Admittedly, I’m a few years behind as I just finished binging the Disney series Liv and Maddie (2013 - 2017) and happy tears are still streaming down my face as I write this. It’s been a long time since a show has brought me to these kinds of tears - on multiple occasions, which the show successfully did. While I was tweeting my progress as I watched, some people asked "What's so great about it?" and I feel the best part about the show - or even, dare I say, overall message that I got from it - is to follow your dreams, which is an important message that should never be forgotten and often is. I wasn't even seeking this series out when I found it. It just popped up on my Netflix feed and I couldn’t stop watching.
For those who’ve never heard of this series, the core of the show revolves around a pair of twins, Liv and Maddie who are sisters by chance, friends by choice. Liv, is a successful actress and singer who has decided to return home from being the lead of a TV series called “Sing it Loud” in Los Angeles to spend her high school years with her sister and family in Wisconsin.
Maddie, her twin, is a competitive and achieved basketball player. Joey, one of their younger brothers is a fantasy geek and has an extremely hard time making friends. Parker, the pre-teen baby of the family is a scientist and inventor. Karen is their mother who starts as the school’s counselor, and then promoted to Vice Principal And Pete, their father, who’s the high school’s (and Maddie’s) basketball coach. The series went for four seasons, with 80 episodes in total.
With this blog post, I have no intention of robbing you of the enjoyment of watching the Rooney family grow up together - and, yes, that goes for Mr. and Mrs. Rooney as well. More often than not, you'll find me watching TV shows on networks such as The CW, Freeform, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Netflix via Dreamworks and sometimes feel that these types of shows don't get the recognition that they deserve, and I'd like to change that - even if it's just one blog post at a time.
I did a little research on how the show was originally conceived and then after filming the pilot, the entire concept was changed, which then gave us the gem Liv and Maddie (which this probably explains how everyone in the family has brown hair, while Liv and Maddie are both blonde.) I’m glad that Disney and the creative team behind the show didn’t give up on it, as a lot of Hollywood projects have so many uphill battles to conquer in order to make it to the airwaves. So, to John Beck and Ron Hart… thank you for these stories. I, being a teen/YA TV show enthusiast, am not sure how I’ve gone this long without knowing about you, but I’m paying attention now, so keep up the good work. (Also, shameless self promotion here, I’d love to meet with you guys to pick your brain on your creative process. Please DM me.)
My next shout out goes to Dove Cameron, the lead actress who played both the roles of Liv and Maddie throughout the entire series - also kudos to the editing team as the green/split screen moments were hardly noticeable (to me, anyway). Dove, you’ve probably been told this a million times over, but you’re going places. I’m putting you up on the same pedestal as Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries. After watching Nina’s work on TVD, playing both Elena, Katherine, and all her other dopplegangers, I know she's a treasure to work with and hope to one day work with her; and now Dove, you’ve been added to the list.
Joey Bragg also gets a shout out. I related to his character because I also had a hard time making friends as a kid. Part of that has to do with not really knowing who I was and coming to terms with my sexuality, which is a completely different blog post all together, but it was great to see this character grow while also staying true to himself throughout his entire journey. If Joey Rooney were in my social circle, either as I was growing up or right now, I think I could be friends with him based on his love of cats alone.
I liked how positive the series was toward social issues - the main one being about how society treats girls. Liv constantly wanted to use her career to change the conversation from girls can only like pink and barbies to girls are beautiful, no matter what they look like. A message that is really important for young viewers everywhere.
I also enjoyed how science and learning were happily practiced - highly unbelievable for a preteen to make all those inventions (and dig all those holes), but still happily practiced. It was nice to see Karen and Pete not live vicariously through their children. They let their kids be who they were and supported them in their endeavors, while also living their own lives. (With the exception that I do think that Joey and Parker got off way too easy for collapsing the Rooney home at the end of season 3, but this is a comedy series, so I’ll let it slide.)
It was really interesting how the show tackled traditional Hollywood. Nobody cared that Liv was a TV star - mostly - and her peers treated her like she was one of their own - again, mostly. Maddie at one point dated one of Liv’s costars and she didn’t get starstruck over him. Hardly anyone got starstruck. It was a nice take. Refreshing, actually.
As a Teen/YA/Fantasy writer/producer, it’s my dream to write and tell stories that will inspire people. Not to open a can of worms, but lately, I’ve felt a little lost, creatively speaking, which has felt paralyzing. But ever since I turned on that first episode of Liv and Maddie my creativity has sorta bounced back. So, thank you to the cast and crew for reminding in every single episode to stay true to myself and to keep following my dreams.
Good Bye, Rooney family! I'll miss you!
I’m going to be honest: this is my first blog post. I don’t know if I even have a future blogging, but I guess there’s only one way to find out.
Today’s topic: Reese’s Candy
If you've been living under a rock and have no idea what candy I'm talking about, Reese's is a candy made by Hershey's that has the precise combo of both (equal parts?) chocolate and peanut butter.
For those who don’t know me at all, Reese’s is like my alcohol. On stressful days, some people go home and have a glass of wine. I go home and have a king size Reese’s - though I’m no a stranger to having an adult beverage when I’m stressed out.
When I was a kid, my mom would always get them and I’d always get Rolo’s or M&M’s because they had “more” pieces in them. Who wants just two pieces of candy? I can’t define the “a ha” moment in my life when Reese's became my favorite candy of all time, but it is, and I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon.
I’m not even sure how it happened, but Reese’s even followed me back on Twitter.
I strongly feel that my calling in life is to write, and produce tell Teen/YA/Fantasy stories with LGBTQ lead characters, but if Hershey’s/Reese’s offered me a job, I’d definitely have a hard time turning it down.
Whispers a side note: I have been adding more fitness into my life lately, eating healthier, going too the gym, doing yoga, etc; and it's not like I have (or need) a Reese's every day, but it's very possible that this candy is to blame for the absence of my defined 8-pack.
10. Reese’s Pieces
I’m gonna be real, guys, and some of you are going to hate me for this, but Reese’s Pieces, to me, are not that great. Sometimes I feel like this candy is like a the step child that Peanut Butter had before Chocolate came along. I’ll get Peanut Butter M&M’s before I’ll get this candy. I’ll even get the Reese’s Peanut Butter chips that you bake cookies with (and I don’t bake/cook - another blog post for another time) before I get Reese’s Pieces. Heck, I’ll eat a table spoon(s) of regular peanut butter before I buy these. I think I just need more chocolate in my life than what this candy provides. Even though I speak badly about these candies now, they do come up again in this list, with a more positive review.
9. Reese’s Outrageous
I told you Reese's Pieces would come back into play! This was a new taste for me the other day. I bought two, just in case I really liked them, and I did. The first one had a lot of caramel in it so it overpowered the peanut butter taste. I almost didn’t even eat my second bar. (Let’s be real, of course I was going to eat the second one.) The second one tasted better and the caramel actually somehow enhanced the peanut butter taste. My life wasn’t changed for the better after having them, but I'd eat another.
8. Holiday Reese’s - Eggs/Pumpkins/Trees/etc.
IMHO - A Reese’s is a Reese’s, whatever shape, right? (Of course I know this blog post says otherwise...) BUT - I saw a recent blog post about how there was a poll done to find out which holiday version is best (there are probably TONS of these online). Nobody has ever asked me to participate in one of these, so my opinion wasn’t counted. I dunno that I could participate. I’ve never tried to put the bunnies against the trees. Though, now I do want to wait until Christmas to save one tree until Easter, just to see what I’d say. But also, it must be noted, that part of me doesn’t want to do this because when a Reese’s has been on the shelf for too long and the Peanut Butter loses its oil and it all dried up and crumbly... those are the WORST. (I'd still eat it though.)
7. Reese’s Mini’s
It’s been a while since I've purchased these. I like eating them by the handful(s).
6. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups w/ Reese’s Pieces
Reese's Pieces came back again! Maybe I like them more than I originally thought...? But it has to be the King Size, not the standard size. The crunch that the pieces offer when eating these, is awesome.
5. Reese’s Lovers - Chocolate/Peanut Butter
These are new and advertised as ‘limited time only,' so get them while you can! These were actually a cool (and perfect) marketing idea. If you like chocolate more, you can have more chocolate one. If you like peanut butter more, you can have more peanut butter one. At first I leaned more toward the chocolate ones. But after trying both, multiple times, I now understand the peanut butter ones more and can't decide which one is my favorite.
4. Reese’s Fastbreak
These are at (almost) every gas station. King size or regular works, but I usually go for the King Size. Over the last few years I’ve started to get anxiety while driving and these have easily been able take (most of) the edge off.
3. Reese’s Miniatures
These are great, especially if you are on the run and need a "quick fix." Oh, and you should totally freeze them! So good!
2. Regular Reese’s
There’s nothing like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. This perfect combination of both chocolate and peanut butter is heavenly and can turn a frown upside down, even if only for a few moments.
1. Reese’s Cookie Crunchy Cookie Cups
Again, it has to be the king size. I've tried the standard size, but the cookie crunch isn’t as strong as is it in the Big Cup. The crunch that these offer is way better than the Reese’s Pieces candy. The cookie kinda tastes like an Oreo. Maybe that’s why I like it so much?
So there you have it! My top 10 Reese's candies. Are craving a Reese's now? Sugar High/Los? Or do you now feel a cavity forming just from reading this? Do you agree? Disagree? Feel Free to share and let's discuss all things chocolate and peanut butter!