ATX Television Festival 2015 Roundup

Austin Texas art

Posted by Sage

It’s the year of cons at Head Over Feels, with three new-to-us events making an appearance on our schedule. First up: ATX, an Austin television festival that’s grown exponentially in popularity in its short history. I hit this one without Kim, though I also wasn’t the only HOF representative in town. (Oooohhhh…SUSPENSE.) ATX is a quirky con, programming-wise. And the events are staggered and in several different buildings, which alleviates the “I LIVE HERE NOW” insanity of your standard multi-day geek gathering. The eyes were clear, the hearts full, and Austin even more fantastic than I expected. Texas forever.

Queer As Folk 15th Anniversary Reunion Panel

Queer as Folk reunion panel atx

Peter Paige (Emmett), Gale Harold (Brian Kinney – SWOON), Randy Harrison (Justin), and Robert Gant (Ben)

To be perfectly honest, it was the announcement of a Queer As Folk reunion panel that got my wheels turning about ATX to begin with. QAF is the first series that I consumed entirely on DVD. (In other words: baby’s first binge watch.) Over five seasons and dozens of discs, I fell madly in love with the denizens of this fictionalized and vibrant Pittsburgh, PA; Babylon, the gay club of my dreams; and Brian Kinney: man, myth, legendary lay.

The final tally of cast members on the panel totaled less than half of the show’s main ensemble. But they were all represented by Robert when he reported that a revival of some kind has been discussed…and that each and every cast member is up for it. Petitions started circulating immediately on the internet. I don’t know how feasible a full-scale relaunch is. But at the very least, Showtime should pony up for a mini-series.

Queer as Folk reunion panel atx

Keep on telling me what I want to hear, Robert.

More highlights from the QAF panel!

  • The panel started off with a five-minute montage of the triumphs, great loves and crushing tragedies of my beloved characters. There was much hand-waving and a few stray tears. They lived, okay?
  • Scott Lowell (Ted) is currently starring in The Elephant Man on The West End and so sent an adorably dorky “hello” video from the show’s motherland. I’d been complaining to my friend Becky about Gale/Randy shippers, but then they leaned casually on each other to see the screen properly and I ate crow.
  • Showrunners Ron Cowen and Dan Lipman were also in the house. They recounted the history of their involvement in the show, which began when another Showtime project fell through. They knew that they’d have to “match or exceed” the graphic content of the British version to make the remake even worth doing. I’d say they succeeded.
  • Casting was a horrendous process, because the major agencies refused to send their clients in to read. Many of the cast, including Randy and Gale, were without representation at the time. Sharon Gless was the only actor considered for the role of Debbie Novotny. She flew herself in on her own dime from Chicago, where she was doing some stage work. And, as every QAF devotee must know by now, they reiterated that Peter originally read for Teddy and was asked to submit for Emmett as well.
  • The production’s start date was pushed repeatedly because Ron and Dan could not find their Brian Kinney. They got a call at their office from their casting director the day that Gale came in. “He’s here. Come over right away.” I can’t imagine anyone else playing that part.
  • On the day of his screen test, Peter was sent a 21-page nudity rider. Its content, paraphrased: “This is the kind of show this is. If you are not down to do this, do not take this job.” His manager got cold feet and told him to walk, but Peter couldn’t. “I’ll kill myself if I have to watch anyone else do this show.”
  • When asked about how they’d considered the potential impact of the show, Randy said, “I was excited to do it, because I knew what it would mean socially and politically if it worked. And Gale: “My primary concern was not to let down friends of mine who I’d grown up with.”
  • The first few days on set were weird for some, as Queer As Folk refused to play it safe, right from the start. Not for Gale. “Randy and I dove in so deep, so soon.” Peter: “Good choice of words.” Gale: “I was teaching him some wrestling moves…and that’s all.”
  • Part of the process of putting the show out there was for the actors to decide if they’d go public with their own sexuality. Scott and Gale (both straight) decided to avoid the conversation, as they thought it would bring on unnecessary scrutiny. Peter thought the idea of his keeping quiet while playing such an out-and-proud character was ludicrous; “I can play coy with the best of them, but…I don’t know how Sean Hayes did it all those years.”
  • Robert was in his own coming out process when the series started airing, so it was incredibly significant to him personally to join the show.
  • “The first thing you need to know is that it’s all about sex,” are the first words spoken in the pilot. Ron took this opportunity to clarify Michael’s voiceover and the role sex plays in the show. It’s not an entirely surface one. “It’s about how sex relates to all of our lives.”
  • Peter addressed the chilly and sometimes angry reception his character received from some of their audience. “I forgave myself for something in playing Emmett,” he said, explaining his theory that viewers’ dislike of Mr. Honeycutt’s flamboyant personality had to do with their own shame. “We stopped apologizing for the stereotypes. We started owning them and transcending them.”
  • Soon after getting started, the main cast were already perfectly comfortable throwing off their clothes and rolling around in bed together. Still, some tricky situations with guest actors resulted in the enactment of a required “sex meeting” with the actors, writers, and director so concerns could be addressed before anyone got it on. The process took time to perfect. Randy: “It took them a while to figure out cock socks.”
  • “Hi, I’m Peter, you’ll be blowing me.” Peter, on guest stars.
  • Moderator Lesley Headland from the Hollywood Reporter asked the panel to talk about one of the show’s most difficult storylines: Justin bashing. “I have a story,” Randy began. “But you’re not going to like it.” And that’s how the conversation turned to the line of cast and crew members waiting to smack Randy Harrison in the head with a Nerf bat instead of a grave discussion of the season one finale’s social impact.

Queer As Folk reunion panel atx

  • When the topic of a revival came up, Robert championed “the Dallas approach” or the integration of a new generation of characters. It would be an efficient way of launching into some new themes, since the landscape of the LGBTQ looks a lot different 15 years later. Also, Baby Gus would be about Justin’s age in the pilot by now, which ought to strike fear into the hearts of his mothers.
  • Would Brian and Justin be domestically together in that dream revival? Ron and Dan weren’t confident of that. Their goal throughout the series was to show different kinds of relationships, none less important for being non-traditional. Brian and Justin have a bond. They’ll always come back to each other, even if they’re physically apart or even with other people. To help us understand this, Ron read us Shakespeare’s 116th sonnet. Don’t look at me.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

My only complaint about the panel paralleled a complaint that many had with the series in general. Where were the lesbians? I believe that Michelle Clunie was on the panel list at some point before ATX actually rolled around, so it’s a shame we didn’t actually get her perspective on the portrayal of that relationship. But still, the male-heavy dais could have at least mentioned Lindsey and Melanie. It was an uncomfortable reminder that the ladies’ storylines were usually less compelling than the guys’ and almost always revolved around marriage, motherhood, and that one time that Lindsey turned straight. Any potential reboot needs to address this imbalance.

queer as folk reunion panel atx

FNL Tailgate

FNL Tailgate

The Friday Night Light extras casting agency used to have a MySpace page back when that sort of thing was necessary, and I spent many an afternoon that I should have been working looking at album after album of regular humans standing next to Tim Riggins in his home jersey and pads. I really feel like I fulfilled some portion of my destiny in Austin on this night.

The show filmed in Austin and the surrounding areas throughout the course of its five seasons, so many of the actors still consider the town home. For the third year, ATX hosted a free FNL tailgate screening in the lot behind the Hotel San Jose. Leading up to the event, fans were able to vote for the episode that would be screened. The winner, by a landslide, was season one classic “Mud Bowl.” Let’s get dirty.

tami taylor mud bowl

“Cows agree with me. I don’t see why you can’t agree with me.”

FNL Tailgate

Cast members in attendance included Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins), Stacey Oristano (Mindy Collette Riggins), Humanoid Goddess Adrienne Palicki (Tyra Collette), Angela Rawna (Regina Howard, Vince’s mom) Katherine Willis (Joanne Street, Jason’s mom), Steven Walters (Creepy Glenn before Matt Weiner’s son was Creepy Glenn), and Louanne Stephens (GRANDMA SARACEN, THE WORLD’S BEST NAN). There were tacos and cheap beers for sale; Delta Spirit, whose “Devil Knows Your Dead” soundtracked the final montage of the series, played a few sets; and the cast gamely mingled and posed for pictures.

FNL Tailgate

I do not recommend standing next to Adrienne Palicki if you can avoid it. She is sweet as anything, but who would not pale in comparison TO THE SUN? Stacey Oristano liked my dress. Derek Phillips is like, real life man handsome. Still, it was Louanne Stephens who won this round. She held court at a folding table, hugging each and every fan who came over to meet her, signing the glossy photos of her and Zach Gilford posing at a Panthers home game; and proudly displaying the #7 supporter pin that she MADE HERSELF. Grandma Saracen always reminded me a bit of my own grandmother. She passed away two summers ago, so I’m very grateful that Louanne made a sincere effort to connect with everyone she met. I needed that hug.

Louanne Stephens

Matt and Grandma FNL

“You’re all my grandchildren!” Stop.


The muggy Texas heat just made that asphalt lot feel more like Dillon as we sat on folding chairs and blankets with beers and ice cream and watched the Panthers earn their spot at State. As if I deserved more than the privilege of an 10-foot-tall Tim Riggins, the tailgate also afforded me the opportunity to meet blog friends Molly and Traci, the hilarious ladies of Cookies & Sangria. Make sure you hop over to their site to read their recaps of the weekend (like ours, but with 200% more Gilmore Girls!) and then to subscribe, because they are the shit.

Cookies and Sangria

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Fan Video Friday – “King and Lionheart”

Posted by Kim and Sage

Another Summer Friday, another compilation of fan videos to help you pass the time before you’re out of work for the weekend.  Welcome to Fan Video Friday, where Sage and I truly do God’s work.  This week we bring you videos set to Of Monsters and Men’s “King and Lionheart”.  This moody and atmospheric ballad is an excellent companion to your dramatic and science fiction-y OTPs.  It’s a perfect song for a pairing that is a true PARTNERSHIP, be it a Gal Friday/Superhero, an Elf/King, or a crime fighting duo stopping the apocalypse.  All that is required is a partnership where the two are halves of a whole and can’t function without the other.  ENJOY THE FEELS.

(Also…no Mulder and Scully video to this song? You’re fired, internet.)

— Kim

Steve and Bucky – The Captain America Franchise

Sage: Starting all things “King and Lionheart” off on a particularly tragic note, here’s the story of star-crossed best friends Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. The Winter Soldier is a “howling ghost” if I’ve ever seen one, and the entire second half of this video makes me want to throw my heart in the trash. Enjoy!

Twelve and Clara – Doctor Who

Kim: Sage wrote about this one when she did a compilation of all the best Twelve and Clara videos. But we couldn’t do a “King and Lionheart” post and NOT include this one.  This tends to be the first video we show people in order to drag them on board the S.S. Twelve/Clara.  It has a 100% return rate of convincing people.  We’ve verified this.  The vidder makes excellent use of shippy dialogue like “Beat that for a date!” and that TOTALLY unambiguous “I love you” from the end of “Mummy on the Orient Express”.  Join us on this ship, would you?  It’s not at all going to end in tears.

Also, if anyone deserves to be called “Lionheart”, it’s Clara fucking Oswald.

Oliver and Felicity – Arrow

Sage: FULL DISCLOSURE, Kerry of Veritas Productions is our pal. But who needs nepotism when the work is so damn good? Ship Captain Stephen Amell himself is among the many fans of Kerry’s excellent Arrow videos, and one should always follow her captain’s orders. So watch this video and admire fetus Olicity – all tentative feelings and reckless bravery. And listen up, CW: this is the Arrow I want back next season, you got me? Let the fanvids be your guide.

Abbie and Ichabod – Sleepy Hollow

Kim: “As the world comes to an end, I’ll be here to hold your hand.  Cause you’re my king and I’m your lionheart.” 

Um, yeah.  This song is about these two beautiful idiots who stand as the only thing between us and the end of the world.  And they stand together, hand in hand.  “I choose to forge my fate with you.”


Mal and Inara – Firefly

Sage: Fillion is basically a child here. And Morena Baccarin halted her aging process at 19, so that’s something she should teach us all how to do. Anyway, they are ATTRACTIVE. And while Mal and Inara are finally, FINALLY together in the Serenity comics, the show’s bullshit cancellation means that, on film anyway, this ship was all build-up and no…completion? Yeah, completion is the right word.

Much like in the 12/Clara relationship, I think that Mal’s friendship with Inara (and with the rest of the crew, but she called him out the most often) helped him to realize what a hero he’d been all along. He’s the king of his little sphere, made better because he wants to rise to his friends’ expectations of him. And Inara the Lionheart makes her way gracefully through a dangerous world by relying on her compassion, wits, and refusal to take shit. BAMF-est couple in the ‘verse.

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“Everybody loves Bat Van.” – Sense8 Recap

Sense8 Season 1, Episode 1
“Limbic Resonance”
Posted by Shannon Leigh

Hi friends! Welcome to your friendly neighborhood recaps of the Netflix series Sense8!

I’ll be honest, I have seen the whole season…twice. BUT I will be recapping as if I have NOT (to the best of my ability), which is to say there will be no spoilers for upcoming episodes, and if anyone actually comments on these, I ask that they refrain from spoilers as well.

Finally, THANK YOU to Kim and Sage for giving me an outlet while I wait for everyone else to finish watching it, because I literally spent two hours talking about it to someone who had never even heard of it the other day.

Here we go with episode one! It’s dense, especially at the beginning, so try to stay with me and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle.

We open in an abandoned, ruined church. It was probably beautiful once but now it’s home to a lot of trash, and also a gross mattress with Daryl Hannah lying on it. She…has looked better, which is not a comment on her age, but on the fact that she seems to be in agony as she wakes up. She has a gun nearby and a tin that looks like it used to be full of drugs, but is now just empty silver wrappers. I’m not exactly up on what the kids are taking these days though.

Suddenly someone appears to take her hand, and it’s Sayid! From LOST, in case you were Amish or something back in the ‘00s. Daryl Hannah calls him Jonas but lbr I’m gonna call him Sayid. She says it hurts and he knows, and also tellingly calls her “my love.” In alternating camera shots, Sayid is both visible and not, in order to establish that only Daryl can see him.

Sayid says it’s time for something, even though Daryl protests that she’s not strong enough and that she doesn’t want anyone else to die because of her. Whatever it’s time for though, it’s happening, because Daryl writhes in agony and then suddenly sits up to breathe “I see them.” And now it’s time to meet your eight new children!

A handsome Latino man draws a gun in a beautiful chapel, dripping blood. On a rooftop in London, a young woman with bleached and dyed hair lights a cigarette. In Seoul, a Korean woman does what looks like tai chi? But what do I know. In a nightclub in Berlin, a sweaty shirtless man seems to spot something through the crowd of writhing bodies. Yum.

A car that reads CHICAGO POLICE stops before Daryl, who is sitting in the middle of the road. But! In Mumbai, a beautiful Indian woman walking down the steps of an office building sees Daryl there, too! Daryl is also in Nairobi, where she’s spotted on the side of the road by a man driving a van. The Latino man in the chapel sees Daryl at the altar, and then she’s seen in the mirror by a woman injecting herself with a syringe in her bathroom, where Martha Jones is dozing off in the bathtub.

Basically everyone we’ve just seen spots Daryl Hannah right in front of them and seems to realize there’s something odd about her sudden appearance. A cop emerges from the car in Chicago and approaches her, which is when we all return to the chapel where she really is.

Sayid is all proud of Daryl, who tells him to “protect them.” There’s a sinister “they’re here” moment from Sayid, which is immediately topped when Daryl whispers “so is he” and Terrence Mann just pops out from behind her like a creepy creeper who creeps. She can’t fight him now that she’s out of the drugs she was using to hide from him. Daryl can apparently see both Mann and Sayid but they can’t see each other, though Mann wants Daryl to pass on the message that he’s looking forward to meeting Sayid.

There are declarations of love and Sayid gives Daryl a name: Angelica. He disappears at her request, though, at which point she produces the gun we saw earlier. Even though Mann tells her she won’t do it, she’s “one of us” and there’s work to be done, just as he actually physically walks into the church with a team of muscle (as opposed to appearing behind her), she puts the gun in her mouth and pulls the trigger. Dark!

Two minute credits! The music is good and appropriately tense, and the visuals do a nice job of establishing a global setting, but come on, Netflix. You know most of us are gonna watch this all in a day, maybe two. Ease up a little.

A ghostly little girl begs for help from a boy named Will, who is chasing her through the woods to a creepy looking building, which looks like every abandoned and haunted mental hospital from every horror movie or television show. As he moves through the hallways at her direction, the little boy becomes the cop we saw before, and he approaches Angelica on the filthy mattress where she died. As she shoots herself in the mouth again, the cop wakes up in his apartment in Chicago with a start, and grabs his gun off the bedside table to aim it at nothing.

This is Will Gorski, and let me tell you, I had a serious problem with this because I am from Chicago where people named Gorski are thick on the ground, and Bill Gorski was the name of my least favorite high school teacher. I will try to work past it for the sake of Officer Will Gorski, precious ray of sunshine. Also, he’s shirtless, which is good.

Will shirtlessly touches his head like it’s aching terribly, and I’m sure the way the position shows off his biceps is totally coincidental. Club music starts up as he shirtlessly splashes water on his face, and he goes to the apartment next door (sadly, putting on a shirt) to ask them to turn it down. When no one answers, even after he calls out that it’s the police, Will forces open the door to find it vacant and silent. Nice apartment, though. Hardwood floors. Exposed brick.

That music is actually playing at a nightclub in London, where our woman with bleached and dyed hair is DJing on a stage. This is Riley Blue (Blue seems to be the name she uses in England, possibly her DJ name, rather than her given last name, FYI), and lights swirl around her lovingly as she does her work. Up on a balcony, a man remarks to another that she can spin “for a girl” and receives the reply that she can spin period, and I like him for like a minute.

Of course, then we immediately discover that he’s a drug dealer called Nyx as if that’s a name, and the guy who put gender-based qualifications on Riley’s skills is her boyfriend Jacks, and it’s pretty clear that Riley is surrounded by people who are not quite up to snuff. I’d have a migraine around them, too. Jacks and his hanger-on want to get fucked up on Nyx’s supply, but Nyx is more interested in hearing about this vision Riley had of Angelica. She chalks it up to too many drugs, but she’s clearly still thinking about it.

DRAMATIC music plays as we revisit the Latino man in the chapel. He washes blood off his hands (pretty ineffectually) and approaches the altar again in slooooow motion with his gun. There’s a nun who throws herself at him (like, sexually) but he shoves her off before coming up behind a priest in prayer. “Have you come to confess your sins, my son?”

“No, Padre. I’ve come to blow your fucking brains out.”

This, apparently, was the wrong thing to say, because a cut is called. We’re actually on a film set in Mexico City and this is Lito Rodriguez, an actor who’s having some trouble remembering his lines after having visions of “suicidal angels” yesterday. Lito’s not feeling himself but they’ll go again because show business waits for no man.

There’s also some other kind of business that waits for no man in Seoul, and it’s not clear exactly what it is but it’s obviously a BFD. Sun Bak, the Korean woman we saw earlier, is meeting with some bigwig because her brother is running late, and even though she’s the VP and CFO of her company, the dude just manages to insult the hell out of her for being a woman before her brother cruises in like an asshole, just in time to stop Sun from throwing the fist she was starting to make. She also sees herself in the church where Angelica died, watching her rise up from the mattress before her brother grossly demands that she go get them some coffees.

In London, they’re still talking about Riley’s vision and Jacks’ friend is telling a story about how his nieces apparently psychically knew when their mother was in medical trouble miles away, and Nyx the drug dealer gets to deliver the episode title: “Limbic resonance.” Basically it’s a telepathic connection that — surprise! — has a connection to the drugs he just so HAPPENS to sell.

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Fan Video Friday – One Direction + OTPs

Posted by Kim and Sage

You already know that we’re boy band trash here at HOF, and One Direction has not escaped our semi-creepy attentions. We’re seeing them live for the first time in August, and could not be more amped. Preparations have included: meticulous concert outfit planning, a This Is Us/Where We Are marathon and recommended fics that have me texting manic, caps-locked reactions to the stupid friends who got me in this deep in the first place. It seemed only natural to extend this obsession into our summer series of Fan Video Fridays.

With a mix of bouncy jams and impassioned ballads, One Direction has the ideal canon to soundtrack a wide range of fandom flails.  So, to provide you ample end-of-the-week distraction, here are our 12 favorite 1D fan videos. They (and you) make us strong.


Jeff and Annie – “One Thing” 

Kim: Is there a more perfect One Direction song for my beloved Jeff and Annie than “One Thing”?  I don’t think so.  The thing that was amazing (and maddening) about these two is that Annie clearly got under Jeff’s skin in a way that he was unable to fully comprehend. He doesn’t know, doesn’t know what it is…but she’s got that one thing.  “Shot me out of the sky, You’re my kryptonite. You keep making me weak. Yeah, frozen and can’t breathe.” = “Disappointing you is like choking the Little Mermaid with a bike chain.” Well, and basically every other interaction these two ever had.

Sage: Oh, STAWP. I’m not even that much of a Jeff and Annie shipper (Blasphemy, I know. I’m going to Communie Hell.) and this still got me. The song absolutely works, because as much as Jeff is so verbose about every other part of his life, he’s never been able to fully articulate why he keeps coming back to Annie. Boom: “One Thing.”

The Doctor and His Companions – “Through the Dark” 

Kim: “Oh I would carry you over fire and water for your love. And I will hold you closer, hope your heart is strong enough. When the night is coming down on you, We will find a way through the dark.” Okay, who else thinks that Liam, Louis, and their co-writers are Whovians? Cause this IS the relationship between the Doctor and His Companions. On a related note, I am ready for some Doctor Who montage vids that incorporate Twelve with Nine, Ten, and Eleven. Get on that post-haste, internet.

Sage: Ughhhhh, Kim. You’re so right. Let’s get some Twelve in here. “You will see it’s easy to be loved. I know you wanna be loved.” The implication that the subject of this song doesn’t know whether or not they’re worthy of all this is so Twelve and Clara, and very Doctor Who in general. Also, here’s confirmation that Niall at least is a Whovian.

Mindy and Danny – “Kiss You” 

Kim:  Another PITCH PERFECT combination of song and OTP.  “Kiss You” has the peppy beat of a romantic comedy and Mindy and Danny ARE that will-they-wont-they-we-hate-each-other-but-love-each-other couple.  Fantastic use of their banter in this video as well.  Also, I will NEVER be over the way Danny goes STRAIGHT for Mindy’s ass when they kiss on the airplane.

Sage: No easy feat to match the actual video for “Kiss You,” one of the most pleasingly homoerotic clips of all time. (They dress up like SAILORS. There’s nipple play.) But I’ll allow it for Danny and Mindy, who made will-they-won’t-they fun again. Hulu has my undying affection for keeping them alive, and I can’t wait to see what shenanigans they get up to this season. Maybe Danny will let Mindy listen to Four in the bedroom. OR CHOREOGRAPH A DANCE TO IT.

Henry and Eliza – “The Story of My Life” 

Kim: RIP Selfie, you were too beautiful to live.  Luckily we are left with soul-crushing videos like this one. “Written on these walls are the colors that I can’t change. Leave my heart open but it stays right here in its cage. I know that in the morning now I see us in the light upon a hill. Although I am broken, my heart is untamed, still.” HELLO. This song is about Henry Higgs. Don’t worry. Next time, he’ll be ready.

Sage: I saved this video to watch last, because it’s still too painful. Henry will be ready next time, but we won’t be there to see it. DAMN YOU, NETWORK TV.

Annnnyway, this song is so incredibly sad, and this ship was too. For as fun and light as Selfie was, its core couple was so flawed. They had a long way to go (evidenced most clearly with the karaoke episode), so the melancholy tone of “Story of My Life” just works.

How I Met Your Mother – “Forever Young” 

Kim: It’s videos like this that make me forget for a hot second that How I Met Your Mother is dead to me.  Bonus points for using a lesser known 1D song.

Sage: Love a good ensemble video, me. They capture the best of shows like HIMYM, which were defined more by one giant, messy friendship than any individual relationships combined. That finale can still DIAF though.

Castle and Beckett – “One Way or Another” 

Kim: I don’t even watch Castle, but I want to after this because they are just SO HOT for each other.

Sage: I DO. And I adore this song choice for Caskett, because it’s so sassy and flirty, just like them. Bonus points for this editor’s incredible use of dialogue.

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“You should not threaten babies.” – Orphan Black Recap

Orphan Black, Season 3 Episode 9
“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”
Posted by Kayti

On this week’s Orphan Black, old habits die hard. For Gracie, that habit is loving Mark (at the expense of her new clone family). For Mrs. S., that habit is everything that used to be her world and social circle in London — the singing, the camaraderie, the “necessary” killing (or at least planning to kill). And, oh yeah, the homicidal mother. For Helena, that habit is straight-up murdering people. Here’s everything that went down in Season 3, Episode 9 (“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”).

The “S” family discovers the clones’ unlikely origin. Mrs. Sadler, Felix, and Sarah returned to London this week, and it was awesome. Mrs. S. sang. Everyone spoke with very British and/or Irish accents. And there were London taxicabs! Basically, this episode had both “BBC” and “America,” and that is my favorite type of programming. It was nice to see Mrs. S. in her element, Felix and Sarah back in a place where they aren’t the audible outsiders, and for the entire “S” family to take a breath and remember the good times. (And, by good times, I mean that time Mrs. S.’s friends smuggled little Sarah out of wherever it is she came from and to relative safety.)

But it wasn’t all fun and games in ye olde England. Soon, the gang got down to business: finding the Castor original, whom Mrs. S. is set on promptly murdering. Why, you may ask? This is not very well explained. Though S. tells Sarah that they need to kill the Castor original so that Castor will stop sterilizing women, this seems like a convoluted way to go about it — not to mention hella dark. Sure, if all of the Castor clones die out, then I guess they won’t go around sterilizing women anymore, but there have got to be other alternatives, right? Not in S.’s world.

Things get complicated when we discover that the Castor original is not only Mrs. S.’s estranged mother, but also the Leda original. Apparently, Grandma S. (whose name is actually Kendall Malone) has two separate cell lines, thanks to the male twin she absorbed in utero. Or something. When she was in prison for killing Mrs. Sadler’s husband (he was no good for Siobhan, OK?!), Professor Duncan found her as a source for both projects. Trippy!

Though this is kind of a cool reveal, it is also an incestuous one. How did Mrs. S., the daughter of the Castor and Leda Original, end up with Sarah? This has to have been more than a coincidence, right? If it’s a coincidence, I don’t think I can handle it. Clones: yes. This level of coincidence: nope.

Despite her unexpected connection to the Castor/Leda Original, Mrs. S. is still ready to move forward with the original plan: kill the Castor original. She makes moves to shoot her ma and blow up the house, destroying any and all DNA evidence, but Sarah protests. If Kendall is the Leda Original, they need her to cure the Leda clones. They need her to cure Cosima.

Cosima sics Delphine on Shay. Speaking of Cosima, Delphine has finally convinced her that Shay is a spy sent from Castor. How else would Rudy have found out about the book in the previous episode? How else, indeed. Cosima asks Delphine for help, and you can kind of tell that Delphine secretly loves it.

She tells Cosima to leave the problem with her, then hightails it over to Shay’s house with two goons to threaten Shay’s metatarsal veins. Guys, Delphine is super scary. And of course she went to boarding school. This explains so much.

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Fan Video Friday – The Best of The X-Files

Posted by Kim and Sage

HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!  Fan Video Friday has returned to cure your end-of-the-work-week boredom!

In case you’ve been living under a rock or never go on the internet, The X-Files started filming this week in Vancouver.  We’re beside ourselves and still can’t believe this is ACTUALLY HAPPENING (and it’s happening with Joel McHale, which I will never be over).  Because trolling Twitter for images from the set will not FULLY sustain our Mulder/Scully addiction until January, we bring you our favorite X-Files fan videos.  ENJOY!

— Kim

1) “Ships in the Night” 

Kim:  It wouldn’t be a fan video compilation post without “Ships in the Night”.  This was the first video I showed Kelly after we finished watching “The Truth”.  Mainly, I was trying to get her off the floor.  Really, this just glued her more solidly to it. “We’re just wasting time…trying to prove who’s right. And if it all goes crashing into the sea, if it’s just you and me trying to find the light, like ships in the night.” Yeah. Written about these two idiots.

Sage: If your OTP can’t relate to “Ships in the Night” then they need WAY more character-building tragedy in their lives. “We can feel so far from sooooo close…”

2) “What Does the Fox Say?”

Kim: God bless this video. God bless Fox William Mulder.  God bless this song.  God bless us, everyone.

Sage: You knew this video must exist. But you didn’t know it would be this good.

3) “Love Like Fools” 

Kim:  For some reason, I had never seen this video until Kelly insisted that we include it in this post.  Dude.  All the DIALOGUE.  In retrospect, you really see how much Chris Carter and company was trolling the entire fandom in regards to the Mulder/Scully love story.

Sage: I was just going to play a little bit of this one to remind myself of the content, but oops, I watched the whole thing. The paaaain. The exquisite, delirious pain. Still, I dare you not to smile through all six minutes. “Aren’t you the Secret Squirrel?”

4) “Starships” 

Kim: With all the conspiracies, horror, angst, and the OMG PLEASE HAVE SEX ALREADY, it’s easy to forget that The X-Files was often wickedly funny.  This video reminds us of that fact.

Sage: YES. Never forget that Fox Mulder is a giant nerd, and that Dana Scully was able to find uncharted levels of sarcasm. And we can all agree that these two deserve a little fun every once in a while. This video is a DELIGHT.

5) “Open Your Eyes” 

Kim:  This video was also included in the post “The Truth” fan vid binge.  When Sage found out we watched this without her, there was great weeping and gnashing of teeth.  I’m a horrible friend when it comes to showing other friends fan videos that they had been banned from watching until they finished the series.  However, Sage met Christopher Eccleston without me, so I would say we are even now.

Sage: I’m still not over it, tbh. Thanks to this video, “Open Your Eyes” has joined the canon MSR songs (“Walking After You”, “Walking In Memphis”) in my shortlist of those that completely define this relationship. (“I want so much to open your eyes, ’cause I need you to look into mine.”) Also, those smash cuts over the instrumental break of Mulder and Scully’s most traumatic/triumphant moments? Brilliant.

6) “Fancy” 

Kim:  All hail Dana Katherine Scully, Ginger Queen of the Universe.  We’re not worthy.  She’s so fancy, and we very much know.

Sage: I knew this had to be on the list when the lyric “change to throw” was laid over Scully putting her quarter in the Magic Fingers. Make a clever “Bad Blood” reference, and I’m yours.

7) “Fix You” 

Kim:  It’s brilliant how this video uses “Fix You” in the context of Mulder’s search for Samantha and all his family tragedy. (Seriously…are there TV parents worse than Bill and Teena Mulder?  Someone tell me.) It’s brilliant how this video fully illustrates how quickly Mulder would have lost himself had The Syndicate not put Dana Scully in his path, creating his biggest ally and the rock that he clung to above all things.  She’s his constant.  His touchstone.  His one in five billion.  “Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you.”

But the BEST thing about this show is that YES, Scully and her “goddamn strict rationalism and science” saved Mulder “a thousand times over”.  But Mulder saved Scully too.  He opened her mind.  He pushed her to see beyond the comforting logic she surrounded herself with. He tore down her carefully constructed walls.  They are two halves of a whole.  They fixed each other.  She wouldn’t change a day (except for the Flukeman, natch).  If you don’t take that away from the show, you’re watching it wrong.

Sage: I knew where the artist was going with this video when only Mulder appeared in the first few shots. But knowing didn’t make it any less effective when Coldplay’s chorus kicked in and Scully appeared haloed in light like a goddamn guardian angel. What would Mulder have done without her? What would he have BEEN without her?

But Kim’s right. They saved each other. Without Scully, Mulder would have been a lost cause in many ways – too passionate and intelligent and single-minded to relate to the life on this planet. Without Mulder, Scully would have been…okay, I guess. She would have been a doctor and probably married well and had dinner with her family every week. But allow me to cross the fandom streams and use a Doctor Who quote here: “When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all…grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.” Scully had her convictions, but Mulder gave her purpose. It was a shared quest from the moment she got on board. They are true equals in every sense of the word.

8) “Last Friday Night” 

Kim: It’s scary how many scenes fit the lyrics of this song perfectly. 

Sage: And it’s funny that both of them have been involuntarily drugged so many times over the years that this video is even possible.

9) “In My Veins” 

Kim: When Sage sent me this in our research for this post (our lives are HARD), I revoked our friendship.  “Oh, you’re in my veins and I cannot get you out.” Yep.  Basically sounds like this:

Sage: The Syndicate ships it so much.

“In My Veins” is another one that fits all my ships, because all my ships are DEEP CAVERNS OF DESPAIR AND LONGING. I still find it funny that some anti-shippers or NoRomos (heeey, Usenet 1995) were against Mulder and Scully being a romantic couple because they were “so much more than that.” Yeah. EXACTLY. They’re work partners and life partners and secret keepers. They’re each other’s family and best friend and only Christmas present recipient. Is that leap really so hard to imagine? Does it minimize any other aspect of their relationship? Of course not. What still hurts about my OTP is that they’re so bound to each other that any separation – any pain the other experiences – is just torture. (See: Seasons 7-9) Having your life tied to another person is beautiful, but’s it’s also terrifying and sorrowful, because that person is fallible. WHAT A FUN SHOW ABOUT ALIENS.

10) “Love Me Like You Do” 

Kim: “You’re the fear, I don’t care cause I’ve never been so high. Follow me to the dark, let me take you past our satellites. You can see the world you brought to life, to life. So love me like you do…what are you waiting for?”

“What are you waiting for?” = the battle cry of the fandom for 7.99 seasons until we got official confirmation that they WERE in love and had been for a long time.

Sage: I was fine until the William scene, and now I want to die.

11) “Hungry Eyes” 

Kim: If ever there was a time to use this…

Seriously though.  ALL THE GAZING.

Sage: Mulder and Scully’s soul-connection was never about what was on the surface, though it certainly doesn’t hurt that they are both blindingly attractive. I wouldn’t stop gazing either.

12) “Light Carries On” 

Kim:  If you can believe it, this video is from the same vidder who made “What Does the Fox Say?”.  In fact, we have FOUR videos made by this person (also “Fancy” and “Love Like Fools”).  So seriously.  Subscribe to Snakey973 on YouTube and spend ALL DAY watching their brilliant videos.  They are all so different and all odes to different aspects of the Mulder/Scully relationship.  This person GETS it and their talent is beyond amazing.

Also, I LOVE the worshipful coloring of Scully’s hair throughout this.  That red is a beacon in the night.

Sage: Okay, I’m bringing in another Doctor Who reference here, because I have to. Danny told Clara this season that there are more mysteries to be solved in really knowing another person than there are in all of time and space. And, though Danny was kind of a tool, he accidentally encapsulated our X-Files OTP right there. In the pilot, Mulder sits on the floor next to a motel room bed and tells Scully that finding proof of alien life and learning what happened to his sister are all that matters to him. Seven years later, he’s on that bed and holding her, telling her that “there’s so much more than this.” She’s the difference.

I love the way that this vidder explores the concepts of free will and fate. Because Mulder and Scully are made up of a little bit of both. There’s something bigger at work on this show – it always has that feeling. But they also choose each other over and over again, every single time. And will continue to. DO YOU HEAR ME, CHRIS CARTER?

What are YOUR favorite X-Files fan videos?? Let us know in the comments…we’re always dying for new ones! 

Hell Hounds on Our Trail – Supernatural Flashback Recap

Posted by Dawn and Erica

Hey all! Introducing Erica, who is taking over for Sarah as we return to the Wonderful World of Winchester. Erica is our new SPN newbie who will occasionally utilizes the also new skills of her husband, Shane. Erica assures Dawn that Shane has been cautioned not to diss our boys lest we need to pop a cap full of rock salt in his ass. As such, we are allowing him to comment in our recap. Occasionally. Onward!

DAWN: Sadly, this episode is not an homage to the great Richard Matheson novel Hell House, nor the classic horror film of the same name. But still, I am super excited about this ep. Though not quite as excited as I will be about future eps (at which point I might be apoplectic). Bring on the fan favorites!

ERICA: Dawn is super excited, and I’m not quite sure why. Also? I’m guessing this has something to do with Ghostbusters, which means hopefully it’s a comedic-ish episode. Cause, damn if these boys ain’t emo AF.

SHANE: I have no idea what’s going on, and thus, no thoughts. Thought if they start squirting water at the chandelier like it’s an uvula, I’m turning it off. I’m just sayin’.

ERICA: I have no idea what that means. Anyway.

Who ya gonna call for the reaction gifs? That’s right, the goddamn Ghostbusters. With a few exceptions for fun.

Season 1, Episode 17: Hell House
Written by: Trey Callaway

The Story So Far: The usual, but now with handy, dramatic chyrons! We kinda wish it was narrated by movie trailer guy, and now you will hear it in his voice as you read: “Their mother mysteriously died….Now two brothers….Are on a quest to find their father.” Family business, must find dad, blahbbity bloop. Onward.

Normal chyron tells us we are in Richardson, Texas, two months ago. Shane wonders why it was two months ago. Teenagers are walking the dark with a flashlight, clearly on their way to do Something Stupid.

ERICA: Because that’s not the most traditional start to a horror flick EVAR.
SHANE: Aww..the obligatory ham-fisted flirting….

Oh, look, an abandoned house that future Deadshirt!Thurston’s cousin told him about. Blonde Girl (you poor SPN Life Lesson 24 child) is not into this idea. But stupid teenage boys head in, including one that Blondie might kinda like despite his really awful pick-up lines, so in everyone goes. “Come on,” one says. “This way.” And suddenly it’s urban legend time: “They say that it lives in the root cellar. It goes after girls. Always girls. It just, strings ’em up.” (Of course it does.) The friends scoff. (Of course they do.) Also why is there light coming through the window when it’s supposed to be dark outside? Bad editor. No cookie.

ERICA: Why, oh why, do stupid kids go into abandoned houses? Haven’t these kids ever watched a horror film ever?
DAWN: Because SPN Life Lesson #25.

Idiot teens move to the root cellar, “where Satan cans all his vegetables.” (Erica: hardy har har) That was witty, but it’s probably not going to save any lives. Witmaster proceeds to insult the farmhouse and whatever/whoever may or may not be living in it, which is probably unwise. And BOOM! Dead body hanging from the ceiling. Roll opening credits. In utter defiance of most of our previously learned SPN Life Lessons, every single one of them survived. Supernatural, indeed.

Here comes Baby, heading on down Route 35. Dean is driving, classic rock on the radio: Death comes driving down the highway, in its Sunday best... Sam is sleeping peacefully in the passenger seat. Time to fuck with Sam! Dean sticks a plastic spoon in his brother’s mouth, snaps a cell phone pic, turns up the music and happily air drums to Blue Oyster Cult as little brother wakes up in a panic. If you’ve ever been on a road trip with a sibling, this will be extra funny to you. We also learn that they have been having prank wars for many, many years, and a new one is has just begun. Dawn thinks the show should just be about the prank war. Erica has been in a prank war and dislikes them, ‘cause she always lost. Shane wonders how a spoon is funny. But apparently there is also a case. Oh, fine.

So there’s this house in the neighborhood that is abandoned (like they are) and supposedly haunted (like they are) and so of course lots of teenagers dare each other to go there (like they do). According to Sammy, the ghost that haunts this place is “a pretty misogynistic spirit,” and all the nerdy fangirls like us swooned a little because he knows what that word means. Anyway, this particular group of idiot teens — with not a Deadshirt among them! Yet! — called the cops when they saw the dead girl swinging from the rafters, but when the cops got there, there was no body. So are the teenagers jerks or is this a real case? Dean thinks the former, but Sammy has read firsthand accounts. Where, you might ask, as Dean did? Well, uh, you see, hems and haws Sam, it was on a paranormal website — (which sadly doesn’t exist anymore; it just takes you to the CW’s main site). Time to talk to the kids, natch, but where? “Same place you always kind kids in a town like this,” says Sam. So we figure it’s off to the back of somebody’s barn for some stolen whiskey!

Except it’s a soda shop. We shit you not. Not like a diner, mind. Like an actual fucking cheeseburger and ice cream Happy Days-esque kind of place.

SHANE: It took them all day to get there?
DAWN: Question not the ways of time in SPN! Else we shall eject you from our recap, silly man.
ERICA: Ooh…you want some cold water for that burn there, babe?

Apparently both Sam and the SPN writers either think it’s 1957 or have never met any actual teenagers. We get snippets of all the teens stories, none of which quite match except that they all agree the girl was there, definitely there, definitely dead, and it was definitely Craig who sent them there in the first place.

Let’s meet Craig! He’s kind of a normal, surly teenage writer who works in an indie record shop. Dawn is also a writer who was a surly teenager who worked in an indie record shop and she thinks Craig is spot-the-fuck-on. Erica wonders what a record is. This makes Dawn surly.

So Craig tells them the story of Mordecai Murdoch who lived during the Great Depression along with his six daughters. Seems the Murdochs were running out of money and Mordecai decided that he’d rather slaughter his family than let them starve to death, so that’s just what he did. Hung them all, then himself, and now his spirit hangs any girl unfortunate enough to enter the house. Craig heard this story from his cousin Dana, but of course he didn’t believe a word of it, himself, until he saw the dead girl that night as well. So now he doesn’t know what to believe. Nor do the boys. Or, at this point, us. Off to Hell House!

Dawn: (singing) Hell House! On a dark abandoned street! Hell House! Where dead bodies swing from trees! (because rafters doesn’t rhyme, duh.)
Shane: Why are they walking everywhere? There’s definitely roads. Where’s the car?

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“I’ll still feel the same around you.” – Why Boy Bands Will Always Matter

1d dance

Posted by Sage

A few weeks ago, I woke up to another must-see Amy Schumer sketch gone viral. And it brightened my day significantly. “Girl, You Don’t Need No Make-Up,” is typical Schumer wit: bouncy and bright, but with a razor-sharp edge of social commentary. I strongly suggest you watch the clip if you haven’t yet, but here’s the gist: As Amy gets ready to walk out the door and face her day, a boy band accosts her with an upbeat tribute to her natural beauty. As they sing about how much they prefer the “real” her to all the trappings of woman-dom, she cheerfully dismantles her entire morning routine. Faced with an actual au naturel lady, the band changes their tune, shoving pressed powder into her hand and crooning worriedly about how they can’t date “the ghost from The Ring.” It’s magnificent. A proper critique of the impossible standards that women face practically from birth.

you don't need no makeup

Though if you only read the headlines that accompanied the clip, you wouldn’t take it that way. “Amy Schumer Skewers One Direction.” “Watch Amy Schumer Make Fun of One Direction.” Okay. While the song in the video is absolutely a parody of “What Makes You Beautiful” and there’s a bargain-basement Harry Styles present, that’s not the end of the story. Methinks that Amy Schumer has better things to do than to write and produce scathing takedowns of four-year-old boy band songs. The song was the vehicle; the target was larger. Yet the same outlets that participate in promoting the very standards that Schumer is protesting decided to lump the blame on one harmless pop group, both to refuse accepting any responsibility and because, hello, clickbait. The headline “Amy Schumer Unleashes Giant Squid-Monster On One Direction” would also garner a lot of hits, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

liam haters gonna hate

The weird mass-framing of this sketch got me really miffed, and not just because I’m in the middle of a One Direction obsession spiral. (Nice to meet you, I’m 32.) It’s because the internet responded to a sketch calling out media sexism with more sexism. Boy bands are traditionally viewed as a feminine interest. Even less acceptable, they’re typically an interest of women who are young, one of the demos that’s given the least credence in pop culture and in society at large. Amy Schumer’s parody was about the relentless and contradictory appearance policing that women face; where filmmakers are barred from a Cannes red carpet for wearing flats at the very same time Midwestern teens are tossed out of prom for baring their shoulders; where magazines scream that yes, men will still want to have sex with us even if we don’t go to bed in eyeliner – as if that’s the be-all, end-all permission that we need to do whatever we damn well please with our own faces – at the very same time they’re running Kate Hudson’s professionally lit make-up-free “selfies” next to full page ads for $200 jars of La Mer. The media turned Schumer’s sketch into something petty, and, in the process, got their jabs in once again on young girls. This thing they like? It’s stupid. It’s stupid and silly and it doesn’t matter.

1d hug

Except that it does. (“It DOES.” – Ross Gellar.) Boy bands matter. They certainly mattered to me. (And continue to. Louis Tomlinson has many important tattoos.) This whole shitshow got me thinking about why that is; what, beyond a flurry of stampeding hormones, makes us love them so god damn much?

one direction slap

Falling in love with a boy band unlocks a chamber of your heart that, until you do, lies cold, dark, and empty, aside from the cobwebs. It is a fierce love, both unimaginably generous and perfectly selfish. I think part of society’s sneering attitude to teen girls comes from fear – fear of our intensity, of how hard we dedicate ourselves to things. That’s why every boy band who’s ever sat on a late night couch gets the question, “What’s the craaaaaaziest thing a fan has ever done to you?” Those raging lunatics, amirite? Animals, all of them. How is it less acceptable for Directioners to feel personally part of the band’s success than for fully grown adult men to beat each other up in parking lots over professional football games? At least those bitches picked up their phones and text-voted for the VMAs.

did you

It’s FUN, though. It is fun as hell, let me tell you. Loving a thing is so much more of a trip than feeling meh about a thing. When I think about it, I can still conjure that pleasantly cavernous feeling that developed in my stomach when *N Sync appeared on stage for the first time at the Pittsburgh stop on the “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” tour back in 1999. They were there, and so was I. I loved them so much, I felt sure I would die of it. I would drop dead on the sticky floor of the Star Lake Amphitheater, in my platform sandals and baby blue American Eagle tank top. (Justin’s favorite color, natch.) I’ve heard people speak similarly about the birth of their first child, which, okay. But how often does that happen? Once. I saw *N Sync in concert six times and that feeling never faded.

nsync live

This heart-breaking, earth-splitting love just takes over. And it can survive any cynicism thrown at it. I was repeatedly told as a teenager that I was “too old” for boy bands, while action figures and video games lined my brothers’ shelves, generating no comment. If anything, my interests were the more adult ones. They were born of a fascination – the siren call of boys. Cute boys, who could dance. (And I will come at anyone who tells me that boy band love doesn’t jive with a feminist identity. There’s nothing about paying five beautiful men to dance for me that’s not the very best of feminism. Carry on.) Nursing a band obsession satisfied my unquenchable interest in boy world, a place I still find exotic as an adult. Boy bands give us the opportunity to observe boys in their natural habitat, without fear of judgement or rejection. Because it starts with the music and the videos, but then it expands. It wants everything. We want to know these guys, beyond the Tiger Beat details. (Though those are still important. Apple Jacks are Justin Timberlake’s favorite cereal, pass it on.) No minutia is too boring. No brief interaction un-mined for personality traits and patterns. There’s a reason why girls flocked to see Never Say Never, The Jonas Brothers 3D movie, and This Is Us. Those movies give girls the opportunity to be both a fly on the wall and the center of everything. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the fans,” they say, and that’s you, oh my god. But also you’re one of the guys, there in the hotel room when Big Rob shakes Joe Jonas awake and in the venue when Louis rolls through on a skateboard and grabs a bucket of popcorn off a table. Being a teenage girl is the most terrifying. There’s humiliation around every corner. But not here. Not with these guys. They will never make you feel bad, or let you down.

narry coca cola

Like any entertainment delivered on such a massive scales, boy bands are marketed to within an inch of their lives. We know, okay? We just don’t care. Knowing that backstage machinations have been orchestrated to sell us “The Hot One,” “The Shy One,” “The Bad Boy,” etc. does nothing to stop the spread of our fervor. Because as soon as said band gets a foothold, they belong to us. The ownership changes. I don’t care how many focus groups have been held to discuss which one looks best with a goatee.

liam i like the idea of saving

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