Category Archives: TV

My On-Air Appearance Talking “Logan” and other top stories #ICYMI

HAPPY FRIDAY TWEET:

I return to air tonight on CosmicGeppetto.com, probably in a bathrobe, to re-gush over Logan and its trifecta of Oscar-worthy performances in Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Dafne Keen’s X-23, and Sir Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. First things first, though, let’s summarize for ya our favorite piece of casting news this week: smoldering actress Serinda Swan (Graceland, Smallville) getting tapped as Medusa in the upcoming Marvel network TV series, Inhumans.

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Who is Medusa? What is an Inhuman? Why is this actress perfect for the role? Read all about it on our list of the coolest weapons superheroines possess (in Medusa’s case, she has…super-hair. It’s actually quite sexy).

(For more on the Inhumans show itself, debuting in IMAX theaters for two weeks in September before premiering on network TV, here is Entertainment Weekly’s Exclusive First Look  on the cast list).

Back to Logan and Our Primetime Chat!

We will be on the Cosmic Geppetto show tonight (airing at a later time) to discuss the vaunted superhero film in-depth, raving about the many finer points of the experience like how X-23 comes in the adorable, unassuming package of an 11-year-old with all the wisdom of a thirty-something seared into her eyes. Or how all three stars deserve Oscar nods next year or we riot. ICYMI: Here is our must-read on the film, giving you a primer on the precocious prodigy who stole hearts all over theaters this last week.

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Until We Share the Aired, Edited Version of Our Appearance,

Enjoy Lil’s Prior 2 Appearances on Cosmic Geppetto:

a) We discuss prominent superhero race and gender changes in live-action film and TV roles recently.

Click on image for link:

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b) We discuss being a Cumberbitch and, more specifically, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Marvel’s latest triumphant solo venture by the same name.

Click on image for link:

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TV: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE LEARNED FROM THE 2017 #GoldenGlobes

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Meryl Streep aside, the 2017 Golden Globes was Textbook 101 in why award shows without live performances shouldn’t be on television at all.

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(TL;DR: Being a public figure calls for a modicum of self-awareness, a trait these award shows and their attendees lack in shovels and spades.)

Why do we watch ceremonies like the Golden Globes in the first place? The 3 G’s: The glitz, the glamor, the gossip.

Some of us watch for what’s apparently on-trend in upcoming fashion seasons, some to see what certain celebrities’ new faces look like, and a marginally few even watch to support their favorite works of art or to bemoan which ones got good ol’ snubs:

What don’t we watch for?

Not one of us watches in hopes that Meryl Streep will share her stunning sociopolitical belief that Hollywood actors are in the marginalized segments of society… or that Clint Eastwood will start stumping for Trump in front of a chair (Right-wing or Left, STFU about your politics at entertainment award shows! It’s not a Nobel; thank your mama and get off the stage. Hold a press conference on your own time!). None of us watch, either, for our personal stake in the movies or shows getting showered with gold (quite literally). These televised ceremonies target viewers who have nil to do with the entertainment industry. All in all… we only watch because it’s a guilty pleasure, much like the Real Housewives of [insert city].

These broadcasts, year and year again, repeatedly show a willful ignorance of this fact. Instead, they opt for self-indulgence, not unlike our buddy King Lion here:

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Tom Hiddleston, is that you? 

3 Compelling Reasons Why the “Award” Part of Award Shows Need Not Be on TV:

1.  The lack of entertainment on a show celebrating entertainment:

We love Jimmy Fallon, but boy, did he fail Sunday at this whole hosting thing. Keeping with the theme of self-indulgence, Fallon opened with, in lieu of a raunchy, satirical monologue like his predecessors, a cutesy cold open that only those who have seen the film La La Land (which is 2% of Golden Globes viewers) will appreciate. The rest of the night was spent with him doing the intermittent ’80s hip-hop parody… because.

As someone who has watched the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, etc. with glee from a very young age, I have only noticed this pattern in adulthood: The shows that invite cynicism from the viewers (mainly due to boredom) are ones that provide little in the way of comedy and/or live performances.

The Oscars, while still managing to be way too long each year, at least sprinkle musical performances throughout the evening. The Tonys are very much a show in that their theatrical skits encapsulate the magic of what the night was meant to celebrate in the first place. Same can be said for the Grammys; each year, people tune in for their favorite artists’ performances of their latest and greatest, capitalizing on the Grammys’ huge production budget.

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Then there are “shows” like the Golden Globes and Emmys, which rely entirely on the talents of the host to eke by, praying for controversial moments that will end up talking points the following week. In the past, Ricky Gervais and the dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have buoyed the Globes with politically incorrect jokes taking direct aim at Hollywood inhabitants in the room, assuming the point of view of those at home. When we the viewers hear Tina and Amy joke about where Leonardo DiCaprio likes his supermodels or a tipsy Ricky Gervais demand Mel Gibson explain what sugar t*ts are, we feel included in the night. A part of the glamor and self-celebration.

2. The insufferably self-important speeches relevant to no one not in the industry:

Ok, Meryl, try to “empathize” with this:

On a show in which every movie star is decked out like a show pony and liquored up to the nines, someone suddenly taking a moment to preach their political views to the masses is not only being tone-deaf, but appearing to hijack the entire night’s spotlight for themselves.

Besides Meryl Streep, Tom Hiddleston also failed to get this memo (or just ignored it in true lack of self-awareness). Accepting his trophy for his role in AMC’s The Night Manager, Hiddleston also took home the win for Biggest Humblebrag of the Night. He told a long story about how, on a trip to South Sudan, a bunch of Doctors Without Borders had approached him and claimed they binge-watched his miniseries while working to lend help to the war-torn region. Hiddleston declared how moved he was by “the idea that we could provide some relief and entertainment for people who are fixing the world in the places where it is broken.”

Essentially, he patted himself on the back for lending entertainment to the people risking their lives helping the less fortunate in Sudan. Scandal star Joshua Malina summed it best when he tweeted:

“Thank you to Tom Hiddleston and all actors who dare to perform in projects that are shown in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.”

3. The Inevitable Technical Malfunctions:

Not all actors are blessed with the gift of improv, which is fine, except when the Teleprompter fails and they have nothing to read.

Every goddamn year, without fail, the Golden Globes has at least one instance of this. This year, it happened as soon as Jimmy Fallon made his way to the stage. What we, the entertain-ees, are left with, is a steaming pile of blushed cheeks and Fallon hemming and hawing. What is it with Dick Clark Productions and uncoordinated tech? Maybe Mariah Carey is onto something. Maybe DC Productions is not trying to purposely sabotage the poor souls on stage, and ruin the viewing experience for all, but one does wonder: Are they comfortably incompetent because they are passively chasing that “moment” in this age of instant viral social media?

The 3 positives from this year’s Globes?

People who still wanted to entertain… and Me:

Sofia Vergara:

Steve Carrell and Kristen Wiig:

Blake Lively? She’s Been Slacking since Gossip Girl!

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We watch the Golden Globes because it’s a guilty pleasure, much like the Real Housewives of [insert city]… Not one of us watches in hopes that Meryl Streep will share her stunning sociopolitical belief that Hollywood actors are in the marginalized segments of society… or that Clint Eastwood will start stumping for Trump.

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12 Days of Christmas: ON THE 5th DAY: Top 5 #TheWalkingDead Gifts

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It’s Christmas, CORRRAAAAL! Eat the goddamn pudding!

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1. The Walking Dead Lucille Bat Matte Gold Pendant

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Pretty and fatal… that’s how all women like our jewelry. Nothing screams the two more than a pendant of a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

2. The Walking Dead Negan Lucille Crossed Bats Adult T-Shirtwadchat07_grande.jpg

LADIES, wear a choker and a delicate, medium-length chain necklace with this shirt. It’s called murder-chic.

3. The Walking Dead Charm Wrap Gold Bracelet

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It’s all in the details. Of all the ShoptheWalkingDead.com products we’ve seen Chris Hardwick hawking on Talking Dead, he’s never highlighted this exquisitely charming (haha) beaut. The perennially trendy juxtaposition of black-and-gold offsets each dangling relic from a plotline on the show: the handcuffs Rick used on poor Merle, black and gold skulls, the wings on Daryl’s iconic vest, and Daryl’s crossbow… Basically, the Dixon brothers make for great accessory fodder.

4. 6 POP! Daryls >>> 1 Real Daryl (not really, though)

Every fangirl knows that, like Pokémon, YOU GOTTA CATCH THEM ALL! Except two are unfortunately sold out for the indefinite future (we’re sure you can find them on EBay and/or Amazon, however).

It is a testament to Daryl Dixon’s/Norman Reedus’ fandom that Funko POP! made 4 more vinyl action figures of him than they did of Rick Grimes… literally one for each season.

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Our personal fave… for any Secret Santas out there.

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The Dixon brothers make for great accessory fodder.

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Click to see each Daryl up close:

5. The Walking Dead Michonne Hand Forged Replica Sword with Wall Mount

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For the ultimate bad-ass chick who also happens to love elegant, and deadly, home décor, place this high-carbon steel replica of Michonne’s katana (with an aluminum handle wrapped in leather and real ray skin) on its own wall mount in your living room. Or bedroom, if you’re into that kinda thing.

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12 Days of Christmas: ON THE 10th DAY: RACIST CASTING OUTRAGE!

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Friendly PSA: Adopt, don’t shop, a dog this holiday season.

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Speaking of dogs… Hollywood has gone too far this time.

FIRST, they cast an Akita mix for the Jamie Foxx remake of Annie. Instead of the terrier-looking Sandy that has always been the titular orphan’s dog, Hollywood decided to do some progressive casting:

Annie and Sandy in the original movie and Broadway play:

Annie and Sandy and co. in the 2014 film remake:

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An Akita… Typical liberals.

THEN… Emerald City, NBC’s complete reimagining of the classic Wizard of Oz tale (coming in January), decided to throw out the entire rulebook and make Toto, Dorothy’s beloved Cairn Terrier, A GODDAMNED GERMAN SHEPHERD!

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#NotMyToto

A GERMAN SHEPHERD?! WHERE WILL THIS BLASPHEMY END?

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TV: Where Is Each #TheWalkingDead Main Character, Going into Midseason Finale?

After the full-throttle gorily emotional rollercoaster that was the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead, fans and critics alike have been less than fond so far of this season’s so-called “bottle,” or standalone, episodes that only feature one or two main characters at once. Given the fast-approaching midseason finale this Sunday, the main characters of the show still seem to be on vastly different tracks, both literally and emotionally. Here is our map of where they all currently are:

Carl:

STATE OF MINDScared but not broken. As of last night’s episode, when our bravest mini-general in the Walker Apocalypse took it upon himself to execute Negan out of retribution for Glenn and Abraham (and *surprise* failed), Carl found himself being psychologically toyed with and partially tortured by the man himself.

Side note about last night’s episode, the Negan/Carl moments were ripped frame for frame from the comics. Here are some panels that found their way almost word-for-word, frame-for-frame into “Sing Me a Song”:

click to enlarge images:

LOCATION: Held hostage along with Judith by Negan at Alexandria

Negan:

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STATE OF MIND: Entertained and fascinated thoroughly by Carl; Feeling awesome; After all, we got to see his wives in his harem finally:

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LOCATION: Alexandria, along with Judith and Carl

Michonne:

STATE OF MIND: Good and pissed.

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LOCATION: On the road, forcing a Savior at gunpoint to take her to Negan and his home, “The Sanctuary”:

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Rick and Aaron:

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STATE OF MIND: Desperate but determined

LOCATION: Trying to get to a houseboat surrounded by a moat of walker-floaters owned by one Leslie William Starton in a last-ditch effort for supplies for Negan

Rosita and Eugene:

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STATE OF MIND: Defiant about handing their stuff over to Negan

LOCATION: Went to a factory and then back to Alexandria armed with a bullet Eugene just made in secret for Rosita

Spencer:

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STATE OF MIND: Spiteful toward Rick

Spencer, Spencer, Spencer… Don’t you know that anyone who opposes the Ricktatorship openly will die horrifically?

LOCATION: At Alexandria with a bunch of food and information he’s about to dish to Negan, in what appears likely to be an attempted coup.

Maggie and Sasha:

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STATE OF MIND AND LOCATION: Still in mourning for Glenn and Abe and still at Hilltop, plotting with Sasha specifically waiting for Jesus to return with the Sanctuary’s location

Jesus:

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STATE OF MIND: Unflappable and ninja-like as ever

LOCATION: MIA… last seen at the Sanctuary atop Savior truck. Possibly at the Sanctuary or already back reporting the location of Negan’s home base.

Daryl:

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STATE OF MIND: Still feeling defeated but even more concerned for his friends now that he’s seen Negan with Carl

LOCATION: Slipped a note in his cell with keys to aid in his escape from the Sanctuary:

 Sunday is gonna pay off for all those so-called “snoozers,” y’all! Hang in there!

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Breasts, Superheroes, and the Contrast between Comic Books and Film/TV

FUN FRIDAY READ, Y’ALL: We all know that, in both comics and film and television, sexy female superheroes love to flaunt what they got.

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We have just noticed that the comics sometimes take the sexy to new…buoyant heights? 🙂 See what we did? “Buoyant” because boobs. We are 12. Anyways, have fun:

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5  HILARIOUS EXAMPLES OF BOOB OVERKILL: Comics v Film/TV

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1. Scarlet Witch

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There have been so many creative iterations of the Scarlet Witch costume in the comics, but they all emphasize one…um, two, things 😉

Film

(Elizabeth Olsen: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War)

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2. Poison Ivy

DC Comics

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Film

(Uma Thurman: Batman & Robin)

The cinematic Poison Ivy, given Thurman’s frame as a former fashion model, chose to emphasize Poison’s psychedelically witchy hair rather than her breasts.

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3. Elektra

(comics v 2003’s Daredevil movie with Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios)

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How can a ninja have such gravity-defying boobs? It’s not optimal for aerodynamics!

Film

(Jennifer Garner: Elektra (left), Daredevil)

Netflix

(Élodie Yung: Daredevil)

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4. Rogue

Marvel Comics

Are her boobs maybe actually muscles?

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Film

(Anna Paquin: X-Men franchise)

5. Black Canary

DC Comics

TV

(Alaina Huffman: Smallville)

(Katie Cassidy: Arrow; The Flash)

We are still waiting for the inimitable Power Girl to be adapted to live-action TV or film:


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WHO WORE IT BEST? The 3 Best and Worst Movie/TV Superheroine Costumes

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1. Wonder Woman

BEST: GAL GADOT, Batman v Superman (2016), Wonder Woman (2017)

Even the sad skinny-shamers who feared Gal Gadot would not fulfill the buxom legacy of Lynda Carter given her lithe and lanky frame were blown away by her ferociously sensuous poses in her full WW armor. Diana/Wonder Woman’s specific brand of sexy is defined not by cup size, but by her statuesque frame (√) , angelic facial features befitting those of a princess (√), and jet-black mane of perfectly tussled loose curls (√). Oh, and her supernatural combat skills (√√√). The naysayers shut themselves up once they saw Gadot in action sequences like these:

WORST: ADRIANNE PALICKI, Wonder Woman (2011)

Thank ZEUS this unholy mix of latex and primary colors never made it past a pilot episode. True, it almost exactly resembles recent DC Comics’ artwork of Wonder Woman, but:

A) an armored breastplate and a sword/shield combo slung over WW’s shoulder is better-suited than cheap-looking rubber for a warrior princess (yes, Gadot’s WW costume looks very similar to that Xena’s. So what? They are both female warriors with stories tied deeply to ancient Greek mythology.)

and B) … does Superman run around in red underwear anymore? Answer: not since Dean Cain in 1993. Does Batman’s suit have nipples? Answer: Not since…let’s never bring it up again. How are we supposed to take Wonder Woman, one of the mightiest protagonists in the comics, seriously when her lasso looks like it’s made of tinsel and her corset seems to be a leftover top from someone’s “Slutty Nurse” Halloween costume? And, oh, her boots… They look like ones you would find at Payless upon which someone spray-painted a tarty layer of firetruck red.

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“Thank ZEUS this unholy mix of latex and primary colors never made it past a pilot episode.”

Shame on you, the fashion-school dropouts behind Adrianne Palicki’s costume… The character and the actress both deserved better.

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2. Catwoman

BEST: ANNE HATHAWAY, The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

By the final film of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, we as moviegoers have learned to trust his creative judgment when it came to the DC-verse. That trust was reinforced stronger than ever by Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman costume. Catwoman’s costume has always been inherently seductive, with the all-black palette and requisitely skintight silhouette. We have seen many iterations of this facet in the comics and on the big and small screens, but Hathaway’s was the first in live-action to not only be sexy but extremely utile.

Her cat ears? They’re actually CONVERTIBLE GOGGLES! Protective glasses for when she’s racing that SICK ride of hers, along with a sensibly windproof leather jumper, utility belt and moto boots:

The Next-Gen bike for Catwoman is also not a random accessory tossed in to accentuate how high this film’s budget sat ($230 million, to be exact). Her new thrill ride enabled Selina Kyle the added bonus of luxuriating in a feline-on-all-fours stance often and very prominently. Hathaway (and her stunt double)’s backside and long legs were thus filmed to subtly play upon the character’s innate catlike qualities… without her having to make hissing noises every five minutes:

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Honorable Mentions go to the 3 Catwomen of Batman, the 1960s Adam West small-screen vehicle:

For the time’s limitations, these three looks nailed the sex appeal of Catwoman without committing overkill:

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For my Cat-and-Dog ensemble costume this Halloween with my poodle, I was instantly inspired by Julie Newmar (far left). Her ears. Her jumpsuit’s cowl neck. All it took for me to feel like her Catwoman was a pair of black leggings, a sleek Max Azria turtleneck and a homemade cat-ear headband:

WORST: HALLE BERRY, Catwoman (2008)

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The photos speak for themselves. Halle Berry’s standalone venture displayed a complete lack of regard for its source material and a general lack of respect for direction as a motion picture. This main flaw was evident down to the catsuit. According to the film’s Oscar-winning costume designer, Catwoman’s wardrobe was intentionally cut down to dramatic shreds to juxtapose the protagonist’s “demure and repressed” past life with her sexually awakened “warrior goddess” existence after her supernatural encounter.

Okay… It doesn’t take a movie connoisseur to realize cinematic symbolism requires more than taking scissors to a character’s shirt and pants. Also, none of what Halle wears in “Catwoman mode” was even foreshadowed beforehand in the movie. Nor does any of it make sense. Sure, it kinda does if you suddenly had the urge to look like a human cat.

Why the shreds on her pants? Why open-toed heels? Why the weird X-belt contraption across her naked belly??? We appreciate artistic license and all, but a superhero’s costume is integral to the origin story and, therefore, must follow some set of logic.

Yes, she gets a random whip to accessorize.

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“We appreciate artistic license, but a superhero’s costume is integral to the origin story and, therefore, must follow some set of logic.”

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3. Storm

BEST: ALEXANDRA SHIPP, X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

It is too often the sad truth that we naturally do better on the second try. It is also a sad coincidence that we are bashing poor Halle Berry’s clothes for the second time in a row. Shipp’s Storm costume and hairdo simply embraced the fieriness and regality of the Ororo Munroe character much better than her predecessor’s did. tumblr_o46ro9fu5z1tt6s82o5_540.gif

The X-Men movies, including Apocalypse, never did the Storm character justice, but out of the two live-action adaptations, Shipp’s came closest. Lest we forget, Storm was the daughter of a Kenyan tribal princess. As a member of the X-Men, she was depicting wearing a tiara and a costume with a ruby and lightning bolt motif.

Shipp’s side-swept Mohawk mimics the tiara effect and the silver streaks down the front of her corset resemble lightning bolts. She also rocks the same gauntlets along her bare arms the way Storm did on comic book pages.

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WORST: HALLE BERRY, all the other X-Men movies (starting in 2000)

Was Halle Berry auditioning to be the fourth (fifth?) member of Destiny’s Child in these movies? (Remember, it was the early 00’s). With an orange spray-tan and an unflatteringly silvery-white wig with lowlights to (un)match throughout the movies, she seemed less dressed to imitate a potent, regal mutant and more to rejuvenate Berry’s appearance in front of the Britney-crazed teeny-bopper moviegoers running rampant at the time.

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Berry’s Storm look only began resembling hers in the comics in X-Men: Days of Future Past (far right)… a.k.a. spoiler… the one in which she dies.

Even compared to her fellow female X-Men in the casts, she always looked like the one pre-packaged most to look like a pop star rather than a superhero:dd5185ece2449e36e324cedea582e1cf.jpg

LIL GRIPES DASH“Was Halle Berry auditioning to be the fourth (fifth?) member of Destiny’s Child in the X-Men movies?”

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TV: > 7 Days Left to Season 7 Premiere: The 7 Best #TheWalkingDead Episodes So Far

OUR 7 FAVORITE THE WALKING DEAD EPISODES SO FAR:

(from 7th best to number one)

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7th Best Episode of All-Time: “No Sanctuary,” Season 5 Episode 1

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6th Best Episode of All-Time: “Days Gone Bye,” Season 1 Episode 1

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5th Best Episode of All-Time: “No Way Out,” Season 6 Episode 9

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4th Best Episode of All-Time: “Too Far Gone,” Season 4 Episode 8

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3rd Best Episode of All-Time: “A,” Season 4 Episode 16

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2nd Best Episode of All-Time: “Better Angels,” Season 2 Episode 12

WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT IT:

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This instantly iconic shot of Rick (left) and Shane (right) underscored another brilliant aspect of the episode: its epically breathtaking cinematography.

What a perfect illustration of how some are born to lead and others born to crack. The escalating tension between Rick and Shane, instead of coming to an impasse due to Dale’s devastating death,  had finally shattered the last remaining fragments of their BFF status. Rick (still operating at this point under a democracy than a Ricktatorship) is more assured than ever in the humane choice to set Randall the prisoner free, as Dale would have had it, than to execute him, as Shane would. So, it begins…Shane’s plot to murder Rick in cold blood is revealed to the audience as it is to Rick, making the buildup and the faux goose chase Shane set up all the more tense and rife for Emmy-winning acting moments. (Seriously, did Shane think anyone would buy his story if he walked back onto that farm without Rick?)

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Rick: Wait a minute, you bald-headed snake…

It seemed that, as the episode progressed, so did the ferocious pace of Rick Grimes’ ascension to full Alpha status. While Shane was quickly slipping off the cliff of sanity, Rick was firmly holding onto all the hope he saw in front of him: a wife, son, unborn child, and friends both new and old. Andrew Lincoln’s glow-in-the-dark blue eyes, ever-fixated on Shane as the latter kept leading him further out into the woods, carried all of the burden in these dimly lit scenes, reflecting all the flashes of confusion, betrayal, and anger that Rick felt as he followed his former best friend knowingly toward his own execution, thinking, “Is this crazy mothaf***er REALLY going to try and kill me right here and now?

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LINE OF THE EPISODE:

“People are gonna die. I wish I had something more profound to say…but I’m tired, son. Please, take it.”

-Rick as he hands Carl a gun, the same one Carl later uses to dispatch Walker Shane

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WHY THIS EPISODE WORKED:

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Shane needed to goooooooo! If you can’t take direct orders from the group’s designated leader, then leave the goddamn group. A group of survivors in a Zombie Apocalypse is simply a microcosmic society and in any society, there must be some order. It was completely satisfying watching him fail to get the upper-hand on Rick, thereby proving Rick’s leadership-worthiness, and even more when Rick’s own son shot him after reanimation. I have watched Carl shoot Walker Shane, like, 100 times on repeat.

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One of my single favorite scenes on The Walking Dead thus far; I got your 6, Dad!

P.S. I did cry when Rick frustratingly blubbered over Shane’s dead body:

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P.P.S. Rick, Carl, Daryl and Glenn witness firsthand the heavy realization that everyone will eventually become a walker.

P.P.P.S. I know she’s dead now, but can someone slap Lori for me? At an emotionally fragile time for all, post-Dale’s funeral, she went over to Shane to have an intimate chat about how her unborn child, whom she had previously declared was husband Rick’s “no matter what,” could just as easily be Shane’s. Given Lori’s knowledge that Shane is already predisposed to rage and possessiveness over her and Carl, that was just complete idiocy on her part. I would blame it on the baby hormones but I don’t want to be labeled a sexist by SJWs.

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BEST EPISODE OF ALL-TIME: “This Sorrowful Life,” Season 3 Episode 15

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WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT IT:

Merle, Merle, Merle. Never has a character, up to this point in the series, been so sophisticatedly dissected from start to finish in an episode. Even the always scene-stealing Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes paled in comparison to Michael Rooker’s Merle Dixon this time. Rooker enunciated each layer of Merle’s personality clearly and intensely.

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We saw Merle the greedy user (“We got any whiskey?” “Just lookin’ for some crystal meth is all”),  Merle the voice of reason (“You’re gonna let [the Governor torture Michonne] all just for a shot? You’re as cold as ice, Officer Friendly”), Merle the dutiful henchman (takes it upon himself to kidnap Michonne and deliver her on Rick’s behalf), and, most tragically, Merle the regretful (dare we say, sorrowful?) loner…The real reason we wound up so saddened by Merle’s departure from this world was that he had resigned to the fact that he didn’t belong anywhere… The Governor no longer wanted him, Rick and his group certainly never liked him, and his own brother, Daryl, now looked at him like a sick old dog whom he just couldn’t bring himself to put down. He had no one left in this world, if he ever had anyone truly… and it took somewhere along his drive with Michonne for him to realize this.

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Merle made an ultimately self-sacrificial decision to free Michonne and try to eliminate as much of the threat to Rick’s group as possible. Was it a suicidal decision? Therein lies that beautiful complexity… After having all these layers of Merle Dixon peeled back, we still will never know what truly drove him to do what he did at any given time. Clearly, part of his motivation was the desire to protect Daryl but he chose deliberately to go alone on this killing spree when he could have easily enlisted help.

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“I can’t go back. Don’t you get that? I just can’t go back.” That, and not his heroic self-sacrifice, was the real tear-jerking moment. Whether he survived his kamikaze-style attack on the Governor’s soldiers, Merle was always going out alone in this world. He knew it. We knew it. For a character who’s been only on a dozen episodes, Merle Dixon’s loss is still felt today as our group faces an entirely new (and bigger) threat in Negan and his Saviors.

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LINE OF THE EPISODE:

“I don’t know why I do the things I do. Never did. I’m a damn mystery to me.”

-Merle to Rick

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Oh, and don’t get us started on Daryl’s cry-face. When Norman Reedus cries, we cry, y’all:

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Honorable Mentions for LINE OF THE EPISODE:

In addition to the emotional weight of the episode, Merle helped serve up a delicious platter of one-liners to offset the mood:

“Do you even possess a pair of balls, little brother? If so…they belong to you?”

“The inner circle… I’m honored.”

MICHONNE: “So is this your thing then? Taking out the trash?”
MERLE: “Aww, don’t be so hard on yourself, darling.”

“You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt… and I’ve only got one.”

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NEW YORK COMIC CON SPECIAL-Luke Cage, The Flash, The Walking Dead, Doctor Strange, and Iron Fist

COUNTDOWN: OUR 7 FAVORITE EPISODES OF The Walking Dead SO FAR

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Luke Cage Easter Eggs

The Flash Flashpoint Highlights

The Walking Dead Countdown

Doctor Strange turns back time in new TV spot

Iron Fist has a new trailer

…and on and on it goes as New York Comic Con is amidst us. 

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WE NEVER KNEW watching TV could be as hectic as attending Fashion Week–come Fall, you’re scrambling from one big event to the next, typing out your notes on each on the in-between cab or train ride. Now that we can stop binge-watching old shows on Netflix (and binge new ones), let’s take a deep breath and unravel a bit of all that’s happened in Geekdom so far:

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Sweet Christmas! Up to our eyeballs in shows and henceforth, WERK!

1. Luke Cage (Netflix) Easter Eggs: A Scavenger Hunter’s Basics

“The Incident”

Just like in Daredevil, “the incident” was name-dropped early on and often in this series. It is the important moniker given to the alien attack on New York City led by Loki’s Chitauri army in The Avengers (2012). The ramifications of that event are still clearly reverberating four years later in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

“Sweet Christmas!/Sweet Sister!”

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Saying his line on Jessica Jones (Netflix)

Count how many times in this series Luke Cage (Mike Colter) utters these phrases. It is Luke’s catchphrase; it’s his “HULK SMASH.” Created along with some other Blaxploitation superheroes (Shaft, most famously) in the ’70s, this line was meant to be Marvel’s kid-friendly substitute for Luke cursing. Along with his nicknames, Power Man and Mr. Bulletproof, the line brings a smile to our faces whenever old-soul Luke drops it on us.

“I’m not for hire.”

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You will repeatedly hear Cage insist that he’s “not for hire” this season. Indubitably,  this is the show’s allusion to the small company founded by Cage and Danny Rand (a.k.a. Iron Fist), Heroes for Hire, Inc. in the comics. Cage and Rand lend protection and investigative services for a fee on a very kosher basis–they never accepted extralegal jobs and the company was licensed by the state of New York.

Nods to his Classic Costume

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This is Luke Cage’s original costume. No way it was making it into a 2016 adaptation but look out for the way in which they cleverly managed to still wring out a scene with Luke rocking it. His self-commentary on the outfit is nothing short of hilarity.

Hammer Industries

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Remember that really funny and smug jackass in Iron Man 2? He was played by Sam Rockwell and went by the name of Justin Hammer. Oh, and he and his company were Tony Stark’s chief rivals in the weapons industry. With Tony Stark out of the arms manufacturing biz altogether, it looks like Hammer Industries has finally taken the throne. Take a shot every time their name gets dropped or is seen throughout this series.

Seagate Prison

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Don’t recognize this sea-engulfed prison? Oh, it’s filled with Iron Man’s MCU foes: Justin Hammer himself is supposedly still incarcerated here and so was actor Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) after the events of Iron Man 3.

“Black Mariah”

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Gun-runner Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali) yells this in a fit of rage at his cousin, councilwoman Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodward). She warns him to not call her that: here’s why.

“Night Nurse”

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Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) is one of several Night Nurses in the MCU. Catch the sly reference to this on the show.

Matt Murdock/Daredevil

Does Claire have a lawyer friend? Is he really good? 🙂 She only insists on Luke accepting the help of lawyer-by-day/Daredevil-by-night Matt Murdock, oh, about a dozen times.

Misty Knight’s Arm

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Oh, so close! Misty Knight (Simone Missick) is famous for having a robotic arm in the comics. Look out for the show’s approach to this.

Stan Lee Cameo

Find this poster 🙂

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Celebrity Cameos

A few totally catch you by surprise yet blend into Luke Cage‘s Harlem seamlessly.

Colleen Wing

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Claire wants self-defense lessons from some sensei named Colleen Wing. Who is she and when will we see her next?

2. The Flash (CW): Highlights of the “Flashpoint” episode

Let’s get one thing out of the way: It was way too short. We wanted to spend more time in the Flashpoint universe: We wanted to see more of smug and rich Cisco and way, way more of Wally West a.k.a. Kid Flash getting schooled by Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash.

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In any case, Season 3’s premiere might have been titled “Flashpoint,” but the following episode is titled “Paradox,” meaning… it ain’t over! We are guessing that the ramifications of Flashpoint leave Barry with more trouble than just Iris and Joe not talking.

Now, what we loved about “Flashpoint”:

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HEADLINE: “The Rival v Kid Flash” !!!
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Barry still has powers. We don’t know how, but we’re just happy he does!
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Badass Entrance– First look at Kid Flash. They stuck to the original costume!

On the other hand…

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The Rival– his costume is sooooo Halloweeny that we love to hate it!

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  • Barry and Iris’ Meet-Cute (Foster siblings/lovebirds/lifelong best friends meeting for the first time in an alternate reality will always melt the coldest of a cynic’s heart)… Well, we’re not sure how chivalrous it is stealing a girl’s purse just to pretend to give it back:
  • “I’ve got to meet a friend for dinner” a.k.a. Barry feeding his archenemy, Reverse Flash, fast food like a hamster in a cage:

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  • Aww, what a “It’s a Wonderful Life” moment, indeed. Henry and Nora Allen alive and well in 2016 and ha-ha, his parents want Barry to move out after he went through hell to save both their lives:

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  • Ew… Barry had to wash Joe West by himself. Hope he used a loofah!
  • Barry’s memory flashes… A visually resonant side effect of his F-U to Father Time. He’s starting to forget his original life and the memories it contained of Iris and other loved ones:
  • “I got you… Whoops, thought I had you.” Perfect comedic set-up to Barry discovering Kid Flash is none other than his Wally West:
  • “What did you expect, a fortress?” – Wally to Barry after the latter questioned the laxness of his base of operations. A Fortress of Solitude reference?
  • It was soooo nice hearing Wally tell the story of how he became powered. Almost exactly akin to Barry’s, with the addition of an illegal racing car.
  • Star Labs is Ramon Industries in the Flashpoint universe and Cisco Ramon is the richest man in America… with his player hand strong, flying up to work in a helicopter with a honey on his arm:
  • LOL – Cisco goes for an easy lay-up in his own office basketball hoop… and misses:

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  • Vibrating hand reference by Cisco:

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  • Barry losing some memories of Cisco… Very poignant:
  • “Whoa, it’s like I’m really there.” – Cisco
  • Cisco is a health nut in the Flashpoint timeline 🙂

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  • Barry reveals his powers to Iris and Wally West to team up against the Rival:

… and explains the Flashpoint timeline to this new team:

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  • Caitlin! There she is!
  • Aww, Barry is trying to glue his old friend-family back together.
  • “We’re something else to each other where you come from, aren’t we?” Give it up to Candice Patton– Her tearful acting was 100% believable:

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  • Kid Flash and the Flash, standing side by side:

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  • “It’s like he’s a Weather Wizard or something.” – Cisco
  •  Barry forgets… and then remembers that he’s… DRUMROLL… The Flash:
  • “I need you to kill my mother.” Ouch. Barry has to beg Reverse Flash to go back in time and re-kill his mom so they can restore the natural timeline:
  • West-Allen will always exist… in any universe or timeline:

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  • Talk about dark humor. How many times has Michelle Harrison have had to act our her/Nora Allen’s death?
  • Everything’s back to normal.. Or not.
  • “Clariss… Wake up.”
  • “Alchemy” written on Edward Clariss’ bathroom mirror:

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BOOM!

3. 2-for-1 Countdown to Season 7 The Walking Dead (AMC) Premiere… 3 WEEKS TO GO:

4th Best Episode Of All-Time: Too Far Gone, Season 4 Episode 8

FOUR Reasons We Love It:

1. This episode worked because of the ever-reliable formula of Big Speech followed by Big Booms. Usually in these cases, it’s the hero delivering said speech, but the flip that it was the villain made it all the more refreshing.

2. Rick’s Change of Heart. The first half of Season 4 saw Rick struggle to come back from his costly dictator-like mistakes in Season 3. Rick and right-hand Daryl touchingly restrain Rick’s son, Carl (who had become just as ruthless), from taking a clean shot at the Governor… just so they can parlay in good faith… “I know we all can change. We can still come back. We’re not too far gone,” Rick pleads. Which brings us to…

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3. Hershel’s Death – Tragic and tied for the most tear-jerking along with Dale’s, it was a death but so necessary to further the plot at this point. Several of the main characters had contracted a fast-killing flu in earlier episodes and all of them were miraculously not among the dozens who died. It was time for a dose of gravitas to be sourly delivered to our heroes. It was Hershel’s time. His well of wisdom had been imparted in full; Rick understood his message and, in turn, passed it onto the Governor.

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4. Hello, Sweet Vengeance. Comics readers or not, we all knew Michonne wasn’t dying this episode. She had still not amply punished the Governor enough for his crimes against her, Andrea, Glenn, Maggie, and etcetera and etcetera. We are so happy that Michonne is the one who shish-kebabs the Governor and leaves him to turn. Also, satisfying as HECK to see each of the Gov’s all-too-eager henchmen (and women) get mauled down trying to attack our heroes’ home, especially Tara’s (let’s be honest) super-bitchy girlfriend when she was nailed dead-center in the forehead by 10-year old Lizzy while trying to kill Tyreese. MUAHAHA.

Bonus MVP points go to Daryl for using a zombie as a shield like a G!

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LINE OF THE EPISODE:

“You walk through those gates, you’re one of us.”

-Rick to the Governor’s army as they ready to attack the prison

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3rd Best Episode Of All-Time: A, Season 4 Episode 16

THREE Reasons We Love It:

1. The intertwining imagery of Rick’s return to righteous savagery (he was seconds from watching his son get raped) and his past Zen-ful lessons on the prison farm courtesy of Hershel.

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2. The return of Hershel!

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3. THROAT RIP! (NSFW GIF HERE) Rick is so hungry in the Zombie Apocalypse apparently that he’ll treat himself to some human esophagus, if he damn well pleases. I can’t decide which was more enjoyable –  the dark humor and satisfaction I derived from the scene or the sheer shock value of it. Of course, on The Walking Dead, there is always more to gore than just gore for gore’s sake. Every decapitated head, every eyehole stab, throat slit… Each moment of violence on this show pounces on the emotional arcs presented that episode. For an episode hinging on Rick Grimes re-earning his Ricktatorship throne, I would say this moment sealed the deal.

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LINE OF THE EPISODE:

“They’re f***ing with the wrong people.”

-Rick’s best motivational speech yet to his group 

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4. Doctor Strange (Marvel Studios/Disney)’s New TV Spot Hides Secret Messages

Messages contained in reverse in this new TV spot, along with flashes of images, reveal the exciting probable revelation of another Infinity Stone in the upcoming MCU film. Listen in forward and reverse mode from Doctor Strange himself:

“This is just the beginning”

“Time” repeated by Strange himself in different tonalities…

The Time Stone… A new Infinity Stone enters the MCU arena.

NOVEMBER 4th, Oh, won’t you come

5. Iron Fist (Netflix)… Say hello to our newest crush.

Sorry, Mike Colter, but geek love is a fickle mistress! We still love ya but we just finished Luke Cage and on we are to the next Marvel/Netflix lovechild, Iron Fist! Mike is one of the most handsome men in the world, but we can’t deny how boyishly charming Finn Jones (who plays Danny Rand a.k.a. Iron Fist)’s smile and curly goldilocks is. Oh, and Madame Gao is back.

We even auditioned to be Colleen Wing… but our tape went missing 😦

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