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Summer Television Plans, Part 2: The New

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Last week I detailed some of the old shows I would be watching this summer, meaning those that I was rewatching or those that have been airing for a while but that I haven’t watched yet. In this post, I will briefly go over a couple of the shows that are airing new seasons this summer, and why I’m watching them. For me, summer television means camp, and I don’t mean the kind you went to as a kid or the activity you do with a tent. I like my summer television to be light and airy. It should be fun, silly and not take itself too seriously. Being a perpetual student means that summer is my time off, and I like my tv shows to reflect that.
*Note, spoilers for new summer shows below. *

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Being a Geek: On Learning to Love the Things I Love

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The first time I told my mom that I was thinking about doing cosplay at Ottawa ComicCon, she tried her best to hide her shock (and possibly some slight judgement). You see, while it had been well established that I was a high achieving nerd in graduate school with an obsessive relationship to television, and though I’d come out about my identity as queer, I still harboured a secret: I am a geek. My geek identity is something still feels new and unsure to me, it was something I didn’t even know about myself for a long time.

My gateway to geekdom was genre television. As a child, I remember crawling into my Dad’s bed after dinner where we would watch Star Trek Voyager and Deep Space Nine. When I was in middle school it was the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In high school, I added Angel to the mix. As an undergrad I became even more obsessed, adding Firefly (do you see a theme yet?), Lost, Smallville, Jeremiah, Doctor Who, and Torchwood, to name a few. As shows I loved came to a close, I had a hard time letting go. I started turning to comic book continuations of shows that I loved, starting with Angel: After the Fall, then Buffy Season 8 (and now 9!). From there, I started to branch out to comics beyond the Whedonverse. I read the Watchmen, and started picking up a number of indie books from the local comic book shop.

But its not just tv and books. The first year my partner and I lived to get other we spent out extra OSAP money on two Nintendo DS lites that were on sale at EB Games. I’m 95% certain that all of our extra money that year was spent on DS games. A year later, we bought a Wii. When the 3DS came out I upgraded as soon as we had the money for it, and we preordered the Wii U. Recently, my partner and I have turned to a love of table top gaming, a hobby that helps us spend quality time together. We get excited about new episodes of Tabletop, and we make lists and charts of games we want to buy.

Now I spend time thinking about collectibles that I want to buy, and scouring Etsy for geeky handmade things. I spend my free time watching old shows or playing old games that I missed out on. I argue with my partner about what the coolest super power is, or what the ultimate sci-fi show is. Beside my stuffy academic books and my thesis I now proudly display our growing collection of comics and vinyl figures..

But its still not always easy. I didn’t go to ComicCon in cosplay. Why not? I still worry sometimes about how I will be received, both inside and outside of the geek community. Though I can handle the thought of mockery from those outside the community, I particularly worry about the sting of rejection from those inside it. I worry about how my first attempt at cosplay won’t be very good, and people will make feel bad for its lack of authenticity. I worry that the guy standing beside me rifling through comics will judge me when I primarily choose television tie-in comics. I feel uncomfortable when queer academic me wants to speak out about the depiction of gender in comics, genre television and movies and others shoot me down or tell me that I’m overreacting. I feel invisible when I don’t see out and proud geeks or out and proud characters in geek media.

But these discomforts are easily forgotten in the excitement of sharing something that you love. Discussing the latest episode of a new show I love, opening the cover of a new book or comic, punching out the pieces for a new board game is exciting. That knowing exchange of smiles when two people wearing geeky shirts pass each other brightens up my day. This passion extends beyond the people I pass on the street every day as well. At Ottawa ComicCon in May of this year, I nervously approached Felicia Day for an autograph and to thank her for inspiring me to pursue a career I am actually passionate about. She told me I had cool hair and said she didn’t think she could pull it off, and in that moment I wasn’t thinking about any of those worries that I have, I was just thinking about how Felicia Day might look with the sides of her head shaved.

The passion of people in the geek community inspires me every day to keep being honest and open about the things I love, and to pursue my own passions and dreams even when others might think they are weird.

Summer Television Plans, Part 1: The Old

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Admittedly, I had been planning to write this post at the beginning of June, but then I got a job. While I’m grateful to have a job and be able to pay my bills, enjoy life a bit, and put some money away for school in September, moving from the life of a grad student to a 9-5 office job has been exhausting. So naturally, blogging has fallen by the way side. However, I am determined to pick it back up again, so here we go!

Increasingly, networks have been choosing to air a number of really excellent shows during the summer. Summer is no longer a barren wasteland of reruns and reality shows, but now also includes more innovative and interesting options, often shows that have an unusual concept or catch that networks might be nervous to run during fall primetime slots. Despite the increasing number of new choices in the summer, I often find myself using the summer to catch up on shows I didn’t have time to watch before, or to revisit old favourites. I am doing a combination of both this summer.

In the area of ‘shows I’ve never seen before but have been around for a season or two,’ I just finished a marathon session of The Good Wife, a show which had never really sparked my interest before. Having watched it now, I can officially say that I am hooked, and it will be entering my regular viewing schedule this fall. I am also thinking about finally looking into Game of Thrones. I have been hesitant, as I’m not sure its entirely my cup of tea, but I feel like its time to give it a chance. Finally, I am going to continue watching Primeval. I started it about 3 months ago, but only got through the first two seasons, so I am planning on finishing that up over the next two months.

In terms of revisiting old favourites, my partner and I are rewatching our way through Battlestar Galactica. I love that show so much that I cannot even put it into words. Look for an upcoming Fandom post about BSG! It will be a slow process though, as my partner tends to get a bit tired of television, so we can only watch a couple episodes a week. I think that I will also revisit Eureka this summer. I feel like Eureka is one of those shows that I can watch over and over and over again. Its charming and endearing, light and campy but super engaging. It is, in my humble opinion, pretty much near perfect summer television and I am still devastated that it isn’t coming back.

So thats part 1 of my summer television plans. Look out later in the week for part 2, the new! I will be evaluating the new or returning shows for the summer and deciding whats worth my time to watch.

Is there anything you feel like I should to be watching this summer? Do you return to old favourites in the summer? What shows have you missed out on that you are thinking of checking out? Let me know in the comments!

Fandom: Queer as Folk

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 Fandom is a series in which I detail my favourite shows and reflect on why they speak to me. These posts will contain spoilers. 

I have always loved television. Like REALLY loved television. In fact, my mother informed me a few months ago that, even as a small child, if we didn’t make it home to watch Sesame Street every single day, there was hell to pay. I remember racing home after school every day in the early to mid 90s to watch Degrassi (the original, both Junior High and High, then in syndication). I loved those characters. Joey Jeremiah was probably my first crush. I spent my evenings watching whatever I was allowed to, although I was particularly fond of Kratt’s Creatures and Muppets Tonight.  However, when I reflect back on my 20 some years of television watching the show that stands out, the one that hits me so viscerally that I sometimes tear up just thinking about it, was one that aired while I was in high school. Read the rest of this entry

RECAP: Bomb Girls 2×09 “Something Fierce”

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I am willing to declare, loudly, that last night’s Bomb Girls episode has been probably my favourite of the entire series. It was, in many ways, the most explicitly feminist episode to date but also it featured burlesque. As a burlesque dancer, that definitely caught my attention. Warning, full spoilers below!

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RECAP: The Big Bang Theory 6×20 “The Tenure Turbulence”

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The Big Bang Theory has never been perfect. It is, after all, a Chuck Lorre production. Despite that unfortunate set up, and its completely overdone premise (nerds meet hot girl, social awkwardness ensues!), I have largely enjoyed much of the series. Big Bang has shown a variety of interesting and nuanced relationships between its characters, punctuated by the occasional joke that crosses the line (often related to fatness, queerness or gender essentialism).

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RECAP: Bomb Girls 2×08 “Fifth Column”

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Oh Bomb Girls, how I love thee.

After the too-soon end of Being Erica, I wasn’t sure I could love another Canadian drama so soon. While CBC’s Being Erica will forever hold a place in my heart as one of the most endearing and original Canadian dramas, Global’s Bomb Girls sucked me right in the first time I watched it. The second season has showed no sign of letting up on the awesome, and its recent return from hiatus has been a port in the from from the miserable Canadian spring weather we’ve been having. Read the rest of this entry