“It’s a mutual admiration society.” – Gallifrey One 2017

Posted by Kim and Sage

Sage: This isn’t a normal time — not to go to a con or to eat a sandwich or anything else. But Gallifrey One 2017 still happened. Not rain, not sleet, and apparently not the speedy death of democracy can keep Doctor Who fans from gathering yearly at the LAX Marriott over President’s Day Weekend (THE IRONY) to hug, drink, and talk shop. L.I. Who happened the weekend after the election, and the general mood of the con was utter shock and numbness. But a few months passed, and the next geeky fan get together we attended was basically Resistance Central. Gally1 was political af this year without the despair and depression that can come with that. There was camaraderie and joy and and a lot of “hell no, we won’t go.” The whole weekend felt like a declaration of who we are, what we stand for, and what we absolutely will not abide. Is that a fair characterization?

Kim: I feel like I stumbled through a lot of LI Who in a state of bewilderment. That’s not to say that it wasn’t an AMAZING experience (remember when we interviewed Paul McGann on the mainstage?) because it was. I just had never experienced a con where the main feeling was almost…”Is this the right thing to do at this moment? Is this whole experience silly when you look at what’s going on in the world?”  Gally felt like a giant bottle of Gatorade to my parched soul. It was revitalizing. It was a time where we could immerse ourselves in both our fandom AND our friendships. I left Los Angeles on Monday afternoon physically exhausted but emotionally? I was raring to go.

TL;DR, yes, that’s absolutely a fair characterization. And it’s a big reason why this con is so freaking special to every person who comes and why it’s the CANNOT MISS convention on my calendar every year.

The Resistance starts here.

What blows my mind the MOST about Gally is that the attendance is right up around 3000 people, and yet it feels like a family, especially the more times you go back. I know there are a TON of people there I don’t know yet every face at the con looks familiar. You can barely walk more than a few yards on that con floor without running into someone you know and having a chat or hugging that person you flailed in line for a photo-op the previous year. How special is that?

Sage: I can only speak confidently for myself, but I’d wager that I’m not the only person at this con who went through a period of my life where I felt invisible and socially inept. (Everyone: “Yeah, dummy, it’s called high school.”) My point is that Gally brings together a lot of scrappy folks who haven’t had it easy, and this is a place where they can strut confidently down the halls in whatever it is they want to wear, live their fandom out loud, and be surrounded by people ready and willing to embrace them. It feels like I’m reaching back in time to tap the friendless 13-year-old in the Han Solo t-shirt and tell her that someday she’ll find her tribe.

And what a tribe it is.

But enough teenage sob stories. Let’s talk about the important stuff: ribbons.

The Gally ribbon game is always strong, but this year it was TOO LIT. “Black Lives Matter.” “Don’t You Think He Looks Tired? (with clip art of Tr*mp)” “Bustin’ fascists makes me feel good.” Those practical pronoun declarations!

The 2017 ribbon game is TOO LEGIT. #levelup #blacklivesmatter #RESIST #Gally1

A post shared by Head Over Feels (@headoverfeelsdotcom) on

Swapping ribbons has always been a big part of the fun for me, because it’s like I’m getting little pieces of everybody I meet to take home with me. And though there were the requisite Doctor Who quotes and podcast promo designs, I was so delighted to see that people were using those little scraps of fabric to make a real statement. And you can tell us in the comments if it happened to you, but I personally didn’t see anyone take any shit for a political ribbon. I really hope that’s representative of the whole weekend.

Kim: One of my favorite things in the build-up to Gally is the Ribbon Exchange group on Facebook, where everyone shares the designs they are planning to bring to the con. What’s super fun about that group is that it feels like people took inspiration from each other and one politically themed ribbon would spawn at least five more. I think it was a combination of the current state of the world and the fact that we only had “Doctor Mysterio” to provide inspiration for new ribbons that REALLY spurred people to up their creativity. There were so many Star Wars ribbons! My final ribbon count was 215 and there are STILL a few ribbons that I am SUPER upset that I didn’t get. Namely the “But when all is said and done, Saxon has beliefs, Tr*mp has none.” one. I will cry over not getting that one for a long time.

Stick it to the man.

Speaking of taking inspiration from each other, I have to bring up our Punk Companions Cosplay. What started as an idea inspired by some Punk!Bucky art we saw at San Diego Comic Con became so much more than that. We debuted the Punks at LI Who as just a fun chance for our girl group to get creative and have fun together because we aren’t screen accurate cosplayers, for the most part. And it’s a cosplay that works the best within a large group because individually we may not be recognizable but when we’re together, it’s like “Of course! There’s Clara, there’s Romana, etc.” The Punks got taken to the next level for Gally when Alyssa (@WhovianFeminism) suggested that we add protest signs themed to all our companions. It was perfect because we did our cosplay on the same day as the first General Strike, so it felt like we got to have the best of both worlds – Being massively creative Doctor Who nerds while making our own political statement. And the best thing about it? We didn’t get any sort of blow back from it. Other than a few trolls on the Nerdist Instagram post anyway.

Punk Modern Companions.

Group Selfie Time!

Another really important aspect of Gally is that it feels like a safe space for you to push yourself outside your comfort zone. While I didn’t do any formal panels this year, I definitely upped my participation level, which is always something I’ve been HORRIBLE about. I’ve sat on the front row of “In Defense Of” EVERY YEAR and judged the hell out of the BS coming out of the participant’s mouths (which is the fun of the whole thing) but I’ve never had the guts to put myself on the line. It’s silly, really, because if you can’t make a fool of yourself at Gally, where can you? After Michelle’s triumphant performance at LI Who, I promised myself that I would do it. That didn’t stop me from breaking out into a cold sweat the moment Deb Stanish called my name though. “In Defense Of” is like an out-of-body experience in the BEST way. You just have to give no fucks in regards to whatever comes out of your mouth (I actually tied Tegan getting the snacks to women throughout history being water-bearers?! I don’t even know where that came from.) or turn your OWN criticism on topics into sarcastic defenses (Shippers NEED to be told by old school fans how to think about Doctor Who, you guys). I was RELIEVED when I finally was dethroned but it was the MOST FUN and I’m so glad I did it.

Kim's team DOMINATED Paul Cornell's "Would I Lie To You?" because they are all compulsive liars who can't be trusted. #Gally1

A post shared by Head Over Feels (@headoverfeelsdotcom) on

When you combine that experience with doing a live Comedy Sketch for Reality Bomb and participating in Paul Cornell’s “Would I Lie To You?” game show, so much of my panel experience was performance oriented and fly by the seat of your pants improv, which was a totally new thing for me. And it felt GOOD remembering that part of me that went kicking and screaming into my college improv troupe before I ended up loving it.

Paneling

Continue Reading

“How’d you like to live with Uncle John?” – Gallifrey One 2015, Part 3

gally tardisPosted by Kelly

Just before we left for Los Angeles, Sage sent us the following gif. Caption? “Us by day three.” Accuracy? Astounding.

Con life is a commitment. If you don’t throw your body and soul into it, you’re not doing it right. This is as true for guests as it is for attendees, because while we were “Uptown Funk”-ing you up to the bitter end on Saturday night, John Barrowman was stuck in a bathtub. If he could wake up the next day and command an auditorium full of Whovians, we could certainly get out of bed to watch him. So we did. And when we turned on the television, Burn Gorman was there. You know you’re at Gally when real life is better than your dreams.

Every Christmas is “Last Christmas”

Our day began with “Last Christmas” playing in the big auditorium, which was a nice way to ease gradually into the morning with DEBILITATING FEELS OH HELP CLARA’S OLD BUT SHE’LL NEVER LOOK ANY DIFFERENT TO THE DOCTOR. IT’S TOO EARLY FOR THIS.

“Mummy on the Orient Express” live commentary 

New honorary member of our club Jamie Mathieson took the mic first for a live commentary on his rollicking, Agatha Christie-inspired train adventure, also known as Sage’s entire bucket list. He was moderated by Who’s 50 author Robert Smith?, who stepped up and knocked it out of the park when writing partner (and, yes, one-time Head Over Feels guest contributor) Graeme Burk came down with a cold. (Feel better, Graeme!) Our sparkling kaffeeklatsch conversation with Jamie obviously helped him prepare to discuss the episode, because he hit on a lot of the same points, but with added shippiness.

  • Jamie on the Doctor and Clara’s early conversation in the corridor (but really any scene): “They said there was gonna be no flirting, but you look at this, and it’s sizzling.”
  • He didn’t specify in the script that Clara would wake up on that beach so far from the TARDIS, but obviously the Doctor carried her until he found the perfect spot.
  • Clara’s “I love you” was also not scripted toward the Doctor, so we can thank the director for that glorious moment of tension, and we can thank Kim for asking about it at the kaffeeklatsch in the first place.

In conclusion, Jamie Mathieson is one of us, Jenna and Peter know exactly what they’re doing, the directors ship it, get on this literal space train.

An interview with John Barrowman

We were already girding our loins for Barrowman’s arrival when we saw his tweets.

No objections.

For all of Barrowman’s panel antics, our official theme song courtesy of Eve Myles and Burn Gorman, and the rest of our final day at Gally, head on over to The TV Mouse!

“Have fun! Get drunk! Kiss boys!” – Gallifrey One 2015, Part 2

Barrowman Grope

“I’m going to have to grab them.”

Posted by Kim

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.  Unless you count being groped by John Barrowman, which we very much do.

After turning in (read: passing out as soon as we queued up “Galentine’s Day” on Sage’s computer) at a decent hour on Friday night, we woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to take on Saturday.  Note to future Gally attendees: you may feel pressure to stay up until the wee hours of the morning (many DO every single night of the con) but don’t be afraid to go to sleep.  Seriously, the minute I made peace with the fact that it was okay to go to bed, the happier I was.

After I spent a couple of hours studying the schedule when Gally released it a few weeks before the convention, it turned out that Saturday was our lightest day when it came to official panels and interviews. (Me in an email: By no means do you have to do everything I say but I’m pretty certain this is what everyone will want to do. #Monica)  But that’s the wonderful thing about this con: even when you DON’T go to panels, there is an abundance of things to do.

We took advantage of our free morning to both mentally prepare ourselves for our photo-op with John Barrowman and to make the rounds of the autograph tables.  The great thing about the autograph tables, as opposed to photo-ops, is that you get the chance to have an actual conversation with them.  Our first stop was the LOVELY Naoko Mori.  We caught Naoko when she didn’t have a line at her table, which lead to us being able to chat with her for as long as we wanted.  We congratulated her on unbuttoning her pants in the middle of her interview on Friday (“Guys, I had to.”) and commiserated about the weather on the East Coast, regaling her with the story of our dramatic race to LA the previous year (it never gets old).  Sage promised to make a shrine for Tosh when she visits Cardiff later this year prompting Naoko to once again throw shade at the Torchwood-ian devotion to Ianto.  (I genuinely wish that we had audio of the way she would say “Iantoooooooooooooooo.”)  She signed Sage’s photo with a “Saaaaaaaage”, so clearly she knows how Paul McGann pronounces Sage’s name.  As we said goodbye, Naoko chirped some incredibly sage advice, proving that she really knows what cons are all about.  “Have fun! Get drunk! Kiss boys!”  WE’RE DOING OUR BEST, GURL, BELIEVE ME.

Eve Myles Burn Gorman Gally 2015

These two were thick as thieves all weekend.

Next, we moved on to Eve Myles’ table, where naturally we did some flailing over her work in season two of Broadchurch (SHE IS SO GOOD ON IT).  Strangely, we did not ask her things like “Tell us EXACTLY how David Tennant smells” (HOW? We are failures).  Instead, we spent most of our time gushing over James D’Arcy, who had been confusing/enticing us on a weekly basis with his dual performances as the shady Lee Ashworth on Broadchurch and the bumblingly adorable Jarvis on Agent Carter.  She assured us that he is a delightful man and also thanked us for reminding her to watch Agent Carter.  Our work is never done.   She signed the Torchwood cast 8x10s by putting a halo over Gwen’s head and WANTING to draw devil horns on Jack (she also commented that Naoko’s signing of Sage’s name looked like “sausage”), so essentially, she’s a perfect human being and we want to be best friends with her.

Then it was onto the table belonging to our official con crush (aka the “Paul McGann Award”), Burn Gorman.  This is why the Torchwood trio is perfect: Burn unknowingly landed the punchline to the joke unknowingly set up by Naoko.  As Sage handed him her picture, he also read the way Naoko had drawn out writing her name.  “Eve said it looked like she wrote ‘sausage’ instead of ‘Sage’,” Sage said.  “Well, you know—” Burn began.  “Oh no, this is boring.” “TELL US,” we shouted, and it’s a testament to his character that Burn did not flinch.  “We’re anglophiles, we promise we won’t be bored,” Sage implored.  “Well, we DO put sage in our sausages, so it’s very fitting,” he said bashfully, earning our love for life.   After that, we geeked out about theatre with him, as he’s been living in New York while shooting Forever (and to THINK I quit watching, sigh) and seeing a good amount of shows.  Sage continued her campaign to get every Whovian actor to do New York Theatre, while I commented on his somewhat unconventional casting as Bill Sikes in Oliver! on the West End.  “Yeah, Cameron (as in McIntosh) wanted to go a whole different direction with the show and about halfway through changed his mind.  I did bulk up quite a bit for that part though.”  Then I told him that I had played Nancy in high school, and his response was “Of course you did!  Look at you!”.  I may have to get that compliment etched on my tombstone.

Lastly, it was off to Hurricane Barrowman’s line. We got to the table right as he was taking this picture. His assistant made fun of him because his tummy was hanging out…to which he retorted “HOW DARE YOU!  I DON’T HAVE A TUMMY!  IT’S FLAT!!” Because of course. We listened as he started composing his tweet, pondering exactly what to say. He settled on “I have a really long one but I want it longer.” Then *I* said, you should hashtag it “RibbonWhore”. He laughed and did that very thing. And proceeded to do so the rest of the weekend. You’re welcome, America.  As he was signing for us, we showed him the picture we took with him at NYCC 2013 (the infamous BOOBIES picture) and warned him that we had a photo-op coming later and we needed to top it.  He studied the picture and said “I might just have to grab them.” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  We did our requisite flailing about Arrow (with John’s assistant pointing out Sage’s “Bitch with Wi-Fi” shirt to him) and told John we would see him for our photo-op.  And boy, did we.

John Barrowman Gallifrey One 2015

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!

We’ve said it before, but the photo-ops are quick and dirty.  There are a LOT of people to go through in a limited amount of time, so you have to go into your photo knowing EXACTLY what you want to do, be it something ridiculous or just having a good snuggle.  We highly advise that when it comes to John Barrowman, you do something fun…because he’ll do everything short of kissing you.  Gillian’s Lady Ten flashed him.  Shannon wrapped her Fourth Doctor Scarf around him.  Obviously Sage and I went for the boob and pec grab (with John being smart enough to change his expression to be different in our two pictures).  He simply said “Turn around” to Michelle and then grabbed her boobs.  And Kelly?  Well she just said “Do whatever you want, John.”  He replied with “Give me your leg,” and that’s how Kelly’s picture became the cover of a bodice-ripping romance novel.  Where do we go from this collage, you guys?  Only down.

IMG_6327

Post Barrowman Glow.

Continue reading

“Stand still and welcome to Doctor Who.” – Gallifrey One 2015, Part 1

doctor who drunk ten

Posted by Sage

Disney may think they’ve got that “happiest place on Earth” business on lock, but allow me to disagree. I see your long lines and $8 ice cream bars and I raise you 3.5 FULL DAYS of programming; 3600 Whovian compatriots; and one healthy grope by John Scot Barrowman. This…is Gallifrey One.

gally 1 group

Gally support team! From left: me, Gillian, Kim, Kelly (bottom), Michelle (top), Shannon.

Last year was a milestone: this blog’s first trip to the con, which is America’s largest Who-fest. But this year was our first SECOND trip, significant because of what was the same. The LAX Marriott lobby was just as we left it (except for the Starbucks finally accepting gift cards – IMPORTANT); we already knew how to best tackle the schedule and the floor plan; and – this is the raddest part – we were reunited with so many fandom friends. Gally is going to feel more and more like home every year; and I pity anyone who would dare try to stand between us and our annual pilgrimage.

There’s almost too much to report, so we’ve again joined forces with Kelly of The TV Mouse to bring you OT3 coverage of the convention. (For more goodies, make sure to hit up our Instagram feed. It gets a serious workout at cons, because cosplay. Cosplay everywhere.) Ready for a run-down of Thursday and Friday? Then Al-to-the-friggin’-lons-y.

Thursday Night:

Ice Cream Social/Lobby Con:

We learned many things – about snow, about airports, about ourselves – in last year’s mid-blizzard dash to Gally 1. The most important lesson? LEAVE A BUFFER DAY. The east coasters of our party peaced out of sub-zero NYC early Wednesday morning, leaving us plenty of time to get to LA, buy all the boxed wine, house some Griddle pancakes, have a ladies night on the town, and settle in to our home base, all before the convention even started. By the time the first official Lobby Con rolled around, we were well-rested and even tan-lined. (Side effect of sunbathing next to Doctor Who producers – a thing that happens at Gally.)

gally valentine's

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m not your boyfriend.”

What IS a Lobby Con? I’m glad you asked. Lobby Con is an amorphous group hang. It’s anywhere and everywhere (not just limited to the lobby, as you might assume); anything that’s unstructured fan-ish chill time can safely be called Lobby Con. Lobby Con is where you and yours make yourselves available to reunite with old friends, meet new ones, and exchange Gally’s most valuable currency: badge ribbons. Thursday is a veritable feeding frenzy for badge ribbons, since most attendees have a bag or two of freshly printed ones burning holes in their pockets. (And maybe some Twelfth Doctor valentines.) Word to potential future Gallifreyans: ORDER THEM. Ribbons are not an inner-circle kind of deal; if you come without any to trade, I guarantee you will regret it. Decide on your content (most are graced with Doctor Who quotes, but it’s not unusual to receive a few with Torchwood, Sherlock, or even Firefly references) and use RibbonsGalore to lay out the badge ribbon of your dreams. With your own shinies to exchange, you’ll end up with a train as long as the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. (Another piece of advice: bring duct tape to reinforce those suckers!) By the way, shout out to the LAX Marriott for so many things, but especially for being so cool about hundreds of costumed weirdos taking over their common space, often until dawn. You the illest.

gally 1 ribbons

On night 1, Lobby Con spills over into a new-ish Gally tradition: the ice cream social. There are few better ways to meet your social media buddies IRL than over some free dessert.

gally 1 ice cream social

FRONDS.

Strengthened by our chocolate chip and sprinkles, we resolved ourselves to brave the karaoke room. Always a mistake. Despite signing up early in the night, we spent much of the evening lolling around on the conference room floor, waiting for our song and watching the same table of locals sing over and over again. For such an inclusive con, the karaoke room is a clique-y anomaly. And our frustration over the reliable shenanigans had a negative effect on Gillian and my duet of “Take Me or Leave Me.” (Yep, it was the “frustration.” I’m going with that.)

What makes this all bearable? CON CUPS. Gally is about as family-friendly a con as you can get; and by no means will anyone who’s not imbibing be laughed out of the hotel. But if you do choose to booze, bring your own. (I recommend the Trader Joe’s boxed red – affordable and tasty.) We were unable to snag a room in the actual Gally hotel, so each night before we left the Embassy Suites across the street, we filled up our plastic mason jar sippy cups from CommuniCon (THANK YOU BRITTLES) with that sweet nectar. Alternatives are the lobby sports bar for a decent list of draft beers; or the limited selection at the Marriott’s pop-up bars. Both can be pricey. An alternative alternative is to make nice with the major league Gallifreyans, who never travel without a full bar set-up. (They’re real and they’re spectacular.)

Friday:

team not dead

MILES TO GO BEFORE WE SLEEP.

ALL THE COFFEE, ’cause it’s the first full day of Gally 1!

Impossible Girl cosplay day!

That Impossible Girl swag.

Your OT3 bloggers were up and at ’em early on Friday to get a decent spot in the Kaffeeklatsch line. Kaffeeklatsches are otherwise known as “Are You Shitting Me?” sessions (by me alone), because they are included with your badge and give you intimate access to some of the coolest creative people at the convention. (Are you shitting me?) The programming track takes place in the Marriott board room; attendees can sign up to join an hour-long roundtable chat with the guest of their choice. (Plus, sign up as an alternative for another.) The attendance is limited to twelve people, so the experience is rich and unique. Our #1 choice was to be in the room with series 8 writers Jamie Mathieson (“Mummy on the Orient Express”, “Flatline”) and Peter Harness (“Kill the Moon.”) Unfortunately, Peter fell ill before Gally and had to cancel, so he was spared our grilling over an episode that put the “problem” in “problematic.” (You get off easy this time, Harness. Hope you got well soon though, kisses.) Our spots secured in Jamie’s sesh, I also opted to list as an alternate for the conversation with Arwel Wyn Jones, only the imagination behind the entire visual identity of Modern Who and Sherlock. More on that later.

radio free skaro gally

Morning Sessions:

From there, we took spots in the Main Ballroom for the welcome session, “Good Morning Gallifrey One.” Organizer Shaun Lyons took the stage to say hey, pre-preemptively thank the guests, and tease some “changes” to next year’s ticket process. (GULP.) That led nicely into the Radio Free Skaro panel, where the popular podcasters chatted with Jamie, writer Phil Ford (“Into the Dalek”), special effects supervisor Danny Hargraeves, and more. Some highlights:

P1010048

Jaime and Phil

  • Phil and Jamie spoke about attacking their scripts without the benefit of Twelfth Doctor casting knowledge. After a few drafts, Moffatt hinted to Jamie that the new guy would be a bit of a grump and slightly older, so – as anyone would – he started to write for Gregory House.
  • Peter Capaldi hung out on set even on days that he wasn’t working. He’s so excited to be our Doctor, you guys.
  • Danny is well aware that he has the “coolest job in the world.” Though maybe Peter would fight him on that.
  • Danny made everyone feel the feelings when he told us that during the filming of “End of Time,” the set was cleared for an hour so that David Tennant could privately welcome Matt Smith to the TARDIS. Oh, to be a fly on the round things.
  • Matt Smith’s first job as the last of the Time Lords was to not die. Danny set up the console room explosions and then gave him the directive that had to be this post’s title: “Just stand still, and welcome to Doctor Who.”
  • To no one’s surprise, the drunken giraffe is a klutz. “Matt Smith broke everything. You would give him a cup of tea and he would break it.”
  • Capaldi was the one to suggest the jelly baby line in “Mummy.” He is truly the chosen one.

 

“The Impossible Girl” Panel

clara oswald panel

Let’s talk about Clara, man.

Kim and Kelly were panelists for this session, joining Nerdist’s Kyle Anderson, Karen Park, and star moderator/Verity Deb Stanish. The topic was Miss Oswald, who is about to become the longest serving modern companion. She’s a polarizing figure in the fandom because she (gasp) dares exercise her free will, without permission and with varying results. Most of the panel agreed that her complexity makes her a compelling character; the dreaded “U” word raised its ugly head. The theme of the conversation became: Is Clara Oswald “unlikable?” What does that word even mean? And if she is, by that definition, why should we care?

  • Let me say (with considerable bias that you should ignore) that Kim and Kelly were persuasive and articulate up on that dais, even when the conversation’s tone got a little dicey. Whether you believe that Clara takes advantage of the Doctor or nah (though how a human takes advantage of a 1200 god-like being you’ll have to explain to me), that relationship should absolutely not be compared to one of physical and emotional abuse.
  • After that comparison was made, a guy in the front row suggested that blood was visibly coming out of Kim’s ears, which is entirely possible.
  • Kyle put the main reason for my newly re-invigorated love of this show into words by comparing the “plot twist” who traveled in the TARDIS in series 7B to the living, breathing human we got to know in series 8.
  • Kim postulated that Clara is so hurt by the Doctor abandoning her in “Kill the Moon” because she chose to stand by him while he pressed the button in “Day of the Doctor.”
  • Karen did have a point that much of the room agreed with when she protested that Clara and Danny’s relationship was never quite believable. I lean towards Kelly’s interpretation of it, which is that Clara assigned more meaning to that relationship than it really deserved so that she could claim a grip on her “real life.”
  • Kim talked about what being a teacher tells us about who Clara Oswald actually is. This occupation ties in with her identity like being a nanny absolutely didn’t. (Remember how Amy Pond was a MODEL? Sigh.)
  • When asked by an audience member why the Doctor continues to forgive and help Clara after she “betrays” him, Kelly drops the mic with, “I never know why, I only know who.”
  • I’m impressed at how calm Kim was when answering the audience member who asked if anyone on the panel ships the Doctor and Clara. (“And see me after for fan video recommendations.”) I’m also impressed with me, Whouffaldi Patient Zero of our friends group, for trapping you all in my web.

 

Clara drama continued throughout the weekend. More on that from Kelly and Kim. A preview: we get heated defending a lady’s right to be the main character in her own life story.

Ladies Love Clara Oswald

Ladies Love Clara Oswald

Continue Reading

Happy 2nd Birthday, Head Over Feels! Our Greatest Hits, Volume II

Posted by Kim and Sage

On September 24, 2012, Kim and I broke the bottle over a blog we called Head Over Feels. And we had no clue what we were doing.

The last two years have been a joy, a struggle, and above all, an intensive learning experience. I know I speak for both of us when I say that neither of us could have tackled this alone. Or even wanted to. As usual, Queen Amy Poehler says it best:

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

Even the posts that are credited to just one of us are team efforts at their core. We are constantly sharing ideas and blurbs with each other, seeking consensus or sometimes even a new angle. There are pieces that never would have made it onto the site without one of us coaching the other through a block. And when it comes to covering live events and interviewing the creative people we admire, we are bolder and more assertive as a pair than we’d ever be on our own.

Now you know we don’t mess around when it comes to celebrating birthdays. So we’ve collected our 12 favorite posts from the last year of our little blog’s life here. Thanks to all of you who’ve read, shared, liked, and commented. And extra special thanks to our guest posters, especially Sarah and Dawn who are bringing you a steady stream of Supernatural flashback recaps that we’re proud to host.

We’ve got big plans for year three: wall-to-wall coverage of New York Comic Con, Communicon, L.I. Who, and Gallifrey One, at the very least; more weekly recaps, including Arrow; the continuation of our Sex and the City series; a definitive Parks and Rec episode ranking; and tons more. Just thinking about everything we’re scheming up makes us want to collapse in exhaustion. But we’ll do it with smiles on our faces, because this is our baby. Or our toddler now, I guess. Anyway, we love what we do and we’re gonna keep on doing it.

Now, to blow out our candles.

–Sage

1) Our Coverage of New York Comic Con 2013

XFiles

“When a Con-goer defended a dumb, popcorn horror flick (I can’t even recall which one) (Kim: It was this summer’s The Purge) by saying, “I mean, what else do you want? It’s a summer movie,” Owen replied, “Your standards are too low.” HEAR, HEAR. We’re at COMIC CON, the purest state of loving something more than is healthy. Why not hold those standards across the board? We’ll all be the better for it, AND we’ll have better movies.”

New York Comic Con was our first major convention together and our first convention as accredited members of the press.  I don’t think it could have gone any better.  John Barrowman learned we had no boundaries and thus rested his head on our collective bosom.  We scored loads of fan art.  We went to a party as a 9th, 10th, 11th, and Jack Harkness (“You don’t want to know what I am thinking right now.”) cosplay and made new nerd friends.  We attended premiere panels like Agents of SHIELD and The Walking Dead (Sage’s first experience with the show…oh how things change in a year).  We got to attend the press roundtable for Sleepy Hollow and interview HOF Sexiest Man Alive Tom Mison (“My dad said my shoes were snazzy!).  And oh yeah…we met our heroes David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and discussed our custom made shirts with them (“What’s that from?” “YOUR SHOW!” “It’s called The X-Files“).  NYCC 2014 is less than a month away…and the gauntlet for it exceeding 2013 has been thrown down.  We can’t wait.

–Kim

2) Our First Trip to Gallifrey One

Wednesday morning at 6 AM I was awoken by my phone buzzing over and over again.  I blearily looked at my phone to discover frantic text messages from Sage: VIRGIN CANCELLED OUR FLIGHT OVERNIGHT (at 3 AM to be specific) VIA EMAIL.  Sage was met with the same response that I had faced the day before…the earliest Virgin could rebook us was Saturday…which was no help considering the con ended Sunday.  And they couldn’t put us on standby as their standby policy was only for “day of” your flight.  “BUT YOU CANCELED ALL THE FLIGHTS THURSDAY” was her response.  She then conferenced in me and Kelly and we worked out a game plan.  We decided to show up at JFK as soon as we possibly could and demand to be put on standby.  There was no way they could say no to our faces, right?

This year marked our first pilgrimage to Los Angeles for the biggest fan-run Doctor Who convention in the US: Gallifrey One. And let’s just say our President’s Day weekends are booked from now until eternity. The snow gods did their best to ground us, but we sweet-talked our way onto an early flight (okay, Kim cried us onto it) and slept on our coats on a cold Marriott floor (thanks, kind Whovians!) – gladly. Nothing could keep us from a solid weekend of geeking out with our people.

We teamed up with our pal Kelly, The TV Mouse to report back on the best cosplays (“Heeeeey, Captain Jack.” “Heeeeey, ladies.”); the most interesting panels; the non-stop party of LobbyCon; and our moments with the Who royalty (Billie Piper, Paul McGann) who came out to play with us. If these posts convey even a fraction of the outstanding time we had immersing ourselves fully into what’s possibly the best fandom out there, then our job here is done.
–Sage

“In the musical Company, there’s a line that says, “There’s a time to come to New York and a time to leave.” I’ve never been too keen on that second part, but the fact remains that New Yorkers are so often saying goodbye to friends who’ve decided that that time has come. And when it does, it feels like the bubble has burst. Because it’s like living in a little fantasy world to get to be so close to people that you love, to make snap decisions on last minute happy hours or movie marathons or long walks to solicit much-needed advice. We’re living on borrowed time. So when the moment comes for that friendship to evolve into something else – phone calls, Christmas cards, and hopefully not sporadic visits – it’s hard to feel abused. You make that friend a Sarah McLachlan-heavy mix-tape to send her off to her new adventure and feel lucky for the time you had. And then you go out for breakfast, because there’s no sadness it can’t cure.”

Sage’s recaps of Parks and Recreation have been one of the cornerstones of our site from Day One.  She’s recapped almost TWO FULL SEASONS…and the only reason I say *almost* is that we launched after the season five premiere.  I feel like Sage truly understands Pawnee and its residents and her love for them emanates from every word of every recap.  We chose her recap of “Ann and Chris” because when I first read it, when I got to the paragraph that I quoted above, I DEFINITELY sent her a text telling her to go fuck herself because I was crying.  It’s truly the highest compliment I can give.

— Kim

4) “Am I Your Fluffer, Fitz?” – Scandal Gif-Cap

“You sent Gabby to me in your place.” Her name is ABBY, you cretin.  She’s worked with Olivia for years and you can’t even be bothered to learn her name, you jerk. 

When Smash left us, we took to our beds for weeks, pining for Ivy, Derek, and Eileen’s martini-throwing arm until we finally realized there was a solution. The hole in our hearts where our weekly #SmashBash used to reside could be filled. And thus, Scandal gif-caps were born.

Scandal slid so perfectly into this format because every episode is designed to evoke one horrified/shocked/titillated reaction per say, every 15 seconds. We had a lot of plot to contend with this season (and a lot of Fitz-hating to do), and organizing our thoughts into cute little animated photos really helped us to make sense of Olivia’s world. In this post, Kim beautifully covered the season three episode “The Fluffer” in a symphony of gifs – everything from Severus Snape to John Watson to the Cat in the Hat.

Still, there is one thing Smash had that Scandal doesn’t: toilet ratings. Our Scandal gif-caps will return this week and continue for as long as Shondaland churns out the DC drama.

–Sage

5) “You’re Bad At This” – The Mindy Project Recap

“But it’s the same line that girls like Mindy, who don’t coast on tedious, photoshop looks, have been hearing forever. Girls like us have got to be funny and loud and friendly to get anyone to give us the time of day. But then you’re TOO funny, you’re TOO great to be around, you’re such a good FRIEND, and wouldn’t it be a shame to ruin that? It would have been better if he cheated on Mindy or stood her up for All -You-Can-Eat Sushi or made fun of her for following Prince George’s first royal baby tour or became an event planner or sold her stuff for drug money. At least then he wouldn’t be convinced he was just doing “the right thing.” Instead he’s punishing her. It’s her fault for getting so close. Maybe if she weren’t so important to him, they could really have something. He really is bad at this.”

We are SO PROUD of The Mindy Project, you guys.  It’s a shining example of what Network Patience with a show can do.  It would have been very easy for Fox to cancel Mindy after its initial lackluster episodes…but instead Fox showed a surprising amount of patience as Mindy Kaling tinkered with the dynamics of her show throughout the first season.  By the end of season one The Mindy Project was a much more confident show and it hit the ground running in season two.  Mindy crept slowly up our “Must Watch” list until anuary 21, 2014 when Danny Castellano kissed Mindy Lahiri on an airplane and our collective hearts exploded.  Over the season two hiatus that followed, Sage kept talking about how she wanted to do a post on how far Mindy had come.  The post kept getting pushed off as some of our grand plans often do until Sage finally sent me a text one day saying…”I think I’m just going to recap Mindy instead”.  I’m so glad she listened to her gut.  Much like Parks, Sage really understands the core of The Mindy Project and I look forward to her posts every week.  We chose her recap of “Be Cool” for obvious reasons…after giving us a couple episode of Dandy bliss, Mindy Kaling yanked the rug out from under us in spectacularly real fashion.  It hurts so good.

— Kim

6) “Kids, This Is The Story Of How I Betrayed The Audience” – The HIMYM Finale

Why all the bullshit about Robin appearing in Penny and Luke’s childhood drawings as they made it very clear that after the divorce Robin was an infrequent presence in the gang’s life?  And WORSE why make it seem that the REASON Robin dropped out of the gang’s life was because she couldn’t stand seeing Ted happy with Tracy?  Way to paint Robin Scherbatsky in a flattering light guys.  Way to reduce a character who had always been confident and independent to a shrew who sat in the corner sniveling about the one that got away.  Way to turn her into someone who chooses to walk away from the closest group of friends she’s ever known.  Way to make her life about one that is not fulfilled because she was alone (AND TED FUCKING SAID IN “SYMPHONY OF ILLUMINATION” THAT SHE WAS NEVER ALONE, WHEN SHE WAS).  She WAS alone, she wasn’t part of the gang and she wasn’t part of their big moments.  Way to make ROBIN SCHERBATSKY the sad, barren spinster who worked all the time and sadly comes home (with her really bad hair) to her dogs every night.  Way to make ROBIN the character that pathetically cries with relief when her ex-boyfriend (whose wife is dead) shows up at her apartment with the Blue French Horn he stole for her twenty-five years ago.  Way to have her cry like she’s been just WAITING for him to show up at her doorstep this whole time.  Yeah…that’s the ending we wanted for Robin Scherbatsky. 

Somehow Kim managed to corral all the anger that the controversial How I Met Your Mother finale built up in her heart and shape it into a glorious take-down of the episode. Right before the series ended, she’d put together a list of her favorite episodes – one that made me tear up a few times in anticipation of losing Ted, Barney, Robyn, Marshmallow, and Lilypad – and she’d put so much love and thought and care into honoring the show. So you can see why, when the HIMYM showrunners decided to throw years of character development and the investment of their audience into the garbage, she took it personally. This post (and the explosive reaction to the finale across the internet) inspired one of our most highly trafficked days, because Kim perfectly illustrated the difference between the petulance of an entitled fan and the heartbreak of one who sees the growth and change in her characters sacrificed for arrogance and lazy writing. We’ll never be over it.

–Sage

Continue reading

“Always the lead, darling.” – Falling All Over Paul McGann at Gallifrey One

Paul McGann Gally1 Panel

Posted by Sage

We GET it, Paul McGann.

You’re smooth and suave and enormously talented and infuriatingly nonchalant about all of it.

We’ve been double-teaming our Gallifrey One recaps with Kelly of The TV Mouse, our travel buddy and most direct “pay-it-forward” Whovian creation. She’ll readily agree that we destroyed her life with this fandom in general and David Tennant’s face, specifically. You can read part one of our adventures at the largest and longest running Doctor Who fan convention in the US here. Part two is here. If you read those already, you might have noticed that Kim and Kelly skimmed over all McGann (full name: Sexy Beast Paul McGann) specific happenings. Why? Because Paul deserves his own post. Always the lead, darling.

Paul McGann Whatever It Is You're Planning

Also, if he ever finds this, I’m moving to Karn.

Here at HoF, for better or for worse, we fall hard and we fall fast. It was 6am and I was still bleary-eyed from sleep when the BBC posted a pre-50th Anniversary webisode that finally opened my eyes to everything the Eighth Doctor could be. (For more waxing poetic on “Night of the Doctor” and Paul’s performance in it, check out our picks for the Best Performances of 2013.) So we’d been giddy about being in his presence at Gally since the day he was announced. We weren’t the only ones. A couple hours into day 1, we’d already swapped for handfuls of Eight-specific ribbons, including “The front crashes first, think it through,” and the two-fer of, “This is a ribbon,” and “But probably not the one you expected.” But there were at least two people in LAX Marriott that weekend who hadn’t yet had the experience of watching that 6-minute shove straight into womanhood. One was our friend Gillian. The other was Paul McGann.

So: Saturday morning, right after we watched “Closing Time” with live director commentary and willed Eleven to really french It’s-Always-Been-You-Craig this time, Paul came out on stage and settled in for his spotlight panel. And when I say he “settled in,” I MEAN IT.

Paul McGann Gally 1 Lounging

“Loungin'” – LL Cool J ft. Total and Paul McGann

I’m not fully convinced that Paul McGann has bones (though he’s free to prove it to me, hey-oooo), because he practically liquified himself onto the Marriott’s blood orange couches at every opportunity. My camera’s got a fly zoom, as you can see, but by the end of each of his panels, he’d sunk below the heads of people in front of us. This poor man’s bald spot was not supposed to be the focus of this photo, FYI.

To prove my point that Paul is half Irish/half the silver goo from Alex Mack, see this highly sophisticated time lapse photo series.

Paul McGann Is Sinking Gallifrey One

Paul McGann is Sinking Part 2 Gallifrey One

Paul McGann is Sinking Part Three Gallifrey One

Sidebar: Is that Bald Spot I see again in photo #2? Who did he screw to get an assigned seat?

Paul is just as chill professionally, since he didn’t even need to see a script before signing on do the webisode. Good thing, because Steven Moffat hadn’t written one yet. Paul told us that Moff was waiting until he got his actor on board before he penned the Eight to War Doctor regeneration story. No time for Moff to waste. He’s a busy man, what with all the character assassination he had to work into Sherlock series 3 and the Who Christmas special this year.

McGann Moffat kick

Let’s not mock Moffat too much today, especially because he and RTD were always allies of Big Finish and the audio dramas where Eight embarked on most of his adventures. There’s even a shoutout to his audio companions in NoTD. Cass, very un-companion of that story, was also with us at Gally 1. Emma Campbell-Jones joined the panel halfway through and got to be on the receiving end of Paul’s aggressive informality. In other words, his head was almost in her lap.

Continue Reading

It’s Raining Tens – A Weekend at Gallifrey One

Waiting to meet our Queen.

Waiting to meet our Queen.

Posted by Kelly of The TV Mouse

FRIDAY. FEBRUARY 14. LOS ANGELES.

“They always throw it on Valentine’s Day because Doctor Who fans are available.”

That’s what actor/ writer/ comedian Toby Hadoke said on Friday night to a packed room full of Whovians. Fair play, Toby. But if you’re not going to surround yourself with people who love something enough to fly across the country and talk about it, what exactly is the point of Valentine’s Day?

And it’s not just the fans who love talking about this show. I’m still not over the fact that Billie Piper, sick with the flu, got on a plane to Los Angeles anyway. Flawless queen. Our first major Gally event was our photo op with her, and as we took our places, she draped her arm around Gillian, who was standing where Billie was looking, and asked the staff about medicine–some beautiful sounding medicine that we don’t have in the States, which led to a conversation about what she needed and an extra long time in Queen Bil’s presence. (Gillian: “That flu is the best thing that ever happened to me.”) Then she apologized for keeping us. Billie, you can keep us forever.

IMG_5970.JPG

To be clear, this is how gorgeous Billie Piper looks with the flu. It would have been my honor to catch a cold from her, but my immune system had to pick this weekend to work perfectly.

Next up was the Big Finish panel, featuring Eighth Doctor/ professional life ruiner Paul McGann (or “Sexy Beast Paul McGann,” copyright Kim and Sage).  Last fall, the man stole our hearts in just six minutes with his 50th anniversary prequel, but being in a room with him takes it to another level entirely. This was such a world-shaping experience for us that we’ve decided to devote an entire post to him, which Sage will be bringing to you shortly. Just know that he ruins people’s lives.

The benefit of sitting in on Paul’s interview, aside from quite literally everything, was that it gave us great seats for the next event: the Companions’ Panel. Everyone at Gally who’s ever traveled with the Doctor was up there, from the adorable Deborah Watling—whose Victoria traveled with the Second Doctor, and whose every comment was just overflowing with gratitude for the show and its fans—to Arthur Darvill, who was wearing a t-shirt with a cat on the pocket. Arthur would later comment that he didn’t plan to pack so many cat t-shirts, but I’ve seen him sing “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” with his girlfriend and I don’t believe him.

These Two…

They seated the companions in order of their appearance on the show, meaning Arthur and Billie shared a couch and reacted to everything in tandem, like siblings. Billie Piper’s reaction faces are golden. When Frazer Hines said of Sixth Doctor Colin Baker that they’d “shared a woman,” her eyes grew so wide that I think she was trying to summon David Tennant into the room with her just to share the moment.

The cast of Classic Who was loose and fabulous all weekend. They sassed each other freely, but they were very serious in their appreciation of the show. Rose Tyler got a lot of love up there, obviously. My favorite comment came from Nicola Bryant, who played Peri in the 80s, who still looks exactly the same, whose Twitter bio is “Who girl—always, all ways,” and who needs to start some sort of charity where in exchange for a donation she comes to your house and tells you stories over a plate of pancakes. Nicola explained that after her requests to go over her character’s backstory were denied, she just wrote up a bio for herself, a whole history of everything that mattered to Peri. Even if no one else ever read it, she wanted to know that her character was someone. She said she felt like all of her homework had been read in Rose.

 It hurts how proud I am.

We carried all of our Doctor Who emotions to a panel by Graeme Burke and Robert Smith?, authors of Who’s 50—The 50 Doctor Who Stories to Watch Before You Die. Kim already befriended them at L.I. Who last year (check out her write-up), and I can now echo her recommendation. Buy this book if you enjoy the show, if you think you might want to start the show, if you’d like to be better versed in the classic series, if you enjoy crying in public places, and/or if you like arguments. No two people can have the same list, and part of the fun of the book is in reading the authors’ dueling opinions and considering what your own list would look like. Mine would be heavier on Tennant, as would my life.

Fortunately, the hotel lobby made up for what my life has otherwise lacked, aka people dressed up as the Tenth Doctor. All weekend, there were pinstripe suits and long coats. Friday night, we found Ten in his tux and black converse sneakers. Because it was after 6, and he’s not a farmer. (And also because it was Casino Night.)

Allon-sy!

After mingling, we popped in on Toby Hadoke’s show, “My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver,” which turned out to be a celebration of the way TV shows in general, and the Doctor in particular, can bring people together. Then we decided against the casino room, because who wants card games when there are Rent songs to be sung at karaoke opposite Mickey Smith and Captain Jack? Priorities.

Read the Rest Over at The TV Mouse…

No Whovian Left Behind or How We Made It To Gallifrey One

"On Wednesdays we wear pink."

“On Wednesdays we wear pink.”

Posted by Kim

If there is ONE thing I hate about living in New York City, it’s dealing with travel in the winter months.  Last year I BARELY beat Winter Storm Nemo out of New York to attend the inaugural CommuniCon in Los Angeles.  So needless to say, as our trip to Gallifrey One approached this year, I watched the weather forecast like a HAWK.

First…a little background.  Gallifrey One is the biggest and longest running Doctor Who convention in existence and it’s held every year over President’s Day weekend in Los Angeles.  Tickets always go on sale for the following convention right after the current one ends (tickets for Gally 2015 go on sale March 21!) with the hotel block opening up a few weeks later.  So we (we being Sage, our friends Michelle and Gillian, and myself) had our trip to Gally booked for almost a year.  The last things bought were the actual plane tickets and we booked 7 AM flights out of JFK on the day before the convention actually started (even though the Thursday night “LobbyCon” is the unofficial kick-off and this year Gally scheduled actual events for Thursday evening).  As we were booking the flights, buoyed by my CommuniCon close call the previous year, I stressed to Sage that we needed to be on the first flight out that day.  Just in cases.  #foreshadowing

As Gally drew nearer and nearer, we got more and more excited.  Sexy Beast Paul McGann (copyright pending) would be there.  Arthur Darvill would be there.  QUEEN BILLIE PIPER HERSELF WOULD BE THERE (they announced that on my birthday, which I chose to believe it was a present from the fandom gods).  Our excitement could not be contained as we planned which t-shirts we would take, what our cosplays would be, and what our badge ribbons would look like.

A few weeks before we were to leave for Los Angeles, we hit an unexpected bump in our plans.  Michelle fell ill and was unable to travel, which left us with an open spot in our hotel room and a Gally Badge up for grabs.  Moments after I posted on social networks that we were looking for a friend to take Michelle’s place, our dear friend Kelly of The TV Mouse wrote me a capslocked facebook message saying “TELL ME ABOUT THIS GALLY BADGE”.  I told her and she did what any good fangirl would do: she immediately booked a ticket to Los Angeles.  Luckily online ticket transfers were still open, so we transferred all of Michelle’s info to her and we were set to take Gally by storm, Head Over TV Mouse style.

Until.

Given the fact that I am Monica Geller, once we were a week out from flying, I began studying the weather forecast daily.  And there it was: Winter Storm Pax and it was due to hit New York City on Thursday.

As it became more and more clear that it definitely WOULD start snowing the day we were scheduled to leave, we did our best not to panic.  “We have a 7 AM flight,” I kept saying.  “We’ll make it out before it gets really bad!”.  By Tuesday the forecast looked DIRE.  I called Virgin America and tried to rebook us on a flight Wednesday (despite the fact we didn’t have anywhere to stay that night) and was told there were no seats available.  So the die was cast.  All our hopes laid on that 7 AM flight Thursday morning.

Wednesday morning at 6 AM I was awoken by my phone buzzing over and over again.  I blearily looked at my phone to discover frantic text messages from Sage: VIRGIN CANCELLED OUR FLIGHT OVERNIGHT (at 3 AM to be specific) VIA EMAIL.  Sage was met with the same response that I had faced the day before…the earliest Virgin could rebook us was Saturday…which was no help considering the con ended Sunday.  And they couldn’t put us on standby as their standby policy was only for “day of” your flight.  “BUT YOU CANCELED ALL THE FLIGHTS THURSDAY” was her response.  She then conferenced in me and Kelly and we worked out a game plan.  We decided to show up at JFK as soon as we possibly could and demand to be put on standby.  There was no way they could say no to our faces, right?

I should point out that none of us were packed.  I had planned on taking Wednesday to clean my apartment for my friend that was dog-sitting, so my apartment was in shambles.  None of that mattered anymore.  I called my boss saying I wouldn’t be in that day.  I made sure Renee could come a day early to dog sit.  I threw everything in my suitcase, managing to forget my toothbrush but remember my sonic screwdriver, and was in a cab to JFK by 8:15.  I beat the girls there and begged and begged the ticket agent to put me on standby.  She put me on standby for a flight to Vegas that would connect to L.A., which I tearfully (with blessings from the girls) accepted, despite my desperate wish not to get on a plane without Sage and Kelly (NO WHOVIAN LEFT BEHIND).  The ticket agent escorted me to the front of the security line, told me the fastest way to get to the gate, and wished me luck.

As fate would have it, I did not get on that flight.  I was automatically put at the top of the list for the 1 PM flight to L.A. and by that time, Sage and Kelly had sweet talked their way into being put on standby as well, much to the gate agent’s chagrin.  “Who keeps putting people on standby?  You’re NOT going to get on a plane.  They are all full,” she declared.  “When is the last flight to the West Coast?” I asked.  “Eight PM.”

And then I looked at her with a steely determination.  “We’ll be here waiting all day then.”

Continue reading