Storm of Words, A Game of Thrones Podcast – Season 4, Episode 1 “Two Swords”

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Reviews, Storm of Words, Television

The HBO television series, Game of Thrones, has returned with Season 4. Also returning is Storm of Words, a Game of Thrones podcast! We’re back every week to discuss the latest episodes of the series and delve into the world George R.R. Martin created through his novels.

 

StormOfWords

 

Jessa Phillips & Alexander McGrath, joined by Kellen Harkins return to the Seven Kingdoms to discuss the episode, “Two Swords.” This episode is mostly spoiler-free; however, there is some discussion about how the series deviates from the novels.

*** Warning: There is a huge story spoiler at the 2 hour mark. Please skip ahead 30 seconds if you don’t want to be spoiled.

The primary focus of the show is the tv series, so if you haven’t read the books you can still enjoy the podcast. If you have read the novels, just think of it as bonus content :-)

 

 

CONTACT

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at podcasts@goodtobeageek.com.

You can find Kellen Harkins in the DragonCon American Science Fiction & Fantasy Media Track Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmSFFMedia/.

Special thanks to Walid Feghali for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Sound Cloud profile page at http://soundcloud.com/walidfeghali to learn more about him and discover more of his music.

All audio clips for Game of Thrones are provided courtesy of HBO, http://www.hbo.com

Storm of Words is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Storm of Words is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Conversation with the Cast of Lost Girl of Syfy

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Television

For those genre fans living under a rock for the past three years, you might not have a clue of what Lost Girl is. Here is a quick synopsis. Created by Michelle Lovretta and produced by Jay Firestone and Prodigy Pictures. It is one of the show that is created, shot and produced in Canada that shows currently on Syfy.

 

Courtesy of NBC Universal

 

It’s lead is Bo, played by Anna Silk who has transitioned by not even knowing she was a Fae to a person of consequence and a rebel against the status quo of Fae society. In this realm, all creatures that are paranormal are Fae of some sort. She does this with the help of Kenzi, who has to be one of the best sidekicks ever created, and her friends: Dyson, a werewolf; Hale, a male siren; Trick, who we find out is her grandfather; Tamsin, a valkyrie and Lauren, a human doctor who specializes in Fae biology. An odd lot to be sure but a very solid ensemble cast with lots of wonderful recurring characters that pop in and out to make the team’s life interesting.

One of the unique qualities of the show is that Bo, being a succubus is bisexual. While that is notable, what makes it moreso is it is not treated as odd or unique, it’s just who she is. It is one element that makes this show one of the best written shows out there, in my humble opinion.

With that, I was given the privilege to be a part of a press call/Q&A hosted by Syfy which included several of the main cast. Joining several intrepid podcast and website reporters were cast members, Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo, Kris Holden – Reid, and Zoie Palmer. They handled all the questions thrown at them with laughter and thoughtful answers.

The questions themselves ran the gamut from ratings to plot twists to favorite moments.

Most of the characters in the show are Fae, so the question was put forward if Lauren or Kenzi would want to be Fae if they could. As was pointed out, Kenzi has dabbled in it herself. Zoie Palmer offered her thoughts that Lauren is essentially a character who experiments and would absolutely take that step if she thought it was possible. We have definitely been seeing Lauren stepping more and more out of her comfort zone in the past seasons and with some of her choices this season, I only see that progressing further. This was emphasized as she responded to questions about her scenes with Emmanuel Vaugier who plays the Morrigan, the leader of the Dark Fae. Lauren shifted sides this season and was able to act with Emmanuel for the first time. There was some nervousness she reported, since you never quite know if you’re going to ‘click’ with a fellow performer or not, but she was very happy with the work they did together and hopes for more scenes.

One of the more revealing and interesting points in the call came up when the cast was asked about the major plot twist in the “End of a Line” episode which recently aired in the US. Stop reading here if you haven’t seen this as we’re going to talk about a major spoiler!

In that episode, KC Collins’ character, Hale, is killed by the druid Mossimo. While I won’t get into my feelings on the death, other than saying it was painful, I do think it was a necessary and reasonable choice on the part of the writers. The cast discussed how they were affected and all of them praised KC and spoke about how busy he is as an actor and joked how they wanted to work on some of the shows he’s been on. For us geeks, he is also seen in Saving Hope, as Dr. Tom Reycraft. They insisted Lost Girl wouldn’t be as ‘cool’ without him around. Kris mentioned he thought it was bittersweet for him since he could still so clearly remember shooting the opening shots with KC from the first episode of the series.

This lead to the question about surprises, and if, as we have seen in other shows, the cast was caught by surprise as they read their scripts. Kris Holden-Reid fielded this one and brought forward the unusual nature of some smaller Canadian shows. They are pretty tight working units, with the writers and producers right there with the production end, so many of the changes and concepts that come up are bounced around between all of the creative staff. The actors get to toss in their thoughts about character development and it’s just as welcome. This was really a gem that I relished discovering, as it does not seem to be the case in many US led productions.

Tying into that concept is the question I asked about the maturing rivalry between Dyson and Lauren for Bo’s affections. Both Kris and Zoie offered they did not want to keep up the usual freshman-like attitude of one-upmanship that often occurs in these situations. That is not to say they wouldn’t now and then but they pointed out both of them have come to respect one other and see the value in the other person. That is not to say, they were quick to admit, that there wouldn’t be little jibs now and then between them over Bo.

A recent episode which gathered lots of attention was the “La Fae Époque.” In this episode, Bo went into Dyson’s memories, trying to find out what dark crime he was being held for, and was ‘him’ for that time. Most of the actors took up roles that were different for them – Lauren was a Fae lounge singer, Kenzi, a Fae mistress of ceremonies. They each commented on how their costumes were a lot tougher to wear, though Zoie Palmer seemed to have the easiest time since she has a lot of theatrical training and was able to utilize that knowledge. Although, Zoie admitted that even fake singing to her playback was a little tricky in the corset she wore. Ksenia commented she had to apologize to so many extras that day as the wings she wore stretched out far enough to practically poke peoples eyes’ out. Anna got a few insights in that episode. First, the itchy wool pants were hard to put up with but Ksenia came right back at her and said that no one else could make them look that good! Anna also gave a shout out to all the men in the world as she joked that taking the ‘man’s role’ in sex was a lot more work than she had realized! In the episode Dyson and the Fae Flora, (Zoie Palmer) have quite the history and Zoie joked about the unique experience of having to act out sex with Dyson; something she hasn’t had to do in her role of Lauren. They all really emphasized the pleasure they took in watching each other stretch their limits in that episode.

Now that they are in the pre-planning stages of Season 5 and about to begin shooting, the entire cast emphasized how hard it is to not spoil when they are on these calls or at conventions. The US schedule for the episodes is considerably off from the Canadian schedule so, in particular, Kris Holden-Reid felt that it really affected the show’s ratings. He urged fans to contact Syfy and see if there was something they could do to show the episodes closer to the Canadian air dates. Since so many of their fans are pretty tech savvy, it was really common for them to get the show through ‘alternative means’. I know personally speaking, I still made a point of watching the Syfy episode to demonstrate to the channel that the show has a lot of loyal viewers.

Those who know me, know I really enjoyed the series, Blood Ties, and seeing Kyle Schmid appear as Raynor aka the Wanderer, really made my day. I got one of the promotional Wanderer cards last year at DragonCon and once it was revealed who the Wanderer was, I thought that they might have planned for it to be Kyle Schmid. Sadly, that was just wish fulfillment on my part but they all offered him glowing reviews on what a pleasure he was to work with. Ksenia mentioned that she had worked with Kyle in something previous about 10 years ago and how it was fantastic to see how much he had really matured as an actor and really was a professional.

Asked about their favorite scenes to shoot this season, we got a wide range of answers. Zoie Palmer brought up her role in the “La Fae Époque” again, citing that as her favorite. Kris Holden-Reid mentioned his favorite scene we haven’t even seen yet, since it is in the finale and he couldn’t say anything about it. Though, Ksenia mentioned she really enjoyed the tango sequence in which she got to dance with both KC Collins and Kris Holden-Reid. She joked that it really gave them a chance to shine and show their twinkle toes. Kris backed her up on how much fun that was to shoot.

The cast clearly gets along great and has a wonderful sense of humor! They spoke about how much fun the recent (at least for the US) “Krampus” episode was to do and when they were asked about guest stars they wished to see on the show, they couldn’t pick out anyone specifically but spun it off to the Avengers making an appearance and suddenly they’d all have super powers and get to design their own costumes! They all got into the spirit of that and it was a real pleasure to listen to their interaction with the members of the press and each other.

If you haven’t watched this show, clearly I’m going to encourage to do so, as I think you’ll be in for a real treat!

Warehouse 13 – it’s back….but not for long

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Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Television

I am a pretty big fan of Warehouse 13, and so glad it is coming back for Season 5 on April 14th on SyFy, but it is the end of the series. I am pretty bummed about this but it really looks good. I have a sneak peak here.

Last season left us at a cliffhanger where I wanted to throw things at my TV…actually I did end up doing that. But it looks like it gives us more of an insight to the new big bad, Paracelsus played wonderfully by Tony Head. We also seem to find out more about Claudia’s role at the Warehouse. Plus we will have all of the fun silly moments that make the show inventive and a joy to watch.

My predictions for this last season, just whatever happens, please please please do not put Pete and Mika together! Sorry shippers, it just happens too much. I think Claudia will grow more into her own, and fulfill her job at the Warehouse before it closes down. Also I really don’t think Professor Sutton played by James Marsters is really gone.

I hope I am right, cannot wait for April 14th!

Inside Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe

Category : Comics, Entertain Me, Featured, Movies, Television

Tonight Marvel Studios is taking fans inside the studio for a closer look at their cinematic universe which has attained box office success and has pop culture icons back on the big screen.

 

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Marvel has seen unprecedented success, reminding comic fans why we hold characters such as Iron Man and Captain America in such high regard, as well as introducing a whole new wave of fans to these larger than life icons. Of course, Iron Man has played a big part in the success of Marvel Studios with three films to his credit and The Avengers brought their universe together and provided a spectacle on screen for audiences. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been proving they can also make it work on the small screen. Marvel Studios is looking to keep up their streak with Captain America: The Winter Soldier in theaters next month.

 

It is difficult to pinpoint the recipe for the overwhelming success Marvel Studios has achieved; whether due to complex character development, well-developed story-lines, or good old fashioned action. In the documentary, Marvel Studios: Assembling A Universe, the studio gives the audience a look at the story behind the studio, exclusive interviews and behind the scenes footage from the Marvel films with contributions from celebrity fans and pop culture icons.

 

Delve into the Marvel Universe tonight, March 18th at 8/7pm C on ABC. Catch a sneak peek with the video below, courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Syfy Returning to Space with the New Series Ascension

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Television

Syfy President Dave Howe announced development of a new drama series. In an effort to capture the success of other original dramas, Syfy has greenlit the six hour mini-series, Ascension. Created and written by Philip Levens (Smallville), the series is putting a wonder team in place to head the production. Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge) and Mark Stern are taking the reigns as Executive Producers in addition to Ivan Fecan, Tim Gamble and Brett Burlock for Sea To Sky Studios. Levens will remain on board as Executive Producer and Showrunner. The series will be a joint venture with Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television co-financing and distributing.

Courtesy of NBC Universal

Ascension is a return to space travel for the cable network as they attempt to regain a position in the “must see tv” category, such as Syfy experience with Battlestar Galactica. Howe expanded,

 

“Syfy is more committed than ever to bringing life epic event television. We have a rich history in this arena, from Steven Spielberg’s ‘Taken’ to the highly acclaimed mini that launched the ‘Battlestar Galactica’ series, to reimagined take on classic tales such as ‘Alice’ and ‘Tin Man.’ In keeping with that grand tradition, we are delighted to bring this thrilling, provocative and intelligent event to our fans later this year.”

The series takes place in a present day timeline to follow a crew of hundreds which departed earth in 1963 as part of a covert mission into space with hopes of populating a new world. Fifty years into their mission, a murder has the passengers wondering what the real mission is. Ascension is scheduled to premier in November 2014 and air through December.

Are Today’s Cartoons Loony and Cynical or Are We Just Square?

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Television

Could you imagine being a kid and meeting SpongeBob, if he were real? My mother and father would most likely warn you to stay away from that “strange kid.”

What does that say about today’s cartoon television shows? What has changed over the past 30-some years? Could it just be that we, as adults, are just out of touch with today’s cartoons, or has our society — and cartoons — grown a little more cynical and off the beaten path?

loonycartoons

According to KidsHealth, young children, ages 6 and younger, spend an average of two hours in front of a television screen, watching either daily cartoons or movies. That time doubles among kids ages 8 to 18. Consider the number of children using mobile devices every day has more than doubled in the past two years, and it would be easy to ascertain the influence of cartoons is much greater than it was when we were young. Personally, I did not have any mobile devices as a kid, much because none existed.

Now, comparing the likes of Spongebob Squarepants, Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack to 1980s and ’90s cartoons like Garfield and Friends, Thundercats and Care Bears may not be as bad of an experience as grandma would have with a Daft Punk concert; however, the takeaway from each experience could arguably be the same — not much.

 

Cartoons of Yesteryear Had More of a Moral Compass

Cartoons have traditionally aimed to not only entertain children, but to try and teach them something, be it a moral lesson or to encourage them to be more creative and active.

The Care Bears cartoon (1985-1988), for example, focused on being good to others and being honest. It helped children learn how to resolve differences and express their feelings. There were no off-the-wall antics, no farting noises or loud, destructive scenes. These elements are common in cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants and Chowder, which actually has an episode called “Famous Farts.” It would stand to argue that parents would like their children to learn more than the art of flatulence when watching cartoons. It is safe to say the 1980s and ’90s cartoons were, for the most part, fart-free.

Action cartoons 30 years ago, like G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-Man and Thundercats, also had a definitive line between good and evil and applied several lessons of what is right and wrong, along with the importance of teamwork to overcome adversity. These cartoons contained the essence of what we have come to know as heroes.

There’s no comparing the visual effects of cartoons 30 years ago to today’s cartoons. The advancement in animation and graphics have revolutionized how the common household television functions today. Perhaps that’s where our old cartoons stayed true; they weren’t saturated with noisy, action-saturated graphics. It’s like comparing an orchestra to a garage band.

For example, Ben10 (aired 2005-2008) centered around a typical boy who came upon an alien device which transformed him into various unearthly creatures with otherworldly powers, as the cartoon’s selling point. It’s comparable to Pokemon–the Rubix Cube of cartoons for adults today–in that numerous characters and high action compete for a child’s attention.

With 1980s and ’90s cartoons, the stories themselves captivated the minds of children, not the graphics and action. They were like an orchestra with simple, constructive tunes rather than the “garage band” type of cartoons you see today, where the louder and more obnoxious they are, seemingly, the more popular they get.

 

Beacons of Hope

Technology used in family life, on the other hand, is only moving forward. It is not uncommon for a family household to be equipped with a bundled service of technology, similar to what www.bundle.tv provides: feeding cable and high-speed Internet to the household. This, of course, provides access to an infinite plethora of games, shows and movies to every television, computer and mobile device under one roof. Thanks to technology like this, monitoring what children watch is something our parents can do with ease, compared to the past. There are ways of steering our children, especially our younger ones, toward more quality educational entertainment.

Not all cartoon shows today are bad. There are beacons of hope out there in the cartoon world. Two examples of cartoons with a moral compass are Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. Shows like Dora help younger children learn the basic knowledge of society, but go a step further, teaching viewers a new language (Spanish) while also entertaining them.

Paste Magazine considers Phineas and Ferb to be the best kids show on television, citing its relative plots to everyday life, its intrigue to viewers young and old, and its cleverness in humor. The show doesn’t oversell its characters; it keeps them honest and playful, yet mindful of each other and their parents. Its graphics are simple, yet colorful and never overbearing. It is because of shows like Dora the Explorer and Phineas and Ferb, there is a Care Bear still smiling somewhere.

 

About the Author

Ryan Harrison works for a pop culture magazine where he writes gossip about celebrities… shamelessly.

Batman Roundup: The Evolution of Villain Costuming

Category : Featured, Geek Out

There have been four “eras” of Batman in film. The first was the Adam West classic from the 1960′s TV show, directed by Leslie H. Martinson. Then came the quick succession of four films by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. Most recently, we’ve seen Christopher Nolan’s gritty reboots. You can chart the progress of Batman movies in many ways, but my favorite is to look at how each director costumed the villains the Dark Knight faced. Here are four of our favorite Batman bad guys and the attire they created havoc in.

 

Bane

Photo Credit: Dave Mathis

Photo Credit: Dave Mathis

The most drastic difference in presentation has to go to Bane. Bane was presented in Batman & Robin as a muscle-bound lackey to Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze without any lines and with a serious luchador mask. He was seen again in The Dark Knight Rises as a pedantic mastermind, still muscly, but with only a small mask around his mouth and a sheepskin coat over military fatigues.

 

Photo Credit: Chrysler Group

Photo Credit: Chrysler Group

What’s interesting about Bane in these movies is that he’s actually represented quite well in both: his costume is spot-on in the first and his character is very close to correct in the second. Essentially, if you combine the cartoon-ish looks of Schumacher’s Bane and the devious intellect of Nolan’s, you should get something close to what Bane is like in the comics. He dresses like a wrestler and is an 8 foot tall monster, but he’s also an extraordinary genius.

 

 

Catwoman

Photo Credit: DC Nerd

Photo Credit: DC Nerd

While not technically a villain in most adaptations, Catwoman was certainly wicked in the 1966 movie. Lee Meriwether was cast to replace Julie Newmar, the first actress from the series, and donned the classic sparkly ensemble, complete with low belt, clawed gloves, and the iconic eared headband. Over thirty years later, the Catwoman of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, is one of the best creepy/crazy/sexy villains in movie history. With her patchwork pleather body suit and starkly pale skin, she is Burton-esque to the max.

 

Photo Credit: Jordi Motlló

Photo Credit: Jordi Motlló

I wish I could skim right over Halle Barry’s version in the truly horrendous movie, Catwoman, but I cannot. Wait, you know what, yes, I can. I justify this with three reasons: 1) the character and story had nothing to do with DC comics; 2) her stripper-riffic costume is too much to bear; and 3) you can’t make me. Moving along to Nolan-verse…

 

 

Photo Credit: Horustr4n

Photo Credit: Horustr4n

When we heard that Disney darling Anne Hathaway had been cast in the newest Batman movie, some of us were a little worried. She’s just so smiley. I, myself, was rather pleased with her slick and approachable performance. Her monochromatic black jumpsuit is a little safe in terms of costuming, but it fit well with Nolan’s utilitarian approach to the Batman universe. With her high-tech thievin’ goggles that pivot into cat ears atop her head, she’s a stylish rendition of a favorite Batman anti-hero.

 

Two-Face

Graphic Credit: JD Hancock

Graphic Credit: JD Hancock

When making his Batman movies, Schumacher reportedly encouraged his actors to think of the movies as though they were cartoons. This is bizarrely evident in Batman Forever, wherein Jim Carrey’s Riddler prances about in a spandex jumpsuit and red hair. Where Burton embraced the Noir-like aspect of Gotham, Schumacher embraced the slap-stick of the cartoons.

 

The suit and makeup of Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face in Batman Forever is straight out of the cartoon, down to the split-personality fabrication change right down the middle. Ostentatious and wild and leopard print on one side and business on the other, you have to give them credit for going all-out.

Nolan chose to go another route, focusing on Dent before he became a madman. His Two-Face is half burned a fire and, as such, bears the scorched flesh and exposed muscle and bone of third degree burns. This is the most compelling re-vamp, in my opinion, because we see the event happen in the movie and his wounds remain symbolically open once he is transformed into a villain.

 

Joker

I definitely saved the kicker for last.

Cesar Romero played The Joker in the series and in the 1966 Batman. His kooky demeanor was matched by a truly kooky look: the clown makeup and bright colors were straight out of the comics. When Jack Nicholson played The Joker in the 1989 Batman, his costume was similar to Romero’s, except that his manic smile was a permanent scar instead of a facial expression. He also traded the green shirt beneath the purple suit for an orange and teal, eye-burning combo (and some of his kookiness for leering menace).

Flash forward forty years: Heath Ledger’s downplayed, shabby purple suit and green vest blended into the background as we were captivated by the terrifying magic happening on his face. Ledger’s expressions of insane glee were bolstered by the genius makeup that accompanied them. The scars, attributed to a botched surgical fix for acid burns in the 80′s movie, are left mysterious in their origin and accentuated by intentionally sloppy makeup, as though the Clown Prince of Crime had slapped it on in a fit.

 

In the progression of these beloved villains, their costumes communicate not only what decade they’re portrayed in, but also the ways that their characters have been reinterpreted. From the depictions of Catwoman’s slinkiness to Joker’s madness, the costumes tell a story that we can see (and cosplay).

 

Marie Sumner is a writer and general nerd. She loves cosplay, comics, cartoons, sci-fi, and a host of other fun stuff. She writes for Wholesale Halloween Costumes, resource for costume goodies from fake blood to Santa suits.

RevCast – Stargate: 10,000 Episodes Can’t Be Wrong

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Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Guest Appearances, Movies, Television

stargate_engaged

Who would think one sci-fi movie would be responsible for so much entertainment? When Stargate hit theaters in 1994, few could have anticipated the success that would lead to 3 television series (Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe), 2 Direct-to-DVD films (The Ark of Truth, Continuum), an animated series (Stargate: Infinity), comics, trading cards, as well as a number of board and video games.

What made this franchise so successful? I joined the RevolutionSF RevCast with Deanna Toxopeus and Gary Mitchel, along with Michael Falkner (The Chronic Rift Network) to see if we could answer that question.

revlogo2

 

Stargate, the long running series that most of us have watched at least once, in one of its incarnations, is the topic for discussion this week.  Our co-hosts, Deanna Toxopeus and Gary Mitchel sit down with Jessa Phillips and Michael Falkner to look at all the characters, mythos, plot twists and British-Comlumbia-like-planets that inhabited this series.  And given that there were movies, three TV series, games and one horrible animated series, this one had to be split up into two, count-em, two episodes.  It’s the two-parter you dreamed of.  So dial the stargate to home and settle in for a talk.

-RevolutionSF RevCast

 

With so much to cover, this show had to be posted in two parts! Visit the links below to tune in to the RevolutionSF RevCast!

RevCast: Stargate – Part 1

RevCast: Stargate – Part 2

 

Shauncastic – Episode 127: Turtle Power!

Category : Comics, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Guest Appearances, Movies, Television

I am a lucky woman with fantastic friends who share my geeky loves. One such friend is Shaun Rosado of Shauncastic. When he put out the call for people to talk about 4 turtles and a rat with ninja skills, you know I had to be there to reminisce about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What transpired was a wonderful conversation that allowed myself, Shaun, Jay Scardina and Samantha Cross (Word of the Nerd) to wax nostalgic about these “Heroes in the Half Shell.” We discuss the comics, classic cartoons, live action films, current animated series and even rumors about the new movie.

Also, Christina and Shaun review Oz: The Great and Powerful in her segment, “Intro to Geek” and later, Shaun is joined by Bree Brouwer to talk video games in her segment “Behind Schedule.”

Click the link below to listen on Shauncastic!
Episode 127: Turtle Power!

Earth Station One – Episode 156, Winter is coming to ESO

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Guest Appearances, Literature, Reviews, Television

Loyal readers and listeners know I am a fan of the novels penned by George R.R. Martin, as well as the HBO television series Game of Thrones. When the Earth Station One crew put out a call for people looking to discuss this master work of fantasy, I prayed to the Old Gods and The Seven and even put in a word at the House of the Undying that they would pick yours truly. And they did!

On this episode, the ESO crew sing of ice and fire! Bobby thought this was another musical episode, so he steps away while Mike and Mike are joined by Jessa Phillips (GoodtoBeaGeek.com), Rita De La Torre (Transmissions from Atlantis), Tara (Ice and Fire Con), and listener Jon Kenoyer for a review of the novels by George R. R. Martin as well as the HBO series, Game of Thrones. We also review the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead’s third season. Plus, we strap the visionary filmmaker GB Hajim in The Geek Seat! All this and the usual Rants, Raves, Shout Outs and Khan Report!

 

Click the link below to visit Earth Station One and listen to the show!
Episode 156 – Winter is coming to ESO

Earth Station One – Episode 148, Riker’s Beard Jumps the Shark

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Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Guest Appearances, Television

 

This week, I join the crew at Earth Station One (Bobby Nash, Mike Faber & Michael Gordon) with The Phantom Troublemaker to discuss tv series that jumped the shark and those that found their saving grace. We also rant and rave about J.J. Abrams directing the new Star Wars film. Plus, the ESO Khan Report and an interview with author M.B. Weston.

 

This week, the ESO crew discusses those memorable tv moments that determined if a series went thumbs down or was making it so! Mike, Mike, and Bobby are joined by Jessa Phillips (GoodtoBeaGeek.com) and Phantom Troublemaker (NeedlessThingsSite.com) spotlight the highs and lows of classic tv. Plus, award-winning fantasy writer M.B. Weston is betrayed by her own guardian angel and finds herself in The Geek Seat! All this and Rants and Raves about J.J. Abrams directing the new Star Wars film, the Khan Report and Shout Outs!

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast we like to call: Rikers Beard Jumps the Shark

 

Click the link below to visit Earth Station One and listen to the show!
Episode 148: Riker’s Beard Jumps the Shark

 

SciFi Television Preview – Defiance

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Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Game On, Television

Courtesy of Trion Worlds, Inc.

One of the most anticipated new programs in scifi television for 2013 is Defiance. The result of a joint venture between Syfy and Trion Worlds, Inc., Defiance hopes to create an immersive, interactive transmedia event like no other. Syfy has long been the network people associate with science fiction programming. Trion Worlds, Inc. has established themselves as a juggernaut in the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) space with games such as RIFT.

Ilooks to bridge the gap between gaming and television. Trion Worlds, Inc. has created the MMO game which allows players to get in the game and experience the world for themselves. Syfy has assembled the talent to translate the world onto the small screen. What makes Defiance truly original is the interplay between the two. Events taking place in the MMO will translate into the action on the Syfy series and vice versa. To say this is a monumental task is putting it lightly; however, with a look at the latest trailer (below), we are hopeful the project will be successful.

 

Defiance airs on Syfy Monday, April 15th at 9/8C.

 

 

Fluff Up Your Vagina Pillows: Portlandia S3 is Here!

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Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Reviews, Television, Travel, Watching the Web

The Holidays have come and gone, my pretties. The gift cards have been defrayed with frightening speed and, for some of us, like Dr. Lucy and myself, Comic-Con is still a staggering seven months away. What’s a creative spirit to do in the grey bane of post-gifting, post-cocktail Winter? Prepare for Season 3 of Portlandia on IFC, of course. Get ready to get your Pacific Northwest-weird on, America!

 

 

From weird to Wired frames-of-reference, Primetime Emmy Awards-nominated and Gracie Allen Awards-winning Portlandia proffers an Übermodern vaudeville steeped in a homey and comforting grey and rainy respite of Northwestern coffee culture and smells just slightly of a musty vintage shop. Amidst a television culture of all-too-shiny, all-too-sparkly drama and desperate, hacky, wannabe comedy usually set in New York or L.A., Portlandia scratches an itch that one can only get from wearing the same rarely-cleaned, wool, REI sweater too many days in a row. (Apropos to NYC/LA: Producers, enough with where you live. We love landing at LAX and JFK, too; but there are other population centers across this vast country. Get out once in a while. Try San Diego, in fact. My Hotel del Coronado would make a sparkling backdrop for some such nonesuch.)

Depending on your sphere of comedy, Portlandia will range from side-splitting cackles to bemused snorts. Like an Anne Rice novel, a bottle of red or seasons 1-6 of Family Guy, even the worst of the bunch is still better than just about anything else in your purview. A hybrid of American and Canadian sketch comedy pacing, British story and character oddity, plus off-the-beaten-path travelogues, Portlandia serves up a grande porcelain cup of soy-frothed satire and schtick. Everything, from vegetarian dumpster dining, to hipper-than-thou thrift store clerks, to dog park etiquette, to gender-neutral booksellers, to Supa kawaii -Japan’s obsession with the super cute/super tiny- gets the snarky treatment. It’s a beautiful thing. Be ye a Renaissance Faire geek, a SciFi freak, a hippie poetess, a steampunk tinkerer (~ahem~ Dr. Lucy?), a vintage glam girl (Who, Moi?), a psychobilly crooner, a Jack White stalker or a power-lib Ivy Leaguer, Portlandia will tickle something on you, somewhere.

Special treats include the occasional, surprise guest star, including Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Jack McBrayer, Penny Marshall and Jeff Goldblum.

Already a fan? All apologies for preaching to the non-denominational choir. If not? Acquaint yourself pronto with the locally-sourced, fair trade, dye-free, organic, vegan stylings of Arminsen & Brownstein, co-creators and -stars. Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix Instant. You could also take a wee break from your pre-recycling activities of chipping the dried cheese off your pizza box and rinsing your Parmalat milk box and sample some tapas-sized clips of Portlandia here, courtesy of IFC. Have even more time because you quit your job and you’re makin’ jewelry now? Play at the whole site for a while and even take a tour of Portland with Kumail Nanjiani (frequent guest star) to find IRL inspirations for some of the show’s sketches … including America’s only all-vegan strip club! Colour me there!

So, get your Battlestar Galactica marathons out of the way, brew some Fair Trade Kopi Luwak Indonesian cat coffee and fluff up your vagina pillows … it’s time for Portlandia, Season 3!

“The modern world’s gone all off track, but you can escape it all in Portland. It’s the dream of the 1890s in Portland.”
-Portlandia, S2E5

S3 Premiere on IFC Friday, January 4 @ 10/9C

Starring: Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein

Executive Producer: Lorne Michaels

Director: Jonathan Krisel

Production company: Broadway Video Entertainment

Distribution: IFC, Netflix and Umbrella Entertainment

Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Karey Dornetto, Allison Silverman, Bill Oakley

 

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? JennyPop.net and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Follow @JennyPopNet

ReedPOP, A Small Group Of People That Have The Magical Ability To Summon All Of The Awesomeness We Can Handle!

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Category : Candid Conversations, Conventions, Featured, Geek Out

I’ve attended more than my fair share of events and conventions.  I’ve been to horror conventions, fan expos, gaming cons, and thanks to my mother-in-law I’ve even been to a coin collecting convention.  Last, but certainly not least, I’ve been to a lot of comic cons.

Walking into a comic book convention is like stepping out of reality and stepping into a place between the TV channels, where the characters both real and cartoon alike all hang out with each other.  At any given comic con, it’s not uncommon to see Pikachu, Darth Vader, and Hellboy all in line waiting to meet Ash from Army of Darkness. There is absolutely no replacement for the way people feel when they’re in an atmosphere like this.  But how do these gatherings of nerd herds come to be?  Who would actually say, “Hey guys, let’s get, The Incredible Hulk, Jerry the King Lawler, Stan Lee, and Steve Buscemi in the same place and see who shows up?”  ReedPOP; that’s who.  Anyone who’s ever been to a ReedPOP event like the NEW YORK COMIC CON, C2E2 or Pax East, knows why they do it; because it’s mind blowing.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with ReedPOP goddess, (she actually said she’s called the Lead Content and Talent Manager, but I knew what she meant,) Kim Mueller, to discuss more about what goes in to the process of creating an annual geek Mecca. 

TJ: Can you describe what the company ReedPOP is?

Kim: We are owned by a company called Reed Exhibitions, which is the largest tradeshow company in the world, with between 400 – 700 events worldwide.   It’s insane how large this company is.  ReedPOP is the consumer arm of the business.   It’s meant for fans.  It’s not just business to business.  It all started with NEW YORK COMIC CON, and now we have six to eight shows and we’re growing every year.  It’s actually a very small group of us that put on these insanely large events.  They’re all for passionate fans, but from several different walks of life.  We just launched a Fantasy Football Festival that will be later this year.  We work with LucasFilm to do the Official Star Wars Celebration event.  We also run the PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) events.  There are two of those each year and we now also have PAX Dev, which is mostly going toward developers.  Then we have C2E2, which is Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, which is NEW YORK COMIC CON’s little sister show in the Midwest.  It [C2E2] has already grown massively in three years, and this year we just had 41,000 fans at the show, so it’s kind of a whirlwind.  ReedPOP is only actually about 20 people that run all of these different shows.

TJ: I can’t even imagine what your daily agenda must be.

Kim: Yeah, it’s crazy, but we have a lot of help, and we work with a lot of partners.  NEW YORK COMIC CON for example.   We couldn’t do what we do without people like Marvel, DC and Top Cow.   All of these people they’re such a big part of it, and we need their support to be a good show.

TJ: On your resume, how would you list your job and what it is that you do?

Kim: That is tough; I do so many different things.  My technical title is Lead Content and Talent Manager.  We used to be called the Programing Department, but then people thought that we worked with computers, and I know nothing about computers.  So, we changed it to focus on two different parts of our job, one being  guests.   We have guest outreach where we have to decide who we want to invite to the show.   Then we have to find ways to get to them, and reach out t and invite them to the show.  We have to coordinate all of their travel and make sure they know where they are going, that they have schedules.  NEW YORK COMIC CON has over 350 panels, screenings, and special events throughout the four days, so we have to decide what we want to do with all of those events. We take in all of the requests, and then schedule everything and coordinate all of those times and rooms and all of that information.  We put together a program guide that expresses all of that, and it has to go on the website.  So there is a long list of things that we have to do.   One of the things I specifically focus on more is studio relationships, and trying to make sure that as many TV and movie studios come to the show as possible, because that’s a big part of why a lot of the fans come.  Building relationships and making new connections and partnerships is a huge part of what we do.

TJ: You do a fantastic job.  Your events are epic.

Kim: Thank you! Thank You! We try.   We try really hard.

TJ: If you were going to explain to a fan what it is that you do, how would you put that into fanboy/fangirl terms?

Kim: Basically, I would say, “What is the coolest stuff that is out there right now, this moment?”  I try to bring it to the show.  We’re always looking at what the coolest thing is, whether it’s the newest video game coming out, or how we could get the Avengers to the show.

TJ: Now that we know what it is that you do, what would an event be like if there was no Kim Mueller; if there was no Content and Talent Manager?

Kim: Yeah, basically what you would have is the show floor.  So you would have all of the booths and vendors that are selling cool things like T-shirts and plush toys and all of that kind of stuff.  All of that would still exist.  I don’t touch any of that.   So If I wasn’t there, that’s what we would have.  That would be it, the show floor.   All of the stages, all of the panels, all of the screenings, all of the autographing, all of the guests that are there, and also Artist Alley for sure, like at NEW YORK COMIC CON and C2E2, I do a lot of that as well.   Basically it would be a show floor with people selling merchandise.

TJ: So, no Bruce Campbell?

Kim: Nope.

TJ: No Seth Green?

Kim: Nope, he wouldn’t be there either.

TJ: Wow, that’s quite a difference between NEW YORK COMIC CON with Kim and NEW YORK COMIC CON without Kim.

Kim: (Haha) Definitely.  The nice thing, though, is that we do have exhibitors that work closely with us to bring in guests.  Someone like Dark Horse for example, will have a project that they’re working on, so they would try to bring creators that are working on that project.  So, to some extent there would be some guests there but the majority of the guests and all of the content and panels technically would not exist if there was no content and talent team.

TJ: Having said all of that, and having described the caliber of people that you strive to bring in,  who have you worked around that you’ve had a hard time keeping your cool with?  Have you ever been star-struck?

Kim: Umm…this will sort of answer the question.   I think one person I had a hard time figuring out what to do with was  in 2009 or 2010.  I went in the green room to get Seth Green for his Robot Chicken panel and MacCaulay Culkin was in the room.   I was just like, “Hi…ummm…” I definitely had a moment of, “Wait.  What’s going on here?”  I was very confused.  I guess they’re close friends, so he must have come to the show with him.  I generally know who is going to be there, so I don’t get to star-struck because I can kind of prepare myself.  When I knew Mark Ruffalo was coming to NEW YORK COMIC CON [last year] I was really excited, but I knew he was coming so I was able to tell myself, “When you meet him, act cool.  It’s okay.”  But with someone like [MacCaulay], and you don’t expect it, and you just kind of run into someone, you’re like, “Oh…hi…uh…what do I do?”

TJ: That’s funny, I actually got to sit in on that panel.

Kim: Oh, really?

TJ: Yeah, I was pretty surprised to see MacCaulay there too!

Kim: You know, I just always associate MacCaulay Culkin with Home Alone, and I watch that movie every Thanksgiving to kick off my holiday season.  I was star-struck, but I think it was because I wasn’t expecting to see him.  Normally, I’m pretty good at keeping my cool and being normal around people like that.

TJ: What a fun story!

Kim: Yeah, I think so.

TJ: Have you ever had a guest that you knew you just HAD to get for a show but had a really hard time getting to them?

Kim: Yeah, that pretty much happens every show.  There are a few people that we want every year, or we go back and forth with, and it’s either that we can’t make it work with timing or scheduling.  So it’s probably several people each show that that happens with.

TJ: Has there ever been anyone that you have invited to the show, and thought, “If I had that to do over, I don’t think that person would be getting the invite?”

Kim: Yeah, there is usually one at every show that I feel that way about.  We’ve definitely had people who are supposed to be there for the fans and they’re grumpy, or they just sit there on their cell phones, and they don’t want to interact.  That’s what always makes me regret reaching out to someone and inviting them to the show.  The last thing you want is for people to be standing in line and waiting to meet someone, and they’re disappointed when they meet them.  That breaks my heart.  Usually there’s one or two that.   I feel like I regret it in the sense that I’m not happy with how they treat the fans and I’m not happy how the handle themselves in front of people.

TJ: That’s a pretty noble complaint.  So it’s not so much a personal issue, but you don’t like how they’re treating your fans.

Kim: Yeah, exactly.  Obviously some people don’t know how to treat us, in the sense that they don’t really understand what our job is, or what our role is, and who we are.   Honestly, I don’t care how they treat me.  I just care how they treat the fans.  I don’t care that behind the scenes they may yell at me, as long as they’re nice to people who they’re signing autographs for, or who are asking them questions in a panel.  Then I don’t care.  You can yell at me until the cows come home.

TJ: Soooo, I can quote you and say that Kim Mueller doesn’t mind being yelled at?

Kim: (Haha.) Uh oh, I don’t know about that.

TJ: What would you consider your greatest achievement at ReedPOP?  

Kim: It’s been about four and a half years now that I’ve been on the team.  I don’t know if there is a specific moment that I feel like is my greatest achievement.  I feel like every time I go to one of our shows, and I see people who are so excited to see some one that they’re crying, or they’re just having the best time and they’re really enjoying themselves,   and they’re in a panel, and they’re applauding, and they’re cheering.  That’s when I feel like I’ve really accomplished something and I feel super successful.  It happens so much during our events, I can’t think of specific moments.  It actually happens quite frequently, and that’s the reason that I like my job so much.

TJ: When people log on to twitter and go to @NYCCKim and look at your profile picture, who will they see you standing there by?

Kim: Chris Hemsworth.

TJ: Oh, yeah?

Kim: Yeah, right now my profile picture on twitter is of me and Chris Hemsworth, who was the nicest guy in the world, that I instantly fell in love with him the second that I met him.  I was so upset the he was married and, you know, he was a faithful nice guy who didn’t do anything bad and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I love you.”

TJ: So it was pretty exciting to meet Thor?

Kim: Oh, yes.

TJ: This year NEW YORK COMIC CON is going to be October 11th through the 14th.

Kim: Yes, it’s the same weekend.  It’s always the weekend after Columbus Day.

TJ: You already have some pretty amazing guests lined up.   You’ve got the chief Creative Officer of DC, Geoff Johns

Co-Publisher of DC Entertainment, Jim Lee, Creator of Hellboy, Mike Mignola, and I saw that Josh Gates of Destination Truth has been added to the websites list of guests…

Kim: Yes, Josh Gates has been announced and we have also announced that three day tickets are now on sale.

TJ: What kinds of tickets can you buy to attend NEW YORK COMIC CON?

Kim: Four day tickets which have been available now for about a month, now we have three day tickets available, and later in the summer we’ll put single day tickets on sale as well.

TJ: Great.  I know that you already have a lot of great guests lined up that you haven’t announced yet, but I can only imagine that you have an amazing list tucked away somewhere.  Who else can we look for this year?

Kim: I can’t say anything yet, but one thing I can say is, in the next couple of weeks we will be announcing some Marvel [Publishing] names.  Right now, we have only announced a couple of DC guys, and Mike Mignola who is Dark Horse, so we’ll have some Marvel people coming very shortly that will be announced.  And we definitely have some really cool TV stuff that’s already official and lined up, so it’s just a matter of time before we can announce it.  I can guarantee that people will be very happy with it.

TJ:  I’m really excited to see the rest of the lineup this year! I check the site one or two times a day!

Kim: Yeah, that’s the place to go if you want to stay up to date and get the latest news.

TJ: Now, for a non-convention question.  What do you think about cats?

Kim: (Haha.) What do I think about cats?  (Haha.)

TJ: Yeah, everything that I’ve researched and have seen online always has Kim Mueller and cats in the same sentence.

Kim: (Haha) yeah, I love cats.  I have a cat who is the cutest wildest little creature ever.   I love cats but I feel like the people who I work with have actually made me seem like I’m a much crazier cat lady that I actually am.  I have one cat and I love him, but beyond that, people always buy me cat books and they put up cat things in my cube at work.  I have all kinds of cat stuff all around me, but I swear none of it is stuff that I bought myself.  I mean, I am obsessed with cats, but not the way people think I am.

TJ: Okay.  I’ll believe you.

Kim: Well, maybe I am, a little bit.

TJ: Is there anything else you would like to say about NEW YORK COMIC CON and ReedPOP?

Kim: I would say that if anyone is checking out this interview, and they have ideas for guests or what they would like to see, whether it’s something traditional or if it’s something that’s completely out there, we’re always looking for suggestions.  We always want to hear from the fans, and how things went for them in previous years, and what they want to see this year, so I would just say that all of our contact information is on our website, and also on the ReedPOP website, so anytime anyone has any feedback or questions, or concerns or suggestions, we’re here and we love talking to people, and hearing what matters to them.

TJ: Thank you so much Kim, it’s been great talking to you.

Kim: No problem.

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