Please Enjoy theCHIVE’s Secret First Look at Iron Fist

,aIron Fist is set to hit Netflix on March 17! If the waiting for a new Netflix Marvel series is KILLING you, I’ve got some good news. theCHIVE is featuring an exclusive clip on their site. But, because we’re dealing with Danny Rand here, you’ve got to get a bit creative to reach the content.

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When you get to theCHIVE, you’ve got to enter a secret cheat code (think old-school gaming): Up, Up, Down, Down, left, right, left, right, b,a

Once you do that, you’ll have to break through a brick wall (because Iron Fist, y’all) to access the content. Of course, if you can’t make the cheat code doesn’t work, or you just want to make things easier, you can access the clip by entering “Danny Rand” into theCHIVE’s search bar. Trust me, regardless of how you get there, you’re gonna want to check out this clip. March 17th cannot get here quickly enough!

What did you think of the new clip? Are you excited for Iron Fist, or are you more excited for another Netflix Marvel show to return? How do you think Danny Rand will play into The Defenders? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! 

Feast Your Eyes on the New Doctor Who Trailer!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper, season-long adventure with the Doctor. Can you believe that season 9 ended in 2015?! But happily, our wait for the new season of Doctor Who is nearly over. Season 10–also known as the first season for Pearl Mackie’s companion, Bill, and Peter Capaldi‘s final season as the Doctor–will start on April 15. From the looks of the trailer, we’re in for a fun season.

Capaldi’s Doctor has been met with some mixed reviews. He was starkly different from Matt Smith‘s Raggedy Man, and fans had a bit of a tough time adjusting to that new dynamic between Clara and the Doctor. However, I personally felt like Capaldi finally settled into his role as the Doctor last season, and I think this new season will be the perfect cherry on top of his tenure as our favorite time traveler from Gallifrey.

But in addition to saying hello to new faces and goodbye to old ones, it looks like this season has a lot of fun in store for us. We, happily, will get to see more of Michelle Gomez as Missy/The Master, Matt Lucas as Nardole, and we’ll also get to see some of our old faves like Daleks and Cybermen (and not just the upgraded Cybermen–this season will kick it old school with the original 1960’s Cybermen), as well as the return of the Ice Monsters.

So even though we’re going to have to say goodbye to yet another Doctor (and potentially a companion, as there is no word on Pearl Mackie’s intentions to stay or go after Capaldi regenerates), this season is shaping up to be one hell of a last ride for Twelve…or Thirteen, depending on how you count the War Doctor. Regardless of where you count him, be sure to set your DVRs for the Doctor Who premiere on April 15th on BBC America!

What do you think of the season 10 trailer? What are you most pumped to see this season? Are you excited to see Peter Capaldi regenerate, or did he win you over? Who do you want to see helm the TARDIS once he’s gone? Tell me in the comments! 

10 Things You Need To Know About Visiting Universal Studios Hollywood

If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that I just returned from an AMAZING one-week adventure in Los Angeles, California. It was my very first time in the state (okay, once in high school I had to catch a connecting flight in LAX, but I never left the airport so it doesn’t really count). I was certain I’d love California, but I wasn’t sure if I’d love LA. I knew my blog buddy Megan at The Nerdy Girlie loved it (which by the way, if you haven’t heard about her 100 Cups of Coffee book project, you should check it out), but I wasn’t sure if it’d be my style.

Let me just tell you that LA is definitely my kind of city. It’s beautiful, and it’s got such a unique vibe between that California cool and breezy beach vibes with the excitement and bustle of a big city. Yeah, traffic can be rough, but it is worth it to get to spend time in such a cool place.

While there were so many amazing things to see (which I’ll talk about in later posts), one of my favorite experiences from the trip was visiting Universal Studios Hollywood. Of course, visiting a popular theme park can be a bit of a daunting task. Navigating crowds, deciding which lines are worth the wait, and maximizing your fun can feel like a big job when all you’re wanting to do is spend some time hanging out with some of your faves from Universal flicks. So to help you maximize your time at Universal, here are five things you should know before you head to the park:

Everyone will tell you Universal Orlando is better. Don’t listen to them.

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For some weird reason, when you tell people you’re planning to hit up Universal in Hollywood, their knee-jerk reaction will be to tell you that they’ve either heard or they think Universal Orlando is better. Now to be honest, I’ve never been to the park in Orlando, but I can tell you that Universal Hollywood is a blast. I’m sure the park in Orlando is larger with more attractions, but you’re going to have loads of fun at the Hollywood park. So when people say that to you, just shrug and tell them you’ll have fun regardless. Because you will.

Download the Universal Studios app.

I’m always dubious when places tell me to get their companion app. Space on my phone can be precious, so I don’t want to waste it with useless apps. In this case, you definitely want the app. It certainly won’t make or break your time at the park, but with a live update of line lengths and an interactive map, it makes finding your way a lot easier. We were able to maximize our time at the park and seriously minimize our time in line thanks to that app.

Go to Ollivander’s first.

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I’m sure by now that you’ve heard of the fun wand-choosing experience at Ollivander’s. It’s a super brief encounter, and only one person is chosen to experience a wand choosing them (and it’s usually a kid, so don’t get your hopes up adult Potterheads). Still, it’s utterly magical and it’s a really well-made experience. The thing is, it’s a shorter encounter, but the lines can be LONG waiting to get in. So when you first arrive in the morning, head straight to Ollivander’s and experience that first. You’ll still have to wait in line (it’s inevitable, folks), but the line will most certainly be longer as you get into the afternoon.

If you can, go when school is in session.

Guys, the longest I waited for a ride was about thirty minutes. Truly. My guy and I went on a Tuesday when school was in session, and while there were definitely kids there (there are always heaps of people), we seriously lucked out in every single ride. We got to go on just about everything twice (and Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey three times, because HARRY POTTER, y’all), and we stayed til the park closed. I can’t promise you similar results if you go on a school day–the park is always packed, regardless of school and work days–but it’s a bit less chaotic when most people are at work or school.

Buy your tickets ahead of time online.

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Seriously. It’s cheaper, you don’t have to wait in line, and it allows you admission into the park one hour early to check out the Harry Potter world. Listen, I’m not a morning person at all, but getting to access the Harry Potter stuff an hour early made everything extra special. While there are still a good number of people there early, the crowds were a bit smaller so I was able to take my time, really enjoy Hogsmeade, and take some fun pics of the attractions without worrying that I was getting in the way of everyone.

Definitely do the studio tour.

As a huge movie buff, I was stoked to see stuff like the Universal backlot. However, if getting to see the house from Psycho doesn’t fill you with childlike glee, you might be tempted to skip the studio tour. Don’t. It’s so much more than just a standard backlot drive-through. I won’t give away any spoilers, but it is one part tour one part immersive experience. I had a blast, and I know you will, too. Plus, it’s just rad to see the Psycho house. I don’t care who you are.

Watch Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron pose for pictures

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Even if you aren’t interested in getting a picture of you next to a very realistic-looking Transformer, you should definitely hang around to watch them pose for pictures. While Bumblebee’s words are understandably limited to whatever he can pull from pre-recorded audio, Optimus and Megatron spend their photo op time posing for pictures and talking to the crowd. Obviously, Optimus goes for the inspirational route, which is fun to see, but Megatron goes back and forth between antagonizing the audience and coercing them to join the Decepticons. It’s quite fun to watch, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Don’t prioritize the Shrek 4D experience.

If you’re a huge Shrek fan, then you’ll have loads of fun. Even if you aren’t, it’s a good time. However, the Shrek experience is one of the older rides, so the tech behind it is just not as impressive as experiences like the Transformers ride or Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey. So unless Shrek means a lot to you, I’d put it a bit lower on your ride priority list.

Even if the lines are long, Universal makes waiting fun.

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With the exception of just a couple attractions, Universal does a great job integrating the line into the actual attraction. So even though you’re waiting, you get to see awesome set pieces from the show or movie, and often times you get introduced to the story line behind your specific ride–it’s never as simple as something like “let’s pretend you’re in the first Transformers movie!” So be sure to look around and listen to any videos or recordings that they have playing while you wait. There’s lots to see and hear!

Be sure you look properly terrified in The Walking Dead walkthrough experience

The TWD attraction is essentially a zombie-themed haunted house. So once I realized that, I applied haunted house rules to the attraction, and got a bit nervous (if you’ll recall, I am not a fan of haunted houses). So I reminded myself of things like, the actors can’t touch me, I’m allowed to run through the experience if I’m too scared, and realizing that the chicks directly in front of me would likely feel the brunt of the jump scares. However, once I got in, the whole attraction was so cool, and the walkers looked so true to The Walking Dead that I just became utterly delighted. So I started going through the experience with a stupid grin on my face. This clearly frustrated some of the walker-actors, and they started jumping back out to scare me a second time. So my advice to you is, even if your heart is filled with blissful, walker-loving glee when you go through the attraction, make sure your face conveys the appropriate amount of terror to keep those walkers in check.

What are some of your Universal Studios Hollywood tips? What should I know when I’m able to make it to Universal Studios Orlando? Let’s talk theme parks in the comments! 

You Need To Be Watching Crazyhead

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It’s the winter hiatus for most of our favorite shows right now, so it is the perfect time to pick up a new television obsession. So if you’re busy missing Supernatural, if you’ve never recovered from losing Being Human UK or US, or if you just want to see a show about two women kicking demon ass and taking names, you’ve got to check out Crazyhead. For now, there’s only one season (and a mere six episodes) of this spectacular show, but it’s six episodes of supernatural hunting fun. It’s streaming on Netflix so you can binge the whole thing over your winter break. Don’t worry, this whole post is spoiler-free, so if you haven’t checked out Crazyhead just yet, you can read on without fear!

Fans of Supernatural will definitely notice some…well…some differences in things like exorcism rites (it’s a bit more…personal and, well, flat out gross than simply shouting out some words in Latin), and the mythology and lore surrounding demons has a unique and interesting twist from what I’ve seen before (I’d go into it more here, but it’s a HUGE spoiler for the show). Still, it’s got that fun, other-wordly vibe that made us all fall in love with watching Sam and Dean kick monster butt. The show’s heroines, Amy and Raquel, are so much fun to watch together. The two meet for the first time in the show’s premiere, but by the season finale, you can’t help but want to be in Amy and Raquel’s squad.

The two are hilarious together, and Raquel is a perfect mix of tough, crass, and lovable. Amy is quieter with a more skittish and awkward nature, and watching the two women try to protect the earth from demonic threats is like watching two friends. Unlike Sam and Dean Winchester, Amy and Raquel didn’t grow up as trained warriors, and are both relatively new and uninformed about the dealings of demonic ways. So we get to learn right alongside the women as they get to know the underworld a bit more, and figure out the best way to get rid of demons once and for all.

One of the biggest complaints of Supernatural fans has been the lack of women hunters who aren’t killed off in some horrific fashion (read: Charlie, Jo, Ellen, and the OG, Mary Winchester). So it’s awesome to find such a cool, engaging show about two awesome women going up against the darkness. And without getting into any spoilers, they’ve set us up to explore a supernatural world outside of demons alone. So I cannot wait to see what exciting stories and frightening monsters we get to see Raquel and Amy fight in season two.

Have you watched Crazyhead on Netflix yet? What did you think of it? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Image credit: E4/Netflix

Ways the Supernatural Family Is Really Saving People

Part of what makes the Supernatural fandom so special is the huge emphasis that gets placed on helping people. For a show about killing monsters, we do a lot of good, and really look out for one another.familyUnsurprisingly, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles launched a new Always Keep Fighting hoodie campaign just in time for Supernatural Day. Here’s a video of Jared and Jensen introducing the new campaign:


I’ve talked before about how important I think Always Keep Fighting is. Mental illness gets such a terrible stigma, and as someone who has anxiety and depression themselves, I am so happy to see my favorite fandom do so much good  and offer so much help to those who need it. The fandom and the #AlwaysKeepFighting movement meant so much to me, I got a tattoo reminding me to always keep fighting:

I did a thing… #AlwaysKeepFighting @jaredpadalecki

A photo posted by Kendall Ashley (@kendallashley_0128) on Aug 3, 2016 at 6:48pm PDT

Of course you don’t have to go and ink yourself if you want to participate in the AKF campaign. Instead, you can just scoop up your own hoodie from the latest campaign by heading over to the Represent page to order your hoodie and get your special 12 pin. But don’t wait too long, the campaign ends on September 27th!

But of course AKF isn’t the only way that Supernatural looks out for its own. If you haven’t heard yet, Supernatural and Random Acts have also created an actual crisis hotline, and they have people working on the hotline 24/7 and at Supernatural conventions.

And Sheriffs Jody and Donna (Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster) have also started the Wayward Daughters Academy, which is a tee-shirt campaign that raises money to help homeless and at-risk women and girls. Not only that, but it’s become a bit of a supportive community among Supernatural‘s fans, allowing a place for them to really be themselves,  to help others, and to find others who love them for just being themselves.

Of course Wayward Daughters and several of Osric Chau‘s campaigns all fall under the BEHEMOTH that is Random Acts, a huge charity started by Misha Collins. You’ve probably heard of Random Act’s big event, the giant and crazy scavenger hunt known as GISHWHES. However, there is so much more to the organization that just that. Random Acts is working all over the globe to help those that need it most, promote kindness and generosity, and even do huge things like raising money to build schools and homes in areas that need it.

This is what makes the fandom so special–how connected we are, and how important it is that we help others. You can joke around about the show running for too many years, you can say you think the various Supernatural shippers are weird, and you can get confused at how meta the show can get sometimes, but at the core of all that, the fandom is just trying to do good in the world. That’s what makes this group and this show special, and it’s why we’re still talking about the show after all these years.

What’s your favorite charity or cause that the Supernatural fandom has rallied around? Tell me about it in the comments! 

Welcome to Supernatural Week and the Season 12 Teaser

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On September 13, 2005, Supernatural first hit televisions. It’s been over a decade since the pilot episode aired, and to celebrate the show’s unusually long life the 13th has been officially deemed “Supernatural Day”. Well, the thing is, I didn’t feel like allowing one day for Supernatural appreciation was right. So here at Distracted Blogger, we’re going to be celebrating Supernatural Week.  I’ll be talking about the new season, the bomb Jared and Jensen dropped in the EW article (I won’t spoil that in this post), Always Keep Fighting, and more. I have been re-watching the entire season this hellatus, so I can’t wait to talk about All the Supernatural Things with you this week!

So let’s start this week off right with a first look at what’s in store for us in season 12. Take a peek. Season 11 spoilers ahead, obviously:

You guys, I have really mixed feelings about the UK branch of the Men of Letters. Sure, Sam and Dean have created (accidentally or not) quite a lot of problems for people on earth, but I feel like capturing Sam and torturing him is kind of an extreme reaction. It also feels like far too brutish a reaction for a group of people known for being chronically stuck between the pages of the book while they save the elbow grease for hunters. I really loved the idea of Sam becoming a full-time Man of Letters, but seeing some of the people that would be his UK colleagues has got me wondering if that’s a good idea.

Also: MARY WINCHESTER, YOU GUYS! I am so incredibly excited to see Mary back in action, and back in pants. I’m a bit worried about Sam and Dean spending actual, real time with their mom since she’s become this ethereal, perfect creature in their minds. Seeing a real woman with real flaws could be really hard for the boys, and put a rift in their relationship that doesn’t need to be there. We don’t know if Mary’s return is something that will stick, so I’d hate for her to be sent back through the veil (or worse, for her to be killed again) and the boys have this John-style relationship with her. Of course, things won’t just be hard for the boys. We know that Mary never wanted her children to be hunters, so it will have to be heartbreaking and infuriating for Mary to see her boys living the exact kind of life that she never, ever wanted for them. If the boys let slip too much about their childhood, you know Mary is going to be absolutely furious with John.

What do you think of the teaser? What are you most excited about in season 12? What do you hope to see this season? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Denver Comic Con 2016: Sunday Panels

Over the weekend of Denver Comic Con 2016, I loved, loved, loved, spending Friday on the exhibition floor and freaking out over my panel, and I loved spending Saturday with the likes of John Barrowman, Cary Elwes, and Hayley Atwell. However, the Sunday panels were hands down my favorites. In DCCs past, Sunday was always more of a slow day to help you wind down from the con craziness. Not this year though. Sunday had people from Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Marvel, Doctor Who, and my favorite internet ladies, The Hillywood Show. It was a great day, but by the end of the day I was EXHAUSTED! Here’s how the day shook out:

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

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I was soooo thrilled to hear that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was coming to Comic Con this year. His appearance was a bit of a late announcement, so it made me even more excited to see him at the con. I didn’t have time to save up to get a photo op with him, unfortunately, but getting to see his panel was treat enough. So what did he have to say about Negan’s role on The Walking Dead? Nothing. He said that he gets to laugh a lot as Negan, which in turn upsets Andrew Lincoln, which makes him laugh more, and he said that waiting for an answer to “who met Lucille” isn’t the worst thing in the world. But apart from telling us how much fun it is to play such a twisted bad guy, we didn’t really learn too much–which is unsurprising. What I really loved was hearing him talk about Supernatural, and his feelings towards Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. He talked about how seeing them “all grown up” made him feel incredibly proud, and he liked to think he had a small part in that–even though he’s only ten years older than Jensen Ackles. He also mentioned that he’d love to come back to the show, especially if it was for the series finale, and if Jensen directed. I’m all for that. He was also asked a question by a girl in genderbent Comedian cosplay, which he thought was so rad that he brought her onstage.

JDM and Comedian

JDM hasn’t been doing the convention circuit for long, but he seemed to be pretty comfortable onstage (his wife–who he met through Jensen Ackles, btw–and adorable son were in the front row, which I’m sure helped him out) and he put on a super fun panel. He was funny, sweet, sincere, and you could tell how much of a genuinely fun time he has working on and talking about the shows he’s a part of. Papa Winchester didn’t disappoint, you guys.

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Of course that was only a fraction of the day. Next, we took things over to the Marvel ‘verse…

Clark Gregg

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What makes a Clark Gregg panel so fun is how much of a fanboy he is IRL. If you didn’t know, this guy is essentially Coulson himself. He loves comics and the heroes from Marvel just as much (though I don’t think he has vintage cards like Coulson–although Coulson doesn’t even have his cards anymore), and when asked if he was Team Cap or Team Iron Man, he full Coulsoned everyone, calling the question-asker “young lady” and asking how the Sokovia Accords would affect the Inhumans in his charge. It was THE BEST. He also spoke about life after Coulson died in Avengers. He happened to see the #CoulsonLives Twitter campaign while running his wife’s (Jennifer Grey) Twitter while she was on Dancing with the Stars. After that crazy campaign and seeing the Marvel fans flock to bringing Coulson back, we got a living, breathing Coulson and the amazing show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So can we expect to see him back on the MCU? Or what about his feelings of bringing in some of the other Marvel TV characters into the MCU? Coulson–I mean Clark is game, but he’s okay with waiting. Obviously, he’s got to figure out a gentle way to let the Avengers know he’s still alive. You know, in a way that won’t make any of them so mad they kill him…but more than that he’d love to see the Marvel shows (he named Matt Murdock specifically) mix with the MCU, but in the right way. He thought having some brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo wouldn’t be the best, but if they could blend the worlds in a natural and awesome way, he’d love to see that. So we can hope our future will hold some rad crossovers.

Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman

Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman

I wasn’t able to stick around for this entire panel, but I did enjoy getting to see these two together. The biggest thing I felt from this panel is that when Jenna originally took the job as Clara on Doctor Who, she had no. idea. how much this would change her life. To this day, I feel like she’s still trying to understand Whovians, convention culture, and why the heck a bunch of randos are paying upwards of a hundred bucks to take a picture with her. Still, it’s obvious she loved the show, the characters, and her fellow actors, which I always love seeing. Alex Kingston, on the other hand, is ALL ABOUT this kinda thing. She totally seemed to feed off the crowd, and was a lot more vocal than Jenna (introvert vs. extrovert, basically). When Jenna asked if she would be coming back to Who–especially after Peter Capaldi made some cryptic remarks about her–she shrugged it off as Peter being Peter and trying to create buzz. She also said that she’d only just left, and Pearl Mackie was starting her run as companion that very day. So even though she seemed to make the answer seem like a solid “no, I’m done”, she never officially said her days in the TARDIS were over. She just didn’t want to take the spotlight from Pearl. Alex Kingston also made some controversial remarks saying that she wasn’t on board with turning the Doctor into a woman in a future regeneration. We’ve seen with two other Gallifreyans that a gender change in a regeneration is possible–The Master/Missy being the most notable–Alex thought that since he’s always been a guy, he should stay that way. I love you, Alex, but we’re gonna have to agree to disagree there.

The Hillywood Show

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I actually got to interview Hannah and Hilly (an interview that will be coming out on Geek & Sundry, so stay tuned for that), but I also couldn’t wait to attend their panel. While I’m pretty sure they were in Hilly!Dean and Hannah!Cas cosplay the day before, their Sunday panel was in Dean and Cas casual cosplay (sporting their Hillywood Supernatural parody beanies, obvs). These girls are so sweet and just a ton of fun. They were encouraging to members of the audience who wanted to start their own show on YouTube, and they were so grateful that they had the opportunity to create the show thanks to their Patreon supporters (you can support the show here if you are so inclined). They also watched some of their parodies with the audience, namely their Lord of the Rings Parody, the Walking Dead Parody, the Doctor Who Parody, and their Supernatural Parody.

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When I first saw the Supernatural parody, I was by myself and had to fangirl with friends online. So it was really fun to get to watch it in a room FULL of other fans and Hannah and Hilly themselves. Their biggest encouragement to the audience was create something original and don’t try to copy what someone else is doing. You’ll only gain a following and stand out from other YouTubers if you are providing something that only you can give an audience–that’s what people want to see, not a knock-off. These girls are amazing. I was so impressed that they not only did zillions of panels and took the time to not only do photo ops, but they also manned a booth and spent individual time–and the occasional selfie–with each fan who came through to buy some merch.

Of course the unsung hero of the convention is also the lovely Clare Kramer, who was the moderator/interviewer for most of the mainstage panels. She was busy the ENTIRE weekend, and helped make every single panel awesome. I have no idea how she was able to stay energized for it all, but she did a great job. If you haven’t checked out her or GeekNation, you totally should do that. She’s fantastic, and helped make all of the panels amazing. She’s hosted mainstage panels for a while at Denver Comic Con, and I’m always impressed at how she handles the panels–even as they’ve grown significantly over the years. Seriously, Denver Comic Con had record attendance this year, and I know that a huge part of that is because they put on some truly impressive panels. I’m already getting excited for the adventures in store next year!

Have you seen any of these folks at a convention? What question would you like to ask them if you could? Tell me about it in the comments!

Supernatural Hellatus Re-Watch: Am I Becoming a Sam Girl?

It’s been a while since I’ve re-watched the entire series of Supernatural (I think I’ve actually only done it twice, which is shocking to me since I’ve watched the entirety of shows like Arrested Development, The IT Crowd, and Bob’s Burgers like…seven thousand times). Since we’re on the summer hellatus, I figured this would be the perfect time to start over from the very beginning.

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I just have to say that I love, love, love the first season. It’s full of urban legends, MOTW episodes, and it’s way before the boys had to worry about stuff like the apocalypse, The Cage, crossroad demon deals, The Darkness, and all the craziness. It was a simpler time, wasn’t it? In fact, in the episode “Phantom Traveler,” Dean says that dealing with demons is way out of their league. Of course that’s hilarious since these days exorcising demons is so second nature that they’ve literally made a voice note on their phones to exorcise demons for them.

But apart from being reminded of how green the boys were when it comes to hunting really nasty monsters back in the early days, I’m starting to see something else: I might be morphing into a Sam girl. I’ve never had any animosity towards Sam, but out of the two Winchester boys, I’ve always related to Dean more than Sam. Dean’s super protective of his little brother like I am…of course, with both Winchesters any point that you “relate” to them is super amplified on the Winchester’s side of things. For instance, I’d say I’m protective and worry too much about my little brother, and Dean would say, “Yes, I too am protective and worry too much about my brother which is why I SOLD MY SOUL TO A CROSSROADS DEMON AND ROTTED IN HELL FOR 30 HELL-YEARS TO BRING HIM BACK FROM THE DEAD.”

…I just…I just like…worry a lot about my brother making good choices and not dying in car crashes, but yeah, Dean, I totally get you. Hashtag Older Sibling Problems, amirite?

But I love how much of a mother hen-type Dean is. He looks out for Sam–often to his own detriment, but whatevs–he looks out for Cas, and don’t even get me started on his relationship with Charlie and Kevin…

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But as I’ve gone through the first five episodes of the series again, I’ve really tried to watch the show with fresh eyes. Sure I know what’s going to happen, but it’s been forever since I’ve seen those early seasons of the show, so it’s a lot easier than I expected for me to leave my Supernatural baggage at the door and try to watch the show with a clean slate. As I’ve done this, I noticed that I’m starting to get some major Sam feels…and like, zero Dean feels. There’s really not much to Dean in those first few episodes, is there? Now don’t jump down my throat, I know the character develops, but I had forgotten how much time they spend developing Sam as a character. Really the most we get of Dean in those episodes is, well, this:

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Meanwhile, we see Sam build a life with someone he wholly relies on and loves…

sam jess

…he loses her (spoiler alert I guess, but it’s been literally over a decade so it’s your own fault)…

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…blames himself because he had dreams of Jess’ death days before she died (also giving us a first look into his psychic abilities)…

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…and then completely uproots his entire life to avenge the death of his true love (and his mom, but mainly Jess).

we've got work to do

Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget where Sam has been on “the road so far”. For me, the stuff that have always stuck in my mind about Sam’s journey were things like his demon blood addiction, his Dean and John-less heaven, starting the apocalypse, not looking for Dean while he was in Purgatory, losing his soul, and the lack of bro-ments after Sam realized Dean let Gadreel use Sam as a vessel. Typical things for a Dean girl to cling to, but as I’m re-watching the early episodes, the giant train wreck of Sam’s life prior to learning about being “chosen” by Azazel, his horrible childhood, his terrible relationship with his father, essentially being kicked out when he went to college, then losing the only person in his life that anchored him to a safe life…Sam’s just got a shaky foundation all around. Really the only constant in his life is Dean, and Dean doesn’t always live up to that role.

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Don’t get me started on where the Samulet has been since Dean trashed it (I won’t say since it’s an actual spoiler from this season)…

Sam has been through quite a lot, and he hasn’t always made the best choices, but getting to go through his journey again is showing me so much to Sam I’ve never noticed before. I’m also seeing HUGE ways that Sam is basically a shaggy-haired version of John Winchester. I know they say Sam is like John in the series, but I hadn’t picked up on the similarities my first watch through (which makes sense since all we really get of John for most of the first season is coordinates and sketchy voicemails). Sam starts the series with that monomaniacal drive to get Jess’ killer that John had, and we see him continue that singular focus throughout the series (though I’d argue that Sam loses John’s less desirable qualities as the series continues). Obviously, I’m only five episodes into my re-watch, but I can’t wait to see what else I see for the first time.

Have you re-watched Supernatural recently? What new things are you learning? Are you a Sam girl or a Dean girl, and why? Let’s talk about it in the comments! 

Interview with Cat Staggs

When Supergirl came to TV, I think we all knew it was only a matter of time before they re-introduced us to Kara in the comic book world. The Adventures of Supergirl has been rocking the comics world since January of this year, and I had the opportunity to chat a bit with Cat Staggs, the artist behind the amazing cover, who’ll be providing the interior art for the latest chapter of the book, which releases digitally TODAY.

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Image credit: DC Comics

What I love about Cat’s work is how beautifully and realistically she’s able to recreate faces that we’ve seen in real life (you can head to her website to see some of the art she’s done for the Smallville and Orphan Black comics), so I couldn’t wait to talk to her about her work on The Adventures of Supergirl! Take a peek into our conversation!

Kendall: How does your process differ between working on an interior and working on the cover? 

Cat: They’re two different things. In one I’m working closely with the writer to create the interior art, and when I’m working on a cover I’m trying to tell a story without giving too much away.

K: I’m always just blown away when I see how well you’re able to not only create original art, but also draw the faces of real people like you’ve done with The Adventures of Supergirl as well as stuff like Smallville and Orphan Black. Do you prefer drawing real people over creating something from scratch?

C: I don’t really prefer one over the other. Regardless of what I’m drawing, I like to draw people to look realistic. I like to focus on conveying emotions rather than drawing these stiff-looking figures. I really work hard understanding what the character is feeling so when I draw someone it looks emotional rather than someone just opening their mouths or something like that.

K: How did you get into comics to begin with? 

C: I did a lot of knocking on doors after getting laid off from another job! No, but really it was all about meeting people and getting the my work out there. I went to a lot of cons to get my stuff seen, working on trading card art, as well as working with Lucasfilm on a lot of Star Wars art. Then one day Jim Lee offered to give me a shot, and that was Phantom Lady.

K: The Adventures of Supergirl isn’t your first run with Supergirl. You also got to redesign her costume in 2013. How do you feel about the costume she wears on the show (and, by extension, the comic)? 

C: I love the costume in the series! Honestly, I think it’s one of the better Supergirl costumes that we’ve seen in a live-action adaptation. It really holds on to the source material.

K: How do you feel about the Supergirl you worked on in 2013 versus the current Supergirl?

C: I mean, they’re from different worlds, and really almost different characters. One is more defiant and rebellious than the character we see in the show, but I think they’re both awesome characters. I don’t know, put them together, maybe? Then I guess you’d get Wonder Woman, though…

K: Do you have any advice for people looking to get into comics?

C: Ultimately you’ve got to get your work out there. There are so many ways for people to get exposure these days. Getting on Twitter alone can be a great way to showcase your work and reach out to people in the industry. Going to shows and conventions is so helpful to get your work in front of people’s faces and to get the opportunity to do some face-to-face networking. You’ve just got to make it and get it out there! I mean, you definitely have to put in the time and the work, but there are so many great tools to help you get yourself and your work in front of real people.

K: Any last words on what we can expect from the latest installment of The Adventures of Supergirl?

C: I just really hope people like it. It’s a pretty emotional chapter.

Thanks so much to Cat for taking the time to chat with me. Be sure to grab yourself a copy of Chapter 10 of The Adventures of Supergirl. The chapter is available for download Monday, today, via the DC Comics App, Readdcentertainment.com, iBooks, comiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store, and iVerse ComicsPlus. Here are a few images from the interior to whet your appetite for new Supergirl content!

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Also, if you’re heading to Denver Comic Con this year, you’re in luck, because Cat Staggs is going to be one of the fabulous artists in attendance! Be sure to check out her Twitter and the Denver Comic Con page to see what she’ll be up to at the con. And be sure to let me know your thoughts about the The Adventures of Supergirl in the comments!

3 Things I Want For the New Doctor Who Companion

Unless you’ve been trapped in solitude all weekend, chances are solid that you heard a new companion has officially been named. The companion is called Bill, and she’s played by the actress Pearl Mackie. I wrote about her a bit on Geek & Sundry over the weekend.

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Image credit: BBC

Even though we’ve got to wait until 2017 for the new season of Doctor Who (though there will be a Christmas special this year, so maybe we’ll see Bill there), all of our Whovian brains are racing as we imagine what kind of a companion Bill will be, and what adventures she and the Doctor will have together. While I don’t share the Clara-hate that a lot of Whovians had, I will admit that she had a tumultuous run with the Doctor. That original “Impossible Girl” story line made her more of a weird anomaly throughout the Doctor’s timeline rather than an actual character, and it wasn’t until her final season that I really started to love her. Jenna Coleman is a great actor, and I think she could have sealed herself a higher ranking in the “favorite companion” leaderboard had she started her run as companion as more than just a puzzle for the Doctor to solve. Clara, once she was fleshed out as a character, was reckless, she was caring, she was brave, she was snarky, she was loving, she was sarcastic, and she was everything I love in companions.

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It kind of frustrated me, actually, because I felt like so much time was wasted on guessing who–or WHAT–Clara could be. The awkward crush she had on Eleven, the Impossible Girl thing, feeling weird about Twelve because he was old, all of that got in the way of what turned out to be a really fun Doctor/Companion run there at the end. I don’t want that for Bill. Here’s what I hope we see once she officially boards the TARDIS:

No Romance

Eleven and Clara

I loved watching Nine/Ten and Rose’s romance. It was sweet, even though we all knew that it would ultimately end in heartbreak. However, that gooey romance has sort of tainted the Doctor and Companion romance thing for me. Martha’s run as companion got lost, I felt, because there was that awkward “rebound companion” behind everything they did together. When she left the TARDIS on her own accord, I cheered her on because frankly, the Doctor was kind of stringing her along. Then with companions like Donna and the Ponds, we saw how fun–yet still highly meaningful–it can be to watch the Doctor travel with someone who is just a friend and nothing romantic. I got why Clara crushed on Eleven. I get it dude, Matt Smith’s adorable, easy on the eyes, endearing, and he can pull off short pants and “delicate” eyebrows better than anyone. But we all knew the Doctor didn’t fully return Clara’s affections–after all, this was still the age of River Song. Then when Eleven regenerated, everything was weird between Clara and Twelve for a bit because of that crush. The Doctor–especially this Doctor–needs a friend, needs family, far more than he needs a girlfriend. It can get awkward when the Doctor has to navigate a companion crush, so I hope Bill and Twelve are just mates. Plus, I’m not really ready to see him with anyone but River just yet.

She’s Just a Regular Human

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In the Doctor Who universe, it gets repeated over and over again how important the Doctor finds each individual he meets. That’s part of the show’s appeal: everyone’s important. Rose loved the Doctor, Martha was his friend who pushed him from heartbreak, Donna was simultaneously the best temp in Chiswick/the most important woman in the universe/and the Doctor’s best mate, and the Ponds were the Doctor’s family. So taking Clara and making her something more than a human who works her way into the Doctor’s hearts felt…unnecessary. The Doctor doesn’t pick companions because they have some secret identity or skill. The Doctor finds his companions special and important because he thinks everyone is important and special–which leaves room for the companions to grow and develop as characters, and ultimately help the Doctor grow. I want Bill to be a regular human, and not a puzzle or problem for the Doctor to solve. I want to see her evolve during her time with the Doctor like an actual human, to see how her presence changes the Doctor, and not for the Doctor to simply work his way to a solution with her.

No Fearing the Doctor

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I’ve really grown to love Twelve, but a huge difference between Eleven and Twelve is how rough Twelve is around the edges. Everyone wanted to go up and give Eleven a hug. The dude invented a dance called “the drunk giraffe”, and we refer to him as Raggedy Man. That’s SO not Twelve. Twelve doesn’t do hugging (except with Clara), he doesn’t tolerate most people,  he’s got biting sarcasm (one of the reasons I love him), he’s not even consistently nice to those he’s closest with (like Clara), and he’s even had to give himself cards to react appropriately in delicate emotional situations. Clara and Twelve’s first season was tough to watch sometimes because Clara would treat Twelve like she did Eleven. She let him get away with a lot, she let him treat her terribly, and she didn’t really stand up for herself. After all, Twelve can be a bit intimidating. The relationship felt a bit toxic, and not fun at all. However,  once Clara finally stepped up and stopped allowing Twelve to do whatever the hell he wanted whenever the hell he wanted, everything got better. He treated her respectfully, she pushed him to be better, and they were fun to follow on adventures. Bill needs to not be afraid of the Doctor (who may still be emotionally raw as he’s mending broken hearts after losing Clara), and not be afraid to call him out when he’s being crazy. The Doctor’s companions keep him good, and Bill needs writing that lets her keep him good.

It can take some time for the Doctor and his new companion to find their groove together, and I’m excited to watch Bill and the Doctor become friends. I can’t wait to see what kind of a character she’ll be, how she’ll evolve during her run in the TARDIS, and what kind of an impact she’ll have on the Doctor and the universe. New episodes of Doctor Who cannot get here soon enough! What do you think of Bill? What are you looking forward to seeing in the new season? What do you hope to see with this new companion? Let me know in the comments!