurt that Dick Wolf is behind the series either; if you look at his track record with the various Law & Order series FBI‘s success should be a no-brainer. This is actually the only new show I’ve picked up this fall, actually, which isn’t bad considering how many new shows have launched this fall.

What I’m NOT Watching

Like I mentioned, I nearly ditched The Big Bang Theory, but I did hit “Cancel Series” on Dancing with the Stars. None of the celebrities really piqued my interest for this season, so I didn’t feel compelled to dedicate 3 hours of my life to the show every week. I was also a little saddened to see that LA to Vegas was cancelled, although I’m not overly surprised. I had intended on switching Big Bang out for this comedy, but oh well.

Oh yes, I should also mention that I picked up Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix during the summer and really enjoyed it. At first I wasn’t sure where it was going after the first season, but it’s moved forward quite nicely. It’s an easy and funny show to watch while I’m eating lunch or taking a break from studying.

What are YOU watching (or not watching) this fall?

 

 

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What I’m Reading: Little Fires Everywhere

From the book jacket:
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

My review:
Little Fires Everywhere is the first novel I’ve read by Celeste Ng, and I was really confused at first when she the story started at the end, but it ended up being a brilliant way to keep me intrigued and wanting to read more.

I really loved how even in the most “perfect” community – one where everything is precise and planned – people have their secrets, their flaws. Even Mrs. Richardson bends the ethical guidelines of her and her friend’s profession.

Then there’s the controversy in the story between the McCullough’s and Bebe, which really made you think about your own morals and what is right and wrong. Should do-overs, per-say, be allowed in such instances? I also had to keep reminding myself that this was a different decade that this was all occurring it, so I’m certain that this had a lot to do with the outcome. I do wonder if Mia felt compelled to help Bebe because she felt guilty of her own actions all those years ago … Whatever the reason, I was disappointed in Mia’s actions towards the Ryans and feel bad for Pearl not knowing the true reason behind their nomadic lifestyle.

That being said, I did appreciate Mia’s compassion towards the Richardson children, not judging them even in their darkest moments. Growing up in a “perfect” community, I imagine, could be hard on any person, especially when it doesn’t allow you to be who you truly are. (Like Izzy, for example.)

I also felt bad for Moody. He befriended Pearl and she did nothing but deceit him after falling for his older brother. Moody was perhaps the only character in the story who wasn’t being selfish; even Izzy was selfish in a sense by wanted to keep Mia all to herself.

I think I would have given Little Fires Everywhere five stars, but I was a little disappointed in the actual ending of the book. I was hoping for a bit of reunion between Mia and her family, some answers owed to the Ryans. Maybe I’ll get lucky and there will be a sequel.

My rating: ★★★★½ / 5

 

Race Recap: Dirty Feet Trail Run – Vista Run

If this race happened before the Mountain Run two weeks ago, I probably would have never run another trail race again. It’s a tough course! Or at least to me, the relatively green trail runner. Either way, it was still a great event with some awesome views, and I don’t think my legs have ever been this sore after a run, haha.

My new-found race-buddy picked me up so we could check-in with the race directors, and then we walked back to the car to stay warm until our start time. It was dang chilly!

It had basically rained almost every day the week prior to the race, so I was expecting a very wet and muddy course, but thankfully, aside from a few puddles it wasn’t too terrible. There were definitely some slick sections where you really had to watch your footing, but I was lucky enough to not bail and roll down a hill. Go me! (Kyle’s stepdad, who ran the 21K distance, unfortunately wasn’t as lucky. He’s okay though!) The views were awesome and I wish I was able to take a quick photo or two, but I had no time to stop, lol

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Fake smile. Dead legs.

The hills were brutal though! I definitely need to do more running outdoors if I want to keep doing trail runs, because my legs were just useless by the last mile and I had to will myself to keep my pace up the best I could.

While I was hoping for a sub-35 minute time, I under estimated how tough the hills would be and had to slow myself down a few times to catch my breath and rest my legs. I’m still pretty happy with my time though, which was officially clocked at being 36:41 – fast enough to place 3rd in my age category! (Hashtag: Humblebrag)

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Of course, I ate all the goodies at the end of the run, (nothing tastes better than jellybeans and cookies, haha) and hung around to see if I could win a door prize. I ended up having my number called and managed to snag a nice North Face shirt for Kyle.

So, overall it was a tough but fun course and I’ll definitely do it again next year! It was a great way to end the “competitive” race season for me! (There’s one more in October that I’m doing, but I’ll be acting as Isla’s pace bunny, lol.)