5 Fandom Friday: 5 Times I Totally Fangirled

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I was actually already planning a post about celeb encounters when Megan (The Nerdy Girlie) and Kristin (Super Space Chick) released the Fandom 5 topics for this month. Perfect! Now, I’ve always prided myself in not COMPLETELY fangirling when I’ve met people whom I admire. Part of that has to do with the fact that I’m kinda sorta socially awkward, so I have trouble talking to my own friends sometimes, let alone celebs. Also, I try my best not to embarrass myself too much; it’s hard, but I try. Regardless of that, there have been multiple instances where that truly fangirl side of me comes out, meaning my awkwardness comes out and it gets hard for me to form proper sentences. My version of “totally fangirling” is getting so nervous I act like a total dork.

1.) SDCC 2013 – Final Nikita Panel

I’ve documented this in a previous post, but essentially I got up the nerve to go ask my favourite people in the world a question at their final panel. Just my luck, someone in front of me asked pretty much the question I was going to ask, and I had to think of another question on the spot. So much pressure! If you watch the video, you can probably hear exactly how nervous I was.

2.) SDCC 2014 – Meeting Shane West

Meeting Shane West after the Behind the Music panel?! AHHHH!!!! Comic-Con trip made!

Again, I already posted about this. To recap, I went to the panel Shane West was moderating and was determined to meet him afterwards. Tried my damned hardest to keep my fangirliness in check.

3.) SYTYCD Tours

SYTYCD Tour M&G

I love SYTYCD and for seasons 3-8, I actually went to the tour. For all the shows except one, I stayed after the show and waited to meet the dancers (because I found out early on that they did this, and I went with people who were willing to wait with me). Season 3 I met Lauren Gottlieb, was pretty calm. Season 4 I met Chelsie, Comfort, Courtney, Kherington, Joshua and Katee; it was when I met Katee that I nerded out a bit mentioning that I was a fan of hers from Paris By Night (and I think I embarrassed her a little bit by bringing it up). I skipped season 5 (it was too cold to wait). The season 6+7 tour I met Kathryn, Robert, Kent, Lauren, Ade, and Allison. Allison is one of my favourite dancers and I was so bummed that I missed the season 2 tour, so I was SO EXCITED to meet her. To be honest, I actually don’t remember much of the interaction because of how excited/nervous I was, except for asking her about tWitch (who was there at the show, but not performing), and then later on finding out that they had actually started dating (and now married)! Then the season 8 tour I met Marko, Melanie, Tadd, Caitlynn, and Nick. I definitely fangirled meeting Marko because he’s totally my dancer crush, and again I had to mention PBN, which I think caught him completely off-guard.

4.) FanExpo 2013

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I know I’m repeating myself again, but gosh, all these Cons are what dreams are made of. Saw Stephen Amell twice and acted like it was no big deal both times. 15 minutes after meeting Stephen (the first time), I met Gina Torres and could barely form a complete sentence. I met Piper Perabo and Peter Gallagher at the Covert Affairs signing. With Piper, I was my usual awkward self, not really sure what to say. With Peter, I managed to get in the fact that I loved Center Stage and The O.C., and have a proper interaction with him. It’s times like this that I don’t know how my brain processes being a fangirl.

5.) General Reaction to Awesome Events/News

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Sometimes, I’m at my most fangirliest when I hear good news. That means if my favourite TV shows get renewed, particularly if they’re on the bubble (which let’s be honest, applies to 75% of the shows I watch), I’m screaming and doing a happy dance. Favourite music artists going on tour and stopping into Toronto? Ditto. My favourite music artists teaming up to do a tour (like in 2013, when Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson toured together)? FUCK YES!

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SDCC 2014 Wrap-Up

Can’t believe another Comic-Con has come and gone! Second year in the books! It sinceriously (yes, that’s a made up word. Thank Stephen Amell) just went by so quickly, I almost didn’t want to get this post going. But here we are, already reminiscing about what happened just days ago and looking forward to next year.

BEFORE THE CON

Last year, I did a crazy thing and went to the Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z concert in Toronto the night before SDCC, flew into San Diego the morning of and went straight into the madness. No such craziness this year. I flew in early Wednesday and gave myself time to just take it easy before the Con. Of course, me being well…me, I wanted to get more things into an already packed 5 days in SD. It is supposed to be a vacation after all! After my cousin and I went to Town & Country to pick up our badges (which was a surprisingly smooth process), we headed over to The Old Globe in Balboa Park to check out a performance of Othello, which starred Blair Underwood, Kristen Connelly, and Richard Thomas. The leads were great and I had wanted to visit Balboa Park anyways, but I admit I went to see Othello to support Noah Bean (in what would be a recurring theme of me seeing the former Nikita castmembers throughout the Con). The show itself was just fantastic and it was definitely nice to do something outside of Comic Con!

Othello at The Old Globe in Balboa Park! Had to go support Noah Bean and check out the rest of the wonderful cast!

Othello at The Old Globe in Balboa Park! Had to go support Noah Bean and check out the rest of the wonderful cast!

THURSDAY

So Thursday rolls around and my cousin and I had a game plan for the morning, which of course didn’t go EXACTLY as planned (timing was a small issue) but we made it work. It was an early morning as I went with my cousin to help her get the Guillermo Del Toro signing, but when they didn’t start doing the drawings at 9 as scheduled, I had to split (she still managed to get the signing). First was a quick trip down to the exhibit hall to check with BBC America if they were doing an Orphan Black signing (nope) and find out the Fox autograph schedule [FWIW, I really think Fox dropped the ball on how they handled the Con as a whole. What up with not revealing the full autograph schedule ahead of time?! And no appearance by the new Fantastic Four cast at the panel? Come on now.]

Behind the Music: Crime, Death and Resurrection panel with celebrity moderator Shane West! Panelists (L-R): Jeff Russo, James Levine, Daniel Licht, Steve Jablonsky, Brian Reitzell, Christopher Young

Behind the Music: Crime, Death and Resurrection panel with celebrity moderator Shane West! Panelists (L-R): Jeff Russo, James Levine, Daniel Licht, Steve Jablonsky, Brian Reitzell, Christopher Young

Shortly thereafter, I made my way to my first panel of the Con – Behind the Music: Crime, Death, and Resurrection. Being a music nerd myself, I was already interested in the panel when I first saw the schedule and then they announced the special celebrity moderator: Shane West! Just like that, the panel became a priority. The panel itself was very interesting, with all these composers talking about their inspirations, how they work, and their working relationships with different directors/producers. After the panel, I got up the nerve to go talk to/meet/get a picture with Shane, who honestly could not have been any nicer while I tried my damned hardest not to fangirl. Con trip was made on the very first day, and seriously it was gonna be tough to top that interaction. I mean 4 years of trying and failing miserably to find and meet the Nikita cast in/around Toronto and I FINALLY get to meet Shane – I was on cloud nine and you sinceriously could not wipe the grin off my face. With no other panel that REALLY interested us until later on (didn’t think we’d get into Community, the Paramount Pictures panel didn’t seem entirely promising until we found out Nolan and McConaughey made a surprise appearance), we actually ended up doing a lot of our purchases. It was then onto the Witches of East End panel, a show I thoroughly enjoy and whose cast I absolutely adore (hi Jenna Dewan-Tatum, one of my favourite dancers-turned-actresses!) They actually treated us to a lengthy preview of an upcoming episode, so there were actual spoilers being teased. I think what I loved most about the panel was seeing the cast interaction, because it definitely seemed like they’ve become family. It was all very cute. It was then off to grab some food and head back to the hotel, and despite having every intention to go out to the Female Geek Bloggers meet-up then the NerdHQ party, I just crashed. I really wanted to meet the FGB community but the jetlag caught up to me; I’m deeply sorry I didn’t get to meet everyone!

Meeting Shane West after the Behind the Music panel?! AHHHH!!!! Comic-Con trip made!

Meeting Shane West after the Behind the Music panel?! AHHHH!!!! Comic-Con trip made!

Witches of East End panel L-R: Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston, Madchen Amick, Daniel DiTomasso, Eric Winter

Witches of East End panel
L-R: Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston, Madchen Amick, Daniel DiTomasso, Eric Winter

FRIDAY

Friday was actually pretty eventful. I found out Adam Baldwin was doing another NerdHQ panel (he did one on Thursday with his The Last Ship castmates), this time with writer Nathan Edmondson in the morning, so I went to see that. They were actually promoting a graphic novel they’ve been working on that’ll be released soon which will be cool, but of course, Adam got fielded with Chuck and Firefly questions as well. I was going to get my Nerd Machine shirts after the panel but checking the time and not knowing if I had enough of it, I sprinted over back to the convention center so I could catch the panel for iZombie, a new CW show based on a DC comic that is airing midseason. Got into the room as the previous panel was wrapping up and there was no line-up! Due to some small recasting, the full pilot didn’t end up getting shown here or on preview night, but they did show a fairly lengthy video which was basically the pilot in a nutshell, and hey, more time for Q&A! iZombie is executive produced by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and stars Rose McIver (Tink from Once Upon a Time) as Liv, a med student now working at the city morgue so she can have access to brains that way she doesn’t have to kill…because she’s a zombie. The cast also includes Robert Buckley (Clay from One Tree Hill! Not gonna lie, I really wanted to see him), David Anders (Sark from Alias! He will always be Sark to me), Rahul Kohli, and Malcolm Goodwin. It sinceriously looks like a really fun show and I am actually really looking forward to it.

Adam Baldwin & Nathan Edmondson panel at NerdHQ

Adam Baldwin & Nathan Edmondson panel at NerdHQ

iZombie panel L-R: EP Rob Thomas, EP Diane Ruggiero-Wright, Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders

iZombie panel
L-R: EP Rob Thomas, EP Diane Ruggiero-Wright, Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders

My cousin braced the Hall H line this morning so she could check out the Game of Thrones panel, and because we weren’t going to make it to the Marvel TV panel if we wanted to get into our MUST SEE panel of the day (her 2nd b/c she got GoT) I headed on down back to the exhibit hall to take pictures of Hayley Atwell during the Agent Carter signing at the Marvel booth. I probably could’ve tried for the signing itself, but I had no idea how Marvel did the ticketing for it (at least I now know for next year though!) I have to say that the Marvel booth and how well they handle the hoardes of people and the signing were amazing. They were beyond efficient and even with Hayley taking pictures with fans, they let random people standing around the booth go for an autograph because they had gone through the initial people who had gotten tickets and still had time. I was so close to being one of those people, but not close enough. I didn’t seem as enthusiastic as everyone else around me I suppose. It’s okay, I managed to get some great shots of Hayley!

Hayley Atwell at the autograph signing for Agent Carter

Hayley Atwell at the autograph signing for Agent Carter

So before Comic-Con started, the four panels I was most looking forward to were Orphan Black, Arrow, Sleepy Hollow, and Salem; in a cruel turn of events, the first three were all scheduled for Friday…AT THE EXACT SAME TIME (technically, they overlapped within 15 minutes of each other). I had a huge decision to make: I figured OB was in too small of a room (6A really?) and as much as I wanted to see the entire Arrow cast, I missed Sleepy Hollow last year, so SH it was (John Freakin’ Noble and Lyndie Greenwood being on the panel certainly helped make the decision a little easier). Again, not really being sure as to how full 6BCF would get once the SH panel came around, I made a conscious decision to get into the room a good two panels before SH. Sat through the panels for The 100 and Falling Skies, two shows I don’t watch and though looks kind of interesting there wasn’t much of a draw for me to get pulled in. So the Sleepy Hollow panel! SO MUCH FUN! Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie with their facial expressions were my everything. Orlando Jones, ever the jokester. Katia Winter, so gorgeous. Lyndie, just being awesome. And oh yeah, did I mention JOHN FREAKIN’ NOBLE was on the panel? Just bears repeating. Tom Mison also promised he’d do his Heisenberg/Bryan Cranston impression at next year’s panel, so it’s out there, we have to hold him to it next year!

SLEEPY HOLLOW panel!!! L-R: Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, Mark Goffman, Heather Kadin, Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter, Lyndie Greenwood, John Noble

SLEEPY HOLLOW panel!!!
L-R: Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, Mark Goffman, Heather Kadin, Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter, Lyndie Greenwood, John Noble

Putting to good use what I learned at last year’s Con from my Nikita fan friend, after the panel I ran out to the hallway and kinda milled around waiting for the cast to come out and go over to the break room/holding station? across the hall. For the record, my cousin and I just wanted to get a close-up picture of the cast and say “Hi”; we’re incredibly respectful fans, almost to a fault (explains why I failed miserably to meet the Nikita cast all these years). Security was tight immediately after the panel but once they had gone to the other room, it wasn’t so bad. I mean Tom Mison walked out to greet a friend shortly thereafter like it was no big deal. Lyndie walked out, getting ready to leave and I managed to get in a “Hi Lyndie!” and “Go Toronto!” for which she then turned around, waved at me, and asked “You’re from Toronto?” I probably should’ve asked for a picture, but I knew she was on her way out, and there I go again being so nice and respectful. But hey! Two days at SDCC, two interactions with former Nikita castmembers! I’m HAPPY! Oh man, that hallway though after the Orphan Black panel let out? CRAZINESS! My cousin and I managed small interactions with Jordan Gavaris, Kristian Bruun, Dylan Bruce, and Maria Doyle Kennedy as they walked past: eye contact, waves, “Hi!”, complements, thank yous – literally seconds of interaction and you can tell how nice they are (seriously though, I made eye contact with Dylan Bruce and swooned lol). Trying to get a picture of Tatiana Maslany though? Impossible. There was like a mob around her. Even with us being in front of her, we were like running to get out of the way of the mob.

See? Tom Mison walked out of the holding room like it was nothing

See? Tom Mison walked out of the holding room like it was nothing

Tatiana Maslany however? I think the blurry picture says it all...

Tatiana Maslany however? I think the blurry picture says it all…

Jordan Gavaris and Kristian Bruun managed a selfie with a fan though!

Jordan Gavaris and Kristian Bruun managed a selfie with a fan though!

SATURDAY

Unfortunately, we didn’t have Saturday badges. The panels I was looking forward to (Salem, WB/DC TV, TV Guide Fan Favorites) and the signings I was hoping to try for or even just pass by and get a glimpse of (Agents of Shield, Avengers, Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, Salem, Arrow) weren’t gonna happen. But ya know what? We made the most of having no badge. Checking out some of the offsite stuff was pretty cool. All the Simpsons stuff was neat – sunscreen station? Free cotton candy? Games? Hells yeah! The Gotham zip line looked cool, and I was gonna suck it up and do it despite being scared of heights, but I saw how fast people were going and completely chickened out. It was then over to NerdHQ, just to check things out and get some merch before the Orphan Black panel. Oh yeah, did I mention I got completely lucky and scored tickets for the OB NerdHQ panel? SO EXCITED and SO MUCH FUN! Funny thing, while waiting and hanging out at NerdHQ, my cousin and I were sitting in the stands and noticed the area where the celebs were coming in and out, before/after their panels. Basically, we were trying to do our best spy work and being paparazzi ahaha. Also, we just wanted to stick around in hopes of getting in on the Smiles for Smiles. We correctly assumed that there wouldn’t be one for the OB cast (Tatiana definitely wouldn’t have had time to do it, we were holding out hope for everybody else), but was wishfully thinking that whoever was doing the Badass Women panel would do pictures. As soon as my cousin got the notification (which she didn’t even read, just saw that it said “Smiles”), she was like “Let’s go!” and we got in line not knowing who we were gonna get pictures with. Turns out it was Missy Peregrym (-Levi?), Retta, and Yvonne Strahovski! I’ve met Missy and Retta before, so not that I wasn’t excited to meet them again, but omigod Yvonne! I would’ve liked a tad bit more interaction with them (though maybe it was for the best, less time for me to get all awkward), but I understand the efficiency of keeping the line going. NerdHQ clearly knows how to handle photo ops.

Free cotton candy! Thanks FXX and The Simpsons!

Free cotton candy! Thanks FXX and The Simpsons!

Gotham zip-line. Yeah, I chickened out...

Gotham zip-line. Yeah, I chickened out…

ORPHAN BLACK panel at NerdHQ!! Love this cast so much!

ORPHAN BLACK panel at NerdHQ!! Love this cast so much!

Paparazzi shot of Jordan Gavaris heading backstage

Paparazzi shot of Jordan Gavaris heading backstage

SUNDAY

I spent another morning at NerdHQ, as I somehow managed to get a ticket for Stephen Amell’s panel. Things magically worked out, because despite that major Friday panel conflict, I still got to see a lot of my favourite celebs throughout the weekend. So yeah, sitting in a room for 45 minutes just listening to Stephen answer questions and be his charming self, was pretty much a great way to spend Sunday morning. Oh, and this is also where he made up “sinceriously,” which we’re all just gonna run with now because it’s funny. Before the panel, I made a prediction that if anyone was gonna do a Smiles for Smiles, it’d be Stephen, just because he’s super charitable, and it’s the type of thing that he’d do. And I was right! Bonus: it was only for people who were at the panel, so I didn’t even have to worry about missing the notification! Again the efficiency and swiftness of the whole thing led to minimal interaction, but I did manage a “Hi! Nice to see you again!” not that he’d remember me from FanExpo last year, but I just wanted to say it anyways. Ya know, like it’s no big deal.

Stephen Amell panel at NerdHQ

Stephen Amell panel at NerdHQ

So after all that NerdHQ goodness, I went back to the Convention Center to meet up with my cousin and our friends, and just kinda milled around the exhibit hall, making our final purchases. After going along with me to my Witches of East End panel on Thursday, it was only fair that I went along with my cousin to the Sons of Anarchy panel (even if Charlie Hunnam wasn’t there).

 

And just like that, another Comic-Con was in the books. I paced myself a little bit better than last year, but clearly I still have some work to do. I got to meet some of my favourite celebs, caught up with friends from last year, met some new friends, and most importantly, I had lots of fun. I still am really sorry that I didn’t make it to the FGB meet-up Thursday, but next year FOR SURE! (Or earlier, if there’s anyone around Toronto who wants to meet up or you L.A. folk because I know I’ve got an L.A trip in the works for early next year.) Thanks for putting up with my super long post. SDCC 2015, will be epic, I’m already sure of it!

NIKITA Recap: 4×06 “Canceled” + Final Thoughts on the Show

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Well here we are, at the end of the road. Nikita, one of the most underrated shows on television, has come to an end – and it was the perfect ending. It took me longer to get this post up because frankly, I was still reeling from all the emotions I had watching the episode, and just time to be able to sit down and type. So let’s start at the beginning of the episode.

We start off with a new flashback to when Nikita was first brought in to Division. After having attacked a guard twice her size, Nikita says she wants out, but Amanda tells her that she’ll come to learn that brute force will not beat deception. Amanda then asks Nikita who she wants to be: powerful and beautiful or a wild animal? We see another flashback with Michael suggesting Nikita be cancelled because she’s had four incidents in her first week at Division, deeming her to be dangerous, but Amanda sees potential in Nikita to be the best agent Division’s ever seen. Though Michael warns that if they can’t control her, she could be the one to destroy them all. To be fair, they ended up both being right.

With Ryan’s death last week (RIP Fletcher), it seems that Nikita has gone off the rails, with Alex helping her to take down The Group, starting with Mr. Jones who provided them with the names of the other members before being blown to bits. Senator Chappel has a field day when he learns that Nikita is going after The Group her way and not the “official” way – investigate, collect evidence…the standard boring stuff we see in typical cop procedurals. That does not work for Nikita, the character or the show. Though he hates to admit it, Michael (and Sam) actually agrees with Chappel that there is a right way to take down The Group, but this isn’t it; Birkhoff meanwhile, scoffs at Chappel, “Our government trained her to be an assassin…Look, if Nikita wants to take down the one percent of the one percent to zero, I say pull up a chair and pass the popcorn.” Chappel allows the boys off the base and go after Nikita. Except Slocum and his Marines have to join them.

When we get back to Amanda, she’s got a nasty scar – a departing gift from Ryan before he died. When she discusses matters with Trevor Adrian, he does what every other man she’s worked with does, and tells her to step away because she doesn’t know what she’s doing. He also essentially blames her for The Group’s undoing. But before cutting her out, Amanda did manage to convince Adrian to gather all the remaining Group members to make it harder for Nikita to find them. HA! You just helped her make it easier to take them all down Amanda. Soon enough, Amanda witnesses that Nikita and Alex have tied up the Group and feeding them the lethal neurotoxins, in order to get somebody to cough up the list of doubles.

Throughout the episode, we see Alex, Michael, Sam, each give their own talks to Nikita, trying to essentially talk her down the ledge. Alex brings it up that Nikita’s about to cross a line, that involves killing a whole bunch of people, after she’s been recognized as a hero. Sam channels his memories as Owen and talks about the time in London when he was ready to release the contents of the Black Box, but she talked him out of it. He says that if Owen was here, he’d tell her that she needs to trust the people she loves and that it’s not about her head, but her heart and soul. Then there’s Michael who pulls out the “I have nothing left. If you die…I die.” (And we all swoon and die.) When none of the talking works, Alex resorts to sparring with Nikita instead in order to stop her. But when Adrian finds an opportunity to shoot at them while they’re fighting, Nikita shoots back at all of the Group members.

After the Marines have captured Nikita, they ship her off to a supermax prison in Virginia, where she’s held down by some heavy duty restraints; unfortunately, Alex and Birkhoff (who against orders downloaded the doubles list onto a cloud server) join her in prison. We come to learn that Slocum has been working with Amanda when she shows her scarred face in Nikita’s cell. Amanda comes in to thank Nikita for giving her a new life and reminds her that they both came from abusive homes, but have managed to rise above it. But joke’s on Amanda, as Nikita gets released from her restraints and puts Amanda in them instead. Turns out it was all a ruse to make Amanda think that Nikita had gone off the rails and released the monster inside of her, that she had chosen brute force over deception. Nikita had only temporarily put down all the members of The Group and put on a show for Amanda at Adrian’s house; The Doubles arc closes down with Michael and Sam releasing the originals who were doubled. It was thanks to Ryan’s last words that Nikita knew Slocum was a double, and though she wanted to kill everybody and rip Amanda to bits, she owed it to her family for reminding her that she’s better than that. So Nikita finally gets to deceive Amanda once and for all and bestow Amanda a fate worse than death: life alone in the basement as Helen.

As we got into the final minutes of the episodes, we find out everybody gets their own happy ending. Ryan is honoured with a star on the CIA’s wall of fallen agents. Alex resumes her role as Alexandra Udinov, with Sam now her bodyguard and more. Birkhoff releases Shadownet to the world (reminds me of the movie Antitrust) and settles in for a life with Sonya (Lyndie was sadly missing from the episode because she was too busy kicking ass on Sleepy Hollow). Nikita and Michael? Well they eloped and are having some wedded bliss on a beach in Ecuador. As Nikita says in her voiceover, “The real gift isn’t freedom, it’s what we do with it. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t just sit on a beach anyways.” With that, we see the newlyweds run off and spend their honeymoon going after a guy who was trying to push a kid into becoming a soldier.

It was as perfect an ending as any fan could hope for considering the circumstances. I read the interviews with Craig Silverstein by Meg Masters of TVLine and Eric Goldman of IGN discussing what happened in the finale, what could have been, what they wanted to do but didn’t have time for, etc., and really at the end of it all, I’m just really happy/satisfied with how things ended. Sure, it would have been nice to delve into Nikita’s backstory and parents, prior to going into the foster system and wish that the season was longer so everything could have been fleshed out more, but they ended things on a spectacular note.

FINAL THOUGHTS

What else can I say about this show that I haven’t already in my letter to the cast back in March or my write-up when the cast wrapped in October. Nikita has always been an underrated show that deserved so much more than it did. It’s one of the first adult-skewing shows on The CW, something that went beyond the typical teen angst that the network needed in order to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, being the first also means that the network wasn’t particularly sure of how to market the show. But without all the teen angst and a big dose of action, it paved the way for the network to take chances on other shows that weren’t its typical type like Arrow. Granted, Arrow has the added bonus of being a known entity, it also had its own pressures to contend with. Regardless, Nikita was a trailblazer for the network, and you can’t help but wonder what could have been had the show been on a different network (I’m thinking cable because I’m not sure any of the other broadcast networks would be any better – except maybe FOX).

What may be its enduring legacy, besides being underrated and perennially on the bubble, is what it did for females on television. First and foremost, Nikita gave us the first Asian-American female lead of a TV show in Maggie Q. If Maggie ever decides to do another TV show, I would not want her to be some supporting character that isn’t given a lot to do; she’s come so far from doing/being this character that being anything less than that would just be wrong. Second, the ultimate big bad of the series ended up being Melinda Clarke’s Amanda, a woman who was severely underestimated by every one of her male counterparts, but proved to be a crazy adversary for our hero. Lastly, the show gave us a central relationship between two females, Nikita and Alex, who spent more time working together kicking-ass and taking down the bad guys than talking about their love life or fighting over a guy. The typical gender roles were pretty much flipped when in actuality, Nikita and Alex saved the men in their lives more often, bucking the usual “damsels-in-distress” that need saving. What’s truly amazing is that all these women (along with Sonya) were layered characters. They were not defined by any one trait or by their men. They were fully realized characters – smart, good at what they do, flawed, emotional, and of course beautiful in every way – everything a woman is and how they should be represented on TV.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: THANK YOU to everybody involved with the show from the beginning up until the very end, who helped make this incredible show that was underappreciated. The producers and writers – Craig Silverstein, Albert Kim, Carlos Coto, Marc David Alpert, Kristen Reidel, Oliver Grigsby, Terry Matalas, Travis Fickett, and everybody else I missed – you are all amazingly talented and the work you put in to making this show what it is does not go unnoticed by those of us who did watch the show throughout its run. The actors – Maggie, Lyndsy, Melinda, Lyndie, Shane West, Aaron Stanford, Noah Bean, Devon Sawa, Dillon Casey, Xander Berkeley, Ashton Holmes, Tiffany Hines, Peter Outerbridge, and all the guest stars over the years – you brought these characters to life and worked so hard, I will forever be in awe of everything that you did.

I wish all these amazingly wonderful people nothing but the best in their future endeavors and projects. Whether it be, Craig Silverstein’s period spy drama Turn; Matalas and Fickett teaming up and reuniting with Aaron and Noah on Syfy’s 12 Monkeys, alongside Amanda Schull and Kirk Acevedo; Shane and Xander working together on WGN America’s Salem (with Seth Gabel and Janet Montgomery); Maggie and Lyndsy with their films, Divergent & The Conspiracy on Jekyll Island (Maggie) and Moments of Clarity (Lyndsy); Lyndie continuing on in Sleepy Hollow; Dillon with his new series Remedy; or Albert Kim’s drama in development at The CW with Eva Longoria’s production company, I look forward to whatever they do in the future. They all deserve great success.

Again, thanks for all the memories and four seasons of awesome! I will miss this show dearly.

Nikita Cast @ SDCC 2013. Even though I didn't get to formally meet them and get a picture with them, they made my first trip to SDCC worth every penny.

Nikita Cast @ SDCC 2013. Even though I didn’t get to formally meet them and get a picture with them, sitting less than 10 feet away from them at the show’s final panel made my first trip to SDCC worth everything.

It’s a Wrap on the Nikita Set

So today marks the last day of filming on the set of Nikita. I poured a lot into my first letter to the cast and crew back in March when we didn’t even know if we’d get a fourth season, and I had intended on only adding to that initial post for today. But I didn’t realize how much more I had to say…so here we go again (heh).

To be honest, I’m kind of in denial about them filming the end. I have been in denial the past couple weeks with the cast tweeting about the last episodes. I think I teared up just seeing the title of 4×06, Cancelled. I mean, REALLY?! How does that one word so simply encompass the show? Holding meaning within the Nikita universe, but also a tongue-in-cheek and sad reference to the state of the show after being on the bubble (also, the title of 4×05!) all these years. SO MANY FEELINGS!

I know it’s a little silly, at 25, to feel sad about a show filming its final scenes, but I’ve never been SO INVESTED in a show like I have Nikita. The closest I ever came to being this invested was Fringe, The O.C, One Tree Hill, and Chuck (yes, I do have very varied tastes in television shows), but looking back, my fan level for those didn’t come close to how I am with Nikita and this amazing cast. I don’t want to say that Nikita changed my life because it seems a little heavy-handed, but I definitely hold a special place in my heart for this show. As I said in my letter, I never realized how important it was for me to see Maggie, an Asian-American actress be the lead in a network TV show, and on top of that, see an Asian-American writer in Albert, also co-executive produce the show. I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life as far as a career, but they inspire me to at least try and find something that would allow me to work in the hard, sometimes infuriating, but ultimately satisfying world that is the entertainment industry.

For over three years, I tried to meet them in Toronto, and go figure my closest contact with them would be at the final San Diego Comic Con panel, where I got up the nerve to ask a question (however random it was), knowing that it was probably my only chance to talk to these guys. I suppose I did sort of meet Lyndsy immediately following the panel, but my interaction with her was cut incredibly short, that it barely counted (plus I had no photographic proof of it!) Thinking about it, I obviously wanted to meet the cast because I admired them so much and just wanted to be a fan, but I selfishly also wanted to get to know them beyond the glimpses we get from Twitter and interviews. Alas, I never got the chance – but hey, at least they acknowledged my existence at SDCC! (Gotta hang on to those little things…)

Thanks again for all your hard work all these years: Maggie, Shane, Lyndsy, Aaron, Devon, Noah, Melinda, Lyndie, and all the former cast members and guest stars. Thanks also extended for the creative geniuses behind the show: Craig, Albert, Carlos, all the producers involved, and writers. I’m going to miss all of you being in Toronto, working on my (and a lot of other peoples’) favourite show. I wish you all the best in your future projects and can’t wait to see the end product of your hard work on these final 6 episodes. Please come back and visit Toronto, regardless of if it is for work or not, and we’ll be more than happy to welcome you back! Just, THANK YOU for everything!

And you know what, a special shout-out to all the other Nikita fans out there! We might not have been able to get The CW to give the show more episodes (or seasons!), but we helped get it this far! No one can say that we weren’t a dedicated bunch! And when these final episodes air, let’s show everybody else who weren’t watching Nikita the past few years, what they’ve been missing out on!

Now, excuse me, while I try not to cry over the end of filming. (Full disclosure: tears were already shed writing this post.)

An Open Letter to the Cast + Crew of Nikita

To the cast and crew of Nikita:

I cannot remember the last time I was completely on board with a show from the very beginning. When The CW had announced that it was picking up Nikita to series, way back during Upfronts in 2010, I had this innate feeling that the show was going to be special. I had never seen the previous incarnations of the character and story, so it was all new to me. My penchant for TV shows featuring strong kick-ass female characters (see: Alias‘ Sydney Bristow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fringe‘s Olivia Dunham, etc.) hooked me in immediately. Oddly enough, finding out that the show was filming in (and around) Toronto was almost revelatory, since I wasn’t use to knowing about my favourite actors or celebrities being somewhat close by, thereby elevating my excitement.

Speaking of the cast, where do I even begin with you guys?! You all are such a talented bunch and a little underrated if I do say so. Lyndsy Fonseca, I only knew from How I Met Your Mother and Desperate Housewives, but as Alex, you’ve come into your own as an actress. Devon Sawa, one of my favourite movies as a kid was Little Giants, and it has been great to see you move up from a recurring guest star to series regular as Owen. Shane West, my early teenage years were filled with your movies, like Whatever It Takes, Get Over It, and A Walk to Remember, but I also remember when you were on Once and Again, ER, and now Nikita – you just continue to surprise. Melinda Clarke, I was a huge fan of The O.C., so I got very excited seeing you as part of the cast (and since Amanda lacks a last name, I’ve come to sometimes refer to her as Amanda Cooper-Nichol, the perfect amalgamation of my two favourite Melinda roles/characters). Also, a special shout-out to the casting department for bringing on actors whom viewers might not have been familiar with or haven’t seen in a while, but have come to love greatly: Aaron Stanford, Noah Bean, Dillon Casey, Lyndie Greenwood, Xander Berkeley, Peter Outerbridge, and all the wonderful guest stars…Then there’s Maggie, who in this humble TV fan’s opinion, was one of the best casting decisions ever.

I am first generation Vietnamese-Canadian in my family. Growing up under the influence of American television, I quickly grew accustomed to not seeing Asian actors in Hollywood entertainment. As terrible as it may sound, I kind of accepted that fact and considered myself a wary fan of pop culture, knowing that it wasn’t a wise decision to completely idolize a specific actor or musician. But then as I wrote essays for some of my Sociology classes in university, talking about minority representation or gender representation in the media, I didn’t realize how important those topics were to me. Just as I graduated university, Nikita comes along with Maggie in the role, and man do I ever wish I could have written a full essay for my classes on the show. I had seen Maggie do small supporting roles in movies like Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible 3, as well as New York, I Love You, among others, so I was familiar with who she was. To cast her as the lead of this gem of a show, it got me excited beyond belief and was just so inspired. I by no means have any intentions on becoming an actress myself, though I would love the opportunity to work in the industry, but to say that I felt proud seeing an Asian actress (who just so happens to also be half-Vietnamese) in a lead role of a TV series would be putting it lightly. I have nothing but complete respect and total admiration for Maggie.

The show wouldn’t be what it is without all the talent behind the scenes, so please allow me to give thanks. First and foremost, Craig Silverstein: thank you so much for bringing new life to this character of Nikita. As I have said before, I was not that familiar with the previous versions of the show and the characters, but you are the reason everyone is here now. Thanks are extended to executive producers McG, Danny Cannon, Peter Johnson, Carlos Coto, Albert Kim, and David Levinson. To the many other producers involved with the show: Marc David Alpert, Andrew Coville, Kalinda Vasquez, Jim Hilton and Amanda Segel – thanks for keeping the show together and being awesome. All the writers on the team, you all are crazy talented at what you do; keeping us fans glued to the edge of our seats with wonderful storytelling, plot lines that feel fresh, real mature relationships and unexpected twists and turns, you guys just never cease to amaze us. The directors that have worked on the show do nothing but add a sleek, almost movie-style finish to the episodes, making each new episode all the more exciting, and that goes along with everyone who does the sound editing, cinematography, and special effects. Last, but certainly not least, a VERY special shout-out to all the crew members working those long days and nights with the cast, everyone else behind the scenes who sometimes don’t get the full recognition they deserve – from lighting to the boom operators, everyone involved with the fight sequences and stunts, hair and make-up, wardrobe, those working in the production office and the PAs – please know that your hard work is appreciated BEYOND BELIEF.

To The CW and Warner Bros. Television, thank you for putting this show on the air and all us fans can only hope that you renew this amazingly wonderful show for many more seasons. All this talent, both in front and behind the camera, are so worth it.

Though I can only hope to one day be able to meet you all in person, give you a hug, maybe buy you some coffee, and personally thank you for all that you’ve done (and I’ve come in close proximity on several occasions of your on location shoots in Cambridge and Toronto), this letter will have to do. Again, thank you for working so hard (especially on those Fraturdays!) to give us this fantastic, yet incredibly underrated show. You are all AMAZING! Love you guys!

One of your biggest fans and supporters,

Thi Ky

First close call with filming. Feb. 14, 2011, crew in Cambridge to film part of episode 1x18 "Into the Dark"

First close call with filming. Feb. 14, 2011, crew in Cambridge to film part of episode 1×18 “Into the Dark”

Nov. 7, 2012 - Cambridge for episode 3x10 "Brave New World"

Nov. 7, 2012 – Cambridge for episode 3×10 “Brave New World”

Nov. 12, 2012 - Waterloo Airport for episode 3x10 "Brave New World"

Nov. 12, 2012 – Waterloo Airport for episode 3×10 “Brave New World”