GIRLS: A Quick Recap, The Five Rules of Watching, and How to Catch The Next Episode if You Don't Have HBO

The second season of Lena Dunham's genius HBO show GIRLS is officially underway, and we're definitely looking forward to seeing where this season takes us ... and by "us," we mean the girls of course: Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna.

If you don't want to bother with watching the first season but still want to start up with the second, we'll fill you in on the necessities of what you need to know about the characters going into the second season, plus give you tips for the best way to watch the show, and tell you how to catch last season and the current one without actually having HBO.

See also:
- Nominees for the 85th Academy Awards
- Guilty Television Pleasures: In Defense of Gossip Girl

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Guilty Television Pleasures: In Defense of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette

I'm not a romantic. Really. I don't need grand gestures or outrageous gifts -- at least not in real life. I'm not a big fan of fairy tales, and I was never really into the whole Disney princess scene. In preschool, when other little girls played house, I'd stick the baby doll with the boys, grab my suitcase, and tell them I'd be back after work. True story.

However, when it comes to T.V., I'm a sucker for all things love. And mainly, I mean the ABC reality television dynasty made up of The Bachelor and spinoff/counterpart, The Bachelorette. Monday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. I fraternize with the lowest of the romantic low and let me explain why.

See also:
- ABC's "Bachelorette" Couple Hits The W Scottsdale For Pre-Wedding Party, Catch The Event This Sunday
- Guilty Television Pleasures: In Defense of Gossip Girl
- Guilty Television Pleasures: Kristin Gilger's Defense of The Voice

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Guilty Television Pleasures: Steve Wiley's Defense of Ancient Aliens

Hmm... television guilty pleasures, eh? The trick is that I'm more adept at talking guilty pleasures with music than with TV. I've got a whole host of critic-hated albums at home, but with TV, I'm generally pretty solid. So I had to think a while. Then I sheepishly remembered Ancient Aliens on the History Channel.

Why do I dig it? Above all, I find Ancient Aliens intriguing and informative. As a close second, I marvel at its paradoxical nature. It's tough to find a better mixture of science and speculation.

Would I call myself an Ancient Astronaut Theorist, as the show describes its minions? No. But that's mainly because I don't really "support" anything along those "how it all works" lines. Over the years, I've come to accept that I have never, nor will never, understand the mystery of God/life/whatever. This leaves me to leave open the possibilities of just about anything... including far-out theories of Ancient Aliens.

See also:
- Parent Hood: Three Gifts That Won't Be in My Kids' Christmas Stockings
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Guilty Television Pleasures: In Defense of Gossip Girl

The CW
There is no cool way to spin the fact that I am obsessed with a teen soap opera.

It's one that airs on the CW, no less. The network is home to Rachel Bilson-starring Hart of Dixie, which finds yankee doctor Zoe Hart relocating to a small, southern town, and upcoming, abysmal looking Sex and The City prequel The Carrie Diaries. But to judge Gossip Girl based on its proximity to these programs would be, in a word, stupid.

Sure, Upper East Side-dwelling, super-privileged high schoolers having their oversexed lives dissected through a TMZ-style celeb news blog isn't a relatable premise. But to presume that the viewer should deeply and meaningfully connect with the show's characters would also be, you guessed it, stupid.

See also:
- Guilty Television Pleasures: Amy Silverman's Defense of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
- Guilty Television Pleasures: Kristin Gilger's Defense of The Voice
- Jackalope Ranch's Gift Guide for Phoenix's Fashionable

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Guilty Television Pleasures: Kristin Gilger's Defense of The Voice

It's almost the weekend, which means you'll have plenty of time to catch up on the shows you diligently recorded, queued, and bookmarked throughout the week. In celebration of the television you'll be watching (and maybe lying about later), we're introducing a short series of guilty pleasures on the small screen. Today, Kristin Gilger, Associate Dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University defends her favorite show, NBC's The Voice.

I am a very serious person. Go ahead. Ask anyone. They'll tell you that if you need something done, I'm the person to go to. I'll give you an answer and I'll give it to you straight. No messing around. No joking.

They'll tell you I can be counted on to show up on weekends or work through the night if that's what it takes. And they'll point out that I'm almost always the last person to leave the office at night.

Except on Mondays. On Mondays, I log off my computer no later than 6:30 p.m. and race to beat the traffic lights home. On Mondays, I skate in the door a minute before 7, scuttle past my husband, skip dinner and grab the remote. On Mondays, I have a very important appointment with The Voice.

See also:
- Television's Seven Best Holiday Specials Ever
- Five Must-Watch TV Shows This Fall

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What Are You Watching, Kara Gasperone?

Courtesy of Kara Gasperone.
Phoenix native Kara Gasperone's interest in movies and TV is all over the board. The local blogger and professional therapist likes to indulge in shows with a little chaos and prefers shelling out her movie money at local film spots like FilmBar for a more unique experience.

What are you watching?
I always Tivo Intervention, Modern Family and the Ellen Show (don't judge). Lately though, my fiance Ryan and I have been absolutely OBSESSED with Breaking Bad. It's a show about a high school chemistry teacher-turned-meth cook who starts making meth in order to provide for his family after getting a pretty bleak lung cancer diagnosis. He thinks he's gonna die and leave his family with handfuls of cash. He's (kind of) wrong.

Check out Kara's interest in indie films, popular television, and her favorite shows growing up (all of you 90's kids can appreciate this one) after the jump.

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Kelsey Strothers, What Are You Watching?

Courtesy of Kelsey Strothers..
Local blogger Kelsey Strothers' current obsessions have a big influence on her television-viewing habits. 

Her passion for all-things-DIY has her watching hours of HGTV -- and she's not afraid to admit it. But don't let her reality TV ways fool you, she's also into food documentaries that focus on food (she works in nutrition), and is all about Arrested Development.

Check out what Kelsey's watching after the jump.

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