Monthly Archives: June 2015

The sun is shining – let’s binge watch TV!!

So, as you know, I recently attended an Invasion convention (which I blogged about HERE) and clearly it has reignited my love for binge watching TV sessions.

Last week, himself and I immersed ourselves in a Game of Thrones marathon – every episode from the beginning.

Actually, I think it’s better watched this way. Every season feels like an oldie style film* and it’s impressive how well the various story lines overlap, while remaining autonomous. The exception that proves the rule being the ham-fisted stand-alone shambles that was the Sand Snakes (heck, I’d throw in Dorne as a whole) in the most recent series.

you win or you die

Himself and I thankfully share a number of favourites – from characters (DRAGONS!!!, Arya, Tyrion, Jaime, Cerci, Brienne, Varys) to pairings (platonic and otherwise – Tyrion and ANYONE, Jaime and Brienne, The Hound and Arya) and a number of loathings (Joffrey, Littlefinger, Ramsey, The Boltons and – recent addition – Stannis). And as an ardent resident Know-It-All; I’ve particularly enjoyed being able to fill in additional bits and pieces from the A Song of Ice and Fire series of books (and thank the skies for online wiki sites!).

Of course the highlights were probably exactly what you’d expect.

dragons

Dragons. winter is coming

Most of season one was just superb. The amount of subtle scene setting and world building was phenomenal and of a far greater scale than I’ve seen in a long time. While violent and explicit; every scene felt as though it was building to a greater whole – not something that we’ve felt across all the series. Adding to the ‘real’ feel of the show are the intergenerational stories. While not all of the cast match the ages as depicted in the books (which I don’t have an issue with. The books are the books; the show is a different reflection of them.), a real effort has been made to show characters of all ages. It’s been such a novelty especially if one is a regular viewer of US network shows which seem to strickly hire hotties from the 18-35 age range. Or CW which seems to near exclusively cast hotties of roughly 20-25 years!

where are my dragons

We were less enamoured with season 2, though still glued to the screen. Sadly, Daenerys growth and development was squandered a touch as it all degenerated into her screeching ‘where are my dragons’ for episodes at a time. Though to be fair, these scenes seemed less grating and fewer in number than when we originally watched them – residual resentment might be playing a part here – I’ll let you know in 5 years if I get over it. The pace certainly picked up though and where we were given a lot of time to get to know characters in season 1; this time round, the viewer was expected to hit the ground running and keep up. The Tyrion and Arya arcs were pretty awesome. Watching a disguised Arya serve under Tywin Lannister for example was a particular highpoint. While poor old Jon Snow  learning all the things he doesn’t know from the wildling Ygritte was just such a crowd pleaser in our house at least.

you know nothing jon snow

Dragons. dragon 01

I love season 3 – take a bow Jamie and Brienne and the brilliantly realised Kingslayer redemptive arc and of course the much lauded Red Wedding – but I can’t deny that it drags for me. The Theon story took far too long to sort itself out while Tyrion took to his books rather than…you know…the cool stuff from last season. Even Daenerys doesn’t excite as much as I’d hoped though she was all fabulous and victorious. Yes, yes, I know the Red Wedding was just spectacularly gruesome and fabulous and Does Not Disappoint but overall this season just fell flat for me.

red wedding

Season 4 pulled it all back together again and introduced some brilliant characters. However, it’s becoming difficult to care too much about the new crop since few of them seem to have much staying power. One bitten…then raped, burned, dismembered and/or dragged bloody and broken across a stable yard floor; twice shy.

purple wedding

 

Season 5 has been the most uneven so far but with some epic high’s! Himself must have watched the final scenes of episode 9 at least 4 or 5 times now – he finds it that compelling! I’ll say more no doubt once the finale has aired and I’m less worried about spoiling anyone!

Dragons.dragon 02

So far, Game of Thrones is one of the few shows that seems to be going from strength to strength and is just as enjoyable during a rewatch (and possibly a little bit more). Well worth the withdrawal pangs that we’ve experienced since.
dragon 06Next up is Dollhouse.

dollhouse

*FUN FACTS – Gone with the Wind (1939) runs for just under 4 hours including intermission. The Satin Slipper (1985) is 6 hours and 50 minutes long. Meanwhile the three Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003) films run for a mere 11 hours and 20 minutes, which almost looks as though it wasn’t even trying. 

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My Top Three Conventions!

Convention Rankings

I’ve written about my love of the convention scene many times before (and have a mini-guide for newbies – HERE). I thought that it might be fun to try and rank the cons that I’ve attended, especially as I’ve just had the most amazingly chilled and fun weekend.

Photo of Sandeep Parikh's Instagram

Photo of Sandeep Parikh’s Instagram

3. Inva5ion

I’m hoping to blog about this in greater detail so shall just cover the highlights.

This was a small con, roughly 150 attendees. Almost every person there was both a con and Starfury regular so every event from autographs to photos to mini meet and greets ran so smoothly, so cheerfully that it was just a pleasure to be part of it.

Of course there are those I’m especially close to – including my friend-the-author Owen Elgie – and it was lovely to be able to catch up face to face.

The guests were just wonderful. All but one – Jena Malone – were Starfury regulars so knew exactly what to expect. Robin Thorsen, Sandeep Parikh (Culturally Fixated friends) and Aaron Douglas partied every night till the last attendee dropped As does Paul Blackthorne – who was equally engaging, if somewhat less present on the dancefloor! Jena Malone was the most down to earth unaffected person, with 20 years worth of biz stories to share, as well as a wealth of knowledge and experiences that was just fascinating. This was her first convention and she seemed to take it like a fish to water – hopefully we’ll see her again soon!

My frist con with Cider by Grant Gowdy

Photo by Grant Gowdy

2. Echo 2

My first ever convention. I was introduced to the con scene by a wonderful friend who made sure that I met all the ‘con regulars’ (and the somewhat less flattering term alert – said in LOVE) and ‘con ho’s’.

Instantly, I felt as though I had found my people, my home away from home.

The attendees were fantastic – so welcoming and friendly. The guests couldn’t have hung out with us more and seemed just as geeky about the show as we were. I met Reed Diamond – my first podcast ‘superstar guest star’ and now a true friend.

The beginning of an amazing few years for me started the moment I first tweeted @Cidergirli.

joss whedon at serenity forever

SQUEE

1. Serenity Forever

Oh hi there Joss. What’s that? You fancy a dance.

No brainer!!!!

Check out this ARTICLE written by a mate of mine – @RoelVeldhuyzen for details about the night Joss Whedon crashed a Starfury Convention.

My friends were predictably fantastic. The guests were amazing. Both Magda Apanowicz and Lean Cairns have subsequently podcast with me and are just incredible women. Aaron Douglas is not capable of letting a party die. He just WON’T allow it. Jonathan Woodward and communion are just the most amazing combination and every con is better for it. Jewel Staite and Sean Maher are as close friends as a fangirl like me could have hoped of and knew each other so well they were constantly interrupting and finishing one another’s anecdotes. Also…they brought a friend who dances like a fiend.

I’m in a photo with Joss Whedon. I got to see him dance. AND THEN I SPOKE WITH HIM FOR A MOMENT.

Just…epic!

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