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J.P. on TV: Homeland Season 1

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(originally written October 16, 2012)

Michelle and I just completed the first season of Homeland, the much-lauded Showtime series that won this year’s Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series AND Golden Globe for Best TV Series, as well as a slew of acting awards. I had heard plenty of hype about the series for nearly a year. Critics loved it. My Twitter feed was resplendent with praise for the serial suspense thriller. President Obama is apparently a fan. It was time to see what all the fuss was about, so we sat down over the course of a few weeks for the 12-episode first season.

So, does the show live up to the acclaim? Find out (with some spoilery-discussion) after the jump.

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cspainey:

COOL NEWS AND GIVEAWAY!

It’s finally here! My first official print collection of comics, “As You’re Up: The Firts Etidion (There may be one or two mitsakes)” is now for sale right here! It’s also available on Amazon if you prefer, though they take a bigger cut of the profit!
You can read some more info on the book here, but here’s a little about it:

To say that As You’re Up is the brainchild of Chris Spain and Cameron Livesey (two self-proclaimed “coolest guys on Earth” — both very, very wrong) would probably be an egregious misappropriation of the word “brain.” A more accurate description would be that it is a comic strip about two friends and all the wacky adventures they never go on.

From Rather Dubious Confectioneries to Time-Traveling Electric Razors, As You’re Up: The Firts Etidion collects more than 140 original strips — several of which have been remastered or redrawn completely just for this book — into this 7” x 10” full-colour tome, and delivers them directly to your brain’s chuckle cortex via those big, beautiful eyes of yours. There’s also an introduction from the authors, which touches on the origins of As You’re Up and inevitably goes off on numerous tangents.

And to celebrate, I’m giving away 2 copies of the book, which I’ll be signing and sketching in! If you want to win one of these luverly things, here’s how you can!

Da Rules:

  • Reblog this post to enter!
  • Likes count as an additional entry (but ya do gotta reblog)!
  • Following me gets you an additional entry, but ya don’t gotta be!
  • No giveaway-only blogs, c’monguys aww
  • Ya do gotta have your ask box open, so I can contact you if you win and find out what you want me to sketch!
  • Winner has 24 hours to respond, or I gotta choose a new one!

Deadline is Weds 26th June at midnight PST (so 2 weeks from today!)

Good luck er’r’r’body! :D

I gotsta win! Looks great.

The Iowa Caucuses and the Race So Far

In general, I’ve been pretty quiet about the GOP primary race so far (except on my Twitter feed) and have actually tried to avoid reading news about it at points, because it has been pretty depressing. Of course, those self-imposed outages have all been short-lived because I am a politics junkie. It’s sad really.

However, tonight is the long-awaited Iowa caucuses. In fact, Iowans began their process a little less than 20 minutes ago as I write this sentence. Before the primary season proper kicks off with the release of precinct returns, I thought I’d offer some thoughts on the race so far and the potential results tonight.

Let’s start with the GOP field overall. Holy Jesus in Heaven afar, Mitt Romney has been a lucky man throughout this process. It’s Romney and 7 fatally-flawed candidates who were also-rans the day they announced, as far as serious election watchers were concerned. Sure, Perry had a chance early on, but his heart was never really in it. Gingrich was in the race to sell books until he actually had a shot at being the nominee for 8 seconds. Huntsman, one of the most objectively conservative and accomplished candidates in the race, slammed the far-right in his campaign’s opening days and it was all downhill from there. Oh, you have 3 hot daughters? How nice for you.

Don’t even get me started on Bachmann, Paul, Santorum and the biggest performance-art candidate of them all, Herman Cain.

I had legitimate concern about the possibility of a few serious candidates entering the race over the spring/summer. I winced at the thought of Mitch Daniels and/or Haley Barbour entering the race (though they probably wouldn’t have run against each other, as they’re close friends.) That’s because, in my opinion, they would be strong in a general election. I considered Chris Christie a viable and threatening candidate even though he didn’t seem very interested by the proposition of running. Even Sarah Palin seemed poised to parachute in and reconfigure the race, though I doubt she would have fared better tonight than, say, Gingrich or Perry will.

So, Romney has been a lucky duck. And yet, his level of support is pretty unimpressive. If he wins tonight, he may end up garnering the lowest percentage of any Iowa winner in history at ~24%, which is not unlikely. I think, based on what I’ve read over the past few days, that a useful indicator of whether Romney really will have “won” the caucuses tonight is if he surpasses his support from 4 years ago, when he was running against a much stronger field.

Just as an aside, I cannot f’ing believe Rick Santorum might win the Iowa caucuses. This is a pretty big commentary on how terrible and volatile the race has been in Iowa. But it also shows how desperate iowa Republicans are to find someone who isn’t Romney. As anyone who is from PA knows, Santorum is so out of touch with the mainstream that it’s not even funny. How they think he would survive a general election against an incumbent, even a middlingly-popular one, is beyond me. He is just the guy who’s insurgent at the right time. If he wins tonight, which the current returns are showing might happen, that will be absolutely apparent as the primary season continues and he’s subjected to greater scrutiny.

The most striking thing to me though is how much harder a time Romney would have if the field was smaller and the anti-Romney people were less fractured. As it stands, Romney may win the nomination without ever breaking 50% in a single seriously-contested primary. journalists are hoping for a long nomination fight but I absolutely see the race being essentially over by the morning after Super Tuesday. Let’s also not forget that a short nomination fight would mean very light scrutiny and testing for Romney before the general.

My feeling is that Romney is the eventual nominee but will have a somewhat difficult time getting widespread full-throated GOP support before the convention and the VP pick.

Anyway, very interested to see what’s next.

It’s Totally Canon - Episode 9 - Laser Bathtub

J.P., Kevin and Eamon long for giant raccoons roaming the fields of America, catch Contagion and delight in Gwyneth Paltrow’s movie death, become mortal again thanks to the now-completed Torchwood: Miracle Day, brace themselves for the duds and eagerly anticipate the promise of the new fall TV season, and develop their own much-better new series.

Download the MP3 (right-click -> Save As)

(This podcast features music by kerodean / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

It’s Totally Canon - Episode 8 - Billy Corgan and His Smashing Orchestra

J.P., Kevin and Eamon explore the mystical world of Billy Corgan, issue a challenge to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, review the movie “Our Idiot Brother,” try to wrap their heads around the “adorkable” Zooey Deschanel, and put Gizmodo writer Alyssa Brezniak on blast for her controversial OKCupid article.
    
(This podcast features music by kerodean / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

ITC Episode 7 cover

It’s Totally Canon - Episode 7 - Four Points for Snifflegriff

J.P., Kevin and Eamon revisit the pivotal scene from Final Crisis, vouch for the collective works of Tom Perrotta, review J.P.’s experiences at the recent video game convention PAX, pitch their desired television reboots, and have a spirited discussion of Harry Potter with New York correspondent Mark. 

Download the MP3 (right-click -> Save As)

(This podcast features music by kerodean / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Also, Kevin and Eamon were dubious about my description of the premise of Space: 1999, but this Wikipedia article and excellent disco-saturated intro embedded below prove that I was not describing a sci-fi fever dream I had.

    
  

Episode 6 Cover

It’s Totally Canon - Episode 6 - Solo Feud

In their Comics Spectacular, J.P., Kevin and Eamon tout the greatness of the comic book “Secret Six”, rail against the reboot of the DC Universe, demand to recreate the accident that connected them to the Speed Force, reminisce about their comics origin stories, discuss their favorite webcomics, and test their comics knowledge in a trivia contest.

Download the MP3 (right-click -> “Save As”)

The Gang’s Webcomics Recommendations

Penny Arcade
Starslip
Chainsawsuit
Hyperbole and a Half
Romantically Apocalyptic
Hark! a Vagrant
Nedroid
Warbot in Accounting
Men in Hats
Perry Bible Fellowship

(This podcast features music by kerodean / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5)
    

ITC Episode 5

It’s Totally Canon - Episode 5 - Noun the Verb

In their Salute to the Music of 2011 (So Far), J.P., Kevin, Eamon and guest Mark note their favorite and least favorite songs and albums of the year, create a hot-new-band naming formula, reveal the true nature of the “Rumor Has It” movie soundtrack, and develop the next great children’s book “Boo Can’t Sleep”.

Download the MP3 (right-click -> “Save As”)

The Gang’s Music Recommendations:

Kevin:

Superchunk - Majesty Shredding (album (2010))
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (album (2010))
PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (album)
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake (album)
REM - Collapse Into Now (album) 
Wild Flag - Future Crimes (song) 
They Might Be Giants - When Will You Die? (song) (for another interpretation, I recommend this)
Kanye West (feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj) - Monster (song (2010))

Mark:

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver (album)
The Decemberists - The King is Dead (album) 
Pomplamoose - River Shiver (song) 

Eamon:

Sleater Kinney - The Woods (album (2005))
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor (album (2010))
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow (song)
The Civil Wars - Poison & Wine (song)
The Civil Wars - Falling (song)

J.P.:

Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks (song)
They Might Be Giants - Canajoharie (song) 
They Might Be Giants - Can’t Keep Johnny Down (song)

(This podcast features music by kerodean / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5)

Episode 4 - Fischer and Loaves

It’s Totally Canon - Episode 4 - Fischer and Loaves

J.P., Kevin and Eamon respond to their first listener comment, argue over the relative hotness of the women of Friends, pitch their surefire hit USA Network series, interrogate special guest Michelle on the intricacies of Burn Notice, use their Canon Powers to determine canonicity within the Home Alone franchise, and reveal their much-preferred alternative to a planned Tales from the Crypt reboot.

(This podcast features music by kerodean / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5)

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