For starters, I realized that I forgot to mention that my tradition of being stalked by Joss Whedon continues. You know how he was in our hotel two years ago? And then last year we switched to a different hotel and didn’t get to see Joss anymore (but Seth Green was down the hall from us and had a lovely chat with the munchkin on the elevator). Well this year we were at the same hotel as last year and lo(!) and behold(!), Joss apparently missed us because he was at the same hotel as us. We saw him twice at breakfast and once on the elevator. I didn’t try to talk to him except for a rather awkward exchange on the elevator where I offered to punch in his floor for him since he seemed to be having trouble locating his room key (which you need to make the elevator buttons work), and he realized he didn’t have his key at all and got off again. Either that or he thought I was a crazy psycho fan trying to suss out what floor he was on and he didn’t want to be trapped in a small metal box with me. Whatever. There were, however, no Seth Green encounters this year, which is a Comic-con first for me. I guess he’s passed the stalking baton back to Joss.
Also (and this is not so much Comic-con related as new fall TV related, but I’m including it here anyway), the lovely B brought a few pilot screeners for us to watch. Sadly, we were so tired most nights we only got to watch one of them. The one we picked to watch was Chuck, because it has Adam Baldwin and because none of us were able to go to the panel for it the next day.
I wasn’t really expecting much because NBC’s marketing doesn’t make it look great. But it is a surprisingly enjoyable little show. It’s one of a number of new shows with geeky-adorable lead characters (and since I’m a sucker for geeky-adorable guys, I say bring ‘em on!). It’s funny, the lead is likable, and Adam Baldwin, though stuck playing yet another typical government spook/heavy, is awesome. Although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t sure it was a show I would be dying to tune into every week, until the very end of the episode, where they do something to Adam Baldwin’s character that makes me yearn for episode two. So ya’ll make a note to check it out when it airs, if only to give Adam Baldwin a shot at some regular work.
Okay, so back to Comic-con proper. The first panel of the day on Saturday was Pushing Daisies. Ya’ll, this show is FANTASTIC. Everyone must watch it. I’m not kidding. If each and every one of you doesn’t watch this show I will find out and there will be consequences. Dire consequences. It’s almost certainly the best new show of the season. Possibly the best new show of the last two seasons.
The panel started out with a screening of the pilot, and the first 300 people there got a ticket for free pie because the main character is a pieman. Yes, that’s what I said, a pieman, as in “Simple Simon was a...” I’m telling you, this show is quirky, hilarious, romantic, sweet, delightful, heartbreaking and completely original. It’s kind of like Stranger Than Fiction by way of Tim Burton, crossed with Dead Like Me. Which makes sense, because it’s created by Bryan Fuller, the genius who helped bring us Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and, okay, he worked on Heroes, too, but I’m not holding that against him.
In fact, as we learned at the Q&A, the show grew out of an idea Fuller had for an arc on Dead Like Me that he never got a chance to do. (And by the way, if any of ya’ll haven’t ever watched Dead Like Me, please go immediately to your Netflix queue and add both seasons, because it is a brilliant show that was undeservedly overlooked).
Anyway, after we were blown away by the pilot (am I maybe overselling this a little bit?) they did a Q&A with Bryan Fuller, producers Dan Jinks, Barry Sonnenfeld, and Bruce Cohen, and principal cast Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride and Kristin Chenoweth. And you know who was totally the rock star of the panel? Kristin Chenoweth. Girl got sooooo much love from the audience. At one point a guy stood up and gushed about how wonderful she was before asking if we’d get to see a lot of her on the show. Kristin beamed at him and then stood up and pulled open the front of her shirt to expose her cleavage (which you can see in the clip below). At which point Bryan Fuller said that we would, in fact get to see a lot of her on the show, and he’d even figured out a way to get her to sing.
The lead characters, played by Lee Pace and Anna Friel, are adorable. Lee is totally hot in an awkwardly uptight kind of way, and Anna has a very Karen Allen in Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe going for her. I’m telling you guys, this is going to be the big new ship of the fall season—I’m already eagerly anticipating the fanfic.
I’m guessing most of you know the basic premise of the show, that she’s his childhood sweetheart whom he brings back to life, and they’re not allowed to touch—ever—or else she’ll die again. Talk about the UST. So the moderator asked them how method they were on the set and whether they always avoided touching. At which point Anna leaned over, grabbed Lee, and totally macked on him. I’ve included the clip below (the kiss is at the very end) and believe me, ya’ll, once the show goes on the air, that kiss is going to be like the Holy Grail. *fans self*
Getting back to Kristin Chenoweth, one-time (or possibly ongoing) paramour of Aaron Sorkin... there’s a scene in the pilot where her character shares a spoon of ice cream with a dog. So some guy in audience asked her if she was afraid of getting dog cooties. Kristin laughed and said she makes out with her dog every night, to which someone on the panel (and we think it was Bryan Fuller, but can’t be sure) asked wryly if she was, and I quote, “talking about Aaron.” Hello!
Not at the panel but also appearing on the show are Swoosie Kurtz (with an eyepatch, ya'll!) and Ellen Greene, who are hilarious, and Fuller promised he had some great stuff planned for them. It’s also narrated by Jim Dale, the guy who does the Harry Potter audiobooks. So, to sum up: WATCH THIS SHOW!