Behind the scenes at Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live is one of the longest-running television programs in the country, and is certainly one of the most beloved. Featuring live comedy sketches and variety performances as well as popular bands and musical guests every week since it first aired in 1975, SNL celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this year. Fans of SNL will absolutely love Saturday Night Live: The Book, published this year in honor of the show’s 40th year. The large, brightly colored book is filled with facts and never before seen, behind-the-scenes photographs from every season of the show. Also included are interviews with Lorne Michaels, cast members, and other contributors to the show, and fun, goofy details about some of the more famous skits.

As a huge SNL fan myself, I even liked the portion of this book that shows photos of every host the show has had, and lists the air date, host and musical guest for all 784 episodes of the show. It was amazing to see the hundreds of various people that have hosted over the years!

The AADL also has lots of great SNL episodes on video, including the Best of Steve Martin, the Best of Will Ferrell and the Best of Amy Poehler collections, and many complete seasons. If you’re interested in reading more about the show, try Live From New York: the complete, uncensored history of Saturday Night Live as told by its stars, writers and guests.

Live from New York it’s Saturday niiiiiiiight!

George R.R. Martin Releases New "Winds of Winter" Chapter


George R.R. Martin has released a new chapter from The Winds of Winter, his long-awaited sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. There is still no official release date for The Winds of Winter, so stay tuned. In the meantime, fans can enjoy this latest glimpse of what is to come of our friends in Westeros. And to further tide over anxious fans there's A World of Ice and Fire, a comprehensive history of the world Martin has created, from the Andals and the First Men to Robert's Rebellion and beyond.

The new chapter is from the point of view of Sansa Stark, who is now... well, I won't say. Read the books, or watch the show! The speculation is that because the Game of Thrones TV show characters' story lines are veering further away from their counterparts in the books, Martin wanted to get his interpretation of Sansa out there ahead of HBO's Game of Thrones season 5 premiere on April 12. I prefer to think that he's just a benevolent creator who knew his fans needed a crumb before the feast. But maybe "benevolent" isn't quite the right word. Is "beneviolent" a word?

And remember, maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but The Winds of Winter is coming!

New TV Shows @ AADL, Pt. 2

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. Here are some new-to-AADL series:

Grantchester, Season 1
It's 1953 and Sidney Chambers is vicar of Grantchester, a village just outside Cambridge, England. Sidney's is a quiet life. He tends to his flock, keeps up with his jazz collection, and does his best to contain his passion for beautiful heiress Amanda Kendall. But when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances, Sidney quickly finds that people confide things in a parish priest that they would never tell police. Based on the Grantchester Mystery novels by James Runcie.

WPC 56, Series 1 and 2
Set in England's West Midlands in 1956, the show follows determined Gina Dawson, the first woman police constable to serve in her hometown, as she struggles to gain acceptance in the male-dominated world of policing. Sometimes dismayed by the patronizing sexism, bullying, corruption and racial prejudice that she encounters every day, Gina remains undaunted and sets out to prove her worth, make a difference and earn some respect.

Murder in the First, Season 1
San Francisco homicide detectives investigate what originally appear to be two unrelated murders. Ultimately, they learn both victims have ties to a Silicon Valley prodigy.

Ntsf:sd:suv, Season 1
Never forget? Terrorism hasn't, and neither will the NTSF:SD:SUV. In a world where threatening danger looms large and Homeland Security won't secure itself, San Diego's citizens can't afford not to trust in the NTSF. Short for National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle, the show is a parody of action and police dramas.

Halt and Catch Fire, Season 1
The series is set in the Silicon Prairie of Texas in 1983 and depicts a fictionalized insider's view of the personal computer revolution.

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

New TV Shows @ AADL, Pt. 1

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. For many new ones you can now get the entire season in one check-out, as all the discs are in one case with an extended check-out period. A slew of shows just hit the catalog.

Here are some new-to-AADL series:

TURN: Washington's spies, Season 1
A historical thriller set during the Revolutionary War. Abe Woodhull is a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island who bands together with his friends to from the Culper Ring, an unlikely team of secret agents who not only went on to help George Washington turn the tide of the war, but also gave birth to modern spycraft.

The Accused, Series 1 & 2
One by one, defendants are led into court to face their fate. Willy and Frankie, Helen and Liam, family man Kenny and seventeen-year-old Stephen are ordinary people, or so it seems. Are they innocent or guilty? Will the jury make the right decision?

The Last Ship, Season 1
After a global viral pandemic "wipes out" over 80% of the world's population, the crew (consisting of 218 men and women) of a lone unaffected U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, the fictional USS Nathan James (DDG-151), must try to find a cure, to stop the virus and save humanity.

Manhattan, Season 1
Set against the backdrop of the greatest race against time in the history of science; the mission to build the world's first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The series follows the project's brilliant but flawed scientists and their families as they attempt to coexist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives.

The Power, Season 1
The series follows James St. Patrick, "Ghost", owner of a popular New York City nightclub and major player in one of the city's biggest illegal drug networks. He struggles to balance these two lives, and the balance topples when he realizes he wants to leave the drug ring in order to support his legitimate business, and commit to his mistress.

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

New TV Shows @ AADL

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. Here are some new-to-AADL series:

The Outlander, Season 1
Claire Randall is a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. She is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. Based on the popular book series by Diana Gabaldon.

The Red Road, Season 1
A hard-hitting drama that revolves around a local cop struggling to keep his family together while simultaneously policing two clashing communities: the small town where he grew up and the neighboring mountains, home of a Native American tribe. After a terrible tragedy and cover-up occurs involving the cop's wife, an unholy alliance is forged between the cop and Phillip Kopus, a dangerous member of the tribe that will come back to haunt all involved.

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

Happy Twin Peaks Day!

“Diane, 11:30 AM, February 24th. Entering the town of Twin Peaks.” — Dale Cooper.

My log has something to tell you...
Every year, once a year, Twin Peaks fans worldwide remember the day of Laura Palmer's tragic death and the arrival of Special Agent Dale Cooper to the not-so-sleepy town of Twin Peaks.

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the cult show, and it was announced that Twin Peaks would return to television for another round in 2016, landing in the fictional town 25 years after the series ended in 1991! With the original creators David Lynch and Mark Frost at the helm once again!

More new fun for Peaks freaks is the fact that Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery and the missing Pieces was released on blu-ray and includes deleted/alternate scenes from Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me, and newly produced and archival special features, pleasing Peaks fans around the world.

If you’re new to Twin Peaks, Agent Cooper, Laura Palmer, and the gang, you’ve got time to get caught up before we go back in time.

TV Spotlight: The Fall

Another great police drama on BBC and Netflix, The Fall stars Gillian Anderson (Scully!) as cool DSI Stella Gibson, who is called in to help investigate a murder in Belfast. The murder is linked to possible political corruption, and she ends up sticking around to track down the killer of an inevitable string of serial murders of women. It was creepily entertaining to watch her investigation take place as the killer walked around a free man plotting his next kill after tucking his kids into bed at night.

Two seasons of The Fall have aired, and while the creator hasn’t formally announced a third season, they’re pretty confident it’s going to happen. And I hope so, because season two ended with such a cliff hanger. Check out The Fall if you’re into cop shows or well produced British television.

TV Shows! One Case, All Discs.

Many of the television shows that are popping up the in catalog may be series or seasons you’ve seen or heard of before, but the good news is that the complete season of the series is in one case and there’s an extended check out period! So there’s no juggling your holds list making sure you get disc 2 before disc 3 of that show you’re dying to see what happens next on. Some are Blu-ray, some are DVD.

This is a great opportunity to binge on some shows you may have missed out on, not had time to watch yet, or just need to see again. Shows like Seinfeld, Six Feet Under, Doctor Who, Northern Exposure, The Good Wife, Battlestar Gallactica, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Freaks and Geeks, and many more. So many shows! Check out the list for more shows featuring complete season sets. Something in the collection is sure to help you get through February.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #508

January brings a number of terrific debut novels. The one I am most excited to share is Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (MFA, Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan). Follow her on Facebook, and plan to attend her signing @ Literati, 7pm on January 27.

She calls herself Julie now, from California. For the past 2 years, Grace restores bric-a-brac, repairs antiques and jewelry in a Paris chop shop, and lives alone in a shabby room. Regularly, she checks the Garland (TN) newspaper online for news of a case involving robbery of The Wynne House, a local heritage estate and museum, and the two young men caught for the crime, a heist that Grace meticulously engineered. Now, Grace's past and carefully constructed lies are about to catch up with her half way around the world, as the two men are being paroled.

In a series of flashbacks, from small-town USA to the Manhattan art scene, and the backstreets of Europe, we follow the "unbecoming-of-age" of a young woman with a special gift for restoration and for reinventing herself with equal deftness.

"Mesmerizing, nail-biting, atmospheric, and sensual... Unbecoming is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced heist novel that turns on suspense and slippery identity."

"Scherm mixes a character study with a caper novel full of double-crosses, lies, and betrayals... She is at her best when describing precious objects: a Dutch master's still life, a James Mont cigar box with hidden compartment, an ornate centerpiece with fanciful fruit and figurines, and silver spoons ignored by their owners but appreciated by the professional hired to evaluate them."

Readers looking for an elegantly well-played cat-and-mouse game should delight in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief (1954); The Thomas Crown Affair (1968, and the 1999 remake); and White Collar, the just concluded (sadly) tv series.

Fans of Gillian Flynn who appreciate "(a) bleak tone, deeply flawed protagonist, and dysfunctional relationships" wouldn't want to miss this one. And let's not forget Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels as read-alikes.

New TV Shows @ AADL

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. For these new ones you can now get the entire season in one check-out. Hello, binge watching! All the discs are in one case with an extended check-out period. Here are some new series on their way to AADL for the first time:

The Fall, Series 1
DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is a steely detective on the trail of a serial killer stalking the streets of Belfast.

Misfits, Seasons 1-3
Kelly, Nathan, Curtis, Alisha and Simon are five unruly teenagers forced to do community service as payback for their crimes. But when a freak electrical storm hits their town, strange things begin to happen to them that are way out of their control. In fact, they have no idea that they've actually turned into superheroes, each with a power they didn't choose or want. They must save their town from the evil that has descended upon it.

Popular, Seasons 1 & 2
Inside the walls of Kennedy High, there's a war being waged for the most elusive prize of all ... popularity. Samantha MacPherson is an unpopular brainiac. Brooke McQueen is the popular head cheerleader. The two are sworn enemies until Brooke's dad proposes to Sam's mom and the two families begin living together. Sam and Brooke then join forces to break their parents up.

Satisfaction, Season 1
A provocative drama that explores modern marriage at its midpoint. Through the lens of one couple, investment advisor, Neil Truman and his wife, Grace, this series answers the question, 'What do you do when having it all is not enough?' by delving into their shocking and unconventional choices.

Family Tree, Season 1
The story of the 30-year-old Tom Chadwick, an Englishman who has few roots, little family, and an unsure sense of his purpose in life. Tom inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great-aunt he never met, triggering a passion to investigate his family lineage. As Tom's interest in genealogy grows, his life evolves in unexpected directions, as he uncovers a world of unusual stories and characters in the U.K. and the U.S., as well as a growing sense of who he is and who his real family is.

Republic of Doyle, Seasons 1 & 2
The Canadian mystery features a father and son sleuthing team based in the province of Newfoundland.

Tyrant, Season 1
Al-Fayeed "Barry", the son of a war-torn country's controversial dictator, returns to his homeland after a self-imposed exile in the U.S. But the lives of Barry and his American family are suddenly upended when Barry's volatile brother, Jamal, ascends to the throne. Barry's western views are pitted against Jamal's wife, Leila, who wants her husband to rule with an iron fist. Barry finds himself torn between the seductive lure of power and the sympathy for his country's freedom fighters.

Silicon Valley, Season 1
Partially inspired by co-creator Mike Judge's experiences as a Silicon Valley engineer in the 1980s, this comedy series follows the misadventures of introverted computer programmer Richard and his brainy friends as they attempt to strike it rich in a high-tech gold rush.

The Thick of It, Seasons 1-4
Chronicles the blunders of the fictitious Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, a government department barely registering on the national radar. In this Ministry, every announcement is followed by a whirlwind of u-turns, every policy is a scramble and every mishap is met with abuse from the Prime Minister's policy enforcer.

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

Syndicate content