Showing posts with label Buffy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buffy. Show all posts

Nerd Lunch Podcast 98: Nerd Romance

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CT, Jeeg, and Pax get a dose of culture this week with a visit from Sue London, author of Trials of Artemis (The Haberdashers Book One). After getting the lowdown on what Sue has been doing and what she will be doing, the four of them discuss various couples in the nerd genres including power couples, mismatched couples, married couples, and love triangles. The romance discussion ends with an exercise in "create-a-romance" where The Matrix's Trinity sees a lot of action. Nerd To-Dos involve d20Monkey, a real Millennium Falcon, more Game of Thrones talk, and the consuming of a free Quarter Pounder from McDonald's.


Nerd Lunch Podcast 95: TAG Network Crossover – Fan Fic Review 3

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It's a very special episode of Nerd Lunch! This week on the show, CT, Jeeg and Pax take off for the Great White North and are replaced by The Atomic Geeks. Michael DiGiovanni (aka MD), Christian Nielsen and Mike Downs take over Nerd Lunch and welcome Fourth Chair Ryan Hewson from The Perpetual Geek Machine Podcast. The four of them do their take on the Fan Fic Reviews franchise topic (previously done in episodes 18 and 62). Stories from FanFiction.net covered include Knight Rider meets The Incredible Hulk, Police Academy, Good Omens, and Buffy meets Kill Bill. Nerd To-Dos include new podcasts and blogs and networking appliances.

And be sure to check out CT, Jeeg and Pax on this week's episode of The Atomic Geeks where they do their take on Gunpoint Reviews!

Nerd Lunch Podcast 74: Nerd Lunch Party

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Jeeg makes his much anticipated return (whatever) to the show to talk party food with CT and guest Jasmin Fine from 1FineCookie.com. After getting the 411 on 1 Fine Cookie and debunking the rumor that Jasmin is related to Fran Drescher, we put together a nerd party with themed versions of our favorite appetizers / finger foods. And really what would a party be without snacks based on The Walking Dead, Mork & Mindy, or Buffy? This week's Nerd To-Dos feature a nerd's quest to live without a TV, Pie Day celebration plans, and the BBC show Ashes to Ashes.

Nerd Lunch Podcast 47: Expanded Universes

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 Pax, CT, Shawn Robare, and TAG Irregular Mark Dury provide our take on expanded universes. We discuss our favorite EUs from Star Wars to the Buffyverse, talk about what works or doesn't work in EU, and offer up some properties we wish had EU. When we're done, be sure to check out this week's episode of The Atomic Geeks podcast for even more speechifying on EUs. Our Nerd To-Dos feature a Formula 1 racing documentary (huh?), new TMNT toys, more Planet of the Apes, and some Dark Knight Rises.

The "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" Slayer

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Let me state up front that sight unseen, I have no interest in or intention to watch a Buffy, The Vampire Slayer reboot. (Even if Joss Whedon was involved, I have no interest in a reboot. If Whedon were to be involved with a reunion, I'd definitely check that out, although I don't really need it.)

With that said, a Buffy reboot does not bother me. I quite simply do not care. Unless Malcolm McDowell comes to my house, I will not be forced to watch this new version. And, it's existence does not erase my Buffy or Angel DVDs.

Remakes, reboots and reimaginings are a part of life. They've been happening for years. A property is created by a person, but the companies that fund the creation have ownership. They have the legal rights to go back to the well on these things. And why shouldn't they? It's easier to hit the ground running with a known name as your vehicle.

Don't get me wrong, I find this to be creatively bankrupt. This is akin to those horrible, cheaply produced DVDs that you see pop up in stores at the same time Disney movies come out based on public domain characters. It's about name recognition and trying to get the audiences attention in a sea of varying channels.

I'm one of those guys that didn't want a rebooted Star Trek. I said before that I'd rather see J.J. Abrams do his own space movie instead of labeling it Star Trek. But it doesn't matter what I want. "Star Trek" isn't mine. It's Paramount's. And "Star Trek" is going to make a million times more money than "Space Journey" or whatever wacky title Abrams would have come up with so they're going to use the name. Then it's up to me to decide if I want to watch it or not.

Same here, Internet. Buffy isn't ours. There were seven seasons of television goodness (for the most part) plus an excellent spin-off. And sequel comics for those that choose to read them. We own the feelings those shows gave us, but not the show itself.

Take ownership of your feelings now. Calm down and realize that the more upset you get about this reboot, the more attention it receives and the less the makers have to spend on publicizing it. Is that what you want?

By Whedon's Beard

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PLee and I had a bit of an e-mail discussion recently about Joss Whedon directing the Avengers. My thoughts are posted here for dissection. There are Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dr. Horrible spoilers below so beware if you haven't completed those series.

I honestly have mixed feelings about Joss directing The Avengers. The pros are that he can do team dynamics very well and is a very capable director, even under limited circumstances (TV budgets, lower than normal budget for Serenity, no-budget Dr. Horrible). He's got a nice run of X-Men comics on his writing resume, so he's familiar with Marvel and has a seemingly good relationship with them.

The cons...after watching his work for years, I've noticed some annoying trends that creep up in his work repeatedly. A couple examples: He seems to hate happy relationships. No couple in Buffy or Angel stay together in the end and Serenity ends with a happy relationship beginning, but had the series continued, Simon and Kaylee would likely have not stayed together. He also plays the "kill a major character to shock the audience" card too much. As much as I hated it, I've accepted that killing Wash was the right move for Serenity. But it loses its potency after he had played that trick so many times before. Not only that, the climax of Dr. Horrible hinges on both of these Whedon tricks (death of Penny).

Yes, Zoe and Wash were an awesome married couple with interesting dynamics and plot lines. And then Wash was killed. Goodbye relationship.

That's how half the relationships went in Buffy and Angel. They were either your standard we can't be together sort of thing (Buffy and Angel) or these two are happy so one must die (Willow and Tara). At the end of both shows, no relationship was left intact. And that's fine a time or two, but I'm just saying that it's becoming easier for me to telegraph where Whedon is going with his writing because he's revisiting his tricks too often.

All that said, I feel like Joss is the kind of guy who should be creating his own thing rather than playing with other people's toys. But maybe this will be good for him and he can use The Avengers to do a Nolanesque move and bounce between a franchise (like Nolan is doing with Batman) and original Joss material (like Nolan is doing with The Prestige or Inception).

Dawson's Comics

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In my mind, Buffy The Vampire Slayer was the first and one of the few shows to have successfully pulled off a "high school meets genre" setting. It was followed up by several copycats, some of which were good, others...not so much.

After Buffy came a successful show in Dawson's Creek which set the tone for much of what The WB aired for some time, even through today as The CW. Teen angst permeated the shows of The WB a great deal. A genre show couldn't simply be a genre show. It had to be "Dawson's Creek meets ...". So, along came Roswell (Dawson's Creek meets the X-Files), Charmed (a Spelling-produced show about witches), and eventually, Smallville.

As Smallville looks to be coming to a close at the end of this season (finally), the current show-runners are planning "Graysons," a look at the life of Dick Grayson before his family was killed and he became Robin.

Now, I like Robin. I'm apparently one of the few who do. I think that teen sidekicks as a whole get overused, but when it comes to the original, I think it's a neat idea. That said, I'm not turned off of this idea simply because we're dealing with Robin as the subject matter (if anything, it's the only thing about this that's grabbed my attention). I'm turned off by this show because I've seen what's come before in these shows.

These shows have simply become a big tease. Watering down Superman and turning him in to Dawson's Creek may have been ingenious from a marketing point of view, but storywise, it's hard to care when you know the ending. Why would I ever care about Lana when I know that Clark ends up with Lois Lane? I know, I know, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Well, weak plots and poor character development isn't an interesting journey. And now, the destination is messed up. Eight years into the show, he's Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter working for the Daily Planet, not wearing glasses. He has already met Lois Lane (sans glasses) and Lex has to know who he is. How can this possibly lead into Superman?

Smallville has twice tried to spin something off and both times have failed. Birds of Prey was created by the same guys who did Smallville. It was pretty awful. Very little like the comic. The show Alias was more like the Birds of Prey comic. Smallville also tried to spin-off an Aquaman series, potentially called "Mercy Reef." A pilot was produced and even available online and as a bonus disc with one of the DVD sets of Smallville. Nothing more ever came of it although the lead actor joined the cast of Smallville as Green Arrow.

So, one of two things would happen. Either the show gets canceled within the first 13 episodes or the show proves wildy popular and continues on long enough to where they write themselves into a corner and can't ever get to the end point. As long as Batman is on the big screen, he's not showing up on the small screen (which is a shame because a well-done live action Batman series would ROCK!).

In the end, I'm fine with the teen angst meets genre, but I think they should avoid established characters at this point. Come up with something new or relatively untouched, like Buffy, Roswell, or the one that was the best in recent times...Veronica Mars.

Sure, Smallville gets eight seasons but Veronica Mars only gets three? Where's the justice?

When Horrible is Good

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Joss Whedon + Neil Patrick Harris + Nathan Fillion + quirky super hero universe + a musical = Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. You know you want to watch it.

Main Character Deaths

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Captain America recently died in an issue of Captain America published by Marvel Comics. Shot by a sniper and betrayed by a friend, Cap went down fairly easily after over 60 years of surviving foes such as the Red Skull, Doctor Doom and even Galactus. Setting aside completely the debate about whether he'll be back in six months or whether he should have been killed in the first place, I want to look at some main character deaths and examine whether or not the character truly went out in a manner worthy of who that character is.

Everyone dies. And almost everyone dies in a non-heroic fashion. Be it old age, disease, car accident, or any other number of common ways, we probably aren't going to go out while saving the planet or a school bus full of kids. That's what our fictional heroes are supposed to be doing. And if they die, that's what they should die doing. Maybe that's not "real," but well, it's not real. We also see these characters escape death over and over again, that when death finally catches up with them, we want it to be something more than anything they've encountered before. And we want them to win while dying, going out in a blaze of glory.

Superman was killed, temporarily, while battling Doomsday in the comics. While not a particularly great story, the writers adequately set up the creature as unstoppable. This wasn't something Superman had faced before and he was giving his all by the end of the story. As far as comic deaths go, the Flash (Barry Allen) was one of the better ones. Told in Crisis #8, Flash did what he did best and ran to stop a weapon that would destroy the world. And he did it with practically no witnesses. No glory. Just the right thing to do. His ultimate fate was told in Secret Origins Annual #2 where we see that he ran so fast that he went back in time and actually became the lightning that struck himself granting him the powers of super speed.

Joss Whedon killed off several of his characters in Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Quite possibly the best was Cordelia's death during Angel season 5. Having already been written out by saying she was in a coma, she awakes for one episode to help Angel solve his biggest problem at the time. The end is left somewhat vague, but we find out that she wasn't awake after all. She had passed away.

At the top of my personal list, I'd have to place Spock's death in Star Trek II. The story was masterfully crafted and set up from the opening scene of the movie. The villain is as good as dead, but so is the entire crew...an entire crew made up of old friends and cadets. They are not going to escape certain death unless something drastic is done. So, Spock heads into the engine room that's filled with lethal radiation and restarts the engine. In the process, he dies and is able to get one final exchange out with his friend. Of course, the death is undone in the next movie, but this was still a gutsy move at the time and was well played.

Despite a great death scene for Spock in Star Trek II, the biggest offender in poor main character deaths is the Star Trek universe. The death of Lt. Yar in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation set the precedent by seeing her get killed by an intelligent pool of tar. Her last act was trying to cross the tar creature to get to a crashed shuttlecraft containing Troi and an extra. In the end, her death was no more heroic than a "red shirt's" death. Perhaps that was the point.

Jadzia Dax was offed in the sixth season finale of Deep Space Nine. Her death was foreshadowed as early as the first episode. There was a sense that Jadzia was to be a temporary character. Problem was, after six years we grew to love that character. We saw her hanging out with Klingons. She got through several scrapes using her fighting prowess or by outthinking her opponents. Then, Gul Dukat magically appears, shoots her with special energy powers and he's gone. And so is she. Some very disappointing writing there.

Data's death in Star Trek: Nemesis was poorly set up and tried to evoke the Spock death scene. Despite being a huge NextGen fan and Data fan, the scene only made me angry. Not because Data was killed, but because of how poorly it was done. Of course, poorly done doesn't even begin to describe the awful, awful death of Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations. Even the writers admit to it being bad on their excellent commentary track on the DVD.

Another major offender in poor main character deaths is 24. The worst was the way they killed off Tony in season 5, but even beginning with Teri Bauer in the first season, with one notable exception the deaths have been random, pointless, and gain the heroes nothing. Only George Mason's death in season 2 stands out as a hero's death. Sadly, he had been nothing like a hero up until that point.

Some deaths I'm torn on. Supporting characters can often be killed to advance the plot for the main characters. We saw this handled greatly with the death of Alex Whitman in Roswell. He didn't go out in a blaze of glory, but his death advanced the plot and spurred the main characters to action. And the episode where he died was masterfully written by Ronald D. Moore and was so well-thought out and perfectly executed.

Same goes for the death of Joyce Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her death took Buffy to a new direction and was handled respectfully and artistically. One of Joss Whedon's most powerful episodes.

Of course, Joss Whedon used character deaths to heighten suspense in Serenity. Book's death gave the characters motivation to take the offensive and Wash's death told audiences all bets are off, anyone can die because anyone just did. Wash's death followed what was probably his greatest moment of piloting prowess. He did was he was born to do, did it well, and unfortunately, that was it for him. This death could arguably go up in the list of great and heroic deaths. Although, killing Wash at this point makes his dramatic escape from death just a little while earlier in the episode "War Stories" almost seem pointless. Why, as a viewer, do I want to go through all of that if he's just going to wind up dead anyway? Much like how Ripley risks it all and more to save Newt in Aliens only to find that she's died before Alien 3 even begins.

Maybe it’s too much to ask for a main character to have a noble, worthy death. But if they’re not going to, then why kill them at all?

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