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Category Archives: Supernatural

So much stranger, so much darker, so much madder, so much better.

Well, it’s finally happened.

I kind of always knew it would, eventually, once I set my mind to it. It was just a matter of finding the time, which I did over the Christmas/New Year holiday. I saw this time stretching in front of me and thought, whatever shall I do with it? And I looked at my Netflix subscription and thought, well, YOU certainly have been going underutilized lately, haven’t you?

And I fell headlong into a binge I have yet to come back from. (And to be honest, I don’t quite know what I’ll do with myself once I’m finished, so I’d rather not think about that right now, thanks.)

Yes, it’s finally happened, people of the blog.

I am obsessed – BEYOND obsessed – with Doctor Who.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I've got it bad bad bad.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I’ve got it bad bad bad.

Now, I know in even writing this, I’m going to be getting comments from people who are all “I’ve been watching this since it STARTED and I’ve seen every EPISODE and I know THE WHOLE STORY and you know NOTHING, Jon Snow” (sorry, sorry, mixing up fandoms, there, I think that’s a excommunicable offense) so let me quantify this situation.

A while back, I watched the first two episodes of the reboot (with Christopher Eccleston) with some friends and liked them more than I thought I would. I meant to go back and continue with that, but my life often gets in the way of my life.

I’d never gotten into Doctor Who because it seemed weird and I didn’t think I’d GET it and it just seemed like one of those odd things that would confuse me if I tried to get involved so I thought it best if I stayed away. Like sports. Or playing an instrument. I AM OFTEN NOT GOOD AT THINGS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE EXCEL AT! It is a sad fact of life.

But then it became clear that almost every single intelligent person I knew was very, VERY into this show, and I needed to be watching it. Which almost made me NOT want to watch it – when everyone loves something, I immediately think, “Well, I hate fads” because I’m kind of a dick (I mean, you all seem to love that terrible Family Guy show, but the one time I turned it on to see what was up, they were making fun of domestic violence and I was so disgusted I never turned it on again, so what the hell, you guys?) but that backfired when everyone started ranting about how much they loved Serial and I avoided it for a while but then thought “What the hell” and downloaded it for a car trip and became SO OBSESSED with it and now look things up online about it ALL THE TIME because who DOESN’T want to know what Adnan and Hae really looked like, right?

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

And OMG, who DO we think killed her? I’m leaning one way, but I won’t tell you which in case you either haven’t listened yet (and if not, GET TO IT, SLAPPY!) or aren’t all the way done and don’t want me spoiling you. Also, my theory has more holes in it than Swiss cheese on the Titanic, you guys, and super-smart reporter friend at work and I were talking about it this weekend and his theory was SO SMART which is why he’s a reporter, I suppose, so now I am AT! A! LOSS! THERE ARE SO MANY WEIRD MOVING PARTS ON THIS CASE. Season two of Serial, please happen now, I want to fall headlong into another case immediately!

That was a very long digression.

ANYWAY. So I thought, “I will start watching this, what’s the worst that can happen” and now it’s been two weeks and I CAN NOT STOP.

NOW! Before I go ANY FURTHER! I have just started what I believe to be David Tennant’s last season so you are NOT ALLOWED to tell me anything that happens after this. I am trying very hard to stay spoiler-free. Unfortunately I’ve been a LITTLE spoiled, but that was before I started watching this and didn’t know I would ever care. So don’t comment all “In Episode Blah-Blah THE COMPANION IS REALLY A CYBERMAN IN DISGUISE” because I will be SO MAD at you!

Oh, BTW, I also finished "Arrested Development." I'm going to pretend the final season didn't happen. I wasn't impressed. Sorry, world.

Oh, BTW, I also finished “Arrested Development.” I’m going to pretend the final season didn’t happen. I wasn’t impressed. Sorry, world.

There’s really too much that I love about this show to go on about it in detail and you’re going to be split into two contingents, here, the ones that already KNOW it’s fantastic and the ones that don’t CARE and therefore have already tuned OUT, but I’m still going to ramble a bit. It’s my blog, I think I’m allowed.

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT DOCTOR WHO!

  • It’s intelligent and goofy all at once. It makes me laugh AND it makes me think. Sometimes there are mysteries and sometimes it’s just funny and sometimes (most of the time) it’s a little bit of both.
  • The science isn’t TOO sciency. Andreas picked on me when I said I was watching this because the science wasn’t realistic but I don’t know much about all the science, anyway, so if they were being all realistic about it, I wouldn’t know what was going on. It’s just dumbed-down (and, yes, Andreas, probably wrong) enough that it’s cool with me, yo. (Andreas has other issues with the show, he just told me. I’ll let him tell you in the comments. You know what’s great about him? Well, other than everything? Even if we totally disagree, we still respect and love one another. That’s why he’s my Andreas, you guys. And I miss him and his whole family in the land of the Finns like CRAZINESS every DAY.)
  • There is totally romance and emotional things and I am ALWAYS WEEPING. There was one episode where I had to take a SINCERE BREAK from watching the show because I was EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATED. That’s a good show. I love a good cry. So, so much. Like, break out the Kleenex, here I am, and I’m in seventh heaven. (OMG! Speaking of which, the dad from Seventh Heaven was a child molester? Who saw THAT one coming, right? DISTRESSING!)
  • The Doctor makes me INSANELY HAPPY. He is joyous and childlike but also serious with the weight of the world on his shoulders and he has all the best lines and I love love LOVE watching him. I really enjoyed Eccleston but OH, am I head-over-heels for Tennant and his happy Converse All-Stars and bouncy hair. (I knew I’d like him – I’ve seen him in a couple of other things, the best of which being Hamlet with Patrick Stewart, which was BRILLIANT. I am being very all-capsy today. Why the hell did they waste him so much in that awful Gracepoint? So disheartening.) Tennant is beyond amazing here. I am already pre-mourning his loss. I don’t know if I’ll be able to fall in love with another actor in this role like I’ve fallen in love with him here.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

  • I was informed I was going to hate Rose, but I LOVED her. I want all Rose, all the time. Yes, yes, apparently there are Companions upcoming that I will love very much (Martha was fine, but underutilized, yeah? It kind of made me sad. Also, all her PINING. Ugh, I think probably I related to her too much, but she started to make me cringe) but right now I’m all “BRING ROSE BACK DAMMIT” and having some issues with her being gone.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don't do that unless you know what's coming up, my little gingersnaps.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don’t do that unless you know what’s coming up, my little gingersnaps.

  • There are so many shows I can see took a page from this. There are elements of Doctor Who in so many of my favorite shows – Quantum Leap, The X-Files, Buffy (and a lot of Whedon’s work, actually, now that I’m thinking about it), Supernatural, this weird time-travelly show called Voyagers I used to watch when I was little…and there was totally a scene in one episode where I was all “THAT IS SO THE AMBER SPYGLASS!” and it TOTALLY WAS, per a quote from one of the writers that I read. They also reference pop culture things all the time (I’m sure half of the time I miss it, but when they did a shout-out to J.K. Rowling I laughed my ass off) and it’s just the perfect sci-fi/horror/fantasy/thriller nerd show in the entire planet.
  • You constantly get to see British actors and you’re all “I know that person BUT FROM WHERE” and you look them up and you giggle. Of course I knew who Simon Pegg was, but Carey Mulligan looked so damn young I couldn’t place her. And I had no idea the weird brash British chick from the American version of The Office was famous because of Doctor Who. Kylie Minogue looks old. I remember her in scrunchies and slouch socks. Also, the kid that plays Spiderman and is dating Emma Stone was in one episode (he was young) and whenever anyone was at a loss for what to do I kept shouting at the screen “WHY AREN’T YOU SAVING EVERYONE, SPIDERMAN?” Only I pronounce it “Spidermen” like Phoebe did on Friends. Like it’s his last name. “Irving Spiderman.” “COME ON, SPIDERMAN, SAVE THE DOCTOR ALREADY! SHOOT WEBS OR SOMETHING!” I would shout, and giggle gleefully. This scared the cat.

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

  • “Blink” is the best episode I’ve seen so far. Closely followed by “Doomsday.” The first is a very good standalone if you are trying to get someone into the series. The second would make no sense to someone unless they were following the series closely. One of these two episodes is the aforementioned cry-myself-sick episode; you can decide which one on your own. Play along at home, kiddos. Fun times.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

  • The baddies are awesome. Some are scary (WEEPING ANGELS! Those Host angel thingies from the Titanic Christmas special!) and some are kitschy and funny (if the best thing ever isn’t Cybermen and Daleks having a snark-off, I don’t know what is, I laughed until I almost peed) and some are VERY EVIL AND WICKED BUT ALSO FUN (OMG, The Master, right?) Some, however, are just the worst. Who thought it was a good idea to make the brilliant and multi-talented Mark Gatiss into a scorpion-thing? What was up with that woman who was playing a giant red spider-creature as if she was maybe a drag queen trying to project to the back row of a large theater? If they bring her back, I’m boycotting that episode. She was TERRIBLE. I have to imagine she was either some famous British actress everyone loves for no apparent reason, or one of the producer’s wives. I kept asking her to shush it up. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to hear me.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

I really need to end this.

TO SUM UP.

Big apologies, friends who were all “WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU WATCHING DOCTOR WHO, AMY, YOU NUMBSKULL.” I am apparently attempting to remedy this by cramming it all in my head as fast as I can. Once this is done, the very kind Josh has informed me of the existence of Torchwood (oh, Captain Jack with your dimples, I can’t resist you) and other British shows I NEED to be watching, like, immediately. I think I know what I’ll be doing while Watertown is trapped in what seems to be some sort of eternal winter zone.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

If you don’t spoil me in the comments, thank you. If you DO spoil me in the comments, I CURSE THEE AND THY OFFSPRING.

Also, I am willing to bet you before the month’s out I will be in possession of a tee-shirt that says “The Angels Have the Phone Box.” I have very little willpower and I need to sleep with that on my body.

Yep. It was really just a matter of time.

Allons-y. There are a lot of episodes left and they’re certainly not going to watch themselves.

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We mustn’t dwell… no, not today. We CAN’T. Not on Rex Manning day!

I kind of feel ick today. I have an inkling what’s wrong which is kind of a total TMI so I’m not talking about it. But it involves antibiotics, I think. Now you think I have something gross, like maybe an abcess. I AM NOT TELLING YOU. Also, never put your symptoms into the internet. Because I could have anything from poor circulation to ennui to end-stage renal failure, THANKS GOOGLE YOU’RE A TOTAL PEACH. 

Anyway, I REFUSE to let this get me down, because it is NEW STEPHEN KING BOOK DAY. Well, no. Not really. It was new Stephen King book day a few weeks ago. But for POOR people, new Stephen King book day is whenever your request number comes up at the library. And it’s ME! And it’s TODAY! 

I still have to finish Chuck Palahniuk’s Damned, of course, because leaving one book unfinished before moving onto another book is like a cardinal sin of reading to me. I don’t like unfinished tasks. It seems messy. Also, it seems unfair to the book you’re working on. It’s like you’re cheating on the first book before you are finished with it, or have even broken up with it. And that’s just completely rude. That book deserves a full chance! So I have to finish one before the other. I WILL NOT CHEAT ON YOU, BOOK.

Even for Stephen King, I will not cheat on you. Even though I’m kind of WANTING to cheat on you. Damned! You are a VERY GOOD BOOK. And you are fulfilling ALL MY NEEDS. And Palahniuk! I love you to BITS. Also, SIDE  NOTE! One time? I found out about this thing, where if you wrote a paper letter on real paper to Chuck Palahniuk, he would respond to you? And so I did it. Because listen, that’s awesome, and I love him? And he DID. But also, he sent me a CARE PACKAGE. With PRESENTS in it. Like Silly Putty! And a necklace that is pretty, and along the back it says my name and his name, as if we are in love! Because I’m pretty sure we kind of are, both being super-famous fancy people and all! But Damned, but Palahniuk, it’s King! We have HISTORY, Damned! So I’m sorry. Please prep yourself for the breakup. I have 150 pages left in you and then you’re gone. Didn’t mean to break your heart. Gypsy soul to blame; I was born for leavin’. 

SO! In honor of it being NEW STEPHEN KING BOOK DAY, and also because I feel like the ick and this might make me feel better, let’s have an Amy’s Top Five Favorite Stephen King Books of All Time Countdown. If you don’t care, well, you’re wrong, but come back tomorrow, or Friday, because I have EXCITINGNESS planned. Even though I just got a call that I am the lucky recipient of work hours on Friday. Which is good – extra money! And also bad, in that it totally cuts into my loafing time I had planned! But I’ll deal. I’m bendy.

Also, probably doesn’t need to be said, but I’m a King groupie. Which you know, if you’ve been reading this for any length of time. Like, there’s King, then everyone else I read. Seriously. It’s almost a sickness. I adore him. 

5.        Carrie – 1974 

            “Red,” Momma murmured. “I might have known it would be red”. 

I probably like this for all the wrong reasons. I should probably say that riiiiight up front. Because listen – is it completely 100% normal that when Carrie unleashed the wrath at Prom, I was all, “YOU GO CARRIE!!!” Probably not. Probably that was not the reaction that normal readers had, right? But reading this IN high school, as someone who was the Carrie OF her high school (no, my mom wasn’t a looney, and no, I didn’t get tampons pelted at me in the locker room, but I have stories, whoo, do I have stories), I was at the perfect age and the perfect time in my life that the novel completely resonated with me. Reading it now, I suppose I have a little more sympathy for some of the characters. Not all, though. Some of those bastards deserve to die. Bloodily. And in a lot of pain. And listen, this is his first real published novel.  His first! You can do this? Right out of the gate? That is INSANE. Can you even imagine having that kind of talent right off the bat? Cuckoo-bananas, you guys. 

There are some seriously creepy-ass moments in this. Carrie’s insane mom? The news stories about things that happened around Carrie’s house when she was a baby? Carrie’s house with the crazy Jesus crap all around? And the movie was pretty good, too, and has held up well, although Sissy Spacek was too pretty. 

This was also published the year I was born. So I like to think that it was a GIFT. For baby AMY. 

4.      The Shining (1977) 

“The manager,” Grady said. “The hotel, sir. Surely you realize who hired you, sir.” 

There is nothing scarier than a haunted house. Except when it’s a haunted hotel. An entire HOTEL of rooms, each with ghosts. A hotel with a mind of its own. And a family that’s snowed in, with a son with a gift of seeing beyond. YOW. This was such a claustrophobic, terrifying book that I almost died while reading it. No, literally. LIT-ra-lly, to quote Chris Treager from Parks and Rec. My babysitter gave me her old copy to read, and we were driving her home (me with my nose buried in the book, oblivious to the outside world) when an old woman broadsided our car. Everyone on the right side of the car was fine. I wasn’t on the right side of the car. So, thanks, lady, for splitting my face open! I wasn’t at all sad when you died a few years later of being extremely old! (Calm down, people who think I’m a scary Frankenstein. I had an amazing ER doc and I was a young kiddo with all that healthy glowy young-person skin. Healed up beautifully. You can barely, barely see the scar, unless you’re all up in my face. And if you’re all up in my face, what the hell? Back off, bucko.) ANYWAY, after the bleeding and the stitches and my mom’s broken bones and whatnot, and my dad rushing to the ER, the minute we got home, I said, “Where’s the car?” and my dad said, “Towed to the junkyard, it’s totaled,” and I was SO UPSET and started WEEPING and my dad was all, HOLY HELL AMY IS BROKEN WHAT IS HAPPENING until I explained “My…book…is…in…the…car.” So my dad, who – listen, I will totally punch you in the face twice if you disagree with me on this – is the best dad in the history of dads took his PTSD’d kid to the junkyard to get her copy of The Shining from the demolished car where he almost lost his entire family. He pulled it out of the backseat and it was all covered in blood and he was like, “Um, Amy, let’s get you another copy of this at the bookstore tomorrow, because, gross,” and I was all, “No, don’t worry, I was halfway done anyway, and only the first half is gore-covered and it’s kind of appropriate, given the subject matter.” So. Yeah. I kind of have a soft spot for The Shining

Also, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” And the ghostly parties. And the ghostly barroom. And the writer’s block. And the slow madness that starts seeping in. Just utterly, utterly masterful, all the way around. I’m sure I didn’t get it when I read it as a kid, but don’t you worry. I’ve read it numerous times since. 

And I know King wasn’t in love with the movie adaptation, but I’m sorry, Steve, I am. Nicholson RULED that role. I know you thought he looked crazy going into it, but see, young Nicholson looks almost exactly like my beloved uncle? So I didn’t think that he started crazy. I think he started CHARISMATIC and AWESOME, like my uncle, and then that turned into madness. I love the movie. Also, those twins? UGH. LOVE. 

3.      The Stand (1978) 

“Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.” 

This is one sprawling, amazing, fantastic, heartbreaking series. I read it first in high school, then again in college, then a few more times since, and I discover more things every time I pick it up. I am, and remain, head-over-heels for Nick Andros. He is one of my long-term literary boyfriends. I’m going to spoil you here – because listen, you’ve read this, or you’ve watched the mini-series, and if you haven’t, well, what the hell’s wrong with you? And do it, already! – but when Nick died? The first time I read the book? I put it down. I put it down and I walked AWAY from it. I was so upset because it was like a FAMILY MEMBER had died. I didn’t pick it back up for days because I didn’t want to see the aftermath of that, and if I stayed in the dark, I didn’t have to. A BOOK. A BOOK did that. Can you imagine that kind of power? When people tell me that King’s a hack and they don’t read “that KIND” of books, I just laugh, because what KIND, exactly, are you talking about? The kind that make a person so upset they don’t want to pick it up because the emotions it causes are so painful they don’t want to have to experience them? Yeah, I can see why you wouldn’t want to read that KIND of book, too. Good. More for me. 

Nick. Flagg – ugh, seriously, the scariest. Larry and his guitar. Effing Nadine and her hair turning white. Poor Harold, who I hated so much the first time around, then, on the re-read, I had a lot of sympathy for, because he was so SAD and so PATHETIC and just so goddamn LONELY that it turned him bitter and twisted. Tom Cullen and his M-O-O-N. The Trashcan Man, and his “all for you!” Sweet Stu and Frannie. Nick, my wonderful and selfless and beautiful sacrificial lamb. Goddamn, but I love this book. 

2.     The Dark Tower Series (1982-2004) 

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. 

I know. This is kind of cheating. But you can’t name just ONE Dark Tower novel. That’s like naming one chapter out of a novel as your favorite. It wouldn’t make sense without looking at it as a whole. This is one hell of a series. Are there some weird missteps? And some things I would have done differently? Sure. But overall? It’s just about one of the most successful series of novels I’ve ever read. 

I love westerns. I love sweeping sagas. I love recurring characters. I loved how things would randomly fit into the Dark Tower-verse from other King novels here and there, and you felt like you were in the know if you caught them. I equally loved and hated that King inserted himself into the series – equal parts awesome and hubris-filled. But did it make me cry? Yes. Absolutely. Who WOULDN’T want the chance to play with their most beloved characters? 

And Jesus, but Oy. (I have one friend who’s just now reading the last book. @nikkisticks! STOP READING THIS NOW!) OK, I knew people were not going to come to a good end in this book. I steeled myself for deaths. Jake’s death – ouch. Then Eddie’s – oh, man, that was not an easy one. But I did it. I kept on keeping on. Then King KILLED me. He killed off my favorite character in the series. Oy. You don’t kill an animal in a bloody, horrendous, self-sacrificing way and not expect me to react. I was reading the end of the book in my car on my lunch break and when I read that I SCREAMED. Then I sobbed. For about ten minutes. I know. I might be a little unhinged. I totally own that. 

I don’t hate the end of this book as much as some people. I don’t love it – I think it was about 20% copout and 80% inspired – but I don’t hate it as  much as some people who just went banana-cuckoo over it, screaming all “we’ve been CHEATED what the FUUUUCK” when it was published. I trust King. He can lead me into the dark anytime. 

1.       It (1986) 

“…we all float down here…” 

I have never, and will probably never, in my whole life, be as scared by anything as I was reading this book. Freshman year of high school (I didn’t discover King until later in life, so I was a little late reading it.) Under the covers in my room. Reading with huge eyes. Sure every shadow was that effing sharp-toothed clown. Oh my God just the WORST. I had to leave the lights on when I was reading. ALL the lights. I was PETRIFIED. But GOOD petrified, you know? Like, scared, but AWESOME scared. Not, I’m in a haunted house and some goth kid with mint-flavored fake blood’s going to pop out at me that little bastard scared, but THIS IS SO AMAZING I CAN’T LOOK AWAY scared. 

I loved the Loser’s Club. (Ironic I’m at the Loser’s Table now, no? Oh, actually, no.) I loved each and every one of them. Especially my sarcastic, redheaded Richie. (You know me and gingers. Add “funny” to the ginger and I am GONE.) I read that book like it was my JOB. I’ve re-read it, too. I’ve actually read through two paperback copies. Like, read them to tatters, had to replace them, re-read them. My brother, who isn’t a reader, loves this book, even. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Frightening and heartbreaking and funny and warm and disturbing. Absolute tour-de-force. 

I don’t know what to expect from 11/22/63, which is now in my grubby little hands getting inappropriately fondled and MAN is it huge, and listen, contrary to popular belief? Size matters, kiddoes. I have purposely been staying away from reviews, because I like to go in knowing as little as possible. It’s about the Kennedy assassination. And time travel gone wrong. So if I go missing over the next week or so, I think you know where I’ll be. Couch, afghan, book, utterly lost. Thanks, Steve, in advance.

(Much love to my honey badger Cara – title’s in honor of you, babe!)


My Top Five Most Anticipated Fall Shows. THEY ARE GEEKTASTIC.

Time for the final installment in our very exciting three-part series on fall television! OK, FINE, it’s only exciting for me. I AM VERY EXCITED. Like, crazy-eyed excited, yo. Fall television! It is enough to make a person jump up and down in their chair. Although I am still sick, so there will be no jumping, really. And as an aside, did you know when you call your doctor and tell them you are most likely dying, they don’t even believe you? It’s totally the case. I called my doctor, who was not there, and got a nurse, who was not in the least bit sympathetic to my almost-dying plight and told me that “these things happen” and that the doctor – the only one she was “comfortable” seeing me for this particular issue (so…if it’s such a common thing, why can’t any of the yahoos over there see me for it? Why the big kahuna only? I think this is suspicious) – is out of town until Monday and I couldn’t get in until then to see him. “So will I die in the meantime?” I asked her. “Probably not?” she said, in a doubtful tone. “But if you get better, feel free to call and cancel the appointment, to free it up for someone else!” Well. Well! I feel SO MUCH BETTER ALL ALONE WITH MY DEATH THANK YOU.

On to more exciting matters. Fall television! The top five new shows I am most excited about, in ascending order, so leaving the best for last. I realize that at least one, if not more, of these is going to be a disaster, and let me down a great deal. But right now anything is possible. It’s like the day before Christmas when you’re a kid. Anything could be under that tree, ANYTHING! And then the day after, you’re surrounded by shitty gifts like socks and store-brand Cabbage Patch Kids with wonky eyes and you ate too much candy so you feel gross but the day before is the BEST, right?

Also,you’re going to be able to tell (if you didn’t already know) by reading this list that I’m a huge geek. These shows are all filled with geekery. Two fantasy, one sci-fi, one horror, and one mystery which stars the goddess of geekdom herself. So if you don’t want to read this as a “shows I’m stoked about” post, read it as a “geeks, these are shows MADE FOR US!” list. I’m down with that.

Most Anticipated New Fall Television Shows

Once Upon a Time (10/23/11, ABC)

Premise: A mystery series where fairy tale characters live in a parallel world on our Earth where they don’t remember their true identities or lives.

Starring: Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Paula Marshall, Raphael Sbarge, Giancarlo Esposito, and some other people I don’t know

OK, before you say “this is going to SUCK!”, I love fairy tales, I love retellings and reimaginings of canonical stories, and I love fantasy series. Yes, I am aware this is probably going to be awful. It’s on ABC, which is worrisome. Sure, they brought us Lost – but they’re kind of hit-or-miss with things. Does anyone remember (I bet you don’t– IT WAS THAT BAD) Happy Town? It started with such promise and it was SO STUPID. ABC just let it trail off and you had to watch the last couple episodes online (and if you did, you left your computer stupider for it – the ending was ridiculous.) So yes, this could be awful. Also, Ginnifer Goodwin worries me, because I don’t like her acting much. But I think the premise is kind of awesome! It shows promise! I think there are a lot of places you could go with this, and so many fairy tales to mine from, that you could have story arcs for years to come, if it takes off! Yes, yes, I know, odds are VERY good it won’t. But I’m hopeful. Day before Christmas, remember?

It’s also worrisome that this is debuting in October. That can’t be a good sign.

Grimm (10/21/11, NBC)

Premise: A detective learns he is descended from hunters whose job is to protect humanity from fairy tale creatures loose in our world. (Um. Hmm. This is…a little derivative of Supernatural? But I love Supernatural. And Supernatural’s ending soon. So I’m cool with that, to some extent.)

Starring: No one I’ve ever heard of. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing.

I’m both excited and trepidatious about this. It looks fun! It’s on a major network! It’s got a fairy-tale angle, which as discussed above, I love! However. Stealing from Supernatural is a bit of a dick move. It could be completely different, but the “hunter” thing? Supernatural. The creatures? Supernatural. So I’m excited, but I’m going to wait and see. It’s still in my top five, because it has a lot of things that excite me. But I’m going to hang back before I throw myself at the feet of this one.

Seems like a weird fit for NBC. If this is another Persons Unknown debacle, I’m going to be pissed. (Tell me someone other than me watched that nonsense last summer. Wasn’t it so awful? I kept waiting to either care about one of the characters or for something to make sense. Neither happened. I wanted ten minutes alone in a cage with one of the writers.) Also debuting in October. What’s with that?

Terra Nova (9/26/11, FOX)

Premise: in America of the future, a family travels, via time machine, back to the age of the dinosaurs to start a new life

Starring: Jason O’Mara (yum!), Stephen Lang, Landon Liboiron from Life Unexpected, and other people I haven’t heard of; produced by Stephen Spielberg. Also starring lots of dinosaurs. BAM I SAID DINOSAURS.

This is probably on a lot of people’s short lists. I’m excited, but probably not as excited as most people. Here’s my worry – is it going to end up like Land of the Lost? Because I don’t think I could handle that. When I was a kid, Land of the Lost was on reruns Saturday mornings and it was SO STUPID. Also, I get the theme song stuck in my head at inappropriate moments even now, thirty years later, and I find myself singing “the laaaand…of the loooost….” and that’s kind of upsetting. Probably this will be better and Jurassic Park-like, right? But not Jurassic Park 2. That was awful, despite Vince Vaughn who I love. (Yes, I know he’s kind of a goofball. I don’t know why I love him. The heart wants what it wants.)

This should be good. Stephen Spielberg! Jason O’Mara! Or could be awful. Greenscreen acting! I am excited – it’s a huge sci-fi undertaking and is costing a lot of money and if it’s good, it will be very, very good – but also a little scared it’s going to be awful. But if it’s awful, it might be REALLY awful. Like, laugh-out-LOUD awful. Which is good in its own way, too.

American Horror Story (10/5/11, FX)

Premise: A family moves into a haunted home in California.

Starring: Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy, Denis O’Hare, ZACHARY EFFING QUINTO, and it’s produced by Ryan Murphy, mofos

This is so exciting I might pee my pants. Let me list the awesomeness, ready? It’s horror. That, first and foremost, wins me over. It’s on FX, so the special effects will be better, as will (probably) the writing. (Terriers was so good that I cried during the final episode, not because it was good – it was – but because it was being cancelled. And don’t get me started on the awesomeness of Justified and my cowboy boyfriend Raylan Givens.) The cast is kind of amazeballs, no? Jessica Lange? Denis O’Hare? SYLAR? Sylar’s going to be in this? I mean, you could put Sylar in pretty much anything and I’d watch it, so there’s that. Ryan Murphy, who (this past season of Glee aside) is kind of television magic?

Sylar. SYLAR! LOOK AT THOSE EYES.
You can’t look away. THEY ARE MESMERIZING.
I am very, very, very, times fifty very’s, excited about this. The fact that it’s starting in October isn’t as disturbing to me because it’s FX. Cable networks have different rules. They’re loners, Dottie. They’re rebels. Watch this because I’m going to want to discuss it with people and if no one’s watching it, it will be cancelled and I’ll be blue.

Ringer (9/13/11, CW)

Premise: A mystery series in which a twin impersonates her supposedly dead sister.

Starring: Oh, I don’t know. No one that exciting. Nestor Carbonell, a.k.a. “Eyeliner Dude,” from Lost. Kristoffer Polaha from Life Unexpected. OH WAIT ALSO JASON DOHRING. Excuse me for a minute, I think I just lost my shit and have to go find it again. There it is. AND ALSO SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR. My shit is officially lost and gone forever.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned time and time and TIME again how much I love Buffy. But have I mentioned my obsession with Veronica Mars? Like, watched each episode over and over, chatted in chatrooms, emailed people theories, loved Veronica Mars. JASON DOHRING IS IN THIS SHOW. You know about Logan Echolls, right? If you don’t, please immediately rectify this situation by getting Seasons One and Two of Veronica Mars. You can get Season Three, afterwards, because you’ll want to know what happens. It’s not as good, but it’s still ok. Jason Dohring played my favorite bad boy on television for three years, and I will love him for the rest of his (and my) life for that.

Oh, and also Sarah Michelle Gellar is in this. I mean, I was already perma-squeeing about this when it was announced, due to Buffy having a new show. But then Jason Dohring. That is like the perfect pairing, really.

The plot – well, it’s been done. But I’m willing to give that a pass. It’s got potential. And with the two of them – um, LOGAN ECHOLLS YOU GUYS LOGAN ECHOLLS. Sorry. You really have to understand – Logan Echolls. Logan “I thought our story was epic, you know? You and me?” Echolls. Logan “Dream on, Jump Street, I’m not leaving you alone with her” Echolls. I would watch Jason Dohring in anything. (I actually did. I watched every single episode of that piss-poor vampire garbage show Moonlight because he was in it, and that shit was PAINFUL. But Jason Dohring!)

LOGAN ECHOLLS. If you don’t love him, you
are missing part of your SOUL.

Fine, and also Sarah Michelle Gellar. This show has geek cred. I think a lot of geeks are lining up for this one. And it starts TOMORROW. This is very exciting. I am already planning my evening around this.

So happy fall viewing! Let’s do a recap halfway through and see where we stand, ok? I bet something gets cancelled after only a couple of episodes. That’s always my favorite. I love a good crash-and-burn.


A Land of Both Shadow and Substance, of Things and Ideas

The fourth season of True Blood starts tonight. I’ve been looking forward to this for almost a year, ever since season three ended. I’m a big fan of this show. Well, let’s get this out up front: I’m a fantasy/horror whore. (Whoo, say that three times fast.) Sci-fi and I are on friendly enough terms, but fantasy and horror and I have been going steady since we were introduced in junior high.
I have my last babysitter to thank for this. At the end of sixth grade, my mother went back to work, and decided that I was one year away from being old enough to be a latchkey kid, especially one with her younger brother as a ward. (To be fair, we didn’t get along, and it was a very serious concern that she would come home and find one or the other of us murdered in a creative way.) She found a local girl willing to watch us for the summer. It must have been a decent enough gig: I was twelve and didn’t want to do anything but read, and my brother was eight and I believe spent the entire summer riding up and down our street on his bike. She was a big reader, too. One day, I picked up one of her books.  No cover – she got them from garage sales, usually. I was looking for something new to start. “Can I read this?” I asked. She thought about it, and then acquiesced. “Yes, but if there’s anything in there you don’t think your mother would approve of you reading about – well, don’t tell her about it, ok?” she said.
It was Stephen King’s The Stand. I have had small affairs ever since, but horror and I are very, very serious about each other. Fantasy joined us a few years later. We’re very happy with one another. That summer, and for the next year or so, I burned through Stephen King books like a desert castaway coming upon an oasis. I still love Mr. King. I know he has his detractors, but I’ll read anything and everything he puts out, for the rest of his career. I’m not so blindly devoted I can’t see which of his books I like more than others (It and The Stand are my all-time favorites; not as big of a fan of Duma Key or Lisey’s Story; The Dark Tower series is in a class of its own for sheer depth and breadth and brilliance) but reading his work is always like coming home to an old friend. You know their voice and you love them, even if they’ve changed since last you met.
If there’s a horror or fantasy series on television, I will watch it. I’ll at least give it a chance. Sometimes I’ll give up – they’re not always good (coughKingdomHospitalcough) – but they’re usually something I’m interested enough in to watch.
I thought today, in honor of it being True Blood day, I’d list my top 10 favorite horror/fantasy/sci-fi series of all time.
There may be spoilers here. Probably not too recent; to be honest, I am approximately 7 months behind on almost all of the programs I watch right now, so you will probably be safe. But if you want to be sure you remain completely spoiler-free, you should stop reading now. Also – yes, I know A Game of Thrones is not on here, and a lot of you are going to be saying, it is the best thing ever, how can it have been left off? I haven’t seen it yet. I’m finishing the book first. There are a lot of things I had to leave off because I liked these ten best, as well.
#10         Fringe   This show didn’t wow me immediately. To be honest, I started watching it for Joshua Jackson. Yes, I have a Pacey thing. Be honest with yourself – you don’t know a lot of women who don’t. (And in real life, he’s educated, well-spoken, and seems kind. Bonus!) But once I got into it, I stayed. John Noble is a big part of that. His performance as Walter Bishop, and as his own doppelganger – has been nothing short of brilliant over the years. Give the man a Golden Globe, already. (Also, did I mention Pacey is in it? Because he is.)
#9           Supernatural     Hot boys with daddy issues fight supernatural creatures. I know. It sounds teeny-bopper stupid. It’s actually very intelligent; it’s got heart; it’s well-written; and ok, fine, Jensen Ackles is one of the most attractive men to ever grace a television screen, but that’s beside the point, really. The show is wonderful.
#8           Lost        This would have scored higher if I wasn’t one of the people who hated the ending. I know, I know, it was deep, and maybe I was too stupid to get it. Thing is, they promised everything would tie together at the end – and it didn’t. There’s nothing I hate more than making a promise, then not carrying through. That being said, when this show was good, it was brilliant. It had some of the best cliffhangers and season premieres in television history. And it turned everyone into armchair geeks the next morning, discussing theories, which I loved.
#7           The Walking Dead          This has only been on for one very short season, and it’s already an instant favorite. This show pulls no punches. It shows everything, no matter how gory. But it’s not just about gore. The writing and acting are top-notch; the cinematography is beautiful and desolate; and the stakes are so high you both imagine what you’d do in the same situation and thank your lucky stars you aren’t in that situation (yet! Mu-ha-ha.)
#6           Firefly   Heads up, I’m a huge Joss junkie. (Angel and Dollhouse almost made the cut, but not quite.) I didn’t watch this show when it aired – didn’t think I’d like it, because at the time, I didn’t think I liked sci-fi or westerns enough to like it. I should have trusted Joss. It’s a space western. You love each and every member of the crew. And it being cancelled after one season is one of the biggest travesties on television today. I can’t single out any one crew member as being my favorite, because I love them all, like the dysfunctional family you make for yourself out of friends, you know? And it has one of the best theme songs of all time.
#5           True Blood          I like the books; I’m obsessed with the series. Alan Ball gave it legs and let it develop on its own, and it’s wonderful. He listened to the fans and kept characters around that were murdered in the books because they were beloved. He made (thank you, Mr. Ball!) Eric more three-dimensional and a lot more interesting. (And gave him a haircut. And women around the world squeed.) And tying in vampires coming out with homosexuality in America was a brilliant touch. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
#4           Quantum Leap  I was young when this aired, but it remains one of the first shows I became truly invested in. I wanted Sam to find his way home. I cheered for him. I wept for him. And that last episode, and that final line of text, right before the credits – did anyone see this? Is it still spoiling, if the show went off the air like twenty years ago? “Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.” Oh my word. Shows today wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole. So ahead of its time. Brilliant.
#3           The Twilight Zone            I think it’s a testament to this show that I am glued to the television when the marathons of this air every fourth of July and New Year’s. I even re-watch the episodes I’ve already seen. But the one I always re-watch, no matter what I’m doing, the one I plan my holiday around, is “Time Enough at Last” with Burgess Meredith. Best moment in Twilight Zone history, hands down, the last minute of that episode. It makes me cry just thinking about it, because I am a bookworm, and I wear glasses, and I know if I were the last person on Earth, reading would be all I would want to do. The first time I watched that I was wrecked. I walked around like the survivor of a natural disaster. I’d break into tears at the drop of a hat. That is lasting television and brilliance and just storytelling and imagination at its finest.
#2           The X-Files          Pretend this show ended before the shenanigans at the end occurred, with new agents, and Mulder and Scully having a kid, and Mulder missing, and less Scully. Wipe the slate clean of that. Now imagine “Home,” or “Humbug” (Mulder standing on the steps of the trailer, in profile, reviled by the circus geek as one of the “norms”) or “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space.” This show was brilliant, back when it was brilliant. Mulder and Scully’s chemistry was equaled by none; the stories were crisp and heart-rending and heart-racing; and sometimes people you loved died. It was true, and it was a show about finding what was true, and when it was good, it was better than good. It was goddamn regal.
#1           Buffy the Vampire Slayer             No show will ever live up to my gold-standard, my Buffy. I knew the characters. I lived their lives with them. I celebrated and cried with them. I hurt with them. I fell in love and fell out of love and was hurt with them. “The Body” remains, and will always remain, one of the most affecting hours of television ever aired. “Hush” managed brilliance without more than a couple of words for an entire hour. “Once More, with Feeling” was a freaking musical episode, back before everyone was doing those. I’ve seen the episodes so many times I can usually watch a few minutes of one and tell you its name and season its from. I see Buffy alumnae in other shows (even Buffy writers in other shows) and I melt a little. So, to you, Buffy, I give you the title: Best. Show. Ever.
I know, I know. I left off Star Trek. (Never watched it.) Same with Dr. Who. (Sorry. I’m a heathen.) But this is my top ten. And what’s great is, I could revisit this a year from now and it might be completely different.
Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? I’m curious, what would you have put on/left off?
Enjoy True Blood tonight – I’ll be the one quietly ogling Eric from my couch.

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