Tag Archives: The Walking Dead

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BackHole: Episode 43 – Fall Nerd TV Roundup

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19350-wabac_machine_teaserWe’re glitching out a little, so we decided to repost last fall’s look ahead at nerdy TV. Heroes Reborn dashed our hopes, and Rob’s inability to recall Harvey Bullock’s name is especially galling, given how interesting that character turned out to be on this season of Gotham. Overall, though, we think the last years TV season did okay by us nerds.

Please note that many of these shows are changing up their streaming arrangements in the near future, notably those in CW’s Arrowverse (which now includes Supergirl). The short version is that they likely will only be available on streaming after the end of the season, but pretty quickly thereafter. This is why we can’t have nice things. These links work for now.

LINKS

  • Arrow (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
    Rob: This season felt pretty scattered and ended with a big dud of a twist. Wait, was it even a twist? As always, solid action and pretty faces kept us watching.

  • Fear the Walking Dead (on Hulu)
    Rob: I watched about 2/3 of the season and then stalled out. I will likely finish it up, but not even Ruben Blades’ intensity can fire me up.

  • The Flash (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
    Rob: This show may be the funnest thing on the air, even though they keep punishing their characters to maintain the minimum required grim-n-gritty for a modern superhero show. But the ending…well, we’ll see how Season 3 treats the “Flashpoint” time-travel business the writers stirred up.

  • Gotham (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
    Rob: It felt like Gotham had lost its way for a while, but this season was full of good fun and creepy action. Terrific casting, like BD Wong as Hugo Strange and Paul Reubens as Penguin’s dad, helped a lot, as did the last-minute reintroduction of the terrific Fish Mooney. The more they lay off of Bruce Wayne, the better.

  • Heroes Reborn (on Hulu)
    Rob: Oof. Sorry.

  • iZombie (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
  • Sleepy Hollow (on Hulu)
    Rob: Some good parts, but the show has lost its way. And again with the stupid season-ending twist! Knock it off, writers. I may hatewatch the next season, though.

  • Supergirl
    Rob: They’re officially adding her to the Arrowverse, which should strengthen the show in some good ways. Plus, it’s great to see a show where the central characters are nearly all women.

  • Supernatural (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
  • The Walking Dead (on Netflix)
    Rob: It feels like watching kids torturing insects, but I keep watching.

  • Our Apologies 2015 episode, in which we try to make dull the pain caused by some of our dumber opinions–including some from this very episode!

RECENT NERD TV EPISODES

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Episode 43 – Fall Nerd TV Roundup

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Key and Peele say it better than we can:

Fall is here, and with it a downpour of new nerdy programming. Rob and Mary enthuse about various returning shows and a couple of new ones–check them out while they’re still hot. (Oh, and Rob has been burning up with shame over his inability to recall Harvey Bullock’s name.)

LINKS

NOTE / SEMI MEA CULPA
Rob here. Just last night I watched the pilot of Agents of SHIELD with my lady friend, who had never seen it but is a casual fan of the MCU (and a super fan of Mr. Whedon). I think maybe I’ve been selling it short. I may elaborate on this as I watch more, but my memory of the first half of season one is just filled to the brim with dogshit, and the pilot…wasn’t that bad. I think the worst that can be said of it is that it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a breezy, whimsical Whedon joint or a gritty, wisecracking MCU sidebar–and it falters when it tries to be both. Skye’s character in particular has the dorkiness dialed up way too far, but now that they’ve corrected that and unified the show’s mood, it’s terrific. But hey, maybe the first few episodes aren’t as oppressively terrible as I remember. Check it out!

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Fall 2015 Nerd TV Roundup

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It's a good time to be a nerd.
It’s a good time to be a nerd.

Another summer gone–and that means a new crop of season premieres for us to soak up as the nights get shorter and our affects creep towards disorder. Lots of favorites are returning while a few are either dropping off our radar (bye now, American Horror Story) or settling into the grave (it was nice while it lasted, Constantine). Here are the shows we’ll be watching at least for a few episodes:

Already running

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Mary: The second season was much better than the first, and the first episode of this season indicates they may be able to keep up that momentum. If nothing else it’s nice to have something to keep my MCU hunger at bay while I wait for Agent Carter, Captain America: Civil War, and all the other goodies Marvel’s got lined up for us. Plus I’ll just never tire of Clark Gregg. Rob: Pretty much what Mary said. The show has definitely found its way and I recommend it w/o reservation to fans of the MCU.
  • Gotham: Rob: Last season got a little mushy up ’til the very end, but this year it’s focusing on the origin of its villains and feels crunchier. The story is darker for sure, but the producers are nailing that classic balance between gritty noir and Golden Age whimsy that best characterizes Batman. Should be a good time.
  • Heroes Reborn: Mary: So far I’m on board. We’ll see. I’m not super-wrapped up in it, right now my curiosity is propelling me along. But I still see potential! Rob: I’m a sucker for conspiracies, and it sure looks like this reboot is all-in on paranoia. The Japanese video game stuff is somehow both nifty and trite, but they may pull it off. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  • Sleepy Hollow: Rob: I’m in for sure. They wrapped up the show neatly last year because they weren’t sure they’d be back, so it’s not too far off the mark to call this a slight reboot. Mills is finally in the FBI and Crane is…well, it’d be disappointing if he changed too much. But Betsy Ross! Mary: ALL IN. I can’t wait for each episode, it’s every bit as fun as it’s been in previous seasons. It IS kind of a soft reboot, and that’s fine. As long as they continue the cool monsters, good chemistry, and their delightful sense of humor I think all us Sleepyheads will be happy.
  • The Flash: Mary: Every time I saw a commercial I got SO EXCITED, and last night’s premier did NOT disappoint! I’m looking forward to the crazy wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, other-dimensional action! And Cisco’s smart-ass comments! I do hope they do better by Iris this season. But I think it’s gonna be great! Rob:  Harrison Wells was such a terrific villain that Season 2 has a massive hole to fill, but I expect we’ll see plenty to keep us coming back. More Mark Hamill, please!
  • iZombie: Rob: I thought I was out, but I somehow acquired hope. Maybe they’ll focus on the overarching zombie story and lay off the murder-of-the-week crap? Plus the dang theme song brings me a weekly jolt of dopamine, so I may as well stick around for another 43 minutes. Mary: I missed the premiere last night, but I’m planning on watching it. It’s not must-see for me, but I still liked it fine at the end of the last season. You could do worse for some zombie-genre fun.

Week of 10/5/15

  • Arrow: Rob: I wish I knew how to quit you. Arrow keeps losing its way and then finding its way back–or finding a cool new path. With Legends of Tomorrow set to launch midway through the season, I expect this will be the anchor show for an ever-widening televised DC-verse. Will it lighten up? Will the R’as al Ghul business settle down or influence the show for the long haul? Will Green Lantern ever show up? Mary: I’m more enthusiastic about The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, but I’m definitely going to watch at least the first few episodes. I’m looking forward to the short-lived domestic bliss of Olicity, those bits where supers try to leave the super-life behind are always fun. (Remember the “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” montage in Spider Man 2?) Also can’t wait for the John Constantine cameo… I really hope that’s a nice long arc.
  • Supernatural: Mary: In an upcoming episode of our podcast I’ll explain all the reasons you should watch Supernatural. Right now I’ll say this: I think long-time fans will probably give this upcoming 11th season a go, and new fans should start at the beginning anyway. You could jump in with this season, but you’re missing a lot of good stuff, and based on last season I’m a bit worried about how this season will play out. Watch this space for details!
  • The Walking Dead: Rob: I just watched the finale of Fear the Walking Dead, and I think I may be more interested in that going forward. It’s not that I don’t want to follow Glenn and Michonne and even Rick–it’s more that their trauma and exhaustion get harder to watch with each new year. Maybe this time they’ll try something fresh.

Week of 10/26/15

  • Supergirl: Mary: I’ve held off on watching the pilot that’s widely available on the interwebs, but I’m looking forward to this show despite any misgivings I might have, like “will they rom-com it up too much?” I’m ready to be proved wrong! Rob:  I have seen the pilot and…well…my feelings are mixed. It’s got major problems, notably in the writing, but it’s got a lot going for it–the cast and the effects are largely terrific. If it can clean up its act in the first few episodes, it should be good fun.

Eventually

  • Agent Carter: Rob: Oooooh boy, they did it! This pops up in January during the season break, and it’s supposed to get spooky with the introduction of the Darkforce. This is essential to tons of Marvel characters, including good ol’ Dr. Strange, whose film comes out next Halloween. But honestly, I’ll take any hook to keep this terrific show alive.  Mary: CANNOT WAIT!!!! I have such a deep love for the current MCU, especially Cap and Peggy Carter. This show ranks second only to Orphan Black in my heart, and I’m so excited to see how Peggy kicks ass this season. (To hear a little of what Hayley Atwell–Peggy herself–is looking forward to, check out our post about her panel at ECCC 2015!)
  • Jessica Jones: Mary: More MCU! And it looks like we might be getting close to actually getting it, current internet searches indicate “late 2015.” If Daredevil is any indication of how Marvel conducts itself on Netflix I think we’re in for an amazing ride! Rob: The trailers have given me hope that this will hit the mark. I’ll likely burn my eyeballs bingeing it when it launches (I think I heard November).
  • Legends of Tomorrow:  Mary: As I mentioned, this ranks up there with The Flash as far as DC stuff I’m looking forward to. Very excited to see Arthur Darvill (Rory Pond from Doctor Who) again, and even if this whole show is a mess I have a feeling it’ll be fun and funny which might be enough to keep me hooked. Rob: This show has some great momentum, building off of the huge success of Arrow and The Flash–but I can’t see how it fits tonally with the other two. I think we’ll know after a couple of episodes if they know where they’re headed, and it’ll be fun to find out.
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Episode 23 – Space Mustaches

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Space Marshals
In space, no one can hear your civil rights complaint.

This time, the nerds rant about a clueless article that clutched its pearls about how it’s getting harder for white actors to get work. Then Paul takes a moment to get real about his new favorite iOS game Space Marshals.

A quick note (with spoilers) from Rob’s mention in the podcast about race and character death on The Walking Dead: we ran the numbers and the death percentages are actually the same–-50% of the show’s main white characters have died, as have 50% of the show’s main black characters. But that headline stat masks the fact that there just aren’t that many black characters around at any one time, and at this point we’re back to the unfortunate One Living Black Man situation.

LINKS

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Some Stuff We’re Stoked About at Emerald City Comicon

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logoIT STARTS TOMORROW YOU GUYS. Either you have tickets or you’re not going, but if you ARE going, here’s some of the stuff we’re most excited about:

Artists/Writers
Some special guests, some regular exhibitors. Booth number in parentheses.

  • enfu Seattle artist, creator of comics and other geeky things (502)
  • Levi Hastings Seattle artist, illustrator on the card game Salem, also paints dinosaurs and other geeky things! (1214)
  • Jody Houser Writer of the upcoming Orphan Black comic (II-12)
  • Matthew Inman Seattle writer/artist who created The Oatmeal. (202)
  • Mike Mignola Creator of Hellboy. (A-09)
  • Noelle Stevenson Comic writer and artist, known for Lumberjanes, Sleepy Hollow, Adventure Time, Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake, Bravest Warriors, The Midas Flesh, Nimona. (1002)
  • Kurtis J. Wiebe Creator and writer of Rat Queens. (P-06)

Panels
This (very condensed) list highlights some panels you might not have noticed. It’s in order of when the panels are occurring, visit the ECCC website for more details on days/times/locations/etc.

  • Supernatural Fan Panel – Sadly, the actual stars are going to be across town at the Supernatural Convention, so it’ll just be us nerds
  • Loving What You Hate: How to Love Media That Doesn’t Always Love You Back – a panel on loving problematic media
  • Meet The Valkyries – hear the insights of The Valkyries, a network of female comics retailers
  • Diversity, Representation and the Changing Face of Mainstream Comics, Cover Artist Confidential
  • Copyright Infringement and the Fair Use Doctrine Defense – great if you’re a fan creator!
  • Image Comics Presents: Your New Favorite Comics – including Kurtis J. Wiebe, creator of our new favorite comic, Rat Queens
  • How to Be a Nerd for a Living: Your Career in Nerd Culture
  • How Can You Help Diversity in Gaming?
  • Body Confidence and Positivity in Cosplay
  • It’s a (Straight White Cisgendered) Man’s World – hear from folks in the industry who aren’t straight, white, cis men about their experiences.
  • So Your Kids Want to Make Video Games?
  • Science Fact in Comics
  • Green Arrow to Katniss: Archery in Pop Culture – a panel of archers and archery nerds discussing archery
  • Women in the Gaming Industry – Industry pros discuss their experiences as women in the industry
  • Comics in the Classroom: Students as Makers

Celebrity Guests

Be sure to download the ECCC app to navigate your way through the weekend!

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Fall 2014 TV roundup

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We’re old enough to be vaguely nostalgic for the old network fall preview shows, when B-list celebs would tout whatever was coming up in September and October. These days, the cable bigs just drop shows whenever they feel like it, but there’s still a decent crop of new shows that just started or are dropping soon. Here’s what we’ll be watching this time around:

Already running

  • Doctor Who: Mary: “I’m not overly stoked (I lost almost all interest with the arrival of manic-pixie Clara in the post-Ponds era), but people have told me the new season is solid. And I hear there’s dinosaurs, sooo.” Rob: “I’m late to the party and still catching up with this one, so I won’t get to see Peter Capaldi work it as the new Doctor for a while yet. I am super-excited to see him take on the role, as I really enjoyed him in The Thick of It and In the Loop.”
  • Gotham: Rob: “I’m encouraged by the little I’ve read about this Batman prequel series, and I love the hell out of Donal Logue, but I’m still a wee bit skeptical. I’m hoping to get to it shortly.”
  • Sleepy Hollow: Rob: “I had somewhat mixed feelings about the first season of this apocalyptic fish-out-of-water thriller, but the premiere killed it, especially when naked Ben Franklin (Timothy Busfield!) exhorted Ichabod Crane to open his mind, maaaan. And where would genre TV be without John Noble?” Mary: “I love this legend in all its iterations (I have a soft spot for New England horror stories) and that certainly helped get me on board. But I wouldn’t have stayed if it weren’t any fun to watch, and its winking humor is never exhausting.”
  • Haven: Mary: “Speaking of New England horror, this SyFy show based on a Stephen King story has spun in to five seasons of mystery. A small town is haunted by centuries-old ‘troubles,’ supernatural afflictions that often reflect some personality trait or trauma of those who suffer them. I’m not even sure I recommend it, but if you like King or dark New England eccentricity or just need something running in the background while you clean house you could do worse.”
  • Agents of SHIELD: Rob: “Yup, it’s better than it was at first. Yup, it’s still not what I would call a strong show. But the little bits keep getting better, notably in the scripting, and most of the over- and under-acting has regressed to the mean. I’m in.” Mary: “At first I felt about SHIELD the way I felt about Caprica: I love the universe in general so I’ll watch to keep the buzz going. But SHIELD is getting its legs under it better than Caprica ever did, and I like much of what it’s added to the current Marvel film canon. I’m still not buying the Skye/Coulson relationship, but at least Skye has gotten tolerable. Plus: Patton Oswalt.”

10/7/14

  • The Flash: Rob: “We’re suckers for Arrow (see below), and this expansion of that dark corner of the DC Universe looks promising. I liked Grant Gustin enough to keep watching Glee past its expiration date, and he captures a smart, optimistic vibe that could be a great counterbalance to the brooding sadfest we see every week on Arrow. We’ll see.” Mary: “What Rob said.”
  • Supernatural: Mary: “Entering its 10th season, and I’m watching the FUCK out of it because [spoiler] you guys Dean totally became a DEMON at the end of last season! Also: Mark Sheppard, the king of genre television.”

10/8/14

  • American Horror Story: Rob: “Each new season seems to get more and more comfortable with its bigger-than-too-big aesthetic, and I’m looking forward to Jessica Lange trying on a German accent. Here’s hoping it’s as thick and nourishing as her glorious New England accent from a few seasons ago! Oh and plus there are ‘freaks,’ so it’ll be fun to watch the PR shenanigans as people inevitably (and legitimately) protest.” Mary: “Outside of Orphan Black (which destroys any competition in this department), I maintain that AHS is one of the most feminist genre shows on right now. Why? This piece sums it up better than I can in a line, but essentially the women are strong (not ‘strong’). Plus: spooky circus!”
  • Arrow: Rob: “I can’t feel guilty about this pleasure anymore. Green Arrow was never this sad and haunted in the comics (expect maybe when Speedy was shooting up), but it’s still a good time for all. The fight choreography is as good as we see in most big-budget films, the fan service is surprisingly subtle at times, and the drama is cheesy enough to go perfectly with all the wine I drink while watching.” Mary: “It may be the handsome man workout hour (ladies…) but it’s also solid superhero fun. There’s danger! Romance! Evil! Justice! John Barrowman! Just watch it.”

10/12/14

  • The Walking Dead: Mary: “I’m like a season and a half behind, but I still toy with picking it back up. I dunno, I love to hate it. And it’s still the best SFX on tv. Plus: Darryl.” Rob: “I’m all caught up and looking forward to seeing where they go after the dark turn that ended the last season. I never read the comics, but that sounds as if it may be a plus for viewers. There may be a time when I stop caring, but it hasn’t happened yet.”