WFTM Podcast Episode 10: Robot Westerns & Fantastic Four Failures

Robot westerns, Fantastic Four fails, baby Ned Stark? It must be time for Episode 10 of the Working for the Mandroid podcast! Leslie and Fernando touch on the latest seasons of The Strain, Halt and Catch Fire and the new Netflix prequel Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp before talking about A Fire Upon the Deep (yes, again) and Judy Blume’s latest. We also hit on some geek news and what’s making us happy this week. And it’s the final week to enter our Comic Con giveaway!

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 10?

News:

First Teaser Trailer for Westworld – HBO’s New Robot Sci-Fi Western

Fantastic Four Bombs – Will It Continue?

First Look at Jon Bernthal as the Punisher

Game of Thrones Casts a Young Ned Stark and We Try to Figure Out Why

What We’re Watching:

The Strain

Halt and Catch Fire finished season 2

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp on Netflix

What We're Reading:

Leslie Finally Finished A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge But Fernando Hasn’t

In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Last Week to Enter to Win SDCC Swag, Books & T-Shirts!

What’s Making Us Happy:

Fernando: Having new artwork to hang up

Leslie: Peppermint white chocolate drinks, adorable Lord Mesa art, and these awesome Winter gloves (despite it currently being 104 degrees outside)!

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com


Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

 

WFTM Podcast Episode 6: We Survived San Diego Comic Con 2015!

In episode 6, Fernando and Leslie just returned from San Diego Comic Con and after a solid 12 hours of sleep, they're discussing news, trailers and television pilots we saw, authors Leslie met, books they got, and all their favorite moment. They also air a few Comic Con grievances they hope to see fixed in 2016 and their favorite moments. It's two hours of Comic Con goodness. At some point during this recording, they decided to stop and have happy hour for dinner. Bonus points if you can tell when Leslie becomes tipsy and tries to hide it.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here.

So what’s in Episode 6?

News:

Once Upon a Time announces Merida's introduction to Storybrooke and gives us a first viewing of Black Swan/Dark Emma

Star Wars news included details about the upcoming filming of Rouge One

Heroes Reborn announced an app, a prequel series, and two video games in advance of their upcoming miniseries

Agents of SHIELD announced the introduce of Lash as a Secret Warrior

Trailer Review of:

Batman v. Superman: The Fight for Robin’s Soul (or Dawn of Justice, whatever)

X-Men Apocalypse (not online, sorry guys)

Deadpool (looks like it's been pulled from the internet for now)

Fantastic Four

Suicide Squad

What We're Watching

Pilot Reviews of:

Supergirl

Blindspot

Limitless

Lucifer

Minority Report

Containment

What We're Reading

Meeting Susan Dennard & Sarah J Maas

Autograph signings with Wesley Chu, Rae Carson, Clay & Susan Griffith, & Alan Gratz

Also mentioned getting an advance reader copy of The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher and an early copy of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Comic Con Grievances

How the Hall H Next Day Line is Managed

Comic Con Being Three Weeks Early Leads to No News About TV

Figuring Out How to Avoid the Crush of Bodies Getting Into the Exhibit Hall in the Mornings

Funko Booth is a Madhouse

Favorite Moments of the Con

Fern: Star Wars, of course

Leslie: Supernatural Panel, Meeting Susan Dennard, the TV Guide Fan Favorite Panel and Matt Bomer saying Nightwing is His Favorite Superhero

Supernatural Panel

The Fan Favorite Panel


Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com


Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

WFTM Podcast Episode 3: Clone Club, Star Wars Rebels & A Lot of Gods!

Three episodes! It’s officially a trend! In this episode we discuss the third season of Orphan Black, the one hour episode of Star Wars: Rebels, some Comic Con news, what Leslie is reading and much more.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

 

So what’s in Episode 3?

News:

If you live in Austin, come to Austin Books & Comics monthly comic book club next Tuesday, June 30th at 6:30PM! We’ll be discussing Batman: The Long Halloween with an awesome group of nice comic book geeks, both experienced and noobs. It’s a great group where everyone is welcome and all opinions are treated with respect. Learn more here.

American Gods might finally make it onto Starz!

That rumor about a Hawkgirl show is really just a rumor, guys. (But we still want it to happen)

Sony & Paramount pull out of Comic Con because they’re lame.

What We’re Watching:

Orphan Black is done for season 3, but was are we still in the Clone Club? (Spoilers end at 26:00)

Star Wars: Rebels returns with some familiar faces

What Leslie’s Reading:

The Wicked + the Divine volume 1 by Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (for the Sword & Laser Book Club on Goodreads)

What’s Making Us Happy:

Fernando: The Women’s World Cup – USA USA USA USA!

Leslie: Slate’s Stranger Than Fiction Podcast

 

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com

 

Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

 

What We're Watching: 5 Awesome Things About Binge Watching Gilmore Girls (& 1 Bad Thing)

The only good thing about being sick is that you can binge watch television without feeling guilty about all the time you wasted on your couch. I mean, with the flu, it’s not like you can do much productive anyway, so you might as well curl up on a comfy couch with half a dozen blankets, a never ending supply of cough drops and tea, and watch something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy or at least distracted from how awful you feel.

And that was my excuse for watching more than 2 seasons of Gilmore Girls in 48 hours. Because I have a serious problem and also could not move.

We had previously watched the first five or so season of Gilmore Girls on DVD over a course of a couple of years, but other things distracted us from finishing the series. Now that the entire thing is on Netflix, it seemed like the time to start from the beginning and spend some quality time with the Gilmore clan. These are the five things that kept me plenty distracted during the worst of my illness.

1. The dialogue is the best in the business.

To go from being submerged in pop culture references and bits for hours on end to returning to work where everyone is incredibly boring and don’t get any of my own references is very disheartening. Even if you’re not into the show, you have to admit that it has some of the most consistently fun dialogue of any show I’ve ever watched.

2. Baby boys with difficult last names.

Baby Padalecki is a wonder in his gangliness and Baby Ventimiglia is all bad boy with a hidden heart of gold. The show is generally better whenever one of them is on it. It’s best when they are not both on at the same time though. Those silly teenage boy fights lead Jared into some painful overacting moments.

3. The pleasant fantasy of quirky small town living.

In the normal world, I would hate to live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, but in fantasy land, Star’s Hollow seems like a wonderfully strange place to live.

4. The obliviousness of Lorelai Gilmore.

The will-they-won’t-they of Lorelai and Luke is primarily based on Lorelai being completely oblivious to the most obvious cues. There is a part of me that finds it adorable and another part that wants to throw something at the television.

5. It’s one of those shows where nothing really happens and yet you feel totally fulfilled.

On one episode a school project goes wrong or there’s a fight over Friday night dinner or there’s some sort of misunderstanding between friends. This is not a big plot sort of show and yet it remains captivating through most episodes to the point that I watched over 40 episodes in two days. That’s just insane.

And the one problem with binge watching that much Gilmore Girls in such a little amount of time? It becomes painfully obvious how self-involved and immature all the Gilmore women are, particularly Lorelai. They all go through the same delusional ways of thinking that just end up hurting one another. In addition to being self-involved and blind to the feelings of others, Lorelai seems to have stopped emotionally maturing as a teenager, never fully reaching adulthood. Bits and pieces started bothering me towards the end of my binge watch as she once again held something back from her mother from spite or because she hadn’t learned the other hundred times that perhaps things aren’t going to go as predictably as she expects.

The self-centeredness of Lorelai takes away a tiny bit of the enjoyment and makes me wonder if such a massive binge watch is right for the rest of the series. I started the binge wanting to know these people and be their friends, but by the end, I kind of wanted to slap Lorelai upside the head and ask why she never learns from her mistakes. Rory has an excuse – she’s a teenager – but as a grown woman, Lorelai really needs to start taking responsibility for her own actions and grow up a little.

And despite all this, I really want to spend more time with these characters. It’s a fun little world filled with interesting and quirky characters unlike most anything else that’s on television right now. It’s a nice change of pace from the monsters and end of the world scenarios that usually fill my viewing schedule.

Have you done an epic binge watch like this before? Did it change your viewpoint of the characters?

What We're Watching: Supernatural's 200th Episode, "Fan Fiction"

Last night was the 200th episode of Supernatural. When this show started I had just moved into my own apartment and didn’t own a television. Instead I mainlined the series when the first season came out on DVD after a year of listening to my LiveJournal (oh, LJ…) friends go on and on about these Winchester brothers and their adventures. It helps that I tore all the ligaments in my ankle the very next day and had some free couch surfing time to mainline that series the way it deserved.

Now here we are 9 year later, four seasons post-Kripke’s original plan, and still the Winchesters are hunting things, though not much saving as many people these days. I could rant about the changes to the series since Kripke’s exit – how aimless it has seemed over the last four seasons, how repetitive – but instead I want to celebrate what Supernatural has given me over the years.

This Website

In case you’re new or just have never understood where the name Working for the Mandroid came from, it’s from a second season episode of Supernatural. It is to this day my favorite episode of the entire series, though I will readily admit that if I were to rank them on merit or story quality, it wouldn’t be on the top of my list (but in the top 10).

 

An Endless Supply of Gifs

 

 

Quotes I Insert into Every Day Conversation So I Can Determine Who My Real Friends Are

It makes me sad when I make a mess at work and say, “Confetti! It’s a parade!” I get funny looks and no one knows what I’m talking about. Or yelling “PUDDING!” at random… if someone gives me a knowing smile, I know it’s safe to befriend them.  If only more people knew I wasn’t being serious when I said, “We don’t have time for any of your blah blah blah blah… BLAAAAAH!”

 

The Starting Building Blocks with My Other Half

Yes, we probably would have discovered something else we had in common and ended up here seven and a half years later all the same, but I introduced Fernando to Supernatural after our first date and it automatically provided a reason to have a second and a third and even more until he was thorough caught up on my favorite show.

 

Comfort Television

Goofy episodes like “Changing Channels”, “The French Mistake”, “Tall Tales,” “Free to Be You and Me” and, yes, “Nightshifter” (see previously mentioned Mandroid line) are my go-to programming after a bad day. Even the more serious “Born Under a Bad Sign”, “Jus in Bello” and the end of season 1 are comfort food to me. Just don’t make me watch ”Bugs.”

 

This

 

And Now This

The 200th episode was a nice pat on the back to fans with the show in all its meta-glory officially handing over the characters and the canon to its massive group of fan fic writers and acknowledging that their version of Supernatural is just as real as what shows up on screen every week. The high school musical element was hilarious and a lot of the episode felt like it was Kripke era Sam and Dean. Things on the show have gotten pretty maudlin in the last few years, so it’s nice when the Winchesters’ world can lighten up a bit.

Are you a Supernatural fan? What did you think of the 200th episode last night? Anyone else unable to stop giggling at "A Single Man Tear"?

What We're Watching: Constantine Pilot Review

Constantine
NBC

Starts Friday, October 24, 8PM Central

I don’t really know much about the character of Constantine, outside of the not-that-great Keanu Reeves movie from 2005 and his bit part in Neil Gaiman’s Books of Magic graphic novel. I know he’s a grey character that dabbles in magic and fights demons, so a television version of that should be right in my wheelhouse. We were lucky to see the pilot earlier this summer at Comic Con, while the rest of the world gets to see it this Friday, October 24 on NBC.

Knowing I have don’t have much of a background with Constantine or the Hellblazer comics, please forgive me any inaccuracies in cannon.

With that said, the powers-that-be try to cram what feels like a whole bunch of comic canon into 42 minutes of television. That alone bogs down what could have otherwise been a very fast-paced introduction to a darker comic book character. John Constantine has a checkered background and regularly gets taunted by both angels and demons. He’s a bit of a grumpy guy and doesn’t appreciate suddenly getting roped in to protecting the daughter of an old friend.

That’s basically the plot of the pilot – a demon wants the friend’s daughter, Constantine feels obligated to protect her from being dragged into hell. There are some toss ins about previous cases going horribly wrong, leaving Constantine with figurative (and a few literal) demons haunting him so that the only place he can get some rest is in an institution. An angel played by Lost’s Herold Perrineau regularly stops by and threatens Constantine with un-angelic things and hammers home that there’s a bigger mess of things happening than some demon wanting this 20-something year old girl.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine is some good casting. He has the look perfect and his grumpy standoffishness is well-balanced with a sense of humor, so that he doesn’t come out as a complete asshole. Lucy Griffiths (True Blood) plays Liv, the friend’s daughter, and she is equal parts whiney and useless, which is probably why the character is written out after the pilot to be replaced with a different female character. A few secondary characters show promise of building out an intriguing cast.

The special effects are hit or miss with a couple of scenes looking pretty dodgy. This is balanced out by some honestly surprising moments that continued to pique my interest at just the right moments. This pilot feels like it was made for fans of the comics, but there’s enough inside to leave the casual or new fan interested in seeing more. Matt Ryan is a charismatic lead and a fair number of Easter eggs are dropped throughout the pilot episode. If it realizes even half of the potential it hints at with this pilot, this should be a fun Friday night diversion, though I don’t know if it will have the staying power of some of the other comic book-based shows currently on the air.

What We're Watching: Sleepy Hollow Season 1

Sleepy Hollow
On Monday, 8PM Central
FOX

Back when Sleepy Hollow started in August 2013, we didn’t watch it even though it should have automatically made it onto my “must try out list”. I mean, it was a supernatural, sorta-horror thing with a British guy and a leading character that was female. The supernatural-ness of it all should have put it on the list on its own. But then I heard the plot. And I saw the trailer.

It looked bloody awful.

No, I’m not British. That’s just how awful it looked. I figured there was no way it would possibly last. It would be a huge bomb and the first cancellation of the season. I was obviously wrong. It got pretty great ratings from the get-go, most likely because it debuted in August when nothing else was on and ended after a short 13 episode season. By the time I realized this thing was going to last and I started hearing the comparisons to Supernatural, it was already several episodes in and I was still a nay-sayer.

Well, we finally gave it a shot once the first season came out on DVD, mainlining it like it was a rare commodity. For those of you unfamiliar with Sleepy Hollow, it’s a fantasy show on Fox about Ichabod Crane, who died in the American Revolution after being slashed in the chest by an axe carried by a man whose head he chopped of and yet did not die. Some 250 years later, Ichabod rises from his grave in modern day Sleepy Hollow, where he meets up with Lieutenant Abbie Mills, a young beat cop headed to CIA boot camp in a few days. When Mr. Headless starts showing up and popping off other people’s heads, Abbie’s plans change and she sticks around to help Ichabod unravel the crazy.

It’s Supernatural without the car, with two sisters replacing the brothers, and a heavy dose of fictional American lore. You even have a daddy figure, who leaves the siblings a treasure trove of research that help them in their fight against the supernatural creatures. Trying to explain much more of it will just sound like madness, so let’s just say there’s a headless horseman killing people, a demon trying to kick start the apocalypse and Ichabod and Abbie are stuck with the position of witnessing it all.

This show is highly enjoyable, though I never got as addicted to it as I did Supernatural. It has a pretty solid first season, introducing the characters of Jenny, Abbie’s institutionalized sister, and John Noble (Walter from Fringe) plays a “sin eater” whose extreme reluctance to get involved just means he’s going to get dragged even deeper into the crazy. Orlando Jones is a doubtful yet rational in the face of crazy police chief, who inadvertently gets pulled into the apocalypse, while Ichabod’s wife, a witch who cast the spell that allowed him to rise from the dead, helps them on occasion from her place trapped in purgatory.

Most episodes of the first season have a keen “monster of the week” feel to them, though with a scattering of mythology that builds upon itself as the season goes on. It’s very much Supernatural season 1 in that nature. The monster effects are great, if occasionally a bit unnerving (though that’s probably what they were going for).

 

Nicole Beharie plays Abbie as a rational woman in an irrational place, never doubting the crazy she sees in front of her. She doesn’t break into hysterics when a headless man with a giant gun shows up in her path. She barely even doubts Ichabod’s story about being from the American Revolution. She’s reasonable and good in a stressful situation. She has a ridiculous amount of Bible knowledge that’s a little off-putting, but she’s a fantastic leading lady. Not too serious, while at the same time, not treating the crazy as a joke. Meanwhile Tom Mison as Ichabod is hilarious in his straight man act, having to figure out the 21st century while implementing his knowledge of the 18th to save the entire world. He occasionally has some really ridiculous lines that he plays off with the right amount of conviction that they don’t seem so ridiculous.

The cast in general is fantastic at what they’re doing. Lyndie Greenwood is a badass as Jenny Mills, playing things as though she’s a tip-toe away from being unhinged while Katia Winter’s Katrina is a nice enigma that I hope might have some additional motivations to what is obvious on the surface.

I can understand why so many people were upset after the season finale because it’s a pretty gasp-worthy ender with cliff hanger upon cliff hanger. Much like with Supernatural season 1, I was very happy that I didn’t have to wait so long to see how things turned out. It’s a decently shocking ending with twists that I didn’t foresee, so that always makes me happy.

So what do you guys think? Have you watched Sleepy Hollow? Do you love it, hate it, think it’s super silly?

No spoilers for anything past the first episode of the second season. We’re still a few eps behind!