Didn’t You Used to Write a Blog?

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So, I’ve been on radio silence since November.

I needed to step back and figure out what I wanted PNT to be.  As a news site, it’s well…it’s not really working.  Sites like the excellent The Mary Sue have more writers and resources, and it would be impossible to keep up.  Back to the drawing board.

So, we’re back, but a little different.

So many people in nerd culture are 30 or close.  Can you grow up without giving up what you love?  Of course.  We’ll talk about that.  We’ll talk about getting in shape, and getting in trouble.  We’ll talk about dreams, media, weddings, homes, parties, and careers.

We’ll still talk about nerd issues, and feminist issues, and everything’s going to come through that lens.  But we’re going to grow up, too.  We’re going to be almost 30, and nerds, and still a lot of fun.

Let’s go, nerds.

Who is the Scarlet Witch?

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Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch

 

In celebration of the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, we’re going to talk a little bit about the Scarlet Witch.  She’s a new heroine to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  She did not appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past, although her brother Quicksilver did.

Real Name: Wanda Maximoff (Alias Wanda Frank)

First Appearance: X-Men #4 (March 1964)

Affiliations: Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, X-Men, Avengers, West Coast Avengers,

Notable Non-Comic Appearances:

  • The Marvel Super Heroes (1966 animated series)
  • Iron Man (1994 animated series)
  • X-Men (1990s animated series)
  • X-Men: Evolution
  • Wolverine and the X-Men
  • Superhero Squad Show

Powers:  The ability to manipulate probability- in other words, she gives her enemies bad luck.  This is occasionally stated as the ability to manipulate Chaos Magic.   Flight and telekenesis are not presented consistently.

Major Series and Plotlines:

  • Avengers vs X-Men (AvX)
  • The Children’s Crusade
  • House of M
  • X-Men
  • The Uncanny X-Men
  • The Avengers

 

Family Ties:  In the comics, she is married to Vision.  Her father is Magneto (obviously this will not hold true in Avengers because of all of the legal issues between Sony and Disney/Marvel) and her mother is Magda Lensherr.  Like her father, Wanda is prone to depression and mental illness, with delusional tendencies in some plotlines.  Wanda’s twin brother is Quicksilver, who also appeared in both Days of Future Past and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  She has maintained relationships other than Vision.  Mother to two sons, Billy and Tommy.

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The Supergirl TV Show: What do we know?

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Supergirl-in-Superman-Unbound

Marvel may rule the roost when it comes to the cinema, but DC Comics is taking over your living room couch.  Following established hit Arrow, the already-renewed Flash, and breakout hit Gotham is going to be the first female-centered show of the DC Universe class: Supergirl.

In an interesting move, CBS has chosen to move forward with Supergirl on their own, instead of throwing it to sister network the CW (where Flash and Arrow currently draw fairly good ratings for the second-tier network.)  All three shows share producer Greg Berlanti.  Today, CBS entertainment chair Nina Tassler talked a little bit about the show at a Television Critics Association press conference.

So what do we know?

1) Supergirl will be a crime procedural mixed with character arcs.   Tassler compared the new show with CBS’s existing female-driven hits, stating that “The beauty of it is now with shows like Good Wife and Madam Secretary, you can have serialized story elements woven into a case of the week. She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy.”   Will the show adopt the established Gotham/ Agents of SHIELD/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer format of monster-of-the-week until the story gets enough momentum to hold up on its own?

2) She’s not going to have a Wonder Woman style character derailment.  One of the biggest criticisms of NBC’s failed Wonder Woman pilot was the transition between the strong but kind heroine we know and love to a woman who would savagely beat a man to interrogate him, then go home and eat ice cream.  So relatable, right?   Tassler has us convinced Kara is going to stay Kara, promising that ” We’re big feminists. It’s her intellect, it’s her skill, it’s her smarts. It’s all of those elements. It’s not just her strength, which she does have.”  Kara is not going to suddenly become stupid or weak.  Tassler’s assurance that they are feminists is comforting in a time when people are suddenly afraid of the term.

Tassler also stated that “It’s a wonderful amalgamation of the mythology of the character with a coming of age tale.  She’s a very strong, independent young woman and she’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. And it’s a female-empowerment story, which if you look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it really is resonate to that.”

3) Kara hasn’t been cast yet.

4) Because of the different networks,  Supergirl will probably not cross over with Flash and Arrow right away.  This may not happen initially, but we’re also not ruling it out, ever.  Time and space are nothing compared to the red tape involved with the legal departments.

5)There is a good chance there will be romantic elements.  Tonally, Supergirl has been stated to be more in line with Flash than Arrow, which implies a lighter, funnier take on superheroes than the dark-edgy-gritty phenomenon of too many superhero works currently.

6) The producer totally gets what fans want.  In September, Greg Berlanti told Variety ” I’ve gotten a number of messages from friends and former coworkers who write me about their daughters wearing superhero outfits instead of princess outfits and how they’re grateful that people are working on it. I definitely think there’s a need.  I think people are more interested in quality than they are necessarily just going to watch something because it’s about a man or a woman… There are just as many women who love the action of [Arrow] as there are men who love the romance. I think it’s [about] recognizing that audiences are sophisticated and varied.”

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

Pretty Nerdy Party Planning: Parks and Recreation

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Parks and Recreation’s final season opens this week, and we think you should Treat Yo-Self to a fun Pawnee themed party to see out one of the sweetest, funniest, warmest shows on television.

Decor:

  • Throw together simple typography prints of your favorite lines.

Suggestions:

  • “I love you and I like you.”
  • “You had me at meat tornado.”
  • “It says you might have network connectivity problems.”
  • “Treat Yo’Self.”
  • The Pawnee Goddess pledge.
  • ‘Slowing down is not really my jam.”
  • “Friends. Waffles.  Work.”

 

  • Be sure to post the Entertainment 720 logo around.  Include a VIP section no one is important enough to sit in.
  • Arrange some stuffed Mini Horses to be both Li’l Sebastian and Imposter.

tom-haverford

Apps:

Let’s take our cue from Tom Haverford for the “Apps”-

  • Chicky Chicky Parm Parm- Bake up some chicken nuggets and cover with sauce and cheese.  Stick a toothpick in each nugget.
  • Without the sauce and cheese, call it “Chicky Chicky Fry Fry.”  Lazy option: use this as the entree and buy premade fried chicken.  We’re not Martha Stewart here at PNT.  We’re not judging you.
  • Mini Calzones, because i love Ben Wyatt and so can you.

 

Tray-Trays:

There are two more routes you can take here, or you can combine them.

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THE RON:

Meat.  Meat everywhere.  All of your eggs. and all of your bacon.  Hamburgers with just meat (you can put ketchup if you want to- I don’t care.)

THE LESLIE:

Waffles.  Waffles everywhere.

RON AND LESLIE:

Waffles and Bacon.

leslie-knope-waffles

Zerts:  

If you went the Ron route with the food, try the Leslie route for cake, by layering waffles with whipped cream or icing to create a beautiful layer cake.

 

If you went Leslie with the food, go with a breakfast dessert that is not waffles.   If it’s made with dough or batter, you can put it in a waffle maker.  Cinnamon rolls?  Cake?  Cookies?  The world is yours, my friend.

If you went both, buy or make a cake, stick a sign in front of it that says  “Big Ol’Cookie”  and you’re set.  Write “Treat Yo’Self” on the cake.

snakejuice-ad

Drinks:

  • Use Whiskey as replacement “Snake Juice.”  Please be careful.  Do not die.
  • Find the biggest cups you have.  Put soda in them.
  • Be sure to serve Tom Haverford’s favorite: Magic Water (root beer.)
  • Some strong coffee would probably be a good idea.

 

Favors:

Plush Mini Horses!  Let your guests take them home.  What are you going to do with ten of them anyhow?

 

Music:

Easy One.   Mouse Rat is real.

Dress:

If a dress made out of newspaper clippings of your personal successes is not feasible, and you didn’t buy a Batsuit during your last Treat Yo’Self day, just dress in the spirit of your favorite character.  Be neat and cute like Chris or Ann, professional like Leslie or Ben, or thrown together like April and Andy.  Or do as Donna and Tom would do: wear whatever you want.

 

As always, check out Pinterest for more on this Party!

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Today, we celebrate our Independence: a Pretty Nerdy Party

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I love throwing parties, and Independence Day is no exception.  But while everyone else is throwing their star-spangled soirees, we are throwing a shindig based on one of America’s greatest treasures

This 1996 gem is a mainstay, so you probably won’t even need to purchase the movie.  Just turn on the TV.  It’s almost definitely on.  Probably playing several times in a row, if we’re being honest.

Decoration:

  • You might be able to scare up some posters on Ebay and Amazon, or you could print up some stills of the film all over your home.  Make sure to place President Whitmore in a place of honor.
  • You could also easily scrounge VHS copies of the film at any thrift store.  If you can round up two or four you can surround a vase with them to make a lovely centerpiece.  In the vase, either go with traditional flowers, or (my recommendation) glow sticks or depending on your local laws, sparklers.

Think this, but with the VHS tapes themselves alternating with the covers.

 

Food and Drink:

  • Boomer’s Pigs in a Blanket:
    Wrap 97% fat free hot dogs with reduced-fat biscuit dough, so you can run faster and jump higher, improbably avoiding an exploding tunnel.

  • Barbecue, to celebrate the one Steve Hiller thought he should be at
  • White (House) Pizza: sure to be destroyed partway through the party!
  • Red, White, and Blue Firecracker popsicles- both for the missile imagery and for the ‘Murica imagery.
  • Area 51 worms-and-dirt.  Just substitute Oreos and chocolate pudding with graham crackers (or the vanilla Oreos) and vanilla pudding.  Add some gummy aliens.
  • As for beverages?  Anything American (classic soda out of the bottle, lemonade, etc.) or on fire (the flaming shot of your choice) would be more than appropriate.

Party Favors:

Cigars, obviously.

At the end of your party, please be sure to play music from the most corpulent singer you can find, because it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

Then go see some fireworks.  After all, Captain Hiller promised us fireworks.

The Pipe-Bombshell is back!

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Last night’s WWE Raw boasted a series of high-profile and happily met returns.

First, the Miz and Chris Jericho.  Jericho is a fan favorite, putting over young talent while never losing the audience’s love.  The pop for Jericho is always high.  (editor’s note: He also almost hit me with his car, but that is another story for another day.)  Additionally, giving him a feud with Bray Wyatt will serve interesting, as Jericho has a good balance of goofy and intense, and will alternate between mocking and destroying the cult.

Then, AJ Lee, the longest-reigning Divas Champion, returned to take what was hers with fire and blood.  Paige’s run as champion has been admittedly fairly boring, with Paige doing very little.  Paige’s obvious trepidation (and AJ’s prominent wedding ring) were highlights in the pre-match promo, though the match itself was short.  It wasn’t obvious who we were supposed to root for, with Paige seeming far more like a cowardly, mean heel and AJ Lee coming off as a humbled face making a triumphant climb back to the top.  I am not sure how this will affect Paige long-term, effectively making her short 3 month run as champion entirely transitional between AJ Lee reigns.

 

The Darkest Timeline is No More.

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Aaaaaaand we’re back.

Yahoo Screen has answered the prayers of everyone who has spent the last six weeks mourning the Greendale Six: Community is coming back for its long-fabled sixth season.  The cast’s contracts were due to expire yesterday, causing fans to almost lose hope.  Dan Harmon and company came through in the end, just like the lovable underdogs we know them to be.

So far, Yahoo Screen has been selling what we want to buy.  In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Zack Van Amburg, president of programming and production at Sony Pictures Television, told us that “The budget won’t be cut one dollar.  We didn’t want to be producing the show at any less of the quality or production value that we had been producing. Yahoo came in with finances that were undeniable.”

In addition, since scripts for the comedy tended to run on the longer side, we could actually get even more Community per episode.  The episodes are due to make a fall debut (October 19, perhaps, in an even grander Take That to NBC?)

As for the fan reaction?  Joy is an understatement.  The subreddit for Community exploded in happiness, and I can’t help but agree.

 

Six Seasons and a movie.  Now and forever.

BREAKING NEWS: READY PLAYER ONE MOVIE IS HAPPENING

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I am so not sorry for how excited I am.  My favorite book of 2011 is being made into a film, with the screenplay written by Zak Penn.

Zak Penn helped write X-Men: The Last Stand, but achieved his penance by working on an early script for The Avengers in 2012.  He has also done story or written drafts of childhood favorite The Last Action Hero and widely beloved sequel (phrases you don’t often type) X2: X-Men United.

In related nerd news, he has also been attached to the script for the eagerly awaited Pacific Rim 2.  So within a few years, he may be my best friend or my worst enemy.

Wizard World 2014 Recap

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Sorry for the bad lighting! (Photo Credit: Beth Anderson)

Before you could blink, another Wizard World Philadelphia is in the books.  Above, you see the Social Justice panel I was on.  Guess which one I am.  The panel went extremely well, and I’m pretty proud of what happened, especially when a sweet Luna Lovegood cosplayer came up to me and thanked me.  That meant a lot.  I was Emma Frost on Saturday, and it was a great deal of fun.   +2 Comedy also had an amazing showing in their panel, which was packed!

Five Things I Learned at Wizard World Philadelphia

  • Rob Paulsen (voice of Pinky and Yakko) is the sweetest man on the planet.  Seriously.  If you ever have the chance to meet him, by all means do so.
  • The cosplayers are getting more and more elaborate, which means more hilarious photo ops.  Seriously, a good cosplayer can be a more valuable photo op than any actor.

See also: this picture of an amazing Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas, which probably puts the costumed character at Disney to shame.

If I were on his Boogie list, I'd get out of town.

If I were on his Boogie list, I’d get out of town.

  • There is a Wawa next to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and that’s a really, really good thing.
  • Lines were not nearly the issue they have been in the past for panels.  People were able to get into the 3pm Firefly panel right up to 2:45 (which is something that is unheard of in many conventions.)  Lines for photo ops and autographs, however, were terrifying and apparently poorly organized.
  • Anthony Mackie is incredibly charming, and Christopher Lloyd does not wish to be called Christopher.

In the end, Wizard World Philadelphia was an amazing, with everyone having a good time.  I’m going to Too Many Games Expo this Saturday, and I’ll see you there!


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