6 Favorite Comic Series of 2014

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Photo via Marvel

#Same – Photo via Marvel

This year marked my first year of really reading comics. Although I’d always been interested in superhero stories and the comic format, it had seemed seriously overwhelming and I never truly knew where to dive in. Late in 2013, I saw clips from Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye on Tumblr and decided to start reading it. From there, I found other series that people recommended based on reading Hawkeye, then I read lists of comics that were generally recommended.

While I’m still far behind on the list of series I want to read — Captain Marvel, Young Avengers, She-Hulk, Bitch Planet, The Wicked + The Divine, All-New Captain America, and Rocket Raccoon are high on my list — I made some serious headway this year. (If you have any recommendations, I’ll happily take them!) These are the six comic series that I enjoyed most in 2014.

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5 Favorite Movies of 2014

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Photo via Google

Photo via Google

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get out to the theater as much as I would like — for reasons including, but not limited to, the fact that the movie ticket prices in NYC don’t help me stick to my budget. However, thanks to VOD and DVD releases, I did manage to catch many of the movies I was excited to see in 2014. It was a fantastic year for Marvel Studios blockbusters, a rather lackluster year for young adult novels-turned-movies, and a particularly good year for Veronica Mars fans.

Although my list may not be comprised of the best movies released in 2014 (many of which I’m guilty of missing), these are my five favorites from the year that I’ll surely be rewatching even through 2015.

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What I Watched: Summer 2014

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I'm offering this photo as proof that I did, in fact, go outside this summer.

I’m offering this photo as proof that I did, in fact, go outside this summer.

For those of us that like to spend just as much time indoors and in the air conditioning during the summer as outside by the pool or on the beach, the season is a good time to catch up on series that fell by the wayside or try out something new. In true TV/media addict fashion, I spent many of my weekends during the summer watching Netflix or heading out to the movie theater in order to catch some of the season’s biggest movies.

Since I haven’t been writing as many blogs this summer — and took a break from blogging for the entirety of August — I thought I should do a rundown of all the television series (both new and old), webseries, and movies I caught this season. Although this isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s certainly a highlight reel of some of my favorite — or not so favorite — shows, movies, webseries, that I watched this summer (aside from way too many celebrity ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos).

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10 Most Anticipated Network Shows to Premiere Fall 2014

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Photos via NY Daily News & The Hollywood Reporter

Photos via NY Daily News & The Hollywood Reporter

TV upfronts season is like your birthday–if your family celebrates your birthday by giving you some gifts you want and some stuff you absolutely do not want, while also keeping you in suspense over whether they’re going to take away and destroy some of your favorite toys/gadgets. But, whether you lost your favorite show in the greenlighting/cancelling melee that is upfronts season, there are plenty of shows hitting the silver screen this fall and winter to (possibly) fill the void left by finished or cancelled series. However, not all of these upcoming shows are going to be hits. While some, like Fox’s Gotham, are bound to get second seasons based on the buzz that’s already been building for months, others will fall by the wayside and may not even be worth checking out.

Photos via CBS & ABC

Photos via CBS & ABC

As someone who loves television, I try to check out as many pilots as possible, but in the current TV culture where there are more shows than days in the year, it’s hardly practical to watch the pilot of every single new series. Instead, I try to watch all the trailers and read all the synopses for upcoming series and pick out all the shows that seem to have potential. After this upfronts season, I find myself with 20 series to check out in the fall (on top of all the shows already on my watch list). From there, I’ve narrowed down those to the top ten of which pilots I’m most anticipating. While this is by no means a list of shows that will definitely, absolutely be successful, these are the ten pilots I’m most excited to watch.

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Fall Premieres: Do These New Series Make the Grade? (Part 2)

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Photos via E! Online, Spoilers Guide, and Huffington Post

Photos via E! Online, Spoilers Guide, and Huffington Post

Is it just me or are networks getting better at spacing out premieres throughout the fall? Although it makes life easier for television reviewers and people like me who watch all (or most) of the fall TV premieres. Seriously, could you imagine if every new TV show debuted in the same month, let alone the same week? It would be pandemonium! It would be chaos! It would also be impossible. So let’s thank the TV network gods that they don’t. Still, the staggering of these premieres especially over October and November is making it hard for me to only review the pilots of all the new shows.

While some series have already been cancelled (We Are Men, Welcome to the Family, Ironside, etc.) others haven’t even begun. Although part one of my premiere reviews exclusively rated each show on their pilot episode, some of the series in this post are on their seventh or eighth episode and I’ve nearly forgotten the pilots–or they’ve blurred together. So this time around, it’s going to be a little different. I’ve rated each show based on the pilot as well as all the episodes that have aired so far (or if I didn’t watch anything past the pilot.) It might be a little unfair to the shows that premiered more recently, but all’s fair in love, war, and TV.

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Reasons I Loved ‘Thor: The Dark World’

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Photo via Business Insider.

Photo via Business Insider.

Thor: The Dark World is the second movie in Marvel’s phase 2–everything since Marvel’s The Avengers–the first being Iron Man 3. Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of Iron Man 3 and The Dark World is the first sequel for any of the Avengers since Iron Man 2 (also not that great,) so I was a little hesitant. Especially because Thor didn’t necessarily impress me very much. (To be fair, I watched Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor in the same day and I liked Captain America better.) Since it is a Marvel movie, The Dark World was heavily promoted and highly anticipated, though I didn’t have very high expectations for the film. Whether because I wasn’t expecting much or not, I enjoyed The Dark World a lot. It’s a fantastic edition to the Marvel franchise that is definitely worth seeing in theaters.

The Dark World had plenty of action and more humor than I had even hoped for, plus some great brotherly moments between Thor and Loki. There’s been a trend in Marvel movies since Iron Man 2 where the plots of the film tend to drag in between the fight sequences. The Dark World suffers from this same affliction to a certain extent, but I noticed that whenever I started to get bored with a scene, it changed. So the pacing has improved since the first film. Additionally, The Dark World strikes a great balance between plot development, action, and humor–plus some character development, of course. I have to give it to the cast–Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, and Christopher Eccleston especially–for their fantastic performances. Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of why I loved Thor: The Dark World.

DW River-SPOILERS

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The Best of SDCC 2013: Sneak Peaks

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Seriously, one of these years I'm going to actually attend SDCC. (Photo courtesy of Comic-con.org)

Seriously, one of these years I’m going to actually attend SDCC. (Photo courtesy of Comic-con.org)

All nerds, dorks, and geeks can agree on one thing: San Diego Comic-Con is better than any holiday during the year. It’s that wonderful time when fans of anything remotely geeky or cult-ish can come together, wait in massive lines, and watch actors, writers, producers, artists, etc. talk about their favorite television shows, movies, comic books, graphic novels, video games, novels and anything else. Fans can also ask questions during many panels or line up to meet the stars in signing events. For those of us who–tragically–could not attend SDCC this year, we get to watch the interviews and panels online either through sites that provided a live stream or after the fact when a kind soul has videotaped an event and posted it online. (In all seriousness, I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who records the events for the rest of us poor, unfortunate souls.)

Too bad we have to wait two years. (Photo courtesy of Collider.)

Too bad we have to wait two years. (Photo courtesy of Collider.)

Since SDCC is easily the biggest event in geek culture each year, those behind the scenes of all our favorite geeky projects usually take this chance to release special footage or make big announcements. This year was no different. Before the con, the makers of Divergent and Legend of Korra teased that they would show some exclusive footage during their panels, and the movie studios usually make some big announcements. The Marvel Studios panel is one of Comic-Con’s biggest attractions and they promised to screen some footage from their upcoming films–Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy–but as an additional treat, they released the title for the next Avengers movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron. Although it was difficult to pick the best announcements, sneak peaks, and trailer releases from the convention this weekend, especially because I still feel slightly overwhelmed by all the amazing information that came out, here’s what made me scream with fan-girlish joy.

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