My First Con

For a few years now I have wanted to go to a Comic Con, and now I can say I attended the most attended Comic Con in America. I was amazed to be in a building with so many people, but I never felt too crowded (minus waiting in line for The Walking Dead panel).

As it was my first time, I did rely on my friends who have already been to NYCC. It is always a good idea to talk to the ones who have already experienced dealing with Cons in the past and receiving pointers from them. I am most indebted to my friend, Kim. Luckily the first panel I went to was one with her, and I was able to better navigate my way around for the rest of the weekend.

One of the most important things to do is plan ahead of time. Never go to a Con without a plan, and always meet up with your friends before you arrive at the convention center. It is easier to find someone if they are not in a mass horde of other fellow nerds.

The next step is to know which panel you want to see the most. I mainly attended panels in the main room. My biggest problem was deciding between Elementary and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and even though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was later, the queue line for it was longer. In the end I was able to attend both, but I was willing to sacrifice it for a chance to be in the same room with Clark Gregg. Unfortunately Cons also come with sacrifices.

Always arrive early for a panel or you may not get in. This includes smaller panels because it means there is less room for that panel. This should especially be applied for any panel that will be incredibly popular. The Walking Dead queue line filled up the fastest and the line was capped quickly. I will applaud NYCC for establishing different queue lines for the various panels on the main stage, and clearing out the room after the panels were finished.

The only time I experienced problems with the new process was with The Walking Dead panel. Hopefully they will be able to work out the kinks with the new system, but even if they do I won’t stay in line that long again. The screens have excellent views of the stage, and it leaves you time to explore other panels, the show floor, or even better the Artist Alley. I can now say I have waited in a crowded line for hours, and to me it is not worth it. Time is better spent by exploring what the rest of the Con has for entertainment.

The one place I will definitely recommend is Artist Alley. Forewarning: Be prepared to spend your money here. The artists are creative, and if someone is able to leave there without more than one print, they are stronger than me. The artwork is spectacular and is better than many of the posters you see for the actual artwork for the shows or movies.

The panels I went to were a delight. The first one was the Disney panel, which made me really interested in Big Hero 6. I saw the trailer, and it appeared alright, but what really sold me on this movie were the clips they showed us at the Disney panel. Seeing Baymax low on power is priceless, and was my favorite clip. It introduced me to the term of “hairy baby” used for cats, and according to T.J. Miller we are supposed to use this word from now on.

The panel for Tomorrowland was next and if I wasn’t already convinced Damon Lindelof has superpowers, I am now. Hugh Laurie talked about a lunch he had with Lindelof and Brad Bird where he did not remember the conversation, but knew he wanted to be part of the film. Lindelof is a Jedi. This can be the only conclusion. The biggest surprise was indeed George Clooney appearing on stage after Laurie said Clooney has been lying about his age and is really 75. Clooney has never really been a part of nerd culture so it was surprising to see him at a Con. Of course he was his very dapper self, and said he apologized for his Batman to Adam West as well as the nipple suit. Hugh Laurie and George Clooney sitting right next to each other during a panel was something I never expected, but I greatly enjoyed the experience.

Friday was the day of full episodes. While I was fully expecting a full episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Elementary premiere came as a shock. The premiere was enjoyable, but felt a little disjointed. Of course I believe it was a goal because Holmes and Watson went their separate ways in last year’s finale. However, it was clear as soon as Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller took the stage they have a wonderful partnership. Even with the little things with Liu pouring a cup of water and then handing it to Miller. Ophelia Lovibond, the newest cast member, was asked how it was coming onto the show, and she called it a well-oiled machine. Miller then responded that they were very well oiled (I love how snarky some people are). Later in the panel, Miller talked about how Sherlock’s addiction is a struggle and how there will be many mistakes made. I genuinely love how big of a part Sherlock’s addiction is on this show.

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel won the day because of Clark Gregg. He was originally not supposed to be at NYCC, but asked to come. How could someone say no to that guy’s face? This man is so awesome they brought him back from the dead and gave him his own show. The man is adorable. They need to find a way to make miniature Clark Greggs so you can keep him in your pocket and always have him around. They also showed the episode which aired last night, and it is by far the best episode of the season. One of the best parts is being able to watch a solid episode with so many fans of the show. After the episode, they informed us Gregg had flown out with the first clip of Agent Carter which was shot Monday. I may be more in love with this show, and really hope they further explore Peggy Carter’s and Howard Stark’s friendship.

Saturday, was dedicated to The Walking Dead. It was enjoyable to see the majority of the cast in person as well as Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero. To me these four are just as big as the cast. We were again promised heartbreak and more crossovers between the show and comic book series. Sometimes it is hard going into a show where you know it will lead to heartbreak, but I still trust Gimple as the show runner. I love the man dearly. The only problem is there is never enough time. The cast is big. While I’m glad so many of them came, it never feels like there is not a lot of time. This panel made me wish there was a better way to filter fan questions, and possibly give some a time limit. I understand this may be a person’s only time to talk to whoever is on stage, but I wish they would also think about the people in line behind them who also want to ask questions.

While Saturday may have been dedicated to The Walking Dead, Stephen Amell still won the day. A room with him doing a Q & A is already perfection. However, he made it better than perfection because he had emailed Colin Donnell, and told him to show up to his panel. The moment he appeared on stage was amazing, and let me just say everyone who was at the Con definitely looks better in person.

Sunday had the best conclusion, with the last panel on the main stage being Sleepy Hollow. Honestly, I would attend probably anything that gave Orlando Jones a microphone. For me this was probably the best panel because it showed the audience only half the episode leaving more time for the cast and crew to answer questions. While it is enjoyable to see a full episode, it doesn’t give a lot of time for the people on stage to talk. No one should ever take away time for these people to talk. When they get to talk we learn things about the show like Ichabod learning about Karaoke, or Jones choosing “I Will Survive” as his song choice (I now want to see Frank Irving break out into this song). It was interesting to see that singing may be one of Tom Mison’s talents and him saying there were many things Len Wiseman did not know about him via text during the panel.

Overall the experience was fun, and I cannot wait to go to my next Con.

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War is Purgatory

Warning: This post includes spoilers from Fox’s Sleepy Hollow Episode 2.01, This is War

We can all rejoice because Sleepy Hollow is finally back.

One of my favorite things about Sleepy Hollow is how capable it can switch up the pairings. Yes, Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane are the main pairing, but seeing Ichabod teaming up with Jenny Mills this week was enjoyable.

Abbie and Ichabod do have a strong partnership, but it is amazing to see how strong Jenny’s and Ichabod’s relationship seems to be. They trust one another, and I love how they are able to rely on each other. While Jenny wants to go with Ichabod into Purgatory to save Abbie she knows Ichabod is right when he tells her she needs to stay and accepts it. Another pleasing aspect was him being miffed she wasn’t at his birthday party that never really happened, and then she later jokes about it with him and Abbie. One reason why Ichabod and Jenny work is because I firmly believe Ichabod has chemistry with everyone.

Another highlight of the episode was seeing John Cho again, especially without the weird neck. Now Cho is starring on Selfie (which I highly recommend), I fear there will be very little appearances of his character.

Finally, John Noble is still one of the best parts of the series. He already proved he was an extremely talented actor by playing multiple Walter Bishops on Fringe, and he continues to bring his A-game with this series. It is great to see an actual human being playing someone so wicked on this show. Sure the Horseman of Death got a head at one point during this episode, but John Noble’s facial expressions is one of the reasons why he is such a great actor.

Overall it was great episode, but as the beginning went on it left me anxious with finding out what was really happening in their real universe. I was starting to get antsy, after the first ten minutes had went by and the finale hadn’t been really addressed. If I wasn’t wanting answers from the show, I would have enjoyed the first part better.

The only other thing that really threw me off was how fit the Horseman of Death appeared shirtless. I wasn’t expecting it, but I guess he has to do something during the day when he can’t go out.

Tune In/Tune Out: Jan. 19-26, 2014

OK. So, it’s cold. It doesn’t matter if you live north of the Mason-Dixon, like Becca and I do, or to the south, like Kerry. It’s varying degrees of cold, and ‘freezing’ has both a scientific and relative definitions, but I’ve spent most of the week unable to feel my toes properly. When it’s awful outside, cold like it is here or rainy, there’s not much to do but hunker down in front of one screen or another and escape to someplace, anyplace, else. With that in mind, here are our picks for what swept us away, and what merely swept us off our feet before dumping us in a cold puddle of disappointment.

TUNE IN

Shut Up and Bounce

Y’all didn’t think we were going to put a GIF of *that* scene in here, right?

The Mindy Project: It was a big episode, and hopefully it’s enough to hold us over until April. Thanks a lot, Fox. –Kerry

Courtesy of Julieta Colas. All Rights Reserved.

You guys, you know I never cry.

Community: What is there to say about “Geothermal Escapism”? (Other than what Becca said, that is.) It was a brilliant action episode, up there with “Modern Warfare,” “A Fistful of Paintballs/For a Few Paintballs More,” and “Pillows and Blankets.” But more importantly, it was the send-off Troy, and Donald Glover, deserved. – Moff

Bonjour Clarice

So, clearly I missed the memo that I even *had* a time. Bummer.

Enlisted: After last week’s stumble, this show recovered nicely with a brother-centric episode that shed light on Pete’s difficulties with adjusting to civilian life. The scene that Geoff Stults and Keith David shared was unexpectedly touching, and if this show has more moments like that mixed in with the absurdities of the oddball squadron, this show might actually stand a chance in the vast wasteland of Friday night scheduling. –Kerry

Frankenreich

Ichabod Crane: Human-size anachronistic puppy.

Sleepy Hollow: It was a hell of a ride for the two-hour finale, and I can’t quite fathom having to wait till the autumn to find out what happens next. – Moff

TUNE OUT

Parks & Recreation: Ann spent her penultimate episode complaining about her boyfriend/baby daddy to a bunch of former coworkers who didn’t care about her First World Pregnancy Problems. It’s been weeks since we’ve seen her interact with Leslie, and watching her spend this episode screeching to everyone except her best friend was very frustrating. (Ron and his noise-cancelling headphones marginally picked up this storyline, as did Donna with her Cuban cigar and yellowfin sushi.) –Kerry

 

Nice Guys (and Dolls)

This post contains spoilers for episodes 1.12 and 1.13, “The Indispensable Man” and “Bad Blood” of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow.

I guess I was exceptionally lucky in college: I only came across two actual Nice Guys in the five years I was working to put myself through school and complete my degree. The first was by far the worst: After all, how exactly am I supposed to respond when a young man I’m not even dating asks if I’m a virgin when we’ve only spent a grand total of five or six hours together?

I certainly never was faced with a Nice Guy who claims he’s the only one who can save me from the coming apocalypse, then willingly turned himself into a demon when I turned him down; nor did I ever run across a guy who wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, even after two centuries and his beheading. And I never met a man so incapable of empathy that he orchestrated a ridiculously elaborate revenge plot to prove his own worth and superiority. Then again, I’ve never spent much time in upstate New York. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first season finale picks up a couple days after the events of last week’s episode, where Capt. Irving’s daughter was possessed by a demon after George Washington’s bible, killed a priest, and was then defeated by a magic lantern. (Frankly, if the pacing wasn’t as tight or the performances as engaging, I wouldn’t believe this was a real show sometimes.) But a dead cop, let alone a dead priest, isn’t something that can be overlooked, and Irving and his daughter are both facing some pointed questions.

Meanwhile, Abbie and Ichabod are still figuring out how George Washington could have written a message in his bible in invisible ink four days after his historical death. (Although, considering how much the show has cribbed from the school of ‘wave hands, shout Freemasons’ thus far, I wondered at their focus on the ‘how’ versus the ‘why.’) However, not even our intrepid Witnesses – and, yes, there is finally a line about it being with a capital ‘w’ – can research 24/7, and so Abbie heads home to putter about in her kitchen, which is really a convenient excuse for Deputy Andy (Sadly, not the robotic one.) to creep on her in her home.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Second verse, same as the first.

They have a little tete-a-tete, wherein Andy explains his ‘in’ with Moloch, the Big Demon on Purgatory, means he gets a plus-one to the Apocalypse, and he’s inviting Abby. She’ll have none of it, or him, and Andy hares off back to his sewer hidey hole-slash-bachelor pad.

In the first of the evening’s homages to the National Treasure franchise, Ichabod and Abbie discover a letter from Zombie!George Washington to Future!Ichabod about where to find a map to Purgatory.

Lydia Got Stiles

Zombie Washington: The hottest costume of Halloween 2014.

Our Friendly Neighborhood Sin Eater, Henry Parrish, arrives to help the Witnesses discover the map’s final resting place. Their search takes them to the grave of the priest killed in the pilot, who happens to have been an equally well-preserved relic of the colonial era, but while there, Parrish, Ichabod and Abbie are attacked by a particularly violent reject from a Cirque du Soleil production. They return to the archives, where they then realize the map is buried with George Washington, and head off to retrieve the map.

In the second homage to National Treasure, the Witnesses and Parrish discover Washington’s Mason-fied underground tomb, where they are joined by a newly demon-enhanced Deputy Andy. They manage to retrieve the Map to Purgatory, but they also destroy Washington’s tomb in an attempt to trap Andy while they escape.

Nobody Leaves Without Singing the Blues

How to make John Cho Even Less Attractive: 1) Remove wrinkly neck skin; 2) Add veins. Lots and lots of veins.

(Side Note: I think that destruction counts as a fake felony? Because it’s destruction of federal property? Second Side Note: I have no formal legal education.) However, as the prophecy/rumor that Ichabod will betray Abbie continues to circle, Ichabod destroys the map to both prevent Moloch from getting ahold of it, and himself from using it to rescue his wife and condemning his partner.

The tomb raiders separate for the night, with Abbie heading home, Parrish retreating to his motel, and Ichabod sitting down in the cabin to recreate the map, thanks to his eidetic memory. Meanwhile, to save his daughter from punishment, Capt. Irving confesses to the murders of the cop and the priest, then is frog-marched out through the throngs of shocked Sleepy Hollow PD staff.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Anyone else remember when Orlando Jones was best known for “MAD TV”? Cause, man, he was underused when he’s capable of this.

(And encapsulating this relatively major plot point in one sentence is not even as abrupt as the show handled it, frankly.)

The following morning, Parrish informs Abbie and Ichabod that he had a vision of the second horseman, War, being awakened sometime that day. Ichabod reveals he redrew the map, down to the special incantation needed to open the Hellmouth door to Purgatory. While annoyed, Abbie agrees that if the timeline has been moved up, they must use the map to go to Purgatory, find Katrina and bring her back, as she is the only one capable of stopping War from arriving. Jenny Mills appears and begs Abbie not to go messing around with these grand cosmic powers, worried Moloch will be particularly unkind to the elder Mills sister. (The entire exchange prompted me to start referring to him as Old Man Moloch, who keeps yelling at those darn witnesses to git off his lawn.)

Doe Eyed Cat

As a sister, Jenny and Abbie’s relationship feels mostly realistic to me. Y’know, demons aside.

Abbie promises to return to Jenny, and Jenny agrees to stay close to the archives, where it is safe, which Jenny takes as orders from her big sister to comb through Sheriff Corbin’s collection of x-files, looking for further information to help their fight.

Ichabod and Abbie recite the incantation and cross into Purgatory, with a final warning from Parrish not to eat or drink anything they’re offered. (Now we can add the Persephone story to the various myths the show has used.) He also reminds them not to forget each other, as they will offered what they want the most.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Don’t try this one at home, kids.

Abbie’s deepest desire is up first, as she awakens in the cabin, calling for Ichabod but finding Corbin, Andy and fresh pie. She’s confused, but is all too willing to accept a reality in which her pseudo-father figure and good friend are both alive and whole. But when they all sit down for a slice of pie, she realizes it’s an illusion and refuses to eat her pie. The illusion shatters, and the scene shifts to Ichabod’s temptation: The love and admiration of his father, who actually renounced him when he switched sides after meeting Katrina. As they’re about to toast Ichabod receiving a full professorship, Ichabod realizes he’s trapped in an illusion, and his father does an excellent Walking Dead impression as ye olde teacher’s lounge explodes.

Meanwhile, Jenny has discovered in one of Corbin’s x-files information about an unnamed church, which, when she tracks it down and discovers the church’s name, sets her on a collision course with the Headless Horseman – literally.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Dead? Or merely unconscious?

The last shot of her is hanging unconscious and suspended from a seatbelt in an overturned truck as the Headless Horseman rides in the opposite direction.

As a dazed and disheveled Ichabod wanders among extras from Pan’s Labyrinth, he nearly stumbles over Abbie. Both are reluctant to believe the other is real, until what was a throw-away moment six episodes ago becomes integral to proving to each other they are who they say they are.

Fucky Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Fist bumps: They’re the new shibboleth.

From there, it’s a race to the last five minutes: Abbie and Ichabod find Katrina, who says she cannot leave without destroying the veil between the real world and Purgatory unless someone stays in her stead. Katrina and Ichabod return to the real world while Abbie is left behind, and promptly faces off against Moloch.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

I’m not one to shout “FACES” about characters, but: HER FACE.

She’s unsuccessful and soon finds herself trapped inside a facsimile of the dollhouse she and Jenny had as children, unable to escape and with only teenage versions of herself and her sister for company. In the real world, Ichabod introduces Katrina to Parrish, and the three hike through the woods to Chekov’s Four White Trees, which have cropped up nearly every other episode. Unsure of how to proceed, Katrina and Ichabod dither until they are abruptly thrown against two of the trees and secured with vines as Parrish is, in fact, their own magically inclined son, all growed up and in cahoots with the forces of Evil. Jeremy ‘Henry Parrish’ Crane explains he did not die when his mother’s former coven trapped him in a grave for more than 200 years, but instead lay aware but unable to free himself until he was freed by Moloch. The Headless Horseman arrives and Jeremy/Parrish gives Katrina to the Horseman, in fulfillment of their long-broken engagement, then throws Ichabod into his own former grave and buries Ichabod alive.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Not gonna lie: This scene did remind me of Angel and Connor more than a smidge. And The Woods are as desolate as the Pacific.

Early in the season, Katrina tells Ichabod that Evil wins when good men do nothing, and his decision to disown his commission in the King’s army and join the colonists is driven, in large part, by his belief in two things: His own inherent goodness, and his desire to do something when confronted by the possibility of something worse than corruption and injustice. These two beliefs are what connect most of the main characters, to varying degrees: Abbie went into law enforcement to be a force for good, even though she came from a troubled background; Jenny risked life and limb to track and retrieve artifacts that could be useful in case of Armageddon; and Katrina aligned herself with questionable forces in an attempt to secure safety for her husband and child. While Ichabod and Irving began as skeptics, their shared belief in truth and justice were enough to carry them through events that strained the suspension of their disbelief. In the two-hour finale, the faith and trust these characters have in their cause, themselves and each other was severely tested. And as it wavered in the face of deeply held desires, they were weakened.

But here’s why I was so excited at the prospect of Abbie and Ichabod trapped, helpless and alone; by Jenny hovering on the edge of death; by Irving sacrificing his freedom; and by Katrina carried off by her former fiancé, now the embodiment of Death: They believe in their own goodness, but they aren’t arrogant about it. Where Moloch, the Headless Horseman, Parrish and Deputy Andy are certain they cannot be stopped, the show illustrates how the White Hats are plagued with self-doubt. Ichabod, Abbie, Jenny, Katrina and Irving never assume their plans will work, or that those plans will work exactly as they hope, especially as there isn’t exactly a “World Saving for Dummies” they can reference.

Fuck Yeah Sleepy Hollow

Yes, because telling Abbie Mills what to do is generally quite effective.

Furthermore, the agents of Evil assume the women involved in this story are less of a threat, that they are helpless without a man or backup. While the show has never shied away from killing anyone, Abbie, Jenny, and Katrina are not traditional Final Girls: They may be punished, but not for behaving in an unladylike way. They are not forced to run from the demons that chase them; most of the time, they don’t run at all, choosing instead to stand and fight. They are post-Final Girl heroines, embracing their flaws and femininity, and using their wits to defeat their enemies, rather than a well-placed pitchfork to the sternum.

In the same way Nice Guys underestimate the women they alternately fetishize and belittle, Sleepy Hollow‘s forces of Evil are focused on stripping Ichabod and Irving of their power and authority, believing it is enough to frighten, threaten and shame Abbie, Jenny and Katrina into submission.

 

Evil has grown arrogant, and that is its greatest weakness, as it assumes Abbie, Jenny and Katrina are no more than pawns, dolls which can be moved about arbitrarily without consequence. The finale elegantly sets up what will surely be a firecracker of a season two premiere, and I, for one, cannot wait to see the forces of Evil crumple under the weight of its own smug self-satisfaction.

Favorites of 2013: TV Imports, Scores, and Shows We’ll Miss

Today, we’re wrapping up our favorite TV shows of 2013 with our miscellaneous categories: Imports, Scores, and Shows We’ll Miss.

Imports

Miranda

{BBC One}

Miranda: “Do you know what my favorite three little words are? ‘All day breakfast.’”

The last part of Series 3 aired at the beginning of 2013, and it was delightful. Miranda falls for someone who loves her unconditionally, just as Gary finally gets up the nerve to confess his feelings to Miranda. The only downside is that the series ended on a heart-stopping cliffhanger. —Becca

Orphan Black

{Space / BBC America}

show_orphanblack

“We’re clones! We’re someone’s experiment and they’re killing us off!”

Tatiana Maslany is a revelation, the show is well-written, the shots are beautiful, and I can’t wait for it to come back in March. Thanks, Canada! —Kerry

Broadchurch

{BBC America}

import_broadchurch

This was a brilliant drama, and The Killing should take notes from this series. The actors were wonderful, and the series was full of greatness. —Becca

Mr. Selfridge

{BBC/PBS}

import_mrselfridge

Harry Gordon Selfridge is not a man worthy of sympathy, but he, his family, his business – his enemies and his allies – makes for incredibly compelling TV. —Moff

 The Paradise

{BBC/PBS}

import_theparadise

It pains me when people only watch PBS for Downton Abbey or Sherlock when it has so much more to offer. The Paradise worked with its mix between Mr. Selfridge and Downton drama. —Becca

Luther

{BBC America}

import_luther

The man cannot catch a break. As this show had already pointed out, bad things usually happen to the ones he loves, and it continued on during this series. Luckily, Luther has a great ally in Alice Morgan. —Becca

Scores

Sleepy Hollow

{Composers: Robert Lydecker, Brian Tyler}

score_sleepyhollow

Sleepy Hollow’s score manages to be creepy and poignant, and I have to give the show credit for setting the tone by using the Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil” in the pilot, which is a classic creepy rock song. —Moff

Shows We’ll Miss

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

{Webseries, YouTube}

show_lizziebennetdiaries

It might be cheating a smidge, considering The Lizzie Bennet Diaries wasn’t actually on TV, but with two episodes a week (not counting Lydia and Gigi’s videos and Lizzie’s Q&A’s), it was far and away one of the best episodic series I watched all year. But all good stories must come to an end, and when your source material is 200 years old, the end is most defintely pre-set. —Moff

Go On

{NBC}

miss_goon
For some reason I thought Go On would be safe and have a second season. I was wrong. After a few episodes the show had found itself, and the episodes soon became a highlight of my week. Carrie was my favorite with Steven closely behind. This show knew how to tug at the heart strings as well as make you laugh. —Becca

Eureka

{Syfy}

missed_eureka

As much as Eureka ended in 2012, I didn’t catch up with it until this year. Eureka was not only the smartest little town in America, but it was also the one town in the Pacific Northwest for which I’d be willing to move back to the area. At least the town was saved from complete dismantlement, and will continue on in its own pocket universe, where time is cyclical (literally) and the high school science fair often has life-or-death stakes. —Moff

Happy Endings

{ABC}

miss_happyendings

My favorite part of this show was when it mixed up the combos. There were the favorites, like Penny, and Brad and Jane being the best married couple on TV. Each character was their own person, and I will miss all of them. —Becca

Fringe

{FOX}

miss_fringe

This show did many things, and both Anna Torv and John Noble deserved more recognition for their acting, especially with their numerous characters. While some shows would probably fail with alternate universes, this show was able to handle it. This show will always have a place in my heart with Astrid, Walter, Peter and Olivia, and Lincoln Lee. —Becca

Back in the Game

{ABC}

show_backinthegame

I’ll miss the Gannons, Lulu, and the kids. Dick, not so much. (I will miss all those “That’s not a euphemism” jokes I made on Twitter, though.) —Kerry

Being Human

{BBC Three}

miss_beinghuman

A werewolf, a ghost and a vampire become roommates. No, it’s not a set up for a joke, but it is the premise for one of funniest, cleverest and most violent allegories for the reality of millennials. After all, as Being Human illustrated, a crippled job market, inability to move on from old relationships, or a vague five-year plan are nothing compared to, technically, being dead. —Moff

This afternoon, we’ll wrap up our Favorites of 2013 with our miscellaneous movie categories.

Favorites of 2013: TV Ships and Friendships

This is the big one–the one with our favorite TV ships and friendships/partnerships/bromances/what-have-you of 2013.

Ships

Oliver Queen / Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

ship_oliverfelicity

Felicity: You killed again, and I am the one who put you into the position where you had to make that kind of choice.
Oliver: He had you, and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make.

All three of us are big fans of Oliver and Felicity. They complement each other really well, they have great chemistry, and they deeply care for each other. And they’re just so pretty together. —Kerry

Danny Castellano / Mindy Lahiri

{The Mindy Project}

ship_mindydanny

Mindy: “You should get the Philadelphia roll. Danny says it’s amazing, it’s his favorite.”

Mindy: “Haven’t you ever had to do something because of work?”
Jason: “Yeah, sure, I just went to my boss’s kid’s graduation, but that doesn’t mean I’ve memorized her favorite sushi order.”

These two snuck up on me. I love their bickering, their friendship, and the way that they seem to be in love with each other without even realizing it. —Kerry

Monroe / Rosalee Calvert

{Grimm}

ship_rosaleemonroe

Monroe and Rosalee’s romance could have seemed shoe-horned into the main narrative, and the differences in their upbringings could be overlooked, but the evolution of their relationship was natural, and they are confronting their contradictory natures in a way that’s both realistic and believable. —Moff

April Ludgate / Andy Dwyer

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_andyapril

“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: No one knows what they’re doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will, too, because you are awesome and everyone else sucks.”

This is probably the relationship most would have believed would fail, but it hasn’t. The love and support they show each other is unique and genuine. —Becca

Barney Stinson / Robin Scherbatsky

{How I Met Your Mother}

ship_barneyrobin

Barney: “Our wedding is gonna be legendary.”
Robin: “No ‘wait for it?'”
Barney: “I’ve got you, I don’t have to wait for it anymore.”

Who knew they’d make it all the way to the neverending wedding weekend? The writing isn’t doing them any favors (they keep having to spin their wheels as the writers try to fill the entire season with pointless shenanigans) but they’re still growing into a supportive, if unconventional, couple. —Kerry

Jemma Simmons / Grant Ward

{Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.}

ship_wardsimmons

F.Z.Z.T. is the episode I started shipping these two together. It is also the episode I finally started to like Ward. The scene where Ward mocks himself and Jemma corrects him sealed it for me. Plus: height difference. —Becca

Kensi Blye / Marty Deeks

{NCIS: LA}

ship_kensideeks

Deeks: “I’ve never had a girl give me her knife before. Does that mean we’re official?”
Kensi: “You know sometimes a knife is just a knife.”

Ah, one of the great ‘will they, won’t they’ partnerships of the police procedural world. As much as I continue to hold out hope Eric Christian Olsen will one day return to Greendale, I can’t put into words how pleased I am Kensi and Deeks have finally taken the logical next step. —Moff

Joan Watson / Marcus Bell

{Elementary}

ship_belljoan

Bell [to Sherlock]: “Where’s your better half?”

Bell and Joan have always had a unique chemistry; Bell initially liked Joan better than he liked Sherlock, and Joan always had a deep respect for Bell’s talents as an investigator. This season, there was a one-off line where Bell complimented Joan in her bulletproof vest, and suddenly, it felt like there was something there. It’s never overt: even when Joan brings him meals after his injury, it’s played as Joan just being a nice person. I won’t be mad if they never date, but I think they’d be great together. —Kerry

Ryan King / Carrie

{Go On}

ship_ryancarrie

Ryan: “I know we work together, and that’s weird. I don’t know what I want. I just- I just want it to still be a possibility between us.”
Carrie: “You’re right, it’s complicated. We work together… I quit. Ball’s in your court.”

The show got canceled, but before it ended Carrie kissed Ryan and told him the ball was in his court. I would like to believe this May/December romance actually worked out. —Becca

Ben Wyatt / Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_benleslie

“Your heart is in the right place. Your heart and your butt.”

They’re married! They’re still amazing together! And sometimes I go back and watch the early seasons, where Mark Brendanowicz calls Leslie a dork and treats her enthusiasm like it’s an annoying little quirk, and I get really, really, insanely happy that Leslie found someone who loves that about her. —Kerry

Rumplestiltskin / Belle

{Once Upon a Time}

ship_rumbelle

“You were the only one who could ever see past it… past the mask of the monster.”

While the Charmings have already had their somewhat happy ending, it feels like Rumplestiltskin and Belle will never get theirs. The pairing is beautiful, but it is hard for them to catch a break (especially after the winter finale). —Becca

Harvey Specter / Donna Paulsen

{Suits}

ship_harveydonna
Harvey: “You and Stephen, it bothers me. I know it’s not fair, but it does.”
Donna: “Good.”

I just want them to be together and happy. Is that too much to ask? —Kerry

Friendships

Shawn Spencer & Burton Guster

{Psych}

friendship_shawngus

Shawn: “I think we should call the police and let the chips fall where they may.”
Gus: “You’re talking like a real white guy right now, Shawn. Brothers don’t get the benefit of the doubt. I will not rot in a cell. You said we were in this together!”
Shawn: “C’mon, man. You know I’m gonna bake you a cake with a gun in it.”

Their friendship has only gotten better over this past year. Gus supported Shawn during his breakup with Jules, and Shawn learned to share Gus when Gus started a serious relationship with a woman. —Kerry

Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson {Elementary}

friendship_joansherlock

Joan: “You named a bee after me?”

Best partnership on TV. But, you know… besides all the other partnerships we have listed here. —Kerry

Team Arrow (Oliver Queen, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak)

{Arrow}

friendship_teamarrow

Felicity: “What are you doing?”
Diggle: “Calling 911.”
Felicity: “Digg, wait!”
Diggle: “We can’t wait!”
Felicity: “How are we supposed to explain this? Everyone’s gonna find out Oliver is the vigilante!”
Diggle: “It won’t matter if he’s dead! Felicity, we can’t save him!”
Felicity: “I know! You’re right. We can’t.”

They all have their own special friendships with each other, and they work well as a team. It will be interesting to see how dynamics might change when/if someone else fully joins the team. —Becca

Ichabod Crane & Abbie Mills

{Sleepy Hollow}

friendship_ichyabbie

The friendship has grown so quickly in just a few episodes. It is a strong friendship, and their camaraderie is enjoyable. —Becca

Sarah Manning & Felix Dawkins

{Orphan Black}

friendship_sarahfee

Felix: Sarah.
Sarah: What?
Felix: Um, just don’t die… ’cause your first funeral was just agonizing enough.

Felix has endured a lot (Sarah’s threatening ex-boyfriend, obstruction of justice, countless police interrogations, and oh yeah, all of that clone stuff) and he’s still deeply loyal to Sarah. That’s what family is for, right? —Kerry

Samantha Shaw & Root

{Person of Interest}

friendship_rootshaw

While former government agent Shaw hesitates to give anarchist hacker Root too much free reign, the morally dubious Root’s willingness to take immediate action appeals to the trigger-happy Shaw. —Moff

George Altman & Noah Werner

{Suburgatory}

friendship_georgenoah

The news of Alan Tudyk no longer being a regular on Suburgatory depressed me. I found George’s and Noah’s friendship was one of my main highlights for the show. In some ways, they don’t appear to have a lot in common, but the time they spent on screen together were some of the best moments of the show. —Becca

Ron Swanson & Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

friendship_ronleslie

Ron: “You are a wonderful person. Your friendship means a lot to me. And you look very beautiful.”
Leslie: “Okay, weirdo. Let’s go.”

He walked her down the aisle. Twice. He also punched out a jackass at her wedding. Leslie, in turn, organized a beautiful wedding present for Ron: an intricate trip up to the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. It moved Ron to tears. —Kerry

Lance Sweets & Seeley Booth

{Bones}

friendship_boothsweets

Dr. Lance Sweets and Agent Seeley Booth have grown from bickering antagonists to friends and coworkers who trust each other’s instincts. —Moff

Ryan King & Steven

{Go On}

friendship_ryansteven

Ryan had his support group, but he also has his best friend, Steven. Steven was still the one who understood who Ryan was, and wanted to be there for him. In my head, they are still the best of friends and double date together (Ryan with Carrie and Steven with Lauren). —Becca

Quentin Lance & Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

friendship_lancefelicity

Oliver: “Felicity…”
Felicity: “Already on it.”
Lance [amazed]: “How the hell can she do that?”

Felicity and (former) Det. Lance have had only a few instances where they’ve worked together, but I think future episodes will reveal their values are more in line than they currently realize. —Moff

Favorites of 2013: TV Characters

Merry Christmas (or as Penny from Miranda would say, “Happy What I Call Christmas”) to all of our dear readers who celebrate the holiday. Today is all about characters, so here are our favorite TV Characters of 2013!

Abbie Mills and Jenny Mills

{Sleepy Hollow}

char_abbiejennymills

Jenny: Corbin said, that one day, you’d be back. When you were ready. Asked me to find a way to forgive you. I said I didn’t think I could.
Abbie: I’m sorry that it took me so long to find you.

The Mills sisters, despite being estranged for years, manage to make working through their past issues while saving the world look manageable. That they’re quicker witted than their male counterparts is simply a bonus. —Moff

Alice Morgan

{Luther}

character_alicemorgan

Yes, she may be a murderer, but her loyalty to Luther is wonderful. She is an intelligent woman, and she always makes an episode of Luther even better. —Becca

April Ludgate

{Parks and Recreation}

char_aprilludgate

“Leslie said it was a ‘come as you were in the nineties’ party, I assumed it was the 1690s.”

April has slowly grown up over the past few years, and it has become more obvious over this last season. She still has her Keep Away demeanor, but the loyalty she has for her friends is genuine. —Becca

Carlton Lassiter

{Psych}

char_lassiter

“I have one speed, and it is full throttle.”

Lassiter is finally a happy and well-adjusted adult, thanks in large part to Juliet and in small parts to Shawn and Gus. He’s more relaxed, open-minded, and willing to compromise than he was when we first met him, and he’s become an even better cop thanks to Shawn forcing him to stay sharp. —Kerry

Diane Buckley

{Trophy Wife}

char_dianebuckley

“Oh, relax, it’s just some light catfishing.”

The wives of Trophy Wife are sort of like the Hogwarts houses: who you relate to says a lot about your personality. Most people seem to favor Jackie, the second ex-wife of leading man Bradley Whitford, but me, I’m a Diane girl through and through. (I’m also a Hufflepuff, if you were wondering.) She clearly loves her kids, but she also wants the best for them. She is passionate but calculating, strong but practical, and above all, she gets stuff done. —Kerry

Donna Paulsen

{Suits}

char_donnapaulsen

“If you were ever lucky enough to have me, you wouldn’t want to share.”

This season of Suits did some not-so-great stuff with Donna, but she still came out of it looking classier and stronger than any other character on television. —Kerry

Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

char_felicitysmoak

“Never meet your heroes, right?”

It says something about an actor when a one-time appearance turns into a recurring role. It’s even more remarkable when that actor goes from recurring to series regular. The quirky, bright IT girl has won several hearts, saved countless lives, and helps humanize Oliver Queen. —Becca

Jemma Simmons

{Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.}

char_jemmasimmons

“I can’t be a part of your bad-girl shenanigans. I like following the rules and doing what’s expected of me. It makes me feel nice.”

When the show started off, the focus was on Fitz-Simmons, but the show gradually began to separate them. Now they are Fitz and Simmons, and Simmons has my heart. The episode “F.Z.Z.T” made me cry (which I hardly do) because of the way Elizabeth Henstridge plays her role. —Becca

Joan Watson

{Elementary}

char_joanwatson

“I think it’s sad that you’ve given up. I think you have a lot to share, if you cared to. I shouldn’t be the only one who knows you.”

Joan Watson set herself apart from traditional representations of the World’s Greatest Sidekick in season one, but she’s quickly becoming the fulcrum around which the show revolves without being anyone’s girlfriend, wife, mother or mistress. That’s nice to see both for Dr. Watson and for a woman in a mostly male ensemble. —Moff

John Diggle

{Arrow}

char_diggle

“I’ve been meaning to tell you, it really weirds me out to no end the way you refer to yourself in third person like that.”

Any scene with Diggle in it is a good scene. —Becca

Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

char_leslieknope

“No one achieves anything alone.”

It’s difficult to picture a scenario in which Leslie Knope doesn’t top my list of favorite characters. —Kerry

Marcus Bell

{Elementary}

char_marcusbell

Sherlock: “Have you always been this observant? I’m asking that quite sincerely. I was wondering if exposure to my methods had helped you in any way.”
Bell: “Actually, before you came along, I had never closed a case before, neither had the rest of the department. Most of us were thinking of packing up, leaving, letting the city fend for itself.”

Bell is such a great detective that Sherlock has taken to referring to all other detectives as “Not Bell.” Two of my favorite episodes of Elementary are Bell-centric ones (“Details” and “Tremors”) and I always look forward to his one liners to Sherlock. —Kerry

Oliver Queen

{Arrow}

char_oliverqueen

“The world doesn’t work anymore. It broke a long time ago, but it was like you were the only one who noticed. That makes you angry, and you’re afraid that that anger is going to burn you up inside if you have to live in the world one second longer knowing that you could do something to fix it.”

Oliver’s really come into his own since Tommy’s death, choosing now to save the city through non-murderous means. He still lives two (sometimes three) lives but now that he’s more removed from Laurel, he’s more three-dimensional and sympathetic. He’s still struggling to trust people, and thanks to the flashbacks to the island, we’re starting to realize why. —Kerry

Robin Scherbatsky

{How I Met Your Mother}

char_robinscherbatsky

“I’m Sparkles, bitch!”

I love Robin, and I relate to her so much this season. I just wish we didn’t have to see every excruciating hour of her wedding weekend, but hey, that’s not her fault. —Kerry

Rosalee Calvert

{Grimm}

character_rosaleecalvert

Rosalee Calvert may have started as a one-off, but the decision to make her a series regular was inspired: She’s a source of wisdom, knowledge and reason on a show that routinely asks its audience to suspend disbelief. —Moff

Sara Lance

{Arrow}

char_saralance

“No woman should ever suffer at the hands of men.”

Sara Lance managed, in a handful of episodes, to make a memorable impression as a variation on a classic comic book character normally inhabited by her sister, Laurel. But Sara made the role of Black Canary her own, and I can’t wait to see her return to Starling City. —Moff

Sarah Manning

{Orphan Black}

char_sarahmanning

“Art, if you’re hearing this, you found a body. It’s not Beth. It’s me. My name is Sarah Manning and you’re about the only person I trust to figure the whole thing out.”

Sarah is the most practical and level-headed of the clones, focused solely on keeping her daughter, Kira, safe. I think she’s my favorite because her main instinct is survival. She’ll do anything to protect the ones she loves. —Kerry

Slade Wilson

{Arrow}

char_sladewilson

“I’m sorry… for not telling you how I really feel.”

Former A.S.I.S. agent, island survivor, unlucky in love, and that accent? What’s not to love?! Kerry

The Cannon

{Back in the Game}

char_thecannon

“No, Gannons, we inflict pain, and then we laugh!”

Rude, brash, drunk, and definitely not in touch with his feelings, The Cannon was an oddity on TV this season. There was no one quite like him, because while he said and did all these terrible things, he knows it’s his fault that he’s unhappy. He clearly loves his daughter and grandson, so I’m sad we won’t get to see what happens with them. —Kerry

Tinker Bell

{Once Upon a Time}

char_tinkerbell

“I may have lost my wings, but I haven’t lost my dignity.”

There hasn’t been a whole lot for me to love on this season of Once; I was never a fan of Peter Pan in any of its various forms, so the idea of a whole arc set in Neverland made me wary. I especially dreaded the introduction of Tinker Bell, because I was sure this show would ruin that sort of complex female character. While this Tink has a backstory firmly entrenched in the Enchanted Forest, she still manages to be the best side character to join the show this season. The actress who plays her, Rose McIver, deserves most of the credit. —Kerry

Later today… Our favorite supporting characters from movies!