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    Fall TV Is Returning Soon

    It can’t start soon enough
    Supernatural

    SUPERNATURAL
    Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles, Mark Sheppard and Jared Padalecki photographed on the Supernatural set in Vancouver, Canada on August 23, 2016
    Photograph by Matthias Clamer
    Hair: Jennifer Manton; Makeup: Trisha Porter; Wardrobe: Kerry Weinrauch; Props: Karolina Grant; Production: Susan Milne

    The new Fall TV seasons are about to start, and I can’t wait. I think one of the most miserable times of year is the time in between television seasons. Shows always leave on the most excruciating cliffhangers, and then you have to wait months to see what happens next. For those of you who haven’t gotten caught up on everything yet, I will leave spoilers out. I’m going to give a list of shows with very vague descriptions of the closure I need from them.

    Supernatural – I mean… who was that chick? And what are they going to do now that [Redacted] is back? Where did [Redacted] and [Redacted] really go? Will we find out? And of course, the biggie… is [Redacted] ok??? It’s got me all emotional.

    Dean Winchester

    The Vampire Diaries – It’s the last season, so how are they going to wrap things up? Is [Redacted] going to return to finish up her story line? And what the heck was in the basement? What is going on with [Redacted] and [Redacted]?? I’m so worried about these things, guys, you don’t even know.

    Loki Demands Answers

    The Originals – Last season ended with everything in turmoil. I’ve already seen a little bit of the next season, and I know they are doing a time jump of several years. It makes sense, seeing as how The Vampire Diaries also recently jumped in time a bit. I’m guessing they are going to continue to try to keep the stories running parallel to each other. But how are they going to resolve what happened? Is [Redacted] going to come to his senses and stop being such an insufferable jerk?

    Klaus

    Sleepy Hollow – I almost gave up on this show. The death of [Redacted] still doesn’t sit well with me. However, I still am intensely curious as to where they take the show from there. Who were the people who picked Ichabod up at the end? Where is [Redacted]’s soul? Does this leave room for the character to return? They really better wow me with whatever they do, though, because I’m still pretty mad.

    madashell

    The Walking Dead – Honestly, I’m only half excited for this season. I know, I know, I know… I just… I’m a little bitter that people keep giving Jeffrey Dean Morgan stuff to do. He’s said repeatedly he would return to Supernatural if he ever has the time. People keep casting him in stuff, though! I should be happy for an actor finding work… and I am… I just wish it was different work. Other than that I am interested to know who Negan’s victim was. I have an idea, because I’ve read the comics, but they’ve strayed so far off that path there’s really no telling. It just better not have been Daryl. I -WILL- riot. Seriously, though.. the boys need their father.

    John Winchester

    Hell’s Kitchen – There’s no cliffhanger here, but my love for all shows Gordon Ramsay runs deep. This is one I can’t wait to start up again. I’ve been watching old seasons in preparation.

    giveittome

    iZombie – The season finale changed everything. Where are they going to go from there? Who are these new players and what is their agenda? What will the group dynamic be like now that [Redacted] knows all about zombies? Will [Redacted] forgive [Redacted] for seemingly ruining her career? Will she be told about everything now that there is such a massive threat on the loose? I am so excited to find out!

    Excited Ravi

    Sherlock – AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! That’s really all I can say about that. I’m not even going to elaborate at all, because the whole thing is all just too emotional. If you want to share in my feelings, and haven’t seen the Series 4 promo yet, you can check it out below.

    That’s my list. I would have put Game of Thrones on here as well, but that season doesn’t start until next year. These are the shows that are coming out within the next few months that I am the most excited about. Did I miss any you would have added? Do you feel my pain in waiting for any of these to return? Let me know in the comments below!

     

     

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    Television
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    Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Officially Renewed For Season 2

    Season 2 is coming, and I can’t wait.

    Stranger Things

    It’s official, Stranger Things has been renewed for a second season on Netflix. Created by the Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross, Stranger Things is the TV version of a King/Spielberg/Carpenter love child that every 80’s horror fan always wanted. Set in the 1980’s, the show follows a group of young boys as they go on an adventure to save their friend after he goes missing. Along the way they meet the mysterious Eleven, a girl their age who has escaped from a secret lab where she has been tested on her entire life. She has telekinetic abilities and a mysterious link to a monster that is plaguing the city.

    The Duffers have confirmed that much of the original cast will be returning along with some new additions for the second season. Also, whereas the first season felt much like an 80’s movie, the second season will feel more like a blockbuster sequel. Matt Duffer explained to Entertainment Weekly that James Cameron was a big influence while writing season 2.

    Watch the teaser trailer below, which lists the episode names for all of season 2.

    If you haven’t checked it out yet, Stranger Things season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix. Let us know what you think about the show in the comments and on our Twitter!

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    Remember When The VMAs Were Actually Good?

    The 2016 VMAs Are Tonight And I Couldn’t Care Less

    2016 VMAs

    The 2016 VMAs (Video Music Awards) are on MTV tonight, and I am having a really hard time caring. Granted, this might be because I’m “just too old” for that sort of thing, but honestly I feel as if it’s more than that. I am not ashamed to admit that I listen to a top 40 radio station most of the time, and so it definitely is not something that can be blamed on not liking the music. The VMAs honestly just aren’t what they used to be.

    Today’s VMAs seem to be less about the performances, or even the awards, and more about the drama surrounding them. “What crazy thing is Miley going to wear?” or “Who is going to call out who on stage?” are the questions that seem to top our minds when we think about MTV’s awards show. I remember a time, though, when the main question on my mind was, “I wonder who is going to have the most over the top performance?”

    What do you think? Do you remember how the VMAs used to be? Do you still watch them? Let us know on our Twitter or Facebook. Until then, I’ll leave you with a video from the time when the VMAs were actually worth watching.

     

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    Rants, Television
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    GUEST REVIEW: Owlegories

    The fauna steps in where the flora fell down

    Owlegories_1

    I had been down this road before. I became a Christian in college and immediately was made aware of the presence of Christian-themed anthropomorphic produce shows.

    They were fine. I mean, they were cute, they told a story, had a Bible verse or two, and were generally exactly the kind of wholesome cartoons the classic Christian household would prefer to the likes of Spongebob Squarepants or Monster High.

    Then there was a feature-length movie. As the brand’s popularity skyrocketed, VeggieTales quickly spiraled down the drain, replacing Christian stories and lessons with a focus on therapeutic moralistic deism. Instead of adhering closely to the Scriptures as their source material (to the point of actually putting verses on screen), VeggieTales became an avenue for teaching moral lessons (be kind, love one another) through allegorical tellings of Biblical stories with animated fruits and vegetables. Phil Vischer, one of the creators of VeggieTales, shared his regrets about what happened in an interview with the Christian Examiner back in October of 2015.

    It became became a shell of what it was. It’s not that these lessons were bad, but they were no longer the Christian programming they purported to be. As such, there wasn’t great, widely available, Gospel-centered animated children’s programming anymore.

    Enter Owlegories. There is no doubt anyone with even casual familiarity with VeggieTales will immediately be reminded of it when the show begins, but the similarities to the VeggieTales we have today ends very quickly.

    Owlegories is a brand wrapped around a number of apps and direct-to-DVD/digital cartoon episodes. The brand makes use of a core cast of owls to tell of the glory of God through nature. Using metaphorical language, student owls learn from teacher owls about aspects of who and what God is that are like certain elements in nature. How is God like the sun? Like water? Like fire?

    Owlegories

    Owlegories is an inventive way to teach children about God by providing real world examples that can be replicated by parents. Instead of a story with ethereal touchpoints that is theoretically tied to a Biblical event (and taking wide liberties, at that) Owlegories provides concrete examples and concepts that are easy to grasp. Each episode features three ways in which God is like the aspect of nature they’re studying (the Baptist in me is proud).

    The episodes reminded me a lot of VeggieTales with a little bit of The Wild Kratts thrown in. There is an adorably goofy conflict with a classic over-the-top villian owl named Devlin in each episode that the student team needs to resolve, learning about God through nature along the way.

    My wife and I chuckled a few times while watching the three episodes with our children. Even though the construction of the episodes was superior to today’s VeggieTales, that wasn’t what impressed us the most: after the show was over, a guest would give a Gospel message.

    The episodes, which provide the bulk of the content, can be seen via DVD or by downloading the Owlegories TV app. There is also an “Owlegories: The Original” app that allows you to view a lot of the same information in a more interactive way. and an Owlegories memory verse app currently in development. The apps are currently available for iOS and Android.

    Owlegories App

    Owlegories is a labor of love initially developed by the Boto family. That team has grown to include a number of others including the accomplished Keith Alcorn, who has worked on movies like Jimmy Neutron and The Ant Bully. The leadership team is working with Spy House Productions and Gundersen Entertainment to bring Owlegories to market.

    Owlegories is well on its way to becoming a Gospel-themed multimedia force, if it can keep up the quality of what they have put out so far. I do hope they continue to do so, and especially that they don’t deviate from their banner verse(s): Psalm 19:1-4.

    Though I could pick nits with its theology from a personal preference perspective, I think Owelgories does an excellent job conveying the core message without diverting into a feel-good mess. I also think any parent who is looking for this kind of entertainment for their children is probably prepared to buttress it with direct teaching. Within this vein I’m very happy to see the continued efforts of the staff at Spy House/Gundersen Entertainment to engage their community on the Owlegories Blog.

    There are two Owlegories DVD’s currently available that can be purchased on Amazon or at Wal-Mart or a number of other brick & mortar stores. It is an excellently produced show with a clear Biblical message. If you’re a Christian parent looking for some entertainment for your kids that is a little more Biblical and a little less moralism, it might be something for you to check out. With additional content right at your fingertips via the apps, it is easy for a family to check it out to see if it is right for them.

    MoreOwls

    Owlegories DVD Giveaway

    The Vampire Diaries/The Originals Blue Ray, DVD + Digital Download Giveaway

    Are you fit for vampire life?

    The Vampire Diaries and The Originals DVD Covers
    Fans of The Mommy Gamers podcast are no stranger to how much I love vampires, specifically The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. I’ve actually just returned from my third tour of Mystic Falls (Covington, GA). You can hear about my first tour in Episode 48: A Vampire Diaries Special. I also might have maybe met some of the cast.

    First – we have four blogger exclusive interviews with the creator of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, Julie Plec. These super fan videos feature Julie confessing her favorite moments & top 5 episodes from the recent seasons of both The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season and The Originals The Complete Second Season.

    About The Vampire Diaries/The Originals

    About The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season

    The Vampire Diaries continues its sixth season with more delicious drama to sink your teeth into. In season five, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back — with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves. Matt Davis reprises his role as Alaric Saltzman, recently returned from The Other Side. Plus, the season will make you misty-eyed as the departure of a major character will turn lives upside down and leave us asking what happened to Mystic Falls.

    The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Blue-Ray[button type=”big” color=”purple” link=”http://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Diaries-Season-6-Blu-ray/dp/B00T5D4LB2/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1440979863&sr=1-2″]Buy Now[/button]

    Own The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 1, 2015.

    Contains All 22 Episodes From The Sixth Season Plus Two Featurettes, An Audio Commentary, The 2014 Comic-Con Panel, Deleted Scenes, And A Gag Reel

    The Vampire Diaries on Facebook
    The Vampire Diaries on Twitter

    About The Originals The Complete Second Season

    As Original vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson returned to the vibrant, supernaturally charged city of New Orleans in season one, he was stunned to learn — along with his siblings Elijah and Rebekah — that Hayley, a werewolf, was pregnant with his child, and his vampire protégé, Marcel, whom the Original siblings had thought long dead, was ruling the French Quarter. Soon, a bloody war escalated between vampires and witches — the stakes raised by powerful teenage witch Davina and by Klaus’s bond with Cami, a student with a painful past — and a ruthless pack of wolves seized the opportunity to stage a violent coup. Now, in season two, a new status quo must be adjusted to, as the newly empowered werewolves control the city. Klaus struggles with weaknesses as Elijah desperately tries to save Hayley — now a hybrid — from a vicious spiral of self-destruction. Meanwhile, with the re-emergence of several Mikaelsons, “family is power” takes on new meaning.

    The Original Season 2 Blue-Ray[button type=”big” color=”purple” link=”http://www.amazon.com/Originals-Season-2-Blu-ray/dp/B00T5D4MVQ/ref=sr_1_1_twi_blu_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1440979955&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Originals+Season+2′]Buy Now[/button]

    Own The Originals The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 1, 2015

    Contains All 22 Episodes From The Second Season Plus Never-Before-Seen Featurettes And Much More!

    The Originals on Facebook
    Ask The Originals on Twitter

    Giveaway

    Oh god… I’m school girl squealing and hard core fan girling about doing this giveaway! I’m going to make it really easy on you to enter to win. Take the “Are you Fit for Vampire Life?” Quiz below to find out if you have what it takes to be a creature of the night. On September 1st come back to take a new “Could You Be a Supernatural Being?” Quiz – the app will be automatically updated with a new quiz experience, so be sure to take both! Leave a comment with at least one of your quiz results below before 11:59 pm EST on September 14, 2015 for your chance to win. Feel free to scroll through all the images from the shows and come back every week for new unlocked content.

    Official Rules

    Each household is only eligible to win (1) The Vampire Diaries Season 6 or The Originals Season 2 chosen at random via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    A winner will be selected at random by 11:59pm EST September 16, 2015. Be sure to leave your email, facebook, or twitter handle so we can contact you if you win.

    [box type=”info”]This post contains an affiliate link. You can read more about our official disclosure policy here. Information and prize provided by Warner Bros. [/box]

    A Mommy Gamer’s Guide to the World Cup

    FIFA-World-Cup-Brazil-Wallpaper-Logo

    I love watching soccer.

    I didn’t play it growing up, or see it being played much. But in 1997, when the formation of a Chicago-based Major League Soccer team was announced, my then-boyfriend (now my ex-husband) was very excited because he’d been gone to Chicago Sting games (part of the NASL) with his father as a child. We attended the very first Chicago Fire game at Soldier Field, on April 4, 1998. Soccer has been my favorite sport ever since. And every four years, my life revolves around a slightly bigger event: the FIFA World Cup.

    There’s a reason they call soccer “the beautiful game.” Unlike our messy, stop-and-start American games, full of arbitrary rules and athletes so specialized as to appear abnormal, there’s something pure and amazing about soccer. Now, I’m not saying that soccer is perfect, or that there are no issues with fans, players, referees, clubs, leagues, countries. Of course there are. Just look at FIFA’s (the Fédération Internationale de Football Association) decision-making on which countries should be awarded World Cups. There might even be more politics than in any other sport, because soccer has such a rich, scrappy, strange, long-lived, sometimes unbelievable history around the world. I wouldn’t dare even try to touch on this legacy, because I couldn’t do it justice without a thoroughly researched 1,800-page thesis.

    There are two reasons that I love soccer. One is the game. I can’t remember from year to year what the players’ names are, which country won the Cup in 1998, or what Landon Donovan was doing then. I have a terrible memory for statistics. But watching a soccer game – there’s nothing like it. The scores may be low, but this is a case in which numbers don’t reflect the quality of the experience. A 0-0 tie, like the one Brazil and Mexico just had, can be the most exciting game of all.

    If you read about soccer, you’ll find any number of reasons why soccer is considered beautiful. It’s a simple game. Anyone can play it as long as they have a ball. There are no time-outs, and there is constant motion. The elite athletes have minimal equipment, and that means they can get really creative with what they do have – just a bit of synthetic leather, stitched together. In the most basic, unadulterated way soccer players must count on their speed, their agility, their strength, their smarts, and their teammates. It’s what sport is all about before the rules, the governing bodies, the fans, the hipsters, and the rest get to it. Artistry is born from this.

    The other reason is that soccer connects us. And we women are all about connections. It connects in a way no other sport does because everyone knows soccer. Poor people, kids, women – folks of every color and religion and orientation from around the world play it. So do the wealthy David Beckhams of the world. Soccer is an even playing ground, where strife is forgotten and only the game matters. And soccer, especially at the World Cup level, is a hopeful sport. The richest and most powerful countries aren’t necessarily the most dominant – but their populations gather under one banner to cheer on national teams. And desire for their own teams to come out on top sometimes has fans rooting for unlikely allies. Soccer unites the world in some very tangible and profound ways.

    Since this World Cup started, I’ve read numerous stupid articles about how women can get into the game or “survive” the period. Watch the boys, they’re so gorgeous (yes, they are, but that’s just icing on the cake). Learn the rules (duh!). Expect to be bored (really? That’s just idiotic). Expect your men to ignore you (who cares? Learn to love the sport yourself and ignore them instead). 

I’m here to say: forget all that really stupid advice. The best thing to do with the World Cup is just watch. Really watch. Pay attention, give it a chance. Enjoy. Even if you know nothing about the rules of the game or how match play works in the World Cup, soccer is beautiful. And that’s all there is to it.

    You’ll learn as you go. You’ll get to know the players and the countries and their styles of play. But the thing is: soccer is not complicated. It’s not like American football, which makes no sense these days. In soccer, players run across a field and try to get a ball into a goal. The other team tries to stop them. Players have to stay in bounds and they can’t use their hands. They can’t charge/kick/trip/hit/hold/tackle each other, and an attacking player can’t be between a line of defenders and the goal (the offside rule, which you must know because it’s both necessary and controversial). All these infractions result in penalties that can give the other team the edge, which is why players “dive” (over-act when possibly fouled). End of story. That’s what you need to know.

    I have one more concrete suggestion: the World Cup sticker book. Kids around the world collect World Cup stickers, and the book helps keep track of players, scores, teams, countries and more. My kid and I are putting stickers in the book together, and it’s a wonderful keepsake as well as a fun family activity.

    I end with this year’s official World Cup 2014 jam:

    And what the heck, I’m going to add the unofficial U.S. soccer anthem, Weezer’s “Represent,” because I LOVE this song:

    I can’t think about anything but soccer lately. So thanks for indulging me!

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    What the 50th Anniversary of “Doctor Who” Means to Me

    doctor-who-50th-anniversay-trailer

    When I was 13 years old, I had a crush on a boy who wore a really long multi-colored scarf to school almost every day. Naturally, when I learned that he was a fan of this weird British sci-fi show called “Doctor Who,” I watched it too. How else was I going to make him notice me?

    To be honest, my father introduced me to the show first, a few years earlier – but since it was, you know, my dad, it didn’t take. Continue Reading

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    Geekery, Television
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    After watching “Morning Joe” I’m switching to decaf…

    morning-joe-poster

    After watching a clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe. (Thanks to the guys at Kotaku“)  I was a little ticked off. Actually I was furious. But before I go off on my rant, here is what  Joe Scarborough said about this young generation…

    [quote] Men in their twenties, who unfortunately I think are weak, and stay at home, and play videogames and are weak, weak, weak and un-marriable! They’re just…there are no good men out there! Other than my son and his friends.[/quote]

    He was referring to the opinion of the apparent shifting of gender roles and women breadwinners. And obviously trying to help his son and his friends get noticed by the ladies. (Thanks for the plug, “Dad”.)

    So let me talk to Mr. Scarborough directly… I know many men out there that are in their twenties that have more physical strength and mental fortitude in their little pinky than you have in your whole body. I of course am talking about the men that protect and serve their country in the armed forces … and most of them enjoy video games. (I know that the women do the same thing in our military and are just as important, but since his statement was about men and not ladies I’m trying to make a point that there are more than just a handful of good men out there)

    I also have a neighbor who is in his early twenties. He works a full time job, goes to college making amazing grades. He also loves to play video games and treats his lady with love and a respect that all women deserve. So where do these people fall in your stereotype?

    Maybe you are just generalizing gamers… not the generation of twenty-somethings. Maybe you didn’t say it, but your tone was almost like you’re implying that anyone that plays video games is weak. Well get your butt out in the real world Joe… you obviously have let fame go to your head.  We are not shut-in’s living in our mom’s and dad’s basements. The gamers I know personally are intelligent passionate and hard working members of society. They are doctors and nurses, coal miners and farmers. True salt of the earth people. I would also like to point out that the average gamer is 36 years old Joe… that’s right thirty six.  Sure, maybe the young men that you see on a day to day basis are weak. But wait a second… How many twenty year olds do you hang out with or know other than your son and his friends and the interns that bring your coffee to you? Don’t try and pigeonhole gamers in a decades old stereotype. Gamers cannot be defined by any other way than their love of games.

    I guess what it all boils down to is something more sad than anything. I imagine it must be hard for you… working in your air conditioned TV studio. I guess working for the media, you really don’t get out much hence the white pasty skin that has to be covered up with a boatload of makeup. You’re fed lines on a teleprompter. So you’re basically told what to say, how to say it… and when to say it. You’re just a puppet on a string for a right wing agenda. Not that I’m saying that is a bad thing… it must be easy for you to accept your fate for the ability to continue to be in the limelight after your career in politics. You did leave politics to help raise your children, right? It’s almost like your teaching your son that mocking something you don’t know anything about makes you look better. Kinda like a bully.

    And we all know what happens to bullies… they always fall from their pedestal.

     

    [box type=”info”] Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, opinion or position of The Mommy Gamers.[/box]

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