Shannis Reacts: Denver Comic Con 2017 Diary – Day One

 DCC17 Day One Collage

3:52am Whaaaaat? Why am I awake? Roll over, close eyes.

4:18am Obviously it is time to get up. Since it is Friday, and a vacation day, and I don’t need to be up for another two hours.

4:36am My head hurts. Shower should help.

4:52am Hmm. Head still hurts. Caffeine? Maybe? Dress in comfy yoga pants and a long fancy t-shirt I like because it is super soft. Feel like this outfit is closest thing to wearing pajamas in public so I should be pretty comfy.

5:11am Sip diet Coke, stare at computer screen reading things on Facebook and Twitter. Wonder if I have my passes. Remember I don’t have my pass yet. Is why I am meeting Carolyn and Megan for breakfast. For passes.

5:38am Debate: Should I bring my entire wallet, or just tuck my credit card and ID into a little change purse I have?

5:43am Shove entire wallet into bag. Will regret this later.

5:44am Ready. But don’t need to leave till 6:30 or so. How to kill time? Don’t even have passes to check for. Carolyn is bringing passes to breakfast!

5:45am Stare vacantly out window. It looks super cloudy outside. Like Vancouver on a summer morning. Wonder if I could handle ever living in Vancouver again. I mean, if we weren’t poor. Poor people can’t live in Vancouver. Unless they want to live, like, under a bridge or something.

5:56am Still though. Not everyone I know in Vancouver area makes a ton of money. Maybe we could live in Surrey. Or Burnaby. Or Coquitlam. No. Coquitlam kind of blows. Let’s not live there. I know! We could move back to Britannia Beach. Evil Rob would like it there because no one else lives there.

6:04am I swear that Arrow-Flash-Supergirl crossover episode part with the aliens in the weird building was filmed in the old mine building where my dad worked when I was a tiny child. Honestly I can’t believe that thing is still standing. But I guess it’s nice for when film crews need a weird old building with a lot of glass for a scene with aliens.

6:10am Why is it ALWAYS aliens?

6:12am I wonder why they never made a sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Man, that mom was a terrible mom. It’s almost like she didn’t even care that her kid got kidnapped by aliens. He’s literally running around in the yard at 3 in the morning and she just stands at the window and goes, “Oh hey, come back.” But not very loudly. Weak, bad mom. Very weak.

6:22am The aliens in Close Encounters don’t even seem that creepy or cool anymore. Like, we’ve all seen so many aliens in pop culture by now, the Close Encounters ones are just quaint and practically cuddly.

6:26am Still. A sequel would have been cool. Like the little boy is all grown up and played by Ryan Gosling and something bad happens up in space and the aliens come back to ask for our help but humans are too stupid and cynical and only Ryan Gosling can save the day along with the aliens. And only the really smart people get to leave and go to space with the aliens.

6:30am Making list of people I would take to space with me.

6:32am Oh shit! I gotta go!

6:33am Black Birkenstocks! Proper con footwear!

6:34am CRAP! I forgot my portable charger. Run back to get it.

6:35am And the iPhone cord! This is going poorly.

Gross weather

Is it Vancouver, or is it Littleton?

6:37am Seriously though, why is the weather so dreadful?

6:45am Stop at convenience store for beef jerky and small bottles of Diet Coke. Convenience store clerk tells me my hair looks really great. She is now my all-time favorite morning person.

6:57am Park at Light Rail. Watch commuters rushing to catch train. Judge them for their fashion choices.

6:58am I mean, for real, this one lady is wearing a shirt as a dress. How do I know it’s a shirt? Because I own the same shirt. And trust me when I tell you, it is not a dress.

6:59am I also don’t get these women who carry two purses, a large tote bag, and a giant Dunkin Donuts box. Why not just put all your stuff into an even larger tote bag and just carry that plus the donuts?

7:00am Or just prioritize the donuts. Really.

Tired on train

Tired. So, so tired.

7:01am On train. Damn, I am SO tired. Better take a selfie!

7:18am Commuters are not morning people.

7:19am Except this old dude across the aisle from me who greets each person who sits near him with a quiet, “Good morning.” Guy in seats in front of me turns around to glare each time this transpires.

7:27am Arrive at convention center. Not much of a line yet. Someone is dressed as Pikachu and train commuters all look puzzled. I would explain but is not yet 10am so I can’t speak to other humans. Especially ones I don’t know.

7:35am Meet Carolyn at Sam’s No. 3 Diner. There is apparently a notary public available in this place.

This'll come in handy if we need something notarized.

This’ll come in handy if we need something notarized.

7:45am Our waiter pours coffee before Carolyn even finishes asking.

7:48am Menu seems confusing. Like, a lot of info for it being so early and my head hurting so badly. Carolyn points out something called the High-Maintenance Dairy Free, Gluten Free Breakfast Skillet. SOLD! To the super tired lady with ten million allergies.

8:05am Megan arrives. She is also confused by menu. I feel less alone now.

8:08am FOOD! OMG. This is the best High-Maintenance Dairy Free, Gluten Free Breakfast Skillet EVER.

8:10am Listen vaguely as Carolyn and Megan discuss the panel they are doing later in the day. Carolyn is super nervous. Reassure her that it will all be fine. Promise I will take video of the whole thing.

8:40am Walk back over to convention center. Line is getting longer now. We have to locate the media entrance. Everything is in different place than years past.

8:41am Ugh. Am not a fan of change. And it is SO humid outside. Why. WHY!

8:42am And they still won’t let the Blue Bear in! Why. WHY!

Let him in!

Let him in!

8:45am Line confusion.

8:46 am Volunteer confusion.

8:47am Convention center staff confusion.

8:48am SURPRISE! No one knows where we are really supposed to go.

8:50am Get sent back to Lobby B entrance. Convention center staff lets us in even though is clearly not the right place.

8:57am Carolyn stands in line for badges for her other panelists. Megan heads upstairs. I watch volunteers try to coordinate other volunteers. Lady comes up and says, “I need two of you.” Three nerdy dudes try to follow her. She says, “Just two. You stay here.” They look super sad to be separated. It reminds me of the two super nerdy kids in Just One of the Guys who speak a fake alien language and get upset when they are separated in gym class.

9:15am We head upstairs to show floor. We find Megan fangirling out over Jody Houser, the writer for the Faith comics and the Rogue One comics. Faith is one of Megan’s favorite comics right now so this is a big moment for her. Jody is super nice and has brought her parents along to help her out. Her parents are also super nice. Go figure.

This is Megan's fangirl face.

This is Megan’s fangirl face.

9:25am Drag Megan away to visit with Ben Byrd, one of our favorite artists who always has a booth at Denver Comic Con. He and his wife are just finishing their set up and take some time to talk to us while we squeee over new things – especially his new Wonder Woman piece! I drop $45 on art and it’s not even noon.

Ben Byrd IS a morning person.

Ben Byrd IS a morning person.

9:38am Stop to talk to a lady who crochets tiny dolls of, like, Baby Groot and Cthulhu and stuff. They are super cute.

9:45am Find Meg McMuffins’ booth but she is not there yet so we wander on to find Monkey Minion Press.

9:47am Find Monkey Minion Press and they are home, so we stop to talk and look at things. I find a print of a sloth. And make this face:


Cute sloth? I have no chill.

9:50am Have now dropped $50 more on art and it’s not even 10am.

10am Carolyn and Megan both have other places they want to be and I want to go over to Celebrity Summit to see if I can pay onsite for the photo Pook and I want to do with the Weasley twins, and then eventually head down to the Bellco Theatre area to line up for a celebrity panel, so we split up.

10:11am Oh my. It is already getting crowded in here. People are doing the thing where they stretch their group all the way across the aisles so no one else can get through. Why. WHY???

10:18am Celebrity Summit on site purchases are cash only and about $10 more expensive for each photo op listed. I will take my chances and do this online tonight at home!

10:19am I see this good-looking dude in an orange volunteer shirt walking right towards me, smiling. Realize is our friend Todd. THE TODD! We hug and make brief chitchat. He has an hour to kill and wants to wander around and look at stuff.  Wandering already sounds like torture and it’s not even noon. I send him to find Megan and Carolyn back in the artist area.

10:25am Heading out of show floor finally. Bump smack into my friends Ashten and Kyre, who are just arriving for the day. They look so happy. I am already exhausted and have only been here for basically an hour. Maybe THIS is why waking up at 4am is bad, BRAIN. I’m just SAYING.

Happy con-goers. I bet they didn't look like this 9 hours later though.

Happy con-goers. I bet they didn’t look like this 9 hours later though.

10:45am Make my way downstairs and to the area where line entrances begin for the two main stage theatres. This area is a total and complete shit show (spoiler: it will remain thus all weekend long).

For some reason, Denver Comic Con was once again unable to book the entire convention center, and once again, another convention is taking place at the same time as comic con. This other convention has booked the entire front end of the convention center, where the usual main entrances and exits are. So DCC has had to move the entry points all the way to the Speer Street side of the convention center, right next to where lining up has to happen for the theatres where the celebrity panels are held. So over here we’ve got an endless stream of crowds coming in through the main doors, and over here we’ve got giant clumps of people trying to figure out where to get in line for the panels. And in the midst of it all we’ve got a bunch of super overwhelmed volunteers trying to manage all of these crowds. I don’t pretend to have any solutions for any of this, other than it worked way better when the main line to enter con was a literal half mile away, on the other end of the building. But there has to BE a solution, or people are going to stop coming to con.

10:50am I find a chair and sit down to regroup for a few minutes. I have scheduled my day using the Denver Comic Con app but I am suddenly feeling overwhelmed and confused and have to look it over to make sure I’m still on track.

10:53am Plus this way I can see all the cosplayers coming in from the main entrance. Bonus!

10:55am Except so far, there is nothing good. I bet all the really good cosplayers have Apparated straight onto the show floor.

11:00am Anyway. Time to locate the media line for the Khary Payton panel!

11:06am That went smoothly, if incorrectly. This year’s media guidelines say we will be lined up “next to the Speed Pass Holders”, but the volunteers back here send us to the ADA line, as in years past. Spoiler: This will cause a great deal of confusion for both volunteers and media members all weekend long.

11:08am Chat with a couple of other media pass holders while waiting, comparing entry experiences from this morning. Watch a super jerky guy with a Speed Pass berate the clearly disabled man guarding the doors for not allowing him to line up with the ADA line. He keeps insisting it is the SAME THING. We all jump in and point him to the actual Speed Pass line. He tries to insist it is for the other theatre. We point out the actual sign saying it’s for this theatre. He finally marches off in a huff. This happens four more times before the doors finally open.

11:30am Garrett Wang comes out to introduce Khary Payton! I’m very excited about this. Khary Payton plays King Ezekiel in The Walking Dead, which makes him third only to Carol and Daryl as my favorite character. ALSO, he is super good looking in real life. ALSO also, he does a ton of voice acting in various Justice League/Teen Titans cartoons.

11:31am Khary Payton is less than ten feet away from me!

Left: Khary Payton. Right: King Ezekiel. Barely any difference.

Left: Khary Payton. Right: King Ezekiel. Barely any difference.

He is hilarious right off the mark. He is asking if there is a dispensary inside the convention center (I mean, it IS Colorado). Then he tells a funny story about the first time he met Mark Hamill in person (because they both had voice parts on the same show) and how he was just staring, awestruck, as Mark Hamill did his line readings, and everyone laughed at him for staring, and then when he was able to introduce himself, all he could manage to say was “I’m Khary Payton,” and Mark Hamill was like, “How nice for you!”

He also talks about doing all his own stunts, because it’s fun. Someone asks who his favorite Walking Dead castmate is, and he won’t outright say a name but it’s totally obvious that it’s Melissa McBride, who plays Carol. He says she’s a great acting coach. And he also talks a bit about Norman Reedus and how greasy his hair is.

At the end of the panel he jumps down off the stage and high fives the whole front row, which includes ME, and he smells really nice, like cinnamon and clove and other spices. I don’t know. This seems weird now. I made it weird. I’m so sorry.

12:25pm Find room for next panel. It’s a small room and filling up fast, and I’m in the back having trouble committing to a location. Finally I decide on an end seat in the second to last row.

12:29pm Super tall dudes sit right in front of me. I move to the very back row.

12:30pm Panel begins but everyone is still talking and shuffling around because moderator is speaking so quietly. Then a video is playing on a screen situated near the front, but volume is down too low and people are still talking. This is so confusing.

12:32pm Apparently the moderator has pre-taped interview segments with the subject of the panel and is showing those instead of asking him questions in person. Even though he is sitting right here.

12:38pm This… is too quiet. I have no idea what is happening.

12:45pm This is not getting better. I have to escape. Except now the room is super quiet because the panel is super quiet and everyone will notice if I leave.

12:46pm But I can’t stay here and miss something else that might be pretty great for something this dull.

12:47pm Person nearby coughs. OMG. That’s IT! I’ll fake a coughing attack and leave!

12:49pm Honestly I’m still kind of patting myself on the back for that acting job.

12:52pm Take seat in front row of panel room right next door. This has to be better!

12:55pm Megan shows up! Yay!

1:00pm Panel begins. Topic: Can Men Write Women and Women Write Men? It’s a comics panel featuring writers Amy Chu (Red Sonja, KISS, Deadpool, Ant-Man, and ten million others), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing, Batman Eternal, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and ten million others), Jeremy Whitley (Princeless, Raven: The Pirate Princess, The Unstoppable Wasp), Ian Flynn (chief writer of the Sonic the Hedgehog series for Archie comics), Crystal Skillman (award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose plays include Geek, Cut, King Kirby, and Rain and Zoe Save the World), and Jody Houser (Faith, Rogue One, Mother Panic, and Megan’s new BFF). Pretty stacked with amazing talent.

Right off the bat, the writers let us know that they think the panel title is kind of bullshit and that the question should really be SHOULD men write women and women write men? The general consensus is sure, but only if they’re going to do it well.

1:18pm I am in my own little heaven of hearing working creative people talk about creative work. This is what I love about con. Sometimes I forget.

1:22pm Amy Chu is kind of hilarious, especially when she talks about writing KISS and meeting Gene Simmons.

1:28pm Kyle Higgins has feelings about fans who send him death threats about the direction he took Power Rangers.

1:35pm Much talk of how often comics get the look of women wrong, and how there are artists out there drawing for hugely popular titles who literally draw the same face on every single woman they have to draw. There is gentle mocking of a male artist who gives every woman the same upturned nose. Megan and I giggle because we know exactly who they are talking about. Hint: check out some X-Men titles.

1:50pm Panel ends and Megan and I check schedules to see where we are going next. Here! We are going here! To this room! Yay! Jeremy Whitley is also on the next panel and doesn’t have to leave his seat either. Honestly, I would love that if I were a panelist. I bet there is a lot of running from one end of the convention center to another for panelists.

1:51pm Ugh. Running.

1:52pm I have spread my crap out across three seats, trying to get organized. Megan is eating a Lara Bar.

1:56pm Megan is eating a banana.

1:57pm We live here now.

1:59pm Seriously I have never see anyone consume a banana slower than Megan.

2:00pm Panel begins. Topic: Not Just Angry Supermen: Comics Young Women Can Identify With. The panelists are artist Erica Henderson (Jughead, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), artist Carolyn Nowak (Lumberjanes), writer Jeremy Whitley (see above), and writer Sam Sykes (comic series Brave Chef Brianna, fantasy series Aeons’ Gate and Bring Down Heaven, son of Diana Gabaldon… but he doesn’t mention this).

2:06pm Megan: still eating a banana.

2:07pm Sam Sykes makes snarky comment about how he, as a 34-year-old white man, has his finger on the pulse of what young women want to read.

2:19pm Then Sam Sykes makes Megan and I a tiny smidge weepy because he says really all that young girls and young women want out of their reading is to feel like they are recognized – like someone sees them. And he is SO RIGHT.

2:20pm So I guess Sam Sykes really does have his finger on the pulse of what young women want to read after all.

2:26pm Carolyn Nowak is one of the all-time best snarky bitches. I wonder if we can bring her home with us.

2:50pm Panel ends. Somewhere along the way Megan has finally finished her banana.

3:00pm I decide to try and figure out where I go to exchange the tickets for Pook’s Saturday and Sunday passes for actual badges.

3:06pm Entire front of convention center is blocked off so it can’t be here.

3:12pm Wandering.

There must be, like, a line I can join. Somewhere.

There must be, like, a line I can join. Somewhere.

3:20pm Still wandering.

3:25pm Have ended up back where we entered in the morning so I go ask volunteer at the Information desk if she knows where I exchange tickets for badges. She babbles at me but the gist is, “Not here.” I attempt to say, “I know it’s not here, I’m asking if you DO know where.” But her blank face is not encouraging.

3:28pm Helpful convention center staffer is able to point me in correct direction and opens a rope so I can bypass going outdoors and coming back inside. Thank you, helpful convention center staffer.

3:30pm It takes two seconds at the Registration booth to exchange my tickets for badges. Now I have an hour to kill until Carolyn and Megan’s panel.

3:33pm Stop at cafeteria and pay $11 for a soda and a bottle of Gatorade.

3:35pm Honestly this corridor outside the hallway of panel rooms looks pretty comfy. I’m going to charge my phone and take photos of cosplayers if I see anything fun.

3:38pm Take to Facebook to whine about lack of fun cosplay today.

3:46pm Megan appears but immediately abandons me to go talk to some people she sees in line for a panel.

3:54pm See epic Silent Hill – Pyramid Head cosplay.

Silent Hill - Pyramid Head

Silent Hill – Pyramid Head

3:55pm Lady THOR! Things are looking up!

THOR!  Man, THOR! is the best.

Man, THOR! is the best.

4:09pm And then I see what will be my favorite cosplay of the entire weekend. Check it out.

Is it Yondu? Or is it Mary Poppins? You decide!

Is it Yondu? Or is it Mary Poppins? You decide!

Get it?

I know. A lot of people don’t get it.

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy 2 yet? You won’t get it if you haven’t.

It’s Yondu Mary Poppins!

He’s my fave.

4:18pm Follow Megan and Carolyn and their team into panel room. “I’m with the band,” I tell the volunteer guarding the door. He looks confused.

4:22pm Carolyn’s face is turning red. She is very nervous. “What if it’s just a bunch of fanboys and they hate us?” she asks. I mean, we’ve been to con a few times, so this fear is not entirely unfounded. But I think everything will be fine and tell her this.

4:30pm Panel begins! Topic: Natural 20: How RPGs are Changing the World. The panelists are Carolyn, Megan, and Christian and Shayla Gentry, the Dungeon Master duo for their Dungeons & Dragons group. I sit near the front and take video.

4:38pm Room is actually pretty full. Things are going great. They have made an effort to involve the whole room in the discussion and people are responding.

4:50pm Carolyn’s face finally stops being bright red.

4:52pm I realize this is that one panel that I go to every year that’s on a topic that I don’t really know much about or doesn’t even interest me all that much, but I go to learn something new and maybe have some fun outside my comfort zone. And I’m super excited that it’s my two best friends putting on that panel this time! Because how cool is learning something new from people you actually adore?

5:20pm Panel ends. Everyone has survived and the audience seems pretty happy with how it went down. I’m so proud of my friends!

I'm with the band.

I’m with the band.


5:25pm People have followed panelists into hallway to continue discussion.

5:38pm Eventually we make our way back to the Bellco Theatre to get seats for the James and Oliver Phelps panel. Because Weasley twins!

5:50pm Megan and I are saving a seat for Carolyn, who went to grab a beer and a water.

5:52pm I see Carolyn coming down the staircase inside the theatre.

5:54pm Carolyn has disappeared.

5:59pm Carolyn reappears and takes her seat. “They said media can’t bring alcohol into the theatre, so I had to go chug my beer real quick.”

6:00pm WEASLEY TWINS! Er… I mean, James and Oliver Phelps, of Harry Potter film fame.

6:01pm Claire Kramer starts taking audience questions almost straightaway. James and Oliver are both so funny, and play off one another in a fun brotherly way.

Weasley twins! Gred and Forge! OMGSQUEEE!

Weasley twins! Gred and Forge! OMGSQUEEE!

Some highlights:

Someone asks if they ever switched roles on set and Oliver says he tried to play Hagrid once.

James’ favorite movie to film was Goblet of Fire.

(I get distracted here and have one of those fan moments where I realize I am in a room with real Harry Potter people and I don’t hear what Oliver says in response to this same question.)

Oliver tells story of everyone leaving for lunch after filming Fred’s death scene and leaving James strapped to the stretcher.

Kids ask the best questions. “How old are you?” James: “He’s 31 but I won’t tell you how old I am.”

James says he’s a space nerd and collects guitars.

Oliver geeks out over sports.

Someone always asks the famous guests to pick cast member favorites! James is like, “All of them.” Except naming names. And also says “Dame Julie Walters.” And tells a nice story about Michael Gambon helping him prepare for another role.

Everyone wants to hear about behind the scenes pranks!! And James says they can’t tell about their favorite because the person still doesn’t know.

“What was it like doing Quidditch?” Oliver: “It was long, and it was painful for a boy.”

“Did you take the Pottermore Sorting and if so which houses did you get?” Oliver: Gryffindor. James: Hufflepuff.

“What is your favorite memory of Alan Rickman?” James says the scene where he whacked Ron on the head in Goblet of Fire. This is also mine. Twins!!

Someone asks if there is scene from the books that they are disappointed didn’t make it into the films. Oliver says it was disappointing that Peeves wasn’t in the movies so they could say “Give her hell for us, Peeves!” when they left Hogwarts.

Oliver’s favorite book is Goblet of Fire. James’ is Prisoner of Azkaban. Because of how it smelled the first time he opened it. OMG. SAME!

6:50pm The panel ends and the whole audience makes that disappointed “Aww, man” sound, but then stands to cheer. I would be sadder, but they are appearing again on Sunday and doing photo ops.

6:55pm Besides, I am dead tired now and ready to head home. I trudge up the stairs of the theatre behind the crowd, wondering how I will manage to walk all the way back to the Light Rail stop.

7:14pm Somehow I have managed and a train is supposed to arrive in two minutes!

7:15pm Some people next to me spot a kid in Ravenclaw robes on the other side of the train platform and start shouting “Ravenclaw pride!” A bunch of other people join in. It is moments like this that are some of the best parts of con.

7:40pm Aaaaand there is a parking ticket on my car because I accidentally parked in a reserved row. Oops. But they let me off with a warning! Yay!

8:02pm Drive past Chinese restaurant where I was planning to stop for takeout and go straight home to call for delivery. Because I am too tired to get in and out of the car twice.

9:13pm Crash.

Stay tuned for Day Two, in which I take two teenagers to con! Will they be cranky? Will Megan slowly consume another banana? Will I spend more money on art?


Pop Culture Classroom Logo

Denver Comic Con is an education program of Pop Culture Classroom with more than 600 hours of educational programming and 9,000 sq. ft. of convention floor dedicated to the Pop Culture Laboratory, an area designed to engage kids in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) educational activities, and spotlight the PCC program and its students and graduates. Further, it provides educational, youth-based programming and fun activities for our younger attendees and their families, and allows young creators to work directly with professionals from the comic book and animation industries as well as other creative professions.

PCC Mission: Pop Culture Classroom ignites a love of learning, increases literacy, celebrates diversity and builds community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self-expression.

PCC Vision: Pop Culture Classroom envisions individuals transformed by the educational power of popular culture who create diverse, inclusive and engaged communities.

PCC Values:

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  • Respect, inclusiveness and diversity
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Alternative approaches to education
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SiG Reacts: Wonder Woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actual conversation we had after watching the Wonder Woman movie:


-It’s SO GOOD!



-I can’t believe how awesome it was!



-Like, an entire movie ABOUT WONDER WOMAN!

-I mean, they didn’t try to make it about someone else with a dash of Wonder Woman. It’s HER movie.

-Yes. I know what you meant.

-Okay. I thought you would but I just had to point it out.

-I know. Because Wonder Woman. We’ve been waiting for this for a long ass time.

-I cried every time her theme music played.

-I just cried whenever she kicked some ass.

-Oh, that too.

-It was hard not to cry.

-It was almost relief crying, in a way. Is that weird?

-I’m not saying you’re not weird, but THAT isn’t weird.

-Also Etta Candy.

-I KNOW. She’s so great. “The pay is rather good.”

-I liked Robin Wright.

-She was amazing!

-She’s always amazing.


-I liked that there is a lot of really iconic imagery from the comics.


-When are we seeing it again?

(To be fair, we ask that question after every movie we like.)

Also there was this:

Take THAT! And some of THIS! And a little of THAT!

Take THAT! And some of THIS! And a little of THAT!


And this:

Also some stuff blew up.

Also some stuff blew up.


And some of this:

Watch it!

Watch who you’re shooting your nonsense at!


A bit of this:

(If she makes this face at you, run. Faster.)

(If she makes this face at you, run. Faster.)


Some of this:

Honestly probably run if she makes this face at you too.

Honestly probably run if she makes this face at you too.


And this:

“Really? Put some glasses on her and no one will notice she’s still the most beautiful woman in the world? All right.”


Frankly not enough of this:

Etta Candy knows what's up.

Etta Candy knows what’s up.

Or enough of this:

But seriously.

But seriously.


If I'd had this movie as a youngster, I'd have liked horses a lot more.

If I’d had this movie as a youngster, I’d have liked horses a lot more.

Oh, and there was this:

This Chris Pine guy is in the movie too. Mostly he does this.

This Chris Pine guy is in the movie too. Mostly he does this. He is above average.

And probably not nearly enough of this:

I am annoyed that I can't find a gif of Connie Nielsen's Hippolyta being all kick ass. So we just have to look upon Her Regalness in a still shot. But just know the woman can fight in that cape.

I am annoyed that I can’t find a gif of Connie Nielsen’s Hippolyta being all kick ass. So we just have to look upon Her Regalness in a still shot. But just know the woman can fight in that cape.


But there was so much of this:

This is the part that made Megan cry. Because she got glass in her eye. Yeah. Glass. That's it.

This is the part that made Megan cry. Because she got glass in her eye. Yeah. Glass. That’s it.


So anyway.

It’s a really great movie.

You should totally go see it.

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 10, “New Best Friends”

I have to dive right in because I’m so excited about at least one thing that happened on tonight’s episode! So…

Seriously. Every week. Every episode. We're gonna do this.

Seriously. Every week. Every episode. We’re gonna do this.

Opening shot of Ezekiel and some of his peeps waiting for some Saviors to show up and take their stuff. It’s a truck load of watermelon and fuel. The watermelon is in IKEA baskets.

tbh they must be Dulcinea watermelons because these baskets aren't that big.

tbh they must be Dulcinea watermelons because these baskets aren’t that big, which is cool because that’s like a “screw you” to the Saviors, who probably think they should get large watermelons and stuff! 

Greasy haired Savior demands Richard’s gun. A fistfight ensues. Ezekiel makes Richard give up the gun because Ezekiel still thinks he can keep the peace with these dipshits. Gavin the Savior makes threats to Ezekiel. Greasy haired Savior takes Morgan’s ninja stick. Morgan is pissed.

Back at the Kingdom, Ezekiel lectures Ben for being quick to fight. This is some nonsense. Like, a year or two into the zombie apocalypse, everyone needs to get on board with fighting to survive. I’m bored with these people who think diplomacy is the way to go. 

Anyway. Daryl shows up and wants to know where they went. He is unimpressed that Morgan is bleeding. They have a stare down. Daryl is all, Carol wouldn’t put up with this. Morgan is all, Carol left because she doesn’t want to kill anyone else. He won’t tell Daryl where to find her. 

Next Daryl goes to make friends with Richard. He is practicing archery. He lets Daryl have a turn. It’s nice to see Daryl with a crossbow in his hands again.

Hello, luvvah.

Hello, luvvah.

By the way: Can I just tell you how stupid it is to have a Richard on a show where a dude named Rick is the main character? It’s very stupid.

Ads. Beats by Dre with Nicki Minaj. Humans. Show looks bad — I watched three minutes of it the other night and it was just… not good. iPad. Naked chicken chalupa from Taco Bell. Just kill me now. Ads are so awful. What am I even doing with my life????

Snickers Crisper looks delightful though.

Mmmmm. Snickers!

Mmmmm. Snickers!

Richard shows Daryl his secret stash. They go out walking. On the highway. Because in the zombie apocalypse, you can do that without getting… oh wait. Haha. Anyway! They’re going to wait for Saviors to drive by and shoot them. Richard tells Daryl about Carol but doesn’t know Daryl knows her. He’s left a trail to her cabin with the weapons cache, with Carol as bait. Like, they’ll follow the trail to her cabin, and they’ll kill her, and since Ezekiel “cares for her”, Ezekiel will be angered enough to join Rick and the All Stars in their fight against the Saviors. Daryl knows it’s Carol. Also this plan is terrible and Daryl knows it. He takes Richard down. They engage in fisticuffs and then have a standoff and then Richard convinces Daryl to stand down and stick with the plan. Which still sucks, just saying. And then Daryl warns Richard that if anything happens to Carol, he’ll kill him. And then he leaves. Presumably to find Carol.

This is so convoluted. Richard is a terrible strategist and he looks like the Governor and has the same name as Rick. Seriously how the hell is anyone supposed to keep up with this nonsense? 

Ads ads ads.

There is an ad for Los Pollos Hermanos and I legit just spit my drink out. 

Thanks, AMC.

Back to the show. The Children of the Corn are back, leading Rick and the All Stars into a junkyard. There is some sort of effed up circle ritual happening. Just like in Children of the Corn! A lady with a really unfortunate haircut steps up to demand info.

For real, check this out:

She does not have a good stylist.

She does not have a good stylist.

I mean for real, who did she piss off in hair and makeup??
It's legit worse than the trash heap she calls her kingdom.

It’s legit worse than the trash heap she calls her kingdom.

Rick is all, show me Gabriel first. On our couch, we are all, no one cares about Gabriel.

Rick schools Bad Hair Day about the Saviors and tries to get her to team up. She says no.

Fight! Gabriel even holds a knife to some ugly chick’s neck! Then he gives them some preacher talk and takes a turn at trying to convince them.

It’s a terrible idea to team up with these people. I just want to throw that out there. Even if they change their minds and say okay, it’s a really terrible idea. 

The leader takes Rick up a hill of trash to look over her shitty area.

Everything the light touches is our kingdom, Simba.

Everything the light touches is our kingdom, Simba.

She yammers about stuff being difficult or some nonsense. This entire show is nonsense sometimes. God. 

Then she pushes him down the side of the trash heap. So that’s cool.

Ads. Call of Duty. Are all of these calls of duty different or what is the deal?

Back in Trashland, Rick is stuck in a pit with an extra creepy zombie with pointy armor.

Oh wow. That is... you got something on your head, man.

Oh wow. That is… you got something on your head, man.

Pointy Trash Zombie is ready for a snack. Rick doesn’t know what to do, given that he has no weapons and only a giant pile of trash at his disposal. Michonne has to coach Rick from the other side of a pipe through which she is watching. She’s all, “Use the heap!” It’s like Obi Wan Kenobi up in here. Rick does some stuff with the trash, gets a sharp object. He kills the creature and Bad Hair Day throws down a rope. He climbs back up and she says they want guns. Rick grins. He is a sick, sick man. He is also injured, on his hand and his leg. 

So they strike a deal. They will get a third of whatever guns Rick and the All Stars can find. She wants more but Rick says no. Her teeth are oddly good for someone with hair that bad. She claims her name is Jadis. I don’t buy it, mostly because people don’t really name their children things like… oh wait. Never mind. 

She takes her Corn children with her and Rick and the All stars are free to leave. Pook really, REALLY wants Rick to get a bandage first. Evil Rob is all, “It’s a terrible idea to get a bandage from these people. It’ll be covered in bacteria.” It’s a tough call for me. But he has a bandage by the time they leave. 

Ads. Are we someday going to stop allowing Matthew McConaughey to sell cars for Lincoln?

Already 7:45! This episode is going quickly.


There is never enough Carol in this show.

The look on Carol's face right here is straight out of my own parenting playbook. She has no time for your SHENANIGANS.

The look on Carol’s face right here is straight out of my own parenting playbook. She has no time for your SHENANIGANS.

And Ezekiel and his men and one lady are outside, doing something and claiming that they tried to be quiet and not bother her. Carol isn’t buying your nonsense, you guys.

She just wants to read a damn book, you guys.

She just wants to read a damn book, you guys.

Jerry the Fat Samurai brought her a cobbler. He grins when she accepts. Everyone in my house falls instantly, irrevocably in love. This means he will probably die two episodes from now.

In real life, he is a Jewish Samoan named Cooper Andrews.

In real life, he is a Jewish Samoan named Cooper Andrews. Look at that face! 

Later Carol’s trying to read another book and someone else knocks on her damn door. WHO CAN IT BE.

The internet doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Daryl and Carol fan art, you guys.


Daryl and Carol by sairobi on deviantart

Daryl and Carol by sairobi on deviantart

Carol and Daryl Chibi Valentine by nasubionna on deviantart

Carol and Daryl Chibi Valentine by nasubionna on deviantart

Daryl and Carol Reunited by jadeddreams1 on deviantart

Daryl and Carol Reunited by jadeddreams1 on deviantart

Caryl by akimao on deviantart

Caryl by akimao on deviantart

by poppprocks on nanozine

by poppprocks on nanozine

by Ashlee Casey on reddit

by Ashlee Casey on reddit

I could do this all night. But I won’t. Just one more…

This one is my fave. For reasons.

This one is my fave. For reasons.

Anyway, obviously it’s Daryl at the door and they stare at each other for a good minute before they embrace. Me and Pook are crying. Just a little. But still. Totally crying.

Scene change! Rick and Gabriel are talking while they make everyone else pack the car. Guess who is still boring and annoying? Spoiler: It’s Gabriel. 

And then Rosita and Tara are bickering again. This is bullshit. At some point, this stuff wouldn’t matter to people anymore. Bickering and hating each other because they once hooked up with the same man. This is what men think all women do all day long though, isn’t it? This has always been the issue with this show: the male creators have no idea how to write women. And of all the women in the world, Rosita and Tara would be least likely to behave like this. So this is a stupid waste of time throwaway scene. 

Rick grabs a terrible trash sculpture for Michonne before they head out.

Ads. Kong: Skull Island. Meh. How many times are we going to remake this damn movie? 

Back at the cabin: Daryl and Carol are in her living room in front of a romantic fire.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

She tells him why she left the group — she doesn’t want to keep killing people because it’s killing her inside. Then she asks him if the Saviors came and if they hurt anyone. Daryl lies without hesitation and tells her everyone is all right. She gives him stew. He leaves after dark but first they hug again.

Do you think someday they’ll actually hook up? Maybe on the very last episode, the whole world is burning and they are the last ones left and they know they are not long for the world, and so they’re like, “Let’s just do this already,” and they get busy and that’s the last we ever see of them.

(Hey Walking Dead producers? I can write for you! Call me!)

Tiger! Daryl is bonding with her. Morgan comes in and compliments Daryl’s rapport with the tiger. Daryl is like, we need the Kingdom. You gotta make that happen. Morgan is all, I can’t. Daryl is annoyed. Morgan tells him they are alike and that he knows that Daryl didn’t tell Carol about Abe and Glenn or she would have come back with him, ready to fight. Daryl’s like, whatevs, get us the Kingdom, MORGAN. 

Daryl leaves for Hilltop in the morning.

Scenes from next week show Negan and Dwight picking on Eugene. Great. Like, Eugene is a wuss anyway. It’s not going to be any fun to watch Negan and Dwight pick on him. 

You guys. Pollyanna McIntosh (Jadis) is on the Talking Dead and her hair is not a whole lot better in real life. She is lovely though.

Remember Jordan in Real Genius? That's what this hair reminds me of.

Remember Jordan in Real Genius? That’s what this hair reminds me of.


And now for some gratuitous Norman Reedus. Because hell, why not?

Did you know that back in the 1990s, Norman Reedus was a model? He did a whole campaign for Prada. And I actually have vivid recall of this campaign because back in MY 1990s, I was writing a terrible book about a rock star and superstar pop singer, and I read a boatload of fashion magazines for inspiration, and the Norman Reedus Prada ads were included in my vision notebook (that’s what we used to have in olden times, before they invented Pinterest).




Sweet dreams, and see you next week for an episode that has to suck more than this one because Negan will be back and we all know how much Negan loves the sound of his own voice!!

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 9, “Rock in the Road”

Oh god. Here we are again. It’s like no time has passed at all but apparently it’s been two whole months or something? I don’t even know. I’m missing the trainwreck known as the Grammys for this so I hope everyone appreciates my sacrifice.


I know. People who whine about spoilers make me cry too, Daryl.

I know. People who whine about spoilers make me cry too, Daryl.

All right. Midseason premiere. Let’s do this. Which… “midseason premier”. Everything on television is such an event now. I’m so over it. Can’t we just watch our STORIES without it being a THING? 

Boring Father Gabriel is reading a book in the dark while he’s supposed to be on watch duty. Typical. I guess he assumes God’s got it under control.

Now he’s wandering into a house in the dark and knocks a bunch of shit down, causing a huge ruckus. Nice.

He’s loading stuff from the pantry into a plastic bin.

Ah. Stealing a car, preacher man?

Yep. He’s bailing.

Pretty much.

Pretty much.

Ads. Snore.

Hilltop, and The Ricking Crew are meeting with the dude in charge in his office. This Hilltop dickbag is starting to sound a lot like Negan. Jesus is like, “You’re a dick, dude.” And the dickbag is like, “We’re not fighting.” 

You guys, I’m not gonna lie. My husband made Elvis sandwiches for dinner and there was a situation with my bread and I had to take care of it during this very overlong scene with Gregory saying “no, Hilltop isn’t gonna fight” and The Ricking Crew arguing and Carl Poppa saying he’s going to train the people. None of us missed anything and then Enid rallied some more Hilltop people to the cause and Daryl was like, “We don’t need numbers because we can just blow shit up” and I knew I loved Daryl for a reason.

Also this sandwich kicks ass.

Ads for Arrival and some kind of over the top Verizon plan that thinks highly enough of itself to use music from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Come on, Verizon. Get a grip. I’ve seen 2001: A Space Odyssey and you are NO 2001: A Space Odyssey. I mean, look at this. It’s just an opening credits shot and it’s amazing.

Once, in first grade, or maybe it was second, I don’t know because I am old now, we did a music and dance program at school for the parents and one of the dances was to the opening music from that movie, and it was real weird. Like, the kids pretended to be space rocks but then they came to life and danced around like rock-shaped aliens? It was the 1970s. I don’t know. Anyway now I’m in this place:


Creepy. My baby daddy’s name is HAL. I bet that’s NO COINCIDENCE.

But I digress.

Road trip! To The Kingdom!

Jesus needs a haircut.

Sweet silver angel over the sea please come down flyin' low for me

Sweet silver angel over the sea
please come down flyin’ low for me


The guards are like, who are all these people? Jesus is like, friends of mine. The guards are like, line up. Daryl isn’t having it. He will likely never get in a line ever again. Rick tries to be reasonable. It grates on him. But the guards take The Ricking Crew through the gates. 

Inside the Kingdom, hippie music is playing.

Pretty sure these dudes are about to show up.

Pretty sure these dudes are about to show up.

The guards lead The Ricking Crew through the streets and they see the young people training and the other people doing their… gardening. And suddenly here is Morgan and everyone hugs! Or almost everyone. Not Rick! And then he fills them in on Carol and Daryl is listening with extra ears. Morgan says she’s gone and Daryl looks super sad. And then Morgan says he got them an audience with the king. 

King Ezekiel! And the tiger!

Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Khary Payton as Ezekiel – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

King Ezekiel is going to be at Denver Comic Con this year and I am super stoked. I hope he brings that tiger. 

Conversation ensues. I can’t believe Rick just calls him King right off the bat. And that no one else is behind him snickering. Even Daryl is like, “Sure. King. Whatever.” 

This is ridiculous. I can’t believe they’re having this conversation like it’s the Renaissance festival. Just talk like normal people.

Ezekiel asks for Morgan’s opinion. Whatever. Morgan’s all, maybe we can just capture Negan. Nope. I’m waiting for Daryl to speak up but he doesn’t. I guess Daryl really is a man of few words. 

Then Rick tells Ezekiel a story about a rock in the road. And some bag of gold. And how the king left it there on purpose because… stuff. And thangs. I don’t know. This seems like b.s. When do we fight??

Rick is at least amused by King Ezekiel.

As are we all.

Seriously if we don’t see Carol in this episode though I’ll be kinda pissed that I skipped the horror show that is the Grammys. Katy Perry has BLONDE HAIR, you guys. 

She looks like Christina Applegate got in a fight with Fraggle Rock and emerged victorious.

She looks like Christina Applegate got in a fight with Fraggle Rock and emerged victorious.

And Jason Derulo is dressed up like Hip Hop Count Dracula.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Jason Derulo attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 12: Singer Jason Derulo attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

I’m just trying not to make him angry lest he summon whatever that collar is to life.

Oh also here is this weird Humpty Dumpty ad from the Super Bowl.


Ezekiel’s boy wonder Benjamin is in the woods training and almost gets killed by Carol. She is deeply unimpressed by his earnestness and offer of water. He fails to tell her that The Ricking Crew is in town. He must not know how much we all ship Carol and Daryl. 

My glasses suck so I can’t quite tell but I think Ezekiel is tucking someone into bed with the I Have A Dream speech. 

Benjamin comes in and tells him he saw Carol. Ezekiel tries to be casual in asking how she is but you can tell he ships it. He ships himself and Carol hard. And just know that I’m all in for a Ezekiel-Carol-Daryl Hunger Games style love triangle.

Anyway Benjamin is like, we have to help them, and King Zeke is like, “Thanks for your wise council, young one.” Or something.

All this King shit is annoying and weird though.

Morning and it’s archery practice for the children. This IS the Renaissance festival. Daryl looks pained watching their terrible technique.

Ezekiel’s like, we’re not fighting with you. Rick’s like, “Please?” Ezekiel’s like, “Nah.” Rick’s like, “Come on, dude.” Zeke’s all, “Nah.”


Something something blah blah blah stuff and thangs.

Something something blah blah blah stuff and thangs.

Ezekiel offers Daryl sanctuary inside The Kingdom since the Negan squad are after him, but refuses to let his people join in their fight. They start walking away. Richard the guard wants to fight. And Rick wants Daryl to stay. Daryl’s like “I ain’t” and Rick is all, “Stay behind and stare him into submission. Whatever it takes.” And Daryl knows he is defeated and has to stay. And then the gates slam closed as The Ricking Crew leaves.

At least Daryl will see Carol soon. Hopefully by the end of this episode!

Ads. Call of Duty. Wendy’s. Some gross energy drink. Brad Paisley wrecking Nationwide. Barf.

God. Next week we’re starting this shit late so I don’t have to watch ads.

This movie with Scarlett Johansson looks so boring. Ghost in the Shell. Snore.

Back to the show. Out on the highway.

Hahahahahahaha Negan is memorializing Fat Joey over the PA system.

Cars block the highway. Rick decides they’ll move them, then move them back, so the Saviors don’t know they were there. I don’t think that’s gonna work but okay, whatever.


Jesus thinks it's a terrible idea too, you can just tell.

Jesus thinks it’s a terrible idea too, you can just tell.

And then they discover a whole explosive tripwire system. Rick and Michonne want the explosives for their coming battles. If only they had Eugene to help! Rosita is like, allow me. Now they’re all messing about with dynamite. This seems like it will end badly.

So the whole tripwire/explosives system? It’s a trap for a giant herd of walkers, who start coming around the curve in the highway as they’re removing the explosives. The Ricking Crew are piling dynamite and other explosives into their vehicle. But only the ones that seem like they’re in good condition. Um… okay. And the walkers are getting closer and closer. 

This is all very exciting but I fail to see the point. They send Jesus and Sasha to run back to Hilltop and tell Maggie they haven’t given up. Which… whatever. 

Then Rick and Michonne drive two cars with a wife stretched between them and now down hundreds of walkers, then make a run for it back to the group’s car. EPIC CLOTHESLINE!

Hopefully by tomorrow there will be a gif and I can insert it here.

They drive away and one of the piles of dynamite goes off, blowing up a bunch of walkers.

Aaaaand ads.

Oh, Passage. How I have not missed you. Does anyone care about this? They are choking in dust from the bomb going off underground. And given that they’ve been stuck down there for two months with no one missing them, I shouldn’t wonder. 

Back to Alexandria. The gates open and a bunch of Negan’s trucks drive in. They’re there to find Daryl. And kill him. And trash everyone’s houses.

It’s super boring when the guy who really wants to be Negan tries to talk like Negan. Luckily they leave, so I don’t have to throat punch anyone.

The two Alexandria guys fill The Ricking Crew in on Gabriel’s disappearance. Rick doesn’t want to believe Gabriel would just steal stuff and run. Rosita’s like, of course he would. I am with Rosita, really. 

But then it seems Gabriel laid some sort of trail. The Ricking Crew are like, “LET’S GO!” 

The gay dudes are bickering in their perfectly clean house. The one is like, “I’M GOING WITH! RICK NEEDS ME!” And the other one is like, “STAY HERE. Don’t be stupid.” I’m with him. Also, why is it that the gay couple’s house is the only spotless one after the Negan dudes are done trashing everything??

The Ricking Crew have gone to look for Gabriel. They find footprints. Now, you know and I know that the footprints do not belong to Gabriel. Because we’ve been seeing that person in the black boots spying on The Ricking Crew the last few episodes! But the crew doesn’t know this.

And so of course they wind up surrounded by what looks to be the Children of the Corn, all grown up. CREEPY.



And Rick smirks and that’s the end.

Seriously, all of these people look super inbred. And I’m here to tell you, if the only people who survive the zombie apocalypse for longer than three years are super inbred backwoods weirdos, count me out. Just let Daryl put me out of my misery early on. With his crossbow.

Someone find this man a new crossbow, stat.

Someone find this man a new crossbow, stat.

See all y’all next week!

This show makes me talk like I’m from Georgia. But only inside my head.

Hail to The Streep: A Quick Manifesto on Life, Art, and Film, and Why “Political” Isn’t A Dirty Word

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08:  In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Meryl Streep accepts  Cecil B. DeMille Award  during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 08: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Meryl Streep accepts Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)


Did y’all see Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe awards the other week, and her badass speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to film?

Here. In case you missed it. Go on. We’ll wait.

Amazing, right? The woman is a legend. I love her. I really do.

And what I think I love the most about Meryl Streep is the way she uses her voice. Whether it’s via the roles she chooses or the philanthropic work she does or the speaking out on issues important to her, she knows she has a voice and by god, she is going to use it and don’t you DARE try to shut her up or you will be staring down the barrel of a very disapproving glare a la Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada.

This speech was powerful. She knew exactly what she was doing. She knew well in advance that she would be honored with this award, and she wrote a speech that said, “Screw all this self-aggrandizement that we are famous for in Hollywood. I’m going to stand up there and speak some TRUTH.” And she did exactly that. She called to task some very powerful people — well, one in particular — and she asked the room to join her in standing against him. And she did this on a broadcast from a television network that kisses that man’s ass as though he is the second coming.

It took about ten minutes on the interwebs for people to start getting angry and attacking her for being “too political”. Everyone’s favorite thing to say: “It’s an awards show. You are just a stupid actress. You are there to look pretty and entertain me. Go make a movie and shut up.”

Hey guess what?

Movies are art. Some of us call it film, or filmmaking, in our slightly more pretentious moments. And the art of filmmaking, like all art, when done well, can transport us, challenge us, make us laugh, make us weep, make us rage, make us cheer, make us hate, make us love. And art? Art IS political. Art has always been political. Because art is life, and life is political is life.

From the beginning of time, humankind has created art that tells stories about their lives. Cave drawings. Language. Storytelling. Dance. Music. It’s all been around a lot longer than Hollywood. And it’s all been political a lot longer than Hollywood. Plato, Sophocles, Socrates: All political. Beowulf contains political commentary. Shakespeare is so super political, what with all the critique of society and whatnot. Hell, even the BIBLE is political — all those Romans versus the Jews and everyone using Jesus Christ as a pawn in their political long game?

Dark times are upon us. Our country has been given over to a group of people who would like nothing more than to shut all of us up, permanently — time will tell what lengths they’re willing to go to achieve that. They want us to be stupid. They want us to not ask questions. They want us to fall in line and be the pawns in their game of money and power.

And some random people on the internet — and plenty we’ll meet in real life too — want us to “stop making everything political”.

(It’s funny how the people who always throw that word around like it’s something dirty or bad are always the ones who turn every single conversation towards the political and then as soon as you disagree with them, screech at you for “bringing politics into this”, isn’t it? Hilarious!)

Well. It’s good to want things. But no.

I refuse.

Meryl Streep refuses.

The women she inspires refuse.

We all refuse.

Think about the darkest times in your life. The ones you were sure, at the time, you wouldn’t make it through. The ones where there was no light at the end of the tunnel — at least no light that you could see. What got you through?

Antidepressants, most of my close friends are thinking right now. And that’s right. Antidepressants… and art. Photographs. Paintings. Music. Theatre. Dance. Books. And MOVIES.

And another thing: Don’t tell Meryl Streep what she can and can’t say on HER platform. That’s HER workplace. She’s the boss in that room and she will say what she came there to say. It is the most appropriate possible time and place for her to speak, and to stand up for people who don’t have the same voice she has.

And at the same time, don’t tell us that we can’t applaud her, for speaking up on our behalf, for touching our lives over and over with her art, for being a woman we can look up to, that our girls can look up to. Whatever your motivation, just don’t. Don’t tell me it’s all a distraction. Don’t tell me it’s just a bunch of celebrities. Don’t tell me I should have better things to do with my time.

The most important thing I can do with my time is LIVE. And art is part of life. Art tells the story of our life.

So we salute Meryl Streep and thank her for the art, and for the words, and for the voice.

Now let’s go watch some movies.

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep 8, “Hearts Still Beating”

Before I get started with this week’s recap, I must right a grievous oversight from last week. When Negan asked Carl to sing and Carl sang “You Are My Sunshine”, Evil Rob made a crack that he should have sung “Carl Poppa”, and I was all, “What on earth are you babbling about now, WEIRD HUSBAND?” And he tried to explain and I was just blanking completely at the reference. But then later he posted the video for me on Facebook (a Bad Lip Reading video) and it all came back to me. And that video really should have gone into last week’s recap and would have made it 9,000 times funnier. But I failed all of us.

But here it is. Let’s all enjoy it. Everyone loves Bad Lip Reading.

You know, Carl Poppa is actually a pretty sweet jam. I’m getting all jiggy with it. And y’all should be glad I’m confining that to my house, where no one else has to see it.

Good times.

And now! The mid-season finale!

But first… there will be spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Come on, lady. We’ve talked about this. I know you’re dead and all. But it’s not that hard to understand. We do spoilers on PURPOSE in these recaps!

Okay. Midseason finale. Let’s do this. And then we can all move on with our lives.

90 minutes. Again.

One of the production companies on this show is called Idiot Box Productions. This makes me sad because I always thought my dad made that up when I was a kid. Like he was the only dad ever who called the television the “Idiot Box”. 

My dad would be so much cooler if he worked here.

My dad would be so much cooler if he worked here.

We open on Maggie, crying next to Glenn’s grave. She is wearing a hat and overalls. Probably a disguise. She seems to be on watch duty. The old Hilltop man comes over to say dickish things to her but then this other dude makes the old dude give her an apple because she’s pregnant, and Maggie bites into it with a smug smile on her face. 

Negan is shaving. In Rick’s bathroom. While Carl and Judith watch.

Daryl is leaving his cell.

Negan is making spaghetti sauce. In Rick’s kitchen. While Carl and Judith watch.

Tara and Olivia are on the porch. Tara gives Olivia a container of lemonade mix. Olivia is all taking one for the team and refuses to leave Judith, and goes inside.

Negan is at the head of the table making Carl set the table and wait on him. This is actually super fun!

Evil Rob points out the Morse code chart on the wall. This apparently means that Daryl has been communicating to Rick in Morse code all season by BLINKING.

Translation: Rick, I miss you. Please help.

Translation: Rick, I miss you. Please help.

Or so the internet claims.  You know what though? Sometimes the internet has been known to be wrong. 

Rick and Aaron are what? Going into the swamp of zombies? In a canoe. This’ll end well. Evil Rob reminds me that they are going after a stash of weapons and ammo hidden on the houseboat on the other side of the lake. Details, man. I can’t keep all this stuff straight AND know the character names too. 

Back to the table at Rick’s house.

That spaghetti though.

So akward. That spaghetti though.

Negan’s tired of waiting for Rick to come home. “Pass the rolls.” No response. “PLEASE.” Carl passes the rolls. He’s probably afraid of dying if he doesn’t. 

I want rolls. Specifically, I want those homemade crescent rolls my mom makes at Christmas, and sometimes at Easter. 

Mmmm crescent rolls. True story: I once made these for Christmas when my mom had a broken shoulder. I am so lazy though that I cant believe this really happened.

Mmmm crescent rolls. True story: I once made these for Christmas when my mom had a broken shoulder. I am so lazy though that I can’t believe this really happened.

Ads. What is Into the Badlands? Is it a show? Is it a good show? Should we be watching it? 

Oh, and a fun Nike ad mocking people for watching shows about zombies. It’s cool. I prefer Ahnu shoes for running from zombies anyway.

Spencer and Eugene are having some sort of thing with the Negan peeps at the front gate. Blandfaced white girl makes threats. It’s all very dull.

CAROL! Reading a book on the couch by the fireplace. Morgan is lurking in the front yard. She lets him come in. Some dude knocks on the door with some milk bottles. He has something very important to talk to them about. Carol is like, I JUST WANT TO READ MY DAMN BOOK!

picard book meme
Back to the WORST canoe trip ever. Guess what? It’s going very poorly. Aaron gets pulled into the water by zombies. Who could have predicted such a thing?

He’s okay though. Apparently.

True story: taking notes to write these recaps makes this shit go faster.

Back to Daryl, dashing through the halls. He hears voices close by and ducks into someone’s room. Eats some peanut butter straight from the jar with his fingers. Takes some clothes. I mean, that seems legit smart of him, but I’d recommend a haircut or a comb or something at this point too. Just to complete the disguise. 

Rick and Aaron have located the arms and ammo they crossed the swamp to find.

Back to Daryl. Now he has a spoon and is gazing at some weird chess set. He knocks it over. There are no photos I can find of this chess set, but it seems to anger him and it seems to be representative of whatever long game Negan and/or his people might be playing, or just generally keeping track of the other communities, or something.

Contemplating these things this hard hurts my heart and my brain. Let’s all look at Daryl for a moment.

Daryl smolders
Back to the swamp. Rick and Aaron are loading their truck and having a deep philosophical conversation about life and living. The camera cuts back and we see they are being watched by a mysterious figure wearing BLACK BOOTS. Who can it be? Because, like, everyone on this show wears black boots. 

Ads. This new Ben Affleck rum runner movie looks all right. Evil Rob and I talk about all the new movies we haven’t seen yet. This somehow leads to a discussion of Marion Cotillard. Because of Assassins Creed. We like her.


"I do not know what is this bu

“I do not know what is this bummer you speak of.” 

Between Cotillard and Fassbender, Assassin’s Creed might turn out to be an all right movie.

By the way, I’m super high strung right now because my laptop is broken and I have to watch tv without it. I hate this.

Now back to Michonne in the truck with the lady with the bad dye job. Michonne wants to chitchat but the lady is like, nah.

Michonne monologues about not killing today, finding a way to win, etc. I’m not sure if I should be paying super close attention but it’s kind of boring so I tune out a bit.  

Back to Maggie and Rosita at Hilltop. And Enid. Snore. Agent Peggy Carter’s hat is hanging on the wall of their apartment. What??

Rosita charges Enid with keeping Maggie safe. This is… I don’t know. Everyone wants to go out and kill Negan, is basically the gist. 

Back in Carol’s house, the milk bringer is talking about threats to the Kingdom by the Saviors. He wants Carol and Morgan to use their wiles to convince Ezekiel to battle the Saviors.

Strike first. Destroy them.

Terrible idea.

Absolutely terrible.

More ads. Super tired of the iPhone ad with the old dude in the white swim trunks.

Ooh Norman Reedus will be on tonight’s Talking Dead.

That’s like a lifetime from now though.

It only just occurred to me that I could do this in Google Docs instead of Evernote.


Rosita is in the church talking to the priest about killing Negan. I hate his character so much I can never remember his name.

The conversation is so boring I’m just sitting here gazing at my Christmas tree. It’s super pretty.

My mom decorated this for me. I am highly unqualified for a tree to look this nice.

My mom decorated this for me. I am highly unqualified for a tree to look this nice if I decorate it myself.

They are still talking. The priest is like, please don’t go on a suicide mission. Rosita is like, crying.

Daryl still making his way through the halls. He picks up a piece of steel bar. I assume it’s a piece of steel bar. Alternatively, it might be a long light fixture, like for your apartment kitchen’s overhead light. But I’m pretty sure it’s a steel bar. 

Back at Carol’s house, she is refusing to fight. She just wants to be left alone. The Kingdom guy is trying to manipulate Morgan. He storms out. Carol tells Morgan to not let anyone else know where she is.

Seriousl y Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Seriously just leave me alone with this terrible artwork and my BOOK.    Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I assume they will both find out about Glenn and Abraham any time now and change their minds. Probably in February when the season resumes and Rick… well. I’m getting ahead of my spoilers. Hang on.

Ads. I like the Xfinity ads where the grandparents see their granddaughters status on Facebook or whatever about how lame their house is so they get cable and wifi and then the whole family has a super happy Christmas watching tv and playing video games together. My husband Evil Rob is all, “Grandma and Grandpa will be eating cat food for the rest of their days to pay their Comcast bill, not to mention what Paul Ryan has in store for their Social Security checks, but enjoy your WiFi, Paige!” 

Fair point.

Horrifying looking movie called Split comes out on Inauguration Day. Never has a thing felt so appropriate.

Back to the show. Spencer is in his house acting all batshit, talking to himself in the mirror.

The Kingdom guy who wants to start a war is in the forest. And then he goes into a camper and cries? I don’t get this.

Spencer and Rosita have words. He wants to know why she ended their fling. She refuses to tell him how creepy he is, and makes dinner plans with him. “No strings attached.” Ew. 

Finally Daryl is outside. Fat Joseph appears and sees Daryl and looks scared and tells him how to get out. Daryl smashes him with the steel bar as Jesus comes running over from… wherever he was hiding.

Didn’t I call the death of Fat Joseph last week?

Another installment of Passage. The women are in the tunnel. One runs and sets off a trigger and an explosion happens. You know, I could really use a full minute of this instead these 30-second tidbits.

Ooh, AMC network puts up a graphic violence warning before the next scene begins! This can’t be good for someone. 

Back to Michonne and Bad Dye Lady. They come over the crest of a hill and there is a whole lot of stuff happening down in a valley and the lady says that is the Negan place. And that Michonne can’t do what she wants to do. But still has options, like killing Bad Dye Lady using the silencer in the glove compartment and sinking the truck in the lake or something.

I assume Michonne chooses at least one option that does involve her killing someone today.

Rick and Aaron show up in their truck and Negan’s people at the gate find all the stuff they found. Please tell me they had the sense to hide some of it somewhere. Then they beat up Aaron, just for fun.

Meanwhile Spencer and Negan are drinking whiskey and playing pool while everyone else watches. Spencer wants Negan to make him in charge of Alexandria.

Rick picks Aaron up to help him walk home.

Negan isn’t impressed with Spencer’s proposal. And says Spencer has no guts. And then stabs him in the gut. And it turns out Spencer did have guts.

Then Negan is all, someone better clean this up. No one comes forward. Then he holds up Lucille and asks who wants to finish the game of pool, which he was winning.

Check out this nice close shave, guys!

Check out this nice close shave, guys!

Rosita pulls out a gun and shoots.

Ads! Rogue One!

Rick still dragging Aaron. They hear the gunshot.

Rosita’s bullet hit Lucille. Negan is all, tell me who made this bullet. Rosita insists it was her. Negan tells the one woman (Farat?? Wtf is her name??) to kill someone. She shoots Olivia.

Arat, Evil Rob tells me. That is Negan’s henchwoman’s name.

Rick and Aaron finally run up. Negan is all, I killed Spencer as a public service. Blah blah blah.

Finally Eugene cops to making the bullet.  So Negan takes him with them. I doubt this means certain death for Eugene. Instead he will be forced to make bullets for Negan. And stuff.

Rick is left standing alone by the pool table and Dead Spencer. Spencer is already turning into a zombie and Rick probably takes some pleasure in stabbing the shit out of his face.

Ads. War for the Planet of the Apes! These movies are so good. This one looks tense and scary. Evil Rob and I vote for the apes.

Here is what I don’t get about this show, and shows in general: I feel like people communicate more than this. Like, not perfectly, but we all manage to figure out when every last one of us is on the same page. So all these people want to take Negan out but are all acting independently because they don’t communicate. And it’s dumb. So dumb.

Also, Better Call Saul is coming back soon! Yay!

Back to the show. Rick is kneeling in a basement. Michonne shows up. She tells him how outnumbered they are, but that it doesn’t change how she feels. They are still alive. They survived so much. Their hearts are still beating. So what do they do with that? How do they make it mean something?

Basically she is giving him a pep talk. They have to fight. For Judith and Carl and everyone else. But he has to get his head out of his ass. (She says that with her eyes, mostly.) It is times like this that this show is so good. When people get to say things about making things mean things. 

Rick’s all, “I know.”

And then they make out.

Back to Maggie at Glenn’s grave again. She climbs up the watch tower.

 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

She sees something that makes her smile. And yells for Sasha and Enid to come. And they open the gates. 

It’s Rick and Michonne and Carl and Tara and Rosita.

And then Daryl and Jesus come around a corner and I cry.

I ain’t lying.

Rick and Daryl hug it out hard.

There wasnt a photo of the epic hug

There wasn’t a photo of the epic hug anywhere but I did find some random beautiful fan art on a listicle (uncredited, of course, so if anyone knows who it belongs to, tell us). This is actually not a terrible representation of how the hug went even though this predates tonight’s episode by years. Thanks, fandom!  

And Daryl gives Rick the gun he took off Fat Joseph. The sheriff is back in town, you guys. 

Everyone smiles but Jesus. He just looks upset and worried. Whatever, Jesus. Stop being so serious all the damn time.

Night shot of Alexandria ends the show. Father Gabriel is on the watch bridge and the spy in the boots is watching.

Dun dun dunnnn!

This was a good episode. Finally.

That’s a wrap till February. The second half of the season HAS to be better, what with Rick and Co having all kinds of fight in them once again. And we see scenes of Rick appealing to Ezekiel to team up. Wonder how that’ll go. 

twitter negan 

I will miss the adorable Ann Mahoney though. So unfair. 

Sexy Librarian Ann would let Carol sit and read undisturbed.

Sexy Librarian Ann would let Carol sit and read undisturbed.

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Episode 7, “Sing Me A Song”

Herewith: This week’s recap of The Walking Dead!

Oh but wait.

This walker still has some nonsense she wants to say.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Whatever, whiner. People come here FOR spoilers.

On with it!

Oh great. Another 90 minute episode. What have we all done to deserve this?

(Somewhere is a parallel universe where people still adore this show and feel like extendo-episodes are a treat.)

We open on Michonne, walking down the highway. I think it’s raining, so that’s a first — maybe someday it will actually be winter on this show, too. She is whistling and annoying me. A couple of walkers follow her and eventually she dispatches them with a sword. Drags one into the forest. Leaves her bag behind with the walkie talkie that connects her with Rick.

Cut to Rick and Aaron waking up in the back of a truck. They look outside and see… something.

And then we have some rando Saviors, also in a truck. It’s the truck Jesus and Carl are hiding in. Jesus is, like, pouring syrup into the road? To leave a trail? And then he tells Carl it’s time to jump out. And Carl goes “Show me,” and Jesus jumps out without him and Carl keeps going. Sweet trick, Carl. Even Jesus knows it was clever!

"Foiled again by that damn kid!"

“Foiled again by that damn kid!”

Once at Negan’s compound, Carl ambushes the guys unloading the truck with a gun and kills two of them. And then Negan comes up and says Carl scares the shit out of him. And then says he will show him around. And then the opening music goes and cuts to a shot of the yard, and Daryl doing something with the yard zombies, and up to a view of the building they’re staying in. It looks to be some sort of old power plant, maybe. It has smokestacks. I don’t know. I’m trying to pretend I care. It’s hard.

Ads. I don’t understand the Amazon Echo.

Negan takes Carl inside after bitching about not getting to have sex with any of his wives that day and also telling Carl to not be afraid of him because he finds it a disappointment. All the people are assembled and Negan gives them a little speech. Dude literally never stops talking.

Rosita and Eugene are doing something and Spencer shows up. Spencer is annoying.

Negan takes Carl to a room where a bunch of women are sitting around looking bored or traumatized. It’s a thin line in the apocalypse. Negan tells Carl to make himself comfortable and goes to talk to his wife about some nonsense that no one really cares about because we don’t even know who the hell these people are. Ooky music plays and we are supposed to feel creeped out. Then Negan talks to some girl named Amber who cheated on him with some dude named Mark. So many names of people we don’t care about, so little time.

Oh wait. No. We have 90 minutes of this shit! Plenty of time.

Carl is eavesdropping. Creepily.

Negan makes out with the other wife. Daryl and Wannabe Daryl show up. You know — the ginger fellow who used to be married to that wife. DWIGHT. I can never remember his name. Because I don’t care about him. Daryl asks how Negan got Carl there. Negan tells him it’s none of his business. The men leave and the wife lady drinks.

I mean, I feel her. Drinking could only improve upon this.



I digress.

Back in Grimville, Rick and Aaron are still looking for stuff. They climb over a fence and head up a road with a handwritten sign telling people not to go there. They are rebels.

Rick's all like...

Rick’s all like…

And then Spencer and the annoying preacher guy are in car talking about whether or not Rick is hateable or inspirational. Like most things in the apocalypse, it’s a thin line. Spencer talks about how his mom served in Congress and lifted people up and did good in the world. My husband makes an obscene gesture. The preacher thinks Spencer is a “tremendous shit”. This is literally the first time the preacher has ever been interesting. He gets out of the car to walk home. It’s just like Cher in Clueless when Elton tries to molest her!

It's an ALAIA!

It’s an ALAIA!

Then Spencer runs into the woods. I just don’t even care enough to warn him not to.

Back to Negan. He takes Carl to his bedroom. Gross. “I want to get to know you a little better, Carl.”

He tells Carl to take the dressing off his eye so he can see it. As punishment for killing two of his men. So Carl does it. It’s horrifying.

Negan can totally see your socket, dude.

Negan can totally see your socket, dude.

And then Negan wants to touch it because Negan has issues. But Carl is crying and Negan sort of apologizes, although it’s a gross creepy nonapology about how he forgot Carl is just a kid.

Then Fat Joseph shows up with Lucille, which Negan left by the truck. And Negan tells Carl he shouldn’t cover up his bad eye. And he gives Fat Joseph the business and talks about Lucille like she’s a real woman.

Fat Joseph is sort of adorable, by the way. I feel like he’ll be dead by the time the midseason finale ends next week.

I am Fat Joseph and I am not long for this world.

I am Fat Joseph and I am not long for this world.

After Fat Joseph leaves, Negan tells Carl to sing him a song. Insists, really, even after Carl says he doesn’t know any songs.

Carl sings a super terrible rendition of You Are My Sunshine while Negan swings Lucille around.

Then he asks Carl to tell him what happened to his mom. And goes, “Damn, no wonder you’re a little serial killer in the making.”


Just like in the funny pages, you guys!

Just like in the funny pages, you guys!

I mean, it takes one to know one, I guess.

This is bizarrely boring.

Finally Negan says the iron should be ready and they go downstairs. And he has Carl hold Lucille and Carl doesn’t even flinch And some Captain America looking dude is sweating and tied to a chair. I bet this is Mark!

Trust me, I'll look a lot more interesting once Negan's through with me.

Trust me, I’ll look a lot more interesting once Negan’s through with me.


Carl really should just walk around with that eye showing. It makes him more interesting.

Negan makes Dwight assist with the iron. And then he holds it to Mark’s face till Mark passes out. Everyone has to watch so they know it can happen to them too. Carl’s like, I’ve seen worse.

Mark, by the way, has pissed himself, and Negan makes Daryl mop it up. Because Daryl’s the janitor now.

Chicks still dig me. My eyes are haunted. Chicks dig that.

Chicks still dig me. My eyes are haunted. Chicks are into that.

Ads. Jennifer Garner for Capital One is super irritating. Possibly even more irritating than this show. Hmmm.

Back to Spencer toying with zombies in the woods. Basically he was trying to get their weapons. And a note in one’s pocket. I can’t read it but I bet someone on the internet knows what it said.

See? Complete with circled words!

See? Complete with circled words!

God, the internet is so predictable.

Back to Rosita and Eugene and the quest for a bullet. Eugene is talking nonsense. Rosita calls him a coward and weak. She is not charming him into this. “For once, do something useful. And make me a bullet.” Eugene gets to work.

See. Some men respond to bitchiness.

Ugh back to Dwight and his ex-wife and their cigarettes. Please stop trying to make us care about these people. Good god. Dwight is getting all judgy. Even that is super boring.

Back in Negan’s room, Negan is doing some accounting and Carl asks if he can wrap his face up again. Negan says no. Carl asks why he hasn’t killed any of them yet. Negan says Daryl will make him a good soldier. And Rick is already getting him great stuff. And he likes Carl. So. Okay then.

Negan and Carl are leaving in a truck. Daryl tries to threaten him if he does anything to Carl. Negan has Dwight put Daryl back in his cage.

Jesus is on top of the truck one second but not when they drive away. Hmmm…

This must all sound weird out of context.

Ads. And this week’s installment of Passage! Creepy dude has a tunnel? Lets the one woman in but not the one called Sierra. So Sierra stabs him. Seems legit.

Back to Daryl in his cell.

Oh haiiiiiiiii, Sad Eyes.

Oh haiiiiiiiii, Sad Eyes.

Someone is coming! Daryl looks apprehensive. Someone slips a note beneath the door. With a key. And it says “GO NOW!” What??

Oh. Evil Rob says it is Jesus. Because Jesus was on the truck and then not on the truck.

But will Daryl do it??? Or will he assume it is a TRICK?

Anyway. Back outside somewhere in the Hundred Acre Wood, Michonne corners some red-headed lady and tells her to take her to Negan. Evil Rob criticizes the lady’s terrible hair dye. My plan is working. Which plan is that, you ask? The one where I pay a lot of money to get my hair dyed properly and now my husband can spot the difference!

Anyway. Carl and Negan arrive at Carl’s house. Negan points out that Olivia is fat. Olivia cries.

Solid acting choice as usual, Olivia.

Solid acting choice as usual, Olivia.


This show is stupid.

Then he offers to screw her. She says no. Or slaps him. Whichever. He says he is 50% more into her now.

This show is so stupid.

He sends Olivia away to make lemonade. Carl shows him their house.

And Judith is in her crib in her room, and she is like twelve now.




Ads. I keep forgetting this is recorded. CURSES!

An ad for the season finale marathon shows us a bunch of people we miss, like Beth. Sad face.



Back to Rick and Aaron. They’ve found the compound of some loner dude who may or may not be dead. Zombies in a pond protecting some stuff. This can’t end well.

Eugene and Rosita are still bickering.

If Rosita = Ralph and Eugene = Alice, anyway.

If Rosita = Ralph and Eugene = Alice, anyway.

Spencer creeps up in his creepermobile. He has soup. Something something list and Latin and Spencer’s mom and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…


I’m awake.

Front porch at Carl’s house. Negan is snuggling with Judith. Seriously Judith is like 10 now. He kisses her on the forehead and tells Carl maybe he’ll just kill him and Rick and move into the suburbs.

I don't know. It feels a little forced.

I don’t know. It feels a little forced.

I’m not nearly as creeped out by Negan and Judith as I should be.

I mean, it’s obviously no ovary-exploder. Not like this…

But it’s not as creepy as it should feel. And for that, I blame Rick’s terrible parenting skills.

And that’s the end of the episode.

Next week is the midseason finale. Presumably it will be more interesting than this was. We can dream!

This week’s installment of People Who Are Hotter In Real Life Than Their Walking Dead Characters: Ann Mahoney.


She is like an irritable librarian. 

Why are you so adorable, Ann?

Why are you so adorable, Ann?

And here is a treat for some of you who are super religious. Or just into Jesus. Whichever.

Pandering. Totally pandering.

Pandering. Totally pandering.

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep 6, “Swear”

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Oh look! It’s that naggy “no spoilers” zombie again!

We’ve talked about this. It’s a recap. There are spoilers.

There are ALWAYS spoilers.

Let’s begin.

Oh but wait. Check out this cute photo from AMC of the best moment from last week’s episode:

Skate City, it ain't.

Skate City, it ain’t, but it’ll have to do. 

Okay. Moving along.

My eyes are fragile tonight. This episode better happen in daylight.

The beach! Finally a beach!

This seems calm and relaxing. What could possibly go wrong here?

This seems calm and relaxing. What could possibly go wrong here?

Personally, I would have aimed for a damn beach YEARS AGO. I mean, why bother surviving the zombie apocalypse for THIS long if you’re not going to just do whatever the hell you feel like doing? Go to the beach! Read lots of books! Come on!

Ok. So. Tara has washed up on the beach. This can’t be good. And a young woman and a tweenage girl find her and bicker over whether or not to spear her through the head even though the woman knows she’s still alive.

Oh cool, another psychotic little girl who wants to murder people. This show is so fun.

I forgot my stopwatch. But we got three minutes of episode and four minutes of ads, according to the DVR. That’s some b.s.

Flashback to Heath and Tara in their RV, talking about the crap they’ve found on their two week trip. Eight cans of okra and some aspirin. Negan doesn’t want your cans of okra. I’m just guessing.

Nope. Nobody likes canned okra.

Nope. Nobody likes canned okra.

And now they’re having one of those existential conversations about what they’re really doing all of this for, and Heath is like, “You’re in this for yourself. We all are.”

Heath is so judgy. Damn.

He probably has a point though.

Back to Tara and these new people. So do we have another cultish compound near Ocean City? Is that the deal?

Of course, Ocean City already IS a cultish compound. Have you ever been there? Total nightmare. It’s like those crappy traveling carnivals that used to pop up in the mall parking lot once a year, but the size of a whole city and with a boardwalk and a million ugly people.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) It's this, but triple the amount of people.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
It’s this, but triple the amount of people.

The only good thing in Ocean City is the place with the really great fries.

OH, and when you drive home at the end of a weekend, the traffic is like those videos you see of people evacuating from Florida when a hurricane is on the way, only slower moving. And god forbid you have to pee. You’ll wind up in line at the one fast food restaurant between Ocean City and Annapolis with 100 other women who also have all had to pee for the last two hours, so it takes everyone ten minutes to pee once they’re finally inside the single bathroom.

Don’t ever let your boyfriend take you to Ocean City on a holiday weekend. That’s all I’m saying.

I’m thinking this is actually further south, though. Down in Virginia. The beach is too wild.


Tara follows the young woman into the woods. Why in the name of all that is holy in this world and the next do these people continue to enter the woods? Stay outta the damn woods, assholes!

Sure. Hide behind a camouflage tarp. No one will ever know.

Sure. Hide behind a camouflage tarp. No one will ever know you’re there.

Oh look! Women carrying around laundry baskets!

Maybe this is a women-only cult. That’d be an exciting change.

It’s fascinating to me, by the way, that we can only imagine cultishness when we imagine the aftermath of apocalypse. Cultishness and eventual authoritarianism. That’s pretty much it. No utopias. And no peace. What does this say about us?

It IS all women. And honestly I feel like Tara is right to look at wigged out by that as she does. These don’t look like friendly women. And they have legit tactics. Like clickers, to alert one another, like the Americans did after landing on Pacific islands during World War II.

Aaaand they are shooting at her. See. Nothing good ever happens in the woods.

Of course there is some vaguely batty older woman who seems to be in charge.

Why is it always a white lady?

Why is it always a white lady?

Natania. That’s… not a real name.

She lets Tara live. FOR NOW.

Ads. That was 12 minutes of action, 3 minutes of ads. Now they are just messing with us. Because 12 minutes is kind of long!


This episode is going back and forth between “right now” and whatever happened to lead up to Tara washing up on the beach. So right now, the question is what happens to Heath. And we see him and Tara walking across a bridge, where they’ve found the remains of some kind of settlement. And a giant pile of dry concrete that spilled out of the back of a dump truck. Tara’s all, “Oh heyyyyyy, let’s see what’s under it!”


OMG. When will these people learn they are in a zombie show?? Don’t go tugging stuff out of a giant pile of dry concrete!

Back to the lady cult. Tara is chained to a heating unit in the waiting area of the ladies’ cult office. And now the ladies have come out to speak to her. Tara tells them lies about a fishing boat. What?? Why not just tell a version of the truth? Weirdo.

See how sincere I am being by my eyes??

See how sincere I am being by my eyes??

Ah. She got knocked off the bridge after waking the walkers buried under the cement.

These women are like, we don’t mess around. We normally kill on sight.

More women should be like this. Just in general. Probably. Just kill on sight. Give fewer people the benefit of the doubt.

This is just a working thesis. Don’t quote me on it if I ever run for office.

I mean, I can’t run for office because I’m not a citizen. But if I could, you know.


The mean-faced lady leads Tara through the dark woods and we assume she’s leading her to some crappy hole in the ground. But really it’s the matriarch’s house. And it’s dinner time. They have yellow Fiesta Ware.

If I can keep my Fiesta Ware, maybe I’ll stick around after the zombies come.

Ads again at :32. Four minutes of them. Hmmmm.


The matriarch is offering to let Tara stay. And her friend too. Tara says her friend is a man, and asks where all the men are. All the men and boys were killed in a skirmish with another group, which we eventually find out was the Saviors. This is why they usually kill on sight: they can’t trust anyone.

Now Tara tells them the truth about where she is from. And how she wants to go back because she has a girlfriend there she wants to get home to, and other people she cares about. And she tries to convince them to work with her group.

DON’T DO IT, LADIES. Her group sucks!

Natania the matriarch says she can leave. But they’re going to send someone back with her.

And NOW we’ve reached the ridiculous amount of ads. That was five minutes of show, five minutes of ads.

The matriarch sends the mean faced lady and another one out with Tara. I feel like this will go poorly.

Yep. Sure enough, they try to kill Tara the first chance they get. No surprises there. They really can’t trust her. I can’t blame them. I like her well enough too, but if I’m trying to keep my little colony a secret, I wouldn’t let anyone leave it alive either.

And now: Cindy to Tara’s rescue. (Cindy is the young woman who found Tara on the beach in the first place.)

I am scruffy but beautiful. Let me help you.

I am scruffy but beautiful. Let me help you.

They get away from the two escorts who were trying to kill Tara. Then they stop to figure out their next moves. Tara tries to convince Cindy to just leave with her, fearing that Cindy will get into a lot of trouble if she goes back to the lady cult without having killed Tara. And then Cindy is preaching some weird version of the same truth that Heath was saying earlier. That none of them HAVE TO do the things they’ve done. They do them because they’ve decided that’s the person they want to be. And she has me until she says that no one is really evil. And then Tara and I both call bullshit. Because there ARE evil people. So many evil people.

This is why we (the collective “we”) like this show though. This enduring question about what we become when life turns to garbage. And until we get an answer to that question that we can all live with, we’re going to keep watching this show, or others like it.

Bunch of zombies on a bridge. Come on, Tara. You can outrun them. Cindy will have your back with her gun.

So far, so good. Except I keep waiting for Cindy to turn on Tara and shoot her in the back.

See. I don’t trust anyone on this show. I’m SMART.

Cindy is out of ammo.

But Tara makes it past the worst of the zombies just as she runs out, and comes to the other side of the bridge. First though, she sees a zombie that might be Heath because of the braided hair… but the zombie turns around and it’s a lady zombie, with boobs and a dress.

And can someone please tell me who’s been taking care of this lady zombie’s braids this whole time??? Is there a zombie salon right on up the road where you can go and get your braids touched up? Come on now.

And now a flashback shows what happened to Heath… maybe. But it also appears he drove away. And there is a mysterious key card on the ground by the fresh tire tracks. It’s either a breadcrumb from Heath, or a breadcrumb from the Saviors, who may or may not have Heath.

Maybe someone just had to pee on their way home from the beach. Ever think of that?

Maybe someone just had to pee on their way home from the beach. Ever think of that?

This show is so confusing.

Tara glances back. The two crabby ladies have caught up with Cindy and are leading her away. She’ll be fine though.

Now Tara is walking home alone.

She finds this old boat. Then she ends up hiding in a souvenir shop. And eating beef jerky. And taking a pair of sunglasses.

And she makes it back to Alexandria and Eugene greets her, sobbing. Because Denise is dead.

The episode ends with Rosita begging Tara to tell her she found a place with guns and ammo. Long pause. And Tara says no. Both because she wants to be that better person she believe she is, and, I’m guessing, because she wants to keep the place to herself in case she needs it one day.

I liked this episode. I like Tara. Even though I consider her a “newbie” character, I appreciate getting to know her this way rather than with a backstory too early on. Because as I always say, I don’t care about your backstory if I don’t care about you.

Also she is super pretty in real life.

Hi. I'm Alanna Masterson. I'm super pretty in real life.

Hi. I’m Alanna Masterson. I’m super pretty in real life.

Also tonight, Alanna Masterson (Tara) is on the Talking Dead. She did all her own stunts for this episode! We like a sister who does all her own stunts.

As long as they aren’t too dangerous.

So long until next week, lovelies!

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep 5, Go Getters

Settle in, y’all. I watch this show so you don’t have to.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

No, YOU wait. There WILL be spoilers. Because it’s a recap. Spoilers is what I do!

Damn walkers. Always telling me how to live my life.


Here we go.

Maggie! Someone we actually give two shits about.

She is at Hilltop, and the doctor is here, telling her she will be fine and the baby is fine. But she should stay till the baby is born, just in case.

Sasha is waiting outside. She had Abe and Glenn buried there. There is a nice moment where Maggie says she is trying to decide if she’ll stay at Hilltop, and Sasha says, “We’re staying.”

Jesus walks up with some flowers for the graves. He looks like a bad combination of Jared Leto and Michael McDonald circa 1970. It’s real weird.

Do this... in remembrance of... whatever.

Do this… in remembrance of… whatever.

Old Hilltop Dude shows up and starts bitching at everyone. He wants Maggie and Sasha to leave because they bring trouble with them. Jesus argues. Sasha argues. I don’t even know the end result of the argument but no one seems to be leaving except the old dude stomping off so… I guess we’re good? For now?

Back to Alexandria. Rick and some people are going out scavenging. That seems like a crap idea but no one asked me, so there we go. Carl is displeased.

Carl asks Michonne why she’s not going. Michonne is super cryptic, because she is Michonne.

Carl goes to find Enid. She is climbing over the wall. “I have to see Maggie,” she says. Carl is not impressed and says he’s not saving her anymore. She thinks she is more badass than him and keeps going.

Back at Hilltop, Jesus is helping Sasha settle into a place. Every time someone talks to Jesus it sounds like they are swearing. I realize this is just me projecting. Jesus says he will work on Old Hilltop Dude and see if he will let them stay. Sasha’s like, “Whatever.” Maggie comes back and Jesus leaves.

Basically there are just a lot of people coming and going in this episode.

Enid is riding a bike. And then there are walkers. And then it gets run over by a runaway car. But then it’s Carl driving and Enid manages to look surprised. No one watching at home is surprised, because Carl is literally never where he says he’s going to be (staying behind with Judith, not saving Enid anymore).

Even Ned Stark knows, ffs.

Even Ned Stark knows, ffs. (I know. I know it isn’t Ned Stark. Thank you. Thank you so much.)

Back to Hilltop in the middle of the night. There is loud classical music and fires. Walkers are streaming through the gates. Sasha and Maggie get up to go help fight with Jesus. There is a lot of hand to hand combat and then Maggie runs a bunch of them down with a big tractor.

I’m confused. I don’t understand the Hilltop situation. They don’t seem to have a good handle on anything. I mean, when the outsiders have to step in and save your asses in the middle of the night.

But whatever. Now it is morning and Carl and Enid are walking down the middle of a road.

And now we’re back to Jesus.

Jesus irritates me.

I feel like I’m going to go to hell for saying that.

But he irritates me. I don’t like his face. Like, look at his eyes. They are super creepy:

Blue steel? More like creepy steel, amirite?

Blue steel? More like creepy steel, amirite?

Sasha tries to get Gregory (aka Old Hilltop Dude) to let Maggie stay because they helped the night before. Gregory says no dice. And then a gang of Negan’s thugs drives in through the gates. Gregory shoves Maggie and Sasha into a closet. Yeah. That’s a GREAT hiding place.

More Carl and Enid walking. They find some roller skates in a bag in the middle of the road. And then there is some nice music and Carl and Enid are holding hands, skating down the road.

The Negan guys barge into Gregory’s house and the guy leading their group says, “We need to talk.”

Nothing good ever happens on this show when people talk.

Luckily we started watching late tonight so we can skip through the ads! Evil Rob pauses on the little spinoff episode though. It’s not long enough to care about.

Back in Gregory’s study, the Negan apostle is looking at this painting of a dude on horse. And trying to make subtle threats to Gregory, all Negan-style. He might not be so bad, but Gregory is so super boring that I’m literally about to fall asleep.

Gregory is about to dime on Maggie and Sasha.

Jesus looks pissed.

I bet they are no longer in that closet.

Nope. It’s a box of Scotch.

And now the Negan Surrogate makes Gregory kneel in front of him.

Carl and Enid come out of the forest and see Negan’s men loading up the trucks. And then she realizes that Carl didn’t come out there for her. No – his plan is to go with Negan’s men and find a way to kill Negan.

Now we’re back to Gregory and Jesus and bickering and Jesus insisting that Maggie and Sasha are staying and then Jesus punches Gregory and Maggie tells him he better start referring to her by her name. I’m so confused about this whole Gregory situation.

Oh! But now Jesus is now explaining that Gregory was already in charge when he got there and he wasn’t really sure why but now he realizes it was something that just happened. That makes sense to me.

Sasha asks Jesus if he can figure out where Negan lives. He’s all, “Sure. No problem.”

Uh. Okay. I’m sure this’ll turn out well.

Then Maggie finds Enid sitting outside. Sasha comes in. Enid manages to casually say she got there all on her own, and not betray Carl’s plans. They are about to eat soup and sandwiches. Enid put the balloons from last week on Glenn’s grave. The three of them hold hands while Maggie says grace. It’s another one of those really lovely moments that this show does so well sometimes.

We see the Negan trucks pulling out. Jesus is in the back of one, opening a bottle of the scotch. And then Carl peeks out from behind some other boxes. And Jesus looks kind of annoyed.

So once again, Carl is not in the house. And?


tmw you realize your entire family sucks.

#tmw you realize your entire family sucks.

Poor Judith. She didn’t sign up for this life.

And that’s a wrap.

On tonight’s Talking Dead, the Jesus actor is sporting a man bun and Chris Hardwick is reading dirty tweets about Jesus. Also Kevin Smith.

Overall, this episode was an improvement over last week. But almost anything would be.






Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep 4, “Service”

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.





Oh god you guys. It’s a 90-minute episode. I honestly don’t know if I can survive 90 minutes of this after the week we’ve all had.

We open on Michonne and Rick, awkwardly sleeping. I feel like all sleeping would be awkward after the Abraham and Glenn get killed incident.

Michonne’s got other plans for the morning though. They involve heavy weaponry.

I feel like this purple tank is a new color for her.

Bearded Rick is kinda hot. It’s true. Salt and pepper. I’m down.

Why is it always summer on this show? Like, I get that Georgia is a hot place but they still have a type of winter. And Alexandria is in the DC area. There is for sure fall and winter and rainy spring in DC. So what is with this super duper hot summer in literally every single episode? I mean, I feel like adding some rain would drive home how badly this all sucks.

“I don’t believe I’d be up to that.” Eugene. Okay.

Negan’s early. And irritating as usual.

So irritating.

Oh look. They dragged Daryl along with them.

Ads! My fave.

This is really irritating, this Negan crap. I’m not sure I can stand an entire season of this. He never stops talking.

I think my husband has that same shirt that Rick’s wearing.

Oh good. They’re taking all the weapons.

I guess that’s why Michonne left with weapons? To hide them? It seems like that should have been the plan all along. Although the Negan people did show up early. I feel like smarter people would have planned for this.

Rosita is displeased by the order from Dwight to go find Daryl’s bike. Dwight just don’t care.

Watching this show makes me think in a redneck accent.

Michonne is just sitting on a rusted out old car. Wasting shots on a redheaded zombie.

See, now that kill is why I don’t eat while I’m watching this show.

There’s a dead deer in the woods. Michonne looks upset.

I don’t get it.

Ads. My favorite Matthew McConaughey ad for… something.

I liiiike redheads.

I liiiike redheads.


Negan is talking about his balls again. Like anyone wants to hear about that.

Is anyone out there on Negan’s side? Maybe some of you are rooting for Negan.

Oh. Oh no.

Oh. Oh no.


Father Gabriel IS creepy as shit. This is the only thing I will ever agree with Negan on.

So they pretended Maggie and Sasha are dead. Clever. And it turns out it was Creepy Father Gabriel’s idea. The one time he’s made himself useful.

Carl is acting the badass. At least someone is.

I mean, I get being pissed that he’s taking all your medicine but COME ON. How come no one considered this at all? How come no one considered that MAAAAAYBE Negan wasn’t really to be trusted? This is just yet another stupid move on the part of the Rick team.

Ads. Again with the Newt Scamander movie. I hope it turns out to be really good because there has not been a single movie this year that I’ve been genuinely excited over once it was over. It’s depressing. I need a proper blockbuster that I can get behind. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve enjoyed most of the movies I’ve seen this year. But they haven’t stuck in my head the way movies usually do.

So much salt and pepper beardery happening in these scenes between Negan and Rick. I would dig it if Negan weren’t so irritating.

So Negan’s letting them keep all their crappy food, but he’s going to take all the guns. Big surprise.

Rosita and the tall guy are at the railroad tracks looking for Daryl’s bike. I feel like every time they go to the railroad tracks, bad things happen.

Now we’re missing two handguns. Negan is like the most irritating bean counter in the history of zombie shows.

Now see. I don’t believe for a second that Negan doesn’t enjoy killing women.

God. SO MANY ADS. Network execs be like, “Oh heyyy, 90-minute episode! Let’s put in MORE ads!”

Rick’s up here in church preaching to everyone to turn over the two guns so Olivia doesn’t get killed and everyone’s looking like NOPE.

And this one guy asks how they’re going to get out of this. And Rick’s like, we aren’t. Such a great, inspiring leader.

Back to Rosita and the tall guy in the forest, bickering about guns. Well, first she offs a handful of walkers then takes a gun off one of them, and then the tall guy comes over to pester her about it. And she asks if he’s going to tell and he makes a face like he’s not sure and she makes a face like she knows he’s a weakass punk.

I mean, he’s Deanna’s son, so.

MORE ADS. Also a Passage segment. 30 seconds a week means it’s going NOWHERE fast.

Also let’s be real: Most people would kick Ariana Grande out of their car.

Rick is peeking out the window and now he’s tearing the tall guy’s house apart, trying to find the missing guns. Father Gabriel is all, “It’s going to be okay.” WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT THIS WEEK? Shut up, Father Gabriel. Why is he even still alive??

SPENCER. That’s the tall guy’s name. Never trust a guy named Spencer.

Rick found the missing guns. Hidden well away. In Spencer’s house.

Now the ugly chubby Negan dude is picking on Carl’s girlfriend, who wants to keep some balloons. Can you just, like, let the poor child have her damn balloons? What the hell?

Negan wants to know who it was that hid the guns. Rick’s like, nah. Negan’s like, yeah. Olivia’s like, TELL HIM SO I DON’T EFFING DIE!

Matthew McConaughey is sitting in his Lincoln again. He looks very satisfied. My mom had a Lincoln for a couple of years and went back to a Toyota Camry because she wasn’t super stoked about her Lincoln. Matthew loves his though.

All right, all right, all right.

All right, all right, all right.


Oh, an ad for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. This movie got terrible reviews. And I’m not surprised. It looks bad. Real bad.


You guys. I don’t understand about gas in the zombie apocalypse. How do they keep fueling up these cars and trucks? Is there someone who’s capable of forcing their way into gas tanks to get to the gas? It seems like that would require heavy equipment. I just… I don’t get it.

Michonne has the dead deer. Negan just wants the rifle. Lolz.

Rick tries to keep Daryl. Daryl won’t speak so Negan’s like, nah.

Oh. Negan does want the deer.

And Rosita and Spencer brought back Daryl’s bike. For Dwight. So he can taunt Daryl with it. Or become Daryl. Whichever. You’ll never be Daryl, asshole.

This episode is boring, y’all.

It’s so boring that I looked up Daryl photos again and check this out — do you guys know about Polyvore? Where you can plan your daily outfits based on different themes or inspired by characters or whatever? You see a lot of these on Pinterest if you look at clothes there. And apparently, there is a whole Daryl Dixon-inspired underground on Polyvore:

Goth Daryl!

Goth Daryl!

Weird Pants Daryl!

Weird Pants Daryl!

"Lady Dixon"?? Whaaaa...t?

“Lady Dixon”?? Whaaaa…t?

Not Daryl.

Not Daryl.

Whiskey Daryl!

Whiskey Daryl!

Summery Daryl!

Summery Daryl!

This kind of begs the question: Why DOES Daryl have so many great clothing pieces in the middle of the zombie apocalypes? Also, I can actually imagine girls dressing like that at country music festivals.

Negan’s talking about his dick again. I bet he has a micropenis. Otherwise he wouldn’t need Lucille. Or talk about it so often.

Honestly this ad where Peyton Manning talks about UC Health is more interesting than this episode of The Walking Dead.

I’m pretty sure the episode itself is actually like 65 minutes and the remaining 25 minutes is ads.

So let’s make a prediction about Daryl: I think he will play ball with Negan, but he will eventually snap out of it and come back to help Rick and the gang.

Ohh, Daryl.

Ohh, Daryl.

Remember that show LOST and how in season 2 they tried to foist a bunch of new characters from the plane on us that we KNEW weren’t there all along and there were Paolo and Nicki? Spencer and Rosita feel like Paolo and Nicki to me. Rosita is pointless now that Abraham’s gone.

Also the Negan gang took all their mattresses. Super uncool.

Rick’s telling Michonne about Shane. And how he knows Judith isn’t his. And how he had to accept it. And how that means Michonne has to accept that this is their life now. And Michonne knows it’s bullshit.

That’s a big admission for Rick though. Even if he’s using it to make a b.s. point.

So later on, Michonne’s alone in the hunting field again. And then she sees or senses something. And it’s a mattress fire. They took all the mattresses, just to set them on fire. And now Michonne is PISSED.

And then Rosita knocks on Eugene’s door and asks him to make her a bullet. Just one. WHO IS IT FOR?

Next week looks slightly more exciting, with the return of the Hilltop people and Jesus and stuff.

This week’s installment of Daryl In Happier Times:

My hair has not been washed in months and chicks still dig me.

My hair has not been washed in months and chicks still dig me.





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