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SDCC 2017 ‘Krypton’: What House are you backing?

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2017 by aliciamovie

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By Alicia Glass

It takes real nerve to come out and do a Comic-con panel for a highly anticipated show that technically hasn’t aired yet. That is one giant way to generate interest in the new show, true, but it’s still a big gamble, because what if even an SDCC panel isn’t enough. However, The Originals panel (I think) being before Krypton, there was plenty enough audience left to give a good showing.

The panel featured Cameron Cuffe (Seg-El), Executive Producers David S. Goyer, Cameron Welsh and Damian Kindler, and was moderated by DC universe amazement Geoff Johns himself. Johns is the President and Chief Creative Officer of DC comics, y’all, and has held these posts since 2010, so bow down.

Set two generations before the long-legendary Man of Steel’s time on earth, the new show Krypton features Seg-El on the titular planet fighting to redeem his ostracized families honor and engaging in forbidden romance with, who else, the House of Zod. Given that this is yet another attempt at a TV show having to do with the Big Blue Boy Scouts family and the House of El, Krypton seems to have set their standards almost impossibly high, and are working on giving a sweeping epic backstory to what is arguably the most well-known comic character in history, so we’re talking planet-sized hero boots to fill.

Almost immediately the EPs and Mod Johns launched into a list of well-known DC characters that will be featured on Krypton – Brainiac, with his own immersive storyline; that monster Doomsday; Adam Strange in an appropriately oracular role; even a new take on Hawkgirl. Jones happily went on to spoil that a Black Mercy (I thought he meant a car) would be in the pilot episode, it belongs to a character named Mongul, and if you’re any kind of fan-atic about the Superman part of the DCU, you’ll know why the audience erupted into cheers. EP Cameron Welsh talked briefly about the forbidden romance between Seg-El and the House of Zod, saying that Lyta Zod the youngest is the heartthrob in question, while her mother Alura Zod is the Primus of the Kryptonian military guild which makes her, say it with me, General Zod.

Jones was very personable and effortlessly charmed all the fans in the audience, many of whom were at least 40+something and lifelong Superman fans. Recalling the early days of terrible villain costumes, Johns laughed, “No, there will not be any headbands for the bad guys. That’s not until Season two!” Johns raved about the production values for the show, the all-encompassing effort at world-building, prompting Damian Kindler to practically wax poetic about the same: “We are attempting to build one of the most beautiful, grand TV series on the air. One of the things that’s constantly coming back in conversations is a sense of scope – we want you to be watching and going, ‘wow, this really is another world’. We have some of the most wonderful special effects houses in like 5 or 6 different countries building effects for us this season, we have one of the most talented production design teams I’ve ever worked with. And having Geoff (Johns) right in your house, saying, ‘This is the world, go build it’, has easily been the most exciting job I’ve ever had.”

Of course Johns was asked about cross-overs with other DCU characters, and made the very clear statement that, “Krypton is a stand-alone show,” for which I personally am very grateful. After a great spoiler-laden panel and a bunch of fan-squee and questions, Johns wound up the panel by saying they all tried very hard to make a show where the legions of DC fans out there would finally say, ‘They got it right.’ I sure hope so too, Geoff Johns, and I’ll be watching Krypton when it airs in 2018 on the Syfy channel!

SDCC 2017 ‘Stitchers’: Keep it all in the Family

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2017 by aliciamovie

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By Alicia Glass

Stitchers is a breakout hit on the Freeform TV channel, featuring Kirsten Clark, a woman suffering temporal dysplasia (a fictional condition that prevents her from sensing the passage of time) who is recruited to a super-secret NSA program. The program uses technology they call “stitching”, that allows Kirsten to dive into the memories of the newly-deceased. Kirsten is joined by neuroscientist Cameron Goodkin, bioelectrical engineer Linus Ahluwalia, computer scientist and roommate Camille Engelson, LAPD officer Detective Quincy Fisher, and headed by the redoubtable Maggie Baptiste.

I hadn’t thought Stitchers was popular enough to get their own panel at Comic-Con, but then again, Season 3 of the show started fairly recently and the line to get in to the panel was out the door and down the sidewalk, so color me pleasantly surprised! The panel featured Emma Ishta (Kirsten), Kyle Harris (Cameron), Ritesh Rajan (Linus), Damon Dayoub (Fisher), Executive Producer Jeff Schechter, and was moderated by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook!

EP Jeff talked about how the Cam-sten shippers are making things actually a bit harder for him, as Cameron and Kirsten were tossed together pretty much in Episode 1 of the entire show and for the next ten episodes they turned into like the perfect couple. And while that may be good for the characters, it makes for poor drama, even he was bored. So we’ll make it rain on their parade, rain on these two saps with all sorts of troubles that prevent their romantic relationship moving forward, especially that thing discovered recently, that if Cameron and Kirsten raise their oxytocin levels by means naughty or nice even a little, it prevents them from stitching effectively!

It’s not a spoiler to mention that Linus lost his father in the very first episode of Season Three, and Ritesh Rajan went on to talk about how such a storyline has massively affected his character. “He’s a character who wears his heart on his sleeve, very open and genuine, so for him to go through something so shocking and heartbreaking, it does leave him with an emotional scar that’s going to change him for the rest of his life,” Ritesh said. “It started the season that way and just catapults the character in a direction of massive growth. He’s forced to deal with these changes and this heartache, and he wonders, where is it going to lead him?”

Damon Dayoub good-naturedly endured ribbing about his being the father figure of the stitchers team and kind of the class clown of the cast of the show too. He laughingly went on to state that he became an actor so he wouldn’t have to wear a suit and tie every day, and yet here he is as this character who, inevitably, wears a suit and tie every day. “So, that sucks,” Dayoub grinned, “And I’ve got to shave every day, and as you can see I’m not a big shaver, so maybe next season,” as he nudged Schechter down the row, “Fisher could go undercover! A big beard and no showers, come on, what do you say?” To which Schechter smirked, “We’ve had this conversation before, and it’s still no.”

Rajan had a fun Comic-Con exclusive moment when Moderator Holbrook mentioned Linus knowing pi to umpti-squat-decimal-place and asked him what number he, Ritesh Rajan knew it to, which was rather small. Of course a fan in the front rows had to shout out a correct answer, and got applauded by the entire Stitchers cast!

Kyle Harris was charming and funny, struggling to recall all the nicknames Cameron has tossed at Kirsten so far, “Stretch, ‘K, Cupcake, Sunshine, Blondie, Chewie (as in Chewbacca from Star Wars),” and of course some helpful wag from the audience shouted, “Princess!” as well. Harris grinned when Holbrook mentioned Cameron’s gamer-geek-god experience in a recent episode and asked what games he likes to play in real life, answering with, “Mario Kart,” and challenging the cast to play the game on the giant SDCC screen to see who’s best! Harris didn’t deny it either, when Ishta told the entire panel about how Harris had donned (and broke) her stitch suit and climbed into the tank they use for stitching on the show, actually finding a photograph of that instance on her phone to share!

Harris got his own good-natured ribbing to endure too, as the entire cast and the EP goaded him about checking his hairstyle in every single last reflective surface he could find, including but not limited to the shooting cameras and the tank itself! And of course the fans wanted to hear, as soon as they heard that Harris does voice impressions from some of the geek culture references on the show, so Kyle obligingly mussed his hair and growled a line from as Doc from Back to the Future!

Some interesting trivia, it turns out that Kyle Harris and Grant Gustin of CW’s The Flash fame are super best pals in real life, and even share a musical background, as do many of the main cast members of Stitchers. Of course this sent the fans slavering for a musical Stitchers episode, which I don’t think would be too hard, but I personally am more interested in what else Schechter teasingly stated, which was a cross-over episode between the major Freeform shows, Shadowhunters or Beyond, and Stitchers, now there’s a real challenge!

The panel was wrapped up with loving fan questions, but before that the Mod asked what we can expect to see from each character in further coming episodes of Stitchers. Dayoub of course replied mysteriously about his character getting back together with his wife and making some big decisions; Harris intimated about Cameron getting into a row with Maggie; Rajan lamented the difficult-to-read women in Linus’ life; and of course Emma Ishta flip-flopped between Kirsten’s mom, dad, and sister. We were also treated to a genuine San Diego Comic-Con 2017 exclusive bite: we the fans will meet Cameron’s mother in the next few upcoming episodes of Stitchers!

Catch Stitchers on Freeform, Mondays @ 9/8c!