Trick-or-treating isn't for everyone, especially us couch potatoes. But even if you're not going door-to-door to hunt for candy on Halloween, that doesn't mean you can't be festive.
There's nothing like a good scare, and if you're staying in this weekend, no better way to get them than from spooky shows. So for a real fright from the comfort of your own home, grab some candy, turn off the lights, log onto Netflix and check out one of these four TV seasons to splurge on:
1. American Horror Story: Murder House
This one is a given for All Hallows Eve. AHS is the most terrifying and disturbing show I've ever seen on television, so only watch this if you are looking for some hardcore horror and know you can handle it. In this first season, after moving to Los Angeles to escape painful memories, a family unknowingly settles into the most haunted house in the city. It's not exactly the upgrade they were hoping for. The title pretty much says it all; Murder House is chock full of crazy ghosts who still claim ownership over the place and aren't too welcoming to newcomers.
2. Bates Motel: Season One …Full Story
Let's go ahead and file this one in the Best News We’ve Heard All Decade folder: NBC has outbid several networks to land the Neil Patrick Harris-hosted comedy-variety series of our dreams.
The yet-to-be named adaptation, based on the U.K.'s long-running Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, will run for at least 10 glorious hour-long episodes. The show will include comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows and appearances by A-listers, NBC tells the Associated Press.
"As I watched (Takeaway), I couldn’t stop smiling. Now that I’ve seen many seasons, my face hurts. It’s a game changer," Harris said. "Nothing like this has been done before, and its unique structure fits right into my random skill set. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and have some fun."
Just a few months ago, Harris told Howard Stern that he’s pretty stoked about the idea of a show he was absolutely born to host. …Full Story
Taylor Swift's fifth album, 1989, dropped on Monday, and immediately Tampa Bay Times archenemies/podmates Sean Daly and Michelle Stark launched into a debate: Is this her best LP yet? Commence bickering, you crazy kids... …Full Story
Happy Taylor Swift day, y'all! Actually, forget the y'all, she's pure pop now, right? Whatever. Pop or not, she's still Swift, one of the biggest stars on the planet, so it's news that she's going to appear on The Voice this week, starting tonight. She's going to give advice to the contestants who have made it this far as they head into the Knockout Rounds. Oh, and she'll probably sing a little something too. (For more on our top TV picks this week, click here.)
In other Taylor news, ABC announced today that she's the headliner for the channel's annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve celebration hosted by Ryan Seacrest. Expect plenty of shaking. And click here to read music critic Sean Daly's review of Swift's new album, 1989, released today. If you want the info in less than 60 seconds, watch Sean talk about the album in this video.Full Story
Is it wrong that I'm going to miss Gareth, arguably the best villain ever on The Walking Dead, more than Bob, easily the most romantic dude on AMC's hit bloodfeast? In the third (nail-bitingly streamlined) ep of TWD's fifth season, it turned out that the Bob Buffet, revealed in a final-scene shocker last week, was some seriously dirty dining. Sasha's beau was zombie-bit in the food bank -- a fact he revealed to the Terminus baddies after they snacked on his left leg. ("I'm tainted meat!" Awesome. Print the T-shirt immediately.) So we knew Bob wasn't making it to the end credits. He was such a sweetheart, too. Man, all of the good ones are eaten! Am I right, ladies? …Full Story
Florida, brace yourself for a snark attack, the Syfy Network has announced it will film Sharknado 3 in the Sunshine State for its 2015 release of the so-bad-it’s-gold series of logic-defying disaster movies starring a swirling cloud of killer sharks.
Syfy announced on Tuesday that the third Sharknado film will begin with an attack on Washington D.C. chomp its way down the Eastern Seaboard on its way down to Orlando. “No seaboard city below our nation’s capital is safe!” the channel announced on its website.
Somebody tell Syfy Orlando isn’t on the coast.
Sharknado defied all logic as snarky Twitter fans embraced the most outlandish plot ever by crossing a shark attack with a tornado.
This third Sharknado got its order from Syfy two months before Sharknado 2, The Second One even premiered. That was set in New York City and absolutely demolished the ratings bringing in 3.9 million viewers, which not only broke the record for any Syfy original film, but it more than doubled the audience of the first Sharknado.
The third film, which does not yet have a confirmed cast or formal premiere date will undoubtedly bring back Ian Ziering and Tara Reid. …Full Story
I'm also able to watch 'Scandal'!
Every Monday I settle in for a night of hokey reality competitions: NBC’s The Voice or ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. On Tuesday, it’s New Girl and The Mindy Project on Fox; Thursday is Shonda Rhimes nights with Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Friday mornings, I catch up on what I missed Wednesday and Thursday.
I haven’t had cable in four years. And with the recent news that HBO has plans to offer a standalone online streaming service, and CBS is currently offering the same, we might be moving toward a world in which this sort of TV consumption, without a traditional cable subscription, is the norm.
So, is it worth it to go ahead and cut the cord, and opt for a more “a la carte” viewing experience?
It certainly was for me. Here’s why.
First, let’s define “a la carte.” The term has been thrown around a lot recently when describing a potentially new TV model. What it means is that viewers are purchasing standalone services, like the upcoming HBO service but also like already-existing options Netflix and Hulu Plus, instead of a lump cable package. The goal, at least for me and many of my millennial friends, is to cut costs and get a more custom TV experience. …Full Story
Zombies and human fallibility aside, The Walking Dead needs a true villain, a neo-mustache-twirler who's abandoned all shred of new-world reason. The One-Eyed Gov was megomaniacally eeeevil by his grisly end, and the show was better for it -- a Bad Guy that gooses the Good Guys. When Rick & Co. 'sploded Terminus and set out on a Road to Nowhere in the Season 5 premiere, I feared the show would once again wander and weave into a sloggish, too-many-plotlines pace. And blame it on my ADD, but Sunday's followup ep -- titled "Strangers" -- was a slow-builder for almost its entire length. Here we go againzzz. Then Gareth, the subtly creepola Terminus chief, showed up in the final frame...AND SNACKED ON BOB'S BBQ'D LEG RIGHT IN FRONT OF BOB! "You taste much better than we thought you would." Dannnggg!! I'm hooked and, oddly enough, hungry. …Full Story
Not gonna lie: I've listened to new Taylor Swift song Out of the Woods approximately 322 times in the past two days. I'm officially on the record (vulnerable, shivering) saying it's the best song of her career thus far. So here's hoping the 24-year-old -- on a massive promotional swing for upcoming album 1989 (out Oct. 27) -- plays Out of the Woods at one of her myriad TV appearances. On Thursday, Oct. 23, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Swift will set up smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard. On Monday, Oct. 27, she'll do a sit-down interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America; then, on Thursday Oct. 30, she'll come back to GMA to play "in the heart of New York City." Finally, on Wednesday, Oct. 29. America's Sweetheart will be the featured guest on The View. Full Story
Remember yesterday, when HBO announced it would offer an online-only streaming service? Well, another, very different kind of channel has followed suit.
Broadcast network CBS has launched a stand-alone online streaming service, CBS All Access, for $5.99 a month. Unlike the HBO news, though, CBS moved fast on this one: You can already sign up for CBS All Access here.
Here are the somewhat confusing particulars about the new service:
* Previously on CBS.com, you could watch many recent episodes of current shows for free. Now, most of that content is behind the new All Access paywall. This is a bummer for cable cord-cutters, like me, who took advantage of the CBS site to watch episodes of current shows. (Hitfix.com reports that recent episodes of shows like The Good Wife (whew!) and The Big Bang Theory are exceptions to this rule.) Though Entertainment Weekly points out that episodes of these current series still won’t be available until the day after they air on TV. And there will still be lots and lots of ads. …Full Story
Hey you gore-hungry boys and girls, only a few days away from the second ep of The Walking Dead's so-far-so-cutthroat fifth season. I'll do a full excitable recap right here after the show Sunday. (Morgan's back! Maybe Singing Beth, too? And am I the only one who loves-hates Gareth? We need a good villain a la the One Eyed Gov.) I'll check in on The Feed's Twitter page, too. If you're catching up (or just can't get enough), you can read my review of the premiere then check out my feverish debate with rabid Dead-despiser Michelle Stark THEN marvel at the show's record-breaking ratings. Plus if you're a colossal nerd, and you remember Morgan's epic "Clear" episode, check out our creepy walking tour of Grantville, Ga. Until then, here's a teaser for this Sunday's show... Full Story
Yeah, Neil was made for this hosting thing.
We must log in the fact that entertainer extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris is set to host the 2015 Oscars. Harris has also previously presided over the Tony Awards (four times) and the Emmy Awards (two times), and those Tony telecasts won Emmys each time he hosted. With the Oscars now on his resume, it's an awards show hat trick!
Harris announced the new gig Wednesday, with this video on Twitter.
He also said in a statement: "To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true." Aw, NPH. How self-deprecating of you.
The 87th Academy Awards will air Feb. 22, 2015. Let's all hope Gone Girl is nominated for something, so Harris can recreate his very memorable scene from the movie. Come on, you know the one.Full Story
Continuing today's exciting streaming service news, Netflix just announced that it reached a deal with Warner Bros to make all 236 episodes of Friends available on the streaming service in the U.S. and Canada. Take that, HBO!
Friends, as if we need to tell you, ended its ten-year run in 2004, though you can still see a rerun episode or twelve on TV practically every night. That is, unless you don't have cable, like me, which means you've been deprived of casual viewings of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer at their finest. And what perfect timing, too: The show is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
And when will you be able to bask in the glory of unlimited, on-demand Friends? All 10 seasons will be available to stream starting Jan. 1, 2015. Between this recent Netflix addition Gilmore Girls, I'm officially clearning my New Year's Day schedule for prime bingeing.
Here's Netflix's announcement on Twitter Wednesday:
They will all be there for you, Jan.1, 2015 https://t.co/EdGNWtFsZl
Now you can catch up on all that Game of Thrones.
Cable-cancelers everywhere, rejoice! HBO announced Wednesday it's going to implement an online streaming service sometime next year, a la Netflix. That means someone without a cable subscription (or HBO subscription) will be able to sign up for the service and access all HBO content in an online-only platform. If you're a cord-cutter like me, this is the most exciting TV news of the year. (I ditched cable about three years ago, opting for an HD antenna, Hulu Plus and Netflix.)
It's about time HBO made the move, particularly to tap into all those HBO Go users who borrow their friends/parents/uncle's stepson's cable log-ins and use the service for free. Come on, you know you do it.
According to Entertainment Weekly, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said during an investment meeting Wednesday: "It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO. So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. ... All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them."
Which means you now no longer have a good excuse for never having seen The Wire. Let the bingeing begin!Full Story
Peanuts' Halloween special
Let's face it: We can’t rely on seasonal shifts to mark the start of a festive fall season. October in Florida needs all the help it can get. That’s why we need spooky decorations, haunted theme park attractions and, of course, Halloween-themed television. To get you in the mood, here are some of our top TV picks airing over the next few weeks.
31 Days of Halloween
Syfy’s seventh annual 31 Days of Halloween event kicked off Oct. 1, natch, with hundreds of hours of TV specials, including the 10th anniversary of Syfy show Ghost Hunters and the series premiere of Town of the Living Dead, plus horror movies like Hellboy, Let Me In, Boogeyman, The Revenant and more. For a full schedule, see syfy.com. …Full Story