An open letter to Mark Schwahn in the wake of the sexual harassment accusations against him

Dear Mark,

I’m sure you’re having a tough time right now in the wake of the sexual harassment that has been alleged against you these past couple of weeks. And I’m glad. In fact, I hope that you’re nervous, regretful, and questioning yourself right now. I hope you feel tortured about the harm that you have caused so many of the women you have worked with. But most of all, I hope you are overwhelmed with guilt. Because that’s a feeling that I’ve been plagued with since this news broke. I feel guilty for idolizing and supporting a man who would stoop so low as to endanger the lives and careers of the women around him for a stroke to his ego. And I feel sick that your wrong doings taints a legacy of a show that has been so important to me and so many other individuals around the world.

I first fell in love with One Tree Hill when I was 15 years old. It was already a few seasons into its run, so I coveted DVDs of past episodes that I would rent from Blockbuster. I spent time with each disc – watching episodes multiple times and taking in special features with amazement. While the show itself made me feel more understood as a confused teenager, it was the special features – the behind the scenes videos, interviews, and commentaries – that made a substantial impact on my life. I had previously been overwhelmed by the prospects of my future and had no direction in which to push myself toward. But suddenly, in these featurettes, I saw careers that excited me, motivated me, and gave me a passion for something. I found the fire inside of me.

I wanted to be you. I was inspired by the idea of being able to create something that would resonate with others in the same way it did for me. I wanted to make creative choices and write characters that made people aspire to be better in some way. And ultimately, I wanted to be able to work as a team with people who were just as passionate about it as I was. Opportunities you squandered.

I followed this dream, and I continued watching One Tree Hill as I did it. I watched the series finale in a tiny apartment in New York City, and I cried through most of the episode. Less because the show was finally coming to an end, and more because it gave me a chance to reflect on how far I had come since watching those DVDs in my childhood bedroom. I crossed the stage at my college graduation with a film degree and a One Tree Hill quote on my graduation cap. It’s a line that Nathan says to Jamie in Season 8 in reference to a choice he makes to take a more difficult path – “Sometimes the hardest things are the most rewarding.” I was taking a moment to bask in the reward of the hard work I had put in. I was proud of the show that had done so much to get me there. It felt significant. It had become a part of who I was.

I work in the TV industry now. I’m not quite where I want to be, but I get another step closer every day. I’ve dealt with difficult situations because of my gender in the workplace, and I feel a strong sense of camaraderie with other females in this industry who are trudging the same path. So I feel this even more strongly toward the women who were a part of One Tree Hill, as they had such a large part in shaping my career goals. I feel such a connection to them that I can surely do without you.

You do not own One Tree Hill. It belongs to your adversaries now. All of us who are willing to stand against you in defense of the women you have mistreated and betrayed. It belongs to Audrey Wauchope, Rachel Specter, Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India DeBeaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen, Allison Munn, Jane Beck, Tarin Squillante, Cristy Koebley, and JoJo Stephens. It belongs to the men who attempted to protect the women in the writers’ room from you. It belongs to every fan (of the show’s largely female fan base) that has supported the show and made your career possible. One Tree Hill no longer belongs to you. But your mistakes do. And it’s time for you to own them.

You had my dream. In my eyes you had the ultimate prize. And despite the treacherous position you’ve found yourself in, I’ve been inspired by you one last time. Inspired to one day be the kind of leader that you were not. To stand by other women to help them succeed, and to stand up to the men who put roadblocks in front of me because of my gender. To find my voice in a new way; not just on the page, but in my career for the betterment of my life. Your fall from grace will be the result of your overwhelming confidence that you deserved to act this way. And now the women you’ve harmed deserve to find the confidence to ruin you. So I will stand in solidarity with them now. Because it was them all along. It's always been them. Their art mattered. It’s what got me here.

Sincerely and without regret,

Hayley Goldstein

5 Fictional families I would love to spend Thanksgiving with

My family can be insane. Especially during the holidays.

Let’s just say that differing opinions on the best workout, or even a disagreement over which fast food parking lot my dad and uncle were actually in that time my dad broke his nose, have led to thrown food and hurt feelings.

But nonetheless, Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings us all together and bonds us a little closer every year. It’s an experience that I can only dream about having with some of television’s best fictional families (seriously, it’s a scenario I’ve thought way too in depth about). So without further ado, here are my top picks:

The Gallaghers (Shameless)

Simply put The Gallaghers are a mess. But they’re a fun mess. The kind of mess that will have you doubled over with giggles as one of them attempts to blowtorch the turkey. Sure you’re in danger, but everyone means well, and this is a memory you’ll share with future generations. “Hey, do you remember that time Carl set the kitchen towels on fire while blowtorching the turkey.” See… FUN!

The Cohens (The O.C.)

No one. I repeat. NO ONE. Can make you feel more welcome in their home than one Sandy Cohen. And you can bet that this won’t be just one Thanksgiving meal, but a masterpiece of a bagel brunch the following morning as well. Because the Cohen’s do entertaining right. Plus, if you ask Seth nicely enough, you may just get the honor of meeting the legendary Captain Oats. What could be better?

The Alvarez Family (One Day at a Time)

I’ll state the obvious before we go any further, you will get to sit at the dining room table with national treasure, Rita Moreno! (As grandmother extraordinaire Lydia of course.) She’ll make you café Cubano and tell you the tales of her challenging childhood, all while introducing you to her wonderful daughter and grandchildren who are single (wink wink). And if you’re lucky, Schneider might show up unexpectedly just in time to ask all the dumb questions you’ve secretly been wondering about.

 The Bradys (The Brady Bunch)

Here’s the story… of a Thanksgiving family… The Bradys are a classic choice. We’ve all at least imagined what it would be like to suddenly have a mass of siblings, and I’m sure that dynamic would only increase the level of Thanksgiving excellence. From a football game in the idyllic backyard, to Alice serving her homemade pumpkin pie, it would surely be a Thanksgiving to remember.

The Gilmores (Gilmore Girls)

Lorelai and Rory can eat. Which means they know how to do Thanksgiving right. You’re likely to be shuffled around Stars Hallow from celebration to celebration, overeating and making new friends. And when you finally do make it to Richard and Emily’s Hartford home, you’ll be forced to at least pretend you still have room for the gourmet meal their chef has prepared (while Emily watches you like a hawk of course). So you better start training now if you want to be able to eat with the best of ‘em.

While these fictional families have a lot going for them, I still can’t help but be excited about getting to spend some quality time with my own. Because it’s when the wine starts flowing and stories start being told on this special day that I feel the most at home.

 

 

5 St. Patrick's Day Episodes to Binge Tonight

Ah, St. Patrick’s day. As kids we appreciated the global celebration of Irish culture by donning green ensembles, being tricked by devious “leprechauns,” and chowing down on chocolate gold coins. But adulthood brings drunken celebrations fraught with green beer, Jameson shots, and parades. While this way of remembering St. Patrick (one of Ireland’s patron saints) can be exciting, if you’d rather be cozy at home and hangover free tomorrow morning, then this list is for you. So pull on some fuzzy green socks, pour yourself a bowl of Lucky Charms, and queue up your Netflix for some fun takes on the holiday that don’t require you to leave your couch.  

CAFTVHIMYM

How I Met Your Mother - 03 X12 – “No Tomorrow”

I can’t think of anyone who partakes in holiday debauchery quite like Barney Stinson. And as usual, in this episode he ropes Ted into another one of his schemes, luring him away from Marshall and Lily’s much tamer board game night in favor of a hot date and some green beer. Barney reasons with him by proposing a theory of “No Tomorrow” in which today has no consequences. As you can imagine, despite Barney’s promises, consequences run abound for poor Ted who ends up getting into more trouble than he bargained for.

 

CAFTVOFFICE

The Office - 06 X 19 – “St. Patrick’s Day”

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day in Scranton and green is the color of choice as the employees of Dunder Mifflin look forward to a parade in town. But tensions rise when they’re delayed from leaving the office to celebrate the holiday which Michael describes as “the closest day the Irish will ever get to Christmas.” As usual there is hilarious tension between Jim and Dwight, ridiculous misunderstandings for Michael, and confusion generated by secrets among coworkers. Plus, green ties and suits make everything even more comical than usual!

 

CAFTVCHARMED

Charmed – 05 X 16 – “Lucky Charmed”

In this episode, our favorite witch sisters are called upon to help a group of leprechauns overcome the power of a demon named Saleel. The sisters end up in the realm of the leprechauns and learn that not all luck is good. But that doesn’t stop them from the exciting possibility of traveling by rainbow! It may be a darker take on the icons of St. Patrick’s Day but the 90s nostalgia is totally worth it!

 

CAFTVCHEERS

Cheers – 08 X 21 – “Bar Wars III: The Return of Tecumseh”

When the Cheers gang thinks that they accidentally started an all-out prank war with Gary’s Old Town Tavern on St. Patrick’s Day, they lay in wait for retaliation from their rival. As they become more and more suspicious of the possibility of practical jokes being played on them, their antics become progressively more hilarious and you can’t help but commiserate with them in the end.

 

CAFTV30

30 Rock – 06 X 11 – “St. Patrick’s Day”

Liz Lemon’s day is turned upside down after Jack, in an attempt to teach her a St. Patrick’s Day lesson, puts a curse on her that lands Dennis back on her doorstep. Her intentions of protesting the holiday by staying home all day and wearing orange are scrapped when Dennis begins to drive a wedge between her and Chris. Meanwhile, Jenna and Tracy hosting the St. Patrick’s Day parade goes awry when they discover that Jenna has gotten top billing during the promos for the show. It causes a hilarious rivalry between the two friends that is sure to have you cracking up until someone swoops in to save the day!

February 2017 Hits

I honestly cant comprehend the fact that it’s already March. I know that February is a short month but time still sneaks up on me these days. February had a slew of new premiere dates for both returning shows and new programs, and I found myself sampling quite a bit more than I normally do. But that didn’t keep me from continuing to make my way through a huge list of shows to binge on Netflix. Checking a show off my never-ending list always feels like such an accomplishment. So without further ado, here are some of the shows that were hits for me this month.

caffeinatedTVBigLittleLies

Big Little Lies (HBO) This show was one of HBO’s big premieres this month. I had been anticipating it for quite some time, mostly because of its all-star cast – Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley are among the top billed. The premise comes from Australian author Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name, and presents us with a mystery involving a murder at a school fundraiser. Intrigued? While the mystery does serve the core plot of the show, it is actually the relationships between our key female characters and their husbands, children, and friends that piqued my interest. The show comes across as the epitome of “rich white people problems,” but in a way it effectively serves to show that money can’t allow you to escape from all your problems. Yet, it still feels like escapist for the average viewer, who will be overwhelmed by picturesque Monterey and suffer from some considerable real estate envy.

 

caffeinatedTVGirls

Girls (HBO) Girls returned for its final season this month and I can’t help but be overly nostalgic about this series coming to an end. Over the years it has faced some pretty serious criticism about its whitewashed privileged cast and some of the ways in which it has taken on portraying millennial life. However, I truly feel that the show has only gotten better with age. We’ve gotten to see some beautiful capsule episodes that are some of the best half hour blocks of television I’ve ever seen, and the characters have grown and changed in ways that have allowed us to grow with them, as our own lives have evolved over the past six years.  This season starts off just as strong as the last season finished, and I’m very excited to follow it through to the very end of its run.

 

caffeinatedTVeasy

Easy (Netflix) I’m a huge fan of Joe Swanberg’s films. From Happy Christmas to Drinking Buddies, I’ve been completely enamored with his minimalist directing style and the deep characters that he writes, allowing their conversations and relationships to take precedence over plot. So I was losing my mind when it was announced that he would be taking on a series for Netflix, and trust me when I say it does not disappoint. Just eight episodes long, Easy takes on the topics of love, sex, technology, and culture in an anthology format. Starring actors you probably already love like Aya Cash, Dave Franco, Malin Akerman, and Orlando Bloom, each episode exists almost as a short film with an encapsulated plot and time. However, as you watch the series, everything starts to come together even more as characters become intertwined in each other’s stories. It’s fun to put all the pieces together and see fringe characters in one episode get their own time to shine in another.

 

caffeinatedTVlegion

Legion (FX) Yet another new piece of material from the prolific Noah Hawley, Legion is his first foray into the Marvel universe. As someone who generally doesn’t love “superhero” programming, Legion really surprised me and had me hooked immediately. The story revolves around David Haller, a young man who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but is actually struggling with inhuman powers -- meaning that the voices in his head are real. This show is an artistic dream. Set as a period piece in the 70s, the colors and sets create an undeniable tone that feels very different from the Marvel worlds that we’ve seen up until this point. It is definitely a show that I’ll be recommending to everyone, and I cannot wait to see where it goes this season.

January 2017 Hits

It’s been a while, but I’m back with another list of shows that I’ve been loving in the new year. Do yourself a favor and sample some of these series this month. You wont be disappointed.

sweetviciousJANUARY.jpg

Sweet/Vicious (MTV) One of the most important shows to come out of MTV (maybe) ever, Sweet/Vicious takes on the topic of sexual assault on college campuses in a way that makes it easily digestible without losing the ability of its narrative to be a crucial call to action. The series follows Jules and Ophelia, two unlikely cohorts, who come together to seek revenge for sexual assault victims who fall through the cracks of the Title IX institutions at fictional, Darlington University. It’s witty and sweet with plenty of pop culture references that will keep you on your toes. But most importantly, it will open your eyes to an unfortunate trend on college campuses across our nation.

You can read my full review of the first season HERE @ Really Late Reviews

 

The-OAJANUARY.jpg

The OA (Netflix) This show has had a major divide among critics. It seems to be a situation where you either love it or hate it and there is no in between. The most definitive thing that I can say about The OA is that it surprised me. I’m generally not someone who enjoys programs that fall into the genres that this show does. What those genres are – I’m still not sure. It has supernatural elements along with a little bit of science fiction and mystery. There’s a romance at the show’s core, but it tends to rely mostly on the unlikely friendships that evolve in difficult situations (a topic that I can always get behind). Although I left the first season feeling like I still had a lot of questions, I wouldn’t be completely disappointed if this show didn’t get a second season. In the eight episodes it had, it told and interesting and cohesive story that while sometimes slow, kept me interested the entire time. It relies heavily on the trope of storytelling as we see the plot evolve from the story that our protagonist tells to a ragtag group of teens (and one of their teachers). The show is lyrical in its approach to plot and its ending (the main portion of the show that critics are still divided on). I would recommend taking the time to watch the first episode. You might just find yourself hooked.

 

One Day at a Time (Netflix) I cannot say enough good things about this show. Never before has a sitcom had me laughing through uncontrollable tears. This Netflix original is a remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom of the same name. While the bare bones of the characters and plot are the same, the remake takes on modern issues with a Cuban family living in Los Angeles. By far, the best change from the original is the addition of the grandmother character, played by Rita Moreno (a national treasure). But all of the actors bring something to the table that is unique and hilarious. Prepare yourself for a heart-wrenching coming out story and the exhibition of love that this family has for one another.

 

Riverdale (The CW) Riverdale is a show that came out of left field for me. Somewhere along the way I missed The CW’s promotion for the series, but was intrigued by a couple ads I saw leading up to the premiere. As a disclaimer, I know nothing about the world of Archie comics. In fact, I’ve never read a comic book in my life. But Riverdale seems to be using the comics as a platform to launch the next must see soapy teen drama a la Gossip Girl. In my opinion, it’s been too long since we’ve had something in this genre on The CW (although they’ve been putting out some pretty great content). The show is being described as a soapier version of Twin Peaks with its foggy ambiance and mysterious death (plus Twin Peaks cast member, Mädchen Amick, as Betty’s overbearing mother). It’s worth tuning into if you enjoyed the soapier fare of CW and WB past.

You can join me as I livetweet the show, Thursdays @ 9pm pst over on the @late_reviews Twitter account.

{WHAT I WATCHED: APRIL & MAY 2015}

caffeinatedtvaprilmaywrap

It may be mid-June, but I’m finally getting around to my wrap-up for the past couple of months (better late than never, right?). Between starting a new job, and attending the ATX Television Festival in Austin, TX (more on that later), I’ve barely had time to breathe… or sleep… but I’ve of course found some way to fit TV in, so at least there’s that! Here’s what I watched throughout April and May.

 

cafftvgaroats

Garfunkel and Oates (Season 1)

Am I the only one who constantly trolls the “recently added” section of Netflix? I’m always anxious to see what new shows have come available to binge that I may have missed when they aired or (if we’re being honest) ones that I put off purposely in order to binge later. Garfunkel and Oates is one of those shows that I always intended to watch, but never even ended up setting my DVR to record (it’s pretty full so prioritizing is necessary). I was lucky enough to see Riki Lindhome record an episode of the podcast Baby Talk with Dan Levy last year, and I was instantly obsessed with her bubbly and relatable sense of humor. So when Garfunkel and Oates popped up in the recently added column on Netflix, I immediately played an episode, and then another, and then another… until I was shocked to see that I had finished the entire season (there are only 8 eps and at 20min a pop they go by pretty quick).

The show follows Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, as themselves, as they navigate life as a comedy band, dating, break-ups, and friendships. Each episode features one of their original songs that fits the context of the story (warning: they will get stuck in your head). But the best part? Throughout the season there is a slew of cameos by all of your favorite comedians! From TJ Miller to Anthony Jeselnik, you’re bound to spot someone you recognize. It has a very similar feel to Portlandia and definitely worth a quick watch while it’s available to stream.

 

cafftvmulaney

Mulaney (Season 1)

This was one of those shows that I had such high expectations for and was so disappointed. Yes, I stuck it out and watched the entire season anyway because I am such a huge fan of John Mulaney (I’ve seen his stand-up special “New in Town” more times than I can count). The pilot episode wasn’t great and basically regurgitated jokes from Mulaney’s special, but I was willing to give it a chance, hoping that it would be funnier when I didn’t already know the punch line to every joke. While there were a few quality jokes here and there, the show never really clicked for me as a whole. I definitely recommend spending your time on Mulaney’s stand-up instead.

 

cafftvmanhattanlove

Manhattan Love Story (Season 1)

Another show that both myself and the other American viewers didn’t really care for. I did love the casting and the idea behind the show with its rom-com tropes, but unfortunately in the end it came across as a little too cheesy, with characters that I constantly felt second-hand embarrassment for. However, it’s great as something to have on in the background if you’re not focusing 100%.

 

cafftvfelicity

Felicity (Season 1)

I hold onto a lot of 90s nostalgia despite the fact that I was too young during that particular decade to really enjoy a lot of the main pop culture staples. Felicity was one of those shows that I missed out on and had to give a try. I instantly fell in love with the simple plot that allows the characters to really be the main focus of each episode. It’s the perfect show to enjoy on a random Saturday with copious amounts of coffee, and one I’m excited to continue with in the coming months.

 

cafftvFOB

Fresh Off the Boat (Season 1)

This show sat in my Hulu Plus queue for the length of its first season run, but as soon as I watched the pilot I was hooked, and binged my way through the first 13 episodes in a matter of a couple of days. I’ve watched plenty of interviews with Eddie Huang, and seen him appear on news shows like Take Part Live (Pivot), but I wasn’t familiar with his book prior to starting the series.

The show follows the life of a young Eddie, as his first generation family from Taiwan relocates to sunny, whitewashed, Orlando, Florida for a new start with a new business (a wild west themed steakhouse). Each of the actors brings something really unique to the table as this hilarious family and I can’t get enough of them.

 

{WHAT I WATCHED: MARCH 2015}

caffeinatedtvwrapup

One of the new things I started doing for 2015 is keeping track of the media that I consume month to month. I’m a big fan of making lists but not always super successful at crossing things off of them, so keeping track of the shows I’m watching makes me feel pretty accomplished (even though most people might consider it to be evidence of extreme sloth-like behavior). So whether you’re impressed by the five seasons of television I watched last month, or a little concerned for my mental health, here’s a little wrap-up.

 

caffeinatedtvhouseofcards

House of Cards (Season 3)

Shocked that I didn’t complete this one in the month of February? Well that makes two of us. But then again, I was really trying to pace myself with this season (which I accomplished to a certain extent). I don’t want to say too much about it because of spoilers (but come on, if you haven’t watched this show yet you almost deserve to be spoiled), but I will say that this season was my favorite so far, which seems to be an unpopular opinion with everyone I discuss the show with. I think it probably has to do with the amount of focus on Claire this season, and I’m a sucker for a badass female character.

Favorite Episode: “Chapter 32"

 

caffeinatedtvkimmyschmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 1)

Clearly I drink the Netflix kool-aid. I’ll pretty much give all of their original programming a shot, and for the most part I’ve fallen in love with some pretty great shows (Hemlock Grove aside). I’m also still compiling a list of shows that I’m wishing Netflix will bring back for another season on the heels of news that Arrested Development is getting picked up for another? Really? Honestly, I think Netflix would be better off focusing on new programming rather than continuing to beat that dead horse, but I digress… Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the newest show from 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock is incredible! I made my way through most of the season in one sitting, and found myself singing the theme song long after I finished (although we wont talk about what I thought the words were before my friend clued me in to the correct lyrics).

The show focuses on Kimmy, a young impressionable woman who is rescued from a doomsday cult, and starts her life over again in New York City. She’s wide-eyed, bushytailed, and hilariously communicating with her new circle of acquaintances, which includes her flamingly gay roommate and posh boss (who both have their own unique takes on the world). I would recommend that any comedy fans give this show a try, especially those that are fans of 30 Rock (it carries the same tone, and fast-paced, off-beat dialogue).

Favorite Episode: “Kimmy Rides a Bike”

 

caffeinatedtvmelroseplace

Melrose Place 2.0 (Season 1)

Yeah, this happened. I’ve attempted to watch this show several times before, and never made it past the first episode on account on it’s particular breed of awful… but this time I was determined to get through it. Why? I’m not really sure, but I think it has something to do with my desire to make my way through all of the CW’s programming. I usually fall in love with all of their lighthearted teen dramas for one reason or another, but that was not the case with this reboot. The only exception being the relationship between Lauren and David, which was cute but also pretty frustrating just like the rest of the show. Still thinking about giving it a shot? Then just let me leave you with this warning: the series ends on cliffhangers that will never be resolved since the show was axed. I have so many unanswered questions and regardless of just how petty they are, it’s excruciating. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Favorite Episode: “Stoner Canyon”

 

caffeinatedtvgrounded

Grounded for Life (Seasons 1-2)

These were a rewatch for me since they tended to be a staple of my after school programming back in high school when they would play reruns on ABC Family every afternoon. I always like to have an easy rewatch in my recently watched section on Netflix for casual consumption at odd times (i.e. when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t - for the life of me – get back to sleep). Because I’ve never actually seen all of these episodes in order, it’s been fun to binge through them and embrace the sense of nostalgia that comes with all of Sean and Claudia’s blunders as parents (although Eddie definitely holds the honor of having the best one-liners). There’s also something so fun about the format of the show, which utilizes flashbacks to tell the entire story of the episode. I’m currently making my way through season three, and realizing how bummed I’m going to be when I finish the series again.

Favorite Episode: “The Kids Are Alright”