Hello, Skiffy and Fanty crew! It is I, your resident Geekomancer, back from my travels on the internet through memes and gifs and pilots and digital bundles. And this time, I’ve brought back word of recent goings-on in the geekiverse. A TV pilot for an award-nominated comic, a new story for a beloved geek icon, and the latest developments in a cable TV juggernaut. Enjoy!
It’s that time of year again — New TV time!
Here’s a short run-down of some early thoughts about the Fall 2014 TV season based on a few pilots and season openers.
Let me start by saying that I’m a big Batman fan. You might already know this. I should also say that I love the comic series, Gotham Central.
Gotham, however, is is not the TV show I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be a Gotham Central show, where GCPD cops try to keep the peace in an un-governable city cursed with larger-than-life villains and a guardian angel who is more terrifying than most of the villains he fights. But it’s not that show, and it’s not trying to be that show — it seems like it’s trying to be the story of Gotham before Batman and the story of the various villains and how they become who they are when Batman emerges. [Read more…]
(No, not that Gambit, Shaun :P.)
Spoilers for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ahead.)
When Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD was announced, there was excitement, there was wariness, and everything in-between. An ongoing TV show as a tie-in to a powerful superhero franchise? This was something new, something different.
There have been TV->film->TV movements, from La Femme Nikita to Star Trek, Star Wars, and more. The Matrix universe delved deep into transmedia storytelling, with animated shorts, video games, and comics.
But Agents of SHIELD was something different — clearly designed as a bridge between movies, the show started weak. Really weak. The pilot episode showed some promise, with Clark Gregg as a compelling lead and Mike Peterson giving a voice to an interesting thematic question (is the American Dream a lie?). [Read more…]
Hi folks! I’m back from a novel-induced hiatus, and I’m excited to talk to you all about Fall 2014 Upfronts.
For those who don’t follow TV development, Upfronts are the part of the broadcasting season where networks show off their upcoming seasons, new and returning shows, in order to secure up-front advertisement buys.
These days, the side-effect of Upfronts is that debut shows get trailers, which end up on YouTube, and then end up in blog posts by geeky writers.
I’ve watched through a number of these videos, and bring you some of the most promising and most ridiculous of these Upfronts, to get everyone excited months and months ahead of when any of these shows will be debuting.
We’re solidly into the Spring 2014 TV season now in the US, so I’ve watched a few pilots, SF/F and other, to share my thoughts with you all, the Skiffy and Fanty readership. I’ve avoided all but the most basic spoilers, since all three of these shows employ the Fifth Act Twist.
The 100, adapted from the novel of the same name by author Kass Morgan, is another entry in the CW’s effort to become the new Sci-Fi channel. Just as there was a rush of YA SF/F literature, it only makes sense that there would be a corresponding wave of YA SF/F television, and here we are.
97 years after a devastating nuclear war, life support is running out on the Ark, a hodgepodge mega-space-station cobbled together when the surface world got all toasty. In an effort to buy more time for the grown-ups, and to see if the surface is habitable, 100 juvenile inmates are dropped back to the surface, despite the fact that as far as the people on the station know, the surface is supposed to still be lethally radioactive.
Happy New Year! Mike Underwood again with some thoughts on what lies ahead for Geekdom in 2014. There’s far more than I could possibly cover here, but please find below a few of the bits of Geekdom I’m most excited for in the first part of 2014.
Return of new TV
Three new SF/F series have caught my interest this season, which is more than I might have expected. I’ve talked about them before, but I’ll go over each, in brief, with my hopes for the back half of the season. [Read more…]
One of the most difficult times of year for geek parents like myself is the month or so leading up to Halloween. Not because Halloween isn’t the most awesome holiday in the United States, but because geek costumes aren’t the type that you can buy off the rack at Target. No, that would be too EASY and it certainly would make cosplay a hell of a lot less esoteric.
I don’t know the history of cosplay at all, but I do know it’s been around longer than most people think (the term wasn’t coined until the mid 80’s, but people have been dressing up as favorite characters since at least the Victorian age). It has gained more and more prominence in the last decade or so as people have glommed onto nerd-dom as a valid form of popular culture. The SyFy channel’s Heroes of Cosplay is the most recent example of cosplay going a bit mainstream, which is pretty damn awesome. It means that kids who love to emulate their favorite characters in all forms of media now have people to look up to and, perhaps, learn from. Sadly, it also means that my children are extra demanding about their costumes this year.
For the past 3 Halloweens, I have had to bite the bullet and construct my kids’ costumes for them. Because, as I previously mentioned, geeky characters just are not readily available in your standard big chain retail stores or Halloween pop-ups. They are occasionally available online, but as they’re handmade by other nerds, they’re not exactly affordable. And if a costume IS available on the mass market, it’s basically just crap. I mean, really crap. Five years ago, #2 wanted to be Leia for Halloween and #1 wanted to be Ahsoka (damn Clone Wars). I bought both off of some online costume retailer or another, they both fell apart in my hands and didn’t fit anyway. To my kids’ major disappointment, they were both stuck wearing random old pieces that we had lying around the house. They had their hearts SET on those characters, but I had no faith in my ability to make something better. Another random Halloween went by before the fit hit the shan. October 1st rolled around and they, determined as can be, requested Finn and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time.
Both of these costumes are now readily available (beware of crap), but at the time the only people dressing up as any character from Adventure Time were cosplayers. Thank goodness for that, as cosplayers have established some fantastic communities that revel in revealing their processes and collaborative support. I was able to find patterns for Finn’s hat and Princess Bubblegum’s crown. Though most of it was up to my genuinely craptastic sewing skills. Still…
I managed to help my kids be who they wanted to be for Halloween! And then the next year they wanted to be Hogwart’s characters. And then LAST year? Nyan-Cat and Link. Seriously, who the hell dresses up as Nyan-Cat??
I didn’t even know who Nyan-Cat WAS, much less how to go about making a costume. But here’s the really fun part about having kids that don’t want to be the usual suspects for Halloween — I get to help them create something. Though I will admit to a majority of the sewing work, my kids collaborated with me in the development and execution of all aspects of their costumes. This is a vital piece of what it means, to me, to be an SF parent — DIY.
I have found that the SFF community is as much about the creation of works as it is about the consumption of them. We are not passive receptors of all things “Geek,” but the creators and participants in those things. We establish entire communities dedicated to just TALKING about geeky things. So when my kid comes home and says, “Mom, I want to be Yukio for Halloween,” I don’t just stand there wondering who the frak Yukio is (though that is part of it), I also see it as an invitation to find out what my children love and why they love it. (By the way, my children often dress in pairs… the other one wanted to be Rin. Seriously, JFGI). Then I get to do what cosplayers do — create those random costumes using bits and pieces of material and ingenuity. It’s crucial to me that my kids are involved in this process as it teaches them the value of hard work AND imagination.
So what ARE the kids going to be this year? Yuno Gasai and Doctor Stein (not pairs). Which means I’ve got a whole lot of anime to catch up on again.
After the success of the first Game of Thrones TV series a second season is currently in production. For me this can’t come soon enough and I hope it is to the standard of the first. I think that the first series really captured the feel of the book, and while adapting it for TV they managed to keep the integrity of what the author was trying to do, while still making it entertaining for a widespread audience. I imagine this was not an easy thing to do with all the different character arcs and subtle nuisances within the novel. I hope the new series will do just as well for the second book. Don’t disappoint me HBO!