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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Continuum” (Sorta.)

Dear Frank,

continuumSometimes this blog is a place where I provide a genuine public service for you and others, by telling you everything you might need to know about a certain media item so that you never have to consume it yourself. And sometimes it is a place where I just tell you about something I liked recently, and urge you and others to check it out, and maybe I don’t reveal too much about it along the way to enable said checking-out.

We’re doing the second thing today. Continuum, Frank! A show worth checking out!

Well, very specifically, a show worth checking out if (like me) you cut your sci-fi teeth on The X-Files and other genre shows that were shot in Canada in the 1990s. I don’t know what it is about the combination of grey skies, pine trees, and low-budget special effects that I find so charming, but any time I even sniff a hint of Vancouver or Toronto in a show’s exterior shots, I feel like I’ve come home.

So Continuum, which is not only shot in Canada but IS CANADIAN and is actually SET IN CANADA, had an easy in with my heart. And we haven’t even gotten to the strong female protagonist yet! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” Season 8

Dear Frank,

buffy the vampire slayerAs you’re a man who enjoys cross-platform approaches to narrative, I think you’ll appreciate this. Buffy Season 8 is different from other Buffy comics that have been released by Dark Horse over the years because of the words “Season 8” — unlike other comics, this is no stand-alone side adventure. This is what Joss Whedon and his team genuinely consider to be the continuation of the Buffy story, following that whole Buffy-shared-the-slayer-power-with-everyone-and-oh-yeah-Sunnydale-collapsed-into-the-earth thing you might remember from the TV show’s series finale.

And freed from budget constraints by the magic of sequential art, let’s just say that some imaginations get a massive fucking workout. Frank, every once in a while I am genuinely concerned that I will not be able to capture the batshit insanity of something I am telling you about. Today is one of those days.

By the way, when I say batshit insanity, I do mean that in a good way. Mostly.

What happens in it, Frank? Oh, my god, so much stuff. But I’ll try and keep things simple. Read the rest of this entry

“Torchwood”: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

So this one goes out to a few of the folks who were sitting at the Geminon table at Rudy and Casey’s wedding reception last week — during dinner, the subject of Torchwood came up, and I realized that I had very strong opinions about this show that had not yet been committed to words.

Specifically, this: If watched properly, this plucky series about a team of sexy bisexual alien fighters is not only an enjoyable companion piece to Doctor Who (of which it is technically a spin-of), but genuinely great television in its own right. The proper viewing experience, however, requires skipping about 50 percent of the show. Maybe actually more? (It depends on how seriously you take Torchwood: Miracle Day.)

I don’t know why Torchwood is one of the most uneven series of all time. It just is. As sci-fi fans, we learn to accept these things and just enjoy watching Spike from Buffy make out with John Barrowman — because when Torchwood gets something right, it gets it VERY RIGHT.

So let’s get into it! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Terra Nova”

Dear Frank,

All last fall, as I watched Terra Nova, YET ANOTHER family-from-the-not-too-distant-future-travels-to-the-past-and-gets-to-hang-out-with-dinosaurs drama, I knew it would be something I should tell you about at some point.

Frank, I thought we’d have more time. Alas, last night the word went out that Terra Nova was no more — at least for Fox, though the show’s going to be shopped around to other networks HAHAHAHAHAHAHA GOOD LUCK WITH THAT GUYS. I mean, I sure did watch it. But that doesn’t mean I think the odds of it returning are anything less than EXTINCT (HAHAHAHAHAH I AM FUNNY TODAY’S LIZ TELLS FRANK IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY COFFEEEEEEE).

With odds of pick-up low, let us memorialize the show the best way I know how — by snarking about it! It’s been a while since the show’s season finale last December, Frank, so I’m just going to tell you the stuff I remember, but that’ll probably all you ever need to know, anyway.

Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne”

Dear Frank,

I used to be a big comics fan, buying new issues of certain series monthly and borrowing the rest from friends, with whom I would debate the latest DC and Marvel developments. I did this not as a teenager, but throughout my mid-20s, because that’s how much of a late bloomer totally awesome I was.

I still like the medium, still like a good superhero story, still think Batman is totally boneable — alas, it’s been several years since I was reading regularly. However, a month or so ago, my friend Rudy recommended the graphic novel The Return of Bruce Wayne to listeners of our podcast, and as I love time travel and Batman, I requested and received a copy of the trade paperback for Christmas.

The reason for me wanting to read it was two-fold — one, FUCK YEAH BATMAN TRAVELLING THROUGH TIME. Two, I kinda wanted to see if it’d be at all possible for me, a casual reader, to hop into a modern day comic adventure and understand what the hell was going on. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Novel “Imzadi”

Dear Frank,

There are no shortage of embarrassing books on my bookshelves (as well as the auxiliary book piles) — books I brought from home because they were important to me at some time or another. And while we could argue about how embarrassing some of these books might be, I think there’s no denying that Star Trek: The Next Generation tie-in novels belong near the top of the list. On a junior high school level, after all, a Star Trek tie-in novel combines both Star Trek and, god forbid, READING. There are probably even some Star Trek fans rolling their eyes at me right now.

Here’s the thing, though — when I sat down to reread Peter David’s Imzadi last night, the first words I read, in big bold-face type, were “THE END.” And I finally remembered why I’d gone to the trouble, all those years ago, to cart a Counselor Deanna Troi/Commander William Riker romance novel hundreds of miles to my current home. Short version: TIME TRAVEL. Which makes Imzadi, actually, kind of awesome.

Imzadi is pitched as the story of how Riker and Troi, established as old lovers in the pilot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, first met and fell in love. But before we get anywhere near the sweaty jungles of Betazed (this book is pretty enjoyable, Frank, but there are certainly elements that will not escape mockery), we first go to see our old friend, The Guardian of Forever! Original series Star Trek fans don’t need me to explain what the Guardian of Forever is; for the people in the cheap seats, though, just know that it’s a big donut-shaped rock that shows all points in time, and if you jump through it at the right point, you can travel INTO THE PAST. Read the rest of this entry

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