I don’t know why they didn’t call this episode “Broken”, because both sides of the divide are clearly in a state of disarray following the first real dance of combat and bloodshed between Woodbury and Team Rick.
For the Governor, he’s merely mopey and withdrawn thanks to the death of his zom-daughter, his missing eye, and the invasion by the Rickers, an attack that has spooked Woodbury’s supply of sheeple into trying to jump out of the frying pan and into the zombie filled oven.
For Rick, it’s much worse. He’s seeing ghosts, Oscar is dead, Michonne has splintered off from the group to destroy the Governor’s aquarium, and Daryl ran off and got caught, forcing Rick and Maggie to rescue him and his brother. Something that might have been a bit more exciting had the promos not completely blown that for us.
Of course, the central conflicts this episode aren’t between Rick and the Governor. They’ve backed off that a bit to show the repercussions from “Made to Suffer” and to show the similarities between these two leaders who have been made anew by the awful transformation of the world. Two leaders who have put too much on their shoulders.
This time around, the big conflict is between Rick and himself as he struggles to keep it together while seeing more ghosts, driving away Daryl (who chooses Merle), and keeping his distance from Michonne and Tyrese — warriors who could be vital for the coming firefight with the Woodbury folk that is likely brewing.
Now, I can’t speak to how far down the rabbit hole the show plans to take Rick before his inevitable resurrection, but I welcome the change, provided that the show can deliver some consistency — something they have struggled with before. Rick has endured too much to not experience a break like this, and if Rick is down, they need to let him stay down for awhile while Glenn and Hershel take the reigns in the name of showing us something different.
- As always, Melissa McBride steals every scene that she is in. Her bond with Daryl has always been sweet and obvious since last season, but after she processes Daryl’s departure, her remarks about the similarities between her and Daryl as abused people and her fears about what she would do if she saw her husband again hit the right note. Carol is quickly becoming my favorite character on the show, which means she’ll be dead by next week.
- Darryl grabbing the crossbow. Nuff said.
- Rick silencing Merle. It bordered on slapstick humor, but it was a nice throwback to season 1.
- Andrea’s speech to the Woodburyians. These people barely know her and she’s supposed to quell an uprising based on fear and the sudden disappearance of their leader with 30 seconds of oratorical empty calories? More than a bit ridiculous. “When they write about this…” good lord…
- Ghost Lori/Wolverine Shane/The telephone. I love the phone device in the comic and I was thrilled when they brought it into the show, but the further they take this, I almost wish that Rick’s insanity were allowed to manifest itself with only his actions, rather than these big, “Now Entering Crazyburgh” signs. Lori was just another example of that, though I’m glad they did it right and brought back Sarah Wayne Callies — even if we couldn’t really see her.
- This isn’t about the show so much as it’s about the promos. I know AMC has to try and get eyes on the show, but they’ve got to strike a balance and preserve some of the shock factor for viewers by not blowing big reveals in their previews.
- Though I should expect nothing less, I really thought there might be some humanity from Merle upon being rescued. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m also surprised that there wasn’t more of a conflict between Merle and Rick. Producers went down the middle instead of delivering either of these extremes, and the end result was a profane jackass that foolishly left behind an offer of shelter to go it alone with Daryl.
Overall, I give “The Suicide Kings” a 3 out of 5. Coulda done it better, but at least it wasn’t just a bunch of mindless violence and worthless character culling.
Welcome to your weekly Sexy Cosplay of the Week. This week its Southern California’s own Sparkle Pipsi.
The devil is in the details for this graphic designer/ cosplayer and as one of the busier individuals of the cosplay world, Sparkle Pipsi perfectly balancing her work with her play. Flexing her creative muscle along with her lovely curves this cosplayer shares her time looking cute and sweet as a member of Angel Hearts, a pop-idol cosplay group that performs songs from Japanese anime The Idolm@ster!.
From Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus to Princess Toadstool and the numerous versions of Idolm@ster‘s Miki Hoshii. Check out some more of Sparkle Pipsi’s costumes in the gallery after the jump.
You can see more of Sparkle Pipsi by going to her World Cosplay, Deviant Art, or personal pages.
Hello, my name is Sarah and I’m a television binger (that’s with a hard ‘g’). It’s nothing new, all my life I’ve binged on media whether it be books or video games, but with the steady increase of available television shows, often seasons at a time, television binge watching is an ever-growing epidemic. Some of you may be unfamiliar with television binge watching, others may be sufferers yourselves, but together, we can all help in raising awareness.
On Friday, Netflix premiered its new original series, House of Cards, and in what is beginning to become the trend they dropped all 13 episodes at once. That means as I’m typing this it isn’t out of the question for somebody to have by now watched the entire season. Consider what this means for a moment. Those Monday morning “water cooler chats” will have to be segregated by those who’ve only seen a handful of episodes and those who’ve binged on the entire season. The risk of spoilers has significantly increased. And a story that would normally take weeks, possibly months to enjoy has been compressed into a weekend marathon session.
We are at a point of television evolution.
There was a recent New York Times article that touched on this concept of binge watching and it’s what got me thinking about this change in the way we’re watching television. The TV I regularly watch can be lumped into three categories: binge shows, weekly shows, and hoarded shows. The first is comprised of shows I’ve discovered through streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. They’re shows that have either finished airing, like Stargate Universe, or shows I’m several seasons behind on and want to catch up, like Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire. This leads to hours, maybe even days of watching one show and one show only until I’ve either finished or am current with the series.
My weekly shows are programs I’ve been watching from the beginning and make sure never to miss an episode for fear of being spoiled. Shows like The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Once Upon a Time, and Game of Thrones. Though, once those seasons are completed and added to one of the many available streaming services, I’ll watch ‘em all over again in a binge session.
Then there are the shows I’m hoarding. Shows I never catch up with while they’re airing and since they’re as of yet unfinished, I’ll hoard them until I can watch the whole series in a marathon. As of now I’m only hoarding Breaking Bad, though I’ve always kept Lost on the back burner in case I run out of things to watch. But few shows will I ever hoard because my compulsion to know what’s happening and be 100% up to date is too strong.
Then there’s a show like Downton Abbey. I binged on the the first season via Netflix and was quickly ravenous for more. Months later I when season two aired on PBS it quickly became my new weekly. By then I was so hooked I researched when the show would air in Britain, something like six months before it airs in the U.S., and began watching it through ITV’s website when it aired across the pond. See? I can’t stop myself! If I know there are new episodes out there and I’m not seeing them, I seek them out.
This is a serious compulsion I and thousands others share, and companies like Netflix and Amazon are starting to wise up and learn how to profit from it. Just yesterday it was announced Amazon had secured exclusive streaming rights to Downton Abbey and are now offering the final episodes of season three, which have yet to air on PBS in the U.S., to Prime members who purchase a season pass. PBS handles their advertising differentlt from other networks so I’m not sure what ill effects they’ll suffer, but imagine if other shows had their current seasons preempted by the complete season becoming available online before it’s finished airing? Those networks would freak! And we’re talking about a legal service, this doesn’t have anything to do with all the thousands of hours of TV illegally downloaded every day.
Netflix is clearly banking on the popularity and demand for shows like House of Cards and the new season of Arrested Development to bring in new subscribers. In fact, they’re offering the first episode of House of Cards to anyone with access to the Netflix site, subscriber or not. And since the TV shows on Netflix are already offered whole seasons at a time they’re decision to release new series the same way isn’t much of a risk. They’ll leave it up to us and our own willpower to decide how quickly we consume them. And in my case, it’s going to be during an unhealthy binge session where I’ll do nothing but sit on my ass, glued to the screen. Super Bowl? Forget about it, I’ve got five more episodes of House of Cards left and I’m not leaving the warm glow of my TV until I’m finished.
What’s next for the TV programs of tomorrow? Our consumption of media is changing all the time and with the influx of more and more shows available on demand the traditional weekly airing of our favorite shows might become a thing of the past. Will there be a day where episodes are no longer necessary and we’ll settle in for eight, ten hours programs we can pause when and where we like? Personally, that’s too drastic a change for me. The episodic format is nice, like chapters in a book or checkpoints in a game, and making it so far so quickly is like a badge of honor. Or depressing sadness when you realize you haven’t left your house in days, your friends have stopped calling, and you smell worse than the inside of tauntaun. Achievement unlocked: The impression of your butt has become a permanent fixture of your couch.
So, what are your habits when it comes to TV consumption? Are you a weekly watcher? Do you hoard? Binge? Let me know in the comments. We TV bingers need all the support we can get, and, since come Monday I’ll likely be finished with House of Cards, I’m looking for recommendations of what I should binge watch next.
A key reason why I’m such a stalwart fan of the Moffat era of Doctor Who (and do, in fact, prefer it to the Davies era, though David Tennant is still my Doctor) is its ability to constantly upset any sense of a comfort zone we might get as viewers. We’re now in our third year of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and his companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), and despite the fact that we’re now watching the longest continuous pairing of Doctor and Companion(s) in the history of the revived series, nothing about this show ever feels safe. The balance is constantly upset, and that element of uncertainty is even more prevalent now that we know the Ponds are about to make their exit in an as-yet-unknown way. With “Asylum of the Daleks,” Steven Moffat kicked off his third series as Doctor Who showrunner up to all his tricks, throwing plenty of curves into the story, putting the Ponds on already-shaky ground and introducing us to a new face (sort of).
NOTE: I will keep the first portion of this review as spoiler-free as possible, but near the end I’ll want to talk a bit about some major plot points, so there will be a SPOILER ALERT hitting you later on. Watch for it if you don’t want to know about something you haven’t seen.
A message from a mysterious woman ends in a trap for The Doctor, and he suddenly finds himself surrounded by the Parliament of the Daleks alongside Amy and Rory (who aren’t having the best time as man and wife at the moment. But this time, it’s not about the Daleks fighting to exterminate their old enemy (at least, no yet). This time, the Daleks have a mission for The Doctor: visit a legendary planet-sized asylum filled with crazy Daleks (yes, there are things even the Daleks consider to be unreasonable) and deactivate a force field so the Dalek parliament can purge the asylum of all those crazy exterminators. Of course, if he succeeds, The Doctor will probably be killed too, but at the moment he doesn’t have much of a choice.
On the asylum planet, the Doctor finds his two friends squabbling, a problem that seems nearly impossible to solve, and a mysterious woman stranded in a crashed spaceship communicating with him through the Dalek security system (because, apparently, she’s a genius). Oh, and the Daleks have a new trick: they can put themselves in human bodies.
Despite often inventing his own new adversaries for the Doctor, Moffat has said more than once that the Daleks have always been his favorite. But, as with the last Dalek stories he showed us, he’s not interested in exhibiting them in the form we’re used to. Odd as it might seem, there’s an element of raw, painful emotion to these creatures, and here it’s put front and center. Moffat shows us a world where Daleks, a species dominated by a searing hate for things that aren’t like them, can in fact become some overwhelmed by that emotion that even they go crazy. That’s intriguing in itself, but by the end of this episode Moffat has taken the mentally unstable Dalek conceit much, much further, and the result is a deep new layer in Who mythology that’s likely to keep resonating for a long time.
Moffat also shows us a new layer of Amy and Rory that few people could have expected: the unhappy one. Yes, we’ve seen them bicker for two years, but it’s not the same this time. It’s a deeper wound, one that could have big implications for their exit later, and that’s not even taking into account how this affects The Doctor. When these two elements – Amy and Rory and the crazy Daleks – combine, we get an episode that’s equal parts breakneck, plot-heavy joyride and deep-cutting, mythos-altering storytelling.
For me, “Asylum of the Daleks” actually managed to be a better season premiere than last year’s “The Impossible Astronaut” (an episode I really loved), not just because it returned the Daleks to the forefront, but because it set up something bigger than “Will the Doctor die?” which is a question that has a very obvious answer. Something big is happening here that, though we only have a few episodes to explore, could dig into the Doctor’s inner darkness more than Moffat ever has before, and that’s saying something.
Now comes the part where we talk SPOILERS. So if you haven’t seen the episode yet, look away now.
Seriously, I’m not holding anything back past this point, so if you don’t want to know things….
Still here? OK
So, obviously the first thing we have to talk about is the appearance of Jenna-Louise Coleman, the Doctor’s new Companion, a good while before most people expected her to show (a lot of people, including me, were guessing Christmas special). And not only did she show up, but she had a big role to play in this story. It’s interesting for several reasons, but the thing that occurred to me first is that we usually don’t see the new Companion until the old one(s) has gone. Usually the Doctor simply happens upon his new friends in the midst of an adventure, but Moffat promised us something different here, and we definitely got it. And then the big bombshell came: Oswin (Coleman’s character) is only formerly human. She’s been converted into a Dalek, but she’s still holding on to her human identity. So, as it turns out, she’s the craziest Dalek of them all. But she made an impression on The Doctor. Unlike some previous companions, she’s not intimidated by him or blown away by his power (she’s a bit like Donna in that respect). She can hang with him verbally, she’s sassy and smart and funny and she’s definitely got some kind of edge going on. But how will Moffat work around the whole Dalek thing? Time will tell.
Then, there’s the news that Amy and Rory are on the verge of divorce when we first rejoin them, only to be reunited after a very poignant resolution of their issues by episode’s end. That’s all well and good, but really look at what happened there. The big implication is that they probably would never have reconciled had it not been for The Doctor. Last season was all about how The Doctor hurts the ones he loves, even if he doesn’t mean to. Will this year be about the tragedy of Amy and Rory’s dependence on The Doctor? It certainly seems to be skewing that way, and if that’s really the case it could be the seed of their downfall.
Next week: “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”
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This time on the Peabody ignored Bastardcast, Jason and Jeremy discuss the high points of a bacteria that poops gold, Mila Kunis‘ candidacy for Miss Glamour Puss of Earth-19 (aka the Sexiest Woman Alive), bullshit Marvel casting rumors, the real death of the dinosaurs, the benching of Community, and the greatest internet review of all time.
Then, in THE MAIN EVENT, our hosts discuss the mayhem of New York Comic Con and then briefly touch on that other event where a horde of diseased monsters stand between Jason and serenity (literally, the line for the Walking Dead panel is totes going to keep Jason from the Firefly panel) — The Walking Dead, which comes back to your television devices this Sunday. Will the Governor rise? Will Rick fall? Will it all take place in the snow globe of an autistic child? We just don’t know, so stop fucking asking us asshole!
Then, last and probably least, these fine young cannibals take you into the basement cage match where blood is spilled and Pokemon get cut — it’s the VERSUS ARENA and Jason is saying that a robot apocalypse trumps a zombie apocalypse because it will mean the end of twitter and because you can have less gross sex with a borg than you can with a walker. “Nuh uh, no you didn’t” says Jeremy though, as he punches Jason in the throat with his words and reminds him that zombies can’t climb stairs, so we would then all have more of a chance to survive. Except Jason because he’ll be knee deep in droid trim… apparently.
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If you were born anytime after 1980, chances are that the last thing you saw everynight before you went to bed was the page of an R.L. Stine book. Stine, the master of horror for kids and pre-teens has been at it for 20 years, churning out over 100 “Goosebumps” books, a TV series, and now Hub TV’s R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.
Last week I had the chance to chat with Mr. Stine, armed with questions crafted by myself and my newfound partner in crime, Anne Sisk, and I got to ask the King of Spookiness what scares him, why we want to be scared, how it is writing children’s books in the internet age, and all about the challenges of writing his adult novel, Red Rain. Here is what Mr. Stine had to say:
Is it harder to scare kids now and have you changed your style at all with kids increasingly moving away from books and turning to TV and the Internet and that kind of thing?
I don’t accept that, kids are reading a lot. Years ago the children’s book business was tiny, it was a very small part of a publisher and now it’s a billion dollar industry. Kids are reading. Children’s book sales are up eight percent for this year so I think kids are reading which is a really wonderful thing.
I really haven’t had to change much, when you write scary books you don’t have to change much because the fears never really change. You know; being afraid of the dark, being afraid of what’s under the bed ready to grab you, being afraid that you’re being chased, that never changes so that’s kind of lucky for me.”
Why do you think we want to be scared by spooky stories when we’re little and even now as adults?
Well, I think kids like to be scared a lot, but they have to know they’re safe at the same time. It’s really fun to go out and have these creepy adventures and fight the monsters and battle all this adversity if you know that you’re safe reading in your room at the same time. And I’m very careful with my books, like with the Goosebumps, that kids have to know that this is a fantasy. This is fantasy horror, this isn’t going to happen, this can’t happen to you. Yeah, it’s very creepy, but they have to know that it can’t happen and it’s not going to go too far.
Has there ever been a fear or a theme or an image where you’ve started to go in that direction and then you’ve had to pull yourself back, you didn’t want to go that far. Is there anything you consider “off-limits”?
Very rarely, I’m kind of conservative with it. A lot of times my editors are saying “Hype it up. Make it scarier, make it scarier.” I hear that a lot more. Every once in a while I will, like the very first Goosebumps book is called Welcome to the Dead House, this kid moves to a new town and all these kids come up to him and say “I used to live in your house” and it was the very first one I did and they’re all like zombie kids and they’re out to get him and right now I think it was too scary. I think that book went too far, the first Goosebumps book.
And after that one I kind of realized it and I pulled back and I started adding a lot more humor.
Is there still a challenge for you? You’ve been doing this for so long.
I find it much more of a challenge cause it’s twenty years of Goosebumps, twenty years, it’s over one hundred books and so I guess I’ve done every story you could possibly do, right? So to find new scares and new plot lines and not repeat myself has become a lot more of a challenge, but that’s kind of fun for me.
How do you, just as a writer I have to ask, how are you that prolific? How are you able to day in and day out pump out high quality material like that for such a long period of time?
I don’t know, it’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at, you can ask my wife really. It’s the only thing I’m competent at and I just love it, I’ve been doing it since I was nine years old and I still look forward to getting up and sitting down at the computer and banging out ten more pages a day and getting new stories.
I don’t know what else I would do all day, but the writing is fun for me because I do so much planning first. I do all my planning before I write.
I chart out the whole book; I do very complete outlines of every book I write before I sit down to write, so by the time I’m writing I know everything that’s going to happen in the book. And then I can just fill out the outline and have fun with the writing and enjoy it and that helps me I think to turn out more books than having to plot it as I go.
I noticed in the ‘Weeping Woman’ episode of the Haunting Hour series, I noticed a bit more social commentary and implied marital trouble, are kids these days responding to that kind of stress more? Can you now add those kinds of pressures?
I don’t do it much, but the Haunting Hour is sort of aimed more for teenagers and for families and so they’re pushing it a little farther, the writers. They decided to make the Haunting Hour a bit darker then the Goosebumps books and they’re teenagers instead of kids involved so they’re getting into some of those issues that I wouldn’t do in the books.
In the ‘Weeping Woman’ the basis of the story is the myth of La Llorona, so you kind of have this cross-cultural terror happening. Do you find yourself pulling inspiration from different cultures like this or is it more like these are certain fears that undercut all cultural differences?
I think the fears all are the same, but there are wonderful legends in all these cultures and it would be nice to be able to explore them. But that’s the same fear, that statue is not very much different from Lilly D, that doll that came to life is it?
You just released Red Rain, which is a novel that’s targeted for adults. What’s the bigger challenge: creeping out and scaring kids or scaring adults?
Oh for me scaring adults because I’m not used to it, so it’s a much bigger challenge and I just wrote it because I thought I needed a challenge. Kids’ books are a lot of fun and they’re so easy, they really are a pleasure for me and I thought why not do something hard? Why don’t I do something a little more ambitious?
And then I have all my readers from the 90s who’ve grown up, all those Goosebumps/Fear Street readers who were 10 back then are all in their 20s and 30s, and they’ve been telling me “write for us, please write something for us”. So that’s why I wrote Red Rain, but I found it was a challenge.
How long did it take you to write it?
Five months and I did research for a month, mainly on that island. You know, it takes place on an outer banks island off South Carolina and I’ve never been there, so I just sort of deliberately did it as a game for myself to see if I could really research it and get it right and get all the details right; the vegetation, the birds and do it right. So, I spent about a month doing research and then five months writing it which is a lot for me because the Goosebumps books take a couple weeks.
Is that something you want to continue to pursue. do you want to keep writing for adults or mix and match?
If people like it, yeah I’d enjoy doing more. I love writing for my original audience, I mean those are my kids, those are my people from back in the 90s and I love writing for them, but it just depends if it’s a hit or not. If people really buy it and enjoy it I would love to do more otherwise nobody will ask me to do more.
I’m sure that won’t be a problem.
They won’t answer my calls.
What scares you?
I have no good answer for that, I don’t get scared. I have normal adult fears of course, but horror doesn’t scare me at all. I go to a scary movie or something I don’t know what that feeling is of being scared, I always laugh. When I read a horror novel it makes me laugh, I always find horror funny.
People say “Oh, I was up all night because of your book, you scared me so badly” — I wish I could feel that. I’ve never had that feeling I always find that funny.
Who is your favorite horror writer? If you have one.
Steven King is, I think he’s a wonderful story teller and there are a couple of Steven King books that I think are amazing. Pet Cemetery is one and Misery is another book I just think are brilliant, maybe the best book ever written about writers and editors.
R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour airs on Hub TV at 6PM ET on Saturdays and you can learn more about the show here. If you want to pick up a copy of Red Rain, you can get it at Amazon.com and wherever fine books are sold.
Special thanks to Nick Bungay for all his transcription help.
‘The Killer Within’ is simply too big of an episode for this to be a spoiler free review. So if you have yet to see the it, please turn back now and don’t think that reading this article and then watching the episode will make the events of the ep easier to deal with. This episode will eviscerate you, no matter how prepared you are for it or how many times you watch it.
Before I really start with the review I just need to get this out of my system and say what we are all thinking, “OMFG WHAT THE FRAK JUST HAPPENED?”
So anyway….. !!SPOILERS!!
In the fourth episode of the season we’re back at the prison and we also spend some time with the Governor. What happens in Woodbury isn’t as dynamic as what happens in the prison but groundwork is being laid for major drama. While the Governor tries the smart tactic of appealing to Michonne’s warrior sensibilities, he doesn’t count on her being more than just braun. She’s too smart for his manipulation and is unmoved by his flattery. Andrea on the other hand is hooked on life in Woodbury and is clearly charmed by the Governor, whose name we now know is Philip. Andrea’s readiness to be wooed is likely due more to exhaustion than with the Governor’s ability to flirt. She’s even slightly charmed by Merle, so the only explanation is that this girl is just at the end of her rope and will believe anything if it allows her to pretend that she’s not in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
In the prison, someone (probably Andrew) is feeding the zombies dead animals and using that as bait to lead the zombies into the prison. But before these walkers make their way to our beloved gang, we get some much needed moments of group interaction before all hell breaks loose.
There is some adorable levity when the gang discovers Glenn & Maggie having sex in the guard tower. But the fun is short lived when the two remaining prisoners show up and beg to be part of Rick’s crew. Despite saying this is no longer a democracy, Rick does the right thing and let’s everyone share their opinions and he also explains why he doesn’t want to budge on his decision to keep them away from his family. In the end, the majority of the group decides agrees with Rick and the prisoners are locked outside to fend for themselves.
T-Dog is really the only one who wants to give thse guys a chance. But Rick poses a very solid question to him, “Who’s blood would you rather have on your hands? Maggie’s? Glenn’s? or theirs?” T-Dog’s response is “Neither,” and while that response is one most of us are likely to say, sometimes in dire situations you need to make tough calls. This scene may not be important to the story overall, but it is a key part of T-Dog’s narrative and his character’s humanity. He does believe in making tough calls and he makes the toughest call ever in this episode.
The writers amp up the feelings of hope by having Hershel take his first steps outside in this episode and everyone in the group has all the good feels until the zombies that were let into the prison at the beginning of the episode attack and it’s horrible and intense and I hide under my couch for the rest of the episode crying and eating my hair.
It is complete chaos and as a viewer, it was slightly hard to follow what was going on but it was clear that was a purposeful directing choice. I expected someone to bite it (heh) and truly thought it was going to be Hershel, Carl or even Lori but the one to succumb to the zombie horde was our hero, T-Dog, who is bitten on the shoulder. He’s still able to run inside the prison with Carol but when they get trapped by more walkers, he sacrifices himself to the zombies so that Carol can escape. We know he’s going to die regardless, he knows he’s going to die, Carol knows he’s going to die, he’s been bitten – but that doesn’t make his death any less tragic or emotional. His heroism in this episode was beautiful and ultimately one of the goriest things ever in the history of all things.
The horror doesn’t stop there, as the stress of the invasion causes Lori to go into labor. It’s not an easy birth, she starts to bleed out and needs a c-section. Her group has been separated from Carol, leaving Maggie to perform the operation that will ultimately kill her friend. It’s worth mentioning here that the only people with Lori at this time are Maggie and Carl, her son. This is the only time I’ve liked Lori and marginally liked Carl. Sometimes there is wisdom in loss. Lori’s final speech to her son is heart-wrenching and brilliant. Sarah Wayne Callies always does a great job with Lori, as much as I dislike the character, and she made this death scene as heavy as it needed to be without going over the top.
To prevent Lori from coming back as a zombie Carl makes the choice to shoot her in the head. This episode is all the more tragic when you consider that Lori was killed, essentially, by both of her children. The title of this episode ‘Killer Within’ refers to three different things – most obviously Lori’s baby, but also the zombie virus which is lying dormant in everyone’s system waiting for the right moment to activate. Then there is the more metaphorical killer which, like the virus, lies dormant in all of us – the ability to take a life. Carl finds his killer within tonight. He does it for the right reasons and it is the honorable thing in this case but at the same time, I think it’s safe to say that the Carl we’ve seen these past few seasons died tonight along with his mother.
“Goodnight, love,” indeed.
This is only the fourth episode and I’m excited and terrified to see what will happen in the future.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
Before even starting this week’s episode of Dexter, I had some high expectations. This is the second-to-last episode of the season and it’s an important point where the story can be broken by poor writing. There are issues that need to be resolved while at the same time tension needs to be built for the eighth and final season. Sometimes, writers can push things to the side, resolving story arcs in half-assed ways because they really weren’t as important as viewers thought they were the entire season. Dexter has fallen flat in previous years, but this time they managed to pull through.
When we left off last episode, Deborah had a lead that could possibly pin down her brother’s girlfriend, Hannah. Dexter was breaking his code and killing just because people were in his way. He’s all messed up in love and making bad decisions. LaGuerta was getting closer and closer to finding out Dexter’s little secret. And Quinn had officially become a murderer himself, putting a bullet into a Russian to save his lady stripper. It’s the chaos typical of Dexter and there are only two episodes to get the majority of it resolved as well as set up for the last season.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP
This week’s episode, ‘Do You See What I See?’ has Dexter seriously thinking about his future. He’s digging on Hannah and has visions of growing old with her and living a somewhat normal life. Not the artificial normal that he tried to do with Rita back in the day, but a nice sort of normal with a lady that doesn’t give two shits that he’s a killer. But, of course, nothing is that simple.
While Deborah is investigating Hannah, she ends up blacking out in her car and having an accident. The first suspect is, naturally, Hannah with her mad poisoning skills. She just happened to have visited Deb the night before, trying to make peace with her for Dexter’s sake (and the sake of her own continued freedom) and the nature of Deb’s brush with death is way too close to Hannah’s MO. Dexter suspects something and so does a bit of investigating, finding a water bottle filled with anti-anxiety medicine that Deb was drinking while on her drive. Who put the drugs in the water? Dexter figures it was Hannah and has to make the hard choice between his sister and the woman he loves.
As poor Dex deals with all this crap, he also has to deal with LaGuerta and her side-kick Matthews. Since Dex is a suspect in LaGuerta’s “who is the real Bay Harbor Butcher?” investigation, Matthews goes to question him. Dex strikes back against those trying to pin him down and plants some evidence for them to find that further implicates Doakes. Matthews appears to buy it, but LaGuerta is still not convinced and has one more play to make before giving up. Luckily for her, the last living killer who took out Dex’s parents is up for parole. She pulls a few strings so the guy can walk and then waits for Dex to go hunting. Dex finds out in the nick of time, but things go to shit and now our favorite serial killer is in danger of being caught for sure. But that will have to wait until next episode.
This episode shifts gears to a less physically confrontational format and concentrates on the various players trying to outsmart each other. There’s Hannah vs. Deb, Dex vs. LaGuerta and eventually Dex vs. Hannah. They each make their moves and while at one moment Dex and Hannah appear to be on top of things, the next moment shows that they’re really in deep shit.
It’s nice to see the mind games taking precedence for a change. It gives the show a different focus but still manages to build tension levels and keep them high. Past seasons have tended to rely on Dexter making the last moves of his hunt in order to prepare for the last episode resolve, but since the writers know there’s only one more season they can plan accordingly. I’m guessing there’ll be more than one cliff-hanger waiting for us next Sunday.
Another thing I noticed about this episode is that the maneuvers of each character are more plausible than they have been in previous years. One thing that’s always bugged me about Dexter before has been the way half-assed, shoehorn excuses have dominated problem resolution. This time around, I wasn’t rolling my eyes whenever one person outsmarted the other.
And so, all the pieces are in place to wind up the seventh season of Dexter. Our hero is in danger of being caught, Hannah is out of his life (yet another blow to push Dex over the edge) and while Deborah is still on his side, for how much longer remains to be seen.
Check back next week for a review on the season finale. It better be a good one, or I’ll probably cry a lot.
For the next 12 days (Dec 1st-12th), the staff of Nerd Bastards will be listing a few of their favorite nerdy things. Gadgets, doohickeys, thingamabobs and more – all sorts of items that have been Nerd tested and Bastard approved. Basically, stuff you want, things you need, and everything you can’t have.
We hope you’ll find some unique and nerdtastic gifts among our selections, and that they make their way under your tree, Menorah or Kwanzaa bush.
Hit the jump for Jason McAnelly’s list of Nerdful things. Check back tomorrow for Mark Poynter’s list. To see archive of this feature, click HERE.
1) ‘Street Fighter’ T-shirt – Yoga Flame-Grilled BBQ:
This t-shirt brings me back to the days when I used to cruise down to my local arcade and plug quarters into the Street Fighter stand-up game. Some of you may not remember such places, but let me assure you that they did exist. And if ever a character deserved to get out of the fighting lifestyle and start up a successful restaurant, it’s Dhalsim. It’s practical, it’s affordable and it’s available through society6 – just $15 bucks.
2) ‘Imperial Damacy’ T-shirt
I don’t care what anyone says, stormtrooper + katamari = best thing ever. Another t-shirt, this gift is for those that love the geek in their life, but not enough to pay more than $22 for a present. Also available through society6.
3) Deckard Replica Trenchcoat
Replicas are usually pretty fkn expensive, but they are equally awesome. This trenchcoat, modeled after the one Deckard wore in Blade Runner, kicks major ass. If you have the $499 to spend and think you know someone who can pull it off, buy it over at abbyshot. They also have some pretty cool other stuff, if trenchcoats aren’t your thing.
4) Cthulhu Dice Bag
The Cthulhu dice bag is a perfect gift for the gaming geek that has an affinity for our dark lord and master. There’s no evidence, but I have it on good authority that the bag will cause your d20s to roll more crits. You can purchase it through amazon for the random amount of $21.76.
5) ‘Team Dexter’ Beer Stein
It’s pretty much a given that a large portion of the geek population are also alcoholics. So why not display your addiction to Dexter while getting drunk? You can calmly sip your drink while you plan out who you’re going to stalk that night. Just head over to cafepress and pick one up for $20.50. Also available in many other Dexter-themed logos.
6) Action Figure Field Bag
The message on this field bag says it all. Any collector would be proud to own this, assuming they were proud of their action figure collection, that is. Also available in other varieties of packs, to match your outfit. Buy at cafepress for $29.50.
7) McFarlane’s Walking Dead Figures
I have to admit, I’m not much of a big action figure guy these days. I loved my old Star Wars and He-Man figures “back in the day”, but quality leaves something to be desired with recent products. McFarlane’s stuff, however, is still some of the best on the market if you’re looking for detail. These Walking Dead figures are just pretty and to start a collection off you can get a five-set for just $104.99 at toywiz.
8) PKE Meter Replica
With all this talk about a Ghostbusters 3, I thought it only appropriate that one on this list be themed to that old classic franchise. The PKE Meter Replica may not help you in detecting ghosts, but it looks good sitting on a shelf or mounted on the wall. Of course, it’ll cost you $109.99 over at bidbadtoystore, but good replicas are always worth it.
Ever been sitting around the house and had to ask yourself “Sex or video games?” Yes, it’s a dilemma that most people face in their lives, some of us on a daily basis. Now, you can have the best of both worlds! The Mojowijo is a sex toy that hooks up to your Wii controller. Both “his” and “hers” are available and you can even play against your significant other (or random strangers?) online. Check out the Mojowijo website for product details and pricing.
10) EmeraldCityComicon Tix
I have saved the best for last – a present that crosses boundaries of age, gender, race, species and all that other stuff. Emerald City Comicon tickets! This coming year the event is taking place from March 1st to the 3rd and will be hosting names such as Patrick Stewart, Adam West and Gillian Anderson. It’s just $65.00 for all three days (though expect to pay 5 times that for a hotel room). You can grab a ticket over at the ECC website.
For the next 12 days (Dec 1st-12th), the staff of Nerd Bastards will be listing a few of their favorite nerdy things. Gadgets, doohickeys, thingamabobs and more – all sorts of items that have been Nerd tested and Bastard approved. Basically, stuff you want, things you need, and everything you can’t have.
We hope you’ll find some unique and nerdtastic gifts among our selections, and that they make their way under your tree, Menorah or Kwanzaa bush.
As nerds, we like to put a twist on almost everything. Which is why, sure, a frying pan is something every kitchen shouldn’t be without, but frying pans are boring. You need a set of pots and pans with sword hilts! Combat Kitchenware is a Kickstarter campaign and they’re goal has already been surpassed. You can still get a variety of pan sizes through donating either $27 for a handle kit to craft your own up to a $275 donation which would get you a customized handle on your pan.
Mornings are hard. That’s why there’s tea, or coffee, or Irish coffee, or maybe you forget the coffee and just drink the whiskey straight. I’m not judging. But I do suggest your check our these funny, geeky, and sometimes wrong mug cozies from KnotworkShop on Etsy. Besides the awesome Jaws quote above, there are Doctor Who cozies, including a pair labeled “Doctor” and “Companion,” words and phrases like “”, “don’t panic”, “I’m a fucking professional!”, and “I am blogging this.” Basically, I dare you to look through the collection and tell me you can’t find a mug cozie you or someone you know would love to have for a mere $13-$25.
Never be accidentally walked in upon again! With this Star Trek-inspired door chime you’ll be alerted whenever anyone crosses the threshold into your room or office. Can be set with either the door opening sound effect or the Red Alert alarm. Also, now on sale at Think Geek for only $19.99!
I just love all of Funko’s Pop! vinyl figures. I have a Joker figure on my coffee table right now. The line only keeps growing with The Walking Dead‘s Daryl joining in January. Available now on Entertainment Earth are characters from Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, DC and Marvel superheroes, Disney characters, and many more. All for only $9.99!
No matter how often DC likes to change her outfit or alter her origin, Harley Quinn is still my girl. But that doesn’t mean I’d buy a statue of her wearing anything besides her original, sexy, classy, and let’s be honest, practical for her line of work, leotard. This latest Bishoujo Statue, available at Entertainment Earth for $54.99, is too cute to pass up.
And speaking of cute, you couldn’t go wrong with these apron pinafores from DarlingAmy‘s Etsy shop. Perfect for either the kitchen or convention floor she’s got a designs from Doctor Who, Star Wars, Legend of Zelda, Adventure Time, and more. Ranging from about $65 t0 $100 these sadly won’t be available in time for Christmas, but knowing this is what you’re waiting for, I think it’s okay.
The only thing I want more than this Portal customizable Aperture Labs handheld portal device is an actual working Aperture Labs handheld portal device. This non-working model is available at Entertainment Earth for $99.99, but I’m sure with some tweaking you might be able to get the thing shooting portals. Maybe. For Science!
I bought myself this set during a Black Friday sale, but still, if you don’t yet own a full set of The Lords of the Rings trilogy this is the best bang for your buck. It’s got everything: the extended edition of all three films plus all of the special features and appendices ever released. It’s 15 discs for only $55.99 on Amazon.
Also available on Amazon is this new box set of the first six volumes of the Sailor Moon manga. Newly translated and restored, the manga is a true classic and surprisingly different from the anime series. With a new anime releasing next year it’s the perfect time to check out the manga that started it all. Only $40.86!
And lastly, a lightsaber. Who hasn’t always wanted one? Nobody, that’s who. You offer someone a lightsaber and you will have their eternal gratitude. Think Geek has these authentic replicas licensed from Lucasfilm for $119.99. But if you’re looking for something with a more personal touch there’s a variety of custom shops including Ultra Sabers and Saber Forge.
The mid-season finale of ‘The Walking Dead’ did not feel much like a finale. Perhaps that is because every episode this season has run at such a high velocity that they all packed the finale punch. This episode, penned by Robert Kirkman himself, moved fast, showed growth, introduced new characters and hinted at the terror that will come in the second half of the season.
“Made to Suffer” opens with a glimpse at a group very much like those we know and love. It can be easy to forget there are other survivors exactly like ours. Usually, when we see other survivors, they are dangerous, or presumed to be dangerous. Tyreese, a long awaited character from the comics, and his crew seek refuge in the prison, not realizing it is already occupied by more than the undead.
Carl, meanwhile is settling in as man of the house. Sadly, but smartly, he is operating as if his father is never coming back. Judith, Hershel, Beth and Carol are all he has. It is this practical and fearless attitude that leads him to find Tyreese and the others in the prison. Carl makes the best decision possible and locks the newcomers out of their section of the prison but he leaves them access to food and water. Tyreese immediately understands Carl’s reasoning and realizes that in order for the others to accept his group, they must play by the house rules.
This scene exemplifies what is so great about this season. There is no need to telegraph the obvious. It seems as if the writers trust the actors more to convey the unsaid and trust the audience more to understand the nuances of these interactions. I wish they had that trust in season 2.
Carl’s line of thinking is said aloud in a different scene and by a different character. While Maggie and Glenn are recovering from their torture, Maggie says, “all this time running from the walkers, you forget what people do.” The true horror of any zombie apocalypse is never the zombies, it’s always the people left behind, driven insane by tragedy.
Glenn is not about to wait around for Merle or the Governor to come back and torture them again. Last week I said Glenn was clever and resourceful. This week he uses the bones from the zombie he killed (while tied to a chair!) as makeshift weapons. Their attempt at an escape is thwarted by Merle, who, in turn, is thwarted by Daryl and the gang. Reunited, everyone finds a safe place to hide and regroup, while Michonne goes in search of the Governor.
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to feel any sympathy for the Governor and his rotting daughter after last week. The show tries but it never translates. We all understand why the Governor has lost his mind but his actions are beyond the pale, no matter his motivations.
Michonne enters the Governor’s home and discovers Penny. She mistakenly and stupidly thinks Penny is a real girl, until she pulls off her hood. The Governor walks in as Michonne is about to kill her. This is where we are supposed to feel sorry for the Governor as he pleads for Penny’s “life.” I don’t. Neither does Michonne. She puts her sword through Penny’s mouth. He lunges at her and they fight. The Governor holds his own for a while, but his fish tanks full of heads do not survive the brawl. Eventually, Michonne stabs him in the eye. She is about to kill him when Andrea walks in with her gun drawn. Andrea is clearly disturbed by the zombie heads all over the floor but she does not waiver. She does, however, allow Michonne to leave. Numb with sadness, the Governor barely notices his missing eye as he cradles his twice-dead daughter.
Meanwhile, Glenn tells Daryl about Merle’s role in their kidnapping and subsequent torture. Of course, Daryl wants to see his brother but Rick asks him to choose between saving his friends and seeing his brother. Daryl chooses the good guys. As they make their finale escape attempt, there is a full on shootout between our crew and the residents of Woodbury. Unable to see who is who due to a smoke bomb thrown by Daryl, Andrea has no idea that she’s firing on her friends. Oscar is shot during the fight and Rick, apparently still not quite over his psychosis, hallucinates that it is Shane who shoots Oscar.
Any humanity left in the Governor died when Michonne finished Penny. That act also killed any sense of loyalty or trust the Governor had in Merle. The episode ends with the Governor rallying Woodbury against the “terrorists” that attacked them. He throws Merle and Daryl into the Zombie Thunderdome and incites the citizens of Woodbury to cry for their blood. Andrea looks horrified but she’ll probably be mooning over the Governor in 5 minutes – or in February when the show comes back.
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 10, 9/8c on AMC.
In this week’s episode of Dexter, “Swim Deep” the story starts to take a turn for the conflictual. As it stands, Deb is still only marginally okay with what Dexter has decided is his life’s work. She’s happy that he’s killing the bad guys, but still has to balance it with her own sense of being a force for justice, as well as deciding exactly what justice really is.
We start off with Dexter feeling like he’s finally brought Deb into “his world” and that she is beginning to understand where he’s coming from. Deborah, however, still has several issues to work through when it comes to what her brother (and potential lover does for a hobby. When she ends up involved with LaGuerta’s discovery of the blood slide that Dexter left behind, she jumps at the chance to help with the investigation as to whether the Bay Harbor Butcher may indeed be still prowling about. In reality, of course, she’s just trying to protect her brother from something that may pin him down.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP
Dexter, to his credit, asks Deb to stay out of the situation, seeking to protect her. This does little to dissuade her from playing the protector, of course. She readily lies to LaGuerta regarding what she knows and makes every attempt to cover up Dexter’s past indiscretions. This ends up biting her in the conscience as the episode goes on.
But the issue with Dexter being discovered is only half the problem. Isaac, being the smart muther-fkr that he is, is tracking our anti-hero and planning to eliminate him when the chance arises. Dexter once again proves himself a bad-ass and sets Isaac up by leading him into the lair of the Russian mob’s enemies, Columbian drug lords. But Isaac proves to be no slouch himself, managing to survive if not necessarily being able to cover his own tracks. In the end, the combined efforts of Dexter and the police put Isaac behind bars. But for how long?
In the background, Batista continues to doubt the probability that the person who supposedly killed Mike is actually responsible. Quinn is still dating his Russian stripper and ends up taking a huge bribe without actually asking for it, which can add up to some serious shit as the season moves forward. And Hannah, ex-g/f of the killer who threw himself in the way of a truck, seems to have a big crush on Dex, despite the fact that he figures out that she was more than just a bystander in her ex-b/f’s killing spree.
The one thing that made this episode stand out was the confrontations between Dexter and Isaac. As opposed to most other seasons, where Dexter is the hunter and the prey (usually a serial killer) is unaware that he’s coming for them, Isaac is a direct opponent of Dexter. The conversations they have spell out the rising tension between the two characters and promise an exciting resolution in the future. Isaac is, in my opinion, the best villain that the writers have brought to the table in all seven seasons. He’s not in it because he happens to be a bit crazy or a little too much like Dexter. He’s there for vengeance, pure and simple, and he happens to be smart enough (and vicious enough) to present a real threat.
The writing and editing this time around were extra amazing. Each scene conveyed exactly what it needed to without delving too deep into background elements. They managed to mix in the evolving relationship between Dexter and Deborah with the plot of the arc at the same time, making each second count. Once again I feel as if the old writers must have been fired and some sort of elite crew brought on to craft this so-far amazing season.
Five episodes in and I’m still not disappointed. I think this is some sort of record for me. I really hope they manage to keep it up through the entire season so that I may remember this soon-to-be-gone series with fondness.
Tune in again next week for another bastardy review of the latest season of Dexter.
Man, does a week every go fast these days. One day your recovering from the grind of the weekend celebration the next day your wondering when you can get back to it. Well never fear, this week’s Sexy Cosplay of the week is here to save the day. We are off to central Florida for a visit with Alouette.
A dancer since she was 3 and a cosplayer since the age of 12, this sporting young lass has more then enough energy to the toils of crafting and wearing her own cosplay. After borrowing a friend’s cosplay for a convention and having way to much fun doing it Alouette decided it was time to start what has now become a life-long obsession of fabrics and photos. From DC‘s Black Canary and Sailor Moon‘s Sailor Uranus, Alouette has a strong foundation in her craft.
This isn’t some regular damsel relying on her natural come-hither good looks either, this chick has bonafide nerd credit. She watches Doctor Who, Star Trek, a loves playing Fallout and she absolutely hates Twilight, my God she’s perfect!
Check out more of Alouette’s work at her Facebook, Deviant Art or Cosplay.com pages.
Hello, and welcome to another astoundingly cheeky edition of Ask the Bastards, the weekly feature where we answer crazy questions that you people dared to ask us. This week we’re talking remakes, the best version of the Hulk, Yoshi, Dredd and which Nerd Bastard is the best Nerd Bastard.
All of our previous installments are available right here. And, if you’ve got a question for us, be sure to Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter. We put out the call for questions every week, so wait for your chance to shine.
Which hulk was better? Avengers or incredible hulk? – Bryan
I like Mark Ruffalo’s performance in The Avengers, and I like how he got to play both Banner and the Hulk (thanks to the miracle of motion capture) in the film. Still, what I appreciated about The Incredible Hulk was that it went into how Banner copes with being the Hulk: the meditation, the breathing, the heart monitor, even the deleted scenes of therapy with Doc Samson. It’s nearly a draw, but I give the edge to The Incredible Hulk. - Adam A. Donaldson
Avengers, because Ruffalo nailed Banner so very well, and I feel like Whedon understood the Hulk perfectly. I’m watching The Avengers as I type this, and the things Ruffalo’s doing with his posture, with his eyes, they’re astounding me. – Matthew Jackson
What’s your favorite character you don’t like to admit you like? – B.J.
Batzarro, world’s worst detective. Batzarro, as far as I know, has only been in the comics. He should have had some kind of cameo or reference in either of Rocksteady’s Batman games. Not doing so was a lost opportunity, IMO. – Nick Bungay
I’m always happy to admit just about any character is a favorite. I do spend way too much time defending the merits of Aquaman, though. – Matthew Jackson
Super mario world- SNES….. how do i make a blue yoshi? – Tyler
Erotic asphyxiation. – Mark Poynter
Take a little LSD. You’ll be seeing blue, alright… and a whole spectrum of other trippy colors. You’ll hear them as well. Note: DO NOT PLAY Super Mario while on LSD. Unless, of course, you want to die. Then have at thee. -Luke Gallagher
Who on your team is the most awesome? – Cody
Luke, head of Nerd Bastards. Because he gave me, a guy with no professional writing experience, a chance to express my nerdy sensibilities on a daily basis. Three years later, and I’m still having some of the most fun I’ve had on Internet since discovering the humorous world of “Rule 34″. – Nick Bungay
I expect all the NB writers to answer this question accordingly. Feed my ego, they will. – Luke Gallagher
Me. – Jason Tabrys
Wilford Brimley – Matthew Jackson
I was very satisfied with J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. To me, it and The Avengers are the two of the best summer movies to be released in the last five years. Having said that, I think there’s plenty of stories left in the Star Trek universe that we can avoid endless, repetitive remakes of every Star Trek incarnation. I’d hate to be typing here in 30 years about the casting rumors for the Enterprise remake (Justin Bieber as Ambassador Soval?). Having said that, so long as the stories being told are well-written, nuanced, and with a fine dose of sci-fi action and adventure, I’m down for Trek in any incarnation. – Adam A. Donaldson
I agree with Adam. It’s a big universe, and while I’m not necessarily interested in six more adventures following young Kirk and the gang, I am interested in where the Star Trek milieu as a whole will go next. But, even with my love for the new movie universe, I’d like to see a return to TV more than anything else. - Matthew Jackson
How do you think Ant-Man will be when it comes out? am I the only one who thinks its fucking retarded? – Dylan
Of course you think it’s retarded right now, even I think it is, but that’s because we’re basing our opinions on concept alone. On paper, the story of an incredible shrinking man who fights crime is pretty lame. But, a lot of things sound dumb on paper. Think of The Avengers for example (the movie). A Norse god, a metal man, a green monster and an 80 year old virgin team up to save the planet from an alien invasion. Try selling that concept to any non comic-book person and they’ll stare at you blankly! Naturally, The Avengers became the 3rd highest grossing movie of all time, so what does that tell you? Point is, it’s what filmmakers and actors do with the material that matters. And, right now it’s too soon to pass judgement on Ant-Man.
Does Ant-Man really need a solo film? Probably not. Wouldn’t he be better served having a cameo in another film and then be added into Avengers 2? Perhaps. I’ll tell you what, though, the idea of Edgar Wright making a film based on it sounds like it could be awesome. – Luke Gallagher
You’re not the only one who thinks that, but I’ve always had love for Ant-Man, and I’m confident in Edgar Wright’s ability to translate that to the screen. Then again, I’m a comic book fan. I’m used to accepting crazy things. – Matthew Jackson
Do you think that Ghostbusters should be remade and if it were up to you who would you cast in the new film? Also would you agree that there should be a live action Thundercats movie? – Matthew
I’d rather see a transition movie where the reins are handed from the original cast to a younger set of Ghostbusters. Any sequel will probably continue to be stranded in limbo until a couple of the original actors die, then there will be no choice except a reboot. Live Action Thundercats movie? I’d rather see it on Broadway as a musical, just make a couple of changes to the CATS production and your golden. – Mark Poynter
I think what Mark says is bang-on, the remake or part 3 question will be debated till one or two cast members pass on. As for who might be cast in a remake, that’s a tougher question. Those people will be focus grouped until the cows come home, but what I will say is that the reason Murray/Aykroyd/Ramis worked so well together is past experience working with each other whether its Saturday Night Live or Stripes. So chemistry’s definitely a factor. And yes on Thundercats movie, but only if Linkin Park does a cover of the theme song.
I invoke rule 34 on both. -Luke Gallagher
Please let’s not remake that one. Please oh please. Even if I admitted that there’s potential for more fun to be head (and I’m not admitting that now), I don’t want to see it without Bill Murray. As for Thundercats, bring it on. – Matthew jackson
Will you marry me? – Jennifer
As a group? I’m gonna say NO, because I’d probably get stuck doing the laundry while some other NerdBastard gets all the fun kinky duties. – Mark Poynter
Absolutely! Yay bigamy! – Adam A. Donaldson
Depends. Will you love me, feed me and never leave me? – Luke Gallagher
I could totally go for having a sister wife. I’ll have to ask my fiancee first. – Nick Bungay
In the words of the great sonic philosophers of our time: “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly. I don’t think you’re ready… cause my body’s too bootyliscious for ya babe.” Thanks for asking though and please, please stay groovy. – Jason Tabrys
To what do you attribute the bombing of Dredd 3D? – Jan
Surprisingly, I think that the stink of the first Judge Dredd movie is still on it, 17 years later. My local TV entertainment reporter called Dredd 3-D “the remake of the 1995 Sylvester Stallone film,” which if I didn’t know better would probably make me think twice about seeing it. Still, what’s ultimately the attribution is that Judge Dredd is a cult comic from the U.K., so thus only a small base genuinely gets excited about it. Maybe we’re just not as Dredd-crazy as fans hope here in North America. – Adam A. Donaldson
A shocking lack of Rob Schneider. – Jason Tabrys
Adam’s got a lot of the factors right. Even if you don’t read comics, you know who Captain America is, but Dredd is harder for the general moviegoing public to grasp. Add to that a lack of major stars (Urban’s great, but he’s not Robert Downey Jr.) and a sense that this movie was going to be more about darkness and less about Avengers-style fun, and you get underwhelming box office performance. It’s a shame, but no one ever said moviegoers were the smartest of consumers. - Matthew Jackson
Hello, kids. Welcome to another thoroughly inappropriate installment of Ask the Bastards, the weekly feature where you, the readers, get to ask us, the writers of Nerd Bastards, any damn thing you want. This week we’re talking comic conventions, Wolverine (again), Marvel NOW! and bad TV shows that we love anyway.
Got a question for Ask the Bastards? Be sure to Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter. We put out the call for questions every week, so wait for your moment.
Retrospective power of veto: what abomination in the world of film/TV/comics would you go back and prevent from being made? – MacDara
A fine choice, but I’ve got two of my own. One is Repo Men. My love of Repo: The Genetic Opera is so deep that when I saw the first trailer for Repo Men, I dry heaved. I know we talk a lot of Hollywood’s lack of creativity, but never has the art of “narrative borrowing” been so explicit for a studio effort. How Repo Men got a major studio commitment and a 2,500 screen opening weekend, while Repo languished on four screens based on the “could care less” whim of Lionsgate is truly astonishing. Runner up is Halloween: The Curse of Michael Meyers, the final film in the series before Kevin Williamsons’ Halloween H20 reboot in 1998. It involves cults, conspiracies, genetic experiments and a ton of story elements that have no place in a Halloween movie. Even a young Paul Rudd as the grown-up Tommy Doyle (the kid Laurie babysits in the first film) can’t save this turd. Also, Donald Pleasence chews the scenery in this, his final performance. – Adam A. Donaldson
Micheal Bay’s Transformers movies come to mind. I hate these movies for their content, or lack there of, and for what that says about the industry. Blow shit up. Tell bad jokes. Make a billion dollars. *shakes head* The days of plot, character development, and meaningful dialogue are all but gone, and that is sad. – Luke Gallagher
I’d probably go with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I should have known better than to be excited about a fourth Indy flick. That original trilogy (even Temple of Doom) is so perfect that by the end of the fourth film I was just confused and sad, moreso even than I was with the Star Wars prequels (at least the last installment of that wasn’t as bad as the middle one). - Matthew Jackson
All stories have their place, even the ugly ones. Though if I really could, I would shoot James Cameron to prevent Avatar from being made. That piece of shit was just too much awful in one package. – Jason McAnelly
The latest attempt at a Conan movie with Jason Momoa. I experienced emotional and physical pain (Banging my head on the seat in front of me) watching that movie. It was such a let down. – Mark Poynter
The Avengers, because we cannot have nice things. Just kidding, don’t hit. Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every time someone makes a Daredevil or Catwoman or (ugh) Ghost Rider that turns out so abysmally bad, I’d like to think it spurs another film maker to make one better. Would we have Dredd 3d if we didn’t suffer through Sly’s Judge Dredd? – Jeremy R! Hudson
What do you guys think of #MarvelNOW? If you like it, which titles are you most excited for? – Jay
I’m not going to lie, Marvel is shit. I’m a fan of the Silver Age, so I hate most of Marvel’s changes now anyway. -Nick Bungay
A lot of the Marvel Now titles sound tired to me, but the Thor: God of Thunder book, which will tell stories about the character across a 1,000 year span sounds like it has potential. – Adam A. Donaldson
I have to admit that I’m still a bit confused about why it’s happening at all. It’s a relaunch but not a reboot, it’s a DC move in a Marvel body. It has all the makings of a stunt with none of the risk. That being said, I am excited about some of the talent. I want to read Waid’s take on Hulk. I want to read Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan’s Deadpool book. I want to read Matt Fraction’s Fantastic Four and Rick Remender’s Uncanny Avengers and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Avengers Assemble. I’m excited for the potential of some of these titles, but I’d be just as excited for them if they weren’t packaged in some weird relaunch-not-a-relaunch promotional frame. Just give me good comics and stop with the posturing. - Matthew Jackson
My only big complaint is the senseless costume changes, other than that I am cautiously optimistic. Basically take everything I said about DC’s New 52 and swap the titles for Marvel’s. Changes will happen. Retcons will occur. Some good come out of it, and a whole lot of bad will be forgotten about. Waid’s Hulk and Posehn’s Deadpool top my list as well. - Jeremy R! Hudson
Wolverine or Deadpool? – Justin
Deadpool is a genuinely great character that is pretty unique in terms of the humor and breaking of the fourth wall that goes on in his books. However, my loyalty goes to Wolverine. He’s got far more gravitas. Dark, harsh, mysterious, and you’re always on edge waiting for him to rage. There’s many interesting stories compared to some characters. In his 25 year existence, there’s been copious amounts of brutal violence, haunting and emotional effectiveness. – Luke Gallagher.
I love them both, so I have to take the easy way out. If I’m making a late night run to Taco Bell that might include a ninja attack, I’m going with Deadpool. If I need to drink with someone, I’m going with Wolverine (though Wolverine can’t stay drunk long, I’m sure he’d try his damnedest). – Matthew Jackson
While Deadpool has a better sense of humor and would probably be more fun to hang out with, Wolvering would definitely be better in bed. Wait… what were you asking? – Jason McAnelly
Batman – Jeremy R! Hudson
Should writers be biting the hands that feed them (Liefield, Rucka)? – B.J.
The phrase “bite the hand that feeds them” implies that these guys won’t still get fed, and that isn’t so. Many writers and artists have done quite well in the shadow of Marvel and DC’s love and I’m sure Rucka and Liefeld will do fine. With that said, hell yes they should and I admire their integrity. If these guys and other creators feel like they aren’t getting a fair shake or they don’t agree with a publisher’s creative vision or their behavior then they should certainly stand up. – Jason Tabrys
Jason’s right. Liefeld’s had this weird nebulous existence outside of comic book authority for two decades now, and he’s doing just fine in spite of being one of the most polarizing figures in the industry. Likewise, Rucka’s a powerful novelist, and he’s got great creator-owned potential. Some writers are perfectly comfortable inside the Big Two system, and that’s great, especially with the ones that can produce great work within that system. Some writers are comfortable walking the line, and that’s great too. But some just get frustrated with it, and they have to walk their own walk. Comics needs people willing to defy the established structure. That’s what gave us Image Comics. That’s what gave us Cerebus. That’s what’s going to keep the industry vibrant. - Matthew Jackson
This one is kinda personal to me, being a writer myself. Honestly, I could go on for hours about the problems inherent in the system, but I will try to reduce it to a few concise sentences. Basically, the comic book industry is built on the backs and creative minds of the writers as well as the talents of the artists. Were it not for these creative minds, comic books would still be relegated to the realm of child’s entertainment. If the industry “Big 2″ (i.e.: Marvel and DC) have come to a point where they consider their talent disposable, it’s time to bite the shit out of those hands. Personally, I refuse to buy Marvel or DC products anymore because I don’t want to support what has essentially become a money-making machine. When the artists again have control of the product, I will reconsider. So to answer your question, yes. Writers and artists should choose integrity over comfort and those that don’t should not be given the respect due a proper artist. - Jason McAnelly
Wait . . . writers get paid? LUUUKKKEEEE!!!!!!!! (Insert echo effect) – Mark Poynter
Would you like to see a DC universe where Superman is a villain? – Steven
It’s actually a pretty awesome thought, but have you never heard of Superboy-Prime, later known in DC continuity as Superman-Prime? The poor bastard’s mind becomes so warped that his course in life at one point was to kill Superman and replace him as Earth’s greatest hero. In trying to do so he not only smashed the barrier of reality, changing multiple DC universes in the process, but becomes -Spoiler Alert!- the Time Trapper of Geoff Johns’ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds storyline. Good read, I suggest it highly Steven. -Nick Bungay
I’m not sure I’d like a whole universe that way, but the idea has been explored to great effect before. Nick’s suggestion is solid, as is Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son, which explores the idea of Superman being picked up by the Russians instead of the Americans. He’s certainly got the makings of a megalomaniac. One of the most compelling elements of Superman is that he has all that power but he chooses to uses it for good, so seeing him turn it in the other direction is always interesting. I’m just not sure it could stay interesting for very long. - Matthew Jackson
Awe, you’re sweet! I think a table at Dragon*Con would be a little much, and I know I often have more to do than the four days allow as it is so I wouldn’t want to be manning – or wo-manning – a table. But a meetup, that’s something I could get behind. Especially since we could plan a meetup at a place serving alcohol, y’know, to really embrace the drunken, debaucherous spirit of Dragon*Con. I think I speak for myself and fellow Nerd Bastard and Dragon*Con attendee, Mark, when I say, “We’re down.” Now if only we could convince a few more of these bastards to join us. Only 340 days to go! (Psst, badges are already on sale.) -Sarah Moran
I would love to go to Dragon*Con. Not just for the joy of meeting fans like yourself, but for the fact that I’ve never been before. 100 nerd demerits, I know. But I’m a broke nerd from a desolate part of Canada. I don’t get out much. Imma try to go next year though. -Nick Bungay
One of the perils of our business is that our colleagues are literally spread out across the continent. I would love a Bastards meet-up, at Dragon*Con or any con for that matter, but maybe not a table. Perhaps Nerd Bastards can host some kind of after party. A super exclusive soiree that’s invite only during one night of the con. Naturally, you Kat are already on the list. If you’d like to sponsor the Nerd Bastards After Party, please get in tough with our boss Luke Gallagher at nerdbastards.com. (I’m kind of joking, but if you’d seriously like to sponsor this, we’re amenable.) – Adam A. Donaldson
Sarah and Adam stole my thunder. They pretty much said everything I was going to say. Uh… I’ve thought about setting up a booth/table for marketing and fan interaction purposes. Sadly, as fun as having a booth would be, it’s not practical, nor affordable enough to make a reality. Booths/tables are expensive. Without something to hawk and sell to give us a return on the investment, we’re just not able to make such a commitment. Plus, we’re a blog. We’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of panels, interviews and floor happenings in which to report back on. Now that I think about it, though, maybe we could work in junction with a comic book/ collectible retailer that are setting up shop for the con weekend. We could even sponsor an artist, or other creatives. Both would give us an excuse to slap our name on something (the marketing whores that we are). During down times we could hang out at the booth for fan meet-and-greets, and on-site podcasts. So, yeah, that’s an option. I’ll look into it. Thanks for inspiring me. In the mean time, however, bar meet ups are a great idea. We’ll explore this for future cons. Stay tuned. btw, thanks for the nerd love! – Luke Gallagher
I talked about doing one this year, but once I got to the Con there was just so much to do and see that trying to get the word out was just too much. We’ll get our shit straight for next year though and find a place at the Con to take over for a couple of hours of debauchery. Maybe we could team up with another group like Luke was saying . . . maybe Cosplay Deviants . . . I could get behind that idea. – Mark Poynter
What…is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? – Ken
What do you mean? African or European swallow? – Matthew Jackson
Dammit, Matthew! I was going to go for the quick and dirty, quote the movie answer. Instead, I’ve researched what the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow – and by researched I mean Googled – and came up with this rather scientific sounding answer: the airspeed velocity of an unladen European swallow is roughly 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour. No word of the African swallow due to kinematic data for both species of African swallows being hard to come by. And since we’re being scientific, I’ll show my work – and by my work I mean someone else’s diligent work – found here at style.org. – Sarah Moran
Not enough to carry a coconut, damn you. - Jason McAnelly
I never got past the question about my favorite color. – Mark Poynter
First music format purchase, was it an LP, Cassette, CD, MP3 or Digital Download and what album/song was it? – Mike
Cassette and it was either Green Day’s “Dookie” or the Presidents of the United States’ eponymous album. – Jason Tabrys
CD and it was Foo Fighters’ 1995 self-titled debut album. To this day, it is still one of my top ten all-time favorite records. I could listen to it all month and not get bored. -Nick Bungay
Cassette. And it was, of all things, the Ghostbusters II soundtrack. I’ve still got it too. – Adam A. Donaldson
First format purchase was CD. I think it was Metallica’s Black Album. It was a secret purchase too. I was 12 at the time and my parents wouldn’t buy it for me. Too mature and loud for my sweet prince ears. I bought it off an older kid and listened to it at night, under heavy blankets- Luke Gallagher
Oh, this is going to be frustrating, because I’m not actually certain that I remember. The closest guess I have is a cassette of the Top Gun soundtrack, which I wore the hell out. - Matthew Jackson
Cassette baby – yeah, I’m old. I think it was a Def Leppard tape or some rubbish like that. I was about 12 years old, so I assume it’s time to forgive and forget. – Jason McAnelly
First purchase – Record, Shaft soundtrack (You know he’s a bad Muther . . .) This is still talked about every now and then by my mother. Apparently it scandalized my grandmother (She still let me buy it) who had taken me shopping when I was around 8 years old. – Mark Poynter
You guys pumped for the WoW expansion or is the game done in your opinion? – Bob
I’m always pumped for more Wow! Oh, you mean World of Warcraft. Never mind. – Adam A. Donaldson
I think WoW is done, there are just so many other options now — how can they compete? They apparently think the answer is kung fu Pandas, but I’m not so sure. – Jason Tabrys
For the comic book readers among you, what was your favorite X-Men (or other X-Title) story arc? – Alex
Messiah Complex, mostly for the story but also because it set up the second volume of Cable. That book, by Duane Swierczynski, is among my all-time favorites. It only lasts 25 issues and it got a little sloppy at the end, but for me that and Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run are as close to perfection as Marvel has come with the X-Men property in the last 10 years. - Jason Tabrys
I maintain an unreasonable and powerful fascination with the Claremont era, because the modern landscape of X-Men comics simply wouldn’t look even remotely the same without him. Yes, his stories are overwrought, wordy and sometimes downright nuts (even for comics), but he did something amazing in nearly two decades of following the same team. I love Matt Fraction’s entire run on the X-books, but my favorite story of all time is still The Dark Phoenix Saga from the Claremont era, simply because I love how big it got, and how dangerous. What’s happened with it since might be a little much, but that changed the X-books forever, and it was just so ambitious that it can’t be overlooked. It’s a cliche, but it’s what’s always stood out for me. Though if I had to hand you something to read right away, I’d hand you Fraction’s Second Coming-era work, Whedon’s Gifted or Warren Ellis’ Ghost Box. - Matthew Jackson
Being a devotee of the Claremont years, I would have to vote for either The Dark Phoenix Saga or Inferno. Admittedly, I haven’t read much of the newer stuff so I can’t say for sure, but those two arcs were beautiful, dark and sad. It’s hard to compare to such amazing writing as Claremont’s. He is the best. I love him. I want to have his babies. – Jason McAnelly
Ditto on The Dark Phoenix. Crying over a damn comic book, special times. – Mark Poynter
Clearly Claremont, the definitive X-writer. I will always love the all to brief Australian Era for the team. Can we get a mohawked leather clad Storm back in MarvelNOW! please? – Jeremy R! Hudson
When do you think this incarnation of Doctor Who will be “over”? – Meg
I think Mr. Smith will gracefully exit at the end of 2013. No one will ever have the longevity that Baker did and the show is too much of a juggernaut now to accommodate more of a sputtered schedule than it already has, meaning it would be somewhat difficult for Smith to pursue the other opportunities that he seemingly craves while still serving as the Doctor. – Jason Tabrys
I agree with Jason, it seems likely Matt Smith will leave the role after the 50th anniversary sometime during the show’s eighth series. But, what I find an even more interesting query is for how long will Doctor Who run? It’s already proven its staying power what with lasting for 26 years, then being on hiatus for 16 years during which there was the mediocre TV movie, and coming back with great success and popularity in 2005. For a TV show to last as long as Who has is one mind-boggling achievement, especially for a science fiction show as weird as Who is! Could the current iteration of the show last as long as the first? We can hope. Only 19 more years to go to match its original run! And even as I type that, it does sound unrealistic, doesn’t it? -Sarah Moran
I would agree that Smith is probably on the short side of his run at this point, but what’s more intriguing to me is how long Steven Moffat will stay on this ship. He seems more than happy to run this show and keep others going (Sherlock) at the same time. He’s prolific, energetic and seemingly bursting with ideas. At some point his concepts might run off the rails, but they’re nowhere near there for me. I’d say Smith’s got another year or two left, but I long to see what Moffat does with another Doctor, particularly a female Doctor. - Matthew Jackson
Matt Smith is still in full swing. I give him another season after this one. Then, someone will buckle, whether it be Smith wanting to do other things or the production crew wanting to move on to someone new. Part of the appeal of The Doctor is that you get to see new people put on the face and do their own interpretation. Fans will demand it eventually. *To Sarah: It’s not unrealistic! A pox on thee! Doctor Who will live forever! - Jason McAnelly
To Sarah: Who has a built in advantage because they can so easily shift gears, change Doctors and creative voices. With that said, 19 years is a long time, and one never knows where people’s tastes will go, but right now the show seems to be untouchable.
To Matthew: I’m also curious to see how long Moffat sticks with it, but I wonder who will take over when he inevitably leaves. My guess/hope is that Toby Whitehouse or Mark Gattiss would take the reigns, though in a perfect world Davies’ would give it another go. Also, I’ll step into the controversy bear trap and say that I don’t want a female Doctor — it isn’t about a woman in that kind of role, it’s about the tradition with that character. – Jason Tabrys
What are your favorite yet terrible short-lived sci-fi shows? For me, MANIMAL & AUTOMAN come to mind. – Jeff
Time Trax! Syndicated lovely from the early 90s with Dale Midkiff (Pet Cemetery) playing a detective from the future who has to come to our time in an effort to round up a bunch of criminals that have time traveled to us. It’s sort of a reverse-Demolition Man (which is not a sexual position) and he has a hologram sidekick, so it sort of feels like a Quantum Leap rip-off. With Looper coming out, it seems like an odd sort of spiritual cousin, so if you can find it I highly advise that you give it a watch because it is premier 90s cheese. – Jason Tabrys
I’ve got a couple. First was seaQuest DSV, a series that had some pretty good ideas that were kind of taken to waste in execution with too much focus on the Wesley Crusher-ish Jonathan Brandis and the talking dolphin. But for more abstract there’s a UPN series called Deadly Games, a pre-Matrix tale of video game villains escaping their cyberspace domain into the real world and the nerdy programmer that needs to stop them with the help of his buddy and ex-girlfriend. Christopher Lloyd played the big boss, Sebastian Jackal. It wasn’t great, but it had awesome cameos by LeVar Burton, Dwight Schultz, Brent Spiner, Anthony Michael Hall and Mark Pellegrino as some of the escaped villains. – Adam A. Donaldson
Oh, Adam just reminded me how much I loved SeaQuest as a kid. But, if I’m being honest, the ones that I loved the most that didn’t actually have that many episodes were cartoons that were actually made before I was born. I really dig stuff like Centurions, The Herculoids and the Godzilla animated series (mostly because I liked the idea of pressing a button and summoning a sea monster). I’ve also got a love of Carnivale, which was definitely not terrible, but certainly far too short-lived. - Matthew Jackson
Far far FAR too many to mention, I could go on for hours and pages on the topic. Don’t worry, I won’t. I just wanted to pop in and share in the seaQuest DSV love-in a little. Hell, I even enjoyed the third season when show took the strange turn. Roy Scheider left the show, they said f#ck it to science and exploration and decided to start blowing s#!t up with Michael Ironside as the new captain. - Jeremy R! Hudson
Will you be attending NYCC? – Lawrence
Sadly, I will not be attending NYCC this year. I will however be going to Hal-Con, Atlantic Canada’s largest sci-fi, fantasy and comic convention from October 26th to 28th. If any fellow Canadians or Americans see a guy wearing a Nerd Bastards tee rocking a sweet P.O.W block tattoo that’ll be me. Come over and say hi, I’ll gladly shake your hand and sign a couple of t-shirts. -Nick Bungay
Of course. I’ll be there covering the floor, scoring interviews for Nerd Bastards and The Bastardcast, and delivering unto you all the news from comics, film, TV, toys, and video games that I can possibly cover on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (not Sunday, that’s Kids Day, and they are evil). I’ll also have a dedicated cosplay photographer with me, so you know you’re goona get to see all the best shots here on Nerd Bastards.
On Saturday I’ll be joined by Luke Gallagher, so hopefully one of us will be able to get into the Evil Dead panel, the Walking Dead panel, and the Firefly panel.
We’re going to expend maximal effort to provide a high level of awesome for you during New York Comic Con. By the way, if you want to come over to me and say hi, I will run as far away as my pudgy little legs will carry me. Stranger Danger!!! – Jason Tabrys
No. It’s too damn far away. – Jason McAnelly
This week, on the second installment of Episodes! Jason is joined by ‘Dinosaur Planet’ musician, comic book nerd, Whovian, and real-life British person MJ Hibbett to discuss the 2nd episode of Doctor Who‘s 7th season, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, because we really just couldn’t resist doing another Who ep.
So, what is the Episodes! podcast? It is NerdBastards‘ second podcast and it focuses on the wonderful world of television. Good shows, bad shows, new shows, old shows — all are in danger of having one of their classically good or classically bad episodes deconstructed and examined by our host — Bastardcast co-host Jason Tabrys — and a weekly special guest. Yes, really it’s quite grand.
Note: This week’s episode was supposed to be “The Body” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but our intended guest had a minor accident that de-railed her appearance. Worry not though, she is A-OK and we expect to have her on in the near future.