My final day in Ballroom 20 was full of the shows I love, which was a great way to end the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con experience.
Once Upon a Time is one of my favorite panels not just because of the cast but because of the moderator. It really does help to have a moderator who “ships” the show and there is no greater Once Upon a Time shipper than Yvette Nicole Brown (Community). She knows every characters storyline and gets the actors to share more insight into their character’s motivations. The panel consisted of Co-creators/executive producers Edward Kitsis (Lost) and Adam Horowitz (Lost) and stars Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook), Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Lana Parilla (Queen, Regina Mills), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming, David Nolan), Emilie DeRavin (Belle, Lacey), Rebecca Mader (Zelena, Wicked Witch of the West), and Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills).
Once Upon a Time returns on Sunday, September 25 with new characters Aladdin and Jafar. The Evil Queen is back and he heroes of Once Upon a Time grapple with the return of this super-charged classic villain, while also dealing with Mr. Hyde and the new arrivals from the Land of Untold Stories.
The next panel was The Vampire Diaries where Julie Plec, the series creator and executive producer, announced the eigth season would be their last. Also on hand to share their thoughts on their last season were Matt Davis (Alaric Saltzman), Candice King (Caroline Forbes), Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore), Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore), director Kevin Williamson, Kat Graham (Bonnie Bennett), Michael Malarkey (Enzo) and Zach Roerig (Matt Honeycutt).
Somerhalder and Wesley did try to keep the panel lighthearted and fun, especially during the fan questions segment. Wesley gave Somerhalder a hard time about his signature smolder describing it as “Ian has something in his eyes.” Somerhalder described it even better as him caught in a sand storm.
I have to admit I teared up a little watching the goodbye video they played. You don’t realize how much can happen in 7 seasons until you see it compressed in a 2 minute montage. The last 16 episodes of the series will start on October 21 on the CW with the promise of a new villain with a great mythology.
The Simpsons followed with David Silverman, Mark B. Anderson, Nancy Cartwright, Matt Selman, Al Jean, Matt Groening. The Simpsons panel is always a fun peek into the minds behind the longest-running animated TV show. What makes it more fun is Groening encourages questions by handing out prizes.Some of the guest voices this year are Patton Oswald, Allison Janney and Magnus Carlson. If you can believe, The Simpsons’ 600th episode will be their 27th Tree House of Horror. The producers hinted at a possible crossover with Bob’s Burger and a definite crossover with Adventure Time.
The Simpsons returns for its 28th season on September 25, 2016.
The Family Guy panel included Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin, Mike Henry, Alex Borstein, Steve Callaghan and John Weiner who promise another season of interesting episodes. Peter becomes an UBER driver, Quagmire discovers Tinder, James Woods hosts a Behind-the Scenes episode, Meg joins a roller derby team and Lois discovers Peter was a sperm donor. They also hinted at an episode that may help high school kids with their English class as Family Guy tackles literature classics The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn and Of Mice & Men. New England Patriots fans may enjoy an episode that stars Rob Gronkoski while Golden State Warriors fans may want to tune in when Steph Curry guest voices. Kyle Chandler and Flea are also set to guest star. Family Guy’s 15th season premieres on September 25 as well.
American Dad cast Scott Grimes (Steve) Dee Bradley Baker (Klaus), Rachael MacFarlane (Hayley) and Wendy Schaal (Francine) appeared fresh off their epic 200th episode on TBS along with and executive producers Matt Weitzman and Brian Boyle. One of the most entertaining segment of the panel is their live table read, especially when it involves Klaus. American Dad returns to TBS in January.
The cast of Grimm appeared for the 6th comic-con to talk about their upcoming 6th season. The rivalry that has been brewing between Nick Burkhardt and Captain Sean Renard for five seasons will come to a fever pitch and change everything when Grimm returns on October 9. As if that weren’t enough, will the subtle glimpses of Juliette derail Nick’s budding romance with Adalind? How will Monroe and Rosalee handle their impending parenthood? David Giuntoli (Nick Bukhardt), Russell Hornsby (Hank Griffing), Bitsie Tulloch (Juliette Silverton), Silas Weir Mitchell (Monroe), Reggie Lee (Sergeant Wu), Sasha Roiz (Captain Sean Renard), Bree Turner (Rosalee Calvert), Claire Coffee (Adalind Schade), and executive producers/writers Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt tried to answer all these questions without giving away any spoilers.
Moderated by Terri Schwartz, we learned that Renard is intent on making Portland great again by being everyone’s adversary. Weir Mitchell is looking forward to new sweaters. Hornsby is hoping for a bigger musket and a love interest who sticks around. Reggie Lee is part of the “Scooby gang” now and plans to introduce the cast to more Filipino food. Giuntoli will be directing an episode and fans who want more Grimm can now play a Grimm video game. The producers promise the series picks up right where they left with a bigger, badder, more dangerous season.
Attendees also got an exclusive first look at new NBC dramas Emerald City and Midnight, Texas, and both have me very intrigued.
Season 1 of Supergirl took me by surprise at how entertaining and engaging it was. The Supergirl panel promised the series would be returning for more supercharged adventures in the show’s new home on The CW this fall.
Moderator Damian Holbrook led a lively discussion. One of the more enlightening and heartwarming segmets was when each panelist was asked to describe their coworker next to them. Executive producer Sara Schecter described David Harewood (Hank Henshaw) as a truly phenomenal actor. Harewood described Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers) as a true badass. Leigh was effusive in her view of Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers) describing her as definition of grace, a tasteful, kind and a truly lovely human being who is inherently good. Benoist called Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen) her medicine man who has been educating her on natural remedies, while Brooks described Jeremy Jordan (Winn Scott) as one of the funniest actors who manages to brighten his day with the most smug smile. Jordan described the newly introduced cast member Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent) as nice and genuine and teased Hoechlin into pulling down Superman’s signature hair curl.
Supergirl’s second season will premiere Mondays starting on October 10 at 8/7c this fall on The CW and fans can expect crossovers over all 4 of The CW’s superhero shows as well as the introduction as Lynda Carter as POTUS.
People who know me know I am not a fan of storylines with time travel but The CW is forcing me to try harder to wrap my head around time travel and alternate timelines, first with Flash and now with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
Their Comic-Con panel included producer Marc Guggenheim and Phil Klemmer and stars Dominic Purcell (Heat Wave), Franz Drameh (Firestorm), Victor Garber (Dr. Martin Stein), Caity Lotz (Black Canary), Brandon Routh (Atom), Arthur Darvill (Rip Hunter), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Amaya Jiwe) and Nick Zano (Nathan Heywood). The producers explained the Justice Society of America and how Dr. Midnight, Stargirl, Obsidian, Commander Steele and Vixen will be introduced to the series and hinted at an Arrow crossover in very beginning with Mayor Oliver Queen. Mr. Damian Dark is back and Jonah Hex is returning as well. Purcell promises a more outrageous year with Matt Lescher (Reverse Flash), Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold) and John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn) appearing as guests and then there’s the Legion of Doom.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW beginning October 13.
The Flash’s parallel universes, doppelgangers and man-sharks really challenged me this past season. The second season of The CW’s highest-rated series had more than its fair share of twists and turns, but none compared to Barry Allen’s jaw-dropping decision to go back in time and save his mother from his arch-nemesis, Reverse-Flash, a decision that called the entire timeline into question.
Writers Todd Helbing and Aaron Helbing, Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally West), Candice Patton (Iris West), Jesse L. Martin (Joe West), Grant Gustin (Barry Allen), Tom Cavanaugh (Dr. Harrison Wells), Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow), Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon) and Tom Felton (Julian Dorn) talked about how Season 3 picks up three months into the alternate timeline where, as Valdes describes it, “Cisco is now flossin’.” The Helbings confirmed an Arrow crossover where Felicity will visit as the flashpoint ripples throughout Arrow, too. There will be an introduction of two “Big Bads” – Speedster & Dr. Alchemy, a formidable adversary voiced by Tobin Bell, most recognized as Jigsaw from the Saw movies. But fear not, AllenWest. Gustin believes that no matter what timeline, Barry and Iris will always find each other.
Felton, the new kid on the block, remarked on the irony that this was the second time he was representing a franchise symbolize by the lightning symbol. It was great to see the camaraderie between the castmates as they shared stories of off-set mishaps and shared talents. Who knew that Gustin and Martin could tapdance? The crowd demanded a demonstration and they happily obliged.
The Flash returns on October 4 to the CW. Need to catch up? The Flash: The Complete Second Season will be released on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, and Digital HD on September 6.
Arrow closed out my day in the best way. Moderated by Jarret Wieselman, writer Marc Guggenheim introduced the one of the “big bad” from the sizzle reel as “Prometheus”. He cautioned that this is not the Prometheus from the Justice League but who fits into the theme this year of legacy who will be driving all of the characters. Arrow hits its 100th episode this coming season, and try to follow this: Episode 508 will be part 2 of a mega 3-part crossover, mid-season finale.
John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn), Willa Holland (Thea Queen), David Ramsey (John Diggie), Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak), Paul Blackthorne (Quentin Lance), and Echo Kellum (Curtis Holt) were a lively bunch who apparently are fans of Hamilton: The Musical. As I started heading towards the exit to beat the crowd, I heard the familiar lyrics of “You’ll Be Back” being sung by Kellum, who has a great voice. The rest of the crew joined in and a few from the audience as well. As a fan of Hamilton, I was delighted to part of the singalong to end my SDCC experience.
Arrow returns to The CW on October 5. If you need to catch up Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, and Digital HD on August 30