Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bingeworthy TV: Bob's Burgers

Even if you've never seen Bob's Burgers, you probably recognize Louise's pink bunny hat. In fact, the entire Belcher family has been one of the more popular group-costume options in recent years. This is a cartoon with a wider appeal than most due in large part to the great family dynamic at its heart. Though the humor ranges from silly to adult, Bob's Burgers is an overall bright and optimistic show.

I haven't seen every episode of this series, and the episodes that I have watched were almost entirely out of order. This isn't a long-running plot show, but rather a traditional sitcom where no matter how crazy things get, everything returns to almost normal by the end of the episode. So if the Belchers's restaurant is horribly damaged in one episode, everything will be fine by the next. While new viewers aren't punished for jumping in wherever, there are rewards for loyal viewers. You'll discover running jokes and recurring characters who gradually build depth and personality beyond a single gag, .

While I enjoy the visual humor and quick wit, the use of music and original songs are probably my favorite element. In fact, I started watching after a co-worker played a song about Thomas Edison electrocuting an elephant. Not only is it a catchy song, it's hilarious in context. (The song below is an official cover animated in the style of the show.)

~Sarah, Adult Services

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bingeworthy TV: Psych

Attention all 80's trivia lovers (children of the 80s, especially)! Psych is a hilarious cozy mystery television show - with wacky high jinks galore and nods to all sorts of popular culture references of the 1980s and beyond.

The show centers on two friends, Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and Burton Guster - known as Gus (Dulé Hill). Shawn has extremely keen observation skills (drilled in him from an early age by his tough-cop father played by Corbin Bernsen). His observations are so good in fact, that in the pilot episode, he finds himself about to be fingered as the criminal - because no one could possibly know all that he knew about the crime unless he was the one who did it. In an act of desperation and self-preservation, Shawn pretends that he knows all about the crime because he is psychic.
Shawn then decides to capitalize on this and his new relationship with the Santa Barbara Police Department by creating a detective agency called "Pysch" and working for the police on the side. He drags his none-too-enthusiastic best friend Gus into the endeavor.

The episodes treat crime in the typically cozy mystery fashion - not much gore, and very lighthearted given the topic. It is very fast-paced and energetic. The fantastic chemistry between Shawn and Gus is electric: the funny lines are flying and there are blink and you miss it moments of subtle hilarity throughout. The rest of the cast are great too, but the heart of the shows lies with Shawn and Gus and their sincere friendship.
There are cameos by a number of familiar faces from the 80s - these are a particular fun treat. Look for their Halloween episodes, which are surprisingly scary and suspenseful, and the fantastic homages to the film Clue (1985) and the TV show Twin Peaks (1990-1991). There are 8 seasons of Psych and 1 musical (yes, a musical!) - all of which are available to check out at Carnegie-Stout Public Library. These two best friends make great detectives and a great show to binge-watch.

~Angie, Adult Services

Friday, February 9, 2018

FY19 Library Budget Presentation Video

FY19 Library Budget Presentation Video

Carnegie-Stout Public Library Director Susan Henricks gave a presentation to the Dubuque City Council last evening about the Library's Fiscal Year 2019 budget recommendations.

Here's a link to the video of Susan's presentation. For more information, see the City of Dubuque's Fiscal Year 2019 Budget.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bingeworthy TV: Superstore

The appeal of a sitcom is that you can sit down for 30 minutes and laugh a little, but if you're like me, it can be tricky to find a show that consistently makes you laugh. I started watching Superstore because I love America Ferrera (Ugly Betty).

Superstore is set in the fictional big box retail store Cloud 9, and very few episodes have scenes outside the store itself. If you don't have experience working in retail, you might think this would limit the stories they can tell, but the writers make good use of their talented ensemble cast. If you enjoyed the recurring background characters and sight gags of Community, you'll find similar appeal here.
~Sarah, Adult Services

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Staff Review: "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by Maurene Goo

If you're looking for a fun, romantic read for Valentine's Day, I suggest you check out I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo. This book is a sweet and goofy look at first love that will remind readers of the fun of watching a romantic comedy, and anyone who loves k-dramas is in for a special treat.

To call 17-year-old Desi Lee a perfectionist is putting things mildly. Desi's mother died when she was very young, and her father was devastated. Desi dedicated herself to being the perfect daughter, excelling in school, in soccer, and helping out at home. Everything about her life is on track, and it seems inevitable that Desi will finish high school and head to Stanford, her mother's alma mater, where she will become a doctor, like her mother. The one blemish in Desi's perfect life is the fact that she is a devastating failure in the romance department.

Not only has Desi never had a boyfriend (or a first kiss), every time she gets even close to the possibility of maybe having a romantic encounter with a boy she likes, she goes down in flames. For example, when she meets the incredibly hot new transfer student, Desi's pants literally fall off. Despite this incredibly cringe-worthy first meeting, Desi is not one to give up. Instead she resolves to overcome her romantic failures and win her crush's heart, taking inspiration from her Korean-immigrant father's favorite television shows.

If you are a k-drama fan, you'll love all of the references to familiar shows. If you haven't seen a k-drama, you're likely to walk away from I Believe in a Thing Called Love wanting to watch one. K-dramas, or Korean dramas, are a specific style of Korean television series similar in some ways to telenovelas. They often have a heavy focus on a romantic plot and typically last for only a single season of 10-20 episodes (though some series last for much longer and some are only one or two episodes long). I highly recommend flipping to the end of the book where there's a list of recommended k-dramas that you can stream (subtitled) through various online services.
~Sarah, Adult Services

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bingeworthy TV: Law & Order:SVU

Binge on Law & Order: SVU? Are you crazy? That show is intense and sad*. Well, I had a vacation week and I didn't go anywhere. USA was running a Law & Order: SVU marathon and I swear I spent nearly three days just watching episode after episode. With 19 seasons of SVU, there is a lot of material to choose from. Here is the thing: it really doesn't matter if you watch the episodes in order.  The show has had some character turnover, but the one constant is Olivia Benson.

There are over 400 episodes available. You could conceivably watch SVU for 19 days straight (if you wanted to forego sleep and food and fry your brain). So go ahead, binge on SVU. You know you want to!

*Disclaimer:  SVU stands for "Special Victims Unit".  This show deals with sex crimes of all types and has very adult themes. 

~Amy, Adult Services