Trailer Park Friday: Fall TV Preview, Star Trek Pranks & Steelheart

Oh man, can you taste it? It's almost television premiere season, which just might be the one of the only things I like about fall. It's soooo close and all the television promos are getting regular airplay. I'll try to not make this all television, but we'll see how it goes.

I didn't realize how much I liked Arrow until I didn't have an episode to watch every week. I think this may be one of the few shows I've been having sad television withdrawl this summer. It comes back October 9.

Revolution was a bit hit or miss in its first season, but towards the end the weirdness got bumped up and it became more interesting. There isn't much new footage in the preview, but there is promise of more epic sword fights and they're filming nearby, so I feel a little obligated to keep with it for a bit longer. Revolution returns September 25.

I'm a little concerned that watching Glee this season is going to make me sad no matter the content of the show. I'm a little curious how such a happy promo is going to lead to an episode dealing with Finn's death, but who knows? I still love Darren Criss and Chris Colfer, so I'll stick around until it gets too uncomfortable.

The trailer below only has 100 views and that seems SO WRONG. We're getting away from television to a book trailer for one of my most anticipated reads for the fall - Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. This trailer is exciting and just amped up my desire for this book to be in my hands now. It comes out September 24 from Random House.

Not a trailer, but a fun video nonetheless. Simon Pegg pulled a prank on all the actors in Star Trek Into Darkness and they all fell for it. Some of their reactions upon finding out they've been pranked are pretty funny. I like Benedict Cumberbatch's reaction especially, though that probably doesn't surprise anyone. The video is from the Belfast Telegraph website.

 

And those are the videos I have for you this week. Seen any fun clips online? Link them up in the comments!

Leslie's Top Television Shows of 2012 (part 2)

Yesterday I gave out a series of “rewards” for television shows that caught my eye either for good or bad reasons in 2012. Today you get my list of favorite shows for the year. Putting this list together was kind of hard as my go-tos like Supernatural and Glee became a bit of a mess last year while others like Chuck ended. So here is my shortened list of favorite shows from 2012.

Favorite Shows of 2012

These are my sad crazy eyes.The Vampire Diaries

Despite all the melodrama, I am addicted. Elena becomes much more interesting with Damon while Stefan becomes more interesting when he’s inadvertently doing stupid things for “the greater good”. It’s not high class television, but it’s fun and has become the show I most look forward to each week. There is plenty of snark and if I don’t think too hard, the relationships are intriguing to watch unfold. But mostly I watch for Damon. Because he has crazy eyes, snarky one-liners and an inclination to lose his shirt. And I'm still not sure how Matt is still alive. He's like the only human one left!

Sometimes Sherlock forgets to dress before visiting the palace.Sherlock

Oh, Benedict Cumberbatch, I can’t tell what you’re saying half the time, but you’re fascinating to watch run away yammering about this and that. “A Scandal in Belgravia” had a few moments that I wish had been done differently and I didn’t understand why Irene Adler had to be a dominatrix, but the following two episodes more than made up for it. My head still can’t wrap around “The Reichenbach Fall” and no matter how many times I watch it, I have absolutely no idea what has happened. Fernando might be awaiting the return of A Game of Thrones, but I’m eagerly anticipating Sherlock running around in new adventures. Whenever that happens.

Misfits

This was an accidental discovery. I’d heard the show mentioned in passing before and knew it was a British show about delinquents who somehow get superpowers. When I saw that it was finally airing on American television, we added it to our DVR to try out. I was not expecting the crazy bizarre show that followed, full of raunchy comedy and wrongness and absolute hilarity. Yet at the same time the show had its own weird emotional resonance that made it addicting. We’ve only seen the first two seasons and I’m itching to get my hands on the others. This is probably the most fun show I’ve watched all year (except maybe for Super Hero Squad).

Revolution

Sword fights! Old-timey soldiers in the future! A badass secretive uncle! Mysterious necklaces that could have come straight out of Lost! Revolution had so much going for it that I was afraid that it would fall apart after just a few episodes, but it hasn’t. Despite it mostly being about trekking through the overgrown remnants of the United States, it still manages to stay at a consistence pacing. Plus we play this fun game called “Lost or Supernatural” where we try to guess where each of the side and supporting characters have been before. Because with Kripke and Abrams behind this show, familiar faces are bound to show up pretty often.

Arrow

Yesterday I mentioned that Arrow was the biggest surprise of all the new shows in 2012. It could have been horrible, cheesy and a complete trainwreck. Oliver Queen and Green Arrow aren’t exactly pop culture icons like many other superheroes and Ollie has a pretty ridiculous amount of facial hair in the comics, so I was pleasantly surprised that the CW created a show that made Green Arrow almost seem possible. It’s fun, adventurous and though some of the characters can get kind of annoying (*coughthesistercough*), I really look forward to seeing how this first season plays out with the growing conspiracy unfolding and what future seasons hold for Ollie.

He's kind of my favorite.Young Justice

And finally I had to include a cartoon. You might have been expecting Super Hero Squad, but despite how much I love that show, I don’t think there’s much of a chance for a continuation. Plus it’s Marvel when my heart sits firmly in the DC camp. Young Justice combines my favorite superheroes with my weakness for teen superheroes and somehow put together a serialized story of shapeshifters and alien invasion. Though a time jump that came from seemingly out of nowhere was a little baffling, whatever anger I might have had was quickly quelled with the inclusion of Nightwing. I like Nightwing.

Now if the Cartoon Network would just put it back on television. It’s stopped midseason back in October, I think, and there’s no indication on when it will return.

 

And those were my favorite shows for 2012. I imagine even more shows will add up on my DVR this year, though if American Gods hits HBO by the end of the year, I’m pretty confident that it will be tops for 2013.

What shows did you love in 2012? What should I be watching in 2013?

Yesterday I gave out a series of “rewards” for television shows that caught my eye either for good or bad reasons in 2012. Today you get my list of favorite shows for the year. Putting this list together was kind of hard as my go-tos like Supernatural and Glee became a bit of a mess last year while others like Chuck ended. So here is my shortened list of favorite shows from 2012.

Favorite Shows of 2012

Leslie's Top Television Shows of 2012 (part 1)

I watch far too much television. If I counted all the hours I spent reading, the only other activity that would come close to comparing in hours spent would be watching television (and maybe sleeping). Because I watch so much television, I’m splitting my Best Of list into two. Tomorrow you’ll get my list of top television shows, but today you get my random collection of “awards”.

Sword fighting with Satan - Coming to NBC!Favorite New Show: Revolution

I knew I would love Revolution, but I had my doubts as well. With Eric Kripke and JJ Abrams behind the scenes, it was bound to be my kind of crazy. Family drama, snappy dialogue, treks through long stretches of America, a dystopian world with lots of sword fights? It became a must see after the first half hour. It carries the same family ties of Supernatural while being slightly more realistic. The actress that plays Charlie can be a little over the top, but Myles and all the awesome sword fighting make up for it.

Most Surprising New Show: Arrow

This was one I was cautiously optimistic about, so when it turned out to be kind of awesome, I was very happy. It fulfills my superhero quota, is fast paced despite flashbacks and conspiracies, and provides regular doses of creepy John Barrowman. This year was full of archery, but I think this might be my favorite case. And thankfully they didn’t give Oliver the horrible facial hair commonly seen on Green Arrow. At least not yet.

Trio of awesome - Who needs Sam's moping?Show Trying Its Hardest to Reclaim Its Former Glory: Supernatural

Oh, Supernatural, I feel so wrong (spoiler alert) not putting Supernatural in my list of favorite shows for 2012, but former show runner Sarah Gamble had a difficult time with comprehensible story lines and consistent characters. Then Jeremy Carver returned and things are starting to take a turn for the better, but they aren’t there just yet. Yeah, I’m bias, so perhaps the return of Castiel to his former awkward yet sane state has colored my opinion of the first half of season 8, but the nine episodes that have aired have felt more like episodes from season 2 than anything under Gamble. While Sam’s flashbacks are odd and currently pointless, the addition of Benny creates an interesting dynamic between the brothers and I look forward to the rest of the season. Hopefully my once favorite of all favorite shows will be on my list for 2013.

My Favorite New Discovery: Super Hero Squad

The best thing that came out of being laid off back in March was stumbling upon this brilliant, near-perfect cartoon. Every episode is full of giggles, clever jokes, sight gags and buckets of superhero goodness. It took five minutes before this became one of my favorite cartoons ever. I’ve always been a DC girl, but between Super Hero Squad and The Avengers film, Marvel may win me over yet.

And the internet went crazy...Most Redeemed Show: The Walking Dead

Season two of The Walking Dead sucked. It sucked bad. The only redeeming thing about it was Daryl Dixon being a loveable badass. Then it ended with a badass woman with a sword and two zombie slaves, and I thought the show might still have potential. The third season started with a bang and hasn’t slowed down with Michonne being the best thing this show could have ever done. Now with the loss of one of the more annoying characters and a creepy villain that isn’t undead, I’m actually eager to see where the season goes even if I do still have to cover my eyes at least once every episode. But I don’t care what happens – if they kill off Daryl Dixon, I’m out.

Most Disappointing New Show: Girls

Apparently I’m not hip enough to “get” Girls. We watched the first few episodes and it was full of uncomfortable moments, unlikeable characters, and absolutely no moments of laughter. I couldn’t do it. I guess I’m not that cool.

Favorite Hour of Television: Glee 03.15 – “Big Brother”

This episode of Glee is still on my DVR. If I get sad, I watch it. If I don’t feel well, I watch it. If I’m sleepy, I watch it. If I’ve had a good day, I watch it. Basically I watch it. A lot. Why? Because it is the poster child of my pop culture mantra – “More BOMER!”

I couldn’t find the best part where he gives “acting lessons”, but that will do nicely.

 

Tomorrow - my top shows of 2012. Any guesses what might make it on the list?

Mini Reviews: Looper, Supernatural & Revolution

I’m having one of those weeks where I’m not entirely sure what day it is by the time I get home from work, my brain is so scrambled from the day’s endeavors. It’s one of those weeks where everything seems to go wrong and my boss’ frazzled panic turns into my frazzled panic until I have a hard time seeing straight. It’s one of those weeks where it would be incredibly handy for me to be better at scheduling (and pre-writing) posts instead of just writing about whatever occurs to me when I get home. Yeah. It’s like that.

So because my brain is fried from all the frazzled panicking, have a set of mini reviews. That’s about how long my brain can concentrate on any one given thing right now.

 

Looper

This deserves its own full, massive review and maybe I can convince Fernando to write it in the next few days. Looper is a time travel movie that manages to make sense without giant holes for the audience to fall into along the way. It has moments that genuinely surprised me, while still making sense! Yes, if you dive deep enough, you can find things that might not completely make sense, but there isn’t anything obviously out of place or eye-rolling moments where the story falls apart. The near future world was well-developed without needing loads of exposition and the subtle changes made the concepts buyable without too much need for suspending disbelief.

Joseph Gordon Levitt is awesome as usual and completely understated, especially in comparison to Bruce Willis, who probably doesn’t know how to not chew scenery these days. For the first 15 minutes, I was a bit distracted by Levitt’s nose, a prosthetic to make him look more like Willis, but once I realized that’s why he looks odd, I was able to let it go and enjoy the story of a man flung back into time attempting to save himself and the life he had created before it was ever created (time travel is complicated).

It’s difficult to explain this movie without giving spoilers away because it’s all twisty turny time travel. The acting is solid, the story line is intriguing and I was honestly surprised by the ending. This is definitely worth a viewing, especially if you have a fondness for smart time travel movies.

 

Supernatural
08.01 - We Need to Talk About Kevin

So Supernatural came back last night, this time under the watchful eye of Jeremy Carver, a writer from earlier seasons before he went off to create an Americanized version of Being Human. Last season ended in a very interesting scenario with Dean and Castiel banished to the dark corners of Purgatory and Sam doing his best over-emoting as Crowley stole away all the other allies that remained. This first episode of the eighth season picks up a year later, which is unfortunate because it means half the episode is flashbacks. These flashbacks completely disrupt the flow of what could have otherwise been a compelling first episode that set up the rest of the season. It didn’t help that Sam’s flashbacks were completely useless and pointless.

Dean, on the other hand, had flashbacks worth watching, though it would have probably worked better as an entire flashback epi a few episodes into the season. Once again he’s spent a long stretch of time in a dark place, facing whatever sort of torture. Inevitably he’ll run into monsters he’s put into purgatory, so there’s a lot of story there (hopefully), but it seemed a little out of place interwoven with the present day story of finding the prophet Kevin and reintroducing all the players into the game.

I’m a little bit hesitant on the idea of Mr. Pointy Teeth’s resurrection and how that might get dragged out. Hopefully the writers tie him into the main story pretty quickly or his presence is going to old fast.

Overall cautiously optimistic that this season will be more cohesive and well-thought out than the past two seasons have turned out to be.

 

Revolution

Three episodes in and the plot is moving at a fair pace, Charlie is only occasionally annoying with her wishy-washy “Let’s save all the peoples!” philosophy, and super soldier uncle man (whatever his name is) remains awesome. In three episodes there’s been more plot than in entire seasons of some of the lesser sci-fi/apocalyptic that have been introduced and quickly killed over the past few television seasons.

Also – sword fighting. Every episode. It makes all other arguments is invalid.

Comic Con 2012: Preview Night - So It Begins

Wednesday night at San Diego Comic Con is considered "preview night". At 6pm the exhibit hall opens up to a certain number of four-day badge holders to get a sneak peek of what the vendors have brought to show. It's the first chance for people to access the Con's exclusives and the vendors giveaways. My targets were DC and Marvel and then the lovely book publishers.

Surprisingly, even though I was at DC moments after the doors opened, the comic pub wasn't really pushing free things this year. Marvel wasn't much better, having mostly just issues of their comics previously available on Free Comic Book Day in May. Fernando found out that Warner Brothers - who normally has the best, most varied swag of the entire convention floor - wasn't giving out anything either. It's seeming a little odd, so we'll see if any of that changes as the Con opens for real tomorrow morning.

That led me to the major book publishers. For two hours, this isn't so bad, right? (Please forgive me for the fuzzy iPhone pics)

I checked in with one of my publisher contacts and made another friend at Simon & Schuster who made some great suggestions both of things I should be reading and books that might appeal to my book club. After that we headed to Katie Cook's artist booth. As usual, she was surrounded by a sizeable crowd, so we'll try again on a different day.

Instead we headed to Ballroom 20 to hopefully catch the pilot of Revolution. First we had to sit through The Following, a Kevin Bacon-starring cop drama that involved a lot of people having their eyes gouged out. I wouldn't recommend it.

Revolution on the other hand? It's pretty awesome. It feels like it has Erik Kripke's fingerprints all over it, putting a huge emphasis in the important of familiar relationships and how you create your own family under extreme circumstances. Of course it has the makings of a conspiracy theory show and I had a few concerns with some of the actors, but the plot and some of the action scenes were pretty awesome. There's a long sword fighting scene in the pilot that proves that one character is not only a badass, but he's probably a ninja or something. A full review to come later.

So I would deem this a successful preview night indeed! More pictures of the exhibit hall and updates on what we come across tomorrow.

 

Random Tuesday: More Superhero Art, Revolution Preview, and Other Randomosity

Fernando and I saw The Avengers for a second time last Friday night. Not even three days later, I want to see it again. It's been an extremely long time since a movie has made me want to see it multiple times in the theatre, much less actually spend the money to do it. So if you've been in a coma or under a rock for the last week and a half, you should really go see it.

I started reading Daniel H. Wilson's upcoming novel, Amped (Wilson being that guy behind a little book called Robopocalypse). That guy knows how to write books that give me waking nightmares. Jeez... I couldn't put it down last night while at the same time I was on a verge of a panic attack.

 The Avengers in the style of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are by AgartgabGuide.

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