San Diego Comic-Con: Sunday TV Panels
When I last left off in my SDCC recapping, Francesca and I had watched nine panels on Saturday, July 23rd. I had fulfilled my life-long five-year dream to be in the same room as Joss Whedon while he said funny stuff and mentioned a (very unlikely) Serenity sequel. Living the dream, y’all. Anyway, there was still a whole other day for Francesca and me at SDCC, so let me tell you all about it. Sunday, July 24th presented a very difficult conundrum, people. We had to decide between the Winchesters and Nathan Fillion. The gods of Comic-Con are cruel masters indeed. While Francesca and I adore Nathan Fillion (spoiler alert: he is Francesca’s FAVORITE celebrity … okay, maaaaaybe tied with Ryan Gosling), we are not really huuuuuge Castle fans. I mean, we like it, but we are really really huge Supernatural fans, and Dean Winchester is one of my many many handful of TV boyfriends. So, what to do? After much soul searching, and possibly as a direct result of Supernatural marathoning on Saturday night (Francesca recently finished season three for the first time!), we finally decided on going to the Supernatural panel. However, forces conspired against us. You see, once we got in line (a crazy crazy line full of madness), we quickly realized that we were too far back to get in for the first panel. Now, the first panel of the day was Glee, so no skin off my nose, but we soon realized that most people were there for Dr. Who (we could tell the Dr. Who costumes, as you may recall, by the fact that we had no idea what they were dressed as—helpful tool). The Dr. Who panel was scheduled immediately following Supernatural. That room was not going to clear out after Glee. No way, no how. These Who fans meant serious business. It was totally hopeless to wait in that line.
Of course, Captain Mal is no consolation prize, so we rushed off to room 6BCF (hellhole with only one screen that it is—the room was definitely a factor in our original decision making), shaking our Fillion-loving heads at ourselves. Luckily, Karma did not punish us for being bad Browncoats and we made it into Room 6BCF (blech) in time for the panel before Nathan. Phew. We could tell we were in the right place, because the room was full of Jayne hats. I mean, every room in SDCC is full of Jayne hats, but this was a much higher concentration. There had to be a Big Damn Hero on the way.
Wild Cards Panel
In our stress over the Winchester vs. Fillion conundrum, we failed to pay attention to what panel preceded the Castle panel. Thus, I was verrrrry pleasantly surprised to see George R. R. Martin, one of my very favorite authors (hello, he is the person who created the Starks!) take the stage. He was moderating and joining in on a panel for Wild Cards. Now, I will admit that I have not read any of the Wild Cards books, but attending that panel really made me want to. Smart and witty authors have that effect on me. Martin wasn’t alone, but was joined by Melinda M. Snodgrass (Edge series, Wild Cards), Paul Cornell (Doctor Who and DC Comics), Carrie Vaughn (Kitty novels), Michael Cassutt (Heaven’s Shadow), David Anthony Durham (Acacia Series), Caroline Spector (Wild Cards), Daniel Abraham(Leviathan Wakes, Dragon’s Path), and Kevin Andrew Murphy (Supernatural Suburbia). All of these authors contribute to the Wild Cards universe, writing books set in that world. It’s like a comic universe in prose form. They all seemed brilliant, and they would clearly be lots of fun to go drinking with and have long dinner conversations with. Also, Caroline Spector was rocking purple hair, so I can only assume that she is particularly awesome.
Martin began the panel with a few laughs by joking about how he knew that a lot of people were there to see Fillion. He sympathized, being a fan himself. (Fun note: it is completely reciprocated. Nathan Fillion talked many times at SDCC about his love for Game of Thrones. How beautiful is that?) Also, Martin confessed to partying ‘til dawn the night before (get down with your bad self, George!) and stipulated that his moderating style is to cause trouble. As is his writing style, so that was no surprise. No one is unhappier than a Martin character, people. I weep for them all. Anyway, I don’t really have any more specific notes than that. Just, go check out Wild Cards. I will.
Finally, at 11:45a.m. it was Fillion time. Now, I did not know going in that this was going to be a full-fledged Castle panel, given that it was billed as “One-on-One with Castle Star Nathan Fillion.” It was not a one-on-one. Rather, Fillion was joined by Molly Quinn (Alexis), Seamus Dever (Ryan), John Huertas (Esposito), and Tamala Jones (Dr. Parish). I mean, obviously Nathan dominated the panel, geek god that he is, but the others were A LOT of fun too. First of all, Molly Quinn entered the room dressed up as Captain Malcom Reynolds. So adorable. She was wearing a BROWN COAT. Shininess. Everyone immediately fell in love with her, and she continued to win us all over throughout the panel. Also, Seamus Dever was wearing a Thundercats shirt and was clearly so happy to be there. Super adorable. My opinion of Ryan has improved due to his complete adorableness. Team Ryan! So, here are the highlights from the panel:
- Francesca deafened me and all those surrounding us with her cheers for Nathan’s entrance. Girl stood up and started arm pumping and catcalling. I never even knew she was capable of such fangirling. I’m so proud. I’ll make a geek out of her yet.
- An audience member was selected to reenact the opening scene from Castle. The girl chosen was wearing a “Nathan Fillion One in a Million.” Possibly she was the one person in the room who loved Nathan more than Francesca, but I can’t scientifically prove that.
- They showed us the first scene of the new season. No, I don’t know whether Beckett lives or dies yet. Well, I know she’s gonna make it, given that I know how TV works, but that clip did not inform my knowledge.
- Someone asked a question about bringing on Whedonverse guest stars. Nathan said, “Soon.” Needless to say, this garnered loud applause. Did I mention all the Jayne hats? Personally I’m rooting for Jewel Staite to guest ASAP. Raise your hand if you need a Kaylee-Mal hug in your life?
- Nathan had a bag full of gifts, and gave away prizes to everyone who asked questions: Green Lantern rings, Dr. Horrible dvd, etc. Molly brought stuff too, including a Serenity dvd. This was clearly part of a plot to get all the Firefly fans to further worship her, and I applaud her for it.
- Nathan said, “Yesterday I roamed the floor amongst you and you didn’t even know.” True facts, people. He even gave a fan his disguise.
- Nathan on his hair: “It’s a blessing and a curse.” Have truer words ever been spoken?
- Wisdom from Nathan: “Never touch a man’s car … or spaceship.”
- Seamus to Nathan: “I only get ONE question and you gotta dance through it.” Awww. He was soooo happy to be asked that one question. Hence his adorableness.
The panel was awesome. But that was not the end of Fillion-related awesomeness. Just wait. So, during the panel they gave out these little raffle ticket things, and if you got one with a stamp, you got to go to the Castle signing. Francesca got one with a stamp! And I promise, she didn’t even cheat. (Clearly the gods of Comic-Con wanted to make up for scheduling Fillion at the same time as the Winchesters.) So, we decided that we would meet up at the Marvel booth where the signing had taken place. Francesca was going to stay in the room for the Merlin panel (she loves that show), while I headed off to the Smart Pop booth to get my copy of A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls signed by Vee. (I’m one of her biggest fans, obviously.) Priorities, people. Also, BUY HER BOOK. Do it for the children. I would tell you what Vee wrote in my book, but it involved crimes we committed together, so I better not. Just kidding! She committed those crimes all by herself, and my confession was forced. (No, I have no idea what I’m talking about either.)
Okay, so finally it was time for the Castle signing and I went to meet up with Frani, who was waiting in line. We made conversation with the guys next to us, and after a while, one of them didn’t want to wait in line anymore. I don’t know … he had things to do? He offered me his ticket so I could do the signing too. So, basically, I strolled into the line and got a ticket, while the guys behind us had showed up first thing in the morning to get their signing tickets. No, I was not assassinated by Castle fans, but if I had been, I really couldn’t blame them. Finally, we got up to the front of the line, and suddenly I could see Nathan Fillion a few feet away from me and it finally hit me that I was about to be face to face with the actor who portrayed my very favorite male character IN ANY MEDIUM OF ALL TIME (yes, I love Mal even more than Han Solo), and Francesca realized this too, and we kind of silently started to freak out. Like our eyes got a little buggy, and I felt like I did right before my prom date picked me up in eleventh grade. We traded cameras and agreed to take pics of each other while shaking Nathan’s hand (ah, the best laid plans … that did NOT work out).
So, when we got up to the table, the handlers told us that Castle posters were being provided, and we couldn’t ask to have the actors sign anything else. Then we were hurriedly led down the line of actors, starting with Huertas, Jones, Dever (he was totally adorable, again, and smiled really huge and shook my hand), and then Molly Quinn. I complimented Molly on her awesome costume. Aaaaaand then I was like a foot from Nathan Fillion and I was kind of star struck, which had never happened in my entire life. I didn’t even know what was happening. It was all a daze. I really awkwardly pushed forward my Castle poster for Nathan to sign, but he said, “Sorry, sweetheart. This one is yours.” THE ONE HE WAS TOUCHING. No big deal. Yeah, he called me sweetheart. Happens to me every day. Gulp. (I mean, I think this is what happened, but it was all hazy and gulpy). I was a little disappointed because he had already signed my poster. I hadn’t even got to watch him sign it, and now I was going to be hurried off. I think he sensed this, because then he kind of paused and held out his hand and smiled and said, “I want to thank you for coming.” (Again, I think this is what happened. There could have been dancing hippos in tutus for all I know.) So, I shook Nathan Fillion’s hand. After he called me sweetheart and thanked me. We had a moment. I may have been a mute frozen awkward crazy-eyed weirdo, but it was still a moment. BEST. COMIC-CON. EVER. (So yeah, I totally forgot to take a photo of Frani shaking Nathan’s hand. I’m a terrible sister.)
The End …
Okay, so after that, the next item on our must-do schedule was the Buffy musical screening. That didn’t start until 4:00p.m., but given the insanity in the Hall H line that morning, we figured we better get in line then. We were happily surprised, however, to learn that Hall H no longer had a long line. The Who fans had dissipated. So we made it into the room in time to catch part of the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We had never seen the show, and judging by the clip shown at SDCC, I never ever will. Still, it was kind of a fun panel because the room so clearly LOVED the show. All the questions contained inside jokes about the show, and the room was packed and loud and excited. Good on you, Always Sunny.
Next up was Sons of Anarchy from 3:30-4:00p.m. Now, at that point, I had never seen even one episode of Sons of Anarchy. However, it was already on my To-Watch List, due to frequent praise of Maureen Ryan on the Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan Podcast and a very awesome Smodcast episode featuring Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter. Of course since then, as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, I have become obsessed with Sons of Anarchy. OBSESSED. It is my new favorite thing. I lived and breathed it for ten days while I marathoned the first three seasons, and now I’m counting down the days until the season four premiere (Tuesday, September 6th at 10/9c on FX).
The panel was moderated by Maureen Ryan, whom I really admire, so that was really cool. Panelists included creator Kurt Sutter (The Shield) and stars Charlie Hunnam (Children of Men), Katey Sagal (Married …With Children), and Ron Perlman (Hellboy). We were also shown the first few minutes of the fourth season premiere, which was fun. Francesca and I spent a great deal of the panel whispering about how cute Charlie Hunnam is and trying to figure out what kind of accent he has. His accent is kind of weird, people. It doesn’t sound like any British accent that I have ever heard before. I mean, it’s lovely … but weird. Also, I very much enjoyed how stumbly and stuttery Kurt Sutter is when he speaks in public. He’s obviously a very successful and brilliant man, and yet he still says “uh” or “um” every other word. It makes me feel better about myself, given that I really struggle with that. Thanks, Kurt, for your brilliant show and your “um”s. (Also, you were totally the hottest showrunner at Comic-Con. Shhhh. Don’t tell the others.) You can watch the full panel, which was only 30 minutes, here.
Then the room really emptied out (you go, Sons of Anarchy!) and we scrambled to find good seats for “Once More With Feeling.” We were so excited. Especially me. I am so obsessed with the Buffy musical. Francesca reminded me that when she first watched the musical episode, I put on the sing-along captions and forced her to sing-along. And this was her very first time watching it. I am clearly a horrible person. I’m lucky that my family just rolls their eyes at me and still loves me. So, this was our second time doing a Buffy sing-along, but the first time doing it in Hall H with tons of other Buffy fans. We got a little surprise at the top of the show when Nicholas Brendon showed up to introduce the episode. Pretty cool. We had quite the Whedon-themed SDCC experience, I must say. Anyway, once the music started, we sang along and it was really fun. But we were really surprised by how vehement the Dawn-hate was. I mean, I’m no fan of the littlest Summers, and I always knew that there was an element of Dawn-bashing to the sing-along, but I was really not prepared for the extent of it. It was vicious. Any time she was on screen, the yelling was crazy. I hope that Michelle Trachtenberg never stumbles into one of these sing-alongs. Honestly, it made me like Dawn slightly better, because she was such an underdog in that room. Whatever. I got a little teary-eyed, like I always do, when Buffy revealed that she was in heaven. “I think I was in heeeeaaaaaveeen.” Sigh. Willow’s reaction KILLS ME. Every time. Francesca didn’t cry of course because she’s a cylon, but she did say, “Wow, I forgot how emotional that episode is. That was really emotional.” So, that was the end of our Comic-Con experience. We headed back to our hotel to get the car and drive back home. “The curtains close on a kiss, god knows. We can tell the end is near. Where do we go from here?”
Also, here’s a little video diary of sorts that Francesca and I put together during SDCC. It features Francesca doing the Dance of Joy and kissing Sam Winchester (the bag version).
My favorite part is when Frani yells out “Shiny!” Hee. Sorry for the shaky cam, etc. Frani bought a Flip Cam for me for Christmas and this is the third time I’ve used it. I’m learning. Also, we had big plans for recording a lot more, but we kept forgetting to use the camera. Oops. At least that’s a sign that we were having fun.