Tag Archives: suits

The Summer TV Season

(Answering the question: Why what I watch is better than what you are watching. So watch what I do!)

Summer’s here! And that means running around outside, enjoying the sun, and being active. Oh, yeah, and to set your DVR so you can have something to watch after your pollen allergies hit, you’ve gotten a second degree sunburn, and you have a pile of ice on that pulled hamstring!

While the traditional Fall TV season won’t begin until after Labor Day for most networks, they are kind enough to shovel out the horse stables to give us what you’d expect over the summer (“Survivor: Office Bromance!”, “Singing Hits in The Shower!”) rather than “reruns.” But, it does NOT mean that there isn’t anything with which to soften your brain over the summer. You see, every major network is owned by a conglomerate that has cable entities as well. And yes, they have suckered me in! These are just a few of the show that I like, and in some cases, have turned others into fans as well (some shows have already started their summer seasons, so get on board):

NOTE: I don’t have access to HBO, etc., so yes, I do know that “True Blood” is coming back!

USA Network

The USA Network (a division of NBC/Universal) has carved out quite a lineup of shows, spread out across the calendar year.  It DOES have a great lineup in winter and spring (and often splits its shows’ season runs into two blocks), with shows like “Psych.” But, it’s in summer where the shows really shine.

White Collar

Matt Bomer plays the charming con man turned FBI consultant, Neal Caffrey.

This show is really fun and a great escape. Who doesn’t like the idea of watching Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), a former high-end criminal and con man working alongside the FBI Agent who caught him, Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). While these two are fun together, and always manage to solve a case with much larger issues hanging over their heads every episode (i.e. distrust, secrets, etc.), it’s the secondary characters that are really fun to watch. Willie Garson plays “Mozzie,” Neal’s longtime confidant and ally. His secrets have secrets, he’s connected and only the surface of who Mozzie really is has been scratched so far. Also, Tiffany Thiesen plays the most understanding wife of an FBI Agent every portrayed, “Mrs. Suit” as Mozzie calls her.

Burn Notice

Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar, oh my!

One of my favorite guilty pleasures outside of the SyFy network and “Supernatural” on the CW, this show is equal parts “MacGyver” and “Miami Vice.” Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is a “burned” spy that has been dumped back into his home town of Miami. Through the first few seasons, his only objective was to find out who burned him and get revenge. He enlisted his old flame, Fiona Glenanne (the exquisite Gabrielle Anwar), a “trigger happy ex-girlfriend,” and his old FBI buddy Sam Axe (played with over-the-top brilliance by Bruce Campbell) to help him find the truth. But, now that he has been partially accepted back into the CIA, he has to pick up the pieces he has left in his wake on his quest for the truth. Plus, each episode tells you more and more about how to make bombs and weapons out of nothing and how to storm a compound! Fan-tastic!


Two lawyers, one viewer: still one degree!

I really, really like this show, and the idea of a “lawyer” who can remember anything while being mentored by one of the toughest lawyers in NYC never ceases to amaze me. The writing is fantastic with crisp dialogue and great humor. The character of Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) is every bit like his name; the kind of guy you want to meet but only if he’s on your side! He’s taken a new young hot-shot “lawyer,” Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) under his wing. The one catch, Mike isn’t a lawyer, he’s just taken the test hundreds of times for others to make money using his photographic memory. This adds a constant tension to the entire show as we ask each week, “Will someone learn Mike’s secret?” The show makes the law seem fun, and it certainly is a highly entertaining show to watch!

Also on this summer are “Covert Affairs” and “Royal Pains” which I like, but both have drifted from their original charm and intent on the show.


AMC has a great stable of hit shows like “The Walking Dead,” “Hell on Wheels,” and “Rubicon” which was only given one season, but was fantastic.

Breaking Bad

All Hail the King! Indeed...

As “The Killing” and “Mad Men” wrap up their season finales, we get to look forward to one of the best shows on TV, “Breaking Bad.” There is a reason why Bryan Cranston has won two Emmies for his portrayal of Walt White, cancer survivor and high school chemistry teacher turned meth maker and now ______. (if you haven’t seen the season finale of season 4, then I won’t spoil it here and will urge you wholeheartedly to watch this series!)

Last September, Aaron Paul, who plays Jessee Pinkman, the tormented partner of Walt, was finally also rewarded with an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor! The show is hard hitting, violent and is definitely NOT for kids. BUT, if you want to witness a normal “every man” travel down a dark path and come out the other side a dark, changed man, then start with the previous four seasons, which coincidentally can be seen on AMC as they start running a few every Sunday until the July 15th season 5 premiere.


Ah, the channel where my inner nerd can be set free!  Besides the series below, I just want to point out that SyFy has some of the best (“worst?”) movies that can be made on their “SyFy Original Saturday Night Movie.” Some titles of upcoming movies: “Jersey Shore Shark Attack,” “Piranhaconda,” and “Arachnoquake.” Enjoy!


I like “Alphas” because it isn’t just about people with superhero abilities. Well, it is. But, each one of these Alphas has a drawback to his/her power. For example, Bill Harken (Malik Yoba), is a former FBI agent who has the power of a hyperadrenal gland that makes him strong and almost resistant to pain. However, this leaves him debilitated if he activates it for too long. And Gary Bell (Ryan Cartwright) is a transducer, meaning he can see and read the signals from electronic devices such as phones, WiFi and everything else with an electronic wavelength. But, it can overpower him and he does this in spite of his severe autism.  This is a great show, with David Straithairn as Dr. Lee Rosen, the “normal” leader of this group.

Warehouse 13

Pete and Myka: "secret" service agents

More nerd fun! If you ever saw the 1980’s/early 1990’s series “Friday the 13th: The Series,” then this is kind of like that. A group of government investigators (part of the Secret Service – a VERY secret part of it, actually) travels around the world in order to retrieve “artifacts,” which are items that have unique powers attached to them and bring them back to the strange Warehouse 13, in South Dakota. Think what you could do with Marilyn Monroe’s hairbrush, or Edgar Allen Poe’s pen, or Annette Funicello’s beach ball… What makes this show fun is the great humor that is pitch perfect for an oddball show and perfectly in line with the characters of Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly), Artie (the always great and funny Saul Rubinek) and Claudia (the fun Alison Scagliotti).


What? Huh?

I have no ideas what this is, but apparently it is being produced as both a series and a video game at the same time. I’ll get back to you on how this all works out.






Oh Wilfred, how you amuse me so. Were I a complete stoner, or a dog owner, I probably would know of what you speak so much more. As it is, this show, originally an Australian show now made for the U.S. network F/X, stars Elijah Wood as the down and out Ryan, who after a failed suicide attempt becomes friends with his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred (played, as he did in the original show down under, by Jason Gann). It’s at times very surreal and spectacularly funny. Especially if you own a dog.




Comedy Central


Do you have these three in YOUR office?

Basically what I did every day for seven years for a company that I “existed” in.  Except for all the smoking of pot, taking of ‘shrooms and drinking at my desk.  If you’re under the age of 40 and are also not in a position of authority at work, then you can relate and maybe learn something here.  The three leads, Blake, Adam and “Ders” (Anders) are also the creators, writers and producers of the show.  Hilarity!


P.S. I don’t deal in reality or competition shows! Don’t tell me about them. I know they are on and I don’t care.

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Dressing for “What You Want”

(and what to expect when you do…)

How we dress is important. See the picture below:

Dressed up for Unibomber tryouts, or for finding a "Woman of Means Who's Looking for a Man of Casualness?"

I’d like to tell you that this isn’t my everyday dress code. But, as a “freelancer” and “social critic in my own mind” blogger, my social visibility factor is currently not high enough to warrant dressing in nice slacks and a full button-down shirt. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I know I will be face-to-face with others (i.e. The Bank, The Store, Happy Hour – all places where the “Woman of Means and My Dreams” might show up) on which I will dress appropriately. It’s a quality instilled in me by my mother, who noticed that in my summers off from college, I was devolving into a George Costanza, sweatpants-wearing lazy ass dresser WAY before Jerry Seinfeld was a comedian of any fame. With a roll of the eyes and a voice familiar to any extended member of the Barley clan, she would say to me, “You’re going out dressed like THAT? What if you were to run into the President?”

The funny thing is, to this day I NEVER have run into the President, of anything. But, the idea is sound. The way that we dress IS a big factor in how we are perceived and how we perceive others in society.

I’ll try to list a few clothing options and what they say to society, or at least to me because on THIS page, I am society. 🙂


Appropriate for: the gym, staying at home on a rainy day, MAYBE a quick trip for take out.

Not appropriate for: dining out, or a first, second, third, fourth, or fifth date

Sweats come in many categories. If you’re like me, you have your sweat pants and shirts that are for working out or for being lazy INDOORS on a rainy day. You probably also have a hooded sweatshirt or two which you can wear if the beach has gotten chilly and you’re just walking over to your best friend’s house to feast on the new concoction that his wife just whipped up. Then you have your “designer” sweat pants that come with names like “Juicy,” “D&G,” and “Hollister.” Sometimes, they come with the name right on the ass, bedazzled in shiny sequins or faux diamonds. If you’re wearing your designer Juicy sweats to the gym and you get pissed off that I just checked out your ass, you’re more of a bitch than you realize. Crossing  your arms and giving me “a look” only amplifies this personality trait. And if you’re taking the kids out wearing your matching Juicy top and bottoms as if you “dressed up” for the day, then congratulations to your husband. He got exactly the kind of woman he was looking for…

I have NO problem staring at this, but don't get pissed off if I do. AND, it's not dressed up, honey.

If you’re a guy wearing a matching sweat combo, you had BETTER be a fucking rap star. Period.


Appropriate for: the gym, general “around the house wear,” the beach, when you’re not trying to impress anyone* (unless the design on it is really, really funny or articulate)

Not appropriate (especially if offensive): meeting the parents, going to a restaurant where the servers are wearing ties.

T-shirts were traditionally white with no sleeves and meant to be worn under other shirts to keep you from sweating into your good shirt, thereby keeping the yellow sweat-stained pits to shirts that could be replaced by your parents every Christmas. But, today t-shirts with logos and phrases are another good option for the gym or just to wear around. I have two drawers of them, sorted anal retentively into lights and darks. They’ve been collected from friends coming back from vacations I couldn’t attend and purchased by me to show my allegiance to the University of Wisconsin. (By the way, this is a GREAT networking tool as Badger fans are EVERYWHERE and always say hello to one another.) T-shirts are a great way to brand yourself, but never, under any circumstances should you wear an Ed Hardy t-shirt. Just fuck off if you do. Seriously, fuck off.

Make your own t-shirt, brand YOURSELF!


Appropriate for: just about everything, other than  your wedding or a business job interview.

Not appropriate for: unless your Canadian, you’re wedding; a funeral, job interview (unless “creative” is in the title, but match with a sport coat)

Jeans are probably the most popular style of pants in the world, if not the universe. I am sure that there are galaxies of advanced humanoids wearing jeans right now! You can just about wear jeans anywhere and they will be acceptable clothing. Here, it’s not the style of the clothing that’s in question, it’s the condition. If you are wearing jeans that have holes in the buttocks or strategically placed throughout your jeans by the manufacturer, you’re out an out of touch re-tard or you are shooting a retro hair band video. And, yes, I do own a pair of jeans with holes in them, but they resulted from a drunken first date night that 1. I fondly remember and 2. am just too cheap right now to replace them. Besides, they fit really nicely.

Somehow, I am able to overlook the holes...

A few other clothing options before we get to suits:

White Pants – special props to girls who wear white pants. If it wasn’t for the Kevin and Bean show throughout the years, I would have never understood the idea behind white pants… If you wear white pants, you have a special place in my heart and knowledgeable people will be nice to you. If you’re dating me, I’ll love you forever…

Cut off shorts – NnnnO! NnnnO! In-a-pro-pri-ate. Never wear these. As always, there is an exception: ladies, if you’re IN shape and wearing a small two piece suit and at the beach, then by all means, please wear them!  Fellas: guys shouldn’t wear cutoffs at all under any circumstances. There is no appropriate place for a guy to wear cut offs.

Tank tops – I probably have something against tank tops because I have never had the shoulders to wear a tank top. But, that still doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to wear them to restaurants with a foreign language in the restaurant’s name or has no outdoor seating and carpet on the floor…

Now, suits:

Appropriate for: everything.

Inappropriate for: nowhere, just don’t ruin it by going sailing in it or playing sports

Suits, their cool, pot-smoking cousin the sport coat and their super rich, austere Uncle, The Tux, are appropriate for everything. But, logically,  you shouldn’t wear them to places like the beach or the gym as dry cleaning can get expensive. If you wear a suit, then you’re saying something to those that see you. And you’re saying something to yourself: I. Fucking. Rule. When you put on a great fitting and expensive suit, you can just feel a new you from that shorts/hoodie combo you’ve been wearing all day… Or so I’ve heard. My one black suit and lighter colored suits cost about $750 COMBINED. But, you can mix and match the jacket and suit with parts of what we’ve discussed above.

Suit and t-shirt combo = you’re a silicon valley entrepenuer, a rich European wannabe, or a refuge from the set of “Miami Vice.” All I’m saying is be careful here.

Suit jacket and jeans combo = you’re a creative director other type of creative exec and you’re just out for the night with you buddies looking for that woman who wears whit pants but wants to be wearing her Juicy Couture sweats while driving your Range Rover.

Tux jacket and jeans combo = you’re a mid level movie exec in direct competition with “suit jacked and jeans combo guy.”

I highly suggest having fun with your wardrobe. If you are an office drone, I highly suggest wearing your tux to work someday. I’ve done it several times before and had fun telling people that I had an interview as a movie usher that night. If they require you to wear a tie to work, throw on your jacket, shirt and tie, but pair it up with shorts and celebrate Angus Young! Remember, it’s about how you feel!

Now, I’m off to remove the hoodie and shorts. I may have to go outside…

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