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’s MFT is chock-full of selections of every flavor. Television viewers might want to know about a great new horror series, or a fresh take on a classic superhero. For video game fans we have a game-within-a-game that can’t be missed. And if you’re looking for a great fantasy series to read, we have that covered as well. Continue on for more.
Sharon’s Favorite Thing is…. Stan Against Evil!
What’s my favorite thing this month? More evidence that Hollywood cares about horror lovers in the form of IFC’s premiere episodes of Stan Against Evil. Starring John C. McGinley as a retired-against-his-will sheriff, the show is a mashup of Ash Vs Evil Dead (comedic splatter with a grumpy male protagonist), Sleepy Hollow (New England small town with a dark history) and Grimm (secret demon fighters with secret arsenals).
Is it original? No. Not yet, at least. Are the special effects particularly good? Nope, sorry. But the show has an easy charm, mostly coming from McGinley’s portrayal as a depressed widower and from his pathetic Scooby Gang: a not-very-brave deputy sheriff, McGinley’s single-mom job replacement, and his dim and seemingly useless adult daughter. (Hint to parents, you may find that your basement dwelling, still-living-at-home-children can be extremely useful in the event of demonic emergency).
What I like most is that, much like Ash Vs. Evil Dead, the show’s structure hearkens back to the glory days of Weird TV. Thirty minutes of set up, conflict, crisis, and resolution. No big promises and cliffhangers, just quick pleasant fun for horror fans. And we could all use more of that, right?
Nancy’s Favorite Thing is… Superman!
One of the best things about a new season of a television show is getting to meet all the new characters. This fall, it’s all about Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the members of the Justice Society on Legends of Tomorrow, and Detective Maggie Sawyer on Supergirl. But the character who’s left the strongest impression on me is Supergirl’s version of Superman. This might sound strange to people who know me, as I’ve never been a huge fan of the Man of Steel, but there’s just something special about the way that Supergirl has brought Clark Kent to life. I love the fact that the show eschews the typical superhero-meets-superhero storyline (They don’t see eye to eye! They fight! They join up to defeat a greater evil!). Sure, there’s a lot of fun to be had with that, but it wouldn’t work well for Kara’s Kryptonian cousin, who’s been politely cheering her on from the sidelines for the past year. Instead, Clark represents all the Kara could be, if she just puts the work in. He’s a powerful superhero, an accomplished reporter, and one half of a successful romantic couple. And when Kara sees that, it motivates her to be better.
I also love the fact that Clark is so supportive of Kara. He’s confident enough in his own abilities not to be threatened by hers. And when they fight side by side, they actively work together, taking on roles that suit their own strengths. Aaaand it doesn’t hurt that the actor who plays him (Tyler Hoechlin) is incredibly easy on the eyes.
Clark has only shown up in two episodes of Supergirl so far, but he’s already left a great impression on me. I look forward to any future appearances.
Keyes’s Favorite Thing is… Gwent!
One of my favorite parts of the excellent The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is Gwent, the collectible card mini-game. Gwent inspires a mania in its devotees that may in fact eclipse their fondness for the core game. I’m hardly the only one who’s blown countless hours playing Gwent, fast-traveling about the map hunting for new NPCs to play Gwent with, save-scumming in an effort to get better cards, and advancing the main storyline specifically because it’s holding up my relentless march towards Gwent supremacy. It’s is easy to learn, yet allows for a surprisingly sophisticated individual play-styles. Very few things have made me cackle with more sadistic glee than crushing a tough NPC into tiny pieces with a technique I call “the March of the Blue Stripes Commandos”.
CD Projekt Red heard the cries of the people and have bestowed upon us, the Gwent-adoring faithful, a re-balanced, souped up free-to-play online version . . . if you’re lucky enough to have gotten into the first round of the beta, that is. Fortunately for my sanity, I did. If you did too, drop me an email if you want my GOG ID, and come, let’s play!
Lisa’s Favorite Thing is… The Sevenwaters Series!
The Sevenwaters series begins with Daughter of the Forest, a Celtic retelling of the Six Swans fairytale. In it, Sorcha’s six brothers are turned into swans by their stepmother and only through her determination can she restore them to how they once were. I read this book a long time ago, but I am not done the series yet! I have been pacing myself because each book is great. One of the things that I love about this series is that each book tells the story of a woman in the family through the generations and each one has her own personality, challenges, and unique strength. I love when stories continue almost seamlessly and characters return to you as if they were old friends.
If you are a Celtic fantasy lover, or even if you aren’t, you should definitely pick up this series. I’m currently on the fifth book, Seer of Sevenwaters. Keep an eye out for a review!
Are you familiar with any of the selections above? Share your thoughts in the comments below!