TV Review: Season 1 of NBC’S ‘THE VILLAGE’

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Ok, people. I just have to say that NBC is killing it right now with their line-up! THIS IS US is one of the best drama shows I’ve ever seen, and THE VILLAGE is right on its heels (only because there’s only one season so far)! On the surface, it’s east to compare the two against each other, but the storylines go deeper than just superficial (metaphorical) wounds. After watching the first season of THE VILLAGE, I can easily say that it stands on its own two feet. I’m just hoping that it gets renewed for another season!

THE VILLAGE focuses on several groups of people living in a condo building in Brooklyn. Each little group in the building has their own storyline, but, individually, they’re all intertwined with each other in some way or another.

You have Sarah, a nurse who lives with her teenage daughter, Katie. Katie discovers she’s pregnant and is contemplating the idea of adoption. Based on what Sarah has told her, she’s lived her life believing that her father, a firefighter during 9/11, was killed in action. She has no idea that their new neighbor, Nick, is actually her father. Throughout the season, Sarah and Nick try to navigate through their own past and how to tell Katie the truth. Nick is also a veteran who is trying to find his way through his post-war PTSD.

Ava is an Iranian refugee who faces deportation and separation from her young son. You get to see how bonded the residents of The Village truly are when they all rally around her during this time. Ava has fallen for another resident, Ben, who is a police officer in NYC. It is revealed that, while Ben is willing to marry Ava to keep her in the U.S., he is still married to the mother of his deceased son.

Ron is the super of The Village building and an owner of a bar called Smalls. He’s married to Patricia, a social worker who is dealing with a relapsed cancer diagnosis. They are the “parents” to everyone in the building and often put their own struggles aside to help everyone else.

Gabe is a law student trying to stay out of the shadow of his power-hungry father. His grandfather, Enzo, lives in a nursing home, but comes to live with Gabe in The Village. Enzo is still mourning his late wife until he meets a new woman he quickly falls in love with. Gabe and Enzo have the most adorable relationship with each other throughout the entire season.

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With all of their individual storylines, they all seem to come together to support each other through all of their struggles. Truth be told, I’m a sucker for those moments. When someone is struggling with something and they have a group of people that are willing to drop everything to be there for them. I literally just cried my way through the entire season 1 finale, and I highly recommend that you check this show out if you haven’t already. The writing is fantastic, the cast is extremely diverse (with not one weak link) and it’s just so easy to connect with. Shout out to Grace Van Dien, who plays Katie, for a stellar performance throughout the season. Everyone was great, but Van Dien literally killed it every single time!

One of my favorite lines from the finale was when Gabe encourages Enzo to propose to his new love, Gwendolina. Enzo struggles with the idea of proposing with the ring that belonged to his late wife, but Gabe insists and says, “I think she’d want this ring on any hand that’s holding yours.” Seriously?!?!?! How could you not watch a show that delivers lines like that one?? Do yourself a favor and check this out. You can also join me in crossing my fingers that this gets renewed!

 

 

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Hello, my loves!

I wanted to start off by saying that, for me, Valentine’s Day has never been the day that it is for most people. In high school, I had a rose gram sent to me by the guy who eventually ended up breaking my heart for the first time lol. Also in high school, I received a phone call from a juvenile detention center from a guy who made a habit out of stealing cars with his friends, but, to this day, treated ME better than anyone else had. At the time, I thought to myself, “Omg, this guy likes me that much that he’ll call me from juvi to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day!” You know, instead of, like, not stealing cars and being with me in person?? Haha.

When my niece was born and started school, she used to make me the cutest little Valentine’s likes this one & it made my day better than anyone else’s in the world, I guarantee it.

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I always thought that if I did have a special man in my life, I’d be more appreciative of little gestures throughout the year as opposed to one day of the year where everyone thinks it’s necessary to do so. Maybe that’s my singleness showing haha. Either way, I don’t knock it for those who take it seriously, but it does kind of shine a light on those of us who haven’t had much luck in that department over the years. So, now that my niece is in high school and no longer makes me those adorable Valentines, I choose to do something special for myself. Even if it’s just buying myself some chocolate!

This Valentine’s Day, we were blessed with a new cover and music video from one of my favorite duos – SUPERFRUIT. Superfruit is composed of Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi from Pentatonix and they’re phenomenal. Their voices are SO good and their vibe is contagious. I posted yesterday about their announcement for the cover track that would be released today because they posted a picture teasing that they’d be joined by a special guest. Lo and behold, my guess on who that person was (Spoiler Alert: Adam Rippon) correct and I AM HERE FOR IT. If ever we needed a legendary trio, it’s now and it’s this one!

Side note: I had the pleasure of meeting Adam last year in South Florida for my 34th birthday and he was an absolute sweetheart!

I feel like a was tricked a bit because I thought Adam would be singing with them on the the cover of When In Rome’s “The Promise,” but he’s not. Adam skates beautifully on the ice while Scott & Mitch give off some serious 80’s vibes and incredible vocals!

So, for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to show some love and appreciation for anyone reading this and supporting my journey on the blog. Since I can’t send you all teddy bears and chocolate, my gift to you is my new favorite music video covering a song that was released in the decade I was born.

ENJOY your Valentine’s Day, whether it be with a loved one, with family or with YOURSELF! You’re not alone!

Excuse me while I go watch this video repeatedly for the rest of the day!

Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays) from According to Kristin!

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Wishing all of you a truly fantastic holiday to spend time with your family, friends, fur babies and yourself! Eat lots of cookies, drink tons of wine and smile until your face hurts.

I can’t even begin to describe my appreciation for all of the support I’ve received on According to Kristin this year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!

From my family to yours, have a wonderful Christmas!

 

 

GABRIELLE APLIN & HANNAH GRACE Release Christmas EP ‘December’

GABRIELLE APLIN & HANNAH GRACE

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RELEASE CHRISTMAS EP
DECEMBER
LISTEN HERE

Gabrielle Aplin and Hannah Grace have released a collaborative Christmas EP December through Never Fade Records. The pair performed together at the Never Fade Christmas Party at Union Chapel on Dec 4th.

The four-track December EP features the brand new song and title-track, written and performed by Gabrielle Aplin and Hannah Grace. It’s a beautiful piano-led ballad showcasing the duo’s perfect pairing of stunning songwriting and vocals.

The December EP also features magnificent covers of classic Christmas songs including ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell, Elvis Presley and Martina McBride’s ‘Blue Christmas’ and ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ originally sung by Judy Garland.

Regarding the collaboration Gabrielle Aplin says, “I’m really happy to finally have a song out with my friend Hannah Grace. We’ve sang together for years so it was great to finally work on something new together. We’ve been wanting to collaborate on a Christmas EP for such a long time!”

Speaking about the release Hannah Grace says, “We’re so excited to share ‘December’ with the world. We got to make the EP with a long time collaborator of both of ours, Luke Potashnick, and that made the recording process so fun and special. This EP means a lot to us and we cannot wait for everyone to hear it!”

Gabrielle Aplin and Hannah Grace have come together after a friendship that began many years ago through a shared love of music and songwriting. Their individual artist projects have always been intertwined and this year Hannah Grace signed to Never Fade Records, a label Gabrielle Aplin founded in 2010.

A joint project featuring Gabrielle and Hannah had always been a dream and last year at the annual Never Fade Records Christmas Party the idea of the collaborative Christmas EP was born.

Gabrielle Aplin and Hannah Grace brought the December EP to life at 2018’s Never Fade Christmas Party, a celebration of Never Fade Records and its friends, also including the likes of Lauren Aquilina, Lewis Watson, Orla Gartland, Sonny and more.

The release of the December EP precedes Hannah Grace’s forthcoming single ‘With You’, which will be released in January.

The EP also follows the Gabrielle Aplin’s return last week with her brand new single ‘My Mistake’, the first taste of her forthcoming third album due out next year and the first release on her new worldwide record deal with AWAL.

‘My Mistake’ was released on Wednesday (Nov 28th) to a great reaction across the board of fans and media alike. It featured on 18 ‘New Music Friday’ Spotify playlists across the world including the UK and US, while it has received strong critical praise from the likes of Billboard, Sunday Times Culture and The Sun alongside early Radio 2 support from Dermot O’Leary. The gorgeous video has already clocked up 200,000 views.

Now Streaming on Netflix: ON MY BLOCK

OMB_Vertical-Main_PRE_US[1]Now streaming on Netflix is a new original series, On My Block. Season 1 of On My Block contains 10 episodes that run about 30 minutes each. All 10 episodes premiered on March 16, 2018.

On My Block, co-created by Lauren Iungerich (creator of Awkward) and Eddie Gonzalez & Jeremy Haft, is a coming-of-age comedy about four bright and street-savvy friends navigating their way through the triumph, pain and the newness of high school set in the rough inner city.

The series stars Diego Tinoco (Teen Wolf) as Cesar Diaz, Jason Genao (The Get Down, Logan) as Ruby Martinez, Jessica Marie Garcia (Disney’s Liv and Maddie) as Jasmin, Sierra Capri as Monse Finnie and Brett Gray as Jamal Turner.

To see On My Block, please click here: netflix.com/onmyblock.

Coming Soon to Netflix: ALEXA & KATIE | Premieres March 23

AlexaKatie_Vert_B2B_US[1]Coming Soon to Netflix is a new original series, Alexa & Katie. Season 1 contains 13 episodes that will premiere on March 23, 2018.

Alexa & Katie is a funny and heartwarming show about two best friends eagerly anticipating the start of their freshman year of high school. Despite the fact that Alexa (Paris Berelc – Mighty Med, Lab Rats: Elite Force) is undergoing cancer treatment, her outgoing personality and enthusiasm for life never falter, especially with her loyal, quirky, and awkwardly adorable best friend Katie (newcomer Isabel May) by her side. At times they’re left feeling like outsiders, during a period when what seems to matter most is fitting in. Tiffani Thiessen (White Collar, Saved By The Bell) also stars as Lori, Alexa’s determined and protective mother.

Created by Heather Wordham (Hannah Montana, Reba) with comedy veteran Matthew Carlson (Malcolm In The Middle, Samantha Who?) serving as showrunner, the show’s star is Alexa and Katie’s friendship; whether it be at school, at home, or in the hospital, they are by each other’s side through thick and thin, serving as role models for modern-day female friendships.

Why Adam Rippon & Gus Kenworthy’s Sexual Orientation Is Important

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What’s up, everyone?

I have to preface this post by saying that it saddens me that this is even a discussion in 2018. The fact that members of the LGBTQ community have to “come out,” or explain anything in regards to their sexual orientation is beyond me. I mean, you do realize that all they want to do is be themselves, be happy and LOVE another person, right?

I want to share a little story with you. My niece, Briana, is about to turn fourteen. When she was 5 or 6, I was watching one of my old *NSYNC DVD’s with her. She pointed to Lance Bass and said, “Krissy, he’s cute!” I know she was young at the time, but something came over me and my immediate (nonchalant) response was, “You know, Lance is gay.” She paused the movie and asked me what that meant.

. . . SHE ASKED ME WHAT [BEING GAY] MEANT . . .

I explained to my young niece that it meant sometimes boys like boys and sometimes girls like girls. I reiterated that “the norm” in society is for boys and girls to like each other, but there are others who feel differently and that’s normal too. She responded with a simple, “Oh, ok.” and un-paused the video. From that moment on, she has accepted EVERYONE and never thought of anyone who is gay as “different.” If she ever thought they were different, it’s because she knows how fabulous they are!

Throughout this year’s’ Winter Olympics, we were graced with the presence of two GAY athletes representing the USA, Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy. Even as a straight woman, I actually felt so proud of these men for being honest and for simply being themselves . It wouldn’t have mattered to me whether they were gay or not. Being gay doesn’t mean they train less than other athletes, or that they’re weak. If anything, it makes them stronger because they deliver strong performances regardless of any negativity being directed towards them.

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Yesterday, Kenworthy posted screenshots on his Twitter page of 4 complete strangers who posted extremely hateful comments on one of his YouTube videos. These people called him names and wished that he would get AIDS and die. Let that sink in for a moment . . . . . . . . . . . . Which leads me to the reason for this post. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. It’s their lives and, if they’re happy and are able to fully love another human being, it shouldn’t matter to ANYONE ELSE whether that other human being is a man or a woman.

The ONLY reason why their sexual orientation is important is because it opens doors for conversations between parents and their children. Children are taught to hate other people. If I had responded to my niece, at 5 years old, that being gay is gross and wrong, she would’ve grown up to believe that as true.  I know that many Christians do believe that to be true, but the hate starts with you as parents, not as Christians. Don’t teach your children to hate others simply because of something you don’t understand. I grew up Catholic, I have tattoos and I’ve had pre-marital sex. Those things don’t make me a bad person. They don’t mean I’m going straight to hell. Neither does being gay. Instead, teach your children that some people love different things, but we all love the same. Teach them that just because you have a certain belief, it doesn’t give anyone the right to make hurtful comments and, more specifically, to wish for someone’s death.

Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important because it shows that being gay doesn’t define you . . . your character does. The same way that being straight doesn’t define anyone else. Being straight doesn’t mean you’re a good person. It also doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s the same with those who are gay, bi, transgender, etc. Rippon and Kenworthy are both strong AND graceful. They’re respectful. They’re hilarious. They’re kind to others. They’re using their platform to speak for that little kid who wants to lace up a pair of skates and glide gracefully across the ice, but is afraid to tell anyone. They’re speaking to that kid who is afraid that coming out as gay will make people think they’re weak and can’t nail flips on skis or snowboards. They’re speaking out to kids who don’t think that they can be themselves and still stand on an Olympic podium. They’re speaking to anyone who feels that their sexual orientation means they can’t chase their dream, regardless of what that dream is.

There are so many kids out there who are feeling things they don’t quite understand yet because their parents are afraid to actually talk to them about something that should be normalized at this point. THAT is why Rippon and Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important. Speaking to your child about homosexuality won’t make them gay. What it will do is teach them to be accepting towards others and to embrace what they might be feeling themselves. So, to the parents out there . . . do your jobs. Don’t raise bullies and closed-minded people. Raise young men and women who know who they are and who can accept those who aren’t exactly like them.

It starts with you.