When I should be reading at night, my eyes sometimes drift from the printed page to my television screen. Lately my vice has been binging on three seasons of Parenthood on Netflix streaming. Now that I’m almost caught up, there are a few new Fall shows that are on my radar that I’m testing out.
1. Revolution, from J.J. Abrams Bad Robot Productions and Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke. Premieres Monday Sept. 17 on NBC @ 10/9c
Revolution caught my interest because it’s a J.J. Abrams production and I’m hoping for some Lost magic. As a fan of post-apocalyptic books, I was intrigued enough to watch the Jon Favreau directed pilot on NBC.com. The set-up is that one day there is a massive worldwide blackout that takes out all the technology. Like Lost, the first episode shows planes scarily falling from the sky (I didn’t notice if any of them were Oceanic) and there are some ominous scenes and sound effects. We don’t get to learn much about the immediate aftermath though, because the scene jumps ahead 15 years into the future, where life is challenging to say the least. There’s a young Katniss Everdeen type girl equipped with bow and arrow that sets out to find her brother (Hey, it sounds like Blood Red Road!) and her uncle, who is someone who may hold the key to solving the power outages. From what I’ve seen so far, it has a Walking Dead vibe. Starring Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Tracy Spiradakos, and Elizabeth Mitchell.
2. The New Normal, from Ryan Murphy Productions. Premiered September 10, Airs Tuesday’s on NBC at 9:30/8:30c
As a Gleek, I wanted to check out Ryan Murphy’s new sitcom The New Normal. The premise is that a gay couple (Bryan and David) wants to have a baby via surrogate. The surrogate (Goldie) has a tween daughter and has recently left her cheating husband behind. She’s looking to earn some money and start a new life. Her daughter Shania is quirky and likes pretending she’s Little Edie from Grey Gardens, and her bigoted mother Nana plays the evil nemesis, a la Sue Sylvester. So far, I don’t think the show has quite found its groove yet. The characters are over the top and it’s pretty campy but, then again, so is Glee. This show does have potential and I’m willing to wait and see. Starring Justin Bartha, Andrew Rannells, Georgia King, Bebe Wood, NeNe Leakes, and Ellen Barkin.
3. Nashville, from Callie Khouri. Premieres October 10 on ABC at 10/9c
What caught my eye with Nashville is the fact that Connie Britton is starring, and after watching her as Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights, I’ll try anything she appears in. The premise is that Britton plays Rayna Jaymes, a country star whose career is on the rocks. Hayden Panettiere plays Juliette Barnes, a new up and coming singer who is paired with Rayna on tour to increase ticket sales. It looks like it will be quite the soap opera drama and I’m interested to see how the music is incorporated in the show. Though I’m not a country music fan, I do like TV shows with a musical theme, and Nashville sounds like the TV version of Country Strong.
4. The Mindy Project, from Mindy Kaling. Premieres September 25 on FOX at 9:30/8:30c
I wish more of the Fall sitcoms looked interesting, but The Mindy Project is one of the only ones that shows promise. I watched the pilot on Hulu, and it is super cute. Mindy is a charming, nervous talking OB-GYN, who loves romantic comedies but doesn’t have the greatest track record with love. This show airs opposite The New Normal and I daresay I enjoyed The Mindy Project much more, though I’ll make room for them both on my DVR. I’m new to the cult of Mindy Kaling (never watched The Office), but color me impressed – in fact, I put her book on hold after watching the pilot since I liked her sense of humor. Also starring: Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Anna Camp, and Stephen Tobolowsky.
In addition to these four shows, I can’t wait for the return of Homeland, The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy, and Don’t Trust the B, and somehow I’ll keep up with my reading and other commitments of course! What shows are you looking forward to this Fall?
Book Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Original publication date: October 12 2010
Genre: Young Adult
Format/pages: Hardcover 472 Pages
Format read: Library book
Date read: November 12 2010
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Summary from the publisher:
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.
Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.
Beautifully written and complex, Revolution is a unique and satisfying book. It’s a very ambitious novel with two interwoven points of view – part historical fiction and part present day tale of grief and healing. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am still digesting it days later.
Revolution starts off with a bang when we follow Andi’s path of self-destruction in the present in Brooklyn. She is flawed, and grieving, and a bit of a mess, but smart and sympathetic. I related to her turning to music to help her get through the day. The music aspect of the novel was one of my favorite parts. I thought the music that Andi and the other musicians covered such as The Smiths were really appropriate to the story. I need to make a Revolution playlist.
I’m just starting to become interested in historical fiction and am not an expert on the French Revolution and I found the historical aspect of the book fascinating. I was as just as invested in the story told in the diary as Andi’s story in present day.
Once I hit about page 50 of the novel, the pages started flying and I couldn’t stop reading until I was finished. The story incorporated so many interesting themes, and I was always entertained. There is a love story, friends and family relationships, depression and grieving, music therapy, and even some magical realism. This is a perfect book for the classroom – and Random House has put together a study guide for discussion for teachers.
This is the first book I have read by Jennifer Donnelly and I was very impressed. I will definitely check out her book A Northern Light, and am looking forward to reading more from this author.
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