Behind-the-Scenes at the Middle Season 8


The middle season 8 season premiere airs tonight at 8pm along with other great comedies.

In honor of the new season starting, I have got to tell you girls about our behind the scenes experience on the set of The Middle. This was one of our last stops during our Queen of Katwe Press trip last month and it was really cool. We got to visit a few TV shows as well.  I’ve always loved behind the scenes stuff. How movies are made, how shows are casted etc. Back in my former life in NYC when I was still acting, I always enjoyed poking around and spying on the crew and seeing how things came together from the “non-talent” perspective. I always wanted to try my hand as a casting director or director of a show or movie.


We got on set and it was different from the other show sets we visited. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by Brick! They were actively rehearsing and taping so we had to be quiet when we were inside. We got to hear and see them at work. While we waited we visited the wardrobe area and found out about their process for finding clothes (anywhere from designer down to Kmart) and how they rotate them on the show just like we rotate our clothes in normal life. They keep multiples of everything just in case… And we found out that the cast isn’t all “hollywood” and picky about what they’re given to wear. It helps that the show isn’t about being fashionable, but more about being a relatable family.


When they were not taping we got to explore the set and take photos. It was cool seeing close up, the rooms we see on TV. The art department is really amazing. They have all these little touches that make the set really comfortable. The whole show is really well done. (I mean, obvi…it’s going into season 8. – Sidebar: Patrician Heaton is boss at picking her roles isn’t she?! She went from one hit show to another hit show… She’s a pro.) I loved seeing the set then going home and seeing it on TV again like…yup…I know that place. LOL


So tonight is the season 8 premiere and I got to watch it in advance. I can’t tell you what happens (and I cant give spoilers like I did here) but it’s a great episode and you’re gunna dig it. (Whether you’re a long-time The Middle fan or not!) Tonight is also the season premiere of Fresh off the Boat, American Housewife and The Real O’Neals. So just grab your snacks and settle in to watch em all and laugh your butt off after The Middle:


If you can’t wait ’til eight…check this out:

Tune in to The Middle Tonight at 8pm on ABC!

QUEEN OF KATWE Movie Review #QueenofKatweevent


I don’t even know where to begin with this movie… I cant. I just…am unable to can. Listen, the movie is out now in limited release so go catch it! If it’s not in your area then be sure to go see it on Friday September 30th when it starts playing everywhere.

The official description is:

“Queen of Katwe” is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

And if you missed it before in my premiere post, here’s the trailer:

Now…here’s my take: 

Ok, so you know how there are lines in movies that resonate with you and stick with you long after you’ve left the theater? Well Queen of Katwe is one long line that resonates and sticks with you.

We follow Phiona (amazingly played by Madina Nalwanga in her movie debut) from the slums of Katwe in Uganda, to meeting her mentor and chess “coach” Robert (David Oyelowo rocked it out playing him btw) and going up the ranks as a chess player mini “star” in her community and beyond. Her mother Harriet (fiercely played by Lupita Nyong’o) worried for her daughter during the years as she advanced as a chess player, but she grew to understand how important what Phiona was doing was.


Image via Disney

Listen yall… This was a love story. I don’t care what anyone else says.

It was a love story between mother and daughter, where a daughter’s talent and determination helped open a protective mother’s eyes to a world so much bigger than she ever knew. It was a love story between a man and his proteges, Robert put his all into his “pioneers” that he coached in chess (and life) lessons. It’s a love story between a family and their surroundings/lifestyle as well, and a love story of a people and their country.


Image via Disney

I feel like this Queen of Katwe movie review is doing the film no justice whatsoever. It was totally Disney feel good style, but also had these one-liners, mostly from Robert, that spoke directly into my soul and was totally applicable to my life. I’m not a brilliant young chess player in Katwe, but I felt everything he was saying as if he was speaking directly to me.

That is what I loved very much about this film. Yeah, we had a great story. Yeah it was well acted, well directed and magnificently shot… But it was a story, in Africa, far removed from our cushy western life. It represented the diaspora well, without casting a negative light on what poverty is like in Uganda. It focused on the light in people, the good and the hope. But bigger than that, it was relatable to each and every single person watching. We’ve all faced adversity and had challenges to overcome.


Image via Disney

The lines the characters shared like:

  • Sometimes the place you are isn’t where you belong
  • The little one CAN become the big one
  • If you make a plan and follow it, you’ll always find the “safe square”
  • Can you do big things from such a small place?
  • You belong where you believe you belong
  • What matters is when you reset the pieces and play again

Those lines could speak to anyone watching no matter where in the world they are, no matter their age, and no matter what stage in life they’re in or what specific thing they’re going through. While the true story is beautiful, it offered a lot to chew on afterward, especially if you’re the introspective type. (Mad lines I’m stealing for my life coaching business!)

….and I now want to learn how to play chess better, and with strategy, vs just moving pieces around the board and getting captured.

The music in the film was great, Alicia Keys sings a beautiful song…. but there’s one song that I have been boppin’ to every single day since the premiere. I DARE you not to dance (or at least bop in your seat):

You know you love it too. Now you’re gunna be humming it all day! Checkmate!

When will you be seeing Queen of Katwe?

What were your thoughts on the movie?


ONCE UPON A TIME Season 6 Spoilers Straight From The Creators! #onceuponatime

Disney made this post happen via press trip, I made this post happen via my brain. 🙂


Oh girls. I have a big problem. I need to figure out how to bend the space time continuum asap!

If I didn’t have enough shows that I need to binge watch, I now have to finish 5 seasons of Once Upon a Time… before next Sunday! ::sigh::

Tonight at 8:00pm is the season 6 premiere on ABC.  Last week I was lucky enough to enjoy an advanced screening of it. And it was GOOD. But as good as it was, I was lost. I wondered who was who and how they were related… I needed to know. (Even tho the show did a pretty good job of explaining to a new watcher….I still needed backstory answers.)

Emma and Hook, The Witch Sisters, Aladdin and Jafar… and OMG I can’t give real juicy spoilers…but…we have some surprises from episode one alone.

I’m totally re-watching the season premiere tonight. It’s just a really good show…. Hence my big problem re: time for binge watching.

While in LA last week at the ABC TV event I saw the premiere like I mentioned, but I also was able to participate in a Q&A with the creators of the show!

So here’s how it went down. We were taken to a large screening room which was basically a small movie theater with stadium seating. We watched the awesome season premiere and then the creators and executive producers of the show came down to the front, sat down and basically faced us (the firing squad) and answered all our questions for like an hour or so. After they gave us some juice info we all took a picture and floated out of the room all hopped up on magic.

Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis were very candid (where they could be) and clearly super passionate about the show. I loved hearing how they created the show together randomly in an apartment one night….and it’s turned into this huge and popular phenomenon. They mentioned how much they loved and appreciated their fans and love seeing what’s shared by them on social media. They also mentioned how inspired they are by the fans too and love interacting with them at comic cons.


Above Photo via ABC

ABC’s official synopsis of the premiere episode is:

“In the season premiere episode, “The Savior,” as our heroes set out to stop Hyde, Emma develops a mysterious side effect, and Storybrooke becomes a haven for people from the Land of Untold Stories. Meanwhile, Regina and Zelena embrace their newfound sisterhood by becoming roommates, while Rumple tries to free Belle from the sleeping Curse with the help of a stranger. In flashback, Jafar confronts an afflicted Aladdin in Agrabah, and a secret about the Savior is revealed.”

And omg that does it no justice!

Now…because I love you very much…I’m going to give you some of the “spoilers” we got…but really just some inside scoop on what we’ll be seeing in season 6 of Once Upon a Time straight from the Executive Producers’ mouths:

  • Lots of new characters – Captain Nemo, Aladdin, Jasmine and Jafar
  • Returning characters we haven’t seen in a long while – Cinderella’s returning
  • Family members of characters we have seen – (hint: related to Cinderella)
  • Family drama with Rumple & Belle – it’s juicy and so trippy magical
  • Major drama with Emma and Hook – BIG secret keeping going on in that relationship…#ijs


Adam and Edward also told us that this season is going to be different in format than prior seasons. In the past, they had each season as an arc, with it culminating in good vs evil battling it out all epic like and wrapping up in the season finale. But this season each episode will have it’s own arc with new characters in Storybrook that have some stuff to work through each week. (Along with the other storyline drama/action too) So that’ll give the season a different feel. That’s kinda cool!

So…This wasn’t said by the producers but from the look of the season premiere it looks like there’s a serious baddie that’ll be wreaking havoc all season long.

The executive producers also told us that while the story gets dark and dangerous, the show is overall a show about hope. I spoke to my friend Judy who’s a big fan and she had some great insights about the themes of the show like: redemption, love above all, hope, and transformation. If I was on the fence about watching the show before….seeing the season premiere of season 6 and speaking to Judy sealed my fate.


Photo above via ABC

The only other semi-spoiler I can share is this: One of our group asked Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis if we’d be seeing another Savior come onto the scene and they said: “What I can say…without trying to spoil too much is, if last year we were exploring dark ones and that mythology, this year we really try to explore savior mythology. What it means to be a savior, what-who they could have been before, and who they could be next.”

So we know some good stuff is coming! So exciting!

OH!!…and if you were holding out hope that the show would “pull a hook” and bring Robin back…that’s not looking likely at all. Sorry to be a buzzkill on that one.

OK, so now you see why I have a big problem with the time space continuum. With 7 days until episode 2 of season 6, I only have a week to get through 5 entire seasons. Needless to say, very little work is going to be getting done this week because…priorities. Rohan and Kaya will have to fend for themselves, mama’s got a show to devour.

Are you excited for the Once Upon A Time season 6 premiere tonight?!