I first caught Twin Peaks reruns on Showcase in the mid-nineties, then I re-watched it in 2005 on DVD, and now I’m watching it all over again this year on Netflix. Every single time I’ve seen it, my mind has been BLOWN. The mystery, the characters, the writing, the directing, and the acting is all on a level of brilliance.
Many people have been asking me over Twitter whether the show is really that great since it was cancelled after the second season. The answer is yes, it is worth your time. The series was and still is a work of art. Incredibly fun and f*cked up art.
The mystery and supernatural journey surrounding the death of Laura Palmer is legendary, and this should be your reason for watching (and re-watching) the show. Once the mystery is solved (about halfway through season 2), you can easily clock out… and many people did. In fact, in the episode that closes up that storyline, you really do feel like it’s a series finale; all ends are tied up beautifully.
But even then, after that storyline has finished, you still haven’t seen everything there is to see! I mean, why stop there when you can see more appearances by Michael Parks (my favorite part of Kill Bill), David Lynch himself, Heather Graham, Ted Raimi, and David Duchovny! And in addition to all of that, the second season finale is a cliffhanger that will freak you the F*CK out (in a good way).
It is rare to see a show so layered and wonderful as Twin Peaks. There is a reason this show is considered a cult classic, so stop putting it off and add it to your Netflix queue. You can thank me later. ;)
PS: If the above five paragraphs haven’t yet convinced you to watch Twin Peaks, here are a few more reasons:
- David Duchovny plays a transvestite named Denise.
- Alicia Witt (Alia from Dune) plays a mean piano while Ray Wise sings and dances before falling to pieces. Literally.
- David Lynch’s son Austin shows up as a magician and is the creepiest little kid ever!
- Peter Dinklage may have won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for Game of Thrones, but Michael J. Anderson can talk backwards and dance like a boss!
- Hey look! It’s Emily and Zooey Deschanel’s mom Mary Jo!
- THIS scene where Audrey Horne (played by Sherilyn Fenn) works to convince a whorehouse madame to take her on:
This Monday I got to see a screening of the highly anticipated new digital series H+. Though the series is made up by a number of short clips, I was able to see about 90 minutes worth of episodes. And from what I’ve seen, I’m very impressed. Here are a few thoughts I had coming out of the screening.
The story submerges us into the near future where almost everyone has taken personal technology to a new level; inside our bodies with wireless nanotechnology. In this world, you no longer need a smart phone, a laptop, or any other technology because everything is embedded into our physique.
But like any good science fiction show, something goes extremely wrong with the technology. And the story of H+ begins when the wireless grid that enables the technology goes mysteriously offline in what seems to be an act of sabotage killing billions. Every episode from then on reveals a new piece of the puzzle.
In a way H+ reminded me of FlashForward, a show I really enjoyed. But instead of the blackout in Flash Forward, every episode of H+ starts with a temporal reference point to when the episode is taking place in comparison to the time the wireless grid was hacked. Doing this allows us to experience and uncover the mystery by seeing everything from a back history of characters, to the current disaster and how humanity is dealing with the aftermath. All of these stories, no matter how separated by time and space all connect back to the technology and the event.
One of my favorite storylines from the preview screening was the story of a surrogate mother in India (played by Hannah Simone) who is asked to adopt the technology so that the parents of the child can stay in constant contact with her during the pregnancy. It’s an interesting look at how the technology can be overly intrusive, and gives hints that this child may be connected in some way to the disaster itself (perhaps a nod to Y: The Last Man?).
The other storyline I gravitated towards was the one involving a character played by Sean Gunn. If you don’t already know Sean’s work, you will soon. His character has an interesting back story that I refuse to spoil for you.
One revelation I had when watching all these episodes was the realization that the creators of H+ have figured out a problem many storytellers face when posting short works of fiction online. When dealing with an ongoing story, many creators worry about viewers missing an episode or tuning into the show in the middle of a story arc, but H+ has developed a new form of storytelling that is non-linear, so you don’t need to watch them in any particular order!
I know it sounds strange, but think of it like watching Pulp Fiction. Technically, you don’t need to watch Pulp Fiction in the way that Quentin Tarantino arranged it. The stories all cross over in some way, but each segment is enjoyable on its own. In this way H+ rewrites the rules and allows viewers to not only watch the series in the order of their choice, but with the help of YouTube playlists fans are encouraged to create their own order for how they think the series should be watched.
This is definitely a fun new series to watch. And if you like mysterious shows in the vein of Lost, this may be the web series for you. If so, you’ll probably want to run over to the H+ YouTube channel and subscribe now. The show will premiere there on August 8th.
Ape shall not kill ape. So why do geeks bully fellow geeks?
— Casey McKinnon (@caseymckinnon) July 6, 2012
I’ve been getting a lot of feedback on my “This is why they hate us…” blog post. Some good, some bad, and some ugly. I wanted to set the record straight since there have been some misunderstandings.
The blog post I wrote was meant to ask the question of why there is so much sexism in the geek and gamer community. I didn’t try to write a long essay on the subject, but instead made a short post about a few things I’ve noticed recently; fellow gamers being attacked by misogynists (including a friend of mine), and a growing trend of women taking sexy photos promoting their geek pride.
The artist and pin-up models that inspired me to write the post were not featured as targets of evil, but were instead featured as part of a larger number of people in the community who are using sex to sell a geek image. Sadly, before we could have a civil debate, the models sicced their fans on me and I was barraged with a number of offensive comments, emails and blog posts.
To take a quote from the movie Mean Girls, “There’s been some girl-on-girl crime here.”
Perhaps I should have made it clearer in my post that pin-ups are not to blame for misogyny, but that the growing trend makes the geek girl community look like they are more concerned with looking sexy than actually kicking a dude’s ass at Halo. I certainly don’t believe these girls should be held responsible for the sexist actions of males, but I also don’t believe the act of taking sexy photos contributes to building up geek cred. As in other male-centric circles, we females need to prove ourselves to get onto the same level of distinction as our male counterparts. And if we want to add credibility to the image of the geek girl community we need to do it through knowledge.
In retrospect, I should have just shared Brandon Sheffield’s opinion piece in Gamasutra entitled Video games and Male Gaze – are we men or boys? He put a lot more thought and research into the piece (as I would have if I were writing an article for somewhere other than my personal blog!), and he outlines the problems and solutions for misogyny much more eloquently. Another great article on the subject is Sexually assaulting Lara Croft; required reading if you’re interested in fighting sexism (and other isms) in the geek and gamer community.
Thank you for all your feedback, but this is all I will say on this subject.
I’ve been asking myself recently why I dislike the whole sexy geek girl movement so much. I mean, I was once a sexy blonde at a sci-fi convention dressed like Lieutenant Rand. Then, when Rudy and I launched Galacticast I became known as a geek girl online, featuring my geeky tees in my Daily Self Portrait photo series, and even scoring a t-shirt sponsorship from Think Geek! About a year later I became a subject of a documentary film and photo book called Fangirl Project where I posed in some of my favorite costumes. So why am I becoming so judgmental of the geek girls of today?
Recently I’ve heard about several cases of misogyny in the video game industry; most recently this case where some jerkoff (now fired from his job as a “journalist” for Destructoid) called Felicia Day a “glorified booth babe” who doesn’t “contribute anything useful to this industry, besides retaining a geek persona.” If Day, who has MILLIONS of followers online, hasn’t contributed to the gaming industry with her creative work on Dragon Age: Redemption, The Guild, and being an inspiration to women everywhere to talk more openly about their gaming obsessions, I guess gaming journalists haven’t contributed to the gaming industry either, huh?
I think the real problem that has been causing rifts and misogyny in the geek community today is not the simple fact that geek girls exist, but that there is a movement of people who participate in the sexualization of geek girls. Hell, even I’m guilty of doing a sexy sci-fi photo shoot, but there was always a line I would never cross.
“This is why they hate us,” I thought. And I’ve been facepalming ever since.
If there’s anything that I feel does not contribute to the geek girl community, it’s pin-ups and the whole “Hey! Look at me! I’m dressed like a geek and have bewbs!” type. Felicia Day, however, is not that type. And neither am I.
Sex sells and pin-ups will always exist, but we mustn’t allow them to define the image of our geek girl community. Comparing real-life geek girls to pin-ups wearing geeky costumes is like comparing a kid’s doggie costume on Halloween to a furry. But still, it sure feels like it’s eating our community from the inside out.
Our geek community is better than this. It’s time we show the world the intelligence and dedication our female geeks possess that our male counterparts have always been known for. And it’s time to encourage creative types, whether male or female, to promote a more realistic, everyday geek girl image instead of deconstructing our complexities to flat out sexual imagery.
For all those asking, here’s my schedule for Comic-Con 2012!
Thursday, July 12
11am – Wake up
11:01am – Check email
11:02am – Check Twitter
11:05am – Tweet something hilarious while chuckling to myself about how clever I am
11:15am – Play Wurdle
12pm – Eat some lunch
1pm – Watch Days of Our Lives
2pm – Write
6pm – Make dinner
7pm – Eat it
8pm – Meet with my writing partner
10pm – Cuddle while watching Wilfred
Friday, July 13
9:15am – Wake up
9:30am – Realize it’s Friday the 13th and tell the internet about it
9:45am – Workout
12pm – Lunch
1pm – Watch Days of Our Lives
2pm – Write
4pm – Google+ Hangout?
6pm – Go out for dinner, I’ve cooked enough this week
8pm – Have a date with Netflix
Saturday, July 14
11am – Wake up. Reset my alarm. Go back to sleep
12pm – Wake up for realz
1pm – Eat at Subway
2pm – Shop
4pm – Crash
4:15pm – Drink caffeine in the hopes of uncrashing
8pm – Order delivery (the caffeine didn’t work)
Sunday, July 15
11am – Wake up and lie in bed for an hour playing on my phone
12pm – Make a healthy brunch
1pm – Go out and do household shit
6pm – Phone my parents
6:30pm – Make dinner
9pm – Mourn Game of Thrones
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that almost every night I have exciting and colorful dreams. Well, last night was a doozy and you’ll see why if you read to the end.
I dreamed that I was having dinner at a huge charity event, and seated at my table was my immediate family, Gerald Butler, and my maternal grandmother. At some point when we were ordering dessert, everyone at the table was silently confused and a little freaked out. You see, my grandmother has been dead for over 12 years.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen my grandmother in dreamland, so I started to think about how this could have happened. I came up with a great explanation and, if you’re a Supernatural fan as I am, you should know that ghosts can be bound to an object (just as Bobby was bound to his flask this past season). I deducted that since my grandmother only shows up when there is a crowd, someone else at the charity event must have something of hers that helps her spirit travel and see us every once in a while. I realized it was her purse… a vintage purse that someone purchased second hand.
When I went to look over at Gramma again she was gone. People were leaving the event, so I ran into the crowd to see if I could find out where the purse went. No luck.
And then I woke up.
And then I realized what day it is today. July 3rd, my grandmother’s birthday.
Happy birthday, Gramma! Love, your little ducky/chickadee.