Saturday, July 25, 2009

Comic-Con: Day Two Recap

Quick note from Robin: I either had no wifi signal or no battery most of the day, so I have lots of paper notes. However, most of them are quotes, so I may do a quote compilation at the end of the con to avoid posting all the funny things people said here. Also: general warning that I'm highly pro-Whedon, so if I get fangirly feel free to ignore me!

Funny/random anecdote of the day: Seeing a woman dressed as Starbuck holding a Frappachino from Starbucks. (Okay, *I* thought it was hilarious, but I'm weird).

Up at 6, which actually wasn't as bad as it could have been-- compared to the people who went to one of the MANY parties hosted last night by various corporate entities that have a stake in the Comic-Con clientele.

I don't know if it has to do with the sheer number of people trying to access it, but my wireless signal was more or less nonexistent all day. So very little live-tweeting, which really would have been nice. And then I got signal during Joss's panel just in time for my battery to run out. Boo hiss.

We made it downtown at a decent hour. I'm sorry, I should be more specific. In this context "decent" means "the timing was decent for actually getting a parking spot within walking radius of the convention center," not "a reasonable hour at which humans should be awake." The Hall H line was NOTHING compared to yesterday; apparently Warner Brothers doesn't have the pull of Robert Pattison. We were shepherded into a long queue for our home-away-from-home, Ballroom 20. This being San Diego it was actually sort of lovely to sit outside for a bit reading Pride and Predjudice and Zombies.

Anyway, we were eventually herded into Ballroom 20, where seat selection was crucial-- after all, we knew we were going to be there for a while. Again, since they don't clear out rooms between panels, it's pretty important to get into a room early. Today we got lucky that almost all of the panels had at least something we were interested in. As soon as we got seats, I snagged a bathroom pass (seriously, they actually have a hall-pass system, it's the only way to get back in if you need to exit for any reason during a panel) and ran down to the exhibit floor where it was nothing but bad news: the line for the giant Doctor Who bags at the BBC booth was around the whole sector, AND the Big Bang Theory cast signing overlapped with Dollhouse. We wanted to get our college quantum physics textbook signed by everyone, but sadly it was not to be.

First panel: Stargate Universe. To hear the head guys talk about it, it's both totally a new and different show (for people who have not watched either SG1 or Atlantis) and very similar to the old one (for people who liked it). Funny, that. I may have to give it a try though, it looks at least entertaining. Sort of Voyager-esque, take that how you will, involving a bunch of people getting stranded on one side of a stargate and having to "reinvent the wheel" as the tagline goes.

Second panel: BSG/Caprica. Woo! Ron and Dave, with Jane Espenson, who was wearing a Caprica shirt, Esai Morales, who plays Joseph Adama on Caprica, and Edward James Olmos (buy the Blu-Ray!). Apparently Ron Moore was both in the high school marching band AND the quarterback. Aside from the cultural disparity, Sal pointed out that halftime must have been difficult for him. Olmos (seriously, buy BSG on blu-ray) was just great the whole time (not quite as manic as I've seen him (if you haven't seen the video of him getting the whole UN panel chanting "so say we all!" you must go do so now). He talked about his revelation that if you watch Blade Runner immediately after the BSG finale, they fit perfectly, since he's in both and they're ideologically similar. Espenson talked about how hard it was to make The Plan since it had to be entirely consistent with what we already know-- it took SEVEN MONTHS to edit. Olmos added that watching The Plan "you will freak out. This will keep you busy for the next three years. Don't forget to buy the blu-ray!" They brought out Grace Park partway through, which was very cool. They got Esai Morales to do his EJO voice, which he did, then turned to Olmos and grabbed his head, shouting "aw, my baby!" Ron Moore actually uses the word "frak" in conversation, which rules. Finally, the moderator gave all the panelists one last sentence. Olmos's? "Blu-ray." In that way that only he can say it. Caprica will start airing January 22, 2010.

Third Panel: the Big Bang Theory. This panel was just a lot of fun. Johnny Galecki-- well, I'd say he "cleans up good" except he was all scruffy in that trendy way. I was disappointed that nobody asked anything about the science on the show. It seems it's really hard to get in line fast enough to get to ask your question, but I was hoping to get a Caltech name-check in (go beavers!), and I really did want to hear about who writes all the technobabble, given that so far it's been accurate enough so as to not piss off any of my scientist friends. But barring that, it was a hilarious show-- Jim Parsons talked about how the "rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock" speech was much harder to do than any of his long science-y spiels -- apparently his 9 or 10 tries are all on the DVD.

Fourth panel: 24. I don't watch the show, but everyone else in the world does. I have no idea if there was any new or interesting information. But Katee Sackhoff was there, so I'm satisfied. She dressed up all girly, which she always seems to do-- dunno if Starbuck was just really out of character for her or if she's trying to not get constantly cast as Starbuck. She did make several comments about how she hopes she gets to perpetrate some violence on the show at some point, but she hasn't yet (those quotes will show up if/when I do a compilation). They talked a bit about next season, how the theme is "peace" which is kind of a new thing for them. The threat involves an attack on a UN conference headed by the Presidents of Iran and the US.

Fifth panel: Bones. Sadly, David Boreanaz (or, as the teenagers next to me called him, Angel) couldn't be there as his wife is 34 months pregnant and he doesn't want to be over two hours away when she goes into labor. He did send a long, ramble-y apology video though, mostly making fun of Hart Hanson, the show creator who WAS present. But as a fan, I thought Emily Deschanel and Hanson carried it just fine (some friends I was with who have never seen it were bored since they only came for Boreanaz, so I'm probably biased). Most of the panel seemed to be spent justifying last season's finale -- a good portion of the audience was unthrilled with it (there was a bit of a bait-and-switch about whether the two leads would end up together). Hanson asked how many people thought Booth and Brennan should get together, there was much cheering, to which I muttered "go watch the last season of Moonlighting and get back to me." However, he then asked who thought they should not, and there was probably an equal amount of cheering, so maybe there's hope after all. Deschanel did her "dancing phalanges" move, which is priceless, and they discussed how she was actually forced into singing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" in one episode, since it was in the only pre-writer's-strike version of the script, so they literally could not change it. Speaking of which, Cyndi Lauper was very excited about that episode and ended up doing a guest spot in the next season as Angela's psychic.

Sixth/seventh panel: JOSS. First thing's first: we got to see the fabled thirteenth episode of Dollhouse season 1, that was originally meant to air between the last two episodes because Joss is cruel and likes to draw out tension like that, but fortunately cooler heads prevailed. Though I think it would have been bad to air it then, I do think it was a VERY good episode with an AMAZINGLY GOOD child actor (Adair Tischler, who you might remember as Molly from Heroes). I don't think I could say anything about the episode without spoiling, though I will say it is not crucial to season 1, but it takes place beyond the continuity we knew about. It'll be on the DVD, but it was cool to get to see it now.

Most of the rest of the panel was Joss being hilarious, which is much better expressed as a list of quotes. I'll just detail a few key awesome things, though. First of all, if you didn't know Joss has a habit of having recreational Shakespeare readings at his house with all our favorite Jossverse actors. How much would I pay to be in on just one?! Anyway, he said that's how he was inspired to cast Alan Tudyk, since though Tudyk plays goofy so well, he did such a job with the part of Julius Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra that Joss realized he'd be great for the part. The Shakespeare theme was also continued, with an English teacher asking if the planet names Ariel and Miranda mean anything in Serenity and Joss admitting that no, they just sound cool. "I named a character Illyria," he said, "I'm the laziest man alive." This Shakespeare geek was pleased.

We were promised Alexis Densiof sightings in season 2, and possibly "a little Glau" as well. And though no dates or actual information are available, there is a musical from the Dr. Horrible writers in the vague future sometime. Also, for horror fans, Joss's Cabin in the Woods trailer is now live. I'm a huge movie wimp so I probably will not get involved in that.

Finally, we attempted to get into the RiffTrax Live presentation, but like last night's ill-fated sing-a-long, it was not meant to be. The room was too small, not enough people vacated the room from the previous panel and the line was closed off in front of's proven very difficult to get into our desired panels at Comic-Con without getting in line crazy early.


Cara King said...

Wow. Thanks, Robin! Almost as much fun as being there, but with shorter lines. :-)

Wilder said...

Thanks Robin. You have been doing a great job!

Ryler32 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryler32 said...

The science in The Big Bang Theory is written by David Salzberg, Phd who is a physist. The science is often left out by the comedy writers when they write the script, and is filled in later by Dr. Salzberg. It is completely accurate.

Sophie said...

Awesome! If one can't drive 5000km to attend, that was definitely the second best thing. Can't wait for the quotes!

jessi said...

Thanks for letting live vicariously through you, Robin! :)

Spike said...

Thanks for the Comic-Con experience! The whole waiting "on-line" thing is crazy. When are they going to do lottery-for-tickets? I've pretty much stopped going to Cons being an old geezer who remembers the old days when you could actually see things without the 4 hour lines.

Duane said...

Aw, man! This ShakespeareGeek is disappointed to have missed that. :)