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JennyPop Interviews

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 17:28 Jennifer Devore
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What are we going to do tonight, Brain?

Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!

A simple yet brilliant storytelling device. Core, classical elements of drama. Man versus man. Evil archetype endeavours to take over the world; perky protag thwarts said-takeover. From Harry Potter to Shakespeare to Star Wars to every episode of Scooby-Doo, some bastard is trying to make it reign evil and it's up to a few benevolent souls - always with great hair - to save mankind. Pretty standard fare. Purge the pernicious pests so we all can get back to normal life and our frisée salads and Shiraz at Nordstron Café. Yet ... what to do when that evil genius is your own kid? Ah, well. Therein lies the rub.

Marge Simpson knows the harrows of a difficult child. Rosemary had severe misgivings about her Baby. You know Hitler's Mütti must have questioned her First Five interactions with the twee, finger-painting, mustachioed Adolf. Even as recently as FOX's recently-cancelled Sleepy Hollow, Katrina Van Tassel shouldered the emotional weight of an apocalyptic offspring: Henry Parrish, wingman to Moloch. So follows the pathos-laced saga of Dr. Cassandra Railly and her precocious tyke, a.k.a. The Witness: prophet of the Apocalypse and demon wrangler of the Four Horsemen. Awww, but he looks so peaceful when he sleeps.

SyFy's 12 Monkeys is back swinging on the top branch for another season and it's a well-heeled, time-travel itinerary through multiple era, including a grimy yet velveteen Medieval period, a lusty, luxe Baroque spell, post-War Paris' theatre scene - where Emily Hampshire's bonkers Jennifer Goines is a gorgeous study in nut-job perfection - and even the, relatively, boring 1980s.

S3e1, titled "Mother", sets Mama Cass on a new quest, crossing the boundaries of time, space and sartorial permutations to confront her demon seed: as a full-grown man and, in a clearly more complex, philosophical and moral haze, to contemplate the actual, iffy occasion of his birth.

12 Monkeys, "Mother" S3e1 Amanda Schull as Dr. Cassie Railly Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

The Bad Seed is nothing new. Greek, Roman and Norse mythologies are replete with the mother-as-vessel-for-evil device. Greek myth gave us Echidna: the Mother of all Monsters. To that end, time-travel is also an ancient idea. Norse saga tell of the Three Norns: three women who alone control destiny, via time travel. However, the Norse view of time follows not a direct, linear course, but a cyclical one.

Present returns to the past, past is altered; present is now altered, having absorbed the altered past ... and so on. Similar to the Germanic languages, there is no future tense, per se; there is only the contingent possibility of a future. As with the Norsemen, Cassie's future is contingent upon what happened, or will happen, in the past ... or, the present ... or, ... wait. It is a constant Butterfly Effect, in effect. (Note the various butterfly imagery throughout the series, notably butterfly jewelry.)

"To call past and future to the rescue of the present," thus spake the experimental physicists of Chris Marker's post-WWIII, dystopian, French film La Jetée (1962), the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's mindf#&% film starring a magnificently twisted Brad Pitt, 12 Monkeys (1995).  Gilliam's Brad Pitt vehicle is, in turn, the basis for the legend's latest iteration, SyFy's 12 Monkeys (2015).

In the current Monkey tale, James Cole (Aaron Stanford) travels to our present, from his future date of 2043. It is then The Army of the Twelve Monkeys releases (released? will release? will have released? will have had released?) a plague that wipes out most of humanity. In our present, he meets Dr. Cassie Railly, a virologist whom he believes can eradicate this future minesweep. However, it seems the Monkey Corps and its diabolical leader, The Witness (Mommy's Little Numnum), have more vile deeds to carry out and it's up to our Dystopian Duo, Cassie and Cole, to travel hither and thither, through time and space, to thwart those evil, evil monkeys so we can all get back to our refreshing, summer salads and wine.

No matter the outcome, you've got time to bring out your dead. 12 Monkeys S4 has already been greenlit (will be greenlighted? will have had been greenlitten?), a rare security before the previous season even airs. To boot, S3 proffers the illustrious Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, The Addams Family, Taxi) - eternally Uncle Fester to some of us - in a guest-starring role as Zalmon Shaw, sociopathic and sadistic Dir. of Recruitment and Membership for The Monkey Club. (Membership is free, but initiation is pure hell.)

The end of the world could eventually come. So, mark your calendar, kids, and find yourself a nice, purple track suit on eBay. Friday May 19, 2017, the quest for world domination resumes on SyFy. 12 Monkeys S3 airs in one epic, weekend "binge-a-thon": all ten S3 episodes from Friday 5/19 - Sunday 5/21, airing 8p.m. - 11p.m. ET/PT each night. In case mankind is wiped out by a plague, it's a good thing you get to watch the whole season this weekend.

In the meanwhile, for your reading pleasure, I chatted with Aaron Stanford (James Cole) and Amanda Schull (Dr. Cassie) about their roles, the writers' inspirations and Jennifer Goines' 99 Luftballons.

12 Monkeys, "Masks" S3e8 Aaron Stanford as Jame Cole, Amanda Schull as Cassandra Railly

Photo by: Dusan Martincek/Syfy


Interview with Aaron Stanford (James Cole) and amanda Schull (Dr. Cassandra Railly)

Monkey Interview Date: May 12, 2017 9:00 am PST

Please note: Transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity, only where JennyPop! questions are concerned. Talent answers are transcribed here in full. 

JennyPop!: Good morning! So I have a question and your answer might be largely based on your relationship with your writers because it’s more of a writer-oriented question.


But I noticed as a viewer, I see a lot of parallels between your storylines and classical mythology, primarily Norse and Greek. I was wondering if the writers talk to you about some of their inspirations for different characters. I’m thinking of the Norse characters, the Three Norns. They are three women who control destiny and I sort of see them in Cassie, Jennifer, and Magdalena. Basically, they follow not a linear timeline of mankind but a cyclical one, where they go from  present to past, change the past, and then re-enter a new present, which absorbed the changed past. It kind of just goes in cycles like that. And your storyline kind of speaks to me in that way.


Aaron Stanford: I’ll tell you what, if they’re not making allusion to that they should be. I don’t have the answer to that. I don’t know if they specifically used that myth. I know that they are influenced by mythology in general. You’ll definitely notice references to Greek mythology.

These guys are big genre and sci fi fans and most of the best sci fi is actually based on ancient mythology. A film franchise like Star Wars is known as the Birth of Modern Mythology. All these rules for storytelling were laid out in the poetics and they sort of adhere to these same rules and that’s just what good storytelling is. So I do not have an answer to that question – whether or not that specific myth comes into play – but I know the writers definitely, definitely lean heavily on ancient mythology.

JennyPop!: Interesting because I wondered, and especially Amanda, as like the visual storytellers for the writers, do you kind of feel the, I don’t know, sort of the heft of legend to portray…. Like your character reminds me of Greek mythology's Echidna, who is the mother of all monsters. Your character makes me think of Echidna so I wonder, as a female lead in the series, and there are so many female characters of mythology that put the world on its axis – do you feel any of that in your character?

Amanda Schull: Absolutely. Well Aaron is right that the writers are very influenced by Greek mythology. If you even consider my character’s name, they changed it from the movie which was Kathryn Railly, or Reynolds, I believe. I can’t remember her last name, but they changed Kathryn to Cassandra of the Greek myth. And that was a particularly powerful storyline for Cassie in the first season –knowing the fate of the world and knowing what was going to happen and nobody listened to her.

And you’re right in that Cassie does have a lot of the strengths and weight, similar to Greek mythology, on her shoulders throughout the entire season. But I would go further to say that it’s the women in the show, the female roles that these men, these male writers, have created that allow the weight to shift from one character to the next.

But in particular for these women, allowing them strength that is often reserved for male characters is of particular fascination to me, and flattery as well. And it also just really works with the mythology of our personal show but of course is also very strong in Greek mythology as well.


JennyPop!: Clearly. I like to observe the subtext within the show and I see a lot more under the water, so to say, than when I first started watching. So I am enjoying it and, Season 3 episode 2, Jennifer’s character’s performance is just spectacular! I absolutely love - j'adore! Her "99 Luftballons" is fantastic – so, a fantastic show.

Amanda Schull: We’ll pass that along to her!

JennyPop!: Great, thank you very much. Have a wonderful afternoon, thank you.

Amanda Schull: Thank you, you too.

Aaron Stanford: Thanks.

JennyPop!: Bye-bye!


12 Monkeys, "Guardians" S3e2 Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

"Jennifer ... she's lost in time. Way back. Locked away somewhere inside that primary, pinball machine brain of hers is the answer to everything." - 12 Monkeys


Production (Because credits are important, especially if you're listed. Stay for the credits, kids.)

Written by Terry Matalas, Travis Fickett, Janet Peoples and David Webb Peoples

Directed by David Grossman

Produced by Atlas Entertainment

Distributed by SyFy, NBCUniversal and Netflix


Amanda Schull as Dr. Cassie Railly

Aaron Stanford as James Cole

Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines

Kirk Acevedo as José Ramse

Barbara Sukowa as Katarina Jones

Todd Stashwick as Deacon

- Acclaimed guest stars joining S3 include Emmy winner Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Hannah Waddington ("Game of Thrones") and James Callis ("Battlestar Galactica").


@JennyPopNet @SyFy @12MonkeysSyFy @12MonkeysRoom

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 00:00 Jennifer Devore
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Based on the sci-fi mystery novels penned by James S.A. Corey (a nom de plume serving the endeavours of the writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franc, Leviathan Wakes) The Expanse titles have spread like flowering spores into a SyFy original series. Some two-hundred years in the future, a now-fully-habitable solar system serves as the ripe-for-rivalry mise-en-scène. Space provides the optimum landscape, especially space under colonial administration, to host not one, but all three classical conflicts of storytelling: man vs. man, man vs. nature, and man vs. himself.

It is in this expanse where a new breed of mankind operates in roughly the same rigid, egocentric and tenuous fashion that ancient mankind did when Earth was, essentially, his only domain; yet, now there is more territory to cover and more peoples to monitor, and control. If resources, greed, logistics, prejudices, power trips and egos proved existential beasties on one planet, whilst the endgame may remain the same when dealing with an entire solar system, the wider struggle proves a significant hurdle.

In The Expanse, dominant Earthlings, militant Martians and second-class Belters (those living and working in space, in the asteroid belt) clash like Real Housewives thrown together at a theme party. As the humans delicately co-exist, the United Nations - yes, still in "action" - persuades against a roiling warfare burgeoning between Earth and Mars, under the auspices of violet-cloaked U.N. exec Chrisjen Avasarala (played regally by Shohreh Aghdashloo whom, if you know your Portlandia, will recognize her from S2e3 as the visiting author at Women and Women First.).

In these potentially warring skies, Captain James Holden (Steven Strait) and his skeleton crew of the ice trawler Canterbury face a more immediate concern: who blew up their ship? Fortunately, Holden and his crew were saved from annihilation, as they all happened to be on a (set-up?) distress call, on-board a Canterbury short-range shuttle. So, who killed the Cant? The offending machine was a stealth vessel. Who has the funds for, and access to, a stealth vessel. The war-happy Martians, of course ... or was it?

Whilst scouring the colonies for the real Canterbury destroyer, Captain Holden and his stragglers, Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) and Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), are hired by Outer Planets Alliance (OPA): a quasi-terrorist organization fighting for the rights of the second-class Belters. Their mission? To find a missing compatriot, one Lionel Polanski. On their travels, in their new ship, Rocinante, they locate the very vessel that took out the Cant: the Anubis. A seemingly abandoned ghostship, there's plenty of life in the old girl yet. The Anubis is festering with "spiraling layers of an amorphous, glassy, blue-green mass, clutching the reactor like a strangler fig". A self-aware protomolecule, the Phoebe Bug, as it were.

Elsewhere, a young, wealthy scion named Julie Mao goes missing. On the case is hard-living, self-damaged Det. Joe Miiller (Thomas Jane). When it is learned she is, in fact, OPA-sympathizer Lionel Polanski, Miller follows her alias until he finds she is registered at the Blue Falcon Hotel, as Polanski. Oddly, she is covered in the same Phoebe Bug that took control of the Anubis. The spaceship that killed the Cant and the disappearance and bizarre death of Julie Mao/Lionel Polanski can't be related ... or can they?

As with any quality, conspiracy-heavy sci-fi series, the simple, seemingly unrelated elements of a workaday spaceship, a self-aware, extra-terrestrial protomolecule and a dead, Phoebed, rich girl must be connected, and all via top-level, high-stakes, interplanetary, 23rdC. battle for air and water ... or must they?

San Diego Comic-Con 2016 and the good folks at SyFy afforded Yours Truly a seat at The Expanse roundtable, for a bit of chat and interview with the series' cast and writers. When I asked exec producers/writers Mark Fergus and Naren Shankar for a hint of what's to come in S2, specifically the self-aware Phoebe Bug, I was given a deftly crafted non-answer and, as the picture shows, a couple of Paddington Bear-style "very hard stares".

Jennifer Devore: Obviously, you can't give any direct hints as to the next season, but ... in the beginning of next season, will the origins of the discovery, of the spores or matrix, will that be divulged, or, and I apologize f it sounds like I'm asking a derivative question, but will it be similar to something like "Helix" or "The X-Files", where, like, the black oil becomes its own character throughout season after season ... or, will it be solved right away?

Naren Shankar: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're going to get some answers for sure. No question about that. But, like the books, what it does is, it keeps changing. So, you can't ask anybody questions about that! You have to figure it out.

Mark Fergus: One of the joys of the books is it takes you, you know, three books before you really understand what this thing is. But it is something v specific, the mystery of it is ... there's no reason to put yourself in the shoes of your characters, trying to figure out what it is. Ultimately it does become its own character in the sense that it's become the elephant in the room for humanity. It's the new thing we have to grapple with. But, this show is about how does a new, game-changing technology change humanity? It is always about people. it's not about this thing. The thing never becomes more important than how do people  ... deal with ... a new reality, given that it now exists.

Jennifer Devore: Whiich is very apropos to current events.

Mark Fergus: Absolutely. This show is about people. The beauty of the books is, it never starts to say, "Oh, this thing is so cool, let's leave our people behind and follow this cool, interesting, game-changing thing." The story is about how our guys are going to survive and react to that. That will always be our focus.

The Expanse S1 streams on Amazon beginning December 2016; S2 starts on SyFy January 2017. Need a little S2 tease? Voila!

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The Expanse


Mark Fergus

Hawk Ostby

Executive producers

Naren Shankar

Mark Fergus

Andrew Kosove

Sharon Hall

Sean Daniel

Jason F. Brown

Hawk Ostby

Broderick Johnson



Lynn Baynor


Prod. Companies

Penguin in a Parka


Alcon Entertainment



NBC Universal TV Dist.


Original Network



Read Jennifer Susannah Devore's) previous SDCC/SyFy roundtables with the cast and writers of Helix: So Many Monkeys and It Ain't Easy Being Human: SyFy Interviews

JennyPop’s other fave places to lurk online?



#SDCC2016 #The Expanse #SyFy

Sunday, 19 January 2014 09:46 Jennifer Devore
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No monkeys here. Too many monkeys here. Is that a monkey? Frozen monkey field. These are not the monkeys you're looking for. Look, we've been at this over an hour and still no monkeys.

Helix, SyFy's newest original series, is an experiment in extremes: viral containment, climate, human isolation and monkeys. Set in a cutting-edge research facility in the Arctic, Helix could easily be a next-generation, X-Files spin-off, picking up after any one of the Black Oil Mythology episodes, or even Scully and Mulder's Alaskan exploits in "Ice" (S1e7).

It is safe to say, should you be an X-Phile, you will once again enjoy the glacial-blue light of Friday night, sci-fi-thriller TV. So, grab some snacks, zip up your Snuggy and leave a hand free; you'll need it for your chocolate-covered frozen bananas and a handily-placed stun baton. It's Helix time.

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It makes sense. Steven Maeda (X-FilesLost) serves as Helix executive producer alongside Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: TNG ) and Lynda Obst (Contact, The Fisher King), as well as Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights, Trauma) and Brad Turner (24, Hawaii Five-O), both of whom direct episodes: "Pilot" (S1e1) and "Vector" (S1e2), respectively. "274" (S1e3) is directed by Steven A. Adelson (Haven, Sanctuary).
Psychologists suggest the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. Naturally, Helix is bound to exhibit influence from so many involved, experienced and august, above-the-line raconteurs; Maeda's past simply shines through the brightest, at least thus far in the series. SyFy tenderfoot and Helix creator/writer/co-executive producer Cameron Porsandeh finds himself very fortunate in his professional company.

Like many a thriller, our secretive, U.S. government provides unwitting and reluctant heroes plucked from deep within federal cubicle farms. This time, it's the CDC and the protags, de rigueur, have a bevy of personal and interpersonal issues compiling their newly assumed duties. All this makes working in a lockdown facility full of sharp, shiny, metal instruments, and possibly run amok with infected monkeys, situated on an merciless, frozen tundra, if one could escape, extra fun.

Shot on-location in Montréal, Québec, including on a sound stage dubbed "The Freezer", Helix effectively presents viable, unsettling, virtual feelings of claustrophobia and agoraphobia. Add what Maeda calls "an invisible villain", and you've got fear and panic factory-sealed in an icy gift box.

"You can't touch it. You can't taste it. But it's there," Maeda added in a SyFy press call with Helix actress Kyra Zagorsky (Smallville, Soldiers of the Apocalypse) who plays the emotionally severe yet painfully professional Dr. Julia Walker.

Zagorsky concurred about the fictional virus:

This virus ... it’s something that they’ve never seen and that, in itself, is quite frightening in a story because this is something that happens all the time, a real life epidemic scare, you know. I mean, I think there was just a couple reported cases this last week in Vancouver of some deaths of people passed away with H1N1. You know, it’s something that’s really out there for people.

At the Ilaria Corporation high-tech research facility, Arctic Biosystems, the true menace is neither simian nor even meteorological in form; although the agoraphobic nature of nothing but white death for leagues and leagues does present itself as its own, haranguing character.

Banking on mankind's truest fears, like recurrences of the Black Death, Spanish Flu, Chernobyl and even the still-worrisome Fukushima Daiichi fallout, Helix' writers, and actors, understand they are straddling a very fine line between fiction and reality. Audiences like to be scared by the likes of Paranormal Activity and Fire in the Sky because it feeds some primal need for adrenaline in our luxurious, SUV seat-heater, caramel double-latte, fingerless cashmere iPad-gloves, modern world. Audiences know ghosts and aliens won't actually harm them, mostly. Yet, a mysterious illness, emerging out of nowhere, killing indiscriminately and painfully at a near 100% mortality rate whilst fueling its autonomous need to propagate? That's not just terrifying, it's possible.

Interviewing Helix actors Catherine Lemieux (Blue Violin, White House Down), who plays Dr. Doreen Boyle with a hard realism, and Mark Ghanimé (Soldiers of the Apocalypse, Emily Owens, M.D.), who brings a confident approachability to the role of Major Sergio Balleseros, I was afforded an opportunity to chat with them about the story devices of fear and hope, human nature and dealing with mankind's paramount fear of the unknown.

Catherine Lemieux:  Wow. Wow. I think that that's just a reflection of life really like life is a balance of those two things in a sense of fear and hope through that and of conquering the fears that we get. So I think that's kind of like a true reflection, the show kind of reflects the balance of life that we all try to achieve. And we all have fears and we all have to face them in that sense. So it's a very, very human experience in that. It also being a Sci-fi experience and having this disease be completely unknown and completely from out of this world maybe, who knows. Mark Ghanimé:    Exactly what Catherine says, and also the fact that if you look at some of the characters as we develop the story in the season some of the infected - the people that get infected in the base there is - there is the fear and the hope that these people from the CDC can help them. And, I mean, that kind of - it's a very important story line on the secondary and the guest star characters in the show. A lot of times you don't see too too much of the fear and the hope on the surface of the hero characters. But, we have that support from the guest stars on our show. You really get to see what the true feelings are of these people in the space. And I think, yeah, it is exactly human nature.

Does Helix face a difficulty down the line, putting a fictive slant on such a sobering subject, I wondered?

Mark Ghanimé: We've echoed this a lot on our previous interviews. The fact that what we're doing in this show is not fantastical, is not supernatural, is not beyond the reach of the real world I think that in itself lends a built-in fear in that it can happen. You look outside your door and those things can occur. And I think that itself is enough to put the fear of God into people. Yeah, for lack of a better term.

Catherine continued with the idea of character-identification, linking that sympathetic emotion of fear between actor and viewer.

Catherine Lemieux: The possibility, I think, of it - the possibility of any situation that's on television or on film or what have you is definitely the link with the audience in that sense. If an audience member can identify and see themselves in this problem that these characters are having then you really do have a connection.

"The primary goal," directs the CDC's head of Special Pathogens, Dr. Alan Farragut, played sternly by Billy Campbell (The O.C., The 4400) "identify the pathogen."

Narvik is the mystery pathogen. Narvik is its name, killier black goo is its game. Whether you get strain-A or -B is when the game comes afoot and that is up to fate, and the writers: Cameron Porsandeh (Helix), Misha Green (Heroes, Sons of Anarchy), Keith Huff (House of Cards, Mad Men) and Ronald D. Moore (Caprica, Star Trek: First Contact). To boot, climate conditions at Arctic Biosystems are so heinous they wreak havoc on helicopter mechanisms, making it futile to depend on, or even hope for, outside help, thus adding desperation and panic to fundamental fear and those oh-so-gelled, previous feelings of claustrophobia and agoraphobia everyone is experiencing, including the pathos-brimming rats and monkeys.

Fair warning to the squeamish and the animal-empathetic. Animal lovers might spend a good deal of each show watching through closed hands. Lab rats and monkeys make regular appearances in various stages of distress and infection. SFX, MUA, CGI and robotics they might be; still, the visuals are disturbing and one wonders how much animal suffering some viewers will stomach before switching over to a much-needed dose of happy and silly via Archer or Bob's Burgers on Netflix? Animal testing was funny at Springfield's "Screaming Monkey Medical Research Facility", as seen on The Simpsons episode "HOMR" (S12e9). Alas, it is not on Helix. Still, Catherine Lemieux assuaged the concern about the animals on-set, assuring viewers everyone is well-cared for, without a doubt.

Catherine Lemieux: I just wanted to point out that we also had a vet on set. And she was great. She's somebody that I could use a total resource. Her name was Ev and I don't know her last name. But I considered that such a gift from production to be able to speak to somebody who actually is a veterinarian and who deals with that on a day to day basis. So that was really, really a great help.

Do your contact make you wish you were dead?

At the end of the interview, I asked both Lemieux and Ghanimé about an ad for Ilaria's Infinity contact lenses. How does it link to the untenable situation at Arctic Biosystems. The query was originally posited by, of all people, the Chair of Ophthalmology at U.C. Davis. The good doctor and I wondered if it could have something to do with the inhuman, silver eyes of Dr. Hatake (played astringently by Hiroyuki Sanada). The question was responded to with an immediate aaahhs and hmmms; one could almost hear them shifting in their seats as they pondered my question. All to no effect, though; Ghanimé's answer was curt.

Mark Ghanimé: I have a huge answer. It's a juicy one. Are you ready for this? No comment. We cannot talk about that ... said with all humor of course.

New episodes of Helix air on SyFy, Fridays @10p/9c

Follow @JennyPopNet #Helix

Friday, 17 January 2014 12:03 Jennifer Devore
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Honours come in many a form and fancy. Some strive for awards and trophies, some shoot for honorary mentions and notice. Mine, like many a dyed-in-the-wool geek is to be a cartoon character ... and not via those cheesy, "Turn yourself into a superhero!" ads, the product being little more than a selfie morphed by mildly impressive Photoshopping.

No, a truly organic, artistic character is what I crave and not necessarily a Marvel-style superheroine (Although, I do envision a metal bustier, Manson boots and coal-black locks, tipped with poisonous scorpions, à la Blackbeard's fuse-tipped curls, with which to sting villains, those being folks using "your" and "you're" interchangeably, as well as those asking really dumb questions like, "I can never remember. Which was first? The Civil War or the Revolution?" Scorpions, dispatch with the obstuse! Away!")

An honest to goodness Sunday funnies, cartoon character suits me raw-ther nicely. Well, my Fairy Godmother waved her wand and Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo! Unexpected and a true honour, this drawing was a thank-you from syndicated cartoonist Mel Henze, of GoComics new comic strip, Gentle Creatures. Weirdly, he nailed me with surprising accuracy! The parasol, the red shoes, the hat, sunglasses and flower! (Not the boobs, so much; but I love The Far Side approach to anatomy!)

I oft describe myself as Ken Burns, minus the funding. When something strikes my fancy, I write about it: Disneyland, Nordstrom, The Simpsons, Comic-Con, Colonial Williamsburg, Orange County, etc. Gentle Creatures struck my fancy and I wanted to write about it, where I scribe so often on geek culture, comics and animation:

Fortunate enough to interview Mr. Henze, I learned a great deal about his process, the maze and diligence that can lead to U.S. and international syndication and something called "panel-heaviness". I met a wonderful little doggy named Jingles, a curious stinkbug named Cecil, learned not all rabbits are cute and cuddly and The Muppets' King Prawn Pepe is on possible standby ... for what, I'm not sure. Check back very soon for my full interview with Mr. Henze and his Gentle Creatures!

Thank you, Mr. Henze! Thank you for the introduction, to boot, Mr. Gene Willis @GoComics!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:13 Jennifer Devore
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Ciao, kittens! Well, San Diego Comic-Con 2012 is about six months in the rear view mirror and I can tell you, my alter ego (Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of the Hotel del Coronado) and my equally fantastic cohort Dr. Lucy, had a ridiculously swell time covering The Con last summer for! Aside from the media barrage, celebrity sightings, celebrity rumours and the over-the-top Con bags (Why so big, guys? Why?), the people-watching and cosplay stole the show. Dr. Lucy, being the mechanical tinkerer she is, took nicely to an EOS Canon Digital Rebel XT and gave us a veritable Egyptian tomb of snaps, a gallery of which I shall post soon.

Today, I bring you an insider’s look into SyFy‘s Being Human: via a one-on-one interview with the show's principle actors. Just in time for the January 2013 S3: airing regularly Mondays @9p on SyFy. (All photos by Twisted Pair Photography)

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Natch, Being Human is right up my alley. As I am wont to do, I started with the U.K. version, then warmed to the U.S. iteration. Being Human U.S. is a strikingly spooky adaptation and, being a ghostie girl myself, it only makes sense that the beauteous, lead ghost Sally is my personal, vicarious fave. She’s far lovelier and more delicate than those mooks over at Ghost Adventurers, has a great pair of getaway sticks and is spades more genteel than those wheats running Ghost Hunters International. (Note to GHI: You don’t always have to be saying something in the dark. Silence is lovely sometimes and, moreover, we know you’re there.)

Thanks to the good folks in the SyFy publicity office and press room, particularly Kelly and Blair, Dr. Lucy and I were afforded a brief, press roundtable with the stars of Being Human and their executive producer, Anna Fricke, prior to the Being Human panel discussion in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Dr. Lucy snapped some pics and I had the opportunity to chat with Anna and the actors whom portray Sally, Aidan and Josh. Anna divulged no details about Season 3, which airs January 2013, but did offer some tantalizing teasers about where our supernatural friends are headed, come winter.

“More levity”, “less dark” and “more solidarity” were E.P. Anna’s cornerstones of what’s to come. Season 2 went down some pretty dark roads indeed and the characters enacted some serious choices.

“Season 2 ended up being a very dark, crazy, bananas place where everybody had to make very life-threatening choices and decisions. Obviously, we have to see, did they get themselves out of those decisions?,” Anna offers. Anna also admitted to more flashbacks.

“We always have flashback because we love to do the wardrobe! (laughter) It’s great to delve into the past to see where they’re coming from, what made them who they are today.”

To continue, a very brief interview with Meaghan Rath, Sam Witwer and Sam Huntington:

GTBAG: Where do all the characters go this season, inwardly?

Sam Huntington (Josh): Aidan protecting Aidan. This is something we tackled this year. (laughter)

Sam Witwer (Aidan): There you go.

Sam Huntington (Josh): I think Josh’s primary goal this year on the show was to be, he’s the mother, you know? He wants to keep everyone safe. And he wants desperately to get everybody what they want. It’s uh, he’s needed to ask Aidan for a lot of help. That’s true. Because of his knowledge, because of his strength. It’s because of Josh’s newness as a supernatural being and his lack of knowledge. So uh, yeah , I think Josh has grown a tremendous amount. This season he really does come into his own, in a big way. Yeah. Yeah!

GTBAG: How do they progress? How do they grow together?

Sam Witwer (Aidan): We already know how they progress.

Sam Huntington (Josh): There’s no hope. (laughter) We have no hope.

Sam Witwer (Aidan): You know what’s great? We’ve really had a chance to collaborate with the writers this year. So, I can say with a good amount of certainty that its going exactly where I would have it. I, I love the direction it’s taking.  My character gets to be around people and that allows him to be awkward and allows him to be sad and also more dangerous considering what happened last year and it’s kind of a sweet spot for the character, in terms of him being interesting. And these two guys have so much new stuff to deal with it’s ridiculous, but we can’t tell you what.

Sam Huntington (Josh): That’s the tricky thing. That’s because we were all left in such uh, you know, horrible, extreme situations last season it’s like, to say anything about what, the result of that.

Sam Witwer (Aidan): Yeah, it takes us a year and a half after the last season.


At that point, the kind yet efficient talent manager swept through and corralled the attractive trio to another table, all before

Miss Meaghan could give her thoughts on Silly Sally’s forthcoming journey. What I did get, was a close-up of her smashing, heart heels!

What about Aidan and his coffin, some of you may wonder? Well, all Anna would tell me is this:

“Sam is such a fine actor. We don’t want to see him in a coffin for thirteen episodes.”




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Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland. is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!


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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at

Abyssinia, kids!