For me, today started with lining up for TORN, otherwise known as TheOneRing.net’s “Hobbit Talk”. Having been familiar with this website for Lord of the Rings movie news for the last 12 years, I was asking people in the area, “Are you here for TORN?” My answer, “No. I’m lining up for Hobbit Talk.” Yeah. Whatever.
The line was already crazy around the hall, the first people in line having gotten there at 7:30. I was lucky to find a kind friend who brought me in with them.
The Hobbit Talk didn’t have a lot of new news, but it’s been the starting point of my SDCC experience for many years, so it doesn’t matter to me. I see friends and listen to people talking excitedly about one of my favorite movies.
My next stop would be Ballroom 20. Right. Sure enough, “Game of Thrones” fans had the place surrounded. Surround, breached, and beaten into submission. There would be no getting into this room today.
Then, I hear, “HI!” Someone in line called me over! Can you believe it, someone I didn’t even know recognized me, and let me stand in line with them!!! It was still touch-and-go, getting into the Ballroom, though, even with that bit for fortune. As the “Covert Affairs” panel ended, we were surmising that there would not be a lot of people who were there just for “Covert Affairs. Thusly, not a lot of people would be leaving, especially since something as popular as like “Psych” would be next.
Yet, all we needed was about 200 people to want to leave, and lo and behold: It happened! I don’t know what you would do, but I cheered. Out loud. In public.
The “Psych” panel started off a recorded message from none other than William Shatner. Then, they moved into a live musical number, as the Friendly Indians, headed by series creator Steve Franks sang the opening theme. They encouraged audience members to sing along and the cast came out and finished the song with everyone.
As always, the panel was fun and funny, moderated by series recurring character/actor Kurt Fuller (Woody the Coroner). During the panel, the Comic Con crew passed out tickets and onstage Mr. Fuller showed off the 2 giveaway t-shirts you could choose from when you would turn them in. One was a parody of Janet Jackson’s famous Rolling Stone cover with James Roday as Janet Jackson, and Dule Hill as the hands, and peeking out from behind Roday. The other t-shirt was inconsequential, compared to that.
The next panel was for Sarah Michele Geller’s “Ringer”. Sarah hasn’t changed at all, hair long and curly passed her shoulders, and a cheerful smile to greet the audience. The new series also stars Nestor Carbonell and Kristoffer Polaha. Mr. Carbonell comically mentioned that his opinion of Sarah was that she had “very soft lips”, referring to some of their scenes together. Sarah joked between her two costars that in her role as executive producer she made sure to have cast very handsome leading men for her love scenes.
Ioan Gruffudd, also on the series and on the panel, was asked if, before coming to the series, if he even what the “CW” was. “Tell the truth” the moderated warned. From the look on his face, he was about to come up with a cute and clever lie, and then his shoulders completely sank, and he said, “No.”
Mentioning “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was not taboo, even though the purpose of the panel was the advertising the new series. She brought up that when it came to stunt work on “Ringer,” she was surprised to have a stuntwoman on set when all that was going to happen was she had to take a fall to the floor. > When she told the people on set that she could do it herself, she said there was much discussion about whether that should happen or not, which she thought was rather strange. After it was agreed upon, and she did it, she said now, (pointing to a section of the set) she wanted to break through “that wall”.
The “Game of Thrones” panel was met with much cheering and applause and moderated by George R.R. Martin himself. Present were Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harrington, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Jason Momoa, Emilia Clarke and series creators David Benioff and D.B Weiss. Strangely enough, Peter Dinklage was quite a stoic and meditative panel member, not speaking much, and barely breaking a smile. Sitting next to him was the demonstrative Jason Momoa, who arrived on the panel with sunglasses, which was later shown to be hiding his surprise of darkened eye-make-up characteristic of Khal Drogo, who he plays in the series. He mimicked at great decibel his own growling and yelling of his fictional foreign language and also mentioned that when he first read that his character died (miming throwing the book across the room) he pouted and called it crap. Martin mentioned a scene in the show where Momoa literally “ripped out” someone’s throat, bringing up that he (Martin) never wrote that. Momoa apologized ashamedly, and hung his head.
When the entire panel was asked by an audience member, “How would you end the series.” The best answer came from the restrained Dinklage, who leaned into the mic with great seriousness, and only said, “Dance number.”
The TV Guide panel celebrities included Zachary Levi, Jorge Garcia, newly-Emmy-nominated Johnny Galecki, Nestor Carbonell, Debra Birnbaum, Matt Smith, Kristin Bauer, Nelsan Ellis and Leslie Hope. Poor Matt Smith didn’t seem to know who he was surrounded by, except for the True Blood cast members, who he admitted he was overjoyed to meet, as it is his favorite show. As each panel member was introduced, a clip from their show was introduced, but poor Chuck had the bad fortune to have a sound mishap. Instead, Levi and Garcia ridiculously impersonated the characters in the scene for the audience’s pleasure.
Of note was an audience question (who were all on video to the jumbo-trons as well), from a man who started off his question by complimenting Levi on a favor done at a previous convention for the man’s daughter. Then, his “two-part” (sigh, when will people learn?) question began with “What was your first Comic Con experience like” and he continued to say, “You could make me look like the best father, Matt, if you could sign…”
And that’s when the SDCC staff member reached around the man and pedal-pushed the “kill-switch” to the microphone. The audience groaned loudly at the inappropriate personal request, but Zachary Levi thought the entire event was hilarious, as he stated that we could now, in our society, silence people with the power of our feet. The panel members went on to answer the first question and ignore the second. Zachary’s answer to the first question was that he was so grateful to the attendees who viewed the very first, untried episode of “Chuck”, even though at the time, he knew they were all there to see Adam Baldwin.
After the day of Ballroom 20 was over, I went to gather my freebies from the Fulfillment Room at the Marriott, and then spent some time with free sodas and snacks in the Con Suite. I even ate an apple. Don’t worry; I counteracted it with some M&M’s.
It was a bit chilly as the Cirque de Soleil show began with some technical difficulties which lasted about 2 minutes (amid ranks from the audience asking if someone present knew Linux). The estimated length of the show, once it got going, was about 7 minutes long. The audience, including myself, were all very surprised at the briefness of the performance, since it was much talked-about and taunted. That’s likely what elicited the moderate booing heard as the show ended. I gave up the Torchwood screening for this?
This is hardly everything that happened during SDCC today, even just to me, but I need to concentrate on my plan for tomorrow. (I lost my quick sheet.)
Oh, I ran into Seth Green in the elevator. He’s so cool. I want to be him when I grow up.