Comic Con Day 1: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

It was Day One at San Diego Comic Con and the crowds were assembled en masse for the event. The hot ticket items at Hasbro sold out quickly and excited fans carried their huge bags with glee.

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This year Lionsgate took The Hunger Games outside of the Convention Center.  Last year there were too many people crowding the booths during the Mockingjay pin giveaway, so instead there was a cool photo op with Capitol guards and a few posters, but in order to get the pin you had to go across the street to the Hard Rock Hotel.

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After a two hour wait in line (during which time we got to see celebs like Adam West, Jeff Bridges, and the stars of Gotham leaving the hotel through the side entrance) we finally got to go inside.

It. Was. Amazing!!

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We got to choose a treat from Peeta’s Bakery and Haymitch’s Elixirs.

There were costumed staff members and movie memorabilia everywhere:

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You could make a custom t-shirt or backpack, take the District Quiz (I’m District 5), and take a picture in the throne with a hologram image of Peeta and Johanna.

It was well worth the wait.  And the pin at the end was the icing on the cupcake….

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So Much to Watch, So Little Time

I don’t watch a lot of television. It’s not because I don’t want to, rather I just don’t have enough time.  I see all of these shows and I know that even if I taped everything (yes, I was born in 1980 so I say “taped”) I probably wouldn’t get to it.  I know people who have no less than 6 TVs with 6 cable boxes and they are constantly recording shows. Who has time for all of that?

I started watching The Strain last night. Great show.  I also want to start The Leftovers. And then I need to catch up with all of my other shows.  There are so many great shows to watch right now. It makes me laugh to think that most people aren’t watching them on TV these days.  TV is finally worth watching and everyone is streaming things onto laptops and tablets. Or if they are watching a television, they don’t watch live TV so as to fast forward through commercials.

A Mexican billionaire proposed a three day work week recently.  He says that working longer days would be a good trade off for more time out of the office. This kind of plan would allow for more TV viewing…but I couldn’t stay seated that long. 

In my ideal world, I’d have a stationary bike set up with a desk attached so I could pedal and write.  Watching all these shows while riding a bike would be a useful thing…but only if there was time.

San Diego Comic Con is coming this week and every year I get excited about new shows until I realize that I probably won’t have time to watch them.

I’m still working on a solution to this problem.  I just felt the need to share.

Nerdvana in San Diego: It’s Time for Comic Con 2014

Eight years ago you could buy a 4-day pass to Comic Con and walk in the front door when the Exhibit Hall opened.  Syfy had huge installations in the middle of the floor, and their booth was surrounded by Pokemon and D&D gaming tables.  

Now, people enter a lottery to be able to buy badges, and the Exhibit Hall floor is crowded beyond belief.  Vendors are on a waiting list to get in.  Syfy has moved across the street to the Hard Rock.  In fact, many of the neighboring hotels have taken advantage of SDCC by sharing their ballrooms and convention spaces for extra panels.  Even Petco Park has cashed in as it hosts The Walking Dead Escape.

Personally, as a native San Diegan, I think that SDCC is a welcome boon to our city and I support anything that needs to happen to keep SDCC here.  SDCC was born here, after all, and the money generated from out-of-town guests is more than we’ll ever see from the Chargers.  I think SDCC should be a city-wide event, spreading beyond the confines of the Gaslamp to other areas of San Diego.  

I get as excited about the SDCC banners going up along Harbor Drive as I get when I see the first Christmas trees during the holiday season.  

SDCC is a nerd’s paradise.  I’m so glad to be a part of it!

(That said, watch for my coverage of SDCC here on my blog and on Twitter @SarabethPollock

True Blood Recap S7E5: Lost Cause

True Blood Season 7, Episode 5: Lost Cause

Airdate:  July 20, 2014

Summary by: Sarabeth Pollock

 

We’re at the halfway point.  It’s really depressing.  Next week I’ll be bringing you content from Comic Con, including the last time the blood drive will be sponsored by HBO.  That’s sad, too.  (Incidentally, all appointments are full on Thursday.  I’m going in Friday afternoon.  Crazy to think how full that event has become, and it’s all thanks to True Blood)

Ginger is doing cleanup outside Fangtasia while the boys from Anubis Air prepare to ship a few vamps.  Willa is yelling at Pam for being abandoned by Eric.  Eric abandoned her, and Pam abandoned Tara.  Tara raised Willa.  Eric wants to go after Sarah Newlin, and Willa probably knows where she is.  Willa agrees to talk provided that Eric releases her.  Eric releases her and she tells him that Sarah has a sister named Amber who is a vampire.  It was a well guarded secret, but it’s true.  She overheard a phone call while Sarah was staying at the mansion with Governor Burrell.  The call came from a Dallas area code.  Eric smiles at Pam and they move to leave, but Ginger interrupts.  She knows that if Eric leaves she might never see him again, and after all these years she’s been his sex slave without the sex.  What does that make her? “A slave?” Pam asks.  Ginger puts her foot down and demands that either she goes with Eric, or Eric fucks her before she leaves.  She tells him she’s diseased, too.  The next thing we see is Eric’s coffin being loaded into the van with Ginger kicking and screaming on top.  Poor Ginger.

Back at Sookie’s house, Sookie returns home to find it quiet.  She’s still in shock.  She sees a leather jacket on the couch.  She’s about to break down when Lafayette and James appear.  Lafayette just heard about Alcide, about everything, and he tells Sookie she should rest.  He tucks her in and she asks him not to leave.  He promises to be there when she wakes up.

The sun comes up and sets again.  Sookie wakes up in her empty bed and goes to the window.  Jackson is outside loading up the truck.  The house is full of candles and food and party favors.  Jackson comes in and tells Sookie that the hardest thing is having to go through someone’s stuff after a death, so when she’s ready she can come out.  Then Lala and James and Jackson’s girlfriend come in and say that they’re having a party. Sookie feels bad but she can’t possibly have a party when she’s so sad.  Death is sad, she says.  Lala disagrees—they’re filling up Sook’s empty house with people.  Even Jackson agrees that it’s what Alcide would have wanted.  They go off to prepare, and Bill knocks at the door.  He sees Sookie in her bathrobe and jokes that he’s early.  He didn’t bring alcohol, but he brought flowers.  She accepts them awkwardly and invites him in while she goes to get ready.  He smiles and goes inside.

Dallas, Texas.  Eric knocks on the door and greets Amber Mills, who is also infected with Hep-V.  Amber was the black sheep of the family.  Her boyfriend Jeremy turned her, and then Sarah got involved with the church and paid her off to stay in the closet.  It worked well for Sarah to say vampires carried her poor sister away when she’d been hiding all along.  Eric says that none of this was her fault and asks for her help.  Amber wants to know if he’s going to kill Sarah, and when he says yes, she says she’s in.  “I like her,” Pam says.  Amber hasn’t made up her mind about Pam, which makes Pam like her even more.  Amber reveals that Sarah called earlier asking for help.  She’ll be holed up at their parents’ house because their parents always fall for her BS even though Sarah disgraced the family.  Her parents won’t be home, though, because they’ll be at some fundraiser.  Amber warns Eric that they won’t be able to get in because “they only invite assholes.”  Eric promises that they can be assholes.

Lettie Mae wants to go to the party.  The Reverend says there will be vampires and alcohol and it’s a bad idea.  Lettie Mae says there will be no goodbyes for Tara in a regular cemetery, but the Reverend holds out and wants her to taste the sauce.  She says it needs cumin, but when she gets it from the cupboard, she grabs some Benadryl as well.

The party is in full swing when Jason and Violet arrive.  James is dancing.  Bill is a wallflower.  Sam stays close to Arlene and Nicole and Holly.  They toast to not dying.  Bill watches them and reflects on the time back in the day when he was a man about town.  He runs into a friend who says that war is coming and they’re bound to be officers.  His friend leads the charge against the Yanks who threaten their way of life.  Bill doesn’t seem to agree.  He wants to know what they’re going to be fighting with.  They’re outnumbered and they won’t win.  He’s immediately expelled from the bar for being a sympathizer.

Jason compliments Sookie, and she compliments Violet but he thinks she’s talking to him.  Violet gives her a hug and says she’s sorry for her loss.  She also adds that she’s lost about a hundred boyfriends die over the years…and that’s when Bill jumps in to rescue Sookie. 

Lettie Mae tucks in Reverend Daniels and heads out.

Jackson reflects on how arrogant Alcide was during a small gathering in the kitchen.  Everyone is in there listening.  Jackson says that he never fought for anything that wasn’t worth fighting for.  Sookie was worth it.  He died for a righteous cause.  “To Alcide,” they say.  Lettie Mae walks in and Lafayette tries to get her out but Sookie offers her a chance to say a few words.  Lettie Mae says that Tara was a hero in her eyes, that she died protecting her mother in spite of the way Lettie Mae raised her and mistreated her.  They raise a glass to Tara.

Andy goes outside to find Jessica alone.  He tells her that her grief about his girls is keeping him from moving forward, and this past week has been hard for all of them.  He needs her help to move on, and he starts by asking her for a ring.  Jessica realizes that he’s going to propose to Holly, so she runs inside and asks Sookie for help.  Sookie tells Andy that Gran left Jason a ring.  Jason gives it to Andy after Violet declares that Jason is already hers and she doesn’t need a ring.  As the happy group goes downstairs, Jason grabs Adilyn and Wade and says that he doesn’t know if they’re fucking or not, but if they are, they’re going to have to stop.

Everyone is in a great mood downstairs.  People are laughing and dancing.  Andy walks up to Holly with a dazed look and he drops down to one knee.  He stutters at first, but then he says that he’s been meaning to do this for a while.  He says that the voice in his head says that he doesn’t deserve a woman like her.  He holds out the ring and she says yes, but he reminds her that he hasn’t asked yet.  It’s the most awkward but endearing proposal ever.  Adilyn and Wade share confused looks.  James corners Jessica and she pushes him away.  Arlene grabs Sookie and takes her upstairs so they can share some girl talk.  Sookie reveals that she hasn’t had enough time to realize that Alcide is gone.  It doesn’t matter how big and strong he was when there’s a gun involved.  Arlene says that she got through it by wearing his jacket at night when no one was looking.  She tells Sookie that you never get over the loss of someone you love.  Jackson is outside the door listening.  He leaves when Arlene says that tequila helps get over it all.

Outside James and Lafayette are on the swing together. They’re laughing and flirting.  Lala recalls the story James told him about the night he was turned.  Lala wants to know if he had been having sex with his maker.  “Yeah,” James says.  The two kiss.

In Dallas, Eric helps Pam dress, showering her with jewelry and telling her about how he told the salesperson that his wife was going to a party and “only the best will do.”  Pam glows, and he smiles.  She laughs.  “I’m a Republicunt,” she says.  She tells him to strip, and then she sees that he’s Stage 2.  He hands her some cover-up and reminds her that he’s going to die. 

Keith, the vampire who saved Arlene, keeps staring at her.  He tells her that she’s the most beautiful woman he’s seen in three centuries.  Arlene is stunned.  She tells him she needs to “go make tinkle” and runs off, but not before Jessica can ask if she’s seen James.  Jessica wanders outside and follows the grunting to a car.  She sees Lafayette pounding into James’ ass.  She rushes into the house and tells Jason to rescind James’ invitation to the house.  She tells Jason what happened and he tells James to “get the fuck out.” Violet tells Jason that it’s ok for him to go to Jessica.  James wants to be alone.   Jessica tells Jason that James must be confused.  Lala interrupts and reminds Jessica that she doesn’t even know about James’ past.  He says that he has watched everyone else fall in love and he’d like to do that, too.  He advises Jessica to let him go if she doesn’t love him.

Downstairs Sookie wanders through the party listening to everyone’s thoughts.  Willa walks in looking for Arlene.  She asks if she’s seen Bill.  Bill is outside remembering how he and African American man were leading their families through the woods to escape the oncoming war.  The man is shot by his friend from town, and they’re threatened.  Bill burns the map to protect those that went ahead.  He’s interrupted when Sookie walks out.  She’s drunk but she sees that something is wrong.  Bill says he’s fine and he compliments the fact that she was able to bring people together.  They’re mainstreaming.  He escorts her back to the porch and she hugs him, thanking him for seeing her the way she can’t see herself.

Once Sookie returns to the party, she hears Lettie Mae looking for Willa.  Before she can stop it, Lettie Mae stabs Willa.  Sam grabs the knife and the vampires in the room go on the defensive.  Lafayette appears and takes Lettie Mae away.  Lettie Mae insists that Tara is trying to contact her from the other side but that she needs Willa’s blood.  Once she’s gone, Nicole flips out at how only a few days prior the town was invaded by sick vamps and now they’re having a party.  Sam tries to quiet her but she keeps going.  She doesn’t see how they can pretend that nothing is happening.  She leaves, and Sam follows.  Violet offers to escort them home.  The mood has shifted at the party.

Upstairs, Jessica contemplates her situation and sees that Lafayette may be right.  Jason admits that Violet is weird.  “Way the fuck off, sometimes,” he laughs.  He gets closer to Jessica and they start sharing stories.  He was upset that Violet didn’t want Gran’s ring.  He was so thankful that he didn’t have to put it on Violet’s finger.  Jessica says that he might be the sweetest man in the world.  They kiss, and then they kiss again.

Pam and Cowboy Eric walk into the party.  They’re scouting the place looking for Sarah’s parents.  Sarah’s mother is in the bathroom and Sarah pokes her head out of a closet.  She tries to tell her mother that she’s in trouble but her mother isn’t buying it.  Sarah is a disgrace.  Sarah asks if Laura Bush is outside, but Laura Bush isn’t taking their family’s calls after the book came out revealing all of Sarah’s secrets.  Sarah says she’s in trouble and that the Japanese men are after her, which seems to strike a chord with her mother.

Jason and Jessica waste no time getting busy upstairs.  Of course, Violet gets back right on time and hears them.  She doesn’t go into their room.  She walks away.

Eric has found Sarah’s father.  He asks him if he’s seen his daughter, but the party gets crashed by the Yakuza, the Japanese men.  They come in, guns blazing, and start shooting everyone around them.  Sarah and her mother flee.  They kill her father.  Sarah runs down the hall and has to leave her mother behind.  She’s quickly killed.  That leaves Sarah on her own.  Eric turns the corner and runs into Sarah.  He grabs her neck and hoists her over his head.  The Yakuza find them and pull their swords out to fight. Eric rushes them and kills them quickly, but not before he rips the leader’s jaw from his face.

Sookie goes into her bedroom and find that Alcide’s jacket has appeared on her bed.  Jackson must have put it there.  Slowly she slips it on and climbs into bed. 

Bill is soaking in the tub.  He recalls being with his wife in front of the family cemetery.  Suddenly he gets out of the tub and goes to the mirror.  That’s when he sees the first signs of Hep-V on his chest.  That’s right, Bill is sick.

Well, that was another first-rate episode.  It’s hard to believe that we only have four episodes left.  I promise that I’ll bring you plenty of True Blood gems live from Comic Con next week.  Keep watching my blog and www.darkmediaonline.com for updates!

Comic Con and San Diego

Comic Con (SDCC) was born in San Diego in the basement of the El Cortez in 1970.  Since then it has erupted into a mecca of pop culture that unites fans and fandoms from around the world.

SDCC has outgrown its home at the San Diego Convention Center and so it now pours out into the Gaslamp, providing entertainment for tens of thousands of people while giving the local economy a much needed boost. It even takes over Petco Park. It’s a huge event.  SDCC lasts five days and provides more stimulation to our economy than any other event.  As a fifth generation San Diegan, keeping SDCC in San Diego is more important to me than keeping the Chargers. But that’s a whole other story.

I love SDCC and love the people it brings to my city. I will be one of the fans sleeping in line next week to gain access to Ballroom 20 and I will probably dress up.  Well, maybe.  We’ll see.

At any rate, SDCC is part of San Diego’s fabric. I am glad it’s here!