My Favorite Things: Fan Edits, Harlem’s Superheroes, and More Fun with Time Travel

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week is all about our love for fabulous television shows. This includes a new take on an old favorite, Netflix’s latest foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a fantastic new show all about time travel. Read on for more.


Nicole’s Favorite Thing is… Team Four Star!


I began watching Dragon Ball Z when I was in middle school. My anime journey began with Sailor Moon but quickly snowballed from there. Dragon Ball Z was full of badassery with interesting characters, storylines, and a ton of fighting (when someone isn’t monologuing, of course). Eventually I ran out of episodes and had to move on with life.

Fast forward to 2012. A friend told me that I needed to watch something called Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Confused, I did. And oh boy, it was amazing. The creators behind the parody show go by their various aliases, such as KaiserNeko, Lanipator, Takahata01 (who does a wicked Loki cosplay, by the way), and so forth. Together they created what they called Team Four Star. They cut, edited, occasionally photoshopped, and completely redubbed the show into far shorter episodes that are utterly hilarious while bordering on a still scarily accurate portrayal of the characters. The time and effort the group puts into each episode shows because the jokes are always on the money, the editing works out better than the original English dub a lot of the time, and you never know how you’ll be surprised. For example, imperfect Cell is way creepier than he ever was originally. This series made me fall in love with Vegeta all over again, and thanks to Dragon Ball Z Abridged, I’m now proudly sporting the Saiyan royal crest on my shoulder. I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was 13 — it just took 15 years and a parody show to pick out the perfect symbol.


Nu’s Favorite Thing is… Luke Cage!


My favorite thing this month is Netflix’s Marvel series Luke Cage. I was a big fan of season one and two of Daredevil. I couldn’t finish Jessica Jones (maybe one day). But I was hooked on Luke Cage after three episodes. Mike Colter plays Luke so cool and sexy, but at the same time, he’s like a big teddy bear. The villains are on another level too. Cottonmouth is beautifully played by Mahershala Ali. Theo Rossi plays the stoic Shades in such a chilling manner without saying much at all. And the ladies — I love the ladies! Simone Missick as police detective Misty Knight is badass along with Rosario Dawson, who plays nurse Claire Temple (and the only character to crossover through all three Marvel shows; I love the Easter eggs they throw at us about that fact, ha ha.). Then there’s Alfre Woodard who plays Cottonmouth’s cousin, Mariah. Although she’s a city councilwoman, she’s every bit as gangsta as her cousin. The city of Harlem is also its own character, breathing with music, people, and history. What I love most is that Luke represents so much to the people of Harlem. There is family and community there, and even when I was watching the show from my bedroom, I felt like I belonged too.


J.L. Gribble’s Favorite Thing is… Timeless!


I know I’ve been on a time travel kick since the beginning of Speculative Chic (blame the time travel book I’m currently writing myself), but my new favorite television show of the season is Timeless! The historical events it has explored so far (the Hindenburg disaster and Lincoln’s assassination) are not new, but the effects that appear in the show certainly are. Timeless deals with a world where its heroes do not fix the past as we know it, and how these cumulative errors ripple across the future: both in the macro of the world itself and the micro of their personal lives. It’s obvious that there are layers of secrets and conspiracies to explore, as well. On a diversity in speculative fiction note, the fantastic line from the first episode — “Also, I don’t know how it works across the pond, but I am black. There is literally no place in American history that’ll be awesome for me.” — isn’t just a throwaway bit for the pilot, the issue is explored in the second episode as well. I’m officially hooked.

Any thoughts on the selections above? Let us know in the comments.


  • Nancy O'Toole Meservier October 24, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I just finished watching Luke Cage recently, and while I don’t think it had as strong as a first season as Jessica Jones or Daredevil, I was blown away by how much I came to feel for the characters. I really hope the rumors about Misty Knight getting her own show are true, because I would watch the shit out of that.

    It’s also wonderfully directed. There are some shots that really stick out in my mind (interestingly enough, they almost always involve the villains- Cottonmouth, Mariah, Shades). It really gives the show a cinematic feel.

  • janicu October 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Hmm, my husband is a Dragon Ball Z fan. I will have to tell him about Dragon Ball Z Abridged — I don’t think he knows about that one!


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