The Bible Scale hath returned! In this volume, your favorite clergy-geeeeeeeeeeeeeekks return to break down what’s hitting the boob tube this fall.
Of course, none of us were brave enough this past Friday to hit the all-dreaded Hall H. So, some of your favs — The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., etc. — were left out; but SERIOUSLY, we covered all that the past 2-years! Don’t you all think it’s time to dive into something fresh? (Say yes.)
With a splash of ol’ favs, (from left to right) our resident TV geekspert “Divine” Derek Vigeant, his Geekdom Fancastmate “Brother” Myke Ladiona, “The Goddamn” Lisa Wu (w/ Iron Mike”), and yours truly “Monsignor” Travis Moody hit the Hollywood stage at San Diego Comic Con 2014 to rank our television panels from worst to first.
Break it down!
Scorpion (CBS) – The Big Bang Theory as a high-octane, action-procedural shouldn’t really work, but with Prison Break’s Nick Santora working alongside Orci and Kurtzman (Mission Impossible, Star Trek, etc.) there has to be a few redeeming qualities. Fortunately, the core heart of the show outweighs the derivation. The resulting Scorpion pilot (which airs September 22) brings unique heroes into a familiar genre in a very surprising, socially-conscious way. The show stars Elyes Gabel (World War Z, Interstellar), American Idol winner Katharine McPhee, and T100 himself, Robert Patrick, whose homeland security character recruits and then works with Gabel’s functionally special needs team. Think Watch_Dogs in a diner. McPhee’s character raises a socially-handicapped, mentally gifted child — because, why wouldn’t she? — who meets the team and sees that her child isn’t dumb; he just doesn’t like to hug mommy.
(Cont.) The pilot uses typical tropes of the genre to get going, and the characters are an all-star team of highly gifted weirdos pulled from other similar movies and shows. Thankfully, the standout of the panel was Walter O’Brien — the real-life genius that Gabel plays and who the show is based around — who made you realize why Scorpion has the potential to rise above the trappings of its mixed genres, and could make heroes out of special people. O’Brien, who actually has a confidential history working with the government, developed his relatively normal social behaviours through a lot of hard work, now with a foundation that attempts to help similar geniuses who also have trouble connecting. He’s hoping that Scorpion will reach out to kids that see themselves in these characters so that they can discover such like-minded organizations. Hey, maybe Scorpion can be that procedural that bridges the gap between Comic-Con fans with their hard-to-relate NCIS, Law & Order-loving family members, all while shining somewhat of a spotlight on a highly misunderstood percent of the population. – Myke Ladiona
Women Who Kick Ass (Entertainment Weekly) – Sometimes at SDCC you have to sacrifice to get shit done. Thankfully, I’m a pretty decent multi-tasker– but not decent enough. Natalie Zutter is, however, and I found her blog covering this panel to be the finest online. The only thing I could add that hasn’t already been said, is that the ever-dreamy Nicole Beharie appeared to be Sleepy Hollowing throughout the panel. Still, GOT‘s Natalie Dormer owned her moment among these great gals, enough to render a sturdy enough score. – Travis Moody
Vikings (History) – Damn, Lagertha is hot. Now you know why I nearly risked my neck to get into this panel (took some intense improv skills to work over that security guard), and, perhaps more importantly, why our very own Divine One will do anything.. I mean ANYTHING to prevent me from stealing his girl! Hey, even if the Moody isn’t worthy, Katheryn Winnick was this History panel’s shining star. And what was the martial artist since age 7’s advice for her own Lagertha? “Keep speaking your mind, kick ass, and fight the boys. With power comes conflicts with obviously, men.” My kinda girl. Sorry, Derek! After seeing this panel, not only did Winnick provide tension within the GHG parish, but she’s also my runner-up to play Thor. Uh-huh. But if that ain’t gonna happen, “Rollo” (Clive Standen) can always play our most “Dangerous Disciple” Danny Witt…
(Cont.) Sure, our fav. ViKang (get it?) still “has a mountain to climb to regain [Ragnar a.k.a. Travis Fimmel‘s] trust,” but it’ll sure be an interesting dynamic to watch come Season 3. “You still have the blood raging… Everybody dies– it’s History.” Season 2’s breakout star — and Hunger Games alum — Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn) agrees that, in addition to the battlefield, the family “field” will up the ante with far more twists and turns. I feel it’s good timing, considering the historically dangerous locale of Paris is on the horizon. Expect a whole new world of characters, including a Frankish emperor, though non more colorful than almost-betrayer Floki. And since neither he, or our favorite monk-turned-warrior wasn’t in attendance at the Con — and the mumbling Fimmel couldn’t appear more bored, other than some nutty threesome talk — pop goes a higher bible score, with perhaps worse news for both Divine & I. “When the hell are [Ragnar and Lagertha] getting back together,” to which the “Other Travis” slyly responds, “I didn’t want to leave in the first place.” No! No! No! – Moody
Batman ’66: The Complete Television Series (Warner Bros.) – Looking at the schedule on Thursday afternoon, my mind had a decision to make: Do I wander around the exhibit hall spending stupid amounts of money, or should I go see Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), and Julie Newmar (Catwoman) all together on stage for the upcoming release of TV Batman on Blu-Ray? Considering the nostalgia factor, this decision — as you can see — was none too difficult. The Hell H audience was shown some split-screen footage of both older and redone versions. And let me tell you, the transformation is beyond remarkable. Comparing the blur and fog of the original to the newer isn’t fair. Better yet, our lovely cast took trips down memory lane, paid tribute to past castmates, and relayed thoughts on their place in TV history. During the audience Q&A, West was asked why he hasn’t been in any of the live-action Batman films. “Simple,” West said. “Because they’ve never asked me.” Included in the box set: A Limited Hot Wheels Batmobile, an Adam West scrapbook of personal photos, 44 vintage trading cards (do people still do that?), and UV copies of all 120-episodes. Light up the Bat-66-signal this November 11th. – Derek Vigeant
The Following (FOX) – Although I love this show, I was hesitant walking in since the panel last year sucked. Well, Divine is happy to report that this year went oh so much better! The third season will take place a year later, with Kevin Bacon’s Ryan attempting domesticity by dating and living with a doctor. “I want to explore the characters more. We’ve been such a fast-paced thriller,” said showrunner Kevin Williamson. But Joe Carroll still haunts him, as his character continues to analyze cases for any signs of Joe’s cult reemerging. With the return of surviving twin Mark returning, Shawn Ashmore’s character Mike still has a vendetta to settle. “He’s lost partners. He’s lost his father. There’s no stopping him,” Shawn explains. Then leave it to the Q&A to cheer us up, where a young teenage girl tells Bacon “how long” she’s been loving him. The actor retorted, “Thank you for loving me for such a long time. I guarantee that I have socks that are older than you.” Awesome! And to cap it all off, Bacon says that in order to get the whole audience only one degree from him, he should film all of them together. So he breaks out his camera and films the entire audience in front of him to which everyone goes ecstatic with joy. The man isn’t one of my favorite actors of all time for nothing. – Derek
iZombie (CW) – The good folks at CW promised a pilot screening, pulled back with some last-minute casting changes, and still wowed the crowd. You can read more about this potential “Next Buffy” here, courtesy of yours truly via the New York Daily News. – Moody
The Visionaries (EW) – For the last few years Entertainment Weekly has brought out some big-time filmmakers for this panel, but, this year, they changed their focus to the small screen. Now, if you’re one of those people that just wants to look at pretty faces and zone-out on explosive action, you’d do better with the exhibit floor. But for some of us — yes, The Divine one in particular — finding out what it takes to put a successful series together season after season is mighty damn interesting! One of the first subjects covered? Their first jobs. “Working on Xena for [Sam] Raimi was the best grad school we ever went to,” Alex Kurtzman stated. Greg Berlanti then advised on the hard truths of running multiple shows. “You have to be where the bad things are. You have to empower other people.” Because many of the panelists had actually worked together on previous shows, many jokes and fun behind-the-scenes stories were thrown around. Yet, even though Kurtzman revealed that the dreaded “season one [can] break you,” Julie Plec noted there were also far greater rewards. “It excites you to get up in the morning and work with people you love.” Just like GHG. (Awwww…) – Derek
Greendale Forever (TV Guide) – The atmosphere felt like the last scenes of Rudy and The Mighty Ducks, as not even the stagnant moderation or drunken supporting actor doing failing bits could bring the energy down of Community. Since the new season (now on Yahoo!Screen) hasn’t started shooting, there was nothing new to show save for a montage of the entire run; it was put together with an 80’s sci-fi serial vibe, that culminated with a Six Million Dollar Man, “it’s dead, but now we can rebuild it and make it stronger, we have the resources (cue Yahoo!Screen logo)…” which caused several geeks around me (not me, I swear) to tear up and scream like teens that just saw Bieber steal a kiss from Benedict Cumberbatch. Stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, and Jim Rash (the only confirmed, returning cast so far) threw the panel off the rails, waxing poetic about their love for creator Dan Harmon.
(Cont.) Starburner and friend of Harmon’s, Dino Stamatopoulos, attempted to throw the panel off in his own way, constantly seguing his new comic book Trent. Thankfully, he ended up the producers’ fodder for anything funny. Last, was the ever-popular Harmontown segment– a simultaneously insightful, crass, appreciative, self-deprecating, and completely emotionally honest bit from Harmon. Problem was, the TV Guide moderator could barely contain anyone, and hurt the proceedings when he continued to try; up until the Q&A, where an assortment of awesome weirdos came out in droves (including two Greendale Human cosplayers and a few Harmontown regulars that made Dan blush). The icing on the cake? Longtime real-life sponsor and in-show enemy of Greendale, Subway, offered free sandwiches for all Con attendees that day, a Dan… er.. godsend for this hungry and broke apostle. – Myke
Arrow (CW) – Coming off one hell of a sophomore season, the Arrow panel was definitely one of the hottest topics around the famed Ballroom 20. “Season 3 is all about the price of victory,” producer Andrew Kreisberg said before screening a sizzle reel that, not only showed Roy in his Red Arrow/Arsenal suit and the first appearance of Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer at Queen Consolidated, but Oliver asking Felicity out. On an actual date. “It’s really cool to have the second coolest suit on the show,” Amell joked. The panel had the majority of its cast in attendance, which shows the solidarity of the actors and the network support. They also mixed up nuggets of news with a good amount of jokes. “If Thea cooked for me she would probably poison me. And I would be so proud,” clowned John Barrowman (Doctor Who). During the Q&A, a kid looking all about 10-years old asked Amell to recite the intro that plays before every episode. Staying in character, the actor finished comically with a “previously on Arrow.” In addition to more tidbits on Thea’s proposed heir apparent to Dark Archer and Diggle’s family matters, the WB panel the next night saw to some cool announcements, as well. Ra’s al Ghul and Ted Kord (Battlecat) are coming to Arrow, which should mark as big a dent October 8th as it did this past weekend with the fans. – Derek
Sons of Anarchy (FX) – For their final go-round, the Men of Mayhem arrived at Hall H on Sunday to say their farewell to Comic-Con. Charlie Hunnam was not in attendance, but sent along a pre-recorded video giving praise to all the SDCC Anarchists– as he was being massaged and fanned by fellow cast members, Mark Boone Jr., Kim Coates, and Tommy Flanagan. Hilarious! As someone who’s been to just about all of the SoA panels since Day One, there’s no doubt the crowds have only grown larger. “When we do this show we really live it,” said Boone Jr., before showing a sneak peak of Jax pummeling the crap out of a prison inmate. “Instead of being the reactor to chaos, [Jax] is going to be the inciter,” explained creator Kurt Sutter, who also shut the door on any possible spin-offs, despite the likely chance of the prequel, “First 9”. Of course, the cast sent off their best — and worst — wishes, from handkerchiefs to the all-funny Drea de Matteo clowning that she’d “wanna take Dayton [with her], stuffed and put over my fireplace!” After the audience gave Sutter a standing O, the tough-as-nails showrunner stood no chance against the tears. “I walk through our set and I know everyone wants to be there,” he said. Maybe now Moody will reconsider his “No Panel on Holy Sunday” routine? – Derek
Hannibal (NBC) – On July 24, Ballroom 20 was jam-packed with fans waiting to devour every single detail they could about the upcoming Season 3 of Hannibal, and you can bet The Goddamn Wu was working that press pit to get a close up of all the beautiful people on this dark and delicious drama. Luckily for the fans who want spoilers, this cast wasn’t afraid to share their favorite murder tableau’s (i.e. the deaths of diabetics with mushrooms, or Season 1’s body-part totem pole). The new season will introduce some of our favorites from the novels — and movies — such as Florence detective Rinaldo Pazzi, the most edible Asian sensation Lady Murasaki (yet to be casted), the questionably loyal Dr. Cordell Doemling of child molester Mason Verger, and “the Red Dragon” Francis Dolarhyde.
(Cont.) But, of course, the character that fans want to see grace the TV is Clarice Starling; so will she be on the show? Most likely not this season, as the show only owns the literary properties of Hannibal Rising, Hannibal, and Red Dragon (Silence of the Lambs currently belongs to MGM and the creators are working hard to get those rights to appease their ravenous fans). Stayed tuned to see Hannibal’s grocery list, and sit at his table for yet another fine meal courtesy of artful murder… – Lisa Wu