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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NwaVic's Watch Fest (2nd Ed.): Top Ten Must-Watch TV Shows (+ Honorable Mentions)

This is an exciting time for TV addicts like me. Fall is here and so is good TV! Starting today, my favorite shows are back! Plus, I have a load of new shows to try and tell you all about. Indulge my excitement for a minute, let me to share with you where to stop when you flip channels. Ofcourse, it includes repeat favorites from my !st Edition Watch Fest, but pay attention, there are a few in the mix you probably never as much as gave a chance.

1. Suits

Wednesdays at 9pm on USA

Return date: TBD 2016
Upcoming Season: 5

What about: While running from a drug deal gone bad, certified drop-out genius, Mike Ross came across an interview with unconventional big shot attorney Harvey Spector of Pearson/Hardman. Notwithstanding the fact that Mike never went to law school or took the bar (at least for himself), Harvey is so impressed with Mike's genius abilities, that he hires Mike on the spot. In its fifth season, Suits has followed Harvey and Mike shedding light at both the complexities of their personal lives and the dirty politics at Pearson/Hardman, all the while trying to contain Mike's big secret.

What's to love: There's never a dull moment! First, as a fashion lover, Harvey and Mike slay every day in their custom-made suits. I can unashamedly say, I am swoon queen for Harvey. The dude's dapper is everything! And oh, I can't forget Jessica Hardman, the managing partner of the firm on whom I have a professional crush. She's powerful, intelligent and slays in any outfit! Ofcourse, as a lawyer, I know the show is far from reality because there's no way Mike Ross could fly under the radar as long as he has in real life. But it's that very fact that has kept me glued to the scene from the start. Now five seasons in, I am still glued to the screen as I was the day it premiered. Oh & Louis Litt is a character you'd definitely love to hate. I'll leave it at that.

2. Game of Thrones

Sundays at 9pm on HBO

Return date: TBD 2016
Upcoming Season: 6

What about?: This medieval fantasy drama, based on a book of the same name, is set in the fictional medieval continents of Westeros and Essos and features seven intertwined plot lines as seven kingdoms fight for control of Westeros. The first season opens when Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, makes his old friend Lord Stark, Hand of the King, the his highest official. Meanwhile, the Lannisters (the Queen's family), the Targaryens (the last family to hold the throne), the Greyjoys, Tullys, Arryns and Tyrells also each scheme a way to takeover the throne. The friction and power play between all these houses/kingdoms is the basis of this brilliant show.

What's to love: THIS IS A CLASSIC ONE! I've never been into fantasy but G.O.T is cognitively engaging and intellectually interesting! Even though it is set in archaic form, the events and characters are real in modern life.  With so many characters and story lines, it challenges even the most intelligent adult mind the follow more than just the events but the characters and the motivations behind their frequent shocking decisions. It is so smartly done- you can see the work and resources put into every episode..all the more reason so many are addicted. Also, it keeps you at the edge of your seat because you can't predict what's coming next (sometimes, even if you've read the books).  No one is safe, not even your favorite character! 

3. The Walking Dead

Sundays at 9pm on AMC

Return date: October 11, 2015
Upcoming Season: 6

What about: Based on a comic book series of the same name, this horror drama is set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Premiering in 2010, it follows a small group of survivors led by Rick Grimes a former Sheriff's deputy as they struggle to survive daily and avoid getting bitten. Basically, if you get bit by a walker (aimless brainless walking zombies), you die, only to wake up in a couple of minutes as a walker. The group is not only threatened by walkers (some of which are their "turned" family and friends) but also, other survivor groups.  In fact, now after five seasons, we now know that the biggest threat in this apocalypse are in fact other people. 
What's to love: Whenever I tell anyone about this show, their first reaction is "I don't do zombies so no!" But guess what? me neither. The Walking Dead is much more than about the zombies. The deeper you get into the show, the more you realize, the zombies are just really props- their purpose is to trigger events. The situation forces each character to either toughen up or toughen out. The more you watch, the more you become so emotionally tied to the characters, that you start to self-reflect and ask yourself what you would do if this ever happened to you. More so, mere imagination of how worse your world could be if there was ever an apocalypse, makes your daily frustration seem so manageable. At least you still have power, you're not sleeping in the bushes, you don't have to carry a gun everywhere you go (okay maybe you do) but most of all, your office mate's talkativeness is better noise tha the annoying snarling of grey-eyed dead people. I could go on and on about this show (unpredictability, intelligent writing, credible story lines, etc) but yea, if you don't want to watch for any of the above, watch it for the badassery.

4. Wentworth


Return date: TBD 2016
Upcoming Season: 4

What about: Just like the popular Orange is the New Black, the Australian series Wentworth follows the incarceration of a first-time offender Bea Smith in the Wentworth Prison where she finds herself thrust into power struggles, crime, and a game where the meek die and the wicked thrive. 
What's to love: Simply put, Wentworth is a bad-ass show about bad-ass women in a not-so-bad ass environment. There's no sugar-coating, it is intriguing and you see how prison can bring out a side in people they never knew existed. All the characters (guards, prisoners and everyone outside the walls) keep you captivated. The characters are complex but the show gives you peaks into their pre-Wentworth lives that connects you even further with each character. The drama is endless. The writing is brutal and it's just perfectly sick! Plus, it's perfect for binge-watching. G & I went through three seasons in three days! If you are not watching Wentworth, you are only denying yourself prime entertainment.

5. Empire

Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX

Return date: September 23, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2

What its about: This show centers on the almighty Luscious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard), hustler-turned-rapper-turned-Hip-Hop mogul and CEO of Empire Entertainment. Luscious seems to be on top of the world until he is diagnosed with a medical condition that threatens everything he has built. What complicates his situation is the release of the Cookie, mother of his three sons from serving a 17-year sentence for a crime that gave Luscious the capital to start Empire. The world sees the Lyon family as a perfect "hard-work-paysoff" bunch but as viewers we see the guts and the dirty hustle of what makes this family an Empire in the making. 

What's to love: Cookie! Taraji Henson simply stuns in her role as Cookie! Having been a favorite of Terrence Howard and Taraji Henson since Hustle and Flow, it didn't take much to win me over. Their chemistry is like no other! The family dynamics created by the prodigal Lyon sons (intelligent business-minded but insecure Andre, Hard-working and talented gay Jamal, and gifted but hot-headed Hakeem) is an endless drama mill that will get you hooked from the first episode.  Even amidst that, the show is not just pure fiction- it has proven fearless tackling issues like racial violence, drugs and LGBT acceptance hitting home for a lot of people. Last but not least, the show has some amazing catchy tunes that will appeal to any music-lover. And the actors and actresses are just so eye-candy!!

6. Scandal

Thursdays at 8pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 5

What about: Created by Greys Anatomy and Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes and debuting mid-season in 2012, this drama focuses on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a professional "fixer" in Washington D.C. who not only played a major role in the election of Fitzgerald Grant as the President of the United States, but is in a sizzling affair with him. Pope's reputation is that of a respected brilliant problem solver who, with the help of her small team, can make any problem go away before it becomes public. Each episode not only follows Pope (who always trusts her gut) and her team of lawyers who call themselves "gladiators in suits" and "crisis managers" as they try to solve a diverse set of problems, the show gives insight into each character's flaws and weaknesses.
What's to love: This is probably one of the most popular shows at the moment. There are so many things to love about scandal.
1. There's a strong female lead. Everybody loves Olivia Pope! She is inspiring! There couldn't be a better Olivia Pope than Kerry Washington. Her performance deserves an Emmy for best actress. 
2. There's so much drama! Mysteries, love triangles, secrets, & political implications. Bodies are moved, affairs are had, things are planted, reverends die on top of their mistresses, elections are rigged and its all a normal business day. 
3. The Moral dilemma: I mean, how can you love Olivia so much yet hold onto your beliefs that she's sleeping with a married man? 

7. Modern Family

Wednesdays at 8pm on ABC

Return date: September 23, 2015
Upcoming Season: 7

What about: Debuting in 2010 to 12.6 million viewers, this comedy is the most unique of its caliber. Set in the form of a "mockumentary", it follows the lives of members of an unconventional family headed by Jay Pritchett, an older guy, his young and hot Columbian second wife (who has a young son from a previous marriage), his housewife daughter married with three kids and his gay son who has a life partner and adopted asian daughter. Of this list, it is the most unique because it basically shows what many American families look like these days; a divorced father with a new younger wife, a gay couple adopting a child from abroad, parents trying to raise three children the "modern" open way and the melting pot many Americans now call family.
What to love: This has to be the best comedy on TV as has consistently shown by winning   the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series five tmes. It stands out because it doesn't just occasionally make you smile, it makes you actually Laugh Out Loud. More so, the characters are all so unique and relatable. You can find a bit of yourself in everyone or at least someone.  I love Cam, Gloria and Phil especially! More so, you can watch it over and over and over again and it's still funny! Lastly, if you're into family, like I am, you'd appreciate the love this bunch has for each other.

8. How to Get Away with Murder

Thursdays at 9pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2

What about: HTGAWM is an intense-driven drama series that circles Annalise Keating (played by Emmy-winning Viola Davis) who is an intelligent and mysteriously charming Criminal defense lawyer and professor who teaches a class on How to Get Away with Murder. To intern in her law practice, Annalise chooses the four best students from her class. The result is a scenario where the students, alongside Annalise's employees, must use what they learn in real life.
What to love: There's everything to love about Annalise Keating! Viola Davis is such a killer actress and the Emmys just agreed last weekend! making her the first African American woman to win Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. She makes Annalise Keating such a strong character- so brilliant, powerful, sexy, and intimidating all at the same dang time...Men want her and women want to be here. The women, especially love her because strong female leads are inspiring and empowering. As a lawyer myself, sometimes I channel Annalise at work LOL-JK (Only in my mind :-)) What makes Annalise so much more powerful is that she is human. From the outside, she is perfect but each new episode shows the pain that makes her who she is, making her even more relatable. Plus, it's an unpredictable drama that keeps you at the edge of your seat!

9. BlackList

Thursdays at 9pm on NBC

Return date: October 1, 2015
Upcoming Season: 3

What about: When former U.S. Navy Officer and Most-Wanted fugitive Raymond "Red" Reddington surrenders himself to FBI, they know they are in for a long ride. Reddington not only offers the FBI a list of highly-wanted criminals including drug lords, mobsters, politicians, and international terrorists but offers to help round them up, but only on the condition that he works solely and directly with recent rookie Quantico graduate Elizabeth "Liz" Keen. Throughout the show, we find that Reddington is not only a high-profile crime lord, he is also just a man with a past that includes a complicated and yet-to-unfold history with Keen.
What's to love: First, Reddington is a complicated man. He constantly skirts the thin line between good and bad: some days you hate him, but most days you just love him. He sprays gray all over your Black and White clean-cut morals. He is not evil but he is no softie. He is the friend you wish you had: someone to not only rescue you from the pit of hell but get you into the exclusive heaven. He knows everything and everyone. he is intelligent, well-traveled, mysterious, fearless, witty, and just plain old genius in worldly matters and people. In other words, he is a bad-a$$. Second, The villains in BlackList  are also so colorful and like none other. They are not just the typical murderers or drug lords, they are so SICK! I mean, I knew this show was something else, when they profiled a murderer who dissolved bodies in bathtubs (aka the stew maker) leaving no single trace. Don't let me get into Liz's "perfect" husband. Ahhh the characters are so formidable, it is creepy but intriguing all at once.

10. Orange is the New Black
Return date: TBD

What about: This gritty prison drama follows Piper Chapman, an upper-middle-class girl as she is incarcerated for the first time for helping her ex-girlfriend smuggle drugs. Piper's incarceration and subsequent fall from grace magnifies her inner demons and turns her world upside down and puts her in the same space with people she never would have as much as said hello to anywhere else. She now has to decide which relationship matters more: one with the man she was about to marry or one with her female lover with whom she is now caged with. As Piper fights her demons, she not only starts to see herself for the menace she is...others do too. 
What's to love: Drama! at its finest. It is dirty. It is intriguing. Most of all, it is raw. The show brings to light all the characters we all have know to be feminine but in it, a viciousness we would only find out we had if life as we knew it ceases to be today. OITNB is a cocktail of human nature in a harsh environment featuring selfishness, jealousy, sex, betrayal, and disloyalty.

Honorable Mentions:

Because the competition for screen awesomeness is just too steep, these shows didn't quite make top 10 but they are awesome all the same!
  • House of Cards (Political Drama)


Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 3
  • Black-Ish (Comedy)

Wednesdays at 8:30pm on ABC

Return date: September 23, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2
  • Greys Anatomy (Medical Drama)

Thursdays at 7pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Upcoming Season: 12
  • Homeland (Drama)

Sundays at 9pm on SHOWTIME

Return date: October 4, 2015
Season: 5
  • Nashville (County-Music Drama)

Wednesdays at 9pm on ABC

Return date: September 24, 2015
Season: 4
  • Madam Secretary (Political Drama)

Sundays at 10pm on CBS 

Return date: October 4, 2015
Upcoming Season: 2
  • The Good Wife (Political/Legal Drama)

Sundays at 9pm on CBS

Return date: October 4, 2015
Current Season: 7

If I missed your favorite show, drop a comment! I'll try any show at least once. 

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Red Carpet Fashion + Complete List of Winners: 2015 Emmy Awards

The Emmy Awards is my fave award show! No surprise because I am a self-acclamed TV Fanatic! Well, as usual, tonight at the 67th Annual Emmy Awards, the stars came out to sizzle! And no, I'm not talking about the 90 degree weather ;-)
 Niecy Nash
 Andy Sanberg
 January Jones
 Giuliana Rancic
 Anthony and Nathan Anderson
 Eric Stonestreet
 David and Jessica Oyelowo
 Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello
 Selenis Leyva
Tracee Ellis Ross

 Julia Louis Dreyfus
 Christina Hendricks
 Lady Gaga
 Amy Poehler
 Claire Danes
 Kerry Washington
 Laverne Cox
 Jamie Lee Curtis
 Taraji P. Henson
 Sarah Hyland
 Laura Prepon
 Ariel Winter
 Heidi Klum
 Aubrey Plaza
 Zoe Kazan
 Kiernan Shipka
 Padma Lakshmi
 Gwendoline Christie
 Anna Chlumsky
 Jaimie Alexander
 Danielle Brooks
 Natasha Lyonne
 Jane Lynch
 Dashca Polanco
 Uzo Aduba
 Taryn Manning
 Sarah Paulson
 Edie Falco
 Regina King
 Julie Bowen
 Jessica Pare
 Samira Wiley
 Gina Rodriguez
 Morena Baccarin
 Sofia Vergara
 Naomi Watts and Live Schreiber
 Taylor Schilling
 Jessica Lange
 Maggie Gyllenhaal
 Aubrey Anderson-Emmons
 Emma Roberts
 Elisabeth Moss
Mindy Kaling

Did you notice the stars from Orange is the New Black really showed out this year? Special congrats to Uzo Aduba on her win! Can't wait for the next season with Crazy Eyes! 

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy
Allison Janney, Mom
Outstanding Writing Comedy
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy
Tony Hale, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Bradley Whitford
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Joan Cusack
Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
Jill Soloway, Transparent
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Voice
Outstanding Writing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special
Jane Anderson, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Supporting Actress For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special
Regina King, American Crime
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
Lisa Cholodenko, Olive Kitteridge
Oustanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Limited Series Or Movie
Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series
The Daily Show
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Inside Amy Schumer
Directing For A Variety Series
Chuck O’Neil, The Daily Show
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
David Nutter, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Sources: Huffington PostNY Mag, and Jezebel.