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May 2 2012 5:00pm

Once Upon a Time Vs. Grimm, Part 15: Hunting Season

Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m hunting power-crazed dads and wesen rebels. Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh….

Last week, in the Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows, it was all about the hunter and the hunted. On Once Upon a Time, Rumpelstiltskin is hunted down by an important figure from his past, and we learn exactly who August Booth is!

Well, not really.

On Grimm, we’re thrust into a WWII-style political climate as a wesen rebel from Europe makes his way to Portland with a wesen hit-man on his tail, and Nick has to choose between acting like a cop and acting like a Grimm.

[“I’m taking back my son!”]

Apr 27 2012 3:00pm

Songs From District 12: Producer Greg Wells Steps Into the Arena

You’ve probably already seen The Hunger Games a million times by now. Read every magazine piece, watched every YouTube video. Have you listened to the soundtrack yet? Probably.

But if not, you should. The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond stands as one of the great film soundtracks of recent years. It, like T-Bone Burnett’s soundtrack for the Coen Brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, as well as every soundtrack for every Quentin Tarantino film ever created, is a narrative in its own right, allowing the listener to know and live in the world of the film long after the screen goes dark. The album boasts talent like Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Kid Cudi, The Decemberists, Arcade Fire, and Neko Case, creating a rich tapestry true to the dystopian Appalachian core of both the Hunger Games film and the books.

I can’t stop listening to it.

[“You don’t talk, you don’t say nothin’ okay?”]

Apr 19 2012 5:00pm

Grimm Special: “Love Sick”

Apparently, Once Upon a Time was taking a longer vaycay than I realized. But it will definitely be back with an all-new episode this coming Sunday. Says so right on the website. So... there.

But don’t fret, pets! This week’s Grimm special is chock full of badassery, unrequited love, requited love that goes horribly awry, and Sargent Wu in his underwear, thus one-upping any shirtlessness engaged in by Renard, Nick, OR Hank.

[“It’s time we settled our differences...violently.”]

Apr 10 2012 1:30pm

Grimm Special: “The Thing With Feathers”

Well, Once Upon a Time took Easter Sunday off, so there wasn’t a new episode last night, which means that we have a Grimm Special this week in the Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows.

This is just as well as this episode was so awesome (and horrifically disgusting) on so many levels, that it really does deserve its own space. In “The Thing With Feathers” there’s relationship drama between Nick and Juliette; a teasing, flirty vibe between Renard and Adalind; an adorable crush vibe between Monroe and Rosalee; an abusive relationship between a cat wesen and a bird wesen; and the stalkerish beginnings of a relationship between Hank and Adalind.

Meanwhile, Wu continues his love affair with eating objects that aren’t food.

[“I hope you realize how dangerous this is....for me.”]

Apr 6 2012 5:00pm

Once Upon a Time vs. Grimm, Part 14: Keep Your Mouth Shut and Your Hands Off The Cookies!

We’re finally back to an actual Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows as both Once Upon a Time and Grimm had new episodes this week. On Once Upon a Time, we actually get to see the Softer Side Of Regina as we learn exactly what Snow White did to make her hate her so much. And you know what? I totally get it. That crap would’ve turned me evil, too. On Grimm, Sergeant Wu learns to keep his hands off of other people’s cookies while developing a taste for sofa stuffing. Also, Monroe has a girlfriend! Oh, and there was a case, too.

This week, these shows taught us two very important lessons. 1) Keep your mouth shut, and 2) Keep your hands off other people’s cookies!

[True love is magic. And not just any magic. It’s the most powerful magic there is...]

Apr 2 2012 5:30pm

Geek and Sundry: A YouTube Channel For the Geek Masses

One of the highlights of last month’s WonderCon was the panel announcing Felicia Day’s latest foray into New Media. She, along with producing partners Kim Evey, Wil Wheaton, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, and Mike Richardson, has created a new YouTube channel with a full slate of geek programming.

This new endeavor, Geek and Sundry, launches new shows TODAY!

[Wanna hear about the slate?]

Apr 2 2012 4:00pm

Once Upon a Time Special: “Hat Trick”

Okay okay, so I was wrong about there being a new episode of Grimm before last Friday, but there will be from now until May 18th! Ask Grimm writer, Akela Cooper, if you don’t believe me!

So, we have another Once Upon a Time special about “Hat Trick,” the episode in which we find out just what it was that drove the Mad Hatter mad.

Also, there are mad hats, yo.

[“The problem with this world is that everyone wants a magical solution to their problems, but everyone refuses to believe in magic.”]

Mar 23 2012 10:00am

Once Upon a Time Special: “Heart of Darkness”

There was no new episode of Grimm last week, so you’re getting a Once Upon a Time special this week.

But there was some wonderful Grimm news! Grimm has been renewed for a Season 2! It’s doing so well with a key demographic (adults 18-49) on a night that has been historically difficult (Fridays) that NBC had no choice but to give it another season! Its pilot did well against Game 7 of the World Series last year, for crying out loud! So, yes. More Grimm. #Grimmsters the world over can relax.

One can only expect the same news to be confirmed soon for Once Upon a Time, as it’s been doing extremely well ratings-wise, and its fanbase is rabid! (shout-out to the #EvilRegals and the #Snowers) Also, fun news out of the Once Upon a Time panel at Wondercon this past weekend is that 1) we will learn who August is this season, and 2) The Huntsman will be returning for the season finale! Yay, Jamie Dornan!

[Okay, let’s get to this week’s Once Upon a Time already!]

Mar 22 2012 11:00am

Symbols in The Hunger Games: Katniss, The Mockingjay, and Humanity at Its Best

Symbols in The Hunger Games: Katniss, The Mockingjay, and Humanity at Its Best

When I sat down to write about the Mockingjay symbol used in The Hunger Games trilogy, both the pin and Katniss Everdeen herself, the first thing I thought of was child soldiers and the Kony 2012 campaign.

Bear with me.

[Spoilers below if you haven’t read the entire Hunger Games trilogy]

Mar 14 2012 6:00pm

Once Upon a Time vs. Grimm, Part 13: Show Me What You’ve Got

The Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows has delivered two brilliant episodes of television this week, both dealing with how competent one can be when someone forces him/her to step up to the plate. On Once Upon a Time, Ruby learns what she’s capable of after a stint working for Emma. On Grimm, Nick is forced to step up as his most heroic self to rescue Juliette.

[Spoilers ahoy!]

Mar 14 2012 2:30pm

Brian K. Vaughan Launches Saga at a Midnight Signing in LA

Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I love watching famous fanboys geek out over each other, and I was treated to a heaping serving of it when I attended the midnight launch event for Brian K. Vaughan’s latest creator-owned comic, Saga, at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. The free event was packed despite starting at 11PM and began with a Q & A between Vaughan and his former boss on Lost, Damon Lindelof, followed by a midnight signing.

[“This is how an idea becomes real...”]

Mar 7 2012 5:00pm

Once Upon a Time vs. Grimm, Part 12: A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Once Upon a Time vs. Grimm, Part 12: A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes

This week in the Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows, characters on both series are exploring their deepest dreams and desires to totally different effect. On Once Upon a Time, we learn how Grumpy became Grumpy after his dream to be with his true love didn’t come true. On Grimm, we bear witness to Captain Renard’s deepest dreams, which apparently involve him preening before an adoring crowd in his silk jammies.

[“It ends here, and it ends now!”]

Mar 1 2012 10:00am

Grimm Special: Last Grimm Standing

Welcome back to the Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to recover from the void left behind on Sunday by no new episode of Once Upon a Time that was coupled with a painfully unfunny Oscars broadcast. (I think it’s official — Billy Crystal can stop now.) This week, I’ve got a Grimm special for you about an episode that brings us into the depths of Wessen Fight Club while giving us even more insight into the mysterious Captain Sean Renard.

[No, I need your wrath....]

Feb 24 2012 5:00pm

Gallifrey One 2012: The Who-iest Place On Earth

Cosplay pictures from Doctor Who convention Gallifrey One 2012

You know who knows how to party? Doctor Who fans, that’ It’s taken me until now to recover from this year’s Gallifrey One, North America’s largest Doctor Who convention. Over 3,000 guests descended on the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles this past weekend at one of the warmest, most welcoming cons there is! There are already several reports on Gally up already. Allow me, then, to share my Top 5 Highlights (other than my fabulous Dalek dress, designed/created by Tara Reich) from the 23rd Gallifrey One Convention!

[There be Gally photos, too!]

Feb 24 2012 12:00pm

DotCon: The Convention Experience You Can Have In Your Jammies

Love cons, but hate things like spending money, or... you know... going somewhere? Well have I got news for you!

Today is the first day of Dot Con, the first geeky pop-culture convention that is held entirely online. Using the magic of streaming services — like Justin.TV and UStream — and Twitter, Dot Con seeks to bring the con experience right into your own home! It’s an intriguing idea, and to be honest, I’m surprised something like this hasn’t been done more often.

[Read more]

Feb 22 2012 11:00am

Once Upon a Time Special: What Happened to Frederick?

Once Upon a TimeWe have another “special” this week, as Grimm didn’t air a new episode, so Once Upon a Time will be standing on its own!

However, first things first. After much thought, I’m going to give you a first in the Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows. I’m going to change a show’s score. Last week, I was a bit harsh on Once Upon a Time in the Representation department with regard to the episode, “Skin Deep,” saying:

However, representation-wise, [Belle] was the one bright spot in an otherwise dull episode. No minority characters save a brief glimpse of a Sneezy pharmacist and two scenes for Lana Parilla, and the rest of the female characters weren’t particularly interesting this week.

I’ve decided to amend my Representation score, bringing it to a full “2,” because of the scene with Regina and Mr. Gold in the jail. I let the blandness of the Valentine’s Day Girls’ Night subplot blind me to the fact that this was one of Regina’s most interesting moments, and worth pointing out as a strong female moment.

[What Happened to Quality Television?]

Feb 14 2012 12:00pm

Once Upon a Time Vs. Grimm 11: Fairy Tale Valentines

Valentine’s Day is today, and Once Upon a Time and Grimm have each given us valentines of their own, each episode dealing with love in its many permutations.

On Once Upon a Time, we learn how Rumpelstiltskin responded to the loss of a Great Love; as well as the real story of Beauty and the Beast, or rather, Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, which is a love story that manages to be both disturbing and heartwarming at the same time. Grimm had an equally disturbing and heartwarming love story at its heart as we were introduced to a spinnetod, a Black Widow spider creature who, despite her biological imperative to seduce and kill men to keep herself alive manages to keep her beloved husband alive.

[“All you’ll have is an empty heart and a chipped cup.”]

Feb 8 2012 6:00pm

Once Upon a Time Vs. Grimm Ep 10: Wishes, Organs, and My Crackpot Theories

Once Upon a Time Vs. Grimm Ep 10: Wishes, Organs, and My Crackpot Theories

Aaaand we’re back to the Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows as both Once Upon a Time and Grimm aired new episodes this past week. As it happens, Grimm skipping a week has allowed me to get ahead of Once Upon a Time, meaning that as long as there are no more interruptions, I’ll be reviewing Sunday’s episode the next day instead of a week later.


On Once Upon a Time, we got some back story on Sidney Glass, aka The Magic Mirror, learning how he got to be in the mirror in the first place. Meanwhile, Grimm gave us a gruesome take on Hansel and Gretel involving human organs and, even worse, 90’s college slacker fashion!


[“Love makes people do foolish things.”]

Feb 6 2012 6:00pm

Once Upon a Time Special: “7:15 A.M.”

While Grimm took a break, Once Upon a Time moved ahead with a new episode that focused on the ever-complicated relationship between Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas). In it, Mary Margaret reveals that she sits at the coffee shop every morning at 7:15AM, because she knows that’s when David comes in to pick up coffee for himself and his wife, and she cherishes this brief contact with him every morning. The thing is, he’s there at 7:15AM every morning, because he’s hoping to see her. After an emotional moment they shared in a cabin in the woods, and a pregnancy scare from Kathryn (Anastasia Griffith), they succumb to their feelings for each other.


[I can’t get him out of my head...]

Feb 3 2012 11:00am

Once Upon a Time Vs. Grimm Ep 9: Daddy Issues

Sorry for the delay, kids. As there was no new episode of Grimm last week, I decided to hold off on the column and take a break. You understand, don’t you?

In this week of the Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows, the characters on Once Upon a Time and Grimm are dealing with some heavy-duty Daddy Issues. On Once Upon a Time, Emma tries to help a homeless brother and sister reunite with their father so that they don’t get lost in the foster care system. That brother and sister? Hansel and Gretel. On Grimm, a man who’s spent his life being mousy under his father’s thumb discovers his true self after his father’s death. The only problem is, the self he discovers is crazy.

[“Family always finds one another...”]