24 July 2012

Revolution - Mythology, questions and answers

I love Lost as you know, but there are unanswered questions. It is fun to let viewers' imaginations run wild and interpret anything they like based on what they know and see on the show. But it also gets frustrating for some viewers! But you can't deny the fact that Lost is one of the most talked about shows in recent years. It gets you talking about it!

When it comes to watching JJ Abrams's shows such as Lost, as a viewer I kind of half expect what Ron Weasley would call it "you're going to suffer but you're going to be happy about it."

To me, Revolution is about Eric Kripke. If you're too familiar with Abrams' works and you're kind of thinking 'oh jeez, it's Lost all over again.' Try look at it as a Kripke baby, and it is! Let's be honest, Master Kripke is driving the show's mythology, answers and questions. What I love about Kripke's style of story telling is that yes he throws a lot of questions to the audience but he always gives you answers, as he did in Supernatural. As a viewer, you think about the questions for awhile, it drives you nuts for awhile, but at the right moment before you go completely insane, he gives you answers. And then you worship him! Apart from Kripke's story telling style, if you are unfamiliar with his style, he is a big fan of epic storyline, everything plays a part in a grand scheme of things. Expect the 'family is everything, without family people can't survive" theme. Expect a lot of character driven stuff. For some reasons, I don't think his signature use of 'sense of humor', 'one liners' and 'pop culture reference' will be as prominently featured on Revolution as Supernatural, but we'll see.

And for Revolution, he has already said that he has lined-up all the questions and answers, which is AWESOME! I really cannot wait to watch the show. While I know very little about the cast, I do know Elizabeth Mitchell has joined the show. I like Juliet on Lost, which I thought was surprising considering her introduction wasn't that riveting, but once they'd gone back in time to Dharma time, her character grew on me. And, I kind like her performance in V. Anyway, I know the kind of performance Elizabeth Mitchell can deliver, so at least there is no powerhouse acting I can expect from the show.

When talking about Supernatural at Comic Con, Eric Kripke referred it as his 'child growing up and going to college" and he is so proud of it. Supernatural is in good hands and it is not broken, he trusts Jeremy Carver who he calls him as one of the best writers on Supernatural. The two has chemistry in the writing room and you can tell how impressed Kripke was during the In The Beginning commentary on the season five DVD. If you haven't watched the episode with their commentary, I highlight recommend it.

So, anyway, that's all I have for Revolution -- premieres on Monday, September 17th (10pm) on NBC.

Peace out!

20 July 2012

Comic Con - Supernatural Panel Video

Let's hear it!
If you don't know this already, WB has posted the entire Supernatural Comic Con panel on YouTube. This is official! It means, the video is nicely filmed and edited (with graphics only not the content). This is not the jumpy versions by fans (I do appreciate fans' effort btw.)

So, what are you waiting for?

19 July 2012

Comic Con - Supernatural panel round up; photos

"The strength of the show is the bond between the two brothers and their humanity." -- Jeremy Carver reminded fans what Supernatural is all about and this definition adds strength to the meaning of the 'brother dynamic'.

Supernatural packed Hall H on Sunday at Comic Con. New co-show runner Jeremy Carver was joined by Robert Singer, Ben Edlund, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver and Mark Shappard.

The panel kicked off with screaming fans screaming (including Jensen who went all fangirlie on Jarpad). Jarpad couldn't help to tweet a picture from where he was on stage. I love this panel.. it has got to be one of my favourites if not the favourite. Why? This is what was revealed to us during the panel:

Jeremy Carver hinted the major themes in season eight -- "Purgatory makes strange bedfellows." In the strangest hours, supernatural brings together our characters who might not usually be allies. The whole Raiders of the Lost Ark theme is continued to be intriguing. Dean and Sam will kick off the season on offense rather than waiting for things to happen. I love this angle, because it means, Dean and Sam will play Indiana Jones, they know what they are after, and they may not be in the dark as they were in season seven. Here is a plug to my previous post regarding my theories and wishlist.

While the Winchesters are in the centre of our universe, it looks like Crowley and Kevin are very much involved to drive the mythoarc this season. Everyone is looking for the same 'thing'. Jeremy won't tell us what this 'thing' is of course. But my guess (a very wild guess is...and you can't stop me...the Ark!) 'Crowley happens' when you don't pay attention and like I said on a number of occasions, there is still something we don't know about Crowley (like.. why haven't we seen his eyes turned yellow, black or read?). What about Castiel? Well.. he is having a beer and will return shortly. It's almost like he really needs beer after his not-so-bright years involving the Leviathans. But he is the Gandalf of Supernatural and he will continue to help the hobbits (who are really giants) on way or another. 

I am sensing the reunion of the brothers will be much better than season six when soullest Sam and semi-retired Dean reunited. Carver said "Each has gone a very separate way and they will each carry with them what happened in their summer away from each other. Well, it's more than a summer. The relationships that they've made in the time away from each other will be very important in their lives. They're going to have to come to terms, like any partnership, with dealing with new relationships in each others' lives." This is the second time Dean left Sam alone and went to another dimension -- Hell, and Dean returned with a bag of secrets and Dean's departure had a profound affect on Sam, who ended up with Ruby. Sam wasn't coping well at all. And the last time Sam went to Hell and left Dean alone with she-who-must-not-be-mention, Dean was out of place, the whole mysterious lane thing just didn't work for him. Both times, it tested their bond and challenged their strength and their role as big brother and little brother. I love the character stuff! 

I cannot describe how excited I am for season eight. I know it's a bit of a boy's club, and I do miss Sera (and Kripke) dearly. But it is what it is, and we have to move on. So.. I am super excited about how Dean and Sam will deal with the major arcs, bad big and I can't wait to find out what 'thing' our characters will be looking for in season eight. Also, I am sensing the return of Gabriel and Chuck.. they must return! Come on!

HOT HOT HOT photos are hot! ! I LOVE them. Hope you love them too.

When am I going to ever get a ninja episode? Ben? (Oh, your hair inspires me!)

Rob Benedict, Richard Speight Jr, Osric Chau, Sebastian Roach and writer Robbie Thompson were audiences during the panel to show their support. 

News and photo sources: WB, EW, Zap2It and other unknown sources from Twitter. Whoever you are, I love you. Thanks for sharing.

Until next year for season nine.. later Hall H!! You're been epic in biblical proportions.

Twitter: @jarpad
Oh.. and have we mentioned you will see a shirtless Jensen on the season seven DVD gag reel.. just a tiny little insignificant detail I guess.

16 July 2012

Comic Con -- an annual sleepover for fans?

As a fan, I have been following Comic Con for a few years now. Seeing all the live tweets, photos, reports and videos is like being there. And for some strange reasons, I find this year particular interesting and liberating. Seeing all the tweets regarding Hall H alone is quite an incredible experience. The concept of queuing up to see and meet their TV and movie heroes has a new meaning -- Comic Con is officially an annual sleepover for fans. Fans don't just watch television or movies, we LIVE and BREATHE pop culture. And this is why I think the queues and the sleepover are so epic because Comic Con fans are not just passive audience, they know their shit and they absolutely love love love their shows. This kind of spirit is being recognised and appreciated more and more.

So, on the news front. Nothing too life-changing and there hasn't been much OMFG spoilers in my opinions. A Game of Thrones' panel revealed 14 new characters for season three; Once Upon A Time has a few spoilers that we kinda expect; and Marvel has announced the release dates (and names) for Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World. And the Supernatural panel is due within the next few hours, so we will see what OMFG spoilers they will tell us.

This year has a party/ celebration feel to it. The party feel perhaps came from RDJ when he danced his way to the stage and his Iron Man hand.. The celebration feel came from the Firefly 10th Anniversary Reunion, which I think is the highlight of this year's Comic Con. It has been an emotional one and what a way to celebrate the show and the genius behind -- Joss Whedon. There is no better place than Comic Con to do this celebration! Joss always has a presence at Comic Con, but I think this year really feels like a bit of a celebration of a chapter of his life as a writer/ director. I think Firefly itself represents the spirit of Comic Con, it's an annual affair for die-hard fans and Joss' god-like status really connect with fans on so many levels. What's best? He respects his fans and that's why we love him so much!

And the media is getting more and more engaged with Comic Con with all the off-stage interviews, photos and tweets and parties. They've done a great job! I think the actors are very very involved too. Like Mark Sheppard has been coming to Comic Con for what...15, 16 years? And Zachary Levi and the Nerd Machine have organised off-site panels. Once a year, San Diego is turned into a pop culture's very own Las Vegas!

Anyway, as I am waiting for the Supernatural panel, I've collected some EW photo shoots took place at the backstage at Comic Con.

Iron Man
A Game of Thrones
Emilia Clark
Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Photo source: EW

So, who wants to organise a pajamas party next year at Comic Con?

Jeremy Carver speaks!

The new c-show runner, Jeremy Caver, is no stranger to the Supernatural fandom. If he is at a Supernatural convention, I would so pay to hug him. He wrote some of my all-time favourite episodes ever. The man has spoken to USAToday.
"We're always looking for a deeper meaning, because a lot of the monsters of the week are sometimes reflections of what our boys are going through on an emotional level...whether it's an angel or Santa Claus or a teapot, there will be blood. There's pleasure in pain, as it were." Jeremy Carver on season eight of Supernatural. Source: USAToday
Stay tuned for more interviews, photos and goodies as the cast and producers of Supernatural takes over Hall H at Comic Con in a few hours.

12 July 2012

Supernatural - new set photos featuring Jensen & co..

Oh yay.. I mean.. I just cannot get enough of new set photos. This time, they are from Canadagraphs. Go there now! They have heaps more.. trust me.. they are the droids you are looking for!! May the force be with you.. just don't faint!

Photos source: Canadagraphs

[Update] Comic Con Reminder

[Sexy nerds, I have updated the below post, see orange. There are a few guest changes, main for the Game of Thrones panel. And also the Comic Con Goodie bags designs are out...check out the Supernatural one below. Not long to go!!!] 

Nerds, get ready for Comic Con 2012! Who is exciting? I am but too bad I am not going to be there. That means, I will be pretty much glued to Twitter to get the latest and the hottest from this year's event.

As a reminder, here are a list of panels that I'll be following in real-time:

At Comic Con

(In order of appearance)

Friday July 13 (12:30pm) -- Firefly 10-Year Anniversary

Guests: Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, and Summer Glau. (Ballroom 20)

Friday July 13 (2:45pm) -- Game of Thrones

Guests: Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Richard Madden, *Rose Leslie, George R. R. Martin, and Carolyn Strauss (Hall H).

[*Update: Kit Harington and Lena Headey have unfortunately cancelled their appearance due to conflict of schedule. And Lord Snow has an injured ankle. Guess Ghost wasn't there to help. Rose Leslie (aka Ygritte) has been added to the panel. At least one Targaryen will be there.. and not one Lannister this year! You know they could bring Mamoa back..]

Friday July 13 (5:30pm) -- Joss Whedon 

Guest: The one and only, Mr Joss Whedon (Ballroom 20)

Saturday July 14 (11am) -- Once Upon a Time

Guests: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Lana Parilla, Emilie De Ravin, and Meghan Ory (Ballroom 20)

*NEW! Saturday July 14 (1:00pm) -- Misha Collins, Jim Beaver and Mark Sheppard (Channel Surfing, the IGN TV podcast)

Guests: Misha, Jim and Mark will join other guests for this special live recording podcast session, hosted by the very awesome Eric Goldman of IGN.

Saturday July 14 (2:30pm) -- Ben Edlund

Guest: The one and only, Mr Ben Edlund (Room 8)

Saturday July 14 (6pm) -- Revolution

Guests: Eric Kripke and stars Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Tracy Spiridakos, and J.D. Pardo for a screening and Q&A. (Room 6BCF)

Sunday July 15 (11:15am) -- Supernatural returns to Hall A!!

Guests: Join Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver and Mark A. Sheppard, as well as new executive producer Jeremy Carver and consulting producer Ben Edlund for Q&A. Fans will also see an exclusive video presentation featuring series highlights, as well as a portion of the special features from the upcoming Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season DVD and Blu-ray release. (Hall H)

(Meaning? We may not get to see any clips from the episode that is currently directed by Jensen. I think because of the season seven finale cliffhanger, it will be a little premature to show fans anything. I kinda like that.)

[Update: WB has revealed their shows' goodie bags.. I tell ya, I would love to have the Supernatural.. think they may sell it at Supernatural Conventions sometimes.. hummm. Damn you Supernatural for causing damages to my wallet!! See all WB designs here]

For a full schedule visit the official website of Comic Con.

 Off-Sites Panels -- Nerd HQ

The nerds are back! The Nerd Machine will host a number of off-site panels -- Conversations for a Cause. Here are a few panels I will be keeping an eye on...

Thursday July 12 
12pm -- Chuck

Friday July 13
4:30pm -- Nathan Fillion

Saturday July 14 
3pm -- Joss Whedon
4:30pm -- Damon Lindelof

Sunday July 15
3pm – Jared Padalecki   
4:30pm -- Zachary Levi

Last year's panels were recorded, so look out for any signs of videos if you can't get tickets to attend.

For a complete schedule, you can visit Comic Con Geeks and Zap2It for more details.

11 July 2012

[Updated] Supernatural -- J2 set photos; episode titles

Strike a pose!
The guys are working really hard.. Jensen for one is wearing shots. Excuse me while I have a fangirl moment.. Don't objectify me.

The cast and crew are well and truly getting back to the filming of season eight of Supernatural. Looks like it was a hot day.. who's causing the hottest I wonder?

You can read all about the location shoot and more photos from YVRSHOOTS. You can also follow @SusanGittins on Twitter.

You are not seeing double.. or are you? That's Jared and Jared's double.. and Jensen in shorts.

SpoilerTV also just posted more set photos. I don't know about you, but I have been dying to see MORE photos of Jensen and Jared. OMFG! GO TO SpoilerTV NOW!, TRUST ME THESE ARE THE DROIDS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR!

So, this is what we know about up-coming episode titles for season eight (subject to change):

8.02 We Need To Talk About Kevin
8.03  Heartache

Let's hang on for a few more days as Comic Con approaches...

Peace out!

08 July 2012

Supernatural -- Robert Singer's TV Guide interview; my theories left, right and centre

Source: Link
I am going to put my fedora hat and crack the whip!

This morning I woke up feeling awesome and happy. I read some spoilers from The Winchester Family Business because Alice Jester got an advance copy of the Comic Con edition of the TV Guide! So apparently there is a total of eight pages of goodies including an interview with EP Robert Singer in the mag. Robert Singer is one of the most well-respected mentors/ executive producers/ directors in the business. When he talks, we listen and learn. We love Bob.

I haven't been this excited about pre-season spoilers. I think the last time I was jumping up and down was when the show announced the angels were coming. I remember I was at the Brisbane airport, trying so hard to control myself. I love the heaven-hell arc, I am a sucker for movies such as Constantine, where there was this huge grey area of good and evil. And I love the mysterious-archeology-god themes in popular culture, for example Indiana Jones. That kind of supernatural theme is very appealing to me. I guess that's why I love the heaven and hell, angels and demons stories in Supernatural. A personal preference, I know, but it's justified as a main arc for the show.

I have previously blogged my views on the heaven and hell, angels and demons theme on the show. As far as I'm concerned, this theme is the big cheese of the show. I think certainly the urban-legends-monster-of-the-week episodes are an integral part of the show, but I just love that fact that the 'ultimate goals' always involve something bigger than vampires, ghouls and ghosts -- heaven and hell. I, for one, love that fact that this is still part of the storyline. Some will question the angels-heaven storyline is not directly linked to the Dean and Sam journey. I bet to differ. It is everything. If nothing ever happens, the boys will never be challenged and did what they did. Sure, the angels and the demons sometimes make Dean and Sam so small, but they defy gravity EVERY TIME, and this is what the show is about.

Like Bobby said before, "The storm's coming, and you boys, your Daddy – you are smack in the middle of it." Dean and Sam have always been in the middle of something big for a long time and they will continue to be challenged by angels and demons. Life ain't gonna get easier for the boys. This is when heroes are born and tested! The supernatural stuff around the boys have to be bigger than them, I think this is the way to test their strength. Like I said before, killing vamps, ghosts and Starships are too easy for the boys. While it's fun to watch, the big bad has to be something bigger like Voldemont and Vader big, and not Jabba, Death Eaters and goblins. So I think as far as keeping the angels and demons, it's totally justified. And if fans only want mummy porn instead, they can write their own fanfic.

Robert Singer has confirmed that season eight is another year of angels and demons. Yay! It will be about gaining control. That certainly ties in with Crowley's role and Kevin's role on the show. A lot of us question Crowley's motive in keeping the prophet Kevin? Now that Robert Singer has said season eight is the show's "Raiders of The Lost Ark year" with a "season-long story quest", and "it's about Kevin and the tablets and the Word of God." So, there are more tablets uncovered? Double yay! If there is a tablet about the Leviathans, there must be others. I have had this feeling about Crowley and his goal, there is something we haven't seen and discovered about Crowley. I cannot wait to see how this year's main arc unfolds. Go Jeremy! Team Jeremy! I can make this onto a t-shirt!

I have also previously talked about how Supernatural has been building their supporting cast 2.0. Bobby and Cas aside, supporting cast 1.0 includes Ellen, Jo, Ash, even the Ghost Facers, they are almost the 'signature' gang from the Kripke era. So now everyone is dead (except the Ghost Facers), I feel that the show has been building up a supporting cast 2.0. You got Sheriff Mills, Charlie, Garth and Frank (who may or may not be dead). Robert Singer mentioned their return is not concrete yet but it's possible. Why the hell not? I love them!

Speaking of guest stars, there are some major iconic names appeared in season seven -- Nicholas Lea, Keven MacNally, Felicia Day, Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters. Who do you want for season eight? I tweeted last night, I want Gillian Anderson on the show! She has to! It's almost imperative, right?! I would also love to see Jensen's and Jared's buddies Zachary Levi and Tom Welling on the show. I just think it'd be fun, you know what I'm saying?

There is no doubt season eight will test the hero strength of Dean and Sam once again, which is the heart of the show. And what about the big arc of Dean in Purgatory? Obviously fans won't see the boys being separated for too long as mentioned by Robert Singer, the brothers will be reunited in early episodes and there will be flash backs in later episodes. Awesome! Looks like Dean will find his way out of Purgatory.. How? I got nothing! I cannot wait to see it. As for Cas, he will still be on the show to support the boys. I am not ready to let him go, I love Cas, I love him!

"Lightning. Fire. Power of God or something"...

I have previously posted my wishlist for season eight and I think at least 50% of the stuff is possible. But in light of the Robert Singer interview, I have one more thing to add my wish list -- The Ark of the Covenant! I know.. and I don't care if I am taking this too literally from what Master Singer told us in the interview. This year is the show's Raiders of the Lost Ark year. It's not impossible to make the Ark as part of the storyline for season eight. In season six when Cas appeared and responded to Sam's fake 'prayer' about his recovery of the Ark (Sam of course told Cas it was the plot from Raiders and Cas seemed perplexed), we knew then the Ark exists on the show and the angels may have 'lost' it. You got Crowley keeping the prophet, and we know there will be more 'Word of God/ tablets' stuff involved. So something like this along the line is possible.

And of course, I got nothing better to do today than theorising the plot and direction of season eight. But I can't deny the fact that I am very excited to see season eight and I just cannot wait!

Don't forget the Supernatural Comic Con panel is on this Sunday! For now, I will leave you with this clip.

05 July 2012

About Giving Up

I know.. it's kind of a deep topic but one I feel strongly about. A few things happened to my friends lately and I just got me thinking about the concept of 'giving up'.

There are a few ways in looking at this. The first one comes to mind is when people give up an idea or a way of life or changing light bulbs or baking voluntarily, whatever that might be, because things just don't work out sometimes. And then there are people who just give up involuntarily because the world is not up to them, it's them versus the world. You also have people who want to give up on other people because they just can't be bothered, too much work. Why invest their time when they can just 'buy things off the shelf'? There are way too many cases on giving up. If you have not given up on yourself or others or whatever in your life, good for you. But it's only human to feel shit, it's about how we overcome the shits in life because if we don't care about ourselves, no one will. People may give up on you, but you should never give up on yourself.

You'd think that people learn from their own mistakes from previous experience or you'd think people have a conscience when shit happens. Of course, you may say it's better to give up sometimes and put ourselves or other out of the misery. May be. But I ask you to reconsider, it's not a bad thing to always see good in people, you don't know what you are walking away from.

As an example, my friend was recently let go by his employer. I happen to know this person very well, I worked with him. I know the kind of worker and person he is. Not because he is like a little brother to me, he works hard, he is smart, he gets things done, and he is a quick learner. His attitude towards learning and not giving up astonish me. He was taking a break from studying law, and thought this job would be a good opportunity for him to connect the real world. He may not have been with the company for too long and this is not the industry he originally intended to join, but he has potentials. It was on the job training. Not to the extend of training Clark Kent to be superman, but where can you find a good loyal Gen Y like my friend these days? Considering the company is known for giving up on people and firing them. I know it is a business decision, but it is a crap one.

If you don't trust the person you hire, don't hire them or at least trust your own judgement for hiring this person. My friend is young, so young he may not even realise his potentials, it is the manager's job to invest their time on talents. If they intent to hire someone with no experience, then it made sense to have a strategy in mind to train this person and show him the way. He was let go this week, and the reason they gave him was that they were going through a restructuring and they wanted to hire someone more senior. But I saw the new job ad, the qualification was not more than what was advertised when my friend was looking for a job.

Was it a personality thing? Was it something he did or didn't do? The other day, he was just telling me how pumped he was with all the new projects and he wasn't going to give up, he wanted to show them, and he was going to kick it in the ass! I like that, you know. Any employers who know this kind of Gen Y employees who have the right mind set, attitude and loyalty, you can't go wrong. 

I am just questioning why. Like, why do people just give up? I was a lucky little vegemite. I was new to a job once, I was never sure if was doing the right thing, but my mentor/ manager told me "never underestimate your ability, I believe in your, so you should believe in yourself." Sounds like a line straight out from a movie or something, right? But hands on my heart, it was exactly what she said. Twice I have experienced this and pushed myself to the limit and see how far I'd go. Not that I was giving up or anything, but the role of mentors, friends and family is important. They are supposed to pull you out of darkness when you don't even realise you're surrounded by it.

Perhaps people just don't have time to invest in good people anymore? Of course, you may say, something must have gone wrong etc.. But when something is not right, people don't discuss for a solution, they discuss for a termination. This really got me thinking about what the hell were we doing in the first place? If my friend sucks, I understand. But I know, this time it was the company that sucks. And why would you leave an unnecessary emotion scar on a good worker and a good person? 

I feel sorry for my friend, because he had all the right reasons and attitude to reach his potentials in this company. But you know what... their lost! I know this is not the end for my young friend, he is going to kick it in the ass. I think this is when a hero is born.

03 July 2012

Supernatural Gets Two Special Edition Comic Con TV Guide Covers

That's right fans and friends, Supernatural gets not one but two special edition Comic Con TV Guide covers this year! Other WB shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Fringe and TVD also get their own special covers. But Supernatural is prettier, why, because we have Dean and Sam!

Here is the press release from WB. The special covers will be distributed at Comic Con from Wednesday 11th July to Sunday 15th July at the WB booth #4545 on the convention floor. The mags will be available at newsstands from 17th July. All four sets of collectible “flip” covers will be on sale. I wonder if they are available for overseas order too?

The last time Supernatural got its own TV Guide cover was when the show won the fans' votes in 2010. So, don't forget to get a copy!!!

Remember this? TV Guide December 13-19, 2010

Don't forget Supernatural will have a panel at Hall H and autograph signing on Sunday 15th July. If you are going to Comic Con, check out the autograph signing details here.

Supernatural Season 7 DVD & Blu-Ray -- Release Date & Details

Mark your diary! The release date for both the DVD and the Blu-ray Supernatural -- The Complete 7th Season is September 18th.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray will include all 23 episodes, plus bonus material such as featurettes, commentaries, deleted scenes and a gag reel. The Blu-ray will include exclusive additional featurette, and UltraViolet digital downloads of the episodes (available only in the USA). OH BOO!

No words as yet as to which episodes will have commentaries and who will be featured in the commentaries. It's pretty safe to speculate that Sera Gamble, Ben Edlund and Robert Singer will be doing the commentaries. The surprise, if any, would come from the cast themselves doing the commentaries -- i.e. Jim Beaver doing one for Death's Door, or Misha Collins doing one for The Born-Again Identity, or Jensen doing one for Time After Time, or Jared doing one for Plucky. Who knows! That's just me talking! And you know what I've always wanted? The behind the scene interviews and/or footage from Comic Con. A fan can only dream!

Watch this space for more details..

Here is the official season seven description for the DVD:

"The seventh season of Supernatural put the Winchester brothers in a terribly lonely place.  After losing their good friend and ally Castiel at the beginning of the season, the writers systematically stripped away many things that they loved, including Bobby's house, their beloved Impala, and then Bobby himself.  Although both Castiel and Bobby returned towards the end of the season, it's clear that Team Free Will isn't what it once was.  Not to mention the fact that they spent the season dealing with flesh-eating monsters called Leviathans."

Useful links: Amazon, TV Shows on DVD, TVOvermind

UPDATE: The back cover art work is on the Amazon website, see below. I actually haven't found any release on the actual special feature items, but Supernatural Fans Online posted a few details on their website.

Stay tuned for more update as WB releases more official details.

02 July 2012

Ben Edlund's The Tick

I should, but haven't read Ben Edlund's The Tick, a comic he created when he was 17. What was I doing when I was 17? Here is a rare interview where Ben talked about The Tick. It was an inteview/write up from The Animation World Magazine back in 1997.

Don't forget Ben has a solo panel at Comic Con this year! 

Enjoying A Song of Ice and Fire/ A Game of Thrones -- My reading and viewing experience

I began reading George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire last November and watching the HBO series A Game of Thrones at the same time. I forgot how exactly I got into the books and the TV series, probably the buzz on Twitter was good (and I trust my tweeps). And I couldn't resist the advertising on the ass of the bus. Damn you Sean Bean, who sat on the Iron Throne.

Why do I want to talk about my experience with A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones? Reading is always an interesting topic to me. Good thing I have a blog, which kind of works like as a journal. I found myself once again in a position where I was deciding whether I should watch the show first or read the book first. It happened to me before -- Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire; J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter; Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code; JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings which took me five years to pick it up and read it by the way. It happened to me every friggin time.

I know a lot of people prefer to read books and not watch the TV/movie adaptations; or the other way around; or to do both. I can't really pinpoint my position on books vs movies. With Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire, I was too chicken shit to watch the movie because I just wasn't sure if vampires were my kind of entertainment and Tom Cruise's vampire look was creepy. I figured text didn't scare me as much as visual no matter how descriptive it was. Harry Potter was different, because everyone was reading it, readers were just emotionally attached with the characters and story. Good story sells! And it was the first time I cried while reading a book. Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has a really interesting story and it was probably the first time I got into a suspense thriller. And reading and finishing Lord of the Rings was an epic journey on its own. I just found it very hard to get into the language, and it was way too advance to me. But after watching the first movie which I loved, I took the opportunity to go back to the book, and I was immediately hooked. I finished all three books in one go over probably 4 to 5 weeks time. 

So, how does my usual pattern (if such thing exists) compare to my Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire experience? I tossed and tossed for weeks. I had a handful of shows I'd like to start watching including Falling Skies, Once Upon a Time and The Walking Dead. They are all very different shows from A Game of Thrones which stood out because of the cast, I was doing a rewatch of Stargate Atlantis and I was just wondering how Jason Mamoa was doing after Conan and I actually didn't realise he was cast in GoT. I probably started watching some clips of the show and decided to watch the Pilot and see how I went.
BOOM! I finished GoT season one over a weekend.

I was just immediately hooked by the story and characters. But as ambitious as Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire, multiple rewatches are required to catch every details. And then I realised watching is not enough AT ALL! I started my research on the books, there were a few good reviews on Amazon (you know who you are) about the books and what I should expect if I read it. So, I thought what the heck, I went ahead and downloaded the first book and then all of them... And now, I kind of don't want to start reading A Dance With Dragons, because who knows how long I need to wait for the next installment?! It could be another five years for all we know! And for pie sake, just tell me who Jon Snow's parents are.

Back to the reading of the books, it usually took me awhile to get into an author's writing style and the language of the book. The visual of the TV show really helps to get into the zone. I am glad I was watching A Game of Thrones and reading the book at the same time. It wasn't like I was comparing the book and the TV series, but what the TV series couldn't give me, I could easily pick up the details from the books. I am one of those readers/ viewers who would turn to internet for resources. If I want to know more about the ravens, for example, I jump online to search for more information to help me to go forward. If I care enough to Google it, it means I am already hooked.

A Song of Ice and Fire has more characters than people going to my Lebanese friends' wedding. It's not like I can't keep up or I get confused, as the structure wasn't written/ designed to confuse you. It's just that there are so many details and you just don't know when and where they will pop up and who will tell the story from their POV. The ways the POVs are organised was epic. For example, I think there is none better than Jamie Lannister to tell us about Areys Targaryen and the Sack of Kings Landing, because he was there and he was the Kingslayer. And we don't get to read Jamie's POV until book three and when I read his chapters, I just look at him differently. And this is something I don't feel yet from watching the TV show, partly because we are not there yet to see Jamie's complexity and bitterness. Or will we ever get to know Jamie better on the show?

I don't why I started with Jamie Lannister, but it was a good example I guess about being a POV character in the book. You see details not only about the character but also his world view. And the layers of details are not something you get to experience in the TV series. The TV series is good in a way that we can SEE it, their lives and stories are projected on the screen, hopefully the way readers see it when they read the book -- at least the landscape anyway. And I feel physically cold whenever I see the Wall on my TV. I am loving the visual, the design and the dialogues presented to me.

And back to the book, the first read is always in a linear fashion. But the second involves skipping certain chapters and to concentrate on things I care about the most and to catch details that I miss. GoT is one of those books, you catch something new everytime you read it. The third read is to read all POV chapters of a few characters -- Jon, Dany, Tyrion and Samwell. I'd read all Jon's chapters from book 1 to 4, and Dany's etc.. I love Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen the most. I think they are the ice and fire of the story. And I'll leave the theories to another day..but yeah, I am a big supporter of the theory about Jon Snow as a Targaryen. Dig that!

So, a lot of details on the TV show are different from the books. And that's when the fourth read comes in handy, just to make sure I am not confusing the books with the presentation of the TV show. The fourth read is a reminder about details. Changes are fine and I am ok with it. But the overall consistence with characters is worth a mention. Let's take a closer look at Dany and Jon.

Like Dany's prophecies and all that stuff happened in the House of the Undying in A Clash of Kings, were omitted in season two and I thought everything was building up to her visions in the House of the Undying in book two. When I watched the finale of season two of GoT, I was like..I swear her dragons weren't stolen and I was really hoping to see Rhaegar to appear in the House of the Undying. Despite this kind of differences, I still think Dany is one of the most consistent characters on the show based on her journey in the book. Both the TV show and the books are consistent to show her hero's journey.

Whereas with Jon Snow, his presence is so prominent in the books -- he is the bastard, he wears the black, he fights and protect and he is a leader -- Jon's story is a very good 'from boy-to-man' story. And I hope all things are leading to his real purpose, where his parentage will hopefully play a part. It's a popular fan theory that Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. This is remained to be seen, but there are clues in the books just got your thinking about Jon's background and purpose. The whole Nights Watch arc is a stand-out story of its own -- you got the always mysterious Benjen Stark, Aemon Targaryen, the Others, zombies horse, Ghost, ravens, magical objects and books about dragons -- the Wall is the last line of defense for Westeros as we know it. The Wall itself is Hogwarts. The epicness of the Wall and Jon Snow are lacking a bit on the TV show. I feel they are the side story, and they are certainly not!

So, anyway. Here is my first dedicated blog post about A Song of Ice and Fire/ A Game of Thrones. I know there are heaps of reviews and theories out there by fans, so I am still finding an angle to focus on. But rest assure, this won't be the last one and my journey with GRRM and his epic tale has just begin.

House Targaryen?

01 July 2012

Ben Edlund Solo Panel at Comic Con

How can I not know about this? EPIC FAIL!

Ben Edlund's solo panel will take place on Saturday, July 14 from 2:30pm to 3:30pm at Comic Con (Room 8). The panel will be moderated by Ben Blacker. Here is the release:

2:30-3:30 Spotlight on Ben Edlund— Comic-Con special guest Ben Edlund (creator of The Tick, writer/producer, Firefly, Angel, Point Pleasant, Supernatural) tries to understand what he’s been up to for the last four decades, with clips of some of the lively absurdities in which he’s had a hand. Spend an hour in this hot bath of mind and then write home about it! Moderated by Ben Blacker (co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, host of The Nerdist Writer’s Panel). Room 8

I love him...