Kendall on Lighten Up Podcast

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Hey kids! I was on another podcast, this time the podcast of my buddy Melanie Dale called Lighten Up. We had a hoot talking to each other about comic con, Cursed Child, and Melanie’s many failed attempts to be a walker on The Walking Dead (she lives right where they shoot the show and has eaten AT NORMAN REEDUS’ RESTAURANT and I am an infinite ball of jealousy). Melanie’s a great internet turned IRL friend (because meeting once IRL for Thai food totally counts, y’all), so I’m really excited for y’all to hear the episode.

Enjoy the episode!

Everyday Cosplay: Negan

By now, I’m betting that most of you have seen the season finale of The Walking Dead (and don’t freak out if not, no spoilers in this post), and I’m assuming Negan captivated you as quickly as he captivated me. I mean, it wasn’t a pleasant captivated, not by a long shot.

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Negan is hella terrifying, and a SUPER bad guy–but he’s a bad guy that you just can’t forget. I think he’s the most formidable foe that the group has faced since the Governor. Plus, he’s played by Poppa Winchester, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, happily bringing the Supernatural universe together with the Walking Dead universe.

While this season may have ended on a CRAZY cliffhanger, I just couldn’t manage to shake Negan. Since I couldn’t get him out of my subconscious, I decided I’d commemorate his part in my stress dreams by creating a Negan-inspired everyday cosplay look. Take a peek:

Everyday Negan

 

 

What did you think of Negan? Do you think he’s the toughest enemy Rick and the gang have faced yet, or do you think someone else is? Let me know in the comments!

Everyday Cosplay: Carl Grimes

You guys, ever since I had to bow out of recapping The Walking Dead for The Mary Sue, my Walking Dead life has been a mess. I am currently two–yes, TWO–weeks behind on TWD. I just don’t even know what to do with myself right now, because I know the last two episodes were intense, and remaining out of the loop is just a bit too much for me right now.

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So while I am painfully behind on TWD, I decided to do what I could to keep the walker-fever alive with some CORAL-inspired everyday cosplay. I even included a fancy purse that I found on Etsy that straps around your thigh. And, no spoilers in this post, but I included some sunglasses since Carl’s all about the…um…eyewear these days. Trust me, in this outfit, you’ll NEVER be able to stay in the house*.

Everyday Carl Grimes

 

 

Are you caught up on The Walking Dead? Without giving spoilers, are you enjoying this half of the season so far? Let me know in the comments!

*Okay, I know Carl is way beyond his “where is Carl, I told you to stay in the house, Carl” days, but it will still be one of my favorite TWD inside jokes ever–second only to Rick Grimes dad jokes

The Walking Dead: Nobody’s Safe? Really?

First off, let me just say that I’m sorry for the radio silence around here. I was super sick for the past several days, but it’s all good now!

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Back to the matter at hand! Fandom! Geekery! Zombies!

You may have noticed that I didn’t post a Walking Dead recap this week. Unfortunately, because of huge amounts of scheduling conflicts, I’m not going to be able to recap The Walking Dead at The Mary Sue anymore. It’s a bummer, and I’m so sad to have to miss out. However, I am going to be so incredibly busy in the next few months and I just won’t be able to do a good job for TMS recapping. I don’t know who is going to be taking up the helm, but I’m sure they’ll be great so check ’em out. And don’t worry, I’ll still be live-tweeting the show when I can and writing about the show here when I can.

I was able to watch the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead, and I had All the Thoughts. So before I jump in, all those not caught up on The Walking Dead be warned:

Spoilers

My thoughts on the premiere? Overall it was a fun episode. It had lots of zombie gore and Daryl saved the day with a rocket launcher twice. Even so, I didn’t fully agree when I tuned in to Talking Dead and Chris Hardwick called it one of the best episodes ever. Why? There was drama. We watched Rick lose Jessie, a woman he was starting to allow himself to fall in love with. We saw Carl get shot, and then Rick got a great monologue where he told Carl he wanted to show Carl the “new world”. Dr. Denise and her Wolf captor had a lot of great character development, but I didn’t think it was the best because it didn’t exactly live up to the expectations I had.

After all, they were calling this premiere one of the bloodiest in a while, and touting how “everyone will NOT survive”. That’s the thing with The Walking Dead. The show always preaches about how “no one is safe” and that every single character could die at any moment. For a while, we all believed them. The early seasons brought us Carol’s husband’s death, Andrea’s sister’s death, T-Dog, Sophia, Dale, Andrea, Herschel, Lori, Tyrese, Beth, Noah, and Shane. All major characters whose deaths were shocking, but since Noah died last season, we haven’t had any big character deaths. You could maybe count Deanna in that, but since we were only just getting to know her, I’d say she wasn’t quite yet to the level of Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Carol, Rick, or Carl.  Instead of a major character death, we get situations like this:

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In case you can’t tell, in the center of that horde (in front of the magic dumpster) is Glenn Rhee. He survived this by simply scooting and camping out underneath that dumpster. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that Glenn is alive, but as more episodes go by without major character deaths and the show runners keep saying, “No one is safe!” it makes me wonder. Is that even really true anymore? Do I even want it to be true?

 

Over the past several seasons, they’ve seriously culled the herd of major characters. Now we’re down to a pretty small member of “main characters”–I’d say that’s Rick, Carl, Carol, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, and Michonne. They all feel almost vital to the show. I can’t imagine The Walking Dead any one of those characters, but still, watching the show knowing that anyone who isn’t in the main bunch (or even the secondary main bunch like Sasha, Abraham, and Eugene) is essentially a Red Shirt really lowers the stakes for me. The Walking Dead is often likened to Game of Thrones, another show notorious for killing off its main characters. That show has killed off loads of highly popular, main characters, and it keeps on killing it in the ratings. It’s kind of awesome to watch a show not knowing exactly who will live and who will die. For a while, that was The Walking Dead, but I fear that they’re moving away from those crazy high stakes that we’ve come to love. Sure, it’s rad to know that our main characters will be safe more often than they’re endangered, but after a while doesn’t that start to remove the urgency of a zombie-ridden, post-apocalyptic world? In the mid-season premiere, there were loads of times where the survivors wiggled away from a near death experience, and by the end of the episode, I almost felt like rolling my eyes.

No, I don’t want any of my walker-fighting babies to die, but part of what I love about TWD is how brutal the world is. If it’s only brutal to Red Shirts, that urgency and moral questioning is gone. Of course, this all could be lulling us into a false sense of security. If you know the story of Negan from the comics–don’t worry, not spoilers here–you know that he will be bringing some serious craziness into the safe lives of our survivors. So it could be that the stakes are just about to get higher.

Ultimately, it’s a fine line to balance, making sure there are enough characters for us to get involved in the show without losing the show’s edge. I don’t want to lose any of my faves, but I also am really concerned that The Walking Dead could potentially be losing its edge by giving in to fan pressure. Of course, only time will tell.

What do you guys think? Is The Walking Dead losing its edge by keeping so many of the core group alive for so long–even in crazy circumstances like Glenn and the dumpster–or is it simply taking time to develop characters before they launch into the next, gut-wrenching story line? Let me know what you think in the comments!  

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Season 6 Mid-Season Finale Recap

Well, we’ve finally reached the end of the first half of season 6 of The Walking Dead. This season has been quite unique in that it has only spanned across the time of a couple of days, but despite that small amount of time, this season has been packed with action. I’m talking about the entire thing over at The Mary Sue–and the crazy ominous introduction to NEGAN.

Speaking of Negan, did you catch the “post credits” scene that was the prologue to part II of this season? If not, never fear, I’ve got it for you right here. Didn’t see the finale? No worries. There aren’t any spoilers in this clip:

OH MY WORD, I’m so nervous about Negan, you guys. But enough hand-wringing over what’s to come. For now, head over to The Mary Sue and we can talk about the mid-season finale. Here’s a bit from my recap (SPOILER ALERT):

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…I can officially say that I am frustrated beyond belief with Morgan. His character progression has been fascinating to watch, but I’m so tired of his new lifestyle putting literally EVERYONE at risk. I appreciate Morgan doing everything he can to keep a firm grasp on his humanity, but I fear that all he’s ultimately doing is making naive choices that will crush him and the entire group. I’m curious, especially with the introduction of Negan and the Saviors (we’ll talk about them in a second), how Morgan will fare in the second half of the season.

Over at Rick’s group, the group makes a startling discovery once they are safe in Jessie’s house: Deanna has been bitten. As they decide what move to make next, and as they allow Deanna some time to process that her life will soon be over, Ron and Carl are in the basement having the worst-timed fight in the history of ever. Last week’s episode ended with Ron very clearly intending to shoot Carl. Ron holds a lot of anger towards Carl and Rick, with Rick killing Ron’s dad, and Carl having a strange relationship with Ron’s girlfriend, Enid. I had hoped that the ginormous walker herd would sway Ron’s teenage bursts of anger, but it only served to amplify it. Ron attacks Carl and tries to shoot him, breaking windows and letting walkers in the house in the process. When Rick asks Carl if everything was okay in the basement between the two boys, Carl assures Rick that everything is fine. Carl then goes into the other room with Ron, lays the verbal smack down on Ron. While Carl managed to diffuse the situation for the moment, I feel very certain that we haven’t seen the last of murderous Ron…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue, and let me know your thoughts about the episode and what’s to come in part II of season 6 in the comments!

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Recap

We’re one episode away from the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, and last night’s episode was CRAZY. We finally got our answer to THAT giant question. I’m talking about it all over at The Mary Sue. I hope you’ll join me there, and let me know your thoughts about the episode in the comments.

Spoilers ahead! 

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…back at Alexandria, things are bubbling just under the surface. Ron is continuing to get his sketchy gun lessons from Rick and Carl. I don’t think there’s a soul in the fandom who thought Ron was learning to shoot to aid in home security and walker defense, and the fact that Ron stole ammo, followed Carl with a gun in hand, and appeared to have the intent to shoot Carl. Of course, there was a significant event that derailed Ron’s plans, but we’ll talk about that in a moment. Suffice it to say that it seems our worst fears about Ron were most certainly true. I’m incredibly concerned about Carl’s safety in the weeks to come, but I do think that Carl could certainly hold his own against Ron. We’ll have to see how that plays out.

Arguably the largest problem Alexandria was facing—apart from the inexperienced citizens, the naive leader, and their faulty walker defense plans—was Morgan and his insistence on upholding his “all life has value”. All life, including the lives of the Wolves who attacked Alexandria and killed countless citizens. All life, including the Wolf Morgan has imprisoned, who promised to kill every person in Alexandria should he survive. All life may have value, but the threads are starting to unravel in Morgan’s plan for pacifism. Is Morgan really valuing life by saving the lives of killers? Are you valuing life by keeping killers in the midst of your family and friends?

Rick approaches Morgan about the three Wolves who attacked and nearly killed him in the RV—Wolves that Morgan let escape from Alexandria…

Read the rest at The Mary Sue!

 

5 Fandom Friday: Fandoms I’m Thankful For

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Strangely enough, it’s been a long time since we’ve talked about fandoms on Fandom Friday, but happily we’re bringing it back to the source! It’s nearly Thanksgiving, so it’s time to take a moment to reflect on all the things we’re thankful for–fandoms included. I have quite a few fandoms to be thankful for. Whether they started me on my journey in blogging, creating amazing friends for me, or just gave me something great to watch or read I’m so happy for the fandoms in my life. I’ll be honest, I’m a proud, card-carrying member of quite a few fandoms, but here are my top 5:

Supernatural Fandom

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The Supernatural fandom was really the gateway fandom to get me into the world of geek blogging. I love the show a lot, but seeing the intense passion fans had for the show and the huge community behind it really motivated me to explore the blogging world more. I’m so grateful for this fandom–even though it can get kinda weird at times (looking at you, Wincest shippers).

Female Geek Bloggers

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*this gif is not a realistic representation of the FGB G+ Group. Though there are dozens of us. DOZENS!!!

Finding the G+ group Female Geek Bloggers was truly stumbling across hidden treasure. This group has been so amazing, and I’ve managed to not only find a bunch of other writers that I admire, but I’ve also made a few friends, too. The Geek Girl Blogger fandom/group/whatever is one I cherish so very much, and am so happy to be a part of.

The Walking Dead Fandom

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Look at that Tennessee Tophat run…

I love the Walking Dead fandom. One of the most fun things for me is to finding other Walking Dead fans in the wild be it at work, ballet, or while I’m live-tweeting each week. This is such a fun group of people, and it’s such a ridiculous fandom that we’ve actually got a show that airs after each new show to talk about the show. It’s out of control, but I love it so much.

Hanson Fandom

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Despite what this gif might make you think, Weird Al is not the 4th member of Hanson.

I remember the first time I heard a Hanson song. I was in the second grade at a roller skating rink (I’ve always known how to party hard). Despite what you may think, Hanson not only has several songs outside of “Mmmbop”, but they still are making new music. Plus, they usually do a walk for charity with their fans before each show. Hanson concerts are the best, because even if you show up to the concert alone, you’ll leave with at least two or three new friends. Hanson fans are the absolute coolest.

Star Wars Fandom

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I have always loved Star Wars, and I clearly remember the first time I saw the films. The Star Wars fandom is great, because the universe is so incredibly vast, which leaves room for fans of all sorts of “dedication” levels–and Star Wars fans are a largely welcoming group. Sure, we can be kind of critical towards the movies (looking at you Episodes I-III), it’s only because we all have so much love for the franchise. The Force Awakens is giving the fandom a whole new life, and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow and evolve.

What fandoms are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments, and as always, check out my other Fandom 5 posts, and follow the #Fandom5 hashtag to see what everyone else is talking about today!

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Recap

You guys, this season of The Walking Dead has been giving me tons of feelings. With a major character that I love potentially dying but potentially being okay, this season has left me a hot mess of big fandom feels. It also doesn’t help that the showrunners are low-key trolling us all by taking the actor’s name out of the credits and making us wait WEEKS to find out this guy’s fate.

Well, this week still didn’t give us answers on that particular characters fate (can you tell I’m avoiding spoilers up here?) but it did give us an episode more Daryl-focused, which is always a plus. I’m over at The Mary Sue talking about it, and I hope you’ll join me over there to break down the episode–and the mysterious voice on the walkie at the end! (spoilers ahead–be wary)

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…Daryl is separated from Sasha and Abraham after a spontaneous attack. While my first instinct was to call the attackers Wolves, they seem far too in control and too calculated for the crazy, unrestrained brutality of the Wolves. They’re also attacking in cars with guns, when Wolves–at least the ones we’ve met–attack on foot without guns. I have a guess on who the attackers are, but more on that later.

As Daryl is trying to hide from his attackers, a group of three road-weary travelers take Daryl captive and steal his crossbow. Right off the bat, it seems like these three think Daryl is someone he isn’t, repeatedly saying Daryl is “one of them”, defending the bag they’re carrying by saying, “we earn what we took.” It’s obvious that these guys have clearly escaped from someone, but again, their lucid nature and the lack of a grotesque W carved into their forehead makes me think they aren’t Wolves.

While Daryl was busy being a prisoner, Abraham and Sasha held up in the office of Sunrise Auto Insurance to wait for Daryl and plan their next move if he never showed up. I’ll be honest, things got a bit weird between those two. Sasha spent a great deal of the episode trying to figure out where exactly Abraham’s head was. Both Sasha and Abraham have really struggled with living life in this new world, but Sasha seems to have some wisdom and peace that Abraham is notably lacking. While Abraham is busy being reckless, jumping from moving cars, nearly shooting a lone walker, and yelling in the faces of walkers, Sasha tries to figure out what exactly Abraham’s motivation is for being so reckless. Sasha and Abraham have big conversations on the point of life, especially in light of their losses, Abraham losing his family and his world-saving mission, and Sasha losing her brother and her boyfriend. Their entire interaction here seems bizarre, Sasha trying to keep Abraham lucid and safe, and Abraham essentially going a bit stir crazy. Of course, it all culminates with Abraham coming on to Sasha because he just knows she’s into him. That gross pick up line aside, it’s unclear if he was right about Sasha’s feelings for him. It’s also unclear if, when she said he had things to get in order back home, if it was in reference to Rosita. We’ll have to see how that random pairing plays out…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue, and tell me your thoughts on the episode in the comments!

The Mary Sue Post: Walking Dead Recap, “Now”

I’ll be honest, y’all. Yesterday I took a vacation day, and I had BIG plans to get All the Writing done, and it didn’t happen. Turns out I really, really needed a day to recharge my batteries and do nothing other than play Ocarina of Time. Because of that, I didn’t even link to my recap of Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. Fail for me.

Still, I wanted to be sure I linked to it because Sunday’s episode was filled with some solid character development, a big announcement, and still NO WORD on that certain character for which I’m still holding out hope of his survival. Here’s an excerpt (spoilers ahead, obvs.):

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…Deanna was not doing well after losing her son, her husband, after the attack on Alexandria, and then Rick leading a twenty-deep herd right to the city gates. It’s been a rough week for a woman who has essentially been riding out the apocalypse in a gated community. She spent most of the episode walking aimlessly around Alexandria and getting yelled at her drunk son.

As she’s processing the horrors she’s seen, Aaron confesses to the group that the Wolves found Alexandria after he and Daryl fell into a Wolves trap while out recruiting, and Aaron lost his bag—which led the Wolves right to Alexandria. Rick shoots Aaron a glance that I had a tough time reading—I’m not sure if it was one of anger, frustration, or understanding. Either way, he says they’ll talk about it more later, so we’ll have to see what comes of Rick and Aaron’s relationship. Regardless of Rick’s feelings towards what happened, it’s obvious that Aaron feels personally responsible for all of the death in Alexandria, and is looking for some way to try to make amends….

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue and let me know your thoughts on Sunday’s episode in the comments! 

The Mary Sue Post: Walking Dead Recap

Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead slowed things down a bit and gave us a glimpse into Morgan’s back story. It was great. The acting was spectacular, and the story was compelling. The thing is, after leaving us on the CRAZY cliffhanger that they did last week, I was annoyed that the story not only didn’t address those cliffhangers, but the timeline actually went backwards. Avoiding cliffhangers aside, the episode was a pretty great one. I’m over at The Mary Sue talking about it. Here’s an excerpt:

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…when he encounters a crazed, gun-wielding Morgan creeping around in his yard, instead of killing him, Eastman offers several warnings before knocking Morgan out with his staff and locking him in that living room-jail. Eastman even has sarcastic conversations with Morgan despite the fact that Morgan doesn’t do much beyond screaming “KILL ME!!!!” at him.

Just like Morgan was a godsend for Rick in season one, Eastman was a similar type of “guardian angel” for Morgan. Eastman is incredibly patient, helping Morgan work through his PTSD and offering him a healthier way of living in the midst of the destruction around him. When Morgan explains that he’s still alive only to “clear”—basically kill every single thing he encounters—Eastman insists that all life has value, and that there is a way out of the depths of despair he’s found himself. Slowly but surely, Eastman is able to pull Morgan out of his shell. He protects Eastman’s goat, Eastman begins to train Morgan in aikido, and eventually Morgan is able to level up enough to unlock Eastman’s tragic backstory…

What did you think of the episode? Read the rest of my recap at The Mary Sue and let me know your thoughts in the comments!