Freaks and Geeks

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Community

Dungeons & Dragons has defied the odds and turned forty this year. A niche game that might take a decade to complete, its mixture of imagination, dice, paper and pencils seemed no match for the rise of the Digital Age and quick satisfaction. But tabletop gaming (and RPGs) bit their thumbs at the odds and became kinda cool. Celebs like Wil Wheaton, Sam Witwer, and Chris Hardwick have met up for a round of Dragon Age on TableTop, and the popular web series is now cooking up a spin-off RPG show after their super-successful crowdfunding campaign. But the RPG has not only infiltrated the back-room geek realms of the Internet. Though it never made much progress on film, save for the rare appearance in films like ET, D&D has become a television pre-requisite. Forget about musical episodes; if geeks are present in any noticeable way, there will be an episode or scene devoted to a D&D quest where the nerds lure newbies to the dice. It’s a game that’s set up deadly enemies, revealed inner weaknesses and unveiled fans in the least likely of places. Now I must admit – I have never played Dungeons & Dragons and have little desire to (unless it’s the ridiculously addictive board game offshoot, Lords of Waterdeep). My patience has no time for long quests. Nevertheless, some of my favorite television moments revolve around D&D (and television’s facsimiles of it). I love what it inspires in its fans, and the creativity that often stems from it. The RPG […]

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Channel Guide - Large

Space western Firefly is one of those TV shows that every geek is supposed to have seen—it’s Whedon, it’s shiny, it’s a part of the sci-fi canon. Yet, it was only on the air for one season. The upcoming cast reunion at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con is one of the event’s most anticipated panels, but would this be true if the show had gone on for three more years? Would later seasons be able to match the first? Of course, no one can know the answer to that but I think when you consider the show’s enduring appeal, as well as the appeal of one-season wonders in general, you could say that unceremonious, early cancelation is actually a good thing.  When we’re presented with a show where the writing, acting, and production have achieved what feels like a perfect synergy, and then that’s yanked away, it’s infuriating. But maybe we should celebrate that ending.

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Lena Dunham‘s new HBO show, Girls, fits right into producer Judd Apatow‘s wheelhouse: it’s funny, awkward, honest, and never afraid to show characters at their ugliest. The lead, Hannah (Dunham), is a young 20-something looking for direction, similar to plenty of Apatow’s characters in TV and film. Hannah and her friends aren’t the nicest or the most admirable of characters, but they’re about as real as a group of friends can get. Hannah is one of those phases that plenty of artists — such as Dunham and Apatow — could relate to: being young and struggling. In usual HBO fashion, Girls is a show that pushes the pain, never letting its characters off easy. That, amongst other topics, were discussed between Apatow, Dunham, and I the day after its terrific premiere at SXSW. Here’s what Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow had to say about the movie-like structure of the show, writing vomit drafts, and personal comedy:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of trinkets for the weary-eyed, movie-loving masses. A testament to man’s quest for knowledge, the internet’s infinite wealth of silliness and cat videos, and a totem for the lost souls of movie fandom. Come here, my children, come here and bask in the glory of the best links of the day. We begin tonight’s sermon with a shot of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence looking very 1929 in Serena, the upcoming film from In a Better World director Susanne Bier. It’s about a pair of newlyweds who move from Boston to the wild mountains of North Carolina and produce off-spring. Shenanigans ensue.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Just as one show finds its end, another finds a second life. A few moments ago I was writing with a heavy heart about the loss of Party Down after Starz decided not to pick up the cult comedy hit for a third season. And now I’m bringing you news that Freaks and Geeks is about to be back on the air. Well, in syndication at least.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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