tabbiewolf: (Anywhen)
Y'all know me. I go to conventions pretty regularly (though not as regularly as some of my friends), and I almost always go as a dealer. I am also highly critical of how conventions are run, because it only takes one bad experience to make me analyze why the experience was bad (this is what lead to the attendee:dealer ratio thing I do) and to stop going to that convention.

This past weekend, we went to (Re)Generation Who. It was the con's first year, we knew a lot of the staff, and both me and [ profile] spotweld are fans of Doctor Who. Since it's not a furry con, I focused mostly on my buttons, as well as bumper stickers (which are a new addition to my convention lineup) and a new cocktail book based on Doctor Who (I'll hopefully be posting a PDF of that book to my Patreon later today, for $10+ patrons). And since it was a small con, and its first year, I was not expecting to make a massive amount of profit.

Straight to the point: I didn't. I covered my table costs, and my part of the room (not Spot's), but in the end my total profit (allowing for the cost of table & room) was around $26.

And yet, I still want to go next year.

So what was the difference?

In all honesty, the entire experience. This was one of, if not the most professional conventions I have ever been to, especially for a first year. It was also a rather intimate experience because it was such a small convention, meaning you were basically walking down the hallway or sharing a dining room with Colin Baker or Terry Molloy (or both at once). My booth was along the back of the dealers room, diagonal to the guests of honor, meaning my weekend was filled with squee moments of listening to Sylvester McCoy talk like Radagast, or hearing/watching him and Terry Molloy play a ukulele/spoons ditty with Cat Smith. You can totally see my banner in the background of that video, so you can see right where I was sitting.

I'm a little starstruck, yes. But it's nerdy starstruck, so hopefully that's normal?

The weekend was also a lot less stressful. Usually I have an emotional crash mid-convention and get really snappy and irritable, but that didn't happen at ALL (I was definitely a bit snappy on the drive down; I think I was nervous about setup). I don't know if it was because I wasn't doing a lot of art (I did a trade with a fellow vendor, and a single badge, and worked a bit on Falconeio's sketchbook -- there were plenty of furries at the con [they kept trying to get me to Fur The More] but it wasn't an art-focused convention), or that we were going out for all the local booze & good food (CRAB AND OLD BAY SEASONING ON EVERYTHING, I'm home!) or it was simply the atmosphere of the convention.

Anyway. I came away from the con, despite the lack of profits, feeling just happy with the world. Maybe I'm hypomanic right now (I'm gonna be getting my brain pills later today and starting that whole deal), was just a completely different experience than every furry con I've been to. So much less drama, no room parties causing too much noise (that we could hear, anyway), and it just seems like the Doctor Who fandom is a lot...quieter isn't the right word, but it's the first to come to mind, than the furry fandom.

Also notable: the gender split was pretty much right down the middle and the age of fans ranged from toddler to senior citizen. The latter probably has to do with the fact that the show has been around for 50+ years -- a lot of old school sci-fi fans were met this weekend -- but the former is interesting to me. I have to wonder: why does the furry fandom lean so heavily male? I used to think that was just fandoms in general (and unfortunately things like the video game explosion [not gonna name it, don't want my journal to get bombed by those people] and all that crap are making the male constituency of fans even more obvious), but that's just not right.

After the con we visited DuClaw for the best beer ever, and then on the drive back home on Monday (after, yes, running into various guests of honor in the lobby because that's just how cons like this go and we were all checking out at the same time...I maintain that Sylvester McCoy is adorable [I want to put him in my pocket] and Terry Molloy is just a delightful human being in general, and Patricia Quinn has amazing outfits, and Sophie Aldred is a joy, and I can't name everyone here but they are all just amazing, wonderful people) we hit Boordy Vineyards, home of my favorite wine of all time. We somehow fit everything in the car, even amongst all my con crap, and we listened to Terry Pratchett's Soul Music on the drive home.

I also want to get everyone to road trip down to Maryland this summer. This is a thing that should happen. Or I can just get some Maryland blue crabs and we can do a cookout in the backyard. Hmmm...

TV Reviews

Oct. 4th, 2014 07:50 pm
tabbiewolf: (tabbie - fall)
We've reached the new season of television and most of the shows I'm interested in (except Constantine) have had their season premieres, so let's do a review of them. Most if not all of these shows are available on the network's websites. We'll start with the worst first…

Selfie - Starring Karen Gillan (also known as Amy Pond from Doctor Who and Nova from Guardians of the Galaxy) and John Cho (Harold from Harold & Kumar, Sulu from the new Star Trek movies, the token Asian guy in most TV shows these days), this is apparently some weird backwards version of My Fair Lady — instead of a girl learning the proper ways to be a lady, it's an self-/internet-ratings obsessed girl learning to work with the normal world. The main characters even have basically the same names.

The pilot episode sucked. I could not tell if it was a stupid show trying to be clever or a clever show that came off as stupid (on purpose? I'd assume on purpose). Covering your main character in her own vomit in the first five minutes of your series premiere is awful, especially since we haven't developed any love or hate for this character — we don't know how to feel about her because the show just started. It just comes off as gross and sad, and left me feeling uncomfortable and skeevy. The rest of the episode, while less gross, did basically nothing for the character development. The whole show left me feeling absolutely nothing for any of the characters, and again, just generally uncomfortable. Apparently this is a theme with the creator of this show, Emily Kapnek, but I've never seen her other work (Suburgatory) and in all honesty I don't watch TV to feel uncomfortable.

Rating: Would read reviews to see if it improves; no interest in watching it again even though I like both of the main actors (NOT their characters in this, though).

/ scorpion - Take every trope you can find about geeks, blend it with every trope from police procedural shows, mix in a little possible-romance (or is that one of those tropes?) and you have this show. The characters are vaguely interesting — it's basically The Big Bang Theory except they have to save the world every show — but the science was awful…awful enough that I didn't find the need to watch the second episode. It's a weekly popcorn action flick, only it really bends the rules of science/technology and assumes the audience will be none the wiser, and I hate shows that do that.

Rating: Saw one episode and already have predictions on how the rest of the season will go (who's going to double-cross who). Will read reviews, probably will not continue to watch.

The rest of the shows that have just started aren't nearly as awful:

A to Z - This is apparently NBC's version of How I Met Your Mother, a show I've been a fan of for years (that in my opinion would have been way better if it had ended around Season 5…one of those "Stop renewing it, dammit, you're rewriting the characters in a way that contrasts the original plot! WE HAVE NETFLIX NOW, we can see you ret-conning the characters!"). Narrated by Katey Sagal (Leela from Futurama), it explores the relationship of Zelda (Cristin Milioti, the mother from HIMYM) and Andrew (Ben Feldman, an actor I'm not familiar with), which apparently lasts exactly the length of a television season. That's not a spoiler, that's literally how they open the show.

The show is set up pretty spot-on to how How I Met Your Mother was: flashbacks, quirky side characters, pop culture references. The "Meet Cute" of this first episode seems a LITTLE pushed to me, but perhaps it'll be explored more as the season develops and we learn more about the characters. Andrew's roommate is extremely annoying and I hope his jokes get less stupid as the series goes on, because they really are not funny (basically he's Seth Rogen's part in every Judd Apatow movie). But, pilot episode, will give it time.

Rating: Cute, with a definite timeline to follow, which is an interesting concept for a sitcom. Will continue to watch.

Manhattan Love Story - Another romance sitcom (sitromcom?) following a small-town girl named Dana who moves to New York City and is set up by her friends with Peter, an NYC native. Definitely another meet-cute kind of situation here, but I felt for the characters right off — because any girl whose Facebook password is "muggles" is going to pique my interest (because yes, I am that girl. And no, that's not my Facebook password). The interesting aspect of this show is that you can hear both the main character's thoughts — which is one step away from a Woody Allen movie where they break the fourth wall and talk to the audience — and I don't think I've personally seen that used in a sitcom that's not a "this is me telling the story of my life" show before.

The side characters are less annoying then in A to Z — Dana's roommates and Peter's sister and brother (who is one of Dana's roommates and married to her sorority sister, who is her other roommate). They seem much more like the typical New Yorkers you see in every other sitcom, which isn't a bad thing. Some of the jokes are a little dumb (sorority sisters + appletinis = lesbian makeouts, which I suspect will be a running gag if no one stops it), but not too bad for a pilot episode.

Rating: Cute, made me giggle, will continue to watch.

Shows that are not new:

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - Season 2: two shows in, and we're off with a bang. Most people seem to want this show to be more than what it is, which is a comic book that happens to be a television show. Enjoyable, but probably plays a LOT better when you can watch the whole season in one go…peppering in the Marvel movies, since they are all part of the same universe. THAT is an aspect of the show that I love, the fact that they've turned it into an overarching story. They've done the transition from comic to TV/movie very well, and I enjoy it. Also they seem to be cloning Patton Oswalt, which I'm totally cool with.

I mentioned in my /scorpion review that I'm not fond of shows that bend the rules of science and technology. Marvel, of course, doesn't just bend the rules: they basically make up new ones. I do not feel talked down to by this show, which I think might be the difference?

Rating: It's Marvel. It's comics in TV form. I'll keep watching, picking up the characters and bits from the old comics, and enjoying :)

The Big Bang Theory - Season 8: There will be, at this point, at least 10 years of this show with the current contracts…and it's more of the same. Stereotypical geeks dealing with life, making pop culture references that are obviously written to appeal to those who know a LITTLE bit about geekdom, and to appease us geeks who are amused we've gotten into pop culture enough for a show like this to happen. Leonard and Penny are now engaged, working through their romantic issues; Sheldon is of course overly awkward and basically there to be a punchline; Raj is…actually he isn't seen too much so far, though I think he has a girlfriend now?; and Howard is dealing with Stuart (the former comic book store owner, who is another character that was written to be a punchline, only more downtrodden than Sheldon) in a weird, almost-romantic (but not quite…I think?) relationship with Howard's mother.

As I said: it's more of the same. If you've watched ANY of the show in the past 7 years, you can expect more of that.

Rating: Currently my Old Reliable, since How I Met Your Mother went off the air earlier this year. You know the characters, you can expect the jokes, it's not surprising but that's not a bad thing. *shrug*

Doctor Who - I think is already halfway through its current season and it's got one of those running storyline things that Moffat swore he wasn't going to do anymore of, so finding out the ending to that will probably change my opinion on the whole season. I like Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor a lot (he was instantly "The Doctor" and didn't take getting used to the way Matt Smith did), and I'm interested but mildly annoyed by the running plotline. Further review may occur when that plotline ends.

Rating: Assume if you like Doctor Who, you will probably like what they are currently doing with it =p


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