As weather changes, TV offers much needed distraction

With the shorter days and changing weather, TV shows are just what we need to keep our mind off the cold. Here are just a few great shows that you can find on Netflix, Hulu or other on-demand services.

The Walking Dead, a hit horror drama TV series, is coming back to AMC on October 13. Based off of the comic The Walking Dead, this show is about a zombie outbreak. The main character, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), wakes up from a coma, to find himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Not knowing where his family is, he embarks to find them and finds himself facing many challenges along the way.  Season four picks up  months later, after a battle with the governor of the town of Woodbury. The group searches for a new camp, after theirs is beginning to be overrun by zombies. However, there is still a threat, as the Governor is still sneaking around.

Another popular TV show, How I Met Your Mother, will be returning to CBS on January 14. This American sitcom will be coming to an end after following the show’s ninth season. The TV comedy describes the story of how Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) tells his children how he met their mother. How I Met Your Mother takes place in Manhattan, following Ted and his group of friends who find interesting ways to have fun. Known for the show’s humor, How I Met Your Mother has been nominated for twenty-four Emmy Awards, winning seven of them. Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the role of Barney Stinson, won an award at The People’s Choice Awards, taking home the award for Favorite TV Comedy Actor.

AMC’s hit TV show Breaking Bad recently came to an end with its final episode, titled “Felina,” which can be anagrammed to spell “finale”, or broken up into the three individual elements: Fe (Iron), Li (Lithium), and Na (Sodium). These three elements stand for “Blood, Meth, Tears.” The show is about Chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. As a result, he decides to cook crystal meth with his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in order to provide his family with a secure financial future. The series lasted five seasons and has won numerous awards from Emmys to Golden Globes.

“Breaking Bad remains a powerful parable of irreparable moral rot, once again finding grim metaphorical resonance in Walt’s recurring cancer,” TV Guide’s Matt Roush said. “No matter how you look at it, things appear to be breaking bad for TV’s most lethal anti-hero. Bad for him, good for us.”

Nick Perinovic contributed to the writing of this story.

Review: Cheap Eats at Mickey’s Dining Car in St. Paul

The view of Mickey's Dining Car from 7th Street.
The view of Mickey’s Dining Car from 7th Street. (Photo by Rachael Onserio)

A St. Paul staple, Mickey’s Dining Car lives up to its ‘greasy spoon’ reputation. Complete with neon lights and hurried servers, Mickey’s is a truly singular experience.

Upon entering, expect to be greeted by sizzling oil, hurried servers, and a fully seated bar rather than a host with pagers. Diners either seat themselves at the alcohol-free bar, or in one of four booths.

The restaurant holds 36 comfortably, an impressive feat considering it appeared to be manned by three people. Mickey’s could, however, benefit from more staffing as the floors were literally squishy (with mud and other unidentifiable substances).

The menu features a plethora of classic American dishes – almost all of which are under $10. Breakfast all day is the hallmark of a Mickey’s regular. “The Classic” is the second most popular dish featuring “Mickey’s Cheeseburger with a few hashbrowns & a little mulligan stew.”

As advertised, the burgers are classic. Juicy and flavorful rather than inventive or unique; good at being what they’re supposed to be – burgers. The hashbrowns appear crispy but further penetration reveals their soft, decidedly un-crispy essence. The mulligan stew appears to be flavored by little more than salt and pepper.

Whatever you choose, rest assured it will be saturated with butter and oil. This makes for pleasantly crispy fries but mini grease puddles from hash browns and burgers.

If you don’t mind the calories or the 30 minute seating limit, then give Mickey’s a ride. Free parking, jukeboxes, and neon lights welcome you to an experience all on its own.

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Hope in the form of Duck Dynasty

Photo source: A&E Television
Photo source: A&E Television

Lately, it seems like all the shows on TV are junk. There is The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, teaching viewers around the world to fall in love on TV just because it gives you a fuzzy feeling inside. There’s Gossip Girl, which portrays the party lifestyle of New York high schoolers as “the norm”. And there’s Breaking Bad, a show that makes you root for a meth-cooking scientist.

But, wait, there’s hope, and it’s in the form of Duck Dynasty.

A redneck, lovable, Christian-focused family, a success story that requires old-fashioned hard work and determination, and joy in simple human endeavors. Duck Dynasty doesn’t fit in with the shows on TV today, and thank God for that.

Every night before dinner, the Robertson family sits down and thanks God for the simple things: a good day, a healthy family, a sale at the company. How many times as busy human beings do we sit down and enjoy dinner with our entire family? The Robertson’s haven’t lost sight of the importance of God in family life, and they’re teaching their viewers that.

That’s not to say that the show is boring, because it most definitely is not. Uncle Si provides endless laughs with his questionable and crazy antics, Grandma Kay and her love for her son’s wives show that mother-in-laws aren’t so bad after all, and Phil’s confusion while interacting with his numerous grandchildren is sure to put a smile on your face.

There will always be TV shows that make you question whether a moral compass even exists in the hearts of the writers of the shows. They will always be intriguing due to crude humor and crazy antics that allow you to live vicariously through the characters. We as humans will always be addicted to watching the shows that make our blood boil and our heart beat fast.

Wednesdays at 9 pm on A&E Television Networks, the Robertson family takes center stage. Take an hour out of your evening to watch the shenanigans that make Duck Dynasty the wholesome show that it is.