My Favorite Things: Star Wars, Dragons Plushies, New Netflix, and The Wizard of Oz, revisited

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 we have not one, but two exciting trailers for great looking new TV shows, love for the biggest sci-fi movie in 2016, and the cutest dragon plushies I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’m tempted to go buy one right now. Read on for more!


J.L Gribble’s Favorite Thing is… Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!

Note: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is about the team of people who steal the plans to the original Death Star, information provided in Stars Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. Beyond that level of detail, this post contains personal emotional reactions and no specific information or spoilers about the film.

I already knew that my favorite thing this month was going to be Rogue One, but I waited until I saw the movie opening night to make that official declaration. You can watch for my critical review in the next Speculative Chic Sound Off, but this is where I get to wave my nerd flag and just exclaim how much I loved it. We all thought we knew what the movie was going to be about. Yes, the characters accomplish the theft of the Death Star plans, but the story was also encompassed so much more. I was stunned and impressed by the level of depth and character in what could have otherwise been a traditional heist film or science-fiction spectacle.

Some of the moments in the film still have me reeling hours later, and one of my measures of the quality of a good movie is how much it affects me after I walk out of the theater. And while the story hasn’t changed, I will never watch Episode IV the same way again. Are you a Star Wars fan? Go see Rogue One so that it can be your favorite thing this month, too.


Nicole’s Favorite Thing is… Douglas Dragon Plushies!

I’d thought several years back when I gave away all the stuffed animals I’d owned as a kid that I’d gone full adult. From then on I would have only adult things and would no longer need such silly, childish toys!

Turns out, that’s boring. Also, plushies are adorable.

Especially the dragon plush made by the Douglas company. In fact, most of the stuffed creatures made by Douglas are delightful, but I love the dragons the best. And how can you not? They’re soft, the materials they use have a bit of sheen on them, the wings are gold and shiny, and their little faces are just so darn cute. The best part? They make 11 different dragons to choose from (if you include the puppet one).

Out of all the dragons available, the Jade (blue), Ruby, and Topaz dragons are my favorite. While working on a novel, these dragons have become my rewards. Each part earns me a dragon — and I only have one part left before I’m rewarded with gold. Even better, each section of story includes a dragon that — and this was not intended — corresponds to the color of dragon I purchased. I’ve also used the two I own in a few of Speculative Chic’s Instagram shots as well since they’re quite photogenic.

If you’ve received a little gift money this year and feel like owning something whimsical and dragonish, perhaps a plushie is in order. Even better? Now the ones they sell are even bigger than before!


Kelly’s Favorite Thing is…the Emerald City Trailer!

It has been forever since I was psyched about a TV show. I don’t watch Orphan Black, Westworld, or The Walking Dead. I wanted to watch Stranger Things and Outlander, but they air on subscription services that I don’t have. I even skipped the last season of Game of Thrones because I was afraid to watch beyond where the most recent book stops. But the trailer for Emerald City, a twisted, grown-up take on The Wizard of Oz, looks absolutely amazing. The updated Dorothy is a Kansas police officer who hits the Wicked Witch of East with a cop car. I’m pleased that the new Toto is a German shepherd police dog, mostly because my dog is German shepherd pit bull mix. Based on what we see in the trailer, the show looks visually stunning. I love the opening Kansas shots and the brief shot where the scarecrow appears to have been crucified. I’ve heard some people complain that the show looks like a Game of Thrones rip-off, but even though The Wizard of Oz is a children’s story, like all fairy tales it has darker, deeper themes. The Wicked Witch’s cruel vendetta, the Wizard’s treacherous betrayal, and Dorothy’s fear that her home is lost to her forever would all fit very well into George R. R. Martin’s universe. I’m also happy that the show is airing on NBC, a channel that I don’t have to pay extra for.  


Nu’s Favorite Thing is… the trailer for The OA!

My favorite thing this month is the return of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, the team behind some of my favorite sci-fi movies Another Earth and Sound of My Voice. Their last collaboration was the 2013 thriller The East. Their newest project, The OA, debuted on Netflix on Dec. 16. In the sci-fi drama, Marling plays Prairie Johnson, a woman who resurfaces after having been missing for seven years. The creepy twist is she was blind when she disappeared, but she now has her eyesight restored. At the time of this post, the series hasn’t been released yet, but from I saw in the trailer, it’s going to be mysterious, intriguing, and enlightening — everything you can expect from Marling and Batmanglij.

See anything you like? Let us know in the comments below.


  • Shara White December 26, 2016 at 10:50 am

    That EMERALD CITY trailer does look really awesome. I hadn’t given the show any thought until now!

    • J.L. Gribble December 26, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I am cautiously looking forward to it. I’m worried that a regular network show won’t be able to maintain such a high production value for a speculative fiction show.

    • Nancy O'Toole Meservier December 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      I must admit, I had a “where the hell did this come from!” moment when Kelly emailed this to me. The trailer really grabbed my attention, in a good way.

  • maggiedellarocca December 26, 2016 at 11:33 am

    My husband and I watched the first four episodes of OA last night. Probably watch the rest today. It is very compelling without relying on violence.

  • Lane Robins December 26, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Tarsem Singh apparently has a LOT to do with Emerald City, which explains the amazing visual style. I’ll sign up to watch a couple eps, just for that!


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