This was the day that USA Network had made! I was totally psyched (pun intended) for the USA Network lineup of panels. I know some people complained that they aren't strictly "geek" shows, but the fusion comedy-drama shows really do take their fan base from those geeks. A lot of the Eureka fans I know love Psych, White Collar, and Burn Notice too!
The morning began with the "crack of dawn" waiting in line, followed by the wait in the freezing cold air conditioning of the line to Ballroom 20. Totally worth it, as our seats were 2nd row center left, which in layman terms, translates as "abso-frakkin-loutely perfect!!"
The first panel of the day was "Burn Notice." I'm not a fan of the show, though I'd watched some of he episodes, but the panel was absolutely hysterical. Bruce Campbell was hilarious (and handing out money to a woman in the audience who yelled out that she thought he was sexy) and Tim Matheson was intriguing- they talked about what he was like to work with as a director, and once I got past the urge to think of him as "Mr. Vice-President", I was laughing at the idea of him asking, "Can we put a crane on top of a crane for this shot?" Can't decide if he'd be crazy to work for or I'd love every minute of it. Probably the latter.
Next up was "White Collar". True confession time? I have such a fancrush on Marsha Thomason. Strong lesbian woman character who kicks ass and takes names on a show? Hell yes I'm all over that! She told the story behind her tattoo, which turned out was nothing profound, but just a doodle she did that she fell in love with enough to tattoo on her arm. She and Tiffani Thiessen were beautiful and Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay were funny. From the sounds of the panel, the cast has a great time filming. Some time was spent trying to talk DeKay into doing a drag episode (he was convinced no one wanted to see that, but from the cheering, I think he may have been off on that guess...) Show Creator Jeff Eastin talked about the very functional marriage between the characters of Peter and Elizabeth Burke, citing the decision to make it so good as being a break with the tradition of the bad law enforcement relationships currently on televisions. I have to agree with his assessment that it makes the show amazingly appealing as a result; I love Peter and El's relationship. Tim DeKay, who plays the role of Peter, went on to talk about his favorite moments being the ones that simply involve Neal (Bomer), El (Thiessen) and Peter were simply sitting around the dining room table. They also mentioned that Season 1's Satchmo has been replaced by a new, better behaved Satchmo this season, so if you're really that observant, take a look! The attraction to the character of Neal was described by Bomer as being because of the messy side to Neal- the sloppy romantic in him that made the cool con slip up, which was something he found very appealing. The question of Kate truly being dead was asked and a cagey maybe was the best that could be deciphered from Eastin's dodging the answer by having the audience vote on whether or not she should be. Nicely played, Eastin!
White Collar was followed by the hilarious panel from "Psych". Show creator Steve Franks started off by citing the reason the show works so well is because it's one big wish fullfillment venture. Wanna do an episode based on Karate Kid? Bam! Aired last week. No idea too stupid or small or out there for this writers room, he says. They treat each episode as though it should be it's own big summer event. And the guest stars lined up for the weeks to come back that up-- Freddie Prinze Jr., Adam Rodriguez (CSI Miami), and Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies) to name a few. Franks himself took on directing 5 episodes this season, which allowed him to tighten up the episodes and strengthen them, he says, because he understood better how things worked on set and how to manage the exchange between the writers room and the set better, and that sometimes what works on the page really ISN'T going to fly on set! When asked about noticing a new look to the episodes in season 5, a camera change, going from F23 to a Red was talked about, and a similar shift from video to HD occurred between seasons 3 and 4. On the lighter side, Dule Hill (Gus) repeated his tap number from the episode the night before and both he and James Roday open the show by singing with Tears for Fears' Curt Smith.
I stuck around for the start of the Showtime "Anti-Heroes" panel, mostly to see Michael C. Hall and David Duchovny talk about "Dexter" and "Californication". Most of the questions to Hall seemed to focus on how he felt about his character's motives and what he thought about Dexter, which he handled well, without telling people that he thinks vigilantism is cool (cuz it's not...) I also learned for future reference that the acoustics in this Ballroom 20 are pretty good because when a photographer stood up right in front of me and ruined my shot of Hall, I said in what I felt was a soft but biting tone, "Really?" and Michael C. Hall started laughing at it. Oops.
I ducked out early to hit the "Science of Sci-Fi" panel with Eureka creator Jamie Paglia and Eureka science advisor Kevin Grazer. I loved the observation that story telling isn't in any way restricted by being given tighter boundaries and more notes on what real science knows, but can grow and develop much stronger ideas from those restrictions. Leaving the room after the panel ended up with me running into Paglia, so I took the chance to introduce myself and tell him how much I was loving the reboot of the show. He was incredibly nice, asked about what I was enjoying, if I'd been a fan of 3.5 and I had to admit I hadn't enjoyed season 3.5 much. He was actually glad to hear that, because he enjoyed knowing they were winning people over again, and promised even better things to come!
On our way to dinner reservations after the first day, I did manage to snag this image, though I avoided all contact with any of the Westboro nutjobs while at Comic-Con! You can read all about it though, on Comics Alliance. What do we want? GAY SEX! When do we want it? NOW!
Friday, Saturday and Sunday reports still to come!