“Changing the world can be a lonely business.” – Masters Of Sex Recap

bill virginia babybill virginia baby
 

Masters of Sex Season 3, Episode 3
“The Excitement of Release”
Posted by Sage

It’s back to grown-up stuff (for the most part) on Masters in the season’s third episode, and it’s about time.

bill virginia masters of sex

Get. It.

Human Sexual Response has hit the shelves and entered the zeitgeist. Not everyone is pleased, but Bill couldn’t care less about the opinions of the nation’s repressed prudes and invasive “decency” cops. So long as he’s getting the response he seeks from the minds and publications that matter to him, he’s in hog heaven. Bill’s pursuit of validation is very specific; no one can convince him to appreciate well-intended praise from meaningless sources (“My nephew wrote a book!”) or to stop scrapping for endorsements that aren’t coming. Success looks a certain way to Bill, and he can’t find it in himself to alter that picture.

When the episode opens, we find that the medical community is falling over itself to praise the work, and that good reviews are a potent aphrodisiac. Kim pointed out in her last recap that the sex has been missing from Masters season three so far, but this celebratory rendezvous promised to end the drought both for Bill and Virginia (“You haven’t tried to touch me in almost a year.” “8 months.”) and for the audience. “We killed Freud,” Gini purrs, and Bill is ready to ravish her. But even though most traces of George can be slid off Gini’s finger and placed on a nightstand (“That was easy.”), Lisa can’t be so easily forgotten. She cries for her mother, and Bill is left alone to again consider his place in Virginia’s life.

missed masters of sexmissed masters of sex
 

We know that he doesn’t like what he sees, and – as he often does when he’s feeling weak and impotent – takes it out on someone else. Meanwhile, it seems like it might be too little and too late for Gini to get a foothold with Tessa. The teen is acting out in school; there’s an emergency parent/nun walk-and-talk conference that Virginia has to attend. When Bill gives her grief for “letting” her family responsibilities affect her work, she knows exactly how to handle it. She placates him with a beatific smile, pats his head with a false apology, and goes about her business. She’s made her peace with Bill’s moods. But with Tessa, she’s bouncing and banking erratically around their arguments. She’s too involved in her daughter’s life or not involved enough. And Tessa plays her, claiming that it’s the very fact of having Virginia Johnson the renowned sex researcher for a mother that’s ruining her existence. Meanwhile, she’s giving dramatic readings to some Letterman’s Jacket on the bleachers and banging on about female orgasms.

We can assume that Virginia still hasn’t had a productive sex talk with her daughter. Tessa may be The Worst™, but she’s also confused. Without any wider context to the written words of Masters and Johnson, she’s interpreted the book’s thesis into a directive to get out there and be a sexual being herself. But in addition to being The Worst™, she’s also Not Ready™; she and Letterman’s Jacket have a disturbing encounter in his car, which leaves her visibly numbed.

I’m a little baffled as to what we’re supposed to take away from this sexual assault storyline. Isabelle Fuhrman acted the crap out of it, particularly that wretched hallway scene. (“I’d love to.”) Human Sexual Response is not for kids (as Bill would say), and teen-oriented subplots still feel so distant from the main action. And while the incident was very truthful and moving, it did put the blame for the violation of Tessa on the book, and on Virginia. (“It’s in your mom’s book. Jesus, don’t be a prick tease.”) Is that really what you meant to do, show?

Back at the office, Bill is projecting his wild fantasies about full college courses being developed around the book. This, he decrees, is the next step. Betty, who is now our swinging ’60s Donnatella Moss, has a different (and better) idea: many powerful men with powerful dollars have been calling to inquire about sponsoring continued research. Now is the time to take them up on it. Masters and Johnson will never be hotter than they are now. (Hear that, baby Lisa? Put yourself back to sleep next time.) The women ignore Bill’s protests and meet with the high rollers themselves. Bill is busying chasing another waterfall; a textbook order from Washington University would (in his mind) negate the shame that his firing engendered. (“Your book is a success Bill. You don’t need to tilt at windmills anymore.”) In fact, the whole nationwide college push might be the Trojan horse he needs to get the Wash U endorsement he really wants. There are plenty of bites on other lines, but “not a peep” from the former home of the study. Oh, Bill. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.

masters of sex curiousitymasters of sex curiosity
 

While Bill sweats and strains for the right kind of recognition, Betty and Virginia are hobnobbing with the rich and generally being fabulous. The candidates angling to be the patrons of the sexual revolution are the peddler of a popular hand massager (“It also helps, or so I’m told, to release certain pelvis pressures.”); Hef himself; and a perfume magnate played with class and barely restrained lechery by Josh Charles. (“There are two questions that have puzzled me my entire career: What is the smell of sex? And how do we get it in the bottle?”) In my opinion, Dan Logan should automatically win the bid. Josh is the most familiar of the three with Human Sexual Response, having been one of the main causes of mine since Knox Overstreet and Dead Poets Society in 1989.

Swoon.

Swoon.

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Vote for the Second Annual Feelies!

Posted by Kim and Sage

Welcome to The Second Annual Feelies, where we herald our favorites of the television season and seek to right the wrongs of the Emmy Nominations.  While there may have been less to quibble with in this year’s nominations (TATIANA FINALLY), the Television Academy still shows an unbearable bias against genre shows, which are showcasing some of the best work on television.  There is no such bias here.  In fact, the only thing we could be accused of is TOO much bias towards niche shows.  What matters to us is not subject material but the EXECUTION of the material and how the actors and shows make us feel.

While we may have determined the nominees, the choice is in YOUR hands.  We encourage you to vote with your heart and NOT be like the Emmys and just click on a name because you like the show or the actor. Be discerning.  Be passionate about celebrating good work. Be better than the Emmys. We WANT you to struggle choosing a winner.  We very much sat cackling wickedly as we thought about asking you to choose between Tatiana Maslany and Hayley Atwell or between John Cho and Chris Messina.  That’s the POINT.  May the best performances win.

Voting will be open through Friday, August 7th.  Vote hard, vote often, campaign for your victor.  It’s all in your hands.

AND THE NOMINEES ARE….

**choices of header gifs in no way disclose preferences in each category**

Best Comedy Series

Broad City
Jane the Virgin
Parks and Recreation
The Mindy Project
Selfie
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt  

Sage: Broad City continued its gleeful assault on comedy norms in its second season, with the girls – still the most loving, loyal friendship on TV – taking on consignment stores, dog weddings, oral surgery, and (“This is the greatest day of my LIFE.”) pegging. We bid a fond farewell to Parks and Recreation, but not before an inspired look into the future of our dear Pawnee friends. April found her calling, Ron and Leslie finally acknowledged what they mean to each other, and Jean Ralphio (poorly) faked his own death. Meanwhile, on Netflix: Ellie Kemper, whose Office character I always found a little grating, stepped into the role she was born to play on Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s new series, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Kimmy had all the wacky set pieces and inexplicable running jokes as 30 Rock, plus a dark and gooey center, a new and unexpected take on the rich and bored Upper East Side trophy wife, and some Peeeenoooo Noiiiiiiiiiiirrrrr.

Kim: The concept looked ridiculous on paper but Jane the Virgin delivered in spades, giving us a hilarious and ridiculous telenovela that had a HUGE heart that grounded it in reality.  The circumstances surrounding the characters may be farfetched but the exploration of family dynamics, the bonds between mothers and daughters, and the struggle of pursuing dreams versus adhering to responsibilities made them all relatable.  Selfieas we have often said, was a show too beautiful to live on network television.  More than just a modern My Fair LadySelfie was about two lonely souls looking for connection in all the wrong places and it was a caustic takedown of our obsession with social media. It’s truly the great tragedy of the TV season. The Mindy Project defied all the critics who worried that Mindy and Danny being in a relationship would kill the show.  Its third season seamlessly moved from a yearning romantic comedy to an honest exploration of what it’s like to be in a relationship in your 30’s.  TMP didn’t shy away from showcasing Danny and Mindy’s emotional issues that were stumbling blocks towards their happiness.  It was often raw and honest and tough to watch (yet never lost its sense of humor)…and that’s what made it great.

 

Best Drama Series

Agent Carter
Broadchurch

Doctor Who
The Flash
Mad Men
Masters of Sex

Kim: The arrival of Peter Capaldi completely invigorated Doctor Who.  Series 8 saw the Doctor going through an identity crisis, questioning everything about what made him a “good man”.  This crisis lent itself to Clara Oswald, free from the “Impossible Girl” device, becoming a fully realized character who brought strength to the Doctor’s weakness.  Their journey from the Doctor being unable to tell her apart from Strax to “Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?” was a thrilling one that kept us glued to our screens every week. We said goodbye to Mad Men in style as we watched Don Draper wander the country aimlessly before a moment of zen helped him realize that he’d like to buy the world a coke. The Flash built on the foundation laid down by big brother Arrow, deftly balancing bad guys of the week with its overarching mythology. While Arrow faltered in its third season, Barry Allen and company hit all the right marks in their debut season, building to a finale that left us positively breathless.

Sage: Agent Carter‘s arrival wasn’t as hyped as that other (and messier) Marvel Television production Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but damn if Tara Butters and her fellow EPs didn’t show their colleagues a little something about storytelling. Carter is equal parts fun and sorrow; Queen Hayley Atwell regularly kicks the asses of full-grown men and trades banter with the real live Jarvis, but she also spent the season putting Steve Rogers to rest in her heart. The whole cast is terrific, but Peggy Carter is a character we need on TV right now. We can’t wait to see her again. After the dismal American version finally took a step off those northern California cliffs, the original and far superior Broadchurch rose like a phoenix. A rumpled, grumpy phoenix. Alec Hardy finally solved the case that haunted him throughout the Latimer investigation, but let’s be honest: Broadchurch 2 is about Hardy and Miller, the Former Detectives Club – now partners by choice. Masters of Sex dug deeper into its fathomless characters in its second season. More impressive guest stars were pulled into the wake churned up by the partners’ research (Keke Palmer, Betsy Brandt, Christian Borle), as Bill and Virginia became more intertwined.

 

Best Actress in a Comedy

Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley, Selfie
Ilana Glazer as Ilana Wexler, Broad City
Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva, Jane the Virgin

Sage: Clearly, we were predisposed to like Amy Pond in anything she’d do after. But then Karen Gillan had to go and pick a nuanced romantic comedy and a stereotype-smashing reforming party girl character, both of which were doomed by their own quality. As Eliza, Gillan was funny, sexy, and vulnerable, and nailed her American accent which, frankly, Scots’ usually mangle. (Sorry, guys. We love you anyway.) It hurts not to be able to co-nominate Ilana Glazer and her co-star Abbi Jacobsen, but such are the rules of the Feelies. On Broad City, Glazer is a bundle of filthy joy, an accidental style icon, and questionable life hero. In other words: yas, kween! Mindy Kaling has always been a phenomenal writer, but her performance leveled up in this past season of The Mindy Project. Dr. L realistically struggled with a potential cross-country move, an unplanned pregnancy, and a shoplifting Staten Island Italian, and she did it all in style.

Kim: Ellie Kemper‘s inherent sunniness makes her makes her a perfect Kimmy Schmidt, a character that in lesser hands would have been a one-note punchline.  Bedecked in her signature bright colors, Kimmy is joy personified, but Ellie never lets her fall into caricature and she lets you see the steely edge beneath the innocence. You can’t help but cheer for her. Amy Poehler‘s Leslie Knope is both a feminist and television ICON and the fact that she only has one Golden Globe to show for it is one of television’s greatest injustices. Leslie doesn’t need your praise…she’s too busy running the country.  Gina Rodriguez was the revelation of the TV season and is the giant heart at the center of Jane the Virgin.  She can have you rolling on the floor with laughter one minute and then weeping the next. Her performance is achingly honest and I had her marked to WIN the Emmy this season…and then she didn’t even get nominated. Whatever.

 

Best Actress in a Drama

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Agent Carter
Caitriona Balfe as Claire Beauchamp, Outlander
Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson, Masters of Sex
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald, Doctor Who
Olivia Colman as Ellie Miller, Broadchurch
Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful
Tatiana Maslany as The Leda Clones, Orphan Black

Kim: As Sage pointed out, Peggy Carter IS the character we need on television right now and Hayley Atwell embodies her so fully you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. She knows her value…anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter. Lizzy Caplan continues to do incredibly nuanced work on Masters of Sex, defying the critics who had labeled her as solely a sardonically comic actress.  Her Virginia is a woman torn between traditional duties and her dreams of changing the world with her work.  She’s truly ahead of her time. Speaking of characters ahead of their time, Caitriona Balfe imbues Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser with ferocity and gravitas that grounds the fantasy of Outlander in reality. She’s a heroine for the ages, staunchly uncompromising her beliefs to mold into the gender roles of 18th Century Scotland.  Olivia Colman‘s Ellie Miller is a wounded animal recovering from the devastation of her family.  She masks her pain behind a steely demeanor but is never afraid to let the cracks in her armor show.  Series Two is all about Ellie’s journey BACK to the person she was before and Colman brings incredible depth and vulnerability to the role.  Never count out DS Miller, people.

Sage: With the character evolution of Clara Oswald came new opportunities to appreciate what Jenna Coleman is doing with the part. She clicked immediately with Peter Capaldi, but let’s not give chemistry all the credit. Clara made some controversial choices this year and Coleman grounded those choices in palpable human emotion. Series 9 is a victory lap well-earned. Penny Dreadful might be too camp for some, but rest assured that former Bond girl Eva Green is doing work on that show. She approaches the haunted Vanessa with such intensity that you don’t know whether to be scared for her or of her. Let’s go with both, just to be safe. But maybe the hardest working woman on television is Orphan Black phenomenon (freak of nature?) Tatiana Maslany. She just keeps on slaying; we’ll never not be flabbergasted by how fully she possesses so many completely rounded characters. And season 3 brought us a new Leda (and an immediate fan favorite): the perceptive and sweet nail technician Krystal.

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“Where is my white collarless shirt from Fred Segal?!” – The Fashion of Clueless.

Posted by Maggie

I don’t remember the exact date that I first saw Clueless. I remember that I was 14 years old, it was the summer before my freshman year at a big, scary public high school, and that my older sister offered to drive me because she wanted to see the Mighty Mighty Bosstones perform in the movie. I do know exactly where I was on July 19, 2015, the 20th anniversary of the classic’s release: curled up on the couch with my DVD, ready to watch Cher and her crew talk like grown-ups. I could probably write an entire separate post about all of the things that went over my head during that first viewing in 1995 (and many subsequent ones, if we’re being totally honest) that I now understand (seriously, raise your hand if you had no idea that Christian was gay until literally when Murray said the words “he’s gay”), but instead let’s take a moment to appreciate another reason for the movie’s enduring appeal: the fashion. Much like Troop Beverly Hills, Clueless serves as a beautiful little time capsule of its era, complete with chokers and mini backpacks, scrunchies, the challenging world of bare midriff, even respect paid to retail holy grail Contempo Casuals, where I bought my first baby doll dress. (Just by the way, I had a short-lived job in the one at my mall during college, and they were STILL selling tiny mohair sweaters.)

Cher Horowitz is probably the most relatable queen bee in modern cinema and it’s due in part to her wardrobe and styling. I don’t know how much of this was of the time and how much was a specific choice, but Cher’s well defined style is deceptively simple, elegant with clean lines, and her hair and makeup are remarkably unfussed with, all in a way that actually feels attainable. I recently watched another 90s teen comedy on Netflix, Drive Me Crazy, and there’s a ceiling on how much I can relate to Melissa Joan Hart in that movie simply because I would never be able to replicate her complicated hairdos. But Cher? I could see myself in her even though I wasn’t in a clique using my popularity for a good cause (although I totally would have!). Somehow Cher’s closet software is still not a part of my daily life (which, come on), but I still feel like I’d be able to pull off a Cher inspired ensemble without looking like a fashion victim (or do we prefer ensemble-y challenged?).

I picked out my personal top ten Cher outfits — and listen, I had to make a lot of tough choices so my heart was too spent to actually rank them. So, in no particular order:

The “AS IF!!” Yellow Plaid Ensemble

Look at this precious sunflower ruling the school like a benevolent Amanda Woodward. This look hits every note, right off the bat: knee highs, school girl-y mini skirt, midriff baring tee, mohair sweater, mini backpack. It’s so perfectly mid-90s, I want to cry.

The “I drive really good usually” Driving Test Outfit

Okay, I’m sure the white collarless shirt from Fred Segal would have been perfect, but I love this outfit. I’m really into the different proportions and the way she’s mixing the preppy argyle with the softness of the sheer ruffle-y shirt.

“Is it James Dean or Jason Priestley?” Shopping Dress

This light green dress is honestly one of my favorite pieces. It’s so chic and somehow the slightly tricky color isn’t messing with her complexion. Alicia, tell me your secrets (unless it involves kale or something, in which case, hard pass).

The “Playing footsie with the dumb kid” Outfit

I love this white eyelet top so much and I feel like the lavender jeans are this amazing unexpected bonus. It’s so fresh and youthful, but still grown up.

“What’s that?” “A dress!” “Says who?” “Calvin Klein!” “It looks like underwear!”

Should I just transcribe my notes for this one? Okay, why not:

yes the white calvin klein amazingggg

white coat thing, the fucking BARRETTE though

when she sticks it in her neckline later omg

the necklace

this outfit is everything i ever wanted to look like

 
That pretty much sums it up, right?

“The entire student body was utterly grateful for the improvement in their grades.” Coat and Beret

I would wear this outfit, head to toe, TODAY. Have you ever seen such coat porn in your life?

The “What’s the point? Everywhere you go has valet!” Driving Ensemble

I adore this look, I can’t get enough if it. I prefer it without the jacket, the leather skirt mixed with the soft white top are so great on their own. (I’m just now realizing how much I respond to the way Cher mixes hard and soft edges, by the way.)

The “I never knew he was this motivated” Plaid Pants Ensemble

This one is just so preppy and CUTE. I never wear white collared button-downs due to school uniform scarring, but I love the way her collar and sleeves appear over the pink sweater so much that I’m tempted. And it’s just perfectly coordinated without going too matchy-matchy (which actually, Cher tends toward a bit, I think).

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“You could be forming a line for nothing.” – SDCC 2015 Part IV

The New Mount Rushmore.

The New Mount Rushmore.

Posted by Kim

Life at Comic Con is a BUBBLE.  You’re so focused on getting everything on your schedule done that you have no idea what’s going on in the world other than the status of the Hall H and Ballroom 20 lines and whether or not Hayley Atwell had posted a new dubsmash. It’s a nice place to be.  The BEST place, really. Our last day of Comic Con was a bit of an oddity as there were exactly zero panels we were DESPERATE to get into (many apologies to our Supernatural recapper Dawn, whom we surely let down). Thus, we allowed ourselves the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30 (which in Comic-Con time is practically noon) and set out with no real PLAN for the day. Having no set plan or schedule is a double-edged sword, especially for a Type-A Monica like me.  After 4 days of schedules regimented down to the minute, it was refreshing to just be able to wander and take things as they came. On the other hand, wandering aimlessly led to us making several rookie Comic-Con mistakes.  It had to happen eventually, right?

We have zero idea what day it is.

We have zero idea what day it is.

Rookie Mistake #1: Planning on hitting the offsites before the Exhibit Hall.  With no panels, we decided to use Sunday to visit all of the offsite events we had been ignoring all weekend.  We made a stop by the Petco Interactive Zone on our way to the convention center because we had been walking past the giant Snoopy house (promoting the new Peanuts movie) all week and had been dying to go in.  By 9:30 AM, the line to go through the house wound its way around the park several times and it crept along at a snail’s pace.  We left.  No amount of free Charlie Brown trucker hats or snuggles from rescue beagles was enough for us to wait several hours to go down a slide. This is Comic Con, not Six Flags, y’all.

We bypassed the convention center in favor of heading towards the FX Arena and the Adult Swim carnival.  Both were closed until 11. Lame.  We opted to walk along the marina on the way to Nerd HQ, which we knew for certain would be open. It was a lovely walk and was decidedly less crowded than the main drag in the Gaslamp. Plus we got to see all the boats and discuss what fandom related name we would give to our yacht when this website goes public and we become bajillionaires. (It could happen.) For future reference, my yacht will be called the Hello, Sweetie.

BOATS BOATS BOATS.

BOATS BOATS BOATS.

So why was this a mistake? We assumed that we’d be able to wander the exhibit floor pretty easily towards the end of the day, based on past experience at New York Comic Con, where we were able to zip through the floor finding last-minute deals in the dwindling hours of Sunday. False. Sunday afternoon was the most packed we EVER saw the exhibit floor as swag-hungry con-goers devoured as much of the remaining stock as possible.  After being able to wander the floor pretty easily Saturday morning, the sardines-like atmosphere Sunday afternoon was a bit of a shock.  Next year, we’ll know better.  If our Sunday schedule is empty, we do the exhibit hall first and then hit offsites when they open later in the day. Ah, well.  It’s a blessing in disguise. WE DIDN’T NEED TO BUY MORE THINGS ANYWAY. (Though we did miss out on a print we had been eyeing the day before because it sold out. Moral of the story: buy something when you see it. Don’t count on it being there on the last day.)

Rookie Mistake #2: Leaving NerdHQ while a panel was happening

Have we MENTIONED we love photo booths?

Have we MENTIONED we love photo booths?

Thanks to our super packed panel schedule, Sunday was the first day that we were able to make it to the Zachary Levi-founded Nerd Haven known as NerdHQ.  What a haven it was! There were couches and there were charging stations. There was actual FOOD for sale as opposed to just hot dogs and nachos (thank you for your cafe, New Children’s Museum) and there were a handful of food trucks outside. And much to our delight, there were photo booths galore.

High Five Rogue!

Much to the delight of the cute guy running the photo booth, my green “Sinceriously” shirt blended in with the green screen, rendering the top half of my body invisible.  Well…it’s either that or the Hall H sand fleas gave me superpowers. I’ll keep you posted.

The tickets for Nerd HQ’s “Conversations for a Cause” literally sold out in seconds.  Sage and I tried for no less than six panels when they went on sale…some were “sold out” immediately, some we managed to get “tickets” in our cart only to find they were no longer available when we went to fill in our information.  It was a disaster and we were crushed that we weren’t able to include this in our SDCC experience. We hung around the entry line for the Conversation with SDCC 2015 MVPs Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Clark Gregg, and Chloe Bennet in hopes that people wouldn’t show (HA!) or that they would release some last-minute standing room tickets.  Nope.  DENIED.  After leaving our mark on the giant blackboard, we pondered what to do next. Would Hayley and Company DO a photo-op after?  Surely not, we thought.  We knew that Nathan Fillion was doing a panel later that afternoon, and as he had spent at least an hour doing photos the day before, we decided that we would throw our hope for a picture behind him.  Thus, we left NerdHQ and headed off to check out the Nerdist Conival over at Petco.

Big. Huge. 

The walk from the New Children’s Museum to Petco was not a short one. Along the way, we sadly observed that some of the offsite installations were already in the process of being taken down. (The Comedy Central Mini-Golf, which we had wanted to do, was one of them, much to our dismay.) One thing NOT taken down? The terrifying Colonel Sanders statues, which continue to haunt my dreams.

WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?

WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?

The Conival was set up all around one of the mezzanines of Petco Park (the baseball nerd in me was delighted to get a peek at this GORGEOUS ballpark).  There was swag (“I don’t know what that is, but it’s free, so I want it.”).  We got to color our own buttons at the Smart Girls booth because our Queen Amy Poehler knows what’s what.  We were in line for yet ANOTHER photo booth when both of our phones went off with an alert from NerdHQ. We looked down in horror…the Marvel Crew was doing a photo-op.  It took all of 30 seconds for us to decide that we had to double-back to the museum and we had to do it FAST.  Did I mention before it was not a short walk?  IT WAS NOT A SHORT WALK. It should also be noted that Sunday was the hottest day of the weekend. Just shy of ten minutes after the alert went out (honestly, the time we made was miraculous), we arrived back at the museum, drenched in sweat and calves burning.  The line for the photo-op was capped.  NO HAYLEY FOR YOU, IDIOTS WHO LEFT.

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“I could never settle for anything less than everything.”- Masters of Sex Recap

 
Masters of Sex Season 3, Episode 2
“Three’s a Crowd”
Posted by Kim

It’s been an interesting start for season three of Masters of Sex as the show has focused less on the groundbreaking work of Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson (and their affair) and more on their home lives and the ramifications their work (and affair) has had on their relationships with their spouses and children.  The exquisite subtlety of the show has given way to heavy-handed melodrama, from Libby popping pills to Tessa Johnson being a mother hating terror to Virginia’s unexpected pregnancy.  Most importantly Masters of Sex has been missing the SEX (be it in the clinical or sexy sense) in these first two episodes.

Have we lost the show we fell in love with forever? All signs point to NO thanks to this interview with showrunner Michelle Ashford, who confesses that some legal hurdles threw a wrench in the story-telling.  Obviously, she can’t disclose what the issues were exactly, but given the disclaimer at the end of episode 1 and the abrupt appearance of Howie Masters and birth of Lisa Johnson (ACTUAL names of their children), one has to believe that it had to do with how the kids were being portrayed.  The rampant theory on Tumblr (there’s always a theory) is that they had to establish that the existing kids on the show were NOT meant to represent the factual children.  Long story short? It’s hard making a TV show where some of the parties involved in the fictionalization are still alive.

 
“Three’s a Crowd” picks up right where the premiere left off with Bill realizing that Virginia is pregnant. Bill briefly wonders if it’s his but Virginia quickly says that the baby is George’s (“We had a moment.”).  Honestly, I think Bill can’t decide what’s worse: that Virginia had the nerve to get pregnant right when their book is about to come out or that the baby doesn’t belong to him.  Naturally, Bill makes his outrage about the book, essentially saying “How could you do this to ME?” but I think a big part of him is pissed that Virginia has something that’s entirely hers.  Thus, he views everything about this pregnancy in the context of how it affects him instead of how it affects her.  Sure, he offers a cursory “Are you okay?” (HELLO SHE IS OBVIOUSLY NOT YOU JAG) but it’s meaningless and the relief he feels when Virginia says she’s getting an abortion is palpable.

This is what I love about Masters of Sex: it doesn’t decide to make this a “very special episode” where Virginia debates whether or not to terminate the pregnancy and it doesn’t throw a ticker-tape parade for her when she decides to keep the baby. Virginia knows in her head that getting rid of the baby is the logical choice. She’s not married, she’s in the public eye, and there will be questions that will affect the public taking her work seriously.  But her heart? Her heart wants the baby, consequences be damned.  Is her choice to keep the baby driven by Tessa attacking her on the day of the appointment?  Are her daughter’s angry words (“I just want you to be aware of all the things you ruin for me”) ringing in her ear as she is sitting on the exam table holding back tears? Probably. (Is Tessa the WORST? Most definitely.) I have to give all the credit to Lizzy Caplan in this scene because she showed the gamut of emotions that Virginia was experiencing (fear, shame, pain, indecisiveness, panic) through her eyes and one choked sentence: “I feel nothing.”  Damn, girl.

 

Bill’s solution to the “problem” of the pregnancy is to have Virginia take a leave of absence from the practice.  He brings in a new female partner (HEY MAGGIE GRACE) without consulting Virginia, which naturally infuriates her.  Not because she doesn’t see that this is a realistic solution but because Bill did it without telling her, showing zero respect for the partnership. “I certainly wasn’t consulted in all the decisions you make that affect me,” Bill spits, showing that he considers her pregnancy a personal affront to him.  The angrier Bill gets, the more Virginia is certain she made the right choice. She views this baby as her chance to get things right, to have a bit of a do-over from her first go-around as a mother. “Conceiving the baby was a mistake. Keeping it was a deliberate decision,” Virginia asserts. She gives Bill SUCH a pointed look when she brings up losing custody of Henry and Tessa that I wondered that if she knows that Bill had everything to do with it.  Bill’s reaction to her bringing that up seems to indicate that she does know.  How did she find out? If she DOES know, then why the hell is she still with him? DAMMIT TIME JUMP.

 
 
Things get worse once Libby gets involved. Libby, who at the top of the episode, laid down the law as far as Bill being more involved at home now that the book is ready. Libby who has begrudgingly come to accept that her husband is in love with another woman (her only friend), as long as he maintains the appearance that they are a normal family.  Libby, who sits and smokes a cigarette (without ashing), barely containing her fury as Bill tells her that Virginia is pregnant. Caitlin Fitzgerald, y’all.  Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan get all the accolades, but the show absolutely would not work without her. She brings pathos to a role that could easily be one-dimensional (the shrewish housewife) but Fitzgerald imbues her with such pathos that you can’t help but feel sorry for her as she stews in a righteous fury, her husband bumbling with the broken TV set.

Naturally, Libby takes out her anger on Virginia, since she is the easier target. Once again, the main topic of conversation is how Virginia could do this to HER, how could she carry a child that everyone will undoubtedly think is Bill’s (“Without a husband in sight…except mine that is.”), how could she upset the fragile balance their lives have been maintaining? Not once do Bill or Libby stop to question how all this is affecting Virginia.  Virginia, who has given up everything for her work, only to find herself having to go in hiding right when the fruits of her sacrifices are coming to be. Virginia, who DOES know that she is in this alone and who is determined to do it right this time.  Every time Bill and Libby rage at her, she becomes more content in her choice because this baby is the one thing she will not allow this parasitic relationship to touch. “This is not something I did to YOU. This has nothing to do with you OR Bill,” Virginia says, storming upstairs with her laundry, effectively ending the argument with Libby. Four for you for FINALLY making a selfish choice, Virginia. FOUR FOR YOU.

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Team BAMF: Bad Ass Major Feels

“I thought we were going to have whiskey on this panel!” – SDCC 2015, Part III

Team BAMF: Bad Ass Major Feels

Team BAMF: Bad Ass Major Feels

Posted by Kim

By Saturday, we felt like SDCC pros. We were getting into all the panels we were wanting to see. We had scored the exclusive merchandise we had lusted after.  We had partied the PERFECT amount to where we didn’t feel like zombies the next day.  We were, in a word, killing it. Would Saturday proved to be as charmed of a day as the first two?  Read on to find out!

Walking the Exhibit Hall

We live at the convention center now.

We live at the convention center now.

After walking the now familiar route around the top floor of the convention hall (Me: “Let’s do a lap before we commit to a location”) to settle into the line for the Exhibit Hall, we had one goal in mind: getting to the Legendary Booth for a chance to win a ticket for the Crimson Peak signing (HIDDLES) later that afternoon. The autograph culture at SDCC is much different from the one at NYCC.  At NYCC, as long as you have the money and the willingness to stand in line, you can get the autograph you so desperately need.  Not all of the talent attending NYCC (especially your A-Listers) does the autograph booths, but if the object of your desire does do them, you can get your autograph for a sum ranging from 20 to upwards of 100 bucks.  (This also applies to paid photo-ops, also known as what currently decorates my kitchen walls, also known as that time Stephen Amell caught a bit of Sage’s side boob.)  At SDCC, all the autographs are free and the A-list talent DOES participate. The catch? It’s all based on a lottery system.  That’s right…some people will line-up in the wee hours of the morning for a chance to DRAW A TICKET to win a chance to get autographs from the Game of Thrones or Arrow casts.  I have a hard time comprehending that, to be honest. When we camped out for 21 hours, we at least KNEW we would be guaranteed to be in the presence of Peter Capaldi.  I digress.

Once the exhibit hall opened, we made a beeline to the Legendary Booth, taking full advantage of our New York City honed power-walking skills (NOT RUNNING!).  Alas, the line to draw a ticket was capped by the time we made it there.  Clearly, the universe knows we aren’t ready to be face to face with Tom Hiddleston.

Free Star Wars buttons!

Free Star Wars buttons!

Since the majority of the early morning crowd was occupied with getting exclusives, we took advantage of the lighter traffic flow and walked the exhibit hall from end to end. I highly recommend anyone attending a major con to do this.  There are so many unique booths and vendors to discover outside of all the licensed merchandise. The degree of creativity displayed in the hall is astounding, from traditional comic book art to handmade toys to prints inspired by various fandoms.  These are the best souvenirs, in my opinion, because despite the “exclusive” merchandise, these are the things that are truly unique to each con.  Before I came to SDCC, I had vowed not to buy any fan art due to the fact that my available wall space was rapidly decreasing. On the exhibit floor, however, my attitude was thus: “GIMME ALL THE ART”.  I was on the hunt for a good gift for Kelly, who was graciously watching my dog for me.  In the course of doing so, naturally things like this happened…

Honestly, as soon as I bought those Rose and Nine prints, I knew I wanted to keep them. I knew deep in my heart I wanted to find something X-Files themed for Kelly anyway. One would think that X-Files art would be easy to find. Nope. Whenever we would ask a particular booth whose style we enjoyed whether or not they had any Mulder and Scully, the reply was always the same: “No, but I should TOTALLY do them!!”  Yes.  Yes, you should. I expect there to be an abundance of Mulder/Scully art next year people. We did find that Joe Harris, who illustrates the comics for The X-Files, had a booth. He had a limited edition (there were only 100) print of Mulder and Scully for sale. I was unsure about getting it because I knew we had NO time to go back to the apartment that day and I was concerned about toting a print around all day without damaging it. He saw me waffling, grinned, and pulled out another print that he had limited quantities of.  I immediately forked over my money without giving it a second thought.  Why? Because this one had Mulder, Scully, AND Skinner.

Joe also recognized Kelly’s blog series, “Times Mulder and Scully Should Have Made Out This Week” (“It’s so clever!”) and wrote her a personal message on the back of the print. Thus, I left the exhibit hall with my wallet lighter but secure in the knowledge that I had scored an amazing gift for my friend. Mission accomplished.

On our way to our brunch destination, we had to pass through the crowds of protestors that had amassed outside of the convention center. Yep. Every day there were radical Christian and Anti-Abortion protestors outside the center with their bright yellow signs and fliers.  Perhaps they were taking advantage of the massive crowds or perhaps they really DID think we were all hell-bound for attending Comic Con. I’m not sure which. I’ll leave what Sage oh-so-eloquently said to a person who tried to shove an anti-abortion flier into her hand to your imagination, but just know it was amazing.

Then we ran into what I consider to be one of the most brilliant publicity stunts I’ve seen. Well done, Team Damien. WELL DONE. (They often stood with their signs right next to the legit protestors, these guys were just on their break.)

Brunch with OJ and a side of BAMF

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Yay for mimosas!

It goes without saying that we were devastated when Sleepy Hollow pulled out of SDCC because of production conflicts. Not only because the show missed out on some much-needed exposure (When someone on the floor saw Sage’s Ichabbie shirt we overheard them say “Is Sleepy Hollow still ON?” #promoteSleepyHollow) but because we had been counting on getting into its press session and getting face-time with our beloved cast.  We were delighted when our friend Terena informed us that she was coordinating an intimate offsite brunch event with Mr. and Mrs. BAMF themselves, Orlando Jones and Lyndie Greenwood. Time with two of our favorites, plus delicious brunch food (Crab cakes Benedict!! Chocolate pancakes!!), PLUS legit bottles of champagne for only 8 bucks? SIGN US UP.

I love that even though Orlando is leaving Sleepy Hollow (I can’t talk about it yet, you guys), he’s still the biggest ambassador to the fandom. Some performers THRIVE on interacting with their fans and Orlando is clearly one of them. Orlando didn’t sit down ONCE during the 2 hour event, instead choosing to visit every single table and spend a good amount of time with every attendee. When he arrived, he literally bumped into our waitress, whose hands were full of plates for another table. She was absolutely paralyzed with delight at seeing him and he promptly took the plates out of her hands and personally delivered them to the proper table. That’s the kind of guy he is. When we later teased him about how he worked the room, saying “Dance, monkey, dance,” he BELLY LAUGHED, teasing “I don’t appreciate your choice of animal!” Basically, he’s the best and we’re best friends now.

Besties

Besties

Lyndie Greenwood arrived a little late because she walked over to the restaurant on her own, rather than taking the car offered to her (she is THAT down-to-earth). She also arrived in a handmade cosplay of an obscure comic character that was SUPER HOT. She had tweeted earlier in the week that she had cleaned Party City out of its stock of mini-skulls, so it was awesome to see the fruits of her labor. We asked her if she was planning to walk the floor after brunch and her response was a giddy “Hell yes!”  She squealed with delight when she noticed that my phone case was Abbie and Ichabod (which I had completely forgotten about until the moment we took our picture together) and flailed when I showed her a picture of the Ichabbie prints I had bought at the Sherlock party the night before. “You don’t see NEARLY enough Sleepy Hollow art,” she exclaimed. “Tweet me the name of that artist!” ONE OF US.

IMG_1452

LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE NERD.

It was neither the time nor place to try to get any scoop about what’s to come on Sleepy Hollow (we didn’t want to be THOSE people), so sadly, we have nothing to report on that front.  (Hopefully Sleepy will have a big presence at NYCC and we’ll be able to bring you all the scoop then!) We were just grateful to be able to have some time to celebrate our show and to hang out with fellow Sleepyheads. We should do this every year…someone get it on Tom and Nicole’s calendar for next July!

I enjoy this candid shot so much. FRIENDSHIP.

I enjoy this candid shot so much. FRIENDSHIP.

Seth MacFarlane Animation Panel

GOD HELP US.

GOD HELP US.

Let it be known that SDCC is all about sacrifices and hard choices. Saturday afternoon’s schedule was jam-packed with everything from the offsite official Doctor Who meet-up to John Barrowman in a room with a microphone to the EW Women Who Kick Ass Panel and Crimson Peak (HIDDLES) in Hall H.  And where were we? Suffering through an HOUR AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES of Seth MacFarlane and company all in the name of getting good seats for Outlander and Hannibal.

And that’s all I have to say about that.  However, I will begrudgingly admit that it was pretty impressive when they did a live-read of a few Family Guy scenes.

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“I know my value too.” – SDCC 2015 Part II

bad blood 2bad blood 3 
Posted by Kim and Sage

Sage: By virtue of scheduling, our SDCC decreased in intensity as the convention went on. After a few hours of sleep on an actual mattress, we were back in the heart of it all on Friday morning and ready to spend almost all day in Ballroom 20, the convention center’s second biggest panel room. As we are mostly a television blog, we made the call to cover as many serialized TV panels as we could. That, coupled with the fact that Star Wars fans had started lining up before Thursday’s audience was even loaded into Hall H, meant that seeing Harrison Ford in the flesh was not in the cards for us. (Massive nerd girl failure: we know.) On the plus side, our early bird arrival to the exhibit hall line meant that we were able to snag the BBC America SDCC exclusives that had eluded us on preview night. Successfully geared up with the Doctor Who merchandise that we definitely needed (my dresser is literally falling apart because I have too many fandom t-shirts), we installed ourselves in our home sweet home for the next several hours. And may no one ever say we don’t suffer for our craft, because that first panel was a great test of dickhead endurance, patience, and our devotion to Peggy Carter. WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME REMEMBER THIS?

The Big Bang Theory

STEELY DETERMINATION.

STEELY DETERMINATION.

Fate, you cruel, cruel mistress.

At least some good came out of our torment. Our friends were so amused by our anguished tweeting that one of them Storifyed our comments for posterity. Instead of re-living this 40 minutes in feminist hell, I will simply point you to that link. Thanks to HOF contributor and Doctor Who author/podcaster Graeme Burk for doing something productive with his giddy schadenfreude.

Falling Skies

Dr. Carter: could still get.

Dr. Carter: could still get.

Kim: As Sage said, we were firmly ensconced in Ballroom 20 in order to secure seats for panels later in the day, so we sat through some panels we wouldn’t have normally chosen to attend. Unlike The Big Bang Theory, the panel for Falling Skies was a delight.  And not at all misogynistic. On paper, Falling Skies is a show that I should have been obsessed with from day one. It has a 90’s heart-throb who has only gotten better with age. It has aliens. The aliens apparently have robots. It’s about the human race struggling to survive in the face of the apocalypse.  It has “KIM WILL LOVE THIS” written all over it.  So why am I totally ignorant about it? I will fully admit that I’ve never seen an episode because I have an unexplainable bias against TNT Originals even though they CLAIM that “they know drama”.  Because to me, TNT is where I go to watch Bones re-runs when I am home sick from work.  So kudos to this panel because now Falling Skies is in my ever-expanding queue of shows I need to watch.

  • On the panel: Noah Wyle (Tom Mason, Forever Dr. John Carter), Moon Bloodgood (Anne Glass), Drew Roy (Hal Mason), Will Patton (Captain Weaver), Sarah Carter (Maggie), Connor Jessup (Ben Mason), Colin Cunningham (John Pope), Doug Jones (Cochise), and Executive Producer Olatunde Osunsanmi.  It was moderated by our writing crush Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly, which was an added bonus.
  • We were treated to an extended trailer for the final episodes and it looked epic. Part of my unexplained bias against TNT shows is that I always believed they were cheesy and low-budget.  This proved me wrong…it looked spectacular.
  • Falling Skies is in the midst of its final season and you could TELL that everyone was savoring their final appearance at SDCC together.  The panel was the very definition of a lovefest.  It also made the entire thing very accessible to newbies like us because it was more about reminiscing about their time together as opposed to talking about every single death or shocker that had happened over the course of the show’s run.  I left the panel feeling PRETTY unspoiled, which was nice.
  • The two women on the panel, Moon Bloodgood and Sarah Carter, also did a good job of wooing me to their show, thanks to their passion for their characters being badass women. “I was so happy to be out of the love triangle and on to REAL stuff,” Sarah Carter reflected on Maggie’s journey. I don’t know what that means but I loved that she was so excited about being more than a love interest.  Later, Moon threw a little shade for wanting more women on the show when she responded “How do I answer this? They are all MALES.” when asked what other character she would have wanted to play.
  • The actors do a LOT of their own stunt work.  “In retrospect, you feel GREAT about jumping off a three-story building,” Sarah said, when asked about her favorite moments of the series.
  • Noah’s son got up and asked a question during the Q&A and it was precious.
  • Noah makes his directorial debut in episode 8 of the current season.  When he said that, my jaw dropped because I don’t know HOW he never directed an episode of ER because it feels like the entire cast took a turn behind the camera at some point.
Doug Jones and Connor Jessup

Doug Jones and Connor Jessup

  • Doug Jones wins the fashion award for this panel with his matching plaid vest and tie.
  • Possibly one of my favorite Sage tweets of the convention: “Noah Wyle is so precious. I hope he realizes now that Dr. Benton was only so tough on him because he saw his potential.”
  • The panel closed with a fan requesting that each member of the panel describe the first impression they had of the person sitting to their left.  Noah: “My impression of Moon was that she intimidated me.” Moon: “GOOD.” (I’m obsessed with her.)

The 100

Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor

Kim: I am a fairly recent convert to The 100, having finally given in to the demands of our friend Beth, who is a professional show-pusher (she’s also responsible for getting us into Arrow so basically the CW should hire her).  So I was quite excited that their panel coincided with our Marvel TV panel plan. Sage has yet to see an episode of The 100 (she promises it’s on her list) so this continued our con tradition of Sage sitting through a panel of a show that has no mercy when it comes to offing characters and getting spoiled on everything.  I promised her that this was no Walking Dead though, that The 100 treated its characters, especially its female ones, with respect.  But I think what sold her on bumping the show up in her queue was the guy taking the axe-blade to the face in the first few seconds of the sizzle reel. “You weren’t kidding about it being intense.” “No, I was not.”

Isaiah Washington, Marie Avegerpoulous, Bob Morley

Isaiah Washington, Marie Avgeropoulos, Bob Morley

  • On the panel: Showrunner Jason Rothenberg, Eliza Taylor (Clarke Griffin), Bob Morley (Bellamy Blake), Isaiah Washington (Dr. Preston Burke…erm…Thelonious Jaha), Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia Blake), Lindsey Morgan (Raven Reyes), and Ricky Whittle (Lincoln). Sadly NOT on the panel? Henry Ian Cusick aka Marcus Kane aka Desmond Hume, forever in my heart.
  • Bob was sporting a “Blake” trucker hat. Ricky one-upped him when he walked out wearing a “Linctavia” trucker hat.  Just in case you wanted any indication of how this panel was going to go.
  • Season three will open with a slight time jump to a few months after Clarke bailed to go on her walkabout.
  • “I’ll assume he’ll do what Clarke couldn’t do and become a leader.” – Bob Morley on Bellamy’s journey in season three. He loved throwing (loving) shade Clarke’s way because it would get Eliza all riled up in defense of her character’s actions.
  • The panel gave a standing ovation to those who had camped out for the panel the night before.  What I love SO MUCH about panels like this is seeing the actors truly understand and respect how much people love their show.

  • Being that The 100 is all about trying to maintain your humanity in the face of horrendous circumstances, there were many questions about the characters’ moral code (according to Rothenberg, the arc of season two was “at what point does the good guy become the bad guy?”).  “Lincoln’s moral compass will never change,” Ricky asserted. He later pointed out that “There are no good or bad people on our show.  There’s only perspective.”  Rothenberg also stated that “Our goal is to paint them into situations where there is no easy answer.” Subtext: don’t expect things to get any easier in season three.
  • “I skip through all the pages and go straight to all my parts.” – Marie, on when she gets a new script.  I do the same thing when I get a part in a play, so we are obviously kindred spirits.
  • “I get to play someone with a disability on TV, which is really important. AND she kicks ass.” – Lindsey on her affection for Raven.  What’s in store for her in season three? “Raven’s coming out on top.”
  • Lindsey and Ricky, given that they were the furthest away from the moderator, were the unruly children of the panel.  At one point, Ricky surrounded himself with four of the microphones on the table so he could be heard properly.
  • Lexa will be back at some point in season three, as the show was able to juggle production time to accommodate Alycia Debnam-Carey’s new role on Fear the Walking Dead.  As far as whether there is hope for Clexa, Eliza and Rothenberg only teased that Clarke is PISSED so the road to reconciliation is a rough one.
  • Rothenberg did the same kind of ship teasing when it came to Clarke and Bellamy.  “Their chemistry is undeniable, so I never want to rule it out,” he said, like the ship-baiter he is.  Eliza pointed out that while Bellarke makes a great team, “but there are going to be some issues”.  Basically, everyone is pissed at everyone and ain’t nobody got time for romance.
Ricky Whittle and Lindsey Morgan

Ricky Whittle and Lindsey Morgan

  • “Are you strong or are you weak? That’s the only difference that matters.” – Rothenberg on the amount of diversity on the show.
  • Isaiah pulled a Christine Lahti at the Golden Globes in the middle of the panel. Just because the water bottle is on the table doesn’t mean you have to DRINK all of it.
  • Eliza admitted that filming the season two finale took a big emotional toll on her.  “I needed a shower!”
  • “I forget I’m in the show! That’s how engrossed I get.” – Isaiah, on watching episodes for the first time.
  • Sage on Bob Morley’s VERY wide shoulders: “How does he fit through doors?”
  • During the Q&A there was a Clarke cosplayer who was completely screen accurate. “I tracked it all down online and then altered it to match,” she admitted when Eliza questioned her about it.
  • Also during the Q&A a girl got to the mic and promptly burst into tears. Ricky jumped off the dais and went to hug her, only prompting more tears.  He then stood with his arms around her as she managed to finally ask her question.  And THIS is why I love Comic Con.
Ricky and a fan.

Ricky and a fan.

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“Don’t you think this is weird?” – SDCC 2015 Part I

The Hall H line is not for the weak.

The Hall H line is not for the weak.

Posted by Kim and Sage

Nothing can truly prepare you for San Diego Comic Con.  Sure, you can scour fan forums for advice and tips (the Friends of CCI forum is an INVALUABLE resource) and can spreadsheet the hell out of your plan for the con, but the only way you can actually understand the con is to just DO IT. And do it, we did.  SDCC is most definitely not for the weak.  It’s intense and exhausting.  It’s crowded as hell.  It’s ALSO the best time a nerd can ever have.  It’s a week full of feels, flails, friends, and fun.  We can’t wait to go back next year.

– Kim

Wednesday: Preview Night/Camping Out for Hall H

Camping spots in the first tent for Hall H = acquired.

Camping spots in the first tent for Hall H = acquired.

Kim: Much has been written about the “new” line culture of SDCC, especially when it comes to Hall H. Long time attendees claim it is ruining Comic Con while local news units find it “fascinating” that people are willing to campout overnight just to see their favorite celebrities.  (I’m amused that even after a decade of people camping out overnight, there are outlets STILL saying “look at the freaks!” as if this never happens.) Like it or not, overnight camping is here to stay until SDCC decides to do SOMETHING more than the wristband system to prevent it.  It’s as much a part of the con as those exclusive Hasbro toys are now.  Deal with it.

When it was announced that Doctor Who would be taking the stage along with Mockingjay Part II and the Alan Tudyk/Nathan Fillion webseries Con Man on Thursday, the first thing Sage and I did was thank our lucky stars that we had opted to fly in on Tuesday night as opposed to our original plan of Wednesday night. Whovians don’t mess around (this is the fandom that managed to crash movietickets.com after all) and when combined with fans of The Hunger Games, we knew that we would have to be in line Wednesday afternoon to have a chance at getting good seats.  Sure enough, while Sage and I were waiting for our delayed flight to take off (YAY DELTA), Twitter informed us that five Whovians were in line…a full 48 hours before anyone would set foot inside.  Initially, I freaked out, fearing that the line would snowball once people had realized it had started.  But when we landed in San Diego just before midnight, the reaction of Twitter was more “why are these people in line already?” as opposed to “OMG GO GET IN LINE NOW.” (SDCC Survival Tip #1: This shouldn’t shock you, but Twitter is most definitely your friend when it comes to line updates.)

The next morning, the line had grown to 30.  Sage and I had an amazing brunch at San Diego Favorite The Broken Yolk.  Enjoying her gigantic omelet two tables away?  Felicia Day.  We viewed it as a sign of great things to come.  Badge pick-up didn’t start till three, so we made our way through the Gaslamp District and walked around the convention center familiarizing ourselves with the lay of the land.  Everything was buzzing with excitement, even as several offsite installations were finishing up construction.  After a stop at Ralph’s to stock up on snacks for the weekend (SDCC Survival Tip #2: Good snacks are a MUST when faced with nothing but hot dogs and nachos in the convention center. Snacks like nuts, jerky, dried fruit, Cliff Bars, and Goldfish are essential. But allow yourself the occasional hotdog because you’re not at a con till you’ve had one.), we made our way back to the Hall H tents.  It was 12:30 and we were among the first 100 people in line.  Let the 21 hour campout begin.

With our lovely contributor Kayti Burt.

With our lovely contributor Kayti Burt.

How did we ever stand it?  Quite easily, actually.  The weather was gorgeous and we were sheltered from the sun by the tents.  We had our camping chairs that unfolded into full mats.  We had books and trashy magazines.  We had a line nemesis who hated Clara for us to roll our eyes at.  Most importantly, we had friends.  By mid-afternoon, we were joined by fellow New Yorker and press badge holder Whitney and our own Kayti Burt (as delightful in person as she is in her recaps). We also adopted the solo 13-year-old girl sitting in front of us because she was an adorable ginger and dressed in the Her Universe Thor dress.  In the middle of the afternoon, we were interviewed by a local news outlet about WHY we were in line so early.  “Don’t you think it’s weird that you’re doing this?” the reporter asked condescendingly.  Enough with the geek shaming, okay?  The reporter didn’t know what he was getting into when he directed those questions at Sage, who put him in his place like the precious unicorn that she is.  “No one says it’s weird when people camp out for playoff tickets or to see their favorite artist in concert.  Why is it weird that we’re camping out to see actors from our favorite television show? Doctor Who has a 50+ year history.  People care about it just as much as people care about their favorite football team.  If people think we are weird for doing this, then I’m sorry they don’t care about anything passionately or have anything in their lives that has brought them the kind of joy that Doctor Who has brought ours.”

Consider the mic dropped.

It should be noted that we have yet to find that interview ANYWHERE.

By early evening, Gallifrey One pal Jane, new friends Kate and Josh, and their little baby Annika had joined us.  Jane came bearing the all important sleeping bags, purchased for a mere ten bucks through her job. The sleeping bags proved to be essential, as it DOES get chilly at night.  (We later paid it forward by passing our sleeping bags off to a pair of Star Wars fans in line for Friday’s panel as we only needed them for the one night.  Con Karma is a real thing.)  The arrival of Jane and Company allowed those of us who had taken the early shift to leave the line and check out Preview Night activities.  Kayti headed to the pilot screenings in Ballroom 20, while Whitney, Sage, and I opted to hit the exhibit floor. Once inside, we learned that it was foolish to try to get in line for exclusives after the Hall had been open for a few hours.  We were lusting after a particular shirt at the BBC booth (shocker) and arrived at the booth to find the line capped.  We were told to “come back in 20 minutes” but here’s the problem with that.  No one would GO anywhere.  Unofficial lines to get in the official line would form, despite the security guard’s attempts to break them up.  The instant the official line would shift, the hangers-around would ruthlessly sprint to try to get to the line.  It was a mess…and a mess that was killing our Comic-Con buzz, so we gave it up for the day.  We went straight to the BBC booth when the Hall opened on Friday and managed to get our exclusives.  That’s SDCC survival tip #3.

Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior Peggy Carter?

Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior Peggy Carter?

The exhibit hall wasn’t a complete bust that night though.  We were able to familiarize ourselves with the room.  We walked through Artist Alley, which unlike NYCC where it’s kept totally separate, was right there in the main hall.  We scored AMAZING Peggy Carter prints for only 10 bucks which no less than 5 people stopped us later asking where to get them (leading us to feel like we were a new sect called Peggy’s Witnesses).  The artist who designed them was shocked that those prints were his best seller.  We weren’t.  Peggy Carter was the STAR of SDCC 2015 when it came to cosplay and all around fangirling.  No one should be surprised by the fact that attendees latched onto this bad ass character.  Females are strong as Hell, y’all.

Recharged, we made it back to the tents.  We ordered pizza and sent someone out for wine.  Like I said…the whole experience was delightful.  And around 10:30 PM, our labors were rewarded with “A” wristbands for the next day.

You're not hard core unless you live hard core.

You’re not hard-core unless you live hard-core.

SDCC’s new policy with the wristbands is that once you get them, you can either stay in line or go home and sleep as long as you are back by 7:30.  If someone in your group stays, you can go back to the same spot.  If your whole group leaves, you just have to go to the back of the line of ALL wristbands. We didn’t get in line ten hours ago for our health.  Naturally, we stayed, save for the people with the tiny human.  Annika may have been the coolest and calmest baby in the world, but she was still a baby and didn’t need to campout among the sand fleas (SDCC Survival Tip #4 OMG BRING BUGSPRAY).  Around midnight, there was a commotion at the front of the tents.  People started running towards the end of the chute…naturally we did too, barefoot and in pajamas.  What caused the commotion, you may ask? None other than one Peter Capaldi.  THAT’S RIGHT. Peter, who had been dining in the Gaslamp District, decided to come say hi to the Hall H line, because that’s the kind of person he is. There were no cameras. It wasn’t a publicity stunt. It was just Peter wanting to connect with the fans.  In my wildest dreams, I had hoped he would do this and my Doctor didn’t let me down. We weren’t able to get close enough to get selfies (ONE DAY) but we were still able to gaze upon him.  That was enough to fuel us through the rest of the night. We slept a solid four hours before I woke Sage up so we could run back to our apartment and shower (God bless my friend who took us in for the week…she lived a ten minute walk from the convention center).  Refreshed and not at all looking like we slept outside, we were back in line by 6:30 clutching gigantic coffees and fueled by adrenaline.  We were in the home stretch!

Modeling our fave looks from Jordan Dene!

Modeling our fave looks from Jordan Dene!

Line Friends about to be loaded in!

Line Friends about to be loaded in!

The line started moving around 9:15, with one line staffer cheerfully congratulating everyone saying, “THIS IS YOUR CON!”.  We were funneled through the chutes with security people giving us high fives as we were escorted into the hall.  “Welcome to Hall H!! You did it!” Yeah, we did. Words can’t describe the feeling of elation we had stepping into an empty hall and filing right up to the front.  Our reward for 21 hours of camping? Sixth row center.  I think the word you would use to describe us is BALLER. Let the first official day of programming begin!!

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