Geek Stuff · TV Stuff

TV Boyfriends – the update.

Last February I took part in Fluttering Butterflies’ Love Month, writing a post about my various TV boyfriends – the men I love most of all in my favourite tv shows, the ones I wish would appear in real life and whisk me away to somewhere nice. It was a real joy to write, and it was well received – always pleasing. When I was at the Asylum convention (this focuses on Supernatural) the subject came up, and I decided I ought to update the post in light of the number of new TV shows I was watching. The original 2012 list contained 6 names, I’m afraid this new list is a little longer… a nice round 10 to be precise.

In no particular order (I decided to write this post in May, if I’d had to order it then it would have been next May before I’d have written it), here’s the list. All of these characters are included based on their appearance in the 2012/13 season of their respective shows.

To start off with, we have the returners.

Eliot Spencer (Leverage, played by Christian Kane)
Former military man turned mercenary turned good guy, Eliot provides the physical power behind the Leverage team. A true southern gent with a big heart, there’s nothing Eliot won’t do for his nearest and dearest.

Dean Winchester (Supernatural, played by Jensen Ackles)
Dean evolves with every season of Supernatural, season 8 saw yet more growth and character rounding (with no physical rounding going on). The core of Dean Winchester remains the same – he’s a gruff exteriored, warm, loyal to a fault man prepared to put himself on the line to save his nearest and dearest.

Steve McGarrett (Hawaii Five-0, played by Alex O’Loughlin)
Steve heads up the specialist police task force, using the skills he developed as a Navy SEAL. He has only a cursory care for doing things the right way, he’s far more focused on doing the right thing. He’s snarky and strong minded but has a mellower, softer side when it’s most important.

Neal Caffrey (White Collar, played by Matt Bomer)
Art forger and con man turned FBI confidential informant there’s much to love about the vintage tailoring clad Neal Caffrey. Whilst he’s gone good he hasn’t turned that leaf over entirely – he uses his smarts both for good and for his own gain.

And then we get onto the newbies.

Jon Snow (Game of Thrones, played by Kit Harrington)
“You know nothing Jon Snow”. Well he may know nothing but that doesn’t stop Jon from standing up for what is right. After a difficult start his move north has allowed him to find his feet, and of course as this is Game of Thrones find himself in perilous situation after perilous situation. Jon is loyal to a fault, fighting for his family and friends whenever needed.

John Diggle (Arrow, played by David Ramsey)
Acting publicly as bodyguard to Oliver Queen and secretly as right hand man to the Arrow, Diggle is kept busy and faces down danger on a day to day basis. He’s a voice of reason and willing confidante whenever he’s needed to be, and as a bonus he’s always willing to take part in training montages.

Tim Gutterson (Justified, played by Jacob Pitts)
I have a real weakness for smart mouthed sharp shooters and Deputy Marshall Tim Gutterson certainly fits the bill. Whilst many would choose Timothy Oliphant’s Raylan Givens I, far more interested in the quiet, snarky blonde. After 4 seasons we still don’t know much about Tim, but each glimpse we get into this former Army Ranger sniper makes me want to know more and more.

Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead, played by Norman Reedus)
What a difference a zombie apocalypse makes! Daryl Dixon has emerged from the shadow of uber bigoted big brother Merle to become an integral part of Rick Grimes’ group of survivors. This motorbike riding, crossbow wielding, quiet man is reliable, focused and exactly the kind of person you want fighting in your corner when it all goes wrong.

Derek Hale (Teen Wolf, played by Tyler Hoechlin)
Ah, Derek Hale. Brooding, sad, growly werewolf Derek Hale. Teen Wolf has no shortage of attractive actors but as most of them are portraying high school students it would be entirely inappropriate to consider them for this list (but I’ll happily mention they exist). Derek has made some really poor decisions over the first 2 and a half seasons, but generally they’ve been for the best of decisions. If only he could master the art of using his words a little more… as long as it didn’t cut the number of brooding stares we get to see.

Kelly Severide (Chicago Fire, played by Taylor Kinney)
Lieutenant of a rescue squad in the Chicago Fire Department (and yet another former Army Ranger – that’s three former members of elite armed forces and a couple whose military history is a little less clear on the list) Kelly Severide is, on the face of things, the quintessential ladies man. Underneath it though we get to see a far more thoughtful, respectful man. His father was the love ’em and leave ’em rogue and Kelly is determined not to be like him. He’s a wonderful friend, and always tries to do the best by everyone.

So there’s the 2013 update to my list, it’s interesting (to me at least) to see that whilst the 10 characters are all very different there are many similar traits amongst them. They may all look and behave differently (though yes there are many pairs of very attractive arms on this list… and many characters who don’t wear shirts as often as they maybe should…) but they share a number of characteristics I valour most highly.

With many of the series already into their 2013/14 seasons I know already there are going to be a couple of changes coming to the list – I’ll try and do it a little earlier next year. I may even ask a couple of friends to contribute their lists.

TV Stuff

My Five Favourite TV Shows of 2011.

It’s that time of year when everyone’s compiling lists, and I do love a good list so I thought it was a bandwagon I’d happily jump onto. I’m going to do three lists of five items, my favourite TV shows of 2011 on Tuesday, films on Wednesday and books on Thursday.

I watch a lot of tv. This year I’ve loved so many programmes, both ones I’ve been watching for years and ones that I’ve discovered for the first time. In no particular order my favourite shows of this year have been…

Oh how I love this show. For starters it has a great cast playing brilliant characters, the team of five are all well developed and interesting and the women are as cool and capable as the men. The relationships between the team members reflect the friendship the actors all have off the screen, they are all so believable and wonderfully entertaining. Then there are the plots, each episode sees the team pulling off a con or heist, acting like modern day Robin Hoods. These are slick and clever, and often leave me very impressed by their inventiveness.

Hawaii Five-0
I decided to give this a go after hearing Dave and Barry of Geek Syndicate discussing it on a number of episodes of their podcast. Within the first couple of episodes I was hooked, the friendship between Steve and Danny is a brilliant snarky bromance that drew me straight into the show. There are some great characters, I’m particularly enjoying seeing both Daniel Dae Kim and Masi Oka in shows that don’t frustrate me at every turn. Hawaii Five-0 is definitely a new favourite for me.

Doctor Who
This year’s series of Doctor Who brought me my favourite guest character yet in Canton Everett Delaware III, a new episode to add to my list of favourites in The Doctor’s Wife, and a fantastic Christmas episode. It also brought the Doctor wearing a Stetson, a small detail but one that made me very happy. Whilst the series arc was a little convoluted, and at times seemed to be forgotten, the individual episodes ranged from entertaining to downright brilliant. The Christmas special has left me really looking forward to next year’s series, even if we do have to wait until the autumn for it.

After last year’s Merlin introduced a core group of knights I was really excited to see how the show evolved with these new characters. Whilst it’s always nice to see Arthur and Merlin’s friendly bickering it has been so good this year having a range of characters. I love the sense of fun and camaraderie there is between the knights, and I look forward to seeing much more of them next year. I only wish that Morgause had stayed for longer and that Morgana had had a little more to do during the series.

Friday Night Lights
I know I said this list was in no particular order, but I have saved the best for last. I cannot begin to draw together my thoughts about the series in just a paragraph, I’ve been trying to write a blog post about the series for months and am still struggling to write clearly about it. I watched all five seasons in about 6 weeks, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it back in September. I started watching it because I saw people on Twitter talking about it, I never expected to love it anywhere near as much as I did, I think it has probably jumped to the top of my all time favourite tv shows list. I shall definitely make sure I get that blog post finished in January.

What have you been watching and loving in 2011?

Geek Stuff · TV Stuff

A Tale of Two Conventions.

In the last few weeks I’ve been to two very different conventions, and had a brilliant time at them both.

Thought Bubble, Leeds.
The Cardiff International Comic Expo back in February was my first ever comic convention. I had such a good day that I knew I wanted to go to more comic conventions and had heard lots of good stuff about Thought Bubble so decided that I would go and see what it was like for myself. Over the months between booking my ticket and it finally being time to make the journey up to Leeds I found out that a few online friends were also going to be there and it would be an opportunity to meet in person some of the people I have known online for some time. I spent much of Saturday with Liz and Mark from My Favourite Books, met up with Budgie for a coffee, and briefly met Bevis and bought the only comics of his that I didn’t already own so that now I have a full set.

It’s been a few weeks now, so I’m not going to be going into much detail about what I did and saw walking around the two halls, instead I shall just say that the vast array of comics on offer was pretty amazing. There were so many talented creators there selling comics that would have covered pretty much anybody’s tastes. I could have spent my money five or six times over, so settled for collecting lots of business cards that pointed towards online shops for future splurges. My comics TBR pile is now looking very healthy again and I’m looking forward to some great reading time once I’ve finished my semester 1 assignments and exam. The atmosphere at Thought Bubble was warm and friendly, and I had a really enjoyable weekend. I shall definitely be going back in future years.

Con-1, Birmingham.
Me and my friend Emma are both huge fans of the tv show Leverage so when she discovered that Starfury were going to be doing a Leverage convention we eagerly booked our tickets. The line up got better and better as we got closer to the weekend, with four out of the five main cast members (Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf, Aldis Hodge and Christian Kane) able to attend. In addition we had one of the co-creators and writers of the show, Chris Downey, and arrived to find Mark Sheppard appearing as an unannounced surprise guest. An added bonus for me was that Christian Kane was going to be bringing along bandmates and buddies including Steve Carlson and Riley Smith, and they were going to be playing a gig on the Saturday night. Kane’s The House Rules is one of my most played CDs of 2011, and I’m a fan of Steve Carlson’s solo music too so this all sounded like a wonderful early Christmas present to myself.

Both Saturday and Sunday started with panels (there were photoshoots going on at the same time but we’ve never gone in for them), these always tend to be entertaining though when there is no moderation of the questions being asked there is always the risk that things can get a little silly or even out of hand. By and large the questions asked were good, interesting ones (I’m thinking of taking a couple and putting them together for a recurring blog feature in 2012) and every person on the stage answered what was asked of them really well. At every convention I’ve been to before there has been one guest who has been a little disappointing, or just not so comfortable with being on the stage answering questions but every single person at Con-1 was utterly brilliant. As Sunday progressed I started to feel increasingly sad with each passing panel that we were getting closer to the end of things – I could have listened to each and every one of them for so much longer.

Something that was a little unexpected but that just made the weekend even better for me was how much discussion there was of writing, both from Chris Downey talking about writing Leverage – his Sunday panel began with him walking the audience through how they write Leverage episodes, and from Christian, Steve and Riley talking about writing music. I came away feeling inspired by them all, and buoyed by the realisation that in general terms writing is writing no matter what the desired end product is.

Saturday’s musical evening was every bit as good as I’d hoped, and probably a bit more. We knew that Life of Riley were going to be playing first but another surprise was that Brian Nutter followed them. He is one of Keith Urban’s guitarists, and a really talented musician – I hope there will be more opportunities in the future to hear him perform. The final act was Christian and Steve along with Brian, and the members of Life of Riley, it was so good to hear so many Kane songs that I love performed live.

Con-2 has already been announced for next November, after having such a good weekend at Con-1 we’re definitely going to be there.