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

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  1. Gear up for this week's 'Simpsons' marathon with our top 10 episodes

    Blog

    No one at the Times loves The Simpsons more than writer/editor Jay Cridlin. So when we found out FXX was airing a 12-day marathon featuring every Simpsons episode ever, we had to get Jay's opinion. The great thing about these episodes is that, unlike the Simpsons reruns airing now, fans can catch gems from the sitcom's early era, too.

    Click here to get Jay's list of the top 10 episodes he'll be sure to DVR this weekend. What would top your Simpsons list?...

  2. Watch Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus hype the Emmy Awards

    Blog

    We here at the Feed are busy gearing up for the Emmy Awards on Monday, and this promo is the perfect thing to take our mind off predictions and analysis for six glorious minutes. Almost a year since their show Breaking Bad went off the air, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reunite in "Barely Legal Pawn" as two guys who run a pawn shop. Julia Louis-Dreyfus shows up, too, and practically runs away with the whole thing. It's safe to say we enjoyed this more than just about anything on TV right now. Can this be a new show on Netflix already?...

    Cranston
  3. 'Outlander' recap, episode 2: Trapped in the castle

    Blog

    Follow along with Michelle Stark, the Feed's TV expert and Outlander novice, and Brittany Volk, an 'Outlander' book fanatic and TV nerd, as they share their thoughts on Starz's new series every week. For their in-depth thoughts on the show as a whole, click here and here. Here's what they thought about episode 2, "Castle Leoch." 

    Michelle: Well, Brittany, this is the episode of Outlander that sold me on the series. I liked the premiere, even as someone who has never read the books and doesn't care much for the fantasy/sci-fi genre. But this is the hour that made me realize I want to stick with the show for a while. What I've quickly found with Outlander is that it defies genre categorization. It is its own genre, and it's a fascinating world to live in. I love how this episode picks up right where episode 1 leaves off, and advances the plot a LOT. By the end of the ep, Claire has gone from newbie at the castle to prisoner. Rude. What are your first impressions? Bet you enjoyed how quickly we got to that scene with Claire and Jamie by the fire....

    The infamous dinner scene.
  4. Top TV week of Aug. 18: 'Doctor Who,' 'Beat Bobby Flay,' 'The Leftovers'

    The Feed

    MONDAY

    America's Next Top Model, 9 p.m., CW

    It's time for the 21st round of this modeling competition, which pits guys and girls against each other for the second time and makes us all wonder where we can get our hands on the immortal serum host Tyra Banks must be applying nightly.

    TUESDAY

    Wizard Wars, 10 p.m., SyFy

    We're not talking Harry Potter here, but the Wizards, a team of world-renowned professional magicians. This six-week series pits a group of challengers against the team each week to see which group can out-illusion the other. Trust us, when magicians compete to entertain, we are the winners. ...

    Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who.
  5. Starz's 'Outlander' already renewed for season 2

    Blog

    In today's unsurprising TV news, Starz's historical-fantasy-romance Outlander has been renewed for season 2, a day before the second episode of its first season even airs.

    The show is an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's super popular book series. And with a budget of more than $50 million and months spent filming on location in Scotland, Outlander is on track to be one of Starz's most ambitious -- and popular -- shows ever. Viewership of last week's premiere was seen by more than 5 million views across all platforms, according to the channel....

  6. Play Tampa Bay video: Checking out Tampa's new Water Works park

    Events

    This week's top events in Tampa Bay include a concert, cupcakes and craft beer. Plus, Michelle and Sarah have more on the newly opened Water Works Park.

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

  7. Review: Starz's 'Outlander' is magical, gorgeous and rather steamy, too

    Blog

    Starz's new series Outlander isn't merely a feminist Game of Thrones.

    In fact, it's refreshingly hard to pin down, a vibrant concoction of rollicking adventure, passionate romance and strikingly beautiful history lesson. Throw in a bit of sci-fi and the show becomes its own captivating genre.

    Oh, and did we mention there's a lot of sex?

    Click here for my full review of the new show, which premieres tonight at 9p.m. on Starz....

  8. Top TV week of Aug. 11: 'The Knick,' 'Last Comic Standing,' 'Extant'

    The Feed

    MONDAY

    Partners, 9:30 p.m., FX

    Just what kind of partners are Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer in this new half-hour comedy? Ice cream truck vendors? A cappella singing duo? Motivational speakers who talk about how to move on once the best days of your career are behind you? We wish. They're actually just a couple of lawyers, but with mismatched personalities, so the Odd Couple factor is cranked up to 10....

    Clive Owen, center, in Cinemax’s The Knick.
  9. Discovery Channel's popular Shark Week is back

    The Feed

    Rob Lowe is excited about it. So who are we to chomp all over the fun?

    Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week kicks off Sunday night, following its most-watched year ever and showing no signs of sinking. The popular programming event jumped its own shark long ago, but in a world where Sharknado 2: The Second One trends on Twitter, the bloody baloney of it all keeps people coming back....

    Discovery Channel
  10. Shark Week starts Sunday; here's Rob Lowe with a bunch of sharks (video)

    Blog

    Discovery Channel's popular Shark Week is back starting Sunday, and we've got everything you need to know about it right here. In the meantime, please enjoy this promo starring Rob Lowe, who very unfortunately is not starring in any Shark Week specials during the week.

    ...

  11. Review: Starz's 'Outlander' transports viewers to a magical place

    The Feed

    Starz's new series Outlander isn't merely a feminist Game of Thrones. In fact, it's refreshingly hard to pin down, a vibrant concoction of rollicking adventure, passionate romance and strikingly beautiful history lesson. Throw in a bit of sci-fi and the show becomes its own captivating genre.

    Like Diana Gabaldon's popular series of novels on which the show is based, Outlander follows a married WWII nurse named Claire Randall who gets transported back to Scotland in 1743, smack dab in the middle of civil war and the arms of a hunky Scottish warrior....

    Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in ‘Outlander’.
  12. James Van Der Beek is going to star in 'CSI: Cyber', which is a real shame

    Blog

    Sheesh, can CBS's franchise shows keep their hands off interesting TV actors already?

    First, they nabbed eternal gem Scott Bakula to star in an NCIS spinoff, where he'll claim the Ted Danson Award as most underused actor on TV. You might remember Bakula from his Golden Globe-winning performance on Quantum Leap, or as a series regular on the serverely underrated dramedy Men of A Certain Age, or from his fantastic turn as an older gay man last year on HBO's Looking. We're not counting on NCIS: New Orleans to provide such interesting material....

    Oh, James, you deserve better.
  13. Play Tampa Bay video: Family-friendly ways to splash through summer

    Events

    A huge comedy festival leads this week's top events, plus Sarah and Michelle head to Adventure Island in Tampa for a look at family-friendly ways to beat the heat before the kids head back to school.

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

    Sarah and Michelle at Adventure Island in Tampa.
  14. 'Big Bang Theory' cast reaches deal; here's how much they'll make per episode

    Blog

    Today in Depressing Celebrity Salaries news: Three of the five main cast members of The Big Bang Theory reached a deal with Warner Bros. Television to continue starring on the show. Predictably, the deal gets them a whole lot more money to do so. Bazinga!

    Production on CBS' Big Bang Theory was briefly delayed last month as the cast of TV's most popular sitcom went through prolonged negotiations with the studio. But don't fear, BBT fans, the show can now go on: Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco inked new three-year deals that will keep them on the show through its 10th season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And what will they each be paid for their strenuous labors? $1 million per episode. Yes, per episode, which means next season alone each actor will earn somewhere north of $20 mil. Charming....

  15. What to watch this week: 'Outlander' premieres, Ben Stiller is on 'Running Wild With Bear Grylls'

    Blog

    Running Wild With Bear Grylls might just be our favorite new summer show.

    In Monday's episode, Bear (not his real name) travels to Northern Scotland with actor Ben Stiller for adventure on the Isle of Skye. Bear gets Stiller, who admits he's never even been camping before, to traverse the sides of foggy mountains, fly on the outside of a helicopter and scale a rock wall above a churning body of water. "I don't know why I'm doing this," Stiller says at the beginning the episode. "I thought it'd be a good way to see if it's real or not." Well, it certainly looks real. At one point, Stiller talks about all the releases he had to sign, and Bear just laughs in his face....

    Bear and Ben.