Michelle Stark, Times Staff Writer

Michelle Stark

Michelle Stark is part of the Things to Do crew and co-host of Play Tampa Bay. She also designs the Times' daily entertainment page, and is an editor/writer in the Features department, where she writes weekly about television at The Feed blog. She also manages the Things to Do social media accounts. Stark joined the Times after graduating from the University of South Florida in 2010 with degrees in mass communications and international relations. After an intern stint on the copy editing desk, she moved to Features.

Phone: (727) 893-8829

Email: mstark@tampabay.com

Twitter: @MStark17

  1. Top TV week of July 14: '24: Live Another Day', 'Under the Dome', 'The Divide'

    The Feed


    SERIES FINALE 24: Live Another Day, 9 p.m., Fox

    Say farewell to Jack Bauer (again) as this miniseries revival of the Fox show that ended in 2010 comes to a close. As usual, he's trying to stop terrorists from carrying out actions that would devastate the globe. Classic overachiever.

    Idris Elba: King of Speed, 10 p.m., BBC America

    Interested in learning about the political, social and historical evolution of racing in places like London, Scotland and Finland? No? Well, what if we told you that charming British actor Idris Elba (The Wire, Prometheus) was your guide through it all in this two-part documentary. Better?...

    Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in ‘24:  LIVE ANOTHER DAY’.
  2. Review: FX's new vampire horror series 'The Strain' could use more bite

    The Feed

    FX's new horror series The Strain wears its heart on its sleeve. Sure, that heart may be a decades-old blood-slurping organ floating in a grimy jar, but it still beats. And it makes The Strain surprisingly sappy.

    Don't fret, horror buffs, there are plenty of graphic, I-did-not-need-to-see-that moments, at least in the first four of 13 episodes from showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost), author Chuck Hogan and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labryinth, Pacific Rim, Hellboy), based on Hogan and del Toro's vampire horror book trilogy. Heads go kersplat, parasites wriggle under people's skin, blood is spilled and ingested — the show has all the makings of a classic creepy gore fest. (Seriously, watch it with the lights out at your own peril.) ...

    Cory Stoll plays CDC chief medical officer Ephraim Goodweather, researching a vampiric parasite epidemic, in FX’s The Strain.
  3. Emmy nominations: 'Game of Thrones' and 'Fargo' lead; newcomers 'True Detective', 'Orange is the New Black' get lots of love


    Another year of Emmy nominations, another year of glaring snubs. And, come on, are we really still nominating Downton Abbey and Jeff Daniels for television excellence?

    There's just far too much great TV out there right now, and Emmy voters apparently don't even see all of it, which must be how FX's outstanding second season of The Americans, or CBS' The Good Wife (whose fifth season- that would be the one in which this happened - was probably the show's best) don't make the Outstanding Drama cut. (Thankfully, The Good Wife did get recognized in the acting categories, with very deserved nominations for lead Julianna Margulies, supporting actor Josh Charles and supporting actress Christine Baranski.)...

    True Detective
  4. Eva Mendes pregnant with Ryan Gosling's baby


    Ready for the most beautiful cele-baby on the planet?

    Access Hollywood reports that actor Eva Mendes, 40, is pregnant with 33-year-old boyfriend Ryan Gosling’s baby. This would be the first child for the couple, who have been dating on and off since 2011.

    According to OK! Magazine, the 2 Fast 2 Furious star is seven months pregnant, which seems like quite the baby bump to hide. But it does jibe with pregnancy rumors earlier this year when Mendes refused to go through an airport body scanner in L.A. (For the record, she denied those.)...

    Eva's already practicing that half-asleep look.
  5. Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan expecting a baby


    Actor Robert Downey Jr. made quite the announcement Wednesday, tweeting from @RobertDowneyJr: “Yo. Susan. Me. Baby. Girl. November. Scorpio?”

    Geez, Iron Man, could you be any more cryptic?

    He then followed that up with a more to-the-point Facebook post: “Um. I don’t know if it’s a 'man’s world’, but I’m certain women run it. Susan and I are therefore delighted to announce we are expecting a baby. Girl. November.” ...

    This will be the couple's second child together.
  6. Play Tampa Bay video: Things to do in Tampa Bay for July 10-16


    The Play Tampa Bay crew has all the details on the top events happening this weekend in Tampa Bay, including the geek-tastic Marvel Universe Live show and Metrocon in Tampa. Plus, Tampa Theatre hosts its annual beer-sampling event Beerfest.

    For more happening this week, follow us on Twitter (@thingstodotampa) and Facebook....

    Spider-Man swings over the stage during a  preview of the new Marvel Universe Live show at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Tuesday, July 9, 2014. JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times
  7. St. Pete native Francis Biondi sent home on 'MasterChef'


    In a rather surprising elimination on MasterChef Monday night, St. Pete native Francis Biondi was sent home from the competition. Judges asked him to leave the MasterChef kitchen after they deemed his spring roll the worst in a particularly tricky pressure test. 

    Biondi, who up until this point seemed like one of the show's top contenders, was in the pressure test for being part of one of the bottom two groups after the episode's Surf and Turf challenge. Biondi and partner Christian were there alongside Cutter and Dan, whose dish was so bad they threw it in the garbage at the request of the judges. When Cutter, who hasn't done very well with any challenge this season, also failed to perfect his spring rolls in the pressure test, it looked like he was going home. ...

    Francis Biondi
  8. What to watch the week of July 7: 'The Strain', 'Extant', 'MasterChef'


    We have high hopes for this next week of TV: A local guy is still cooking on MasterChef, there's a new show from Steven Spielberg starring Halle Berry premiering on CBS, and FX adds to its impressive library of awesomeness with The Strain, a horror show from Guillermo del Toro. It's official: There is no such thing as a summer break for TV anymore.

    Click here for our full list of this week's top TV. ...

    'The Strain'
  9. Top TV week of July 7: 'The Strain', 'MasterChef', 'Extant', 'Welcome to Sweden'

    The Feed


    MasterChef, 8 p.m., Fox

    Not only is St. Pete native Francis Biondi still in this cooking competition, now down to 15 contestants, he's consistently one of the best performers. Let's hope tonight's partner cooking doesn't trip him up.


    24: Live Another Day, 9 p.m., Fox

    This penultimate episode of the miniseries takes place during the 9-10 p.m. hour, the same time it airs in real life, which surely means an Earth-devouring wormhole is imminent. Jack Bauer, we need you!...

    Halle Berry as a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family in 'Extant'.
  10. BBC's 'Sherlock' returning for Season 4 with Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch


    Real talk: The fact that BBC's Sherlock still exists is rather impressive.

    The modern-day adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories stars Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, two of the hottest (and busiest) British stars around. The show has been on the air since 2010, but erratically so, as it attempts to navigate the other commitments of its leads. You know, little things like Cumberbatch's role in Star Trek Into Darkness (Khaaaaan!), Freeman in FX's just-concluded Fargo miniseries, Freeman AND Cumberbatch in the most recent Hobbit movie. ...

    Freeman and Cumberbatch, together again!
  11. TBS to air a bunch of great 'Seinfeld' episodes this week


    We have no idea how we missed this, but better late than never, right?

    Now through July 5, TBS is airing 25 of the most famous Seinfeld episodes, in honor of the sitcom's 25th anniversary. Yep, that's right, that Show About Nothing debuted on July 5, 1989. If that doesn't make you feel old, well, you probably weren't even alive in 1989!

    So tune in this week to revel in the hilarity of episodes like “The Chinese Restaurant” (where they wait forever for a table!), “The Puffy Shirt” (Jerry wears a really puffy shirt!), "The Strike" (the one with Festivus!) and “The Contest" (description not appropriate for a family newspaper)....

  12. 'Community' will continue with ... Yahoo?


    Community lives!

    But not where you'd expect. 

    Yes, the cult NBC sitcom is returning for a sixth season, but not on the network, which canceled it a few months ago. Instead, Yahoo Screen has picked it up for 13 episodes from its studio Sony Pictures Television.

    Even better? Creator Dan Harmon and the full cast are on board. So it'll presumably be very similiar to the Community you know and love, though now you have to watch it via that search engine you used ten years ago. (Now also a place where people can watch and share videos!)...

    Jim Rash and Joel McHale are excited!
  13. What to watch this week: 'Tyrant', 'Buying Naked', 'The Leftovers'


    Another week, another handful of shows premiere, including two high-profile dramas: a new show on FX from the guys responsible for Homeland (Tyrant) and a new HBO drama that marks Lost mastermind Damon Lindelof's return to TV (The Leftovers). Plus, a show that takes place in Pasco County featuring nudists looking for houses. Because of course.

    Click here for the full list of this week's top TV.

    Justin Theroux in 'The Leftovers'
  14. Good news, bad news for everyone's favorite 'Breaking Bad' spinoff 'Better Call Saul'


    Okay, first the good news, because it's Friday, and we could all use some: AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul has already been renewed for a second season, before it's even aired. The bad news? It's not actually going to air until some time in early 2015, instead of the originally announced November 2014 date.

    The spinoff, actually a prequel to the events that take place in Breaking Bad, which ended its run in September, will focus on Bob Odenkirk's shady lawyer Saul Goodman. The first season will be 10 episodes, and season 2 will be 13. An AMC press release also said the show is scheduled to run alongside the next two seasons of The Walking Dead. The Feed's own Sean Daly is surely very happy about this....

    Bob Odenkirk in 'Better Call Saul'
  15. Top TV week of June 23: 'The Leftovers', 'Buying Naked', 'Tyrant'

    The Feed


    Under the Dome: Inside Chester's Mill, 10 p.m. CBS

    The Stephen King-inspired series is back for a second season next week, so this special featuring cast members and producers discussing the show has a preview of season 2 (King wrote the first episode) and a recap of events so far. Here, let us save you some time: Everyone's trapped in a dome. They'd rather not be. ...

    Ashraf Barhom, from left, Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnegan, Anne Winters and Noah Silver in a scene from FX's new show 'Tyrant'.