Show Review: The Alienist

One of my new shows I’m following now is The Alienist from TNT. It just launched January 22nd (a special premiere after the SAG Awards on the 21st) and is based off the book by Caleb Carr, set in 1896 New York City. The show follows Dr. Laszlo Kreisler, the alienist or what we call a psychologist, as he investigates and tracks down a serial killer murdering boy prostitutes in the city.

Every Monday evening at 9pm the newest episode premieres and I’m hooked. I love historical based storylines, something set years ago in another time that I’m not familiar with. I also love that this show has a main female character, played by Dakota Fanning, as the first woman to work in the New York City’s police department. Even in just the first two episodes I’ve seen her struggle in the work place to be taken serious and the abuse she puts up with. But she’s so independent and strong and determined to make a name for herself. She’s a character to keep an eye out on!

TNT is dedicated to bringing 1896 New York alive on the screen and shine a light on psychology as it was seen back then. There is a particular scene where they walk through a mental institution that is almost frightful with patients screaming in the hallways to guards tossing water onto frantic patients to shut them up. I know very little in this realm but I know that mental institutions were very much like this at the beginning; just a place to throw someone who didn’t think the same way as others away from society.

I hope you tune in and share your thoughts below!

What I’m Listening To: Finesse (Remix) by Bruno Mars

Most of you have probably already listened to the newest Bruno Mars hit single, Finesse (Remix), and I am just as obsessed as the rest of the population. I’ll be honest, when it first launched I thought he was singing other words till I really listened (and finally it made sense).

I think my favorite thing about it, which seems to be a popular POV, is the 90s vibe he gives in the song and the video. Ask any of my coworkers, I LOVE 90s era hip hop and r&b like TLC, Aaliyah and classic Usher (major crush on this man!). We have a 90s playlist at work and I’m normally the one jamming out to it!

Bruno brings this style back in his video with Cardi B with their fashion sense, and I feel even the video style. It’s also just another great hit that Bruno created about his baby (as he refers to them in the song) how he loves to take them out and show them off while the whole world watches. Take it as you like, but I dig it!

Sweater Weather Nails

I hate to admit it but I’m not a huge winter weather lover here. I know I live in Pittsburgh, probably the capital for crazy strange weather patterns, and I grew up in a snow belt where I was very much used to snow every year. Then I went to Texas for a year and my blood actually warmed up and hasn’t frozen over since, also I moved to Pittsburgh where (have to admit) majority of us don’t know how to handle rain, let alone snow. I know this sounds ridiculous but the majority of the occupants don’t, and unfortunately I’ve become scared enough of those people that I get worried once snow (and especially ice) season begins.

But the colder it gets the more fun, seasonal sweaters come out, so I’ll take that. I’ll be honest, I don’t own one of those classic Christmas sweaters with the reindeer on it (too many childhood flashbacks of itchy sweaters!) but today I added something to take its place… sweater inspired nails!

In journalism we pretty much call what I just did there burying the lead, sorry if I just confused the fuck out of you haha. I really enjoy pampering myself by getting my nails done but it’s been awhile since I’ve found a place I actually felt comfortable in and had a good time. My hair stylists (and friends) have forever gone to this place called The Gloss Society that does incredible work, but I’ve never had a chance to book with them because they’re always booked solid. Well I finally made it!

I scoured Pinterest for some cool Fall-esque nails and found a couple photos to bring in. Here when I was signing in for my appointment I find out my nail artist was one of the experts there, I was so geeked! With that information I pretty much showed her the photo inspirations and said I trusted her completely. She did not disappoint!

This experience was like no other nail appointment I’ve ever experienced. The atmosphere was super fun and inclusive and I couldn’t stop laughing honestly. I would certainly come back just for that, but my nails… oh my god, my NAILS! Well take a look at these beauties:

Are you a salon goer or do you prefer painting your own nails? If you could have anything painted on your nails, what would they look like?

Shows To Binge Watch

Who doesn’t love a good Netflix binge on a day off? I remember when I would have to stay home sick from school and my parents would set me up in the living room in front of the TV, mounds of pillows and blankets, liquids to hydrate with and the remote. They may have set me up for these future binge marathons now, and with the invention of apps like Netflix and Hulu, SlingTV and VUDU you’re all set.

I have several moods when I start to binge: comedy, familiar and movies. It might be difficult to classify a movie binge (unless maybe if it’s a series of movies like Underworld) but somedays I just get into that mood of wanting to watch movie after movie.

Shows to binge when you want a laugh:

  • F-R-I-E-N-D-S

I was never super into this show when it was actually airing new episodes on TV, probably because I was too young (it premiered in 1994, I was 6) but lately this has been a lifesaver. Watching these 6 friends go through semi-normal life situations in NYC is entertaining. I sure laugh a lot! Thankfully all seasons are on Netflix so I can just go through season upon season when I’m in the mood to laugh. I’ll be upset if Netflix takes it off anytime soon.

  • Young & Hungry

This isn’t as established as FRIENDS but it’s super cute and funny. It follows Emily Osment’s character who wants to be a chef but is a little scatter brained and likes to help friends, even if it doesn’t turn out well. Throw in a nerdy millionaire who falls in love with her, but they never seem to work out, and you’ve got yourself some laughs for a few hours. I found it on Netflix randomly one day, but it only has 5 seasons and I don’t think Freeform renewed it.

When I want that familiar, ‘home’ feeling:

  • Gilmore Girls

I can’t say how much I love this show, and it’s for many reasons. I grew up watching this series with my mom and sister (my sister is completely obsessed and scoured the world till she found all the series on DVD). I remember coming home from school and sitting at the kitchen table watching either new episodes, or re-runs of these women. That’s one reason why I absolutely adore this show.

It’s so unique of a concept too, and the production and writing is amazing. I read somewhere this is one of the shows that has the most dialogue in each episode (they talk real fast). This mother-daughter duo go through life together as best friends and battle obstacles like a prep school, reconnecting with wealthy grandparents (who mean well) and Yale where Rory loses her way and then finds it again! Also there is this long drawn out romance between Lorelai and Luke that you can NOT help but root for (though I liked Alex as well, he was the coffee shop owner who took her camping).

What’s fun is that this show has connected me with friends throughout life. My now store manager is a huge Gilmore Girls fan as well and when she first started out as an associate we instantly bonded when I saw her tattoo of ‘In Omnia Paratus‘ (Ready for anything).

Thankfully you don’t need to scour the sphere for the episodes because Netflix has them all to binge on! Also, numerous TV channels still air reruns on a daily basis.

Bonus: Gilmore Girls has such a huge following that Netflix did 4 mini series with the cast to show what their all up to lately. It follows the seasons and certainly does the original series justice. I just hope they do another…

  • Chopped/Beat Bobby Flay/Holiday Baking Championship

Pretty much any Food Network competition show gives me that familiar feeling. I grew up with Food Network and just cooking in general, pretty much life revolved around the kitchen for my family (and still does). We always congregated in the kitchen to talk, cook and eat and because of this Food Network is a huge channel for my entire family. We watch a lot of shows but personally, I love competition shows like Chopped or Beat Bobby Flay. I kind of already admitted to binging the Holiday Baking Championship the other day but these shows just pull me in.

I use my SlingTV to watch the majority of my FoodNetwork shows but I know there are some on Netflix too.

Binge Worthy Movies:

  • 50 Shades Series

You can laugh all you want, but I dig these movies (granite there are only two thus far, but the third and final movie is set to release February 9th!!). I came to the game late with the books and ended up borrowing one as a joke from a coworker years ago before the first movie was set to premiere; I ended up reading it in one day and ordering the entire series online so I’d have my own set.

The movies, while not quite as good as the books, have a great cast and are filmed in one of my favorite cities, Seattle! While there is a lot of controversy over the storyline I’ve taken it for what it is, an enticing sexy romance that follows a girl who explores her sexuality and who she is as a person. Dakota Johnson portrays Anastasia Steele beautifully and has become a favorite actress of mine, and Jamie Dornin… well, he’s got a great pack of abs haha.

They make a great rainy day binge though if you’re looking to have a little fun, maybe even have a friend over…

  • Vampire Academy

This is the best B-list movie ever! It’s hilariously entertaining where it follows these two girls (vampires) who originally escaped school but get dragged back, where the one sarcastically refers to it as… Vampire Academy.

This vampire movie doesn’t have any sparkles, they don’t even technically burn while in sunlight (though it irritates some). With this story there are three types of vampires: Strigoi (bad, stereotypical vamps), Dhampir (human/vampire hybrid and protectors) and Moroi (mortal vampires).

I tend to throw this on when there isn’t anything else good on and its been a long day at work, and generally there’s pizza involved. There’s a lot of one-liners that make you laugh out loud and cringe at the same time, but it’s good! Sweet Sassy Molassy.

What shows or movies do you binge on a day off? Have you watched any of mine?

Podcasts I’m Loving

I’ve recently started getting into listening to podcasts thanks to a coworker of mine. It’s not an all-the-time habit, I go in and out with listening but there are two that really have stood out. They’re all suggestions from said coworker and I’m pretty excited she knew me so well to recommend them for me.

First, I use an app called Podbean which is pretty easy to navigate. I feel the first reason why I wasn’t listening to them originally was because I had no idea how. I’ve searched iTunes so many times and iMusic in search of podcasts but couldn’t seem to navigate to them. When I mentioned this to my coworker she told me about Podbean and how easy it was to find whatever podcast I was interested in. I highly recommend this app if you want an easier way to hook up with your listenings. Where do you listen to your podcasts?

Now onto my favorite podcasts…

  1. Lore

The first sentence in the description of this podcast is “Our fears have roots.” This podcast isn’t playing around when it explores the dark underbelly of history, the topics of myths and side conversations that you never believed held any truth. It has discussed topics such as vampirism in America and doppelgängers where evil fairies trade places with your loved one.

These episodes are between 20-25 minutes which I feel are the perfect length, I normally pulled them up on my way to work in the car. I don’t highly recommend listening to them while operating a vehicle if your mind is like mine and likes to wonder, but if you are good at multitasking then it’s a great way to catch up!

Fun fact: Lore, hosted by Aaron Mahnke, has brokered a deal with Amazon Prime to start a TV show of the same persuasion! I’ve started watching them and it adds a whole new level of creepy history to your life.

2. Singing Bones

I binged all 18 episodes in like three days after reading its description. This podcast takes a look at the origin stories of our favorite fairytales. We don’t know each other well enough yet, but my head tends to be in the clouds as they say, and fantasy fiction and fairytales have always held an interest to me. The host Clare Testoni, has such a beautiful way of playing detective with the origins of stories and honestly has one of those voices that are perfect for a fairytale setting. She has discussed stories such as Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Rumpelstiltskin. She has made connections from Beauty & The Beast to Cupid & Psyche, a story I had never heard of and fell madly in love for.

Her episodes run about 20 minutes on average and she even brings guests onto the show who know just a bit more on the stories. These episodes are exciting and make me want to dive into the deep dark internet to do my own research on fairytales.

Extra! Extra! The Bad Girl Bible: Sex, Relationships, Dating, Love & Marriage Advice 

I found this podcast late one night while in bed (lots of random thoughts are thought of here) and became intrigued. I’d admit it, the name and logo hooked me originally and I started to listen to a few episodes because of this. On the downside the podcast isn’t really always about what it sounds like they’d be about, they’re mostly about marriage advice and how to keep things spicy in longterm relationships. But still, some of these topics are pretty interesting and worth a listen if I’ve piqued your interest here!

What kinds of podcasts do you listen to, or would like to listen to? I’m always interested in new suggestions, I feel like I need to broaden my interests on here. Something funny might be good! Any suggestions?