SDCC 2016: Doing the Con Without the Badge

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Admiring the Convention Center and all that was happening inside, while we tried to have fun outside of it

It was a sad day in November when my cousin and I failed to secure our SDCC badges during Pre-Reg. We felt even worse when we struck out again during Open Reg. Despite our bad luck, we decided to still head down to San Diego and partake in the off-site Con activities, with Nerd HQ being our main priority.

Even with our focus on Nerd HQ, if you’ve ever tried to get panel tickets for it, you know it’s almost as hard as getting actual Con badges. They go on sale and less than a minute later, they’re gone. Cousin and I couldn’t get tickets for the Zachary Levi panel, or Zac and Friends, or Orphan Black, and then somehow we FINALLY lucked out and got tickets for the Stephen Amell and Friends panel. So we set Friday as our day to wander downtown.

First on the agenda? Go see Star Trek Beyond. Yeah, we know, so much to do, so little time, but it’s Star Trek! During Comic-Con weekend! In San Diego! We weren’t gonna pass on that. So we went straight to Horton Plaza for the 10AM showing, and because everybody was busy doing actual Con stuff, we were maybe 2 of 10 people in that screening. For what it’s worth, it was a really fun and enjoyable action movie, with just the right amount of character building/drama to push it past some other mindless action movies.

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Special postcard-size lithograph from the screening

After the movie, we had about two hours to check out all the stuff around the Convention Center, so we made our way down Gaslamp. Our objective was pretty much to get the Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con issue (because duh, Wonder Woman/Gal Gadot on the cover), which we knew wasn’t going to be difficult, and get whatever free stuff we could get our hands on. Free Zico coconut water? Thank you for the much needed hydration on a hot day in San Diego! I would’ve liked to check out the Suicide Squad Belle Rive set-up and the NBC stuff at Tin Fish, but there were some hella lines going on and limited time. Had we not gone to see the movie, I definitely would’ve hit up Camp Conival just to check out the Nerdist panels (mainly to see the always wonderful Dark Matter cast) but I didn’t feel the need to go otherwise. It was a quick run through the Petco Interactive Zone, which seemed a little lacking this year, though maybe it was just that there was nothing that particularly interested us. The FXhibition was just whatever for me, seeing as how the only two shows I watch on the network are The Americans and You’re the Worst, both of which are not Con shows, so didn’t care for it. Ditto with the Adult Swim.

I think it’s always fun to check out the yachts docked behind the Convention Center, mainly because celebs make their way through to do interviews. But unless you’ve got insider info somehow, you don’t know who will be coming at any given time. A couple of years ago we caught some of the cast of The Walking Dead walk by. This year, we stuck around for all of 2 minutes and nearly bumped into Stan Lee!

A highlight of our short time around the Center was Con-X, the Entertainment Weekly off-site. It was located in the Embarcadero Marina Park, so it was quite a bit of a walk from the Center, meaning it wasn’t that busy. It might’ve been a little busier had we gotten there when they were doing interviews, but at that moment there wasn’t anything. Anyways, the free stuff was obviously the best part. Free Krispy Kreme donut, with a side of Power Rangers swag (posters, lanyards, pins)? Why, thank you! Free water? Again, thanks for keeping us hydrated! Free ice cream? That one came with an asterisk of having to take a picture with the Scream Queens people (not the cast) and sharing on social media (an annoying re-occurance). Really, you’re gonna make me work for the ice cream? I don’t even like the show, I just want the damn ice cream. PASS. Free t-shirts though?! YES PLEASE! Except there was a sizable line-up that we didn’t have time for, so unfortunately we also had to pass on that. So a good amount of free food, drinks, and swag – hope EW brings this back next year!

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Then it was onward to NerdHQ for the panel! When they announced the Stephen and Friends panel, I immediately just assumed that more of the Arrow cast was going to be there, but then I thought “Wouldn’t they just call it an Arrow panel then?” I followed up that thought with “What if he brings Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist?!” which didn’t happen. Instead, the “and Friends” part of the panel consisted of Emily Bett Rickards (YAYYYY!!), Cody Rhodes fka Stardust (amusing but meh), Arthur Darville, and a surprise appearance from John Barrowman. I’m not gonna go into detail about the panel because you can just watch it, but needless to say, it was pretty fun. Stuck around NerdHQ for the rest of the afternoon after the panel, in hopes of catching some Smiles for Smiles, but nothing happened so that was it for us.

Needless to say, it was a whirlwind day. It’s true, there is SO much going on in the downtown area outside of the convention center that it will keep you busy. But just like everything else, it all comes down to personal preference – not to mention how willing you are to wait for something. I mean sure, SDCC (or any other Con for that matter) is lovingly nicknamed Line Con, but when you’ve got one day, or in our case a couple hours, you gotta pick your battles.

BUT WAIT! My cousin didn’t get a chance to meet up with her friend on Friday to deliver some stuff, so we managed to squeeze in one more hour on Saturday! As luck would have it, in that hour that we were back downtown, somewhat close to NerdHQ, they announced separate Smiles for Smiles with Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley). One of my other cousins got a picture with Kumail, while I ran in to get one of the last pictures with Scott. Even if it was for only like 20 seconds, at least I can say I finally got to meet Scott (Jason Street/George Tucker, y’all!) Regardless, my limited SDCC turned out to be a success!

Smiles for Smiles

So SDCC without the badge was fine, but just for the day. I guess if we had spent more than one day then we probably could’ve done more of the other stuff that required us standing in line for a long time. But honestly, being so close to the Convention Center and not being able to go inside was kinda brutal. I mean with all the panels and not getting to see some of my faves again? Harsh. I missed the final SDCC panel for Orphan Black (I’m certain I’ll still be able to see them at one of the Toronto cons at least). Missed DC TV, Agents of SHIELD, Luke Cage. I missed getting the chance to see my Nikita people again – Shane West for Salem, and even Maggie Q came back this year promoting Designated Survivor! I MISSED SEEING ANNA KENDRICK AND JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE (there for the Trolls portion of the Dreamworks panel)! I’m not entirely sure I’d want to put myself through that again if I don’t get badges again next time. It’s one thing to suffer serious FOMO when you’re at home, but when you’re so close to the action and not at the same time? I don’t think my fangirl heart can take it.

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Music Monday: New Music, Old Faves

It suddenly dawned on me on Friday that a number of my favourite artists are releasing (or will be releasing) some new music, in some way, shape or form, and I just had to share my happiness and enthusiasm over the fact.

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First, the artist who spurned my realization: Kelly Clarkson. Throughout last week, Kelly went live on Facebook everyday to sing songs that would serve as hints to an announcement that came on Friday. The news? She’s switching labels, from RCA to Atlantic Records. The product of the label change will be a soul album that Kelly will work on this year, for release in 2017. But on top of that, she has also decided to release some free content on kellyclarksonlive.com, on the last Friday of every month. Said content may include anything from videos to downloads of fan request songs on tour. For instance, on Friday, she released her live covers of “Creep” (Radiohead), “Fix You” (Coldplay), “I’d Rather Go Blind” (Etta James), and “Ready for Love” (India Arie). So the promise of new music, with guaranteed covers every month – I’ll take it!

Another artist who announced a new album is forthcoming, Australian singer-songwriter Delta Goodrem! Early last week, Delta announced a tour (only in Australia, of course), which led many to believe a new album was coming as well. A few days later, Delta confirmed that an album was on its way, but way sooner than most expected; Wings of the Wild is coming out July 1st! Now if only I could find a way to get my hands on the physical CD here in Canada…

Though not a new album of original songs, Kyle Riabko, along with the London cast of Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined released the cast recording of the show (digitally; physical CDs come out July 1st). I’ve been such a fan of Kyle’s for so long and it’s been a very long time since he has released any new music. Of course, he’s been busy working on this musical for about 3+ years, so it’s understandable. This cast recording is the closest thing to new music we’ve gotten in years (not including the Grammy Song of the Year covers he did last year on his website), so I’m going to take what I can get.

Last but not least, Justin Timberlake! So it’s been almost two weeks since JT released “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” but what can I say? I’m obsessed with the song and I can’t get enough of it! And outside of the Trolls soundtrack coming out later this year, I’m hopeful we’re getting a proper album from JT in 2017. Sure, I’m still listening to his previous four albums constantly, but I still want new music! So in the meantime, I’m gonna go listen to “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” again and again.

Unfortunately, nothing new from Britney Spears. Ditto Maroon 5, though they did just celebrate 14 years of Songs About Jane on Saturday, so that’s something? (Not really. I’m waiting for new music from them too.)

Music Monday: Rediscovering Songs

It’s not really news that I grew up listening and watching Vietnamese music, that’s just how it was in our house. Vietnamese music has been the one thing that still makes me feel connected to my roots, culture, heritage, despite being born in Canada. My love of pop music stemmed  from my love of Vietnamese pop, which is not to say that I don’t like some of the more adult contemporary stuff, it’s just that I didn’t have much of an appreciation for it until later in life. One of the things that I did always love growing up were the French songs that got translated into Vietnamese. There were songs in other languages that got translated into Vietnamese, but French songs, especially the older ones, just have a really special quality to them.

So listening to these Vietnamese/French songs growing up and pretty much knowing those songs just as that, embedded in my brain since I was a kid, has amusingly led to a kind of music rediscovery nowadays. Much like watching an old movie or TV show and recognizing a now-famous actor, I’ve stumbled upon a few songs in English that I once only knew in Vietnamese or French (or both).

Megan Hilty recently released a new album called Live at the Cafe Carlyle. On it, Hilty performs a collection of standards, Broadway tunes, songs from Smash, and such. One particular song caught me by surprise when I heard it, and that was “Autumn Leaves.” As soon as Megan sang the first couple of words, I instantly recognized it as a Vietnamese song called “La Thu Vang” Honestly, I knew that song was a translated French song, but all my life, I have only ever heard it in Vietnamese and famously sung by Khanh Ha. It felt so different and weird hearing it in English, but I also became instanly obsessed with it, mainly due to the fact that it’s Megan, though it really is just such a beautiful song.

A couple of years ago, there was a movie that came out called Inside Llewyn Davis, starring Oscar Isaac. The movie itself was just okay for me, but I instantly fell in love with the soundtrack. The movie and soundtrack featured a song performed by Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and Stark Sands called “Five Hundred Miles.” I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking “This sounds really familiar…” and me being me, it annoyed the hell out of me trying to figure out where I had heard it. I knew I had heard Vietnamese singer Thanh Lan sing it before, but it was me digging through my music library until I found it (it gets hard when all the French medleys are labelled as that, just different artists lol). But I found it, and it was just funny because again, all my life I only knew it in French, even though “Five Hundred Miles” is the original song that spurred multiple translations, including the French version entitled “Et j’entends siffler le train”

The Art of Flying Solo

For the longest time, I was almost afraid to do things by myself. Stuff like going to the movies or concerts, even eating out – it just seemed weird to do it alone. It’s like we were raised in a society to think that we have to do things with other people, like it is somehow not normal. You feel as if you’re being judged for wanting to be alone and taking on a social experience by yourself. For me, self-consciousness would set in. I’ve never been a sociable person to begin with, so to be honest, I really shouldn’t care what other people think (especially complete strangers),  but that’s what happens. (I see the irony of being somewhat anti-social, when I was in fact, a sociology major in university.)

Pair that with the fact that I don’t have very many friends and the ones I do have sometimes have different tastes in music/movies than I do, or their entertainment budgets are less than mine, I didn’t have much of a choice but to start going to things by myself. It was the rare occasion at first: a movie every once in a while and then I slowly moved up to concerts.

The first concert I ever went to solo was Kelly Clarkson in 2012. For the life of me, I had yet to see my favourite female artist in concert. My friends do not share the same affection for Kelly Clarkson as I do, but I didn’t want to miss her coming through town again. I went back and forth about it for a long time, when about a week before the concert, I just said “F**k it” and got myself a ticket to go see Kelly. What happened at a result of that? I got Floor ticket, 2nd row from the stage. I WAS SO CLOSE TO KELLY! It felt weird in the before and after of the concert, but when I was in the venue, and just being there seeing my favourite singer perform, nothing else mattered.

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See? I was SO CLOSE!

In 2013, Sara Bareilles embarked on a solo tour she called the “Brave Enough” tour, where it was just her performing with no band behind her. If you’ve read her interviews around this tour or read her book, this was a big deal. My sign of solidarity for her was being brave enough to go to the show myself.

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Sara Bareilles, Brave Enough Tour (April 2013)

And after that? Well, I still went to the majority of concerts with friends. But when it became apparent that it was getting more difficult to plan outings like this (considering the costs especially), I started to say “the hell with it” and went to even more shows and concerts by myself. Kris Allen, Shaping Sound, Jessie J, The Script, So You Think You Can Dance, David Cook – all shows that I went to solo in the past year and a half.

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What I found was that, though I love having the company of my friends, it’s sometimes just so much easier to go do things solo. I don’t have to coordinate plans with anyone, consider anyone else’s wants/needs. I can go on my own accord, schedule my day however I want to, and then lose myself in the music/dance/movie/environment for 2 hours. On top of that, lately I’ve been more sure of myself (which really, at 28, seems like a long time coming). When I went to the SYTYCD tour in January of this year, my purpose was to meet Jessica ‘JJ’ Rabone, whom I love and adore because she’s also a Paris By Night dancer. The show was at Hamilton Place, a venue I didn’t go to often so I had to do my research ahead of time to figure out where the stage door was. After the show, I asked around to see how I could meet the dancers and the answer was pretty much “You have to be an invited guest.” I was determined and not taking that for an answer, so I walked around the building, making my way to stage door and just as I got there, one of the crew members was walking by and I asked her “Is this where I can meet the dancers?” She’s like “Yeah, come on in!” directing me and a small group of people who had also waited, back inside. Next thing I knew, I was inside the theatre with all those ‘invited guests’ and brought to meet the dancers! Made my way straight to JJ, who I had tweeted earlier that I was going to find a way to meet her, and had a nice little conversation with her! I probably wouldn’t have been able to do all that had I gone with a friend, because I know they wouldn’t want to and I’d feel bad if I made them do it (I’m selfless like that). Plus, ya know as years go by, it gets weirder going to the tour and the majority of the dancers are younger than me.

Same thing when I went to Toronto Comic Con in March. I only went on Saturday because that’s when everybody I wanted to see had their panels. It just worked out beautifully that I had time between each panel to roam the floor a bit. My schedule was: Killjoys panel, roam the floor, Will Friedle panel, floor for 20 minutes then head back in line to ensure I get a ticket for Dark Matter signing, Dark Matter panel, Dark Matter signing, Robbie Amell panel, floor, home. I could only do that here in Toronto and by myself; no way would I be able to do that at SDCC! So yeah, before the Dark Matter panel, I noticed Kristian Bruun from Orphan Black so I went to say hi to him, talk to him for a bit, and get a picture. At Robbie’s panel, Italia Ricci (Chasing Life, Supergirl) was also there, because they’re just an adorable couple. Anyways, after the panel I was about to leave when I thought “Let’s go see Italia!” Lots of other people had that thought as well, so there was a small group around her asking for a picture. When I got to her, I talked to her about Chasing Life and how excited I am about her new show Designated Survivor with Kiefer Sutherland, Kal Penn, and one of my other favourite human beings, Maggie Q. At the end of the day, I gotta say, I was super proud of myself for keeping my awkwardness in check in front of Kristian, Italia, and the Dark Matter cast (even when Melissa O’Neil and Anthony Lemke said they remembered me from SDCC)!

And going to the movies solo? Yeah, it’s a normal thing for me now. Like, for some of the big blockbuster movies, I used to wait and go see it with my sister and brother-in-law. I still do that for some movies, but for others, I just couldn’t wait for them so I would just go on my own. It’s to the point where, when I went to see Captain America: Civil War on the Thursday preview (because I REALLY COULD NOT WAIT), my sister was like “Yeah, I kinda figured you’d go without us.” For the record, they still haven’t found time to go see it, so yeah, I made the right choice.

Like I said before, I get so awkward and self-conscious in social situations that it kind of stopped me from doing things that I wanted to do sometimes. But nowadays, realizing that it’s perfectly fine to do things by yourself, and in fact, at times even better to do so? Well, the world is at your disposal, might as well go enjoy it! Honestly though, I’m still learning to be more self-assured, to basically be who I am and enjoy the things around me. I’m seeing now, more than ever, that it’s okay to be alone. I’m independent, I don’t need anybody else to do anything.

Upfronts 2016: Looking Ahead to the 2016-17 TV Season

Every year in the middle of May, the TV networks do their big presentations and announcements, handing out renewals and pilot pick-ups, while cancelling other shows. For the past 5 years, I’ve been doing posts with my thoughts and reactions to their proposed new season schedule, every day to correspond with each network’s presentation. This year, with so much going on in my personal life, in lieu of my usual day-by-day posts, I’m going to streamline it and pack it all into one big post, after the fact. Snap judgments on the new shows and quick thoughts on the fall schedule.

ABC

RENEWED: American Crime, Black-ish, The Catch, Dr. Ken, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Last Man Standing, Agents of SHIELD, The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Quantico, The Real O’Neals, Scandal; The Bachelor, DWTS, Shark Tank

CANCELLED: Agent Carter, Castle, The Family, Galavant, The Muppets, Nashville

NEW SHOWS:

  • Conviction [Drama – Mondays @ 10] – Hayley Atwell will still be on ABC, despite Agent Carter being cancelled. With her as lead of this legal drama, and with a cast the includes Merrin Dungey (Francie from Alias!), Daniel DiTomasso (Killian from Witches of East End!), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman!), Eddie Cahill (Tag from Friends!), Emily Kinney, Manny Montana (Johnny from Graceland!), I need nothing else to tune in. It is going to take some getting used to, not hearing Hayley talk in her regular British accent.
  • American Housewife [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8:30] – This used to be called The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport, so you can take a gander at what this show is about. I just don’t know what other comedy can be mined from housewives and suburbia that hasn’t been done before. And I didn’t really laugh at any of the jokes in the trailer, so I think I’m gonna pass.
  • Speechless [Comedy – Wednesdays @8:30] – A comedy that revolves around a family with a special-needs child. Not gonna lie, I’m worried about the quality of the jokes. However, Minnie Driver in a comedy got me thinking about her last show, About A Boy, which I loved, and the trailer kinda gives off those same kinda vibes, so I’m not gonna dismiss it entirely.
  • Designated Survivor [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10] – Washington politics? Whatever. But this cast (Kiefer Sutherland, Maggie Q, Italia Ricci, Kal Penn, Natascha McElhone, Adan Canto)? A++
  • Notorious [Drama – Thursdays @ 9] – Criminal law and the media intersect with Daniel Sunjata and Piper Perabo (two more of my favs from the USA network!) starring. Count me in.
  • Downward Dog [Midseason] – The dog talks, confessional-style. Suurrreee…..And the trailer does nothing for me.
  • Imaginary Mary [Midseason] – A CGI creature in a regular comedy. Suurrreee…..The trailer also does nothing for me, except for “WHHHHYYYY?”
  • Still Star-Crossed [Midseason] – What happens to the Montagues and Capulets after the death of Romeo and Juliet? This series aims to show just that. I think younger me might’ve been interested in this, now not so much.
  • Time After Time [Midseason – Sundays @ 9] – Something about H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper, travelling to the present? Meh.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule:

  • I still can’t believe they cancelled Agent Carter! I don’t care that Hayley has another show regardless, I wanted her to have both because I don’t like a world in which we don’t get to see more of Peggy, Jarvis, and Sousa. Not to mention, we’ll never get to see how SHIELD came to be.
  • Speaking of SHIELD, the show moving to Tuesdays @ 10 might seem weird at first, but considering ABC’s horrible luck at putting a new show in the timeslot for the past few years, the move was inevitable.
  • Shondaland TGIT is put on hold for the fall, as Scandal moves to midseason due to “scheduling” as they officially put it, but as we all know it’s really to accomodate Kerry Washington’s pregnancy.

CBS

RENEWED: 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Code Black, Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, Life in Pieces, Madam Secretary, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, The Odd Couple, Scorpion; Survivor, The Amazing Race

CANCELLED: CSI Cyber, The Good Wife, Mike & Molly, Person of Interest, Rush Hour

FATE UNKNOWN:  Limitless

NEW SHOWS:

  • Kevin Can Wait [Comedy – Mondays @ 8:30; 8 after football]  – Never been a Kevin James fan, so this is of no interest to me.
  • Man With a Plan [Comedy – Mondays @ 8:30] – Joey Tribbiani as a dad? Time fly by or what?! Obviously checking it out.
  • Bull [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9] – Michael Weatherly plays a fictionalized version of Dr. Phil. Pass.
  • The Great Indoors [Comedy – Thursdays @ 8:30] – Joel McHale plays a boss to millenials. So Jeff Winger 2.0? I worry a little about the tone, being that it’s on CBS, but I’ll check it out.
  • Pure Genius [Drama – Thursdays @ 10] – A tech titan and a veteran surgeon open up a hospital with a newer approach to medicine. Doesn’t really appeal to me, I’m afraid. But how do I say no to a show that has Odette Annable and Brenda Song within its cast, and is executive produced by Jason Katims? I can’t, so I’m gonna have to give it a shot.
  • MacGyver [Drama – Fridays @ 8] – Has the name going for it, but with massive retooling being done, the pickup seems odd.
  • Doubt [Drama – Midseason] – Not a fan of Katherine Heigl. Pass.
  • Training Day [Drama – Midseason] – Takes the name and conceit of the movie for brand recognition, otherwise has nothing to do with the movie or the characters. Sure you’ve got Bill Paxton in the Denzel-like role, but why bother?

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule:

  • CBS has never really been my network of choice, what with all the procedurals and kinda lame comedies. There are exceptions to those of course, but majority of the shows are just not my cup of tea and they all just meld together in my mind.
  • The Amazing Race is being pushed until midseason? Say what now?! For the past three years, I’ve gotten TAR pretty much year-round (U.S. fall and winter, Canada summer). I don’t accept this at all.
  • The network is looking for a new home for freshman series, Limitless. Why they didn’t renew it is mind-bloggling. But not even admitting that they are canceling it? Infuriating.

FOX

RENEWED: Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Family Guy, Gotham, The Last Man on Earth, Lucifer, New Girl, Rosewood, Scream Queens, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow; Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior

CANCELLED: Bordertown, The Cleveland Show, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, Grandfathered, The Grinder, Second Chance

NEW SHOWS:

  • Lethal Weapon [Drama – Wednesdays @ 8] – Fits right in with the buddy cop dynamic of most TV cop shows lately, with added brand name quality. Will watch the pilot (even though the trailer was probably enough) but it’s gotta have something extra to make me want to tune in regularly. Otherwise, it’s just another dude cop show to me, and I don’t need that.
  • Pitch [Drama – Thursdays @ 9] – Baseball may not be exactly my thing, but a show about a woman making the Major Leagues? Sign me up! The preview looks absolutely great for it!
  • The Exorcist [Drama – Fridays @ 9] – Not my type of show.
  • Son of Zorn [Comedy – Sundays @ 8:30] – Animated Barbarian father comes home to live-action ex-wife and son. Man, are they pulling out the weird, or what? I honestly have no idea what to make of it. From the trailer, I already get the sense that it’s not for me.
  • 24: Legacy [Drama – Midseason, Mondays @ 8] – I was never really interested in the original 24, I don’t know why, but maybe I’ll get into this spinoff. I mean, the cast (Corey Hawkins, Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits) is a pretty solid one, so we’ll see.
  • APB [Drama – Midseason, Mondays @ 9] – A tech billionaire buys a police precinct, in hopes to get justice for the death of his friend. Off of the previews, with some of the tech being used, reminds me of Almost Human but obviously not so futuristic sci-fi. I’ll give it a shot, but I don’t expect much.
  • The Mick [Comedy – Midseason, Tuesdays @ 8:30] – A woman is tasked with taking care of her imprisoned sister’s spoiled kids. Comedy ensues? Hope so. Sustainable? Well, the preview looks like the show would be a better movie than a series, but what do I know?
  • Shots Fired [Drama – Spring, Wednesdays @ 8] – The whole investigating shootings in a small-town and dealing with the media, seems both timely and played out somehow. It looks like it could be a really good show, just maybe not for me.
  • Star [Drama – Midseason, Wednesdays @ 9] – A music-based drama, which centers on three girls who hope to rise to fame. Put more focus on the music and the industry, and character development, less on the crazy drama, and I’m in.
  • Prison Break [Midseason, Thursdays @ 9] – Like the X-Files series event, this is another limited event continuation of the old show, set years later. Didn’t care for it then, don’t really care now.
  • Making History [Comedy – Midseason, Sundays @ 8:30] – They had me with Adam Pally time-traveling comedy.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule

  • I don’t think I have ever been so conflicted about a show’s renewal than I have with Sleepy Hollow. On the one hand, I still love the people working on the show. On the other hand, season 3 was on/off, and letting go of Nikki Beharie (a critical, if not the most important aspect of the show) was kind of the final straw. The show won’t come back until midseason, so we’ll see how I feel then.
  • It’s a bummer that the network canceled Grandfathered and The Grinder. Grandfathered was a really sweet comedy, while The Grinder kind of redefined the meaning of meta.

NBC

RENEWED: The Blacklist, Blindspot, The Carmichael Show, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Grimm, Law & Order: SVU, Shades of Blue, Superstore; The Voice, Hollywood Game Night, Little Big Shots

CANCELLED: Crowded, Game of Silence, Heartbeat, The Mysteries of Laura, Telenovela, Undateable

NEW SHOWS:

  • Timeless [Drama – Mondays @ 10] – Lots of time travel happening this season. This one seems the strongest of the bunch, giving me 12 Monkeys-vibes (without the virus stuff). I already have a favourite time-travel show so it will have to do a lot to overcome the comparisons, for me anyways, and make me see it as a separate thing. But, Abigail Spencer!
  • This Is Us [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9] – Follows a group of people who cross paths and have their lives intertwine in different ways. I like Mandy Moore, Milo Ventigmilia, and Justin Hartley, so I’ll give it a shot. Some people have said that the trailer reminds them of Parenthood; I personally don’t see it. I do need to see more of the overall product to really judge it.
  • The Good Place [Comedy – Thursdays @ 8:30] – Kristen Bell and Ted Danson in a comedy about the afterlife, from Michael Schur (Parks and Rec!) SOLD
  • Taken [Drama – Midseason, Mondays @ 10] – We’re looking at the life of younger Bryan Mills, 30 years before he became that guy in the movie series. Do we really need this show? My gut says not really.
  • The Blacklist: Redemption [Drama – Midseason] – Don’t watch The Blacklist to begin with, so no interest.
  • Chicago Justice [Drama – Midseason] – Hard pass.
  • Emerald City [Drama – Midseason] – The Oz “event series” was picked-up, cancelled, and then picked-up again. We’ll see, I guess? Not a lot of faith here.
  • Great News [Comedy – Midseason] – Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin, in a mother-daughter workplace comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. I’m in.
  • Marlon [Comedy – Midseason] – Loosely based on Marlon Wayans’ real life. Willing to give it a shot.
  • Midnight, Texas [Drama – Midseason] – Based on Charlaine Harris’ series (the one that isn’t True Blood), focuses on a town full of vampires, witches, psychics, and such. Checking it out purely for Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Ramos, and Dylan Bruce.
  • Powerless [Comedy – Midseason] – Office comedy set around the regular people who have to deal with the aftermath of DC superhero fights. That is so ripe with jokes, I have to check it out.
  • Trial & Error [Comedy – Midseason] – Big city lawyer working on a murder trial in a small town. Classic fish-out-of-water stuff. If it doesn’t do the obvious jokes, then it stands a chance.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule:

  • It’s nice to see that NBC is trying to get back into Thursday night comedies, with Superstore and The Good Place.
  • Can’t believe it took them so long to renew The Carmichael Show, a comedy that is so current and topical, even when it looks like an old-school sitcom. To think that it is now NBC’s longest running comedy (with its 3rd season renewal) certainly says a lot of the network’s current state.
  • I still need them to scale back on The Voice. There’s been so much TV that I’ve pretty much stopped watching it simply because I don’t have time for it. Not to mention, I am definitely feeling the burnout from it.

THE CW

RENEWED: The 100, Arrow, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, iZombie, Jane the Virgin, The Originals, Reign, Supergirl (!), Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries

CANCELLED: Containment

NEW SHOWS

  • No Tomorrow [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 9]Opposites attract: risk-aversed girl meets carefree guy who thinks the apocalypse is coming. Watching for Joshua Sasse, since Galavant got cancelled.
  • Frequency [Drama – Wednesdays @ 9] – Don’t remember watching the original movie that the show is based on, but the preview seems interesting enough.
  • Riverdale [Drama – Midseason] – A modern take on the Archie gang that has the small-town be more than its wholesome appeal? Oh, and it’s yet ANOTHER show from Greg Berlanti? Yeah, okay, I’m in.

Quick Thoughts on the Schedule

  • Supergirl is where it finally belongs – on the CW! The audience that CBS wanted for the show wasn’t quite there, but it fits so much better here with its DC superhero cohorts. Epic crossover between Supergirl/The Flash/Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow to be expected, though let’s be real, all we really want is a big musical episode. How much the show itself will change with the network move is certainly the biggest question. Moving the filming to Vancouver, lesser budget, and possibly less Calista Flockhart/Cat Grant (who reportedly took the show because it filmed in LA)? We’ll have to wait and see
  • Schedule-wise: I love the CW pairing Supergirl and Jane the Virgin. I mean, I was watching it that way anyways, so thanks to them for letting me keep my schedule as is there.
  • iZombie being held off until midseason? I don’t like it.

And that’s the rundown of what next season will look like!