A Merry, Mega Redhead Pop Culture Recap Post!

Happy holidays and happy new year to all and apologies as usual for my lack of blogging activity up until my two Christmas Day reviews. It seems I’m always apologizing in such a fashion at the beginning of a post here, and up until those aforementioned reviews, this had been my longest hiatus yet, I think. I took an unofficial, unintended and unannounced month-long break from blogging– on my own site and for everyone else’s, too– and I’ve been really trying to reassess my time management and how much time I truly have for blogging right now, and when I’d best be able to fit it in. I don’t want to give it up, at least not now, not yet– I’ve come too far and feel like writing about films and television has become an integral part of my identity, even if it is just a hobby, a therapeutic side gig that gives my life an extra ounce of meaning and purpose. Now that I have a full time job and a nearly 4 hour round-trip commute every day though, it’s been hard, and I’m not using that as an excuse, or even if I am, that’s the truth and it’s my right to be unreasonably exhausted, unmotivated, and drained of all creativity by the time the evening or even the weekend rolls around.

So, again, bear with me– or don’t– as I figure out this weird stage of my life, as it is lasting longer than I thought it should but apparently, this is all totally normal– from college to one’s early twenties, I’ve been told that it’s okay for things to be tumultuous, tiring and confusing. It’s starting to dawn on me that maybe there won’t ever be a convenient time to blog frequently– I kept saying this other thing comes first or that other thing takes priority, and maybe there will always be those things, and maybe I won’t ever be the kind of blogger who devotes one’s self so fully to this but I do care and I do want to push myself even just a little bit further, and to take advantage of whatever spare time I do have, even if it isn’t much. This blog– and the guest spots I’ve had and still have– mean so much to me, and have given me so much. I’m willing to let it come second to whatever else is going on in my life but I don’t think I’m ready or willing to say goodbye to it entirely.

With that in mind, I thought I’d write a MASSIVE hodgepodge of a post, to encapsulate all that’s been going on in my life on the pop culture front! Feel free to skim as your interests dictate.

First of all, I never did write that last The Walking Recap post. Maybe I was too shocked (but was I really?) or heartbroken. To recap briefly now, Beth stabs Dawn with a pair of medical scissors and one of the other cops shoots Beth in the head upon instinct. Daryl carries her body out as we’ve seen him do before–  carrying Beth when she hurts her ankle last season, or the dead body wrapped in a sheet that he’s about to burn on Carol’s behalf this season, all as if the show’s been foreshadowing this event– and Maggie collapses in grief. I grew to really love Beth… but the petitioning that occurred next is what I want to focus on here even more than the episode itself… apparently, there’s a chance they’ll bring Beth back? This seems wrong to me, if this rumor comes true, because it takes the dramatic, emotional impact away from the episode, takes the power out of it, I mean. It feels like a too-easy way out from a show that should continue to pride itself on packing those kinds of punches. Otherwise, why should we care about anyone on it– if they die, they’ll come back, right?

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Continuing on the television front now: I binged all three episodes of Ascension a couple weekends ago and loved it, until the ambiguous ending, that is. Syfy’s 3 part miniseries which took place on a spaceship in the middle of its 100 year journey, seemed at first to be science-fiction at its most essential and satisfying: a twisty and terrifying foray into social commentary. But, I think it could have had a little more focus than it did. Still enjoyable and worthwhile for the most part though! I think the ending just really threw me off. No spoilers but if something is going to be allegorical, pack the final punch with that in mind instead of smacking us over the head with something very new– and very random.

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I’ve also started binge watching ABC’s Revenge, and 3 years/4 seasons late to the game, I’m loving it. I’ve heard it takes a dip in season 2, a sophomore slump I guess, but I’m going to stick with it (right now I’m almost at the end of season 1 and still completely addicted). Yes, I am totally, unabashedly obsessed with the trashy, campy soap-opera-esque turmoil of the rich and powerful Grayson family, whose lavish and corrupt lives are being threatened by the way-too-cool Emily Thorne (played by Emily VanCamp), who is back under a false identity in order to seek revenge for her father’s false imprisonment. It’s definitely the most fun I’ve had with a TV show in a while– it induces the kind of viewing stress that only makes you want more. And, if I may, I think the characters are a little more complex (even if just a little) than your typical archetypes but they’re still cookie-cutter enough, somehow, to be the kinds of recognizable characters you can easily love and love to hate. The glamour, the intrigue, the backstabbing and plotting! It’s euphoric, quite frankly.

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Last thing I’ll mention about TV: the Doctor Who Christmas Special was one of the best ones I can remember. I mean, who doesn’t love creepy dream crabs (and the ensuing Alien references!) and a Santa played by Nick Frost? Plus, Jenna Coleman is staying on as Clara! This news would have upset me if she were still the same boring, one-dimensional companion as she was in the Matt Smith era but with Capaldi, she’s been written as a genuinely interesting, complicated girl and their chemistry is awesome now, so I’m really glad she changed her mind about leaving the show.

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Now, back to film before I finally stop this rambling! I would have posted a whole thing about The Interview when the controversy was happening. And then the status kept changing and I simply couldn’t keep up, so I didn’t even tweet about it as I should have– it’s North Korea’s fault one minute then it’s back to being an inside job; first the film won’t be shown and next thing I know, I’m streaming it from YouTube. Free speech ultimately won here, but there are those who still felt the film was too racist and too stupid to deserve it– dangerously stupid, in fact. My opinion still stands that a stupid comedy can still be satire though and so whether or not it’s unanimously viewed as a quality film or not, whether it is truly an irresponsible film or not, that’s almost not the point anymore. The issues are still so complicated, though, the debate so heated. But I’m still standing behind it and supporting it, and it’s apparently doing very well on VOD for Sony– this has been a pop culture event, a terrorism ploy, a conspiracy theory hub, an industry game-changer, and a global political moment all in one.

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And finally, as I wrap up 2014 in my own mind and as the movie blogger that I still am, I’ve decided that I will write a post soon about my favorite films of the year, and perhaps my least favorite– since I rented a few that I ended up not blogging about before, which may factor into that post (Maleficent = Meh-leficent and Noah = NO-ugh). I won’t put an exact date on it (when this post will be up by, I mean), but it’s always nice to reflect so I’ve definitely started to turn that all over in my head. Maybe I’ll write it a bit differently than I did last year’s. And, as a goal/resolution I’ve made for myself heading into 2015, I’m going to be posting just a little bit (meaning not full reviews or essays but just short posts of some sort) now and then about foreign films I see (most of which will be streamed from Netflix). I just miss watching foreign films and they’re often good to watch on my own, so it’ll also allow me a little me-time and will be a good personal passion project to embark upon heading into the new year. I started today by watching Child’s Pose (from Romania) and Big Bad Wolves (from Israel) so expect a post about those soon as well!

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Thank you all for reading and for sticking with me! 2014 has been a crazy year and without you, my dear readers, I’d have even more self-motivating to do than I do already! I’m very grateful and looking forward to being a better blogger in 2015.

A Very Redheaded Wrap-Up: New York Comic-Con

Another post I’ve been meaning to write since last weekend, here is an account of my redheaded romp through the Javits Center for New York Comic-Con 2014!

Friday: 

NYCC and the season premiere of The Walking Dead always seem to coincide, which is to say, they pair quite nicely. That being said– this poster will always be the closest I get to seeing the panel (even with the new wristband system where the Main Hall is cleared after every panel, corruption was abundant and many of these coveted spots were sold by a crew member; tsk tsk!)

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Anyway, I wore my Pinhead Hellraiser shirt and went to a panel called “Reinventing Horror.” It was super interesting because the panelists– who ranged in profession from comic book authors/illustrators to filmmakers and novelists– talked about the ways in which what scares us changes as we age. Many of them noted that body horror freaks them out as they get older, for instance, as well as movies that aren’t typically considered to be horror films. Someone mentioned All Is Lost— the Robert Redford film which I’m literally too scared to see– as being horrifying to them even though it isn’t a genre film. I’m always fascinated by genre boundaries, so that was really cool. Of course, things got slightly tangential when A Serbian Film was brought up, but even that incited a fascinating discussion about creativity, censorship, ownership and responsibility on the part of creators. Also, one panelist mentioned a horror novel he was currently reading called The Troop by Nick Cutter. Well, needless to say I am reading it now and it is amazing; totally creepy and creatively written and impossible to put down.

I also attended (but just barely) a Doctor Who panel about the last 10 years since the “new Who” arrived with Christopher Eccleston. It was fun but nothing too worthy of note– except that I’m thankfully not the only one who hated Clara Oswald’s one-dimensional writing (not at all Jenna Louise Coleman’s fault, hence my intended emphasis on the writing of her character) but who loves the character in this season with Peter Capaldi, with whom I think she has much better chemistry too.

Oh and I tried some fantasy food from the fantasy food truck!

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Best Cosplay of Friday: My favorite cosplays I saw on Friday included someone who dressed as one of the animal-masked killers from You’re Next and this couple who did a Pris and Deckard Blade Runner cosplay! 10712967_10152731677653604_8663598784304692317_n

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Saturday:

Saturday I wore my Doc in a Box shirt (Doctor Who/SNL “Dick in a Box” crossover) and first thing in the morning, I attended the official The League panel! The FX show is one of my favorite comedies right now, even though I’m admittedly not current. They showed an upcoming episode which was hilarious, of course. Then, the whole cast was there– including Jason Mantzoukas, who I adore as Rafi. The Q & A took a turn for the annoying and awkward as they so often do, due to question-askers not really asking questions. But Mark Duplass and Nick Kroll were particularly funny in their handling of these pesky time wasters (and Paul Scheer was also really funny– but I feel like I’m mostly stating obvious facts here). But it was Mantzoukas who amused me the most, especially when the panel realized there was a young-ish boy in the audience. The Strain-related penis jokes and other forms raunchy chaos ensued. And we got free mini-footballs with The League logo on them!

Then, I attended the official Sailor Moon panel! I haven’t actually actively watched the beloved anime since I was a kid but the nostalgia was enough to get me through the boring panel before it. Apparently, it’s been remastered and redubbed with an all new English cast. They showed clips, handed out free posters, and basically made me want to be a 6 year old again (or to at least dig up all my old Sailor Moon merch and revel in its former glory).

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Favorite Cosplays of Saturday:

This Sharknado 2 cosplay had me cracking up as we waited in line for The League panel. But there was also a group of gender swapped Sailor scouts so that was also pretty great.

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Sunday: 

I spent most of Sunday on the showfloor and then only attended a Women in Geek Media panel. It was only helpful in the sense that I am a female who blogs about occasionally nerdy things. But I’m lucky enough to have never faced any kind of discrimination yet, and if I ever do, the advice these girls gave will definitely come in handy– I intend to always do what I love and know that online haters don’t have it as good as me if I’m the one who’s doing the creating.

Favorite Cosplays of Sunday:

I don’t have any pics, but there were some amazing Guardians of the Galaxy cosplays– particularly Groot and Rocket (although there was a freakishly good-looking Peter Quill/Star-Lord– like, it could have been Chris Pratt’s cousin). Also, a feminine– but not sexualized– Batman and Robin; these women wore seemingly hand-made ball gowns inspired by the characters and it was really impressive.

Swag, Merch, and Other Cool Finds: 

The fact that I’m reading The Troop is actually ironic– I wrote the title down only to find that my mom had bought it on the showfloor that same day. I also bought two marked-down graphic novels including Marvel 1602: Spider-Man (aka Peter Parquagh), a Marvel vintage comic book wallet, a little Spider-Man that grasps onto your headphones (it matches my Spider-Man iPhone case!) and a little Spider-Man print from an artist that says “Keep Calm and Be Amazing” (it was a better deal to buy a few though so I also got one of baby dancing Groot!) It seems like my purchases were dominated by Spider-Man but I also got Metropolis on Blu-Ray for only $20 from Kino Lorber’s Kino-CULT booth. I can’t wait to rewatch it. We also got tons of free tote bags as usual, no free tee shirts this year though. But all in all, it was a successful Comic-Con weekend! Thanks for reading!

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