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Scene Selects

| Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hoarders

That Cabbage Patch doll? Definitely a keeper. That old McDonald’s bag? It has memories. If you’re familiar with rationale like this, you probably are a Hoarders fan. The show, featuring people who compulsively collect and keep things, is a great guilty pleasure. It has the train-wreck effect — you just can’t stop watching. These houses will make your dorm room look as if it could appear on the cover of “Martha Stewart Living.” Now it’s easier than ever to get caught up in the mess, as the show’s third season was recently released on Netflix.

Music Choice Channels

 For those readers who have digital cable, these channels are a must to check out.  Found in the 900’s, there are a huge number of channels, so one should definitely catch your eye and your musical taste. From pop to metal to country, you won’t be disappointed.  And not only does each channel play constant music, but zero commercials will really make you loathe ever turning on a radio. It also provides fun facts about the artist or song playing.  How else will you learn that Drake writes most of his music on his Blackberry? Check it out and become hooked.

Pumpkin Patches

Apple orchards are so over. This fall it’s all about the pumpkin patch. Throw on a sweater and some boots and prepare for a day full of frolicking in the crisp autumn air. Bonus points if your adventure involves a hayride. In addition to being just a tad more creative than apple picking, this excursion pretty much guarantees that you’ll come back with some awesome dorm room décor.

 

Grape Soda

Often derided for its similarities to grape flavored medicine or overlooked because of its status as a stereotype drink, it is about time for grape soda to make a comeback. Because, and this is the most important thing, it is delicious. Usually containing very high levels of sodium benzoate and only trace amounts of actual grape, grade soda isn’t exactly the ideal beverage for the health-conscious and can have a slightly metallic taste. But it is worth it for a soft drink experience that is both unique and refreshing. Grape soda is available in vending machines throughout campus, and remember: Welch’s is the best.

 

New Girl

This new show has launched a thousand different reactions but pretty much every one of them hinges on whether or not the viewer likes Zooey Deschanel’s quirky comedic sensibility. The adorable blue-eyed star plays Jess, a semi-dorky teacher who moves into an apartment with three other single men after a sympathy-inducing breakup with her cheating boyfriend. The men help her rebound and she helps them get in touch with their feminine side. The second episode in the series airs tonight at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Scene Selects

Scene Staff Report | Wednesday, September 21, 2011

“Suits”

USA Network has been on a roll with their original TV shows. From “Psych” to “Covert Affairs,” the network can do no wrong and their newest show, “Suits,” proves they still have it. “Suits” follows Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a brilliant college dropout who goes to work for one of New York City’s best lawyers. The show exudes the smart, sharp wit that USA has become known for and was just renewed for a second season.

“Archer”

The animated comedy on FX started its third season last Thursday. Three episodes will air to wrap up the end of the last season, with the rest of the third season finishing in 2012. Often described as “Arrested Development meets James Bond,” this TV show is not for kids, although it is animate. The show follows a dysfunctional group of incompetent spies and their desk jockeys. Smart, quick-witted and adult-minded, “Archer” is one of the most original — and best — comedies on television today.

Stand-Up Comedy

This is an entire genre of entertainment, but certain advances in technology make this form of entertainment especially appealing today. Making a Pandora station for Mitch Hedberg to hear that late comedian’s spot-on delivery, as well as comics with similar styles, or using Spotify to listen to Aziz Ansari’s album “Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening” are just two of the ways that time-honored, laughter-inducing techniques can be enjoyed via information age technology. Also try watching stand up specials on Netflix, and be on the lookout for professional or student comics performing on campus. And remember, comedians are important for more than roasting Charlie Sheen.

Jo Malone

This fragrancier known for her elegant and fresh perfumes is admittedly a current obsession. With the launch of their new Wild Bluebell perfume, the company is receiving plenty of buzz. Its real moment in the sun occurred when Jo Malone candles were chosen to scent Westminister Abbey for the royal wedding. Ladies, find your signature scent from their wide collection and who knows, maybe you’ll snag a prince too.

“What Though The Odds”

Into reading and looking for some motivation in life? No need to look very far, just check out “What Thought The Odds,” a motivational book written by Notre Dame alumna Haley Scott, which can be found in the Hammes Bookstore. Haley Scott was a freshman at Notre Dame when she was involved in a bus crash that nearly took her life and almost rendered her paralyzed. In this book, she tells the story of her difficult journey of faith and perseverance. Even if you are not into reading, this book is a must-read. 

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Scene Selects

Scene Staff Report | Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Groupon

Groupon is a massively popular coupon service that emails you deals for a wide variety of businesses in your area, and it’s completely free to join. Simply go to groupon.com and enter your email address and where you live. Groupon will then send you the daily deal. The service offers everything from discounted massages to putt-putt to Italian food. Most of the Groupon deals work like a gift card. For example, you could pay $10 to Groupon for $30 worth of food at a restaurant. Groupon will introduce you to a lot of cool area businesses you didn’t know existed, and make you feel like a savvy consumer in the process.

“Dance Moms”

If you’re looking for a new guilty pleasure show along the lines of “Toddlers &Tiaras,” then turn to Lifetime’s “Dance Moms.” “Dance Moms” gives viewers a glimpse into the outlandish daily lives of five mothers and their dancer daughters. Set at the Abby Lee Dance Company in Pittsburgh, PA, “Dance Moms” follows the powerful and strict Abby Lee Miller (dance company owner) as she works to win national titles with her age 6 ½-through-thirteen dance class. Emotional and volatile dance moms are the focal point of this revealing show. Their competitive attitudes and drama with each other take center stage, often eclipsing the true talent of their daughters. Check out “Dance Moms” on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. for an entertaining look at the dramatic inner world of dance training.

Style.com

This website, while always a valuable resource for the fashion forward, is the go-to website for coverage of New York Fashion Week and the month of international fashion weeks to come. It organizes the Spring-Summer ’12 collections by designer in a user-friendly way. In addition to providing a review of each show, the site offers a full slideshow of every look from every collection. It’s the perfect way to plan ahead for next season or look back at the Fall ’11 collections for this season’s biggest trends.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s finally that time of year again when Starbucks releases its iconic offerings for the fall season. While the usual espressos and macchiatos start to seem a little boring, the Pumpkin Spice Latte makes its way back onto the menu to spice up our autumn days. This divine 380-calorie combo of espresso, pumpkin-flavored syrup and steamed milk has caused cities to fight to bring it back to local Starbucks stores earlier than scheduled. So while the leaves begin turning, be sure to find the time to get the best coffee treat around…while it lasts.

Apple Picking

Need a little more inspiration for your Fall culinary exploits? Pair your Pumpkin Spice Latte with some hand-picked apples. ‘Tis the season to pluck the most delicious apples straight from their trees, and there is no better place to do it than Michigan. Head up to our neighbor in the North to find apple orchards galore, all advertising fall apple-picking specials. Eat them as they are or get some ingredients and make homemade apple pie or cider. Either way, you’re guaranteed to keep the doctor away thanks to these Fall fruit wonders.

 

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Scene Selects

| Thursday, September 8, 2011

1.     Pretty Little Liars

The summer finale of the addictive ABC Family hit just aired, giving newcomers the perfect chance to catch up on the first season-and-a-half of this juicy teen mystery before it returns in January. Despite somewhat cheesy dialogue and obvious red herrings, viewers will keep coming back for more thanks to the suspenseful cliffhangers, scandalous romances and, maybe most importantly, the pretty hairstyles.

 

2.     Spotify

Spotify is a service that lets you stream millions of songs instantly and on-demand. Based in Sweden, Spotify made its long-awaited debut in the States this summer. The free account allows you to listen to 10 hours of music, with occasional ads. For $4.99 a month you get unlimited music and no ads, and for $9.99 you also get offline access to songs, along with access on mobile devices. To get the most out of it, make a few cool playlists and share your music with friends via Facebook.

3.     Cupcake Wars

Cupcake Wars combines all of the greatest attributes of quality television: high stakes competition, harsh judges with cool accents, a host that makes truly terrible puns and (of course) cupcakes. Honestly, is anything more appealing than watching professional cupcake bakers bake a thousand cupcakes? Everything from a classic southern red velvet cupcake with a decadent almond cream cheese frosting to a strawberry kiwi daiquiri cupcake with kiwi curd, strawberry rum frosting and a strawberry rum shooter garnish are featured.

4.     True Blood

“True Blood” imagines a world in which vampires have come out of the coffin. Vampires — and a host of other supernatural creatures — live amongst humans and exist in disproportionate numbers in fictional Bon Temps, La. While the premise may scream “tween,” the action is anything but. This campy thriller gets racy and violent, and is burning through more plot twists than ever. Currently in its fourth season, “True Blood” is a must-see.

5.     Let’s Spoon

Let’s Spoon opened its doors this summer near Domino’s and Mulligan’s, much to the delight of students who have discovered its delicious flavors and delightful toppings.  The frozen yogurt eatery is similar to the Pinkberry chains that have sprung up in major cities.  At Let’s Spoon, however, you choose from more flavors, have more control over the amount of toppings you can place on your frozen treat and pay less for the creamy dessert — or dinner, no one’s judging. Sure, it’s not dining hall froyo, but it’s so much better. So the next time you and your friends need to escape the heat, head to Let’s Spoon and design a frozen masterpiece to enjoy.