Aug
26

Our Picks for the Best New Comedies of the Fall TV Season

Every year, the major television networks offer up a spate of new comedies varying wildly in quality.  Some end up being overwhelmingly filthy (and quickly canceled) and some are wonderfully quirky (yet still canceled) Our team picked their favorite options that we think are truly funny and here to stay for years to come!

Selfie

Premiering on ABC on Tuesday, September 30 at 9/8 c

Based loosely off of My Fair Lady, this comedy features a self-obsessed social media queen who learns that being “friended” doesn’t actually mean that you have any friends.  She seeks out her own Mr HIggins to help her become a better person worthy of her large following.  The show’s interesting twist of examining how shallow many social media practices are, is a welcome perspective.

 A to Z

Premiering on NBC on Thursday, October 2 at 9:30/8:30 c

The trailer alone is one of the best romantic comedies of the year.  The show is a chronicle of Andres and Zelda’s kismet love from a chance meeting years ago to meeting their assumed happy ending.  After seeing each other from afar at a concert, the two meet again and sparks fly while working at an Internet dating company. Plus, the cast is full of veterans from shows such as 30 Rock and Drop Dead Diva.

Mulaney

Premiering on FOX on Sunday, Oct 5th at 9:30/8:30 c

This show blends stand-up comedy and traditional sitcom in a way reminiscent of  Seinfeld.  In addition to Emmy Award winning comedian John Mulaney, the show boasts comedic powerhouses Martin Short and Elliot Gould.  The show should continue the trend of successful comedic offerings from FOX that includes The Mindy Project and Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Aug
21

Top Five Dramas You’ll Love This Fall

This season’s abundance of premiering dramas will have you ready to ditch the summer heat and curl up on the couch to all this Fall has to offer. Every single major network is debuting a wealth of new programming for the Fall TV Season. Fortunately for you, our team has delved through hours of trailers and sneak peeks, to find out which shows are worth watching and which should get a pass. Here are our top five picks for new Fall dramas.

Gotham

Premiering on FOX on Monday, September 22nd at 8/7 c

Arguably the best of the many superhero-based shows coming out this year, Gotham follows the early career of fabled James Gordon, who later becomes a key ally to Batman. It also takes a gritty look at the origins of popular criminals including The Penguin, Catwoman, and The Joker. The show is from the creator of CBS favorite The Mentalist and features Southland standout Ben McKenzie.

Honorable mention goes to other superhero shows which look interesting including Constantine and The Flash.

Forever 

Premiering on ABC on Tuesday, September 23rd at 10/9 c

You may think that the world does not need another show about medical examiners looking for the truth, but this one is so original, that it will change your mind. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd of the Fantastic Four) isn’t just a medical examiner, he is an immortal with centuries of knowledge under his belt.  Joining him in his crusade is Law and Order alum Alana De La Garza (Connie). The mix of flashbacks, mythology, and old-fashioned crime solving creates a compelling and fresh alternative to the normal “Cop Show.”

Stalker

Premiering on CBS on Wednesday, October 1st at 10/9 c

Fair warning, even watching the extended trailer may have you looking over your shoulder for the next week.  Another fresh take on the cop genre, this show centers on the Los Angeles Police Department’s Threat Assessment Unit who specialize in tracking stalkers. The cast includes Maggie Q (Nikita) and Dylan McDermott (Dark Blue), which guarantees plenty of high-powered action and solid acting.

State of Affairs

Premiering on NBC on Monday, November 17th at 10/9 c

Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy fame returns to TV in this political drama that also features Emmy winner Alfre Woodard. In addition to the main plot of protecting the country from threats on a daily basis, this show features a slick who-done-it subplot. Heigl’s character lost her fiance years ago and is searching out his killer, which unfolds into a conspiracy of its own.

Outlander

Airing on STARZ on Saturdays at 8/7 c (also streaming on STARZ Play)

Based off the best selling novels by Diane Gabaldon, the show follows Claire Randall, a WWII nurse who suddenly finds herself sent back in time to 18th century Scotland. Stuck there, she must learn to survive in a world where women have almost no power. It’s a story of heroism, romance, and survival. The show airs its third episode this weekend, but you could use your High-Speed Internet to watch the first two episode from the STARZ website. If you don’t have STARZ, it’s easy to sign-up by calling our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Aug
19

Don’t Let Your Child Fall Behind! Get High-Speed Internet, Today!

As school gets back in session, it’s important to make sure that your student is completely prepared to ace this school year.  One of the most important ways to prepare your student is by making sure they have access to High-Speed Internet.

High-Speed Internet has become a major component of the learning process.  According to the Pew Research Center, nearly all research is now done online, which is not surprising given that most libraries and universities now provide access to scholarly work on the web. Sites such as Google Scholar make it easy to access thousands of academic sources with the power of Google’s sophisticated search function so students waste less time trying to find information and more time learning.

You might be surprised to find out just how many tutorials exist on YouTube that can help your student thrive. In fact, according to Ecudemic, more than 80 percent of students use social networks like YouTube to study.  Search Calculus, History, Biology, and even English and you will find a wealth of helpful videos.  These search results even provide breakdowns of most books that are popular among students!  Fortunately, our High-Speed Internet means you can seamlessly stream videos for every subject!

In addition to letting students access materials, High-Speed Internet can actually open up a whole new world for students during the school day.  In many of our towns, students now have the chance to take classes even if they aren’t offered at their school.  Thanks to tele-distance learning, students can participate in classes across the state using video conferencing equipment.  Teachers can also take advantage of virtual tours of major sites around the world such as museums and historical landmarks.  None of this is possible without stable, fast Internet speeds.  We are proud to say that we have helped many schools develop the necessary technology to bring new offerings to rural education.

If you want to find out even more, we recently covered some of the best apps and websites available to help your student get to the head of the class.  Check them out here.

To find out about speeds in your area, contact our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Aug
14

New ESPN/Disney Channels Are Coming Your Way

By now, readers of this blog know that we routinely work with the networks we air to make sure that we provide you with quality programming at a reasonable cost.  Well, we are pleased to announce that we have reached a new agreement with ESPN/Disney that will provide you with some great new channels and secure access to many current favorites for the next seven years!

ESPN/Disney has added two new channels to its group of programming services that we are required to add to our Digital Basic Tier. These channels are the SEC Network and Fusion. In addition to the new channels, the following channels are secure:  ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Disney Jr, and Disney XD.

We are very pleased to be able to add more programming to our family of channels and ensure that you have access to some of the most popular programming for years to come.  ESPN and ESPN2 routinely air major sporting events including BCS Bowl series and Monday Night Football and you can now be confident that you won’t miss a minute of it!

To find out which channels are available in your area, check out our handy channel guides, which provide the most up-to-date listings of channels available in your area.

Aug
12

Protect Yourself From Cyber Hackers

Recently, a group of cyber hackers from Russia accessed personal data from nearly 120 million people.  While it didn’t affect any services provided by Great Plains Communications, we wanted to provide our customers with some tips to keep yourself safe.

1. Change Your Password Once a Month or Even Every Few Weeks: This is a big one.  When you change your passwords once a month, even if a hacker does get access to your account, it won’t be for long.  If you change your password, you make the account access information that they collected obsolete.  Often when data is stolen, it is then sold to another party, which means that your breached account may not be accessed for a few weeks.  So even if you don’t see any activity right away, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions.

2. Take Data Breaches Seriously: If you do get a notice from a company that you do business with or have made a purchase from, it’s important to change your password right away and take any other steps that they recommend. Don’t delay because the longer you wait, the longer you are exposed.

3. Check your credit score, credit limits, and bank accounts regularly: Credit Karma is a great tool for monitoring your credit score and credit card balances in one place.  You can link your online access for your credit cards to Credit Karma and see real-time account balances in an easy-to-read dashboard so that you will be able to spot suspicious transactions immediately.

4. Understand that online and brick-and-mortar shopping are equally safe: Some consumers assume that if they only shop in brick-and-mortar stores, then they are safer than those who shop online.  However, large scale hacks, such as the Target breach of last year, saw data leaks from both online and in-store purchases.  Even if you only use your debit or credit card in person, make sure to follow the advice above.

5. Be weary of pop-ups claiming to be an extra security measure:  If you land on a website and a pop-up appears that asks for confidential information, be cautious.  Asking you to sign in with your Facebook or email account with a new password is OK.  If the pop-up doesn’t look “right” or asks for your current email password then back out of the website using your browser arrows immediately. NEVER click on a pop-up that you don’t trust!

In the end, most consumers will never experience any negative consequences from a security breach.  However, it is important to decrease your risk by following the steps above and always err on the side of caution.  Do you have more tips?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Aug
06

Four Sites & Apps that Will Make The School Year A Breeze

Chegg Study: This site is a dream for high school and college students, alike.  It features an online community that has crowdsourced study materials, textbook guides, and general answers.  You can also post a question to the group and let the answer come to you.  You can even get huge discounts on your texbooks!

Ipl2: Finding the right sources for a paper can be difficult.  Fortunately, this site has the right sources to help you finish your paper with citations any teacher will approve of.  Honorary mention goes to Google Scholar if you find yourself stuck!

Class Buddy: This is a mobile app that can help students keep track of their schedule.  You can even track your own grades to keep a record of how well you are doing in each class. This is a great tool for parents and students alike because it allows you to know where your students is academically with each assignment.  For college kids, you can even log class attendance and know what you’ve missed (even thought you go to every class, right?).

Shmoop.com: This website has resources for both students and teachers.  Shmoop features detailed study guides, learning centers for all major subjects, flashcards and even video prep!  You can also find prep materials for standardized tests including the ACT, PSAT, and Advanced Placement.

What is your favorite study aid?  Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Aug
05

Be First in your Class with High-Speed Internet!

It’s almost time to head back to the classroom and we are excited to bring you something great to help you ace your year!

We’re offering faster than ever Internet speeds to help you make the grade and be your academic best.  When you have faster Internet speeds, you can collaborate seamlessly with other students on group projects using video services such as Skype and Google Hangouts, create interactive presentations with video and heavy graphics with less worry, and pull up videos on YouTube without wasting time on buffering. Your Internet will move as fast as your school life!

Of course, faster Internet has you covered outside of class as well. Enjoy Internet speeds that let you stream video services like Netflix, connect your Smartphone to your wireless Internet connection, and upload photos and download apps in seconds. You can even send files to students and teachers in less time!

To make it even better, we have a great deal just for you.  If you sign-up before September 30th, we will give you FREE Installation for new services, plus you get Two Months of FREE Internet Service!

Call 1-855-853-1483 or visit www.gpcom.com/school today!

Jul
30

A Brand New Winner in Our Auto-Pay Contest

Congratulations to our newest winner, Denise Kalinski of McCook, NE. She won a $100 Visa Gift Card in our Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing Contest.  There have been more than a dozen winners since the contest started.

To sign-up for this contest, simply sign-up for Auto-Pay or Paperless Billing Services.  If you are already enrolled, then you are already entered to win!  If your name is picked, you receive $100 per service for up to $200 in Visa Gift Cards.

Auto-Pay allows you to set-up automatic billing for your Great Plains Communications’ account.  When you sign up for Auto-Pay, you will never have to worry about paying your bill on time again.  You never have to remember your bill or write a check. Who doesn’t want to make their life simpler?

Paperless Billing also helps streamline your billing services.  You won’t receive a paper bill in the mail anymore.  Instead, you will use the much more robust eBill system.  This system allows you to track your long-distance minutes, see your billing history, and pay your bill online (if you don’t have Auto-Pay).

Take a minute to say congrats to our newest winner in the comments section below!

 

Jul
29

Hang Out With Us this August!

Chatty and the Great Plains Communications’ team will be hanging out around the state!  Chatty will be available to take pictures and hand out coloring books to the kids.  It’s going to be a fun time for all.  
Here is a list of our upcoming events.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014: Red Cloud Street Car Days Parade – Chatty will be here! 

Events and activities include: car show, burnout contest, golf, 5k run/walk, parade, face painting & sidewalk chalk art, ice cream social, art exhibits, free swimming, bingo, bowling, horseshoe contest, kid’s fishing contest, “Little Tuggers” tractor pull, fireman’s BBQ, beer garden & dance, laser tag, fly-in pancake breakfast, mud drags, Broken Horn Ranch Fun Day, food and craft vendors, and much, much more!

Thursday, August 7, 2014: Thayer County Fair Parade; Deshler – Chatty will be here! 

The County Fair includes a vintage Tractor Pull, Memorial race, band performances and more.  Chatty will make an appearance during the parade on the 7th.  The fair also features a full carnival with rides, games and food.  We can’t wait!

Thursday, August 7, 2014: Knox County Fair; Bloomfield; Sponsor of  the Bull-A-Rama @ 7 pm

The Knox County Bull-A-Rama is one of the largest rodeo events in the state and we have been proud a sponsor for many years.  Held during the Knox County Fair, this event brings together some of the best riders in the region.  If you want to see more, you can view last year’s event right here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014: Old Settlers Day Parade; Indianola – Chatty will be here! 

It is the 91st Old Settlers Day Parade!  It’s a family celebration including a parade, road race, paintball tournament, kiddie carnival, frog jumping contest and more. The perfect place to meet up with everyone’s favorite squirrel!

Friday, August 15, 2014: Sponsor of the Chase County Fair Concert Series and Saturday, August 16, 2014; Parade – Chatty will be here! 

Come and join us for two nights of fun at this amazing concert series! On Friday, we will be handing out free t-shirts to the first 300 people who attend.  On Saturday, Award Winner, Chris Young with special guest Courtney Cole will perform on Saturday.  Chris Young was declared the winner of the television program USA Networks Nashville Star. His album, The Man I Want to Be, included the singles “Voices”, “Gettin’ You Home” and “The Man I Want to Be”, which all went to number 1. Young’s next album, Neon, produced two more number ones in “Tomorrow” and “You”.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on our Facebook page!

Jul
24

Discover FXX

As you probably know, we have added several new channels to our lineup.  One of the most exciting is FXX.  This network is part of the FOX collection of channels that includes FOX News, FOX Business, and FX.

FXX launched in September of last year and has been very popular ever since.  It has become the home of many popular FX original series including Wilfred and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.  It also features syndicated favorites including Spin City and Parks and Recreation, dozens of movies each month, and it’s one of the best new channels around. Great Plains Communications is proud to be bringing FXX right to you!

You can discover where FXX is on your channel lineup by checking out our handy channel guides.  Let us know what you think about our newest channel in the comments section below.

 

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