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Scene Selects

| Tuesday, October 25, 2011

“Homeland”

Premiering just a few weeks after the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, Showtime’s “Homeland” brings to television a political terrorist drama that realistically explores issues that feel current and relevant to Americans. Claire Danes is at her best as a complex, not wholly likable CIA officer who believes that a recently released POW (Damian Lewis) may not be the war hero everyone thinks he is. Is she just trying to protect the United States from a potential traitor and terrorist attack? Or is she infringing on a psychologically scarred citizen’s rights?

 

Halloween Preparations

It’s that time of the year again. That weekend when you can dress up as your favorite cartoon character, movie star, musician, and yes, even your favorite cereal, and no one can say anything about it. “Mean Girls” famously pointed out that it’s the one time of the year when girls can dress really skimpy and no other girls can say anything. Over the years countless costumes have become easy — Pac-Man, Catholic school girl and Teletubbies to name a few. This year is the year to step it up and embrace the blood and guts part of Halloween. Let’s see who can be almost as freaky as Lady Gaga.

 

Kingston Rossdale

The pint-size son of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale is perhaps even more stylish than his superstar parents. From walking in the finale of mom’s fashion line, L.A.M.B., to strutting down the streets of London in Harry Potter-style glasses and leopard jeggings, Kingston is the epitome of little kid cool. He’s been seen dressed up in everything from pirate garb to plaid pants, but like his parents before him, it never seems too stuffy. Keep on rocking it out, Kingston.

 

“Project Runway”

With the season nine finale looming, it’s bittersweet to know that fan-favorite Anya won’t be a Thursday night fixture for much longer. The remaining designers are relatively well-matched and going into fashion week it’s anyone’s game. In the last episode, Victor pulled out a cohesive Spring collection with the most intricately designed motorcycle jacket the show has ever seen and Kimberly’s escalated urban collection was an effortlessly fun testament to New York City. While this season may be drawing to an end, true fans still have the upcoming “Project Runway: All-Stars” season to look forward to.

 

“American Horror Story”

“American Horror Story,” created by Ryan Murphy of “Nip/Tuck” and “Glee,” is possibly the most disturbing show on television. It centers on a family who moves to California, into a house with a sordid history of murder. The house receives frequent ghostly visitors, and in true haunted-house fashion, has a horribly terrifying basement. If you can get past the sometimes-gratuitous violence, nudity and disturbing images, this show will become a Halloween favorite. “American Horror Story” airs Wednesdays on FX.

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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, October 11, 2011

 

“The Sing-Off”

It seems like every other new TV show these days involves some sort of singing competition.  From “American Idol” to “The Voice,” you can easily tire of mediocre singers trying their best for 15 minutes of fame.  NBC’s show “The Sing-Off,” now in its third season, is worth tuning into.  The show features the best a cappella groups from around the country and pits them against each other in competition for a Sony contract.  The singing is amazing, and Nick Lachey hosts — who knew he was still doing something with his life?

 

“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”

“It’s Always Sunny” is not for the easily offended. The morally corrupt owners of everyone’s favorite shoddy, Irish themed Philadelphia bar is currently in its seventh season. The show is still providing absurd takes on social issues like unemployment, terrorism and child pageants. This season features more of the same humor, along with the returns of “Rickety Cricket” and “The Waitress” to the storyline. “Its Always Sunny” airs Thursdays on FX.

 

Better World Books

You know you’re a Notre Dame student when a used bookstore is one of your favorite things. But Better World Books, based out of Goshen with an outlet store in Mishawaka, is providing used books at great prices as well as paying it back by aiding worldwide literacy. Started by Notre Dame graduates who collected old textbooks from the Notre Dame campus and earned some capital from a campus business plan competition, the company now has a vast inventory of books and even some DVDs. Next time you’re looking for a good read or a hard-to-find textbook, help promote literacy and check out Better World Books.

 

“Phineas and Ferb”

Need a quick study break? A good flashback to childhood? Look no farther than the Disney Channel. “Phineas and Ferb” may seem like a childish cartoon on first glance, but upon closer inspection, it is shown to be full of witty jokes and catchy songs. “Phineas and Ferb”airs regularly on the Disney Channel, but for an extra thrill, check out the movie, “Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension.” Not only does Dr. Doofenshmirtz sing about his alternate self, but also Ferb finds a rare occasion to speak (in a sophisticated British accent). All the best cartoon and plot devices combine to make “Phineas and Ferb” a perfect distraction from daily work.

 

Razor Scooters

From middle school fad, to one or two guys here and there, to spreading all over campus, your favorite colored scooters are back. With bikes being so easily stolen, tree’d, and expensive to begin with, there is finally a solution to the slow walking, poor college student. Very portable and coming in all the colors of the rainbow, your childhood days of breezing down the sidewalk faster than all those walking people have returned.

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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

| Tuesday, October 4, 2011

“Pan Am”

Intrigue and glamour rule in ABC’s new series about 1960s stewardesses. Some may question its similarity to “Mad Men,” but “Pan Am” is just different enough to be a fantastic series in its own right. The beautiful scenery of Paris and London in the first two episodes invokes wanderlust in even the sternest homebodies. The biggest airline of the time also provides the perfect setting for a spy drama to ensue. It situates the series in a more political context, instead of only paying superficial attention to the aesthetic of the 1960s. Airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

“The Rachel Zoe Project”

Zoe-M-G! This show is ba-na-nas. Even though “The Rachel Zoe Project” is several seasons in the making, the current fourth season is ma-jor. Zoe is so much calmer now that she’s pregnant. It’s refreshing to see her so happy after a tumultuous third season between her and husband Roger. The addition of the gorgeous new assistant Jeremiah is also perfect.The series showcases Zoe’s first collection as a designer and also highlights Anne Hathaway’s unbelievable 10 Oscar outfits, picked by Zoe. It may not be new, but it’s definitely worth watching, even if fan favorite Brad Goreski is out of the picture. Airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

“Up All Night”

The NBC show about a couple, played by Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, and their new baby manages to avoid all of the alienating pitfalls of shows about parenthood. It’s a series that remains funny, regardless of whether or not you’ve had a child. Applegate and Arnett have fantastic chemistry and play off each other perfectly. “Bridesmaids” star Maya Rudolph also adds just enough over-the-top humor for a perfect blend of comedy and charm. Airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

“Archer”

Best described as “Arrested Development” meets “James Bond,” “Archer” walks the line of absurdly immature and incredibly clever. Set it a world where the Soviet Union still exists, “Archer” makes use of anachronisms, obscenity, Oedipal complexes and explosions ¾many explosions ¾to explore the spy world in the fastest paced animated comedy on TV. Airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

“Revenge”

There’s nothing better than revenge, except maybe watching the chilling story of someone else getting it. ABC’s new drama “Revenge,” starring Madeleine Stowe (“Last of the Mohicans”) and Emily VanCamp (“Everwood”), gives viewers that opportunity. Billed as an adaptation of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” the thriller follows the story of Emily Thorne (VanCamp) as she seeks retribution for the arrest of her father.  Set in the beautiful landscape of the Hamptons, “Revenge” keeps you on the edge of your seat and always coming back to see what calculated move Emily will make next. Airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.