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Kristen's Book Club for December 2016

What's worth reading this month?
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Winter is upon us. Snow is falling, cocoa is plentiful and there's no better time to curl up and let the stress of Christmas pass you by with a good book. Here's a trio of titles worth reading. Elizabeth Taylor by Ellis Cashmore Paparazzi everywhere; TMZ covering every celebrity's move 24/7. It's nearly impossible to imagine a time where this didn't exist. Ellis Cashmore's Elizabeth Taylor seeks to pinpoint when this oppressive obsession with celebrity first started, zeroing in on Elizabeth Taylor's public affair with Richard Burton. Cashmore doesn't rehash Taylor's biography. Instead, the book charts Taylor's rise from child

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Swear'

"They called it 'Swear' because I swear it contained 13 minutes of actual storytelling." - Shawn
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In which the dead horse moves closer to the end. Kim: With only two episodes left before the mid-season break, I’d like to take a moment to discuss what’s really on everyone’s minds: How badly this season sucks ass. So, I tuned in last night fully understanding that we would not see Carol, Morgan, or Ezekiel (or that damn tiger). We would not see Negan. We would not see Daryl. We would not see Rick, Michonne, Maggie, Sasha, or Jesus. I reluctantly sat to watch, knowing that this episode would feature characters that none of us honestly give a shit

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Go-Getters'

"The continued loss of interest is correlated to the lack of zombies for me." - Shawn
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In which Carl has his first date and kiss. And nothing else happens. Kim: So, once again we all tune in to The Walking Dead and once again I’m left with feelings of anger and resentment for episode #(I don't really care), with the not-so-fitting name. I keep waiting for it to get better. I keep waiting for it to draw me in. It’s just not doing any of that this season. In fact, there are really only two things I feel I need to talk about in regards to this episode. I’ll give you my thoughts and then you

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Service'

"I found myself wishing that Negan would just start killing people so we could move on from this." - Kim
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In which the group gets reverse furniture delivery and Shawn and Kim watch. Shawn: Much like the actual plot development of this super-sized episode, I don't have many comments about this episode of The Walking Dead. I should have more to say in case we look back in a couple years to this as the point where viewers started abandoning ship. For now, I'll keep the good thoughts. "Service" The episode is so called because like any other job in the service industry, like working for Arby's or in the bathroom accessories department at Lowe's, this episode seemed to be

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Cell'

"I just hope there's a point to all of this that I'm just not seeing yet." - Shawn
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In which Kim and Shawn contemplate naked Daryl and other things. Kim: Let me start by saying I have been waiting a long time to see Daryl naked. This was not the way I wanted that to go. I don’t have a lot of thoughts on this episode, but I have a couple and you’re going to have to sit there and take it, just like Rick and the gang did a few weeks ago. Take it like a champ, just as Abraham did. Psychological torture. That’s what this episode is about. Not only what Dwight and Negan were doing

Now Hear This Podcast Festival 2016 Review

It will be interesting to see how it evolves and grows over the next few years.
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Disclaimer: I’m a podcaster and a podcast fan. I was one fourth of the amazing team of the now-retired Scorebored. I have worked with a lot of the podcasters whose podcasts I listen to regularly. I listen to podcasts daily. I attend live podcast performances. I have attended the Los Angeles Podcast Festival four out of the five years it has been going. So I am writing this article as a member of the press, but also as a member the podcast community. Last weekend marked the inaugural Now Hear This Podcast Festival (NHT). The festival was held October 28th-30th

50 Years of Star Trek DVD Review: This Mission Failed

Don't bother beaming me up.
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The entertainment phenomenon that is Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary in September, and with the first television series giving life to five more series and thirteen motion pictures, the incredible fan base was set for something spectacular to commemorate such an auspicious occasion. One could argue that there would be no way to please everyone if a documentary of the history of Star Trek was to be created. If you were to fill a room with Star Trek aficionados and open the discussion on which was the best series, the best captain, or the best motion picture, you would

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Well'

"I hope we get some resolutions or this is going to be painful." - Kim
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In which Shawn and Kim are left with just a weird feeling and more questions. Shawn: Not sure why they put a "the" in front of the title of this episode. I'd be happy with just a drawn out "wellllllll." After last week, I didn't really have a vision for how this week would go and I don't know if I've sufficiently processed this one. I have a few thoughts. It's an odd trip from Negan / Lucille to King Ezekiel / CGI Tiger, Shiva. A baseball bat in the hands of an enigmatic leader of a band of thieves

Kristen's Book Club for November 2016

Some books that will make readers thankful.
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The temperatures dropping and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. But that's no reason to stop reading. Here are a few books worth picking up for when the family becomes too much for you. Girls Will Be Boys: Cross-Dressed Women, Lesbians, and American Cinema, 1908-1934 by Laura Horak Since time immemorial girls and women have dabbled in the art of cross-dressing, look at Shakespeare's Rosalind from As You Like It. The idea of disguising the female identity to either subvert gender roles or present pointed critiques against masculinity has been in film since its inception and it hasn't been looked

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Day Will Come When You Won't Be'

"In the words of Abraham, 'Suck my nuts,' writers/producers. We deserved better." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn reflect on the cruel torture dished out by both Negan and the writers. Kim: After almost eight months of waiting, we finally got to find out who was at the receiving end of Negan’s wrath. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading now, because I’ve got some things to say about it. I’m going to start by saying I didn’t completely hate this season opener, but there are some really huge things that are not sitting well with me. There’s some seriously awesome potential here for this season, and I think we’ll see some of

Wizard World Tulsa 2016: A Quick Visit

Due to some personal matters, I only stayed at this year's con for a couple of hours, but still had tons of fun.
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During this, my third Wizard Con experience I came to realize there is a certain sameness to these things. You get a lot of the same vendors, see a lot of the same cosplayers, listen to a lot of the same celebrities who say a lot of the same things. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I think there are enough different experiences to be had to keep it interesting, but it is starting to make me wonder if it's worth the cost to attend every year. Or, rather, since I get comped press passes, whether its worth it

Fathom Events and BBC AMERICA Present 'Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks' Animated Series in Cinemas

Featuring Patrick Troughton’s debut as the Doctor, the special cinema event occurs on November 14 only.
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Press release: BBC AMERICA and Fathom Events announced a one-night special theatrical screening event of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks animated series on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. local time - 50 years after the original BBC broadcast - in advance of the premiere on BBC AMERICA on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 8:25pm ET. The cinema event will also feature exclusive bonus content including interviews with members of the original cast. Tickets for Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks in cinemas can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com, or at participating theater box offices.

Thoughtful & Abstract: Arrow: 'Legacy'

"Overall, I give this a reserved thumbs up." - Shawn
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In which T&A revisit the Arrow series and see where we stand to start the new season. Shawn: It's been awhile since you read our thoughts on the CW's DC Universe of shows. Truthfully, I was so disappointed through the whole Season Four of Arrow that I wasn't sure I was going to start the show back up for this current season. I was disinterested in the show from the initial episode of that season and only hate watched it because I was much more interested in the Universe as a whole. I've really enjoyed a majority of the past

Kristen's Book Club for October 2016

What's worth reading in October?
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Feel that chill in the air? It's time to grab a mug of tea and curl up with a good book. Here are a few worth checking out. Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case by A.M. Rosenthal Fifty-two years has passed since Catherine Genovese was viciously murdered as 38 witnesses heard her cries for help, and did nothing. Originally published in the wake of the Genovese murder, New York Times editor A.M. Rosenthal's landmark text on the case is being republished in light of the recent documentary on the subject (boasting the same name). Rosenthal died in 2006 but in

Los Angeles Podcast Festival 2016 - Saturday

What I saw and heard in the ballrooms of the Sofitel Los Angeles.
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Aside from appearing as a guest on a number of podcasts, I have no interaction with them, which made me either the ideal candidiate or the worst to attend the fifth annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival held at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, the festival's website only offered images of the podcasts in attendance, so for a novice like myself, I had to search the Internet to learn about the podcasts. I started with Cashing In With T.J. Miller, since I knew and enjoyed much of what I have seen by the actor/comedian. Hosted by Cash Levy,

Wizard World Richmond 2016: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

"I love beard!"
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Wizard World Richmond was this past weekend and I’ve got some things to say about it. You’ll remember that I have limited experience when it comes to conventions. Now that I’ve been to a nationally recognized one, I’ve learned a few things that I wasn’t quite aware of when making my plans for what I was going to see and do. Then again, I’m pretty fickle so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that most of my plans were lost to the wind. Overall, I had a fairly positive experience. I’ve got good and bad things to say. In order to make

Book Review: Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1 (1969-1970)

I'd highly recommend looking inside Volume 1 before buying it.
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In the episode “The Alternative Factor,” from the first season of the Original Series, the Enterprise crew have their first encounter alternative universes when they meet Lazarus and Lazarus. In the second season's “Mirror, Mirror,” viewers were presented alternative versions of Kirk, Spock, and other crew members. This tried-and-true science fiction trope needs to be kept in mind when reading Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics Volume 1 (1969-1970) because these strips are a close variation of the Original Series, like the Gold Key comics. In his introduction to the book, Rich Handley provides the history of the weekly UK

Kristen's Book Club for September 2016

What's worth reading this month?
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School's starting up and if you have kids that means you'll actually have time to read something. (And if you don't have kids you might already be reading.) Here are two great books worth making time for this month. I Lost It at the Video Store: A Filmmakers' Oral History of a Vanished Era by Tom Roston I'm a fan of oral histories because they capture the voice of those involved, describing their own individual views to create a richer, wider whole. Contradictions can abound as the passage of time allows each participant to see things they way they either

Wizard World Richmond 2016 Preview

To quote Opie Winston, "I got this."
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The first (and only) time I’ve been to any kind of convention was in 2013 when I went to Blood at the Beach. There weren’t a lot of guests I was really interested in seeing, but there were a couple of actors from The Walking Dead I wanted to gaze upon. I really had my heart set on meeting Michael Rooker, simply because I wanted to ask him a question about some little one-liners he had in the show that went largely unnoticed. I paid my money and got in the autograph line. I remember being next and I was

Star Trek: The Original Series - The Roddenberry Vault Arrives Dec. 13

Twelve classic episodes, three exclusive special feature documentaries presenting unseen footage and new interviews with notable Star Trek figures.
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Press release: Fans can dive into the making of pop culture history when STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - THE RODDENBERRY VAULT is released on Blu-ray December 13. In honor of the show’s 50th Anniversary, and just in time for holiday gift giving, the three-disc collector’s edition Blu-ray set from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution gives fans unprecedented access to never-before-seen footage from the production of Star Trek: The Original Series. During the shooting of Star Trek, bits and pieces of episodic footage were left on the cutting room floor and later preserved in film canisters by

Wizard World Chicago 2016: Kids Day at the Con

A little kindness goes a long way in making a good convention great.
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If you’ve been reading my Wizard World columns for the past few years (2014, 2015), you’ve probably already steeled yourself for yet another barrage of nostalgia and reminiscing about conventions of days gone by. There’s a fair chance you’re already sick and tired of reading saccharine-soaked stories of how much I enjoy taking my children to conventions instead of taking shots before and after the show (full disclosure: I totally did a shot of whiskey after the show, but after being on my feet for that long with an eight-year-old in tow, I’m pretty sure I’d earned it). But there

Kristen's Book Club for August 2016

What's hot on the shelves this month?
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The summer is winding down and school is only a few weeks away. Here's what's worth reading as you shop for "back to school stuff." Razzle Dazzle by Michael Riedel "Give my regards to Broadway" and to Michael Riedel for creating funnest, authoritative book on the history of the Great White Way. Razzle Dazzle is a compact history of Broadway, from its formation through the early 2000s. His primary focus is on the Shubert family - Broadway's biggest landlord and name behind the powerful Shubert Organization - and how a couple Jewish brothers turned Broadway into a corrupt, but highly

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'Call and Response'

"I love this show in a way that other comic adaptations have fallen short." - Shawn
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In which Kim and Shawn what you to know they aren't disappointed despite what you read. Kim: I sat last night to watch the season finale of Preacher. I grabbed some watermelon and a bottle of water, because I’m trying to not eat the chips. I figured if I was going to be seeing the last of Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, and Joseph Gilgun for a while, I may as well have something juicy to put in my mouth. Right off the bat, I can tell you that this was not what I expected. I actually spent the first ten

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'Finish The Song'

"This is still the best show currently airing." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn are back in love with their Preacher. Kim: There comes a time in every television series when you take a deep breath, look back on what you’ve just witnessed, and are grateful for the time you’ve invested in it. This, for me, is one of those times. There were some serious ‘Whoa!’ moments and a couple of ‘Awwwww!’ moments, and it ended just as the episode began - with a giant “Holy shit!” Let me tell you about my favorite theme in this episode: Bromance! One of the more touching moments in this episode is

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'El Valero'

"Food court! Food court!"
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In which things make a little more sense to Kim and Shawn, but that's not always a good thing for one of them. Kim: This week’s write-up is painful. Look, I love Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga. I really, really do. I love the characters in this shit hole town. I love the ideas behind this story and all that it entails. But when the best part of a show is some hick getting his dick shot off and carrying it around like it’s his baby, I’ve got to say something. This is a slow burn, and it’s the worst

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'He's Gone'

Just so you know, vanilla extract is flammable.
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In which Kim and Shawn use the bullet-point button for an episode where not much happens. Kim: What I’ve learned this week: The power of suggestion, apparently, wears off. The heartbreak of Tulip and Jesse goes back a long, long way. Cassidy has feelings! Lots and lots of feelings! They use really shitty ketchup in this show. If you’re going to Pok√©mon Go! at work, you need to bring your charger. Tulip looked amazing in that shirt and skirt. Tulip is done with everyone’s shit. Vanilla extract is flammable. Cass’ cheap shot with the fire extinguisher made me giggly. I

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'Sundowner'

"Everything feels headed in the right direction." - Shawn
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In which the Sundowner fight redeems everything. Shawn: I certainly felt that there was a pacing shift here from the slight slow down of the past couple episodes. We were just about back to the craziness of the "Pilot" episode. I have a few observations that don't relate to men in underwear that I'm sure you will cover in detail. 1.) EVIL NOT DEAD. The fight in the Sundowner Motel to start the episode was easily the best fight since Cassidy brought down a plane and Tulip fought her way through the cornfield in the first episode. Killing characters that

Kristen's Book Club for July 2016

What's worth reading this month
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The sun is out and the temperature's rising. What better way to spend your time than with a good book? This month I have four film-themed books worth checking out! The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward Best known as the author of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, author Dashiell Hammett created detectives evoking the real world, a world both shadowy and connected to Hammett himself. Nathan Ward's The Lost Detective gives audiences a glimpse at Hammett through the prose he work. As a former operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Hammett's first novels saw him

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'South Will Rise Again'

"I’m worried that I won’t get everything I need answered by the end of the season." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn find themselves at the halfway point. Kim: So, we’re halfway through this very short season of Preacher and I’m actually going to criticize it. Not because I don’t absolutely love it, because I do. I’m going to bitch for a minute that there is a lot of time taken up by things that will make absolute zero sense to you if you don’t read the comics or use Google. I refuse to do either, because I don’t want to ruin the show. There are people out there who insist that things are better if you

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'Monster Swamp'

"It all comes together so seamlessly, to offer one surprise after another, keeping this show fresh and interesting." - Kim
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In which Shawn and Kim discuss Preacher continuing to be accessible and not predictable. Shawn: This series started at 100 mph. And now at episode four I feel like it's slowing down with each episode. We started driving crazy through a corn field at seemingly faster than reality allows and airplanes falling out of the sky. This week we slowly fell into a hole and built an episode around pooping and peeing and raffling off a TV. I'm still in love with this show more than any other on the air right now. I have a few thoughts about what

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