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TV Spotlight: Six Feet Under

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 12:30pm

Critically acclaimed Six Feet Under is one of the most amazing shows to flicker across a television screen. The award-winning show aired for five seasons on HBO, from 2001-2005 – and it’s aged well for a fresh watch or a revisit. If you haven’t met the Fisher family you need to immediately head on over for an awkward dinner.

The show focuses on the dysfunctional Fishers, who run and live in a funeral home in California. The controlling mother Ruth and her three grown children: The angsty teen Claire, the rebel Nate, the responsible David, and their assorted spouses. The show begins with a death close to the family that alters the lives of everyone. The actors do an amazing job of portraying these lovingly flawed characters – you can’t help but root for them as life’s curveballs incessantly head their way.

Stellar writing makes five seasons worth of a drama series fly by effortlessly. And fair warning, the final episode is one of the best you’ll ever see as far as series finales go, and that’s not just me talking. So, if you’re looking for a thinker of a drama with some melodramatic funeral directors, you’re all set here with Six Feet Under.

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New TV Shows @ AADL

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 1:17pm

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they popular, new, or classics. Here are some new-to-AADL series that you might want on your list:

Westworld, Season 1
A dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, it explores a world in which every human appetite, not matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. No rules, no laws, no judgment. Live without limits. Based on the film by Michael Crichton. Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris.

24: Legacy, Season 1
An adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to stop a devastating terrorist attack on United States soil, in the same real-time format that propelled the original genre-defining series.

The Good Place, Season 1
The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop, an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife and, thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place, which is definitely where she belongs. While hiding in plain sight from Michael, the wise architect of the Good Place who doesn't know he's made a mistake, she's determined to shed her old way of living and discover the awesome, or at least the pretty good, person within. Starring Kristen Bell andTed Danson.

Dark Matter, Seasons 1 & 2
Buried in the black murk of space, a stowed-away crew suddenly awakens from stasis aboard the castaway space ship known as the "Raza". With no memory of their pasts or why they are onboard in the first place, this rag-tag crew has no choice but to roam the frontiers of the galaxy searching for answers. On their voyage they encounter rebel space armies, a zombiefied ship crew, derelict androids, and intergalactic bounty hunters, all attempting to pull the team further from the truth.

Restless, Parts 1 & 2
A young woman finds out that her mother worked as a spy for the British Secret Service during World War II and has been on the run ever since.

American Gods, Season 1
When Shadow Moon is released from prison, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and a storm begins to brew. Little does Shadow know, this storm will change the course of his entire life. Left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife, Shadow is hired as Mr. Wednesday's bodyguard. He finds himself in a hidden world where magic is real, where the Old Gods fear irrelevance and the growing power of the New Gods, and where Mr. Wednesday is building an army to reclaim his lost glory. Starring Crispin Glover and Gillian Anderson.

Marcella, Season 1
An emotionally damaged ex-police detective goes back on the job after her seemingly happy marriage falls apart to investigate a serial killer.

Last Man Standing, Seasons 1-4
Mike Baxter, world voyager and one daredevil of a marketing director ... is about to face his greatest challenge yet-- his family. After Mike's wife, Vanessa ..., receives a promotion at work, Mike must spend more time in his female-dominated household. With years of advice and guidance from their nurturing mother, Mike's three daughters are not prepared for their old-fashioned, hotheaded father to take over. Starring Tim Allen, Nancy Travis.

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

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TV Spotlight: This Is Us

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:51pm

This Is Us is now airing its second season on NBC, but you might want to start with season one. I have thoroughly enjoyed this show much more than I thought I would, and the buzz around the show is fully warranted. I recommend reading as little about it as you can, and then just dive in. Not knowing much about the premise or the set-up will pay off in the end. So, with that in mind, here's the gist.

The show is about family, relationships, and life. But it's done in such a creative, thoughtful way that interweaves lives and timelines as the season progress. The characters are so lovable, you can't help but root for them as life's challenges come their way. Every episode had me both smiling and crying. The show recently picked up two Emmy Awards for acting and casting, because wow, these actors do an amazing job and there is such chemistry among them on screen.

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Writing & Publishing

EVENT CANCELLED: Actor/Writer Jon Glaser Discusses Comedy And His Career

Sunday September 17, 2017: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

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More New TV Shows @ AADL

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 4:43pm

Holy mackerel! More new TV shows have hit the catalog! We are always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they popular, new, or classics. Here are more new-to-AADL series:

Jonny Quest, Season 1
TV's first animated action-adventure series. The Quest family's globe-trotting adventures have them travel to exotic locations and face a gallery of sinister villains with their science and detective style logic to solve the mysteries.

The Son, Season 1
The sweeping family saga that spans 150 years and three generations of the McCullough family. Starring Pierce Brosnan.

Channel Zero: Candle Cove, Season 1
Centers on one man's obsessive recollections of a mysterious children's television program from the 1980s, which almost no one seems to remember. He grows increasingly suspicious of the role it may have played in a series of nightmarish events from his childhood, including the disappearance of his twin brother.

Timeless, Season 1
Intent on destroying America, by changing history, a mysterious criminal, Flynn, steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine. The only hope of stopping him lies with an unexpected team: Lucy, a history professor; Wyatt, a soldier; and Rufus, a scientist, who must use the machine's prototype to travel back in time to ensure critical events remain un-changed.

Andromedea, Season 1
Captain Hunt and the crew of the Starship Andromeda set out on a mission to rebuild the Systems Commonwealth 300 years after its fall.

Lethal Weapon, Season 1
TV show based on the popular Lethal Weapon films in which a slightly unhinged cop is partnered with a veteran detective trying to maintain a low stress level in his life. Starring Damon Wayans.

Ned and Stacey, The Complete Series
What happens when two people hate each other at first sight? They get married, of course, the fast and funny, shotgun marriage-of-convenience sitcom. Ned Dorsey is a pompous advertising executive who needs a wife to get promoted. Stacey Colbert is a ditzy freelance writer desperate to move away from her parents. So what happens one week after these strangers meet? They become in-name-only newlyweds with a great new job and a terrific view of Central Park. Starring Debra Messing and Thomas Haden Church.

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

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New TV Shows @ AADL

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 9:20am

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they popular, new, or classics. Here are more new-to-AADL series:

Loch Ness, Series 1
Against the stunning landscapes of Scotland's iconic Loch Ness, local detective sergeant, Annie Redford finds herself in the midst of her first murder investigation; DCI Lauren Quigley is called in to lead the investigation, joined by forensic psychologist Blake Albrighton who believes there is more to the murder than initially meets the eye. Grief, terror, and suspicion soon shatter the town's normality.

Secrets and Lies, Season 1
Ben Garner is about to go from Good Samaritan to murder suspect after he discovers the body of his neighbor's son in the woods. As Detective Andrea Cornell digs for the truth, town secrets and lies come to the surface and no one is above suspicion. Starring Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis.

Chicago Justice, Season 1
Join the State's Attorney's prosecutors and investigators as they fearlessly pursue virtue in the Windy City's most high-stakes cases. Peter Stone leads the team, and his relentless quest for justice often puts him in conflict with his politically savvy boss, Mark Jefferies.

Emerald City, Season 1
Swept up into the eye of a tornado, twenty-year-old Dorothy Gale is transported to a mystical land where an all-powerful ruler governs one kingdom, has outlawed magic, and faces not only the wrath of a growing cauldron of witches, but a looming disaster brought on by a mythical force. Based on the series of books by L. Frank Baum.

Kevin Can Wait, Season 1
Recently retired Kevin Gable tries to settle into life away from the police force. With the assistance of his wife Donna, Kevin tries his hand at a variety of new activities to occupy his time, but nothing quite seems to fit until an opportunity to come out of retirement raises its head. Meanwhile, Kevin's daughter, Kendra, quits school to support her supposed tech whiz boyfriend Chale, who has been secretly working to buy her an engagement ring.

The Astronaut Wives Club, The Complete Series
This limited series tells the story of the women who were essential players behind big events in American history. As America's astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, the lives of their young wives were transformed from military spouses to American royalty. As their celebrity rose, and tragedy began to touch their lives, they rallied together. Based on Lily Koppel's book.

This Is Us, Season 1
Centered on characters who share the same birthday, the story follows several decades in the lives of Jack and Rebecca Pearson. As the plot unfolds, it traverses numerous timelines, and intertwines the stories of people whose lives connect in unexpected ways. Filled with memorable performances from its acclaimed cast, it is a smart, poignant dramedy.

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69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Winners

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 1:27pm

Time to celebrate some television! Last night the winners of the 69th Emmy Awards were announced in an event hosted by Stephen Colbert. The awards recognize excellence within various areas of television and emerging media. Below are some of the top winners in a variety of categories. Keep in mind that some of these shows are not on DVD or Blu-ray just yet, thanks to things like streaming, Netflix, and Hulu.

Outstanding Drama Series – The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Comedy Series – Veep

Outstanding Variety Talk Series – Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program – The Voice

Outstanding Limited Series – Big Little Lies

Outstanding TV movie – Black Mirror: San Junipero

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series – Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Animated Program – Bob’s Burgers

Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series – Planet Earth II

For a full list of winners in writing, acting, directing, costumes, make-up, etc. be sure to check the full list here

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New TV Shows @ AADL

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 1:17pm

Well, I suppose the days are growing shorter and it's time to get in queue for some new television series to watch. The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they popular, new, or classics. So we have you covered! Here are more new-to-AADL series:

Riverdale, Season 1
A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small-town life, and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome facade.

Class, Season 1
Like all teenagers, the students at Coal Hill Academy have hidden secrets and desires. They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school, sex, sorrow and possibly the end of existence. The very walls of space and time are starting to thin. Something is pressing on the other side: something waiting for its chance to kill everyone and everything, to bring us all into Shadow.

Crashing, Season 1
The semi-autobiographical show follows Pete (Pete Holmes) as a New York comic who is forced to make a new start for himself after his wife leaves him.

Big Little Lies, Season 1
The apparently perfect lives of three mothers of first graders unravel to the point of murder. Based on the book of the same name by Liane Moriarty, and features of a powerhouse cast of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern.

Chesapeake Shores, Season 1
Abby O'Brien Winters returns to Chesapeake Shores when she receives a panicked phone call from her younger sister Jess, who has renovated the charming Inn at Eagle Point. The Maryland town her father built has many sad memories and Abby, thanks to her demanding career, divorce and young twin daughters, has not had time to spare. Saving the inn from foreclosure means dealing not only with her fractured family but also with Trace Riley, the man she left ten years ago. Based on the book series by Sherryl Woods.

Jessica Jones, Season 1
Haunted by a tragedy that broke her world apart, Jessica Jones settles in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, and opens her own detective agency with the hope of rebuilding her life and keeping the lights on in her apartment. She discovers that the source of her trauma, a mind-controlling sociopath named Kilgrave, has resurfaced.

Delicious, Series 1
Professional chef Leo has everything he ever wanted: a prosperous hotel business, a beautiful family, and an amiable relationship with his ex-wife, Gina, to whom he owes much of his success. Leo’s glamorous wife, Sam, starts to suspect that he is having an affair. None of them could anticipate the disastrous chain of events that follows.

Bull, Season 1
Brilliant, brash, and charming, Dr. Bull is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition, and high-tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses, and the accused tick.

Sharpe, Season 1
Set during the Napoleonic wars of nineteenth century Spain. This fast-moving, hard-hitting action adventure series, based on Bernard Cornwell's best-selling novels, brings to life all the danger and romance of one of the bloodiest wars in history.

Designated Survivor, Season 1
A low-level Cabinet member (Kiefer Sutherland) becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

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Blog Post

30th Anniversary Films! Hello 1987!

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 3:00pm

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of some of your favorite classic films, including such 80s gems as The Lost Boys, Spaceballs, and Dirty Dancing.

In 1987 the hair was still high, as were the waistlines on those acid wash jeans. We were sporting Keds, neon everything, and a little bit of Jane Fonda spandex, as we listened to Whitney Houston, Madonna, and U2. If you really want to go back to 1987, here’s an article with some images that will get you back to the people, places, and events that defined that time.

But onto the films…
In June we were graced with the oddball sci-fi comedy Spaceballs, starring John Candy, Rick Moranis, and Bill Pullman. The film spoofs sci-fi classics like Star Wars and Star Trek. It takes place in a galaxy far away and features a dark lord, a princess, a half-man/half-dog, a rescue mission, and plenty of laughs.

In June we got darker and were raided by vampires in The Lost Boys. In the horror-comedy two brothers move to a new town in California with their single mom and soon encounter vampires. With young Sam and his new friends leading the way, they have to escape the vampires and stay alive. The film stars Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman (THE COREYS!), and Dianne Wiest, in a most glorious display of brooding 80s music and fashion. Any film with Kiefer as a bad guy is good by me!

Last but not least, in August of 1987 things got dirty, thanks to Patrick Swayze and Dirty Dancing. "Baby" spends the summer in the Catskills at a resort with her parents, where she soon meets and falls for a dance instructor. It’s a campy romantic comedy featuring an iconic dance scene, and Patrick Swayze doing his thing. Also starring Jennifer Gray.

And there we go -- three of many that came out in 1987. Which one do you gravitate to the most? For me it’s definitely The Lost Boys.

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Pulitzer Prize Winners 2017

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:14pm

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The esteemed [http://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year|Pulitzer Prizes] have been awarded for 2017 and they should all be required reading. Here is the list:

Fiction: [t:Underground Railroad] by [a:Colson Whitehead]: picking up numerous awards besides the Pulitzer, including the National Book Award & the Carnegie Medal. At the top of many best book of the year lists for 2016. Whitehead chronicles two runaway slave's trials as they attempt to allude their captors with allegories that resound into the present day.

General Nonfiction: [t:Evicted : poverty and profit in the American city] by Matthew Desmond: additional honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Carnegie Medal, & PEN award. Desmond followed 8 families in Milwaukee struggling with poverty.

History: [t:Blood in the Water : the Attica prison uprising of 1971 and its legacy] by [a:Heather Ann Thompson]: another that picked up numerous accolades and awards for telling the incredible story of the uprisings as well as the aftermath

Bio/Autobiography: [t:The return : fathers, sons, and the land in between] by [a:Hisham Matar]: a deeply moving portrait of the author's continued hope of finding his father alive after his mysterious disappearance in Libya

Poetry: [t:Olio] by [a:Tyehimba Jess]: Multiple award winning poet and Detroit native, Jess, deserves an even bigger following with this fascinating collection of poetry and narrative