I didn’t expect to like ABC Family’s new cancer-themed drama Chasing Life. In fact, I wasn’t even planning on watching it, but when my friend told me how much she thought I’d enjoy it, I finally gave it a try…mainly because Scott Michael Foster is in it. You may remember him as Cappie from ABC Family’s Greek — one of my top 5 fictional boyfriends of all time. He’s one of those actors whom I will watch in literally anything. Remember Zero Hour on ABC? Yeah. I even watched that for him. It’s worth mentioning that one of the executive producers on Chasing Life is Patrick Sean Smith, who also created Greek, which, as I mentioned, is one of my favorite shows. I don’t think I realized how much I was missing ABC Family in my TV lineup until I started Chasing Life. I haven’t watched the network since Bunheads got canceled, but I really do love ABC Family’s signature mix of unabashed emotion — which frequently borders on saccharine — and genuine wit. While they may be too cheesy for some folks to stomach, most of ABC Family’s series are actually very smart, progressive, and well written.
I was reminded of this after watching just the first episode of Chasing Life. The Boston set drama stars Italia Ricci as an ambitious reporter in her early twenties who is diagnosed with Leukemia. At first it sounds like just another product of the recent cancer trend in entertainment, which in a way, it is, but there’s more to it than that. It’s a show about family: April lives with her mother, teenage sister, and grandmother — all of whom are wonderful characters in their own right. The supporting cast is excellent, especially April’s Australian best friend, as well as Scott Michael Foster’s charming, hilarious, and sometimes overly blunt politician’s son/cancer patient, Leo. While Chasing Life may be full of tropes and cliches (secret half-siblings, love triangles, a sassy grandmother…) it’s also full of heart, and that is something that’s sorely lacking in most television shows these days. If that’s not reason enough for you to watch it, at least there’s Scott Michael Foster for eye candy.
The summer finale of Chasing Life airs tonight at 9 on ABC Family.
Episode 5 is titled “Conditions of Existence” but it should really be called “Mindblowing” because that is what you will experience when you watch this episode. Not only do we discover that Donnie is talking to a mystery person about Alison, but we also discover that Paul is a monitor. He has been allowing scientists to come in during the night and experiment on Beth. SAY WHAT?! I never trusted Paul which is why I wasn’t totally surprised by his reveal but I didn’t think it was a double blind situation. Paul doesn’t know why he is a monitor. He just follows orders.
In the midst of all the distrust and paranoia in the episode, we get this special gem:
I love, love, love Sarah’s relationship with Kira. Kira brings out a softness in her that no other person can. Their relationship gives Sarah depth as a character. While I love her rough edges, it’s great to see that Sarah is more than that. She is a mom who just wants to hug her little girl after school.
Every great TV show has a turning point when it goes from good to excellent. The show finds its original voice and the storytelling is all engrossing. Some refer to this turning point as “Growing the Beard” and it typically happens around episodes 4-6. In Battlestar Galactica, it’s “You Can’t Go Home” and in Fringe, it’s “The Arrival.” These episodes really standout for me because each one marks the point in the series when the show dives into the overarching story/theme, having already introduced the characters in the first couple episodes. The moment Orphan Black ‘grows its beard’ is in 1×04. Helena is introduced as a clone brainwashed to kill the others, her ‘sisters.’ She is the season’s ‘big bad’ but the line between evil and good is not so clear cut. She wasn’t born evil. She was influenced by her environment, therefore, should she be killed because of that? Even if they did have a chance to terminate Helena, could they? Perhaps not, since Sarah let Helena escape out the window, but she is definitely not afraid to injure Helena. Episode 4 begins with Helena in the bathroom of a stranger’s house cleaning her wound after being impaled by Sarah. It seems like the opening of a Stephen King novel.
You came back! Yay!
In “Variation Under Nature,” Sarah finally learned why there are four women who look just like her. She is one of quadruplets! 28 years ago, Sarah Manning’s mom was Nadya Suleman of the 1980s. She offered herself to science and had quadruplets. Then, to protect the kids from ever being discovered by the Sith, she hid them. One girl was given to relatives in the desert, the second went to an influential senator, the third was given to an orphanage and the fourth was raised by scientists . Now, they have found each other and will work together to bring balance to the Force!
Actually, they are clones.
Not too long ago, I asked the internet if I should write Orphan Black photo recaps, because that’s what I always do when I have to make important life altering decisions. I ask the internet. And the response was yes. I can’t promise you these will be as funny as Louise’s Fringe recaps, but I will do my best. Here we go!
“Instinct” picked up exactly where the first episode left off. Sarah was looking at a dead body that looked just like her, and reacting VERY WELL. If I was in her boots and stylish leather jacket, I would’ve been freaking out and calling Tom Cruise to protect me from the pod people invading Earth. Sarah went a slightly different route and buried Katja Obinger, following the advice of a stranger calling the pink phone. The whole situation is like a frightening TomTom commercial. Drive 5 miles to escape the shooter. Turn right. Drive 10 miles until the paved road ends. Turn left into woods. Drive 100 feet. You have reached your destination to bury Katja.
Special thank you to kissthemgoodbye.net for the screencaps.
Who doesn’t love traveling to new places? Unfortunately, some places we would like to visit don’t exist. Here is a list of ten fictional places we wish we could visit this summer.
Why? Because the Ewoks are adorable and badasses. They helped defeat the Empire.
Why? “Why not?” is the better question. Quidditch, Apparating, pet owls that are house-trained … Living in the wizarding world would be incredible, but Hogwarts has the added bonus of being the coolest boarding school ever. Hufflepuff pride!
3) Neptune, CA
Why? We would seek employment at Mars Investigations, but secretly, we would visit Neptune to make out with Logan (and Duncan).
4) The Red Universe
Why? Altlivia and Lincoln. Enough said. (Bonus: lots of blimps.)
Why? We want to slay some vampires and drink tea with Giles. (Of course this would be before the town was swallowed up by a Hellmouth. Obviously.)
6) Jurassic Park (with Tom Hiddleston)
Why? Because we want to see Hiddleston communicate with the velociraptors.
7) The New York Institute
Why? Because being a Shadowhunter would be freaking awesome. But mainly because we’d want to meet Jace, Clary, Alec, Simon, Magnus, and every other butt-kicking character from the Mortal Instruments series. And afterwards, we’d stop off at the London Institute circa 1878 to swoon over Will Herondale.
8) Stars Hollow
Why? It may be a small town, but it’s full of big characters. Sure, there are downsides to everyone being involved in everybody else’s lives, but really it’s like having a huge, hilarious family that all live within walking distance of each other. Plus, we would love to eat at Al’s Pancake World, no matter what kind of cuisine he was serving that week.
Why? Where else can you have coffee with Snow White and Captain Hook? I bet if we stuck around long enough, the folks from Star Wars would eventually show up. Storybrooke is basically Disney World without roller coasters.
10) Pawnee, Indiana
Why? Sure, the city almost voted to allow Sweetums to take over their water supply, but what this place lacks in common sense, it makes up in friendship. Also, we will visit any city that had a Star Wars filibuster.
I finally started watching Orphan Black.
A few of my friends are fans and are always singing its praises so I told myself I had to watch it this summer. I didn’t have much knowledge going in. I was expecting clones and superb acting from Tatiana Maslany but I was not expecting so many shocking moments in the first episode. I had so many questions by the end that I decided to list my ten “WTF” moments watching ‘Natural Selection.’ I have a feeling there will be more in future episodes. I’m excited!
1. When Sarah encounters a girl who looks exactly like her
2. When the doppelgänger jumps in front of a train
3. When Sarah transforms into Beth and speaks in an American accent
4. When Sarah discovers multiple birth certificates
5. When Sarah learns Beth is a cop
6. When Sarah drinks the soap
7. When Art breaks into Beth’s car
8. When Katja Obinger appears
9. When Katja is shot
10. When Katja’s cellphone rings then Beth’s
For some, June 22 is any other day but at popculturenexus.com, June 22 is BIG day. It’s Meryl Streep’s birthday!!!!!!
So, how do you celebrate the day the world was given one of the most talented actors to have ever lived? Do you have a Meryl movie marathon? Do you listen to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack on repeat? I guess it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you do it with passion because that’s what makes Meryl so astounding. Whether she is rafting down the Salmon River or ruthlessly leading a fashion magazine, Meryl breathes life into each character she portrays because she is passionate about her craft. Her passion is palpable on the screen which makes it easy to believe her relationships with other characters. To celebrate Meryl’s birthday, we decided to look at one of her greatest love stories, Out of Africa (1985).
She once had a farm in Africa but we still have 20 feels we can’t get over.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
In honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to take a moment to commemorate all of our favorite TV dads. Between them, they’ve had to deal with everything from sibling spats to alternate universe apocalypses, and everything in between. So join us in tipping our hats to these fantastic fictional fathers…
Keith Mars (Veronica Mars)
Find out what fans had to say about the film. Spoiler alert: It includes many tears.
- @christinepilar ansel and shai gave justice to the book so kudos to them!!
@AnselElgort @shailenewoodley #tfios
- @jamhutcherfin As a result of seeing TFiOS, I was really impressed with Ansel’s acting out of anybody’s. I thought he did a great job
- @croley Tfios was seriously the best movie
- @diannehadap emotionally unstable for the rest of my life bc tfios.
- @gocheckyourself I SAW TFIOS AND I CRIED SO HARD I CANNOT BREEAATTTHHHEEE AGAIN
@realjohngreen HOW DARE YOU
- @LokiiLaufeyson Honestly, I found
#TFIOS to be quite boring…
@realjohngreen I saw #tfios yesterday and it was perfect. ansel and shailene were perfect. congrats, its the best movie of the year xx
- @CourtneyLuther TFIOS was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen…
- @dansmeow but guys, i went to see tfios and, i was so excited to see it but it was a let down, to be completely honest+…
- @makfinley2017 So many people were crying in the theater last night it was unreal. I loved it.
- @mmillaxoxo Oh gosh but it was the best. So beautifully and tragically made into movie. Lcckfkdlslldlsaööaöw
- @bieber_ariane The fault in our stars is the best movie ever. The saddest too! I cried for the last 45 minutes! <3 :’)
#TFIOS #TFIOSFeels #AugustusWaters
- @Sarahholloway_ This movie is about to make me reevaluate my whole life
- @Reading_Girl So
#TFIOS was AMAZING! It broke my heart…Again. Like…I just…I can’t even explain how much I loved it! I wanna go back &see it again!
- @sazzyrosalie Definitely One of The Best Movie Adaptation
- @claudmramos I am literary crying walking home.
#TheFaultInOurStars so good.
#TheFaultInOurStars is one of those movies that I would watch 8254167 times. like it’s THAT good. DEFINITELY recommend it. 5 stars.