Tag: TV

Week of Geek: Pride Month Recommendations Part 2: TV Shows

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Hi again Geeklings!  My apologies for the delayed post, it’s been a wackadoodle week.  But here we are, welcome to week 2 of our Pride Month recommend-a-thon!  (See week 1 here.)  This week I thought we’d look at TV shows, the kind you can binge watch and soak in the happy.  I’ll put down both animated and live-action options here.  The more the merrier.

First, some of my personal faves…

Yuri on ice !!!!Yuri on Ice – It’s a series about figure skating, but it’s about so much more.  It’s about life and love and following your dreams in spite of obstacles.  And it’s just gorgeous, with beautiful animation and skating routines choreographed by skaters.  But this makes the list because of the main character, skater Yuri Katsuki of Japan, and his coach Victor Nikiforov, a world champion skater from Russia.  OK, there’s a bit of debate among fans over whether or not they’re actually a couple (I won’t get into why, ’cause of spoilers), though having watched the show I don’t know where that comes from.  They are clearly a couple, and it’s awesome.  So give it a shot.  It’s the show that finally sold me on anime, so I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Steven UniverseSteven Universe – This show is a bit strange on first watch, but the more you dig into it the more you find a rich mythology and complex characters.  The show centers around Steven, a good-natured boy with unusual parents.  His dad is human, but his mother was a Gem, a race of alien beings with superpowers and gem stone names.  Steven is being raised by his dad and by the Crystal Gems; Garnett, Amethyst and Pearl, who take on the mission of his mother Rose Quartz to fight evil and protect earth.  The interesting thing is that all Gems appear as female, and many of our main characters have romantic histories with each other, bringing up themes of gender and same-sex romance, and it’s all in a sweet and colorful way.  You’ll enjoy going on adventures with these guys… just remember your cheeseburger backpack.

Rick and MortyRick and Morty – This show is not for everyone.  It can be quite profane, violent and the characters can be much less than likable at times.  It’s also really smart, delving into really interesting themes and topics and showing several amazing and diverse worlds through the multiverse.  It can also be downright funny.  It’s going on the list because of the main character Rick Sanchez, who is a sociopathic alcoholic super genius who drags his teenaged grandson Morty on random and often dangerous adventures.  Rick is pansexual, and that’s been confirmed both by the creators and on the show itself.  Pansexuality isn’t often showcased in any medium, so to see it explored a little on a popular TV show is a bit of a deal.

So there are my big three.  Some other ones to try?  How about 13 Reasons Why, Scream Queens, Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee, My Hero Academia, Riverdale, Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham, Attack on Titan, Adventure Time or Gravity Falls.  All diverse shows (Sci Fi, Horror, Anime, Adventure, Super Heroes, Drama, Musical, Comedy), and all of them including LGBTQ+ characters.

Keep watching and reading.  Stay tuned for more items the next couple of weeks, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Will they or won’t they? WHO CARES?!

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Hello once again Geeklings!  How’s everything going during this rainy April?  You know what they say about April Showers?  Just hold onto that during this rough weather.

Anyhoo, today I’d like to talk about a common trope in fiction.  It’s in books, movies, TV shows, comics, pretty much everywhere.  It’s typically known as ‘Will they or won’t they?‘.  You may be familiar.  And, spoiler alert, I’m not a huge fan.

I’ve been thinking about this recently because I just started a new show called Instinct.  It’s a crime drama based on the book Murder Games by James Patterson (yep, that James Patterson).  It’s main character is Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a professor of abnormal behavior, an author and a former CIA agent who’s drawn into the world of the NYPD by detective Lizzie Needham as a consultant on certain criminal cases.

I started watching because I love a good mystery and because it stars Alan Cumming, who I’ve been a fan of for years (since back in high school), and so far I’m really enjoying it.  But one of the biggest things I’m digging about this show is that it seems like there will absolutely, positively be no ‘will they or won’t they?’ drama between the male and female leads, and that is so ridiculously refreshing to me that I can barely stand it.  Why?  Because Dylan is gay.  And married.  In fact, this is the first American network TV drama to feature a gay character in the lead, so it’s groundbreaking.  He and Lizzie can just headline the show without any ‘unresolved romantic tension’.  Yes please!

Yeah, I’ve never been a fan of that trope, putting a male and female lead in a show and then spending several seasons trying to decide if they should be romantically attached or not.  It shows up over and over and over again in TV and other places.  I think for me, the distaste started with The X-Files (once again, yes, I’m old).  I was 11 or 12 when that show debuted, and I watched agents Mulder and Scully go from colleagues to friends and, inevitably, to romantic interests.  I didn’t like that plot then and I’m not a fan of it now.

The reason?  I think I just find it lazy.  It’s like ‘Oh, a man and a woman?  Clearly, based on that dynamic alone, they MUST be secretly in love with each other.  I mean, what else can we expect?’  Even as a teen in the 90s, watching Mulder and Scully the main thing I kept thinking was ‘Can’t a man and a woman just be friends?  Why the heck are they being written to be with each other, and why is everyone around me expecting and rooting for it, just because one’s a man and one’s a woman?  All that’s going to do is cause drama and plot points that don’t need to be there.  Just give me my freaky aliens, monsters and government conspiracies, dang it!’  I feel that the trope is manipulative, tedious, unrealistic, kind of hurtful and done solely as an easy plot point.

Now, granted, I’m not saying we should do away with romance entirely, and there are some programs where we should absolutely expect it.  Nobody goes into a show like Shadowhunters and hopes that Clary doesn’t have a love triangle.  I just think it shouldn’t be the default, and I think if it is done it should be much more organic and respectful.  But it looks like things are changing, along with more representation in our favorite media, so that’s something to root for.

What do you guys think?  Am I way off the mark?  Do some of you LIVE for ‘Will they or won’t they?’  Or are some of you sick of it as well?  Post in the comments or spill your thoughts on WriteIt.

Stay dry Geeklings, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Holiday Edition: What’s Coming Up in 2018 Part 1

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HAPPY NEW YEAR GEEKLINGS!

Any big plans for 2018?  Stuff going on in school?  New things to try?  Maybe wrapping up high school?  Stuff?  Yeah, stuff.

One of the things I like best about a new year is the sheer amount of fandom and pop culture projects we now get to look forward to.  Shocking, I know.  From movie adaptations of favorite books to more from Marvel to more Szechuan Sauce and just so much else going down, it’s always fun to speculate when a new year comes around.  What will be great?  What will crash and burn?  For now, we can just get excited.

So let’s squee together at upcoming movies and TV shows.

Movies

Black Panther – We first met this iteration of T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War, but the character has had a long history in Marvel Comics.  This will be the first time he headlines his own film, and from what we’ve seen in the trailers it looks like we’re in for a visually stunning treat.

A Wrinkle in Time – A big screen adaptation of the classic book by Madeleine L’Engle.  Planets, dimensions, huge evil threats and tripiness abound.

Ready Player One: Another film adaptation of a popular book, I would watch this for the pop culture references alone.  But it looks like there’s a great sci fi story and a ton of amazing visual elements too.

New Mutants: One of three entries for Fox’s X-Men film universe coming out this year, this one features a group of mutant teens trapped in a research facility, and it looks like this one is going to amp up the horror element a little bit, not that I’m complaining. (Though now that Disney owns Fox, and by extension the film rights to the X-Men, we’ll have to see if this current status quo will change).

Avengers: Infinity War: I have many thoughts, and will have many thoughts as we get closer to May and beyond.  See current thoughts here and previous films here.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Details on this are still slim, but come on!  It’s an origin story for Han Solo!  Of course we’re gonna watch it!

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom: More dinos!  More Chris Pratt!

Ant-Man and the Wasp:  Sequel to Ant-Man, and in this one, as the title suggests, we’ll finally see the Wasp in action.

Alita: Battle Angel: Apparently this one has been in the works for a long time, and we’ll finally see it come to fruition in 2018.  The big eyes on our main character are already causing a stir, but it is based on a manga series, so it seems to me that big eyes are par for the course.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix: The X-Men film series will take another crack at one of the franchises most famous and pivotal stories.  Here’s hoping it works out a little better.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldMore Newt!  And young Dumbledore!

Mortal Engines: Based on Phillip Reeve’s series of books, featuring mobile cities, social upheaval and steampunk.  Squeal!

There’s a sampling.  Other films to watch out for include Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Venom, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Incredibles 2, Mary Poppins Returns, a live action version of Mulan and an Aquaman solo film.

TV

Quite a bit of new stuff on the anime front this year, including Attack on Titan Season 3…

… the final season of Fairy Tail, season 2 of One Punch Man and a continuation of the Tokyo Ghoul franchise with Tokyo Ghoul Re.

As for network TV it’s early to call, but a couple of things we can expect is a small screen adaptation of Black Lightning

… and a new series called Krypton, which takes place 200 years before Superman and features some of his ancestors.

There’s a lot right there, and honestly there was just too much good stuff to put in one post.  So… stay tuned tomorrow for part 2, when we discuss upcoming YA books.  YAY!

Get excited Geeklings, keep enjoying your time off, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Holiday Edition: Holiday Episodes of Favorite Shows

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Hi again Geeklings!  How’s December going?  Still neck-deep in exams and projects?  Hang in there!

To help everyone get back in the holiday spirit, even though time might be a little tight, I thought this week I’d focus on holiday episodes of TV shows, which tend to be about half an hour to an hour.  There are lots of nerdy TV shows that like to indulge in some festive cheer every now and then, so let’s look at some examples…

Rick and MortyAnatomy Park” – From the first season of Cartoon Network’s crass but brilliant Sci Fi animated program.  On Christmas Day Morty discovers his grandfather Rick has created an amusement park inside the body of a man dressed as Santa.  Things do not go well for anyone and it makes for a horrifying but memorable holiday.

Phineas and FerbA Very Perry Christmas” – Phineas and Ferb want to turn their town into a giant Christmas Card to thank Santa Claus for all he’s done, but villain Doofenshmirtz has other ideas, like using a ray gun to turn the town naughty.

Doctor Who Holiday Specials – In what’s become a tradition that’s lasted quite a few years now of a special airing on Christmas Day, the Doctor has had many holiday-themed adventures in time and space.  This year’s episode “Twice Upon a Time” will mark the last appearance of Peter Capaldi before Jodie Whittaker takes over as the first female Doctor…

…but there are lots of adventures to watch in the meantime.  Might I suggest “The Runaway Bride“, “A Christmas Carol” and “The Husbands of River Song“?  There’s a full list here.

The Toy Story That Time Forgot  A great addition to the Toy Story Universe, with a whole lot of dinosaurs.

American DadThe Best Christmas Story Never“, “The Most Adequate Christmas Ever” – The Smith Family’s holidays tend to include time travel and near death experiences.  Not typical but still fun.

SupernaturalA Very Supernatural Christmas” – You wouldn’t think, with all the demons and monsters and whatnot, that Sam and Dean Winchester would have much room for the holidays, but as this touching episode proves there’s always room for some cheer.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Hearth’s Warming Eve“, “Hearthbreakers“, “A Hearth’s Warming Tail” – In the Land of Equestria, they call their holiday season Hearth’s Warming.  “Hearth’s Warming Eve” reveals the roots of the holiday, “Hearthbreakers” show how different families celebrate and “A Hearth’s Warming Tail” is a take on A Christmas Carol.

The Simpsons Holiday Episodes – There’s nearly 30 years of Simpsons episodes to look through, but if you follow those links you’ll find a couple of DVD collections of their holiday escapades.

FuturamaX-Mas Story” “A Tale of Two Santas” – One of the most irreverent takes on the holidays, Futurama introduced the character of Robot Santa, and he is NOT someone you want to come across on Xmas Eve.  Every resident of 31st Century New New York knows to be indoors before sundown the night before Xmas (that is the official name of the holiday by then, pronounced ‘Exmas’), but the Planet Express crew may be in for a chaotic holiday regardless in these two episodes.

Adventure TimeHolly Jolly Secrets Parts 1 and 2” – One holiday season in the Land of Ooo, Finn and Jake stumble across some VHS tapes, which they discover is a video diary of the Ice King.  Upon watching the tapes (which the King attempts to recover) they discover some long-hidden secrets about the King’s past.

Bob’s Burgers, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins“, “Christmas in the Car“, “Father of the Bob” – The holidays are a big deal in the Belcher household, but often times thing go hilariously awry, from an unexpected guest to a Christmas Eve quest to find a new tree to some family drama.  Watch as they find the holiday cheer amidst the madness.

So there’s a smattering to get you going.  Anything super cool I missed?  Post away in the comments section or share your own holiday thoughts on WriteIt.

Stay tuned for more holiday fun, don’t forget about our Study Hall hours if you need a place to cram, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Halloween with Clowns, Classics and Cartoons…

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Hi again Geeklings!

First thing’s first; a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out for our first ever Vaughan Fan Con.  There were some amazing cosplays and a whole lot of enthusiasm.  We had a great day last Saturday, and that was in no small part due to everyone who came, so THANK YOU!

Now, we’re about a week away from one of my all-time favorite holidays.  Yup, Halloween is nearly upon us.  *happy noises*  I love everything about this holiday.  The costumes.  The spookiness.  The fall weather.  The excuse to binge as much horror entertainment as possible.  All the pumpkin-related food.  All the candy.  That shivery, orange, red, yellow, fiery, spicy feeling that comes with it.  That sense that you’re continuing something ancient, something ironic (laughing in the face of our inevitable demise) and something awesome.  So much love!

I’ve written before on the Fandom of Horror.  This year I thought I’d bring up some new Pop Culture experiences I’ve had over this season thus far, to offer my humble suggestions to brighten your Halloween fun.

IT: Clowns are scary.  You know it.  I know it.  Everyone knows it.  There was a whole clown scare last year with people dressing up just to freak other people out.  And yet, we perpetuate this common belief that these heavily painted terrors are perfectly acceptable for kids birthday parties and other benign activities.  STOP THIS CLOWN AGENDA WE KNOW THE TRUTH!

Anyway, one of the biggest things out there brave enough to speak true about the terror of clowns is IT.  Based on the Stephen King book of the same name, there was a recent film adaptation that blew everyone away.  We have in the system one of the first adaptations, a miniseries released in 1990 starring the irreplaceable Tim Curry.  Sure, it looks a little dated by today’s standards but it’s still one of Curry’s most iconic performances and it still brings the scares.  If you weren’t scared of clowns before you will be after this.

Hammer Horror Films: After Universal Studios reigned supreme with their classic monsters, Hammer Films emerged from England with their own take on scary movies.  I watched one of their earliest films the other night and quite enjoyed it, so I’m passing the message on.  We’ve got a collection of their horror films in the system, and be sure to give this iconic version of Dracula starring Christopher Lee a try.  Get ready for shivers.

The Munsters: Switching gears from outright scary to funny with scary overtones, we’re going all the way back to 1960s sitcoms and the creepiest family since The Addams Family.  The Munsters were a typical extended family always up for wacky antics, except they were pretty much all monsters.  Dad Herman was a Frankenstein’s monster-type creature.  Mom Lily was a vampire, as was her father Grandpa Munster.  Lily and Herman’s son, Eddie, was a werewolf.  And then there was niece Marilyn, who was… human.  Totally normal.  One thing about each and every Munster is that they don’t see anything weird about themselves.  They assume everyone lives in haunted mansions and has kids who howl at the moon, which makes for fun misunderstandings.  But the bottom line, they’re quite endearing.  And it’s always fun to see how TV looked back in the day.

(P.S. I’m going as Lily Munster this year for Halloween.  So excited!)

Regular Show: One of Cartoon Network‘s weirder offerings (and that’s saying something), Regular Show is about anthropomorphic creatures who who live together and work at a park.  Despite the main characters being a blue jay and a raccoon, they are your typical slackers, much more interested in playing video games and goofing off.  And getting into misadventures involving zombies, aliens, ghosts, curses and food challenges.  It’s weird but it’s fun, and totally relatable if you’ve been in the workforce for longer than 2 seconds.  And the show goes nuts on it’s Halloween episodes, as the characters gather around and try to outdo themselves with scary stories.  There’s a DVD collection of some of their spookier episodes here.

How about you guys?  What are some things you can recommend for a chilling yet fun Halloween?  Post away or write it out on the WriteIt site.

And since no Halloween season is complete without Disney’s Haunted Mansion, here’s a clip from Disney XD featuring Star and Marco from Star vs the Forces of Evil.  Have fun, be safe, be spooky, and until next time, End of Line.