Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

The Awesomes

Posted: December 11, 2013 by Noccie in Noccie, Television
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The Awesomes is one of the growing number of Hulu original series appearing lately. I’m not opposed to them. I enjoyed the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove after all.

The cartoon is based off a second generation super hero group called The Awesomes. Professor Dr. Jeremy “Prock” Awesome is the son of the original leader who just retired. All the original members except his best friend, Muscle Man left. He has 72 hours to assemble a super team or he will lose government funding. They use the “rejects” to fill the roster and then a random try out person to fill the last spot.

Love it!

This show is hilarious because they really know their super hero team jokes. You can see them pulling on The Watchmen, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Avengers and the Justice League. It was recommended by a friend of mine involved in animation. I don’t want to say to much. Just go watch it.

One of the best characters isn’t considered a super heroine but she totally is: Concierge. She has a southern twang and a bitter sense of humor but she can get anything done. Her power is super organization.

Gadget Gal is like Silk Spector, except more hilariously dirty, btw. Her nemesis is named Tom Boy. As you meet her, you find out she’s a former member of the team but she’s in her 80’s.  Tom Boy zaps her with a ray that makes her young again and Tom Boy zaps herself as well. Gadget Gal pulls all of her gadgets out of her purse… for the most part.

They have a flash type character that is from a family of back country circus freaks. His real name is Zip Danger by he goes by Frantic. He’s hilarious because he loves Jerry Springer but doesn’t know his shadow from a hole in the ground.

Impresario can use his powers to make anything… by they take on an aspect of his Mother in the process. He would be lost without his Mother. That is why they didn’t take him on the team originally, Mommy issues.

The youngest member is Sumo. He is an 11 year old boy that turns into a giagantic strong sumo wrestler when he is angry.

Finally, there is Hotwire. She has a secret past that no one really knows. When asked about her background story she lies. Proc has a huge flame for her but she is dating Mr. Perfect.

They are dogged by a reformed supervillian, Dr. Malocchio. His dark power is mind control. Dr. Malocchio just got out of jail the day after the original Mr. Awesome retires.

Check out the show. It’s hilarious. I recommend it highly.

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Episode three of My Little Pony: Friendship is magic was a hilarious romp through an abandoned castle in the middle of the Everfree forest.

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Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

Twilight is looking for information about the mysterious chest found at the Tree of Harmony. Nothing in the library in Ponyville has any information. Celestia suggests she search the old library at the Castle of the Two Sisters. This was the original seat of power for Equestria so it makes sense. Spike and Twilight head out to the castle without telling their friends.

Meanwhile, Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash are in a “Most Daring Pony” competition with Pinkie Pie keeping score. They decide that the tie breaker after the bee stare should be staying in the abandoned castle over night.

Rarity asks Fluttershy to come with her to the castle because she wants to pull down some tapestries and textiles. Under the auspices of restoring the textiles and getting inspiration, Rarity maintains it’s a purely professional motivation behind her trip. Fluttershy is of course reluctant.

In this fashion, all the ponies, except Pinkie Pie wind up wandering the crumbling halls of the castle.

It’s also STAR SPIDER SEASON! RUN IN TERROR.

The episode is funny, everyone is running around the castle and no one knows anyone else is there. It’s very Laurel and Hardy meet Frankenstein or a Three Stooges movie. They keep bumping into each other sending the other group running away in terror. Everyone is telling scary stories and thinking that the other group is the Pony of Shadows! You even get to see a creepy hall way with disembodied pony arms!

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This whole time Twilight is reading in the Library. She found a diary in a secret room that was kept by Luna and Celestia. The story is framed by Twilight reading from the book and ends when Twilight discovers her friends all freaked out in the main hall. They realize that they’ve just been scaring one another.

I am really enjoying the story arc this season. I can’t wait to find out what is in the box. WHAT’s IN THE BOX!

Heroes of Cosplay = Reality TV Garbage

Posted: November 29, 2013 by Noccie in Noccie, Television
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Have you watched Heroes of Cosplay?

The shows premise is they are following professional cosplayers to several conventions around the country. All the members are competing against one another and local cosplayers for cash prizes. The featured cosplayer is Yaya Han, one of the most visible cosplayers today. She’s in every episode, even the one where she’s in Denmark and everyone else is at MegaCon.

 

Reality television is always staged to some extent and always scripted later by the producers. They cut out portions strategically to get the feel they want. They leave out anything that might make their show look bad and leave in only things they approve.

Heroes of Cosplay has so much vile behavior, that not all of it was cut out of the show. Also, some of the regular cosplayers they encountered along the way spoke out about the bad behavior of the actors on the show. Syfy really screwed the pooch because they did everything from fronted money for prizes last minute to pressuring conventions to add skit competitions the day before.

The first episode I watched was Emerald City Comic Con because I was there during the taping. I didn’t remember seeing any of them, although I spent most of my time in the artists alley. This episode has a moment that set up everything bad about the show. All the Heroes are eating at a restaurant talking about how some people shouldn’t cosplay at all. Chloe Dykstra is a newbie in the episode and competes with a costume of Lydia Deets, from Beetlejuice. She was defending cosplayers or all sizes or shapes and amateurs. Chloe was the only one in the episode that brought up that it should be fun and something you do because you LOVE the character or love dressing up. She loves Cosplaying and this was her first contest. That’s awesome! You don’t have to compete.

I don’t care who you are, don’t tell people they can’t do something fun because they don’t look like you. You can have five arms and play a character with no arms. It’s about the LOVE. One of my favorite local cosplayers is a black guy who does whatever he wants. At Geek Girl Con he was a Naruto and WAS AWESOME. He spent a bunch of time working on his costume and he can do the splits like his character. Who are YOU to tell him he can’t do this?

Guy from Naruto. Love this Cos-player. He's done Akuma a few years in a row at ECCC.

Guy from Naruto. Love this Cos-player. He’s done Akuma a few years in a row at ECCC.

The Heroes also openly criticize other professionals like Jessica Nigri for being sexy. Yaya Han think’s Jessica is too sexy. It’s the pot calling the kettle black if you’ve ever seen Yaya Han’s Jessica Rabbit. Other professionals are not the only ones they bash. They often complain about the competition winners when they are not Heroes. Some of the winning cosplayers, that aren’t among the Heroes, have worked for a year or more on their costumes. They have worked as hard or harder on their costumes only to be bad mouthed on network television by strangers. Not only is this elitism but it is just bad manners. If you want to be an ambassador to the rest of the world for cosplay, you have to put your best foot forward. That doesn’t just mean the best costume.

There are a few interesting things about the show. It is great to see the fabrication and sewing. I love seeing what goes into this sort of cosplaying. I also do love some of the cosplayers, like Chloe Dykstra, Jessica Merizan and Holly Conrad and Rikki LeCotey (aka Riddle). They have a way better attitude towards Cosplay than other members of the cast. Riddle does some amazing fabrication work on top of everything else, which is fantastic to see.

They are currently casting for season two. We will possibly have another season of catty bad behavior. Hopefully instead they will make up for season one. Maybe they will focus on good sportsmanship and talking to the other people about how much work they put into their costumes?

SPOILERS! Don’t even read further if you don’t want to know what happened.

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This past Saturday an amazing event took place… Season Four of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic started!

YAHOO! PARTY CANNON! The episode was a two part adventure with the whole gang.

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Princess Twilight is helping Princess Celestia and Princess Luna prepare for the summer solstice festival. This will be the first time Princess Luna has been able to help her sister with the ceremony since she returned from the Moon. On the eve before the ceremony Luna and Celestia go missing. Twilight heads back to Ponyville in the midst of the mystery because the Everfree forest is attacking. The herd looks for clues, questions the usual suspects and seeks advice but it takes a little magic to get to the bottom of the matter. The a few moments in the history of Luna and Celestia holds the key to what’s happening all over Equestria.

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The episode is great! It’s a wonderful return to a great show. My only wish… was that there had been a song. The story is complex and uses the old adage, learn from you past or you are bound to repeat it. Using a potion they look into the past and you get to see the history of Equestria first hand. It’s pretty neat to see Luna, Celestia and Discord in action. Discord is in the episode too, he’s brought in as a suspect.

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What did I like about this episode? The in depth look into the past was awesome. They also set up a great story arc for the season. I love seeing Twilight get help from her friends in the way of flying lessons. There were some nerdy moments, like when Discord is holding a poster that looks just like a Harry Potter wanted poster of Sirius Black. I made a squee noise. It was hilarious to see Discord back in the picture. Its nice to know that he’s still friends with Fluttershy.

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They also had a throw back to the OLD My Little Pony movie.

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Haha.. yes that is SPIKEY WIKEY in the Gen 1 movie.

There were a few things I didn’t like about the new episode. Pinkie Pie was really annoying at times. Her character was written a bit more immature than normal. Oh yeah, I also didn’t like that there wasn’t a song. I WANT MORE MUSIC!

Those are small gripes. I loved the episode and I’ve watched it several times already.

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Pendleton Ward, the creator of Adventure Time, has a new bi-weekly cartoon Bravest Warriors. bravest_warriors_gif_by_emi_hellaven-d5xjbfk  

This is a humorous take on the next gen hero team made up of the children. Remember the comic Gen 13? It’s the same basic concept.

You start off with the parents being called for help but the kids pick up and explain their parents are missing. That is when you are introduced to the Bravest Warriors. Each episode is a series of seemingly unrelated events, just like in Adventure Time. There are threads running through each episode though that are building up to season two, so pay attention.

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I love Pendleton Ward. I have watched all of Adventure Time and last night watched season one of Bravest Warriors in one sitting. The episodes are only five minutes long but somehow tell a good story in each one. Most of the voice actors from Adventure Time are back. He’s added some interesting support characters like paralyzed Horse, Cat Bug and Wankershims. Paralyzed Horse is paralyzed because he realized the meaning of the universe. Wankershims is a holographic elf that moves out of the Holo John and into the real world. Then everything becomes one with Wankershims. Cat Bug is an adorable, child like side kick that can move between our realm and the shadow zone. These odd side kicks help our heroes escape improbable situations.

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There is a romance story line of course. Beth and Chris are best friends and can’t come to grips with their attraction for each other. Classic Pendleton Ward romantic tension. 

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It’s a very solid show. Check it out on YouTube.

If anyone figures out the easter egg in each episode, don’t tell me. In Adventure time there was a tiny snail in every episode.

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I am a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This show is math. Growing up I loved the original My Little Pony. I still have my original Apple Jack. Needless to say, that was the 1980’s and everything was different back then. Animation didn’t really work on two levels. You either had a cartoon for adults or a cartoon for a certain age demographic of children. There were no in between cartoons at the time.

(Although, cartoons were originally created for adults. Reference Betty Boop.)

The new My Little Pony was developed by Lauren Faust. Her previous projects include the brilliant Power Puff Girls, Code Name Kids Next Door and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. These cartoons work on two levels, there are jokes kids just won’t get. She also makes a Big Lebowski reference in each one of her shows.  (Fosters ; MLP: FIM ; Powerpuff). I knew My Little Pony was going to be awesome, and it is. Then they came out with the summer movie that bridged the season break, Equestria Girls.

There had been rumors for a long time about this movie. A secret show  was being developed involving the ponies as humans in high school was being developed. Drama ensued on the Facebook and fan pages for My Little Pony. Everyone was up in arms that they would change our ponies into human girls! How dare they!

The movie was released in theaters and on DVD as short time afterwards. Slowly, the community took a chance and were won over. My Little Pony: Equestria Girls has been embraced by the community. Here is the plot.

Twilight Sparkle is having a hard time adjusting to becoming an princess. When she is asked to meet up in the Crystal Empire with Celestia, Luna and Cadence, Twilight’s crown is stolen. The thief, Sunset Shimmer, takes the crown through a portal to another realm. Celestia owns up to knowing the thief. Sunset Shimmer was Celestia’s former student gone evil and banished to the other realm for her own good. Celestia sends Twilight Sparkle through the portal with Spike but none of her other friends. On the other side of the portal Twilight Sparkle learns she has to win the crown as part of the fall formal. To do so, she needs to reunite the fragmented social groups of then entire school and get back through the portal before the moon changes!

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I bought this on DVD and I don’t regret it. The music is great, the story actually works really well. The movie has the same great story telling and characterization and voice acting that the MLP:FIM has. It was like watching a long episode of the show! It was also fun trying to pick out the different characters in their human forms. Everyone looked so familiar! There were a number of cameos. My favorites were Derpy in the lunch room and Trixie at the vending machine.

The fans were hilarious when this came out because Twilight Sparkle gets a boyfriend. Turns out he has a pony version on the other side of the portal. He’s the new palace guard named Flash Sentry. Thousands of Bronies had their hearts broken. No one wants to accept she might have a love interest in the new season. Oh boys. She’s not your waifu!

I loved this movie. I also used it while babysitting to occupy my friends daughter. It was awesome, she stared at the TV comatose. She loves Monster High and she just couldn’t handle the excitement because the character figures are really similar to Monster High. She enjoyed it as well. Watch it with your kids or younger siblings!

The new season of MLP: FIM starts at the end of November.

Baku : Cultural Curiosity

Posted: October 10, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Minatures, Television, Video Games

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As per usual, I’m following several Kickstarters at once. Current one that really has me excited is Chibi Asian Adventurers by Impact! Miniatures. Check that out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/674003445/chibi-asian-adventurers-miniatures-w-ninjas-and-mo

So, I was digging through each and every mini checking out the 3D renders and full details and finally got down to the last Stretch Goal: Baku. It looked familiar. Something about it sounded familiar so I started doing some reasearch. What I found was interesting to say the least.

First, I looked it up and plopped down to the Wikipedia listing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku_(spirit). Still looks familiar. Definitely have seen it in traditional art. This has a mention of Bakumon from Digimon which is inspired by the mythical Baku. Which is translated as Tapirmon in the English games. Wait, WHAT?!

Continuing the Wikipedia article, apparently, the Baku was no longer portrayed as a supernatural beast after sometime in 1980 when 2 and 2 became two too many and its a Tapir. Seriously, A TAPIR. From the outside, it looks like an entire culture said “ooooooh, THAT’S what that was” and retconned the whole damn thing. Its still a Baku, but it looks just like a Tapir. Of course, the supernatural aspects are still there, its just no longer presented in the traditional manner.

Funny enough, the Baku also inspired the Pokémon Drowzee and Munna/Musharna. The Tapir resemblance is VERY evident even there.

Funny how culture can shift with our understanding of the natural world!