Yesterday was my first visit to the incredible FanExpo in Toronto. Something I have been waiting for all summer. What is FanExpo you ask? If you’ve ever heard of Comic Con San Diego, Fan Expo is essentially the Canadian equivalent. “Fan Expo Canada™ humbly began as the Canadian National Comic Book Expo in 1995. Growing from one genre with 1500 fans to a multifaceted show connecting over 80,000 fans, Fan Expo Canada™ is currently the 3rd largest pop culture event in North America!”
At the event, Fanboys and Fangirls of all ages gather to celebrate all that is awesome in Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, Comic Books, and Gaming. While I’m into some Sci-Fi and Horror stuff, I am nowhere near the level of fan many of the people were in attendance here. There was an entire room dedicated to people who look as if they have never been out of their parents basement! Ok, I know I’m being harsh. Forgive me.
It was a great event. We woke up at the crack of dawn to get to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre right downtown Toronto. Once inside, it was a free for all of shiny things in all directions. Total. Sensory. Overload! We managed to do a loop of the place before it got insane, but all of a sudden it seemed like the crowd tripled in size. For those people who don’t like crowds, a fair warning: It’s crazy and hard to move at many points. You must mentally prepare for this before you go so it doesn’t bother you. There are lines for everything….except for the bathroom which I found odd. Who knows, maybe people wear adult diapers so they can partake in every moment.
A few suggestions: Travel light. Wear cargo shorts, shoes and a t-shirt. You will get stepped on and it gets hot. Also, bring a backpack to hold your crap. Generally they do give out free bags, but I find it’s easier to be hands free. One MAJOR thing: Cell reception is awful in the Convention Centre. Do not depend on your phone. Bring walkie talkies if you need to communicate with people, because service is spotty at best. You will most likely lose your group, prepare a gameplan.With that said, it was one of the most fun days I’ve ever had. I expected and prepared for the worst, therefore everything turned out well. Go with the flow, have a good time and enjoy!
Top 5 Moments at Fan Expo 2012
1. Seeing Gillian Anderson in person along with many other awesome celebrities: The X-Files is one of my favourite shows of all time, and I knew she would be there. It was a nice surprise to walk around a corner and see her, sitting at a table to my right signing autographs. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I was shaking a bit and it totally made my day. Forget the $50 you have to pay to wait in line and get her autograph, I got to see her from a few feet away and that was epic.
2. Stormtroopers Call Me Maybe: No explanation necessary.
3. People Watching: If you go for any reason at all, it’s this one. The costumes, the props, the interesting people and conversations you will experience. I witnessed so many interesting and odd happenings with all the people in attendance. The best one: a girl having a mental breakdown while sitting on the floor attempting to put in her special contact lenses. It was hilarious.
4. Photo Opportunities: In addition to all the amazing costumed people you can get pictures with, tons of companies are there promoting their wares and have unique photo opportunities and experiences. From giant Lego Darth Maul to CTV Big Bang Theory green screen photos, there are a ton of cool things to take pictures of. Some of the companies in attendance included Disney, EB Games, CTV, Space, Lego, Mega Bloks, LG, Sony, DC, Marvel…the list goes on.
5. Swag: There is so much free stuff to get. Buttons, printouts, posters, bags. Grab everything you can!
Check out all my pictures of this incredible event. If you also attended, let me know what you thought of the event!
Despite the negative outlook I had after reading about production issues, budget overruns, and schedule push backs, I must say I really liked the 2-hour premiere of Fox’s “Terra Nova“. Let’s get the brontosaurus in the room out of the way: Yes it does allude to a few other popular movies and television shows of the past, mainly “Jurassic Park“, “Avatar“, and “Lost“. Despite these comparisons, it’s a completely fresh concept that has tons of potential to entertain viewers. And from the Tweets I was following during the show, many people would agree with me. Here are a few reasons why I think “Terra Nova” is the best new show on television:
1. It sends a great message without being preachy
In “Terra Nova”, humans have almost destroyed the earth and are now transporting themselves back in time to start over. They are lucky to have technology with them, but they are basically living like early settlers. Unfortunately in the real world we don’t have the ability to time travel, yet. This show can help set a precedent of what can happen in the future and how humans with have to deal, all packaged in a slick, entertaining package. In a way like “Avatar.”
2. It’s breathtakingly beautiful
Television shows are a means of escapism for the general public, and “Terra Nova” does an amazing job of taking viewers to another world filled with lush tropical landscapes and fantastic sets. While there could be a little more work with the CGI dinosaurs, they are dealing with episodes that need to be produced on tighter deadline than movies. The show is filmed in Australia, therefore tons of eye candy to look forward to, especially if your watching in HD.
3. Mythology and storytelling are the foundation
Yes it’s bound to be compared to “Lost”, with a few plot points that are vaguely similar. The mythology that’s been planted from the first episode adds a reason for viewers to keep coming back for more and become engaged. What’s the point of a television show where everything is spelled out to the viewer upfront? The storytelling is also great, with many interesting characters that a broad base of viewers can relate to. In this day of social networking, mythology & the ability to relate are great ways for viewers to connect with each other, share and discuss. In the end building more buzz and drawing in more viewers. No one thought Lost would survive, and yet it lasted for 6 seasons because of this.
4. It’s cheesy in a fun way
The dinosaurs have nicknames like “howlers” and “slashers.” People keep getting killed left, right and centre, and Stephen Lang from “Avatar” is basically playing the same character all over again. While the show is considered a drama, this thick layer of cheese adds to the love I have for this show from the first episode.
5. No matter how hard you try, you will think of “Jurassic Park”, and that’s a good thing
Maybe it’s because Steven Spielberg is an executive producer, or simply that there are dinosaurs involved. Or maybe it’s because a few scenes and set pieces tread awfully close to similar ones in the JP films (I was hoping for electrified fences!). Regardless, the entire time I was thinking about “Jurassic Park”, how awesome it was, and how it’s great to have the same feeling about dinosaurs again as I did when I was 8 years old.
I truly believe “Terra Nova” is going to get enough viewers to stay alive. This show is very risky, especially on a network like Fox. Big budget, big sets, big dinos= big expectations. It will be interesting to see the numbers over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’m going to pop in a DVD of “Jurassic Park”, and maybe follow it up with “Avatar” on Blu-Ray!
If the new “90210” had not become on of the most ridiculous shows on television by now, tonight it has. It goes like this: Dixon is trying to pump out some beats for a record producer that he’s meeting in the morning, but can’t focus. In comes his roommate who offers him some ADHD medication to help him stay focused and awake. Now I’m not saying this idea is super original or that it was stolen, it just takes me back a bit. Instantly another show comes to mind, if you haven’t figured it out yet read on. I’m sure this is a setup for some sort of meltdown later in the season, and I’m hoping it’s exactly like one of the best episodes of “Saved By The Bell” entitled “Jessie’s Song.” If you have never been blessed to see this epic story, Jessie is studying for the SATs and needs to stay up late to study. She’s also trying to make it big in her pop group “Hot Sundae” with friends Lisa and Kelly. So much pressure that she comes to rely on caffeine pills to stay up and study all night. (Not caffeine pills!) Zack and Slater find out and are not happy, which results in a majestic meltdown that lives on as one of my favorite moments on television. See below for video. Seems so tame compared to the issues they show on television these days! What’s your favorite television moment of all time?
It’s that time again everyone, when I spend the cool nights of September devouring as many new television shows as I can. After dealing with the absence of anything worth following all summer, my television is finally filled with many possibilities to occupy my time. The first show I’ve actually paid attention to is “The Secret Circle” which airs on The CW or if your in Canada on Muchmusic. It’s another potential hit by Kevin Williamson, the creator of my favorite teen show ever “Dawson’s Creek.” Yes I’ll admit that a part of me is a 14 year old girl. Don’t hate, I just grew up watching cheesy teen soaps and continue to do so to this day. Anyways, it’s about a girl who’s parents are dead and moves to a small town in Washington (aka Vancouver) and discovers she’s a witch. As the trend is these days with shows such as “Gossip Girl” and “The Vampire Diaries” there are tons of secrets, mythology and character reveals. Visually the show looks like a cross between “Twilight” and “Dawson’s Creek.” It has the whole foggy Oregon down by the ocean look, with a sprinkling of lush forest in between. Bonus points to Kevin Williamson for integrating a nautical themed restaurant called “The Boathouse”, and a busy fishing boat dock in what I believe is an homage to the best show ever (see above). In addition, the plot seems very reminiscent of the film “The Craft,” especially the girl standing on the dock in the pouring rain and lightning who screams “we can do whatever we want.” Regardless, I feel the show will last as it follows the style of other popular shows and perfectly hits the teenage girl demographic. As with other CW series they have a great soundtrack with a mix of bans they promote at the end. That’s all for now, stay tuned for more Fall TV show reviews!
“Are You Afraid of the Dark” is an immensely popular kids show from the mid-1990’s that is cited as one of the all time favourite shows for Generation Y. Personally, I can watch episodes of this show over and over, never getting tired of the “Midnight Society” and cheesy 90’s-ness of the whole thing. I’m proud that it’s Canadian, and that it’s become such a popular show over the years despite being over 10 years old now. I have never heard anyone speak badly of it, and it tends to come up as a favourite with many people when speaking of favourite kids shows. Nickelodeon in the U.S. will beairing it on “TeenNick” as part of their “the 90’s are all that” nighttime broadcast slot. It stirs my emotions in the same way as “Saved By The Bell” and “Full House“. Reflecting upon the show now, it’s the type of show that would not be made in this day in age. Some of the themes are very dark and scary for kids. Goosebumps was created to fill the gap for tamer fare in same kids horror genre, but it never lived up to the standard set by “Are You Afraid of the Dark.” I recently downloaded the entire series from the web. I intended on purchasing them, but DVD copies are out of print and fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay. In case you weren’t aware, the show had 5 original seasons, went off the air, then had a revival for another 2 seasons. While the original series is amazing, the revival never lived up to the original premise of the show. Regardless, in the spirit of nostalgia, here is my countdown of the best 5 episodes of the show. You’ll notice they are from the first season, as it’s best and more frequently aired.
“The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors”: Emma and Dayday Toll suspect that their new neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Braun and their son Lex, may be vampires when people in town start to get sick. The Brauns are originally from Eastern Europe, wear black, collect blood, and only are active at night.
This episode scared me so much as a kid that I still have thoughts of vampires flying through my window in the middle of the night. As a kid I would sleep with the blankets wrapped around my neck so that if they did get into my house, they couldn’t suck my blood. Super creepy!
“The Tale of the Lonely Ghost“: A girl, Amanda Cameron, goes to stay with her Aunt Dottie and desperately wants to be friends with her snotty cousin, Beth, and her group of friends agrees to spend the night in the haunted house next door, which is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a preteen girl, to become part of the group. Beth’s nanny tries to warn Amanda to stay away from that place.
This episode comes to mind everytime I think of the show. It’s such a touching story, not as scary as many other episodes. It also has the girl from “Ready or Not” so it gets bonus points.
“The Tale of the Phantom Cab”: Two brothers, Denny and Buzz Crocker, get lost in the woods, and come across a mysterious cab driver, Flynn, and a very unusual man, a reclusive backwoods scientist by the name of Dr. Vink, who won’t let any of his victims go unless they solve a riddle: “What is it that has no weight, can be seen by the naked eye, and if you put it into a barrel, it will make the barrel lighter?”
This episode is excellent because it introduces us to an awesome character named Dr. Vink. He makes appearances throughout the series and is always fun to watch.
“The Tale of the Pinball Wizard”: Campbell, a mischievous kid who is obsessed with pinball, finds himself trapped in the mall at closing time after he loses track of time when working at a repair shop for Mr. Olson—and the protagonist of a real life pinball game. He must use all of his skills to escape the enchanted mall and save Princess Sophie, but soon learns that he is not the only one playing.
An excellent episode that takes place in a mall and always reminded me of the Stoneroad Mall in Guelph, ON.
“The Tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Berkham, a high school outcast, awakens an ancient secret hidden in the school about an evil wizard named Goth after a lesson with Dr. Oliver. After his friend, Alix, discovers what’s going on and is the only one that knows, and it’s up to her alone to not only save Dean, but stop him from releasing the evil sorcerer.
The coolest part of this episode is the secret swimming pool and the sorcerers staff, which always reminded me of the one that”Jafar” had in the Disney movie “Aladdin.”
I myself have long been a fan of anything to do with vampires. “The Lost Boys” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” are examples of my favorite movie and Tv show about them. From the episode of “Are you afraid of the dark” where the neighbors are vampires, to the dressing up as one almost every Halloween as a kid, they are awesome. So now that Vampires are the hottest new trend in almost everything, it seems that we have a few new shows coming out that help showcase these fascinating creatures. The whole “Twilight” phenomenon blows me away. I guess it makes sense, vampires are sensual, sexy and seductive, therefore attractive to lonely women who like to read such as housewives, single ladies etc. I am by no way stereotyping that these are the only people that like “Twilight”, but they seem to be a majority. Also, with HBO and the series “True Blood”, which happened to come out at the perfect moment for vampire fans. Anyways, the point of this article is that there are some ridiculous copycat shows and movies coming out thanks to the sucess of “True Blood”, which is pretty much rated R “Twilight.” Here are a few examples, I will let you have your own opinion. I feel this is just the tip of the iceberg, and over the next few months we will se and hear about more things coming down the pipeline.
A spoof of The O.C., not real but really funny! Brought to us by The GW, a fake channel by the site bloodcopy.com.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
I hear they are thinking of making a remake of the 1992 movie, or even a reboot without Sarah Michelle Gellar. Thoughts?
Here is a link to the article in the Hollywood Reporter: http://tinyurl.com/buffyremake
So I must admit I was a skeptic when I heard that Fox was producing a show about a high school glee club. I heard it was sort of a mix of “Freaks & Geeks” meets “High School Musical.” I did tune in and actually quite enjoyed the show. It made me laugh, it has some compelling story-lines and great music. I’m assuming each episode is going to have different music. This one featured a huge production number of “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse as well as the glee club singing their rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, amongst others. I have high hopes for this show, as it hits a broad target. I’m sure the kids and tweens will like it’s “High School Musical” feel, and the adults may even enjoy it for this reason as well. I just hope that they don’t keep the story too clean, I mean this is Fox, let’s get edgy here! It just surprises me that this show is from Ryan Murphy, who also does “Nip/Tuck.” Then again, if anyone remembers the show “Popular” from way back on The WB, this isn’t surprising at all. Things tend to come full circle. Anyways, I look forward to the fall for new episodes.