G33K Out: 2014 LA Festival of Books: Stephen Tobolowsky

Episode 23: 2014 LA Festival of Books: Stephen Tobolowsky

“Hey: it’s that one guy!”

It’s the cry of many a character actor (so much so that it’s got its own page on TV Tropes, and for actor Stephen Tobolowsky, that’s fine with him. Appearing in over 200 films and/or television episodes, you may know him as the insurance salesman in Groundhog Day, the substitute teacher Sandy Ryerson in Glee, or from any number of various roles. For me, the role that moved him from ‘it’s that one guy’ to knowing his name was as a guest star on The Lone Gunmen, the short-lived sequel series to The X-Files.

His experiences in television, film and theater are varied, and he has a wide range of stories about those experiences. Back in 2005, he and his stories became the subject of Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party, a movie whereby he captivates his friends and family (and the audience) with these stories of his life. This film led to the podcast The Tobolowsky Files, which I’ve recommended both back in 2011 and again in February of this year.

In 2014, I had the chance to interview him. He was going to be at that year’s LA Festival of Books, promoting his book The Dangerous Animals Club, which is a series of some of those tales. He’s coming back to this year’s LA Festival of Books, promoting his newest book, My Adventures with God, and so I thought it was a great chance to bring this interview out from storage.

Basic show notes:

And now, it’s time to geek out.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




H2O #154: In Which We Discuss the Premiere of DOCTOR WHO

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The Doctor has returned! And he’s got a new companion (two, really). And he’s got photos on his desk! And he’s got a desk! And a vault! What’s he got in the vault? Probably the thing that’s going to keep him Earth-bound this year, very much as he was in his Third incarnation…

After having seen the episode twice, we found plenty of things to like and plenty of things to wonder and speculate about. Sonic screwdrivers. Penguins. Lectures about physics and poetry (they both rhyme). And Susan! That photograph isn’t there by accident. With the original Cybermen making an appearance later this season, it’s a sure bet that the photo of the Doctor’s granddaughter is there for a reason.

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Programming note: H2O is now on a bi-weekly schedule, so every other Saturday is when you’ll get a new episode.

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AGENTS OF HYDRA Gives Us Fits About Fitz — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #114

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Episode 418 “No Regrets”
Written by Paul Zbyszewski
Directed by Eric Laneuville

Finally, the introduction of Dad… and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is starting to lose a little of that self-assured swagger he’s been sporting in the Framework. Is Madame Hydra (Mallory Jansen) telling him everything? Or is she manipulating her lover at the same time she’s digging her claws into the rest of everyone’s world?

It’s clear that the elder Fitz (David O’Hara) has had a profound impact on his son’s upbringing and resulting character and personality, and it’s also clear why the “real” Fitz doesn’t want to have anything to do with the man. The lovable Leo Fitz is a product of his mother’s influence, and it remains to be seen what happens when the team gets out of the Framework and Fitz has to confront his memories of this twisted version of himself.

Likewise with Mack (Henry Simmons), who’s going to eventually have to give up the idea of being with his daughter Hope (Jordan Rivera). And though Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) is affected by that one relatively happy tableau, she’s still keenly aware that this is all just a digital make-believe world. Jemma faces a crisis of conscience, of a sort, complicated by the fact that Mace (Jason O’Mara) and Ward (Brett Dalton) don’t buy her story.

May (Ming-Na Wen) also faces a crisis of conscience when faced with the notion that Hydra will brainwash and kill people to keep them compliant. In the face of her failure at Baharain, her failure at Cambridge, and the way Daisy (Chloe Bennet) has been trying to get through to her, maybe — just maybe — there are things finally not adding up. Unless 1 + 1 = terrigenesis and a lot of whoopins…

Props to O’Mara for his very solid performance this week. His life in the Framework as the Patriot is worthy of song.

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The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt

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ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: Another Dose Of The SANTA CLARITA DIET

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With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet!


Season 1, Episode 4 “The Farting Sex Tourist”
Written by Michael A. Ross, Directed by Ken Kwapis

Season 1, Episode 5 “Man Eat Man”
Written by Chadd Gindin, Directed by Marc Buckland

 

Timothy: I have to admit, waiting to watch this show on Sundays with you people is getting harder.

Dustin: It’s bad enough that Mindy has already watched all the episodes.

Mindy: I regret nothing.

Timothy: I regret a lot of things. But not watching this show. It’s just really good, and I’m tempted to skip ahead, is all I’m saying.

Dustin: I have three children and I have no time to skip ahead, SO DON’T YOU DO IT, TIM HARVEY.

Mindy: He seems pretty insistent about that.

Dustin: He does. I AM NOT GOING TO BE THE ONLY ONE NOT KNOWING WHAT’S GOING ON.

Timothy: Why are you shouting?

Dustin: You’ve seen my dining room, and the mountain of laundry that is vexing me. IT IS VEXING ME.

Timothy: We shall do our best not to vex you. Speaking of reducing the vexing, we do have a sponsor for our podcasts this month, the link to which you can find directly below, at HumanCharger.com. You can get a discount if you use scifi4me as a coupon code!

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

Mindy: So sit back and listen as we talk about the 4th and 5th episodes of Santa Clarita Diet, and don’t forget to rate us and comment at Podcasts.com and iTunes!




2 LAZY GUYS (And Guests) Get Into Dissonance Theory on WESTWORLD


Episode 04 “Dissonance Theory”
Written by Ed Brubaker & Jonathan Nolan
Directed by Vincenzo Natali

This week, the entire gang piles on. Jared, David, Sam, and Lauren discuss the fourth episode of HBO’s Westworld and explore cognitive dissonance, robot personalities, and God complexes.

Westworld stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, and Ed Harris.

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AGENTS OF HYDRA Will Ruin Fitz — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #113

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Episode 417 “Identity and Change”
Written by George Kitson
Directed by Garry A. Brown

First, a discussion of the newly released trailer for Thor: Ragnarok:

https://youtu.be/v7MGUNV8MxU

We finally catch up with Mack (Henry Simmons) and his daughter Hope (Jordan Rivera). They’re living off the radar, keeping their heads down. Only Hope jeopardizes that a bit by picking up a Hydra drone that went on the fritz. So when they get picked up, it’s very much a bad place for Mack. He ends up being set up by May (Ming-Na Wen) to expose Daisy (Chloe Bennet) as a mole within the organization.

Meanwhile, Coulson (Clark Gregg) is remembering slightly just a little more, and he goes with Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Ward (Brett Dalton) to find Radcliff (John Hanna) in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. And things do not go well. At. All.

Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is going to be one messed up dude when all of this is over…

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The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Kammie Settle, Jason Hunt

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ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: Trying Out The SANTA CLARITA DIET

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With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet!


Season 1, Episode 1 “So Then a Bat or a Monkey”
Written by Victor Fresco, Directed by Ruben Fleischer

Season 1, Episode 2 “We Can’t Kill People!”
Written by Victor Fresco, Directed by Ruben Fleischer

Season 1, Episode 3 “We Can Kill People.”
Written by Clay Graham, Directed by Marc Buckland

Timothy: We meant to review this show earlier than this.

Dustin: But we’re terrible with dates and schedules.

Mindy: Luckily I’m here now, to rescue you two.

Timothy: Yes, this week we start binge-watching…

Dustin: And binge-reviewing…

Timothy: … Santa Clarita Diet, the Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant zombie-comedy!

Dustin: Now with more Intern Without Portfolio!

Timothy: We are, in fact, joined by Miss Mindy Inlow, whose name you’ll have seen on many an article here on SciFi4Me.com, and whose voice appears on a podcast or two as well.

Mindy: Hi!

Dustin: Mindy has discovered how close we have to sit together to record this thing we do, and she didn’t run screaming or anything.

Mindy: Not yet, anyway. It’s early though. While I’m here, I’ll just plug our podcast sponsor for the month of April, HumanCharger, whose link is right beneath these very words.

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

Timothy: It’s good to have a responsible adult around. Anyway, sit back and listen to the three of us talk about a zombie show that is actually supposed to be funny, and please rate and comment on the show, wherever you listen to this podcast of ours!




BOMB SHELTER Drill #3: Jay & Kevin Get Caught in a STARCRASH

Episode 3 ~ Starcrash (1978)

Kevin and Jay travel to a galaxy far, far away to discuss the blatantly obvious Star Wars ripoff, Starcrash.

Smugglers, light swords (not sabers), a robot with an accent, and a rescue of royalty. Delivered with sincerity, but not spectacularly so. And what’s with the robot Elle coming from Texas? There are so many elements of Star Wars in this film, but it’s all haphazardly mixed, like someone made a list of plot devices, put them in a blender, and threw the switch. But it’s not all bad, right? The Hoff is in it…




G33K Out: The 2017 Writers of the Future Awards

{Note: all photos by Angie Fiedler Sutton}

Episode 22: The 2017 Writers of the Future Awards

On April 2, I attended the 33rd annual Writers of the Future Award ceremony. With a dragon gracing the red carpet and the stage. the ceremony had a keynote from the co-founder and president of Dragon*Con Pat Henry, and presented this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Mike Resnick.

The 12 writers and illustrators received this year’s awards, with Jake Marley winning the Golden Pen Award for his submission “Acquisition”, and Michael Michera winning the Golden Brush Award for his illustration that went with C.L. Kagmi’s story, “The Drake Equation”.

The podcast combines some of the interviews I managed to get while attending and excerpts from the award ceremony.

Basic show notes:

  • Running time is 30 minutes, 15 seconds.
  • The main interviews were all recorded on April 2, 2017. I managed to interview the following:
  • You can view the entire Writers of the Future Award ceremony (as well as past ceremonies) on their YouTube channel.
  • For more information about the Writers of the Future Award, including ordering a copy of the 33rd annual publication, visit the official website.
  • Mid-show plug is from composer Marco Beltrami. More information on him can be found on his website.
  • Theme music is “Schoolyard Haze”, by Jari Pitkanen, available via the Free Music Archive.
  • This podcast is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license.
  • Interested in hearing other episodes of G33K Out? Check them out here.

And now, it’s time to geek out.

Created with flickr slideshow.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




SciFi4Chicks: Disney’s Live Action Plan – Should They Adapt Every Animated Story?

[Featured image courtesy Disney]

The Walt Disney Company is known for their ground-breaking classic animated films: Snow WhiteCinderellaSleeping Beauty, plus more recent classics like The Lion KingThe Little MermaidMulan, and Beauty and the Beast. In recent years, though, they’ve been dipping back into that same well to take those classic animated stories and rework them into live-action pieces such as Maleficent, 101 Dalmatians, and Cinderella. The latest release, Beauty and the Beast, gives us a chance to compare and contrast this version and the classic animated feature.

Along the way, we discuss the other projects in the pipeline: Mulan, a sequel to The Jungle BookDumbo, The Lion King, and more. Should Disney be re-making all of these classic films? Or should they work to deliver new classics?

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Jennifer Wise, Teresa Wickersham, Sonya Rodriguez, Ann Laabs, Lauren Garrison




H2O #153: In Which We Discuss The Return of DOCTOR WHO

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This week: the return of Doctor Who! As the tenth season of the revived series draws ever closer to our TV screens (and some cinema screens), we take a look at the upcoming teases and possible spoilers. Not only is this Steven Moffat’s last year as showrunner, but it’s also Peter Capaldi’s last season, and it looks as if Pearl Mackie may be a companion for only one season. Will Chris Chibnall do away with just about everything? Or is this a plan to give him a clean slate for the next season and the next Doctor?

Plus: what’s this we hear about John Simm returning as the Master? Along with Michelle Gomez as Missy? Could Derek Jacoby and Eric Roberts be waiting in the wings?

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

Programming note: H2O is now on a bi-weekly schedule, so every other Saturday is when you’ll get a new episode.

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ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: The Rest of Your WALKING DEAD Life

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It’s the season finale of The Walking Dead on this week’s Zombpocalypse Now! Mr. Adair and Mr. Harvey have thoughts!

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Season 7, Episode 16 “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”
Written by Scott M. Gimple & Angela Kang & Matthew Negrete
Directed by Greg Nicotero

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis (Gene Page/AMC)

Dustin: We didn’t talk about the bicyclists!

Timothy: Yes, there were, in fact, bicyclists.

Dustin: Because bicycles are eminently sensible means of transportation in this world of The Walking Dead. This world where you bitch constantly about the fact that all the gas would have expired years ago, so none of the cars we see all the time would actually work.

Timothy: Constantly?

Dustin: All the time. You say it all the time.

Timothy: Not all the…

Dustin: All the time.

Timothy: Fine. I have said it, from time to time. And there were people on bicycles. Terrible people.

Dustin: The worst people. And we talk about all the worst people on the season finale! On our podcast! Right here! Zombpocalypse Now! We even have a sponsor!

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

Timothy: All the podcasts here have a sponsor this month, not just ours.

Dustin: Whatever. Anyway, all the things happened this week. ALL THE THINGS. And we talk about them.

Timothy: We do. A lot has been building up to this episode, and it does not disappoint.

Dustin: And coming from us, that’s high praise. Listen with your ears!

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Tom Payne as Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia, Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams (Gene Page/AMC)

 

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.




AGENTS OF HYDRA Returns With No Regrets? — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #112

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Episode 416 “What If…”
Written by DJ Doyle
Directed by Oz Scott

The Triskelion is intact! Skye is back! Ward is back! Tahiti is back! It’s old home week, as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings back a few elements of season one — and actually uses them in a way that makes the whole episode much more interesting that most of the entire first season. Even Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is watchable in this episode! Of course, it’s no surprise that he’s a turncoat still, even in this made up virtual universe.

And poor Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge). After being dumped in the bottom of the ocean, almost drowned, stranded on an alien planet… now she’s a zombie.

In the tradition of Marvel’s What If…? series of comic books telling stories in alternate universes, tonight’s episode sets up a world in which everything is topsy-turvy. How much do our heroes realize they’re supposed to be the heroes and not the villains? How much will Coulson (Clark Gregg) remember?

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The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Dan Handley, Sam Sentman, Tim Harvey, Jason Hunt

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2 LAZY GUYS (And a Drunk) Stray Into the Beginnings of WESTWORLD Theories


Episode 03 “The Stray”
Written by Daniel T. Thomsen & Lisa Joy
Directed by Neil Marshall

This week, Jared and David are joined by Sam as they discuss the third episode of HBO’s Westworld and start speculating about motives, perceptions, and whether or not the hosts can actually hurt flies. Teddy (James Marsden) gets a backstory while Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) starts to investigate just what’s going on with some of the hosts. Are they not getting re-booted properly? Stray memories? Or is it something more? Plus: Elsie (Shannon Woodward) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) search for a missing host.

And where is this amusement park located? Is this a national park? Is this underground? Is it in space?

Westworld stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, and Ed Harris.

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ECHO CHAMBER: Rebooting THE MATRIX Is a Terrible Idea. Or Is It?

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Recently, the Internet buzzed with the news that Warner Bros. is contemplating a reboot of The Matrix to be the Next Big Franchise to Make All The Moneys.

But is this a good idea? What stories are left to tell in that virtual universe? Do we need to know Agent Smith’s origin? Do we need to see a young Morpheus? Neo as a child? And what special effects innovation can be the next Bullet Time? Or is there potential for some really good stories yet to be told? Can we dive back into the Matrix after all this time?

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sonya Rodriguez, Thomas Townley, Tim Harvey, Jason Hunt

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