A love letter to PBS and Masterpiece

Dear PBS and Masterpiece,

I am writing this letter to you to express my undying love for your willingness to share British television with anglophiles like myself.

It was only with the rising fame of Downton Abbey a few years ago that made me take notice of you (except when I was a kid tuning in to the local PBS station for Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street).  Apparently, Masterpiece has been around a while (40 years to be exact) and while that’s a fact, I still feel like it’s still a bit of a hidden gem for my generation.

It’s really an anglophile’s dream–free British television available right here in the States. And that actually goes beyond just the Masterpiece series. You have upped your Sunday night game with quality British television that rivals that of the ever-popular powerhouse networks.

Did I mention you give me great television for free? Okay, just checking. I mean, I can even count on being able to catch your programming while visiting my parents who are cable-free. It’s amazing.

I think perhaps you should consider renaming your network to Public British Service–just a thought.

My growing list of TV favorites include many series that you bring to the U.S.–Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Sherlock, and now 2 new series Poldark and The Crimson Field. Needless to say, please keep doing what you’re doing.

Also, send Darlene Shiley my thanks as well. Her $1 million donation to Masterpiece is only going to help bring those great British dramas for years to come.

And finally, your ads for Viking River Cruises makes me want to take my own voyage with them despite the likely age gap between me and the retired couples that seem to be the demographic. Perhaps I’m mistaken, but the lack of millennials in the commercials make me pretty positive I’d be the youngest patron by at least a couple of decades, and yet, I’m still interested in giving it a go.

In conclusion, I’d like to say thanks to YOU, public television. You’ve been placed up there with the other TV network “greats” and the best part is that I don’t ever have to worry about whether my cable package includes you or not. 😉

Sincerely yours,

Lynsey

When you’re a bridesmaid at a dry wedding, you take measures into your own hands

Let me start by saying this wedding was for my one and only sibling–my little brother.  It was a great day full of friends, family, and lots of love (plus some tears).  I’m proud of him and I know he and his new bride are very happy…

…I also know he tried to make it so there was alcohol at the reception, but that didn’t work out so here’s where my little story fits in.

This story begins and ends with a glass (or 2) of red wine.  (Yes, I’m finishing the wedding contraband as I type this.)

I’ve been to my share of weddings. In fact, this particular wedding was the 6th one in which I was a bridesmaid (number 7 happens next year). Most of those weddings were overflowing with an assortment of beverages, but there’s always the odd wedding that doesn’t, for whatever reason.  And no, I don’t think you need alcohol to have a good time. Anyone who knows me knows this. However, let’s all be honest here, it never hurts to have a little [insert your favorite alcoholic beverage here]. (It also helps to get people out on the dance floor. The Electric Slide is wayyy better after a glass or 2.)

So when my brother broke the news to my mom, who broke the news to me that there would be no alcohol served at the wedding, it was time for Plan B, or in our case, Plan V (for vino, of course).

Me and my contraband. (Photograph taken by my accomplice, aka Mom)
Me and my contraband. (Photograph taken by my accomplice, aka Mom)

Friends asked me what my game plan was, and it was simple: Get a favorite red wine of mine (so I didn’t have to worry about keeping it cold) and sneak it into the reception. I did contemplate more stealthy methods of executing Plan V including but not limited to a wine bra (not working with a strapless dress, but check them out on Amazon!), a flask (with the option of going prohibition-style with a guarder), and the wine that comes in the mini bottles (not available for my favorite wine). While the bra and guarder options would’ve made for a great story, they didn’t work for my purposes.

So I decided on the simplest form of sneaking my wine in–stick it in a bag and hide it under the table.

Did I mention I had an accomplice? That would be my Mom. She also brought her own bottle in a similar style. Mom dashed off to the dark, empty bar to crack open her wine and add ice (and this is why I chose red instead of white). I, on the other hand, chose to set up shop at the table, crouched down with my Trader Joe’s wine opener and empty cup in hand.

We also brought a few family members to the dark side. When I went to ask one of my aunts if she’d like to partake in a little vino, her response–in a very sassy tone–was, “Is it Saturday?” and actually, yes it was, so I said so. My aunt replied with “Well, okay then.”

And so the bridesmaid turned into a bartender and off I went to the sad, lonely bar with my 2 bottles of wine, pouring a few extra glasses on the sly as if I could be busted at any moment.

Truth be told, I don’t really think anyone cared–or was I just THAT good?

Either way, I was completely ready for the Cha-Cha Slide, The Electric Slide, The Wobble, AND The Cupid Shuffle (which, by the way, I had been calling The Cuban Shuffle for way to long with no one correcting me). Completely makes sense that it wasn’t actually The Cuban Shuffle–I had always wondered what was so Cuban about it.

Anyway…

So, kids, the moral of this story is that if you’re invited to a dry wedding and want to sneak wine in, first, be aware of your options in how to do it (someone please get that wine bra and try it out!), and, second, as long as you’re somewhat discreet, most people aren’t even going to notice. Also, make sure your sassy aunt gets a glass.

And, finally, if you’re a family member/member of the bridal party, you can kind of do what you want anyway, right?

The Crimson Field: When You Instantly Love A Show That’s Already Been Canceled

PBS hasn’t made much of a fuss over The Crimson Field, a WWI drama that originally aired on BBC One last year. In fact, it’s been far off in the shadows of Poldark, a Masterpiece Classic and already-predicted fan favorite featuring the ever handsome Aidan Turner.

I had wondered why I hadn’t heard too much about this British drama, only occasional mentions online. But alas, I finally got my answer. BBC chose to cancel this program shortly after its first season of 6 episodes ended. According to reports, writer Sarah Phelps had sketched out future plots and had all intentions of seeing this series last for at least 4 more seasons. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

What a bloody shame!

I generally avoid shows I know have been cancelled or are rumored to be, but I was intrigued. I’m a total sucker for British dramas. My Twitter friends and fellow British TV fans were raving over this series…and well, they were right. It was a great first episode.

We follow an army medical team in the field on the coast of France as they care for the wounded. There are strong female characters, a couple of dashing gents (don’t get me started on my new crush Richard Rankin), and several familiar faces from shows like Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones. In the first episode alone, we deal with the affects of PTSD, a complex main character who is rough around the edges but clearly hiding something, and the daily dealings of war. Then, top all of that off with the lovely Scottish accent of Captain Tom Gillan, whom many fans call the Scottish Mr. Darcy (and I’m totally with them on that one).

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Hello, Captain Gillan (played by the dashing Richard Rankin). (Image property of BBC/PBS)

As Sunday night drew near, I began to see Poldark being compared to Downton Abbey, and yet I would argue The Crimson Field may be the closer match. There’s the drama of war time, an ensemble cast of strong characters, and the potential for a love story or two.

How can a show with such great reaction by fans be given up on so quickly?

We’ve seen some networks show a little patience for new shows (though often they’re comedies, not dramas) and we’ve also seen them bring the ax down quickly on others. And in more recent years, some canceled shows are given new life by a new network–though it’s never been for a show that was canceled so early, nor for a British series. In the age of shows being rescued by other networks, here’s hoping that The Crimson Field will get that treatment as well. (PBS, are you reading this?)

In the meantime, I’m raising my glass to the upcoming 5 episodes. No matter the outcome, I plan to enjoy every second of it for the next 5 Sundays.

Cheers!

#TBT: The world’s most famous bodyguard

What a handsome guy!
Say hello to the original hot bodyguard, HBG.

Within the last week, four different friends told me about Jennifer Lawrence’s new bodyguard and media outlets were having a field day over his good looks. Sure, he’s really hot, but he’s not THE hot bodyguard. That title remains with one man.

Let me take you back…back to the fall of 2010, when a couple of friends and I decided to start a completely silly little Facebook page about a celebrity bodyguard, which ultimately got me a job, got us (and him) a little bit of media attention, and prompted fans around the world to refer to him as the hot bodyguard, or HBG for short.

So we Twilight fans ran into JB–Kristen Stewart’s bodyguard at the time–by coincidence, thought it would be a good idea to create a Facebook page dedicated to him and, thus HBG was born! This poor man had no idea what was coming (and neither did we, to be quite honest).421109_416987491700018_1410039236_n

With just over 100 Facebook fans, we did the ultimate fangirl thing and camped out for the Breaking Dawn premiere in LA. We made our own little iron-on T-shirts and prepared ourselves for whatever sort of reaction we may get, though we never expected to get as much attention as we did. Members of the Summit Entertainment team came up to us to say they loved our page and a ton of media outlets were intrigued with the idea and came by for a chat.

By the following year and final Twilight Saga premiere, we grew to nearly 5,000 fans, I got a new job thanks to my social media marketing experience with Team HBG and convinced my company to sponsor us, Kristen had mentioned our page in the UK version of GQ Magazine and on a segment for MTV, and HBG himself requested his own Team HBG T-shirts (paid for by our sponsorship, thank you very much!).

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That’s right, HBG has his own shirt, too.

While the hype has died down now and HBG has taken on more high profile clients (though he still works with Kristen on occasion), it was an experience I’ll certainly never forget. And more than that, it’s a lesson on embracing the weird and taking chances on even the craziest of ideas, because quite frankly, you never know what it’ll get you. There are plenty of people out there who probably think this is the strangest thing, but you know what? It worked!

And on that note, should PopSugar or some other celebrity site point out another hot bodyguard, just remember there’s only one original. 😉

*waves*
*waves*

A special thanks to JB, who didn’t ask for it but has been such a great sport about the whole thing. (He also unknowingly got me a job, so thanks for that, too!)

A toast to my little apartment

Thought a little wine might help me pack.
Thought a little wine might help me pack.

It’s less than 3 days until I move out of my little 1 bedroom apartment. I should be packing as I write this, but wanted to take a moment to raise my wine glass in a toast to Apt 825.

Here’s to…

…the first apartment I’ve ever lived in by myself–and the most expensive. To being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted without worrying about bothering a roommate. To Netflix and book series binges while hiding away in my little nest. To finding some delicious takeout and ordering from the comfort of my couch. To a year of ups and downs, and still figuring things out. To way too many online dates. To laughter and tears in the privacy of my little home…

And now? Now it’s time to save a little money and stay with friends for a bit. I turn 30 at the end of this year and want to make some big things happen. Even I don’t know exactly what that’ll be yet, but saving money for this next adventure is definitely the first step.

P.S. Packing is way more fun with wine. 😉

Tonight’s drink of choice: The Stump Jump red wine blend (Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvèdre). Cheers!

Wine not?

Is it wrong that...
Did I mention I’m a bridesmaid?

All etiquette aside, the idea of a completely dry wedding reception isn’t ideal. Desperate times call for desperate measures! More on this experience coming soon!  (Yes, this is really going to happen…)

Calling all American Cumberbitches: Get SHERLOCKED in 2016

I had a pleasant surprise for it being a Monday, and then I nerded out a little.

An email arrived from The Official Sherlock Convention. (For those who may not know, the first ever convention for BBC’s Sherlock was held in London this past April.)  At first, I was like “Come on, stop bragging about how amazing the convention was.” However, there was a line that changed my tune:

It’s true, in the VERY NEAR future we will be announcing not one, but two dates for 2016 and one of those dates will be in America!

Prepare to be SHERLOCKED!

Prepare, indeed!

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Image courtesy of The Official Sherlock Convention

Now for those who may need a refresher on Sherlock, allow me to remind you.  It is a BBC production staring my man Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson.  So far, there have been 3 seasons, chalk full of crime and mystery.  It’s a unique series with each season having 3 movie-length episodes, and while it tackles the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it definitely has a modern twist, plus some fun shots of one of my favorite cities in the world: London.

If the 2016 conventions are anything like the first, there will be opportunities to see many of the show’s actors in person, participating in Q&As and–most importantly–being available for autographs and photos (for a price, of course…but then again, can you really put a price on a photo with Mr. Cumberbatch? I think not!).

In light of this news, I’m raising my wine glass to toast my fellow Cumberbitches as we sit and wait for more information on such an amazingly nerdy experience. 2016 is still a ways out, but time does fly. Stay tuned!

Twitter, you’re so rude and nosy but I don’t mind

I joined Twitter years ago, and I’ll admit, I didn’t understand it. Didn’t really get the hashtag thing. (Ironically, now I work in social media marketing. #sorrynotsorry) I was only ever active during live events worth hate live tweeting. So my account just sort of sat around and came to life on occasion, that is until maybe 3 or so months ago. And it was finally then that I started to realize how rude and nosy this platform is, in a mostly good way once I forget my manners.

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(Source)

Twitter works best if you’ve got your own niche, something you want to actively comment on and engage others with. For me, it’s fangirl-related things (of course). But the funny thing is that in order to use Twitter to its full capacity, I must do many things against my own nature…

  • Stalk people – It’s kind of like lurking in the shadows, listening to strangers’ conversations. No biggie. Hey, while you’re at it, set notifications so you never miss another tweet from the most stalk-worthy of accounts…
  • Eavesdrop on conversations… – While you’re stalking, you see someone make a comment that is out of context. No problem, let’s click on it and read the ENTIRE CONVERSATION that you’re not included on.
  • …And then butt in – No, it’s not rude. Well, I don’t think. Hell, I don’t know. It feels rude. My inner polite police cringes at the thought of inserting my 2 cents into a convo already happening between strangers, but then I do anyway. (Let’s hope this doesn’t translate into real life situations.)
  • Get included in the Twitter version of a group email – And everyone does the Twitter version of a reply all, but all you can think every time there’s a new mention is “WHEN WILL IT END?”

But then suddenly, you’re interacting and making friends with strangers from around the world who have the same interests as you. You can enter a gif war with your Twitter friends that never ends. Thanks to Twitter, some of your favorite people are just 140 characters away. And sometimes, when you least expect it, they reply or favorite you. You geek out so much over something so simple and then maybe, juuuust maybe, screenshot it to save for later…

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I nerded out over this. I really did.

Oh, and wine tweets! There’s always room for wine tweets.

https://twitter.com/winewordsnerds/status/605696794308288512

Come join ww&n on Twitter and let’s be rude and nosy together.