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Ash & Fern


Authors: Ashley Koontz & Erin “Fern” Mays

Hey! We’re Ash and Fern, two best friends from Indiana. We may be pushing 30, but we like to think we’re still young and energetic enough to pull an all-night Lord of the Rings marathon every now and again. We pride ourselves on our above average Oscar winner predictions and ability to name every player on the US men’s national soccer team. Our interests are wide-ranging, as you’re sure to see, but we are always looking to expand them!

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AshFern 200 TVMy Perfect Vacation

There is one thing I like to do on vacation that people tend to judge me for. So much so that I often lie about it. What is it? I go to movies.

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AshFern 200 TVDragon Con Memories

Another Dragon Con has come and gone. As anyone who takes a yearly trip knows, it’s a bit terrifying how quickly the year between them goes by, but I’m also glad because it really is the most fun I have all year.

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AshFern 200 TVHBO Goes Sci-Fi

So I guess I’ve been busy. As a sad result of working two jobs all summer, I’m way behind on my entertainment news (and my blogging, I know) and I was completely unaware of the fact that HBO is going sci-fi with Westworld! I don’t know a thing about the source material for Westworld other than what a quick trip down the six degrees of Wikipedia taught me over the past hour. But you know what? I don’t care a bit! I’m in. And not just because I already pay a crap ton of money for a channel that I mostly just keep for John Oliver.

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AshFern 200 TVOne Night Stand

My love for the art of binge-watching is no secret. Since finally succumbing to Netflix almost a year ago (maybe I should throw us an anniversary party? This is by far my most successful relationship…) I have become quite the connoisseur of the lost weekend. There is something so satisfying about being able to finish a season, or even a whole series, in one pathetically lazy stretch. It’s probably the closest I get to a true sense of accomplishment at this point in my life.

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AshFern 200 TVIs Anyone Winning the Game?

It took me several days to calm down enough from the Game of Thrones finale to even contemplate what I had seen. Now that I’ve calmed a bit, I’m excited to look forward for the first time having absolutely no idea where the story is going.

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AshFern 200 TVFern’s Dirty Thirty

In a lot of ways I’m basically already an old person. I go to bed at a reasonable hour most days. I can’t sleep past 8:00 a.m. I eat leftovers because I can’t stand to waste food. I recycle, and yell at other people about recycling. I complain about neighbors making too much noise. And it’s probably only my lack of a lawn that keeps me from becoming the “get off my lawn” lady.

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AshFern 200 TVWhen a Show is on Life Support

We constantly have to be prepared to lose a show with little notice and no closure. But apparently the rest of the world isn’t living like this. Apparently some shows go on forever. Who knew? So what exactly happens when things go the opposite way and a show stays on past its expiration date?

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AshFern 200 TVHistorical Reality?

I love historical fiction. At this point I know if I see a preview for a new show and the characters are wearing armor or speaking with an unidentifiable mishmash of Australian/British/non-specific European accents (the go-to accents of anything taking place anywhere other than modern day USA, naturally) I’m going to have to go ahead and pencil that show in.

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AshFern 200 TVReal Houses and Paper Towns

While the “adult” things of buying a house can be kind of a pain–who knew there were such things as crawl space specialists–I’ve been having fun thinking about the “fun” stuff, like planning how I’m going to furnish my new sunroom where I plan on spending the majority of my time. I think it was because of this current mindset that when I saw the new trailer for John Green’s Paper Towns

If you’re new to this story, it takes place the spring semester of the main characters’ senior year of high school. Q, our quirky, nerdy protagonist, has always been in love with his next door neighbor, the divine and magical Margo Roth Spiegelman.

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AshFern 200 TVIt’s a Binge-Worthy World

With binge watching becoming more and more common, it seems as if the original way of consuming a show is becoming increasing irrelevant. How much longer will we continue to watch anything one episode at a time, knowing that there is another option?

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AshFern 200 TVBad Film Confessions

Seeing that it is currently the winter dumping ground for new movies, most of my cinematic intake consists of Oscar nominees in order to get ready for the awards in February. However, I do have to admit, that when my mind can no longer take the high-brow, thought-provoking, and emotional movies that usually serve as award bait, I turn to a few of my favorite movies.

Now, these are not my favorite movies that I usually admit to. These are the ones I keep reserved for personal viewing only, and refuse to watch with others, even my husband, in case of the event that they start pointing out what total garbage is actually on screen.

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AshFern 200 TVSuper Bowl Musings From a TV Addict

It’s no secret I love sports. Especially sports called football in various parts of the world. But the thing about the Super Bowl, at least for me, is that unless my team is playing (Go Colts!) it’s really more of a television event than a game. Sure I’ll always watch it, but it’s almost more like a variety show than an actual competition. So while I certainly had a blast rooting against the evil empire on Sunday night and still hope their balls all deflate, what I’ll ultimately remember about SB XLIX is all the other stuff.

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AshFern 200 TVMost Anticipated 15 in ’15

As everyone else is recapping their favorite this and that from 2014, I’m going to be perfectly honest: I’m ready to move on. 2014 was a great year for me personally, but let’s not kid ourselves. We’ve all been looking forward to 2015 for a few years now as an entertainment geek’s Mecca. So while the rest of you are still reminiscing about how great Guardians of the Galaxy and the Lego Movie were, I’m eagerly awaiting these 15 things in 2015. (No offense to either Guardians ort The Lego Movie. They both made everything awesome.)

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AshFern 200 TVLooking Back on 2014

I get obsessed with things. It’s just kind of what I do. Maybe someday I will get obsessed with something useful, like a potential career, but for now I seem to fixate on things that most people would consider worth an occasional thought at best. So, without any further ado, here are some things I was obsessed with in 2014.

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AshFern 200 TVOde to Elf

It’s well into December and it’s too freaking cold to do anything outside in Indiana. This is great news for me because I can stop my secret shame-watching of Elf, the greatest Christmas movie ever made. Right now I don’t have to hide the fact that my Friday night is spent with Buddy the Elf

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AshFern 200 TVThree-Oh

Earlier this year, I tried to sit down and think of 30 things I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 30. This was actually a much harder task than I had initially thought it would be. Luckily, some things that were already planned for this year could be used such as going to Brazil, or seeing a World Cup game live. Other things, such as finishing the novel I’ve been working on in my free time (which I don’t have), I was just trying to put a deadline on. Eventually the list made it to about 12 things before I set it aside and ended up too busy to revisit it.

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AshFern 200 TVSaying Goodbye to SAMCRO

In about a month, I will say goodbye to a show that has drastically changed the way I watch TV. Seven-ish years ago I discovered this crazy little show about a motorcycle club on a channel that I had never heard of. I honestly have no idea why I started watching Sons of Anarchy, though if I had to make an educated guess it probably had a little (or a lot) to do with Charlie Hunnam. But I was hooked immediately.

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AshFern 200 TVThe Good, the Bad, and the Flashy

While Netflix is still taking up entirely too much of my time – I recently discovered The IT Crowd and finally gave in to peer pressure and started watching Scandal – I have made time for some fall TV. Some of it I like, and some of it reminds me why I shouldn’t trust new things.

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AshFern 200 TVThe Lost Weekend

You may remember that 9-ish months ago I promised to get Netflix this year as one of my New Year’s Resolutions. A few days ago I realized I was almost out of time and needed to get my shit together. The following is the true account of what transpired last weekend.

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AshFern 200 TVUsing My Powers For Good

If I had the power to bring back one show, to save it from an untimely and unfortunate grave, which show would I choose?

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AshFern 200 TVHappy Con Season!

Indianapolis hosts a lot of conventions. A LOT. As someone who lives and works downtown and has to fight the traffic and dodge pedestrians every time the Future Farmers of America come to town, I don’t always love this aspect of my city’s tourism culture. But this past weekend? That one is the best.

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AshFern 200 TVNext On Your YA To-Read List

In the world of young adult dystopian literature, there have been many options emerging lately for readers of all ages and levels to enjoy, especially those with strong female characters at the helm. For those of you who are feeling like a piece of you is missing until Mockingjay’s cinematic release in November, I’ve got a way for you to fill your time for the next few months.

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AshFern 200 TVOne Ticket, Please!

I’ll never forget the first time I went to a movie by myself. It was about two years ago, I had a job that involved working weekends with Mondays and Thursdays off. Basically all of my free time was on days when all of my friends were cooped up in their offices all day, so I was booooored.

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AshFern 200 TVOur Very Own Amazing Race

Travelling is always an adventure for me, and not necessarily for the reasons one would hope for. Things tend to go wrong, especially when I decide to leave the country. The good news is all my experience makes me much calmer than most in the face of travel adversity. This skill came in VERY handy during our two weeks in Brazil.

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AshFern 200 TVEveryone’s A Travel Expert

What is it about an upcoming trip that brings everyone out of the woodwork with their awesome travel advice? I’m told the same thing happens when you’re planning a wedding or expecting a baby, but who has time for that stuff when there’s a World Cup around the corner?!

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AshFern 200 TVA Beginner’s Guide to the World Cup

The biggest sporting event in the world is less than a month away, and despite what ESPN might try to tell you I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. I’ve been dreaming of going to a World Cup for as long as I can remember, and I honestly still can’t wrap my head around the idea that Ash and I actually get to go this year.

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AshFern 200 TVWho is that guy in the hood?

Whether you call him The Hood, The Vigilante or simply The Arrow, this is the story of a show that is so much better than it needs to be.

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AshFern 200 TVMy very small Spider-Man fan club

As you’re most certainly aware, largely due to the massive influx of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone relationship news over the past few weeks, it’s almost time for some more Spidey!

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AshFern 200 TVYou’ve got me feeling emotions

While I know deep down TV shouldn’t affect me this much, the sad reality is it does. And as long as this so-called “golden age” of TV continues and the incredible stories and characters are a part of my life, my emotional attachment will continue.

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AshFern 200 TVSunday nights are awesome again!

We are less than a week from a new season of Game of Thrones. This is not a drill. I’ll give you a second to finish jumping up and down.

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AshFern 200 TVAnd I thought I cussed like a sailor!

Last weekend I finally discovered Deadwood. I know, I know. I’m about a decade behind the rest of you on this, but for some ridiculous reason I didn’t think I’d like it. Clearly I was insane and that’s just something I have to live with now, knowing that this show could have been in my life for the past 10ish years.

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AshFern 200 TVTrue Detective – Looking Ahead

For those of you who have been living under a rock the past 8 weeks, there has been a new HBO drama rocking the boat of the television world.  True Detective premiered right in the midst of awards season and rode Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas Buyer’s Club popularity right out of the ratings ballpark. Sunday night’s finale literally broke HBO Go because so many people were trying to stream it.

While people might have started watching for McConaughey, they stayed for the whole package. Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan matched McConaughey scene for scene, and the writing outshines them all. Basically, if you haven’t binge watched it yet, I’m telling you it’s worth 8 hours of your life.

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AshFern 200 Soccer BallThe Glitz! The Glamour!

…or how Ash and Fern watched Oscar movies for 10 hours in sweatpants.

If you recall, one of my new year’s resolutions this year was to watch ALL of the Oscar Best Picture nominations. Well, I’m proud to report: I did it! After a lot of hard work and effort, I made my goal…ok, more like after a lot of sitting and eating popcorn, I made my goal, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

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AshFern 200 Soccer BallOn a serious note…

I don’t generally write about politics. I actually make it a rule not to. Thanks to my current career path I spend all day every day thinking about politics, and I look at this blog (and obviously all the television and movie watching that comes along with it) as my escape from that. This is where I get to focus on all the things that make me smile in life.

But just for today I’m going to break my rule. I have to. And I hope you can understand why.

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AshFern 200 Soccer BallMid-Olympic Lessons

We are halfway through the Olympics.  Seems like they’ve been on TV forever, doesn’t it?

As expected, I have already learned many things during this year’s games, all of which will be completely useless for the next four years.

Still I have decided to share this newfound wisdom with those of you who are not able to dedicate endless hours to watching people frolic in snow. You’re welcome.

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AshFern 200 Soccer BallMy Olympic Obsession

I realize there is sometimes an attitude out there that “real geeks” don’t like sports. I can promise you that’s not always true because this geek LOVES sports. In a previous life I was even semi-athletic myself. Unfortunately I’m also incredibly clumsy and while I used to bounce back with no problem, I’m now out of commission for a full week when I fall over trying to do yoga. So for the sake of my overall health I generally leave the sports to other people now.

I’m bringing this up now because it is finally time for one of my favorite things EVER, the Olympics. Why do I love them so much you ask? It’s simple really. The Olympics combine two of my great loves in life: marathon TV viewing and really ridiculous sports.

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AshFern 200 TVWhen You Just Can’t Break Up with a Show

Breakups are hard.  I think we’ve all been there.  There was a show that you loved so much.  Maybe it was because it was such a clever idea, unlike anything you’d ever seen on TV before.  Or maybe it just had that actor that you really liked. Or maybe you liked the books.  For the first season (or seasons) you watched it religiously and loved every minute.

One day, it’s just not as good anymore.  Then there’s another show premiering at the same time that you want to watch.  Show number one gets demoted in your queue, but hey, you’ll get to it eventually.  Until you don’t.  Suddenly you have 11 episodes taking up space on your DVR and you know deep down that it’s over.  Why is it so hard to just cancel that series recording?!

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AshFern 200 Film SlateI <3 OS?

Fern and I have been busy bulking up for awards season, fitting Oscar contenders in when our schedules allow. However, nothing prepared me for what I saw when Fern and I went took an evening to see Her.

I’m still processing through all the thoughts, feelings, ideas, and amazement that was going through my head during Spike Jonze’s recent creation, and I’m definitely finding it hard to describe what is so great about it to those who haven’t seen it.

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AshFern 200 Film SlateFive Lost Days in January

You may have heard, last weekend we had a bit of a snow shower here in Indiana. I’m told it was on the news.  There was a little snow, it was a little chilly, etc. I only know these things from looking out my window because from 5pm Friday until 9am Wednesday I didn’t leave my apartment. I didn’t see another person other than the idiots outside my window trying to drive.

So, this is a story about how a person ends up trying to find their old VHS of Top Gun at 3 am. Also known as the weekend we learned what happens when you leave me alone for almost 5 days.

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AshFern 200 TVBattlestar Galactica: The Obvious Choice

Since one of Ash’s New Year’s Resolutions was to watch a TV series, I’ve decided to attempt to complete one of my resolutions and persuade her to choose the life-changing experience that is Battlestar Galactica.

Here are 10 reasons why she (and everyone else) should submit to watching 73 episodes of awesome.

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AshFern 200 MaskBring On 2014!

My New Year’s Resolutions are usually the normal ones. You know, exercise more, lose 10 pounds, blah blah blah. Since I’m eating marshmallows straight from a bag while writing this (only because I already ate all the cookies, obviously), I’m going to go ahead and rule the healthy ones out for 2014.

So I’ve drafted Ash to help me come up with Ash & Fern’s 14 Geek Resolutions for 2014. Wish us luck!!

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AshFern 200 TVMy (Non)Gamer Shame – Part 2: Technology is My Nemesis

While I was epically struggling to submit my recent post about my inability to play video games (seriously, I ultimately had to text our fearless leader Brian for help), I realized that perhaps blaming my gameless childhood might be an oversimplification of the problem.

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AshFern 200 TVMy (Non)Gamer Shame

I was never allowed to have video games growing up. Let that sink in for a minute.  A geek with no access to video games.  Rough right?

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AshFern 200 MaskHair’s to Effie: A Follicle Themed Tribute to ‘Catching Fire’

In honor of everyone’s favorite Capitol fashion icon, Effie Trinkett, I give you our my* top 10 list of best movie wigs.

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AshFern 200 Soccer BallWeapon of Choice

So this whole buddy cop intro we’re getting makes me want to carry my own weapon. With so many hypothetical options to choose from, I’ve really thought this over.

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AshFern 200 Film SlateMeet Ash & Fern!

They are two best friends from Indiana who are like the buddy cops of geekdom.

We’ll be bringing you their musings and adventures as they explore their favorite nerdy passions.

Geek girls on the beat? Gotta be Ash & Fern.

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