TV trumps Comic-Con
Wookies, wizards and warlords travelled far and wide last week to the Mecca of nerdom—San Diego’s Comic-Con 2012. But amid the customary slew of costumed heroes, anime fan girls and middle-aged comic book lovers (who still live with their mothers), gathered a new breed of nerd: TV junkies.
Television took over the four-day festival with over 100,000 fans flooding the panels of their favorite primetime and cable shows. Among the most acclaimed panels were TV’s Game of Thrones, Glee, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and True Blood. Fans that garnered coveted panel seats were indulged with season spoilers, shocking teasers and Q&A’s with TV’s A-list characters.
Game of Thrones: New blood
The highly anticipated drama that’s brought us royal rivalries, dwarf sex and special effects reminiscent of Lord of the Rings will return for its third season in March 2013. Fans can expect bloodshed and lots of it, according to the Comic-Con panel. So much blood loss in fact, that a new litter of over a dozen cast members will grace the screen. British actress Diana Rigg (of The Avengers series fame) will play Lady Olenna Tyrell, grandmother to Margaery and Loras Tyrell. Mum’s the word on whether Lady Olenna will rival her grandchildren’s power lust and cunning temperament, but with a nickname like “The Queen of Thorns,” fans shouldn’t hold their breath. Also new to the game is Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye), a rebel priest who may bring a dubious new brotherhood to King’s Landing. But with new faces and rising tensions, one thing’s for certain: “Winter is coming Stark,” and your favorite players may not live long enough to pay their debts.
Comic-Con grew tone deaf this year as high-pitched screams and teeny-bopper songstresses swarmed the Glee panel. Last year at McKinley High, seniors said their goodbyes and ‘Finchel’ came to an end with a teary ballad (Cue Vitamin C’s Friends Forever). But dry your glittered eyelashes, Gleeks! The panel assured fans that graduated seniors will still be incorporated in the show’s fourth season. Creators said Glee will undergo a format makeover to include storylines of college ventures and mishaps. Filming will also start up in New York City, as the plot follows Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) through NYATA and toward Broadway stardom. Not returning to the choir room is Irish foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan played by Glee Project: Season One winner Damian McGinty. Spoilers include a guest star appearance from Kate Hudson and another go at a Britney Spears song-off (Oops..they did it again). The fall term will bring fresh faces, more mash-ups and with a little luck, a new National Championship. Tune in Sept. 13, 2012 for another gleeful year.
Breaking Bad: All Hail Heisenberg!
Breaking Bad made its first and soon to be only appearance at Comic-Con this year, as the show embarks in its fifth and final season. Creator Vince Gilligan and the supporting cast were met with a bevy of cheers, but the room rattled with yelps as the kings of meth (Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul) emerged on stage in their trademark lab gear. (One panel-goer even dawned Walter White’s famed tighty-whities paired with an elaborate chemical mask.) The panel began with a discussion of Season Four’s shocking season finale that revealed the death of kingpin Gustavo Fring. With Fring dead, Gilligan teased that Walt or rather Heisenberg, will attempt to become the new drug lord of the Southwest. Actor Aaron Paul told the panel his character Jesse Pinkman will also undergo a significant attitude adjustment. Like true outlaws, the cast kept their lips sealed and only hinted at possible scenarios. No word on whether Hank (Dean Norris) will discover his brother-in-law’s discretions or whether our two cooks will find themselves on the run. Yet Gilligan insinuated Season Five will bring more German subtitles and less Spanish dialogue. (Is it Auf Wiedersehen to Mexico?) Find out if Heisenberg’s truly “the one who knocks,” Sundays on AMC.
The Walking Dead: Rick-tator-ship
With breadwinners Breaking Bad and Mad Men, AMC is quickly becoming one of the most watched stations on TV. Adding fuel to the fire, is the guts and gore of Robert Kirkman’s brainchild The Walking Dead. The series (based on the comic book of the same name) took Comic-Con 2012 by storm as hundreds of gaunt ‘walkers’ prowled the indoor and outdoor arenas. Executive Producer and zombie makeup-artist extraordinaire Greg Nicotero recapped Season Two, which ended with our survivors on the move towards an ominous fortress fleeting behind a mass of fog. Fans of the comic know the destination as ‘the prison,’ the future home and backdrop to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his apocalyptic posse. Life in the prison ensures shady characters, alliances broken and plenty of flesh-craving walkers lurking in dark corners. Season Three also promises the debut of Michonne, one of the most beloved, katana-weaving characters from the comic. Michonne’s badass shoes will be filled by actress Danai Gurira and British actor David Morrissey will play the new brash and brutal villain—The Governor. The show returns in Oct. with all new episodes and according to the panel, with a new authoritarian Rick.
True Blood: Stackhouse secrets
Vampires, faeries, werewolves and over 6,000 paranormal-aficionados huddled in Ballroom 20 to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars. Once called a Twilight knock-off, True Blood has proven itself as a vampire contender with its racy storylines, edgy repertoire and pulsating scenes of passion. The panel kick-started with a trailer of Season Five, which is currently underway. Fans were stunned as the trailer revealed a possible love-rectangle between Sookie (Anna Paquin), vampires Bill and Eric (Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard) and newcomer to Bon Temp, werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello). The trailer also unveiled a vampire Tara (Rutina Wesley) in a prominent new career as a stripper and a possible rekindled love affair between Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) and Bill’s protégé Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll). The stars of the show talked bromance between Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard and even joked about some “maker on maker” love making in the future. Fans and ‘fangbangers’ were also riled up by an impromptu strip tease by Joe Maganiello of recent Magic Mike fame. If the sexual energy in the panel room was any indication of Season Five, fans are in for a treat.
Comic-Con 2012’s neon, yellow carpet was dispersed on July 15 and the event came to an end with drunken patrons staggering to their hotel rooms and hopefuls gathered outside San Diego’s Convention Center for a final glimpse at scantily clad Marvel maidens. Heroes and furries unmasked, Batmobiles sped off into the distance and one bitter groundskeeper looked at the valley of garbage that wreathed around him and muttered, “Nerds are going to inherit the Earth.”