Orphan Black: In Memoriam

I will remember you (and you and you and you and you and you).

After five seasons of monitoring clones, finding out there were even more clones, reblogging multiple OTP gifsets on Tumblr, and pretending I understand how science works, we must bid a final farewell to Orphan Black tomorrow. We’ve been fans of this BBC America show since the jump, serving as proud members of the Tatiana Maslany Deserves an Emmy Street Team since 2K13. [BTW, remember when Tat won an Emmy? Because that happened. I’ve refused to call her anything but “Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany” ever since.]

With its demise coming this weekend, I feel like it’s only proper to honor a show that has entertained and informed us over the past five years with one last goodbye to everyone and everything that we’ll miss about this groundbreaking show. Thanks for everything, OB. We’ll never forget you.

*cue Sarah McLachlan*

Rachel’s Eye

There have been a lot of gory goings on in Orphan Black (like the time Helena cut a dude’s tail off), but nothing compares to the unexpected demise of Rachel Duncan’s eyeball. After she destroys Kira’s bone marrow in a fit of rage, Sarah retaliates at her clone but using a contraption to shoot a pencil straight in her eye. It was bloody and gory and almost made me feel sorry for Rachel. The result of the incident left her with brain damage, but still, she was alive. Her hollowed out socket was replaced with a prosthetic eye, that is super high tech and makes me wonder just how much more advanced Canada is than us. However, in one of the final episodes of season five, Rachel finds out Dorian Gray wannabe P.T. Westmoreland has actually been using Rachel as a vessel to spy, since her mechanical eye records audio and video that is streamed directly to his tablet. But Rachel ain’t having none of that anymore so she breaks a martini glass (fitting) and JAMS IT IN HER HEAD to take out the eyeball in hopes of being truly freed from Dyad. RIP HER SECOND EYE.

The Tender Friendship Between Scott and Cosima

Since the pilot, the characters on OB have always had an ongoing issue with trust. Can they trust their monitors? Can they trust their family members? Can the clones even trust each other? In some cases, there was little question of a possible betrayal because of the inherent good in that character. Enter cinnamon roll Scott. He had been Cosima’s nerdy scientist friend for years before we meet them. In fact, he had a crush on Cosima but unfortunately for him, she had a crush on Delphine, so he settled to be her closest scientist confidant instead. Because of their genuine (friendship) love for each other, their trust was implicit, which is why he became the go-to scientist guy who Cosima and the rest of the clones went to for help. Sure, I like Cophine, but there will never be a purer friendship than that of Scott and Cosima in the OB world.

The Tender Friendship Between Donnie and Helena

If there’s any clone that has embodied the “look at where you are, look at where you started” mantra, it’s Helena. She was straight up a frightening, non-nonsense murderer, and over the course of five seasons, she’s become one of the most beloved clones who you feel a lot of empathy for. Take Donnie, for example, who was super against this hitwoman moving into his home with Alison. But he eventually gave in and now they’re practically best pals. He’s living a sister sestra wives situation, and I think Helena is all the more better for it. They do say being a mother changes you. Also, this is a good time to share my theory that Donnie is the unsung hero of Orphan Black. Discuss.

Alison’s Community Theater Group

After letting her friend die via scarf in the garbage disposal, Alison needed a distraction from the death, as well as all the clone drama, so naturally, she pursued her passion for the arts. And that came in the form of her joining her local community theater group. Not all her co-stars were pleasant to deal with, but they sure embodied what it’s like to be part of that unique group of artists. Not to mention, the shows they put up were fabulously horrible, including an original piece called Blood Ties – a musical which is surprisingly real. No, seriously.

Helena’s Appetite

Helena, as I previously mentioned, has gone through quite the transformation over the years, but one characteristic that has not changed one bit is her love for food. And by love I mean… passionate obsession. Particularly in the way she shoves it into her mouth, ofter with her hands, I mean, it’s like watching a child consume their favorite food like they’ll never eat again. It’s the little quirks like this that make Helena lovable, and make you forget she’s a trained assassin.

Sarah’s Long Lost Loves

Raise your hand if you’re still not over the death of Paul. Me. I’m not. Sure, he started off as Beth’s monitor, and sure he made a few poor choices with who he trusted, but I never doubted that he had true feels for Sarah. I mean, he also said, “It was never Beth I loved” as he helped Sarah to safety right before he died, so it’s canon. Plus, Dylan Bruce is hot. And together with Tat, they were just hot together. But just when you thought that she would never find love again, we find out who the biological father of Kira is, a fellow by the name of Cal, played by another extremely attractive human, Michiel Huisman. In another time and place, I think Cal and Sarah could’ve been a happy family somewhere in Iceland, but alas, this is Orphan Black, and he had to head back to Game of Thrones, never to be seen in OB World again.

Unrequited Love Between Art and Sarah

That being said, Sarah still has one possible gentleman caller in Art, Beth’s former police partner. Sure, once Art discovered Sarah was just pretending to be Beth, he did not trust this doppelganger stranger one bit. But he eventually turns the tide and becomes one of Sarah’s closest allies and made a conscious decision to help bring down the people that ruined both Beth and Sarah’s lives with a nasty science experiment. But of course, his desire was fueled by the fact that he loved Beth (and even slept with her – sorry Paul), and it’s evident that he feels some sort of connection with her sister Sarah too. Sarah’s also put her trust in Art, even going so far as to let Kira stay with his young daughter in a safe place. She doesn’t let entrust anyone with her beloved kid. Listen, I’m all for women being independent and not needing no man to define her, but I’m just saying, Sarah and Art and their two kids could walk off into the sunset together and try to live as normal a life as possible in the series finale.

Krystal’s YouTube Channel

Krystal EASILY became one of my favorite clones from the moment she appeared in season three, with her blondeness that actually kind of hid the fact that she’s a smart businesswoman. What, like it’s hard? This season, we find out Krystal has become a YouTube star in her downtime, and honestly, I could watch this all day if it were real. Krystal spin-off show, please? Maybe come back in 5 years and instead of a straight OB reboot, just a webseries centering on Krystal.

Multiple Clone Parties

It’s the scene that will forever define the show as a cut above the rest – not only technically, but in its spotlight on Tat. She embodies each of the four main clones just by their dance moves, and it’s stunning to watch. The OB team managed to impress with another multiple clone scene through a family dinner, but this time, with more series regulars. The visual effects on this show have never been hokey or green screeney (technical term), which is part of the reason why it’s so believable that we’re watching multiple actresses play the clones and not just one. It’s a feat that’ll be hard to replicate by any show moving forward.

Still Thinking Tatiana Hasn’t Worked With Certain Actors

To that end, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen interviews with Tatiana and an actor like Kristian Bruun (Donnie), and think to myself, “Oh that’s cool they get to hang out, because they probably don’t see each other much on set since all his scenes are with Alison.” YOU DUMMY. TAT PLAYS ALISON. I think my default Tat character is Sarah, which obviously makes sense because the writers set it up that way in which she’s the protagonist. But it’s taken my approx 4.5 seasons to be fully aware that Tat is all the clones. She has worked with every single character on the show. EMMY WINNER TATIANA MASLANY, Y’ALL.

S

CHICKENS!!!!!!!!!!!

#CloneClub Fan Art

Like with any proper fandom that’s popular on the internet, OB fans aka the #CloneClub, are talented motherfuckers who create some of the best fan art I’ve seen for ANY show/movie, etc. A lot of it is surprisingly emotional (and a lot of it is also crafted by Cophine shippers), but that makes sense given the dynamic we see between each of the clones is emotional in and of itself. These women were created to be science experiments, and not regarded as humans who will find each other and form a bond like no one else can.  I’m sure the fan art will keep going long after we say goodbye to the sestras, but there’s one more connection between the show and the fans that will live on forever.

It Is So Ordered: Orphan Black And The Law

Orphan Black is a lot like the law: it is all about the way people and their objectives and their actions are at odds with “the system.” It’s not really surprising, because law and TV both follow the groundswell of society. Orphan Black and the U.S. Supreme Court syllabus boast many of the same themes: corporate identity, scientific ownership of living things, the right to control your body and life, and the right to exist as yourself, whatever and whoever that is. Here’s a rundown of just some of the U.S. Supreme Court cases that are relevant to the themes of Orphan Black. [While I know Orphan Black is a Canadian production, I’m not a Canadian lawyer – hence the U.S. focus.]

Gene Patents and Myriad

The Issue:

Patents for human products may sound hyper-modern, but in 1906 a patent for isolated, purified adrenaline filed by P.T. Westmoreland was upheld in court. Judge Learned Hand (my long-time favorite name of a legal figure, and maybe of a human) theorized that even “if it were merely an extracted product without change, there is no rule that such products are not patentable.”  By 2011, thousands of unaltered yet isolated human genes had been patented. Some argued that such patents fostered scientific progress – a fat cash incentive for labs and pharmaceutical companies to be the first to isolate a particular gene. Others maintained that these patents deterred scientific collaboration and led to price-gouging for testing of genetically-linked diseases.

The Case:

In Association For Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc, Myriad owned the patent for the isolated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (AKA the breast cancer genes). The company enjoined other genetic testing labs from isolating BRCA DNA, which they challenged. The question: is uncovering the precise location and genetic sequence of the BRCA genes on their chromosomes an invention of “new and useful composition,” or was Myriad staking claim to naturally-occurring phenomena? The answer: mere isolation of a gene or genes is not patentable, although genes that have been altered may be patented, as may complementary DNA, or cDNA, an exons-only molecule created from mRNA.

Meanwhile, On Orphan Black:

In Orphan Black terms: if Dyad merely mapped the Leda DNA, they could not patent the genetic sequences — even if, say, they isolated the genes responsible for Kira’s fast healing. However, if they isolated Kira’s miraculous car accident genes and created cDNA, that could be patented, as could a protein therapy derived from modified cDNA. Even assuming Dyad HAD successfully patented all or part of the Leda DNA back in the ’80s, this would not mean that Dyad owned the clones themselves: rather that they retained the right to create derivative products based on that DNA.

 

The Right To Privacy and Griswold

The Issue:

The worst part about being an Orphan Black clone, for me, would be having to look my own face in the face all the time. The second-worst part would be the invasion of privacy. Finding out your partner is actually a monitor? It’s like the WORST secret three-way call. And secret spy-eyeballs? I don’t even like touching regular eyeballs. The right to privacy involves more than just freedom from looky-loos and spyballs, though. In Constitutional terms it’s the right to make your own medical decisions, parenting decisions, and who-to-spend-time-with decisions without government intrusion.

The Cases:

In 1965, Griswold v. Connecticut arose because it was illegal for married people to obtain contraception in the state of Connecticut. [Or single people. But a physician who only works with married couples made a sympathetic plaintiff in Mad Men-era New England.] Although the Constitution and Bill of Rights do not explicitly protect the right to privacy, the Supreme Court looked to other cases where a right to privacy was implicit, like Pierce v. Society of Sisters (educating your children as you see fit) and Meyer v. Nebraska (educating your children as you see fit, in German).  The right to privacy lives in the “penumbras” formed by the “emanations” from the guarantees in the first amendment (freedom of association), third (freedom from quartering soldiers in your house which sounds like the ACTUAL WORST), fourth (freedom from unreasonable search and seizure), fifth (freedom from self-incrimination) and ninth (rights retained by the people).

The right to privacy was the basis for the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and still comes up quite a bit in debates over abortion legislation, like that terrifying Arkansas law or the gross Oklahoma bill or this stuff that just went down in Texas. The Supreme Court invoked the right to privacy in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that invalidated Texas’s sodomy law in 2003. You read that right. 2003. Season two of American Idol was on. It wasn’t long ago.

Meanwhile, On Orphan Black:

Where does clone monitoring fit into this?  LEDA isn’t fronted by a government agency, (Castor, on the other hand…). But if the government were somehow involved in any number of the weird bodily invasions and intrusions into autonomy that have happened so far, you better believe it’s an overstep.  Still, the constitutional right to privacy is all over Orphan Black. It’s there in the neolutionists’ right to get weird tails and gross eyes. It is evident in  Henrik’s weird cult’s right to assemble (not to do all the other stuff they do –  but if they want to peacefully remake The Village, have at it). It’s even why Alison’s parents could have a child through in vitro fertilization.

Corporate Personhood And Citizens United

The Issue:

A series about an evil, life-controlling corporation could not be better timed. The titans of industry are a hot topic right now: can corporations generate enough revenue to boost the economy while complying with environmental regulations? (Yes.) Will reducing corporate taxes help or hurt the average citizen? (Meh.) Do corporate policies infringe on free speech? (Ugh.) Also, are corporations even people? (WAIT WHAT.)

The Case:

Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission began, like every problem I can remember having, with a presidential election. A non-profit wanted to air an anti-Hillary Clinton film on TV prior to the 2008 primary, but electioneering funded by corporations and unions was prohibited by law. The Supreme Court ruled that the application of this law violates the First Amendment right to free speech – a right afforded to people, but fine.

The dissent noted that a corporation is at its core creepier than a plain old rich person, having ” ‘limited liability’ for their owners and managers, ‘perpetual life,’ […] unlike voters in U.S. elections, corporations may be foreign controlled […] Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their “personhood” often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”

So, yikes.

Meanwhile, On Orphan Black

On one hand, the Dyad Institute/Topside (and Big Cosmetics, for that matter) isn’t looking to finance any elections. But it’s precisely the corporate activities listed in the Citizens United dissent that make these corporations so dangerous. An individual doing half of the things Dyad does would be scary enough, but a corporation  has many of the rights of an individual actor with comparatively few responsibilities and WAY more money. Safely hidden behind the corporate veil, Dyad higher ups are not personally responsible for the corporations actions (okay, if courts ever pierce the corporate veil it might be for something like cloning actual humans, not to mention all the murders – so many murders? has anyone counted them all? – but still, the presumption is a lack of personal liability). Even in the non Orphan Black-world, corporations have individual rights like freedom of speech and freedom of religion (Hobby Lobby, your sale section was legit but the rest of you is NOT).

READ ON

I’m fresh out of time, but the history and philosophy of law are full of topics that are relevant to anyone with an interest in Orphan Black – or the world around them – like the legal and medical ethics of research on human subjects. The history of this issue is – like all legal topics – about more than just the law, it’s about who society (and the law, as a tool of society) prioritizes.

Recommended reading:

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

You’ve Got Bad Blood: The Horror Of The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

The Ethics Of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments

Where Are All The Female Test Subjects?

That should be just about enough to hold us all over until Saturday night, when I will be crying for a solid hour, and possibly then some. Check back with us tomorrow for some more Orphan Black fun that will be, I promise, a little less academic.

Comic-Con Round-Up From Someone Who Didn’t Go To Comic-Con

Another year, another Comic-Con down. This year, like every other year, I did not attend. I’m not saying that in a way that I wish I could have gone (see: last year when I accidentally planned a trip to visit my friend in San Diego during Comic-Con weekend and it was insane seeing it from just the outside), but in the sense that I would be interested in approx, 2 panels. I’m just fine watching it all happen from afar and online like the rest of the world.

Thankfully for the Internet, we can get up-to-the second updates on the things we ARE interested in, and read the latest news on who’s the newest member of the Marvel Universe while we’re out and about, critique trailers for movies in the privacy of our own homes, and judge all the cosplays from far away. In saying that, here are some of MY main takeaways from this year’s Comic-Con, featuring some geekiness and nerdom of my own.

Everything Orphan Black

This season 4 blooper reel

I WANT MORE KRYSTAL! AND HELENA!

A behind-the-scenes look at the cast rapping

I’m a sucker for casts that truly look like they’re getting along IRL. This is one of them.

Typical Clone Improv

If you get Scott Aukerman to moderate the OB panel knowing full well Tat is a great improvisor, you best take advantage of it.

Kristin Chenoweth joins American Gods

I don’t even care about American Gods, all I care about is Kristin Chenoweth and how cute she is and how excited the fans were to see her. I am happy for everyone looking forward to watching this series.

Arrow Cast Comes For Rory O’Malley

I don’t watch Arrow, but I do watch (?) Hamilton. Obviously. STARS – THEY’RE JUST LIKE US!

Henry Cavill Joins The ‘Let’s See If I Can Walk Around Comic-Con With A Costume And Not Get Noticed’ Celebrity Club

If anything, this just proves Will Smith is as nice as he seems, amirite?

Kirk and Dean Plot Against Taylor Doose

Can anyone tell me who this fanboy is?? #starshollow #sdcc

A post shared by Sean Gunn (@thejudgegunn) on

Yes, Supernatural is STILL on TV. And not just reruns.

The Black Panther Cast Assembles

I don’t know anything about Black Panther except the fact some of my favorite people are in it and that’s good enough for me. The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira was officially introduced as a cast member at the weekend, joining the movie’s star Chadwick Boseman, my boo Michael B. Jordan, ethereal goddess Lupita Nyong’o and bad ass director Ryan Coogler. Speaking of Danai and Lupita…

Marvel Women Show Who’s Bo$$

These ladies join the Marvel Universe which already includes a bunch of bad ass women, all seen here at Comic-Con. I mean look at that army of ladies. It’s a testament of how if given the opportunity to shine, females deserve leading roles as much as men, and it’s not just so they can make bank at the box office (which they certainly will), but because it stands for much more than a comic book movie adaptation. The cast of Black Panther and all the Marvel ladies is proof that representation is important in the media, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

I know someone who had to go to Comic-Con for work and she shared this touching post on Facebook that pretty much sums up why Marvel’s panel is maybe the most important to come out of the convention:

“This year, I watched a group of girls dressed like the Ghostbusters, with tremendously kick-ass homemade costumes and props be stopped for photos nearly every 15 feet. I watched the faces of little girls light up when they saw them. And I watched them excitedly turn to their groups and point them out. And I passed a guy dressed as Finn, who looked so much like John Boyega that I did a triple take. And I watched a Dad take a photo of that Finn with his son. After the photo was taken, the little boy started to cry. The Dad asked why, and he replied, “he looks just like me!””

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you missed at Comic-Con.

Best of C+S 2015: ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up

Things that happened in 2015: (1) There was a Gilmore Girls Reunion. (2) We were there. (3) We met Luke Danes Dream Man and we aren’t about to pretend that that isn’t a big deal. Because it is. God bless Gilmore Girls. God bless Texas. God bless us, everyone.

—–

Well, friendos, we certainly had an eventful weekend. If you’ve been following along at home, last week was Gilmore Girls week (read them all here), and besides the fact it’s one of our most favorite and sacred shows of all time, we dedicated our posts to GG in prep for our weekend in Austin, Texas for the ATX Television Festival. Despite the fact our generation has a tendency to use the word ‘epic’ to often describe non-epic things, this our experience at ATX was by far, the most EPIC (in all caps) in the classic sense of the word.

We gave lil’ nuggets of our time on social media, but here’s a little bit more in depth info from what we learned from our jam-packed weekend in TV nerd heaven!

Friday

Within a few hours, Traci shared a plane to Austin with Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP) and her husband, Keiko Agena walked by her at baggage claim, and Scott Patterson (Luke) favorited our tweet. Off to a good start.Photo Jun 04, 9 20 18 PM

Per usual, we get totes and rando items when we check-in, but this year, Southwest was kind enough to give everyone credit to use towards a flight! We attend a TV nerd fest, and get money back. Perfect.

Bunheads

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Our first panel of the fest is from the Cancelled-Too-Soon category, beloved dance dramedy, Bunheads, which was cancelled by ABC Family after 18 episodes. ASP, Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop and Stacey Oristano were there representing, as select clips were shown while the ladies talked about their experience in between each one.

First off, this was the first time we had been in the presence of Broadway queen Sutton and Gilmore matriarch Kelly Bishop, so that was a little jarring. Jarring = amazing.

Highlights: 

– ASP threw SO much shade at ABC Family for pulling the show way before its time. But, even ASP in her ultimate wisdom, had a feeling that it might be the final curtain for them before execs gave the official word.

“We had some ideas, but we knew. When you’re on a network that revolves around 13-year-old girls who haven’t menstruated yet, it’s tough to continue stories about life and emotion. It’s not really ABC Family’s game. Maybe that game will change, but at the time, they didn’t know what to do with us.”

Stacey added, “We didn’t have the word ‘liars’ in the title.”

– “She is, as we say in the biz, ‘The Best’.” ASP loves Sutton Foster as much as we do. She saw Sutton on Broadway in Anything Goes, and she immediately wanted to work with her. Sutton, who is/was incidentally a huge Gilmore Girls fan, was already working with Kelly in Anything Goes. But Sutton wanted the part of Michelle real, real bad. Who wouldn’t?

“I never wanted something so bad, and I worked really hard. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

– Stacey originally auditioned to be Michelle’s dancer BFF, but there was an intense dance call, and ASP asked her to read for another part – that of Truly. Stacey also revealed that she had been hiding a secret from ASP and ASP got super mad at her for not saying her secret talent sooner. TBH, I am too.

Stacey: “Amy actually got mad at me one time because she didn’t know I’m a tap dancer.”

ASP: “Not a fucking word! I find out, not from her, but from Sutton, who said, ‘You know, Stacey’s a great tap dancer.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck you!’

Sutton: We were pitching … a duet, a tap-off between Michelle and Truly.

The Final Finale

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Panelists:  Marta Kauffman (Friends), Graham Yost (Justified) Daniel Lipman and Ron Cowen (Queer as Folk)

Highlights: 

– The talented executive producers/creators of the iconic shows came together to talk about how to end a series. Marta said one of the best and most true things I’ve ever heard and believe about media: “Film is a one night stand. You’re married to TV.”

– Since we’ve only seen Friends, I feel like a lot of our takeaway were from Marta. There was no way Ross and Rachel weren’t going to end up with each other, FYI. Something a little different than Dawson’s Creek, which you’ll find out about later.

– Marta said all the scenes they wanted in the finale were in the finale. But if something was cut, she would here about it.

“Every single person I knew – my agent, my lawyer, David’s (Crane) partner – everyone was in the background of the show. So the only way I knew if something got cut was if someone asked, ‘Where was my scene?”

– Billy Dreskin, the unseen guy Rachel sleeps with on her parents’ bed in high school, is actually the name of Marta’s friend who became a rabbi, and he got a whole lot of backlash after the episode aired.

– “The Joey series was something I had nothing to do with.” – Marta making it clear she wasn’t part of that trainwreck.

– After talking about how to create the perfect and most satisfying series finale for fans and cast and crew, Marta ended the panel with this:

“Oh and I have one more thing to say.” Then she stood up and started walking away.

Boy Meets Girl Meets World

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Highlights: 

– We were sitting fairly close to the front, and for some reason we both feel like we’ve made awkward eye contact with Ben Savage and we don’t know how to handle it. This happened to us separately.

– Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter are just pure delights. They are wise beyond their years. Someone during the Q&A asked if Ben and Danielle gave the girls advice about being a child actor and growing up ‘normal’, but as a person in the audience to see them IRL, these two girls do not even seem like “child actors”. They’re regular tween girls who happen to be very talented, and seem super down to earth. They’re like the Kiernan Shipka of Disney Channel.

– Michael Jacobs said we’ll find out who Farkle’s mom/Minkus’ wife is this season. And it’s someone we’re very familiar with. Our guess: Morgan Matthews. And Michael confirmed we would see Morgan again. But Cory would know if he had a nephew, right??

“She’s the last person you would believe is married to Minkus. She will be radically different and evolved, and I believe you will love the reappearance of this character.”

– Also coming back: Minkus, Jack (meets up with Eric and Rachel closure is involved), Angela (to maybe break up Shawn and Maya’s mom), MR. TURNER.

“You guys are going to kill me for what we decided to do with Shawn and Angela, but I will tell you that it is right, it is real, and you’re going to have to watch the episode six times before you put the guns down.”

Michael also assured us fans that they have a clear vision of where they want to go with the series, and said, “Like Mr. Feeny said in the finale, ‘Do you mean do well?’ ‘No, I mean do good.’ We will do good for you.” CHILLS.

Sightseeing break

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Friday Night Lights Tailgate

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One of the free events of the fest is the FNL tailgate, where you sit in a parking lot and watch an episode of FNL with a bunch of fans, and some of the actors are usually there too.

Here is Grandma Saracen talking to angel Adrienne Palicki, who possibly made us lesbians for the like hour we saw her.

Grandma Saracen invited us to sit down past the VIP rope, so we’re basically all BFF now.

We also finally met the awesome and talented Sage (and Kim) from Head Over Feels! Actually getting to hang out with Internet friends is fantastic and we had so much fun seeing Sage this weekend!!!

atxhofcs

definitely not photoshopped

But the highlight was when we saw on Twitter from John Cabrera (Brian) that Hep Alien YES, FICTIONAL BAND HEP ALIEN was playing a ‘secret show’ in 45 minutes at the FNL tailgate. AKA the place we were already at. We saw it hoped it was early enough that not a lot of people saw it yet, so we got prime spots. And ASP was there, hand in hand with ultimate GG fan Sutton Foster, who had two cute buns in her hair. Jackson Douglas (Jackson) was there to intro the band a la Tippicanoe and Taylor Too – well he actually intro-ed Daniel Palladino dressed as a 60s guy who then introduced the band. IDK. All I know is that we found ourselves watching Hep Alien (AGAIN, A FICTIONAL BAND) in concert, with ASP in the front row, playing songs like Daydream Believer and a cover of Single Ladies and the GG theme song, during a Friday Night Lights event. It was Stars Hollow meets Dillon and our brains could not. Still cannot.

OH AND THEN WE MET JACKSON

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As a preface, I (Traci) had been to this festival twice before, and this was Molly’s first time. Because of the GG reunion, more people than ever before came to the fest, selling out with like, 1,700 attendees. The fest itself has smaller venues, which I loved about it since it feel intimate with your fave TV stars. However, taking into account the hundreds more people this year, there was a good chance you might not get into things.

Enter: anything to do with ASP. Coffee with Amy was a panel set for 10am. We got there at like, 8am, and there was absolutely no way for us to make the cut for a room of about 80. Rumor has it folks were waiting since 5am. Bitch, please. We weren’t that concerned about not getting in, but the first panels of the day start at 10am, so we had time to kill. We figured we’d wait in the hotel lobby, where not only the panels are, but the same hotel where the celebs were staying.

So there we were, sitting in the lobby, checking social media, and Scott Patterson tweet THIS photo of him in bed.

Swear to God, like 15 minutes later, I notice some girls near us get up and approach some person for a pic and IT WAS SCOTT FUCKING PATTERSON. All my chill was lost, my sanity out the window, my conscience had gone bye-bye and I lept up towards him and was feet away before his people rushed him off to a room.

I proceeded to freak out (Luke is … Luke is #LUKEDANESDREAMMAN to me) and maybe 10 minutes later he came back out and it looked like he was going somewhere so I held back a bit, but then he stopped to take pix with people, and I lit’rally said, “no. no no no. NO NO NO” outloud, and ran over as if “I had been waiting long before these other bitches”. This part starts to get hazy, because I remember his publicist saying he can take pix just don’t crowd and push, and I held back. I held back until I noticed no one moved fast enough and said, “Can we take a picture with you?” and he said, “sure!” and like went to shake my hand, and we snuck in there. A lovely girl offered to take our pic (SHOUT OUT TO MYSTERY PHOTOG ANGEL) and she took it and i felt his back it was muscular (like Lauren has said publicly) and he kind of did the linger on the back but not in a creepy way and for the next 15-20 minutes I couldn’t sit down and felt like I was going to vom and was on the verge of crying, PER THE PHOTO.

I can’t even look at this bc I get all the feels

Actual footage of my brain during this time period:

SO LET THIS BE A LESSON KIDS – SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT INTO A PANEL WITH ASP AND FREE COFFEE BECAUSE YOU’LL HANG OUT WITH THE MAN WITH THE COFFEE HIMSELF. SANS COFFEE. JUST ALL MAN.

Luckily, we had some time before going to our backup panel, A Kiss is Just a Kiss, focused on the LGBTQ portrayals and relationships on TV. The Queer as Folk folk were back, also Dawson’s Creek writer Gina Fattore, Peter Paige from QaF & The Fosters, and moderated by My So-Called Life’s Wilson Cruz. It was very interesting, and we learned a lot, including facts about An Early Frost, one of the first TV movies dealing with the HIV/AIDS dilemma in the 80s, and we were surprised we’d never heard of it before. On the queue. Also, we had just met Luke ‘Butch’ Danes, so that was kind of distracting.

Empire

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The Empire: Creatives panel featured writer/co-creator Danny Strong (yes, Doyle) and Wendy Calhoun, writer. Showrunner Ilene Chaiken was a no show!

– It was Danny’s birthday and he offered to give the audience a prize: “For my birthday I will be performing Drip Drop.” He did not do as promised.

– Danny on getting the idea for Empire: “Hip-hop is cool. I gotta do something in hip-hop.”

– Wendy Calhoun has an impressive resume, with her latest being a writer on Nashville. She was eager for something closer to home, and turns out Danny and Lee were making it.

“Oh my God, they wrote the black version of Nashville!”

– Wesley Snipes with the OG Luscious Lyon. Negotiations didn’t go in his favor, so Terrence Howard slipped in instead.

– On disagreeing with Terrence about the use of the N-word on the show: “It’s not a documentary about hip-hop. It’s a soap opera set in the hip-hop world.

– Danny playing with us and Jamal’s future: “Just because you get the Empire, doesn’t mean you get to keep the empire. Ohh snap! Rock the Vote”

After seeing writer Wendy Calhoun at the Empire panel, we were so enamored with her that we decided to follow her to the Diversity in Progress panel, featuring Wendy, Power creator Courtney Kemp Agboh, and Men in Trees creator/What a Girl Wants screenwriter Jenny Bicks. In an industry dominated by white males, these three women, two of whom are black, discussed their personal stories of going up the ladder in an environment which isn’t necessarily in their favor.

Across the board, their advice was to just be yourself – that obviously doesn’t just apply to writers. For example, if you’re a writer who wants to go on Empire, but you’re a young white woman who isn’t too familiar with hip-hop, don’t go into the interview pretending you’re basically Eminem and an expert. Because if you do get hired, and you’re in the room and they figure you out – you’re going to get fired anyways.

Courtney talked about how she needed to hire a white woman on her show, Power, but she couldn’t get a single person to accept the job. She offered a lucrative salary, but none of them wanted to take it, because they probs didn’t think they were qualified to write on a show about black people. But her point is that she can write about black people – she’s all set on that – it’s the young, white woman perspective she needs, and that’s why she set out for that type of writer, saying, “It’s important to have the diversity of the writers room to reflect the DNA of the show.”

Other little nuggets:

“Excellence is the equalizer. You go out and you kill it.” Courtney Kemp Agboh

“There’s no diversity in Hollywood, because the only color in Hollywood is green.” Wendy Calhoun

Dawson’s Creek Writers Room

Waiting in line to get in – Molly sent me this book like three years ago, and I thought it was appropriate to bring on the trip for some light reading.

Some of the writers from Dawson’s Creek, including creator Kevin Williamson, co-executive producer Paul Stupin, Jenny Bicks, Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars fame), Gina Fattore and Anna Fricke, came together to discuss the six-season run of the teen drama (which I finally watched for the first time last year).

The Vampire Diaries’ ep Julie Plec grilling her bud Kevin Williamson and the other DC writers

It was interesting to see this group, since all of them – sans Paul – were there for different seasons and covered such different ground. E.g., Kevin left at the end of season two, and only one person survived in the room (Arrow’s Greg Berlanti), Rob was there for a season, Gina (who apparently wrote two of my fave eps – both Pacey/Joey centered – True Love (season 3 finale) and Castaways (the K-Mart lock-in)) was there from season three til the end.

Highlights

– Kevin Williamson kind of just made up the pitch to the show about his life. He was Dawson, also an aspiring filmmaker and from a small town. He said each character had a piece of himself – except the gay side of him – enter Jack McPhee. But KW was the only person who knew Jack was gay when he wrote the part, he didn’t even tell Kerr Smith. In fact, Jack’s coming out story was based on KW’s own story, and the whole plot with the letter in class was direct from Greg Berlanti coming out as a teen. Also – it’s not a coincidence KW picked to male names – Dawson and Joey – to be the lead characters.

– DC was originally picked up by Fox, but they passed because they were “already struggling with Party of Five and didn’t need another one.” About two years later, a new network called WB (now the CW) picked up the pilot.

– As part of a type of hazing process, one consulting producer wanted to have all the writers pretend they were Scientologists to trick the newbies. #ClearEyesClearHeartsXenu

– “A Jim Belushi character – when that name meant something” – original one-line description for Pacey Witter. KW also said, “I always wanted Pacey to have that Officer and a Gentleman feel. … The whole second season was, as I call it, ‘Pacey’s Pond.'”

“Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) was in a band!” – Gina

“And Pacey was a stockbroker!” – Julie

“Yeah, how did that happen?” – Kevin, creator of the GD show

– Listen, people have regrets. The writers’ regrets include introducing Eve and Pacey becoming a stockbroker. “We were really into the movie Boiler Room,” Anna said, attempting to defend herself.

– Generally speaking, nobody knows what was up with season three. Nobody. They attribute some of the weird choices to groupthink in the writers’ room.

– Andie McPhee was supposed to have a shorter character arc, but they all loved working with Meredith Monroe so much that they kept finding ways to keep her around. They filmed a scene with her for the finale, but it was cut for time. The whole purpose of the Andie character was to make Pacey learn responsibility and grow up.

– The writers thought about bringing Jen’s gramps back to life from a coma – and on a ventilator – in season one, but Paul said, “As the episodes went on, we couldn’t find a way to revive granddad, but then in the finale he comes out of his coma for five minutes and dies!”

– The original theme song was supposed to be Alanis Morissette’s Hand in My Pocket. After the WB used Paula Cole’s I Don’t Want to Wait for promos before the pilot aired, the song became a hit and they used Paula’s song moving forward.

– They tried to rerecord I Don’t Want To Wait several seasons in, but the result was just a little too angsty.

– Kevin agreed to come back to write the final two episodes of the series, and for all y’all against Jen’s death *spoiler alert?*, he says he created the show as a “coming of age story”, and the group had never had to deal with the death of someone in their circle. Her death also forced Joey to make a choice between Pacey and Dawson…

– Paul said Dawson/Joey had always been end game from the beginning. Halfway through, KW called Paul and said he changed his mind. KW: “Guys, my mother hates me. She went to her grave hating me for that.” He added, “Dawson seemed like the obvious answer and once I got into writing the first hour (of the finale). … This isn’t what the show set up to be. Maybe that’s where it started but it evolved and it ended up as something else (DO YOU HEAR THAT HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER WRITERS). I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest and real and say something about soul mates and what soul mates can be. That’s why we did it that way. When you left the show in that last moment, they’re a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy.”

Gilmore Girls Reunion

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Ok, here it is. The reunion we had been waiting LIT’RALLY YEARS for. So in a nutshell – the panels/screenings at the fest have tickets that guarantee you admission. They put 1/3 of the capacity online a week before the fest, but because this was the main event, these tickets sold out in seconds. Neither of us got the tickets, which meant we’d have to be in the stand-by line. I wasn’t concerned, because never in my three years at the fest had I ever been turned away from a panel (except for earlier that day when we got shunned from Coffee with Amy and met Luke instead). No one was allowed to get in line until 5p (the reunion started at 7p), but it was complete and utter chaos – none of the volunteers/staff would tell anyone anything, it was a shitload of crazy fans who wanted to get in, and it was also like 10,000 degrees (give or take a few). Needless to say, everyone was on edge. And this is how far back we were in line:

Photo Jun 06, 5 11 28 PMThe theatre is a block up, and around the corner. There were probably like 400-500 people ahead of us in the STAND-BY LINE (I’m horrible at guesstimating, it was a lot). Like you do at these type of things, you talk to the folks around you, you witness a car accident or two (seriously), you get handed free Pop Tarts (LIKE LOR AND RORY’S FAVE)…

Photo Jun 06, 5 33 55 PM… and then slowly the line moves, and you have hope you’ll get in soon and then it gets to be 7pm and you’re practically still a mile away and you start to get nervous for the first time. And then you hear people screaming at the front of the line, and then you realize a group of people walking to the right of the line as the screams follow and you realize LUKE DANES HAS FOLLOWED YOU TO THE LINE AND HE’S LIT’RALLY COMING BY AND SAYING HI TO ALL THE FANS AND THANKED THEM/US FOR WAITING SO LONG OUTSIDE AND HE SAYS ‘I DON’T KNOW IF YOU GUYS ARE GONNA GET IN BUT THANK YOU FOR COMING’ AND HE SHAKES YOUR HAND AGAIN BECAUSE THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW.

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[Note: we theorized that they would possibly send Scott around first to break the news that you might not get in, then maybe in 15 minutes Lauren would come by and be all “I don’t know, doesn’t look great, guys” then finally Alexis will stroll by and be like “sorry, didn’t work out, thanks for trying.” You know, so that people didn’t lash out at the volunteers instead. In hindsight, they maybe should have done this.]

I’m not joking when I say that it got to be around 7:15-ish (15 mins past start time) when we both started to get so nervous – like I might vomit and cry if we don’t get in – nervous. Every step we took closer to the doors was like a step out of the desert oasis and towards a real non-mirage lake that had been the mecca you had been journeying towards for years. Then, it happened. They let us in – the volunteers were lined up giving us high fives as if we had just finished a marathon. We made it. We made it and we were legit probably the last 50-100 or so people let in, sitting in the back balcony. Far away, but we were there. We made it.

The panel started out with the opening credits of the show, Carole King etc., but the names included all the people at the panel. I got chills then and I get chills now thinking about how everyone in that 1,300 seat theater was singing/screaming along to the song – it was electric. I was tearing up already. As TV fans, we don’t often get the chance to watch a show with hundreds of superfans like you do in the movies or theater. This is the type of place I want to be. Arielle Kebbel, who played Dean’s wife Lindsay, is an ATX advisory board member and came out to help intro the panel. First up, the moderator, Jessica Shaw from Entertainment Weekly, sat down with Amy and the three generations of Gilmore women – Lauren, Alexis and Kelly.

Highlights:

– Lauren was up for the part of Lorelai with one other actress. Following one of the final auditions, the other unnamed woman didn’t have a car so she asked Lauren for a ride. While LG was driving her home, she got a call on her cell phone – from the producers. But she obviously couldn’t pick it up in the event they were telling her she got the job. Could’ve been awk sauce.

– There was another Dean – two Canadian Deans – in the pilot, since they shot it in Canada.

– Alexis was super green going into the pilot, and among other things, didn’t realize the mics were still hot when she wasn’t on camera and in the bathroom. LG made a Robert Durst joke, as if I couldn’t love her even more.

“It was leafing season.” – ASP

“… You mean ‘fall’??” LG

“… It was fall…” ASP

– When asked what gets quoted to them the most, the answer is ‘Oy with the poodles already!‘, to which LG said, “Why did I say it and why do you people like it so much?” A fan also yelled out “Copperboom!” (one of my personal faves) and Alexis said, “What’s Copperboom?”. Fans proceeded to explain it and it didn’t really work, she still probs has no idea what it means.

– They talked about the late Ed Hermann, and how they were all surprised to find out he had died of brain cancer. Amy said Ed was the first person who said he would be at the panel, and it was clear they were all still emotional about his death. LG was even crying a little. Amy put together a montage of her favorite Richard Gilmore moments, ending with this scene from S5, Wedding Bell Blues, where Richard dedicates the song to Emily and they have a sweet dance. As the song went on, a montage of other shots of him throughout the series flashed and that’s when I lost it. It was such a moving tribute, and so sad that he’s gone.

Since it was just the four ladies and moderator Jessica on stage, the curtain behind them was lifted, to reveal seats for everyone, including the actual signs from the set (I think). I was EMOSH.

Here’s a video of their intros, and apologies in advance for the screaming and non-focus in the beginning because I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CHILL.

Highlights:

– The Dean/Jess/Logan debate:

Jared Padalecki: “I was always a Team Jess guy. I love Milo. I think he’s cool and sexy and handsome.”

Milo Ventimiglia: “Logan was a dick. But I don’t know… I was kind of rooting for everyone. ”

Matt Czuchry: “I saw something Amy said recently about how the right boyfriend came along at the right time. That’s kind of what I feel, between Jess and Dean and Logan. They each brought something out in Rory that she needed at that time… But I was also kind of Team Jess.”

Scott Patterson: “None of you are good enough for Rory.”

LUKE IS STILL LOOKIN OUT FOR RORY, Y’ALL.

(*Ed. note: Guys, I am rewatching the panel whilst writing this, and I’ve had to stop the part where they talk about Luke and Lorelai thrice and have yelled out ‘I CANNOT’ to myself because I lit’rally cannot)

– Danny (Doyle), who created Empire, is asked what would happen if Cookie walked into Stars Hollow, and basically she would “mess shit up”.

– On where each of their characters would be today:

Rory: Still a journalist

Emily: She and Richard would be in the exact same place, since they’re comfortable with their country clubs, etc. But Kelly added, “But now, Emily’s a widow, so that’s a whole other world, so I don’t know where she is.” ALL THE FREAKING TEARS.

Luke: *Scott has a long backstory he’s clearly thought about which involves either still running the diner or moved to a lake and re-opened Luke’s as a bait-and-tackle shop, etc.* before Lauren interrupted him and said, ‘Does he have a girlfriend?’

hi tyler oakley

Jess: “Jess is just out being Jess… and then walking away when too many people show up.”

Lane: She’s trying to figure out what kind of mom she wants to be. She wants to be Lorelai but in her heart she’s a little Mrs. Kim. She hopes she’s still playing music with Hep Alien. *HOLY CRAP KEIKO AGENA IS 41 YEARS OLD WTF. SHE’S SEVEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN LAUREN, THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN MELISSA HOW

Michel: “It’s a tough one for Michel. Because I never understood how he ended up in that town. But, patronizing people for sure. Maybe in an inn that he now owns. Or he went back to Paris because he couldn’t deal with Americans anymore.”

Paris: “I’d like to think Paris and Doyle are still together. I think they’re really well matched. Supporting each other and just taking over the fucking world.”

Logan: He would not be working.

Miss Patty: *Liz Torres was a bit off her rocker, IDK, that’s what we thought* First of all, she always thought she would end up with Luke (!?). Anyways, some sort of TV show comes to town, and all Miss Patty’s students are in it and they’d put her in front of the camera. And she’d run for mayor of “Scott’s Hollow” and would call on Taylor for help. [This seemed to be partially informed by a GG fanfic from the internet, not sure.]

Dean: Worked at Doose’s and took over from Taylor to turn it into Dean’s Market and he’d still have the apron *just realizing Taylor has been pushed out of all his duties, what is HE up to now??*

Doyle: “Definitely married to Paris still… Ride or die all the way… Probably a reporter working at a website, NAACP maybe. Probably thinking everyone he was working for was an idiot.”

Jackson: “The vasectomy never took. There’s 42 children out there and I’m actually farming children now.”

Zach: “He got to have a nice homecoming and he got to come back to his hometown where he went to college with his hot wife and his best friend and rock the shit out of the place where he used to make lattes for people.” *IRL, Todd went to UT Austin, so maybe he was reflecting his own life there.

Brian: Had a tech start up, maybe a music app. He developed a really close bond with the twins and they’re kinda like his best friends. ! Kwan and Steve!!

Lorelai: “I think they’re (Luke and Lor) together. 100 percent… But I’m not fishing.”

“I love that Danny, between The Butler and (Empire) has become the voice of Black America. It’s the weirdest… finally they found somebody to speak for them!” -ASP

*Panel rewatch note: Scott just winked to someone. I’m not okay.*

– A big convo was had about when Rory was going to have sex. ASP: “At the time, every girl under 18 was having sex. All of them were a bunch of little whores. I’m all for a bunch of little whores running around, but not my girl!” ASP wanted it to be Dean and she wanted them to not be together. He was the one great first BF of hers, and ASP wanted to go to the place where you think maybe it could work out with that ex, and revert back to see if anything could come of it.

– As far as Daniel Palladino is concerned, though, that never happened.

– LG says her storyline with Luke didn’t end in a satisfying way… ASP adds that there was a plan to bring Luke and Lor together, and they were stingy with it for a reason. “It couldn’t happen until we knew what was gonna happen after. TV sometimes rushes into things without thinking about, ‘What are you losing?'”

– I got the general feeling that while season seven was fine, everyone in the cast wishes it was Amy that wrote the final season/episode.

– ASP is not going to give up those final four words. She also gives Michael Ausiello (TVLine founder, OG GG fan, one-time extra) a shout out which I personally find hilarious, saying he’ll be at her death bed trying to get it out of her. Only Dan Palladino knows, and LG doesn’t want to know unless it’s in the context of the episode/movie/etc. I’m with her.

– Liz Torres ‘couldn’t see’ something in the audience?  A fan? IDK but she started walking towards the edge of the stage, and ASP goes, “Sit down. Sit down, young lady. There you go alright.”

“We didn’t know it (the show) was ending! I would’ve stolen so much!!” Keiko being the cutest

– Scott Patterson basically doesn’t understand how the internet works, didn’t realize his interview on the Gilmore Guys podcast can be listened to by everyone in the world, and his comment that there might be a movie in the works got blown out of proportion. He was just giving a stock answer, in hopes of it coming true.

*BUT WILL THERE BE A MOVIE? ASP: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing in the works at the moment. But here’s the good thing – nobody here hates each other. That’s a very important step. It would have to be the right everything. The right format, the right timing, the right budget, it would have to be honored in a certain way and I think that if it ever came around I think we would all jump in and do it. But unfortunately it’s not happening right now… If it ever happened, I promise you it would be done correctly.”

**Ed. note: I’ve written on here before about the heartbreaking report that LG and Scott didn’t get along with each other IRL. There were rumors they hated each other while filming, but after Scott’s Gilmore Guys podcast and the course of events and discussion over the weekend, we decided that rumor simply wasn’t true. Like anyone you work with, you might not get along 100% of the time, but you still like them. It’s a working relationship, and ASP saying no one hates each other confirmed that for us.**

– There were some Q&A with the fans, 10% of which were actually intelligent. But we had a good, long debrief about the panel over breakfast food for dinner and our main takeaway was that a good chunk of the nearly two hour event was wasted. Don’t get me wrong – this was amazing, surreal, #blessed, something I didn’t ever dream of happening – which is why I perhaps expected more? We wanted more interactions with the rest of the cast, questions that could be answered by everyone, and not just ASP, LG, and Dan. If you watch the panel, it’s mostly ASP talking, which is informative, but when’s the next time you’ll ever see all these people in a room together? I want the behind-the-scenes info, things that we didn’t get to see because Twitter wasn’t a thing in the early 2000s, I want to see Keiko and Liza interact or Doyle and Luke or Logan and Jess – anything! I want to know stupid stuff like their fave scenes to shoot or who they wished they had more scenes with – I just wanted it all from the cast. We just didn’t feel like the moderator did a particularly good job with inciting conversation between the actors. But overall, we’re just glad we got in.

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Sunday

Orphan Black

We spent three days in a row getting up at the asscrack of dawn (or like, 6/7am, I wake up at 10am IRL) and we had two final panels on Sunday. Luckily, I was eager to get up early for the Orphan Black panel, featuring co-creator Graeme Manson and Kristian Bruun, who plays the great Donnie Hendrix, and they screened the episode that aired the night before.

Highlights: 

– Kristian and Tatiana improv before takes IN character. Can you just imagine what Donnie and Allison would say to each other UNSCRIPTED?!

– On the possibility of more clones: “Nobody wants to see clones of Donnie… that’s too much sexy on one screen.” Kristian Bruun is our new favorite.

– Kristian was not informed whether or not Donnie was a monitor at first, so that he’d successfully convey that he had no clue what was going on.

– (spoiler alert?) “RIP, BDP.” – Graeme using the best acronym for Paul (Big Dick Paul).

– On Cosima/Delphine getting back together: “Sorry, but some ships are made to be sunk.”

– In general, Graeme basically tells us to hold on to our panties for the last couple of episodes this season because we’re not going to be happy.

– Kristian willingly tried to recreate the iconic Donnie/Allison twerking scene… without music… by himself

Dawson’s Creek Live Script Reading

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Our final panel was also stressful – this time around I got a ticket in, but Molly did not, and she was literally one of the last four people to get in. Didn’t realize it was going to be that popular! So it was billed as a live script reading of the the DC pilot, with Kevin Williamson and special surprise guests. We get there and like GG, the DC credits rolled, but with the new cast, as follows:

Dawson Leery: Mae Whitman

Joey Potter: Patrick J. Adams

Pacey Witter: Abigail Spencer

Jen Lindley: KERR SMITH

Grams: Grandma Saracen Louanne Stephens

Mitch Leery: Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins)

Gail Leery: Stacey Oristano (Mindy Riggins)

Tamara Jacobs: Arielle Kebbel

Bessie: Kristian Bruun

Bodie: Nick Weschler

The best casting ever? Possibly. The surprise and screams when they were first revealed was akin to the GG electricity, but not quite the same scale.

– Mae, professional Friday Night Lights fangirl, was presented with an early birthday present from Stacey: a framed picture of Tim Riggins that was from the actual Riggins house. Mae brought it out and put it in front of her during the reading.

Photo Jun 07, 1 38 23 PM– Mae was perf (as usual), and her interaction with Patrick/Joey was fantastic. It was weird seeing Kerr, who didn’t come in as Jack until season two, play Jen:

– Louanne did the best “Jenniferrrrr” that had the crowd lit’rally go wild for a good 20 seconds.

– Patrick kept doing Katie Holmes’ side smirk and it was on. point.

– Louanne accidentally said, “I’m firm…” before realizing it wasn’t even her line.

– Julie Plec was in the audience and tweeted to Josh Jackson that Abigail Spencer was taking over for him, and he

And that’s all folks. We had such a great time thanks to ATX TV Festival and all the nice people we met, including the actor panelists. It was like a weird fever dream that I’m just starting to get over, but I kinda hope I never do.

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ICYMI: Nick Shows You Should Be Re-Watching If You Haven’t Already

#TheSplatIsComing y’all. And it’s coming tomorrow.

Nickelodeon’s Making You Feel Young/Old Again

There had been rumors that the head honchos over at Nickelodeon were conjuring something up – specifically aimed towards millennials – over this past month, and then last week, it was confirmed. Starting on October 5th, there would be a block of programming called The Splat from 10pm to 6am on Teen Nick. To kick it off, Kenan & Kel had a surprise reunion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon by revisiting their iconic Good Burger sketch (despite the fact Kel said Kenan refused to ever be seen with him again?).

They couldn’t have had a better way to get people excited for The Splat, which will of course be showing reruns of Kenan & Kel and All That. Not to mention repeats of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Salute Your Shorts, Rocko’s Modern Life, Legends of The Hidden Temple, and more. So for all your college kids who are already staying up late writing those papers, here’s another excuse to keep procrastinating in the early hours of the morning.

Of course, we’re excited for this new programming (we did have an entire week dedicate to SNICK already), but I’m particularly excited after finding out they’re also showing old promos and interstitials that originally ran in the 90s/early 00s. Have you guys ever gone back and watched commercials from back then? It’s amazing and a black hole that is very hard to come out of when you’re trying to go to sleep (but if you want to waste time, RetroJunk.com is where it’s at).

Before The Splat actually kicks off next week, here are a few choice promos from old school Nickelodeon that will make you simultaneously get nostalgic and make you feel real old at the same time. Just remember that 1995 was 20 years ago, NOT 10.

Until The Fat Lady Sings

I feel like this particular bumper was played a lot, and one of the more memorable scenarios from the 90s. Watching it now, I’m just thinking how that actress must have haaated her life with that enormous wig on her head for hours.


So in some kind of reverse version of our series Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already, we’re giving you suggestions of 90s Nick shows and their current equivalents. Fan of New Girl? Clarissa Explains It All will be your jam on The Splat.

90s Nickelodeon Shows – And Today’s Adult Equivalents

Buzzfeed, Tumblr, and your Facebook friends won’t let you forget it, and neither will we: 90s kids are adults now, and we’re all still really, really passionate about the 90s. Can you blame us? The 90s were a great time for kids’ culture. With so many Baby Boomers having children from the late 70s to the mid-90s, there were a lot of us growing up then. The economy hadn’t tanked yet, and 911 was still just an emergency phone number. Nickelodeon was at the forefront of it all, promoting a “pro-kid” culture and presenting kids as cooler and smarter than adults. If people want to blame Millenials for forming a mass internet-culture that older folks can’t penetrate, it all started with Nickelodeon and its ‘us against them’ attitudes.

Today’s TV networks aren’t stupid. They know what Millenials want. That’s why, for every beloved Nickelodeon show from our youth, there is an adult equivalent on the air right now:

Are You Afraid Of The Dark = American Horror Story

Are You Afraid Of The Dark: From the second you heard those creaky swings and eerie theme music, you knew you were in for a scare. The midnight society gathered every week to tell stories and throw some sort of weird sand into a camp fire, and we were right there with them. I watched every week as a five-year-old, even turning off the lights for an extra scare. We liked this show because it didn’t underestimate kids. There were real ghosts, vampires, and murders in Are You Afraid of the Dark – it wasn’t that weak-sauce kid stuff where the creaking in the attic was just a leaky pipe, or the ‘ghost’ was just a beekeeper in a bonnet (I’m looking at you, The Adventures Of Mary Kate And Ashley). If you didn’t love the story one week, you’d just wait until the next Saturday when you’d get a whole new plotline to scare the pants off of you and make you ask your mom if she will let you sleep with the hall light on. That’s right – a children’s horror anthology series. Can you really blame us for missing the 90s?

American Horror Story: Like Are You Afraid Of The Dark, American Horror Story is a spooky anthology. However, to account for adult attention spans, each season tells a different story, instead of each episode. This show touches on all aspects of the horror film genre – psycho killers, ghosts, aliens, nuns, evil doctors, Anne Frank, witches, a pinhead, The Black Dahlia … it’s like a winning hand of Apples To Apples.

An aside: I just finished watching Season 2 of AHS. Somebody told me to start with that one because Coven isn’t on Netflix yet, and Season 1 would scare me more. Now that I’m done, I have to wonder – if Asylum was this freaky, what the hell could possibly happen in Murder House? Don’t worry, I’m starting it this week, because I’m an adult now and I’m in charge of my own hall light.

Clarissa Explains It All = Girls + The New Girl

Clarissa Explains It All:A young woman with ambitions of being a journalist lives in a cooler bedroom than you can imagine having. She is supported by her academic parents. She has constant fallings-out with her brother Ferguson, and the undying support of her buddy Sam. She dresses like a cool hobo. Lots of tights. Clarissa has a creative solution to every problem and gets into a lot of scrapes because she sort of doesn’t think everything through.

Girls: A young woman with ambitions of being a writer lives in a cooler apartment than you can imagine having. She is supported by her academic parents. She has constant fallings out with her friends, yet somehow retains their constant support. She dresses like a cool hobo.

The New Girl:  It’s almost like Jess Day and Hannah Horvath are two different versions of how Clarissa could have turned out. Jess and Clarissa have a lot in common. The first word you’d use to describe them is “quirky.” They have wacky clothes. They have a cool home. And – unlike Hannah Horvath – they both have fun, sunny attitudes toward life. So, if Clarissa went to college, became an el-ed major, and held onto her obsession with tights, you have Jess. If Clarissa decided to become a hipster in college, started writing for the school literary mag and reading a lot of McSweeney’s, and went to slightly seedier college parties, she graduated and became Hannah.

Salute Your Shorts = Community

Salute Your Shorts: A group of teens are thrown together for summer camp, and form all of the bonds and rivalries that you’d expect in that kind of close situation. They work both with and against the camp’s administration (counselor Ugg) and truly become a community of their own. There are even themed genre episodes – Zeke The Plumber, everyone? The characters are surprisingly well-developed for a kids’ show, with the jock, nerd, and popular girl presented as being complex people instead of just stereotypes.

Community: A group of adults are thrown together in community college, and through forming a study group, they become a… well, community of their own as well. Like in Salute Your Shorts, there is a love for Greendale Community College, but just like the kids at Camp Anawanna, they also have to work against it sometimes. I don’t think I even need to tell you about the genre episodes. Character development is a big deal on this show, too, and the former athlete and the brainy liberal arts girl aren’t just two-dimensional.

Hey Dude = Brooklyn Nine Nine

Hey Dude: Somehow, a bunch of teenagers are working at a Dude Ranch, because… why not, I suppose? It filled pretty much the exact same niche as Salute Your Shorts, except these kids had JOBS and RESPONSIBILITIES and HORSES. Never underestimate the pull of horses for tween girl viewers.

Brooklyn Nine Nine: This is one sitcom you should be watching if you aren’t already. Equal parts buddy cop (with multiple pairs of cop-buddies), workplace comedy, police procedural (er… kind of) – but with really clever writing an an awesome cast. Like Hey Dude, this is a funny ensemble show that actually shows people doing their jobs. Every kid who grew up watching Salute Your Shorts thinking “ugh, somebody get those irresponsible kids some stalls to muck or cows to lasso” should watch Brooklyn Nine Nine, a workplace show where people actually work.

The Adventures Of Pete And Pete =  Parks And Recreation

The Adventures Of Pete And Pete: This show is probably the reason our generation has been into quirky indie comedies since we were in high school. This small-town sitcom is a bit absurd, and centers around two brothers named – you guessed it – Pete and Pete. The show was so matter-of-fact about the weird goings-on of the town that the place became a character unto itself, and the audience accepted all of its weird quirks at face value.

Fun Fact: The Wellsville of Pete and Pete is apparently supposed to be Wellsville, NY. I live about 100 miles from there and have passed through on plenty of trips, and honestly, apart from an annual Balloon Rally it’s not that interesting.

Parks and Recreation: If you grew up loving slightly offbeat comedies about life in a more-than-slightly-offbeat town, you may as well watch Parks as an adult. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of this show around here, but we’ve never stopped to consider that our childhood watching Pete and Pete primed us for this small-town comedy about a group of unusual personalities. Like our favorite redheaded brothers, the folks in Pawnee face situations that are a touch more surreal than you’d see in real life, but the show somehow manages to be more true-to-life than a lot of more ‘realistic’ comedies.

The Secret World Of Alex Mack = Orphan Black

The Secret World Of Alex Mack:How good was this show? So good, right? Alex Mack was a junior high student who was hit with a truck from a chemical plant, and she developed special powers like being able into morph into a puddle of what looked like mercury, moving objects with her mind, and conducting some sort of electrical charge. Alex, with the (sometimes grudging) help of her brainy sister Annie, had to keep her powers on the down low so the folks at the chemical plant wouldn’t find out about her and … well, I’m not sure if we knew what they would do. Experiments, probably.

Orphan Black:  Here’s another show about a young ladies who are scientific freaks because of circumstances beyond their control (they’re clones). Once again, they have to escape the clutches of the sketchy Dyad Institute, and creepy Dr. Leekie, who are already collecting samples and monitoring the clones against their will. Like Alex Mack, Orphan Black deals with the ethics of scientific progress. No, really –  a major issue ahead is going to be the copyright of human DNA.

Space Cases = Battlestar Gallactica

Space Cases: It’s hard, guys. It’s hard walking around under the burden of being the only person alive who remembers the show Space Cases. It was a short-lived children’s sci-fi show set in space. I think this one is due for a re-watch, if only to revel in the low-budget 90s-ness of it all. Some of the props were evidently things like CDs glued together, and the game Lights Out pasted to the wall. See, things like this are why the Montreal TV industry – and children’s cable sci fi shows – never really took off.

Battlestar Gallactica – I’m positive that this is a sci-fi show with space ships, the future, and I’m pretty sure aliens. Okay, you caught me. I’ve never seen it. But there haven’t been too many outer space-based sci fi shows in recent years, and this is the closest one I could find in the near past. I suppose Stargate Atlantis is another option.

Noozles = Doctor Who

Noozles: According to Wikipedia, this show is 1000% more confusing and screwed-up than I remember it being. But basically, it’s like this: Noozles were adorable koala bears, but only certain people could know that they were actually aliens!

Doctor Who: Doctor Who is an adorable British man, but only certain people can know that he’s actually an alien!

The Mystery Files Of Shelby Woo = Scandal

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo: Shelby Woo was a ridiculously talented teen who, with the help of a mid-90s PC and her crew of friends, solved mysteries and fought crime. As a mere teenager, Shelby wasn’t officially part of the police department, but we all know that Shelby Woo was the law.

Scandal: Children who grew up without questioning how it was possible to solve mysteries in a short span of time with the help of just an internet connection and a rag-tag crack team of experts – without wondering why the proper law enforcement didn’t just deal with crime itself instead of allowing a non-officer to take the reins — well, those children probably grew up to watch Scandal. Like Shelby Woo, Olivia Pope is able to fix anything – even stuff that technically, we’re pretty sure somebody else should be handling.

Nick News With Linda Ellerbee = 20/20

We love you, Linda. We don’t care what Dawson Leery says.

Nick News: This was a kids’ news magazine which tried to deliver the “who, what, where, when, why and how”  of the age to kids whose other main source of news was that Scholastic Weekly Reader that you’d get on Friday afternoons when your teacher had basically given up for the week. To be quite honest, Nick News did an admirable job of it, breaking down issues like presidential elections, the Gulf War, racism, and global warming down to a nine-year-old’s level without condescending. In fact, you can probably thank Nick News, in part, for the environmental “go green” push that’s sweeping the nation. Older adults were just getting into these issues after that Al Gore powerpoint, but us 90s kids grew up hearing about pollution and climate change from one Ms. Linda Ellerbee.

20/20: Well, this one also is able to break news and information down to a nine-year-old’s level. We may have mentioned this before, but both of us watched way more than a normal amount of 20/20 as kids. As a fourth-grader, I stayed up until 11 on Fridays because 20/20 was on at 10. At least these days, 20/20 is light on the news, heavy on the magazine, with a bunch of tiny segments simplifying stories as much as possible. Actually, maybe Nick News was better – at least they didn’t do monthly stories about “places you won’t believe our crew found a lot of germs!”

All That =  Saturday Night Live

Okay, this isn’t quite fair. All That was almost certainly intended to be a kids’ version of SNL, so there shouldn’t be any surprise here. But when you consider that today’s 20-somethings grew up watching Kenan Thompson on All That, it is sort of remarkable that we’re watching the same guy on the grown-up version of the show.

I may have been under-supervised as a kid, but I watched a lot of real SNL in the 90s (especially the older stuff), and was struck by how very not funny All That was in comparison. That Lori Beth Denberg sure could deliver the fake news, though.

Saturday Spotlight: 2015 Emmy Awards Pregame

Television season is kicking of with a bang this weekend – TV’s Superbowl, the Primetime Emmy Awards, air Sunday night! We will be live blogging here beginning around 7 PM EST (give or take, because Traci’s working and Molly’s throwing a baby shower earlier in the day). You can also catch us in 140 characters or less on Twitter: @cookiessangria.

Here are a few posts about some of our favorite nominees to get Emmy weekend started!

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Actors: Unrecognizable In Modern Clothes

23 Skidoo! Downton-Era Slang For Every Vocabulary

Game Of Thrones

What I Think Happens In Game Of Thrones (I Don’t Watch It)

Mad Men

They Were Astronauts: Mad Men, Time Travelers

In Search Of: Mad Men’s Characters’ Closure

Mad Men Crush Monday

The 90 Take Over Mad Men

The Beautiful Girls: Best Of Mad Men Fashion

Orange Is The New Black

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Orange Is The New Black

Modern Family

Woman Crush Wednesday: Sofia Vergara

Parks And Recreation

First In Friendship: Small-Town Shows To Watch After Parks And Recreation

5,000 Candles In The Wind: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Parks And Recreation

5,000 Candles In The Wind: Batman Is Crying And So Am I

5,000 Candles In The Wind: Pawnee OTPs

5,000 Candles In The Wind: Residents Of Pawnee

I’m Overly Emotional About Chris Pratt

Be My BFF: Ann Perkins

How Leslie Knope Made It Okay For Me To Live In My Hometown

Yes Please, Amy Poehler

All Hail The Queen: Famous People On Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler: Sage To All

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Veep

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Veep

Empire

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Empire

Orphan Black

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Orphan Black

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 2

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

American Horror Story

The Circus Gives Me The Willies

Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Last-Minute Binge Watching Edition

Dancing With The Stars

Filling The Dancing With The Stars Card

Definitive Ranking Of Dancing With The Stars Season 18 Contestants

Live Blog: My Mom Watches The Dancing With The Stars Finale

So You Think You Can Dance

Best Of: So You Think You Can Dance Group Routines

Best Of: So You Think You Can Dance Auditions

The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon

Thank You, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Concerns Of A Fal Pal: Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Takeover

Scandal

Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: #Scandal

Woman Crush Wednesday: Kerry Washington

The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

A Little Verklempt: Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

Girl Meets World

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up Part 1

Saturday Spotlight: Kids In The Hall H

HERE

  • Are you braving SDCC (that’s San Diego Comic-Con) this year, or following the events from home? Traci is actually in San Diego this week, but not for SDCC. The fact is, we love our tv but aren’t into many shows that are particularly … fandom-y? But we’ve created a fantasy Comic-Con lineup and we would totally wait in the Hall H line for HBIC, a Teen Witch reunion, or season 1 of Heroes. Just season one.
  • In years past, we wrote that Comic-Con is not just for nerds anymore. It’s huge. And impressive. And last year, Sharknado was there.
  • This year is still in progress, but last year there was so much amazing SDCC fashion that we had a whole fashion wrap-up post about it! No, it’s not just dudes dressed like Star Trek characters, we’re talking about actors, writers and creators with seriously good fashion sense.

THERE

  • One thing we already missed so far: the Orphan Black panel (moderated by Retta. RETTA!). But the internet is just and merciful, and the Orphan Black folks have already released the Season 3 Bloopers reel they screened:

  • And three potential Donny/Alison spinoffs. We love them so much. Kristin Bruun all day.

  • Catch it while you can: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II panel from SDCC 2015 is up, too!

My Fantasy Comic-Con

Nerds unite! San Diego’s annual Comic-Con kicks off today, and thousands of folks are swarming the city to talk comic books, graphic novels, TV shows, TV shows based on comic books, movies, movies based on comic books and more. I personally am not one to enjoy big crowds and waiting in line for hours, so I don’t get the appeal. Ironically, I am in San Diego on a visit for pleasure, and am an idiot for picking the one week to go to SD when lit’rally everyone else is here. But that’s besides the point.

If Comic-Con was smaller and involved more things I liked, I would totally be for it. So if you’re waiting in line for whatever is in Hall H right now, take a minute to read my ideal line-up for a personalized Comic-Con, because let’s face it, you’re gonna be there for a while anyways, so why not read our blog?!

Orphan Black

I know there’s already going to be a bunch of OB events throughout the weekend, but what if there was one panel that was just Tatiana Maslany, and she would pretend to be everyone. Including all the clones and her fellow cast members. This might not be physically possible, but it is Comic-Con, everyone has an imagination there, right?

HBIC

Every year, Entertainment Weekly holds a Women Who Kick Ass panel, featuring ladies who do a particularly good job of showing people who’s boss with their physical and mental prowess. Similarly, I propose a HBIC panel (that’s Head Bitch In Charge for you plebs), expanding the list of women who not only kick ass in entertainment, but who also exude qualities of great leadership, a positive role model, and is an all-around BO$$. Panelists include, but are not limited to: Emma Watson, Tatiana Maslany, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kerry Washington, Mindy Kaling.

Sizzling Superheroes

Like Magic Mike, but of the superhero world. Including Chris Pratt, Michael B. Jordan, RDJ, Chris Evans, basically all the Avengers.

Heroes Season 1

Remember how good Heroes was? Specifically the first season? I’m not particularly attracted to sci-fi shows until a bunch of other people tell me to watch it. However, Heroes had the added value of Milo Ventimiglia being in it, of course from Gilmore Girls fame. I quickly became one of the millions of other viewers who became obsessed with the show and even managed to stay with it until the end, despite basically hate-watching it. If the cast of the first season could just come together and talk about that and maybe the WGA Strike second season, that would be ideal.

Teen Witch

I watched this 1989 classic for the first time a couple years ago, and I fell in love with it. It captures the essence of the ridiculous fashion sense of the time, the corniness of teen romances, and there’s also a horrible/amazing rap scene. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and get acquainted with it. But in a nutshell Louise (Robyn Lively/Blake’s older sister) turns 16 and gets magical powers, and has to decide if she wants to use them for good. It’s been just over 25 years since the movie came out, and it’s been a cult hit ever since. I don’t necessarily need a sequel, I just want to see what these folks think of its popularity all these years later.

Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies was a short-lived, three-season show that found a cult following, but not big enough for it to stay on the air. It was romantic, critically acclaimed, well acted, and unique, perhaps so much so that it was too high-concept for the viewers at ABC and middle-America to follow. The main plot is that pie-maker Ned (the wonderful Lee Pace) has the ability to bring things and people back to life with his touch. It definitely falls under the Cancelled Too Soon category, and perhaps bringing the cast back together can muster up some sort of Netflix mini-series event?

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

I’m not gonna lie to y’all – Are You Afraid of the Dark? actually managed to scare me. I played it off when I was talking about it in school, but in reality, I could basically only watch the campsite scenes and parts of the ‘reenactments’. What’s impressive about the show is that it’s been a pop culture staple in many millennials’ lives, whether you were frightened or not, and because we tend to forget details as children, many of us may not know that there were a lot of now-stars to get their start on the show. People like Elisha Cuthbert, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Vanessa Lengies and Clueless TV star Rachel Blanchard were all in the Midnight Society, while guest stars included Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell, Hayden Christensen, Jay Baruchel and Emily VanCamp. Let’s get all those folks together with a fire and some sand, shall we?

The Event

watermarks be damned – this pic still makes my brain explode

Did I watch this show because our best friend Scott Patterson was in it? Yes. Was it weird to me that two of Lauren Graham’s former onscreen gentleman callers (Scott/Luke and Jason Ritter/Mr. Cyr from Parenthood)? Yes. Do I want this to be a panel at comic-Con just so they can explain to me the plot of the show? Also yes.

Early Edition

Coach Taylor before he was Coach Taylor, when most of the masses were introduced to the extreme talent that is Kyle Chandler. This was one of the shows I probably was a little too young to watch, but luckily for CBS, the only things I really remember about the show are Kyle Chandler getting the newspaper a day early, the blind woman, and a cat. Plus, any excuse to be in the presence of Kyle Chandler is worth it. PS – you can watch full episodes on the YouTube!

Community

Because #SixSeasonsAndAMovieAndAComicConPanel

Pretty Little Liars

Stop fucking around and just get to who Charles/-A is and WHY and HOW he is tormenting these high schoolers.

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 2

Welcome back, kids! Thanks for waiting it out, I know we left you with a cliffhanger from the first part of the ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up, so I appreciate your patience. We packed a lot in over the weekend, so here’s the breakdown of the second half of the fest, including that surreal Gilmore Girls reunion and a lot of Dawson’s Creek goodness!

Here’s a picture to prove we did some sightseeing in Austin, not just celeb-sightseeing!

After seeing writer Wendy Calhoun at the Empire panel, we were so enamored with her that we decided to follow her to the Diversity in Progress panel, featuring Wendy, Power creator Courtney Kemp Agboh, and Men in Trees creator/What a Girl Wants screenwriter Jenny Bicks. In an industry dominated by white males, these three women, two of whom are black, discussed their personal stories of going up the ladder in an environment which isn’t necessarily in their favor.

Across the board, their advice was to just be yourself – that obviously doesn’t just apply to writers. For example, if you’re a writer who wants to go on Empire, but you’re a young white woman who isn’t too familiar with hip-hop, don’t go into the interview pretending you’re basically Eminem and an expert. Because if you do get hired, and you’re in the room and they figure you out – you’re going to get fired anyways.

Courtney talked about how she needed to hire a white woman on her show, Power, but she couldn’t get a single person to accept the job. She offered a lucrative salary, but none of them wanted to take it, because they probs didn’t think they were qualified to write on a show about black people. But her point is that she can write about black people – she’s all set on that – it’s the young, white woman perspective she needs, and that’s why she set out for that type of writer, saying, “It’s important to have the diversity of the writers room to reflect the DNA of the show.”

Other little nuggets:

“Excellence is the equalizer. You go out and you kill it.” Courtney Kemp Agboh

“There’s no diversity in Hollywood, because the only color in Hollywood is green.” Wendy Calhoun

Dawson’s Creek Writers Room

Waiting in line to get in – Molly sent me this book like three years ago, and I thought it was appropriate to bring on the trip for some light reading.

Some of the writers from Dawson’s Creek, including creator Kevin Williamson, co-executive producer Paul Stupin, Jenny Bicks, Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars fame), Gina Fattore and Anna Fricke, came together to discuss the six-season run of the teen drama (which I finally watched for the first time last year).

The Vampire Diaries’ ep Julie Plec grilling her bud Kevin Williamson and the other DC writers

It was interesting to see this group, since all of them – sans Paul – were there for different seasons and covered such different ground. E.g., Kevin left at the end of season two, and only one person survived in the room (Arrow’s Greg Berlanti), Rob was there for a season, Gina (who apparently wrote two of my fave eps – both Pacey/Joey centered – True Love (season 3 finale) and Castaways (the K-Mart lock-in)) was there from season three til the end.

Highlights

– Kevin Williamson kind of just made up the pitch to the show about his life. He was Dawson, also an aspiring filmmaker and from a small town. He said each character had a piece of himself – except the gay side of him – enter Jack McPhee. But KW was the only person who knew Jack was gay when he wrote the part, he didn’t even tell Kerr Smith. In fact, Jack’s coming out story was based on KW’s own story, and the whole plot with the letter in class was direct from Greg Berlanti coming out as a teen. Also – it’s not a coincidence KW picked to male names – Dawson and Joey – to be the lead characters.

– DC was originally picked up by Fox, but they passed because they were “already struggling with Party of Five and didn’t need another one.” About two years later, a new network called WB (now the CW) picked up the pilot.

– As part of a type of hazing process, one consulting producer wanted to have all the writers pretend they were Scientologists to trick the newbies. #ClearEyesClearHeartsXenu

– “A Jim Belushi character – when that name meant something” – original one-line description for Pacey Witter. KW also said, “I always wanted Pacey to have that Officer and a Gentleman feel. … The whole second season was, as I call it, ‘Pacey’s Pond.'”

“Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) was in a band!” – Gina

“And Pacey was a stockbroker!” – Julie

“Yeah, how did that happen?” – Kevin, creator of the GD show

– Listen, people have regrets. The writers’ regrets include introducing Eve and Pacey becoming a stockbroker. “We were really into the movie Boiler Room,” Anna said, attempting to defend herself.

– Generally speaking, nobody knows what was up with season three. Nobody. They attribute some of the weird choices to groupthink in the writers’ room.

– Andie McPhee was supposed to have a shorter character arc, but they all loved working with Meredith Monroe so much that they kept finding ways to keep her around. They filmed a scene with her for the finale, but it was cut for time. The whole purpose of the Andie character was to make Pacey learn responsibility and grow up.

– The writers thought about bringing Jen’s gramps back to life from a coma – and on a ventilator – in season one, but Paul said, “As the episodes went on, we couldn’t find a way to revive granddad, but then in the finale he comes out of his coma for five minutes and dies!”

– The original theme song was supposed to be Alanis Morissette’s Hand in My Pocket. After the WB used Paula Cole’s I Don’t Want to Wait for promos before the pilot aired, the song became a hit and they used Paula’s song moving forward.

– They tried to rerecord I Don’t Want To Wait several seasons in, but the result was just a little too angsty.

– Kevin agreed to come back to write the final two episodes of the series, and for all y’all against Jen’s death *spoiler alert?*, he says he created the show as a “coming of age story”, and the group had never had to deal with the death of someone in their circle. Her death also forced Joey to make a choice between Pacey and Dawson…

– Paul said Dawson/Joey had always been end game from the beginning. Halfway through, KW called Paul and said he changed his mind. KW: “Guys, my mother hates me. She went to her grave hating me for that.” He added, “Dawson seemed like the obvious answer and once I got into writing the first hour (of the finale). … This isn’t what the show set up to be. Maybe that’s where it started but it evolved and it ended up as something else (DO YOU HEAR THAT HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER WRITERS). I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest and real and say something about soul mates and what soul mates can be. That’s why we did it that way. When you left the show in that last moment, they’re a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy.”

Gilmore Girls Reunion

Photo Jun 06, 2 35 41 PM (1)

Ok, here it is. The reunion we had been waiting LIT’RALLY YEARS for. So in a nutshell – the panels/screenings at the fest have tickets that guarantee you admission. They put 1/3 of the capacity online a week before the fest, but because this was the main event, these tickets sold out in seconds. Neither of us got the tickets, which meant we’d have to be in the stand-by line. I wasn’t concerned, because never in my three years at the fest had I ever been turned away from a panel (except for earlier that day when we got shunned from Coffee with Amy and met Luke instead). No one was allowed to get in line until 5p (the reunion started at 7p), but it was complete and utter chaos – none of the volunteers/staff would tell anyone anything, it was a shitload of crazy fans who wanted to get in, and it was also like 10,000 degrees (give or take a few). Needless to say, everyone was on edge. And this is how far back we were in line:

Photo Jun 06, 5 11 28 PMThe theatre is a block up, and around the corner. There were probably like 400-500 people ahead of us in the STAND-BY LINE (I’m horrible at guesstimating, it was a lot). Like you do at these type of things, you talk to the folks around you, you witness a car accident or two (seriously), you get handed free Pop Tarts (LIKE LOR AND RORY’S FAVE)…

Photo Jun 06, 5 33 55 PM… and then slowly the line moves, and you have hope you’ll get in soon and then it gets to be 7pm and you’re practically still a mile away and you start to get nervous for the first time. And then you hear people screaming at the front of the line, and then you realize a group of people walking to the right of the line as the screams follow and you realize LUKE DANES HAS FOLLOWED YOU TO THE LINE AND HE’S LIT’RALLY COMING BY AND SAYING HI TO ALL THE FANS AND THANKED THEM/US FOR WAITING SO LONG OUTSIDE AND HE SAYS ‘I DON’T KNOW IF YOU GUYS ARE GONNA GET IN BUT THANK YOU FOR COMING’ AND HE SHAKES YOUR HAND AGAIN BECAUSE THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW.

Photo Jun 06, 5 16 43 PM

[Note: we theorized that they would possibly send Scott around first to break the news that you might not get in, then maybe in 15 minutes Lauren would come by and be all “I don’t know, doesn’t look great, guys” then finally Alexis will stroll by and be like “sorry, didn’t work out, thanks for trying.” You know, so that people didn’t lash out at the volunteers instead. In hindsight, they maybe should have done this.]

I’m not joking when I say that it got to be around 7:15-ish (15 mins past start time) when we both started to get so nervous – like I might vomit and cry if we don’t get in – nervous. Every step we took closer to the doors was like a step out of the desert oasis and towards a real non-mirage lake that had been the mecca you had been journeying towards for years. Then, it happened. They let us in – the volunteers were lined up giving us high fives as if we had just finished a marathon. We made it. We made it and we were legit probably the last 50-100 or so people let in, sitting in the back balcony. Far away, but we were there. We made it.

The panel started out with the opening credits of the show, Carole King etc., but the names included all the people at the panel. I got chills then and I get chills now thinking about how everyone in that 1,300 seat theater was singing/screaming along to the song – it was electric. I was tearing up already. As TV fans, we don’t often get the chance to watch a show with hundreds of superfans like you do in the movies or theater. This is the type of place I want to be. Arielle Kebbel, who played Dean’s wife Lindsay, is an ATX advisory board member and came out to help intro the panel. First up, the moderator, Jessica Shaw from Entertainment Weekly, sat down with Amy and the three generations of Gilmore women – Lauren, Alexis and Kelly.

Highlights:

– Lauren was up for the part of Lorelai with one other actress. Following one of the final auditions, the other unnamed woman didn’t have a car so she asked Lauren for a ride. While LG was driving her home, she got a call on her cell phone – from the producers. But she obviously couldn’t pick it up in the event they were telling her she got the job. Could’ve been awk sauce.

– There was another Dean – two Canadian Deans – in the pilot, since they shot it in Canada.

– Alexis was super green going into the pilot, and among other things, didn’t realize the mics were still hot when she wasn’t on camera and in the bathroom. LG made a Robert Durst joke, as if I couldn’t love her even more.

“It was leafing season.” – ASP

“… You mean ‘fall’??” LG

“… It was fall…” ASP

– When asked what gets quoted to them the most, the answer is ‘Oy with the poodles already!‘, to which LG said, “Why did I say it and why do you people like it so much?” A fan also yelled out “Copperboom!” (one of my personal faves) and Alexis said, “What’s Copperboom?”. Fans proceeded to explain it and it didn’t really work, she still probs has no idea what it means.

– They talked about the late Ed Hermann, and how they were all surprised to find out he had died of brain cancer. Amy said Ed was the first person who said he would be at the panel, and it was clear they were all still emotional about his death. LG was even crying a little. Amy put together a montage of her favorite Richard Gilmore moments, ending with this scene from S5, Wedding Bell Blues, where Richard dedicates the song to Emily and they have a sweet dance. As the song went on, a montage of other shots of him throughout the series flashed and that’s when I lost it. It was such a moving tribute, and so sad that he’s gone.

Since it was just the four ladies and moderator Jessica on stage, the curtain behind them was lifted, to reveal seats for everyone, including the actual signs from the set (I think). I was EMOSH.

Here’s a video of their intros, and apologies in advance for the screaming and non-focus in the beginning because I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CHILL.

Highlights:

– The Dean/Jess/Logan debate:

Jared Padalecki: “I was always a Team Jess guy. I love Milo. I think he’s cool and sexy and handsome.”

Milo Ventimiglia: “Logan was a dick. But I don’t know… I was kind of rooting for everyone. ”

Matt Czuchry: “I saw something Amy said recently about how the right boyfriend came along at the right time. That’s kind of what I feel, between Jess and Dean and Logan. They each brought something out in Rory that she needed at that time… But I was also kind of Team Jess.”

Scott Patterson: “None of you are good enough for Rory.”

LUKE IS STILL LOOKIN OUT FOR RORY, Y’ALL.

(*Ed. note: Guys, I am rewatching the panel whilst writing this, and I’ve had to stop the part where they talk about Luke and Lorelai thrice and have yelled out ‘I CANNOT’ to myself because I lit’rally cannot)

– Danny (Doyle), who created Empire, is asked what would happen if Cookie walked into Stars Hollow, and basically she would “mess shit up”.

– On where each of their characters would be today:

Rory: Still a journalist

Emily: She and Richard would be in the exact same place, since they’re comfortable with their country clubs, etc. But Kelly added, “But now, Emily’s a widow, so that’s a whole other world, so I don’t know where she is.” ALL THE FREAKING TEARS.

Luke: *Scott has a long backstory he’s clearly thought about which involves either still running the diner or moved to a lake and re-opened Luke’s as a bait-and-tackle shop, etc.* before Lauren interrupted him and said, ‘Does he have a girlfriend?’

hi tyler oakley

Jess: “Jess is just out being Jess… and then walking away when too many people show up.”

Lane: She’s trying to figure out what kind of mom she wants to be. She wants to be Lorelai but in her heart she’s a little Mrs. Kim. She hopes she’s still playing music with Hep Alien. *HOLY CRAP KEIKO AGENA IS 41 YEARS OLD WTF. SHE’S SEVEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN LAUREN, THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN MELISSA HOW

Michel: “It’s a tough one for Michel. Because I never understood how he ended up in that town. But, patronizing people for sure. Maybe in an inn that he now owns. Or he went back to Paris because he couldn’t deal with Americans anymore.”

Paris: “I’d like to think Paris and Doyle are still together. I think they’re really well matched. Supporting each other and just taking over the fucking world.”

Logan: He would not be working.

Miss Patty: *Liz Torres was a bit off her rocker, IDK, that’s what we thought* First of all, she always thought she would end up with Luke (!?). Anyways, some sort of TV show comes to town, and all Miss Patty’s students are in it and they’d put her in front of the camera. And she’d run for mayor of “Scott’s Hollow” and would call on Taylor for help. [This seemed to be partially informed by a GG fanfic from the internet, not sure.]

Dean: Worked at Doose’s and took over from Taylor to turn it into Dean’s Market and he’d still have the apron *just realizing Taylor has been pushed out of all his duties, what is HE up to now??*

Doyle: “Definitely married to Paris still… Ride or die all the way… Probably a reporter working at a website, NAACP maybe. Probably thinking everyone he was working for was an idiot.”

Jackson: “The vasectomy never took. There’s 42 children out there and I’m actually farming children now.”

Zach: “He got to have a nice homecoming and he got to come back to his hometown where he went to college with his hot wife and his best friend and rock the shit out of the place where he used to make lattes for people.” *IRL, Todd went to UT Austin, so maybe he was reflecting his own life there.

Brian: Had a tech start up, maybe a music app. He developed a really close bond with the twins and they’re kinda like his best friends. ! Kwan and Steve!!

Lorelai: “I think they’re (Luke and Lor) together. 100 percent… But I’m not fishing.”

“I love that Danny, between The Butler and (Empire) has become the voice of Black America. It’s the weirdest… finally they found somebody to speak for them!” -ASP

*Panel rewatch note: Scott just winked to someone. I’m not okay.*

– A big convo was had about when Rory was going to have sex. ASP: “At the time, every girl under 18 was having sex. All of them were a bunch of little whores. I’m all for a bunch of little whores running around, but not my girl!” ASP wanted it to be Dean and she wanted them to not be together. He was the one great first BF of hers, and ASP wanted to go to the place where you think maybe it could work out with that ex, and revert back to see if anything could come of it.

– As far as Daniel Palladino is concerned, though, that never happened.

– LG says her storyline with Luke didn’t end in a satisfying way… ASP adds that there was a plan to bring Luke and Lor together, and they were stingy with it for a reason. “It couldn’t happen until we knew what was gonna happen after. TV sometimes rushes into things without thinking about, ‘What are you losing?'”

– I got the general feeling that while season seven was fine, everyone in the cast wishes it was Amy that wrote the final season/episode.

– ASP is not going to give up those final four words. She also gives Michael Ausiello (TVLine founder, OG GG fan, one-time extra) a shout out which I personally find hilarious, saying he’ll be at her death bed trying to get it out of her. Only Dan Palladino knows, and LG doesn’t want to know unless it’s in the context of the episode/movie/etc. I’m with her.

– Liz Torres ‘couldn’t see’ something in the audience?  A fan? IDK but she started walking towards the edge of the stage, and ASP goes, “Sit down. Sit down, young lady. There you go alright.”

“We didn’t know it (the show) was ending! I would’ve stolen so much!!” Keiko being the cutest

– Scott Patterson basically doesn’t understand how the internet works, didn’t realize his interview on the Gilmore Guys podcast can be listened to by everyone in the world, and his comment that there might be a movie in the works got blown out of proportion. He was just giving a stock answer, in hopes of it coming true.

*BUT WILL THERE BE A MOVIE? ASP: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing in the works at the moment. But here’s the good thing – nobody here hates each other. That’s a very important step. It would have to be the right everything. The right format, the right timing, the right budget, it would have to be honored in a certain way and I think that if it ever came around I think we would all jump in and do it. But unfortunately it’s not happening right now… If it ever happened, I promise you it would be done correctly.”

**Ed. note: I’ve written on here before about the heartbreaking report that LG and Scott didn’t get along with each other IRL. There were rumors they hated each other while filming, but after Scott’s Gilmore Guys podcast and the course of events and discussion over the weekend, we decided that rumor simply wasn’t true. Like anyone you work with, you might not get along 100% of the time, but you still like them. It’s a working relationship, and ASP saying no one hates each other confirmed that for us.**

– There were some Q&A with the fans, 10% of which were actually intelligent. But we had a good, long debrief about the panel over breakfast food for dinner and our main takeaway was that a good chunk of the nearly two hour event was wasted. Don’t get me wrong – this was amazing, surreal, #blessed, something I didn’t ever dream of happening – which is why I perhaps expected more? We wanted more interactions with the rest of the cast, questions that could be answered by everyone, and not just ASP, LG, and Dan. If you watch the panel, it’s mostly ASP talking, which is informative, but when’s the next time you’ll ever see all these people in a room together? I want the behind-the-scenes info, things that we didn’t get to see because Twitter wasn’t a thing in the early 2000s, I want to see Keiko and Liza interact or Doyle and Luke or Logan and Jess – anything! I want to know stupid stuff like their fave scenes to shoot or who they wished they had more scenes with – I just wanted it all from the cast. We just didn’t feel like the moderator did a particularly good job with inciting conversation between the actors. But overall, we’re just glad we got in.

Photo Jun 06, 9 40 32 PM

Sunday

Orphan Black

We spent three days in a row getting up at the asscrack of dawn (or like, 6/7am, I wake up at 10am IRL) and we had two final panels on Sunday. Luckily, I was eager to get up early for the Orphan Black panel, featuring co-creator Graeme Manson and Kristian Bruun, who plays the great Donnie Hendrix, and they screened the episode that aired the night before.

Highlights: 

– Kristian and Tatiana improv before takes IN character. Can you just imagine what Donnie and Allison would say to each other UNSCRIPTED?!

– On the possibility of more clones: “Nobody wants to see clones of Donnie… that’s too much sexy on one screen.” Kristian Bruun is our new favorite.

– Kristian was not informed whether or not Donnie was a monitor at first, so that he’d successfully convey that he had no clue what was going on.

– (spoiler alert?) “RIP, BDP.” – Graeme using the best acronym for Paul (Big Dick Paul).

– On Cosima/Delphine getting back together: “Sorry, but some ships are made to be sunk.”

– In general, Graeme basically tells us to hold on to our panties for the last couple of episodes this season because we’re not going to be happy.

– Kristian willingly tried to recreate the iconic Donnie/Allison twerking scene… without music… by himself

Dawson’s Creek Live Script Reading

Photo Jun 07, 11 05 50 AM (1)

Our final panel was also stressful – this time around I got a ticket in, but Molly did not, and she was literally one of the last four people to get in. Didn’t realize it was going to be that popular! So it was billed as a live script reading of the the DC pilot, with Kevin Williamson and special surprise guests. We get there and like GG, the DC credits rolled, but with the new cast, as follows:

Dawson Leery: Mae Whitman

Joey Potter: Patrick J. Adams

Pacey Witter: Abigail Spencer

Jen Lindley: KERR SMITH

Grams: Grandma Saracen Louanne Stephens

Mitch Leery: Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins)

Gail Leery: Stacey Oristano (Mindy Riggins)

Tamara Jacobs: Arielle Kebbel

Bessie: Kristian Bruun

Bodie: Nick Weschler

The best casting ever? Possibly. The surprise and screams when they were first revealed was akin to the GG electricity, but not quite the same scale.

– Mae, professional Friday Night Lights fangirl, was presented with an early birthday present from Stacey: a framed picture of Tim Riggins that was from the actual Riggins house. Mae brought it out and put it in front of her during the reading.

Photo Jun 07, 1 38 23 PM– Mae was perf (as usual), and her interaction with Patrick/Joey was fantastic. It was weird seeing Kerr, who didn’t come in as Jack until season two, play Jen:

– Louanne did the best “Jenniferrrrr” that had the crowd lit’rally go wild for a good 20 seconds.

– Patrick kept doing Katie Holmes’ side smirk and it was on. point.

– Louanne accidentally said, “I’m firm…” before realizing it wasn’t even her line.

– Julie Plec was in the audience and tweeted to Josh Jackson that Abigail Spencer was taking over for him, and he

And that’s all folks. We had such a great time thanks to ATX TV Festival and all the nice people we met, including the actor panelists. It was like a weird fever dream that I’m just starting to get over, but I kinda hope I never do.

 

See Y’all In Austin! C&S Take #ATX

In just days, tv enthusiasts, Texas enthusiasts, and just generally enthusiastic people will be descending on Austin, TX for the ATX Television Festival. And we’ll be there, too!

ATX features screenings and panels – like a film festival, but for television. When we looked at this year’s lineup, with a Gilmore Girls reunion, a discussion with the Dawson’s Creek writers, the creatives behind Empire and Orphan Black, and tons more, attending was a no-brainer. In fact, we’ve already written about a majority of this year’s participating shows on the blog! If you’re as excited about ATX as we are, prep yourself for the festival by reading our posts about the 2015 attendees. You can also track our travels throughout next weekend with the hashtag #CandSTakeATX or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

If you STILL need more TV talk, we’ll be doing a theme week about one of this year’s ATX shows all throughout the next week! Can you guess which one? Probably!

On to the posts:

Boy Meets World

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’
Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars Of Boy Meets World

 

Brooklyn 99

TV Characters I Need Back In My Life
Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Last-Minute Binge-Watching Edition

 

Empire

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Empire

 

Gilmore Girls

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars Of Gilmore Girls
You’ve Been Gilmored: Tips For Binge-Watching Gilmore Girls

 

Dawson’s Creek

The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 1
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 2
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 3
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 4
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 5
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 6
Doing Lines: Dawson’s Creek

 

Marta Kauffman (Producer, Friends, Grace and Frankie)

Live Blog: The Friends Finale, 10 Years Later

 

Orphan Black

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Orphan Black
Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

 

Younger

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Younger