Family Guy's Alex Borstein and Cherry Cheva !!

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Alex Borstein, the voice of Lois on the Fox TV show Family Guy and the former star of MADtv (Ms. Swan) returns to the Library to discuss Family Guy and her screenwriting career. Joining her is Ann Arbor's own Cherry Cheva, now a writer/producer on Family Guy and the author of teen novels, She's So Money and Duplikate. Do not miss this opportunity to get an inside look at one of the most popular and creative shows on TV. Family Guy has been nominated for many awards, including eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, of which it won three. In 2009, it was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, the first time an animated series was nominated for the award since The Flintstones in 1961.

Monday, November 8, 7-9 pm, Downtown Library, Multi-Purpose Room, Grades 9-Adult

TV on DVD: The Cop Files

Police dramas have been around forever it seems, and they end up being my favorite shows a lot of the time. Is it the suspense? The drama? Our attachment to the lead detectives? I think it’s a combination. There are oodles of cop shows that have had us on the edge of our couches over the years with their grit, drama, action, and lovable characters.

A variety of detective styles and settings are featured in shows like Hill Street Blues, Murder, She Wrote, Columbo, 21 Jump Street, Magnum P.I., Matlock, and Twin Peaks.

Let’s not forget about The Wire, Monk, The Shield, Homicide, Life on the Street, Law & Order: SVU, NCIS, Wire in the Blood, X-Files, Dexter, and Veronica Mars. Speaking of the variety of detectives... some of these feature a detective with OCD, a detective who is a serial killer, a teenage detective, and a detective who believes in aliens. Egads, how fun!

In addition to these titles, AADL owns many more police dramas on DVD. Check out our list of detective shows to see what your DVD player is itching for. I’m having fun getting caught up on some episodes, and rewatching others. What are your favorites?

62nd Primetime Emmy Awards

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The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards aired on Sunday, August 29th on NBC and highlighted the best of the best in primetime television. Why not take the time to watch a few of the primetime TV series' nominees and winners?
The most anticipated categories include Outstanding Comedy, Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Reality Competition Program.

Outstanding Comedy nominees were ABC's Modern Family, Showtime's Nurse Jackie, NBC's 30 Rock and The Office, HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm and FOX's Glee. Modern Family won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series marking the show's first win and nomination in the category.

Outstanding Drama nominees were AMC's Mad Men and Breaking Bad, CBS's The Good Wife, HBO's True Blood, Showtime's Dexter and ABC's Lost. Mad Men won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for its' third year in a row.

The Outstanding Reality Competition Program category was introduced in 2003. This year's nominees included Bravo's Top Chef, CBS's The Amazing Race, FOX's American Idol, ABC's Dancing with the Stars and Lifetime's Project Runway. Top Chef won the award in this category for the first time and defeated The Amazing Race which has dominated and won the award every year since the inception of this category.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The Last AirbenderThe Last Airbender

Today marks the opening of a new type of film for M. Night Shyamalan; Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Fans of M. Night Shyamalan's previous science-fiction/suspense/thriller films, might be surprised by this new adaptation to add to his original body of work.

For those of you unfamiliar with Avatar, the children's animated TV and book/graphic novel series, let me enlighten you. Avatar stars Aang, the last Airbender (person able to control/manipulate the element air) and also the new Avatar, the only person in existence that can control all of the elements including: fire, water, air, and earth. Aang, along with his friends: his animal guide bison named Appa, a waterbender girl named Katara, and her older warrior brother Sokka, have to save the other 3 nations from the evil Fire lord and the ever-growing Fire Nation.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is now currently in Theaters in 2D and 3D.

Cynical Tabby

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of Garfield's first comic strip, which debuted in 1978 in over 40 newspapers.

Created by Jim Davis and named after his grandfather, Garfield held the Guinness World Record for the world's most widely syndicated comic.

While I was never into comics as a kid, I remember, quite fondly, watching the Garfield and Friends animated television series. However, nowadays, I know that kids are really into graphic novels, and so our collection of Garfield graphic novels will probably be more of a hit than that show from the 90s.

Either way, you can sit down, enjoy some lasagna, and have a good time.

Your Tudor Tutor

Today would be the 501st anniversary for King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catharine of Aragon. I'm not sure what the correct present is for that specific anniversary, but I don't know that I'd be accepting whatever it would be from Henry.

King Henry VIII has fascinated many people, though, regrettably, mostly because of his six marriages (two of which ended in divorce, and two more in beheading). However, it may interest you that these are not his only...accomplishments.

Some notable books on the Tudor king which do not focus on his matrimonial issues include The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII And The Dissolution Of The Monasteries and Henry VIII: The King And His Court.

However, if you'd like to go the more traditional route, you'll have plenty of choices: The Wives of Henry VIII, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII among them.

Of course, there are also historical fiction books that contain the infamous king. While they are not necessarily as accurate as the non-fiction, they are just as entertaining, if not more so. The oldest of these would be Shakespeare's play, given the regal name Henry VIII. Among the more recent, there is the "autobiography" by Margaret George, as well as the well-known The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Though, my personal favorite is not a book at all, but the Showtime television series The Tudors.

You may even want to take a look at his children. Each one showed off one bit of his overbearing personality. And I can guarantee one of them is probably just as interesting as he was.

BBC Historical Drama: Part 4

Part 4 – Sarah Waters, William Golding, Anne Bronte, Thomas Hardy, Flora Thompson, John Balderston

Lately, I've been reading a lot of historical fiction based in England. With images from those books/novels in mind, I started checking out different historical dramas, the best of which I've seen are from BBC. Step into the 1800s and get involved of the lives of Nan Astley, Edmund, Helen Graham, Fancy Day, and Laura Timmins!

Tipping the Velvet is a colorful passionate drama about a lesbian, Nan Astley, and the relationships she finds, including one with her music hall co-star, Kitty. When Kitty decides to marry a man, Nan must find a way to survive the heartbreak of her first love. The book the screenplay was adapted from shares the same title and was written by Sarah Waters.

Based off of William Golding’s unforgettable sea trilogy, To the Ends of the Earth tells the story of a young aristocrat that sets sail to a new governmental post in Australia. However, Edmund soon discovers how naïve and unaware he is hurtling into this adventure.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a miniseries based off of one of the published works of lesser known Bronte sister, Anne Bronte. In this controversial (at the time it was written) story, Helen Graham tries to rescue herself and her son from her husband who has become a lecherous drunk.

Under the Greenwood Tree is a light romance, a bit different that better known works by Thomas Hardy. Fancy Day is a young woman who comes home to take care of her ailing father. She returns home to her small village, to the unexpected advances of three distinct gentlemen.

Developed from Flora Thompson’s trilogy, Lark Rise to Candleford, is an ongoing BBC Series that’s in its third season. In this series, Laura Timmins moves from the smaller village of Lark Rise, to the larger town of Candleford, to live with her cousin and find work. Laura finds herself surprised at the vast difference of the pace of life and scandals that occur in Candleford in comparison with Lark Rise.

Berkeley Square tells a story from an early 20th century perspective, more specifically; 1902 (had to throw this in the mix!). Berkeley Square is actually based on a play written by John L. Balderston. In this play and miniseries, three young nannies get jobs with well-to-do London families in this coming-of-age-tale that has been compared with Road to Avonlea.

If you’ve missed previous parts of my BBC Historical Drama blog, you can find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

May Books to Film, Already in Theaters

Iron Man 2 is based on Marvel’s Iron Man comic series. In this sequel, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, now a famous high-tech superhero comes up against the U.S. military’s demands to control the most powerful weapon on earth -- the Iron Man suit, while being hunted by a vengeful Russian criminal with some lethal technology of his own. Meanwhile, he could no longer count on his beautiful new assistant or best friend, Rhodey who are hatching their own strange, mysterious agendas.

Letters to Juliet is adapted from Lise Friedman's Letters to Juliet: celebrating Shakespeare’s greatest heroine, the magical city of Verona, and the power of love - an enchanting love story of encountering new sparks and rekindling old flames. (The scenery isn't bad either).

When Sophie, a young American, travels to Verona, Italy -- the romantic city where Romeo first met Juliet -- she meets a group of volunteers who respond to letters written to Juliet seeking romantic advice. Sophie finds and answers a letter that has been lost for 50 years, and is stunned when its author Claire arrives in Italy with her handsome but overprotective grandson to find the man she left decades before. Fascinated by Claire's quest, Sophie joins them on an adventure through the beautiful hills of Tuscany searching for Claire's long lost Lorenzo.

Over the years, there have been various big screen and television interpretations of the legend of Robin Hood – from the recent TV series; Mel Brooks’ farcical Robin Hood Men in Tights; to Errol Flynn’s 1938 iconic The Adventures of Robin Hood. Now see Russell Crowe as a beefy Robin Hood .

Instead, fantasy and alternative history fan might opt to try Hood : The Legend Begins Anew by Stephen R. Lawhead. In this first of the King Raven Trilogy, Hood tells the story of an alternative Robin Hood. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting – “ …(a) highly imaginative, earthy adventure that has little to do with Errol Flynn but is just as rousing”.

International Nurses Day

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May 12th is International Nurses Day. The day was chosen in honor of the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

In celebration of all the wonderful care nurses give, you could watch a DVD, maybe something likeM*A*S*H, which focuses on a medical unit during the conflict in Korea, or you could watch the 1957 film version of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.

Or you could read a factual book. There are biographies on women like Florence Nightingale, Mildred MacGregor, and Clara Barton. There are also more general works, such as one on WWII nurses and even one or two on how to become a nurse.

A Game of Thrones

After the very suspicious death of the King’s right hand man, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell travels south to take over the position left by his old friend and mentor. Stark and his family soon find that subterfuge, cruelty and plots are more in fashion at court than duty and honor. Things aren’t much better at home. As winter approaches, men are disappearing, and an unknown menace stirs in the north.

A Game of Thrones is the first part of George R. R. Martin’s critically acclaimed 7 part series, A Song of Ice and Fire. So far only four of the seven have been released, but the scope and power of Martin’s writing rivals that of authors such as Robert Jordan or Margaret Weiss.

HBO has begun filming a television series adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire. If you liked The Tudors, keep your eyes peeled for this one. I can’t wait to see Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Word on the street is that this will hit the airwaves in Spring 2011.

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