Where was I? Oh yeah…

… waaay behind.  And that was even before my computer crapped out.

Let’s see, we still have Supernatural favorites from seasons 8-10 to discuss, the top eight Outlander episodes to rank, and some thoughts on DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge.  I fear the “Outlander highlights and lowlights by episode” miniseries will fall by the wayside. Or perhaps we can hold off until just before season 2 airs—whenever that will be.  Besides, even with all the San Diego Comic Con hype this past week, my Outlander fervor has subsided somewhat.

Last Week’s Television Shows This Week

Where we discuss episodes from the past couple weeks.

1. Constantine and Grimm

I’d lost interest in these shows a while back, so the episodes had been piling up on the DVR.  Due to a tv drought (after all, how many times can you rewatch Outlander?), I finally caught up.  Guess what?  They’ve been kind of good.  Grimm in particular.

2.  Constantine and Supernatural
Sam and Dean check out the dump yard.

The Winchester conduct some good old-fashioned flashlight-foo.

“A Whole World Out There,” Constantine’s 11th episode (which aired way back on Jan 30) felt a lot like Supernatural.  Sure enough, this past week’s Supernatural‘s “Halt & Catch Fire” was eerily similar.  Both shows featured four college students (two guys, two gals) dealing with spirits beyond our realm.  Three of the students died:  first one of the guys, then a gal, then the other guy; leaving only the final gal to survive, but not before a close encounter with the dead spirit.  Methinks there is formulaic television at work.  Constantine‘s episode was more macabre than Supernatural‘s, but then, Constantine is pretty damned macabre in general.

3.  Arrow Last Week

Last week’s Arrow, The One Where Oliver Returned “Uprising,” left me uninspired.  Maybe it was because Felicity rejected Oliver.  Or because Ted Grant died (I’m assuming).  Two developments I  deeply dislike, so nothing to say.  Moving on…

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DRAGONS!

Hiccup and Toothless have a bond even Alphas can't control.

Our Heros

Have you ever noticed the scar on Hiccup’s chin in How to Train Your Dragon?  I did, but then I’ve watched the movie dozens of times.  Today I learned how he got it, and it’s a lovely, sweet addition to the saga.

Hiccup has a scar on his chin.

Can you see Hiccup’s scar?

Yep, I finally saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 this afternoon.  It’s the first feature film  I’ve ever seen in 3-D.  Truthfully, I barely noticed.  Perhaps my eyes became desensitized to the 3-D after awhile.  Or perhaps I was so caught up in the story, I simply didn’t notice.

Two things I’ve loved about the DreamWorks Dragons television series:  the develpment of Hiccup and Stoick’s relationship; and Hiccup becoming a leader through his role as head of the “Berk Dragon Training Academy.”  It was wonderful to see these two elements carried through in HTTYD2.  Another delightful nod to the series?  Gobber making dragon saddles and performing dragon dentistry.

Comparisons between How to Train Your Dragon and its sequel abound.  It’s only natural, and I’ve done some comparing, too.  But the two are very different films. How to Train Your Dragon is about finding your way in the world, forging a new path  HTTYD2 is more a coming-of-age story, discovering your past and accepting responsibility.

Several reviewers have likened HTTYD2 to The Empire Strikes Back.  It certainly is darker that the first film, the stakes are higher, and the consequences much more dire.

HTTYD2 is extremely emotional—and heart-breaking.  I had read some of the spoilers before seeing the film.  In a way, I’m glad I did, because they were so shocking and unexpected, I can’t imagine what my reactions would have been had I not known about them.

Stoick and Hiccup reunite with Valka.

Reunited!

You might think Hiccup finding his mother was a major spoiler.  Rumor had it that DreamWorks was upset the trailers included their meeting, but I’m sure it was intentional.  There was so much more to come, things I wouldn’t have imagined in a “children’s film.”

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to stop here.  On the other hand, if you don’t mind spoilers, read ahead.

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101 Dalmaitons, no, Dragons, er, Followers!

Woohoo!  SciFi Chicks followers have broken the 3-digit mark!  Thank you!

In looking over which posts have received the most views, the popular shows seem to be Supernatural and everything in the How to Train Your Dragon universe—movies, television shows, and books.  Hey, those are my two favorite fandoms, too!

I wish I had some sort of contest or give away to celebrate, but I don’t.  So, how about this:

Your How to Train Your Dragon 2 Musings

Toothless & Cloudjumper want to read your reviews of How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Toothless & Cloudjumper want your opinions!

Have you seen How to Train Your Dragon 2?  (I’ve been waiting for the weekend rush to subside.)  If so, I’d love to hear what you think.  Please post your thoughts in the comments section.  You can do a complete review, link to a review you wrote or like, or just say whether you liked it or not.

Thanks, everyone!

[P.S.  Just as this post was published this, another follower joined the fun!  Welcome!  Whee!]

CANCELLED!

Well crap.  Intelligence was cancelled in favor of another season of The Mentalist.  That makes yet another show down the drain.  My Current SciFi category is going to be significantly smaller next season.   Let’s look at the count.

Freshmen programs:

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Defenders of Berk: Cast Out (Both Parts)

I’m a little sad.  DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk is over.  No more new Toothless cuteness for awhile.  But “Cast Out” was excellent and a great way to bow out.

The citizens of Berk come under attack from both the Screaming Death (the most frightful dragon the series has produced) and Dagur the Deranged.  I guess we should be thankful that Alvin the Treacherous died at mid-season, or he’d be adding to the chaos.

Part 1 (219)

Tuffnut prepares to take over Snotlout's stall at the Dragon Academy.

Tuffnut prepares to redecorate Snotlout’s stall.

During a training exercise, Snotlout disobeys orders (again), knocking Astrid unconscious and nearly killing her.  Hiccup grounds him.  Not one to take orders, Snotlout flies off with his dragon Hookfang to a small deserted isle—which he immediately names Snotland.

But is it deserted?  Snotlout spies a wrecked Outcast ship.  (I wish I knew how to capture screen shots, because there’s a lovely shot of Snotlout and Hookfang checking out the wreckage, with the sun low in the sky, highlighting the billowy clouds.  There’s a reason this series won an Emmy for animation!)

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Bing! Bam! Lloyd! Er, Darren?

Part 1 of the two-part DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk season finale airs next week.  In preparation, we got a hilarious, silly, and (yes) touching episode in “Bing! Bam! Boom!”

Three young dragons are found on a sea stack.

Cute, colorful, and, in this case, cacophonous.

Hiccup and Stoick discover three young Thunderdrum dragons stranded on top of a sea stacks.  (Don’t know what a sea stack is?  Check out Google images.)  Ok, stranded might not be the right word, because the trio follow the Vikings back to Berk.

If you’ve not seen the short The Gift of the Night Fury (which aired at Christmas on Fox and is available on Netflix), baby dragons are quite colorful, and these are no exception.  Even Stoick calls them “cute.”  However, as the Dragon Manual tells us, the Thunderdrum  produces a “concussive sound that can kill a man at close range.”  Although the roar of these three young ‘uns isn’t fatal, it’s loud enough to wreak havoc on the island.

The twins enjoy the noise of the young dragons while everyone else covers their ears.

Thunderdrums roar, the twins revel, and normal people cover their ears.

Stoick allows Hiccup and the Dragon Academy to try to train the young Thunderdrums, but it turns out to be quite a difficult task.  The first step in training a dragon is to name it, and the twins promptly christen Bing, Bam, and… Lloyd.  That’s Tuffnut for you.  When the others tell him he’s got it wrong, he goes with… Darin.  (T.J. Miller as Tuffnut is especially amusing in this episode.)

In case you don’t remember (or have never watched—shame on you!), last season Stoick bonded with a Thunderdrum which he trained to ride and named Thornado.  Thornado takes quite a shine to the young dragons, and they to him.  In fact, Thornado seems to be the only authority Bing, Bam, and Boom recognize.

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