The Weekend Five: TV Crossovers That Need to Happen

82705raven_01Because I’m a fan of so many TV shows, you’d think I would love crossover episodes. After all, wouldn’t it be awesome to see some of my favorite characters from two or more TV shows, duking it out on one set? Sadly enough, I’ve never seen a crossover episode that I really enjoyed. (I am hoping that the Family Guy/The Simpsons crossover this fall will change that!)

To remedy this horrible problem, I took it upon myself to create five brand new TV shows that involve character crossovers. These shows range from comedy to drama to reality, and will hopefully make the work a lot easier for the writers, as the episodes practically write themselves! Sit back and relax with a bowl of your most buttery popcorn as we flip through these five amazing TV show crossovers.

The Weekend Five: TV Crossovers That Need to Happen

1. That’s So Raymond (That’s So Raven + Everybody Loves Raymond).
Sports writer Ray Barone (Ray Romano on Everybody Loves Raymond) finds himself teaching journalism classes at a San Francisco high school, until one day he begins having visions of the future. His long lost cousin, Raven Baxter (That’s So Raven) teaches him how to harness his psychic powers, but the two get into plenty of costumed hijinks along the way. The show features Raymond’s nagging wife Debra, several sassy catchphrases (“That’s so Raymond!”), and Ray Romano’s glorious Muppet voice.

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1994b04a592e32d67f6d1c08f81e88d02. Boy Meets Girls (Boy Meets World + Girls).
Cory Matthews (not yet married to Topanga, with whom he is currently on a break) and the guys from Boy Meets World decide that New York is the perfect place to spend their twenties. They move into the apartment across from Hannah Horvath and Marnie Michaels (Lena Dunham and Allison Williams on Girls). Cory finds himself fascinated by the younger, fast-talking Shoshanna, while Shawn falls for troublesome Jessa, whose past may be darker than his own. Meanwhile, as part of her quarter-life crisis, Marnie hooks up with the ambitionless Eric Matthews, much to her own chagrin. The show features clever commentary on the millennial generation, Shoshanna’s bizarre hairstyles, Skype dates with Mr. Feeny, and a lot of Lena Dunham nudity.

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3. America’s Next Top Teen Mom (America’s Next Top Model + Teen Mom).
Tyra is always looking for a new spin for her competitive modeling TV show. Why not add MTV’s famous teen mothers into the mix? The young contestants are judged based on their smize, the number of weaves they can wear in one episode, their ability to text and drive, and how well they deal with their baby daddies. The show features lots of tears, a weekly discussion about the contestants’ “realness,” a screaming Tyra Banks, and Jenelle Evans’ hot lawyer.

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once-upon4. Once Upon a Grimm (Once Upon a Time + Grimm).
Once Upon a Time and Grimm, both heavily focused on fairy tales and folklore, hit the small screens around the same time. Putting them together for a spin-off TV show (or at least a crossover episode) would be a no-brainer! Nick Burkhardt, a Portland homicide investigator and Grimm (a hunter who perceives supernatural forces and can fight them), finds his way to the East Coast town of Storybrooke. He and his partner, Hank Griffin, team up with Emma Swan (the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming) to vanquish whatever villain is currently haunting Storybrooke. Meanwhile, Monroe (a blutbad, much like The Big Bad Wolf) begins an illicit affair with Ruby (Red Riding Hood/Werewolf Extraordinaire). Police Captain Sean Renard takes a liking to Evil Queen Regina (the Mayor of Storybrooke) and they bond over their shared knack for interior decorating. The show features true love’s kiss, several magical fight scenes, Nick Burkhardt’s concerned face, good triumphing over evil, and too much clever dialogue for its own good.

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5. Orange is the New Scandal (Orange is the New Black + Scandal).
Olivia Pope fixes things. But when she finds herself sentenced to a year in federal prison for the crimes she has committed, she can no longer play her role as Washington D.C.’s resident fixer. Instead, she begins helping her fellow inmates with their own issues. She gets Red back to her job in the kitchen, prepares several inmates for their appeals, puts an end to the prison race wars, and even works to improve Crazy Eyes’ image. The show features emotionally-charged prison visits from President Fitzgerald Grant, flashbacks to Olivia’s fabulous coats, a developing friendship between Olivia and fellow prisoner/hairdresser Sophia (who helps her maintain her beautiful hairstyles), and a significantly improved prison system.

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You’re welcome, TV viewers.

The Weekend Five: Unhealthy Relationships on Television

As busy as I may be throughout the semester, I happen to be an avid TV viewer. I’m not ashamed of my silly television habits, and many readers will note that I love to discuss some of the fictional (and non-fictional!) characters in relation to my beliefs about dating, ambition and more. Today’s blog focuses on the less healthy relationships that have been recently portrayed on television, some of which are fan favorites, and my thoughts on each pairing. 🙂 Enjoy!

The Weekend Five: Unhealthy Relationships on Television

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1. Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl.
Don’t get me wrong… I used to love this couple (when I was seventeen). When the show first planted the idea of Blair, the scheming Queen B of the Upper East Side, and Chuck, the wealthy and womanizing bad boy, a part of me thought that the pairing was just crazy enough to work out. I enjoyed watching as their relationship developed, with both characters struggling to admit their true feelings for one another, but after the second season or so, things took a turn for the crazy. Chuck traded Blair for a hotel, hooked up with a character’s younger sister on the night he planned to propose, and even became physically abusive to Blair, who ultimately married and divorced a Monaguesque prince. A relationship this rocky is not worth the time or heartache; in fact, both characters thrive when they aren’t together. Personally, I believe that Chuck needs to go through a ton of rehab, and that Blair is much better off with Dan Humphrey, her best friend and intellectual equal. (As a couple, Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen are a close second for unhealthy couples!)

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2. Ryan Howard and Kelly Kapoor from The Office.This couple was hilarious to watch throughout the show’s run, but definitely not a “healthy” relationship. Kelly herself was one of my favorite characters while she was still on the show, probably because of her knack for the dramatic (ie: faking pregnancy or swallowing a tapeworm to lose weight), and Ryan’s pretentious behavior was enough to make you love to hate him. While Kelly constantly latched on to Ryan, Ryan only showed enough interest to keep her around. In fact, when Kelly moves to Miami, Ohio, with her new pediatrician boyfriend, Ryan moves there as well (seemingly to get her back). In real life, this kind of relationship would be troublesome, but on the small screen, Kelly and Ryan are one of the most entertaining unhealthy couples to watch.

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3. Belle and Rumplestiltskin from Once Upon a Time.
Okay, let me start out by saying that I really am pulling for these two to end up together. I think Belle is exactly what Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin needs to stay grounded and not let his powers overcome him. However, in its current state, the relationship could arguably use some improving. While Belle remains supportive of Rumplestiltskin and committed to making him a better man, Rumplestiltskin struggles to put his love for her in front of everything else. Once he finally changes for the better and isn’t so obsessed with making deals with every single fairy tale character who ever existed, I believe that he and Belle will make a great couple.

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4. President Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope from Scandal.
Olivia Pope, the former communications director for the White House, has an affair with Fitzgerald Grant during his presidential campaign and long afterward. Although the President is married to someone else and expecting his third or fourth child, he just can’t quit Olivia. The two are so drawn to each other (although, to this day, I’m unclear on why) that every scene between them is extremely emotional and intense. Every time Olivia tries to break things off, Fitz does something crazy to win her back – for example, having his Secret Service men kidnap Liv in the woods so the two of them can have some alone time. His need to be with Olivia borders on controlling, and the fact that their relationship must be kept secret is enough to make it unhealthy. (Don’t forget – his wife is pregnant!)

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5. Victoria Henley and her mother from Cycle 19 of America’s Next Top Model.
As a huge fan of Top Model, I couldn’t let this one slip by! Victoria is a homeschooled girl who now attends online college, and she has never really been apart from her mother. Immediately in the season, she talks about her devotion to her mother, as well as the idea that she never wants to pursue a romantic relationship with a guy in the foreseeable future because her relationship with her mother is fulfilling enough. Now, I love my Mom and talk to her about nearly everything, but Victoria takes it to a whole new level, crying out “Momma!” and bursting into tears every time she rings up her mother on the phone. This attachment is a little scary, considering this girl is getting into her twenties and hasn’t formed a relationship of any kind with anyone else.

What TV relationships do you think are the most unhealthy?

The Friday Five: ANTM Contestants

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I’m a reality TV junkie. I could justify my viewership by saying that I watch the shows for the social commentary, but that wouldn’t be entirely true — as much as I love a good discussion about the underlying themes of reality television, I also love indulging in the guilty pleasure of watching something completely mindless and ridiculous and fun. For example, I’m not exactly an aspiring model, but I have certainly wasted weekends watching America’s Next Top Model marathons.

After years of careful viewing, of course, I’ve started to group the contestants into categories. These categories are even more apparent in this season’s all-star cycle, in which Tyra Banks brings back contestants from past cycles to compete for some epic challenge that escapes my memory. This week, I will report my Top Model findings, which I’ve gotten down to a science. (Feel free to add your own in the comments section below!)

The Friday Five: ANTM Contestants

1. The Girl Who Rests on “Pretty.”
While most of the other contestants have particularly unusual bone structure, this girl is generally the prom queen all grown up, the girl whose looks most viewers would kill for. No matter how proficient she is in modeling, however, she is usually criticized for being “too commercial” and being appropriate only for catalog. This girl may progress somewhat throughout the competition, but she never wins; Tyra & Co. will be sure to dismiss her because of her traditional beauty, but they will claim to do so because they find her too complacent and unadventurous in her film.

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2. The Real Girl.
(Not to be confused with this kind of Real Girl.) The drama in the house usually originates with this girl. The Real Girl tells it like it is, and while some people find her funny and candid, others butt heads with her early on. As the ANTM-equivalent of The Situation, the Real Girl drives the show’s ratings because of the catty arguments she gets into and the occasional hair-pulling that ultimately ensues. She usually dismisses other members of the house as “fake” and declares herself to be one of the few “real” (if not the only) contestants left.

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3. The Sweet Southern Girl.
In contrast to the Real Girl, the Sweet Southern Girl means no harm. There’s a fight in the house? She’ll climb up to the top bunk and watch quietly from afar, thank you very much. This girl generally has no enemies and gains a lot of fan favoritism, but her drama-free demeanor usually keeps her from the prize.

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4. The Quirky Girl.
The Quirky Girl can come in all shapes and sizes, but modeling isn’t usually her first choice of career. Almost always, she has worked behind the camera before, but she usually has a variety of other interests that will completely creep out the other contestants. (Just think of Broken Baby Doll Allison and her hobby of painting people with nosebleeds!) Nevertheless, this girl usually manages to avoid a lot of the drama in the house as well and usually captures our interest for at least a few episodes. A subcategory of Quirky Girl is Androgynous Girl, a trait that Tyra constantly claims to value but usually doesn’t keep around in the competition for long.

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5. The Girl With A Platform.
The Girl With A Platform may come into the competition wanting to become a high fashion model and build her portfolio, but she has another goal in mind as well — raise awareness of a social or health issue so that viewers will notice. Sometimes the girls are edited this way, but Tyra is a sucker for a Girl With A Platform and will keep her around for as long as possible (regardless of total performance in the competition). Whether this girl differentiates herself by her weight, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or other trait she believes defines her, viewers will constantly see her in the confessionals talking about how much the trait impacts her life.

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What categories of contestants do you often notice on America’s Next Top Model?

The Friday Five: Lessons Learned From Reality TV

As we begin to approach the weekend, I have decided to try a new feature on this blog: The Friday Five. Every Friday (or at least every Friday that I have access to a computer!), I will compile a Top 5 list that is either pertinent to my life or just something that needs to be said. 🙂 Without further ado…

The Friday Five: Lessons Learned From Reality TV

1. If you run into an ex-boyfriend at the Shore, your best bet is to go dancing on the boardwalk. (Jersey Shore)

It doesn’t matter if he’s armed with his group of friends and you’re all by yourself with no one really dancing with you for long. It doesn’t matter if it’s broad daylight and you’re completely sober. It doesn’t even matter if everyone is laughing at you. Because, for Snooki, a dance on the boardwalk is a completely acceptable way to show an ex you just don’t care (even if you do). And let’s face it… if we can learn poise from anyone, it’s the cast of Jersey Shore.

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2.  When armed with two (or three) alternatives to choose from, always take the worst. (Parental Control)

You’ve been dating Kevin Federline for a year and a half, and your parents can’t stand him (in fact, the three exchange not-so-witty banter in your living room on a regular basis!), so you go on Parental Control, where your parents set up dates (on camera) for you with Brad Pitt and Adam Brody. You allow each date to ridicule K Fed and you laugh right along with them, admitting to the camera that he doesn’t always make you happy. In the end, you decide that you admire Brad’s humanitarian efforts and suave ways, that you’re enamored with Adam’s dorky-cute personality, and that although both guys have more of the qualities you seek in a boyfriend, you will continue to date K Fed because you’ve been together for a while. And what does this teach us? In every relationship, longevity trumps happiness.

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3. Classiness is in the eye of the beholder. (Flavor of Love)

When competing for the heart of the famed Flavor Flav, one must always remember that it’s totally okay to fight tooth and nail with the other girls, and that getting completely hammered right before an elimination is actually quite advisable. Just don’t lie to Flav about your body measurements, past experience on reality TV and game shows, or your reasons for being there (although, truth be told, everyone else is there for those same fifteen minutes of fame… that’s what Flav’s clocks are for). Keep your friends in the house close and New York even closer.

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4. If you’re not in everyone else’s face, then you’re completely fake. (America’s Next Top Model)

I’ve blogged about this before, but one of the more common themes of ANTM seems to be the schism between the Extremely Outspoken and the Fake. If you need an example for how best to act around others, just take it from Angelea by letting people know (very obviously… exaggeration is good!) how bad of a mood you are in, by calling people out for not arguing with you, and by turning on your best friends when they are starting to outshine you. You cannot let anyone forget about you for one minute!

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5. The clothes define the man. (Keeping Up With The Kardashians)

Well, maybe not always, but in Scott Disick’s case, they certainly do. In his case, what you see is what you get… in other words, if it walks like a jerk, talks like a jerk, and dresses like a jerk, then it probably is a jerk. Poor Kourtney Kardashian really picked the cream of the crop here, matching pink tie and all. Scott Disick has taught me that I will probably never date a guy whose wardrobe consists mainly of sweater vests (nor will I date a guy who ties his sweater around his neck). This has to be some kind of evolutionary tip-off. Thanks, Scott!