This was incredibly difficult because I basically wanted to turn this into a massive recommendation post, but I have something in mind for a separate post later. And because there were a lot of things I wanted to choose from, I kind of wanted to do this in different categories. Some of these are very interesting and unconventional choices, while others are rather predictable for me, but nonetheless this was fun to kind of think about and put together.
Favorite Cast Interviews
This is a clip from an interview from Emerald City Comic Con that just happened last weekend with Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham from Critical Role, one of my latest fandom obsessions. This is just one of the many examples of why I adore this cast, because they show their love and appreciation of the fanbase along with showing just how much they are also fans of what they do, of the characters they voice and created in their streaming D&D game.
There is also a full panel with them (1:41:41 - 2:41:11) just being their adorable selves and basically talking similarly to the clip above, from their first experience and introduction to D&D to gushing about the fans and talking about their love of these characters and the fan community as a whole, it's so amazing. Honestly, find any interview and convention panel with the Critical Role cast and they are so unabashed with their love and appreciation of the fandom, because they are all geeks themselves, being voice actors as they are, and they are unashamed with what they do and what they bring to the community. I have been watching a lot of interviews and panels from the entire cast that have appeared over the years and I just love hearing them talk, whether it's giving advice or just telling stories and being goofy with each other. I think aside from the Firefly cast, I have never encountered or fallen in love with a cast like this that is so unbelievably appreciative and supportive of the fan community, who actually get fandom, and are huge giant nerds themselves who truly understand the community that was created surrounding their little D&D game they play every week, and actively encourage that kind of enthusiasm and passion fans have because they, too, are fans themselves. It's just a labor of love all around and you really sense that from their interactions with the fans, how they answer questions, how they often go on tangents just geeking out over something. You don't often see that, and I deeply respect them for it.
So, anyone who knows me in recent years knows that, thanks to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, I have become quite enamored with Colin Farrell. Sure, he's an incredibly attractive man, but he's also very articulate and well-spoken. Just from the interview above where he's talking with another fellow actor about their experiences with the industry, being so open and honest, he speaks so eloquently and is very down-to-earth, it was one of the first interviews I watched with him and I was honestly so captivated with hearing him speak. Another interview he did was a Q&A session that was nearly two hours long and yet it doesn't feel like it because his answers are so insightful and funny and intelligent, a mixture of the charm of his personality and a deeper understanding of him as a person, it just makes me appreciate him even more. ❤
Since becoming a fan I've done my research of his work (both the good and the bad), though I have to say his projects in recent years has been so brilliant that it makes me sad that he's been super underappreciated and overlooked in the industry. While he mentions preferring the smaller intimate indie roles nowadays, I still feel like most take him for granted, which is a shame because the man is very talented, professional, humble, and everything you could ever want in an actor and a human being. Regardless though, I'm glad that he's doing better in life and is content where things are, and that's all that matters, Hollywood popularity be damned.
Favorite Fannish Talk Show
The Wednesday Club is a talk show on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel, which streams every Wednesday for two hours (7pm-9pm) as the three regular hosts talk about comics and everything else geeky in between that is connected to or in relation to the chosen subject they are discussing for that week. I discovered the show because Taliesin Jaffe of Critical Role is one of the hosts, and I just really enjoy watching it because the entire purpose of the show is to just discuss and share the joys of comics and geeky stuff. That's it. It's a very positive space where they discuss a particular comic for that week, the history and origins of said comic, their favorite characters and storylines, answering questions from the chat in regards to the topic at hand, and the conversations just goes into some fascinating and interesting places.
Above is a clip taken from one of their episodes where they are all gushing about the Josie and the Pussycats movie from 2001, which has since become a cult classic. I instantly fell in love because I have never seen people openly gush about this movie, I've only ever seen people reference how iconic it is on the Internet, but never actually out loud in this manner before. And here they are, utterly nerding out over it and it just makes me so, so happy. And that is the very nature of this show, it's just a place where they get to geek out over something and share that love, and I love it.
While you do have to be signed up on Twitch to view their archived episodes, the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel has a section for their one-shot answers segment, where they are given five minutes to answer a particular question/prompt.
Favorite TV Soundtrack
In all honestly I should really put Bear McCreary's entire discography here, because everything that man has composed, from television to movies to video games, is utter brilliance. But it is impossible to do that without acknowledging the main reason why I even know about his music in the first place, which was from one of my favorite shows of all time, Battlestar Galactica. There were so many fantastic and beautifully epic things about BSG, and the music was one of those things. It was the biggest components that enhanced the storytelling and just by listening to any given track from any season you're guaranteed to not only remember precisely what scene that music came from, but you end up getting emotional all over again. At least, I do anyway, because I have such a strong attachment to this show and the music is a major part of that reminiscing.
"All Along The Watchtower" was a rendition of an already classic song, composed by Bear and sung by his brother, Brendan McCreary. What's interesting is that BSG never used modern renditions on any of the soundtracks, and the ones that had lyrics featured weren't in English (the only ones that did were "Gaeta's Lament" and "Apocalypse" from Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome). Without giving away spoilers, this song was purposefully chosen because it played a pivotal role in the plot of the show. I absolutely love this rendition of the song, and I play it constantly.
And really, everything Bear McCreary composes is absolute genius. It's impossible to not be impressed with what he does.
Favorite Fandom-based Music Video
The Guild was a webseries created by and starring Felicia Day, which centered around telling the wacky shenanigans of a group of people part of an MMORPG game (which if you haven't watched it, you should check it out because it is awesome). The webseries premiered in 2007 and quickly gained popularity, and Felicia Day decided to do something fun in celebration by creating an original song, which was inspired by 80s/90s pop music, with all of the cast dressed up as their character's avatars from their fictional MMORPG game, and do a very stylized music video for it. And thus "(Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar" was born. It was a huge hit and it ended up spawning a few more music videos, "Game On!" and "I'm The One That's Cool".
This song is super fun and addicting, and I still have it on my current playlist and listen to it constantly. I guarantee that once you listen to it you'll be just addicted as well, and the tune will be stuck in your head. It was a very unique choice to make on Felicia's end, and I'm very glad she did it because it's possibly the best song to associate with the webseries. One of these days I am planning on cosplaying as either Codex or Tinkerballa and do a recreation of this video. I don't know how, but I plan on doing it someday.
Honestly, I didn't intend for most of this list to be G&S-based or even mostly video based, it just kinda happened that way! I wanted to kind of list off favorite episodes from different shows, but I've decided to wait and save that for a different recommendation post altogether because I have a very specific thing in mind for that. But otherwise, this particular challenge prompt was fun to answer. Because I have so many favorite things from books and movies and scenes from shows and whatnot it was difficult to choose, so I kind of subconsciously decided to do something rather unconventional by doing interviews, talk shows and a fandom-based music video and music as my answers, which I think counts, right? Regardless, I enjoyed compiling this list.