Friday, August 22, 2008

Gearing up for the fall season...with rings

No, that was not an Olympics reference.

My DVR should be able to schedule season passes for me at least a few weeks in advance, but for many shows, that doesn't seem to be the case, and that really sucks since Jul and I are in Kansas for the next week and better not miss any shows. Cause that's where my priorities are. Fix it, Time Warner!

Also, here's the schedule grid for the fall season. I'd make one myself, but why waste the time when The Futon Critic has already done it for me.

Enjoy!

As a side note, I recommend to anyone thinking of getting married in the next few years to get a job in the entertainment industry. Apparently they really enjoy gifting. Which is really my way of again saying thanks, just in case any of you out there happen to be secretly reading this. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Side Note:

writing features is hard.

The Inbox Test

I am really busy. Stop me if you've heard this before.

How do I know this (besides the fact that I'm living the really-busyness right now)?

Well...

Normally my Gmail is hyper-organized. It's one of the few areas of my life where I embrace my rather minimal OCD side, the other being my DVD collection, which is totally not divided into TV and film and alphabetized by genre, which can be more difficult than you would expect because many things cross over into different genres and sometimes it's difficult to decide which is the best place to put something, and what if you choose wrong? WHAT IF YOU CHOOSE WRONG?!...

(That was fun.)

But Gmail.

I star things which require a reply. I delete daily. I check and delete Spam (the awesome penis enlargement messages, not the delicious canned treat). I archive by name or subject -- sometimes both.

When I'm living my regular-programming life, I always have fewer than 50 inbox messages and usually fewer than 25. Unread messages? 2 or 3 at the most, unless I'm keeping them unread (and starred) as a reminder to reply.

I like a clean inbox, which is not a euphemism, but feel free to think of it as one if it amuses you.

My inbox right now? 146 messages. 17 unread. 39 drafts. 1372 spam folder emails.

So if you're wondering why I haven't replied, didn't attend your event or missed my deadline to send you notes, look no further than my inbox for the reason why.

What are the telltale signs in your life that things are a little crazy?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Want an entertainment job?

Because Anonymous...or possibly Anonymi...have been posting jobs here every once in a while for the last few months. Like this one:

"2nd Assistant to Shonda Rimes, creator of GREY’S ANATOMY, needed. Please send resumes to Sonay Washington at greysanatomy5@gmail.com Entry level, full time position that is 60% personal. Health benefits and overtime. 60 hr/week."

Now he, she or they wants to know if it's useful to the readers of this blog.

I know my answer: YES. Even if nothing has EXACTLY matched and/or...ahem...I haven't been contacted for anything I might have possibly maybe applied for, I'm thrilled to see these posts every once in a while.

How about all of you out there? Let Anonymous know you appreciate the job listings too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Comic-Con Showrunners Panel

So, I know these things are coming out at a crawl, but I promise I'll be done writing them before next year's Con...

San Diego Comic-Con Coverage: Entertainment Weekly’s Showrunners Panel – Part 1

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS*

Josh Schwartz of Chuck, Gossip Girl, and The OC. Josh Friedman of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Bryan Fuller of Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, and Wonderfalls. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse of Lost. You can’t ask for a more impressive television panel than that.

Moderator Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly introduced everyone to thunderous applause, then explained the format. He would ask the panelists “boring” questions for the first half hour and they would respond in a more entertaining way. Then, for the last half hour, audience members were welcome to ask any questions they desired…with one caveat that he demonstrated:

JENSEN: Damon and Carlton, where is the island?
CUSE: I do not recall.
JENSEN: How did John Locke die and end up in the coffin?
LINDELOF: We have no recollection of that.
JENSEN: I have a theory. Do you wanna hear it?
DARLTON: Yes.


Read the rest here! Or, you know, just click on the title...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Disney-Aaaarrrggghhh!BC

I'd recommend not waiting until the last minute but... Umm... Well... You know.

Last minute notarizing and hours spent on the 405 and yeah.

And since I hate the essay stuff, I'm gonna share part of mine. Because I can. I don't promise that it's good, just that it is:

"TV shows breathe. They sit down and have a beer with you and let things unfold naturally. The characters often face tremendous strife, but most of the time they’re only changed in small ways, because most of the time people don’t change all that quickly. We go through a slow evolution and often have to relearn things again and again. TV can show this in a way that no other medium can, and the best shows straddle the line between episodic stories and ongoing character arcs. More than anything, that's what I want to do with my writing."

Good night...and good luck to all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Now that's Comic-Con Coverage

Read Shawna for succinct, comprehensive coverage on what kind of TV presence each network had at Comic-Con.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Panel-a-rama and more TALES FROM THE CON

Better late than never, right? Well, let's hope so, because Jul and I still have a boatload of articles to get up for PRG. I see why our friends who do coverage for other outlets try to limit themselves to covering one panel a day. Of course, then we'd need more people covering events...and it's kind of fun being pretty much the only ones on the site doing coverage, so...you know.

Ahem.

Actually, I don't have many tales this year. Comic-Con was great, and the weather was much milder (thank god), but mostly I just remember being exhausted. No one to blame but myself on that one...

THURSDAY

3pm --


After a lot of insanity and a last-minute on-again off-again New York recording session for my bosses that eventually settled at on-again, I was able to leave work early. Lucky thing, since Jul and I had class from 7-10 that night and still had to pack, bathe our dog, print out maps and tickets and all sorts of fun business, and get Tony (the dog in question) over to our friend's apartment. I don't think my head hit the pillow until 1am, which wouldn't be so bad, except...

FRIDAY

5am --


The alarm went off and my body screamed bloody murder at me. Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment...just usually not my own. Luckily, I was driving...oh...wait.

We dragged ourselves out to the car, piled in, and got on the road just before 5:30. How is there traffic in LA even at 5:30 in the morning?

Once we got outside the city, the drive was smooth and fast. I was starting to curse myself and think that I had made us leave too early, but it ended up working out just about perfectly. We rolled into San Diego about

8:15am-8:30am --

But by the time we found parking, trudged to the convention center and got our badges, it was well after 9. How well? I don't know. Did I not mention the 4 hours of sleep I got?

Jul was planning on camping out for The Whedon's 1:30 panel on...stuff...but I really wanted to see a couple of things earlier, so we decided to split up. Better in terms of getting more PRG coverage that way anyway.

She and our roommate, Michael, went down to the exhibition floor to pick up a few quick things for friends while I waited for my first panel to begin and couldn't help smiling as one college-aged guy explained the rules of Magic: The Gathering to his three buddies. Ah, Comic-Con.

10:30am --

My first panel begins: Max Brooks, son of Mel and writer of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. I've never read the books, but Brooks absolutely made me want to run out and pick them up. His approach to the zombie genre sounds that awesome. Read more here.

Funny guy, very entertaining.

11:30am --

I raced over to the Samurai Girl panel at 11:45 and discovered that racing wasn't really necessary. Samurai Girl, for those of the uninitiated...like I was...is a series of novels that have been adapted into an ABC Family TV show premiering this fall. Or at least that's what I thought at first. Turns out it's a three-part mini-series that seems like it's serving as a backdoor pilot for a hopeful later show.

As a lover of Buffy, Wonderfalls, and a slew of female-centric shows, I'll definitely at least give it a few episodes, as the show looks like it could be interesting. The panel, however... Well, while Stacy Keibler and Brendan Fehr were nice and extremely accommodating, I really didn't go to the panel to hear about Roswell or watch horny fanboys fall over over themselves over how much the WWE missed Kiebler's amazing wrestling prowess. At one point a questioner even asked Keibler if she would stop the panel to take a picture with him. Sigh.

The most entertaining part was listening to Jamie Chung talk about how playing lead character Heaven had turned her into an action movie nut who rents martial arts flicks all the time. "I watch to see who's doing the stunts, who choreographed them, wondering how many times they had to do them, what matches, what doesn't, what kind of martial arts are they using? Is it mixed martial arts? ... It's taken over my life." That's kind of awesome. She was also kind enough to reveal that she's single, so if any of you out there like her and happen to run into her on the street, you've got a shot! Maybe!

12:30pm --

I snuck out early to make sure I got into the TV Guide Showrunners panel at 1:45 and caught the end of a panel on the new Spiderman animated show. A couple of people mentioned that they weren't excited about the show at first, but it eventually won them over and now they love it... Having no experience with the show other than the panel, I'd have to say I'm still in the former camp.

1:45pm --

Lindelof and Cuse. Josh Schwartz. Josh Friedman. Bryan Fuller. Talking about how awesome they are. Except for Friedman, who said he felt "like one of the Pips" when all the Q&A questions were going to Team Darlton.

And no questions about poor Pigby...

3:00pm --

Lunch at the beautiful San Diego Convention Center: pepperoni pizza and Lay's potato chips. Screw you, arteries!

3:30-5ishpm --

Paneled out. Help Jul prepare to go to the ABC Family press party and interview people from Samurai Girl and Kyle XY.

Walk around the exhibition floor for a few minutes. There's a Harold & Kumar booth where they're letting people get their pictures taken on top of a fake unicorn a la NPH in the movies. And then giving everyone a copy of the picture on a button. And an orange prison jumpsuit. Why didn't I do this?!

Find an outlet upstairs and recharge my laptop...sort of halfway kind of begin writing Max Brooks article for Pink Raygun.

I've decided to go to the Genre TV Writers panel at 6:30, so just to be safe I head over to the room and

5:15pm --

Holy Jesus McGillicutty, the line is already down the hall. I know there will be Moonlight and Jericho writers on the panel, but really?

No, as it turns out, not really. The panel right before is for Penny Arcade, which is a LOT more popular than I knew. Good for them. I get in line, but keep my laptop on so I can write...until the battery dies in 20 minutes.

To my great surprise, I make it into the PA panel. The guys can definitely work a room, and they're funny and self-effacing and all that, but most of it meant nothing to me as I have basically no familiarity with them. Sorry, guys. Sad. :(

6:25pm --

The room cleared out amazingly fast after the PA panel and I moved as close to the front as I could get -- second row. As I waited for the panel to begin, Jul arrived from her I'm-so-cool press party and spilled on it. Yes, ladies, his eyes really are that blue. Apparently. She'll have a whole write-up on it at some point.

6:30pm --

Panel begins and it's fun. More importantly, it's new. Let's face it -- Darlton, The Whedon and their ilk are quoted incessantly. And while I love hearing them talk, after a while a lot of it starts to sound similar, so it's always interesting to hear the non-megastar writers talk about the job.

Afterward, Jul and I know we should go up and introduce ourselves or something, but we're lame and can't think of anything. Note for future selves: you write for a geek website that covers genre TV. Unfortunately that realization came several hours later because we're dumb. However -- Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman), David Simkins (Warehouse 13, Dresden Files), Steve Kriozere (V.I.P, Sliders, Dead & Deader), Steve Melching (The Clone Wars, The Batman), Ashley Miller (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Matthew Federman (Jericho, E-Ring), and Harry Werksman & Gabrille Stanton (Moonlight) -- if you're interested in doing an interview for Pink Raygun, I think we can make ourselves available.

7:20pm --

Our plan was to camp out for the Dr. Horrible screening, but the line was already closed. For something showing at 10:45 that night. Two rules, Comic-Con planners: 1) Nobody puts baby in a corner, and 2) a room that seats only a few hundred people will never be adequate for any kind of Whedon event.

What-ev.

That four hours of sleep was really catching up with me, so we met some friends for dinner, talked to Michael about Bill Plympton: "I was walking around the artist area and saw some of Bill Plympton's work. So I was like, 'Cool, Bill Plympton.' Then I looked up and Bill Plympton was sitting there, so I was like, 'Oh, hey, Bill Plympton.' That was pretty cool." I'm probably completely f-ing up the quote. And if my roommate sounds like a stoner, he's not; it was just his first Con. :)

Oh, and he also found Chris Carter just hanging around in the Fox booth and got him to sign something. Like you do.

9:30-10pm --

Hotel. Check in, drop bags, fall onto bed, sleep.

SATURDAY

8:30am --

Shower and call a cab since we'll be going out for a friend's birthday that night. Partake of the lovely Days Inn continental coffee, OJ and day-old bread store danishes. Breakfast is the most important meal, you know.

Cab arrives. Friends texting us because we were supposed to go to the Futurama panel with them at 10. It's not looking good.

9:30am --

We can see the convention center 20 yards ahead, but we're stuck in traffic. Unfortunately a request that the cabbie let us out there and walk prompted him to lock the doors on us. I kid you not. Whatever, dude, it's coming out of your tip.

9:35am --

There's not a chance in hell we're getting in to the panel, but at least we'll get into The Simpsons at 10:45.

Jul and I had decided the night before that we would just sit in the same room all day Saturday, since it had some great panels and the only other things we were interested in (alas, Pushing Daisies, Lost, Heroes...) directly conflicted. Ahh, well.

So we got in the line that not only went all the way down the hallway and out onto the balcony, but actually wrapped around the balcony and went back inside...and somehow we still managed to get into Futurama. Shocking. And that wasn't sarcasm.

10am --

The panel was fun, but not quite as cool as the previous year, when they handed out a Con-only Futurama comic book and had the cast do a table read for us.

10:45am --

After briefly walking off-stage, Matt Groening returned to talk Simpsons with several of the writers, but sadly no cast members. Again: fun, but nothing earth-shattering. We learned who some of the celebrity voices will be this year and saw some very funny clips from the new Treehouse of Horror. The Grand Pumpkin indeed.

11:45am --

The next part of our Day In Ballroom 26 was a Spotlight on Dean Koontz. Now, I remember reading Koontz when I was between the ages of, say, 12 and 15, and really liking him for a while. Then...nothing. Hadn't thought of him in years. So when I saw this panel, it was not something I was excited for.

I've gotta say, though, Koontz was pretty interesting. He was visibly nervous for most of his hour, and really tried to tailor his speech (and it was a speech, make no mistake) to the Comic-Con crowd without much success, but when he just told his stories and loosened up a bit, I liked him a lot. Ultimately one of my favorite events.

1pm --

Whedon. Dushku. Penikett? For his sort-of third appearance of the Con (he apparently came out and waved before Dr. Horrible screened), Whedon and crew talked about Dollhouse and defended themselves to a fan whose question was: "I'm not excited about the show. Why should I be excited?"

Despite only half of that being a question, Whedon was kind enough to answer, but we'll have more on that later.

2:15pm --

Battlestar Galactica...which I mostly missed, because by the time it started I was really hungry and thirsty and had to nab a bathroom pass to step out for a few minutes and grab some soft pretzels and drinks. Note: the cheese does not come with the pretzels. Lame.

By the time I got back into the panel, it was half over. I did get to hear Kevin Smith being Kevin Smith (he was the moderator) and learn that apparently Helo (Penikett) shoots like a girl. (This was later refuted by Penikett.)

3:30pm --

In which Jayne is given the order to take out Chuck.

Great, lively panel. Lots of fun. Seriously, though, Comic-Con organizers, did you have to put the giant widescreen TV right in front of Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez?

4:45pm --

Fringe panel...but I'm not sure what we really learned about the show. Some Lost-verse and Star Trek questions. JJ denies leaking the Fringe pilot a few months ago, but Bob Orci says he's not sure he believes him.

5:45pm --

We escape Ballroom 26, find restrooms and then find an outlet, where we work on updating our "live" coverage. (Sorry about that, folks. Next time we'll be better at keeping our batteries charged.)

After a bit we go down to the exhibition hall to try and grab some goodies, but they're already closing up for the evening. Suckiness.

More writing while we wait to meet up with people and go out for our friends birthday dinner. (Note: I highly recommend Kemo Sabe in San Diego. Literally every single thing we ate was absolutely delicious.)

10ish
--

We were supposed to go out to a tequila bar after dinner, but we're all feeling pretty dead and just head back to hotel rooms. Sleepy time.

SUNDAY

8:45am --

Wake up and do the whole getting ready thing. Pile into the car around 9:30 and drive toward the convention center.

9:45ish --

Stuck in traffic right next to the convention center, I drop Michael off so he can get his Con on while Jul and I look for parking.

10am --

As we trudge toward the Con and look over the day's panels, we realize that there's not a whole lot we want to do and decide to spend the whole morning on the exhibition floor.

10:10am --

Walking around even this late in the Con, we were still able to nab:

Bags -- Watchmen, Pushing Daisies/Chuck, Sideshow Collectibles, probably more I don't remember.
Comics -- Hellboy, Recorded Attacks (zombies), a few more I don't remember.
Posters -- Yeah, I'm not even going to list; there's way too many.
Buttons, etc -- Same deal. Sorry. There's a possibility we'll be offering much of our SWAG as prizes on PRG, so if you're interested, keep your eyes peeled.

11:45ish --

Can't walk anymore. Since we promised "light" Sunday coverage, Jul and I find an outlet and upload some of our pics from the panels to PRG.

1pm --

Back to the exhibition floor. More free stuff, including (I kid you not) fairy wings. No, you cannot have them. They belong to Jul; get your own.

We search for artwork for our new place, but everything's (and I know this will sound odd coming from us) too obviously geeky. Sorry, I'm just not into having a painting of a dragon on my wall.

It's our preference to be just a tad bit more subtle.

3:30pm --

We say goodbye to beautiful San Diego, but not before grabbing a delicious 1lb. California Burrito from Santana's. Mmmmm...so good...Until next year, True Believers... Too much? Yeah, I guess that was a little too much.

For lovers...of Buffy

I'm sure this has been widely seen by now, but Aintitcool has a link to what looks like the first few minutes of the aborted animated Buffy pilot, so now I'm jumping on the bandwagon.



But even better...in searching for the above clip I stumbled across smartjoe299 on YouTube, who has apparently been spending an inordinate amount of time "animating" Buffy Season 8. Is that a video game he's using?

Sir, I salute you.

Friday, August 1, 2008

San Diego Comic-Con Coverage: Spotlight on Max Brooks

*Note: Simul-posted on Pink Raygun*

It might seem odd that the son of a comedy legend would make his name writing books about zombies, but listen to Max Brooks for five minutes and there’s no question that he’s Mel’s son. They have the same stage presence, the same comedic timing, the same… hair. When he walked out to his podium and realized that there was a big, empty table next to him with a line of seats and microphones, he invited the first row of the audience up to be his “panel” and had the Comic-Con workers let in any people who had missed the cutoff point and were still waiting outside. Classy. Funny. Brooks-y.

Read the rest here!