San Diego Comic-Con 2011: Fall TV Guide

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Originally posted July 27th, 2011 on Intersections.

On July 21st, downtown San Diego transformed overnight. The city was overrun by costumed comic enthusiasts and glittering Hollywood celebrities. I had the pleasure of attending some fantastic panels this year and have put together a 2011-2012 entertainment guide for you all. I’ve only reviewed the TV/film panels that I attended, but hopefully there’s something here for everyone. I’ve separated the TV and movie reviews. Each list is ordered by air/release date. For now here is the Fall TV guide, the movie reviews will be coming out shortly.

Season-3-promo-glee-25443738-1594-901

Alright, let’s clear up the rumours. YES, this season, Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith), and Kurt (Chris Colfer) are all seniors. Does that mean they leave the show after they graduate? Not necessarily. As Brad Falchuk put it, “If you have Lea Michele on contract, you’re not just gonna go eh~ we’re gonna let you go.” Other updates: Darren Criss and Harry Shum Jr. are now both regulars on the show. Chord Overstreet was not offered a spot as a regular and has decided he will find other opportunities elsewhere. Also, if you missed the Glee tour, no worries, you can watch the concert in 3D starting August 12th. The movie also incorporates fan interviews where they gush over their favorite actors and how much Glee has changed their lives. There’s also an adorable clip of this kid at one of the concerts:

I first learned about Glee at Comic-Con 2009 when I was sitting through the screening/Q&A waiting for Heroes. Oddly enough, that fall, Glee’s first season rocked the ratings while Heroes was cancelled. Compared to the energy of the panels of the previous years, the 2011 Glee panel was disappointing. Darren Criss was the only actor who seemed genuinely enthusiastic to be there.

That being said, from a technical point, Glee’s third season seems to be off to a better start than its sophomore season. The producers said that the show will return to character driven episodes for the fall semester of the season, leaving tribute episodes for the spring semester. Remember the poorly pieced together musical numbers of the Britney Spears episode? Regardless of how amazing Heather Morris looks in the “Slave 4 U” number, Glee’s strongest assets have always been its storytelling and character arcs. I for one can’t wait to see how Rachel, Finn, and Kurt’s senior year will pan out.

Glee returns Sep 20 at 9/8c on Fox.

mythbusters_desktop_1280x1024_wallpaperFor those of you who enjoy explosions, science, and general shenanigans, if you don’t already watch Mythbusters, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Things to look forward to this upcoming season:

  • Kari & Grant almost being killed by an orange
  • Red myth: if a bullet hits an RPG dead on can the force of the impact blow someone away, filmed with a high-speed cam. According to Kari, the explosion is so beautiful that she thinks it ranks higher than the cement truck explosion
  • Newton’s cradle recreated with wrecking balls

All these badass moments aside, Mythbusters is actually stepping up its game in terms of scientific data and precision of measurements. Apparently some of their data was so good that there will be two published papers on related topics that utilize data gathered from the show.

Mythbusters returns August 1st on Discovery Channel with its Jaws Special.doctor-who-matt-smith

Let’s put it this way. Matt Smith plays the 11th incarnation of the Doctor. If you weren’t wielding a sonic screwdriver, flapping blank notepads in peoples faces, or dressed as a weeping angel or dalek, you were part of the minority in Hall H, San Diego Convention Center’s largest hall which seats 6,500 people, on Sunday July 24th. These crazed fans had been waiting in line since 6:30 am for a 12:30 pm panel. In fact, there were so many Doctor Who fans that the hall was noticeably unenthusiastic about Glee, the first panel of the day at 10:00 am.

I must admit, I have watched maybe less than 5 episodes of this iconic British series. That being said, this is definitely on the top of my to-watch list. If you’re looking for a place to start, generally speaking, it doesn’t really matter where. The Doctor is a time traveler, so the chronology is a little less relevant than it is in other shows. If you’re looking for David Tennant episodes, look to “Blink,” featuring the aforementioned weeping angels, and “Midnight.”

There really isn’t much to say since the longevity of the show and it’s growing presence in America speaks to the show’s excellence. If you’re looking for a clever and well-done sci-fi, this is the show for you. Just do yourself a favor and watch it.

Doctor Who returns on August 27th, 2011 9/8c on BBC: America.

The-Secret-Circle-posterFrom the team that gave you Vampire Diaries is CW’s new show The Secret Circle. This time, we’re given a circle of teenage witches and wizards who try to understand the incredible power they are born with. Having sat through the Vampire Diaries panel when the summer before the show first aired, I was definitely not looking forward to this panel. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pilot of The Secret Circle not nearly as painful to watch as that of Vampire Diaries.

For starters, the actors and actresses are not horrendous. I was actually enjoying myself, especially once Phoebe Tonkin stepped onto the screen. The Secret Circle has found a gem in Phoebe Tonkin who was the only actress who was completely believable as Faye Chamberlain, the resident bad girl. She is devilishly charming and gives the character a perfect veneer of jaded wit.

While I still have my hesitations about the show, I believe it will do fairly well. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s airing the fall after the final Harry Potter movie was released. CW is probably targeting those who never read the Potter series, but eagerly anticipated the release of each movie.

The Secret Circle airs September 15th 9/8c on The CW.

PERSON OF INTERESTThere are a lot of reasons to be excited about Person of Interest. First off, it was created by Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan, the brains behind the Dark Knight series, Inception and Memento. Jonathan Nolan co-wrote The Prestige and The Dark Knight with his brother and also wrote the short story “Memento Mori” that inspired the film Memento.

Second, J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8, Lost) is one of the executive producers for the show. Third, Michael Emerson (Linus of Lost) plays Finch, one of the leading roles.

The show focuses on an ex-CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) and inventor/scientist (Michael Emerson) who work to prevent murders before they happen. All they’re given is a social security number. They don’t know if the social security number is that of the victim or the perpetrator. The tagteam does their best to prevent these crimes not for money or fame, but simply just to help people.

After having watched the pilot, it’s obvious that Jonathan Nolan has the same love of unexpected twists and large complex plots that his brother does. This beneficent big brother type show airs on September 22nd 9/8c on CBS.

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