How Marvel Has Evolved

How Marvel Has Evolved - Nerd in the City

How Marvel Has Evolved

As we embark on Infinity Gauntlet Fitness and inch ever closer to the release of Avengers: Infinity War (April 27th, you guys!) it feels like as good a time as any to reflect on the journey Marvel’s taken us on in the last decade. Particularly in the last two or three years, as the MCU has expanded and Marvel has gained more pop culture influence than even company executives (likely) ever dreamed of, it feels like there’s been a great deal of evolution. Once I got to thinking about this, I realized the extent of it is actually pretty great, so I decided to write it all up. 

Side Arcs Have Drifted Away
This isn’t true in all cases. For instance the Captain America series is more or less directly in line with the core Avengers/Infinity War collaborative films. But elsewhere, a lot of the MCU side arcs seem a little bit more separate from the Avengers saga than they once did. Thor films have completely taken on their own flavor; the Guardians movies and Ant-Man series exist largely for MCU comic relief; and Black Panther certainly seems poised to launch almost its own world within the MCU. At this point it feels more like Marvel is in charge of several interconnected series, rather than one big one with a lot of separate chapters. 

The Netflix Experiment Got Huge
Once upon a time the introduction of a Daredevil series on Netflix seemed almost quaint. It was exciting, to be sure, and as it turned out Netflix and Marvel did a wonderful job with it. But it seemed very small compared to the sheer magnitude of the MCU. But even though blueprints were released pretty early as to the plans to expand the Netflix concept, it feels like a surprise just how big it all got, and how quickly. We’ve now seen multiple seasons for multiple heroes, as well as The Defenders, and it’s only been a few years. Oh, and for what it’s worth, the newly released second season of Jessica Jones is as good as any of it! The show is ahead of its time and thoroughly entertaining. 

The Gaming Priorities Shifted 

Aside from streaming and TV, gaming is probably the biggest side branch of the Marvel empire, and it’s actually changed quite a bit. Two years ago most of what Marvel had to offer in this arena existed via mobile app or online casino. Now the landscape is quite different. Playtech, the online developer responsible for the casino games, flushed out all of its Marvel content. And the apps, while still running strong, are taking a backseat as the company looks to develop more high quality console games. A few of these are just around the corner, and should elevate Marvel gaming to new heights. 

Diversity Became A Priority 
To put it bluntly, all of Marvel’s leading heroes for many years were straight, white men. To some degree this was to be expected, since that’s the case with many of the most prominent heroes in the comic books. But the studio took far too long to figure out ways to emphasize non-white, female, or LGBT characters (and we’re mostly still waiting on that last one). But credit where credit’s due, diversity has become a clearer priority in the last couple of years. Black Panther just became one of the biggest hits in the MCU and is a terrific celebration of black culture (with a few fantastic, strong female characters as well). And there are some female-led films coming down the pipe. Things are moving in the right direction, and in a beautiful way the MCU feels different for it. 

There May Be Award Talk
Here we’re looking into the crystal ball a little bit, but why not? There’s a chance that another year from now, when we’ve already witnessed the Infinity War, Deadpool has given us a stash of new quotable lines, and Infinity Gauntlet has whipped you into shape, we’ll be talking about how Black Panther performed at the Oscars. None other than Christopher Nolan has predicted a nomination, and he certainly isn’t alone. Award talk for a Marvel movie would definitely represent an exciting evolution in the MCU.

This is a contributed article from Henry Johns.

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 24

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 24: GLOW on Netflix Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling 80's Leotard fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 24: GLOW

This is one of my new favorite shows from Netflix this year. A show about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, set in the 80’s (my favorite era!) If you haven’t seen this show yet, you should.

I didn’t chose a specific character to cosplay, I sort of did an homage to the whole genre. But I think the character I most resemble today is Betty Gilpin’s Debbie. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s cause you didn’t take my advice yet and haven’t seen the show…what are you waiting for? Go watch it, I’ll wait!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 24: GLOW on Netflix Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling 80's Leotard fashion blog post

Leotard & High Tops from Plato’s Closet

Headband from Sweaty Betty

Thrift STore Cosplay Day 24 flat lay: Glow on Netflix Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

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Binge-Watching (aka Just When I Thought I Was Out They Pull Me Back In)

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Has this ever happened to you? You innocently start a new show. Maybe someone made a suggestion and it sounded interesting, so you follow the thread to see where it takes you. Once you hit the point of no return, which depending on the show can be anywhere from episode 1 (LOST) to episode 4 or 5 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), there’s no going back. With each new episode you dig a deeper hole that you cannot crawl out of. After the end of each subsequent episode you think to yourself, “this will be the last one for tonight. After all, I have to work tomorrow.”

Next thing you know, you’re calling in sick to work because, in your heart, you do you feel a little under the weather, come to think of it. Perhaps you’ve hit a cliff hanger and you can’t possibly be expected to put your big girl/boy pants on and adult today. What if she leaves and never finds out he loves her? What if he’s really dead? What if the whole town really did explode in that fiery ball of destruction?

So you settle in for a sick day…come to find out there are 10 seasons of this show. It’s gonna take a lot more than one measly, little sick day to get you through all the plots your eyes are waiting to behold. But then…a light at the end of the tunnel. A stopping point. A gentle lull in the storyline. It’s not that the show has gotten boring, it just allows you to breathe for a moment. You push stop, go to the bathroom, throw some water on your face and remind yourself that you don’t live in Sunnydale and you aren’t facing an apocalypse. The world is ok and you aren’t President Jeb Bartlett or Jack Bauer. It’s perfectly alright for you to go ahead and live your life outside of the TV screen.

Maybe you grab a snack and think about something else for a minute, maybe you even make it all the way outside where the sun is still shining and the birds don’t even have Netflix.

Then it hits you, that familiar feeling of longing for more, more, more, next, next, next. You look back and forth between nature beckoning you to choose the light and the dark cave that has become your TV watching space. The characters call to you. The darkness calls to you. And just when you thought you were out…they pull you back in.

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Farewell world, God knows when we shall meet again. Perhaps there will be another lull in season 8.

Battle of the Darcy’s

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, I wanted to take a look at one of the most romantic figures in all of literature…Mr. Darcy himself. I’m hard pressed to find anyone that matches up to this paragon of moral fiber. So instead of pitting people against him. I’ll pit him against himself and share some of my favorite Darcy’s with you.

Mr. Darcy silhouette quote Pride and Prejudice Happy valentine's Day blog
Graphic made by Mint Afternoon from ScoutMob

I admit, it was hard to rank them, if only because everyone who I’ve seen take on the role has brought something delightful and fully their own to the great visage of Mr. Darcy. And has only managed to cement my love of Darcy with each and every scene. From movies to television mini series to the You Tube phenomenon. Here are the Darcy’s I know and love. Let me introduce…

#1: Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

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No one more embodies the qualities that I look for in a Darcy, than Mr. Colin Firth from the BBC mini series version of Pride and Prejudice. These days when I read the book over and over again, it is Firth’s face that I picture offering Elizabeth his hand in marriage. It’s Firth that saves poor Lydia’s reputation from the evil clutches of George Wickham and it is Firth that comes to Elizabeth again and asks if her heart has changed towards him. He is THE Darcy for me. So he deserves his place at the top! I dare you to defy this!

#2: Colin Firth as Mark Darcy

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Is it any wonder that when Helen Fielding wrote Bridget Jones’ Diary she was inspired by Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy as the hero of her story. BJD is a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (for those of you who didn’t know.) And in casting Fielding’s homage to the original Mr. Darcy, who better than the original Mr. Darcy. Enter Colin Firth…again! For all the reasons that he makes a truly great Darcy, not only in a period drama, but in modern times, I refer you back to point #1!

#3: Sir Lawrence Olivier as Mr. Darcy

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Next up is the classic, the incomparable (I know, I am in fact comparing him) Sir Lawrence Olivier. This 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice was actually my first introduction to the Jane Austen story. (I admit I never read the book when I was supposed to in high school.) One night this treasure came on TCM (my favorite channel in college) and I was enchanted. Starring Lawrence Olivier as Mr. Darcy and Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet, it was the first time I gave Pride and Prejudice a real chance. And yes, you read that right, it wasn’t until college that I truly fell in love. And it was Sir Lawrence who did the wooing. This adaptation actually strays from the book in many places. Lady Catherine comes to like Elizabeth and even recommends her to Darcy. We never even see Georgiana Darcy. And the costumes are not representative of the correct time period. But it just goes to show that sometimes accuracy does not always entreat the deepest of loves. This film sparked my love of all things Austen, which is probably why Olivier holds so high a placement on this list. I won’t apologize for it. He belongs here. And I still have a copy of this movie on VHS to prove my love!

#4: Daniel Vincent Gordh as William Darcy

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As each adaptation is released and spun in a new direction, I find brand new ways to love this age old story. Enter The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. A You Tube web series that in fact inspired me to try my hand at telling my own stories through the use of a web series. Lizzie Bennet is a grad student in mass communication and starts a vlog. Charlotte Lu, her best friend, helps her shoot and edit the videos. William Darcy is the haughty owner of Pemberley Digital, a media company that Lizzie eventually visits as part of her study. Darcy doesn’t even get screen time till Episode 59. The viewer relies on Lizzie’s retelling and reenacting of events and is the better for it, because Ashley Clements’ Lizzie Bennet is definitely one of my all time favorites. Will Darcy is significantly more hipster than his predecessors, but the result is simply delightful.

#5: Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy

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While Macfadyen makes a very good Darcy, I have so many issues with this version of Pride and Prejudice. The line “Well then, your hands are cold” said by Elizabeth Bennet after Darcy confesses his love a second time, irks me to no end! And his declaration of “I love-I love-I love you”… BLECK! Even Mr. Bingley telling Jane Bennet that he’s “been an unmitigated and comprehensive ass” rubs me the wrong way. But Macfadyen makes so high an entry on my list, not based on the merit of the entire film, but on his performance as Darcy alone. There is a moment when he and Elizabeth are flirting about Lizzie’s proficiency at piano and he smiles at her…that smile alone earns him a high ranking! But the rest of his performance is sufficiently Darcy-esque. And it should be noted that I also really enjoy Kiera Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet, it’s just the other liberties that grate.

#6:  Martin Henderson as Will Darcy

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I have such a soft spot for this Bollywood adaptation, Bride and Prejudice. The flourishing musical numbers alone sold me on it. But the way they weaved the story into the culture of India’s Bollywood is effortless and maintains the integrity of the original work. Martin Henderson’s Will Darcy is appropriately charming at times, but can also play a snobbish prig as well. His chemistry with Aishwayra Rai’s Lalita Bakshi is straight out of an Austen novel and it just works!

#7: Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy

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This Darcy is a newer entry for me. I never read the P.D. James novel, Death Comes to Pemberley (mystery novels are more my mother’s speed.) But I can never seem to pass on an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. So when Netflix suggested that I watch it, I did! And boy am I glad that my Netflix knows me so well (scarily well!) Matthew Rhys has everything one could want in a classic Darcy. This PBS Masterpiece mini series is a continuation of the story of P+P. Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam have a son and are living in marital bliss, until there’s a murder at Pemberley and the infamous George Wickham is a suspect. Darcy starts to question everything, including his devotion to his beloved Elizabeth. I have to tell you, this is a sexier Pemberley than Austen lovers are used to. There’s even some Darcy and Elizabeth make-up sexy times. Didn’t see that one coming! If you haven’t seen this movie…head to your nearest Netflix and do it!

#8: Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy

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I already shared all my thoughts about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies earlier this week. (Click Here) But I’ll reiterate the merits of Sam Riley’s hardened, zombie-killing Darcy. He is prejudiced. He is prideful. He is a charming bad ass!! Look at that gif…oh the brooding!! He has what it takes to earn the Darcy title. He is only so far down on the list because all of his Darcy predecessors stole my heart first. Else, I’d say he definitely deserves higher placement. There just isn’t any room. Sorry, Sam!

#9: Elliot Cowan as Mr. Darcy

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Enter Elliot Cowan’s Mr. Darcy in the mini series, Lost in Austen. Cowan is also an excellent Darcy, but again…he suffers the number 9 spot because everyone else beat him to it. But excuse me…there is an homage to Colin Firth’s Darcy that cannot go unmentioned. When Amanda Price trades places with Elizabeth Bennet and finds herself smack in the middle of a story she has grown up knowing, watching and loving, she takes it upon herself to try and keep the characters true to their story lines. And even interjects some deliciousness here and there. Including this moment where Mr. Darcy emerges from the water (after Price told him he had to jump in and do this to appease her.) YUM!

#10: David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy

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Ah! Poor David Rintoul. Here he is rounding out the end of my list. David is an excellent Darcy, as Darcy’s go. What he suffers from is a very slow paced, 1980’s version of Pride and Prejudice that I find much harder to watch then every other adaptation on this list. Rintoul has all the appropriate airs and looks darn good in a top hat and ascot, if I do say so myself. But this is not a version that I pop in on sick days. In fact, rewatching it for this list was mildly painful and I didn’t make it through the whole thing…just skipped to the good parts. If you don’t know what the good parts are, then you have homework to do and better get to it!

There you have it. My comprehensive list of Darcy’s. I’ve got a crush on all of them, but how about you?

Ladies, which Darcy floats your Valentine’s boat?

Men, is there a Miss Bennet that you prefer above all others? One of these days I’ll get around to ranking the Elizabeth Bennets of the small and silver screens.

In the meantime, don’t miss Friday’s #NerdySlumberParty. We are talking all about crushes! Which means Darcy will definitely have to be mentioned! 😉

Nerdy Slumber Party on Twitter Follow Friday

44 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be a Nerd

It is so darn good to be a nerd right now. And if you don’t consider yourself a nerd, let me go ahead and give you your very own, personal invitation. It is never too late to join our tribe.
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We may come off a little strong at first, but we love when people come to the Dark Side (or the Light, if you’re into that sort of thing.) Don’t mistake our passion and zeal for anything other than just that.

Sure…there are trolls. But trust me when I say, we take care of our own! Here are 44 reasons why right now is the time to join us…and together we can rule the fandom!!!
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1. STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (tickets have been purchased!! Internets have been broken. This is the big leagues.)
2. Star Wars Episode VIII (ok we don’t know what it’s called yet, but the script is written and the funds are already designated!)
3. Star Wars Episode IX (we don’t even know who’s directing this one, but trust us…we’ll be there!)
4. Star Wars: Rogue One
5. Rumors of a young Han Solo film (rumors are our bread and butter. Get used to it.)
6.Star Wars Rebels (It’s only on season 2, plenty of time to catch up!)
7. Anything else Star Wars that is in the Disney pipeline. (If you aren’t sensing a trend then there may not be hope for your induction into our society.)
8. Ok…we do like some other things too…try Star Trek (anything with Star in it makes the short list!)
9.New Star Trek TV show in the works
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10. Any and all things Marvel (ie: the next 14 items on the list)
11. Marvel’s Jessica Jones (this one premiers in 7 days so you better catch up and watch all of Daredevil on Netflix stat!)
12. Marvel’s Captain America Civil War (trailer will be dropping very soon.)
13. Marvel’s Doctor Strange
14. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2
15. Marvel’s Spider-Man
16. Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok
17. Marvel’s Black Panther
18. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
19. Marvel’s Ant Man and the Wasp
20. Marvel’s Captain Marvel
21. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 2
22. Marvel’s Agents of Shield (currently in season 3 on ABC)
23. Marvel’s Agent Carter (season 2 starts in January)
24. Marvel’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist (both coming to Netflix along with season 2 of Daredevil.)
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25. DC has a lot of exciting things coming to our eyeballs soon as well (they just haven’t all earned their own number slot in this nerd’s estimation, but some are worthy like…)
26. DC’s Suicide Squad
27. DC’s Justice League
28. DC’s Arrow (currently in season 3 on The CW)
29. DC’s The Flash (currently in season 2 also on The CW)
30. DC’s Supergirl (kicking major butt in it’s first season on CBS)
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31. The Walking Dead
32. Once Upon a Time
33. Doctor Who
34. Game of Thrones
35. More Jurassic Park
36. Word of more Indiana Jones is in the ether.
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37. A little thing called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (translation: more Harry Potter)
38. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (translation: even more Harry Potter)
39. Netflix and Hulu are making it easier than ever to catch up on your nerd. In my day you had to wait for DVD sets to be released and either rent from Blockbuster (yeah that was a thing) or just spend the $29.99 to own it. You’ve got no excuses anymore! LOST, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Heroes, Supernatural, X-Files they can all be yours!)
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40. Speaking of The X-Files, you better get started cause new X-Files is coming our way in January. Jump on it and believe!
41. Star Wars Battlefront (if you aren’t a gamer yet, why not let Battlefront pull you in!)
42. Any and all things Disney (they make things other than Star Wars and Marvel movies as well. I know…crazy!)
43. Oh, speaking of Star Wars…there is so much amazing expanded universe literature coming out. (Start reading! Reading is cool! There’s a lot to catch up on!)
44. There are plenty of other awesomely nerdy things coming out before and after and in between all that’s listed above. But I’m trying to think past December 17th, 2015 and I’m finding it very hard to do.

Well…you have a lot of homework to do so you better get started now. See you on the other side where I’ll be waiting with your Nerd membership card*. We will engage in an obligatory lightsaber battle and a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. It’s what we do!

*Membership card not guaranteed.

TV is my Weakness

This comes as no surprise to faithful readers. I, Elizabeth Erice, have an addiction…to the television.
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What can I say…I love my stories.

The Walking Dead, The Flash, The Mindy Project, The IT Crowd, The Vicar of Dibley, Agents of SHIELD, Roswell, Seinfeld, Friends, LOST, Revenge, Arrow, Sherlock, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, Buffy, Angel, Dark Angel, Daredevil, Dawson’s Creek, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Boy Meets World, Girl Meets World, Gilmore Girls, New Girl…the list goes on (shockingly enough.)

And the real trouble comes when I’m in the middle of a really good (and all consuming) binge session. Even if it’s a show I’ve seen plenty of times.

For example, last night I got caught up in a Gilmore Girls whirlwind. What with the thrilling news that GG is returning to us! I watched a couple episodes on TV and then realized the series was on Netflix. Next thing I know, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning, I’m midway through season 7 and I have a queasy feeling in my stomach because all the unresolved, dramatic television issues will have to wait till morning, because it was bedtime about 4 hours ago. So I go to bed, but can’t sleep because Luke and Lorelai are fighting. And I don’t like when they’re fighting. Why couldn’t I have started in on season 5, when they had just gotten together and life was good and my stomach wasn’t queasy it was filled with imaginary, TV butterflies (which I tell people I hate, but secretly…i think I like the butterflies. But only the imaginary kind, cause I’ve rarely felt them in real life about a real boy, so what do I know.)
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And now this blog post is reading like an episode of Gilmore Girls. What with those long run on sentences and the fast talking retoric, that you need a pause button just to keep up with. But see…that’s how much I love TV shows. The best parts seep into my life. The best parts seem to stick around like fond memories that you look back on and smile about. No, those events didn’t happen to me, but for 7 long years I watched it unfold. And yes, I’m a grown woman capable of discerning fantasy from reality (more on that later.)

And what was I talking about again?
Oh…right! TV!
Well, I love it…what else needs to be said!
(wink)

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 15

Day 15: Kimmy Gibbler from Full House

A couple months ago, the news broke that Netflix and John Stamos were working on a Full House spin off, Fuller House. Not only will Candace Cameron Bure’s, DJ Tanner be coming back to the small screen,  but her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and of course, DJ’s best fried, the one and only Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barbara) will return as well. (Is anyone else as excited for this show as I am??)

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The key to Kimmy Gibbler hair is stacked scrunchies and volume. If you have curly hair, let it run free. If you have straighter hair, tease that sucker till it stands on it’s own. Then stack those scrunchies on top of your head and bam… you are officially rocking the Kimmy Gibbler.

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30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 11

Day 11: JEM from JEM and the Holograms

This was definitely one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Girl inherits record label and becomes a philanthropic business woman by day and an incognito rockstar by night. My life goals were set!!

If you were born in the late 80’s or 90’s and missed JEM and the Holograms, it’s all on Netflix. Though I warn you, it’s not exactly a cartoon for kids. (Definitely wasn’t aware how inappropriate it was as a kid.) I also want to make sure that you know the upcoming movie is a far cry from the magnificence that was Jem! To hear my thought on that: click here.
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I am a brunette by nature, so it’s hard for my hair to achieve the color pink that JEM was able to rock. Plus I don’t have a holographic program, like Synergy, at the touch of an earring to assist me in creating my alter ego. But some hair chalk and a pair of clip-on star earrings from Buffalo Exchange will take you right back to 1985 and let’s be honest…I could totally be JEM. I just need my Holograms. (Any volunteers??)

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This hair is truly outrageous!!

It’s That Time Again…

Today is Ash Wednesday. Which mean the beginning of the Lenten season. For the past 2 years, I have given up the hardest thing for me to give up… Television. And I see no reason to stop this year. When I’ve given up TV in the past, I have found myself more focused, more motivated, more productive. Not only in my regular daily life, but in my spiritual life as well (which.. of course.. is the whole point!) Giving up something you love for someone you love is a bit of a no brainer. And that’s what Lent is for me. Giving up TV for the one who gave his life for mine? Ask me for something hard, why don’t ya.

It may not be particularly hard, but it won’t be a cake walk by any means. Especially when TV is so good these days. Here are 10 reasons that I will miss TV for the next 40 days…

#1 – Downton Abbey

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Oh Lady Grantham, I will miss you and your snappy one liners!

#2 – Arrow

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Umm…I forgot what I was talking about!

#3 – Flash

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Check out last Friday’s post (click here) about couples that I am shipping these days. #SnowBarry is definitely in there!

#4 – The Walking Dead

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This one is pretty self explanatory! Daryl must live! There is no other option for him!

#5 – Agent Carter

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This lady is kicking ass and taking names. She also got picked up for a second season, which is excellent news!!

#6 – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Shield has actually been on hiatus since the winter finale (which was a doozy.) But it is returning on March 3rd, which means I will miss out on the mid-season premier and will have to catch up on it first thing after Easter!!

#7 – Revenge

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If I believed in guilty pleasures, then I would definitely consider this one of them.

#8 – The Mindy Project

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Week to week this show has been getting more and more adorable. And with the big Mindy/ Danny baby news, it promises to be even more interested in the days to come.

#9 – Hart of Dixie

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Oh no… I forgot what I was talking about again!! Wonder why…

#10 – Netflix

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Aside from the regularly scheduled program of day to day TV watching, there are the many treasure troves available on Netflix. Re-watching Arrested Development. Starting a new show like House of Cards. Watching movies whenever I want to. All that is going to have to wait till after the celebration of the resurrection of Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior… otherwise knows as Easter, of course!

Until Easter hits, I’m going to be very careful where I look. Spoilers are everywhere.