SDCC 2012: Saturday Panels
No, I’m not done talking about San Diego Comic-Con yet. Sorry not sorry. On Saturday, July 14th, 2012, Francesca and I decided to commit the morning to the Indigo Ballroom, so that we could see Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion. This meant that we had to miss Once Upon A Time in Ballroom 20, but after spending 4 hours or so in the Ballroom 20 line the day before, we decided that we needed a break from that insanity. Francesca made the deciding vote: “We can’t wait in line for another show as long as we did yesterday. That would be like a slap in the face to Firefly.” Obviously I could not argue with such flawless logic.
Since the Geek & Sundry panel didn’t start until 11:00 a.m., we had to sit Attack of the Show again. We did the same last year in order to see Joss Whedon, and it was our least favorite panel of the 2011 con. This time, however, the sacrifice was far less unpleasant and misogynistic. It was actually, dare I say it … a funny panel this year. New host (or wannabe host?) Matt Mira was likable and funny. The contest they opened to the fans did not involve downing disgusting blended concoctions, and a girl we met in line at the Chuck Nerd HQ panel a couple days before managed to get on stage to compete. Pretty cool! Also, this time there was NOT a ridiculous video about a superhero whose power was her boobs. A big step up. There was even some musical entertainment, courtesy of Garfunkel and Oates, who were pretty awesome. If any of you are fans of the show, G4 uploaded the full panel video, so you can watch below:
Next up was my girl-crush Felicia Day in the Geek & Sundry panel, moderated by producer Kim Evey. Also on the panel were Wil Wheaton, director Daniel Strange (Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis), and the cast of The Guild— Sandeep Parkih, Vince Caso, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, and Jeff Lewis. The panel was full of all kinds of goodies, ranging from The Guild to newer Geek & Sundry projects like Tabletop and Written by a Kid. In fact, we got to see the premiere of the very first episode of the Written by a Kid web series, starring Joss Whedon as Gerald, the S.Q.U.A.T. team leader. It is a beyond hilarious must-watch video, and I have embedded it below for your enjoyment. Also, you can check out the full Geek & Sundry panel video below, courtesy of TFAW.com.
Then we stayed put for the Nerdist Channel panel, featuring Chris Hardwick, Neil deGrasse Tyson (StarTalk Radio), Gary Dell’Abate, Alison Haislip, Alex Albrecht, Holly Conrad and Jessica Merizan of Crabcat Industries, and Chloe Dykstra (Just Cos) The group discussed current and upcoming projects. Neil deGrasse Tyson was particularly entertaining with his discussion of Pluto. As part of the team of scientists responsible for demoting the former planet, he declared, “Pluto had it comin’!” Indeed. After Comic-Con was over, I had a chance to watch Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. I was excited to see panelists Holly Conrad and Jessica Merizan on the documentary, as featured designers and cos-players. Check out the video below for a sneak peek at upcoming Nerdist projects:
Next up was the TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites panel, moderated by editor-in-chief Debra Birnbaum. The panelists were Nathan Fillion (favorite!), Joel McHale (Community), David Giuntoli (Grimm), the adorable Jasika Nicole (Fringe), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), the lovely Maggie Q (Nikita), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Liam McIntyre (Spartacus) and the lovely Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead). The big group of actors had a lot of chemistry and seemed to really be having a good time together. It was a fun panel. Of course, with so many actors on one panel, it was a little tricky to service them all. Frani and I were obviously there for Nathan Fillion, but judging by the questions from the audience, 90% were there for Matt Smith. Oh, Doctor Who fans, you can always be counted on to show up. After several Who-centric questions in a row, the moderator had to jump in and take control of the panel. Here are some tidbits from the session:
- Dave Giuntoli is Mrs. Padmore on Downton Abbey. I feel like this is really important information. You’re welcome.
- Nathan Fillion once again professed his love for Game of Thrones. Love love love.
- Nathan Fillion admitted to crying a little bit at the Firefly panel the day before. Awww. Sniffle.
- Sarah Wayne Callies, on what’s coming up on The Walking Dead: “I got to Comic-Con and there was an 18 page packet on what I couldn’t say.” That must mean that there is a lot of exciting things to come, zombie fans.
- Jasika Nicole suggested that Astrid should be a love interest for Abed in a Fringe-Community crossover. Adorable!
- Joel McHale talked about dancing with Nathan Fillion at a party the night before: “His sweat smells like jasmine.”
The next panel on our agenda was Spotlight on Ben Edlund. This was a gem of a panel because it was in one of those small rooms where you don’t have to wait in line to get in, and you can actually see the stage from any seat in the house without the aid of a screen. Woot! Also, hello, Ben Edlund! Genius writer extraordinaire. Edlund was entertaining and charming and as wacky as his reputation (in the best of ways). Here are some of the highlights from the panel:
- Edlund: “I was told that we could talk about me for about 40 minutes. I think we should do that.”
- Apparently Edlund is chronically late when it comes to deadlines. He said that he recently turned in a script for Supernatural on time, for the first time ever.
- Edlund described his character The Tick as “a little boy choking up a thesaurus.”
- On working with guys from Supernatural: “I had to learn to become a bit manlier.” He talked about how much bigger all the guys are than him. On Jared Padalecki: “He’s an immense, immense man.”
- We were shown a highlight reel featuring various pieces of his work. This included a clip from Supernatural season 5, from the episode “Abandon All Hope.” The clip featured Crowley kissing a banker to seal a crossroads deal. Later, Edlund talked about the significance of men kissing each other on screen, and the potential subversiveness.
- Misha Collins snuck into the panel when the lights were off and then came to the front to hug Edlund. Awww.
- When Ben Edlund was 9 years old, he used to lie down on the bathroom floor and play dead. Then he would yell, “Why me? Why me?” I think that tells us everything that we need or want to know.
Next, we headed over to The Following Screening and Q&A. The new thriller from Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega was already one of my most anticipated pilots, and it did not disappoint. The series stars Kevin Bacon (yes, that Kevin Bacon) as Ryan Hardy, an FBI agent whose life’s work has centered on catching serial killer Joe Caroll, played by the superb James Purefoy (Rome). There were all kinds of twists and turns, so I won’t say too much more. I will say that it was incredibly scary and intense. Francesca and I had to grab each other’s hands at a few points and I may or may not have closed my eyes at a couple parts. The character of Joe Carroll is a former literature professor so there were a lot of fun literary references, particularly Edgar Allen Poe. I feel like I need a refresher course in Poe before the season starts airing in midseason. As for what kind of villain we can expect in Carroll, James Purefoy stated, “There’s nothing nice in his soul.” Dun dun dun. You can check out the Q&A portion of the panel below, as Warner Bros. made it available online.
Later, we caught the Revolution Pilot Screening and Q&A. Compared to The Following, this pilot was a disappointment. We enjoyed it, but it certainly wasn’t as quality. To be honest, the trailer was more exciting than the full pilot, but there is certainly a lot of potential. Jon Favreau directed the pilot, and he came out to introduce it, which was pretty exciting. He complimented the crowd on our grooming. Apparently it was a cleaner con this year.
Revolution comes from Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke and J. J. Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions. It will premiere September 17th on NBC, and is based on the following premise: “a family struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic American landscape: a world of empty cities, local militias and heroic freedom fighters, where every piece of technology-computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights-has mysteriously blacked out…forever.” Awesome premise. So cool. But it could really use some work on the execution. Billy Burke was definitely the best part of the pilot, so I can’t wait to see more from his character. I hope that the female lead, Charlie, played by Tracy Spiridakos, will improve. She’s dressed like a bad-ass Katniss Everdeen, but I couldn’t really tell you anything about who she is as a character. Plus, I lost count of the number of times she had to be saved. Boo! Crossing my fingers that she becomes awesome. I will definitely stay tuned.
After the screening, there was a Q&A with creator and executive producer Eric Kripke and series stars Billy Burke (the best part of the Twilight films), Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time), and Tracy Spiridakos (Being Human). You can check out video of this portion of the panel below.
A very exciting Saturday at the con. Afterwards, we managed to make it over to the Extra stage and catch Tony Lucca performing. Another excellent day at San Diego Comic-Con!